April 2006 Archives

How Do You Get Here?

Slowly sorting the backroom stuff here and next door on Jules blog. In the process I've been digging into how people find this site, and Jules site. You can access some of the info via the little blue graphic icon at the bottom of the footer.

Having set up logs for all my sites, it's fanscinating seeing how people are stumbling across, and where they're coming from. Naturally, a lot of the time each site is visited via the other. But in some cases, searches of the web cause people to stumble in, unexpectedly.

Recent searches include someone trying to find a Muzzle Velocity Measurement System, in reference to my final year project. News on the proposals for the reopening of the Beverley to York rail link. What to do when suffering from tickly cough when I talk after virus which, I know, will have Ian in stitches :-) And on Jules sites, lots and lots of people, like we did, searching for answers, support, and advice on their fight, and the fights of others. Only yesterday someone posted a comment on Jules site, having found it whilst searching on the 'net.

The internet is an amazing place, isn't it :-D

Pass The Bucc


Surfing for pics and sources of info on the Buccaneer, now that I've "a few" in the stockpile, and I came across this excellent site - Blackburn Buccaneer: The Last British Bomber, a site dedicated to the 193 aircraft built by Brough, just down the road from Hull ;-)

Digging through the info, there's news of CAA approval to get one (XX885) airborne in the UK :-O Now, for those hip readers, there's clips of a black Bucc in the recent Will Young video, but that's one of the 3 ex-RAE aircraft now based in South Africa.

The company, Hawker Hunter Aviation, has a fleet of aircraft for various commercial roles. More can be found on their site, including lots of pics of Hunters, which I know will make one reader very happy ;-)

Cracking On

So, with the sun shining, birds singing, I knew today would be a good day to have off work. Thank goodness I got in early and booked it ;-)

Up and into town early, to sort out all my glasses. Sod's law, one breaks, you grab the spare pair, and, yup, they break too :-( Then to the library, sorry, WH Smith, for some light reading. The latest issue of Model Aircraft Monthly having a complete guide to model Spitfires by our local expert, Trevor "Airfix" Snowden ;-) Also some reviews of the latest Spits from Airfix, which have been receiving mixed comment on the various online forums. Needless to say, having gotten the freebie last year, a 1/48th Seafire, I'm getting back into admiring the beauty of the Spitfire as an icon of design. New shelves for the office me thinks ;-)

I also chose to walk everywhere today. Having not been down the gym due to this annoying tickly cough, it's been over 8-9 weeks since I've done any serious exercise. And after yesterday and Sunday's walks with Dawn and George the dog, I thought it's about time I got my aerobic stamina back up to something like.

All in all a fulfilling day, lots done, lots more bags filled, and some sort of order back in the house. And, for a change, I'm looking forward to the first day back into work tomorrow :-D

Superb Bank Holiday

Started the day with a long walk around the woods in Shepall and Poplars with Dawn and her dog, George. Saw lots of wildlife, surprisingly a Jay, something I've only seen a couple of times, and not something you'd expect in a place like Stevenage ;-)

With all that exercise, it was back home for a cuppa, and then onto more clearing, filing, and bag filling. All the stamps and cards are now sorted away, the PC has had a spring clean (400Mb cleared :-D), and, after talking about the car with Ian, a plan of action for fixing it, and, lets just say, improving it's performance a tad ;-)

Thats Blown It

After the trip out this morning, the first long distance since fixing the coolant pipes and thermostat, you can imagine my feelings watching the temperatue needle slowly climb and fall around the 2/3 mark. And, having arrived home, the top cap went, and the whole thing overheated, big time.

Refilling it, and starting the engine up resulted in more steam and smoke than I've ever seen. The little puffs of blue smoke I've noticed recently have gone. Now it's clouds and clouds of steam and smoke. An inspection of the oil filler concluded the diagnosis. The only other place with that much mayo is a jar of Hellmans :-(

So, the head gasket, it appears, has gone. Ouch :-(

Bargains Galore

So, with the back room now part way cleared, I can start to refill the modelling table with brushes, glues and paints, ready to restart the hobby of old. Hmmm, but having looked through some of my stocks, it's obvious I ain't done this in a loooong time.

Reading some recent postings on the Airfix forums, it seemed that Hobbycraft was a good place to try for a large selection of model making stuff. And with 2 stores locally, it wasn't too far out the way.

Having found the place, I'd soon got what I needed. Including another TSR.2. Yes, after all the fuss about stocks being sold out, there's still the odd one to be found around. Of course, I could sell it on eBay. What do you think, Ian ?

Have A Think About It

As mentioned in one of my earlier postings, we're in the process of our hex-annual company reorganisation. And, normally, it just floats by me without any effect, beyond a change in boss, and department title.

This year, it was assumed, would be like no other. I'd popped into work to do the presentation on the latest developments and improvements with Primavera for our Project Management Control Board, with the intention of crawling back home once I'd done it. So, I wasn't expecting to be called off into one of the side rooms for "a word..." by our Head of Project Management, because he, "wanted to have a chat before the Easter break..." And after, I was told to go home and think about things over the weekend.

Suffice to say, I think, this time round the reorg IS going to affect me ;-) Hope it's not a DIS-appointment ;-)

At Last!

Having spent most of yesterday on and off the phone, I finally got an appointment for the docs. 9:30. And at 11:45 I eventually got to see him.

