I'm like a bird

But no, I’m not going to fly away… instead a quick update and a couple of questions.

Current Events
I considered posting more on the “Cho shootings” but really can’t be that bothered. I seem to have fallen into a “you made your bed, lie in it” frame of mind. Which isn’t really a good thing but there’s just too much else going on so I’ll skip it right now. Today’s headline is tomorrow’s … what IS the completion of that sentence? “tomorrow’s budgie cage liner?”

Scottish Blogs
Over on Scottish Blogs I’ve been caught out, big time. I recently asked for some volunteers to help me go through the entire directory and weed out the dead, moved and unwanted sites. I figured I’d get 3 or 4 people and it’d take us a couple of weeks to get through a few batches at a time.

10 people volunteered, and after sending out the first batch of 30 URLs to be checked at the weekend, some are already onto their second batch. I can’t keep up!!

It’s great though, and has the additional bonus of restoring my faith in humanity. The downside is that I’ll need to buy them all a drink at the next blogmeet (most are coming I think) and you know what they say about us Scots. Yup, that’s right, we DO have big hands.

The new car, which I’ve not mentioned for.. ohhhh.. DAYS now, is still motoring along very nicely. I’ve finally stopped trying to turn the key to start the ignition, and the automatic windscreen wipers have stopped freaking me out. The only niggles I have include a weird clunking from the rear suspension when I first reverse the car out of the drive (fairly common in most cars apparently but was a first for me) and the fact that the automatic lights go from OFF to DIPPED, rather than staging up from OFF to SIDELIGHTS to DIPPED. All minor annoyances though, I’m still loving the fact that people are looking at the car as it drives by, another unique experience!

The Running Man
Still running, and last night saw, finally, a good run. It wasn’t that fast, or that far, but I felt really good. I’ve not had that feeling for several weeks now so here’s hoping it continues. I’m about to book my place in the Balloch 10K in June so I have a firm goal as well. Onwards and upwards.

The “other” me
Work continues on my other blog and on the re-vamping of my “online presence”. At some point this blog will move to a new host, and possibly a sub-domain, or new domain itself. Yes I’ll lose some visitors, yes it’ll piss people off but I’ve considered all that and can live with the consequences. It’s quite exciting to be starting a new blog as well, especially as I’ve a much better idea of HOW do it this time around.

Finally, a couple of questions.

1. I’m looking for a bag that will hold a 13″ laptop. Something functional with additional pockets, without being too clunky, and it can’t be a “black laptop bag”. Something with some style, some verve and that won’t break the bank. I’m off to a conference in June and my current option is the bog standard (huge and ugly) DELL laptop briefcase thingy.

2. Anyone got any tips for digging out a bamboo? It’s been in for a couple of years and I cannot even get a spade or fork into the ground near it, completely solid. I’m thinking a heavy dose of water to loosen things and a pickaxe. Alternatives?

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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Crumpler bags.

I’ve been using one for a while now, and they’re great. Oh, and have room in the bottom bit for a DSLR+Lenses as well…

I see you glossed over the “won’t break the bank” part of the question… 😉

Little canvas number here

Or a bit of a manbag style one here

both reasonably priced and not black!

For money saving potential on the crumpler bags try Wiggle

Re bamboo – go with the pickaxe plan. You’ll also need a good dose of perseverance to get all the bits of root out the ground, or you’ll have new little bamboos sprouting from them…

[edited to fix link – gordon]

Well, I a) glossed over it and b) didn’t know what’d break the bank. Not like I suggested a Lowepro backpack or something… Mind you, the Tamrac ones look interesting.

Oh, and as for the bamboo, yeah, either pickaxe it, or try digging round even further out. We kept ours in a plastic container (with holes punched in it so that it wouldn’t get waterlooged) to keep it under control. Whatever you do, though, it’s going to be bloody heavy to lift up. Weedol (or similar) may be your friend…

Great stuff so far, I have found some I like. A cheaper Crumpler, a too expensive but nice Ego Messenger Bag.

I guess I also need to consider if I’ll have both laptop and camera out at the same time. Probably on trips I will.. hadn’t thought of that. Thankfully the camera ain’t THAT big not being a full SLR job but still… there are a couple of lens as well.. Hmmmm

Keith says:


I know they are a bit more expensive but they are pretty good, well made and padding in all the right places, which in my experience a lot of bags lack (I have worked my way through a few beforepaying the extra for Crumpler but it has been worth it)


Crumpler bags may be great but FUCK ME that’s a crap and V.ANNOYING website!!!!

About the bamboo, I’d recommend getting a couple of the lads round, buying a keg of Guinness, and breaking out the power tools. Stone walls wouldn’t stand a chance, never mind a particularly tough variety of grass.

In the absence of power tools, axes, hammers and saws should do the trick, but power tools are best. Particularly ones that run on petrol rather than electricity.

Re the Crumpler website, why do you think I directed you to Warehouse Express (WE) instead?!? I hate the Crumpler site – as you say, highly crap and annoying.

Also, while WE’s site isn’t great, their service is – I’ve always had stuff 24 hours after it being ordered. Well impressed with them so far.


What you need is not a pickaxe, but a mattock (think a cross between a hoe and a pickaxe). That’ll do the job. A pickaxe will just break it up and require more weedling out with a fork, where as a mattock will chop it up nicely for you and dig it out.

I used one to clear out my dad’s back garden before he got a conservatory put on.

Great fun. Lots of blisters. It even works in January on frozen overgrown ground – he wanted the conservatory for the summer. I’m not bitter.

If you have bits of bamboo left, a quick shake through a riddle will get them all out.

Oh my god. I am becoming my father.

Donalda Bint says:

Ah, now, if it is design you crave, then while you decide you can play with these ideas.

Freitag is big in Germany. Hellishly expensive, but made from old truck tarps, seltbelts, used airbags, and inner tubes. Best bit is you can build one yourself, online, from the truck tarps. Cool. But expensive. But nice to play with? I like their motto on the ‘design your own’ page… ‘It’s your fault’. Nice.

Timbuk2 are also big in Germany, and cheaper. You get to design your bag, choose colours and stuff and, again, nice to play with if you can’t decide on a bag.

Having seen your other post, Timbuk2 also lets you take a look inside. Freitag doesn’t, and lets you chhose your type of bag by clicking on a model who is wearing one. Which is obviously behind them so you have no idea what bag it is. Very, very odd. But it is mad Swiss design, so what the hell.

I periodically build myself an überbag, which I never buy – it is good for the soul.

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