Monday, 23 March 2020

is the end nigh?

OK, so I know what you're thinking, "Oh, he's gonna harp on about the covid 19 thing.

Actually, I'm not.

You may remember from a previous post, I mentioned about really not feeling myself, sort of christmas time I think.

Well this post isn't a long one, but the gist is, starting around christmas time, I've had this feeling I won't make the year.  Don't ask me why, because I don't know.

Dying really isn't on my agenda either, and I'm not one of these people who are that depressed that they consider suicide.  This is the first time I've ever felt anything like this, and I'd rather it sod off, but it won't.

I have too much to live for quite frankly, so let's hope I'm getting myself at it.

laterz taterz

Thursday, 13 February 2020

who reads this shit?

No really, who's reading this?  Because I have no idea.

Previously, on Drivel:

"I've not been feeling myself".  yeah that.  I've seen the docs and was given 2 courses of pills, kind of worked but still not sleeping.  A chat with my Dad the other day revealed I could have ulcers.  Ahhh, stress, just the result of domestic-ness and life in general.

We got a new bed, thanks to the Mother in Law, she very generously gave Lei a sum of money to get a new comfy bed that might make her condition more bearable.  We hope it works to a more or lesser extent.

Just a picked up a new off roader, so should be hitting the lanes once I've fiddled with it a little, and mot'd the thing of course.

Just seen the results of last years SRS series, out of 140 something drivers, I ended up 38th, not bad, not as good as other years, but last year was quite lean racing wise.  Still driving the SWorkz 353 and proudly driving for Answer RC Distribution.  Can I do better this year? who knows, I'll see how life pans out.

Still DIY-ing, it's coming along and I think I might be at the halfway point, so feel better now and it's not so stressfull as it was a couple of years ago.

Anyway, if you're a regular reader, gizza shout and let me know if you actually read this. 

I look forward to hearing from you, send postcards to the usual address, with a self addressed stamped envelope,

Meet me under the bridge at midnight, make sure you're not followed.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Ooh look, 2020

Alright chilblains

How was your enforced party season?  Mine was wank.  Things haven't been quite as they should for whatever reason.  So without further ado, I'll bore you with what I've been up to.  Maybe you'll slash your wrists so you can't read anymore, thus, give the planet a break with one less human to fuck it up, but don't take that personally, please read on.

Yeah, I've been feeling that way a lot more recently.  The planet is nigh on chock full of twats.  Rich twats, war monger twats, rubbish dumping twats, and thick twats.  If humans just simply ceased to exist, the world, really would, be a much better place.
Wow, and I'm the cheery one in our house, faaaarrrk.

I've found myself reading more and more about adventure biking.  I already have my Triumph Tiger XC, with bash plate, ali rad guard and heated grips, satnav and branded luggage, what more do I need!
I'm actually planning a little trek this year, one that I didn't get round to last year.  Staying in England, I'm heading to Scarborough, riding Olivers Mount, then up to Whitby and along to the Lakes, before making my way home.  I'm in the throws of mustering some camping shit too.  I have also so far watched 4 series of Adventure bike TV on youtube and occasionally buy ABR magazine and enjoy reading where people have gone.  Lyndon Poskitt is also a new favourite sportsman and Austin Vince is entertaining also.  Just bought a copy of Jupiters Travels, by Ted Simon, because I felt like I had to read it.
People will say its my age, midlife crisis and all that codswallop, but I have a younger wife, 2 motorbikes and a loud hifi, where the fuck do I go from there?

I feel like the world, or this life, even, isn't quite giving me something I need, but I don't know what that something is.  The Country is fucked, as is the world, run by central banks, arse kissers, bottom feeders and empire builders.  Yes men who are in it for the perks and not for the good of the people they are employed to look after.
It has been suggested by some that my place of employment is of a similar ilk, but I can neither confirm nor deny this, as I might be construed as a troublemaker.  My works manager already doesn't like me for saying something similar on my own social media outlet about 18 months ago, I've been scowled at every day since.

Not raced for a while unfortunately.  It would seem that I may have bitten off more than I could chew in regards to doing up a whole house on my own, so it keeps taking a lot of time up, and I'm not even a builder of any sort.  Mind you, the prick I bought the house from claimed to be in the building trade and by Odins beard, he was shit.  You outta see some of the things I have uncovered over the years.  I will get trackside soon.  I suspect Pete at Answer RC might wonder where I have gone, although, I'm hardly a big fish in the racing scene, being a club racer and all, so he might forget.

Talking of racing, I put my name in for the DXR Dirt Kings, a 4 day race meet held over the Easter weekend at the Harper Adams agriculteral college in Shropshire somewhere.  It is a capped entry, and names are chosen, mostly big names and regulars.  Needless to say, my inbox was empty regarding a confirmation email.  Maybe next year.

