@BaronSamedi Cool man. What's your stance on Akira Ioane?
Best posts made by Kruse
RE: Sunwolves v Blues
@rotated I don't think there's anything sinister at all. He was sick last week (which if you look at his rugby and travel schedule the past two months it's not hard to see why).
I don't see any benefit at all in flying him to Japan this week. Just let him R&R. Player welfare of your young stars is important.
You don't see anything sinister in a Lions fan being in his kitchen, and then shortly after - a mysterious illness?
So - 2019 London - Beijing
A group "expedition" - organised by a company called GlobeBusters. For the last decade or so, every 2nd year they do a London-Beijing trip, and every other year - Trans-Americas (Alaska-Patagonia).
I would recommend them - they did a great job of organising, support, etc. One thing to note - it was rather pricey, and that would mostly be down to using very high-quality hotels (where possible)... my ideal would have been a cheaper trip, with cheaper hotels, and maybe a nice 4-star once every week or two, whenever stopping for 2 nights - to get a good break/laundry-done.
Started off from London's Ace Cafe with 20 bikes (mostly BMW GS, 3 Triumphs, 1 Ducati, 1 Honda CB500) and 2 support vehicles - a pimped-out Hilux, and a Mercedes van big enough to take a bike (or two at a pinch). The group was larger than I'd expected/hoped... and it did slow things down at borders or when choices of petrol stations was... limited.
But - it gradually shrank over time...
2 bikes had opted to only go as far as Almaty, another 2 only as far as Lhasa, and 1 guy came off with about 10 days to go - breaking half-a-dozen ribs, mangling his front-forks into a shape they definitely shouldn't be, and choosing to fly back to the UK rather than "be a tourist" by riding in either support vehicle or catching a train to Beijing.
Ace Cafe at each end gave us a decent send-off/welcome.... London shouted us fish'n'chips the night before departure, and then breakfast the next day - with speeches and such bollocks
Beijing welcomed us with bottles of cheap bubbly to spray all over the place, sweet cold beers, a decent spread, all sorts of "merch"... and speeches and such bollocks
From London to Turkey is a vague memory, but...
- UK, France, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-and-Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Greece
- Most of it was just getting the miles under the belt, trying to get out of Western Europe ASAP... quite well planned though, to keep the interest up... typically being a couple-hundred miles of motorway, and then an hour or so of some sweet twisties or country-roads, or something else a little more interesting - before reaching the hotel. So each evening, the recent/residual memory was the "fun bit"
- 3 nights in Istanbul - the first time we'd stopped for more than a single night. I'd never been before, so ticked off the major touristy things
- Safranbolu - nice enough old town, with an absolutely shite museum
- Cappadocia, Mount Nemrut & Ani
- Tbilisi - rather cool city, very unexpected. Very "bohemian", or "hip", or something... without (much) wankiness that typically comes with those words. Reminded me of a less self-aware Melbourne. Plenty of the old-world stuff (ancient statues, cobblestone streets, bathhouses), and then craft-beer pubs, weird-modern architecture, wine-bars.
Oh - and look up the 1907 Tiflis Bank Robbery
- Azerbaijan - the sign from Georgia announcing that you're approaching the Azerbaijan border also proclaims at the bottom "Good Luck!". An excellent little dig at one's neighbour
- Caspian Sea - we caught the "ferry" from Baku to Turkmenbashi - a 13 hour crossing
- Turkmenistan - interesting. Probably most people's choice as "least favourite country of the trip" - but it would be a contender for my Top-3... solely as it was interesting. This is a country where it's essentially still a totalitarian rule... by a nutter.
Roads - mostly pretty shit, extended periods where they seemed to have laid black glass instead of tarmac. Not cool in the rain - we had one GS go down at reasonably high speed, no major damage to rider or bike
- Uzbekistan - stopped at several classic Silk Road towns - Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand
- Tajikistan - Probably my favourite country...
