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Everything posted by islandbloke

  1. We STILL have pound notes...but at least you can rip them nowadays!
  2. Nah - the UK gang should come to the Isle of Man for a weekend instead - I welcomed an 11-strong SELOC group (Elises, Exige and a Europa) at the ferry port here yestarday lunchtime - 2 hour crossing on the (sadly extortionate) fastcraft from Liverpool, and it turned out there were also a dozen Caterhams on the same boat, so said hello to them too. No speed cameras, friendly cops (unless you're an idiot), no speed limits outside most towns and villages, and the world-famous TT Mountain Course to hoon around. And you can spend English money here (please) and remember what England was like 30 years ago! Oh, and we've got a race track at Jurby that you can book for a trackday while you're here, with arrive 'n drive karts onsite. I'd love to see a couple of dozen Esprits to add to the three or four 'residents', so just press the button and I'll do the legwork. Stu
  3. Pffft - you guys are SUCH drama queens - she'll polish out and look good as new! Wheeler Dealers would buy a couple of tins of spray paint and some tyre black and sell her at a handsome profit. Kidding (obviously) Andrew. Glad you're OK, even if your lovely car did get a Viking funeral...
  4. Paul - I agree about Paul Simon - I saw him in Manchester years ago. I wanted S&G songs - instead it was all African 'world music' shite...left half way through. Saw Whitesnake here in the Isle of Man last night (they were headlining for TT2009). Very good, although the PA was technically excellent, the mix engineer must have been asleep. But maybe I'm just old and cranky...
  5. I decided (on a whim) last October to try the latest miracle diet (Lipotrim) from a local pharmacy. Basically it was a total meal replacement - like a milkshake but made with water. The idea is to take NOTHING else but water (and two 'shakes' a day). They promise 1
  6. Lottie got to 130k miles before I took the engine out for a complete overhaul (my mechanic pal said it would be cheaper and better than just doing 'bits' here and there). Long story short, but I ended up selling her as a project *probably* needing a new engine, but Gavin who bought her and did the bulk of her restoration (before I eventually bought her back 4 years later) under the guidance of engine guru Garry Kemp found that everything was basically sound and just needed a good refresh with new bearings etc. Dunno what he did about the liners, and I know they upgraded everything in the head with big valves and different wobblesticks, but I was heartened that the basic unit (block, pistons, crank etc) was still good. Cars with rebuilds earlier in their life have maybe been 'garage queens' left for weeks on end without turning over. Lottie has always been either my daily driver or has shared duties with a saloon hack, and is getting better with age!
  7. Lottie's interim owner (Gavin) uipgraded her front calipers to Brembos (V8??) with (IIRC) Audi S4 discs machined to fit. They feel a lot more powerful than the originals, although there's always been a bit of a wobble from them. Had them skimmed by a local machine shop last year, which has helped but not eliminated the chatter. Am dreading having to replace them one day and will probably talk to PNM or someone about another option (for the rotors at least).
  8. Pffft - who could want a 6-pack when a seasoned barrel is available....belated buffdy wishes!
  9. Whilst I agree that the mechanic should put this right - he had no business hooning your car - I'd suggest the parts were maybe getting worn anyway, and could as easily have failed when you were driving. So to spread the love, and keep a guy on-side who may be useful to you in the future, how about offering to supply the parts (cheap enough, evidently) if he'll do the labour? I had a similar dilemma here a year or so ago when my local specialist (a good bloke to know) damaged a new head gasket while fettling it to fit on my ARP studs. I actually paid for the replacement too (although I made it clear I wasn't happy about it). Some may think I'm too soft, but being a hardass isn't always the best long-term option.
  10. My Gibson Victory Bass is itching to attend - but I'm afraid it's too far, and I'm probably still too crap at playing it. Check the fat gimp on bass: here
  11. Beatch - spare wheel has long since disappeared, and I'm a salad dodger no more! Love the feel of Lottie at speed, but in car parks she's turning me into Popeye without the spinach!
  12. I keep thinking I'll swap the Jag for a Chevy Dayvan for when I'm playing with my model aeroplanes (crashed the trainer, bought a Harvard). Would make a good base for days out, lug loads of gear, and be a bit quirky!
  13. I agree that the SE is iconic for many reasons - but every time I park Lottie I wish she had power steering! And the later interior is very cool.
