New Year 2010-11

Every year I write this piece and wish all followers, readers and good people who pass by this blog – a very happy New Year. Not to mention post the same pics ;)
This year I wish all the very same for everyone.
However, at the moment I’m winding down this blog to put it a somewhat dormant state due to being required to move on etc. As such I simply won’t be able to administer it for a while.
But looking back over 2010, this next year has to be better than the last one. Indeed, it was only just after this time at the beginning of 2010 I ripped the ligaments on my left shoulder and was laid up for almost 9 weeks.
I have been playing catch-up ever since, to little or no avail.
2010, will be set in a stone of dislike for me, a year of losing great friends, in fact in some cases – making and meeting good and great people only to screw up and lose them. But this isn’t me having a whinge – it’s just the way things are or have turned out.
A year, where I touched the world of politics and learned some lessons and a year also where I learned that this blog impacts people and their lives.
Most recently, I’ve come to realise my path should take a very different one than I’ve pursued.

The highest part of 2010 is that my old headmaster was sentenced to 21 years in prison and that old and fantastic friends from those evil school days are back in contact. All have a lifetime of stories to tell and while all grown men in very different walks of life and locations around the world – they’re essentially the same great people I remember.

2010 was a year of not being able to achieve a thing for me. But it is finally over and new year dawns with more than a glimmer of hope for many.

In many respects the world measures success foolishly against the figures of your bank account, I do not! I see success everywhere and nowhere more so than in the hands of the poorest, for they have worked far harder to stay afloat during the recent hard times. Yet I cannot make that sound like rich vs the poor, because I admire those who have achieved better than I have, but for one person this year, I witnessed one of the greatest levels of courage against a hideous competition, stand proud and yet defeated – that person will always have my most undying respect!
Others have fallen, other have changed their entire lives, others have built on their own successes and others have not. Some, or one in particular faced the most horrendous battle which is still not over, yet achieved more in a matter of days than I have done in a life time.

For the blog, well the ratings are the highest ever and in the greater scheme of things, it’s not much – but over 100,000!  I just wish they’d all donated £1 or $1 (over there on the right ——->) ;)

If the year goes well, The Wondering Brit will thrive and expand, if not… well it’s been a lot of fun!

For all this, for you, others and of course myself – I wish you all the best ever year of your lives.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Published in: on 31 December, 2010 at 23:41  Comments (6)  

You wanted to be heard? – oh, we heard you!!!

Yesterday was the vote on student tuition fees and the 4th protest on the matter.
Now, for the most part protest is a democratic right – and when these things are to happen the planning is vital. But when the planning and route are then abandoned by the protesters – it isn’t clever… in fact, it’s when a protest turns into riotous rebellion.
You see, thousands of people work in the places the protesters choose to screw up and the area that brings the most money into the UK via tourism etc is destroyed as we saw last night.

So here is the deal:
If you protest in London and deviate from route etc, be prepared to be ‘Kettled’ – this is normal and tough!!
If you are near angry crowds trying to force their way through a police line – you WILL feel the wrong end of the baton and possibly a horse…
It’s really commonsense…
Not as one student protester on the BBC who for the most part appeared sane until he opened his mouth and said “They (the police) don’t understand, we’re only throwing things (bricks etc) at them because we’re scared and don’t want to be charged… and now they’ve charged us with horses”

I can see why he demands an education!! Alas, I think he got one!

Lets be VERY clear here… you have been educated… your right to go to university – a luxury – one that is so very often abused!!
It’s not this government that has screwed you over – it was the last one!!
And WE (the British public) – can’t afford to pay for you to go as there is no money left in the pot and you haven’t provided much in the way of tax yet.
Also, it would appear that these measures really aren’t going to effect many of the people protesting and that if it’s that bad – the next government will remove the new rules anyway…  so wake up!!

But….
If you deface a statue of Sir Winston Churchill
Worse…… You disrespect the Cenotaph
And FAR WORSE you attack a car carrying the Royal Couple

YOU F’KING BLEW IT…..

