Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
Remember DON'T PANIC! .

31 January, 2010

An honest driver- Crashes

It is not often I find a driver who says that the way he was driving was not anything other than fantastic, good or average,but today I found a driver who told me how he thought he was driving and I totally agreed.

I was coming through a 30 mph limit at 30, when about 100m behind me appeared a blue car doing considerably more, I would estimate about 60mph. In no time at all the car is behind me then along side me and then in front of me. I remarked to my other half in the passenger seat what a talented driver the man who just over took was, ok I said whats a wan**r , as we watched him speed ahead until he approached the next bend when he hit the brakes hard.
Obviously one of the many drivers who can only drive fast in a straight line and panics at every bend I thought. Down the hill is a right hand bend where we see his car mount the nearside bank disappear for a second before we see it across the other side of the road and hit the ditch.

I had to think serves you darn well right as I parked opposite the ditched car grabbed a fluorescent jacket I keep in the boot for just such occasions and wandered over to the driver. On first opening his door I feared he was having a heart attack, but he was just shocked and otherwise uninjured and I was surprised to see the driver was in his mid 60s. With his car well and truely stuck in the ditch I asked "what were do doing, I wondered where the emergency was as you came past me in the 30 limit" to my amazement he replied "I was driving like a c**t. I was almost speechless at his honesty.

I have to wonder , when he comes to fill in his insurance claim wil he tell the truth again or put "lost control on ice" .

30 January, 2010

It can be good to be a grump!

I was accused of being "one of the grumps I keep running into" on a web forum I wrote on the other day, which got me thinking.
The reason I was called this was because I remarked that, amazingly, I had seen a policeman walking in the town and that he was wearing a tunic, which is not the correct uniform. There was more to the post but I won't bore you with it.

The another forum member told me that the tunic has been good enough for 150 years and was good enough today etc. No it isn't, it is restrictive and uncomfortable and has no place in modern policing other than court, funerals and ceremonial, but lets get back to being a grump.

If a grump is someone who says things could be better and things should be different then I am proud to be a grump because if you take the view "always look at the positive and stop complaining" we would still be living in caves. Maybe I should explain my reasoning here.
Go back however many years you believe it was that we were living in caves, the look on the bright side cave man was happy to be alive and spent all day smiling at the wonders of the world eating and nothing else, while the grump was fed up with a damp stinking cave and set forth making things better.

While Mr everything is brilliant caveman died of the pox, brought on by thinking his cesspool of a cave was really great, grump caveman was never happy and kept wanting a cleaner, brighter, dryer place to live so kept improving things.

I think you get the picture, and maybe are thinking of reasons why it is better to be positive, I agree positive has its place, but without the grumps in the world, those who are not happy with the way things are, nothing would have changed and we would all be living, and dying, in a cesspool cave.

Maybe even a place as bad as Vange in Basildon.

22 January, 2010

Airport Security

Here is a thought for you, there was information the other day that the new body scanners being installed in airports take just 35 seconds to scan you. Now that might not seem long but look at it this way.

Stansted airport handles, give or take, 24million passengers a year, now not even considering that the passenger numbers are not spread evenly over the year think of this :-

24,000,000 times 35 seconds is 233,333 hours of scanning and say the airport is taking passengers through 18hours a day that is 12962 days of scanning, taken that there are 365 days in a year that means they need 36 scanners to get all the passengers through. When have you ever been to Stansted and seen more than 6 security positions in use.

Another great knee jerk decision made by the wondrous Gordon Brown.

Stealing from Dara O'Brien - when you have to show your wobbly bit before you are allowed to leave the country, the terrorists have already won anyway.

11 January, 2010

It's my path I'll do as I darn well like!

The world has gone completely mad but some of the things coming out of this snowy spell defy belief.

For example people are going around saying "don't clear your path or you will be liable if someone slips on it" yeah OK just try it mate. Then a paper apparently said if you don't clear your path and the milkman or postman (or woman) slips on it you will be liable.
No sorry I am not, if you walk on snow or ice and don't expect it to be slippery that's your fault not mine. And if I do choose to clear my path, not that I will, its also your fault if you don't think oh look this has been cleared but all around is snow and ice so it might still be slippery.

Those eediots who go around saying health and safety to every thing also need a kick in the backside. I defy anyone to find me anything from the health and safety executive that tells me what I can and can not do with or on my path.

And another thing, schools are apparently being shut for "health and safety reasons", fair enough if the teachers can not get in but to the drongo woman I heard saying that the school had to be shut because the playground was icy I say this. GET A LIFE!
If the playground was too dangerous how dangerous was it for the children off school making an ice slide outside my house on Friday.

