18 August 2019

Printer installation - Deskjet 2630

The old printer packed up ages ago and we couldn't connect it to the wifi. Luckily we could print stuff at work and so could get around it.

It took the best part of an hour to get the new one to locate and connect to the wifi but it was quickly picked up by my phone.

Today Claire wanted to print something from the laptop.  I started installing the drivers at 1550 and by 1655 it was working and we could print.  The wonders of Windows 10 and plug and play equipment.


17 August 2019


The new Premier League is on us. The summer off-season is finally over.

Last week Arsenal got an away trip to Newcastle and won. A miracle in its way as actually winning the first game of the season usually ends in defeat. 

This week was the first home game of the season. 

The opponents were Burnley FC. One of the few teams that seem unable to beat the Arsenal.

The game allowed Arsenal to introduce some new signings in Dani Ceballos and David Luiz as starters and Nicolas Pepé on the bench.

Burnley may have some new signings but who cares. Coach Dyche (Douche as we call him) employed his usual tactics, a mixture of thuggery combined with time wasting and a lot of moaning during and after the game.

It was VAR debut at the Emirates as well. In the end it awarded Douche's thugs a goal and chalked one of ours off. 

Still, a 180° turn and shot from Lacazette put us one up. Then they got one back before Aubameyang fired us to 2-1.


They had been time-wasting ever since they equalised. A slow motion goalkeeper with every kick. Time and time again at throw-ins. All aided and abetted by Mike "It's All About Me" Dean, the referee.

The final whistle came too soon as we were all over them. But. A win is a win.

Briefly we were top of the League until the 3pm kick-offs ended. We dropped to second.

This year Helen has introduced a shirt challenge. I don't have that many so for game 1 we wore the 2007/08 maroon and blue hooped shirts.

Me and Helen
The next home game is against arch local rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. A bigger challenge than Newcastle and Dirty Burnley. 

12 August 2019

Insignia - fixed

It was booked in for 8am and so given the "limp mode" situation, I set off at 7.20am.

The plan was to take the A20 but as I left Hythe the "road closed" signs were still up on London Road and so I had to go through Saltwood.  As a result I ended up on the M20. On two hills out of Hythe I was down to 8mph on one and I managed 10 on the other,  flat out. Once on the motorway I got up to 45mph. As there are long term roadworks to build a new junction that wasn't a problem.

It turns out that the problem was that the pipe to the turbo had split. Parts came to about £240 and labour even more. With VAT added, the bill came to £670.03 Gulp.

At least it is back.

* I had no ideal that "limp mode" was a real thing!

31 July 2019

Insignia - knackered

The day before we are due to set off on holiday, this pops up.

Oddly, a few days before we went in holiday last year it threw the timing belt and me and the RAC man managed to get it back on. My neighbour John has a garage and they checked it over. Just in time.

Of course it's not due a service. Only having done 4000 miles since it was done in February.

I rang Caffyns and they say it is not only that but they need to see it. I have it booked in on August 12th when we get back from Devon.

Luckily we have Claire's Corsa. It's much smaller but we will have to see that we can squeeze in.

posted from Bloggeroid

28 July 2019

JS Day - over

The day was a success. We had told John as little as he needed to know. 

John and his Suzuki

As I said before he was expecting just me and Neill, that was my subterfuge. Neill was never going.

Then Tony Taylor said he'd drive and collect John, but we kept the rest quiet.

In the end there were seven of us "Old SOC" members. With more joining the FB group we can do better next time.

I didn't get chance to chat about my GT with John and so I need to get cracking on my jobs. And then get back to him.

In the end the turnout was: me, Tony Taylor, Mark Powell, Phil Hingert, Dave & Ronnie Hebblethwaite, and of course, John Storrie.

Tony took a group photo so sadly not in it!

LtoR: Mark, Dave, Ronnie, John, Paul & Phil

As above. Tony replaces Phil.

The museum is well worth a visit. As a senior citizen I got in for £12.50. The museum covers the entire history of the British Motor industry. Plus a couple of old bikes. 

Some sections cover the land speed attempts by MG and racing cars that saw Jackie Stewart as world F1 champion.

Of course. Where it is, there are Jaguars.

This link takes you to my Flickr album. With some interesting cars.

TomTom stats.

So where to next time?

27 July 2019

JS Day - British Motor Museum

The plan was to ride up to Oxfordshire to visit John Storrie, my old buddy from the Suzuki Owners Club. 

