Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hugger Mugger

Usage note - this is answer to crossword clue (In confusion (6-6):

Hugger Mugger. Odd, yes. Strange etymology over at Weird Words.

Now playing: Black Dog - [Bytes #1/06] Clan (Mongol Hordes) + Phil (4)

Violence doesn't come out of nowhere...

Wow, so two teenagers have received life sentences for, as the judge put it, "feral thuggery". (BBC link - Sophie Lancaster murder). I'm not going to summarize the case here.

There's another 'out of nowhere' case in the papers - Google A. Joseph and R. Whelan. But that phrase covers up whatever failings were involved, just as the passive "mistakes were made" has come to replace "we made mistakes".

Anyway, my prompt was bumping into my old associate, Oriel's ex-barman. Will not name him here. He now has a lease on his own pub in an Oxford suburb; he's the license-holder. So, he should be on top of the world, yes?

No: he's much quieter than I remember him. He's lost that expansive, trusting friendliness. He's gained a six-inch, curved wound crossing the scalp over his frontal and parietal bones. Oh, and an A&E haircut, accessorized with staples. The result of a "customer" with a >12inch knife.

Human behaviour; what's that about?

Now playing: Black Dog - [Bytes #1/01] Object Orient

Monday, April 28, 2008

CTC Cycle ride 20/04/2008: Oxford - Benson - Maidensgrove - Waterperry - Oxford

64 miles, as an intro to the Oxford city section of the CTC.

This was twice as long as i'd cycled in a day before. But oddly i didn't really suffer! Not for the first 45-50 miles, anyway. (Plug plug plug - Kellogg's cyclometer is about as accurate as the non-free equivalents).

So why do this thing? I've been a student member of the Cyclists' Touring Club since (...search Google Mail for receipt...) 29/07/2007. Up until last week, all that involved was reading the magazine every couple of months. In that time i've become more of a cycling zealot (bike maintenance, righteous indignation, proselytizing, the works), and i suppose being fitter than last year helps. Spring, and a good weather forecast, swung the issue.

Sunday, 09:30, I met the CTC section on Broad Street outside Balliol. 12 friendly people! And not all in lycra, as i'd feared. (Ok, the majority were, but not all). Average age maybe 45, range 12 to (maybe) 70? Fit-looking, non-athletes. I'd heard they took it fairly easy, 12mph or so, but still, would I keep up?

They waited until assembled, then headed east out of Oxford. Cycling en masse is a strange feeling; it's still a personal activity, but you gain a reassuring "safety-in-numbers" feeling when you know the group is looking out for you. And the leader takes a regular count to ensure no-one's left behind.

Morning tea stop - Benson services. Full of lycra'ed cyclists! I'd had no idea there'd be so many of them out (or even that this community existed), but it's welcome.

Lunch - Maidensgrove, in (i assume) the "5 horseshoes" pub. With CTC company; v welcoming people. Discovered one of them is a morris dancer; not sure what i'm in for.

Afternoon tea stop - Waterperry Gardens. Yes, they took tea twice. Thoroughly, unapologetically English behaviour - but welcome. I'd have been hypoglycaemic without it.

And a final leg home. Countryside, all day, and good air. Mmm, food afterwards was incredible; real hunger is worth feeling once every so often. And a full day's exercise; it puts a ridiculous grin on one's face for a long time afterward. (Getting outside the Oxford ring road helps, too).

---------------- Now playing: blamstrain - [stress and consequences] holkop max

No more Ordinal numbers. Cycling with Oxford CTC...

Hmm. So a paper record of events is nearly unnecessary. It's slow and inconvenient, too. Will nonetheless persist for a) writing practice and b) recordkeeping where technology is still C20th.

(Redundancy, too. Weekly summarized hard-copy backup. Put like that, handwriting still sounds useful).

So, thing to report: Cycle with Oxford City CTC

This was last Sunday's ride, 20/04/2008. Deserves its own post. Will get it, after the break...

Now playing: blamstrain - [Lowblow #1/15] 17 Days (Prince) BLMSTRNRMX

First Post!

Hmm. Now,
Let's see....