Monthly Archives: March 2013

20130327 – Hummingbirds Galore

Wednesday – hot and sunny.


Out for 09:00 for a drive down to Patagonia Lake. Visit the famous – well at least amongst birders – Patons Hummingbird site. It’s in Patons back garden; Chair under and awning; loads of bird feeders, especially Hummingbirds; full of Birders with giant phallic extensions to their cameras so big they need a tripod and crane to lift them – and then they think IT people are nerdy! Great site and loads of birds seen and amazing that it’s free.

Visit Sonita Creek Nature preserve – $5 a head – lovely walk but not a bird in site, only Javelina’s.

Meanwhile some Americanise – “Man that just up my alley”. Roughly translated “I really like it.”

Drive over to Sierra Vista and a great Hotel.


Meanwhile in case we wander into New mexico here’s some of their silly slaws:


Women may walk in public topless provided they have their nipples covered.

It’s forbidden for a female to appear unshaven in public.

Persons may not spit on the steps of the opera house.

Hunting is prohibited in Mountain View Cemetery.

You may not carry a lunchbox down Main Street.



Only been in the job a few days. Did he know what he was letting himself in for:

While popes have for centuries washed the feet of the faithful on the day before Good Friday, never before had a pontiff washed the feet of a woman. That one of the female inmates at the prison in Rome was also a Serbian Muslim was also a break with tradition.
“There is no better way to show his service for the smallest, for the least fortunate,” said Gaetano Greco, a local chaplain.
Pope Francis kissing the feet of a young offender
Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates aged 14 to 21, among them the two women, the second of whom was an Italian Catholic. Mr Greco said he hoped the ritual would be “a positive sign in their lives”.
Catholic traditionalists are likely to be riled by the inclusion of women in the ceremony because of the belief that all of Jesus’ disciples were male.

Good for him, let’s stir it up and head for change.

Thursday – hot and sunny.

Up early for a great breakfast – waffles. Meet some Americans who have have obviously lost the plot as they think Wendy speaks the Queens English.


Off down to Ramsey Canyon, another famous birding and beauty spot. Bump into a birding walk up the Canyon. So a 1 hour birding trip turns into a 3 hour tour. Great walk; lovely canyon; informative and entertaining guide; FOC – my favourite; but alas few birds. However we do get to see the American Woodpecker – a rare sighting apparently. Add 3 new birds to our sighting collection.


Manage to make a politically incorrect howler by describing a “controlled burn”. Apparently this is no longer PC as a local “controlled burn” got out of hand and burnt down a whole town. They’re now called “prescribed burns” so that if one ever gets out of hand there is no way it will burn down a whole town!

After Ramsey Canyon we drive down to Bisbee. Everyone says it’s a must see! Worse than Jerome and that’s saying something. Best thing was seeing convict shuffling out of court in chains in bright orange and white horizontal striped uniforms. Why don’t we treat our convicts like this or send them somewhere else!

Then after the intrepid travellers have been fed and watered we set off to Tombstone.


Anne and Kevin do the shoot out at one of the 5 original OK Corals in Tombstone – well comedy shootout. Just as boring apparently as all the others. Wendy  and I have a mossy around and then break one of the sacred laws of retirement and have a beer in a saloon – forgive me for I have sinned! Nearly fall off one of the swivel chairs at the bar as a gunfight ensues, they sure wake you up even though they’re firing blanks. All the waitress’s are properly attired in basques, short belts and back fishnet tights – very tasty. One of them has a platform bra / basque with two “giant St Bernard puppies” try to escape. This time I and 2 other guys fall off their perches. Sadly none of the pictures turn out.

More laws in Tombstone:


It is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.

Women may not wear pants.

Nudity is allow, provided that male genitals are covered.

Women may walk in public topless provided they have their nipples covered.Full text of the law.


Idiots may not vote.

State officials ordered 400 words of “sexually explicit material” to be cut from Romeo and Juliet.


They can’t even spell:

The website of topless feminist group Femen has been hacked and replaced with a page declaring the women dirty pigs. The message, in broken English, is spelt out in red and black capitals and reads:

Dirty pigs!
No fuck for you, even for your men! DSCF9207Come here Tunisa!
We will cut your breasts and give food our dogs!
Die sluts, prostitutes from Israel!

Femen posted on their Facebook page Dear friends, our website was hacked. Don’t trust the information that will be posted there till the moment we inform you that the website was fixed.

The women’s rights group has received international news coverage in recent weeks amid fears for Tunisian topless protester Amina Tyler after threats to stone her to death were posted online.

An international Free Amina movement began on April 4 with the news that Amina has been imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital.

Friday – very hot and very sunny.

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Idle’itiss seems to have set in. Everyones either lounging around or shopping this morning after our two day excursion.

I go down to Catalina SP for a morning route march. Up to the Romero Canyon to the Montrose pools – sadly not that spectacular. Then do the Canyon Loop trail. An energetic 3.5 mile march in the gruelling sun, and it’s only 09:00. Lovely at this time of the morning.

As a reward call in Starbucks for coffee and wifi. Our cable modem’s gone the way of the Dodo, there’s a technical term for it – knackered.

Lengthy chat with Comcast who finally diagnose it as dead. Classic help desk. Can go and pick up an FOC replacement but what they forget to mention is that it’s not Comcast’s, so not FOC. Drive across Town to the service depot to find this out – typical Help desk numpty. Bestbuy next. Set it all up ok and then final step it screws up with screen that locks out. IMG 1256Now there’s a surprise, an IT solution that doesn’t work. Never experienced that :7). So internet not working yet I can Skype Comcast -interesting! Am I surprised? Comcast techies – note the plural – final fix it with a TOTO.

Anne and Wendy get their weekly treat with a trip to the supermarket. I have to make do with a Jacuzzi and lazy afternoon.

Tucson’s a great place but the traffic lights and lack of roundabouts does your head in. Best solution is to take a book with you to read at traffic lights!

Meanwhile Colorado has it’s fair share of stupid laws:


One may not mutilate a rock in a state park.

Car dealers may not show cars on a Sunday.

It is illegal for liquor stores to sell food or grocery storesto sell any alcohol except beer that is at most 3.

It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence.


Tags may be ripped off of pillows andmattresses.

Throwing missles at cars is illegal.

Keeping a house where unmarried persons are allowed to have sex is prohibited.

Establishments which sell alcohol must have enough lighting to read text inside them.

Catapults may not be fired at buildings.

It is legal to challenge a police officer, but only until he or she asks you to stop.

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It is illegal to permit ones llama to graze on city property.

\Boulders may not be rolled on city property.

Couches may not be placed on outside porches.



UK websites hacked over religious extremism:

Two of the leading British blogs taking issue with religious extremism have been taken offline for an entire week by a large-scale cyber attack. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but by the very nature of their targeting, the sources are thought to be religious extremists.

Both Harry’s Place and Student Rights suffered massive denial of service (DDOS) attacks over the past week – a cyber attack which blasts servers with traffic in order to overload them and effectively knock the websites out.


A statement posted on the Harry’s Place website said:

We were taken down by another very nasty DDOS attack. The ferocity of this one was actually quite staggering, so clearly we’re doing something that is getting under someone’s skin, someone with a very a fair amount of resources behind them. That a humble blog like ours — written by a few amateur pundits in their spare time, and relying entirely on donations from readers for its expenses — seems to threaten forces with this sort of virtual fire-power at their disposal is as flattering as it is baffling.

Student Rights, the leading pressure group in the UK for tackling extremism on university campuses said in a statement:

Our website has been the target of a malicious and illegal attack for a prolonged period of time. Our work, as many know, is to challenge extremism including Islamist activity and the far-right. We can only imagine that the attack must have emanated from one of these two groups.

Authorities are currently investigating the attacks. I bet!

20130323 – Desert Walks

Saturday – hot and sunny. 

IMG 1218Stop off at the local cafe for coffee and scones, at least for some who seem to have hollow legs. They do green eggs and ham, sounds revolting but when we find what’s in it (scrambled eggs with Pesto and cheese) I’m sure it would be great – on the menu for next week.After lazy breakfast drive up to Oracle State Park. Key word there is up to. It’s very hot on our patio but Oracle SP is higher up and there’s a nice cooling breeze. Get a free tour around the ranch house, compete with samples of native foods collected in the desert such as acorns and Lemonade berries – like sherbets. Then do a short nature trail.

After lunch I take the car down to the local garage used by Jerry (car owner), to have a slow puncture looked at. Done while I wait. 10 minutes of a job. How much? Oh there’s no IMG 1219charge for repairs like that, “have a nice day”. Should I have tipped them? Amazing!

Meanwhile the rest of the crew have gone off to buy Kindles and buttons – don’t ask – so it’s a restful afternoon on the patio and 17:00 is approaching so it’s a choice between a good German beer and a jacuzzi or a Pinot Noire. Or better still start off with the beer and then move onto the wine.

Perfect end to another perfect day.

Sunday – hot and sunny.


Up at the crack of sparrows to go on the 08:00 bird walk at Catalina State Park.  Spotted 35 new birds. Only a 3 mile walk but it took 3.5 hours. Several experts leading the walk all very knowledgable.

