Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hiding crime behind anonymity

I don’t agree with the practice of keeping the names of juvenile repeat or violent offenders from being made public. Newspapers and tabloids report again and again about people being mugged, robbed, raped, violently beaten, even killed. But then comes the bland statement that - despite the horrific nature of the crimes reported - the names of the offenders could not be released because of their age… because they were 16 years of age or less.

Of course, I know that the newspapers/tabloids would like nothing better than to out such thugs and murderers, but they’re held back by the law. Well, I think that law is wrong, wrong, wrong. If you’re old enough to commit adult crimes, you’re old enough to be tried and convicted as an adult. Why protect such creatures?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Have I ranted about this before?

People who wait for something with, apparently, "baited" breath.

What do they bait it with? Worms? Flies? And are they fishing, by any chance?

It's "BATED" breath - as in, short for "abated", which means to lower or slow down or simply hold. Holding one's breath while waiting (with impatience or excitement), is what the expression actually MEANS!

Or do they do that just to bait me? (Yes, since you ask, I AM feeling a bit persecuted.)

YAAAAAY! I'm the first

... to comment on the phenomenon of saying "Yaaaay, I'm the first to comment" on other people's blogs. (Sorry if you were expecting anything more dramatic from this post's title.)

I've noticed on some of the more popular blogs that there are at least half a dozen comments which say "Yay! First to comment" or "First" (as if that's an achievement - or is it meant to show the single-minded dedication of the commenter to the blog being commented on?).

What I'm getting at is, do they not realise that the perceived absence of comments doesnt necessarily indicate the actual absence of any previous commenters? In other words, it's just that the blogger has not yet vetted and published the remarks that have been left. Which is why one gets to see the half-dozen or more comment(er)s all celebrating that they're "first".


Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday Scribblings – “Fantasy Dinner Party”

The rules are:
- you can invite anyone, living or dead
- you have a table that seats eight, but as you are one, you can invite seven people
- you have to explain why you'd invite them

And for bonus points:
- what would you serve them for dinner?

I’ve already done this – or something like this - as a “tag” awhile ago, but I’m never averse to doing another version. (Also, non-Scribblers, please feel free to actually take this on as a tag, if you like, and link back to your blog/Facebook note/whatever so I know?)

Guest No 1: My dad, the consummate bon vivant. Essential to any gathering because he could get anybody or anything, even a tree-trunk, to open up about their life and times – and what’s more, he’d find the tree-trunk interesting (and probably even get a life lesson for me out of it)!

Guest No 2: Emperor Akbar. A fascinating character from Indian history - a patron of the arts, a cruel yet generous ruler, illiterate yet open-minded enough to be well ahead of his time and his religion. He would be most interesting, I think. (Hopefully he’ll have learnt English, somehow, before he comes to dinner, or communication might be a tad difficult.)

Guest No 3: Erma Bombeck. One of my favourite funny writers. Would she be as funny, as wisecrackingly, charmingly cynical in real life as she was in her books?

Guest No 4: Michael Jackson. Just so I could ask him all the personal questions to which I’d like answers, and thus set all the gossip mongers at rest, and also perhaps get him to perform a moonwalk live.

Guest No 5: Bill Clinton. Because he seems like a charming person for a politician (that he told so many lies is neither here nor there – ALL politicians are liars, but at least he’s one of the few who is easy on the eye!)

Guest No 6: David Gilmour. The best of the Pink Floyd band. He’d HAVE to sing one of his songs. If he wont give any more public performances, that’s the least he can do.

Guest No 7: Pete. Because my husband would NEVER forgive me if he was left out of a dinner party thrown by me with David Gilmour as one of the guests!

No 8: Me, the host(ess) (but not a Twinkie).

Menu: Takeaways from the best restaurants. You dont think I'd be slaving over the COOKING, surely?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The ride of her life

This news item got me thinking.

What if Amy falls in love with a newer, younger ride? Has she thought about the anguish this will cause to her current favourite? Or, god forbid, what if....

Oh this is almost too horrible to contemplate, but I have to ask. What if the ride cheats on her?

What then?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Hijacked book tag

From Wordjunkie's blog.