You see, these things are the core of Great Britain, it’s people and are NOT for the disrespect of anyone…
To those in this country who don’t understand this, then you have no concept of the outrage yesterday has caused.
You will come to realise that without these things we, and especially you, are nothing and have no place in our society – NOT EVER…

That guy ripping down the flag and swinging all over the Cenotaph is alleged to be Charlie Gilmore – son of Pink Floyd’s guitarist Dave Gilmore.. A Cambridge under Graduate… In fact he made a press release: “Running along with a crowd of people who had just been violently repelled by the police, I got caught up in the spirit of the moment. I did not realise that it was the Cenotaph and if I had, I certainly would not have done what I did.”     Only the odd thing wrong with that statement… he’s an under graduate in History! Oh and the other thing was that his mother posted a tweet at 9pm that night stating that he was battered and bleeding – while at the same time he was being interviewed incoherently by a TV news crew on Regent Street while walking away with part of a looted shop window manikin… I don’t blame his mother for his actions – but if I was her, i’d be very wary of what he tells her!

You see, very rarely does a situation happen in the UK where something falls in within the remit of Lethal Force – last night that happened, with a mob chanting “off with their heads” attacking the Royal car… At that point these people fell squarely within that remit and were allowed to be SHOT DEAD!!

Published in: on 10 December, 2010 at 18:35  Comments (4)  

The TWBrit 2010 Christmas list

Yes a possible annual event whereby I post all the things that no one will buy me and are predominantly boys toys :)
So, lets get down to it (in no particular order)

Amberley Court

Battenberg Cake

Tac 15i Crossbow

Land Rover 110 County Station Wagon in full Camel Trophy spec. but in TWBrit decals and colour scheme.

Accuracy International’s .338 with a x24 Schmitt und Bender scope ( I would say an AS50, but they’re not legal in the UK)

Taylor K22ce Guitar made of Hawian Koa

A Dell Adamo XPS

A life time supply of Coffee

 

A guaranteed way of giving up smoking

Motion Computing J3500 Table

A Dentist

An invite to become a member of White’s

Logitech HD pro webcam C910

A follow from the Cloud Computing post about bandwidth vs data usage…

I received an interesting email asking what should be the target data usage and bandwidth requirement to the average house hold.

Well the reality is that we’re presently being retarded by not only infrastructure but willingness to expand..
One hour of normal streaming video (not High Def) is around 1 Gigabyte… Now the future of TV etc and the knowledge that many homes have several TV’s means that realistically the based line target should be around a minimum of 200 gigabytes a month…
As we progress the industry needs to be looking towards 1 terabyte per household per month – within 6 or 7yrs.

Then there is the urgent need for the roll out of Wimax Wave 2 and 4G, especially in rural areas as this by far the most cost effective way of distribution.

Present connection speed targets of 8 – 22 Mb’s is more than enough to do this, but unless the machinery behind it all can actually produce that level of data through-put, which it can’t – then this is where our problem lays.. That and also that we’re running a nation network on the back of an ageing copper telephone wireline infrastructure.
Further more – ALL of this is thwarted outright by the vast power requirement to do it. Infact, we have a very serious problem in the world today because of our inability to produce the power requirements 5 years from now.

However, it’s simply not rocket science to see the true benefits to the commercial aspects of the internet. This especially true when you realise that your online mall is huge and it’s global. This means you can always find what you want at a cheaper price somewhere.

Indeed, I often tell people new to the internet that if they’re doing house alterations etc, I guarantee that they will save more than the cost of a new PC/laptop and two years broadband subscription when they buy the materials online – and I’ve been known to offer to pay for those things if they don’t succeed in saving money!!
It’s actually a very safe bet if they’re doing reasonably major work etc.

So, right now our ISP’s/Telephone companies are the people holding us back. We will end up being totally web based and yet we must do this with care.
Big brother must have an interest and maybe certain things should never ever even get on the web in the first place. Certainly entertainment and music industries who make so much more money that their artists should bear a huge responsibility to their clients for being so useless in not securing their media etc…
So, from the outset of the internet age it’s been an evolving medium, and it will continue to evolve for quite sometime yet – and there is so much to still do.

Change….

You know, when the motor car was invented it was a revolution that not only changed our lives, but it change the global landscape – it was a revolution the likes of which the world has never seen, and it still is…

The Internet and computers are even bigger…

You see with the evolution of the car not only did we suddenly need mechanics and tyre fitters – we needed to re-address a national infrastructure.
We soon realised we need to educate, train and change the actual layouts of our cities and town to incorporate larger and larger road networks… not mention the vast array of vehicle types.

