Friday Three: Motorbikes

I ride bikes. I can’t remember a time I didn’t ride bikes. I also know many people who have lost their limbs or life on bikes.
To narrow this down to three bikes only has been a tough choice, because there are so many good points about so many different bikes. So I narrowed it down to First, Fun, and Favourite.

I would also like to point out that a bike chooses you, not you choose a bike. Sure you may want the latest and greatest sports bike, but it’s no good if you don’t fit the bike, because you’ll never enjoy the riding.

First: Kawasaki ZZr250
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The ZZr is a great first bike. Getting a bit long in the tooth these days, and if I was to get this as a “first bike” again, I would probably go the Ninja 300.

While the ZZr250 wasn’t my first bike, it is a good bike for those learning to ride. The engine placement makes it nigh on impossible to get it up on one wheel, which adds to the stability. The riding position is great, allowing you feel part of the bike, allowing for a more enjoyable ride. Certainly not the fastest 250, due to the higher weight, but a great little bike indeed.


Speaking of little bikes:


Fun: Honda CT-110

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The Postie Bike.

This is a fun bike to ride, and a much better option than a scooter, if you’re after a little bike. Easy to ride, ideal for on the back of a motor home, and tough as they come. If you’ve never had the chance to ride one, find one and ride it. You’ll be grinning from ear to ear.


Favourite: Honda VFR800 Gen 5

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I’ve owned two of these bikes. The first one was a reluctant sale, damn you cancer. The second one is my current bike. Sure it’s 16 years old now, but it still turns heads. Even people who don’t own this model of the VFR wish they owned it. Even people who don’t ride a VFR but know the engineering of this bike are impressed by it. The last of the gear driven cams, this engine is bullet proof. Regardless of if you’re doing the slab cruise, or pushing it through the hills, the Viffer does it all with grace.

While I know I’ll own other bikes in my life, I also know that I will always have a Gen 5 Viffer in my garage.


Special mentions:

Sachs Madass. I’ve always wanted one of these, simply because they look fully sick.

Honda ST1300, for when I can’t get on a Viffer any more, but don’t want to be seen as a Goldwing rider.


Friday Three: Beatles

No, not my three favourite Beatles, but rather three of their tracks which have, well, they’re Beatles songs, you can’t put it down to one adjective.

I’m also going to include a few honourable mentions. Kind of goes against the three theme, but I’m not sorry, they’re Beatles songs. I’m also not going to provide links to the songs. They are all fairly easy to get, and finding them is part of the fun, as you find other great tracks by them.

1. Come Together.

The track that starts off their last studio album (Let It Be was released later), is melody at its finest. I get transported into a different zone listening to that bass line, and the drum rolls. When John’s vocal kicks in, with it’s “Shoot me”, you’re off on the start of a great journey.

The Abbey Road album from which this track comes is my favourite. To have put out an album like this, with all that was going on in the Beatles world at the time is pure genius. Even to this day the B side of this album is still one of the greatest album sides to drum along to, and challenging too. I still tap out the drum solo any chance I get, drum kit or not.

2. Baby You’re A Rich Man.

One of the lesser known Beatles tracks, that kind of got lost in all the great music they put out. It was the B side to All You Need Is Love. A powerful vocal, a bass line that had the needle jumping off the record, anda great track that shows the different writing styles between John and Paul, that still work together for a great song. John had the verses, Paul had the chorus, and together they just worked.
3. Tomorrow Never Knows.

I always liked this track, that was until someone played me the Phil Collins version, claiming it to be one of the best covers ever. They obviously had no knowledge of music. It was then I listened to the trackside by side and I realised just how much more intricate the Beatles version was, and just how great this song is. Utter chaos that is also a feather floating in the breeze.

The Phil Collins version reminded me of one simple fact. It doesn’t matter how good the technology of the day is, you just can’t beat raw talent.
Honourable Mentions:

Helter Skelter: Hard rock at it’s finest. Turn it up to 11.

In My Life: I used this as a wedding song. Such a waste of such a beautiful song.

Taxman: When George’s song writing really took a big leap forward.

Rain: Many people make fun of Ringo’s drumming as simple. But here’s a test for you, play just the drums from any song by anyone, and see how many of them you can pick from the drumming alone. Rain is a perfect example of drumming perfection.

Any Beatles Song: Seriously. You may think some of the lyrics are cheesy at times, but their brilliance as musicians, the technological advances they made in studio recording, the volume of their work despite all that is Beatlemania, just shows how good they were as a band.

Image by hal-2012 of DeviantArt fame. Used without permission.

Friday Three: Comedy

So I thought about doing a kind of review thing, and late on a Saturday night, as I tried to sleep in way too much heat, I thought of the Friday Three. Basically each Friday (that I remember) I’m going to list three things, on any subject that springs to mind.

Thankfully I had already written this post below, but was unsure of how or when to post it. Thankfully it works in with the theme, so here goes:
I love comedy, but I certainly wouldn’t call myself a comedian. I read somewhere once that to do that, you need to have worked for at least a year supporting yourself on comedy alone. I’m certainly far from that ever happening, and it’s not going to happen I can assure you.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate comedy, or write funny stuff, although I’m sure people will question that as a statement. Too bad.

I thought I would share with you some of my comedy influences, and why they have influenced me. This is not a complete list, just some from whom I have learnt a lot about the art form, in some way or another. Everyone will have their own taste when it comes to comedy, but these are just some of the people I’ve found have shaped my appreciation of the art form.

Groucho Marx


I love the Marx brothers, each for their own follies, even Zeppo. But Groucho has been the biggest influence. His quick tongue, and perfect use of language is an art form in itself. Understanding the structure of language is important in comedy. Knowing that the punchline has to go at the end of the sentence to get the greatest acknowledgement is understandable. Knowing how to structure the rest of the sentence so that it is precise and makes sense is the art. The rhythm and language used by Groucho is worth studying, for anyone looking to do comedy at any level.

Craig Ferguson

Back in 2010, Craig spoke about Britney Spears. He spoke about the importance of using your power as a comedian to do good things, not just go for the laugh. The link above is to his video on the matter, done as part of a monologue for the Late Late Show, and I learnt a lot from it. It shows how comedy can be used in ways to deliver a message at stressful times, but also how that message should be delivered, so the audience gets the most from it. Simply trying to get people to laugh until they pee themselves at any cost is not worth the cost.

Janelle Koenig


Janelle taught me a lot about comedy, and the different components that go into making a performance shine. Many years ago I was learning how to perform Improv, and Janelle was my main teacher.

From her I learnt about stagecraft and it’s importance in comedy. Particularly when working with others on stage, and your relationship to the audience, but also when doing solo work, and how to work the room to make a connection with your audience, with out it feeling forced.
I learnt the importance of story arch and call back, which may seem simple, but when you are doing improv and you’re having to think on your feet about new stuff, while also remember things you and all the other performers have previously done, it becomes a rather difficult task if you’re not prepared.

She taught me the importance of not hanging onto a joke, no matter how funny you think it is. If there isn’t a connection for the audience there, move on and come up with something else, or you’ll die on stage. Once you lose and audience it’s very difficult to get them back.

Most importantly I learnt that the performance of a group takes priority over your own wants. Just because you want to be the star, it doesn’t mean you are the star. Knowing your place on a stage and how you work in with all the other performers, will make for a better performance from everyone, and that makes for a better show for the audience.