14 Dec 2016

14th December 2016 Pass the nurse, please, swab!


Wednesday 14th 37F, 3C, very light winds, cloudy start but with a distinct threat of sunshine.

Did I mention that I bought a box of 100 "medical" rubber gloves from the chemist? Very handy[?] to keep my hands [?] clean while working on the trike. Or anything else for that matter. I would have bought some years ago had I known they were available in my [un]usual XXXXXL. [Mature Adult Orangutan with thyroid excess,  EU size 103½.] Just make sure you get them large enough despite their amazing stre-e-e-etch-iness once safely on.

It's definitely not a case of "one size fits all" and no jokes about rubber fetishes, thank you very much. I know you were thinking it! 100 uni-hand [ambidextrous?] gloves, the wrong size could be quite an irritation. Though how you are supposed test them for size, when their dispensing box is safely sealed, I have absolutely no idea. 

They feel as if they won't go on at first but then are so close fitting that the finest work can be done. Thicker rubber gloves are definitely warmer but absolutely hopeless for picking up small items like dropped nuts or tiny ball bearings from a headset. I wore some of my rubber gloves yesterday to test the leaky inner tube in a  bowl of freezing rainwater. Tires are really filthy objects given what they roll over. Yet I had never really given it a second's thought over decades of thumbing the treads to [inefficiently] check the pressures. The MkI thumb is an awful tyre pressure gauge!

The trick is to train yourself to dispose of each pair of gloves immediately after removal and not try to re-use them. That would probably mean they are now inside out and you are now deliberately contaminating your hands from the last time they were worn. A box of 100 in bright blue only cost about as much as a single pair of normal, rubber, industrial gloves from the DIY superstore. If you do get the wrong size don't persevere out of stinginess. You can always give them away to a charity shop. Or sell them at a ridiculously inflated "try it on" price on eBay.

When I was a teenager, which was in a previous century, I hadn't heard of hand cleaners. Decent rubber gloves hadn't yet been invented. So I used Vim and Fairy Liquid washing up liquid in combination to try and clean my hands after a serious bout of filthy chain or gears repair. It was lucky "They" hadn't invented girls by then either.

Bicycle chains come a close second only to an oil change or universal joints for being downright nasty to handle. Car and bike mechanics in Denmark always wear rubber gloves instead of only looking as if they were, back in Gravely Blighted. Long term oil contact is a known carcinogen. "They" used to say that lazy mechanics, who always kept their hands in their pockets, would get cancer in unmentionable places. "They" started warning young mechanics against carrying oily rags in the same pockets for much the same reason. I thought driving the vehicles was the dangerous part. Nor standing around with your hands in your pockets in filthy overalls! I saw a young lady house painter yesterday for whom paint and surfaces applied only to her [uniformly splashed] clothing. How can she turn up for each job looking like that?  I worry about having a single paint spot on my recycled, cycling clothing. It's all about keeping up appearances when your are the only one [tricyclist] in the village! 

Remember the recent fetish for dumping aluminium cookware in case you "caught" Alzheimer's? What about decades of handling bare "ally" brake and gear levers on a bike/trike? I can vaguely remember paying a week's wages, back in the 60s, for rubber Campag gear and QR lever covers in bright blue. My posh new Mafac "Professional" center-pull levers had nice, brownish, rubber covers supplied for the grips themselves but not the levers. Weinmann levers never had rubber covers back then. They always seemed horribly thin, mean and cold on the hands after that despite the leather track mitts I wore.

Have I ever mention my Weinmann front brake lever literally snapping in half as I braked at the security gates where I worked? Crash!! It must have been the heavily drilled Weinmann "ally." Imagine if I'd been descending a mountain pass in the peloton? That'll be the "race improved" quality which makes the item cost more, and last a shorter time, than many a Danish Councillor's/MP's/Local Government Officer's meal at a [car tyre a la kart] restaurant!

Bike bits still cost a week's wages thanks to 50 years of cycling inflation. There's a parallel there somewhere between pumping tyres, pumping pedals and pumping up retail prices. Driven forever upwards by the racing stars, which they so idolize but whom don't have to pay for anything, every copy-cat, weekend warrior is directly responsible for robbing themselves at gunpoint! Gotta have the top of the range kit but just too lazy to do the training which the 0.00013 grams lighter might save them 1.3 seconds on the Galibier? That'll be your average amateur "racing" cyclist. What was that old cycling saying? An extra pound of fat on the rider is worth ten pounds of 'fat' in the saddlebag. I'm fairly sure it was something like that. You can buy several complete multi-gear, 2-stroke scooters with full suspension and disk brakes for the price of a single top of the range "groupset!"

Walkies! An hour and a half walk up to the woods going around the "wrong" way. A few buzzards were immovably holding down distant trees. Three Whooper swans went over in tight formation at only about 100' altitude. I could hear the usual odd pumping noise which swans make but couldn't tell if they were panting or it was the sound of their powerful wings. Later I paused and stood quite still in the woods as I was treated to an acrobatic display by upwards of 15 Long-tailed tits. They were very tame and came within 10' while dangling upside down on the lower branches as they surrounded me. Their little flattish faces, without obvious beaks or eyes, make them appear almost like flying voles. The sky is slowly clearing to patches of blue now.

It wasn't warm enough for the GripGrab "S&M" gloves so my hands were soon aching with the cold. Had a nice chat with a cycle shop owner about past exploits. A bit tired on the way home despite the muesli Corny bar at midway.  Hands not so cold on the way back. They are building a new DIY big shed only next door to the original. Must be something to do with better lorry access. A huge telescopic crane was busy and massive concrete beams waiting on a lorry to be lifted into place. They were using the same technique as they do with wind turbine blades. The beams act as the extended lorry's body with a steerable bogie under the remote end.  I didn't capture any photos because the low  sun was right behind them. 21 miles in blinding sunshine under a clear blue sky. Lots of birds of prey sitting about again.

I saw my very fist car charging point in a supermarket car park. The charging spot was empty. Despite the huge taxes on all imported cars there are probably more Ferraris in Denmark than electric cars. Electric cars suffer only 150% import taxes compared with 180% for others. Well, they have to have enough taxes in hand literally billions of Kroner to crooks. Incidentally, Google's spelling checker did not recognise Ferraris. Perhaps it never thought it would need the plural form of the fabulously expensive cars. Tell that to the owner in London who hit and injured 8 innocent people and caused a major incident. What possible value does a supersportscar have in a city? It gives the bored passengers on the buses going past in the bus lanes something to look at? Gravely Blighted's national speed limit is 60mph on rural roads and dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways. In towns and villages it is usually 30mph unless marked otherwise. Though millions would not agree and are perfectly willing to pay fines and/or time in hospital for the privilege of not agreeing with specific laws which apply to everybody else but them.

I was just reading about a Windows update which blocked users from getting online. Dumb as chips Microsoft [who else?] put out advice on [guess what?] the Internet on how to get back online. Dugh? My ISP was in the habit of having 'outages' and very odd fiber wall box behaviour. The first thing the recording said when you rang customer services was to go online to their website for advice! And when your email service was down [yet gain] you were told to email them! Aaarrgghh!?!  If the NSA isn't listening can you still be heard screaming at your computer?


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