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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Don't Call It A Comeback . . . "

Don't call it a comeback
I been here for years
Rockin my peers and puttin suckas in fear
Makin the tears rain down like a MON-soon
Listen to the bass go BOOM
Explosion, overpowerin
Over the competition, I'm towerin
Wreckin shop, when I drop these lyrics that'll make you call the cops
Don't you dare stare, you betta move
Don't ever compare
Me to the rest that'll all get sliced and diced
Competition's payin the price

I'm gonna knock you out [HUUUH!!!]
Mama said knock you out [HUUUH!!!]

Don't u call this a regular jam
I'm gonna rock this land
I'm gonna take this itty bitty world by storm
And I'm just gettin warm
Just like Muhummad Ali they called him Cassius
Watch me bash this beat like a skull
Cuz u know I had beef wit
Why do u riff with me, the maniac psycho
And when I pull out my jammy get ready cuz it might go
BLAAAAW, how ya like me now?
The river will not allow
U to get with, Mr. Smith, dont riff
Listen to my gear shiftI'm blastin, outlastin
Kinda like Shaft, so u could say I'm shaftin
Old English filled my mind
And I came up with a funky rhyme

I'm gonna knock you out!

Suddenly things in the world of Formula 1 have become interesting again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Enforcer

We've all been there.
You're on the motorway. In the distance you can see that the outside lane is about to close, cars are merging into the inside lane, left hand indicators flashing, but there are always some 'individuals' who elect to hold off on joining the inside lane as long as possible. They shoot off at full speed hoping that some kind hearted soul will let them in, which invariably they do.
I hate these people . . .

. . . but not as much as The Enforcer.
You've seen The Enforcer.
Some of you may even be The Enforcer.
This hero has decided that he has to make a stand for the common man, for the man in the street, for Joe 'Goddammit' Average, his wife and his 2.4.
Quite often The Enforcer will be found behind the wheel of a large automobile (isn't that from a song?) but his natural weapon of choice is the HGV.
This afternoon he was in a rather nice black 2002 BMW 535i Sport, and I had the misfortune to be his chosen sidekick.
He pulls alongside me with easily half a mile to go until the lane he's in closes and matches speed with the Vengabus, at which point he glances in my direction and gives an almost imperceptible nod, but I saw it.
I saw it and I know what it meant.

"Yes, I, The Equalizer, have controlled the flow of traffic, my young apprentice. I have taken my ex company car that I bought at trade price when my manager received his new E-Class upgrade and I have placed it where no Vectra dares to go, and all for you, my young friend. No longer will you have to suffer the indignity of being overtaken by cars that will surely be allowed to join the queue ahead of you. I say to them 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS!' "

I hate this old man and I despise his wife who smiles beatifically at me from the passengers seat.
I can't stand his thought process that has given him the belief that I somehow care that a handful of cars have overtaken me and that I'm crying out for some bus pass wielding Road Warrior to jump to my rescue.
For the past 8 years I've driven 40 miles to work and 40 miles back again and if I've learned one thing it's that a successful car commute is all about chilling out and that we all get home at roughly the same time, no matter how fast we drive.

Ok, that's 2 things actually, but lets be clear, we don't need another hero.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"The drink made me do it!"

Last night was the first night in ages that I've been out for a good piss up with the boys and, at some indeterminate time, I found myself meandering home from the pub, kebab in hand.
What is it about the combination of male psyche and beer that turns something that looks like it was found on the floor into the most wonderful, most tasty, most desirable ambrosia known to man?

The humble kebab, like many originally ethnic foods, is completely bastardised by us Brits. Ask for a kebeb in Turkey, it's spiritual home, and the product you will be handed will bear little or no resemblance to the accident-in-polystyrene that you get here in Olde Falkirk Towne.

The kebab isn't alone in morphing to suit its target audience. Stroll into an Indian restaurant in downtown Mumbai and ask for a Vindaloo and you'll be met with blank stares, and god forbid you order a deep-pan pizza in Rome!

It never ceases to amaze me just how much better these foods are in their native lands, served as they are supposed to be and not in the "reasonably English" style.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Drugs Definitely Worked

At the time I just thought that kids tv was amazing, but as I've got older I've come to realise that there must have been a shitload of drugs being done by childrens tv executives here in the UK in the late 70's and early 80's.

How else do you explain shows like Chorlton And The Wheelies, the story of a Yorkshire dragon who lives in a world populated by heads on wheels and a witch who lives in a giant tea pot.

Willo The Wisp, where a camp spirit informs us of the daily goings on in Doily Wood of Arthur the catterpillar, Carwash the cat, a fat fairy called Mavis, an evil television set and a creature called 'The Moog', which I never quite understood.

Who can forget Jaime And The Magic Torch, wherein a young boy called Jaime seemed able to live without any sleep whatsoever, given that every night he and his faithfull dog Wordsworth would slide down the helterskelter to cuckoo land.

And lets not even mention Bod, I was a kid and I still thought "WTF?" whenever he appeared on our screens, lackadasically strolling towards me out of the screen, whistling as he went.

