Other Stuff

This page has the bits and pieces than don't really go anywhere else plus anything else that takes my fancy.

Did I mention it's my website?what?WHAT? JAA PSIt's not finished, by the way.

Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Not so very common carp...a very subtil fish Not so very common carpWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Not so very common carpif you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it.
Gobio GobioGobio Gobio (and return to the top of the page) GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobby GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GonkGobby Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GudgeonGudgeon GudgeonGudgeon Gobio GobioGobio Gobio

Stuff with no other home Izaak Walton in 1653 Wrote of the Gudgeon:

"The GUDGEON is reputed a fish of excellent taste, and to be very wholesome: he is of a fine shape, of a silver colour, and beautified with black spots both on his body and tail. He breeds two or three times in the year, and always in summer. He is commended for a fish of excellent nourishment: the Germans call him Groundling., by reason of his feeding on the ground; and he there feasts himself in sharp streams, and on the gravel. He and the barbel both feed so, and do not hunt for flies at any time, as most other fishes do: he is a most excellent fish to enter a young angler, being easy to be taken with a small red-worm, on or near to the ground. He is one of those leather-mouthed fish that has his teeth in his throat, and will hardly be lost off from the hook if he be once strucken.

JAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAAJAA

They be usually scattered up and down every river in the shallows, in the heat of summer; but in autumn, when the weeds begin to grow sour and rot, and the weather colder, then they gather together, and get into the deep parts of the water, and are to be fished for there with your hook always touching the ground, if you fish for him with a float, or with a cork; but many will fish for the Gudgeon by hand, with a running-line upon the ground, without a cork, as a trout is fished for; and it is an excellent way, if you have a gentle rod and as gentle a hand."

Gobio GobioGobio Gobio (and return to the top of the page) GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobby GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GonkGobby Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GudgeonGudgeon GudgeonGudgeon Gobio GobioGobio Gobio
split shotSplit...(and back to the top of the page) split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot

Stuff with no other home On the End of the Line

It's this simple. I think any rig designed or intended to be self-hooking is simply not in the spirit of the angling. For that reason, although I tried 'anti-eject rigs' for a short time, I'll not use them again. It's too much like trapping and reeling and is barely distinguishable from long-lining. That's fine for food, but it doesn't sit well with me and so I'll have nothing to do with it.

Etiam si omnes, ego non  es"Even if all others, not I". It just sounds better in Latin, so just post me my "Elitism badge". It'll look nice next to the "First Aider" one.

A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box...(and back to the top of the page) A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box

Stuff with no other home The Boilie Thing

I believe fishing is in general, driven by solely commercial interests and boilies represent to me the one of the worst aspects of this. For that reason I'll not use them. The same goes for pellets, any sort. pe ...although I also have a problem with the indiscriminate use of fish meal and fish-oils, for which our inshore sea-beds are razed barren. Everything has a consequence.

Another Crucian Carpcrucian...(and back to the top of the page) Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Crucian Carpcrucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Another Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian

Stuff with no other home Reinforced Coffee and Tea

JAA When it is jolly cold a hot flask is well worth the trouble and its weight in the bag. I have taken to 'reinforcing' it, nothing drastic, but the hint of the malt alone is warming.

I have found, by dint of extensive research, that coffee tastes best when reinforced with something that has been in sherry and/or bourbon barrels for ten years or so, 'Quinta Ruban' and 'The Lasanta' are good (and a bargain in most duty free shops) and Aberlour is also good and was a silly price for a litre in 2008. Black Earl Grey seems to work best with something peaty, Islays, Laphroig, Bowmoore or Talisker. I am sure there are those purists that think this is a sacrilegious use of a good single malt, but I subscribe to the view, that as I own the bottle, I can paint the walls with it if I so wish.

I would point out that I only ever put 40cl in a 1 litre flask (I have a 'jigger'. Stop it.). This is somewhere between a single and a double. My reasoning is that a 'unit' of alcohol takes one hour to be absorbed into your system and two hours to leave it; 40cl, even if scoffed all at once, is 1½ hours in and three hours out, 4½ hours, which, luckily, is the duration of my normal shortest trip out. And that is not allowing for the evaporation loss of the alcohol itself, which must be considerable when dunked into a hot flask, and the gradual intake during the day. Legal and safe. And feeling better as well.

