No, not noise… Well not yet…

He is hard to see as he has no high-vis clothing for the roadworks he is working at, but you may just be able to make out that he opens the tar boiler on his lorry with his unprotected hands. A lorry that is also carrying half a dozen cylinders of propane and is parked under a nice combustible autumn tree. He bends right over the open boiler peering in, putting his unprotected face and eyes right over the boiling tar, inhaling the carcinogenic smoke and fumes deeply without any respiratory protection.

The sign opposite entreats folk not to make unnecessary noise. Unnecessary noise could include coughing as the fumes choke one or screaming as the boiling tar suddenly bubbles and explodes over one and the lorry and half the street catch fire and exploding cylinders launch across the street to kill the early morning diners at the McDonalds opposite and fly into the skies to rain down like cruise missiles on the local area.

Overly dramatic? Maybe, but in the UK a tar boiler van carrying propane cylinders did catch fire and the cylinders did fly like missiles, into a local shopping centre a quarter mile away, and into the school opposite where the van was parked, killing an 11-year-old boy, and it was caught on video which is used in training sessions which I have attended.

not noise

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Safety highlight

Live working at height. Let’s just take the light apart while it’s still live. Live working is of course the last resort allowed by law, not the default way to replace the bulbs to make sure they are working without having to re-energise. They did several as I watched. Matey walked directly underneath, so as to feel part of the risk I suppose. Presumably they have not heard of the Electricity At Work Regulations or the Work At Height Regulations. Anyway they kept us amused as we paused for a coffee on our journey, somewhat appositely to attend a funeral.

Live work

 

Meteorite strike?

Yesterday it was the regular Orionid meteor shower. I was travelling in my car with my wife in the when there was an almighty bang on the roof. We wondered what it could be as the impact was so strong and there where no stones or any way a stone could have come up and hit the roof in that way, there were no nearby vehicles that could have dropped something form above and no birds or trees that could to cause the incredible impact we heard. I stopped to look at the damage fully expecting to see a very large expensive dent in the roof.

What I saw, or more really felt with my fingertip, was a sub-millimeter chip in the outer paint plastic protective layer. Very difficult to photograph but I have just managed it. It is the small off-white dot in the blue paint above my finger  (reflected sky clouds are seen in the blue paint of the car roof)

I think this tiny chip in the paintwork was caused by the last gasp impact of a burnt-out meteor from the Orionids. I can only emphasise the incredible force with whatever the tiny particle was that caused this chip. The bang was really loud, my wife was startled and wondered what it was and we were grateful it had not hit the windshield as we felt certain it would have smashed it. It may sound far-fetched to suppose it was a meteorite, but given the time and context, such a quite rare but not unknown event as a meteor striking a car seems the most likely to me.

meteorite chip

Woodwork

Here is some pretty and large woodwork. This section is about 10 meters across and sits about 10 meters high. It is just one of many sections that will support a huge roof. A 100 tonne crane does the lifting.

No-one will ever have the chance to see the sky through this woodwork again once the roof goes on, and most people are highly unlikely to get access onto this site currently under construction. So my photo here is just about unique. Enjoy.

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Catatonic Catalunya

I have visited Catalunya three times. Each time I stayed in a big hotel in Malgrat for two weeks. I am not a club or beach tourist. I saw some of the tourist sites of course, Barcelona, La Rambla, Picasso’s place, Sagrada Familia, the architecture of Gaudi. I got pickpocketed, probably by one of the many Somalian pickpockets in the area. I liked the people apart from the thieves.

Now here’s a thing.

The Catalan people seem to want to be separate from Spain but Spain apparently does not want to let them go.

Last year poor young Catalans were demonstrating about not having jobs, and were blaming the Spanish government.

Now poor young Catalans are demonstrating against tourists because they say they don’t get the money but it goes to AirBnB owners, pushing up housing costs and all the jobs go to East Europeans.

The poor young Catalans have had no luck with protests against their government, so they are now scapegoating the tourists.

So here’s what I think. I am sad that I am no longer welcome in Spain/Catalunya, but I saw Spain/Catalunya before it became an unfriendly country. As usual, once again (as per history – civil wars, Basques etc etc) Spain is tearing itself apart. Fortunately I don’t need to go back there – I’m looking outside the EU for my holidays – maybe South Africa, China, Canada, Japan.

I think the people demonstrating in Spain are wrong, because the money the AirBnB owners get is spent mostly in the Spanish economy and pays Spanish taxes. I also think Spain is wrong because it lets Europe allow cheap labour to flood its market unlike Britain, that has said it will leave Europe so it can stop that problem and control the labour supply to the UK.

British tourists react very quickly – think of Tunisia. The IS attack in La Rambla has frightened some away. Spain’s attitude to the EU negotiations and Gibraltar is making more Brits think of boycotting Spain. The anti-tourist protests and attacks on tourists that are spoiling British, German and Dutch people’s holidays really are the last straw.

I think that maybe many British tourists, and maybe German and Dutch ones as well, might teach the foolish anti-tourists a deep hard lesson and very few at all will go to Spain as a tourist for many years. Then I think the East European cheap labour would go away from Spain as there would be no jobs in the empty hotels, bars and restaurants. There would be no income to all the AirBnB properties to be spent in Spain. There would be no taxes from the hotels, bars and restaurants and tourist shops. There would also be no subsidy from the EU to support Spain any more as the EU would be supporting all the extra jobless East Europeans that Spain would have created, and would be doing that without a third of the EU income – only Britain, Germany and France have any money, and Britain is taking it’s money away.

