scribbles tagged ‘discombobulated’

short termism

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

A sharply frosty new year’s morning. Glowing from a sociable celebration in my local pub, stumbling homeward bound along Love Lane with my first, second and third boyfriend. One boy, a ringer for James Dean:

James Dean Ringer (JDR): will you marry me?

17 yr wendy: Oh! Yes! after I’ve finished my A levels and got my degree

JDR: Why? Why can’t we get married this summer?

wendy: marriage is for life – we’ve got a lifetime to get married. Waiting 4 years is nothing as part of a whole life time. We’ll be able to save up for a home together and I’ll be able to get a job to help out financially

JDR: If you don’t want to marry me this summer, then it’s over

wendy: Huh? Are you serious? I’ll love you whether we’re married or not. I’m not going to marry you as a way to stop you from leaving! If you’re going to leave, you’ll leave, if you want to stay, you’ll stay

I never saw him again. It broke my heart because I didn’t understand how he could propose a lifetime together one moment then leave in the next. Most baffling. In the following years he sent valentines cards from four different continents. I remember him fondly

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Dear god(ess)(‘)(s)

Friday, January 27th, 2012 | tags: , ,  |

Please could you arrange for good ideas to arrive with clear steps on how to realise their potential.

Yesterday a good idea arrived like a large flock of  rooks attempting to roost in a rather small woodshed – a lot of wing flapping, sqwarking –  unnecessary fuss. It’s a tad discombobulating.

I don’t mind a wee bit of searching, calming, ducking, cleaning, sorting and praising. But it woud be rather nice to have the occassional good idea arrive as a yellow brick road with time for me to walk tall, breath deeply and wear a stylish pair of sunglasses as the idea unfolds.

Thank you, yours sincerely, wendy-flocking-a-fab-inspiration

dawn flocking


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Loughborough is full

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

I called 6  hotels, all fully booked, none knew of other local hotels with spaces…

In desperation I discovered that Loughborough had a tourist information centre with a telephone number!  The automated answer machine message told me that the answer machine was ‘full’ – unable to take any more messages

Apparantly, the local University’s “Freshers Week” has filled the town to bursting

A lucky call connected me to a working-mens club, converted into the sort of hotel that has permanent residents. Bargain price. Such a bargain I knew it was seedy before even seeing the place

Which of these hotel services do you think I tried out?Sunshine hotel room charges

I didn’t add any holes in the doors, judging by the holes already there – they come at a discout rate if you bulk-buy:

Sunshine hotel room

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time for creative driving

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Continue to West Street? Where is West Street?

Follow the pink line? What do I do when I get to the junction of High Street and Back lane?

Or should I go the other direction, the way Thomas is facing, away from Back lane?

Time for creative driving

which way?

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Anglo Saxon is not European – Shock!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 | tags: ,  |

European or Anglo Saxon?   Mutually exclusive groups?

A European Union  funded research project called investigating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) describes the companies that participated in their research as being either:

  • North European
  • South European
  • Anglo Saxon

(e.g. table 18 page 49  in Final Report)

Do you think they included some USA registered US English speaking  companies and labeled them Anglo Saxon?  

How would they classify a company with its Headquarters in the Netherlands that uses Anglo Saxon English as its main business language,   North, South or Anglo Saxon?  

How did they label  any companies registered in Northern Germany  –  pure Saxon? or did they exclude them?

Does ‘Eastness’ and ‘Westness’ not make a difference?   Given the radical differences of the social philosophy influenceing Western and Eastern European countries I would have suspected differences in their attitudes, behaviours and sesitivity to ladybird stings.

Time for another cup of tea.

This is an example of the type of thing that keeps me entertained and (un)productive during a normal working day.   What works for you?

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astronomical time

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 | tags:  |

what’s a second here or there?   Its the difference between counting time based on an absolute benchmark of

  • planetary movement, astronomical time.
  • Caesium atom movement,   oscilations.

Astronomical time is based on the  earth’s rotation.   But the earths rotation is noticably slowing-down.   Clocks are sometimes adjusted by seconds at the turn of the year to account for the difference.   According to the London Times online boffins at an international level are not happy about this fiddling.   Apparantly this fiddling

“irritates some scientists who say that leap seconds create confusion and can cause software crashes”

As far as I can tell this involved  the choice of   either

stick with  astronomical time and maintain

  1. the risk of breaking software.
  2. irritated scientists.
  3. time being slightly imprecise.
  4. debates about how and when to adjust for the slowing of the earths rotation.
  5. the relationship between time and experiential cycles such as night/day,   seasons,   noon being the point when the sun is highest in the sky etc.

or switch to Caesium atom  oscilations and avoid items 1 though 6 listed above.

Apart from a second at  midnight tonight have I missed any part of the argument?

