Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Best Gadget Award announced - plus a Ranger Report

How interesting. It seems our commenters all have different ideas on which gadget should win this year’s Herbie Award. Gratifyingly though, you all seem to think all three items on the shortlist are worth having, which indeed they are.  Nevertheless we have chosen a winner and Kath and I are unanimous in choosing it.

Sadly, Suzy Perry of the Gadget Show was unavailable to present the award, on account of her still having a hangover from the post Formula One season party in Brazil, so I will tear open the golden envelope myself to reveal that the winner of:


Best Gadget on the Boat 2013


The Huawei E586 Wireless Modem


See, I even bothered to find out what it is really called, rather than just a MiFi thingy!  Why choose it?  Because wonderful though the iPad is, ours wouldn’t work on the boat without the Huawei. Furthermore this gadget also works with our smartphones and our old netbook, and any laptops or whatever our guests may bring.  And, most important of all, it gives us a good signal throughout the boat, so Kath can lie in bed reading blogs while I compose mine at the saloon table.  We have had three people using it simultaneously.  One more thing, you can easily slip it in your pocket to have wifi access to internet anywhere you go, providing you have a smartphone or a pc or a tablet of course.

As to the little Dyson, which is brilliant, we do have a dustpan and brush!


So as promised, we move next on to a more boaty, or waterway type award. What will it be? I’ll tell you next time, but in the meantime I have something else to report on


Now for something completely different

Yesterday was my first active day as a London Towpath Ranger.

It was a bit like on the job training really.  Four of us met at Rickmansworth and cycled 13 miles down the towpath to Hayes stopping frequently to examine and record damaged or dangerous surfaces, trimming back vegetation where overhanging twigs and branches would scratch your face or body, taking down out of date posters about lost dogs or local events, picking up rubbish, and identifying suitable places to erect new signs asking cyclists in particular to drop their pace and give way to pedestrians.  This something we plan to do about once a month.  In the Spring we plan to hold an awareness event in Denham to educate walkers and cyclists about proper use of the towpath.  A number of similar events have already been carried out in central London.

One item of interest to boaters was the line taken by our CRT leader Dick on disposal of sawn up logs and branches by the towpath where the contractors had cleared fallen trees etc.  Many boaters help themselves to these as firewood, and Dick pointed out that this was not only acceptable, it was to be encouraged. So the message is you can help yourself without any trace of guilt or worry, providing the tress had already fallen or been cut down. 

We have another rangers event in London tomorrow evening, photographing and checking lighting under bridges. I’ll be walking from Little Venice to Camden and beyond, and then going on to an “end of term” Rangers buffet near City Road lock.

Just recently I got a letter and a supporter’s magazine from the Trust. On the letter it said I was Supporter No. 0004692.  Not sure what constitutes a supporter, but I suppose it includes volunteers and “Friends”.  I don’t know whether you think that’s a high number of supporters or not, after eighteen months of the Trust.  I leave it to you to decide.


1 comment:

Halfie said...

Yay! The MiFi thingy! A double surprise, if you see what I mean.

Regarding the excellent work you now do as a towpath ranger, how do you tell if a lost dog notice is out of date? Do you phone the owner and ask if it's been found?