Phrixus The olden days version of

New shed – Vimeo test

There is a new shed in our garden to replcae the old one that fell apart. Keeping with tradition I created a timelapse of the build on my Canon EOS 20D. To test out the video quality from Vimeo, I have uploaded it here and embedded it below. I think that it looks good, especially considering that I uploaded a compressed video to start with.

EDIT: Updated video to HD version, you might need to let it stream a bit.

Photo update


I have added some photos to the gallery. You will find new albums from a scuba diving trip to the Maldives and a short trip to Vietnam!

Rear diff and exhaust


After picking up the car, nearly every corner that I drove around caused the rear LSD (Limited Slip Differential) to make a sound like a walrus mating. If you want the full story about this rather large can of worms and why I don’t think a local “non-BMW” garage did the work they claimed to have done – read the full article and check out the photos.

Some new tyres

Not track tyres... just canvas!It is safe to say that the front tyres on my car were not safe! When I picked it up, they were well beyond the fine line of safety. In fact, as you can probably see from the photo on the left, the treads had vanished and were through to the canvas. Due to the uncommon size of the tyres (225/40/19), the local tyre fitter had nothing that would fit, therefore I had the opportunity to order the tyres of my choice!

Shiny new shoes!The original Continental M3 tyres were not available. The Good year F1 Assymetrics are not made in 19 inch. My third choice was the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2’s! As these were available, they were ordered up quickly and fitted as soon as they arrived!

Voila! They are even filled with Nitrogen, a gas that will maintain a more stable pressure across a range of temperatures. This will aid handling and fuel economy… but who cares about economy on a race track!

100 Push-ups

OneHundredPushupsTo kick start the strength exercise habit again, I have decided to focus on something that I can do anywhere, even whilst travelling. This is quite important at the moment as travel for work was the initial disruption to my gym habit. My focus at the gym was to build up my core strength using the bench press which builds a lot of the upper-body muscles.

The site has put together a training program that requires you put aside a very small amount of time 3 times per week. At the end of the six-week program (variable), you should be able to perform 100 push-ups. This sounds like a great idea and since progress should be quite quick, it will be motivational and fun.

Before you can start on the program, you need to figure out your current ability by taking the initial test. I managed to complete 25 push-ups meaning that I am in the third column for weeks 1 and 2. I did not think I would get quite that high so I am quite pleased! As per the recommendation, I will start Week 1 on Monday!

Addition to the garage

After a few years looking and dreaming, I have just bought my first M car! A 2003 silver/grey e46 M3! I am quite pleased because, for the most part, it is in good condition. There are a few things that need attention, check out the dedicated diary page for this car! More pictures here!

The kickoff post!

Unhealthy pastimesWelcome to TrainTrail
You are invited to join us as we re-commit our efforts to improving our health, fitness and aiming for a positive work/life balance.

Like most of us (you know who I mean), over the years our level of activity has decreased as other priorities have taken over; kids, work, home, new partner, new sofa etc. We know that we should be doing something about our health and deep inside we really want to be doing something active; but somehow we never have enough time to get to the gym, go out for a run or even oil up the chain on that bike hidden in the shed… Well that’s where it was the last time I checked in 1991!

We have made a commitment to get fitter, healthier and make sure that we get the most out of life. A simplified lifestyle and appreciation for the simpler things can only make us happier. Right?

From what we can see; happy people live longer! As long as the Gods support our attempts to survive a little longer and we don’t get run over by a bus.

But what is this website all about? We figured that we need to commit to and stick to a fitness plan. That is where you come in! Apart from being able to read about our attempts, you can join in and become a part of the TrainingTrail community, sharing tips and feedback, working together. That is our commitment!

As we progress we will share what we learn, the good and the bad. Any suggestions, tips or products tested on this site are fully researched and properly tested, with input from professionals where required.

We are also working on some really cool features for the site, that will be available to you all over the next few months. As our tagline states, we want to keep our training on track… and we want you to do it with us.

Good luck!!

Shane & Mark

Software updates worth noting

Over the week-end, there were 2 announcements made that deserve a quick mention.

Apple have upgraded Aperture to version 2.1

This is a quick update after the recent launch of version 2.0 and not only includes a number of bug fixes and performance updates but also adds a new plugin architecture. To demonstrate this, a dodge and burn tool has been included.

If you already have Aperture 2 installed, it is well worth hitting the ‘Software update’ button for this!

Adobe announce Lightroom 2

Hot on the heels of Aperture 2, Adobe have made the Beta version of Lightroom 2 available. This worked well for Lightroom 1 as the feedback from users prior to launch really helped focus the development based on feedback from ‘real’ users. Initially, the Library module has been redesigned and includes most of the features you can find in Aperture such as multiple monitor support.

L Plate fun

For the first few weeks of riding, I was having a big problem with the ‘L‘ plate, it kept catching in the rear wheel and eventually rubbed itself down to an ‘I‘ plate. To try and sort this out, I have been buying a number of metal brackets to try and modify the rear end so that this doesn’t happen. I took apart the rear end today which was a learning experience in itself. After some fun and games, I came up with this nicely curved solution!

L Plate Bender

A bit of bouncing on the seat was done as a pre-ride test to see the result. So far so good… the ‘L’ plate went nowhere near the wheel. I guess the real test will be at the week-end when I go out for a ride with the lads!!

Photographers rights

I have seen a lot of information lately on various websites and in the photographic press about the Police and their ignorance when it comes to the rights of photographers and the law in general with regard to photography.

I find it amazing that the officers of the law themselves have been known to actually make it up as they go along. Interestingly, these guys/gals are actually opening themselves up to prosecution. Even those security guards that come along and tell you photography is not allowed could just be harassing you. Any attempts to take your camera or delete your photos is criminal damage and theft.

I like this information a lot. Having the upper hand when landing in these situations has to be of benefit to the photographer. Although different areas will certainly have different laws, this page has details on the UK law and even provides a PDF overview. I will be keeping one of these handy in my camera bag next time I travel away!!

UK Photographers Rights