Thursday, August 29, 2013

Weights without scales

I have a 1kg box of moss killer I need to mix it at 120g per 10 litres. I have no scales.

1. Assume the box is full. It measures 6x13x21 cm or 1638 cm3
2. I need 0.12 of a box or 196.56 cm3
3. I have a roughly cylindrical jug of diameter 12.5 cm
4. The bottom of the jug therefore has an area of 122.71 cm2
5. I therefore need to fill the jug to the 1.6 cm line

Or I could just go and buy some scales, but where's the fun in that?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bus journeys

As mentioned previously due to the lack of parking at my training facility I've been having to catch the bus into Kidderminster from Stourport, it's been a while since I've had to do this for an extended period and it's led me to note a few things.

There are no return tickets anymore.

It used to be I'd travel in and then just want to return. I'd ask for a return and get a ticket that was punched to prevent reuse. Now I get an "Adult Day Saver" that gives me a whole day of being able to travel around on the bus.

Except I don't want to, and I doubt anyone who uses the bus to commute does either. I'd love to see the figures for how many of these tickets get used more than once.

Competition doesn't work

It should. Unlike trains that need to leave a massive gap between them there's nothing to stop buses following each other, it's the lack of information that renders this useless.

There are two main franchises in my area Diamond and Whittles, a day ticket with Diamond costs £2.60, with Whittles it's £2.30. They both arrive at my stop approximately 5 minutes apart. So if the Diamond arrives first I should decline it and wait for the Whittles.

However I have no information as to whether the Whittles service is running or even if I've just missed it, given the timeframes involved if I have to wait for the next 'cycle' I may only just make it in on time. I therefore pick the first to arrive.

However having done so I am now tied to that company, my day saver ticket is not redeemable with the other franchise.

Bus companies do not like day saver passengers.

Waiting to return with my Diamond ticket the correct Diamond service arrived, this was closely followed by the equivalent Whittles who upon seeing the Diamond was already there simply drove past. Had I a Whittles ticket I'd have been stuck.

Buses always have right of way

At least according to their drivers anyway. The route I was on always took me past the new council building. I've watched several times as the bus I was on pulled out to overtake a parked car while there was an oncoming vehicle, I've watched them pull out into traffic without indicating, I've watched them pull over without indicating. They've switched lanes on islands with no acknowledgment of traffic on either their left or right and pulled out onto said islands when they clearly haven't enough time.

All this in the certain knowledge that they are big and the other vehicle will stop.

Week tickets are a con for business use

If I were working a standard week catching the Whittles bus it would cost me £2.30*5 or £11.50. A week ticket costs £12. Supposedly though this would work with either company so some benefit there.

All the rolling stock is different

How hard is it to make a bus? It's a box with seats, yet I've not been on two alike. Some have more jump seats at the front, some have two levels, some have three levels. All have poles and bells at different places.

There are some benefits

For example the ability to take in your surroundings. Most notably driving past that massive overgrown concrete slab opposite the new council building that might well be ideal to turn into a Traveller site housing caravans. Odd that I don't recall seeing that as being one of the potential sites.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Training over

A week's worth of training over and I pray to gods that the accrediting body involved has nothing to do with the education of this country's children.

"It is i--------t that employees keep their workplaces c-----"
That should be "important" and "clean" rather than "importantt" and "clean-" oh so many of those.

A whole morning being told that something is the responsibility of both employer and employee and the multiple-choice question asks who is responsible? The answer, of course, being the employer, contradicting everything in the teaching materials.

The teaching material listed three statistics regarding a subject and then had a question regarding a fourth unmentioned one.

One module explained the acronym SMARTER another related module then asked what the acronym SMART meant, the ER being suddenly deemed unimportant.

The course was also obviously designed as a company aid as we were constantly being exhorted to explain how things were done in our "company"; a little difficult in a group of the unemployed.

Amusingly the actual teaching of the course was fine, though on occasion it did rattle through a bit too quickly. In group round-robin events the next task would often be described as the last member was just finishing their turn.

That all said I did learn a few new things, just not that much, and hopefully I'll get some pretty pieces of paper out of it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Training Day

Ah the opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications. It all promises to be so fun and them devolves into endless PowerPoint presentations. Well at least mine wasn't like that although rather simplistic questions to answer with only a little learning so far.

The main problem I had was with the initial organisation. Contrary times on the documentation, a singular instruction with two options, and zero information on access our structure until I and the others turned up.

[Bit I missed - got back home to a letter thanking me for my intention to attend the training]

There's no parking for trainees, we're expected to park our cars all day on the pay and display at about £4 a time, actually I lie we're expected to take public transport for which we can claim the money back. That's great for me provided they don't start digging up outside the old British Sugar site past which 90% of the buses travel. So I cadged a lift in and took the bus back, only to find no bloody roadworks. Bet they'll start tomorrow when I do try to catch the bus in. Oh but can I get a return before 9am? Never used to be able to, but with all the competition has that changed? Either that or a week card.

So with no idea as to catering, so many places kick you out, I brought nothing with the determination to grab a burger and drink and ready outside in the fine weather.

Since when did a cup of coffee cost more than the actual meal? Yeesh! Given my proximity I thought it would be nice to sit by the canal. Ha yeah right take my pick from the zero number of seating areas arrayed along the wide grass verges. I ended up propped against a bridge wall.

It's just a joke if this were Stourport I'd be spoiled for choice as to where I could eat my lunch from pretty much any location in town. Kidderminster's a hell hole.

Either sit in the hot confines of a café or restaurant, a bench in the middle of the busy town, or just try to make do. It's not designed for people to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Hello your computer has a trojan

A phone call in the middle of eating asking about my computer and that it was infected by a trojan horse and could I get in front of my computer

"No it's not" I replied "How did you get this number?"
"It came up a part of the server report"
"No how did you connect my IP address to this number?" Given that my land line doesn't have broadband and isn't even with the same company
"You've registered this number"
"With whom? Also as it's a dynamic address the only easy you could connect it up is via my ISP whom you have not mentioned"
"It's part of the server report"
"What server?"
"The World Wide Web server"
"There's no such thing, who are you what company are you from?"
"As I said the World Wide Web"
"There's no such entity"
"So what does www mean on the Internet?"
"That's just an address protocol it's not an entity it's not a company, who are you?"
"I think you should just hang up sir"
"Why don't you?"
"I can't"

I'm still around

Wow has it really been that long since I've published anything? Okay there's been a lot going on which has kept me busy, I resigned from my job so I've been job hunting and jumping through hoops for the job centre. More to come