A town that time forgot? Chagford

Yesterday, I had been working all over Devon from a base in the village of North Tawton. It was a harChag1d, long day with getting stuck on hills, stopped by the police and driving down roads still more suited to a horse and cart.
So, when I finished work, I drove up to a place called ‘Whiddon Down’ and fueled up the beaten wreck I call my car. While doing so, a well dressed man approached me and asked if I had any jump-leads he could borrow as he couldn’t stachagford4rt his car. I did one better and gave him a set to keep – as I carry more than one set in my wreck. He was gobsmacked! and I left thinking, if that was the only single reason for me coming out today – then it was a good result.
As I pulled out of the petrol station and stared at the road sign, I read the name ‘Chagford’. I had heard about Chagford but had never been, I know that a few well known people live in that area and many talk of this oddly tranquil place. So I thought ‘what the heck – time for a look’.chagford2
Now, Devon and Cornwall have some amazing towns tucked away, but nothing prepared me for Chagford. It was far bigger than I thought it was, the roads are incredibly narrow (one car width – just), built in, on and around the small hills of this greater valley. Yet some of the properties were really quite large.
With a town so small achag7nd tight, I started to wonder how on earth people moved in and out of houses they had just bought or sold. You see, for the most part, you have little or no chance of getting a truck on some of the roads there. Then what about deliveries? your latest internet purchase etc.
I drove all the way through and followed the road up a steep hill in order to get a whole view of the town from the top – buchagford5t knowing Devon’s roads, I turned around before I had to drive a further 10 miles to do so as you can often run out of places to turn anything bigger than a bicycle.

chag6One thing is for sure, it was a truly enchanted location and one I’d love to revisit at a more leisurely pace (when I can work out where to park my wreck of a car without obstructing the entire town).

Chagford – an amazing place!

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Published in: on 29 May, 2009 at 06:26  Comments (5)  
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Work and no Palmers Green

Palmers map

Just had an odd couple of days, one was weird with creepy fun and the other just didn’t end up being what it was supposed to be.
Lets start with the one that didn’t turn out right at all – that was yesterday.
The day before I get a call saying they needed me to start work down here in sunny Devon at 14:30 and go to Oakthorpe Dairy in Palmers Green, North London.
At midnight I get another call stating that everything has changed and I need to start at 08:00 and will be going to Stoke on Trent (joy, not!).
Oakthorpe milk intakeYou see, we like going to the Oakthorpe Dairy, it’s a great run up to London and back, they have a great restaurant there and we have a good chat with the Dairy hands (Dave, Martin, Bob, and others) as well as other drivers from all over the UK.  On top of this, reversing on to bay two is notoriously one of the hardest reverses in the UK, it looks straight forward, like it wouldn’t present an issue of any type – until you select reverse that is!
But Palmers Green is weird, it’s nice even, and what is really odd is the fact that it’s close to everywhere, but not really anywhere… What I mean is, being on the North Circular with the main A10 trunk road that leads straight out of London, it can have you in Cambridge in 40 minutes! It has every amenity, yet people whistle through it sometimes without realising it’s there.
Justin over at Peter Barry estate agents agrees and has written a small piece about the area on there site HERE

