Categories
the old country

mmm

We had a great lunch with Neil at The Grain Store in Edinburgh today.

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something

dirty harry

Went to Harry Ramsden’s in Glasgow last night for old time’s sake, and we probably won’t ever be back. The service was slow, the food so-so, and the bathrooms disgusting. It has lost its Harryness, alas.

Categories
the old country

och jings, we won!

Scotland beat France 1-0 yesterday. Here are some Scots enjoying the health benefits of smoking in the drizzle:

mmm, booze

Categories
the old country

in a bit of a dwam

Well, we arrived in Glasgow. Jet-lag’s bad, but at least I’ve had some real Irn Bru to counter it. Forgotten how different a UK keyboard layout is to the Canadian one, so this entry has taken much correcting.

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something

Goodbye, childhood

Goodbye:

  • headache glue cracking from finger tips
  • badly-painted pilot with obvious thumb-prints
  • squint and/or torn decals
  • undercarriage installed backwards, if at all
  • spilled tin of Humbrol enamel
  • leftover sprue rattling in cardboard box with an unidentified piece still attached
  • curious v-shaped stand that never quite stood level
  • hung squintly from bedroom light by white thread until dusty wing missing from too many runins with parental heads
  • taken down for final flight whirled round head on string until dashed against clothespole or arcing up up into neighbour’s fir tree (it’s still there today)
  • when older, packed with cotton balls nicked from sister, doused with turps, crashed flaming kamikaze onto the compost heap (sorry dad, your onions never did well on paint thinner and burnt plastic)

Goodbye, Airfix

Categories
bike stuff

king ov shim

To round out the Dawes Super Galaxy, I got a pair of used Sun Tour Superbe non-aero brake levers from Bicycle Specialties. Wouldn’t you know it though, but one of them was for thicker (Cinelli?) bars than the narrow GB Randonneurs that are on my bike.
Armed with a sharp knife, a straight edge, and an empty can of Irn Bru, I cut myself some shim stock to fill out the gap. The lever has a little lateral play, but it’s not moving up or down any. I am the king ov shim!

Categories
General Wind Things

drinking with the wind

I didn’t go to the AWEA banquet last night, but did sneak into the GE Wind event (to which I was semi-invited) at the Andy Warhol Museum, and then on to the Clipper event (to which I definitely wasn’t) at the insanely ornate Heinz Hall. I guess you could say that place amounted to a hill of beans.
Caught up with Norman & David Surplus of B9, whom I last saw more than a decade ago. As there was free drink, I am slightly fragile this morning.

And so to pack …

Categories
Wind Things

too many wind turbines in the UK? Hardly!

Flying back from Denmark over the UK the other day, I hoped to see at least some wind farms. In a highly unscientific study, I peered out the window from approximately Nottingham to Iona. You know how many wind turbines I saw? Four. You know how many were working? One. Hardly something that’s taking over the landscape.

And strangely, the one I saw working, at Chelker Reservoir, I used to drive past quite often on my way to Skipton. I’ve never seen more than a couple of those old WEG 300kW two-bladers running. I was frankly amazed there were any of them left. Even from 10000m, you could make out the herky-jerky rotation.

Categories
computers suck goatee-stroking musing, or something

best beat neat nest

Beware, nerdiness follows: I generally like my BlackBerry 7130e, but its multiple letters per key can sometimes give the wrong result. Using word frequency lists from the British National Corpus, sqlite, and way too much programming time, I determined that the key sequence with the most possible word results (81?2) produces best, beat, neat or nest. The device itself suggests also brat and bray, so I should try a longer word list — in my copious free time, of course.
The longest (common words in the corpus) that have the same key sequence are employers and employees, which might briefly cause hilarity in an HR or legal context.

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something o canada WAGDAIYF

Energy Saving Tips for Canadians, #1: a name thing

Canadians are remarkably profligate in their energy use, and I think I know why. It’s not to do with the oft-cited scale of the country, the size of our houses, our cold winters or our hot summers, it’s something simpler than that; it’s what we call our electricity.

Power here is generally known as hydro, and with it comes images of tree-lined rivers with bears happily fishing for salmon. Local electricity companies tend to have that watery thing in their name: Toronto Hydro, Hamilton Hydro, London Hydro (Crieff Hydro is something quite different, though). Some happy green images, eh?

