Category Archives: humour

Skiing in Oxford

Here is what I did on the weekend.

Bonnie Dundee in 2010

Tay River Bridge in Black and White

After William McGonagall’sBonnie Dundee in 1878

Bonnie Dundee in 2010

Bonnie Dundee, fair Scots city set back a little way from the chilly North Sea.
Her reputation is there for all to see.
She is the City of Discovery!

What other town in a foreign land
can claim “Jute,  Journalism and Jam!”
and boast a large statue of Desperate Dan?

Famously, it was sometime in the year 1883.
In the river, a large whale the residents did see.
It was big, noble, grey and black.
But since that day, a whale, to the Tay has never come back.
Tho’ it could be because they harpooned it in the back!

Unlike that fateful hour in 1883,
There is a distinct lack of visibility
on this second Friday in October 2010.
Unfortunately for all learned men,
casting my eye towards the Tay,
The fog means no river can I see today.

I can say with a clear conscience that Dundee is as delightful
as the city of Paris with a Tower designed by Mr Eiffel.
She’s as good if not better than others I can give mentions.
Such as Copenhagen, New York, Berlin, London or Athens.

The city has many fine Tescos and large shopping malls,
Overseen grandly by the the fine Dundee Law!
The people around town are lovely and merry,
From Fintry to Lochee, the West End and down to Broughty Ferry.

What other town in a foreign land
can claim “Jute,  Journalism and Jam!”
and boast a large statue of Desperate Dan?

One day a whale may return to the estuary,
of the famous, Silvery Tay that flows into the sea.
The harpoonless residents will once again say, as they have often said to me,
“Welcome to the famous city of Dundee!”

Apologies dear reader for my ridiculous doggerel
I will bid you “Good Morning, Good Day and Good Night, one and all!”
My poem was inspired by Dundee’s famous William Topaz McGonagall.

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Interestead (sic) in swapping bodies??

I went to a Yahoo! Answers page when looking for info about the New York to Toronto train route…which is another, less interesting story.

How could I not click on a link that asked “Interestead in swapping bodies??” ?? The best line..

“Will consider any person, would love to try this with a woman older BIG HIPS OR BOOTY”

Original page on Yahoo! Answers

Interestead in swapping bodies??

Coining a phrase? “Exenger”

Fakenger bag and Bill’s millions by pocketmonsterd. Used under a Creative Commons Licence

Before I created this post claiming to coin the term exenger (to refer to ex-cycle messengers) last May, I checked Google for any prior mentions of the “word”. Apart from some results such as some German, Star Trek fan-fiction about the USS Exenger, misspellings of the word “exchanger” and expired domain name pages for exenger.com…there didn’t seem to be any results that related to cycle messengers/couriers. I’m not claiming that I am the first dude to ever think of this portmanteau…but I think I was the first to put it online.

Anyhow, I decided to do a the same search again and lo and behold, now the first four results are courier related. How about that?

The first 2 results are from the London Fixed-gear and Single-speed site…some say the definitive fakenger website or at least right up there with the London Bicycle Fakenger Association.

Results 3 and 4 are from Bill Chidley’s Moving Target zine…a favourite blog that I recommend.

In fact, Bill has used the term exenger twice since my post according to the Moving Target blog search for “exenger”. Furthermore executing a Moving Target forum search for “exenger”, yields another 4 mentions.

Googling for ‘exenger AND courier’ or ‘exenger AND messenger’ yields results on rollapaluza.com the London roller race organizers, fyxomatosis.com (my fellow high school alumnus, Andy White’s site) and most authoratively the Messenger Mailing List archive of the International Federation of Bicycle Messenger Assosciations (the organisation responsible for the Cycle Messenger World Championships in which I competed in 2004). To the best of my knowledge, all results have been since my exenger post on 3 May 2007.

Anyhow, little things amuse little minds but it tickles me no end that this seems to have happened. Maybe it will get in the Oxford English Dictionary one day??? More like the UrbanDictionary.com

Perhaps I should buy the exenger.com domain? Erm, maybe not.