Other news…

The other day I received a short notice call to get to work urgently and do a double run to Westbury (sigh). It’s fair to say we work very rurally and part and parcel of our every day is dodging wildlife in the forms of Badgers, Rabbits, Birds (feathered), Foxes and Deer – a lot of deer. There is sadly so much roadkill it’s a little disturbing. But there is nothing worse that a large animal that has become bloated in it’s death, so at night and where possible, we often hit them and hopefully bounce them way off into the verges. roadkill.jpg
If you know me, you’ll know where this story is going…
This, while it sounds gruesome helps clear the road and expedites natures course. Certainly the birds and foxes don’t hang about in devouring what is left.
So, while traveling down the A350 towards Warminster I notice this HUGE dead badger, the size of a bloated Rottweiler. To be honest, it was staggeringly huge, dead and tucked into the verge.
On the way back I see it again and think, ‘if it’s there when I return, I’ll see if I can clip it out of the way’.
3 hrs later and at around 1am at night I see the thing still there, I cut in close and at speed. and hit it. The thing was, there this almighty BANG!! so I instantly slammed the brakes on. Now at this point I must admit to weighing in at the full 44 tons, so I wasn’t going to be stopping anytime too soon and with the odd ABS activation illuminating the instrumentation screen, I carried on my way.
While at Westbury I was telling another driver about it and said he’d have a look on his way back.
Well, on my return journey I was a little gobsmacked at my handy-work for sure, but once back at my depot I heard someone shout me from across the yard, I looked and saw several faces, one being the guy I had spoken to at Westbury.
He asked how hard I had hit the dead badger, so I said that I hit it and applied the brakes – he stared at me, his face turning to a smile and then a laugh. One of the other guys said “what?” inquisitively and my friend started tell him of the sheer carnage that greeted his return from Westbury.
It was everywhere! he said, hanging off the fence, all over the verge, the road was covered in blood and flesh from one side to the other! Even the trees and hedges on the other side of the road were covered in blood and hanging entrails! If the police see that, they’re gonna start searching the area for survivors.
I can’t put across the hilarious way this guy said all this, but at this point the other guy was just stood listening with his jaw open – to which my mate said “if you’d stood looking like that, you’d have had a mouth full of badger bowels mate.
Shutting his mouth, the other guy turns to me and says “you’re one sick bast**d!”
I replied with “you say that, but I had to switch the cab heater on on the way back and it’s a little wrank in there to say the least”.

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Published in: on 27 May, 2009 at 09:28  Comments (2)  
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Gibson, Fender and Taylor (with others)

k22ce

I play, or rather slaughter the guitar. I have mentioned previously a particular acoustic guitar made by Taylor which I covert considerably, so good is it, that on the occasions in my life I have been able to purchase it – I didn’t, on the grounds that I just simply did not believe my playing standard could warrant such a wonderful piece of kit.
Now…. I’m not a happy bunny about guitars. I purchased a very weird guitar while living in Saudi Arabia which has turned out to be awesome, it is an Epiphone that looks like a Stratocaster, the body (a laminate) has stood up to some serious beatings and has been almost dragged around the entire world, but the action (the distance of the string from the fret board) is an awesome cigarette paper width!
It now needs a too much doing to it to make it viable, so I thought I’d go and look at what is around at the moment, there iTin Pan Alleys a global recession on – so in theory prices should be good – NOT SO!
I am frankly appalled at what I’ve seen and what I have seen is nothing short of abysmal.
Fender are now seriously over priced, half the time you can’t tell what part of the globe they’re made (apparently this has a bearing on the price – for the exact same model). When they stick just the odd extra item on, the price almost doubles!!
Then there is Gibson… Gibson have been known to make some pretty awesome guitars over there history, but sometimes the consistency of these is  frankly all over the place.
A couple of ye12-bar Cafears ago I took my brother to Denmark Street in London (often referred to as Tin Pan Alley) to buy his first Fender Strat (in fact, when there – you can often find me drinking coffee in the 12 Bar Cafe). In the process I tried some variant of Gibson’s Les Paul and was stunned at the quality, the action and the playability. The Guitar’s price was way into the 4 figure mark – but I was seriously impressed (that takes a lot). The following week I decided that I should buy it, but alas upon arrival, it had already been sold. Not tDark%20Fire%20bodyo be deterred I trawled all the Gibson dealers trying literally hundreds of Les Pauls and NONE of them came close to the guitar I had tried. But here’s the thing – they were ALL more expensive than the original I tried!
Then there is Gibson’s Dark Fire… Oh please, other than a free software pack, Gibson would have to do a lot to get me to part with such a stupid amount of cash for one of these. Seriously, they have taken the technology forward with guitar automation and this is their 2nd offering in the field – but really, if they’re not going to standardize the technology and have a permanent range of these guitars – then how will I know if I’ll be able to get replacement parts for it in years to come?!
And the price while half the world are losing there jobs – yes Gibson, it’s not discerning, it’s daylight robbery for a guitar with a variety of extras that you could… no, I bet you can get more technically clever ones on kiddies toys – DarkFire2Seriously unimpressed! That said, the software package looks very good indeed. But at inxcess of £2500 – a reality check is in order!!

Actually, Gibson must realise they don’t generally make that much of a great  quality instrument any more in any way shape or form. Everyone complains about the Gibson Quality Control – or should I say,  lack of it.

