Riverside

May 19, 2007 | | 0 comments |

We went to Riverside Walk for dinner tonight, most of which was taken up with Brewerkz, a giant Ozzie microbrewery that also served food. By "micro" I mean it seated about 3,000 people and had 8 bars that I counted. On the field outside, there were a bunch of Asian kids flying these super-cool radio-controlled lightweight kite-planes that were covered in LED lights. It was like watching a bunch of flying saucers.



We've got at 10am-11pm shift tomorrow so we made the most of it tonight. I found a gaggle of (frankly totally hot) female Dutch tourists looking miserably lost at one point so helpfully pointed them back towards Brewerkz and the Ministry Of Sound. Our merry little band ended up in Molly's Irish pub where some totally shit-faced Irish bird starting chatting up Andy (the oldest of all of us) before moving on to spray the rest of us with her incoherent ramblings. What I got out of it was that she was an English teacher from Dubai who apparently knew some people in high places. She produced a digital camera at one point and after nearly dropping it in her beer, proceeded to show us a slideshow of pictures (good, close-up ones) of a ton of Formula-1 stars from the Dubai GP. Which coincidentally is how I found out that Singapore is going to be hosting the first ever nighttime F1 Grand Prix next year. That's going to be quite the spectacle.
So now it's 3am and I'm off to bed.
Oddly, I stink like an Irish pub.

1:30 am saturday morning, and I'm in Singapore

May 18, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Wow that was quite the series of flights. I left the house at 7am on thursday morning, SLC time. 26 hours and change in total travel time. It was made easier by the fact that I was in business class and I know that sounds like blowing my own trumpet, but after 17 years of working in the same job, 10 of them in the same company, it's about bloody time I got to fly business class somewhere. So I've popped my business-class cherry. Only took me 38 years.

The hotel is amazing. At least what I can see of it in the dark is, anyway. Hopefully I can hook up with the others in the morning and get going.

Oh - one last thing. You could have knocked me down with a feather. As I was standing in the line at the lost luggage office (my normal MO now) watching the conveyor, my bloody suitcase appeared! If I'd had a drink with me I'd have done a spit-take. That's the first time in 3 - nearly 4 years - that my luggage has actually got to the same place as me on the same day as me on the same flight as me. It was such a strange experience I wasn't quite sure what to do. I'm so used to having (ruined) luggage delivered to me by courier 3 days late it felt really odd actually taking my own suitcase out of my destination airport with me.

So - plane, business class in the hump, sunset on the approach to Honkers.
I'm going to bed now.





Sam Brownback : One messed-up individual

May 16, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback had some sort of mental episode live on TV in the debate a couple of nights ago. When asked to justify why he'd force a raped woman to carry a baby to term instead of having an abortion, he said "Let's look at it for what it is - a beautiful baby of a loving God."

Wow. Now that's a messed-up individual. Way to lose the entire female vote, Sam.

To compound his mental unravelling, he then went on to criticise Mitt Romney for his connection with mormonism.

Same Brownback, ladies and gentlemen. From totally out-of-touch male chauvenist to religious bigot all in one evening.

Preparing for Delta to lose my luggage.

| | 0 comments |

Dammit all! I've got to fly bloody Delta tomorrow to get to LA for the connection to Hong Kong and Singapore. I didn't have any choice in that decision so it's time to put the contingency plan into play. I've had to go out and buy a laptop backpack so I can carry a change of clothes and some necessities as well as the laptop on board. I managed to get a lot more into that backpack than I thought it would carry, which is nice. I've got enough in there to last for two days in Singapore whilst Delta get my luggage to Cathay Pacific so it can catch up with me. Some would call that pessimistic, but those who do haven't travelled on Delta.

I'll lose a finger yet...

May 15, 2007 | | 1 comments |

I finally got all the refund from Black & Decker for my tablesaw fiasco, coincidentally in the same month Consumer Reports did a report on - tablesaws.
Report in-hand, I trotted off to Acme Big Orange Box store and wouldn't you know it, they were having a sale. So for $30 off, I bought a new Ryobi tablesaw - one on a wheeled stand that locks up and down. I was well chuffed when I opened the box - apart from the wheels, it was all pre-assembled, not like the three hours I spent with screwdrivers and spanners on the Black & Decker one. I checked all the blade alignments and it was perfect in every direction right out of the box. The build quality seems much better than the B&D too which was a surprise. I had this preconceived notion that Ryobi was a 'cheap' brand. Apparently not. Well - not so much.

Still. I'm off to Singapore on thursday so I won't get a chance to visit the emergency room for another week or so....

The (relatively) cheap cost of spare BMW parts.