Back home for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Anne and Kevin playing with their new toys. Anne with an iPad and Kevin with a Kindle. Now Annne’s on Facebook thanks to Wendy. Wendy’s knitting and I’m doing my photos and blog.


Monday – hot and sunny for a change.

Wendy and I went down to Tohono Chul Park. A lovely park in the middle of Tucson. A bit like a botanical garden, sad to say we quite enjoyed it. Must have seen about 8 different birds even though we arrived quite late. Took about 90 minutes to explore it. Some lovely relaxing areas and Wendy got quite excited about some of the water features, she has visions of one in my Zen garden – dream on. Went to try and get a table for lunch but there was a 40 minute wait and yet there were plenty of empty tables. Typically Americans were patiently waiting. I find this a bizarre feature of the American way of life in that they’ll gladly wait 40 minutes plus for a table rather than voting with their feet and going elsewhere.

Drove down to the University. Had lunch at Starbucks. Really into this now with auto top up on my iPass app and a list of favourite IMG 1235coffees being built up. Carry on at this rate I’ll be able to speak Satrbuck’ese and order a coffee with gusto.

Visited the Pottery exhibition at the University. May well have the largest collection of Southwest Indian pottery in the World but sadly only a small percentage on display.

Visited the Indian life exhibition. Interesting how they made a good living from the land and then along came the settlers, who rapidly turned the areas into deserts with their greed and water wastage.

Tuesday – hot and sunny yet again.


Catch up on some work and phone calls first thing. Then by the time we’ve all rolled out of bed and got into gear we drive down to Sabino Canyon. Catch the tram up to the top and then make the 3.7 mile walk back down. Takes just under 2 hours. Thank a deity we didn’t attempt to walk up and back down. By lunch time I think we all feel like Taliban’s without a turban and ready for a break.

Then on the way back we all get the excitement of a trip to the supermarket.


Lazy afternoon. I manage to get a bit more work done and overcome an SSRS screw up. By way of a treat I have a jacuzzi and Spaten. This is the life. Jacuzzi has a bed area with jets all over the back and feet. Ideal after a hard day.


20130318 – Home From Home

Monday – hot and sunny again.

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Time to put some pictures on of our home fro home. Another lovely home exchange.

Drive down to what we believe is the Sweatwater ponds but turns out to be the Sweater water trail head in the Saguaro National Park. Have a pleasant but hot walk, 3 mile, among the giant Saguaro.

On the way back call in at sport shop for tee shirts etc and Starbucks for a relaxing coffee. Have a pleasant long chat with an American couple from Chicago who have a total aversion to Obama, so much so they won’t even say his name. Does no one like him? Where are all those who voted for him? Yet to meet anyone on this trip. After an hour though DSCF8685we’ve put the World to rights – sack all the politicians.

Loony laws are not just passed in the UK:

ANYONE who detonates a nuclear device in the city limits in Chico, California, can be fined $500 (about £260). If anyone’s still around to collect it, that is…

DONALD Duck comics were once banned in Finland because he never wore trousers.

DOCTORS are banned from looking directly at a woman’s private parts in Bahrain, so docs who need to carry out examinations have to use a mirror.


IT is illegal to set a mousetrap in California if you don’t have a HUNTING licence.

THE entire Encyclopaedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.

Here’s the thanks you get for trying to save your parents a costly wedding:

A soldier was stoned to death on Tuesday morning after he was caught trying to elope with a local girl in Pakistan’s tribal districts along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Tuesday – hot and sunny

Drive down to the Sweatwater Ponds. Which in itself is no mean feat considering that all the roads approaching it are closed due to road works – still makes us feel at home.


Pleasant walk around the ponds and see quite a few new birds and some old favourites. Mainly water birds.

Afternoon doing some work.

Kevin and Anne arrive around 17:30 after 470 mile drive from LA.

Yet more from the lawmakers of the World:

MEN who wear skirts in Italy can be thrown in jail. Good job David Beckham plays in Spain, then.

YOU can be thrown in jail in Burma for going on the Internet. Anyone found in possession of a modem can be imprisoned.


IT is illegal for a man with a moustache to kiss a woman in Eureka, Nevada.

IF a child burps in church in Nebraska, his or her parents can be arrested. It is also illegal in that state for a mother to give her daughter a perm without a licence.

MICKEY Mouse was banned in Romania in 1935 because officials thought the sight of a ten-foot high rodent on screen would terrify the nation’s children.


Tired of your job?

Sick of working 40 hours or more each week just to feed your family?

Would you like to relax all day and still have all the benefits of a full-time job?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should consider moving to England the welfare country.


If you qualify (and only working people do not) you can receive the following: free Housing, free utilities, free food, free medical services, free transportation, free legal services. This program is not limited to 36 months like other countries. In England you can collect for life. Some of our families have received benefits at two or three generations.

So if you would like to receive all this without working for a living contact the benefits agency England the country where only suckers work.

Wednesday – hot with sun and cloud.


Up and out for a 10:00 walk to the ruins in Catalina State Park. Pleasant little walk with plenty of birds. Then do the bird walk which ironically has fewer birds.

Afternoon the ladies have their treat and go to the super market. While Kevin and I do manly things like wine shopping and browse technology in Best Buy. Evening TV viewing spoiled by crap BBC iPlayer software. Now there’s a surprise. Funny how Netflix seem to be able to provide a good service. Perhaps it’s time for heads to roll at the BBC software team and get a team in that can deliver.

Thursday – warm 83F but overcast.

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Get some work done first thing.

Then set off to visit old Tucson studios. Turns out there’s a Wild West day tomorrow so visit the desert museum and zoo. Have a very pleasant day, even though its our second visit. Raptor display is well worth it.

Finally get to see what a Cresote bush looks like. Apparently it releases it’s aroma – if you can call it that – when it rains. A simple way to sniff it is to breathe on it. The moist air in your breathe brings out the smell. That concludes todays useless piece of information.

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See a chain gang – minus the chains – working on the road side. Why don’t our clowns, sorry MP’s, introduce it in the uk along with a few other common sense initiatives like workfare?

Evening spent nodding off to TV, now there’s a surprise.

As we’re in Arizona I thought it might be prudent to check up on the local laws. Ignorance of the law is no defence:

You may not have more than two dildos in a house.

Hunting camels is prohibited.

Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony.

There is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.

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Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs.

A class 2 misdemeanor occurs if one places a mark upon a flag which is “likely to provoke physical retaliation”.

It is illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine.

It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water.


Give Bali a miss:

Unmarried couples caught having sex could be sent to prison under a proposed revision of Indonesia’s criminal code.


An amendment to the penal code was submitted to lawmakers on March 6 and must pass through the House of Representatives before it becomes law.


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A Jakarta Globe report claimed that jail sentences of up to five years would be handed out to couples engaged in a sexual relationship outside wedlock.


Wahiduddin Adams, director general for legislation at the Injustice and ‘Human Rights’ Ministry explained that non-married couples were included in the proposed revision to reflect prevailing norms in Indonesia. He added that the law would only be enacted if a report against an individual was made by others who felt they have been disadvantaged because of the action.


A blackmailer’s charter then, especially useful for settling personal grudges. How can you be “disadvantaged”, unless of course you were hoping to have sex with one of the offenders? Confirms my travel policy of avoiding Muslim and such countries that have balmy laws.

Friday – hot and sunny.

Off to old Tucson studios for a cracking day out. Plenty to see and do even though its our 2 nd visit.

Don’t you just love American job creation. Get your tickets and then 10 feet later hand them into a lady who hands out a map and tells you the highlights of the day. Well not quite as she’s not been told all that’s on.

In the evening we try and stay awake through one of the westerns shot at the studios – Hombre.


More nonsense laws from Arizona’s cities:

Cards may not be played in the street with a Native American.

If you bother the cottontails or bullfrogs, you will be fined.

No more than six girls may live in any house.

A decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.

An ordinance prohibits the wearing of suspenders.

No one is permitted to ride their horse up the stairs of the county court house.


It is illegal to smoke cigarettes within 15 feet of a public place unless you have a Class 12 liqueur license.

Revealing Words… Tunisian moralists call for barbaric killing to counter topless protest:

After becoming an international internet sensation, a topless Tunisian protestor, Amina, is now facing nasty threats from moralists in her home country.

The woman posted the pictures of herself (sorry no picture here as I wouldn’t want to offend anyone :7) ) on the internet to coincide with International Women’s Day and wrote across her torso in Arabic:

My body is mine, it is not the source of anyone’s honor.


In a local TV interview, she said she had been protesting for women’s rights and to celebrate the news that a FEMEN – the international women’s rights organization notorious for stripping in public – office would be opening in her country.

Adel Alami, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Tunisia, called this week for the unnamed girl to be whip-lashed one hundred times in punishment. Then, fearing that he might be going easy on the nude feminist, Alami changed his mind and decided on stoning instead (Thank a deity for that. I thought they were going soft).

News flash:

There are reports that 19 year old Amina who posted nude photos of herself for FEMEN Tunisia has been seized by her family and possibly the civil police and been hospitalised in a psychiatric hospital.


