Ode to ‘Bristol tools’

Bristol tools was a shop on Gloucester Road that was established in 1973. I bought a centre punch there when I was 11. Over the years I did a fair amount of shopping there, they specialised in hand tools.

But on August 31st 2002 (my record keeping is somewhat anal) I went in carrying a piece of brake cable. I asked specially for ‘something that would cut this’. I was handed a pair of snips, I then proceeded to cut the cable with them. The man grabbed them off me and said, ‘Sold!’, ‘I can’t sell them as new now can I’. I didn’t point out at the time that if I’d specially asked for a product to serve a certain purpose and it failed to perform that duty then I could get a refund anyway. I paid and left and vowed never to return. I didn’t.

I noticed when walking past recently that the shop went from a double unit to a single one and that it started to sell a large range of ‘tat’ including old vinyl records. A couple of weeks ago in passing I saw that it had vanished completely and all that was remaining was a mural painted on the wall.

I should feel perhaps a little sad that this almost 50 year old shop has now ceased trading, but then I wonder how many customers failed to come back due to poor customer service. It only attracted four Google reviews. Shed a tear? No, sorry you pissed me off. I still have the snips. It won’t be long before the mural vanishes and you will just be a blot in history.

Wiring your speakers via a banana will not improve the base

Popped into town yesterday to the ‘Sound & Vision’ show, should have been renamed ‘Expensive stuff that does nothing show’, there wasn’t very much in the way of ‘vision’ apart from a Dolby Atmos demo which you couldn’t really tell much as the whole thing was with it ‘on’, so impossible to compare. What I did find amusing though was the shear amount of bollocks available for ludicrous prices. And people believing the hype. Now I’m not a cretin, I can happily hear the difference between a one hundred pound turntable and a five hundred pound turntable, I can even hear the difference between a five hundred pound turntable and a fifteen hundred pound turntable (not much), but I can’t make out the difference between a fifteen hundred pound turntable and a five grand one. I can also not hear the difference if you place it on five hundred quids worth of wood that ‘isolates’ it from the surroundings. It also makes no difference to me if you wire the speakers using cable that cost a tenner or cable that cost a million quid. I had an argument with a guy from a cable company, he was trying to convince me that my treble would be amazing due to the oxygen free content of his five hundred quid interconnect. I pointed to the amplifier it was connecting to which had the lid off and said that it was all fine, except that the amp socket was connected to the circuit board using 2p’s worth of Chinese coax. He didn’t have an answer for that. He could have got away with, ‘Ah, but that’s only two inches long and is isolated within the chassis’. The biggest bullshit purveyors of the lot though are those who sell digital interconnects. Providing the cable can transmit the signal error free, it really doesn’t matter if it costs two grand or two quid, the signal will be the same. So for all these hi-fi reviewers who say ‘the blacks looked so much darker and the colours more vibrant’, you are talking absolute shit.

I’ve worked out a way to make a fortune. I’m sure vinyl is designed to be played at a certain temperature. So I’m going to invent a fridge that you put your turntable in, so it’s at the exact correct temperature. Or for the full effect, offer to install perfect air-conditioning to reduce the whole room temperature down to thirty below zero. Your vinyl will sound great, but the increased treble will be over shadowed by the sound of your knackers shivering. But somewhere out there will be a guy with an Aaron sweater, loafers and an Audi who will spend fifty grand on it.

How many sets of bathroom scales do I need to buy?

What the fuck is it with bathroom scales? They just break down constantly. The new ones I had, about eighteen months old now, stopped working completely, they spent all that time randomly changing between pounds and kilos, now they do fuck all. They seem to have a lot of problems looking at the reviews, the advice from the company is ‘do not use in a humid environment’, so awesome for a bathroom then. So dug out the previous scales which were in the other bathroom, they are fucked as well. So now ordered yet another make, gone for the ‘Fitbit aria’, wireless scales. No doubt these will be a sod to setup and breakdown just after a year. Oh and Pokemon go is fairy fucked as well.

