Saturday 17 December 2022

Saturday Variety

It's Been One Of Those Weeks

Maybe not quite as bad as the above, but ...
On Monday the fbbs discovered that to mend their busted limo (seen above, parked, appropriately, outside the undertakers') would cost £1900.

On Tuesday, in a hurry to get the January Fellowship leaflet distributed before Christmas, fbb busted the printer! He had just printed the first side of two.
Fortunately Church came to the rescue with the help of Graham as motorised courier.

On Wednesday the battle with the model railway trackwork and associated wiring was rejoined with consequent frustration but a modicum of success.
On Thursday the pipe leading to an outside tap burst ...
... because a length of foam lagging had fallen off, unspotted by either fbb. A very helpful plumber came.

On Friday, the old man struggled with processing parcels on Evri (formerly Hermes) because, of course, he could not print out the labels!

The Seaton Parcelshop (at the closed Co-op) is therefore closed so they have to go to Colyton. And the fbb's car is busted. 

But No 1 son and his Mrs are coming for a pre-Christmas Christmas so ...

The gasman is NOT coming on Monday!

Well, not so far.

Which all serves to remind our loyal and longsuffering reader that "reduced-fat" blogs may occur at any time until early January 2023.

Odd Oriental O-Fronts

For some reason, as yet unexplained, fbb is not entirely familiar with public transport in North Korea. But a twittered video, with commentary in Chinese (?) showed their fleet of new double deck buses.
They look smart inside - but probably not leather - and smart out on the road.
... but their fronts look, well ...
... weird. In some ways they have an affinity with some UK bus designs ...
... but with a bit of emphasis on the "O".

At first, fbb thought this was a whim of the whimsical and potentially dangerous Kim Jong-un ...

... but no; here it is again on a train in Kyoto, Japan.
A manufacturers design "signature" perhaps? Whatever, it looks plug ugly to western eyes.

The Camera Does(n't) Lie
This is in Salt Lake City, USA and provoked some vituperation about the foolishness of making the trams wiggle for the evil motorist who wants to turn left. Maybe there is a feeling that the trams might fall off the tracks!
But the picture is taken from a long way off using a powerful telephoto lns, thus there is massive foreshortening of the view.

Here are a couple of more sensible twitterings by way of reply.
And here is one of those left hand turn lanes with barely a wiggle visible.
Even from directly above the curves are gentle in the extreme (for a tram!) compared, say, with those on fbb'd model railway layout! And even his trains don't fall off.

TRAX has 50 stations on three lines. The Blue Line provides service from Downtown Salt Lake City to Draper. The Red Line provides service from the University of Utah to the Daybreak Community of South Jordan. The Green Line provides service from Salt Lake City International Airport to West Valley City. In 2021, the system had a ridership of 8,403,900, or about 35,100 per weekday as of the second quarter of 2022.

And here is a Red Line tram redlining!

This Man Talks Sense (3) ...
What, another one. That must be at least TWO in the UK public transport sector. Bonus!
He is boss of c2c, one of the sillier names in the rail industry and his boss is Trenitalia, the nationalised railway in Italy.

His views are stark and good.
He continues:-
And there is more!
He might not last long in the job with outlandish opinions like that.

Translate that into the ailing bus industry. The "red book" carried by Mullenites would read the same.

You cannot grow the bus business by cutting services. Passengers expect a reliable and adequate bus servicer so they can just turn up and go. Cuts destroy this type of use and destroy passenger numbers.

Perhaps this is an appropriate moment to reveal Julian Peddle's closing paragraph from his column in the January edition  of Buses magazine.
Oh dear; as a DaFT slogan put it a while back ...


Railway Modelling - Seasonal Tips No 34
Would that be a OO gauge tortoise, and N gauge tortoise or one of these new-fangled TT120 tortoises?

Puzzle Picture
What is MOB?
Answer tomorrow if fbb remembers!

