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A fistful of brakes. 2/25/2006

I just got back from lunch with Bikerwannabe. Before I proceed with the rest of this post, will all of you please go over and leave a comment on his blog asking him to update the damn thing?

After lunch, when he and I were shooting the breeze about bikes and other things, he asked me about the difference between floating and fixed brake discs on a bike. I thought about it for a while, and decided to put it up as a post in here.
My answer to him, at lunch was the short one.
“One disc floats, and the other type doesn’t.”
Bikerwannabe gave me a go eat shit grin at this reply, and in the interests of our friendship, and his pergola, here’s the answer.
Floating discs are used because they are lighter, reducing the rotating mass on a bike’s front wheel. They are less prone to warping due to overheating. They remain centered in the brake pads, and provide the maximum surface area for the pads to “bite”.
Rigid discs are cheaper to manufacture.

Does that answer your question, dude?

Broken chair. 2/24/2006

My chair broke yesterday. I think I need to lose some weight.

Trying to get a new chair, of course, will involve paperwork, in triplicate, and signatures up the wazoo. So I’m living with it, until I can collar the guys supplying furniture to the site, and see if I can make a midnight requisition for one.

Girl Friday.

Mega Kwak. 2/22/2006

Roy passed this link on to me today. Some of you may be wondering why Roy keeps passing me links and jokes all the time, and I hardly ever post up anything I’ve found myself on the internerd. The simple reason is that Roy is a simple, humble guy, who has a lot of time on his hands, who enjoys the company of women, and also loves blowjobs. HeĀ  is a partner in his own firm, and lives in a mansion. And has 2 sports cars and a truck. And 2 classic motorcycles. Which puts him very close, but not quite, in the rich bastards league. So if any of you young ladies out there would like to show him life, and love, as it should be, drop me a line in the comments.

Moving right along, my jaw dropped when I first saw this picture.

My initial thought was that it was a photoshop jobbie, and a bloody good one.

Until I saw the link for the video. (right click and save).

This machine impressed the hell out of me. It makes Dodge’s Tomahawk look sick. 48 cylinders, 2 stroke, air cooled. The owner must have spent hours of time, and gallons of blood and sweat, getting the engineering for this monster right.

My hat’s off to this guy, and his monster creation. I’ve spent some time in my past putting together performance and race machines, but this thing takes the cake. I want one.

Full set of pictures from Mr Ashworth’s site.

English as she is broken.

During the recent controversy over the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), I was idly leafing through various copies of the Sarawak Tribune, trying to determine if the single instance of editorial indiscretion was to be found in earlier editions of the paper, when this caught my eye.

It was a small advertisement for a tuition center located in the state capital. And the reason it caught my attention was the use of the English language. Incorrect grammar, incorrect adjective usage. It made me cringe. This place is supposed to be offering tuition for students in English, and other subjects, and they couldn’t use English correctly.And they want to teach it? Makes me wonder about the quality of their teaching and products. I certainly wouldn’t send anyone there, considering the quality of their advertisement.

I take pride in my command of the English language. I speak and write English better than many native users of the language. Considering the fact that English is my first language, I sometimes get upset at the way it is used, especially in the media and advertising. Fair enough, any language should constantly evolve, taking into account changes in usage and technology and culture. But to completely ignore the basic rules of grammar? That’s ridiculous.

The person who wrote that ad should perhaps consider taking lessons from a reputable language center, before purporting to offer a “Fantastic Learning System” that would make me different.

Very different, because I would end up speaking English as she is broken.

For Lainie.

Taken yesterday evening, during a heavy rain.

Mork meets Mindy Part II. 2/20/2006

Roy passed this on to me today.

More information on the young rider who was killed last week doing wheelies on a 1200 c.c. Kawasaki. The young man’s father is calling for licensing restrictions based on age. This is something I feel is wrong. Riders ride because they value freedom above all else. And things are already bad enough in that our sport/hobby is already being marginalised and stereotyped.

In this particular case, a young man bought a machine, and was a little foolish with it on public roads, which resulted in his unfortunate demise. But to make other young riders pay for his foolishness? Is there any justice in that? Will it bring his young son back?

I don’t blame anyone. I don’t blame manufacturers for putting out bikes that are beyond the capability of 95% of riders to ride to the edge. I don’t blame bike shops for selling a high powered motorcycle to someone who is young, and with a less than pristine driving record. The only person than can be blamed is the rider himself. He was sitting in the seat. He had his hand around the throttle. He was in control. He has only himself to blame.

The performance envelopes of modern motorcycles are very scary, especially to someone like me, who first started riding in the days of air cooled in line 4s and 19 inch front wheels. When I was first looking for a proper motorcycle, I was 2 months shy of my 16th birthday. I walked into a bike shop and saw an RD250 on a display stand. The owner of the shop came up to me, and saw me standing there in my school uniform, and asked me what I wanted.

I told him I wanted to buy that motorcycle, in white and red racing stripes. He looked at me, and asked me very quietly if I had ever ridden a motorcycle before. I looked, at that stage in my life, much older than I actually was, but he obviously had his doubts. I truthfully told him that I had only ridden step throughs and once round the block on an Uncle’s CB125. He smiled when I said this, and told me, in no uncertain terms, that the RD was not the bike for me.

Instead, he steered me towards a Suzuki GS550, saying that the bike was more suited to someone of my size and build, was not as intense in the power band, and a lot more stable. And he was right. That Suzuki was a good bike for a beginner. He probably had the thought in the back of his mind that he would prefer to have me as a repeat customer, and coming back for upgrades as my skill improved, which is something that would be a whole lot easier to do if I was actually alive and riding.

The guy who sold me that Suzuki, 25 years ago, is still there, in the same shop. I drop by on occassion, to shoot the breeze. His son now runs the wrenching part of the business, and is competing in the local race series. He likes the Silver Lady, and once told me he wanted one. But he couldn’t afford it. Not that he lacked any kind of skill in riding it. But he was being realistic about it. As his father once did to me.

And I am alive today because of it.

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