Books you have to read, if you read fiction.

Books & series you have to read if you read fiction, or even if you don’t read fiction – just read them

Just a list of books that every fiction lover should read, I’m not going to list the lord of the rings trilogy because if you haven’t read that – why are you even here?

1. The Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

This is one of those series that leaves you empty when you finish – that feeling of “well now what”

A story of magic, war and saving the world the huge world created in the series rivals that of tolkien. 

2. The Mistborn Series – Brandon Sanderson

A world in the making – a story expanding from it’s original trilogy.

Sanderson creates characters that you’ll find yourself tied to in A world where magic is bred in and out of mankind by its dark ruler.

A magical story of the fight against evil and peoples own nature.

3. Old Mans War – John Scalzi

An intergalactic saga with political undertones. Similar to starship troopers (i found the st troopers book a bit dull) except much more exciting.

The story paints a war from a soldiers perspective of fighting a war on the whims of his shady government.

4. The Painted Man Series.

Another magical war book – the struggle between man and demon. The books are gristly in detail and again create an immersive world with a great story and brilliant character development.

Known as the Warded Man in other markets.

5. The Kingkiller Chronicle – Patrick Rothfuss.

A brilliant series told in story form – literally a series of books about a man telling the story of his life, an odd presentation of a story which leaves you as hungry for whats happening in the present as the past.

6. The Stormlight Archives – Brandon Sanderson

A story set in a magical world at war. A pointless dragged out war that has devolved into little more than a fox hunt. But not all is as simple as that, a story of class strife, hope and betrayal casts some brilliantly likable heroes and hateful villains.

7. The Sharpe Series – Bernard Cornwell.

Not fantasy and off kilter with the rest of the list, but if you like a good hero story, you can’t beat Richard Sharpe – no one can.

Set in the Napoleonic war era the books range from india to europe to south america and add a brilliant fictional element to factual events.

8. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman.

A series you’ll find in the teen fiction section, the three books – the northern lights, the subtle knife and the amber spyglass by philip pullman are a great set of books for young fiction lovers. Well for any age, I’ll still re read them today.

The northern lights was made into a movie – the golden compass – don’t let it put you against the books, as with so many others, the books are better.


Vaping battery safety


Ok, so I’m sick of explaining battery safety. I mean I’ll always explain it, but I really wish that either vendors would explain it to people they sell mechs to or people would do some research before buying something they don’t know how to use.

This blog entry was started as a simple explanation of Ohms law, but as I’ve been getting asked questions, I’ve been adding more detail to it – so what this is, is a growing guide to vaping from the perspective of battery usage.


————————-Definitions and Terminology———————–

Batteries – 

Mahthe Milliamp hours – The battery charge life. The higher this number, the longer your battery will last per charge.

Amp limit Unless other wise stated, this is the Continuous current draw limit – the max current in amps that you can draw from your battery.

Nominal voltagethis is not actually the voltage present on your battery at full charge as so many believe, this is the voltage classification of your battery. 18650 batteries are classified as 3.7v batteries when in fact many will average around 4-4.2V on a full charge for the first 6 months of regular use with decent charging (only charge from nearly dead, not from the likes of 70%)

So if you have a 2000Mah 3.7v 20A battery, you have a battery life of 2000Mah (not bad) a nominal voltage class of 3.7v – so max charge around 4-4.2v depending on how good your battery is, and a max continuous discharge of 20A.

Continuous discharge versus pulse by definition, anything less than infinity is a pulse discharge. Batteries are rated by continuous, that is, the max amps the battery can discharge, till it dies, without failing (going boom boom). A pulse discharge is a short burst, for vaping, usually less than 5 seconds. Now depending on the battery, the pulse rating will be higher than the continuous rating – for a 20A battery, i would usually put the pulse rating at 25A. Battery Mooch (link below) gives a Max vaping amps rating on his 18650 tests.

Devices – 

Mechanical (Mech) Mod – A device which is made up of no electronic components (without the battery) which has a connection between the battery and the atomizer. The device is fired by pressing a button which is usually spring or magnet operated. These devices are for advanced users only.

Hybrid Mod – A sub category of Mech mods, which typically have a 510 pin connector, with a Hybrid – the Atomizer has direct contact with the battery. This requires a protruding 510 pin. This devices are usually for advanced users who already have experience with Mech mods.

Regulated Mod – a mod with a regulator circuit which will give the same voltage output no matter your battery charge level. Where the power behind each “hit” is a tiny bit less than the one before, with a mech, as the battery drains; with a regulated mod, the voltage remains constant till the battery charge falls below a certain point needed to provide the desired level. Many regulated devices today are VV/VW mods – Variable Voltage/Variable Wattage, which allow you to adjust the volatage/power going through your coil. These mods are ideal for beginners as they can have built in safety features such as short circuit protection, low battery protection, excessive current protection and a fire cut off.


