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Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Recycled Employment

I have this week started my new, old job. My new job, because I’ve just started and old because I’ve been here before.

Previous Related Post - As One Door Closes, So Another Opens

My first day was quite a surreal experience, as I mentioned before I worked here for 12 years before having a four year divergence into consulting. The divergence didn’t go the way I had hoped so I decided to go back to a more ‘hands on’ engineering role. Most of the staff here know me and on the whole welcomed me back with open arms.

On my second day I was able to assist with the repair of a test system that we have in the office. It took me a little while to find my feet, but I had it licked before lunch. That has helped boost my confidence and confirm that I have done the right thing in returning.

What I need now is to get on and prove to myself and others that I haven’t lost my energy for the ‘hands-on’ approach.

Here’s looking to the future.


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Sunday, 25 June 2006

Can England Win The Football World Cup?

I hope they will. Wouldn’t it be great to hold both the Rugby and Football World Cups at the same time? However, if their performance so far is anything to go by, I doubt this is very likely. My money would be on Argentina, if I were a betting man.

I'm not really a football fan, having been disillusioned by all the violent thuggery that surrounded the game in my youth. The final straw for me was the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985. Before that I followed Tottenham Hotspurs, as my Grandfather had before me.

Since then I’ve only really paid any attention to international footbal competitions, such as the World and European Cups.

My real passion is for Rugby Union and when England beat Australia 20-17 to win the World Cup in 2003, I was over the moon. I even managed to get to the victory parade in London. I couldn’t see or hear a thing in Trafalgar Square, but I was there, during an extended lunch break.


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All Quiet on the Western Front

Those regular readers among you my have noticed that my blog is lagging behind the times. As I mentioned last Friday week, I’ve been taking a much needed sabbatical between jobs. I have been far from idol during this time, but not as productive as I had planned. Here is a brief summary of my recent activities.

  • Watching the Football World Cup

  • Continuing Building Work on Our Extension

  • Undertaking Pre MOT Works on My Bike

  • Watching More Football

  • Running Home Operations During My Wife’s Absence

  • Watching Even More Football

I have managed to make a good dent in the building works required to make a functioning toilet within the new extension, but there is still a long way to go before I can call it finished.

Having spent three days replacing the final drive chain on my bike, she failed her MOT within the first minute of the test. It was the steering head bearings for the third time. This year I WILL have them replaced as adjustment just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. Unfortunately, they can’t do the work until next week. It looks like I’ll be using the train for work until then.

While at the bike shop I asked the MOT tester to pay particular attention to the chain joint I’d made. It was almost right, but he suggested I re-rivet the joint, just to be on the safe side. I followed his advice and will get him to check it again when I go back for the repairs.

I did however notice a major performance increase while riding her to the MOT. I was shocked that an old chain could slow the bike so much.

Looking after the house and making sure that my son got to school on time with the correct lunch while my Wife was sunning herself in Majorca was a breeze. I don’t know why she makes such a fuss about it. I even remembered to pick him up on time after school as well.

I asked my son if he was missing his Mum. His reply, “No, I’m having too much fun with you Dad!”, amused me greatly.


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Sunday, 11 June 2006

My Beloved PC REALLY Isn’t Enjoying The Hot Weather 8-(

80mm CPU Fan
Originally uploaded by Trance-Elbow.

She is complaining about the heat today. Twice she has shut herself off with an overheated PSU. Fortunately, after a rest she sprung back to life on both occasions.

It appears that the PSU has its own self-preservation circuitry, which switches off when the going gets too hot. This would suggest that my PC case still has ventilation issues, which thought I had resolved.

Last summer I had two hard drives which failed as the weather got hotter. I solved the over heating by increasing the size of the CPU fan from 60mm to 80mm and fitting an additional case fan. At least I thought this had solved the heat issues, but now I’m not so sure as todays events have proved. The main problem is that my case has no space at the back to mount fans. Perhaps I should replace it with a newer more suitable one.


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Friday, 9 June 2006

As One Door Closes, So Another Opens

I have today left my job and after a two week sabbatical, I will be starting a new one.

The chaps in the office had a wip round and bought me a nice little angle grinder as a leaving present. I do like power tools and this will be a useful addition to my growing collection. Its first duty will be in assisting me to cut a cat flap shaped hole in the wall of our new extension.

The original plan was to put a cat flap into the new external door, but this has proved to be impossible due to the design of door I chose for the job. The only solution is to mount it into the new toilet wall. I’m sure that future users of the facilities will be surprised to receive unexpected visits from our cat as she passes through.

I’m quite excited about taking up my new position in a fortnight. I will be providing much need assistance and experience to a great team of engineers, all of whom I know very well. The reason I know them so well is because I had worked with them for 14 years. I left them 4 years ago to progress my career, but unfortunately things didn't workout the way I had planned. So I have decided to return with renewed vigour and purposeful outlook.

In the meantime I plan to finish all those "I'll do it tomorrow" jobs at home. Watch this space for progress reports.


