Archive for August, 2014

I was looking for a job…

And then I found a job, and heaven knows I’m miserable now.

I was expecting this job to be a bit of a handful, but it’s surprised me. I was expecting them to be all shouty and “Go over your driving hours!” like last time but they are totally not. Instead it’s shit in all new and exciting ways.

For one thing I’ve not been paid. No notification wageslip email, no money. That was nice. They reckon they are chasing it up and will have it sorted by midnight Monday latest, but if we didn’t have a ridiculously large overdraft facility that could have been a problem.

Then there’s the real bugbear, piss-taking hours. I wanted longer hours, and I’d be happy to do the long run down to Maidstone in the week. But two weeks I’ve been there and twice they’ve given it to me on a Friday. The M6 is always rammed on a Friday, don’t know why. My start time means that even with a clean run I’m going to be hitting the M25 (London village ring road) during rush hour. When the Dartford toll is massively rammed. Twice I’ve done it, first time I got back after a mere 14hrs 15 min (maximum working hours 15) having driven 9hrs 37 –ish (maximum 10 hours). So one more traffic jam and I would have had to pull over and stop.

Yesterday they sent me down and the M6 was just fucked. I mean, 50 miles in 3 hours. I was screwed before I’d even got to Brum. It took me 9 hours to get down, I had 2 hrs 50 driving time left for the return (4hrs 25-ish, non-stop, no traffic). I had to pull over and stop for the night at Watford Gap services. 2 hours from base. And they wouldn’t rescue me.

Which brings me to what is really bugging me, I’ve only had 3 long runs, 2 of them on a Friday, when it was supposed to be my day off the next day. This means even the one I scraped home buggered my day off. The rest of the week I’m getting done for between 22.00 and 01.00, have a good sleep, still got loads of day left. On my day off I didn’t get to bed until 05.30. And today I had to sleep in my cab, get up after 9 hours and drive back. Then, because the law says on a ‘reduced rest’ week I only need 24 hours rest, they’ve got me back in tomorrow at 15.30 hrs. So I’m going to be working 12 days straight. That is the law of the Working Time Directive but certainly not the spirit. You’re supposed to have a day off one week minimum, then 2 days off the next week. Bare minimum of rest.

I’m going to to be having words if they try and stitch me up with Maidstone again this Friday. There is no way I’m taking my 45 hour rest in a truck cab.

As I’ve not been paid I don’t even know if it’s worth the effort.  Already started looking for another job. The trouble is the Jobcentre website is basically an employment agency advert. Real jobs are rarer than hen’s teeth. Enough of my moaning, I wanted hours and when I finally do get paid getting screwed over like this every week will soon have the bike paid off.

 

Good news; Wendy survived! Huzzah!

It was looking iffy for a while but she pulled through. Now I’ve got to feed her up again. She lost half a stone through not eating for a week and she didn’t really have anything left to lose. I’ve been getting a sore throat and a few days of nagging headache but I’ve not got her bug, so that’s bloody spiffy. Worst illness I’ve ever seen. Honestly. I can’t convey quite how bad that was. I’ve had ‘flu and it felt terrible but I could still walk and I wasn’t hallucinating. I really thought it was possible she was going to die of it. Which is not to say I thought she was going to, just that it was possible. Wendy thought she was going to die, but then she thought there were talking animal heads on the walls. She gave it to one of her workmates before she got sent home, he’s been off for 2 weeks. He tried to go back but was that rough they sent him home again.

My training has took a kicking as well. I couldn’t leave Wendy alone while she was ill and then the new shifts.. I did a 10 mile run they other day and I’ve really dropped the baton again. Must get back to it.

The other, good, news is Twitter has lightened up again. Now the Israeli genocide has been put on hold we’ve all gone back to ripping the piss and having a hoot. Two great themes in the last week; apparently the Better Together (BT, not British Telecom, had me confused) people in Scotland put out a really insulting 1950’s style advert where the little woman is too busy making her man’s tea and looking after the sprogs to worry her pretty little head over politics, so just vote ‘no’ to independence.

And after one of Cameron’s party went full racist and defected to UKIP Cameron tried to divert attention by saying we were at highest terrorist threat level and Twitter tore him to pieces.

So, bearing those in mind, here’s Twitter:

DMreporter had:

 

 

In Politics/ Tory scum there was:

I refer you to this excellent map of council cuts by @davidottewell. Sums it up

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But whit aboot ma Tesco Clubcard Points?  #PatronisingBTLady

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Funny that there’s no mention of workfare in the government’s new ‘end modern slavery’ ads.

Threat level raised, Britain responds by taking the piss. The best of #threatlevel http://huff.to/Z0smhA

(I added to the fun:

#threatlevel: BBC children’s tv presenter.

#Threatlevel: Touching cloth.

#threatlevel Star Wars prequel.

#threatlevel: Royal

#threatlevel : Last tea bag.

#threatlevel: Angry kitten. Rawrr! )

1919: Eton boys setting out on their annual cull of the local poor

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And lovely, lovely, General:

My drug of choice is laughter….and cocaine. Mostly cocaine. Sometimes angel dust. Molly is cool too. RT if you love Jesus.

This Promotion is Less Thought-Provoking Than They Anticipated

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The only real solution for the British extremists prepared to go abroad, fight and kill is to not join the army.

ISIS is composed mostly of the Syrian rebel fighters the CIA was arming last year while Obama was gagging to bomb their foe _ Assad.

Banning a mosque because you oppose terrorism is like banning a church because you oppose paedophilia

(I commented: Good with both of those suggestions. Make it so.)

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In America everybody is innocent until proven guilty and/or repeatedly shot.

Batmobile Evolution

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(Love first two.)

