Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ford Focus vs Vauxhall Astra

It just so happens that I'm in an excellent position to compare and contrast the merits of the Ford Focus TDCI and the Vauxhall Astra CDTI. The missus is fortunate enough to get a company car, and a few years ago she acquired the Astra.
After four years she had to change to a new car, and this time, mostly just for a change, she plumped for the Focus. And I bought the Astra from the leasing company. So we now have both, and I get to drive both regularly.

They both have the 100bhp version diesel engines, of very similar spec. They are of a similar trim level. They have similar performance and fuel economy.
So, which (as Harry Hill would say) is best? Only one way to find out... fight!

Okay, not quite a fair fight, as the Astra has done 85,000 miles and the Focus about 3,000. However, I drove the Astra when it was brand new, so I think I can do a fair comparison.

Not much in it (yet - maybe the Focus will eventually free up a bit). There's no denying that the Astra has a noisier engine, when pootling along it sounds very tractor-ish, and the Focus does not. But when it comes to overtaking and so on, they are very similar - and that is to say they're both very good, considering. If anything, and I admit the Focus engine may be still tight, the Astra has more go. The Focus is quiet alright, but it also seems to need a few more revs to get going.
Not much in it again... though I know it's early days for the Focus. Over 80k miles the Astra has managed 53 mpg, and the Focus is doing 54 mpg so far, which is a little disappointing when they claimed it would do 60. Not too shabby though, in either case.
A clear winner here, is the Focus. However, it has got quite an advantage here, as its got nice low-profile tyres and is definitely a lot stiffer in the suspension. It also has adjustable steering weight, and when you crank it around to Sport mode, it's very communicative, and quite noticeably heavier to steer. The Astra, on normal boots and no such pretensions to sportiness, handles perfectly acceptably. I've never had a nasty moment in it, rain or shine. However, if you drive the Focus and immediately then drive the Astra, you start wondering if the Astra's tyres are the right pressure (they are) - it feels, in contrast, very imprecise compared to the Focus. So... Focus wins for sportiness, Astra wins for ease and comfort.
Easy win to the Astra. Despite it's newness and it's higher price, the Focus has rear drums, the Astra has disks all round. The pedal feel is much better in the Astra, and though I suspect they'd both pull up in about the same distance, the Astra has a superior feel, giving greater confidence.
Unfortunately the Astra is a (to me) nasty dark blue, whereas the Focus is a very bright red, and this helps the Focus look much better immediately. However, though the new Focus shape is easily the nicest incarnation of the marque so far, it still for me retains a somewhat dull jelly-mould outline. The Astra has a good shape... and when they make it into a coupé, well it looks really good. Shut lines are good on both. Not entirely sure the Astra headlights look good, I have heard them described as being like cheap plastic torches. The Astra doors clunk shut with a reassuring solidity, and the Focus in comparison feels slightly flimsy... and another small point, those places on door opening where the door is held mid-way... handy in tight parking bays... Astra's are good, Focus's are bad, no strength to 'em.
No contest here... Astra wins by a mile. Its interior feels classy, and again reassuringly solid. The plastic looks good, there are some nice styling touches, and nothing glaringly out of place. In contrast the Focus has one or two really nasty features. What were they thinking when they added the shiny stripes to the otherwise quite attractive seats? As for comfort, well, the Focus has lumbar adjustment and the Astra does not. Having said that, the Astra is more comfortable for me, reason being the Focus - even when adjusted to its widest setting - is still a little tight. I know I could do with losing a few pounds, but I'm not really huge. You could argue the Focus would hold you well while driving fast down country lanes, but in real life it just squeezes you (well me) a bit too much when cruising down duel carriageways.  The Focus cabin is a lighter and larger place to be, the rear seats of the Astra suffer from having quite deep doors, with small windows, not great for allowing a view out for youngsters. Instruments, well the Focus has an immediate appeal, but on closer inspection they look a little cheap somehow. The Astra is more classy, though mine lacks the computer display that the Focus has, showing all sorts of interesting if distracting information as you drive along. The Focus is four years more modern I guess, and did cost a couple of grand more, so fair enough, it wins on IT. One big feature of the Focus is a heated front windscreen, which is absolutely the dog's in weather like we've been having recently. Oh, and one last thing... the Astra does not have a temperature gauge. I don't know why, but I find them reassuring somehow and I miss it. Oh, and one last, last thing... the Astra defaults to AirCon off, the Focus defaults to AirCon on. I'm not sure why the Focus does this... I mean it's not the greenest thing to do, is it? I think on the whole I'd prefer to forget to put it on, rather than have to remember to switch it off every time I start the car.
Another clear win to the Astra, which has the best OEM in-car stereo I've ever owned. Your ears give up before the sound distorts, it's truly excellent. But more than anything else, I prefer the Astra because it has an MP3 CD player, and MP3 CDs on long journeys are fantastic things. Make up a 'mixed tape' of albums, and not have to fanny about changing discs for hours! Magic. The Focus may be four years newer... but oddly has just a normal CD player, no MP3. Neither has a USB port, though at least the Focus has a line-in connector, for what that's worth.
Okay, well I admit it's early days for the Focus. But it was delivered in fault free condition, and nothing has gone wrong so far. The Astra has been pretty good over 80k miles, but has fallen down on a few points that are not uncommon, I've read. The pre-delivery check revealed a faulty power-steering unit. The rear tailgate opening switch failed. The petrol gauge gave an inaccurate reading, which resulted in running out of fuel, the only fault to cause a cry for help. The radio kept switching itself on in the middle of the night, and was replaced. It's currently suffering from a rear-brake squeal that no-one seems to be able to cure. But it's all pretty small beer... overall it's been top notch.
Taking the age of the Astra out of the equation, so they're both sitting there in as-new condition, well, it's a close run thing. If it was me, I'd just go for the Focus, on the grounds that it's a sportier package, and the engine is way quieter. I think if you asked the missus, she'd pick the Astra, because she's not interested in the sportiness, and thinks the Astra is a nicer and more comfortable place to be. (Pity, therefore, we actually have the cars the other way around, doh!)
I will update this article as and when the Focus reveals its true colours... or not as the case may be.

