Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Ladies and gentlemen we have an epidemic - run, save yourselves!

I’m sitting here watching the BBC 10 o’clock news and one of the reporters on it is describing, not for the first time, the 'epidemic levels of obesity in England and Wales'.

Obesity epidemic; you have to love that phrase, a journalist (probably American) somewhere has spent many years in university before coining such a phrase and many journalists since then have seized on it and used it for themselves. But come on, can we really call obesity an epidemic? To me the black death was a proper epidemic. Poor sanitation and hygiene with rats rapidly spreading disease killing 240 million people in Europe, a third of the entire medieval population, now that is a serious epidemic. To describe obesity with the same language has got to be a joke.

Imagine 50 years from now some kid asking his grandparents about the obesity epidemic of 2006 for a school project,

‘Grandad how did you survive?’

‘Oh son it was terrible, there were Burger King joints at just about every corner. We couldn’t walk to get the paper in the morning because we had the car. At work we sat at computer desks for 8 hours a day, then came home and sat at the computer some more to write on something called blogs. We had far too much salt and sugar in our diets but with super size meals just 50 pence extra it was so hard to resist. Really son, it’s amazing you are even here, your grandmother found it very hard to have kids due to my diabetes, if it wasn’t for viagra we doubt that your father would ever have been conceived.’

I know obesity is a serious issue and I shouldn’t make light of it but the language is over the top. Obesity is a problem of our time because of the lifestyle many of us in the western world lead. We’ve become lazy when it comes to meal times, we don’t cook home made meals like people used to, some of us can’t even cook. In the past people used to walk locally to work everyday, now many of us have to drive to work. Work itself used to be physically exhausting it involved manual labour; now most work is office based moving nothing but our fingers and our mouths.

Obesity is not an epidemic. It is a killer but so is cancer. It’s a long term slow process killer, it doesn’t come along and sweep through the population wiping a third of it out in the space of a few decades. It’s a result of our spoilt lifestyle with food being in easy reach of us all and few of us exercising enough. It’s only an epidemic if you consider McDonalds & Burger King the rats of the 21st century sweeping through America and Europe. Even then you have to wonder why the world’s population is still growing if we are in the middle of an epidemic.

I love language, the English language is a great tool but I hate to see it abused by people who should know better. Describing obesity as an epidemic at best shows a lack of knowledge of the causes of obesity, at worst it is a deliberate attempt to use scary language to frighten fat people into dieting. If I were obese I’d tell the journalist who coined the phrase ‘obesity epidemic’ to stick two fingers up his judgemental ass.

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Can You See The Join?

Normally as a photographer I don't believe in editing. Truth be told I'm too lazy to touch up my photographs. I point, I shoot, if I think its good I keep it, if its bad I delete. Simple. But I've seen other people making great panorama shots by stitching two or thre photographs together and saw this scene and thought it was the perfect opportunity mto try that myself. Well stupid me didn't really know what the hell he was doing. As a result you can see this great big diagonal line where the join is so if anyone wants to tell me what I did wrong or tell me what I need to do to fix it I would appreciate the help.

Has Equality Gone Too Far?

I’m all for equality between men and women, I think it was long overdue. Women deserve equal pay to their male counterparts, no question about it. I am attracted to strong independent women and I’m really not attracted to women who take on a subservient role in a relationship. I have nothing against women wanting to be housewives or who want to look after the children but if they would rather work then I’m fine with that. I’m not attracted to women who allow the guy in the relationship to make all the decisions without having any input of her own.

Women have fought hard to get equality from men and you could say that they haven’t yet quite got equal pay and opportunities but they have definitely got better prospects than to lead an independent lifestyle than women have ever had in the past. However as a guy I’m starting to think the balance is maybe going too far. Maybe I’m alone in this and maybe I’m going to look like a male chauvinist pig and am going to be doomed to leading a eternal single lifestyle after I am finished writing this post but I’m going to say it anyway – I think in many aspects women are more equal than men.

