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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Vauxhall Signum Low Power and Slow

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Vauxhall engine

I have recently solved a problem with my Vauxhall Signum 2004 1.9i Diesel and wanted to share.

The symptoms were:

  • Lacking power, slow to accelerate
  • EML comes on at engine start but goes off after driving a short distance
  • Noisy engine during acceleration
  • If over revved the Signum goes into ‘limp mode’ and the engine management light comes on until the engine is restarted

I found an excellent post titled Poor Performance … Check your boost pipes. Boost pipes are sometimes called vacuum pipes. I bought some 4mm internal diameter silicon pipe from ebay and started checking the pipes in the engine.

Within 10 minutes I found that one of the very short sections of rubber (just above the radiator close to the battery) had a split in it. I removed this and replaced it with a short section of my new pipe. I was doubtful that that was the cause of all my problems though.

I decided to go for a test drive …… what a difference. It was driving like a new car, turbo kicking in, powering away, a pleasure to drive. I have been embarrassed when pulling into traffic as it was taking up to 30 seconds to reach 30 mph before this fix.

On the same forum was another similar post with plenty of pictures called 2.2dti silicon boost pipes fitted (photos included). Thank you guys for posting your solutions which gave me the confidence to do it myself.


Written by barnabyfry

April 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Posted in How to, Personal

Christopher Hitchens life and death in 10 days

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On the Tuesday 6th December 2011 I stumbled across someone that I had never heard of before. His name was Christopher Hitchens. I had been searching the internet trying to find out what percentage of google employees (read ‘geeks’) are atheists. It turns out he gave an atheist talk at google. My question wasn’t answered but I found myself a new hero.

I was so intrigued by this man that I began to search the internet for videos and articles to learn more about him. As an atheist, I found his opinions on people, God and religion so closely matched my own. His passion, intelligence, knowledge, razor-sharp wit and eloquence gave him the public platform he wanted and deserved. In debate he used logic, common sense, reason and knowledge with devastating effect.

It was only a few days after I discovered Hitchens that I learned of his Oesophageal cancer diagnosis in June 2010. I was stunned.

He has been asked many times since his diagnosis if it has made him change his view of religion, a question he despised. Of those that would pray for him he responded “…I don’t mean to be churlish about any kind intentions, but when September 20 comes, please do not trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries. Unless, of course, it makes you feel better.”

Today, I learned that he is dead. Eleven days ago I had not heard of Christopher Hitchens. Today I mourn his death.

I encourage anyone not familiar with the man to google him now. You will only be the better for it.

Written by barnabyfry

December 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Tin Whistle

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As well as being a techie geek I have an interest in music and play the guitar and keyboard. I have written the odd song too. My latest purchase is a tin whistle.

I love Irish music and have always loved the sound and style of the tin whistle and most other celtic pipe music. One of my favourite tunes is the Uilleann pipe solo from Riverdance by Davy Spillane.

Anyway … I found some great playing on youtube by Ryan Duns who has also uploaded a great series of tin whistle tutorials for the beginning and intermediate player. He has a great playing style and an excellent teaching style. So I am now addicted to the tin whistle.

I bought a generation tin whistle in D and then read on that the sweetone is a better option so I bought one from ebay. I have worked through to week four in the last couple of days. I have been driving my wife Emma and son Joshua up the walls. Our two cats don’t like it much either. Jack, the oldest cat, has taken to sitting by my shoulder when I’m playing and biting me on the cheek. I guess he thinks I am a giant mutated canary and is naturally attempting to finish me off.

I know I can be a bit faddy. That is I get into a new fad completely and intensely for a short period of time so we’ll see how long this one lasts. I have missed music as I don’t play as much as I used to so it is good to be playing again.

Written by barnabyfry

January 16, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Personal

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Little Wounded Soldier

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Joshua’s illness persisted for the last few weeks, turning from a fever to an upper respiratory infection and leaving him very poorly.

To top all that he ended up with a skin infection around his eyes which warranted a trip to A & E at the Childrens Hospital on Tuesday.
Poor little man Poor Joshua
We were told it was Periorbital Cellulitis which is a serious but treatable infection of the tissues around the eyes. If left untreated it can spread to the eyeball and eventually can traverse the optical nerve and spread to the brain causing meningitis.

Joshua was admitted and treated with intravenous antibiotics for 3 days. The poor mite kept having to be recanulated in almost every available vein as they were tiny and the canula kept coming out. This treatment killed all infection in his body and left him feeling much better and the swelling around his eyes had reduced. Emma stayed with him on Tuesday and Wednesday and I stayed on Thursday.

We returned home on Friday afternoon with a course of oral antibiotics which Josh must take every 8 hours.

The last two days he has laughed and smiled more than in the last two weeks. Much more the Joshua we are used to!

Written by barnabyfry

November 19, 2006 at 11:49 pm

First Post

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Today I am in my office and have just created my own blog. So here I go with my first entry.

This morning before work, my 16 month old son Joshua, straining to do what comes naturally, vomited on my face, hair etc. Oh, the joys of fatherhood. He was unwell yesterday and all he wanted to do was cuddle his Mum (my wonderful wife Emma).

I love being a Dad. It is the single most amazing experience of my life to date. I still feel awe when I look at him. I feel that I have grown and evolved as an adult as he has grown and evolved as a child. The experience has changed me and my philosophy, or perhaps it is more of a shift in focus.

When Emma became pregnant we had a reassurance scan at 7 weeks. We saw a flashing image on the scan the size of a bean. Little ‘Beany beacon’ as we refered to him/her had an immediate effect on me. We sat and had a coffee after the scan and I observed that, all things being equal, that heartbeat will still be beating long after mine has stopped. Surely that is the meaning of life.

OK, entry number one. The meaning of life.

Today is also my Brother Jeremy’s birthday so Happy Birthday Jez.

Written by barnabyfry

November 2, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Personal