Monday, 27 February 2006


25 November - A small runin with my happy go lucky passive aggressive (and sometimes just plain aggressive) housemate Rene was resolved reasonably amicably but sometimes I think that boy needs a little help. Today's plan was to join my friend Gregory in a little bit of geocache hunting. It was bitterly cold today, only about one degree above freezing. Normally, these kind of temperatures don't bother me but i'd put my warm tights in for a wash and even though we were on our bikes there was not nearly enough of the usual exertion which keeps me warm during a workday. Very simple concept - basically, people hide caches all over the world and then post the latitude-longitude coordinates on the internet (down to a 1000th of a degree or a second or whatever its called) along with a clue as to its exact hiding spot (eg, think trollish indicated that the cache was hidden underneath a bridge - thank goodness my fairy tale trivia is up to date). Greg had a portable GPS device that we used to track the items down - it would give you the direction and distance from the preset coordinatts and would beep when we got within 75m. Depending on the number of satellites we were connected with we could have a resolution of down to 5m but generallyit wasn't much better than 10. The caches were all hidden pretty well, sometimes camoflaged and sometimes buried. Wer had a list of 11 but only sought out 5 and we found all of them. The caches were all well hidden and if you didn't know exactly where they were you'd never find them. However, the less well hidden ones are sometimes uncovered by the 'geomuggles' (I wonder where that term came from???). Nothing very valuable is in any of them - basically, they're just like crappy little time capsules with small gewgaws like pins and souvenir toys along with a logbook of all the hunters who've found the cache. Still, lots of fun - would have been more fun if it hadn't started snowing (and me wearing 3/4ers and a couple of t-shirts, the horror!).
Also, dropped into see Mark at his work on the way in and bought a 'buff', a versatile bandanna like piece of headware which would be very useful for someone in my line of work - I mentioned that I was going across the road to check out second hand skis and Mark's boss said, 'You're looking for skis? Will these do?' and showed me a pretty crappy pair of second hand skis that were my size. I told him they'd be perfect and asked him how much. His price - one spliff. Now, where would I find one of those?

Sunday, 26 February 2006

Brakes Just Add Weight

24 February - Spent about an hour in the morning at St Pauls Hospital at their weekly hand clinic. The latest diagnosis is that I DID sustain a fracture and that I should have been in a full cast but now it doesn't really matter. Apparently I'll be called in for a new (CTI???) scan for further tests. Windy and cold but not raining despite the previous night's downpour and all in all a pretty good day. There was a lot of venting involved in the elevators but not many other people heard so I don't really have to worry about it. Ditched my jacket early on and was wearing a t-shirt that I got at the alleycat last weekend - received a lot of positive comments on it - it's just a plain red tshirt with a stylised image of an angel taking a courier up to heaven. It's based on a very beautiful war memorial sculpture down on Cordova Street that has an angel flying up to heaven with a WWI soldier in her arms. I think its nice anyway.
After work there was a bit of a congregation outside the Art Gallery where the couriers usually meet to drink beer and eat poptarts. Apart from the couriers there were a couple of score hippies were congregating for the monthly 'Critical Mass', which is like 'Reclaim The Streets' in Sydney (the bikes all get together then ride through the streets of Vancouver reclaiming them from the cars - in Sydney and London they get a police escort and I think in Vancouver they get a police beating). Lots of bicycles ranging from normal cruisers to high end road bikes, freak bikes (that stand three metres tall), a bike with a barbecue on the back, tandems and assorted other varieties. DIdn't join in because it was getting far too cold but I did have my first ride on a fixed gear track bike in the afternoon. Marcus, the other Australian courier, let me have a go of his - he's a bit of a giant but the bike wasn't too big for me - it's very strange to ride - the cranks move with the wheels so if you stop pedalling you just stop. Still not sure how it could work very well as a courier bike because stopping is not easy on one of these things and the ability to stop is just about the most important thing when it comes to riding (i think that anyway) but all the fastest riders seem to ride them so there's got to be something to it, I suppose. His one did have a front brake but a lot of the fixie riders don't have them (they add too much weight to the bike???), preferring to just use their legs - speeding along and then throwing themselves over the handlebars and jumping down onto the pedals forcing the bike to skid, then slowing the pedals to a stop. And yes, I think they do wipeout rather often.

Friday, 24 February 2006

It Feels Like Friday

22 February - I don't know. I just don't know. Just when I think i've found my new morning coffeeshop I may have to initiate another boycott. "You know, we may have to start charging you a dime for taking the peanut butter. It's supposed to be free with muffins but not with lattes" - 'Yeah, well then I may have to stop tipping your f**king waitress, you wanker". Well, that's what I said when I left Caffe Express. A reasonably unprofitable day due to an excess of bikers (they've inexplicably hired a new guy) and shortage of work. Still, it was very pleasant to have Lee (dispatcher) express a shout of joyous relief when I called in today because my absence caused him a lot of grief yesterday (a chat with Jason, Mr 3-1-6 or 1-6 for short, informed me that it has been a little bit of a shambles for some and he'd spent the entire day being furious with Lee - he didn't break his knuckles on any elevator walls though apparently). Left my lunch on the kitchen counter which caused a considerable amount of annoyance but it all worked out okay because I found a very nice, very cheap Chinese place on the side where I got a complex, high protein, high carbohydrate meal which fuelled me throughout the quiet afternoon. Had a little bit a chat with David, one of the Corporate Couriers, and always one of the most surly and untalkative of the other bikers around town, so maybe he has now accepted my existence. Which is nice.