And lo, a year on, I've posted that article... click HERE - and now HERE too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

AC/DC - Black Ice

I won't trouble you much with this review. It's short and sweet.
You either like AC/DC... or... I don't want you reading my blog, so please leave now!

As has been said, I suspect, in every review of this album, it's just what you would expect from AC/DC. There are no ballads. They haven't thrown in a rap. It's the same old thing

And of course that means it's just brilliant.

It's Dad Rock. I'm a Dad. It works for me.
The only thing I'd add is that after the initial euphoria of hearing the songs for the first time has worn off... well... it starts to get better! Yes, it's a grower... there is depth there, these are good songs.

These guys are old now... Angus is in fact my age, which must mean he's probably creaking and groaning when he picks up a dropped plectrum. But they know how to put a rock song together, and the 'young guns' of the rock world would be well advised to check out just how it should be done.

Recommended, 10/10, you could buy it here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Big Picture of the Big Economy

If you run web sites, as I do, you will know that most proper hosting packages come with a Statistics package. This enables you to see how many hits and sessions and so on that your site is receiving. They vary, but most of these stats suites allow you to see an overall picture of things, and then you can 'drill down' to get more detail.
I spend quite a bit of time looking at these things. You can fine tune your sites, see which bits are working, and which bits nobody goes anywhere near.

They start off by telling you the Big Picture, just how much activity there has been recently. Then you start to look at certain areas, and see how many hits a particular page gets. And so on.
If you really want to get your hands dirty, you can even track a visitors entire session, know just exactly where they came from, how long they stayed, where they went and when they left.

It struck me the other day how wonderfully illuminating it would be to do this exercise on the Economy of the Country.

Let's imagine (I'm assuming it doesn't exist, if it does, please tell me where!) a web site that had up-to-date figures on just where all the money in the country came from, and where it was going to.

I mean, have you any idea? Do you know how much of the tax payers money is going towards the Iraq thing? What percentage goes to the National Health? How much of the money from petrol tax goes back on road improvements?

I guess you could find this stuff out if you know where to look, but I'd like just one place, where there is on show for all to see The Big Picture. Income £X billion. Expenditure £Y billion. And then the ability to look inside those figures, all the way down. It would be fascinating. Is there anyone out there who actually knows these answers? Hopefully Mr. Darling does.

