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November 4, 2004

Support Regime Change

As yesterday's polls proved, George Bush has managed to brainwash the majority of American people into enthusiastically supporting him and his plan to take over the world. Guilty of war crimes, killing hundreds of thousands, torturing and imprisoning innocent people, and being incredibly stupid, surely this is more than justifiable reason for the United Nations to organise an invasion of the US in order to bring about a long overdue regime change.

November 5, 2004

Bloghosts Closing

Sadly, I checked Bloghosts, the company where this site is hosted, yesterday to discover that they are closing down.

Several technical problems with our backend have corrupted critical portions of our billing and support databases. While we have tried to recover this data several times and enlisted the help of an outside agency our efforts have been in vain. Although security has been very good we've found several discrepancies in our logs indicating the damage may have been intentional. For these reasons we have decided to stop taking new orders and will eventually cease operation altogether.

Their service and support over the last six months has been excellent. I've just completed moving and re-installing everything from my previous hosts and so now it seems I'm on the lookout for another home again.

November 6, 2004

LadaRaider

lada

Here's a cool movie done in Finland in the style of the Knight Rider credits but called... LadaRaider (8.4Mb).

Obviously KITT has an ugly Russian cousin but at least David Hassellhof has been kept in the boot for the entire movie.

November 10, 2004

Fantasy Island

balearic propaganda
Winter in Formentera is fairly peaceful and somewhat devoid of the social distractions that make Ibiza famous. The locals tend to be quite a tightly knit bunch who don't take too well to outsiders. Now that almost all the tourists have left there are only two bars open in town and people just tend to stare quietly at us when we enter - like strangers walking into a pub on the moors in a werewolf film.

The checkout girl in the small supermarket dutifully keeps all the fresh bread stashed under the till for the locals, refusing to sell any to us although it's our second winter here, which Carita, naturally, had an argument with her about. Hence, we now have no chance of joining that elite club, instead, destined to eat stale bread (on the days we're lucky enough to get that) for the rest of our duration here. Much of the other produce tends to be well out of date, often by months, and hugely overpriced as there's nowhere else you can go.

But the best part is that there's a huge poster just next to the boat that says, 'Fomentera Loves Tourists!'

November 15, 2004

Northward Bound

The last days here in Formentera have been fairly stormy - bad enough to take out internet access on the island, and cause an Italian guy rowing from Genova to French Guyana to get washed up on the rocks here (the locals then looted all of his equipment).

We're off to the big island this evening, however, to catch a flight to Barcelona, where we'll sleep in the airport (inshallah) and hop onto another flight to the UK tomorrow. Maybe using Arabic terms in the same context as catching a plane isn't a good idea these days...

November 20, 2004

Kicked Awake

Our night in Barcelona was fairly awful. We had something to eat in the well named Cafe Ars, which was just how the food tasted, and all the staff wore aprons with 'Ars' printed on the front then, suitably unsatisfied, went off to look for a quiet corner to sleep in.

The airport had a bit of a dodgy feel to it at night, with homeless looking people hanging out for an opportunity to grab something, and not much security around. It wasn't the kind of place you wanted to spend the night but with our flight leaving the next morning we had little choice. All of the seats had individual armrests which, without a hacksaw, prevented us from lying down, but being accustomed to sleeping in airports, we'd come prepared with camping mats and sleeping bags. At the far end of the terminal we found a corner next to a glass partition, bedded down for the night against our bags, and tried to get some sleep.

We both woke continuously, however, with people walking over and staring at us, kids banging against the glass, and at one point a crazy guy running around screaming in the middle of the night. By the time morning came we were both so exhausted that we passed out... only to be rudely awoken. A security guard came over and began kicking me awake then shouted at us in Spanish to get up. Carita replied that we were waiting for a flight connection but he shouted back that sleeping is not allowed in Barcelona Airport.

Once we finally escaped from Barcelona we flew into Stansted, and our plane stopped next to a newly arrived El-Al flight. The security around it was unbelievable with police on the tarmac beneath the plane and policemen with machine guns all over the airport as if Britain was at war. Passengers were checking in for the return flight to Israel at the end of the terminal where the entire bay of check-in desks had been cordoned off with a makeshift security checkpoint and police 'do not cross' tape around the whole area outside. Marksmen were everywhere, even lying on top of the check-in desk roof with a machine gun, and security officials at the checkpoint were arguing with a man, refusing to allow him through. Carita decided it was wise to put her Arab ashmagh away. Obviously, either the flight was under severe threat or Britain's terror paranoia is getting completely out of control as more and more countries worldwide hate it. We walked away to wait for our flight to Cornwall as they announced the boarding gate for the El-Al flight... lucky thirteen!

November 25, 2004

Cracker Smuggling

We had a lovely time staying with Simon in his manor in Cornwall for the last week, waking up to the sounds of cows and appreciating some of the small luxuries of northern Europe like decent supermarkets again. Yesterday we flew back to London Stansted, Carita caught a flight to Finland, and I flew up to Colin's in Glasgow. Carita had bought a load of crackers to take back with her (as they don't exist in Finland) but wasn't allowed to take them onto the plane - she was told that they were explosives and they could go off in the hold! So instead we sat pulling them in the airport, pissing off security, who later retaliated by once again pulling me out for a 'random search'. They didn't look deep enough to find my hidden crackers though.

November 29, 2004

Burrell Collection

The last few days in Scotland have been a mixture of catching up with people and, well, drinking. Yesterday Colin and I went off to find the Burrell Collection and after a quick look at the map decided to walk there as it seemed so close (maps do that sometimes). We arrived two hours later after getting fairly lost. It's a collection of over 9000 pieces of art originally owned by a big industrialist who brought it back from all over the world and it's fairly impressive, housed in a gallery on the Pollock Estate (that's country estate not housing estate). Still, I'm sure we didn't find 9000 pieces there before we retired to the cafe and tried to figure out how to get back.

Here's some of the photos from the last couple of weeks in Britain.