May 14, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Bracing for the worst, I called Accolade (formerly BMW Of Salt Lake) to find out how much a new headlight would cost me. The answer - $149. I asked if they could come down on the price at all and was told "That's simply the price of owning a BMW. You won't find these sort of parts cheaper anywhere else, so no, we can't discount it any."

Oh really?

One quick internet forum post later and I discovered Chicago BMW do a roaring spares service at 20% off MSRP. For $92 including shipping, they sold me a new light. It'll take a while to get here but I don't mind.

Which leads to an interesting question. The light from them was $86 with the discount which means it must be around $103 MSRP. So Accolade are putting a 50% markup on their spares! I guess the new management hasn't helped their situation much then. They're still a bunch of crooks as far as I can tell, and their phone manner certainly hasn't improved. I felt like calling them back and telling them about Chicago BMW but honestly I just can't be bothered.

Oh yeah. Transformers.

| | 0 comments |

Me with a complete headlight and not smelling of petrol.

| | 0 comments |



We found a couple of good corners yesterday during the ride, pre-flaming-Chris, and managed to crack off some photos. They're good but they're not excellent. When we do our trip to southern Utah in a couple of weeks I'm going to take my big camera with me and I'm determined to get some crisp, in-focus shots of Squidney and Motoboy...

Nice ride, but eventful.

May 13, 2007 | | 2 comments |

We had a nice ride on the bikes today. After Mike and I split up, my ride became quite eventful. First I picked up a rock somewhere and it destroyed my high beam light - glass, reflector - everything.
Then when I stopped for petrol in Heber, I nearly burned the entire Sinclair station down. I put the nozzle in my tank and clicked it on and the trigger literally came adrift in my fingers, locked on. It went from bad to worse when the auto cutoff failed when my tank filled up and then I had fuel pouring down the outside of my tank on to two red hot cylinder heads and exhausts. I didn't have any other option than to yank the nozzle out and throw it over to the other side of the forecourt. Both me and the bike were covered in petrol and I was standing in a huge puddle of it already. Meanwhile, the pump carrier on delivering at full pressure in a fountain out on to US-40. I ran into the store and asked where the fire extinguisher was. Tammee said "huh?". I asked again and she asked why. I pointed to my bike, steaming in a pool of fuel whilst the pump was filling the storm drains on US40 with premium unleaded. Tammee was fucking useless so I ran out and looked for the fire shutoff. It was over the ice chest so I hopped up and yanked it and shut off 16 pumps of petrol. That irritated the piss out of 12 other drivers who were filling up but I could care less about that. Tammee had called her supervisor - the station owner - who must have either been in the back or lived very close by because he turned up about 3 minutes later and proceeded to try to explain how I was liable for nearly $400-worth of unleaded. I tried to explain to him that if it wasn't for me, his entire petrol station would likely have burned to the ground, and perhaps he should fire Tammee who was so totally useless she barely classified as a human being. I also made it very damn clear that if he even tried to charge me for the petrol, I'd be coming back with a lawyer. (I won't of course, but you have to speak the language or they don't understand you).
So what of the bike? Well, the alloy on the cylinder heads has tarnished badly. The plastics down either side have essentially been destroyed as has a fair part of the air intake and airbox. I can only hope none of the petrol got into the electrics or wiring. I made it home OK (ie. not on fire) after I hosed off the bike. Well - not so much hosed it off as took one of those petrol station windscreen washing things and dumped it over the bike. The bike doesn't smell of petrol any more (I still do) and it seemed to run OK on the way back. But if Sinclair decide they're going to charge me $400 there's going to be hell to pay. I've contacted the bank and had them block any transactions coming from Sinclair so we'll have to hope that works.

If he wasn't actually serious, this would be funny.

| | 0 comments |

Actual quote from David Cameron (tory wannabe) in the Observer today:
"British Asians see a society that hardly inspires them to integrate. They see aspects of Britain which are a threat to the values they hold dear. Britain needs to integrate more with the Asian way of life, not the other way around".

Riiiiiighht.
So because they chose to move to England, and because they refuse to try to live the English way of life, and because they're the ones having issues and problems, everyone else is going to be expected to change? Here's an idea. If they're the ones having the problems, why don't they fuck off back to where they came from? When we moved to America, we didn't expect to be able to carry on the way of life we'd grown used to in England, or Holland. We expected to have to adapt to the peculiarities and customs of America. Granted it's not a huge leap of imagination but nevertheless, I would never dream of moving to a new country and complaining to the point where the leader of a political party was forced to say stuff like that. If I didn't get along, I'd leave, which is exactly what we did in England - the place is a shithole that is broken in every sense of the word - we hated it and hence we left.
It's not rocket science.
Pandering to the demands of immigrants at this level is a guarantee of disaster. The problem is everybody is too politically correct to say or do anything about it.

Article