hirez: (Challenger)
On Monday, we were driving up through Old Market towards the Volunteer when there was a noise of more-or-less unsilenced motorcycle.

I commend you all to go visit the Volunteer while they're having a Japanese 'pop up' cooking-thing. It is all lovely and goes nicely with any of the beers they may have on tap. Although you will become the sort of person who visits a 'pop up' thing and thus be forced to don a paper bag when mixing with sensible people from now on.

Anyway. Motorcycle. Or in this case quadbike. Quadbikes. Weaving through the traffic in a manner familiar to those who might have seen the Banana Splits television programme, which sucked the colour from the country in the early seventies and left us with brown and avocado until we were saved by the Thatcherite shock troops of the 23rd Laura Ashley bombardment wing some years later.

If you are unfamiliar with the start of the Banana Splits television programme, the pair of scrote-piloted quadbikes were weaving through the traffic up Old Market towards the 90-degree bend as if they had stolen them. Like everyone else, I slowed right down because killing bikers, even scrotey ones, is a really bad idea. Thus I was a couple of car lengths away from the 90-degree bend opposite the big old hotel/bar thing at the top of Old Market when one of the scrotes zoomed up on the inside.

I don't know much about making quadbikes go around corners. I suspect that like most other vehicles, steaming up the outside, clipping the apex and powering away is the correct way of doing it. So when scrotey-boy steamed up the inside, I was paying attention because I wanted to see how he did it. I think it would have gone better had he been able to make the back end break away and been able to steer round the corner on the throttle.

As it was, the big balloon tyres performed as normal and collapsed on the outside, which if not corrected would spit him sideways and through a taxi office window. He tried to straighten up, but it was a 90-degree bend opposite a big old hotel/bar.

It was like watching someone on one of those bouncy-castle-velcro-suit games that people have a go on when they're drunk and always smell of vomit. Only on a quadbike travelling at circa 20mph into a solidly built hotel/bar. The quadbike bounced back into the middle of the road and scrotey-boy crumpled into the middle of the pavement.
hirez: (Challenger)
I'm starting to get the impression that my 'social' 'media' 'profile' would likely become quite something if I just shut up and posted more pictures of more inanimate objects.

Aside (i): this '#nofilter' business. What does that even mean? My initial assumption was that whoever-it-is that was using that hashtag had finally admitted to having no boundaries whatsoever and that we could look forward to pictures of their bog, distraught partner or pile of Jack Wills carriers. LIke some app-happy Toby Young.

We don't talk about folksonomy any more, do we. Clay Shirky is probably doing the nostalgia circuit with that Shingy bloke, no doubt MC'ed by some Barry Shitpeas who's warmup is some twenty minutes on things that people in 2004 found impenetrable - 'D'you remember when the people who could afford houses went on about white dogshit? What was that all about? Etc.' - before Shingy and Shirky take the stage. Two falls, two posts to Corante or a startling haircut to decide the winner..

Aside (ii): Out-of-context metadata makes you look like a pillock.

So here's a picture linked to/from Faceache, because I hate what people have done to the internet through sheer greed. It is of a really ratty looking Dodge Challenger. An ancient and agricultural American vehicular conveyance m'lud. Two doors, mostly bonnet and fuel-guzzling iron V8, cart sprung, probably drum brakes at one end and the upholstery in the things smells just like my grandfather's Austin Cambridge.

Aside (iii): See what I did there?

What I would like to know about those things is why that sort of car in that sort of state is so close to a perfect conveyance?

Ok, so it could be better with an IRS, discs all round, modern ECU, modern 4WD and tyres of the same size at each corner. But apart from that...
hirez: (Challenger)
The middle road into Bath from Bristol is now mostly a 40 limit, apart from the bits that are 30. Although at the far end there is a 'National speed limit applies' section each side of Kelston. Which is obviously the near end if you're coming from Bath. Because the daemons of traffic management like a laugh, those are the twistiest bits where you will find a succession of lumpy blind corners and if you're really lucky, an idiot on the far side of the solid white lines overtaking a cyclist in the teeth of oncoming traffic. Because they are idiots.

As you come into (or finally exit) Bath, there are a couple of houses along the outer edge of what's more or less a 120-degree corner. It is either an opportunity for avoiding buses or jumping on the brakes as you sweep down towards it from Kelston.

