Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Time for change.

There is a change coming, I feel it in the air, I see it in the general population, there is a much greater dissatisfaction with the way our country and the world in general is being run, people are starting to organise to protest and fight back, the general apathy that makes people say “We cant do anything about it!” “What’s the point?” “You can’t change the way things are!” is dispelling.
More and more people are starting to ask the question ‘why?’ instead of just accepting the status quo, politicians have shown themselves to be working only for themselves and not the people they represent, this is not true of all politicians, trouble is they are now all tarred with the same brush.
I remember when politicians went into to politics to help people, to guide and help run the country for the people, lately all I see is people who want a bigger slice of a dwindling cake, the ‘notobikeparkingtax’ is a very good case in point, it started as a protest against an unfair tax, then as more information came to light, it became a crusade against a corrupt system that was just abusing its rights and power.
Traditionally motorcyclists are the hardest group to organise against any from of authority, not because they are scared, but motorcyclists are loners, they tend to go their own way, but the way Warren and his friends have worked to get so many bikers out on the streets is amazing!
I also see this as the beginning of a time of change, we should see more and more diverse groups of people starting to fight back against a giant rolling system that takes for granted that we do not band together and stand against our ‘betters’, the general feeling of “They know best” is giving way to a more subtle voice “Is that really in OUR best interests?” Whenever local council, government or any institution in a position of authority brings out a new scheme or law, perhaps we should all be asking “What does it really mean to US?” “Who makes the money out of this?” and even more important “Why were we not consulted?” for we are no longer asked our opinion on anything, we are just TOLD that this is the way its going to be.
We elected these people to work for us, not TELL us what to do, how did we let ourselves slide into this situation?

It is my belief that we should vote more independents into power, people that are local and not just candidates that are put into ‘safe seats’, I’m not saying that we should vote just anyone in, we have to look carefully at any candidate who might be voted into a position of power that could be abused, but maybe it is time we looked at how we can change the whole voting system?
At present we have a very limited choice, from a system that was designed to let anyone run, the rules have been more and more refined to only let ‘certain’ people run for office, this is wrong, I agree that there should be some rules, but the system as it stands actively discourages people from running, people that I feel would be good for the country, people who know the problems in their own area, people who know the local populace and local problems.

Politicians seem to have become more and more distant from the population, how many of you have even met your local MP? A quick straw poll at my office did not find one person who had met their MP, in fact I was the only one out of the 50 people I spoke to who had.

These is also wrong, people should be encouraged to meet their MP, in fact they should actively seek them out and question them, get to know them, find out what they are up to. These MP’s should be accountable, not distant.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

End of year thoughts 1

What a year this has been, up, downs and even the occasional sideways/off at a tangent thing.
Life for me in 2009 has been exciting, boring, surprising, disappointing and brilliant in fairly equal measure, but the good always outweighs the bad, the last half of this year was beginning to look like the end of a long line of disasters, that would never stop, then, with a bit of persistence and a determined nature, things suddenly changed around. I’m not out the woods yet, but can see a clear path.

Next year is starting to look really exciting, for Ruth and me, we have big plans to travel around the world, we want to see places that interest us, before we get to old to enjoy it.
I have travelled quite a lot when I was a bit younger, I loved it, seeing new places, meeting new people, trying new foods. The world is getting smaller all the time, soon anyone with a bit of cash will be able to invade the most remote places, I want to be able to see some of them, before people start throwing their rubbish on the floor.


We are not getting any younger, almost every month now I hear of someone who has died without doing anything with their life, this morning was no different, an old acquaintance from school, not a friend as such, died over the weekend, he had lived most of his life in Battersea South London, as far as I am aware he never left England in his 56 years, always went to Devon for his holidays, fair enough if he was happy with that, but I’m not,

I want to experience the scenery in New Zealand, which is as far as I can go from where I live now, and still be on this planet. I want to see where the Indian and South Atlantic oceans meet, I want to ride the train across Canada, I want to ride a motorbike across Europe again and see how the ride would have changed in 20 years.
I want to watch the sun set on foreign lands, I want to see it rise again elsewhere, I want to understand this planet that we live on, I want to feel it.

Hopefully next year we will do this.

I hope you all will be able to follow your dreams too.

We love you all!

Merry Christmas

Jake and Ruth.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Racism and the innate goodness of humans.

Something I wrote in answer to someone who posted about believing that humans were 'innately good' I thought it might be of interest....


Brett, I have to disagree with you on a very important point, humans do not have 'innate goodness' this is learned behaviour, all behaviour and reactions to everything around is learned.
I held some very odd (racist??) views when I was younger, losing those views was nothing to do with my innate goodness, it was to do with seeing the world and learning more about my fellow human beings.
I was brought up in Battersea, most of the people I associated with were, or knew, members of the NF, so their views were pressed firmly on the forefront of my mind at a time (mid to late teens) when I was most impressionable, one of my cousins constantly referred to black people as monkeys, this was a barrage of racism that you could not escape and it became accepted and normal behaviour as far as I was concerned. Getting away from these views was hard (and a long story) it also meant leaving behind a large number of people with whom I had been mates since I was little, not to mention relatives.
But I 'learned' that people are the same everywhere, I had to travel to learn it though.
People learn how to behave, they learn this as they grow up, all their mores, morals and beliefs are gleaned from there parents, their teachers, their peer groups, its only when we break out into the world we 'can' start to learn about 'truth' of the world, and the truth is that human beings are the most destructively vile creatures on this planet, we rip each other off, we fight for no reason, we look down on those we consider beneath us, if (and I hate to say this)we had no bible, no Koran, no religious book and teachers to present us with our moral code, the world may have been a far worse place than it is today.
Those moral codes, however we got them, at least gave us rules to live by, before those, order was kept by rulers who wanted peace and quiet, but that came at a cost, take a look at any of the older civilisations, they kept slaves, they treated people like pieces on a chess board, to be thrown away if not needed, how many slaves died in the building of the Pyramids? How many died on the voyages from Africa to the Americas?
The changes to laws regarding racism had nothing to do with 'innate goodness' we just grew up, as world communication grew we (humans) started to realise that we are a global community, as the information age flooded our homes we started to learn more about the world around ourselves and we saw for ourselves some of the truth. Not everyone because it is also easy to capture and mold young minds and then it can be impossible to change those ingrained beliefs.

Leave a group of humans to grow up without teaching them morals and I bet you end up with none of them having 'innate goodness', sorry mate I just dont believe that the human race has it inside them to be good, they have to learn to be good.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Family and funerals.

Been a busy old time for me lately, I had not realised how much hard work it was, being out of work, I seem to be running around filling in forms and chasing jobs all the time and its harder work than working!!

Tomorrow I am off to a funeral in Porchester, my aunt Amy. My family all know I'm a bit of a black sheep and I am totally unreliable in family matters, I do not get around to visiting anyone and do not see them for years.
I did promise myself that I would get down and see Amy after the funeral of my mother, which is now nearly 7 years ago. Where has the time gone?
Time seems to be slipping by faster and faster, maybe it is time to take stock and then make an effort to get out and see more of my relatives.

Amy didnt have the best of lives, her husband was a violent nutter who beat their eldest so bad he spent most of his life in mental institutions, the second eldest ran away because of him at 16 and never came back. Her youngest died of Luekemia 8 years ago. Amy was always pleased to see anyone who visited, she was a lovely lady who deserved a much better life, so tomorrow I will go down there and pay my respects.

I have never been back to my parents graves since their funerals either, despite them being only a 30 minutes walk away. If they are up in the sky somewhere (which they are not) then they would know I loved them, I see no point in keeping graves and tending to them, although my brother does. As I have mentioned before, I do not believe in god or any invisible being hiding in the sky, I believe that once you are dead, thats it, game over, so make the best of it now, in that respect I regret not having made the effort to go and see Amy.
And I am a man of very few regrets.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Micheal Jackson 'This is it'

The media circus is in full frenzy again today, as the new single from MJ hits the airways, it is predicted to be the best selling single of all time. No surprise really, the hype surrounding it, down to the ridiculous amount of security that came with it to the studio, to the pre-release rumours and publicity, guaranteed this would be a cynical attempt at money making, And a very successful one a that, here you have a recently dead famous artist, with a massive (in my opinion deluded) fan base, an artist with so much controversy around him, that he generates his own publicity without having to spend loads on advertising.

So after listening to it, what do I think, now I'm not a fan of MJ, but some of his stuff is clever and well produced; just not my thing, 'This is it' though, sounds bland and unfinished, its more like a test run than a fully fledged single, there is none of the MJ feel to it, more like he ran this off to get the feel of it. Personally I think Sony have banged this out to try and recoup some of the dosh they lost, they know the fans will run around in circles praising their hero and snap this up in their millions.

Regardless of how I feel about Jackson, this is a poor single to release 'in his memory'

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Motorsickle upgrade.

Lots of stuff been going on behind the scenes at Motorsickle, we shall be revamping the site, lots of exciting new developments and plenty of new ideas.
Very soon I shall be going out on a trail day, courtesy of http://www.ultimateridertraining.com/ who have asked us to come out and video exactly what they do, I'm looking forward to riding a brand new KLX250 in the dirt!

We also hope to be getting some test rides on some fantastic bikes, the new 1800 Triumph cruiser, possibly the new Honda DN-01 (although that one is a bit pie in the sky) and just waiting to hear when I can take out the new K1300R from BMW.

We shall be doing a feature on crash helmets and winter apparel for you hard bikers that actually get out there in the winter!!

