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|Posted on 5 October, 2020 at 5:12||comments (31)|
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|Posted on 4 September, 2020 at 12:14||comments (26)|
Well spank my rear and call me Charlie, that’s August done and dusted. Now only 15 Saturdays to Christmas!
And at the risk of repeating myself, wasn’t it bloody hot for a week or so! I am so glad we have an AC unit in the bedroom. And related to that is an important tip if you are booking your holidays online (we got such a good deal on the internet blah blah blah). Make sure that bargain room you booked in Italy has got air con otherwise you will melt.
Training jobs are coming in slowly with some being cancelled, I reckon this area will be very touch and go for a while until confidence is restored. I must say I’m not too worried as I’m semi-retired anyway and I’ve enjoyed been at home and catching up on projects generally.
Talking of confidence been restored, if you travel regularly to Spain, Brittany Ferries have just opened up bookings for next year and some cabins are already sold out, so don’t leave it too late.
If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I have been threatening to get a new motorbike for some time now. I’m not going to mention any names but salesmen at three different dealerships in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire have so far proved to be next to useless. If they get commission on sales, I’d be surprised if they got a pair of socks at Christmas. A typical exchange would go like this:
Ted: I like this one, can I have test ride?
Salesman: No. We haven’t got a demonstrator for that one.
Ted: Look, I’m a cash buyer and I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy this bike but I’m not going to do that unless I can have a test drive.
Salesman: No, people don’t usually buy that bike so we don’t have a demonstrator.
Ted (No dialogue) Pulls out Glock and double-taps salesman in chest.
Ted (To CO): Come on sweetie, lets go to Wickes and get some white spirit.
I’m afraid I don’t suffer fools gladly.
Anyway, I’ve been watching these riots in America with a mixture of revulsion and fascination. I hate bullies and that what we are seeing there in spades. This “Antifa” business, which I assume is Anti-Fascist is a great laugh because these people are the closest thing to Nazis I can imagine. Their ignorant rendering of history is abysmal. And I think that people of all colours should simply comply with any reasonable request from a police officer such as “can I see your licence please”. If you are placed under arrest, behave like a civilised person and do not thrash around as if a possessed savage. If you do that the conclusion is that you are jacked up on PCBs or other shit and need serious restraint. You are also in danger of injuring yourself in the process. Not only that, what could have been a simple warning back at the station will turn into at least 6 months wearing a stupid orange suit and sharing a cell with Gorgeous George. Nobody wants to be arrested, so remember, if you can’t do the time…
I’m also amazed how many cars stopped for these zombies, there’s no way I would have stopped for a blood thirsty mob. What’s more the script was nearly always the same – Woman or woman-looking thing stops car by standing in road. Woman-thing then jumps up and down while screeching abuse at occupants (I think this is some kind of tribal thing like a Haka). As occupants have by now locked the doors, savages can not get into vehicle. Woman-thing then jumps up and down on bonnet, windscreen and/or sunroof trying to get at evil occupants of car. Mostly, occupants come to senses at this point and drive off. Car is then hotly pursued by morons with their little back-packs on.
And I bet most of these have got the nerve to put “Be kind” on Facebook.
Talking of idiots, the most polished I saw recently was a white dickhead screaming at a coloured lady “I’m more black than you are”.
I feel that the problem in the states is very similar to that in the UK, in that too many anarchist and left-wing teachers/tutors/lecturers are allowed to contaminate young minds. In the UK many people get taken in by the ideology of the Junior Common Room at college and never get out of it. These are mostly the types we refer to as “Champagne Socialists”.
Unfortunately, most media people have come through this route and this is why the media is always interested in issues that working people couldn’t give a fig about.
I firmly believe that places of education and communication (particularly TV stations) should be completely neutral. I think an Ombudsman should be appointed to regularly sample these areas and ensure that tutors views are not imposed on students.
Well, that was a good old rant wasn’t it?
