Thursday, February 21, 2008

New, innovative, old technology

Someone left a comment on my other blog, it goes like this:- "Fuel is the adrenaline of any car, truck or engine. Thus, it is every vehicle owner's wish to enhance the fuel of their car and save more of it as well. With this in mind, the most innovative fuel-saving tool in the automotive industry was conceptualized and created: the Tornado Fuel saver. An automotive air channeling tool that creates a swirling air motion, the Tornado Fuel Saver allows the air to move in a faster and more efficient way by whirling air around corners and bends. Hence, more fuel is saved."

Sounds like a turbo-charger to me.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monsieur Impoli

Of course I have heard the stereotype of the rude French, and I have dismissed it. There are rude and polite people in every nation, and most of the French people I have met are far from rude, maybe a little distant to start with, but certainly not rude.
In a recent remake of the Mr Men series, for British TV, Mr. Rude was given a french accent. This was not intended to cause offence, and was meant to be light hearted and tongue in cheek. Unfortunately, it got blown out of all proportions when a French Embassy official decided to comment that a farting cartoon character with a Gallic accent called Mr. Rude will not improve relations with Britain. How petty, its a kids' TV series - get a life.
Today I met a rude Frenchman; I was outside our office block, having a cigarette, when I was approached by a Frenchman demanding to know if the building was numbber one one eight. So I told him that it was number 168. Then he demanded to know where 118 was. I asked him "Do i look like a postman? How should I know? Try over there" pointing towards Central. He then demands to know if its far, so I said that not only wasn't I a postman, i wasn't a guide either and that I had no idea how far it was - seems strange he just stormed off - not a please or a thank you. Yes i may have been rude, but he started it.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much

Enjoying my stroll along Stanley Street, on the way from work, yesterday, I noticed in the window of Ultimate PC & Mac gallery large posters stating that they had nothing to do with the Edison Chen scandal, and that it was another shop with the same address. Of course it was eLite Media, next door. Though, I got to thinking having two large posters in the shop window, what does it achieve? Do they really think that if EC had bought his computer into their shop and they had found the photos that they wouldn't have done something similar?
Ultimate is a great shop, and I have bought from them before, but now, with their "holier than our next door neighbour" attitiude, I am thinking twice about going there. I would probably go to eLite, on the same premise that the cleanest restaurant is the one that was recently closed down by the health authorities and allowed to re-open.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

When I was studying English Literature at school, I was forced to read Alan Sillitoe's short story. It's not really about running, but more a socialist moral fable.
Still, the title is common enough to make people think of long distance runners as solitary, bona-fide introverts, obsessive individuals who don't mind pain. This is contrasted by the fact that nearly 43,000 people took part in the Hong Kong long distance races, yesterday. It seems to me that long distance running is quite a social affair.
Respect though to one of my colleagues, Ken, who despite being in his seventh decade, took part in the ten kilometre race, and finished withing fifteen minutes of the winning time. Even more respect to the fact the race started at twenty past five in the morning, and after the race, he went off sailing. Of course I only have his word that he took part as he lost his timing chip, so he won't be receiving a certificate. But knowing Ken, he took part - he's too honest to lie about it. Me? I couldn't even get up that early, let alone run in a race at that time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Leica Mate

As you may be aware, I am a bit of a shutterbug. I have acquired a frightening amount of camera gear, since I have arrived in Hong Kong. Most weekends will find me weighed down with a camera bag, tripod and all sorts somewhere in Hong Kong taking photos.
Last week I acquired a new digital camera, the Leica M8. It's a rangefinder camera, which is quite different from the SLRs I normally use. One of its advantages is its size; not only is the camera smaller, but the lenses are too.
Yesterday, I went around Central taking pictures. Its a great camera, not easy to use. Focussing is a pain in low light situations, but overall I was impressed. There are situations where the SLR will beat it hands down, but it definitely has a place in my armoury.
During my walk I noticed that the old Central Police Station was open to the public, as it was hosting an exhibition, so I took a look. The building, especially the jail, was very interesting. It was a little bit difficult to get a true feeling of how the place was, as the exhibits tended to dominate everything. Some of the exhibits were very interesting. Its a sort of cross between an architecture/design exhibition and a protest against modern decay in Hong Kong and how to preserve Hong Kong's heritage.
There were several people there with large camera bags and tripods, and me walking around with my camera which fits into a baggy pocket on my jacket.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Like a bird rising from the ashes, I have decided to resurrect this blog. I bumped into Spike last night in Lan Kwai Fong, which sort of reminded me that I had neglected this and my other blog. Some of the reasons for this is due to being busy, being distracted by my photography, and really living a pretty dull life. And I don't want to bore you to death.
So what has been happening in my life since October?
I have joined a gym, well California Fitness on Wellington Street. I go there three or four times a week for some cardio, weights and kick-boxing. I am really enjoying the kick-boxing. The last time I did any pugilism was at school, when normally I ended up with a bloody nose. Although the idea of this is to get me fit, and I am not supposed to land a punch on my instructor, he does sometimes get in the way of my fist. Its got to the stage where I think he is running scared of me! He cancelled yesterday's lesson on the flimsy excuse of having to go to the doctor.
The goings on of a minor Hong Kong celebrity are only there to distract the public from much more frightening news. There is a virus spreading through Hong Kong like wildfire. I know several people who have had it, or whose children have got it. No one seems to know where it has come from and it seems unstoppable. Now, I am not saying that SARS is making a comeback or anything horrific like that, but if I know several people who have had it then there must be a lot more out there suffering from diarrhea and fever. Why doesn't our government tell us?