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LondonRascal last won the day on June 12

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About LondonRascal

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  • Birthday 07/06/1979

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    Broadcaster, Blogger and Technology Evangelist from London. Enjoys a good coffee, Ale an boating.

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  1. I'm not understanding the posts where comment is made about the roundabouts being low...? I mean they don't have a big 'hump' in the middle, or trees growing out the middle for example but does it need to have any height when it has the chevrons on the roundabout itself and the warning 1/4 mile away there is a roundabout and then the countdown markers. In other words you've got a lot of visual indicators one is approaching before you see the 'hill' ahead.
  2. Following from posting a video of the roundabouts on the NDR - separate thread - I noticed how nicely the engine note had been captured on the footage. Before dinner I popped out again to film some acceleration runs, and this was the result.
  3. Ignore my last posts on this topic where I mentioned how the road and roundabouts are different, lack flow and so on. This afternoon I went for a spin down Broadland North Way as they now call the NDR - and well, actually much has changed. I did not cover every part, but a good chunk and all the roundabouts had advance warning signs of a roundabout approaching, countdown markers and many also had 'get in lane' signs to further aid navigation. This leaves me to wonder why so many crash on this stretch of road, or also how people continue to be so confused by the roundabouts. I therefore pulled over and set up my camera to film some, and in so doing caught two near misses - one where a car would have likely ended up in my side had I not been aware and cautious of what she was about to do (changing lanes before exiting the roundabout) she was in lane two and me in lane one - she moved over to lane one without a blind spot check, but that is at the end of the video so look out for the red Fiat 500 - and what happens to the BMW 1 Series and the Horse lorry... P.S I also made some errors showing everyone is fallible.
  4. The problem with these roundabouts (NDR) is they have been designed by people using logic and rules, in the everyday these things tend to go out the window. Most roundabouts follow the same design and 'feel' then there are larger multi-lane ones which tend to have road markings to aid navigating them and which lane to be in and so on, but on the NDR the design of the roundabouts is different. Firstly they look different. Some have countdown markers and 'Reduce Speed Now' signs warning of a Roundabout, yet others do not. Some have lit signs, and some do not. Some have 'first exit bypass lanes' and some do not... It means from one to the next there is not a flow, you get used to it with time, but not everyone is going to be a local and remember which one has what. The other issue is they are often three lanes, and those are actual lanes - but the number of times I see a car enter in the second lane and exit in the first or come round in lane three and while on the roundabout itself move over to lane two. What I have also found and is now normal - be it NDR or A47 etc, is if a sign gets hit that is that. It will not be replaced. Just off the A47 for Blofield, 3 signs have gone. NDR has various ones now missing on or close to the roundabouts, also the road markings have begun to wear thin - but of course they won't be re-painted until their time comes regardless of what state they are in, and this all goes to cause its own issues. I had to go over and over and over the NDR roundabouts in my driving lessons and learn an 'ultra safe' method to effectively postilion and indicate earlier to make anyone (like that Van in the video) clearly see my intentions to try and mitigate any surprise. I always indicate when leaving a roundabout to just make it easier for those behind or indeed those waiting to the join what I am about to do but the NDR is a funny old road where people do seem to get a bit confused. I have too but then just play safe either exit and get off and worry about returning around later and coming back, or if miss the turn carry on all the way round again rather than take a chance. That said, I came down to London and had to get round the M25 and M4. Then later A4 and the Westway - still loads better up in Norfolk but I do like the London style of driving, it is just the right side of chaos and as long as you play to the same rhythm it goes well, dither for a moment and it rapidly collapses.
  5. It seems all so easy when you read a few words, look at a few before, during and after pictures and think what good job you did. However, then I think back to sat under B.A with a chisel poking about, hammering and generally finding out how long it takes to get just a little bit of rotten wood out and try and make an okay looking job it it. I swear to God that what some of today's wayward Youth need is none of this community service nonsense, get them some sand paper, and a tin of varnish and see how they like having to put on a few coats of that - it is what sorts the men from the boys (and why Charlie and his Purdy brush go together so well). Seriously Doug, you really do have some patience, skill and perseverance. She is looking perfect and can't wait for Beccles - sunshine and the smell of varnished wood in the morning..Perfect.
