Ironsides Blog

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Penn

Penn

I live on the south-west coast of England in a small town called Brixham.  I been confined to a wheelchair 1986 after breaking my neck in a swimming pool accident.  Computers are my saviour and I spend most days doing one thing or another on my PC.  Other interests I have include angling and amateur radio.  I also run a website and forum dedicated to looking after and caring for the Oscar fish cichlid

Posted by on in Angling
has been around for quite a few years now. However, it's always been in the form of a chum mixer biscuit that has been soaked and has expanded in size. So when you put in three offerings, your hook bait didn't look the same and therefore the carp would often get spooked and avoid them. So companies including Enterprise Tackle have now reinvented the fake mixer biscuit and brought out one that looks exactly the same as the mixer biscuit that comes straight out of the packet. They have also designed the biscuit so it can be easily hair rigged which I absolutely love. I have now made up several hair rigs at different lengths to suit different floats. I've used one of Korda's mixa hooks and Krusier control surface fishing line which makes for the perfect surface fishing hook link. These new mixer biscuits sit perfectly on a hair rig and you get an excellent hook hold every single time, right in the corner of the mouth.
 
The new fake mixers come with one hole in the biscuit. You'll find that you will need to push a needle through the hole and penetrate the other side so that you can get your hair through. Make sure that when you mount the biscuit, you always push the needle through the larger hole first. When the biscuit is mounted on the hair, the larger hole will be at the bottom. The fake mixers come with a clever little device that prevents the biscuit from falling off the hair. However, they are also coloured and are made to act as a spotter so that when your fake biscuit is sitting amongst 10 other real biscuits, you can actually pick yours out quite easily because. This is particularly helpful because carp will often mouth the bait before taking. The little coloured disc that holds the biscuit onto the hair can almost be used as a float, if you see it disappear under the water then the chances are it in a fishes mouth, even if the fish hasn't run.
 
I absolutely love these fake mixers, you can literally spend the whole day surface fishing without ever having to change your hook bait. There's nothing worse than reeling in quickly because you want to cast out to fish that are topping only to have the biscuit fall off, you've then got to fiddle around with a silly little elastic band that can often be quite difficult to get around a mixer biscuit.
 
I got mine off eBay where you can often find companies selling them without charging post and packaging.
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Posted by on in Angling
I bought myself a bag of a few weeks ago and have use them at a local venue. I must admit I was rather surprised at how well the pellets performed. However, these pellets are oil-based, they are also very hard, much harder than your standard course type pellet. Therefore ignore the three-minute to 3 mm soaking rule, soak these for about half an hour and you will find that they will stick to the feeder like nobody's business. 
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Posted by on in Angling
There are various companies that produce ready-made hooks to nylon method feeder hook link. Okay, many people prefer to make their own, but for the price you pay for eight hook links, you're probably better off buying them. They are made from first-class materials and are perfect for use with the method and pellet feeder. I've been using various companies including Drennan and Guru.
 
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Posted by on in Angling
 
Guru who manufacture some really nice method and pellet feeders have now brought out some redesigned method feeders that look really good. I haven't tried them yet, I've got someone order which should be with me in the next day or two. Apparently these pellet feeders address the problem of pellets falling off, especially if you are fishing in deeper water. I will write up a blog post at some stage and tell you how I get on with them. In the meantime, try them out yourself, I bought mine from eBay.
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I started using pellets and ground bait manufactured by Sonubaits. Obviously there are far too many other manufacturers out there to try every single company, but I really love their pellets and ground bait, not only do they do the job, but you also get really good value for money. After watching a YouTube video I also started using one of their flavourings, the which smells like vanilla. I really do think the stuff works, ever since the bottle ran out my catch rates haven't been quite as good.
 
I have given you a few links on eBay to companies where you can buy both ground bait and pellets manufactured by Sonubaits. 
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After nearly 20 years I decided I should get myself a mobile phone, after all I spent quite a lot of time driving and on more than one occasion in the last few months I've had problems where I needed to contact somebody for help. Thankfully on those occasions I've had somebody with me who has got a mobile, but the time will come when nobody is with me and without a mobile phone I basically screwed.
 
