Onward and Upward

So I’ve covered the Sprint GT’s first service over on its own blog – I just need to start giving it the berries a bit more (although its trip computer must be over-reading…).

I also received a letter about my stepmother’s estate which was a piece of pleasant news and well timed, given I’m planning to buy a house or maybe even my apartment which may soon be up for sale.

Due to a change of plans, I had Saturday free so I decided to get the pushbike out to go for a little spin: maybe 5 or 6 miles on the advice of my Consultant Knee Surgeon and my physiotherapist at the excellent London Bridge Hospital. 11.4 miles later and I’d had a great time, keeping the cadence up and not putting too much effort through the knee. Same thing next week, I think.

GT popped over in the evening, meeting me for dinner at the O2 where we were then due to see Iron Maiden play. An excellent gig! Then over to Waterloo to say goodnight and back home to the apartment.

Up at a reasonable time on Sunday to head up to Norfolk for lunch with the ‘kids’ which was made more difficult by the completely inept road closure arrangements for the Prudential Ride London: every main road out of London to the East was closed despite the official sites claiming they’d be open earlier.

Monday saw more check-ups and blood tests – all fine – and a nice, long phone call as arranged the week before from Humberside Police to explain, as expected and agreed, that they wouldn’t be pressing charges against the psycho ex for her theft and disposal of some of my stuff (“intention to permanently deprive”), but only because it wouldn’t be in the public interest to waste taxpayers’ money on a prosecution: there was the passage of time caused by them, sadly, which they accepted was the case and they knew she would never admit guilt – she never does – and accept a caution, so the options were a full trial or nothing and the thefts were, as I told them, insignificant (I’ve long since replaced the stolen goods with better quality, newer things … a bit like I did with her, I suppose). They suggested I start a private prosecution, which is always an option, but I can’t be arsed to waste any more time on her.

But the good news is that they’ve now got the proof of what she’s really like: a liar and a thief. So that’s the end of that: maybe she’ll stop stalking me one day too?

So it’s onward and upward!

The Trouble with Traffic Planning…

…is that it’s an oxymoron, much like the old joke about “Military Intelligence”.

Transport for London, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to fix a problem that it thinks might exist (see the quote below) in the Rotherhithe Tunnel by adding more solid bollards to restrict the width of the approaches to the tunnel down to 6′ 6″, i.e. tighter than a gnat’s chuff.

What this means is that on the approaches to the tunnel, both northbound and southbound, traffic – understandably – slows to a snail’s pace at best to negotiate the width restrictions and this leads to long, long queues of traffic and not just at peak times.

The justification?

“The narrowing of the width restrictions on both northbound and southbound approaches to the tunnel will significantly reduce the risk of vehicle collisions, spillage of flammable materials, and fires in the tunnel.”

So a complete lack of a quantitative analysis or justification. Are they saying that narrower vehicles don’t crash or spill flammable materials or catch fire? Evidence?


And what is to become of the vehicles that cannot enter the Rotherhithe Tunnel? Well they are required to use either Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel, both of which are well-known for traffic queues, so they’re just creating more travel problems or adding to the severity of existing ones.

Utter fuckwittery!

Still, I suppose they need to justify their fake jobs by coming up with these ludicrous schemes…

I’ve written to TfL to ask them about this issue, copied to my MP, so we’ll see what, if anything, they have to say.

The Trouble with Smartphones

…is that that composite word is a contradiction in terms. My Nokia N97 is becoming the most annoying thing in my life at the moment. Why?

  • the touchscreen is slow and unresponsive sometimes, which means that it takes twice as long to enter a text message or input data due to errors
  • the touchscreen is usually greasy from my fingers and/or face
  • Nokia’s Bluetooth implementation sucks: it doesn’t work properly in my Mazda RX-8 R3, unlike both my BlackBerry and Sony Ericsson phones
  • reception is rubbish, though this could be down to Vodafone who, let’s not forget, are now selling a gadget to boost your signal (actually a box which appears to change your calls to VOIP)
  • the camera lens is scratched, ironically enough by the lens cover that’s supposed to protect it, so that most shots are compromised and flash shots are truly horrendous

So I’ve decided to replace it with something else. Now, the iPhone is no good as it’s too large and restricted by network (unless you pay top dollar from Expansys) and I’m now no fan of touchscreens anyway. Sony Ericsson have a Google Android device that looks good but is again a touchscreen and Android’s implementation of Bluetooth is again full of fail in terms of voice dialling. No, if only I could have a GPS-equipped version of my favourite current phone, my SE W595.

Well that would appear to be the Sony Ericsson W995 then? Yes … and no. Can someone explain to me what on earth possessed SE to shove a metal stand on it? SRSLY, WTF? I mean, do they reckon that you’re going to get together with friends and family to sit around a tiny mobile phone perched on a coffee table to watch a movie? No, that’s what TVs are for! And in the meantime, that stand is going to be flapping around all over the place – take a look at any demo unit in a phone shop and see what I mean. So it’ll get caught when you put it in or out of your pocket. Being metal, it’ll scratch any other gadgets in the same pocket. Of course, I could just break it off or superglue it down, but that’s not a good way to treat a new phone, surely?