Ride Thro Time Episode 6 Hadrian’s Wall

July 6th, 2011

Finally managed to get something stitched together that resembles an episode… okay only vaguely resembles, but still it’s something that fills a small hole in the world wide web with something other than smut, so that’s a good thing right?

Anyway, Hadrian and his wall, the northern extent of the empire, only not quite….

Episodes 4 and 5 now posted.

May 11th, 2011

Finished uploading the latest episodes of Ride thro’ Time. This completes the Piercebridge trundle through gardens, over walls and up and down Roman ankle-breaking defences.


Follow the journey further north in the coming episode, before finally reaching Hadrian’s Wall and Vindolanda.

Ride thro Time

May 5th, 2011

I like to add a theme to the trips I take. Recently I rode along the length of Hadrian’s Wall, a Roman defence line that bi-sects England at it’s narrowest point and which used to form the border between Rome’s civilisation and non=Roman barbarity, or Scotland as it is now known.

I’ve made a few podcasts so far and there are more to come, that follow this trip, you’ll find them here:


They aren’t intended to be educational, although after watching them you may well say, “Well that’s taught me a lesson”.

Make your own mind up.

April 18th, 2011


Link to the local newspaper report on Greg Mortenson’s charity and the ’60 Minutes’ report.


Greg Mortenson is a former mountain climber, best-selling author, humanitarian, and philanthropist. His non-profit organization, the Central Asia Institute (CAI), is dedicated to promoting education, especially for girls, in remote parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and according to its web site, has established more than 140 schools there.

President Obama donated $100,000 to the group from the proceeds of his Nobel Prize. Mortenson’s book, Three Cups of Tea, has sold more than four million copies and is required reading for U.S. servicemen bound for Afghanistan.

But last fall, we began investigating complaints from former donors, board members, staffers, and charity watchdogs about Mortenson and the way he is running his non-profit organization. And we found there are serious questions about how millions of dollars have been spent, whether Mortenson is personally benefiting, and whether some of the most dramatic and inspiring stories in his books are even true.

Greg Mortenson’s books have made him a publishing phenomenon and sought-after speaker on the lecture circuit, where he has attained a cult-like status. He regularly draws crowds of several thousand people and $30,000 per engagement.

And everywhere Mortenson goes, he brings an inspirational message built around a story that forms the cornerstone of Three Cups of Tea and his various ventures – how, in 1993, he tried and failed to reach the summit of K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, to honor his dead sister, how he got lost and separated from his party on the descent and stumbled into a tiny village called Korphe.

Greg Mortenson (speaking on big T.V. screen): My pants were ripped in half and I hadn’t taken a bath in 84 days.

Mortenson (in T.V. interview): And I stumbled into a little village called Korphe, where I was befriended by the people and…

Mortenson (in another T.V. interview): They gave me everything they had: their yak butter, their tea. They put warm blankets over me, and they helped nurse me back to health.

Mortenson tells how he discovered 84 children in the back of the village writing their school lessons with sticks in the dust.

Mortenson (speaking on stage): And when a young girl named Chocho came up to me and said…

Mortenson (speaking on another stage): Can you help us build a school? I made a rash promise that day and I said, “I promise I’ll help build a school.” Little did I know it would change my life forever.

It’s a powerful and heart-warming tale that has motivated millions of people to buy his book and contribute nearly $60 million to his charity.

Jon Krakauer: It’s a beautiful story, and it’s a lie.

Jon Krakauer is also a best-selling author and mountaineer, who wrote Into Thin Air and Into The Wild. He was one of Mortenson’s earliest backers, donating $75,000 to his non-profit organization.

But after a few years, Krakauer says he withdrew his support over concerns that the charity was being mismanaged, and he later learned that the Korphe tale that launched Mortenson into prominence was simply not true.

Steve Kroft: Did he stumble into this village weak in a weakened state?

Krakauer: Absolutely not.

Kroft: Nobody helped him out. And nursed him back to health.

Krakauer: Absolutely not. I have spoken to one of his companions, a close friend, who hiked out from K2 with him and this companion said Greg never heard of Korphe till a year later.

Strangely enough, Krakauer’s version of events is backed up by Greg Mortensen himself, in his earliest telling of the story. In an article he wrote for the newsletter of The American Himalayan Foundation after his descent from K2, Mortenson makes no mention of his experience in Korphe, although he did write that he hoped to build a school in another village called Khane.

