Friday, September 29, 2006
Not that it's quantifiable, of course. It's all part of family life. And if we're really honest, our inept, busy generation might admit to a sneaking jealousy of our parents. Just as we're refusing to grow up, they're unwilling to take it easy in their long and healthy retirements. They're embracing their second childhood; we're still clinging on desperately to our first.
My suspicion is that selfless DIY is a minority pursuit compared to the new buzzword of SKI-ing – Spending the Kids' Inheritance – as parents merrily indulge all the hobbies they never had time for in the past. Quite right, too. They, at least, have earned it."
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Doctors at the Leeds General Infirmary say that he is now 'stable' - and have moved him from the intensive care unit to a high dependency ward. His condition has been downgraded from 'serious but stable' to simply 'stable' - and doctors have previously been quoted as saying that they are reasonably optimistic he will make a good recovvery.
The 36 year old has been kept company by his wife Mindy, and has been visited by the other Top Gear presenters, Jeremy Clarkson and James May. Mr Clarkson informed the Sun newspaper that he had insulted Richard's driving skills, and Richard smiled in response.
Charitable donations in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service at Justgiving.
"Having trouble empathizing? Let me ask you this: Do you ever exceed the speed limit when you drive? What if, one day you driving down Main Street going 37mph in a 35 zone, and the cops pulled you over out of a pack of cars traveling at similar speed, then threw you on the ground, handcuffed you, impounded your car and put you in jail for a month. You would be pissed and feel very angry about unfair treatment and being singled out."
Full article here at TheBradVentures
"President Bill Clinton taped an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, which is scheduled to be aired Sunday. He was told the interview would focus on his nonpartisan efforts to raise over $7 billion to combat the world’s biggest problems.
Early in the interview, Wallace attempted to smear Clinton with the same kind of misinformation contained in ABC’s Path to 9/11. Clinton was having none of it.
ThinkProgress has obtained a transcript of the interview. Here are some highlights –"Follow-ups..
Fox on the Defensive, Wallace never asked Bush administration, or Rice.
Do yourself a favour and read the transcript in its entirety.
As remarked in the comments, how stupid are they to think they can go after him and win?
Friday, September 22, 2006
"Nannies have been around for centuries, but in New York—the leading edge of parental avoidance—it is now possible to outsource more-advanced child-rearing functions as well, such as shopping for clothing, going on college visits, and even initiating those awkward talks about, well, you know. How much would it cost to replace yourself entirely for eighteen years..? Total Cost: $4,184,633"
from New York Magazine
"Howard Dean has said that Katrina ended the Presidency of George W. Bush. It exposed him as a fraud. He is absolutely right."
"..the present direction of world events is unsustainable. This is the real reason why it sometimes seems that Republicans have lost their marbles."
"..we agree on the big issues -- Bush is an ass, Iraq is a quagmire, global warming is real, the economy needs to lift all boats and not just Paris Hilton's."
"They're just in that great Egyptian river, Denial."
"If this is an honest election, it will be the biggest blow-out in political history."
the full article here.. be sure to visit and read the month python election link..
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
It's a serious question. How do you know when you're successful--when you have enough market share or profit or respect or money? How do you decide what success is?
This matters, because "never enough" is the wrong answer to anyone who wants to set realistic budgets or expectations or just plain enjoy the ride.
Too often, we let someone else define success. Critics, for example, want a movie to be only modestly popular and modestly approachable. Geeks want your brand to be new and edgy. Alexa-watchers want you to be bigger than MySpace. Stock analysts want you to beat the numbers that they told you they wanted you to meet. Your boss wants you to show up a lot and work late, regardless of what you actually do for her...
A lot of organizational conflict comes from mismatched expecations of success. A lot of kids live unhappy lives because of unrealistic benchmarking from parents (as popular as that kid, as attractive as this one, as smart as the other one...).
How's this: success is largely about keeping your promises."Seth Godin
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
JUDGE JONES, in wig: If she weighs the same as a duck, she's made of wood, and is therefore a witch.
CROWD in court: A witch!
WITCH: It's a fair cop.
CROWD: Burn her! Burn! [yelling]
Judge: BANGS GAVEL. Next.
Bailiff: The matter of Landis, Floyd, m' lord.
Judge: Ah, yes. Landis. You are charged with wearing an unauthorized and unlawful orange jersey, a heretical offense unto Euskadin. Are you prepared to accept your sanction?
Landis: [dressed in cycling garb with yellow jersey.] No, sir.
Judge: No? No!? You stand before us accused and say you are not prepared to accept your sanction?
Landis: No, sir; I never wore an orange jersey. It's the same one I'm wearing now.
Judge: Indeed. Prosecutor, the evidence, if you please.
PROSECUTOR CLEESE: Yes, your lordship. Here we have a pictograph taken in the afternoon of the 17th of this month, and you can clearly see that the jersey the accused is wearing is Orange.
