Sad and confused

Yesterday we had a memorial at work. Over the weekend a colleague committed suicide. She was distraught over the recent death of her boyfriend. 

I didn’t know her too well, worked with her a few times and chatted in the gym a couple of times. But knew her enough that it was saddening both not enough so it was a surprise. Equally, and I feel somewhat guilty about this, I feel a kinda mad at her. 

I’m kinda mad because I want to tell her that things get better. People get through horrifying tragedies and terrible things happening to them. There’s always a light in that tunnel even when it’s pitch black. I’ve been in a couple of pretty black places and even once I did think about suicide. But from my perspective it doesn’t  seem like an answer to anything. But I can’t tell her because I can’t bump into her in the gym anymore. 

So I’m a bit mad. Now there are two grieving families instead of one (the boyfriend was killed in a accident while at work, not suicide) and lots of people hurting. 

And all of these people would have jumped in with both feet to help and support her. I don’t know if she asked anyone. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to strangers and I know she was talking to the padre at work, maybe that helped some.  

So I’m mad, feeling guilty, feeling sad and definitely confused. RIP Aimee and Curtis. 

Tired of the weather

Though actually yesterday and today are really nice. Summer was mostly super hot and so far the weeks of Autumn have been wet mostly. The bike is always dirty and so is the car. I have not been able to ride my push bike to work either. 

And the grass is on some kind of super growth spurt everywhere too.

Rain forecast for next week. Can we just have some mild weather for a while, rain maybe a couple of days instead of every day.

Something Left Over?

After days and days of rain (autumn brought a real change after days of scorching heat in summer), Friday saw a break in the weather (that so far has lasted until Sunday morning).

So I rolled out the car and washed it, rolled out the bike and washed that. Then I rolled out the lawnmower and mowed the lawns. Now rolling out the mower means rolling out the race stand (for the bike), and the two kids bicycles.

After all that was done I rolled them all back into the jigsaw that my garage is, swept the driveway and generally cleaned up. As I did I found these two items on the ground.

 

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I found the washer first. It was a little worrying. But when i found the clip I was quite worried. I was pretty confident that it didn’t come from the car. But it could have come from the bike. Would my next ride see me have no brakes, or the chain fall off… I put the parts in my pocket and did some other chores, while I pondered where they might have come from.

After a look over the bike and some thought, I decided it wasn’t from the bike. So probably the mower. Next time I mowed the lawn, could I expect the blades to come flying out?

As I looked at the mower at the bottom of the pile of bicycles (told you it was a jigsaw)I realised where they came from. I didn’t have to worry about the mower, or the next time the kids went for a bicycle ride.

It was from the axle of my race stand (which I hadn’t used to clean my bike). So a clip back in, double check the other three (two on each side) and all was good.

Lucky to be here. 

No not a new crash. 

Now and then again I see something that drives it home again just how lucky I was 2 years ago in my bike crash. Today I watched some of a YouTube video where a bike ran a red light and hit a car. These guys were being complete wankers stunting on the street and rode through the lights at speed. I don’t have a problem with the stunting, its when these riders are blocking traffic, running lights or on the wrong side that they’re just being dickheads and giving riders a bad name. 

While the first bike made it cleanly the second collected a car and the rider and his pillion were thrown across the bonnet and down. The pillion’s foot is either completely torn off or hanging by a thread. I didn’t look too closely. If you’ve a stronger stomach than me go and check it out

I hit the road at a higher speed than these two and was lucky not to get thrown off more violently. I could have gotten tangled in the bike or the roo or slid heavily into the fence. I might have landed differently and torn part of myself apart as I slid 100m along the road. I might have been run over. 

I wore a mix of good and great gear. I had a kept a fair bit of space around me in the very light traffic. But when the roo was there – there was NOTHING I could have done to avoid it. 

But I was also lucky. Very lucky. 

And now and then there’s something that makes a cold chill run down my back and remind me. 

A New Drive

We’ve finally taken delivery of something we ordered way back in January. Sounds like a while but we understand that people who ordered in March are having to wait until Christmas.

Mercedes-Benz GLC250

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We had previously looked at their GLA as it was released, but it was pretty small for a family car. Since then, having seen them out and about we’re really glad that we didn’t buy it.

The GLC however is bigger without being too big. This is a medium SUV, to compete with Audi’s Q5, BMW X3, Volvo’s XC60 and the like. The GLE (formerly called ML) is still there as the big boy, this is the in betweener. Not actually that much bigger in dimensions (excluding height) than our 10year old Mazda 6.

Are we happy? Yes very. Well I am, Mrs Mab is a bit overwhelmed with the technology and needs to get some practice in before she drives it more regularly. Not that I mind!

Look all the reviewers speak highly of it, and I’m sure the others are excellent cars as well (we only tested the XC60 which we liked a lot). But for us (well, for Mrs especially) we really wanted a Merc, but they didn’t have one that suited what we wanted until this one, which was only released in about November. There was a GLK in the US, but that was never released as a right hand drive.

Its very roomy inside, with plenty of room for our kids to grow up. The tech is awesome (it’s our first car with built-in Bluetooth even) with LED multi beam headlights that look around corners and auto braking and parking and radar cruise control, lane keeping and a bunch of other amazing safety things. I really like the built in HDD that came with the COMMAND audio upgrade, half filled it with my music and I don’t need to use BT or an iPod! You can even talk to it, though it doesn’t know any jokes.

