Rule 134 – This Makes Sense

I’ve had occasion recently to look at things within the Highway Code. I know that they change it year on year and I try to keep aware of these things, but somethings have happened recently to change my mind about road behaviour and so I wanted to know the actual rules.

Maidstone is a somewhat special town with all its traffic glory. There are plenty of places within the town where there seem to be “local rules” and I often describe it as driving in London. You need to know what lane to be in for a junction one mile up the road otherwise it all gets a bit shitty. There are roadworks currently at a junction I use a lot. Two of the lanes now drop down to one lane to give the workers room to work and to be safe. Many, many people try to get into the open lane as soon as they see the signs and this leaves the lane that is closing empty of traffic. This might seem sensible but then I saw an image on [twitter I think] social media that made traffic queuing sense. Both lanes were full and then you merge in turn where the lane actually closes.

This makes sense. It shortens the length of the queuing traffic on the road and makes it more fair by insisting that people take it in turns to merge. THIS IS THE MOST SENSIBLE FOR QUEUING TRAFFIC. This is so sensible that there is a rule about it in the Highway Code and that is Rule 134.

Rule 134

You should follow the signs and road markings and get into the lane as directed. In congested road conditions do not change lanes unnecessarily. Merging in turn is recommended but only if safe and appropriate when vehicles are travelling at a very low speed, e.g. when approaching road works or a road traffic incident. It is not recommended at high speed.

Highway Code Rule 134
Highway Code Rule 134

The problem with this rule is that people think they need to move over straight away and then they get annoyed at someone “cutting the line” and doing the correct thing which is to use the closing lane until the last moment. I’ve even seem people gatekeep the road by making sure no one can get along the closing lane. These people are wrong and also utter wankers. To be honest I looked this rule up because I want the defence when I get someone complaining about me driving up the empty lane and then merging in turn. Also, I don’t understand why merging in turn isn’t a bigger thing over here. People seem to be right assholes about it all.

This Is Not A Healthy Level

It’s been an interesting and emotional few years to be a human on this planet. I’ve really struggled since 2016 and the UK Brexit vote. Then we had Trump, then Covid. Working through these events has taken its toll and I don’t think things have eased up at all since the start of Covid. For me the sheer incompetence of government and those we look at for leadership has been my biggest problem. In a critical time for global politics we have the dregs and shit of the current tory party “leading” this country. Anyway, rather than descend into utter madness I want to consider safe levels of CO2 in the rooms where I work.

To encourage schools to get back in in person teaching during the pandemic the government went on about open windows and flow-through of air. The concept was that if the air was flowing then the virus would be washed outside with lower chances of infecting anyone in the room – made up science I know and very few actual tests completed on this – so as a proxy for “fresh air” which was a proxy for “safe” the government introduced CO2 monitors in classrooms as a proxy for “fresh air”. If the CO2 level is high it means there isn’t enough fresh air and therefore a higher risk of virus transmission.

So all the classrooms in my place of work have CO2 monitors. Anything that follows in this communication is not a criticism of my place of work. It’s more a criticism of the entire sector and the things we have to put up with as we do our best to educate the young of today for tomorrow. The problems are endemic within the education sector because of poor design and a lack of funds.

Here is some information on levels of CO2 that I have found in many places on the internet.

CO2 Levels
CO2 Levels

Here’s what my working room CO2 monitor said at the end of the working day – and I had only had three out of five hours of work there.

CO2 Levels In A Poorly Designed Room
CO2 Levels In A Poorly Designed Room

The temperature of 19C is a sensible level. This was maintained by having the windows shut. But the problem with that is the CO2 levels have hit over 4500ppm. This is clearly into the “headaches, sleepiness etc” levels of bad gas. If they go much higher then I am at risk should I be exposed for eight hours. We all know I am a teacher. These measurements now explain why some children suffer in stuffy rooms. It explains all those headaches. There have always been stuffy rooms in schools and teachers broadly do what they are told. I will try and teach wherever I have to. It’s not like everyone can have their lessons in the best room at the time.

This measurement of CO2 has highlighted just how little we are served with traditional classrooms. The building I work in is a 21C development. But it is poorly designed with very little through-flow of air. The heating is “ceiling based” – I kid you not – there are radiators in the ceiling. To have a breeze in the room I have to open my windows and many fire doors. This is not really acceptable and I work in a good school with decent resources. There are going to be plenty of places where the conditions are much worse.

What I think has to happen is an assessment of all rooms in schools and then redesign of those rooms or buildings. I know that’s expensive. I know it’s not going to happen. I know people have put up with this for all the past times but now we know and we have to opportunity to change things. To make schools healthier and better to work in and learn in.

