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For a wider audience and instant distribution most of my thoughts go straight to Facebook. But for extending those thoughts, and to reach people who understand where I'm going, those thoughts may also appear here.

Unlike every other weblog you ever saw, this one is in correct chronological order so you can read it the right way round. But it always shows you the latest entry first so scroll up for earlier stuff.

The 2020 index will appear here in a mo ...

SuperPower

I remember long ago getting a clockwork train set for Christmas. On Boxing Day I was playing with it alone in the front room. One of the wagons would not stay on the track and kept derailing the whole lot. I couldn't find the cause and eventually lost my rag. I uncoupled the wagon and trod on it.

I had discovered my secret SuperPower...

F R U S T R A T I O N

I was immediately deeply ashamed of my ingratitude, an emotion reinforced by a strong wiggin' from my dad. It's no good having a SuperPower that you can't control.

Move forwards 20 years and I was working for a company manufactuing parts that depended on friction produced by tightening a bolt to stop a bush turning. Except in certain conditions they were failing. Those were the -40° conditions in Canada. It was a serious problem that could have brought down hundreds of miles of transmission lines and put power out in major Canadian cities. Not what you want at -40° !

I looked at all the variables; dimensions, tolerances, materials, methods. If the bolts were tightened with a torque wrench they were OK. If they were assembed with a pneumatic nut-runner to exactly the same torque they failed.

Solved it. The bolts were locked in place using Loctite. Wonderful stuff that has saved many a British Bike rider's sanity and maybe life. Tightening by hand was no problem but running the bolts in quickly during manufacture was causing friction heat and curing the Loctite before the thread was fully run down.

I took the solution to my design manager. He didn't want to know. The problem was no longer technical - it had become a political issue between Quality Control and Production.

It's a wonder there wasn't a smoking crater there and then. I put on my coat and walked out. After an hour or so the frustration pressure was back under controllable levels and we were spared a nuclear winter.

Move forward another 20 years. I had one of the early inkjet printers. Worked fine for nearly a year then it thought up problems as though it had Artificial Stupidity. It was costing a fortune in wasted ink, scrap paper and cleaning materials.

Eventually I bought a new one.

Normally when I junk a piece of electrical equipment I disassemble it for the screws and any thistles. You know, things you think "Thistle come in handy". Not this printer.

When no-one was around I carried it into the back yard, put it on a slab and smashed it to smithereens with a sledge hammer.

What did it achieve?Nothing.
What did it feel like?Bloody marvellous

That's when I lost my SuperPower. Since then frustration has been replace by my New SuperPower...

C Y N I C I S M

- Ben Crossley