Saturday, May 27, 2006

Marco Pantani. 13 January 1970 - 14 February 2004. R.I.P.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Europe to crack down on passive drinking

No, this is not an April fools joke, the Eurocrats really are planning to combat the effects of heavy drinking. I sort of expected this, after years of anti-smoking, the petty beurocrats that like to tell us how to live have don the smoking issue to death, so they must have a new hobby horse to ride over us mere taxpayers with. Which is anti-drinking. This will no doubt be helped along by the islamicists who of course, don't drink and would never even consider the tiniest of snifters.

Cheers !
R.I.P. Desmond Dekker

Died today, aged just 65. I think It Mek was one of the first reggae singles I bought.
Indymedia Ireland

This is a very strange place;
It seems to be where all the mad lefties live.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Boudicca buried in Birmingham ?

Is Queen Boudicca buried in Brum ? Did the wild Queen of the Iceni have her last battle against Seutonius Paulinus's massed Legions in Kings Norton, on Parsons Hill where McDonalds stands nowadays !
I always believed the evidence pointed to the last battle being somewhere near Mancetter just South East of Atherstone, which fits the description of a plain before wooded hills. So can the surroundings of Kings Norton according to Councillor Peter Douglas Osborn, and Roman age remains have just been discovered there. Hmmm, or better, ho hum.
Race riots in oldham.
These happened in 2001. The media generally referred to them as race riots, meaning white vs. Asian, but the real reason was deeper. A wordy report by Professor Cantle of The Institute of Community Cohesion (what the fuck ?), Coventry University, has just been published.
In it there are many words about communities, vision, attitudes, engagement, partenership arrangements. But there is just one telling sentence;

Among those interviewed were a young Muslim mother who was discouraged from mixing with her non-Muslim Indian neighbour and a white man who did not want to mix with Asian students at his college because he felt they had nothing in common.
The report said: "Such attitudes are completely untenable as a basis upon which to build cohesive communities."

The exact words from the report are;
�My neighbour is Indian and my Muslim community tell me off for speakingwith her. They say, I should speak to her if I am getting her to embrace Islam� otherwise no.�

This is the real reason behind the riots, that muslims are not allowed to mix with others, a fact which a chap I was working with in Bolton that lives in Oldham pointed out at the time of the riots. The majority, maybe all, the Asians in Oldham are Bangladeshi muslims. In only one place in the report does religion get mentioned as a reason for segregation, and it is followed with a white youth saying he does not want to mix with Asians;
�I have nothing to do with them (Asians) at my college. We have nothing incommon and we would not want to get involved with each other. We arehappy as we are�.

So the report gives a bad comment from a muslim and 'balances' it with a bad comment from a baddy (young white).
Nowhere does it say that the basic beliefs and mindset (religion) of the Asians is wrong.
The finish of yesterdays stage of the Giro d'Italia was a little cold;

The finish was moved 5 k further down and 500M lower. Another triumph for Ivan Basso. Now Piepoli is in the running for the Pink Jersey. The next 3 days will be interesting.
Managed to avoid my bike yesterday evening, outside was cold (7 C) and wet, I just couldn't face any time on the turbo. Idle sod.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is a live cam from the top of Plan de Corones, where today's stage of the Giro d'Italia is due to finish in a couple of hours. Surely not ? Where are the crowds ? This must be some other part of the mountain.

Just hearing that the last few kilometers of the climb are cancelled. Shame.

Team Gerolsteiner has a 34/27 gear ratio for the climb today, that gives a lowest gear of 52"
which is like my lowest-ever mtb gear ! Blimey !
The internet. Possibly The Best Thing Ever.

Here I am on an otherwise boring Wednesday afternoon, whilst over in Northern Italy a drama is emerging ! Awful weather has made the last part of the stage up to Plan de Corones (at 2300 M) a quagmire, some teams complained so the Giro organisers made a comprimise. The shortened the course. But, they didn't take out the dirt track at the end of the stage, which is currently covered in mud, with snow either side ! They left out an in-between mountain, the sadists !
And here is a live coverage from the Gazzetto Della Sport website;

How brilliant is that ! A few years back the only way I would find out today's stage results in maybe in tomorrows paper, but probably in next weeks Cycling Weakly.


Ullrich is riding well in the Giro, nothing spectacular, but looking good for Le Tour.

