Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Seven days, approx.

Not that I'm counting. Cue Brian Vaughan Williams...

<Begin obligatory weather mention>

It was stinking hot today too (14 degrees and sunny). I'm going to miss all this good weather when I get back to Sunny Oz next Thursday afternoon at 15:00.

</End obligatory weather mention>

I'm gearing up for the last week of my sixth extended stay here. Wow, that means the majority of my life for the last seven years has been spent in België. I must like it here, even though I Still Call Australia Home (cue Qantas ad). I am looking forward to getting back Down Under and living a life of sloth for two and a bit months, before work takes off again in mid-Januaraa.

This last week is going to be Intense, as my sister should be arriving tomorrow from London where she has been messing up the digital TV in Martin's place, not to be confused with the Sydney GPO. She will be staying for the week so it will be non-stop party action at Jeff's place. Also, Hedwig (no relation to Harry, Ron, Scabbers or any of the other Mötley Crüe. How do you pronounce 'Mötley Crüe' anyway?) is coming up for a coupla days in order to take the next step to becoming a Cyclingnews Jedi KnightTM. Strong in the Force, she is.

Google is going to have a field day with all of this. People will be so disappointed when they search for "Harry Potter Digital TV Jedi Knight" and end up with Jeff's Bilgespot as the number one hit. Tough titties.

Today has been spent cleaning and making millions from the Internet, in that order. Millions is a somewhat nebulous term, and doesn't necessarily refer to money. Think of it as virtual millions, which can be converted into real millions by applying a simple conversion factor, namely 10 to the power of the temperature that Hell freezes over, expressed in Kelvin. NB: This temperature is somewhat lower than the temperature at which the Schelde freezes over. That should give you a Clue.

Having converted your millions into real figures, you can then go about investing them into goods. I recommend blue chip concerns such as Belgian beer, and lots of it. As an aside, I took all of my empties back to the supermarché today and funneled them all through the nifty little machine that you put beer bottles in. I had quite a few and they were weighing me down, but afterwards I felt light of heart and soul as I was given a bon for €2.00 (10 cents a bottle). I worked out with my third year University maths that I must have drunk 357 bottles in the last week or two. No wonder they were weighing me down.

The really cool thing is, you can use the bon to buy even more beer at the supermarché, to the value of the bon! It's a perpetual beer economy system and I reckon it's brilliant. If you're desperate you can also spend the bon on food-related activity programs, including muesli bars and ice cream, which form the bulk of my diet at the moment. Besides beer.


Yesterday was Deinze sub-TT day, and I broke my record 'cos there wasn't much wind. Basically I go hard for two hours without going much above 160bpm. It's a good aerobic workout but because you're still a fair way off your threshold, you recover quite quickly. I was a bit sore today, but not drained. Door to door I did 70 km in 1hr49, with the middle 66 km in 1:41:30 - about four minutes quicker than last week, when it was admittedly a lot windier. Also, not having ridden very hard on Sunday helped.

Today I could manage four hours which was great, so I paid a visit to the Paterberg and the Koppenberg for old times' sake. The Paterberg is not too bad, because there's a gutter on the left that you can ride up without venturing onto the cobbles. The Koppenberg is a mongrel. It was repaved a few years ago and was relatively easy to climb, but now all the cobbles have separated again and it's almost as bad as it used to be. There's a bit of grass growing between the cobbles too, which would be a misery in the wet.

Today was dry and even using my 39x25, it was still a bloody grovel. I normally do it in a 42x23, and I really couldn't detect much difference between the two gears. Also, I've decided that in its current setup, the Flandria is not really suitable for cobbles. The wheels are Mavic Ksyriums which are great all-round wheels but they are too bloody stiff on cobbles. I'd use the Topolinos or just normal spoked wheels any day. Despite this, the bike is really good for climbs and I've been consistently faster on it than on my GT up all the hills around here.

But I'll have a new toy to play with when I get home - a Davitamon-Lotto Ridley Damocles. Probably one of the first in the new colours. Phwoar! I'm picking it up next Monday so I'll take it home and test it in Oz. It's a full carbon jobbie and it'll be the first carbon fibre frame I've ever ridden on. Tres nice! Now, what to do with the Flandria...

Doping is everywhere

Forget cycling, let's clamp down on those drug cheats in the music industry! And I'm not talking about regular pop music either. Oh no, look what the classical musicians have been getting away with for years in this New York Times article. (Sorry, you may have to register with the NYT to read this, but it's free)

This really opened my eyes. Luckily I didn't pursue a career as a classical pianist, otherwise I would have become embroiled in this dark, drug-crazed world. It gives "performance enhancing" a whole new context. Imagine if you knew Brendel's rendition of Beethoven's Opus 106 was drug-assisted. You'd feel cheated and swindled, wouldn't you? Admit it, deep down, you know it's wrong. What a farce, I tell you! It's got to stop. Just Say No.

And while we're at it, we may as well ban all drugs. Let the sick fend for themselves. Survival of the fittest and all that. If they can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and other well-worn clichés. Note: well-worn cliché is a cliché too.

I have sent an email to Mr. Brendel asking him if he ever used performance-enhancing drugs. If he doesn't respond (or is dead) then I'll brand him a drug cheat and burn all my CD's. I'll have to burn this laptop too, which will mean I won't be able to produce any more bilge until I get another one. Quelle tragedy.

What's more, no beer has been consumed during the course of the evening. Amazing, but true. I'm saving it all for Lucy's Visit.


Anonymous said...

Re. Burning of CDs

I don't know if the members of Nine Inch Nails or Radiohead have ever used drugs. On balance, I'd say more likely than not.

However, you are one step away (condemning the musicians concerned as "doing Satan's work") from the Christian Right. This comes as a surprise. Never would have picked you as a CD burner. Then again, maybe your PC came with one.

Gi's a call when you get back. There's a pub out the back of this building. The Belgian Heritage Cafe.

I don't think they sell muesli bars or ice cream though...


Jeff Jones said...

No CDs will be burned as I need a CD burner. But beers at the aforementioned cafe sound good. I'll be in touch...