Archive for October 2016

Part 2 the home stretch ….

This is a continuation from part 1 of my journal / journey through the IVF process & the thoughts that go with it.

So here we go, the last chance saloon, this time is our last shot hoping for 2 aces rather than a 7 /4 of clubs.

img_2045This time the drugs have doubled due to the nice anomaly that, well it didn’t work this time so it could be 1 of 3 things and as it would cost £3k to test for it and only £1k to treat for it so lets just treat them all anyway. Not only the extra cash but extra needles / tablets etc as well to do.

But if it works then worth every penny!

So we start the new regime and i’m getting better at the injections (I’m considering retraining as a nurse, that’s all they do right? No? ah right bugger i’ll stay as i am then).

This treatment includes steroids and man if you think the meat head from the gym gets angry on them, try leaving crumbs on the kitchen worktop with a woman on steroids and IVF hormone drugs!

Rickon Zig Zag

Duck & Weave!! Zig Zag Rickon for gods sake Zig & Zag!!!








whatAnother pearler of a face was when I came home from Platelet Donation at the local blood donors and commented ooh they haven’t half bruised my arm this time, then turning round to see your wife’s face who’s stomach currently looks like she went 3 rounds with Mike Tyson from all the injection marks.

4GEESo eggs out and similar crop to last time which is a bit disappointing as we were on double dose of the hormone & all the extra drugs but it only takes 1! I do my bit in the stationery cupboard again (The reading material hasn’t got any better … EE 4G mobile internet to the rescue). Results back and all well above as usual, well done ball bags you didn’t let me down.

So eggs in the cooker and we wait for the daily report … each day another 1 seems to have fallen off and panic begins to set in for us both, what if there isn’t enough left to put in at the end?

Day 5 comes and we’ve 2 healthy ones, so do we keep 1 and freeze or take the gamble and put both in, well as its last chance and we don’t want to go through another round of drugs then both go in and we’ll take the risk of 2 attaching.

Now the dreaded 2 week wait and trying to make sure my wife actually sits on her bum and does nothing!!! Easier said than done!


So that’s where we are now … coming towards the end of the 2 week wait, then we’ll test and know if anything took. I’ll keep you informed but not for a while as if it worked we’re not telling anyone for a few weeks just to make sure, and if it didn’t work things will be too raw to write down straight away and we’ll need time to process it.

So Part 3 the final chapter will be in a month or so either way.

Wish us luck!


PoBz & Mrs S


Back in the mid-1980s when I was in college, I had a car whose gas mileage routinely reached 40 miles per gallon. At that time, most people assumed that as technology advanced, cars’ average mileage would steadily improve. But of course, that didn’t happen, and today, except for hybrids and a few other small cars, the sort of fuel efficiency I got 20 years ago is the exception rather than the rule. I’m well aware of all the technological, political, and financial issues that have combined to create this reality, but every time I think about it I just shake my head. History could have unfolded differently, and high-mileage, low-emissions vehicles might have been the norm today.

More than 80 years ago, you could buy a car that was highly fuel-efficient (even by today’s standards), produced almost no pollution (again, even by modern standards), required very little maintenance, and was virtually silent. It used kerosene as fuel to power a steam engine, and even though the car weighed more than today’s average SUV, it accelerated rapidly and handled smoothly. The car would have been one of several Doble steam car models designed and manufactured by Abner Doble and his three brothers.

Fill It Up…with Water
In the early years of the 20th century, some cars were powered by steam engines, based on the same tried-and-true technology that had already powered locomotives for a long time. The newfangled internal combustion engines rapidly stole the show, though. Unlike steam engines, which sometimes took as long as a half hour to heat up before the car could even move, internal combustion engines started immediately. They didn’t require the driver to stop every hundred miles to refill a water tank, and they generally had fewer mechanical problems. By around 1910, the only major steam-powered car still in production was the Stanley Steamer—and its days were numbered. The battle had been decided.

Not everyone was convinced, though. Abner Doble was a San Francisco native who had moved to Massachusetts in 1910 to attend M.I.T. He dropped out after just one semester and, along with his brothers, began working on improving the design of steam engines for cars. Doble’s first major innovation was extending the steam car’s range. All existing steam-powered cars lost a lot of water and had to be refilled frequently. Doble made innovative changes to the condenser system that recirculated water; in so doing he increased the car’s range to as much as 1500 miles (2400km) with a full 24-gallon (91 l) water tank.