We also have a facebook group, yes I know... but hell it has picked up 150 odd (very odd) people in less than 48 hours!! How popular are we then!

More soon, remember the days are getting shorter and the leaves are falling, stay safe out there.

Jake (aka Pyro)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Market research......Orange

I did this 'market research' thing, for Orange, I was asked how I 'felt' about what their ads were saying to me. I told them I liked the 241 ads as they were amusing, I told them I didnt understand the ones with those stupid cartoon figures making loads of silly noises and pointed out the ad team were either 5 years old or on coke.

Anyway after a load of extremely stupid questions they asked me what I wanted from a mobile phone company, so I told them, I want polite knowledgeable people who are not over familiar, I hate being called by my first name by people over a phone line if I have never met them.
You call me Mr Willis or I call you dickhead.
I also want them to stop this stupid thing of not using capital letters or punctuation in their ads, I know they are trying to be 'down with the textspeak kids' but I find it ignorant and insulting.

Was I wrong? Am I just being an old fart?

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Falling leaves, Pedestrians and Light‑jumpers

Another article from Motorsickle.com, but there is a relevance to some recent events, justs saves me having to write it all out again....



It's getting to that time of year again, when falling leaves make the riding very interesting, and there also seem to be conkers on every corner I try to negotiate at the moment. This is a dangerous time of year, when going to and from work the sun is quite low in the sky making it difficult to see properly, we have to make allowances for that as other drivers dont seem to think about it, especially if they have a car full of screaming school kids. I hate this time of year, the school runs clog up the roads and as most cars don't run long enough to warm up their catalytic converters the air is full of crap as well. Not to mention the greasy nature of the roads as there does nor seem to have been enough rain to wash them clear, funny that because it feels like we have had a lot of rain. Leaves on the road are scary, they build up just on the lines we would use on bends, in the middle of the road and in the kerbs, all places we use to pass stationary traffic. We need to look a bit further ahead at this time of year; to make sure we don't end up on the mushy crap that used to be leaves on a tree.

Maybe it's just me, but these days but I am finding more and more pedestrians wandering out into the road wearing those bloody ipod things, the number that wander around between cars without looking is growing, most seem to be foreigners who look the wrong way. I got another one a few days ago, luckily for him I'm experienced and was looking for prats. He got a nasty shock as I slid into his leg though, he then hobbled off screaming abuse at me, er… you were the idiot who stepped of the kerb looking the wrong way mate. I have also had a few running battles with cyclists. Don't get me wrong - most are quite sensible, there are a growing number though that think they have right of way regardless of the circumstances, especially when they change direction, no indication of what they are going to do and then swerve across your path, if you toot at them they get all aggressive!! Well next time mate, I just might not stop, we shall see what 600 lbs of motorbike using you as a brake does for your attitude. There used to be one or two of these a week at most, now I getting at least one every bloody day. Guess what, most of them are wearing headphones, you would think that riding a bicycle in London it would be far more sensible to listen for the traffic.

There are a growing number of pedestrians that can not be bothered to walk 35 yards to a zebra crossing, I have seen the same woman nearly every school day crossing the road near Rosehill, Morden with two young girls about 5 and 7 years old, she drags them by the hands across the worse bit of road along that stretch, sometimes forcing cars to break as she struggles with the kids, yet there is a zebra crossing 35-40 yards in one direction and a pelican crossing maybe a 100 yards in the other. She has to pass the pelican crossing to get to the school, so why not walk down and use it????

School children don't seem to have been taught to use them either, and the number that just walk out from behind buses is ridiculous, sometime just running out across the road without looking and guess what… wearing those damn headphones.

So much for all those expensive ads on the television then.

This morning I saw another smashed up bike in the middle of a crossroads, this is a notorious junction where at least once a week someone jumps the lights, this is a growing trend that does really scare me, everyday I see at least 2 red light jumpers, the main culprits being in Mitcham, Brixton and Streatham. One set is really bad at the junction of Westcote road and Mitcham road, I always hesitate here and several times it has saved my life, we are not talking crossing on amber, I mean up to 5 seconds after the lights have changed, although that is the worst one I have seen, 2 seconds is not uncommon.

The growing frustration on the part of motorists is partly to blame, there are far too many cars for our outdated road system to cope with, London is just now one large car park most of the time, yet when the schools are on holiday it is not that bad at all. Hang on are we missing something here, what if, now this is a bit radical, we had a dedicated school bus system, similar to what they have in America, would that not go someway to relieving the problem? I know a woman who lives near me and drops her kids off at school before driving on to work, the school is 400 yards away from their front door, she then has to turn around and go back the other way to get to work, normally doing a u-turn outside the school screwing up all the traffic, rather than drive another 50 yards to go around the block. Now, why does she not get up 5 minutes earlier and just walk them down? It's beyond me.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Frustration...

At 54 years old and out of work, I have had a lot of time on my hands to think, this is not a good idea, where as before I could bang out a few written articles in a short time, now I’m thinking too much about them.
Writing is a bit of a weird thing for me, I do not feel I’m particularly good at it, I tend to just jot down whatever is going through my mind at the time and let my readers judge it from there. Since having mucho time to deliberate on my senile musings; I find I am starting to self criticise my work, this means I keep writing the same sentence over and over again in different ways, yet at the end I preferred the first one, how frustrating.

I have written all my life, ever since I learnt to read at a stupidly early age, I wanted to write, as a teenager all my angst came out in really bad songs and even worse poems, I remember finding some a few years ago at my brothers place, I burnt them!!
What rubbish was going through my mind in those heady days of youth, most of my puerile musing concerned girls, sex, drugs, drink and motorbikes, oh, hang on, I’ve not changed much really. I have never claimed to be good at writing, I have had a go at a couple of novels; I have some good ideas for plot lines, but I just cant seem to get them out in the way that I want. Short stories, poems, even songs, over the years I have had a go at just about everything, but finally I think I have found my niche. Motorsickle.com allows me to ramble on about every aspect of my life that motorcycles have touched, after 40 years of riding I am finding that I enjoy writing about the damn things. The added bonus is that the feedback we have had, shows that some people are actually enjoying what we write.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Destitute.

Never in my life do I remember being quite this broke, until a few years ago I would always have money in my pocket. Now I cant even buy petrol for the bike.
Embarrassed is not a word people normally associate with me, I don’t give monkeys about most things and live my life as if today was my last day on earth. Having no money is putting a new perspective on my life, I feel I have to turn down invites to various functions, I don’t go to the pub because I cant stand my round, last week I went to a motorbike rally (tickets were bought in Jan) and was looked after by my mates, I spend the weekend in unusually subdued mode; because I felt embarrassed.
This weekend I have to go to a VW event up at Santa pod, I have to go because it’s the last chance I will get to see my Daughter for a while, so tonight I have to go and borrow some money off of my brother, god knows how much I owe him already.
After that I wont be going anywhere for a while, my motorbike has blown the exhaust to the extent where it is barely repairable, no point in selling it as it is not worth anything without the exhaust, besides … sell my bike? FOAD.

The weird thing is I feel in a kind of limbo, I cant seem to even pick up a job driving, I just applied for a job riding a 125cc motorbike (for gods sake don’t tell my mates!) to deliver car parts around London, bloke listened to me on the phone and said “Mate you are far too intelligent for this job…..” no matter what I said he was not interested, the money was also less than I used to earn in 1978.

Now I’m not proud, I have cleaned toilets in the past to earn money, I’ll do anything to get some money coming in, but there are so many people applying for every job, it is a lottery and you now what the odds on winning that are. One job I applied for, driving a van, had 118 people apply in the first hour of it being advertised, don’t believe me? Go to Gumtree.com and look at the jobs section, refresh the page an hour later and look at the number of hits for any job, I was astonished when I had this pointed out to me. Bar work picks up maybe 200 hits an hour!!

So where do I go from here, well bankruptcy is calling at present, I had tried everything I know to either get a job or earn some money, even 3 years ago I could have found a way to make some dosh, but now its ridiculous. So I just keep trying to look for a suitable bit of work, I have even started applying for jobs in Europe, I don’t really want to move abroad, but if I have too I will.

Back in the ‘bad ol’ days’ I never had less than £100 to out with (equivalent to about £4-500 now) but I was a ‘bad boy’ as my mum used to put it, since I have been legit I feel like I have been skint all the time, the government was quite happy to take all my money in tax and NI, but now I get back less than a third of what I paid in every week.

What price is ‘doing the right thing’ costing me?

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Writers block....

I seem to have been suffering from writers block lately, got loads of ideas, but when I try to put them on paper..... nothing.

I have updated a few old articles and posted a new one on www.motorsickle.com about Honda fours - a personal view. I need to break out of these doldrums I seem to have dropped into. Maybe I need a proper holiday.

Jake

Monday, 3 August 2009

Quality of life and death.

Sir Terry Pratchett has made a good case for helping people who no longer have 'quality of life'.
Watching him on Breakfast tv this morning made me think of my parents, my father died of stomach cancer, it closed off the top of his stomach so he could not eat, he spent his last days looking like a Belsen victim, gradually starving to death while loaded with morphine for the pain.
I held his hand wishing he would die, just to stop his pain.

