Archive for October, 2008


I made my first Halloween pumpkin today.  I’m pretty pleased with the results. All the other ones in town look quite smiley and nice. This is the only one that looks a little mean.


Actually I was a bit surprised at what a palarver they are to make. Technically not that hard (I bought a kit with tiny saws at the supermarket) but involving scooping out all the slimy entrails through a small hole in the top. And they are all connected by long slimy stringy intestine-y bits. Yuk.

I’m a trying to get into the spirit of things for the night itself. I’m not sure if children still come round to strangers’ houses but I guess I should buy a large bag of sweeties just in case. (oooh now do I buy stuff that would be edible if the vile urhchins don’t come round? Ie chocolate with cocoa in it or do I stick with the jelly worms? Big decision for next visit to supermarket). I’m not sure what to expect to tell you the truth. Most of the disenfranchised youth of town seem to congregate next door to smoke in the garden or have Jerry Springer style arguements at top volume outside the house. I guess that’s because there isn’t a 7 eleven to hang out at.

Actually Halloween here confuses me – they  get dressed up as pretty much anything. Not just scary things, witches and monsters etc but anything – fairies, super heroes, ladybirds. A little odd.


Fed up with IT issues

NOT amused here. I’m losing hours and hours a week to crap IT support. One hour after i put down the phone to one of the support team earlier today I got this:

Bloody windows

Last time I got this error was a month ago. I’m still waiting for the tech support call back (got someone else to fix it). I think this is telling me that the weekend has started.

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A Haiku too far

I just spent a couple of days in Chicago – I stayed in a new hotel for me – the Indigo. It was close to the office and cheap as chips ($72 dollars a night – I’ve paid more than twice that for B&Bs in the UK).  In any case it was pretty clean and bright and comfortable but two things troubled me:

1) how the recenptionist answers the phone.  It starts off with the usual 10 minute preamble of “good evening and welcome to the Indigo Hotel, Schaumburg blah…blah….blah”. Then “how can I INSPIRE you?”. Retch.

2) the sign that suggests you might want to save the planet (as opposed to saving the hotel money) by recycling towels was a Haiku.  Too much.

Help Us Save Water
Use Your Towel More Than Once
Mother Earth Says Thanks.

The bedroom was pretty good for 72 bucks though.

Hotel Indigo


Election Dysfuntion

Apparently there’s an election bout to happen here – who knew?

actually for a no-resident alien it has been an interesting process to watch. Firstly I was surprised at how much people on the same side took chunks out of each other – seriously undermining each other and pointing out how the other was unelectable (I mean you Hillary and Obama). You’d expect this from the opposition but not from someone on your side.

I’m also soooo bored with all the Palin-mania. She’s often described by the media as “folksy”. I’m not sure quite what that means but I think it is American for “total liability”. Some of the more entertaining parts of the election coverage have been her trying to answer media questions without a script whilst trying to form a sentence.

It has all been about image and presentation and the policies hardly come into it. Event the wives have been wheeled out – all blowdried and hair laquered  – with copywritten speeches. Actually even with the presidential hopefuls, much of the talk about the debates has been how they came across not the substance of the policies. The best bit of the debates is always the post mortem – where all the pundits explain why it was that their chap won.

Personally I think Obama will win it. Mostly beause McCain is a multiple cancer patient in his 70s and his back up option is Palin.  Scary.

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Sparkring water

This made me smile – sparkring water in the local sushi joint. I couldn’t bring myself toorder it I ordered still.


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