February 2018
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Month February 2018

to balasore

The days track. The first of probably 6 to Bangalore.

Hot, humid and often through industrial areas thick with smoking chimneys. A haze lay over everything. Not the best. The traffic was fierce until the corner south, then it was light

Coming the wrong way down the dual carriageway

WOTB, the spinners

Reddit’s countdown clock until race 1, Qatar

For 2018, my head says Marquez

My heart says Lorenzo

I had a lengthy email discussion with a friend who made an observation about the previous Motown/WOTB video. Oh well, they’re done now. One more.

Motown/WOTB #2. A fun city battle, angling intensive. Rubberband Man, The Spinners

Riding south in 2 hours.

WOTB, new theme

So we had a small screw up on our plan south and we’re here for another 24 hours.

Finally, circles a good distance apart as we hit highways to get south. I always start on a paper map

MAGA pen!

No, not true, I just said that ’cause I’m not fully emerged from being in full, 100%, troll-mode after the week’s Canada fail. It’s a pen from a.k.a. Boomerang Carnets.

Nice to get some tracks done before the biggest push yet on this leg

So, since I’m delayed a day, I needed a blog post.

So I’ve put together 3 60’s Motown/World of Tanks videos because I’m pretty sure that hasn’t been done before, lol

Tonight’s match is all about correct angling to bounce shots, and about getting shells below the curve of the lower mantle of the killer T110E3

So, video #1: Just Walk Away Renee, the Four Tops

 

@ the fools 2

Well. Holy shit.

The Times of India put it well today:

” Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s visit was a disaster that has little parallel in India’s recent diplomatic history “

They’re calling for a ‘reset’ in the relationship. You know, like after a divorce.

To be impartial, here are 2 good summaries from the respectably lefty Washington Post:

Justin Trudeau’s India troubles are rooted in Canadian minority politics

and

Trudeau’s India trip is a total disaster — and he has only himself to blame

They’re angry here. I took down a post I blogged last night quoting an Indian anonymously from my WhatsApp group because it was inflammatory. They’re specially angry because it insults their intelligence and came across as patronizing, as well as complete insensitivity to their primary political issues.

A reminder. Here’s an IQ distribution chart:

So (1.324B * .0214) India has almost as many people with an IQ of 148 (or greater) as the whole population of Canada.

So running afoul of that is extremely easy if you’re a very dim bulb, or a progressive. But I repeat myself.

I don’t blame this idiot completely. He’s not calling the shots

The Royal Calcutta Turf Club

It’s here, right behind Fort William

For years my daughters and I have gone to the races at Hastings Park In Vancouver. It’s a tradition going back to when they were underage for gambling and I rationed them $20 each for the day’s racing and placed their bets for them. We don’t know much, but my youngest is an accomplished rider and the family owns a thoroughbred.

Our routine at Hastings Park is systematic. We carefully inspect the horses before each race in the paddock, discuss the horses, read the program and horse history, the current odds, and then bet individually with reasonably sound judgement on win, place or show for our picks. We never go YOLO. Sometimes there’s consensus, but mostly not. Clearly we’re lucky because we always come out break-even or net ahead, as a group.

So here I am at one of the best tracks in the world. In 1930 the world’s biggest purse was awarded here. For more, go to the RCTC wiki.

Anyway, here’s the arrival point. But we find out it’s general admission and for 200 rupees (about $3.80 CDN) we can drive around to the VIP entrance

Which is here

Walking in, we walk past the magnificent members only clubhouse

To the ‘member’s guests’ buildings, equally grand. Show paddock in the foreground

The plebs area, which is normally where I prefer to be, and I’m not sure why I wasn’t…

VIP seating. Those Indian girls in smart traditional race attire are from New York!

Nice and tech. The track is turf, wow

So, pretending I’m with my kids, I head off to the saddling enclosure (I admit to being bit sad and homesick at this point)

Then to the show paddock to inspect the ponies

So here’s the thing: they are way more high-performance beasts than at home. All of them look like winners. I scale down the wager size in my mind at this point

They’re very serious

Betting time. This program to the right. My wager on the ticket to the left: Race number 6, horse number 10, to win, for 100 rupees ($1.95 LOL!)

And they’re off!

Man it was hot.

