Monthly Archives: June 2013

20130625 – In And On The Lake; Goodbye MPLS; Goodbye America; We’ll Be Back

Tuesday – hot 85F, humid and sunny.

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Lazy morning. Stroll over the road to the liquor store, it’s such a pleasant area. 

In the afternoon we drive over to our Home Exchange hosts place in Waverly. A small town of about  a 1,000 people around the lovely lake Waverly. They have a fantastic lakeside home, complete with dock, speedboat and pontoon boat – truly the American dream. We have a trip out on the lake, on their luxury pontoon boat, have a dip in the lake, it’s just 72F, ideal for cooling off on such a lovely hot day. This is definitely the life.

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Stay for dinner, which in typical American fashion, is cooked on the barbecue. No it’s not a £2 instant barbecue from Asda, but the traditional and all essential giant gas barbecue. No American home is truly complete without one. A lovely meal and great company.

Just browsed a lovely book on the Hadza, a small group of hunter gatherers who live in Northern Tanzania. Just fabulous to see in pictures how they live off the land and probably bother no one. Have some intriguing rites of passage. For DSC02584 nstance the girls are adorned with beads and given specially decorated staffs (narichanda) made by their fathers but given by the mothers. They then have several days when they are encouraged to hit any young men in sight with their staffs. Tough on the young men. A tradition developed to remind young men that women are equal.

They have a refreshing attitude to religion “We believe in God and we have our rituals, yet we don’t try to change anyone to our ways. Why do these big religions always try to change people to their ways.” If only the rest would take a leaf out of their book.

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Lanky speak:

“World War I started over summat an nowt”  – Big arguments can start from relatively inconsequential sources 

“There’s nowt funnier ner folk” – People can be strange, especially in Oldham. 

“He couldn’t knock t’skin off a rice puddin” – He is weak 

“Aye, an woke up swettin”- He’s exaggerting his physical prowess 

“He couldn’t neck a meat puddin” – His romantic skills are overated 

“Be good, an if tha’ can’t be good be careful and if tha’ can’t be careful buy a pram” – Contraceptive advice c. 1958. 

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“Never run after a buzz or a lass, there’ll be another one along in five minutes” – advice to the lovelorn c. 1963

 And then people ask me why I include these little red rant sections in my blog:

The UK Department of Health in 2010 announced that it would loosen hygiene rules for Muslim and Sikh doctors and nurses. From now on, they will not need to wash their hands before procedures as it compromises their modesty. Instead, they will have the admittedly less sanitary option of wearing disposable plastic over-sleeves.

Acknowledging the danger of microbes and death, a Department of Health spokesman said, “The DSC02593 guidance is intended to . . . balance infection control measures with cultural beliefs.” But, believe it or not, from a culturist perspective, the death of some patients is not the main cause for concern that this policy elicits.

The most dangerous problem is that this policy encodes multiculturalism not culturism. Whereas culturism acknowledges that England has a majority culture to protect and promote, this multiculturalist policy implicitly says that England has no core culture. It says that the nation can be whatever pressure groups decide it is. It, therefore, officially ends the dominance of English culture in England.

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I DON’T BELIEVE IT! This was done in 2010. Why aren’t I aware of it? Why wasn’t it headline news? It was in some newspapers, but why not on the front page of every self respecting newspaper until the stupidity was reversed? Why haven’t heads rolled? Why are we putting up with such crap? Has England run out of common sense? Do I have to go back?

It’s just pots for rags. If you want to be a nurse or doctor then washing your hands goes with the territory. If you don’t like it, go and be a shit shoveller or work down the sewers. MRSA is one of the biggest problems in hospitals. They even expect visitors to wash their hands. This is the sheer lunacy we’re going back to. Keep me out of their grubby, germ infested hands. And then the loony lefty, liberal, progressive brigade wonder whyDSC02608 your average Brit (no I don’t take offence at being called this) gets uptight about so called racial and integration issues. It’s just stupidity! Rant over!

Wednesday – hot and humid.

Spend the morning cleaning the apartment and packing.

After lunch we pay a visit to the Mill City Museum. It’s just across the river from us so it’s a pleasant but very humid stroll.

Interesting place with a great 19 minute film on MPLS and an elevator ride with a difference. It’s a giant freight elevator, not quite the tower of terror but each floor has a different story to tell about life in one of the biggest flour Mills in the World. Interesting museum with fun things to do, especially for the kids.

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Well you learn something new every day, problem these days is remembering it, so perhaps it’s the same thing I just keep forgetting. But I hardly think todays learning would be forgotten, it is so appalling I just didn’t believe it until I’d researched it on the web, and of course if its on the web it must be true. So what is this inconvenient, well hidden truth, learned from one photo in a photo exhibition in the Mill City Museum of a young Indian girl crying as she listens on her headphones. Apparently women, both Native American (Indians to the less PC among us) and blacks, were being forcibly sterilized by the US government up to the early 1970’s. Eugenics here in the USA – unbelievable.

More Lanky speak:

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“Nincompoop” – an idiot.