—————————–Regulated Mods——————————


Now when you use a regulated mod – a mod with variable wattage or a circuit which determines its output based on the resistance for you, you don’t really have to worry. The device will limit your voltage so you cant go over a certain amp level.

Now thats not to say regulated mods are perfectly safe if misused. 

If your mod is set to stop (by limiting your voltage) anything higher than a 25amp current but you’ve got some cheapo 5A panasonics (They’re still out there), your going to have a bad time.

Thats why most mods advertise that they require high drain batteries. Personally i’d recommend anything over 20A. But if your vaping a .5 ohm coil at 30 watts you dont have much to worry about – with regulated mods, like most things, they only really become dangerous when your pushing their limits.

If you want to learn more about calculating amp limits for regulated mods (its different to mechanical) this is a good article to start you out – Calculating current for a regulated mod.

As a general rule – if your building coils or vaping below .5 and above 30 watts you need to research battery safety. All vapers would in an ideal world but its not an ideal world.


—————————Mechanical Mods—————————–


When you use a Mechanical or unregulated mod however, you need to determine the resistance to suit the spec of your batteries based on their output – the user variable changes from voltage (which is what wattage controls in regulated) to resistance.

The way it works is – the current drawn from the battery is based on how much resistance is in the circuit – less resistance, more current flow, more resistance, less current flow. The voltage is the “force” behind the flow so to speak (not strictly speaking true but works for this basic description), the more volatge, the more current.


————————Calculating Ohm’s Law————————

To relate the Voltage, Current and Resistance together, we use Ohm’s Law. 

We use it as follows (this is an exert from one of my own FB posts – I’m not retyping it because as i said, I’m sick of having to re do it):

Ohms law is V=IR
V is voltage in volts
I is current in amps
R is resistance in ohms

It states that the voltage is equal to the current multiplied by the resistance.

For vaping mechs we swap this around to

Voltage divided by resistance = the amps.

So on a parallel box you will have 3.7v – 4.2v (same voltage as a single 18650 mech. Series boxes will have about 7.4-8.4v depending on batteries).
I normally take 4.2v for my calculations assuming its a good, new battery by a decent company.

Lets say you are using a samsung 25r which can handle about 25amps. And a .2 build (which is crap on a parallel box but this is just an example)

4.2v/.2=21 amps

So this means there are 21 amps of current being drawn from the  battery by the coils. As the battery is rated for 25 amps and you are below this – it is safe to vape.

Battery Mooch has an excellent chart for checking the Specs of 18650 batteries:


Trousers for Men? Please?


Yeah trousers for men.

Ok so I’m not slimline/super slim in any sense of the word. I’m a big guy – I work in an active environment that means i have thick legs from climbing and lifting all day, I also have access to typical builders foods – big sandwiches, fry ups etc. So while I’m fairly fit, I have a bit of a dad bod (except I’m not a dad).

This means skinny jeans/chinos/slacks don’t work for me, they get up to my knees and after that we’re going to require more lube than is proper in a men’s changing room.

This has become a problem as all my local stores have decided that men are either dainty or elephants – sizes between a 36″ and a 44″ waist are non existent in a “regular” leg.

This brings me onto my next point – pockets.

I don’t have a handbag. I’m not sure the buyers in clothes shops realize this – fellas don’t have handbags. So i need a pocket I can get into up past my wrist with as lose an opening as a Kardashian. Unfortunately this seems to be too much of an ask.

So here i sit in jeans that are slowly cutting off my circulation and if you find a pair of chinos in a 38″ waist with a 30-32″leg………

You’ll have to deliver it to me because I cant get my car keys out of my pocket.

Relaxation at its finest

Do you want a nice cheap hotel in the scenic french countryside?

Well then check out Auberge de Cartassac.

The hotel is located south east of Brive la gaillarde on route 720. Rooms go for as little as €65 a night. Return flights to bordeaux go for €140 over the summer.

Book yourself a weekend away in this scenic heaven.

I stayed one night on a business trip – a two week business trip. Up to this point i had been staying in generic ibis and novotel hotels – reliable but bland. At Auberge the owner (a lovely woman) greeted us and checked us in before showing us the rooms. We arrived in the evening and got to enjoy the sun setting over the hills on the veranda with a bottle of wine and a good book. 

I stayed out of season but over the summer there is a large pool that even off season was spotless.

The food and wine were amazing, the beds comfy, top notch facilities, the area picturesque and the price was right.