Basso looks like he has the makings of a real star. Yesterday he rode away from the best of the Giro riders with ease, to finish over a minute in front of Simoni. I just hope he can recover in time for Le Tour !

Well, arrived home yesterday with the intention of doing a hard ride on the turbo, as going out was impossible because of the cold and wet, and I'm a wimp. So evetually did a miserable 15 minutes. What a waste of an evening.
Woke up at 5 this morning, starving and aching, so got up and had sausage-on-toast. Mmm.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ivan Basso doesn't like football !


When maglia rosa Ivan Basso was asked about the difference in popularity between football (or soccer, depending on where you come from) and cycling, he simply replied: "I'm not interested in football."
"This Giro is beautiful and thanks to people like [Luis Felipe] Laverde and [Leonardo] Piepoli, it makes it so. This Giro is beautiful because of all the protagonists, not just me. I think people who like cycling will continue to like cycling, and those who like football will continue to follow football. The symbol of cycling is not only me, but all the protagonists."
28 year-old Basso's popularity has skyrocketed since taking the maglia rosa roughly a week ago, and each day seems to bring new fans. While he's said previously that anyone who doesn't enjoy the limelight is a liar, he added yesterday this year's Giro is a lot like the Tour de France, and that there's only one maglia rosa that counts.
"This Giro is very similar to the Tour; the stages are very fast, there is a lot of competition, a lot of battles, a lot of breaks... the Giro is becoming a big show, a very big show. It's difficult for us, but I think for people on the road and people who like cycling, it is a great Giro.
"My first maglia rosa was filled with emotion because it was the first, but for me now, only one is important - the one on Sunday in Milano," said Basso.
But with Germany hosting the 2006 Football World Cup this year, how does cycling compete, he was asked again.
"I had a friend who came to watch a race one day and now loves cycling, so maybe the first step is to bring people to cycling [races]... when you come to watch cycling, you'll grow to love it."

Brilliant words from a true champion. I only hope he can do the double, win The Giro and The Tour, but with Ullrich looking fit and riding well, July will be fun !
I'm looked on as a little odd in this office, for disliking football.
Todays horoscopes.

Aries: Large bats will menace you, beware of sloping surfaces.
Leo: Lucky Cheese; Double Gloucester, lucky meat; ham.
Sagittarius: Be careful when handling iron filings.
Taurus: Lucky cheese; Edam, but remove the rind.
Virgo: Lucky cheese; Parmesan. Nothing else is lucky, you will be hit by a meteor.
Capricorn: Fear of small rodents will manifest itself slowly, from the feet upwards.

Thats enough astrology for now.
I'm confused. I look at Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and I see places I would like to go, with seemingly decent people. Yet they are Muslim countries. Is sharia not so strict there ? They seem more open and relaxed. Do they allow other religions ? Is it just Saudi that is so bad ? Is it the Wahabis ? Strange that reading an account of the eruption of Krakatua in the 19th century the writer blames Wahabis from Saudi Arabia for stirring up trouble and anti-Western feelings after the eruption. almost 200 years later and the same thing is happening.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Giro ! Bit of a dull stage today, ending in a sprint won by Bettini. But the Eurosport coverage did include a re-run of the 2002 finish in the same town, Brescia, won in style by Mario Cipollini. How I miss that bloke from the peleton !
Here his website;

Tomorrow its back in the mountains, with a horrendous stage on Wednesday, when it finishes on a dirt track at an Alpine ski resort, Plan de Corones. Brilliant ! Dirt tracks in a bike race, thats what its all about.

Oh, blimey. Theres a word verification I have to fill in to verify my blogging. Ho hum.

Three muslim guys found guilty of murdering a young black guy. This happened when a rumour went around Handsworth that some black guys had gang-raped a Pakistani girl, or was it some Pakistanis ahd gang-raped a black girl ? No-ones sure. Seems the blacks are unhappy that the Asians have all the money. Thats because they work hard ! Most of the small groceries here are run by Sikhs and the outdoors by Hindus. I have never yet been in a shop run by a black.
Rain. Rain all day.

Spain had a song 'Bloody Mary', part of the words were;

Puedo ser de barrio bajo underground pero mi coraz�n
se te ha declarao
duty free, duty free, duty free...
Un �Bloody Mary� por favor ...

So, from this we learn that the Spanish for 'duty free' is 'duty free'.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lordi won Eurovision, and deservedly so.
I voted for this happy bunch from Lithuania;

They are LT United, and their song is titled 'We are Winners'