I've heard a lot of good things about the iPhone. I've had iPods for quite a few years now and I love them. So I decided I would get an iPhone. Just recently I changed the stereo in my van in favour of one that would connect to an Apple device via Bluetooth, whether that be for streaming music, or accepting phone calls, in my case both.
 
So my mother and sister and I went over to Currys last week where I bought my mom a tablet for her birthday. Carphone Warehouse have got an outlet at the Torquay branch of Currys so I bought myself an iPhone 5C. I didn't want anything too expensive or elaborate so I paid £319 which I thought was quite reasonable.
 
The first thing I wanted to do was pair the iPhone up to my Panasonic stereo unit in the house just to see how well Bluetooth works. Well, could I get it to work? Could I hell as like. Whereas the iPod touch connects beautifully via Bluetooth to my Panasonic stereo unit which means I can stream music, the iPhone just doesn't seem to be able to find the Panasonic stereo unit, and vice versa, the Panasonic unit doesn't seem to be able to see the iPhone.
 
Obviously the first thing I did was to get on the Internet to see if I could find a solution. It seems that this is not an isolated problem to myself, lots of people have been having exactly the same problem with their iPhone 5's, they cannot connect to a Bluetooth device, whether that be a home stereo system, or a stereo in the car. I even spoke to a down my local tackle shop who has an iPhone 5, he told me he wasn't able to connect the phone to a Bluetooth on ear microphone. One of my carers Kim has the same phone, her phone won't connect to my Panasonic stereo unit either. So I know that it's not just my phone that has the problem, many other people around the world experience in the same thing happening with their iPhone.
 
So exactly what are we supposed to do? I bought this iPhone because of this function, without it the phone is pretty much useless to me. Because of my disability I rely heavily on Bluetooth, especially for streaming live music. Also, I had hoped that the phone would work through my stereo system and the car, a game that seems to have been dashed. There is absolutely no way I am spending another £200 for an iPhone 6. Surely Apple are aware of this problem? I would put it to them that they should recall all phones and fix the problem, not continue selling them knowing there is a problem.
 
Although this is not a review of the phone, just wanted to give my point of view of how easy it is to use one of these devices from a disabled person's point of view. Okay, in one word "difficult". These phones and iPods are not made for disabled people to use easily. In fact, I would suggest that anyone with larger than average fingers will struggle to use one of these phones. They have a touch keypad that is extremely sensitive, even my mother with small fingers struggled on my iPod to enter a callsign into iTunes for me, there will be no chance in hell that I could do it easily. I haven't got around to use the music side of the iPhone, but I know it's exactly the same as the iPod touch that I've got. That is slightly easier to use, but believe me it's not easy if you have to rely on the side of your finger. So if you are disabled and have limited finger movement I would think very carefully before buying an iPhone, I think there's probably more suitable phones out there with much larger keypads that you will find easier to use.
 
It will be interesting to hear from anyone who has experienced the same problem. Alternatively, have you had this problem and found a fix, I would love to hear from you, so would thousands of other people I would think.
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One of the most annoying things that can happen if you use an outdoor wheelchair is wheeling through a huge pile of dog crap. I'm afraid that I don't have any time for people who do not clean up after their dogs. There is absolutely no excuse to leave your dogs excrement lying where it can be trodden or wheeled in. If you don't like picking up dog poo with a bag then my not invest in a pooper scooper. They are cheap and readily available from places like Amazon and eBay. Please, think about people like myself who cannot do anything about dog poo on our wheels once it's there. Put yourself in my wheels, how would you like it if you had to walk into your house with dog crap all over your shoes?
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For those of you who receive disability benefits and have been worried that the budget may affect your payments, worry not, even though some benefits have been affected, including being frozen for the next four years, disability benefits are excluded so your benefits will rise each year accordingly. Also, if you are receiving employment support allowance then unless you are able to work, this should not be affected either.
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Posted by on in Angling
I buy the majority of my carp fishing tackle and fishing bait on eBay nowadays. You can often find exactly the same shops on eBay, but you will often get exactly the same goods but without having to pay any shipping.
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EBay is a great place to get a bargain on a drive from wheelchair accessible vehicle
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Posted by on in For sale on eBay
If you use a wheelchair and own an iPod, iPhone or iPad then there are some companies who make specialist mounts that will fit on some wheelchairs. I have linked to a few on eBay for you.
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Posted by on in For sale on eBay
Got one of these myself, they are absolutely brilliant
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Posted by on in For sale on eBay
These useful straps are great for carrying around your iPhone safely
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Somebody who I met recently online has a really interesting website I would like to share with you. His website is dedicated to live web cams that are situated on both cruise liner ships, and the ports that these ships dock at.