Chocadoobie indeed!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Inchy's Alpine Adventure: Epilogue

It's strange, on every other holiday I've been on I've always been glad to get home. I've always reached a point where I've thought "okay, had a good time, now lets just go", but as our minibus started the slow meander from the hotel I found myself accutely envious of the guys we passed who were making their way with their bikes up to the cable cars. That's a new experience for me.

I now fully realise just how lucky I am, not just that I've had one of the best and most memorable times in my life, but after speaking to James, an english chap staying in our hotel, I also realise just how much better things are when you have friends who enjoy the same things.
This poor guy had to drive 8 hours from Surrey just to meet up with a friend who is into mountain bikes as much as he is, whereas I know that on any given weekend I can simply pick up the phone and have at least 6 possible names to pick from.

Having said all that, I can't be arsed even taking the bike out of it's bag right now, let alone ride the bugger . . . .

. . . . but I really wouldn't mind one more run down Les Gets!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Inchy's Alpine Adventure: Day 4

Our final day of riding and we're down to three men. Cletus and Fat Albert have decided to give it a miss today as it's wet and things will be very very slippery, so its just myself, Adrenaline Rush and Rat Boy, the hardcore elite.
I start the day by launching myself straight into the air and twisting my ankle, yet all I can do is laugh.
As the morning progresses we start to realise that we're tired and fatigued, and that's when things go wrong.
With this in mind we somehow decide to do Le Pleney, Morzine's black graded extreme downhill course. It's an absolutely incredible track and we complete it without too much pain.

It's time to call it a day.
We head back to the hotel to clean the bikes, take them to bits and pack them away for the flight home tomorrow morning, but as it's Rat Boy's birthday today we're going to make a real night of it. I think I'm entitled to a massive hangover tomorrow, I've earned it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Inchy's Alpine Adventure: Day 3

We're woken at 7am by the bells of The Church of Saint Mary Madelaine of Morzine, as we have been every morning as it's directly opposite our hotel. Another tasty continental breakfast of croissants and fresh bread and we're off again for more of the same incredible trails and downhill runs. Amazingly Fat Albert has rejoined us, albeit armed with a bizarre surgical back support which cost him €70.
I get a front blowout half way down a fast singletrack which sends me straight over the bars and onto my arse, but it's a relatively painless off and I'm back on two wheels after a quick inner tube change.

Then around half past three, the rain starts, and by rain I mean RAIN! Within 30 seconds we're all as wet as if we'd jumped in a swimming pool. We adjourn back to the hotel where we bump into a bunch of guys from Barrow In Furness who've driven overnight to get here, arriving at eight o'clock and heading straight to the pub.
I get the feeling it's going to be a long night.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Inchy's Alpine Adventure: Day 2

77.3 kilometers, 7.5 hours and an unbelievably sore arse.
In other words, one of the best days of my life.
Today I've ridden my bike harder, faster than ever before and through some of the most beautiful countryside I've ever seen.

We only had one casualty today. Fat Albert lost it on a particularly nasty Black Grade downhill section. He went earth, sky, earth, sky, earth . . . with a thump.
Almost immediately, a young woman stopped to help, removing her helmet and letting her raven locks flow free. At this point the uttered the sexiest phrase I've heard a woman say in a long, long time:
"My friend is . . . ow you say, a medic?"

One man down.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Inchy's Alpine Adventure: Day 1

It was a surprisingly good flight to Geneva this morning, mostly because I was too busy worrying about my precious bike banging about in the hold of the plane to experience my normal in-flight jitters.

We're barely out of the terminal and already I'm impressed, Geneva is a beautiful city.
We arrive in the mountain town of Morzine, busy basking in 35 degree heat. There are bikes everywhere, mostly covered in thick mud and all a lot more heavy duty than ours. I suppose tomorrow will be interesting.

As I type this, we're having 'a few beers' and picking our trails for tomorrow.
The night is still young.

Toodle pip.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Inchy's Alpine Adventure: Prologue

35 kilograms.

Sounds quite heavy, doesn't it? And if you were told by Easyjet that 5 1/2 stones was your baggage allowance for a flight then you could stick the kitchen sink in and still have enough capacity to bring back a stuffed donkey and all the fake clothing you could possibly want.
However, if your essential holiday supplies includes a mountain bike, a helmet, body armour and assorted tools and spare parts, then 35kg seems like a distant target rather than a limit.
Nevertheless, at 8:20am tomorrow morning I shall be forcing myself onboard yet another dreaded airliner to make the short flight to Geneva and thence onwards to the Alpine sport mecca that is Morzine.

I have to admit, the thought of waking up and seeing The Alps from my bedroom window sounds amazing, and the thought of throwing myself and my bike down the side of said Alps also sounds amazing . . . ly dangerous, hence the "extreme sports" medical insurance that we've all had to take out which includes a "ten million pound repatriation fund", even though I only live in Scotland, not on the moon!

Don't worry, boring updates are sure to follow.