All entries for September 2006

September 30, 2006

Speed cameras appeal

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Ok, so I’m three days late on this. But nevertheless I have a little I want to say about this.

Basically, a couple of motorists have taken their case, of the law surrounding speed cameras (principally, that you are required to incriminate yourself) breaches the “you have the right to remain silent” bit of human rights, to the EU courts. I think a lot of the discussion related to this case is misdirected as drivers trying to get off tickets. Whilst I can’t speak for others, that’s not how I feel. If I get caught fairly and squarely breaking the law, I deserve to face the consequences. If I choose to speed, then it’s my responsibility entirely to avoid getting nicked. What annoys me about this case is the government’s contempt for obeying the laws that it writes. In much the same way that human rights campaigners get annoyed with anti-terrorism legislation because of the questionable ways it bypasses legislation on human rights, so it annoys me that the government cannot be bothered to legislate correctly in accordance with other laws it has already passed, and instead chooses a half-arsed method of enforcing speeding laws with questionable legality. Is that really such a ridiculous objection? To ask that the government does it’s job properly for once? I know it’s asking a lot, but it is perhaps what we should hold them to nonetheless.

September 21, 2006

Hammond in stable condition

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I heard about this on my way into work on the news this morning, and it must be said I was pretty shocked. Thankfully doctors are optimistic of a good recovery, although he’s suffered a significant brain injury. My thoughts and best wishes go to Hammond and his family and friends.

What annoys me, however, is the reported reaction I heard on the radio on my journey home. In amongst the get well and “he’s a legend” messages were a load of ones complaining that Top Gear is too extreme in it’s stunts, that since Hammond wasn’t “a professionally trained racing driver” he should never have been allowed to do the stunt in the first place, that it was irresponsible for him to do dangerous stunts because he has a family, that something like this was bound to happen sooner or later.

Well let me tell you something. I’m sure the last thing that Hammond would want is a backlash toning it all down as a result of his accident. From what I can make out of it, the car suffered a tyre blowout at high speed anyway in which case it was hardly a lack of skill that caused the accident, and nothing could really be done about it anyway. Top Gear is reasonably out there with it’s stunts because it’s what viewers like myself love to watch, and I’m in no doubt that Hammond and the other presenters do what they do willingly and in fact love the opportunities they get to do amazing things presenting that programme. I am one of countless people who would love to have his job. Why can’t someone do a job that they love if they are accepting of the risks? It was his choice to accept those risks; considering how bad most people’s parenting is these days yet it’s ‘their choice to do what they want’ I don’t think getting into a fast car in a controlled environment is bad parenting technique by comparison. Just because he’s had children doesn’t mean he should give up a job he loves, and stop doing the things he loves. Being a parent doesn’t mean your life is over. Sod off and go be judgemental on people who are deserving of it.

September 08, 2006

New car again

Ok the Focus ST-2 has been on order since the end of July. I was aware that the delivery would not be exact and may be slightly later than the 3 months originally quoted. However I got a phone call from the dealer this morning explaining that there were parts supply issues with the ST’s, and currently my car is due to be built in the December/January period. This, to be honest, isn’t great. I know it’s no fault of the dealer, and in many ways this works out ok because I get to keep my current car a while longer whilst I’m doing lots of 500 mile a week commuting to work until I get my own place sorted out hopefully early next year. But really, I want a new car sooner than that. So my options, as far as I’ve decided, are as follows:

1. Stick with the Focus. Accept that it’s going to be ages until it gets here, get some money together in the meantime and enjoy it when it finally gets here


2. Cancel my order and get my deposit back, and look for a nearly new 350Z GT manual. Insurance is a few hundred quid higher but still in the realms of affordability. Fuel economy drops from a listed 30MPG to 24MPG (so from 25MPG to 20 if I’m lucky in the real world), and considering I’m going to be doing around 18,000 miles a year on a limited budget this is significant, as is the rise in insurance costs. However, it means I get a better car slightly sooner. The 350Z is a lovely car, a good deal quicker again than the ST and rear wheel drive with a meaty and sonorous 3.5 litre V6. From a financial point of view, it makes more sense (less depreciation and interest to pay on the loan) but faces higher running costs. From a practical/personal point of view, it’s more of a proper sports car but less practical and it’s not new.

