Monday, December 30, 2013

Michael Schumacher - Why He Is My Hero

Michael Schumacher is my hero mainly because for the best part of a decade I hated him, and now I cannot think of Formula 1 without his influence.

I first heard of Michael Schumacher back in 1991 when he joined the Benetton Formula 1 team and immediately started to end races on the podium.
Michael Schumacher driving for Benetton Formul...
Michael Schumacher driving for Benetton Formula at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unlike his peers, he did not use his early years in racing to learn the ropes, get to grips with the team and his personal engineers, but immediately jumped into fast racing. His engineers have always said that the feedback he gave was extraordinary.

The current world leader in Formula 1, Sebestian Vettel has repeatedly stated that he always endeavors to be more like Michael when it comes to how he behaves outside of the car. The fact that in such an ego-fueled industry the World Champion can say something like that shows just what a hero Michael Schumacher is to so many people.

So, why did I hate the man? I'm sure he didn't care a fig about me!

Michael Schumacher driving for Scuderia Ferrar...
Michael Schumacher driving for Scuderia Ferrari at the 2001 Canadian Grand Prix. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite simply, in an era where it wasn't unheard of for drivers to sneak a quick cigarette here or there, (heck the cars looked like boxes of cancer sticks for crying out loud!), Michael proved time after time why it was so important to be at the peak of physical fitness. For me, that was just too much. The best drivers were equivalent to fighter pilots, if not better and they lived by their quick wits and reaction times. You're not going to improve on those however much salad you eat or however many miles you cycle, run or swim.

It's just not sportsman-like, its unprofessional and I'll have none of it!

Yes, I was wrong. Oh so very wrong. Oh so very, pathetically wrong.

Michael Schumacher repeatedly stood up for what he believed in. He just knew what it took to take Formula 1 racing to the next level. A level that most racers of the time could not achieve.

His first victory was at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1992, in a wet race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which by 2003 he would call "far and away my favourite track". He finished third in the Drivers' Championship in 1992 with 53 points, three points behind runner-up Patrese.

In 1994 Schumacher won six of the first seven races and was leading the Spanish Grand Prix, before a gearbox failure left him stuck in fifth gear. To most drivers being stuck in 5th means pulling over to the side and an ice cream in the back of the team garage or a helicopter ride to the airport to get home. Schumacher finished the race in second place.

Its at this point that I, as a grown man and solid fan of Formula 1 should have noticed that he was a star on the rise. Instead I was present at Silverstone, at the British Grand Prix, when Schumacher was penalized for overtaking on the formation lap. He then ignored the penalty and the subsequent black flag, which indicates that the driver must immediately return to the pits, for which he was disqualified and later given a two-race ban. It was this kind of 'not playing cricket' that really annoyed my sensibilities of fair-play.

I wasn't driving a half tonne race car around gritty tracks at 300 km/h, so I wasn't really in a position to argue with him.

In 1996, Schumacher joined Ferrari, a team which had last won the Drivers' Championship in 1979 and the Constructors' Championship in 1983, for a salary of $60 million over 2 years. A year later, ex-Benetton employees Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn, who had been Technical Director at Benetton since 1991, and who were one of the key members behind Schumacher's title successes with the team in 1994 and 1995, decided to join Schumacher at Ferrari. This increased Schumacher's motivation to build a more experienced and potentially championship-winning team around him.

Michael Schumacher driving for Ferrari at the ...
Michael Schumacher driving for Ferrari at the 1997 German Grand Prix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ross Brawn would go on to create his own team 'Brawn GP' in 2009, which went on to win the 2009 Formula One World Constructors' Championship and one of its drivers, Jenson Button, won the World Drivers' Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Schumacher was drawing excellent talent around him, and this time, he had the money to put into the design and upkeep of the dream car. He finished third in the drivers' championship in 1996 and helped Ferrari to second place in the constructors' championship ahead of his old team Benetton. He won three races, more than the team's total tally for the period from 1991 to 1995.

Schumacher won his third World Championship in 2000. At the post race press conference, after equaling the number of wins (41) won by his idol, Ayrton Senna, Schumacher broke into tears. This is when I started to dilute the hatred for the man.

A man who has won World Championships 7 times  (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002,2003, 2004) cannot be hated by an F1 fan! Repeatedly he has proven that his attitude, mixed with his natural ability and his fitness, created a winner;

91 wins
155 podiums
68 pole positions
77 fastest laps
It doesn't get much better than that.


