The next phase of my project, to convert my rotten old garden shed into a full on bike shed was to add all the bike accessories. In part 1, I rebuilt the floor, fixed the door and got the shed functional again. Now I had to add the bike hangers, and deal with security so that even if a rotten tea leaf should attempt to steal my bikes, their efforts would end in failure. The solution would involve using grade A Kryptonite locks and a sneaky CCTV system capturing anyone who steps foot in my yard!
Feedback Sports make excellent hinged bike hangers that are safe saving, well built and look pretty cool. Not a total punt here, as I had spotted them being used in the work bike shed. The hinge allows you to angle the hung bike any way you like, so really handy.
I thought fitting the hinge would be easy until I spend twenty minutes drilling a hole into the wall that was only half the length of a screw. By that time, my drill was red hot and the battery dead. Plus I had done this to the drill bit:
That’s when I realised that I needed to buy yet another power tool… an SDS rotary hammer drill.
Finally, I could get the hangers mounted…
Kryptonite are pretty much the market leaders in bike security in the UK. I decided not to take any chances! The Kryptonite Stronghold Anchor would give me an immovable unbreakable point on the wall that I could chain stuff to.
Then a Kryptonite grade A chain and padlock could be used to chain the bikes to the anchor.
The fact that these two bad boys are used for motorcycles certainly provides some piece of mind.
Finally, I now had a shed that could fit two bikes, anchor them to the wall, and still give me a bit of space to spare. Nothing is going to stop a determined thief, but I certainly have made it fairly tricky. Adding CCTV to the equation could be a way to catch any (hopefully ill-fated) attempts on camera…
|Kryptonite Stronghold Anchor||Evans||1||£48.99||£48.99||https://www.evanscycles.com/kryptonite-stronghold-anchor-00104659|
|Kryptonite Chain Padlock||Wiggle||1||£68.38||£68.38||http://www.wiggle.co.uk/kryptonite-new-york-fahgettaboudit-chain-padlock|
|Feedback Sports Velohinge||Tredz||2||£25.76||£51.52||https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Feedback-Sports-Velo-Hinge_77061.htm|
|Bosch SDS Rotary Hammer Drill||B&Q||1||£80.00||£80.00||http://www.diy.com/list/bosch-550w-240v-corded-sds-plus-rotary-hammer-drill-psbh2100re/174057_BQ.prd|
Possibly nobody is interested in reading about me bleating on about sawing and drilling bits of wood. It’s a potential snorathon for the majority, while a minority will come to the conclusion that I possibly have minimal personality, if this is what I spend my free time doing. I guess that’s the beauty of blogging!
When I moved into my flat, I realised that I was sharing my living space with my two bicycles, whereas before, I had the luxury of a bicycle locker. Luckily, I had an out. The yard area at the back of my flat featured a shed. To convert the old shed into a bicycle shed, I would need to do quite a few things!
I set about tackling steps 1 and 2…
The lock was an easy one to sort out. I literally took the old one off and screwed the new one on. Luckily, the designs were very similar so all the fittings were in the right place.
This was the first big hurdle. The chipboard floor was completely rotten. I needed to hack the existing floor to bits. Underneath the floor was an evolving hotbed of detritus including a snail graveyard, an arachnid incubatory farm, and lots of random mouldy padding supporting the previously rotten floor. I totally blitzed this, and was pleased to find solid paving stones beneath.
The job would have taken bloomin’ ages, had I not bought one of these:
And one of these…
The feet on the underneath of the frame were of varying size with the intentions of making the floor level.
With this in place, I could then cut the new particle board flooring to size and screw the pieces to the frame.
|4″ x 2″ beams||B&Q||4||£2.98||£11.92||http://www.diy.com/departments/cls-timber-t38mm-w63mm-l2400mm/27507_BQ.prd|
|Flooring (OSB 3 Sheet)||B&Q||1||£8.74||£8.74||http://www.diy.com/departments/osb-3-sheet-th9mm-w610mm-l1220mm-1/1696233_BQ.prd|
|Yale Rim Lock||B&Q||1||£15.43||£15.43||http://www.diy.com/departments/yale-43mm-2-lever-rim-lock/252725_BQ.prd|
Total cost of getting the shed to be functional: £38.58
That’s £133 on tools!
Also: this is the way to make straight cuts with a circular saw. Really didn’t know and it’s handy to find out!
The next stage would be to get the bike hangers and the security sorted out…
The Murder Bears 2018 Calendar has arrived from the printers, folks!
I am raising money for The White Lodge Centre and all the proceeds are going to this wonderful charity.
I am also running the London Marathon to raise cash, so pulling out all the stops. The calendars are £15 each. If you want one, donate to the justgiving link and let me know your mail address.