Women have the right to go to work AND they can be looked after in a relationship. In truth I have no problem with that. As a man I am somewhat old fashioned in that I think it when I am in a relationship it is my duty provide my girlfriend or wife with a stable environment in which we can live. If she wants to contribute to that lifestyle by working herself, fantastic - that makes my responsibility somewhat easier. Where I draw the line is if that relationship were to end I don’t see why I should continue to support her unless there are kids involved. If we had kids together or if I was a father to her kids for any length of time even if they weren’t biologically mine I would feel I should contribute in someway to their upbringing by being a father figure and by providing some sort of income so that they may live the life that having two parents can provide.

However in some cases you see women divorcing from their husbands and demanding money as part of the divorce. They have no kids together and they still demand that their ex husband provide them with an income. Personally I am all for the house being sold and the proceeds split equally 50/50 that way the both parties in a relationship have what it takes to get on with their lives separately. Today we all have what it takes to go to work and live independently, providing for ourselves without the need to have a significant other to provide for us.

Well that’s not quite true, with house prices as they are I can’t buy a house on my own as house prices have in the past few years exploded when compared with my annual wage increase. However that has less to do with not being able to live an independent lifestyle than it has to do with house price inflation. It seems today that you need two incomes to buy, but instead of buying I can rent.

Ignore that for a second, I went off on a tangent there. What I’m trying to say is as a guy I feel I have fewer options than a woman. As a guy I don’t get the chance to be looked after. I have to work. I have no choice in the matter. I suppose I could perhaps marry Demi Moore or Michelle Pfeiffer and be set for life, well as long as I am living with them anyway, but being realistic that’s probably not got much chance of happening. Truth is I wouldn’t want to be looked after; I’m too independent to rely on someone else providing for me. I like my independence, I value it.

However I pick up the papers and see Paul McCartney getting divorced from his wife. I don’t know how long they were a couple for. I don’t really pay a lot of attention to celebrities but it doesn’t seem that long ago when his 2nd wife died of cancer, so say they were together for somewhere in the region of 2, 3 or 4 years. He’s apparently worth £1billion. Personally I think that’s way too much money for any man. His wife seems to agree with me and is supposedly demanding a fifth of his wealth. As much as I think he has more money than any man needs I really don’t see how she deserves any of his income. They have no kids together. I don’t know what age he is but he must be close to 60, as an ex-Beatle he amassed his vast fortune throughout his life probably most of it before she even became a part of it. It’s not like she contributed to his wealth by playing the supportive wife role while he went off to work each day. Maybe he insisted that she gave up working while they were together, there could be a case of loss of earnings money. I agree that he has a duty to provide her some means in which she can put a roof over her head. However as a woman today she has more opportunities for providing herself an income than probably her mother did, certainly more opportunities than her grandmother did, does she not have some sort of responsibility to provide for her own lifestyle after the divorce?

Now she may want 200 million but the reality is it’s unlikely she will get as much as that, she might get 40, 50 or 100 million which she will be happy with. Paul has so much money I don’t really care how much he loses out of this but I think the message is wrong. What this divorce says to me is that ordinary man and woman can fall in love, get married, buy house together, fall out of love, get divorced and the woman can demand an income for being in the relationship despite the fact that no kids were ever involved. Beyond splitting the house sale 50/50 I don’t see why there needs to be any extra money exchanged hands between the couple when a relationship ends. If he insisted that while they were together that he did all the providing and as a result she lost her job skills or pension rights then I can see a case for providing extra. However in a world where both sexes have equal right to work and near equal opportunity and wage prospects there must surely come a responsibility with that to play fair. Guys cannot continue to provide just for being in a past relationship.

So am I alone in this. Are women getting to be more equal than men or am I just seeing it all wrong?

Sunday, 20 August 2006

Understanding The Thinking Of The Male Species

Do Men Think About Sex Every Waking Hour?

How do I answer this?

Do the plants and animals that live in the world’s driest desert miss the rain? Am I easily bought with a free meal? Does George W. Bush have the mannerisms of a chimpanzee? By now you should have your answer. However if you were struggling to answer those questions let me spell it out for you…Yes men do think about sex all the time, whether awake or not. However the reason why that should be is not as simple as the entire male species being dirty horny little bastards with a desperate desire to spend 24 hours of every day servicing a super hot female that looks suspiciously like a young Michelle Pfeiffer. That might only be me, but nevermind that the reason men think like this goes back to the day when woolly mammoths ruled the world and small nomadic groups of humans had to hunt the woolly mammoths for meat and clothing. Back then it was no point in having 2.4 children, to survive you needed big family groups to hunt down one woolly mammoth. It was the only way to survive. Darwin said it best when he coined the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’. As a result thinking constantly about sex was inbred in males.

