Jellyfish take over the world – or Japan anyway

Yes, these monsters are enormous and often measure 2.2 metres in diameter!
So much so, that in the seas around Japan they have become a serious menace.
No, not to humans – but to shipping! Last year a Japanese trawler overturned when it’s nets caught hundreds of them!
This is the Echizen jellyfish, the monster of the jellyfish world. They believe that as sea temperatures around Japan have gone up 3 fold, faster than anywhere else, this in turn has caused a huge surge in the breeding or our wobbly friends.
If the was an opposite to Sci-Fi, it must be something like Sea-R (sea reality) because the stuff in our oceans is just incredible.
Sadly, no doubt someone will come up with a way to kill the critters before things get too bad – but from my understanding, they already are.

However, someone in Japan will learn a way to eat them – I betcha! lol

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Published in: on 30 November, 2009 at 16:20  Comments (4)  
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The man who would destroy Great Britain

Some may argue that Tony Blair did more than any previous politician to dissolve Great Britain into it’s four parts of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales…
However, new moves by Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmon could actually dissolve the union!!

The Scottish Government is due to publish its white paper on Scotland’s constitutional future, which could pave the way for an independence referendum.
First Minister Alex Salmon is expected to argue Scotland must be independent to meet its full economic potential.
But the minority SNP administration does not have enough support to pass a referendum bill as Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems all oppose the plan.
But the process could see Holyrood gain more power over taxation and spending.
The white paper is being launched on ST Andrew’s Day and comes after the SNP government began its “national conversation” on Scotland’s future.

If I was to be honest here,  I would argue strongly that Scotland is a huge part of what goes on in the UK and to actually truly want complete  independence is astounding.
While Great Britain was forged together by dubious means and bloodshed, The whole union has been stronger because of Scotland’s presence. We have become essentially one, but in no way does this diminish any Scottish traditions, history, pride or respect.  Heck the last and the present Prime Ministers are and were Scottish!
I dread to think what could or possibly would happen to Scotland if it was totally independent.
So in my view Alex Salmon is not only the man who could bring the union down, he could almost destroy Scotland’s potential if they totally go it alone, because they would need to almost tax every one to death to maintain the systems to already have in place…
As such Alex Salmon is effectively making himself an enemy of the state and this is not good – no matter how he wants to gloss it all over.

Wanna read the reality of the facts and figures? Then read my post  HERE

Published in: on 30 November, 2009 at 06:00  Comments (1)  

Hey, watch out for this sucker….

So I get an email that my brother has left a message for me on Facebook which I really don’t use anymore. I log in and get the bizarre badly misspelt note about me suddenly being famous or something which has me wondering if he wrote it – and then theres a link.

Thinking this is humour and a bit of a piss take, I hit the link, sit back and wait for a vid or something to appear… No, my laptop gets suddenly upset and I get a warning flash up from both Norton and Windows…

Whatever it was, my security killed it. So now I’m looking on the main Facebook page and there is another note posted by my brother which a different link on it…. With caution, I hit this link and the exact same thing happens!!

Here is the posted warning I received. (Click on image to enlarge)

Ok guys, when you’re using Facebook and you see those little things that say stuff like ‘send a friend a gift’ or ‘play a game’ and anything like that that asks you to click an OK button – DON’T!!!! not ever, you’re not just agreeing to the two minutes of fun you think you are – you’re agreeing to a whole load of other stuff. Most of which is the transfer of valuable and more importantly, personal information being passed to a third party who WILL sell it on to others.

Published in: on 30 November, 2009 at 04:55  Comments (1)  
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Phone based GPS

Most people who know me, know I’m not a fan of GPS! But if asked to list 10 things that were the greatest inventions of the 20th century – GPS would be near the top somewhere.
GPS is for three things Aircraft, Ships and accurate targeting of you’re Tomahawk Cruise Missile – or people who can’t read maps!!
The reason is simple, if you’re out walking in the country and you get caught out by things like extreme bad weather or it goes dark – you wouldn’t be surprised just how many people walk off cliffs or drop into rivers or ravines and die!
For the most part, GPS is handy for doing multi-drop deliveries, but if you’re in a truck… things like bridge heights and weight restrictions are rarely listed! Bare that in mind Caravan owners!!