This to me is very sad, as it can make you feel that they might simply be living on past glories – Yet Dark Fire is most certainly there attempt at a 21 century guitar. But I have never picked up a Gibson and thought it was worth the money except for that once.

I just can not see at the present time that a manufacturer is doing anything special, that new, or with good value vs quality to be worth splashing out some of the money they’re asking for, and after all – it’s a buyers market. And Gibson – your guitars are simply not worth the money you ask for them and have not been for some time!

Back in the 80’s I owned both a Fender Strat and Tele, The Telecaster I played all the time and rarely touched the Stratocaster. The Strat is a better ‘all round’ guitar, but I loved that Telecaster. Have you seen what kind of money they want for this plank of wood these days? It’s crazy!!

But I have come a long way from my first electric guitar. When I was 15 I owned a HondoII Les Paul copy that had a neck… well I think Robin Hood would have made far better use of than any guitarist. Sadly it didn’t come with arrows though.

But let me just stop for a moment and offer some knowledge – guitar prices are not based on what they cost to produce, think of the hours on personal or public entertainment, what is the value of this personally? Would I pay a buck every time I wanted to play a great guitar? The answer is a resounding yes. The second thing is how often do I play? Daily! and for years – so I get the pricing to a point. But I have not seen anything at all to get me to spend my hard earned cash – and believe me, If the manufactures could possibly convince me, then I will listen. But other than that, I think I would spend the money doing up the guitar I already love.G&L_logo

In all honesty, there is a brand of guitars I would dearly like to try, G&L.  The company Leo Fender founded after he sold Fender to CBS. As Leo put it “These are the real ones“.

Finally – Taylor…
Taylor have brought out the ‘Solid Body’ range and I think I would like to try one, but this I’d have to travel some distance to do, so therefore I simply wont!
I’m sure they’ll have got the attributes right – but looking at the prices, they’d have to be very special indeed. That said; Taylor are singularly the most consistently playable guitars and probably the finest selection of woods available from any guitar maker – and why I have wanted to have one made for me since 1995.

I feel that between all the Guitar makers, all of whom make great guitars, Gibson is the worst for consistency and this has been backed up by the grumbles of many a guitar shop owner – it’s sad, but true!

So please someone, somewhere – show me a guitar worth it’s money!!

twb-button

So, another week behind us,

I’m either a little bored, fractious or pensive… and all at the same time. I think I have too much on my mind ttwit-copy1hese days.
Twitter has started boring me and as such I’m slowly dropping off the persons that rarely reply.

Over in the US, or more accurately, Sioux Falls, Big Dog (aka Dave) shot a very quick vid of the inside of the local bar ‘Wiley’s’ before going on to get his teeth flossed, this is where Vinnie Jones managed to get a kicking. The story of Vinnie Jones brawl was reasonably well reported in the press and it’s good to know that Vinnie was found not guilty on all charges.

Also this week I wx-51as reading that Boeing are making a new Cruise missile that flies at Mach 5 (3600mph) which will be able to reach any place on the planet in less that an hour – C’mon, you have to give the bad guys some sort of chance, just where is the sport in total annihilation? lolBurnt Bridge

I have come to realise in the last few days that certain things have been resting heavily on my soul for nearly 10 years, and that I need to build bridges and make amends, the trouble is, I simply don’t know how to.

sheffieldMight finally have come up with an idea about my lack of dentist problem – simply go to my previous one in Sheffield. I need to go back to my old steel city home town because I haven’t in so very long. It’s fair to say I think I feel more at home in London than Sheffield now – probably why I live in Devon.spinal

Good news for my Ex-wife and good friend San, who has been suffering terribly with back agony for the best part of the last 18 months! With two opposite slipped discs and a bone spur on her spine, medical folks seem to have finally come up with a realist plan to get her sorted out. This is good news and means her life will return to some level of normality.

land_rover_logoMy cousin Judy’s eldest lad, (is that nephew, once removed?) Matt, has taken to wanting to own a Land Rover Defender and good for him, I’ve spent many an hour, location and in workshops, driving, fixing and even living in them – so I hope he gets a good one.

