Friday 31 March 2023

The Problem of Free Will

I keep hearing adverts on the radio from the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity that offer free will kits.

I don't think these people understand how the problem of whether free will exists has taxed philosophers for centuries. You certainly won't get the answer in a kit.

In other news, Trump is to be arrested for paying hush money to Stormzy.

Update on the ash slab I want to turn into a dining table - it's arriving today. Obviously it will have to go in the garage and I'll spend the weekend working on it. I was going to hire a 3,000 psi jet washer to give the patios their annual clean, but that's going to have to be delayed till after Easter - I have to make room for the GT6, which I desperately need to collect ASAP before the current owner gets a bit pissed off. 

Thursday 30 March 2023

Triumph GT6 Colours

Apropos of yesterday's post regarding the near completion of the garage and workshop, I hope to be collecting my GT6 project fairly soon - within the month is the target.

I found a few colours I rather like, when eventually I get round to painting it:

The first one is quite attractive, if non original and is a German car. The colour split makes it appear lower and sleeker. However, no GT6 was ever two-tone.

The gunmetal is redolent of classic Aston Martins. 

The final one looks similar to opalescent golden sand, if a tad browner, which was a colour used by Jaguar between 62 and 68 (my dad had an S Type Jag in opalescent golden sand and a lot of E-Types came in that colour).

I think I'll go for opalescent golden sand. Understated, yet refined and sophisticated. The problem with that colour, however, is that there are a lot of different shades, depending on manufacturer.

I had been toying with the idea of Ford Tangerine Scream, which is a pearlescent yellow. 

A bit in-your-face though and not at all classic.

I stress tested the colours on some acquaintances. The older ones (over 55) liked the golden sand, but the younger ones much preferred the gunmetal, labelling the golden sand as fuddy-duddy, which will do for me. I could still be persuaded either way though.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Guerilla Electrician

Unbeknownst to me, a guerilla electrician has been busy in my workshop installing electrical sockets.

He (aka Hay's dad) must have crept in on Monday while I was out.

Taking delivery of the Triumph GT6 project is a step nearer; all that's required now is for Colin, our tame builder, to fashion the ramp into the garage area.

I could do with the roll-up wall being in place at the entrance, but there's no chance of that till May and so a car cover is going to have to suffice.

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Afro Wigs

Apparently the organisers of an ABBA virtual concert have asked people not to turn up in Afro wigs, as they're deemed culturally insensitive.

Yes, I agree - Scousers will be very offended. Ey, ey..... Calm down, calm down....

In another story, Rishi Sunak is to ban laughing - the gas, actually, but it won't be long before he makes it illegal to laugh at the government.

The reason given is to clamp down on antisocial behaviour, but what's antisocial about laughing?

Monday 27 March 2023


Had a couple of days in the motorhome at a place just outside Hereford, a place I've never visited and will not be sorry not to visit again. I don't mean the campsite, which was fine, but Hereford itself. 

It's not Hereford's fault, but that of the businesses that have decided to create the not-so-unique shopping experience. Costa Coffee, the Edinburgh Wool Mill, Primark, Mountain Warehouse, Boots, numerous mobile phone shops, Marks and Spencer, JD Sports, New Look, Poundland......

One town is now no different from any other homogenised one and independent traders have presumably been squeezed out by extortionate rents. I just looked up who owns the centre of Hereford and it's the council, so it is Hereford's fault. The best place is the Hereford Butter Market, a traditional covered market with independent traders.

I do wish more places could be like Totnes and not allow the big chains into the centre.

Anyway, while walking into Hereford from the campsite I spotted these chairs in a garage window.

They're made from oil drums. Might have a go at making a couple of these for the workshop. I can get oil drums by the dozen from a local car dealership and all that's required is a bit of plastic edging strip, some castors, a bit of paint and a few tools.

Decided to have a shower at the shower block at the campsite before coming back home yesterday morning. I asked Hay for a towel and she gave me something the size of a flannel. I protested that this duster stood no chance of drying anything other than my face, but she assured me it was a highly absorbent towel made of microfibres.

I should know by now not to argue with her - it worked perfectly, despite its diminutive size.