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1925 Rolls Royce Phantom

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Kate’s dancers are really incredible. Dressed as St John’s Ambulancemen, kissing her while she lies on the floor motionless. #katebushlive

THERE ARE 7 BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. WHY WOULD YOU HAVE SEX WITH KITCHENWARE? Oh, that’s not what pansexual means. Carry on then.

This is why we should use the Imperial System

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Parent pro tip: if you go to Meet the Teacher night with alcohol on your breath, they don’t ask you to volunteer.

The word after "I don’t want to bother you" is always "but" and that’s why I hate people.

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CAN’T find your house? Try calling your landline and listening for the ring.

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"Firearms are why we’re no longer British" Really? I thought it was down to disrespecting tea and not getting irony.

Pluto is ‘not’ a planet. Hello Kitty is ‘not’ a cat. I am ‘not’ sober. This is ‘not’ my house.

There’s a north-west ska punk collective named ‘A Fish Called Bastard’

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[In job interview] "Do you have any skills?" Yes, I’m excellent at shorthand. *pulls arms inside shirt and does T Rex hands*

We literally have a baking competition scandal in this country. Britain has seriously just out-britished itself.

America

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Rape prevention nail polish sounds like a great idea but I’m not sure how you’re going to get men to wear it

And just in case you missed it, this is hilarious:

Little Girl does Ice Bucket Water Challenge:

http://t.co/HvKB1SXsXa 

Later,

Buck.

Change is the only constant.

Have you always thought that? (As the late, lamented Iain M. Banks said.)

I’ve started my new job. They made a few claims, such as a fixed starting time that would remain more or less constant through the week.

I did a bit of a ballache shift on Sunday (00.00hrs start!) but Monday was 13.30hrs, through till Thursday, then Friday was 14.00hrs.

You can’t really knock that. It’s much better than never knowing what your shift is until 14-16.00, if you even have a shift. Then starting from 18.00 through till 23.45.

First week I’ve done three shifts that battered my legal driving time, but there has been a sea change in attitude since I last worked there. Last time they were shouting at you if you refused to break the law and go over your driving hours, now they accept that you have to take a break and seem to be planning for it. This is good. A fundamental starting point for doing the job, really.

So, first week, bearing in mind that the legal maximum driving time is 9 hours per day which can be extended to 10 hours twice a week; 9.57 and 9.35. Working day length; 13.15, 14.15, 12.15, 9.15, 9.15, and 8.30.

A 65hr,45 min week.

Now I have to wait to see how well it pays. What I actually come out with. Though I have to consider the 4 weeks holiday pay and the 4 weeks in January I won’t be losing with no work. And all the cancelled days.

I’ll probably end up working all these hours for about the same as 5 short shifts at Walkers, take home. But I have to bear in mind all of the above. And keep my eyes open if anything better does come up.

 

A huge event of late has been Wendy coming down with a full-on ‘flu. I’ve never seen anyone so ill in all my life. I’ve had proper ‘flu once and it was horrible, but it was nothing like what Wendy just had. I was worried she was going to kiff it at some points. People do die from ‘flu, and the state she was in I thought it possible.

She got sent home from work teeth chattering with cold. I put her in bed and jumped in to warm her. I was sweating like a pig before she eventually warmed up. Then she was burning a fever of 103.8 F. That’s hot. I thought I’d poisoned her with Solpadine, she couldn’t stand up unaided and was slurring like she’d had a stroke and was getting delusional. I rang the doctor but they said the drugs were not the problem, those were her underlying symptoms.

She didn’t get out of bed for 4 days except for me to take her to the loo, slept day and night for most of it, and didn’t eat at all.  Work wanted me to start on Friday but I had to cancel on my first day as she was too ill to leave. 

She’s more or less fixed now, but it was a hell of a week for her.  I washed my hands after every contact, so even after her puking on me I seem to have avoided catching it. Huzzah!

The other change was my handlebars. After crashing the old ones were a bit bent so I got the first pair of groovy clubman bars but they were too small, sold them on ebay for a £5 loss. Not too bad. Ordered a new set from a classic British bike site. A week later they hadn’t arrived so I emailed them. “not got any in, arriving Wednesday” OK, thanks for that. (24- 48 hr delivery, my arse!) A week later I asked again. “We got black ones, not chrome ones. Is that any good for you?” No. Are you getting some chrome ones in? No.

Now *that* is authentic classic British service. It’s my fault for not wanting the ones they’ve got in. Kudos.

I got a refund and ordered some from a different site, arrived the next day.

Then I had the fun of fitting them. You’d think it would be; unscrew the clamps, slide the bits of the old handlebars, put them on the new, tighten the clamps. HA!

The bit of the bar that’s supposed to be clamped was too narrow so I had to make some shims. Then the control gear has a post in it to keep it in place so I had to set it all up, mark out as best I could, where I thought the holes should be, strip it again, drill the holes (gulp! Can’t get that wrong.) then reassemble. But the grips had a cap at the end so I had to drill that out as well.

Bricking it putting it back together again. But it all works perfectly. I fitted the bar-end mirror. Then thought about the tiny gap between the houses down which I have to fit the bike. Luckily the bars are a different shape so the extra few inches of the mirror are compensated for.

Look:

Before;

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After;

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Apart from the expected aesthetic improvement there are a few unexpected bonuses. The riding position it a lot further forward, less sit-up-and-beg so you feel more involved in the ride and you obviously get less wind resistance on your body and neck so it’s more comfortable. Except for on your wrists which are still sore. But it’s not about comfort.

Also, the throttle used to slam shut as soon as you loosened your grip, pitching you forward quite savagely. Because I had to drill the right hand grip out and force it onto the bar it to get the bar-end mirror in, it now stays open until you push it back. Much better unless I  fall off in which case it will charge off without me. Note to self, don’t fall off.