My mother died of colonic cancer four years later, but that was not the problem, for the last few months of her life she had no idea of where or who she really was, for the last two years of her life she dropped in and out of reality, sometimes believing the second world war was still going on. At other times she was just completely confused as to anything around her. She was also in pain from the cancer, like my father she was on a multitude of drugs, some of which I am sure did not help the situation. While she was still able to comprehend the world around her, even if only for a few days at a time, she was worth holding on to, but in the last six months of her life she was not my mother, she was a stranger who rambled on about nothing, she kept crying in pain and wept for her lost husband. Did we have the right to keep her in that condition? I know she would have wanted to stay alive as long as possible, she believed in god and I think that belief would not have allowed her to finish her life. But what if she had already discussed this when she was well? What if she knew what was going to happen and did not want to live past the point of no return?

Should we hold on to our loved ones when they have no quality of life? Should we keep dragging them back when they are not the same person we once knew? My wishes are well known to my other half, if my quality of life is so bad that I can no longer function as a human being or I am no longer recognisable as 'me', then I want to die. I have no wish to spend my last days as a vegetable or a useless lump of flesh, as long as my brain functions normally and I can at least read and communicate, then fine, but once that line is crossed then I do not want to live.

I am not talking about some minor injury, I have mates who have no legs and and except for the fact they wont go to the bar for their round, they are fine people, I used to know a bloke with a broken back, he was paralysed from the neck down, yet once he got over the shock managed quite well with the help of his wife. His brain functions were fine and he lived for 5 years like that, he finally fell prey to pneumonia.

When someone has left clear and plain instructions, when they have made their wishes clear as to how they want to die in dignity and not be kept alive if they have no quality of life, who are we to go against their wishes. I think the main fear is that older people will be pressured into it by unscupulous relatives, yet surely we can put enough safeguards in place to alleviate that worry?


What right do we have to prolong someones life once they have made the decision to die?
You could argue that someone who wants to die is not in their right mind, I can agree with that in a few cases, yet there are many many people who are completely sane and have the same desire as me, we want the right to be in control of our own bodies and destiny. Who really wants to suffer in the last days of their life? I would rather go quietly at a time of my own chosing, than fade away slowly in pain or with no concious idea of the world around me.

A really good article.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/may/25/health.medicineandhealth

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Gary Mckinnon? What the hell......

Why all the fuss over Gary McKinnon? Now there is a record being made in his support, I thought he had been found guilty? He admits hacking into the systems, but not to the extent that is claimed by the Americans, but he did do it. So why all the fuss over him, Marillion offered to do a concert, Dave Gilmour, Chrissy Hynde (Hi chris!), Bob Geldorf among others are all offering support, but why?
Read the following extract...



Representing McKinnon in the House of Lords on 16 June 2008, David Pannick QC told the Law Lords that the prosecutors had said McKinnon faced a possible 8-10 years in jail if he contested the charges (there were seven counts), but only 37-46 months if he co-operated and went voluntarily to the US. McKinnon also claimed that he had been told that he could serve part of his sentence in the UK if he co-operated. He had rejected the plea bargain offer as no guarantee had been given by the Americans.


So if the yanks had guaranteed he could do his time in the UK, he would have gone for it, this means that all those stars are supported a convicted felon. Does this mean that if I rob a bank in New York and leg it home, then get caught, the stars will support my request that I serve my time over here instead of the USA?


Or have I missed something here, Gary is trying everything to wriggle out of being sent to the states, Aspergers?? Autism?? I dont think he is doing those causes any good at all. But I dont blame him, he will get a much easier time here, but whatever happpened to 'If you cant do the time, dont do the crime' He knew what would happen if he got caught, and now he is upset. Well I hope I get the same treatment if I ever decide to break the law.

Unless of course, I really have missed a point here.....

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Secrets and confidentiality.

Recently I had a conversation with an old friend, we worked together as chauffeurs many moons ago, the topic of people selling their stories to the papers and computer security came up. Both of us know some details of famous peoples private lives that would be, if not earth shattering, of interest to the papers or certain magazines. There seems to have been a lot of people who have worked for famous people willing to sell their 'story' for money, I could never do that, it seems to me that there is no loyalty or discretion these days.
Now, as you may have gathered, I have a bit of a 'thing' about secrets and confidentiality, there should always be a degree of discretion in whatever you do, if you work for someone you have a duty to be discreet, I sometimes fix computers for people and have a reputation for being 'discreet' about personal photos etc. To be honest as long as it doesn't break the law I'm not interested in what people do in their private lives, but recently I have heard a lot of about 'private' photos being posted on various internet sites. I know of a site that had some pictures from a stolen camera posted on it, the soft porn pictures were removed when a work colleague of the girl in the pictures spotted them on the site.



The classic case is of course Gary Glitter, he took his pc into PC world and they found pictures that were wrong and illegal, they reported it and the rest is history, but that is an extreme case, quite a large majority of people have details and pictures that they would consider private and would not like to see posted on the internet, so why is their security so lax? Most people think having a complex password in windows is enough to deter anyone who wanted to look at the hard drive, it surprises them to see how fast I can get into their laptop or desktop when they have forgotten their password.
The number of people who pass on their old computers without removing the hard drives is ridiculous! The only way to be sure, unless you are an expert like me, that no one will recover your private or deleted data, is to remove and destroy the hard drive. I have recovered drives for people and they are quite surprised when I also recover old data, that they thought had been permanently deleted. Hard drives are so cheap now, it makes sense to replace it with a new one before passing on the computer.
I ws recently given an SD card for a camera, supposedly securely wiped, my friend was most surprised when I told him when he had been to Venice (the dates on the pictures told me when), I recovered his holiday snaps to demonstrate how easy it is to recover the 'destroyed' pictures.


People in the public eye should realise though that some people think that they are fair game, if you are in the media a lot you must be aware that the press would be interested in everything you do, keeping an affair or clandestine meeting away from them is nigh on impossible. Yes they are entitled to a private life, but they must understand that the public has an insatiable thirst for gossip, this makes it difficult for anyone in the public eye to have a normal life.


And the point I'm trying to make? It appears to me that a lot of people would sell out their employers or even their friends for money, so be careful what you do, you never know who is watching or has access to your data and how well do you know the guy in the computer repair shop......

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

More rambling for the main man!

Sorry its been awhile, I have been busy...... so lets get on with it.


Slowly, inexorably our rights as citizens are being erroded away, from Westminister council not listening to people about parking charges for motorbikes, to the fact that MP's thought they could get away with their expenses without us noticing and just about ever other aspect of our lives. We elect our MP's and council officials to represent us, not burden us with extortionate taxes, not suppress us with laws designed 'for our good' or to control us. They are not there to rule, but administer, they are not there to tell us what to do, but to listen to us. Even the way officials are elected is designed to keep out people they do not want in with them, at least not without a disportionate amount of work and money.


Whoever we vote in to government or council should be there to represent us, yet our government seems to bent on controlling every aspect of our lives, freedom? What price 'this' freedom? we can barely move around the country without our every move being watched, we are tracked constanly 24 hours aday, yet has this made any impact on crime figures? I dont think so. What about terrorism?
This is a tricky one, officials say it makes a big difference in the 'war on terrorism' but we, citizens, have no way of guaging that, as we are not privy to any intelligence information, so we could be told they have stopped an alien invasion and we would be no more the wiser.



I do understand the value of keeping intelligence information secret, I know it would be pretty stupid to broadcast details of operations, it just does not feel right to me the way they just keep sucking money out of the kity without anyone, outside of the circle, knowing where the money is going.



More and more money is poured into keeping track of ordinary people, serious criminals have ways of staying outside the system, if you have money and dont want to be tracked you can make it happen. This means that, in the majority, the only people caught by this massive surveilance system are minor criminals, people who make silly mistakes, speeders and illegal parkers.
I wonder how many 'serious' criminals have been caught by these cameras?

We are watched constantly, we are tracked everywhere, through our passports, through our number plates and through any credit/debit card. The government can access any of this information, never mind the DPA, that is a joke, if somebody wanted to find out anything about you, using the surveilance system could reveal some very interesting things about you.



It is only a few of us that find this worrying?

Monday, 29 June 2009

Petrol prices

Anyone noticed that the price of petrol is creeping up again?
Why no protests this time? I'm sure nothing has changed and we are all (Well... except maybe a few MP's) struggling in the economic climate.
As it stands petrol is 103 at my local garage, the cost of it breaks down like this

Petrol cost = 27.82p, Garage gets = 7.57p, Duty = 54.19 and VAT = 13.42p.
It is the duty and VAT that is the killer, petrol is an easy commodity to tax, almost everyone uses it and if you don't then any goods you buy must have been brought to you using it.
So when are we going to to see protests again? When it hits 105 or 110? And was has happened to the most vocal of protesters from the last demo? Suddenly its very quiet.

Recently I lost my job and had not realised how much a tank of petrol had risen, I used to put £10 in the tank of the bike and refill when the gauge told me I was low, sometimes it would not take the whole £10, now its costing me £14 to fill up, I had not noticed it creep up that much! Some time in the last two years it seems to have gone up an enormous amount.

A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet, they are trying to cut their costs to reduce outgoings and the price of petrol is not helping, most of the tax on petrol will probably get swallowed up in the spiralling cost of running this country, is it not about time government got its house in order and really clamped down on waste and inefficiency with our money.

I am absolutely certain that if our country was a business, the shareholders would be screaming for a change in the board by now. This country is run by civil servants, MP's rely on these civil servants to do the majority of the work in running the country, MP's come and go but they remain, without them the country would fall apart. Public servants though can increase their own power and budgets, who is watching over them? In the 80's Derek Rayner, the former chief executive of Marks and Spencer, was appointed as an efficiency expert and he pointed out that only 3 of the 8 BILLION spent by the civil service went on 'essential services' the rest was effectively frittered away. I wonder what that figure would be now.
Reducing that waste could allow our tax burden to come down dramatically, I am also sure that is not the only place we could reduce costs, ever wonder how much Trident is costing us? Look it up.


