A few years ago when I was busy working in Comms and IT, I used to have a pet hate – using Mobile/Cell phones in meetings…
Of course, we all hate the ever-loud users who stand in your way, in a check-out line, or across from you on a bus or train. So much so that Comedian Dom Joly made a living from sending up this all too common anti-social behaviour.
So, it may come as no surprise to you that I now carry a Mobile phone blocking device.
Living on a High Street in the middle of a busy rural market town therefore presents a few small opportunities to have fun with such devices with the passers by.
None more so than an irate woman trying to shout at her partner on the phone – right outside my window…. No problem!
The thing is, the as you switch it on and then off again straight way, this simply breaks up the conversation – not until have it switched on for a few seconds does it cancel the connection.
So, once you work out when the person the other end is speaking – that’s when you get the most of this fun, especially when you watch the frustration levels grow in the person at this end.
But the great thing is this – once they get to the point of realising there’s little hope of a clear conversation – they calm down completely.
I do highly recommend them, they have a short range – realistically to about 25-30 feet.
A few years ago when I was busy working in Comms and IT, I used to have a pet hate – using Mobile/Cell phones in meetings…
Earlier this year the UK Govt were considering reducing the Single Carriageway Nation Speed Limit for 60mph to 50mph…
Following a massive e-Petition, 10 Downing Street has issued the following notice:
The Government is not proposing to reduce the national speed limit.
On 21st April the Government published a consultation on the new road safety strategy: A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain’s roads the Safest in the World, which closed on 14 July. It sought views on the vision, targets and measures for improving road safety in Great Britain in the period from 2010.
Regarding single carriageway roads where the national speed limit applies, the Government propose to revise our existing guidance to highway authorities, recommending that lower limits are adopted where risks are relatively high and there is evidence that a lower limit would reduce casualties.
The Government believes that this targeted approach is the best way to ensure that speed limits are set at the appropriate level for each road.
The Government will announce the results of the consultation at the end of the year.
So basically – if it’s a road from hell, then yes they’ll put a speed limit on it – so thats ok then – no change…
Is it me?! or don’t they do that already… What we need is new roads, and more major routes expanded.
So I finished work at 8am this morning after starting at 4pm yesterday (Sunday). I knew it would be a long day and the limit would be pushed in pretty much every way.
What I mean is, we are only allowed to do a 15 ½hrs duty time, the company will only pay on a 15hr duty and the maximum actual driving time by law is 10hrs. Well, those 10hrs turned into 10 ¼ and I left work 16 hrs after arriving.
For some reason, I purchased a microwave oven on the way home and I’m not actually sure why. I didn’t have one because I have nowhere to put it, so it’s sitting in the corner in it’s box at the moment and if it could think – it’d be bemused.
Upon returning home, I ended up spending a couple of hours across the road looking at a building my mate Dave has just bought. It’s literally hundreds of years old and has never truly been brought up to date since the 18th century – this may develop into an interesting story in the weeks and months to come.
I finally returned home and to finally found rest in sleep – I think I should buy an energy pod like this.
Now, down to business… WKD is going to be absent for what she terms ‘her nine day weekend’!
Now, in full knowledge of how I feel about certain locations on this planet – she gleefully mentions that Mr & Mrs WKD will be taking a short vacation with friends in…. wait for it…. (f-kin)Fr**ce!!
I have to be fair here and say that for the most part the country of Fr**ce is a pretty awesome place. From the Med, Atlantic wall to the English channel – it only has one problem and I’ll leave you to guess what it is.
Obviously, as a work colleague one has to demonstrate the fact that you have each others backs and in this case some sound travel advice is offered.
When travelling in Fr**ce, there are three things that you truly need to take with you: 1. A clothes peg 2. Ear defenders and 3. your return ticket!
There are of course other recommendations like the wearing of a suit of armour and the carrying of a longbow – however, this may be seen as offensive in some way. I would though, take seriously the concept of Kevlar and carry or wear as much of it as your budget allows.
