A day-ish of geek

Today I upgraded the .php of every single website I host to v7.2.12.

Then I redesigned the podcast website (the old design relies on some tech that has been superseded).

If I had another few hours, I would have unpacked the studio equipment and put out a podcast. Because it’s only been three years since the last show.

I also managed to squeeze in a quick trip out on the Ninja.

That was fun too.

On thinking about being unfaithful


Does it fade?

Does it get stale?

Do we get tired of the ‘same old thing’ (even if that ‘same old thing’ is what used to take our breath away and give us butterflies in our excited little tummies)?

And when I say ‘in our excited little tummies (except I just typed ‘timmies and I have no idea what an excited little timmy might be, other than a hyperactive five-year old child)…

Where was I?

Oh yes, and when I say ‘in our excited little tummies’ I’m sortov speaking for humankind, because I’m not a ruminant.



Back to the topic of thinking of being unfaithful.

I consider myself to be a true and loyal person.

For example, my current motorbike is a Kawasaki ZX10R, and my previous motorbike was a Kawasaki ZX9R.

The motorbike before that was a Triumph Daytona 955i, and the motorbike before that was a Triumph Daytona 955i.

So I think you can see the pattern here and possibly get an insight into my brand loyalty.

I loved the Daytonas. Their 1,000cc triple engines made a delicious sound. They were fast, responsive (and never, ever sluggish or brutish), and very nimble machines.

And oh, so comfortable. So comfortable in fact that I rode one from the UK, around Spain, and home again.

But Triumph, in their not very infinite wisdom, dropped out of the 1,000cc Sportsbike market. Idiots.

With the 955i getting long in the tooth, and falling behind in the world of biketech, my only choice was between dropping down to a 675cc Daytona or switching brands.

Although not really underpowered, the 675cc Daytona isn’t the same high-performance workhorse that its 1,000cc cousins were. The switch to another brand was the only real option.

I loved the ZX9R so much I put 18,000 miles on it in 18 months; that’s a lot of miles for a motorbike.

And when she too started showing signs of ageing, the upgrade to the shiny and brand new ZX10R was another easy decision.

I love(d) the ZX10R.

Part hoodlum, part thug, part perfect dinner-party host, packed with all of the latest computing, and a wonderfully responsive bike. She knows/knew what I want to do (and reacts to that impulse) before I even know what I want to do!

I’ve had her from brand-spanking new, I’ve looked after her meticulously and in the coming Spring she will be exactly three years old.

I wouldn’t change her for the world.

So why is it, in these quiet weeks (when the weather is so bad that getting out on any kind of a motorbike is next to impossible) that I’ve been considering unfaithful thoughts?

Why have I been looking at the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R1 and thinking about trying one out?

2019 Yamaha YZF-R1

Update: I took the ZX10R out for a little run around the village this afternoon. I think I’m keeping her

Biker down

Yesterday evening, taking a leisurely trip home on the ZX10R, I was involved in an accident.

While travelling around a smaller roundabout in the village, a lad who was dribbling a football, kicked the ball across the road in front of me.

An awesomely stupid thing to do, I’m sure we can all agree.

However the ball struck the opposite kerb on the inside of the roundabout, and bounced back into the immediate path of the ZX10R.

The front wheel impacted the ball, the bike went down and I hit the road very hard.

I estimate the cost of bringing the ZX10R back to its spotless showroom condition to be not less than £1,000.

And I’m damaged.

My helmet is only fit for the bin.

My leathers are scuffed up.

This occurred in the shadow of the lad’s house. He went to fetch his father.

His father was most defensive of his son’s stupidity, and asked if I’d never kicked a football.

I said I had, but I’d never kicked a football into the path of oncoming traffic.

As a result of this lad’s ridiculous logic (that it is acceptable to kick a football across the road in front of traffic), I now have no means of transport.

And I hurt.

And I have to lose the maximum amount of no-claims it is possible to have.

But even with all of these things, this is the level of parental responsibility that this lad’s father feels is acceptable:

Don’t apologise for the actions of your offspring

Don’t offer any degree of financial assistance

Attempt to justify the actions of your offspring

Offer no assistance at the scene of the crash.

I’m tempted to try one of those lawyers who advertise no win no fee services.

A foreign country explored

Yesterday, taking advantage of the heat, it being a Saturday, having a spotlessly clean motorbike, and having nothing else to do, I went abroad.

A453, A42, M42, M5, M50.

Yes, I went to Wales.

I left the house at 6am, and arrived in Abergavenny at 9am.

The Blorenge (rhymes with orange)

The Blorenge (rhymes with orange)

I had a hot chocolate and very healthy bacon sandwich, whilst sitting outside the Get Together in St John’s Square.

