Month: September 2014

How hard can it be?

Very, very, impossibly hard.

Mending the screen on my smashed ‘phone, btw.

Finally got my two toolkits (one from abroad, ETA next month so I bought another,UK, set. Both arrived same day*sigh* only a couple of quid, but still)

Yesterday I got finished early so cracked on. The youtube video has him stripping the ‘phone down, peeling off the glass, putting a new one on, job’s a good ‘un.


It came apart relatively easy but then tore the digitizer screen when I was trying to get the glass off. No worries, I had the replacement sealed unit. That was, upon closer inspection, still attached to part of the frame and the back board upon which are mounted all the electronic gubbins. Except on this they weren’t. So I had the option of trying to remove the screen and use my back board with electronic bit attached or rip all my bits off and hope they just popped back on to the new board. I had no idea how I could do the latter, or if it would work, so I removed the screen and digitiser. Successfully, I might add.

I reassembled it, just as on the video, but somehow the power button had disappeared off the side of the ‘phone. I used a screwdriver to depress the button inside anyway, just to get it to power up. It didn’t. Took it apart, made sure everything was all as it should be, put it back exactly as shown, hit the power. Nothing.

I was thinking I’d been sold a dud screen, it was obviously second hand off a scrapped ‘phone as it still had the back thing on. I took the screen off again to try my old screen and the bloody thing snapped.

That was me, head in hands, cursing roundly, with a dead ‘phone.

I had to run out as soon as the shops opened this morning and buy a cheap smart ‘phone and stick my sim in. I’ve been setting it up today and it’s surprisingly OK. The camera is crap and the memory is tiny (upgraded with an SD card for £10), but for £89 a Kitkat 4.4 ‘Droid is fairly awesome.

This will be my penance for trying to be a clever dick. Leave the techy shit to the techies. I was going to replace my Nexus 5 with another one, sim free, but at £260 that’s a lot of cash to throwing about. Of course, I could have save the £70 for the screen and digitiser, the £10 for the screen, the £89 for the Moto E and the £10 for the memory card, added £80 and bought a new one, but hindsight is 20/20 and screw you. I was trying to do it on the cheap, the video looked simple enough… Bah.


Enough depressing, irritating shit.

Other stuff.

I went about that new job with the agency on Monday,

I was apprehensive and wary as befits agency experience. So far it sounds alright. Working for Next who have opened a new distribution centre at the bottom of Cromwell Avenue, about 1.7 miles from my front door.

Days. Mainly Monday to Friday, good pay. I said I wanted something reliable, not the odd shift here and there and the guy said at the minute they are doing month long block bookings.

So I did all the agency signing up bollocks, rafts of paperwork, at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, always a delight to get to on a Monday morning. I went on the bike, but the traffic wasn’t too bad.

Then it got tricky, the guy rang me up saying the assessor was coming down from Scotland for the day, I either had my assessment on Wednesday or not at all. This was Tuesday morning. This is tricky because of the driver’s hours laws. If I’d have driven it would have counted against my driving time. If they’d have then sent me to Maidstone or Southampton I’d have run out of driving hours and they’d have been very miffed that I was cocking the job up driving for someone else.

The long and short of which was me handing in my resignation, effective the same day, yesterday. Ha. Screw ‘em.

It was a crap job.

It did put a bit more pressure on me today, mind. Putting all my eggs in one basket. And then killing my ‘phone. Not a good night’s sleep.

Today I got my ‘phone (yay!) then went to the interview. The guy was fine. Had me drive down through Winwick and back around. Not a problem. He said that it was quite tight to get on to the bays in their yard so if I could just pop it on one…

It wasn’t tight, I chucked it on no problem.

Right, if you can just reverse into that nice open space… Oh, someone’s parked there. Right, put it in that tight as buggery, snug against the wall spot.


I got it in without too much stress, but I couldn’t believe it. Assessment over, just park up, hardest part of the drive. Typical.

After yesterday’s debacle it was an easy reverse. They sent me to that back street in Manchester again, where the cars park either side of the road and you have to wriggle past them in reverse to get to the bay. Some utter twat had parked at the top of the road where I needed to swing the unit to get the trailer on the bay. I was missing it by an inch while crawling back, when some warehouse guy, who’s heart was in the right place but had no idea how artics work, came out to ‘help’ me. He was looking at the arse end of the trailer and shouting “Loads of room! Come back.” I was busy not smacking the car right beside my cab. Then he walked around the back of the trailer, out of my mirrors!

By this time I was having a sense of humour failure, some idiot making the job harder wasn’t appreciated.

Anyway, it was a wonderful primer for today.

I passed with flying colours and have to return for the proper site induction tomorrow morning.


Let’s see what this job is like.

One of the drivers was bantering with the assessor and said to me “you’ll love it here.” Drivers are renowned for always moaning and he had a face like a yard of tripe so I burst out laughing, thinking he was being ironic. “No, you will.”

Bloody hell. I’ve never heard any driver say that.

Fingers crossed.