Bookmark or bent page ?
Neither. I remember which page I’m on with each book, no matter how many books I’m reading at a time. I L.O.A.T.H.E bent pages (or rather, the people who crease them).

Have you ever been offered a book?
Absolutely! And never once refused. Not even waited to be offered, in many cases.

Do you read in your bath?
No, because I don’t like baths and have showers instead. I do have a book open on the bathroom window sill, however, which I read while undressing/toweling off/dressing.

Have you already thought about writing a book ?
Yes, and known that it would be utterly impossible for me to actually write one, for many reasons.

What do you think about books in several volumes ?
Continuity, and the appearance of characters I like.

Do you have a cult book?
Not just one. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, The Tramp and The Dog by Chris Williams, C Rajagopalachari’s Mahabharata, Malgudi Days by R K Narayan, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by A C Doyle… to name but a few.

Do you like to re-read?
Books I liked the first time, absolutely. There’s always something – a turn of phrase, a description, etc - you missed the first time around and notice when you re-read.

What about meeting or not with the authors of the books you've liked ?
Not. I don’t really want to meet the person behind the books – they may not be as interesting, I might not like them... a couple of exceptions might be Bill Bryson and Sir Terry Pratchett. But I’d want to watch from a distance, like at a lecture, etc. I’d be too shy to speak to them upfront. And what would I say?

Do you like to talk about the books you read ?
Sometimes, with people of similar bent of mind.

How do you pick your books ?
Reviews, recommendations, font type, book size (the fatter they are, the better).

Something you read, hard to confess ?
A book by Anonymous (left by some adult or other, which I found while rummaging in the loft at my grandparents’ place) when I was a pre-teen, but I have to say I didn’t like it, perhaps because I didn’t understand it.

Best places to read ?
Everywhere. Wherever there’s light to read by.

The ideal book would be...
1000 pages or more, plenty of interesting characters and situations, lots of humour and good writing, maybe some tragedy thrown in as well, but ultimately with a happy ending.

Read over people's shoulders ?
Yep, but I prefer not to as I invariably am left frustrated as I finish reading the page much quicker than them. And NOBODY is allowed to read over my shoulders.

TV, computer games or book ?
Book, thanks. TV comes second, with Scrubs, House, Law & Order – Special Victims Unit taking priority (not necessarily in that order).

Read and eat ?
All the time, a bad habit that all three of us inherited from my dad.

Read with music, in silence, whatever...
I can and do read no matter what’s happening in the background. Don’t really require silence.

E-books ?
Not really, although to be fair I haven’t tried Kindle or any other pocket e-book type thing. Reading books on the computer or online is annoying.

Borrow or buy ?
Both. Buy the ones I really want to own, borrow everything else. Can’t afford to buy all I read and certainly don’t have the space to store ‘em.

What book are you reading now – which one is coming next ?
Unaccustomed Earth, short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. Coming up next - 'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell.

Have you already dropped a book ?
Just one. But I can’t claim to have started it properly, despite many attempts, so I’m not sure that “dropping” applies here. Anyway, it’s War & Peace, by Leo Tolstoy.

What's the first book you just fell in love with ?
The Family at Red Roofs, by Enid Blyton. It was more “real” than any of her others, much as I loved all her school and fairy and morality tales.

Sunday Scribblings - "Anticipate"

Some of the things - significant or petty, cool or pathetic, whatever - I'm looking forward to:

- Our next holiday. Undecided as yet where and when (or even if, to be honest), but the anticipation of possibilities… oh, the possibilities! A week at a cottage in Norway? 10 days on a Greek island? 2 weeks to be divided between Boston and Seattle? A weekend in a European city?

- Travelling with Pete, anywhere

- Visits from family & friends (if and when they materialise – you know who you are, you masters/mistresses of procrastination and waffle)

- Checking out an Indian fast food place in Birmingham to see if it’s street-food-style food is authentic.

- Harvesting bell peppers, golden-yellow French beans and lots of chillies from my plants

- Keeping my new and extremely precious curry leaf plant alive over the winter to come

- Watching the new Harry Potter movie, whenever

- Being able to watch Law & Order – SVU from the very first episode to the latest one, all in order

- Owning Scrubs – the entire series