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I reckon this cat has probably only got one life left of its nine lives, it certainly was lucky, don't think it would have survived even if it did land on four legs jumped.

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I am a huge Terminator and Arnold Schwarzenegger fan so obviously found this very funny. I hope that he raised a lot of money for his charity

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I recently upgraded Dragon NaturallySpeaking to version 13 and am certainly not disappointed, the accuracy is absolutely superb. However, there was one niggling problem I have been having when trying to dictate into Facebook. Basically, it's very intermittent and sometimes it happens, other times I can dictate perfectly okay into Facebook. What happens is when I try and write a message I just get this message coming up saying that I have to input some text. I am not even able to post anything, not even a type by hand. So that's one problem, the other problem I get more than often as if I want to leave a comment. I can write the message okay, but it when it comes to publishing it which you do by pressing enter, all that happens is it sends my cursor down to the next line. This is quite an irritating problem to have features when you want to leave a comment on Facebook you can't, unless you type it all out by hand. Sometimes if I switch off Dragon NaturallySpeaking everything will be okay, sometimes it still doesn't work.

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Posted by on in General Discussion

I only go fishing in the summer when it's warm, therefore I am often out in the midday sun. They say that you only have to get yourself some burden wants to put yourself at risk from developing skin cancer. They say that skin cancer is on the rise because people neglect to protect themselves from the ultraviolet rays. To be honest with you, I probably left it a bit late now, I've been sunburnt on so many occasions I've lost count. However, I try now to slap on the sun cream every time I go out in the sun. They have been advertising a new product that looks really good. With normal suntan cream, you will have to reapply after a few hours, this new one only needs to be put on once a day. So I've bought myself some Riemann P20 Once a Day Suntan Cream which I now put on before I go fishing. I can then enjoy myself for how many hours I am out there in the sun knowing that I am fully protected and I haven't got to think about putting some more suntan cream on. If like me you are fair-haired then it's even more important that you use suncream.

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A friend of mine brought me to the attention of this new quad copter that is basically a flying camera that is completely controlled by a kind of GPS device that you attach to your wrist. So if you want some awesome aerial video footage of yourself skiing down the piste then this clever little camera will actually follow you. It is absolutely incredible, the amount of things you could use it for is endless. I quite fancy getting one to take fishing with me, you could have it hovering 20 feet above you filming you whilst you catch fish. If you are a mountain biker, you could get it to follow you down a mountain, or if you are a kayaker, you can get it to follow you down the river, apparently it is even waterproof. This is something I really fancy getting when it's released in 2016. I suspect it will be quite expensive, but the fun you could you could have makes it worth every penny. 

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I recently bought a new for my Mercedes sprinter. It's all singing and dancing, I can stream live music, take calls through the radio, it really is the bees knees. So I bought a couple of weeks ago and needed somebody to fit it. Liquid Ice who have a shop on Torquay Road in Paignton recommended a chap called Karl Hutchinson who just happens to be the son of the owner of Liquid Ice. Karl came to my house yesterday evening and fitted to stereo to my van within an hour. He has done an absolutely fantastic professional job and I would highly recommend him to anyone.

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