Saturday, March 24, 2007

Old Friends, Old Times.....

Recently, I've been spending a lot of time meeting up with old friends. Friends that I had shared a house with 2 years ago. It brought back a lot of good and sweet memories. It made me think how life was like for us 2 years ago when we were still students. Everyone that I know was till unchanged, and it felt like a door to the past had just opened up, leading to eerie feelings of deja vu. It demostrated to me how much I've changed/remained the same after 2 years.

But it is good to know that all of them are currently doing well or relatively well given the circumstances. I had promised to mention them in my blog, so here goes:

Federica has finished her studies and is now working in Queens University in Belfast organising glamourous cultural events under the EU banner. I think she'll mix well with the celebrities and famous people, so watch out for her on TV sometime soon!

Lucia is just about to finish her Masters in Italy and will be looking for a job afterwards, hopefully with Ferrari! But she was told that she'll make a good test driver for Lamborghini, so I now know where to buy my cars! (By the way, the Lamborghini website is awesome, check it out at

Justin is midway through his Masters in Buddhism and made the "short" trip from the States to Bristol to search out future PhD opportunities in Europe, and to meet up with his Spanish girlfriend, Ana, whom I also know very well. Bubbly Ana will be finishing her degree in Law in Spain in a couple of months time.

So in a nutshell, everyone's safe, sound, and doing pretty well. We all met up for dinner together, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was like old times again. And we all had so much catching up to do! However, good times fly by fast. So it was with a tinge of sadness that I had to say goodbye to them all as they returned home to their respective lives and jobs, with the hope of seeing them again sometime in the future.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Animal Encounters XVI

The Cagiva V Raptor 650

"Holy Smokes Batman! Isn't that your bike?!"

I know, I know.....its not an animal......but its so awesome! This is my new motorbike! It's a 2000 registration. So it's almost 7 years old, but its very clean and looks just like new! Its powered by a 650cc Vertical Twin engine (V-Twin), the very same class of engines which are found in Harley Davidsons, Buells and Ducatis. It's got plenty of style and street cred, like most Italian bikes. But unlike most Italian bikes, its got power to back it up too! It can go from 0 - 60mph (not that I've tried) in just 3 secs! It is classified as a naked/muscle bike. And its got a very futuristic look to it, with a sharp beak-like head very much like its name (Raptor - bird of prey in latin). You either love it or hate it. And I love it.

"No Robin, that's the bike of Mighty Mouse, and a damn fine bike it is!"

Of course with great power, you need great control. This bike is one of the most stable bikes I've every ridden. It's pretty forgiving and very stable in corners, helped by its low centre of gravity, which makes me want to go even lower when turning into corners. I can't describe the feeling of exhilaration as you come out of a corner and nailing the throttle to the bone and exploding forward like a rocket! Its one of the biggest thrills you can get (besides flying).

Check out the sexy rear end!

It has also been fitted with aftermarket exhausts (Carbon Cans) that gives it a very deep growl as you start the bike up. I'm pretty sure I'll make enemies out of my neighbours in the coming weeks. However, this deep sound works both ways too. Besides annoying my neighbours and giving me great pleasure, it lets car drivers know that I'm coming, and...surprisingly....they give way and let me pass. Hence I twist the throttle and roar away.

If looks could kill....

After what I've said so far, you must be thinking I've become a hooligan. Of course, I've always been a hooligan, but I realise the dangers of motorcycling. So rest assured I shall, and will always, be practicing safe riding.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Why Are Men Happier?

With reference to my last post, I came across this email which was sent to me by one of my colleagues. I personally find it very funny and, surprisingly, true! I don't realize how lucky I am until someone points out the obvious to me (typical male - that's what my sis would say). Feel free to copy this and send it to any women that can handle it and any men who will enjoy reading it. Anyway, here it is, in full cut & paste glory.

Why Are Men Happier?

Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.

You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another petrol station toilet because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress £2000. Tux rental-£100.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day holiday requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is £4.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original colour.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes one colour for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25minutes.

No wonder men are happier.