We first met about 1980 at a SOC event and after I bought my GT in 1984 we came closer. 

Plus. Although written out of history, John and me along with Dave Greenhalgh and Graham Walker saved the SOC, in 1983,  from going tits up. At an EGM to wind up the club we stood up. John took over as Membership Secretary and me as Editor.

The plan was to ride up to the motor museum near Warwick and meet John. It was kept a secret from him at first and I tried to get other Old SOCers along as a surprise.

Both plans defeated by the weather and people emigrating or sick!

After record breaking temps the weather turned wet. Very wet. Thunderstorms. Lightning. Floods!

So instead of three hours each way on the bike, I will take the car.

Why International? We had hoped that other old buddy David Gearhart may have been over from the US and able to pop in for a few hours.

So tomorrow it is!

26 July 2019

Charity of the Year

Most years I choose a charity and have stuck with it for a year.

Last year I read about Dogs on the Street. A local charity caring for homeless people and their dogs.

I am very jaded when it comes to corporate charities that have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Or sit on millions rather than using the money "we" have donated.

Or worse. The charities with huge staffs and senior staff on six figure salaries. That's six figures to the left of the decimal point.

Have a look and donate.

Money going to the cause and not in huge salaries. 

No "celebs" or "comedians" trying to appear relevent or reviving flagging careers on a telethon. 

Do it.

Car brakes sorted

When the Insignia had its MoT in February the test showed that apparently my front brakes were at 80% worn. 

I've not had them done in the five years I have owned it so I thought that the remaining 20% should last another year.

As we are having a staycation this year with a thousand miles of driving (approx) I decided to get them done.

Dropped it off at Fairways in Dymchurch and they are done.

I could do them for myself and have done over the years but I'm sure Claire feels safer with it done professionally!    

Weather record almost broken

Phew. The hottest day of the year turned out to not quite beat the UK record although some local records were broken.

As a pair of large islands off the coast of Europe we jut out into the North Atlantic. This makes UK and Ireland a temperate climate.

Unless we get the Spanish or Moroccan Plume (Google it) we generally get temps in the mid 20's (centigrade) with the occasional hot days. Those inhabitants of places like Arizona probably don't recognise this as hot.

So as I was watching the cricket test match on TV, Reggie needed keeping cool.

So out came the paddling pool. 

Cooling down

He loves to stand in it to cool down. Lucky boy.

23 July 2019

No work 'til September

Press Release: MAG expresses disappointment with the DfT 2019 Road Safety Statement

The Department for Transport (DfT) published its 2019 Road Safety Statement and 2-year action plan on 19th July.  The Motorcycle Action Group has been critical of what it sees as a lack of substance and ambition for motorcyclists' safety.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling described the action plan as "a key milestone in our road safety work".  Including seventy four action points, the DfT describe the document as a major package of measures to reduce the number of people killed and injured on roads.  In the foreword to the report, Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis states that the majority of their work for the next two years and respective actions are focused on the Department's four priority road user groups - Young Road Users, Rural Road Users, Motorcyclists and Older Vulnerable Road Users.

The eight specific action points for motorcyclists are:
•       Continue to promote the importance of helmets and their correct usage through the DfT SHARP programme.
•       In response to a consultation, DVSA will explore the possibility of developing a package of measures to improve the motorcycle training regime once Parliamentary time allows.
•       Promote DVSA's Enhanced Rider Scheme and increase the uptake of post-test motorcycle training.
•       Develop a training framework/syllabus to encourage riders who complete CBT but do not go on to take full test training to undertake further training.
•       Work with the motorcycle industry to explore how to encourage the use of protective equipment, and furthermore explore the scope for new protective equipment for vulnerable road users that can reduce post-crash collision severity.
•       Commission a review of the behaviour of drivers and riders in The Gig Economy.
•       Highways England to deliver safety advice to leisure riders.
•       Funding RoSPA to deliver an online guide on how to organise and conduct group motorcycle ride-outs.

Commenting on the report MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, commented:  "I have not had time to fully digest the report, but on the surface this appears to be yet another disappointing demonstration of the absence of real passion when it comes to motorcycling.  The action points are simply more of the same or, worse still, promises to take action 'when parliamentary time allows'. This is simply not good enough.  Where are the fresh ideas? Where is the urgency?  If the safety of motorcyclists really is a priority, make parliamentary time."

Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Ӧpik, said "Honestly, I think a bunch of bikers spending an evening in the pub could have come up with an action plan that would have greater impact than this so-called package.  We need the road safety community to take a step back and agree to really commit to motorcycle safety rather than just issuing a few more advice leaflets."