So my all new HTC HD2 phone comes with it all on and I’ve been playing with it.
The HD2 also finds your location via cell towers when the GPS is turned off, a quick look at Google maps will give you a location with a couple of thousand meters at any given time – along with connecting to just about everything that can give off any kind of radio signal.
The Compass is a handy feature to the outdoors types and appears to be very sensitive too.
But the new vehicle mount is quite clever, as soon as you connect your phone – it brings up the GPS navigation index.
I doubt very much that I’ll be buying one of those – but this phone is keeping me quite amused!

Published in: on 28 November, 2009 at 14:46  Comments (1)  
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New Zealand could be sunk!! lol

It turns out there are loads of Icebergs heading for New Zealand!
While initial reports claimed it all to be environmental terrorism, scientists just said “What? Eh? You’re having a laugh aint-cha?!”
Meanwhile New Zealanders were spotted running through the streets wearing life jackets and running for boats.

Seriously though and joking aside, it transpires there a is a reasonable sized flotilla of hundreds of Icebergs heading up from Antarctica where they broke away from  large ice shelves.
Even basic observations have counted more 250 of them and some of these are over 100 feet tall.
The nearest being about 150 miles from NZ – and closing fast

Icebergs have various classifications in size, shape and longevity according to the International Ice Patrol and they can all be seen HERE

Published in: on 28 November, 2009 at 13:55  Comments (2)  
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Al Murray’s interesting way to advertise his book

Published in: on 27 November, 2009 at 11:01  Comments (1)  
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Not as it should be?

My guitar turned up today, the wrong colour!! It is ‘Aged’ or Tobacco Sunburst – not the Honey burst as ordered! The difference is basically that Honey isn’t as yellow and is much paler.  can’t seem to get a good pic of it though..
It’s playability requires a little setting up, but it is a nice guitar. However, unbeknown to some, guitars are not ranked by their ‘Prettiness’ as some call it and I’ve had little option but to email the seller to see what they can do.
Also, as the saga of ‘pretty’ guitars started in the comments section yesterday by JK continued via text today with WKD, and her ‘Mickey’ taking continued, I realised I offered to take her own riding crop to her – but please note this was not a malicious threat, especially as she broke another truck before leaving the yard today!!  Sadly it was the starter motor, for which she cannot be blamed (damn it), but relaying this info to Twitter started a flurry on conversations between Gabby, Little Trucker, myself and others about starter motors – weird!! (thankfully twitter isn’t used by WKD or JK).
So anyway, emails have been sent about the guitar and I await to hear of the outcome. It does sound good though and I’ll have to change my playing discipline a little, but all in all, not a bad guitar!
Now, only if I could learn a second chord….

Published in: on 26 November, 2009 at 18:50  Comments (25)  

Last nights work, simplicity in itself

Well I had the call earlier in the day to start work around 1am and was told it was a double run to Westbury.
Later, Dave came around and I went over to his and Annie’s place later for a chat n coffee when I get phoned again – to see if I would go in straight away and swap the milk run for a trip to the pallet hub in Birmingham. The thing was, I was no where near home and the wind had been so fierce the it even drowned out the sound of the traffic right outside my window – and that’s saying something.
So I get to work, and it turns out I’m doing a single Westbury, then going around retrieving trailers from all over the place.
I set off, only to find the main route to Westbury from here, the A303, was undergoing night closures and the diversions they had in place were not conducive to hauling a liquid load – what I mean is, they wanted us to go up a hill we simply can’t get up. So a slight diversion via Castle Cary, flooded roads and tree branches littered the place like an old photo of the Somme!.

