31 May 2010

A little trip to Paradise

So what with rain predicted for Tuesday I took an early start at Penhale

(taking 73 minutes for 7.7km - on my previous visit - 22 years ago(!) - I took 67 for 10.7 on M21E - 3.2 mpk faster! which would have got me second place on the equivalent course in 2010)

and went to EDEN

Very very brilliant indeed - so good I became a member and will be going back as soon as I can... and here is a cashew nut (be careful - the skin will burn your skin - learned that one in Grenada - OUCH!)

but I had to hunt a bit for the cocoa...

The rainforest biome had sections for all the various regional variants - amazingly realistic and convincing - it took me 20 years to complete my visits to the world's rainforest zones - save your money and the carbon-footprint and just go to Cornwall

30 May 2010

Tamar Triple - Perranporth

A short walk from the very nice camp site at Tollgate Farm to Perranporth
- trying to up my daily average step count for "Team MT Athletic" in the GCC   and looking for fish and chips...

Apart from the number of folks surfing there was nothing at all impressive and quite a lot depressing about Perranporth - while the chip-shop staff were entertaining and were entertained by talking with "The man that built the CurlyWurly machine" the fish and chips were sadly disappointing

Highlight was this rather nice "Saint" Volvo

What happened to my meths?

After a year of storage in a (cheap copy of a SIGG) the meths for my trusty 30 year old Trangia was full of bits... more than that after making a cup of tea - the remaining fuel set into a gel:

At least it still burned OK...

But what caused it to go like this?

I can't see how any reaction between the aluminium and alcohol* could have occured at room temperature (if at all) - so the current theory was that the lacquer had become detached from the inside of the bottle (hence the observed floating bits) - and then the subsequent heat caused this to dissolve in the alcohol and form a gel.

* On research I find

One of the drawbacks of methanol as a fuel is its corrosivity to some metals, including aluminium. Methanol, although a weak acid, attacks the oxide coating that normally protects the aluminium from corrosion:
6 CH3OH + Al2O3 → 2 Al(OCH3)3 + 3 H2O
The resulting methoxide salts are soluble in methanol, resulting in clean aluminium surface, which is readily oxidized by some dissolved oxygen. Also the methanol can act as an oxidizer:
6 CH3OH + 2 Al → 2 Al(OCH3)3 + 3 H2"

23 May 2010

British ARDF Championships - Surrey, 21st-23rd

Started with a "special" variant of Fox-Oring - nothing at all marked on the map, 20 micro transmitters to find - all on the same frequency  - everybody coped - even the German contingent who initially struggled to accept the lack of "normal rules"

Celebration meal at "Ye Olde White Hart" in Frimley

Days 2 and 3 at Star Posts

We will have to change the handicapping - it seems you can only win if you are over 60.

yes - that is it - prize giving over - and no you cannot keep Basil

20 May 2010

I was just drifting off to sleep when I heard an accent I recognised...

A colleague from Somerdale was being interviewed by BBC Radio 4

This is the factory I worked at for 10 years
This is the factory that Cadbury decided to close
This is the factory that Kraft said they would (hope to) keep open (if practical)
This is the factory that Kraft decided (they would have) to close
This is the factory we are replicating in Poland - I go back on Monday

You can listen to "Somerdale is our Longbridge" on BBC Iplayer

Why Nokia stopped making the 6310i and will never make an modern equivalent

By common acclaim the 6310i is the best 'phone that Nokia ever made - even though it is many years obsolete you can still buy refurbished models for £99

Problem for Nokia is that it was too good - I have had this one for six years - 543 hours of talking.  In the same time my cousin has got through 4 "modern" phones.  If you were in the Nokia marketing department - what would you do?

14 May 2010

...and interesting trip and a very big cocktail

I went to Poland for 12 days - I was given the choice of flying out and back every week or two weeks on and one week off.   What with The Volcano and all that I chose the latter.

This visit included 3 days with a high fever - culminating in a visit to Dr Bogusz (interesting name but only 100 PLN per consultation - I helped him with his English and he listened to my coughing (Kasel)) - which got me two days working from the hotel and then back in the factory.

At the end of it I rewarded myself with a very big...

The ladies at Hotel Jakub Sobieski have a book with a long list of cocktails - problem is all the German engineers ask for is "Zwei Bier Bitte!" - so I decided to help the staff maintain their skills current.

03 May 2010

12 More Days in Poland...

04:45 Bank holiday - May 3rd and another trip to Poland - at least they sent the company limo.