Texas

Quick and incoherent thoughts on my return…

Most important: go to Texas, because virtually everything you think about Texas and Texans is wrong, and since coming back I’ve decided it’s actually Europeans who are dreadful people – snotty, self-important, dismissive, ignorant, petty, humourless nations with a proud history of persecution and a propensity to dictatorship. (Post-holiday blues, moi?)

Texans are great. Humour as dry as a bone, enormously hospitable and all consumed with an honest curiosity about why on earth anyone would come visit them.

I am going to be saying “Awesome!” a lot for the next couple weeks.

My mates are also great people. Ten days hanging around with such focused, straightforward, do-y people did me the power. Thanks, guys.

Swimming is awesome. I need to do more.

Tubing is not just awesome, it’s totally awesome, but doing it on the Guadalupe River at 40 Celsius is going to be rather nicer than doing it on the Thames in October, so that’s one to save for a future trip.

Aside: the ice-cream place where M bought me a bakewell tart ice-cream in Richmond today is also awesome, but is not Diet.

The Ford Escape is the worst, sorriest, most appalling excuse for a simulation of something which might under the right circumstances qualify as a vehicle that I want to write to its design team and invite them to explain themselves very briskly indeed. Whether it was drifting round corners if taken at above 2 mph, creaking as though it were ship-built, or just being completely and utterly gutless, it never once gave me a moment’s pleasure. Driving it for a week ought to be reserved for people who hurt kittens for pleasure.

I have now eaten in a revolving restaurant. (In the linked page, I am the diner on the right, enjoying a typically low-key soft drink.) And we got there by going along the River Walk — a successful urban regeneration project for once….

Perfect final activity: watching beer be bottled, sterilised, labelled and packed in the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, “the cleanest little town in Texas”.

Texans are proud of things; it seems to come naturally to them. On the odd occasion they do have to go looking a little harder for the prize, though. I was constantly expecting women to mention in passing that their son, Skeeter, was the tallest pre-pubertal Caucasian teen born south of San Antonio on a Thursday since 1972.

Should more spring to mind, there will be updates.

Why I Loved The Hotels I Stayed In Last Night

  1. The first hotel did not have a room
  2. … and thought my distinctly feminine roomie was a bloke …
  3. … so OF COURSE we couldn’t share a double bed! because that would be, y’know, like, GAY or something …
  4. The second hotel only had one wedding on
  5. Their bar and indoor swimming pool shared a room. Stinging-eyes cocktail bonus!
  6. Wait, their bar and indoor swim… never mind.
  7. They did a buffet English breakfast…
  8. … but waiter “service” for toast and coffee …
  9. … which therefore arrived shortly after I’d finished my main breakfast …
  10. … which I had to complete by 0930 ON A BANK HOLIDAY SUNDAY for some completely incomprehensible “reason”
  11. … and my plate was removed from in front of me while I was still eating.
  12. Fortunately the wedding party only set the fire alarm off twelve times at 1am

Moral of story:
Do not stay in tourist hotels. Ring ahead and check that they think they’ve sold you what they’ve actually contracted to supply. Never dip below four stars.

I feel like a freed hostage.

Is This Really The End Of The World?

So the coalition has released its agreed priorities with admirable promptness. Glad I didn’t bother with the manifestos; now I can read two at once.

Disclosure: I am a non-politico, but I have friends with strongly held views across the spectrum. And I also understand the difference between a stated intent and an executed policy, but I am essentially handing out the rope here for these good folks to use.

But essentially, I was kind of hoping we’d get the Tories doing the financial stuff and the LibDems doing the social stuff, because the Tories may have detoxed after the bitter insult of Section 28, but I am not going to blindly start trusting them without some evidence of goodwill. The work is for them to do, not me.

Overall verdict: a lot of fine words, a lot of stuff I want to think about more, but this may not be the end of all things as we know them.
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Tattoos, me?

OK, so I don’t do the whole body-adornment thing, mainly because in respect of me, it fires up the sense of the ridiculous well before my sense of the aesthetic.

On the other hand I could be persuaded to do certain things to myself, including this absolutely stunning Dr. Teeth tattoo…

via boingboing.net