Monthly Archives: May 2013

20130528 – Indianapolis. Hallelujah, survived the Bible Belt without any long term damage.

Tuesday – warm and sunny.

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Drive up to Indianapolis.

Check in early and then go Downtown to explore. Really good tourist game in Indianapolis would be “hunt the visitors centre”. I’m dammed if we saw a single sign. Finally found one in the state park in town. Lovely building with guy sat counting the ceiling tiles and picking lint out of his navel. “Ah we’re only for the state park.” Complete waste of space. In fact putting some town brochures out would have at least filled the place.

Downtown is lovely, when you find it? Cultural DSC01716trail all through the town, elegant canal, not too busy, lovely buildings, plenty of museums and even a state park down town.

Have a pleasant wander around. Coffee at Starbucks. Place is heavy into war memorials. End up in a pleasant Mall, if that isn’t a contradiction in terms.

Thought we’d escaped the Bible belt but after Baptist and Jewish hospitals now we have Methodist. What hope is there for Aetheists!

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Wow I’ve just been awarded a TripAdvisor “Top Contributor” badge. I’m orgasmic! Pity they don’t give you a certificate I could have it framed and hung up alongside my 25 Yards Breast Stroke certificate. I think it would be great if they sent out physical badges such as “Top Whinger”, what an impression as you check in at hotel.

The murder of soldier Lee Rigby has unsurprisingly provoked a backlash of anger across the UK, including the attacking of mosques, racial abuse and comments made on social media. Eleven people have been arrested around Britain for making racist or anti-religious comments on Twitter following the brutal killing in DSC01727Woolwich.

The incident has also prompted a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents, according to the organisation Faith Matters, which works to reduce extremism. Before the attack about four to eight cases a day were reported to its helpline. But the group said about 150 incidents had been reported in the last few days, including attacks on mosques.

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Two men from Bristol, were held under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. Detective Inspector Ed Yaxley of Avon and Somerset Police said:

These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol.

Surrey Police said a man has been charged in connection with comments placed on a social media website following the murder of the soldier. Superintendent Matt Goodridge said:

Surrey Police will not tolerate language used in a public place, including on social media websites, which causes harassment, alarm or distress.

A Hastings man has been charged by police after allegedly posting an offensive message on DSC01776Facebook.

Meanwhile, a Southsea woman has been charged with allegedly sending a grossly offensive message on Facebook, an offence contrary to Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

So how is grossly offensive defined? It seems that the Law Lords have decided that “Usages and sensitivities may change over time … there can be no yardstick of gross offensiveness otherwise than by the application of reasonably enlightened, but not perfectionist, contemporary standards to the particular message sent in its particular context. The test is whether a message is couched in terms liable to cause gross offence to whom it relates.” A legal minefield. What about free speech – we need a 1st Amendment. Whatever happened to “Sticks and stones”.  Dangerous ground.

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Getting ready for Illinois here’s some of there dumb laws:

Those under 21 can drink legally, but they must be enrolled in a culinary program to do so

It is illegal to hang “obstructions” form the rear view mirror, including fuzzy dice, air fresheners, GPS units, etc.

You must contact the police before entering the city in an automobile.

The English language is not to be spoken.

You may be arrested for vagrancy if you do not have at least one dollar bill on your person.

Wednesday – very hot and sunny.

Drove to Conner Prairie an Interactive historical park. Again no kids with us but they let us in and 
DSC01771Wendy scrounged an OAP discount. What a fantastic place for all ages. Has an Indian Village; 1836 township; and Civil war Dupont town. Actors in period costume abound and tell you about life in those times. They keep in character and their time, will not discuss modern times. They’re all very knowledgable and passionate about their character or life skill.

Civil war tells the story of the 1863 Confederate raid on Dupont and makes fantastic use of modern technology to make it entertaining.

I had a great time in the woodwork shop talking to the joiner; used spokeshave to make a stick; had a go with treadmill lathe; tried my feet on the stilts; experimented with electric circuits. Pottery was fantastic. Wendy gets to try her hand at weaving. All done without having to sign a 94 page waiver or any H&S restrictions. 

