Anorak Man - Roland Beaney

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Washing your Hands - November 2014

They keep telling us how important it is to wash our hands to prevent diseases spreading so I always make a point of giving my hands a good scrub whenever possible. Why then do they make it so difficult to do so in some public places? In a motorway service station recently I found it was almost impossible to wash my hands properly. To start the water flowing you have to press the top of the tap but as soon as you release your hand from the tap the water stops flowing. Now, the usual way to wash your hands is to squeeze some soap on them and rub them together under the flow of water for a few seconds, but how do you do this with one hand on the top of the tap? I tried several ways, one way is to put a plug in the sink and hold the tap down until there is enough water in the sink. The amount of water in the sink is then far more than I would have used if I could have washed them under running water from the tap and as someone had pinched the plug it was impossible. The other way is to ask someone to hold the tap down while I washed my hands. The attendant wasn't too helpful when asked and told me that he had better things to do. I tried using my elbow to hold the tap down but it was impossible to get both hands under the tap. Using my forehead to hold the tap down meant my nose got wet but not my hands. Eventually I found a sink with a plug that hadn't yet been stolen. So if anyone should read this that manufacture auto cut off taps, please make sure the water flows for a few more seconds so that I can get my hands wet please.

  How did we Survive our Youth? - October 2014

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50's, 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived, because......Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which we chewed and licked. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or latches on doors or cabinets and we played with pots and pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and fluorescent 'clackers' on our wheels. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the passenger seat was a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle clean bottle. We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared a drink with all our friends, from the same bottle or can and no one actually died from this. We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then race them top speed down a hill without brakes, to stop we just turned sharply and rolled over. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded. We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No multi channel TV, no DVD movies, no MP3 Players, no mobile phones, no computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them. We played hop scotch and rounders in the street, we fell out of trees, got cuts and bruises, but there were no lawyers. They were accident and we learnt not to do the same thing again. We walked to friend's homes. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told to be careful it made little difference and we survived. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!  When a policeman told us off we obeyed him and didn't argue with him

The generation produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. producing an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We learned freedom, failure, success and responsibility.

So what's gone wrong today.

Gnash and Grab Raid - September 2014

One morning recently while I was walking to the shop to buy my morning newspaper I was questioned by the police on suspicion of being in possession of a giant toothbrush. Apparently a four foot toothbrush had just been stolen from the local dentists shop window. When I asked the constable why she thought I  would want a toothbrush that size I was told that they were looking for someone with a big mouth and they thought that I fitted the description. Luckily for me after they had inspected my mouth they decided that perhaps it was not quite large enough and let me go on my way. When I arrived home and told my wife she wouldn't believe me and it was not until a week later that an article in the local newspaper convinced her that I wasn't dreaming. According to the article a man smashed the dentist shop window and ran off with a giant replica toothbrush leaving behind the rest of their stock of electric toothbrushes. What you might call a real gnash and grab raid. 

Changes to our Language - August 2014

We have known for years that words used regularly on the other side of the Atlantic have been moving across to our side and becoming part of our language. For years TV and films have had a big influence on our language and brought across many new words and probably a few have gone the other way. The increase in travelling has also changed our language and now the internet has made an even bigger change to our vocabulary. A study by Lancaster University and Cambridge University press has been examining thousands of recordings of everyday UK conversations and has detected a dramatic change in the words that we now use in everyday conversation. One of the biggest changes has been the use of the word "awesome" in place of "marvelous" and another word we have said "cheerio" to is the word "cheerio". When I was growing up my parents often took a holiday for a "fortnight" but now that word has almost disappeared from our vocabulary and we now say “two weeks”. The "Walkman" has also disappeared, who remembers that little gadget? Now everyone has an “MP3” player. Most people still seem to use a "lift" rather than an "elevator" but we all now say, "I will call you" rather than ! "I will ring you" but I think we all know why that is with the familiar mobile phone ring tones replacing the old bell ring that we had many years ago. Facebook is the top new word followed by Internet, Website, e-mail, Google, Smartphone, IPhone, essentially and treadmill. Many of them showing a shift to words linked to the internet. Strange that they seem to have missed the over-use of the word “Like” that seems to pop up much too often in peoples conversations today.


Housekeeping - July 2014

According to online home cleaning service women still do the majority of the indoor housekeeping jobs such as washing up, cleaning lavatories, bathrooms and sweeping floors and men are more likely not to do any cleaning at all. After so many years of equality of the sexes this comes as a surprise. Men are still more likely to cut the grass and carry out the rubbish but when it comes to washing up or the ironing its still the women's job. The chores that we all love to hate are cleaning the oven, ironing, cleaning the loo, cleaning the windows and the bathroom. I would like to add to that, washing up is my most hated job followed by vacuum cleaning and making the bed.    