You may notice over the left hand clock an ugly lump. That’s the bar grips heater control. When I had the big mirrors it hit behind them. Then it was stuck on it’s own so I moved it to the centre. It looked hideous there as well so I’ve now moved it again, now it looks like this:

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Clean lines. Lovely.

BTW, that bar-end mirror, looks the dogs bollocks, can’t see shit out of it. It’s not magnifying at all so you can see there is something behind you, can’t make out any detail, ie, if it’s a copper or not.

Next I would like smaller, bullet, indicators. And about £1,500 of other stuff.

But for now I’m well impressed with it.

 

So to Twitter,

DMReporter had

FINALLY: Attractive women with big breasts granted the right to wear sexy bras by charitable Marks and Spencer’s. Pictures.

INVESTIGATION: Revealed – houses near airports have more planes flying over them.

 

Politics/ Tory scum

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David Cameron accepts the #icebucketchallenge

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Only King Herod would be less sincere about implementing family friendly policies than #Cameron

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(Foreign section)

Ferguson USA was lively with the police murdering an unarmed, surrendering, black lad.

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Took a week, but we finally at the moment where Mike Brown Is officially a suspect in his own murder. #Ferguson

"Mike brown stole bullets then fell on them" – early draft of the Ferguson PD incident report

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Grandmother speaks out about viral cop beating: "I felt like he was going to kill me" http://bit.ly/1pKBNtY

Ferguson police be like:

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.@SanJosePD fatally shoot woman holding power drill http://bit.ly/1sMdmQG

 

NATO confirmed that Russian military column crossed #Ukraine border … info 100% Photo proof they found on internet

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Prime Minister #Modi on rapes: "Don’t question your daughters, correct your sons." http://read.ht/hqb

Netanyahu asks US help to avoid war-crimes charges. He should have thought of that before allowing the war crimes. http://trib.al/Hs9ON3N

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General

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I like my men like I like my coffee Fist deep in my butthole

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GchrM_W_4KI …

Today’s Red Lobster special: Enjoy 3 motherfucking generations of lobster piled on your plate. Total fucking lobster annihilation.

I got on the super-slow scenic train from London to Oxford. You can practically hear the house prices falling between stops.

Cute namez to cal ur gurlfrend 1. Sugar 2. Honey 3. Flour 4. Mix in pan 5. Preheat to 375 6. Bake for 20 mins

On first dates I like to scream "HAHAHAHAHA THANKS FOR PUTTING A BABY IN ME" after sex because it’s easier than asking him to leave.

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Sadly, it seems, Japan is preparing for war.

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Don’t answer, it’s a trick.

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What the Hell was the question?

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Take your age. Subtract it by your age. That’s how many fucks I give.

 

My next car. Who’s paying?

1954 DeSoto Adventurer II Ghia Coupe

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Twelve hours since I binned FaceBook. I’ve lost weight, gained hair, written a novel and I like my friends again.

Woman lorry driver at work, a chick chum sent me this: http://www.snotr.com/video/3756/Women__Don_t_Drive …  Hilarious.

Not exactly letting her down easy. http://metro.co.uk/2014/08/18/groom-fakes-his-own-death-to-get-out-of-wedding-bride-is-naturally-devastated-4836745/ …

21 Ways Scottish Independence Would Affect Your Dog’s Wardrobe

 

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Dear celebrities, how about filling a bucket with cash and giving that away you attention seeking gobshites? Just a thought.

Thanks for joining the Piss Bucket Challenge. I nominate Piers Morgan, Dapper Laughs, and Michael Gove. Gentlemen, you have 24 hours.

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Look, I tried my best. If you can find a Navajo translator in Garnethill, I’m all fucking ears.

Just a reminder that most of the people actually fighting ISIS are Muslims.

If you think Muslims aren’t condemning ISIS, it’s not because Muslims aren’t condemning ISIS. It’s because you’re not listening to Muslims.

‘Do 9yo girls really need a bikini wax?’ NO. THEY’RE NINE. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

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at this point, i think every gaming website has the responsibility to teach their young, male audience not to be colossal shitheads

Customer: Do you have a children’s book called ‘The Lying Bitch and the Wardrobe’ by CS Lewis? Me: Yeah… that’s not what it’s called.

Give a man a fish. Give him another. Another. Continue giving him fish until he is entombed in an icthyan graveyard. Laugh at his hubris.

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Pretend you’re a parent during school hols by wearing 8 loom band bracelets whilst singing songs from Frozen and smelling of gin and despair

Listen to the voice on this 15 year old girl. The song is OK, but her voice is amazing. http://youtu.be/48fggLVbBs4

Just saw a cyclist put his hand out to indicate he was turning left when a lone pedestrian high fived him. I feel so good right now.

Our close and loving ally Saudi Arabia (John Brennan’s absolute best friends forever in the whole world) beheaded someone for "sorcery".

Apparently Islamic State launched a hashtag which was immediatley hijacked:

#AskIslamicState Has your milk-shake ever brought the boys to the yard?

#AskIslamicState don’t you know you may be due PPI compensation? Not interested? Banks have set aside billions in compensation…

#AskIslamicState Are any of you guys on Grindr?

#AskIslamicState What’s your opinion on the pedestrianisation of Norwich City Centre? I’ll be honest, I’m dead against it

Has anyone had any answers from #AskIslamicState or aren’t they taking this seriously?

#AskIslamicState Will you draw me like one of your French girls?

#AskIslamicState Can any of yous play midfield? If yes, are you free on Sunday?