Full Steam Ahead
After building a couple of prototype vehicles, the Doble brothers moved to Detroit in 1915, where they set up shop as the General Engineering Company to design and build steam-powered cars. Doble’s next challenge was to solve the long start-up problem. He did this by using a flash-steam generator rather than heating a huge tank of water, and adding ignition and carburetor systems similar to those used by internal combustion engines. With these improvements, his car could start in as little as 30 seconds. This design also had the side-effect of reducing leaks and making the steam engine safer. The Dobles began advertising their car—the Doble Series C, also known as the Doble-Detroit—long before they’d worked out the rest of the design and manufacturing issues. Although the Doble-Detroit got a lot of press and generated thousands of orders, very few were built. (Some sources say only 11 were manufactured, others as many as 80—but in any case, it was just a handful.) Doble blamed his company’s failure to produce cars on steel shortages caused by World War I, but ongoing engineering difficulties were the real problem. By 1918, the Detroit operation had shut down.

In 1921, after the death of John Doble, Abner and his two remaining brothers moved back to California to give the car business another go, this time as Doble Steam Motors. They solved most of the outstanding engineering problems and added several more innovations, increasing the car’s acceleration and improving its reliability. Unlike other steam cars—and most internal-combustion-engine cars—their new Series E car could start almost instantly even in freezing weather, and could go from 0 to 75 miles per hour (120kph) in 10 seconds. Because steam engines produce a great deal of torque at almost any speed, the car required no transmission, clutch, or gear shifting. And because the kerosene fuel was burned at very high temperatures but low pressure, almost all the waste carbon was consumed, while other common pollutants were never generated in the first place.

Driven to Perfection
And yet, for all those innovations, Doble cars were still hindered by two major problems. First was the price: the chassis alone cost $9,500; add the body, and the price nearly doubled. In the 1920s, that sort of price made the car a luxury item that only the very wealthy could afford. The other problem was Abner Doble himself: he was such a perfectionist that he was seldom willing to stop tinkering and tweaking and actually release an automobile for sale.

The first Doble Series E was sold in 1924, and Doble Steam Motors continued to manufacture steam-powered cars—very slowly—for the next seven years. The total number produced before the company went out of business in 1931 has been reported variously as 24, 42, or 43. A few of those cars are still on the road, having racked up hundreds of thousands of miles. But despite the cars’ reliability, Doble simply couldn’t compete against the cheaper mass-produced internal-combustion-engine cars.

Although today most people think of the steam engine (an external combustion engine) as a quaint artifact of history, it’s nothing of the sort. In fact, BMW is reportedly working on something they call a turbosteamer, which supplements a regular gasoline engine with modern steam technology to improve gas mileage. I’d like to think that one day we’ll see new, fully steam-powered cars that live up to Doble’s 80-year-old standards. —Joe Kissell

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More Information about Doble Steam Cars…

Thanks to reader Steve Andrews for suggesting today’s topic!

This article was featured in the Carnival of Cars for September 8, 2006 and History Carnival XXXIX.

In 1916 (after the first nine years of his work with steam-powered cars), Abner Doble presented a paper titled Steam Motor-Vehicles, which covered all the major technological innovations he’d developed to that point. This page has some additional technical information on the Doble boiler itself.

The Online Archive of California has a page full of various documents (drawings, photographs, brochures, and so on) relating to Doble cars (see also this page).

There are several good pictures of Doble Steamers at

For more information about Abner Doble and his cars, see:

BMW is working on turbosteamer technology that will use steam to improve the gas mileage of existing cars.

Related Articles from Interesting Thing of the Day

Source: Interesting Thing of the Day

Here we go week 3!

I’m trying to alternate these with a heartfelt serious one followed by a childish funny one, so if you’re here for the laughs there is a couple but the comedy Friday thought will be next weeks one.



For a man fast approaching the big 40 thoughts of age & mortality set in, something that is very alien as until a couple of years ago I didn’t even think of myself as mature enough to be a father.

Thoughts like;

  • Have I left an impact on my surroundings?
  • Will I ever complete my bucket list? … <Link>
  • Did I really put enough effort into this life? (Apparently we only get one #YOLO!!)
  • Will anyone miss me when I’m gone?

Now don’t panic … I know that reads like I’m in a bout of depression …. I’m not, I don’t think so anyway!


I’ve just always thought of myself as very young at heart and a point blank refusal to grow up / always be the last man standing on a night out. However time catches up with us all and the birth of my little boy saw me give up playing rugby every Saturday and drinking to the small hours for a more sedate hobby of scuba diving which sees me home in time to spend time with the little man and put him to bed.

