Sunday, February 29, 2004

Where is Sir Walter Raleigh? Sometimes Wifey goes to the hospital via the bus for medical check ups. Most of the time the bus is full and nobody gives up a seat to her, even when she is VISIBLY or eight months pregnant. Sometimes I go with her and I end up giving up my seat to her or to an OAP (Old Age Pensioner-British term for a senior citizen). Some people look surprised when they see this. I was just brought up that way. Some times when I am driving, I see somebody crossing the street, I stop to let them go and they are also surprised. When I was driving back from the center of Nottingham with my Wife’s Uncle following me in another car, I stopped, let a car in the opposite lane who was stopped and indicating to make a turn across my lane. He popped a gasket and when we arrived home he let me have it for beeing “too nice of American” and I better learn how to drive. Well, I could drive like a New York cabbie?

Saturday, February 28, 2004

It will not be fast and easy, but we will get him. Good luck to the160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and Task Force 121.

Friday, February 27, 2004

New tactics for Afgahnistan.
I just received a teeth cleaning for 8.50 UKP or 16 USD, courtesy of the NHS and you get what you pay for. Usually when I get my teeth cleaned in the states; it cost about 30 dollars and takes half an hour. The dentist here in Nottingham cleaned my teeth in five to ten minutes and remarked how good my dental work is. She used the “beautiful” to describe my teeth. That is a first for me.

I know somebody who got some dental work done in England because they were moving to the states and wanted it done at the lower rates on the NHS. After she moved the states, her teeth were hurting her and she went to the dentist. The dentist told her that she had to redo the dental work that was done in England. Ouch!

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Right after September 11th, a few people asked me about my views Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and how long it would take to stop them. Most of them thought it would be like a criminal investigation, in a few months they would be in jail and life would go on like before. A few thought a few years would do it, like World War 2. I said fifty or more years, since we are battling not a country, but a philosophy like communism. Many of them were upset when I said that. They wanted a pat, quick and clean solution like a TV show. Here is a good article on what we are fighting and it will take generations.
I think I might bring the “Curse of the Bamino”, you know the reason the Boston Red Sox will never win a world series; attend a Nottingham Forest game and help relegate them to second division. My co-worker lives next to one of the prominent Forest players, wished him luck in an upcoming game and the player just looked at him with a blank stare. The season has been horrible and with the prospect of joining Notts County in Division 2 is an ass kicker. Well, Notts County might be going out of business or to Division 3 the way things are going for them. Not a good season for football in city of Nottingham.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Hell is coming back, or more politely stated, preseason baseball will be starting soon. Here is the one website with more information than most mortals will need.
Carrie, at Broom of Anger, has linked to my page so I am going to return the favor. If you want to read about life in Belfast, Northern Ireland or San Diego, California, here is your blog.
This totally sucks for the troops in Iraq. I used to drive in a “thin skin” humvee and my driver used to call it “Bullet Magnet” (update: we wish we were a "bullet magnet" actually we were a “bullet sponge.”) since we had two antennas mounted for the extra radios. He was right and now troops are paying with their lives and blood since up-armored humvees are not sexy as jet fighters or high tech equipment.

Want to get a sneak peek of what John Kerry will do a president? Here is his past stance on defense issues. Lot of the programs he wanted cut are vital to war fighters of today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Here is an article from the pinnacle of British Journalism, the Daily Mirror , about a PhD in molecular biology, who is quitting his job and becoming a gas fitter. He makes 23k in pounds. I know someone in the same profession in the states and they are in the six digit salary range. No wonder Europe is having a brain drain to the states.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Here are two good sources of information on Europe.
Fists full of Euros and Eursoc. Have fun reading. You would never see the contents of these websites in American papers or media.

Why Europe is failing.

Is Europe running a proxy war against the US?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Here is a look a baseball when somebody with brains tries to use statistics to raise the quality of the game.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Steven Den Beste over at USS Clueless asks the question that I will be asking when I decide who to vote for this October:

Me, I only have one question for the Democrats: How do you intend to win this war?
Actually, I must confess I have a second question, which has to be asked before that one: Do you intend to win this war?

Also I will be asking how do you intend to stop this?

