Thursday, 29 March 2007

Four Words

Sometimes my terminology is badly lacking in tact – sometimes I say and write things that are not really thought through – I should probably be a bit more aware that the anonymity that one hopes is given by the internet doesn’t excuse one’s self from saying things that should never really be said.


28 and 29 March – Was relatively disturbed throughout Wednesday with very distracting thoughts.  Made me a bit worried that I was going to be done in whilst deeply contemplating issues when I should have been concentrating on avoiding that GIANT F**KING BUS THAT I’M JUST ABOUT TO RUN INTO!!!!  New operator’s ability to route is still frustratingly inefficient and there are complaints coming from all corners – in fact, on Thursday I believe he may have had a bit of a meltdown – potentially with the stress of the work but possibly due to the drubbing he may be receiving from certain members of the crew.  End of Wednesday was okay – was sent over at the very end of the day to North Sydney which is always a big no-no, especially when you’re the late guy who’s supposed to service the city.  I was heading over that way afterwards anyway so being on that side wasn’t too bad but for the next 40m I played a nervous waiting game – one of the very few times when I really, really, really do not want any work to come my way.  Hermes delivered and I was saved a couple of excessive bridge hops (not really that far but long enough at the end of the day to be unwanted).  On my way to work in the morning I was pleasantly rolling down Lavender St towards the bridge when I found myself behind a couple of buses when I heard a rattling followed by a screech as my chain freed itself from its sprockets – suddenly finding myself without most of my stopping power I clamped the handbrake and it just skittered across the wheel – slowing but not stopping – suddenly the wheels locked up as the chain wrapped itself around the crank tightening it over the axle and not doing itself any good what so ever.   Did stop but was screwed because the chain had been so far twisted that it broke.  Luckily, the far too helpful Paul from Cranks a relatively short run up the hill was there to fix the whole thing (free of charge!) in less than the time than it took me to smoke a cigarette and suck down a little coffee.  Late shift was the first totally hectic one I’ve had in ages – not that many jobs but shockingly routed, ridiculously under supported and involved lengthy phone calls and two cross town trips at speed through total rush hour – I hate this job.  I love this job.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007


27 March – More travesties from the dispatch chair didn’t improve the mood throughout the day – twice I was walking into destinations only to be given another drop to the same place, had some very accusatory conversations concerning the faults of the data equipment (something I’ve been complaining about for roughly the amount of time that I’ve been working there) but the weather was nice and that’s important.  Attempts at to do some computer and bicycle projects failed miserably and may have been given a surreptitious warning about something but I’m not sure.

Monday, 26 March 2007


26 March – The lightest and fastest morning run in ages and relatively cool conditions were good tidings for the day but a combination of typical Monday quietitude and the return of the shifty character to the streets meant the slowest day since January.  The most exciting thing to happen was being witness to a cab hitting a pedestrian at the Phillip Street/Martin Place junction – both weren’t looking where they were going but when you’re in a a machine that outweighs a human by a factor of 10 its your responsibility to look where you’re going.  

False Labours

25 March – Daylight saving meant I woke up even earlier than planned which gave me ample time to continue the quest for the perfect pancake – this time the recipe consisted of low-fat strawberry yoghurt and extra baking soda and milk in a quest for extra fluffiness – think that overnight sitting might be a bit excessive as it allows the air to escape the mix – additional extras included raspberries, honey, raspberry jam, plain yoghurt and lime and sugar but it was only the last one made (as per usual) which came to the standards I’ve been hoping for.  Afternoon was meant to be full of hard labours of a web based variety but not much was done (was fed pretty well though with a second breakfast and a brownie) - saw ‘Bobby’ in the afternoon which was as about as good as expected but not nearly as good as it could have been.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Zen and Frangelica

