Archive for January, 2012

Sense of Direction

Monday, January 9th, 2012

According to this news story, our hard-pressed gubmint is to hold a summit to stamp out the vile curse of drivers being led astray by their in-car satnavs.

Now as many of you will know, I’ve been using GPS since before TomTom style devices were invented, and then TomTom since its first inception – when it was only available as software for a laptop or PDA, and the current standalone units were just a twinkle in a developer’s wallet. So I think I can claim to have the benefit of considerable experience when I offer the following technique which, if used by all drivers, would mean that satnav was never again blamed for lorries getting wedged under clearly signposted low bridges, or cars driving down rivers instead of roads. It’s a simple to use two-step system:

1) Your car, van or lorry is fitted with a big window, just in front of the steering wheel. Look through it.

In a perfect world, I could stop there and call this a one-step system. Ah well…

2) Your head is conveniently fitted with a device called a brain. Use it.

OK, accuse me of sarcasm if you like, but it isn’t difficult: if the bridge in front of you is signposted as two inches lower than your lorry, your satnav can’t change the fact that you ain’t going to get through. A satnav is just a tool, and isn’t to blame for driver stupidity, any more than my hammer is to blame if I hit my thumb.

There we are, call-me-Dave. Maybe you can cancel your satnav summit now and focus on fixing the economy. Although to judge from some of the words of wisdom emerging from politicians of all parties recently, lost motorists aren’t the only ones lacking direction.

Save a Life

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Having blogged twice already this year, I didn’t have much to add…but then I came across this. Soccer hard man-turned-film-actor Vinnie Jones is fronting the British Heart Foundation’s latest life saving campaign.

Research has shown that the main thing preventing less experienced people (by which I mean anyone except medical professionals) from attempting resuscitation on unconscious cardiac patients revolves around the mouth-to-mouth part: it’s clearly yucky and unpleasant, there’s a perceived (although largely non-existant) risk of cross-infection, and a fear of the consequences of getting it wrong – although frankly if a patient needs resuscitation, quite how things could be made much worse escapes me. There’s a lot of urban myth about people being sued after unsuccessful attempts to give first aid, although it’s never really happened in the UK and the rumours seem mainly to be attempts to sell personal liability insurance to first aiders.

Anyway, the Resuscitation Council have been promoting for some time, the fact that “compression only” resus is almost as effective as full resus, and certainly better than nothing, and that’s what this new campaign is promoting: compression-only resus moved partly-oxygenated blood around the body and certainly gets enough oxygen to the vital parts to keep the patient alive until paramedics arrive.

So if you’re not resus-trained – or even if you are – check out that link and see the instructional video that goes with it. You might save a life one day.

Happier New Year

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Purple Fred (whom I love very much) was quite right to comment that yesterday’s post was unnecessarily negative, especially when it could’ve been a review of all the excellent stuff that happened in 2011. So in no particular order…

  • We cruised the western Mediterranean aboard the good ship Azura, during which we visited three countries I’d never been to before (and one I had), and generally had a brilliant time.
  • PF (wilvm) directed her first play at a major theatre, which was well received by the audience and reviewers (and sold out on the last night)…
  • …and for which she’s been nominated for an award.
  • We had three good trips away in the caravan, including the long bank holiday weekend with our drama friends from the Maskers.
  • We went to Tenerife where we celebrated PF(wilvm)’s birthday, went up a volcano, saw amazing scenery, visited the best wildlife park I’ve seen, and only just missed BananaWorld.
  • We had a good number of days out and weekends away, in the process discovering a new B&B where I think we may become regulars.

So yes, loads of good things happened in 2011, and I’m sure 2012 holds much to look forward to – including some things that are already booked!

Oh, and Gumby-stats to date: Age of year: Three days. Good friends’ birthdays forgotten: One. Sorry Sally-J :-(

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Oh dear. It looks like another month has gone by with no bloggage.

It’s a shame I’ve been so lax, because there’s been loads to write about. I could’ve told you about a fabby day at the theatre with Purple Fred (whom I love very much) and MiniFred (who is still slightly shorter than me so I can still use that nickname for him). We went to see “Peter Pan” in the non-pantomime version and had a super afternoon.

Or if I was in ranty mood I could’ve gone on a bit about how the Raynet event on the first weekend in December was cancelled – and looks as if it’ll never happen again. The organising committee had some problems – not of their own making, if what I’ve heard is true – and they couldn’t be resolved in time for the event to happen, and may not be resolvable at all. But there’s no point ranting about that, is there?

Of course, all else failing I could’ve had another moan about the Olympics – I had to complete a survey recently about what I’m doing to ease my journey to work during the Olympics-related disruption in the Summer. My answer was basically nothing – the Olympics people should be minimising the disruption of their event on everyone else, it shouldn’t be for us to deal with the problems caused by their sports day. Of course they won’t – Lord Coe and his Olympic hangers-on don’t see the residents and workers of London as anything other than taxpayers who can’t refuse to fund the obscene over-budget cost of their event.

But instead, I’ll just say that I plan to blog a lot more in 2012. I wonder how long it’ll last? Oh, and by the way, I’ve just approved three comments that had somehow got tied up in the spam filter – apologies to Fluffy, Stu and Susan B, but your comments are now there!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and wish you a peaceful and prosperous 2012. God bless one and all.