“Ne’er-do-wel” – someone who’s a waste of space>

“Scorrock” or “skerrick” – a little, hardly any.

“A’ve sin better ‘air on bacon” (I’ve seen better hair on bacon) – I don’t like your hairstyle 

“I thowt tha ‘ad more oil in tha’ can than that” (I thought you had more oil in your can than that) – I thought you had more sense

“He’s as thick as two short planks” – He is not very intelligent 

“A were standing there like cheese at fourpence” I wasn’t making much progress in getting things done 

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US company making pork-laced bullets to send Muslims ‘straight to hell’

The group is angered about the idea of an Islamic cultural center opening near Ground Zero.

According to the Huffington Post, South Fork Industries, based in Idaho, however has claimed its ammunition, called Jihawg Ammo, is a defensive deterrent to those who violently act in the name of Islam.

The company stated that the pork-infused paint made the ammo ‘haram’, or unclean, and therefore will keep a Muslim who’s shot with one of the bullets from entering paradise.

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The company, in a press release, said that with Jihawg Ammo, one can not only kill an Islamist terrorist, but can also send him to hell.

The company’s website called the bullets as ‘Peace Through Pork’ and a ‘peaceful and natural deterrent to radical Islam’.

Novel idea.

Thursday – very hot and sunny.

Taxi to metro, metro to airport, check in, suffer the TSA – they manage to create a queue out of thin air, airport lounge. Fantastic 30Mbps free wifi. A bit too early to hit the free booze.

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MPLS airport is lovely. Perhaps one of the nicest we’ve experienced. Not too crowded but almost a full Mall. Even has live musicians a sax player and then a harpist. How cultured is that.

Flight to Atlanta’s on time and pretty comfortable even though full. Just love watching the mayhem with carry on. They charge for anything put in the hold so it’s now even worse than ever. Just another way of making air travel more miserable. I think they must have a secret annual award ceremony, the OSCAIRS, for the airline or airport that comes up with the most innovative ways to screw the customer and make the experience more miserable.

They all bring their giant bags plus a hold all. Most of them have zero spatial awareness, trying to get a quart into a pint pot. Mind you it’s even worse when disembarking, if they managed to hammer and force it in, they’ve now got to prize it out while everyone watches spitting feathers in horror and boredom.

Airport lounge at Atlanta has free wifi that’s even slower than Belthorn. At least with the hour jump DSC02018forward it’s after 17:00 so I can hit the free bar.

Well it’s good bye America after a great 10 week road trip. We’ve visited 13 states and 23 Cities and towns. No we didn’t follow the Mississippi religiously, but more or less. The deep South was interesting; really enjoyed New Orleans; The Smokies were fantastic, just a pity about Pigeon Forge and Tennessee in general; Nashville was a great experience; Memphis Beale Street was a scruffy dump, but Graceland was enjoyable; St Louis was lovely with that awesome Arch; Chicago was a great town if somewhat noisy and busy, but a fantastic experience living downtown in a loft; Des Moines was lovely and free despite DSC02361 what people said about it; Minneapolis was awesome, relaxing, cultured, a fantastic apartment in a great city, there’s so much I’ve already said about it; stepping over and wadding across the Mississippi, at the source, was the crowning glory of our trip.

MPLS must now rate as our all time favourite city, despite the mosquitos and the humidity. But Park City still rates as the top town and my favourite place in America.

Now some slightly bad news about the mighty Mississippi. The 4th longest river in the World and the longest in America. But actually it turns out in geological term the Missouri River is the longest and the Mississippi should real be viewed as a tributary of the Missouri. The Mississippi below St Louis, where the Missouri flows in, should really be called the Missouri. Mind you the revised Missouri still wouldn’t be the longest in the World.

So what we’ve been conned, but what a great time we had, so much to see and do. Never a dull DSC02353 moment. On the positive side perhaps what we now need to do is a trip up the Missouri from St Louis to the source in Montana?

More Lanky:

“Side the table” – Clear the table 

“Bally foundered” – to be hungry

“Essel up” – To get closer to

“Chunner” – To complain, grumble

“Powfagged” – Tired 

“Keck ore” – fall over

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The cause of too much trouble in the World. Now what could that possibly be?

Religion no longer seen as a force for good by young people

More young people in Britain believe that religion is a cause of evil rather than a force for good, according to a new YouGov poll.

The place of religion in the lives of 18-24 year olds is smaller than ever, with politicians, brand names and celebrities having more influence than religious figures in the day-to-day decisions of young people.

Additionally, the YouGov poll for The Sun showed the reputation of religion amongst young people is actually more negative than neutral: 41% agree that religion is more often the cause of evil in the world and only 14% say it is a cause for good.

Can you blame them?

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Who said it?:

“Lighthouses are more use than churches” – Click here to find out.

“This would be the best of all possible Worlds if there was no religion in it” – Click here to find out.

“Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man” – Click here to find out.

Interesting that such pillars of society, great thinkers and founders of America had such views. I suspect if any American politician spouted any of these views today they be tarred and feathered and out of office quicker than a ferret down a rabbit hole.