How many 2 pence pieces can you stack on a duck before it becomes fully submerged in water? #askislamicstate

What’s the biggest animal you can single-handedly clingfilm to a lamppost? #AskIslamicState

 

Damn you google.

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Liverpool’s problem isn’t that they don’t have enough strikers, it’s that eventually the universe will end, destroying all life everywhere.

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And just because:

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Later,

Buck.

Twitter.

Right, I’m going to try and catch up. This could be quite a long entry. I’m going to omit the stuff on the Palestinian holocaust because it’s to awful. If you want to see pictures of babies blown in half, well, you need help.

And straight away I’m going to post something. Just in case you thought the “war” was an isolated incident. The percentage of Palestine that Israel occupied from 1947 to now, as translated to the UK.

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And this, while it’s about the Israeli genocide of Palestinians, could be about anything and is my favourite banner of all time.

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"don’t be sad" ok im better now thank u

Hangman is a game that teaches kids how to spell, that words can be fun, and that failure is punished with death.

Confused, #RToday. #Putin ‘created conditions for #MH17 by giving arms to rebels’ but #Cameron‘ll take no blame for how Russia uses UK arms?

I’m loving the birthday pics of Kate and Will and their lovely little boy George

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The accidentally killed are just as dead as the intentionally killed.

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HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA, MOUTHS AGAPE, LUMINESCENT TONGUES LOLLING, KEENING WELCOME TO THE VOID BORN, SUNKEN HYMNS OPENING FORGOTTEN WAYS

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Dog faints with ‘overwhelming joy’ when owner returns after two years away http://itv.co/1l1HK1n

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Just like Tony Blair and New Labour was Thatcher’s ‘greatest achievement’ I’m sure Hitler, if asked today, would say same about Netanyahu.

When you complain about dropping your phone remember that there are people who are starving who’ll totally make you another one.

Why is it, when a girl sleeps with a lot of guys, she’s a slut. But when a guy does it, he’s gay?

MrsGod noted: It’s all very well having a son who can turn water into wine but that’s the third goldfish we’ve had to send to rehab . .

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After MH370 and MH17 Malaysian Airlines may change its name. #Israel is considering changing its name also. To Mordor.

HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA,JOINING HANDS,WHISPERING THE FINAL WORDS AS ONE, RENDING THE VEIL,THEIR DEATHS GLEEFUL AS THE FLAYED MASTER EMERGES

I apologise for using the asexual-exclusionary term LGBTQI two tweets ago. I meant to say QUILTBAG.

"It’s never a good time to be hit by an asteroid." Dinosaur expert Richard Butler #r4today

This dog was left in this car on the hottest day of the year with no water or ventilation. It has both now

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Barcodes that start 729  or 871 are Israeli. Tweeting to remind myself. #BoycottIsrael

WEATHER: Storms and flash floods hit the south of England affecting, presumably, the whole country.

That awkward moment when Satan is a perfectly acceptable option for your kids.

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Incredible! This Man did the unthinkable to rescue a 400-kb #BlackBear! http://onegr.pl/1qHtlQ2

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My favourite thing about feminists is their boobs.

FINANANCE: Lloyds bank guilty of defrauding taxpayer of ‘tens of billions of pounds.’ We ask, does YOUR neighbour have an empty bedroom?

i like my women curvy. lots and lots of curves. all curves. circular. fried. onion-filled. onion rings i like onion rings

Israel and the UK/US Governments, if its possible to radicalise an Atheist, you are doing a good job on me, you evil bastards.

Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country

Like when the IRA were bombing us and we blew up full hospitals and schools. Oh wait, no, we’re not fucking animals.

give a man a fish & he’s like, this fish is dumb. i hate this fish. give a man an xbox & he’s like sick i love playing fish simulator 2014

“In God We Trust,” and there’s your problem.

I’m confused. Why is it ‘Putin’s missile’ (w/o evidence) for #MH17,but not ‘Obama’s missile’ when civilians killed by US weaponry in #Gaza?

Daw! @twhiddleston‘s fan letter to @josswhedon is absolutely lovely. http://bit.ly/1tZfPol

BE SCARED: Is an African Ebola virus on it’s way to Britain? ‘The important thing is to panic in a racist manner’ say experts.

A phone battery that can be charged using the accumulated self righteous rage on Twitter™

More than 40% of Americans believe no action necessary on #climatechange because the Rapture is coming soon anyway http://magazine.good.is/articles/more-than-40-percent-of-americans-believe-the-rapture-is-coming …

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WARNING A ‘cute little duckling’ scam is doing the rounds. RETWEET to warn others.

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when people keep talking and you just wanna

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I just need to eat healthy until I lose the weight of other people’s expectations.

.@Israel u guys ok ? I heard about what happened I’ve been worried

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AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE! *Cap, Ironman, Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye put together IKEA furniture while Black Widow tells them they’re doing it wrong*

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Some bloke just spilled my pint. So, taking my lead from the Israeli govt, I"ve defended myself by killing him and his whole family.

Bit mean about her height. #closingceremony

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The reason Israel is losing the propaganda war is that they are not killing enough people with camera phones. They need to up their game.

Grandad fought in the trenches n loathed the glorification of it and despised the arseholes who sent him away for 4 years to kill strangers.

..And at 10 o’clock Downing Street will dim the lights, illuminated only by the disco ball of politically expedient war celebration.

I never used my boobs as my avi to get followers. My big boobs. My big luscious boobs. Oops, dropped some ice cream on my big luscious boobs

If there’s one fence you don’t want to climb over, it’s this one:

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It didn’t take Daniel long to work out that he had misread the sign.

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I believe in self-improvement. For you, I mean.