Then I find they had changed access in Westbury town itself and have put weight restrictions all over the main route in – namely a 3ton limit over a railway bridge!! I didn’t know this and certainly did not see a clearly placed sign of any type!! I think 3ton is a little excessive seeing as the bridge could happily accomodate two 44tons trucks side by side normally!

Finally I got there very late and was under the direction to make sure I was back for 8am as the truck was going to Europe (the UK does not class or talk of itself as ‘europe’, that’s a place on the other side of the sea, unless you’re WKD).
As such I didn’t wash the tank, I just tipped and raced back.
I got back at 08:05 and was told there were no other trucks to doing any other work as everything is being used to the max!
So at 08:30 I clocked off!!
Short day or what !! Anyway, I hung back and had a coffee with the people there just in case something came up – the reason? Well we get paid for a minimum of 8hrs, so even if we work 4hrs, we still get 8. As such, I thought it only fair to hang about a little and be available for the full 8 as this lot have been alright to me over the years.

This didn’t stop me getting a full nights sleep, in fact – I could have done with a little longer in bed really! Not as beauty sleep, heck the longer I stay in bed the worse I look – my head gets a bit like one of those wrinkly faced soft toys, but about the size of a water melon, it’s just that it’s so much fun pulling it back into a shape I recognise. Sometimes it works too, other times – not so much!  lol

Published in: on 25 November, 2009 at 19:35  Comments (1)  

The Guitar I Bought

Here it is…

Published in: on 25 November, 2009 at 02:15  Comments (6)  

What is it with everyone?!

Just recently I’ve noticed a change in people… This is with friends, relatives, work colleagues, people on the net and other acquaintances.
I’m going to be blunt here, because this includes nearly everyone and even people I don’t know very well.
Lately people have been working their proverbial butts off and this is fine. For many of you, you’ve been getting ill with throat infections, the dreaded flu and of course the common cold.
Yet few are taking time out to either rest and very few to recuperate.
I will tell you something now that our governments won’t – THE RECESSION IS OVER!! In the UK it was over months ago and if you don’t believe me, just go and look at how many trucks are on the roads! The bottom line is this regarding the so called recession – if the trucks aren’t rolling, there’s no business going on and right now there is so much business that the company I work for simply can’t cope with demand.
So what am I saying? You don’t have to go made working so damned hard – especially when it starting to become detrimental to your health and it will catch up with you.

I’m not looking to get into and argument here, I really don’t know or need to know what financial planning skills you lack or have – but you must start to remember why you go to work!!
The bottom line is that we do so in an attempt to make our lives better, so we can enjoy ourselves and if a few of us are lucky enough – even retire early.

So ask yourselves, is your work making or creating a situation where you’re truly enjoying your lives? I guess not – because the day you put work before yourself and your family, you’ve missed the point entirely.

Take time out when ill, take time out just for yourselves, not for just family vacations where you end up doing all the work and running around after others – but for YOU!!
Learn to be able to sit in a place that’s your own and just chill and not do a thing, be happy with yourself. The other contradiction but something of vital importance and it is playing as hard as you work.
Work is about making our private lives better, to give us peace of mind when not there – use this and take the stress away.

Published in: on 25 November, 2009 at 02:05  Comments (14)  

The Things I miss…

Yep, let T W Brit sound almost sentimental for a post – shock…
Today I received my first invite for Christmas to Dave and Annie’s across the road. This was very nice of them indeed, but for many reasons I like to spend this day alone – it’s nothing weird and I often need to feel a part of something greater to indulge – as such I work through Christmas day. But do I miss it? Well I guess I do a little.
This last few months have been amazing for me, you see, through this and other mediums, the people I have met and continued to communicate with have, for the most part, been people who at one level or another blown my socks off. These people have been from all walks of life too; Truckers, Journalists, Politicians, Actors, Lawyers (in a good way), even the odd celeb apparently (sorry, it’s an area for which I’m very vague). But the people I have and do speak to on a regular basis is something that has astonished me and I am most grateful.
As such there most certainly are things I miss – as we all do (and not in a sorry for myself way – it’s in a ‘just the way it is’ way).
So, while stagnating down here in Devon, here’s my list of things I miss – as bizarre as they may be and excluding individuals.

