Wednesday, January 31
Tuesday, January 30
I see that Barrow's Tesco supermarket have just installed a large wind turbine. Some folk might say that this is just a bit of window dressing, and that Tesco could do more for the environment by other more effective but less visible means. One obvious way is less and more recyclable packaging, and a more ethical but sadly less profitable choice of suppliers. Still I will wait to see how often I actually see it turning, most of the onshore wind turbines in this area never seem to be in use.
Monday, January 29
Sunday, January 28
Saturday, January 27
We tend to forget here in Barrow just how close we are to the Lake District. But what does a taxi driver who drives all day every day do on his day off, well on mine I drove the twenty miles or so to Coniston, just to drink in some of the stunning scenery. The strange thing is that you never see Barrow folk up there, hey never mind Barrow folk all the shops and cafe's I went in were staffed by eastern Europeans.
(Click to enlarge the photos, go on then what are you waiting for)
Friday, January 26
Thursday, January 25
Go on on check them both out, here's the full Cloudpunchers story.
"I joined the British Army at the age of 16 and enlisted into the Royal Artillery, I did 12 months training at the JLRRA (Junior leaders Regt Royal Artillery) and learnt my trade as a Gunner on the 25 Pounder Field gun used in WW2. I passed out in August 1979 and was posted to 12 Air Defence Regt RA in Dortmund, West Germany and learnt my new trade as an air defence gunner (Cloudpuncher) on Rapier missiles, little did I realise that I would be using these missiles in action during Operation Corporate, the liberation of the Falkland Islands from Argentina in 1982.
The initial warning was given at 10.45 hrs, Friday 2nd April 1982, two hours before we were officially on leave. Some other units had actually gone home and as soon as they got there they had to do an about turn and set of back. Everybody was totally hacked with life at first, with leave being cancelled, then once we had found out what the crack was, some Argentineans had invaded an island off the coast of Scotland. Well, the Falklands sounds like the Shetlands doesn’t it? We all got excited about the thought of going up there and giving them a good kicking.
Unbelievably, by 1800 hrs. on Saturday 3rd April 1982, we were ready to go and kick some Argie arses. It took us sixteen hours on a shagged out old army bus to get from Kirton to the docks in Plymouth. But we didn’t mind. We felt like heroes already as news had leaked out to the media by now. So, Joe Public had a good idea where we were going. All the motorists were beeping their horns and Union Jacks appeared from everywhere. It was a carnival atmosphere. We were all getting carried away by it. We will probably get to Plymouth and the Argies will shit themselves and sod off home for a corned beef buttie?"
Wednesday, January 24
A Taxi driver from the nearby town of Workington has been given his licence back after the council revoked it because he had been selling drugs. Why I ask myself, what use are rules and regulations to stop this sort of thing if they are not rigidly enforced. Without these rules what’s to stop any pervert or criminal driving a cab, the public expect and deserve better. This soft treatment does not help the taxi trade in any way, and as far as I am concerned it lowers the trust of the taxi trade in the eyes of the public.
James Dunn, 28, of Alexander Close, Workington, appeared before Magistrates yesterday to state his case against Allerdale Council, who revoked his hackney carriage licence last November after receiving a letter from
Mr Dunn appealed against the decision as soon as he received notification, and the council issued him with a temporary licence until the appeal was determined.
Mr Dunn said: “I broke up with my wife and was left with a lot of debt. I was working for my father-in-law, so lost my job at the same time.
“I was struggling to pay off my debts, so stupidly took an opportunity to make some money and decided to sell some ecstasy pills.
“I was not a drug user, and never have been. I was trying to claw my way out of financial trouble. I am now repaying my debts and trying to get my life back on track.”
Mr Dunn served 12 months of his 33-month sentence in prison, and is now serving a home detention curfew.
Before entering prison he worked as a taxi driver for Sparkys Taxis, ferrying elderly and disabled customers around the county.
Tuesday, January 23
Monday, January 22
Sunday, January 21
Saturday, January 20
Do you think that maybe if the tables were turned and similar questions were asked in Australia or the UK would they fare any better?
Thursday, January 18
Barrow's Hindpool Rd is closed tonight due to unsafe lamp posts. After all the recent road closures due to unstable lamp posts you would have thought that all town centre lights would have been checked out.
Last night I called into the local radio station Abbey FM studios to record a chat with Bill Clark, who does the evening show. While I was there Bill showed me round and I sat in whilst he edited last nights show, all fascinating stuff. The photo is of Bill in the studio, and he tells me that he will let me know when it's going out and I will post the link to Abbey FM live on the web.
Wednesday, January 17
The high winds are back again, and just like last time bits and pieces started to fall of Barrows Cornerstone Park retail park whose main tenant is the huge Tesco extra. And just like last time it led to road closures and delays, surely it's not being too demanding to ask that they keep this place properly maintained. The light which was left hanging by a thread at least fifty feet above motorist's and pedestrians should have been checked after the last high winds which brought lamp fittings down elsewhere in the town.
Tuesday, January 16
Monday, January 15
Sunday, January 14
Saturday, January 13
Friday, January 12
Virtually everyone owns a mobile phone, but few of us realise that this innocent device can be turned into a hidden spy inside our own homes.