How about sharing with us all then? Interesting certainly, probably outrageous, and probably a sure fire way to lose an election. I can't see it ever existing. Pity. I mean, it should exist, it is our money, after all.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Flexible Cystoscopy - Ow!

No articles have been posted recently, which is probably a relief to many, but I apologise anyway. I've not been well, you know.

No, a couple of months ago I was struck down - fine one minute, then in a hospital bed the next. I woke early that day with a pain in my back and great need to pee... but unfortunately there was nothing to pee. It went away. Then it came back. And got worse and worse till in the end I found myself lying in a hospital bed pretty much begging for a pain killer.

Eventually they jabbed me with morphine and dosed me up through a drip. Relief came.

Next morning, the pain returned, and so did the jab... and then I got better. Three days of hospital food later (well, actually after the first day I opted for sandwiches... it seemed safer) I was released.
Despite many tests and scans and x-rays, nobody seemed too sure what had gone wrong, except that my kidneys had clearly got infected, and maybe the bladder was to blame.

So, I was booked in for a bladder inspection. I'd never really thought about such a thing before, but as soon as you do think about it, and you consider the best way to get into your bladder without resorting to a knife... well, you can't help but fret a bit.

It turns out they use one of these things, see left.

Yes. They use that flexible 'thin' bit to go up your, well, let's say "old man", and enter the bladder for a jolly good root around.
It's possible you've found this article because you too have never heard of a 'flexible cytoscopy', and you're just about to have one, and you've gone on t'internet to find out more.

If so, I'd probably stop reading now.

I mean, you know I'm still alive, aren't I? So you will survive it. But I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's anything other than extremely unpleasant. They gave me a little booklet, which implied it wasn't that bad at all. Walk in the park. In and out, bish-bash-bosh, no problemo. The liars!

It was made worse for me, as my doctor was called away to an emergency just before it was my 'go'. So I had to stew for 2 hours beforehand. By the time he came back I was a little freaked out. But I kept thinking of the reassuring noises the booklet had made. If I'd known, I would have fled before the doc came back!

Lying on my back, legs akimbo, everything exposed, complete strangers wandering around in great numbers, the doctor eventually slapped a bit of 'anaesthetic' on the end... on the, er business end. I really doubt it did anything, it didn't have time, because the guy immediately inserted the thin end (he said it was the thin end... it felt like the thick) - and did that sting!

Actually 'sting' doesn't really do it justice.

And then he had to get it past the sphincter (yes, there's one in their too, apparently), and on into the bladder. And just to make it worse, all this was visible just above me on a great big wide-screen colour monitor.

"This may be uncomfortable" he quipped. He wasn't kidding.

Oh... I can still feel it now.

I'd like to say it was a great relief when it was withdrawn, but in truth it remained just as painful for some time without it there at all.

If I had my time again, I'd tell them I felt great and run for it. Very luckily for me, it showed up no problems, so in a sense it was a waste of time/pain. There is still no explanation being offered for what went wrong.

Though, this incident is a cracking ice breaker at parties - to be able to say you've seen the inside of your own bladder, well, I guess not everyone could claim that.

Mind you, next time (not that there will be a next time!) I will keep my eyes firmly shut.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Personal History of Cars

The whole reason I set up the DriveArchive site was to find out where my old motors had gone to.

A chronological list of the cars I've owned:


First car, obvious choice. I had no idea what I was doing when I bought it, no idea about mileages, no clue how to spot a dud. I was lucky, it was actually quite reliable.

I slowly trashed it. Bits fell off, I used and abused it, ultimately smashed it through a hedge, I bodged repairs, I bodged bodywork, oh dear oh dear.

What I'd give to have it back, just as it was back then.

MG Midget

Suddenly got an idea that sports cars would be fun. And this was.

If you see a Midget on the road today you'll know that they were named very appositely. They are so small, and as I am not myself, I wonder how I got in the thing.

Went everywhere in it, usually with the top down. Not fast, not quiet, but very reliable and a good laugh. Except in snow.

I really hope someone preserved it. I doubt they did.

0-60mph - 14.8 secs
95mph top speed
65 bhp

Mini Clubman Estate

What on earth I was thinking I don't know. I mean it wasn't a bad car. But why I went from sporty young blade in an MG to this shopping trolley I just cannot now recall.