The only madness here is that she has been detained rather than those who have threatened her with stoning to death and are now denying her freedom.


20130314 – Canyon de Chelly

Thursday – warm and sunny.


Up early. Washing done and off by 08:00.

It’s a 433 mile drive down to Chinle the nearest town to Canyon de Chelly. A stunning drive through, mountains, forests and drive through Moab where we stayed in 2011.

After 8 hours finally arrive in Chinle on the Navajo Indian reservation. What can I say. It’s as if Disney have done a theme park celebrating a 3rd World Country. Is this really America? One might wonder why Indian reservations are always the same. It’s in the middle of nowhere; ram shackled housing; dust and litter everywhere; mangy dogs roaming the streets; natives sat around in the shade; dead dogs on the roadsides; unusually for America people actually out walking, but no sidewalks just dirt paths. This is not a place to be wandering around at night. This must be a prime example of poverty in USA. The Indians really did seem to get a rough deal when it came to land allocation.


Try and buy some alcohol. No chance. No alcohol on an Indian reservation. To be fair it’s at the choice of the Navajo peoples who are trying to crack down on alcoholism. Tax rates on income and new business are very low. An incentive I suppose. But tax rates on hotels comes to 13% for Navajo and 7.05% for the state. With those tax rates you would have thought this place would be state of the art, but then again there are only two hotels and not really much to attract visitors.


We stay at the Holiday Inn first time in years and certainly the last. 

Lovely hotel, great rooms and good breakfast but there the compliments end of my first stay in years at a Holiday Inn.

Receptionist had obviously studied and come top of his class at the Neanderthal School of Charm and Hospitality. Let’s guess which of these words or phrases never passed his lips during the check in process:

“Hello”, “Welcome”, “Can I help you”, “Please”, “Thank you”, “grunt”.
Well the only one he didn’t use was a grunt. Certainly no please or thank you and to be honest I’m amazed he didn’t grunt. It was the rudest experience we’ve ever experienced. If he’d worked for me he be on a final written warning or instant dismissal – tough choice.


Fortunately after a long drive there are some beers in the boot of our car – smart move.

Countless individuals accused of apostasy and blasphemy face threats, imprisonment, and execution. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

On 14 March 2013, we call for an international day of action to defend apostates and blasphemers worldwide.


So which country is the University College London in? Dhimis watch out it’s yet another step down the slippery slope:
An academic says he threatened to walk out of a debate hosted by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) because organisers had segregated the audience. Females to one side and no mixing or fraternising. Professor Lawrence Krauss, one of the world’s leading atheists, was lined up to debate against Islamic lecturer Hamza Andreas Tzortzis at University College London on Saturday. Krauss refused to participate in the debate, entitled Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense? until they changed their minds.
UK silly laws:

IT is illegal to have sex on a parked motorcycle in London since a law passed just after the Second World War.

WOMEN are allowed to bite off a man’s nose if he kisses her against her will in a law that dates back to 1837.

MUNCH on a mince pie this Xmas and you are breaking the law. Oliver Cromwell banned them in the 17th Century because he said they were not Puritan enough.

ALL Englishmen over the age of 14 must spend two hours a week practising the LONGBOW, supervised by the local clergy. This law dates from the middle ages when there was no standing army so in times of war noblemen were required to provide knights, archers and infantry.

BREAK your boiled egg at the pointed end and you can be put in the stocks for 24 hours under a law passed in 1561 by King Edward VI.

WEAR a tall hat at the theatre and you could be fined since someone sat in front of Oliver Cromwell and obstructed his view of the stage.Friday – hot and sunny.


Up early for breakfast and exploitation. Breakfast was included. $20 voucher given us. We went for the basic breakfast rather than ala carte. “Would you like some fresh orange juice?”. Sounds nice. But on interrogation it turns out thats extra – good job we checked. They have other juices but no orange – I wonder why? First feeling of being exploited and mistrust is setting in.

Then we get the bill $20.07. 2nd exploitation / mistrust. I’m not to $0.07 but its the principle. “Oh well that’s the tax” they explain. But my breakfast is included in the room rate. Oh yes but you have to pay the tax. No I don’t it’s included. After much discussion they finally relent and drop the $0.07.

So Mr Holiday Inn you’ve spoilt a lovely hotel with appalling reception service – would best be used as a training film – and made me feel exploited and mistrust you. For that reason you get a rating of terrible and a deep reluctance to use your hotel chain ever again. 

Load up and take the South Rim drive around the edge of Canyon de Chelly. Impressive and I suppose it was worth the trip – actually it was the most direct route from PC down to Tucson and saved us 36 miles. Alas it was not as good as Mesa Verde. Basically a Rim drive with various stop off points and walks to view points down to the canyon 700+ feet below. Some of the drop offs were of under wear staining quality. Give me standing at the top of a double black diamond ski run any day. Unlike Mesa Verde you were not able to go into and tour the “White House” ruins, which weren’t all that big and certainly not worth a 2 hour hike down to them.

Then we’re off for a 360 mile drive down to Oro Valley, Tucson.


Drive has some stunning and varied scenery. Drive down the Salt River canyon, 2,000 feet deep. Awesome scenery and nearly as impressive as the Grand Canyon. Finally drive through the Sonora desert complete with the majestic Saguaro cacti.

Finally, after a 6 hour drive, we arrive at our home exchange for the next 3 weeks. A lovely bungalow in the Oro valley just on the outskirts of Tucson and at the foot of the Catalina Mountain range – alas no skiing. Within minutes we’re feeling at home and will be very comfortable for the next 3 weeks. Oh and did I happen to mention a 22Mb wifi connection – super.

McDonalds Angus burger for dinner, which has the distinctive taste of fish. We’ll be getting our money back on that. Fortunately a pleasant bottle of Pinot Noire makes up for the that and acts as a great night cap.

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Oh dear how sad a book fell on the ground. Sounds familiar:

Palestinians ‘enraged’ by reports that an Israeli policeman had knocked a religious book to the floor battled riot officers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound with stones and petrol bombs on Friday, police and witnesses said.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that about 100 protesters, many of them masked, attacked police, who fired stun grenades in response. He told AFP:
Petrol bombs were thrown at police, Several police officers were injured by stones that were thrown and were evacuated to hospital.
Patching together two sides of the story, it appears that a Koran was knocked to the ground in a scuffle when police stepped in as muslim women were blocking Israelis from entering the compound.

More UK silly laws:

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DON’T make fun of a boxer during a bout or you’re breaking the law and can be thrown out on the street. “Insulting or abusive remarks directed at the contestants” are out.

BE careful where you scatter a loved-one’s ashes as you will be breaking the law if you spread them where they could contaminate the water supply.

EVER been lost going round a strange round about for the first time? Well if you circle it more than THREE times, you could be arrested as it is an offence.

NO matter how heated Prime Minister’s Question Time gets, Tony Blair and David Cameron are banned from putting on ARMOUR in Parliament since a law passed in 1313.

LET a desperate stranger into your house to use the loo and – if you live in Scotland – you’re committing an offence according to a law dating from 1791.

STEALING post from the Royal Mail is an offence because it is still classed as an act of treason.

COUPLES in Birmingham can be fined £25 if they have sex “on the steps of any church after the sun goes down”. However, the law says nothing about doing it in broad daylight…

Saturday – hot and sunny.

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Up at the crack of dawn. We’ve gone back an hour with the time zone change. Breakfast sat on the patio with the sun coming up over the Catalina Mountains. Clear blue sky. A birders paradise, as we try and complete our breakfast the binoculars are constantly in use on the various birds. 6 different species just over breakfast. This is the life.

Home exchange comes with a comfy car, so we take the Hertz mobile back to the nearest Hertz. Should have gone back to the airport but they had no problem with us dropping it off at the local Hertz – good customer service yet again. For an SUV it was very comfortable and a pleasure to drive.

After lunch Wendy nips to the local super market for a part weekly shop.

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Then afternoon tea on the patio; unpack; and we’re all set at our lovely home from home. Home exchange is totally bodacious.

Belgium modernises its laws so as to be suitable for the Dark Ages:

Arne S was sentenced by the criminal court of Bruges, to four months in prison for having torn a copy of the Koran in front of a group of Muslims, in June 2012, in Ostende.
On 8 June last year, in the early evening, the accused participated in a demonstration in Ostende. After the demonstration, he went into a cafe’ where he exchanged words with around a dozen Muslims. In front of their eyes, Arne S. tore a copy of the Koran.


More UK silly laws:


IT is illegal to take a cow along a road between the hours of 10am and 7pm – unless you have permission in advance from the Commissioner of Police. forbids “harbouring a Catholic priest”.

OFFER your local Father Ted a cup of tea and you can be tortured or even hangtured under a laed of dating from Eliza1 beth I’s reign that

DON’T go to a fancy dress party as a Chelsea Pensioner. Because they are entitled to increased state benefits and subsidised housing, it is an offence to pretend you are one.