Great documentary from  Bill Maher – Religulous – watch it, well worth it.

Now it’s 6 weeks at home. But best is we get to see our new Grandson at last. 

How will I cope?  

So the blog will have a rest now until mid-August when we go to France. Plenty of fertile things to rant about over there!

Oh and by way of a change its cold, misty and raining in Belthorn.

20130623 – Aftermath Of The Storms, Guthrie 50th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday – more storms overnight and a sultry morning but hot and sunny afternoon with 80% relative humidity.

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Yet again Main Street is closed off this time it’s an adults run.

After a lazy morning we stroll across the Stone Arch Bridge to go to the 50th Anniversary celebrations at the Guthrie Theatre. There’s a lot going on such as choirs; piano recitals; stage craft demos of sword fighting; free photo’s in silly hats; talk on the Mississippi river; face paining – passed; hair dying – passed; free lemonade; free cakes on as tick – delicious; free candy bags; free competitions back stage tours. All free just up DSC02536 our street. Of course to spoil it all there had to be a Farmers Market – not free. We even attended a “Secrets to Presentation Success” seminar where a voice coach taught us about breathe control when speaking; build; reverse build and cut back. Interesting, took us outside of our sphere of comfort.

More Lanky:

“thad mek a berrer doer thun a winder” (Thy would make a better door than a window) – You’re standing in my line of vision!

“It’s omptyin t’streets” (It’s emptying the streets) – It’s raining very hard

“Shut tho cakeole” – Close your mouth!

”I am for up the wooden hill” – Going up stairs to bed,

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“If tha duz owt fer nowt, do it fer thysen” (If thy does anything for nothing, do it for thy self”)

“Thaart nesh” (You’re nesh) – some someone who feels the cold or is soft.

Doh!

An ad on Seattle buses placed by the FBI that shows the faces of 16 wanted terrorists is racist, because all of the men appear to be Muslim, charges Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.

The Seattle Weekly reports McDermott sent a letter to the FBI requesting that the agency remove an ad that shows 16 faces of Most Wanted Terrorists, who all appear to be Muslim.

McDermott, whose district covers much of the Seattle area, calls the ad “offensive to Muslims DSC02542and ethnic minorities,” contending it “encourages racial and religious profiling.”

He argues the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list includes people of other races and “associations with other religions and causes.”

“But their faces are missing from this campaign,” he writes.

Thirty of the 32 people listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list appear to be Muslim. The two non-Muslims are a member of the revolutionary Black Liberation Army who escaped from prison after being sentenced in 1973 and an animal-rights extremist wanted for a 2003 bombing.

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Surely loyal American Muslims would not be offended. Surely they would want terrorists caught. Surely they’d rat out any terrorists in their midst. As for profiling, bring it on, you know it makes sense.

Monday – grey and overcast but very warm, with a torrential downpour of bigger and better American rain.

We drive down to Burnhill just South of MPLS. Fortunately for Wendy, but unfortunately for me, there’s big Mall there. Dam I forgot my earphones yet again.

Meet up with Dennis and Nancy, two home exchangers who stayed at our place in April, after us staying at there Sarasota home in December.

Had lunch with them and was really nice to meet them after all our emails and exchanges. One of the plus points of home exchanges.

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More Lanky speak:

“Be sharp!” – Hurry up

“Wigwams for lame ducks” – never you mind

“Get up the Dancers”  – go to bed

“Put wood in T’hole lad” (Put wood in the hole) – Close the door.

“Nae cast a clowt til May is owt” (Never cast a clout until May is out) – Keep wrapped up.

“pinklewatter” – weak tea

“I was as black as UP LUVVER” – I was as black as if I had been up the chimney (louvre)

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Keeping Blasphemy Law Out of Europe…

European Parliament passed 2 resolutions opposing any attempts to establish blasphemy laws.

On 13 June, MEPs voted in favour of 2 resolutions to set the EU Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief, which explicitly mention the need to protect the rights of both believers and non-believers and oppose any attempt to criminalise freedom of expression on religious grounds.

The first resolution ( 2011/2081(INI) ), DSC02560 focusing on press freedom: Recognizes that governments have the primary responsibility for guaranteeing and protecting freedom of the press and media. The resolution also points out that governments also have the primary responsibility for hampering freedom of the press and media and, in the worst cases, are increasingly resorting to legal pressures in order to restrict that freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation and laws on national security, treason or subversion. The EP endorses a balance between the concerns of DSC02567 ational security and press freedom. The resolution goes further to deplore the fact that journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity, and stresses the importance of combating impunity.

The second resolution ( 2013/2082(INI) ), centering on religious freedom, endorses the firm opposition of any attempt to criminalise freedom of speech in relation to religious issues, such as blasphemy laws. The EP predictably condemns all forms of violence and discrimination, but goes further to emphasize that particular attention should be paid to the situation of those who change their religion or belief, as in practice they are subject in a number of countries to social pressure, intimidation or outright violence.

Bloody hell are our politician growing some balls at last.

Wake up Europe free speech is under serious threat.