  14. 'Doing weights' to me is lifting the shopping out of the boot (trunk). I sympathise Artie (I can hardly empathise - my body is built of lard!). Stu
  15. Lottie's quite hardcore these days. I decided to give her a rare polish last Sunday (top half only, might do the lower half if it ever stops blowing a gale here) but she doesn't like all that fussing around and preening. In fact she questioned my sexual preference and suggested I put the cosmetics away and take her for a good thrashing around the TT course to terrorise old people in Nissan Micras. What? Your cars don't talk to you?? Other cars are like friends and/or wives. Lottie is my lusty and naughty mistress. And she still gives me the horn 19 years after I first saw her in the showroom window.
  16. You're right - I'd be nervous of anything more than 2300 miles!! I can appreciate your excitement Robert - I made a mistake and sold my Esprit in 2002, but managed to buy her back in 2006 - it was like a religious experience!! Lots of money fixing things later, and being broke most of the time now, but absolutely NO regrets. Enjoy! Stu
  17. SHIP it across America? I'd kill for a driving mission like that...
  18. Taff would be too obvious, although TAF-X does the job. Geordie would be post-modern ironic...
  19. Always thought the Europa, Eclat etc. were ugly cars, although each to his own. Original Elan was gorgeous though - wish I had one.
  20. As a local radio broadcaster, you'd think I'd be at home talking live to a group of people. However, the reason I do radio is that I'm effectively talking to myself in a studio. An audience of expectant faces is a REAL challenge, regardless of numbers. I've found that the best thing to do is to prepare, write a speech, refine it, add quotes and funnies if appropriate. Some people can remember lines - I can't, so always use a script. The concern that you're not a natural 'off the cuff' speaker is (for me) more than outweighed by the fact that you've spent hours carefully crafting your words and don't get muddled or dry up. I've done it at two daughter's weddings, as best man a couple of times, and at various guest functions. Some people can use cue cards - again, I prefer a full script. You can always adlib around it, but it's an anchor when the adrenaline turns brown and smelly!
  21. I recently became a pie maker for the very first time, so can answer this as a new expert Katie. See, as a bachelor (I can't afford to maintain Lottie AND a woman) I tend to make food in batches - it's pretty much as easy to make a dozen portions of beef chilli or chicken curry as one, so I make loads, eat one and freeze the rest in those resealable plastic containers my Chinese and Indian take-aways arrive in. Anyoo, last week I decided I'd make a big batch of steak and kidney (dunno why - hadn't had any for ages and I just got a taste for it). So I bought 4lbs of stewing steak and a pound of lamb kidney, spent an hour trimming all the fatty and nasty bits off it, tossed it in flour and fried it first, then put the meat in my big stockpot with 3 pints of Guinness, some dried onion granules which melt (I hate slimy onion) and a couple of Oxo cubes, and left it on a low heat for a few hours. Then I had the brainwave that I should actually have a go at making proper S&K pies. I used to enjoy those Fray Bentos 'bake in the tin' ones, but I had a nasty one (with fatty, rubbery lumps) recently, so have sacked them. But I've never tried making pastry, so cheated and bought some ready-made shortcrust and some puff pastry from the supermarket chiller cabinet. I then buttered and lined some foil containers (rice portion size) with the shortcrust, added lots of meat and gravy, and then put flaky pastry lids on them and froze them. Would have made around 10 pies, but I ran out of pastry after 4, so just 'potted' what was left over. Had one tonight. 45 minutes in a very hot oven, and it was the best meat pie I ever tasted. 'Kin delicious. Heston Blumenthal can eat my shorts...
  22. I got my PPL in 1985, though it's an increasing struggle to keep it (cost is the biggest problem). I've taken up RC models to take the pain away, but still get the club Cessna up a few times a year. Stick at it - it's a wonderful achievement.
  23. I got a poly set from R&B - only trouble is that most roads here are like cart tracks and they're VERY firm, without the 'give' you get with rubber ones. However, I'd be swapping rubber bushes annually I think...
  24. Speed limits aren't dynamic - a busy A-road full of caravans is often very different at night - yet the nanny limit remains the same! Agree about rural roads - there's no sense in the policy. At least here there are still places we can do 150mph legally - although we're increasingly being vilified by the 'speed kills' lobby and some of our derestricted roads are sprouting limits these days. The whole system is wrong. They should abandon all limits outside urban streets and strengthen the dangerous driving laws, and crush vehicles driven by the untaxed, uninsured and unwashed.
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