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Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000RA First Look

Forward

For those of you who know me you will be aware that I am starting back into Predator Fishing for the first time in quite a while. spurred on by a lifelong fascination with Pike and a summer capture of a 6lb Jack. I finally decided to invest in some proper Predator Gear, One of the first purchases I made was a bigger baitrunner. I have taken a look at rival products like the offerings from Okuma but in the end I prefered to go with what I know and that is Shimano’s. They have never let me down when I have been fishing for other species so they seemed like the logical purchase.

I think its only fair to say at this point that I am not made of money. I am the proud father of two and although I work for a living I would consider ourselves a “low-income family”. As any father will tell you family comes before Fishing, so I like to try to make purchases on a budget.

Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000RA First Looks

The reel itself cost me £54.99 from Angling Direct in Norwich. I was going to go for the ST 6000RA which they are doing at £39.99 at the moment, but I was told that they had sold all 700 of these units that they had bought in at the reduced price. On reflection I think purchasing the 10000 size model will be better for me in the future. There appears to be no body size difference between the 6000 and 10000 model that I could see.

10000RA

Shimano ST10000RA

It’s clear when you hold the 10000RA that its a baitrunner, It has all the levers and knobs in the right places…but somehow it is different! It is clear that Shimano has redesigned the body from what I know as a baitrunner (Think Aero 5000GTE / 5000RE) I guess this is just the next step in the products evolution. One weakness that I have always found with Shimano Reels is the Rear Drag. On the Aero GTE’s and RE’s the drag always seemed to just disappear out at each end. If you compare this to Okuma Reels for example you know when you have reached the end of the drag in one direction or the other because the knob can no longer travel. Shimano seemed to have addressed this issue with the 10000RA. In fact the outer casing for the drag mech looks completely different to an older “Aero” baitrunner.

10000RA Drag and Baitrunner Tension Adjustment

One nice surprise was the Line Clip, the line clip on the 10000’s spool is one of the chunky round metal affairs. I prefer these over the plastic ones and they are easier to clip up when you have cold wet fingers!! One thing I should point out is that you DO NOT get a second spool with this model. Separate spools can be ordered but you do not get one included for your money.

10000RA Line Clip

The Baitrunner lever/mech seem faultlessly snappy and the bail arm seems perfect to me. I guess only time will tell. I am really looking forward to taking this little monster out after some Pike. If I do discover any faults I will of course post these here.

Big Brother and Little Brother, Left: 10000RA Right: 5000RE

Demontek

Illness in Recovery…Again!!

Well life has been tough but ok for the Lock family for a while know. I think Tania will agree with me that we both seem to take three steps forward only to have some outside body take us one step backward! But who am I kidding we live in England and I guess this is the same for any family, in recovery or otherwise.

Work has been going OK, I have managed to gel with the team that I work with…and what a team. I can honestly say that I have never worked with such a nice, dedicated, interesting bunch of people.

Last Thursday I made my way to work as usual but had to return home after being ill. I put it down to being under pressure to find a new job (My ILM contract runs out soon) and just the pressures of being able to support my family unit. We have fought like crazy to get our Working Tax Credit and just the thought of having to go back onto any form of Benefits fills me with dread and feelings of total low self-worth.

It turns out that I have a viral infection, and as if that where not bad enough Tania has now come down with it. For both of us Illness brings different but similar emotions. Having the flu presents very similar symptoms to the mild DT’s that all us addicts used to put up with in the morning until we found our first fix…be it either Drink or Drugs. In a way I feel cheated…I have been through early recovery…I have moved forward with my life….why must  feel like this again!

On another level I feel that being Ill brings out my selfish side, just as the drink and drugs did. I have to fight twice as hard with my head to push myself to be motivated etc. I also have feelings of guilt when I do start to feel a little better at about mid morning…although these feelings subside quickly when I start feeling like death warmed up come mid afternoon.

I guess my point is that Illness in recovery can be a stumbling block for anyone. I am about two years since I last touched a drink but my head is still telling me that a bottle of JD would be the best solution for my feelings at this point. However my heart is telling me that my head should shut up and it should stop moaning….right here right now you are in a loving relationship with two wonderful children, everyone in that family needs your love and support….what they don’t need and what I don’t need to listen to is my alcoholic head!! Would I take a drink? No way!! Do I want to talk about my emotions and fellings? Yes way!!

Demontek

When the past is not the past?

As most of you who read my blog will know I relocated some two years back from South London to Norfolk. This move was the best thing that I have ever done. Not only did I find my wonderful partner Tania but I realised what that hole in my own soul was and discovered what it meant to be a part of a family.

When we first got together we made an unspoken point of telling each other about our pasts. Two people who constantly featured in these conversations on my part where Debbie and Nigel.

We finally made contact via Facebook and last weekend Debs and Ni came up to visit us at our new family home.

