Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New year to all Bemuddled fans and observers... I'm of to demolish 1.5 bottles of very low quality Champagne LOL!
2004... it's gotta rool.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Merry Christmas
To all the avid Bemuddlement readers out there.. and there a few... I'm off to swallow a whole can of Anchor Rum flavoured squirty cream.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Words of Wisdom
"Only go places you've been before..... and in dayight"
Things Learned this Week
a) Eurostar Coaches 1 and 18 have no seats numbered 1-17
b) That the huge mound of flowers at Port-Royal RER station was for the victims of a terrorist attack at that station on 03-DEC-1996
c) I don't actually care if Modular Technologies ever update their PCI DAB card software, now I have discovered "DAB Bar"

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Things I Learnt Today
Oliver Heaviside (British Physicist 1850-1925), discoverer of the Heaviside layer, had a sofa permanently on the stairs. In attempting to move it from downstairs to upstairs, the sofa got stuck. Refusing to ask for help, the sofa remained in situ. This was relayed to me by his great great great niece of Oliver himself.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Thing Learnt Today
The origin of the saying "Fred Karno's Army". A quaint expression I never heard before. Not to be confused with Karnaugh Maps, which having spent 3 years of college life manually drawing out the damned things and then 2 months of my college life (all those years ago) writing a rather excellent program in Pascal to generate said maps, I was then relieved to discover there is now a freeware software option available.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Little Defeat
Tasty pack of Wheat Crunchies (Crispy Bacon Flavour) 30p; Inserted £1; returned 40p; Net Loss 10p
Little Victory
Tasty cup of campachino 18p; Inserted 20p; returned 4p; net profit 2p
Grime Watch
"HOW AM I DRIVING? CALL 0800-IAMCRAP". White truck M25 clockwise.
Life in the Slow Lane: "....back and to the left"
A record 3 accidents passed on the journey in today. Most spectacular was the small non-de script hatchback that was shunted off the motorway, across the hard shoulder, through a dividing picket fence and then sitting proud on a small grassy knoll (no assassin was spotted). Two large continental juggernauts seem to be involved. The "Lone Juggernaut" theory doesn't hold water, when inspecting the damage to the vehicle. It was clear that the majority of damage came from IN FRONT of the driver and a second vehicle must have been involved to create the damage to the side and rear. This is, of course, you support the "Magic Juggernaut" theory, which would involve one impact to the rear at 68mph, a 67 degree swerve forwards to the right and the a 14 degree glancing impact travelling left and finally a 180 degree turn at 127mph to hit the hatchback head on.

Journey Duration: 1.75 plays of Rickie Lee Jones "The Evening of My Favorite Day" [****1/4]
Rickie Lee Jones provides not only her finiest album for 18 years (IMHO) but todays journey time metrication technique

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Little Victory
Campachino 18p; Inserted 20p; returned 22p; net profit 20p
'tis the season to be grimeful
The good thing about winter is that car/van/truck graffiti grime is very high. Damp conditions, invariably throw dirty, muck laden spray onto the vehicle and the air of joviality apparent during the festive season, often results in some transit monkey scribing a 'witty' message on the side of their (or usually someone else's) mode of transport. If one were to equate this to a mathematic equation:-

f(x) = p * (whn/20160)

x = The probability of Grime graffiti on the back of a van/truck
w = Number of wet hours in the preceding 5 days
h = Number of hours vehicle is left standing stationary amongst ones work colleagues in the last 24 hours
p = Popularity Factor of driver amongst colleagues (Bemuddlement has noticed that most grime graffiti is clearly not authored by the driver as most is self derogatory). On a scale of 0..1 [based on the Watkins Scale of Popularity]
n = Copies of Tabloid newspapers read in the last 7 days by scribe

Hence the addition of the inscription of "OSSA" along side the letter "T" in "COURT" should've been predicted.

Monday, December 08, 2003

The Scientist in Me
No that isn't a reference to a particularly intellectual homo-erotic practice, just I couldn't resist washing the hands in aforementioned washroom and experimenting which dryer would actually dry a hand quicker
a) Dryer #1: The fast blowing arctic temperature blower
b) Dryer #2: The pathetic puffer of warm air

Result... initially Dryer #1 was seem to dry the (left) hand faster than Dryer #2. On leaving the washroom, it seemed both had been equally unsuccessful and that Dryer #1's perceived success was due to the numbness induced by the -20deg c wind chill factor.

