Thursday, November 27, 2003


Happy Thanksgiving Day to American readers. The Evening Standard has a very lame list of US related things to do in London.

Anyone who's ever lived there knows what you do is:

1. Watch the Detroit Lions (football team) lose.
2. Watch college football (go, team)
3. Sit around with relatives you only see once a year
4. Stuff face with stuffed bird
5. Burp
6. Stuff face with bird sandwiches
7. Sleep
8. Shop like crazy the day afterwards (traditionally the biggest shopping day in the US, even though it is not a public holiday)
9. Turkey curry, anyone?


Thanks to Mary for her comments on my thoughts on the situation in Georgia.

I understand that despite $0 in the State Exchequer, the mood remains buoyant in Tbilisi. Expect the tin to be rattled around the West to help fund the next round of elections.

One matter that has really struck me in this whole crisis. All the politicians seem very keen to make sure that whatever they do is within the Georgian Constitution. Burjanadze has been scrupulous in ensuring that she does not overstep her limited powers as acting President. The Opposition wants the elections to take place within the time frame specified in the Constitution.

Now if only the rule of law could apply more generally throughout the country.

Meanwhile, Shevardnadze has been crying in his soup and blaming the Americans.

"He said he suspected the involvement of US ambassador Richard Miles, who was posted to Belgrade before the overthrow of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. The US has denied any involvement.

'"In relation to the ambassador, I have serious... suspicions that this situation that happened in Tbilisi is an exact repetition of the events in Yugoslavia," Mr Shevardnadze said. "Someone had a plan." '

Thankfully, that "plan" involved little if any blood spilling.

Finally: " it has been announced that Saakashvili will be the only candidate..." The Western press has rather unhelpfully characterised Saakashvili as a hot head. Better that than dunderhead Shevardnadze.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


dreaming in denmark: "it may not be an original observation, but i'll offer it anyway: Targè is like crack."

Jon Pardoe, travelling the highway of taste on a horse made of words: "Simon Heffer: Cunt*"**

Monkeys on the Simpsons: "All my life I have searched for a car that feels a certain way ... powerful like a gorilla, yet soft & yeilding like a Nerf ball."***

Unconscious Mutterings from LunaNina: "Free association is described as a "psychonanalytic procedure in which a person is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings, verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content.""****

* - not a word I like using, but it's okay to quote it isn't it? Especially if the guy's a c...
** - no permalinks or is that permafrost?
*** - nicked of Jon's links
**** - see below, for example


  1. Concert:: gebouw
  2. Sydney:: opera house
  3. Shower:: curtain
  4. Patterns:: shmatterns (?)
  5. Market:: trader
  6. Chair:: men
  7. London:: town
  8. Reception:: hall
  9. Republican:: movement
  10. Cough::syrup


...TWO BY TWO...

Okay, it hasn't been 40 days and 40 nights, but last night I thought we might get swept away in the wind and the rain. Thankfully our new house is on a hill so we shouldn't get flooded out. We did get a few puddles in the garden though. Unfortunately our new house is on a hill so we're exposed to the wind. I nearly got blown to Crystal Palace last night running to the shed (tidying up of which is new house project #13).

So, the Environment Agency really was taking the piss when they said this yesterday:

"The Environment Agency today (Wednesday) warned that despite the recent rain and forecast for further heavy rain this week, unless we receive higher than the winter average rainfall between now and March much of England and Wales could face water shortages and drought in 2004."

So much for watering the veggies (new house project #15) in the garden and tomatoes (new house project #16)greenhouse (new house project #17).

"Barbara Young, Environment Agency Chief Executive said "We should not become complacent just because we have had heavy rainfall in the last few days. England and Wales has had an exceptionally dry summer and autumn and while water supplies have provided for us throughout this period and supplies are secure for the coming winter, unless we receive higher than average rainfall between now and March we could be faced with water restrictions and serious water shortages in 2004."

This is known as spin in other circles.

No doubt my dad will tell me how many millimetres of rain we've had this month (thanks to his weather station) when I see him in a few weeks time. But, that where he lives in Essex is the driest palce in Britain. Retired people. What are they like?

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


Thanks to Ryan for two essential links on the latest position in Georgia - Living with the Caucasians and Cinderella Blogerfeller.

