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Sunday, 27 February 2011 Mobile

If you've got an iPhone or an iPod touch (or possibly an Android - never tried it), you must try from your device's mobile browser. I've been on a walk for nearly two hours, and have been streaming Family Guy non-stop.

This website is also good for live sport and many other things - especially films. It has virtually eradicated any last morsels of boredom from my nightly walks.

The quality of the streams is fantastic; it looks as though you are legitimately watching television. Many people stream large blocks of a single show, such as Family Guy, The Simpsons, and Top Gear. This is great because one can simply start watching a channel at any time and he or she will be treated to something magnificent.

All you need to do is go to, the mobile version, which is simply a list of good channels, will show up. All you need to do is tap the channel you want to watch, and it will load in the iPhone's QuickTime player, and you'll be set.

I wish you many hours of entertainment whilst walking, sitting in class, or queueing - it's spectacular regardless of where you are or what you're doing.

Odd Speed Limit

Something tells me they were torn between 15 and 20.

Third And Final Shot

Here's a view of the cliffs overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach, CA.

Same Place, Different Angle

Beautiful View - Laguna Beach, CA

Working On My Day Off

So, I'm here working on my day off, as it's a chance both for me and the company to make a bit of extra money.

As wonderful as that may sound, Sunday is the day on which I do the most sleeping. I really cannot be bothered to get out of bed at all on Sundays, but today I was out of the house by 7:45am.

I'm the worst kind of cantankerous when I've not had enough sleep, but today I feel strangely relaxed. Perhaps it's a sign that I should actually get up out of bed on Sundays.

Probably won't happen, though. Sitting is just about my favorite thing to do.

Friday, 25 February 2011

What Is Your Favorite Holiday-Themed Confection?

These are probably my favorite holiday confections - what is yours, and what holiday is it associated with?

How Ridiculous Can People Be?

This sign is absurd, yes, but do people really think that nature (and by extension, free animals) doesn't exist?

Americans are so used to their silly, super-sanitized suburban neighborhoods that they need to be reminded that their Labrador isn't the only animal in the world.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Petrol/Gas Prices, Part 2

A few days ago I talked briefly about fuel prices and their unerring ascent towards the $1-per-liter landmark.

Here we are, just a few days later, and much to the chagrin of SUV drivers up and down California, we have met (and surpassed) $3.785 per gallon for 87-octane fuel. For the record, 91-octane petrol passed this mark some time ago.

As I passed my local fill-up station today, I was stunned to see that the price for 87 octane had risen dramatically quickly to $3.859 per gallon. This, logically, put the 91 octane at $4.059 per gallon - a price not seen in the US since the petroleum supply in the southern United States was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina.

This brings the price of petrol in Southern California up to 102 cents per liter, the very same price I paid for a whole US gallon when I started driving 9 years ago.

We are only in February, roughly four months before the annual spike in gas prices, meaning that the price will only be going up from here.

I think we have all but seen the end of the era in which Americans pay far less for gas than their European counterparts. When broken down per unit of currency, we are now paying almost the same as those in Europe (currency conversions aside).

I'll never forget the day my high school economics teacher told us that we would never see gas for under $2 per gallon again. That was the only bit of truth he told us burnouts during that astonishingly boring semester immediately before my graduation.

How Do You Feel About Speed Bumps/Humps?

These were recently installed on a street near my house, and I hate them. When an ambulance/fire engine needs to speed by, what are they to do?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

TV Commercials For Places That Don't Exist, Part 2

So, I made a post a few days ago about places like CiCi's Pizza and Sonic - restaurants that advertise in the LA television market despite having no locations there.

It turns out there's another place constantly advertising here that I've never seen. This place is called Golden Corral. It appears to be some sort of seafood buffet costing 'around 10 dollars', as they invariably put it.

The closest one, however, is nearly 100 miles away, and I've never seen it, nor known anybody who has eaten there.

Then again, this place could be just like Sizzler and fully exist without my knowledge (or consent, for that matter).

Price of Fuel

Gas/Petrol prices are on the verge of reaching a psychological point people in many other countries have experienced. That is, we here in California are about to pay 1.00 unit of currency for one liter of fuel.

I know most Americans do not use the metric system, but paying less than $1.00 per liter used to set the American driver apart from his or her European/Canadian counterparts.

