Yearly archives: 2012

Daily Blog 12/31/2012

  • And it’s simply that cycling has reached a tipping point, a critical mass, that has turned the motorists into a minority, and an increasingly boxed-in, nervous minority at that. On most of Britain’s roads, if a couple of cyclists are side by side, causing cars or vans to brake, there will be shouts and hoots and waved fists. Here, drivers simply have to accept that the world has changed. Drivers who lose their temper find it isn’t so easy in the park. They can’t zoom off. And they are outnumbered by cyclists.

    tags: cycling

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 12/29/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Collision cooking- Christmas Pie 1

I really didn’t want to do a turkey, but felt the need for something Christmassy. So I made a pie.

None of the “deep” pie tins I found in the shops merited the description, so I made the pie in a medium sized pyrex dish. As I’ve said before, I don’t bother mixing up pastry, but use the ready-made stuff. Once the dish was lined, the first part of the filling was a layer of stuffing. On top of this went some cranberry sauce, then sausage meat, more sauce, chunks of turkey, more sauce and the rest of the stuffing. Then I poured some chicken gravy on, to fill any gaps. Lidded, the pie cooked for just over an hour (it was deep and full of meat that went in raw, so I wanted to be sure) at gas mark 6.

If I were to do it again, I might put in less gravy, or mix it so it was thicker. Otherwise, this was a definite success. The only thing that could have spoilt it would have been the foolhardy inclusion of sprouts.

Daily Blog 12/24/2012

  • In the late 1960s and early 1970s Manchester Council embarked on the huge task of demolishing thousands of slum dwellings and replacing them with modern homes with the kind of facilities that suited the modern age. Residents of areas like Longsight, Beswick and Hulme were anxious to leave their decaying terraced houses with outside toilets and no bathrooms and exchange them for new council houses or flats. One solution to the rehousing of huge numbers of people was to create new housing estates on the fringes of the city. Within the city the solution often required accommodating large numbers of people on very small sites and as quickly as possible. One answer was tower blocks built of modular concrete systems. In Beswick and Ardwick complexes of “deck access” homes were erected using the Bison Wall Frame system. In Ardwick the estate was located on Coverdale Crescent close to Hyde Road. It was completed in 1972 and provided 500 homes for people displaced by the slum clearance program.

    tags: manchester architecture

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

B Movie Night- One Eyed Monster

9 3/4 inches of terror!

This is a creature feature with its tongue, and other body parts, firmly in its cheek. A porn film crew heads up to the mountains for a shoot, and gets snowed in. But that’s not their real problem, because after porn veteran Ron Jeremy pops outside for a little pre-scene inspiration a specific part of his body is taken over by an alien entity intent on breeding. One by one, the cast and crew fall victim to the dismembered (not so) little Ron.

The film’s played fairly straight, despite some deliberately dumb lines. There’s occasional wooden acting, but not too much, and the physical effects are carefully deployed whilst looking quite good. About the only complaint would be that this 18 certificate film didn’t deliver much gore or- given the premise- nudity or naughtiness.

A silly film, and it knows it, this is entertaining stuff.

Buy One Eyed Monster from Amazon.

Daily Blog 12/22/2012

  • The news that Roger Moore is not only co-producing the new 2013 incarnation of The Saint, but that he will also be playing a role on-screen made headlines this week. Many fans are extremely pleased to hear that the most famous Simon Templar of all, Roger Moore himself, will be guiding Adam Rayner’s character both on and off the show!

    tags: saint

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 12/20/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Dear Drivers

Dear drivers,

I don’t do any of those things you keep complaining about cyclists doing. I don’t run red lights. I don’t cycle on the pavement. I wear clothes which are bright and/or have reflective patches and I have lights on my bikes. I also do some things you don’t know to tell me about, such as riding a sensible distance out from the kerb- when the traffic lets me- keeping clear of opening car doors and inattentive pedestrians. (I also wear a helmet, but that’s not a safety measure, it’s about damage reduction.)

So, when are you going to keep your side of the bargain? When will you start giving me enough room when you pass me? How long until you stop parking and driving in the cycle lane (or on the pavement, but that’s something for the pedestrians to take up with you)? When will you learn what advanced stop boxes are for and that amber means slow down and stop, not speed up to get through before the lights go red? It’s not much to ask, just that you show a little sense and courtesy when dealing with more vulnerable road users.

I’m sure you’ll all tell me that you’re wonderful, careful drivers. Many of you will be right. And then some of you will tell me all about the terrible things that cyclists do. I won’t refer you back to the first paragraph, you’re just making excuses for not changing your ways.

I’m not defending misbehaving cyclists, but I am getting tired of being told that I’m the problem when I’m not, or that we, as a group, are the most dangerous bunch on the roads. A cyclist would have to be pushing at the very far edges of bad luck or behaviour before they could do as much damage to another human as a driver is capable of just by forgetting to look around properly before opening their car door.

So- for Christmas and beyond- could you please be so kind as to give me my space on the road, look out for me and stop blaming me for problems created by bad road design or the failings of car culture.


A cyclist.

Daily Blog 12/16/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Do you speak Mancunian?

Linguists at the University of Manchester have discovered that their city boasts a population that speaks at least 153 languages, making it one of the world’s most diverse places linguistically.

via Manchester is the most linguistically diverse city in Europe | UK news | The Observer.

I think this is awesome, though I sometimes have problems speaking my one language (I swear, one day Charlotte and I are going to have a conversation completely in grunts).  Obviously the reactionarie are going to tell me that living in a world class city is somehow a bad thing.

Daily Blog 12/14/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Spoilsports Personality of the Year

Despite the title* I’m actually interested in this weekend’s Sports Personality of the Year awards for the first time ever. Sport, in general, doesn’t interest me. The sports I might follow if they were given more coverage are usually ignored for the soap opera with inflated bladders and egos that is football. But this year even I have been interested, and even excited, by events.

As a cyclist I obviously want Bradley Wiggins to win. An Olympic Gold AND the first Brit to win Le Tour- few people are ever going to top that. Only if Andy Murray had won Wimbledon could anyone have a better claim to the title. But cycling is still a ‘minority’ sport in the eyes of some, so there’s still the possibility of Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah or one of the other Olympic wonders getting the award.

Ian interested in mainstream sports coverage. Truly 2012 has been an odd year.

*It’s a Carter USM song, from the Post-Historic Monsters album. I will never pass up the opportunity to quote a Carter song in a post (or book) title.