Stupid DIY Mistakes

you’re only human, it’s all right to make mistakes

If you do most things for yourself, eschewing messy decorators, useless contractors, and rip-off garages, then every now and again you are bound to commit one of the classic howlers.  Mistakes you could kick yourself for.  Really stupid mess-ups that leave you thinking; ‘how the hell do I get out of this one…..?’

I might admit to being guilty of some or all of these;

  1. Painting yourself into a corner.  You can either walk on it or wait until it dries.
  2. Touching a spark-plug lead while the engine is running.  If you’re healthy you’ll just get a terrific jolt, if you have a heart pacemaker you might get dead.
  3. Opening the radiator cap on a hot engine.  Getting scalded hurts.
  4. Over-tightening a nut so the bolt / stud snaps.  That is likely to be expensive to repair, unless you know how.
  5. Sawing off the branch you’re sitting on.  The fall hurts.
  6. Sawing off the branch your ladder is leaning against.  The fall hurts.
  7. Taking off the bathroom door handle and closing the door while you’re inside, with no way to open the door to get out.
  8. Putting up a picture / shelf by hammering a nail / drilling into the wall, and going right through a water pipe.  Flooding is expensive to repair, so is the big hole you’re going to have in the wall.
  9. Ditto an electrical cable or gas pipe.
  10. Not learning how to use a spirit level and putting up a shelf.

Today I was guilty of #7.  Just as well I took lessons from a master locksmith.

Some say that we learn by our mistakes.  And that necessity is the mother of invention.  All I know is that I can now build, decorate, install, make, repair….. just about anything ~ and I have the scars to prove it.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I didn’t build that,

but I could

 

Random Jottings ~ Love

cursed are they who get the love they think they deserve

~

‘I love you…..’ he said

‘why…..’ she asked’

because I’m bloody stupid…..’

~

she loved him and he didn’t deserve her

so, eventually he walked away

she didn’t know how lucky she was

~

she was attractive

she was available

she was loving

she was going to be a complete waste of time and money

~

car sex is the opposite of true love

~

love is a drug

but so is sex, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, opium, viagra…..

~

Fuck Me!  No way, I’m a man and you’re a surprised shade of blue alien

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

she will never love you

not if you try to force it

Random Jottings ~ Faith

only in the darkness can you see the moon and stars

~

worry ends when faith begins

~

faith can move mountains, but dynamite helps

~

faith, hope, and love

and the greatest of these is love

~

faith is what makes men carry on when it all seems impossible

~

some say that when you have faith you have everything

I’ve found that a lot of money helps too

~

a casual walk through a lunatic asylum will tell you

that blind faith doesn’t prove anything at all

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

faith is the light that shines in the depths of distant space 

Songs on Saturday ~ Geordie

howay man, wesa gannin doon the toon

Yesterday I went shopping in Newcastle.  Not only does the place bring back so many memories, it’s also the best place to go shopping outside of Italy.  I always spend far too much there.  Here’s a little song to remind me of the toon.

Although Newcastle never really was my home town ~ I was born in a far more ancient and much smaller pit village.

Please listen with a smile.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

the monument

Battle of Britain Anniversary ~ July 1940

 ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few…..’ ~ Churchill

Hawker Hurricane ~ The First of The Few

Today, here in England we are beginning to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, during which Hitler’s Luftwaffe tried of wrest control of the air over England from the Royal Air Force.  The air battle ran from May to September 1940, when Britain stood alone against the might of Goering’s air fleets, and Nazi Germany had to win this conflict or else eventually lose the war.

Along with the Hawker Hurricane, the more celebrated Supermarine Spitfire bore the brunt of the fighting, with the more stable Hurricane going after the bombers while the Spitfire took on the bf 109 fighters.  Ever after the 3,000 men awarded the Battle of Britain clasp would be known as The Few.

Had the RAF failed during the Battle of Britain, and had England been invaded by the Nazis, then the the whole world would have slipped into the dark abyss of Hitler’s madness.

