Time to de-clutter...

I have decided that it is time to have a major de-cluttering exercise. Over the years, all sorts of stuff has accumulated, many items being those that you think will come in handy at some point in the future, then you never need or use. A lot of the stuff I got rid of was electrical, mostly spare cables that came with various items that are provided in case you need them, but in reality don't need. These ended up getting shoved into the recesses of the cupboards, along with old stuff that had been replaced with newer versions but were kept "just in case".

I also cleared out the various old books that have been long out of date such as the manuals for DOS 3 and DOS 4 - who remembers those operating systems, along with a manual for HTML 4, some long out of date text books and a pile of old paperbacks that I'm not likely to read again. These all went to a charity shop, along with the old clothing that although worn, could still be used again by someone, somewhere. So the result of this is that I now have a lot more space and a much tidier house.

Posted: Friday 6th October 2017

At the quayside...

The Seabreeze being unloaded at Shieldhall Quay in Glasgow.d

The Seabreeze being unloaded at Shieldhall Quay in Glasgow.

© John G. Fender 2017

Yesterday evening I popped along the riverside to see the ship that was being unloaded at Shieldhall in Glasgow. This was the "Seabreeze", now 22 years old and starting to look its age.

The Seabreeze is a general cargo ship owned and operated by Trans Holdings Overseas S.A. of Sevastopol in the Ukraine. It was originally named "Brother Ace" and was renamed "Tien Hau" in January 2003.

In April 2011 it was renamed "Seabreeze" when acquired by its current owners. The Seabreeze was built by the Cheung Ku Marine Industrial Co., Ltd. of Ulsan in South Korea and was laid down on 16th March 1995. It was launched on 18th October 1995 and completed on 3rd February 1996.

The ship is 134.86 metres in length with a beam of 24 metres and has a gross tonnage of 11,478 tons. With a deadweight tonnage of 18,468 tons, the Seabreeze has four cargo holds with a total capacity of 22,695 cubic metres, The ship is fitted with three Kawasaki electro-hydraulic cranes rated at 25 tonnes for cargo handling. Powered by a Ssangyong B&W 7S35MC Mk4 diesel engine rated at 4,891kW at 160 rpm, propulsion is via a fixed pitch propeller giving a maximum speed of 17 knots and a service speed of 14.7 knots.

The photograph shows the ship being unloaded by the two quayside cranes, the cargo being animal feed from Yuzhnyy in the Ukraine.

Posted: Wednesday 4th October 2017

An offer I can refuse...

Today's post brought a bulky envelope from one of the leading insurers, offering the chance to take out insurance that was "exclusively for over 50's", a category that I now fall into. Looking at the glossy bumph, at first glance, it looked like a reasonable proposition, but closer inspection soon revealed that it was not actually such a good deal. This policy was designed to cover funeral costs and provide a sum for your surviving family.

Well, it was a good deal for the insurance company from the point of view that on an actuarial basis, they will benefit more from the monies paid to them that the amount that they will pay out in claims. Buried in the small print was the warning that the amount paid out "may be less than the total premiums paid". Looking at the details provided, showed that the younger you are when you start paying premiums, if you took out a policy, the more the insurance company would make.

My take on this offer was that the only way to come out ahead was to be under 60 when you started a policy and snuffed it within a few years. If you lived past about 70 or so, then the best you could hope for would be breaking even, and if you got beyond 80, you would have paid more in that would be paid out. As we are living longer these days, the chances are better than ever of getting into your 80's, so this is not likely to be a good deal. So I duly dumped the bumph into the recycling bin!

Posted: Monday 2nd October 2017

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