MEN caught short in the street are legally allowed to urinate in public, but ONLY on the rear wheel of their own car on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

SPRING cleaning? Hang a bed out of your window and you can be jailed for up to five years…

IT is against the law to be drunk in a pub or bar says the Licensing Act passed during the First World War.

Sunday – hot and sunny. Don’t know how hot just dammed hot.

Out early’ish to avoid the heat. Take a gentle 2 hour stroll around Catalina Canyon State park in the foothills of the Catalina mountains. See 3 new birds.

Then pop down to the Mall for a pair of new sandals and a tee shirt (Wendy didn’t bring many for me). Leisurely coffee at Starbucks. Quite interesting the age profile in there. There’s a lot of silver surfers and of course everyone who has a laptop for the free wifi has an Apple Mac – goes without saying, very trendy. Amazing I talk to one old geezer who lives local and has got in his car to pop down to Starbucks to pick up a coffee and tea for him and his wife. Is this the ultimate in take aways. Do they not have a kettle and coffee machine?

Afternoon spent sat outside on the patio doing some work.

IMG 1057

What a tough life!

Opposition or Just Opposite to Human Rights…

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood well unimpressed by a UN declaration that condemns violence against women. They have claimed that a UN declaration calling for an end to violence against women will lead to the complete disintegration of society .

Delegates at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York have spent the last fortnight debating the wording of a declaration that would condemn violence against women. The brotherhood, whose close allies control Egypt’s parliament and presidency, slated the declaration in an online statement calling it a decadent and destructive document that undermined Islamic ethics by calling for women to work, travel and use contraception without their husbands’ permission.

In a 10-point memorandum, the brotherhood also criticised the declaration for granting women sexual freedom, allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslims, granting equal rights to homosexual people, and allowing wives full legal rights to take their husbands to court for marital rape. The brotherhood’s statement claimed.

This declaration, if ratified, would lead to complete disintegration of society, and would certainly be the final step in the intellectual and cultural invasion of Muslim countries, eliminating the moral specificity that helps preserve cohesion of Islamic societies.



Why does it take two weeks of debate? And if it’s that easy to disintegrate their society, bring it on!

IMG 1059

More UK silly laws:


A BLOODHOUND is the only animal in the world whose evidence is admissible in a court of law.

IT is illegal to show affection in public in Wales on Sundays.

ALL cyclists must ring their bells non-stop while the bike is moving, says a law passed in 1888.

HUNKS in Birmingham face a fine if they go topless in the city centre.

RIDING a bike or a horse while drunk is illegal.

BOYS under 10 are forbidden to look at naked mannequins. This dates from the reign of George V in the 1900s when mannequins first began to appear in shop windows and young boys’ eyes started popping out.


20130311 – Last Days Skiing – Until November

Monday – grey, cloudy and cold.


Total cock up on the weather as it forecast sun and clouds so I’ll catch early tracks in a lightweight ski top and spend most of the morning freezing – a first this trip. Lights very flat so although it’s not a white out you can’t really see much of the contours. A hard mornings skiing. Needless to say Wendy didn’t bother.

Met Wendy for lunch at Payday.

Took bottle of wine and chocolates for Jeff and Lifties as a thank you for yesterdays Mothers day surprise. PCMR are quite rightly making the most of it and are putting pictures / story on their blog.

Nip over to Carols for coffee and then visit their Racquet Club house that we’re thinking of renting from November for a year. It’s 3 bedroom, great deck with jacuzzi, lovely furnished IMG 1037and kitted out. Even has an office area and garage. And of course wifi. Locations great for town, recreation centre round the corner, just off a golf course, lovely area and on a bus route, yet not on a man road. Ideal. Would be a real home from home for us.

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

Decide to have a lazy start and go on the free guided tour of the mountain. Not that I need to find my way around but just by way of a change. Works out as a good mornings skiing. Cover a lot of the mountain and reasonably fast as there’s only 3 + guide and all fairly confident skiers.

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Meet Wendy again at Payday and then cruise all the banks to see whats the best deal for a US account. They all seem to be pretty similar but charge from $20 down to $12 for a wire transfer in. Each one gets cheaper as we move down the road. At this rate by the time we get to Kimble junction they’ll be paying us. Best so far seems Chase. Not the cheapest but have the best offering and eServices.

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

Wendy wakes up in the middle of the night, looks outside the window and tells me it’s snowed. Excited! Alas when we get up it turns out she was leading me on.

Up early and out for first tracks on last day. First in line at Eagle – who says I’m obsessive.

Meet Dave, a fellow nerd, on the lift and he’s new to the mountain. Give him a few tips and we then spend the rest of the morning skiing together as I give IMG 1039him the nerds guided tour of PCMR. Fortunately he’s of a similar standard so we manage to burn up some runs together and cover most of the morning. A hard mornings skiing and a fitting end to the holiday – see tracks.

Wendy’s been cleaning up and packing all morning while I beaver away on the mountain. In the afternoon I clean up skis and boots etc and pack them ready for storage.

Drive over to Carols for dinner and to drop off ski gear for storage. Have a lovely evening with them and a great High rise surprise in the USA for Belthorn mum  From Lancashire Telegraphmeal. A real treat of spatzle (my favourite that we can’t get in England), rot kohl and viener schnitzel. Agree a 10 month rental on their lovely Racquet Club place. Start on 1st November. Aiming to stay for all November to 20th December; mid january to mid April; all of June, July and August. A whole year of great skiing and the allegedly great Park City summers – hiking and mountain biking. Really looking forward to it.

Angela loves her Disney Princess Bell dress for her birthday – see picture.

Meanwhile Wendy’s Mother’s Day surprise has now made the Lancashire Evening Telegraph – at this rate she’ll need a publicity manager and dark glasses to avoid being recognised in public.

20130308 – Awesome Mother’s Day Surprise

Friday – warm and cloudy. 

Answer to my unbelievable quiz:

Park City 10

In each of these 5 towns it is illegal NOT TO HAVE A GUN IN THE HOUSE! 

Can you believe it? No, it’s not a typing mistake.

In each of these 5 towns it is illegal NOT TO HAVE A GUN IN THE HOUSE!
I repeat in each of these 5 towns it is illegal NOT TO HAVE A GUN IN THE HOUSE!

I’m speechless.

One of the towns rational is that 94% already have a gun so we might as well make it mandatory – doh!

God bless the second amendment and don’t anyone f..k with it.

Well did you guess right?

Up early for the new snow, all 1″ of it. Good morning skiing but alas no groomed blacks so it’s a ski with style day.

Image 4

Get chatting to a Bob Dylan fan over coffee. Why is it that they’re all old (well I understand that); balding; but worse still usually have pony tails. This guy fits the profile.

And while we’re on about typical profiles why do Americans all have such brilliant white teeth?

Afternoon leisurely fixing my blog problem that lost all my work. Finally pin it down to an emoticon in the blog. That’ll teach me to smile!By lunch time the snows gone to that hard pack you get on a warm (+32F) day.

Then out shopping. Free Burritos vouchers. Oh but you’ll have to pay $0.18 tax. How can I pay tax on zero. I can feel  a Victor moment coming on – pots for rags. Needs the brains of the supervisor to sort it. Just to finish the expedition we return the 2nd kettle to Walmart. In true American fashion it seems to think that the boiling point is about 60F.

Then for Wendy it’s an East Enders fiesta – two hours worth to catch up on.

Don’t you just love our government:

Dear Sirs,

Park City King Con 3298

I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe how is it that Sky Television has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a bleeding satellite dish from them back in 1988, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was bloody born and on what date.

Do you guys do this by hand?

My birth date you have on my pension book.

It’s on all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the past 30 years.

It is on my National Health card.

My driving licence.

My car insurance.

On the last eight damn passports I’ve had.

It’s on all those stupid customs declaration forms I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the plane over the last 30 years.

All those insufferable census forms.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother’s name is Mary Anne, my father’s name is Robert and I’d be absolutely astounded if that WOULD ever change between now and when I die!!

I apologise, I’m really pissed off this morning. Between you an’ me, I’ve had enough of this bullshit!

You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my bleeding address!!

What is going on? Do you have a gang of neanderthal arseholes workin’ there?

Look at my damn picture.

Do I look like Bin Laden?

I don’t want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for shit sakes. I just want to go and park my arse on some sandy beach somewhere.


And would someone please tell me, why would you give a shit whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days?

If I ever got the urge to do something wierd to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, you’d be the last fucking people I’d want to tell!

Well, I have to go now,’cause I have to go to the other end of the poxy city to get another fucking copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of £30.

Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day?

Nooooooooooooo, that’d be too damn easy and maybe make sense.

You’d rather have us running all over the fuckin’ place like chickens with our heads cut off, then WE have to find some arsehole to confirm that it’s really me on the damn picture – you know, the one where we’re not allowed to smile?! (bureaucratic fuckin’ morons)

Hey, do you know why we couldn’t smile if we wanted to? Because we’re totally pissed off!


An Irate Citizen

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P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it’s me?

Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 …

I have served in the military for something over 30 years and have had full security clearances over 25 of those years enabling me to undertake highly secretive missions all over the world.