I’m still trying to get the bits together to record some music, but I think I really should clefupgrade my guitar. I would like to try out a Taylor Solid Body, but until I do, the options are a Les Paul, a good Strat or even a Tele. I’d actually like to get my brother involved and even Matt as one is a drummer, and the other a bassist.

However, today I take take trip to the jaws of hell itself – I’m going to B&Q. B&Q is a large home improvement/DIY store in the UK and my journey is about the purchase of the one single thing I paint-cantruly hate doing – decorating! Many years ago I had a fantastic step daughter, thing is, she loved Barbie back then and had me, sorry, insisted (possibly on pain of death if I didn’t) that I painted her room Barbie piBarbie logonk! Yep, the whole room!! I’ve just never been the same about paint ever since… So it is with some trepidation I go in search of such merchandise today :(

Wish me luck – I fkin need it…

LOL

UPDATE: look at that, it’s the Monaco F1 GP – looks like I’d better watch that first….. ahhh procrastination is a wonderful thang..

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It’s Spring Bank Holiday Weekend

Hinkley Point BYesterday I did a job I’m not so keen on, but… thats only because I don’t know the area very well. I did however, go to my first Nuclear Power Station. I’ve been in power stations before, but they’ve always been either gas or coal fired. So, up on the north coast of Somerset, on the end of the Bristol Channel is Hinkley Point B. It was as high security as you would expect, indecnc-police logoed, and it is looked after by the only perminently armed Police Force in the UK, called the ‘Civil Nuclear Constabulary’ – who frankly look like troops, rather than the Police. This picture I took is just before I had to switch off ALL electrical devices before entering the site. For obvious reasons you can’t use mobile phones and cameras etc in there. Two and a half hours it took to get in and drop two Pallets off! I can’t complain, the harder it is to get in these places – the better!

Finishing at 7pm, I strolled over to say hi to LawreWisemans tankernce at the Milk Link office who was at me straight away to take a load up to Bridgwater Dairy. Sadly, after running for 12 hrs, I only had 3 workable hours left. However, on my way home the phone rings and I’m told I’m needed back at work for 04:30 in the morning! So, guess where I am! yep…..

 

Have a great week or weekend everyone.

twb-button

Damn Right!!

Gurkha badge

VICTORY

At 12:30 today the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that ALL Gurkha riflemen with at least 4 years service are allowed to reside in the UK on a permanent basis.joann lumley

This is after years of battling successive governments about these Nepalese warriors rights.  Much of this is down to the support and fight taken up by none other than actress Joanna Lumley whos father was Major James Rutherford Lumley, who served in the 6th Gurkha Rifles.

Joanna has served UK and Gurkha interests in this matter in an exemplary manner and frankly I think we Brits should all be a little proud of her today, as we are of the Gurkhas.

Welcome to the UK

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Published in: on 21 May, 2009 at 15:56  Comments Off  
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Solid State Drives – SSD’s

For many, it can’t have escaped your notice (especially for laptop owners) that storage devices hSSD 2.5ave been changing. With Flash memory stick capacity sky rocketing while prices plummet, in the process making Blu-Ray and complete waist of time and money. Laptop manufacturers, who have been battling with the ‘Battery life vs Performance’ issues have moved to similar technology. The Solid State Drive is new-ish and as such, not cheap! But has some advantages, like they are either around the same price or less than a new, or should I say, a second laptop battery, and this – they generally use one fifth of the power than an ordinary hard drive. The things in a laptop that burn power are these; Wifi/Bluetooth, Hard and Optical drives, screen back light and audio – oh heck, just check out the graph. laptop-power-consumption-chart So, assuming there is not a cd/dvd in the drive, the audio is switched off, you’re not connected to a wifi point and the back light/frame rate are lower, then some manufacturers claim up to 18 hours of 9 cell battery life while using a SSD!
This is formidable to say the least!
So what about extra storage? how sensitive are these things?
Well dropping a live hard drive is not a good thing to do, even if it G-shock rated. But even SSD manufacturer claim there SSD’s with take 1500 G @ .5ms. And as for extra storage? Remember back in the good old days of the PCMCIA modem? the Express Card sloSSD EXp Ct on the side of you laptop not doing much? Well now you can fill it with an SSD card to make life a little easier, in fact the cards at present run from 8gb through to the recently announced 128gb Express card and some will support an OS.
Just the think of the security possibilities.