10 January, 2010

It's only snow - Deal with it!

This snow is very nice, so long as you don't need to drive anywhere, go to work, go food shopping, on catch a flight on holiday. But it is after all just snow, other countries carry on no matter how much of it falls or how low the temperature dips.

I hear people saying "well yes, other countries cope because they expect it and are prepared" then the same people will go on "still this is nothing compared with the winter of ...... " yeah, OK.

Now let me get this right, depending upon who you talk to the winter of 61, 63, 66, 77, 78, 81, 84 or 87 were all worse than this one. So already we have 8 years when it has been terrible in the UK or parts of it and that's not including the odd year where there has been a few days of snow, oh and this year.

So why are we not prepared. Possible because we insist on dumping millions of tonnes of salt on roads when it does nothing useful for falling snow. What is needed is snow ploughs and mechanical path and road clearing, together with the proper used of winter tyres, or at least the banning of summer tyres and the enforced fitting of all weather tyres on our cars.

Oh yes, the people in power say, but we can not afford to buy machines, we prefer to waste millions on salt. If they can manage it in places all over the world why can't we manage it here.

Oh yes that's right, they expect it there and we have only had since 1961 to prepare for snow clearing in the UK.

07 January, 2010

I saw a gritting lorry!

Its true, I was walking along a local road today and I actually saw a gritting lorry, and what is more impressive it had grit on it. OK, it was driving along at about 40 mph, in a 30, and the amount of grit it was spraying out was possibly enough to melt the ice in a medium sized ice bucket, but at least it was there.

The interesting thing is why in the cab of the lorry it needed 3 men in yellow jackets, one to drive and 2 to do exactly what?

The county council has announced that it is running out of grit, because it has "been gritting for 27 days consecutively" . Didn't anyone tell them that winter is more than 27 days in the UK, in fact it is actually 3 months minimum. Or is it that they spent all the money on consultants to work out how much salt would be needed if we had a bad winter.

To add to the mess this country is in the latest gossip is that the country is actually running out of gas, well its not gossip its actually been announced by the national grid that they will be reducing supplies to company because of record demand. Ho hum, didn't anyone tell them that 70million people now live in the UK and most of them like to keep warm.

I would say that this country is going down hill, but that seems a little too obvious.

02 January, 2010

Aircraft Security - This plane smells like sh-t!

The latest aircraft security scare, or was it another ploy by the USA for an excuse to take away more personal freedom, has led to an increase in security and the anticipated introduction of yet more checks and procedures to make air travel slower, sorry, I mean safer.

More aircraft fall out of the sky through maintenance errors and manufacture faults then ever will from terrorist attacks, but where is the money to be made from scaring people over that one. Still in the spirit of all things control freak the USA and the rest of the world are looking at yet more ways to slow down your leaving the country by air.

One of the new security measures, in the US at least, forbids passenger from leaving their seats for the last hour of the flight. That sounds like the most stupid thing yet but also will have a very unpleasant effect on air travel. Pass me the air freshener!

Imagine, your on long-haul and 1 and half hours before you land they wake you up and give you a nice breakfast and cup of coffee. Soon after breakfast you find you need to use the toilet, but oh no, its only 59 mins before you land. You sit there, its no good you really need to go, you summon the cabin crew but nope you have to wait until we land. For some people waiting an hour may be possible, but for many it might not. Then there is the possibility that the aircraft might be in the stack for 15.

I won't go into more detail but I think aircraft are going to become unpleasant places, especially for the last hour of any flights.

I only hope the cleaning crew use strong disinfectant from now on - yuck!

01 January, 2010

New Year - Points from the News.

We, the planet, made it through another year and yes another decade. Everyone is wandering around saying happy new year again. But it only takes a quick look at the news to see it is a case of happy new year, same as the old one.

Lets see now, there is the new years honours again, where this time a racing driver has been given an honour, presumably for his contribution to CO2 and his bank balance, and Jean-Luc Picard got his for saving the universe so many times. Its all bunkum really isn't it.

Also in the news, proving further that nothing changed in the new year, is Gordon Brown ordering a review of airport security, well that's good considering I don't think he could order a cup of coffee in Starbucks, what is far more likely is that the manufactures of the full body scanner have sent him a nice little incentive to tell airports to waste some money on them.

Other than changing the year date from 2009 to 2010, but where do we even write that these days, not much changes with the coming of a new year.
I wish I could get excited about these things, but the fact is that by Monday all the hype of a new year and decade will have faded, only the empty cava bottles will remain in the recycling bin as a reminder that something happened recently.