Bullshit & Ignorance

August 19, 2010

Stand your ground and fight

For the last few days, I’ve found myself listening to Motörhead – Heroes over and over again. I have no real explanation for my sudden obsession with this song; I’ve owned the Motörizer album since it came out, I’ve heard it plenty before, but for some reason it’s been stuck with me all this week.

Bike related stuff

As previously mentioned, my morning commute currently involves some cycling – The bike I ride is a lightweight hybrid, much more suited to road riding than anything else. I also own a mountain bike, which has front and rear suspension, huge knobbly tires and all the usual things you’d expect for a bike designed for use on rough terrain. On Tuesday evening, just as I set out home on my bike, my chain started jumping and slipping in a rather alarming fashion. I pulled the bike off the road and took a look. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but somehow, one of the gears on the rear cassette (that’s the spindle of cogs on the back wheel in case you were wondering) had lost one tooth entirely, and another was badly bent, so much so that the cog itself had started to tear. The immediate effect of that was that it was making it impossible for me to use half of my gears, which made the ride home slower than usual.

Plans were set in motion to get a replacement the following day, but in the mean time I had to ride my other bike yesterday. It has to be said, that if you get used to riding a bike set up for roads, switching to riding a bike that really isn’t is a bit of a shock to the system. I think I described it to a friend as being like trying to cycle through jelly. Soft suspension and huge knobbly tires are fantastic for riding down the sides of mountains and all, but they make a real meal out of a largely flat road. With the new parts fitted to my road bike, this morning’s ride was a real pleasure by comparison.


On Sunday evening, I will be going to the cinema with a friend to watch The Expendables. I fully expect it to be a ridiculous story, packed with highly unlikely scenarios which stretch the suspension of disbelief to the point it becomes unrecognisable. Written and directed by, and starring Sylvester Stalone the film boasts a cast containing some, no scratch that – most of the biggest action movie stars of the last 30 years. Sly himself of course, relative new-kids Jet Li and Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Micky Rourke and even Arnie and Bruce Willis put in appearances. I’m sure it will be entirely over the top and very silly. I really hope so.

Other stuff

Following a conversation on IM, I have been trying to come up with an emo emoticon for the moments where words alone just don’t cut it. My best effort thus far has been //.( Do feel free to share some alternatives. If they’re any good, I’ll steal them and claim all the credit for myself.

July 22, 2010

I have been remiss

The substantial gap between posts on this here intertubes site is simply a result of me being busy and lacking time and/or motivation to ramble on about much of anything. Although, if you consider the gap of almost five years that it took me to get around to redesigning the site and actually populating it with anything again, a little over a month is a drop in the ocean. You should probably be arranging some kind of parade in my honour in celebration of the fact I returned to share my insightful musings with you at all. Probably.

One of the things that has been keeping me busy, is that I moved. Moving is a ginourmous pain in the bollocks at the best of times, but trying to cram it all into a very limited window in a single day, when the flat I was moving out of was on the fourth floor (that’s the fifth floor if you’re American or from anywhere else where the ground floor is called the first floor.) and quite some distance from the lift, there are only two of us doing the moving and the only way we can transport the things from the flat to the van is using a cart/trolley thing that if we’re honest about it really can’t hold all that much. The actual loading of the van didn’t take long, it was all the pissing about with trolleys and lifts that took the time.

I have, after 8 years, swapped town-centre life for village life again. It’s a temporary situation – a halfway house as it were. My reasons for the move are many, varied and my own. Much as I enjoy being back out in the countryside, it has rather complicated my commute to work. Previously, that consisted of stumbling out of my front door ten minutes after I was meant to be at work, walking for the 7 minutes it took me to get to work before making sure I left the building on the dot of 1700 to walk the 6 minutes home (it’s downhill on the return leg).

I already miss the simplicity; My journey now is much more involved – were I expecting to be at my current lodgings much longer I would certainly have bought a car. I discovered that the village I am now resident in is distinctly lacking in the public transportation department. The earliest one can catch a bus into the town I work in is 0945 – it doesn’t arrive until 1035 and then there is still a 15 minute walk before I actually reach my office. Hrm. Well I’m not beyond taking some liberties with my start times for work, but even I don’t think I can get away with turning up to work almost three hours late.

My solution was simple enough. I’m a keen, if somewhat lapsed cyclist (By that I mean I really enjoy it, but haven’t been doing it enough for way too long and am out of shape as a result). I pondered cycling the entire ten miles – opted not to however as my office lacks shower facilities and I don’t think I or my office mates would particularly enjoy the result of me cycling ten miles without having the ability to shower when I arrived. Instead I cycle three miles to the nearest population centre with a semi-decent bus service. I lock my bike up at the handy bike rack things at the bus stop, then catch a bus into town. I still have to then walk for fifteen minutes to get to my office, but it’s an acceptable solution.

So there we go. I’ve added around fifty minutes to my commute in each direction and added 30 minutes of walking and 6 miles of cycling to every day. I’m actually quite enjoying it. The cycle in the morning wakes me up; on the bus I get a chance to read a book, something I rarely seem to have the time to do these days and I have no doubt the exercise is both beneficial for me and desperately needed.