Now, while many people are trying to sell these SSD’s in SATA only, they are completely available in SATA, IDE and UDMA 5 mode.

This is generally a good thing, as long as the prices fall reasonably quickly and even better for knock and dropped laptops.

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Published in: on 20 May, 2009 at 15:03  Comments Off  
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Some fun to keep you smiling

This is an old vid, but I laugh everytime I see it.  Japanese playing football with binoculars straped to there heads – the wrong way around!!

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Published in: on 19 May, 2009 at 19:19  Comments Off  

A great picture

I know many people have seen this photograph, but I just love this image of the Space Shuttle flying infront of Sol.

USA/

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Published in: on 19 May, 2009 at 09:43  Comments Off  
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The best bacon sandwich?

Yesterday I had a run that took me all over the place, finally I returned to a location I haven’t been to forwykefarm months, Wyke Farm.
I love going to Wyke Farm simply because they make great cheese, the staff are fun and have this great little on-site shop that does everything to do with great farm and country fayre.
Upon arriving I asked when the shop was opening and the person I was talking to, there eyes lit up straight awykefarm selectionway “ah, you’re after the best Bacon Sandwich around”, came the reply. Actually I wasn’t, after all, I am trying to lose some weight. I told him I wanted to get some of the mature Cheddar, but was told to try the bacon sandwich.
9 am came around soon enough and as I walked up towards the shop the great small of bacon and other cooking was wafting down the lane towards me.
I walked in and asked for the house brick sized lump of cheese (a fraction of the supermarket price) and was over come by the smell of freshly cooking bacon – so I had to have one.
What a sandwich!! freshly cooked succulent bacon in a 7 to 8 inch bread bun, lovely and hot – and get this, there were so many rashes on it, the layers of bacon measured one and half inches thick!!!

Even with all my teeth problems, I sat and enjoyed probably the finest bacon sandwich I had ever eaten!!

Wyke is owned and run by the Clothier family, and has been for over 100 years. They make severwyke tntal cheeses, even a low fat one. They also make a cheese that is so strong, they simply called it TNT!

If you’re ever near Shepton Mallet, The Royal Bath and West Country showground – then go a little further to hamlet of Wyke Champflower near Bruton – and enjoy :-)

Or visit the website HERE

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Published in: on 19 May, 2009 at 06:30  Comments (6)  
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What a week… I seem to have not stopped.

 

night-road

I managed to work 68 hrs, in part I must thank the uselessness of Westbury Dairies for the hours ( with it’s complete lack of welfare facilities that are pushing people to the limit of there tolerance), and the great bunch of people I so often work with – especially when duty hours run out and they need rescuing.

The decision on what boots to buy came to a close with an eBay purchase of a pair of Caterpillar boots at cat logo£48, which is a far better price than the local safety and workwear supply store price of £92!

My home is starting to look a little untidy due to the whole staggering through the door, falling over – and falling asleep thing.

Other stuff;
Over on Joe Mallozzi’s blog, which I must admit I haven’t been following of late – the ever increasing sparing between him and the Stargate production team, or should I say there new-ish executive producer’s assistant/slave, Ashleigh is keeping the humour going while Joe himself is somewhat restricted in what he can write about regarding present productions and upcoming movie scripts – THIS particular article is interesting.
Another oddity is Joe (who owns a pack of Pug dogs) now has a twitter page by one of his dogs ‘Jelly’ http://twitter.com/JellMaxBubLu

virgin-mediaI’ve been hearing this week from colleague (Lawrence), and a good guy, about the trials and tribulations regarding having Virgin Broadband installed. It’s so easy for me to forget that to many people, this is a dark science to most and is not in any way helped by the people installing it. For me, I will not let engineers set mine up or load up the ISP software, I simply ask they verify a live connection and I do the rest. But the hassle people go through because an engineer does not verify that not only is a connection working – but the computer’s browser is connecting !  Yep, they just turned up, said he’s connected and left. Lawrence however, clicks on Internet Explorer and gets nothing…
Thankfully, all is now well and he’s up and running.

This isn’t a good post is it? The truth is, I just got up and felt the guilt of not blogging of late.

