Tuesday 25th April, 2017

STICKY: Something is amiss

Posted by at 6:30 pm in Site update.

There's something wrong here at beardedgit.com - ever since the recent automated "upgrade" from WordPress 4.7.3 to 4.7.4, it had been screwy. I got the host's techies to downgrade it to 4.7.3 and it fixed most of the glitches, but publishing/editing posts and comments is still hit and miss. For me, Chrome seems to be coping better than Firefox.

If a post or a comment fails to show, try hitting Ctrl+F5. If you don't have an F5 and/or a Ctrl, you'll have to figure it out yourself. Hopefully what passes for normal service here will be resumed as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

Saturday 29th April, 2017

Cage fighter

Posted by at 6:25 pm in In the garden, Making stuff.

Finished today - a job which we started two years ago but which was interrupted by unforeseen events.

We believe it to be bird-proof, unless they arrive armed with wire-cutters.

 

Now I need to turn my attention to protecting the strawberry troughs:

 

There's no peace for the wicked, it's said.

Friday 28th April, 2017

The simple things you see are all complicated…

Posted by at 12:18 pm in A bit of a rant, In the garden, Shiny new kit.
Tags:

A "Barrow-in-a-Box"... with only one moving part, seven components and a handful of nuts & bolts, drawing up accurate assembly instructions really ought to have been a doddle.

In an episode of madness we decided to defy male instinct and years of engineering & assembly experience. Instead, we followed the instructions to the letter, just to see how things would work out. What could possibly go wrong?

You can find the instructions here in .pdf format, but to save you the hassle I'll walk you through the odd bits.

First up - tools required. It says that I'd need a flat-bladed screwdriver for the M8 bolts which are parts 7 and 9:

but that's bollocks, parts 7 and 9 are all Torx-headed:

 

And then there are the 2-off front supports  - parts 6. Whoever specced the folding of the ends of these is an idiot:

And just for good measure, whoever made those supports didn't deburr them, so they have edges like ragged razors.

Eventually we bent the supports into submission with minimal effort, tightened all of the fittings, and stood back to admire our handiwork.

It doesn't live up to the expectations I had for it being a "HEAVY DUTY BUILDERS BARROW" (yes, on the box they omitted the apostrophe). Compared to my previous barrow it's cheap and tacky even though, allowing for inflation, I paid almost twice as much for it. The old one's front support was 32mm dia 1.5mm wall powder-coated steel tube and was part of the 2-piece welded-together braced frame, this one has those 2 pressed straps which, although described as "robust", appear to have been made from compressed KitKat foil - if I can bend them easily by hand, I can't see them withstanding the rated 150kg load for very long. They are bolted to a 3-piece 30mm dia 1mm wall painted steel frame that's held together by 2 bolts and wishful thinking.

After having previously had barrows with pneumatic tyres, and after having to replace the tyres or inner-tubes every few years due to punctures or perishing, this time I opted for a puncture-proof job. I've used such barrows before and they've been fine, but this one is awful - there's no "give" or "bounce" in the tyre, it may as well have had an iron-banded wooden wheel off an old hay-cart. The axle is the shank of a long M10 low-grade steel bolt sleeved with a bit of flimsy 12mm dia steel tube, unlike the old one which had an axle of hefty galvanised 32mm dia 2mm wall tube.

The tray's pre-galv steel is a gauge or two thinner than my old one and the edges are turned but not re-turned, so there are exposed sharp and ragged edges which have already cut my hands and gloves.

And the nuts... barrows have to put up with a lot of abuse, so there's a fair chance of nuts coming loose, therefore locking-washers or nyloc nuts are what's needed, but no, here we have low-grade soft-steel flanged nuts and no washers, except for the nut on the axle-bolt which isn't even flanged.

I'm not impressed. An Eastern European migrant builder may well think it's the Bentley of barrows, but a burly Brummie brickie would probably think it's more of a Trabant.

Wednesday 26th April, 2017

Open door policy

Leaving the door open, with the keys in the ignition and the car blocking the road, is just asking for trouble.

Next time, I may well oblige.

I'd imagine that being a courier without a car would be a bit of a bind:

 

 

Tuesday 25th April, 2017

Hen’s teeth

Posted by at 12:45 am in Projects, Shiny new kit.
Tags: ,

These are as rare as rocking-horse shit and could well be the world's last decent pair in my size:

Dutch Army DPM trousers. Renowned for their durable thicker temperate-rated fabric and for their superb no-drawcord no-belt-required waist-adjustment system which allows the waist-band for be resized +/- 2 inches, or the complete top-end to be opened, with minimal hassle.

I was lucky to find these, they were on Fleabay, described as "used, like new" or something like that. When they arrived I was pleased to see that they were unissued, unmarked and still in their original unopened military packaging. Result!

But this could be the last pair I ever find. I might have to make the move to temperate-weight MTP jobs which don't have the same durability and versatility. That said, I do already have some ongoing projects involving MTP 🙂

Air Arms S200 Mk II with HuMa external regulator, quick-fill & gauge, Mobius ActionCam (25mm lens) & USB power-bank, a GBFO scope and some MTP tape.

It's a work-in-progress 🙂

Monday 24th April, 2017

Fog on the Barrow-downs

Posted by at 1:04 am in In the garden.
Tags:

Or, in this case, "F*ck it, the barrow's down!"

There was a "ping" from the barrow as it lay upturned in the sun a couple of feet away waiting for action. It distracted me for a moment but it didn't register that it was the tyre-bead giving way. What really got my attention, and caused my arse to eat my trousers, was the unexpected "boom!" a few seconds later as a big chunk of the tyre-wall broke way and the inner-tube decided that it couldn't be "inner" any longer.

Looks like a visit to the barrow-wight is on the cards, to sell my soul for a new load-lugger.

Sunday 23rd April, 2017

For the avoidance of doubt

Posted by at 2:29 pm in Celebrations.

Happy St. George's Day!

Monday 17th April, 2017

Good Friday, bad parking

When I was a kid I was given good advice about swearing, and it's advice which I passed on to my kids:

"Whatever you say, you must know what it means and how to spell it".

So, with no further ado, here is an example of such a spelling followed by a visual representation...

 

C-O-C-K-W-O-M-B-L-E

 

Yep, that's parked...

blocking the 2-way traffic, overhanging the crossing, obstructing the garden centre's pedestrian/trolley entrance/exit and blocking in at least 2 cars.

At least it has an appropriate reg. number!

The bloke next to the car isn't the driver/owner, btw, so I've blurred him. The woman who dumped the car was busy elsewhere and was therefore unavailable for her photo-opportunity.

Thursday 13th April, 2017

Repeat offender

It's clear that polite words don't work.

Maybe police words will:

 

Same woman/car combi as 28th March and several other times.

Thursday 6th April, 2017

Not taking the piss

Posted by at 10:30 am in Just for fun.

Inconvenient Convenience:

Maybe that's what "BOGOF" means.

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