Category Archives: Technology

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Royal Air Force

today is Battle of Britain Day

On September 15th 1940 the Nazi Luftwaffe met the Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Royal Air Force over the skies of southern England.  By the end of the day the Luftwaffe had lost twice as many aircraft as had the RAF.  The Luftwaffe was broken and Hitler called off Operation Sealion, the proposed invasion of England.  Democracy had been saved for the world.

Churchill called the 2,927 pilots who had taken part ‘The Few’, and 510 perished during the battle.  Only one of The Few is still alive today; 101 years old John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway DFC.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

during the battle the Hawker Hurricane shot down more German aircraft than did the Supermarine Spitfire.

California Wildfires

sometimes all you have left is prayer

Here in England we almost never get wildfires, instead we sometimes have devastating floods, and every few years a hell of a lot of snow.  Sadly, my friends out on the USA’s West Coast are in real physical danger from the bush fires burning out of control through California, Oregon, and Washington State.

The fire services are doing the very best they can, and President Trump is due to visit California tomorrow to see for himself the scale of destruction.  But when fires even threaten the freeways and interstate highways, things are obviously our of control.  Some of the fires may have been caused by arson, or smokers casually discarding their butts, or by electrical faults, or even lightning.  But they have spread so far and wide because of a 20 year mega-drought.

The only thing that will end these fires is heavy rain.  And all the rest of the world can offer is our thoughts and prayers.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

perhaps now it is time to pray for heavy rain in Southern California

90% of Contractors Suck

do not ever pay for work that isn’t done right and completed on time

what the Arc would have looked like if Noah had used a contractor

Stop letting contractors screw you over.  There is NO excuse for work that isn’t done right, finished on budget, and completed on time.  I’ve heard it again and again that some contractor totally fucked up a job, or charged far too much, or did work that didn’t need doing, left an utter mess behind them after they finished, caused far more damage than they were asked to come in and fix, never finished the job at all, didn’t do the job they were asked to do, or didn’t even turn up…..

This is not a new story for me, so why am I bothering to flog this comatose horse?  Well a couple of friends of mine, and another couple of nice people whose blogs I follow, have all had problems with contractors in the past few days.  In my expert opinion 90% of contractors of every ilk from decorators, to plumbers, to electricians, to garage mechanics, to moving men et al, are utterly useless, partly skilled, dishonest, lazy, misogynistic jerks.

So how to avoid being totally ripped off?

  • Do not hire a contractor based on somebody else’s unsupported recommendation.  Especially do not hire anyone recommended by another contractor; say your realtor.
  • Do not ever, ever hire a friend, or a friend of a friend, to do ANY work for you.
  • Do not ever hire a contractor without first having a totally clear picture of the work you want doing, when you want it done by, how much you are going to pay, and when.  If you don’t know any of this stuff, GO AWAY AND FIND OUT!
  • Do not ever hire a contractor who can’t show you a current copy of their appropriate certification, and customer references.  Check these out, and never just by making a phone call.
  • Do not hire a contractor who can’t give you a firm written quote, on a proper letter-head.  If possible get three quotes, (if it’s a big job then you must have at least two firm quotations)
  • Do not ever pay a contractor before they have started work, and never ever pay them in full until the work is completed to your satisfaction.  Agree stage payments if appropriate.  Go over everything your contractor has done with a fine tooth comb.  Your word is the final word!
  • Do not ever, ever allow an unsupervised contractor into your property. And, ensure they are watched over 100% of the time thereafter.
  • DO NOT hire day rate illegal aliens under any circumstances.  And don’t hire anyone who isn’t fluent in your language.
  • Learn some DIY stuff.  Learn a hell of a lot of DIY stuff.  It is always easier, cheaper, and better to do the job yourself than hire some utterly useless, partly skilled, dishonest, lazy, misogynistic jerk to do the work for you.  And if you have some idea about how to actually do a bit of say; decorating, then you are in a far better position to control your idiot contractor.
  • Finally; do not be a woman.  All contractors think women are easy marks.  If you are a woman then follow the suggestions above with the utmost regard.

