Thursday, 31 January 2008

Excessive Everywhere

Well have I got some stuff to do!


Excessive hydrocarbons

Excessive play in front suspension


Yes that’s right its MOT time and for the first time it failed on stuff that will need real work to sort out.

The first one was to be expected, coming back from M’boro it smoked badly.  Whatever was behaving in place of the piston rings (carbon?) gave up.  Mot tester couldn't measure the levels they were so high.  As usual my mouse like plans have evaporated in the heat of necessity - new engine now, not in 4 months like I’d intended.  So it's full steam ahead to build another one.


The suspension was a bit of a surprise. I'll confess I didn't check it over - too busy using it recently.  Last time I did, autumn sometime, seemed fine to me, but I suppose these things can fail quickly. 

Mot man he say he could hear it when he drove it in. 

Weird thing is I can now.


The great thing is that this year the tax ran out before the mot, unlike previous years when they ran out together.  So I’ve got 12 months tax and don't have to SORN it - yippee.  However as sandy pointed out, we’re paying tax just to park outside the house.


Lots of shopping to do now for obscure performance vw bits. 

Why not eh?


Any reports on café racer construction from Tim?


Meanwhile I’ve another job to due, applying for my own job.  I only have a short term contract with the council, have done for nearly 4 years now, and they finally decided that the work I do warrants a proper job.  Because this is local government they can't just give it me, it's got to be fair and open to anyone so I’ve got to apply. 

I bloody hate filling in application forms, the process is endless, writing awkward statements in answer to inept questions, reviewing and editing, trying to work out what the bejabbers proves what etc. etc.


Sunday, 27 January 2008

To Hell in an Air-cooled Cart

I’m trying to stick to Friday lists but it's a bit off the beam this one.

Great traffic jams of the 25/01/08

Item - The Parkway M1 junction

We're off to Middlesborough for a weekend jaunt. The first problem is getting out off Sheffield on Fridays.

Item - j34 etc s York’s

The plan was m1/m18 towards hull, but m1 south full and stopped

I'm nearly of a mind to forget it in future, but a weekend away that starts sat noontime and finishes Sunday mid pm isn't much of a jolly. But whatever time or whereever we set off on Fridays we have major urban traffic grief to deal with.

Hopefully here's an interlude for those less interested in traffic snarl ups in the ne England.

Bauhaus in Middlesborough

They have a cool new museum here called MIMA - it's what you'd expect in a new modern art museum - mash up of modernism and brutalism, architects not bold enough to build a bunker and those commissioning not bold enough to disregard all the other museums of modern art. Did you know the Tate Modern is UK's most popular museum? I think they pussyfooted there too. If you been imagine how great it could have been if they'd left the turbines in the turbine hall. There's modern art, great big unfeasibly energetic machines. Paint on canvas is really a bit medieval.

Item - Bawtry by pass Rotherham

North on the m1 goes to Leeds which is the 3rd circle of hell at 1700 on Fridays. We were bold and set off x-country through Rotherham - bad idea. We got in okay, getting out was different. Turns out we divved up the Rotterdam (I’ve given up fighting the spell checker) circulatory see g-earth map for details.

The Bauhaus exhibition was great, as per usual it was the unexpected that was the best bits for me fabrics by Gertrud Arndt and woodcuts by Lyonel Feininger.

Item - A1M J46-47 northbound

Accident closed whole carriageway - inevitable chaos.

After the exhibition M'boro was just like any similar sized town - pretty unremarkable and drab. Thankfully, the experience was saved probably again for the same reason - the people of these towns seem very particular - praise for parochialism. M'boro's youths baby perky Goths lurking everywhere hanging off their EMO BF's - quality!

Item A64 York ring road

Pigging major r/works; we've averaged 6 mph for the last hour. It wasn't difficult to calculate the last 6 miles took an hour.

The camper is refusing to tick over; I think the damage from Ireland is finally beginning to tell. The HSD took chunks out of the combustion chambers so its compression is lower than Carry On Abroad's humour. Oil and combustion gases are exchanging places like Herr Otto never intended, the wonky pressures are blowing oil out off any available orifice and it's drinking fuel.

Here's the map

Sunday, 20 January 2008

pocket computer woes

Well I’ve had to reset the phone so it's probably forgotten words like pream....

I thought so stupid bloody thing.

