Category Archives: General Interest

EU – IN or OUT?

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One EU comment I see Brexit people make is that trade won’t suffer, because Norway isn’t in the EU and it has great trade deals, so that’s brilliant.

Another comment I see is that leaving will give us control of our borders and get rid of immigrants, and we’d have more jobs etc.

Back to the Norway thing… Yes, they have a sweet deal going where they can trade and not be members.

Part of that deal is that Norway allow free movement of immigration, the same as the rest of the EU.

Oh… So… Free trade, but with immigration?!?

You mean both things go together, and not just one banner waving example to bias my decision based on a blinkered segment of information?!?

It’s about time some people left racism and knee jerk comments and banner waving at home, and looked at the bigger picture instead of focusing on one key thing that they *think* will change.

I see and hear too many people ranting, swearing, abusing, pros and cons based on heresay, poor or no research or simply because ‘BRITAIN!!!‘.

Others voting to exit because of WW2. Seriously, people don’t want to be close to Germany because of what Hitler did a lifetime ago.

Some want in/out because of what has happened (for example) to our diminished numbers of military personnel (or NHS or whatever…). You must be crazy to not realise that these things would’ve happened regardless.

Blaming the EU for things just because you need a scape goat. Ridiculous. It’s the same for people giving false credit to the EU for other things. Differentiate, people.

Others are looking to vote simply to spite or support what the political parties say, rather than what’s actually best. People not voting one way because ‘fucking Cameron‘ is voting that way, or ‘commie Corbyn‘ wants this way…

Who cares which way a political leader votes? I care about the outcome more than I care about some knuckle dragging thick-headed moron thinking I must be a supporter of Mr X because I voted one way or the other.

Looking and hearing some of the racist, hate filled and bigoted comments of people about this topic makes me think ‘does Europe even want us, if that’s the image we portray?!?

Some say who cares what Europe thinks of us? Fuck ’em! We’d be independent! BRITAIN!!!

Yeah, great attitude. We’d be right on the top of Europe’s ‘let’s trade with them‘ list, wouldn’t we?

‘Fuck off EU!!!….By the way… Do you want to buy some British cars, you bunch of immigrant loving foreigners?!?….  What do you mean ‘no’…?’

You know how we picture Trump and America…? We laugh at the idiot sheep that blindly follow him and his hype. Oh, how stupid Americans are! Look how they all rally around like idiots, Suckling on the teat of what that idiot spouts! Ha ha!

Yeah… Take a look at yourselves.

I despair at the increasingly misinformed, bigoted, rage fuelled reasons that people give for voting in or out.

Do yourselves a favour and actually do some proper research.

If we’re in or out, let’s be in or out because of intelligent fact based and fact checked knowledge, and not because a bunch of ignorant pricks voted due to whatever misinformed bandwagon they are hitched on to, or because a tabloid newspaper wrote some poorly thought out banner headline.

And that’s it.

Vote In or Out, but at least do yourself a favour and do some bloody research (that isn’t a tabloid, your mates or a politically biased website).

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PLAYBOY: ‘No more nudes’

Yes, that’s right… Hefner has said there’ll be no more nudes in Playboy.

His reasoning is that the Internet has given access to all sorts of porn, 24/7, so it’s kind of redundant in his magazine anymore. Now it’ll be clothed models and in depth articles. I guess this does bring it off of the top shelf and allows the plain cover to be removed, giving it a wider audience.

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99% Success is rubbish

‘99% success rate!’

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

You’d probably buy something that has that promise. It sounds really good!

Put into real life though, it’s pretty crap.

A car has around 30,000 parts.

If each part was only 99% good, then you are looking at 900 parts failing out of those 30,000 parts.

Put it another way…

A large airliner, such as an A380 Airbus has around 3 million parts.

That 99% good is terrible as it allows 30,000 parts to fail.

That’s every part of a car failing. Not just a switch, but the spring, washer, fulcrum, each electrical connector, the plastic button itself, the bulb, every part of that switch would fail.

Literally everything on the car failing. Each wheel nut, every tyre, every single component on the stereo, even the cup holder and each section of upholstery… A bit like a British car from the 1970’s.

Would you feel okay flying in an aircraft that boasts it’s parts are 99% fail free? ‘Only 30,000 parts likely to fail!!!’

Even 99.9% fail free still allows for 3,000 parts going wrong in that aircraft. Still not great.

500,000 open heart surgeries are carried out a year. That’s not all heart operations – that’s just full cut open and hands in wet work. 99% success would accept 5000 of those to die.

International air transport saw 3 billion people flying around this year. Just standard passenger flights – not including any other flights.

3,000,000,000 people a year. If 99% of those people survived their flights, that would accept 30 million deaths per year… 99.9% survival would accept just 3 million deaths a year, so that’s okay…?

2014 has been a terrible year in civil aviation. Due to several airliner losses (including shoot downs/missing), 761 lives were lost. Usually this number is much lower. In 2013 it was just 265 lives lost out of around 3,000,000,000 that flew commercially.

That’s more than 99.99999% surviving their flights – and we’re still driving that number
down because even one loss is not acceptable.

That’s why automotive, aviation and medicine etc. work to much, much higher quality standards than a terrible low target of just 99%.