  6. It is hard to get things right, I remember way back being asked not to 'hide' my Boat Reviews in the longer videos of a particular day, so I made individual videos just of the review. A review of a boat is always done at the end of the holiday, on the last day/evening. It takes a lot of preparation too. Everything that has been out needs to be removed, all the surfaces need cleaning, beds making, pillows plumping. Floors cleaned - I have even been known to polish sinks with Mr Sheen to remove water marks I have left when urm using the sink. In short I want to present the boat as you would find it upon take over - clean and tidy and without any belongings about. Then I begin to walk through the boat, but as I go things left in cabins from say the saloon, need to come out and be re-arranged so when I open the net door it appears to open straight into a perfectly tidy cabin despite moments previously it being filled with my suitcase etc. Boat reviews therefore take two hours to prep for, and 45 minutes to an hour to film. I have been told by many they are really useful, yet others will say I talk far far too much and should just walk through quickly pointing of the main points. You can't win. I don't do any of this because I particularly wanted to, it was more a case of "I am here why not" - so to go about yards and ask to do videos is a bit pointless, even a medium size yard with 6-10 boats would take a few days to get through. I think however there is scope for boatyards to vastly improve their offerings through video and photos, and I also believe it should be that each boat in a class has photo's of it, not just picking one out of 5 boats and taking photos of it - each boat is different in small ways, and it all makes a difference. Where I really think video reviews should be used is for boats on Brokerages, I am amazed at just how different one businesses idea of photos of a craft and another can vary - some include engine photos, others do not, some include close up photos of decks and fittings - I remember when buying Independence the Broker had photos showing the thickness left in the Teak decks. This all matters and costs practically nothing in this 'digital age'. I know this Thread was about cars, but I am sorry if the boating side has been left a little bare over the last several months. A lot has happened and also the realisation that much of the escapism of the Broads and boating was there for me simply because it was all I had - now I can drive I can explore so much more. I drive about 2,000 miles a month and none of that is a commute or because I really need to, it is just to get out there and go places - even if just to the beach in Yarmouth and back as the sunsets. That sad, I also miss the whole boating thing - Blogs, going places and talking to you guys as I am cruising along so once this period of awful weather is over and we get back to summer I am going to get out there with the camera and it is going to be on a boat.
  7. Well when I am away (and have been in Wales for a few days) I tend to let my logging in here slip a little. Either that, or I forget and that is just down to my age... Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes - today it was off to a Fur & Feathers for a drink and meal. Not been there before because being a lazy so and so the walk put me off. Looks lovely from the outside, the Beer really is very good (I guess it should be as it’s brewed next door) and the food was excellent. Not so sure about the interior, just not as old world and cosy as I expected based on the exterior. I was also bought the Ladybird Book of the ‘Mid Life Crisis’ and feel this page sums it up so well..
  8. At the recent Brundall Boat Show I had about 7 people, only 1 of which I knew, stop me and say the same... There is however a little problem in this, that being it makes little sense to spend a few hundred to over a grand on a hire boat simply to spend a few days to a week onboard doing videos and ending in a review and that is why that has not happened, but of course I have a few boats I could always use, which brings me to the next issue..Producing them. I don't have with me now a computer with the editing software and power I need - that is all in a storage unit waiting for me to get off my **** and buy a house, move into and set it all up again. So I have had a chat with my long suffering mother who has said once the new carpet is down, and my new bed has been put together I can get a desk and use my old room at their place, set up the computer and use their high speed fibre to upload content. The stuff I have been doing, little snippets all on my phone and while it is okay it is not nearly as good as proper camera gear, and being able to edit things properly - for one whatever would I do without my eclectic music choices to be included into the videos... So I will try and bring back the good old Captain's Blog's - it seems my style and personality has been missed by some, and yet others have loved the fact I have not been about talking to a camera and driving a boat, still if I make a come back think of all the things I can be told I did wrong lol.
