Karabiner inspection

Karabiner inspection and maintenance recommendations from DMM below. Especially noteworthy is the statement at the bottom not to use graphite powder… I have come across locking mechanisms jam-packed and totally gummed up with graphite on numerous occasions – really rather the contrary effect to what you want it to do.

The three-step approach to assessing gate and locking mechanism function is to prevent the inspection of gates being over-biased, as many gates will have that one position, where, if you try long enough, you can get them to stick, but this is not a realistic or a practicable test. The three steps below replicate daily use more accurately and allow assessment of correct gate and locking mechanism function.

A nice surprise

A nice surprise today… a friend of ours, Vicky Tough, featured prominently in today’s issue of the Times with a project she was involved in a couple of weeks back, measuring a huge Eucalyptus in Portugal…

Apart from the fact that it was fun to bump into Vicky in such an unexpected fashion, I think positive female role models are invaluable in our industry that is, let’s face it, still very much a male domain – honestly, guys, there is really no plausible reason why this should be so. I have the privilege of knowing some very talented climbers – some male, some female… whatever.

So why not try to overcome that apparently insurmountable obstacle of merely one chromosome difference and recognize true ability, potential and skill for what they are – regardless of gender, ethnic background and/ or provenance.

Never take it for granted

I was reading a statistic yesterday that 60% of all employees in the UK are not exposed to direct daylight at their workplace.

60 per cent!

Thinking of all the office spaces, this fact may not be quite surprising, but still, 60% is a very high number. Indeed, it would appear that we have come a long way from our hunter gatherer days in the African savannah – and whether all of this is necessarily an improvement is open to debate. I for one could certainly do without certain trimmings of our soi-disant civilization.

The flip side of the coin that the statistic above speaks to is a high occurrence of SAD, and work place-related chronic health issues – well, in actual fact, it is not even really the flip side, but rather an inherent and implicit manifestation of a very one sided lifestyle in a highly artificial environment. No wonder devices monitoring health and fitness are selling like hot cakes, with brands like Fitbit, Jawbone and Garmin jumping on the bandwagon.

At industry events a reoccurring topic is the wear and tear that our body can incur during a career in arboriculture. Whilst I agree that obviously RSIs, or more accurately, MSD, musculoskeletal disorders are a topic that has to be taken seriously, I would also argue that if managed correctly and as part of a balanced life style, working in trees can potentially offer a healthy work environment.

Add to the above the fact that the work we perform and the culture we are part of has many very unique aspects and therefore being part of it is a privilege, offering the possibility to balance physical activity with problem solving skills and the ability to apply an in-depth background knowledge of issues relating to trees.

In addition, we get the opportunity to hang out in beautiful spaces chucked into the deal to boot… all of this should not be taken for granted but recognised for what it is.

Another misconfiguration

I was walking through town yesterday with one of our daughters, when she pointed out a bit of street art that a friend of her’s had done…

I’ll freely admit that I love street art, often they are such astute and perceptive comments on current societal issues, it also often tells you something about the town you are in. This was actually one of the things I found really weird in Greece, where walls are liberally daubed in slogans – I assume relating to matters that people feel strongly about – yet you do not have the means of knowing as you cannot read them, which almost makes it feel as though you were missing out on a piece of what this place is about.

Anyway, I digress. I liked this Love Over Racism piece, in all its simplicity. Racism comes in so many guises, some of which troublingly enough are socially acceptable, yet this piece stands up to it by stripping the matter down to the bare essentials, rather than getting embroiled in any finer points and phoney differentiations or hollow justifications (Some of my best friends are Pakistanis, but… ?).

There is not doubt about it, 2016 brings with it some heavy baggage inherited from last year regarding migration issues resulting from crass gradients between rich and poor regions of the world. Often as not this discourse can easily also tainted by racist sentiment. Hell’s bells (as my dad used to say), it is not as though I did anything very clever to merit the right be born here – in a safe, affluent place – , it all seems pretty random to me which side of the fence you are born on, which faith you belong to (or not), how you live your sexuality, what your ethnic background is, which caste you belong to, what your social standing is and so on… surely, anyone with so much as a spark of empathy cannot close their eyes from this fact?

In a nutshell, I reckon racism is a classic misconfiguration, neighboring component compatibility has obviously been mis-assessed, resulting in elements not working together nicely. It takes a bit of thought and effort, but this can be amended, allowing all components to do their job and to work hand in hand.

This would seem to me to be something worth striving for.