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, October 30, 2005
Goodbye to Sainsbury, hello Tesco
We have been loyal Sainsbury shoppers for 22 years but Saturday was the end. We have complained again and again about the same things:
1) Moving goods around so we cannot find them, including splitting goods of the same type between diferent locations.
2) charging a different price at the check-out from that shown near the goods.
3) Frequent rescans of 'fast track' self-scanned purchases, culminating in two in successive weeks, 3 in a month and 4 out of 16 total.
The junior staff are very understanding but the supervisors and managers couldn't care less. The range of excuses is incredible and always ends with 'nothing we can do about it, it's the system'. Well let me tell Sainsbury that the system, including staff training, is driving customers away as the retail statistics show. We will be shopping at Tesco
Thursday, October 27, 2005
TNT and Davies Turner
Today we discussed our future transport requirements (expanding rapidly) with TNT. I still think Davies Turner
offers the best service for international shipments both road and air. TNT is the cheapest for mainland UK.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Since Boost Energy
we have become more involved in wind and solar power. Isomatic Lab is bidding for various supply contracts.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Mike Piggott and Nils Solberg at Epsom Jazz Club
On Monday night we saw the Mike Piggott
/ Nils Solberg
quintet at the Epsom Jazz club
. In addition to the great front line of Violin and Guitar the fantastic rhythm section comprised Peter Morgan on bass, Martin Litton on piano and Rod Brown on drums. They were all so good that even club front woman Barbara Elliott (who had reservations about the booking) was converted to jazz violin.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Steven Isserlis and Stephen Hough at the Wigmore Hall
On Saturday night we saw Steven Isserlis
(cello) and Stephen Hough
(piano) performing at the Wigmore Hall
in London. Excellent performances, especially Schubert's second cello sonata with its unusual low pizzicato passages.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Safety boots, mobile 'phone
This last week I have been forced to ask for both my safety boots and mobile 'phone to be replaced. The boots were Uniwork; fine except the loops through which the laces pass are soft suede and lasted less than a year of intermittent light use. I had them replaced free-of-charge with Cofra
The mobile 'phone is a Nokia 6230i
, replaced with the same model free-of-charge by Central Telecom. The first one was from an early batch and kept failing to connect when dialling out, twice at critical times.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
IEE icon, Hedy Lamarr
The Institution of Electrical Engineers consultants' chat line has long been considering improving the image of the Engineer. We agree that Hedy Lamarr
, joint inventor of the homing torpedo, should be our icon.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Moorfields avoiding congestion charge; two fingers to Ken Livingstone
On Tuesday I took my wife to Moorfields eye hospital
for a post-operation check. I decided to travel all the way by car to spite Ken Livingstone
, avoiding the congestion charge
by skirting its perimeter. The journey there (2.5 hours) was seriously hampered by the closure of Battersea bridge causing dreadful congestion on its southern side. The return journey (1.5 hours) was faster than can be achieved using car, train and bus. We also saved 8 pounds congestion charge or 15 pounds train/bus fares. We paid 2.50 pounds for car parking plus about 2.50 pounds for petrol.
I quote red Ken himself “I hate cars. If I ever get any powers again I’d ban the lot.” - Ken Livingstone, Sunday Times, 21st November 1999. Well let me tell him that we car drivers are the majority. There are more of us than any other electoral group, be it men, women, the old, the young or whoever !
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The Paramount six at The Cricketers
On Monday night we saw the Paramount Six (all seven of them) at the Cricketers
in Horsell Birch, Woking. Some great musicians including our old favourite Alan Dandy (keyboard), Mike Atterbury (reeds) and Pete Littleproud (drums). I had to call for the piano volume to be increased as the others were drowning it out.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Ralph Allin, Ian Cruickshank, etc. at Sutton Jazz Club
On Sunday Evening at the Sutton Jazz Club
we saw The Neville Dickie Trio with Ralph Allin
Ray Ward (piano) and Goff Dubber (reeds). Too many great musicians and not enough time !
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Driving a 7.5 tonne lorry
On Friday we drove to Nottinghamshire carrying a 16 kW three phase converter
and test gear.
There happened to be a 7.5 tonne Iveco Cargo available so we took that. Driving on the motorways was OK but country lanes were a nightmare. At least it was a new experience !
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Blue Moon Jazz band at the Watermans Arms, Hersham
On Wednesday evening we saw the Blue Moon Jazz band at the Watermans Arms
, Hersham, joined by anyone who wanted to play with them. This included Tony Nutt on cornet/trumpet, John Parsons and Mark Gooding (clarinets), Tony Pyle (banjo/vocals), Peter Clancy and Phil Brown (trombones), etc. Highlight for me was Tony Pyle singing Black and Blue in his fine jazz voice.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
On Thursday we took a 230 mile round trip to measure power consumption at a customer site. The results were inconclusive as we could not replicate the full power condition in the circumstances at the time. We will have to make a longer trip to the equipment supplier's premises to repeat the measurement under controlled conditions. This is scheduled for Friday.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Enrico Tomasso at the Cricketers
On Monday night we saw Enrico Tomasso
with a quartet at the Cricketers
in Horsell Birch, Woking. Enrico is definitiely one of our favourite trumpeters.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Ditchling and Ditchling Beacon
Today we took a trip to Ditchling and Ditchling Beacon
in Sussex. Glorious weather, just a pity that we could not get morning coffee.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Moorfields Eye Hospital, congestion charge
On Friday evening my wife Selina underwent an eye operation at Moorfields hospital
. It seems to have gone very well and we have nothing but praise for the medical staff.
We are less sure about the administrative staff. I was particularly aggreived that cheques must be received 10 days in advance. As we only had one day available to pay I felt that some trust would have been appropriate. In our business, if a UK customer needs immediate delivery then we despatch on receipt of cheque. If we trust our UK customers why cannot Moorfields trust theirs.
Our other grievance is over the congestion charge and mobile 'phones. For the first time I decided to take the car and pay the charge in case my wife was not up to bus and train after the operation. We were short of time so failed to register on the TFL web site and telephoned while on the road. This was the very time that the mobile 'phone (or its network) decided to let us down. What is the use of all this fancy modern technology with more bells and whistles than anyone could use if it does not work every time ? As for the congestion charge; it is fundamentally wrong to discrimate against the poor in this way. The rich can afford to drive in central London but the poor cannot. Ken Livingstone seeks to reduce congestion by keeping all those second class citizens off the roads.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Power tests at company site
Today we hope to undertake power tests on a customer's premises to determine exactly how much power is required for a specific application. 24 kW is rumoured but I wonder ?
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
3 phase converter in Devon
Today we undertook a 334 mile round trip to a customer in Devon with a 3 phase converter
problem. It transpired that it was just 4 screws loose so we used the original loctite with longer screws.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
British Anzani Iron Horse
Today George Holt told us about the ploughing competition in Hungry Hill Lane between proud owners of examples of the British Anzani Iron Horse
. George worked for the originator of this machine from 1946 onwards.