Rather than look at the problems logically, government tends to throw more money at them to mask the effects, this makes it look like they are doing something. They should really get back to the root cause of many of our money problems. They wont do that though, as this would show that all they have been doing all the time is quick 'popular' fixes, any government that did try to rectify the problems in this country would be very unpopular for some time as the cure will not be to the public taste, but we, or at least somebody, have to do something. This current situation will deteriorate further and further, the Labour government will just let it rot, they know they will lose the next election, so will leave it to the next government to sort it out, whoever gets in will also get most of the blame.


So when will we see the next load of petrol protests? I have no idea, I think the fight has been knocked out of all of us, we have too many other problems to worry about.

Friday, 26 June 2009

The power of dreams....

Can someone explain this weird period of mourning for someone that most people have never met?
Sure MJ was a talented musician and a good song writer, but I really can not understand all this ridiculous crying and wailing over his death. Are some peoples lives so sad that they can only relate to a person of dubious moral standards, who was living a life so out of touch with ordinary people that he becomes a complete fantasy figure to some.
Where are we going with this adulation of pop stars and media icons? There have always been groupies and such but this is surely taking things much too far, we seem to be ruled by the television and the superstars that are created to fill our time. Witness the number of people walking around totally insulated from the world with their ipods and walkmans, they go home and talk via the internet and there some people who never seem to have human interaction in the real world. I do know someone who spends all his spare time in a virtual world, He is quite shy and has trouble talking to people, girls in particular, yet in his virtual world he is hero. He lives out his fantasies there instead of gettin goff his arse and living a real life.
He also is quite upset over the death of MJ, as far as I know he was not a big fan, but he is in mourning for him.
There is something wrong, IMHO, when things get to this state, I do not see him upset over the 1000's dying in third world countries for ,lack of clean water.
My father died at the same time as pricess Di, during my period of mourning I was bombarded by the media with images of people in mourning for someone they had never met, I did not understand this and did want this to intrude on my grief.
MJ lived a fantasy life style, rumours persist that he was was a sexual predator of young boys, whether this is true or not I suspect the truth will never come out, yet this is ignored by the general public. Imagine what would happen if the same accusations were made against an ordinary member of the public, adulation and the raising of these 'icons' to the status of gods is a bad thing. We think more about them than the people that we should be thinking about, people that could need our help and support. so befroe you rush out and buy the MJ compliation album, that will only have the same songs that you have already on other albums, think about the vast money making machine that he had become, he made enough money save a lot of starving people. He sold them music instead.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Bikes birds & blurry memories (an article written for Brit chopper magazine)

Back in the 70's we (blokes anyway) all saw ourselves as rebels and adventurers, riding the lonely highway looking cool and most of all looking good to the chicks. Off into the sunset after pulling some amazing bird, with your mates looking on jealously, is really what most of us were looking for when we were younger, and I don’t suppose that has changed much. The biker image of good looking blokes pulling stunning birds was mainly gleaned from books and movies, but for some of us it all worked out amazingly well.
Riding the biggest noisiest bad ass bikes (or so we thought) in the neighbourhood, looking hard in our leather jackets with filthy denim cutoff over the top, disgusting jeans, open faced lid and cool sunglasses. We looked like a stereotypical biker gang and I suppose that’s what we wanted to look like if we were honest, we thought we were the dog danglies, until it rained, more of which later.
Showing off for your mates and the girls was one of the more popular pastimes, but it could drop you in it, pulling wheelies outside a sixth form girls college, my chain snapped and the bike hit the deck, as I was trying to pick it up, a police car pulled up and the two cops helped me to the side of the road, I was explaining that I had fallen off because the chain snapped, when this chorus of girls piped up “Pull another wheelie mister!” The two coppers laughed their nuts off.
Later that year I tried showing off to a crowd of girls on their way back from a party, they had stopped to watch the bikers on Chelsea bridge, by wheel spinning my newly acquired CB550 Honda away from the tea stall, unfortunately during the week the council had laid down an antiskid road surface and as the rear wheel drifted on to it, the tyre bit and the bike flipped completely, landing on top of me. Mind you I did get off with the nurse from St Thomas’s hospital, so that was alright then.

We were always cruising the pubs and clubs in South London, hoping to find a good looking girl to take home, or maybe to her place, because yours had engine bits everywhere and oil stains on the sheets. I once took a girl home to my place and as we fell onto the bed she screamed, not because I was huge, but because her arse had found the Mk 1 Amal I had left in the bed, so that’s where it went.
Mostly though it was trying to find a girl with her own place, the number of times I had taken a girl home only to find she lived with her parents/flat mates/husband was, to say the least, frustrating, and daddy was always happy to see his best girl turn up at 2am on the back of a 8 foot long purple chopper, god knows how many times I nearly got caught copping a quick consolation feel on the doorstep. I was once chased down the Kings Road at 3am by some loony parent wearing a Chinese style dressing gown and waving a 9 iron, he was wearing the dressing gown, not me.

One girl I pulled in the Saxon Tavern who turned out to be barely 16 and had 3 enormous brothers who rode scooters, that went down really well as I was 28 and looked like your mothers worst nightmare for a boyfriend, she did look about 25 though and I pulled her from some bloke about the same age as me. I never did have much trouble with the girls, despite looking like a refuge from some bizarre mad max type film. I am reliably informed that I was quite good looking when I was young, long flowing hair, slim build and intense Steve McQueen blue eyes. (What ever happened to that good looking chap...) The fact that if I sat on your mums sofa she would put newspaper down first, I am not kidding that happened several times, or that daddy would take you to one side and threaten all sorts of dire vengeance etc, just made it all the more exciting and gave the nookie a bit of edge, most of the so called 'good' girls were very good in my opinion. I remember getting noshed in a doorway by a girl everyone knew as fairly quiet, near the Castle pub in Tooting, when her parents pulled up in the traffic, they looked over but did not recognise her or me in the darkened doorway, that got the adrenaline going.

My mates in the 70's used to love going drinking with me, I was one of those blokes who would check out the women and know which group to chat to, I could nearly always get everyone a bird by the end of the night, mostly by making them laugh, get a woman laughing and you are halfway there. And if we tried to pull birds that were with blokes, we sometimes got in a bit of a punch up as well, all fisticuffs then, very rarely was a weapon used and you would probably be buying each other a drink the following week.
Posh birds were best, mostly after a bit of rough, no commitment and some excitement for the evening, hanging around the Drugstore in Chelsea was a good place at chucking out time, as was the Markham Arms, a gay pub that strangely always had a fair contingent of girls in there, you used to get the posh bints in the Drugstore looking for anyone to buy them a drink (they never had any money) or score some drugs (funny how they had money for that), the amount of herbal tobacco I sold to them was amazing and no one ever complained.
A fast adrenaline filled ride was always a good precursor to a, well, a fast adrenaline filled ride, you want a wild and rampant woman, then literally scare the pants off of her, riding fast always seemed to get them going, the vibration of some bikes helped as well. I had a BSA 441 SS for a while and when I bought a CB750 four the woman I was with at the time was most put out, she preferred the throbbing of a big single, to the high revving vibes of the Honda. Yet another loved the high frequency vibes of a 380 Suzuki I despatched on, sometimes we had to pry her off the seat with a crowbar.
After the first time a girl out rode me on the road I spent weeks trying to pull her, I had been on an Export Bonnie and she was riding a Ducati 750SS. It had had a lot of money spent on tweaking and handled like a dream, I drove her mad trying to get her to go on a date, but I think she enjoyed the chase more than I did, when we did get together we were both a little disappointed, we ended up as friends for quite a few years though.

There is a downside to all this, and it was rain, when it rained and it does quite a bit in this country, you have no chance, unless a bird was really drunk or stoned you could not get them on the back of a bike for love nor money. Trying to pull a bird while dripping water all over the floor tended to put them off, for example arriving a bit late at the County Arms one night I found my date getting in a Capri with some bloke dressed like something off Starsky and Hutch, when I queried this she told me in no uncertain terms "No way was she getting on a bike in this fecking weather" as she was getting in the car I asked her rather loudly if she needed anymore of her penicillin tablets. Chummy got most upset.
Looking like a drowned Roland Rat does nothing for your image as a biker, yet that is how we spent a lot of our time, I was a London courier for about 15 years and spent a fortune on the best waterproofs, it did not make a lot of difference, "Alright love, put all this stuff on." "'ere, are you kinky or sumfink?" "No, its raining outside." "Stuff that, where’s a bloke with a car!"
You cant look cool or glamorous when cold water is trickling down the back of your neck, although there were one or two girls who quite liked the feel of wet leather, 'cough' but that is another story.
There used to be an unwritten law, if you were far from home and it was raining, try to pull just so you did not have to ride home in the rain. When I was a courier I used to try and pull the receptionists at the drop off point on long jobs, if it was a Friday, so I would not have to ride home until the morning. Bizarrely the best town for this was Manchester, never failed there, I always managed to get a bed for the night, worst was Doncaster, but to be honest I never found anyone I fancied there.

