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Pure Pornography. 3/1/2005

Picture taken from here.

At e240’s request. Now that is what I call pornography.

Missives Part 2. 2/25/2005

I woke up early, and pulled on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I walked out in the cold morning, it being the wrong side of 7 a.m. and pulled the cover off ‘Dark Justice’. I thought I’d better get her gassed up before taking Kala for the ride.

I came back in about 20 minutes later, after prepping the bike up. And found Kala standing outside my parent’s gate, looking a little flustered. She thought she had overslept when she heard the roar of the Yoshimura pipes, and hurried to change and get ready. I re-assured her that everything was fine, and we had heaps of time in hand. I geared up, and briefed Kala on the proper pillion procedure, something essential for your own personal safety. In my case, with the guys I used to ride with in those days, when the riding got a little…’spirited’…a pillion passenger who didn’t know what to do could easily cause everything to go pear shaped very quickly.

She got on the back, and we zoomed off, with my mother standing at the gate to see us off. Mum was rather concerned, and she certainly didn’t want anything to happen to Kala. We headed out to the assembly point, which was to be at the toll plaza entrance for the North side of the North South Hisghway. We stopped at the toll plaza, and there were a couple of bikes already there, ridden by some guys I knew. And today they had brought their wives with them.

I introduced Kala to everyone, and waited for the rest of the group to arrive. Kala was very surprised at the friendliness that was shown, in spite of the fact that she was a total stranger. She asked if this was normal, and I shrugged my shoulders, because this was the first time I had ever brought a female pillion riding with this group.

Look Ma, I’m Elton John. 2/23/2005

Missives Part 1. 2/21/2005

There were no posts all of last week, due to the fact that I was on holiday. I’m awaiting a certain set of test results, which I hope will be good news for all concerned. No, it wasn’t an AIDS test. But the results of the test will have a strong bearing on what happens in my life next.

I sometimes sit down, and wonder about the frailty of human life. Or all life for that matter. I was smoking a roll up on the balcony, and reminiscing about the friends I have lost over the years. The list is, considering how old I am, very long. Some of it was due to vehicle related mishaps, but some were due to life threatening illness, where the fight was fought, and lost.

I remember Kala, a young lady who lived 2 doors away from my parent’s place. She was single, a lecturer in a local university. She had been going out with this guy for some years, and he was a staunch vegetarian. So, in the hope of being what he wanted her to be, she gave up meat, never smoked, never drank. She had a good career, but was wanting to settle down and raise a family.

One day, I was washing the bike in the porch. She walked over, with a depressed look on her face, and asked me if my mother was in. I replied in the affirmative, and let her in. I saw them talking at the dinner table, with a box of tissues in ample evidence. I thought nothing of it, and resumed washing and polishing “Dark Justice”, as my ride at the time was called.

She came out of the house, and stood next to me, with my mother by her side. She had obviously been crying. I looked up, with a Marlboro hanging out the side of my mouth, and smiled. Just being good neighbours, you understand. And what she said next made the cigarette butt fall from my lips in shock.

She told me she’d been diagnosed with cancer, and was given a matter of months to live. Her boyfriend, upon hearing the news, had dropped her like a hot brick. She was shattered, because everything she had wanted would no longer happen. I was struck with a sudden silence. This was a woman who, while not being overtly religious, lived a decent, clean life. She never did anything considered high risk, as opposed to someone like me, who is basically an adrenaline junkie, and continously imbibing substances not necessarily known for their beneficial effect on health.

I stood there for a while, with my mother looking on. My mother was crying as well, for she treated Kala like a daughter. I sat down on the side of the porch, and the only question I could think to ask her was, “What are you going to do now?” And she just sat next to me, and told me she didn’t have a clue.

I looked at Dark Justice, and said to Kala, “Wake up early tomorrow. We’re going for a ride.” She looked at me aghast, saying that she’d never ridden on a bike before in her life. My mother looked at her and said “Kala, just do it. My son very rarely asks anyone to get on the back of a bike with him. You might as well live life to the fullest.” Kala nodded her head, and said she’d see me at 8:00 a.m.