Today there was a new(ish) Merc jammed neatly but sideways across the gateway to one of those houses. Given the crumpled nature of the black and white chevron signs and the scraped verge, I can only guess that Billy-Bollocks the Merc pilot had been rather too enthusiastic about hoofing it through the twisty bits and managed to have it NASCAR up the 'banking' and into the drive.

I fear I laughed. That sort of crash position is comedy gold.
hirez: (Challenger)
This week, I have been pottering about in Justyn's 9k Griffen while he fixes most of the things wrong with mine with which I have been putting up for some number of years. This sort of thing is stupid, but it is a thing one does. See also 'having a bone in one's leg', 'ow my rsi', 'oh just reboot it and see if it goes better' et al. When I say 'one', I mean 'everyone' obviously.

His car has two speeds - turbo not helping and crikey.

Anyway, I putting fuel in the thing down Morrisons and wondering what dickhead move one or more of the other drivers would pull...

Seriously. It's like cheap(er) fuel attracts the complete bell-ends that are either apprentice drug-dealers (they're not), self-righteous DMail readers or taxi pilots with a tenuous grip on physics. And. It's not like there's that much to be saved. A pee per litre is going to be something like a quid difference if you're one of the daft buggers who fill the tank, but there they are queueing in the middle of the road and getting all wavy fist if people try to get past on the way to somewhere else like grownups.

... and then the lights went out and all the pumps stopped. There seemed to be some running about and arm-waving going on in the kiosk, and after a few seconds it became obvious that the electricity wasn't coming back on again any time soon. I pottered over to the end of the queue to discover that some poor sod's car had started pissing fuel across the concrete apron, the fire brigade had been called and would we please carry on without EPOS kit.

It was like going back to the eighties, so I grabbed a copy of the NME (which is in a dreadful state) and watched as they dug the card-rolly machine out and blew the dust off the thing.

When I returned to the car-that-is-not-mine, it was to find a set of firemen shovelling magic sand underneath the Cavalier at the pump behind mine while a different set of people jabbered on their phones in strict disobedience of relevant heath & safety malarkey.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
This afternoon I found out what a cyclist hitting a car sounds like. In the way that road accidents don't go bang so much as slap, so it is with people hitting bonnets.

I say heard rather than saw because I was busy looking over my shoulder for entirely expected cars at the oblique junction where the river path meets Locksbrook Road/Brassmill Lane at the edge of Bath, when there was a crunching slap noise from in front of me.

There was a moment of silence before the driver started on a fit of the vapours and the passenger leapt out and round the car toward the chap on the ground shouting fuck fuck FUCK.

I stayed out of the way - someone else was already on the phone for an ambulance, I'd not actually seen what had happened and getting in the way so as to be able to post pictures on Twitter would have been rubbish.
hirez: (Challenger)
Most of you will know that my alleged commute involves driving to the near edge of Bath and then pottering along the river/bike path into the centre of town.

Sometimes the handy bit of A4 where I usually leave the car is filled with complete bastards, so I park in a quiet backstreet where I could probably stand to live if I was rich, smug and middle-class enough. It's also obvious that parking out of office hours is a nightmare prospect for all who live there.

This evening, said backstreet was really not quiet at all. When I rolled up and was busily shoving the bike in the back of the car, there was someone parked in the middle of the street, offloading stuff into a house. 'Fair enough' I thought. It's a good and warm evening and I can sit there with the windows open and wind down while they do their thing, toddle off and leave the road clear for me to pull away and beetle home. After a while, they did indeed trog off, followed by a half-dozen cars that had queued up behind them in the interim.

I pull out, get halfway down the road, and am met by a pair of cars. They're not going backwards because, oh, try persuading two motorists to reverse, so I have to reverse halfway back down the street and back into the last parking space on the street that I had just vacated. The first car of the pair obviously wants my parking space, so hovers a few metres past me, expecting me to sod off out of the way. I'm going nowhere because the second car has... Stopped in the middle of the road in the same place to offload stuff.

Eventually, they both sod off, followed by another queue of cars that the second offloading has collected.

I pull out again, and am halfway down the road when I'm met by a pair of cars. This time there's nowhere for me to reverse to since the last car in the most recent queue has just nipped into the space I vacated. I make the international hand signal to the driver of the other car that means 'I've just done this twice. Now it's your turn.'