I've also been on a social media blackout, as I've not felt well, and I'm simply not interested in the vapid BS that goes on on these things sometimes.  If you wanna know, text and come round for a cuppa.  Sorry to those I've not got round to texting recently, I've not forgotten you, but it's a two way street y'know.

Watched Bad Boys 3 last week, that cheered me up.  It's only taken 17 years.  Lots of references, and it even kept Mark Mancinas original score from the first film in 1995 rather than the Trevor Rabin score from the second film in 2003.

Anyway, this is me signing off, with a top tip.  Keep business cards from people you don't like, so if you ever hit someones car by accident, simply write "sorry" on the card, and put the card on their wiper blades.

Laters 'Taters

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Engineering

Who else here is in engineering?  Not the kind with hard hats and a clipboard, nor the sort where you have a van and go to peoples houses to do shit.  No, I'm on about Precision Engineering, with milling machines, lathes, pillar drills and swarf in your shoes.

   It may or may not be true, but I got the impression that England, as well as being a nation of seafarers and shopkeepers, were also a bit keen on Engineering, what with our history and all.

I have been in this trade since I left school so know a bit.  I currently work at a company who are world renowned for their product in their particular field.  Alas, Once you see how this product is made, you wouldn't waste your money.

I'm not saying what I do is a load of codswallop, far from it,  I take pride in my work but I'm surrounded by an infrastructure and such a backward attitude, that I can only determine that if they were a subcon firm, they would' have gone to the wall years ago.

This is very frustrating for someone in my position.  All our milling machines are Bridgeports, with the newest being a good decade old, and the oldest has to be late '80s, with the tool room in particular being in possession of an Interact Mk1, which I am led to believe was the 1st milling machine to be bought by one of the Directors.  Still, why would you still have such a machine being used?  From a technical aspect, its slow, not fit for purpose.  It doesn't have a coolant pump for starters, so you're cutting metal dry.  It can not hold programs in its memory either.  Mind you, the bloke who uses it has only just starting learning to program but even on a manual mill, couldn't machine anything to 90 degrees if he tried.

Meanwhile, in the machine shop, our plant list has various issues.  One machine can't hold a stable Z.  One can't hold more than 7000 lines of program, period.  Another leaks slideway oil in to the coolant.  Another rapids at about 5 metres a minute, while another one stops mid program because it decides not to read an M99, despite it being a running and proven program.  Another machine also likes to delete numbers from lines in a program and add numbers to other lines upon being sent out of the machine.

We use a program transfer system called Seiki Systems, and that isn't without it's problems either, as I'm sure others will attest to. 

Upon all our requests to have these things sorted, The company is loyal to one maintenance guy.  Yes, ONE.  If said guy is on holiday, we wait till he comes back.  WTAF?  That's if he bothers to fix the problem at all.  We get told there's nothing wrong with the machine or to live with it.  What kind of attitude is that?  Especially one of a multi million pound company with it's own product.

Above all that, they employ idiots and if the rumours are to be believed, they want to have only 1 or 2 skilled men, with the rest being idiots.  A colleague and I work with a couple of these less skilled people and I'll tell you for free, they do not produce a quality finished item as most days we end up mopping up after them to get the jobs out the door.  One day very soon, I'm just gonna leave their parts to one side and let them know they have to try harder or go through them again,

Payrise.  We got a payrise, which I appreciate, because I bet not every other firm was giving out payrises, but I got the same size payrise as another bloke who scraps jobs frequently, the same size as another one who runs less machinery and spends all his time on his phone in the toilet, so one can understand my frustration.

The company loves a yes man, which I am not.  They don't want to hear their idea is crap or that it will take longer than they want, they want 3 bags full Sir all the way.

Anyway, I can program in Heidenhain and Fanuc, I have experience using Fusion 360 and Featuremill for 3D milling, Nikken 4th Axis units and Fanuc horizontal mills.  I am also a certified Mitutoyo CMM user, with experience in programming and running said CMMs using MiCat.  I also have a little experience in using Mitsubishi EDMs.  I'm based in the Portsmouth area, y'know, just in case anyone is interested....

Oh yeah, I can do a bit of manual turning too.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

It's been a while

So what have I been up to?

Well, Went to a friends wedding in May.  Oop North, well, the Midlands, Which to us down here, is almost Scotland.  I wasn't best man, but as we've been friends for a quarter of a century, I was asked to do a speech.  Great, except it wasn't.  I had it all planned out in my head, but the room was so hot, it made me feel quite ill, which made me forget the majority of what I was to say.  I got the first bit, then forgot the rest and ended up talking a right load of codswallop, and that's when I thought I would shut my face and sit back down.  I think the bride hates me.