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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chuck Norris v. Jean Claude van Damme

Its been a while since real men have been allowed to be real men.  I've blogged about the cowboy heroes and anti-heroes in Longmire and Justified and Vegas, but here we have real tough guys doing what they do best - challenging each other and one-upping each other.

I can only hope and pray that the next level of this championship rocks as much as these videos do.

The 1st video is of that nice chap from 'Friends' Mr. Jean Claude van Damme and at the time of wiritng was at 61,210,215 views:

The 2nd is of that charming youngster, Chuck Norris. He who cannot be beaten.

Allegedly, Chuck Norris likes his meat so rare, he only eats unicorns.
When Google don't know something,  they go on the internet and 'Chuck Norris' it.


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Self Healing Phone: The Future is Here

I'm always worried when I put my keys in my pocket along with my phone. Will I scratch my screen? Will everything drop out when I get a phone call? Will my ringxiety or hypovibrochondria cause me to grab for my phone to no avail?

Now there is an answer to at least one of my phone issues. Allow me to introduce to you, the self healing phone:

My only question here is - when will they have this on cars, boats and planes?


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Zach Sobiech - May 3, 1995 – May 20, 2013 part II

Back in May I wrote "Zach Sobiech - May 3, 1995 – May 20, 2013" about Zach Sobiech, a teenager who had found out that he had a rare bone cancer.

As Adam Mordecai, the guy who brought Zach so much attention, says himself, but it could be about any of us writing about Zach in the blogosphere:

"I'm sad I never got the opportunity to meet him. But 5,000 people who did know him got together to create a giant choir in the middle of the Mall of America. Then they sang his song, which debuted a year ago. The couple in the middle are his wonderful and supportive and brave parents. And I, once again, have become a weepy mess."

And here is the Celebrity Music Video of 'Clouds'

Got to go now, getting very dusty in here...


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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Making Me A Belieber

Image representing Justin Bieber as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase
English: Justin Bieber at the Sentul Internati...
Justin Bieber at the Sentul International Convention Center in West Java, Indonesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

STOP! I am not a Justin Bieber fan!

Please don't get the wrong idea, I couldn't care less about the young man, but I saw this faux interview with him and thought that he may yet salvage some humanity from what might seem like a rather robot-like personality.

He is here, and it looks like he is here to stay, so let's just watch this star and see just how quickly (or otherwise!) the star fades.


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Go Jump Off A Cliff

This guy did and is kicking himself for it I'm sure!

As someone who has done a fair bit of rock-climbing and abseiling (rappelling) I can assure you that even the ending where he seems to be sliding, rather inelegantly, down the rock face, he is getting damaged no end!

And here is what BASE (building, antenna, span, earth) jumping should look like:

My Lame 2012 Base Jumping Video from Subterminallyill on Vimeo.


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Thanking of You Kindly

Thank you very much for making this possible:



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Miley Cyrus - You're Responsible

Dear Miley,

You know I love you, and will always do so, for your voice, for your attitude and for the fact that you enabled so many copycat videos that made me laugh.

Actually made me hurt myself laughing.

Miley, Growing Up Can Be Painful, but you made your coming of age, something that we can all smile at.

And the original, in full gloriousness


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Monday, December 2, 2013

Say You'll Marry Me!

My good (real life) friend Ruth was proposed to recently - here's how he did it. Rather classy, if I do say so myself!

When I proposed to Mrs Jumblerant it was at a secluded spot in the desert, with candles adn champagne, and the unspoken threat that if she said 'no' she might be left there on her own...

8 years later and we're still together.

My blessings to you Ruth and Steven! So happy for you both.


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Friday, November 29, 2013

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

I know its a tough world out there in Hollywood - but where the heck are my cowboys? I need to see some criminals get put away, some logic and gut feelings put into play and I need it now!




Nothing to see here, I'm just waiting for the boys to come back to TV is all.



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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Change You Can Believe In

Obamacare, Peace with Iran, Thanks Giving, Hanukah and oh, so much more, but here is what fell between the cracks, as they always have done:

Curious about the 100,000 Homes Campaign? Participating communities have already housed over 73,000 people across teh USA, including 21,000 veterans.

Learn about the movement that is fundamentally altering America's response to homelessness through the firsthand experiences of some of its most successful participants at

kthanxbai! Jumblerant
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