  • The Peak District
  • Owning and using a Land Rover 110 CSW
  • My Irish Setter
  • The stillness of a summers morning in some remote military training area.
  • Arriving in a foreign town and simply not knowing what and where everything thing is, but having to find out quickly.
  • Volatile risk in countries where life is so different to the lives we all know so well.
  • Stark differences in cultures of those around you and learning the differences.
  • The hustle and bustle of London
  • I miss shooting a lot!! If I stayed in one place long enough, I guess I’d get a licence, but I never do.
  • The silence at dawn in the ‘Empty Quarter’ desert in Saudi Arabia.
  • Having a true reason or aim to get up sometimes.
  • Fixing impossible problems
  • Climbing
  • The better side of me.
  • An awesome roast dinner
  • Air travel, I don’t like it (because I’m not the driver), but it always means I’m doing something cool.
  • Seeing myself as clearly as I see others
  • Huge Dr Who scarf my grandmother knitted me
  • Long hair
  • Being able to run 10 miles with weight
  • A good Dentist
  • Eastnor Castle
  • Meeting people without them thinking you either want something or they feel they have to match-make me with a friend of theirs.
  • Being sincere, actually I am, but my body language often says the opposite.
  • Tax free living
  • Ex-Pat lifestyle

So here’s the question to my regular readers, you get 10 things to list that you miss – that cannot be people.

Published in: on 25 November, 2009 at 01:46  Comments (38)  

This blog is weird..

Yes, yes, besides the persistent spelling and grammatical errors, the wide range of people like you who visit, is something that does surprise me. Moreover, it’s what you/they read!
The top 5 most read articles are these

1      The Nürburgring and Top Gears Respect fo
2     Motorway Driving Survival Guide
3     Zara Phillips shows off her swanky new h
4     Sabine Schmitz site is now in English –
5     Volvo Trucks Gift giveaway continues!!

The number one slot is very interesting, not purely because of the subject matter, but that Sabine Schmitz actually helped me produce it – for which I’m most grateful.

Irrespective of my techie, news, music, general entertainment and aviation posts – they’re all realated to driving!!

So, odd huh?!

Published in: on 25 November, 2009 at 01:23  Leave a Comment  

oooo, I was gonna post

Hi, well…. I was gonna post -but!! Just had a call and now have to take trip to Birmingham and back… I’m twittering on and off throughout the night.

L8r

Published in: on 23 November, 2009 at 18:19  Comments (2)  

A quiet visit and a surprise!

The other day I took time out in a guitar shop… Nothing weird there you might think – but actually, there was…
I love my old guitar (can’t play it like) and while it’s travelled the globe with me, it has bad pickups and the neck/frets are wearing out. My guitar is a beastie I’ve often been told does not exist as Epiphone apparently never made a ‘Strat-copy’! Well, they did and it’s called the Epiphone S310, they also made a T310, and I’ll leave you to work out what that baby was. I have a particular problem and that is with picking out or playing a lower string without the noise of the chord just played drowning it.
Everyone I know has directed me toward the Gibson Les Paul and for those of your who know – they’re not cheap! They can be anywhere from £1200 to prices in excess of £3000!!
Oddly. There is little difference between the models, so the prices are crazy.
Now, Gibson also make/own Epiphone. Epiphone are apparently made in Qingdao, China and from left over timber stock from Gibson’s Nashville factory. But they’re also made to the same exacting standards.
Any way, I’m in this guitar shop and there is a Gibson Les Paul and the exact same version of guitar with the Epiphone name on it. With identical amplifier settings I tried out both guitars extensively.
And you know what I’m gonna say don’t you – there was ZERO noticeable difference in the playability, quality and more importantly the tone!!! I even think the Epiphone was slightly better quality overall than the Gibson!
So, as with all things in life, it all comes down to the prices. £257 vs £2300… After all, I can have 4 guitars for the price of one and there just has to be a good one in there somewhere! lol

I think there maybe a new guitar around here soon!