Statistically, Out of the group, I’m the most likely to die

So started this morning far too early, but it was fine. Had a quick breakfast and a coffee. Jumped in the car and made it to Staverton in plenty of time. We all sat in the front room, it was like waiting in a morgue. Anyway we all got upstairs after ‘Dick’ (Richard Mornington-Sandford) had got setup. We went round the table and introduced ourselves. I was the only non-ppl holder, everyone else was a qualified pilot. I mentioned that I took up helicopters after karting for ten years was beginning to take quite a physical toll. Richard then said that I’d gone up his list of people who will die ‘quite a lot’. I’ll rant on this in a bit.

Course, I must admit was absolutely fascinating, learnt a huge amount of stuff which will hopefully keep me alive. This chap is a bit of a male chauvinist, doesn’t like the French and not too keen on the Germans. At one point he asked who was married, I just didn’t go there….. Total respect for the guy though. He has survived an engine failure in an R22, twice. Has 20,000+ hours on all sorts of shit and is ex. airforce. There is one thing I think he was very wrong on though, and we did discuss this after the session today….

The assessment of risk….

He instantly thought that just because I raced karts, that I was a big risk taker. I don’t agree with this for a number of reasons. His point was that we ‘always drive on the edge’, that point is very much correct, but that doesn’t mean to say we haven’t assessed the element of risk. I raced a kart for ten years, never had a serious accident, okay then you can say, ‘oh well you’ve had accidents’. That in racing I’m afraid is unavoidable. Mainly because you cannot depend on ‘what the other guy does’. In that ten years, I had one accident that was caused by myself. That was probably close to 500 hours at race speeds. I maintained my own kart, I never ever had one mechanical failure or one engine failure, as far as I know I was the only team (There is an I in team) that achieved this. It was all to do with assessing risk. Does this part need replacing? Do I take that line through the corner? It’s all assessing risk. Does Lewis Hamilton have a death wish? Does he always put his life in danger? No, I don’t think he does. He does what great race drivers do, he assesses risk, he is not prepared to die for a race move. In a kart I built up the experience to be able to assess risk. In a helicopter I have no plans to do anything different. I certainly will never attempt to put a helicopter ‘on the limit’, because the risk factor is far too high. You have to operate within your limits, the important thing is to know where you’re limits are. At one point in the day he asked ‘How many people didn’t break the speed limit on the way up here?’. I was the only one who raised my hand. I left plenty of time, I was in no hurry. I could have belted up the M5 at 160MPH+, I didn’t. I plodded up the M5 at 60MPH, saved fuel and listened to the news.

We had this discussion. I did describe that fact that I’m so paranoid about dynamic roll-over that James has told me I’ll never get one, because it’s always at the forefront of my mind. I also described by ‘two part’ take-off technique which is the same one he recommended. I was very attentive and asked questions. He told me after are little chat, ‘I think you’ll be just fine’. Statistically, just by going on this course I’ve reduced my risk considerably for myself and my lucky passengers. I put my name down for the course, no one told me to, Captain James doesn’t even know I’m doing it.

So, yes, I know all about ‘risk’. I look forward to the second part of the course tomorrow.

Bitches, it’s a spin class, shut the fuck up

This morning was mainly concerned with the joy of building demo data and debugging builds. It was dull but necessary. Had lunch, drank coffee. Read a book on iMovie during the dull bits. I now know how to edit stuff, this could be useful.

So the day was going fine. Got changed and went to the gym. It was spin. Paul wasn’t there, it was some lady. Anyway, there was only a couple of bikes left so I sat towards the back. Next to two ‘ladies’. During the warm up they were chatting. Then the class started, the hill climb, and they continued to chat. The music was fairly quiet, the instructor was doing her hardest to shout over it. These two woman continued to talk through the whole bloody thing.

“Craig, started at big school and someone took his lunch box.”

“Really, didn’t the teachers do anything about it?”

“Add more resistance, give it everything you got, push and pull now, pull your stomach in”

“No, he didn’t say anything to the teacher, but he came home crying”

Hopefully the kid will come home tomorrow, have a massive existential crisis because his mother talks too fucking much and wrap her massive boob tube round her fucking throat. Then may be we can all do the hill climb in peace.