My electrical tip for this month is in a not dissimilar vein, in that if you are doing electrical inspections (EICRs) your job is to simply report on the condition of the installation. I have seen some sparkies taking on the mantle of electrician/safety officer/small god etc etc. It is not our job to say “a child might get a knitting needle up the back of the service cut-out” or “you could get an extension lead up to those first floor sockets”. You Observe, Test and Record from an unbiased stance, you use your training and skill to identify dangers if they exist, you also need to apply good old common sense.
With regard to motorbikes, in the end I bought this one.
Well, I’m just about to saddle up and ride off into the sunset, so until next month, Adiós, amigos y amigas.
|Posted on 1 August, 2020 at 9:52||comments (39)|
Greetings pop-pickers, well that was another super-charged month wasn’t it! Had my big fat birthday and numerous friends’ as well. No weddings but a funeral on the last day of the month.
I think by now a lot of us have recognised that 2020 was the year to write off. Whoever would have thought that as we dreamt about the future where we were all wearing silver suits and in flying cars that the frigging Chinese would bring the world to its knees with an escaped bio-weapon?
However, it is in my character not to look on the bleak side but try to find the silk purse out of the wotsit…
Ted voice No 2: “Not to look on the bleak side” You’re kidding right?
Ted voice No 1: Sorry about that folks but voice number 2 is my alter-ego who has an annoying habit of popping up when I don’t want him.
Ted voice 2: You only want to supress my point of view, you’ve never liked me.
Ted voice 1: For those of you that are not regular readers of my blog Ted voice 1 is my normal, practical, good-natured self. Ted voice 2 is my, lets say, more adventurous side. He is the version of me that is the genie in the bottle. He is the free-spirited romantic who wants to go searching for lost gold in the Yukon and find the fabled lost city of Eldorado.
Ted voice 2: Ha, did you say “good-natured”! Every time I have bright idea you shoot me down.
Ted voice 1: I suppose that’s true to some extent. Lets see what your last bright idea was, Oh yes I remember, was that when you wanted to salvage propellers from the Nazi fleet that was sunken in Scapa Flow? Or was it that time you were going to drag a metal detector through every Cornish lake in search of Excalibur?
Ted voice 2: There’s good money in brass propellers.
Ted voice 1: Look just bugger off for a while and let me get on with this blog, some of us have work to do.
Ted voice 2: Bossy. I’m not staying where I’m not wanted. Anyway, I’ve got an old parchment with a secret message that I need to decode.
Ted voice 1: Thank God for that. We might get a bit of peace and quiet for a while now. To be fair, I secretly admire the guy cos he’s never boring. Last year he persuaded me and my CO to visit the Three-Sided Lodge in Northamptonshire, where there are many messages in the stonework that have never been deciphered. Well it really was fascinating, the whole building is about the number three and linked into the Holy Trinity when Catholicism was forbidden in this country.
But guess what? We couldn’t decipher any messages either.
Check it out for yourself here:
Anyway, onward and upward.
For those of you in the electrical trade, you might not be aware of it but a new Code of Practice for PAT will be issued in September (launch date variable due to Covid). From what I can make of it so far the emphasis seems to be removal of terms such as “Portable” and “Stationary” etc and the recognition of ALL appliances for testing, including those items of “Fixed” equipment that can be a grey area between PAT and EICR. Anyway, I’ll have my two penn'orth when my copy of the code arrives.
On another note, I took a test ride on a new motorbike the other day. I think the time has come to trade in the old bike and move on. Now my current bike has got front disc brakes but the one I took out for a test ride has 2 discs. My current bike has brake shoes on the rear and the test bike has a disc brake to the rear so all in all I was pretty impressed, a lot of power (650cc) but a lot of stopping power as well. I will keep you posted if I buy it.
On the work front I am starting to get bookings coming back in. My only fear is that we may face a surge in training due to the backlog now in place. I don’t like to disappoint clients and will try to help wherever possible.
