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Entries from June 1, 2008 - June 30, 2008

Thursday
Jun262008

Lightroom v Aperture

Despite being a Lightroom fan I’d recently bought Aperture 2 and though it was about time I had a go at it by trying to process some of the many RAW photos we’d brought back from our Route 66 trip into one of Apple’s excellent hard back photo books.

I’d preselected a few hundred photos in iView Media Pro and then dragged them into Aperture. I thought that a lot of the controls in Aperture 2 were now similar to Lightroom 1.4, although I have to admit that the photo straightening tool in Aperture was a lot quicker and easier to use. Despite having the grid marks lit in the viewfinder of my Nikon D300 I find that I still have a tendency to get my photos sloping down a little to the right side.

Now that I’ve processed the RAW files all I need to do is the final selection and layout of the photo book, but that will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday
Jun172008

New Brighton and Southport

After breakfast we packed the car and checked out. We’d decided to go to New Brighton, on the north east tip of the Wirral Peninsula, as we pass the area every time we go enter and leave Liverpool on the Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry. The sea front is very run down and a bit depressing to visit. After a coffee in a café of indeterminate cleanliness we thought we’d visit Southport, further north up the coast from Liverpool

We’d visited Southport before during the winter and though a visit in June might give a different complexion to the town. Although the main shopping street was attractive and very busy on this bright sunny day the promenade area still seemed run down and depressing.

Are British sea side resorts in the north west of England, with the exception of Blackpool, all doomed? I knew mass tourism had died on th Isle of Man with the advent of cheap package holiday to the Mediterranean and the extra cost of getting to and from the Island but I hadn't realised how badly some English resorts had been also hit.

We then headed back to Liverpool for a long wait for the boat as it was still on three engines and running an hour behind schedule. The journey time was forty five minutes longer so instead of getting into Douglas at 9:30 pm it was 11:15 pm by the time we disembarked
Monday
Jun162008

Jodrell Bank

We decided to go to Jodrell bank today to see the radio telescope. It was something that I’d always intended to do when we were staying in the North West of England but I’d never got around to it until today.

It was about an hour’s drive from the hotel and we arrived shortly after it had opened. After paying the entrance fee we walked around the perimeter fence, taking some photographs of the back of the dish array as we went.

The whole structure is mounted on rails so that it can rotate to point at any point and as we walked the dish turned slightly every few minutes to keep itself aligned at a fixed point in space as the earth rotated. We couldn’t get to see the front of the dish as the path didn’t go completely around the whole structure and it was pointing away from us all of the time we were there. I did get to see some of the front of the dish after we’d driven away from the site.

Our next stop was the Trafford Centre, where my wife did some more shopping and I bought Aperture at the Apple shop. I’m a confirmed Lightroom fan but I thought I’d give Aperture another try and I’d also read that it was good for getting photo books printed,

We then paid a brief visit to the Arndale Centre where my wife bought her favourite tea bags that she has trouble finding elsewhere. We then returned to the Hotel for more canapés and a drink before our evening meal.
Sunday
Jun152008

Ordering a Porsche Boxster RS60 Spyder

We were up early at 05:15 for early ferry to Liverpool. It left on time, but more gearbox trouble meant that it was running on three engines instead of the usual four. We arrived in Liverpool thirty minutes late and headed for Porsche Centre Chester. It was busy as they were having a Driving Weekend so we spent an enjoyable hour in the sun looking at all of the second hand a new Porsches. We sat in quite a few Boxters with a similar spec to what ours will have. I eventually met the salesman I’d be dealing with over the phone and via email and the order was signed for a Boxster RS60 Spyder.

We then went to the nearby Cheshire Oaks and my wife went in a few of the shops while I mainly waited in the sunshine outside. I bought a pair of Bose in ear headphones for my iPod.

We headed to the Marriott Liverpool South, the old Speke airport building, which is one of our favourite hotels in the North West of England and relaxed and had a few drinks before our evening meal. We also had some canapés and coffee in the executive lounge.

We were in our favourite room, number 227, and the only drawback is that if people are standing outside the front door of the hotel waiting for a taxi or airport shuttle you can sometimes hear them talking. There had been a large wedding party at the hotel that evening and the chatter outside seemed worse than usual. I suspect that a lot of it was down to the smoking ban and more people were now standing outside to have a cigarette