Very un-pc now but in the 70's I pulled a hell of a lot of women, most were absolute stunners, or was that the acid? I did also have some horrendous episodes, like leaping out of a first floor window with my trousers under my arm, straight into some rosebushes, from which I still have scars, and having to try and keep very quiet. Or waking up one morning and staring into the eyes of the hound from hell which looked like it wanted to tear me to bits, as my eyes left the dog, I saw hanging on the bedroom door the biggest pair of pants I have ever seen in my life. As I lay there wondering what part of hell I was in, a girls voice called out, "The dogs fine, just dont make any sudden moves, I'm just in the shower." I grabbed my clothes, crept out the door and just legged it.
Then there was the weird episode where I was drugged by a bird at a party in Mornington Crescent, she locked me in her bedroom and told my mates I had gone home or so they said, thanks for the rescue guys, she turned out to be a distant relative of Princess Di!!!
The Sunday night after a heavy weekend could be amusing for my mates, "Look out, here comes that bird you pulled the other night." "What bird?" "Hello Jake, buy me a drink then?" And I would have no idea who she was, so it was pretend to have a bad hangover and bluff my way along until I sussed out if they were bunny boilers or worth another go.
We were in a pub called the fountain one night when this stunning bird walked in, we were all completely gobsmacked, not the usual girl you found in Tooting at all, she looked around, then saw me, walked over planted a big kiss on my face, put my garage keys on the table said "You dropped these in my place, thanks for Saturday." All I could do was mumble incoherently.
She then strolled calmly out the door and all my mates started questioning me, unfortunately to this day I have no idea who she was, I still suspect it was a wind up.
Or another time after a particularly stonking weekend, I was standing at the upstairs bar in the Music Machine in Camden when in walked ******** ****** (famous 70’s 80’s female singer, I am not going to name her) as she walked past she looked daggers at me, then disappeared into the crowd, I was completely puzzled, a few days later I found her name and phone number in my little black book and after questioning them, was told by my mates that I had spent a whole night buying her drinks until I had no brass in pocket. I remembered nothing of it and felt that there was a missed opportunity.
I once wrote Debbie Harrys name and phone number (made up) on a piece of paper and left it in a mates wallet, we had been drinking in a club sitting next to her band Blondie the previous evening, he never had the bottle to ring it and boasted for ages that he had got her number, I never told him what I did because he was so chuffed about it.

The 70’s were a very hedonistic time, everyone was experimenting with life, drugs and values. There was a lot of perceived freedom and some very liberated women, I felt that although they had women’s lib, most women still wanted to be dominated and looked after, but they also wanted excitement and fun, the restrictions of previous few decades had been lifted and they wanted to get out and experience the world in their own way. This made it a lot of fun for people like me, good looking and not looking for any commitment. After the first time a girl out rode me on the road I spent weeks trying to pull her, I had been on an Export Bonnie and she was riding a Ducati 750SS. The Ducati had had a lot of money spent on tweaking and handled like a dream, I drove her mad trying to get her to go on a date, but I believe she enjoyed the chase more than I did, when we did get together I think we were both a little disappointed, we ended up as friends for quite a few years though.
Most of the 70’s is actually blurred for me, I do remember that we did a lot of drugs, drink, built CB750 Swedish style choppers, BSA cafĂ© racers, Z900 streetfighter (we didn’t call them that then) with reversed Ace bars, a 400/500/550/750 four Honda with Vespa badges on the side panels (that one really screwed with the brains of the police as they checked it out), a bike built from left over bits in my mates attic and from 1972 until 1979 I clocked up well over quarter of a million miles, I suspect it was nearer the half million mark but cant be 100% sure, I was a courier for most of that time.
I look back on the 70’s with genuine affection and more than likely rose tinted glasses, the summers were hot, the winters snowy and it rained a hell of a lot. Those were good days.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The tube strike.

What wonderful chaos on our roads today, drivers coming in who have obviously never driven in London before, millions more pushbike riders with no road sense, long queues at the busstops. Traffic problems were caused by the sheer weight of stupidity on our roads, if you cant get anywhere, why block the road for others? Most of the problems were caused by a lack of patience and manners rather than anything else.
I watched a bloke in a van, move forward to turn right at some lights, his exit was blocked so there was no point, when the lights changed the traffic from his right started to move forwards and guess what? There was a van in the way, now the traffic has gridlocked itself and lots of drivers started hooting and shouting, I just manuovered the bike around the obstruction and cruised up the road laughing.
I was amazed at the number of full motorbike parks though especially because it had been raining, it took me 20 minutes to find space to park in one. I dont have a problem with that though, the more people who use their motorbikes the more bike parks they will eventually put in and it reduces congestion/pollution.
I did have a few 'moments' with people though, two bike riders who were under the impression that because they were riding bikes they did not have to look behind or sgnal before moving across in front of me, I am sire the second one got into work with messy trousers (Tip for riding a bike in London - dont abuse the big bloke on the big nasty looking motorbike).
A car driver who was stuck illegaly in a bus lane tried to push me out of the way with his bumper, I hope you managed to find your keys in all that traffic. Frayed tempers apart it was an interesting ride in.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Smells like history.

For those regular readers of this blog, you may know that I have some memory problems, due to an accident in 1988, just recently some memories have started coming back, I have now noticed that smells have started triggering memories as well. Some smells have always set off some memories, but just lately almost any smell has triggered a memory or two.


I really noticed this the other day, I got a waft of what I assume was popcorn, suddenly I found myself walking through Battersea funfair in the late 60's, very odd feeling, especially as I was crossing the road in Kings cross. Later a smell I could not identify (possibly glue?) took me back to a holiday on Hayling Island aged around 7. I have no idea why the smell of glue would trigger that one, looking into this I find there are lots of examples of the link between memory and smell, if fact there are 1000's of different texts on the subject, some make sense, some dont.
There are a myriad of theories as to why this happens, my favourite is that it is suvival based, having smell linked to memory allows us to remember what bad food smells like, or maybe a saber toothed predator. Some foods can look quite good, until you smell them. Smell is definetly an important sense, as much so as sight and taste and I think more so than touch, smell triggers more memories than any of the other senses, so our bodies must think its an important one. Back when we were single celled animals, smell was the fist sense to tell us if something was 'safe' to eat, and still plays a big part in safeguarding us from bad things.



What I dont understand is why some of the memories are so intense, during my reading I came across this by Karl S. Kruszelnicki


This kind of memory, where an unexpected re-encounter with a scent from the distant past brings back a rush of memories, is called a "Proustian Memory". It's named after Marcel Proust, one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century. He describes this phenomenon in the opening chapter of his novel Swan's Way, the first novel in his mammoth seven-part work, Remembrance Of Things Past.
He writes how the smell of a madeleine cake (a small, rich pastry) dipped into a lime-blossom tea, unleashed a rush of brilliantly-clear memory: "and as soon as I had recognised the taste of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me ... immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set ... and with the house the town, from morning to night and in all weathers, the Square where I used to be sent before lunch, the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine."



This is almost exactly what happens to me, not that particular memory but one of my own,
the scene is almost real before me, non of them last long though, maybe a few seconds, but its all helping to bring back memories long lost. This may take some reasearch.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

MEP elections.

I hope you all voted today, because if you didnt then you have no right to complain about .... well anything. People died to make sure that you could vote, they fought for your right to vote and you should not waste it. I am sick of hearing excuses, "I dont know who to vote for?" "Whats the point? The bloke I want wont win..." etc You vote for the candidate who is nearest your ideals, you are never going to get someone who is perfect for you, but you could help keep out someone you dont really want in.
Wasting your vote is pointless, it is there for you to make a statement, even if that statement says 'keep this man out'.
Not voting is laziness of the most insulting kind, insulting to the people who died for that right, insulting to the people who work hard to get your vote and most of all its insulting to yourself. You are saying to yourself, 'I dont care who wins, I dont care who controls my life, I dont even care if my bins get emptied.' If you cant take time to have say in who runs the country or the EU then you throw away your right to complain if it all goes wrong, but you will anyway... wont you?

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Responsibility.

What has happened to responsibility? Do we not teach responsibility anymore? Do we not pass on to our children that actions have consequences? That we are all responsible for our own actions? Two phrases come to mind, the first is a little used phrase that used to be applied to young men (or women) who broke the law or maybe were a little rebellious, ‘juvenile delinquent’ this term has fallen out of use, it is a contradiction in terms I believe ‘juvenile’ means below the age of responsibility, and ‘delinquent’ failing in duty. How can anyone be both? The other phrase is well known but not many people really understand its meaning, ‘responsible for your own actions’ this phrase is normally negated by another one ‘it wasn’t my fault’ or even ‘I didn’t do it’
That last phrase is churned out almost by rote as a defence for almost any action.
This morning I was sitting on my bike at the traffic lights in Brixton, two youngsters (around 17 maybe a bit older) were eating Maccy D’s, they finished and just threw the rubbish on the floor about 10 foot from a litter bin. I flipped the front on my helmet up and asked why they couldn’t walk a few feet and put it in the bin. One turned and said, ‘Were’nt me…’ I was gobsmacked…. I replied that I had just seen him throw it on the floor, he shrugged his shoulders and just walked off with his mate and kicked the rubbish as they did so.
He just denied committing any anti-social crime as a matter of fact, he didn’t even have to think about it, his friends reaction was also interesting, now years ago if you were with a mate who was accused of … well anything, you either looked shifty because you knew he was guilty or you backed him up, this guy just looked bored, it was the look that said this is a regular occurrence and I’m bored with it now.

