The Friday Night Smoke Live every friday from 11:30PM-2AM on


Friday Night Traffic

Friday night traffic (19:52), Five Ways, Birmingham. Click for big.


Attention, jobhunters

At the moment I have a job on offer so I have been sifting through CVs, doing interviews etc etc. Having seen a large number of job applications recently, I thought I'd share a few basic tips to help anyone reading this to actually get a job; instead of sending thousands of applications off to people who just click 'delete', perhaps after chuckling a little.

DON'T put or do these things on your CV:
1) A photo of yourself. I am not interested in seeing you looking like either a convicted paedo or a mail-order bride. I'm not employing actors, I'm employing mechanics. I don't care what you look like.
2) Your 'personal goals' to excel thoroughly in everything you do, climb Everest, watch every Rocky film back-to-back or whatever. Irrelevant vacuous bollocks.
3) Tell me in great detail about lots of irrelevant yet highly paid jobs, while the one job you've had similar to the one you're applying for is a footnote from 10 years ago. This tells me "stopgap job, he'll sod off very quickly".
4) Overuse 'power words' or marketing speak so your CV ends up reading like some scam webpage advertising a pyramid scheme. I mean FFS.

DO put or do these things on your CV:
1) Tell me about what similar jobs you've had, AND WHAT YOU ACTUALLY DID IN THEM. "Worked for Company 2001-2008" is OK, "Worked for Company 2001-2008, responding to breakdowns across X area, carrying out routine servicing at so-and-so, carrying out engine overhauls on XYZ , sourcing parts from a variety of suppliers, dealing with customers..." is fantastic and would stand a good chance of getting you a job. Even if your only job was working at a burger chain, and you're applying for a job as a shop assistant, tell them WHAT EXACTLY YOU DID. It shows at least that you know what you did there.
2) Put down RELEVANT qualifications. If the fact that you're a fully certified H&S forklift inspector and you were trained in advanced CANBUS troubleshooting is buried in details about your swimming certificates and your highest break in snooker, your relevant qualifications might not be noticed.
3) It's a good idea to summarise why the hell I should give you a job at the top of your CV. When applying for a mechanic's job, a paragraph or two saying "I am a highly experienced and skilled mechanic, who has carried out a wide variety of work from X to Y, on A, B and C machines." can work wonders.

More DONT's:
DON'T phone up every 2 days chasing your application. Some people recommend this; but I'm actually quite busy and chasing your application all the time is going to piss me off.
DON'T apply for jobs you're hideously unqualified for. By 'unqualified' I don't mean 'doesn't have a degree', I mean 'has so little of a clue about what the job involves, they dont realise that "forklift mechanic" might involve skills that you don't get simply by working in a place that has a forklift'. I've been on planes, that doesn't make me a plane mechanic. By appying for jobs you couldn't even be bothered to fully read the description of, you're wasting everybody's time.

*I wish to point out that this post represents my personal opinion and does not represent any official opinion of any company, anywhere. If you have applied for a job recently and you have done all of the 'donts' listed here, it is entirely coincidental and this post is in no way based on you being a tool.*


This is why we wear goggles when grinding

Goggles prevent hot shards of metal from embedding themselves in your eyes. That would be bad.


Soviet Health&Safety

Found via David Thompson's blog

Health and safety posters, Soviet style

In Soviet Russia, train catches YOU

Stop, hammertime

Them Russians are/were very good at propaganda posters, I have to say.


The FNS returns tonight – 07-01-2011 11:30pm

Yes, the Friday Night Smoke returns tonight at 23:30 (GMT) after our christmas break. Tuning in is highly recommended.

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The Daily Mail: first with the news that matters

On Big Lorry blog, May 2009:

Makes it to the Daily Mail, Jan 2011:

You know things are bad when you're reporting on a lorry crashing in China 2 years after the event.


Merry Christmas from the FNS

The view from FNS towers (Five Ways, Birmingham) today, 9pm. Click for hugeness.


The FNS always satisfies

Pink vibrating cock ring, as given to an unnamed midlands forklift dealer for reasons unknown by a condom manufacturer, and as won by 'Danstar' on The Friday Night Smoke, 17/12/2010

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Grow your own car at home

Crosspost from here:

I don't have a car at all. If I buy a gasoline can and fill it regularly, will a car grow in my driveway? How much gas will it take before it can drive me around? thx

A car can grow on your driveway, if you provide the right conditions. Cars, like any growing organism, require certain nutrients and environmental conditions to grow. Gas would be the source of energy for the car, analogous to sunlight in the case of plants.

First, an asphalt driveway would be required to provide heavy hydrocarbons, particles of tyre rubber, silt, and a small amount of common salt. A seed will also be required, this would be a car exhaust muffler/silencer. This contains all of the genetic information required for the car to grow correctly. Place the muffler on the driveway, and apply small (100ml or less) amounts of gasoline to it every day. Do this when the temperature is 10-16 degrees celsius, and regular small rain showers are expected.

First, the muffler will appear to go slightly rusty; this is an important stage and NOT a failure. Soon the rust will 'grow' in volume, increasing the overall size of the muffler. This is the 'germination' of the seed. Double the amount of gas per day and allow to grow over 1 month. Ensure regular watering if there is not at least 1 rain shower every 2 days, sufficient to wet the driveway and cause water to run off it. The car must be allowed to dry periodically, in rainy weather shelter the car (for example with a rain cover) to allow it to dry at least once per week.

After 1 month a full car will appear, but it is not yet developed enough for the doors to be opened or for it to be driven. Wait a further week, and until the windows appear slightly grubby. Then the car can be opened for the first time. Within a short time of doing this, fill the tank with at least 2 gallons / 9 litres of gas, and start the car using the key that should already be in the ignition. Allow it to idle for 10 minutes.

Once you have inspected the car for any defects, it can be driven. The local licensing department or DMV should be informed before using the car on a public road. Do not exceed 4,500RPM for the first 5,000 miles.

You can now enjoy your home-grown car, and with regular feeding, exercise and maintenance it will develop onto the ideal car to fulfil your needs and express your personality, while respecting your financial means. Eventually, upon receiving a sufficient amount of windscreen washer fluid (the sperm) the car will reproduce by allowing the muffler to fall of (the seed) at a location of its choosing. Cars like to plant at rough sections of second-rate arterial roads, particularly near intersections or roundabouts. Often seeding can be triggered by a light collision with another car. They also favour speed bumps, although selection is against reproducing in car parks, as the owner of the car will often stop to collect the muffler, ruining any chances of its germination.

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Speed survey

This morning I noticed a pair of temporary speed survey tubes on the Lancaster Circus flyover in Birmingham, which had a 40mph limit for years and years which was recently cut to 30. I wonder what will happen when they (the council) get the survey results and find that the good people of Brum generally aren't keen on doing less than 40mph for no good reason, and the 85th percentile speed is more like 50mph?

Option 1: Increase the speed limit to the 85th percentile speed (85th percentile meaning 85% of people are slower than, and 15% faster) as is good historical speed limit practice, or:

Option 2: Say "bloody hell, everybody is speeding by a massive amount" and install some speed cameras.

Answers on a postcard please. I already feel I have an inkling as to what will happen ;)