1 US gallon is equal to 3.785 liters, so as soon as the price (currently at $3.659 per gallon) reaches $3.789 per gallon, we Californians will be paying $1.00 per liter for gas/petrol.

So, $45 to fill up my 45-liter Honda? I bet that V8 SUV isn't making you feel very clever right now.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Great Result For Chelsea!

It's finished FC Copenhagen 0-2 Chelsea in Denmark. Chelsea's form has been poor, but they never really looked troubled tonight. Two AWAY goals from Nicolas Anelka look to have sealed Chelsea's passage into the quarter-finals with the return leg at Stamford Bridge yet to come.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Beach Shot

Here's a rather crude image depicting the great Pacific Ocean, my local chapter of the World Ocean.

Snow-Capped Mountains

The mountains in Orange County, with a bit of snow on top. Beautiful view today.

Californian Traffic

This is the 5 freeway, one of the main motorways in California. It is always filled with cars, regardless of time of day. How is the traffic on your local freeway/motorway/highway? I'm surprised I'm driving at 60mph (100kph).

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Would You Want To Be Immortal?

I'll be 60 in 2045 - should I like to be 60 forever? How would you feel about be frozen in time and existing as a machine?

TV Commercials For Places That Don't Exist

For the longest time, I had to sit through Sonic Drive-In commercials, not knowing what the hell that restaurant was about, or whether it was even real. Then a Sonic opened up 25 miles from my house, and I decided I'd better try it. Verdict: It was nothing special, I now understand why they had to create such a buzz prior to their entry into the market.

Another is this mythical Dunkin Donuts place - they advertise this great looking coffee and egg white flatbreads, then refuse to show up once I want one. Why advertise in a market where your product doesn't exist? I know the Los Angeles television market contains nearly 20 million potential customers, but ZERO of them can eat at Dunkin Donuts. Hmm. I know that Dunkin Donuts exists, though - I've seen it in other states.

The last is a place I'm convinced is not real: CiCi's Pizza. This place claims to hand out disgusting pizza on an unlimited basis for just "five dollars and change" in return. This pizza cannot be the least bit good, so I'm convinced it doesn't exist. Who would pay $5 plus 8.75 per cent sales tax for cheap pizza? You can get real pizza that actually exists for the same price.

Very weird.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Wall Street Criminals - Why Aren't They Paying?

When I was a kid, I was always told that age-old cliché that 'crime doesn't pay'.

Well, apparently it does. We're still in the midst of this unbelievable financial crisis - the one that's decimated my generation's hopes of maintaining or exceeding our parents' success - and none of these bank executives/gamblers/speculators/toxic mortgage buyers are in prison.

How have they gotten away with it? They received 'bailout' money from the US Federal Government, yet maintained their absurd bonuses. They failed, and continued to be rewarded for what amounts to criminal behavior. As Bill Maher said on his program 'Real Time' on Friday, the Egyptians might get their money back from Hosni Mubarak - but will the Americans get the money swindled by Wall Street back? The money in their children's college funds, their 401k's, and other investments were destroyed by the gambling that went on in the casino houses on Wall Street.

If I were to pull such a scam, I would likely be imprisoned. Why weren't Wall Street executives imprisoned? Why weren't they hauled off to anus-widening prison? It just doesn't make sense to me. They've ruined this country and much of the world. And guess what? Nothing happened to them.

Nice Post-Rain Rainbow

Rainbow as seen from southern California at 15:35 on 19 February 2011. Enjoy!

Faux-Hippie T-Shirt from Target - Are You Serious?

Who on earth wastes their money on this inauthentic nonsense? You're 17? So you were at Woodstock in 1969, protested the Vietnam War, and lived for a short period in a sex commune?

Of course you did.

Where I Live - How's the Weather Where You Are?

Friday, 18 February 2011

Dry oatmeal - what odd things do you eat?

Barnes and Noble bookstore

When there isn't much to do, I like to go to the bookstore. The closest one to my house is a Barnes and Noble - a store that is fortunately open until 11:00pm every night.

It's great reading magazines such as TIME, The Economist, Harper's, and the occasional celebrity magazine. Also, I enjoy spending time looking at computer/business books. It's always a nice time-killing educational experience.

Where do you go when you've got nothing to do, and what benefits do you derive from it? I'm always looking for new ideas, so go on then, post away!

Now, back to reading about divisions in the EU brought about by a tighter integration of the Eurozone...


