The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the month “April, 2017”

Zipcloud for data backup. My experiences . Avoid is my opinion 

Over the last 7 years on my IMAC I have accumulated 799 GB of data. Mostly photographs. A couple of years ago I was offered and signed up to Zipcloud paying a quite significant fee for unlimited data stored in some mythical cloud. The settings were straightforward and allowed me to set a large maximum file size and regular data uploads. In short I was confident that my data was happily sitting in its personal cloud.  Sadly my optimism was misplaced. The seagate hard drive eventually broke and I looked on zipcloud for my data. Zipcloud confirmed my data was there but when going to restore it magically it vanished.  

Cue multiple emails to customer service folks all with cute young sounding names, Hollie , Zara etc. All sent meaningless replies that came with a strong odour of copy and paste. Eventually a fraction of my data appeared in the restore panel, maybe 5%.  They were unable it seems or unwilling to find the rest.  I received a plethora of meaningless and unhelpful emails but no more data.  Apparently their development team would be in contact. Of course that never happened. 

In short I received a poor service for quite a lot of money. I would like to warn others into being comfortable with their data sitting in this cloud.  External hard drives are cheaper and more reliable . 

Luckily the data was all recoverable from the deceased hard drive.  And I have cancelled Zipcloud. 

Doing a quick search online this problem and others seem common with Zipcloud and my best advice based on my experience is to avoid them. 

Why exactly are dogs banned from so many places? Logic or a random decision? 

Since I got my first dog 6 months ago I have been perplexed and sometimes even amused by why dogs are banned from various places. This is in uk. However other countries take different views. Here in Nice in a decent hotel Boscolo Exedra I was firstly greeted this morning by a dog in the lift and then a few moments later found it sitting happily with its owners in the restaurant at breakfast. The dog sat in the same place , looked imploringly at its owners for food but was no trouble and I suspect many never realised he was there. This seems a familiar pattern in France. 

Let’s look at the UK. Traveling on the motorways one finds that dogs are not allowed inside motorway service stations. In the high street dogs are not allowed inside banks.  Dogs are not allowed into any hotel restaurant or bar . Dogs are not allowed into restaurants . Some pubs allow dogs in but stipulate where they can go.  This blanket ban does not of course apply to service dogs. 

To get the obvious out of the way, no one would expect to take an untrained or poorly behaved dog into these situations.  My dog Wolf is 7 months and would be fine. 

So what’s the logic and who makes the rules? Why can one country be so at odds with regulations in another? 

I put this out there as a discussion point . 

Terrorist Attack in Nice July 2016 on Bastille Day

When visiting any city it seems that always sometime somewhere a horrific event has taken place. On a rainy day in Nice walking along the promenade I had totally forgotten about the atrocity on Bastille day less than a year ago. 

The Promenade Des Anglais is almost what might be described as a typical promenade. Walking along by the sea. Palm trees floating around and multiple cafes on the other side of the road. Today it was wet and few ventured onto the beach where they met diggers and other building works.  I came across randomly a pile of flowers placed at the edge of the promenade and suddenly remembered why they might be there. 

On the evening of July 14 last year 2016  a 19 tonne cargo truck killed 87 people including the perpetrator who would have been out walking happily in the evening. A vile evil expression of terror that has failed to extinguish the light of hope in the French people.  I felt for those poor souls but what was enlightening was that the promenade was open and even in the rain many were walking. You see terror attacks will never win and importantly never stop folks going about their daily activities. 

The event took place at 22.30 pm and this photo taken nearby but not on the promenade gives some idea of the lighting and atmosphere that might have prevailed. 

It felt good to be walking along the promenade unfazed by the previous attack. 

Brentford Bow Tie…. well for dogs 

As we near season end my daughter has started her dog bow tie and bandana production line … as you do just before her GCSE…. feel free to order one in the Bees colours as below…. they look sensational! Bees Dogs! 

How to make a humble slice of cheesecake look interesting

Drizzle some cream…. put on a band of minted chocolate… red currant coulis… redcurrants… blueberries… blackberry…. strawberry chopped up… add a cumquat on top… easy . Delicious too 

24 Hours of eating in  Berlin when working. Marriott Midtown Grill

Berlin is mostly a city that given a little time one can walk around. The train station sits centrally 15 minutes walk from Brandenburg gate and Tiergarden. 

Walking really is the best way to see this city especially if travel time is all the time you get to see the city when working. 

The food is interesting and despite a few little quirks, the Marriott Midtown Grill is not a bad little restaurant although not cheap. This time of year is white asparagus season. So a meal of asparagus, salmon and potatoes seems a good choice and it was. Cheesecake is always a good choice . Nice touches included free bread. In fact a small loaf really. A pretzel with the beer. And if one wanted toasted marshmallows with the bill! 

A few strange aspects of German cuisine include the painted boiled eggs seemingly on offer in most German airport lounges. 

Floodlight Design. Something to admire in Leamington. Anything Brentford can learn for Lionel Road? 

Leamington FC are a team in the Southern league. A parallel universe to the Ryman league. They have permission to build a new ground 5000 capacity. 

The design looks great but the floodlights look incredible. Hyde used to have similar design with their floodlights. Floodlights are not often discussed in an architectural sense but are in fact often what fans first see when looking for a ground. Their recent role has been more as conduits for mobile phone masts. 

The old traditional designs have often been replaced by newer designs and inbuilt into stands. But this design from Leamington looks good and below a photo of the excellent old lights at Met Police . 


Not much more to say 

SouthWest Airlines response to the United Airlines fiasco . 

Rarely do I laugh out loud at a post and even less often at an advert. But this is clever and funny. 

On a separate level how bad is this for United Airlines? You cannot simply drag passengers off a plane . End of.  As an n=1 I will never travel with them again. 

Digital Pet (Dog/Cat) Portraits and Hand Sewn Dog Bandanas. A new online shop. Take a look!

Dog owners are constantly looking for new dog related items. One recent development is the dog bandana that attaches to the collar and can be removed/added easily .  Digital portraits of a dog/cat can now also be drawn by those with the expertise to use the various computer drawing tools.

The good news is that these are now available online to buy, and are created from scratch when ordered. Prices are cheap and these can make ideal presents.

Those that follow Instagram can find a lots of photos and examples at @bluecornmoondesigns

Here are a couple of examples but the designs are potentially limitless.

Shyla WMNala WM

IMG_9352IMG_9365Juniper WM

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