Sunday 11 December 2022

Sunday Variety

The Power Of The Press ...

... to deceive its readers!

The above item popped into fbb's ambit via the ever (un)reliable interwebnet. The author (Erta Karpazli) writes about the depressing state of public transport in the Bromley area.

I suppose one thing IS true; the places mentioned are (probably?) 16 miles from a London Underground station. But the rest is ignorant drivel.

Here are Keston Mark and Locksbottom on a map extract.
For a start they are on a GREEN road with lots of PALE ORANGE built-on areas nearby. Streetview shows a busy junction at Keston Mark ...
... and an even busier street scene at Locksbottom.
And look! There are lots of lovely red buses at Locksbottom.
Do these run 16 miles to an Underground station?

No. But they do run to Orpington National Rail station.
Of course, a map of the routes in the Orpington area is kept as a closely guarded secret by the grossly incompetent London Transport. But thanks to the skill and expertise of Mike Harris, the once official bus map is still available. It confirms what is on the stops at Locksbottom etc. ...
... namely that route 353 will get you from Keston Mark AND Locksbottom to Orpington station.
And no thanks to LT but thanks to Robert Munster, we have a timetable as well.
The 20 minute frequency journey takes just about ten minutes, not the ninety minutes mentioned in the article. Or you could go in the other direction to Hayes (Kent) station.
Now, it is true tht there are no Underground trains at Orpington ,,,
... but there are more than enough "proper" trains to satisfy our ill-informed journo friend.

Don't always believe what you read on-line.

That's Just The Point ...
On the real railway they are called "turnouts" and in America, "switches". They are usually long with a very gentle "shallow" curve

fbb has always had trouble with points. His first toy train was supplied with Triang Mark 2 track.
... which "the boy" soon replaced with Hornby Dublo two-rail.
What were those mysterious terminals for? Certainly not an electric point motor. fbb could never figure it out, despite a sheet of instructions.

But the corners were far too sharp. Even higher quality points are significantly compressed compared with reality.
The Peco point (above) has a sharper turn even that some full-sized sidings turnouts.
But the big problem with coming in from the cold (and wet!) is the tarnish. Nickel silver does not rust, but is does tarnish.
The tarnish is, fbb is told, the copper leeching out of the mixture that is perversely called nickel silver.

Nickel silver, is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. Nickel silver does not contain the element silver. It is named for its silvery appearance, which can make it attractive as a cheaper and more durable substitute. It is also well suited for being plated with silver. 

But this copper is a 'salt" of copper and does not conduct electricity. Hence the little toy trains don't run very well.

Cleaning the rail-head is easy, but cleaning mucky fishplates is impossible. fbb is on his second full packet of replacements with the third bag being a likely purchase.
But the real problem is the tiny little contacts used to carry the current through the blades of the pointwork. They are well hidden and a pig and its brood of piglets to clean.
fbb has tried everything: vinegar, toilet cleaner, Cif, bleach, a full cycle in the dishwasher, scrubbing vigorously with a toothbrush, scraping with a screwdriver blade - all to no avail in some cases. So the "main line" crossover (seen here when installed outside a good few years ago) ...
... has been replaced by "factory sealed pre-owned" pointwork.
Observant readers will notice some rail without sleepers at the top. It needed a very short bit of rail to fill a very short gap; and, despite glueing ...
... the sleepers simply fell off. Try again!

But slowly (VERY slowly) the rebuilt layout is beginning to look like a layout (a very tatty layout but getting better).
Once the track is all working smoothly, the rest should be a simple re-assembly.

Famous last words!

Puzzle Picture
It is where the Colne  Valley Viaduct (HS2) crosses the A412 near Denham Green. The orange bit at the top hauls the pre-cast sections of the viaduct and then they are glued together.
The night time picture is, fbb thinks (?), a view from the north.
Let's hope they don't drop any bits!

It is a bit like a giant Airfix kit!

Tap On : Tap Off - Technology Thwarted
There is a problem. Where do you tap if the card reader is blocked? It won't work through a cat.
So you have to go under!
Red light; cat wins; you can't get out!

Thus the Mr Tubbles doppelganger will have his rest!

Tomorrow, we go to a place you may never have heard of. fbb certainly hadn't. But here is a clue!
So that's it, then, a bit of a puzzle!


 Advent Calendar Day 11 

Kaleidoscope of Kings

The background is not a happy one. Four books of the Bible tell us about the Monarchy; 1 and 2 Samuel (which are mostly about David, hence the name) and 1 and 2 Kings which are about Kings. 

After three Kings : (Saul - failure, David - mostly a success : Solomon - success at first but) the Kingdom split into two. Just to confuse us the northern lot were then called Israel OR Samaria and the southern lot were known as Judah.

In 721 BC Assyria captured and obliterated Israel (or Samaria, take your choice.)

In 597 BC Babylonians destroyed Judah and too the fittest into exile.

So not the best advert for the Monarchy!

But the people had demanded a King "to be like the other nations nearby." 
"But God is your King", Samuel replied. Sam was, as it turned out, the last of the "Judges"!
"This us what a King will do," Samuel warned. And he does go on a bit so this is just a sample!

"This is how your king will treat you," Samuel explained. 

He will make soldiers of your sons
Your sons will have to make his weapons 
Your daughters will have to make perfumes
He will take your best fields
He will take a tenth of your grain 
He will take your servants
He will take a tenth of your flocks.
When that time comes, you will complain bitterly because of your king, 

he people paid no attention to Samuel, but said, "No! We want a king,"

And over time kings did everything that Samuel had railed against! 

Substitute "ruling politicians" for kings and they still do.

Generally when (if?) the Kings stuck with God and His morality and purposes, things went well. When the kings strayed, then things went wrong; culminating is obliteration and exile.

Here is Solomon praying at the start of his reign ....
Give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?"

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this, and so he said to him, "Because you have asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, I will do what you have asked. I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again.

And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life."

Spot the pattern.

Of course, Solomon's predecessor, King David is an integral part of CHRISTmas.
 Next Brabazon blog : Monday 12th December 

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