One Executive Voice in the Wilderness

by bicyclemark

Just arrived from France and I had a chance to read lots of newspapers on the way. ..

Finally, someone besides a blogger said it. Not just someone, an airline exec, namely the CEO of Ryanair, has threatened to sue British Aviation if they don’t stop with the excessively useless restrictions.

Obviously I’ve expressed my feelings on this issue enough in the past, but I’m a radical, so you should expect nothing less. This, on the other hand, is a very mainstream guy who’s airline I don’t even care for very much. But to read his quotes that say things like “Toiletries are not going to destroy the world” .. can’t remember where I read that one. But at the end of that particular article, he also says the classic line which I think holds alot of value: “The best way to make a statement against terrorism, is to go about your life and do things as you would normally”. It may sound lame to some, but I very much believe in that statement.

So Michael O’Leary, I don’t know much about you, but in a world full of alarmists and yes-men, here’s to you!

Met the Kids

by bicyclemark

Anytime I make a trip to Paris, it has become a priority of mine to visit with Madame L and the French man in their secluded hideout out amongst the badgers and the cornfields. So of course today I made my way out of Paris and over to the homestead for lunch. As an added bonus on this particular trip, I met many of the daughters I had long heard so much about. And of course they were as great as I suspected, but thats not what this post is about.

As we sat back laughing about old songs from yeast radio and the crap you find on youtube, Madame and I returned to a familiar theme… life in the US. We spoke about friends and family and what situations they are in; as in housepayments, mortgages, insurance payments, loans, credit card debt, etc etc. All these things may be part of your normal day dear reader, but what we were discussing is how we don’t have these things. Beyond that, how when some friends talk to us, they say “you’ll so lucky, you get to live in europe and you don’t have to deal with this.” This statement, of course, has many holes. Not the least of which is that you can actually have lots of these things in Europe just as you do anywhere else. However, the idea that we are somehow lucky for having chosen to live where we live, that’s the strange thing.

We both agreed it is not a matter of luck. It is choice. And despite whatever drawbacks; like living far from loved ones or not making your whopping salary, you too can make the choice and be that person who lives in Europe. Or Kuala Lampur. Or wherever.

No where is it written that all humans must go forth and take out loans and get themselves lots of car payments and other assorted longterm financial requirements. Yet strangely enough, it is people like Madame L and I who are often referred to as the strange ones, or the lucky ones, because we don’t have any of that.

strange world. but hey.. nous aurons toujours paris.

Il Pleut Chats et Chiens

by bicyclemark

I rode the Thalys train from Amsterdam to PAris today… WITH a bottle of WATER.

Nobody cared.

Know why?

Cause it’s water.


Seriously friends, greetings from the city of lights. I’m here all weekend visiting the John of the Americablog. I should also mention I’m not his only visitor this weekend as a podcasting-blogging-software developer by the name of Kyle is sitting just across from me.

As I rode the train over, I was loving the magic of high speed european train travel. So smooth. So quiet. Warm yet not too warm. Quiet yet not too quiet. And best of all: no one cares to see your ID nor do they give you a second look for carrying liquids. Or should we call them, tools for potential terror attacks!

As you know from reading this blog, I have little regard for high security. I scoff at metal detectors, manuel searches, and pre-travel interview screening. I’m the guy you shake your fist at and proclaim “if we did it your way, the terrorists would destroy the world.”

All that aside. I recommend people stop getting on planes if they can avoid it. See what the other options are. Check if there’s a train, bus, or even a boat. It could be a wonderful relief from all the ignorant paranoid stupidty taking place at airports and on planes these days. Plus you can bring your gels, creams, foams, and water liquid compounds you want. Live FREE, Don’t Fly!

Like a Heat Wave, Burnin Through Europe’s Heart

by bicyclemark

Well.. another successful day without spontaneously combusting. I’m sure you probably heard, here in the Europe, there’s another one of those heatwaves where everything gets messed up and some people even die.

Believe what you want about global warming. But I’m telling you Amsterdam can’t handle this, so something must be up.

If you wander through the usually green and lovely Vondelpark, which is like our Central Park.. it is now one big cloud of dust. It is as if thousands of pigpens have ascended on the park and kicked up as much dirt as possible. After a leisurely jog through there Im sure my face turns a shade of brown.

But nevermind the surface details. This heatwave really slows down the normally bustling pace of life in the netherlands. At work these days, we’re told to go home at four oclock, because the hot weather and lack of air-co is considered dangerous for our health. Whenever I hear this I think of all the little chinese children in factories who make my clothes… they would probably find this policy amusing or simply.. hard to believe.

Fortunately almost no one has airconditioning anyway, and a majority of this city’s citizens ride their bikes as the primary mode of transport. So at the very least, we’re not responding to a temperature crises by putting extreme strain on the power grid ala France or Florida. Oh wait.. we probably are anyway.

Tonight at the vlogger meetup, Gabe B spoke of rain tomorrow night. Rain, I laughed, it will never rain in Amsterdam again… thats so pre-global warming.