The Anonymous Widower

Is a Sattelite Dish a Human Right?

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission it is.  Read about it here.

In my view satellite dishes are ugly and should be banned.  Especially, as there are so many other ways to get the service through broadband.

I have a feeling that in ten years time, we will rarely see a satellite dish.  Especially in towns, where so many new methods to deliver signals will be developed.  I also think, that hidden aerials that are flat and flush with walls will be developed, if for no other reason than they can be quickly and easily involved.

August 7, 2011 Posted by | News, World | , | Leave a comment

The Coffee Obstacle Race

The worst and in some way the best part of the journey to Plymouth was getting down the train to buy a coffee.  Obviously, on such a crowded train, you couldn’t have run a trolley, unless it was attached to the roof.

I had to travel through about six coaches to get to the buffet and to say it was made very difficult because of the junk in the aisle wouldn’t be too much of an understatement.  Why is it that people load enormous cases, even a full size surf board and car seats, that would fit Cyril Smith, into the vestibules and aisles of a train? Strangely sitting though imperiously in this chaos was a pug, who politely got out of the way as I passed.

The buffet was quiet too and I bought my coffee with the sort of speed you’d expect from a typical Starbucks in mid-morning.

And then there was the walk back.  I should probably have stayed in the buffet and drunk it there, but I do like a challenge.  It actually wasn’t much of one, as of course, I’d got one of those excellent two-handled small paper carrier bags to carry my coffee. Why can’t other shops and kiosks use them more?

So although I indicated it was the worst part of the journey in some ways, it was also one of the best given the circumstances.  The ride of an IC125 is so level and flat, that it made a difficult task easy. It would have been impossible in a Pendolino.

I did make a mistake and that was not to bring a stirrer.  So I gave it a quick stir with my pen.

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Human Echolocation

We all know that bats use this, but surely humans can’t! Oh yes they can, if you believe what Wikipedia says here.

I was alerted to this story by yesterday’s Times Magazine, where they had an article about Daniel Kish. Perhaps he read Dark Universe by Daniel F. Galouey.  In my view it’s one of the best science fiction novels ever written.  And it’s still in print! I have a copy on my bookshelf and like all good science fiction, it has a yellow cover.

The trouble with people is that they use the creative part of their brains for all the wrong purposes rather than to improve themselves or the lives of others.

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Health, World | | Leave a comment

My New Toy Locked Itself Up

I wasn’t using the Wi-Fi on the Iconia, as I’d brought the paper with me and felt it easier on a crowded train to just read it and do the Sudoku.

But I was making notes for this blog.

When I opened it for the second time, it just locked up and has been in that state since.

I did buy it in PC-World, but at least I didn’t buy it in the one at Tottenham Hale, which has had a little local difficulty last night.

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Computing, Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments

Staff and Passengers to Plymouth

One thing though that should be said about my trip to Plymouth.  The train was crowded, but as the staff kept announcing, there were a few seats left.  So why did people keep standing and moaning to the staff about it? From what I overheard many had bought expensive tickets at the last minute.  No-one would fly on easyJet or Ryanair at the last minute and expect to get a good price, so why do they expect to have a cheap walk up ticket on a train.

After all, I booked a couple of weeks ago and did the journey for just over twenty pounds!

The staff though coped well and did a very good job.  And I told them so at the time.

I’m not sure, but I think on some services in Europe, if there is no seat you don’t get a ticket.  Surely on some of the more popular services in the UK, the same rule should apply! I think the staff would like it, as they wouldn’t have got the abuse, which seemed to come from those without booked seats.

One other point about the staff, was that in my carriage an elderly lady had turned up on the wrong day.  As there was still the odd seat, it didn’t matter, so she wasn’t left behind.  But those around me played a bit of musical chairs, so that everyone had a  pleasant journey.

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Three Hours on a Train

I wanted to see Ipswich play the first match of the season at Bristol yesterday and instead of going just for the say, went to see a friend in Plymouth on Friday.

I arrived at a very crowded Paddington in mid-morning for the 11:06 to Plymouth.  It was crowded, with the usual wheeled cases being trailed everywhere.  Do these selfish people realise that their mobile obstacles are a nuisance to anyone with limited movement or vision? I’m alright now and to prove a point, I had everything I needed in my new Samsonite bag.

I was carrying my gluten-free sandwiches and a bottle of wine for my friends, from Marks and Spencer in a carrier bag, but as I’d arrived with plenty of time, I walked straight on to the Standard Class Quiet Coach nto the window seat I’d booked. My two bags and coat spent most of the journey on the overhead coat rack.  I only needed to disturb my companion once to get my lunch down and for another to get a coffee and take a toilet break. I should say that I was surrounded by a family of about six, all of whom spent most of the time reading and playing on a laptop. Their mother was dispensing a real picnic, with lots of parma ham, salad and fruit.  Surely, they were showing how you use a Quiet Car!

In fact, the whole car was mostly quiet with not even a crying baby and there were some small toddlers there. The only problem was that some had blocked the aisle with heavy luggage.  Those going to Plymouth seemed to have used the Baggage Car as the staff had asked them to.

I made one mistake on the journey.  Although, I was sitting by the left hand window, I forgot to get my camera out to take shots of the train as it sped along the Exeter to Plymouth line between Exeter and Newton Abbot.

At Plymouth, I got ff the train pretty fresh, which is more than could be said as I got off my flight to Athens on easyJet.

Both journeys are about the same time, but give me the train anytime.  Especially in a forty-year-old, but newly refurbished  IC125.

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , | 6 Comments

Disposable Nappies

From a scientifically green point of view, in many places I’m against using disposable nappies, as they clog sewers, end up in landfill and I’ve even seen them in litter bins in parks. We used real nappies for all our three children in the seventies, washing them ourselves in a machine for the first and then using a nappy service for the last two. Here‘s Islington Council on real nappies.

As an aside to this post, I’ve been over a prison, where they had an extensive site-recycling project.  It was the training scheme that prisoners wanted to work on most, as they found it satisfying and felt that it might get them a job on the outside.

So is washing real nappies and other similar schemes, the sort of work for prisoners or those on community service?

Returning to real nappies, there is also a London-wide organisation supporting them.

If you think, what right has a man to comment on nappies.  Then remember that probably a third or so of the nappies changed on our three children, were changed by me! Not sure if I could still do it and wouldn’t want the responsibility!

C and I tried hard to get our son and daughter-in-law to use them on our granddaughter.  Sadly we failed, despite offering to pay for the nappy service!

August 7, 2011 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments