TideLog Archive for July, 2009

As a birthday treat this year, Kana has paid for us to go to ComicCon in San Diego! I’ve dressed as Spiderman, and Kana is my ultra-sexy Superwoman! She’s wearing her new sexy 90’s style Superwoman outfit, the one from the comics which shows off her ultra cute tummy pretty well, don’t you think? My Spiderman outfit is actually one from the inventory of Kana’s fancy dress shop. It is in need of a bit of repair as it looks a little scruffy, but so far I’ve had good comments about it, it’s made from a snakeskin scaley type material which closely matches the real film costume pretty well.

Take a look at the coolest pic of us taken today, two sexy heroes ready to save the world together:

Tidosho&KanaSuperwoman&SpidermanComicCon 2009

We make a team, don’t we? Kana looks really sexy in that blonde wig! She’s also dyed her eyebrows the same colour to match, as obviously her brown natural colour would look out of place with a blonde wig! My hot geeky girlfriend showing her perfect tummy and sexy slender legs in those boots, as Superwoman is actually a fantasy come true, it’s the first time she’s ever wore a Superwoman outfit, the perfect treat!

She wouldn’t let me in the bathroom at the hotel this morning while she put it all on, when she finally did I was gobsmacked! She came out and gave me a slightly late birthday snog as Superwoman! I nearly died! Her wearing the costume kinda makes the fantasy real, as she is naturally fit, being a Martial Arts instructor. Kana, thankyou babe xxxx. I never want her out of it! I’d love to see her, or get her a 80’s Superwoman outfit, the one Helen Slater wore in Supergirl. The whole trip was worth it just to see her as Superwoman for the first time!

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I can’t believe how PC World are making out they’re so good. Their latest advertising campaign is a joke, in the least. A middle aged woman against a plain black background addresses the camera directly, advising that her world is all about her family. She describes how she uses her webcam to keep up with her family all over the world, and her voice remains the same even as the talking image on screen changes to ones of her daughter, grandaughter, a guinea pig and even briefly Jimi Hendrix. She continues describing how PC World showed her how to do it, and the message concludes that PC World is for whatever your world is.

Ha, Ha. PC World can’t even sell a mouse, let alone a webcam. Go in to PC World, and ask a member of “staff” ANY question you like about a product, and your default response will always be, “I’ll go see my manager”. They then slink off to the other side of the building, where you’ll never see them again, and you’ll be left wondering where they’ve gone, and give up after 5 minutes waiting, to go buy a mouse somewhere else.
Take my friend Rikku’s scenario 3 years ago. She wanted to buy a Apple Mighty Mouse and keyboard.

“I took Jill on Thursday night, to buy her a game for the computer, and I was interested in purchasing an Apple Mighty Mouse and Keyboard for my laptop and asked one of the ‘assistants’ whether it would work. He replied that it wouldn’t because they are designed for Macs. I said they have USB connection, like PCs. *He* insisted that the Mac operating system is different to Windows so it would not work.

I then went and looked on the Mighty Mouse box and it states ‘compatible with Mac OS, Windows XP and 2000.’ I was going to show him, but he disappeared. How ignorant! He just walked off!”

She’s since bought her parts from Kitamura. At least I know my stuff. PC World don’t have product knowledge, of either standard hardware, or Apple hardware, so why their parent company DSG decided it would be a good idea is beyond me. We also beat them on their HealthCheck prices. They charge £88 for one service, whereas we charge £30 to do exactly the same. We will go out to a customer 4x a year, once every three months, and even then beat them by £200.

PC World & DSG International = JUUUUNNNKKK!!

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The article in the Metro shocked me this morning. 11,000 children have been admitted with drug and drink abuse problems last year. The total included 6,075 under 16’s hooked on cannabis. 102 of these were under 12.

And, as usual, the first point of blame is the Government. Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said, “It’s a sad indictment of our broken society that so many are turning to things like drink or drug abuse at such young ages. ”

Labour are neglecting a forgotten generation of children.”

Err, Andrew, hold it there a minute. There’s something called Parenting that sits in between the government and society. You a parent yourself, or did you forget they exist? If kids have rubbish parents, which they often do, they’ll end up like they do. Parents are the biggest influence on kids, forget society. It’s the crap parenting that makes them give in to peer pressure. They see parents smoking, drinking and snorting cannabis, they follow suit. It’s natural. There’s also Law that the parents seem to ignore too.

But, instead of doing something about the parents, such as improving their parenting, and making the kids feel loved, who do you blame? The Government.

It’s the easiest way out. Blame the Government, they’re responsible for the thousands of children, making sure they’re fed, clothed and nannied.

Not. Wake up, Shadow Health Secretary. And get a life.

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Today was one of those days I love, one that I live for, that invariably involves a big piece of machinery! Today I went to give Helena, our 2008 B7RLE at Matsuki a run, after I overhauled her engine and gearbox. I need to push our buses as hard as I can, both to get the adrenaline going, and get the engine run in correctly after a major service.

The roads can’t do it, nor the M62, so what better way to do those things than 8 laps round Silverstone? We usually hire the Southern Circuit, but today I used the International, in Milton Keynes. Kassie came with me, and brought her Scooby, she loves a good razz like I do, but she loves it at over 200Mph! It isn’t cheap though, and can cost in excess of £400 – £600 depending on the type of vehicle, and time needed. Luckily Rikku paid for this, as it was company stuff. Kassie paid for herself, she can afford it!

What a track! There’s plenty of straights to get some good speed, even in a bus. The best bit is the braking coming into corners. I sometimes forget (deliberately) that I’m in 12 tonnes of monster, and really make the retarder work hard during braking.

The whining coming down the gears, revving during kickdown, mechanical power, I love it. Who needs an electric vehicle, with a piddly quiet motor? You can go as fast as you want in a Volvo bus, you never feel like you’re going to lose control. I did lose it in our B9TL double decker once though, and ended up on my side on a corner, that’s a different story!

Driving our B7RLE on the track is better because I turn the safety stuff off. TCS, SRS, it all gets switched off. Wheelspins! They’re not easy in a bus, everything is computer controlled, but once you get going, it’s great. With the trans in Drive, and the brake pressed, the gearbox goes into Neutral, listen for the whine, and again as it comes out back into 1st when released. This won’t work with the airbrake, it won’t release if the accelerator is pressed. It’s easier with the footbrake.

Brake pressed. Rev up to 1700 – 2100rpm, stay in the yellow zone of the RPM gauge. Hold her there for 5 seconds, and let the brake up, quick, otherwise she’ll judder coming from temp N to 1st, and not spin quick enough. Floor the accelerator as she sets off, for no more than 5 – 7 seconds. You’ll feel her bite, and lurch forward. Listen to that noise….power! Engine, turbo, compressor, and the cooling fan, all working hard, giving the biggest roar I’ve ever heard! That noise is 290 horsepower, 5 cylinder 7 litre raw power! As she bites, let the accelerator up, you don’t want too much power before going into 3rd (she’ll have done 1st and second already!), it’s bad news, the pistons can blow under too much pressure. I tell you this now because when the adrenaline is flowing, you will forget!

Careful on corners with TCS turned off, you can spin coming out if you’re in 1st/2nd if you give too much throttle. If the back end starts to slide, compensate after easing off the power.

B7RLE’s may only do 80mph, but God, are they fun!

Caution:

Don’t try this unless you’re experienced, 12 tonnes of monster isn’t easy to control if you’re not used to them. It isn’t like wheelspinning your mum’s Corsa. Turning the safety features off also requires Volvo software, which isn’t cheap, and knowledge of bus computers. I’m used to it, I’ve done it many times. Safety features MUST NOT be turned off for production, you’ll put yourself, passengers, and other road users at SERIOUS risk. Even I daren’t do it off the track.

I cannot accept responsibility if you’re a chav, happen to have a £130,000 bus (or steal one), and decide to copy me, you probably won’t come out alive, or end up in jail for theft. Commercial buses have trackers, they’ll watch your every move.

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I’ve finally remembered to bring my Ralink USB dongle to Jenny’s, so I can use Ami, my Fujitsu Li 1818 with Mac OS Leopard 10.5.6 x86, on the Internet. She runs really well, as a Core 2 Duo based Mac should. For these occasions, I’ve even brought an Apple logo fridge magnet, to stick to the computer, so that I’m not breaking the T&C’s which state that OS X “must be used only on an Apple branded machine”, which Ami now is, when Mac OS is running, anyway, and not Windows 7!

I’ve always thought that rather unfair, Mac users can use Windows on their posh, expensive aluminium boxes, but us standard PC users can’t use Mac OS, Apple have always forbidden it, and were unwilling to license it for such use, even after they switched to Intel processors.

This is my way of saying, “I can, Mr Steve Jobs, and try stopping me!” The hacking community is always 10 steps ahead! Here’s my About This Mac dialog:

My Fujitsu Amilo Li 1818 is a Mac!

My Fujitsu Amilo Li 1818 is a Mac!

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An article in the Metro this morning prompted me to write this. People have been complaining about buses having their heating on during temperatures of 31 degrees. Many think the drivers are making excuses by saying “an engineer has to do it”

They’re not. The driver has no control over the system, because it is a Convection system. All the heat from the engine has to go somewhere. The cooling unit can’t get rid of it, it isn’t big enough without compromising on space. So it is channelled from the engine bay round the cabin, and an engineer has to shut the heating system off from under the bonnet, which a driver cannot do, they are not trained, allowed nor employed to do it. The D7C/D7E engine, in a Volvo B7RLE for example, runs at around 200 degrees or more, that 7 litre 6 Cylinder 290bhp monster ain’t cold! Then you’ve got the heat from the air system compressor, and air conditioning compressor. All that builds up. Sit at the back, on the very far right two seats, the powerplant is right under there, your butt will get hot!. The fan and radiator is over the far left.

Science lesson over. Of course, some bus companies are too thick, First Manchester, to know all this, and how to turn it off. I do, I have the Impact software, but Volvo have told me off for giving info away on forums, so I’m not going to.

A bus engine is a lot bigger, and more powerful than a car engine. A radiator and fan ain’t going to keep it cool on its own, especially under heavy throttle.

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