However, I have to get someone ‘important’ to verify who I am – you know, someone like my doctor ..


It really is a nonsense, just like tax forms, and all the rest that ask you to fill in information they already have. Perhaps it’s time for a citizens petition for a law banning stupid and unnecessary questions.

Meanwhile it would appear that here in Utah there’s plenty of stupid laws:

It is considered an offense to hunt whales.
No one may have sex in the back of an ambulance if it is responding to an emergency call.
Alcohol may not be sold during an emergency.
Individuals may not possess beer in containers larger than two liters unless they are a retailer.
Boxing matches that allow biting are not allowed.
It is illegal to cause a catastrophe.

Saturday – warm (36F) and cloudy.


Wake up to a powder alert. 8″ virgin powder in place of the 1″ promised. Rare that they under promise and over deliver.

In the queue for first tracks at 09:00. Who said I’m obsessive? I’m not alone.

8″ of virgin powder. Epic day. This photo of the heavy powder on a ski run is just for you Ross. I swear it brings back memories. By 10:30 there’s no virgins left. Really exhausting, but oh so worth it. This is what it’s all about.

Mid morning have a well deserved coffee in my mountain office by a roaring log fire. Then afterwards it’s a few more runs. By now most of the blue runs etc are mogul fields. I thought after 3 weeks daily skiing I was fit. But these runs prove quite gruelling. Gone are the non stop runs down. My legs are burning and turning to jelly.

After lunch we have a cruise around The Racquet Club estate where we’re thinking of doing a year rental. Then pop into the well hidden state liquor store. Wendy wants to get DSC08541another bottle of the wine she enjoyed. What type was it and what was it called? “It was red.” Don’t you just love it 368 bottles of red wines to choose from!

Yet more laws from Utah:

You must have identification to enter a convienence store after dark.
Women may not swear.
Daylight must be visible between partners on a dance floor.
Throwing snowballs will result in a $50 fine.

Mustn’t upset the Muslims: Channel 4 and BBC’s disgraceful cowardice over Islamism play

CAN we talk about this? is a hit DV8 play that focused on the reluctance of media and political figures to openly discuss the dangers of Islamism and Sharia law.
It enjoyed a successful run at London’s National Theatre and Sydney Opera House amongst other venues. The play featured speeches and interviews with leading figures fromDSC08555 across the political and cultural spectrum, including One Law for All’s Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters.
It explored issues of freedom of speech, censorship and violence, as well as the impact of significant events such as the ‘Rushdie Affair’, the murder of Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh, and the Mohammed cartoons.
But Lloyd Newson’s play has proved too hot a potato for Channel 4, which feels that the “current climate” makes the award-winning production unacceptable for British viewers – and DSC08568Namazie is outraged by what she sees as as “blasphemy law by stealth”.
Similarly the BBC, which had commissioned previous films from Newson, has declined to film the play.


UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion comes out strongly against blasphemy laws:

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has come out strongly against laws against blasphemy and apostasy.
Heiner Bielefeld said in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council that legislation outlawing apostasy and insults against religious figures could be used to violate the rights of minorities:
States should repeal any criminal law provisions that penalize apostasy, blasphemy and proselytism, as they may prevent persons DSC08573belonging to religious or belief minorities from fully enjoying their freedom of religion or belief.
The comments from the United Nations’ special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief came amid heightened focus on faith-based laws in countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where blasphemy carries the death penalty.
Bielefeld does not speak for the U.N. but was taken on as an independent official to report regularly on how freedom of religion was respected across the world.

But given the UN bias in this area will they have the guts to adopt this.

Sunday – hot blue bird day not a cloud in the sky.

Set alarm for early start but nobody told us the clocks went forward. Up late with a lot to do.

Call round at Carols to pick up Wendy lift tickets and then get a spot on Payday car park before it’s full.


Manage to cajole Wendy into skiing but can I get her up there before 10:45, it’s like trying to get a Taliban to wash the pots in marigolds and a piny. Little does she know of the surprise that’s in store for her. As part of the surprise I couldn’t use my lift pass until Wendy arrived so I sat around in Payday for 90 minutes.

Wendy turns up at 10:45 and we meet Carol and Angela around 11:20 ready for our ride up Payday to Wendy’s surprise. As we ascended Payday lift Wendy had no idea what was in store for her. In fact as we got off the lift she was that focused on getting straight off I had to point out Mother Day banner held up for her.

Kurt had contacted the Park City Resort Lift Operations Manager with a request to have a banner for Mothers day ready at the top of Payday lift. This was a first for them. The whole DSC08580scheme was co-ordinated with all the lift staff, as I went through the barrier my ticket was rejected (aren’t computers grand when they work). This triggered a pre-arranged call to the top of the mountain to give them the chair number we were on. Then when we got to the top there was the manager with this banner along with a photographer. He’d patiently been waiting there sine 09:00. Talk about going the extra mile and great customer service – awesome. Thanks to all the staff, especially Jeff Marzka (Lift Operations Manager) and our creative children.

Wendy was absolutely overwhelmed. It really made her day.


This is surely an idea that could be marketed as an extra revenue stream.

Then have the rest of the morning skiing with Carol, Angela and a couple of runs with Randy. 

Lunch consisted of beers and salad on Payday’s patio with friends, sat in the glorious sunshine.

After lunch Randy and I had a quick run down Jonesys and Heckler, then I joined Wendy, Carol and Angela for a few easy runs. Yet another awesome day, especially for Wendy.


20130305 – Black Diamonds At Last

Tuesday – Hot and sunny.

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A blue sky day so Wendy’s skiing. A lazy start to the day as we get on the lifts about 11:00.

A couple of easy runs and then Wendy thinks it’s time for coffee.

A coffee and internet stop in my mountain office, sat by the log fire.

Then a few blue runs and finally ski down silver star to the silver star restaurant where we have lunch. Well to be honest Wendy has lunch. I commit a sin and have a Stiegl Austrian pilsener for lunch. I’m sure I’ll be forgiven. It brings back happy memories of skiing in Serfaus in Austria.

After lunch we catch the lift backup and it’s then one final rundown for Wendy, her poor little legs are so tired they’re like jelly by the end of the afternoon.

Why is it that my feet always hurt when I ski with Wendy. When she’s not there I ski really hard and non-stop, yet my feet never hurt.

A good days skiing and beautiful weather. Five hours later we get back home.

For those of you who’ve been skiing you’ll probably be aware that the trees are sometimes adorned and decorated with bras and knickers. This seems a perverse behaviour probably carried out by snow borders. Why anyone should want to ruin the looks of these beautiful trees god only knows, but there we are. Anyway I’ve come up with a new game, I’m sure the IMG 0990lift companies could promote. As you travel up on the lift you need to guess the sizes of each of the bras on the trees. Should you get all right then you get a free day pass.

Meanwhile we both decided we miss having a dog but with our lifestyle it’s just not possible. Unless of course someone develops a small breed that can be just popped in the freezer while you’re away and defrosted as soon as you get back.

Islamic fundamentalists suffer premature ejaculation, sorry detonation:

Up to 15 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed when a vehicle laden with explosives went off in a house in Buloburte town, some 200 km north of the capital Mogadishu.

It was not clear if the militants died while packing the car with bombs for a suicide mission or if it went off afterwards while they were in the vicinity.

Perhaps there is an allah after all – that’s me on the Worldwide “To Be Stoned” list.

Wednesday (well at least we think it is, but them buggers at the BBC have put East Enders on tonight so we’re confused) – warm and sunny.

Now for some crazy British laws:


It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. 
It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down. 
In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store. 
Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day.
In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter. 

Time to put some photos of our home from home on. It’s a lovely condo. Another great house swap.

Meet up with Carol for a mornings skiing. She gently pushes me to try some of the groomed blacks – no it’s not a racist remark. I’m a blue cruiser. If I can’t do it with style then I don’t do it. Black Diamond runs tend to ruin my style but I really do need to start doing a few more. Try Crescent which has been lovingly groomed and is a great run. Then try Detonator, not DSCF8504groomed for a few days but not too difficult. After many years visiting here I finally get to do Sunrise which is a double blue. To me it looks worse than a Double Black Diamond. The guy who graded it was either stoned; blind; or worked for the marketing department and didn’t want to have a Black Diamond off this lift. Anyway it’s not been groomed and after the first 200 feet it’s done with style and no stains in the underwear.

A great mornings skiing. Plenty of exercise. Good to be pushed outside my comfort zone.

Afternoon and Wendy gets her treat of the week with a free trip to the supermarket. I manage to get some work done (SQL coding – happy days).

Bible quotes wiped away:

Metsa Tissue were printing trivially entertaining messages about love on their loo roll to please their patrons, but included some Bible quotes. One such quote read:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Guess what? someone objected. The Bishop of Tunsberg, Norway said “This is bad taste and shows a lack of respect…Bible verses do not belong on a roll of toilet paper.”

The company has now decided to stop printing the religious messages and vet their quotes more stringently in future.


Good job they weren’t quotes from the Koran.

More crazy laws:

A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet. 
The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail of the queen. 
It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing. 
It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour. 
In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

Thursday – cloudy yet warm.


