Archive for the ‘automotive’ Category
Like being back in Athens, GA: a bottle of wine, a foreign Sunday paper half read, a box of Goody’s, and Car Talk blaring on the radio
Say Tom and Ray Magliozzi
“Is what makes us great.”
Name: Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet
Type: red wine
Review/notes: Off early to get stitches removed I picked up the bottles on the way home from the GP. The lurgy lingers, so I didn’t run back to the house and, instead, thought about our dear, departed Tappet brother and all his lunacy. Arriving home, I downloaded the most recent episode of Car Talk (they stopped making new ones in 2012, but continue to put old episodes on each week, such is their popularity). The topics ranged from nose picking to the merits of buying a limousine to replacing a clutch unsuccessfully and what noise cancelling methods can disguise your shoddy work (hint: get a louder stereo). One woman wanted to, rather than go in to get a repair redone, try a more ‘holistic’ approach; “oh, you want a pressure point…take your finger and poke it in the mechanic’s chest while chanting ‘I’m not paying for this twice.'”
Next week, Ray is putting out his personal favourite clips…I’m looking forward to ‘The Best of Tommy.’ Oh, the haiku fit the format better but I really tried to fit the great man’s personal motto in: Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis.
[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]
Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
When it turned up in the local newspaper, I recognised the alley as one of my regular cut-throughs on runs in the neighbourhood. Later that same day it turned up on the BBC nightly News so the next morning I decided to go back for my own document of the boondoggle.
Double yellow lines limit parking from the center of the street to the kerb (curb) on the side of the street they are painted; you can stop to load/unload but otherwise the space must be left clear for emergency vehicles. So, when a fire engine needs to get through the area above…see what everyone is on about?
My own photo really adds nothing to the debate and only serves to show that I need a few more sit-ups and lot less alcohol on a weekly basis (the gut alone would block an ambulance’s passage). Here’s the same photo with two vehicles illegally parked, scaled to the alleyway’s dimensions:
Everyone wants a picture of this alley, now. While there setting up my own camera two different citizens with SLRs popped up at the wide end and another at the narrow bit. I posed with my arms partly stretched to the walls for one of the photographers.
See also, “Thomassons” or useless — but still maintained — architectural features.
I’ve always thought that if you pass your driving test you should be able to demand a blood test on the spot and then they would have to endorse the license with your passing Blood Alcohol Content and levels of any of a variety of narcotics and psychedelics found therein. Thereafter, this would be your baseline.
A step toward this Better World has been boldly taken in Ireland:
Last Beavis and Butthead moment of the year:
1 day into convalescence
Update 25 January 2011: Follow-up x-rays last Monday then off to try my first day back at work. Really short of breath, I had just made the necessary rounds to show I am still alive and then headed toward the lab but the receptionist stopped me to say I had an emergency call from my GP. Upon contacting her, I found that I had a collapsed lung and it was imperative to get to the hospital NOW. One of the ambulance attendants was still in training after several tours in Afghanistan and the trainer asked if it was okay for him to have a good listen since they usually don’t get a full pneumothorax in someone who is calm and otherwise fit; sure, what-the-hell, right? At A&E they stuck a hose into my chest cavity and put the other end into, essentially, a bong so that as I breathed in the air trapped between my ribs and the flattened lung bubbled gently into some salted water. Treated very well in the Cardio-Pulmonary Unit (I was the only non-bypass patient and a novelty as such), I was released at the end of the week.
Update 15 Jan 2011: Saturday and some of the swelling has turned into bruises. I am tapering off the pain medication and will have another set of x-rays Monday morning then try to get to work to reschedule things with people who will have to do more of the physical part of the work scheduled.
I had a couple of funny thoughts in A&E (that’s the ER for you Americans), usually along the lines of how I know being strapped to a table and having English women in nurse uniforms cut my clothing away and give me drugs isn’t doing it for me the way I thought it should.
Remembered this…One old woman on the other side of the curtain was getting the standard stroke battery of questions..like, do you know what year it is, etc. They asked her if she knew who the monarch was and she paused a long time and said meekly, “Elizabeth.” It was quiet a while and someone said,” good Nana, but which Elizabeth?” She snapped back, “Elizabeth the bloody Second, how bleeding old do you think I am?” I really didn’t need to be laughing as hard as that in the state I was in.
Jackie and I were in a head on collision with a van both vehicles traveling about 50 miles per hour for 100 mph net (around 10G stopping deceleration). We are very lucky to be alive. The van driver was on our side of the road and, o course, escaped with minor injuries. After striking us, the van spun into another vehicle causing more injuries.
I have nothing but good things to say about the NHS hospital we were transported to, the ambulance staff, the fire brigade that cut my side of the car off, and I am especially grateful for the two off duty nurses that witnessed the wreck and attended us until and beyond the arrival of emergency crews.
It could’ve happened to anyone, but Jackie was the culprit…she filled up the car with diesel, which would’ve been great if it had a diesel engine. So, after a quick note to work begging off for the day, I spent a bit of time draining the petrol tank and fuel lines, walking up to get 5 liters of petrol and some fuel injector cleaner, starting the engine with the help of some ether, and watching the enormous white cloud of burnt diesel churn around our car park for a few minutes as the car sputtered and quit several times. Eventually, I limped it down to the Shell station and filled up with premium then went for a long drive in the country to try to burn off the residual diesel.
The roads I took travelled through Warwick and Stratford-Upon-Avon and I eventually developed a bit of a thirst. Some of the village pubs I drove past were closed for the afternoon, but I found the Carpenter’s Arms in Kineton to be a safe harbour.
I parked up the hill by the now-defunct Swan Hotel and I only mention that here because it probably won’t be on my pub count although I HAD planned to grab a can at the Post Office (see above…back home we have drive through liquor stores where you can buy hunting licenses, but this is a distant second on the weird liquor purveyour scene) and salute it according to the rules but stayed a bit too long at the Carpenter’s.
Had to pass it by, but I MAY be back to tick this one off
I had alread shot my photographs and someone made a comment about wanting to see them as I came in and ordered my beer, an Everard’s Beacon which was smooth and lightly chocolate in flavour. I didn’t immediately pick up on what was said to me and I went off to a window and sat alone when it occurred that they were being friendly. Once I finished, I went back for a Little Drinks Company Buccaneer Ale (just a half, this time, and good call as it had a foul, peaty aftertaste) and had a nice visit with the three at the table pushing my camera across for them to have a bit of a look.
They weren’t, after all that, interested in the photos but showed quite an interest in the drinking and pub-visiting aspects of the blog; this may have been out of politeness but I DID get some good tips on pubs to visit in the future including the Castle near Ratley and on top of a big hill giving a panoramic view of the surrounding counties. We’ll either drive there together or I’ll get Jackie to drive back from Stratford after dropping me for a run to Banbury and I’ll hit it myself.