JAA Big boys hot chocolate. Take two squares of 90% cocoa chocolate and break/cut into about 16 pieces each. Place in a well warmed flask and add about a pint of boiling water. Put the top on and shake until chocolate has dissolved. Add one coffee pot of freshly brewed coffee. Top up with more boiling water. Replace cap. Shake well.

JAAA tot of 'Red Label' doesn't make it worse.

Before pouring a cup shake it again...it will keep you warm even in an East wind.

VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace...(and back to the top of the page) VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace

Stuff with no other home Breaking Up is Hard

I feel strongly about this - I hate being broken up. This is almost always self-inflicted at some level. Poor hands, unchecked knots or knot types, unchecked line, not paying attention and so on. If I think there is a good chance of being broken, I simply fish heavier. There are those who would rather hook ten and land six, but for myself, I would rather hook four and land four. I think it poor angling to aim for anything else. For me, being broken up is a failure. I hate it and there is no feeling like losing a decent fish, whatever the reason. Here are some exemplars and why they were my fault:

The last three were all hook-knot breaks. They were tied in 12/14lb Stren Orginal, a very very good line. The tip action rod, a little unforgiving, was a factor. However, and this is the biggest reason, I tied those hooks on using a grinner-knot with two turns of the line through the hook-eye. Like this:

the 'Uni' or 'grinner' knotthe 'Uni' or 'grinner' knot, with two turns through the hook-eye, a fatal mistake.

This is the problem, right here. If those two turns are not laid alongside each other and remain alongside each other when the knot is tight, then the crossing of one over the other reduces the breaking strain by 30-50%. No web page I have ever looked at tells you this. No book I have read does either. In fact it is so hard to tie in practise, it is not worth the trouble for the tiny improvement in knot strength.

This is why the phrase "It's never let me down" is meaningless drivel. It also illustrates that most fishing stuff on the internet is recycled by people who have never tried or tested the things they tell you are good.

These last two. I thought the first odd, but blamed myself and the second perhaps a case of being under gunned. Then, on reflection, as the line at Bury Hill had parted above the unshakeable 'Albright', I mic'd the line. It was 0.2mm under the stated thickness. I checked it for ten yards on the reel. Same. I checked the spool it came on. This was the same, some dithery thickness that was under the 12lb's stated and neither 8lb or 10lb thickness. Ahhhhh........

One more time: check everything.

Only two of the above did not have some form of contributary negligence, so were absolutely my fault. I have caught at least that many fish with other peoples' hooks in them. Some of them surprisingly small fish too, but with widespread use of barbless hooks, I hav not seen this for some time. I have seen several floats being towed around as well and even landed one of the fish. We all have accidents but it still makes me uncomfortable when I see that.

Breaking the above instances down: Poor knots (7, 8, 9, 11), damaged line(2, 14), iffy line(12, 13), sheer stupidity(5, 14), not fishing with due care and attention (1, 3, 6). Contrast this with 'Fair enough, you could not predict that' (4, 10). Not counting the two odd breaks maybe due to snap-strain on line gripped by surface tension.

So about 15:2.

Catching decent fish is hard enough, might as well remove the risks on the easy stuff! So, removing the things which cost me all those good fish:

Avoid knots knot....and you thought I liked knots. - one on the hook is quite enough. I actually test knots - when starting out with braid traces, I tested half-bloods against the tucked variety and discovered the plain knot did better. I have done some testing on Uni/grinner and Palomar knots and as a result use Uni Knots for braid.

I avoid split-shot on mono, (since about 1985). I either put the 'tell-tale' on the braid hook-length, or if it needs to be on the mono, I crush the shot on a piece of 12lb mono (tied to a zip on my coat-pocket) to make a groove and put it between two float stops.

Use the softest action rod that will do the job. While I see the need for tip-action rods for some types of fishing, I do not really enjoy fishing miles away and if the fish are under the far bank, would rather sneak round. If you consider it, with a rod of test curve of 2lbs, you have a real job to put a 10lb strain on the line. With the rod absorbing sudden changes in strain, and the mono's stretch (I also avoid pre-stretched mono), you have got to get snagged to get broken up.

