Welcome to Delta Pavonis

Dom Mooney's Website... Cybergoths no more.

A Bit of Bond, Engineering Style.

007 wasn’t there, but we had the Tuxedos and the Casino. You can find him here.

Friday night was great, as we caught up with some old friends from the North-West when Jill & I attended the IMechE (the Mechanical Engineering Professional Institution for those who aren’t in the know) Annual Dinner for Merseyside & North Wales, held in Chester. It’s one of those James Bond style events, with black tie and fancy frocks, a formal meal, and then the fun casino (which Jill has won on two of the last three years).

We caught up with some old friends from work and beyond, and had a good gossip. Jill looked really glamourous (as she always does on these events) in her ball gown, and I did my best to accessorise to her!

The speeches on the night were okay, rather than outstanding. I was originally going to be a bit scathing about the local MP who was the second act on, but then I thought it was a little unfair. She’s a historian by education, and has worked in libraries and then for charities before becoming a politician, and now works in children’s affairs. That considered, she made a valiant attempt at engaging with the audience and being relevant, with only small one gaffe(*). I certainly enjoyed her more than the main speaker, the former football referee Dermott Gallagher.

In previous years, the after dinner speaker had been a cricketer (Geoff “Dusty” Miller) and a radio sports presenter (Gary Richardson recently famous for his under-the-stairs broadcast during the snow for Radio 4’s Today). Both managed to be funny, tailor their speech to the event, and clean throughout. Gallagher’s speech was somewhat disappointing in comparison. It was crude, lacking in depth, and the anecdotes were, to be honest, not very interesting. Better luck next time, I hope. I only wonder if I would have found it better if I had been drinking, and not stone cold sober? I suspect not, as most of the anecdotes just served to confirm that football is not a gentleman’s game.

The Casino went well, but we didn’t win this year! We deployed ‘the system’ again, but didn’t accumulate quite as fast as previous years as the variant of Craps that was being played was slightly more in favour of the house than in past years. We did build up quite a large stash, but then decided to blow it pretty spectacularly in a slightly mad-cap attempt to take the prize for best overall gambler. Ironically, the winner wasn’t too far ahead of us when we started to do this, so perhaps we should have stayed slow and steady! However, it was a bit of fun, and we’re both aware that the system wouldn’t work on a real table, as the statistics are somewhat less in favour.

All of a sudden it was nearly 1AM, and I’d managed to miss several of the people that I wanted to have a talk to, and not talk to others as much as I would have wanted, such as Brian, the production engineer I worked with closely on my very first job after graduating. I drove us back, and we were home for 2AM, and soon asleep. Nathan woke at 7AM, but fortunately my father played trains with him so we got a bit more of a lie in.

All in all, a great night out!

(*) She argued that engineers should have some formal protection for the use of the term ‘engineer’, something that the PM’s office was somewhat luke-warm about when e-Petitioned about this at the start of 2008.