Valentine Alleycat Group Photo

Gee, It's Grouse On Mt Grouse

21 February - Did I say Cypress Hill, I meant to say Cypress Mountain. A less than informative person on the helpline from Cypress neglected to tell me that the last morning shuttle to the mountain left at half ten and we arrived at Lonsdale Quay at 11 which meant that we weren't going to be getting to that mountain until late afternoon. Still, there was a bus to Grouse Mountain leaving in the next 15m so we took that option instead. The transportation to the mountain is brilliant. We got the Skytrain from Broadway to the Waterfront, the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay and then the bus to the bottom of the mountain. It all took a little over an hour including waiting time and we were enclosed the entire time. The conditions were not great - there was a thick fog and visibility was rarely more than about 10m and the snow was like rock. As soon as I got there I hired a pretty crappy snowboard with impossible to negotiate bindings - I gave it about half an hour on the ropetow near the chalet but after almost snapping my leg when I got dumped at the top and not being able to stand up for more than a few metres before wiping out and then having to flip myself onto my stomach and heaving myself up on my aching right wrist and very sore left knuckle I decided that snowboarding was for the birds. Mark was pretty patient and gave me a few tips but it was just too much trouble and I didn't want to spend the entire day falling over so I swapped the snowboard over for a pair of skis. It took me about five minutes before I got the hang of skiing again and then I was off like the proverbial frog in a sock. There were some pretty good runs and I got some excellent speed despite of or perhaps because of the poor visibility and the ice - it wasn't long before I was outpacing Mark every time. He had a few bad falls in the early evening but we still stayed until well after dark and the fog lifted a little bit so we did some excellent night skiing as well. Alittle disappointed in myself for not sticking with the snowboarding but I have no board sport history and i'm a fairly decent skiier - I'm going to have a lot more fun on the skis than i'm ever going to have on a snowboard (also, according to one of my co-workers all the kids are flooding back to skiing after the mass exodus to snowboards throughout the 90s). Interesting to see that a lot of people were wearing helmets - all the kids and a fair chunk of the adults as well - the last time I skiied in NZ I did have a fairly bad fall where I hit my head on the ground after my legs came out from under me and I saw a flash of light (which you sometimes get from a sharp blow the head). However, aafter I saw the flash of light and my eyes adjusted it was still really really bright and it was a few minutes before my muddled brain realised that it was because the blow had shattered my goggles. No hits to the head this time but I suppose it's probably a good idea (i wear one religiously when I ride a bike and a wipeout on skies just as likely to shake the brain as one is one from a bike). The lowpoint of the day was the worst asian (not even inspired but more suggested by asian cuisine) meal i've ever eaten - I remember Thredbo food as beingoverpriced and awful but this was beyond anything i've experienced. The various parts were probably cooked days ago and they were assembled by a spotty worker wearing a paper chefs hat (an insult to all that the the puffy hat stands for). With the cost of the life ticket and the rentals it was a pretty expensive day but its so easy to get out there that i'll definitely be doing it again very soon. It will definitely be worth checking out the cost of second hand skis as well.

Wednesday, 22 February 2006

Insane In The Brain

20 February - One of dem days - didn't feel terribly busy but I apparently had a good day from a money point of view. Really cold in the morning and there was even a few flakes of snow before nine but it wasn't uncomfortable. Have made a decision not to vent frustration by punching the wall of the elevator because the middle knuckle of my left hand is killing me (two hands out of action is not an option). Have booked a day off tomorrow because me and Mark are going to Cypress Hill - Biker 320 Thomas is a bit injured at the moment and can't ride and but there's a new guy starting tomorrow so I don't feel guilty about leavinganyone in the lurch. In fact, by not going into work i'm really doing the other bikers a favour by leaving the good trips to them ...

Wild Burger Blues

19 February - A couple of hours riding around Broadway looking for a place to have a coffee and, later, a bit of shopping were what occupied me today. Nowt terribly exciting but did have dinner with Mark and Joel (apparntly the 'l' is silent and he prefers Joe or even Joseph) again at Stormin Normans ... again. The hamburgers are pretty good there and I like the concept of eating wild animals but the people are just excruciating. From the guy who occasionally plays way too loud open-mic night music in the corner to the waitresses who upsell upsell upsell (would you like an extra patty? No, would you like some garlic mayoinaise? No. An extra slice of cheese? Upgrade your fries to poutine? No, no, no!!! Please leave me alone! - they have an interestingpricing policy ... $6.95 for a hamburger which consists of a bun and a patty from some unlucky wild animal and after that everything is at a cost, $2 for an extra patty, $1 for cheese, $1.5 for mushrooms, $1 for garlic mayonaisse etc, essentially one is paying $5 for a bread roll and a little one at that), and Norman himself, the obtuse chef who cooks the burgers, sends them out to you so that you have to take them back to the salad bar which is right next to the grill and counter (why not just tell me its ready and i'll come up???) and then will not leave you alone when your trying to complete your hamburger. He keeps on messing around with it putting other toppings on with his hands and then grabbing it with his bare hands to squeeze the whole thing together. I know behind the kitchen doors chefs do all manner of things to food - adjustingthe appearance with their fingers, licking it to make sure it tastes right, spitting on it and leaving it under their armpit for two minutes if you've somehow earned their wrath (i've read Down and Out In paris And London and Kitchen Confidential so i'm fairly confident of my expertise in this area) but the point is that all this does happen behind CLOSED doors. Out of sight, out of mind. However, once you have given the food to me it is no longer the chef's work in progress but it now MY meal. And I don't like people putting their filthy f**king fingers all over my f**king food! Tonight I tried to avoid the controversy altogether by ordering the Buffalo steak which would not require a visit up to the fixings bar so I could avoid all contact with mr norman altogether. However, the wiley Norman must have realised the motivation behind my ordering somethingother than a hamburger so he overcooked it in retribution. Always one step ahead ...

One Paragraph Movie Pitch - Loonies

A group of bumbling Newfoundland thieves hatch a plan to steal an armoured truck. They do succesfully despite their ineptitude but the truck turns out to be a million dollar haul in one dollar coins. Hijinks ensue as they find it impossible to spend their haul because the denominations are too small.

Why It Will Work:
- The hilarity of the titular pun (a loonie is both a crazy person and slang for a Canadian dollar coin)
- Movies based on spending money can be stretched out forever (see Brewsters Millions)
- Stupid people are funny
- Newfoundland accents are also funny and incomprehensible to anyone from outside the Province

Why It Will Fail:
- Thus far, we only have a title

Why You Should Give Me $20m to Develop It:
- Product placement opportunities abound for arcade machines, drink and snack vending machines, parking meters and anything else that uses dollar coins
- Opportunity for equally hilariously titled sequel, 'Toonie' (slang for $2)

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

It Is Not News

The furore over the Cheney hunting incident is starting to really frustrate me.

For once I find myself in the queasy and awkward position of being in almost complete agreement with the White House's position. The fact that Dick Cheney accidentally shot his hunting partner in an incident which happens all the time in that particular sport is not newsworthy and did not need to be revealed to the public. It's really not any more serious nor worthy of comment than when Bush fell off his mountain bike after colliding with a London Bobbie.

There is absolutely no evidence of the VP having any intention to hurt his friend. There is no insinuation that he was doing anything illegal while he was hunting (apart from a bureaucratic mistake resulting in him with the wrong type of hunting licence). There has been a blowup suggesting that he may have been incapacitated with alcohol after the inconsistency of his story with a spokeswomans' where he claimed to have drunk one beer and she vehemently said no booze was imbibed at all. One beer does not have any effect in the slightest on an individual's judgement (at least not from a legal standpoint) but Republican America's evangelical relationship with alcohol implies that one beer is all that separates an alcoholic from walking the walk and lying in a gutter.

With absolutely nothing wrong having taken place the major media is jumping on the only thing they can jump on. Why wasn't the information released sooner? Or, more accurately, why wasn't the information released to US? Now, the recriminations are coming that this issue is really a symptom of the far too secret White House. The actual incident itself wasn't so important but, like Watergate, it is the coverup that is far worse.

The explanations have been coming from the White House have been slightly inconsistent and maybe a little shabby but no matter how closely one looks at the inconsistencies there is nothing sinister that is hiding within them. There is no story therefore there can be no coverup.