Ask yourself this question: "can I control the biggest thing I am expecting to catch, before it gets anywhere near a snag?". If the answers is "no", maybe time to re-evaluate the tackle. If you know you have to stop a fish, be prepared. If you cannot be prepared, do not do it.

The chances of stopping a fish getting snagged are always better than the chances of extracting the fish once it is snagged.

Are you any good at playing fish? I do not recommend using your dog to practise with (as Mr. Walker once wrote), but you can at least rehearse in your mind what you will do in any situation. Although I do not think much of fisheries rammed with half-famished carp, you could go somewhere very easy and practise. Failing that, to paraphrase Isaac, 'you cannot lose what you never had'.

Develop a nervous tic or two. Check your rod rings are not cracked or worn before putting the line in, by running a fingernail around them. Check line is not around the reel handle, looped around the bale arm, got tangled into loop and wound back on the spool, wound around the rod tip etc. Check the line for rough bits, especially the first five yards, it does not take more than a minute or two to run it through your fingers.

Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Carp? What addiction?...a very subtil fish Carp? What addiction?Watch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Carp? What addiction?if you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it.

Stuff with no other home Stuff That Makes Me Smile...

Perch'perca fluviatilis'...(and back to the top of the page) PerchStripey Perch'Sarge' PerchA 'swagger' of perch Perch'Sarge' PerchA 'swagger' of perch PerchA 'swagger' of perch Perch'perca fluviatilis' PerchStripey Perch'Sarge'

Stuff with no other home  A Bait Note

A moment of your time.

There is No Magic Bait

There, I said it. There absolutely is not. There are only: baits that fish do not recognise as food yet, baits that fish recognise as food and baits that fish recognise as food and have been caught on (so now possibly these fish associate them with danger).

The whole notion of a 'special bait' which somehow overcomes a lack of skill, watercraft, fish location, stealth and everything else, is an unthinking defence against one's own view of oneself as a 'good' angler.

Put another way, it is easier to hold onto an opinion of one's competence, if the angler out-fishing everyone else has a 'secret', rather than consider they are more competent, skilful, or have done their homework. OK, on you go...

•  Maize - buy it as animal feed, way cheaper, it will have bits of chaff in it but that does not really matter for loose feed. Soak for 12 hours, boil for about half an hour and then back in the bucket with maybe some sugar, I add yellow food colouring as well, cover with liquid and let sit, maybe in the sun, against a radiator (care...) for a time...after a week it will be fermenting and the carp love it then. Best thing is, smaller fish species do not appear to like the fermented maize quite so much.

You can let them be in that bucket for over a year without it getting really bad, just make sure that the maize is always covered with water. If mould starts to form on top just skim it off or leave it be. It ain't a problem as the liquid and the alcohol prevent the particles under the surface from going bad.

If leaving the maize that long bothers you, after 2-3 weeks of fermentation, bag it with liquid and freeze it!

• Hempseed: I put a pint of hemp-seed into a flask and fill the flask with boiling water. I put the top on for five minutes (I use the oven timer). Drain it out through a sieve and two teaspoons of soft brown sugar. Re-fill the flask with fresh boiling water and seal it overnight.

That cooks it enough for loose feed in the warmer months. If you want to add some salt, do this after the hemp has cooked. Like with most seeds, adding salt at the start will increase the cooking time, and with hemp will reduce the number of grains that split during cooking.

For the winter I add a level teaspoon of cinnamon with sugar. For the winter ground bait, I mix this cooked seed with liquidised bread (all my leftovers from the year go into the freezer until it is 'time'). I usually blend half a pint of cooked hemp in the food processor and add this to my bread and hempseed.

Occasionally, I will add fish-sauce to the hemp after it has cooked, it is r-eel-y effective.

• Tiger Nuts: soak them in cold water for 24 hours and them simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure the water level remains above the swollen nuts during cooking - tip the whole lot into a sealable bucket as it is. After a week the liquid becomes thick and sticky and makes using them really messy, but they're at their best like this. You can keep them for a long time in a cool place as long as they are covered in liquid; you might get mould on the top, but just remove this and the nuts will be fermenting nicely. Top up with water and they are good to go. Alternatively, freeze in small batches and use as needed.