  9. Well, it has been quite the day.. Firstly it was off to Kwik-Fit to get the brakes on the SLK looked at. I know people often say bad things about Kwik-Fit and online it tends to be all about people going there and complaining they were 'up sold' things that they did not actually need. What makes me chuckle is how everyone becomes an expert when they enter a Kwik-Fit branch and know what is needed to be done and after they feel extra work is being done will have a 'mechanic friend' who said it did not need doing. One wonders why they did not pay the mechanic friend a bit in the first place.. Anyway, the Prince of Wales Road place in Norwich is very well run, and I have used them a few times now. They had the car up on the ramp and wheels off and the result an hour later was I had badly worn rear pads, passenger side uneven - slake hand brake cable and over 50% wear on the front pads. Things like the worn rear pads and slake hand brake cable perhaps should be advisors in the MOT the car had a couple of days earlier, but since the dealer I bought the car off also did the MOT is that too much of a surprise it sailed though? Suffice to say I asked them to change all the pads and also change the brake fluid. I was then annoyed upon collection Kwik-Fit use Pagid pads (not because they are bad) but because these are the same manufacture who produce the OEM BMW pads, and which I paid a fortune for to be fitted on the BMW X5 at an BMW Independent. Oh well, the bill came to £273.45 which included two new wear sensors and the brake fluid flush and re-fill. I now have a super firm brake pedal, a nice weighted hand brake lever and though I need to go careful for the next couple hundred miles, I can tell the new brakes are wonderful compared to what I had before. I then popped to Halfords and got another Air-Con 'bomb' to rid the last of the musty smell in the system (they really do work) and then got some power steering fluid to top up to the reservoir and while there noticed some LED side light bulbs, why not get these I thought so duly did and also thought why not get them to fit them, since they are pretty easy to get at behind the light cluster. Ops they can't fit them, they are not road legal. Urm why sell non-road legal parts? Big hassle to get a refund not only for the fitting cost but also the actual lights. I'd not mind it says that the blue coated halogen bulbs are not road legal but not anywhere could I see does it say LED's are not legal to fit. Of course the chance you being caught is small, but you never know at MOT time that it is seen/fails etc. Anyway, the car is now looking great, going and stopping great, smelling great and all round good. I therefore made a video to share with you: I also got the BMW X5 back from BA Wheels in Norwich, who did a great job. I am so impressed with the look and the fact they are 'as new' but also the Aston Martin grey colour I had chosen for the powder coating looks great - not too bold, light or dark - just right and makes my wheels now unique. I then spent a couple of hours bringing the paintwork up to a lovely mirror finish, but the next step is going to be having this professionally done with a Ceramic coating.
  10. I have noticed just how much plastic rubbish is about. On the main rivers it tends to be what people litter that then finds it's way into the water, but what is more worrisome is where there are natural areas where debris collect. Usually these are where two quay headings come together at a 45 degree angle and trap debris as they come in on a flood tide. You will get the usual items like branches and leaves, but in the mix I have seen a large number of plastic bottles. It is not just drinking bottles, everything from engine oil bottles to automatic transmission fluid bottles. It is not so common to find a carrier bag, but a black bin bag on the other hand is not so rare to spot. I dread to think how much general litter ends up in the Wensum as it passes through Norwich, and flows out on an Ebb tide down the Yare. Conversely how much might come in through Yarmouth. I think plastic is pretty bad, but not as evil as it is being made out to be - the main issue is us - people - who don't give much of a damn about things, that water bottle chucked on the street, that gets kicked into the river - right there at that moment you've just got something that will be either in the river system or sea for years and years and when it begins to breakdown those smaller chunks, which turn into seven smaller bits never will actually go away.