This American administration has committed gross crimes in the past six years. It has cheated in elections. It has been deceitful in explaining its motivations and intentions for within the Middle East. It has deliberately weakened and manipulatetd international institutions such as the UN, The World Bank and The World Court. It has been unapolegetic for the criminal activity that have been committed by its soldiers. The major media have picked up on these stories at times but their investigations have never resulted in any signficant change within the White House. Whenever the media pester the White House spokesman with real probing questions he'll just answer a different question and ignore the issue until it goes away and it always does. All of this administration's crimes are consigned to the rarely browsed archives of the world's scrapbook. Occasionally the Administration will lose a battle and they'll scapegoat one of the foot soldiers such as Tom DeLay or Scooter Libby but it rarely happens.

The media have had real opportunities to get this administration in the past for real crimes and real incompetence but they've failed to expose the corruption at the heart of this regime. The hunting incident is not one of those crimes. By not letting go of this story they're giving the Republicans ammunition for their claims of Left Wing Media Bias. History has shamed the American right for their pathological attack on Bill Clinton's sex life. History will shame the left for their obession with Dick's hunting accident.

Monday, 20 February 2006


18 February - Spent the first part of the morning at St Pauls Hospital, trying to get a prescription for some Voltarin (the gel, not the pills, which I was prescribed about a month ago but after reading the side effects i'd decided to avoid - nausea, headaches, heart problems, stomach bleeding). Two hours of waiting in the emergency ward was really pushing my patience levels and the doctor who finally saw me had never heard of Voltarin gel and wouldn't prescribe it for me. Still, I have an appointment at the 'hand clinic' on Friday so they may have some other ideas. My wrist is fine most of the time but still have limited range of motion and a bit of an ache at times. Next time I fall off my bike i'll make sure I try to cushion my fall with my head rather than my wrist. Whilst I was trying to get a tuneup for my hand I'd left my bike at Simon's for a servicing of its own (What's wrong with it this time? The same thing that goes wrong every time!!!) and when I got it back I was warned that the drive train is wearing low which will mean eighty bucks some time over the next month. This has been the cause of most of the problems I have with it so its replacement could well be a good thing.
The afternoon proved to be slightly more entertaining. I went in my first Alleycat, a courier scavenger hunt race through Vancouver. Initially we were supposed to start outside the art gallery but the local Muslims had organised their little anti-Danish cartoon protest rally (and i'm not even going to start on what I think about that particular issue) so we moved down to Stanley Park where about fifty bikers (mostly couriers but not all) lined up and then all belted up the hill to the other side of town for the first checkpoint. The first leg of the ride was one of the most exhilirating rides i've ever done. Some uphill but mostly flat and the bikes completely took over the road. We split up a bit as some couriers tried to take shortcuts but for the most part there were clumps of about ten or so bikes speeding through the streets - when one bike goes too close to a car he might ignore it, when there are two, the driver might slow down but when there are ten bikes bearing down the traffic just stops and they wait for us to just pass them by. Even the police seemed to ignore us as we made illegal turns and broke a fair number of Vancouver's precious bylaws as we raced to our destination. The first checkpoint was at the top of a very tall multi level carpark and we were given a list of things to collect before headingto the final destination at Commercial Drive (just near where I live). The list was pretty mundane (somethingfrom a Tim Hortons coffee shop, a perfume sample card, a flower, a Courier newspaper, beer coaster, a polaroid taken by one of the officials at a certain address (Remember! The polaroid never lies!!!)) but a few of the couriers collected up all the newspapers from the first three pubs which showed how seriously they took the competition. I missed out on a place, not by being slow but by not riding SMART (i was so high on adrenalin that i wasn't really thinking and I did a bit of backtracing) but I still came in at a respectable time. A lot of the couriers where on fixed gear bikes with no brakes and they were going fast. I still can't comprehend how those guys ever have the nerve to put on speed downtown when the only way to stop is to either slow their cadence or, if they need to stop suddenly, jump out of the peddles and then stamp down on them to skid. Not very safe. Headed to the pub after this where prizes were allocated (a very egalitarian system where the entire collection of entry fees was divided amongst the top ten and also a few sponsors had donated some rather nice things - if i'd known the prizes were going to be worth so much I might have been a bit more competitive). Planned on going to a party afterwards but I was given the wrong address so I didn't and I ate a hamburger and watched some videos with the household. The population of 1949 East 1st has been increasing steadily over the past few days with one of mark's friends from Ontario having been crashing on the couch for the past two nights (despite the fact that we have a spare room) and about five Newfoundlers have trickled in over the weekend (presumaby friends of Chads). All of the Newfies seem to look the same - thick black glasses, beards, completely rugged up despite being inside - they're like a band of roaming beatnicks and I keep on expectingthem to start into an impromtpu jazz jamming session. They haven't done this yet but i'm expecting one soon.

Corporate Meeting Courier Style

16 February - A foul start to the day. First I had to negotiate a minor but never pleasant hangover. I went downstairs to find that someone (almost certainly my tree surgeon friend) had consumed the last of my bread (i'd specifically left two slices the night before for this morning's breaking of the fast). What was really annoyingwas that there were two other loafs of bread sitting on top of the fridge with mine but the bread the other housemates buy is awful so I left it be (which was probably the same reason why Rene went for mine anyway). Subzero temperatures on the ridde into work - hands completely frozen and I found myself riding with one hand and keepingthe other in my pocket and switching whenever it got unbearable (tomorrow is supposed to be much worse, I might have to wear socks on my hands when I go in). When I did arrive in town I was hungry so I bought a muffin from the usually tolerable Blenz chain. It was completely stale and the "small" coffee I ordered was completely overpriced, way too big (12 ounces, the size of a large one at home) and it was way too hot (think spill it on yourself at McDonalds and sue them for ten million dollars, as it was I just suffered third degree burns to my mouth). It was very clear and sunny but the winds were awful and the jobs were pretty awful too. I gave a very sharp admonishment to one receptionist who'd placed an order for a 1 pound envelope which was reallya 10lb binder. The way I see it when customers lie about the weight of an item and try to get biker rates (much cheaper) instead of car rates they're not trying to get a better deal for their company, they're tryingto rip me off, which is the same as stealing! We did have our first team meeting today though. I'd suggested to Lee (our dispatcher) that he come downtown so that we could all put a face to the name. We'd also planned to go over a few of the things that annoy us during the day (too much scooping, bad routing, clients misrepresenting the weight and dimensions of packages, issues with allocation of work) but I'd been adamant with the others that there was no way that it was going to descend into a bitching session. We decided to meet at SoHo in Yaletown and when Lee did arrive (i've realised that I did meet him quite a few times when he was a biker downtown - never made the connection between the guy I met and the voice on the radio though) he'd brought BJ (our manager) in tow and it turned out to be a totally work themed 'meeting'. It wasn't necessarilya bad thing because there were definitely things that needed to be discussed and it's possible that some of the problems may even be rectified. Lee is still very apologetic about his rude personal manner, which is laughable because he never met Chris, our previous dispatcher, who was such an arsehole on the radio that three couriers left rather than put up with him. Lee is constantly apologising for beingrude to me and I often have to ask him what he's actually apologising for. Still, reasonably productive evening, hoping that some good does come of it. We've been promised that it's going to be a monthly thing and next time we're going to be taken out for dinner, which will be only three months after we were first promised it. Joy. Had a brief stab of interest in the Winter olympics with the announcement that some overacheiving little snot won gold for australia in .... a cold weather event of some kind. Of course, the main theme of the story here is that he's really a Canadian, an opportunist traitor who abandoned his country for his own personal gain, but that certainly hasn't stopped the canadians naturalising Jamaicans for their bobsled team so can't say that I feel that much sympathy for thm.