Free the Power

On this day in history in 1941 a Nazi scientific research team of the Atomic Weaponry Unit (Erfundene Geschichte Einheit), lead by two scientists (Doctor Ernst Falschenamen and Doctor Torsten Alleslügen) protected by two squads of Gestapo SS (Geschlechtsorgane) made a dramatic discovery in Southern region of the Belgium Congo.

After many years, the truth is finally coming out about the potential leap in technology that the Nazi’s almost had, that the British lost to American espionage, and how the Russians managed to save a man just too late to make a difference.

Congo_kingdoms.633x589

Belgium Congo

During research into cold reticulated fusion (Bestehend aus Müll) they discovered a form of atomic chain reaction that formed stable perpetual energy creation (Schlucken Sie diese). What made this new energy even more remarkable was that it could be created using very basic equipment and left no damaging waste. It could power a new generation of giant long range bombers capable of hitting New York from bases in Berlin. If weaponised it could form the basis of a bomb calculated to be 28.5 times more powerful than that of the one dropped on Hiroshima.

Scientists

One of the only known photo’s of Doctor Ernst Falschenamen and Doctor Torsten Alleslügen together. Falschenamen on the right.

The discovery was hushed up to keep the Allied forces unaware of Germany’s potential new advances. All of the data was packaged securely and sent by submarine (U-617 Night Warrior – Nicht Wahr) via the sea port at Providenija. Travelling with the package were the two lead scientific officers.

Unfortunately for Hitler the submarine was intercepted by a British RAF crew retrieval launch looking for downed aviators. Before the RAF launch crew could act, the Gestapo SS teams started gunning down the submarine crew as a matter of security, then the submarine was set to sink with all on board. Before it sunk the RAF launch crew boarded the submarine and after a short but fierce gun fight the packages and two lead scientists were transferred to the RAF launch and shipped back to England.

RAF Rescue launch

RAF Rescue launch of the type that captured the two lead scientists.

Once back in Britain the package and the lead scientists were picked up by a transport from a UK based American forces garrison to be taken to London and for attention of the War Ministry & the PM, Winston Churchill.

Churchill was fascinated by what rumours he had heard of the new technology and wanted to see if he could use it to supply clean cheap energy initially to England, and then the rest of the Allies, with plans to then supply the rest of the world once the war had ended. His view was that the world infrastructure would take a lot of time and money to recover from WW2, but with cheap free energy the focus could be on putting the effort and finance into helping people recover from the war and then develop for a better peaceful future.

The package and the two lead scientists never made it to London. A German air raid took place during the transportation to London. One of the scientists was discovered torn in two in a bomb crater near Bethnal Green.

bomb crater

Bomb crater from Luftwaffe night raid.

No more was heard of the package and the lead scientists until 1987 when a German arrived in Russia from America. He had been smuggled out by Russian agents (Бык дерьмо) operating in America.

The German said that he had been part of an expedition to the Belgium Congo in 1941 and had lead a team of scientists who had researched a new form of energy. British and German scientific historians were contacted to ask to corroborate information given by this American/German escapee.

German medical records proved his credentials, and scientific data only he could know proved he was one of the lead scientists.

He explained that during transportation to London, the Americans had changed course to a naval base on the West coast. They were going to smuggle the scientists and the data for American use, as President Eisenhower wanted to use it for a super weapon.

American destroyer of the type believed to have transported the Doctor to America.

They knew the British would be suspicious so they sent a vehicle to London with one of the lead scientists, who they threw in a bomb crater under the cover of a Nazi air raid. They threw in a hand grenade to kill him & make it look like he had been caught in a bomb blast.

The package and remaining lead scientist were taken to Nevada (America) to restart the research process. Unfortunately the scientist they killed had the knowledge about the precise formulation of the experiment as even when the discovery was made they knew it could not be trusted to any one source.

For security reasons only part of the data was recorded on paper, with one formula left out, half of which was memorised by three scientists and a lead scientific officer, and the other half by three more scientists and a lead scientific officer. Only the two lead scientists survived the submarine trip (all the others having been shot & sunk with the submarine), and then the Americans foolishly killed one lead scientist to cover their own espionage.

UBOAT

Captured U-Boat.

From 1942 until his escape in 1987 the German Lead Scientist had helped America develop more and more powerful weapons, but he wanted to use his research to help people. In the early 1980’s he had made progress and had demonstrated the initial designs for a clean and cheap energy source based on the 1941 research. With a little development and funding he could change the face of the world, but people in high office did not want this.

American security analysts saw this free and clean energy as a potential threat. Oil companies and motor companies saw it as disastrous for their profits. They had the project cancelled. For all we know they still have all the data locked away.

The lead scientist was approached by a woman in the mid 1980’s who said she could help him. She was the Russian agent who managed to help him escape to Russia.

DR

Doctor Torsten Alleslügen in 1987, 3 days before he died.

 

Sadly not long after his story had been verified he was taken ill. It turned out he had well established stomach cancer and was already beyond help. He died in 1987 taking with him the final key to a Nazi secret power source that could have potentially replaced the climate destroying energy sources in use today.

