Monday, 8 September 2014

Charlies to manage Kate Bush nuptials

I have asked Kate Bush to marry me, and await her decision. She is a lady who takes care over these things and, while she didn't scream "YES" in immediate hysterical glee, she certainly didn't say "no" either.

So keep your diaries cleared: a date in mid November seems most probable, just after Claire's.

The Wedding List will be managed by Charlies of Aberystwyth (with branches throughout Wales, and one in Shrewsbury).

Monday, 1 September 2014

SECOND UPDATE - Photovoltaic cells: free money

I wrote with conceit both one and two years ago about our PV cells. It is now three years since their installation and the pictures they generate have stabilised.

The three year average daily generation and usage now look like this (click to enlarge)


(recall that "usage" is not a clearly defined quantity).

The best fit sine waves to generation and usage, plotted on the graphs, are (click to enlarge):

The waves are (again) reassuringly homed on the spring equinox. The average daily generation in 2011-12 was 9.8KWh, in 2012-13 was 11.3KWh, and in 2012-14 10.5KWh.

Well, the upfront money-in-pocket from the FIT is now well over £5/day. What we save from using free rather than costed power, and pushing surplus into the grid, is as ever secondary and difficult to pinpoint, but is certainly another positive quantity. We're not regretting this purchase.

There seems little point in perpetuating this project as I am now confident of the results. This will leave space on the fridge when I no longer stick the daily recording sheet there. Suggestions?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Aberystwyth Bridge Congress: 15-17 August

When I told Ben I was Secretary to the Aberystwyth Bridge Congress, he formed a mental image of a happy group of Civil Engineers on their summer seaside holidays, discussing load bearing and suspension mechanisms. Maybe next year.

Things to know if you are organising a Bridge Congress:

  • The iniquitous PFI scam means that in order to book space in Ysgol Penweddig (yes, a Welsh medium school), you have to talk to a lady called Laura based in Mansfield. I've had to stay twice in Mansfield and I don't recommend it.
  • Otherwise intelligent people find the clearest of forms simply impossible to complete.
  • Otherwise punctual people find the word deadline simply impossible to understand.
  • 450 packs of cards with attendant boards and packing cases weigh a lot.
  • Bridge trophies are very ugly, although I thought Ciocia Magda's augmentation of the Aber silverware was a masterpiece (mistresspiece?).
  • Suitably courteous letters to the local newspaper can extract sponsorship monies.
  • Machines that will randomly [sic] deal umpteen hands of cards are devious torture instruments beyond Dante's imagination.
  • An understanding of the WBF continuous VP scale will help.
  • The WBU precept is 12.5%.
  • Pinning the regalia on the WBU President is a bit like pinning the tail on the donkey, but it's perhaps best not to tell him that.
  • The services of a mild-mannered Wizard are essential.
  • The Swiss Teams algorithm is a joy to watch in action.
Anyway, in the 1860s there were plans to build a viaduct from Ynyslas to Penhelyg, shortening the journey north from Aber by an hour or more. This crossing has been fictionally actualised in the celebrated works of Malcolm Pryce, but I am thinking the 2015 Aberystwyth Bridge Congress could do the job for real. It'd be more straightforward than this year's.

(There are some indifferent photographs to be seen).

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Bea's Graduation

Kevin recently declared he was no longer a student and that we should all help him celebrate, so we duly reported to the Glen. At that gathering we were informed of Bea Stoykova's mock graduation ceremony, at which I was kindly invited to officiate.

It went swimmingly well at her flat on the evening of May 24th; all the better as it was a complete surprise to her. She was awarded a certificate and was garbed in a suitable home-made Aberystwyth gown.

Never one to miss the opportunity to give a speech, I pillaged the web for some graduation speeches from other places, and assembled some pure plagiarism. It was an eye-opener to read some of the utter bollocks that gets spoken on these occasions, even at sensible places. You can read this cannibalised garbage here - it was very well received.

Many congratulations Bea!

Notes:

  1. Do not miss the outstanding anthem to the Glengower, composed by Pagan Wanderer Lu.
  2. Kevin is runner-up in the World Outdoor Cribbage Competition.
  3. The last time I went to the graduation of someone called Bea, it was all very different.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Safle Bws: Hannah's perfomance

Hannahs come in varying degrees of substance and reality: some are little more than names on hoodies while others, for example, make food and have sisters.

Meanwhile, the bus stops of Ceredigion are a well known source of endless fascination.

So it was a very happy day when a thoroughly echt Hannah nominated my personal bus stop as a venue for her performance.

There is a video of the full show: 6 minutes.

For further information:

  1. A bus stop data base.
  2. Bus stops as a data generator.
  3. A thrilling local development.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Every silver lining has a cloud

I was approximately 100% certain that I would not get any Kate Bush tickets, but amazingly in the end, the Boyle/Hanlon alliance triumphed though the girl's diligence.

This was irritating as I had scribed a "sour grapes" posting and had it all ready to go. Wondering what to do with it, Bea said I should Bin it, write an adoring one in awe of your bloody amazing daughter.

So we can agree that she is bloody amazing. Maybe she was already, and this just confirms matters.

So what follows is no longer apposite. The small green blob should be in the other ellipse, and I no longer need to know if anyone has a spare.


Kate Bush tickets for sale

In this diagram, the true scale size of the blue ellipse is microscopic.

Does anyone know where I can find some Kate Bush tickets for sale?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

No elephants in Newtown

On a visit to Newtown (Powys), there were no elephants to be seen, even though a nondescript branch of Burtons was in clear evidence.
On the other hand, there is a lot to be learned about Robert Owen - philanthropist, early developer of model villages (New Lanark) and arguable founder of the Co-operative Movement, presumably never having had the creative ideas later pursued by Revd. Paul Flowers. The Owen museum was opened specially for me and told a good story, while his carefully tended grave flanked the ruins of St Mary's church.

At left:It is the one great and universal interest of the human race to be cordially united and to aid each other to the full extent of their capacities, and at right To the memory of Robert Owen founder of the Co-operative movement this monument was erected by the Co-operative Union acting on behalf of the Co-operators of the United Kingdom 1902.

He had a good next-door neighbour in the shape of Thomas Powell, a prominent Chartist

- quite a hotbed of this kind of thing, Newtown.

With 30 minutes to spare, Newtown yielded up some other gems: the branch of W H Smith seemed to be locked in the 1950s

You can also get your Morris or Wolseley motor fixed, and see a very fine VR 2084/3:
So never mind about the absence of elephants, eh?