Static Man

The high wind and dry weather has had an unforseen side effect as I pass my dailyduties. For the majority of the day i'm a mild mannered bicycle courier but now as I enter the towers of steel and glass occupied by the titans of industry and commerce I take on my other identity, for years which has been hidden and almost forgotten - Static Man. The dry wind charges the skyscrapers with massive amounts of static electricity that is absorbed by my body and stored until I choose to release it with devestating effect using lightning bolts that I can shoot through my fingers or any other conductive material, like the deadly paperclip ElectroWhip. Static Man has not been seen nor heard of in this Vancouver and the lack of economic growth in Sydney has meant that the city has not has needed his services for many a year. But it was always said that when a city was in dire peril and the weather is dry and the winds are strong a hero will come to that city.
Vancouver is renowned for being a wet city but it has been dry of late. And the people have been crying out for a hero and that hero is Static Man.....

Wind Tunnels

17 February - Got some very disappointing personal news last night which didn't do me any good and got woken up by the cold at about five o'clock (the heater in my room has seemed to quit functioning). Still, a very good morning helped by some very big circular runs between the Yaletown, The Core and 1500Land and the sun really came out in the afternoon. The afternoon dropped off pretty significantly but I still managed to keep reasonably entertained throughout the day (in hindsight I think I vented off a bit oa stress at various vehicles who 'shared' the road with me). Very glad when it was all over though.
Despite a mostly dull afternoon with the lack of activity failing to prevent some unhappy ponderings my day was probably better than Rene's day though. Upon returning to the house he informed me that he failed his driving licence test today. He's been driving for years but has never had a licence. This happens, know a lot of people who didn't get their driving licence until later in life. However, after asking him what incident caused him to fail the story got a bit more interesting. Rene doesn't know why he failed because upon learning that he had failed he told the tester to 'get the f**k out of the car' and then later threw a trashcan over the counter at the testing place forcing them to call security. I'm sure the story will get more interesting with the detail but its unlikely to get any more sympathetic to Rene's plight. Suffice to say he's not feeling terribly apologetic. Great guy, Rene, but he's got a bit of a mental streak in him sometimes.
Finished another Ian McEwen book, Atonement. All of the books of his that I’ve read over the past few months have been well and truly completely excellent and because they're so dense even the thin ones seem to provide hours more entertainment than the thickest Stephen King novel. This does mean that I'm out of books again so as Martin Prince once said, 'To the library!'.

Friday, 17 February 2006

Beer And Leg Tricks

15 February - Still very cold but at least its dry. Very happy about acquiring a new Blackberry AND a replacement radio, which makes work a lot easier. For some reason have not been able to 'Alert' my dispatcher for the past two months. Normally, when you want to speak to the dispatcher you send an 'Alert' and he will get back to you, usually within a couple of minutes. The way its been for the with my defective radio is I just buzz him and hope that he's available. If he's not listening for me, which is often, he's got no idea that I need to speak to him and if he is listening and he's busy, he's interrupted and then he ignores me just to piss me off. Now, this little problem has been sorted and my blackberry (brand new, it even has the welcome messages in the inbox) still has the web browser enabled, which means if its quiet (like today) I can surf the internet and waste time just like every other office drone on the planet. had a bit of chat with one of the Flash couriers, I think his name is Eric, who had his bike stolen from him when he was snoozing outside 885 Georgia. He hadn’t locked it because he was right next to it and some local punk just picked it up and rode off with it. Eric was very keen n telling me how he and three other couriers took after the culprit on foot (the other three had their bikes stolen too???) but it was not necessary because his brakes had worn out and the felon couldn't stop and sped along until he t-boned a taxi. Somehow he got away in the confusion after getting a severe belting from the couriers who got there in time (it's okay, I got him a good hit!). The bike was recovered, the taxi was dented and the police were called but the guy got away, and I think i'm pretty happy that he did. It's one thingto get charged for the theft or get beaten up by a bunch of irate couriers, but it's not fair to get both. I dread the day if I catch someone trying to steal my bike because despite my capacity for aggression having become remarkably increased by this job I still don’t think I’m capable of wanton violence. At one point when I was climbing a particularly nasty hill today I was tooted at by a big black suv and then as the veeheecle passed me a stupid kid stuck a stick out the window and tried to hit me with it. I chased down the car after two sets of lights (uphill too) and palmed the driver door and yelled an admonishment towards the driver about her idiotic offspring but I could just imagine her pspecitive being that a psychotic bicycle courier had just assaulted her car for no reason. Well, I didn't feel guilty then and I don't feel guilty now. After this reasonably tranquil day I met up with Greg, one of the Corporate Couriers who I first met when we realised that we had the exact same bicycle (on more than one occasion i've left a building and gone to unlock my bike only to find out its his - it's not a big city), for beers and leg tricks (he's promised to teach me how to bunny hop - i'm getting better) at the cambie. Didn't drink that much but enough to completely knock me out once I got home .. Muckled around for a while before fallingasleep while still dressed ... Which doesn't really explain how I could be writing this.

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Horoscopes - I bet my dispatcher is a Cancer (stolen from The Onion)

Cancer June 22 - July 22

As convenient as it may be, it's time you started taking some responsibility for the mess you've created instead of always blaming everything on the law of entropy.

