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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wave power

I don't always/often agree with Brian Wilson as we have very differnt views on many issues.

However, his article in last week's WHFP is excellent reading about how the wavepower off Barvas and the windpower in Barra will impact on the Western Isles.

The opportunity is huge, but look at the problems in getting the power to market. Do we want to throw this away?

If anyone has a better idea on how to develop wave power (at the expense of wind???) and get it to market, then I'd be delighted to hear it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Carbon emissions

As a converted sceptic about global warming, I am now even more convinced about the need for contol of carbon emissions.

This graph from the BBC shows the problem, and there are not many solutions. Quite obviously, emission reduction is the first target with the need to cut car usage, wasted electricity and dirty fuels on land and at sea providing a good start to stabilising the situation.

The problem will be as the "Third World" booms and expects a "First World" standard of living i.e. energy use and availability, when the graph will start to grow again.

Sadly, the Government believe that nuclear is the answer. It is not. But unless something is done soon to encourage renewables, nuclear will be the only way to keep the lights on. It is this that Tony Blair is pinning his hopes on - despair will force us to grudgingly accept nuclear.

Not here, it won't.

With all the will in the world, we still need good luck to turn renewables into an essential and major part of the energy supply in the UK, and if the choice is between turbines, tidal and wave power (and the impact they will have) or nuclear, I know where I stand.

That is the choice we are facing. Where do you stand?

Lord Robertson

Is it just me, or does this Court action make him look like "an irrational bullying individual who raised spurious proceedings". Possibly he is a very nice man, this action makes him look like an arrogant pillock. Allegedly.

I met him once. That was twice too often.

Hilton Hotels

Over the weekend we got a great deal in the Hilton, Glasgow, on a very late booking. it proved to be cheaper than everywhere else, so we jumped at the option.


Very nice, excellent food, but no atmosphere. I'd never used a Hilton before, and won't again. We prowled around Byres Road until we found a beer garden and sat in the sun soaking up the rays and watching the world go by. But it is good to get home.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Back to the future

When I was in Glasgow over the weekend, we visited the Transport Museum.

On the mock railway station I looked at the timetable from London on the "Highlander".

Dated 1905, the timetable has the ferry leaving Stornoway at 10:20pm on a Sunday to connect in Kyle of Lochalsh with the trains. Apparently, the ferry didn't sail on a Saturday.

Can anyone enlighten me when the Sunday sailings finished??

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Friday night in town

We went out for dinner and some drinks last night, instead of our normal Saturday, as we have to go away today and are not back until late Monday.

Food: HS1 good, but not great.  Wine: HS1 Pinot Grigio (I know it’s a cliché) very good and very easy to drink.  British Legion: empty, so we didn’t stop.  Whalers: quiet, until a crowd of dentists came in, all gleaming teeth, followed shortly by the usual Friday night crowd.  We chatted with various people we knew for a while, before leaving as it was getting messy.

Very drunk woman at the bar:  “The men here are like monks!”  Sorry madam, but if it was you or celibacy, the monasteries would be full.

I avoided the Smirnoff Ice’s, and feel a lot better for it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Technical problems

Is Micro$oft wonderful.

I've designed the site using Firefox; I use Thunderbird as my home email client; and Internet Explorer as rarely as possible.

I know that most people use IE (the logs show this), but it is exceptionally frustrating when simple design ideas are destroyed by Redmond. object data="..." doesn't work in IE unless you change the security settings to allow "access to data sources across domains". Why not just build a safe and secure product first time, rather than have to disable these functions? Grrrr.

Tonight's task is to get this to work across the browsers, or failing which persuade you all to use Firefox.

Nuclear deterrent

Gordon Brown - wannabe Prime Minister and wannabe Englishman - has again shown his credentials as a wannabe right wing quasi-socialist, by announcing his support for the nuclear deterrent.

Who the hell are we pointing these at? There is absolutely no justification for this huge waste of money.

Farewell BMI

I see that BMI are launching a daily new service from Edinburgh to Manchester every lunchtime.