This cavalier attitude to responsibility seems to now pervade our whole lives, from not caring about anything around us, dropping litter etc to health and safety laws that have now absolved us of all responsibility, the more we are cosseted by the state the more our sense of responsibility is diminished. Yet; does this not go all the way back to parental discipline? How many parents actually teach their kids the difference between right and wrong? How many set them a good example. Last week a very large bloke walked out through the traffic into the path of my motorbike, I was not filtering just riding normally towards the lights, which were red, he appeared between two vans and walked straight out dragging his (3-4 year old?) daughter, I sounded the horn and moved to the left to avoid them, he started shouting at me, with language I certainly would not use in front of a little girl. As he got to the pavement he was still shouting abuse at me along the lines of ‘Come on then if you think you are hard enough’ I asked him if he thought abusing people like that, especially when he caused the problem was setting a good example for his little girl, this seemed to make things worse ‘Are you telling me how to bring my kid up’ etc. What was wrong with just holding up a hand and saying ‘sorry mate!’ he was in the wrong, he risked his little girls life to cross the road less than 20 feet from a crossing. Yet he has a go at me.
He obviously thought it was my fault for having a motorbike on the road. FFS.

Youngsters learn a lot from what they see around them, no matter how many times we emphasise to them about manners, morals, or common courtesy, if they see others behaving without such etiquette they will think it’s the norm.

We all need to think about our behaviour, even in the little things. But as things stand, I can see a very long slippery slope ahead, with no way back.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Safe, safer and safer still...

Has life passed you by? Do you feel that you have missed out on something?
A few days ago I was chatting to a bloke at work, he has spent his life working between Edinburgh and Kings cross, yet has never really gone outside of the stations. He is in his late 50's, he lives in Stevenage, goes on holiday to Torbay and thats it. He has never been out of the country! While seemingly happy, he did say he feels that he has missed out a bit, a bit?
When I suggested he try going abroad for his next holiday he changed the subject, muttering something about not like foreign food, so you wont be going on the curry night next week? Oh yes he will, he loves curry. Go figure. Ruths daughter Amy is 19, so far she has been to India, Germany, Australia and next week flies to Canada for 3 months, all on her own. She has seen more of the world than I had by the time I was 25 and I like travelling! We cant say that older people get set in their ways, I know loads of people of retirement age that travel all over the world. Many years ago I offered to take my father to Canada (he was Canadian) to see his fathers grave, he refused to go because my mother would not go, I know this upset him a lot, Mum totally refused to leave the shores of england, we never did find out why as she would not talk about it, I think it had something to do with the war. My dad was in the army and was one of the few who was abroad for almost the whole 6 years, he travelled everywhere ending up in Burma.
I do not understand why some people these days do not travel, its perfectly safe these days,
anywhere you want to go will have some sort of package deal

The downside of this is that there is no new lands to explore, where are the modern day explorers, 50-60 years ago the world was full of explorers, on this planet and the moon.
One of my ambitions was to set foot where no other human had stood, not much chance of that now, have we got to a point where it is easier to take a package holiday to lands which were once inaccessable to ordinary people, than make our own way? Health and safety has made places that were dangerous, nice and safe, we are wrapped in cotton wool and herded around in cosseted little groups, I hate that, I ride a big fast motorbike because I want excitement, I want adrenaline. I could not live in a closed off little world.

We are slowly being pushed into a world where rebellion is rare, where conformity is the norm, where to do something different is seen as unacceptable. And what a sad world it is.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Think before you vote!!!

I hear a lot of people getting very angry about the scandal of the MP's expense's, I hear a lot of rhetoric and very little substance though. Calls for parliament to be dissolved, sack them all and get new people in. Knee jerk reactions when you are angry are not the way to go, what if we did dissolve parliament? Where would we go from there?
One of two things will happen, either people will vote in the same people again, because they dont know who else to vote for, or, and this is the worrying bit, they vote in someone else just because they want someone different and its the local loonies or BNP candidate. This is a dangerous time, the BNP has a voice now with its party political broadcasts, the fact they they spout nonsense does not matter, they will pick up votes from the disaffected, the unhappy, the downright pissed off.
So if we call for a general election and it happens, who do you vote for? Gordon Brown is now so unpopular, I suspect that the votes for labour will just disappear, the Tories are in the same boat, the expense's scandal has tainted everyone in the house of commons and now the house of Lords.
People wil start looking for someone they can trust, and that's the problem, the taint has now spread so far that people see anyone running for office as a free loading scumbag. Trust has been lost, we used to trust our MP's to do what is right, to see the back-pedaling as they all claim "But we played by the rules..." is disgusting, they set the rules (or people under their control) and to have most of them flout them is not only morally wrong, its breaking the trust that people have in their MP's.

What can we do? I don't know to be honest, we cant let in a load of inexperienced newbies to take over, although there are 'advisor's' who run the country, don't forget that anyone you vote in will have a lot of power. Especially if they align themselves with others. If a load of new guys get in, then they could be advised and handled by the civil service (nothing new there) but, if they get together, they could be a destructive force that might be hard to control.
So before calling for the dissolution of parliament, think carefully about where we go from here, the cure could be worse than the disease.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A few thought on MP's expense's

Nearly everyone fiddles their expenses, this is to try and claw back a bit of the extortionate amount that the government takes from our hard earned money, now most will snatch back a few quid, but some corporations have such big lawyers who know the tax system inside out, that they pay virutally no tax at all. The MP's that have 'fiddled' their expense statements are only playing the game, BUT they fixed the rules, THEY know the law and had probably passed on the info to each other on how to get what they can.
Most of the claims that have surfaced are indefensible, this means they have commited fraud in my eyes. So what should be done about this? We cant just sack every MP, chaos would reign and leave the door open for some even more unscrupulous demons to creep in.

Firstly any MP who has blantantly taken the piss should resign and put himself up for re-election, secondly we should take a long hard look at any MP who has been involved. Thirdlywe need a review of the tax laws/rules as they stand, I would suggest that we have a 10% single tax band across the board, EVERYONE pays 10%, companies, big corporations, no expections, you pay on any earned income. Then disallow any expenses, you cant claim for anything!
But then you are only paying 10% in tax, why would you need to claim anything back? Think about it, how much it simplify the tax system, take a look at how much tax some of the big corporations pay in tax after allowances, dont take my word for it, look it up some pay 0% tax.
I think this is a viable idea that should be looked at... and I'm sure some more knowledgable people will shoot me down if my figures dont add up, but maybe this or a similar way of dealing with taxes would simplify the issues.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

First impressions.

When you meet someone, do you make a snap judgement and then find it hard to shake that first impression? Would you assume all bikers wearing a denim cutoff are chicken raping lunatics who ride far too fast?
That everyone with dreadlocks smokes cannabis? All skinheads are racists?
We base our first impressions on what we have learnt through everyday experience, this is also modified by what we pick up from the media, the tendency is to lump people into recognisable groups, this gives us something to work from; when we evaluate those people we meet for the first time. Unless we have prior knowledge, i.e. have been told what to expect, we judge initally by appearance, as that is the first thing that makes an impact on our conciousness, next would usually be voice and then what people say and do.
Making snap judgements on what we see is a survival tactic, to evaluate any threat we need information and normally the only available information is what we see before us. This information is processed against what we have already filed away in our heads, when we acquire some input, this is compared to any available information stored in our minds, from there we draw a conclusion that provokes the appropriate response. All living things have done this since they first became aware of the world around them, the difference here is that humans can use intelligence to collate and refine the information to a higher degree. This allows us to modify our first impressions somewhat, we can draw on far more resources to make a much better judgement call on the person we are observing. Even so, until we have sufficient facts we are still guessing; and those guess's are based on experience and/or hearsay. This means most people are pre-judged before we have time to form a proper opinion, once that first impression is made it can be hard to shake off.

You might be the brighest bloke in the world, but if you turn up for an interview looking like an extra from Mad Max, then you are not going to make the sort of impression you need to make to get the job. We dress as we feel we need to match the occassion, or used to, I have noticed a marked change in the way people dress these days, mostly they dress down, now I'm not the best authority in the world, I have the dress sense of a deranged gibbon and tend to look like a reject from a 70's biker movie in my everyday clothes. When going out I rely on Ruth (my better half) to arrange the appropriate clothing, but I do make the effort, it is polite and courteous to dress for the occassion, this way people also get the wrong first impression of me. Many moons ago when I met my wifes parents for the first time, I remember the look of horror on her dads face, he was standing by his car outside and this leatherclad nutcase pulled up on a ratted out, matt black, CB750 Honda, with open pipes and rather tall apehangers. It didnt help that she was 17 and I was 27.....yet it was not long before we became mates, even though I have been divorced from his daughter for nearly 20 years, he stills calls me now and again.
He gave me a chance to prove myself and it worked out, thinking back, if I had been him; I would have chased me off with a big stick!

In this modern world, we seem to have so little time for others, we are constanly rushing around and making instant judgements on everything, should we not slow it down when making those judgements on fellow humans? Have you missed someone who could have been a new friend, lover or even soulmate, just because you didnt take the time to slow down and evaluate them properly.

Next time you meet someone new, take the time to talk to them, get to know them, you just never know......

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The Plan

Buy camper - must be a VW T2 Bay window camper with a pop-top - travel around visiting everyone/everywhere we can think of in Europe, writing a daily blog and videoing the experience. Then if it all works out then head further afield for the next trip.

This is not going to happen straightaway, not for about 3-4 months, we have spoken to a couple of people about sponsorship, although I'm not sure about that at the moment, because they want to 'interfere' and we are going to do this our way and not anybody else's. (Same thing happened with a similar idea on motorbikes)

I have travelled and lived in a VW camper for up to 3 months before, having also done some very strange repairs to keep going. We want to visit places off the beaten track, there are loads of places in Europe that never get seen by the normal tourist. I discovered some weird and wonderful places travelling in campers before, we want to go back and see how they have changed, as well as discovering new places, I'm sure there are still loads of little out of the way places; that are just as fascinating as the main tourist attractions.

