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[ website | A neo green, her girlfriend and a cast of thousands... ]
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(no subject) [Jan. 18th, 2010|03:32 pm]
I just realised that I haven't posted for a very long time!


I have been busy. Yes, yes, you've heard it all before!

But please welcome the littleCollie site to the world. As well as the new podcast we're doing these days...

Thisweekinenergy. It's all just so exciting. And I can't talk about the most exciting thing, because that would curse it.

Oh, and I've also had my hair cut off... (again)

We should keep in touch via twitter...
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A little embarrassing [Oct. 24th, 2009|08:58 pm]
So I went to the Gym this morning. Kate and I have been going quite regularly (3-5 times a week) and I was feeling just fine. Well, okay, a little tired.

I've always had a high heart-rate, but have an absolutely fine blood pressure. It's been checked various times.

But today I managed to succesfully pass out on the treadmill. I was, at the time, only about ten minutes into my workout. I should have started on the five minute exercise bike. That's what I'm meant to do. But today, as with most days, I went on the treadmill first. The bike is a low-resistance setting, designed to get me warmed up properly. But the treadmill is hard work. 15% incline for 25 minutes, alternating between 5 km/hr and 6km/hr. And I am not meant to hold on.

About seven and a half minutes in, (30 seconds after the treadmill program went up to 6km/hr at 15% rather than 5km at 15%) I started to feel a bit weird. I stabbed at the stop button, and called to Kate. And then I was on the floor.

Apparently, my heart was up to about 180 bpm at that point. I must have been pushing myself too hard. The doctor working out next to me said I was okay. But I should have something sweet.

So we came home, and my heart rate was going crazy all the way back. I fainted a few times. Kate paniced and called 999. The amblulance came, by which time I was feeling okay. They checked my pulse, blood pressure, and glucose. And pronounced me okay.

How stupid am I? Grrr....
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Because you can't ever just replace the thing that's broken [Oct. 9th, 2009|07:41 pm]
[Tags|, , , , , , , , , ]
[Current Location |United Kingdom, Bristol]
[mood |blahblah]
[music |Simpsons on TV]


So, I was happily going to put a serial connection (usb, if you're being pedantic, which of course, is serial) from the G-Wiz to the house. I figured this would be easily done with the lovely 3 meter USB cable I have. This is good, because I could hide one end in the G-Wiz (carefully passing it through a gap in the door seal) and then through the front window.

But on opening the window, we discovered that the window wouldn't close again. And then it wouldn't lock. Y'see, the window locking mechanism is made of such poor quailty aluminium that it snapped in two. And there we have it. One buggered window.

So, I quickly took off the offending part, and went, in the rush hour, around Bristol to find a replacement part. Sadly, everywhere I went to told me the same thing.

"Sorry, we don't do *those*. You could buy a whole window."

Err, no.

Y'see, the rest of the window is perfectly okay, thank you very much. And the locking slides are fine too. How about that? Why on earth would I want to replace a whole fracking window when it's just the gear that gets turned by the handle which is broken. Yeah. £99 for a window replacement (that's the cheapest I could see) when there was a £5 part that needed fixing.

And how helpful are those wonderful folks in B&Q, Wikes and wherever else I tried to go. Tell me, at what point did we become comletely throw-away? I missed that memo.

Anyway. Got back home, and resassembled the window, minus the handle mechanism. My wonderful wife, who really deserves a gold medal for putting up with the arsey attitude I've had all day, helped me to fix the window. In fact, she came up with a truly awesome idea to close it. And thus, we managed to lock it. From the inside. Which is a relief.

And I have the BMS monitor software hooked up to the laptop inside the house. This means I can actually see what's going on while we charge up Ellie.

Talking of which, I didn't introduce Ellie. Behold, my free G-Wiz. Well, free, minus a £57 garage bill and the hire of the trailer to get her back to Bristol.

And here's a grab of her charging. Nice software, BMSmonitor!

(There's an error on that screen-grab. But it's all okay now.)

Why was I in a foul mood today? well, I can't exactly say. But we did get four children's profiles to read through for adoption. We've got two children (siblings) which we're keen on going to the next stage with: A visit from their social worker to make sure that our social worker was right about us and to see if we'll be okay to be considered for becoming their parents. But the other two kids we read profiles for read like something out of an episode of "streetcrime UK". Confidentiality demands we don't go into details. But it was harrowing. It left me feeling sick to my stomach. And guilty that we felt unable to help those particular kids.

But, when being adopters, you have to be 100% honest about what you can cope with and what you can't.

