Friday, 23 May 2008

I was going to make a comment about Politics

and in particular Labour getting panned in the Crewe by-elections....... but to be honest I can't be really .... I can't be bothered..... it's quite obvious that Labour are out as soon as the next general election is called.

You'll know it when it happens because petrol will be on a par with gold bullion in the FTSE100 and foolproof syphon tubes to assist transferring fuel from one car to another guaranteed to defeat any anti syphoning fuel tanks currently being fitted to today's cars...... will be flooding Ebay, along with self tapping and sealing drainage taps...... ideal for emptying your neighbours heating oil tank quickly and without being detected.... I jest of course (sort of).... but we are already getting people around here coming home and finding their heating oil tank empty.... and thinking about it considering 500 litres of fuel is worth just under £500, so a full tank would be £2500 !!! a pretty easy robbery really thinking about it, especially if you know your victims are out and it's a rural area.....

and I think it's going to get a whole lot worse with sweet crude hitting $135 a barrel and predicted to hit $200 a barrel....

Anyway enough doom and gloom it's bank holiday weekend !!!! woohoo !!! which is why it took me nearly 2 hours to drive 37 miles home from work today... I was cursing the caravans and grockles dutifully queueing up on the M4 to spend a couple of days in a dinky caravan as the rain bounced down like stair rods on their tin roofs.... "who's bloody idea was this then ???"

and to top it all off the littlest lad has a banging toothache and we haven't been able to get him an appointment at his dentist, they are saying July !! AND he is off to his Dad's tomorrow as are the other two hormonally gripped wannabe adults on the train for a few days, I really hope it doesn't play up too much for him because toothache is not funny..... BUT he has been told to cut down on sweets and to brush his teeth regularly.... does he listen ? you can't exactly say "told you so..." when his eyeballs outnumber his remaining teeth .......besides everybody knows that kids know better so it's pointless warning them anyway ;¬)

right off to chill out before bed, hope you have a good weekend :)

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The Damage......

Was £542 to get it back on the road, kind of stings a bit considering the Pug 205 cost us the grand total of £300 on the road and has cost us very little in repairs to get it roadworthy..... but it's just a runabout and it's cheap to run at that.....

Alas the same can't be said about the Terrano... we can't really afford to get rid of it at the moment so it's a cost we have to absorb, but at £86 to fill up the tank and a tank lasts just under 500 miles..... it's an expensive hobby.....

it doesn't help having to run the kids back and forth into town in it for their ever expanding social life with the hoodies of Carmarthen when of course the Pug is being used by me, but we try to minimise its use, I'm seriously considering running it on chip oil, you can put 2500 litres through it a year without any tax liability, but I'm wondering if it will do any long term (expensive) engine damage to it, but with veg oil for sale at £0.86 per litre it's tempting, I will have to change the fuel filter after a couple of tankfuls at a 50/50 dilution because apparently it strips the dino-diesel varnish off the inside of the pipes and tank and clogs the filter but once the dino-varnish has been removed all is ok .......... apparently .... mind you with diesel over £5 a gallon now it's probably going to be cheaper to wreck your engine than use it ;¬)

Monday, 19 May 2008

The dreaded MOT time is upon us

That's the thing I like about the Peugeot 205, it's cheap to keep going, the Terrano on the other hand is about to cost me :-

£60 x 4 for four road tyres
£150 x 1 for centre exhaust
£50 x 1 for rear exhaust
(thank god it didn't need the front section with flexible cantilever @ £250 !!)
£25 tracking (after I had to raise the torsion bars to bring the Jeep up to it's proper ride height)

total £440 (so far)

I haven't told them (ATS) that they need to drop the rear prop shaft to install the exhaust in one piece AFTER they have bolted it together, because trying to do it with the prop shaft in place, unless of course you are born with the ability to dislocate your wrists and fingers and have a goodly selection of curly spanners it's impossible and of course had I told them this little tip, it would mean they would have had a damn good excuse to charge more labour wise..... (there is method in my madness !!).... you tend not to get away with it twice though