The way we look at this is this, we want to get out there and see the world from our own perspective, we also want to show that getting older does not mean you have to follow the boring old routes and package holidays, people are living longer and have more leisure time, we want to show that there is a big wide interesting world out there, one that is full of surprises even just a few miles away over the channel.

So next we will probably be looking for a good condition (not perfect but roadworthy) left-hand drive T2 with pop-top, reasonably well kitted out, decent awning, cooking facilities, power hook-up etc. It’s going to need a quite large lockable safe that will take a laptop and several cameras. I shall build my own anti-theft and security devices.

The whole trip from start (buying the camper and planning) to finish returning home, will be documented.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can email me captainjake<@>gmail.com (remove anti-spam <>)

Jake

Friday, 1 May 2009

What is a biker?

What is a biker? (Taken from Motorsickle.com)
How would you class yourself in the world of bikes?
This has to be one of the most asked questions, after "How fast does it go mate?"
Defining exactly what a 'biker' is, is probably an impossible task, everyone has a different opinion and to try and lump them together to make a stab at what a biker really is could be very difficult, so guess what I'm going to do today…

Bikers or motorcyclists have quite a few diverse groups that you could belong to, everything from Rocker to Scooterist (different from Mods I'm told) to commuter, I know there are a lot more but I'm not going to list them, these are just examples to give us a feel for how we perceive ourselves. The way each of us sees each other is crucial to this debate, humans are notorious for fitting themselves into categories, different groups that either bind together or are constantly at war, human conflict has been going on since we discovered that bashing someone's brains in with a rock was fun and we have not really stopped since. We all like to belong to group of some kind, even the self proclaimed 'lone wolves' amongst us still like to be classified as bikers which therefore put them into a 'group', there is a kind of camaraderie and comfort to be found in belonging to like‑minded group, you can observe this in other groups as well. Anti‑vivisectionists, football supporters and Freemasons for example all work together for a common cause which they believe in, we are not any different, most of us ride bikes because we enjoy it, even the most hardened commuter will get some pleasure out of riding a bike and when push comes to shove people from the same group stick together and help each other.

Belonging to a group defines our boundaries which show where stand, we wear the uniform of our tribe to show where our loyalties lie, to show other tribes or groups that we are one of a particular band of brothers.
Bikers are one type of tribe that has within it various groups, just like football supporters are the main group that can be broken down into sub groups of the teams they support, bikers can also be categorised further into various sub‑groups. The word 'biker' can mean different things to different people, ask any typical man in the street what a 'biker' is and you will probably get an answer that is not far off from describing the average persons vision of a 'Hells Angel', ask a motorcyclist the same question and be prepared for a completely different answer depending on what he may ride. One will tell you that a biker is someone who rides everyday whatever the weather; another that it is someone who belongs to a club, maybe another view is that a biker should only ride British bikes. The viewpoints are many and varied, leading me to suspect that this question will never be answered to the satisfaction of all.

So I'm going to tell you what I think a biker is, a biker is someone with passion for two wheels, it does not matter to me if he rides a scooter or a Ducati, he may have owned the same RD250 since 1977, keep it polished and running and only take it out on Sundays, or he may like riding everyday whatever the weather, maybe not cleaning it but making sure it works and runs using anything that happens to do the job. It's the passion for the ride that in my humble opinion makes someone a biker, not what they ride, there are lots of riders out there who don't have the passion, they bimble along in their own little world treating their two wheels like an object and not a bike. The passion means they experience the thrill of the ride, whether it's a fast ride through the twisties or the thrill of taking a 30 year old bike on the road after restoring it for years, or maybe just the feeling that comes with going on a run with your mates, it's that adrenaline rush that keeps the passion alive and kicking within us.

Even after riding for over 35 years I still get that rush every time I get on a bike, it makes me feel alive and ready to take on the world, that first spin of the engine in the morning lets me know that I'm ready to rock and FTW!! It's my escape valve from work and the troubles that try to get me down, it lets me feel alive.

Do I class myself as a biker? Yes, because I feel I have a passion for bikes that has never left me ever since I first sat on one as a fifteen year old dreamer, motorbikes allowed me to be someone else, someone different from the small bullied youth that dreaded going out in the early 70's, that passion has never left me and I hope it never will.

At a funeral in January I met Rick, I have not seen Rick for 15 years, he is my ex‑wife's uncle, he had been a biker for years, not in the same sense as most of us, but still a man with passion for his bike, two years ago he T‑boned a car that did a U‑turn and has not ridden since, talking to him was quite sad as I could tell the passion had gone from his life, he asked me if I was still riding with a wistful look in his eye, I could also see that his wife was nervous about us talking about bikes. Such a shame that he has given up but once that spark has gone it's not the kind that can be rekindled, Rick is in his mid 60's and has had a good run though, I don't intend to give up until I am unable to get on a bike! Even then you might have trouble with me.

In my eyes bikes are my life, over the years they have got me into trouble and out of it, they have lost me partners and helped me find new loves and best of all I have met some great mates, mates who I would trust with my life, about how many other 'pastimes' could you say that. I class myself as a biker as I would anyone who has the passion for two wheelers, the rush is the best feeling in the world and I hope all of you who understand what I'm talking enjoy it too, and will do so for many more years.

Jake

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Hell 'aint a bad place to be.

What do you do when the past comes back and bites you in the arse?
Things you had tucked away or were thought lost come back and you have no one you can talk to, who will understand. You have to sit back and let it roll over you, absorb the impact then take a step back and evaluate what has happened. Tonight a load of lost memories returned for me, not forgotten things, but memories that I thought were lost forever after an accident. These memories have unleashed a flood of emotions I am having trouble dealing with, memories that have not seen the light of day for over 20 years, memories that I thought were lost, things I never expected to remember are now banging away in the front of my brain. Not all are real, and thereby hangs a tale, some are memories are confused with other forgotten memories, to the point I no longer am sure which are real and which are either imagined or composite, by that I mean mixed up memories that may be a combination of past events.

Trying to sort them out on my own is a nightmare, really odd moments are popping into my head, moments of love, moments of violence, moments of hate, moments of guilt. It will take time to sort out all this new information that has invaded my head, it will take time to heal the feelings that now plague me. But do I want to heal? Do I want to lose them again? They were all part of an earlier episode of life, a life so long ago that even people with good memories would baulk at recalling them, yet right now to me they are fresh, some feel like they only happened yesterday, this is what is causing my confusion.

At the moment my head hurts with all this new info, I am glad its back, loads of new memories have suddenly filled in some big gaps in my life, the past is the past, I cant go back so I will not regret anything, I will use this info to look forward.

Once I have sorted it all out and come to terms with it.

Jake

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Gurkha justice

The way the Gurkha's are being treated in this country is so wrong. I have heard so many stories about their bravery, until just after his death I had never realised that my father served in Burma, he never spoke of it, but he always had something to say whenever Gurkha's were mentioned. He spoke of their bravery and selflessness, told tales of their prowess, I had always assumed that these stories were passed on from someone else, now I know different.
The Gurkha's have been a loyal people to the United Kingdom, I will leave it to you to look up their history, which is glorious, their regiment has been sent into every conflict that involved our country. Never faltering, never questioning but often dying.
They need our support, for some obscure reason our government sees no reason to let them settle here as proud British citizens, I can think of hundreds. This treatment of them is a disgrace, public feeling is so high on this subject yet the government cant seem to see why.
Put pressure on your MP to correct this miscarriage of justice.
Sign up to the campaign here Gurkha justice
and also find and contact your MP on here They work for you
and let him know how you feel about this.
The government should be listening to us, not ignoring us.
I shall be at Westminster to protest at some point today, if you are near then pop down to Old Palace Yard, Westminster at noon.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Off for a few days.

I shall be on my way to Santa pod for a few days, to watch nutters throw the old VW campers and bugs up the strip, it is gonna be awesome!!!

Laters dudes!

Jake

Move forward, dont look back.

If time travel was possible, would you go back and change anything?
Recently I have had reason to think about this, and my answer is no, the past makes us what we are now, if we changed something then we would be different and would you really be any different to what you are now? Think about your answer carefully, you would not have your kids, your friends, your job. Small changes can be make bigger ones down the line, this is known as 'the butterfly effect' in Chaos circles.
All of our life we are ruled by the past, what we learnt at school, the mistakes in our teens, how we grew up, the morals we acquired from our parents and peers. Morals and attitudes do change as we grow and learn, we take different paths as we learn more about life and base our decisions on how we compare the present to the past.
Friends reunited has a lot to answer for, apparently is has caused more marridge breakdowns recently than any other cause, I met Ruth (my partner) through FR she tracked me down more to see what I was up to these days, I have now lived with her for 5 years. I also know two families that have been completely wrecked by friends reunited as well, in one the husband contacted his first girlfriend from school and within a week they had embarked on an affair, he says it made him feel young again, but how long did it last? 6 months, they are not the same people as they were 25 years ago, the initial rush of lust died down and they came to realise that their lives had changed long ago, the are now both living alone, their families are not going to forgive them in a hurry. Yet at the time they were so sure it was the right thing to do.

