Thursday, September 28, 2006


I'm trying to work links. Hope this works

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Breaking news!

Firstly, he's been away for almost a year (and god knows he may stop at any moment) But one of my 'finds' of the blogosphere 'Blighty Blog' is back. Check below for a link.
(but between you and me, he's not as funny as he used to be)

God I'm getting so old fashioned about these links.

Next Friday, October 6th I take on the challenge of my boss in a public conker fight.

Last year I won.
(Thanks to Listmaker for the pics)

Book Learning #23

Burmese Days by George Orwell.

If it's fall I must be reading Orwell. There is just something so reassuring about my favourite author, something so, fall. I think it may have been September 1988 when my high school english teacher made us read '1984'. From that point on I was hooked, never more than 12 months away from another considered reading of his work. He is also one of the very few (count 1, maybe 2?) authors that I actually reread.

I should confess to having had some conflicts with the great man. Back in the 1990's when I was at the height of my fanatical Norfolk nationalism I was distrustful. I knew that under laws being thought up at that time, George Orwell would be listed as 'politically unreliable' for the crime of having lived in Suffolk* (a 'crime' we could today charge many of the great and good including our own dear Weasel and Delia Smith).

Such days and thoughts are now past us and in some way this could be said of Orwell.
Surely, the themes he writes about are dated and historically , politically irrelevant. The British Empire, International Communism, Come on, that stuff is all done and dusted.

The beauty of Orwell is that his themes remain relevant to the present as well as providing a look at the past. Colonialism, imperialism, call it what you will, it's still here. Even, to some extent the clash of ideologies. If we had managed to get beyond such concepts I suppose Orwell's words would sound dated, but he is shrewd with his words and fortunate with his timing.

In 'Burmese Days' Orwell paints a stinking, pitiful portrait of British Colonial rule. There cannot be one sympathetic character amongst the cast. Everyone, for some reason or another is simply struggling to survive, to make good in a sweltering situation, most through drinking at the club, some by questioning the purpose of Empire, some by hunting and riding horses. The book fares pretty well with small anecdotes and descriptions of characters for the first 200 pages and then things spice up, things happen.

I read the last 75 pages in a swirl of page turning frenzy. The action was tense and the ending tragic. No sympathetic characters, no sympathy for the characters.

* Orwell lived in Southwold during the 1920s and 30s, an area claimed by Norfolk because it's pretty.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Third Grade moments.

Every year it's the same. Last week Listo wrote about the difficulties adjusting to a new class. I couldon't agree more.
Having said all that I think my class may be starting to win me over.
Check this out.

We were discussing immigration and I was attempting to extract some ideas from them. I was trying to make the point that outside of New York City things are rather different. I was thinking Nineteenth century german farmer heading to the fertile pastures of the Midwest. I was thinking space. I was thinking open farmland and healthy, natural living far away from the Russian pogroms and the German Kulturkampf.

Me: "When you leave New York City, What do you notice when you look out of the car window?"

Kid 1: "People are nicer"

At this point a bunch of hands spring up so I start picking them off.

Kid 2: "Yeah, people in New York curse all the time".

Kid 3: "People don't smoke as much outside the city".

Kid 4: "People in New York are mean and they curse".

Kid 5: "People upstate are quieter and more polite".

And it went on, a litany of fantastic complaints from some of New York's Third Graders. Of course, Woe betide anyone outside of New York daring to criticise any aspect of the Four Boroughs in front of these kids.

The last Dance

The Labour Party Conference is in full swing.

Mrs Blair has already called Gordon a 'Liar'.

Mr Mandelson hasn't been helpful.

Tony is full of the love.

I am a touch perturbed about what may follow.

We shall see.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The moral of the story.

Always, And I MEAN ALWAYS, Check the top of the Ketchup bottle before shaking it.
Especially when dining in public.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Brooklyn pics

It's been such a ridiculously gorgeous fall day. Here are a few pictures of Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza from Prospect Park West.

The Long Meadow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


By Mondale, age 33 and a half.