Rosko - June 2014

Recently I had the opportunity to meet one of my favourite DJs, Mike Pasternak, better known as DJ Emperor Rosko. He joined Caroline in 1964 and his pacey American style of presentation soon made him one of the stations best loved DJs. He moved on to French language stations Radio Monte Carlo and Radio Luxembourg and then compered the Stax tour of Europe in 1967 with Booker T. & the M.G.'s, The Mar-Keys, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, and Otis Redding. He joined BBC Radio 1 at its start in 1967.

When we arrived at his home in Los Angeles he was busy recording a programme from his well-equipped studio as he still presents programmes for several radio stations around the world. He was wearing a baseball cap with the words USS Coral Sea and he told me that this was the ship he served on during his days in the US Navy and where he learnt his trade by broadcasting over the ships audio system. His voice was instantly recognisable and it brought back many memories. He still plays a great selection of tunes from the big band sounds of the 1940s right up to the latest tunes but when I asked him about his favourite choice of music he told me that he doesn’t like modern Rap and Dance music and complains that there is not enough good new music about today. He is still a Rock and Roller at heart but he told me that he has been around for so long and listened to so much music that if it sounds good and is not offensive then he will play it.

His first job was military, “Good morning Vietnam “ type radio, He was fluent in French as he went to school in France so he did programmes for French stations such as Radio Luxembourg, Europe 1 and Radio Monte Carlo. He was working in Europe with Sam the Sham and the The Pharaohs, their Road manager knew Ronan O'Reilly and asked him why he wasn’t doing Pirate Radio. “Make a tape and I’ll take it over,” he was told. Ronan soon invited him to the UK and he joined Radio Caroline. He got £70 a week and said it was good money in those days. He was on Caroline for a year and then joined Radio 1. I asked him if life on board the pirate ships was boring but he told me that he was never bored on Caroline and always found lots to do in the studio in his spare time. He said, “If they found it boring on board then they shouldn’t have been out there in the first place as far as I was concerned”.

He explained that he got his name from a DJ called Emperor Hudson and a DJ called Rosko; he didn’t want to be accused of using the same names so he joined the Emperor with Rosko and became the Emperor Rosko. In France he was called Le President. He didn’t like the film, “The Boat that Rocked” but when I asked him what life was really like on the ship, he told me it was ok as he already had 4 years in the Navy on the USS Coral Sea and there was more privacy on the Mi Amigo. He has always loved music and always wanted to be a DJ. He had a passion for both music and communication. When asked about Pre-recording shows, he told me, “in my mind I am not prerecording and in my head its live”. When asked about his most embarrassing incident, he told me, “I once got annoyed with the equipment in a French studio late one night and the French engineer wasn’t much help” Luckily the French couldn’t understand what he said!!

Does he prefer to live in Europe or LA? Weather-wise he prefers Los Angeles and doesn’t want to spend another winter in Europe; in the summer he likes the south of France and prefers European food. At the moment he has to sell his shows to radio stations but if he can get sponsorship he will give the show away for free and said that he would willingly offer them to his friends at Radio Caroline. I asked him about famous people he has met and he told me that he came across a lot of people when doing his gigs but Elvis has to be high on his list.

What did he think of Radio today- It’s a corporate entity, devoid of personality, it’s a strict format and too boring but with the days of the pirate it was fun and passionate. How did he feel about being back on board the Ross Revenge recently, it felt good to be back and it felt as though I was walking on history, He said these guys don't realise how good they had it on the Ross Revenge, it’s a bigger and more luxurious ship than the Mi Amigo. He said that the ship is in the wrong place and as its part of British history it should be in a public place on the Thames and open for tours.

It was great to meet Rosko and talk to him over lunch, he is still as passionate as ever about radio, loves music and has happy memories about his days as a pirate on Radio Caroline.


Water or Coke - May 2014

We all know that water is important but I've never seen it written down like this before.

WATER 1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half world population.)  2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. 3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.  4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study. 5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. 6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. 7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. 8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50%less likely to develop bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?

COKE 1. In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.  2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days. 3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china. 4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola. 5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. 6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.  7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy. 8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: 1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis. 2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous Material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials. 3. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is, would YOU like a glass of water or coke?  