I have used them a few times, side-hooked (not easy) and never had much luck with them myself, but many swear by them. It is one of those baits that might be best fished with a true hair (as opposed to an anti-eject rig).

swivel...and...wait for it...swivel ;-)...(and back to the top of the page) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-)

Stuff with no other home Bu88er Baileys.

Try this: empty a bottle of Mr. J. Walker's very drinkable 'Red Label'. Then 'assemble' the following:

Put in 'used' Red Label bottle, shake well until coffee dissolves. Keep in fridge...drink at will.

Approximate cost per bottle is under £5, its strength is about 20% proof.

JAA takes no responsibility for the effect on the reader, the reader's brain, or indeed Mrs AA, if this mixture is drunk to excess.

Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook (and return to the top of the page) Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook

Stuff with no other home Stuff that Bugs Me

Another Crucian Carpcrucian...(and back to the top of the page) Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Crucian Carpcrucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Another Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian

Stuff with no other home Annoying Platitudes.

"Each to their own"; This gem is generally used by the speaker ostensibly to show tolerance for others' fishing practices, but is usually a thinly veiled way of justifiying their own questionable practices.

"I go fishing to catch fish"; Sure. Of course we all hope to catch fish, but if the only reason one goes is to catch fish, as some proxy measure of one's mythical prowess, then (1) all manner of unsporting methods will be justifed to ensure a self-identity as 'a top angler' or 'big man' and (2) one day they will blank so much they will give up fishing (probably because "the fishing is cr*p these days"), showing that it was never about the angling.

"It's never let me down"; Usally used in defence of a special knot the angler fondly believes is the best knot ever, despite never having checked, tested or evaluated either (1) the 'special knot' or (2) any other knot. Still, at least such notions keep homeopaths and other quacks well fed and off the streets, where they cannot do even more serious harm.

"The fishing here is rubbish"; Or one of the endless variations of such. Generally speaking, this actually means "I can't turn up and instantly catch loads by fishing how I always fish".

This seems odd, but is perfectly normal. Here is why; each of us has a 'self-identity'. Basically, this is how we see ourselves. Now, ask a randomly selected 1000 people, representative of the overall population, if they are of above average intelligence. About 80% will put up their figurative hands. Some of the remaining 20% will be wrong as well. It turns out most of us think we are better than average at things which are part of our 'self-identities'. This is part of the human condition, to defend one's self-identity if it is threatened by, for example, being asked if you are smarter than average.

The same would be true of 1000 fishermen. About 80% think they are better than average fishermen, which is normal. However, in the last decade or two fishing has got a lot easier. Most fisheries are now so full of fish they will take any bait anytime. Waters are described as 'well stocked' and 'providing great fishing all year round'. Many fisheries are, simply put, rammed. So take this 'normal' belief and add in ubiquitous fish-a-cast venues, which further reinforces said self-identities.

So it is then, there can only be one possible explanation for a failure to catch on a new water. In order to protect the self-identity of the 'above average fisherman' the fishing 'must be rubbish'. See how that works? This might be why you never see a fishery advertised as 'Really easy fishing'. Even when it is.

This might also explain the confused look on the face of passing anglers, when on asking me if I've caught any, I reply along the lines of "I've had 7 carp, but it's easy fishing here." Now, about 'cognitive dissonance'...

How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers? ?(and back to the top of the page) How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...?

Stuff with no other home Blackberry Whisky

Try this steeping for a nice winter warmer; 'assemble' the following:

Any decent supermarket blended 'own brand' is fine. It is really not worth using even a good blended whisky for this (e.g. 'Red Label') never mind any single malt's, as once it has been in with the sugar and blackberries, the quality of the whisky is completely masked. Muscovado sugar will add a touch of flavour and a little colour. I would avoid cultivated blackberries, hedgerow is the way to go, they have more flavour and a better colour.

It does seem like a lot of blackberries but they are relatively insipid, so to get a really intense flavour, quite a lot are required. I would suggest freezing them in batches until you have enough, and I suspect freezing helps the fruit to release its juices once immersed in the spirit.