So farewell until next month and to quote Bill & Ted – “be excellent to each other”.
|Posted on 2 July, 2020 at 12:13||comments (79)|
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|Posted on 6 June, 2020 at 11:03||comments (36)|
Well howdy doody folks,
I hope you are all well, these are dangerous times we live through.
So that’s May done and dusted and completes about ten weeks of self-isolation now. Consequentially, our house and garden are now in tip-top condition. The bloody Chinese have made sure that I have caught up with all the jobs I have been putting off for a long time. I have even finished patching up our drive. All that remains is for me to send my invoice to the Bio-Weapons Research Establishment , Wuhan. PS: Put some proper Control Measures in place next time guys.
Talking about the month of May, there seem to have been some really nice people born in this month. For starters my beautiful daughter, Emma-Louise. Along with my cousin Debbie, several chums of mine and others spring to mind.
So, why should May be such a popular birth month? September/October must be an inspirational time!
Codes are good fun aren’t they! Some are easy and others are quite fiendish or concealed in microdots. How about this for hidden in plain sight:
This is a message hidden in Wingdings, simply change the font to normal to see the message. This could be concealed in a document in many ways, such as being used as a decorative edge on an invitation. I shall probably weave this into the plot of my next novel (Ernie Wise style).
Thinking of codes and suchlike, the humble electrician does very often get caught up in covert activities. For a large part of my working life I was involved in the installation and maintenance of security systems and have seen some pretty eye-opening stuff. However, I am still bound by the Official Secrets Acts, so that’s about as much as I can tell you.
One thing I can tell you is that I detest corruption, I’ve seen plenty of this going on in Facilities and Maintenance departments and was always revolted by it. Corruption means that prices for work are overpriced and accompanied by shoddy workmanship. If you start work at an organisation and there are people there who take an instant, uncalled for, dislike to you it’s a good indication that a corrupt network is in place.
For anybody stepping up from on the tools to a management position I strongly advise you not to succumb to the temptation of corruption from contractors. Once you have committed you will be forever in their pocket. I never fell into this trap, and at times made myself unpopular for not being “one of the lads”. At least my conscience is clear in that respect.
I’m not particularly bound by any advertising protocols and I do like to be fair, but I must confess to a high regard for TLC electrical supplies. I like their website that is easy to use and quite informative. What I probably like most of all though is the price in the book/website is the price you pay. I hate wholesalers that never charge the same price and changing the prices each time you go in. In my experience this is usually a sign of fiddling by the counter staff, a touch of corruption again. So TLC, I take my hat off to you for being straight. I also saw some interesting stuff on their website like a Tails/Incomer isolating switch with built in SPD! Now that could really be a problem solver for a few contractors. I also spotted an external 13A SSO with a built in Wi-Fi booster that I suspect will end up replacing one of my existing outside sockets.
Before I go, I must put forward an old mate of mine, Mr Mark Pipkin for this month’s “Person of Merit” award. I first came into contact with Mark when we were both working in maintenance for a local company. Mark had been in the building and plumbing field for quite some time but never had any formal qualifications, so he set about acquiring them and after several years got the qualifications to further help him on his way. I always admire people who have the guts to set a goal and achieve it so that puts him well up in my book. He also as straight as the day is long and a very easy going character. We worked together again at Queens College and once more made a great team. He is the original family man and one of his favourite pursuits is driving down to the south of France every year. We meet up occasionally to compare notes on driving down to France/Spain and I am very pleased to count him as a friend. I hope we can get back together for another chinwag before too long.
Talking of which, another one of my favourite things is eating under my pergola with my family on a summer evening. Lets hope we can return to normal service sooner rather than later.
|Posted on 15 May, 2020 at 6:09||comments (26)|
These are strange days aren’t they? it seems like we are living through some sort of science fiction film like “The Andromeda Strain”. And when you add in the whole world (or pretty much) being locked down as well it gets even more weird. I think most people can now see why we have been so concerned about biological warfare.
So far, I have lost two uncles and a cousin to this wretched disease. It gets scary when it gets close to home like that.