Lies, half-truths and insinuations. 2/16/2005

And so we had the meeting. Apparently it was, like I said in an earlier post, a case of chinese whispers. The general concensus was that we would let it lie, and not make waves. The company which employs me is very much the poor relations in comparison with the company I am on secondment to. So we cannot shout too much, lest we get slapped on the back of the head for our efforts. I just wish that they would recognise that what we have in the people in our company is a collection of experience and resources that does not exist anywhere else in a group of companies employing well over 11,000 people. We can take the entire range of work in our facility, and not make a total and utter cock-up of it like the current project.

On other related fronts, my e-mail barfed. After I tried sending out an e-mail on behalf of someone else, with an attachment. There are times when I long for the days of DOS prompts and programs that ran on a single 360K five and a quarter inch floppy.

Through a tinted visor, darkly.

I was riding in to work this morning, when I saw an accident. No, I didn’t take a picture of this one, because, well, read on.

I was coming down the off ramp of one of the toll highways, where it merged with a slip ride coming off another highway. There was a gaggle of cars backed up on the slip road, and I wondered what was going on. At this point I was doing my customary fraction of local light speed when I suddenly realised that the cars in front of me were braking like mad.

I threw out the achors and picked my way between traffic, cursing the drivers who were changing lanes trying to avoid the traffic, when I saw the reason for the hold up. There had been an accident, involving a couple of motorcycles and a car. And one of the riders was lying on the road, with blood all over, and not moving. What had possibly happened was that a car had smerged into the riders, changing lanes without checking his mirrors first.

I considered stopping, to help and take photos, but the fact that the rider was quite possibly dead, and there were already people on the scene, made me ride on. And start thinking. Many people in this country ride small, underpowered motorcycles, as a convenience and as daily transport. I ride one myself to get to work daily. This is in spite of the fact that I have several vehicles to choose from, most of them high powered performance vehicles. I chose this mode of transport because it was light, convenient, and easy to maintain. The price I pay for that is a lack of speed, and being bullied by other road users. The image that I project means next to nothing to me. I know what I have sitting in my garage at home, and some boy racer with his Satria still under hire purchase to the finance company and ‘Fast and Furious’ body kit doesn’t impress me in the least.

I’ve noticed the driving habits of many drivers on the roads I travel daily, and the only word I can use is atrocious. Lack of due care, not checking mirrors, bad lane discipline, road hogging, pulling out into oncoming traffic, the list goes on. There is also the prevalent attitude that because you own a car and pay the tax, you behave as if you are the only person entitled to use the road. I’ve smartened up many of my driving skills of late, since I started using a small motorcycle daily. I still drive quickly, but I now pay much more care to other road users, because the vehicle I drive is large and heavy, and can do an inordinate amount of damage if I’m careless.

Situational Awareness. 2/8/2005

By the time you read this, I will be well on my to la-la land. I’ll be spending time with my beloved grand-mama. She doesn’t get to see me very often, and my visits to her are something she treasures. I was informed that she is beginning to show signs of senile dementia, and I guess she may not have her faculties for very long. And I’ll be spending more time with her from now on. I’m bringing a tape recorder with me, to record her voice, and get her to tell me some stories of her childhood, and growing up in the Colonial era. I love her to bits, and I’m her favourite grandson. And she still spoils me rotten.

I had a shitty day yesterday, mainly because I was riding half asleep. My situational awareness was bad, and I had no idea what was going on around me, traffic wise. Which resulted in me being hit by another motorcycle when on my way to H.Q. No harm, no foul, but my left ankle is stiff and swollen, with minor bruising. I knew I should have worn my MX boots, but something said to me that wearing MX boots with a suit is not quite the done thing. Serves me right for being a fashion victim and wearing my Cromer brogues. Next that little voice speaks up again, I’m going to hit it over the head with a torque wrench.

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