I'd just about got the hang of the mechanicals of cars by now, so I didn't cause this car anywhere near as much damage as the previous two.

VW Beetle

My mate Roy sold me this for next to nothing. I ran around in it for a few months, while bodging over the rust and tarting it up for a quick sale.

An interesting driving experience, those girder like bumpers certainly commanded respect, and once you'd wound it up to speed, leaving your noise behind you, it was a relaxed motorway cruiser.

0-60mph - 20+ secs
78mph top speed
40 bhp

Triumph GT6

Aha. Now this is it a bit more like it. Almost a proper sports car. The GT6 was fast. Great big engine, and hardly anything to it. A mini E-type. Sort of.

I eventually stripped it out, replaced all the carpets, refurbished the mechanicals, rust-proofed it, and I hope that somewhere out there it still exists.

Sold to a guy in Stone, Staffs, called Stuart I think.

Bonkers rear suspension, though. And Overdrive! Huh?

0-60mph - 9.5 secs
112mph top speed
98 bhp

Triumph TR7

Hang on a minute, I'm filling up. Oh how I loved this car.

I know TR7s have a terrible reputation. I don't care. This car was just great. It looked great (to me). It went fast, it handled quite well. It was a full sized car, not like the Midget and the GT6.

I went all over in it, even slept in it once. I cannot recall it ever breaking down. I was mad to sell it. Please tell me it survived. Please.

0-60mph - 10.8 secs

108mph top speed

105 bhp

Suzuki SJ410Q

And another odd choice. There I was with the love-of-my-life-TR7, and I decided to buy the slowest car in the universe.

My first new car, it cost £4.5k, about the same as a Ford Fiesta at the time, but I thought it would be a lot more interesting.

It was, in a cold, slow, bumpy sort of way.

Good off-road, fun on beaches, nice on a summer day with the top down. Absolutely un-drivable on motorways. Top speed 60 with the wind behind you.

0-60mph - a long time
68mph top speed
45 bhp

Ford Fiesta XR2

Another favourite, perhaps the best car I've had.

It went like stink, really did. And, unlike previous cars I'd had, this one handled!

Oh it was a harsh ride. Front tyres wore out in 6k miles. But it was fun, fun, fun. Nice inside too. Sunroof.

Gosh I used to drive it fast. Never had a dodgy moment in it, though. Good brakes, good grip, just plain good all over.

0-60mph - 10.1 secs
106mph top speed
84 bhp

Opel Manta GT/E

This beauty cost me £7,500 back in 1984. At the time I hated Capris, and wanted something that did the same job, but was better. The Manta had a rallying pedigree, and looked just fabulous in white, I thought.

I never quite bonded with it, like with the XR2 above. It was faster, but it felt slower. It was a lovely car, until the day I over-did it in the wet and bashed it up a grass bank. The garage botched the repairs, and it was never right after that.

Its end was ignominious... it just rotted away. I waxoyled it when new, but blocked a chassis drain hole, leading to water just standing inside, which eventually rusted through. It only did 75,000 miles. What a waste.

0-60mph - 9.0 secs
122mph top speed
110 bhp
Triumph TR7

Now you'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but no, I bought another TR7. This one, theoretically, should have been better. It was a five speed, and not Speke made. But it was pretty ropey. And, it was rusty.

It had a very good sunroof, and did go quite well, but hadn't the charm of my earlier model.

0-60mph - 10 secs

110mph top speed

105 bhp
Ford Escort MkIV

When it was new, and owned by my then partner, this was a pretty good car. Unfortunately by the time I got it, it was somewhat tarnished.

It had had a minor bump, which had holed the radiator, but the car was driven on until the engine exploded. The engine was replaced. But somehow the car felt loose and rattly and a bit rough after that.

I should have kept it, with it's new engine, but for reasons which escape me now, I decided to trade it in for...

0-60mph - 11.7 secs
109mph top speed
90 bhp
Rover 414iS

I paid £12,000 for this car. Just before car prices started to fall. What a dummy. And the thing was nice, but it wasn't that much nicer than the Escort it replaced.

It had one huge problem, that the transmission was very jumpy. To start off and change up through the low gears smoothly was impossible. I came to hate the car because of this, and nobody could seem to fix it... maybe it was me... maybe my clutch foot is just rubbish. I dunno.

