Hello Peeps, So that’s March done and dusted then. If the clocks have now sprung forward one hour (American saying for time change: “Spring forward – Fall back”) then it must be about time for (that British saying) “Winter Drawers off” as the Earth’s rotation brings us back a little bit closer to the sun. I must say, I don’t know what all the eco-freaks are going to do come the next Ice-age. (we generally have one every eleven thousand years, so guess when the last one was – about eleven thousand years ago!) I suppose they’ll have a meeting and a demonstration against “Climate Change”. I don’t think cycling to work and taking your own cup to Starbucks is going to be much help against a glacier creeping up the High Street somehow. Have these people not looked at the Grand Canyon and not considered that this was once a sea? Might they concede that a smidge of climate change may have taken place here then? And what about Continental Drift? What about the remains of tigers and alligators under the Ice of what is now Antarctica? I suppose these guys would propose anchoring Africa to South America to stop it becoming a separate continent.
Now I am all in favour of cleaning up our act and getting rid of pollution, and in this we have made great progress. The rivers are now so clean that salmon are once again returning to the Thames. What I don’t like is being conned.
But the new god “Eco” is great isn’t it? It actually does have the appearance of a religion with millions of unquestioning followers, and if you say anything against their religion you are committing blasphemy. We can trace this back to the Apollo programme when we got those first pictures of the world from space. This was a time when most of us said “Brilliant, just what we imagined. How beautiful” However, there was another group of people hippies that looked and said “Shit. Is that it? Oh my God. It’s very small isn’t it? I’d better start worrying about that”. It didn’t gain much momentum at first, until the world of business latched on to the idea of using this as a great excuse for saving money and having something to blame for all manner of problems. Councils soon realised it was brilliant “We are no longer providing parking as we want to keep cars out of Oxford”. “We are reducing heating in council offices so we can achieve our Carbon Neutral target”. Before long manufacturers climbed on the bandwagon with a similar excuse – “Too much Salt/Sugar in our food causing health problems”. So we can reduce these contents in our product and save ourselves several million pounds/dollars and the mugs will believe us. I mean, come on. Zero Coke! Honestly, what kind of sap buys into this? Have a glass of water instead. But there you go again, who made it fashionable for dickheads to waddle around drinking bottled water? Perhaps on the continent okay, I’ll accept that their tap water isn’t up to the same standards as the UK. But pillocks were buying water in the UK that was sub-standard to our tap water. In one case it was found that a well-known French brand had benzene in it – a carcinogenic chemical.
The latest scam is that of “Smart” meters. Apparently these will help us save the world’s supposedly dwindling energy supplies. How many sad sacks are going to sit watching their meters all day I can’t imagine, I personally have more pressing things to do and have made all the savings I can already. But not a single mention of how much a single, remotely accessible meter will save the utility companies. Let alone the redundancies for thousands of meter readers. In the seventies Vanessa Redgrave would have been leading demonstrations against this act of “capitalist oppression” but dress it up as “Eco” and the mugs will buy it. I do wish people would start to question a bit more. Ah well, the Kings new clothes eh!
Went to the Electrical Exhibition at Manchester last week with my old buddy Ian Griffiths (talented electrical engineer and raconteur). If you can get to these events, I strongly advise attending. It is a chance to meet like-minded people and get the latest industry views. Of course the forthcoming 18th Edition was a very prominent feature and I gleaned a lot of information on this. For instance, the proposed section on Energy Efficiency has been deleted and relegated to an Appendix. Like a lot of people, I would prefer to see it completely removed and published as a separate code of practice, as it does not contribute to safety or standards of workmanship. I am rather surprised though at the expansion of SPDs, even to the point of a requirement for inclusion on domestic premises. Apparently this is necessary due to the increase in mains-borne transients! If there was increase in damage due to lightning strikes on solar panel arrays I could believe it. I have attended several premises that have suffered lightning strikes and witnessed the damage that can do. In one of my former lives I was an Intruder Alarm Engineer and saw the result of lightning entering a private underground line at Reading and blowing equipment apart at Oxford! Actually, that was the night I met Bob Dylan, but that’s another story.
Still regarding the 18th, apparently there are several thousand changes if you tally them up individually, but many are very small – like changes throughout of ac/dc in lower case to AC/DC in upper case. The anticipated inclusion of AFDDs has been downgraded but apparently this is just a breathing space granted by JPEL, further integration is intended and I think this is something we should fight against tooth and nail. If this went through, our distribution board’s would have to double in size to hold all these devices. We would also end up with systems so sensitive they would be tripping out every five seconds. So watch this space, if we get a chance to comment on future amendments to the 18th be prepared to dig in and fight for common sense.
I still haven’t finished the bathroom, blooming clients keep giving me work to do, so it appears that I must be popular at least in some small way.
As a glimpse behind the scenes, I did a training course recently for maintenance guys in a major London hotel that shall go unnamed. At the start of the course one gentleman was quite unhappy to be there and doing the usual things - arms folded across the chest/appearing to be in discomfort. But I worked gently with him, treated him as an equal and turned him around. He finished the course with an above average pass mark and according to his feedback this was “The best course I have ever attended!” Fantastic, I ask for no more.
So, where has Ted been this month? Well this past month has seen me veering away from the capital and the M25 for some reason or other and I have been to the Forest of Dean (Lydney), 2 x Kettering, Leicester, Nottingham, 2 x Milton Keynes and Bedford. In April I can see I have engagements back in the capital and environs, but also a return to the Forest of Dean as well.
I would still like to hear from that old friend I tried to make contact with, I understand if you haven’t had time to get back to me, I would still like to hear from you.
As I normally like to end on a note of human kindness or frailty in some way I will mention a movement that started a few years ago but unfortunately never made great progress. This was known as “Acts of Random Kindness”, how it worked was like this: say you were at a toll bridge, in your rear view mirror you see a complete stranger, yet you also pay their toll. You don’t ask for thanks or recognition, you just drive off. Yours was a random act of kindness. I think this is quite beautiful and I suppose in part, similar to the act of buying a “Suspended” coffee for those who are short of cash.
God bless all my readers and even those that are not, we all deserve a break.