Put the blackberries, whisky and sugar into a clean demijohn. Shake the demijohn until the sugar has dissolved or until your arms start to ache. Wipe off any blackberries/whisky on person and surroundings, then seal the demijohn with a cork. Carry on shaking. Put the top back on the whisky bottles and keep them to one side - there is no need to wash them out. Shake once or twice a day for the first two weeks then once a week for six to eight weeks in total. In the meantime keep the demijohn in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

After this time, decant back into the original bottles, or indeed any bottles you like. I recommend straining the blackberry whisky through a coffee filter paper using a funnel, to remove any sediment. Do not use kitchen towel, it is likely to flavour the whisky and not in a good way.

This recipe, perfected over several years of intense experimentation, has rather less sugar, pro rata, than many steeping recipes you see around the place. If you would like the finished article to be like treacly cough syrup, be my guest and use more sugar. It is worth checking the final product for taste, as natural fruit varies and occasionally a little more sugar added at the end is a good idea, perhaps 1-2oz, at least for our tastes.

By the way, do not believe all those "And the blackberries at the end are yummy!!!" type remarks. They really are not (the multiple exclamation marks are a giveaway). With all the sugar and flavour leached out, they are bitter and unpleasant, much like slightly narcissistic reality TV show contestants who reach 40 years of age, realise it was all over a decade ago, that they need to get an actual job and no-one likes them or cares.

The finished product, although slipping down all too easily, is about 30% proof. So if drunk to excess, JAA takes no responsibility for the effect on the reader, the reader's brain, or indeed Mrs AA.

'BB'it's lead free, honest...(and back to the top of the page) 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p 'BB'it's lead free, honest 'AAA'it's lead free, so a bit cr*p

Stuff with no other home The Rules According to Hardware

These will cover most engineering disciplines. Read the notes in the voice of 'Edmund Blackadder' from 'Blackadder II', or a really sarcastic John Cleese.

  1. Ethics matter.
  2. Safety Matters.
  3. Specify, review, design, review, verify. In that order.
  4. "C.C.C."   Correct. Clear. Concise. In that order.
  5. The design shall have a specification, or it will not be possible to tell when the design is finished. So it never will be. sp        It is jaw-droppingly stupefying just how many pieces of design are started with no clear specification, sometimes to avoid the tedium of writing things down, but more often to avoid someone having to actually commit themselves.

    As a Design Engineer one is strongly advised to write a specification oneself and put it in front of the people who have asked for a design, should one not be forthcoming.

    It's quicker in the long run.

    Yes it is.
  6. There never seems to be enough time to do something properly the first time, but always time to do it again when that didn't work (again).
  7. If one thing is changed, then re-verify everything
  8. There is no such thing as a 'current rating' for a wire or a PCB track. ac        There is however, a current for which the said conductor will operate at some degrees above ambient.

    There is also a resistance and inductance and these need to be considered against peak current density - the resulting voltage fluctuations, however momentary, can cause problems that take a lot of finding. Especially if they are during EMP testing at type approvals time...
  9. One cannot have too much ground.
  10. The schematic is the design. sch        It is as well to remember that the schematic doesn't belong to you, but to your employer.

    It is as well to remember other people need to use the schematic after you.

    No 'mystery signals', components without values, unnecessary un-joined signals on the same page, port pins with no corresponding port pin somewhere else, enable destination page numbers etc. ... and include a block or system diagram.

    These things matter. An error is an error and drawings that increases the chance of an error later in the process, are at best careless or inconsiderate and at worst, just lazy.

    And always cost more money.
  11. Signal names shall be consistent and make sense across a PCB and a system.
  12. If it can have a second source then it shall have a second source. A third source never does any harm srce        It can be tedious to sort this out but this is still 100% less tedious than having to continually drop what you're doing to sign concessions for manufacturing and/or find new parts. Or worse, design changes 'on the run'.

    As an added bonus, multiple sources give purchasing a chance to keep costs down, which they quite like. Part of purchasing's role or something.

    It's part of the job.
  13. There is always a way.
  14. There is always another way.
  15. Always have a plan...or planning to fail you are. pl1        ...but it needs to be a proper plan. One starts with a specification, then one earnestly works out the resources needed to design and manufacture such a geegaw and if this date is later than the business needs, then one adds resource.

