Category Archives: Social

Operation stack

New solution to the Calais immigrant crisis

The problem arising in Calais due to the immigrants camping around the docks and train stations is reaching new highs. Not only are there nightly raids, causing the local security to be stretched thin, but also problems in scheduling of arrivals and departures because of the trespassing on the lines and in the tunnels. It’s a hugely dangerous situation that has already resulted in the death of one of the immigrants.

The repercussions of these events have caused havoc and chaos on the roads, not only of Calais, but also the UK. Operation stack has turned the M20 into one giant truck park, and brought half of Kent to a standstill. It doesn’t stop there, however. These trucks contain the trade and merchandise going in and out of the country. The impact on the economy could be devastating. Something must be done.

I have carefully considered the options myself, and I believe I have come up with a solution that will solve all the issues at one fell swoop.

We should invade France.

640px-Russparis

It’s a beautiful solution to the whole problem. We invade France, take over their government, and fix things. Looking at the facts and figures it shouldn’t take more than an afternoon’s work for the British Army. History tells us that France would more likely run away than fight, or just plain give up. Easy. That’s one job done. After spending another afternoon noticing that we’d have a few more borders that we actually should do something about, we would set about paying attention to them (and the people traveling over them), promptly turning away anyone who shouldn’t be wandering over them. Somewhat like we do on our island right now. The majority of the work has been done by now.

A further advantage to taking over France is that we could rename it. I suggest.. England. Old England would be the original island where the desirables live, leaving England to house the undesirables such as benefit scroungers, big issue sellers, Piers Morgan, Little Chef, soap operas, and reality shows. Not only that but we could finally abolish the French language, saving countless generations of our children from the horror of learning the three phrases “How are you?”, “How old are you?”, and “What is the time?” in order to attain their GCSE that no one will ever ask for.

We could also finally rid the world of Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault. That would be nice.

Being that France would become England, the immigrants camped in Calais, or meandering their way through the country, would find themselves slap-bang in the middle of their goal – England. They’d have lost their need to travel over the channel as they would have already arrived exactly where they were trying to go, thus removing the problem of delays on the M20 instantly. It’s win-win, people.

* This blog post is satire and my own humour, if you hadn't guessed. If you're offended by it, you may want to consider stopping being such a big jessie.
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In Japan :D

Well here I am, typing this post on my laptop in an apartment in Jujo in Tokyo in Japan. My dilFluke was on overdrive for the journey here. On the first flight, London to Beijing, I ended up with an empty seat next to me. Possibly the only empty seat on the plane, and it was mine! Good thing too, as it would appear that Air China planes have even less leg room than other planes I’ve been on. My knees literally touch the seat in front of me with my ass right at the back of the seat. Not all that comfortable, to be honest, but it was nice to have lateral space to spread in to.

My main worries had been on the transfer between Beijing and Tokyo. The scheduled stop over was 1h25m. That wouldn’t have been so bad if the Beijing website hadn’t said that the minimum time for international to international transfers was 60 minutes, and the Air China said 120 minutes for the same thing. As it turned out Beijing was near enough empty. Seriously. I saw about 300 people while I was there, and 250 of those had just got off the same plane as me. As a result I was off of my plane and sitting next to the gate for the next one within about 15 minutes. All of this would have been great if the plane was on schedule, but as it turns out it had been delayed anyway, by about 30 minutes. All in all I had time for a wander, a drink, quick toilet stop, and still had time to sit around reading for a while before I boarded.

Once in Japan things got interesting. The JR line wasn’t running, so no NEX (Narita express) to Shinjuku. Ok, so I’ll not get there in the 38 minutes that would have managed. There is another train line, but it’s a lot more convoluted and longer, and slower. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention the huge ass queue that almost made a loop around the airport waiting for it. One rapidly made decision later and I come to a resounding “NO”. A quick stop at the information desk pointed me towards the bus direct to Shinjuku. By this point I’ve already rented a phone and call Laura to know the issues. She jovially points out that, due to traffic and such, the bus would most likely take around 3 hours. Beyond that she then goes on to say that the train I’d have to take after would most likely be packed like sardines too. Further fun for me to look forward to.