It has taken some getting used to – it has been a challenge getting up our driveway and around the corner into the garage without doing an Austin Powers 500 point turn. I can do it in 2 moves now… but the parking sensors are going nuts the whole time. Then squeezing it into the garage!

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The steering column is covered in control stalks and if you get the wrong one you can set the speed limiter when you were trying to indicate a turn. I like the column shifter. But don’t really see the point in the touchpad thing they have that’s above the rotary selector for the computer system.

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But it is a great drive. Smooth, good drive (though only a 2.0L turbo) seems fairly good milage too (though we have only just made it through our first tank after two weeks). About 10L/100km, which seems pretty good for a SUV and not massively different than the Mazda 6 (it was about 9L/100km).

Oh, the Head Up Display on the windscreen is really great. It shows speed and also navigation details (turns, ETA, street names) as well as cruise control/limiter settings. Sits there on the windscreen slightly below your eye line. Really easy to get used to that!

 

 

Saved by Stan

Stargate!! So happy. 

So I thought I might try out Stan for a change. I also get 3 months from Optus for a total of 4 months free. 

And I found Stargate SG-1 there. I’m pretty stoked as it was one of my favourite shows but I haven’t seen past about season 6 because that’s when 7 took it off air. Though they eventually brought it back I didn’t find out until part way through season 9, so I never watched it as I didn’t want to spoil the bits in between. 

I have watched all of Atlantis and Universe (which is actually really good from mid late season 1 – big shame they cancelled it) and have these on Netflix. 

Stan has SG1. 

Yay!

Though now I have to find the time to watch it while finishing Vikings and catching the latest series of Daredevil which are both I the queue. 

Oh and Stan has The Flash as well. 

2015 in Review

About Bikes

IMG_0035Bike wise I’m missing the VFR. Carrying stuff, commuting is all harder without it. There’s no money to replace it, unless the Daytona goes. And there is still 10 years of riding memories….

The Daytona got some good rides and I really enjoy it, its a fantastic fun bike. Several short rides in Canberra practising skills. I feel as though the latest trip up the Putty was better for that practice. I’m keeping the Daytona unless commuting becomes really unmanageable.

About Mountain Bikes

IMG_2699MTB was a busy year, benefiting from having the car and being in Canberra. I found it a lot of fun but I won’t have as many chances to ride back in Sydney. Squeezing family, work, study, motorcycles and MTB all together is going to be a challenge.

Babes (Family)

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History Time

We moved into our own house this year. My youngest started school and both my girls did great. Proud of them both. I introduced them to some old school games. They also discovered Minecraft, which they have enjoyed but I need to keep an eye on how much they spend playing already 🙂

Bytes

WoWScrnShot_010815_061906Nothing much here at all. Sorry about that. I am trying to get into something to play regularly, but I just haven’t found anything of interest. I keep planning to upgrade the PC and get into something like Mechwarrior Online but I just haven’t. I have managed to break out of WoW. I don’t think its a bad game, but I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. This year may also be a bit bereft of playtime as I get deeply into study.

Oh, and Netflix too, that takes some time up doesn’t it.

About the Site.

Well, ever since I dropped out of WoW, readership has plummeted. The odd one or two posts still garners interest, but they are the same posts every year – the Naga review and the couple around when I was deciding between the Daytona and the GSXR.

There are still a few diehard followers and some random people drop by, mostly seem to come in from Navi’s blog at Frostwolves. By comparison, Cymre over at Bubbles of Mischief had 2600 visits on her busiest day, I had 1500 all year.

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So the future…

I’ll just keep dribbling on about stuff, more bikes, less MTB, maybe more bytes. I like to keep this “diary” anyway.

 

Local Knowledge

Pretty much every Friday last year I would ride the back roads from Canberra to Maralun, and sometimes on Sundays as well. I got to know the road really well, knowing which corners were tight, or had other things to be aware of, where traffic generally came from, where I might find stock crossing the road, etc, etc.

I’m sure most of you have roads like that, even if its the city blocks of your daily commute.

A few weekends ago there was a terrible crash – a bus carrying a bunch of people from work (I didn’t know them) rolled and there were some serious injuries. I learned about it when I saw the news. The road name sounded familiar (I’m terrible with road names, and peoples…. but I can remember every person’s motorbike) and when I saw the crash scene I knew exactly where it was.

It was one of the few corners that you really have to pay attention, even on the bike. It’s not super tight, the main problem is that the road surface is terribly uneven (even for a back country road) and there is no verge. On the outside there is a culvert and a drain that has eaten away so there is a short but steep slope from the edge of the seal. On the bike, it’s something to be mindful of, but not super concerning.

I rode out to the crash site later to confirm to myself where it was.

The bus obviously realised he was going too fast for the turn, braked, but drifted wide and the steep verge tipped it over. It returned to the road, but on its side and slid to a halt. Horrible.

I’m not entirely sure why the group of buses headed that way, it’s a back road after all, but taking it easy where you don’t have local knowledge is something to keep in mind.

Of course even that can’t help a wayward kangaroo…..

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Here is where it ended up facing to the left of the picture on its left side. One wheel track seems to have stayed on the road and the other goes off into the grass ditch to the right of the picture. If you can see the double lines of tyre marks leading down the road to the left, that’s from the bus in front stopping to help.