Wednesday, 14 November 2018


My motorbike is trying to kill me. The last set of rear brake pads lasted less than a year and the anti-rattle clips are now misshapen. I changed the pads, put the new ones in crooked and destroyed them when I put the brake on. I cut those ones out and put another set in more carefully. The brakes were wonderfully effective and the bike passed its MOT. Within a few days the brake felt awful again and I was horrified to discover that one of the (two) bolts that hold the calliper on was missing. I thought it was so dangerous that I actually came to work in a car one day last week.

Maybe I didn't torque it up correctly, but I don't think that's the explanation. I think something is out of shape and I was tightening it up pad to rotor, not calliper to swing arm. I've got a new bolt and while I'm frightened that the same thing is going to happen I can't be bothered to take a torque wrench to the back of my bike every time I leave the house. That's fine I thought. I've got a little tube of anti-sabotage lacquer, that'll make it obvious if the bolt is working loose. Of course it's so old that it's gone off. So old in fact that the company that makes it hasn't even existed for nearly three years, and all google tells you about it is what products it has been replaced by.

In other news: I was very disappointed that it wasn't international double-entendre day last week. A young buxom woman was getting out of my car while trying to carry two bags of hot food and four large soft drinks all jammed into one of those compressed-cardboard carries that fast-food places give you. "Do you want a hand?" "I might" she said "These are large and a bit wobbly."

Richard "I'll say" B

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Say My Name

You can express a certain amount of sentiment with how you store somebody's name in your phone. Years ago I was hurt to discover that my girlfriend had me in her phone as "Bolingbroke, R" – as though she wasn't even on first name terms with me. There was so much mickey taking that all my friends changed my contact details to the same thing, and I think that some of them are like that to this day.

On another occasion we were out drinking and talking about middle names. One of our friends said that she only had one middle name which was "Just Jane" but that's two names, "no, JUST Jane" Oh is it hyphenated like Mary-Sue? Anyway we've called her "JJ" since then. One of my friends was so drunk that he forgot the conversation and forgot changing her contact details and woke the next morning to discover that she was "deleted" from his phone. He assumed that they'd had such a bad argument that he never wanted to talk to her again. He was rung later that day by someone he had no recollection of but that his phone knew as "JJ".

One of my old school friends (another computer nerd) recently won an Emmy award. While he hasn't become intolerable with his own sense of smug self-satisfaction we do rather fear that he isn't going to let us forget it. We've beaten him to the punch by changing his name in all our phones to "Emmy Award Winning A**m S******d" and we call him that in the third person.

Richard "Outstanding achievement in the field of excellence" B