Oh Dior…

Galliano, clearly drunk in the video and quite obviously, in my opinion anyway, a fool – and a rude arrogant one at that.  Apparently he might sue for defamation..good luck with that.

Also; Charlie Sheen…wtf?

MySpace is not your space

I got a begging email from MySpace today and, suitably nostalgic, I logged in and took a look.

I’ve canceled my account now – when you do it there’s a chance to say why. I think my optional “account cancelation reason” pretty much makes it clear. I’d love to talk to someone at MySpace about what, as a consumer, I just don’t get about the site.

The redesign is HORRIBLE…but I visited anyway to take a look again at MySpace – perhaps I’d just not given it a chance.

Within minutes of updating my profile – despite having privacy settings set up and not really having much on there – was spammed by several obviously spamming accounts with pictures of barely-clad girls inviting me to go to phishing/porn sites.

This is just very very poor.

The design of the site is just impenetrable and seemingly purposeless. The question that remains unanswered, for me at least, is “what would I need to use MySpace for?”

Sadly the answer is..nothing. So I come back to cancel my account to prevent further spam and to avoid my details being used by people I don’t choose for purposes I do not require or wish.

I know I can change privacy settings – mine were already set to balance privacy over usability – but without a reason to use the site (any really, why is MySpace there?) then the best action is to run away as fast as possible.

I hate to be negative like this – I am a professional developer, designer and UI specialist and it’s crushing to receive horrible feedback on your product – but seriously, MySpace needs to raise its game or it’s going to die a death of a 1000 cuts and that’s really sad. 😦



Oooo, stuff

Stuff (good stuff) is happening I can’t really talk about to too many people. Very frustrating. Nothing to do with work. It did involve me having my fingerprints taken…again. This happens a lot when you’re an immigrant to the US. Not that it’s a problem, you understand, what with me being legal and all that jazz and a thoroughly nicely-behaved chappie etc etc. Still, I do seem to be required to supply lots of details of myself and what the tips of my fingers look like with mind-numbing regularity.

I also had to give a list of all the addresses I have lived at for the last 20 years. It’s a step down from the last form I had to fill out of this nature where I had to supply all the addresses I had lived at for the last 30 years so, in a way, it was easier…sort of. I do seem to have moved around a lot. Amusingly, on one of the immigration forms a year or so back I had to list every country I had visited in the previous ten years along with dates of the visit. The space was three lines high with enough room for about five words per line. Not really sufficient when you consider that in one car journey alone I drove from England to Germany and back – via Holland, Belgium and France, was home for a week and then flew to America on business.

Ah well.

I do feel more and more disconnected from the UK nowadays. Really I do. It’s the little things that creep up on you – your regular diet becomes American (Heinz salad cream is a “speciality food” around here available in odd places few and far between). I also see Brits discussing TV programs on Twitter and I have no idea what they are talking about. You catch snatches of government scandals involving politicians that you’ve forgotten existed and have no idea what job they do or what they look like. You casually mention the name of some ubiquitous US TV star in conversation with your sister or some other British-dwelling confidante and find, with some shock, that they have never heard of them or the program they star in or the product they were advertising in what was such a shameless sell-out that it caused you to mention them in the first place.

Then the weird moments start – you hear someone mention Norfolk on the radio and the first place you think of is the small town down the road in Nebraska before it even occurs to you that the presenter is, in fact, speaking of the British place called Norfolk where your father and sister live…doh…


Will WikiLeaks be publishing/leaking any diplomatic cables or secret communications from Iran, North Korea, China, Pakistan, Burma, Zimbabwe or some shady former Eastern Bloc guy? No? Thought not.

Ironic that they use the freedom of information laws and whistle-blowing legislation in a FREE country to point the finger at the same country and cry foul play.

Do the same for any of the above countries – I double dare you.

But you will not.

You pretended the previous leak was to expose cover-ups in the war with Iraq and Afghanistan and I can just about see this scraping through as an excuse. To release all the diplomatic cables is just anarchic – in the truest sense of the word.