Have ruled out Jags for the time being as either too costly or too soft compared to my other two options for the time being. Thoughts of petrol-head bloggers welcome.

September 06, 2006

I have lived through 86 of these 158 things

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A. Put numbers in the boxes instead of x’s (example: 1, 2, 3, 4, …)
B. Repost as “I have lived through … of these 158 things.”

[1] I have read a lot of books.
[2] I have been on some sort of varsity team.
[3] I have run more than 2 miles without stopping.
[4] I have been to Canada.
[5] I have been to Europe.
[6] I have watched cartoons for hours.
[7] I have tripped UP the stairs.
[x] I have fallen down an entire flight of stairs.
[x] I have been snowboarding/skiing.
[8] I have played ping pong.

[9] I swam in the ocean.
[x] I have been on a whale watch.
[10] I have seen fireworks.
[11] I have seen a shooting star.
[x] I have seen a meteor shower.
[x] I have almost drowned
[12] I have been so embarrassed I wanted to disappear.
[13] I have listened to one CD over and over and over again.
[x] I have had stitches. How have I avoided this!
[x] I have had frostbite.

[x] I have licked a frozen pole and got stuck there.
[14] I have stayed up til 2 doing homework/projects. Poster and final report for group project
[15] I currently have a job.
[16] I have been ice skating.
[17] I have been rollerblading.
[18 ] I have fallen flat on my face.
[19] I have tripped over my own two feet.
[20] I have been in a fist fight.
[21] I have played videogames for more than 3 hours straight.
[22] I have watched the Power Rangers. I was young!

[x] I attend Church regularly.
[23] I have played truth or dare.
[24] I have already had my 16th birthday.
[25] I have already had my 17th birthday.
[26] I’ve called someone stupid.
[27] I’ve been in a verbal argument.
[28] I’ve cried in school.

[x] I’ve played basketball on a team.
[x] I’ve played baseball on a team.
[x] I’ve played Rugby on a team.
[x] I’ve played football on a team.
[x] I’ve done cheerleading on a team.
[x] I’ve played softball on a team.
[x] I’ve played volleyball on a team.
[x] I’ve played tennis on a team.
[x] I’ve been on a track or cross country team.
[29] I’ve been swimming more than 20 times in my life.
[x] I’ve bungee jumped.
[30] I’ve climbed a rock wall.
[x] I’ve lost more than $20.

[31] I’ve called myself an idiot.
[32] I’ve called someone else an idiot.
[33] I’ve cried myself to sleep.
[34] I’ve had (or have) pets.
[x] I’ve owned a Spice Girls CD.
[35] I’ve owned a Britney Spears CD.
[x] I’ve owned an N*Sync CD.
[x] I’ve owned a Backstreet Boys CD.
[x] I’ve mooned someone.
[x] I have sworn at someone of authority before.

[36] I’ve been in the newspaper.
[x] I’ve been on TV.
[x] I’ve been to Hawaii.
[x] I’ve eaten sushi.
[x] I’ve been on the other side of a waterfall
[37] I’ve watched all of the Lord of the Rings movies.
[x] I’ve watched all the Harry Potter movies.
[x] I’ve watched all of the Rocky movies.
[x] I’ve watched the 3 Stooges.
[x] I’ve watched “Newlyweds” Nick & Jessica.

[38] I’ve watched Looney Tunes.
[x] I’ve been stuffed into a locker/I have stuffed others into lockers.
[39] I’ve been called a geek.
[x] I’ve studied hard for a test and got a bad grade
[40] I’ve not studied at all for a test and aced it.
[41] I’ve hugged my mom within the past 24 hrs.
[42] I’ve hugged my dad within the past 24 hours.
[x] I’ve met a celebrity/music artist.
[43] I’ve written poetry.
[x] I’ve been arrested.

