Reluctant mechanic: the power of the internet
I'm a reluctant mechanic. It's not one of my core skills. But my 12 yr old younger son recently spent some birthday money on a second hand mini-moped. It had a problem: the pull-start mechanism had sheared, damaging the bit it engages with on the engine. I had to act.
Through the internet, I found out that the bit referred to is known as a flywheel. I went to ebay and purchased a new flywheel (£8, pictured) and a new pull start mechanism (£10). Then I found out, also on the internet, that the way to remove the flywheel is by unscrewing the bolt, and then prising it off by inserting two long M6 bolts in the two holes on the flywheel, and turning them clockwise. Now it works again, and I feel like a good dad. Without the internet, I'd be stuffed.
I played football tonight, for the second night in a row. It was fun. I've just watched BBC Question Time, which had the BNP leader on it (a racist party that has just secured a seat at the European Parliament). It was very frustrating. He said enough to damn himself, but the other participants almost helped him by being ineffectual and trying to score points off each other. Jack Straw, the justice secretary, was particularly poor, I felt. I think it would have been better not to have him (the BNP leader) on the programme: I support free speech, but not when it crosses the boundary of racism.
Now I'm drinking Champagne Laurent Perrier NV. It's very good: crisp, focused, quite fruity, but with nice toasty complexity. Very stylish and balanced with a tart appley finish.