Month: November 2013

Massive Air Spill at Wind Farm harming…no-one

BREAKING NEWS: A massive air spill has been reported at a wind farm. Employees said, “We were too busy to panic, we have spent the day securing papers with heavy objects lest they blow away.” The massive air spill has affected a swathe of Northern Europe. The wind has been detected in parts of Belgium, Norway and Germany and there are some fears it may have blown further still. Doctors are predicting that such a spill could cause as many as zero cancers of which half may prove fatal.

Engineers are calculating how many balloons will be needed to contain the wind slick. They have also suggested that chemical dispersants may be needed to break up the wind. Although critics suggest breaking wind would be an environmental disaster, especially on a curry night.

A spokesperson for BP said “This is an air spill raging out of control with no end in sight. The problem with these alternative energy sources is that we have no experience of dealing with them when things go wrong, unlike in the oil industry where we have had decades of experience mopping up oil spills and associated environmental disasters.”

Last month a solar spill at a plant in California caused sales of sunglasses to rocket and those living near the plant are looking nicely tanned. On Fox News, Sarah Palin demanded to know what President Obama was doing about all the photons spilling out of the sun on a daily basis.

Managers at the Wind Farm site were saying there is no need to panic and that Britain is the windiest country in Europe, the spill they claim was only “a slight breeze.” The CAW (Campaign Against Wind) said it was more of “a sustained gust.”

Mr Miller a spokesperson for the Wind Farm advised the public if they were concerned to “sit back and enjoy the breeze and make sure all bouncy castles were secured.

 

Note: this post originally appeared in “The Wind Farm”, the editor of which has since defriended and blocked me for reasons I’m not privy to.

Exploring the Red Planet

Exploring the Red Planet

I don’t use photoshop, but I do have some simple edit functions on my computer, here I increased the tint to make the picture more reddish. The model is the Mars Rover Curiosity, an interesting addition to the Hot Wheels Range. The Marsscape is the debris left on our balcony by the engineers who fitted our new Karma heater.

Blog to beat procrastination?

I have a lot of unstructured time. My job as a private English teacher means I’m mostly teaching in the evenings and on Saturday. Today (Monday), for example, I don’t start teaching until 4pm. So I have a lot of time between getting up (8.30am) and starting work. I find Facebook sucks a lot of that time up: commenting, catching up with friends and playing Scrabble (and occasionally Song Pop).I have 652 Facebook friends and I’m in numerous groups, so there is always something to look at on my Newsfeed and before you know it hours have passed and nothing of consequence has been produced. One of the incentives for starting this blog was a need to structure my time more productively and also develop my writing skills and share some of the many photos I take. I have always had a tendency to procrastinate…and not make best use of my time…a trait exacerbated by Facebook and the Internet.

Some things I want to do:

Daily

1. Georgian: I have been in Georgia for 4 years and I can barely make a few sentences. I understand only the most basic instructions. I made a New Year’s Resolution at the beginning of 2013, that by the end of 2013 I would be able to toast in Georgian. I don’t think this will now be possible. I have learnt some words but the amount of time devoted to learning Georgian has been minimal.

2. Plank: I saw this on Facebook. An exercise called planking that develops the core. The idea is to build up from 20 seconds on the first day to 5 minutes or more on the 30th day.http://rawrebecca.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/944270_143491579174855_1235844063_n.jpg

I can’t do more than one minute. I do get some exercise walking to and from the metro station (15 minutes). I also swim once a week.

3. Drawing and Painting: I want to improve my drawing. In 2001, I would draw a picture or two each day, the discipline was good and my drawing improved. But I have let it slide. I would also like to try painting with acrylics. At weekends, I often play around with water colours with my grand daughter, which is great fun an activity I’d highly recommend for both adult and child.

4. Prepare Lessons: Doing this the day before would be great so I’m not rushing around at the last minute.

5. Blog. This blog, as I noted above, one of the reasons for starting this blog was to motivate myself to mke better use of my time. Also I hope blogging will improve my writing skills.

Weekly:

  1. Swim. We have started swimming at the Olympic Pool on a Wednesday Morning. Last year when I was teaching in the French school, they have their own pool and I was able to profit from this facility every Friday afternoon. I enjoy swimming and it is good whole body exercise.
  2. Phone Mum. Mum is living on her own in York since Dad died in 2011. I should phone her once a week. I will need to top up my phone. Our family is all geographically spread out, my brother is in Newquay and my sisters are in Slough and India, so I  it is difficult for us to see Mum…I go to England just once a year.
  3. Read a book. Before I joined Facebook I was reading six books a month on average, this has dropped to just two. I’m currently reading “The Idiot” by Dostoevsky, a rare foray into classic literature, usually I read crime or thrillers.
  4. Scan Computer. I should integrate this as part of my routine.

Well that is a start. Let’s see how well  keep it up. My life is full of this slightly American desire for self-improvement.

Another post about procrastination, seems I have competition 😉

http://pols80.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/procrastination/

procrastination

The instant gratification monkey is apt to take over whenever I try to get down to doing stuff…

Saint George’s Day

Image

Today, 23 November is Saint George’s day in Georgia. Here it is a national holiday, many people go to church, like my wife did, to celebrate.