Colin Brown pointed out: "Just the other day the DVSA revealed the top ten reasons for car drivers to fail their test.  The top two were drivers failing to look properly at junctions and not using mirrors when changing lanes.  The same release admitted that 39% of accidents are the result of a driver failing to look properly.  As vulnerable road users we need to see real action to raise the standards of driving; simply focusing on training and safety gear for the victim is not going to cut it."

18 July 2019

Book Review - Jack Be Nimble by Adam Croft

Jack Be Nimble (Knight & Culverhouse, #3)Jack Be Nimble by Adam Croft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another Ripper...

Another good read for the train to work and back. The Jack character had me fooled. I thought it was the profiler. It goes to show no matter how many mysteries you read and how many movies you can watch, the best ones are where you can't tell whodunit.

View all my reviews

13 July 2019


First game of the pre-season for me. 

Folkestone Invicta at home to Gillingham aka The Gills.

The Gills are in EFL League 1. This is the 3rd tier in the English football pyramid. Invicta are in the 7th.

The gulf in quality was so much in evidence. Even though the Gills started with a mixture of first team and young players, plus there loans included a lad from Premier League AFC Bournemouth, Invicta had their chances that were sadly squandered. 

In the end a scoreline of 4-0 to the visitors wasn't that bad considering the gulf in league positions.

12 July 2019

Press Release - Proposed Heathrow ULEZ will charge older motorcycles

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has expressed anger on discovering that the proposed Heathrow Ultra Low Emission Zone (HULEZ) will include a charge on older motorcycles.

Proposals for a charge for more polluting vehicles driving to London's Heathrow Airport terminals were announced in May this year.  Despite the press reports suggesting that the HULEZ would mirror Sadiq Khan's Ultra Low Emissions Zone, there was no readily available information to confirm whether the charge would affect motorcycles.

MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Opik, commented: "It would seem unlikely to anyone with an ounce of common sense that a charge on road vehicles will do anything to reduce overall emissions in anything approaching a meaningful way when opening an entire new runway at Heathrow Airport.  Despite this, Heathrow seem intent on virtue signalling their way through a consultation on this very idea.  Imagine our disgust, therefore, when we discovered that the plan even proposes to repeat Khan's basic error of charging a transport mode proven to help reduce emissions.  How many pre-Euro3 motorcycles do they think it would take to emit the same amount of NOx as an Airbus A320?!"

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown said:  "The proposal to include pre-Euro3 motorcycles in this daft scheme was hidden deep – very deep.  In fact it was buried so deep that we had to specifically ask for confirmation on the subject.  The response shocked me.  Yes, Heathrow are proposing to exactly copy the London Mayor's illogical policy on motorcycles.  They seem somewhat embarrassed about this though, as the reference to motorcycles is hidden away in a single table of emissions standards buried on page 229 of a 444 page 'Surface Access Proposals' document.

"Needless to say MAG will be making a formal response to the consultation, and we encourage all bikers to follow suit.  There is simply no justification for this charge to be imposed."

The consultation can be accessed via the Heathrow consultation website:

The consultation covers an enormous amount of detail on a host of different subjects including:

  • a Preferred Masterplan for expansion;
  • plans to operate the future airport;
  • preliminary assessment of the effects of the airport's growth;
  • plans to manage the effects of expansion.

If you only wish to respond on the particular issue of the proposed HULEZ, MAG recommends that you use the email response option by emailing your comments to feedback@heathrowconsultation.com.  

The closing date for the consultation is 13th September 2019.

Amazon Fire 7

So my on and off love hate relationship with the Fire 7 continues.

I bought it as a Christmas present to myself to replace my ancient Kindle that had decided enough was enough and it refused to charge and when it did, it would no longer connect to the internet to download new books.

Generally the Fire has been okay. But. It has a major fault that despite contacting Amazon for assistance is still happening. Not all the time, but enough to be very annoying.

I can download a book from my library. I can read it. The next time I want to carry on reading it shows in the folder, but errors saying I don't have the right to read it. I have to delete and re-download. Annoying at home with WiFi but not good sitting on a train to work!

The other problem is that the book simply disappears from the downloaded folder and we go through above again.

Oddly, re-downloaded books 99% of the time remember where I was when last read!

After three occasions this month already I am back to the Nexus 7!!!

Maybe Amazon will come up with a solution?

Popular Posts