Tag Archives: hipsters

The Two Less’s

I hope you didn’t read that as The Two Lezzies.  Less’s as in the opposite of more.

All the hipsters will tell you that ‘less is more’.  Well shall we find out?  Currently I am homeless and jobless – two pretty major less’s in anyones life – but both at the same time?  Bring it on.

It sounds a little harsher than it is in reality though.  I do still have a house, just all the way down in Portugal, and being honest, that is close to uninhabitable right now. Being jobless is more correct but only until the 16th December when I head to Thailand to start my new job out there – so all in all, The Two Less’s was something of a misleading headline.

But officially – a jobless and homeless bum I am !!

I have been fortunate enough to be loaned a huge american motor home (America – Fuck Yeah!) for my following days of need – not a bad gig either.  Got my Xbox set up and am ready to rock and roll.

I also got my hand over notes today for the new vessel.  Sometimes I think I am something of a rarity when it comes to giving someone hand over notes.  Usually mine spread out to a small novel, my last effort,  whopping 49 pages.  Today I got half a dozen pages.  My initial pass made me think they were not all that but one cursory read had me shuddering in my boots.  A hull breach due to electrolysis.

For the non tech minded of my readers, electrolysis is damage caused to a metal that is immersed in water due to an electrical current leak.  Where the hull carries a positive charge, the damage is more severe, as electricity is always trying to travel from positive to negative, where negative in this case is earth – or sea water.  It also doesn’t bode well that salt water happens to be a good conductor of water.  The damage occurs as the electricity exits the positive side of the circuit heading for the negative.  During this exit, it takes a little bit of the metal with it, creating pitting.  If left for long enough, enough of the metal is removed to create a hole.  Once the hole is formed, the process doesn’t stop but continues to expand the hole’s diameter.

Some metals are more easily pitted than others. Aluminium for instance, is not naturally resistive to electrolysis.  It just so happens that the new boat is Aluminium.  For the American readers (as it is an American built Trinity Yacht) I should say Aluminum.  So there is my first serious dilemma to overcome.

I was also missing some basic data about fuel consumption, ranges and speeds, oil burn etc but I am about to send a mail to remind him of that.  I am also going to ask if his technical files are up to date – at this point I expect him to shit himself.

 

Moving on – for those of you that know what I do for a living, this has lead to the need to update some basic training.  Last week, I braved the Isle of Wight for three days to refresh my knowledge of Fire Fighting, Sea Survival and Advanced Fire Fighting.  Being Officer material, I am required to study at advanced levels !!!  That, in reality is irrelevant.  What I really wanted to share was the fact that last week I had to go in the water in West Cowes on the Isle of Wight.  The instructors took great pleasure in telling us that the water was a delightful 6ºc – I didn’t mis-type that, six degrees!  My cock was like a drawing pin!

This week I am on the other side of The Solent in Warsash and spent the day on the end of a windy Pier, fooling around with life boats.  My final few days winding up until I head out to Thailand for the first time in my life.

YES – I am aware that Thailand has a reputation for seedy sex and even more so Ladyboys.  I plan to spend the first three months working solidly on board until I can take some leave in April so it wont be bothering me in the slightest but thank you for all of the warnings.  Maybe I will make a photo album of ‘he or she’ when I get some time and let you guess which is which?

So this morning I will finish off all of my notes I need to complete and then head to sunny Southampton and maybe a trip up the Spinnaker.  Been a few years since I went up there.  Not being the most comfortable with heights, I think I should push myself to the top and stand on the glass floor.

More soon I promise, from Thailand

 

 

 


Cold Feet

Imagine my anticipation.  Flying out of Birmingham Airport on the 19th October, heading to Qatar for the first time.  The legendary customer service that you might expect from Qatar Airlines coupled to the fact that I would be flying on the new(ish) Boeing Dreamliner for the first time.  The dreamliner – for those that don’t know, is cutting edge carbon fibre construction.  Now, translating the phrase ‘cutting edge’ into my engineering mindset, I get the phrase ‘new in the market’ or to put it another way ‘not yet proved to stand the tests and rigours of time and flight’.

So, I wandered up to the boarding gate a little ahead of time to get a look at the wee beastie and see if I could calm my nerves some.  I peered in the early morning gloom at the front of the aeroplane and saw something that did indeed rattle my cage somewhat.