I’d like to know if “Extinction Rebellion” will be flying out to China to stage demonstrations and demand that the Chinese keep their disgusting diseases to themselves?
I also think the Chinese should pay reparations to the rest of the world for the havoc they have caused, and it’s not as if they didn’t have enough warnings with SARs etc.
I have been more than busy with gardening, home maintenance and office work, the funny thing is I’ve still got loads to do!
I do have a weakness for the odd glass of vino (red is my poison) and usually manage to contain it until the sun is over the yardarm. On these sunny days though an al fresco lunch with a glass of lager in the garden is very enjoyable.
It amuses me to see how some people are struggling to stay in close company with their partners. That is the price to pay for being desperate to settle down too quickly, my advice is take your time and make sure you actually know and like that person (and that is reciprocal) before tying the knot.
The furthest I’ve been this month is to the bottom of the garden. Which by bloody good planning (and good luck) we sectioned off the bottom part last year and turned into our own “Allotment”. This has given us plenty to keep us occupied and will soon be giving us food as well.
My “person of merit” this month must go to our Prime Minister. What a start to a new job! As if taking us through Brexit wasn’t enough. I’ve seen some pretty nasty comments about him being hospitalised and it always seems the nastiest remarks come from those who are supposedly liberal/socialist. Says it all really.
Those that have cheesed me off more than ever recently have been the media. I am becoming more and more revolted by their biased views and desire to wallow in negativity. How often do we good news in the media? And how about this, at the start of this epidemic a few people starting getting stupid and panic-buying. So what do the media do? Give maximum coverage to this and create a mad rush to the shops!
I would really like to see a return to the days when we just got the news.
During the wet days of our confinement I have been making an in-depth study of the changes brought in to the 18 Edition by Amendment 1. That in turn, has made me make more of a study of electric vehicles, which doesn’t really appeal to me that much. However, I am now pretty well versed in this area and feel quite confident to pass this knowledge on. What I will say though, is that in my opinion, the contents of Part 722 are far too detailed for the average sparky and should be incorporated into the requirements for equipment, not the requirements for installation. I think we are in danger of the regulations becoming a tome that will be impossible to lift up let alone comprehend.
For example, lets just take a moment to reflect and find our way through the woods. In the Annexe to Part 722 in the 18 Edition the following formula is recommended for finding current in the neutral for a three-phase system. This formula appeared in the 17 Edition as well.
So if we take a 3-phase system with the following loads – 75A, 52A & 43A, using this formula I came up with 28.5A (Im). Not being much of a mathematician though it took me a bloody long time to work it out. So, not trusting myself it did the old tried and trusted vector diagram and measured it to be about 26A, so I know I’m in the ballpark.
However, there is a much easier method of figuring out current in a 3-phase system un-balanced system (where all have the same phase angle) and that is to quite simply subtract the lowest figure from the highest. In the above example 75 – 43 = 32A Simples! Now I know its not as exact as by calculation but its close enough for a quick assessment and as a method to check your calculation.
Current in the neutral is always a difficult quantity to be precise with anyway due to harmonics and load variations. All we can say with any confidence is that for a resistive system, current in the neutral will not exceed the highest loaded phase conductor.
I don’t think I’ll be undertaking any training again until the beginning of July at the earliest. From a personal point of view, I don’t know if I would feel confident then or not. I suppose all we can do is wait and see.
But I do think that when the world comes back to life it will be mayhem with people catching up with everything – work, training, holidays, new kitchen, new car etc etc. I should know, I’m going to be up the front with the rest of them!
Adios chums, until next month.
|Posted on 8 April, 2020 at 11:24||comments (47)|
Well, what a month that has been!
I was busy in Witney training for a couple of weeks and then had three days in Banbury for a company that is developing electric vehicles for Royal Mail, UPS and Police etc. Also did a bit of AM2 prep for a client.
However, like most in the UK now we are locked-down and are self-isolating. My wife has only got one lung and I had pneumonia a few years ago so we are both high risk.