I have been painting the Murder Bears characters over the last year and showing them off on instagram. The calendar showcases all manner of evil bear from sadistic Nurse Betsy, to the edgy, world dominator, Presibear Trumpton. There’s even a festive Murder Bear for December!
The calendar is A3 size when opened out. January starts with a full-on visit from the infected.
The occasional visit to popular culture occurs, with this Suicide Squad inspired September Murder Bear painting.
And some classic movie monsters are paid homage. Let me know if you want one!!!
Not only are these five men at the top of their creative game. They also seem to be almost the same person. Is it just me? What is going on here?
Drummer of the legendary rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith appears to be Will Ferrell in disguise…
The alternative rock artist, synonymous with grunge band, The Screaming Trees has Ferrell/Smith moonlighting as a front man.
Mega movie star of movies such as ‘Hellboy’ and ‘City Of The Lost Children’, Perlman is definitely a member of the gang….
Anthony Ingruber is an interesting character. In the act of searching for the actor to play the young Han Solo for Disney’s upcoming Han Solo spin-off movie for the Star Wars movies, Ingruber started getting some viral hits. He depicted a young Ford in the movie ‘Age Of Adaline’, but it was his youtube Solo impersonations that drew the most attention.
Almost unbelievably, Ingruber did not get the Solo role. It went to Alden Ehrenreich instead.
Queen being one of the biggest rock bands of the 1970’s and 1980’s with millions of record sales continue to operate without their enigmatic front man. Singer, Marc Martel drew remarkable comparisons to Mercury with his uncanny rendition of a Queen song.
To cap off this pointless trivial post I have to reiterate a resemblance that has been used on-screen. That between comedy actor, Greg Davies, and his spiritual clone, Rik Mayall. They even played father and son in the sitcom, ‘Man Down’.
This article contains spoilers, if that isn’t as evident from the title as much as a jar of peanut butter may contain nuts. ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is a film that shows that George Lucas finally made a good decision as regards to the Star Wars franchise: he handed it over to an organisation that knew what to do with it. 2015’s Force Awakens and now the new film show that the movies are being guided by steady hands. Rogue One’s plot was far more interesting than it’s predecessor in Episode VII. While its conclusion was pre-ordained by the existing Star Wars canon, its approach to getting there was well-thought out. Of course, it wasn’t without flaws, which is why we are here. While reviews have been waxing lyrical about the film, I thought it might be more interesting and in the true spirit of #grumpyoldman to point out its clangers. So here they are.
The rebel mission to track down Galen Erso on Eadu started with a gut-wrenching crash-landing. While the special effects department did their job to depict the ship smashing into the unforgiving rocky planet surface as the crew decry, ‘We’re going down heavy…’, all crew members emerge from the smoking remains relatively unshaken and without a hair out of place. They weren’t even wearing seatbelts!
So the film does provide an excellent explanation of why there is a flaw in the Death Star. Galen Erso is a fifth columnist who designs the flaw into the weapon. All well and good, but that doesn’t explain why the flaw continues to exist in Death Star 2, and even in the next generation Starkiller Base.
So Grand Moff Tarkin’s appearance in the film was an exciting surprise. His uncanny-valley palour was easy to forgive. However, he does seem rather unbelievably clueless as regards to the vulnerability of the Death Star, and this isn’t explained in the film. Not only is Orson Krennic desperately trying to stop the rebels from sending the Death Star plans from the data centre. Vader is relentless in trying to recover those plans from the scarpering troops on the Tantive IV, and Scarif is Death Starred from orbit to protect the data. There must be a weakness in the Death Star, given that the lead designer was revealed as a traitor. And yet when the attack on the Death Star is underway, during episode IV, Tarkin is informed, ‘We’ve analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?’. To which Tarkin replies, ‘Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.’ How can Tarkin be so tactically naive?
Wow, the rebels really struck lucky with Jyn Erso. Not only did they find her on a prison transfer during a spring operation on Wobani. They managed to identify her, even though the resourceful Empire had not twigged that she shared the same DNA as their treasured Death Star designer. This is so remarkable that the rebels declare she is lucky the Empire didn’t work out who she was. So how on earth did the ramshackle rebels manage this act of serendipitous due diligence? And they find her just as they need her to engage on a mission to network with the dissident Saw Gerrera who has literally just captured a defected Imperial pilot who happens to have a hologram addressed to her. She goes missing for sixteen years and gets randomly sprung on exactly the right day. Lucky, huh?
So the rebels manage to transmit the plans to the rebel command ship. Given that they have the technology to achieve interplanetary space travel, you would think they had pretty decent internet. And yet when the plans arrive, they don’t put them onto the network and transmit them virally to all receivers. They just burn them onto a crappy tape drive thingy. Given the size of the fleet, it’s pretty unbelievable that the tape drive is the only existing copy of the plans in the galaxy. Of course, if there were more copies of the plans, there would have been no point in rescuing Princess Leia from the Death Star in Episode IV.
