28 September 2011

Despite the Warmth

Autumn is reaching out her tendrils and changing the leaves from green to glorious shades from gold to red... it never ceases to amaze me that something so simple can give so much pleasure.

The nights are drawing in, and are cooler but the days currently are warmer than we have experienced throughout the so called summer leading to more people enjoying a late summer holiday on the beaches of our country.

All to soon this brief glimpse will be eclipsed, but I for one will remember its warmth to keep me going in the all too long winter.

24 September 2011

Saturday Satire : Who wants to be a millionaire?

A Blonde Goes On Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Tarrant: "Barbara, you've done very well so far - £500,000 and one lifeline left -- phone a friend.

The next question will give you the top prize of One Million pounds if you get it right ... but if you get it wrong you will drop back to £32,000 -- are you ready?"

Barbara: "Sure, I'll have a go!"

Tarrant: "Which of the following birds does not build it's own nest?

Is it........





Remember Barbara its worth 1 Million dollars."

"I think I know who it..but I'm not 100%...

No, I haven't got a clue. I'd like to phone a friend Regis, just to be sure.

Tarrant: "Yes, who, Barbara, do you want to phone?

Barbara: "I'll phone my friend Maggie back home in Birmingham."


Maggie (also a blonde): "Hello..."

Tarrant: "Hello Maggie, its Tarrant here from Who Wants to be a Millionaire-I have Barbara here and she is doing really well on £500,000, but needs your help to be a Million.

The next voice you hear will be Barbara's and she'll read you the question.

There are 4 possible answers and 1 correct answer and you have 30 seconds to answer -- fire away Barbara."

Barbara: "Maggie, which of the following birds does not build it's own nest? Is it:





Maggie: "Oh Gees, Barbara that's simple.....It's a Cuckoo."

Barbara: "You think?"

Maggie: "I'm sure."

Barbara: " Thanks Maggie." (hangs up)

Tarrant: "Well, do you want to stick on £500,000 or play on for the Million, Barbara?"

Barbara: "I want to play, I'll go with C-Cuckoo"

Tarrant: "Is that your final answer?"

Barbara: "It is."

Tarrant: "Are you confident?"

Barbara: "Yes fairly, Maggie's a sound bet."

Regis: "Barbara.....you had £500,000 and you said C-Cuckoo ...you're right! - You have just won ONE MILLION POUNDS.

Here is your checque. You have been a great contestant and a real gambler. Audience please put your hands together for Barbara."


That night Barbara calls round to Maggie and brings her down to a local bar for a celebration drink and, as they are sipping their Champagne, Barbara turns to Maggie and asks "Tell me Maggie, How in God's name did you know that it was the Cuckoo that does not build its own nest?

Maggie: "Listen Barbara, everybody knows that a Cuckoo lives in a clock."

23 September 2011

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I;
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Something about this piece of writing
that tugs at my heart, 
I am not sure why, 
perhaps it is the road that I am travelling by
Nothing seems too smooth but the view is fine,
The path underfoot seems sure and flat
Even behind doesn't seem to be looking back.

21 September 2011

Boys first visit to the vets

Today the boys had their boosters, or were supposed to, Poor Murphy has had to start his injections from scratch not much fun for him.

We had him in June and assumed incorrectly that he was protected until this June, Jasper in the meanwhile was due in November but it makes more sense to take them together so Jasper was going early and Murphy a bit later. Only when the vet went through his card, he hadn't had any jabs since his first ones in September 2009 so the poor lad has to start again. His second jabs are on the 5th of next month.

Both of them were good and as a result are now enjoying a rawhide ring to chew on which they are tucking into as I write this.

19 September 2011

Saturday Nights alright... ;-)

One of the delights of Saturday night, well not every Saturday, is a meal from our favourite chinese the Hong Sing in Redruth.

We can order online, and pay on delivery which is excellent as after a hard day watching the football (well actually I sat in the car with a good book) and SOH was busy running up and down the pitch keepign the little blighters in line making various threats comments like Yellow or Red card?

Saturday night we tried a special chow mein, the last time we had a really good one was in Derby but hadn't had much success since then.. then we had some at Stithians show which was lovely and apparently the trick is to ask for it to be dry fried... bingo the chow mein was stunningly gorgeous and was scoffed immediately.

Needless to say, it is going to be on the regular list from now on and possibly replacing the fried rice.

So if you live in the locality or visiting from afar, I can definitely recommend a meal from the Hong Sing; I just wish they had a restaurent.. but you never know what will happen in future.

