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Hornby King

Posted in canon, canon g10, copyright, foam, hornby, Humour, image, internet, media, model railroad, model railway, modelling, photography, trainspotting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2014 by norvenmunky

Hornby Today Hornby’s Press department released an image (see above) of the latest Hornby product to be announced. In an unusual step they are allowing anybody to reproduce the image, it being “royalty” free.

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Seating (Journalists Guide to Aviation Part 2)

Posted in aviation, baa, bbc, disruption, easyjet, Humour, journalist, life, media, simon calder, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2012 by norvenmunky

My old muckers at easyJet have worked out a new way to get money out of you. You can pay to have allocated seats, hoorah! What this means of course is that unlike the good old days, (before easyJet bought ‘Go’), when you bought an easyJet ticket and it had the seat number on it in a sort of ‘allocated’ styley, you can now pay for the privelidge of having that allocation. No big deal really just a cute way to make money on a LoCost airline.

This fact is needless to say lost on certain journalists whom are unable to string any coherent thought together. Ginny Weeks, whom unfortunately nails the ‘female blonde’ stereotype colors firmly to the mast with the following ‘thick as two short planks’ defining logic. Aided of course by the ability to put up for all to see a reversed image of an easyJet heavier than air machine, see below.


After a 19-hour flight from Bali trapped in seat 34E- an aisle seat three rows behind the ‘baby row’ where six (!) screaming children sat, I know all too well how a bad seat can make your journey hell… So it’s great news that easyJet is starting to make passenger comfort a priority. From November, each passenger will have a seat reserved for them, signalling a welcome end to the elbows-at-dawn, first-come first-served set up of old, which saw people scrambling for the best seats and creating stress for everyone.

Ginny darling, how the feck does booking seat 4a when you buy your ticket prevent you from sitting next to the screaming kid? All you’ve done is chosen where you are going to sit, not where anyone else is. I can imagine a few No1’s when being told ‘I didn’t buy this seat to sit near that bunch of screaming babies!’, to say, ‘I’m terribly sorry madam, but thats exactly what you did, you chose seat 4a’.

An easyJet aeroplane the right way round … (yesterday)

Mrs Smith complained about the rising fees, and said many families feel it is a “hidden charge” if they want to sit together. Mr Smith however, having closely read the terms and conditions at the time of booking, seemed satisfied with his seat allocation.

2012 G4S and the Account Responsible Senior Executives

Posted in canon g10, Darwin Awards, disruption, entertainment, exhibition, g4s, Humour, insurance, life, London, london 2012, london underground, media, olympic, photography, stratford, technical support, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2012 by norvenmunky

Well lets face it, its not the first time NM has questioned mathematical abilities upon this very blog. NM’s no great shakes himself, but he does know that if he’s supposed to have five pieces of ‘stuff’ and when he lines his stuff up and counts them, if he’s got a finger or two spare on his left hand he concludes, normally, he needs more ‘stuff’.

G4S is responsible for recruiting, training and managing the security workforce that will be tasked with securing the Games. Originally tasked with supplying 2,000 security staff, in December 2011 they were requested to provide another 8,000 to which they agreed …

According to them:
We’ve been involved for some time already: G4S commenced its security operations for The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in March 2011.
The G4S 2012 Project Team is working closely with customers, stakeholders and industry associations, to maximise on the opportunities and meet the challenges that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring to the UK.

Over to the Chief Exec of G4S, Mr Buckles 14/07/2012:
Despite having signed the initial contract in 2010, Mr Buckles said that he had only realised eight or nine days ago that there would be a shortfall in the numbers. He said G4S agreed to supply 10,000 staff about six months ago and received more than 100,000 applications from people looking for temporary jobs. But the complexities of vetting, recruiting and training applicants meant the company fell behind its targets. Mr Buckles said: “It’s really because of recruiting a large number of people for a very short period of time. It’s getting people to go through the processes which will probably take them three or four weeks of their time to actually get to work for three weeks.