I need some curtains altered but I don’t want to sell my soul

Started off this morning with sex, well not full on, but a bit of fapping. Jamie then went to work, I thought it was his day off. Actually this morning started rather strangely. I got up at 6:15 and took Dillon to daycare. I then went back to bed. I had a dream….Jamie and I had an argument about him being fat, I then ended up smashing a house up, which was shaped like a goldfish bowl. I then broke the cooker. I must lay off the cheese.

Work wise was all about threading and optimisation. Basically on a console processing five render threads at once works fine, on PC due to DX locking everything everywhere it’s actually slower. Still, console is my problem, DX isn’t. I’ll carry on doing what I’m doing.

Walked Sasha. Picked up Dillon. Went to Pump. Bottle the rest of the red, yielded twenty-nine bottles, not bad at all.

Now, the curtains I have are 90 inches long, they need to be 87 inches long. This requires someone with better seamstress skills than me. Now you will ask, “Why don’t you just ask your mother?”. Well, it’s because I will then be indebted to her forever. Okay, it may have been traumatic for her to give birth to me, but it’s been traumatic for me ever since. She only took me the cinema seven times as a kid and all our holidays were shit. She would do the curtains for me, she’d talk about it a lot, then phone me at least five times on the subject. Then the demands would start….I need a TV aerial cable running under the floor from my bedroom to the kitchen, I want my ceilings painting, I have a leak on my roof, my tyres keep going down, my shower is leaking, my virus killer needs updating, I don’t know how to sell stuff on eBay, my knees hurt, I’ve got a bunion, look at my swollen ankle, I’ve got £15 in my bank account and an overdraft bigger than the US debt ceiling. Well if you stopped buying Dennis Basso coats and Kim & Co shit that you never wear you may be able to afford to eat. “But I need the telly to work in the kitchen, that’s where I sit and eat and I need to watch QVC or I might miss some complete tat.” “Any chance you can wire up a TV in the loo, so if I’m taking a dump I won’t miss the Christmas special.” She hasn’t worked out yet that she can stream the lot on her laptop anyway. I don’t know why one person really requires no less than four TV’s, multiple freeview boxes and cable. I bet it’s so she can have QVC on one, Bid Up on another, plus two spares for any other junk. “The only thing I have to look forward to is boxes arriving”, Oh there’s one box I am waiting to arrive dear.

I’ll find someone else to alter the curtains.

Victor Hugo, you did actually write quite a lot of bollocks

So this morning for reason I was awake at 4AM then continued to wake every hour until 9AM wanting a very large pee. This either means I have diabetes, prostate problems or just draining the remains of 300 litres of Japanese lager from the previous week.

So had breakfast at 10AM. This was followed by some sort of sexual activity, nothing adventurous, more of a pipe cleaning exercise. Still, it was now a good excuse to change the sheets, spunk and dog hair is almost like concrete when it solidifies.

Had a email back from the hotel saying, ‘We’ve found these two pairs of shoes…..’, I sent one back saying that they can recycle them. One pair had a broken heal, the other Jamie just didn’t like, apparently they didn’t go with his blazer.

I started on the first round of washing then did the unpacking. As usual half the clothes I took I didn’t wear. Mind you I did get through more T-shirts than normal. I did make some sort of effort. Put the suitcases back in the loft and sorted everything away. First load finished (washing not my balls) so hung that out to dry. Then set off to Tesco’s. Jamie came as well, so it was like shopping with a five year old child, things kept appearing in the basket and he kept buggering off every two minutes. Still there were good offers on loo rolls and kitchen towels. Came back and had toast, hung out next round of washing.

Then we went to pick the dog up. She was in a run and seemed quite settled until she saw us. Then I don’t thing I’ve ever heard her whine so loud of jump so high. I’m sure at one point her ass actually hit the top of her kennel. There was a bit of a queue so we just had to listen to her whining. Anyway she was very pleased to see us. She got on fine and played nicely with all the other doggies, she seems in good shape and if anything lost a bit of weight, so she’s been running around a plenty. We’ll use them again as I think she had fun and it appears to be a pretty popular place.

Came back, Jamie buggered off with one of his anaemic bean poll blue friends together with a load of Sonic stuff. I hope he has tissues and lube.