Because somebody else is trying all ready.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Drinking in the Midlands is interesting, because most of the pubs in the area I live in are owned by three companies. Hardy and Hanson own a lot of the nice pubs in the area, then Marston and Mighty pubs. These pubs sell beer and ale brewed in big national breweries or multinational brands. There is little chance of getting a small, local ales or specialty brews. Then there are “Free” pubs that are locally owned and operated. Lots of them brew their own beer. Trust me, it is good. Most of them have a nice, local or as American observing, a classic English feel, bust some of them are a locals only and they will let you know.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Pumpkin Girl update. Pumpkin Girl is starting nursery school. She loves school. On the days she goes to school, she packs her “rucksack” with books, dolls and other toys to bring and to share with other students. Also I have to watch what I am saying around her because, she can pick up words fast, like the words I “say” when drivers on the road cut me off. Also PG has figured out how to drag a chair across the kitchen, climb up to the cabinets to open them and get biscuits, crisps (cookies and chips for you Americans!) or other goodies. PG loves to paint, draw and color. If you want your own personal PG painting let me know and I will put it in the post for you. I took PG to the JJB Future stars playground in Derby last week. She climbed up to the third level all by herself, then she went down the twisty slide. She can run like a maniac and I think she should be a long distance runner like her old man.
Do you think extreme environmentalists are actually killing humans? Read this and then answer the question.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Marty is a good friend who introduced me to my wife. He writes about living in LA, show business and quirky things in the Valley. Go check out his site!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Those Norwegians sure know how to rock! A half time show that makes Janet Jackson's breast-baring look like nursery school antics? Whoa dude!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

How to respond when being shitted on because you are an American.

Time to write off the Iraqi debt.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Dave Grolh is the man. Scroll to the bottom of the article. He states why I don’t watch MTV or listen to the radio anymore.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I have written in the past that Wifey is pregnant and is due in mid March. We have been using the National Health Service (NHS) of Britain. If all goes to plan the newest member of our family will be born at Queens Medical Center (QMC). Our first child was born in America on private insurance, so it will be interesting to contrast the NHS to our private medical insurance of Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Overall NHS has been all right but, there have been some glaring differences. They rush you in and out appointments, when you see the doctor. During the pregnancy of our first child, Wifey suffered from a mild case of preeclampsia, anemia, and rapid weight gain. Those medical conditions showed up again. To us the doctors down played conditions. So we called our doctor in America and she gave us advice, told us to ask for extra tests, and questions to ask to find out more about the Wifey’s medical status. We have been to the hospital many times; and we have not seen the same doctor twice in a row. The doctor you see is based on the luck of the draw of who is available.

We asked what doctor would deliver our child and nobody could give us answer. We asked who are the night shift doctors and got a shrug. Then we found out we have a midwife instead. There is no assigned midwife or doctor. We found out there is a shortage of midwifes and doctors in the region.

We have found out from our tour of the QMC things that we took for granted in America we will have to buy or do ourselves. First, we have to bring diapers for the new baby. With our first child, the hospital provided all the diapers we wanted and they gave us 10 or 12 extra when we left. Not here, we will be bringing a box of diapers since newborns go through them almost on an hourly basis. Also we re got six or seven “receiving” blankets in the States, but none here. When you are in the maternity ward at QMC, somebody will have to bring you food from the canteen or you have to get out of bed and get it yourself. When we left the hospital we had a bag of free samples from companies trying to entice us to buy their products. Not here. Also there is no Hepatitis B shot or ointment in eyes after birth to prevent infection.

Here are some positives of the NHS: free prescription drugs for the pregnancy and dental care during the pregnancy and a year after the birth. Daily midwife home visits for first 10 days after you leave the hospital and if necessary 28 days. Visits will be transfer to a health care visitor after the midwife is done tour.

I will write more as the big day get closer.

I think every unit has a SPC Schwarz . In my old unit he went by the name of "Sick Dog." He was a hell of a troop in the field. Never complained, a real killer on the battlefield, but in the real world I not let him near my daughter. He was sick psycho, but now I think he works for the DEA.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Last year winter I shoveled 70 to 80 inches of snow and while I was moving that snow, I was thinking: global warming my ass, is it global freezing. You know I was right after all.
Did you know that the coach of the Patriots has a degree in economics from Wesleyan University? He even used statistics and economics modeling from Berkeley properly to get an edge over the Panthers. No wonder the Pats won the Super Bowl; the coaching staff is one on the smartest of the NFL.

I used to be a stage hand or roadie at concerts. Being up close and seeing the sound checks you can figure out who is lip syncing or actually singing. Most stripped down rock and roll acts pay live. I saw the Deftones recently and the lead singer was definitely singing because he improvised a few lyrics and the band spent a few minutes tuning the guitars in the middle of concert. Chino, the lead singer, gave a funny monologue, during the tuning. I saw James Taylor a few years ago as a roadie; he put a good show on and it was live. Even Van Halen and Cheap Trick did great shows. But with more sophisticated studio CDs, it will be harder to duplicate them live with out augmentation.

To see the following links, you must register with the NYC Times. Not a bad paper, just keep an open mind and think critically when you read it.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Robert over at Expat Yank gives his Super Bowl prediction and he is gracious in picking the Patriots to win. I have to say it will either be the Patriots blowing out the Panthers (defense forcing turnovers into touch downs) or the Panthers squeezing out a win due to the Pat’s offense lack of killer instinct in the red zone. I wish I was back in the states so I could watch the game. Even Wifey like watching the game because of the commercials; since I am here in England my brother is sending a copy of the game on tape!
Do you need help to figure who to vote for? Go here.
A different look on the war on terror.

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