Published in: on 22 November, 2009 at 18:19  Comments (1)  
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Dear Microsoft Reader

Obviously I regularly check to see where people vist this blog from, Google and Microsoft, along with many others like the BBC etc come along have a quick nose around before going on their respective ways. However, there is one reader that tends to hang about a little and I would like to address them with this article.

Hi,  and thankyou for regularly stopping by .
I’m a little interested in what is listed as ‘Inktomi O’ web browser. My knowledge of Inktomi is limited, indeed I had thought they had gone many years ago.
So, what is it like, what does it look like and is it any good? Please feel free to email, if you don’t wish to comment

Published in: on 22 November, 2009 at 17:25  Leave a Comment  
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The end is nigh – part2

Looking at this picture I can’t help but think I’m looking at a SciFi movie set. After all, the Stargate Franchise wouldn’t be half as bad if they filmed here – especially after the disaster that has become the morose laughing stock of the entertainment world (Stargate Universe).

This is of course CERN’s Large Hadron Collider or LHC as it’s better known. And this week they cranked it up again after fixing the sucker and of course extinguished the mysterious and very precise bread dropping birds they have plagued the rebuild of the system.

Will we all die and get sucked into a black whole? Maybe, but personally I think if we managed to wipe out everyone one Earth, it’ll be a catalyst of many events that will do so.

Well, if it breaks down anymore, someone will start asking about the validity of the whole project for sure.

Published in: on 22 November, 2009 at 15:57  Leave a Comment  
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Not a HUA award…

 I read this week a story that made me smile, why? Because I get it!
Eric Steward is an 81yr old guy who lives in or around the Sydney area in Australia.
Visiting friends in Yass, a country town south of Sydney in New South Wales state, Eric left to buy a newspaper on Monday morning.
More than eight hours later, after taking a wrong turn on the highway, he asked Victoria state police for help.
“I just went out on the road to have a drive, a nice peaceful quiet drive.
“I didn’t know where I was going but I knew it was somewhere, and with a bit of luck I would eventually find my wife again,” he said.
This was almost 9 hours and 370 miles later…

Eric Stewart – you rock!!

Published in: on 22 November, 2009 at 15:41  Leave a Comment  
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Not liking this…

So, yesterday I returned to Witney.
I set off early in an attempt to miss the Friday traffic – but to no avail!
I take a fast shortcut from Honiton to jump on the M5 at Taunton that saves me around half an hour – but as I approached Bristol, my shortcut and time saving soon evaporated!
With information boards warning of an accident a few miles ahead, I detoured via the M4 and head for the A46 turn off and Cirencester. Driving past Highgrove House, glancing to see if one of the young Prince’s had borrowed a helicopter for the weekend, I cut through the amazing small market town of Tetbury wondering why I’d not travelled this road for so long, or moreover – in my truck! A few miles later the answer appeared in the form of a single width very, VERY low bridge – a noise in my mind going something like “Ahhhhh” in full realization.
It’s been so darn long since I travelled on some of these roads I had all but forgotten them.
Heading north of Cirencester I cut up an old ‘B’ road, a nice route to the A40 and Burford – not that I could enjoy the scenery as it was both dark and raining heavily. Flying through the village of Bibury nearly ended in disaster as I forgot about a bridge over the river Thames (or Coln, I can never remember) with a sharp right hander straight after with a pub opposite – a pub I was almost serving pints in, from the passenger seat!!!

Arriving at my destination I got straight down to issues of family business and also hooked up the new WiFi.