It’s Been More Than A Fortnite

Recently I’ve been persuaded to have a go at playing Fortnite. The last month has been an interesting time learning all the little ways that Epic Games manage to keep the interest within Fortnite. There are lots of challenges and quests that can be completed alongside the actual game of trying to kill everyone else. If you don’t know this game is based on Battle Royale – kill all the others until you are the only survivors. It’s actually pretty good fun and I have enjoyed learning things about the maps, the weapons and the gameplay.

Fortnite Levels - It's Been About A Month
Fortnite Levels – It’s Been About A Month

I never thought I’d be into different skins and customisations in a game. I’ve quite enjoyed putting liveries on Gran Turismo cars but not ones that I’ve had to work hard for, or even pay for. If it ain’t free I’m not having it. Except, I have done that in Fortnite. I’ve paid for a decent looking glider that I will try and embed in another communication – it’s loosely based on the Grumman Goose. I’ve also paid a little money for some rather cool looking skins, and they were in the sale so that’s probably OK? Anyway, I’m an adult and can spend my money on whatever I want I guess.

I’m currently at level 184 or something. The shiny skin I have in the image took a fair amount of play and even trying third party games which are generally quite shit. You get bonus XP for completing tasks and the XP goes to give you levels. I will admit, I am hooked, and with other people in my team we can regularly come in the top 5 on the island so I enjoy this game a lot.

Zero Day Festival – Electrowerkz

Last night I went to Electrowerkz to see a couple of bands as part of the Zero Day Festival the venue was running. It was nice to be back in London, I stared at some buildings as though I’d never been there before, some parts of London surely are pretty. This festival had a number of bands I wanted to see but none more important than Grausame Töchter. I’d been aware of this band for a while but had never had the opportunity to seen them before. I do love the Electrowerkz venue – I still don’t really know my way around and the place just feels “down to Earth”.

Classy Venue Warning
Classy Venue Warning

I drove to the Big City as trains are never as convenient and more expensive [that’s what privatisation does for you]. I found a car park and also chatted to reception to make sure they would be open when I returned. Then Smith and I walked down to the venue, a couple of minutes walk away. There was a band on as we arrived and so we watched them for a while. Patenbrigade:Wolff were on stage. They were dressed in orange boiler suits but in a road maintenance way rather than a scary-Slipknot way. I enjoyed this band and have since got two of their albums.

Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz
Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz

The music was well constructed and had a good variation. One of the singers just seemed to spend most of the time drinking beer and dancing around. There was a female singer and that was a nice change to their set. Overall I was impressed enough to buy some merchandise. This is mostly because it’s a high-viz jacket and I might wear it at work.

Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz
Patenbrigade:Wolff at Electrowerkz

Next up was Grausame Töchter. I knew this was going to be a performance piece and I was looking forward to it. Their songs are super catchy and I think I’m probably happy I don’t know what the lyrics are about. Especially after some of their stageshow.

Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz
Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz

I really enjoyed the show and the songs. Some aspects were very slightly disturbing but I guess that’s what good art will do. There was, at times, a naked woman on stage who, in the act, seemed to be forced into killing themself along with holding up placards with various sexual references. The backing singer of the band was a part of Nachtmarh when I saw them at M’era Luna this year. At the summer show she sprayed the audience with water from a water gun. This time she sprayed the audience with a white substance from a giant syringe.

Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz
Grausame Töchter at Electrowerkz

This show was great fun and I really enjoyed it for the visuals and the music. I knew it would be a “performance” and it turned out to not disappoint. Last on stage were [:SITD:] and they were pretty good. I didn’t enjoy them as much as the second act. For me they were a solid good set, I jus think they lack something in their stage show but each to their own I guess.

[:SITD:] at Electrowerkz
[:SITD:] at Electrowerkz

Overall an enjoyable evening. I beat the Google Maps time for getting home without actually speeding so that was nice. It took two thirds of the time to get home as it did to actually get to the parking spot. London is annoying at times. Anyway, overall, a really enjoyable evening and one that I’ll remember.

Trying To Work Out What I’ll Do

So, I’m going to use Mastodon but I’m not sure what for. I’m going to try and avoid all the hated and politics that I saw on Twitter and I think I’ll just follow stuff that I’m interested in: games, films, music, sport, aircraft, that sort of thing. The thing now is to find those sources of enjoyment. I’m also going to use Mastodon to exhibit my photographs I think. I’ve got plenty of pretty neat photos and so I will spend some time tooting those.

I’m currently thinking about deleting myself from Twitter but I think there’s too much stuff on this actual site for me to be able to do that without spending days cleaning up all the links and embedded tweets. I’m working on finding a solution.

