Showing posts from August 24, 2008


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. Eeeeuuuuuuugh. I feel soiled. Oddly, the music was an eclectic mix of 1950's one-hit-wonders mixed with Elvis.

Oh. My. Go(ooooo)d.

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

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. OPENING CEREMONY 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