Enough time wasted on this post…I’m off to cycle Mt Mattress.

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Fakenger/Posenger/Exenger

Hi I’m Ed the exenger — Photo by the inimitable Andy White @ fyxomatosis

“From short pants to cool hats and bags big enough to hold a filing cabinet, bike messengers everywhere have a unique style. Riding a bike through the crowded streets of any city requires a wardrobe of practicality and freshness that clearly distinguishes couriers from geared-up roadies.” pedalpushersonline.com

My recent post about the recent Oxford HGV death that” linked to Moving Target “the world’s most useless messenger zine” gained me a link in its sidebar (thanks Bill), making my pageviews spike upwards dramatically. This made me pretty happy as Moving Target is a site that I regularly read.

Now my post has fallen off the end of Moving Target’s homepage linkroll and my millions of page views are now back down to the usual tens of thousands only. So, I thought I’d attempt some blatant traffic driving and discuss the rising popularity of the fixed gear bicycle and the concept of the fakenger/posenger/ex-enger…inspired by the fact that the fakenger article on MT is its most popular apparently, so I thought I’d sell out. I can’t wait to see my Google Analytics stats go psycho!…or not.

Here is the Urban Dictionary’s definition of fakenger and posenger.

I admit it, I am a posenger (exenger). I once worked as a courier and it was one of the best times of my life. However, I haven’t delivered a package since 2001 but I’m dressing more like a “courier” now than I did when I was actually picking and dropping. Also, in 2003 almost two years after hanging up my pager, I obtained a fixed wheel/gear bike which is in direct contrast to the courier ghetto bike that I used when I was on the job.

I thought I’d attempt to coin my own term for it though, exenger… ex-Messenger…to try and differentiate myself from the hipster masses. Whaddaya reckon?

Associated with the fakenger/posenger meme is the rise of the fixed gear (or fixed wheel) bicycle AKA fixie. I’ve noticed quite a lot of internet talk about the fixed gear bike trend/craze/fad. I’ve also noticed that there are definitely quite a few more fixed gear riders on the streets of Oxford than in previous years, which I guess isn’t surprising given the coverage in publications such as Cycling Plus and also the influx of students from the USA now that term has started and the weather has improved.

I did a search on Technorati the other day and discovered that there was a big spread in the New York times last Sunday about fixed gear/wheel bicycles. Does this mean, as Iconic’s blog suggests that riding a bike with a fixed wheel has jumped the shark?

Couriers and the accoutrements of the profession have long percolated into popular culture viz. Crumpler (and other brand) courier bags becoming ubiquitous, Kevin Bacon’s Quicksilver movie and numerous articles about “urban assault riders” with “kamikaze, counter-culture” lifestyles being examples.

So, couriers have long had cred and cachet but now it’s become a damn sight easier to obtain the paraphernalia. Anyone can walk into their local Specialized dealer and buy a Langster fixie for £399/$600 or a Kona Paddy Wagon (£450) to get that special Zen, courier feeling…notwithstanding the fact that a lot of couriers don’t even ride fixed bikes. There are also an abundance of courier (shoulder) bag makers on the Web that will ship their wares to any location to help you complete “the look

My take (probably not surprisingly) on it is that I think it’s fine to mimic the courier thing…one less car and all that. However, in a bid to big myself up…with only a little digging it’s possible to discern the exengers (like me) from the fakengers who have never been a working courier. In your face fakengers…vive l’exengeur!!

Despite all that, the messenger “look” is a darn sight better than golf chic being the new punk, in my opinion…and as Iconic says:

“if, in a year, fixies are no longer hip…well, enjoy the great prices on cool bike gear.”

I might have more to say on the matter later but that’s all for now. Time to ski Mt Mattress.

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Steve vs Bill

Spotted this on an Apple blog yesterday…I liked it.

“You’re in the iWorld, Bill and I am a GOD here!” LOL

PC vs Mac humour, Japanese animation references, Star Wars, C64, a catchy song performed by an OS file management system, this has it all.

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