Monday, July 31, 2006

An unhealthy interest in typhoons

When I came to Hong Kong, for my reconnaissance visit in February, I was given a “cultural briefing” by the agency tasked with finding me a home. This briefing was done in their office near Lang Kwai Fang, and consisted of the manager of the agency showing me on a calendar how many public holidays there were in Hong Kong, and then showing me all the different weather warnings, and telling me that every year we lose about 5 days work due to typhoon warnings. I have since found out that this is an exaggeration, but I have developed an unhealthy interest in typhoon warnings for the area.

So far I have been disappointed in the lack of typhoons heading for here. This year, so far, we have only had Chanchu, which merited a typhoon warning level 3, and Jelewat where we got to level 1. However, I have an inkling that the next one may do a little better. Tropical depression 7W is just east of the Philippines and is forecast to track towards Hong Kong. It should be called Prapiroon, when it develops into a hooly, but the Philippines have already named it “Henry”.

So, why this interest in Typhoons? Well, I am just looking for some time off, I suppose. My first experience of a Hurricane was about 25 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, and that was exciting. The next was a few years later, in Mauritius, which caused the airport to be closed, and delayed my first visit to Hong Kong. Since then I have managed to avoid them.

I know that they bring damage and injuries, even fatalities; and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but it is a fact in this world that there are destructive natural forces – and if it brings me some time off – then bring on Prapiroon!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

And then there were two...

It's getting late have you seen my mates
Ma tell me when the boys get here
It's seven o'clock and I want to rock
Want to get a belly full of beer

My old man's drunker than a barrel full of monkeys
And my old lady she don't care
My sister looks cute in her braces and boots
A handful of grease in her hair

Don't give us none of your aggravation
We had it with your discipline
Saturday night's alright for fighting
Get a little action in

Get about as oiled as a diesel train
Gonna set this dance alight
`Cause Saturday night's the night I like
Saturday night's alright alright alright

Well they're packed pretty tight in here tonight
I'm looking for a dolly who'll see me right
I may use a little muscle to get what I need
I may sink a little drink and shout out "She's with me!"

A couple of the sound that I really like
Are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike
I'm a juvenile product of the working class
Whose best friend floats in the bottom of a glass

So it all kicked off last night in Joe Bananas, and the whole crew of the Enterprise were recalled to their ship.

For me the evening had started out in Carneggies, watching the All Blacks beat the Wallabies. It wasn't too crowded in there, I wonder if the US Navy being in town has kept a few of the locals away from Wanchai?

Later on I wander towards Delaneys, but am waylaid by the ladies outside the gogo bars. I decline to go in but stop and have a chat with one of them. Personally, I don't like these establishments, but I like to have a laugh with the people outside. It may be fine in the summer; but, standing out in the cold on a January night can't be fun.

After that I walk past Delaneys, but it is dead, now that the rugby is finished, so I head towards Neptune II. The door is being guarded by three Americans, wearing blue T shirts with the letters SFG on them; I remember thinking how appropriate, as they were all Short Fat Guys.

Downstairs was busy, but not packed, and I managed to get a seat at the back of the bar. The band was behaving itself, and playing music you could actually dance to, and the girl was singing. I am sure they don't read this blog, but I didn't hear Freebird all the time I was there.

There were several very pretty girls there last night, including three from Laos. First time I have met any Laotians in Hong Kong.

It wasn't too late in the evening when one of the SFGs got on the stage and told everyone that everyone from the Enterprise had to go back to their ship. Everyone on the dance floor started chanting "recall, recall". A lot of the girls were looking totally bemused by all this.

Standing at a urinal I overheard two US Navy guys saying that there was, probably, about 500 people on duty aboard. That must have been a hell of a logistics job getting the rest of the crew back on board.

Neptune started to fill up about now, so after the second announcement for the crew of the Enterprise to go back to their ship I decided to leave. When I got outside, I found out that it had all kicked off in Joe Bananas and the HK police had cancelled the shore leave for the whole crew. Another perfect example of how the actions of a few mindless idiots can ruin a good thing for a whole lot of people.