Of course, if she’s not back in nine days, no search party will sent as it’ll deemed that she succumbed to some dastardly indoctrination – and that wouldn’t be good. Also, if she were to come back with stories of eating frogs – this will also be taken as some far off deviant sexual practice which will most certainly have her banned from the work place, Devon and the entire UK (Wales not included)…This too goes for a sudden fashion change by he way of a sudden desire to wear striped t’shirts, a beret, have hairy armpits and carry onions!
Have a great time WKD & C
Just remember the home is to the North!
Yep, in the previous post I wrote about how tired I was likely to be last night and by the time I hit Bristol on the M5 – I was hit by a blanket of tiredness! For those who know me, they’ll know I happily go 22hrs without sleep and not even be tired, but as any driver will tell you, the accumulative effect is not so desirable.
I did briefly see WKD yesterday wielding her Jolly-mallet which, apparently when it gets too happy – is monitored by what she terms the jolly-ometer i.e. someone in the office coming out to tell everyone to be quiet. I left her bickering happily with a work colleague as I set out to Ashby de la Zouch again. I had previously said it was in Nottinghamshire but apparently it isn’t – it’s in Leicestershire (pron: lester-shire) as WKD pointed out.
Today I’m back at work for the last day (3 days off coming up) and have to trip the light fantastic doing a double Westbury – the first one after a run to North Tawton. This pushes the hours quite a bit, so I need a clear head and a heavy right foot – oh the joy of it all!
I see our present un-elected Prime Minister is joyfully underlining the UK loss of respect with global leaders that his predecessor Mr Blair stated – go figure!
Anyone seen the movie ‘Surrogate’ yet?
With my sleep pattern now somewhat destroyed again, I found myself wide awake at 4am. I’m supposed to be starting work at 4pm, so this means I’ll be somewhere short of dead by the time I’m finished. That said, they rang me and said that I was on standby to work for another company (which I told them I didn’t want to do), which while pays much better that working for the milk people, it just isn’t as much fun.
So after dealing with the usual issues of life, like paying bills etc. I got to thinking about renewing my passport, as it runs out in January. Expecting it to be a nightmare – it wasn’t! I just filled a form in online and they’ll send the print off to me, I add a couple of recent photos, the old passport and some money – job done! Not bad considering I’ve changed my name and allsorts of weirdness, as well as having passport stamps for just about every unfriendly country I can imagine in it LOL.
It’s now 11am and no phone call for working at the place I don’t like, so I think I can safely assume I’m hauling milk this afternoon. Of this, two jobs are up for grabs 1, a run to Oakthorpe in London again – or 2, a triple run into Bridgwater dairy. Personally I’m guessing on the Bridgwater as I’ve been to London a lot recently.
I feel I should write as I haven’t for a few days – but I’m so tired right now, my brain seems very fuzzy as I’ve just finished a 15hr shift that took me to a place called Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Nottinghamshire (at least, I think it’s there).
I have loads of things to talk about (as ever) and will get around to scribbling them down soon.
Heck I even hoped to see WKD today, but then two issues arose: 1. I don’t ever hope to see any one person and 2. I’m simply not verbally coherent at the moment. I think it was that I needed a little of that infectious happiness she rubs off onto everyone around her – thus giving the appearance of being happy when in reality I’m tired and grumpy lol.
Isn’t it strange how tiredness effects our thought processes…
With that little nugget, I shall indeed retire to bed and beyong
I’m at home today, infact I’ve only just got up and it’s 4:30pm
It also appears I have so much to do!
Amongst other things, I’m now in search of a new location to move to – probably out of the south west of the UK.
I’ve been here for three years and while I probably will not be moving for a little while, the search has to begin at some point. But it would be nice to be gone for Christmas – however, it’ll probably be in the New Year.
The other thing is that I probably will not say I’ve moved until I have completed doing so.
Above all other things, I still need to find a good dentist!