Before I get to walking home, I figured I'd better take a moment to say THANK YOU to my 50th follower (with special thanks reserved for the 49 who preceded him or her).

Thanks to everybody for reading what I have to say and making this even more worthwhile!


Estoy En El Refugio - El 1

Unless you were living beneath a rock in 2010, you'll know that the title of this post is a reference to the note passed to the surface by the 33 Chilean miners who were stuck underground for some two months.

I'm not in the same predicament - or even a similar one - but I have sought refuge inside of a playground for the time being.

It's extremely windy and raining outside, so it's fair to say that the weather has very rudely interrupted my nightly post-dinner walk. I'm not used to such weather, having lived in southern California my entire life. On top of the wind and rain, it's bloody freezing outside. The temperature is currently 12C (54F), and I can't stop shivering. I think it's time to stick my phone in its dry plastic bag and trudge on home.

Unfortunately, my umbrella's just been taken away by the wind. Off to find it!

A Moldy Grape Purchased YESTERDAY

Charlie Brooker's How TV Ruined Your Life

Charlie Brooker's latest iteration of him sitting on a couch is actually very good.

Anybody who knows me will know that I'm a massive fan of Mr Brooker, whose snarky condescension and colorfully negative descriptions make me laugh uncontrollably.

It appears that Brooker has forgotten how to comb his hair, but he certainly hasn't lost any of his ability since his nuptials. Everybody knows that TV is ridiculous, and that it likely has ruined your life, my life, and everybody else's lives; and Charlie Brooker describes this process masterfully.

A quote from the 3rd episode: "If George Clooney were to pluck two of his chest hairs and offer to post them to the first two people to murder a family member, thousands would perish."

Great stuff as usual, Charlie.

Rain In Southern California

So today is a fairly typical day at work - going to the houses of millionaires and driving around amongst the nicest of cars. Many people strive to live the type of life that these wealthy people live, but I just don't see the appeal.

What's the point of having kids if they're going to be raised by the live-in nanny?

All I need is a fast Internet connection, a nice computer, and my iPhone 4. I need my basic car to drive to work, and some decent clothes that most anybody can afford.

This doesn't take millions of dollars; rather, it's a lifestyle one can live on just a few thousand dollars a month. What does one do with all the extra money? I don't want children, so all my money is spent on me and those less fortunate than me via government social programs.

Why not be happy to have that sort of life? Why must everybody in America strive to be mega-wealthy. Ninety-nine per cent of them will never be rich, so it's best to accept what you've got and live a life that is comfortable.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

I'm not quite sure what it is about blogging, but I find it to be thoroughly therapeutic. It may just be the nature of writing in general - I'm not entirely sure.

There is certainly something about having my thoughts extend beyond my own skin that I find exhilarating. I know very well that most of what I write is seen by nobody, and that's perfectly fine with me. I mean, who is going to be the least bit interested in reading a blog entry about blogging?

I'm quite an ordinary person by most measures, and I've certainly done nothing of note thus far in my life. If I had something interesting to write about, I'm sure I would be doing just that and not rambling on about the joys of thumb-typing pedestrian blog entries.

I've been on a walk for nearly an hour now, and this is the time when I do the most thinking. It's only natural that I should feel it necessary to chronicle my brain's sometimes schizophrenic synapses.

In the early 1980s, Morrissey would walk all over Manchester immersed in thought. When he got home he would write 'furiously', as he put it. Obviously he didn't have the option to write and walk simultaneously, because the notion of scribbling about with a pencil and a pad of paper mid-step is perfectly absurd.

Generally, I've forgotten most of my thoughts by the time I return home - something I've always considered wasteful. I'm not of the opinion that my thoughts carry any import whatever, I simply enjoy being able to see what passed through my brain at any given time.

And with that, I was gone...

The way in which people in this car-centric land treat pedestrians is deplorable.

I get honked at just for crossing the street - all because I've taken a few seconds away from time with their families that they probably don't like too much anyway.

I get impatient glares as people wait to make right or left turns - as though what I'm doing equates to sleeping with their wife and educating their children about Scientology.

What I want is for people to embrace pedestrianism here in California. The car is king at the moment, but there's no reason to treat people the way I am treated. I have no obligation to jog awkwardly across the street so that you can get home to a mediocre dinner.