I decided to see the damage at JBs. It was really quiet in there, but there was no obvious signs of any damage. I got chatting to a really cute little girl behind the bar, who said that watching the fighting was fun (but she was glad that she was behind the bar). Soon JBs started to fill up again, and I had had enough so I headed back to the arms of Morpheus.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Beans and bourbon. An explosive combination."

Well it looks like the tills in the bars in Wanchai will be ringing with cash this weekend, as there are three US Navy warships in port.
USS Lassen and Charlottsville each carry a compliment of about 400 sailors, but this is dwarfed by the USS Enterprise, that boasts acompliment of around 5,700!
That's right, more than the population of the Devon town of Dartmouth. So with, potentially, six and a half thousand American serviceman spending their hard earned cash in Hong Kong this weekend, I am sure there will be some happy business owners around.

Anyway I want to talk about emails. Today, I read about a wine merchant who sent an email to all his staff to go into a pub chain in Bristol and buy several bottles of wine, that they supply, on expenses. The plan was that the merchant would become the sole supplier of wine to that chain. He even sent a follow up email, saying people weren't buying enough, and that line managers should ensure their staff go out and buy some more wine. Unfortunately, someone in the company forwarded this email, to the bar chain! Hah! I bet they won't be a supplier for much longer. But, what a nice concept - I wish my boss would tell me to go out and buy some wine on expenses.

Of course this isn't the first case of emails ending up in the wrong hands: do you remember Richard Phillips? He was a Senior Associate at a big law firm in London, who demanded, in an email, 4 quid from his secretary, after she had spilled some ketchup on his trousers. Well of course the email became public knowledge, and Phillips resigned after his oh, so public humiliation.

Then there was Claire Swire, who sent a comment in an email to her lover about how "Yum" his cum was. He then circulated the email, and the circle got wider. It seems nine people in that firm were suspended and lost their bonuses that year. Claire Swire doesn't work for that company any more.

Then there was a Royal Naval officer, working at the Pentagon, who accidentally put an 11 year old school girl, from Devon on a mailing list. Very soon she was receiving emails about New Zealands defence strategy and communications problems on British warships. Poor girl, so many emails and so large her computer crashed.

And, finally, Rachel Fountain, who had intended to send an email, which featured a naked man and a bunny-girl, to a friend, sent it to the finance director at American Express in Brighton who shared the same name.

Praise the Lord for instant messaging!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

See you later, alligator

This hungry beast caught my eye when I visitted the crocodile farm outside of Bangkok, last month. I remember thinking that I wouldn't want to get in his way! So, I was amazed to read of a 16-year-old being dragged into a Central Florida lake by a large alligator used a tip he watched on the Discovery Channel to break free and likely save his life, according to FLORIDA TODAY news partner WKMG Local 6 News.

Corey Workman was in a remote area of the St. Johns River in Volusia County just before midnight Saturday, throwing rocks and sticks into the water.

Authorities said a 6- to 8-foot-long alligator jumped out of the water, grabbed Workman's left foot and dragged him into the lake.

"He struggled with the alligator but could not get free until he remembered something he saw on the Discovery Channel about what to do if you are getting attacked by an alligator," Local 6 reporter Deborah Garcia said.

Workman poked the alligator in the eye with his thumb as he was told to do on the television show.

His mom said the lesson of poking at the alligator's eye saved her son's life, Garcia said.

"If he was ever bitten by a shark, he (learned) to put his hand in its gills and if he was ever attacked by a gator, to take his thumb and poke his thumb all the way in his eye and the gator released him," mother Elisa Badger said. "Thank God he was able to maintain his composure and not panic. He knew exactly what to do."

This raises a few questions:-
1) aren't there better things to do just before midnight on Saturdays nights in Volusia County, Florida, than throw sticks and rocks in the water?
2) Why not stick your thumbs in a sharks eye as well? It seems to be an effective way of getting out of any animals grasp.
3) Who says TV programmes are not showing us anything useful any more? I will now watch the Discovery Channel to try and find out what to do if I am being chased by female panda on heat.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A pox on this gout! or a gout on this pox!