So, Mr Buckles, your starter for ten.
10,000 people x 3 weeks ‘processing’ = 30,000 weeks required.

According to yourselves you started this process in 2010. Assuming January 1st 2010 kick off, thats 132 weeks of ‘processing’ up to doors open available, for cash, (you’re probably familiar with that at least). Roughly you’re looking at ‘processing’ 75 people per week assuming a 7 day week, and no rejects from signing the contract in 2010, So, no alarm bells ringing here, no sir, all happy clappy here, ‘crack on’ etc etc.

So with the new info that someone in G4S worked out that on the 1st Jan 2012 (‘about six months ago’) they had sufficient time, (allowing 3 weeks for processing), to train 312 security people per week, (no rejects remember) to meet their target, no one in your organisation in January thought, Hmmm …

No doubt you readers are now thinking Oi! we don’t want a chuffing maths lesson! Fair enough.

Putting it in Daily Mail speak:
Mr Buckles’ company was faced with:
138 London buses, or
24 ‘jumbo jets’ or
A column of people 59 x the height tall of Nelsons Column (assuming standing on each others shoulders),
Of people to ‘process’ sucessfully in six months.

At what point did this not ring alarm bells? Answer: Up until eight days ago apparently …

Mr Buckles:
Of course we knew that, so we’re not saying that’s an excuse, but clearly that’s what’s happened.”
Mr Buckles insisted the company had kept both the government and Locog fully informed about the difficulties, saying: “We have been sharing information every day with our customer and together with the Home Office we agreed last Thursday that it was a good decision for them to ask for more troops.”

NM suspects that what actually happened was the G4S assorted red nosed, propellor tie and large shoe wearing number management types, (Account Responsible Senior Executives) were found out. Up until a week or so ago, G4S was sharing the information every day with their customer that they were ‘on target’, building a solid clicks and mortar platform for olympic security. And then someone said , Hang on, remind me when it starts? The 27th?, ah, thats ok then. Oh you mean this month?… Oh Bollocks!

It’s not the first time NM has seen the effect of ‘transforming real-time supply chains’. This occurs when you’ve not got enough ‘stuff’ and you have to ‘deliver killer content’. That means putting your hand up early and saying Sir, Please sir, We’ve not got enough stuff sir!. Thats real killer content, not your ‘happy clappy, no elephant squatting in the corner here’ mindset.

NM’s curious about the ‘processing’ involved too. NM has to deal with G4S on a daily basis. We check a telephone line, they ring first and ask NM to call back on the dedicated line. NM does this, and before he says anything the receiver states yes ‘thats lound and clear’, and the phone is put down. NM then puts the phone down having said nuffink.

What they really mean is the bell works.

However, we have no idea if the phone actually works.

Clearly, G4S leads from the top …

Air Traffic Slots (Journalists Guide to Aviation Part 1)

Posted in 911, air traffic control, air traffic slot, atc, aviation, ba038, baa, bbc, computer, disruption, Humour, internet shopping, journalist, life, media, September 11, simon calder, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by norvenmunky

A journalist collects and distributes news and other information

Unfortunately in NM’s experience far too many of them fall into the following genre

writing that reflects superficial thought and research, a popular slant, and hurried composition, conceived of as exemplifying topical newspaper or popular magazine writing

So not so long ago a piece appeared in a local rag bemoaning the fact that a reader posted a message on a local airport story, saying an airline could not get the ATC slots for summer flights because it does not have enough staff available to man the planes having made lots of cuts over the winter.