As luck had it, or dilFluke, the bus took around an hour, or an hour and a half (I’m not quite sure as by then I was drifting in and out of sleep). Even more luck, or the last remnants of dilFluke left  in the pot, made the train I needed just fine. No packing, no squeezing, and most importantly, no queue. Shinjuku station was playing with me for a while though. While walking towards the platform I needed the queue built up and built up, crazy long length queue… for a different platform. Phew! *shakes fist at Shinjuku station for toying with him like that*

Anyway, short journey on that train and I arrive at Jujo. I called Laura, she toddled over to get me, and we promptly stop off at a convenience store (combini) for hydrating liquid (Aquarius), and dehydrating liquid (Asahi beer), then proceed to grab a small bite for me to eat. Short walk later and we’re at her place.

Hours pass and beer is drunk until midnightish while I wonder how the hell I’m still awake. Eventually sleep came, but not for long. During the night there was another earthquake. Laura reckoned that it was around the 6 mark. I’m both happy and pissed at that earthquake. Happy because I’ve finally experienced one. Pissed because the bastard woke me up.

But anyway, in the end here I am. Sitting in Japan.

If anyone wants to know my number while I’m out here let me know and I’ll send it over. I can’t call out, but calls in are free. Well, I could have got a plan to call out, but from 120 yen a minute? The phone is already costing me 300 yen a day, and 80 yen per minute on domestic calls… phones are expensive here huh. :/

Anyway – Yey! Japan!

Rant: General Language Idiocy – I’m looking at you, Facebook.

TL;DR version: You’re all idiots. Learn English.

Full version:

Some of you may or may not know me as a bit of a grammar nazi (or Grammar Nazi, if you really want to be anal about it). It’s true, to a certain extent. I enjoy being able to read things that people have said without having to first decode/decrypt from whatever language they’ve mangled English into. You know what I mean, right? Those ‘sentences’ people use with substituted letters for words, or numbers for words, or mixes of both. Those times you have to mentally add punctuation because whoever wrote what you’re reading was too lazy to do it themselves. Those times that words are so horribly misspelled that you have to read them phonetically, then think of the accent that person uses, then their peculiar speech pattern, before finally figuring out what the hell they were trying to say.

Let me say it: Come on people, it’s really not hard. In fact, it’s so simple, school kids can do it. Why can’t you?

I’ll come back to that ridiculous text speak and punctuation in a bit. Let me first have a word about spelling. You have no excuse – not a single one.

“I’m dyslexic.” – Spell check:

In this day and age you have zero excuse for spelling errors while using a computer to type things. Nor, for that matter, do you have any excuse while using a phone to type things. Nor a PDA. Nor a tablet. Get the idea? For example, typing in a browser. How many of you use Firefox, or Chrome? Have you ever noticed while you’re typing that some of your words have squiggly little red lines under them? Do you want to know a secret? IT MEANS YOU GOT IT WRONG! Want to know another secret? Right-click the word and there’ll be a list of suggestions. The correct spelling will be there somewhere, unless you got it so horribly wrong that even guesswork couldn’t get it. If that happens, Google it. Google will suggest the right word. Do it! Phones have predictive text, and have had since T9 was invented. Again, no excuse.

“You know what I mean, what does it matter?” – Lazy:

Wait, you’re telling me that I should make up for your lazy ass by using extra brain cycles to figure out what you meant? Why? I make an effort to be sure I’m using the right words so that people can understand what it is I’m saying with as little confusion or misunderstanding as possible. Why can’t you extend that same courtesy to me?

“I always get confused between these words.” – Look it up:

Did you know that languages are fairly well documented? There are wonderful books, called dictionaries, stuffed full of lovely words – all in alphabetical order! Failing that, there’s the internet. The internet has online dictionaries. Are they so hard to use? If you get confused between words it’s because you haven’t used them correctly enough times to remember them. Look them up, use them correctly, and you’ll find you won’t be so confused after the next three times.

And just in case you don’t get this bit, I’m talking about words like ‘they’re’, ‘their’, and ‘there’. Along with such classics as “you’re” and “your”. Actually, you know what? I’m going to teach you right now.

They’re, their, and there:

“Hey look, they’re over there with their thing!” – This sentence should be enough for you to figure out exactly the uses of each of the words.

They’re: This is a contraction of “they are”. Look at it real close now. They are. They re. They’re. See? Isn’t that easy?

There: That there is the word there. It’s right there, see it? There, where I’m pointing. No not there, THERE! Yes, there. Got it?

Their: Now seriously, if you can understand the other two by now then this one defaults to the only other meaning. “Their” denotes ownership of something. That’s their car. They live in their house. Why is that strange person wangling around their… You get the idea.