17 September 2011

Saturday Satire : A really bad day

There was this guy at a bar, just looking at his drink. He stays like that for half of an hour.

Then, this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him, takes the drink from the guy, and just drinks it all down. The poor man starts crying. The truck driver says, "Come on man, I was just joking. Here, I'll buy you another drink. I just can't stand to see a man cry."

"No, it's not that. This day is the worst of my life. First, I fall asleep, and I go late to my office. My boss, outrageous, fires me. When I leave the building, to my car, I found out it was stolen. The police said that they can do nothing. I get a taxi to return home, and when I leave it, I remember I left my wallet and credit cards there. The Taxi driver just drives away."

"I go home, and when I get there, I find my wife in bed with the gardener. I leave home, and come to this bar. And just when I was thinking about putting an end to my life, you show up and drink my poison."

16 September 2011

What happened?

I took the boys this morning over the fields in search of my autumnal harvest of blackberries but it was a very poor selection.

Last year, Murphy and I came home regularly with plump dark blackberries by the kilo. This year they are small, stunted and look dried out before I have had a chance to dehyrdrate them.

I really wanted a good batch to put in the mincemeat this year as an additional flavour but at this rate it doesn't look as though it is going to be possible.

15 September 2011

Tunisia here we go

After a long talk with the travel agent, we decided on a holiday to Tunisia.

It is somewhere that we have not visited before, and had to choose between a week in Turkey or Tunisia but the latter won because of the closeness of the beach.

Apparently it is 25 degs average for when we are going, whatever it is you can bet that the weather here will pick up as soon as that plane goes up so no I am not telling you the precise date we leave.. instead I will let you guess... ;-)

13 September 2011

Being a Student Again - PGCE Part II

A minor hiccup saw me having to redo an essay on the role of educational theorists views on a complex issue. I was sure I understood the problem, but apparently I drifted off into the abyss of student blindness to the real question. Anyway, it was redone and successfully this time by a wide margin which was a relief as it was a barrier to the second year stage.

So now, I am on year two. Back to being a student on a monday evening again, but this time it is only up until October as we are expected to be selfmanaging our learning time hmmm I forsee problems with that so plan to build time into my days when free from work.

Unlike last year, when we had to submit two pieces of work at the end of the module, this year they have built in at the midway point the first submission point. Which is the 8th November with the second being early January so a little more pressure this year and requires a bit more dedication - please note self I said a little more dedication ;-)

10 September 2011

Saturday Satire : Arthritis

A drunk man who smelled of beer sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, 'Say Father, what causes arthritis?' 

The priest replies, 'My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man,! sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath.' 

The drunk muttered in response, 'Well, I'll be damned,' Then returned to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. 'I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?'

The drunk answered, 'I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does.'

MORAL: Make sure you understand the question before offering the answer.

08 September 2011


I've heard this before, but it still makes me think twice when I hear someone being criticized.

“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes.”

Jack Handey

06 September 2011

A Dark and Stormy Night

Whew.. glad that night is over and done with. The winds howled around Tre Agan relentlessly from about midnight last night.... this morning, the rain threw itself down on me and the boys as we took our morning walk around the streets of Redruth, I tried to avoid the areas with trees as much as possible as a lot of debris was still falling.

Then a trip to see a student on the North Coast, by which time the winds had dropped to a steady blow and the rain eased... by the timeI got home it was drying up but feeling chilly. Nothing like a slow introduction to the delights of winter.. now where was Summer?

04 September 2011


Arte et Marte
By Skill and By Fighting

My Dad, who is keeping Mum company, served for 24 years in the army and 22 of those with REME or Royal Mechanical Engineers better known as Royal Engineers Minus Education. He served with them from 1952 first as National Service, then full time. He was in Tripoli during the first uprising, then Blandford Forum where yours truly was hatched after a fast exit from Tripoli where Mum lost a lot of her precious belongings. Later they moved to Arborfield, before serving in Kluang, Malaya with 75 Aircraft Workshops, then we moved to Detmold, Germany to be with 4 Field Workshops before his final posting in Bordon, Hants.

I am trying to find the flashes/division signals for the German/Malayan posting but so far am not having a lot of luck. I will be able to apply for his veterans badge, through the Royal British Legion of whom we are now a member of their riders branch... but more of that later.

