It's been a long time between
updates .... life was very hectic last year with work, work and ... errr
... more work. Consequently, not much time for updating the
website. Still, I did manage to get myself back on the scoreboard
career wise, put an eFX system into production to the (somewhat muted)
applause of it's users and get a promotion.
Work has quietened down a little
and I'm finding life exceedingly
boring at the moment. Sometimes I think it's the whole mundane
life of going to work, getting home, occasionally going out and creeping
along till advanced decrepitude. Other times, I just think it's
the end of winter and I've mentally had enough of the lack of sunlight
Thankfully, the weather is
improving and with it my thoughts turn to to what to do with the most important
thing in my life at the moment - my annual leave of 23 days (sigh!).
With better weather comes the
chance to take the bike out of the garage and go pursue some cheap high
octane thrills. Dan and I have been kicking around a few
motorcycle tours for the year over drinks. First up is riding
around Wales on the May Bank Holiday weekend. Second is ten days
riding around Sweden. Should be good although I am having trouble
confirming the Sweden trip with work as my project heats up around then.
Damn this work thing!
Other trips on the horizon are six
days driving a rental car around Belgium with a friend over the Easter
break. Belgium doesn't sound like the most exciting holiday
destination ... when does Belgium ever sound exciting? But it
could be good for a road trip . Not knowing where you are going to
end up that night does make things a lot more exciting. And then
there's the added bonus of driving one of the best handling cars in the
world - an Avis rental car.
After Belgium, it's off to Iran
for 17 days in late May visas and flights permitting . Am looking
forward to that one with a sense of excitement and trepidation. It
is definitely a road less travelled and I have no idea of what I'm going
to encounter travelling by myself in this country full of
ancient ruins, ayatollahs and most recently ... 'peaceful' nuclear
research facilities. I have already got a few books to read on the
country and the few people I met in my travels said that Iranians were
some of the most hospitable people you're ever likely to meet.
Hopefully, I will get there before the Americans and Israelis bomb it.
Anyway that's it for the moment.
Enjoy the new content.
PS: if anyone has been to Iran and
has got some tips, please drop me an email at the address above.
Photos from my
Motorcycle Trip in May 2004 (yes ... I am a year or two
Here are the photos of the
'running in' long weekend that I took my new Honda VFR800 VTEC ABS on.
Dan and and I spent 3 fun filled days touring through the French country
side surrounding The Somme, Verdun and Champagne. It was all good
... but I don't recommend doing a Champagne House visit on a motorcycle
... or loading said motorcycle up with so much champagne that it throws
out the handling!
What I've been reading
All The Shahs Men - An American Coup And The Roots of Middle East Terror
- Interesting book on how the British and Americans toppled a democratic
regime in 1953. The Iranian coup became the blueprint for later
American actions to kill or depose many foreign leaders in the context
of the larger war against communism. I will definitely be
referring to the book the next time I'm contemplating a
and need to organise some mobs both for and against the government to
Salt - A World History - I read Mark Kurlansky's earlier book,
Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and
really enjoyed it after having toured through the old cod fishing
villages of Norway's Lofoten Islands. This one has been
interesting as well. Wars were fought over salt, salt was used as
currency and as well being used to preserve cod, butter and cheese, was
a key ingredient in ... salad. Worth reading.
Starship Troopers - I loved the movie, have watched it six times and
have had many a long argument with people along the lines of "It's a
spoof" and "It's crap". The book by Robert A. Heinlein is
vastly different and poses some interesting philosophical questions.
How much do you value democracy? Would
you pay a price to vote? If not, why? Don't you think a vote is
worth anything? You may not like Heinlein's politics but he
does make a compelling argument for a more
socially responsible society that, in this case, sacrifices automatic
personal freedoms for earned responsibilities.
Next on the reading list are a few
books that have been on the shelves for a while (I'm a compulsive
orderer of books who never gets around to reading them).
Pompeii By Robert Harris,
The World From Islam by George Negus and
The Carpet Wars by Christopher Kremmer.
What've I've been
watching and listening to
The Night Of the Iguana - I
first saw a colourised version of this on a Qantas flight and
finally managed to get a copy on DVD (Region 1) via
Starring Richard Burton,
Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and Sue Lyon, the Night Of The Iguana is a
gripping drama about a defrocked American Minister and the three
emotional women entangled with him. All good. And
Sue Lyon is particularly hot if you're into those '60s screen
goddesses. She also starred in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 version of
Hot Fuss - The Killers - Definitely my album of the year.
Bought it for the 'Somebody Told Me'
single and ended up liking the whole album. Has
definitely supplanted the
Modena City Ramblers in my gym music listening collection. Hell, I
even play when I get home ... well I did until Anka borrowed it.
The Libertines - The Libertines - Have been curious about this band
for a long time and particularly so with all of that publicity about
their drug addled former lead singer. It's good ... but it had the
unfortunate luck to be bought at the same time as the Hot Fuss CD described
above. Que lastima!
Websites that have absorbed my interest and
of my time lately
Ebay - I can see why this site is addictive. I've ordered a
heap of hard to find DVDs including Night Of The Iguana, The Adventures
Of Ford Fairlane Rock And Roll Detective, The Siege Of Firebase Gloria,
Albino Black Sheep -
Initially, I was looking for songs about llamas and found a flash movie
Song. Further exploration yielded such gems as
Elvis Lives In
Flash and the not so French but very Scottish
Toilet Roll Conspiracy Theory - Stumbled across
this page whilst trying to convert my Sony DVD Player to region free.
Naturally, I failed miserably for technical reasons and will probably
have to bribe the techies on the 4th floor to do it for me.
Anyway, I found this Toilet Roll Conspiracy Theory page and immediately
ran to the toilet to check out the serial numbers on the toilet rolls.
Wikipedia - This is
a free online encyclopaedia that I found whilst researching something or
another. It seems to have articles to everything. It's
amazing how you can tangentially crawl across history just by clicking
on all the in text links. It even comes in
One thing that fascinated me in
February last year was an article from the New York Times -
Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name.
The article talks about a pair of penguins in New York Zoo who were
extremely devoted to each other, had sex and even raised an egg together
as surrogate parents.
It took me days to get my mind
around the whole concept, even though I have no problem with what
consenting penguins get up to in their fake ice flow pens. Gay penguins just blew my mind
(and only my mind).
I read in Metro recently that the penguins in the Bremmerhaven Zoo are
at it as well. And the dolphins in the wild are up for some man
dolphin on man dolphin action as well.
I never thought that the 'Dolphins
Are Gay Sharks' t-shirt I bought from
Public Grief Junkie
would have a ring of truth to it. Now I know. The truth is
out there. Dolphins really are gay sharks.
My world is rocked.
Forth coming content
Argentina and Patagonia
South East Asia
Motorcycling In Spain