Sunday, October 29, 2006

river deep

OMR: "Mattie, can you check that the stream is not deeper than your wellies"...

So Mattie leaps into the stream, which comes up to his knees, flooding both boots. "I've checked uncle Rich, and it is deeper than my wellies".

Hmm. Guess I could have put that better.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

see that train a coming

I spent Sunday searching for my driving licence. All Sunday. I know I have one. Admittedly it might not have my current address on it. Or even my previous address. But I have one, definitely. Somewhere.
Anyway, Monday I got the lost/stolen forms. 15 days and 19 quid to issue a replacement licence. I have 28 days to respond to my speeding offence. 5 days gone already. The fine for ‘failure to produce a valid driving licence’ is considerably more than a speeding fine. Potentially very big, depending on the judge.
So everything is in the post. Its just a matter of timing. You know this is gonna go horribly wrong, right?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hate to say I told you so...

Recent research from Ohio has revealed a potential link between excessive mobile phone use and low sperm counts.

So, your not just irritating, your irritating jaffa's

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Competition time.

The virtual ranger has a competition going. With quality prizes. So go on and have a go.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Everyone loves a winner

And Britain just topped the league as the worst domestic energy waster in Europe.

Our main crimes are leaving things on stand-by. (Must confess, never the PC monitor but often the telly). Leaving mobile chargers plugged in. (don’t have a mobile. Yet another reason why mobile phones are evil) and leaving lights on. (I am terrible for this, I return home & chez rich is lit up like a Christmas tree. Even in rooms I never use the lights are somehow on.)

Still, I will make more of an effort in future. And, given that I am taking out the bathroom lights this evening and have no real idea what I am doing, there is an even chance that chez rich will have no working lighting for the foreseeable future.

Friday, October 20, 2006

not natural?

As a species Bonobo chimps may be unique. They are all bisexual. They just like getting off. Respect to the randy apes.

A new report says that homosexuality, rather than being 'a crime against nature', is surprisingly common amongst animals. Indeed, here's a shocker, up to one in ten couples in a penguin colony will be same sex. Yup. One in ten penguins bat for the other side. I love that statistic. I have this image of this bigoted preacher standing on an iceberg pointing at one penguin, identical to all the other penguins, and declaring 'YOU WILL BURN IN HELL'. And a little penguin, right on the edge of the crowd, shivering away and muttering 'well, at least he'll be fucking warm'.

Now you see it

Scientists have created an invisibility cloak.

Well, almost. They can make things invisible to microwaves. Doing it with light is a little more difficult. Its to do with wavelengths. Light has a wavelength of less than a micron as opposed to microwaves 3cm. Since your meta material (that you make your cloak from) must have a internal particle size of less than your wave length this make an optical cloak pretty tricky. But given the recent breakthroughs in nano technology not impossible. Should have an invisibility cloak on the shelves in about 40 years time.

Damn, I may be to old to fully appreciate girls changing rooms by then.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm a speed king

Returning from Tamworth along the A5 is a joy. Its ridden with speed cameras. Now I approve of speed cameras. Speeding is a crime. You deserve to get caught & fined. Don’t speed, its wrong. And normally I don’t. But the speed limit on the A5 varies the whole way which makes it a complete bastard. There is even one hundred yard stretch where it’s a 30 zone. I know this now. On Wednesday I didn’t. I saw the big yellow box. I checked my speed, well under 40mph. And Flash, Bang, what a picture. I particularly enjoyed the fact that all the lorries in the jam going the other way proceeded to flash their lights, honk their horns & give me assorted gestures’ ranging from thumbs up, through V ‘s to some signals that I will have to check up in the highway code. So I’m expecting a brown envelope and my first points any day now.

Ming for King

I doubt if I will vote labour next time. Even if they eventually succeed in getting rid of devout Christian and war starting mass murderer Tony Blair. (Yup, he’s assured us he’s going. Much like he assured us about WMD). I think the ensuing leadership bloodbath will destroy what miniscule credibility they have left.