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All Is Not Lost, If Only I Could Remember Where I Put It

Previous post - This Heat is Bad For Your Computer

I've managed to restore all of my eBay data without too much trouble. It would appear that I had backed up about 99% of the database after all. The strange thing is that I don't remember doing it, which is not surprising when you consider how absent minding I am most of the time. If my head wasn't fixed on so well, I'd probably put it down and forget where I left it.


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This Heat is Bad For Your Computer

Yesterday I received an e-mail from one of my ISPs, I have several for different needs. Basically it was to inform me that they had been experiencing problems with the server which held my information. When they tried their backup device they discovered that was also faulty. So they had lost all the user information, accounts, etc.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the whole idea of having a back device was to prevent such a situation from occurring in the first place! Never mind, I thought, it’s only a mail server and that’s not a big problem.

This morning I noticed that some of the graphics were missing from my Blogs. Strange, thought I, wonder where they’ve gone? It was then it hit me. It wasn’t an e-mail server that they mentioned at all, it was their web-server that had died.

AAAAARRRGGGGHHH!!!!!! That’s the server with my eBay database and e-mail accounts on! Guess who hasn’t got a back-up copy of any of it!

Why is it that you never quite get round to backing up files until it’s too late. I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson today.

Repeat after me –



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Monday, 5 June 2006

Boy Racer infestation? Spray liberally with Barry Manilow

Just like here in the UK Sydney car parks are being frequented by “yoofs” in loud cars playing loud music and generally being anti-social.

Councillors in Sydney’s Rockdale district have found a possible solution. They plan to play Barry Manilow songs through a PA system in the car park.

“Following a successful experiment where Bing Crosby music was used to drive teenage loiterers out of an Australian shopping center several years ago, Rockdale councilors believe Manilow is so uncool it might just work.”

Read the full story - Is "daggy" Manilow the answer to loud cars?

I know similar solutions have been used in the UK, where Yoofs hang out nd burn rubber in multi-story car park.

Is there a danger that these places will then fill up with middle aged Rover & Honda drivers in tank tops, swapping stories about spark plugs and big end bearings instead?


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Saturday, 3 June 2006

Honorary White Van Man Strikes Again

Originally uploaded by Trance-Elbow.

Background to this Blog - Where Did My Bank Holidays Go?

Today I was reinstated as Honorary White Van Man. A friend of ours has sold his house, but hasn't got a new one to move into. Basically the house he was to buy is no longer availible and he didn't want to lose his buyer. As a consequence he had to find a temporary location for the entire contents of the old house.

Enter yours truely stage left. If this keeps up I'll either need to get a season ticket with the hire company or purchase my own van!

To cut a long story short (please wake up at the back) we took four very tightly packed van fulls of furnature, appliances and possessionsto a local storage company. The weather was lovely and hot, which isn't what you need when you're lugging heavy bits & pieces about. It took an awful lot of pushing, shoving and manuvouring to fit it all into a reasonable sized storage room. We managed it ... just. However, we did have to lean on the door a little to close it.

The photo at the top clearly illustrates what happens when you put too many video cassettes in a large flimsy box and then try to lift it into a van. I'm not the guilty party on this occasion, but you know who you are. Please don't do it again as it takes ages to pick them all up and repack them in a more appropriate matter..

I can't wait until we have to take all the stuff out again 8-(


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Thursday, 1 June 2006

WanderingScribe Wanders No More

Previous Post - Homelessness - WanderingScribe

This is of course great news. The now famous blogger who goes by the name 'WanderingScribe' has managed to secure herself a book writing deal and last Sunday, moved into a shared flat. I look forward to reading her book next spring and wish her all the best.

Find the full story here - WanderingScribe


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I am English First and British Second

St. George's Cross
Originally uploaded by Trance-Elbow.

That is not a racist statement and I am defiantly not racist. I just get very annoyed when I hear that English Patriotism is frowned upon by the media and particularly our Government or should I say 'The Westminster Muppet Show'. There are often stories in the press about English citizens who have been asked to take down their St. Georges cross because it was deemed offensive. If you were to ask an American to take down the Star & Stripes, they would probably shot you. The Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish aren’t discriminated in this way. So why should we tolerate such treatment here?

Did you know that England is the only country in the EU that doesn’t have it’s own elected parliament. Scotland has one, Wales has one, even Northern Ireland, but England. There is a non-political organisation who wants to change this. Their Website is very good and informative. They are,

Campaign for an English Parliament

I don’t know if you have noticed that at sporting events where England play the British National Anthem. Why? The British National Anthem is for the UK as a whole. At The Six Nations games (that’s a Rugby tournament by the way) Wales and Scotland have their own Anthems. Why can’t England have its own? My suggestion would be Jerusalem.

Another very good website about Englishness is,

Cross of St. George

They have a very good history section. I’m ashamed to say much of it was new to me. However, I’m now better informed. My favourite page was about Agincourt. Whoops!! There go all my French readers.

While you’re there you must read the Blog. It’s superb.

Another great Blog on the subject is,

The England Project

And another thing……

Way do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and completely ignore St. George’s Day? I strongly believe the 23rd April should be a National Holiday.

End Note

Although I’m not a big football fan, but it warms my heart to see all the St. Georges crosses that are appearing. Perhaps there is hope for the English yet.

Sorry about the rant, but I really needed to get it off my chest.


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