Ryan asks about the connectivitiy between Georgia, Chechnya, the BTC pipeline and the rest of the region. Well, it is a bit complicated but I think it's something like this:

There is a bit of post-Soviet background to bear in mind. The Trans-caucasus has already endured civil and cross border wars in the days after the collapse of the "Evil Empire" (tm). There is still potential for further strife. Armenia and Azerbaijan are not quite the best of friends and I'm sure ruling cliques in both countries are looking warily at their neighbour.

Georgia itself has internal problems. Abhkazia, south Ossetia and Ajara all have degrees of autonomy, recognised or not. As many commentators are saying, Ajara probably holds the key to the success of the Velvet Revolution.

But, there's also the Pansiki Gorge area, allegedly crawling with al-Qaida operatives, Taleban or sympathisers. (The reason why there were US "advisers" staying at my hotel when I was in Tbilisi.)

BTC is vitally important to the economy of the region, but probably more important to the oil and gas companies involved. The route of pipeline has strategic importance as it allows oil to be transported from Azerbaijan and Western Kazakhstan avoiding Iran (at US insistance) and ensuring access to the Mediterranean avoiding the Bosporus (at Turkish insistence, because without the link there will be a huge increase in oil tankers travelling from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and with it a threat of catastrophic accidents in the constrained shipping lanes). Any political destabilsation would be a serious threat to the pipeline. What might that bring?

Added thought: Dont' forget to check the OSCE web site for more news.

Monday, November 24, 2003


I started drafting a post on the situation in Georgia before matters took a dramatic turn over the weekend.

As of Friday, President Eduard Shevardnadze had upped the war of nerves by announcing he would call for Parliament to sit on Saturday as he had powers to do under the constition. You will recall that parliamentary elections were "spectacularly flawed" according to international monitors.

Despite this, BBC reported:
"Eduard Shevardnadze's party has been confirmed as the winner of Georgia's parliamentary elections amid allegations of vote-rigging."

This is what I was going to say:
The President has called the first sitting of the new Parliament for 22 November (the Constitution says parliament can be invoked if 2/3 of the seats are known - as is the case).

OSCE was about to assist in the second round of elections:
"The President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Bruce George, will arrive in Tbilisi on Friday to lead the OSCE observers for the second round of the parliamentary elections in Georgia, which will take place on Sunday, 23 November."

Then the drama unfurled. Saturday, the opposition led a march on Parliament and forced Shevardnadze to flee under escort of his thuggish advisers and guards.

In the meantime, the Russians through their Foreign Minister acted as go-betweens.

Sunday saw further drama as the President was forced to resign. Was this a coup? Does it matter?

The Donut has blogged before on the situation in one of the top three countries in the world. Shevardnadze lost the plot long ago. The country has ceased to function politically and economically. Whatever might happen or might have happened, there are hard times ahead. Winter is near and Tbilisi faces the daily threat of electricity rationing.

The Washington Post recently opined on the post-election fiasco and Shevardnadze's deal with the despot of Ajara:
"But Mr. Shevardnadze is also under considerable pressure from Aslan Abashidze, the ruler of the region of Ajara, where one of the Russian military bases is located. Mr. Abashidze submitted election results that would have the effect of tripling his party's rightful representation in Parliament; he claimed to have received tens of thousands more votes than there are registered voters in his fiefdom. He has threatened to declare Ajara's independence from Georgia if this fraud is not accepted. Shortly after the election, Mr. Abashidze flew to neighboring Armenia, where he met the Russian defense minister. He then traveled to Moscow, where he met with officials close to President Vladimir Putin. If Mr. Shevardnadze gives in to this thug, he will have his support to remain in office, but he will also probably have fewer means to resist Mr. Putin, who is working assiduously to restore Moscow's imperial influence."

Internal instability from Ajara and elsewhere contributed to the slide to near political anarchy. I doubt that the position in Ajara (let alone Abkhazia and South Ossetia) will make it any easier for Shevardnadze's successor. The Opposition now say that elections for both the President and a newly constituted Parliament will take place in the next few months. That would be good news if there were guarantees that elections would be fair - some of the same systemic problems that marred the last elections would re-occur.