So who? Well the Tory Tony clone certainly wont be getting my vote. Mr C’s policy commissions report on taxation was accidentally published on the parties website. Tax cuts for the rich, paid for by, amongst other things, axing tax incentives for research and development. Hmm. Scratch of that shiny new Tory coating & you find the same right wing scumbags underneath.

That leaves me with the LibDems. Like the green policies. Worry about the fact that most of their MP’s seem heavily involved with rent boys. But mainly I think Menzies Campbell would make a good PM. Not least because at his age we’ll only have to put up with him for one term.

Still, whoever gets in, at least they will be less abhorrent than the Icelandic government. Yup, Iceland have resumed the commercial killing of whales. Despite this being in violation of international agreements & illegal. Despite the fact that they cannot actually manage to sell the meat from their legal ‘scientific’ whale catch. Despite the fact that killing whales is evil and morally abhorrent. What a bunch of utter shits the Icelands are.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The answer my friend, is blowin in the wind

As my regulars readers (yup, there are some masochistic freaks out there) will be aware, I aspire to be green. Environmentally rather than actually. I don’t really think being the colour green would be desirable. Now I looked at grid linked solar a while back. Despite it looking good initially, after some research it appeared that even with government grants the initial cost would be 10 grand minimum. Now over 10 years you would recover that, but if you don’t have a spare 10k knocking around that doesn’t matter. And I don’t. More worryingly, the various companies I rang up did not inspire confidence. ‘Dai’s out on the tractor at the moment, can he call you back?’. ‘how big is your roof, man? Does it face south, man? Yeah, we can probably work with that, man’. Ok, nothing wrong with weed soaked smelly bearded hippy freaks per se, but do I want to hand over ten thousand pounds to one on the off chance I might get a solar electric system? Hmm, So no Solar PV for a while.

But you can now buy a windsave mini turbine from B&Q for £1500 fully installed. According to the bumf this little baby will pay for is self in 5 years, will last 10 years and, if we all get one, hugely reduce carbon emissions. Now a bit of internet digging paints a slightly less rosy picture. The comments on some of the figures range from ‘best case scenario’, through ‘wildly optimistic’ to ‘these numbers clearly contravene the laws of physics’. Basically, if you allow for the interest you could get on your £1500 this device may possibly pay for itself in 10 years, but it may well not. Of course, given the way power prices are soaring at the moment it probably will. But that’s not really the point is it? So you’re a few quid out of pocket. If you’ve reduced your carbon footprint by a lot that’s money well spent, right? Right. But did you see the ‘If’. You see the turbine has no power storage or sell back facility. So if you don’t actually need the power when the wind is blowing your not saving anything. Now, if you have a fridge & freezer going, use an electric emersion heater rather than your gas boiler in the summer & run a couple of greenhouse heaters in the winter, and only run the washing machine on windy days, your base load is probably going to ensure that your benefiting from having a turbine. So lets run out and buy one. Hmm. See there are a couple of other issues. Firstly, its ugly. Ok, so is a TV ariel, satellite dish, stone cladding, etc. We can live with that. Secondly its noisy. 35-50 Db. How noisy is that? I have no idea. See that’s the trouble with numbers, they don’t mean a lot. But given that the pigeons can wake me, do I need a 35Db hum outside my window whenever the wind blows? Ah, what the hell, its saving the planet, I can live with that. But then there is number 3. The manufacturers claim a life expectancy of 10 years. And give a two year warranty. As one site puts it, if this thing contains a standard gearbox and accumulator it will require regular maintenance. Well bugger that.

Now allegedly, there is another device on the market. The swift turbine. This has the advantages that it is silent, delivers more power and forecasts a 20 year shelf life. However, I can find no price information on it. I have emailed the manufacturers but had no response as yet. My guess is that it’s a lot more.