Since most of the readers of this blog come from Hong Kong, most of you will know its hot. Not the kind of hot you get in England where the papers all have headlines like "Phew, what a scorcher" accompanied by photographs of pretty girls in bikinis and men with knotted handkerchiefs sitting in deckchairs. And, its not the kind of hot that millions of Brits hope for when they jet off on their summer holidays, but, moan about when it happens in their own Perfidious Albion. No, this is the hot that the Government tells us not to work too hard in, and make it permissable for us to wear hats and loose clothing ( I can't see my boss being too happy if I turned up for work in a pith helmet and a loin cloth, saying I was following advice on the Internet).

This hot weather has also aggravated my gout. Now, I don't follow this, its meant to be the cold that accelerates chrystallisation, but hey-ho, I am not a doctor. It seems the causes of gout are legion, but one of them struck me - not enough sex! Yes, according to a reliable source, in fertile men, not getting enough can bring on gout. So, it seems Benjamin Franklin was wrong when he wrote "Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, and cloth, or the Gout will seize you and plague you both,".

Looks like its time to get Peanut back to Hong Kong!

Friday, July 21, 2006


It seems that the popularity ratings of this blog increase when I write about Peanut, and I haven’t written about her for a while, despite the pleas of a certain fan. I feel like a script writer who has written a favourite character out of a soap opera.

The truth of the matter is that Peanut went back to Thailand a couple of weeks ago (no she is not buried under the patio or anything morbid like that). She had planned, last time, to only come for a few weeks, as in July it was the tenth anniversary of the death of her Grandmother, and a big family get together had been arranged. The plan to return home was brought ahead when Peanut’s mother decided to go live in the local temple for a few days over Vassa (Thai Buddhist holiday).

So, basically, she came here to shop till she dropped, which she did with great aplomb – she was like a whirling dervish in Times Square, spending my money. We had some great laughs together, and the time went altogether too quickly.

On the other hand, there were some problems, and one of those is her intolerance to whiskey! When we go out she doesn’t like to drink too much beer, as it makes her want to pee. She does like wine, but not all wine, so if she goes to a bar she doesn’t know if she will like the wine she will drink. She is happy enough, sometimes to drink tea, and fair play to those bars that cater for this. She does like whiskey though! Problem here though is that in Hong Kong they sell proper brands, not like the ethanol based ones sold in Phuket, or the Sansong she drinks at home; and good quality whiskey makes her very insecure and aggressive.

One night whilst we were out, she accused me of wanting to sleep with one of her friends (not true), and then started shouting and screaming at me.

I like having her around, but, life is much simpler when she’s not. I have spoken to her several times, since she has gone home, but there are no fixed plans for her to come back to Hong Kong, just yet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I was reading today how someone was apparently dismissed for gross misconduct for writing about their work in their blog. No they weren’t discussing trade secrets or discussing things that is privileged information; although they did discuss such things as:-
describing the office as having a framed portrait of the Queen on the wall,
"Cadbury's chocolate, Tetley tea, beers after work",
an office Christmas party where someone breaks the "unwritten rule" of pulling his cracker before the senior partner and his wife have pulled theirs, and,
of accidentally showing her cleavage while helping to set up a video conference meeting.

Nothing that is going to send the share price plummeting, but apparently she has committed gross misconduct and was given the sack. Of course we only have her word for it that this is the true cause of her being fired, her ex-employers are not commenting!
She does claim that she worked on her blog during office hours, and took some time off to meet her boyfriend when she had told her employers she had nanny problems ( I don’t know if she admitted this in her blog).

This is not the first person to have been sacked for their blog: Heather Armstrong was sacked in 2002 for writing about her colleagues and work in her blog – she coined the phrase ‘dooced’ after her website Also, flight attendant Ellen Simonetti was fired, she said, for ‘a misuse of uniform’. She had posted on her blog, pictures of herself, in her uniform, on an empty plane.

This all may be fine and well. If your company has a strict policy of not discussing work outside of the work place, and they are enforcing this, great! My employer will take disciplinary action against an employee whose conduct affects the reputation or business interests of my company.

Now I am not a lawyer, but if from my blog you can tell that I work for Acme Pipe Flanges Welders Ltd., and in my blog I mentioned that in my free time I attended a demonstration on employment rights for riveters, could they sack me?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ferry me across the water

This afternoon took me to the Mainland: Shekou, to be precise. I enjoy visitting Shekou every now and again, its got some nice restaurants and drinking spots, and its not too dear. This afternoon I wasn't going to be there long - just a couple of hours in a meeting. Get the 1:15pm ferry from under the office and the 4.30 back from Shekou.