Just spent an hour and a half talking to a recruiter about Saudi Arabia again, I need to ring Ginge at somepoint about this…
Oh this is just cool – I want to do this for a job:
So a guy is driving around the M25 London orbital motorway when he sees debris is the fast lane in front of him, he moves to avoid it and just as he gets to it he sees its moving and has a head… Pulling over and running back he finds a Tortoise that has succeeded in travelling across 5 lanes of this, one of the busiest sections of motorway in the UK – in rush hour!! He takes it home, stopping off to give it a slap up meal of lettuce, and takes it on to his local vet. The vet scans the little hero in a half shell to find it’s micro chipped. It was micro chipped in the US! They are presently trying to find out if this little globe trotter actually stowed away on a plane or came with a family moving to or through the UK. The tortoise has now been given the temporary name of ‘Freeway’
Now, there are things people need to know about this; 1. It’s a back up system and not accurate at all (unless you’re going to war and want your bombs to drop in the vicinity of somewhere) 2. The GPS satellites are creaking under the strain of over use 3. It only takes a solar storm to make them worthless 4. They rarely consider the size of vehicle and weight (think bridge heights and road width) 5. They generally work on major routes – therefore they’re somewhere between bad and useless in more rural locations. 6. Most truckers don’t use them – they buy a map. So this week, the HUA award goes to this guy in his BMW… Who said, ‘it didn’t look right, but I just trusted it’!
Don’t be a moron – buy a map!! They’re cheaper too and never lie. Never EVER rely on a GPS device if hill walking in poor visibility!!!! (however, if you do want reliability – get a Sat-naG).
Last nights work;
What a simple and straight forward relaxed evening – if not a little too relaxed. Everything went well, albeit the cushion in the driving seat back was almost none existent on the left hand side, which in turn twisted my back out and led to me ‘defecting’ the truck upon my return. Today (as stated in an earlier article) I head for Oakthorpe in north London again. I start at 4pm and that’s about the time that the end-of-weekend commute back to London starts – so I’m in for a lot of sitting in traffic. Normally I’d head up the M5 to Bristol, but seeing as they’re doing roadworks on a major bridge up there – I’ll be using the A303 and M3 all the way in.
Yesterday I did a Friday run into Oakthorpe at Palmers Green, London. What a traffic nightmare?! It does seem to me that while the mayhem never gets any less, it never stays the same – it just keeps getting worse! lol
Today I start at 16:30 and on the cards is a run into Bridgwater followed by a single run to Westbury. That is a nice evenings work and if all goes well, it’ll be completed in under 10 hours.
Tomorrow is another 16:00 run to Oakthorpe, delivery time 22:00… however, this is the other end of the weekend with what seems like the world trying to rush back to London!
But oddly, I’m not complaining!
Meme Molly has finally returned to Rocketboom! She had to return to the UK earlier this year to obtain a US residency visa / green card. All is now apparently sorted and she’s back in New York City to kick in to the daily news from Monday.
A couple of miles or so north east of Honiton is a little village called Smeatharpe. There’s little of anything interesting about this typical quaint Devon village, unless you look over the odd hedge.
If you did, you’ll recognize the vast slabs of concrete that are beginning to melt in to the green of the fields, because this was RAF Upottery.
The life of this place was incredibly short, a year of operational use, that became the UK home and starting point for a story that became a household name.
Today, I had a stroll around the old airfield, I walked all of the runways, and one now has a cow shed on it. I walked further, climbed fences and saw the remains of the bomb dump. And even checked out the sad state of this ancient Air Traffic Control Tower.
To me, airbases hold something special. These are the places where men and women came to live, fight and die. These people sometimes travelled great distances, may be they might have been orphaned by their then fallen home nation, or might have just lived around the corner.
But the gates on these places were for many, the last gates they walked through, as so many thousands past through them never to return, to never know a world without war, or indeed – to feel freedom once again.