Humans are creatures of emotion, little chemicals changes can make massive differences to the way we react to situations, adrenaline is a good case to cite, it is what gives us our 'fight or flight' reaction to danger, the problem is, especially if you have lived a bit of a humdrum life, the bloke cited above worked in a office for most of his life and to be honest was very boring (I hope he does not read this..), suddenly getting some exciement can get the old adrenaline flowing and adrenaline is highly addictive, well I believe it is, I may have to check that .
There are other emotions as well, things that can well up from the past and haunt us, or in my case make my life more complete and interesting, as in the case of my daughter, who I had not seen for 28 years. Wishing that you could go back and change things will just make you bitter, you can not go back and change anything, so it is better to look forward and work on making your life and the lives of people around you that much better, why look back when you can move forward.

Jake

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Memory, dont take it for granted.

Some years ago I was classed as insane, or as good as, I had had an accident which bruised the front of my brain and scrambled loads of memory. It took a long time for some of those memories to reappear, just recently I have had a flood of confused memories triggered, they are so jumbled up I do not know what is real and what is either fantasy or a combination of memories that have got mixed up. I still have virutally no recollection of most of my childhood, when people say things like "I remember it like it was yesterday" I cant even imagine how they see such a clear vision. To me anything before 1988 is wrapped in guaze, my memories are like looking through a swirling fog, now and then you get a fleeting glimpse of something, sometimes it triggers a better memory, mostly it just leaves me with a feeling of being completely lost. A good exapmle of this is when riding my bike, if I pick my route before I leave and just automatically follow the route, then just concentrate on riding, I get there with no problem, but sometimes, not always, if I have to change the route, because of roadwrks or an accident or maybe just stopping at lights and getting distracted, I can get very confused. It does not happen often, it happened this morning, riding up to Alexandra Palace I stopped at some lights and when they changed I had no idea where I was or where I was going. I had to pull over and just think about for a minute, I was completely disoriented and that can be quite scary. It normally sorts itself out very quickly
though and I'm back to normal (of course with me 'normal' is a very relative term)

When I was still under the doctor, he recommended I get loads of photos from my past to help bolster the memory system, turns out there are very few pictures of me in the early days, not really sure why, I did knock about with a crowd who didnt like having their pictures taken though.
Two or three years ago I met a bloke from my past, apparently we were good mates for about 6 years, I sat with him and chatted and it was like talking to a stranger, I still have no memory of him and have never gone back to see him.

So treasure your memories, you wont miss them until they are not there.

Jake

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Do you believe in god?

Why? Could you explain this to me because I see no reason for believing in something I cant see touch or hear.
The whole concept of god is just too weird for me to accept, I'm told you have to have faith, but why should I? Why should I take on faith something that plainly does not exist?
In a court of law we have to have proof before we can accept any sort of evidence at all, so why is god exempt from this? I have never seen any proof of his existence, yet I am asked to just accept that he does exist.

My girlfriend believes, she is Catholic, and come to think of it most of my girlfriends over the years have been Catholic. Dont ask me how that happened, perhaps deep down I want to believe, perhaps I need to hang on via someone elses belief? Nah!

Lets just take a look at what we have to prove his existence, exhibit one, the Bible, a book that has been rewritten a few times whenever it didnt quite say what some people wanted.

Er... thats it .... I cant think of anything else that could be used as evidence in a court of law. I'm sure I will get a few emails from people that will beg to differ, but none will be able to offer me any tangible evidence other than to say "you must have faith!". Well give me a reason for having faith!
You can not just say to me, have faith, it makes no sense to me.

Perhaps I have missed something, the only time my father disappointed me was a few weeks before he died, he suddenly discovered god after a lifetime of being an agnostic. He could not explain to me why he suddenly found god, I know why though, humans can not envisage their own death, they need to believe they will go forever, this is why almost all religions have a belief in an afterlife or reincarnation. Myself? I accepted a long time ago the fact that when I die that is it, finito, the end, nothing more. This may seem quite bizarre to some, but it suits me, I suppose I could become a catholic, then I could go out and commit the most heinous of crimes, then confess all on my deathbed and join the rest of the Mafia in heaven. What bollox!
Karma? I know some right nasty people that have done well over the years, karma does not affect them!

And what if I'm wrong, well hopefully if heaven and hell exists I'll go to hell, if I dont end up ruling it, I have this plan to make a fortune selling ice creams....

Jake

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moon light?

Or do you always take the safe option?
Risk. That taste of copper in your mouth as the adrenaline hits.
Maybe you took that corner a lot faster than normal, or maybe just threw all your wages on red 6. (I dont know if roulette actually has a red 6), stood up to the geezer giving it large in the pub,or maybe just told your mother-in-law to "Shut it for once!"

Most people are quite happy to get their kicks from films, I believe this is why horror films are trying to get more shocking, more gruesome.
Because we now live in a society that mollycoddles (look it up) us, we need more and more shocks in our safe little homes. Saw is a good example, the films got more and more gory because they thought the punters wanted more gore, yet the people I know who watched the first said that was clever, the rest were just gorefests, of course I must admit I have never seen it, Friday the 13th or Halloween, so I have to go on what others tell me. The concept just does not appeal to me, is that because I get my kicks on a 170mph motorcycle? or is there another reason? I quite like some of the zombie films, Dawn of the dead and a few other, but horror films dont really do it for me.
Could the reason be that I dont believe in ghosts or monsters? Do those of us that do like them, belive in monsters and ghosts? Some amongst us dont need horror films to supply that fear.

As our world gets safer and safer, or so they would have us believe, do we need to get our shocks by proxy? Yet, there is more than enough terror in real life to horrify us, we dont want to know about that though, the atrocities carried out in certain african countries, for example, when red nose day comes around, how many of you actually watch the films from countries that have suffered so badly?
How many of us just give our credit card number over without really thinking about what causes it is going to? Do we even care a week later when its over? do we even notice the amount on our credit card bills?

There are people who live in fear out there, some are probably not 100 yards from you right now, terror is not just some thing people in countries far away experience. The wife being beaten in silence, the school boy who makes himself ill so he wont have to face the bullying, the young girl terrorfied her stepdad will come home drunk or drugged up.
They have to face their adrenaline levels rising everyday, they live in horror and fear most of the day.
Other people just watch it on a screen and then can turn it off.
They cant, from the african children who have their limbs chopped off, to the terrified child left on their own, we cant even imagine their fear, we dont even really think about them.
But we dont want real horror, we want to be able to turn it on and off when we have had enough.

I'm not really sure what the point of this blog is, something must have triggered this today, its been preying on my mind all day but somehow I cant quiite explain what I mean, maybe it will become clearer tomorrow.

Jake

A few thoughts on revolution

I am getting loads of requests to sign various petitions on the good old internet, there seems to be a new generation of armchair protesters that cant be arsed to get out on the streets, they are content to protest from the 'safety' of their own homes.
This unfortunately has several consequences.
1. Petitions are the lazy way to protest, it makes people feel like they doing something/having their say without actually doing anything at all.
2. The real malcontents get more and more frustrated by the watering down of the effect of these petitions (Please protest against the ants on my lawn, sign up here...)and have to find 'other' ways to get their point across.
3. In the old days these issues were discussed in person in pubs with people who you knew, outsiders found it hard to infiltrate, now its all done on the internet, know one really knows anyone else, most seem to be keyboard warriors.

Signing petitions does no good, especially those ones on the government site that request you to put in a legit email address and name... no one monitoring that then. ("Oh look another one for the list...")

Do those calling for 'revolution' or radical change, really understand what they are calling for?

You cant bring down the government without severe disruption, most people do not want radical change, most want to pay less tax to carry on buying stuff they dont need, things that are now thought of as essentials.
Very few of us are actually unhappy with the way we live, most are really comfortable compared to others around the world. Sometimes we forget this.
Our freedoms being eroded is entirely our own fault, I did my bit to fight years ago and last year had, what I suspect was my last one, another go to get my voice heard.

Radical change will cause much chaos and hardship, do you really think the man in the street wants that? He wants his cake and to eat it as well, getting people to understand that if they do want real changes to be made, things will get a lot worse before they get better, but they dont want that sort of medicine, they want a magic bullet, one that gives them what they want without disturbing their nice little lives.

Do you think that the average joe who is halfway through his mortage wants to risk losing his house for the sake of 'your' freedoms'?

Most do not want freedom, they want MTV, flash cars and the latest music system, good luck with your revolution.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Balance.

Do you believe in Karma? That there has to be 'balance'?
Why?
It is fairly self evident that there is no such thing, we look for little things that indicate that there may be 'balance' or Karma in this world, we do a good deed and something nice happens, but are we looking for that something nice because we feel we have earned it? When bad things happen we look at the culprit and wish 'Karma' upon them, but it is just wishful thinking.

How often do we hear of someone getting their just desserts? Not that often, we want it to happen because deep down we want revenge, pure and simple, wishing Karma existed is really just another way of wishing for retribution upon a, in our eyes, wrongdoer.
We like Karma when its good, we want to believe that if we help someone we will be rewarded in some small way, but this rarely happens, the best bit is feeling good about yourself when you do the good deed, why should a 'reward' be necessary?

Doing a good deed should be reward enough, wanting Karma for it is selfish, but how many times can you say you have done something good and not expected a bit of karma back? Or even more.

There is no balance, things happen and then other things happen, there is no rhyme or reason for it, other than cause and effect. Some families have loads of bad luck, some have good luck, most just cruise along in an average way, the good and the bad are purely ends of a spectrum that must exist to show the mean.

If there was such a thing as Karma, I think someone would have proved the concept and bottled it by now.


Jake