Hey, I think I made it to older than Jesus. That's fairly cool eh?

Confiscated some NBAHoops cards from the two kids who keep playing with them in class.

Discovered that any future offspring will get INSTANT UK citizenship (Thank you, British Nationality Act 1981!- Hey, who would have thought the Tories would ever do me any favours?)

Stole food from a dear co worker. That doesn't look good but she was upset and I was trying to help. I ended up with 4 garlic doughballs. NIce.

Inserted a shopping bag into a small Volvic bottle. When another co-worker questioned the logic of this I did it again. TWO shopping bags into a small Volvic bottle. (Dear Guinness Book of Records, Is this a record?) That will show you.

I did that because I was trying to distract dear co worker from her own upset. Think of it, if you will, like a very small magic show in the faculty room. I didn't announce it as such because that would have been 'showy' but those who saw it knew what it was. I'm not sure I helped but the thought was there.

Became very bored, very quickly. I had to wait for an evening function at school. I decided to remain at my post and eat the free pizza that they provide for the losers who choose not to go home between the end of school and the evening function. That'll be me then.

I tried to stretch my legs and buy a cup of tea and a scone from the Trendy Loungery on Union st. This was a bad idea.
I had to fight, no, really, FIGHT my way past twenty or thirty moms with strollers and babies. There were no decent baked poroducts left and I just couldn't stand it.
I had to retreat to the expensive deli/market on the corner and buy a coffee and some chocolate bread just to stay awake.

I'm awake now.

Still several hours to go before I meet the parents of 2006/07.

I've scattered books around the room top make the place look 'learned'.

I've tidied Lego.

I've thought about tidying my desk but refuse.
My desk could be so much worse.
It's got a good 'slightly dotty teacher' look about it and a cool ornament that tell the temperature, air pressure and humidity.

I'm sure I'll blog more in a bit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Go Mets!

National League East Champions 2006!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Proper Course.

I found a sailing blog that is not only rather good in it's own way but also links to several thousand gazillion other sailing blogs.
I just wish Theta Club would establish a blog. Although on second thoughts it's probably best that they remain as secretive as possible.
You can check the link at the bottom.
(I guess I could have just emailed Weasel and been done with it).

Sailing blog

I've been away, I've been reading 'Propercourse' and all his millions of amazing sailing links.
I'll be back soon.
Go Mets.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I kid you not.

Have you ever heard of somebody actually, really slipping on a banana skin?
In real life? Really?

Well my friends, now you have.

Last Tuesday evening whilst strolling through Bay Ridge (lost, with Listmaker on our way to visit Seesaw/Angel'swife) I suddenly slipped on something. It felt like slipping on ice. I didn't fall over but merely wobbled on one leg, regained my balance and turned to look at the offending thing that had caused such a loss of balance.

It was a banana skin.

I waited to see if a large cat would chase after me with a hammer or a mouse attempt to blow me up with a stick of dynamite but sadly the banana skin incident was the extent of my cartoon comedy moment.

Let it not be said such things never happen.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's official...

...I'm obsessed with the impending demise of "My little Tony".
In the absence of a major soccer championship I turn my attentions to the front pages.
I read about coups and conspiracies, backbench meetings and cabinet plots.
I simply cannot see him surviving past the Party Conference in October.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Blair, The last call?

I give him until October.
A big beast will challenge him at the conference.
That's what should happen anyway.

It seems that everyone in Britain is either obsessed with his imminent departure or just quietly assured about it. I have said before that I love the lack of term limits for this very reason, term limits deprive the British voting public of the joy of seeing their elected officals twist in the wind. Term limits go against the brilliant irrationality of British life.

$20 says he's gone by November 1st. Anyone?

An end to confusion

After a series of random and sometimes drunken conversations over the past few weeks, conversations with Americans AND my Dad.
I have finally pinned a location on the 2008 European Championships.

Euro 2008 will be joint hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

I'm sure I could have looked it up sooner or perhaps bothered to watch a qualifying game.