Been DIY-ing

I sold my Off Road motorbike.  I found out early in the year I have osteoarthritis in my right foot.  This made starting the bike quite difficult as it was a kickstart only machine.  On the lookout for another with electric start.

Still RC racing and still driving for those top chaps at Answer RC.  Mixed bag of results lately.

Organised a Vintage RC meet at TORCH back in August.  Actual meeting went well, and we had a damn good day.  Only disappointment was the attendance.  Turns out a lot of racers are all mouth and no trousers.

Been DIY-ing, still.

Got a letter from the council.  Turns out my elderly neighbours don't like me playing music too loud.  Knock on my door first and ask me turn it down?  don't be silly.  So I've had to tiptoe around that bastard for a couple of months so far till the fuss dies down.  I'm gonna mount speakers brackets on acoustic board and change walls, just to keep the peace, if you pardon the pun.

Work sucks.  Feeling unappreciated.  Mine is a trade that requires years of knowledge, without it, parts look shit or end up wrong.  Those in charge think we're all just button nuggets, but whenever there's a prototype to be made, muggins here ends up doing it with not a single "well done" at the end.

Still DIY-ing.

Lei and I went to Torture Garden back in August, or July.  I put pics up on my Instagram, lost 5 followers overnight. HA.

That is all.

Watch out for my new book out soon, and I'm doing a documentary for Discovery Channel about transdimensional gateways and stargates which is out next year.  I'll also be on the Graham Norton Show bangin on about my book and talking shit, that will be just before christmas.

tatty bye

Monday, 4 March 2019

Bump ups, batteries, and bad news

It's been a while since my last racing blog.  Mostly as it's been a while since I was in "the zone" for racing.

Anyway, with my engine shatting its conrod at Slough SRS last year and the subsequent purchase of a new engine, which admittedly sat in its box for a while as I took time to do stuff, which I can't think for the life of me what, I thought it best to get the thing ran in and turning wheels.

The last weekend of February saw me attend the penultimate round of South Coast RCs Winter Fandango series, wearing shorts.  yes, that weekend.

So, still pedaling the SWorkz Evo 2 while I wait for new hardware.  It's now Orion Crf/HB powered and ready to be tweaked as the day goes on.

With only 19 or so in attendance, I found myself in Heat 1, so off I go.  With my engine still running quite rich, I fail to finish the 1st two rounds of qualifying as I ran out of fuel about 20 seconds before the end.  However, rather safe than sorry, at least I know it's getting a fighting chance of being ran in with a little bit of finesse instead the touch of Fred West.

Come Finals time and I'm 4th in the C.  Not exactly the best I know, but it's a new engine and I hadn't nitro'd since the Steve and Bernie Memorial race.  With Mark Harding doing me the honour of pitting for me, and an increasingly tense battle with a bloke called Pete I believe.  It all comes down to the last lap or two, and after lots of passing and passing back, Petes chances of making a return pass in the dying seconds fall short as he runs out of fuel, leaving me to breath easy and take the win, and thus, the bump up.

Last (7th) on the grid for the B and pitting for me now is, erm, wossis name, y'know, Future World Models shop guy.  Sorry if I've forgotten your name, anyway, him.
The flag goes up and I make a blinder of a start, and 2 or 3 laps in I'm 2nd.  Then, the announcement for everyone to go back to pitlane.  The timing computer has spazzed out so a restart is on order.

With the restart underway after a fashion, I get a clean start but get whacked on the way down and left for dead after the triple, 1 corner in.  So dead last again after that fiasco.  I make my way up to 3rd by the end of the 15 minutes.  I was quite pleased with that.  Not sure how much better it could've gone, but it could've gone the other way.

A week later, the 3rd of March and I have a stinking cold and it's pissing down with rain.  I'm track bound again, this time the SWorkz S12-m gets a go.  From 1/8th nitro to 1/10th 2wd.  The destination is the last round of TORCH' indoor winter jest fest, held at Swanmore Sports College.



I take one look at the track and wonder how the hell I'm going to drive that.  Looks can be deceiving and I instantly found my feet.  The track was the best of the series, with lots of little details to keep one occupied, including the 4 fingers, the radius jumps and the lino.  I was once again in heat one during qualifying, which I appeared to dominate, with 3 wins out of 4. The last of which was taken by a returning Christian Minter, driving hard.

I'm on pole for the less than glamourous D Final.  Mustn't grumble though, someone has to be.  With messyrs Minter and Mallard behind me, I predict a challenge coming my way.  Christian gives me a run for my money for a few laps but he gives me some breathing space when he makes an error, I check out, lap back markers and take leg 1 win.