Eagle lifts still broken and it’s 39F so the snows already melting and it’s a whiteout on the top runs, time to hug some trees. We got 1 – 2″ of snow last night so it’s not too bad on some of the runs. As part of my new found push to do  Double Blacks, at least if they’ve been groomed, I was aiming to do First Temptation – a Black Diamond mogul field from hell, that would certainly stain the underwear. But with the whiteout I can hardly stay upright when I’m stood still so I give it a miss. Have a hard pushed hour on the lower slopes, below the whiteout and then skive off for a coffee in the hope that the whiteout / cloud will lift. 

After coffee and Internet it’s lifted. Tackle Mikeys a groomed Black Diamond and then try Belmont a short bumpy Black Diamond. A good morning.

Get back to the condo and there’s this new bird clicking away with knitting needles. Do my eyes deceive me. Gone is the dizzy blond look and hello to the trendy new look – see picture. I like it. Wendy’s not so sure. Will it make her ski faster?


Afternoon spent swearing at the financial web sites and their password hell, as I try and assess how poor we are and what to do about this years ISA’s. I always hate these “days of reckoning”, they are guaranteed to drive me nuts. Wendy passively sits there clicking away and wishing I was skiing instead of swearing at the dammed web sites. I wish I was too.

It seems that America has it’s own clowns throwing money away. We are not alone. Heres a story from a realtor (estate agent):

After I woke up the homeowner, she let us in and then pro-ceeded to tell my buyers and I that she has already entered into a contract to sell the home on a short-sale. (A short-sale is a sale where the banks accepts less money than is owed on the home). She and her sister (who also lived in the area) were buying each other’s homes via the short-sale process. I mentioned to her that I thought relatives could not be involved in those transactions. She smiled and said “We have two different last names so no one knows the difference”.

They each owed over 100K on their homes and were in the pro-cess of buying each other’s homes for about 10-15K cash. To top it off, they were each receiv-ing $3,000.00 in IMG 1015government provided relocation assistance at the closing. My buyers and I were amazed that she was outright admitting to fraud and yet, she continued. She began to tell us that the best part of her scheme was that because they currently were not working that they (both) are now receiving Section 8 Vouchers. I said I thought those were for renters and she said “That’s the best part; me and my sister are going to be renting each other’s homes so we don’t even have to move, and Obama is going to give us each $800.00 a month to pay the rent!”.

So here is the bottom line… Both of these scammers got at least $80,000.00 in debt forgiven, $3,000.00 in cash for relocation (when in fact they did not relocate) and to boot, you and I will now be paying (through our taxes) $1,600.00 in rent for each them each and every month…. perhaps forever!

These women went from working and paying about $900.00 each in mortgage payments to staying home and getting paid $800.00 each per month to live in the same home they had been living in and all they had to do was lie on a few papers. This craziness has to stop! I’m sure this kind of fraud is going on each and every day all across the country and no one wants to touch the subject of entitlements because they might OFFEND someone or lose a vote or two.

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By the way… she had an almost new SUV in the driveway, three flat screen TV’s and a very nice computer set up in her living room which was furnished entirely with nice leather furniture.


Then to top the “IT day of crap” this bloody blog software has just lost all my work, even though I had a draft copy.

Here in the land of the free and the home of the brave where guns massacre innocent kids; have over 10,000 gun deaths per annum; have even more gun accidents, the politicians are still waffling on with more hot air. The gun lobby are still in their with all their cranky arguments. The senseless killing goes on daily and surprise, surprise nothing gets done.

But what I’m about to reveal is just totally unbelievable. It’s a true “I don’t believe it moment”. Here’s a question to unlock this nonsense.

IMG 0997

What do the following have in common?

Nelson, Georgia; Sabattus, Maine; Spring City, Utah; Virgin, Utah; Kennesaw, Georgia

The answer will be in my next blog. Grip your seats and sit tight it is just unbelievable.

20130301 – Obsessive? Me? I Don’t Belive It!

Friday – too hot and sunny. 43F is not doing the snow any good.

IMG 0954

Up for first tracks again. Tycoon is awesome today, I’m orgasmic, I’ve found a new run – Jupiter Access – alas it is a tad disappointing, more of mountain track through the glades but still enjoyable.

Wendy thinks I’m obsessive.What me? Why because I’m up at the crack of sparrows for first tracks and I ski every day. Seems fairly reasonable to me. There are 11 months of the year when I can’t ski so make the most of it when I can. Mind you I think Wendy’s weird for not skiing everyday – so there. Those mountains are just totally bodacious and rumour has it you don’t ski when you’re dead, at least not where I’m going!

Another great morning. Meet Wendy for lunch at Payday and after some well deserved sun bathing – see pictures – we head off for a walk into town. More IMG 0962exercise for us (Wendy’s had a 1 hour walk already).

Main Street Park City is as boring as ever, quaint but full of bars, restaurants, art galleries and tee shirt shops. Sadly no Starbucks or coffee shops.

Just incase anyone thinks it’s cold forget it. We’ve just passed a condo with 2 lads lounging on deck chairs in their budgies smugglers, with a beer of course, and a bird in a bikini. Alas my iPhone was not up to a long distance photo.

After my weekend with techno couple (Californians through and through) I’ve decided I need to become more techno savvy. As a nerd I seem to be slipping. So despite my loathing for Starbuck tax evasion I’ve decided to sign up for Starbucks Apple passbook app. How trendy is that! What’s more I get free coffees every 12 and free refills, forget the personalised gold card.

As a treat after a hard day skiing and walking we call into Starbucks. Typical technology it doesn’t work. Seems like I’m set up as a UK member and not US – are they not a Worldwide brand. They can recognise where I am, show me the nearest store but don’t seem able to make the leap of intelligence to say oh well he’s in America. Logon and find I can switch to the US site. Perhaps it will work next time – Nerds 0; techno crap 1.

And to complete a totally narley day it’s Welsh Rarebit for tea washed down by a pleasant American Merlot.

Wow look at these Telepathic rats with brain implants that enable them to communicate across the internet. What potential.


Top ten reasons why mountains are better than women:

1 A mountain lets you ride it all day.

2 Mountains always have big peaks.

3 A mountain doesn’t mind if you’ve been on othe mountains.

4 You don’t have to bundle up before you get on a mountain (but you should).

5 There are always easy trails on a mountain.

6 Mountains don’t mind if you want to include all your friends.

7 You can jump on a mountain and it won’t bother you for the next few weeks.

8 Mountains want you to start at the top and work your way down.

9 You can ride a mountain without having to stay the night.

10 Mountains don’t care if you visit the back country.

Religious nut cases:

Brazilian pastor is behind bars after telling his flock that his penis contained ‘holy milk’. EVANGELICAL pastor Valdeci Sobrino Picanto hit on a crafty way of getting blowjobs. He convinced his IMG 0968followers that his semen was “holy milk”. He has convinced some followers that only God could come into their lives through their mouth and that’s why he would ask them to have oral sex with him until the Holy Spirit would come through ejaculation.

Saturday – hot and sunny.

Make the supreme sacrifice and miss a days skiing. Who says I’m obsessive.

Yet more steps on the nerd trail. As the new Techno Man, I’ve downloaded some tracks from iTunes and watched netflix last night.

Lazy day. Drive up to Deer Valley for lunch with Wendy. I was going to break one of my 3 laws and have a beer for lunch but alas we’re in a country full of “beer perverts”. Not a decent Pilsner or lager anywhere to be had. Instead there’s Porter, Heifer Weissen, Framboise fruity beers, even Kolsh and of course your tradition American nats piss. Never mind I’ve some good sensible German Pils in the fridge and some rather tasty Pinot Noir back in the condo.

IMG 0969

Then we go and view a condo for a years rental out here. Very nice 3 bedroom place with balcony, fully furnished, lovely. Gives us a feel for what you get for your money. Also includes a clubhouse with gym, pool and jacuzzi.

Edible underwear was invented in America? Well, there is a surprise. Even during sex they can’t stop eating!

Having watched the IT Crowd, which bought back happy memories of being a nerd with responsibility for an IT Help Desk, I though it might be good to focus on some Help Desk Horror stories:

Helpdesk: What kind of computer do you have? Female customer: A white one…

Helpdesk: Click on the ‘my computer’ icon on to the left of the screen. Customer: Your left or my left?

Helpdesk: Good day. How may I help you? Male customer: Hello… I can’t print. Helpdesk: Would you click on start for me and … Customer: Listen pal; don’t start getting technical on me! I’m not Bill Gates damn it!

Hi good afternoon, this is Martha, I can’t print. Every time I try it says ‘Can’t find printer’. I’ve even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can’t find it…

Customer: I have problems printing in red… Helpdesk: Do you have a color printer? Customer: Aaaah………………..thank you.

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Have we been away that long that the clowns in Whitehall have finally lost the plot.

