January 2022


Sunday 16 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1642345897


One of the learning experiences of my life has been that things that seem complicated or unknown are actually just the labels that are applied to them, and the thing is quite simple. If I were to relive my life, I'd want someone to just explain what the terminology was in simple terms right up front.

For example, in Devonport Dockyard, I came across the term 'Layapart Store' when someone sent me to go and get something from it. I thought there was something special about a layapart store and never asked. I later discovered that it came from literally laying things apart from other things - separating the stuff that was for a specific project or ship/submarine from the general stores that could be used for anything. It literally did when it said on the tin.

I think a lot of science and physics also hides behind weird and wonderful terms, that if just explained properly would aid learning - In Electrical theory, Resistance is just that - it resists the flow of electricity. The higher the resistance (for the same voltage), the less current flows. And current is just the same as in water and rivers - the flow of the stuff...

Sunday 09 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1641761176

Book Review - Box 88

BOX 88 (BOX 88, #1)BOX 88 by Charles Cumming
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent spy novel - thoroughly engaging and exciting.
My only bad words against this book are to do with the flashback to the younger Kite which I forgot had happened so I thought the book was much older than it really is - but that's just me being stupid.
It's an excellent book, so much so, that against my normal rules, I'm jumping straight into the sequel.

View all my reviews

Thursday 06 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1641497746


Work is straight back to being full-on. I can't quite believe that I've only effectively been back 1.5 days!

I feel like I've done a full week already...

Wednesday 05 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1641420034

RIP Daisy

Unfortunately, yesterday, Daisy our cat sadly passed away. We came home from Bristol and he was waiting on the fence for us and greeted us as usual. When we got nearer he jumped down but started making mewing noises (like he does before he coughs up a hairball). Kim went back outside for a cigarette a few minute later and found him lying on his side panting and limp. We rushed him to the vets, but his vitals were dropping and his body shutting down so we authorised him to be put to sleep... Kim's obviously gutted, but it was the best for him. Poor fella 😞

RIP Daisy
RIP Daisy

Monday 03 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1641235117


We took Daryl back home to Wales today. As a petrol saving measure, I timed it to coincide with me having to work out of the Bristol office tomorrow, so Kim & I are staying over in Bristol for the night and she'll just bum around the coffee shops etc. until I finish work.

Using up the last of my 'frequent flyer' points, we've returned to the Mercure Holland House in Redcliffe where I used to basically live.

One of the old staff, Viktor, was still on reception and immediately recognised me (and gave us a decent room upgrade). He also told me that this is my first visit since 2019!!

But it is nice to be back 'home' even if it is for one night...

Sunday 02 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1641142009

Car River Rescue

New Tripoli Volunteer Fire Company, PA, USA

Circa 2004

One stormy night we had a call-out about midnight to a car that had skidded off a back road and down a ravine. It had ended up upside-down in a overflowing torrent that would normally have been a babbling brook.

The photos below from the local TV News are obviously taken much later, and the water had receded quite a lot. Initially, when I first laid eyes on the car, only the wheels were visible above the surface.

Car Wheel Above River Surface
Car Wheel Above River Surface

When I first arrived on the scene and scaled down the ravine, I said to the other firefighter with me (Scott) that there was zero chance of someone surviving the crash, fall and then the flooding.

As we carried out our perfunctory checks ready to work out how to remove the body or bodies, we heard scraping coming from the car. We shouted and heard thumping from the inside of the vehicle!

With the car in the position it was in, the only place we could gain entry was through the rear passenger door by peeling the bottom of the door down (remember, it was upside-down) like a flap.

Car After Water Had Receded
Car After Water Had Receded

The driver, a young woman, had managed to get herself into the back of the car and find a pocket of air in the footwell of the rear seats in which she could breathe – It must have been terrifying for her because the water was still rising when we first arrived on the scene.

Because we had peeled back the door, we were able to drag the woman out through the gap and get her up the ravine and into the back of the rescue truck to dry off and receive first aid while we awaited the ambulance (I don’t think I was an EMT at that point but was lead rescuer anyway so couldn’t do everything).

Scott and I went back to searching the car for others (as is standard protocol).

The image below is what greeted me and is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever seen and it is enduring. I write this almost 20 years after the fact but still wake up to it in a cold sweat at night.

I saw a child seat hanging from the seatbelts on the back seat of the car.

It was empty.

Child Seat Hanging Empty
Child Seat Hanging Empty

Immediately Scott and I thought the worst.

We called up to our colleagues to ask the woman, who was in shock, the whereabouts of the child…

She told us that the toddler was home safe with her husband who she’d had an argument with, so she went for a drive to cool off.

Obviously, we could not take her word for it at face value. I mean, we believed her and were relieved as hell, but we didn’t know her mental state, her level of intoxication (later proven to be zero – she wasn’t drunk or drugged), or anything, so we had to check.

Scott and I searched every square centimetre of that vehicle, including the engine compartment, glovebox and boot. Satisfied that the woman was indeed telling the truth we secured the car as best we could with wooden chocks and scaled back up the ravine.

Saturday 01 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1641030084

Happy New Year!

Well, my scripts and automation for producing a new year's worth of blog pages seemed to have worked and it's changed the copyright date, I see. It one of those things that I've tested and tested, but had to wait until a real-time New Year event to comfort myself that it actually works.

Geez, I'd be bloody useless with the James Webb Space Telescope unfolding drama - I think I'd have massive anxiety attacks about something getting snagged...

Saturday 01 January 2022
Epoch Seconds: 1641041160

Deccies Down!

And that officially marks Christmas as being over - the deccies are down. I can go back to my normal house and my normal life without being depressed or downright angry about a silly pagan festival taken over by the fucking Christians for at least 11 months...


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