Afore ye go…

The Mail has the list of 50 things to do before you die. Most of them don’t appeal to me at all. When I was young I wanted to own an oscilloscope and a laser. I have two oscilloscopes and a drawer full of lasers now. Job done. So what else is on the list?

3. Done. I was fixing a starter motor on a Ford Fiesta when I saw it. I imagined a God looking down thousands of years ago at a caveman with a bone in his hand, mouth hanging open at the sky. Then he saw me with a spanner in my hand in the same position and thought ‘Well, he has a shinier bone but nothing else has changed’.

4. Done. Sort of. I didn’t do all of it but I was there and I have many photos.

7. Impossible. The Colossus of Rhodes and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon no longer exist.

9. Done, but I’m not telling what it is. Haahahahaha!

10. Forget it. It’s cold enough here.

14. I’m learning the banjo and I’m self-taught on the bodhran. Does that count?

19. Swim with sharks? Yes, that’s likely to be a once in a lifetime thing for sure. I don’t swim anywhere near fast enough to get in with the sharks. Or even the jellyfish.

24. Done. Twice. So far.

31 Why?

35. Anyone can do this any time they want. It’s not an ambition.

40. I have it on good authority that mountains have nothing of interest on top.

44. These are televised. If you want to watch them it’s really not difficult.

47. I didn’t know it existed, and now that I do, I don’t care.

49. Even the Army don’t enjoy this.

So of the fifty things to do before you die, I’ve done the ones I’m interested in (except the pyramids but the mad Mullahs who have taken over Egypt. will smash them before I can get there)

I suppose it’s time to drink and smoke a lot and wait for the Liverpool care pathway, soon to acquire the euphemism of ‘retirement’..

I just hope I don’t have to wear a shellsuit.



37 thoughts on “Afore ye go…

  1. ‘See the Seven Wonder’s , actually only the Pyramids are still extant of the ‘7 Ancient Wonders’ which is also number 8 on the list.

    Thus confirming these lists are absolute bollocks


    • I understand that there are still a few bits of the Hanging Gardens hanging around, and if you have diving gear, you can see bits of the Pharos at the bottom of the sea. Bits of the other ones must be somewhere, surely. But where? Could make a good documentary. “The Search for the Seven Wonders”. Has anyone devised the Seven Blunders, I wonders? The EU? Communism? (Same thing. Need six more.)


      • Wasn’t the Library at Alexandria one of them? That’s pretty comprehensively gone for good.

        As for the Seven Blunders, I think modern politics exceeds that number every day.


        • No, the lighthouse is one, but not the library. I never could remember the entire seven all at the same point in time. There’s the Colossus of Rhodes and the Temple of Diana at Artemis, if I’m not mistaken. I could cheat and Google it. Actually, I think there was a TV series about all seven. It’s coming back to me. May be on YouTube…


      • I learned to fly hang-gliders, years ago. On Baildon Moor, under the approach run for Leeds-Bradford airport. Training gliders soar like housebricks, and when you can see the twin engines of an Airbus approaching you from above, you are truly eternally grateful for this fact.

        I gave up when I discovered that the local druggies liked Baildon Moor too, and had a tendency to leave used needles and syringes about the place.


  2. Nothing about repenting before you die. Or planting a tree? Materialistic stuff, mainly. And what about the Golden Gate Bridge?

    1. Become a millionaire – did do (in Turkish liras)
    2. Travel the world – did do (online)
    5. Be mortgage free – I am (I pay rent)
    7. See all seven wonders of the world – find me the bits!
    8. Visit the Egyptian Pyramids – that is one of the 7 Wonders, dodo.
    13. See the Taj Mahal – Been. Excellent chicken dhansak.
    14. Learn to play the piano / guitar / drums – Play guitar and a little piano, actually.
    20. Emigrate – Did do. To England.
    21. Learn to speak another language – Can do. Kinda.
    22. Own an island – I used to. It was called Great Britain and co-owned with 58 million others.
    26. Live and work abroad – yeah, England.
    28. Fly a plane – Did do (“in” a plane)
    30. Start and run your dream business – Started a few. Dream might not be the word.
    32. Go to Disneyworld – Did do. The Paris one and Disney World. No comment.
    35. Dedicate time to volunteering – Modesty prevents me from speaking about it.
    40. Climb a mountain like Everest – Does Ben Lomond count?
    42. Meet your idol / favourite celebrity – I worked with that Craig Charles once.


    • I planted quite a few trees, and an awful lot of other plants too. As for travel, I used to like to tell people I’d just been to Texas and Iceland, also Homebase, B&Q and the Co-op. I don’t know if the Texas DIY chain exists any more though, so that joke might be pretty much dead.


      • Those are all mythical places to us here in the land of local shop. We have a Lidl’s and Tesco’s, so at least we can have horse in our diet. I rarely visit Lidl’s as it’s almost out of town. That’s barely 800 yards from the town centre, mind you. We have a Farmfoods, which I visited once in an effort to reduce my shopping bill and some of the stuff was inedible; just disgusting. I never returned. I’m surprised not to hear their name mentioned in the horse business.

        Have you ever shopped at Farmfoods? I should have sent some of the “food” to you for analysis. I did feel like contacting environmental health about two products from that trip: an alleged ham joint, which, apart from being rubbery and totally inedible, was so salty it couldn’t be eaten and I like quite a bit of salt on my food. I couldn’t even feed it to the dogs in case the salt killed them. The jumbo battered fish was also inedible. You just thought, what the flip is this? —–> Bin!


        • There is a Farmfoods here but I haven’t tried it. I think Lidl is a better bet, and we have one of those too. Besides, Lidl sell whisky and Farmfoods don’t. Likewise, Lidl sell a lot of interesting pointless things as well as food, and Farmfoods don’t. No contest then.