I originally asked Kwik fit to quote but after I stopped laughing at them and their ridiculous highway robbery I decided to go to ATS in Carmarthen..... I won't even bother telling you what Kwik fit quoted you won't believe me anyway ;¬)..... besides Kwik fit in Carmarthen have had experience of changing a Terrano exhaust (mine).... and probably know better (now) ;¬)

I've also had the MOT bloke ring me up and say one of the rear bump stops needs fixing, although I'm not entirely sure the bump stops are part of the MOT, so with the price of the MOT and the parts I can't see me getting much change out of £500.... AND on top of that it's road crippling road tax is due at the end of this month..... but that's the price you pay to be road legal and the owner of an evil gas guzzling planet destroying, Polar Bear offing not to mention Penguin slaughtering and small child murdering 4x4 eh ?

you really should visit the Alliance against urban 4x4's .... it's good for a laugh.... they are without any doubt completely barking mad, and seem to base their assumptions on data taken from American SUV's which are a completely different beast and about 4 litres bigger.... engine wise..... I know for a fact that my Terrano II has lower emissions than :-

Subaru Legacy
Skoda Superb
Vauxhall Vectra
Kia Magentis
BMW 5 Series
Volvo V70 (99 - 07)
Volvo S80
Volvo C70
Mercedes S Class
Vauxhall Meriva
Honda Legend
Peugeot 4007

but do we see an Alliance against urban Skoda's ? (maybe there should be ?) or the universally feared Alliance against Vauxhall Vectra's ? no we don't......they tell you that 4x4's are taller which ...Duhhhhh..... makes them narrower than most cars NOT WIDER and a lot of 4x4's are smaller than some saloons, they just give the impression of being bigger because they are taller.. and I have got to admit I have never had any trouble parking mine, and I've never EVER reversed over small children because I can't see out of the back....... all cars have a blind spot at the back, basically if you're not sure get out and look !!! .... I have however avoided many a motorway shunt because I can see 68% more than the average Vauxhall Vectra road user..... plus I'm emitting less CO2 to boot ;¬)

but what does all this bleating amount to eh ? The government have found a new green cash vending machine in the public comical tax department think tank..... and of course the evil CO2 gas clouds to jump on and squeeze more money out of us (ignoring the fact that energy cannot be created nor destroyed) .... and now we have all given up smoking and can't afford to drive anywhere because of the massive tax on fuel we've hit the bottle and just walk around town during our binge drinking weekends instead... something is coming soon..... Joe Public won't put up with this buffoonery for much longer.......

Right that's it, we are putting all the kids on Ebay the lot of em, they are too expensive to run

Monday, 12 May 2008

Freya's first beach visit :)

OK not very "beachy" but I can assure you she was on the beach. We went to Telpyn Point :) we bought a little cheapy beach tent so we could keep the sun off her skin AND we slathered her in SPF 50, you could have taken a blow torch to her skin and it would have mildly gone red that day .... she pretty much enjoyed it , but wasn't very impressed with the waves lapping at her feet, so we abandoned the idea of putting her in her trainer seat blow up raft and that decision was pretty much confirmed when my step daughter and youngest step son braved the cold waters, needless to say all the brass monkeys were lined up OUT of the water not daring to venture in like us idiots.... then it rained.... and thundered, and there was even a bit of lightning.... so we all sat in the one man beach tent and zipped it up and sat like economy class tesco value sardines, while all the other people left the beach.... however it was a good decision but could have gone horribly wrong as the deluge hit us. it honestly felt like a WWII submariner film, I was half expecting Sir John Mills to turn up as we were commenting on how much water was pouring into the Chinese made barely fit for purpose nylon inadequately stitched (and I use the term loosely) tent.....

but eventually it stopped and we ventured out from our steamy foot bath cum Turkish sauna and it brightened up and even got pretty damn warm again... we eventually left late in the afternoon and trudged up the long hill with my stepson carrying the absolute bare minimum and sulking when asked to carry a little more than his own boogie board which is made of polystyrene and which as everybody knows has the same atomic weight as uranium so is incredibly heavy ...... NOT....