Odd look from fellow patron as I stood there with one hand under each dryer... nothing was said.
Cool Breeze
Well the washroom dryer drama continues. A few weeks ago (see Breezes post 25 Nov 2003) did the long awaited replacement for dryer #2 arrived. Today, dryer #1's heater element has failed, resulting in deliverance of cool icy blast to the hands, thus making it as ineffective as the pathetic warm air puffer that is dryer #2. Wet door handle time again.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Tracks Guaranteed to Make me Reach for Lilo
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd

Friday, December 05, 2003

Life in the Slow (Country) Lane
Just for a change I thought I would take the sedate route into work and travel through the country lanes of this great nation. OK, so the M25 was closed between J6 and J7, causing major South East chaos... not for this boy though... we know every back alley route to Gatwick known to Christian Man (and a few atheistic ones too). A few observations
- There is a far better class of 'school run' in Tonbridge, judging by the number 911's, Series 5's and C-Classes cluttering the suburbs of this largest Kentish town
- Cheapest Xmas Trees were at a farm just past the Mormon church in Lingfield (£1 a foot)
- Funniest name of village Award: Dunk's Hill

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Recommended Way to Spend 15 Minutes 36 Seconds
Awaken - Yes.
Illegal Tyre Grime
"SEBLING QUALITY TYRES" it says on the back of a VIKING yellow transit M25 approaching J6. Some wag scrawled "NOT" with an insertion glyph between the "SEBLING" and the "QUALITY". Amazed that
a) Anyone would actually bother to do that
b) That such a person would know how to represent textual insertion

Life in the Slow Lane
Big hellos to the driver of a silver 206 and 4x4, who very nearly made my morning by almost colliding 30ft in front of me coming unto the M20 this morning.
Now I can't use the mobile phone (see Dec 01 post), I juggled with half a dozen CDs, jewel cases and CD wallet instead. This mornings playlist included:-

Come - Fleetwood Mac (best guitar solo of 2003)
Shot by a Bullet - UFO (The greatest unsung band of all time)
Most of the Time - Bob Dylan
Devil Inside - INXS (surprised myself by timing the "HA HA HA" perfectly)
Romeo & Juliet - Dire Straits (on Radio)
There's No Home for you Here - White Stripes (longest sustained note of 2003)
September Morn - Neil Diamond
Shoot High, Aim Low - Yes
Chop Suey - System of a Down
Dumpweed - Blink 182

In fact it was pretty Dylanesque at times with bits of "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Shooting Stars".

Monday, December 01, 2003

Life in the Slow Lane
"SLOW DOWN. SPRAY" was the message on the overhead gantry on the M20. Plenty of oppourtunity to read the message, at the sedate speed fo 20mph.
"The Future's Bright, The Future's...."

From today it will be illegal to operate a mobile phone whilst driving in the UK. However like all things in the UK, the vagueness of this particular law is comical in the extreme. For example, depending on who you watch/listen to this morning, the following facts could be gleaned, that whilst driving:

a) It's OK to operate a mobile phone if you have a hands free kit
b) It's not OK to operate a mobile phone with hands free, unless it's in a cradle
c) It's OK to operate your mobile phone with an earpiece, if you Blu-tac the phone to the dashboard
d) It's not OK to operate the phone if you actually have to hold the phone (earpiece or not)
e) It's OK to operate your mobile phone, if all you have to do is prod at the keys of the phone.
f) Some Police Forces in the UK are operating an "only warning" policy for 2 months, not issuing fines to offending motorists
g) Some Police Forces in the UK are issuing fines as of today
h) Driving whilst using a mobile phone is hazardous and a huge problem. Large numbers of people are killed each year by motorists using mobile phones whilst driving.
i) It's OK to use an earpiece on your mobile phone, for answering calls.
j) It's not OK to use an earpiece on your mobile, to make a call (unless you only prod the keys)
k) Using a mobile phone whilst driving is as dangerous as lighting a cigarette
l) There are laws already covering lighting a cigarette whilst driving.
m) Mobile phones are bad.
n) Mobile phones are good
o) Using a mobile phone whilst driving, with a bluetooth earpiece is OK.
p) Using a mobile phone whilst driving, is not OK if your parked with the engine on.

Confused? It's simple... just another excuse to squeeze more money out of the motorists and provide insurance companies with another reason NOT to pay up in the event of an accident. If road safety really is an issue in this country, then maybe a more prudent measure would be to limit the size, weight and numbers of juggernauts using the motorways during the hours of daylight (and especially during rush-hour). I'm sure the poor unfortunate soul who used to own a Black Peugeot 306 (N reg) that was obliterated, on the hard shoulder of the M25 (J5-2-J6) this morning, would agree.