Archive for the Tagged Category

Fifth Gear’s fraud reporter

Posted in Tagged, TV, Venting with tags , , on July 4, 2009 by Apollo

Ugly female ghostSad to see another episode of Fifth Gear with Johnny Smith still bringing the quality of the program down.

Even the other presenters used the expression “run out of talent” as we saw the lacklustre Smith destroy yet another Smart Car, as he rolled his “wheelie car” onto its roof. Even when his more talented co-presenter landed his larger wheelie car on Smith’s car, he failed to crush Smith’s roll cage with the additional weight. Sadly, some real design failures going on there.

Unfortunately, unlike an earlier incident in a previous series, where one of the other presenters managed to end up with a broken foot after his modified Rascal van had an off, Smith managed to thwart the assassination attempt, as the crew had done an unacceptably responsible job on the Smart’s roll cage, and rather than collapsing in the incident, it stayed complete and protected him.

I guess we can thank Health & Safety for this mistake, and no win no fee claims, which even he would have been able to use if he had been killed.

We were then subjected to his excruciating attempts to be clever, as he tried to make some funny remarks while driving the Ghostbuster’s car.

Laugh? I nearly stopped sticking pins in my eyes just stop the tears so I could see ECTO 1.

The funniest part of the whole thing was the fraud presenter had chosen to invite a psychic to partner him during the piece. A fraud accompanied by a psychic – appropriate or what?

Typical of the pathetic attempts he makes to present a report was the hackneyed and clichéd scene he put together using low-light cameras shooting in the dark in a supposedly haunted room.

That must have taken all of nearly a second to dream up, and then he adds to the insult to our intelligence by trying to convince us that everyone’s really really scared, and that strange things happened in the room.

Please Fifth Gear, just give him the order of the boot, and your standing against Top Gear will take an immediate rise.


Barcelona F1

Posted in Tagged with tags , on May 10, 2009 by Apollo

First race in Europe, and Brawn, together with Jenson Button, seems to have carried on with the performance shown in the opening oddball rounds to the east.

For whatever reason, be it Button’s abilities at the moment, Brawn’s design and build abilities as a brand new team just cobbled together before the start of the season and not being tainted by bringing all sorts of old, established luggage with them, or the changes made to the F1 rules for this year, Brawn’s 1/2 win this weekend suggests the Brawn and Button may be at the top by the end of the season.

By no means a certainty in any way, Brawn still has to respond to the others during the rest of season, and their greater experience may still mean they can draw on their past, and still design and develop their way past Brawn, whose lack of that very luggage may become a disadvantage.

Still nothing certain.

While I was never a Lewis Hamilton fan, I always thought he was never given a fair deal with all the nonsense of the courts etc that followed him with McLaren, and his open dejection and lack of any attempt to cover up his disappointment in the the performance of his car reflect the past. Usually, even when the world can clearly see a car is little more than pile of parts dragging themselves around a track, the driver will still smile and say that everything is fine, and it’s a one race slip. No such mock enthusiasm from Hamilton at the moment – his car’s a piece of junk, and he just says so, without as much of a smile or hint that it will be better next race.

I think the return to Europe sees some improvement in the performance of those red cars, but we’ll need to wait and see.

I don’t know if the £40 million budget cap on F1 teams for participating team in 2010 makes sense, engines will be excluded from the limit in 2010, and signing up for the cap means having some rule restrictions removed.

Someone suggested that means this is no longer F1, and my own impression is that if there are teams running to different rules, then this true, and you have a mixed formula with cars designed to different rules on the track at the same time.

This happened in British Touring Cars, and we had two races on track at the same time, with the expensive winged team cars sharing the track and having to weave their way through and around the private, non-winged and slower cars. It was all too confusing for me, and I was fed up having to work out what I was looking at. The faster cars could have their day ruined by the slower cars having their own race ahead of them, and albeit unintentionally, blocking the track and preventing them from passing. If they moved over for the faster cars, then the leading slower car  might have been passed by the car it was actually racing with, so they quite legitimately blocked the faster cars, meaning the two classes had to fight on track. A bit silly, since the faster cars could easily pass if they had the space, it wasn’t really a race between, just frustration.

We’ll see.

