Other people’s opinions, or S/He Said

Somewhere along the way the idea that another person could have a differing opinion to yours has morphed from being acceptable to “WTF are you a moron, you are everything that is wrong with the world you dumb bag of horse manure”. Sensible political recourse has degenerated into the school yard cacophony of “He said, she said” with grown ups sulking in the corner because Johnny down the street said something nasty about the tax code situation.

The idea that others have differing opinions and therefore do not deserve to be listened to is spreading across the world. Right hates left and both want to be in the centre because that’s where the votes are. Yet in the name calling they don’t realise the harm they are doing. People who need help from the Government are not lazy, lazy people are lazy. I had to rely on state handouts after my private sector employer decided that they couldn’t, or more likely wouldn’t, deal with a bout of depression. Do you know who picked me up and helped me?

  • The doctor of the ‘socialist’ NHS who took the time to listen to me for no charge.
  • The government who paid me benefits while I looked to get back into work.
  • The employers who offered me a job.
  • Not the 1%

This idea of the lazy benefit scrounger is as prevalent in the UK as it is elsewhere. What it always seems to boil down to is the people who have stuff are happy they have stuff, but it’s not fair for others to have stuff given to them. Yet how many would refuse the benefits if they found themselves in the same situation. Whilst on benefits I saw nobody in the Job Centre go before the counter and go “Although entitled to this benefit I feel a moral compulsion to refuse it on the grounds it could make me a lay about and a strain on the stretched middle classes.”

Continue reading Other people’s opinions, or S/He Said

Grandparent’s Day, or Familial Feasts

I’m finding it hard to sit at a computer tonight as my eyes and nose are streaming from hayfever. Added to the warm temperatures, and the British home not being built to deal with anything above temperate, I have barely slept all week. This is where the sympathy should end, unless you feel bad that I was kept up by the hour long thunderstorm last night, because I didn’t have to get up to look after a child this morning.

That’s because The Feliciraptor was sleeping over at Grandma-G’s.

One of the perks of the job seems to be that your parents who just a short while ago were helping you out of the door now welcome your own offspring with open arms. I think it’s mostly because they know they can give them back, but we are lucky that we can have some weekends and nights to ourselves because people are willing to take a baby of our hands for a night.
Continue reading Grandparent’s Day, or Familial Feasts

July 4th in the UK

Today is July 4th, or as it is more commonly known across the Atlantic Independence Day. A day when people get to let off fireworks (unless in one of the four states that ban them), get out the BBQ and drink beer. Oh, and also remember throwing off the yoke of oppression from all those Hollywood villain Brits.

It’s the brave sacrifice of Australians like Mel Gibson that helped the colonials rise up against the diabolic taxation of King G and get representation in a constitutional republic (unless you live in Washington D.C.). For Mrs G it’s more important than that, July 4th is a day that she has to go to work while all her family and friends back home get the day off. Did throwing all that tea into the harbour not mean anything.

This is the interesting aspect of our family, she is a proud Yank and I’m a stiff upper lipped Limey. Our daughter is going to be a mix of both of our cultures so how will we celebrate cultural holidays where you celebrate the beating up of one parent so the other could be unoppressed? Will she grow up calling it Independence or Insurrection Day?

Continue reading July 4th in the UK

The Future, or Advantage of Foresight

The future is a scary place full of strange unknowns. If history is the study of the past to stop the same mistakes happening then maybe it’s a failure, not only do the same mistake keep recurring but we manage to find new and amazing ways to mess everything up.

What if you could travel to the future? What would you be able to do? Everytime you thought you had changed something for the better there  would be unseen consequences that managed to speed up the hell-bound cart.

Still maybe I could try and predict the future, what harm can it do? In the last month the President of the United States said the ‘n’ word, rainbow flags were raised as others came down, and Donald Trump decided he wanted to build a wall round Mexico.

How could I predict anything crazier? Continue reading The Future, or Advantage of Foresight

Email history, or Going Obsolete

Do you remember your first?I remember mine, it was 1998 and was the first time I had even thought of doing anything like it. For most of us it was something special, a life changing experience. Some people have stayed faithful to theirs while others, including myself, have flitted and flirted with many others until they finally reach a stage where they feel the need to settle down.

