80

27°C, clear & still

Two loosely related news stories this week have caught my attention with their retrograde trend. One, proposes to raise the speed limit on motorways to 80mph. This has sparked numerous threads on forums (or is that fora?), interviews in TV and is said to be opposed by “environmental groups”. What worries me about the debate is its one-dimensional nature. MPs and most commentators seems to think there is only one reason against a change- safety. It’s almost as if they haven’t considered that there are other reasons at all. As I get older I am increasingly pushed towards the view that our leaders & decision makers are just plain stupid.
Look guys, here are some factors to consider just so you don’t have to think any up yourselves: fuel consumption (oil is going to run out eventually), noise, wear (on cars and on the roads), fear (cars full of kids because mums fear the traffic). All of those problems increase with speed.

Forecasting the weather reports

16°C, expect the unexpected.

Weather fronts moving up from the south will bring periods of uncertainty to areas of the Midlands. Locally, there could be patches of wild guessing amid spots of general accuracy. As the day wears on, expect some improvement overall but what actually happens remains open under the darkest clouds. The outlook for the week is of some days of normality ans some unseasonal accuracy too. Early reports from listeners in the far west indicate that a butterfly has flapped its wings, we will keep you informed on any developments on this channel during the coming week.

mortgage

10°C, and rising

That cold never did materialise, I felt fine the next day. I’m off soon to switch mortgage, my fixed term runs out next month and it reverts to a tracker, but interest rates are so low I should get a new fixed rate term to hold it low for years.

It’s a strange thing to shop for- nothing like choosing a TV or Hifi. There is none of the materialistic glee from a new feature in your home. A re-mortgage will give you a huge saving in about 18 years. Nothing you can reach out and touch then. It’s even worse than paying out for a big repair. The car is the worst for this, you have your card swiped for £300 and drive the car home, feeling the same as before. It’s no wonder that few shoppers jump ship to another energy provider/mortgage/phone company. The root of the problem is that it’s all so boring.

Anyway, no decisions yet, but the main contenders are fixed rate for 5 years, tracker for 2 then onto fixed, or variations on those (18 or 15 years). I’m playing with a spreadsheet to find the one. Open Office Calc works well.
It’s warm enough for shorts now.

The heat(ing) is on

17°C, Dry, light cloud

The innocent fan. Blame the circuit board!

He’s done it, the water boiler works now. The fan was not guilty all along, it was the circuit board causing trouble. By the look of it, the board is just a set of relays & an IC chip to control the front LEDs. Perhaps a relay failed, it does tend to be a mechanical failure more often, relays physically throw a switch rather than some transistor method. You can hear them click inside.