Was all the data really lost? It is highly likely from what Doctor Alleslügen reported after his escape to Russia, that the American Government didn’t actually destroy data and designs produced in the early 1980’s, and that they are keeping it from becoming public, still stating it as a security threat and a potential financial minefield for their big oil and automotive companies.


IHOOT – I had one of those

UPDATED:

I figured I’d see if I could list all the motor vehicles I have owned – with pictures – for Alex. The pictures are stock web pictures (apart from the Supra and the MZwhich are mine). I didn’t take pictures of all of the vehicles I owned, and do have some regrets.

I wouldn’t have written this blog, but after a few moments thought I realised I have owned a fair few vehicles – so well worth a blog entry!

Honda H100

I started out with a Honda H100 motorbike. I had this for a while before getting my drivers license. It was a nippy 2 stroke 100cc bike whose engine blew up twice. I holed the piston by using the wrong petrol…. in other words I used the fuel recommended by the idiots at Motorcycle city specifically for that bike when I bought it (new).

Austin Mini 1000 (in baby poo brown)

I have vague recollections of what order I bought these vehicles in. Once I had passed my driving test I ran cars and bikes at the same time.

As with a lot of people at the time I started out on the driving route with a Mini.. an Austin Mini in baby poop brown… It was slow and sluggish… and I never got a chance to drive it as I owned it to learn in, but had to sell it before I got my licence. I found out why it was slow though… it had rusted out under the front floor pans, so the previous owner put in some bin bags and filled in cement over the top!

1275GT Mini - Great fun!

1275GT Mini – Great fun!

I liked the idea of the Mini, so after I passed my test I bought a souped up 1275GT from my nephew. Just because they are family doesn’t mean you should trust them…. This Mini 1275GT had a fibre-glass bulkhead where the old one had rotted out and a gearbox that had been put together by a chimp. It held together for a while – in fact my first trip out once I got my licence was into London at night in the rain. It had an odd trick of filling the rear bumper with un-burnt fuel…. now and then it would back fire on a down change and the rear end would light up like an old fashioned camera flash!

It died one day when they poorly rebuilt gear mechanism decided to punch out of the gearbox case and empty its oil everywhere… So ended my Mini adventure…

With no lessons learnt about the Austin/Leyland range of cars I went and got an Austin Metro… I bought it from Yorkshire under the instruction of my then brother-in-law. He was an Army mechanic, so what could go wrong?

I left Yorkshire and didn’t even get to a motorway. The engine died. Brother-in-law came out and towed me back to his place where we proceeded to pull the engine out at the side of the road. New piston rings, re-ground valves… and good to go! All on the roadside….

Austin Mini Metro - Not a boat

Austin Mini Metro – Not a boat

The fun didn’t stop there. The petrol tank developed a leak because the metal was so old and porous. I decided it needed welding, but not being an idiot I figured it needed to vent for a while before any work was done to it. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the car and put a metal fuel can in the boot. I then fed a fuel pipe to the engine from the can in the boot. This enable me to open up the cars fuel tank to vent until I got around to repair it.

One day during some floods in the South East I had to stop as the flood water was blocking my lane. The oncoming traffic flashed me to go around… and then decided to drive at me anyway! I had to move back into the flooded lane, where the car started to bob around…. I floated into a ditch and slowly sunk. The water came 12″ up inside the car and the funny thing was that the fuel gauge started to fill up as the tank filled with flood water as I sank! Luckily there were some Gurkha’s out in an Army Land Rover. Great guys towed me to safety. I cleaned the points and the engine started up with no problem! The car was pretty wrecked in general, so it went off for scrap in the end.

Bullet proof Honda CB100

Bullet proof Honda CB100

During the Metro days I also had a Honda CB100 that I had bought from a neighbour. Typical bullet proof Honda! One day I had it steaming at 80mph and the engine seized on me. The wheel locked up, so I grabbed the clutch and coasted to a halt. I left it to cool for a few minutes and it started up again. Brilliant!

Astra/Bedford Van

Astra/Bedford van

With the Metro gone I needed new wheels – or at least wheels that worked. I bought a Vauxhaul Astra Mk2 van in white. It was a shed, but it was a laugh! I used it a fair bit shifting equipment for a band I used to help out. Funny story with this shed was when I was working the Night Shift at Dan Air. At around 5am I was on my way home and I was stopped by the Police. I was a young kid at the time, so they were a bit suspicious at the time I was out on the road. They looked over the van and told me I needed new tyres. A few hours later I picked up a nice set of alloys from a breakers yard. I had no time to fit them, so into the back of the van they went until the next day when I could fit them.

Mk3 Escort - Smoking Steering wheel

Mk3 Escort – Smoking Steering wheel

After the next shift I was driving home and second day on the trot the Police pulled me over. They looked over the van and asked me to open the back…. where a lovely set of alloys were sitting – too nice for this old van! I had to explain that I was pulled the night before and bought these to fix the problem…and I was so sorry that I was driving on the old tyres as I really should have changed them before driving again. They let me off as they saw I was trying to do the right thing!

I went from the van to a Mk3 Ford Escort that I part exchanged with one of the guys I was an apprentice with. It was a pretty good car in all – until it decided to blow oil out the top of the engine and smoke poured up and around the steering wheel! I had to drive home Ace Ventura style, hanging out of the window!