You will publish the information obtained by treachery from someone who believes that they can decide better than anyone else what should or should not be secret. If our society believed that nothing is sacred and privacy is a problem then we would not need curtains. We could leave our laptop webcams on day and night so everyone can check we are not up to anything we should not be. We could publish the details of everything we eat and everything we drink to ensure that a potential global oversight of this data will prevent us from straying from a path which the greater society believes is right and acceptable. Facebook would not need you to approve ‘friend’ requests since anyone could be your friend and your email address and phone numbers would be searchable so that it is always possible to get hold of you. Free knowledge is power. Privacy, secrets, especially grand secrets that oil the wheels of Western society are bad…right?

I am an ordinary person. I am tangibly a member of two Western democracies. I have no political power other than the ability to vote (well, technically I can’t but soon I can again). I am not a warrior. I am not a crusader. This leaking, publishing, breaching of trust is NOT what I want.

By proxy these are my secrets too and you do not have the right to belch them up for a self-serving breakfast.

Octomom in shocker

Oops, hello blog people.  I ought to get back into blogging really – after all I spend 90 percent of my day spouting uninvited advice   wisdom verbiage to people and I could record it all here for posterity.

Weird to see that the number 1 top post by far here is still “how to make a proper English cup of tea for me”; written several years ago yet pulling in the visitors like a hooker on free-vend.  Clearly there’s a huge demand for tea-related skills in the ‘blogosphere’ (as I believe one is supposed to refer to such frippery nowadays).

Also, this is the third time today I have used the term “one”.  I also note that I am writing this on a day when I am super busy (as I believe one is supposed to refer to such, er…yes…) and haven’t got time for anything other than the stuff I have to make time for.  Meh.

Hello?  Is this thing on?

The game’s afoot!

So; Gordon Brown will be seeking an electoral endorsement of his Prime Ministerial position on May 6.  Hurrah!  My only question: if Labour lose and Conservatives win – will he resign?  If he does resign, who will take over?  Just a thought.

Also, if there is a hung parliament will there be any chance the Monster Raving Looney party will hold the casting vote on key issues?  Please, let it be so…


I’m going to do an epic catch-up blog shortly.

Meanwhile, briefly:

We have been married 103 days.  All is going brilliantly.  I chose well.  😉
I took and passed my Douglas County / Nebraska driving test yesterday so I now have a US and UK/European driving license.  The Nebraska DMV do not recognize a UK license as one of those that means you are exempt from being tested although the guy that dealt with me said “it’s crazy because the UK test is much harder to pass”.

Despite what I’ve been told about DMV staff they have been nice to me both times I’ve been in there and they even made jokes about the steering wheel being on the left when they were asking the mandatory safety questions.

The US “emergency stop” consists of slowing down as if you have a puncture, putting on the handbrake when you’ve stopped and putting on the hazard warning lights.  Luckily I read about this the night before my test because the UK emergency stop means “pretend someone has just stepped in front of the car and brake as hard as you can and come to a controlled stop without skidding or crashing”.  I told the DMV staff driving examiner about this and after lots of laughter and her saying “thank God you didn’t do that or I’d have had a heart attack” she went on to tell the other staff in the office as soon as I got back.

It snowed in November and never went away.  The coldest it got here over Winter was the equivalent of minus 27 degrees C.  It hadn’t snowed for about two weeks and it had nearly all melted except for the bigger drifts…until yesterday evening when it started snowing again, and hasn’t stopped although it’s probably too warm to lay around for long.  So far, about 2 inches on the grass and wet slush on the roads which, in Nebraskan terms is considered “Spring weather” and “quite warm”.  😀  There is talk of it getting as high as 50F next week, lol.  Roll on the 100 degree F Summer!

I have my Green Card which means I’m almost American.  No, I do not own a gun (male Brit friends seem to ask me this a lot) – unless you’re a robber reading this in which case, yes, I own a Bren Gun and eight assault rifles with the ammo slung in bandoliers in a cross shape over my chest Rambo style at all times.  Nobody puts Baby in the corner*

Girl Scout cookies are a) supremely moreish and b) a total nightmare to co-ordinate if you are the parent of a Girl Scout.

I have an ever-increasing collection of baseball caps.  This grows on the same upward curve as my waistline.

I have discovered Julia Child.  This is not going to help my waistline.

I’ve been here five and a half months now.  I don’t miss the UK at all.  I do miss British friends and family but not enough to jump on a plane, that’s what social networking and Skype is for isn’t it?

Anyhoo – hope you’re all OK.  What’s happening in your bloggy little world then?

*I may be deliberately confusing my movie references there for comedic effect…