Life at the end of the road

January 28, 2012

‘Memory card locked’ :-(

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:19 pm

The longest day of the ‘working week’ is almost done, it’s a fine if not cool dark night and we’re lashed to Scotland with the light mooring ropes reserved for lunchtime and weekends.


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A far cry from the old ruined iron ore pier at Suisnish that was the ferry’s home for many a year, it may have been a long time coming but our new pier is a pleasure to work from and rest at 🙂

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Yesterday was a pure topper of a day with sunshine, rainbows, and for me at least the first rays of sunshine to grace the Loch Striven at Sconser. I think the sun may have poked it’s head above Glamaig’s shoulder a day or two ago but this is the first time that I’ve witnessed it.

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It cheered me greatly as it means that our wee house will have rainbows spinning around the living room shortly. And for those who’ve not got the faintest idea of what I’m talking about, it’s the solar powered crystal in the back window 🙂



Here they are passing Klimt’s two lovers on February the sixth last year with the ‘wee dug’ still full of milk and looking decidedly less ‘barrel like’ than she does now 🙂

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The day was busy enough, it being a Friday there was a mass exodus from Raasay House and the new houses at School Park. Not that I saw as much of it as I’d have liked for I was sleeping in the forward ‘Voith space’ on top of the newly fitted sewage tank.

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OK, not actually sleeping but at least painting in comfort 🙂 Ardmaleish Boatyard may have made an almost ‘invisible’ job on the car deck when they cut a big hole in it but it was a bit of a riot down below 🙂 Well you cant make an omelette without breaking eggs 🙂

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A loose VHF antenna and some squeaking shackles up the mast teased me out of the bowels of the ship in the afternoon.

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So with safety harness on and some tools in my pocket I headed up there to sort it.


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The evening after work was spent comfortably in the kitchen with a friend who’d been visiting Arnish for a couple of days. Wifey had ‘pulled the boat out’ with some of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Mighty mulligatawny’ soup


from his excellent book which I got her for Christmas. The swineherd then stunned us all with some homemade tagliatelle that she served with an awesome veggie sauce run through with mozzarella 🙂

The wine she brought around lying unopened on a shelf, with the way my luck’s been going of late I’d have got a random ‘drugs and alcohol’ test today and failed 😦

Over current again 🙂

I know I posted that twice, well I do now because you all told me 🙂 but the first time I pressed the ‘publish’ key it told me there’d been a ‘connection error’ so I pressed it again. Anyway the Trace SW4548e had tripped a couple of times throughout the day on wifey, but had behaved itself throughout dinner and even well into the night with three boys on the ‘idiot box’ (Xbox). Not that I knew that until later today as I went to bed at 21:00 as I had to leave early this morning for work.

I still got up at the same time, 5:50 but forwent the half hour on the laptop nursing my ego looking at blog stats in favour of a bath. Which is of course exactly when the power chose to trip 😦 that, added to loading up my bins into the trailer and going to collect my neighbour made me late, or at least last into work 😦

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The day was pretty quiet today and I’ve not been able to upload any pictures yet (and that will make no sense whatsoever as you’ve just seen the pictures but I’ve just added them now, three hours later 🙂 ) because I think my Panasonic DMC FZ38 has finally died after fifteen hard months service. Now I’m sure most people would be utterly appalled if their £300 camera died after such a short time, but not me. This is my eighth or ninth digital camera, not including phones and it’s the only one that’s gone past twelve months 🙂

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The six or seven Fuji’s I had before it (nine or ten if you count the new ones under warranty) never even lasted the year, one only made eight months 😦 OK, I’m hard on camera’s, I take one everywhere, they get dropped, wet and covered in oil but the Panasonic took it all in it’s stride. Dropped into a bog then run over by the quad, sprayed with high pressure hydraulic oil or left out in the rain, it never missed a beat. However shortly after being pressure washed with Mobil DTE 13M the memory card got stuck in it, then the zoom got a little iffy. This evening, in a foolish attempt to download the pictures via the SD card I tried removing it with some pliers and now I think I’ve trashed it completely 😦

Anyway that’s me at home, the second glass of Rioja from 2006 has just been poured, I’m going to savour it with my wife and go to bed 🙂



  1. Phew i am exhausted .. i need a wee lie down.. pass on the sewage tank! c

    Comment by ceciliag — January 29, 2012 @ 1:41 am

  2. “However shortly after being pressure washed with Mobil DTE 13M the memory card got stuck in it, then the zoom got a little iffy. This evening, in a foolish attempt to download the pictures via the SD card I tried removing it with some pliers and now I think I’ve trashed it completely.” Oh really? Surely not!

    I’ve just spluttered my first ‘cuppa’ of the day all over my computer screen – thank you for starting my day with a laugh. Now do tell me, which has been the most successful mobile phone so far? I need a new one and ‘rugged and thoroughly tested in the real world’ would fit my needs.

    Comment by Carrie — January 29, 2012 @ 6:37 am

    • Morning Carrie, you’re not going to like this but my phone of choice is a £19.99p Nokia, nice big numbers for the wonky eyesight, loud enough for the hard of hearing, no silly touchscreen that does not work with greasy hands and no hinges or sliding contacts to fail 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  3. Paul maybe you just coined a new phrase” oh mate 6 hours on the sewage tank and I am a new man” well maybe not but great post anyway. Later

    Comment by Tony Lucas — January 29, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    • Morning Arizona 🙂 Caterpillars were considered for the new hybrid ferry Tony as that’s what’s in the Loch Shira the last boat built at Ferguson’s. Sadly they were deemed too expensive, shame you could have given me some tips 🙂 I believe that the sewage tank will be going in the engine room of the new boat, a little noisier but much warmer 🙂 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2012 @ 7:55 am

  4. Hi Paul,

    Another great story.

