Thursday, August 31, 2006

What's the difference?

What's the difference between God and a psychiatrist?


God doesn't think he's a psychiatrist.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Gmail ads

I'm not quite sure what to make of this - I have a gmail account and it gives me little advertisements. I've never actually clicked on one before, but it seems to have picked up that I've been emailling people about furniture recently.

So I clicked on a website called "Zen furniture" and look what I found - how totally random! Not sure what it here but please, only if you're over 18. Sadly, it doesn't quite fit within our current furnishing budget...maybe later...what with buying all this furniture now, we'll need something for the wedding list later... ;)

If I do buy one, I'll be sure not to tell you. But if you ever see one in someone's house, you can give them a knowing smile or naively ask, "What an interesting piece, in what position do you sit on it?". Ho hum.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fill the legs of our dinky table...


Well, partner dude and I are moving in one month. We thought we'd try to rent a furnished flat as our current list of furniture includes two desks, one desk chair, a bookshelf, a CD rack and a crap plastic stool that cost less than a fiver.

But, no such luck. We found one furnished flat, and my God, was it a hovel - a disgusting, musty smelling place on the top of a block of flats - unfit for animal, never mind human habitation imho. Frankly, I don't think we could even manage to lug our meagre furniture up the steps, much less fit it in the tiny little flat at the top!

So, sod that we thought, and went and signed ourselves up for an unfurnished flat. So now we have to cobble together enough furniture to sleep in, sit in and eat off in our new, rather nice apartment. (Its dead posh!)

On our furniture shopping expeditions we came across this little table and are thinking of buying one for fun. The legs are hollow and you can fill them. So, any novel ideas of what to put in them?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Get paid for your opinion...

If you sign up to yougov here, they'll pay you for giving your opinion. You just get short surveys every now and then, for which they pay you about 50p - £1. Once you clock up £50, which takes a while, they put it in your bank account. Nice :)

Best of all, if you sign up using this link, they'll give me some points too :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Look what I done :)

P'raps my gran will stick it on her fridge

In our sleepy little town???

It was a bit of a surprise, to say the least, that five of the suspected terrorists were arrested in High Wycombe - a rather unremarkable little town, where we live.

As always, when these things happen, my thoughts turn to my Muslim neighbours who suffered so much in the aftermath of the attacks in London last summer and following the attacks in NY and Washington in 2001.

Sometimes, when I go to a Quaker meeting, I try to remember what a close friend of mine told me once about going to the mosque, surrounded by teenagers shouting abuse. When I tell people I consider myself to have Quaker leanings, I do not have to worry about their reactions - no-one's scared of the Quakers. I spoke with a Muslim psychiatrist a while back who said he is weary of people asking him questions about terrorism, as though there was nothing else interesting or relevant about Islam than its response to terrorism.

I will try to remember these things as the Muslim community around me fall under suspicion at this time, and ask myself, what can I do in solidarity with the thousands of British Muslims, and the hundreds of Muslims in our immediate community who want to live peacefully just as much as I do.

I appreciated Jonathan Cook's (originally from High Wycombe) reflections on the recent arrests.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How to be an ally...

I answered the door to someone at work this morning. An older lady, who had just arrived for a meeting. She wasn't sure where it was so I said, "Ah, no problem, take a seat and I'll call the secretaries' office" (conveniently located, might I add, at the back of the building & upstairs so no-one can find them). "Seminar room" says the secretary. "Oh...ah, um," says I. "That a problem?" asks the secretary. "Er yes, this lady has a walking frame, I am not sure if she will be able to manage the steep flight of stairs up to the seminar room." "Oh," says the secretary, "well that's where the meeting is, tell her not to worry, we'll get someone can carry her up the stairs."

I mean, how humiliating to have to be carried up a steep flight of stairs, doubtless by two strangers. I was so embarrassed and it was nothing to do with me! We have downstairs meeting rooms, they could have (and should have) moved the meeting. I know for a fact there were other rooms free. More to the point, they shouldn't have booked the upstairs seminar room in the first place, its not like the lady was unknown to them, she'd had meetings before.


When an organisation with equal rights policies coming out of its ass & elbows, and a particular focus on people with disabilities, manages such a monumental cock up, you have to ask just how progressive we actually are.

Anyway, it made Peterson's latest blog post seem all the more relevant.

Listen. Then Listen. Then Listen some more. The work of being an ally requires deep listening and understanding. I explained that as a white man I often get it wrong. Being an ally requires a graceful resilience. Because of the society where I was raised and the many messages I received, I am racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and insensitive to the needs of people with disabilities. I have to unlearn much of what has been engrafted into my mind.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Regina Spektor

Thanks to Brandice, I've discovered Regina Spektor. Its wonderful music, I love her voice. Have a listen to some of her songs:

Ode to Divorce
Promo stuff (a bit wibbly on the old camera there)

Monday, August 07, 2006

The BIGGEST onion bhaji ever seen...and see partner dude's hand!

We had friends come down for the weekend a couple of weekend's ago - quite special for us as we know hardly anyone (let me rephrase, we know nobody) in our local area.

So, we all went out for a fantastic Indian meal at a local Indian restaurant. We ordered an onion bhaji, and no kidding, it was the size of a baby's head! We shared it between the four of us.

It was just so enormous I thought I'd share a photo. And, you get to see partner dude's hand, helpfully holding a 20p piece to help you fathom the size of this monstrosity.