MJR's slef-reflections

photo

toll road Entries

Talk with People who want to Discuss

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 14:58:37 +0100

I spend too much of my time trying to talk with people who don't want to discuss, yet somehow I won't stop.

I keep hoping that things like suggesting good advice on meeting scheduling will avoid them repeating old mistakes. The most extreme life-and-death example is probably trying to help with Kewstoke Toll Road, where people still speed and someone crashed off again last night (although I don't know what caused last night's crash - could have been a simple accident).

Of course, it's better to talk with people who have asked questions and want to hear the answer. I'm currently involved in several groups like that and it makes me much happier [4HWW]. I've even made a confidentiality agreement [Network Blogging article] about one group because I really like the organiser and want to help them, but I've yet to see changes happen because of it and that's probably about all I can write here, which does rather suck.

But talking of changes that make me happy, I spotted that Bristol Wireless has now gone further than TTLLP by deciding to change people away from Microsoft Windows when they find it:-

"all Windows stuff must be gone from the premises [...] no longer help do callers favours with broken Windows machines, apart from fixing them properly and permanently by installing Debian"

at their March meeting. Well done, BW!

After a request, I finally put four photos from Social Source South West (which was hosted by BW) online, which reminded me to subscribe to watfordgap's travels. Disappointingly, on my first read, it promotes the Suppliers Directory developed by Lasa. That directory is a big problem because it creates a silly barrier to entry which hinders new social enterprises and cooperatives. At a time where most non-profit software is unsustainable and needs to change, requiring three referees is a way to obstruct change. Also, persuading three people to support their work is no substitute for supplier evaluation.

Any non-profits who want to lead their sector should approach ICT suppliers directly. The article also mentions Experts Online which is even more short-sighted about computing: "both PC and Mac" indeed! What about GNU/Linux, thin clients, and other changes which are already making a big difference to some non-profits...?

But here I go again, talking to a brick wall.

I expressed these concerns when that Directory started and it didn't do any good then, so I doubt they'll change it now, near the end of its life.

So I'm going to move on. There are lots of people emailing who want to hear from me, so it's time to concentrate on talking with people who do want to listen. If you want to discuss this with me, visit my website for the comments form (click the title or look for a "view original post" link, depending what site you're reading).

4 comments.

Tags: cooperatives, debian, life, photos, software, toll road, wsm.

Another Toll Road Crash

Tue, 20 May 2008 14:07:44 +0100

I'd not long written about lunching at the other end of Kewstoke Toll Road yesterday when I read this news of another Toll Road crash. I hope the three people carried from the wreckage recover.

I fear the press will have another field day about how dangerous the road is, instead of primarily blaming whatever caused the accident. (The fishmonger crashed while avoiding a loose dog, by the way.) That road is not up to modern standards and I don't believe it was designed for the volume of traffic that's been using it since they stopped collecting the toll, but there is a very low speed limit (25mph) and warning signs all over it. Neither car left the road this time, as far as I can tell from the reports.

I hope the press proves me wrong.

Be the first to comment.

Tags: life, toll road, travel, wsm.

Updates: Fishmonger re-opens, Bombing Exeter, Eurovision

Fri, 23 May 2008 10:58:07 +0100

Three quick updates to items I've posted in the past:-

Justin Rolfe has re-opened his fishmonger's shop on Alexandra Parade Weston-super-Mare less than six weeks after what Avon Fire called a "lucky escape" when his van crashed off Kewstoke toll road.

I'm glad I didn't try to go to an event in Exeter yesterday that I was invited to. I don't remember seeing that restaurant, but the BBC writes it only opened last September. A religious bombing in Devon. Whatever next?

Eurovision is tomorrow night. I'm not going to write in detail here this year (because I don't want the pain of dealing with the planet-purgers again) but I might try to guest blog somewhere else and mention it at the end of tomorrow's post.

Be the first to comment.

Tags: life, toll road, wsm.

Kewstoke Annual Village Meeting

Wed, 28 May 2008 08:51:23 +0100

Tomorrow (Thu 29th) at 7.30pm is the Kewstoke annual village meeting. That should be my first meeting as a councillor, if I get back from London in time. (I hope I do - councillors who miss meetings get this sort of criticism but at least village councillors aren't paid that much: I think expenses for all 12 or so councillors totalled under £60 last year.)

Apart from the two reports, the agenda is a good summary of the challenges affecting the village this year: Cygnet Liaison, Sand Bay Management and the Toll Road.

Be the first to comment.

Tags: life, toll road, wsm.

More driving and cycling

Wed, 11 Jun 2008 18:17:56 +0100

Jeff Bailey asked:

"Heya Brits! Any of you still driving cars at ~ 1.15 according to the Daily Mail"

Yes, I am. I drove on Monday (at 1.18/l) because it was the least bad option for the journey. I try to avoid it and I felt bad afterwards (literally - it was too damn hot and each part of the journey was too short for the cab to cool down), but the car was available and the other choices involved not attending some events.

On Sunday, I used my bike instead, but I was I wondering if the world is full of Sunday drivers today or whether I was really riding that badly. You name a junction on my route and I seemed to get into a conflict with a car at it.

Today's bike trip went much better, even getting thanks from a coach for pulling aside halfway up an incline, but I had to take avoiding action as I re-entered the village because of a police car. I'm pretty damn sure that wasn't my fault, but I do wonder when it's the police.

I'm still riding without a helmet, without ill effects. Gunnar Wolf was getting a breeze through a different kind of helmet but I think it's telling that cyclists "feel naked" rather than actually being naked (usually, at least). Have we got too used to being cocooned in metal boxes while out on the roads? I've always ridden and walked a lot - is this why I don't miss the hat much? I must remember to drink more in summer without it, though.

I share Criag Sanders's scepticism about the protests and Chrisitan Perrier's enthusiasm for bike-pools. I don't agree with many of Russel Coker's views on oil prices but they are interesting reading, even so.

I'm taking part in JamBustingJune for the West of England region and BikeWeek 14-21 June 2008

3 comments.

Tags: cycling, life, toll road, travel.

RSS Feed

This is copyright 2008 MJ Ray. See fuller notice on front page.