She reverses into a parked car, putting a right old dent in the rear passenger door. At this point, I can see that no good is going to come of anything now, so decide to reverse all the damn way down the road to the damn t-junction at the end. Terrible-reversing-woman takes this as a sign that one accident's not enough and follows me pretty much bumper-to-bumper in order to escape the consequences of not being able to reverse a Corsa worth a damn. Or wants to even up the score by causing dents with both ends.

The t-junction at the end has cars parked all round it, so reversing out of it and uphill out of the way is a bit of a fiddle. Terrible-reversing-woman elbows past as soon as she is able and steams down to the next junction, only to meet someone else trying to turn into the road. Where there is no space for two cars. There's more reversing, this time by other people. I get the hell out of the way and out of Bath as quickly as I am able.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Followed some epic shitebag out of Bath along the middle road. It's not the A4 or the A46, it's the other one. Still an A-road but a bit more twisty.

There's a certain variety of driver who should not be let out of areas where there's a 30-limit, and given the nasty sod's behaviour, even that's probably going to end up with some pedestrian or pushbiker mown down for the poor taste of wanting to get from A to B at the same time as Mr (Ms, Mrs or Mx. Equal opportunity feckwit-naming here.) Tosspot.

This was one of them. It crawled along the darkened country bits at 20MPH, seemingly suffering from terrible agoraphobia or some other affliction of the wall-following. As soon as it saw a 30-limit, of which there are several, the fucking bastard decided that 40MPH was an ideal rate of travel. That's just a shit trick and there's no excuse for it. I can only guess that it felt safe when surrounded by buildings.

Stay the fuck away from the countryside. There is nothing for you here.
hirez: (Challenger)
Toys. Bastard.
hirez: (Challenger)
Oh, FFS (i) : Some bollix w/hooped jumper and hybrid. Yes, you should expect a Futurist car-horn fanfare when you try to turn right against the lights without looking to see what the cars coming from your left are doing. You cock. Especially since you were coming from the Queen's Square end and there are two pleasant, narrow and largely car-free streets you can nip down which will put you on the end of the bike lane. But of course you're a blasted car-pilot in disguise and you're too feckwitted to think like that. And yes, the other cyclist in the black t-shirt did call you a complete cock-end.6

Oh, FFS (ii): Two bloody cars on the same roundabout on two different days. It must be localised magnetic stupidity that makes you stare right at the car half-way across the roundabout and heading in your direction and then think (well, I say 'think') 'Oh I can just nip out in front of.. Oh.' and then pretend that you can't see the nice man in the Saab giving you one of his special waves. You cocks.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
A couple of years ago, I was to be found mithering about crap Bristol car drivers parking on the pavement. I assume it's an extension of the 'leaving the hazard flashers on means I can park somewhere stupid' (lack of) thought process. It's as if they know they're doing something that's going to shite stuff up for other people, and they're making some strange kind of semi-socially-acceptable excuse/apology. Obviously, if you call them on it, they go all passive-aggressive on you.

The thing is, it's socially-enforced shit behaviour. A few people bung their cars halfway up on the pavement, and the next time you park up you're going to get funny looks if you don't join in. Even though it's illegal. At the point where everybugger's at it, it becomes de facto normality.

Perhaps I am failing to articulate just how much I detest such behaviours? Perhaps not. Perhaps I'd like to live in a town where pedestrians get priority instead of tosser car-pilots.


The rot's started in our street. Some twatmonkey in a MX5 has plonked his (or indeed her) hateful shitbox halfway up the pavement. I await developments with mild concern.

[Poll #1777986]
hirez: (Challenger)
I punted this one around the office after nearly flattening some poor and callow youth in a learny-learny Fiat 500 - they were probably agreeing with me out of pity.

So.[Poll #1769584]
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
2000 words. More or less. )
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
I dunno that it's worth the wear on fingers, brain and keyboard to fulminate about the supreme uselessness of Guardian journos, but I may as well get it out of my system here rather than gesticulating outside the newsagents. And, really, the Guardian motoring section is more of a tick-list inclusion in one or other of the Saturday throw-outs, along with 'Me and my spoon', 'Pictures of rich people you don't know', 'Useless man's opinion', 'Useless woman's opinion', 'Advert for bicycle-shaped objects' and 'Advert for very mildly pervy underwear'.