So far no violence. So far no foreign intervention except what seems to have been helpful brokering by Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov.

After the euphoria of the "Velvet Revolution", much needs to be done to ensure that Georgia can function normally politically. The Donut will follow this one.

Friday, November 21, 2003


Someone in our office received their first Christmas card of the season today. It was posted on 3 November.

Is this a record?


"The furthest-flung piece of humanity — NASA's Voyager 1 space probe — may have gone where no man-made object has gone before." according to space scientists at Johns Hopkins University quoted in Nature (registration required).

"Voyager's 26-year, 13-billion-kilometre journey has put it in the region of space where theory predicts the boundary — called the termination shock — to be."

If you're my age, you may remember the Voyager probes which were the first human objects to penetrate deep space. They also contraversially carried with them some rather dumb artefacts of the human race.

It's taken them 26 years to get at or near the end of our solar system. It'll be thousands of years before they get anywhere near another solar system. Chances are that no one will pick up that golden disk (unless you believe Star Trek). Carl Sagan was a bit of a hero of mine in my teens. The disk idea was one of his less brilliant ideas.


1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.
Empty all the boxes from our move, organise the garden shed, build a greenhouse, pay off the credit cards (some hope), get promoted (ha!).

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.
2 friends from DC (now in Tokyo), CT from school, Mike from Merton, Major Tom (from Ground Control).

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.
Improve my Italian, play the guitar, how to re-wire the house, Vulcan mind-meld, style sheets.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).
Quit work, pay off the mortgage (not necessarily buy a bigger house), buy a non-league football team, donate squillions to Amnesty International & Greenpeace, have that holiday in Australia without breaking the bank.

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
Er - sleep, trash TV (like "Property Ladder"), more sleep, something private, even more sleep.

Thursday, November 20, 2003


"Cast your vote for the Thanksgiving Turkey and runner up which the President will pardon in a Rose Garden Ceremony later this month."

are you a turrrrirst?

I vote for Tony and Junior - a bunch of political turkeys. Why not e-mail the President with a write-in vote?


Live from the Third Rail reports on the proposal to sell the names of stations and trains on Las Vegas's new monorail.


Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,

Obviously, the good burghers of Las Vegas have never seen that classic Simpsons episode.

"It is being built by Granite Construction Inc., Watsonville, Calif..." Not Shelbyville, then?

* - without linking to any Fox related site, yes!


Alt-country gods, Lambchop, will be releasing two albums on the same day next year. Hmm. Is that a bit pretentious or is there something more to this than meets the eye?

Come what may, a new Lambchop album is good news. It'll cure you of any fears or prejudices you may have about country music.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


If you can't make the actual march, join the virtual march.

... and sign the petition.


I could make a crude fattest joke, like: I hope the stage was reinforced. Or then again, I did.


Not a particularly useful map and someone obviously has too much time on their hands, but it's pretty to look at.

Of course, a realistic picture of the tube should include:
- sweat rings (under the arms);
- grafitti (on the inside and outside the trains, including incising on windows, stations, lineside furniture, staff);
- empty fried chicken boxes (do people eat the bones too);
- squash balls

N.B. - I forgot to link back to Mike from whence I got this link. Sorry, Mike. Bad netiquette.


1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer.
Large, bureaucratic.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime.
Nerdy, selfish, blog-tastic.

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day.
Rushed, painful, stressed, sweaty.

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life.
Slow, peaceful, safe, money-making, orgasmic.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Feel in need of a new image?

As heard on Radio 4, this morning.

Monday, November 17, 2003


"In the Robert Redford Building, toilets flush themselves with rainwater - except for the urinals, which use no water at all..."

"When Sharwoods launched its latest product range earlier this month, it promised the "deliciously rich" sauces based on a traditional northern Indian method of cooking would "change the way consumers make curry".

"What it failed to foresee was that "bundh" in Punjabi has an altogether less savoury meaning - the nearest English translation being, to put it bluntly, "arse"."

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


I was going to write some thoughtful piece about the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, but then I came across Americans for War.

Can you help me decide if this is irony? This page leads me one way. But, I'm tempted to get an NBC suit.


November is Fotolog month at i am a donut

Illness continues. Medication for today: comfort food in the form of soup and a big bar of chocolate.

