Friday, June 29, 2007

The boys are back in town


Oh London, London, sinful as Sodom and Gomorrah. The decree is gone out: repent or burn. Back to Malta - and thinking that I was used to the low cold temperatures of London even now that it is summer. Now I couldn't even sleep this night - the hot sticky air of Malta compelled me to write this little anecdote to share my little experience in London.





It was last Saturday when I took Ryanair flight to London. Although I had minor trouble the week before to book the tickets online (it turned out to be that they had trouble with the Internet backbone), the prices were cheap but the service was great - the flight was not only in time but I managed to arrive to Luton airport even 30 minutes before the schedule! This gave us some time to eat a snack while we waited for the taxi which I booked online some 7 hours before.



Unfortunately there were engineering road works along the way and we had to do a long detour. The voyage from Luton airport to my hotel (in Clapham south) took two and a half hours!! (It was supposed to take around 50 minutes). Needless to say, this meant extra cash to spool :(




Anyways...once I arrived at the hotel, lo and behold, the first thing I did before even taking a look at the rooms, opening the luggage or anything that a normal human being would do, was taking off my clothes, turn on my laptop and searched for any wireless networks in a struggle to get internet access. But since the week before I was too lazy to actually implement a hack I've read to crack wi-fi, I was punished and well...no internet for me.



By the end of the holiday I estimated that I've scanned more than 50 hotspots which weren't open to public, yucks. On that not so positive note, I slept to get conserve the energies for the holiday. The bed wasn't bad at all :)



I took a very healthy breakfast based on Guinness, Red Bull, fried chicken and chips and took my first shower. PS: I was a damn lucky guy to have a shower in my hotel room, as most of the other people had to share a common 'en-suite' and the slightest thought to share those kind of things with some old fart really puts me off. Anyways, after breakfast, we went to the nearest tube station (two minutes by walk from the hotel) and got ourselves some maps to get used to the system.





In a few minutes we got the whole idea - the southbound platforms take you to the south, the northern ones to the north, use a prepaid smart card (known as oyster card) to top up your journeys from one tube to another, and if you don't want trouble with the police, make sure you don't traverse to zones you haven't paid for - for instance in my case I had to travel between zones 1 and 2 (central london) - so if i were to got further out - like to go to the Wembley Arena (which is in zone 4), I had to pay extra for that trip.


As I was saying, it was Sunday, first day out in the streets of London. Weather sucked...for all that matters, it sucked during the whole stay - you go out at 8AM and the sky is cloudy, rains shit but I enjoyed the cold temperature - at least after hours of walking I didn't sweat. For a first day in London I visited quite a few touristic places - too many to mention. And I'm not bothering to post photos of Buchingam Palace, Leiscter Square, Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James Park, etc...I mean, they still look the same if you google an image of them.

In the evening the streets of London are usually more hectic and less secure. In the metro people have boring ugly faces, and on our way back to the hotel one would notice the wannabe black gangsters lurking in the streets (aka mother fuckers) - the type of ppl you would probably see in Malta in few years time if the government doesn't tackle the immigration problem. I'm saying this because during my 4 day stay in London, there were around 16 killings, mostly from these type of mobs. Ah..to make it more thrilling, most of the crimes just happened a few streets away from Clapham, Brixton..



During the next day I went shopping at Primark. The clothes' prices were ridiculously cheap - with Lm20 I bought what I would buy here in Malta for more than Lm100. As regards electronic equipment I wasn't really interested since I get that kind of stuff from ebay.





On Wednesday I went to Madam Toussant (£25 entrance!!!) to meet my celebrity buddies...let the pictures speak by themselves...
























Later on in the evening I went to the Wembley Arena to the concert of The Who...they may be dinosaurs but they still rock!!! Pete Townsend doing the guitar mill, dressed inside Syd Barret's jacket alongside Roger's charisma, made the evening magical. The Charlitans were the special guest band and I must say that they are a very great band as well!
