23 and 24 March – Up early in order to make ricotta and raspberry pancakes (prepared the night before of course) and also to await the arrival of a new set of wheels – whilst the ones I’d ordered are still going to take a while Mr Lynn Miller of CTA, Sydney’s wheelwright (and all round wheel obsessive), awaits the hubs on order from America, he did bring around a set of loaner wheels – which I hastily put together and onto Chevette – very obnoxious stickers on them but perfectly balanced and a dream to ride on. Something must have been in the air because it turned out to be one of the best work days I’ve had in weeks – a hugely overcharged return job from North Sydney to Surry Hills and back that was filled up with a bunch of bastards and a relatively good afternoon as well. Evening was spent drinking beer, playing football and not eating and then making the probably good decision of heading back to some emotional woes at McMahons Point – it’s not all pancakes and roses in a relationship but it all balances out well in the end. Especially when you’re a happy person who never gets sad or depressed (???). Saturday morning was when the second stage of the usage of the new wheels with Chevette’s slightly damaged but perfectly useable wheel set was transferred to the pre-op and I had a crash course in the conversion of an old racing bike to a sleek street machine with a single speed freewheel that can flip to a fixie. A few extra costs that weren’t initially taken into consideration and the usual mechanical woes that come from any bit of engineering (the brakes are a bit crappe) but all in all a powerful new machine has been added to the collection in the form of Frangelica (the name is meant with nothing but respect and admiration from her beautiful namesake). Very disappointed with the results of a much needed pedicure – and think I will be ready for the addition of another angry letter campaign that will have no positive results but it must be done.

Thursday, 22 March 2007


22 March – Another rather terrible day work wise that was fortunately salvaged in the last hour by a timely P1 pickup that I got at the right time when a whole bunch more were coming in – still not great but nothing to cry about.  Had a flat tyre in the morning which is never welcomed but was lucky to have Jamie ride by in a timely fashion who was most kind in lending me a replacement inner tube and I managed to fix it in record time – however, in the evening when I decided to do some sporadic patch jobs I found that there was not a hole to be seen in said tyre – sometimes tyres do slowly run out of air but this one was flat.  It’s my suspicion that some lowly c**t of a human being let the air out of the tyres whilst I was making my delivery (to the Attorney General no less!).  Evening was full of labours of a more technical variety – web design and formulating formulas for the nefarious purposes of some sinister bookmaker – hey, I’m just the Excel go-to guy – I hold no responsibility whatsoever.  But then again, that was Oppenheimer’s defence.

Ask your FKN operator ...

21 March – The dentist is never a pleasant experience and it’s always because of the lies (oh yes, I’ve been flossing sometimes ... Well, I flossed last night for the first time since I’ve seen you ... Happy now???) but the clean feeling from properly cleaned teeth that haven’t just been brushed but have been scraped by a professional is always very nice.  Morning run was still a bit crap and the rest of the day was as slow as can be imagined – wasted time, stupid security guards, reattempts, wrong addresses and missed opportunities all didn’t help with making it a great day.  Also a crap SMS interaction with Sydney’s least friendly courier (what the hell was I doing even having an SMS conversation with this guy?  I don’t do it with people I like) put me in a rather bad mood even though it shouldn’t because I don’t like him, I’m not friends with him and I don’t want to be friends with him.  For some reason it bothers me though.  Movie night turned out to be rather epic – an early meet over a beer and some dinner was very pleasant but the 930 showing just doesn’t work for me anymore.  Every time I go to see a film at this time I end up fading and can barely keep my eyes open even if it is very entertaining (which Hot Fuzz was) - could it be that I’m getting old or could it be that I just shouldn’t have any herbal remedies if I want to stay alert later?  I don’t think anyone can answer that question.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

This City Is Cold

20 March – Why is it that the one day that I don’t bring a paperback in to work is the one day that the wifi connection at 370 Pitt St didn’t want to work.  Spent all day searching for a free hotspot but the city was cold.  Morning run getting a bit more complicated with additional stops and a forced late start which isn’t so bad (did result in a shockingly late finish today) considering my ownership of it is coming to its final days and it was followed by a very slow morning and an early lunch where some inadvertent verbal slippage caused a bit of suspicion (mostly unwarranted but not completely) - young Mr Bradley had a bit of a mishap with a collision with a commuter which may well spell the end for the yellow bike – the brightest bike in the city and always there to brighten up someone’s day.  A pleasantish evening eating Mexican food (I’m going to suffer for that tomorrow – like I suffered today after eating a James Dean High Speed pizza last night) with the family – sometimes a struggle but that’s family (actually it was great – I know who my readers are). Some late night array formula creation was a great way to finish the night but meant my head was a long time taking in getting in a state fit for sleep.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