Sunday, November 09, 2003


November is Fotolog month at i am a donut

The start of our move: an unsuccessful attempt to get the to-be-disposed-of sofa bed down the stairs. After 30 minutes of huffing and puffing, we decided to let the removel men take the strain.

Saturday, November 08, 2003


November is Fotolog month at i am a donut

Hot water bottle and blanket to keep me warm.

Friday, November 07, 2003


My mum has suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for over 25 years. It has left here in a wheelchair, totally dependent on my father (and, thankfully, carers for which the local council contributes a pittance) and with ever mounting complications. So, today's news about the cannabis trials was of great interest to my family.

"The biggest-ever trial of drugs based on cannabis has confirmed the belief of multiple sclerosis patients that they can ease their symptoms."

The study was carried out by a research team based at the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Plymouth.

"The three year trial of more than 600 patients from across the UK set out to look at whether cannabinoids can reduce muscle stiffness, known as spasticity, in the arms and legs of MS patients and to assess their general wellbeing in relation to other symptoms."

It seems that the trials were inconclusive, despite the hype form the media. Patients did not get relief from stiffness, but there was some help for pain and discomfort. The Department of Health is not likely to recommend sanctioning cannabis for MS sufferers just yet. But, I don't think anyone thought that this would be a great cure. All sufferers like my mum want is a slightly better quality of life, relieved from some of the worst aspects of the disease. While she won't be spliffing just yet, I hope that pressure can be brought on the government to give her and others like her some respite.


I've been following the events in Georgia over the last week or so, as I have a personal and professional interest. Over the weekend, the small former Soviet republic in the Caucasus held its sixth Parliamentary elections since independence. Things did not go well. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been monitoring the election and the run-up period. OSCE had several hundred observers in situ on election day. Although better than previous elections, this time around there were still reports of ballot box stuffing, intimidation, unauthorised people hanging around polling stations, lack of privacy when voting and other irregularities.

unathorised person at polliing station

Now President Shevardnadze faces growing unrest. His party has captured 25% of the vote, higher than any other party. But, the main opposition claims ballot rigging and wants Shevardnadze out, even though he has a year or so to go as President. Protestors have taken to the streets, but violence has so far been avoided.

OSCE apart, even the US Embassy has raised concerns. But, what you may wonder will happen if Shevardnadze is forced out? Will the opposition be recognised by the outside world? Is there potential for more conflict in this struggling country? Remember, part of the country - the Abkhazia region - has de facto self government, although still claimed by Georgia. The country borders the volatile regions of North Ossetia and Chechnya. Georgia has slightly better relations with neighbouring Armenia and Azerbaijan, but relations with Russia are frosty. Add into the mix the presence of US troops engaged in flushing out alleged al-Qaida operatives in the north of Georgia.

Its dangerous geographical position aside, Georgia has a multitude of problems, not helped by rampant corruption and lawlessness. Political institutions are not mature, the courts are government controlled and there is no due process. The country is more or less bankrupt and will, in the future, be beholden to western oil companies who are building a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey through Georgia's territory.

Georgia looks to me a ripe candidate for US client state status. Regime change, anyone?

Not looking too promising.


  1. Taboo:: naughty
  2. Poison:: gas
  3. 1983:: 1984
  4. Tim:: moore
  5. Groovy:: schmoovie
  6. Italy:: toscana
  7. Think:: do make say...
  8. Penthouse:: underwear
  9. Shelter:: homeless
  10. Twinkie:: hostess

Unconscious Mutterings

via Cristal


November is Fotolog month at i am a donut

Sick day: the Fujian 'flu or something. The view from the sofa where I spent the day horizontal - except when trying to type.


Get over to this sick piece of shit and show Tony how much you love him.


1. What food do you like that most people hate?

2. What food do you hate that most people love?
Chewing gum.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you?
Dead, I know, but I never understood the fascination with Princess Di.

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find

I thought unattractive people weren't allowed to be famous (or vice versa). I think Bob Crow, leader of the London Underground union, is usually protrayed in the tabloid press as an ugly, unattractive person. But, he is a guy who stands up for his membership and doesn't take any crap from the pisspore management of the Tube, the Government or even "Cuddly" Ken Livingstone.