Pennies To Heaven

13 February - AN experiment to see if a penny left on the railroad tracks wil result in it being flattened was a failure as the pennies I left on the tracks were nowt to be seen when I returned in the evening with chums in tow. I've seen the trains cross the roads a few times and they often go really slowly with a guy walking ahead stealing all the coins left by curious children like me. So, I'm 6c poorer today. Really windy and heard a horrific rumour that the temperature is going to drop to negative 12 with maximum of minus 2. When I mentioned it to my dispatcher, and he dismissed it saying that he heard it was minus 6 minimum, but what's 6 degrees between me and a few thin layers of nylon and spandex. Lee has taken to encouraging me throughout the day by announcing what my current earnings are at random points in the day. I was in an elevator of one of the big law firms with a couple of lawyers beside me (almost certainly evil mob defending ambulance chasers) when he piped through with the amount and despite it being pretty good for what i've become accustomed to it was probably quite a bit less than my companions but a hearty laugh all around cleared any possible discomfort. A few roadside repairs at the begnning of the day meant black goo all over my fingers all day (and staining my brand new red gloves). The only thing I could clean them on were my legs (and a building but that's not a story I want to elaborate on) and as a result they were covered in black streaks all day as well, causing considerable observations from people who though that i'd wiped out. When I got home I listened to Rene wax on for a while about the mighty achievements of his Uncle Jimmy, air force general, titan of industry, man of the people, and all around pretty nice guy before watching the Enron doco, smartest guys In The room, great but nothing really new to be learned from it, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy getting angry with them all over again for causing the damage they did and then enjoying even more the smug glee of watching them gettig what they deserve (even if the punishment is watered down).

Is It News?

Many of the elevators in downtown have LCD screens that show news headlines, weather and stock reports and lots and lots of ads. You can't fault the TSX reports and i've developed a keen interest in the long term weather reports for obvious reasons (it also shows current temperatures for Calgary and Toronto (to make us feel good for being in Vancouver) and Miami and Los Angeles (to put us in our place and make us feel sad again)) but the news reports that they show are the most inane and useless items you could imagine. This week includes the running saga of Dick Cheney's hunting mishap (i don't like him at all but even I think that this is not something he can be faulted on - it's not news), Canadian Olympics highlights (a Canadian came 9th in the speed skating!), tips on how to get thinner by kerbing your appetite with a hot cup of tea in the evening and setting goals when you exercise (the nanny state has given way to the nanny media corporation). Major news events are mentioned but there's only so much depth you can go to in a paragraph and it's so overtly inoffensive that it just seems like a waste of time. But, lke a TV in a pub, it drags your eyes in and there's no avoiding it.

Valentines Day? You're Yanking My Chain???

14 February - A cold day to match the coldness of my heart. Chain snapped early in the day causing lots of grease on hands then legs and then requiring use of loaner bike for a few hours. Blackberry screen kept on blanking out meaning all calls had to come over the radio (i had to pretend it was the 80s when that's how it was done). Gears screwing up when I got my bke back. Just the day I was hoping for. The always friendly Simon did give me an invitation to his annual 'Courier Appreciation Day' that he holds ... annually. His way of saying thank you for us buying thousands of inner tubes from him each year and spending a fair portion of our meagre wages on his wares. Valentines Day meant dodging the influx of flower delivery guys at every office, eating the heart shaped candy at the reception desks and then going home alone ... to cry. But not for long because I entertained myself with Time Bandits, hurrah.

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday

12 January - As there is substantially less crockery in the household's current public circulation the sole remaining coffee cup is getting far more use than is usual for one cup. I think it suffered some chips and breaks during last week's testosterone challenge and whilst rinsing it off somehow one of the jagged edges managed to nick my knuckle and I have another less than honourable injury to add to my collection. Steely skies and the threat of rain dashed any plans of riding out anywhere (i can certainly handle riding in the rain but i've been spoiled by the past few days and want to avoid it for as long as humanly possible ... I also need a day of complete sloth (useful) and gluttony (not so useful) to finish the week before starting over again. A couple of movies sounded out most of the day,Walk The Line and The Replacements. I thought both of them were really good but there are too many black dogs around at the moment for my liking.

Monday, 13 February 2006

Cut And Run

11 September - John Howard might not do it, but I did. A good start to the day with a very hilly run out east and then south - bit exhausting and felt a few twinges in my knees on the way but reasonably good for endorphin levels. This was followed by the removal of hair from my head. I'm still not sure of the extent of the limited audience of these missives but I do know one particular couple of readers who seem to have a vested interest in me getting rid of my Samson like locks so I won't be giving any details of this particular event, suffice to say that the scalp massage involved in the washing and conditioning was disappointing at best (i was certainly spoiled in Asia, I don’t think i'll ever be able to enjoy a western massage again). Didn't feel crash hot for the rest of the day so wasn't very productive after this. Apparently more people have been looking at the house so there'll probably be someone new before long and i'm wondering whether the south top room will be made available before long.

Sunday, 12 February 2006

Hey, You've Got A Sexy Accent, Will You Stay And Talk With Me For a While???

10 February - Sorry, lady, a courier's work is never done, somewhere out in that city there is a trip that needs to be picked ... and dropped. Despite a subzero start to the day it got really warm today, first time i've worked without the jacket since I've started at this job. Not terribly efficient but the sunlight just put me in a good mood and I was singing at the top of my lungs at several points in the day (not very wise to do it when you're trying to climb a hill). Had a few heart to hearts with my dispatcher, Lee. He had a bit of a tantrum at one stage (kind of reminded me of Chris) but then buzzed back and was incredibly apologetic, I had absolutely no right to speak to you like that, I was very stressed, there's no excuses ... He's very sensitive like that (completely unlike Chris) but I hadn’t been offended in the slightest. He seemed a bit hurt that I couldn't remember him when we met on the streets but he assures me it happened several times. It's very srange to have the person you speak to all day (not that I talk to him on the radio nearly as muh as I did with chris) and not have any idea what he looks like apart from a vague description (i'm short, I have short hair and a goatee - oh yeah, that guy!!!). I suggested he come to downtown to meet all of us but he works in richmond and we finish at the same time so it's not exactly easy to schedule. One little gripe was that I got call from my manager givingme grief about some of my paperwork. Aparently on january 29 I didn't get a lot of signatures (i never get signatures!!! Although I have been getting them a bit more frequently lately - can I have your autograph??? The receptionists love that) and there were a few blanks. I gave him a vague excuse about it being busy or wet but who the f**k does he think he is giving me grief about my paperwork? I'm the number one biker. Who's he? A car dispatcher with a title. Oh well, what ars you going to do. In any event, despite the excellent day my feet ar feeling a bit itchy, either i've got to think about moving or I need to buy some Prantal powder. Also met up with one of my co-workers, Thomas, quite young and only been there for a short while but one of the better ones (he's a bit of an athletic nut and is pretty fit although he's been working on a torn calf muscle for the past few weeks). We went for beer and pretzels at one of the local drinking holes which has the misfortune to be open up to the riff raff of Commercial Drve (there's quite a lot of riff raff around this area despite the high presence constabulatory presence. That's somethingwhich is reallyhard to get used to around here still. I've never seen such misery so prevelant in the western world. The other day I saw a windscreen wiper shooting up on a ptty busy street. It was so cliched, he was clutching his wiper in one hand and plunging the syringe into his arm with the other. Didn't care about the masses of people around him and for the most part they didn't seem to pay him any mind either. THis is supposed to be the worst place for homelessness in Canada and i'd reallyhope so because I can't imagine it beingany worse.