Who can you trust?

April 18th, 2011

Well there is still some clarification needed, however it appears that not only did Karen decide to deceive me, but also there’s the possibility that the charity I was riding for has been less than honest too. Firstly the Three Cups of Tea book seems to have been exaggerated to a point where it was lies, then the CAI Central Asia Institute, the charity I was advising people to support because it’s message echoed so closely to my own that I thought it would be a logical association, may not have been doing what it says it is doing with the money raised, namely building secular schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan to promote cultural tolerance and mutual understanding, but has instead been using the money to fund promotion of Greg Mortensen’s books and speaking tours.

Now, I know Karen was a liar and manipulated circumstances, but I’m still not sure about CIA and Greg, however, his book is still worth reading, but I will be suspending the links from my website to his charity, until clarification is provided.

Nice to think though, that everything I though gave some value to having lost my marriage, my dreams, my expectations for a happy future, my friends, my job, etc… is now also in doubt.

These doubts have been brought about by the research done by the USA’s ’60 minute’ programme.

In the process of production

April 14th, 2011

Spent today getting some things ready. Before I upload these elements to the site there’s a bit of testing to do, but the aim is to have links to the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Third-Cup-Unchainedworld/153588048037134, to have the first podcast in the ‘Ride thro time’ series and to my YouTube Channel. I may also have been talked into adding a Twitter link, but I’ve never tweeted, although I have been a twit once or twice.

It would be good to see everything come together. It would be nice to see the linking bring more people to the Unchainedworld.com site and make recommendations, because that’s the goal, to have a useable database of extraordinary services. Of course the ongoing desire to bring about educational development is always worth mentioning… it’s the reason for three teas.

Keep watching, things are getting exciting again.

Re-purposing and linking content

April 7th, 2011

There are few benefits to be gained by finding yourself reduced to a part time job, where the salary barely covers living costs, actually they aren’t covered, but the ebbing is slowed, well one of the benefits is time in the library and free wifi. So, with this time, when I’m not applying for jobs, I am looking at taking what has been written here, what exists on the website, http://ttt.unchainedworld.com and try to create something worthwhile.

I’ve started on a film script, the beginning and end are in place and the middle needs filling with the content from this blog. If I can use clips I have shot in a semi-documentary style, to supplement any new material, then that would be interesting.

But who would play me?

There’s work on a book and after last year’s presentation at Horizons Unlimited’s inaugural Ireland Meeting, I’ve reworked that material too.

I’ve started a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Unchainedworld/153588048037134 for unchainedworld,http://www.unchainedworld.com the database driven site for recommending unique venues and services that you encounter and want to share. I’ll be linking that to the website and this blog. This blog will also have an RSS feed from the http://ttt.unchainedworld.com website and facebook page as well as unchainedworld. Then there will be podcasts, as soon as I’ve broken some of the footage down to more manageable sized sequences.

On the move… again

March 30th, 2011

Time to give serious consideration to moving once more. My current position neither enables me to create a future, nor live a life in the present. The job market is no better, in fact it’s getting worse and I’m not adding anything of value to my CV meantime. I’ll need to cast the net far and wide, but fear that all I’ll get is a series of minnows, where only the location and not the circumstances will have changed.

Spring has sprunged (sic)

March 24th, 2011

A few piccies from a sunny spring day ride. Lifts the spirits.

One down, one to go.

March 21st, 2011

Well in my endeavours to gain some sense of fair play, I’m happy to report that it is possible, even when the odds seem stacked against you, to achieve a fair result. Given that you may be facing blatant lies, a less than impartial hearing and all you have is integrity and one single line of text on a contract, the outcome can still turn out to be right. Right not only in the sense of correct, but right in that it is just.

Now it’s time to focus on the second issue. Once again it’s about achieving fairness. But this time, whatever the outcome, the result will not be satisfactory, as there is no compensation that can be won that is great enough to balance that which was taken so abruptly and without warning: trust, hope, faith, shared dreams and unconditional love.

Financial wins can only balance financial loss… for all else, there’s nothing that can be regarded as suitable recompense, but as money is all that the legal system seems to recognise as a means of retribution, then that’s all I’m able to pursue.

Let’s see where this ends.