Wednesday, June 28, 2006

[Fwd: [Fwd: Satan Plays Political Favorites]]

It's a small, crap comment that still got lost somehow so I'm reposting.

Somedays you have to wonder what the hell some people are thinking.
Satan is too busy dogging my job hunt in the UK to bother with a
politician's campaign.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A great lesson in the English

It's not a stretch to distinguish the English from the British. In a
sense there's no /British/ culture, rather British is a conflation of
several distinctive nationalities and several cultures with in each;
English is not Scottish is not Irish, in other words. Similarly, there's
a difference between Yorshire and Anglian, Essex and Liverpudlian.
We had some carpet laid down yesterday. One small bedroom needed new
carpet. My wife had prepaid the company for carpet, underlay and gripper
rails. The two man team showed up in the morning. One of the guys was a
miserable ghit. Barely spoke and looked at the dog like he was carrying
the plague (no particular plague, pick one).
Guess which part of the order they didn't install. The gripper rails.
And they tossed the old carpet and underlay over the rail to the
concourse below our flat (without looking). When I asked them not to,
they gave that English answer: It's got nuffin to do wiff me.
And the older guy, the miserble ghit, was a racist bastard...the second
he had a moment he started nigger nigger this, nigger nigger that, line
up the darkies and ...
Do yourself a favour over here, get a handle on DIY. Try not to use the
locals, unless they're Polish nationals.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

7 Things You Can’t Say in Canada

7 Things You Can’t Say in Canada
Reader's Digest says these things.
I have to agree with the Atwood comment. Blah!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

[Fwd: Nova Scotia's big retailers duck Sunday shopping ban]

There's always a way around laws and some kind of loophole to exploit.
Although there's a certain quaintness to places with no Sunday shopping,
but having been to NS just recently I have to admit that you can a) be
very accustomed to being able to shop when you need b) find it very
frustrating to not be able to get necessities (I don't know tire
puncture sealant) when the need arises.
So a minor hooray for Sobey's for working out the way around it.

On board the Queen Mary 2 I had the chance...

One of the great chances we had on the QM2 was to participate in a
series of Oxford extension lectures. (Got a certificate!)
I attended the lectures on evolution by Dr Robert Barton of Durham
Barton is definitely in the Dawkins camp, supporting the idea of gene
level selection. As he put it the logic is impeccable. I got the chance
to speak with him about his thoughts on species level selection (a la
Gould); in his opinion Gould managed several mental gymnastics to
rationalize certain thoughts. I had noticed that Gould's writings had
reflected a belief that natural selection could account for the most
wonderful adaptations and structures but somehow not the brain.
Barton's lectures covered natural selection in general, sexual
selection, evolution and culture and were informative for the informed
layman (me).
In our short conversation Barton admitted to me that the prospect of
doing evolution lectures on a ship half full of Americans made him a bit
nervous, what with all the ID and creationism and fundamentalism coming
out of the US. There were ultimately no problems from the audience. I'm
not sure exactly why, whether there were no creationists in the audience
or everyone just decided to keep decorum.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

World Cup is on

It's quite the thing to watch the World Cup (unlike the World Series
this involves more than 2 countries).
One of the more amusing things is a series of Budweiser ads showing
American commentators either preparing or watching footie and making the
most profoundly ignorant comments.
I have no idea if they've been posted on You Tube or somewhere else yet,
but if they have been check them out.

Friday, June 09, 2006

[Fwd: Jon Stewart Hammers Bill Bennett]

Through Dispatches from the Culture War.
Saw this last night. Only about a day behind.
Stewart's triumph here was reversing the slippery slope metaphor to
include the next step is banning inter-racial marriage. Very well done.
I still have yet to see a slippery slope thin edge of the wedge argument
that I thought much of.

Past breaking now, but still news.

Hooray, the insurgency is over. Peace breaks out in Iraq.

Jordanian-born militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted
insurgent in Iraq, has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of
Baghdad, Iraq's prime minister said Thursday.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Okay, I'm not always grumbling about this place.

Today I thought I'd repudiate some of my previouse statements. But then
I realized I wasn't using the word properly.

1. Weather: Today it's absolutely beautiful. Direct from wholesale
2. TV: Tony Robinson and Terry Jones's documentary series are on a
lot. All the Futuramas that Canadian TV never plays (all but 4 in
other words) are on. Lots of Buffy and Angel. Sky TV is pretty cool.
3. Cars: Volkswagon Polo? Nissan Micra? Vauxhall Nova? Vauxhall
anything? I don't really know cars but these things are an
intruiging mystery.
4. Argos: Consumer's Distributing lives! The catalogue is great. You
still write down your number on the little slips and pick your
order. It's great! It's a nostalgia trip. /Cheap/ laser printers
too. (Cheap for the UK)
5. Beer: Brits love beer. Canadians do too, but we don't love variety
in our beer the way Brits do. They have some great beers here just
sitting around in the corner store.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Grumbles and gripes

Some things that I've noticed since being here. Numbered, but not ordered.

1. Neighbours: There are some great people in the UK, but everyone
that you've ever seen in a BritFlick saying "That's got nuffin' to
do wiff me." as they see you lying bleeding in the ditch lives on
this street and the next two over.
2. Weather: Why do they hire meteorologists here? I mean
seriously...look out the window. You're in London. What do you
think it's doing? It's raining. Meteorologist is Greek for
3. Drought: Only England could possibly create the Rain Sodden
Drought. It's rained just shy of every day since we got here and
the drought continues. Where the hell does the water go?
4. Street signs: are all mounted at my knees. What am I, a hobbitt?
5. Smoking in bars: This just has to stop. Have you every been around
a smoker and they say something like: I really need a smoke. Let's
go to a bar. Of course you haven't. People go out to bars to be
with friends and to drink. If there's no smoking bars, non-smokers
will stay longer and drink more. Lose the smoking in the pub; I'm
trying to have a beer here.
6. There is no number 6.
7. Job applications: It's comforting that I get to write down my
religion so often. I know there are anti-discrimination laws of
some sort here. They only need my denomination for pre-screening
I'm sure. And my age as well. Oh, and my race. That's also
important to have on my application.
8. TV: Eh, it's okay. Takes forever to get set up.
9. Internet: Just about every broadband connection is ADSL and they
don't tend to tell you that they're going take weeks and weeks to
get it. Ordered on the 15 May. Still waiting 3 Jun. Nice, eh?
10. Housing quality. Oh, there's just no end of stuff to say. I do
like the fact that you can't tell the difference between a rich
neighbourhood and a slum by looking at the houses. Or the amount
of litter on the streets.