Steam Car Club of Great Britain

Posted by jerry on February 24th, 2006 — Posted in History, Journal, Steam, Technology

Now here is a site to see – The Steam Car Club of Great Britain has galleries of images, a UK steam carr register of all known steam cars in Britain – even a for sale and wanted notices section! Yes you could buy a 1903 Locomobile for a mere STG 40,000, or a 1919 Stanley steamer for US$42,500 – oh well perhaps if I have a big lottery win 🙂

There are also galleries of pics from the London-Brighton veteran car run

One of my favourite sections is that on the Field steam motorcycle – complete with a quicktime video of the bike in action. The page lists the rather complex starting procedure for the bike and has some great photos. There is even a later version of the bike that was filmed doing the wall of death – and that means a speed of at least 50mph (about 85kph)

This is a great site and one I keep coming back to 🙂


Power failure

Posted by jerry on February 18th, 2006 — Posted in Journal

It began on dusk with a bang – two bangs in fact – and all the lights went out and the computer was silent. We unplugged the computer and I checked the power board – nothing tripped out. By then we could hear our neighbours in the street and we went outside to join them. “Whatever it was took out at least two transformers” said one, pointing up the street and over the back fence. I hoped it wasn’t a car accident. We checked that someone had phoned the power company, and then decided to take a dusk stroll – there wasn’t much we could do inside. Our neighbours set about transferring their dinner preparations to the barbeque.

Just one street over we saw the problem – an unfortunate cockatoo. There are not many birds large enough to bridge between two power wires, but this one was.



Within half an hour the power company truck arrived and the young engineer set about isolating the power to that pole using a long extendable hook on a PVC plastic tube. A further half hour and the lights were back on to the cheers of the neighbours.

New tree planting

In the meantime we explored the old forest area – and noted the new growth of triangular plastic bags! On closer inspection it turned out that these were new trees planted to provide a shade corridor for the migration of wildlife. We knew then that it was not about to be infilled with houses. We also met another of our fire-affected neighbours and discussed the recovery process in the district.


Bronze Age textiles in Copenhagen

Posted by jerry on February 11th, 2006 — Posted in History

I feel I should respond to the message left by gentleman on Sharon’s blog, commenting on my post on the ancient textiles at the National Museum of Denmark at Copenhagen. He is claiming that the images show Iron Age clothing, whereas the the pictures are actually of Bronze Age clothing. I refer the gentleman to p.160 of the museum guide “Nationalmuseets – Arbejdsmark 2000” published by the National Museum in 2001 (ISBN 87-89384-76-8). The Wikkipedia notes that the Nordic Bronze Age covers the period 1800BC to 600BC (add 2000 years for number of years ago), and is divided into roughly six sub-periods. The clothing in question therefore comes from the early Bronze Age.

This is a Bronze Age man’s cloak and hood – and an accompanying hat – both dated by the burial coffin’s tree rings to 3,351 years ago from Borum Eshoj near Arhus
Danish bronze age clothing

This is a Bronze Age dress and collar-piece from a woman buried 3,370 years ago at Egtved.
Bronze age dress, Denmark

This is a recreation of a dress in the style of the Bronze Age dress – the colours taken from a chemical analysis of the original dyes used. The original was stained brown by the chemical action of the bog which preserved it.
recreation of bronze age woman\'s dress

I invite the person concerned to leave a comment on my blog here so that I can respond more directly.


Wandering Moleskine Project v.2

Posted by jerry on February 7th, 2006 — Posted in Journal, Writing

Yes it’s official – the Wandering Moleskine Project is on again, starting 1 May 2006! I was privileged to be part of the previous one – and was even quoted in the New York Times article about wandering notebooks 🙂

This is a wonderful project – bringing people together across the world


Moleskine and Waterman pen

Posted by jerry on February 6th, 2006 — Posted in Journal, Writing

waterman pen and moleskine notebook

moleskine notebooks are my constant companion – my preference always being for the squared paper pocket sized ones. And my trusty Waterman fountain pen – the ink does not bleed into the moleskine paper. And here’s the proof:

Moleskine notebook

Some people seem to have trouble with fountain pens on Moleskines – perhaps they use a really broad nib?

The other day I pulled out my pen as usual, and noticed to my horror that the pen is now looking a bit careworn. It’s only about two years old, but the enamel is starting to show signs of wear. The pen itself is still wonderful to write with – one of the few fountain pens I can trust on an aircraft not to leak – but I have to acknowledge that sometimes sharing a pocket with my keys is not a good idea!

Moleskine notebook

Ah well, it is showing its history, having been carted around folk festivals, written in my journal on the Great Wall in China, and it carries many memories in its short existence. This is the pen that wrote the entry on the Wandering Moleskine Project (Moleskine number eight), as well as the one that sketched the outline of my shed refurbishment.