Things change / hobbies become less physical, nights out with the lads go from weekly to a couple of times a year when everyone’s calendars can align, but always seem a better night apart from the banter has switched from phwoar have you seen that fit bird over there to Peppa Pig / Iggle Piggle & potty training.

It’s strange to think I seem to have done all of my adult growing up in the last couple of years and the person responsible for that is my son, someone who is entirely reliant on me being a grown up (for the next 10-15 years anyway).

In a world filled with people leaving us way too young thoughts do drift to mortality and family health history and the determination to get fit and healthy which is why I keep signing up for Badass Mucker / Total Warrior / Tough Mudder, 2/3 every year just little targets to make sure I don’t sit on my ass and get fat(ter).

It just takes a little motivation and a group of good friends and you can stave of old age, stay young inside and like the saying goes “you’re only as old as the person you feel” so as the wife is a couple of years younger than me that will do nicely!!

Have a good weekend, see you all next week!!


Link to all Friday Thoughts


by Morgen Jahnke

A few years ago when we were in Patagonia, I had the chance to sample a very rare beverage. After hiking for about an hour or so on the Perito Moreno glacier, our guide called for a rest. We stopped near a pool of water, and we all gathered around to take a closer look. Its blue depths were mesmerizing, but our guide cautioned against getting too close if we didn’t want to sink all the way to the bottom of the glacier. He did recommend that we try the water, though, which we did eagerly, and I can still remember its taste—so pure and amazingly cold.

Of course, the rare part of the experience was drinking the water straight from the source. “Glacier water” is easy to obtain nowadays and comes in handy plastic bottles with no need to freeze your hands; still, there was something special about that Perito Moreno water. I usually find it incredibly difficult to drink the recommended amount of water every day because I feel like I just don’t have a taste for ordinary water; this glacier water was somehow different.

Maybe I was manifesting the first signs of aquanomy, or the “connoisseurship” of water, I’ve recently been reading about in Mireille Guiliano’s book French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure.

Water Water Everywhere
As gastronomy is to food, so aquanomy is to water; the delight in and cultivation of knowledge of that particular subject. In her book, Guiliano mentions aquanomy in the context of the growing worldwide interest in bottled water, something long part of her life as a native Frenchwoman. She notes that there is a restaurant in Paris, Restaurant Colette, that now serves 80 different varieties of bottled water to its customers, making it possible for them to find new options to tempt the palate.

This may seem like decadence to those used to drinking water straight from the tap, or a huge luxury when even clean water is a rare commodity in much of the world. However, I agree with Guiliano in her praise of this trend; we spend much more money and resources on beverages that aren’t healthy for us, what’s wrong with enjoying the experience of drinking something that’s actually good for us?

That sentiment seems to fuel the FineWaters Web site—launched when its founder, a former wine connoisseur, stopped drinking wine because of a medical condition. Filled with information about the best temperature at which to drink water, the right kind of glassware to use, and which water to pair with what food, it is extremely useful for the would-be water connoisseur.

While it may seem strange to pay such attention to water, the site makes a good case for true differences between waters, including mineral content, pH value, and size of bubbles. In fact, the Web site features the FineWaters Balance scale, a measurement of a bottled water’s bubbles, ranging through bold (large bubbles), classic (medium-sized), light, effervescent, and still.

FineWaters also notes the trend of upscale restaurants and bars featuring larger selections of water, and in some cases, employing a water sommelier to help with choosing the most suitable water for the meal. Listing establishments in Tokyo, Montreal, New York, and Paris among others, it shows that the water connoisseurship trend may just be beginning.

Going With the Flow
Although I’m not one to follow trends blindly, I do think there is some merit in the rising appreciation of water. I wouldn’t buy a brand of water simply because it’s the current rage, or because it has a nice bottle, but I could imagine experimenting to find bottled water that tastes good to me. I still need to drink those eight glasses of water a day, and a bottle of designer water is cheaper than a plane ticket to Patagonia. —Morgen Jahnke

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More Information about Aquanomy…

cover art

Mireille Guiliano’s book French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure was a smash hit when it was published in 2005. Who doesn’t want to eat like the French and stay thin?

For much more information than you’ll ever need about fine waters, go to the FineWaters Web site.

Restaurant Colette is in the basement of the Colette store in Paris (213 rue Saint-Honoré). You can browse some of its merchandise online at

Related Articles from Interesting Thing of the Day

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I’ve been working on a few books and this one is close to release pending some artwork, A few of you have asked for a sample so here is a page from the upcoming 50 Shades of Blonde (Daft things my wife has said)




Hope you enjoy and look out for it on Kindle … if its popular i may do a print run as well.