Perhaps the Spanish anti-tourist protesters would be left dirt-poor with no jobs to even compete for against the East Europeans, their rich class having no income from the AirBnB to pay tax for their welfare system, so their government would have no income to help the poor, the EU would not be able to help them and there would be not even jobs in fishing (because Britain is taking back its waters). These protesters would be left to share their country with their unwanted guests, the Somalian pick-pocket gangs. Maybe Germany could lend them some money then become hated as has happened in dirt-poor Greece. Meanwhile the drug dealers who lost their most valuable asset, lots of tourist customers for the clubs and bars, would probably be looking for the heads of whoever drove their customers away. Britain won’t even buy salad from Spain if the EU exit is not favorable. Britons can buy some nice salad from Africa and help to develop some nice new tourist places there, in the Commonwealth.

Catalunya could become a broken torn-apart land populated by poverty-stricken people, angry drug dealers and Somali pickpockets. Tourists would not want to visit, anti-tourist protesters would have got their wish.

So then it would be Hasta la vista Catalunya – oops I mean – a reveure Catalunya.

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Entourage

Entourage – it’s what they call those funny cut-out people in architectural renderings of things they might build.

Some of the cut-outs available really make you wonder though…

For instance you might ask where your energy drink came from, and what makes your kids hyperactive, and just what you neighbor is into. Wonder no more, the Entourage people reveal all. Now you just wish you hadn’t asked. These architectural cut-outs are REAL and available and are all from the SAME set.

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The Bridge Cafe, Oban, Scotland

No, not at the bridge above, the cafe is in Oban town, a few miles further on from the steel edifice pictured over the title.

The cafe is a complete hidden gem.

Lovely town Oban, but the cafes in town are tourist places and frankly not so all wonderful as they might be.

However hidden away in the unprepossessing environs of an industrial estate that borders on urban-explorable in parts, beside a little green=painted iron bridge near the back of Tesco, is a delightful little cafe.

The owners have created a chic friendly cafe where the discerning will know they have stumbled upon L’Ecosse Profonde (Urbain) – i.e. the “Real” (Urban) Scotland – and can enjoy great value tasty cafe food and drink. No pretensions (unlike my prose), just clean, lightly assembled design from simple components. Excellent. They also have toilets one need not be afraid to use – no really it is a real plus marks.

So, 100 percent recommended. Go out of your way to this less obvious place and get a decent repas instead of tourist-priced auto-fodder. Enjoy living like a local and watching ducks with the Mums.

See the webpage here http://www.bridgecafeoban.co.uk

Trip Advisor apparently calls it a hidden gem – well, YES IT REALLY IS!

It is at
3 Soroba Ln, Oban PA34 4HX
Phone 01631 566697
Opening time on the website – its a daytime place.

I have no commercial connection with the cafe and gain nothing from posting this other than the good feeling that I am telling people about a lovely business that deserves lots of nice customers.

Google stuff about it here https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Bridge+Cafe/@56.4095754,-5.4705996,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x81d13b63895b882!8m2!3d56.4095754!4d-5.4705996

 

Scotland trip 2017

The world may be your oyster, but Scotland is a pearl.

Inveraray, Oban, The Trossachs, Speyside, Loch Fyne, Loch Awe, Lock Tay, The Spey, The Tay, Loch Long, Dunbar…

Scotland is awesome.

All pictures in this blog article are Copyright 2017 by me, except two, which are Copyright 2017 by my Wife, which said exceptional photographs I use here with her permission. None of the images in this article/webpage/blog post may be used without our respective permissions. All Rights Reserved.

One picture is from Yorkshire, England (The 1930’s “No Parking” sign).

 

Protest

I am protesting against lazy use of English language.

I will not “Protest lazy English” because that phrase is an example of the lazy English language usage that I am protesting against.

The problem with using the verb “To protest” without any qualification, is that you don’t know whether it is a protest against, or a protest for the matter.

“People are protesting wages.” Does it mean people are protesting against low wages, against high wages, for higher wages, for lower wages, or simply for or against having wages at a all. The sentance is wholly inadequate.

Cut-down telegraphic intransitive twitter-squeeze-to-fit Americanese verb-use is deeply annoying to me. I should write someone about it. LOL (in Britain we write to someone – well at a least for now, until the laziness reaches us on that one).

Another linguistic laziness I really dislike is the contraction of “cause for concern” (which was the only way you could say it back in the day) to “concerning.”

“That is really concerning me” NO! This is ambiguous because it doesn’t tell me if it causes me worry or if it is a matter that is applicable to me, or both!

“That is a really giving me cause for concern” YES!

At the rate lazy language is spreading in the UK it will devolve back to grunts before you can say “Ug!” This was of course caused by the BBC letting non-public school educated people (Americans read private school) into broadcasting, so the inadequately educated became our role models. My English is not perfect, I was not privately educated, but at least I care, and I try to get it right.

I guess that makes me an elitist. Well I do prefer aspiration to exasperation.

lionreader

 

 

 

 

Tail wagging dog since November 20, 1985

The thing I hate about Windows is the amount of constant attention it demands for updates, fixes, and just sitting waiting while it boots or hangs.

I want to turn it on, have it start quickly, and then I get on with whatever I want to do. Then I want to turn it off and have it shut down quickly. I want all updates to happen quickly and automatically, with no need for any input from me.

After 32 years of development, Windows still cannot do this.

I wrote this article on my Mac.

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