Nowadays men have been left with this urge to put their penis in any orifice a woman will allow. (I come up with the nicest of lines, don’t I?) Of course only the fittest ie the good looking, the richest or the strongest get to do so on a regular basis the rest just have to think about it, go to the pub, drink more alcohol than they really should and show signs of desperation with phrases like ‘Get your coat, you’ve pulled’ or if they are really, really drunk and caveman has come to the fore ‘You, Me, have sex in alley round back’.

The flow of this desperation comes in cycles, some days you will be spared witnessing any such behaviour then there will be days like today where the sun is shining and the summer seems to be here forever and all hell breaks lose. It was maybe a day like today that Axl Rose first sang the immortal line ‘Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty’. The reason that that song is so popular is because every man has experienced that moment. It doesn’t matter the name of the town or city the entire (heterosexual) male species has lived that moment. The moment that summer has arrived when just about every women in the vicinity of man seems to be wearing short skirts and tight t-shirts with push-up bras. That moment on Saturday when you are in the city and waiting for the underground train when a super hot female that looks suspiciously like a young Michelle Pfeiffer wearing a short skirt, tight t-shirt and push up bra runs down the steps to catch the train. That moment when she is all breathless, cleavage moving up and down with each breath, a little trickle of sweat running down her face, and her lips plush red from the blood in her head, yes those moments we are thinking about sex. We might be respectful about it, we might not stare, we might not make her feel violated but at the same time you can be sure we will be happy when she sits next to us. Yes we might let a little smile form on our lips at that moment, we may let thoughts drift off to somewhere that isn’t politically correct in this day and age but you have to realise its not entirely his fault, it goes back to the time when woolly mammoths roamed the earth and that was a long time ago.

Is it any wonder that I am single, some people just won't see the intended humour in this post. Ah well.

Saturday, 19 August 2006

I Need A Brain Transplant

I'm having one of those days when despite having what I thought was a good idea for a blogging moment, back when I was lying in my bed, I just can not get my brain to translate my thoughts into something that is comprehendible to outsiders. Sometimes I don't like my brain. My brain and I have this war on a daily basis.

I see people in the outside world who are intelligent, who seem to be able to concentrate on one thought at a time, from the beginning all the way to the end before moving onto the next thought. It looks so simple. So easy. I want to be like that!

Instead I have a brain that has mistaken itself for a machine gun. It fires out 1001 thoughts at once, firing off bullet thoughts in all directions. It does this throughout the day on a daily basis. Never finishing one thought before moving onto the next. I'm fed up with it being complicated.

My brain never shuts up. Never! It’s always bloody thinking. It does its best thinking at night time. That’s when it focuses on maybe 10 or 12 thoughts at a time instead of 1001. This feels great, except for the fact that I should be sleeping and not thinking at all. In the morning when I want to focus on those great thoughts I had during the night its back to the machine gun mode. Argh!

You know that picture by Edvard Munch called The Scream where the man is pushing his face in with his hands? I could do a self portrait something similar to that, instead I would paint a scene where I would be demonstrating trying to pull the thoughts out of my head with clenched fists.

I want a new brain. One that works. One that is intelligent, allows me to be articulate and doesn't fight me every fucking inch of the way. Sometimes I feel I am intelligent, other times I am just reminded how stupid I am and I'm sick of it!

Meanwhile I have forgotten what the great blogging moment was. Bugger!

Thursday, 17 August 2006

Another Day, Another Year Older

And yet I don't feel any different. I was born in the year of the snake, the day the papers announced to the world that the King was dead. Now 29 years later I can't say I feel any older. I'm a weird person, I've always felt quite mature in my head but outwardly I look young for my age. So for some reason that leaves me in some sort of odd limbo, I don't feel like I'm getting older. It's just another day to me.
I've never been one of those people who are anti-birthdays, I'd much rather have another day than not. This whole idea 'oooh i'm getting older and I don't like it' doesn't make sense to me. If you are not older its hard luck for you, you are dead. Frankly I want many more days to experience as many things as I can. I've got a life to live and worrying about when it might end just isn't part of that.
I'm not much for celebrating birthdays either. I don't see what makes the day so special. More special than any other I mean. Every day we are here is a chance for new experiences, its a chance to live. We don't get many chances at it.