I propose that we stop using the term hydro, and replace it with the snappier smog belching, nuke leaking, only fractionally hydro. It’d certainly make yer average Kathy or Doug drop their double-double (or donut, or dumaurier) when they got their smog belching, nuke leaking, only fractionally hydro bill in. Energy use would plummet, and at no cost to anyone!

Categories
WAGDAIYF Wind Things

Happy Nuke Day!

Yup, Chernobyl was 20 years ago. Let’s just have a wee pause for a technology that’s still messing us up, yet we’re told it’s the green technology of the future. Yeah, and I bet it’ll be too cheap to meter, too.
There are still farms in Scotland affected by the fallout from Chernobyl. Though, what with all the nuke plants in Scotland, it could be any one of them that’s the real culprit.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a wind farm to survey …

Categories
relations

Wendy has another website

Her work one, that is: Arrowsmith Training Consultancy. So if you’re in the Northallerton area and in need of a MBTI® and FIRO-B® practitioner, give her a call.

Categories
bike stuff

Crappy Lanes: spread the love

Further to Matt Seaton’s article in the Guardian about atrocious cycle facilities, and highlighting Warrington Cycle Campaign’s Facility of the Month, can I just say that Pete Owens of WCC got the idea for the web page from my Crappy Lanes (archive.org copy) site?

Categories
bike stuff

few epiphanies at the Toronto Cycle Show

If I see another $2500 full-sus disk-braked mountain bike, I’ll puke. There were a few tiny things of interest here; please comment if you want the details.

Categories
General

a wee corner of Scotland at Ellesmere & McCowan

Serendipity: took a wrong turn coming out of the
federal building, and found ourselves in Scottish culinary heaven (which is not an oxymoron, I assure you). At the corner of Ellesmere & McCowan is The But ‘n’ Ben Butchers; they sell all sort of quality Scottish foods. So far, we’ve sampled and can approve their butcher’s pies, plain bread and empire biscuits. They’ve also got a supply of UK Heinz Beans, which knock the gummy North American beans into a cocked hat.
Next door but one is St Andrews Fish & Chips. They’re amazing. I think the chips (hand cut, of course) are deep fried in some unhealthy, but tasty, animal byproduct. And they have Irn Bru, too …

Categories
computers suck

SCO – The Campaign For a .SCO Internet Domain

This is good: SCO – The Campaign For a .SCO Internet Domain

Categories
o canada

my home and adopted land

I became a Canadian citizen just after 10:00 today. I was the only Scot out of 107 new Canadians.

My planning’s excellent; my UK passport expires today…

Categories
Wind Things

This wind study brought to you by the Canadian Nuclear Association

So there’s a new report on wind integration in Canada, written by The Conference Board of Canada. People are picking up on it, and even the doughty Refocus quotes… electricity from onshore wind is uneconomic in comparison with traditional alternatives“. Hmm.

So I read the report, and what do I find in the Preface?

As part of an ongoing initiative to investigate energy policy options and the future of the Canadian energy system, the Canadian Nuclear Association contracted The Conference Board of Canada to conduct a comparative study of various countries’ experiences with supporting and implementing large-scale wind projects.

So we’re expected to believe that the CNA would wish to have an objective and non-partisan report written on wind power, eh?

Categories
General Wind Things

Standard Offer is Go – March 21

From OSEA:

The moment we have all been waiting for has arrived! The Ministry of Energy, the Premier, David Suzuki and OSEA will be announcing the Standard Offer Program on March 21st. We are organizing a celebration and press event in partnership with the Ministry of Energy that will take place at 3 pm at Exhibition Place, Toronto, home to Ontario’s first community wind turbine.

Please mark this date in your calendar and watch for further notices (via email and at www.ontario-sea.org) on details regarding location, speakers and entertainment.

This is a celebratory event – please everyone, let us celebrate the positive role the Standard Offer Contract program will play in Ontario for renewables, for community power, for cost effective power, and for our air quality and health!

Thanks to everyone for their efforts!

If the province has got this right, we really will see a lot more wind power in Ontario.

Categories
the old country

“Imperfection is an end; perfection is only an aim”

Ivor Cutler, 1923—2006, mensch; rest in peace.

Obituary from The Guardian.