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pedal plenty

notes on a north american cycle trip in 2008

Archive for March, 2008

Kultchural …

… differences? Discuss.

How peculiar it is that we Scots speak Engerlish and you Americans speak Engerlish but we don’t speak the same Engerlish. And some things you say make us go Oh no, don’t say that please. PuuuuLLLLEEEEAAASEEE!

Example 1

  • You say AWESOME complete with great, Big CaPiTaL LETTERS and a few exclamation marks !!!!!
  • You say AWESOME quite a lot.
  • The Scottish equivalent of AWESOME is Oh that is quite nice
  • And we only say that rarely and at a push.
  • Scots wonder, if everything in America is AWESOME all the time. For example, your cup of coffee on the desk is AWESOME or it is AWESOME coz it’s a sunny day today. What would an American say when the man phoned you to say you’d won a gazillion dollars on the lottery? AWESOMELY AWESOME?
  • Or maybe you’d be silent? Nah, an American lost for words? No, never ever, NEVER.
  • Scots reserve the word AWESOME for either Sol going supernova or the sudden sinking of the landmass of Engerland in to the sea.

Example 2

  • We say Oh that was a kind thought.
  • You say YOU ROCK! complete with capital letters and a few exclamation marks !!!!!!!!
  • Eh, we don’t understand that.
  • What does it mean YOU ROCK!?
  • When you say YOU ROCK! that marks you out as American (which is OK in America but not necessarily everywhere else in the world).
  • When you say YOU ROCK! to us it makes us squirm a little bit and feel uncomfortable. We are modest and shy things. Well … modest and shy things until we have a skinful of beer/whisky/wine. And then we are on the table with our air-guitar à la Jimi Hendrix and then you know that WE ROCK!. We truly, truly ROCK. Yeah Jimi! Jiimmmmii!

Other kultchural differences I’ve noticed

  • We say car hire you say car rental. You are of course correct!
  • You are much more polite even though we say Thank you all the time
  • We say Thank you all the time. You grunt when we say Thank you all the time. You are very tolerant of our silly Thank you/Please/Grovelly-ness
  • We think that you really don’t know how to use a knife & fork properly. But I understand this is a historical thing which I will elaborate on another day

But whatever coz

  • I love the kultchural differences.
  • It’s what makes Americans American and Canadians Canadian and Scots Scottish.
  • We all appear to be similar.
  • We all appear to speak the same language.
  • But we are as foreign as foreign can be.
  • And that’s why I am traveling.
  • To meet people who are like me and not.

PS If that post offended you I am sorry but you either
a) lack a sense of irony which identifies you as an American ;-) I am sorry. I’ll buy you a beer.
b) are Engerlish which means you thought the post had mildly/extremely anti-engerlish comments. I am sorry. I’ll buy you a beer.

Posted by me on March 31st, 2008

A test …

buddhaMy disciple redemption voucher has arrived from the Shangri La in the West.

Tis the princely sum of USD38.12

But I know the disciple redemption is a test.

I shall not be tempted.

I am stronger now and …

I have moved to a new and higher plane of consciousness where all is white light filling the void.

I have rid myself of all my worldly possessions. Well, all except for my bicycle, tent, sleeping bag, Macbook, 3 ipods, Goretex and Le Chef obv.

What’s that you say?

If I use my disciple redemption voucher I can also get 20% off a full price item?

Oh looky, looky I need that and this and four of them

Posted by me on March 28th, 2008

A little rash …

No, not as in skin complaint

rather as in

“displaying or proceeding from a lack of careful consideration of the possible consequences of an action”.

i.e. A rash purchase.

On 19 July 2008 I need to be in Madison, Wisconsin but I guestimate that me and my bicycle will actually be hundreds and hundreds of miles away either in Thunder Bay or Michigan or Ohio (depending on my route).

And why do I need to be in Madison?

Well that’s coz I’ve bought a ticket to hear a talk by HH The 14th Dalai Lama.

A dilemma indeed.

Tis a test me thinks.

Posted by me on March 23rd, 2008

This spring …

… I will mostly be wearing on my bicycle. My fetching bonnet.


Posted by me on March 12th, 2008

New list of lists …

There was a previous list but it needs updating now and here is the redraft. There’s not much to do now ….

  • book flights [check - I am now 600 sterling notes lighter]
  • fret over maps [no need - initial route determined & initial anxiety for starting calmed by Sharon and Kendall’s kindness & pie]
  • buy bicycle insurance [not done yet]
  • buy human insurance [not done yet]
  • upgrade my drivers license [not done yet = otherwise there will be no car driving in Quebec]
  • fret over connectivity & data processing [will be done in Tacoma]. Options are:
    • iPhone = light, cool & trendy, ’spensive
    • iPhone + MacBook = heavy, cool & trendy, ’spensive
    • iPhone + eee PC = light, beyond naff komputa, cheap as chips
    • iPhone + pocket PC or other NAND laptop = light, sh*t MS software, beyond naff, moderately priced
    • not iPhone = c’mon people! Not iPhone? Might as well shuffle off this mortal coil now?
  • buy new helmet, 1st aid kit and road rash kit [will be done in Tacoma at Kendall’s fav bike shop or the great temple]
  • get wider handle bars so I can fit my Arkel handlebar bag otherwise it’s a front rack and that means more panniers and room for more unncessary sh*t [not done yet - will be done at same time as below]
  • get gearing thingies sorted at bike shop [not done yet]
  • repair and stretch broken knee [ongoing]
  • be interviewed by CIA, FBI, USA immigration service [check - now holder of 10 year business and tourist visa]
  • stop worrying about things I can’t control [check. Thanks to the metaphorical boxes where I pack away all that stuff. I have truly moved to a higher plane. Ooops back to the bottom again. Buddha will I ever learn? ]
  • prepare sound track for my trip [not done yet]
  • GO! Soon please! Please! I can hardly wait.

Posted by me on March 8th, 2008

In the words …

… of Fagan

I am reviewing the situation
Can a woman have the legs for such a hill huge FO hill?

Eh …. that Mount Rainier is quite steep.

TY Google Earth, we love you almost as much as Google Maps.

Mount Rainier

Posted by me on March 6th, 2008

Pie …

…oh my.

A spot of Photoshop-ing of the lovely and wonderful The Onion Weekender. I am beyond envious of the lucky, lucky man in the original pic. Cherry pie, my fav. Can I have a bite or three?

Pie oh my

Posted by me on March 5th, 2008

Whimpering …

… and crying. It’s Credit Card Bill Arrival Day.

Oh dear. Did I really spend Eight Hundred and Thirty Five Pound Sterling on Pedal Plenty activities over a period of just two weeks?

Eh Yes!

Gulp! It’s expensive this cycling malarky.

It’ll be dandelions and weeds for lunch this month again.

Posted by me on March 3rd, 2008