Suzuki GSX250E - Glasgow Rattler

Suzuki GSX250E – Glasgow tedium

I was pottering around on a Suzuki GSX250E at this time. A great solid bike that I bought from a guy at my work. Yes, not something you’d want to do normally, but in this case it was a great buy. He used to buy up and rebuild these Suzi’s, so I figured I was in safe hands. I only sold it when I changed to a bigger

bike – but until that day it didn’t skip a beat. I rode all the way to Glasgow and back at 75mph (once more helping a band out). Not a great looking bike, but faultless.

Polo... No hole. Poor pun.

Polo… No hole. Poor pun.

The Escort went on its merry way and was replaced by an old VW Polo Formel e. The worst that could be said about this was it was brown and smoked like a steam train. Pretty economical and practical, but not much of a story. Funniest thing was the rear wash/wipe squirter jet. I rigged it to squirt the passenger. No idea why, but it was quite funny….

Honda CB500T (Rude Dog)

Honda CB500T (Rude Dog)

My bike needs lead me to a Honda 500T. This was nicknamed Rude Dog because of the way the licence plate looked (RHO 660P or something). I had loads of fun with this! Some of the girls I knew loved me taking them out on it as it went like stink, and being a twin cylinder had a great thumping engine (I guess they liked the sound……). I lost the Dog when I had to trade it to get a car fixed. The guy stitched me up, so before any paperwork was done I stole her back (it was still in my name, and no work had been done on my car – it was an all out rip off deal). I then sold her on to a guy who wanted to do a restoration. When I sold it on I had to sell it with no fuel tank, as some butt munch had stolen it!

The car/s Rude Dogs sale money went on for repairs were both Ford Mk3 Cortina Estates. I bought one and thought it was great fun, then a second one turned up a little later so I bought it for spares. In the end I used the first one for spares for the second one. I recall one story that a girlfriend at the time needed to get home, but it was raining. I didn’t really want to drive as

Ford Cortina Mk3... I owned two!

Ford Cortina Mk3… I owned two!

the Cortina was out of tax. I had a real bad feeling that night, but I couldn’t let her walk in that weather (it was bad). I was getting tax for it the next day, so figured I might get away with it… but to belt and braces the situation I grabbed Rude Dogs tax (which expired the next day). As I drove my girlfriend home I saw a guy jump into the road….. a Policeman with a speed gun. I was a little over the limit, so they decided to do a full check on the car.

Now bear in mind I had just got the car – the paperwork hadn’t fully gone through. I was stood at the side of the road with the Police sorting it all out. As you should do, I kept the talking simple and polite. The check went well and I was sent on my way…. but as I went to pull away the officer tapped my window and pointed at the tax disc….. and pointed out that it would expire the next day – so “keep an eye on that“…. JEEEZ!!! I was lucky there – and yes… the next day all the taxes were sorted out!

This was the first car I had that someone tried to steel. They smashed the lock and broke the ignition barrel… which was crazy, as I had forgotten to lock it and the keys were on the passenger seat! Even after the thieves had smashed into it, they couldn’t get it to start! Muppets!

CX500 - the underdog that barked

CX500 – the underdog that barked

The first bike I chopped was a Honda CX500. It was an MoT failure I picked up cheap. The rear suspension was shot to heck, so I hard tailed it, raked out the front end and made a new seat and panels for it from scratch. I am upset that I never took a photo of it – it was a really nice bike – Midnight blue and had great lines. I enjoyed riding it around, but had to get rid of it in the end due to house moves and money. If you ever get one, keep an eye on the oil/water seal, and ALWAYS get it fitted at a garage, because when it goes wrong being fitted (and it will go wrong), at least they will have to replace it for free – and it is an expensive seal! The photo isn’t mine – but it gives an idea of what mine looked like… although mine was lower at the back.

Yes... thats me on my chopped MZ250 ETZ

Yes… that’s me on my chopped MZ250 ETZ

Next along was the MZ250 ETZ. It cost me £50 and was a heap of crap! I ripped it apart, lowered it, chopped it and painted to look like an old Russian Army bike… I’ll give it its due, it went like stink – but it was less than comfy as I had hardtailed it! MZ’s were laughing stocks, so I never intended for it to be taken seriously – but so many people thought it was some old classic Soviet machine it got beyond a joke!

The MZ was joined by a cheaper form of transport – an old Honda C90. It didn’t last long, but did what it had to do for a while… until it simply died! I ride that around two up with a buddy of mine. We’d go to gigs and all sorts – it was a laugh, but a bit on the scary side as anyone who has ridden one will know! The C90 was the second bike that some thief had a go at. They couldn’t break the steering lock though, so I fond the bike 50 yards away in a bush. Gits.

The Honda 90 died and I robbed it to keep the MZ on the road…. yes… not a great idea, but I was into make do and mend! The MZ exhaust was shot away, so I swapped over the one from the C90. It didn’t work… It was a 4 stroke 90cc pipe going on a 250cc 2-stroke….. and it choked it so badly it would only do 22mph….. I cut the end off of the pipe to reduce the choking effect… and then I started to remove the baffles… and eventually the MZ was going pretty quickly.

The C90 - Who hasnt?

The C90 – Who hasn’t?