An ATC slot is produced via the CFMU, (thats a big building in Belgium, but thats not important at the moment,) as a function of airspace capacity. Naff all to do with airline staffing. So heres how it works …

Idiots guide to ATC slots.
Its very simple, if you have a room that holds ten idiots, you can’t put eleven idiots in the room. (much as you might like to)
Idiot number eleven has to wait until one or more idiots come out, or the room is made bigger, so the idiot (No11), gets a slot time. This is the time the idiot has to present itself to commence their journey to the room. If there’s only seven idiots in the room, then you can get three further idiots in there without restricting their progress at all, but the fourth idiot and any subsequent idiots will have to wait their turn. If that room is in fact a corridor joining two rooms, then you can only get so many idiots down that corridor at any one time, even if the room at either end has a limitless supply of idiot capacity. Therefore any idiot wishing to pass through the corridor may get a slot time for the corridor, depending on how many idiots wish to use the corridor at any given time. If there is another different corridor, joining the rooms you can send the idiots down those corridors, which may mean that the idiots will not be restricted at all.

So you can see using the above idiots guide, you should be able to see that ATC SLOTS, do not get secured by an airlines schedule, or their staffing levels, they are a tactical daily/hourly response to airspace capacity. But please don’t let inconvenient substance like facts get in the way

Do the Maths …

Posted in air traffic control, atc, baa, bbc, Darwin Awards, disruption, entertainment, environment, Humour, life, media, simon calder, snow, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 13, 2011 by norvenmunky

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, apparently the UK’s MP’s have come to the conclusion that the UK now needs a ‘Snow Supremo’ because its mid May and someone in accounts has just knocked the calender over, it falling open at ‘December’. This group of MP’s examined the impact of heavy snow last December which shut Heathrow, Gatwick and major train lines, and left roads impassable. There’s an inevitability here that a load of people have sat around a table listening to people who don’t have a simple grasp of maths, talking to people who don’t have a grasp of maths. You rapidly come to the conclusion that we’d learn more factual and useful information if we’d paid them to sit around lighting and analysing their own farts. Don’t get me wrong re mathematical ability, despite my current employ, I was labelled early on as ‘Suitable for Parks and Gardens’. In retrospect it may have been an extremely astute careers teacher who thought, ‘this ones trouble’ keep him outside in the shit, rather than inside creating it, alternatively, they may have been as thick as pig muck. I know where my vote is.
We all know there are known knowns as Mr Rumsfeld would have us believe. For simplicity there are various impirical measures that we use, and we all understand what they mean as we can all relate to the sizes quoted. They are in no particular order, london bus, Wales, jumbo jet. These are helpfully rolled out by our ‘meejah mates’ so we, as simple folk can understand whats going on. Unfortunately our ‘meejah mates’ don’t stop to think about how to use the cumulative drivel they are seeping into the nations subconcious to provide a more ballanced outlook on life.

So lets look at out ‘stressed passenger’ at the airport that has just closed in heavy snow. Apparently airlines must give accurate information about delays out to the passenger and provide acommodation etc etc. So assume we’re on RyanJet, a low cost airline flying 150 seat airliners. Today we’re lucky all the aircraft are only 2/3rds full with 100 punters per flight. We are however at a busy single runway airport with 30 movements per hour. That means every two minutes an aeroplane departs. We won’t bother with arrivals it’ll get too messy, we’ll assume its the first wave banzai charge of the morning thats been culled. Unfortunately we are at the back of the queue of those wanting info. So in front of us we have 30 x 100 passengers all wanting information they can bellow into their crackberries that they’re ‘at the airport’. Thats 3,000 people/6 x jumbo jets/53.57 x london busses of people all in front of us. We have ten check in desks available to help answer our questions. Thats 300 people/5.3 london busses, per bint per desk. Fortunately all the bints are as fast/helpful as the legendary Jane Boulton and either answer the query or shoot the passenger dead within one minute of them arriving at the front of the queue. So at the back of the queue we will be waiting ‘a while’ before we get seen or shot individually.

So one aggrieved passenger suggests …
Major airports and stations should have accommodation reserved for when people are stranded, and food in place.

