Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicolas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

29 Jul 2007

Bristol and bump

Worked a rest day yesterday. Good one, 178, X39 and 319. fairly quite passenger wise but Bristol was packed. I only found out latter that it was the Harbour Festival. Had a bit of a problem in Bristol. Stopped in a queue waiting for the traffic to move and saw a local bus coming up the inside. Thought it was going to be tight, and it was , too tight!! Result was mirror through the window and scraps to his and my vehicle. I did feel sorry for the lad, but as they say if you can't do it safely don't do it. Still he will learn from it.
Day off today so have some Avon to deliver and hope to pop and see Fiona.

25 Jul 2007

Ticking along

A nice few days. Been on early shift this week so 0400 starts. It does mean I get home early. Have not seen much in the way of floods, which is good. I feel so sorry for those flooded out, but it still seems there is more to come. Been very busy with regard to passengers this week but with the schools breaking up the roads are getting easier. This does again highlight the need for the law to be changed regarding driver training. It is obvious if you spend as much time on the road as I do that many people are completely unaware of how to drive on motorways. A couple of points I would like to see advertised in public information films are :

  • There is no 'slow' or 'fast' lane. Just one lane and two overtaking lanes.
  • Keep to the left,unless you are overtaking.
  • When joing a motorway YOU DO NOT HAVE RIGHT OF WAY You may have to stop before you join. (would you pull straight onto a main road without first looking and waiting???
  • Fog lights - these are only to used when viability is below 100m. This is VERY rare and they are not to be used in the rain. Also it should not be possible to drive over 40mph with them switched on.
I think the chance of this happening are remote but still we live in hope and try to lead by example and hopefully people will notice.

20 Jul 2007

Day off

Sitting with the rain pouring down I am glad I am off today. Have a few jobs to do but as they are outside, will have to wait. Waiting for the Avon order to arrive so we can start delivering the orders. Just arrived, 9 boxes so a busy day.
Anyway g4kvi-7 seems to be going much better and as the kids seem to have finished school I am looking forward to a few weeks of comparative calm.

18 Jul 2007

Back to work and trip to Science Museum

Well back to work yesterday and the weather did not look too hot. Was on the all day so had four hours to kill. Fiona decided to come up and we planned a trip round the science museum. Very good trip up and arrived well on time. Caught the tube from Vauxhall to South Kensington.
The place is amazing. It must be 20 years of more since I have been there, so much to see and so little time. Anyway we wandered about and pushed a few buttons. There were things in there I remember we had in our home. In the telecoms section there was an amateur radio display with an FT480R in. I still have one of those!!!
Another good trip back and arrived home about 2200.

16 Jul 2007

It's a dogs' (and cats) life.

A sunny day today. Got the grass cut and the garden sorted. It was obviously too much for Felix and Harvey.

15 Jul 2007

G4KVI-7 Upgrade.

As you may know I am a radio amateur and run an APRS tracker from the vehicle. This is a fully automatic system and requires no action from me. However the last few months I have been having problems with battery power. I have looked around for a new pack and I was looking at over £50 to replace it. This starting me thinking and I came up with a solution.
Seal lead acid battery. This is a fully sealed battery giving me two days running. It all fits in a bag and can be charged at any time without loss of capacity.
I can now run 5w and also power the gps.




Vehicle Lighting

Enjoying my wedding anniversary (18 years) and thinking about Friday. Left the depot and noticed the number plate light were not working. As it was day light carried on and completed my shift, but noted it on the defect card. When I got back to Bath the next driver was not happy about taking it back out. However I have had a look around and found this.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si1989/Uksi_19891796_en_1.htm

This gives all the information about vehicle lighting.

13 Jul 2007

Weekend off

Well that is the end of a week of earlies. Even going to bed early I still find it difficult. Still my wedding anniversary this weekend, 18years and still going strong. Plenty of beer in the fridge, meal with friends tomorrow and hopefully the weather will improve.
Interested about the comment regarding lorries overtaking. I must admit I always ease off and let faster coaches pass, i do not like having a vehicle slowly passing in lane 2. I did see something strange today. Going up from J15 lorry went for the overtake and had that sinking feeling of being stuck for the next 10miles. And then quick flash on the indicator form lane 1 and the lorry slowed, the overtake was completed and we were on our way!! If only they all behaved like that.

12 Jul 2007

Lorries Overtaking

Driving on the motorway today I came across two lorries overtaking, in the end they took nearly 10miles to pass. Why is it not possible for the slower lorry to ease off a bit and allow the overtake to be completed rather than have miles of traffic behind?

4 Jul 2007

Wind Turbine

Sitting with the rain and wind lashing against the roof prompted me to put this link in. If you ever drive up the M4 towards London you will not have failed to see the wind Turbine at Reading. Had a look at the website and here is the information on that site.

http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/projects/plan_greenpark.html

Now you be a real geek!!!!

Few days off and new lawnmower

Been off since Monday. Didn't want to work rest days this week and anyway will have enough hours to give a good wage. Started to cut the grass on Friday only to have the lawnmower blow up on me. Managed to get a new one on Monday and got the grass cut dodging the showers. Need to get things ready for the rest of the week so must have a think about what I am going to have for lunch this week. Busy weekend coming up in London with the Tour DE France so wil keep you posted on how things went.

My weather data