30 Oct 2006
Rosie (and anyone else who’s interested). Mr Richard Keith Herring is on in Leicester in November (19th). It’s a Sunday so you can come along! You want me to buy some tickets?
 Right then. I’ll go on Thursday to get tickets. I’m getting for Clur (and I assume Pete as well), me, Rosie and Tom. Get scribbling if you don’t want me to do this!
I can’t believe what I’ve been reading this morning. You know that there’s been a research thing done that really is screaming that something “must be done” about global warming. Well there’s a suggestion that the government change taxation policy to push “greener” technology. The BBC did a “have your say” about it and the amount of hatred, bile, conspiracy theories and general bollocks has to be seen to be believed.
The overwhelming view on there is “the government are out to screw us”. Some seem to think that money taken in taxes is used exclusively to buy Prescott a new Jag or send some ministers on jaunts abroad. Most haven’t realised the point is not to “add” taxes but to change what is taxed and how.
A large minority are also still blinkered in what they’ll believe. “Global warming hasn’t been proved to be caused by human activity” they squeal. There are some scientists that still believe that but considering that even the White House and various oil companies agree now then we can assume that it’s pretty much standard belief in the scientific community. One letter even said “Show me the evidence” – someone told me recently that there were over 800 research articles about it in the last 10 years and all were of the opinion that it’s our fault and we can do something about it. And why the hell should we have to point this guy at the evidence if he hasn’t the wherewithal to pull his finger out and look? Look look! Not just an idiot, a lazy idiot.
But no, the whole thing is simply a ruse to sting poor british taxpayers and make them squeal so much they might have to, whisper it quietly, buy a smaller car. The government may well be scum but there are plenty of other reasons (illegal wars, id cards, authoritarian and draconian new laws that aren’t needed etc…) better than this minor conspiracy crap. There are an awful lot of idiots out there.
27 Oct 2006
My folks have just been to New York. It was a 60th b.day treat for the mother. They have present for me too. Hee he!
Anyways here’s something to entertain the bear.
On the flight they were sat in a row of 5 seats in the middle “column”. My mum was in the very centre and dad one side. Then a party of “proper” jews got on. You know the full ringlets and beard jobs. Anyways one of them was a man and he sat next to my ma and shifted uncomfortably for a bit then asked ma whether she would like to move! What? She says “No ta, I’m fine” and he gets grumpy and “informs” her that because she’s a woman creature she’s “unclean” and he can’t sit next to her. It’s insane. And my ma being my ma she only goes and shifts seats with my dad.
Oooooohhhh! If that were me, the line: “Well if you feel that sitting next to me will make YOU unclean you can sod off and just have a bath at the other end.” I’d also have spent the trip indulging in regular frottage [edit:ooh I'm wrong, I mean frotteurism apparently] just to see him squirm.
Can you credit it? This is what the Grayling chap was on about. Why the hell should non-believers give any leeway to believers in terms of acceding to their bizarre and variable wishes?
26 Oct 2006
Bit of a hodge-podge today.
I’m now not going to London at the weekend so will be attending the Curry Pot to eat right royally and laugh at D for getting as old as he used to laugh at me for.
On Sunday, K’s back.
Managed to not get to the circus tonight as there’s far too much to do!
K’s back on Sunday.
We had an odd training session at work today. A woman who I used to work with turned up and was supposed to teach us some basic words and phrases in Gujurati and Hindi. As an ice-breaker I can see the point but a phrasebook knowledge of these languages isn’t going to help anyone. But the point I’m getting to is that this woman then went on and on about how it’s not really necessary to learn English in Leicester as the council bends over backwards to pay for interpreters for health sessions and more. They also produce foreign language publications and audio CDs. What’s the incentive for people to learn English? I can’t imagine the look of stunned disbelief if I went into a health centre in Bg and demanded an interpreter (to be paid for by the locals). Is this another sign of laziness brought on by being given the easy way out? Oh and she also said that there are “too many” Somalis in the city. Hmmm.
And K’s back on Sunday!
24 Oct 2006
After a dodgy couple of weeks of illness and indolence I had quite a good day yesterday (except for a death in K’s family).
Work was quite good considering many folk had had to be re-arranged at least twice. Nice people in the main and some interesting problems.
Leaving work I dropped into Sainsbury for some provisions. Loads of people were in there;far more than normal. I also noted huge numbers of Somalis and others on the streets, again far more than normal. Welcome to the public face of Eid.
So on towards last night’s juggling session. Wandered in to a reasonably busy room. Me and Clurb ran some excellent patterns with 7 (singles? Easy!) and 8 before I needed a sit down. Lots of D baiting too (he was swearing, he’s got coarse) which was fun to watch. Noobs to teach too. I had a fun time, just wish I was more enthused to practice for longer.
Any road up I enjoyed myself so cheers to all for cheering me up after a crappy period.
22 Oct 2006
A rather marvellous article has appeared by some bloke called AC Grayling. Turns out he’s a prof of Philosophy.
