"Limited to 19,000 rpm!" I said, "Formula 1 racing cars have their engines limited to 19,000rpm for the 2007 season"
"How fast is that?"
"Well essentially each piston in the engine of a Formula 1 engine (and there are eight of them) fires 19,000 times per minute. Let me put this into context for you. An old long playing LP rotated at 33 1/3rpm, which is 5700 times slower. Now bearing in mind the winner's (Kimi Raikkonen) average lap time was somewhere in the region 1min 49 seconds, it means that your favourite David Cassidy album would complete a lap of Spa in Belgium in a time of 171 hours (7 days 3 hours), given the race lasts approximately 44 laps, this means that a David Cassidy would complete the Belgium Grand Prix in approximately 314 days."
Recently I had the good fortune to book a flight, with a well known no-frills airline (lets call them NoFrills Air), to Barcelona. During the lengthy on-line process of booking the aforementioned ticket, I was given the option to add a small surcharge,to the numerous number of compulsary surcharges, to "Carbon Offset" my journey. It would appear that for an extra sum, NoFrills Air will ensure that the 192kg of carbon dioxide my journey would pump into our already fragile atmosphere, would be offset by some investment into projects which negate the production of greenhouse gases. This got me thinking; How far will all this go? It was whilst gorging myself on a cream horn (generously provided by a coleague to celebrate his 50th birthday), I got the idea for Calorie Offsetting. It would work like this... for a small fee to Bemuddlement (lets say £5.20 per 200 calories), we would ensure that the calories consumed by yourself are "offset" by investing in programmes involving very fit people who exercise on a regular basis. This would ensure that the consumer, of aforementioned dairy based patiserie, could eat the confection of their choice, happy in the fact that their calories are being burned off by someone else. I didn't carbon offset my journey either.
Dear Bemuddlement, You have been observed at 11:13 hours on the 16.03.07 turning right at the (Name Removed) exit onto the dual carriageway. The exit is a left turn only as stipulated by the Highways Authority. This action could cause a danger to others and breaches the guidelines which were issued via the Intranet on the (Date Removed) . All the road makings and signage used on the site comply with the Highway code and are in place for your safety and that of your colleagues. Failure to follow them can cause a serious accident. Health and safety is taken very seriously and as such please ensure that in future you adhere to both the signage and the road markings. Failing to follow the guidelines on another occasion will be brought to the attention of both your Business Director and HR Business Partner who may wish to talk to you directly about these breaches of Health and Safety. These guidelines have been put in place for everyone's safety and are available on the Health and Safety website if you need to review them Regards (Name Removed)
Last night I journeyed to the Hammersmith "Liver Damage" Apollo to see a band that recorded one of my favourite albums of all time, that band being Journey. Me and a friend from work left Bemuddlement Towers at around 5:30pm and by 6:40pm we were outside "the Trout" for the traditional imbibing of the pre-gig foaming Pevo. Suitably refreshed, we then headed for the venue. Inside was heaving, however the merchandising was curious. No tour programmes but a rather nice selection of T-shirts, hot pants and even a Journey styled Soccer shirt. Given that the average audience age was approximately between 35 and 90 I suggested that maybe a stylish blazer would have been more appropriate, but sadly, none were available. The support started at 7:45pm. I hate support acts, they just irritate me. I explained to my colleague that I have felt this way since I saw the lead singer of the "House of Lords" badly injure himself trying to slam dive into the crowd at an Iron Maiden show in December 1989. I think the phrase "the crowd parted like the Red Sea" was involved somewhere. My friend bought a tour T-shirt... I did not. I gave all mine to charity in 2005... I think I still have my "Page and Plant Unplugged", but I maybe mistaken. I have yet to open all the boxes that went into storage in 2006. So, having elected to skip the support act, it was time for another beer. At the Carling Apollo, all you can by is Carling Lager... we should've stayed at "The Trout". Journey came on at 8:45pm and left at 10:40pm.... they were brilliant. Please refer to other sites for detailed reviews. I sat next to a fat Greek. I know this, because he was texting throughout the show using the Greek alphabet... he may have been a Greek Scholar, but he didn't look the sort. One train ride and a Steak and Guinness pasty later, we arrived back at Bemuddlement Towers. I showed Mrs Bemuddlement a clip I recorded on my mobile phone. It was unintelligible. Next month I'm seeing James Taylor. Nobody I met last night was impressed... especially the Toto fans.
Explanation of Commuting, Cartoon Stunt Guitarist and Recovering Vegetarian: #1 Commuting
Many people have asked me "Bemuddlement? What exactly does the title "Commuting, Cartoon Stunt Guitarist and Recovering Vegetarian" mean? Well it's not that long a story and maybe all these lines are not relevent anymore, but I feel that as I feel I am approaching an evermore productive period of writing, I'd give all my faithful readers out there an explanation.
Commuting refers to the fact that I used to perform a round trip of 90 miles to work and back 5 days a week and as you will see from previous posts, there was an awful lot to think about and an awful lot of "stream of consciousness" going on. I no longer travel that amount of distance. There is not a lot to inspire a driver on the M25, apart from road kills, parts of vehicles in the French guttering (I even learned what that was) and the occasional quip inscribed on the side of a van, such as "Clean Me" or "I wish my wife was as dirty as this van".
I now commute far less (55 miles a day) and the journey is far more inspiring, often choosing a cross-country route in preference to the dreaded M25. My guess is that the future will see the amount of commuting decreasing over the next 5 years, particularly if government policy on Carbon emissions filters into the workplace. Working from home will (hopefully) increase and the number of days in the office with inevitable decrease as a cause.
Looking back, I've done some crazy travelling, but I always said that there was something very bizarre and decadent about drinking tea and eating scones at 33,000ft at 5pm in the afternoon after a day trip between London and Edinburgh. Chin! Chin!