Saturday, September 29, 2007
Something for the weekend, Sir?
Monging is what they do because they're bored with re-arranging their pen collection, and fantasising about the exciting and fun-packed life of your typical navvy is driving them insane with jealousy. Monging is not summat that would normally be associated with us titans of the building trade: we've better things to do, such as holes to dig, flags to lay, and clients to belittle.
But, on occasion, it has been known for the comedy weather that torments these islands to get the better of even the best of us, and so we need to take shelter, take refuge, and take a pint or two. For those who find themselves in this nightmarish predicament, may I offer an amusing distraction? I chanced upon this while cleaning-up the trail of gynaecological websites the son and heir had left behind in my browser's history window, and while possibly not as stimulating as some of the other sites, it is safe for use in mixed company, and, more to the point, it's bloody good fun.
Simple premise: you are the driver of a typical contractor's vehicle and have to get to the far end of what looks like it was a decent field until the O&K 23 tonner started tracking across it. The vehicle looks not unlike a L200 or a Navarra, but you can pretend it's a 5 Tonne dumper if you think it will help.
Remember: no monging - this is only for those rare times when you're rained off or the wagon from Travis Bloody Perkins has failed to turn up at the appointed time yet again.
Let me know what you think.
2000 and counting
However, one of the other tasks that I manage all on my own is updating the Visitor Book. Again, there are eejits out there that seem to believe people are stupid enough to buy ringtones, pharmaceuticals, and share options from spam ads, so the additions to the Visitor Book have to be "approved" before they appear. Ever since I added a Visitor Book, long before the pavingexpert site was the site it has become, I've been somewhat uncomfortable with the "all submissions are moderated" statement on the relevant page. Moderation is necessary because of the small miniority of pillocks that spoil the 'net for the rest of us, but I worry that some readers might think it means I'd edit or reject message that don't meet my expectations.
In all the years the current Visitor Book (and its predecessor) have been online, I've never edited or rejected a message for editorial or egotistical reasons. The only rejected texts are the blatant spam and a very small number of offensive postings aimed at people other than myself. And it pleases me enormously that a negative comment or a condemnation of the site and its content is a very, very rare event. I fact, I can't call to mind more than a couple in all this time.
The reason for this latest blog post is to mark a hemi-demi-semi-historic moment in Visitor Book history. Yesterday morning, the 2,000th message was posted from another grateful reader. Mark, for that is the name of the unwitting bi-millennial poster, has read the site, built his own driveway, and is chuffed with the result. I'm chuffed that he's chuffed.
Pavingexpert was not created as a DIY guide, but looking back through some of the messages that have been posted over the years, many have been penned by DIYers that have used this site as their source of knowledge and advice, and it's great to know they've found it useful. I've never fully understood the purpose of a Visitor Book, and readily admit that I have rarely signed such a book that didn't belong to a relative or a friend, but having recahed 2,000 signatories, I have to acknowledge that for many people, it is their only way of saying "Thanks".
So I'd like to say "Thanks" in return. Thanks to all you visitors for making this site the most visited hard-landscaping site on the web. Thanks for giving me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Thanks for making me laugh, cry, tear out my hair, and marvel at what can be done with just a little bit of inegrity and common sense. And thanks for letting me know you appreciate my efforts.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
It never rains but it pours
So now we have the unedifying sight of a cripple using a walking stick trying to wheel another cripple in a chair.
They've plastered her leg, but she has to go back on Wednesday to have it re-set and a more permanent cast fitted. I have an important meeting booked for that day, a meeting that will require me to read the riot act to certain parties. Do I go to the meeting and kick arse or do I go to the hozzy and face the inevitable wrath of Mrs Taz? The only consolation is that, with only the one good leg, she's physically unable to kick my arse!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Question of the day
my friend layed a concrete patio out side his house and the surface is turning to dust as you turn your feet on it. no i think it was to the lack of cement, is there any thing we can paint, pour like resin on the top to penertrate, to make it hard? or is it start again?
....now: do we really believe this happened to "a friend"?? Would this be one of those "friends" that is prone to contracting STDs, collecting 78 records, enjoying musical theatre, crocheting antimacassars in their spare time, and falling victim to all sorts of other embarassing incidents, perchance?
Also, do you reckon he's right about the lack of cement? Could anyone actually make concrete and forget to add the cement?