Now I’ve got to teach it to swear again!
That's what you get for messing about.
As you can tell I’ve been playing with the network and the phone. If you didn't get it the previous post came straight from here to the blog.
  • These ones from the number 30 bus get worked up,
  • saved as a word 97 doc,
  • blue toothed to the Imac,
  • opened,
  • laid out,
  • spell checked
  • and revised in work
  • and then c'n'p to blogspot.
  • Slick or not!

Yesterday's however, I went to blogspot and typed in the blog.
Wow, all on a phone.
So I thought I’d see what wifi would I see on the way to work?
What fun!
  • Into town bits and pieces
  • Town - loads mostly BT openzone
  • Out of town - on and off, couple of schools?

I'm very vague coz I’m on a bus and it's going in and out of cells.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

techno overload

this is getting too much
blogging straight from my phone
that means that i can type happily on an on screen keyboard that i can't really see but i can do it anywhere the wifi routers can see me.
l've got to post this again just for the thrill of it

Adventures in Media Part 4

Here's how I guess link to another web location

Adventures in Media Part 3

Getting increasingly difficult to upload anything.

Blogger fubarred?
It just stalls when I get to the Upload bit.  Anyway it's started to scale on it's own.
I'll make it smaller.
But I still need control.  The code isn't that imformative - I think the bloggers asset manager thing is serving up the graphics in those forms!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Friday, 11 January 2008

Friday - lists contd


The shed

Now I know that I’ve just lost half the population, sorry ladies but this is now a manly blog. Since moving house 2 years ago my shed count has expanded from a sort of workshop area in the back room - half a shed. Now I, and that’s definitely I not we, have

Cellar workshop 3/4 shed

Outside toilet without toilet 3/4 shed

Garden tool store type thingy 1/2 shed

Now to maintain this growth and hence my manliness I’m extrapolating to my future requirements.

Most of the garden will be turned into shed space in the next 10 years or I will become a lady.

Stage 1

3 x 4 m terraced garden at the end of the lawn. All plant life has been eradicated and 1/3 of the concrete base has been dug out. Lack of light and difficulties in disposing of the topsoil have delayed further work. I can't take bags of the stuff to the dump it site without prior arrangement coz the camper is over 1.9m. It's democracy gone mad I say!

2 footings to dig for brick pillars which will support an I beam etc for the roof and lifting gear. That's enough detail for now but designs will follow for any engineers to comment on.

I hoping to complete this year and the all sorts of stuff now proscribed will be possible.

Strangely any activities involving lots of energy are frowned upon in the house. Smelting, welding, forging and burning, the normal stuff you get up to are verboten on the strange assumption that I may burn down the house. Things poisonous, corrosive, flammable and explosive aren't to be played with in the tiny enclosed space under the front room. Weird or what.

This new facility is sufficiently remote to enable proper danger to take place. Engorgement is happening as I write, my masculinity will be expanded.

The provision of a space alone has enabled some fun already. I'm building a waste oil burner and now have somewhere to test fire it without destroying the vegetation. The refractory formula is finalised, the outer casing built, air blower ready to go and several gallons of oil collected. Soon I’ll be able to hold my head up at the abymc forums as a junior smelter.

couldn't resist these beauties

This I guess is the enormous concrete structure that will support the big tower of Sheffield

Here's a moody looking pair

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Kapt Kopter

I just found out Randy California is dead.

I've just waded through ManFred Mann's Earth Band and the next out of the box is the very very mighty Kapt Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirly Birds.
Surf away, find out what's going on, what people think and there it is.


So I've turned it up very loud (it's better the louder it gets) and I'm trying to think of what more to say.

Eff me I put dead into google looking for some ironic/suitable/ironic thingy and all I get is the bleeding Grateful Dead.

I have discovered though that my stereo seems to handle any amount of umph.  My ears are ringing and I can't hear any distortion beyond the records age.  Lots of extraneous noise but it sounds really clear.

More coincidence, more dead guitarists.
The speakers, which seem unstoppable, are some well matured BeoVox CX 50's which belonged to Ian Wood - I can't write any more.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

What Kind Of Fool Am I?

The vinyl ripping saga part 55

The phono preamp went back, I explained nicely to the hifi shop people that it distorted and even took some examples on my phone for them to listen to.  They were great and instantly gave me a replacement, no quibbles at all.  All power to Moorgate Acoustics.  Happy; I go home and rig the new one up.  You've probably guessed by now - it behaves exactly the same. Some heavy googling later, I find that some builds of Audacity, some iMacs (intel duo core) and, get this, some USB ports cause this to happen.  Swap the preamp to port 2 (the middle); it was in a hub before, and its fine.  Is it just to me that the b in USB for bus suggests that they're all equivalent.  Apparently not, hmmm.