Ok, Mrs Thickass-Hite at the back of the queue, lets look at the Abiss Hotel in Luton. 162 rooms, (we’ll assume they’re all doubles). That means one hotel can accomodate one queue each (for cash). So the airport/airline has to book for Mrs TS (in case it snows), ten entire hotels in the vicinity of the airport, just for one hours worth of departures at two thirds airframe capacity. For the benefit of Mrs TS that assumes they are fortuitously empty on that particular day, and that as if by magic, when it pisses down with snow, not one other non-airline traveller in the vicinity of the airport is going to consider booking into a hotel overnight because the weathers bad. Also no doubt she’ll want a personal taxi to the pre-booked hotel, or a coach, and she’ll insist on being at the front of the queue. Course with the snow falling and the roads a bit ‘busy’ you’ll be at any of the ‘pre-booked just in case and cost not passed on to you in increased ticket price hotels’, in a matter of minutes inside the taxi or coach that would have been doing nothing at that time of the morning anyway.

An 'empty' hotel car park

Then there’s clearing the snow at airports. The most important thing is to get the runway clear, then you can land an aeroplane. And thats it, thats all you can do, because you haven’t cleared the taxiway or parking stand. Until you do that you’re cattled. Lets look at those times. The runway is 2,000 metres long x 50 metres wide. Your snow plough is 10 metres wide and can plough at 10kmh. So if the snow has stopped falling enough to allow the runway to remain clear after each pass, that’s an hour just to do the runway before you start on the parking stand and taxiways. Oh and the service roads because you’ll need to put fuel in the plane and food water etc etc, and no, you can’t use salt. One thing missing is the shamen whom are able to tell us exactly how much snow will fall, and where, and when it will stop, not terribly surprising the comittee didn’t find one either. So if you’re a punter at the end of the second hours worth of booking in/flights … well do the maths, and ask Simon Calder to do them too while you’re at it, then he can talk a little less drivel than normal …

Paradise City

Posted in canon, canon g10, entertainment, environment, exhibition, Humour, internet shopping, life, London, london underground, media, model railroad, model railway, modelling, photography, rail, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by norvenmunky

Albert Square 2010

Albert Square

We’ve all got our idea of a Paradise City, places we’ve been, lived, worked, read about, well this is mine, unashamedly, London. Where it all started was Lambeff, Albert Square to be precise, not that crappy beeb London one, but the real, sahf of the riva, see above. I never really thought about why I felt such an affinity with the Kings Cross area when I worked there, but re-visiting pictures it seems that the similar architecture of Georgian three storey architecture with basements and Portland stone probably made an impact on the two year old NM prior to heading out of town, a relief then to realise it wasn’t just the drink, prostitutes and drugs that captivated me on my return. Sometimes I wasted my money on toy trains.

MRM Kings Cross London

That led me to working at the Model Railway Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of York Way. The building has survived the recent development of the area and is now a restaurant. That will be somewhat ironic for the previous staff members who worked there, in that you can now order food to be eaten in the building, rather than using our shop intercom from three buildings away. That could be used, (allegedly), to order food in a cafe, Renzo’s, (three doors away), much to the dissapointment of the proprietor whom on opening an unsummoned dumb waiter, was to see ‘Dooamaneg’ glaring balefully at him on a grease laden sloppy plate…

The friendships built up there still last to this day, some of the antics still bring a wry smile to the face. As youngsters into ‘London’ it was important to find out the area, so we had a street map on the wall, theoretically, for customers who pre googlespace/mytube/facetwatter, wanted to know how to get from place to place. Well there was only one way to find out. Research.

St Pauls

There wasn’t a reseach budget as such, just an unerring faith in our ability to leave the shop at 13:01pm (without a map), ‘RLF’ for twenty to twenty five minutes, and then deliberately find a different route back to be through the door at 13:59pm. The result then being plotted on the map using the shop as the centre and a radius/range being drawn in with a compass. Therefore if a customer asked how long it took to walk to X, you could theoretically give an answer …

Thames from the 'right' side of the river ...

