Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fred Astaire in Smooth Criminal


Dylan would bark a lot... Pepper would just eat it...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Back in the lean Soviet era, restaurants and the now-ubiquitous fast-food kiosks were scarce, so dogs were less likely to beg and more likely to forage through garbage, the zoologists say. Foraging dogs prospered best in the vast industrial zones of Moscow, where they lived a semiferal existence. Because they mainly relied on people to throw out food, and less on handouts, they kept their distance from humans.

Now, old factories are being transformed into shopping centers and apartment blocks, so strays have become more avid and skillful beggars. They have developed innovative strategies, zoologists say, such as a come-from-behind ambush technique: A big dog pads up silently behind a man eating on the street and barks. The startled man drops his food. The dog eats it.

Key is the ability to determine which humans are most likely to be startled enough to drop their food. Strays have become master psychologists, says Andrei Poyarkov, 54, the dean of Moscow's stray-dog researchers. "The dogs know Muscovites better than Muscovites know the dogs.""


Ooops.. a reason to read the user manual

"The brand spanking new Airbus 340-600 sat in its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of airtime. Enter the flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine runups, prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. The date was November 15, 2007.

The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area. Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is.

The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to takeoff but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc.) Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm.

This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.

The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can't land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $80 million brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaling it.

The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown, for there has been a news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere. Finally, the photos are starting to leak out."


Monday, May 26, 2008

da d-man

da d-man, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Doing the Fishstick

Kegels.. something we learned about in birth preparation for couples..

My Tokyo stable

the tokyo stable
the (current) tokyo stable, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Trek Project Etape, Swobo Sanchez, Orange E-Six (single-speed conversion).

A little history: I bought myself a Peugeot mountain bike in 1998 to aid my rehabilitation after a motorcycle accident in Tokyo. Following that I bought a Cannondale Raven, which my father now looks after back in North Yorkshire. I also bought myself a Trek Hilo 2000 for a brief stint as a triathlete. I entered a few events, but could never get comfortable with running, and so it was not to be. I held onto the bike for a while - it was very fast - but it was no use whatsoever on the roads of the Izu peninsular and has since been sold.

The Orange was bought in 2001 and I used it to compete/complete the Grand Raid Cristalp that year. Hell of an event and my first introduction to 'proper' cycling. Around the same time I bought my first road bike since my teenage years, a Klein Quantum Pro. This bike is kept at our besso in Shimoda and is set-up with a compact crank and Ksyrium SL wheels for all the climbing down there.

So I was set with these two bikes for a few years and then the 'challenge' bug bit again and I decided to try the 2006 Etape du Tour. What a wonderful excuse to buy another bike.

The Trek was a Project One build, set-up for the demands (as far as I could imagine them! hence a triple crank) of that year's course. I posted my experiences on this blog at that time - go have a look if you're interested or didn't read them then.

I picked up the Swobo last summer to use as a commuter. I wanted a fixed gear, but didn't want the aggressive geometry of an out and out track bike. The Sanchez is working out well.

Having ridden a fixed for a year or so, I have definitely bitten the single gear bug, and so this past weekend I converted my faithful Orange to a single speed set-up using a kit from Soulcraft. Not the standard mtb single though (usually 32 or 34 x 16 or 18), I am running a 44t crank with an 18t freewheel cog, in order to get about 60ish gear inches and make a nice alternative to the Sanchez (which is 70+).

Next project is to take the Klein's original Rolf wheels and change those to a single speed, probably a 16t cog, and then fit them to the Sanchez for a freewheel alternative from time to time.

Nice to have options :)

training ride

training ride, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Had to stop and rescue this little fella from getting squashed on the road. Where did he come from?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

in need of a plug

in need of a plug, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Picked up a nail in one of the rear tires and had to resort to the bicycle-like spare. Getting the original plugged at Yellowhat Nakameguro as I post this..

Congressional Arrogance

or is it blindness?

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure.

The bill would subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.

The measure passed in a 324-84 vote, a big enough margin to override a presidential veto.

The legislation also creates a Justice Department task force to aggressively investigate gasoline price gouging and energy market manipulation.

"This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities," said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

The lawmaker said Americans "are at the mercy" of OPEC for how much they pay for gasoline, which this week hit a record average of $3.79 a gallon.