    Card locked normally comes up when the slide switch on the side of SD card gets moved. If you used pliers to get the card out that hints as being the cause. Was the card hard to press back in? If it was it is possible the switch got moved when inserted.

    I have a card where the switch is very loose, the action of inserting the card would move the switch to lock and removing the card would move the switch back to unlock. This made the card unusable in cameras. I had thought of superglueing the switch in the unlocked position. as I had nothing to loose.

    Do you have a different card to try? or some super glue?

    Hope this may help.

    Comment by Ian Goodrick — January 29, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    • Morning Ian,

      yes you’re spot on the switch must have come loose and jammed the card in, then my manoeuvrings with the pliers must have locked it.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2012 @ 6:18 am

  5. Paul, re your camera problem, take it you checked the wee sliding bit of plastic on the side of the SD card is in the correct position or it may even be missing. Some cheaper or old worn card’s wee bit of plastic moves when you try to put the card back in the camera. Hope this works. Sorry to hear you’re now getting power cuts when we’re not.
    Take care

    Comment by Norrie Morrison — January 29, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    • Morning Norrie,

      aye, that’ll be the switch missing and stuck in the camera somewhere, but at least it’s working now.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2012 @ 6:19 am

  6. Denso tape the SD card aswell as the camera :-). Sure your not being used for R+D/endurance testing, on the quiet, by these electronics firms? 🙂


    Comment by Andy — January 29, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    • Densotape, of course Andy, how stupid of me 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2012 @ 6:20 am

  7. Have you ever considered a career in product testing?

    I’ve heard that the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 is as close to indestructible as you can get so it might last you two years. It’s supposedly waterproof so might even take being soaked in DTE 13M 🙂

    Comment by Tony Giles — January 29, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    • I’ve an Olympus C-4040, which I bought in 2001. It’s been dropped onto hard surfaces, dropped into a septic tank, pressure washed, ‘used’ by children, dropped into used engine oil, left in a field under a foot of snow for a week, used at the beach and dunked in the sea, and more. I dismantled it three times when parts jammed, cleaned out the grit and gunge that was causing the problem, reassembled it and had it working again. Picture quality was superb for a 4.0 megapixel camera.

      I only retired it from front-line duty last January because the zoom was scraping, while the right-arrow function on the controls had completely stopped. Neither were fixable. It still works, but two of the three SmartMedia cards I had died so, with the other problems, it was time for it to be retired to back-up use only.

      The 4040 was my second Olympus camera. The other one, an SLR, is equally tough. It’s more than 20 years old. I just pulled it out, put new batteries in it, and it whirred into action. Now, do I have some film lying around? 😀

      Otherwise, I’ve always used Nikon SLRs and dSLRs. They are tough, too, but when one does die it hurts the hip pocket a lot more than an Olympus does!

      Comment by Stonehead — January 29, 2012 @ 11:32 am

      • PS Agree that the problem with Paul’s camera is probably the SD card. It might be worth dismantling the camera in whole or in part to see if it can be removed.

        Comment by Stonehead — January 29, 2012 @ 11:33 am

      • Morning Stoney, until I started this blogging carry on I had a Nikon FE SLR but that succumbed to the salt as it spent much time at sea 😦

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2012 @ 6:27 am

    • Hi Tony, I do like the look of that Olympus but it’s only 5x zoom the Panasonic and previous Fuji are 18x I don’t have a pocket camera now, my last one is on the sea bed 😦 However I do have a nice Cannon Ixus awaiting me in Portree police station.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2012 @ 6:25 am

  8. Had three cheapy Olympus cameras in 10 years, some of the pictures are brilliant but not as great as a dearer more pro camera, Ok for web work though. My Dad has used the Nikons for decades and swears by them, he still has most of them and they all work great! Keep dropping hints about them going to me in his will but as yet he has not said either way! He has some brilliant pictures he took on a Box brownie from WW11 when he served in the desert, not to mention the last 60 years of family life, I can’t ever remember a time when he was not taking, developing, or printing pictures. He has over one hundred boxes of slides from the 1940’s onwards. We warn everyone not to ask to see the family albums when visiting, it makes a long night into a week lol!

    My present camera is an Olympus c460 Camedia, bought second hand and I have had it two years, gets dropped a lot and has had a few dips in water as well, still works although I did have similair problems with the SD card and it turned out to be the lock switch as well.

    Great post Paul, had me almost choking on me morning( my morning starts at 1pm whe n I get up) cuppa!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — January 29, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    • I’d love to see some of those Brownie pictures Graham.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2012 @ 6:28 am

  9. Wow, Paul, your cameras have withstood more work situations than my own feeble body could! Here’s a link: for a warranty company that appears to have a UK connection (note flag icon). I have used this company for 4 years and they paid off on a computer external hard drive that died. If your cameras have short lives you might consider this as a way to insure them. They also offer “drop” and accident insurance, for an extra charge. They ask you to ship them the dead machinery, so you might wish to remove the evidence of abuse prior to shipping.

    Comment by drgeo — January 29, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

    • Cheers for that Drgeo, I’d have a hard job convincing any warranty company my camera’s had not been well and truly abuse 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2012 @ 6:30 am

  10. Forgot to mention the above squaretrade warranty company offers 30% off sales via email specials on most every holiday.

    Comment by drgeo — January 29, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

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