Gawd luv 'em!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
How bloody much??
Plates with a Z in them are ten-a-penny in Norn Iron, but on this side of the water, they're after 400 quid and more. I love her to bits, but 400 quid is beyond the budget I had in mind (by about 375 quid, if truth be told!)
However, while I'm on the registration plate site, I start looking around for plates that might be suitable for a middle-aged knackered ex-contractor - not that I ever would, of course, as there's no surer indicator of twattishness in man than a personalised number plate, but hey! There's no harm in looking.
I know! PAV 3R - how arsey would that be? So I type it into the search box. How bloody much??? Ten quid change from 9 grand? Plus VAT. Sod that! Even if I won the lottery this weekend, I don't think I could bring meself to spend ten grand plus on letting the world know that, not only am I a self-important narcissistic twat with more money than sense, I'm also a sad obsessive with a paving fixation!
If you thinks that's bad, they want 21 grand plus for PAV1N, and no sign at all of PAV 10R
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Britain allowed to remain in 16th century
However, the news reminds me of a tale my late father told me regarding his Aunt Peg McCormack, who ran a greengrocery business in Dublin for many years. When Ireland accepted the metric system, she had an elderly customer come into the shop and ask for "five pounds of tayties".
"It's all changed now, Mairead", says Peg. "We're after turning metric and it's kilos we're to use from now on".
"That's fine", answers the bemused customer, "I'll take five pounds of kilos, so".
Monday, September 10, 2007
Who dresses these eejits in the morning?
I receive over 200 emails each day, and roughly half of these will be questions about some aspect or other of paving or hard-landscaping. Of these, at least half will already be answered somewhere on the site but the questioner just can't be arsed to look for the answer and believes I have nowt better to do with my time but write out, for the umpteenth time, exactly what mix of mortar they should use to lay their patios flags.
Of the remaining 50%, half of them (25%) will be completely undeserving of an answer, such as "would you be interested in constructing my 4 square metre patio in South London? I have a
budget of 200 pounds to spend.", along with the "where's the cheapest place to buy block paving?" type questions.
Then there's the usual huddle of students with the "I was just wondering if you could give me five reasons why a capping layer might be used on a highway construction project and identify under what circumstances a capping layer might be replaced with alternative structure" coursework assignments.
Next come the "We ar number on suplier of lanscape stone in India/China/Vietnam/Brazil/Kenya (delete as applicable) and come to no your estemed busisisness through intenet".
Finally, about 12-20 of the total inbox will be genuine questions from people needing independent and impartial advice on a matter that isn't covered on the site, and I generally find answering these to be stimulating, challenging and a worthwhile use of my limited free time.
But, for some reason, last Saturday saw the highest ever percentage of utter pillock questions of the past year. I've just wasted a full hour wondering whether this is a wind-up or whether it's summat to do with the changing seasons. How would you deal with these?? (Names have been removed to protect the identity of the mentally enfeebled)....
- On page 41 of a brochure I picked up at my local garden centre it shows some nice slabs. What walling would you suggest to go with them?
- Do they sell these in New Zealand?
- I've salvaged a whole lot of roof slates from my cottage. Can I use these to tile my bathroom?
- I can't find this product in Home Depot or Lowe's. Where can I get it in Cincinnati?
- How much is this and do you deliver to Torquay?
- Was it you that layed (sic) my patio last summer?
- My drive measures 32 square metres. How much block paving will I need?
- Is it too warm to lay slabs today?
- I've been asked to lay the kerbs for a 100m long road. Do I lay them on concrete or something else? And should I leave gaps between them to allow the tarmac to drain?
- I've just set-up a landscaping business but I don't like mortar pointing. Can I tell my clients that dry sand will be OK between the Indian flagstones?
- How big is my patio? How can I measure it?
- Is Thompson's Patio Seal dangerous and what are the chemicals in it?
- AT FRONT OF HOUSE HAVE FLAT CLADDING BETWEEN UPPER & GROUND FLOOR WINDOWS. BOW/BAY STYLE REPLACEMENT WINDOWS HAVE BEEN FITTED & WANT TO CHANGE THE CLADDING BETWEEN THEM INTO A CURVED SECTION TO MATCH THE UPPER WINDOW
- Do you think I'd be able to lay my driveway?
- My drive has faded. What can I do?
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