[44] I’ve been attracted to someone much older than me.
[x] I’ve been tickled till I’ve cried.
[45] I’ve tickled someone else until they cried.
[46] I’ve had/have siblings.
[x] I’ve been to a rock concert.
[47] I’ve listened to classical music and enjoyed it.
[48] I’ve been in a play.
[x] I’ve been picked last in gym class.
[49] I’ve been picked first in gym class.
[50] I’ve been picked in that middle–range in gym class.

[51] I’ve cried in front of my friends.
[52] I’ve read a book longer than 1,000 pages.
[x] I’ve played Halo 2.
[x] I’ve freaked out over a sports game.
[x] I’ve been to Alaska.
[x] I’ve been to China.
[53] I’ve been to Spain.
[x] I’ve been to Japan.
[54] I’ve had a fight with someone on Instand Messenger.
[55] I’ve had a fight with someone face–to–face.

[56] I’ve had serious conversations on any IM.
[57] I’ve forgiven someone who has done something wrong to me.
[58] I’ve been forgiven.
[x] I’ve screamed at a scary movie.
[59] I’ve cried at a chick flick.
[60] I’ve watched a lot of action movies. Does this cancel out the previous one for embarrassment purposes?
[61] I’ve screamed at the top of my lungs.
[x] I’ve been to a rap concert.
[x] I’ve been to a hip hop concert.
[62] I’ve lived in more than 2 houses.

[63] I’ve driven on the highway/been on the highway.
[64] I’ve driven more than 40 miles in a day/been in a car that went more than 40 miles in a day.
[65] I’ve been in a car accident.
[x] I’ve done drugs.
[x] I’ve been homesick.
[66] I’ve thrown up.
[x] I’ve puked on someone.
[67] I’ve been horseback riding.
[x] I’ve filled out more than 10 MySpace surveys.
[68] I’ve spoken my mind in public.

[69] I’ve proved someone wrong.
[70] I’ve been proven wrong by someone. I think it happened once in 1993
[x] I’ve broken a leg.
[71] I’ve broken an arm.
[72] I’ve fallen off a swing.
[73] I’ve swung on a swing for more than 30 minutes straight
[x] I’ve watched Winnie the Pooh movies.
[x] I’ve forgotten my backpack when I’ve gone to school.
[x] I’ve lost my backpack.

[x] I’ve come close to dying. Do near-misses count? If so, add one
[x] I’ve seen someone die.
[74] I’ve known someone who has died.
[x] I’ve wanted to be an actor/actress at some point.
[75] I’ve done modelling. Good old airfix/Warhammer 40k
[x] I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth some mornings.
[76] I’ve taken something/someone for granted.
[77] I’ve realized how good my life is.
[78] I’ve counted my blessings.
[79] I’ve made fun of a classmate.

[80] I’ve been asked out by someone and I said no.
[x] I’ve slapped someone in the face. I punch
[81] I’ve been skateboarding.
[82] I’ve been backstabbed by someone I thought was a friend.
[83] I’ve lied to someone to their face.
[84] I’ve told a little white lie.
[x] I’ve taken a day off from school just so I don’t go insane.
[x] I’ve fainted. I did knock myself out though
[x] I’ve had an argument with someone about whether cheerleading is a sport or not.
[85] I’ve pushed someone into a pool.
[x] I’ve been pushed into a pool.
[86] I’ve been/ am in love.

September 05, 2006

Life's most fun activity…

I have decided over the past few weeks whilst farming that the most enjoyable activity someone can do is ploughing. Sure, driving a fast car is more thrilling, but ultimately I reckon I enjoy ploughing more. It’s relaxing, it allows a great opportunity for the mind to think, and it’s just fun really. There’s nothing quite like motoring along all day at a good pace, doing a good job of something, carrying on till midnight or so and then starting afresh at 6AM to the song of the birds awakening at sunrise. Sadly I fear that my fifth summer playing farming will be my last. I’m hoping to find a way of keeping a bit of farming on the cards, maybe using a long holiday in the summer, but at the moment I need to do some more thought and investigation into it. Anyway, here’s a picture of my toy and me looking “like a hick” according to Lindsey:

September 2006

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