Sunday 26 March 2023

Old Fossils

I am sick and tired of fossilised, climate change naysayers and numpties who go on about there not being any power when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine.

They seem incapable of grasping that either a) excess renewable energy can be stored, or (b) fossil fuel can be used as backup, but there would be a massive drop in the amount of fossil fuels used because the bulk would be produced from renewables. Simple logic. 

Then there are the other forms of renewables that are regular as clockwork - tidal and geothermal.

They also moan that electric cars aren't green because they still rely on fossil fuels being burned at power stations. Again, their tiny, gaslit brains can't comprehend that emissions from ICE cars are decentralised and can't be captured, being spewed everywhere in concentrations that make city life hideous, whereas centralising the production of the necessary electricity from fossil fuels at power stations allows the CO2 emissions to be sequestered at source. Generate the electricity from renewables and there are no emissions in the first place.

All forms of power are derived, ultimately, from the solar system's powerplant. Renewables merely cut out the middlemen that act as rather inefficient batteries.

Saturday 25 March 2023

Smart Parking

Chipping Sodbury of one of those towns where virtually all of the parking is at 90 degrees to the road, and I was desperate to find somewhere where the parking is customarily parallel to the road, just so I could have a go at parking the Smart Car in a very narrow space at 90 degrees.

I drove around for ages, rejecting spaces that were too large, mainly from pride. I finally had to select one, just outside No1 Son's house, where the parking is indeed parallel to the road.

Friday 24 March 2023

The Problem of Mondays

I was having a metaphysical moment the other day and was contemplating Heaven and Hell and, specifically, The Problem of Evil, whereby those arguing against there being a compassionate God maintain that such a being would not permit suffering and evil.

However, what if we're already in Hell? Monday mornings alone would suggest that we are. Also the fact we keep voting into power these lizard people to govern us, and they are obviously minor demons that inhabit Hell and are sent to test us.

Surely a compassionate God would not give us just a single chance to enter Heaven or be consigned to Hell for eternity? He would much more likely give us an infinite number of chances; you die and are judged at the Pearly Gates and, if you don't come up to scratch, you're sent back for another interminable session on Earth, or Hell as I would call it, in order to try to redeem yourself..

Perhaps our minds are wiped clean before we're sent back as an embryo but, occasionally, the programming goes a bit wrong and memories from previous lives leak through.

I suppose this concept is a bit Buddhist, without the coming back as an animal or amoeba bit, which may just be possible, but rather yukky.

Thursday 23 March 2023

Andor Continuity Error

We were watching Andor, which is a TV series on Disney + that's set in the Star Wars universe, when I noticed a bit of an incongruity.

Two of the protagonists were sitting in a train on Coruscant and, when the train pulled out of the station, they both swayed due to the inertia. 

This seemed rather strange to me, as they have spaceships capable of gaining lightspeed within an instant, which shows there has to be interialess technology. One would assume they'd be perfectly capable of making trains inertialess, unless it's very expensive technology.

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Toast Shaped Egg

Had an idea about how to create a toast-shaped fried egg - take a slice of bread, remove the centre to the edge of the crust, chuck the crust into a frying pan and then crack a couple of eggs into the crust mold.

The removed centre can be toasted to place the shaped egg on, but the crust may have to be thrown away, or it might be difficult to separate the egg from the crust mold.

I had a look on Google for a suitable image to use and came across an actual, toast-shaped mold.

I prepared this post on Saturday morning  but, as luck would have it, my regular reader came up with exactly the same suggestion later in the day. However, thought of it first....

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Split Personality Disorder

Suella Braverman has been visiting that paradise called Rwanda and was extolling its virtues as a place of boundless opportunity. It's heaven on earth, if the hand-picked, right-wing journalists who accompanied her there are to be believed, which they're not, as they still think Brexit is going well.

It strikes me that this version of Rwanda is directed at that audience which criticises what it sees as a hideous policy, somewhat redolent of 1930s Germany and Britain.

Then there's the other audience - the refugees themselves - to whom Braverman wants Rwanda to be a deterrent to crossing the Channel in small boats.

