Archive for March, 2008

Aaaaaaaww… bless!

Saw this today and it made me smile.

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Made me laugh…



At first I thought this was an example of New World subtlety – but on further investigation this stuff is from France.

At last a French wine minus the ponce factor. Will let you know what it tastes like.

There’s a Chardonney but I’ve got my eye on the Shiraz first…

Fat bastard

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Nature’s warning signs

Nature has ways of giving warnings that something is dangerous to eat – just think of all those spotted toadstools.

The cunning chaps in America have come up with a similar system for fast food. Essentially those places that have food that is either toxic or generally not fit for human consumption are marked by the use of a red or yellow sign. Red AND yellow signs signify a particular high risk of encountering dreadful food.

Nature’s warning signs

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Driving peculiarities

I’ve already mentioned that the driving test here is far from rigorous and I’m frustrated on a daily basis by the fact that people here seem to feel they have to slow to walking pace to navigate even the gentlest of turns (something to do with most of the cars being made of blancmange methinks). However there are two driving conventions here that are growing on me:

  • the ability to turn right at a red light when it is safe to do so. Very enlightened.
  • the second is the 4way stop. Now initially I thought this was just a traffic aggravating measure but it actually seems to work. The trick is to remember what order you arrived in and then take turns to go in the same order. It also manages to slow down the traffic without resorting to speed bumps.

Although now I think about it, the real reason for the absense of speed bumps is probably due to the fact that you don’t notice them in a  mobile blancmange…

    Four way stop

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    Everything on the rocks

    Another cultural thing – in America it must be against the consitution to drink water without ice in it. Which means it is too bloody cold to drink.

    Ice with everything

    Now this might possibly be because the water tastes horrible. It might just be a case of getting used to it. I’ll let you know if I do.

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    Taking flight in Philadelphia

    Guess what? There’s a studio in town that teaches trapeze! Who’d have thought it? I signed up for a course and had my first class today. It is GREAT to get back on the bar. Even better – the guys here have wrapped* corde lisse so I am ropeburn free. Hoorah.

    There’s even talk about a performance in May. That might be the incentive I need to get a routine going. Watch this space.

    * the ropes are covered so they hurt less :-)


    Crimes against Cheese

    Crimes against cheese

    The other night I was talking to some folk in a bar and they were talking about Easy Cheese in a can. I thought they were winding me up BUT IT’S TRUE. You can buy aerosol cheese here. Oh the horror.

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    Pennsylvania Tort

    Fun and games today trying to get car insurance. As far as the insurers are concerned, I’ve held a driving licence for a whole 2 weeks. So it isn’t particularly cheap.

    Even stranger is the Pennsylvania legal aspect. Apparently 63% of car accidents end up in court in PA. So there are options in the insurance (full tort or limited tort) . Limited tort means that you can only sue someone for serious injury but not for eg mental anguish, whereas full tort means that you can sue for whatever the hell occurs to you from what I can gather. Bonkers.

    Pennsylvania Tort

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    You know the “subprime” issue you hear so much about in the news – well that’s me. I have ZERO credit here. My UK (excellent) credit history means nothing here. I was even turned down for a JCPenney Store card. Oh the shame.

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    New car

    So anyone who knows me knows that my biggest stress point about moving here has been what car to drive. Essentially anything that’s fun to drive will be undrivable in the snow, anything that will cope with weather will be a dog to drive.

    The other issue is that I just LOVED my Lotus – it was the ultimate car to drive – perfect in any way. So anything after that is going to be a disappointment.

    I’ve done lots of research and have been driving many, many dreadful hire cars. I thought I’d cracked it. I was definitely going to buy a Mini. Only thing is it a) had to be a CooperS (rest too slow), had to not be a stupid colour and c) had to be a second hand one that cost less than the new ones! For some reason this made it really trickey to find.

    Then I realised that Audis depreciate like mad from new and you can buy a good high spec Audi for way less than a Mini of equivalent age.

    So here’s my new car: Anya’s TT

    Yes it IS another 2 seater, but I figured that it IS all wheel drive so that’s pretty sensible isn’t it? It is very grown up – the roof is automatic and it has bottom warmers. Nice. And yes it is the 225 (of course!)

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