Jist Fur A Wee Change

Please Read: Today I thought I’d be different and write this post in Scots. To fully understand what is being said a little effort is needed on your part. Take you time understanding each word, say each word a few times before moving onto the next word then attempt to place it in context with the other. A little effort will hopefully lead to you understanding an old but unfamilar language.

Scots is a language aa o its ain and has clevvir magical words that soun great an juist swirl roond yer mooth an tung, lik a guid malt whisky! Scots is a vocal lyrical language an’ so it helps if ye sae it oot loud otherwise ye wilnae ken whit the wirds are or whit am saein’.

The language, lik the laund, is aye bein eroded an ah freely admit tae bean a wee bit disappointed. The rich auld lallans accent taks ye richt back tae a different Scotland aataegaither. It isnae natural fer me tae write this wey but juist fer today ah made a conscious effort tae try an keep it alive ah’n spread its use. Ah freely admit affhaund speakin artistically an frae the hairt that I’d lik to see mair writin an talkin this wey, an e’en see some of oor newspapers in Scots. But wi ma sensible heid oan, ah’ve goat tae admit that globally, if ye’ve goat tae hae ane main language – English – then ye need that fir basic communications. Different languages dae cause barriers an prevent countries frae seein ither pynts o view. Perhaps a shud start tae dae ma correspondence in Scots. If a did ma emails in Scots a doubt anybdy wud hav a problem wi thaim. They might tak 20% longer tae read but ye mae get 20% mair oot o thaim.

Writin in Scots can be fun, if someone is makin an arse o themselves an’ ye can insult thaim in Scots wae some panache ye will leave them clueless to such an extent that they couldnae pit a nut in a monkey’s mooth. If they dinae behave they can get a verbal equivalent of a skelp oan the lug. They will ken that they are getting insulted but they cannae dae anything aboot it, keep it up lang enuff an ye will get a rise oot of thaim.

Ah firmly believe that writers should write aboot things that maitter – social issues, injustice, humanity, politics. but there’s ower mony writers wha are writin mealy-moothed lyrical verse that’s a hunner mile up their ain arse – an sayin nuthin.

Sometimes writtin shud jist be fun, ah hope this wis as fun fer ye tae read as it wis fer me tae write.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Make Hay, Not War

Do you find the change in the seasons affects you without reason? I do. Take harvest time for example, I love it when the fields are full of grain or the hay is getting cut and hay bales are being left in the field. It’s a most peculiar feeling, and I'm not sure I can explain it as I would like but when driving past the fields at harvest time its one of those stupid little things in life that can put me in a good mood. I see a field with hay bales like in the photograph and I let out a sigh, a good satisfying sigh. I have no clue why. Its not like I'm the farmer that has to get up at 6am to sow the seed early in the year. Ah well, one of life's little mysteries I suppose.

A Smile At The Drive Thru

So there’s a turn up for the books, I’ve had this blog for a week and a half and I’ve not yet lost interest. So who is reading this blog? Hopefully, not too many. It’s too damn scary thinking of other people reading this. I’m a million different people from one day to the next and the whole idea that someone may see that the stable, intelligent, strong guy that I like to project to the outside world was nothing more than a lie and a figment of my imagination just doesn’t bear thinking about. So what am I going to talk about here? If only I knew. The likelihood that I will keep it up is slim to none, I am generally a lazy person (when I get the chance that is) and a procrastinator to boot. So yeah why am I doing this again? Anyway enough of this I’m havering (it’s a Scottish word, get used to them, I’ll use them often), I need to find something to talk about here.

Let me talk about smiles, it seems appropriate as it goes with the day I had to yesterday. I’m a sucker for a beautiful smile and eye contact. I don’t know why exactly but I’ve always liked smiles. That moment when someone looks at you in the eyes and doesn’t look away as if to suggest that you have intruded into their soul but instead smiles back, not much in my book beats that moment. That’s not to say that there are not things that are even better than that but I’m not going to get into that today.

