Saturday, March 31, 2012

Three Ways to Improve a Perfect Motorcycle.

If I had posed that question to my "ex" she would have remarked "set fire to it" but that is dangerous Mrs Rochester.

This expensive piece of ABS moulded plastic sits above the rear wheel and stops the spray fron the rotating wheel spraying a cowards streak up ones back side.
This retracting handle is positioned perfectly so as to enable the machine to be pulled up onto its main stand - it works surprisingly well and folds neatly away when not in use.  The BMW K75 had one of these as standard as well as a self retracting side stand.
This is the Side Hid Terra Illuminator Device that lights up the side stand at night to allow for fuss free deployment.  Designed and developed by NW Industries Inc, the SHITID is patent pending in many countries including Bulgaria, Libya and the Yemen.  As you can see the side stand is perfectly illuminated and so all that awkard and sweaty  left foot fumbling around during night time arrivals is avoided.  Please email me for a quote.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Corinthians 13:12 Modified

For now we see through a Becks beer glass or two, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Whatever that means a very nice evening was spent in Bremen.

That's the name of the pub there on the plate of non-low cholesterol non-vegetarian - North German style health food.

Incidentally a superb striving at low quality strictly functional pay as you book, check-in and pass wind Irish airline flies  directly from Manchester to Bremen.

The romance of flying - and then there is O'Leary Airways ("OA")
This is my headrest - the only onboard amenity thrown in - thoughtfully provided and easy to wipe clean.
Back to the theme of this round up of Nikos World February or was it March excursions.

Somewhere in Bremen discovered after leaving the pub.

Another week and another Ryanair bargain fright to Germany - this time to Hahn airport that is indeed very close to the throbbing major economic centre of Hahn. It's more locally known as Frankfurt Luton airport by any other name and  the terminal appears to be being built.

This dramatic view is from the bus stop at Hahn Luton airport - there is one bus a week to faraway Mainz and the incoming bus driver got lost.
Romantic Germany is what it says
I have to take Ronny out of winter storage  - this involves a journey through the house....
Ah, made it......
Clouds over the Benelux - a Ryanair non chargeable item unlike the clouds in the instant €3 cappucino

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Row About Two Rows

Some of you who may read this blog might have heard of Ryanair, a low cost airline based in Dublin that presents itself as the low fares airline and is staffed mainly by people who cannot speak English very clearly.  They appear to fall out both with monopolistic airport operators and their customers who always seem to come back for more.

I have not flown with them very often but recently they opened up a service from Manchester to an airport in Germany that they call Frankfurt Hahn but is in fact no where near Frankfurt (similar to London Luton and London Stansted airports that are neither near to Manchester nor London).

Anyway, to cut a long winded rant short, I boarded my flight at Manchester last week having paid for "priority boarding" with an expectation of being able to sit an emergency exit row (my legs are long).  I must expaian that the Ryanair business model is rapid turnaround of aircraft between flights where the self loading cargo are expected to fight for a seat rather than be allocated one beforehand.  The elite may pay extra to board first from the priority queue.

All the exit row seats were blocked off from use including the front seats in the cabin and those by the overwing emergency exits.

I asked: "Please may I sit at an exit row"

"No" came the stern answer "You need to reserve these beforehand at an additional premium".

I said "You cannot operate this aircraft legally without occupation of the window seats - who will be briefed and able to open these exits in an emergency?"*

"Sit down and shut up" came the reply from ex Stasi officer Chief Cabin Attendant  Ms. Wilhelmena Zaisser .

I did not sit down but took photographs of the empty exit rows.

 "Photography is not permiteed on Ryanair aircraft" barked Ms Stasi.

"pardon me what?" I said and sat down.

Then the Captain came to interview me I gathered from his demanour and dress sense that his name was Wolfgang von Schwanitz Jr and he informed me (I paraphrase here) that "if I didn't like it here I could leave."

I thanked him for his kind attention and when I landed at Frakfurt Hernia airport promptly reported him and his balloney airline to the the Aviation authorities.

I was told by the UK CAA "Concerns about Ryanair selling these emergency row seats for extra legroom as additional revenue has prompted the Irish Regulator (Irish Aviation Authority) to issue new guidelines regarding the use of this seating and any queries regarding this should be addressed to them"

It turns out that Ryanair are being very naughty and should be following THIS ADVISORY NOTICE.

The nice man from the IAA told me" European Aviation Safety law (EU OPS) states that “an operator shall establish procedures to ensure that passengers are seated where, in the event that an emergency evacuation is required they may best assist and not hinder evacuation from the aeroplane.” (Ops 1.280)

As you are aware, the IAA has issued its safety policy in regard to the occupancy and briefing of passengers at self help exits. (The link to this policy is in the attached email response from the UK CAA)
All Irish operators to whom this policy applies are expected to comply with it. Ryanair has been advised of this and is now fully aware of its responsibilities in this regard.
The situation which you encountered recently on your Ryanair flights will be resolved as soon as possible."

To which Ryanair said to me "Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting Ryanair.
We sincerely regret that this was reflected to you on this occasion and as such have forwarded your comments onto our Base Captian, to ensure that this type of situation does not recur.
Ryanair prides itself on the high standards of service and professionalism provided by our staff. We endeavour to maintain these high standards with regular retraining programmes, which focus on providing excellent service to our customers"
Please note that if you have any further queries relating to this request you will have to submit another request via our web form"

So that was all of a bit of a waste of time!


*The aircraft certification process for emergency evacuation assumes that the seats adjacent to self-help emergency exits are occupied by passengers or in some cases by cabin crew. If these seats are unoccupied, the operation of the self help emergency exit and the subsequent evacuation could be delayed as passengers may not realise that they should open the exits. Passengers would also need to move from their assigned seats to the exits and then familiarise themselves with the operating instructions on the exit placard before opening the exits.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thinking Outside of the Box?

That's just where clever BMW Motorrad designers think I should store my helmet (when parked!).

This clever vario box supplied with my R1200GS is a frankfurter's diameter too small to store my helmet.


In other news I say goodbye to Ferguson Doodlebug as she has now wandered down to Wolverhampton with a new owner who has "plans" for her.

Goodbye and I hope that the cheque doesn't bounce

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Proverbial One Armed Greek Bouzouki Player

I was much heartened to hear fellow Greek property owner John Humphrys pass comment on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme Today today (sic) that something or other was .."about as much use as the proverbial Greek bouzouki player in a Bavarian beer keller".  I think this was something to do with my pan-European bathroom renovation projects that appear to be pumping much needed funding into the ailing Greek economy and Wickes.

Here are some observations of my recent visit to Attika.

The Greek press seem to be obsessed with images of a certain Corporal Schicklegruber and German Chancellor Mrs Merkel cuts a trim figure dressed in a familar uniform and
appears to be very popular.
On a bus riding towards Cape Sounion - 35 miles for €1.60!  Motorcycles compete with the tram by riding in the bus lane.
My front porch appears to have become a motorcycle parking area!
A metro train   - anywhere in Athens within 90 minutes for €1.40
Octopus grilled and then chewed
mixed starters
Mussels and feta
Pastries from Asia Minor recipes.
At this time of year free oranges adorn many streets in Athens
A visit to Mount Pendeli to pick up marble...

...and watch the traditional beginning of Lent kite flying.
No mention here of corrupt and inefficient government and Goldman Sachs
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