Thursday, September 29, 2005

Traffic Jam

I was at my girlfriend's place last night so this morning I was driving on the highway to get back into town. Usually there are lot of cars but not a traffic jam where the cars come to a full halt.

This morning however it was a real traffic jam, where the cars came to a full halt. Everyone obviously wondered what was going on. I was just listening to Stellastar* (their first album, haven't got their new album yet). Until I realised that this traffic jam is going to affect my girlfriend as well.

So I called her up and while on the phone I can see that there are works to be done and that the road will be split into two further up front. I said that to her and took the left lane (the fast lane). At the splitting I can see cars on the right hand lane being guided into a parking place and there were people with yellow jackets in there. My first thought is obviously "damn, police checks at 8 in the morning? oh well, lucky I got the right lane."

After that the traffic jam was over and I could speed up again (over the speed limit) to get home. Once I got home my girlfriend called me up and said that she heard about this traffic jam on the radio. It turns out it wasn't a police check.

What was it?

It was a survey where the people in the yellow jackets (from the local transportation company) were asking the people driving what causes traffic jams in the morning!

Oh how I would love to see what the driver's answers were.

How stupid is that?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fernando Alonso, 2005 F1 World Champion

He's done it. Fernando Alonso, the 24-year old lad from Oviedo became the 2005 F1 World Champion last weekend when he finished third in the Brazilian GP. Kimi Raikkonen, his closest competitor, came second but it was enough for Alonso to clinch the world title.

I always knew he would be champion. I watched the Spa F3000 race back in 2000 where Alonso won it and I knew he was special. When he came to F1 in a Minardi in 2001 he showed his talent by qualifying his Minardi in places where it's not supposed to be. And then his first win in 2003 in Hungary, lapping Michael Schumacher in the process. 2004 wasn't a good year for him but in 2005 he was the man. His Renault was better in the early stages of the season and he took full advantage of it. Later on McLaren was better but by then Alonso already had enough of a lead to drive safely and win it.

For those who think that Fernando is not worthy because he didn't attack in the last races, well why should he? Why risk something as big as the world title just so that he can please a few people (but pissing of his boss if he risks too much)?

He's a worthy champion and I hope we get to see more of him in the coming years. At least he won it while Michael Schumacher is still competing. "Schumacher Who?" as it was written on a Renault mechanic's shirt.

Oh, and I share a birthday with Fernando. How cool is that?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Full iPod

Last week I bought Kanye West' Late Registration. I had to update my iTunes to v5.0 and then I ripped the album into my iTunes. When I connected my iPod to my iTunes, it started to syncronize. But before it copied the new songs to my iPod a warning came out saying that there is no space left in my iPod and that iTunes will select the songs based on my music preference.

So there you have it. It took a while but I managed to fill up my 20GB iPod to the max. It now has 3200 songs. So every new album I buy will be loaded into my iPod on the condition that some old songs are not loaded anymore.

"But doesn't it say that 20GB will hold up to 5,000 songs?" I hear you say. Yes, but only if you rip at 128kbps. I rip at 192 kbps to get a clearer sound. It also takes a bit more space.

I actually want to sell my 20GB iPod and get a 60GB one. I still have lots of CDs that I haven't put on my iTunes yet.

This is to the amazement of my mate. "You filled up your iPod? With all legal music??" he asked me. "You're the first person I know who did it."

Remember kids, stealing music is bad. And when you buy an iPod go for the biggest one.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Michael 'Beef' Park

While I was watching BBC's Sport Today this morning I saw something on the news ticker about Michael Park. It seems that he died in the Rally of GB this weekend after a big crash. For you who don't know him, he's the co-driver of Markko Martin who drives for Peugeot this year.

It's very sad news. We all know that rallying is very dangerous and I've been to a rally and I can assure you that these guys drive like madmen. Fortunately there hasn't been any fatalities in the past decade. So Michael Park's death has surely hit the sport very hard.

Sebastian Loeb gave up the win that would assure him the 2005 WRC champion by deliberately getting time penalties as he does not want to receive the championship in this circumstance. Peugeot pulled out of the race altogether.

Here's the news from,:
Michael Park: 1966-2005

Michael Park - PeugeotMichael Park, one of the top co-drivers of his generation, has died as a result of injuries sustained in an accident on the final leg of Wales Rally GB. As co-driver to Markko Martin, 'Beef', as Park was affectionately known, enjoyed considerable success with the Estonian during three seasons at Ford before joining Peugeot for 2005.

Park - a rally enthusiast since the age of 10 - gained experience with some of Britain's top talents. He worked with former world champions Richard Burns and Colin McRae as a gravel note expert while co-driving for both David Higgins and Mark Higgins in the British national series. His big break, however, came when he teamed up with the emerging Martin as a privateer pairing in a Toyota Corolla for the 2000 World Rally Championship season.

After a string of impressive performances the pair were signed up by Subaru for 2001, before moving to Ford, where they evolved into one of the leading driver/co-driver combinations in the WRC. In 2003 they took two rally victories, in Greece and Finland, and improved on that figure with three wins in 2004.

The pair were lying fourth in this season's title race after securing four podiums in a season dominated by Citroen's Sebastien Loeb. Their performances had been instrumental in Peugeot's challenge for the manufacturer's championship, with the team lying six points behind French rivals Citroen.

Michael is survived by wife Marie and children William and Victoria.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Special Day

I know I haven't been prolific in the past month or so. I don't know why either. Everytime I have an idea to write it seems to be gone the second I log on to my blog. Writer's block perhaps? No inspiration?

Anyway, it's a special day for me today. One year...

Ajax is playing tonight against Sparta Prague. I hope Ajax wins the first UEFA Champions League game of this season.

And I'm starting to play poker on the web with real money. How the hell can someone make lots of money that way? I seem to be able to lose money very quickly...

Hard-Fi's Hard to Beat is going around in my head. What a good and catchy song!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Groningen / Amsterdam

Right now I'm in Amsterdam.

Last weekend I was in Groningen for the Dutch National Cup. It was great fun! Lost of sun and Heineken and Flugels & Fleiglings. At one point we ended up at FEBO and almost to the Rumba Rumba Cafe. Luckily my conscience saved me.

And now just chillin in Amsterdam, where the weather is still nice. My girlfriend will join me tomorrow evening.

I'm just happy to be here again...