Nothing on the telly

Dead TV

I can’t remember the last time I watched television.

I mean terrestrial TV.

BBC1, BBC2, ITV (whatever number), Channel 4, Channel 5.

I really can’t remember.

We seem to watch (consume is the new word) Amazon and Netflix.

Films, series, originals, unoriginals.

We still check the schedules, BBC1, BBC2, whatever.

But there’s just nothing that interests.

The TV licence fee just seems to be a tax for watching terrestrial TV, which is an activity that we don’t do.

Except we do.

But very seldom.

Nice out

The ZX10R has had her recall work.

ZX10-R

ZX10-R

I’m grateful to the good folk of Leicester Kawasaki for turning round the gearbox rebuild, and annual service, in four hours.

She does feel a little different now.

The gearbox, always a wet dream, is still as easy to navigate, but there’s something else.

The gearing is heavier (in either direction)  but it isn’t clumsy.

And the relationship between gearbox, clutch, and throttle is closer; more coordinated.

The gearing ‘heaviness’ adds even greater positivity to the travels through the box.

And there’s more ‘bite’ on engagement.

I don’t believe the ZX10R’s top-end performance has been altered, but the journey to that eye-watering top-end has been significantly enhanced.

It’s just such a shame a product recall needed to be issued to achieve these things.

Also, thank you to Leicester Kawasaki for the full detailing and valet.

Two wheels on my wagon

That’s an odd word.

Wagon.

Or is it ‘waggon’?

Maybe it’s either.

Or neither

Or both

Anyway.

Despite a significant hiatus in the blogging, rumours (as Twain M said) of my demise have been greatly exaggerated (as you can see by the very way these words are forming on your phone, tablet, laptop, PC, external monitor, or Smart TV).

(get a move on, it’s time you set the scene. Ed)

I am in bed at the shockingly early time of 8.30pm.

It is Saturday.

The Eurovision is on t’telly.

The Beast (as I have affectionately named the ZX10R) has still not had her her gearbox rebuild.

But she’s been called in, and will be done a week today.

Yay! Booyah! And \o/ and other down with the kids expressions of joy.

I’ll be glad to get her done, especially as I am commuting to work on her.

The change from being an employed to a self-employed person meant, in my case, the company car went back.

My very recently received tax statement told me that I paid over £5k/year extra tax, just for the pleasure of having that car.

That’s £12,500 extra tax I handed over to HMRC, while I was in that job

If I’d realised the magnitude of that cash penalty I believe I’d have decided to leave that job much sooner!

Anyway.

Spring is upon us and commuting on The Beast is smile-making fun.

And soon (too soon) it’ll be Summer, and the commuting will be similar, fun wise.

But Autumn is lurking in the unsuspecting future, and that calls for an alternative form of transport.

I’m quite taken with the Mercedes-Benz E class, 220i.

Good quality used models are as cheap as chips, and there are many in the used car market.

But we will see where my head is at when it comes to purchase time.

In the meantime I’ll keep commuting on The Beast (though I do need to find a way to tame her assertive behaviour, especially when filtering in heavy traffic).

Right, it’s taken half an hour to tap this out on my phone.

I’m off to watch Eurovision through the medium of The Twitter until I fall asleep. In about 18 minutes.

Total Recall

When we got back from Vietnam a small mountain of mail was neatly stacked (by the cat-sitter), awaiting attention.

In my pile was an automatic insurance renewal form (yeah, you can go whistle for that, baby, I’m off to comparethemarket.com!), and there was a High Priority letter from Kawasaki.

Unfortunately the letter was notification of a ‘potential’ safety problem (or a product recall notice, to put it another way) with the ZX10-R.

The fix, it seems, is for me to take the bike to my Kawasaki dealer, as soon as possible, so they can carry out the required work, in about 2-1/2 hours, and free of charge.

The letter, helpfully, lists the work that needs to be done:

  • replace 2nd gear output
  • replace 3rd gear output
  • replace 4th gear output, and
  • replace 2nd gear input

Now I’m no C21st motorbike mechanic, but to my eyes, this looks like a significant gearbox replacement/rebuild.