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park or enter

Sunday, October 5th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Medical Museum,  Ambulances onlyA couple of signs outside of the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Medical museum left me completely discombobulated for all of 10 minutes.   How do these signs work together,   if at all?

Ambulances only

  • as Medical Museum exhibits?
  • as Medical museum visitors?
  • Can park when delivering  Medical Museum guests?
  • Can park outside the medical museum but their occupants have more pressing engagements than exploring the undoubtedly fascinating preceding accoutrements of their current treatments.

The Royal Berkshire Hospital building facade is very impressive.   Provision of a museum to enlighten the locals is a very thoughtful addition.

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Popular conversational topics #3: kitty settling

Monday, July 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

“how are the cats settling in?”

Thankyou to everyone who  inquired after the wellbeing of my darling  fluffballs.   I am happy to confirm that they have quickly adapted to this Wendy House and are exhibiting a full range of healthy fluff-ball-ee activities,   most notable of which is the Monaco-ish,   formula-1-ish speed and agility,   dangerous-staircase dash.

Dangerous-staircase dash

Starts in the garden where Sampo cues-up Matrix by strutting backward and forward in front of her just out of paws reach.   Next,  Sampo runs for the front-door gathering sufficient speed to arrive before Matrix,    maintaining sufficient control to take the entrance-hall-front-room 90 degrees doorway-bend.   Occassionally Sampo misses the bend and ends up in the bathroom where she is cornered by Matrix and has clearly lost the chase.   After several months of practice she has the hall-front-room doorway-bend almost fully mastered.

The subtle curve on the approach to the foot of the stairs occassionally causes loss of footing on the bare floorboards and is invariably accompanied by liberal doses of meowing from both teams.   The main course-obstacle is the dangerous-staircase u-turn.   The dangerous-staircase u-turn either involves a headlong crash into the front-room wall for those missjudging their momentum,   or falling down the first couple of steps for those misjudging their paw-friction.   Sampo tends to crash into the wall due to belly-induced-momentum,   Matrix tends to slip on the steps.   Once past the first few steps,   if Sampo is still ahead of Matirx she’s pounces  safely to the finish line on the first-floor landing and is ready to start the next round.     Fresh water,   views of local trees and birds are provided on the landing at the end of the course for the competing kitties.

The cats are regularly able and willing to practice this tricky F1 course on a daily basis  often  changing  chaser-chasee roles and investigating route variations including the dinning room table top,   sofa-bends and comfy chair corner.

Ringside tickets are available.

Corporate bookings and sponsorship considered.

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easily confused

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

sixty-second in  as unstructured  Wednesday series of posts explaining  my singleness.

Reason #62: easily confused.  

The not being single thing is  all way too complicated.   My theory is that when it isn’t complicated then that’s the right match for me!   Slam dunk,  I’ll know because its all effortless and unconfusing.   It will be like an atronought landing on planet Wendy.

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room for more tea rooms

Thursday, July 5th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

thirty-ninth in a series of posts explaining the complexities of tea taken English style.

Thursday Tiffin #39: room for more tea rooms

As we’ve seen, the US is beginning to pick-up tea as a fad.   The clues are the burgeoning brands and boxes,   the  promises of healthy outcomes,   and  new team rooms.   “Taste the moment” in Redmond is a new tea room.    The excellent service and food is not  cheap,  but I would go again for a special occasion with friends who like well presented food to try out the more substantive items on the menu.     Even though it should carry a warning about the rose infested  decor.

I dropped in on a Friday afternoon at 3.30pm for afternoon tea wearing jeans with my hair scrapped back and a sloppy jumper hanging off my shoulder.  Given my aversion to decoration that includes roses and pink,  I had to force myself into this place.  It definitely looks like it’s touting for the custom of the Red Hat Society or rich Redmond Wives and Girlfriends.  I am not a part of either group.

I was the only customer and clearly not dressed for the venue.  The well-dressed lady with a foreign accent that greated me and made me feel at home was wonderful.  She found a magazine for me to read and explained that the Chef had just popped out so she would be preparing my order herself.  She did a fabulous job.  I had the signature tea for $15.95 – Tea pot, fresh fruit,  pancakes, scone,  croissant,  sponge-cake craime-fresh and jam.  Yummy.     It was presented as if it was being entered in a beauty competition,   in stark contrast to my self-presentation.

As you can imagine, I was very impressed by the lack of roses on the teacups,  teapot and table-clothes.  An outstanding achievement.  I was baffled by the lack of Darjeeling,  Assam or Ceylon on the tea menu.  But with the other USA standard mixes like ‘English Breakfast’ and “Earl Grey’ providing comforting safe options for an unadventurous moody,  grumpy grouch such as myself,  I left the place a happy bunny

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fermentation based tea taxonomy

Thursday, June 14th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

thirty-six in a series of  posts explaining the taxing complexities of taking tea.