Putting picnic benches outside there is a great idea; gives the area a very cosmopolitan feel, and enabled me to sit where I could keep an eye on the ZX10R.

Needless to say the local bureaucrats don’t like that idea and are working hard to stop someone from having a success.

Kind of shoots down the ’embrace café culture’ policy of a former Prime Minister.

The fun police strike

The fun police strike


Nicely refreshed I went up the Blorenge (rhymes with orange), and just chilled out. Walked about a bit. Lay down in the long grass and read a bit.

May have accidentally dozed a bit.

Keeper's Pond

Keeper’s Pond

After that break I went down through Blaenavon and up the mountain opposite, Coedcae, to Forgeside, where I went to junior school.

I left it in better condition!

I left it in better condition!

Then I dropped back into Blaenavon, and took the Garn Road through Garn-yr-ew, Brynmawr, into Merthyr Tydfil, through Nant-ddu, and down off the mountain into Brecon, below.

I walked around Brecon a bit, but didn’t hang around because the town was heavingly full of people and far too hot to be in close proximity of many strangers.

I bailed out of Brecon, turned left at Llangorse and headed, generally, north-north east.

I stopped at a country pub about halfway between Hereford and Worcester for some much-needed refreshment.



And then back home.

When I had started the trip I was considering staying out overnight.

Frankly I should have.

The round-trip came in at 427 miles. And that was a bit too much. The heat of the day didn’t help either.

I would definitely do that run again.

And I would extend the road-miles, maybe aim for the west coast of Wales.

And I would stay out overnight. I wasn’t as sharp, towards the end of the day as I should have been, despite frequent stops.

But it was a great run out, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

What did you get up to?

Nice out

The ZX10R has had her recall work.



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.


Or is it ‘waggon’?

Maybe it’s either.

Or neither

Or both


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!


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…

Race ya!

Everyone likes a race.

Motorbikeists are no exception.

Superbikeist motorbikeists are doubly no exception.

There are a few superbikes (and superbike owners) continually jockeying for prime bragging spot.

The Suzuki 1000 GSX-R. The BMW S1000RR. The Ducati 1199 Panigale. And the Kawasaki ZX10R.

These are the top five vying for prime bragging rights.

So if you lined up, five un-racetuned, street-legal, ordinary, everyday bikes – one of each of the above makes and models – and put professional riders on them…

Well, that would be the ultimate race, wouldn’t it?

But then you have to ask yourself where do you stop the race?




What about 300kph?

That’s 186mph.

That would really be a race, wouldn’t it?

First to 300kph?

And the winner would surely have the ultimate bragging rights?

Well, someone’s staged just such a race…

And the winner is…

Well, I’m not going to spoil it for you.


Sam is away on business.

She’s supposed to be in Myanmar, before heading on to Vietnam, but Dubai airport was too busy to dock her arriving aircraft, so she missed her connecting flight.

Frankly, Emirates, it’s not much of a connection if the outbound flight won’t wait for passengers who are booked on it, when they’re sitting on another of your flights waiting to dock.


As a result of the Emirates/Dubai airport screw up, Sam has had to spend 24 hours in a Dubai hotel, at Emirates expense, and lose a working day of her itinerary.



But as you might expect, while the cat’s away the mice will play!

And oh boy has this mouse been playing?

Has he?



This mouse is too diseased to do any playing.

Apart from a brief couple of laps around the village this evening, I haven’t even been up to taking the Ninja out this weekend.


It’s that bad.

There is the possibility that, tomorrow, after doing Prem (who is still called Prem and not yet named Bob), I shall pay a visit to the excellent chippy in the next village.

For some delicious potato-based foodstuff.

And perhaps some vomit Vimto.

If I’m well enough, obv.

But it is the Law of Sod that sayeth that a fine-weathered weekend with a free pass will be frittered away on illness.


Anyway, what is this revolution of which you speak, I hear you ask?

It is me, my friends.

I am revolting.

In her absence I am shunning Sam’s instruction to use the dishwasher.


Revolution and rebellion are rife in this house.


Until she gets back,obv.

When being quiet means being busy

It’s been a bunch of time since I last bothered this little corner of t’internet, but…

I have been busy.

I could list everything that’s been going on, but that would be dull.

Anyway, the real message is that I have hopefully turned a corner (or two) and should be on the cusp of being significantly not busier not busy.

This means that I will have more time for annoying people and, now the clocks have changed, annoying even more people.

And enjoying the ZX10-R, obv.

Speaking of the Ninja, she had her first annual service last weekend.

And, being a whole one year old, an insurance renewal.

My (still fully comp) premium has dropped significantly and, for good measure, I got cover for my leathers thrown in.

So that’s all bloody marvellous.

Oh yes, and I’m idly considering buying a horse.