The White House opposes the bill, saying that targeting OPEC investment in the United States as a source for damage awards "would likely spur retaliatory action against American interests in those countries and lead to a reduction in oil available to U.S. refiners.""

Stunningly stupid, pointless, arrogant and a total waste of time and resources.

found via Mish

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

truth serum

truth serum, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Kama Sutra

for IT people..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Topless Car Wash. By Subaru.

Red Bull

Anyone who has been in the cricket club tent after the Hong Kong rugby sevens might be able to relate..


I guess it really sucks running for office in the digital world where everything you say is out there ready to be cross-referenced and checked..


How did they come up with this as an idea for a tv segment??

Tuesday's Links

Oil - Is There a Bubble?

US airlines: "There will be blood"

S&P500 Profits Ex 3 Oil Cos = Awful

Subprime Writedown: Losses Per Employee

Macquarie's glorious run may end

A loo for all seasons, to understand Tokyo's food, start at the end

Truck tosses its cookies

Friday, May 16, 2008

Level 3 vans and instant layaway cards

"I have a 1969 Volkswagen Van that I am in love with. The van is really just an old bucket of rust, but I tell people it’s worth a million bucks to me. Sometimes to impress someone, I’ll actually say I’m a millionaire because I have that van. So, what do you think happened when I put an ad up to sell a “brand old” rusted-out 1969 VW van for only $1,000,000? Well, you know you didn’t call me, and I still have the van. I thought about dropping the price to $500,000 (a “write-down”), but I would not be a millionaire anymore, so I keep it priced at a cool million and drive it when it’s not too windy, raining or just when the damn thing will run.

Other than my Volkswagen the only property I own is a t.v. and a six pack of beer, all free and clear. Now do I have any creditworthiness? I am a millionaire after all, and you won’t let the fact that almost all of my assets are in the van worry you right?

Why not? Well, all the big banks are allowed to do it. In that vernacular the van is a “level three asset,” it would most likely correspond to a mortgage-backed bond (commercial or residential) on which a scary fraction of mortgage payers are in real risk of defaulting before paying it down. When that happens (or when it is realized), the bond is worth less than the face value–like my van.

The banks can’t sell the bond for face value so they do what I did, hold on to it and tell everyone that it’s “worth” what they want it to be worth. The government lets them get away with it, as long as they account for it as a “level three asset,” and just like me, some of these banks have more assets in fantasy valued level three assets than they have capital.

In fact my capital has just been decreased by a six pack. But it’s ok, I’ve still got my “level three van.”"


"The most profound change has been the idea that credit has now supplanted the concept of debt. When we talk about the worldwide credit crisis what we are really talking about is the global debt problem. When you think of credit the underlying meaning is positive. You received credit for completing the assignment. Hey Joe, I give you great credit for working so hard on the project. We credit you sir for the excellent job here! It would be extremely different if credit cards were title debt cards. Or what if we called them, “instant layaway” cards instead of calling them platinum premium member cards."


well aged

well aged, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clinton adopts Beatles 'When I'm Sixty Four' as campaign theme song

Lost to Obama, but I'll run again!
In just four years from now.
Victory in 2012 is sure to be mine,
If not, then I'll extend the deadline.
If I still lose, 'cos they don't vote for me.
I'll be back for more.
Will you support me, will you endorse me,
When I'm sixty four?
They say I play dirty, that no hold is barred,
I kick men when they're down.
Obama thinks I'm only out to queer his pitch,
And Michelle, she just thinks I'm a witch.
But who'll take that call, when the phone rings at three?
If Tehran starts a war,
Will you support me, will you endorse me,
When I'm sixty four?
Throw me my pantsuit, I've got quite a few,
One for every state,
Pink or blue or green or grey or aquamarine,
Politics gets dirty, but my legs both stay clean.
OK, so Bosnia was quite sniper-free,
The truth is such a bore,
Will you support me, will you endorse me,
When I'm sixty four?
Hey, I've got experience, and plenty of views,
I know all the ropes.
Vote for me, I'll prove to you that I can lick it,
If I must I'll even add Barack on my ticket.
I'm taking donations, Visa or cash,
This campaign's left me poor,
Will you still back me, or once again jack me,
When I'm sixty four?


