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Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for the ‘Great Britain’ Category

Bond, James Bond

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The new James Bond was announced yesterday and, as expected, it is to be Daniel Craig who, to be honest, I’ve never heard of. He doesn’t have the look of a Bond, a bit too handsome rather than rugged for my taste but then the next movie is going to be set at the beginning so that’s probably appropriate. However, I am disappointed that my own choice appears to have been overlooked: I think Robbie Williams would have been an excellent 007.

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October 14th, 2005 at 7:27 am

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It’s England Week!

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Don’t know why but Sunday when I was packing my bag for the week I decided that I would wear an England sport shirt to the office each day. Unfortunately I only have 4 such shirts so I either need to wear one twice or fail to show up for work one day this week.

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August 16th, 2005 at 7:16 am

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British Airways Chaos

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So poor BA has had to cancel all its flights in and out of Heathrow for two days thanks to some wildcat strikes. Some dodgy dealings by its catering contractor led to a walkout causing some short and long-haul BA flights to leave without food on board. But then today some good old British workers decided to strike ‘in sympathy’ and bring BA to it’s knees.

BA has nothing whatsoever to do with the problems at the catering company, other than being a customer. So why then did the baggage and ground handlers feel compelled to ‘join their brethren’? It would be easy to say its because they are bunch of lazy tossers, easy because its true. I say sack the bleedin’ lot of them, they are in breach of their contract, they can’t argue they are supporting downtrodden BA employees because they’re not and so the strike is totally illegal. Even their trade union says so.

Meanwhile people have been stranded on planes on the tarmac for in excess of 6 hours because they can’t go to the gate as there are no tugs to take the plane there, no people to put the bridge over and open the door etc. And there there is the chaos inside the terminal (though I’d rather be there if I had to be somewhere).

This could turn into a real nasty situation for BA (and the other airlines affected such as Qantas), I hope they are able to sort it out quickly.

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August 11th, 2005 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Flying,Great Britain

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Notes From A Small Island

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I am back from my travels, still somewhat lagged, I think my brain is somewhere between the east coast and here. Got upgraded to business class from London to NY (one of the few upsides to all the air travel I am doing is that AA thinks I am a good customer) which really is the only way to travel trans-Atlantic.

England seems to be ‘two for one’ crazy: the pub we ate at a few times was two meals for the price of one, the supermarkets had many many products that were buy one get one free. I’m not complaining, free stuff is always good (though why it never beer thats two for one?).

Chav is definitely in and big, and Southampton is ChavTown. I think the guys look like dorks but there’s a certain skanky attraction in the chavette’s, at least to my (admittedly non-fussy) taste.

My mum’s condition was a lot better than I had been fearing and improved quite noticeably in the time I was there. She’s still a long way from singing and dancing but we have hope that she can be home in the near future and that’s really all anyone wants at this point. But it was very good to see her and the rest of my family. I will go back again when she gets out of the hospital.

The next big thing for this month should be the arrival of the new MINI, currently somewhere between Miami and Los Angeles, supposed to dock Friday. In the meantime I need to find buyers for my Jeep and current MINI.

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August 9th, 2005 at 8:36 am

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Premiership Mayhem

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One more game left in the Premiership league and, most likely, the last one for a while for my home team, Southampton. As this analysis by the BBC shows, it doesn’t look good for the Saints. But I caught some of the game with Crystal Palace and, really, they are pretty crap this season and probably deserve it. And Portsmouth won’t be trying to do us any favours – they’ll probably field a team of boys and farm animals in order to lose and thereby condemn their south coast rivals.

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May 9th, 2005 at 10:17 am

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Here Kitty, Kitty

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So people in Wisconsin are debating whether or not it should be legal to hunt and kill wild cats, including domestic cats that don’t have a collar. But frankly I don’t care about that. What I do care about it that on MSNBC’s Countdown programme last night an article on this story was presented by a Kevin Tiddles.

Sometimes you can’t make up stuff better than that.

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April 12th, 2005 at 6:59 am

Posted in America,Great Britain

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Congratulations Charles and Camilla

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Yes, Prince Charles is a funny old fellow and Camilla is, well, rather indescribable, but we here at guapacha.com would like to pass on our congratulations and best wishes for the future.

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April 9th, 2005 at 4:01 pm

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Election Reflections

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There are two big problems with the UK election process. First, you don’t get to vote for the government like you do in the USA. Rather, you vote for your local member of parliament and its the total of MPs that determines who gets to choose the prime minister. So you might desperately want a Liberal Democrat government but your local LibDem candidate might be a loser or, in many cases, there might not even be in your area to vote for. So do you vote tactically or for who will do the best job for your city?

The second problem is that the result is determined using the first past the post system. The winner of each constituency is chosen by the person with the most votes. And then the government is chosen by whoever gets the most consituency victories. It has become a pattern for each party to promise to switch the election voting to proportional representation but it has never happened: once elected the winning party quickly realises that they would never have been elected under that scheme and so the idea is shelved until the next time…

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April 6th, 2005 at 7:25 am

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Election Fever!!

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So his holy royal all-knowing majesty Tony Blair today announced that the UK election will take place on May 5th. I had been trying to get a postal vote so I could contribute to his smacking but its proven beyond me to fill in the form (where was I living 15 years ago?). I’ll be in England for my sister’s wedding so perhaps I’ll get the joy of watching Tony eat some humble pie on the TV. Man, I never thought I’d find myself rooting for the Conservative party but Tony needs to go!

In cool news, google maps now has a satellite view. Look up your address and see what it will look like before you get there – very cool! And I already love the way they present the maps. Is there nothing these people can’t do?

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April 5th, 2005 at 7:23 am

Trade Your Password for Theatre Tickets?

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Every year at the Infosecurity Europe conference, the organisers try to get the pulse of the local population by seeing how easy it is to coax their secret password information from them. Previous years had 70% of the respondents giving up their information for chocolate, this year it was theatre tickets.

Of 200 people who were surveyed in London on their thoughts about theatre:

  • 100% provided their names upon request
  • 94% provided pet’s names (common passwords) and their mother’s maiden name (common second form of authentication) when told actors frequently use both to create stage names
  • 98% gave their address in order to receive a winning voucher.
  • 96% divulged the name of their first school.
  • 92% provided their date of birth and the same number supplied their home phone number

What good is spending $thousands on security when people give it up this easily!

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March 28th, 2005 at 1:44 pm