Archive for November, 2005

wrapped up in books

I have a problem. Whenever I walk into a book shop I find it very hard not to walk out with a new book in my hands.

A couple of months ago I made up a set of rules which I have to follow if I want to buy a new book. Any body with an uncontrollable book buying problem can use these rules and any refinements to the rules or new rule suggestions are welcome.

Rule no.1: You may not buy a new book if You’re currently in the middle of reading another book.*

Rule no.2: You may only buy a book if it is the next book you are going to read.

Rule no.3: Whenever you pick up a book with a price tag on it, think about rules 1 and 2 and if they apply put down the book immediately.

Rule no.4: Do not enter a book shop if it could possibly lead to a violation of rules 1 and 2.**

Needless to say, sometimes these rules serve more as guidelines than strict laws. So Saturday I found myself in the local Exclusive Books Store, and I saw a book that my friend Daan told me about, The Google Story by David Vise. I picked it up and immediately felt the urge to buy it. I was about to buy it but a plan popped into my mind. As I’m currently reading The Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh, this plan could save me from breaking the rules. Since it’s almost Christmas, I thought I’d put it on my Christmas wish list and my mom could buy me the book, that way I’d obey the rules, save money and I could read another book [1] in the meantime. So hesitantly I put down the book, turned around and walked out of there… just like that! Easy!

Earlier this evening I went for a coffee with a friend at Seattle Coffee Company. I got there a bit early, and while I was waiting for my friend I quickly went into Exclusive Books. I started reading the Introduction of The Google Story and I ended buying the book. Hahaha, rules? who needs rules?

[1] I have quite a few “rule breaking” books on my bookshelf.

* If you have 50 pages or less left to read, this rule does not apply.
** This applies to online book shops as well.*

November 28th, 2005 6 Comments


Sunday was the yearly Pick & Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge [1] in Johannesburg. This year was the second time me and my dad took part in the race. I got up reluctantly at 5am on Sunday morning, put on my cycling “suit” and headed for the Kyalami Race Track where 18 150 competitors converged between 5:30 and 10:15, to join their groups at the staring line. For almost 5 hours a group of 350 riders would be starting the race every couple of minutes. I can’t even imagine the chaos if everyone had to start at the same time.

At 8:01 our group (group CC) [2] started the race, 2 hours earlier than the previous year. I felt good, the weather was overcast and it wasn’t long before I saw my first victim, a rider with “BB” on his racing number. 20km’s down, I’m maintaining a steady average of 30km/h, if I keep it up I could beat my goal of finishing under 03:30:00.

30km’s down! I’m starting to pass some “X’s” and “Y’s”. Ha! My blitz training plan [3] is paying off!

40km’s. 01:15:00. Feeling good! Feeling strong! See you later Mr. “W”. These climbs are really not as bad as I remembered them from last year.

45km. Halfway there, I’m kicking ass! Is that an “S” I see upfront? Holy crap, these promo chicks at the water points are hot! Too bad I got a race to win, no time for small talk baby!

50km. “Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty…”

56km. at last a bit of a challenge, I was beginning to think there wasn’t gonna be one scary climb in the race!

60km. I’m feeling a bit abused, please let the climb be over. It’s finished. Time to get into the my “aero dynamic” position for the downhill, hehe! Damn these somewhat “overweight” [4] guys have an unfair advantage! I’m doing 69km/h down this hill and their speeding past me like bats out of hell! They’re not even in the aero dynamic position!

70km. Tough times… I don’t think I’ll be doing this again next year.

80km. Seems I remembered correctly after all! These hills are killing me, I’m doing 14km/h. My average speed of 30km/h is fading away like a distant memory! It was fun, but I’m done with the 94.7 forever!

90km. Not another hill!

94.7km. 03:40:53! Yeehaw, a 24:53 minute improvement on last years time. Maybe beating 03:30:00 was a bit too ambitious. Wonder how long I’m gonna have to wait for my dad?

Turns out not too long he finishes on my heels in 03:48:30! Not bad at all considering that he didn’t even have a blitz training plan and he’s in his fifties!

It’s Monday morning and I can’t wait for next years race! A sub 03:30:00 is definitely gonna happen next year!

[1] The Pick & Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge is 94.7km long and sponsored by Pick & Pay and Highveld 94.7 Radio Station.

[2] Every group has an alphabet letter starting from group A to Z, then group AA to ZZ for all the seeded competitors, i.e. people who have raced before. After the seeded racers comes groups OA to OZ for the “open seeded” racers. Last year we were in group ON and we started at 9:45. This year we were amongst the seeded participants in group CC starting at 8:01. Believe me, with the South African sun, the earlier you start the better!

[3] Blitz Training Plan: One month before the race start spinning at your local gym 2 to 3 times a week for 45 minutes at a time, and go for a 50km ride every Sunday morning on the 5 Sundays before the race.

[4] At one stage in the race, a 140kg man dressed like a Bar One Chocolate Bar passed me at 90km/h+.

November 21st, 2005 5 Comments

Friday, 11 November 2005

17:03 Stuck in cataclysmic traffic jam next to a black BMW with Christina Aguilera in the back seat.
19:25 First time I set foot in Firkin Pub.
19:35 Last time I set foot in Firkin Pub.
19:58 First time I ever ride on a speed bike.
19:59 Travel down the N1 on the back of a Kawasaki Ninja at 232km/h.
20:00 Nearly crap myself.
20:02 Get off the Ninja and vow never to get back on again!
20:34 Play Jurassic Park Arcade game from start to finish resulting in a blister on my trigger finger.
21:59 Stuck in a mob of hair, cleavage and spandex at Rhapsody’s in an attempt to get a beer at the bar. Coincidentally Megan McKenzie is right next to me trying to get a drink as well.
22:12 I think Megan is staring at me.
22:13 No! She’s staring at my friend Jaco!
22:14 Get real, it’s only the beer talking.
23:55 I’m off to bed. Two celebrity sightings in one day, not bad!

November 15th, 2005 7 Comments