Yet there I was, about to enter a whole new world. As a street urchin once told a hyper-sexualised princess it was a dazzling place I never knew. A hundred thousand things to see, shimmering, shining, gleaming. Sat there in my bedroom I decided that I was ready, it was time to become a man. On that fateful 20th century night I signed up for my first email address.

My email address history.

The first email address I had was a bit odd, for some reason the football club I support had decided that to be involved in this new fangled internet it should offer a version of webmail their fans could sign up to. As a result for a while I had an @acmilan.net address. At the time I thought this was pretty cool, but quickly learnt that not all addresses were permanent. Within a few years they had closed down their service and I had to look elsewhere.

Continue reading Email history, or Going Obsolete

Summer dress code – Summer Week

The office thermostat has currently been set to Fuerteventura, or the winter air-con settings have been turned on at work. I think this is an acclimatization exercise so it doesn’t feel so warm when I get outside in the sub-30c heat. The other option we seem to have is artic, so I have to pack warmer clothes and a pair of mittens to be able to use my computer.

At the moment though it is too hot, it is either due to the multitude of screens I now have (and would like to keep), the wall that is painted the same colour as the sun or the fact I have to dress in long trousers whilst the fairer sex flounce around in flimsy materials. The worst part about this is that, just like all office scenarios, they complain it is too cold and want the heating turned up. Do they not know that us men are warm blooded? We are too hot when skinny dipping in the methane pools on Titan?

I once got in trouble with my manager from the unnamed opticians for wearing the same type of clothes on a dress down day as most of the females did on a normal business day, apparently men do not get a summer dress code. Why did my uncovered toes suddenly become a health and safety issue when others stumble around on a daily basis in heels? I do wash them.

Continue reading Summer dress code – Summer Week

Good Samaritans, or The Kindness of Strangers

I thought for today I should let Mrs G speak, it’s my way of being kind and trying to get more people to listen to here rather than me. She’ll shout at me as she’ll want to have written this herself but this is from a comment she made on an old post of mine so I think I own the copyright, but I think it shows that kindness is out there in the most unsuspecting of places.

Coming from what is arguably the most notoriously selfish city in the world, NYC, I wonder. I see people refuse to step aside to let others onto a subway car because they want to lean on the doors. My mother had a period where she was severely slowed because of a bad hip and still limping to work every day, yet commuters would still shove her, or get irritated when they were stuck behind her on a staircase.

And that’s to say nothing of the muggings, scams, drunken vomiting, and the rest of the scope of activities which show a complete disregard for other people.The NYC subway could be the perfect example of this argument.Indeed, one questions motives. If someone on the subway starts to talk to someone else, motives are questioned. I knew a guy from the Midwest who used to give up seats to women, and they would eye him suspiciously, wondering what he was after. If you bump into someone because the train jars you, brace yourself for a fight. Continue reading Good Samaritans, or The Kindness of Strangers

How cold can an office be? – Summer Week

It seems that the power of the internet is still strong. After complaining a few days ago that the office was about to burst through the 26c (79f) barrier we have had the air con fixed and the thermometer has stopped having an aneurysm.

As the office is full of Goldilocks it is now too cold. In fact it is as cold as the following places:

earth-cold

No strike that. Thanks to either global warming, sun spots or liberals there is no place on Earth as cold as our office. Fox news plans to use us as evidence to throw in Al Gores face.

In fact the office is only slightly warmer than here:

moon-cold

Continue reading How cold can an office be? – Summer Week

How hot can an office be? – Summer Week

The current hot topic of the office is the temperature. Not the fact that Summer seems to be trying to get a foothold here in England (and being as successful as Esperanto) and the mercury is rising slowly from cold to mild, but that we are now working at an ambient temperature of the Mediterranean. In fact here are the places on Earth that are currently hotter than the desk I’m sitting at:

world-heat-map

We are still waiting to break through the magical 26c barrier (or for my non-metric readers 78.8f) as the feeling is that it will be some watershed moment like when petrol (gasoline) passed the 99.9p per litre (errr…some dollars per gallon) level. Yet as we sit here boiling in our skins is there a limit to what temperature we can be made to work at?

Continue reading How hot can an office be? – Summer Week