Thursday Tiffin #36:    tea taxonomy revisited

According to the USDA  there are “three major classes of teas known as green, black, and oolong“.     This classification matches manufacturers labeling and  is easier to follow than one based on  colour.   The USDA  classification  system is based on the  relative time that  harvested leaves are fermented in the air rather than being attributable to plant genus,  brew colour,    geography, or the maturity of the leaves when picked.  

manufacturers carefully control whether, and for how long, tea leaves are exposed to air, a process called fermentation. When fermentation is completely arrested, the tea stays “green” or yellowish brown. When fermentation time is long, the leaves darken and become “black” tea. Somewhere in between these two extremes, “oolong” tea is created

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scientific citrus

Saturday, April 28th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

The combined science of citrus and ginger”  

Citrus is Science?  

Ginger is Science?  

These two ‘Sciences’ can be combined?  

Its enough to confuse a person into tripping up and bumping her nose on the floor.   Do they mean ‘good effects’   the good effects of citrus combined with the good effects of ginger?   If that is what they mean then I can continue walking without a nose bleed.   I can’t be sure.     It gets worse.   Exfoliating body scrub?     I can scrub my body without exfoliating it?    Sometimes I can be so pathetic without noticing it.    

science = good effect  

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Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

twenty-fifth post in  a  confusing  Wednesday series  of “why wendy’s single“.    

Reason # 25: discombobulating

My use of the English English language,   sentence construction,   grammar and idiosyncratic spelling can prove just too discombobulating for many local boys.   Should I start conversing in standard conversational American?

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confusing colour tea taxonomy

Thursday, January 4th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

thirteenth in a  confusingly colourful series of  Thursday posts about taking tiffin with (black, white, green, red) tea  in the NW USA.

Thursday Tiffin #13 confusing colour tea taxonomy

  • Red tea:   According to Wikipedia red tea is actually black tea,   with the exception of the South African Rooibos which isn’t actually a tea, just as herbal and plant infusions are not actually teas.    
  • Green tea:   According to Wikipedia black tea is a type of Green tea.   I think that makes Darjeeling a green tea that is a black tea and also a red tea.   But I can’t be certain because I’m ever-so-slightly CONFUSED.
  • White tea: According to Wikipedia white tea is often a subset of juvenile  green teas   before  they’ve matured into green. It looks like Ceylon tea can be black, red and white all at the same time.  
  • Black tea: according to wikipedia black tea is the true tea and different from green tea.   It’s not clear if Black and Green teas are mutually exclusive categories.   The phrase black tea is used to refer to tea that doen’t have milk mixed with it.   This could include Green teas.   Before I came to the US the phrase black tea meant ‘without milk’   now I know better.   Now I know enought to know that I’m CONFUSED.

I have to say that the colour based categorisation isn’t really working for me.   Excel has kindly offered to work on producing a chart  that makes the whole colourful tea experience more Wendy-friendly.  


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high spirited eggnog

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Initially baffled by what to do with my bottle of industrial cleaner capacity alcohol, I’ve now found a seasonal use.  

Spice up the hot eggnog.   Yummy.   Cheers everyone..

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pluckiness and hugs

Monday, October 23rd, 2006 | tags:  |

wendy: I think I *ucked it up a little  bit on that one

I’m a bit animated and lively because

  • I’m in the middle of being passionate  about something.    
  • I had wanted to do a perfect job and didn’t quite manage it.

I don’t normally swear.  I noticed what I thought was a look of shock on my client’s face,    realised I’d sworn and emitted a little embarressed giggle.

Client:   it is soooooo good to hear you say that!

WHAT?      You mean my accent is so cute that hearing Anglo Saxon naughty words is a treat?   Client spontaneously hugs me. Wah! That just doesn’t happen at work.   She’s opened herself up to the possibility of  a sexual harrasment lawsuit.   Hooray!    That was plucky.    I like a large dose of pluckiness with hugs all round.   She recognizes that I’m not sure why she is so pleased and explains

Client:   it is good to know you  noticed it went wrong.

* f

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when does stopped turn into loitering?

Friday, October 13th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

This signpost confused me.   We stopped,   I took a photograph,   was taking a photograph tantamount to loitering?  