I wish she'd make up her mind - is it a deterrent, or a fantastic place which will act as a magnet for even more boat people to get a free passage to Shangri-La?

It all smells very fishy to me. Not content with dragging Britain back to the 1960s with Brexit and the 1930s with this refugee Bill, I wonder what era they'll aim for next? The 1800s, perhaps, and legislate for children to be sent up chimneys?

Monday 20 March 2023


Went to our local junk emporium on Sunday and found a light I particularly liked - it was one of a pair, along with a couple of wall sconces, but I only wanted the one light to go over the table project. 

A bargain at £18, but I wish I had space for the two, as there's nothing quite like a pair of identical lights in the same room (not forgetting that our house is 95% open plan).

Very Art Deco, which goes with the theme in our house.

As luck would have it, the light still had the maker's label on the inside of the ceiling rose. It was made by a company called Northern Lights in 2012 and the company is still trading. They are a bespoke lighting company which does commissions for various venues, such as hotels. They have some beautiful stuff and I have bookmarked them.

I went back and purchased the other light fitting. Despite us not having a ceiling light in the living room area (no wiring and no switch), it doesn't actually need to be lit, and having the two in the same space will just look so fantastic.

I just couldn't resist a combined price of £36 for such beautiful lights. Shhh - Hay doesn't know I bought the 2nd set.

Sunday 19 March 2023

Garage Idea

A friend gave me some ideas for the roll-up wall I'm ordering for the garage - a mural:

Saturday 18 March 2023

Saving Paper

I used to use half a newspaper to start the log fire, but I learned a trick from Hay's dad.

Build a Jenga tower of kindling and put a single sheet of newspaper inside it. Works a treat.

Instant conflagration.

I have also found a better sealant for the gap between the stove and the chimney. I used to use fire cement, but it cracks as the gap expands and contracts. I now use a heat resistant silicone I got from ScrewFix, which is good to 300 degrees C and easily handles 200 degrees, which the stove never exceeds.

Friday 17 March 2023

Gadget Man

Anyone who knows me knows I'm addicted to gadgets:

A circular, silicone egg former.....

Here's the finished article with the former removed.

My suggestion for a modification? Make it toast shaped.

Thursday 16 March 2023

Furniture Change

We've got a bit fed up with our dining table and want something more in keeping with the house and with a bit of wow factor.

I thought a live edge, oak dining table would be perfect, and Hay agreed. I managed to find a bloke just outside of Wotton-Under-Edge who works on the Barclay Estate and slices ash trees into lengths that are perfect for the job, with a bit of work. He advertises them for £200, which is a steal. Yes, they're seasoned.

It's called olive ash, which is a term for the heartwood of the ash tree, with distinctive patterning that resembles olive wood.

Went to see him and his ash slabs on Saturday and agreed a delivered price of £140 for a 2.5m x 1m slab. I was expecting to be charged £400, at least.  A new project to take up my time.

The problem is that I'll need to do the work on the slab in my new garage (sanding smooth and oiling), which means it will be competing for space with the Triumph GT6 project I'm about to buy.

We also need to find suitable legs. The slabs require 3 blokes to lift.

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Tickled Me Pink

 Think I might start a series on cards that made me chuckle.

I snapped this one on a card stand and it really made me laugh.

Then there's this one. I could imagine a boss adding a comma and putting a message inside saying it's an instruction, not a platitude.

Tuesday 14 March 2023


 So, the BBC bows to public pressure and Lineker is back.

