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probablynot

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About probablynot

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Pembrokeshire [Wales, UK]
  • Interests
    Remember, this is 'interests'. Not 'activities'. Some of them used to be activities, but the body deteriorates over time. And the mind? Well, it, er, changes.
    Kite-flying. Orienteering. Cross-stitching. DIY. Astronomy. Computers. Model ships (duh!). Philosophy. Morris dancing. Folk/country music. Cooking. Beer (or Real Ale, to be precise). Belly dancing (because my eldest daughter is amazingly good at it!). And a few other things ...

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  1. Leafing through my old (1936) "Boys Own" annual yesterday, I came across this article by Geoffrey Prout about square-riggers. All very exciting stuff, more dramatic and entertaining than it was informative, but one little reference got me interested. "Shipmasters used to haze their men to get speed out of their ships. Halliards, which were of chain, were often padlocked down to keep panicky hands, when the ship was being pressed dangerously, from rushing to fiferails and letting go to ease pressure aloft." Halliards made of chain? I would never have thought it, but now that it's come to my attention I can see there might be sense in it. Better strength-to-weight than rope, less liable to chafing, things like that. But was the writer correct? If so, was chain ever in widespread use for running rigging? When would it have been first introduced? Have any model-makers here actually used chain for the running rigging on their models? I've only ever seen it used for standing rigging - specifically below the bowsprit, or on the rudder. Gepffrey Prout, incidentally, was a well-known boatbuilder based on Canvey Island in Essex, UK. His sons Roland and Francis were Olympic canoeists in 1952, and the three of them were significant pioneers in the design and building of the early generations of sailing catamarans.
  2. Them Old Jokes

    No takers? All right ... If the grate be empty, put coal on. If the grate be full, stop.
  3. Them Old Jokes

    Oh boy - an old one this! Too wise you are. (work out the rest from that!) Since we're into pre-WW2 jokes, try this one: If BMT put : If B .
  4. Having just read the sad news that MSW member Captain Bob is no longer with us here in the mortal world, my first reaction was that I wanted to go to his Profile. I'm pretty sure he's looked in at some of my build logs in the past, and I just felt I wanted to see what we'd shared, and devote a few minutes to quiet contemplation of where we might all be destined to meet up again. I couldn't find a link anywhere that took me to the member list, so had no way of accessing his Profile. Am I missing something? Is there still a way we members can look at the member list - and from it, to go to an individual member's Profile?
  5. List your miseries here

    Oh Kurt, if only you were in charge of our Welsh Water authority! So anyway, today our patio WAS dug up, and the manhole went in. If I were younger and still full of fire against the Jobsworths who see it as their purpose in life to implement the letter of the law and to quell its spirit, I might have fought harder. Instead, I'm fighting craftier. I contacted the local press. A pretty young reporter came at lunchtime today. We chatted a while, I showed her some correspondence and she took some photos, including one of today's perforated patio. Next, she'll contact Welsh Water to gauge their reaction to my story. If WW have even a modicum of awareness of their public profile they'll respond with an apology and a promise to do better. Otherwise next week's local newspaper will contain an article about a poor old pensioner who's being bullied by local government officials with delusions about their own importance. To be honest, the new manhole cover isn't all that obtrusive, and the guys who put it in did a great job of tidying up after themselves. And today I did a deal with the Conservatory builders that knocked a few grand off the overall cost, by way of compensation for various delays and inefficiencies over the past twelve months. But ... I'm still incensed by the uncaring, myopic attitude Welsh Water has displayed all along. I'm trying to wring the word 'sorry' out of them, mainly because I've several times seen my lovely Admiral in tears about the situation in the last twelve months and I don't think she - or I - deserve that. If the local press can't elicit an apology from them, I'll probably escalate matters with an appeal to my Member of Parliament for help. It does usually work. Before I retired I was working for the Inland Revenue, in an office that dealt with Parliamentary enquiries, so I know the routine ...
  6. List your miseries here

