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Off to my brother’s to pick up an engine so I expect to be out for the better part of the day (even missing “The Insiders” and “The Bolt Report” also calling in on brother number two to pick up a set of Honda side draft carburettors which should mean that I will then have all of the ingredients for my Absolutely Retro Minimalist simplification of my sports car. I have lined up a place to weld up my manifold which will be a cut and shut of the Honda and Nissan elements. a Morris distributor with an electronic ignition upgrade will eliminate the computer entirely I have a new low pressure fuel pump to match the carbs and I have even managed to find the much longed for speedo drive gear for my transmission which means that I will no longer have to rely on my Sat Nav for my speed measurement.
Oh yeah I almost forget the count is on in the WA uber By election and guess what, not much has changed !
Sorry for my rather slim postings of late but I have been quite distracted by a bad trot in the back department, a problem with my sports car and well just feeling a bit down over all.
To deal with the last first there are times when chronic pain just gets you down and no mater how well you have intellectualised that you have the right stoic attitude so that you can endure and still find purpose and meaning in your life it does not take much to tip you onto the unwelcome slippery slide. this time it was being told that I had to get a pain specialist to give me the tick of approval for the continuing prescription for Norspan patches, so like a good patient I duly contacted the pain clinic and after some weeks I got a letter back telling me that they did not want me to be a patient there. The upside is that I have discovered that all I need is the approval of a second GP to continue to get the medication. I know very well that there has to be adequate controls on S8 drugs however its not as if I am asking for self injectable morphine here. Worse still though is the feeling of vulnerability you have when it looks like the medication that you need may suddenly become unavailable to you. Simply put its a worry I could well do without. It will probably surprise no one that as a consequence it feel even more disgust and disdain for recreational users of opiates because its their propensity to lie cheat and steal that have made such control measures a necessary impedimenta to those who have a real medical need to use this class of drugs.
My sports car has been running like a total dog lately and it to has been doing my head in. There is a problem with the fuel injection system that means it just refuses to run smoothly and it just keeps cutting out and refusing to run at all well above idle. I have tried mucking ar0und with the the throttle position sensor as broken wires (since fixed) caused similar symptoms but that has not solved the problem. It could be a wiring fault elsewhere but the complexity of the wiring from the donor car is mind bogglingly horrible. After much thought I have decided to seek a rather radical solution by going totally retro in the fuel delivery department which will mean that I can have an amazingly simple wiring loom in the car . to make this happen I have just bought a Nissan N15 engine (the whole car for $100!) that will mate up to my transmission the same as my N16 motor does but instead of a computer triggered ignition system it has a camshaft driven distributor to provide the sparks. on the intake side I am going to completely remove the EFI manifold and replace it with the twin Carbs off a 91 Honda civic this will necessitate me having to make or modify an inlet manifold. My plan is to make a new manifold in steel because I can weld steel and fabricate the whole thing myself without having to shell out hard earned cash to have it made in aluminium. This should not be that hard to do I will just have to cut two flange plates from 4mm sheet and then cut and shape the four tubes from each port to meet with the two carb throats . Living in Queensland there will be no real need to provide an coolant supply to the manifold and as my braking system is not boosted I won’t even need to have a vacuum take off for that either will need a vacuum supply to the Trimatic though and it seems that the wisdom is that there should be a connection between the two pairs of inlet runners to equalise them . Though there is a weight penalty for using steel the manifold and carbs air cleaner et al will undoubtedly weigh less than intake runners and plenum that they will replace and as ditching the EFI for simple carbs will mean that my electrical system can likewise be minimised I am thinking that I ought to be up to 10kg better off overall.
As for tuning the carbs to the Nissan engine well I know that they were working fine in my brother’s Honda until it did its timing belt and went bang so I won’t fiddle with them any more than I have to and as the Honda engine is only 1oocc smaller than my Nissan lump I doubt that they will be that far off in terms of the jetting.either. The result I am looking for is a car that is much more amenable to user maintenance, that has some weight loss and better usability over all. Now that is not too much to ask now is it?
If all of this works then I will be a some what happier camper but at the moment I am feeling rather, to put it politely hacked off about life in general there is not much joy when you have everything around you seems to be competing for my attention and requiring me to do so many things at the same time. Oh I will get over this temporary ennui as soon as I have something that is going my way for a while…. speaking of which my better half has just come to me telling me that the damn washing machine is not doing the right thing either! Its not my day today …
Wish I could find something to cheer about Comrades
People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.
Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles. My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly. With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.
Something that I have long believed is that not having a rite of passage to denote when a boy becomes a man is a major shortcoming of our culture thus I share a link to this which makes a very good argument for finding a way to make one.
