It's too piggin' hot to be outside on a motorbike. 38°C (100.4°F for those of you still in the dark ages).
I know I've been riding motorbikes since 1988, and I've pretty much seen every display of bad driving from cagers, but once again this morning, I was given a graphic demonstration of how car drivers are blind, and never ever accept responsibility for their actions. Coming up I-80 on the outside with a line of traffic on the inside lane. As we get into the corner towards Parleys canyon where I-215 splits off, a gold-ish yellow Mazda indicates once and pulls out into the outside lane right in front of me. I had two choices - split lanes and overtake between him and the Fedex van, or run into the back of him. I split lanes and got around him, and flicked him the universal sign for "you're number one" with my left hand as I got past. At which point he leans on the horn and flashes his lights at me. Because obviously I'm to blame for him not using his eyes / mirror / brain.
Something is definitely going on. Facilities guys walking around with empty boxes, glass executive offices going up in the other building, and stonewalling from everyone who might be able to answer prickly questions....
I think we're counting the days now.
This image was sent to me by someone in email - its taken from the safety card on Premiair Airlines. I interpret it as follows:
For take-off and landing, I should buckle up, and place the seat in an upright position. So far so good. Now I'm buckled in I need to place my hand baggage under my own seat from behind. Whilst doing this, I should also fold up the table belonging to the person behind me. And I think the illustration in the circle is telling me I have to unbuckle in order to do this. After sitting down again, I've either got to drive over a cellphone, or stop the passenger next to me from using their cellphone whilst driving. One or the other. Once I've done all that, in final preparation for take-off, I should take the life vest out from under the seat and throw it out of the window, and watch it float off in the water on its own.
Or is it just me ?
T minus 1:23 - there's a problem with the low level fuel cutoff sensors on Discovery. These measure any low fuel conditions which could cause catastrophic engine failure if the engines dry up on full throttle. The launch director just scrubbed the launch saying "this isn't something that's going to resolve itself today."
The problem means they're going to have to empty the external tank.
T minus 1:21. Launch director gave a "go for unstrap". The crew are being taken out of Discovery and the launch is officially scrubbed. :-(
Fingers crossed, sphincter tight. 4 hours to STS 114 launch.
Oh dear. I saw a commercial last night for the new Subaru SUV - the B9 Tribeca. Where to start? It's wrong on so many levels. Obviously the first place to start is the name. Daft doesn't come close to describing "Tribeca". And they pronounce it "Try-beeker", which to me conjures up pictures of three beakers of coffee, or three Beakers from the Muppets. The look on his face is the same look I had when seeing this thing on TV last night. Speaking of muppets, it looks like this must have come from some muppet in the American Subaru design bureau - the same people responsible for the butt-ugly front end of the 2001 Impreza (thank God that's gone!) The Tribeca looks like the bastard offspring of the Infiniti FX, Pontiac Aztek and a Porsche Cayenne, and this is definitely not a good thing; all those vehicles are butt-ugly themselves. The result is a truly heinous Subaru, one where the word "design" can definitely not be applied. Gone are the nice design curves and lines, and in comes an American-inspired SUV monster. It's Frankensubaru. It's hideous. And look at the nose! Dear God what were they thinking?
Why oh why did Subaru think they needed an SUV ? The Outback and Forester models are perfect AWD vehicles and can outperform, out-mileage and out-drive any SUV on the road. Yet here it is - a Subaru SUV. I guess they've caved to pressure and had to build and ugly, gas-guzzling rollover monster to satisfy the American market for such vehicles.
Such a shame.
I'm almost ashamed to own a Subaru now :-(
It wouldn't surprise me to wake up in the morning and find England on fire. The police have stated that the London bombers were Muslims of Pakistani origin, had been born and brought up in Britain. It seems now that all 4 were suicide bombers.
The worst news is a developing story (Reuters) that three of them have been arrested by the police in the past. The bombers' background has become the subject of a high-profile spat between London and Paris, with Home Secretary Charles Clarke denying comments by his French counterpart that British police had arrested some of the suspects in the past. "It is completely and utterly untrue. I am absolutely staggered he should make that assertion," Clarke told Sky TV. Comments like that are Bad. They indicate denial. Worse still, a British police source said it was possible some of the men might have come to the attention of police in the course of normal criminal investigations.
