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Posts from August 2008

Seriously, Who Uses Password as their AP Password?

Monday 18th August 2008

Poor, poor form. But at least I can do something at the train station after missing the train. That said theres some fairly hefty rain falling, which is making me fear for my Notebook’s safety, somewhat. Never mind, plough on.

I’m currently listening to the new Sigur Ros album, and have to say it’s fairly stunning. Rather unlike their previous efforts in a lot of ways, but really good nonetheless. I particularly like “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur” (means “within me a lunatic sings”). One of those songs which is just pure, unadulterated joy.

OK, so there was just an announcement over the station PA telling everyone to be careful because the platform might be wet. Honestly, if you can’t work that one out by yourself…

Anyway, stuff. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’ve been working lately, which is the cause of the lack of blogging. To be honest a lot of the time I’ve not really had anything to say. And then when I have had stuff to say, I’ve just not been awake enough to say it. Pretty frustrating, to be honest.

I enjoy working in some ways. Gets me out of the house, gets me money, etc. That said lots of things about this job annoy me, and I really can’t wait to start a “proper” job in September. It might not be immediately clear what I mean by that, but it’s one of the things on my to-do list as far as this thing is concerned. Actually I started writing about it the other day, but… C’est la vie.

I was back in Cardiff last week for reasons previously mentioned. Something that annoyed me about that actually is that for the first time I sat the exam, revision was something I didn’t particularly like doing and the material didn’t make all that much sense to me. This time round, I really enjoyed revising (it was like doing a more useful sudoku, if that makes sense), and had no trouble motivating myself. Of course part of that is possibly down to there being no second chances this time, but I dont think it was completely down to that. Irritating.

Anyway, Cardiff. I drove there, and it’s the first time that I’ve really driven round there (I drove there once a couple of years ago, but that doesnt count for several reasons). As I was driving around the city, I realised that it felt really alien, as if I hadn’t been there before and didn’t know it that well. Probably because it felt completely different seeing and feeling it from the car. On familiar roads you get used to how they feel; where the bumps are, the texture of the road, how things work etc. It kinda felt nicer from the driver’s seat than it does from the pavement, but thats more down  to the quality of the paving in Cardiff…

Wow, I’m rambling now.

So yeah, as well as that alienness there was also a proper recognition of the place, as you’d expect considering the fact that I’ve (mostly) lived there for a couple of years now. Driving around, seeing lots of different places brought back some of the memories from the last couple of years. Sort of “oh, I remember doing such and such here”. It was nice, if a little weird when combined with the unfamiliarity I was feeling.

Still doesn’t feel like home though. When I’m on the motorway and I see a sign for The Midlands, it just feels like “That way be home”. Don’t feel that when I see a sign for Cardiff.

Train o’Clock. Bye

Posted In: CarsGeekMusicRandomSiteStuff Tagged: | 8 Comments

Risk

Tuesday 5th August 2008

Motorsport is dangerous. If we’re honest with ourselves, that danger is probably part of the reason people like the sport. Everyone involved with it, either directly or as a fan, is aware of the risk and accepts it. If we didn’t accept it, we wouldn’t be involved. You just bury it in the back of your mind; ignore it, pretty much.

I’m mostly interested in car racing, so I wasn’t really aware of the World Superbike meeting at Brands Hatch last weekend. To be frank, I was much more interested in the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix, which was an absolutely stonking race. Whilst I was watching it with one of my brothers I remarked that “races like this are why I love this sport”. It was absolutely astounding. But if the Grand Prix is an example of what makes the sport great, the WSBK race serves as a reminder of the darker side of motorsport.

As I’m not really interested in bike racing, I’d only vaguely heard of Craig Jones. He was in second place in the race on Sunday, when the back end of the bike just started to slide, as he powered out of a corner. He fell off. He was involved in a fairly tight battle at the time, and so the guy in third place was pretty much right behind him. Right behind him. At about 140-150mph. You can guess the rest (or read the story).

Motorsport is dangerous. There are little signs all around race circuits that tell you that, and it’s even printed on the back of the tickets for most things. But it’s something that you’re only dimly aware of. Sure, you know it can happen, but you’re fairly sure that it probably wont. Especially in car racing – I can’t remember the last time I heard of someone being fatally injured in a car, outside of rallying. It’s something that I think I – subconsciously at least – thought belonged in the past, to the Gilles Villeneuves and Stefan Bellofs of the world.

Sure, this time it happened in motorbike racing; something which is inherently more dangerous than car racing (you can provide all sorts of crash structures in a car to cushion an impact. You can’t do that in a bike – no matter how hard you try, you can’t stop someone falling off and being hit by another rider). But that doesn’t remove the fact that we’ve been incredibly lucky with car racing lately. Incredibly lucky. I can think offhand of about half a dozen accidents that could have been much worse, had things been ever so slightly different. I still remember the feeling when I watched Kubica’s crash at Canada last year, for instance.

The next person to tell me “the accidents are the best bit” is going to get punched in the face.

I think part of the reason im so taken aback is that it happened at Brands Hatch. I’ve never been there, but it’s a circuit I’ve seen a fair amount of racing on (BTCC and so on), and it’s actually one of my favourites. I can’t explain why, but that sort of makes it more “real”. I know that the next time I watch a race held there, the image of Jones sliding gently onto the tarmac is going to go through my mind, at least for the first lap. Honestly, I don’t know how people could even watch motorsport back in the 60s – when it was properly dangerous – let alone compete. I think it was 1968, when during the summer one top-line driver died each month. One a month. I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if that happened now.

This news has seriously shocked me.

Posted In: MotorsportSleepStuff Tagged: | 11 Comments