Archive for the ‘uncategorized’ Category

quite a diff

Friday, August 6th, 2004

On the MSN Money Market Report today, the following:

July employment report huge disappointment; nonfarm payrolls add 32K jobs (consensus of 243K)

Quite a difference there, eh? But Big George says that the economy is improving, so that’s OK. He also says that we’re “turning a corner and we’re not going back”. Unfortunately he hasn’t specified whether or not this is a good thing.

I have a feeling that there will be several people thinking that this is of course very bad if you’re a job seeker, but boy it gives a boost to Kerry. I’m not sure how I feel about that attitude. I’m sure it’s easy to say if you don’t happen to be struggling because you’re out of a job.

almost famous

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

I am proud to have been quoted for the first time on Pharyngula, due to my recent post here about the Luis Palau festival. Fortunately Prof Myers has done some muck-raking on this Palau character, and he (Palau) is as medievally backward and fundamentalist as I feared. With Pat Boone in support too – erk.

Anyway I was moved to write the following to our local newspaper, the Star Tribune, which is a high-profile sponsor:

Sir/Madam,

I applaud you on the decision to run Doug Grow’s piece on the unease some of your staff are feeling at being associated with the Palau rally at the State Capitol this weekend. I too am unhappy about the fact that a supposedly balanced news organization would choose to be associated with a group who state on their website that homosexuality and abortion are sins for which people will be sent to hell. Or that you would be associated with a group who would deny evolution, both its teaching in schools and the scientific theory itself.

I understand that you are not specifically endorsing the organization or its views but by being associated as a high profile sponsor you have unfortunately ended up being viewed in the same conservative, bigoted, repressive camp as our Governor and right-wing fundamentalists everywhere.

a pox

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

Toby’s had a bit of a rash for the last few days – it started innocuously in his diaper area so we thought it was just diaper rash, but it has stuck around and is now on his legs and a little on his torso. I don’t think it’s bothering him too much but he was saying “owie dappy” when I changed his diaper after his bath last night, but he may have just been objecting to having to lie down when he apparently had more important things to do. So Em took him to the doctor this morning to find out if we should be concerned. One of my coworkers is off this week with chicken pox, and the nurse Toby saw said that he might have it too, although it’d be mild seeing as he’s been vaccinated against it. I guess it’s good to get chicken pox when you’re young.

pokia

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004

I can think of a few Brit geeks who would appreciate a POKIA retro phone of the future. I particularly like the names – The Stevenage, the Peckham Cottage etc.

a pooma

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004

He does indeed restore dignity. Watch this.

a different world

Monday, August 2nd, 2004

My friend Richard is on a business trip in Dhaka, Bangladesh at the moment and has some pretty awesome photos which I recommend. Last time I was on a business trip it was a little village outside of Birmingham, England, which was considerably less exotic.

warum, indeed

Friday, July 30th, 2004

It’s Friday afternoon so I haven’t got anything pithy to add to this amusing story.

doesn’t make sense

Friday, July 30th, 2004

How can the new Bush campaign slogan be saying that it’s your record as president that’s important, and also say “we’ve turned a corner and we’re not going back”? So basically he’s admitting that it’s all been crap so far but we’re going to be OK now? Not inspiring. It’s a little like former UK PM John Major who famously said that “We’ve got our backs against the wall but we’re going to turn and start fighting”.

kerry

Friday, July 30th, 2004

We watched John Kerry’s speech last night and I was very impressed. I was expecting to cringe a little or be bored but on the whole it was strong, exciting, inspiring and, I must say, presidential. He had some excellent points which I just pray he’ll be able to put into practice next year. I throught he had a good balance between setting out his own policies and criticizing the other guy, but without being too negative. He was definitely tough on Bush though. Had a bizarre and vivid dream about it last night – it was the speech but his teleprompter broke down and he kind of froze up mid-speech. There was a shocked silence from the audience and he kind of bowed his head and sank down behind the podium. It was a very strange thing to see a man’s total ambition vanishing so suddenly.

However, it wasn’t as bad as what happened to the person in charge of the balloons. Listen to the audio link for full effect.

Edwards

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Em and I watched a bit of the John Edwards speech last night from the Democrat Convention. Quite inspiring stuff I thought, not least because he seems to be a highly intelligent politician who doesn’t raise feelings of repulsion and I don’t seem to want to punch. We liked that he raised some uncomfortable truths about the country – tens of millions of people have no health insurance for example – and said that it doesn’t have to be that way. Obviously he was preaching to the choir but it did seem to go over well. Slightly unnerving feature – during the many periods of extended applause he would do this quick flash of his famous smile and kind of lick his lips and teeth, which seemed a tad lizardy.

In home news, Toby’s been in the wars a little at daycare. He took a tumble off a climbing frame a couple of days ago and has a bump on his forehead, but more worryingly he’s been bitten by one or more of the other kids a couple of times this week. It doesn’t seem to have caused him any long term upset but it’s enought that the daycare providers have put together an info pack for all the parents in the class. Seems it’s quite a common thing for toddlers to do when they get frustrated but I’m not too wild about seeing bite mark bruises on Toby’s arms.