At Least It Was Different

19 March – Soreness from Saturday’s venture was noticeable but unremarkable and became unnoticeable as the day went on – the harsh threats of punishment from the Shifty who was gloating about revenging himself upon me because of my slave driving on Saturday failed to eventuate - a few silly mistakes like leaving the space pen behind and going to a destination instead of the pickup and a couple of sneaky extras slipped in between P1s made for a day that was slightly more interesting than normal – had a little event in the morning run – a reattempt on a pickup which didn’t bother me in the slightest and was resolved with minimal fuss - didn’t think twice about giving the customer my phone number in case anything like that happened again but it seemed to spawn a little redesign of the entire run but knowing the courier world I doubt that many changes are likely to bear fruit.  Nothing for an hour at the end of the day and logged off but almost home when I got the dreaded call and found myself getting an STD (?!?!?! Eventually converted) that was almost unpickupable and definitely undeliverable and also another job in Surry which had to go to Erskineville (a new suburb delivered to) which was relatively satisfying.  Mostly thwarted possible conflicts with timely applications of herbal remedies and hard labour – however, sometimes there’s just no way to keep the peace.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Walk The Bridge?

18 March – The bridge’s anniversary was something to celebrate but I’ve crossed it enough times to be well over the novelty – body was still rather badly battered from previous day’s exertions but managed a bit of repair in the morning via ricotta pancakes (a bit over-rated but something that has been denied to me for far too long) and Thai massage – strained the soul a bit with a blast from the past but a very pleasant afternoon with the old school chums (plus various additionals) - also did my simplification of algebraic formulas since 1995 – as much fun now as it was then.

City Chase

Well, it appears that the fear of being nakedly bikeless (or perhaps the lure of deep sea fishing) was such that the messengers only managed to field one team (‘Team 111 - The Immortal Class’ containing myself and that shifty character who’s having a little hiatus [Internet support from the Green Dog]) - and that team did not win nor even make it into the top 10.  However, considering that everyone who came in before us were all serious runners meant that 21st out of a field of almost 300 was a pretty respectable place.  

Bikes were expressly forbidden and even though we had given serious consideration to stashing a couple in town we decided to go the honest way and keep to the rules of nothing but foot and public transport (in hindsight we so could have gotten away with it).  The distances involved were a bit more excessive than I originally thought with checkpoints as far north as the North Sydney oval and east to Bondi Junction.

Some of the checkpoints were easy (win a round of Texas Hold’em which we did on first try with a very well timed straight), some fun (excellent scavenger hunt in Bondi Junction, race from 4 Seasons to MLC centre whilst handcuffed to another team), some were physically brutal (a couple of Boot Camp™ managed points were awful) and some were absolutely stupid (make a balloon dog then sell it for $20 ... for charity).  Only took public transport on three occasions (train from Milsons Pt to Bondi Junction via train (massive delays), and bus from Bondi Junction to the edge of Centennial and then Centennial to Darlinghurst) and the rest was all on foot – some walking but mostly running at a pretty serious pace (and I know I’ll be paying for it on Monday – not only for the pain but also the punishment that Shifty will no doubt inflict on me for forcing him to run for so long).

Particular highlights were each individual jumping in and out of the pool 40 times whilst the partner tread water then a 20 lap circuit around the shallow end holding a 5k weight about your head – the resultant whirlpool almost dragging my stature-deprived partner under – still soaking wet when we had to go to the next checkpoint at the Minus 5 bar in the Quay (solid clothes once we were out).  And, you haven’t lived until you’ve had Shifty do a pole dance in drag for you.

Definitely an event worth entering (although you’d want to be smoking less than this team did) and some excellent ideas which may well appear in future alley cats.
There are photos available via the City Chase website ( - look out for Team 111 (hard to miss the 80s tennis star headband in any event).