My First Sat Nav -April 2014

Sat Nav's have been around for a long time now and I've always avoided buying one - until recently. My main complaint was that they were too expensive and not reliable especially when they sent large vehicles down narrow lanes, leading to them getting stuck. Recently late at night I was diverted off the Motorway and I had no idea where I was, try asking someone at midnight which way to go. So I decided it was about time I had a sat nav. I found one on the internet recently and it was very cheap so I decided to buy it. It came with a bracket and suction unit so I fixed it to my cars windscreen, entered  the post code of my destination into it and off I went. Suddenly a woman's voice sounding slightly angry told me that I was breaking the speed limit. I was shocked at being told by a woman that I was breaking the speed limit especially as I was only 1 MPH over the limit. She was correct of course, its still over the limit so once again I have to accept that a woman was right and I was wrong. After that I was impressed with it as it gave me a map of the road ahead and this lady gave me some good advice on finding the correct route to my destination. My main complaint was that it always seems to head you to the nearest motorway even though this can add miles to your route and occasionally I chose a different route that I knew to be quicker and she angrily tells me to turn me around and head back to the motorway. 


Wrap Rage - March 2014

One of the curses of our shopping experience is the difficult to open packaging on most of the products we buy. Everything seems to be wrapped in impenetrable plastic which means you have to resort to hacking your way through it with a knife, risking serious injury and possibly damaging the item inside that it is supposed to be protecting. CDs are often sold wrapped in a plastic film which is supposed to have a little toggle that you pull to open it up but I've never found it and I usually resort to using scissors or a knife which can damage the case. Those little milk containers they give you with your cup of coffee have a sealed top with a little toggle that you pull to open and I either break the toggle which means I have to resort to stabbing it with a fork or I pull it so hard I spill the contents all over the table. Why do they wrap apples in plastic when they come with their own washable skin?  I wish someone would invent a bottle seal that I can easily open. I also struggle to open a pot of jam or pickles, do they think we are all super strong? I struggle for ages to open them. In a survey for "The Grocer" magazine 80 per cent of people had cut open packaging with scissors in frustration, 74 per cent had used a knife and 47 per cent had used their teeth. The magazine has called for action over the problem which hits older shoppers the most. 


Your Health - February 2014

Are you one of those people that tries to diagnose your ailments on the internet? Self diagnosis is always risky because you might consider your condition minor and then you worry about pestering your GP with a condition that could be cured with an aspirin. Type "headache" into Google and problems from brain tumour to poor posture comes up. Personally I think the NHS should publicise the free health checks that are available for patients over 60. These checks seem to be a bit of a secret and I was not told about them until I asked for a checkup but now they keep a close check on me and as soon as they see me out comes the blood pressure meter. A simple blood test, available on demand can detect a whole range of conditions from high cholesterol to prostate cancer. These test are not infallible but a lot better than trying to diagnose your condition on the internet or discovering that you have something serious when it could have been detected a lot sooner. My cholesterol and blood pressure were both found to be slightly higher than normal so I take my pills and they have both returned to normal but now the cost of my holiday insurance has been doubled which is very unfair. Surely my prospects for a few more years are a lot better now. 

Radio Caroline celebrations - January 2014

Radio Caroline started broadcasting pop music from a ship in in the North Sea back in Easter 1964. Up until then BBC radio had a monopoly in the UK and very little music could be found on the radio dial except from a few foreign stations mainly from Holland and an evening service provided by Radio Luxembourg with lots of fading. Many other (pirate) radio stations joined Caroline broadcasting from ships or forts around the coast outside the 3 mile territorial limit. Many closed in 1967 when a bill was introduced in parliament to outlaw these stations but Radio Caroline has continued and is still broadcasting today. To celebrate 50 years of broadcasting  they are having a big 50th birthday party on 8th March this year. We thought you would like to see what BBC radio had to offer back in 1964 when Radio Caroline started broadcasting. This was the schedule for the BBC Light programme for Sunday March 15th 1964, as you can see there was very little pop music being broadcast, most of the music was provided by the BBCs own orchestras.  The BBC Light programme was replaced by a pop  music service in 1967. Did you listen to any of these programmes or were you listening to Radio Caroline?
8.30 opening up with News and Weather.
8.55 Metcast
9.01 Chapel in the Valley-Sacred Songs
9.32 The Archers
10.31 Easy Beat featuring the Cumberland Three and The Eric Delaney Band introduced by Brian Mathews.
11.30 Peoples Service  
11.55 Good Listening, News of current programmes
12.00 Two way family favourites with Jean Metcalf and Bill Crozier
1.30 The Tommy Steel show with the Raindrops
2.00 Benny Hill time. With the Michael Sammes singers and the BBC review orchestra.
2.30 The Clitheroe Kid.
3.00 Movie-go-round
4.00 Pick of the Pops with Alan Freeman
5.00 Down your way with Franklin Engelmann
6.00 The DJ Show with David Jacobs.
6.30 Sing Something Simple with the Adam Singers
7.00 Destination-Fire, Stories of a fire investigator
7.35 Enchanted Evenings, Songs and Tunes
8.30 Sunday Half Hour, Religion
9.00 Time for Old Time.
10.00 Heather Mixture with Jimmy Shand
10.31 Jazz with Steve Race
11.50 The End of the day-Christian Music

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