I was all for excluding him from the ice cream stop on the way home in Pendine because he must have been FAR too tired to eat one.... but Andrea is an exponentially softer touch than me...but she is getting better these days ;¬)

the only other thing of note is that I somehow managed to break my little finger on my right hand yesterday..well it feels broken and was listing at a jaunty angle this morning and hurts like hell. So my apologies for any errors.....and needless to say this blog update has been typed by a 7 fingered pseudo cripple who winces like a girl when the keys IOPJKL/.,><@#] are attempted to be pressed..(did those with my other hand !!!)..... BUT I went to work this morning :)

Pah Joan of Arc ? who is she ?

Friday, 9 May 2008

Facebook the untold dangers

As you can see from the picture above.... not only your personal information can be stolen, but also your dignity, beware of adding long lost school friends they can out you in more ways than one... I have no idea what Andrea thought she looked like wearing these striped trousers but I'm still laughing as I type this.... one thing hasn't changed though her legs still look as good as they did then ;¬)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

it's a record !!

because last night I changed a Peugeot 205 XL's drive shaft in under 20 minutes, from my ratchet spanner taking the first bolt off to the very same ratchet spanner putting the last bolt on :)

that has to be a record !! mind you I do know the front suspension system of a Pug 205 backwards now and could quite probably do it blind folded and left handed ... although I would probably jack up the rear of the car instead with said blindfold in place and end up picking my nose with a 17mm ratchet spanner....

it had to be replaced because the CV boot was leaking grease and it was starting to revert to circa 1944 Dresden bombing raid era.... again, but like all things in life sometimes you get a baddun thrown at you, weirdly the CV boot looked fine, but on closer inspection it was leaking grease from the very end of the boot near the drive shaft end.... thankfully the motor factors have replaced it free of charge... (not that they would have stood a chance of arguing otherwise !!!) I just need to get the old one back now to get my £19.63 deposit back (don't ask me why it was that amount....weird I know)

The weather is blistering in Swansea today although not as hot as yesterday, but it's all due to end tomorrow and it's back to the usual rain, typical isn't it I don't think that there has been a solid weekend yet of continuous sun although last weekend came close...

I've also purchased a camber/caster meter for the Jeep (£37 !!!) as you can see I always treat myself to the best luxuries in life .....sigh..... but its mainly because we are going through tyres on that beast every 3 - 4 months and it just isn't funny @ £100 a pop EACH !! I've ordered the shims from Nissan so at some point I will be correcting it's front tyre shredding stance once and for all.... and yes you guessed it I have decided to do it myself because to get it done at the Nissan dealership was going to cost me just shy of £300.... hmmmm £37 plus a shim or two @ 85p each or £300 ???? let me think about that for a second....

I wouldn't mind if car mechanics was a hobby of mine, but its not ... its pure necessity, Andrea theory is that I have broadband and a wide screen TV down in the pit complete with a rocking chair and a completely stocked fridge of beer.... oh how I wish....

we are having "another" BBQ this Friday, I don't mind though I quite enjoy carbonising animal parts over the hot charcoal, and even the 1st degree burns don't put me off, although I have slipped into second place over burning or injuring myself when Andrea managed to slop super heated spaghetti over the back of her hand... it's getting better now, but I think it will probably scar her... :(

Freya is fighting fit, but she has picked up a bit of a snuffle off one of the kids, she has come on leaps and bounds these last few weeks, and is getting a real character about her... still full of smiles, and is developing a cracking sense of humour, she laughs at the daftest of things.... :) but the best bit is when I get home and she looks at me and a second later I get a huge smile of recognition and sometimes outstretched arms for a cuddle.... or that could be "save me from the bigger kids" haven't figured that one out yet :)

the only other thing of note is that the house martins are back swooping within feet of our head and completely unafraid of any human activity... it's nice to have them back :) and the green woodpeckers are tapping out their morse code most days... I think it's turning a bit summery around Chez Brabrook :)

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

2008 - 24 = ?