This is your job, your money, your home, your safety.  If your plumber floods your home, your electrician sets fire to your home, or you home just blows up……  then ultimately it is YOUR fault.  Do not let ANYONE tell you how you should go about dealing with a contractor.  (except me)

Some say that they have had a really good contractor.  And that not all contractors are bad.  All I know is that anyone who says they have had one good contractor will also have had three utter disasters.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some decorators can’t even varnish a floor without making a mess of it

Random Jottings ~ Mad Scientists

and so he created a woman, who got angry when her batteries ran down
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he was smart, but he could never get a girl

so he made one

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every mad scientist dreams of playing God

the really crazy ones believe they are God

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keep you arms in the time machine at all times

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‘that’s strange perfume…..’ he said

that’s not perfume, it’s formaldehyde…..’ she answered

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they had solved the theory of everything

and after a few bottles of booze they thought it was a good idea to build a time machine

things went downhill after that

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

she must be a scientist

she’s wearing a white coat

Monochrome Monday ~ The End of Days

nobody listened until it was so very quiet in the ruins

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

miracles sometimes happen

Monochrome Monday ~ Abandoned Railways

sometimes the wrong train will take you to the right station

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jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

 

and sometimes you just have to walk

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.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I didn’t build that,

but I could

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Cool Homes

wherever I hang my hat is my home

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

outdoor living is an option in sunnier climes

Liars, Cheats, and Thieves

you can tell when a politician is lying, it’s every time they say something

All Ministers, Politicians, Government Spokespeople, and Officials routinely dissemble, obfuscate, and downright lie.  During the current COVID-19 crisis they have also been constantly cheating on the health guidelines, rules, laws, their wives, husbands, families, you, me, and basically everybody.  Right now I wouldn’t trust any of them as far as I could throw a truck, and I will never, ever believe anything any of them say at any time in the future.

They have also been stealing some very precious things from us; our freedom, our jobs, our education, our childrens’ futures, our physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being, our very lives.

There is very strong evidence that ‘those in authority’ knew all about this coronavirus at least as far back as January this year, and they did nothing.  There is compelling evidence that the health services in the UK knew there should be a large scale testing programme, but that idea was abandoned in March because health officials thought the outbreak was already too big.  It was also dragged out of Public Health England that out of the 719,000 home test kits sent out half have not been returned.  Public Health England have also refused to turn over some of its scientific papers to Members of Parliament.   ‘Something is rotten in the state…..’

Hardly any doctors, nurses, and other health workers have yet been tested.  The much vaunted Track-and-Trace mobile phone app is a fiasco.  The returning of children to schools on June 1st is a fiasco.  The 2 metre social-distancing rule we have here is unnecessary and based on very fragile evidence.  The deliberate policy of moving elderly patients positive for COVID-19 from hospitals to care homes should be treated as manslaughter.

The worst fiasco in governments handling of the coronavirus pandemic is that the whole lockdown thing is a waste of time, (according to Nobel Laureate Professor Michael Levitt, and a team at JP Morgan), and was nothing more than a panic knee-jerk reaction from governments desperate to be seen to be ‘doing something’.  Given that the lockdown has destroyed modern society, then somebody should be locked up.  Maybe start with that other piece of philandering scum Ferguson, who’s deeply flawed, inadequate computer model wrongly predicted a half-million UK deaths if lockdown wasn’t imposed.

Furguson’s model was a buggy mess that looks more like a bowl of angel hair pasta than a finely tuned piece of programming.  ~  Dave Richards co-founder of WANdisco

Some say that Boris Johnson is being a loyal friend in trying to save Dominic Cummings job as a government advisor.  And that the scum’s three trips up and down the country are all-right because ‘it wasn’t like he was visiting a lover…..’  All I know is that some people should learn when to keep their big mouth shut.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

people are heartily sick of standing in line outside supermarkets

Scenes on Sunday ~ Aircraft

never was so much owed by so many to so few

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Korean war dogfighters

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