5. What popular trend baffles you?


Surfing around the other day, I came across a blog from Manitoba. So, what do you know about Manitoba? It's in the Canadian praries: flat, lots of wheat. Captial: Winnipeg. There's a lake of the same name. The province extends up to the southwestern part of Hudson Bay. Manitobans like hockey. One team goes by the delightful name of the Brandon Wheat Kings. There's a town called Flin Flon.

And, here's some more stuff about Manitoba:

- An upstart wind energy developer said this week it plans to build what could be Canada's largest wind farm in Manitoba, a province known for its ample hydroelectric resources.
- Musician Dan Snaith - aka Manitoba, from er Ontario.
- The population of Manitoba, according to the 2003 Statistics Canada estimate, is 1,162,776.
- ask a Moose: Jaroslav Obsut, to be precise. He's a hockey player with the Manitoba Moose.
- More Moose news: players beaten up in Houston
- It’s an all too common scenario. You’re in the middle of a project and right when you fire up the table saw the breaker goes.
- BEACHES in a prairie province?
- new findings by a University of Manitoba researcher suggest you may be able to tell something about a person by the type of booze they drink. What does he say about tequila?

Thursday, November 06, 2003


November is Fotolog month at i am a donut

Christmas decorations already evident in West Norwood. Phooey! I'll let you know when they switch them on.


I've added a couple of new links (to me) to my blogroll:

Greenpeace blog: Texas Chainsaw Massacre spoof starring GW Bush

Matt's excellent SD and environment site - Killing badgers aids spread of bovine TB

Tom Watson MP (Lab - West Bromwich East (that's a joke, surely (ed))) - Tom on Fireworks

Wednesday, November 05, 2003


There's a couple of new entries at Commuterland.


November is Fotolog month at i am donut.

Last night was the Flaming Lips concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. It was nearly 2 hours of sensory overload, hence the sunglasses and headache pills in the picture.


Who, just less than a year ago, said: "I will never stand again for the leadership of the Conservative Party,"?

Check Tom Watson MP's blog for the answer and more little tidbits about the heir (less) apparent.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


More culture and entertainment this evening as it's off to the Carling Apollo (yech! bad beer, bad venue) to see Time Out cover boys, the Flaming Lips* - possibly the best band ever out of Oklahoma.

Here's hoping that panda has a drink of water beforehand!

Meanwhile, I'm not sure if I would have wanted to be at the Marilyn Manson Kansas City show. Sounds a hoot, but I would have had to sit through Marilyn Manson to get to the riot.

"One person was arrested after trying to run over a traffic officer with his car, and nine police vehicles were damaged." Rock and roll!

* - new version of Flash needed.


Due to London light pollution and British autmnal weather, I have not seen the Northern Lights during the current spectacular geomagnetic storms. So, I have to rely on great shots like the one below, which is now my PC desktop at work.

copyright Chris VenHaus, used with permission

Thanks to Chris VenHaus for letting me use the image.

Get the latest Geomagnetic and aurora forecast here.


Last night, we schlepped up to Islington to the revamped Alemeida Theatre for Neil LaBute's "The Mercy Seat". Let me start by saying however nice the inside of the refurbished Almeida looks, it is bloody uncomfortable. We had to sit for more than an hour and half with no intermission as the temperature (and boredom) rose. My bum hurt.

The play in a nutshell: "Two people (both rather unsympathetic and totally unsuited for each other) ) shout at each other for an hour and 40 minutes against the backdrop of 9/11." This was a break-up play. Ben (played by former Scottish heartthrob John Hannah - stick to cop programmes, mate) is an unpleasant, thick head shagging his older, wiser (yeah, right), slightly bitter boss, Abby (well played Sinead Cusack!). He should have been at the World Trade Center on that Tuesday morning. Instead his mistress was giving him head and now he thinks he can use this event to run away from his wife and kids.

I spent all but the first five minutes thinking: why on earth did these two get together? They have nothing in common. Even the sex is bad. Ben has no true feelings for Abby. Then at the end, emotional retard Ben delivers a cracking little speech exposing his feelings. God, he HAS feelings! Christ, this is a terrible play! And, why get an Irishwoman and a Scotsman putting on bad New Yawk accents? Heck, New York's full of Scots and Irish - quite a few died in 9/11.