@ the fools

This is what I’m waking up to, again, this morning in India. The press is full of it

My Bangladeshi businessman friend, the British team doing outsourcing, my guide Debjani, the hotel staff, everyone. They all know. It’s the front page story. And here I am, bad timing, not for the first time.

Exactly the same as when I was in Myanmar before this, and Trudeau sent a Rohingya crisis delegation, and everyone knew and was embarrassed about that blundering interference too.

Or a few miles further east in Vietnam, the same month, when they messed up the APEC summit so badly they had to send a damage control team to Tokyo afterwards to try and repair the damage.

The common thread? Elitist pig-ignorance. The insane Canadian progressive left are following me around the world. Help.

three buildings

But first

So I have a friend, on her first moto adventure, in Laos. Two girls on scooters jumped out in front of her when she was on a scooter, not her bike, and they had a crash. She’s mostly fine. Here’s blood they drew out of her puffy knee.

Also, passed through Kumartuli, the traditional potters quarter


Building 1: Victoria Memorial. Build by Lord Curzon (husband of Lady Curzon, who organized the establishment of Kaziranga Reserve) after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. It now houses various galleries. A good but not excellent showing. Spectacular building, built out of the same white limestone as the Taj. No cameras allowed inside. See wiki

Building 2: Dakshineshwar Kali Temple. A more up-scale Kali Temple. Frantic inside. No cameras allowed inside. The wiki

Building 3: Espanade Mansions. Now a wreck. Built in 1910 for a Jewish real estate magnate. My favorite building in Calcutta. See article

It’s really hot. 93 going to 96 in a few days. But I’ll be gone by then. It’s a few degrees cooler in Bangalore, my next major destination.

That’s it for today. Out tonight and a big day tomorrow.

kalighat

The main event, the most intense experience yet in India, and seared into my mind.

Kalighat is one of the oldest parts of Calcutta and one of the most densely populated. Go to the kalighat wiki for the beta.

As they say above, the Hindus coming to the Kali Temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays can be a hundred times other days. Today is Wednesday, quieter in theory.

Here’s the district, the Temple in the centre

The ride in the general direction

Park a few blocks away and walk. Yup, quiet

The Kali temple, dating from the 1600’s

Another view, from a semi-private pond

The outside was ringed with smaller shrines to Kali

And other deities

Debjani handed me off to this guy, beside the monkey god, Hanuman

In we went

No cameras beyond this point.

Inside there were two main buildings, one with two long chaotic line-ups of Hindus, nearly all women, feeding up steps to small doorway, Kali within. The fellow I was handed off to led me to gated off steps immediately in front of the doorway. As the two lines converged it was like a piraña feeding frenzy for a glimpse at Kali, no one getting even a second to see inside before being pushed aside. It was difficult to see through, but I saw a very strange image of a surprisingly abstract graphic of three eyes, below. Someone got a camera in, because I found this on the web. It was unreal, very powerful

The second was a small stone building. This was where the rubber hit the road. They sacrifice one ox and 20 goats to Kali here a day. As recently as 100 years ago they sacrificed criminals, and sometimes children, to her here.

There were two stone upright stone U‘s, topped in a polished metal, mounted over a blood and sand filled trough. I was standing at the rear of the room, about 3 feet from the rear of the U‘s. In front were a few families going through a ceremony I didn’t understand and Debjani wouldn’t come in, so I was alone.

Shortly they carried in a panicked and screaming goat, a flower garland around its neck, threaded a pin through the U at its neck so it was pinned. The position was that I was looking directly into its eyes from a few feet away. A man with a machete sized but curved blade, after some moments, cut its head off. I was committed to seeing this through and absorbed it intimately. Otherwise why am I on this world ride.

I’ll spare the 3 or 4 seconds of following detail, but it was enlightening. Whether we want to go through that encounter with death, through its eyes, is another thing. In retrospect tonight, I did.

Behind the temple is the channel that 100’s of years ago was the original flow of the Ganges

This child was being ‘anointed’ from the water.

I was reading about an Indian, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a social reformer who tried to stop the Hindu practice of sati, where a widow volunteered or was coerced or forced to burn alive, as normal practice, on her passed husband’s funeral pyre. Common themes about sacrifice, death, and hindu reincarnation