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Great discussion with store keeper, how everything was on credit and settled up at the end of the year – very little bad debt. They even had a debit / credit systems between the various tradesmen, basic banking. Then we got a rant from him about the banking crisis of 1832 when President Jackson wouldn’t approve the National Bank – so it looks like nothings new then. Fantastic chat with the Blacksmith, learned how to make wheel rims and never realised what a highly paid member of society a Blacksmith was in those days – he’d earn enough in a year to buy his house 2 to 3 times over in a year.

Common sayings we’ve learnt about today:

Bite the bullet – patients were given something to bite down on while a bullet was removed with DSC01798no anaesthetic.

Beat it to death – what Blacksmiths did to meld metal together to create a metal ring for a tyre on a wheel.

Now heres a good idea we learnt from our visit of Conner Prairie, “Sale of Poor Person” back in 1836. No it’s not selling poor people into slavery. Rather it’s bidding to take care of someone infirm  or disabled. Lowest bid wins the duty to care for that person for the coming year and the State pays them the amount they bid. If they can do it for less they make a profit – Obama care?

A great day out. Epic!

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More dumb laws in Illinois:

One may not pee in his neighbor’s mouth.

Citizens can be hit with a $120 ticket for having an improperly displayed and outdated city sticker on their car.

All businesses entering into contracts with the city must sift through their records and report any business they had dealing with slaves during the era of slavery.

It is illegal to give a dog whiskey.

It is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe’s neck.

As always Pat Condell says it all see his superb rant, “Muslims must reject Jihad”, on the recent atrocities. To my mind sums it all up.

20130526 – Cincinnati, Deep Fried Cheesecake, Deep Fried Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich

Sunday – hot and sunny.

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Depart Louisville for a short two hour drive up to Cinncinati.

Arrive at lunch time to yet another hotel. This time it’s a Quality Inn & Suites. We’ve got a lovely 3 room suite, kitchen, lounge and separate bedroom. Two nights free with our loyalty points but would only have been about $90 anyway. Includes breakfast. 

But with all Choice Hotels these days we have started to develop our own Quality Control Checklist that we apply before accepting a room:

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1 Does WiFi work and is it a reasonable speed?

2 Is the room noisy?

3 Toilet works ok?

4 Does the room stink?

5 All lights work?

6 Microwave works?

7 Air conditioning functions properly?

8 Taps work and water is hot?

9 Shower works?

10 Fridge works?

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11 Is there an iron and ironing board?

12 TV works?

13 Bedding clean?

14 Adequate towels?

Sadly items 1 to 11 are based on our last 8 Choice Hotel stays.

Drive down town to visit Fountain Square and Downtown area. There’s a “Taste of Cincinnati” event on. Culinary extravaganza and live pop groups. The place is hopping.

It seems that the speciality cuisine here in Cincinnati is “Deep Fried”. Try two cholesterol specials DSC01678/ culinary delights. Deep fried cheesecake and deep fried Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. Actually they’re both rather good. Glasgow and its Deep fried Mars bar better watch out.

Enjoy a pleasant afternoon in the sun.

What is it with car parks in America. Most of them are just dodgy bar stewards who keep their prices hidden until you’re well inside and it will be difficult to reverse out. Here in Cincinnati they have the ultimate rip off scheme. Sign says $1 parking. Sounds good. Oh but what they omitted to mention it’s $1 per 20 minutes. Marketing men try and screw joe public yet again.

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Book our flights on Virgin to Florida ready for our Marco Island trip.

Some crazy laws in Indiana:

State government officials who engage in private duels can be dismissed from their post.

A person must get a referral from a licensed physician if he or she wishes to see a hypnotist unless the desired procedure is to quit smoking or lose weight.

Smoking in the state legislature building is banned, except when the legislature is in session.

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All males 18 to 50 years old must work six days a year on public roads.

Baths may not be taken between the months of October and March.

Check forgery can be punished with public flogging up to 100 stripes.

Unbelievable jobs worths and lunacy stalks the streets everywhere:

 Swedish parking laws, however, continue to be rigidly enforced despite the increasingly chaotic situation. Early Wednesday, while documenting the destruction after a night of rioting in the Stockholm suburb of Alby, a reporter from Fria Tider observed a parking enforcement officer writing a ticket for a burnt-out Ford.

