Archive for January, 2008

something to look forward to

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Fantastic news: depression is most likely in your 40s. I can’t wait. My take on why this would be so: when I was a teenager I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted with apparently no consequences. Now I need to be careful about everything I eat if I don’t want to balloon (yes I know, everyone should have such problems). I guess it’s time to book time with a psychiatrist and a personal trainer.


Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

There are a lot of failures this morning – it’s -15F outside now that the sun has come up – that’s -22C.

Rudy Giuliani failed badly in Florida, and it sounds like John Edwards has also quit the presidential primaries.

To sum it all up, take a look at failblog - some great pictures of failures.

quote of the (birth)day

Friday, January 25th, 2008

How great it must be to be newly five, and at the end of a great birthday do a burp, then say with some bravado “Uh oh – I almost cake throwed up.”

efficient meeting

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

At a meeting this afternoon, 4 people (including me) and my boss. This transcript verbatim:

Person 1: So there’s the 100k
Boss: Did you put that on the report?
Person 2: And that also affects the…
Me: Yes, I was going to talk about that
Boss: We should, right
Me: It’s on my status
Boss: OK, perfect
Person 4: Wow, you just took care of something without even saying what it was.

growing up

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

This morning:

Toby: “I’m just worried that I won’t be funny any more when I’m five. It’s going to be a lot of work, being five”

You’re getting older kid, get used to it.

scotland is…

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Bit of a furore over a leaked email from an aide to the Scottish Secretary, where that country is described as being “narrow, Presbyterian, racist, etc, etc”

Obviously I moved from Scotland some time ago, and while America is by no means perfect I’m very happy living here. I’d like to address the points from the email one by one:

Narrow: Yes, guilty as charged. Scotland is not a wide country, but in fact living in the central belt I personally found it very convenient to be able to get from Edinburgh to Glasgow in under an hour on the train (and a relief to get out of Glasgow and back to Edinburgh again). Or could this guy be meaning narrow-minded?

Presbyterian: Well my mother is one of these, and I’ve generally found her to be a very nice person indeed. I know that the Scottish Presby church is often seen as being somewhat dour, but often it’s with a wry sense of humor which is more than can be said for the freaky right-wing nonsense you get in the US. I’d take low-insanity dourness any time.

Racist: well this is more difficult. Like most places in Britain Scotland has been kind of welcoming to outsiders and kind of not. There are a lot of Asians in Glasgow, some more integrated and welcomed than others. I think that the email author’s comment may have been directed against the Scottish reaction to England – there is considerable racism against England (sometimes commented upon in this blog) which goes hand in hand with the Scottish inferiority complex. Not pretty at all.

Etc: The Scottish Parliament doesn’t do itself any favors – from here it looks like a lot of bickering and reinforcing the inferiority, persecution complex. But I could be wrong. Maybe it’s the smell of pee on main streets after a Saturday night which makes things seem somewhat depressing?

depressed, or british, or fact-checked?

Monday, January 21st, 2008

I subscribe to a couple of podcasts from the BBC, including one for the comedy show The News Quiz, where panelists are asked to answer questions on the week’s news in an amusing and satirical manner. It’s great stuff and usually very witty.

The panelists also read amusing press cuttings which often are sent in by listeners. There was one this week from the alternative magazine the Utne Reader, about a man being treated for depression in the US, but it turned out that all that was wrong was he was British. All very amusing, but if you follow the link to the article you’ll see that at the bottom of the page it’s clearly marked as being a satirical piece (reprinted from a British publication) and very tongue in cheek. Could it be that the American sense of humor is too subtle for Brits?

a bit nippy

Friday, January 18th, 2008

The weather this weekend is going to be bracing – a high on Saturday of 0F, which is about -16C. That’s the high. I was out on the street at lunchtime – it totally takes your breath away. At least it’s sunny…

To add insult, Emma’s mother wrote from Bermuda to say “It is a bit nippy here today. I have my cardigan on indoors.” It’s currently 68F – a seriously nippy 20C. Brrrrrr.


Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Now that Emma and I have two lovely kids we are not particularly planning to have more, certainly unless someone can tell us how it will be possible for us all to get ready for work/school/daycare in the morning without our collective blood pressure causing our entire bodies to explode.

Having said that, I am perhaps rather selfishly not planning to do anything surgical or permanent to avoid having more kids. Partly because I’m a big coward, and partly because I just read this.

(By the way, sorry if this is too much information, but it was a good excuse to link to a very well written article).

japan worries

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

My old university flat mate (college roommate if we’re being American) lives in Japan. Today he sent me this – I’m not sure how original it is but for your enjoyment:

Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on Northern Rock in the UK, uncertainty has now hit Japan.

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

While Samurai Bank are soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank are reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.