Baby you can fly my car

Sir Paul McCartney is said to be "horrified" that his new eco-friendly car was flown 7,000 miles from Japan. The Lexus LS600H, which costs £84,000, was a gift from Lexus, who helped promote the hybrid vehicle. But instead of arriving by boat as expected, the car was flown to Britain on a Korean Air flight, creating a carbon footprint almost 100 times bigger than if it had come by sea. A source is reported to have said: "Paul was offered a Lexus as a gift and ordered the hybrid limo because it helps to reduce emissions. "He'll be horrified after learning it was delivered by plane. Paul has always campaigned for green issues and he can’t understand why anyone would send an enormous car from Japan to Britain on a plane." Carbon offsetting firm said the plane journey would have caused a carbon footprint of 38,050kg, compared to 397kg for a three-week boat. Director Mike Rigby said: "That is the equivalent of driving the car around the world six times."

This particular hybrid that 'helps to reduce emissions' has a 5litre V8 and does 21mpg.. the same as our RR.. I think I'll replace the supercharged badge with a hybrid one..

telegraph via econobrowser

Velcro, Cheerios, LSD, the Cobb Salad, Defibrillation, the Golden Gate Bridge, Scientology, the Chocolate Chip Cookie, the Slinky, Spam, Alaska, both of Barack Obama's parents, McDonalds, Mount Rushmore, Teflon, Israel, the Hindenburg Disaster, Keith Richards, the Ballpoint Pen...

Very age-ist but kinda funny.. although saying the world is a complicated place and is it time to be electing the oldest President ever might be disingenuous?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ten Things Your Grandparents Know About Money (That You Don't)

  1. Frugality Is Not a Bad Word
  2. Use What You Have
  3. Doing It Yourself Is the Way to Go
  4. Things Have More Than One Use
  5. Debt Is to Be Avoided
  6. Save for Rainy Days
  7. Used Can Be Just as Good as New
  8. Functional Trumps Fashion
  9. Bargains Are to Be Sought-After
  10. Homemade Cookies Are Delicious


“If you were asked, would you accept an offer to be the VP nominee?”

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah)
“Of course. Big house, big car, not much to do. Why not?”

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)
“Yes. Sign me up. I’ve been kidding people for years: The hours are better, the wages are just as good — whoever heard of a vice president getting shot at? — and it’s a great opportunity to travel. And actually since time has gone by, the job is robust … So sure. Anybody here would, if they’re going to be honest. The chances are slim to none. But I promise you, I would deliver all three of Delaware’s electoral votes.”

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)
“I would say ‘No, Hillary.’ ”

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)
“No. I don’t like going to funerals.”

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
“No, I’d have Jon Stewart stand in for me. Jon Stewart. That’s my guy.”

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
“I plan to stick with my current job until I get the hang of it.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
“Once is enough. I already have the T-shirt and I’m proud of it. I yield to my colleagues.”

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
“Absolutely. Absolutely. I think I would be great. First of all, I know how to behave at weddings and funerals. And I know how to be commander in chief. I’d bring a lot of fun to the job. We would rock the Naval Observatory.”

All 97 responses here at

Monday, May 12, 2008


Forty Two

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

sunnyside cafe

sunnyside cafe, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Monday, May 05, 2008

deck building

deck building, originally uploaded by Knotty.

On a rainy golden week monday. Sunshine again tomorrow :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturday Ride

View Larger Map


scanning, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Friday, May 02, 2008

red shoes test

red shoes test, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Danes on the US presidential election

"We in Denmark cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election.

On one side, you have a lawyer who is married to a lawyer, and a lawyer who is married to a lawyer.

On the other side, you have a true war hero married to a blonde with a huge chest who owns a beer distributorship.

Is there a contest here?"



"It needs no explanation, the Pets' Observation Poodle from Hammacher Schlemmer. Nine inches wide and 5" deep, it gives "the inquisitive canine," which is cataloguese for "dog," a panoramic view of things at which to bark. Hammacher Schlemmer suggests lining several of these $30 domes around the perimeter of your yard, to allow your pet an unrestricted view of interesting places it cannot go."