The English of today aren't known for their racial tolerance, and the racial tension in England is bad enough already. I suspect a lot of mosques will attacked and vandalised now, and I suspect large swathes of the middle-eastern community will become victimised because of this. I forsee riots like England has never known before :-(
It would have been so much better if this had been the IRA.
It had to happen. The BBC have bowed to pressure from other news organisations, notably American / Whitehouse ones, and have given up using the correct terminology for militant attacks. Now, like all the news agencies in America, the BBC are bandying about the "T" word.
No longer were the bombs in London a militant attack on civilians. They're now terrorist attacks. Rather than try to explain what happened using correct terminology, now they refer to everything in CNN terminology.
Apparently, media watchdogs have for years taken issue with the BBC, along with other news organizations such as Reuters, for a reluctance to call deadly attacks against civilians terrorism.
I guess that means Reuters will also get nobbled by the Americans and start using the "T" word too.
England is the most surveilled country in the world with one CCTV camera for around every 500 citizens. In any given day you'll be photographed and vidoed over 200 times. Yet Blah went on TV this weekend and said, and I quote : "No amount of CCTV surveillance will ever be able to stop bombings and acts of terrorism like this."
Well that leads to an interesting question then : why so many CCTV systems if the Prime Minister himself has admitted they're useless ?
Hollywood, the MPAA and movie industry as a whole are looking at a downturn in cinemagoer numbers, and to them, it's a mystery. (To the MPAA of course its because we're all criminals pirating movies left right and centre.)
The real reason is far simpler, naturally. As part of the moral decay of society - the lack of social grace, the loss of common decency and courtesy, and the ever present cellphone infection, the reason people are not going to the cinema so much is because of all the irritations. The crying babies, the cellphones and pagers, and most irritating of all, the fucktards who talk all through the movie. Not just here and there, but a running commentary from the first frame to the end of the credits.
When we went to watch War Of the Worlds, we were hemmed in on both sides by two couples in their 40s and 50s who should have known better. But no, the wives of these respective couples yakked and chatted to their hubbies all through the movie. In the end, I had to turn to the one on my side and tell her to STFU or I'd do it for her.
The thing that pissed me off the most wasn't so much the talking as the fact that I had to tell her to shut up. She couldn't figure out for herself that she was in a cinema where people paid money to watch a movie, not to listen to her blathering on about how she didn't understand anything. Worse still, her totally ineffective husband didn't have the common decency to shut her up either.
We've been watching a raging smoke cloud for an hour or so from the office windows here, and one of my cubicle mates just got a call from his wife. Seems that a server caught fire in their computer room and they didn't have any extinguisher systems. The whole school is burning to the ground now and you can see the smoke column from all over the valley!
Newsweek have outed Karl Rove as the man behind the leak of CIA confidential information. Now to you or I that would seem like a treasonable offence - at the very least he should be removed from government. But I suspect because he's deep inside B*sh's ass, Rove will be safe, and another blow will be dealt to the checks and balances that America used to have to protect its citizens from the government.
For two years, the White House has insisted that Rove had nothing to do with the leak, B*sh has said on numerous occasions that the leaker would be fired.
It will be interesting to see if he follows through, or if, as I suspect, he'll prove once again that he is a liar and find some way to befuddle the issue so that Rove can stay on.
The Mail On Sunday has run a story back in England indicating that America and the UK are secretly preparing to withdraw most of their troops from Iraq.
A secret paper called "Options For Future UK Force Posture In Iraq" written by UK Defence Secretary John Reid for Tony Blair reveals that many of the 8,500 British troops in Iraq are set to be brought home within three months, with most of the rest returning six months later. The leaked document, marked Secret: UK Eyes Only, flies in the face of Blah and B*sh's pledges that Allied forces will not quit until Iraq's own forces are strong enough to take control of security.
If British troops pull out, other members of the Alliance are likely to follow. The memo says other international forces in Southern Iraq currently under British control will have to be handled carefully if Britain withdraws. It says they will not feel safe and may also leave. Embarrassingly, the document says the Americans are split over the plan - and it suggests one of the reasons for getting British troops out is to save money. Reid says cutting UK troop numbers to 3,000 by the middle of next year will save £500million a year, though it will be 18 months before the cash comes through. This is the first conclusive proof that preparations for a major withdrawal from Iraq are well advanced and further proof, if it were needed, that both B*sh and Blah are liars of the first order and should both be removed from positions of power.
The Mail On Sunday online article is currently here.