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  1. peds


    Having both parts of the punchline is a bit redundant in my opinion, almost tautological, and I prefer the sleek, minimalist approach of just using half of it. But I'm a man of few words, the kind of person who finds it annoying to be asked what should be a yes or no question, but being offered two options instead. Whatever, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
  2. peds


    What's the difference between a Zippo and a hippo? One is a little lighter.
  3. Ah, the gloves are mine, I didn't want to damage the pages while having a quick rifle through them. I'll check the dates next time I'm at the site, but that's probably spot on. One of the books has a price tag in Euro though, which would make it a more recent addition to the collection. Ah, I had a quick flick through them, and you know what... there's actually a few too many stories (no photos, illustrations only) about 15/16 year old schoolgirls being spanked by angry nuns to even think about selling them on. I'm fairly sure it'd be illegal. How dare you lower the tone in here with your smutty comments. You'll need half a dozen strokes from the cane by way of penance. Bend over!
  4. I'll have a go if you want mate?
  5. It's been slow progress lately what with the recovery from hand surgery and both me and the wife being in work, but now that she's finished for the summer (a teacher) and can look after the kids, I've got a lot more time to give to the place. I've knocked over the trees that were in the way (including a lovely big bay tree, I'm going to have the digger driver drop the stump somewhere nice, hopefully it'll grow again), taken out all the windows and doors, removed the rotten old wood from the ceilings, all that sort of thing. I had a good look at the roof metal, unfortunately it just isn't worth keeping as it's more rust than metal, so it's all headed for the scrapyard. We've got the digger arriving Monday week to knock it down, pile the stonework up in a corner for future landscaping, level and stone the site, finish the laneway, and start prepping the ground for waste water treatment. Nice for things to be moving, finally. Anyway, I was poking about in the attic, I was looking at salvaging the old water tank and the pipes, and there's an antique water pump up there too that I'll be trying to get running, it's destined for use in my future polytunnels. But what's this, double wrapped in a plastic bag... Oh! Gosh.
  6. Chop down a goat willow, rip it out the ground with a digger, leave the stump upside down in a pile with a load of others for a year, drag it to a patch of boggy ground and set it upright, and it'll grow again. One of mine is, anyway. Other species may vary.
  7. peds