  11. It has been a while, but some news on the 'fleet': Firstly, I am taking the X5 into a place in Norwich called BA Wheels where the alloy wheels will under go quite a refub. I am having them all taken off blasted (its not sand but that sort of thing) and then they will go through a fresh diamond cut to make the edges of the inner design have a larger cut surface and better shine. The insides will then be power coated in a sparkly grey, which is apparently the same colour some Aston Martin wheels are covered with. This will help hide the brake dust. I'll post some photos once it is all done Secondly as you will no doubt know the SLK I bought has steadily got worse and worse. What a lemon it has proved to be. The issues began when I bought it when the drivers door mirror and lock failed, followed by a new coil pack being needed. Once that was done and I got the car the heater blower motor began to squall terribly, the air conditioner compressor made a terrible whine which has got worse over time. New issues popped up when the transmission would stick in 3rd gear - only very occasionally. Now it will get stuck in 1st or 3rd and it is pretty much every drive. I now also have quite an oil leak down the back left hand side of the engine, it drips onto the exhaust manifold overnight - start the car up in the morning and it smokes like hell for about 20 minutes. Well it is not like I can just sell the car in that condition, and to fix all the above I have been quoted more than the car's value. It therefore came as a great surprise that despite this a dealer has agreed to part exchange the car and valued it at £4,500 - and I am taking delivery of a 'new' SLK on Thursday. The new car is a late 2008 model, with 650 improvements over the previous model, the engine now producing 306BHP, 5.4 seconds to 60 means this is close to the previous AMG V8 in out right acceleration. It has had 2 owners, the previous an old gentleman who could not use easily get in and out of it, has only been serviced by main dealer Mercedes and has done 55,000 miles. It has a lovely (tarty) all red leather interior with a silver exterior. It is having an MOT and service prior to me getting it, and this one comes with a proper warranty. I am hoping second time round will be lucky. I had thought about a BMW Z4 but finding a decent one with the similar performance as the SLK would have seen me having to spend close on £14,000. I looked into a larger Mercedes SL but that would be full of issues, they just do naturally go wrong because they are complex cars and they cost a lot to sort out when they do. I then considered an Audi TT, but it would need to be a TT S to compete with the SLK on performance and again would cost many thousands more. So something small, with a V6 or and a lot of go you can't really beat the cheapness of the SLK's. They ride really well too, and the more modern SLC is being discontinued so these small rockets will be the things of history. My only issue with the R171 model are the seats, they look good, and are made with Magnesium frames for lightness but they just lack lower back support. I have to say I love the comfort and softness of the X5, but I can suffer a stiff back for the experience of the low down roadster. It also makes you actually part of the drive and need to be more alert to what the conditions are and car is doing. The X5 will just go come what may, the SLK even on a 30 MPH twisting road can be a bit twitchy in the wet from the back end. I'll post some photos come Thursday.
  12. I think I need to ask Simon to bring his Guitar then..
  13. I had to replace my old D2 heater controller on Trixie, not sure if it is the same as yours - switch on/off and the dial used to adjust heater output. These are online for around £60.00 I then have a NASA BM1 to keep an eye on the batteries, which tells me their voltage and amps - either charging or discharging. It is remarkably accurate when compared to a voltmeter but does need to be wired correctly and set up right. Two boatyards both had a go at this and got it wrong, in the end a Marine Electrician got it right and it has performed perfectly since. I so however suspect my re-built Alternator is still unhappy but that is another story.
  14. LondonRascal


    Single, not sure of horsepower
  15. Sorry for the late response to this but there has been a few last minute changes and cancellations going on. So if you could put down Trixie for Saturday at Salhouse, Jill and Simon and then probably I will arrive Saturday afternoon by car with Andy (LondonLad) and Shiela. My Mum will be bringing the Genset, PA speaker and some lights..Oh and the 'NBN Banner' - not quite the usual set up as I would have wished but better than nothing and certainly wanted to not let this be a missed year.
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