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September 6, 2009

Nick’s visit to Chicago

Filed under: The American Adventure — admin @ 10:39 am

Pepper investigating Nick's suitcaseNick just left Chicago after a week long visit. We had an absolutely fantastic time — I took some time off work, much needed — and really enjoyed having fun in the summertime. Nick had never seen Chicago without mounds of snow everywhere! We crammed a lot into a week and even then there were things we didn’t get to do. Sounds like the ideal excuse for another visit Nick!

The highlight of his visit, I’m sure, was meeting Pepper. From the moment Nick arrived with his suitcases, she was investigating…

Of course, she got lots of cuddles whether she wanted them or not! When Pepper wants to get down she gently taps you on the cheek. If that doesn’t work, she’ll miaow at you. If that doesn’t work she’ll wriggle free of you!

We went to the Bull & Bear, where the beer taps sit on the table. This means you can pour your own beer…with varying results!
I think the highlight of the trip for all of us was the Segway tour we did at the weekend. It was so much fun — the Segways are so easy to control and are a great way to see the city. We had a fantastic day for it and three hours just wasn’t enough time!

The view from one of the glass blocks in the Sears TowerNick & I also visited the Sears Tower (sorry, ‘Willis Tower’ may be correct but it doesn’t sound right!) They recently installed four glass cubes on the 103rd floor. The worst part was the wait beforehand but once we got up there it wasn’t so bad. Everybody seemed to be taking photos of themselves lying down on the floor of the cubes…so, when in Rome.

We did the usual tour of the sights — we went up the Sears on Nick’s last visit but I don’t think the visibility was as good. One day Sap & Nick went to the cat sanctuary where they fell in love with some kittens. Don’t worry — Pepper is still our only cat! But one of the kittens they saw could have been Pepper as a kitten.

We took Nick to Bin 36 on his last night for some wine & cheese. He and I had the 13 cheese flight — “13 cheese you cannot live without” apparently — and had a wine flight and some port. It was a lovely civilised evening and rounded off a top time.

Come back soon Nick! Bring your onion bhaji with you. More photos of the visit are up at Flickr.

Badoer Blinkered?

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 9:55 am

Luca Badoer has come out and said that all the negative press he received for his poor drives in Valencia and Spa contributed to Ferrari replacing him with Giancarlo Fisichella.

“The media played a fundamental role in the decision to replace me.”

By reporting on your woeful performances, yes. F1 has always been a piranha club — if you’re not quick enough, you’re out. The list of drivers who don’t make the cut is huge — this season we’ve had Nelson Piquet and Sebastian Bourdais shown the door for poor performances.

Badoer goes on to say that, had Ferrari given him one more race, he’d have been on the pace.

“Maranello had faith in me. I only have one regret – from the third grand prix I would have done better.”

I remember hearing something similar after Valencia. Maranello obviously lost that faith.

(As an aside, I’m pleased that Fisichella will finally get to drive a Ferrari in F1. It’s long been his dream and the deal he’s got — racing for the final five races, then test & reserve driver next year — sounds great. Seeing him in the Ferrari kit brings back memories of seeing Alesi in the Jordan in 2001. It just felt right, you know? Anyway. Forza Fisi.)

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