It had nice alloys, and it was quiet and comfortable and quite frugal. Once I'd sold it, I quite missed it.

0-60mph -  11 secs
111 mph top speed
103 bhp

There's a full story of this car in the Articles section of DriveArchive.
Astra 1.7 CDTI

The more powerful of the two diesel versions available, thankfully. Has been 'in the family' from new, and I've acquired it from the leasing company as it turns 4 years old, having done over 80,000 miles.

It's averaged over 53mpg so far, and has a fair turn of speed in the mid range, making it reasonably fun to drive. Slower speeds reveal a tractor-like engine noise, but the quicker you go, the less apparent that is.

Hate the colour, should have chosen red. Nice alloys. Terrific stereo.

Has been replaced by a leased Focus, with which it compares quite well, the Focus having a more sporty feel and more gizmos. However, it lacks the Astra's solidity, and surprisingly has an inferior sound system and interior trim feels less well put together. The Focus's engine (again a diesel) is much quieter and refined, though.

0-60mph - 11.3 secs
112mph top speed
100 bhp
Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor

Now this is a bit more like it!

Genuinely low mileage car, but it is 16 years old. So I am a little nervous about it, as if something major, or even minor, goes wrong it could be, um, awkward!

Not had so much fun driving a car for the odd decade or two. And watching the roof go up and down is a blast.

See here.

0-60mph - 7.3 secs
140mph top speed
193 bhp
Ford Focus TDCi

Somewhat predictably, I've ended up buying my missus's Focus as she has moved on (in a sense) to a newer Corsa. (Watch this space, but I'm rather hoping I don't end up with that particular car as a hand-me-down!)

This Focus is much documented in this blog, in several comparison articles where, frankly, it comes off second to my now departed Astra.

Having said that, it is a nice car, handles well, goes okay and consistently returns 54mpg on the school run.

0-60mph - 10.8 secs
117mph top speed
109 bhp

Slow Drivers, Fast Drivers, Good Drivers and Speed Limits

Now then. People who drive slowly. I got stuck behind one today, and it made me think... (I had a lot of time.)
Do you know what this road sign means?

I bet you haven't seen it very often.

I can't recall ever having seen one.

But it's in the Highway Code.

It's a MINIMUM speed limit of 30mph.

Blimey! What a great concept! Woo hoo!
I live in North Wales - which means two things. Firstly speeding has become all but suicidal due to Ubermeister Brunstrom's obsession with sending his troops to hide around corners and in vans waiting to get you (I'm surprised they find the time what with all the other things they have to do, like, um, ah). And secondly, it's a major retirement area.

I'm not young myself, not by a long shot. But it's just a plain fact that older folk, in the main, drive slowly. I have no problem with that, I'm slowing up myself. BUT, and this is a big but, when the car in front of you insists on going at 20mph through built up areas, because there's a chance the speed camera van might be there, then it's all gone too far.

I mean, you (and all the other poor saps trying to get on with their lives in the queue with you) can't easily overtake, safely, in a 30 limit. You're just stuck. This is not fair. I've always said that I prefer speedy boy racers to slow coaches, because you see the boy racer, then he's gone in a flash, but the dawdler, you're stuck with, seemingly forever.

So... to address two problems in one go, here's my idea. Firstly, all 30 limits (and 40s, and 50s) have an IMPLIED minimum speed limit of their value too. Go too fast or too slow in these areas, and you're nicked, my son.

Cracking idea, huh? No! you cry, because who's going to police that idea. We are, that's who!

If you see someone who frankly ought not to be on the road going either too fast or too slow, you report them. However, to avoid vindictiveness, there must be, say, three independent complaints for it to proceed. And in a slow moving queue stuck behind one of these snails, that would be easily achieved!

Okay, okay it wouldn't work. But surely there's a way? Please. Somebody. Sort it out!

(oh and I would really like to see one of those minimum speed limit signs before I die.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Petrol Prices

I was watching the old goggle box this morning, thinking that if the BBC spent as much on the programmes as they did on the bits between programmes, we'd all be a lot happier I imagine, when the topic of petrol came to mind.
And bubblejet printer ink. And saffron. And heating oil. I've had to buy all of these things recently, and they're all madly expensive, suddenly. Well, maybe not the saffron, that's always been a bit daft.