Supermarine Spitfire and bf 109

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

it was a damn close run thing

Spitfire Ia

 

Food on Friday ~ Summer Salads

create healthy habits, not restrictions and rules

It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s time for a cool drink and a fabulous salad.   After all this self-isolation, comfort eating, and processed food it’s time to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  And we all know that salads are brilliant at this time of year.  Preferably eaten in the sunshine and fresh air.

This quick, healthy arugula salad with lemon balsamic dressing is from Erin Clarke, at Well Plated by Erin.  It’s listed as a side dish, but I think many of us would be happy to have this for an al-fresco lunch, maybe with some salmon or chicken added.

Arugula Salad

This is fabulous from The Bojon Gourmet; vegan caprese salad with peaches and arugula.  Here a vegan mozzarella is used, but if you don’t want to be so strict you could choose an alternative.  BTW, I love heirloom tomatoes.

Vegan Caprese Salad with Peaches & Arugula

And now for something completely different from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; panzanella with marinated chickpeas and chimchurri.  Bread in a salad, now that is different!

Panzanella with Marinated Chickpeas and Chimchurri

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for heirloom tomato soba noodle salad, and as I already said I like heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Soba Noodle Salad

Trust Amanda at Chez le Reve Francais to come up with something decadent; an asparagus, broccoli, and endamame salad.  Looks deliciously different.

Asparagus Broccoli and Endamame Salad

Finally this week is from Chunghah at Damn Delicious, how about this grilled Greek chicken salad, served with tzatziki dressing?

Grilled Greek Chicken Salad

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

a Mediterranean Salad

from Heather Christo

If You Have an Overheating Car

f you have to love your car for it to love you back

the radiator is the square black thing at the front

An American friend of mine is on a long toad trip, and she’s worrying a bit because her car is on the verge of overheating on long mountain climbs.  Well, as a guy well-used to running old cars I personally wouldn’t worry so much unless the thing actually boiled, and then I’d let it cool down completely, top up the radiator, and carry on.  (BTW, always carry a can of oil and some engine coolant in the back of your vehicle.  And learn some basic car mechanics.)

There are 4 main reasons that a car will overheat;

  1. It’s leaking coolant through a hose joint, (or the radiator itself, or the water pump).
  2. The thermostat is faulty.
  3. The electric fan isn’t working.
  4. The water pump is busted, (or the drive-belt to the water pump is broken, or slipping).

Three of those faults are easy to check for.  #1 there will be a pool of coolant under the car when it’s been parked for a while. #2 the radiator will be cool when the engine is hot.  #3 with the car parked and the engine running the fan should come on when the engine gets hot.  Trust me you will be able to hear it when it’s working.

#4 needs a mechanic, and as water pumps almost last forever it’s unlikely to be busted unless it’s an older car.  In which case check to see if it’s ever been replaced.  This fault is the least likely.  If the pulley is turning the pump is working.  If your AC and electrics are working it isn’t a drive-belt problem.

Actually there is a 5th reason, you are working the car very, very hard indeed, like climbing up a mountain.  There is a limit to how hard you can work anything or anyone, and if you pass that limit things will start to go wrong.

Faults 1, 2, 3, and 5 are very easily cured, (9 times out of 10).

The trouble is few people know much about car mechanics, and if you take it into a shop you are likely to be stuffed with the cost of the most expensive repair possible, so learn just a little practical car mechanics.  It’s a few hours and will save you a lot of time, money, and worries.  (Sometime your car isn’t overheating at all the gauge on the dashboard is giving a false reading.)

(On older cars there is always the possibility that the cooling system is furred-up, in which case it would benefit from flushing.  Here’s how https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s–5ft5YiHg ).

Treat your car well, and it will repay the favour.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the radiator is the black thing at the front

Looking Better after Lockdown

it could have been worse, the liquor stores might have been closed

Now that I’m regularly out and about again after a period of government imposed solitary confinement at home, I’ve noticed just how manky some people are looking.  It’s not their fault, being subject to lockdown and being made to work from home does bad things to your health, your looks, and your well-being.  It’s a lack of sunshine, fresh air, exercise ~ and too much junk food, processed food, comfort eating, too much booze, too many cigarettes, and for some too much reliance on drugs.  Add to that the lack of proper sleep, irregular hours, lazing around most of the day in sweats or night-attire, not being able to get to a hairdresser…..