For once rather than to write laughing at the silliness of the left I come to praise a piece in the Guardian, as they argue that 24 hour news channels are well past their use by date and actually increasingly irrelevant to the viewing public. I now have access to sky news on our T box but I never bother watching it and to be frank the actual news coverage on the ABC News 24 is rather dull, a tedium that is only broken by the fact that they do have a few programs that are talking heads discussing the issues de jour.
I think that this prediction has legs :
A news service for the next two decades
The legacy of 24-hour news channels is holding back broadcasters in adapting to the potential of the digital age. If you gave a digital news operation even a fraction of the tens of millions of pounds currently spent annually on a news channel, just think of what you could achieve.
A truly news-on-demand service, with no heritage – not reusing TV material, nor reusing print – could be genuinely ground-breaking, reconstructing a news operation and creating a new relationship with audiences and consumers.
This is starting to be recognised in the US:
• CNN’s Jeff Zucker has planned major changes recognising there is “not enough news” to fill a news channel
• CBS is reported to be developing an online streamed news channel, separate from broadcast channels
• Al-Jazeera in the US has developed AJ+ as an online-only source of video news
• Yahoo has recruited one of America’s biggest news names in Katie Couric to “anchor” their news home page
• Digital companies such as Vice and Buzzfeed are recruiting significant numbers of foreign correspondents and opening global bureaux – built around the web, not satellites
Elsewhere there are fewer signs of experimenting with continuous TV news. ITV, unhindered by a news channel, reconfigured their website into a live stream that is both innovative and regularly beats the competition. The BBC’s director of news, James Harding, has acknowledged the need for more R&D by creating a “Newslabs” team looking at data and visual journalism. But perhaps the industry needs a bolder vision.
Its news Comrades, but not as we have known it
One of the sadly amusing aspects of the way that our society views sexuality is the rather desperate way that so many “gay rights activists want to insist that all aspects of human sexual practice are “natural” and therefore should be absolutely affirmed by society and by extension our education system. Surely it all boils down to precisely how “natural” is defined and its the definition that underlays the piece in today’s Fairfax press that attacks Keven Donnelly for committing the heinous sin of suggesting
‘Forgotten is that many parents would consider the sexual practices of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals decidedly unnatural and that such groups have a greater risk in terms of transmitting STDs and AIDS.”
In the eyes of the “politically correct” it is the worst sin imaginable to be in any way critical of the sexual practices of gay people and the worst possible sin is to claim or imply that such practices are “unnatural” . While I and most other parents are more than ok with the idea that our children should be taught that there is a great deal of diversity in the way that human desire and sexuality is expressed there is no need to pretend that everything done in the quest for sexual pleasure is “natural”. It should be enough for students to learn that the primary consideration when it comes to any sexual activity between any individuals is that it has to be entirely consensual, we don’t have to pretend that there is anything “natural” about some types of sexual congress because homosexuals want to have their desires and sexual practices socially affirmed.
Yet the social engineers of the left just won’t give up on “buggery 101” until it is front and centre in every classroom and they will attack without mercy anyone who might dare suggest that some sexual practices are anything but natural. Thus we find Fairfax dragging out the cudgels to bash Kevin Donnelly just because he points out the widely held belief that not all types of sex are entirely approved of by the parents out there. The politically correct teaching unions of course think that they know better than parents but they forget that its not their place to dictate what is taught to our children. That is the prerogative of parents; teachers are both our servants and proxies in the teaching process not our betters or our masters and they clearly need to be reminded of this fact.
The begging bowl never enhances the look of any business and the SPC bid for government money certainly strikes me as a bit of underhanded blackmail. and what is especially galling is that the parent c0mpany Coca Cola Amatil are far from short of a quid themselves. To be honest the driving force here is the foolishness of allowing unfettered imports of cheap product because it enhances the profits of the supermarkets. As the family shopper I make a special effort to avoid foreign produce and imported canned and preserved fruit but when you see the price differential its hardly surprising that many shoppers are less discerning that I am.
I know that this may horrify some of my conservative friends but it seems to me that this whole saga is a very good argument for grower’s cooperatives running canning companies to preserve and market their produce. Its also a damn good argument for tariffs imposed upon all agricultural produce that we ourselves grow.
In another example of shopping sadness the butcher shop that I have been patronising for nearly thirty years is to be either sold or closed within the next 12 weeks and I am less than pleased about the prospect. Angus and Tom have been great examples of the perfect store keepers with well priced quality product and exemplary service to their customers. Its the very old story of a shopping mall management greedily charging outrageous rents and greedy adjacent supermarkets (Aldi and Coles) selling packaged meat at below cost prices. If they can find a buyer they will sell the goodwill but if they can’t then they will walk away. I know that that is the reality of free enterprise but I can’t help but think that its a far from attractive reality.
Strewth, looking back on this post I think my inner lefty has escaped! Now that is a real worry!