Anyway the reason I thought I’d mention smiles was because of one event I experienced yesterday. As usual I worked my 10 hours (ah the joys of being self employed, is it any wonder I’m lazy when I get the chance?), and instead of going home and waiting while my leftover Sunday roast chicken got ready I decided I was too hungry so I drove into the Burger King on the way home and ordered myself a large whopper meal. I know, its bad for me, but I’m blessed with a good metabolism, I can get away with it, although in truth I try not to eat them too often, if only because some day that metabolism will desert me and I will suffer as a consequence. I do like my food a lot, even more than sex, sometimes.

Can I stick to the point here? Obviously not. Back to the story, I ordered my meal at the drive-thru and drove up to the collection window. I was served by a beautiful young woman of 25 or thereabouts, she took my money gave me my meal and my change and a smile as I started the engine. But damn! What a smile it was. It wasn’t the type of smile that you often see in places like Burger King, you know the one I’m talking about the ‘may-I-take-your-order-sir’ when really they are thinking ‘god I hate this job, when do I graduate and get something better than this’. Instead her smile was something deeper, it was genuine. It was the kind that makes your heart stop. The type that makes you wonder if the person that wakes up and sees that smile every morning fully appreciates the beauty of it.

I’m not the type of guy that hits on women while they do their shopping in Tesco’s or work in Burger King. Instead I drove off thinking if only everyone smiled like that. If we did, perhaps there would be no war; perhaps noone would find the excuse to blow themselves up in these dangerous times. Or perhaps I’m just being overly romantic to what I thought was the most beautiful genuine smile I have seen in my 28 years of being on this earth. I know one thing I might just get myself another whopper meal just to see it again some day.

And so it begins, my diet goes to hell because of one beautiful smile.

I always thought it was supposed to be McDonalds that made the happy meal.

Monday, 14 August 2006

Sometimes It's Hard To Be A Man - ‘Real’ Man Redefined, Again

It seems that the role of ‘real’ men is changing yet again. We are apparently at the beginning of what is called the "Menaissance. The movement has begun in the US, and we already know that when America sneezes, Britain catches a cold (usually 6 years later). In the past few decades the role of the man has been constantly reassessed, it used to be ok to be the sole breadwinner of the family and go to the pub and not be required to speak much, then a few dacades later he was expected to get in touch with his femine side, cry more, speak and listen, do dishs etc etc. It was so much easier being a man when people lived in caves before someone thought of publishing Cosmopolitan.

Back then the role of the real man was clear. In the those early days, the man would leave the cave in the morning to kill a wild beast and drag it back to the den, where perpetually-pregnant woman would already have the fire burning in anticipation. The man's role as hunter-gatherer was clear and unambiguous; no social skills were required. The caveman needs strength and speed, but he is certainly not required to emote or to slap on moisturiser. Despite his repellent breath and steaming oxters, he has a clear role in the procreative process and it does not involve asking, "How was it for you, darling?"

Variations on the "Me Tarzan, you Jane" paradigm lasted well into the twentieth century. Then came the feminist revolution. Caveman was made redundant. Women, for some reason, no longer wanted to be stuck in the house with crying children. They demanded careers, equal pay, and - if they wanted a male around the place at all - a man who didn't spend his time scratching his rear and grunting. It was all very confusing for men. Ever ready to respond to the new challenge, they shaved off their beards, cut their hair and put lashings of moisturiser on their face. It worked. The gentle new man was born, managing to emote in full sentences. They learned to wash dishes and write poetry. They cried on national tv when they learned they couldn’t sing.

Then more bewilderment. An edict from the women's collective said that they didn't want men to open doors for them, or to walk next the road to protect against splashes from horse-drawn carriages, or to stand up for them on a bus. These things were deemed to be patronising and demeaning. But just when men had finally managed to repress my conditioned impulses to offer up their bus seat to every living creature equipped with anything remotely resembling a cleavage, a fresh edict was issued just last year saying that, no, most women actually quite liked to have men acting in such old-fashioned, chivalrous ways. Aaargh. Darkened room time.