The pressures were high, so the social scene was often intense, but more to the point in this case, these slabs of concrete and one building was the last friendly home and embarkation point to E Company, 506th Regiment, attached to 101st Airborne Division. I’ll translate: Home and embarkation point to Easy Company – the Band of Brothers…
Well Hanks and Spielberg certainly didn’t film the show here, but as the sun fell on Upottery today, I thought about this place and it’s other roles in that one year, its anti-submarine warfare and air logistics.
For a moment, I stood in the center of where one runway intersects another. watching the sun go down, feeling the breeze of a dying summer and listening to the field of silence around me.
Sometimes, I don’t ever want to be anywhere else than where I am at a moment like that.
To me, these places mean something, to others – they’re just another field with a slab of decaying concrete.
What I did however, was sit and play Settler 4 on the computer all day long!! So, it’s 8:10pm as I write, so I’m about to butcher my hair and then go food shopping. Then I’m gonna go through all my old clothes and thrown them out.
And tomorrow – I will be up early and see if I can achieve all three of these things.
Other stuff – Kayne West: what a tw*tish thing to do to someone!! If I had won the award, I’d have simply put it down and said “I’ll just leave that here than” and left!
I think you’ve had one too many fame tablets Mr West.
Today when the mail came, in came in the form of a new credit card, not one I ordered, but one with a sizable limit. My bank assumed I wanted one so they sent it – very nice… Or is it?!
Around a year ago, my car blew up (don’t worry, it was Fr**ch – they’re supposed to do that). The bank would not help in any way, shape or form – yet I have no debt at all. (Not the card in the picture sadly)
My credit rating should be awesome, but apparently it’s so good, no one wants to lend me anything. So, when I don’t need financial services, and I’m not stuck between a rock and hard place – I get a shiny new platinum card.
Well, thank you – it’ll go at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.
Odd, just very odd!!
I don’t own a TV, as such I download shows after they’ve aired, watch them and then delete them. If they’re any good, I may buy the box set at the conclusion of the season.
This week and over the next few weeks the US Fall season starts and as such many of the shows I watch and enjoy are back. However, there is one show missing ‘Life’, and for the life of me – I don’t understand why not.
So here’s my list of entertainment and is some cases Brain mulch
Bones 17 September Season 5
CSI: Miami 21 September Season 8
House M.D. 21 September Season 6
How I met your mother 21 September Season 5
NCIS 22 September Season 7
NCIS: Los Angeles 22 September *New*
C.S.I. 24 September Season 10
The Mentalist 24 September Season 2
Smallville 25 September Season 9
Numb3rs 25 September Season 6
Stargate Universe 2 October *New*
‘V’ (2009) 3 October *New*
WKD was telling me the other day how her father had been looking forward to going flying with a mate of his. This friend has his own light aircraft and he had been keen to go along and see Devon from the air.
However, upon landing the aircraft wing tip came into contact with some vegetation and, well, I think the words were, ‘ they had a bit of a hard landing’.
Last night, WKD sent me a photo of this ‘hard landing’.
Now in the aviation world, it is said that ‘any landing you walk away from – is a good one’.
I think it’s fair to say that in true British fashion, they proved the point very accurately – but bloodyhell!!!
Top Gear have just returned from the a private and top secret meeting at the Bugatti factory, where (amongst other things) they were shown the all new Bugatti wilderbeast – The Bugatti Galibier.
Actual specs are not available, but the one thing they do know is that it will be powered by the same engine that mallets the Veyron to 252 mph.
Personally (while not in the market for a super car), I can’t make my mind up about the looks…
Yesterday afternoon I was sent to a reload site at a place called Lanreath (pronounce Lan Reth) way down in Cornwall.
This is part of doing a lot of work for a particular Dairy company and when I asked where exactly it was, no one could give me any kind of answer. So I was chasing people around the yard and phone calls were being made.
In amongst all this, WKD and I were kinda having a conversation on the move. Well I say a ‘kinda conversation’ because we seem to have these weird ‘high volume’ of information, minimal time to talk things. But the bottom line here is I broke a rule, I did not give her proper time and attention. You see my rule has always been that people come first, way before any job and the fact I didn’t on this occasion was just nothing short of rude!