Tania and Debs hit it off straight away and I could not believe that I had not seen them for so long, yet it felt so right they had this natural place in my our lives that just should have been. Like a fool I had been putting this reunion off in my own head because it would mean dealing with something from my past. I know now that I was foolish to think this way as Debs and Ni are nothing to do with the past or future they are an intrinsic part of my life period.

To cut a long story short Debbie and Nigel supported me hugely when I was in the thick of my addiction. They gave me shelter when others wouldn’t and showed that they cared when others had given up. I look towards them as my adopted Mother and Father but more importantly as friends. They taught me the family values that I hold so dear now. I cried inside when they had to leave and make their way back to Surrey…good news is that they will be visiting us again soon with Charlie (possibly) and maybe even Emily (If she can bear to be parted with Zeus for a weekend!)

Me, Debs and Ni

Debs and Tania....Sisters?????

I would just like to say a massive thank you to both Debbie and Nigel for coming all this way to see us. We both had a fantastic weekend and really enjoyed your wonderful company. Thank you so much guys!!

Ade and Tania

xx

Picnics and Pike!!

Well I am back!! I can’t really decide what category I should put this post under…so I will just keep writing and see where I end up. Yesterday (Sunday) was the usual kind of Sunday for the Lock family. Jake had decided to come over and as per usual (despite all our hard work) we where skint, broke etc.

I asked Tania if she fancied going to the Meadow for an ad hoc picnic. We could take Jake and Jenson and give Tai a good run around too. I would take a Lure Fishing Rod and a couple of lures and try my chances on the River Wensum that runs next to the meadow. Tania agreed and we decided that we would make a move as soon as Jake arrived. Tania prepared a small feast and when Jake arrived we set of. The Meadow is just across the road from us, we are just on the outskirts of Norwich and to be honest we are spoilt having the Meadow and the wonderful River Wensum so near to us. To top all this off we have Wensum Park just up the road too!

We arrived and I set about fishing. I chose a small Toby Lure and began working some likely looking swims. After a while I went back to my family and fished a little closer to where they were sitting. It was great listening to Jake and his Mum just talking about all sorts of random stuff. Jake was playing with Jenson and even Tai was getting he’s mangy tennis ball thrown for him every now and again.

I have bored Tania silly with telling her how much I adore the Pike as a species. Tania has seen the pictures in the mags and even saw one of my heroes (John Wilson) catch a Pike from one of the broads that she knows on TV. I really wanted to show her and the rest of the family what a stunning fish the Pike is.  On Saturday I managed to hook a nice Jack Pike while I was bait fishing for Chub…this reminded me that my favourite type of Angling was Pike Fishing and no matter what happens or where I move we always seem to cross paths.

Tania and Jake had decided to pop over to the shops to stock up on crisps and other (cheap) bits and bobs. I spent the time in the company of my youngest son Jenson having farting competitions…I know this sounds really rude but what I mean by farting was blowing raspberries with our mouths. Jenson seems to have adopted this as a primary form of communication at the moment!!

Jake and Tania returned and I was making noises about moving down river towards a bridge to “have a chuck” there. Tania and Jake didn’t really seem up for it, so I decided that I would give it a go another day. I decided to give a swim near to where we were another go. I think it was about the second or third cast that I hit gold. I was working a favourite lure of mine upstream along by some reeds on the near back when she hit. I saw the Pike hit the bait in the gin clear water…she then proceeded to head straight for the streamer weeds…when she got there she buried her self in them. “I’m in babes” I half shouted back to the family. Tania, Jake and Jenson rushed over to see me seemingly attached to the river bed. Past experience has tought me just to keep the pressure up and eventually she will move…I felt her nod her head a couple of times in anger…one quick heave and I was fighting her in open water…it seemed like only a few seconds and I was wading down a small crevice so that I could land her.

What a great day, I got to spend time with my family and introduced them to a constant in my life since I was a teenager…good old Esox.

Incase you are wondering Tania does not find Pike “beautifull” even after meeting (and touching) one!! I will have to work on this 🙂

Wensum Jack

Wensum Jack... Big or Small... I love em!!

Demontek

Quick Update and then bed!!

Hello world! It’s been a while since I posted here… sorry about that; there has been a huge amount of “stuff” happening for all members of the Lock family. I have found part time work and as a result our little world has taken some re-arranging.

I got a great text from Tania today while I was at work…

” Jenson’s first tooth is through! Only found out cuz he bit me!!!! xxx”

When I got home tonight I couldn’t wait to check out his toothy peg….and there it was in all it’s glory, another first for Jenson. It has been hard making the transition from benefits to paid work for all of us. So far we are doing well, we are keeping up with the bills. Jenson and Jake never go without and Tania always makes sure that we are all fed and watered. I would like to cover the transition from work to benefits in more detail, but I will save that article for a later date when I am not so tired.

I feel a bit lost at the moment, I guess it’s just because I am still getting used to the whole routine of work. I know Tania has found it hard with me not being at home. I would like to take this opportunity to “Tell the world” that being a full time mum is the most stressful job in the world. I just want to say thank you to my beloved wife Tania for doing such a good job while daddy is at work.