The Internet is full of adverts offering to turn some mobile phones into sophisticated bugging devices. This sends a copy of every text that is either sent or received, and in some phones is capable of retransmitting every word spoken within a room back to the stalkers phone.
The spyware is being marketed to suspicious husbands and wives but it’s an even more worrying tool in the hands of a stalker.
Lawyers who specialise in stalking and harassment cases are worried because buying this bugging software is perfectly legal.
Spyphone software can be installed on some mobile phones in well under a minute.
How safe are you from mobile phone snooping?
But although it's legal to buy and own spyphone software, the companies that sell it are keen to keep one fact private - intercepting text messages is against the law
But the software is so well hidden, the crime is almost impossible to detect… and it has another highly intrusive feature.
Text alert - Whenever the phone is used, a copy is sent of the phone numbers of every one of the incoming and outgoing calls.
It's impossible to tell if spyphone software is on your phone.
Worse still, the person who put it there only has to send a simple text message and the software will self-destruct - it's as if it had never existed. UPDATE: Check out this video on you-tube
Thursday, January 11
A petition against Government plans to force motorists to pay as they drive has amassed more than 190,000 signatures.
The protest appeared to be gathering steam with thousands of people adding their names to the website every day.
The number of signatories, collected at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax/, has almost doubled in a week and at the current rate of progress the total will be in excess of 500,000 when the petition is taken down on February 20.
As a result Downing Street's exercise in internet democracy was threatening to rebound on the Government, with opposition to road-pricing dwarfing any other issue on the Prime Minister's website.
The revolt comes as the Government draws up plans to identify where the first road pricing trials will take place, in readiness for a planned national scheme in the middle of the next decade.
Although the protest is backed by the Association of British Drivers, a small group representing motorists, the initiative is the work of one man, Peter Roberts, 46 from Telford, Shropshire. "Under the current system of fuel tax, those who drive at the busiest times pay the most, which seems much better than fitting a black box.
"Unless the Government gets across how people will benefit, this will not work." Human rights campaigners also voiced concerns about the plans. "Road user charging may trigger the biggest campaign for rights and freedoms in recent history," said Simon Davies, the director of Privacy International.
"This ill-considered scheme goes to the heart of increasing anxiety over government control over law-abiding people.
Chris Grayling, the Tories' transport spokesman, criticised the Government's plans for a national scheme to track all cars.
"The Government's only strategy for transport seems to be a very unwise and headlong rush to an untested national scheme for road pricing," he said.
"Whilst there may be logic in using road pricing to fund individual road improvements, like the M6 Toll Road, and in allowing individual towns and cities to introduce local schemes if they wish to do so, I don't think the Government has thought this through at all."
A Department for Transport spokesman defended the Government strategy yesterday.
"Left unchecked, congestion could increase by 25 per cent in less than a decade," he said. "The Government's strategy for tackling congestion is based on sustained investment, adding road capacity where necessary, as well as exploring the scope for developing a national road pricing scheme.
"The public wants to see how road pricing can benefit them. The best way to do this is to show how road pricing would work in practice alongside complementary public transport improvements to reduce congestion and journey times and to make journeys more reliable."
Wednesday, January 10
This beautiful period cottage is hidden away down an unmade road in one of the oldest parts of Barrow Newbarns village. Not that it's a village now, having been built around over the years, but if you look real hard you can still spot the hidden gems.
His attack is in sharp contrast to the green image that the US car companies have been trying to promote at this year's Detroit motor show.
Mr Jolissaint was speaking at a private breakfast where the chief economists of the "Big Three" US car firms presented their forecasts for auto industry sales this year.
Most of the audience - which was mainly made up of parts suppliers - seemed to nod in agreement with Mr Jolissaint.
Mr Jolissaint, a Chrysler veteran said that since he started spending more time at the company's corporate headquarters in Stuttgart he had been shocked by the absurdity of European attitudes towards global warming.
In response to a question from the floor, he said that global warming was a far-off risk whose magnitude was uncertain.
He said that from an economic point of view, it would be more rational to spend lots of money on today's other big problems, and only make small and limited changes in policies relating to global warming, such as a slight increase in gasoline or carbon taxes.
Mr Jolissaint was particularly scathing about the Stern Report, which was recently published by the UK government.
The report urged governments to take urgent action now to tackle climate change, arguing that it would be much cheaper to act, rather than face the $10 trillion cost of not doing anything until later.
Mr Jolissaint said the report was based on dubious economics, did not include a discount rate, and was written by an informal adviser to Gordon Brown - in fact, at the time of the report, Mr Stern was the Second Permanent Secretary at the UK Treasury.
He said that he had been surprised by how much support there had been in the Daimler office in Stuttgart for these "quasi-hysterical" policies that smacked of "Chicken Little" politics - referring to the US children's story in which Chicken Little runs around in circles saying "the sky is falling".
But they are also consistent with the cynical view held by some in the US environmental lobby that announcements by car companies about the future development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing.
A drop in the price of oil will boost demand for larger vehicles he says, as a result, he argued, demand for big, gas-guzzling cars would recover.
Monday, January 8
Sunday, January 7
Friday, January 5
Tuesday, January 2
Monday, January 1
If only some of the Liverpool buildings in the photos were just a mile or so to the south they would have been developed as " trendy waterside apartments" years ago But as they are in the old still working area of the dock road they are left to rot.