And now, God help us, the Menaissance. What's this all about? Well, it's a reaction against the gentle, concerned male with the moisturiser and the pink sweaters. It's back to machismo manhood and fearsome jumping on your mate's bones. Carnivorous caveman is back. We're talking retrosexual here. It's all about unreconstructed masculinity advocated by men (and some women who have tired of emotional boys with Kleenexes) who believe that males have been emasculated in the course of the gender wars. The new/old battle cry is for masculine assertiveness, bravery and a willingness to beard the psychological wild beasts in their lairs. At its best it's about dignity and manliness, at its worst it's about beer bellies, flatulence and "spontaneous" (ie drink-fuelled) bad behaviour. Attractive and exciting, ladies?

Many women will insist that it was ever thus, and that the considerate New Man who cheerfully does the housework and changes nappies was always a mirage, a figment of the male imagination. There is truth in this. The gender wars are full of wishful thinking and self-deception.

It’s easier to just be yourself. If someone isn’t going to like you, they might as well not like the real you.

Sunday, 13 August 2006

An Easy Day

Still don't know what direction I want to take this blog. I could so easily talk about sex, politics, books, photography, travel or any random crap that comes into my head. That decision can wait.
Today I took a day off from work. Woohoo! Slept in late this morning. Got the Sunday papers in the afternoon and drove to the Kintyre peninsula on the West Coast of Scotland. It was a great day really. Judging by the convoy of caravans I got stuck behind on the way back I wasn't the only one who enjoyed it. Anyway if you want to see the photos of the area check my other blog tomorrow. I'll have the pictures up by then, its much too late tonight.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

My Gripes About Modern Life

Cars That Are Too Safe!

Ok you are probably thinking … ‘Steven what medications are you on today, how can cars be too safe?’ Hear me out before you go phoning the funny farm. I write this as cyclist, pedestrian AND a driver. Drivers quite rightly feel that they’re so well protected by their seatbelts, bull-bars, airbags, ejector seats and the rest that they can afford to take risks. Cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers (who can only afford an old second hand car) are the ones who have to pay for the modern safety conscious car. I am speaking from experience here.

While I was a student I was a keen cyclist, I used to ride 100+ miles in a day. One week I was informed that there was going to be a couple of cycling scouts at the next amateur road race I was competing in, so I went out training so that I would be inb the right shape so I could make a good impression. This was back when I was young, naïve and misguided and thought that perhaps with the right coaching I could be good enough to do the Tour De France one day. I didn’t have the talent, but a guy has dreams and I thought that this was my big chance and could perhaps be a step in the right direction. On my training run I was around 4 miles from home cycling down the Campsie Hills. Approaching the bottom of the hill where there is a bend that leads into the town. At this bend one idiot driver decided to overtake another driver. One stupid, thoughtless manoeuvre resulted in me having no road left to ride on. To prevent myself from going over the top of the oncoming car, or worse under it I had to take avoidance action, instead of following the road into the bend I had to go straight ahead. Lucky for me straight ahead was a golf course, unlucky for me there was no way into the golf course. To prevent cars from entering the golf course 3 giant boulders had been strategically placed at the edge of the road, not only did it prevent cars it did the same for bikes. My front wheel hit the first boulder, wrecking £1800 of equipment, throwing me over the handlebars in the process, making me land shoulder first on the third boulder breaking my collarbone. I never did get spotted by a scout.

I might be wrong here, but my theory is this if the car wasn’t as safe for drivers as it was then possibly the driver wouldn’t have overtaken on a blind bend like that. My argument is that the only way you will prevent stupid dangerous behaviour by drivers is if you make driving more dangerous for the occupant of the vehicle.

I think I’ll call it the ‘hit them where it hurts’ theory. I’d replace seatbelts, that have a little bit of give in them when braking, with cheese wire that cuts into the flesh under heavy braking. I’d also replace bull-bars on SUVs with a spear mounted on the drivers steering wheel, preferably lined up with the drivers heart. That way when the driver is going too fast and has to break suddenly instead of killing some poor kid who was crossing the road it would be the driver who would suffer horrendous injuries. These innovations would skewer and slice the typical crash-test dummy, but drivers aren’t crash-test dummies. Most drivers have a brain (yes I did say most), give them the right incentive and they will drive more carefully, to the benefit of the cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers.