NASA: can we fix it? Apparently they can…

Windows 7 is now on ‘Release Candidate’. This basically means that it is open for public testing.win7
It is available for download and installation and will last until the end of July – ish.
Microsoft are still yet to set a commercial release date for the long, long, LONG awaited Operating System and for most, while it is different from Vista (which I have used for two years with a single problem), it will indeed look very similar.
Windows 7 does come with Internet Explorer 8, which only today I removed from my own computer for the second time (the first time being the beta version). IE8 IE8comes with various security systems, one of which shuts itself down and restarts when it isn’t happy with a website. Now, I spent ages going through the various settings and advanced settings until I realised the entire lacking of a will to continue living – so, Microsoft, think about it, have word with yourselves and get your act together as IE 8 (while a huge improvement over 7) is a complete pain in the ass!!

 

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Published in: on 17 May, 2009 at 22:14  Comments Off  
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Todays Hit Map

It really does amaze me where you all come from to read my blog, and if I was honest – I don’t think ‘flattered’ is the right word, I think ‘Grateful’ is LOL.

Sadly I’m not quite sure how to load the live map into WordPress, but you can click on the picture for a slightly bigger version.

Todays hit map

 

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Published in: on 14 May, 2009 at 04:58  Comments Off  
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Know your ‘meme’ : Peanutbutter Jelly….

Is Ellie Rountree in any way related to Ricky Gervais?    There does seem to be an inherited triat…

I rest my case      ;-)

 

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Published in: on 11 May, 2009 at 14:41  Comments Off  
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Brian Cox on what really went wrong with the Hadron Collider

 

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Published in: on 9 May, 2009 at 03:18  Comments Off  
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Finally…. Top Gear and the BBC get there finger out!

A few months ago I wrote an article raving about how Top Gear had probably done the best car test ever, more to the point, it was down to a viewer complaint that they no longer did serious car reviews. It was brilliant, it was funny and ulitimately – it was Top Gear.

I then posted a YouTube video of it – that was immediately killed for copyright infringements. So I went on to blog about how stupid the BBC was to do this – as a) they were effectively advertising a car, b) advertising the show, and c) we the people pay for the BBC….

Anyway, finally Top Gear and the BBC have released the video on YouTube and all I can say is – click Play, click on the HQ button, click to expand to fullscreen, watch it all and enjoy.

 

twb-button

Published in: on 8 May, 2009 at 18:24  Comments Off  
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Rockboom declines…

It’s not rocket science to see Rocketboom is in decline. There appears to be less and less coming from the website these days and it appears that, what I called the ‘meme technical crew’ are the only ones making any vidrocketboom_logo-copyeos of merit, yet they seem to be having a tough time too.

Joanne Colan was by far the must funny and intelligently articulate presenter they ever had, with Ellie Rountree a close second. The new girl Caitlin Hill is amusing, but the shows seem to be much shorter than previous ones. Joanne’s predecessor was okay, but simply not as good.

So, is Rocketboom starting to fade? will it still be around next month?  Well, who knows? really, who does know? Because there is starting to become an air of ‘who cares’?

It’s kinda sad if you ask me.

UPDATE…

I would appear that since writing this post, new information has come to light. I have it on very good authority that Rocketboom will be back on form and in full swing in the not too distant future.

Something to look forward to I think :)

 

twb-button

Published in: on 8 May, 2009 at 14:51  Comments Off  
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Here’s something you don’t see everyday

While not a great fan of Airbus because to me the Boeing 777 is about the best aircraft to fly on, I recieved an email this week that has been doing the rounds that left me gobsmacked!! check this out…A-340-600_5

This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, sat just outside its hangar in Toulouse , France without  a single hour of airtime. Now paint it in Airline colours and continue reading…

Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the  ground, such as engine run-ups prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi .
The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area.

Then they took all Four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having Read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 Really is.

The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had All 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off, but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc..)

Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.

The computers automatically released all the Brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $200 million brand-new Aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totalling it.
The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere.
Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.

etihad1

etihad2 

etihad3

etihad4

OUCH!!!!

I’d like to add something here, you see when they designed the Boeing 777 – they did so around one basic idea; trying to break it, crash and just generally destroy it, thus designing that exact possibility out of the basic aircraft. Airbus on the other hand, simply do not do this, there first Airbus crashed at the Paris Airshow for that very same reason sadly. Boeing 777’s – with only one real incident that was not even related to the actual 777 systems has not had such silly mistakes happen to it.