  3. I’ve done a fair few of those. Probably above half but number 26 bothers me. Does being part of the invading/occupying force count?


  4. I’m intriqued as to why you wanted to own an oscilloscope.
    I have one too, but then I do electronics as a hobby.

    Anyway, when I worked at university, I suggested to an academic that they purchase a ‘scope as it would help in their research.
    To which she replied, rather condascendingly, “Pah, that’s WORKSHOP equipment!!!”

    WTF, I thought, it’s a measuring instrument you retard.
    Don’t “scientists” measure anything these says?


    • I have 33 oscilloscopes. Oscilloscopes are marvellous: They still appear in the A-level physics “syllabus” (just) but a school’s “science department does not need to have one actually available in order to deliver the topic-content, as the questions are formulated around a printed graphic of a sine-wave trace on a screen”.

      At least 17 of mine, probably more, work properly, and one is even “calibrated”, and has a little certificate and an MOT thingy. 12 of them are the funny old Tektronix 5xx series whatsits, with about 85 valves inside them, weighing about 6 stone, and a miscellany of exciting plugins.

      About 49 years ago I also built one myself (it’s one of the ones that works although it is not accurately calibrated and only has a bandwidth of DC-100KHz), out of a chassis and box that a kind boss of my dad cut and drilled for me, and a collection of parts mostly salvaged from a broken-up U-boat, apart from the valves and holders which are WW2-American. The transformer and choke are even branded “Siemens” and have a swastika-thingy printed on them.


      • 33!!! – Wow, are you a dealer or just an avid collector?

        My own scope is a trusty Tektronix 465B (c/w DM44).
        I bought it about 20 years ago from a surplus store near me.
        It was apparently ex-Nato and was in pristine condition.
        I suspect it had been in a store from new and had never even been switched on!!

        “About 49 years ago I also built one myself (with a bandwidth of DC-100KHz)”
        Snap!!! – and I bet it used a VCR139A too.

        I don’t know if you’ve seen this little beauty…

        I’ve resisted the urge to get a digital one. We had a TDS420 at work and when I put in a composite video signal to test it, the waveform on its LCD looked nothing like the real waveform, even with it’s sampling rate turned up to max – hmmm, not impressed. I’m retired now, so my projects are a bit less ambitious and the 465 meets my needs perfectly.


        • Yes, the tube is a VCR139A. Crappy wobbly green trace, but that’s the fault of my building as a 12-year-old boy.

          Marvin, I just love scopes. They represent to me, one f the more interesting and subtle of Mankind’s triumpsh over shitheads, greens and other scumbags.

          All the Tektronix scopes simply radiate intellectual honesty, almost as if they give it off into the room while running, and you sort of feel better.

          I also have a 465B, which is not totally right but also works more or less well in all respects.

          My ex-Uboat one now needs some TLC as I think the smooting caps have finally packed up. They are the big cuboidal grey “paper-in-oil” types, 8uF/600v, and I think they have dried out as the trace was very 100-Hz-jittery last time I turned it on…(the rectifier is a 5U4.)


          Hey yes I looked in there. It’s very nice! I can see exactly what the fella has done. Very clever little thing. I keep thinking I want to build a little scope, say with a 1″ or 2″ screen, into amplifiers that I do for people, but I sort of never get round now to the metalwork, being rather old. (How many EF80s do you own, Marvin? That is the test of a real man…lol)


  5. I really don’t care to do any of those things, Leggy! I just want to have peace and quiet, and enough money to live out my final days in relative comfort.

    I’m still around, BTW, have been very busy the lst few weeks of the year, entertaining a wonderful friend from across the pond. I’m sure he’ll do a blog post in a few days, and then you’ll know who. I finally did one myself. Sorry I haven’t commented much, but it’s hard to find the energy and motivation. I hope the New Year is treating you well, and you don’t get any more snow.


    • Hi Bunni. We have a most peculiar weather crisis on our hands. Our government has demanded a snowman in every garden. As a result of the snow famine, neighbours are poaching the stuff under cover of darkness.


      • I wish someone would steal mine. Perhaps I could use that old tried and tested method of getting rid of something – put a chain and a lock on it. Usually it’s gone in the morning. Great way to get rid of old fridges and washing machines.


    • Good to hear from you, Bunni. I was wondering how you were.

      We currently have about six to eight inches of snow, but I think it’s above freezing out there so it might not be around for very long. My spate of working double shifts should be over next week so I can get back to model building too! Currently I get home, eat, fall asleep, wake for a few hours, sleep again and go back to work. The extra money will be useful but the whole point of this job was to cover the bills so I could do other things. It wasn’t meant to be a damn career!

      Keep resting and check in when you can.


      • You guys sure did get alot of snow lately. We’ve been spared so far but for today in shitcago. I see you wrote about that warehouse that was an ice palace after the fire. There is even scandal with that, owned by some crook that paid off a gov’t official, and it housed some records the old mayor didn’t want seen. Today they tore it down. It’s in the crappier south side of town, so I don’t care what went on there. It was indeed arson. This shit city gets worse by the minute.

        Hope you get to rest up, and soon you can move on and get paid more, so you won’t have to work so many shifts. I am trying to rest up more and have an easier pace, because when I exert myself, I really feel horrid the next day. I’m still hanging in there, and I appreciate you & your readers caring & concern.


        • Yes indeed, never pack in a job unless you have another one to go to. Also, work to become indispensable in the one you have. Then, when you tell them you have a better paid one to go to, they might just decide to see your new wage and raise you a few quid šŸ˜‰


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