Saturday, 11 February 2006

Let The Wind Always Be At Your Back

8 February - Another modern courier proverb. House issues have escalated a bit in the past few days. Chad is understandably upset by some of his stuff being smashed by Rene, who is completely unapolegetic about it. They're not speaking. Chad has withdrawn all of the kitchen stuff out of public circulation. Sides are being formed, I just don't want to get involved in household politics in a place where I've got no vested interest in it. I want to be like Switzerland. Or is it Sweden. I always get those two mixed up.
A potential new regular coffeeshop may have been found. Caffe Express or Express Caffe. A reasonably priced and tasty beverage, made to specific instructions. The café is within a block of the hot zone and it is frequented by only a few bikers. But, whilst there I was engaged by a new courier, Rhys (potentially Reece), who had previously seemed completely tuned out of speaking to anyone. WHilst at the café I made the unfortunate discovery of realising i'd left my key for my lock at home and I also had a flat tyre. A couple of hours later, after borrowing a lock from Simon's and riding around on the ridiculous loaner bicycle that can be spotted from a mile away, and a thwarted scam by the mechanic to rip me off, I was mostly enjoying the day. Not as efficient as the previous days but the weather was pretty hot (9 degrees???). All of the bikers seemed to experience a bit of trip scooping today (arriving somewhere to find your job taken by another courier). I was apparently the offender a couple of times. Basically, our dispatcher was screwing up, not realising things had been picked up and sending someone else to do it. Potentially a computer problem but I'm convinced there is a bit of human incompetence at the source of it all. Jason completely vented at the end of the day. He is usually completely placid and tolerant of all the jobs drawbacks (i don't care what I make, I just need minimum wage) to a hot tempered fumer (when he sends me to a place and someone's already picked up, he wastes my time! He wastes my money!) . I had my rant about this last week so I suppose it's hist turn.

Biological Warfare

9 February - Incredible weather again today. Still cold but bright and sunny pretty much all day. Fantastic feeling to be really warm from the exertion going up a hill and to go on a long sprint down the other side where the my face and arms get chilled by the wind. Slightly better management of the trips today but still, when the universe ends and entropy reigns and you're wondering why all the energy was wasted so quickly you can blame Lee, the Novex dispatcher, for doing his bit to hasten the inevitable. Also have a new challenger for the worst trip ever - today I took a urine sample from an old folks home to the hospital. I think its illegal for us to move biological samples like this but it was a SHT so what are you going to do? Also, made a promise to make sure I don't eat junk food whilst on shift - it never agrees with me and the best of the franchises is still pretty awful over here.
Potentially have a female who will be joining the household to replace the Australian who just couldn't seem to tolerate us it seems. Could well be a good thing for the vibe of this house ... As it surely needs some improvement at the moment. Went back downtown in the evening to meet up with Dimitri for some 'Walk The Line' action but it turns out that the local paper misprinted the times and so we were relegated to 'The Matador' instead. I have gained a new respect for Pierce Brosnan after this - the movie was kind of slow but it was a slow burn and Mr Brosnan was fantastic, although his brogue kept on popping up and I don't think he was supposed to be Irish. Also, it turns out that the discount tickets that we were given by the manager at our last ill conceived attempt to see the film were actually freebie tickets so didn't even pay for it, which made it even better. The popcorn liberally sprinkled by Dimitri's nutritional yeast (apparentlya rich source of Vitamin B) was not so good though.

Thursday, 9 February 2006

May All Your Stops Be Pickups And Drops

7 February - Modern courier proverb.
For some reason I thought i'd experiment with a stimulant free day and I only drank water all day - no irritating cafes selling me substandard coffee, no mad sugar caffeine rush from my home made vietnamese pickmeup, no pop, no apple juice, no taste. This made me want to go to sleep around noon but somehow I managed to push through the day. I had a lot of bad luck banging my knees and shins against the pedals when I was in motion and I even whacked myself a couple of times when I was picking it up to mount stairs. As a result my legs ar covered in bruises and there are lots of small gashes all over. I don’t know why I was so clumsy today but my legs are certanly feeling it this evening. Not extraordinarily busy but non stop regardless and my back is aching from having to carry around a 10lb package for a few hours - it was supposed to be a car trip but I was told just to pick it up from the buildingand i'd hand it over to a car later on. Three hours later this hadn't happened so I left it in our depot at one of the post offices. Why the car couldn't just pick it up from the building itself I have no idea - there ar things we are just not meant to know. Ate some goat curry tonight (a new animal, hurrah!!!) and watched Ghost 2 - Just Like Heaven, whch was entertaining enough but it could have benefitted from a "pottery scene" set to a classic love song (even a long hair power ballad would have sufficed). Still, love triumphed in the end, which goes to show that fiction is still alive and well. Also saw the backwards Seinfeld episode that must have inspired Memento - one of the most seminal temporal entertainment experiments in television history. A masterwork.

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

An ECOnomical Day

6 February - Fantastic weather all day, which instantly increases the stress tolerance. Tried a new café, Marios, a block away from the boycotted biker's choice coffeeshop. The coffee was okay and they made it to order with no issues. Seems slightly overpriced but it really is ptty average for the city. The décor is very nice, lots of wood and plush seating, reasonably authentic italian movie posters and other geegaws hang off the walls. The server girl is way too loud though. She's friendly but pushy and she's a real close talker. Even when she was talking to other customers it felt like she was invading my personal space. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and i'll have another chance to find a shop that's more attuned to my particular taste. With work, there a couple of annoyances when I was shuttled around to places that had already been visited by other couriers or had lost their tenants but improved by a couple of ECO (overnight) batch pickups that pay really well. What was a very pleasant work day ended on a bit of a sour note with my rear tyre popping (the curse has returned) halfway through the journey when I was nowhere near a bike shop and I had a 30m uphill walk to COmmercial Drive. Just managed to catch the local bike shop to get a replacement tube and to use their gear to fix myself up (my toolkit seems to have wandered off somewhere). Now Baby Blue is making funny noises. F**king bike.

Xtra Large Superbowl

5 February - Today was the day of the 40th American NFL superbowl. I am not a sports watcher at the best of times but have been cajoled into viewing a few random specialties (world cup in 2002, olympics in 2000, a couple of live games etc) but this one is renowned for its ability to entertain to those who despise the game as well. A couple of new movie previews were to be seen, Poseidon (remake) and The Rocket (inspiring movie about some quebecois hockey player) and a few reasonably entertaining ads from Bud and a teaser for Gilette's new 5 blade Fusion razor, due to be coming out in three months time, all interspersed with provincial canadian ads which weren't very entertaining at all. Still, it's one of the few experiences where i've waited for the ads to END before running for a bathroom break. I've got no idea what the rules ar for this game but it got kind of exciting once or twice. It all seems very much like a futuristic science fiction sport to me - incomprehensible rules, 100% commercialised, super developed players and high tech metallic looking uniforms. Still, 300 million americans can't be wrong. What am I saying? These ar the people who elected George Bush ... Twice, or three times, when you think about it. We watched the gaat Rene's friend, chad's, place, who is living an apparently very well subsdised lifestyle in a very high up waterfront apartment in Yaletown. It was very much a day of consumption with far too much beer, dope, and southern barbecue meat ingested by my fragile body. Also, there ar tensions in the house again with Rene having a tantrum which involved him throwing a boulder into a sinkful of dishes that he felt had been there for too long. I have a slight amount of sympathy for his frustration but no tolerance for his actions and I have a feelingthat there might be another changing of the guard at 1949 East 1st again, good times, good times ....