  1. Anyone who does things for the BBC can have opinions, unless they're engaged in news or current affairs reporting. 
  2. I find even this rather incredible, as no other news media organisation has such 'guidance'.
  3. Even then, the guidance is not applied consistently, as Andrew Neil has proven.
  4. Revising the guidance will be a minefield, as it's effectively imposing Thought Police on broadcasters. 
  5. Rooting out truth is far more important than impartiality and giving the breath of credence to lies.
  6. Lineker's comments were entirely valid - the language used by the government is not dissimilar. 
  7. You might have a case to say the late 20s and early 30s.
  8. Those saying it's bad to equate the Illegal Immigration Bill to the Holocaust must realise that the Holocaust started with language and the mass death of Jews came after the language. Hitler did not say from day 1 that he was going to gas the Jews.
  9. Joan Slater, a Holocaust survivor, said so herself to Braverman, who would not apologise.
  10. I find it hard to give any credence to anyone who insists the language was not similar - they probably don't even have enough German to make a valid comparison.
  11. What scared the BBC was the government.
  12. What scared the government was Lineker's 8m Twitter follower reach. It scared the pants off them.
  13. The only people who would be offended by Lineker's comment are those who actually use the language of 1930s Germany (and 1930s Britain).
  14. Remember the Tory MP, Brendan Clarke-Smith, who said that taking the knee was like making a Nazi salute? He's now frantically back-peddling after being exposed while criticising Lineker.
  15. What on earth is Robbie Gibb doing on the Board of the BBC? He's the least impartial person I could imagine and the voice of the government in the BBC.
  16. Why has the Chairman, who donated £400k to the Tories and was party to arranging a £800k loan to the Greased Piglet, not been suspended pending an investigation? He's certainly not impartial.
  17. Yes, Labour has appointed Chairmen in the past who were affiliated to Labour, but not as blatantly as the current Chairman is to the Tories. 
  18. Appointments should be made through a totally independent panel and taken out of the hands of politicians.
  19. Is getting Lineker back a diversionary tactic to protect the Chairman?
  20. This furore has succeeded in knocking The Greased Piglet off the front pages for a week, so that's a benefit.
Talking about the boats; if the government was serious about stopping them AND being concerned about genuine refugees, they could charter a ferry, set up a processing centre in Calais and send every refugee who is successful over on the ferry. No approval means no ferry passage. Anyone still arriving by small boats gets deported to Rwanda. Problem solved. But that doesn't facilitate the government with the red meat they need to keep those who like the use of 1930s German language on side; for that they need to keep the small boats coming. However, they run the attendant risk of being seen to fail once again.

On another matter; it's estimated that giving junior doctors a pay rise will cost £2bn, which the government claims it cannot afford. However, if the government dropped its voter ID plans, which are a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and an attempt to dissuade Labour voters from vote, they could save some money. Similarly, giving the French oodles of money to do something which isn't in their interest and they're likely to do only half heartedly.

The sooner this bunch of shysters is gone, the better.

Monday 13 March 2023

Smart Stuff

I bought Hay a Smart ForTwo 700cc diesel on Saturday, as she wants something a bit more fuel efficient than the 3.2 litre, V6, Chrysler Crossfire. Poor decision, if you ask me.

I'd agreed a price with the owner, subject to viewing. Hay fell in love with it immediately, despite it needing a bit of work on my part - the polycarbonate roof had hazed hideously and there was a dent in the driver side sill.

In her haste to purchase it, she inadvertently negotiated the owner up by 50 quid, which annoyed me slightly. She's paying me back in a couple of months, so no damage, to my bank account at least. Never allow a woman to negotiate the price of a car.

As soon as we got it home I gave it a quick valet to de-grime the seats and interior and then got to work on the roof yesterday - 380 grit wet and dry on the really bad bits (would have been better with 500 grit, but I didn't have any to hand), followed by 1,000 grit all over, followed by 2.500 grit and a mop with cutting compound on the end of my heavy duty buffer. Came up a treat.

People are reluctant to tackle hazed Smart Car roofs, but it just takes a bit of time and effort. It's only polycarbonate, after all - the same material as headlight lenses are made from, and they come up like new with a bit of sanding and buffing.

The sill dent will require a call to a Dent Man, of which I know a few. £20-£30 should sort that out. There is a nasty vibration at certain revs which I can eliminate by driving it in manual, but I suspect an engine mount needs tightening.

A couple of panels could do with a blow over with paint, but most of the car is plastic and the panels come off quite easily. It would be cheaper to simply buy a spare set of black panels on e-Bay for as low as £350.

I want to make the following modification to it.

Should be able to get at least one kayak on it.