See, call me old fashioned, call me what you will, aluminium repair tape has its place in the world, I agree, and have often used it, normally around exhaust joints etc etc etc.  Never in my wildest dreams would I think of using it on a vehicle that travels at 35,000 feet in excess of 500 mph – least of all, would I expect to see it holding the pilots window in place on the latest Boeing Dreamliner – but by christ, that is what I saw.

 

qatar-airlines

Yeah – this was going to be the longest 6 hours of my life.  Except it wouldn’t be.  It turned out to be 7 hours.  Apparently the incoming flight had a Mini Cooper in its hold and the cargo boys at Birmingham were having some trouble getting it out again, so I sat at the gate for an hour biting my nails.

My excitement and apprehension was cut short though. I have a problem with airlines – none in particular, they are all the same.  Being 6’3” I struggle with leg room.  Most airlines combat this by taking an extra £50 or so out of my wallet for letting me sit in the exit row seat (also very handy for being the first out if something does go wrong). Except on this flight, and my return leg, all those exit row seats have been reserved by 5 foot midgets. An extra problem on the Dreamliner as there is something the size of an xbox under all seats, with the exception of the middle seat.  It stands in the inside edge of the seat leg, effectively reducing the width of the space under the seat in front – or in more simple terms, the space where you want to put your feet is reduced and now to combat the Xbox installation, you have to sit crooked in your seat for 6, if not 7 hours.

Now, without getting off topic, this is one of my biggest gripes with modern world.  People keep selling us upgrades, better services, more comfort, faster response times, more overhead locker space etc – but who the fucking hell thought that it would be a good idea to wedge these metal boxes under the seat exactly where 6 people in each and every row want to put their feet?

Personally I never travel with a bag that tests the weight limit of the overhead bins, I would much prefer a little less up there in favour of more leg room at my seat.  I can’t imagine anyone in the world would agree with Boeing designers on this one – with a few exceptions – Hipsters and Apple Lemmings,  because we all know that Hipsters and Apple Lemmings just have to wank on continuously about how good all things modern and diverse are – the fuckers !

Moan over.  Now, I have added a few photographs from a recent visit to Portugal so do pop across to the photo section and take a little look.  Nothing spectacular, but all the same, have a look.

And Finally

Cold Feet – I just watched the last of the current series (courtesy of my newly acquired VPN, I can now watch all the UK TV while globe trotting).

Think back 15 years or so when Cold Feet first came about – It was astounding back then.  It was one of those TV programs that when it was on, you were always home to watch it.  Never missed, and always planned for, it was an epic from a good time in life.  The whole country used to talk about it.  Sure, there were others – 30 something from the 80’s, ER in the 90’s, Six Feet Under in the 00’s, but this was just better, home grown better, and Faye Ripley with that Manchester accent used to (and still does) drive me wild.

For me, it picks up perfectly where the last series finished over a decade ago.  The characters have grown older perfectly and it still makes me feel warm inside – like a good glass of red and block of chocolate.

So I was sad to see the last one go tonight but then I remembered that it has been commissioned for a second series so I am happy again.  Tra La Laa

 

Now really and finally

16 year olds do not have the right to use the phrase ‘back in the day’. Come on, back in the day means at least half your life ago – so when you are 40 and you say back in the day, you are referring to the period in your life when you were 20.  I just don’t see anything that could have happened that was so memorable for an 8 year old that they need to recall it with their adolescent plebs.

Oh yeah back in the day when we used to buy penny chews on the way to school….

 

Now the last really and finally…

 

If you want to see where I am right now, take a look at the link below.  I am in a place called Doha, which is in the Kingdom of Qatar.  I am here for a 5 week gig, working on a boat that is moored at a place called Porto Arabia on The Pearl.  They were kind enough to supply me with a Toyota 4×4, a fuel allowance for the car and a massive, and I mean mah-hoosive apartment on The Pearl overlooking the Lagoon and the City beyond.  There is more than enough room here for John and Mon to come and stay – I actually think Rue might even manage it!

The Pearl, Doha


Terrible Love

January is over – a vicious month for Cancer.

As I plugged along on my very muddy 10k run this morning I had plently of time for thoughts.  If I am honest, the run itself was far from perfect.  The tow path was a mud bath and the woods at the back of Abbots Farm almost had me on my arse twice.

Time wise, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, not quite 2 minutes slower than my best on that route but it was muddy!