The Tunnel of DEATH! - which was an interesting experience, but not one I'd want on my daily commute
The adherence to Islam was very much waning this far east, and some of the ladies certainly had that "adultery-isn't-really-that-bad-of-a-sin" sparkle in their eyes
The (bike) riding once we hit the Wakhan Valley/Pamir Highway... awesome. Riding along the Afghanistan border, unmaintained dirt roads along hill-sides, following rivers... so much fun... videos to come
- Kyrgyzstan - the first peek at high-altitude passes, and fermented horse-milk. Some reasonably fun rural dirt roads, absolutely crazy drivers, and corrupt traffic-police armed with speed-radar-guns.
- Kazakhstan - pretty much just a few days in Almaty, resting
- Border Crossing, at high altitude - a full day to just get physically across the border. Then 2 days stuck in Kashgar, getting the bikes' paperwork sorted.
- Xinjiang province - oppressive. Police checkpoints everywhere, a very very police-state feel about the whole place. I probably shouldn't write too much about it, sitting here in a Beijing hotel not using VPN, but... look it up. Xinjiang, and the "Uighur problem".
- Tibet - the story goes that Tibet is now essentially "pacified" - and the guy that managed that, has been moved on to Xinjiang.
There were certainly far less police checkpoints, etc - but still some
But anyway - Tibet... awesome. Altitude, obviously. Snow-riding - not fun, when I'd swapped the visor out for goggles during the previous dirt road sections.
Mount Everest - I've already posted about that... just awesome. The mountain itself - just being there - literally brought tears to several bikers' eyes. And the road to get up to Base Camp... motorcycle heaven. So many switchbacks... and chinese road rules - so safe overtaking is very much optional.
And then - the Tibet-Sichuan highway - the G318 - some sections, contenders as being even better than the Everest Base Camp road. On a bike, dodging chinese fuckknuckles in Land-Cruiser-Prados - just great fun.
- Sichuan - some decent scenery, but the roads were already becoming rather "tame" compared to the previous month or two... so just ticking off tourist boxes on the way up to Beijing... Chengdu - pandas, check.
- Shaanxi - Xi'an - great city, with a couple of days off to rest/relax/drink, and more of the touristy stuff... Terracotta Warriors - I'd seen about 15 years ago - not a single bit of more excavation has been done since then, but there are shiny new restaurants/souvenir-shop complexes.
- Shanxi - at this point, we're just trying to get to Beijing, on roads absolutely rammed full of the infamous "red trucks" - what are presumably state-owned trucks, shipping coal from mines to power stations. Hundreds of them... thousands. I've got a video where I passed about 200 of them all queued up. So - lots of trucks, lots of coal-dust... doesn't make for traditionally enjoyable riding. Does, however, make for some very inventive interpretation of road rules at times... I was swerving up onto pavement to get around trucks, nipping back from the wrong side of the road into the middle of a police checkpoint, taking shortcuts through building sites, rice-fields, whatever.
- And finally Beijing - made it, 16,500 miles, I think I remember my GPS unit claimed.
Beers were had.
RE: Coronavirus - Overall
Good article. Also some Ferners caught playing away! https://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2021/02/do-lockdowns-work.html?m=1
The problem with balanced, researched, and sources-cited articles like this... the "lock down just doesn't work" part of the public simply doesn't read them.
They want catchy memes, with no thought required to re-inforce the theories that they WANT to be true.
The hitler meme, with continuous ranting about "you've all been duped by CCP science, and ignored Western Science which always knew lockdowns didn't work, you sheeple" - with zero facts or basis - will always trump a full article describing how "Western Science does in fact support lockdowns, and always has - because... not just common sense, but also these facts, and this recorded data, and this lot, and this. Oh - and look, here's a handful of pretty graphs for those you are 'visual learners'. And, yes, there are some obvious downsides to them, so it's always going to be a balancing act."
You haven't used science to back up the efficacy or lack of collateral damage of a year of lockdowns. All you've done is deride the people that don't agree with you. You even claim to know what people are thinking and what they want.
