Peter Burton's daily log, covering Peter's personal interests, e.g. jazz, travel and general grumpiness plus (occasionally) the business of Isomatic and its associate companies.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Tchaikovsky
On Saturday evening we saw the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
performing an all-Tchaikovsky programme at the Royal Festival Hall at London's South Bank Centre
. A fine perfomance by one of our leading orchestras.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Letter of complaint to Lloyds TSB
On Thursday morning I went in to the Guildford branch of Lloyds TSB to see why there were complaints that one of my International Moneymover forms had an ambiguous figure when I had written it very carefully and clearly. It transpired that in faxing from branch to international department, the words and numbers become less clear.
I have written again to customer care asking when they are going to abandon this ancient system of hand-written forms that are then faxed. Why cannot we use internet banking for non-sterling accounts and transfers. The Pound Sterling (GBP) is only used in one country in the world now so represents a minority of transactions.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
3 phase sequence and rotation conventions
Today we tested the conventions regarding phase sequence and motor direction of rotation for 3 phase systems. The conclusions are:
1) Direction of rotation varies with motor type so there is no standard.
2) Standard sequence as used by UK electricity supply is 1-2-3 = Red-Yellow-Blue.
Now the colours are changing so we start all over again ! Why cannot the powers-that-be stop fixing things that aren't broken.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Panama Cafe Orchestra at The Cricketers
On Monday evening at The Cricketers in Horsell, we saw The Panama Cafe Orchestra
. We would like to mention particularly the sweet cornet of Dave Lowe and the fine clarinet of John Lawes.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Xuefei Yang guitar recital at the Wigmore Hall
On Saturday evening we attended a guitar recital at the Wigmore Hall
by the young Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang
. She played a varied selection of works beautifully, ranging from Bach to her transcription of Chinese music.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Vehicle lifts and 3 phase converters
On Friday we visited another customer who uses one of our three phase converters
to power a vehicle lift (vehicle ramp if you prefer). Again we found the continuous lifting power, as measured with a Powertek 3 phase true RMS wattmeter
, to be 1.7 times the converter rating. It seems that motors for this application are derated for intermittent use. However, changing the figures on the rating plate does not change the motor and the poor struggling undersize phase converter cannot read :-)
Friday, May 20, 2005
3 phase motors; direction of rotation
On Thursday we tackled an old problem. We believe that the connections from our three phase converters
, if followed correctly through to a driven 3 phase motor, will cause it to rotate in the standard direction, i.e. clockwise looking at the shaft end. However, some applications seem to require two wires of the three to be swapped to obtain correct rotation.
After carrying out some experiments we telephoned experts in various industries. To our amazement we were told that in the hydraulics industry the standard direction is counter-clockwise !
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Holiday in Cape Town, South Africa
After our bad experience with the US embassy, followed by cancellation of our holiday in Arizona as a protest, we have booked the same 10 days in Cape Town, South Africa. We will be staying at Amblewood Guest House
in Hout Bay
Monday, May 16, 2005
Turner, Whistler and Monet at Tate Britain
On Sunday we attended the last day of the Turner, Whistler and Monet exhibition at Tate Britain
. We were disappointed with the paintings shown. Most we had seen before and none caused us to linger. I can only hope the huge crowd of visitors did not all feel the same way.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Application for a US Visa
I have held a US B1-B2 visa for nearly 30 years and used it for business and pleasure trips. My wife has sometimes come with me as a tourist, using the visa waiver scheme. To cover future cases where she might take notes at business meetings we decided to be honest and apply for a B1-B2 visa for her. On telephoning the US Embassy we were told this was indeed the correct action so we proceeded to prepare the required documents and paid the 60 pounds fee.
On arriving at the US Embassy we found that all applicants are treated like dirt; made to wait for hours, partly out in the cold with no shelter and never with any toilet facilities. Once my wife passed through security into the embassy, I was left outside in the cold with nowhere to wait for her and strongly discouraged from 'loitering' in the area.
The first problem was refusal to accept her photograph, requiring us to obtain a new one locally. When we returned with it my wife was told she was really too late but they would try to fit her in.
After I had waited for hours outside she emerged raving about the 'third degree' she had received from a juvenile member of the staff. His view was that my B1-B2 visa was insufficient for business trips, which is not what the rules say on the US embassy web site
We are still free to travel together to the USA for pleasure and we had planned a holiday in Arizona. After this treatment we have cancelled it and will not be spending any more time or money in a country that treats the citizens of its loyal ally so shabbily. There are plenty of other holiday destinations that will appreciate our presence.
Hokum jazz band at The Cricketers
On Monday evening we saw 'Hokum' at The Cricketers at Horsell Birch on the outskirts of Woking, Surrey. Their light-hearted approach to jazz does not hide the fact that they are fine musicians. A fun evening !
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Fiddles on Fire at Queen Elizabeth Hall
On Saturday evening we saw 'Fiddles on Fire' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank
. A fine collection of violin players displaying a variety of styles from around the world. Our favourite was Catriona McDonald
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Mike Daniels Delta Jazz Band at the Epsom Playhouse
On Monday evening we saw the Mike Daniels Delta Jazz Band at the Epsom Playhouse. Good band in the trad' style with a few Jelly Roll Morton numbers included.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Giovanni Grano; classical guitar
On Saturday we saw Giovanni Grano
playing classical guitar at the International Guitar Festival
in the Purcell Room on London's South Bank. Prior to this recital we watched an excellent free guitar event in the foyer.