I slipped into thoughts.  Lets talk about Apple for a moment.  I read an article this week on the BBC that their latest iOS software for their phones has been permanently disabling phones that have been for repair by independent phone shops.  You send your new phone away for a screen replacement or a new home button and it comes back with ‘error 53′.  You might think this is not the end of the world but in iOS9 – this now means your phone is useless – it will never work again and any info on it is lost for good.

I have been experiencing similar bullish tactics with my Mac after recently upgrading to El Capitan.  You see , the biggest problem with computer updates is you are always told what they have added but they NEVER tell you what they have taken away. If you knew which functionailities were removed, updating would never be an option for most users.

So now, if I want to email you a photo, I can no longer use the attach button from my mail browser and then go into my photo library and find it – nope, Apple want you to buy into their Cloud product, that lets you share easily (or more easily than the way they force you into if you won’t pay), so instead now I have to open the photo app, drag a copy to the desk top and then attach it from there.  Hardly progress from what is one of silicone valleys’ giants now is it?  The last software was better.

It doesn’t stop there.  iPhone users that have the latest software will find that airdrop has changed too.  No longer can you open air drop and make your phone visible to only people in your contacts list as with the older software, no, privacy on airdrop is now only available if your contacts are in the cloud.

Of course, there is a price for using the cloud.

As my Mac gets older, slower and clunkier and needs some financial input I find myself questioning the rational for moving back to a windows based pc and an android phone. See, a pc of the same tech specs as the Mac will be around half the price and comes with the freedom to source ‘stuff’ from outside of the world of the manufacturer.  Its getting to be an easier choice to make. There was a time when I would have used that line of thought as a down side though.  Have you ever been on the end of a windows based problem where the hardware manufacturer blames the software and the software manufacturer blames the hardware?

It did make me think though – some time ago the EU ruled that car manufacturers had to make all of their car computer diagnostics plugs the same as each others.  The reason was to allow independent garages not to have to invest in different computers for all of the makes out there – or to put it in very basic terms, to allow more competition as to where you as a consumer can spend your money.  I can’t see that this is any different than that?

Hark back to better times, when Apple products were wanted because they were revolutionary.  Those days died with Mr. Jobs. Cancer affects more of us than you might believe.

Of course, a lot of Apples problems come from the ‘hipsters’ that just have to have the latest stuff.  I was looking on iTunes the other day for info about Birdys new album when I noticed that although the release is not due for another month, 11 people had left reviews for it.  The ‘I am so trendy crew’ had got there before the record company have even cut the final disc! Dont believe me?  look at the screen shot below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.56.48

I got into a debate on the Apple help forums the other week with a guy called Terence Devlin.  Terence suggests that people should stop complaining about when things change for the worse or stop working completely with Apple products because people aren’t running the very latest software.  His solution was to ‘upgrade – its free’  As our debate raged on, I mentioned that over 50% of the product reviews on the Apple store for its last iOS release gave it 1 star out of 5 with the majority of those recommending that you don’t install it at all (more 1 star reviews than 2,3,4,&5 added together).  Terence then suggested that those negative reviews should be ignored because people like to complain.  At that point, I gave up with the fucktard and left him to his little world of what I suspect is a very wealthy family that pay for whatever his little hipster heart desires.  I also suspect that he doesn’t work for two reasons.

  1. He is always camped outside the Apple store to be the first to get whatever is new that week.
  2. Daddy pays him a jolly good allowance each month so the reality of earning a living is left to the serfs and peasants on street level

 

So back in the UK for 10 days.  It is cold and wet here. Sure, the South of France gets cold too but it is dry, the air is dry which makes for a different, almost warming kind of cold.  Add to that I have allowed myself to be bullied into going to Bike Park Wales on Wednesday with The King of Touching Cloth himself – Mr Yates.  The very next day I have my ships medical to give me the green light to set sail for the next 2 years and then early next week, a funeral – but more on that later.

I am expecting to sustain some physical damage on Wednesday, not only from being miserable from the cold and wet for hours but also because of the tricky or even treacherous conditions will lead to mishaps I am sure.  Fingers crossed, it will be Yates this time.  While he is in a bundle of pain on the floor, I will pull along side him and gleefully jib, ‘see you at the bottom dick wad’ as is the norm for our outings – I like to think of it as the ‘Top Gear’ style of caring for your chums. I have little choice though – it will now cost me as much to back out of it as it will to go – and I hate wasting money.

The world needs a bit more Birdy

 


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