Monday, April 27, 2009

Leaky - update

The plumber came back, good on his guaratee promise, to fix the leak causing the large and increasing damp patch on the porch wall.
He had accidentally pulled the basin and bidet waste pipe out of the main stack when fitting the basin, so all waste water was pouring down the inside of the house. Luckily I don't wash very often! No water damage visible inside the house, and porch brick wall now drying.

Then the bidet started leaking, so he came back another day to fix that - the bit on the bottom wasn't screwed tightly. (technical term!)

Now it's just a corner of the shower than leaks intermittently onto the floorboards. I think I will just squirt more sealant on myself. Want it all to be right before getting a carpet laid in there (yes, I like a carpet in the bathroom. I don't piss all over the floor like some people!)

The main bathroom is still to be done, but another plumber says we need a bath with pre-drilled holes for the taps, as the one we have bought [and is waiting in the garage] has no tap holes (because of the odd modern tap we've bought for it - a large mixer tap and a shower head that slots into the bath top next to it. So the bath in the garage will probably end up on eBay like the old fittings from my bathroom (got £167 for them!).

When 7 deliveries arrive in one morning

Poor Tom Daley getting bullied. I bet if that American swimming gold medalist Phelps was at school he'd be the school mascot.
Britons just don't seem to like anyone who is successful. Maybe everyone is jealous? A jealous nation? Meh. That's why I'm a recluse.

Constructed a cross trainer today. Will it be used or become a clothes horse? Time will tell! (There's already talk of buying an ice cream machine, so perhaps more mind-set changing needs to occur first!). I had a go on it and now I can't walk.

I now have a 24" widescreen monitor in both my upstairs and downstairs office - posh eh? No more squinting for me! I bought my mum a 23" one - they're certainly worth getting just to see everything a bit bigger. They're all Samsungs - my only niggle is that upon reducing the brightness they all start buzzing which is quite noticable.

Today was hilarious. We had 7 deliveries from 7 different courier companies. By the afternoon the hall was full so we were getting them to leave stuff on the porch. I also have a thermal gel colour printer now from Ricoh. Massive and heavy, but only £53. I discovered today that my office is now full and I have nowhere to put it! I need to re-arrange things on my desk. What a boring end to a blog post!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Just read that Tandy's demise in the UK was down to the Carphone Warehouse (silly name for a mobile phone shop these days) buying Tandy UK to easily buy a high street presence. They shut down 269 Tandy stores, replacing them with mobile phone shops. I don't know if Tandy UK was doing well or not, but it was sold because head office in Canada wanted to focus on domestic stores.

Maplin took over where Tandy disappeared. Maplin used to be the place where the electronics hobbyists went for cheaper components and kits. Tandy was more mainstream. Now Maplin, whilst not turning its back on the hobbyist, has certainly gone mainstream compared to say 15 years ago.

Sad though that it was seemingly a strong brand, and the UK's second largest electrical retailer at the time.

I bought my first CD hi-fi (Amstrad) there (£180 in about 1992),
along with outdoor horn speakers (£8), LEDs, buttons (£1.08),
a laser pointer (£35),
Genexxa audio mixer (£60), audio leads,
Realistic Pro 47 radio scanners x2 (£200 each), DC transformers,
Realistic Mini Amplifier SA-155 (£40 - still going, on my garage workbench),
arcade challenge game (£15),
130-in-1 electronics kit (£30), soldering iron,
red microphone and stand (back in the 80s - my first of many, many microphones!),
Genexxa omnidirectional microphone (£35 - still have it in my mic bag),
Realistic tie clip mic, pillow speaker, headphones,
Realistic SCP-31 playback cassette deck (£40, but took it back after realising there was no record button!)
cassette carousel (£3),
tape head demagnitiser (£9 - still have)
AM/FM pocket radio with speaker (listened to it on the bus going to school in about 1995 until I could drive, £18)

...and that's just from looking through the Tandy 1997 catalogue I keep on my shelf for nostalgia!
Certain items in it I still long for - the wood veneer 10 watt Realistic speakers, the Realistic walkie-talkies.....
Everything seems rather expensive compared to today's prices - which is odd when inflation is taken into account. Surely prices should be higher 12 years on? But no, it's like prices have dropped by 70% for most items in today's world.


My muslim neighbour didn't notice me returning from a walk with my dog and shouted out of the window "Jesus, give me some air!". I shouted back to them, "Have you converted!?"

Unicef doorstopped us today. "A massive vaccination campaign". I think we should really focus on ourselves and this county at the moment, instead of giving so much away. Charity begins at home. I thought this doorstopping was illegal anyway. AND I don't remember the last time Africa did a fund raiser for our people in need.

The joiner I mentioned two posts ago has not returned to complete his job. He is Bob Deano from Deano's.

The plumber finished my bathroom. Yesterday I noticed a number of damp bricks in the wall on the porch below my bathroom, so something's leaking. He'll return tomorrow under his 'all work guaranteed' clause, presumably to rip out the entire shower......

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Organic Foods - a step backwards

We accept exactly the same technology (as GM food) in medicine, and yet in producing food we want to go back to the 19th Century.

Dr Fedoroff, who wrote a book about GM Foods in 2004, believes critics of genetically modified maize, corn and rice are living in bygone times.

"We wouldn't think of going to our doctor and saying 'Treat me the way doctors treated people in the 19th Century', and yet that's what we're demanding in food production."