Our next door neighbours have been very good to us in picking up food etc and our kids and partners too. It is at times like these you know who your friends are.
Now amidst this isolation I can honestly say I am not bored. I have so many things to do I haven’t got time to be bored. Scared of what might happen and disappointed in not been able to do things, but not bored. I ration myself to a couple of hours in the garden, a couple of hours in my office and a couple of hours in siesta, so no problem. I haven’t even had time to whizz a couple of trains round my model train layout as yet.
One of my favourite things in the summer is to sit out in the garden under my pergola so I am spending a bit of time on maintaining that. When the summer gets here I hope to spend a little time under there with the odd Barcadi/Vino and a copy of Don Quixote.
Having a bit more time on my hands has meant I can get those devices that I had lost passwords for up and running again (and safely recorded said passwords again).
Been in the training profession means that nothing you prepare in the way of material is ever wasted and I do strongly feel that we should not stand still. At the end of every course I review what worked well and what didn’t and adapt as required. I now have time to create new material and thoroughly rework existing material.
This latest crisis though has convinced me more than ever that I need to get a generator. Can you imagine if we had a crisis like this again in the height of winter, and when everybody drives an electric vehicle. I’m not convinced the network could support the charging load along with our regular demand. I’m not planning on a system to take over the complete house but I’m thinking Central Heating (Pump and controls), Freezer, perhaps lights and a dedicated socket for the unforeseen (like charging that EV). So off the top of my head about 5kVA. I will keep you posted on this one.
In last month’s blog I mentioned the reversal of the sun’s magnetic field at every eleven years and thought I would update you on this. The last time this happened was around 2012-13 and surprisingly, it doesn’t just flip. It takes a little while. So we are looking at a next reversal at around 2024-25. If I had enough time and resources I would love to be able to see if there was any interaction between worldwide disasters along with Incan/Mayan calendars etc and this reversal.
As a further update, there is a part of the world that has been dubbed the “South Atlantic Anomaly” (SAA) where the local magnetic field is beginning to fluctuate. Some believe this may be the start of our planet’s total field reversal. But if I start perpetuating doom and gloom stories I’m no better than the ecos am I.
There is no single “person of merit” for me to commend this month, but I will add my voice to those supporting our cherished NHS. I hope those in power don’t have short memories after this current crisis has passed and look to reward these personnel as they truly deserve. How about a “celebrity NHS Tax” for those that earn obscene sums like talking heads and footballers earning more than £1 million pounds a year to help fund this. The bloke repairing flood lights at a football stadium has more skill in his little finger than the ponce talking about football on the telly.
If the government can’t afford to pay NHS staff more, arrange for them to pay less tax, low rate loans and mortgages etc etc.
Also, with immediate effect no NHS member of staff, patient or visitor should have to pay to park at a hospital. Where I come from that is known as a dirty trick, so please stop it straight away because the public is pissed off with it.
Nobody has really cheesed me off this month but those still using the underground and travelling on buses are getting pretty close to it.
Stay safe folks, looks like its going to be a while before we get mobile again so we had just better make the best of it.
Adios for now mi amigos e amigas.
|Posted on 4 March, 2020 at 13:13||comments (41)|
Greetings pop-pickers, it’s the end February so its time to see where Ted has been and what he’s got to rant about this month.
Now I did mention in my December blog that I wouldn’t be posting for January, this was because my CO and I were cruising round South America and the Caribbean. Some people may say “Galivanting” but I’m never too sure about that word, it seems to imply being on horseback for some reason or other.
So, this month (and not including my holiday locations such as Barbados and St Vincent etc), I have had training gigs in Okehampton, Taunton, Norwich, Cambridge and Witney (on my doorstep).
I’m not going to spend a lot of time waffling on about my holiday but will say that at one point we were less than 400 miles from the equator and stone the crows; that was bleeding hot! The rest of the time we spent tooling round Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and exploring most of the Caribbean islands. We also had to taste a lot of rocket fuel (otherwise known as Rum). Good job we had been in training for it.