Eventful times.



Screw this for a lark!

I’ve had enough of this job already. I’ve had four paydays, they’ve got one of them right. I’ve not been paid again this week, I’ll get it on Tuesday, allegedly. I’ve still not been paid for that night out I was forced to take two weeks ago, and I’m generally sick of the place.

There are some other jobs going on the jobsite. Better pay, but agency again. I’m going down tomorrow to register with one to find out the full details before I commit.

Looks like I’ll be going back to Limited Company. Balls. But the money is atrocious on PAYE on emergency tax. When they deign to pay me. The last two weeks I’ve only got 45 hours or so, the only down side to bailing now is the job security for January/ February. There is bugger all agency work then. And the holiday pay and that.

This job is pissing me right off though.

Piss up. Brewery.

Driver’s law says we must have a 45 hour break after 6 shifts, can be reduced to 24 once a fortnight. This is what I’m up against:




In other news I’ve had a productive weekend. Saturday my new (cheap but as it turns out, sufficient) vacuum gauges arrived. I had a few mis-steps working out how to use the bloody things, but now I know it is really quick and easy. They are to balance the carbs on my bike. Apparently they go out of synch at the drop of a hat so one cylinder is getting bucketfuls of petrol the other just drips. Doesn’t make for smooth power delivery. I had a bit of a dick about setting them up. Put the pipes on the gauges. Then looked at the instructions and saw the valves fit on to the gauges, then the piper to valves. That didn’t work. Looked closely at the instructions and saw it was gauges, bit of pipe, valve, rest of pipe.

The when I fitted the pipes to the carbs they took ages for the needles to drop or rise. I had to keep taking the tank off to get at the adjust screw. Three times on and off. Then I realised I’d left the valves closed. D’oh!

Opened the valves, quick turn of the screw, job’s a good ‘un.

Still, never done it before, had no idea what I was doing, sussed it in the end, next time will be a 2 minute job.

Also I went and saw my mam who’s over from Johnny Foreign land. Long time no see.

Then I set about a simple job (‘how hard can it be?’ To which the answer is invariably; ‘very’.) replacing my indicators on the bike. Nothing wrong with the old ones, I just fancied some tiny ones that don’t really show on the bike. Easy job, unscrew a nut, pull the old ones off, tighten new ones connect the wires.

How wrong can you be?

Turns out because the new ones are tiny little LED lights (very small, very bright) they use hardly any ‘lecy so they blink like crazy. You have to buy ‘ballasts’ to soak up the extra ‘lecy to make them flash at the proper time. That’s how I think it goes. More of a ‘fit ballasts and it magically works’ than a technical understanding.

Then there’s the wiring. Tucked under the mudguard, through tiny holes, it was a nightmare. I’ve fitted them, eventually, but one (at least) of the front ballasts isn’t working so they are still blinking like mad. Grrr. Ordered a new one. See how it goes.

And I managed to squeeze in the Warrington half marathon this morning.

Again that was more hassle than I expected. I parked up in Howley to walk across the suspension bridge to Victoria park and they’ve closed the footpath. Where I parked last year was a building site. Seems they are building flood defences for the Mersey (a dirty great wall). I couldn’t find another way around, and I didn’t have enough time to drive around to Vicky park. I’d just sacked it and was walking back to my car in a high state of miffedness when an old chap who was doing the run showed me another way. Then they delayed the start of the race by 15 minutes anyway.

I didn’t push the pace, slowed down for the hills and tried to keep enough in reserve. By mile 11 I knew I was fine and started pushing on, I did the last mile in 7.37! Not bad at all by current standards. Then literally sprinted the last bit, at a 5.33 pace!  Overall it was an underwhelming 8.13 m/m, 1:48.20. 10 minutes off my best, but the most comfortable I ever done it.


I took the bike for a spin this afternoon, it might be psychological but it did feel smoother and had a bit more poke.


And I weeded.

I need some kind of medal.


Now my to-do list is register with the new agency tomorrow, then wait for some tiny tools to arrive to try and mend my ‘phone. I carry it around in a wallet/ case, flipped it open to make a call and dropped it on the concrete, smashing the screen. I’ve seen online that you can fix it yourself so I’m going to give it a go.

I was going to use the official repair place recommended by the manufacturer, but while I was awaiting a response I Googled them. Even their own Facebook page is knee deep in “AVOID!” On Amazon the reviewers were complaining that they had to give at least one star to do a review. Thanks, but I’ll try and do it myself.

I bought the screen and the ‘digitizer’ (the bit that lets you do all the touch screen techo-voodoo, I think) after reading they were a sealed unit and had to be replaced together. £70. Then I saw a youtube video showing you how to replace just the screen. £8. *headkeyboard*

I bought the screen as well. I’ll try and fix it when the tools finally get here, then if it works sell the screen/digitizer.

And replace the ballast when the new one arrives. That should be pretty straightforward. I know what I’m doing now and I’ve already done all the spade work.

I’ll do Twitter next time, now I’m having another shower and chilling out.