I know the idea of walking to the store is ludicrous among the super-rich SUV drivers here, but I've done nothing for which I should be victimised.

In other words, leave me the fuck alone, you car fanatics. Your shitty meal, your quotidian family, and your anything-but-unique tract home will still be there in 20 seconds. I promise.

I know everybody thinks of coastal Southern California as a tropical or Mediterranean paradise of sorts - and it is - but it does get cold too.

Right now it's 13C (55F) with a low of 6C (43F) tonight. I'm walking to the store right now (See! We don't all drive everywhere - my car is tucked away nicely in the garage) and I have to wear gloves because it's so cold.

I don't want to hear the whingeing of people in Minnesota or the Faroe Islands who pray for this type of weather. I know it gets much colder there, but my body is acclimatised to 21C (70F) temperatures year-round. I've done a winter in Britain and one in New York, so I do in fact know what 'real cold' is!


About to walk to the local CVS. Sometimes I see interesting stuff at night, and sometimes I don't. If I do, however, it'll surely be up on the blog for all to see. Off to walk now. Don't get your hopes this shitty, boring town, there often aren't even any cars on the road past 7:30pm. Such is life in the suburbs - a constant bore. I'm praying for something out of the ordinary...even a crack in the sidewalk would be nice at this point!

Unions in Wisconsin

As the Democratic state senators of Wisconsin flee the state and thousands protest, are any Republicans getting the idea? Unions have been beaten back across this country for decades now.

What is wrong with workers having power?

Why must the corporations wield all the power?

Why is the government increasingly siding with corporations over ordinary workers?

How can working class people vote conservative when it is this group of lawmakers who wish to take their right to unionize away?

What is so bad about collective bargaining rights? Shouldn't a group of workers get to stand up to the corporate bosses?

People often talk about how much freedom means to them, but then they lay down and let their true freedoms be eroded. Why pontificate about freedom and then not care when it doesn't extend to the workplace? This just doesn't make any sense to me.

Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona

What a match that was yesterday. I'm not a supporter of Arsenal or Barcelona, but one really must marvel at the way these sides play football. The opening goal for Barcelona was sensational, as David Villa tiptoed in line with the last defender before coolly slotting home past the hopeless Arsenal 'keeper.

After being unable to add to their lead, it looked as though Barcelona were getting a bit frustrated. They seemed to collapse after that calamitous error by Victor Valdes in the Barcelona goal. He showed far too much of his near post, and the bang-in-form Robin van Persie finished from a near-impossible angle. Arsenal looked well rejuvenated after this, with Barcelona looking as though they should have killed the game off ages ago.

Arsenal maintained the pressure throughout the second half, and on a beautiful ball from Samir Nasri, Andrey Arshavin scored a beautiful one-touch goal that left the likes of Valdes and Gerard Piqué bewildered. Arsenal went 2-1 up at the Emirates, much to the jubilation of the home supporters. Barcelona looked stunned, because this is not a situation in which this team often finds itself. The Gunners defended majestically in the final moments of the game, and held on to take a lead into the return fixture at the Camp Nou. They were annihilated by four Messi goals last time round, but this could be Arsenal's year to beat the side they are most often compared to.

Fábregas, Wilshire, and Nasri all stood out in the Arsenal midfield - something difficult to do against the likes of Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, and Messi. I'm not sure an Arsenal win was the right result on the day, but they played well enough and took their chances - something Barcelona did not do in London.
I take a lot of ridiculous pictures, so hopefully I'll be uploading them via email very soon. This blog is still in its early stages, so much more is to come!

First New Post

I usually have quite a bit to say about, well, everything, and I figured it was time to begin documenting my views of the news, sport, pop culture, and anything else I deem worthy. I don't think my writing is by any means important; rather, I'm doing this for myself to document my thoughts. If somebody else likes it, or hates it, that's perfectly fine, but I'm not trying to become the stereotypical blogger who begs every last one of his or her friends to 'ZOMG check out my blog!!!'

No, I'm not at all interested in that. I'll be writing once or twice a day, normally to comment on news or sport. Hopefully some people will find it remotely interesting. If not, though, I genuinely will not mind, as it will be nice to look through my posts in a year's time to see what I was thinking at that point. Much like it's quite interesting reading through my old papers from college. I think to myself, 'what the hell was I going on about?' Hopefully this will bring about many more WTF moments in my life.