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l'enfer du North Island

  subtlety is wasted Sunday, 23 November 2008 link

What is it about the City to Sea bridge? A couple of months ago we wandered past Jermaine Clement sitting there, on Saturday I was thinking "jesus that bloke's heavily tattooed" and then realised it was Tiki Taane. Is a big lump of public architecture the latest place for our celebs to hang out? Or just a suitably dramatic backdrop for any useful tracking shots?

Sorry for lack of bloggage. A serious burn is on at work, so I'm having to limit the amount of recreational computing I do in order to prevent my OOS from getting too bad.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was getting ready to go for a ride. As he was about to leave, his girlfriend woozily rolled over and said "You know, you do look kind of.. a dick." Although he had to admit the basic underlying truth, he did feel hurt by this. Now, I'm the first to admit that cycling is not one of the sports with really flattering gear. Skin-tight lycra isn't really a good look for 95% of the population, myself included.

In a way, this is quite refreshing, as if you're going to look like an idiot no matter what you are freed from even having to try to look flash. Everyone looks like a gimp in lycra; suck it up and pedal.

But then again, it is possible to get some flash cycling kit that does look well pimp. One of the reasons my mate was a bit miffed by his girlfriend's comment was that he was fully kitted out in Rapha gear. Rapha are very, very much the high end of cycling couture - the total cost of his outfit was, and I'm not kidding here, probably about the same as the cost of the bike I was riding. These are people who do a £50 silk cycling neckerchief. But you've got to admit - their kit is absolutely lovely. And this is a general thing: while a lot of cycling jerseys are designed on the "let's be seen by cars/everyone looks stupid in lycra anyway" principle (Primal Wear, I'm looking in your direction), there's no real reason why you can't look reasonably stylish. OK, so Rapha's kit is ludicrously overpriced, but their kit is lovely. But for those of us who think that £250 is a little too rich for a bike jacket, even one that you could wear to a bar, there's a few things closer to home - the Solo Equipe jersey is a thing of beauty, and marginally more reasonable. But the general message seems to be that you can look sharp on and off the bike, provided you throw enough cash at it.

Which is why I'm very happy with our team kit for Taupo. Rule #1 of getting team kit made: coordinate it yourself, so you can quietly veto any designs you dislike. Yup, I have the design sense of a pygmy marmoset, but handily I work in a building with about 600 people who make their living designing stuff, so someone stepped up and put some designs together. A fair bit of work later, we now all have very nice jerseys in a stylish blue/white combination, and so should be reasonably visible on the start line. So if you're riding Taupo, look out for the knackered looking beardie in the "Miramar Cranks" kit; I'll need all the sympathy I can get.

V now comes in 500ml cans. God help us all. You know something's a bit dodgy when you can buy things in "maximum recommended daily dose" size.

  i pwn cosby Tuesday, 18 November 2008 link

Great moments in bedtime stories.

Me: "All day long, strange noises came from Mr Bear's house. There was clattering and banging and, I'm sorry to say, some angry words, too."
Rebecca: Daddy, I think he was having problems with his computer.


In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that Rebecca has occasionally started saying "Jesus fuck!" in moments of extreme stress. Heaven only knows what'll happen when she gets to school.

  do want Monday, 17 November 2008 link

For people who say that bicycles are a limited form of transportation, I give you: bicycle pole dancing. Yes, really. Arguably NSFW depending on your manager.

Under two weeks to Taupo. I must get around to doing some training one of these days.

Accomodation etc booked for our trip to Auckland at Christmas. We're passing through Rotorua on the way up. I'm really, really tempted to stop off at the Agrodome and give Shweeb a go. Recumbent monorail bicycle racing: what's not to love?

  the first thing i want to say is Sunday, 9 November 2008 link

Mandate, my ass.

  i lost a couple of bucks on this one Wednesday, 5 November 2008 link

Thank fuck.

  missing limb/link Monday, 3 November 2008 link

We had a remarkably quiet Halloween. Bunked off work early to go to the party at the girls' creche. All worked out quite nicely: Rebecca had a custom-made witch outfit, Maggie a similarly custom tarantula costume. Photos bound to turn up at some point. The party was good - some overachieving parents had gone in costume, but most of us were too frazzled to have bothered. I had briefly considered putting on my top hat, but in the end I went with the flat cap - Baron Samedi when he's down the pub with his whippets, or summat. People were sufficiently impressed with the girls' costumes (including hand-made witches' hat for R) that Heather was asked if she could make another couple of costumes for nursery. Heather was too shattered from spending all her free evenings that week frantically sewing to think to say no.

Then we had to go home. Ever tried to get a toddler in an outfit with four extra arms strapped into a carseat?

We got trick-or-treated once, and I'm pretty sure it was the neighbours' kid. He benefitted greatly from the lack of competition for our mini-Moro bars.

It happens every time. Shortly before the round-Taupo ride, I blow out a couple of spokes on my rear wheel and require some drastic re-truing. This year, it happened early enough that I got it fixed pretty easily at Burkes Cycles, rather than last time where I blew out a load of spokes with six days to go. I'm just hoping that that's my only mechanical before the day. Knock on wood...

Like many people, I use to track what I'm listening to. There are a number of interesting consequences of having this sort of behaviour tracked; one of which is the "what will they think of me?" factor, when you realise that your friends can tell what you've actually been listening to (as opposed to what you're claiming to be into, man i really like your band yeah totally and i've not been listening to Madonna on repeat ok?). So one of the functions offers is that it allows you to delete tracks from your listening history - after all, benefit of the doubt, maybe it was when your kids grabbed the iPod and loaded it with Hannah Montana or somefink. Personally, I think it's mainly there so people can hide the evidence of their embarassing musical tastes - an opinion which would tend to be confirmed by the existence of the page that tracks the tracks and artists most commonly deleted from people's listening histories. It would appear that people are maximally embarassed by Britney Spears.

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unspoilt by progress

calm, peaceful, sweary

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