Anyway. A bit of Futuruama and Simpsons and all seems right with the world. Oh, and I did some invoicing earlier, which always makes the world feel better ;)

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So erm. Help. [Oct. 6th, 2009|11:23 pm]

We have to move the piano downstairs (for the last time) and really need help. Ideally before social workers visit, which seems to be a lot sooner than we initially thought.

I can, of course, provide food and places to sleep!
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Because I need everyone's support here. [Sep. 21st, 2009|08:06 am]
Please retweet, point to, tell your friends about and everything else with this post. ;)

A crazy EV idea which I want to do
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Oh blessed Guild [Aug. 17th, 2009|08:50 pm]
This is worth a watch ;)

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I don't normally post here... [Jul. 29th, 2009|05:21 pm]

I've just got back from a very wet CBT day. It rained pretty much from the moment I got ON the motorbike until the moment I got OFF the motorbike.

I spent the morning doing figure of eights and learning how to control the clutch and then the afternoon going around the local neighborhood.

At the end I was told I'd passed. Squeee! I'm now allowed to ride up to a 125cc on a learner plate. My instructor also voiced concern over my electric moped (with a top speed of about 26 mph). So perhaps I should look for a very VERY cheap 125 to practice on. Any thoughts?

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Moving.... [Jun. 7th, 2009|06:44 pm]

For anyone wanting to follow my posts from now on I can be found at www.aminorjourney.com

we've moved my site to Squarespace for ease of hosting. This means that I'm no-longer going to be auto-posting here.

But I'll still hang around to read posts. Just don't expect any updates here. Head over to www.aminorjourney.com for my regular stuff!

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Cars without engines. A great conversion possibility! [Jun. 3rd, 2009|09:51 pm]
[Tags|, ]

If you’re one of the many people waking up to EV ownership and finding that the current vehicles on the market aren’t just cutting the mustard for you, or are two expensive or too slow then converting your vehicle from a petrol engine to an electric motor is a great option.

Sadly though, taking your existing car off the road for the few weeks or even months that it takes to convert to electricity isn’t a practical solution - especially if your vehicle has marketable retail value as a gas-powered vehicle or you want to keep it as a ‘long distance runner’ for the days when you just simply can’t get your EV to drive that 400 mile round trip to see granny in a day.

You’re then left with a situation where you desperately want to convert a car (like so many other EV hopefuls) to get that EV grin, but you realize that the best way to move forward is to source a donor vehicle - one which could happily give up it’s engine for the cause of electric vehicle goodness.

EV conversions can start with a great car with no engine.

EV conversions can start with a great car with no engine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.


SLOW excuses. [Jun. 1st, 2009|11:31 pm]

Today I received a complementary copy of an electric vehicle magazine. Sadly it’s not much of a magazine and I spent a few minutes scanning through it.

But one thing caught my eye - and it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. A picture of a reader-converted car, with a sign advising the following:

Please be patient!

It was basically giving the driver of said electric car an excuse. It says “I’m driving slowly because my car is electric”. That’s right. An electric car driver giving an excuse for the fact that their EV is underpowered and slow. Or perhaps it’s an excuse for the driver who is driving unusually slow.

What’s worse is that the car isn’t a small city car. It’s a converted petrol car. So it looks like any other car on the road. Unlike every other car on the road though, this particular one has no shame in proclaiming that it’s an electric car and that those following should be patient with it’s slow progress down the road. Bad press.

And it’s not the first time I’ve seen EV owners do this either. I’ve seen electric vans which were made by a major motor manufacturer, with a flashing amber beacon on top alerting road users to the fact that the vehicle now coming down the road slowly (even though it’s capable of 65 mph) is in fact an electric one. The amber light of course alerting people that the driver of said vehicle is driving slowly to maximize range. Bad press.

Again, it’s not a one-off thing. There seems to be a small core of people world-wide who seem quite happy to help perpetuate the myth that electric cars are slow and boring by the posting of ridiculous signs on the back of their vehicles excusing them for slow progress. As someone who has worked very hard to promote electric vehicles over the past five years - fast, sleek, exciting electric cars - It’s one of my pet hates.

And so to those people. If you MUST carry a sign saying words of the effect that your vehicle is slow and therefore following traffic must be patient then please omit the words “Electric Vehicle”. Because, in case you hadn’t heard, not all electric vehicles are slow and boring. Even if you’ve converted them yourselves.

Even Land-Rovers…

When you own such an EV with a decent performance, how about putting the following on the back:

You’ve just been passed by an Electric Vehicle.
Thanks for letting us by!

Originally published at aminorjourney.com. Please leave any comments there.


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