Clash of Civilisations

16 and 17 March – Lots of incorrectly addressed deliveries today with mixed results (wasted my time, wasted my time with some financial recourse and, in one case, caused the awarding of immense riches) - afterwards had to do a frantic rush from town back home and back into town for a bit of civilised entertainment (I'm doing a lot of that lately) with ‘Troupers’ at the Oz Thee-aye-tir Co which was rather menacing to my buttocks but brilliant (Barry Otto particularly so as an aging vaudevillian has-been (or more appropriately, never was).  Had a relatively early night because I needed my strength for Saturday’s activities with the City Chase urban adventure race.  Had entertained some dreamy hopes of actually taking it out or at least making the top 10 (and even appropriated some extra-small Reebok basketball boots so that I could validate myself as a candidate for bonus prize) but in the end ‘The Immortal Class’ came a respectable 21st out of a field of almost 300 teams.  For more detailed coverage of this amazing event (or at least my account of it) check out the review on the SydBMA.  
My battered body wasn’t really up to evening celebrations but 30th birthdays don’t happen all the time and Angel’s only happens once in a lifetime so I managed to push through the wall and stretch my endurance a little bit further (even managed to survive the speeches) - why is that I always seem to have social events after running races?  I should be a better planner.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Beware The Ides of March

15 March - ... And you should.  Simon seemed to be in a good mood today – at least, initially he did.  I hit three pages but they were mostly bastards and I can’t really recall much of the day from a work perspective. Was suitably enlightened by reading the Swan Lake synopsis and I think I got most of it on the previous night which was reassuring – it’s amazing how much can be conveyed solely through the music and dance but it never ALL gets conveyed and a programme might be a sensible investment on of these years.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

A Bit of Culture

13 and 14 March – Was most dismayed by the fat droplets that started hitting the ground as soon as I left the house and from then on in it was sporadic blat blat blattering throughout the day and the ensuing wetness was very good at concealing all the crap on the roads and I ended up with two flat tyres – at least I wasn’t the only one, there were three of us replacing tubes at Farrer at one time and I did learn an ingenious method of flat protection involving a makeshift tyre liner with the discarded tube – feels strange but I haven’t had a flat since.  The furthest north I’ve done on the job today with an incorrectly addressed package sending me to St Leonards and a plethora of bastards throughout the day.  Had a delicious dinner at the Peacock Gardens in celebration of something or other – very nice but I do feel gypped that I didn’t get any Chinese toffee apple.  Next time I’ll put my foot down.  Wednesday was better weather but more of the same (including another run into St Leonards – I hope this doesn’t become a regular thing or maybe I hope it does) - was a bit frazzled at one point in the morning on a decent but badly paid south run when I came to the RTA I found a Mail Call boy sitting on the ground looking a bit worse for wear – apparently he had self diagnosed a broken collar bone and he looked pretty beaten up (just a stack – no cars involved) so I called him an ambulance and went on my way.  Felt a bit guilty leaving him there but the professionals were on the way.  Amusing to see that his employer had someone on the scene in minutes to collect the work he had on board.  Cold bastards.  
Rushed around at the end of the day in order to get home and back in town for a showing of Matthew Bourne’s (I think) Swan Lake – the one with the all male swans – very good, a bit confusing as all ballet is but very funny and incredibly dramatic (especially at the end) - wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be a gay themed production but it became pretty clear as it progressed.  Will have to check out the synopsis once I have some time in the bandwidth.  

Monday, 12 March 2007


12 March – An easy ride in from Coogee and a fairly smooth run set me up quite well for the day – some woefully misrepresented deliveries could have been a pain but I gritted through them and consoled myself with the fact that mortal men would have been incapable of such feats – was just gearing up for the mindset of luncheon at about half one in the afternoon when St George got in the way and I felt like fainting by the time it was over and I managed to scrape the bottom leftovers at the 52mp roast place for some much needed sustenance.  Day never really picked up but did mange to crack the fabled third page for the first time in weeks and there was a little bit of colour brightening the plethora of BST/STDs that littered my page.  And I think I’ve just discovered a new bit of jargon to enter the lexicon – Bastard Sheet for a sheet that’s full of nothing but BST and STD jobs – Sax, you’re a wordsmith – not just in the usage of words but in their creation.  Spent the evening in McMahons Point enjoying the various views before timidly sneaking back into my own inner western hole in the wall – such are the evenings.