    Why do ducks have tail feathers? To cover their butt quack.
  8. I'm tempted to start trying some of the prusik variations that have a carabiner contained within the knot (there's a few, the names escape me right now), as they are much easier to release after loading. They also work great as the lower prusik on the 3-1 haul system, making it much easier to reset. I like the cut of your jib, if we ever have a spare day for training we might do just that.
  9. Yep, they slip instead of snap, that's partly the appeal of them. They also bite easily again once below the slipping point, unlike some other progress capture devices, which is another big plus point for them.
  10. A figure 8 would put way too much friction in the system and make hauling an absolute pig, kink the rope too much, and provide no benefit over our standard belay device, the Petzl ID. Failing other options, we'd just stick with the ID.
  11. I shudder at the thought of getting the kinks out of 100m of rope fed through a figure 8. It'd be a birds nest before we are even halfway. A secondary device of some kind would of course be ideal, but it can't interfere with the 3-1 in any way, and if it adds any significant friction we might as well just stick with the ID instead of the pulley and prusik, and suck up the additional work it creates. With regards to melting, there'd be a real risk of that if it were being used to lower, with the weight of stretcher, casualty, and barrow boy easily being upwards of 150kg, but on the upwards journey the prusik is only holding a fraction of that weight, and only when static, as the prusik is obviously relaxed during each upwards pull on the 3-1 haul. This is why we switch to the Petzl ID for the descent. I suppose there'd be a bit of a risk of glazing if the 3-1 team were really efficient, but so far, there's enough downtime between resets on the haul to dissipate the heat a little, I think. The prusiks are, regardless, inspected before and after each use, and treated as disposable if there's any obvious wear and tear. We currently use Sterling 8mm orange friction cord for this application. I'll bring up the idea of using even thicker string and see if that satisfies the worriers. ...but I'd still like to know if the Blake's hitch might be an appropriate solution, too. Seems like a nifty retro application for it.
  12. Evening all, It's raining, otherwise I'd go outside and have a play with this, but I was wondering if anyone with a history of Blake's hitches could help me with an experiment. I'm a volunteer with my local mountain rescue team, we've got one popular location that requires hauling gear up, first, a 300m 45 degree grassy slope, then a rocky traverse, then another 100m haul over 45-55 degree grass, gravel, and rock. For the first 300m stretch we usually have an anchor at the top of the slope with a pulley and a prusik, or a progress capture pulley if we've brought it along, or a Petzl ID if there are people attached to the stretcher (not ideal because of the additional friction), and two or three team members attached to the other end of the rope, running downhill as a counterweight, which makes hauling the stretcher and all the gear on it uphill a hell of a lot easier. For the second stretch, we do a prusik and pulley, and a 3-1 haul system to make life easier, as there isn't the space to have a counterweight running downhill, and the amount of loose rock makes it unsafe. This is all for the uphill, as soon as we need to send the stretcher downhill we switch to a Petzl ID. Now, there's been discussion about whether or not it is within acceptable levels of redundancy to have the whole thing secured by a single prusik for the uphill journey. Personally, I'm all for a simple prusik and pulley as a progress capture device instead of some heavy bit of metal, especially when you've got to drag it, plus several hundred metres of 11mm rope and other assorted kit, up close to 500m of mountain before doing anything. I have nothing whatsoever against the humble prusic, but some of the more belts-and-braces members of the team argue (quite correctly, of course) that the prusik loop has a lower breaking strength than the rope it is holding, and needs to be either backed up with something else, or replaced by an unwieldy and expensive bit of metal. So here's a thought that came to me suddenly this afternoon: could you imagine this system, a 3-1 haul on one side, and a pulley with a Blake's hitch as the progress capture, instead of the prusik loop, on the other, the Blake's tied with either the spare tail of the haul rope, or the loose end of a 50m used to build the anchor, same diameter as the haul rope. Can a Blake's hitch in this scenario provide enough friction to safeguard the uphill progress? At what force does it start slipping? Can you add additional wraps to help it out, and in what configuration... 4-2, 5-2, 5-3... 6-3?! I've not tied a Blake's hitch since my CS38/39 assessment, but it's something that sprung to mind during discussion on this topic, and I was wondering if it would be worth getting more practice with. I'm just looking for a quick, simple, safe, and lightweight alternative to 1.1kg of Petzl Maestro. Any thoughts gratefully received. Pic related.
  13. I made one of these back in 2008, from an abandoned washing machine in an overgrown garden around the back of the house I was renting with two other lads. I took the inner drum out of the outer one, flipped it over, and slotted the axel back into the slot, making it twice the height, and still able to spin. I've just been trying to find an old file of photos, but no luck so far. I'll update if I ever find it. We used it for a summer before moving out of the house, it worked great. The best part was kicking it around and around to build up speed, and a shower of sparks would fly out of the drainage holes. It was great fun when you were pissed.
  14. Evening, 

    I've got two weeks in Carnac with the family this summer. How close to your neck of the woods is that, any recommendations? Restaurants, markets, neolithic sites, goat farms, whatever. 

    Hope you aren't cooking in the heat. We were threatened with 26 degrees here in the west of Ireland, but we got rain instead.


    1. Ty Korrigan

      Ty Korrigan


       Carnac is about 2 hours from us.

      You have chosen a top area, Morbihan, means little sea in Breton.

      Similar to Irish, Mor Behan/Bhean?

      Quiberon peninsula, ferry to Belle Isle, great beaches everywhere.

      Take a day trip to Concarneau why not.

      I am occasionally in Baden were a friend has a second home and will occasionally stray as far South as Nivilliac for work.

      It was 40+ here yesterday.

      Difficult to achieve anything much in that heat.

      Then it broke and dropped 20c in the evening and rained.

      8:30am and we have thunder.

      I have an open roof and forgot to pull the tarp back over.

      The area is much drier than the West which has a more Kerry climate.

      I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time of it.

      Go to a bar and ask for a Picon biere (beer)

      'Pee-kon beer' is cold lager with a shot of a strong alcoholic syrup made of oranges.

       Great in the heat.

          All the best





    2. peds


      Haha, whoops, I'm sure it won't be long drying out in the heat. Hopefully it'll keep the dust down for a bit anyway. 


      The fashion in the alps, when I lived there, was beer with a shot of peach syrup in it. I've heard that in some departements the chosen flavours are almond or that cactus syrup, which sound revolting. Orange is a much more civilised variation, I'll put that on the list for sure.


      Just checked Belle Ile en Mer, the Vauban citadel is closed until 2023, gutted, that's right up our alley. We'll have to find a different fortress.


      Big thanks for the advice. 





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