Monday, April 23, 2007

Skate-park, potholes, traffic, sorry water, and Thief.

So I finally managed to pop down to the site of our wonderful new skate-park on Sunday morning to take some pictures (uploading shortly). Working off what seems to be the only design we have there's a concrete slab under the 'bowl' and three slabs before it corresponding to the Quarter-Pipe, London Gap, and the Ramp. With a stick poking out the ramp slab presumably leaving space for a drainage hole.

As per normal taking pictures attracts attention, though a number of people were already looking at the site with interest and/or puzzlement as I approached. "Skate-park" I noted to one couple who had stopped to look "Yes we know. Isn't it a stupid place to put it". Turns out this couple had written letters asking about it, complaining about it perhaps even before my first mention of it back in November. They'd even talked to their local councillor, whom I won't name at this time, whose basic attitude was "It's been decided" so tough. They thought the best place for it was the same site as proposed by some of the Town Council, behind the leisure centre. I pointed out there was no way this was going to happen as it's a overspill car-park. "So how many times have you seen cars parked in it?" I was asked. "Never", I replied, "But sadly that's not the point".

Having taken a couple more pictures I wandered up to the Sweet Shop with a shopping list and mentioned the skate-park works "I don't know why they're putting it there, it's a stupid place for it". We got to other matters including the potholes and I was asked "What about the pothole van?", "?", "They had a van all painted up to go around looking for potholes, have you ever seen it?" So open question to all in Wyre Forest - Have you seen the pothole van?

Continuing the topic he mentions a friend with a spinal injury who has to essentially hold himself rigid as he crosses from Bridge Street into High Street, ah but there's no point in fixing it they'll be digging it all up soon; um soonish, well at some point in time, definitely this year, probably.

In that spirit I also took some pictures of the wear-and-tear occurring to the only lane open on the bridge, the edge of the road (which are never too well-paved anyway) is falling away and we've still got the double-gouge as you enter/exit. Combine that with the barricades on the one side narrowing the lane and what a surprise traffic slows down a tad as it goes over it. I also caught a long distance snap of the incoming-town traffic backed up to the town lights, by the time it had cleared only four cars managed to get through before their lights switched back; that's a plus it's normally none.

Speaking of which, traffic this morning was horrendous. One of the pair of lights coming into town was out (and had been since at least Saturday) and as this was the one with the monitoring camera on it I don't know if this was what was causing the problems. Anyway the huge distance of about one mile from Dunley Road, next to the turn off for Rectory Lane, into High Street took about 26 minutes. Anything causing the hold-up? No, nothing. Once you got past the bridge it was plain sailing.

Tourists, tourists we want lots and lots of tourists, just um don't come by car.

Scottish Water have had a leak and discharged about 1,000 l/s of screened sewerage into the Firth of Forth a total according to the Guardian of 170,000 tonnes. After finding the main pump unfixable they've installed two temporary ones. the Environmental Agency has sprung into action to clear up the mess, oh wait no they haven't they've posted up warning signs. Ah not to worry it's being diluted by the tide and will all be swept out into the North Sea where it'll become 'Somebody else's problem' and hopefully all break-down in a couple of days consuming oxygen and killing the marine life. Oh and Scottish Water have said they're really really sorry. So that's all okay then.

Getting a prompt from Darren on POVRay caused me to return to the game Thief (Gold version), having the original causes some fun with XP, run as Administrator, forcing it to install etc. Having come back to it after an absence I ran through the training exercise and promptly watched the game crash. It was trying to play a video and for some reason the game processes the entire path of the directory rather then a relative one. Not good when it can only handle 80 characters and I was 1 over. Re-installing was quicker then fiddling with the registry, at least it gave me an understandable error message.

Despite its age it's still a damn good game, not one for the less-then-patient though. You can spend an amazing amount of time just watching the guard patterns. It also must, must, be played in the dark; not just for atmosphere, but simply so you can see. There are times I ready a fire arrow, not to shoot someone, but simply to see where I'm going. Excellent fun creeping around in the dark (having doused the torches) slipping past the guards and picking up loot as you go.