The day I did the exhaust mod I had to go into Guildford (via country lanes) as a friend of mine was in a bad way. I rode off into the night and after 30 minutes the Police came up behind me and pulled me over. They said they had been looking for me for a while, but the bike was so noisy and the sounds were reverberating around the woodlands they had trouble finding me. It didn’t sound too loud from the saddle,

Volvo... thats all....

Volvo… that’s all….

but sure enough, as I stood behind it the din was incredible! I had pretty much put a megaphone on an already load bike! I had to turn around and go home to fix it – the Police just didn’t want me riding it further than I had to! Very understanding!

During this time I had a Volvo 360… yes, a biker with a Volvo! it was…. erm… rugged… did what it had to do… and was actually quite fun. Small, but with a 2l engine and rear wheel drive…. but it didn’t last long as the gear lever and box fell off…. pah! You get what you pay for with cheap cars!!!

The Undying Passat!

The Undying Passat!

The Volvo was replaced by the crappiest looking car I had ever owned! The interior was a mess, the sunroof was a welded on metal panel… the panels didn’t match up… I bought it cheap from a great guy I was working with. He had used it to tow caravans over Europe. He had blown it up and fixed it in a way it wouldn’t break again! I had it with 186,000 miles on the clock and the engine was still tight as anything  – VW’s are one of the strongest cars I know. So well engineered.

This was the VW Passat Estate from Mad Max! It didn’t have a top speed as it just kept slowly getting faster and faster! It didn’t drink much fuel, it had loads of space, it was comfy… the only thing that killed it was the rear suspension collapsed. The car wasn’t worth repairing, so it was scraped.

Bad, bad car..... Very Bad....

Bad, bad car….. Very Bad….

This great car was replaced by the tidiest looking car I had owned up to that date… and by far the crappiest car I have ever owned – a Renault 5. I bought it as it looked tidy and would probably be a better thing to turn up at a girlfriends parents house in… as it was I lived next door to her and her parents, so they’d seen the Passat anyway (ha ha!). The Renault 5 was the worse handling, poor performing piece of junk ever! It felt unsafe, it just didn’t grow on me. My Brother in law bought it from me at a really low price under the knowledge that

Another great Honda - The XRV750 Africa Twin

Another great Honda – The XRV750 Africa Twin

I hated it and thought it had dire problems (I was very honest and fair). The brother in law didn’t really get a chance to experience these problems as some half wit thief stole it from him.

Somewhere in this mix I bought a Honda Africa Twin. I wanted a bike that would suit me as a 6’4″ male – and the Africa Twin was spot on. It deserves its own blog as I still own it – and I have had some great adventures on it – from deer hunting to drag racing a street racer on a Honda Fireblade at a Hells Angel event…. and winning!

Long and Low... the CB750 hardtail chop

Long and Low… the CB750 hardtail chop

At some point I had several bikes – and in that mix I had a genuine low rider chop based on a Honda CB750. A real bone shaker and tricky to ride. I just wanted to have owned one. It was a bit of fun, but not something I’d want to do a long trip on.

I’m now left with just the Africa Twin when it comes to bikes. I’m getting to the stage where I think the roads are no longer safe enough to go out on a motorbike on.

Range Rover - With Disco TDi lump

Range Rover – With Disco TDi lump

After the rubbish that was the Renault 5 I bought a Range Rover Mk3 with a Discovery Diesel TDi engine in it. What a great car! One of the best I have owned! Comfly, solid and pretty cheap to run actually… back then. I had to do a clutch change on the side of the road outside my house once. A friend helped me…. it was one of those jobs you really don’t want to do, but was a great experience all the same. We didn’t have the correct tools, so it was all done with blood and sweat! Had a scary moment in this car once as a BMW flashed me and pointed at the back wheel…. I had a puncture and didn’t even know!

A great car - Single turbo 3l Supra

A great car – Single turbo 3l Supra

I pulled over to fix it, but I had over sized wheels…. and the jack didn’t go high enough to lift the car! I had to use what ever I could find at the side of the road to build the jack height up! I loved that truck, but really got the hankering for a sports car… I was going to be starting a family, so I figured I wouldn’t get then chance to own a sports car again for a long time…. so along came the wonderful ‘89 Toyota 3l Turbo (single) Supra. A car I genuinely miss…. but a family was starting, so we had to get something else.

The Supra was a real bargain at a shade over £1000. Owned by an elderly lady who thought it looked nice. The whole car was immaculate and went like stink…. On a track it reached over 150mph with more to spare. I have  theory that sports cars are safer for every day use because they have better brakes, better handling and have power to get you out of trouble – I have never felt safer than when I was wrapped in that Supra. The Supra suffered a warped head (a standard problem – and one that had been missed on this one). I was on one final drive before putting it up for sale… I may have put my foot down a little… and I noticed the temperature guage start to

Zzzzzzzzz Toyota Carina zzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzz Toyota Carina zzzzzz

climb quickly. I pulled over immediatly and got dropped home on a breakdown truck. I sold the car as was – and got what I paid when a chap who races them bought it off of me. He was going to pull the head anyway, so wasn’t worried about that. Good news all round.