Three good points: nice painting hanging in the set; an amusing passage on doggy style sex ("...reading the mattress tag..."; it's convenient so you don't have to look at your partner); and, with good connections on the tube and trains, we were home and in bed by 10:45.

See what the Guardian thought; the Independent view; and, the Times verdict.


November is Fotolog month at i am a donut.

Can't start the day without a cup of Joe.

Update: Fotolog now working, but no comments yet.


British chocolate manufacturer Cadbury Schweppes said yesterday it hopes to chip away at the world's litter mountain with candy packages that dissolve in water.

Eh. Why not make the packaging edible?

Monday, November 03, 2003


It's been too long since a bit of Nigerian scam news. So, good to see this piece about arrests in Australia of all places. Pinched off the ever-weird Dave Barry.


I managed to get a good shot of raindrops on the window panes this morning.

rainy monday morning


Surfing scores
Hawaii Humans 0, Pacific Sharks 1

"A 13-year-old amateur surfing champion was recovering on Saturday from a shark attack that took off her left arm at Haena, on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

"[A] shark estimated at between 12 and 15 feet long.... took a 17-inch-wide bite out of her orange, white and blue surfboard."

The shark, obviously, gave 110%; and, little Bethany is gutted.

Sunday, November 02, 2003


Because nothing is original, I pinched Yorkshire Soul's idea of a quick blogsurf.

Barnga! "The fair and balanced thoughts of a Texas Jewboy on politics, the world, driving, the greatest state in the union and everything else." was my first stop. Someone got here via James's site - probably via Blogsnob. Anyway, James is riled about Dubya and the "infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner". He wrote this a few days before today's news about 15 deaths when a missile downed a US helicopter in Iraq.

Next up Fresh, Hot Wastes of Time "Personal mutterings, squallings, babbling, grunts, moans, and occasionally something intelligent" via Texas blogs. Here I learn that the aurora is visible from Houston. But, of course, not London. Er, also some rather disturbing links to gun sites.

Onwards to Infinitely pie, which contains some good advice: "Take it from me, don't marry an intolerant non-smoker if you're a smoker."

Somebody proclaiming that they're Tampa trash writes Electric Bugaloo. More here about the celestial light show. Damn, I'm pissed I've missed this.

By the power of Blogsnob, it was on to terreus next. Something about the Samhain festival here: a Celtic thing. Also, a nice bit of the McCartney boy, I mean girl, I mean... who cares.

And, that's about it for tonight's wee sojourn.


I only get to post one picture per day as I'm not about to fork over $5 a month.

It was a toss up between cool sunset.
purdy colours!

Or, ironing.
a husband/wife's work is never done

I tried to get a shot of the rain - our first good soaking rain for many a month. The dry spell has, of course, given us a great golden autumn. Well, I didn't get the raindrops. The sunset was golden, but there is a limit to the number of sunset shots you can take.

Saturday, November 01, 2003


Here's one from Russia:

Halloween Banned in Russian Schools

""Experts of the education department, the Public Advisory Board "Education as Mechanism for Forming moral and spiritual culture of the society" attached to the Education Department, researchers of the State Research Institute for family and upbringing at the Russian Education Academy and the Institute of Teaching Innovations at the Russian Education Academy have passed the judgment concerning negative consequences of Halloween for the teaching and educational process and its participants."

Yeah, and you get pesky kids demanding sweets and candy.


Welcome back to the Friday Five.

1. What was your first Halloween costume?
A nasty nylon skeleton outfit.

2. What was your best costume and why?
I think the skeleton was the only one I ever had: I gave up at an early age.

3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat?

4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.)
Moaning about trick-or-treating crossing the Atlantic to the UK!

5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend!
Can't help you here.


More on our man in Tashkent.

"Uzbek human rights activists rallied outside the British embassy yesterday to support the ambassador, Craig Murray, whom they believe is under pressure to resign for being overly critical of Uzbekistan's human rights record."

Pick up the thread here.


I'm sucker for these. Got to get usage out of my digital camera!


November is Fotolog month at i am donut.

Saturday papers on the floor. Reading the paper is part of the Saturday routine. It's usually the only daily paper I read although I dip in on the internet during the week.