Bearing that in mind, just how big or monumental change do you think we need to do to get everyone in out countries on the internet…
Firstly, power consumption.. then cabling infrastructure, then transmission of the latest ‘G’ standards etc.
Infact the Telephone was never classed as a vital industry like Gas, Water and Electricity… it has always been classed as a luxury!. Yet with the level of the role the internet is playing in our lives, we strongly and very quickly need to re-address this, change our whole mental approach to just what a benefit to a national and yes, global commercial society it really is.
But we also need to teach about the pitfalls, the scams, the chat rooms and of course porn too.

This is so vital, we can no longer shy away from the uncomfortable subjects anymore… The net is the net for all it’s wonders AND sins..

So, bandwidth needs re-addressing, training needs re-addressing, and the infrastructure that supports the whole thing needs rebuilding.

But the most common thing I come across other than the most irritating phrase of “computers? I wouldn’t know how to switch one on”… is the initial fear of paying for things online and entering bank details etc.

There is a lot of work to be done… and urgently. In the UK, it’s pretty much a national need to be on the internet at one level or another!! the nation is embracing this as a national goal and things are starting to happen – albeit slowly.

Published in: on 2 December, 2010 at 16:19  Comments (2)  
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The weekend that was

This post is a little late as I’ve been thrown a couple of curve balls over the last few days. But finally after pretty much two weeks of nothing, the phone rings and I was off to work last Saturday morning.
It’s kinda vital to know where we’re going the day before so with can be prepared for as many eventualities as possible. So it wasn’t a big shock that by the time I arrived at work at 7am that they were re-planning my whole day completely.
This as it turned out was supposedly going to make my day easier – a trip to Oakthorpe in Nth London.
Now anyone living in or around London can tell/warn you about the work being carried out on the Nth Circular road. But I was told that as long as I get there before a certain time, I should have no problem.
An hour after the legal requirement of 4hrs 30min to stop for a break and I’m still driving and stuck nowhere else but the Nth Circular.
Several tweets with top London transport twitter buddy @Ritchhh and there was no choice but to continue on my way.
Ironically, Arriving at Oakthorpe the place was in a state of total bedlam…

With the phone ringing asking me to go to another drop afterwards, the day soon clocked up 15hrs with the added fun of being told I had it all to do again on Sunday.

With as little as 3.5hrs sleep I turned up on a -6.5 C frozen Sunday morning to find they were again re-planning my day.
Instead of Oakthorpe, Westbury and they’d phone the rest in as it happened..
With freezing temperatures and thankfully no snow storms to drive through like on Saturday.
Pounding up the A303 and taking the turnoff for Mere, I headed over lightly snow covered hills, getting caught behind tractors and sliding my way to Frome, before going through the back road villages to Westbury.
Now it was in one of these villages something quite strange happened..
The road I was on was very long and straight, up ahead I could see a guy on the other side with two large dogs. As I approached I could see that while heavily wrapped up again the weather, he was fighting with tangled dog leads.
So seeing this and being very aware that there are no second chances with 44 tons, I slowed right down.
In fact I was doing under 20 mph, when as I approached him one of his dogs ran out. It was still on a lead and he pulled it back – then turned his attention to me…
The myriad of expletives that left this guy was really truly amazing!! They of course started with “Fkin slow down”… duh!! lol
I was almost crawling past him and then he really let rip – so I touched the brakes and stopped.
He then realised that this might not be a good thing and scurried to cross the road behind the truck.
Once on the pavement I could see him walking away swearing and as the road behind me was clear – I selected reverse….
Funny, the closer I got – the faster he walked….
I thought that I should stop before this guy breaks into a full on sprint.

Westbury was frozen up… It also looked like the Somme battlefield as they’re expanding butter production with Arla Dairies… Arla being the Danish Dairy company that brings you such delights as Lurpak etc.

It took a while to get pumps working and frozen milk moving in the tank, but eventually after 2hrs we got the milk off.
I had been called and asked to pick up a trailer on my way back, but as I was leaving – the phone rang again and I was directed north to pick up someone else’s tank north of Bristol and take it into Severnside….
20 mins later, the phone rings again and directs me to turn around and head to Stamplemead Dairy in Frome… where I was to spend another 4 hrs, while looking at the quite a large amount of brand new kit that had been imploded – but then the new owners are Fr**ch.

Finally, with me chasing the last minutes of daylight, I headed off to pick up the previously mention trailer and head for home.
It is now Thursday and the phone hasn’t made a noise since…. :(

Published in: on 2 December, 2010 at 14:46  Comments (2)  
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