The best part of living in a one-horse town is there are no jokes when it walks into a bar. EVERYONE knows about Mr Hoof’s drinking problem.

Autocorrect tried Borgia as a substitute for Boris. Autocorrect has a dry sense of humour sometimes.

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Incredible sculpture:

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My best mate is selling her car.. If you want a car, you might like it. She needs the money for gin and bingo

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Ann Coulter wonders why Christians work so hard to help unfortunate people. I’m not sure who started that, but I think maybe it was Jesus.

OK, just the one. As she survived and is getting better. Still needs corrective surgery though. Israel’s “terrorists”

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Cool pavement art.

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(Surprisingly interesting read: ) Two races–run 60 years ago today–still stand as epitomes of the rewards and the risks of competitive running: http://bit.ly/X5yrbV

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Track of ex hurricane Bertha.. Fuck sake, if it goes through London we’ll never hear the bastard end of it.

Monarchies hey :/

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Almost certainly the best photo of a cat levitating, while another cat looks on, amazed.

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This cat is not a fan of the Summer heat. The result is adorable.

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A man on overground trying to drink an entire bottle of wine, spilling it down himself just told me, ‘I probably wouldn’t have sex with you’

(replies: )

‘probably’! So there’s still hope.

he should have at least offered you some wine to soften the devastating news :'(

 

Thank god for hourly selfies or we’d never know how your mom is doing in ICU.

Thanks @myhermes for delivering my parcel so it’s 20ft high stuck to the roof! Great care taken! #Hermes

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barbecued some couscous. and in the process entirely incinerated my working class roots.

Capitalization can really change a sentence. Example: I love to eat candy. I love to eat capitalization.

Scientists: Don’t freak out about Ebola. Everyone: *Panic!* Scientists: Freak out about climate change. Everyone: LOL! Pass me some coal.

Call the wife beautiful 1000 times and she won’t notice Call her fat once and she will never forget That’s because elephants never forget

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I’m currently outside Wal-Mart sitting on the coin operated horse screaming "AT DAWN WE RIDE!" to anyone who walks by.

Church leaders DID warn gay marriage would lead to bestiality. BREAKING: Church leader arrested for bestiality http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/jerald-hill_n_5662462.html?cps=gravity …

Kevin McLoud on grand designs "it’s almost like the glass connects the interior with the exterior". No shit Kev.

My mother in law just complained that the dog "bit a security man in Tesco" and I heard in my head "just to watch him die".

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HEALTH: A&E patients stranded for up to 8 hours ‘because NHS bosses are too busy voting Labour’ claims whistleblower.

Nerve cells have been found transforming into stem cells – inside teeth. http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/07/unexpected-stem-cell-factories-found-inside-teeth …

Taxi (a service dog who looks out for 14-year-old Rachel Benke) made in into Rachel’s yearbook. I love this.

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I love Mike Doyle’s ruined Victorian LEGO houses.

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It’s cat day? On the internet? As opposed to the other 364 cat days?

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Majestic pug

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FRONT PAGE NEWS: Women has babies 9 months after getting pregnant by her husband. Meanwhile, in Iraq…

I’m so glad Tony Blair saved peace, overthrew fundamentalism and terror, protected women’s rights & brought democracy to Middle East.

Enjoying your morning brew?

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Men…you can’t win. "Does my bum look big in this?" We women can smell fear on a man.

Funny how violence is *never* the answer when used by oppressed people, and *always* the answer when used by the state.

Okay, we never did find those WMD, but at least we helped bring a lasting peace to Iraq.

Drinking game: When the news comes on, start drinking. It’s probably the best coping mechanism.

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While David Cameron is on holiday…

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DEMOCRACY: Israel, Iraq or Ukraine? Cameron to offer public referendum on who we invade next if the Conservatives win the next election.

#MarkSimmonds resigned as MP cos the £323,246 he was paid in 2013 wasn’t enough. IDS says you can live on £53 a week. #AllInItTogether

The annual US aid to Israel in 2014 was $3.1 billion. Plus $504 million to the joint US-Israel Missile Program. That’s $9.9 million a day.

When Robin Williams appeared on ‘Inside the Actors Studio’, an audience member had to be hospitalised for a hernia brought on by laughter.

I’ve got some dynamite stuff ready for when Stewart Lee pegs it. Might have to kill him myself. Fed up of sitting on it for so long.

I came out as a gay teacher in a whole-school assembly in 2010. Today, 4 years later, I just received this email. Wow

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Don’t know much about history Don’t know much biology Don’t know much about a science book Can I interest you in a #creationist pamphlet?

"I’m a level 5 vegan. I don’t eat anything that casts a shadow."

#NRA: "The only way to deal with a good black unarmed kid is a bad police force with guns"

America sends $9.9 million per day to Israel in ‘aid’. Yet, Detroit can’t get water. Massacring children more of a priority to Obama.

Sorry I recreated a scene from the Temple of Doom in your Ancient Egypt exhibit

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"A beloved A-list star tragically takes his own life. How do we report this in a way which shows us to be massive bastards?" – UK Papers

Ah, spotted the problem here:

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Gazing up at the Perseid meteor shower in the vast night sky reminds you how insubstantial you are compared to whatever you just drove into.

Don’t be fooled by the spelling, manslaughter is not in the least bit funny.

So I phoned IT. They said to try turning it off and on again, but I misheard them and just set fire to everything.

Japan’s flag is like a pie chart of how much of Japan is Japan.

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Turns out the local councillor was a fucking free mason not "free basing". Not sure we’ll get the town hall job now after I got my pipe out

Cop: Tell me from 2 to 4, where were you? Me: Preschool

This is the “war”

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Thoughts while running, Day 2: If I could muster up a mini heart attack this bullshit could end right now.

