jump to navigation

Ladyhawke. 1/31/2007

Picture taken in December 2006, shot from the hip, using a 300mm zoom.

Vehicular Discrimination. 1/30/2007

I was in a management meeting this afternoon.  The usual type of meeting.  You know how it is.  Everyone was there, and when the M.D. asked for feedback on other issues, one of my colleagues raised her voice, and asked about parking.  One of the perks I am given is reserved parking in the building, in the multi storey car park, paid for by the company.  Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of spaces allotted to the office, and everyone else has to park their cars in the public car park in the basement.  Although my colleague’s parking fees were also paid by the company, she was obviously angling for a parking space on the upper floors, which are better, parking wise, and you don’t have to fight for a space if you come in a little later.

I was sipping my coffee idly, and staring at someone’s office building through the window, when the M.D. asked me about my parking space.  I turned to him and asked “what about it?”  He asked me if I was using the reserved parking space, and I had to say no, since I ride a motorcycle to work most days, except for the time when I couldn’t ride due to the fractured foot.  I knew what he was going to get at, and his next words confirmed it.

He asked if I would give the space up.  I told him to drop dead, and said I rode a motorcycle by choice. I pay the parking fee for the motorcycle out of my own pocket.  He then offered to pay the motorcycle parking fee for me, and I said no, because it was a third cheaper.  I said if everyone else who wanted a reserved parking space could also ride a bike, and they would get a chance to park on the second floor of the multi storey car park, which was reserved for motorcycles that paid their fees monthly.  I then asked if the company was discriminating against me because I rode a motorcycle, and didn’t use the parking space.

I pointed out that the space was a perk extended to me by the company, and just because I chose to ride to work, instead of spending 3 hours a day stuck in traffic like an idiot, that wasn’t a reason for them to take it away from me.  I then said that if they really wanted me to give it up, could they please put it in writing, and I could then sue them for constructive dismissal.

The M.D. went quiet at this, said nothing, and moved on to the next item in the agenda.  And after the meeting, turned to me, and said that I could have the last unoccupied office, located in the corner.

Fat Boy. 1/29/2007

A while ago, my buddy Michael Ooi asked me to post a picture of one of the bikes that I have.  After a little digging around today in my stuff, I found a picture which I took in 1999.  It was early in the morning, and I had ridden out to clear my mind, and get some riding in.  The bike is a 1994 FLSTF, and is living on an island quite a distance away, across the sea.

I like this machine, although I am not overly fond of her.  I tend to get my kicks pushing machines to the edge of their performance envelopes, a habit I developed when I was a very young rider.  Although these days, I tend to be very reserved in my riding.  I no longer have the urge to wind the throttle open, “just to see what she can do.”  I tend to value my life a little more these days.

I still have no idea why she’s in the collection, other than the fact that it seemed to be a good idea at the time. She isn’t fast, or quick, and doesn’t even handle particularly well.  But I can tell you this much, the sound she makes, and her looks, makes heads turn every time.

The return of the Snark.

I guess some of you may have noticed that Hunting the Snark was down for a while. I got more than a few e-mails, phone calls, SMSes, and messages asking me what had happened to this site, and more importantly, was it coming back, or would it ever be coming back. Today, I finally caved in to peer pressure. I guess the turning point was both Shaolin Tiger and KY calling me a faggot for taking the down Hunting the Snark.

So, for better, or worse, the Snark is back. Whether or not it gets updated is another issue. I found the 3 weeks without having to think about the Snark quite liberating. As some of my readers who keep blogs will know, blogging can be sometimes a difficult process. The freedom from thinking about what to post, or even having to post anything, was quite nice. I even managed to get some real work done. Well, not really, since someone was distracting me somewhat. But some work was done.

One of the reasons the Snark came down is because I have made several life changing decisions lately. This has kind of left me with little time for real riding, and my only biking time is confined to the daily commute. I still manage to have fun though, since riding a motorcycle always makes everything all right. The fractured foot is healing, and I’m now walking, well, limping really, without the aid of a stick. Unfortunately, an old bug bear of mine has raised its head, an addiction to painkillers. I trying to stay away from them as much as I can, but on some days, the pain gets to be just too much.

Due to changes in my circumstances, and my commitment to someone, the stable is going. Most of the bikes have found good homes, or are otherwise spoken for. The ones that remain are those that are not mine to sell, or have too much sentimental value attached to them for me to readily part with them. I guess the last remaining bike will be the Silver Lady. If someone makes me an offer I cannot refuse, I may let her go. It will break my heart to do so, but needs be as needs must.

In the meantime, I promise a return to regular scheduled programming, and more stuff that’s been going on, in and around my life.

And no more emo shit.

Quick turn. 1/12/2007

I’m now into my third day of enforced driving, since fracturing the foot on New Year’s day.  I have been loathing this with a vengeance, sitting there for hours, inching along the road, while bikes zoom past on either side of me.  To say that I’m envious would be putting it mildly.  I’ve wasted 8 hours of life, in the last 3 days, just sitting in traffic.  That’s one man day.