The Supra went, and in came the Toyota Carina…. It was a car. That is the best that can be said of it…. It was a car. It went… it stopped… Meh! It was so dull that you could park it in an empty car park and STILL forget where you parked it… and…and…. and yet it was still a million times better than the Renault 5. It went in favour of the more practical Bernie…

A Citroen Berlingo yesterday. Maybe.

A Citroen Berlingo yesterday. Maybe.

“Bernie” as Chris calls the Citroen Berlingo is the longest serving of any of my cars. I don’t really like French cars, but Bernie has gone some way to changing my mind. Even Jeremy Clarkson rates it as a great car… and it is on the cool wall on Top Gear! Bernie can handle anything! I’ve moved beds in it! I’ve moved 3m decking planks in it… and unloaded it whilst still sat in the drivers seat! Alex loves it, Chris loves it… I… I think it is a Swiss army knife of a car – very practical and reliable (Oh I’ll regret saying that now….)

Ford Mundane-o...erm... Mondeo

Ford Mundane-o…erm… Mondeo

Finally we move on to a couple of oddities… not really mine, but mine anyway… Company cars. I had a Ford Mondeo estate to start with (which fitted into the same category as the Toyota Carina….).

The Mondeo just wasn’t up to the task I was hired for, so after thorough research the Fiat Multipla Eleganza was purchased.

It was the face life model (thank the Lord!) and it was fantastic! It seated 6 easily and still had a massive boot space, yet was smaller externally than a Ford Galaxy.

Fiat Multipla... Brilliant. Gone.

Fiat Multipla… Brilliant. Gone.

In fact it was a bit like a Vauxhall Zafira on the outside and Mini-bus on the inside… the type of car Doctor Who would drive….. The handling was crisp and car like too – and it had a fair amount of get up and go. I really recommend one if you want an MPV… and once more, it is liked by Clarkson.

We are now left with Bernie, as the company cars went back when I changed jobs… and we need a second car. In a few years I’d like something a bit different – but in the meantime I need frugal and reliable… and that can only mean a VW. I’m thinking an old VW Golf Diesel… good economy and cheap to pick up.

All of these vehicles have lots of tales to tell – and maybe I’ll write them down now that I have opened up my memory by listing them…

More to follow… The 1 week Alhambra, the awesome that still is the Series 3 Land Rover and the…. Citroen Xsara Pigasshole.


First Aid ~ Everyone should know it.

One of the things that I have found very useful in life is my First Aid training.

Both for helping others & knowing what’s happening to me, it has proved invaluable.

One of the strange ways it helped me was a few years ago when I suffered a traumatic injury. Whilst in hospital I started shaking, convulsing & collapsed. This would’ve scared the crap out of me, but I knew that I was going into shock, and I knew this was my body’s way of shutting down to protect me by concentrating on my vital systems.

It helped me understand what was going on, and why certain things had to be done. I was actually very calm in a situation where I would’ve otherwise panicked & possibly made things worse.

It has also helped when my son has been ill or injured. I’ve either known what to do, or understood why his body was doing what it was doing. Either way it helped me stay calm by giving me an understanding of the situation. It’s not knowing things that scares most people.

I highly recommend going on a course. If you’re lucky you could get your company to send you on one & maybe get a little extra cash for being a work First Aider. It’s win/win.

Courses are supplied by the UK’s leading first aid providers, although other courses are available (I use St John Ambulance). When I had my first course there was a practical exam at the end, but now the trainees are observed during the training course and there’s no pressure of a final exam.

Click the logos below for more information:

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Bring Timmy Home

This from: Bring Timmy Home

Timmy Maccoll a serving British Sailor and devoted family man, was out in Dubai on Sat 26th May 2012. He was put into a taxi by friends at 0200 sun morning and they paid the taxi up front and asked the driver to take him back to the ship. This was the last that anyone has seen of him.

Due to the Jubilee and other ‘far’ more important news stories at the min, this is not getting the media coverage that we require to reunite this devoted father and husband back to his wife and children. This is why we have set up this group.

It is said that we are only ever 8 people away from knowing anyone around the world. Lets put this into practice and find somebody somewhere who has seen or knows where he might be. To achieve this we need every one to add all their FB friends and eventually we must find something.

Thank you all also for your kind words and messages of support. We will pass all these onto Timmy’s family.

Thank you for your support

I didn’t ask permission to post this, but I’m sure they won’t mind.

PLEASE SHARE EITHER THIS LINKED PAGE, OR BETTER STILL, SHARE THE PAGE THEY SET UP:
Bring Timmy Home

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Last Seen @ 0200 hours On Sunday 27th May 2012
leaving Rock Bottom Cafe, Regent Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai


The Fry Effect

Thanks to Kate Smurthwaite and Stephen Fry, my new blog (God and Son) has had a very good first couple of weeks.

Today was spectacular, thanks to ‘The Fry Effect‘… A  single retweet by Stephen Fry and God & Son went ballistic… Within a couple of minutes over 2,500 people had visited the blog…. This quieted down to about 1 hit a second for the next 3 hours….

I don’t expect to keep up such incredible numbers, but the initial publicity is fantastic!

This is the link he re-tweeted: http://wp.me/p2mtvw-2N (Pop Goes Your Head)

And this is the effect after 3 hours….

During typing this blog entry, another 1000 hits have taken place….

Crazy….