I stuck my Japanese J-Pop ‘Sexy Thing’ poster on the side of the wardrobe. I was thinking about sticking it above the bed so if I need inspiration while banging away I have a choice between Tom Daley and fourteen nubile Japanese boys.

I then decided as the weather was nice to hoover out the car. So I tied the dog to her long leash and let her outside. I then spent the next three hours hoovering every last hair out of the car. I made a good job of it. Okay, so I have an industrial vacuum cleaner for the car, that makes it somewhat easier. Hung another lot of washing up.

Jamie has just come back, obviously all sexually exhausted. He can empty the dishwasher, that should calm his ardour.

So after watching Les Miserable again it made me think a little bit about the book it’s based on. It was written by Victor Hugo in 1860 something. I read it a few years ago, to be honest it’s bollocks. Okay it’s French so that doesn’t help, I would have attempted to read it in the original Klingon (look it up) but went for the English language version. It’s big, very big, I seem to remember a couple of thousand pages. It’s also oddly laid out, hundreds of chapters each about three pages long. About half the book is complete drivel, it’s Hugo banging on about his political theories, Sewers (I kid you not), and also about a visit to Waterloo (the battle field, not the tube station). Now the musical is interesting as it’s based on the book, to be honest it’s probably based on about ten pages of the book. Dear old Jean Viljean doesn’t appear in a great deal of it. The oddest thing for me though is he keeps bumping into Javert and keeps saying ‘give me three days’, blah blah. Then he goes from being a prisoner to a factory owner and mayor to then becoming part of the revolution, although that started happening about twenty years before. Anyway, the film is fine, except for Russell Crowe who’s a cock and I like the songs.

It’s reminds me somewhat of another complete pile of cack which is Ulysses. This I read when I was going through ‘I must read some great classic literature’, phase many years ago. I did tried some Dicken’s but decided it was very depressing. Anyway, back to James Joyce, this was written in 1920 something. It’s considered a very important work of literature. Now let me condense it down, bloke walks around Ireland. Job done. It is almost impossible to read and follow, there is one chapter that is just one sentence, it’s meant to be stream of conciousness, to me it’s a stream that will make you unconscious with boredom. There are a couple of chapters that concentrate on people giving themselves ‘self gratification’ in very graphic detail, if you’ve managed to get this far you probably need a good wank anyway.

My English teacher once said to me, ‘Don’t read Stephen King as he doesn’t write proper books’, I think my response was ‘I don’t read Stephen King because he is shit’. If you want to read a good book forget early nineteenth century bollocks, go read Harper Lee’s ‘To kill a mocking bird’ or Steinbeck’s ‘Of mice and men’. These are classic books written by people who aren’t up their own arse.

If you want a cheap inuendo, I’ll give you one

This morning started how I quite like to start Saturday mornings, with sleep. It was then followed by a bit more sleep, breakfast, coffee, vitamins and Fluoxetine.

Got up and walked the dog. There was a dog running about that wasn’t on a lead, Sasha got a bit over excited and started chasing it and basically walked over it. I pulled her back and apologised that she just wanted to play. The women moaned ‘oh really, I’ll her on a lead then she they won’t’. Jesus, there’s someone who needs HRT, miserable bitch. Mind you I can hardly complain about being moody. My mood swings more often than the Plimsoll bridge. Further down the path we met a lovely Welsh women with I think it was a ‘chow chow’. Medium sized dog with the most amazing afro. It was also apparently a moody shit, so would have got on fine with me. We were talking for about ten minutes.

Came back, had lunch. Went and met bum boy at Tesco’s and did the shopping. Also went to Pet’s R’Us and got Sasha a new bed for her box, we also got her a basket style one which she will probably eat. We also stocked up on Pig trotters, Jamie has some odd eating habits.

I walked into town, failed to buy anything, it’s cheaper that way. Visited mother, she’s still alive. Updated her virus software. Came back home and did the accounts. Pizza dough is currently in the bread maker. Jamie is currently in the bath, which is where I want to be. I would join him but Archimedes was pretty spot on and we’d only need an egg-cup of water. Mind you last time we were in the bath together he kept moaning about every time I peed in it.