Perhaps people believe there are different more nuanced strategies. Perhaps people believe that, if given a coherent and consistent message that the people don't need government fines to observe social distancing and behaviours that lead to less transmission.
Perhaps people are wanting their doubts discussed on accessible media that comprehensively addresses and dispels the 30,000 health experts that made up the Barrington Agreement. Perhaps the people wonder why pandemic strategies and WHO pandemic guidelines of 2019 were immediately disregarded.
Perhaps people want to see a cost benefit analysis of 2020 strategies.
Perhaps people are concerned that the government interference in their lives is an over reach for a "natural" event that has a demonstrable effect on a very particular segment of society. The same governments that many believe aren't equipped with a history of caring about you more than your family friends and community. The same members of governments that break lockdown restrictions.
I can understand frustration at experts ( not you) having to placate questioning sceptics, but to dismiss scientific enquiry as simply the ranting of inferior people is the least productive aspect of the common goal - to rid society of covid.
The only thing worse than lockdowns is surely silencing questions about lockdown. The efficacy of lockdowns requires data and discussion and evidence. If it's the best strategy, and I hope it is, then it will be demonstrably provable and explained. And for that we'll need facts, recorded data and yes, pretty graphs.
What's wrong with questioning a phenomenon that no one yet has all the answers for?
No - I'm not using science to back up anything. I'm only deriding people who use zero science in their arguments, and applauding the people that do cite references/sources/science in theirs... and perhaps highlighting a theory that one group of people tends to the first approach.
And - I also agree that there are certainly "more nuanced strategies" - in fact, I pointed out, as did the article cited by @pakman - that for the whole "to lockdown, or not to lockdown, that is the question" debate - the more scientific articles typically DO reference the obvious downsides of lockdowns... the side-effects, etc... just like scientific analysis typically does.
The whole "lockdowns don't work, our governments are fooling us" side of the argument... typically does not. Rather, as my post was mostly pointing out, they used to be pseudo-scientists producing dodgy youtube videos, and more recently - just cut-to-the-chase hysterical memes.
Generally - the "efficacy of lockdown" HAS had discussion, HAS had plenty of data and evidence, and it HAS been demonstrably proven and explained.
AND - has down-sides which have plenty of data, plenty of evidence, but is still accumulating, as the economic effects, in particular, are probably going to have a several-year lead-time.
Feel free to question a "phenomenon", but I haven't seen any questioning.
And one thing I fear - the more hysterical and nonsensical the anti-lockdown brigade comes across now... when it's been proven, and is obvious, that they are nutters... the less likely it is that anybody will be taken seriously when real and necessary questions are raised concerning governmental or societal movements in the future.
Anyway -that's my last word... I'd promised myself I wouldn't even respond to this thread any more, thinking of Mark Twain's quote regarding onlookers... but your response was on the surface fairly well-thought out, and I've been drinking, so figured it deserved one more response.
Also - another point I've already raised - logic, science, and all the things which typically back those lovely things up - aren't going to change the mind of people who obviously WANT a thing to be true.
When you watch one side of a debate constantly twisting and changing it's front-of-attack/defense... you know you're pretty much debating religion with a catholic.
So... 10,000 miles under the belt, with a couple of days off in Lhasa.
I've been writing near-daily updates on my own website/blog if anybody's interested, but generally get in each night too tired to really do it justice.
But - figured I'd update the Fern on one of the very recent highlights.
HolyFuckBalls - how awesome.
The road up to the Tibet Base Camp - absolutely amazing. I don't know how many switchbacks there were - one person cited 200, another mentioned 348 - and I genuinely don't know if these are exaggerations or not. I've never done Stelvio Pass, which is apparently considered one of the best motorcycle roads in the world... but a few others in the group have. And the general consensus was... Stelvio Pass has absolutely nothing on this road.
Personal accomplishment - managed to scrape a foot-peg for the first time ever, and it was with knobbly tyres.
