Ted Barrett                                                   - Training, Consultancy and Technical Services
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Blog for February

Greetings pop-pickers, it’s the end February so its time to see where Ted has been and what he’s got to rant about this month.

Now I did mention in my December blog that I wouldn’t be posting for January, this was because my CO and I were cruising round South America and the Caribbean. Some people may say “Galivanting” but I’m never too sure about that word, it seems to imply being on horseback for some reason or other.

So, this month (and not including my holiday locations such as Barbados and St Vincent etc), I have had training gigs in Okehampton, Taunton, Norwich, Cambridge and Witney (on my doorstep).

I’m not going to spend a lot of time waffling on about my holiday but will say that at one point we were less than 400 miles from the equator and stone the crows; that was bleeding hot! The rest of the time we spent tooling round Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and exploring most of the Caribbean islands. We also had to taste a lot of rocket fuel (otherwise known as Rum). Good job we had been in training for it.

So after a 35-day break it was a bit of a rude awakening on my return to work in having to drive 180 miles to Devon on the very day that storm Ciara hit the UK. Just my luck, if I fell in a barrel of tits etc.

Saw a great bit of bull recently about meters in Bristol, this time water meters. A certain company posted an advert that led with the headline “See where the water distribution network leaks” it then went on to ask readers to sign up for a water meter as it can “help to save leaks”. Well, my flabber was well and truly gasted. This logic therefore implies that installing a water meter that monitors your water usage can somehow detect leaks on the public network. Scary thing is that a lot of people will believe it.  

And while I’m on the subject of eco-bandwagon, I see that seriously warped girl is now up for a Nobel peace prize. I still can’t understand why people would think a planet should maintain environmental conditions indefinitely. Haven’t these people ever heard of ice ages or continental drift?

I think we have much more to be concerned about with Iran gearing up with nuclear weapons. This is country that can’t tell the difference between a UK/USA or Ukrainian aircraft to shoot down (and you’re worrying about a temperature rise in records that have only been kept for 150 years? Seriously??).

Ok if you don’t get that how about this: This planet, like many others has a magnetic field (like the lines of flux on a bar magnet from North to South). It is this magnetic field that interacts with the solar wind from the sun that creates the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis (in the southern hemisphere). Now this next bit should have the ecos running to hide underneath their beds – this magnetic field occasionally flips. Shit! Nobody knows why (I’m still working on it!) but it does happen. 

The sun’s magnetic field flips quite regularly at every eleven years. When this happens it often knocks out satellites and North American/Canadian power and comm lines.

Can you even begin to imagine what will happen when the Earth’s magnetic field flips again? Most military equipment will survive as this is made to survive the EMP from a nuclear blast. For everything else electronic, forget it.

Unfortunately, we can’t predict when this will happen as there is no established frequency for this event. The longest period without a reversal was in earth’s early history at around 40 million years ago, since then there have been periods of 100 thousand years and 50 thousand years between events. The current period has lasted for 780 thousand years so you could say an event is due. Also bearing in mind we have an ice age about every 11 thousand years (and guess how long since the last one – that’s right, 11 thousand years ago). So how will they spin this one then?

I can’t say anybody has particularly cheesed me off recently, but I’m sure someone will. In fact just watching sappy BBC is usually enough to raise the old blood pressure a few notches.

My vote for being a jolly good egg this month goes to not one person but a group of people, namely the captain and crew of P&O Lines Ventura who carried us a total of 12,500 miles in comfort and safety.

I am also going to use this blog to “come out of the cupboard”.

Now, I have not made a big thing of it in the past, but I feel it is time to reveal to the world that I am in fact, a completely normal heterosexual man. I cannot thank my family enough in supporting me through this difficult time.

Goodbye dear friends, until next month.


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