SCROUNGING hate preacher Anjem Choudary has told fanatics to copy him by going on benefits — urging: “Claim your Jihad Seeker’s Allowance.”
He cruelly ridiculed non-Muslims who held down 9-to-5 jobs all their lives and said sponging off them made plotting holy war easier.
The Sun secretly filmed him over three meetings also saying leaders such as David Cameron and Barack Obama should be KILLED, grinning as he branded the Queen “ugly” and predicting a “tsunami” of Islamic immigrants would sweep Europe.

He went on: “People will say, ‘Ah, but you are not working’. “But the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar.“ So we take Jihad Seeker’s Allowance. You need to get support. ”Figures obtained by The Sun in 2010 showed the extremist cleric received £15,600 a year in housing benefit to keep him in a £320,000 house in Leytonstone, East London. He also got £1,820 council tax allowance, £5,200 income support and £3,120 child benefits — equivalent to a taxed salary of £32,500.

He told a 30-strong crowd: “We are going to take England — the Muslims are coming.” He gloated that the 9/11 terror attacks “shook the enemy” and claimed white supremacists wished they had the “fortitude” to fly planes into buildings. He went on to proclaim: “You must hate in your heart — Cameron, Obama, all that they worship. “Democracy, freedom, secularism, the parliament, all the MPs and the Presidents, all the kuffar’s ideas, everything the people worship, we have to believe that they are bad and we have got to reject them. “Reject them with our tongue. Reject them with our heart. In our heart have hatred towards them.”

Why are we putting up with this joker / hate monger?

If the clowns in Whitehall can’t sort this then they should resign.

I suggest failing just stopping all payments he is offered a workfare position in a pig abattoir. When he squeals like a stuck pig that it offends his religion offer him two choices – cease all benefits or go somewhere more compatible with his vile hatred. It’s about time we stopped this sort of nonsense. 

Sunday – snowing and 28F. 4-7″ predicted.

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Up early for first tracks but alas its a whiteout up there. Thank Dawkins for the trees at least they’re upright and give you some idea of up and down. Picture is of Jonesys, my favourite run, in a white out. Thankfully the gortex, helmet, goggles and gloves are performing well and I’m cocooned in a warm shell with Bob Dylan blasting out from the iPhone. There’s something quite magical about be out in the pouring snow all wrapped up with great gear. Just a pity it’s a whiteout, worse than being falling down drunk. New snow, great to ski on and tomorrow should be epic if this continues. I can feel another crack of sparrows start.

Your really do have to worry about some scrots. It’s a whiteout. What do they do they lie down on the middle of a slope, just over the brow of a hill so that you can’t see them until the last minute and to make sure they blend in they’re in white ski suit – scum boarder of course. You really do hope they don’t reproduce and pollute the gene pool

Hang all my wet gear up to dry but even after 6 years the gortex still seems to be doing its job and keeping me dry and warm.

Meet Wendy at Starbucks for a coffee. At last my Passbook seems to be working properly. Sadly though it seems you have to have a data DSC08497connection. Not a problem with Starbucks as they have free Wifi but surely it would be so much simpler if it could work offline and update the next time you go online.

After lunch we have an afternoon in like two old dears. Wendy knitting and me preparing Agendas for the up and coming school governors meetings. The joys of retirement.

More from the civilised religion of peace and tolerance:

A 15-year-old girl sentenced to 100 lashes for fornication on a remote part of the Maldives is at the centre of a new row between moderates and religious extremists in the Indian Ocean luxury tourist destination. The girl, who has survived rape by her stepfather and a resultant pregnancy, has now been found guilty of fornication and sentenced to flogging and house arrest.

Perhaps people might think twice before going to such places for a holiday!

Our new travel philosophy is to avoid any:

  • 3rd World country where you could die if you have to go to hospital or where you need to take your own set of needles etc.
  • Any country that has Shia law.
  • Any country which has more than 50% Muslim population.
  • Any country where you can be stoned to death for commenting on religion or blasphemy – they’d probably stone me in the arrivals hall.

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In the meantime we’ll stick to the civilised places, including the land of “the great Satan”.

Watched the last episode of “House of Cards” (Netflix version). Now I suppose we have to wait for season 2. Nearly as good as “West Wing”. At least you don’t need a Phd in American politics to follow it.

Also watched “Seal Team Six” on Netflix. All about the shooting of Bin Laden. Not bad. I’m sure this will have upset a lot of Muslim Fundamentalists, but then they get upset over the slightest thing. I think the only mistake the Americans made was not to have his body embalmed in a pig skin and displayed in a glass case at ground zero for all to see for eternity.

More from the Help Desks of the World:

Helpdesk: What’s on your monitor now ma’am? Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me in the supermarket.

Helpdesk: And now hit F8. Customer: It’s not working. Helpdesk: What did you do, exactly? Customer: I hit the F-key 8-times as you told me, but nothing’s happening…

Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore. Helpdesk: Are you sure it’s plugged into the computer? Customer: No. I can’t get behind the computer. Helpdesk: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back. Customer: OK Helpdesk: Did the keyboard come with you? Customer: Yes Helpdesk: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard? Customer: Yes, there’s another one here. Ah…that one does work!

Helpdesk: Your password is the small letter a as in apple, a capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7. Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters? –

A customer couldn’t get on the internet. Helpdesk: Are you sure you used the right password? Customer: Yes I’m sure. I saw my colleague do it. Helpdesk: Can you tell me what the password was? Customer: Five stars.

Helpdesk: What antivirus program do you use? Customer: Netscape. Helpdesk: That’s not an antivirus program. Customer: Oh, sorry…Internet Explorer.


Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screensaver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears!

Helpdesk: Microsoft Tech. Support, may I help you? Old woman: Good afternoon! I have waited over 4 hours for you. Can you please tell me how long it will take before you can help me? Helpdesk: Uhh..? Pardon, I don’t understand your problem? Old woman: I was working in Word and clicked the help button more than 4 hours ago. Can you tell me when you will finally be helping me?

Monday – sunny but oh so cold.

Up early for first tracks again. 7″ of fresh powder. Chance to make pretty track marks in virgin snow. By 10:30 I’m knackered. The 7″ may only translate to 3-4″ on top of most runs but it’s much more tiring on the old thighs. Worth it though. Forgot my iPhone today so no music to ski to. Coffee break and then ski until lunch time when I meet Wendy in Payday.

What is it with scumboarders? Why do they lie down on the middle of slopes for a rest, never look behind them before setting off and intrude upon your personal space even though there’s a slope 200 feet wide? I think part of the problem is they just ignore the skiers code because they think it only applies to skiers. Perhaps it should be renamed!


After lunch it’s a pleasant afternoon relaxing in the condo. Brilliant sunshine but alas a tad too cold to sit on the balcony.

Here we have the American Vice Presidents solution to gun crime. Buy a shot gun and a belt for your trousers – watch to the end it hilarious. If this doesn’t frighten the living daylights out of any sane person, nothing will.

More crazy Helpdesk calls:
Tech Support: “Well, just go to [URL].” Customer: “How do I do that?” Tech Support: “Type it in in your web browser.” Customer: “Huh?” Tech Support: “Ok…sir…do you have Internet access?” Customer: “Huh? No. No Internet. I don’t even have a computer.”

Customer: “I can’t get to the page. The address is: http://[site]/~user/~home.htm.

Tech Support: “Hmm, sounds like your system froze up.” Customer: “I don’t know why. It’s about 80 degrees in here!”

Customer: “Do I need a computer to use your software?”

Customer: “Hi, my manager’s computer isn’t working, and she asked me to call you.” Tech Support: “Ok, what’s happening? Is there an error message?” Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. She just said it wasn’t working. Can you fix it?”

Tech Support: “Ok, I can help you install the software. Would you like me to do that?” Customer: “Yes.” Tech Support: “All right, can you insert the disk in the disk drive please?” Customer: “How?” Tech Support: “Place the disk in the opening at the front of the computer.” Customer: “Will I have to have my computer delivered before we can do this?” Tech Support: “Um yes, that might be an idea.”

Tech Support: “Just call us back if there’s a problem. We’re open 24 hours.” Customer: “Is that Eastern time?”

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Tech Support: “I need you to boot the computer.” Customer: (THUMP! Pause.) “No, that didn’t help.”

Customer: “I’m sorry. I think I just deleted the Internet!” Tech Support: “That’s ok. We have it backed up here on tape somewhere.”

Tech Support: “What seems to be the problem”. Customer: “I keep typing 11 but nothing’s happening”. Tech Support: “Why are you typing 11?”. Customer: “Well it said error type 11”.

Compaq is considering changing the command “Press Any Key” to “Press Return Key” because of the flood of calls asking where the “Any” key is.

 Another IBM customer had troubles installing software and rang for support. “I put in the first disk, and that was OK. It said to put in the second disk, and I had some problems with the disk. When it said to put in the third disk, I couldn’t even fit it in!”

I bet they wouldn’t have had the nerve to do this in Iran and live to tell the tale:

On the eve of the International Day of Women’s Rights young activists of the Communist Party of Iran and the Organization against violence under women in Iran undressed in the center of Stockholm to express the protest against the hijab.

Taking inspiration from Femen sextremists, the women daubed their bodies with slogans: My nudity – my protest and Down with the hijab .

Sorry picture quality was not that good.