The silliest thing about the £40 million cap is that it’s a trivial amount for the teams, they spend more on hospitality, motor homes, and frivolity. They won’t spend any less, just more on rubbish around the event, or put the savings in their already overstacked paypackets.

If they really wanted to save money and cut spending, maybe the simplest thing they could do is ban the use of wind tunnels, or slash the size of the wings, and get things down to plain old mechanical grip.

Under New Management

Posted in Tagged with tags on October 6, 2007 by Apollo

As of October 2007, the Apollonian Gasket is venting for a new master.

All change, and no change in a way, as I’d been coveting the name ever since I first saw it.

A lot of the non-personal stuff will be left in place, it’s the same sort of stuff I’d probably have included if I could be bothered, and I have better things to spend my spare time on, but I will send a broom through the places and sweep out anything particularly personal.

I’ll try and pick a new theme as well, just to mark the the change.

Now that I’ve got it, I’ll probably never use it!

(Fat Chance)

Remembrance depression

Posted in Tagged on November 12, 2006 by Apollo

Hand held poppyRemembrance Day and the Two Minute Silence have been observed since the end of the First World War, but today’s silence seemed to be sadder than before, as the world we live in today has changed in the past few years, and not for the better, or with any respect for those who gave so much in years gone by.

Without going into detail, the changes I have in mind are entirely Western/European in nature, and ongoing as the population sleepwalks into them.

Picture courtesy of The Royal British Legion.

Michael Schumacher – retired

Posted in Tagged on October 22, 2006 by Apollo

While I’ve never been one of his followers (he’s been a shade too ruthless on occasion), his skills and abilities behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car have never been in question, and make it even more the pity that there are those negative memories of his progress as a multiple World Champion.

Nonetheless, it was a shame that fate chose not to leave him problem free on his final race, although it did provide him with an opportunity to plough through the field from last position to 4th, after his puncture.

Watching the closing stages of the Brazilian race, more than his retiral and forthcoming absence from the F1 circus, the thought that there’s not really anyone of similar interest sitting in the wings as it were, ready to take his place as someone to watch at the head of the field, and be a character in their own right, as he, and most of his predecessors have been.

Maybe next year will be a fresh start, and the next few years will see some interesting characters develop from the current field. I suppose I liked things the way the way a few years ago, when drivers seemed to be around for years, growing and maturing with the sport. Nowadays, they seem to come from nowhere, stay around for a few years, and vapourise if they don’t become world champion after a year or two. Maybe there should be an F1-Idol series. Let them audition in front of a few experts, and just award one the title and cash without the effort of building a career first (kidding).

It was interesting to see the news report that Pele was there for a break, having sadly lost his daughter to cancer a few days ago.


Posted in Tagged on April 20, 2006 by Apollo

Or just honest coincidence?

Suffering from frustration as a '10 minute' web page moved into its 7th hour, the lighter evening offered an hour's break with a walk to the nearby 24 hour super-shop, at least starting in the light even though it was 9 pm. Taking way longer than planned, even the self-service checkout decided it wasn't going to read the barcodes, and I had to get an operator to manually accept the items – this is usually a smooth operation that beats the staffed checkouts.

Anyway, now rather later than planned, I was about 10 minutes from home, and about to pass a guy that had been ahead of me for some time, stuck to the inevitable mobile phone. I wanted to hurry past as I was dressed up for the weather, but he was only wearing a sleeveless T-shirt (ok, plus trousers etc) and little things like that can signal nearby trouble.

However, I pulled up short when he called out my first name as I drew level with him. "Remember me"?

Er… um… (familiarity, but no name popping up).


Yup, that was enough. We'd been at school together, not particular friends, but knew each other well enough. Turns out he was waiting for a lift, hence the lack of jacket.

We were also both 'between jobs' now. He'd gone into the motor trade and ended up managing a BMW dealership, but had walked away recently as "70+ hours a week wasn't on" when it became the norm, rather than the exception. Now he's training to be a driving instructor, and plans to be self-employed. I'm told it's a good number if you can make it work.

Geez. I can barely recognise folk I've just met, let alone years later! Still, might be a good sign if it means I don't look as decrepit as I feel 🙂

Hello world!

Posted in Tagged on April 14, 2006 by Apollo

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

 The inevitable "Hello world!" starting point – don't have the heart to delete it right away either 🙂