I figure (and this works quite well on ‘celebs’…)

  • 25% of a Twitterers followers are active (the rest just add them as a friend and don’t really interact).
  • 1% of them would click a link the Tweeter posts.
  • 1% of them will be repeat site visitors.
  • This worked out pretty accurate when Wossy re-tweeted my Twitter Guide.

So.. for Mr Fry:

Over 4,200,000 followers… my theory says 1,050,000 active…. so 10,500 people will click the link and 105 will be repeat visitors.
So far, 14,000 people have hit my site today, so I’m a little out, but that is down to how many ‘ripple effect‘ re-tweets.

The ‘ripple effect‘ re-tweets work out just the same as the initial re-tweeting. Someone re-tweets the initial re-tweet…. Fry re-tweets me, someone re-tweets Fry…. someone re-tweets the person who re-tweeted Fry… etc

The percentage breakdown of those ripple tweeters followers now add to the hits my site gets… which explains the additional 4,000 hits above the theorised 10,000 initial hits from Stephen Fry.

At 10,000 hits I did notice a drop in hits per minute…. from 75 per minute to 50 per minute… which would suggest the initial Fry effect was now being passed over to the effect that HIS re-tweeters were giving me.

It all works out somehow….

Anyway, as a rule of thumb, it’s not too bad…


Air SupMRI – The search for brainzzz

Since August last year I have had a bit of a problem with headaches.

Scroll down the page if you just want the MRI Simulator video I made…… otherwise, read on….

For 12 weeks I had a constant headache around the back of my head. It didn’t really stop me doing anything, but it was bloody annoying. A series of medication knocked this headache out, so that was all well and good.

Trouble is, on top of this headache, ever couple of weeks I would get a short lived slamming headache hit me in the back of my head to the right…. and it felt like a 12″ nail being hammered in. The pain felt like it is in one very specific area, like a knife point.

These wonderful ‘extras‘ have been enough for me to get on my knees or lay down and physically scream out in pain as they’ve gone on. I’ve broken bones and had various injuries, but I had never experienced pain like it. Over the 20 to 40 minutes it lasted, it started off as unbearable, and then ramped up.

Tests were done to make sure my brain was okay, and all functions were firing… and they were. Increasingly strong migraine medication was given to me, but none of it made the slightest difference.

As one came on over Christmas I took a painkiller/muscle relaxant left over from when I put my back out. These pills knocked me out cold when I had the bad back, so I reasoned that it would be better to be unconscious whilst this bastard headache ran its course if I couldn’t actually get rid of it. Yes…. probably not the greatest thing to do, but it was back medication that was prescribed to me, and I took a normal dose.

The headache stopped.

I saw a specialist and he said it is most likely tension related. That is to say a muscle under tension might be trapping a nerve and causing the pain. This is why the back medication worked. It is not work stress or mental tension… it is a physical tension within muscles etc.

So… I can now easily control the headache with meds and stop it before it even gets started…. but we still need find what’s causing it….

I was sent for an MRI scan to see if there was anything brain with my wrong.

People will tell you that the machine “will make a little noise“… Ha…. yeah, and then some…

The MRI operators will often play music through headphones to you, to help mask the noise…. ah ha ha…. no… really.

To help you understand what it is actually like, you might like to try my simulator…

The sound is an MRI scan, with an Air Supply song being played to help take your mind away from the noise of the machine….

This video and music track will help you simulate an MRI scan in your own home!

Yes, all you need is a good bass speaker and a bucket (white would be best).

Now just follow the on-screen instructions…..
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If you have an MRI scan, you might be lucky and they won’t play music…..

Due to the nature of an MRI scan, you can’t have normal headphones. To get the music to you, they use a modern version of the speaking tubes used in days of old.

The music is played from a speaker away from the MRI machine and into a rubber tube. The tube splits off to your left and right ears.

Music is literally piped to you.

Unfortunately the MRI scan is so noisy, and the effectiveness of the sound tubes is so poor, the end result is, well…. crap.


Thank … God?

Okay… there are a lot of links in this blog entry. They go some way to showing what is involved, and who is involved, in parts of the following tale…. It is quite a short write up, considering how deep I could take it… so please bear with me…

The Scene…

A lorry has a tyre blow out on a major busy road in a hilly area of the country.

The trailer slides across the Tarmac & hits a car.

The car is smashed off of the road and it ends up upside down at the roadside.

A little girl inside is seriously injured.

In seconds, the traffic has stopped & other road users are phoning in the accident. They use mobile phones that have been developed over time by countless thousands of engineers who can trace telephone technology back to people like Bell and Marconi – or in this case, Dr Martin Cooper of Motorola with the first mobile phone.

These engineers went to school, college & university to study. They were taught by countless more lecturers & teachers who spent their lives learning their vocational skills and also attending schools, colleges, universities etc to enable them to go on and educate others. The same is said of the people who trained these instructors and… well, it goes on and on. Thousands of people lead to the witnesses of the crash being able to phone emergency services.

Of course, the emergency services couldn’t be contacted if there was no telephone infrastructure in place, and also if there was no way to generate electricity to power the systems that allow for the phones to charge and for the entire grid of communications to operate.

