Shameless Self-Promotion

January 8, 2011

 

Coming soon…

pudding cover

In the meantime, here is some light music.

http://pianisteldritch.bandcamp.com/


In any case, temperatures will rise.

December 24, 2010

Yes, yes. Snow everywhere. Freezing cold. Pretty terrible, eh? Ice and minus temperatures. And it is pretty terrible. My drainpipe outside the house is frozen. Can’t use my bath. In a scientific experiment conducted today, I found that it takes at least three washing up bowls of water to clean the most significant parts of the Stephen. My boiler died, and was resurrected. My old cat died, probably because the boiler did. But no change of resurrection for her.

And yet. As Simon Jenkins said, the weather has been amazing. Clear blue skies, the world made white. An almost Scandinavian winter, in fact. And I don’t see much wrong with that.

And yet, and but. I’m biased. Here on the Clyde Riviera the freezing has been relatively mild. We haven’t been buried under deep snowdrifts, like the east of Scotland. We haven’t been plunged into a deep freeze, like parts further inland.

That’s your Scandinavian winter.

And looking back over my Flickr pictures, I see it’s only been a month since this cold weather arrived. Only a month, but it feels like the whole winter already. Could I handle this for a whole winter? I don’t know.

And I may not need to find out; coming in from the Atlantic is either a shit-load of rain, or snow. But in any case, temperatures will rise. Eventually. And I’ll miss the world made white, and the roads made quiet and slow.


Some Suggestions for Bumper Stickers

October 5, 2010

WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

I’M DOING THE SPEED LIMIT. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONTINENCE.

DRIVER LACKING IN GROTH.

I CAN’T REMEMBER ANY OF MY OTHER AMAZING BUMPER STICKER IDEAS.

BUGGER.


SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR VARIABLE MESSAGES ON THE M8

August 25, 2010

GONNAE NO DAE THAT
REALLY, GONNAE NO DAE THAT
INDICATORS NOT OPTIONAL
WE MEAN IT ABOUT THE WHITE CART VIADUCT
OH LOOK A TRAIN
YOU THERE, STOP BLOCKING THE FAST LANE
JUST COS YOU’VE GOT A BMW DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE ALLOWED TO DO THAT

LOOK JUST RELAX

NO NEED TO BE SO AGGRESSIVE ABOUT IT

BE NICE TO CATS


My goodness

December 12, 2009

What a difference.

Replacing Firefox with Camino and OpenDNS (or my shitty ISP DNS) with Google DNS has made things surprisingly snappy and usable over here in old G4 land.

If only there was some way to make Flash behave.


Improvements ordered after 2007 rail crash not yet fulfilled – Herald Scotland | News | Transport & Environment

October 1, 2009

Improvements ordered after 2007 rail crash not yet fulfilled – Herald Scotland | News | Transport & Environment:

“Network Rail said that there was no indication that the crossing in Halkirk, Caithness, was not functioning properly at the time of the accident.

The unmanned crossing is governed by a warning lighting system, which changes from flashing orange to flashing red roughly 30 seconds before a train is due to pass. One resident who lives close to the level crossing said, that on Tuesday afternoon, he heard the loud klaxon sound which indicates an oncoming train – and then the loud bang of the crash.”

Oh dear. If this is true these people drove straight into the path of a train through a correctly functioning crossing. That’s obviously the railway’s fault…


This keeps happening

September 6, 2009

Police have appealed for witnesses after a motorcyclist was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash in the Highlands.

via BBC NEWS | Scotland | Highlands and Islands | Biker seriously injured in crash.

There are regular appeals for witnesses after crashes. And there are regular crashes. A guy crashed into me a couple of years ago. Despite the police attending, and it being reported in the local press that the guy in question was driving without insurance and disqualified, nothing ever happened. I certainly wasn’t called as an, um, witness. Or offered compensation. Or an apology.

And I regularly witness driving that could easily result in an accident, as long suffering followers of my Twitter account will know.

So, here’s an immodest proposal. The police need more evidence following crashes, and many people need a little something to keep them honest (and safe).

Each and every vehicle should carry a black box. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Just a GPS receiver and an accelerometer would do; though fancy ones could be linked to the car’s instruments and controls, or have video cameras fore and aft. The box might retain a weeks worth of stuff, or it might keep the ten minutes up to a violent acceleration (ie crash). Doesn’t really matter. The box could be sealed, or the driver could download (but not delete) data as they chose. Doesn’t really matter.

To maintain a modicum of privacy, the police would be allowed to seize said boxes after an incident, but not to read them; they’d need a court order for that, along the lines of a search warrant.

Of course many people would object to this, but I think the benefits outweigh the costs. People would know that if they did something wrong, it would be pretty obvious what had happened. People who hadn’t done anything wrong would have some evidence to back them up. And everyone would have a wee electronic conscience, keeping them safe and on the right sight of the law.

Many people have event recorders of this type already. They’re called sat-navs.


I aitn’n’t dead

August 19, 2009

That is all.


but you don’t have the right to know that either

April 27, 2009

BBC NEWS | Politics | Plan to monitor all internet use
Ms Smith said that while the new system could record a visit to a social network, it would not record personal and private information such as photos or messages posted to a page.
“What we are talking about is who is at one end [of a communication] and who is at the other – and how they are communicating,” she said.


cool

March 3, 2009

Transport Briefing — UK transport news, data and jobs

UKs longest road tunnel breaks through at Hindhead

Filed 02/03/09

Construction of the UKs longest road tunnel under land, near Hindhead in Surrey, is a step closer to completion after the tunnel excavations from the north and south met deep under the Surrey Hills.

The breakthrough to link the two tunnels is a milestone for the £371m project and was witnessed by transport minister Paul Clark. When complete, the A3 road tunnel will provide uninterrupted dual carriageway from London to Portsmouth and reduce traffic at a notorious bottleneck.

Approximately 30,000 vehicles a day will be taken away from the Surrey Hills – instead travelling deep beneath this protected landscape. The scheme will divert a length of 6.7km some four miles of the existing A3 Portsmouth Road on to a new alignment, with a 1.8km section about 1.25 miles that passes under the Devils Punch Bowl, placed in a twin bore tunnel, associated side roads and private access alterations, and the detrunking of a superseded section of the existing A3.

If it’s good enough for the Surrey hills, surely it’s good enough for the A82 between Tarbet and Ardlui?


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