Landis: May I see that, please?
Prosecutor: Oh, if you must, but it won't change the result. Pictographs are infallible you know. While you do your pointless looking, I will discuss your sanction with his Lordship.
Freddy, I think we should give him two years of silly walking.
Judge: Oh, I like that. Good idea Dicky.
CROWD: Burn him! Burn him!
Judge: BANGS GAVEL. No, no, that is for a second offense.
Landis: Excuse me sir, the jersey in this picture isn't orange it's yellow, sir.
Prosecutor: No, that's not possible. The pictograph is infallible, as true as a confession obtained through torture.
Landis: Excuse me sir, but this sheet in the background showing should be white, your lordship, and it is pink. All the colors in this picture have shifted red so the yellow jersey I was wearing appears to be orange, but it wasn't really sir.
Prosecutor: Objection! Irrelevant technicality. Immaterial and Incompetent!
Landis: Well sir, the Jersey itself sir, in the pictograph here, seems to have been scribbled over by an orange crayon.
Prosecutor: The defendant is not allowed to challenge the
Judge: Sustained. Look Mr. Landis, this will go a lot easier if you just confess.
CROWD: CONFESS! CONFESS!!
Judge: BANGS GAVEL. Silence!
Prosecutor: Now Mr. Landis. Answer me these questions, three. One!
What is your favorite color?
Prosecutor: Two. What do you seek?
Landis: My honor and ratification of my victory.
Prosecutor: Three. What is the groundspeed velocity of the deadly squirrel?
Landis: European, or North American?
Prosecutor: I don't know.
THE PROSECUTOR IGNITES IN FLAMES
CROWD: BURN HIM! BURN!!!
Judge: Never liked him anyway. All right, Off you go.
Landis: This is a silly place.
via rant your head off and trust but verify
Friday, September 15, 2006
A lament for Blighty
Sep 14th 2006
From The Economist print edition
Britain is going to the dogs, some sayTHE Home Counties are horrified. The British Show Jumping Association has asked police to investigate claims that a mother of two doped ponies in an attempt to help her child win a championship. (Bystanders said they had seen her feeding sweets to the steeds.) Though the police have dropped the matter, mothers at gymkhanas will eye each other even more suspiciously henceforth. Pushy parents are everywhere, it seems, and childhood tainted.
Indeed, the Daily Telegraph published a lament for lost childhood on September 12th. More than 100 worthies, including Penelope Leach, a child-care guru, and Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson, well-known writers of children's books, complained that junk food, video games and over-competitive schools were making children sad. They needed more "real play" (perhaps with sticks in woods) and more time with "significant adults" (ie, parents).
That same day those who yearn for the olden days, when children played tag in the summer sunlight and rolled down grassy slopes with friendly dogs called Rover, received two more blows. Ian Pearson, an environment minister, said Britons must prepare to bid farewell to their lawns, as global warming is turning verdant swards into dried-up dust-bowls. And in an attempt to preserve what remains of this green and pleasant land, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England joined forces with the Royal Automobile Club to huff about the "garish signs and billboards" ruining roads in "pretty rural areas". They called for a return to fingerposts.
There are other pressing problems—the vanishing Sunday roast, the reform of the Anglican liturgy to make it more "user-friendly" and the tragic disappearance of the milkman. Most worrying are the changes to children's parties, which now cost over £200 a pop, according to a survey in February. Once sprogs would sit in a circle, play pass the parcel and leave (after saying thank you) with a squashed piece of sponge cake in a napkin. Now many have contracted "Posh Party Syndrome" as they struggle to keep up with Posh and Becks (the footballer and his wife), who spent some £10,000 on a birthday celebration for their son.
But all is not lost. Bovril, a traditional hot beef drink served to men in sheds, is back, now the European Union has lifted its ban on Britain's beef products. Tea-time has never been more popular—London hotels are booked up for months in advance. Although the music show "Top of the Pops" has disappeared from the BBC's schedule, Auntie has graciously brought back "Dr Who"—and a new generation can enjoy the deliciously spine-chilling experience of hiding behind the sofa whenever the Daleks appear.from the economist
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
"He had spent three weeks in custody after the incident but was granted bail after his wife agreed to take him back into their home. They are attempting a reconciliation."
Ah, so sweet. And yet, so bonkers. I guess you wouldn't get as wound up about The Pirates of the Caribbean then..
Junk is Poisonous,
"the "virtual play" represented by electronic games and internet surfing. "That is where children are getting their ideas from and I find it quite "toxic" and pretty scary for the future.""
So, children get outside and play and parents stop looking at your kids like they are trophies or medals of achievement..