So after a 35-day break it was a bit of a rude awakening on my return to work in having to drive 180 miles to Devon on the very day that storm Ciara hit the UK. Just my luck, if I fell in a barrel of tits etc.
Saw a great bit of bull recently about meters in Bristol, this time water meters. A certain company posted an advert that led with the headline “See where the water distribution network leaks” it then went on to ask readers to sign up for a water meter as it can “help to save leaks”. Well, my flabber was well and truly gasted. This logic therefore implies that installing a water meter that monitors your water usage can somehow detect leaks on the public network. Scary thing is that a lot of people will believe it.
And while I’m on the subject of eco-bandwagon, I see that seriously warped girl is now up for a Nobel peace prize. I still can’t understand why people would think a planet should maintain environmental conditions indefinitely. Haven’t these people ever heard of ice ages or continental drift?
I think we have much more to be concerned about with Iran gearing up with nuclear weapons. This is country that can’t tell the difference between a UK/USA or Ukrainian aircraft to shoot down (and you’re worrying about a temperature rise in records that have only been kept for 150 years? Seriously??).
Ok if you don’t get that how about this: This planet, like many others has a magnetic field (like the lines of flux on a bar magnet from North to South). It is this magnetic field that interacts with the solar wind from the sun that creates the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis (in the southern hemisphere). Now this next bit should have the ecos running to hide underneath their beds – this magnetic field occasionally flips. Shit! Nobody knows why (I’m still working on it!) but it does happen.
The sun’s magnetic field flips quite regularly at every eleven years. When this happens it often knocks out satellites and North American/Canadian power and comm lines.
Can you even begin to imagine what will happen when the Earth’s magnetic field flips again? Most military equipment will survive as this is made to survive the EMP from a nuclear blast. For everything else electronic, forget it.
Unfortunately, we can’t predict when this will happen as there is no established frequency for this event. The longest period without a reversal was in earth’s early history at around 40 million years ago, since then there have been periods of 100 thousand years and 50 thousand years between events. The current period has lasted for 780 thousand years so you could say an event is due. Also bearing in mind we have an ice age about every 11 thousand years (and guess how long since the last one – that’s right, 11 thousand years ago). So how will they spin this one then?
I can’t say anybody has particularly cheesed me off recently, but I’m sure someone will. In fact just watching sappy BBC is usually enough to raise the old blood pressure a few notches.
My vote for being a jolly good egg this month goes to not one person but a group of people, namely the captain and crew of P&O Lines Ventura who carried us a total of 12,500 miles in comfort and safety.
I am also going to use this blog to “come out of the cupboard”.
Now, I have not made a big thing of it in the past, but I feel it is time to reveal to the world that I am in fact, a completely normal heterosexual man. I cannot thank my family enough in supporting me through this difficult time.
Goodbye dear friends, until next month.
|Posted on 27 December, 2019 at 11:25||comments (46)|
Well Howdy-doody folks, I always think the blog for December is a bit of a let-down. We have had the fun of the build-up to Christmas, we have been through Christmas itself and New Year. We then enter the doldrums.
But not Mrs Barret’s boy! I won’t be posting a blog for January so you will have to read February’s blog to find out what I got up to (Ooh matron!) so stay tuned.
However this month, I rationed myself to just a couple of assignments, three days in Ebbw Vale and two days in Dawlish. Whilst in Dawlish I was staying in a “Hotel” where I was the only resident, not even any staff. I’ve had this before and can’t say I really enjoy the experience.
I don’t believe in that tosh about giving to charity instead of sending Christmas cards, I give to charity every month by standing order and I still send cards. I’m also very careful about the charities that I do donate to. There are too many “Executives” with £200k a year salaries living like parasites off many well-known household names. I also only give to organisations that deliver within the UK and keep their nose out of politics.