Vaping – A beginners guide

Hey. PSST. Your there! wan buy some mufucking vaps?


With all the negative press vaping has been getting in the last few months I wouldn’t be surprised if that is how you expect vape retail to work. But the reality is a bit different.

I picked up my first cigarette at 16/17 and within a couple of months was up to 20 a day and i went on to smoke for about 8 odd years. By the end i was hitting maybe 60 a day some days. But my now wife asked me to quit so i did.

I tried going cold turkey, that lasted 5 minutes – I really really really really really love smoking. Love, not loved, i still love smoking, i just recognize that it will shorten my life span, plus i really really really really really really (thats +1 more) love vaping.

The reality of vaping is that studies show it is 95% healthier than tobacco cigarettes as the only ingredient in common with cigarettes is nicotine – which does not cause cancer. It’s just addictive. The only other ingredients in e-liquid are PG and VG which are not harmful to the human body. PG is basically an air purifier and VG is just vegetable extract in layman’s terms. Yes e cigarettes are harmful – just 95% less so than cigarettes which is the point. Ecigs/Vapes are less likely to kill you and they still scratch that itch.

So you want to make the switch? Great theres plenty of options out there. If you want to quit you dont need some big expensive pieve of kit.

Find your local store (a bit of google) and get yourself a 20 quid vape pen and a bottle of liquid. Ask the seller to show you how to use it.

For the first week or two your going to want to smoke – my advice, keep some smokes around.

If you know theyre there you wont get as jittery, go as long as you can without one and use the vape to bridge the gaps. Eventually there wont be anymore gaps.


Cheap Holidays



Everyone loves holidays and everyone love’s cheap holidays even more. Whether you have 50 quid for spot in a farmers field or a few grand for a 7 star – If you can save a few quid then you will. If you don’t and just spend money for the sake of it  – well then your a moron.

My goal will be to give you an eye ball into where you can go for not a whole heap of money and have a good time. The prices will be relative so if i say its a cheap holiday in Orlando – it will be dearer relative to a caravan site in Offaly, Ireland.

Before i get started – don’t go to bulgaria. i’ll explain in later posts but book a holiday there with the same trepidation as you would an anal exam.

So to kick off. Some tips. Don’t use a travel agent. Anything they can do, you can do better. Look up reviews. Ignore reviews left by americans (they’re either, picky lazy or have too high expectations “ooh the air con took 2 minutes to kick in and there was 3 glasses in the room and 2 off us”). If its too good to be true, it is. Hotels and airlines are businesses – if a hotel room is too cheap, then the hotels in trouble or double check the T&C’s and make sure you get the room you book, if the flights too cheap, make sure there isn’t two 14 hour stop overs.

So what everyone’s here for, recommendations:

You want a week by a pool away from the noise with some nice restaurants?

Go to Olhao in Portugal (Algarve) and stay in the Real Marina.

  1. Fly to Faro – Use to get the best rate, Mid may goes for less then €200 for two people on Ryanair.
  2. Stay in the Real Marina. I’ve stayed here before and loved it, got it for €600 for two people for 1 week in May.
  3. There is a shuttle but rent a car – 1 week will be €150 – 200 depending on who you go with. Go with Europcar, theyre good. I usually take out the CDW insurance when i get there as then even if you’ve written off the car (and I’ve come close) they don’t even check it. But CDW is optional, you should just take pics when u get the car off any damage.

So there is a 5* holiday for two people coming in at for under €1000. This is a little pricey on a “cheap” holiday but don’t worry. I can be very cheap and I will be going forward.


I’ll update this post continuously to add new deals and rants.

My First Post


I’m a ridiculously opinionated person – always have been. I’m also a little arrogant and a show off. But I back it up with experience.

A few people seem to like my opinions and I’ve been asked in a few places to start a few different blogs.

A bit about me – My name is Colm, I’m a telecommunications engineer, I spent a long time in college (yes i said i’m an engineer, i don’t bring it up as much as people joke about) and I’ve traveled pretty extensively around the world for both leisure and business.

I’m a car nut – anything with an engine really but my big love is tinkering with and driving cars. I read anything i can get my hands on but my favorite genres are sci-fi and fantasy. I’m a history buff. I’m also very into vaping – i enjoy teaching and informing people on their correct use and helping others kick their smoking addiction – i’m cigarette free 2 years as of 2017 after smoking 20-40 a day for 10 years. I play far too many video games but how else does a scrub git gud?

So anyway i’m not a big post kind of guy – so yeah, if you want me to write about something let me know, ignore the language and if you take offense at something, I’m not trying to be offensive – I’m just incredibly blunt.