20130224 – Totally Bodacious

Sunday – sun, cloud, some snow and 23F.

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Up for early tracks to enjoy the 7″ of new powder in the last 24 hours. Sadly it had all been groomed down. Good skiing but not quite a powder day.

By 10:45 I’m nearly burnt out after non-stop ripping the slopes up. Stop for a coffee in my new office – see picture and views from it.

Then it’s just more until I meet Chris and De’Shaun for lunch – buttes by Wendy.

Then after lunch we have a few more runs in brilliant sunshine.

A totally bodacious day.

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Thought for the day:

Forgive your enemy but remember the bastards name.

Can you believe it? Well yes I can:

Cases are piling up on the desk of a noted lawyer in Egypt, the latest is of two boys about to be tried for allegedly showing contempt of Islam.

Attorney Karam Gabriel said anti-Christian hostilities are getting worse as the two boys are to be tried in a court in Beni Suef. The accusation against Nabil Naji Rizq and Mina Atallah, who were 10 and 9 years old respectively at the time of their arrest in late September, of insulting the Koran made headlines throughout the country after a man saw them playing in rubbish that he claimed included pages from the Koran. Accusing them of tearing pages of Islam’s holy book — a later version of the story had them allegedly urinating on it — he filed a report that led to 
IMG 0905the arrest of the two children. They were released in early October.

Gabriel said they are just small children, and they don’t really understand what all the fuss is about — they can’t even tell the difference between the Koran, the Bible or any other holy book.
Tensions are such that, for the moment, there is no information on the exact date of the two boys’ trial, as authorities fear it will exacerbate hostilities in the city.

Monday –  very cold (7 F or -17 C) but Sunny.

Up for first tracks as usual. Coffee mid morning and then pack up at lunch time ready to drive Chris and De’Shaun back to Salt Lake airport.

After we’ve dropped them off we drive into Salt Lake and visit the new City Creek mall. Un like most malls it’s smack bang in the centre on Main St with a massive under ground car park. It’s amazing and needs pictures to describe it. Even has trout in the streams and despite appearances is mainly in doors.  Wendy gets to go to the Disney store. Buys 3 pairs of Miss Missy style jeans, can’t get them in England. Then she drags me into the Apple store buys hers IMG 0914self a keyboard for the iPad and me a numeric keypad for my birthday. Also buys me a really neat tea brewer in a vacuum cup – the equivalent of the Starbucks coffee cup – will be ideal for tea in the car or when I’m at my desk. Then it’s the Cheese Cake Factory, but alas they still aren’t doing the Toblerone Cheesecake that someone – she shall remain nameless – stole from me 5 years ago.

Haute cuisine for dinner, Taco Bell for me and Panda Express for Wendy. Epic!

Well after a long weekend with Chris and De’Shaun I’ve started to realise how techno savvy I ain’t. Amazing, they live on their iPhones; use the camera extensively; post immediately to Facebook; use it to seek out all sorts of info and guides. Mind you it does help having good 3G connections and as much as you can eat data. I’ve learnt a lot from “techno couple”. Especially how good the camera features really are for day to day photos.

UN report on more intolerance:

Extensive discrimination by governments against atheists, humanists and the non-religious occurs worldwide, said the union. In Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan atheists can face the death penalty on the grounds of their belief , in violation of 
Park City 4UN human rights accords, the IHEU said in a document submitted to the UN human rights council.

And then “they” have the brass balls:

New efforts in the UN by Muslim countries to obtain a worldwide ban on denigration of religion, specifically what they claim to be Islamophobia.

Thought for the day:

Money can’t buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bike. 

Isn’t this catch 22:

Teresa Lewis has become the first woman in America to be executed in the last 5 years. Apparently she could have been spared execution if she had an IQ level below 70. Hers was 72. You have to question the intelligence of someone who passes an IQ test knowing full well that if they do they’ll be executed.

Tuesday – very cold (-3 F) with a mixture of sun and snow flurries. Time to break out the long johns – itchy buggers.

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Catch first tracks. Have the luxury of a whole 1″ of fresh powder on top of groomed runs. 

Ski until lunch time and then go and pick Wendy up from her weekly supermarket treat. She’s walked the 2  miles to the store in the snow, so I suppose the least I can do is pick her and the weekly shop up in the car. I wonder how people managed before they had cars – must have needed a pack horse donkey.

Afternoon working on some reports.

In the evening Hal, Carol and eagle eyed Angela (she can spot sweets in a cupboard in under a second) come round for dinner. Pleasant evening over a few bottles of great American wine.

If Obama becomes a Mormon will he turn white?

The Book of Mormon teaches that if dark-skinned people repent and believe in Mormonism, their skin will become white.

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Thought for the day:

Alcohol doesn’t solve any problems but then again milk doesn’t either.

Air Force One crashed in the middle of rural America. Panic stricken the Secret Service mobilized and descended on the farm in force. When they got there, the wreckage was clear. The aircraft was totally destroyed with only a burned hulk left smouldering in a tree line that bordered a farm. Secret Service descended upon the smoking hulk but could find no remains of the crew or the President’s staff. To their amazement, a lone farmer was ploughing a field not too far away as if nothing at all happened. They hurried over to surround the man’s tractor.

“Sir,” the senior Secret Service agent asked, panting and out of breath.

“Did you see this terrible accident happen?”

“Yep. Sure did.” The man muttered unconcernedly.

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“Do you realize that is the President of the United States airplane?”


“The President of the United States is dead?” The agent gulped in disbelief.
“Nope. They’s all kilt straight out.” The farmer sighed cutting off his tractor motor. “I done buried them all myself. Took most of the morning.””Were there any survivors?” the agent gasped.

“Well,” the farmer sighed, obviously wanting to get back to his work. “He kept a-saying he wasn’t… but you know what a liar he is”.

Wednesday – bluebird day. Sunny, blue sky but only 7F.

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It must be a bluebird day Wendy’s out skiing. Bit of a late start only 11:00. You kids had better watch out Ma’s zipping down at 27 mph.

Have a very relaxing morning; coffee break, by the log fire in my office – see picture; some more skiing; lunch break, smuggle in a sack lunch of pastrami and sauerkraut – delicious; then a tad more skiing and home. A good day on the slopes and Wendy must be speeding up. She’s so in control on the slopes, I don’t know how she does it.

I don’t know what it is about skiing with Wendy but I never get any aches or pains normally. Yet today my feet are killing by the end of the day. Going slow must be much harder work.

Get back late afternoon. Do a bit of work then a relaxing evening. Alas no wine.

Catch up on some British TV. Good to see the horse meat saga is still rumbling on. Then watch Piers Morgan rip some gun loving nut case to shreds. They are just too stupid for words. When will they ever learn.

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Just arrived in America and the first American I met was the immigration office and he asks “So what brought you to America?” I looked at him for a second and replied “We’re in an airport, what the hell do you think brought us here?” Doh!!!! Is this the way to get deported?

Thursday – cold, sun and cloud.

Up early for some great cruising. These new ski’s (bought last season) are just awesome. They’ve changed my skiing and confidence completely. They carve graciously, just no effort.  A real joy to ride on. No aches or pains, apart from yesterday that is when I skied with Wendy.

Ski to lunch time and then it’s a leisurely afternoon. A bit of work but amazing I actually manage to get some reading done.

Wendy’s off to a knitting circle down at Kimble Junction – neat. apparently a mixed age group, all doing their thing but she didn’t learn much. Still a bit more sociable than Belthorn. Apparently one of then is going to Austria and really excited about buying some lederhosen. For her husband or her son you might guess.? Neither, in typical American fashion it’s for her dog – USA believable.

17:00 time to open a bottle of wine. American wine is so drinkable that there’s a danger even Wendy may develop a taste for red wine – grounds for divorce!

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Is this the way to promote Islam? In a “Discover Islam Week” by inviting such a hate speaker? Seems mad to me. But why cancel, let him have his say in a free society and people can then judge this religion for themselves. And then they wonder why 74% of the UK think Islam is incompatible with our way of life.

Mad Muslim hate preacher barred from addressing Reading University students. ABU Usamah at-Thahabi is a Muslim extremist who doesn’t care much for homosexuals. Or females. In fact, he advocates the killing of gays, thinks women are “deficient” and encourages the beating of little girls who refuse to wear the hijab.

Last night University spokesman issued a statement saying that the event had been cancelled because:

The safety of students, members, staff and visitors is of paramount importance.

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The statement added:
Reading University Muslim Society, Reading University Students Union (RUSU) and the University of Reading are in agreement that the laudable aims of the Muslim Society’s ‘Discover Islam Week’ are undermined by the increasing threat of violent protest from extremist groups outside the University community.

Meanwhile on the lighter side:

I went to McDonald’s yesterday and asked for a ‘Taste of America’. I was shot.

Ever seen that film “War Games”? A computer hacker nearly starts World War 3 when he and his girlfriend break into America’s military defence system. But you have to suspend your disbelief, don’t you? After all, it’s a bit far-fetched, isn’t it? I mean, come on – a computer hacker with a girlfriend?

“I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable.” Mark Twain