CCTV isn't working apparently despite the UK having more CCTV than any other country (4.2 million of them)

Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office (Viido) ...(wonder how long that brilliant acronym took to think up?)

Det Ch Insp Neville said it's an utter fiasco with only 3% of London's street robberies being solved using security cameras, citing that criminals are not afraid of cameras .... (he is in charge of Viido by the way)

well it stands to reason really if somebody is intent on robbing you or somebody they have already committed to doing it and some eye in the sky or pole in most cases isn't really going to stop them, it's just factored into the risk I should imagine...

but like all things this government have introduced with their pointless laws to give the smoke and mirrors impression that they are doing "something" however pointless

You only have to cast your mind back to the gun control laws when they were rushed through parliament as a knee jerk reaction to Dunblane, criminals are NOT going to register guns with the police or obtain a firearms certificate, simply because they are operating illegally, they don't want the police to know they have guns..... duhhhhhhh.... and making law abiding citizens hand in their weapons doesn't remove the ones from the criminals hands, and I should imagine when it happened lots of guns flooded from the legally held sector into the black market simply because the government wasn't compensating the gun owners properly, so they ended up on the black market where a higher price was being paid.... it only takes a few gun owners to buy their mates gun and sell it on for cash and the trail goes cold.... and I shouldn't think many serial numbers exist on black market guns

and it's a bit like those utterly pointless amnesties they run every now and again, the last one being a knife amnesty, the underlying cause is because people don't feel safe on the streets.... hence why they carry a weapon, you are hardly going to convince that type of person to hand in their blade, unless you make them feel safe and the only way to do that is to put more coppers on the streets instead of sitting in civilian Mitsubishi Evo's trying to catch that arch criminal the ever so slightly speeding motorist

and don't even get me started on speed cameras...ooops.... SORRY... safety cameras..... you have heard of course that they are as we speak doing a trial on "safety" cameras built into cats eyes in the road.... they will I am sure paint them bright yellow once installed for easy visibility of course..... they are after all there as a deterrent not a means of generating cash as we have been told countless times ;¬)

and no I haven't been caught for speeding recently.... the Pug flat out in 4th barely makes the national speed limit :) (probably a good thing.....)

I also caught the tail end of Watchdog last night they were laying into the CSA saying how useless they were as an organisation with complaint after complaint AND costing £200 million a year...... one guy got a letter out of the blue demanding payment for some child he supposedly fathered only to retract their demand when he told them he had had a vasectomy 8 years prior to the child being born....that by any standards is one hell of a gestation period..... and the woman who said the CSA had sent her a letter stating she been paid by the CSA only to find out that the CSA had paid the wrong woman but couldn't pay her because they can't override the computer.... or the best one a woman who's ex husband was paying maintenance but she was getting £1.50 here and £0.90 pence there, or "drip fed" as the CSA call it, while her ex husband was paying £449 a month to the CSA !!! no doubt paying for all the other letters to completely uninvolved and in some cases childless couples, must be one hell of a shock being in a stable marriage and one day a letter arrives from the CSA saying your husband has fathered a child..... it's about time the CSA had it's bloody wings clipped it's about as much use as a chocolate fire guard or an ashtray on a motorbike, maybe one day it will be consigned to the white elephant grave yard sited at the O2 dome (ex Millennium dome) as not a very bright idea

the computer says NO !!!

right I'm off my soap box now, have a nice day :)

Friday, 2 May 2008

Global Warning !!!

"The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds."

who reported this ? the IPCC ?? the Meteorological Office....?? No, that was the US Weather Bureau in 1922.