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We can apparently measure up homes of all benefit claimants for bedroom tax but not homes worth more than £2 million for mansion tax. Odd.

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He doesn’t know it yet, but this could be the most awkward kiss ever.

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The Civil Rights Act is 50 years old. These two pictures were taken 50 years apart. Behold our progress. #Ferguson

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We didn’t need journalists arrested to know things were wrong in #Ferguson. We knew that when they shot a kid with his hands in the air.

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Monster tidal wave surges down the Qiantang River in Hangzhou, China

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(Best timed action picture ever!)

Toughest job in show biz, editing Top of the Pops for the re-runs

Haven’t heard anything from the #NRA saying the people of Ferguson need guns to protect themselves from the oppressive government. Curious.

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"Daddy, why does this freedom taste of deep fried cheeseburgers and bullets?"

After the Lonely Hearts Club Band split up, Sgt Pepper gained a doctorate for his work devising a fizzy drink that tastes of floor polish.

I leave you with this inspirational message:

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Buck.

New job.

Just a quick update.

I went to the induction for my new job. 3 hours of signing off on papers you haven’t read and ticking all the H&S boxes. They have changed the pay structure, 50p per hour more, no overtime rate. Just done a quick calculation, say 52½ hour week, take off ½ hour per day for break, so 50 hours. Old rate, £520, new rate £515. And it used to be more for Saturday, plus time and a third for any overtime, that’s now flat rate as well. Sundays are £14, flat rate.

They wouldn’t have changed it if it didn’t cost them less.

Anyway, that’s a bit shitter.

After the induction they were keen to get me started, Mon-Fri, every other Sunday.

It’s the days aspect and the guaranteed work that appeals.

So they said they’d text me with a time for a driving assessment by 19.00 hrs. They didn’t. The next day I got one asking could I make the assessment at 017.00. I turned up  and there was a Polish lad from the previous day’s induction there. Which meant two drivers for one assessor. An immediate fail. The security guard had no idea we were supposed to be there and couldn’t raise anyone on the ‘phone. We went and sat in the canteen. An hour late we were still waiting when two other drivers arrived for their 18.00hrs assessments. At 18.15 the assessor turned up. The company, desperate to recruit drivers, changed their M.O. to give a contract they are that keen to secure drivers, keen to give a good first impression, were that tight they wouldn’t even allocate the assessor a shift to assess, with at least 4 drivers booked in, they had him out doing runs as well!

The guy said “I’m going out on another run lads, so I can’t assess you both. If one of you wants to come out with me I can assess you then.”

He wanted one of us to go and drive with him while he did a full shift. Until at least 03.00hrs. Unpaid. He said “This is transport, lads. You can either come out with me or wait until we can fit you in for another assessment.”

No mate, we all work in transport. This isn’t transport what this is, is a piss take.

I walked out.

I’m calm now. I was furious at the time. I said “I’ve been here over an hour already, I’ve got a sick mrs at home in bed…”  The main transport manager was hovering over his shoulder, presumably to see if we had a can-do attitude. I cared not a whit.

Anyway, the texted me the next day and asked “Can you start on Friday?”

No assessment.

FFS!

And she said it’s more likely to be dinner time starts, as opposed to mornings. The two start times I’ve got so far are Friday 18.00hrs (not dinner time) then Sunday 03.30hrs (way not dinner time) so Saturday, my day off, is going to be spent in bed.

I’ll give it a few weeks to see how it goes, but I’ve already applied for another job. If anything else come up, permanent or temp to perm, same sort of money, I’ll be applying.

See you how goes.

Oh, and as I mentioned above, Wendy is as sick as a dog. She is gutted. She’s only been back to work for seven weeks after ten months off and she’s been sent home sick.

In the 19 years we’ve been together neither of us has ever been this ill. It’s a full-on ‘flu thing. She was freezing when she came in, I chucked her in bed and cuddled her for body heat. Her teeth were literally chattering and she was hurting from her muscles tensing with the cold. It took her ages to warm up (I was sweating like a pig!) then later when I used the digi-thermometer on her she was 103.6 F That’s not good.

She’s been like it for three days now, shaking with cold and boiling and throwing up. And moaning. So much moaning. Again, it’s me who’s the real victim in all of this.

To cheer her up in her moribund state I’ve set her up an eBay and Amazon account on her tablet and showed her how to shop for shoes and a handbag.

I’m hoping I don’t get it. It really does look awful. I can’t see how I could work through that and with me just starting a new job an’ all…, not good.

Anywho, this was supposed to be a quick one.

Later,

Buck.

Change and about.

I’ve had enough of nights and the uncertainty of agency work. I’ve applied for the full time, days, job at Hermes. I have my induction on Monday. I did the maths, it’s been exactly half a year and I took home £11,856. If you take off the two weeks I would have had as holidays if I’d been PAYE it’s an average of £420 p/w take home. Hermes are promising a minimum of 45 hours per week, with thing like time and a third for anything over 8 hours, overtime more or less written into the job, extra for working weekend shifts, etc. I reckon on a 50 hour week I’ll be taking home at least the same. Plus it’s days. And I can take holidays. If you lose a week’s pay you just end up working and working. I think I’ve had two weeks holiday in the two and a half years I’ve been self employed/ Limited Company. I’ve had months, in total, sat around unpaid waiting for work, but that isn’t a holiday. You can’t relax, you can’t do anything, plan anything, or afford anything.

If I wanted serious big bucks they have the option of a pound an hour more for nights, plus another pound or so for Limited Company, so you earn more and get stopped less tax, but that’s the same shit I’m in now.

I’m willing to trade pound per hour for day shift and secure hours per week.