    Yeah, well ... We thought it was all over. They'd at last built our conservatory (took 'em a year to do it) and we'd done the interior decor and bought the furniture. We'd celebrated, with a little party for two and a bottle of bubbly. Outside the conservatory, the garden had been left in chaos. BUT we got a bloke in, and he laid down some pretty neat patio areas and pathways for us. Tidied everything up. Everything was looking good. Except for one little thing. Welsh Water. That's the name of the authority here that supplies fresh water in one pipe, and takes away the, er, used water in another one. Unfortunately the pipe that takes away the used water (ours, and three neighbours) was right where the foundations for the conservatory had to go. Oh well, OK, that just meant digging a trench and putting in some replacement pipes two or three feet away. Except that you can't do that. This is where we came up against ... REGULATIONS!!! Our conservatory builders thought they'd done everything right. But a couple of weeks ago I got a letter from Welsh Water telling me I'd contravened something and unless it was put right within seven days I was liable to be prosecuted for a whole range of offences including Breach of the Water Industry Act 1991, criminal damage, and trespass! This story's long enough. I'll cut it short. Tomorrow the conservatory guys are coming back. They'll dig up one of our beautiful new patio areas and put in a manhole ('cos you have to have a manhole if the pipe bends more than 10 degrees). Hopefully they'll restore the brand-new patio to something like what it was, and the threat of prosecution will be lifted. Meanwhile, we just shrug and ask what we've done to deserve all this. Oh, and for the last few weeks I've been bothered with tendinitis in the shoulders, so can't dress myself without the Admiral's help, plus more and more of my fingers seem to be seizing up with arthritis. So even though the way's now free to get to my modeling workshop, I've been feeling less and less inclined to do so. Life gets teejus, don' it?
  7. What have you received today?

    Today, we took delivery (at last) of the furniture we ordered for the conservatory that we ordered last August and is now (at last) more or less complete. The Admiral and I celebrated the event this evening, sharing a bottle of champagne - and a few nibbles - until the sun went down. That's the good news. The bad news is, we had to assemble the furniture ourselves AND the delivery man didn't take away the enormous pile of packaging. So until we can organise a trip to the 'amenity site' (read 'rubbish dump', or whatever euphemism you have for it where you live) my shipbuilding workshop is CRAMMED with cardboard, polystyrene and surplus allen keys. No more modelling for a day or two!
  8. Keep a word drop a word...

    Ah, good! We're using nouns and adjectives again instead of prepositions and conjunctions! Electric chair
  9. So presumably this means two things. One - MSW is now littered with thousands of those Photobucket ransom demands. I've already seen quite a few. Two - many of the pictures that make MSW's build logs so useful and interesting are now irretrievably lost. The pictures I've posted here myself were all posted direct from my own hard disk. I've never seen the point of storing my collection of photographs on somebody else's website. When PB are hosting a picture, does that mean (er, did it mean) that MSW doesn't have to make space for it on its own hardware? Is that where the benefit lies? Seems to me there needs to be a big campaign now, to try and get everyone who's relied on Photobucket for their pictures to go through their build logs and do a repair job. If possible. As disasters go, this one doesn't quite measure up to the Great MSW-1 crash. But those PB ransom panels are going to be quite a severe irritant for us all as we roam through MSW-2 in search of information, enlightenment, friendship and fun!
  10. My admiral reckons that having a conker in every room keeps away spiders. ("conker" = fruit of the horse chestnut tree, in case you didn't know) She's convinced that spiders don't like the aroma that the conkers give off. Maybe there's some truth in the story. I don't know. But our conkers must be at least four years old now and they no longer have the slightest smidge of an aroma to give off. I don't dare to throw them out though.
  11. Them Old Jokes

    In my 1936 Boys' Own Annual there's a joke on similar lines. Problem: Prove that a sheet of blotting paper is the same as a lazy dog. Solution: A sheet of blotting paper is an ink-lined plane. An inclined plane is a slope up. A slow pup is a lazy dog. QED.
  12. What have you received today?

    Nice selection of goodies, Yamsterman. I went all nostalgic when I saw the map on the box in your second picture. It shows Mersea Island, where I used to do all my sailing and canoeing back in the late 1940s / early 1950s. Ah, those were the days!
  13. America's Cup 35!

    I meant to mention that I was a bit disappointed to read, here, about NZL having amassed four (minus one) points already. Not because I don't want New Zealand to win (which I do, actually), but because here in the UK it was a spoiler. We don't get to see the 3rd and 4th races on TV until tonight at 11.30. Oh well. It'll be like watching 'highlights' from the Formula 1 races on BBC after they'd already told us the result on the news program.
  14. America's Cup 35!

    Wikipedia says: The first team to get seven points wins. So far, Emirates (NZL) have 3 points (four, minus one because Oracle (USA) carry over a point for winning the 2017 Louis Vuitton Cup Qualifiers Round). Oracle have no points. Yet. Racing resumes on June 24th, and proceeds at two races a day until one of the teams has the requisite seven points. NZL need to win 4 more races out of the remaining maximum 10. USA have to win 7 races before NZL can get there.
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