This tale carries on, later Sandy tries to empty her camera into iPhotos, normally achieved by sticking the SD card in the reader and the Mac does the rest.  Nowt happens, take the reader out of the hub and plug it in one of the iMac’s USB (1 or 3 I’m not sure how they're numbered) and its fine. 3/4 hour later and I’ve found a combo which suits all the stupid boxes.  I thought this was supposed to be easy!

Back to the hifi shop tomorrow for big helpings of deer offal encased in pastry and baked in a dish.  I suppose I can take the forum references and add to their knowledge, thus they can support their customers better.

I get an idea in my head and all of a sudden synergies, coincidences and synchronicities flash up everywhere. Have you ever noticed how the number 23 seems to crop up everywhere LOL.  No seriously, I’ve been given the e-learning brief at work and social constructivism suddenly features large in everything.  I suppose that’s the whole point of web 2.0.  If I didn't keep this blog you people out there wouldn't have much idea about the life of a soon to be 50 techy obsessive some time educator WASP male folk rock country soul jazz reggae fan living in the north of England in the early 21st C.  And everybody needs that knowledge


  • Joy Division
  • Tom Jones
  • Love
  • Rocket From The Crypt

Monday, 7 January 2008

The Snot Is Caked Upon My Jeans

(i can't refuse my public - the chariot but 10,000 house points available for the location)


Back into the real routine now the holiday season done until Easter I guess - one thing to thank the xians for.  I just decided if Christmas - Xmas, xians makes sense.  Apart from them and anyone else who has Jesus as a prophet or such, maybe the pagans and your followers of the roman gods, Xmas means nought.  As for New Year, it's just one of those calendar coincidences.  Why not 27 march that’s 365.25 ish days from the last 27 march.  Anyway isn't this calendar a new thing anyway - when was pope Gregory?  All this makes me think the vernal equinox has lots lots going for it.



Not bound to any calendar

It’s the end of the winter, we're getting more light than dark and it's about the start of the regular outdoor pursuits season.  So you can expect equinox cards etc this year.

If we’re back to normal this was a regular weekend.

Saturday - up early as always but not to go to work, so dick about on the computer 'til Sandra stirs then it's back to bed with drinks for Saturday morning film club - dead of night.  Late breakfast and I was up while Sandra does menus for the week and plans the shopping.  Today’s a bit irregular coz we're off to the wholesale hippy food shop to stock up on bulk weird stuff

Almond flour - which we generally substitute for wheat flour to help Sandra’s crohns.

Herby teas

Fennel toothpaste

Vegan pesto

Non-sugar jams

Next it's off to tescos for the normal stuff, although our basket looks different to most peoples it's full of fruit, veg, meat and fish.  We seem to be missing all the stuff in packets and tins that everyone else has got. What are we doing wrong?

Pm generally spent at leisure but today we're off to town.  I've got that phono preamp to return, pens to buy and I suppose there’s all sorts of lovely shops to look in.


Coz there isn't much daylight we made an earlier start and set of for a walk in the peak district.  I had an old favorite in mind, the circuit of derwent edge from cutthroat bridge.  But Sandra came up with another new idea, hathersedge, up and 'round abney moor, eyam and back over the other side of the moor. We managed back to hathersedge and the camper just as the light was going and an hour after I’d had enough.  Still if it don't kill me it should make me stronger.

Details of the walk here.
I'm not sure if you can just click it and it'll load to Google Earth - try it.
If not right click and down load might work - tell me what happened.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Projections In A Golden Eye