That said – what confidence does it install in anyone that a flight crew is more than happy to start pulling breakers out just to silence and alarm?!

As they say in the world of aviation:   Flying, 99.9% boredom,  0.01 % shear bloody terror!!

 

twb-button

Published in: on 8 May, 2009 at 14:00  Comments (1)  
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From new boots to nice people

I have been looking for some new work boots, all I want is for them to obviously be safety boots, havcatholtone an anti bacterial lining and hi wicking, while being comfortable and durable… The only ones I know of which are 100% like this are Caterpillar Boots and Magnum Elite II 8 WP Leather CT/CP.  You see I often wear them formag-copy1 up to 18 hours and really do not want to die from the smell of my own feet and neither of these boots make your feet smell at all.

The trouble is the shear darn price of the things. I did find the CAT boots as low as £52 on ebay, but the really comfortable Magnum range from £90 to £120!!!

If anyone knows of boots with similar properties for much less – please, tell me about them.

 

Moving On….

It’s really quite well known that I generally don’t like people, I like to get home and shut the door behind me and forget that there are people outside.  The reality is of course, that when people aren’t being predictable, they can be very interesting and in turn I might actually like one or two of them. But for the most part I keep everyone at arms length via my attitude or by simply being all smiles, humour and finally honed ‘village idiot’.

The place I most commonly work, like many is full of a huge range of personalities, people of experience, funny people, grumpy folk and some real team players. Some have had a full life before coming to this company, there are ex-lawyers, city analysts, geologists, a lot of ex-military and some people who have never done anything different than what they’re doing now. I actually like working there, and I can honestly say that in nearly 3 years, I’ve had conversations with every single person on the company except two. One is the senior boss, he avoids me, and I frankly don’t care. The other is a lady often and more commonly described as a ‘breath of fresh air’ by the folks that work there. This always disturbs me because these people are normally the kind that can see past my grumpy facade. Well until yesterday that is… Nearly three years on and I end up having a conversation with this person. She is in fact nice, down to earth, a farmers wife and is serious about equestrian things. She has a life too, she was off to give blood on her way to do a college course. And good for her, for doing a course about computery things, simply because she felt she should know. Too many people think they know about computers – the rest get educated. Not bad for one of the few lady ‘White Knuckle Riders’ (ex Farm collection Driver).

I hate nice people ;-) There glasses are rarely half fully – they’re over flowing!  But I must concede, yeah…. she’s a nice person and a breath of bloody fresh air.  LOL

Published in: on 6 May, 2009 at 18:46  Comments Off  
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Something strange this way comes…

h/t Big Dog for bringing this to my attention.

This article is about vehicles, or more importantly a new vehicle bought buy the British government.

Now, I used to do  a lot of work with Land Rover, and I certainly know my off-road vehicles and how to usesov1 them. So while the US forces rib the Brits about the use of ‘Snatch’ Land Rovers in Afghanistan for patrolling – which I agree with, as they’re not a patrol vehicle, I shall try to explain some really very basic things.

Power vs Torque vs Speed vs Traction vs Suspension vs Weight vs Wheelbase – thats it, in a nutshell. Now the Land Rover SOV (special operations vehicle) is designed simply as a highspeed, light weight weapons platform. It does this very well indeed and can attain speeds in excess of 85 mph. It’s wheel base is 110 inches to each wheel center and hlandroversovas alternative wheel bases i.e. 90 and 130 dependent on load and terrain requirements – though it is rare to see a 130 SOV.

Some terrain requires longer wheelbases, others not, but more importantly, it requires a very low center of gravity. But the SOV is a good high speed attack motor, it’s not got armor of any type on it and yet it’s bristling with loads of kit and equipment. It is not the right vehicle at all for street patrols.

So imagine my surprise when someone at the Ministry of Defence buys a new vehicle – something that fell out of a video game, a cartoon maybe? See what you think.

 springer

Looks like the fairway has more bunkers than they thought – at least it’ll be able to carry all the golf clubs they’ll need.

Two things : 1) Sadly this thing is not a joke. 2) which moron would fit vinyl seats for use in a hot desert?

 

twb-button

Published in: on 4 May, 2009 at 14:12  Comments (2)  
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