Aug 27, 2008 | | 0 comments |

I took off to a Chinese restaurant tonight for dinner, and phew - what a stinker. Castro Street - the local eatery haunt - has literally hundreds of restaurants along it. The list the hotel gave me shows 22 Chinese places. I chose one at random.
Chef Liu. Should be Chef Eww. The food was the greasiest Chinese I've had for years if not decades. I bit into the pot stickers and after gnawing through the canvas-like pastry, was squirted with hot fat as it ran out on to the plate.
The soda came as a can from the fridge. The fried rice was greased rice, and the Mongolian Beef literally swam across a sea of fat to greet me as they put the plate down.
I feel soiled.
Oddly, the music was an eclectic mix of 1950's one-hit-wonders mixed with Elvis.

Oh. My. Go(ooooo)d.

Aug 25, 2008 | | 0 comments |

So I'm here at NASA in California, giving them a refresher course, and the Russian chap I'm teaching name-drops that he knows someone at the Google campus next door. So we were 'let in' for lunch.
It's like nirvana.
Free bikes to get around the campus (that are all given a mechanical once-over each night and redistributed to the front gate for the morning rush). Free wifi that extends for miles (I'm logged on to it free right now from my hotel room). Open-plan offices and workspaces where people are - well - just sitting and working (hallways, nooks, crannies, park benches, window sills).

And a free cafeteria that would make you cry. Every food you could possibly imagine, from just about every country, in every style. Free.

So we filled our plates and sat down next to some bloke called Sergey Brin. I believe he's quite important.


Countdown to disaster

Aug 24, 2008 | | 0 comments |

Well that's it then. The Beijing Olympics is over. So now begins the countdown to the humiliating disaster that will be the 2012 London Olympics. They're bleating on about how they're two months ahead of schedule already, but the budget hike has been played down. The original $6bn budget had already ballooned to $17bn and there's still 4 years to go. The London Olympic committee were on TV tonight frantically denying that the UK taxpayers would foot the bill any more than they had already, but then went on to say they weren't sure where they were going to get the extra $11bn from.

Of course we all know exactly where it'll come from - the taxpayer. Glad I don't live there any more ....

So this is largely how it'll go.

After a prolonged, politically and ethnically correct song and dance number, the Olympic flame will be ignited by a petrol bomb thrown by a Brixton native wearing the traditional hoodie. The flame will be contained in a large chip-pan situated on the roof of the stadium. The traditional fireworks will be canceled because the London Olympic committee could not decide the length of fuse wire to use, and the audience will not be allowed to witness any of the ceremony due to health and safety concerns about having that many people in a stadium all at the same time. That's if the Polish builders actually finish the stadium in time.

In previous Olympic games, England's competitors have not been particularly successful. In order to redress the balance, some of the events have been altered slightly to the advantage of British athletes.

Athletes will have to hold a DVD player and microwave (one in each arm) and, on the sound of the starting pistol, a police dog will be released from a cage 10 yards behind the athletes. The first athlete to trip the speed camera wins Gold.

As above but with added obstacles (car bonnets, hedges, garden fences, immigrant families, walls, etc...)

The longer sprint events will be canceled due to health and safety concerns that the athletes might get a bit tired.

Athletes in this event may choose the type of hammer they wish to use (claw, sledge, etc). The winner will be the one who can cause the most grievous bodily harm to members of the audience within the time allowed.

Athletes will be asked to dispose of as much stolen silver and jewelery as possible in 5 minutes.

A strong challenge is expected from the local athletes in this event. The first target will be a moving police van. In the second round, competitors will aim at a post office clerk, bank teller, or Group 4 wages delivery man. Note. If gun laws cannot be changed in time, shooting will be replaced by stabbing.

Rowing events will be canceled due to health and safety concerns that the athletes might get wet and could even drown if placed in direct contact with the Thames.

Entry to the boxing will be restricted to husband and wife teams and will take place on a Friday night. The husband will be given 15 pints of lager while the wife will be told not to make him any tea when he gets home. The bout will then commence.

Athletes will be asked to break into the East London University bike shed and take an expensive mountain bike owned by some mummy's boy from the country on his first trip away from home. All against the clock.

As above but the bike will be owned by a visiting member of the Australian rugby team, who will witness the theft and then pursue the athlete in attempt to kick the living shit out of them.

The javelin event will be canceled due to health and safety concerns about having a large pointed stick flying uncontrollably through the air.

The Pentathlon will be brought bang up to date with new events including mugging, breaking and entering, flashing, joy riding, and arson.

A safe route has yet to be decided, but the competitors will be issued with sharp sticks and bags with which to pick up litter on their way around the course.

Athletes will be thrown off Tower Bridge at slack tide. The first three survivors back will decide the medals.

Gymnastics events will be canceled due to health and safety concerns that the gymnasts might fall off the equipment and hurt themselves.

Unfortunately this event will also have to be canceled as the police cannot guarantee the safety of anyone walking the streets of London.

Entertainment will include formation rave dancing by members of the Watford Health in the Community anti-drug campaigners, synchronised audience mugging, and music by the Brixton Community Choir. The Olympic flame will be extinguished by someone dropping an old washing machine on to it from the top floor of the block of council flats next to the stadium. The stadium will then be boarded up before the local athletes break into it and remove all the copper piping and the central heating boiler.