Investigated an A frame to tow it behind the motorhome, but they're hideously expensive and take a couple of days to modify the car. Given it runs 1,000 miles on a thimbleful of diesel, it's easier and cheaper for Hay to drive the motorhome and me follow her in the Smart car.

I really like it myself - it's zero road tax, economical to run and you can park it in the tiniest of spaces, at right angles to the kerb, if you want. People have made some amazing modifications to these cars. A 3.2 litre V6 conversion would be cool.

When she tires of it, it will be ideal for No.2 Son to learn to drive in, being semi-automatic and basically a go-kart.

Anyone want to buy a Chrysler Crossfire, which is essentially a Mercedes SLK (chassis, running gear and engine) with a different body on it.?

Sunday 12 March 2023

Things That Piss Me Off

 I have to get this off my chest:

  1. Amazon adverts that say delivery will be Friday (tomorrow) and, when you click 'Buy' you get an email to say the estimated delivery day is Monday.
  2. E-Bay adverts that say whatever you're buying is being sent from the UK, only to end up coming from China and taking several weeks.
  3. Facebook Market advertisers who never respond to offers to buy an item.
  4. Facebook Market sellers who have forgotten to delete their advert.
  5. Shrink-wrapped cheese.
  6. Sell-by dates on cheese.
  7. Adverts in general.
  8. Tools that purposely hide themselves specifically when I'm looking for them, but are in plain sight at all other times.
  9. Things that obstinately refuse to materialise out of the space-time continuum in the place where I know I left them.
  10. Anything or anyone incapable of anticipating my needs.
  11. Old people who waste time at the checkout chatting to the checkout assistant.
  12. Chatty checkout assistants.
  13. Old people who spend ages rummaging through their purses at the checkout for the exact amount of coinage for a purchase, despite me demonstrably showing my impatience.
  14. Electricity, especially the kind that can kill me if I switch off the incorrect fuse at the consumer unit.
  15. Replacement toilet seats that don't fit properly and slide all over the place when sat on.
  16. Cold water.
  17. Cold rooms.
  18. Hot rooms.
  19. Printers that keep losing their Wi-Fi connection.
  20. Women who insist they told you something, even when they know you weren't paying the slightest attention to what they were saying.
  21. Brexiteers who defy observed reality and believe Brexit is going well.
  22. Brexiteers who acknowledge Brexit isn't going well, but only because of a fictitious Remainer plot.
  23. Intellectually challenged Brexiteers who want to damage the country even more than it has already been damaged.
  24. Anti-woke idiots who are constantly fighting an imaginary Culture War and believe they can't say anything these days, just after having said something incredibly offensive and proving themselves wrong.
  25. American recipes that have temperatures in Fahrenheit and volumes in cups.
  26. American recipes which give you a 4 page history of how the writer's granny came to the USA from 'the old country' and other unrelated guff before giving you the recipe you were looking for (in Fahrenheit and cups).
  27. Cordless tools that don't come with a battery.
  28. Cordless tool batteries that don't have enough oomph to complete a job without several recharges.
  29. Conservative MPs on Twitter who make us out to be mugs by hailing policies which have utterly failed and, despite obtaining funds from millionaires, castigate unions for wanting wage increases that at least match inflation.
  30. Short term planning by government - in fact, a total lack of any planning whatsoever.
  31. Spice and herb shelves in supermarkets that are devoid of the very spice or herb I want.
  32. People who blindly share memes without checking the facts.
  33. People who make long lists (and, by implication, me).
  34. People who read long lists (and, by implication, you - if you got this far)....

Saturday 11 March 2023

New for Old

We went to Cirencester Friday before last and I spotted a brand new, bronze statue in a church niche in place of a medieval stone carving that vanished nearly 60 years ago.

Apparently it's one of two commissions. This one is of the Virgin and Child. The other is St John the Baptist, but I couldn't see the latter from where I was.

Should the commissions have been clones of the missing statues, or do these provide a bit of much needed modernity? I'm in two minds. They will certainly be there for centuries to come.

Friday 10 March 2023


Gary Lineker is coming under fire from those who keep protesting about Free Speech and Cancel Culture. They don't want him to use his Free Speech and want the BBC to cancel him.


