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Blog for May 22

Posted on 3 June, 2022 at 10:45

I have come to realise that sometimes life is strange* and often not always as clear cut as we might imagine.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet the phrase “There are more things between Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy Horatio” more than covers my view of life. In everyday language, we might not know all the answers, because certain events might be outside our ability to understand.

So without any further ado, lets crack on with the show and see where Teddy has been this month after swanning round the Med for most of April. I started off in Holsworthy (Near Bude in Devon), then on to Teignmouth followed by Hitchin, Bristol, Oxford (Christchurch College) and Abingdon.

Although I could/should be retired by now, I like to keep my hand in and keep on working semi-retired - this absolutely suits me down to the ground. I particularly enjoy my training and consultancy work as it enables me to tackle new engineering challenges and also meet some really interesting people.

Back in February I was working on industrial robots, this month I’ve been training students how to fault-find on milking machines (did you know a cow’s teats need a little tickle before milking commences? and sometimes this is done electrically!) then on to a Brewery in Bristol before moving on to industrial tumble driers. The technology for all equipment is about the same, its how that technology is put together that I find interesting.

I also subscribe to the idea that “every day is a school day”, in other words, I like to keep my mind open to new ideas, even though I might not initially like them, I will at least attempt to engage and examine new concepts. And, I must say I do generally learn something new every day. Socrates is said to have stated something like “you know nothing until you have taught it”.

If you have ever undertaken a teaching role (seriously) you will know what the old bubble was on about and it amounts to this: In order to teach (properly) you need to know your subject inside and out. You need to research and prepare, and sometimes, bang in the middle of teaching, an idea or concept will crystalize in a moment of clarity and you finally understand something at a deeper level than ever before - because you have talked it through. That is your Socrates moment. As Bill & Ted might say, “Most Excellent”.

Owing to my involvement in security systems I often report or pass on stories relating to heists. If you’ve ever worked in this industry you’ll know how this gets under your skin because you are engaged in a competition between yourself and the bad guys.

My initial engagement in this business was with Her Majesty’s Royal Mail, from there I was eventually headhunted by Securicor where I remained until my wife became ill and I needed a job closer to home.

By the way, in Post Office terminology we do not have “Intruders” or “Burglars” they are known as “Bandits”. Even blaggers attacking cash in transit are Bandits.

Speaking from experience, you will find those that design, install and maintain security systems generally have a kind of sneaking respect for those that attempt to defeat those systems.

I think that at heart, we all have a little respect for those that can that imitate Robin of Sherwood. If it can be done without harming anyone I will certainly, quietly, nod in recognition of a worthy opponent.

From characters that I have met along the way I can also state that sometimes the line between poacher and gamekeeper can be very thin. So thin as to be flexible with some.

However, as I mentioned in last month’s blog, I was always an honest schmuck. Not everyone around me was.

Anyway, a simple blag is often the best, how about this one – it didn’t involve hacking into security cameras, running through a 10 million code combination or defeating heat detectors.

On March 18, 1990, two men disguised as police officers walked into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and told the security guard they were responding to a call.

The guard let them enter, but once inside, they handcuffed that guard and a second one, and locked them in the basement.

They got away with: 13 extremely valuable pieces of art worth $500 million, including Rembrandt’s "Storm on the Sea of Galilee" (1633), "A Lady and Gentleman in Black" (1633) and a self portrait from 1634; Vermeer’s "The Concert" (1658–1660); Govaert Flinck’s "Landscape with an Obelisk" (1638); five Edgar Degas’ impressionist works; and Edouard Manet’s "Chez Tortoni" (1878–1880).

To this day, no one knows who the robbers were or where they hid the goods from the largest theft of private property in history. Empty frames hang in the museum as placeholders for when the stolen works are returned. The Gardner Museum is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the recovery of these works in good condition.

How they managed to fence that lot I can’t begin to imagine. Nevertheless, they haven’t reappeared yet, so somebody must be taking care of them.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand it when people get too cocky. Personally, my motto is usually “Proceed with Caution”. It what any electrician should do when dealing with equipment unknown to them. Its also a philosophy for life in general.

If more young women had applied this principle, it may have stopped their children been abused, tortured and murdered because they had shacked up with some savage they didn’t really know. With these sort of women in mind, this is why we have something called “Courtship” Its like a longer term interview where you get to know if your dealing with a decent person or a fecking nutcase.

You don’t invite somebody into your bed and house because you’re desperate for a partner and subject your children to hell.

I’m sorry about that rant, but children don’t ask to be born and shouldn’t be betrayed by selfish mothers. Having said that, there are plenty of children that have been traumatised by nasty bitches brought into the family home by gormless fathers.

No matter how lonely you are please don’t betray your kids.

Anyway, talking about being cocky, how about Garry Hoy who worked for a law firm in Toronto, Ontario? The 38-year-old corporate and securities lawyer had a bizarre party trick that he enjoyed showing to visitors to his office on the 24th floor. To demonstrate the impressive strength of the unbreakable office windows, Hoy would launch his body at them and bounce off.

On July 9, 1993, he was giving a tour of the firm to young law students when he decided to show his trick. Unfortunately, while the glass did not break, the entire window popped out of its frame, and Hoy fell to his death.

Tough tits, eh!

Well that’s about it from me for this month folks, I hope you have happy trails, but before you saddle up and ride off into the sunset make sure you aint got any burrs under that saddle.


• Look up and play “Love is Strange” on Youtube by Mickey & Sylvia and you will find the inspiration for the theme music to MIB III. Incidentally, I am a great fan of Pitbull (play that version for comparison), you probably wouldn’t expect that from an old fart like me, but there you go. You might also be surprised that I can ride a horse.



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