Apparently, as expected, I've a common cold, a virus. And there's little to do but buckle up and face it like a man. Lemsips at the ready. But, having had what feels like one long cold the last 8 weeks, it's likely I've a bacterial infection in my throat. So a mild dose of antibiotics should kill it off, and finally get rid of this annoying back throat tickle. Hurrah :-D

Of course, this really puts the dampers on the weekend. No alcohol, so I'll be on orange juice down Bev Road, nightmare :-O

Waste Of A Day

So, the surgery doesn't have ringback, which means I've been sitting here waiting for a phone to ring, which wasn't going to. Bugger :-(

And, having gotten through, there's a clinic on, so no more appointments 'til the morning.

At this rate I'll be well again by the time I get through :-(

Managed It

After the weekend, and feeling shivery, cold, and the most feverish in a while, I was determined to shake it off. Early night last night, lots of Lemsip, vitamin C, and soup. Worked a bit, suffice to say I got into work. But now, as the day draws to a close, I feel 10 times worse :-(

Going to try and get in the docs tomorrow. Rang this afternoon, only to find they don't take appointments less than a week away. To get an urgent one, you need to call first thing in the morning. So that's what I'm going to do tomorrow then ;-)

It's Not A Hangover

Well, after getting over the excesses of Friday night, and having lots of rest, I can feel the cold coming on. Shivers, sweats, and headaches. Hopefully this is the virus I've had the last few weeks finally breaking cover. Least then I might see the end of this tickly throat and constant feeling of a runny nose.

Fortunately I'm having dinner cooked for me, round Dawn's, so I've one less thing to worry about :-D


[UPDATE]It's snowing :-o No, really, it's snowing a lot...

So Close, And Yet So Far

Went out last night with Andy from work, just for a couple. Not feeling on top of the world at the mo, so didn't want to make a long night of it. Best laid plans and all that...

Started off slowly, a couple in The Proverbial, then over to Bottles, before choosing to pop over to Chicagos, just to see who else might be out.

Chicago's, as always, was great :-D And I soon forgot about feeling crap. Of course, I feel terrible this morning, now that it's all catching up.

Stayed until closing, and the only incident of the night was being accosted by some woman outside the gents, who thought it'd be funny to nick my glasses, only to discover just how bad my eyesight is ;-) Oh, and it turns out, Dawn was down there with friends from work. She'd seen 2 maniacs on the dancefloor, but thought there was no way they could've been me and Andy ;-)

What's All DIS About?

Some of you may have noticed, okay, few of you, that the MoD released a paper just before Christmas. Called the
Defence Industrial Strategy
, or DIS for short. And it's having quite an effect on the future of the business.

I've been partly involved in running some workshops on Primavera, the choice for the planning tool aspects, naturally ;-) But what's fascinated me is the attack of accronyms, and how much fun could be had ;-)

For example, we could engage the customer on our strategy for the future direction of the business (DIS-engagement), empower people at every level (DIS-empowerment), draft an agreement between all interested parties (DIS-agreement), integrate the business (DIS-integration), and making sure we appoint the right people (DIS-appointment). Oh, and we'll need a new organisation to manage all of this, now, won't we (DIS-organisation) ;-)

It's nearly as good as my suggestion of a Computerised Reporting Application for Projects ;-)

Getting There

Having created a very simple site for the family business many, many years ago, it's only recently that it's started to generate business. Call's, queries, and a few orders, but not much more. And, more importantly for my income, it's generating interest in sorting out other sites for a financial reward ;-)

Imagine, then, the surprise and joy over this discovery:

Okay, it's paid for, so not free advertising. But we're not supposed to be where we are. And, knowing the price others have paid, I think Nigel got us a bargain ;-)

All Change at King's X

News today that they're going to start a huge programme of renovation and redevelopment at King's Cross. The best bit is that they're going to remove the exisiting southern concourse, tacked onto the original station building, and expose the old facade. Similar ideas have been floated for Hull's railway station redevelopment, but I've not seen anything confirming it.

The artists impressions look fantastic, and it will really open up the space around King's Cross and the redeveloped international hub at St Pancras.

Work starts later this year, and further details can be found on Network Rail's site.

3 Years

3 years ago today, I travelled down in a lift with someone, as they went off for what was thought to be a one-off operation. An inconvienence in the whole scheme of things. Nothing to worry about, but something to be done. How things change, and circumstance never works out as planned.

Sat up at the cememtry on Sunday, enjoying what would've been a nice sunny afternoon, if not for the wind. An old guy was up there too, seeing to his wife's grave. Chatting he said, "They say it gets easier as time goes by, but that's b@~@**cks..."

Went to ASDA for my weekly shopping tonight. Bought a bottle of Summer Lightning, and after putting away everything, cracked it open and sat and enjoyed the silence. A beautifully cool spring evening, quiet, strangely. And, as last year, all I had to do was close my eyes ;-)

No April Fool

TyphoonThe 88th anniversary of the formation of the RAF is celebrated today. And a number of significant announcements have been made.

Firstly, the formation of the first operational Typhoon squadron, No. 3(Fighter) Squadron, at RAF Cottesmore, despite some teething troubles with the air con... ;-)

And secondly, the closure of the Jaguar base at RAF Coltishall in Norfolk. Only one squadron of Jags will move on, to RAF Coningsby, as 41(Reserve) Squadron, part of the Fast Jet and Weapons Operational Evaluation Unit (FJWOE).

Interestingly, reading other news, apparently the government has copyrighted the RAF, RN, and Army. Not that I can find any confirmation of it. Hmmm, perhaps that's the April Fool ;-)

About Alan Bell

Lapsed: electronic engineer, scout leader, project controller.
Now: Oracle Primavera training consultant, business support manager, occasional website designer.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2006 is the previous archive.

May 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.