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.

31 Jan 2010

Where are we going?

Off for a few days and enjoying the chance to have a few beers and spend some time in the shack. Waiting for the Police to come round. Friday night some little ...t thought it fun to take the windscreen wipers off all the cars. I am sure they will be filled with a sense of well being. Anyway had to buy a new set and today while out with Harvey found a least one of them. Still they had to be replaced soon anyway. For those that do not know the contract First has with National Express is up for renewal. Given the current situation with First and NX and cannot see it staying with First. There have been a couple of rumours and meetings. First we hear that First wants us to stay a in Bath as Bus Drivers then we hear ' you are coach drivers' so will be transferred to any new operator under TUPE rules. So at the moment I do not know what I will be doing in the future. I would prefer to stay with NX but also want to keep my First bus pass!! However, given the current rate that First are loosing routes it well not be worth much soon. The only thing is that I do not think I will be out of work.

27 Jan 2010

Not Charging

Way home the other night the bike lights were getting dimmer and dimmer. Made it home Ok and stated to have a look in the morning. Found that there was only 10v on the battery and no increase when the bike was running. Took seat and tank off to get access to the wiring loom. Checked the charge off the magneto and that was fine but could not find any volts out of the rectifier. Conclusion was that it was dead and decided to order a new one. Middle of the night had one of those 'eureka' moments. In the morning stripped it down again and checked the volts through the loom. Came to a connector block and as I moved it the red wire fell off! Simply matter of soldering the wire back on to the pin. Tested and found a nice 14volts on the battery with the engine running. Job done and £23-17 saved!!

25 Jan 2010

Distractions

I was interested to see the news the other day. Police in Dorset were 'clamping' down on things that distrait drivers. Mobile phones, eating reading etc. This is all good and will hopefully improve  the accident rate. However no one seems to be concerned at some of the other distractions. I mean especially in London the hugh increase in advertising hoardings and brightly lit signs. There is no way that a driver can avoid not seeing these and potentially being distracted even for a second.
Another is the apparent increase on the companies designing buildings to show off their products. The one that springs to mind is the Audio garage alongside the M4 at Brentford. The traffic now slows at this point as drivers slow to view the extensive collection of Audio vehicles. These cannot be seen from the ground so I wonder how planning permission got through for this one. I also notice that Smart next door are doing the same thing. I wonder if I got stopped for eating a sweet I could use it as an example? Perhaps not.

16 Jan 2010

Snow

I think enough has been said about the snow and as listen the rain thundering on the 'shack' roof I am now glad to see it gone. I must say though it has been a very intersteing couple of weeks. I will try and put some photos into the gallery.

A very dangerous trick

I wrote this a last year but having seen a very near miss yesterday in the same place I feel I have to publish it.

Good trip today pretty quite on the roads especially in London arriving 25mins early!! Passenger numbers still down and Heathrow and Victoria look very bare of people.
Coming home today arrived at the A350 at 1715 , not a good time as the traffic is always heavy. For those that don't know it is a long dual carriageway that goes into one just before the roadabout. It always amazes me how drivers queue for up to a mile from the roundabout and leave lane 2 empty. I, as the highway code states

"134 You should follow the signs and road markings and get into the lane as directed. In congested road conditions do not change lanes unnecessarily. Merging in turn is recommended but only if safe and appropriate when vehicles are travelling at a very low speed, e.g. when approaching road works or a road traffic incident. It is not recommended at high speed."

trickle down lane 2 until just after the traffic lights and start looking for a spot to safely merge with the traffic. This always is met with speeding up and closing of gaps and the 'you are not getting in front of me whatever' brigade. If only they just kept going and all merged in turn there wouldn't be a queue. Tonight however they surpassed themselves. Just after the traffic lights a gent in a Honda pulled straight out in to lane 2, I assume to block me. To that gent I say. Have you suddenly become a policeman? You obviously have not read the highway code and your actions very nearly caused a major RTA as myself , and, the following traffic had to take emergency action, even at the low speed I was going. What if there had been an emergency vehicle behind me? As it was after I had pealed my hands off the horn I safely merged with the traffic. The gent contiuned to block me, and the following vehicles, by braking harshly and speed up and slowing down. What he was trying to do I am not sure, but I assume he knows.
I am sure you will have your own thoughts on this, some will say I am in the wrong some the other way round.

12 Jan 2010

Bike repair

Bit of overtime yesterday. Phone call at 1000 asking if I could do the 'Frome back'. 10 hours on a rest day, very nice. Good trip up and back. Roads still quite but surprised at how much snow was on the A4 around Marlborough.
Problem with the bike on the way home. No lights!! Managed to get home on sidelights and spent this morning trying to find the fault. It was the old problem of poor earthing. The fault appears to be the point where all the earths in the headlight cluster are joined together. Given the cold and time I decided to do a temporary repair. I ran a new wire from a good earth point into the headlight cluster. This will be Ok until I can strip in all down and do a permanent repair.

3 Jan 2010

Another Stealth Tax

I  was interested the story regarding adding £15 to fines to 'help victims of crime' This on the outside seems a very good idea. Until you think about peoples idea of British justice, these include 'the punishment must fit the crime' and also that it must be fair. Perhaps rather than adding money if I am stopped for not wearing my seat belt, I should be made to spend a day with a Paramedic team attending rad accidents. Any way the real reason for this this post was that I received a nice letter from DVLA telling me my photo license needed to be renewed. Sounds good until you read they would like £20!! I have not changed much in 10 years. I still have the left over photos when I first sent off for a photo license. Wonder what would happen if I sent one back again? 

My weather data