Now, Nm’s regular readers will already be seeing ‘potential’ for interesting and frank, free flowing discussion with ‘management’ on return to the shop, and to be fair there were a few occasisions when such discussion took place. I can recall one particular return trip that went ‘a bit wrong’. We’d headed south to Holborn, via Bloomsbury on a beautiful spring day, but had headed back to route up Grays Inn road. We’d been a bit too long and it wasn’t the first time we’d been bollocked for being late, so the pressure was on. The lack of map bit us here and we were actually lost but continued ducking and diving up side streets to head north. We came across a small playing field and thought we could see a way out at the far end, so we were ‘safe’ and stated to walk. At the end of the field we came to a brick wall, literally, about 8ft high, too high to see over. Doing the old schoolboy run at it and jump, scrabble up and sit on the top worked. The only problem there was, was a concrete yard the other side but with a bigger drop, and expensive cars, probably a law firms parking area. A shout and we simultaneously took our chance and dropped into the yard, splitting in opposite directions, just like the filums. We exited through two different gates running, followed by shouts of very rude words, from an old boy presumably in charge of ‘security’ having served on the Russian Convoys, and used to chasing cabin boys all over the decks. We got back to the shop in time for a summary bollocking, and every siren that sounded that afternoon had us on tenterhooks.

What it did do was to provide a better than ‘the knowledge’ knowledge of the part of North London around the Kings Cross area, including all the street life that entailed.

Trafalgar Square

Street life occaisionally came into the shop, where it was the job of whoever wasn’t ‘busy’ to remove them. Nm had a absolute pearler of a case where he very quickly learnt one of lifes lessons, this was re-inforced by ones colleagues ‘QFO’ing as soon as they realised the Quatermass pit sized whole Nm had dug himself. A lady came into the shop, looking a little distressed, but nothing un-usual to raise alarm bells. (Even at that time Nm was pretty streetwise, being able to identify a pimp/pro/ned/alchy/smackhead at twenty paces). It was a lunchtime, ‘may I use your toilet she asked?’, seemed reasonable, didn’t smell odd, she looked alright, ‘clean’, if you know what I mean, if you don’t … Well, yep Nm says and showed her the way (to the bog).

After about five mins she hadn’t re-appeared. Helpfull comments and queries such as ‘is she still in there?’ from my colleagues rapidly followed, countered with ‘Yeh, she’s probably reading a paper or summat’ from an increasingly intrigued worried Nm. Well a good half an hour passed, questioned through the door, ‘are you alright luv?’ from Nm, his colleagues helpfully asking ‘how are you going to get her out then?’ When on Top Gear one of the guys gets left by the others whilst taking the piss as they leave is just so true, it’s almost a right of passage, and when it happens to you with the right bunch of mates it almost makes it alright. Now the crapper was on the stairs and Nm had to hovver near it to appear like he was just going for one whenever the bosses appreared, to prevent them asking any awkward questions, like ‘WTF is the smackhead doing in the crapper?’

After a good hour or so Nm was thinking I’m going to
a/ have to go in, but the door is locked from the inside …
b/ tell the boss the smell isn’t in fact one of Bri’s unholy ones
c/ just run away