    This contrasts with most 'planning', which is to decide when you want to sell it, don't specify it, take no notice of anyone who counsels that there's not enough/time or resource and then browbeat/blame everyone else when it's late. Typically this involves a 'project planner' (who doesn't have to be a weasel, but mostly is) who has a plan detailing exactly how things went and a future timescale which at best is 'wildly optimistic' and at worst, might as well have one big task called "Once a upon a time..."
    pl2        One of these approaches is used by successful businesses that have to hit narrow product launch windows on a regular basis, just to stay in business and also by large aerospace companies managing multi-subcontractor contracts worth millions of spondulas often with seven figure penalty clauses for being late.

    See if you can guess which is which?
  16. In testing and verification, remember than for a sample size of one, there is no probability you have tested the design, just that one piece of kit. twt        Statistically, a sample size of '1' yields a standard deviation that is 'undefined'. So there is a very small probability you have verified anything other than the piece of kit in front of you...

    Even if that worked for you 'the last time'.
  17. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It is not broken only if the design has been 100% verified.
  18. Cost always matters. lsd        Target costs shall be part of the specification.

    Sometimes expediency trumps higher costs, but you still need to pay...and keep paying...

    In these days of type approval testing, unless the product in serious volume manufacturing, once costs are locked into a product by not designing to a specification, or simply not removing the surplus cost, the product will literally spend years shipping out the door with an imaginary bank note taped to it - which one can't then justify the money or resources to change...

    Would you do that with your own money? Thought not.
  19. There is no prize for investigating the mystery, only for finding the problem. The fastest way to do this is the right way fubar        A lash-up for development purposes or as an experiment is fine.

    Once you've passed that point and have designed a product, if it doesn't work, that is there is a 'fault' then an 'error' has been made on some level. This happens.

    However, absolutely the last trait I want to see in a design engineers is enjoying fault finding new designs.

    I want people working for me who are really really determined to avoid doing this. Because that's easier in the long run.
  20. When it's very shiny, stop polishing.
  21. You cannot polish a piece of mud (I'm paraphrasing). poo        'Mud' rhyming with 'hit'.
  22. Whenever you are involved in a third-party's statement that uses the word 'we', it as well to recall this old joke lr        The Lone Ranger & Tonto are riding into a box canyon. At the far end, our hero notices an army of Comanche Indians in full war-paint, glaring down from the cliff walls.
    To his left he notices a host of furious looking Arapaho Indians staring down.
    On the right is a host of well-armed Cherokee Indians peering over the rim of the canyon.
    Looking behind, he sees every Apache brave in the world slowly creeping into the canyon, blocking the exit.
    "I think we're in big trouble." said The Lone Ranger.
    "What you mean 'we', Kemo Sabe?"
    or this ch        "Be ... suspicious ... of all those who employ the term 'we' or 'us' without your permission. This is [a] form of surreptitious conscription ... Always ask who this 'we' is; as often as not it's an attempt to smuggle tribalism through the customs." - Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian .
  23. The primary function of a business is to stay in business biz        For any business, the basic principles are broadly the same:

    Sell the customer what they want at the price they are willing to pay.

    Work out how to make a profit on that.

    The 'horse before cart' principle is well established, following shortly after the development of the wheel. There's a reason why they are in this order.

    The moment you find yourself thinking that what you are selling is 'worth more' than folk will pay, you're on a slippery slope indeed. If it took four hours to make 'it' at £20 an hour and the customer will only pay £40, it don't matter a rat's derriere what you think it's worth.

    As an example, there are those who think 'handmade' is better than 'mass produced', those same folk however, would baulk at paying £1,000 for a £100 TV, which would be the price of a 'hand soldered' one...
    .
  24. Training will rarely make a twit into a useful employee. nob        Something something "silk purse" and a "sow's ear".
  25. It is a good idea to occasionally consider whether one was just really lucky the last time...
  26. Just because it worked before, doesn't mean it will work again. nut        You've doubtless come across the phrase: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    A moment's quiet reflection will assure you that using this phrase to try to stop this very thing happening is by definition 'insane' as it hasn't yet stopped reams of numbskulls doing just that.
  27. Learn to accept when you are wrong and that this, in itself, doesn't matter. Everyone is at some time err        What matters is the right thing gets made and shipped at the right cost and sold at the right price.