Yesterday I order a 2 gigabyte SD memory card for my new Canon S5 IS bridge camera, of which more another day. From it cost 15 quid. 15 quid! It's amazing. I also ordered 4 ink cartridges for two printers. 68 quid. That's amazing too, but not in the same way. And when they arrive they will be weeny little boxes, massively over packaged, containing the odd drip of ink which may or may not come spurting out satisfactorily. Hmmm.
On the one hand, a marvel of modern technology, 2,000,000,000 bytes of information held on a thing the size of a stamp. £15. Some coloured liquid, £68. "Are they having a laugh?"

Anyway. Petrol.

So, oddly enough for a chap with a passion for cars, with a website about cars, and a section of his blog about cars - actually I don't own a car. I won't bore you with why not... though in truth it's just one word - impecuniousness (if I had a pound for every letter in "impecuniousness"...) - but at present I am fated to be using my partner's Peugeot 206. Which I hate. Again, another story.

But for reasons best known to my psychologist, I have been recording the petrol consumption of this car since it was new, back in May 2001. Since you ask... it's averaged 47.28 mpg over this period, which I consider to be fairly rubbish. Because in that time the thing has just pootled around, never going far, never going fast, (it's a 1.1 - it doesn't do fast) just a nice journey of 10 to 15 miles per trip - ideal conditions for good consumption. So 47 mpg I think is a bit weedy. But never mind, maybe I'm being harsh.

The point... back in 2001, I note from my rather sadly comprehensive notes on this topic, petrol was 68.9p a litre, or in terms my brain can more easily deal with, £3.13 a gallon.

My last fill up, buying as cheaply as I could from good old Tesco's, was 105.9p per litre, or £4.81 a gallon. I'm not good at maths, but I'd say that was an increase of over 50%.

Now, 2001 is not that long ago, is it? We've recently crashed through that pound-a-litre psychological barrier, and I suspect it will never go back. In terms of pounds per gallon (which let's be honest - a lot better way to judge, I mean we talk in terms of miles-per-gallon, don't we?) - the five pound gallon looms.

And at ever rise, Gordon's huge percentage tax take gets bigger and bigger. We had a strike for a lot less than this a few years ago. Is there nothing we can do? Are we just waving a white flag and giving up on this one?

If you're interested in mpg, then you might appreciate a bit Freeware what I wrote, it takes your readings of mileage and fuel price and amount bought between top-ups and gives the answer, it's downloadable from here:
Zip Version
Exe Version

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jeremy Clarkson - Don't Stop Me Now

If I may, I'd like to review this book in the manner of Mr. Clarkson himself. Ahem.
Firstly, I'd like to point out to you that although the production of a book may well involve the destruction of an ecologically valuable tree or two somewhere in the world, I can demonstrate with a flip one-liner that this is of no consequence whatsoever, and may well indeed be a good thing.

I'd now like to go off on a wild tangent at this point, and relate to you a recent visit to some foreign clime where I had a jolly old time at someone else's expense, and make you feel like your life is vastly inferior to my own, which it almost certainly is.
At the very last moment I'll return to the subject of the review, this book, which I will pick huge holes out of, mercilessly, using a alarming amount of hyperbole.

I will point out that this is nothing new, that it is a series of Sunday Times articles ranging back several years, giving the briefest road tests of cars, some of which are no longer for sale. And that acres of print, more than the size of Texas, are spent in repetition of what is basically the same joke.

And then, right in the last paragraph I will confess to absolutely loving this book. That despite all of its obvious failings I devoured it cover to cover and laughed heartily along the way. That despite it being a jolly good way for Mr. Clarkson to make a lot of dosh without having to do any more work than he had already done, I don't begrudge him a penny, and would happily buy any number of his other books.

If you liked the format of the above, buy the book, you'll love it. I have to admit here that Jeremy and I are worryingly on the same wavelength with our views of the world. He doesn't like politicians, the police, hippies, environmentalists, slow drivers, speed cameras, modern music, etc, etc.... And neither do I - so it's easy and enjoyable reading. If you don't like his views, stay away. You'll just get cross.

Recommended, 8/10, you could buy the paperback version here.