The other thing that gets my goat and is kind of linked to Christmas, is this stupid American idea of replacing BC and AD with BCE and ACE (Before Christian Era and After Christian Era). Why do they come up with brainless shit like this (I might need to take a blood pressure tablet in a minute). But really! Why? My own theory is that the US suffers the same fate as the UK – about half the population are normal, regular, hard-working people and the other half are gormless, loony, do-gooding left-over hippies that work in media.
If you are a berk who promotes this drivel, is the idea of the BCE/ACE to appease other religions as I suspect? If so, let me give you a nickel’s worth of free advice – those other religions don’t give a flying [email protected]^k what you call it. They have their own calendar anyway.
Not only that, if Sharia Law comes in, all infidels will be put to the sword anyway. Hippies and gays will be top of the pile so all that fawning will have been for naught. I shall probably sit there with my djellaba on doing my knitting while watching the glorious sword of Islam doing its noble work.
And those stupid councils that have refused to put up Christmas lights for fear of offending other religions ought to get satellite TV (not sappy Sky/Disney either) so they can see all the Arab stations showing pictures and images of Santa and events in a stable. I have respect for all religions around the world. The Arab nations don’t shy away from it and in fact Jesus is mentioned as a prophet in the Quran. What is more, I certainly don’t expect to have to hide my religion in a Christian country.
Not only that, if you had half a frigging brain and a smattering of history you would realise that Christmas and the festival of Sol is both an ancient pagan and Egyptian rite that goes far beyond Christian roots anyway so you don’t have to censor these naughty, embarrassing “Christian” images. Ethnic groups are not as stupid as the hippies and do-gooders think. I reckon most of the flower children that put themselves forward for councils must have dropped some bad acid during the 1970’s that addled their brains. The other alternative was they were bleeding cracked anyway.
My “Person of Merit” this month is my Commanding Officer and partner, Joanne Barrett, who has always supported me, had faith in me, was prepared to wait for me and did not just want me because she had to have a husband, any husband. She wanted me. I was lucky to get you.
I’m getting near the end of this report now, so be excellent to each other. Don’t be a sap and if you don’t like it don’t be afraid to say “No, I don’t want to do that”. I certainly didn’t say it enough in the past. Stupidly, I didn’t say things because I didn’t want to upset people. It took me a while to realise that I probably hurt more people by avoiding the truth.
The other thing I didn’t say enough was “You’re a nice person, I admire you”. As Brits we have a certain reservation, which is a shame. It prevents us from paying odd/random compliments, and I do still owe quite a few of these.
With regard to “Tosspot” or “Prat” of the month – if you see me making a doll that looks similar to you then be concerned.
Anyway, I’m sure that over the next month or so I will have succeeded in blowing up or buggering up something, so I will report as appropriate at the end of February. But please remember this: a man (or woman) who has never made a mistake - has never done anything. Successful people make loads of errors, but they get up, start again and learn by their mistakes. Never surrender.
As we are now approaching January, I will take this opportunity to wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year.
Catch you on the flip side.
|Posted on 1 December, 2019 at 6:19||comments (53)|
Well, there you go.
Another month has rolled by and we are now within kicking distance of Christmas. As we get into the festive season the round of dinners and gatherings will lead us through the month. Our first Christmas dinner takes place on the 6th, so it won’t be long before we are spitting feathers.
So where have I been this month? well; Bath, Lydney, Verwood (New Forest), Oxford, Caerphilly and Bristol to mention a few.
When I look at the news these days I can’t help but feel a sense of revulsion when seeing a constant diet of bloody protesters. What are they protesting about – climate change, Brexit etc etc. But lets face it, its been non-stop for the past 40 or 50 years. “Ban the bomb”, Greenham Common, Save the Gay Whales. And the funny thing is, I seem to recognise the same people taking part in all of them.
So how does this work?
“Oh Tristram, I’m so fed up. We haven’t been on a march for at least a fortnight”.