Stop. No loitering




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soul mining showers

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Mining:   turn of the century miners needed powerful water-pressure to blast the grime out of all known and unknown orifices.  knock-you-over, spray-everything in the room,  water-jets produce a numbing, heavenly, massage that pummels dead surface skin from your body and down the plug-hole.   It’s the kind of shower you take when you’re actually clean for the sheer pleasure of it.   These showers covered three states:

  • Idaho (Silver)  
  • Montana (copper, silver, gold, zinc, lead, manganese, cadmium, bismuth, selenium)  
  • Black hills of South Dakota (Silver, Gold,   Gems)

In blast-you-away soul cleansing priority order these were our top shower experiences:

Cowboy: As we moved into the flatlands of the high plains showers lost their skin-stripping power becoming merely powerful.   Shower spray lost some breadth.   Still superior to the average city shower they surely worked to strip  the dust and pollen from a cowboy’s thighs.   This thought alone inspired a sufficiently pleasant experience to keep me lingering in the shower  beyond mere physical cleanliness.

Trucking:   these showers are located in low-cost motels placed by the Interstate in areas that are not set-up to blast miners clean or strip the dust  from cowboys.   Sweat removing  showers.   They are pleasant.   A good shower in a city normally meets trucking shower quality.

Tourist: got some mucky children?   Then just chuck them in this nice little shower with a pretend-bath at the bottom and use our pretty motel supplied soap to foam-up and splish-splash away the dirt.   A basic satisficing experience.   All the sensual pleasure replaced by eye-candy accessories.

Toy:   now these showers in a gas-station restroom baffled the socks off me.   They were only good for washing feet,   or maybe they are b-day’s?    Waste of space unless you’ve got smelly feet or a squitty bum.

 shorty by the door

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cargo pants parade

Sunday, July 9th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

A local celebration of specialness involved walking around in khaki cargo pants demonstrating evidence of fertility (children) herded on bicycles.   At least,    that’s what it looked like to me.   Me = Furriner.

Cargo pants on parade

I was baffled by the city parade today.   “What are we celebrating?” No-one seemed to know.   “It’s Derby Days“,   “What’s that?”.   The sheer abundance of khaki cargo pants was overwhelming.   Is there a conspiracy to reduce visual diversity?  Even women appear to wear variations on the theme.   In this city the dress trends appear to conspire to dampen evidence of diversity.

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in convienient

Sunday, May 28th, 2006 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Our Barcelonean correspondent, Eyan,  wants to know about the Microsoft Word selection of Synonyms for that naughty word:

Why isn’t toilet in the Word synonyms dictionary for British English? Are we being coy? Sweeping things under the carpet again?

I think it’s outrageous 🙂 Toilet water and toilet block are there, but no toilet. What is a guy to do ? It’s there for US English, but not for British English.

I’m baffled,   I’ll have to rest in a room for a while to wonder whether the water closet (WC) should come out of the closet and declare itself a toilet  

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us financial centre

Saturday, May 20th, 2006 | tags:  |

US Bank uses UK spelling. Confused me.   I’m easily confused.

US Bank Centre
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not resident, resident, alien

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006 | tags: ,  |

I have spent at least 350 days per year in the USA    across the last  6 years.   I am legally in the USA but I’m not legally recognised as  ‘resident’ here. Huh?

A US bank gave me a mortgage on a residential property 6 years ago.   I have ‘lived’ 6 years in that property as my primary residence.   I am legally in the USA but I’m not ‘resident’ here. Excuse me?

I pay taxes and social secuirty  to the US government, no other government.   I am legally in the USA but I’m not ‘resident’ here. I’m not entitled to any Social Security benefits for my 6 years of payments. I will never be entitled to  anything for those 6 years payments to a US government infrastructure.

I   have 2 work-permits and one ‘entry visa’   (Greencard Advanced Parole).     I’m not really ‘resident’ here.   Am I?

I am easily confused.

I  am confused.

I am



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Polite, annotated, and merely strange, public signs…

Monday, March 21st, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

UK Vacation 2

Temporary paper signs are often used to show when something is not working. They seem to come with HIGHLIGHTED apologies. These paper signs are ‘updated’ by helpful people. In the lift (elevator) someone has hand written directions to a working lift around the corner. We ignored the sign and discovered the lift was actually working…

The sign about “not entering the waterjust tickled my sense of humour. I’d never thought of ‘entering‘ or ‘exiting’ water before. Describing the water as “not suitable for any other purpose” also made me wonder what people used it for, surely it has an aesthetic purpose? And where’s the harm in a playful summer water-fight? If its not suitable for anything then why is it there? Or is aesthetic not a valid public ‘purpose’? This municipal, metal, sign also had spikes on the lampost above it. Do they have problems with people climbing the lampost? why is that a problem to be deterred? Lampost climbing seems like a difficult, skillful and healthy activity. Maybe the spikes are some form of aesthetic that I haven’t yet learned to appreciate. I was mildly baffled by this. I suspect I will spend most of my life being mildly baffled by social engineering

Pay on foot” also took a while to understand, as I looked around for a foot to pay…

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