1924 saw the first global cooling scare followed by a global warming scare in 1933, then it went silent until the 1970's with another global cooling warning, and now we have another warming scare today.

it's not new, scientists (I use the term loosely) do this from time to seems

if you really want to throw water on the average eco warriors barbecue point them to the NASA data which says the worlds temperature is climbing still....(good times) but the UK Meteorological Office's Hadley centre for Climate Studies Had-Crut data shows worldwide temperatures declining since 1998 (bad times).... as do the two satellites circling the earth and taking extremely accurate temperature readings.

of course all this upward rounding of data is nothing to do with the fact that the person in charge of the temperature data at NASA is none other than Dr. James Hansen who just happens to be Al Gore's science advisor...... how convenient ?

that's almost as believable that Gordon Brown will win the next election with a massive majority :¬)

Well Labour has taken a hammering in the local elections

The Conservatives have a 44% lead over Labour, this morning anyway..... I think we can count Gordon Browns stint as prime minister in days now, not that the Conservatives will do any better, in fact any of the parties these days there really isn't much between them policy wise... but Labour have really shot themselves in the foot over this, it just seems to be one gaff after the next...

abolishing the 10p tax band <--- big mistake

then back peddling to compensate the ones hit by it, then there is Northern Rock, the government just seems to be frittering away public money, and lets not mention the expenses politicians claim.....

Then of course we have the spiralling fuel prices and the cost of living, I had to laugh at Harriet Harmen on BBC news this morning saying Labour were extremely disappointed with the results but were the best party to carry the country forward so that we could enjoy the good times of the 90's again.... has she stolen the plans for the Tardis ? I think the British public have sent less of a shot across the bow of New Labour more of a bombardment.... worst results for Labour in 40 years apparently !!!

Amazing isn't it how the politicians say they will listen to us now (it's almost pathetic to hear the whimpering) .... funny that isn't it ? I was under the impression they were in power to serve us not follow their own agenda..... ahhh well once the Conservatives are in (again) they will go the same way I guess....eventually.....complacency always sets in... although I seem to remember the Conservatives seem to have a better class of sleaze than New Labour ;¬)

I even read that hundreds of Polish workers are leaving the country.... probably before they can't afford the petrol to get back to Poland !!!

you would think I was rabid anti Labour, but I'm not, I'm rabid anti every party.... they are all as useless and as bad as each other, they just mess up the country by differing degrees that's all

the end is nigh ;¬)

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Here we go again

And yet again the global warming cash cow rears it's ugly head, apparently the next decade may see no warming at all due to yet more data from a NEW computer model developed by German scientists.
Mind you what do you expect when German artists think head lice is art ? So now we are getting conflicting evidence from the NEW climate model in comparison to the OLD climate model(s), they are saying its a temporary slow down in global warming which will end in or around 2020.

allegedly its down to the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), apparently the cause of the oscillation is not well understood (you don't say....) but the cycle appears to come around every 60 or 70 years (give or take 10 years ?)

the team used data going back a whole 50 years !!! to produce this NEW model, they don't mess about do they ? that's a massive time-scale.....but they are first to admit that there are uncertainties in their model (what like most of it ?) and Dr Wood apparently cautions us that this kind of modelling is in it's infancy and once data can be brought from the depths of the ocean that may change the view on the way the AMO works and what it means to the global climate...

"Right Mr Brabrook, your car definitely has a fault it's overheating, I've never done car mechanics before, in fact I have no idea how an engine even works, and I have to admit I've never actually seen a real one..... but judging by the steam coming out from under the bonnet it would suggest to me that something is definitely overheating under there, but I'm going to push a thermometer in between your radiator fins and take a direct reading of the current temperature, then I might have a better idea of what is causing the problem....

in the mean time I'm going to input all of the temperature readings into this wonderful computer model which I programmed myself the other day, which will predict that yes indeed the temperature is rising, and if it doesn't we will make it ....and hopefully once we have graphed the temperature rise we will understand a little more as to why it got hotter in the first the way ..... what is that noise ? "

"it's the engine....I'll turn it off....... better ?"