It’s fair to say, personally I’m not impressed with Tiscali, I use the very same equipment at home and had no bother at all hooking it up and connecting – not so with Tiscali. I most certainly noted that I’d never use this lot as my person broadband provider!!
There are some annoying defects in their software too, but they didn’t seem bothered about this at all. Even had to call their tech support who tried to tell me – and keep telling me, that I had put the password in incorrectly!! Which for the 1000th time of doing so – I hadn’t. They reset the password (when they couldn’t do it either and upon doing so all things worked – for 5 mins!
They ended the conversation and perpetually accusing me of rubbish by asking me to rate their help via email – yeah, they might not like what I write, but I’ll oblige for sure!.
After saving everything and restarting the laptop – nothing!!! I could connect via Ethernet, but some how the laptop no longer held any of the WiFi config. Infact what it did, was initially connect, only to then have the connection stopped – I assume by Tiscali or their software. The WiFi card would connect then stop.
So, Tiscali with their overtly patronizing helpdesk and a lot of messing around and money spending I recommended to get a more modern Laptop and use a proper Internet Service Provider.

The return journey was in dense fog and led me to take a diversion to have a look at a house near Nailsworth. Obviously I couldn’t see a damn thing, but at least I know where it is now lol.

Today I looked back at yesterday and was trying to think of a single thing I enjoyed, yet I simply could find anything – some days are just like that I guess.

Published in: on 22 November, 2009 at 03:15  Comments (4)  
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787 news…

Boeing (NYSE: BA) has completed installing reinforcements within the side-of-body section of two more 787 Dreamliners.

Over the weekend, employees at Boeing’s facility in Everett, Wash., finished reinforcing the full-scale static test airframe and the second Dreamliner designated for flight test. Installations were completed Nov. 11 on the first flight-test airplane.

The modification entails installing new fittings at 34 stringer locations within the joint where the wing is attached to the fuselage.

“Our focus now is on completing the static test later this month, which will validate the modification,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “Concurrently we are restoring the airplanes and completing the functional tests required to fly by the end of the year.”

The static test airframe is being refitted with strain gauges and instrumentation required for testing. Access doors, systems, seals and fasteners removed from airplane No. 2 to provide access are being restored in preparation for continued testing on the airplane. The first 787 also is being restored.

Fancher said the program is on track to fly the 787 by the end of the year.

“We are building momentum with each milestone we achieve,” Fancher said. “This team is focused on its goals and bringing us ever closer to first flight.”

————————————————————————-

Well, lets hope it all comes together nicley

Published in: on 19 November, 2009 at 20:39  Leave a Comment  
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A new phone and all that fun…

The thing to remember with any new phone is that it takes both a while to learn and also setup how you want it to be etc.
This morning brought a knock and the door and my new HTC HD2 phone with Windows 6.5 Professional operating System on it.
So, the first job was to painstakingly save all my original contacts to the SIM card before swapping it over, then learn the rudimentary operations of the phone it’s self.
I know I’m not used to it yet, and while it’s lighteningly quick, it’s a little too sensitive and very easy to open the wrong application up.
It took a while to see the memory card and frankly, I have no idea just how much data is being transferred at any given time.
The one little bug-bare is when I connect it to my laptop, I want it to connect to the internet using the available laptop connection.
The thing is, while everything is just wonderful and there’s so much innovation in this thing – I need to download the Divx codec to watch some of the vids I’ve loaded on it. But it won’t let me, or at least doesn’t seem to want me to do it at all.
There was also a third party thing offering 15hrs of free GPS?! I just hit on Google maps and all the info I needed was already available – odd!
Text’d Gabby with it and all that seems ok, would have text’d WKD but havent seen her for a while and she’s also quite a busy bee.

All in all though, it’s a very robust thing and while it lets you do a lot of customizations – it does not seem to want you to un-customize things if you make a mistake – or I haven’t read that bit yet lol.

Next up, one guitar, amp and laptop to make some of my own ringtones – LOL be afraid! lol

On top of all this there’s quite a bit of personal family stuff on the go at the moment, so while I should be working, I’ve got my head down.

Published in: on 19 November, 2009 at 16:24  Comments (2)  
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