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The Snark’s guide to being suave and debonair. 1/27/2006

A young man who works with me asked me for my advice today. He’s in his very early twenties, and just starting out on his career. He comes from out of state, and likes motorcycles (a plus point in my book), and listens to Green Day (not my cup of tea). He’s also been hankering after one of my bikes, asking me if I would sell it to him on easy payments, without interest, to which I replied to him that I wasn’t Santa Claus.

Anyhow, this yound chap came to me this morning, and sat down at my desk, and asked me for some advice. He had apparently met this young lady over the internet, and she had asked to meet him. And this was going to be his first real date, i.e. there was some romantic involvement here, and he was wanting to make a good impression on her. So he came to me, as someone purportedly older and wiser, to seek some pearls of wisdom. I hesitated at this. My particular dating style can be a little scary for some ladies, especially those who were not used to the Continental way of doing things. He implored me to tell him what to do, because he really wanted to impress this girl, so I caved in.

I distilled some of the things that have worked for me in the past, and I knew that women liked. And so I gave him a few pointers.

1. Don’t be late. Ever. If you’re late for a date, you are screwed, big time, especially on a first date. It would be better to arrive early, and drive round the block a few times, just so that you are there on time. At which point, you will now have to wait a half hour before she is ready. If so, don’t frown. Smile at her like you’ve been waiting for her the whole day. Which you probably have.

2. Clean your car. Always. Nothing turns a girl off more than having to get into a car which looks like it was last cleaned just before Noah closed the doors to the Ark. Especially if her dress sticks to the car seat. If needs must, rent a car. And stow away the heavy metal and techno tapes. Have something nice to listen to, like Jason Mraz, or jazz classics with vocals like Billie Holliday. And using a motorcycle for a first date only works for a certain type of lady, who is worth her weight in gold. Keep the bike at home, and save that for dates when the two of you really know each other.

3. Make sure the car is in good condition and fuelled. When a girl gets into your car, she expects everything to go smoothly. Nothing will piss her off more than having to help you push your car to the side of the road while she’s wearing her $200 designer miniskirt and high heels in the pouring rain.

4. Choose a restaurant wisely. Never ever take a first date to a restaurant that both of you are going to for the first time, more so when you have no clue what’s on the menu. Don’t take her to Hooter’s either. Or a restaurant where there’s a big screen TV over the bar and the waiters wear beach sandals. Chose a place where you’ve been to before, and has a fairly wide selection of food to cater to most tastes. And chose a place which is reasonably. The two of you are on a date to get to know each other better, not have to shout your lungs out just to make conversation. Needless to say, first dates do not happen in fast food restaurants.

5. If you’re a young man on a tight budget, make sure you have enough funds to cover the entire night. She might be just friends, but girls like being pampered, and paying for the dinner is the mark of being suave. If she offers to split the bill, decline politely, saying that it was your pleasure, and tell her she can get the next one. Which leaves the door open for a second date, if you so wish. But don’t allow her to pay for the second date either. You might as well learn now that women are expensive.

6. Offer to take her out for drinks and dancing after. If she declines, there’s no loss. If she says yes, she either likes you, or she wants to milk you for everything you’ve got. If she gets to the club, and immediately disappears with her friends, and only comes back to you to get her glass re-filled, write the date of as a total loss. Don’t let your date get drunk. Which is not the easiest thing in the world to do. On the other hand, she might be so drunk, she won’t remember any details of the night.

7. On the way home, she will usually make it very clear if she would like to see you again. If she holds your hand while driving, you’ve got it made, because she enjoyed the night, and would like a repeat. If, on the other hand, she doesn’t make conversation with you, and stays on the far side of the seat, you should send her home as quickly as possible. If she asks you if you’d like to come in, you have a choice of saying yes, telling her that you’re only interested in sex, or saying no, telling her you are not interested in sex with her. You might as well confirm her impression of men and go in and bonk her silly anyway. If she makes no indication of inviting you in, then say good night, and offer your hand. She may consent to a kiss on the cheek. Whatever you do, don’t try to turn your head and jam your tongue down her throat.

8. Send flowers the next day, even if you didn’t score, the date was a disaster, and she doesn’t like your face. It’s a way of thanking her for her time. And it’s very cool to do so, because all women love getting flowers, more so when there isn’t an occassion for it.

And there you have it, some basic rules for dating a girl for the first time. I wish to emphasise that all information given above is on an “as is” basis, and I will not be held liable for anything that may occur after, such as slaps in the face, weddings, pregnancies and the like.

Girl Friday.

Wishing all readers of Hunting the Snark a happy, prosperous and flea free Year of the Dog.

Ribbons. 1/26/2006

In the queue.

I just checked the number of comments being held in moderation, and there are 3,800 plus comments, all of which are spam.  I can’t be arsed to winnow through the chaff, so if you’ve left a comment over the last week, it’s now gone.  I’m working on installing a Captcha plug-in, but work keeps distracting me.


