Monthly archives: May 2009

Tweets today

23:19 Blog: Tweets today #

13:19 Blog: Cookies are better than waterboarding #

13:19 Blog: The unsurprising face of the BNP #

13:26 We shall be barbecuing at Damian’s house from 7ish . Bring meat products and drinks. #

15:21 Only two bikes recovered on today’s fishing trip- a Sarecen and a Razesa road bike. #

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Cookies are better than waterboarding

24 wouldn’t be as much fun if Jack Bauer made suspects a nice cup of tea and sat down for a chat with them, but in the real world torture is worse than useless. Interrogation works better if you can build up a rapport with the subject, gaining their respect or disproving their prejudices. Even something as simple as providing the right type of biscuits can work incredibly well.

Tweets today

23:20 Blog: Tweets today #

09:18 I just dug out my Strand Books shoulder bag and it’s still got Central Park acorns in it. #

10:14 I forgot to bring naked bike ride flyers to the Cyclist Touring Club convention. Nudity fail. #

11:38 109 more cyclists would save the country £1million in Health/fuel/congestion costs. #

11:44 Manchester wants to cut road safety budget to pay for more road building. #

12:58 Give all drivers a one year ban. Many of them won’t get back in their cars afterwards. #

13:25 I’m never good at the mingling part of meetings #

16:19 Blog: Lots of Bromptons at the CTC conference #

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Tweets today

23:18 Blog: Tweets today #

13:55 Scale: Hot Rods and Custom Stuff #

17:41 Back on my tourer after nearly 2 months riding other bikes. It feels odd, almost like I’ve returned after a string of affairs. #

18:02 I’m not just giving naked bike ride flyers to hot chicks. Occasionally I’ll hand one to a bloke. #

18:47 Got a flat tyre, so I’ve dropped out of critical mass. Arse! #

18:50 Tyre inflated. Have rejoined mass. #

19:11 My slow puncture and I are heading home. #

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Tweets today

09:21 Blog: Bacon Manhattan? #

11:46 Shitty weather + I’m a lightweight = no trip to the studio today. Doing Venn stuff instead. #

14:08 Scale: The Ferrari 2CV #

15:20 @pablowapsi I’d carry on doing what I’m doing now but make a living from it :-S #

15:25 On Two Wheels- Rat Rod Bikes #

15:25 @pablowapsi Here’s hopin’ #

17:13 Save the World: Dick Strawbridge on how it’s easy to be green #

17:13 Save the World: Feed in tariffs for microgeneration start next year #

22:20 Blog: Bizarre Ships- American River Steamers #

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Bizarre Ships- American River Steamers

From the Steam Geek archives-

I’m not sure what etiquette, if any, covers the scanning of pages from out of print books to post on the internet for the edification of others. So for this chapter I’m just going to sample a few pages. Admittedly, they are the ones with pictures on them.

We all know what an American river steamer looks like from Westerns and musicals. What I never knew was that they were incredibly shallow draught craft, to navigate up the rivers. Because Iron was at a premium at the time, they utilised wood for as much as possible, including the drive shaft.

bzsteamer1 bzsteamer2

bzsteamer3 bzsteamer4

There were two distinct styles of river boat, the Easter and Western. Eastern boats ran up the Hudson and in the Long Island Sound, Western boats in the Mississippi- Missouri- Arkansas- Ohio- Red River basin. Various quirks of design made them unstable and the Western boats were intentionally built for a short life because they were likely to rip their hulls apart on concealed tree trunks or be otherwise disabled within five years. (A “Sawyer” was a floating tree entangled by its roots and alternately raised and depressed by the force of the current; it usually gave warning of its presence. Presumably where Mark Twain got the name for his character as well.)

More information about modern steamboats at

Transformed and GI Blues prints

Transformed 13 by ~Spinneyhead on deviantART

When Andy died I was given his rather large collection of Transformers and GI Joes and told to find something creative to do with them. Since then around 200 of them have found new homes all around the world through bot-crossing, but that still leaves a very big pile of them sitting in my studio.

The Transformed and GI Blues pictures are images of the jumbled robots and soldiers inspired by a shot I took whilst emptying Andy’s flat. They’re available to buy as prints.

Half of any profit I make will be going to Manchester Rag, an organisation Andy was closely involved with and if anybody who knew him would like a print I’ll try to get them one at cost price.

American readers can get prints through devintart- Transformed collection, GI Blues collection.

British and European readers can get prints through Photobox- Transformed album, GI Blues album. If you want to have a canvas print, or any number of other interesting things, click on the Create Product button and it will tell you if the resolution’s good enough and let you crop the image to fit if necessary.

Feed in tariffs for microgeneration start next year

I missed this when it was announced, but from next April homeowners with microgeneration systems will be guaranteed a payment for electricity they generate and feed into the grid. Exact details haven’t been released, and this article in the Guardian has some suggestions on that front.

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Dick Strawbridge on how it’s easy to be green

Top eco-warrior Dick Sytrawbridge addresses some of the common misconceptions about making your home low energy and eco-friendly.

4) Most eco-renovation take decades to pay back the cost

Every time we decide to make an investment in an eco-project, the subject of payback comes up. It is possible to do the sums, and before we spend any hard earned cash I like to make sure that it’s a good investment. For example, loft insulation can pay for itself in two winters, and with the 2010 feed-in tariff I would expect solar PV to pay for itself in about seven or eight years, and a DIY solar thermal system to heat your hot water should have paid for itself in four or five years. But surely this is missing the point: when it comes to environmentally friendly projects we seem unable to accept the fact that it can be an investment and will add to the value of the house. What is the payback time for a new bathroom or kitchen? If you install solar photovoltaic panels you can reasonably expect them to easily last 25 to 30 years. Everyone knows a new kitchen makes a house more saleable, but in the current economic climate, how much more saleable is a house that will cost the new owners very little to run or may even generate an income?

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Tweets today

23:21 Blog: Tweets today #

08:25 Banoffee for breakfast! #

08:30 RT @Danacea: Buffy movie – but no Joss, and nothing to do with the TV series! #

09:56 Not inspired by this week’s films. If anyone wants to see Night at the Museum 2 or 12 Rounds then I’ll look up times. #

11:44 What ever possessed me to fill the trees with cross hatching? #

11:46 @timdifford I’d recommend a single speed #

12:07 @timdifford I’d say simplicity, there are fewer components to break. And riding a single speed is relaxing. #

13:24 @timdifford If I didn’t already own two bikes I’d be tempted. #

13:51 Save the World: Car free Times Square #

15:20 On Two Wheels- Boris Johnson’s near miss #

15:20 The modern idiot is here and plain to see. #

17:20 Blog: How gay marriage causes earthquakes #

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