There was a dreadful groaning from the crapper, which was peculiar for Nm. It at least meant that the tart wasn’t dead, but filled him with the dread of getting the aforementioned ‘trollied’ bint out of the shop, negotiating her past a counter full of customers, ‘interested’ colleagues and a security camera attached to a CCTV. The thought of dragging or firemans lifting an unconscious bird through the shop and being caught on camera (again) just filled him with ‘bowell water’ making fear. It is at these times that you realise why adrenaline is brown and leads to real moments of fear inspired brilliance. There were two front doors to the shop, No14 and No12, No12 rarely used. If the bint could be steered through the rear stock room, past the phone and map to No12, there was a real chance she could be released into the wild relatively discretely. So Nm managed to lift the latch of the door at No12, easing it shut so the boss couldn’t see it was open, and as soon as the bint opened the door to the karzi, at about the hour + fifteen mark, he very quickly shoved, escorted her to the other door where on leaving she belched a projectile stream of the foulest smelling puke Nm’s ever had the displeasure to encounter. Well you’ve read the blog, you can easily imagine…
Nm slammed the door behind her and turned to see the boss who had come down the other stairs looking at him very oddly. ‘Whats up’ he said?, ‘Oh just some drunken tart who’s puked in 12’s doorway’ Nm straightface replied. Seemed to work. There were a few comments re the whiff from No14’s crapper though, it stank as though someone had emptied the entire waste contents of Smithfield, Covent Garden and Billingsgate and a bit of soggy cardboard into the smallest room. Nm gave it a quick clean, and declared it clear of sharps and fit for use, (the tart that is, not the bog).

In true team spirit the smell was blamed on Bri.
It’s what mates are for.

Millenium Bridge

Albert Sq piccies from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sczscz/

You Gotta Go There To Come Back ..

Posted in Humour, life, media, recycling, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2009 by norvenmunky

Chew's been in trap three again ...

While the rest of the world is grabbing the space race firmly by the horns, UK PLC has cheekily stolen a huge leap forward. Our redneck pals from the U S of A have to no great surprise chosen a high profile approach. They’ve fired a bloody big rocket at it to smash bits of it off to see if it has frozen water, no doubt Dr. Jeremy Clarkson was their technical advisor, and this from the country that previously brought you the Manhatten Project. Well predictably the Brits have taken a more laid back less gungho approach, our previous best efforts being a machine that goes to Mars and does cock all, and Atomic Kitten. For the first time in our history we have got the lead in the number of our citizens that have become astronauts, and frankly we’re likely to stay that way for some considerable time. Even more surprising is that they are not all suntanned demi-gods from Top-Gun test pilot school in Miramar, with perfect teeth, but have come from Bristol.
Bristol, “The city where they don’t bury their dead, they prop them up in bus shelters”. Taking the easyJet low cost approach to our scientific endeavours, our thousands of astronauts have been plucked from obscurity, or more accurately a municipal landfil site, to be packed into an aloominum choob and launched into outer space. A bit like Friday’s EZY6051 then.

The worms have been carefully selected for the mission and will be exposed to conditions in space for four days. No details of the selection process have been released yet, its not clear if it was a written application process, Name, Brian Worm. DOB, Dunno I’ll ask the other end see if he/she knows, Occupation, Worm, Qualifications, Pink and Wiggly, AC/DC. At the very least they’re partially qualified for cabin crew. Or alternatively a talent show, where they have to perform in front of three industry experts and a vet to assess their ‘worming’ skills.

Scientists hope the worms will help them work out why astronauts’ muscles get really weak when they’re in space. Contrary to popular belief its not because they all lounge around saying, ‘That’s not my job, I’m avionics/engines/airframes’ etc etc. Now I may not be a scientist, but my guess is that due to the lack of gravity, and a new found ability to throw Katyana the 320lb ‘girly’ cosmonaut from one end of the space station to the other, without any significant physical effort, could be key factors in this muscle wastage.

Katyana, 2nd Left, Belarus National Football Team Cheerleaders 2009 Run Forest!, run as fast as you can!.

That and the fact they are on live TV feed into Cape Canaveral 24/7, reduces the opportunity to whack one off unseen (allegedly).

Still the worms apparently, after four days in outer space, will be drugged up for their return. Once they’ve helped the scientists by filling in a questionaire on their return, they’ll be returned to the site they came from. And their mates won’t believe a word of it. “So you were kidnapped, taken to a spaceship, fired into outer space and then, after four days experimenting on you, they drugged you up and brought you back here?” That’ll be the EZY6052 back.

Bristol, Britains answer to Area 51 …