On the way back we came a really strange route. Normally we come under the western part of the Tsing Ma Bridge, then head directly to Green Island, and along the North coast of Hong Kong Island into the Macau Ferry Terminal. Not today, though: once we were clear of Kap Shui Mun, we went toward Stonecutters Island and then across the harbour tothe ferry terminal.

This route affords some great views of the island, but I am sure it was slower, and gave us a lot more close quarters situations.

I got home in one piece, so I am not to concerned.

Its a pretty crummy photo, I know, but what do you expect from a mobile phone looking through a dirty window on a moving, vibrating boat?

Monday, July 17, 2006

When it rains, it really pours....

So where were you when they suddenly issued the black rain warning on Saturday night? Were you one of the many late-night revelers stranded in the bars of Lan Kwai Fong?

Me I was safe at home, but I am glad it rained. You see I had gone out earlier to watch the Wallabies take apart the Springboks in the Tri-nations rugby game, and then I took in the first set of a band called something like 9th State, then I decided to go home early; where I fell asleep on my sofa.

So that is why I am glad I was woken up by the thunder and lightening at 2am, so I could crawl into bed.

Anyway, I enjoyed the band, whose repertoire appealled to the punters at Carnegies, and they even played some songs from this century!

Anyway back to the rain. It seems the super dooper new flood alert system in Sheung Wan wasn't put into operation on Sunday, because the conditions did not match the criteria which would have sent out the flood watch message. Hmm, I guess, that when the water level is knee deep then those criteria should be matched. But then what do I know, I am not a drainage engineer!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

For a nosey parker its an interesting job - but is it safe?

Fifty-two percent of all people who take their own lives in Hong Kong do so by jumping; which, when you consider how many tall buildings there are here, is not so surprising.

So, yesterday afternoon, whilst gazing out of my office window I spotted someone climbing out of a 22nd floor window of the Alliance Building, you can imagine what I expected to follow.

I was greatly relieved when instead of jumping he spent the next ten minutes perched on the window ledge, cleaning the outside of the office windows.

Should the worst happened and he had fallen he wouldn’t have hit the pavement, but landed on a flat roof eighteen floors below.

There seems to be a different perception to personal safety here, than in the West, but, I still can’t believe what that guy did.

I did get a picture with my mobile phone but it didn’t come out at all clearly.

"Now its a job that just suits me,
A window cleaner you would be,
If you can see what I can see,
When I'm cleanin' windows"

George Formby, 1936

I bet, given the choice he would have used Apple Mac, as well.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rather than writing this blog, the 20 minutes could be better spent.....

Sometimes I really struggle to complete blog entries. I often come up with excuses of how I could better spend the time:-