Personally I am of the opinion that seatbelts cause accidents. Don’t get me wrong I know they save lives, I’m not that stupid. If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a collision at 30 mph, there are 3 ways to stop moving at 30mph. You can go flying through the windscreen and land on the ground, that might lead to your death or severe injury, brain damage perhaps.. Alternatively you can go flying in the car until you hit a fellow passenger, you might kill the passenger but you should live. Or you could wear a seatbelt. I know what I would rather do. As soon as I put on my seatbelt I feel safe to drive. This is a good thing for me, but can be a bad thing for others if i'm inconsiderate driver who doesn't pay enough attention to what I am doing.

When we feel safe, we drive more dangerously. You only have to look at the boy racers out there with their extra loud exhausts and go faster stripes. They take risks because they are under the impression that they are a good driver, and so go charging off down the street when the traffic lights turn green. You may be under the impression that you are a great driver and have never been involved in an accident and could be struggling with the concept that you drive more dangerously because of your cars safety features.

Think about those occasions when your car’s safety features have let you down: the seatbelt mechanism is stuck; the baby is on someone’s lap because the baby seat is elsewhere; one headlight is on the blink. In those situations, you drive more carefully - more slowly, less aggressively, with less attention to the CD under the seat or the incoming phone calls. That must mean when the safety systems are all operating well, you don’t drive as carefully.

Safety features encourage drivers to jabber on mobile phones, drive with their knees while putting on make-up and break the speed limit with relative impunity. Would they be so keen act in such a way if they had cheese wire for seatbelts?

Tuesday, 8 August 2006

The Award For Most Stupid Living Bird Goes To…..

The Pheasant.

You may have heard the joke that begins with … why did the chicken cross the road...well I’m afraid the chicken has been done a disservice with this joke. Chickens do not cross roads, pheasants do. Pheasants run, walk, crawl, dilly dally across roads just to get to the other side but they never fly. It’s not that they can’t fly; they are just too darn lazy and stupid to do so. Pheasants are beautiful birds, their plumage is made up with some striking colours but this beauty came at a terrible cost. Beautiful they may be but they have no brains to go with it. A pheasant will be quite happy to forage in the hedgerows until it sees a car coming then it will decide not to stay in the hedgerow where it is safe but cross the road right in front of the oncoming car. I was doing quite a bit of driving today and I had 7 pheasants run out in front me today. I was starting to think it was Pheasant Death Wish Day, for whatever reason they seemed to be trying hard to go the same way as the Dodo.

Sunday, 6 August 2006

Reasons Why You Probably Shouldn't Read This Blog

I'm fickle. I'm not a writer and I never considered that I would be one to write a blog. Blogs are supposed to be for writers or for people who lead interesting lives. I can't in all honesty say that I fall under either category. However back in November of last year I did start my first blog. Took months of hard work and effort but eventually I built up a following of 78 regular commenters. I was quite proud of my little following. But then I got writers block. I struggled on writing for a couple of months thinking eventually some divine inspiration would come from somewhere. It didn't. Eventually the frustration got the better of me and I just deleted the blog. No warning, no dramatic goodbyes, it was just gone.
A few weeks went past and I was encouraged to start a blog on Myspace. I blogged for a bit but my heart just wasn't in it. I'm not a fan of 'I Love you, show me some love back' attitude over there. Don't get me wrong, I do like people, but if I consider you a friend I don't feel like I need to tell you every five minutes. I'll be 29 in 11 days time for heavens sake!
So yes, you guessed it, I deleted that blog too. That one was no loss anyway, the first blog I had some some really good stuff on it, but the second blog I never really put in the effort.
So the reason for starting this blog is because I got used to having a release for my inner thoughts. I think way too much. I tend to have 20 thoughts on the go at any one time unfortunately they are all jumbled about amongst each other which can be damn frustrating. It's a part of my dyslexia, I think. Sometimes I can have a really great thought just dying to get pulled out my grey matter but by the time I've typed 15 words a minute the ending of that thought has long been forgotten. So if I were you I would do the sensible thing and not read this blog.