Yesterday was spent merely just for travelling..Two underground metros, from Central London to Kings Cross railway and then an express train to Luton Airport. Finally a three hour flight to Malta.

Check out more photos in the gallery...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

London here I come

In about eight hours time I take the flight to London. My first idea to go there was to attend the concert of The Who at the Wembley Arena. But let's face it...I really need a holiday so I'm going to spend a couple of days more there while visiting London's main attractions, filling my tummy with Guinness beer and having fun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sporting a good riding technique

After about 9 months riding the motorcycle (5 months with the instructor on a 400cc sports bike and another 4 months riding my current 125cc custom bike), which is about a total experience of 5000km on the clock, I am finally getting a good idea to sport a safe riding technique in a venture to master the so-called 'countersteering' - a must know technique for serious bikers.

The idea of countersteering is to steer to the left to turn to the right, and vice versa. This technique is important because one could make sharp and safe cornering - when mastered, this can save a biker's life in case of an emergency (such as to avoid an obstructing animal which crosses the street, or a car which swerves across you, or maybe a distracted pedestrian dangerously crossing the street).

To cut it short, I found out that when riding my custom bike, placing my left foot a little back on the footrest, and my right foot a little on the front on the footrest (having my toes out of the footrest), I achieve a very good balance on the bike which helps me countersteer easily in both directions. Moreover, since my right foot is in front, it can easily reach the rear brake pedal and use both brakes when stopping or slowing since this is the only way the bike has the best balance when braking.

It is also important to keep the back straight and to never lock the elbows - so I have to sit on a good spot on the seat - not too close to the handlebars and not too far - 2 inches from the tank is a good position. I know this all sounds emperical and mathematical - but luckily this has become natural nowadays.

For all bikers reading this little article - good luck and happy safe riding!

YouTube fun

I just spent an hour finding ways how to save youtube videos on my computer. With a sniffer and some common sense, I managed to save my first videos. A few minutes later I wrote a little php script to download a video given the youtube URL. tcpdump really rocks!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Matrix Ping Pong

Now this is really ingenious ;) La Corrida doesn't even begin...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

White Crimson, behind the scenes - part 2/2

This is the second part of the interview, thanks to Motionblur. This time were are situated in the garage where we rehearse, and here we speak about how we work on a new song.


Edit: I have temporarily removed the videos since I was asked to do so by the producers of the programme. I will put them back once the programme will be aired next October. Hold on! :)

White Crimson, behind the scenes - part 1/2

On popular request, I'm also uploading the interview bit of my band so you can know who we are behind the scenes. Remember this interview was for a TV programme, BANDS. We speak about how we met, our hobbies, our weak points, and our love for rock music. Probably this programme will be aired next October. The second part of the interview will be uploaded on the next blog post.



Edit: I have temporarily removed the videos since I was asked to do so by the producers of the programme. I will put them back once the programme will be aired next October. Hold on! :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Julia!

Two months ago, Motionblur recorded a gig of my band and an interview which will be featured in a new music TV programme which will be aired during the next season. Enjoy the snippet (our first song, Julia):



The lyrics for the song Julia:

Pretty baby, I will love you till I die.
Uh. Pretty baby, tell me why you made me cry.
Oh no no no

Pretty girl you got me crazy, instant love for you,
From the moment I first saw you I've planned my life with you,
And though I always had a doubt that you won't really care,
I was glad to have a go and try to make you understand.

And I don't want to be, just a friend need you with me, Julia.
Give me a chance and I will show you, how a relationship would be,
you and I could be the perfect couple,
Just like you told me once you'd want it, until the end of time,
July with me you can achieve it.

Julia you got me crazy, instant love for you,
and from the moment I first saw you, I've planned my life with you,
give me a chance and I will show you, how a relationship would be,
you and I could be the perfect couple, yeah.

And I don't want to be, just a friend need you with me, Julia.

Pretty baby, I will love you till I die.
Uh. Pretty baby, tell me why you made me cry.

Oh baby
Pretty baby
Julia.