You would have noticed the new theme by now.  I managed to upgrade this sucker from Wordpress 1.2 to 2.0.  The Wordpress codex said I was supposed to move from 1.2 to 1.5, and then install 2.0.  Somehow I managed to by-pass that step, with a little judicious tweaking.  Sometimes I surprise even myself.

Now it remains to be seen if I can stop the fucking spammers.  Next step, a Captcha plug-in.

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.

The first testing session for the 2006 MotoGP session concluded yesterday at the Sepang F1 circuit. Held over 3 days, with track temperatures reaching the mid-thirties, and air temperature in the forties, the Ducati Malrboro MotoGP team were out in front in terms of lap times.


Loris Capirossi was honest about the bike, saying that it wasn’t quite there yet, although he was very optimistic, and pleased with the progress thus far.

“Things are still not 100% right but I`m pretty pleased with the first day of testing after the winter break. Today we worked a lot on the bike set-up and on the new GP6 engine and I`m happy with the progress we made. We still have to improve the bike`s stability in the quick sections and we are working mainly to get that right, but for a first time out things are going well”

On the first day, the times were unofficially posted as follows.

Unofficial times:

1. Valentino Rossi, 2m02.09s
2. Nicky Hayden, 2m02.19s
3. Marco Melandri, 2m02.28s
4. Loris Capirossi, 2m02.54s
5. Colin Edwards, 2m02.60s
6. Daniel Pedrosa, 2m02.74s
7. Sete Gibernau, 2m02.86s


Sete Gibernau also was working hard with the team to get the bike to where he wanted it, and to start working closely with the Ducati Marlboro Team.

“I thought there would be a lot of work to do and that proved to be the case, and that`s a big motivation for me. Today for the first time we searched for adjustments that allowed me to get a better feeling with my Ducati and the team is working well to understand exactly what I need to make me have the best possible feeling with the new bike. We`ll need a bit more time but things have got off to a good start and I`m feeling really confident”.

Work continued on Day 2 of testing, with more attention paid to suspension adjustments and engine tuning.


Times posted on Day 2 were :

Unofficial times:

1. Sete Gibernau (Ducati) 2m01.66s
2. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2m01.83s
3. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 2m02.00s
4. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 2m02.02s
5. Daniel Pedrosa (Honda) 2m02.26s
6. Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki) 2m02.56s
7. Casey Stoner (Honda) 2m02.57s
8. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2m02.62s
9. Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) 2m02.65s
10. Marco Melandri (Honda) 2m02.70s.

The times showed a marked improvement, with the team finding another second somewhere from inside their bag of tricks. This session also saw a comparion run between the GP06 and last year’s bike, which saw the GP06 at the performance level of the GP05, with more potential.


On Day 3, both riders expressed satisfaction with the Desmosedici GP06. Although there is still a lot of development work to do, it is now confirmed that the Ducati Marlboro team will be using the GP06, and retiring the GP05. Sete Gibernau had this to say, “My settling-in period with the team, the bike and the tyres is continuing and I am increasingly satisfied with the choice that I have made. Today I felt pretty good on the GP6 and I also wanted to do a few laps on the GP5, which I have never tried, to make a back-to-back test. This confirmed what Loris, who knows the bike well, had said yesterday: the GP5 is a good bike but the GP6 has more development potential and from now onwards we are only going to use that bike. For the first time I used Bridgestone`s qualifying tyres and they gave me a good feeling. We`ve still got a lot of work to do to be at 100% but we are on the right path”.

Times for Day 3, which show a small but steady improvement in lap times, in-line with the staements from both riders.

Unofficial times:

1. Sete Gibernau (Ducati) 2m01.03s;
2. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2m01.08s;
3. Marco Meandri (Honda) 2m01.10s;
4. Daniel Pedrosa (Honda) 2m01.51s;
5. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2m01.60s;
6. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 2m01.69s;
. Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) 2m01.79s ;
8. Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki) 2m02.18s ; 9. Toni Elias (Honda) 2m02.23s;
10. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 2m02.38s.

Loris Capirossi also had an intensive session of tyre testing, which will be analysed and used for the race at Sepang, later this year. Loris expressed confidence in the Bridgestone tyres, and was satisfied with the performance of the GP06.

“We can also be satisfied with today`s performance. The weather was good all day and we were able to do all the scheduled tyre testing. Bridgestone are working well and we have gathered a lot of useful information for the next test session here at Sepang. I also tried the new qualifying tyres, which have a good potential. I like the GP6 more and more and I can`t wait to test it in Australia, where last year I only did a few laps on the Friday morning before crashing, which forced me to miss the Australian and Turkish GPs”.


The next test for the Ducati Marlboro Team will be from January 31st to February 2nd, at Phillip Island in Australia, the second scheduled 2006 winter session.

Birds. 1/25/2006

“Daddy, look at all the birds.”

“Yes, look at all the birds in the sky, flying free, going wherever the wind takes them.

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