30 October 2011

The Halloween Horror Show That Never Was

After a week or so (some might say SIX plus ONE days) of making life a living hell for some of my misguided friends, colleagues and acquaintences (plus the odd random dude), it was time for the wheel of (mis)fortune that is the Premier League to turn yet again.

As a Liverpool fan, I am well aware that karma hasn't actually been on our side of late. Yes, we get lucky enough to sign a master tactician of a manager and almost immediately after tasting the miraculous joy of Istanbul, we're sent to the depths of footballing abyss thanks to the previous American owners. Now, we're back afloat again although still no where close to where we'd like to be.

So, prudence was a key skill to survive the weekend especially since there was a visit to The Hawthorns who just happen to have a former Liverpool manager organising things.

The vultures (or should I say Devils) were hanging around looking to pounce on news of a conceded goal or even worse, dropped points. Anything really to re-gain a bit of lost pride while at the same time, inflict some pain on their bitter rivals.

Thankfully, that never happened and Liverpool walked away with three points, two goals and nothing conceded.

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26 October 2011

The Night Dublin Stood Still

A whole month's amount of rain fell on Dublin on Monday night. A whole month. In a night.

Roads turned into rivers as Dublin's rush hour traffic was brought to a standstill. Yours truly on the other hand, isn't in the business of hanging around inhaling toxic fumes from all the cars. Sure, I was soaked to the bone on my old Vespa but at least I was moving along which on Monday night wasn't just a simple task of filtering through traffic.

At certain stages of the journey, I certainly felt that I was on some sort of extreme adventure scooter challenge involving riding a half-submerged Vespa in and out of gushing water, climbing up footpaths and navigating through layers of wet leaves so slippery I might have as well have been riding on frozen lake. Oh, and did I mention that this was all done while I was blind-folded.

OK, not exactly blind-folded but it certainly felt like that with a constantly fogging up helmet and the incessant rain pelting directly into my eyeballs.

As horrible as that might sound to some, I wouldn't have it any other way though.

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24 October 2011

Louis Vuitton Lid

Nope the recession isn't over just yet and the picture below isn't suggesting that I'm off on a shopping spree buying all the designer goods that I can get my hands on.

It's just a good spot to park my Vespa when I'm in the Grafton Street area.

Normally, I'd park the scooter there and walk away without even noticing the items on display in Louis Vuitton preferring to look across the street where Tower Records is located instead or head towards the ATM a few feet away. Actually, I try to avoid that particular ATM if I can as it constantly smells as if someone's taken a leak around it on a regular basis. Maybe there's some sort of pee-for-cash scheme going on here that I'm not aware of. Hmmm...

Anyway, while stopping by to get some winter essential gear for the kids, I couldn't help but notice the item that was on display in the designer store's window.

A Louis Vuitton motorcycle helmet.

I didn't bother asking whether it was really for sale or was it just for display purposes. Even if it was for sale and there wasn't a recession going on, I still wouldn't be caught dead in the thing.

Some might think otherwise.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

18 October 2011

The (Not So) Friendly Derby

Most of us are well aware of the Friendly Derby. Although matters on the pitch are far from friendly, it makes the casual observer wonder why in the world the Merseyside derby is given the Friendly label. Look a little closer and you'll realise that it's the fans that give rise to the derby's name.

Football fans in blue shirts mingle freely with their counterparts in red be it at Anfield or across Stanley Park at Goodison. As far as I know this happens no where else in the football world. Yes, other football clubs might have sets of fans where the father supports one club while the son supports their cross-city rivals. The same goes with brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and the best of friends - all separated because of their differing choice of football club. It's a normal enough situation worldwide but it's only in Liverpool that one can see the two sets of fans mingle almost freely on match day.

It doesn't mean the rivalry is of a lesser grade though. Far from it, the familiarity and closeness with the other side is what makes the pain of defeat so much harder to take.

So, what about the non-Merseyside based Liverpool fan?

The same applies but with a key difference - the taunts come from those in red shirts too. Not from down the East Lancs but from faraway places like Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Japan, etc. where like on Merseyside, fans from the other side can be those close to you.

And, the rivalry in this case is seldom friendly.

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10 October 2011

Dawn of A New Age

A new addition to the stable. And no, its not a scooter. I consider it a "performance upgrade" for the average, slightly "big-boned" scooter enthusiast.

I have to say, the improvement in performance won't be apparent in the short-term so we'll have to wait a little while longer before any conclusions are made.

In the meantime, I'm delighted to grab every opportunity I get to re-live my childhood years.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

08 October 2011

Steve Jobs Wasn't Known To Be Into Scooters But...

At least he made technology work for us normal human beings as opposed to the other way around.

To prove my point, here's something that my iPhone conjured up (with a bit of help from WordFoto) within a couple of minutes.

Not bad I suppose given that I have zero artistic ability.

06 October 2011

Ingenuity, Born of Necessity (and the Threat of Utter Boredom)

I sensed that all was not well as soon as I kick-started my Vespa that Monday morning. The engine sounded a bit rough but I pulled the throttle anyway and proceeded to head into work. Less than 5 minutes later, while stopping at a set of lights, the engine cut out. I initially thought that it was my mistake - releasing the clutch too early while the Vespa was still in gear or something. So, I gave it another kick , made sure to give it a mighty rev and assumed things would be back to normal.

My solution didn't work and I knew then that I was in trouble.

Having had the Vespa for a while now, I knew to check for the regular culprit first i.e. dirty carburetor. Obviously, no amount of kicking would resolve the problem there and then. So, I pulled the Vespa aside and at the first chance that came along, I pushed the Vespa to the other side of the road into a nearby hotel car park. At least in the car park I'd have a bit of privacy while I inspect the Vespa's internal organs.

It was then that I realised that I had my work clothes on. Nothing fancy but still, I didn't want to get them all sweaty and greasy that morning. I reached for the contents of my jacket's inner pocket and gave the recovery service a call. I was 5 minutes away from home but, the service was free and I was hell-bent on getting some of my insurance money back that morning.

That plan didn't work either.

Seemingly, the recovery service was so busy that morning, it would take about 3 hours before they could get a van out to where I was. Not wanting to risk dying of boredom in an an empty car park in the middle of practically nowhere, I decided to have a go at the thing right then.

To cut a long story short, after some fiddling around with the carb and experimenting with the choke, I managed to get the Vespa safely home. Oh, and that includes cutting out about three times along the way as well as probably doing less legal things at a few traffic lights.

Definitely better than hanging around doing nothing for around three hours.

04 October 2011

Analogue Time Travel Makes Bold Bloggers

This happens to me all the time and by that I don't mean that I'm some sort of Marty McFly driving around in a souped-up DeLorean nor am I genetically prepositioned to randomly jump butt-naked in time.

That's all too complicated for me. No, for me, all that's needed is my dear old watch and a month that doesn't have a 31st day that ideally, comes around a weekend when I'm away from the laptop and calendars becoming somewhat detached from time and dates.

Put simply, I don't notice that the second day of the month stays as the first day and the third day of the month is frozen in second and so forth. And so today, on the fourth day of the month (the watch still says that it's the 3rd of October), I start writing my first entry of the month...

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