A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Friday, April 20, 2007

hybrid aggresion

As ever, a trip on a commuter train into London is always a joy. I just look back at the time I did it every day and wonder - how!?! Supplier meeting this morning, if it went as well as yesterdays it should be a good day.

Played squash the other night, which was good fun (I think it helped that I won by a mile, which to be fair didn't reflect the game). Looking forward to playing again next week, although my opponent opened with "yeah, I love squash, it's a great way to get out your aggrivations". I'll be the only person in history to play squash in full kevlar body armour.

A statistic came my way today which got the brain thinking. As I've talked about cars a bit this week, how's this one grab you. In California, there are 34 million cars. Which is a lot. Of those, approx 135,000 are hybrids, which accounts for about 0.3% of cars in California. That 135,000 also accounts for a quarter of all hybrid sales in the US.

To coin a famous catchphrase - "We're all dooomed!!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another day, another scare...

Another day, another health fear. This time it's the saviour of the car industry, E85 Bio Ethanol.

Apparently, when some geeks ran a computer model on the levels of C02 in 2020 using variable figures of cars running on E85 and some with petrol and diesel, the C02 levels were in some cases higher than with petrol. This in turn has a higher risk of respiratory disease. Some levels of nastys were reduced, while others were increased.

It should be noted that bio fuels still emit carbon dioxide, it's just that it (buzzword of the day coming up) offsets against that by absorbing it when the plants are growing.

So, should we stop using it? I say no - it's better than what we are using now and it's sustainable. It will help the farming industry. However, until we are all driving hydrogen powered cars, or the levels of C02 emitted are reduced, it's only ever going to be a short term fix.

I should add a little footnote to this. I'm one of those people who belives that anyone can massage figures for their own gain, so today a report says bio fuel is evil, tomorrow will be one that says it is the saviour. It's all about personal choice and balance.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm cured!

I see this morning that bacon can increase the risk of lung disease. Another day, another food that causes disease. Now, on further investigation it turns out that the suspected cause is the amount of nitrates that is the cause, and it seems this is related to the curing process as it's all cured meets.

I'm a big advocate of sensible eating habits. You eat a little of what you like, and balance it all out. So, while I'm working away I might have a curry one night, but I'll try and choose one without tons of cheese or cream in the sauce (you can't really avoid the oil in an indian, but you can minimise the damage!). Equally, I won't have a fry up when I'm away (in fact, I've not had one in ages, I think a grand total of two this year).

I'm also in support of organic local food, which is why I spend so much of my time at home working out food miles and going to local farmers markets instead of supermarkets.

This is not supposed to be a "how good am I post". I struggle with this stuff all the time, (the desire to shovel Pringles down my throat while watching Friday night tele is ongoing, so I just don't buy them) but it's all about being sensible. I don't want a government advisor, a food research agency or a supermarket telling me what and how I should eat. I make my own choices, and I'm happy with them.

I love bacon rolls every now and again, and this won't put me off it, but it'll just be one of those things I eat every now and again - as it is now.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Weekend bliss

A busy weekend in the homeland, with very good weather to go with it. The flight on Thursday was uneventful enough, but the views were amazing. As I was flying in what can only be described as a toilet roll with wings and engines, we didn't fly very high. The view over the Pentlands and Edinburgh was good enough, but then when we got to Perth you could see Edinburgh, the Pentlands, Dundee, Perth, and all that goes along with it. Stunning.

Friday night with spent catching up with some friends, and an invitation to usher at a weeding to one of my best friends which was a nice surprise. Saturday the girls went dress shopping for bridesmaid dresses and the boys went to play golf. I'm now never playing with my brother again - he scored 2 eagles in his round. Not fair. Very good meal on Saturday in Nargile with the family although we all ate too much!

Sunday was spent with the grandparents and family, and I caught up with an old school mate who I'd not seen in ages. He's had a rough time of it but seems to finally be getting himself sorted out which was good to see. A good routine with his work and the smoking ban have definetly hepled him as he has stopped smoking as a result. . Interestingly, he was talking about a recent trip to London where he was in a bar. He went to smoke and stood up to leave the bar as he would have done at home. After some amusement and bemused looks from the locals, he still left the bar as he found it very smokey and unpleasant, and didn't want to contribute!

It's very nice to be back here, the smoking ban has transformed the experience of bars and clubs and only for the better. Most of my friends who used to smoke have stopped or are stopping, and that is an even better reason for it. Can't wait for July when it comes in to effect in England.