    If the office cleaner spots a mistake, thank them.

    Conflict resolution is appropriate in some instances, but can be a luxury. The business is best served by ensuring the best decision is made and that will occasionally mean someone having to grow up and accept they were wrong.
    .
  28. ...finally. We are not hobbyists or geeks. We are professional engineers who have qualifications in difficult and challenging subjects at school and at degree level. If we say it will take a month then it will. Saying "It needs to be done sooner than that!" or "Make it happen!" more loudly does not change this. mih1        No it doesn't.

    Have you not not read any of the above?

    It does however; change the current valuation of the shouter on the 'nob' scale, moving this estimation (which is often carried out by extremely numerate and objective engineers) rapidly to the highest score possible.

    Respect and loyalty scores simultaneously move equally rapidly in the other direction.
    mih2        There is a whole generation of would-be managers out there who think the being a manager is simply a case of transfixing the hapless underling with a firm stare and saying emphatically "Make. It. Happen." If only life was that simple, because if it was the case no-one would need managing at all, they could take turns saying that to each other. (I blame films and TV). . As Fiske notes (1993 p623), stereotyping "operates in the service of control". Next time you use the word 'nerd' or 'geek', you might consider this.

If you've just read the above and think I'm an old cynic who'd rather bitch about things that get the job done, Mrs. AA has just told me at her 'well know high street name' place of employment, they have been instructed in small groups to put the highest marks on their 'employee satisfaction survey' "so that we weI refer you to the rule above, concerning the use of the word "we" by a third party. all get bonuses."

I'm not making it up.

Some staff are perplexed by this approach as, with morale currently lower than the bottom of a spring tide in the presence of a passing exoplanet, there's kind of a feeling, that were the management to deal with, for example "requests for holiday and days off", "staffing levels that would allow jobs to be completed by the end of shift" and "staff who are openly skiving or stealing goods", the morale issue may well resolve itself. Just sayin'...

"In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep." ~~ Albert Einstein ~~ 

VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace...(and back to the top of the page) VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace

Stuff with no other home Places of Interest

A placeIt's an interesting place. The nearness of the water is now evident. of interest.

Another placeIt's an interesting place. The nearness of the water is now evident. of interest.

That's it, that's all you're getting.

I like porcupine quill floats...I like porcupine quill floats...(and back to the top of the page) I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats... I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats... I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats...

Stuff with no other home The Game.

So, my observations are:

  1. In any enterprise, if any process, system or structure can be gamed, it will be gamed.
  2. 'Gaming' is a non-meritocractic behaviour in this context G1       Gaming is typically social dominance behaviour. Its goal is to establish a pecking order based on criteria other than that which benefits the enterprise. Typically these are subjective criteria such as 'time served' or a perception of class..
  3. Anyone who 'games' a system or process will de facto be doing it for their own benefit and to the detriment of the enterprise.
  4. The less meritocractic an enterprise is, the more it will be gamed.
  5. All processes and systems can be gamed.

This does not mean an enterprise is always doomed. It could mean an enterprise will ultimately fail. It does mean that an enterprise ought to be set up from the start to continuously and objectively measure those things which are of value to the enterprise and those which are not.

If an enterprise is structured so that these benficial things are made a pre-requisite for status and advancement, the industrious and effective will do well and those who wish only to do well for themselves have to be industrious and effective to do so. In any event the enterprise will thrive.

It is worth noting Machiavelli's observation; that when enterprises are new, there are small problems that are hard to see and easy to fix, but that as the enterprise matures, the problems become easy to see but hard to fix.

Also, in general, all systems or processes that do not take account of human nature will fail. In the context of the above, this means; "Weasels gonna weasel". So you have to figure out how to ensure 'weasling' works for the enterprise, not against it or, do not employ weasels.

During the 2020 'lock-down' I read, among other books, 'Pre-Suasion' by Cialdini. He frames the above observation rather better than I did:

"...why organisations should steer sharply away from unethical persuasive techniques: those practices will lend themselves to the attraction and retention of employees who find cheating acceptable and who will ultimately cheat the organisation as a consequence." ~~ Robert Cialdini ('Pre-Suasion' 2016 p11) ~~ 

Anyhoo.