Tania, you are the best mum in the world ever!! xxxx

Anyway, I have to go….I have bottles to make up and work tomorrow.

Goodnight all….wherever you are.

Strange Days

It has been an odd week. I think I have written before about my and Tania’s need to do things on impulse. This “impulse need” is a well thought out one though…I know that’s an oxymoron but then again I am a walking oxymoron…I am a recovering alcoholic!!

This week we decided to fullfill another one of our family dreams, we managed to find a Staffy pup that needed a home. Tai is a wonderful dog and represents everything that a Staffy should be. He’s Warm, Loving, Couragous and loyally obedient.

Having two cats in the house we wanted a dog that was at least “Moggy Aware” and Tai is. I tried to indroduce Tigz – our oldest cat – to Tai and it all went wrong. Tigz over reacted and used my face and head as an escape route. Tigz is a big tom cat and as a result I was left dripping with blood from at least ten pretty nasty puncture wounds on my face and head.

As I bowed down after realising that I had been hurt…I could see drops of blood forming on the kitchen floor below me, it felt like I had been transported back in time….back to my days on the street….back to regular scraps with anyone who “offended” me.

I have never mentioned it before but I have a recurring nightmare. The nightmare is that I will wake up in some god forsaken multi story carpark with cardboard beneath me and a bottle of vodka next to me, only to realise that Tania, Jenson, Jake….freedom from this fucking illness was all just a dream.

I know this all sounds very “poor me” and I have to stress at this point that this is NOT the way that this post is intended.

I think on reflection that this whole thing has just knocked me for six. The act of being hurt by a defenceless animal does not bother me. In fact I don’t blame Tigz at all. It’s just the thoughts and memories that the incident has sparked off in my alcohol ruined mind that have messed me up.

I am due to start a new job next week and this on it’s own is driving me mad…well the job isn’t, it’s just my head is…What if we don’t have enough money? Is Tania going to be alright when I am at work? Is Jenson going to miss me?…..is the sodding sun going to bother coming up tomorrow? I mean for christ’s sake get a grip!!

I have over a years clean time under my belt, but still this crazy head of mine (one of the reasons that I used to drink in the first place) still manages to get to me. I don’t mind an enemy that I can fight…but in this case the enemy is ….me?

Zenwalk 6.2 and Micronet SP906/8gk PCI Cards

Recently I decided to purchase a cheap PCI Wireless Card as I wanted to experiment with some homemade antennas. I had a quick look around Maplin (Electronics Store here in the UK) and decided to purchase a Micronet SP906/8gk unit. It was an impulse purchase and I had no idea if it was even supported by Linux.

I had put aside a workstation for the purpose of using Zenwalk 6.2 and this wireless card. After installing the card I proceeded to install Zenwalk 6.2 in the usual manner. Installation went without fault until I rebooted the machine. I found Zenwalk would lockup during startup seemingly just after loading the keyboard driver!!

I removed the PCI Card and (what a suprise) Zenwalk booted fine. I placed the card back into the machine and then tried to boot Ubuntu 9.04 from CD, same problem ubuntu lockedup before getting to the Gnome desktop.

Well I could not be bothered with another trip under my desk (There are way to many cables and it hasn’t seen a vacuum cleaner for ages) so here is how I managed to fix this issue….with the card installed:

1. Booted up with my Zenwalk 6.2 cd, when I got to the install menu I chose “EXIT” to quit the installer and give me a terminal.

2. First I needed somewhere to mount my root “/” partition, so I entered the following commands to create a mount point.
# mkdir -p /mnt/linux

3. Next I needed to mount the root partition of my hardisk installation in my newly created mount point, you will need to replace /dev/yyzz with the root partition of you harddisk installation, e.g. /dev/sda1
# mount -w /dev/yyzz /mnt/linux

4. Now I needed to “chroot” into this partition:

# chroot /mnt/linux /bin/bash

5. Now I needed to blacklist the kernel driver modules that where causing the problems when “incorrectly” applied to the Micronet Wireless Card.

# vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

I then added these lines to blacklist.conf:

blacklist rtl8180

blacklist rtl8187

Save blacklist.conf and restart.

6. You should now be able to boot Zenwalk as normal…next we need to download and install the correct Kernel Module Drivers for this card, but before you do this you will need to use xnetpkg or netpkg or your chosen package manager to get and install the kernel source package. This is important as the driver package needs this in order to make!

7. Went over to the Realtek site and downloaded the correct Linux Kernel Driver, you can find the page here.

I downloaded the package “rt73-k2wrlz-3.0.3.tar”

I then (as root) untarred the tar ball and from a terminal window cd’d to ../rt73-k2wrlz-3.0.3

I then performed..

# make

# make install

This completed without errors, I bought the interface up with:

# ifconfig wlan0 up

and then connected to my wireless network here using WICD.

I hope this information is useful to someone. If it is, or if you get stuck just leave me a message and I will try to help.