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When questioned, the officer explained that the ticket was issued because the vehicle lacked a tag showing its time of arrival. The fact that the vehicle had been effectively destroyed – its windshield smashed and the interior heavily damaged by fire – was irrelevant according to the meter maid, who asked Fria Tider’s photographer to destroy the photos he had taken. Her employer, the parking company P-service, refused to comment when Fria Tider contacted them on Wednesday afternoon.

Monday – hot and sunny again.

Drive down town again. Visit Covington a DSC09680German township. Quite quaint little place with lovely clock tower, some great old style houses but alas it’s Memorial day so a lot of places are closed. 

We get a minutes silence to remember those who died. The Americans at least do it right and have a Bank holiday to remember them by. Sounds a better idea than a minutes silence or even celebrating May day.

Drive down to Kempton and have a drink by the river.

Visit Washington Park. A lovely modern park with fantastic water fountains for kids to play in; a special area for dogs; a modern and safe playground for kids. Have our extravagant lunch watching everyone having fun. It also seems that every evening there is a concert or something going on in this park. Young guy asks me how I’m going and I ask him back. What a lovely reply  I DSC09681get “I’m just peaches , thank you for asking”.

Wanted to go to the Cincinnati Museum at Union Station. It’s mentioned more times than there are Talibans at a stoning but no hint of an address. What a load of numpties! But alas like the Freedom / Underground Railway museum it’s closed for Memorial day. Perhaps in one of these towns we’ll eventually get to visit one of the many Civil Rights / slavery Museum. So we do the American thing and go to the Mall.

Drive down to the Mall at Kempton for a coffee, at you can guess where. Then a stroll across the two bridges and back. The roar of the crowd and fireworks at the Rounders game can be heard all over the riverside.

Then the highlight of the day, final confirmation that we’ve survived and escaped from the lunacy DSC09683of the Bible belt, as we visit the Hofbrau House – the first one in America, must be the strong German influence around here. Dinner of Bayerisch Scweinbraten, Sauerkraut, Potato Dumplings and who can resist a Hofbrau. Hallelujah! Civilisation at last and unlike the miseries in Tennessee  they’re friendly around here.

Wendy has to drive home. Brave.

More crazy laws in Indiana:

Mustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.

It is illegal to sell cars on Sunday.

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Pedestrians crossing the highway at night are prohibited from wearing tail lights.

Oral sex is illegal.

No one may catch a fish with his bare hands.

A man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17.

Men are prohibited from standing in a bar.Turkish blogger jailed for a year for blasphemy

British Government speaks of proposal to ban hate preachers from TV:

Hate preachers will be banned from British television, Theresa May signalled last night.

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The Home Secretary condemned the BBC and other broadcasters for interviewing disgusting extremist cleric Anjem Choudary after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby. May said she will ask TV censor Ofcom to step in.

Under plans to be drawn up by a new task force on extremism, Ofcom is expected to be given powers to stop hate preachers appearing on television. At the moment the censor has the power to intervene only after an inappropriate broadcast has been made.

The move is the most dramatic attempt to gag extremist views since the Thatcher government’s 1988 ban on IRA spokesmen being heard on television, which led to the words of Gerry Adams being read out by an actor.

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Mrs May said it was inappropriate to interview Choudary – who helped form the now-banned Islamist groups Al-Muhajiroun and Al Ghurabaa and is accused of helping to radicalise several terrorists – in the wake of Drummer Rigby’s death.

If this is the case why isn’t he under arrest awaiting trial. We watched this interview and he is an arsehole. The clowns in Parliament should be ashamed that he is still wandering around. I’m all for the rule of law etc., but common sense says enough is enough. It amazes me that the EDL or some other extremist organisation hasn’t taken this geezer out.

Fed up with Hate Preachers and the ineptitude of the clowns in parliament in getting shut of them. The ancient Greeks had the answer. Ostracise. It was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years. While some instances clearly expressed popular anger, it was used as a way of neutralizing someone thought to be a threat to the state or potential tyrant. Each year we could vote and the top 10 most objectionable citizens could be kicked out. Problem solved. Simples.