Showing posts from June 5, 2005

To Yosemite and back, all in 3 days

So we finally did our Yosemite trip at the end of last week. We flew to Reno on wednesday, and drove to Yosemite. Spent the day in the park on thursday then drove back on friday and flew back to SLC from Reno. 600 miles of driving for one day in the park. It's a complicated story. We stayed at the Yosemite Lodge. Let me tell you that is not a $130-a-night hotel. It's a $45-a-night motel at best. No air conditioning, rooms full of mosquitos, peeling paint and wallpaper and rotting wood in the doors and window frames. The food was incredibly over-priced. If we'd eaten in the main restaurant, it would have been $50 a head for dinner, at least. Instead we ate in the cafeteria, which was still $20 for breakfast! The staff in there were unusually rude and stand-offish for America. It seems that most of the lodging in the Yosemite valley (with one exception) is in dire need of renovation and modernisation. Curry Village especially, looked like a Crimean War era camp. It was unbe

Awesome weather

The 7th of June and its snowing! We've had thunderstorms all night. The temperature has plummetted from 25°C at the weekend to 6°C right now. I'm looking at a rain/sleet mix outside the office with 60mph winds and thunderstorms rolling up the valley. This is great!

Pay-per-mile driving.

The brain-dead politicians in England have given their stamp of approval to a scheme so Orwellian in its scope that it must be stopped at all costs. They want to remove the road tax and fuel duty, and instead get everyone to install a GPS tracker in their vehicle so they can be charged per mile driven . The litany of questions this raises proves that, as always with the British government, they haven't thought it through at all. - GPS tracking? Civil liberties? Big Brother? George Orwell? - what about foreign trucks and visitors? No GPS device means they use the roads for free and get uber-cheap petrol - who's going to pay to have all these devices installed? - what about older vehicles that won't have them? - what about the incentive to drive cleaner vehicles? Per-mile charging means a 60mpg Prius owner would be charged as much as a 4mpg Hummer owner. - where's the public transport alternative? England has worse-than-third-world public transport. It's unreliable,

London Olympics?

Yikes! London is now second favourite after Paris in the bid for the 2012 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee evaluation commission believes London can deliver promises on venues, transport, the environment and legacy. Venues - no. There's no space to build Olympic venues. Transport - no. London is gridlocked and Red Ken just keeps taxing people left right and centre because of it. Environment - no. London is still a filthy city. A day trip with a ride in the tube will teach you that. Methinks there's some bribery going on here.

Bloody imperial system!

Why do England and America insist on clinging to an outdated system of weights and measures that makes no sense? This weekend I had to get some strong weed killer for some spurge in our garden. I got a hand pump sprayer and a bottle of the stuff. The instructions told me to use 2 fl.oz or 1 tbps per gallon, and the hand pump sprayer had markings up to 24oz. on it. So I'm stuck with three different measures and trying to figure out how much of this stuff I needed in a 24 oz. sprayer. I had to convert everything to metric to figure it out and when I did, it was so simple : 10ml for every 750ml of water. Or a 1:75 ratio. Why couldn't they just say that on the instructions. Give me the ratio, or give it me in simple metric volumes. Don't throw out gallons, ounces, fluid ounces and tablespoons and expect me to be able to figure that out. Imperial weights and measures don't make and sense - they never have. They're inconsistent from one measure to the next - some things

Episode 3 : cool

We finally went to see SW Episode 3 last night, and it was cool. One of the more noteworthy parts of the film was the obvious comparison of Anakin Skywalker to "President" B*sh, specifically, his speech about "if you're not with me, you're against me". As Darth Sidious is taking over the Empire, there's a scene in the main government building where Amidala says "so this is how freedom dies - with thunderous applause" as Sidious announces that his agents were sweeping the galaxy, spreading freedom (ie. slaughtering millions). There was another good analogy talking about how the state which strives for freedom and democracy turns into the oppressor itself. I guess that's one of the nice things about being an independant film maker - you don't have to pander to the wills of a studio. Clearly George Lucas thinks the same of B*sh as me, 50% of America, and the rest of the world. There was a pretty high cheese factor in one scene though wher