I got directions and set off, I was told to go to a place called Dobwalls and turn off for Lostwithiel (yes, that really is a place name), then take the first road – sign posted ‘Looe’. Drive for 3 miles and there will be a large lay-by on the left and this is the reload site.
Errrr – no, it wasn’t…
I continued down the narrow road for several miles until I found a second lay-by where I pulled in.
Phone calls ensued and eventually the place found in darkness.
I wouldn’t have minded too much, but the truck I was driving had a steering problem and on top of this – some moron had removed the rear skids/ramps from the chassis. These protect the rear of the truck and help mount the trailer to the 5th wheel (the coupling plate on the back). As such, as people had dropped trailers, the pins had struck the rear chassis cross member and had done some considerable damage to it. So much so, its now impossible to miss the trailer pin without bottoming out the vehicles air suspension – so after spending a little time wiping my nose (off the windscreen/shield), I was back on my way.
I arrived at Severnside Dairy in the early hours of the morning and was met by the ever helpful and friendly security – only to find the whole place was screwed up.
I would tell you about this – but I just want to forget it.
But I will say that when my hours were running out – the security staff were very helpful in expediting my leaving of the site, securing documentation and allowing to leave the still loaded trailer on the road, and for that I am most grateful.
I normally take Monday and Tuesday off, but after a 12 hour sleep, I’m still ugly, but fully rested… So I’ll be starting today at 17:00 and tomorrow at 16:30. I think I’ll go in early today and stop off at Mole Valley Farmers as my work wardrobe needs an update – see, so fashion conscious – lol!
Then I’ll take Wednesday and Thursday as my days doing absolutely nothing – YAY!! (This is a lie, I’ll be heading out on travels) It’s also coming closer and closer to guaranteeing a Friday off!
Starting work at 4am Sunday morning with the usual banter and laughter, the job was to take an empty milk trailer to a new milk depot just north of Bristol – drop that there, pick up a full one and drive on to Cadbury’s.
This depot (Old Sodbury) is ‘new’ in terms of its use for milk, the greater company has used the site for many years and early this year it was to be closed.
I know the site well, and on my last visit, there was a skeleton staff running refrigerated cheese deliveries from there and the rest of the place was cluttered up with old trailers and trucks for sale.
Arriving at 6am, the place was a mess!! The the new areas for CIP (washing tanks out) and where milk was loaded were obvious, but there was no where to drop off an empty tank. In fact, there was barely enough space to turn the truck around. Here is a very old photo of the place when it had some room.
I did turn it around, stopped and headed into the office. Apart from two ex-farm drivers (new to the job), there was no one. I looked around for job sheets and various other things that would normally be ready – but nothing!
An hour and a half later I could get back underway.
All sorted out, I got back on the road heading north on the A46 towards Stonehouse. I chose this route because it was now becomming daylight and it took me over the bottom of the Cotswold hills – which is the most majestic run at dawn.
Cadbury’s was a hassle in so much a I screwed up the CIP process and had to drain the tank and start all over again, before heading home in glorious air conditioned sunshine through Hereford, Monmouth and down to the M4 at Newport.
I think the milk operation out of Old Sodbury is going to be very short lived at the present rate – unless someone shows a degree of leadership and flare and moves all the old trailers from all their depots to one of hundreds of old wartime airfields where a farmer will happily take a base rent on the storage of such things – like this one 10 miles from the main Cullopmton operating base .
Lady trucker and avid farmerist WKD, lovingly referred to as ‘Sat-Nag’ by her hubby is apparently in search of some GLS (good looking sheep). With the question of ‘What did you do with the last lot?’ Obviously the answer to which is the kind of thing that’ll make small children cry!
Here’s what she’s looking for (I believe they’re called Suffolk Cross)
It is of note, that there is beginning to be a proliferation of acronyms on this blog – as such I feel the need rise to this challenge, though I will have to add an extra page to probably explain some of the ones I’ll be making up lol.