And then - at the end, a big magnificent bastard of a mountain.
The very first viewpoint, where we stopped for our first long-range view of Everest... it was a little weird... the road is now completely tarmac, but there was still somehow enough dust around to get in a few eyes, my own included.
And then - when we got up to Base Camp (the 'tourist' one, at Rongbuk Monastery - not the actual climbers base camp) - with Everest framed by the valley... cool as fuck. Just sat there for a couple of hours soaking the magnificent bastard in.
A portion of the road down the north side of the pass on the way to Rongbuk...
Representing Aotearoa with the black woollen singlet, Red Bands, etc...
RE: Life changes
What's this tweetering all about
@Virgil got some wet pussy, and broke his TV. Now he's agreed to do some insurance fraud.
Just, you know, standard Fernin'.
RE: RWC: England v New Zealand (SF1)
I was so simple in my wanting cathartic release.
I walked home from the stadium through deserted dodgy areas, no mugging.
I went to a standing bar, got thoroughly re-drunk, yelling “fuck” at the ceiling once in a while. Much to the amusement of locals.
Then I went down to the riverside with a couple of drinks and cigarettes, found a gang of teenagers hanging out causing trouble. Sat down close to them, and when I got eye contact... gestured to the litter-mess they'd caused. They cleaned their shit up, and left.
What do I need to do to get beaten up in this country? I just want my body to feel like my mind does.
Latest posts made by Kruse
RE: World Test Championship
Biggest bank account wins?
I reckon the Lords' Groundsman might be ordering some super-yacht brochures.
Yeah. Will be getting the blast heaters on the pitch and putting a permanent roof over the block.
Edit: Hold that though. It's started https://www.news18.com/cricketnext/news/icc-world-test-championship-final-to-be-moved-out-of-lords-report-3506237.html
Shit, that guy's gotta be gutted.
Every other groundsman in the country... waiting with baited breath... where's the gravy train roulette wheel going to land?
(Couldn't think of any more metaphors to mix in there)
RE: Royal drama
I have no love for Meghan at all, I think she is extremely calculating and poor Haz was sweet and dumb and ripe for the picking. However, it is laughable that the press and the Palace keep going for her while instructing Prince Andrew to just step back a wee bit until the nasty matters blow over.
I don't blame Harry for bailing on that family, fuck be involved with all of that. In fact I'd say Meghan was a nice ticket out for him.
He's on a hiding to nothing really. And coloured by what happened to his mum, you can see why he would want out
One or the other, maybe both.
RE: What are you listening to, right now................
Been listening to this lot for a couple of years now, quite enjoy them, think I first saw/heard them on Munford and sons american rail tour?
Yeah - they're good. Vibes of The Polyphonic Spree, but a bit more "accessible"/mainstream.
Saw them live in London - pretty fun show.
RE: TV Serieseseses
So, um, yeah, I know it's a favourite on the Fern, with many singing it's praises, after all that's the main reason I decided to watch it. But, it's only ok, and it's actually stupid in parts. Note, I'm only referring to S1 as that's as far as I've gone so far.
Maybe my expectations were just too high due to the hype around this show?
And actually on Cobra Kai... it's fucking dumb, but well done, and fun.
RE: TV Serieseseses
@mn5 it was a bit silly, but...
Well, fuck... I was reading the chat on Cobra Kai, assumed that this post was about that, opened the spoiler... thought “holy shit, that's an angle I never saw... wait, which one was Rob?”
Then, figured it out, and can only hope I drink enough tonight to erase that spoiler from my feeble brittle mind/memory.
RE: F off with the damn PC Brigade
I am angry that is is not in the grumpy old man thread, if anything screams angry, it has to be a thread called "F off with PC Brigade".
that is all
Ban him, burn him, remove his books from libraries.
RE: Awesome stuff you see on the internet
@nevorian oh god i loooove eeepopotamoose
When I finally get access to the tiktok back-end... that's the one video I'm going to leave in existence as I burn the rest of it to the ground.