1)The 20 minutes would be better spent doing “my job” and enabling me to maximize shareholder value.
This is a very noble sentiment. However, improving my communication skills, makes me a better employee, which helps ensure long term shareholder value. I am sure my company builds in an allowance for dips in performance, so I needn’t be concerned on this issue.
2)I could be catching up on the latest developments from that stack of journals that I have built up on the side of my desk.
Regular readers of Pipe Flange Welders monthly can attest that these are fast moving areas. Since I didn’t read the journal when it first arrived, chances are technology has moved on and my efforts will be wasted. Might as well throw them away and write today’s blog instead.
3)I could be chatting with the girls in Starbucks how their coffee could be improved.
Unfortunately, Bonny and co. don’t have access to the people best able to make any improvements; so I would be better off giving my views on my Blog, which may not be read by Jim Donald, but may be read by someone who knows him. The added advantage is I won’t have to listen about how the treatment of Eddie’s haemorrhoids is coming along.
4)I could attempt to solve one of those tricky outstanding mathematical problems like what is the mechanism responsible for breaking the electroweak gauge symmetry, giving mass to the W and Z? Is it the simple Higgs mechanism of the Standard Model?
Then again this is a tricky one, especially as I struggle to do simple addition without a calculator and no one likes feeling stupid. To get a better feeling of accomplishment I had better write my blog instead, you don't need a diploma and 12 years advanced mathematical reasoning experience to tell everyone what I think.
5)I could sit at my desk doodling on a piece of paper for twenty minutes.
Whilst I am sure that Google is finding a way of tracking what people put in their waste paper bins and getting them analysed by the New Hampshire Psychographic Institute, I guess it’s a lot easier for people to find out what my views and opinions are if I put them on the worldwide web.
6)I made a New Year's Resolution to do more exercise. Instead of completing my blog, I could go out and join a gym.
Again another noble sentiment but "get real". It's already July and I haven't done anything about it. Two-finger typing over a 20 minute period completing my Blog will actually burn up 4 calories. Not much I know, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
7)If I was a master in the art of Tai Jindo I could actually re-group my energies by sleeping undetected at your desk
Unfortunately mastering Tai Jindo takes years of training. Most people fail to reach the "golden plateau" level and get found out by snoring or knocking over their coffee when their head slumps to the desk. (For the record, I was just examining my keyboard very closely and yes I can do that with my eyes shut). Anyway completing my blog can be equally relaxing and allow your Chi to regenerate before you take on the rest of the day.
8)I could spend some time chatting to Shirley in reception about how unreasonable the company is.
Get real, she's never going to go on a date with me. Especially if I waste 20 minutes of her time with my moaning. To avoid another rejection; I will take the time to write my blog instead.
9) I haven't got time right now, I'll make an entry tomorrow. Honest.
Before than I could get headhunted by Donald Trump or Alan Sugar, I could be struck by lightning; I could gain fame and fortune by being on reality TV. But in all reality, I could achieve more with my blog, so I might as well keep it up to date.

Monday, July 10, 2006

escalator safety ambassadors

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the symbol of the MTR, here in Hong Kong, resembles a squashed cat? Legs splayed out, blood on the ground. But, I digress.

Last night, as usual, on my way home I venture into the bowels of the MTR station under my office, and last night I happened to spy a gang of Escalator Safety Ambassadors, wearing yellow tops and peaked caps, guarding the entrances to various flights of escalators.

Initially I thought this was a wonderful idea, people to help older citizens heavily laden with shopping bags get down to their train. But that wasn't the plan; oh no, these members of the Junior Anti-sex League were armed with loud hailers, and were shouting hate messages to anyone who failed to stand on the right and hold the hand rail.

So, which senior member of Thinkpol devised this wonderful scheme, and, perhaps, more importantly what is the justification behind it. Just how many people are hurt on escalators each year to give a reason for these ambassadors' existence, let alone kitting them out in nice pastel colours, so they don't resemble the quasi-military force they behave like? I am sure there are much better things these people could be doing.

All funked up

First of all, I would like to say that, on the whole, I like Neptune II. The staff there are efficient, friendly and acknowledge you.
I like the atmosphere, there. OK, on ocassions you will get a couple of drunken prats who try and ruin the good ambience, but, generally, the mood there is a good one.

The band is not the best one in Hong Kong, but up to recently, they fitted the bill there nicely. The last couple of times I have been there they have been playing different sets, and on Saturday, it was really different.
Their first set wasn't too bad, mainly older songs, but a couple that were more up to date; at least they were songs you could dance to. The girl singer only sung once, a Natalie Cole number. They came back for their second set, and it was a show case to show how good their lead guitarist was.
I am sorry, but as much as I like the song "Freebird", its not really music for a disco. This extended version of screeching guitar riffs just served to make me bored, Peanut wasn't happy as she wanted to dance, so we left.
It seemed that we weren't the only ones. The girl singer looked pretty pissed off as well.
Like I said at the start, I do like the place, but I just wish they would sort the band out.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tacky ashtrays

On Friday night we were in this bar in LKF; and Matthew, the Manager, presents us with two ashtrays, shaped like crash helmets. You know the sort of thing that has a built in fan to suck the smoke out and keep the air fresh.

Peanut was really happy with this: "I give one to YakYak Lady, she always comes round my room and spill ash everywhere. All my friends thing I start smoking again". YakYak Lady is one of her friends, who will come and sit down next to you, when you want to be on your own and start chattering on about nothing for a couple of hours. At the right timke she is really pleasant, but at other times she can be a right royal pain in the ar5e.