It's that day again.
I feel a list coming on
Ongoing projects
    Which all other listed below connect to.  
    My critical paths have smaller critical paths to bite them. 
It needs body work - os sill floor section goosed.  All the windows leak coz of little patches of rot breaking the seals. Not bad really considering it's age.  
- we stay nice and cosy in winter months but only by constantly heating it.  It leaks heat everywhere and the wind whistles through it.  Besides the thermal stuff it needs sound insulation an’ all lots of huge flat panels resonating happily - can’t do this b4 the bodywork. 
It came with a crap tape player but some junkie broke in and robbed it.  Well it must have been someone very desperate to risk arrest for something worth about a fiver.  So I replaced it with a couple of modular mono amps £6 ex maplins and a bit of power conditioning buried inside the dash, add a 3.5mm jack for the mp3 player. There you go an un-nickable stereo!  I thought if it wasn’t making a noise it wouldn't consume power - wrong - flat battery.  Add a power switch and an led indicator, decide a fake alarm (don't tell anyone) would be a good idea. So I’ve now got a little  flasher circuit to get from breadboard to Vero board.  
 - I’ve already bored you with old engine tales.  
Here's new engine tedium. 
The original one is stripped and broken down.
Crank regrind and valve biggening to commission.
Oil gallery plugs to pull, clean galleries, new plugs and sensors to fit.
Carb linkages to fabricate - carbs, some lovely lovely Dellorto DRLAs, to strip, polish and rebuild.  BTW I know where there are some v sexy Weber DCOEs that were free to a good home.  
I'm losing track here have I really got this much to do?
 The hydraulic cam followers are going they won’t keep up at 6500 rpm.
 That’s all right coz a new cam, heavy springs and stainless valves going in too.
Which means I should really get some new push rods I can cut to the right lengths.
Repeated engine builds over the next 6 months.  That’s not listing all the things I’d like to do.

You'll have to wait 'til next Friday for the rest.
(can't wait eh?)

Today in Yorkshire

(guess what - it isn't my image)

Snow, brill.
I hear we're going to get winter but only for a couple of days.  
Who broke the climate eh?  Wznt me no sirree.  

I remember when we got proper Yorkshire winters 8 feet of snow from September to April and loved it.  

Good laugh yesterday on radio 4 pm prog.  Everybody’s whinging about how 1cm of snow falls and the country grinds to a halt, no like in Sweden.  Then they get a Swede telling them that snow cripples their transport system and how they wished is was like Switzerland where trains always run. 
Well I laughed.   

I've got to blog about blogging, 

I promised I wouldn't but I’m full of promises that aren't worth much.  What about personal stuff that isn't about me?  I've just realised I’ve posted pictures of real people (in the park) and should have asked for permission first.  Also dr thrasher's given me his myspace address and I think I should link to it here.  I guess he shouldn't object coz he'll get more friends, but I need some protocols here.   

No personal stuff unless it's already in the public domain.   

There's a start, it might work.   

The vinyl ripping continues with a new pre-amp.  I decided the old NAD amp was goosed - remember the humming.  So I looked around and found a NAD phono preamp with a USB outlet.  

Seems that modern amps only have line inputs and phono preamps are common coz the real hifi buffs still insist on vinyl.  

Anyway this NAD doodad is in their catalog but nobody lists a price.  Found the local dealer and went to ask them.  They said it’s so new that they didn't know either but they did have similar by some other gang.  

So I bought this

Bugger me I connect everything up and the humming is still there. Turns out it's a damaged cable on the turntable all along. 

Whatever, the preamps a good idea coz its got a better analog digital converter than the imac.  Then it does this after 45sec - bolloxx it's gotta go back.   

Excitement - I’ve managed the 33/30 bus combo superfast and at 0700 hardly any traffic.  A nice early start, bastard place is shut, caretaker gone AWOL.  Retreat to local greasy spoon for breakfast and try again later. 

This day aint starting well, I just fired the yolk in my saus & egg w brown into my lap.  Brand new trousers clean on.  Oh yes I finally got some £40 for2 at gap.  

God this is thrilling!
I'll stop b4 I die from my own banality.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

The South Has Risen (Again?)

(is this my image?  I pinched the original from Rolling Stone and then tweeked it)

Back to work for real today.
I worked the gap between xmas and new year but that wasn’t real.
I was in a different office just ‘round the corner from my house and I was practically the only one there. 
A very quite new year - seems to me it's just a calendar event.  
I like the astronomical ones better, so must plan some special fun for the vernal equinox. 
This morning's blog is having to compete with James Lee Burke- remember him?  He's my new bestest writer.  
I'm stuck in a dick lit groove   
  • James Ellroy 
  • Conan-Doyle 
  • Ian Rankin 
  • Now JLB    
So the choice today was 'Purple Cane Road' 
White knight Cajun French detective Dave Robicheux investigates his own past and his mother's life in the underworld of Louisiana.  His books seem to drip atmosphere of the South - lots of trees and water.  
But I decided blog and mp3s instead. 
I'm being haunted by the Confederacy, unconsciously the choices for music turned out to be Johnny Cash or the Kings of Leon - good ol' southern boys all.  
I went for JC the “Essential Sun Collection”.  JC seems to have finally come back in fashion, but I find the later stuff wince making.  
Without the Tennessee Three it sounds empty, that walking bass and ham-fisted twangy guitar can't be bettered.