Jyn appears to completely flip her motivation towards helping the rebel cause for no apparent reason. Forest Whittaker’s raspy Saw Gerrera asks her why she is involved, and she pretty much tells him that she just wants out now that she has reintroduced him to the rebel alliance. Gerrera is visibly distressed that she is completely indifferent to the cause. And yet, when they get back to the rebel base on Yavin IV, she has completely flipped her motivation. So much so that she is prepared to commit to a suicide mission that not even the Rebel Council agree upon as being a good idea.
Cassian is shown to be so ruthless that he happily fires a laser bolt into the belly of his rebel co-conspirator at the Imperial outpost. And yet he has a sudden bout of conscience when he has the apparent super-evil designer of an intergalactic super-weapon in his cross hairs. You could say this is akin to the distrust that was communicated by the scene in the cantina when Han Solo (who shot first) dispatches of the unlucky Greedo; an action that is supposed to make you question his good intentions. But Andor shooting a rebel?
Well, we saw them. They were great. However, the death troopers never rear their deathy heads ever again. Why were the death troopers deemed to be so ineffective that the Empire does not appear to continue to use their services in the following films?
The Stormtrooper plot hole crops up time and time again. If storm troopers are genetically-engineered super-soldiers, spliced together from the kick-ass DNA of veteran militant, Jango Fett by the Geonosians, how come they are so crap at being soldiers? Not only does Episode VI see them being defeated by a bunch of stone age teddy bears. Rogue One shows how they sloppily lose control of a prisoner transfer as their detail gets intercepted by rebels on Wobani.
Why were there highly risky rebel prisoner rescue missions being carried out on Wobani? Risking the lives of dozens of rebel soldiers and mercenaries for a few poxy prisoners that may or may not be useful to the cause seems like a dangerous way to spend resources. God only knows what random tombola of reprobates surfaced after each transport was attacked.
Vader appeared more interested in using his Sith powers to force levitate rebels into walls of the Tantive IV than he was in recovering the Death Star Plans. He appears to be so distracted that he doesn’t use his Force air-grab power to levitate the tape drive that is being passed through the jammed bulk head door. Bit silly…
Another surprise return for a character from the original trilogy. And everyone likes a ginge. It turns out that Mothma appears to be the top dog, the Theresa May of the rebel outfit. She pops up again in Episode VI. So where did she disappear to in Episode IV and Episode V? Did she have better things to do? It’s surprising that she neither played a part in the Yavin IV discussions to destroy the first Death Star, nor was she hanging out with her homies on Hoth.
So the Death Star plans are being stored at the data centre on Scarif. So it was pretty obvious what the rebels were doing given the circumstances that arose after the Galen Erso breach incident. Would it not have been easier to simply wipe the data centre clean of data as opposed to using the Death Star to destroy the entire planet? And of course, by the time they did that, the horse had already bolted.
This one is a double header. The Empire have the chance to finish off a prone Galen Erso as he lies on the landing platform on Eadu. Why keep him alive when he is clearly of use to the rebel fighters who are attacking the base. Krennic hesitates as he boards the shuttle, but lets him live for no explained reason. The same happens when Krennic is prone at the data centre on Scarif. He’s a high ranking Imperial officer, and yet assassin, Cassian Andor refuses to allow Jyn from unloading her blaster into the face of the man who effectively killed her parents.
Well, I think that just about covers it. Do let me know if you can think of anything else!
OK, so here is my third year of doing paintings on my mobile phone. I have no idea if I am achieving a higher standard, but it’s certainly fun continuing. The year appears to have been dominated by pin-up art and by politics, although not at the same time!
I saw the incredible documentary, ‘Amy’ over Christmas holidays, so I started off the year with this cartoony depiction.
The idea was mooted that Idris Elba could be touted as the new James Bond. Thought I would try him out…
I got to work on a painting derived from a sketch by the talented artist, Jasper.
This year, science fiction themes gave me some ideas for some pin-ups…
I did a portrait of one of my friends, Emily Gonzalez.
I had a go at this cantina scene…
When I was at school in the 1900’s, my schoolmates found that I had drawn a ‘saucy’ picture of Judge Anderson. It wasn’t very good, and it attracted a great deal of derision. With my skills back then I don’t think that I did it any justice, so I decided to revisit it.
2016 was quite a dramatic year for politics, and so this featured heavily in my paintings
This character pretty much kick-started all the trouble, with his promotion of toxic right-wing debate.
He was instrumental in getting all of these phrases flying around, and stirring up a culture of hate and blame.
It was this gentleman’s turn next. He managed to turn an era of hope and optimism into an age of discontent and cynicism.
My continuing depiction of ‘him down below’ had to make an entry.