We had a good time that evening and about midnight Peanut wants to go home, so we get a taxi, and about halfway back I ask Peanut whether she had the ashtrays. Big mistake!

"ARGGHHH. I forget! Quick! Go back!" she screams. The poor taxi driver nearly has a heart attack and doesn't know what to do.

I calm her down and we head home. I just hope someone has put those ashtrays somewhere safe!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Having a laugh...

Every week I go for my Mandarin lesson on a Thursday, after work. I have only had five lessons, so don't expect to have a conversation with me, yet.

The people at the place I go to are very polite, and always offer me a drink when I go in; on the third lesson I went there, I asked for "pijiu", which caused a great deal of consternation, because they didn't have any beer. I explained that I was joking, and only showing off my newly learned vocabulary, and that a cup of cold water would be very pleasant indeed.

The following week, and Peanut was back in town, and I explained to her that I would be in late, as I had to go for a Chinese lesson. When I arrived at the lesson my teacher handed me a chilled can of Heineken, and said they had bought it for me specially. I was surprised and happy, but it didn't help with my concentration during the lesson. Of course as soon as I got home and Peanut smelled my breath, it was: "You drink beer, you not go Chinese lesson!". I explained the situation to her, but I could see she still had doubts.

This weeks Chinese lesson, I drank tea, and when I got home Peanut couldn't smell the beer so she accuses me of seeing a "mia noi"! So I told her where I had been, I could still see some doubt in her eyes; she just laughs when I try and speak Chinese (mind you she laughs even louder when I try and speak Thai!)

Say to her "nihao", and she will tell you she is not a dog, and she laughs and says I am "ting tong".

Oh well its Friday today, and she wants to go dancing tonight - watching me dance make her laugh even more. There has got to be something in daddy-dancing, after all!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

No Me Moleste Mosquito

As a follow up to the sleeping in the park incident, Peanut has told me that she was badly bitten by mosquitos, whilst sitting in the park, and she, now "itches like a monkey". She took great pleasure in showing me all her bites, about thirty in all.

I have never had this problem in HK Park, but I do remember reading somewhere that your diet has a lot to do with whether mosquitos will bite you or not. So what had Peanut eaten the previous day? Well she cooked us a very nice crab meat yellow curry, very tasty it was too.
So now we have our answer, the mosquitos in Hong Kong Park like people who have eaten Thai food. Watch out.

Peanut was, also, worried that she might catch malaria, from these bites. I reassured her that it was unlikely she would get malaria, but she mght end up with dengue fever or encephylitis or something - she was not too impressed with me for my caring attitude!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

You can't do that!

No dogs. No skateboarding. No skatebiking. No bird feeding. No cycling. No hawking. No damage of plants. No releasing of fish and terrapin into the lake.

These are the rules on the signs at the entrance to Hong Kong Park, and they all seem fairly reasonable.
Digging abit deeper, I have found out that you are not allowed to construct or excavate any grave or deposit any human body in any grave so constructed or excavated, cause a public disturbance, behave in an offensive or indecent manner or be otherwise than properly clothed, to the annoyance of any other person operate or play, or make any sounds on, any musical or other instrument, including any gramophone or radio apparatus, or sing any song or shout or beg or gather alms or, for the purpose of gathering alms, expose or exhibit any sores, wounds or bodily ailments or deformity.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon Peanut goes down to the park and sits on a bench reading her book. After a while she becomes tired and starts dozing. She is shocked awake by some officious little jobsworth shouting at her "Hey, you cannot sleep here!"

OK, if she was a vagrant and she was setting up camp, I could understand it, but having a doze in the sunshine on a park bench? That's bang out of order!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Damned strange weekend

It has been a bit of a strange weekend, and emotions have been running a bit high in the apartment. Peanut has been throwing a few tantrums - she has the memory of an elephant and will throw some obscure thing you have said or done back at you at some time several months later. And to be fair, I have been getting snotty with her in retaliation - not a very clever thing to do.

Hell, I suppose its no different from being in a relationship with someone from your own culture :)

All in all, though, we have enjoyed ourselves, and I am sure we will see it through this bumpy ride.