So. Guardian mithering section. This week's mithering was one or other of the blokes that write the 'What I watched and you didn't you hopeless pleb god I wish I was as good as Charlie Brooker.' They'd given him some oil-burning Jag and presumably told him not to Troy Queef the thing because it might make George Monbiot cry. Thus him + sig. other beetle off up the M40. And get stuck in the snow. So have to spend the night in Stokenchurch.

How on earth do people that useless manage to live in towns and not get run over by milkfloats or mugged by pensioners?

Obviously, the Guardianista agenda is that large cars are just icky and any opportunity to cast them in poor light must be leapt upon, but that's kind of expected to be the sort of subtext that requires attentive reading. It's a bit bloody desperate when the entire article boils down to 'I can't drive and cars smell of poo!'

Meanwhile the other utterly useless tellybloke is interviewing Simon Pegg and is so completely wet that a Young Ones reference has to be carefully explained.

Lest anyone get the idea that I'm about to start jabbering about Men's Rights and sod off to join a drumming circle peopled by useless bastards... Actually, fuck it. Men's Rights and drumming circles? Useless bunch of bastards. You wouldn't catch anyone who was, y'know, actually any good at stuff having owt to do with that malarkey.

Oh. Hold on. Bit of a leap there. See, what I think is going on is some broken thinking about equality through abdication of competence. There was an article in the same Guardian a couple of weeks ago about some bloke feeling like he didn't measure up because his dad did DIY (to the level of extension building), plumbing, sparking, car-mending and presumably the rest of the Heinleinian competency checklist. And none of these things went badly wrong enough to require the appearance of a smirking Nick Fucking Knowles to make a Heartwarming Documentary.

So anyway, it seems to me that competence and knowing stuff is seen as inimical to equality, which is so far beyond fucked up that I don't know where to begin with it.

And I think that's kind of the thing. It's a massive point-missing exercise, just like their AssangeWikileaks 'coverage'. They're trying to make it all about his personality (hacker - it's either missing or impenetrable to that lot) rather than the sodding data. And the silly bastard should totally go to Sweden and do his bloody time rather than bleating about being caught. Jayzus. (Although, scene-whores, right? Let's not pretend they don't exist.)

Further lest: Stewart Lee nails what's wrong with Top Gear. It is well worth fifteen minutes of your time. Who knows, while you're occupied with that, one or more useless 'celebrities' will have used up their Warholian allotted time and will have been shot by sandmen for attempting to evade Carousel. It's win-win.
hirez: (Challenger)

... Which appears to be a demonstration that even when no expense is spared, it's possible to get it wrong.

For instance... 800 alleged HP and no cage. It's done no miles, so they don't really know if all the bits they've thrown at it will work together. The dash looks like it's been made from sticky-back plastic. There may be nice (ish) suspension bits at the front, but it's still cart-sprung at the back. No bloody cage? Are you mad? Look, we know that the rubbish spouted by the big-car freaks about 'My crumple-zone is the other car' or 'Mine's bigger so physics is on my side' has been proved wrong both here and in the US. The spoiler looks like it's been thieved off an old Manta and I suspect a splitter would have been much more use, but then that would involve test-driving the bastard thing.

I'm sure there are more things that I've not spotted. I mean, it's not like I'm some ex-2CV pilot (although I am an ex-2CV pilot) who fulminates at the sound of rorty V8 motors, it's just for that sort of money...

I'm going to prod the internet and see if there are IRS retrofits for V8 sheds.

Sugga MCs

Dec. 28th, 2008 02:41 pm
hirez: (Challenger)
Spotted while pottering about the local aerial. I suspect a 90 chassis, PT Cruiser body and some fettling with a big hammer.

The titles just write themselves... )
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Or in this case, several hundred miles from the Elsinore, which is somewhat unfortunate given we were supposed to be in that there Whitby today. However, some dozy arse in a turd-coloured Disco thought he'd have a bash at remodelling the Saab's tailgate on the A46. This also somehow buggered the driver's window electrics, so it's stuck at half-mast. Not really a state of affairs I was comfortable ignoring for a week, so it's off to the bodyshop tomorrow.

If they think it's worth fixing, I ought to be handed a spare car. This will no doubt be a shopping trolley, which we can fill with too many bags and attempt to putter north in. Again.

The other options are going to be expensive, so I'm trying not to think about them.

This comes on top of some house-stuff wanting money thrown at it and some seriously shit news I've not got around to processing just yet.

The temptation to crawl into a succession of vodka bottles and not come out 'til the music stops is really rather high.


hirez: (Default)

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