03 September 2011

Saturday Satire : Agony Aunt Letter

Dear Agony Aunt

I have two brothers, one works at Microsoft, the other was sentenced to death in the gas chamber.

My mother died of insanity when I was three years old, my two sisters are prostitutes and my father sells drugs.

Recently, I met a girl who was released from a reformatory where she served time for smothering her illegitimate child to death.

I love this girl very much and want to marry her.

My problem is this:

Shall I tell her about my brother who works at Microsoft?



01 September 2011

Engineers Explained

Engineers Explained

People who work in the fields of science and technology are not like other people. This can be frustrating to the non-technical people who have to deal with them. The secret to coping with technology-oriented people is to understand their motivations. This will help to teach you everything you need to know. I learned their customs and mannerisms by observing them, much the way Jane Goodall learned about the great apes, but without the hassle of grooming.

Engineering is so trendy these days that everybody wants to be one. The word "engineer" is greatly overused. If there's somebody in your life who you think is trying to pass as an engineer, give him this test to discern the truth.


You walk into a room and notice that a picture is hanging crooked. You...

A. Straighten it.
B. Ignore it.
C. Buy a CAD system and spend the next six months designing a solar-powered, self-adjusting picture frame while often stating aloud your belief that the inventor of the nail was a total moron.

The correct answer is "C" but partial credit can be given to anybody who writes "It depends" in the margin of the test or simply blames the whole stupid thing on "Marketing."

Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction.

"Normal" people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction:

* Stimulating and thought-provoking conversation
* Important social contacts
* A feeling of connectedness with other humans

In contrast to "normal" people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:

* Get it over with as soon as possible.
* Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant.
* Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.

To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories:

1. things that need to be fixed
2. things that will need to be fixed after you've had a few minutes to play with them.

Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. Normal people don't understand this concept; they believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

No engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun. No engineer can take a shower without wondering if some sort of Teflon coating would make showering unnecessary. To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and feature-poor toys.

Clothes are the lowest priority for an engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied. If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, and if no genitalia or mammary glands are swinging around in plain view, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.

Engineers love all of the "Star Trek" television shows and movies. It's a small wonder, since the engineers on the starship Enterprise are portrayed as heroes, occasionally even having sex with aliens. This is much more glamorous than the real life of an engineer, which consists of hiding from the universe and having sex without the participation of other life forms.

Dating is never easy for engineers. A normal person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractiveness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function.

Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole. They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house. While it's true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer-like children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their virginity.

Male engineers reach their peak of sexual attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid thirties to late forties. Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible men in technical professions:

* Bill Gates.
* MacGyver.
* Etcetera.

Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about thirty minutes after their clinical death. Longer if it's a warm day.

Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That's why it's a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can't handle the truth.

Engineers sometimes bend the truth to avoid work. They say things that sound like lies but technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them. The complete list of engineer lies is listed below.

* "I won't change anything without asking you first."
* "I'll return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow."
* "I have to have new equipment to do my job."
* "I'm not jealous of your new computer."

Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization, that is, "How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?"

If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.

Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake, the media will treat it like it's a big deal or something.

* Hindenberg.
* Space Shuttle Challenger.
* SPANet(tm)
* Hubble space telescope.
* Apollo 13.
* Titanic.
* Ford Pinto.
* Corvair.

The risk/reward calculation for engineers looks something like this:

RISK: Public humiliation and the death of thousands of innocent people.
REWARD: A certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.

Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing. The best way to avoid risk is by advising that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain.

If that approach is not sufficient to halt a project, then the engineer will fall back to a second line of defense: "It's technically possible but it will cost too much."

Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers:

* How smart they are.
* How many cool devices they own.

The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable. No engineer can walk away from an unsolvable problem until it's solved. No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case. These types of challenges quickly become personal -- a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature.

Engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem. (Other times just because they forgot.) And when they succeed in solving the problem they will experience an ego rush that is better than sex--and I'm including the kind of sex where other people are involved.

Nothing is more threatening to the engineer than the suggestion that somebody has more technical skill. Normal people sometimes use that knowledge as a lever to extract more work from the engineer. When an engineer says that something can't be done (a code phrase that means it's not fun to do), some clever normal people have learned to glance at the engineer with a look of compassion and pity and say something along these lines: "I'll ask Bob to figure it out. He knows how to solve difficult technical problems."

At that point it is a good idea for the normal person to not stand between the engineer and the problem. The engineer will set upon the problem like a starved Chihuahua on a pork chop