In England, too, there is Saint George’s Day but in England it falls on 23rd April, which despite also being the birthday of William Shakespeare (arguably the most famous Englishman ever) is not a national holiday. Saint George was a Roman, living in Palestine, who as a Christian was tortured and killed for his beliefs, the emperor Diocletian having issued an edict that Christian soldiers should be arrested and offer sacrifices to the Roman gods of the time. Saint George was adopted by the English as their  patron saint by Richard Coeur de Lion, our French speaking king, who painted the cross of St George onto his shield to protect him in the Crusades.

The slaying of dragons is the stuff of myth, but may have been popular with the English as the dragon was a symbol of Wales, England’s first colony.

We will celebrate by having a meal in a restaurant with Khato’s colleagues.

Saint George is also patron saint of Egypt, Portugal and Iraq …and Preston …and skin diseases.

Hot Wheels Haul

hot wheels 002

I have had small diecast cars for as long as I can remember.  On my first birthday cake was a Matchbox racing car, so I’m told. Then there was a Matchbox Pickford’s Removal Van with sweets in the back, occasionally restocked by my mother. My earliest actual memory is being on a train holding a Matchbox Racing Car Transporter, I would have been three at the time.

I don’t have any of the models I actually played with in my childhood. But I do have some of the same models picked up more recently at Car Boot Sales and markets. When I came to Tbilisi, I only had two suitcases for all my worldly possessions including half a dozen diecasts which I hadn’t sold or given away before leaving UK. Now I have around 300 mostly bought in Tbilisi in markets and toy shops, supplemented by those found on trips to England found in Boot Sales and  Shops and a few found in a Paris fleamarket and even some bought at the Airport Shop in Istanbul.

Now in the era of social media I find myself in groups of fellow collectors on Facebook…a couple of Philippines Hot wheels‘ Clubs, a couple of Matchbox Groups  ….

My preferred brand is Matchbox but Hot Wheels are more readily available here and the two rivals are both now owned by Mattel. My preferred scale is 1:64 as they are relatively cheap and easier to store and display. I don’t have any 1:18 models, they look fantastic but can cost around $200 a time….I wouldn’t spend that much on one car. My largest model is a Maisto 1:24 Chevrolet Corvette (1970).

Yesterday I was excited to find the four Hot Wheels in the photo. I love the cars of the late sixties and early seventies. This maybe because I  was a child then and these were the first cars I recognised or it maybe that these are simply the most beautiful. Three of the cars yesterday were from the sixties:…

  1. A VW Beetle in the “Herbie” livery…one of the first films I saw was “The Love Bug” (“The Italian Job” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” were also among the first films I ever saw, my parents clearly recognised my love of cars).
  2. A Toyota 2000GT, I have been looking for this ever since I knew Hot Wheels made one. In James Bond’s “You Only Live Twice” there is a 2000GT driven by James’ girlfriend Aki, in the film it was made to look like a convertible, as Sean Connery was too tall for the roadster. Toyota never made a convertible of the 2000GT.
  3. An Aston Martin DB5. This should be a Matchbox model imho. A similar Aston Martin is associated with James Bond and also in the Italian Job an Aston Martin DB4 Convertible was pushed over the side of a mountain (a cruel film for car lovers a Lamborghini Miura and a Jaguar E-Type  were also destroyed in the film).
  4. Mars Curiosity Rover. In contrast to the others this is very twenty first century. The first “car” on Mars. Whilst it doesn’t look particularly beautiful, it is a fascinating vehicle and it is extending our knowledge of our neighbouring planet.

Top of my Hot Wheels‘ wants lists now are:

  1. Honda Civic EF ✓ (found in a three pack Feb 2014)
  2. Datsun Bluebird 160
  3. USS Enterprise ✓ (found in Kusadasi, Turkey Jan 2014)
  4. BMW 2002
  5. 1969 Ford Mustang
  6. Mystery Machine (Scooby Doo) ✓ (found in Smart, Nov 2013)

I’m sure in future blogs, I shall reflect on my collecting…I am 49 years old going on 8… yesterday finding these four, I felt the same excitement I did when I was eight years old finding a model I really, really wanted.

Reflections on why I collect diecast cars

Four months on from this original post and I now have doubles of all of these except for the VW “Herbie.”

Hot Wheels Haul update

Hot Wheels Haul update

My dream last night

My dream last night: In a box of diecast cars I found a Matchbox Cadillac Cien. Going around what maybe a museum of toys, I hear the song “Down Down” by Status Quo, I bend down to play air guitar and knock over a teenage boy in a group of four boys, I then worry the group will come after me…

ImageI keep meaning to write more dreams down, but when I do the fragments I recall aren’t particularly interesting and I’m frustrated at not recalling the whole dream… the photo is of a Hot Wheels Cadillac Cien in front of Kashueti Church (Tbilisi), as far as I know Matchbox have never made one.
I hope to have more interesting dreams to retell in the future.