Yes? No? Yes?

Anyway, I rang my local Kawasaki dealer, spoke to the service department, gave them the bike registration number and the VIN/frame number.

The service department said they would now have to contact Kawasaki to get the work authorised, and they’d be in touch with me as soon as it was, and as soon as the parts had arrived.

I like my local Kawasaki dealer. They’re a friendly bunch who know their onions (to mix a metaphor).

And I appreciate the way that Kawasaki have dealt with this product recall.

But, and I can’t quite put my finger on it, there’s something missing here.

It’s all a bit academic really; because of the rubbish weather we’ve had for the last four months, the Ninja has hardly had any time out of the garage.

But there’s just something not quite right with this situation…

Insane in the membrane

Here’a an interesting list of reasons for committal to an insane asylum (except we don’t call them that any more) from 1864 – 1889.

I offer this list with no comment:

LockUp

LockUp

Family motoring (Hanoi style)

I went for an extended walk this morning.

About an hour into my attempt to find a local museum, I discovered that the map the hotel had given me actually bore little resemblance to the version of Hanoi I’m staying in.

That’s why my walk was so… extended.

By 11.30 my Fatbot had informed me I had racked up my daily 10,000 steps, so that’s OK then.

And I have travelled miles, whilst unintentionally seeing areas of the city that tourists probably don’t normally get to see.

But I took a few photos, on my Great Walk.

I didn’t photograph the young man in the uniform of The People’s Army of Vietnam, because the very official building he was guarding had ‘No Photograph’ signs around the perimeter.

And he was carrying, in a most professional manner, a very well maintained (and, judging by the wear on the butt, very well used) AK47.

I nodded at him and kept walking.

So, it being a Saturday, I thought I’d take a snap of some of the good folk of Hanoi as they travel around their city would be good.

Here’s four of them.

Four on a moped

Four on a moped

Tickets, passport, money

There was a slight air of panic when we couldn’t find the large suitcases (they were in the loft), but I’m about to go upstairs to pack.

That should take three minutes.

I’ve downloaded some stuff to my tablet, I’ve got a lot of books, and I’ll also take my Kindle.

Dresscode for the week will largely consist of long shorts, t-shirts, and anti-antiperspirant.

And comfortable walking shoes, obv.

After two long-haul flights tomorrow, we will be here:

Hanoi

Hanoi

Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

We are watching Game of Thrones (or GoT as we cognoscenti call it).

Well yes, we’re only on S1 E4, but that’s hardly the point.

Anyway.

It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong.

Sean Bean has a big book to read, his wife is on a walkabout and has just accused a dwarf of plotting to kill her son (I don’t think he did, I believe he has been framed), the lad with the broken back dreamed about a three-eyed crow, Daenerys Targaryen has just beaten up her brother (who we all hope will come to a very sticky end very soon), and everyone else seems to be shagging in the whorehouse down the road.

Frankly it’s all a bit too much.

I can’t even remember the names of half the cast of characters.

I’m sure at some stage or other it will all start to coalesce, and make perfect sense.

It just hasn’t started to yet.

Is it me?

Doggy tales

We have new bicycles!

Sam uses hers to occasionally commute to work, but apart from a very brief lap of the neighbourhood, I haven’t used mine yet.

Anyway.

Young Masher is prone to flashing his bitch around, because he knows I am jealous of him and his canine friend.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our cats; they have made the house in to an even more homely place (if that’s believable).

But what my heart is hankering for is a dog.

A four-legged friend who I can train in the useful skills, such as making a nice cup of tea, sending down the village shop for a bag of sweets (or biscuits). That kind of thing.

And walks. Which may include me on my bike and the dog doing the walking.

Of course, I’ve had dogs before so I know the probable reality of the situation.

Dog doing what it wants to do, when it wants to do it. And not doing what I want it to do for most of the time.

The time isn’t right for us to go down the doggy path just yet.

But I can live in my little fantasy world just a little longer.

But one day, my friend, this could be me… Erm.

Dogbike

Dogbike