And they've said, when you want to hit your enemy hard, hit them from all fronts. Nobody can properly defend blows to all sides. That's why "outflanking" is such a critical military strategy. But what happens when your enemy is plain bad luck?
First, my bike has not been healthy of late. Just within two months, I have had the engine "moaning" and reluctant to spin at the high rpm necessary to accelerate smoothly twice. The first incident had the spark plug replaced, the valves and air filter cleaned. The second incident was due to the rotor/battery unit (i do not know the exact name for that device) that rotates to allow high-rpm mode and burst of horsepower. Those weren't so bad, since i was still able to ride my injured horse down to the stable for quick checkup. This morning however, it just suddenly started "coughing" when I increased the throttle; a very different feel from the previous problem. This cough was so bad, the engine will lose output altogether and stop. On one ocassion, it died again when I was the red light testing the throttle. And it wouldn't start up again. Good thing there were few vehicles around, allowing me to quickly push it to the side from the right lane.
The last time I experienced such a phenomenon was due to water contamination in the fuel tank. I suspect the same thing has happened - Singapore has been blasted by rain for the whole of this year - but I won't be sure until my mechanic picks up the bike from tow and has a look at it.
UPDATE: turns out that I ran out of fuel. When i haven't even crossed 200Km??? The last lowest distance when it bailed on me was 234Km, and I always had 1-2 litres of petrol left whenever I top up the tank at the 210-220Km range. Time to call up Guiness.
Did I mention today is the day I have set aside for catching up with some training courses? So I got back late (by bus), powered up my laptop to get going with the online courses facilitated by Skillsoft Course Manager (SCM). The two course materials I needed to take were previously downloaded and ready to run. Or so I thought. When I tried to play one of the courses, it complained I did not have the correct locale to play it. It asked me whether I wanted to download the locale content. Why would I want to refuse in the first place? Sure. Almost immediately another dialog pops up claiming it has been installed. Click OK. Nothing happens. Try to play the course content again. It complains locale not installed.
I have never liked SCM the first time I used it, and now I positively hate it. It is official; SCM is a piss-poor product. I see network activity happening with my network adapter, and since i was not running anything else other than SCM, I really wished it at least put up a progress bar dialog box to indicate really when the locale data gets completed. Several times of cancelling and closing, and SCM is no longer considered a valid Win32 application by Windows. Thumbs up, Skillsoft.
So how am I to get a new one? Not to mention I'd probably have to download the course content all over too. VPN. Recently my company's finally gotten around with the VPN infrastructure to support Windows Vista and IE7. woohoo. But for technical reasons I will not document here, the VPN client simply cannot connect. Bloody hell.
Falling back to my personal computer (winXP) and its VPN attempt succeeded, so I proceeded to find the course's page on the company intranet site, and first downloaded the SCM - simply need it to play the course content - on this machine. Once that was done, I went back to the page to download the course content itself.
Application error. It wouldn't show the proper page content to give me the link to the course material.
So here I am now, not being able to do anything I planned for, but only to type this. Bikeless. Courseless. Maybe it is time I took up smoking, and start scheduling smoke breaks with all the spare time I have.