Tuesday 27 May 2014


Apparently I'm a polite and friendly homosexual. It's confusing news as I'm a man who likes women and my friends tell me I'm rude. One of my long serving male friends has come to my house two evenings most weeks for the last fifteen years. I'm a better cook than him but he has a very comprehensive television subscription. He'll bring tv programmes to my house and I'll feed him. Another of my friends works with the daughter of the woman who lives three doors down. The daughter was chatting to her mum a couple of weekends ago and apparently the general opinion on the estate is that the man at number 11 (me) is polite and always says hello, but his boyfriend is miserable.

Richard "sexual equality" B

Tuesday 20 May 2014


My mum and dad are/were both quite mathsy, and took every opportunity to educate their children. If a pie/cake/tart/quiche/flan or some other circular foodstuff was being served you were expected to express how much you wanted in mathematical terms. When I was little it was in fractions, later on in degrees. As an adolescent I was expected to describe how much pie I wanted in terms of radians (1 radian is approximately 57.3 degrees). When I learned a little bit more maths I was able to use a π term to make the radians much easier (a modest slice of cake is π/6 radians).

When I talked about this with one of my colleagues he wasn’t at all surprised, he just said "we used to use minutes in our house". I took him to mean minutes-of-arc, which is clearly a ridiculous measurement, there's no quiche in the world that could be cut into 21,600 equal slices. He actually meant the eminently sensible minutes-of-clockface, they're easy to estimate, you've probably got a suitable protractor around your wrist right now, and they have a practical level of accuracy.

Since Easter my mum and I are using a new and bewilderingly impractical unit of our own divising. One disciple is equal to 32.73 degrees. The unit derives from the traditional decoration of a simnel cake which includes eleven marzipan blobs, each representing a disciple. There were twelve disciples at the last supper, but Lando Calrissian Judas Iscariot fell out of favour and isn't immortalised in icing.

Richard "furlong-firkin-fortnight" B

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Internal monologue

I've got an um...... friend in Seattle, and last week I was internet stalking her watching her on youtube. She’s a small woman, she was playing a parlour guitar and singing beautifully. If you could have heard my thoughts it went something like this:

Awww isn't she pretty. I can't believe she can play guitar too. Pretty basic right hand technique. This song doesn't make any sense. Must be some American reference. What chord is that? I don't recognise that one either? That one looks a bit like a D but it's on the wrong strings. I don't know any of these chords! Oh no - she's a better guitarist than me and she's playing in some obscure tuning. Hold on - that guitar's only got four strings! Oh my good god it's a Ukulele! Fuck me! she's TINY.

Oh that's funny I should email her. Am I going to offend her? I don't think so, she must already know she's a shortarse. Perfect, I can type this up for the blog too if nothing funny happens at the weekend. Her mum reads the blog too am I going to embarrass either of them? Probably be OK.

Richard "Hi Bobbie" B

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Totally Unnecessary B̶r̶e̶a̶s̶t̶Brake Examination

This weekend I did some more motorcycle maintenance. Guess which scenario is accurate:

It's a big motorbike with high performance brakes so I'm going to have to change the pads every 18 months. I ordered the pads, brake cleaner, and treated myself to a piston spreading tool. The job was easy and rewarding.

The wear indicator on the front brakes is hard to see. I wasted a load of money on tools and spares only to discover that when I dismantled the brakes I had plenty of friction material left. The only problem was that the sight-marks were covered up with filth.

Richard "B"