You’re and your:

These are simple. “You’re” is another contraction. You are. You re. You’re. See? “Your” is the possessive form of you. Hopefully your brain can hold all this in. You can do it! Do your best!

And while we’re on the subject of “your” and “you’re”…

“heya m8 wot u up 2? goin out 2nite or stayin in at urs???”

Christ on a bike I hated writing that ‘sentence’. This is the kind of thing I see all the time, and it’s painful. I die a little inside when I read such things. I weep for the English language. I feel the need to slap someone in the face when I read this kind of thing, with a cluebat, or a clue-by-four, or a L.A.R.T – preferably the person who wrote it. Hard.

Firstly, uppercase letters – use them, please. Please? Upper case letters are used at the beginning of every sentence, at least. Even if that’s the only place you use them, is it really so hard? The shift key on your keyboard isn’t there just to look pretty, or take up space. It has a real purpose and use. Don’t let it get too lonely or it’ll cry, and so will I. Do you really want to see a grown man cry? Do you?!

Let’s now look at the horribly misspelled words. “m8” is not a word. I see what you did there, it’s very clever. You put an m for the ‘muh’ sound, and followed it with an 8, resulting in meight. Oh wait, that wasn’t clever after all, was it? It doesn’t end up spelled correctly that way either. “wot” is not a word (although technically it is, but not the one you’re thinking of). Add an extra letter, and change the other for the correct letter and you have the word you’re looking for. Don’t know what I mean? Watch – wot > whot > what. It’s one extra character longer than wot, but that takes you all of 0.2 seconds longer to type? Quit being lazy. “goin” is not a word. Dropping the g from the end of words is not cool. It’s not street. It’s not urban. It’s just stupid. Just because your particular dialect drops the g from the end of words when you pronounce them it doesn’t mean you drop them from the written version of the language. “2” is not the same as “too”, or “to”. “2nite” is not a word. You’re looking for “tonight”, which is only 2 extra letters. Don’t be lazy. “urs” is not a word. “Ur”, does not equate to “your”, or “you’re”. It’s plain wrong. Quit it.

Back in the days where text messages were expensive, and due to the 160 character limit per message, people came up with this ridiculous way of typing out messages. Text speak. *shudder* I’ll admit, I used to use it myself. I grew out of it as technology moved on, and texts became cheaper, and even bundled into value packages and sold in the thousands that you people somehow manage to use up and get charged for going over quota… But I digress. I certainly never felt the need to use this text speak when I wasn’t limited to a small number of characters, for example: on a computer. I have a full keyboard in front of me, I have unlimited space in which to type, and therefore have no need at all to shorten my words while simultaneously mutilating my language. You have no excuse for doing it. You’re just lazy.

And finally…

Punctuation:

We all learned this in school. All of us. Unless you were under a rock throughout your entire childhood you should have at least a basic understanding of punctuation. Full-stops (periods for you merkin-type) come at the end of a sentence. A comma (, in case you didn’t know) is, basically, used as a kind of pause in a sentence (oversimplification I know, but if you don’t know by now you really should go and look it up). An apostrophe (‘) is used in a contraction. Think of it as a substitute for a letter and a space (“they’re”, for example, has an apostrophe instead of the space and the a). A question mark, interestingly enough, comes after a question. Exclamation marks/points come after you exclaim something. Obvious!

(As a side note let me quickly say something about question marks and exclamation marks. Use only one of them. Just one. That’s all you need. Using more than one doesn’t make your question or exclamation more important, it just makes you look stupid. Where do you think the !!!!!!11!!!1!oneone meme came from?)

Using just these five punctuation marks would make many of your status updates/notes/blog entries/tweets much more readable and friendly on the brain. They’re designed to help with sentence structure. They’re not difficult to use either. Save the English language from yourself. Stop murdering it. ‘kay?

I don’t expect perfection from anyone. I’m not perfect in the slightest myself, but I do put the effort in. If I don’t know how to spell a word I’ll look it up. If I’m unsure of a punctuation mark I’ll look it up. It’s how we learn. Question it if you’re unsure, read up on it, digest it, use it. The more you do it the more natural it becomes. The more natural it becomes, the less you think about it, the easier it becomes. The easier it becomes the less you get it wrong, and the less I have to complain at you for it.

Right. Rant over. 😀

(Anyone who feels like correcting me on this post, go ahead. Let’s see who wins. 😉