Plus, as my chum on Twitter asked, ‘why are they suddenly offering a real job?’

Is it because now you need to have a driver’s CPC card there are less qualified drivers? Are all the new warehouses being built around Burtonwood offering better jobs? Something has changed.

My point being, if this doesn’t work out as my ideal job I can look for other, full time, days, jobs. It is a pity about Walkers, mind. If there had been any prospect of me getting on to days or being taken on full time I’d have hung in there. It’s great money and an easy, no stress job. But there are lads there who’ve been on the agency for years and not got full time out of it. And I’ve found out they jacked me out on that nights out gig. Apparently it is running, with agency lads, but they wouldn’t give me a sniff because they have trouble filling the night shift, so they only let the day lads play. That was a blow.

Nights are killing me at the minute, I just can’t get the sleep. The neighbours noisy kids on school holidays, the heat and just generally not sleeping well in the day.

 

I forgot to mention in my last blog, what with the concussion and all, but since I have stopped trying to adjust my gait to avoid injury my injury has got a lot better. *sour face*

I did a 20 mile run last Sunday. The first 10 miles were my old, road, course. At the 4-5 point there is a slow incline then a bit of proper hill. I set off at a fair clip, by current standards, at about 8.20 m/m. Recently I’ve been starting at about 9 m/m and dropping off at the end of long runs. Also, on the occasions I’ve tried my 10 mile road course I’ve been dying on the hill. This time I dug in and went up it faster ! Then I kept it to below 9m/m. I averaged out at 8.36 over 20 miles. And I even had enough left to race the last half mile as some runner was chasing me.

I threw away the Cone of Shame and patted myself firmly on the back. I’m back in the game.

Ha! Just been out for another 20 miles run. Gawd bless the arse end of hurricane Bertha. I did two road laps of 10 miles, the first one I was about 3 miles in and suddenly the rain turned into a deluge. “A vertical sea with slots in” to quote Terry Pratchett. I was drenched to the bone, on the way back I was wringing my top out and my trainers were twice as heavy. But I was managing a slightly sub 8 m/m average! I came in and got totally changed, picked up a new water bottle loaded up with energy powder (the legal kind) and went back out. My GPS watch said the next mile took me 13 minutes, because of the 5 minute pit stop. I have to find out how you pause it. Anyway, sure that that wasn’t right I paid attention to my next mile speed. 7.55, then 8.02, then 7.55. This was on my second lap, into the teeth of Bertha blowing a gale. I was totally impressed with myself. Then on mile 14-15 I saw a runner ahead. PREY! I pounced. I picked up the speed and passed them before turning around. Somehow I managed to keep the pace going though. 7.44, 7.47, 7.41, 7.47, then for the last mile I still had enough left in the tank to open up the pace and do a 7.30!  Overall average of 7.59 m/m. That’s quite a chunk to take out 8.36 m/m in a week.

It’s not marvellous but it’s hugely encouraging.. If I can do the last 5 miles at that speed I should really be able to do the first 15.  At the very least it’s a massive personal improvement.

 

Btw, re the crash, I had another look and it was a perfect storm of shitiness. It was dark and bone dry, I was concentrating on the lights, only watching the road out of my peripheral vision, and the section before the lights changed from black tarmac to yellow high grip road, so the sand didn’t stand out. Ace.

 

I’m sure there are other things I should be mentioning, after my last blog I remembered I’d not mentioned the running get better. My head is a bit out of it now, post run.

I’ll do a brief one tomorrow probably to say how the induction went, can fill in any omissions then.

Later,

Buck.

The memory of pain.

I’m using that as a metaphor, btw. I find it fascinating that one cannot remember pain. You remember the sweats, the swearing, thinking death would be a mercy, but you can’t remember what the pain felt like.

So it was with crashing my lovely, lovely motorcycle.

Not the pain (metaphor remember? Pay attention at the back.) but the feeling of being fully alive. I’d forgotten. Or rather remembered as one remembers pain. I took it as a truism, that while “the prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully” it is nothing like as focusing as the reality of imminent pain and possibly sudden, violent death.

And then, your front end is skipping around at stupid speeds and you are heading into a roundabout at stupid speeds unable to break. Suddenly it all comes back to you. However briefly.

I can see why in my feckless youth I pursued that experience. There is nothing quite like it. You either live or die, but you are 100% alive until then.

I can’t say I’m as fond now, in my later years. The pain and damage to my bike don’t seem worth it. But it is a hell of a rush.

In case you’re wondering what the hell I’m on about, I’ll start from the beginning.

I was riding to work on Friday night. It was 23.20, no traffic, bone dry roads, ideal conditions in other words. I was chugging along in a 40 zone, I saw the traffic lights were on green so I blipped the throttle to get to them before they changed. I was focused on the lights, no traffic, no worries. I saw I was going to make it through the lights so I went to jam on the brakes, only to find some utter bastard of a lorry driver had shed half of his load of sand on the road. It was 2 inches thick, loose dry sand. The front end started skipping about like crazy so I had to let the brakes off or crash. I hung on as I skipped over the sand, miraculously staying upright but by the time I had regained control I was still going too fast with the width of one lane between me and the roundabout. I had time to think “this is going to hurt”, *island amnesia* over the handlebars landed on my head, thought “dead”, *island amnesia* put head up looked around, on roundabout, put head back down *pain* “how’s my bike?”

Odd. The calm “this is going to hurt”, the equally calm “dead” when I thought I was going to snap my neck, then no continuity like “ooh, not dead” Or “my that smarts” just; aware of the pain, “how’s my bike?”

Anyway, the good new is I just bent my brake pedal and bent my handlebars a bit, and snapped something off my helmet. And grazed one engine casing. Nothing too serious.