It is time to refuse to tip-toe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, or any other kind of immunity, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege-endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. It is neither. Faith is a commitment to belief contrary to evidence and reason, as between them Kierkegaard and the tale of Doubting Thomas are at pains to show; their example should lay to rest the endeavours of some (from the Pope to the Southern Baptists) who try to argue that faith is other than at least non-rational, given that for Kierkegaard its virtue precisely lies in its irrationality. On the contrary: to believe something in the face of evidence and against reason – to believe something by faith – is ignoble, irresponsible and ignorant, and merits the opposite of respect. It is time to say so.
And as I’ve said before:
Those who claim to be “hurt” or “offended” by the criticisms or ridicule of people who do not share their views, yet who seek to silence others by law or by threats of violence, are trebly in the wrong: they undermine the central and fundamental value of free speech, without which no other civil liberties are possible; they claim, on no justifiable ground, a right to special status and special treatment on the sole ground that they have chosen to believe a set of propositions; and they demand that people who do not accept their beliefs and practices should treat these latter in ways that implicitly accept their holder’s evaluation of them.
The whole article is here.
21 Oct 2006
It’s been a very odd week. I was ill towards the end of last week and was recovering by last Friday and so I went to visit my brother as documented last week. Some photos were taken at the time but I’ve not posted them as, for some unknown reason, the infrared link from phone to PC wasn’t working. I had another go today and it worked. No idea why, I haven’t changed any settings it just worked all of a sudden. So a week late, here are some photos of last weekend.
First up is their house (well actually it’s the queen’s house, they just live there).
There isn’t much special with the place apart from its tinyness.
Next up is me in a hat which apparently always causes hilarity.
Ah well, never mind.
The next one is young Spike carrying some firewood. The boxes were quite big (I thought) for a mere 2 year old but the little trooper managed to carry in a couple of boxes. It’s a shame he isn’t pulling the “woah, isn’t this heavy face” in this particular photo but he knows to smile for photos and wasn’t going to change his habits just for me.
Finally here’s one for Clurb. She’s very proud of her radish (noted here) so I thought I’d share a pic of one of my brother’s radishes. His partner’s hand is in the photo for a comparison.
PS. Hope all these links work.
17 Oct 2006
What follows is what I sent to the History day wotsit: Most of you lot will know most of this so feel free to ignore this post. [edit: Actually I tried to post this but their site went weird and tells me that I must use less than 4000 characters (I checked, I'm only at around half that) and that I must enter my name (I did) and my county (I did). So I'll have to try again tomorrow.]
I’m a 35 year old NHS physiotherapist based in Leicester. Today is a normal day for me except I only do a half-day at work on Tuesdays. My job is based in GP surgeries rather than the local hospitals.
On Tuesday mornings I work in the St Matthews area of Leicester. St Matthews is notable as having one of the most varied ethnic mixes probably in the country. Today I’ve seen people from Somalia, Iran, Turkey, Kenya and India as well as native white British.
Today two patients (out of eight) did not show up. It is a waste of time and money as those slots could have been taken by other patients. But the time gives me a chance to catch up on paperwork. There was a story about dentists fining non-showers on the local news this evening; I wonder when we can start doing the same in my service? Sadly it’s not likely to happen.
This afternoon I went shopping for Christmas (too early I know). My brother and his family live in Norfolk so I’m thinking about getting us both webcams to give us another option of contacting each other; I don’t want to lose regular contact with my nephews. I’ll probably get one for our parents too.
Thinking about “stuff” it’s easy to see that as far as material possessions go we, as a nation are generally far better off than ever before but yet the level of cynicism around leads people to feel that they’re getting worse and worse off. Personally I’ve never been so comfortable but, who knows, that feeling may change the nearer I get to pensionable age.
This afternoon is also the last chance I’ll get to spend with my fiancé before she disappears off home again tomorrow. She’s Bulgarian and will be heading off to spend 2 weeks home with her mother. She’s a nurse who was head-hunted from Bulgaria a few years ago to fill posts in the NHS when there were far too few home-grown nurses around. Now the NHS is contracting again there are concerns over jobs so it’s not the most comfortable time for us but, fingers crossed, we’ll be ok. We have plans to emigrate there soon anyway; we may just have to bring things forward if the worst happens.
This is a shout out to those who are interested in living history. There’s a campaign called “History Matters” and they’re asking as many people as possible to write a diary of their day today and post in to their website (here). I shall have a go and cross-post my entry here later. I reckon all of you lot should of a go as well.
16 Oct 2006
Despite feeling like death warmed up I did manage to get across to Norfolk this weekend to see the family. It’s my ma’s 60th this week so that was the reason for this event but really everyone just fancied a get-together.
So lots of time spent with the kids and family with food and I finally got to see their farm (err field). It looks like we might still be getting their car now it just depends on how much it’ll cost to fix. But anything under £500 should be ok for us to deal with.
Apart from the ill health it was a very nice weekend with the folks.
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