  1. His comment was actual - the language IS the same as 1930s Germany. Facts aren't biased. Had he said Leicester City is the best team ever, then there would be a valid questioning of his bias.
  2. He never mentioned Nazism; it was the right wing press that attributed that word to him, although it is implied.
  3. He could just as well have said 1930s Britain, where the elite had a love affair with fascism and didn't initially want any refugees at all, just like today's Conservative Party.
  4. He's a football pundit, not a political journalist. Twitter is not a BBC outlet.
  5. The right wingers didn't have an issue with his comments about Qatar.
  6. They would be silent as the grave had he come out in support of the aptly named 'Illegal Immigration Bill'.
  7. Is Attenborough impartial on climate change?
  8. The far right wanting to restrict his Free Speech and cancel him is hypocrisy of the highest order.
It's also a bit rich of the Daily Mail to castigate him.

Speaking truth to power always results in a backlash, but it must continue, especially by those having a platform.

When times are tough, and God knows times are tough for the Conservatives, the demagogue invents an enemy. It's demagoguery 101. The sad thing is that many who need someone to blame for their predicament will fall for it.

Thursday 9 March 2023

For Lux Sake - Again?

The Lux experiment has been an abject failure, well, certainly in terms of the placement of the Lux Sensor in the upstairs bedroom window.

I compiled a chart of Lux vs Solar PV power generation, as follows:

As you can see, the results were all over the place.

I have now placed the sensor in the kitchen window, still facing north and fixed to some tiles, but in a position more exposed to daylight. 

I applied the RayBans with a bit of Sellotape after it reached 1,000 Lux at 8am.

As you can see from the new chart (click to enlarge), it's infinitely more stable and there's an almost perfect, direct relationship between Lux and kW of solar power.

But......., the red anomalies in the top section of the cart are from the afternoon, when the Lux sensor went into partial shade from the house, so for the morning it's very accurate, but after midday it becomes accurate, but on a totally different scale of Lux. The perverse thing is that a lower Lux produced a high wattage. Now it's possible to make a separate programme for the afternoon, but what a pain in the arse. I shall persist, however.

One problem yesterday was the snow albedo. Snow has a high albedo, which means that it reflects a significant amount of the solar radiation that hits it. This is due to the snow's reflective surface, which is made up of small, irregular ice crystals. When light hits the snow, it bounces off the crystals in many directions, causing much of it to be reflected back into the atmosphere and into a Lux sensor.

That said, snow on the solar panels results in no solar PV anyway. The grey dots bumbling along the bottom of the chart show the Watts for Lux with the solar panels covered and the slight rise toward the right of the chart is where the snow started to slide off them.

I saw on the NEA website that there are smart devices that monitor solar PV generation, using a CT clamp around the wires from the transformer that measures the magnetic field, which is a neat thing, but no examples of cheap products were shown. The cost, apparently, is between £75 and £100. What I need is one that can be integrated into the Tuya App. The expensive ones divert excess solar generation to an immersion heater, but there's no reason why it can't be diverted to an ASHP.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

A Question

The next time you hear someone complain that we shouldn't be looking after refugees because we should be looking after our own first, ask them this question.

"So you support the public sector strikes for better wages then?"

I'll bet a pound to a pinch of poo that they'll be a bit flustered as, in the main, those who are anti-refugee are also anti-public sector, despite the fact they use school spaces and access to health services as a lever.

Why do the refugees choose Britain? It's simple - because the British used to have a reputation for welcoming them. But that's all changed following Brexit, and they haven't heard the news yet.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Garage Update

Quick update on the garage.

Colin has been on another job for well over a month now, but that's given Hay's dad the chance to install some of the electrics.

The vertical strip lights are to aid car spraying for when I get by Triumph GT6 project.

Colin still has to make the ramp and do some guttering work while Hay's dad has to install sockets in the workshop.

I got a quote for a roll-up wall for the entrance, like these at our local Morgan/Caterham dealership, but in a grey to match the weathered oak cladding. The price is around £800, but they can't start manufacturing till May due to demand.

What I love about both the garage and the workshop is that, for the first time, I can see all my tools at once, and still lose what I'm looking for.