Monday 31 August 2009

The Day they turn the lights off

Not many things really annoy me, but one thing that does is the constant interference by governments in how we run our lives.

The latest thing is the humble electric light bulb. Due to 'Green' EU regulations nodded through in 2007 by our then PM, Tony Blair, we will be phasing out these devices.

Not just phasing out by encouraging people to change with the argument that they'll save up to £40 a year, but by making it illegal to import and manufacture such devices. Gradually all such bulbs will be affected, the higher powers first, and the latest is the 100W, whose cut off date is nigh... Tuesday 1st September 2009.

Now I'm all for energy efficiency, provided the new bulbs work as well as the old ones, but they don't and have a lot of disadvantages, including:

  • Costly to manufacture and use poisionous chemicals such as mercury in the process.
  • Consequently need proper disposal, again increasing costs for someone!
  • They don't work with dimmer switches.
  • They are not as bright and don't illuminate as well as traditional bulbs.
I'm quite sure that these problems will be addressed with future low energy bulbs, e.g. those based on LED technology, but at the moment, the replacements are just not good enough, and I can't see the rush to move to them without a really viable alternative. (Apart from reducing our so-called 'carbon footprint' - but that's another matter for another blog post....)

So what can we do if we want to still use these traditional bulbs? Well today is the last chance that dealers will be able to legally stock up with them, so you should try and order a few, or many today. Incidentally you can still order 150W bulbs, which provide really great light for reading ... but only if you act quick.

There are plenty of dealers online, Google to find them. I have personally used:

(This'll take you to a page which lists normal light bulbs, including 100, 150 and even higher wattages)

Finally, you will be able to buy normal bulbs designed for industrial uses after the cut off date, but they will no doubt be a lot more expensive!

Once again the cut off date is :

1st September 2009.

The Day they turned the lights off

Saturday 29 August 2009

Bank Holidays - Here we go again for another one

Did you know that we have 8 bank holidays in England, including Christmas and Easter, and that New Year's day only became a Bank Holiday in England in 1974 - the Scots having had this day off for many years previously?

Actually, I remember pre-1973 New Years Days very well. I was of course still at school, and remember how my dad could never stay up late to see in the New Year and it was always me and mum who stayed up past midnight watching the 'Andy Stewart Show' on BBC and whatever fare ITV had on offer. And of course it was always a special night for TV because they stayed on the air till 1 or even 2am! In glorious black and white of course. (We never got colour till the end of the 70s - my parents citing that the licence fee was too expensive and we had better things to spend our money on).

This weekend of course is the last bank holiday before Christmas and we are promised quite decent weather for most of it and a glorious day on Monday - when as I mentioned in another post I may be playing cricket for the first and last time this season. My whites and stuff were ready for action a few weeks ago when we (The Radio Jackie 1st XI) played the Met Police in East Molesey. My services weren't needed so I spent the afternoon in a white coat umpiring - and this was actually great fun. Our team lost decisively, but as always we were made to feel very welcome at the Met's sports club. Many beers were drunk after and a delicious barbecue consumed. Our opponents this week are Long Ditton Cricket Club, with a 2pm start on Monday.

Just enjoying a cuppa before going out to Guildford, doing a touch of shopping and maybe enjoying an extravagant coffee with the other half who is also enjoying a long weekend.

Of course, working as a radio presenter, the fact that this is a bank holiday has little meaning as I'm quite often working more at those times than in the weekday, and indeed I am working Sunday and Monday on Breakfast. But I have had three days off including today which is leaving me feeling very refreshed.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Post Match Thursday

Oh well, I suppose I shouldn' t have expected too much from tonight's Carling Cup match. My team (Palace) lost against the £162million valued side Man City. But the match was entertaining, it wasn't by any means a humiliation and 2-0 probably reflects the match. We could (and should) have had a penalty in the second half, but there you go. We haven't had the best of the rub as far as refs go this season so far.

So what am I doing now? Well having enjoyed a few beers with my son (it's ok, he's well over 18!), have just munched some ham in toast and am drinking a lovely cup of tea while watching nonsense on TV. That nonsense is WWE Raw... I actually gave up watching this stuff years ago when my lad grew out of it, but after a few cans it can be quite entertaining in a primeval sort of way.

No work (i.e. radio shows) till Sunday breakfast, so am at home aloneish tomorrow till the other half gets back from her week away at work in Essex. I've been getting ready to upgrade my Mac to OSX 10.5 (aka Leopard) and spent today backing up ready for when the postman hopefully delivers it tomorrow - along with a whacking great 1TB external disk that I'll be using for the 'Time Machine' facility. Storage is so cheap these days (even on my wages :-) ) that there's no real excuse not to back up stuff anymore.

Plans for the bank holiday (more tomorrow): eating , drinking, radio, shopping, celebrating an extended family member's 18th birthday on Sunday and possibly playing cricket on Monday if not too hungover.

Facebook, twitter and the mighty Eagles

I promise not to mention Facebook again after this post - at least not today.

If you're reading this via the wonderful notes facility on FB, then great, feel free to add comments, as long as they're nice. If you want the full experience then why not go to the actual blog site and read or comment there, this is:

And if you don't follow me yet on Twitter, feel free to do so, just follow the username 'geoffrodgers'. It's actually quite amazing how much you can find out using Twitter, and another post later will explain why from being very unexcited and bored by it I now find it really useful and fun to use. The Twitter site is at:

There are a lot of desktop programs for Windows, MacOS and Linux that you can use to send and receive 'Tweets' as well as alternative web access, which I'll talk about later. Look out for the keyword 'twitter' in the post as well as in the label.

I'll get me coat now, almost time to think about cooking dinner before settling down to watch footie on the TV - Palace v Man City in the Carling Cup.. Come on you Eagles!

My thoughts - why I'm here

Having been using Twitter for a while now, am acutely aware of how concise and brief you need to be in each tweet. Sometimes (often) I have rambling thoughts which I want to get over to people and one thought was to use Facebook and 'My notes'. However that means that you would not only need to be a Facebook member, but also following me to read my ponderings. So I've gone back to the idea of a personal blog. I did try this some years ago, hosting the software myself on my own server, but with the good people of Google around and able to do almost anything but make the tea, it seemed obvious to use blogger... with my own domain name of course.

I don't know how much or how often I'll be writing here. Some days it may be constant and then no more for ages... Whatever, this is the platform I'll be using to waffle about all things I'm interested in.

And if you're reading this via Facebook, it means I've figured out how to link it.