Still, I think I will probably give a wind turbine a go in the new year. Unless the Swift people get back with some surprisingly good news it will likely be a windsave turbine from B&Q. Because its low effort on my part. And its all to easy to knock these things but that doesn’t actually help solve anything. You have to try, don’t you?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Aint no sunshine when she's gone

Been working in sunny Tamworth for a few days. So I've had the joy of battling the A5 morning and evening. And I'm bitter and twisted as a result. Yes, more than usual. Anyway, on Tuesday the bloke sitting opposite me was humming Vincent tunelessly and endlessly. Now normally I would promptly tell someone to take their starry starry night and stick it where the sun don’t shine. But its a strange site and there is a risk he could be a customer rather than one of us. So I bit my tongue. And on the drive home there I was painting my palette blue and grey. Yup it was in my head & I could not shift it. Solution. Put Bill Withers on endless loop before going to bed. So on Wednesday I was belting out Bill. (tunelessly, and I have a cold so it was with full snot gurgling effects). And at about four pm in a momentary pause the guy opposite started singing to himself. Aint no sunshine when she's gone. Ha. Got ya. Don’t play mind games with me sunshine.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ig Nobels

The Ig Nobels were recently anounced. These are essentially alternative nobel prizes given for things us poor thick people can understand. Amongst the highlights the Medicine award went to 'The Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage, by Francis Fesmire, Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan and Arie Oliven' (hmm, think I'd rather have hiccups) and the Peace prize was given to Welshman Howard Stapleton for a device which repels anonyning teenagers. Now thats science.

People are strange, when you’re a stranger.

I kind of like knowing strange people. Particularly when I never actually have to meet them, let them know where I live, exchange bodily fluids with them or swap tales of serial killings we have done whilst polishing our bowie knives and drinking tequila. Yup, anonymity is best when dealing with loonies. The joy of Blogger.

I notice that when I click on the link to Reds world I am told 'Invalid Friend ID. This user has either cancelled their membership, or their account has been deleted'. I also get the opportunity to shoot monkeys and win a free ringtone. Whilst there is a certain satisfaction in shooting monkeys I don’t actually have a mobile phone. So come back Red, if only so I can punish you for the ears comment.

Also worth a visit is carnivorous ducks. There is a certain comfort to be gained from knowing that some people are on the other side of the planet. Anyway, kidney girl, get on limewire, download bible black. A certain amount of Hentai schoolgirl sacrifice takes place. Allegedly.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Smoking Cats..

Ok. I'm an ex smoker. And I know there is nothing more self righteous than an ex smoker. But actually, I defend your right to smoke. OK, its stupid & ugly. But stupid & ugly aren't crimes. If you want to spend a lot of money to kill yourself horribly that’s fine. If you think that smelling like an old bonfire is sexy, go ahead. And 'passive smoking my arse'. If you don’t want to work in a smoky pub then don't. If you don’t want to sit in a smoky restaurant then don't. If there's enough demand there will be smoke free pubs & restaurants & we don't need legislation. Its about choice arsehole. Besides, I'm no fan of big tobacco but they employ a lot of people. Smokers in the UK pay a lot more in tax than they cost us. In fact, the only big objection I have to smoking is that smokers simply refuse to accept that cigarette butts are litter. Yes, you morons, Its fucking offensive of you to drop your butts & tread them out wherever you please. But, lets face it, if your stupid enough to smoke your too dumb to understand.

Still, as of early next year smoking in public places will not be allowed. By law. Now my guess is that rather than reduce smoking there will just be a massive slump in the Pub & restaurant trade. But just on the off chance that the government are right (and the whole monkeys & typewriters thing means that sooner or later they will get one on the button) how will we make up the huge loss in tax revenue? Well on Tea's site there is a magic picture of a cat smoking a pipe. Yup. Get the cats to smoke. Their owners will doubtless pay excessively for kitty tobacco. We get the tax income. Big tobacco keeps its livelihood. Cancer rates drop. Vets work overtime. Everyone’s a winner. Except of course the cats & their passive smoking owners. But lest face it, they've got it coming...