Again we have engineers, scientists and the initial inventors to thank for harnessing the power of electricity, into making it possible to give all the houses & businesses the ability to power their equipment… and go in all of the cars, lorries, boats, aircraft and so on… that all need batteries to start/run their engines, motors & electrical systems. And again there are the instructors, lecturers etc that teach these skills to enable this resource to develop and operate safer & more reliably day after day…. and the people who taught the people to teach…

Thinking about it, those teachers need somewhere to teach… so we must remember architects, builders, plumbers (ooh, the Romans for their work on plumbing), electricians, carpenters, roofers etc… and all the people who taught them… and those that taught those that taught them… etc.

Oh Hell, mustn’t forget the workers (and those that died progressing their areas of employment, working to provide for our prior generations, and those to come) in foundries, mills, mines, quarries who supplied the materials to build the schools… And don’t forget the people who taught them…. and here we go again….

So far we have a witness calling for help over a mobile phone, and someone from the emergency services taking that call & passing it on the the relevant rescue services… and we have thousands and thousands of people who helped make that call take place…. So many people who are each owed something for what they brought to the table on this day, so to speak.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Rescue and emergency services head out to the crash site. The rescuers included countless Police to divert traffic & control the crash scene for starters. Then the ambulances & fire engines come along. Paramedics & firefighters to cut the victims from the wreck & give emergency aid to get them stable for the urgent ambulance helicopter flight to an airport so that the girl can be transferred to a faster aircraft to get to the hospital.

I've worked on this aircraft at GAMA - I'm part of this huge chain that helped.

Think of the technology, the training, the skills and dedication involved in all of this! Even down to the rescue services “Jaws of Life“… the hydraulic cutters used to remove the roofs off of cars to allow people to be removed from them safely…

Heck, we need to thank the ancient Greeks & Chinese for their initial work in hydraulics, and Blaise Pascal (1600’s) for his work in modern hydraulic principles, that eventually lead to generations of teachers training generations of engineers to eventually come up with, and make “The Jaws of Life”.

All of those emergency vehicles have engines that developed from steam engines to internal combustion engines… We owe Karl Benz for some of the first practical motor cars… Nikolaus Otto is to thank for coal/gas burning reciprocal engines.

Then there’s the gas turbine engine in the air ambulance helicopter… this goes back to Bernoulli and more practically, Sir Frank Whittle… Oh yeah, the helicopter goes back to Leonardo da Vinci… and the modem father is Igor Sikorsky.

The technology that went into making all of those car, lorry, helicopter systems etc… is owed to an impossible number of inventors, scientist, scholars, boffins…. teachers, foundry workers… and on and on….

Almost forgot Babbage & the calculating machine he created, or the first simple mechanical computer of Thomas Fowler in 1840! … or the many variations of the abacus… or the efforts at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers… regarded as the fathers of modern computing… Without this line of thought & engineering, the computer reliant vehicles (ground and air) would not function… or be able to be designed…

Do I have to go into how many people have helped progress THIS side of technology! MILLIONS! Don’t forget all of those ancient mathematicians that developed theories, rules, formulas etc that allowed ANY engineering to take place… Archimedes, Aristotle, Pythagoras… some of maths many fathers…

So yeah… The little girl is cut from the car & her condition is stabilised. She is put in the helicopter & flown to the hospital (by trained pilots who have spent years training etc and so on… you know what I mean by now…).

She arrives at the trauma centre, which was an idea first established in the 1960’s by R Adams Cowley, and is rushed into surgery (developed from around the 1500’s by countless scientists and researchers in medicine)… and I think if you have half a brain cell, that you’ll know where this is heading….

Trained staff, technology, inventors, scientists, infrastructure, upper tier staff, lower tier staff, buildings, services…. allowing the paramedics, doctors, nurses & other specialists to save the little girls life, using equipment that has been developed over generations of medical and non medical research, by people whose names you can’t help but recognise, including the likes of Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, Hannah Myrick, Louis Pasteur, Alexis Carrel and Henry Dakin, Joseph Lister…. the list is endless…. or at least it may as well be, because every branch of medicine or medical research was generated from a different branch, or developed into others…

Research has expanded and helped us… and with that expansion comes the need for more people to teach, to learn, to think, to progress…

Millions of people and their ancestors all helped

The above list doesn’t touch the surface of all of those that were involved in that one little girls life being saved, but as you can see, the human count in this pyramid that ends with that little girls life contains millions of unsung heroes. People who worked just to find answers. Some were imprisoned & forced to work. Some were slaves, some were kings & queens… All walks of life through the ages.

And then there’s the press who interview the parents after the girl has been saved…. and the parents… they turn to the camera and say into the microphone…

“Thank God our daughter survived…. We knew he was looking down on her all the time…”

No mention of the Doctors, the nurses, the pilots, the Police, the rescue and emergency services, the witnesses at the scene… let alone the millions in history that allowed it to all play out….

Even if you are religious, then sure, thank your God, but don’t forget the physical people who did all the hands on work.

If you do want to thank ‘God’….. Don’t forget one tiny little thing…

…Who do you think allowed the crash to happen in the first place?

Yes, you guessed it....

You live on the shoulders of millions who lived before you.

Don’t ever forget that.

Oh, and before you go and say “It’s all a test God has set us“… then please read THIS


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