"They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game" ~~ R.D. Laing ('Knots' p.1)  ~~ 

Gobio GobioGobio Gobio (and return to the top of the page) GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobby GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GonkGobby Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GudgeonGudgeon GudgeonGudgeon Gobio GobioGobio Gobio

Stuff with no other home The Small Technology.

It occurred the other day, as I extracted the sat-nav off the Bugangler, then hung a new 'Silva' compass on my fishing bag, that the 'handy', the Small Technology, the mobile phone that is, has made a raft of things obsolete and is bearing down on others...most smart phones replace:

The Stand Alone GPS.
The Camera.
The Alarm Clock.
The MP3 or Music Player.
The Torch.
The Compass.
The Encyclopedia.
Actual Books.
Document and Business Card Scanners.

There are yet more things it is bearing down on...

The Credit Card.
The Personal Computer.
The TV.
The Telephone Land-Line

There is even an app that will make a passable Geiger counterThese results show that the devices can accurately determine the dose rate which a person is exposed to and that the phone is sensitive enough to detect radiation at levels which are significant in a radiological event... (for gamma and X-Rays) from some mobile phones.

For the vintage angler (I cut my technological teeth programming a 'Commodore Pet'), these things represent an extraordinary change in the world, not that I have any objection and I am as enmeshed as most people. But still...

The vigilant may care to note I still keep the Silva compass in my bag, along with an overly manly 'tactical' torch that can variously be used to (a) illuminate a float tip for 25 hours, or (b) to burn out the retinas of any sentient creature within 30 feet for a mere three hours or so.

swivel...and...wait for it...swivel ;-)...(and back to the top of the page) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-)

Stuff with no other home Chilli Sans Carne

Mrs. AA and the two-thirds of the Littleanglers have foresworn meat but not spices, so I worked up a vegetarian chilli. The below serves four, more-or-less. It is assumed the reader can cook a bit. Chilli Sans Carne takes about an hour to cook to completion.

Weigh out 100g of dried Textured Vegetable Protein and put it into a saucepan.

Put the following into a Pyrex jug: 2 teaspoons of vegetable bouillon powder, a teaspoon of Worcester sauce (not veggie this last, contains 'anchovies', so for completely vegetarian swap this out for mushroom ketchup), a tea-spoon of dark soy (for colour), a dessert spoon of HP sauce, one teaspoon of ground cumin and one of un-smoked paprika. Add about 1¼ pints of boiling water and stir well until the soluble stuff has dissolved and the powders are suspended. Pour this into the TVP, mix well and leave for a couple of hours. This will hydrate it and the flavours will be drawn into the otherwise anodyne TVP.

Wait two hours...also, find a large saucepan.

Cut up 2 large onions and fry in a little olive oil until translucent, a bit of a brown tinge will not hurt. When the onion is done, crush two cloves of garlic and add them to the pan, fry for 1 minute (only), stirring constantly. Burnt garlic is foul...then add 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons of un-smoked paprika, half a level teaspoon of ground black pepper and chilli to taste. I use chilli flakes, they are reliable, that is, one level teaspoon is exactly the heat we like. It is as well to remember that it is far easier to add a bit more chilli later, than to remove any excess.

Fry the spices for another minute or so, stirring constantly, then add two tins of tomatoes, two tins of drained kidney beans (save one tin's liquid) and put in the TVP. Stir well and bring to a simmer.

Optionally, cut 4-6 green and yellow peppers into chunks and add those along with a small tin of sweetcorn. Add a dessert-spoon of tomato puree. Simmer the whole lot until the peppers are soft. If any additional liquid is required, add some of the kidney bean liquid, but wait until the peppers are soft before adding any - the peppers liberate quite a bit of water as they cook...

Five minutes before serving add a tablespoon of lime juice and one square of 90% cocoa chocolate and stir until the latter has melted.

Serve with whatever you like - tortillas are good, as is rice. The Anotherangler household does not usually bother with either, we add the peppers to make it a complete meal, but a few rice-crackers on top are pretty good.

Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Carp? What addiction?...a very subtil fish Carp? What addiction?Watch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Carp? What addiction?if you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it.
JAA