Leg 2 is a carbon copy of leg 1 but leg 3 is where it fell apart, folding like a cheap hooker bending down for a twenty.  After a false start where Christian and I were already at the four fingers when the tone went, we lined up for a restart.  Mr Minter wanted this one and on the restart, my car got hit and spun round till I was dead last, and anyone who has ever done RC knows that once that happens in a 5 minute race, it's hard to make that up.

I gave chase and began to make up ground, but I couldn't quite find the rhythm I felt with the rest of the day making errors shortly after making a pass or getting whacked by back markers.  It was mostly all there toward the end though as I had made it to 2nd place and in the dying laps, I made a move on Christian over the double, but the car went up at an angle I wasn't planning on and it hit the track marking head on with a thud and Christian fucked off into the distance to take the leg 3 win. 

I took the over all win though which was nice.  Julian Mallard later cursed me for losing the last leg, as if I had beaten Christian again, he would have got 2nd, instead of the over all 3rd.

I was there with the stepson, and he was also racing, unfortunately, the wheel spring on his radio broke meaning he had no steering centre so he missed out on his Finals.

We were very appreciative though when International and National racing Legend Lee Martin and his fellow Nemo Racing mate, gave us half dozen sets of wheels and tyres, presumably having only done one run each.  Muchos Gracias guys.

So that was that.

Except on the Monday after South Coast, I got the news first hand that a good friend of ours had died suddenly.  Dianne Noble, other half of Bigz.  Had fallen foul of a horrible chain of events beginning with a cold and ending in multiple heart attacks.  We spent lots of time with Dianne and Bigz, Weekends at Brands Hatch, breakfast runs, and runs out on bikes, having known them both since 2002.  She was a lovely person and I'll always remember the lardy cakes she brought over for me when my Mum died.  RIP Dianne, you will be missed.


Friday, 7 December 2018

Driving standards Pt 1

Ok, it's been a while since I posted and although this is setting out to be a rant, I need to get it off my chest as I'm sick to the back teeth of shit road users. 

We all make the odd faux pas here and there and I'm not claiming to be perfect or know every bit of the highway code but there is a part of me that wonders how some of these imbeciles got a license in the first place or aren't dead (yet).

Let's start with the urban and country scourge known as The Cyclist.  Not all of them, but a select few who must be suffering suffocation as the air supply is blocked off by the lycra round their neck and their head up their arse.

Firstly, riding in groups and using up ALL the fucking road, at 15mph.  No matter if it's through urban streets with frigging traffic calming bollards at spaced intervals so you can't get past, or in the sticks, on a single track lane, where, you can't get past.  These bastards have no road sense or regard for other road users, and if you do try and pass them, you get a torrent of abuse.

Now, I ride a pushbike, but not like this.  Whatever happened to the highway code rule of cyclists having to ride in single file?  I've not read it for a while so don't know.  I do have a copy that is only a couple of years old so maybe I should have a look, but it surely doesn't give these gits total permission to do as they please. They think they're on a par with Lance fucking Armstrong, not likely, you're in a little club riding around getting in peoples way in the real world, on public roads, not a closed road in a televised event.....have a word with yourself.  Those of us on motorbikes are continually lambasted for riding quick, or being noisy, or dangerous, antisocial, blah blah blah, but we actually took a test and pay a pretty penny for the privilege, unlike you.

The other thing about cyclists which angers me greatly, and you see more of it around this time of year with it being dark, is their use of a flashing light on the front of their bike, what the actual fuck!!!!

As the perennially lovely Jennifer Aniston once said:  "Here's the science bit."  The human eyes and brain can't focus quick enough on a 1200 lumen strobe to judge it's speed and distance.  All it sees is a bastard flashing light.  It could be 50ft away at a standstill or 20ft away doing 25mph, it doesn't matter.  I'm sure a flashing light on the front of a vehicle is illegal isn't it?  Time to check that highway code book again, but I'm sure that since the cyclists guilty of such behaviour are saving the planet by cycling and not killing babies or local Stote habitats by using an evil diesel car, then these self righteous wankers have nothing to be afraid of......except maybe being knocked off by someone who's retinas have just burned away by some twats Cannondale with an early 90s rave strobe masquerading as a headlight, clamped to the handlebars. 

SOLID FRONT NIGHT, SAFE AT NIGHT.

That's some marketing/propaganda/public service announcement slogan drivel I just made up, prepare to see on a bus shelter ad soon, but you saw it here first.

Anyway, cyclists, how about riding sensibly, and get a sensible, solid, front light, then I won't have to shout at you anymore.

Part 2 to follow, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and remember....

Be safe, don't be a twat.