Face it after a period of lockdown, and while we are working at home, it’s possible that we don’t feel or look at our very best.  I know I didn’t, and I know just how much weight I put on.

It’s pretty simple to get back to looking and feeling great;

  • Get out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as you can.
  • Get some exercise.  Walk the 10,000 steps a day.  Learn some yoga.  Use free exercises such as squats, push ups.  Look here’s a link to a 20 minute home workout video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKfNUOWuZV8
  • Stop drinking so much every day and every night.  Have two or three totally booze-free days every week.
  • Stop smoking all together, forever.  Smoking makes you look old, you stink, it ruins your health.  Smoking will kill you.
  • Stop comfort eating.  Don’t eat just because you’re bored, stressed, lonely, or sad.
  • Stop eating processed food, or eat much less processed food if you can’t get to a good store as often as you’d like.
  • Stop shoveling your food in with both hands, eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food properly.
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  Salads are brilliant at this time of year.
  • Drink more cool, clear, cleansing water.  (Fruit juice counts too.)

I am back on a health and fitness programme again, after letting myself go during lockdown.  It’s so depressing being in solitary confinement that I found it hard to keep up good habits.  But you know what?  It doesn’t take more than a week or so to turn things around to a better life.

Some say that just one bottle of wine won’t hurt.  And, that potato chips go so well with wine.  All I know is that the dictum of a healthy mind in a healthy body is the real truth.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is bloody good for you

Random Jottings ~ Medical

it’s a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do ‘practice…..’

after a sixteen-hour shift women doctors need to practice standing on one leg

~

nurses, the problem is you can’t live without them, and you can’t always believe them

~

his temperature was up to 105, and there was an icy look in the nurse’s eyes

~

little do the doctors know, but you’re never alone if you’re paranoid

~

never give up on life, if you give up you have no chance at all

~

he was happy before the doctor told him he was sick

~

she had wise eyes in a face of angelic concern

shame she wasn’t a nurse

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

learn how to breathe

it’s one of life’s more important skills

Unsafe Medical Treatments

people should understand that doctors are not infallible saints

Here in England there has just been published a damning government apology after a review into three unsafe medical treatments for women.

Arrogant male surgeons, doctors, and other ‘medical professionals’ dismissed their patients’ reports of severe pain, birth defects, discomfort, loss of a sex-life, broken marriages, severe depression, attempted suicides, and destroyed lives as merely ‘women’s problems’.

The first of these unsafe medical treatments is the use of vaginal mesh to treat prolapse and incontinence.  The government’s investigation and report was only undertaken after a long campaign by 8,000 women who formed a group called ‘Sling The Mesh’.  Allegedly, most of the women who have had this operation were not fully informed by their doctors and surgeons of the appalling risks attached to the implant of something called transvaginal tape, (TVT).  The procedure has been widely used in the UK and USA, and around 45% of the women operated on suffered severe complications.  This kind of thing is already banned in New Zealand, but as expected the medical authorities here in England are vacillating somewhat on imposing a total ban on vaginal mesh implants.

The other two scandals to break today are of the hormonal pregnancy test Primodos, associated with damage to children born to mothers who took it ~ and the treatment for epilepsy sodium valporate, which harms babies if taken during pregnancy.

These three latest scandals follow on the heels of Thalidomide, defective pacemakers, faulty artificial hips, PIP breast implants, and maternity deaths due to clinical malpractice.

Of course, nothing like this will ever happen again

I knew a very eminent surgeon who confided in me that the very last thing a patient wants to do is to go under a surgeon’s scalpel ~ the risks are just too great.  Personally, I used to trust my doctor until he insisted of giving me a drug that would do me no good whatsoever, for a complaint a didn’t have, and carried with it lots of unpleasant side-effects.  It will be a very long time before I again seek help from any doctor.

Some say that the National Health Service in England is Broken and Unfit for Purpose.  And that the last thing anyone should think about doing is consult a doctor.  All I know is that ‘first do no harm’ is looking a little thin.

~

jack collier

jackcollier@talktalk.net

women’s medical problems are often ignored, missed, or misdiagnosed

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