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

I don't get out of bed for less than ... $32 a day ...

4 February - Did get out of bed at sevenish today for my latest Novex assignment. I had to turn up to King George park in Richmond for a turn as the face of Novex for the photoshoot for their new brochure. It was spitting down a bit but the wind was horrendous. I'd spoken to one of the sidebikers who was telling me that he actually had to get off his bike when crossing one of the bridges. The majority of the way to Richmond is uphill and the wind was blowing straight into me which made the climbs awful. When I reached the Knight Bridge the wind was coming from the east and I had to lean all the way to the side so i'd stay upright - whenever I was passed by a truck (reasonably often) the wake almost sent me tumbling. It took me about an hour to actually ride out there and when I did we had to wait for a couple of the trucks and the photographer. Luckily, there were a couple of cars with air conditioning to hide out in. Had a coffee from the place that did 'the best coffee in the mall' (a cursory look showed it to be the ONLY place that did coffee in the mall) and finally the arrival and the two 2 tonne cubes. The sky was slate gray and it was spitting down rain and the wind was bending all of the trees in the background but I think that the backdrop tells viewer that Novex will deliver in any kind of conditions, no matter whether it's raining or snowing or there is an F5 tornado bearing down on the city. Basically, the shot was the two trucks in the background and a garishly painted van and hybrid car in front of them topped by a stalwart biker glaring like Blue Steel. Got a lift back home by a friendly enough but reasonably bitter and jaded driver (a lot of people in this industry ar like that) who was given a superhot trip in payment (i was the package). Later on met up with dimitri downtown and also got my bike serviced. Had a vetnamese coffee from a pho restaurant on denman, which woulhave to be the worst vietnamese cofee i've ever had (only a smidgent of milk and the guy didn't even know how to set the filter properly) and planned to go to a movie but were denied on the grounds that I couldn't leave my bike inside the premises when we were watcingthe movie (despite assurances from the ticket guy). Were given a couple of discount vouchers in compensation but no movie was to be seen.

Monday, 6 February 2006


3 September - Experimented with another option for my morning coffee this morning. This time tried SEN5ES, which i've previously stayed away from because of the offensiveness of the name. The use of l3345p33k, by corporate institutions is both loathsome and lame and every attempt should be made to drive these wannabes out of business. In any event, the baristas were rather curt and the coffee, which was only okay, cost four dollars. What!!! Four dollars for a goddamn cup of coffee!!! Are you crazy? There are a lot of coffee places in this town, dozens of franchises (Starbucks, Blenze, Seattle's Best, Tim Hortons, Cuppajoes, JJ Beans, Wild Bean to name but a few) and most of them do filtered coffee (pretty weak but usually cheap) and some do espresso (more expensive usually okay but many of the places load up every coffee with so much dry foam it's disgusting). Something about the caffeine obsession over here just doesn't ring true for me though. I can't put my finger on it. I've onlybeen here for a few months but I get the sense that all the coffee shops are just a fad (like juice bars and salad places) that everyone is just enjoying until the next fad comes along. Every time I hear someone talk about a latte I always get the image of them having using it for an enema. Maybe I'm just jaded.
In any event, while I was enjoying my expensive coffee (although not nearly as much how much I paid for one at Café de la Paix in Gay Paree) I was approached by a driver courier from Corporate Couriers who asked me about my Blackberry. He showed me his (they've just upgraded and have one device that has a combination radio/blackberry/phone (although truth be told all blackberry's have a phone anyway, ours is just disabled). He was very talkative and I started to wonder when he was going to move on but then he came to his point. He's the fleet manager for Corporate and he asked if I wanted to go work for them. I know for a fact that Novex it a bit more competitive about its rates than some of the others and this has a direct effect on what we get. I'm certainlynot doing this job for the money but a little more couldn't hurt. The job would be EXACTLY the same as what i'm doing now but I could be getting a few extra bucks. And, more importantly, i 'd get a new uniform which i'm hoping i'll be able to keep as a souvenir. The dowside is that i'd be goingfrom one of the more experienced members of a small team to one of the most junior members of a very large team and I might initially suffer a drop in earnings. Still, it's nice to know i'm wanted. Day was okay, a couple of agonising hill climbs but a mostly nice day (cold but didn’t rain until the afternoon) and the night involved eating way too much ice cream, which I haven't had for quite a while. Still, cold fat and empty calories are not conducive to staying thin so the binge might have to be followed by a purge.

Sunday, 5 February 2006


2 February - No rain today! Still pretty cold but I've got the clothes for that so it didn't bother me none. Bought my morning coffee from the coffeeshop at 925 Georgia St, which is across the road from the usual 885. We don't get a discount from this place and they don’t have any peanut butter packets I can steal and the coffee tasted kind of burnt, now that I think about it, but I've had to institute a boycott of the café at 885 Georgia for a while. Like many coffee shops in the Sydney CBD and all over North Sydney - they have wronged me!!! Yesterday when I went to order my usual morning wakeup tonic I apparently didn't follow the procedure. They know what I always order so they never ask me, basically, I just go to the counter, the girl rings up my order, I pay, sometimes a little chit chat but for the most part the girls are pretty non committal and then the girl makes it while I walk to the other end of the counter to pick it up. I ask if she's already put the sugar in it, sometimes she has and sometimes she hasn’t. Transaction over. Yesterday morning she was ignoring me while I was in the queue so I took out the exact change and left it on the counter and then proceeded to the other end. Then, after handing me my skim latte with no foam (they pile that crap on over here, disgusting) and one brown sugar the bitch had the temerity to tell me that I had to wait in line like everyone else. I couldn't be bothered telling her that I had been waiting in the queue and she had not acknowledged my existence yet obviously must have because she did make the coffee but I decided then and there that a boycott must ensue. I don't know how long it will last because 885 is the general hangout and the place across the road is pretty awful but maybe i'll just cut down on my intake. Don’t know where i'll find free packets of peanut butter though.
Reasonably busy throughout the day but it got very quiet at the end of the day and I ended up finishing at 4 which meant getting home while it was still daylight, a bit of a novelty (which soon wore off because it started to get dark about half an hour after I arrived).