Goodbye Movie

11 March – Not sleeping in the Room of the Rising Sun meant I had my longest sleep-in for about six months which was most appreciated.  Not so, the faux maple syrup I was forced to consume later on in the morning – what is the world coming to?  If they don’t have the real stuff that’s fine – I can have something else but there is nothing worse than drowning a pancake only to find out it’s soaked in sugary imitation slop.  After recovering from this minor calamity I rushed in to Martin Place for the latest Sydney alley cat - didn’t compete but set myself up as a checkpoint (my task was to force them to do something most of them have forgotten how to do – run – a lot of couriers are like ducks – in they’re element they’re graceful and fast but put their feet on dry land and they’re waddling).  The only person I had any sympathy for was Smokin’ Joe who still hasn’t fully recovered from breaking both his legs but he won, so I don’t have too much sympathy after all.  Early evening was spent utilising the flat for its original lending purpose and was capped off with usage of PJ’s projector and library of accumulated movies – Tenacious D And The Pick Of Destiny may not have been the greatest film ever made but it certainly rocked to some extent and having a cinematic experience in bed is an experience that cant really be beat.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

I'm Torn

10 March – Escaped the clutches of Redfern as early as my hangover would allow.  Forgot how much the ride to Coogee can hurt but it’s a good kind of hurt.  Whilst lovely to be at the beach on a summer day confessed that the lure of solace in the bandwidth was too great a lure and managed to fix a number of pressing issues that have been vexing me since the switch to Mac – many more where they came from but a step was made.  Was torn between multiple responsibilities for the day and was wracked with guilt about having to take the easy option – there was no pretending to be a 007 at her majesty’s service on this day and there was an unexpected individual watching the Waratahs being bested by the South Africans at the rugby that night.  I didn’t expect to finish the evening being entertained (?) by the CEO of CommBank at his house but, then again, you never do.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Still Young

8 and 9 March – international women’s day was only seemingly observed at one place in Sydney today – the Voodoo café at 80 Mount St was giving away a free coffee to any member of this brotherhood who bought some food, unfortunately my protestation that I was a woman inside didn’t get me a freebie.  A stop and start morning was notable mainly for the fact that I got my first customer complaint ever today.  I went in to the reception – a place we rarely service and well known for their usual crapness (not enough information on the data, packages never properly labelled and not even wrapped or bound) and was unsurprised when she dumped a huge blank folder on the desk – do you have an envelope and label for it? I asked, somewhat impatiently perhaps – No, we don’t have anything for this size) - I was in my usual rush and to express my exasperation at their usual crapness I left without saying anything (I like to think that I am never rude to customers ever but when I want to express my displeasure I’m curt).  In any event, I felt I might have been a little too curt for this particular receptionist and my feelings were proved true when I got a call at my next pickup asking ‘What happened at 10 Quay?’ - I don’t think it’s going to affect my courier career too negatively though.  In any event I didn’t want to dwell on that event as birthday celebrations at a relatively local Lebanese restaurant were to be had – a fine turnout and pretty decent food with a nice atmosphere (the hookah pipe at the end was a particularly nice touch).  
On the actual day of the birthday itself the pancakes were up to scratch (and made from scratch) and were followed by a relatively crap day with some very good runs and very distant runs and a bunch of other stuff in between.  Another poker night, this time at the Scotsman’s house, turned out to be relatively financially neutral (I’ve got to stop going all in at the wrong moment) - the usual clashes were had but that’s really part of the entertainment after all.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