The White House Traitor,
"After stiff pleasantries, Bush issued an emphatic warning: If they revealed the secret program to the public and there was another terrorist attack on American soil, the Paper of Record would be implicated. "The basic message," recalls Keller, "was, 'You'll have blood on your hands.' " The meeting lasted an hour. Afterward, Sulzberger and Keller stood outside the White House. Undaunted by the president's logic and his threats, Keller told Sulzberger, "Nothing I heard in there changed my mind." Sulzberger agreed."
It's not Watergate by any means (or is it?) and I abhor the media in general, but a free press is necessary..
35mm Face Cream,
"This is so fucking stupid I'm actually angry thinking about it: if I were a Fuji shareholder I'd be rolling up my sleeves right now to go give Mr. Komori a thrashing in person."
Business diversification mistakes Take 2? Next, they'll be buying a Hollywood Film Studio or skyscraper in Manhattan..
The New Niggers,
"The title is deliberately provocative, but someone has to say it. Mexican immigrants are the new Niggers. I've also watched, in horror, as media demagogues like Lou Dobbs have thrown their ethics out the window in order to race-bait on this issue, all the while pretending they're "not Republicans, not Democrats." Again, ri-i-i-i-ght. But maybe Dobbs is right. Because what he is, in a word, is a racist."
I really despise Lou Dobbs too.. Git.
Cyclists Come Clean, The (Lance) Truth is Out There, Landis says Dismiss,
"He also challenged the motives of the Andreus. Nearly a dozen people in cycling declined to be interviewed about the Andreus, saying they feared for their jobs because of Armstrong's influence in the sport."
"And where did the clean ones finish? I wondered. "The back of the pack," Voet said."
"The analysis in this case is replete with fundamental, gross errors,"
The farce that is professional cycling continues apace..
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
"GOOD morning, ladies and gentlemen. We are delighted to welcome you aboard Veritas Airways, the airline that tells it like it is. Please ensure that your seat belt is fastened, your seat back is upright and your tray-table is stowed. At Veritas Airways, your safety is our first priority. Actually, that is not quite true: if it were, our seats would be rear-facing, like those in military aircraft, since they are safer in the event of an emergency landing. But then hardly anybody would buy our tickets and we would go bust.
The flight attendants are now pointing out the emergency exits. This is the part of the announcement that you might want to pay attention to. So stop your sudoku for a minute and listen: knowing in advance where the exits are makes a dramatic difference to your chances of survival if we have to evacuate the aircraft. Also, please keep your seat belt fastened when seated, even if the seat-belt light is not illuminated. This is to protect you from the risk of clear-air turbulence, a rare but extremely nasty form of disturbance that can cause severe injury. Imagine the heavy food trolleys jumping into the air and bashing into the overhead lockers, and you will have some idea of how nasty it can be. We don't want to scare you. Still, keep that seat belt fastened all the same.
Your life-jacket can be found under your seat, but please do not remove it now. In fact, do not bother to look for it at all. In the event of a landing on water, an unprecedented miracle will have occurred, because in the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero. This aircraft is equipped with inflatable slides that detach to form life rafts, not that it makes any difference. Please remove high-heeled shoes before using the slides. We might as well add that space helmets and anti-gravity belts should also be removed, since even to mention the use of the slides as rafts is to enter the realm of science fiction.
Please switch off all mobile phones, since they can interfere with the aircraft's navigation systems. At least, that's what you've always been told. The real reason to switch them off is because they interfere with mobile networks on the ground, but somehow that doesn't sound quite so good. On most flights a few mobile phones are left on by mistake, so if they were really dangerous we would not allow them on board at all, if you think about it. We will have to come clean about this next year, when we introduce in-flight calling across the Veritas fleet. At that point the prospect of taking a cut of the sky-high calling charges will miraculously cause our safety concerns about mobile phones to evaporate.
On channel 11 of our in-flight entertainment system you will find a video consisting of abstract imagery and a new-age soundtrack, with a voice-over explaining some exercises you can do to reduce the risk of deep-vein thrombosis. We are aware that this video is tedious, but it is not meant to be fun. It is meant to limit our liability in the event of lawsuits.
Once we have reached cruising altitude you will be offered a light meal and a choice of beverages—a word that sounds so much better than just saying 'drinks', don't you think? The purpose of these refreshments is partly to keep you in your seats where you cannot do yourselves or anyone else any harm. Please consume alcohol in moderate quantities so that you become mildly sedated but not rowdy. That said, we can always turn the cabin air-quality down a notch or two to help ensure that you are sufficiently drowsy.
After take-off, the most dangerous part of the flight, the captain will say a few words that will either be so quiet that you will not be able to hear them, or so loud that they could wake the dead. So please sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. We appreciate that you have a choice of airlines and we thank you for choosing Veritas, a member of an incomprehensible alliance of obscure foreign outfits, most of which you have never heard of. Cabin crew, please make sure we have remembered to close the doors. Sorry, I mean: 'Doors to automatic and cross-check'. Thank you for flying Veritas."
via the economist