Friday, 3 February 2006

29 of 31

1 February - In the month of January in the year 2006 Vancouver apparently had its rainiest month on record. Good thing I was off for half of it but those two dry days were also when I was off as well so as far as i'm concerned it rained every day last month. Some pig farmer is going on trial for killing 27 people and the NDP is saying that it will work with the Conservative party as long as its own agenda isn't compromised but apart from that all is quiet on the Canadian front. Reasonably miserable day but nothing like yesterday (although I did make a lot of money yesterday, well, a lot of money compared to the usual days) and I did feel good enough at some points to sing ditties to the city crowds. I can't remember ever being so happy at a job before that i'd want to sing out aloud while I was doing it (still, is a pity that I don't know more than two lines of most of the songs I like to sing). Had the usual tantrums when the dispatcher, lee, tells me (about a twenty times a day), 'Sax, synchronise your pager', which means I have to synchronise my Blackberry (often after I kick a wall and scream, 'It's not a pager, it's a Blackberry!!!!) and all of the jobs disappear for about five minutes while it refreshes. When it comes back half of the things he's put on my screen to pick up are gone and i've got to completely rebuild the route I've designed in my head. Lee doesn't design the routes nearly as elegently as chris used to and although he's getting better I still pine for the good old days. I'm certainlygetting better at doing it myself now because I have absolutely no help from Lee whatsoever. After chris used to dump a load of stuff on me I would always recite the route I planned to do and he would either agree or give me a better alternative. The few times i've done it with lee he just pauses and says, 'Sounds good' or if I ask him which of two alternatives he wants me to do he just pauses and says, 'whatever you like'. There isn't much that's mentally challenging in this job so I suppose I should enjoy the few bits that are.

Groundhog Day

2 February 2006 -
First D.J.: Rise and shine, campers, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.
Second D.J.: It's cold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?
First D.J.: Not hardly. So the big question on everybody's lips.
Second D.J.: On their chapped lips
First D.J.: their chapped lips is, does Phil feel lucky? Punksatawney Phil, thats right wood chuck chuckers its
[in unison]
Despite Punksatawney Phil in Pennsylania seeing a shadow this morning the two Canadian prognosticators of prognosticators, Ontario's Wiarton Willie and and New Scotland's Shubenacadie Sam, have reported that sping will come early, and i for one, will be happy.  Still, am hoping that when i wake up tomorrow it will be February 3 ...

The Core Rat

31 January - Very cold morning but mostly dry, at first. Despite the fine weather collapsing completely in the afternoon a really great day on the roads today. I barely left the core for the entire day (just a very brief visit in the afternoon to collect the chairman of the rail board's prescription from a pharmacy on Yew St) but I was run off my wheels from woe to go. For the most part I was moving around really efficiently - lots of big wide circles and some very creative navigation made it very enoyable. Let it be said that when the energy runs out and entropy reigns as the universe comes to its ultimate end, Biker 313 did his bit to conserve his energy and keep the universe around for that instant longer. One little annoyment was when I went to drop off at 925 Georgia - got in the lift and was joined by one of the mailroom guys there - asked if he wanted to sign for it then, he said sure, but before I could hand it over the lift doors closed and I had to go up with him. That was fine - he signed and left the lift and I pressed G to go back down but of course the lift had already been called to keep on going up. Went up a few floors then went back down. Stopped on the mailroom floor where I could have gotten off before. Went back down to the ground and was just getting out of the lift when a page came through for me to go back upstairs to pick up. That, my friend, is a courier anecdote. Also bumped into a vagrant in the morning as I came off the road onto the footpath. It was a very light bump and I immediattly apologised but that wasn't enough for this gentleman who yelled at me for five minutes before demandingthe name of my company. He was getting very aggressive and I considered just walking away but then he probably would have vandalised my bike. So, I had to stand my ground, and hope that if he did throw a punch (which was looking a little likely) that i'd be able to throw one back. When the rain and wind came it was absolutely incredible - at some points it felt like I was stationary when I was rdingstraight into it. When we met up at the end of the day all of the couriers were soaked through and everyone's face was raw from the wind (i was very gladf that I didn't have a mirror because I could only imagine what I looked like). Also the ride back was absolutely agonising - I had thomas, one of the other bikers who lives up the road, keep me company at least, wich was very useful because I had hardly visibility with my fogged over glasses and the roads were packed with buses and trucks, who's own visibility was probably not so good either. Watched a DVD called 'The aristocrats;, which was basically, the story behind the joke with the punchline of 'The aristocrats'. As far as the structure of the joke goes its pretty basic and not terribly funny but all of the comedians who were represented each tried to outdo each other in creating their own versions and some of them were f**king hilarious (and some not so good). The basic joke is a guy walks into a talent agent and says that he's got an act. The agent tells the guy to give him the speil. The guy then gives a recitation of an incredibly offensive act. The agent is shocked and says, 'That's increidble, what do you call it?'; 'The Aristocrats'. I've got a pretty seemy mind at the best of times but some of the versions on this dvd were shocking. George Carlin and Billy connolly gave pretty predictable scatological jokes (basically, I s**t in my wife's mouth) but paul reiser and bob saget (full house!!!) were hell bent on the scat with incest theme. It all went on way too long but it was still a f**king hoot.

Thursday, 2 February 2006

Warm Weather And Hot Pants

30 January - Two alarms start ringing at 6am, out of sync by about 1m, and alternately snoozed every 10m for about half an hour. That's what it takes to get me up on a bad day. Wore my warm tights this morningbecause it was chillywhen I was getting out of bed. This action obviously set off a sequence of events that resulted in it beinga reallygreat warm day and i'd overheat because I couldn't take my tights off (nowhere to leave them). Really enjoyable day at work, despite the rather placid pace the day seemed to go at. No big boxes and no rain makes Jack a happy boy. Of course the day wouldn't be complete without something goingwrong with the bike. The front tyre popped in the morning, luckily only a few minutes from Simons. Simon changed the tyre himself (i don't have any torque strength in my hand so it makes it very difficult) and I left the store and not 30 seconds later before it popped again (either he twisted it when changing it or he left whatever had caused the pop in the wheel). Came back and was told i'd have to take a loaner so I slowly changed it myself, which was fine, but I don't think I put it back on properly because the wheel wasn't spinning properly afterwards (disc brakes cause as many problems as they solve in my opinion). Bumped into Brenda (who I spent Christmas day with) as she was coming out of her office, disguised by a haircut (a long hair getting all her hair cut off in one go is a terrible thing). Pretty exhausted when I finished up so not much else to report for that day.

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

Do They Know Spring Approaches

30 January - Raining heavily and freezing cold for a large part of the morning. First headed for some breakfast at Bonns (the cheap place) and then rode downtown to get a tuneup for my bike and to return some library books. Wandered around Sears for the first time - pretty much exactly like Grace Bros and not a hell of a lot more exciting. The ride back was excruciating - going straight into a little storm with the windchill and wet numbing me. Shortly after I got home the sun came out for a bit but it was a mostly miserable day and I didn't really use it to much productivity. Watched a very bad movie which i've temporarily blocked (hopefully permanently) from my memory - but nowt to report really.