More DIY tomorrow, only 1059 Sunday’s left.

Thirty five quid per fucking pony

Rudely awaken this morning by yet another courier. This time a box for Jamie. It contained four ponies. To be exact four ‘My Little Pony’s’. They were shipped from the US. Looking at the invoice, the shipping costs and the import duty they cost thirty five quid each. That’s a lot for a pony.

Spent the morning discussing a database task with a work colleague. It took about two hours to explain something that turns out to be quite simple, yet is being implemented in probably the most complex way I can think of. It’s not my department so I’m just getting on with it without complaining, I’m sure there are lots of other reasons why it’s being done this particular way and I’m just being dense.

Tried to get a doctors appointment, rang at 8:45, apparently all the appointments were gone for the day. I should have said, “Well I’ll just fucking die then.”, I didn’t. I said I’d call back tomorrow.

Went for a run. Did some more Japanese. Only eleven working days left until we go.

It’s torture porn night, Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt.1 tonight, bring on those abs.

May be if I don’t pay for your piss poor cleaning job you’ll get the message

Well at least I slept last night, may have been partially wine induced. I felt somewhat itchy, which means either the dog has fleas or my balls need shaving again.

This mornings work started with one of the chaps commenting on my wing implementation, saying it could be replaced with a normal surface. Which in theory is probably correct, I can see how it would work. If you have an angled plane and then blast air at it, it would produce some sort of down force and some sort of drag. The problem is it isn’t any where near correct. Now, there was a fault in my equation and also an issue with it not working backwards. So, here goes the explanation. Let’s start with energy equals half mass multiplied by velocity squared. Note the velocity squared here, that’s important. So what’s mass? Well that will be the area of the object multiplied by a length multiplied by a density. So we end up with energy equals half area multiplied by length multiplied by density. If we assume length is actually a distance then that energy equation can then be rearranged (energy equals force times distance) to force equals half area multiplied by density multiplied by velocity squared. So area is straight forward, you then also multiply by the attack angle in radians and a coefficient as you don’t want all the possible down force applied. The drag equation is the same except you use a drag coefficient. Also remember the squared thing? Well a negative multiplied by a negative will give a positive, so you have to reverse the sign of the velocity squared if you go backwards so you still get a drag, but you will get an up force rather than a down force. So in the end, I was right.

Now the cleaners. Okay they came yesterday, stayed for just over an hour. Missed out half the house and did a fairly piss poor job. They also broke part of the dish washer by jamming a giant baking tray in it and chucked all the rubbish bags into the wrong bin. So I sent him an email yesterday to which I haven’t had a reply. So may be if I don’t pay them any money they may get the message, or they can just fuck off.

I ordered a drill bit from Amazon, three quid. It arrived by courier in a box big enough to hide half a dozen Albanians. Must do wonders for the packaging industry.

At work in October I ordered a new fibre line. Now this isn’t ADSL or any of your Virgin Media crap, this is many thousands of pounds worth of direct fibre connection to a huge back bone. Now we already have one fibre in the office, this works fine. This new one is supplied by the same company, well actually it’s the same managing company the line itself is being provided by another company. So OpenReach come in and actually do their job properly. They install the fibre and a device known as an NTE, which is basically a termination unit. Weeks later a Cisco router turns up at the office. It’s the size of a small car. I get it sent back and replaced with a 1U version. This I get installed into the network cabinet. Problem, the NTE terminates in a twin fibre connection. The router doesn’t have any fibre inputs. After many emails they say just connect the NTE network port to port one of the router. We do this. Nothing happens. Many more emails later. They finally send an engineer and a large box of bits. Engineer arrives and goes away again, he decides he needs more bits. More bits arrive. Engineer returns and inserts bits. Router now apparently works. I get an email saying that I need to connect my network to port one of the Cisco which is a 100Mbps port. Now, we are paying for a 200Mbps connection. I’d be impressed to see how I can get 200Mbps from a 100Mbps port. I’ve tried to communicate this to them, I’m thinking of putting them in touch with my (soon to be ex.) cleaners.

It’s torture porn night. May be some Twilight. Then see who can piss me off tomorrow.