A Birthday Breakfast

What should a birthday breakfast entail?  Truly, it should be the breakfast of a champion.  But not the breakfast a champion eats when he is training to become a champion – that breakfast is much debated but my opinion is that it should be composed of whole grains and mighty fibre and protein to scour the inside of the body of evil humors and give raw energy to be burned throughout the day (typically the  breakfast I eat on most days) - but the breakfast that a champion eats when he knows he has been crowned a champion.  Whilst I have not done anything that would enable me to call myself a champion (at least nothing lately) and I am celebrating an event notable only for its tradition in regard to an arbitrary calendar I still have decided that that is the breakfast I would like to have.  My choice will obviously satisfy my relatively recently rediscovery (a few years at most) of my appetite for pancakes but it will include other things (possibly) but they will be pancakes the likes of which I have never constructed.  It would be nice to have pancakes made for me, of course, but I don’t believe that anyone else (chef, friend or lover) is really up the dedication that I know they will require. I know that the professionals are often far superior to my own concoctions but they don’t have the passion that I do and I must hone my craft until it is right.  And pancakes made with love always have a better aftertaste.

It wasn't me! It was the one legged man!

6 March – Some good jobs, some bad jobs, some distant jobs – data network went down in the morning meaning simulated 80s stylin’ (although messengers didn’t have mobiles in the 80s) and a fairly decent morning which Shifty seemed to enjoy enormously (with the system down he actually had something to do) - came up in the afternoon after a nice lunch with Robespierre and Carmen (all seems good on the eastern front) and things plugged along relatively easily for the rest of the afternoon.  A fairly hectic early evening seemed to resolve itself rather well, notable was the presence of a one-legged man.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Not Enough Sacrifice

737 – No amount of tobacco offerings to Hermes seem to be helping these days but still I give him more.  Maybe I should stop offering him these sacrifices and switch to virgins instead.  My $8 movie ticket vouchers seem to be one of those curses disguised as blessings – because I’ve got these vouchers which are going to expire at the end of the month (and not last month as I previously believed) I feel obligated to see everything that’s out there – even Barry Levinson’s incredibly lightweight political comedy Robin Williams beard movie (even though he didn’t have a beard) - and it was terrible and I’m lamenting it greatly.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

End Of Days

5 March – Why does it always rain on me?  Perhaps because I’m outside when it’s raining.  A sour note could be detected in the operator’s demeanour today which at times seemed to infect my own mood but I managed to push through the greyness of the day and the very early darkness (it’s end of days I tell you) and also avoided the worst of the rain that hit the city at 5 - didn’t mean I didn’t get wet but it did mean I didn’t get soaked.  Some D&Ms were required and some D&Ms were had in the evening and I think that there’s a definite possibility that my brother will not assassinate me for my inheritance but I can never be sure.  House meetings involved a clash of civilisations and I think, like in the larger blogosphere, the West is in trouble.

Monday, 5 March 2007

If You Hear It Fear It. If You See It Flee It.

4 March – Pancakes prepared the previous night are a lot better than pancakes prepared of the morning of the cooking.  Possibly ate a little too heartily prior to the large luncheon that followed – a gigantic piece of cow flesh that had been roasting for no less than five hours had a decent chunk taken out of it by the relatively small party – had a swim in the pool, not something I’ve done all summer which was very pleasant and also had a bit of a reunion with a boy from the old school who I really, really, really didn’t get along with for most of the school career but who seems really, almost extraordinarily nice and polite these days – almost as if making up for past misdeeds?  Perhaps not, but it’s nice regardless.  Accepted a lift, rejected a lift – used a lot of public transport this weekend and it really doesn’t agree with me.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