I was sitting in the car this evening on the commute home, zoning out, listening to Linkin Park.  In front of me was a Toyota, being driven by a young girl.  She was wanting to change lanes, and I backed off a little, in case she stopped suddenly.  The traffic was moving slowly, and came to stop.  The cars in the left lane were still moving slowly.  I glanced in the mirror, and saw a gap coming in the traffic.  She was looking in her mirror, and obviously saw the gap too.

However, the rest of her view was blocked by the bulk of the truck, and what I could see, and she didn’t, was a motorcycle coming along at a fast clip between the cars.  And not just any ordinary motorcycle either.  The gap came up to her, and she turned her wheel to the left very suddenly, and jumped the gap in the traffic.  At precisely the same time a traffic policeman on his police motorcycle slammed right into her left door and crumpled it.

The bike fell over, and the policeman hit the ground.  I could see the shock on the face of the girl, her mouth formed into a giant ‘O’.  I put on the hazard lights, and got out of the truck.  I walked over to the accident, and helped the cop get to his feet.  I started waving cars around the wreckage.  I looked at the cop.  He was furious.  He stomped over the the driver’s side of the car, and promptly started shouting at her.

I walked over next to the cop, and put a hand on his arm.  He stopped, and then asked if I could help him pick his bike up.  I did so, and the girl pulled her car over to the side of the road.  He thanked me, and then walked back to the car, his citation book in hand.  I shrugged my shoulders, and climbed back into the truck, and prepared to drive off.

As I drove past, I saw the cop writing in his book, and the girl sitting there in tears.

Girl Friday.

A quantum of solace. 1/11/2007

Human relationships are funny things. Sometimes, you may see a couple, who look well suited for each other, have a relationship that mutually self destructs. They may have invested time, and money, sweat and blood and tears, in their relationship. But there comes a time when push comes to shove, and someone has to leave.

Many, many moons ago, I had just washed the 750, and decided to take her out for a short run around the neighbourhood to dry the engine off. I was cruising around, sans helmet, enjoying the breeze in my hair. Yes, I had hair then. As I was riding around, in front of me I saw a young woman, carrying a baby, maybe about 6 months old. I didn’t give this a second thought, thinking that this was just a mother taking her baby out for an evening stroll.

As I drew closer, I noticed that her eyes were red and puffy, and she looked very tired. She held her hand out, waving me to a stop. Which I did. I drew up alongside her. She was dressed in a faded white t-shirt, and shorts. Her baby was this cute, chubby, bouncy boy. She looked very stressed, and her hair was a mess. Fatigue was written all over her face.

She looked at me, and asked if I knew if there was a room that she could rent anywhere. She said that she and her baby had been walking for hours, and that she had no where to go. I wondered what was going on here. I was just riding along, minding my own business, and I suddenly meet this person who I suspected may not have been all quite there. I replied that I was sorry that I knew of no place where she could rent a room. Not that she could have rented one. She wasn’t carrying a handbag, nor could I see any sign of a wallet in her shorts.

I switched off the engine on the bike, and kicked the sidestand down. On closer inspection, she was very young, not much older than I was, at the time. Her eyes were red from crying. Her baby was looking around in curiosity, as babies are wont to do. I asked her what was wrong, and she said that she had just fought with her husband, and she had walked out, taking the baby with her. I was loathe to get involved in this. I had, at that point, witnessed way too many domestic arguments, and get caught up in someone else’s argument was a losing proposition.

But something inside me couldn’t refuse helping her. I asked her what she wanted to do, and all she said was that she was tired from walking and carrying her baby, and she just wanted somewhere to rest. I told her to wait right there. I got back on the bike, and scooted off back home, and came back in the car. When she saw the car, she was a little freaked I guess. Red V-8 supercars were a rarity in that part of the woods, where the prefered vehicle of choice was a big four wheel drive.

I helped her get in, and her sigh of relief at sitting down was audible. I drove her back to my place, and showed her in. I asked her to sit down, and if she wanted a drink. She gratefully asked for some water. I sat down, and asked her how I could help. She then told me what had happened.

She had just had the baby a few months ago, and everything was fine, until post partum depression kicked in. They had had a huge fight, and it basically came down to her storming out of the house, with the baby, and leaving her husband. I didn’t know quite what to say. At that time, a situation like this was way outside my experience.

I told her the only thing I could do was to give her a place to rest for a while, and said she was free to use my telephone to call a family member. She replied that she was out of town, and knew no one in this city. I sighed. This was becoming more difficult. I then called a female friend, and explained the situation to her.  My friend came over quickly, and I left the 2 of them to sit down and talk, while I finished cleaning up the bike.

They came out shortly after, and my friend told me that she was taking her to a women’s shelter, where they had professionals to deal with things like these.  I breathed a sigh of relief, and wished the woman and her baby well.  Sometimes, today, I wonder what has happened to her, and her child.  Did she return to her husband?  Did she leave, and start a new life?  Is she happy now?

No one knows this, or at least no one who can tell me.  Sometimes, we wonder about what might have been, or what might be.  It is only human nature to do so. Sometimes, a quantum of solace is all that is needed.  And when it is gone, then there is nothing left.

| older posts »