Buggered both my wrists and bashed my groin badly. And battered my ribs. And generally hurt everywhere. But nothing I couldn’t ride away with.

Funny because a car following me had lost control on the sand. The driver stopped and helped me pick my bike up (buggered wrists) while his passenger called the police. I was checking my bike then I rang in work to say I was going to be 10 minutes late as I’d crashed and the bike was flooded.

They were saying “Are you OK? Do you want to have tonight off?” I didn’t know why they were making a fuss. Then I went to ride off, the car driver said “Are you OK,I don’t want you getting around the corner then going in to shock.” I said “Don’t worry, I’m used to it.”

Here is the sand spill;

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Down the middle of the picture. Well deep, just where I was trying to brake.

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Not too bad damage, I was lucky.

The brake pedal valiantly took one for Team Buck’s Bike.

Here is the before and after shot:

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The top one being the new one I got as a replacement.

I tried to head off Wendy’s inevitable worried tirade of I-TOLD-YOU-SO’s with a soothing email:

Hi honey bunny, 
Bit of an incident on the way to work last night. But it totally wasn’t my fault. Well, 90% not my fault. At least 85% not my fault. Look, let’s not quibble about where to apportion blame, or who predicted what to whom,  dwelling on such irrelevant petty details is frankly beneath us. Let us just draw a line under it and move on.
What happened was: I charged up to the traffic lights, went to brake and some lorry driving twat had dumped a 2" thick layer of sand right across the lane. I had to let the brake off and just cling on for dear life. Amazingly I kept it upright, but I was carrying way too much speed into the roundabout. Ended up lay in the roundabout.
Luckily it was soft grass so I’ve got away with slightly bent handlebars and a bent brake lever.
As far as I could tell. I’ll have a proper look in daylight.
Anyway, the lesson to be learned here is lorry drivers are all bastards.
It was a shitload of sand, the car behind me lost it as well.
Hope you are well,
Love,
Buck. xx

 

Which brings me to handlebars. A whole other story of pain and anguish.

As they are slightly bent, but feel massively wrong, I decided to replace them. The standard one were £70 but aftermarket, cafe racer style one’s were only £34. No brainer. Bought me some funky new bars and started the journey to cafe racer. I got the clubman style bars as you can just put them straight into the clamps the bike already has. Clip-on, the full-on cafe racer style bars attach the fork leg, leaving the clamps empty and ugly, thus necessitating buying an new £200, headstock without the clamps. That is later. For now the compromise bars.

So I got them. Utterly groovy. Check them out.

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Which look like this in situ

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Awesome.

Except the 7/8” inch (22mm) bars, as it says in the manual, and I therefore bought, are on the original bars 7/8” at the ends where the grips go, but 1” (25mm) where the control levers and clamps go. Super.

So I improvised, adapted and overcomed. As per army training. Cut up a jubilee clip and used that as a ‘shim’ (I think that’s an American word, but I’ve not seen the equivalent on any UK sites.) to fill the gap. Right, that’s that sorted. Then the controls won’t. I could tighten them fully, then you couldn’t turn the throttle or have them loose enough to use the throttle and the whole thing swivelled around the handlebars. After much swearing and experimenting I realised there is a little post on the inside of the controls and a corresponding hole drilled into the original bars.  It was getting late so I left it until today to do that. Luckily. As when I put it together I noticed the bars, due to that funky design of the crossbar being welded onto the handlebar bits, was too short. The grips overhung the bars by 1½- 2 “. That means you can’t put the stoppers in the ends, or in my case bar end mirrors, and the left hand hand grip would just slide off. Not good for safety reasons.

Buggery and tarnation.

So I’ve had to buy some slightly less groovy bars and put the others on ebay.

clubman-bars-cafe-racer-bars.-open-ended-chrome-22mm-or-25mm--17045-p

You see how there’s no overlap of cross bar to handlebar? No room lost on the handlebar. I’m hoping that does the trick.

So all in all it’s been… eventful, bike-wise.

 

In other news I’m thinking of sacking Walkers off and going back to Hermes.

In an ideal world I would stick it out and get a full time day job at Walkers, but they have jacked me out of that nights-out gig (start in the morning, work all day, sleep in cab, work next day driving back)  in favour of day lads. This is, after all, the shift they can’t fill, so they want to keep me on it.

Hermes have changed their tune. They are now offering full time positions, guaranteed 45 hours per week minimum hours, with lots of overtime available. Uniform, contract, set start times, days, holiday pay.

It’s not as much per hour (£10.50 first 8 hours, £14 after, £15 weekends) but it’s a proper job. They offer more for Ltd Co and nights. But you either want good pay per hour or guaranteed pay per week.

And I’m willing to take a bit of hit to get back on days. I don’t love nights. Especially not these nights where I’m starting at 23.45 hrs.

And then have a night off. Then at weekends starting at 19.00. You just can’t get into a proper regular sleep pattern. And with us actually getting a summer this year I’m baking in bed and I can’t open the windows because it’s school holidays… All in all, not loving it.

I thought I was getting depressed again the other day. Really low and anxious on a few occasions. Then I fired my bike into the scenery and suddenly I was fine again. Better than Electro Convulsive Therapy.

 

In, knock me down with a feather, spank my arse and call me Charlie, news, Wendy is getting into technology!

I gave her my old ‘phone when I upgraded.

She didn’t use it for ages. Then she started taking it out to call taxis. Then she realised she could google stuff, and I showed her how to text, then email. She’s all over that shit now.

Got here a belated birthday present of a Nexus 7 tablet the other day. She’s loving it.

I KNOW!

 

Anwho, best get ready for work. *sigh*

Later,

Buck.