A Nice New Place

I’ve spent much of the time since 2016 avoiding Twitter at times and being dragged back in because I’ve missed understanding what’s going on. Now the evil overlord has taken control of Twitter I’ve followed many to Mastodon. Musk has overleveraged himself because he was pissed off and I find that hilarious. He is such a funny person to observe.

So, I’ll keep my Twitter account going because loads of things send stuff to that. I think this website sends notifications there, but I’ll be looking for a Mastodon posting plugin at sometime. In the meantime I think I’m going to mostly look at Mastodon and hope that it’s a lovely place with decent moderation.

As far as I understand it you can see me on Mastodon using

Hopefully This Tells A Story

I’m not going to research this before writing this communication. You are going to get my live reaction as I search through data sources to see what the evidence is to back up my hypothesis that the current UK Government Cabinet are assholes. The evidence I’m going to collect is from They Work For You and I’m going to compare voting records on human rights issues. I’m going to use the top five or so ministers from government and also those in the shadow cabinet to see if there are some broad differences. I AM going to make a value judgement on the overall work of these MPs using how they vote on social issues. If you think it’s ok to be in charge of this country but to deny people human rights then I guess that is your choice but I bet you are cis white het.

UK Tory Government

Rishi Sunak – Generally voted against giving people equal rights.

Dominic Raab – Generally voted against giving people equal rights.

Jeremy Hunt – Generally voted against giving people equal rights.

James [not] Cleverly – Generally voted against giving people equal rights.

Suella Braverman – all the bad.

UK Shadow Cabinet

Kier Starmer – voted for the good things.

Angela Rayner – voted for the good things.

Pat McFadden – voted for the good things.

David Lammy – generally voted for the good things.

Yvette Cooper – almost always voted for the good things.

These results aren’t really a surprise. The tories generally vote against doing good things for people and the labour shadow cabinet generally vote for doing good things for people. Why people even vote tory I don’t understand. Oh, yes, I do understand, it’s because they are largely selfish and lack empathy.

End Of Summer – Kent Edition

My plans for the October half term were sent to the backburner when my car decided to stop working and it is currently in the car hospital. I did manage to see some lovely parts of this county.

I had a trip to Sissinghurst Castle and that was lovely as I bumped into an old work collegue.

Sissinghurst Castle Moods
Sissinghurst Castle Moods

I visited Chatham Dockside whatever the place is called and walked the dog for a little while.

Chatham Dockyard Mixing The Ages
Chatham Dockyard Mixing The Ages

I also played quite a bit of Fortnite, whether that is good or bad I don’t know, but I enjoy it. Even with the slaughter of innocents in the game I would suggest it’s a better environment than the real world at the moment. My struggles with politics and people continue from 2016. I think I’m just starting to get used to it.

West Kent Facing Sunset
West Kent Facing Sunset

Perhaps I need another rant on here but that should wait for another day when I have the time and mental capacity to explain my thoughts in my not-so-clear way.

NFL Wembley 2022

Sunday was a good day to head to Wembley and watch American Football. This year it was the turn of the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars to battle it out to win the international series game. I had planned really well to arrive in time for a 1430 start but unfortunately the match actually started at 1330 so we missed the first quarter. Not a problem as the rest of the match had good things in it [except for the 3rd quarter].

Close Up To The Action
Close Up To The Action

I met Jason and his daughter at the stadium and because we missed the national anthems I didn’t get my chance to silently protest the stupidity of having a grown up singing about wanting to save the system that literally makes us subjects of a person rather than citizens in our own right. Fuck the system.

Wembley Stadium - Broncos @ Jags
Wembley Stadium – Broncos @ Jags

The Broncos won the match and I guess that pleased Penguin as he’s a Broncos fan. I liked it too as I had chosen to support them throughout the game.

By the way. I’m back to supporting the New Orleans Saints as my premier football team. Not because the Packers are bad, but because they are not very romantic. So, Who Dat!

I Don’t Understand The Picture

Normally graphics are meant to be nice and simple to allow easy interpretation. It should be clear what the sign means from the picture and the words should just be an extra. For many years I thought the “stone chip” road sign was actually a hammer hitting the road and making chips of stone fly around. It took me years to see half a car there.

UK traffic sign 7009.svg
By UK Government OGL v1.0, Link

I was filling the car up with petrol at my new favourite local petrol station and I spotted the warning sign.

Warning Sign At Petrol Station
Warning Sign At Petrol Station

Most of these signs seem to make sense to me but I’m really struggling to see what the “stop motor” picture is. I can see a key and then a face mask?? I honestly have no idea and I’m glad there was English written on the warning because I wouldn’t have figured it out. Not that I leave the engine running when I fill up with petrol but, you know.