So that's where our planes have gone.

As a regular user of that service, it was quicker, quieter and easier than the BA flight via Inverness, and I'm sad to see it go. Hopefully the buy-out of the grotesque Inverness PFI deal with open up that airport and give us more options for flying away.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Red apple snail

At the weekend we bought a red apple snail for one of the tanks, following the demise of the big plecostomus. It didn't do much for the first day or two, and the suddenly it is circling the tank across every piece of glass.

It has also started hoovering the bottom of the tank, and if the catfish stops for long enough, he gets cleaned too.

The kids love it, especially when its mouth is visible as it feeds. Definately getting another one for the big tank.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Missing briefcase

I wasn’t sure whether to blog this, or not, but here goes.

Over a year ago I had some papers stolen from a briefcase, and there were only two suspects.  The Police have finally fingerprinted them under caution, after finding incriminating evidence in my (now returned) briefcase.

It is a huge vindication of my position, and I look forward to the outcome of the tests.

(If you don’t understand what I am talking about, I won’t tell you!)

Update 20/6/06 following comment: I never, ever, got a reply from Alasdair Morrison. I'll provide more details about the people when the tests are complete, until then they are *innocent*.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's day

Too many Smirnoff Ice's ;-(

I was spoilt rotten today, with breakfast in bed followed by some pink champagne at lunchtime, and then we spent a family day helping the boys build a Brio train track and send the battery powered trains along the routes.

The baby is very heavy handed and kept knocking the bridge over, whilst older brother insisted on trying to "improve" the layout.

I think Sue and I had as much fun playing with the trains as the kids; but that's what it's all about.

Saturday night in Stornoway

We went out for dinner and a few drinks on Saturday night, and we were looking forward to a quiet and leisurely evening.

Then we went into the Clachan. What a night! I’ve no idea who the band were, but the crowd were jumping, the music caught the mood just right, and there was an eclectic mix of drinkers in the bar.

Crazy, crazy, night and we eventually got home to let the babysitter go an hour or two too late. Thankfully, she didn’t mind too much.

It’s been so long since we’d seen live music that we had forgotten just how wonderful the Stornoway scene can be.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Windfarms, again, again

Last night we approved the revised scheme for Beinn Mhor Power (Eishken), despite the dramatically reduced size of the proposal.

The community benefit has yet to be agreed, and a far as I am concerned the developers offer is his opening bid; and a low one at that.

Now we need a speedy decision - one way or the other - from the Executive, so that either the development proceeds or we can search for alternative development opportunities.

I want to see the people of Harris become less dependant upon seasonal tourism and the whim of those who reach Uig, and have the opportunities to develop local business to guarantee a year round income.

Update 19/6/06: For information, the application is dealt with and determined by the Scottish Executive. The Comhairle have no power to decide if it is a "new application" and needs to be resubmitted, so to claim that we are in a dash for cash shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the position. There is no option to extend the windfarm, indeed under planning law, it is not possible. If the applicant wants to "extend" the scheme after it is given approval, then that would be a new application.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Waste to power

This story in the Scotsman clearly explains the need for a proper grid connection to the Western Isles.

If we cannot use spare energy from the waste plant without jumping through a lot of hoops, how are we ever going to get renewable energy (of any description) to work here.

Thankfully, we may have a work around but it is still less than satisfactory.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Composting bins redux

Are we masochists? – no we are responding to public demand, and trying to keep everyone happy.

I’m planning to ask the Executive for another 10,000 bins so that we can meet demand throughout the islands and get more of that bio-degradable waste outside the main waste streams. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

I believe that we must keep meeting the expectations of the public about recycling, and if the public want to do it, great.

I’ve just finished an interview for Newsdrive on Radio Scotland, which was slightly tongue in cheek, but I hope explains our desire to drive this on.


We’re off to see the rugby next year. My wife has arranged my next birthday present, and booked flights and hotels for Scotland v Wales and v Ireland in February and March 2007.

Now we just need tickets for the games.

Thank you my angel xxx