Ted Barrett                                                   - Training, Consultancy and Technical Services

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Blog for October

Greetings party people, its the end of October so time to see where Ted has been and what he's got to pontificate about this month.

First off, any old friends, please, please don’t be afraid to get in touch. I don’t want to sound too pessimistic but really, time is running out.

This month, I have been to Tipton, Hemel Hempstead, Witney, Shoreditch (London) and Oxford.

I love to see the trees changing colour at this time of year, as I’m driving around the colours are really beautiful. Its just such a shame that it means we are heading towards winter.

Now here’s the thing, the onset of Winter: November/December, I quite like. Bright, crisp, icy days – lovely.

It’s the part after Christmas I detest – Wet, cold, miserable, dreary. In the UK, rain for 3 months (and don’t give me that bullshit about climate change its been like that in the UK for thousands of years) – but it’s the time of year to top yourself. I hate it. That’s why if at all possible I get down to Spain as soon as I can.

At the end of October we of course have Halloween, I think it’s a shame that this American import has overtaken Guy Fawkes Night, cos who really wouldn’t want to blow up the houses of parliament? I can think of at least 17 and a half million people. The thing is that Halloween is more marketable than Guy Fawkes. The people that really run the world recognized that and how best to make money from it.

Now, did you also see what I did there? I used the American version of recognize with a Z, the English form that I grew up with used to have an S, as in recognise. You know the sort of thing – we have trousers, they have pants. If I went out with just my pants on I’d get in trouble. This actually links in to an electrical point; have you ever considered our use of “Down” as “On” for electrical switches? In the US and most of the world at large “Up” is “On”. We see this in circuit breakers and “real” electrical equipment (next time you look in a fuseboard see which way a circuit breaker is “On”).

This was something I had often pondered, and recently had a bit of an “epiphany” and realised why “Up” should be “On”. I think our colonial colleagues have got it right and in the UK we are just been cussed and awkward in being the other way round (however, never let it be said that I am not receptive to new ideas. If you have any clue or theory why we are different please drop me a line).

Anyway, this is what I figured out (and it is quite simple if you consider early switch construction): In the days of knife switches the switch had to be arranged as “Up” for “On” otherwise if the switch fell down the circuit would turn on. No other option then. Simples, N'est-ce pas?

My tip for sparkies this month is be careful when removing DNO fuses to do a fuseboard change if supplied through a smart meter. It seems the meter can detect a loss of supply and dispatch an engineer to that location (quickly). Fines are then purportedly given out to offending contractors. I fail to see the legality of issuing a fine for this but I would most certainly get me a hot-shot lawyer and challenge this immediately; “can you prove it was me who disconnected it?”. Alternatively, you could say “I had no choice to disconnect, as the guy who installed the smart meter (ex-meter-reader trained on a 1-day course) left loose connections so I had to make a snap decision”.

So, install smart meters and save the world eh. Welcome to the new world order. You have been warned. Smart meters saving climate change? Yes, and putting it politely, part of my body is a fish. Cigars all round in the Board Room again.

I hate oppressive regimes and I despise unfairness; I am going to make an opener with this for the moment and explore it further at a later date. But let’s stop and think: Its fine for “Alternative” comedians to mock the establishment, Dad’s dancing, and most other aspects of normal life. But why doesn’t anybody rip the shit out of the Ecos and PC lovers? As they really, really deserve it.

I think the reason is that “Eco” has become a form of religion and it’s a spark that has been fanned by business to turn a profit in many areas. Also something for councils and governments to divert attention away from their lack of planning/performance. It’s a become a religion that lost souls can cling to, finds friends with a common belief and bring some sense of purpose to their lost lives. Did you see them looking up at that seriously disturbed little girl on her trip to the states? Her disciple’s eyes were shining with an inner glow and passion. If you were to raise a hand and dare to say “Erm, Excuse me, have you not considered that climate change might be a naturally occurring event – I mean what caused all the ice ages the Earth has been through?” the zealots would rip you apart limb from limb because you have committed blasphemy.

If the early Christians were anything like this lot no wonder they got thrown to the lions, I’d willingly chuck a few in myself.

My jerk of the month is still that tit on the Hammersmith roundabout (but you probably guessed that already).

Adios mi amigos e amigas, hasta la vista.

(Goodbye Guys and Gals, until I see you again) sounds a bit more exotic in Spanish don’t it.

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