Thursday, 20 September 2012

Shh! Don't tell Blue Witch about this post!

Heard a great story today.

Went into school to do a "training session" on drama filming with the young IT apprentice (who's actually about to start a proper job - yay, youngster who's got a job, good for him). No, that's me training him, not him training me.  Anyway, clearly a farce, so we ended up chatting about all sorts before we went off to look at the new sound racks which the school has, in its ignorance, bought.

He was telling me that his girlfriend's father, who is probably about the same age as me, used to work at Rolls Royce at Filton, and was on the team testing each new engine.  And one of the tests, to simulate a bird strike at 20,000 feet, was to fire frozen chickens into the blades of the engine.  And they would spend an entire week just firing frozen chickens.  And the whole point was that if any single one of those chickens should cause damage to that engine, then clearly the engine was faulty.  No pressure then.

So towards the end of the week when they were feeling pretty confident that the engine was okay, they went to lunch and when they returned the worst case happened.  They fired the cannon, and the blades of the engine just all snapped off.

They were devastated.  After all, how much was that engine worth?  And once you have that tiny shred of doubt then everything becomes much more tenuous.

They studied the CCTV in minute footage.  Which is when they discovered that whilst they'd been at lunch a cat had strolled in, climbed into the cannon and fallen asleep.  The next shot, once slowed down considerably, showed that the frozen chicken which had been fired was closely followed by a cat.  Which had totally demolished the engine.

So it just goes to show that if you're travelling at 20,000 feet and a flock of birds comes towards you then you'll probably be okay, but just a single cat at that altitude and you should be seriously worried.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Oh, the power of the internet!

Yesterday younger son finally mastered one of life's great skills.

No, it wasn't swimming - which he couldn't do until he was 10.

Not riding a bike - which he couldn't do until he was 11 and the prospect of having to do his cycling proficiency came up (and even then I had to ask them to put him in the last course of the year, just in case).

No, yesterday, faced with the prospect of having to have some really ghastly velcro shoes for school (because by the time you wear size 7 there's not much to choose from with velcro fastenings for boys), he finally learned HOW TO TIE SHOELACES.  And it's taken him till he was 14, well nearly 15. 

And the last ten years or so that I've been trying to persuade him to learn were all a waste of time because in the end a 1-minute YouTube demonstration was how he chose to learn.

So don't give me all that "learning at your mother's knee" bollocks.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

On procrastination

I think I've just spent all week procrastinating.  I will find anything to do other than what really should be done.

I'm probably making excuses but I think it all goes back to a fortnight ago when OH called in at his mother's house (she having been consigned to a care home by now) and discovered that her dining table and chairs and her fridge/freezer had gone.

So last Saturday we went down (a mere 40 miles each way) to discover vastly more stuff had gone - to wit, dining table and chairs, fridge/freezer, microwave, kettle, a sewing box, two chairs, freeview box, shredder, kitchen clock, nest of 3 tables, 2 table lamps, a quantity of cutlery, and bizarrely the BT master socket (which is actually the property of BT).

We went out to the care home to confirm that actually none of this lot was out there.  We also discovered that of all the photos of grandchildren the overwhelming majority were of SIL's offspring.

By now OH is panicking that her car is going to suddenly disappear, even though she has technically signed it over to our daughter a year or so ago, but we've left it in her garage so that she can pretend that she could drive it if she wanted to, but she just doesn't want to.  To be honest, her mental ability (lack of) and eyesight (also lack of) mean that she would be an absolute menace by now so a while ago we removed the battery so she couldn't start it anyway.  But she liked the idea of the car being there - just in case.

So on Monday we go down and move the car to a secret location (which obviously I can't tell you where it is) so that it's safe.  After all, once it's gone, it's gone.  No car has ever come back from a breaker's yard, has it?

And now all the Court of Protection stuff is going to have to be changed because OH thinks he can't trust his sister to be joint Deputies.  And it just goes on and on, and takes more and more time.  And I'm still not knuckling down to work.  Which is all very depressing.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Check drain

Red flashing light.  "Check drain".

I have never seen so much grey sludge.  It's never been at all like that before. I'm surprised any water got pumped out at all.  Yuck.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Texts that you don't want to receive

"Can you find out how much it would be to rebook the ferry? we took a wrong turn on the way"

swiftly followed by:

"And not sire if were pn toll roads? :("

Sent by daughter on her way driving back from Leogang in Austria via Dunkirk.  A route that was supposed to go through Germany and Belgium.  She is now in France heading for Luxembourg.  Can't find Dunkirk on satnav.  Has lost road map.

They have to catch the ferry as her friend is at work in Birmingham the next morning.

Will they make it?