 Advent Calendar Day 17 

Questions and Quarrels

But they did not say a thing. Jesus was angry as he looked around at them, but at the same time he felt sorry for them, because they were so stubborn and wrong. Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it became well again. So the Pharisees left the synagogue and met at once with some members of Herod's party, and they made plans to kill Jesus.

Jesus healed the man with the withered hand ...
... but on the Sabbath Day!

The Quarrel was not that Jesus healed a man; there were plenty of charlatan healers around at the time; but that he dared to do it on the Sabbath when no work (even healing!) was permitted. How dare this itinerant preacher deny the Sabbath.

Who does the think he is, God himself?

Mark records this incident very early in the Ministry of Jesus, probably during the first few months of his three years "at his father's business".

And it kept goin like that right to the very end.
This quarrel was in the last week of his life.

So who was responsible for Jeusu death on the cross?

The Pharisees? Herod's Party? The Sadducees? The Scribes? 
The Romans? Judas Iscariot?
The crowd who called for Barabbas to be released?
Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor
Herod, puppet King

Ot was it Jesus himself for not keeping his mouth shut?

Or was it God who planned it all along?

Or was it every single sinful person, past and future, who made it necessary?

For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive through God's power. 
(John's first Letter Chapter 3)

An Easter hymn says it all - in the end ...

He died that we might be forgiven,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heaven,
saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin;
he only could unlock the gate
of heaven, and let us in.

O dearly, dearly has he loved,
and we must love him too,
and trust in his redeeming blood,
and try his works to do.

... but it begins at CHRISTmas
 Next Variety blog : Sunday 18h December 


  1. What needs doing to your car to cost so much?

  2. The strangest thing about those double-deckers for Pyongyang is that they appear to have a clock where the destination screen should be!

  3. There is a real and impossible conundrum affecting the bus industry generally at the moment:

    We want to improve services, but this will require extra drivers. We have a shortage of drivers, so we need to reduce services. As passenger numbers fall away, our income falls away as well. We cannot afford (without a huge leap of faith) to increase driver wages or employ more drivers (if we can find them).

    If Government are serious about supporting bus services, then they need to provide substantial financial support over the next 5 years, not renewing and reducing every 6 months.
    London solved the staff shortage in the early 2000s by directly increasing driver wages with extra contract funding. It can be done . . . alternatively, simply give buses 10% of railway funding each year, and watch the bus fly!!

  4. Who wants the bus network to grow? Is the tax payer going to pay out yet more - thus agree to higher income tax?

    Travel is something that is reducing due to flexible working and online shopping / education / entertainment etc. and the green agenda. Public transport outside the big urban areas is slow, inconvenient and uncomfortable. Never mind the fares etc, life is geared around the flexibility and availability of the car. Life may change (is changing) with people moving to live nearer to work.

    Fbb's car isn't working - has he reported bus use either town services or the 2 once an hour interurbans. My 2 children in mid 20s use public transport, but not the bus - 1 has a shared car and the other a bike and both will walk for 30+ mins rather than the bus. Why?

    Bus use probably will grow when life changes enough to make it work, but that is not today. The taxpayer has enough bills without subsidising something they don't use. Running a reduced network reliably, punctually and 20/7 would create a better base for expansion.

    1. And that is one possible answer to the conundrum . . . accept that "we are where we are" {a horrible expression, but it'll serve for now}, and that both bus and rail industries need to stabilise their networks into something reliable and sustainable before attempting to improve.

      If that means that a small proportion of existing users lose their services . . . so be it. If "society" wants more, then "society" will have to pay for it. If "society" is unwilling to pay, then that's the ultimate answer.

    2. Isn't that what we have been doing for the last half a century, and it's brought us to where we are? So why should the next 50 years make any difference?

    3. I've always been amused by the choice of a fellow-commenter moniker "greenline727". Wasn't that the prime example of a failure to build something "reliable and sustainable"? Or is that the point?

    4. Que??? I no'unnerstand!!!
      Nothing amusing . . . it's purely 'cos, back in the day, I used to drive on that route.

  5. MOB = Montreux Oberland Bernois