“Same here sweetie, it’s been so long since I knocked a policeman’s helmet off I might have to hand my CND badge in”.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been too busy working to take part in such frivolity, I wish our politicians would wake up to this and realise the majority of people in this country are a silent majority (we are not fanatical about climate change, plastic bags, LGBTSOSDIY-wotsits, cycle lanes blah blah), but we still vote and we are the majority.
See, the thing is, I hate fanatics. They scare me. I was horrified as a kid when attending a football match to see Sunday League supporter’s faces contorted with rage and hatred. Prior to that I naively thought they went there to enjoy a game of football. For Christ’s sake it’s just a game, if it affects you like that you need to fecking grow up and get some control over your emotions. I never, ever, attended another game.
On the other hand, I was absolutely overjoyed to see the ordinary people of London drag that climate change tosser off the roof of an underground train and kick the shit out of him. Real People Power, not taking a day off from Uni for a coach trip to London organised by the JCR. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Climate change, politics, sport, take the lot of it and stuff it. I’m not interested in anybody imposing their views on me. I prefer the company of well-balanced, relaxed people who are simply grateful to see another day.
Likewise I am not interested in what team you support or pay a colossal amount of money for a season ticket or wear the latest shirt of some unpronounceable player.
Funnily enough, I actually know people who have made themselves appear to like football so as not to appear to be a wimp. Take it from me, if you feel that’s necessary, you are a wimp.
My “Person of Merit” award this month goes to my old mate Gary Hogg. Gary is an old Osney boy like me and was always a good-natured guy I liked. Like most of us, he’s been through the mill a bit, but he remains head and shoulders amongst many I know.
I particularly admired him for his trick of dunking a lit cigarette into the petrol tank of his motorbike and demonstrating the science involved that didn’t lead to our destruction. I also admired his patience (and courage) in soldering on the lid of a catering size coffee tin containing a mix of weedkiller and sugar that he christened his “Starbomb” for a Guy Fawkes night of several decades ago. After lighting the “Jetex” fuse and retiring to a safe distance this device seems to have worked fairly well by blowing a massive crater in the footpath. Well done Gary, that was much appreciated. Nowadays, you’d probably be serving at least 10 years for constructing an IED. Happy days.
As November closes, the Christmas decs come out and the lurch towards the Birthday Boy’s (et al vicar of Dibley) celebration begins. I do try to send cards/messages to all my working colleagues and associates who I like and respect, so if I overlook you please forgive me, or you might even try sending one to me.
My award for “Dick-end of the month” this month goes to the bloke who attended one of my maintenance courses recently. I’m too much of a gentleman to name names but this guy was second in command of a Maintenance Department but had no interest in learning whatsoever. How can you be so disinterested in improving your chances in life? By self-improvement you gain all-round. You become a better engineer; you have a better understanding of engineering, so your job gains a deeper satisfaction. And of course, you become more confident and more employable. I also like to think the way I deliver training is fun.
However, you never know what is going on in people’s lives so they may find concentration difficult, but I have been around the block enough times now to tell that this guy was just a waste of space. When I see people down on their luck and willing to give anything for just a single chance to improve themselves I will go above and beyond what might be possible. But for this jerk, I just want to kick his backside.
Okay, so as they say, rant over. Keeping a log like this is a tip I learnt from my teacher-training days; keeping a diary of some sort gives you a chance to let off steam.
One very important, magical event happened on the first day of November and that was the birth of my second Grandson. I have three grandchildren already but this is the first male in the Barrett line of my particular branch. Please feel free to have a look on my “Barrett Family Page” for further details. Truth be told, no matter what loop or line he was in I am just as proud of him as all my other children and grandchildren (they are all equally good-looking and smart, but maybe I’m just a little bit biased).
Now, lets enjoy that trundle up to Christmas (not twattish PC “Holidays” but good old Christmas) and enjoy a little peace on earth.
I’m pretty sure I have mentioned it previously, but my favourite carol (and I do like many) is “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” – what’s yours?
As my next post will be at the end of December, Happy Christmas to you all and I sincerely hope you have a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
Merry Christmas one and all.