Buyer’s Confusion

I am in the market potentially for a bike. The Czechs love to cycle and there is much to see on a bike here and lots of bike paths and routes and so on. Its a bikers’ paradise. ¬†Additionally, I just seem incapable of losing any weight whatever I do so I figure cycling more may help keep me fit, healthy and slimmer.

But boy, how difficult it is to buy a bike!

There seems to be around 20 odd brands and all of them make bikes in every category with minor differences and so my entry level bike choice probably numbers one of 30-40 different bike models and brands. Its no use asking the shop people which is the best value as they won’t tell you to go to another store now will they. From what I can gather, it comes down to frame and components but how you are supposed to know which components are superior to others is beyond me. I have even researched on the internet and reckon you would need to be mad crazy about bikes to ever know what it is you need to know to buy a bike.

The other thing that gets me is the price of bikes. Yes, you can pick up a cheap bike in a supermarket but my experience and research suggests these fall apart pretty quickly and I have heard them described as ‘death traps’ by the experts. For a real bike $500 seems to be about the minimum and it goes on from there. I saw a bike yesterday that had a price on it of $16,000 – you could buy a car for that!

My point though is that its now just bikes that pose a buying dilemma but more or less anything. Want a new TV? Take a look at all of those TVs in the showrooms – brands, types, sizes – what the hell makes one TV twice as expensive as another and how am I supposed to know this? Phones… washing machines… anything – we are spoilt for choice and such a broad choice that every purchase decision requires you to become an expert on the topic. It contributes to the stress of life that I simply am at the mercy of choice.

In the end then, how do I choose? Perhaps its just how a thing looks – color, design and shininess? I do my research, I shop around but invariably I fall in love with something despite myself. It may not be the best, have the best price etc. but I like it. Inevitably, the bike I end up buying will be the one I simply fell in love with…..


Mystery and Conspiracy

I don’t particularly like conspiracy theories or the people that like to propagate them.I have always found that the logical explanation is the most likely and I have no need for cults, lizard people, worldwide conspiracies, aliens or any of that ilk to explain things. Until now.

Like many, I have been following the tragic story of the Malaysian Boeing 777. Now, I can understand how conspiracy theories occur as, let’s be honest, it hasn’t been handled very well by the authorities. Even worse, I can’t think of a single logical explanation for what seems to have occurred. In a world where we have ready answers for most things, Flight MH370 is a true mystery. It must be absolutely impossible for the relatives and those impacted directly by this event and our thoughts are with them but how can a 777 just go missing like this?

You can think of any number of quite logical scenarios but each and every one is flawed. If something went wrong, how come the plane flew for 7-hours undetected and no one made any kind of call for help? If the pilot hijacked the plane, how on earth did he do it with a plane full of people with cell phones? Why would anyone fly into a deserted ocean and wait to run out of fuel? There is no explanation unless there is something we are not being told. And that is how conspiracy theories are born isn’t it?

I’m hoping that sooner or later something will turn up and explanations will be forthcoming. Relatives need closure. Fliers need reassurance that if this was a catastrophic failure of an amazingly safe so far airliner that the cause is known and fixed. If it was really a pilot or people hijacking the plane then plainly additional security processes are needed. No effort should be spared to find this aircraft for any number of reasons. Just as importantly, what is known needs to be made public and any misconceptions need to be squashed and corrected.


I for one am sick already of hearing about alien abductions, black holes, Government plots and the like, but until someone lays out what is known and more importantly, until that aircraft is found, such theories will abound. Take a look at the wacky theories already out there. It didn’t help that Iranians traveling on stolen passports photos were obviously photoshopped either with both men sharing the same legs….


The Importance of Asking Questions

Some days I wonder. About everything. I mean, there is a lot to wonder about isn’t there?

Why do men have nipples?

Why don’t Czech men know about deodorant?

Why is GOD DOG spelt backwards?

Why does Wayne Rooney get paid so much money?

What happened to Trilobites?

That sort of question. Questions to which there are really no definitive answers.


My favorite question is ‘What am I?’ I see and interact with a world that I sense but I at times of perhaps total lunacy entertain the idea that it is My world. There is only me. Everything is me. It maybe sounds arrogant but I don’t mean it that way. There is just a gulf between the real (me) and what seems to be real (the world) that confounds me.

I have always thought like this and asked those questions. Even as a child. ‘What am I?’ ‘Why am I here?’

Not being able to answer these questions literally drives me mad. I cannot stand the not knowing what the hell everything is. It must be something surely but why? See! Questions and questions.

We must always ask questions and contemplate even if there is no answer. In the quiet contemplation of the question, images and thoughts arise spontaneously as insights. We may not ever answer the question itself but we can prise open some other secrets along the way.