I mean come on !! even the eco scientists can't bloody agree on what's happening now.... what hope do we have of believing any of them if they don't agree in the first place...

you only have to look at this one in August of 2007 (a whole 8 months ago) to see how it contradicts this latest climate model ......

they are no better or worse than Russell Grant (remember him and his jumpers on Good Morning TV ?) at predicting the climate, the climate is far too complex to nail it down to a few variables, it's all inter related and one single error in any model would wildly skew the results... it's a bit like orienteering, if you deviate off your bearing by as little as one degree you will miss the check point and the margin of error increases the further you go, anyway I digress this hiccup in the data has been brilliantly pointed out with this latest and greatest climate model..(still in it's infancy by the way).. in other words if the other climate computer models were so bloody "accurate" at their predictions then why didn't they see this 10 year slowing down in global warming ?? surely not a mistake ??? how can this be possible it's SCIENCE ..... (stifled laugh). Science is something provable, climate modelling is prediction you cannot prove it until you arrive at that point in time and look back, and science HAS to be provable and repeatable otherwise its simply NOT science..... this is guessing based on other guesses and assumptions.

call me cynical, but it does buy them another 10 years of gravy train research, maybe a few of the older scientists are just padding out their retirement package ??? ;¬)

I had to laugh out loud in work the other day, I planned a route from where we live to Liverpool, and it informed me that in the Pug I would have a carbon footprint for that single journey of 50.88kg ONE WAY !! (go check for yourselves if you don't believe me.... )

that's SEVEN STONES of carbon or basically a medium teenager sized lump of carbon littering the road behind me, now considering petrol weighs only 72% of what a litre of water would, thus one litre of petrol would weigh 0.72Kgs, and I know for a fact that it takes 1/4 of a tank of petrol to get to Liverpool in the Pug that's TEN litres or 7.2Kgs of petrol so that's 1.13 stone .....following me so far ? .... we don't even get to the fact that you cannot convert 7.2kgs of petrol into 7.2Kgs of carbon it would be a minute fraction of that 7.2Kgs probably less than 1/100th of a kilo .... if that..... ! ... you can test this theory by pouring a litre of petrol into your front room then throwing a match on it, and providing your house doesn't burn down (very likely) or that you get blown out of the nearest double glazed window..... you would then be able to scrape the carbon soot off the walls and ceiling ;¬)

anyway basically the company carbon clear is saying that nearly 7 stones of my carbon footprint (one way to Liverpool) is down to the extraction, cracking, delivery of the fuel before it even hits my petrol tank ??? where DO THEY pull these figures from ?

you can even go to their website

and wait for it ..... offset your carbon footprint (brilliant idea !!!.... I'm just waiting for the DOT.COM syndrome to kick in !!!)
mine happens to be 3.95 tonnes of carbon and that's just travelling to and from work every day for a year .....and I was even invited to completely clear sorry OFFSET my carbon footprint of 3.95 tonnes for only: £29.63 .... bloody bargain !!! ;¬) ......although thinking about it, that's VERY nearly a full tank of petrol for the Pug....hmmm decisions decisions

and I'll leave you with this thought

if computer modelling/prediction was/is so accurate why haven't they developed a computer program to predict the lottery numbers ? some of you will say "they have !!!" and I'll say "are you rich yet ?"

surely with only 50 balls (ish) and having to only predict 7 of those balls in a known environment using the variables of friction, inertia, initial starting position, speed of rotation, weight, gravity, oh and a bit of chaos theory thrown in for good measure, has it worked ? did it get it right ? are the millionaires lining up outside the software company who wrote it to personally thank them for their riches ? it is after all a tiny problem in comparison to global warming prediction to solve AND with known variables

I don't think so .....

now scale that software problem up to global proportions add a few thousand, possibly a million other variables, throw in sun light, gravitational pull, volcanoes, ozone depletion, forest fires, car exhausts, factories, cows farting... the list is endless

then produce a nice pretty graph showing what will happen in the next 100 the real world you would laughed out of the patent office saying you could accurately predict lottery numbers with a computer model.... so why aren't we laughing at global warming predictions ? should we question their validity ? or will it fade into obscurity as did the scientists of the 1970's, who's prediction of the impending ice age we were plunging into by the year 2010 turned out to be wrong ?

tell you one thing it's warm in here, somebody turn on the air conditioning .....