It's technical

2 and 3 March – Zinc and castor oil is a godsend – I was recommended to use it quite some time ago but was too arrogant and lazy to get it but on this morning I needed to try something or I wouldn’t be working that day.  Found an interesting potential race and did a good deed for the day – as I was leaving 15 Castlereagh I said ‘Howdy doo!’ to a young member of the Call who was entering and was disheartened to find that he’d just popped his tyre so I gave him a spare inner tube.  And my heart grow two sizes.  Went to the Opera Bar for the first time in a few years (inadvertently wearing the old uniform) and saw a loud big boat leave the harbour and was very well fed.  Saturday involved a relatively rushed morning to get from McMahons Point to Redfern to Central to Wentworth Falls for a day of mountain biking – first sign of something really going wrong was when I asked which platform I needed to get on for the Blue Mountains trains and the very laconic ticket seller told me what I always dread when I’m at the train station – you’ll be catching a Rail Bus (from Blacktown).  Me and the housemate had our velocipedes with us so tried to confirm that we’d be able to take them on - ‘They can’t refuse you, they have to provide the service” followed by “They can’t refuse you, they have to provide the service.  He then told us “There goes your plans for the day, brother, there goes your plans for the day”.  I wasn’t going to let a double talking ticket seller ruin the afternoon so we took the long route and got there in a bit over two hours and after a frugal lunch with the Blue Mountains crowd including a pantless, strangely friendly, Ethan it was head to the hills.  The plan was to try the Helena trail, a slightly more “technical” course than the previous one I’d done, the Anderson.  It started very well, the familiar trail being fast and tough but an inopportune flat tyre started me thinking that the day might not turn out as pleasantly as it might have. Switching with a spare didn’t help and every time we found a hole and pumped it up we found a different hole (five separate punctures in the one tyre) after eventually fixing this we carried on until the “technical section” caused me to fly over the handlebars and this was followed by more holes in the back tyre including one in the rubber around the valve.  Some passing cyclists who obviously had heard of the previous day’s good deed (giving the courier a spare tube for those who haven’t read the top of this entry) through the grapevine of the Brotherhood of the Wheel gave me a spare tube which lasted for half an hour before popping multiple times itself (and yes, I checked the rim and tyre).  There were also  a few other technically assisted crashes (and not just by me).  At several times I found myself declaring surrender but there was really no other option but to fix it and carry on going – the climb out was going to be horrendous anyway and there was no way I was going to leave the bike down there so it really just had to be fixed.  The constant delays meant we came out just as the sun went down (and before the full moon came out with all its associated whackos) and another agonisingly slow journey back to the homestead – lots of loud and unpleasant types on the train (maybe I’m getting old but young drunken girls urinating on the steps inside the train in front of other passengers is not considered good manners these days, is it?)

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Text Book Service

28 February and the first of March – Day was slow – still felt frazzled by previous night and also had my first redel in the morning and was torn between delivering it as early as I could and not alerting any untoward dispatchers that I was available in town but after a very uncalled for interrogation by Shifty all was well.  Had an awesome experience when I went to the Pen Shop (not affiliated with the Pen Shop in Vancouver) where I hoped to get some advice on repairing my trusty Space Pen? (the best pen in the world) which was having issues.  I was greeted by a friendly clerk and I explained my dilemma and two other individuals in the shop, seeming to be customers, piped up with their opinion on what might be wrong.  They seemed remarkably well informed of the ins and outs of how a Space Pen worked and also the legal warranties associated with the owner of one of these fine writing implements.  It was soon revealed that these two were the sales reps from Fisher and after a cursory examination they identified that it was the spring that was worn and told me that I would be able to send it in to Fisher for a replacement or, alternatively, I could just swap it with one he had in his display case which was the exact same model and finish.  Of course, only if all parties are amenable.  And we were.  That’s the kind of experience that gets put in marketing text books as examples of how a good business should work.  Rest of the day wasn’t so grand and at the end of it I was slyly creeping home, pretending to still be in the city and praying that nobody called in a late job so I could go to the movies. Thwarted again from seeing the Good Shepherd but it’s probably not that great anyway and ended up in Letters from Iwo Jima – a decent war movie as they go but Thin Red Line it ent ... Apparently war is hell but I think I should know that by now.   The first day of the month did not herald an end to the last day of the previous month’s chafe and the day started uncomfortable and got to a low level of agony by the end.  A relatively good morning aided by a gold mine at MSJ (although the prissy mailroom clerk’s ridiculous adherence to ‘the process’ didn’t do much to aide the efficiency of the situation) was followed by a great big heap of nothing and some of the worst dispatching I’ve experienced in a long time.  Very pleasant end of the day – on call for a while but remedied with a small beer which did much for my mood.  The week’s aches and pains seem to have peaked far earlier than I’d like them to have but that’s par for the course in the class and there’s not much one can do about it other than the usual remedies so not much was done.