Nick B.

Somewhere in NG11

Drive-In Movie Theater


Drive-In Movie Theater, a set on Flickr.

Exploring in the US again and I came across one of these. Unfortunately it hasn’t yet re-opened for the 2013 season.

Via Flickr:
Near Van Wert, Ohio. See

I remember the drive-in movie from the credits at the end of The Flintstones. There’s also the David Bowie song – Drive-In Saturday

His name was always Buddy, he’d shrug and ask to stay. She’d smile like Twig the Wonder Kid and turn her face away…

Except that these were taken on no-drive-in-Thursday.

March 15, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anti-Social Networking

I spent some time on and off over the past few years updating my skills for the day job. Maybe that’s one reason I just lost interest in the blog. I do post up g33k-related stuff over on another blog but again, that’s dried up too.

So I’ll point the finger at (anti)social networking. Mainly Facebook but also Google+. Farcebook as a one-stop means of keeping in touch with friends and family. G+ as a g33k hangout. The Twitter account gets remembered on the odd occasion too, particularly if I photograph something on my Blackberry phone and want to upload it to somewhere public.

I decided to move everything over to WordPress again, maybe that will give it a new lease of life. I now have a WordPress App for my Blackberry and one of those Play-Droid-Pad tablet thingies so maybe I can write short, badly-composed bloglets from one of those.

Oh I nearly forgot, I also passed my half-century. Thanks to all my nearest & dearest, not-so-nearest&dearest, offspring and granddaughters for stitching me up with a surprise party. They had to do it a day early otherwise I would have smelt something cooking. Set people up with high-tech communications and they use it to conspire against me (all in the nicest possible way of course)!

See you on the interwebs sometime!

February 21, 2013 Posted by | Blogging | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dinner Time

Early start at the salt mines today following a late finish yesterday.

Felt too tired to cook but as I bought a large piece of chicken on Friday I felt obliged to do something with it. I threw it in the casserole dish along with spring onions (didn’t have any regular onions ), carrots, mushrooms, courgette, broccoli and a pint and a bit of chicken stock.

Fell asleep on the sofa for an hour then met by the gorgeous smell wafting into the conservatory after my wake-up phone call. I shall now go and prep some microwave rice and dine!

July 16, 2011 Posted by | Blogging | | 2 Comments

Electrical Storm – near Botkins, Ohio

I don’t normally do YouTube stuff but I managed to record this electrical storm using the video camera on my Blackberry. I sat in the car as the storm passed over an hour earlier with torrential rain hammering down, then watched the fireworks as it moved out eastwards.

We don’t get thunderstorms this intense back home in the UK.

June 11, 2011 Posted by | ohio, usa, weather | | 2 Comments

Published Work

Neil Armstrong Museum 18th March – I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from a major publishing company (hereinafter referred to as MPC) asking for permission to use one of the many photos I’ve uploaded to Flickr. They want to use it for an elementary school science publication. The picture is of the Armstrong Air And Space Museum, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, taken back in 2009, and in recent times they have been struggling for funding.

The email requested a prompt response, tight deadline, can we send you a form for licensing, etc. etc. and I sent back a positive reply to see what the deal was. I received a form back to sign the image rights over for complimentary use. Hmm. Well I’m not planning on trying to get rich as a photographer and this place is struggling. Let’s ask MPC to send a donation of $100 to the museum in return for me licensing the photo then? But before that let’s have a quick look at their corporate website and see. Some useful pointers there about corporate responsibility and responsible business practices. So here’s my response:

Thanks for the form. I note that this is for “Complimentary Use” of my work.

MPC are a company listed on the NY stock exchange. Part of your corporate responsibility statement says

“Our company’s mission is to provide essential information and insight that help individuals, markets and societies perform to their potential. In support of that mission, we are committed to responsible business practices that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the communities where we work and live.” (link to relevant page on website)

So in the circumstances I feel obliged to ask that if you wish to license the image that you give me an undertaking that MPC will make a donation of the sum of $100 (in my name) to the Armstrong Air and Space museum. The museum is currently in dire financial straits and is an important part of the nation’s historical heritage and a valuable educational resource.

If you are not empowered to make this decision then please could you forward this email to somebody in your organization who is.

Best Regards,


A second email followed, this time with a pro-forma for paid usage. I still wasn’t happy as the researcher suggested once I’ve received payment then I can send it on to the museum. As I’m in the UK, this is going to be rather a protracted process. They’re in Columbus, OH, 90 miles away from the museum. Why can’t they just send them the $$$?

So I followed this up with a phone call to their Corporate Contributions Manager HQ in New York, and… Oh I can’t seem to get past the voice mail. So I left a message – and she did return my call and was very positive about the issue. Later that afternoon, a third email from the researcher in Columbus with the solution and an undertaking that if I sign the complimentary use form then they will send payment to the museum (although the museum have to sign the paid-usage pro-forma).

I think I’m winning here. On 4th April I received confirmation from the lady at MPC that they had received the signed form from the museum and that they would be sending them the $100 donation. MPC expect to sell 100,000 copies of the book, so that’s one-tenth of a cent per book!

As for me – I asked for a complimentary copy of the book. Printed, of course. I shall pass this on to grand-daughter #1.

April 27, 2011 Posted by | flickr, ohio, rip-off | , | 2 Comments

Hello. Hello. I’m at a place called Vertigo…

IMG_1610The TroughIMG_1612IMG_1615

Actually something I thought I’d overcome a long time ago but for some reason it came back to haunt me again today. Out for a drive to LLangollen in North Wales, I stopped to take a look at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This structure carries the canal over the River Dee valley and had recently been granted World Heritage Site status. You can either walk along a narrow footpath that runs alongside the canal trough or you can take the trip in a narrowboat. I fancied option 1.

Although it is a mere 125ft high but enough for me to make like a statue. I managed less than a quarter of the way before turning 180º and return to the starting point with hand gripped firmly on the rail and not daring to look down. Whether the movement I could feel was actually from the structure or after-effects from last night’s beer consumption I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that I will have to go back and have another go as I’m determined not to let it beat me. I did manage a few photographs on the short walk to try and keep myself preoccupied but that didn’t work.

I’m fine with tall buildings if I’m inside. Outdoors, tall structures, rooftops – No thanks!

April 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Birthday Girls

February 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday Olivia

2 years old today…


Download now or listen on posterous

im_vn_68b083ea.amr (5 KB)

February 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I went to fill the car with diesel this morning to ensure I’ve got enough to get me to Manchester Airport on Sunday. As I was driving there they were playing the Ronnettes version of Frosty The Snowman on the radio. This took me back to 1986 when I bought a Commodore C=64, my first computer. The Christmas demo that you loaded from cassette tape (eventually…) has a neat animation of Frosty!

I managed to find a video of this on YouTube. Frosty is there at 3 minutes in. Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2010 Posted by | geek | | Leave a comment


Yesterday I went to visit the Wapakoneta 2010 Moonfest. Wapakoneta’s claim to fame is that it is the birth place of Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 astronaut and first man to set foot on the moon.
One of the attractions at the beer van was the commemorative Moon Light Lager.

To actually buy a glass of beer was a rather drawn-out process. I had to:

  • Go the information desk and get an ID wristband.
  • Then to to another counter and buy some beer tokens.
  • Finally take my beer tokens to the bar counter and order my beer.

Now the beer didn’t seem to be served out of a barrel as I’d expect but from a tap on the side of a specially adapted Beer Van. Two glasses for $3, obviously not selling well so they were having to discount it!

July 18, 2010 Posted by | beer, ohio, usa | | 1 Comment


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