Thursday, April 30, 2009


Two things to know about me:
1.) I'm English
2.) My brain thinks I'm constantly in a particularly witty episode of Frasier

I live in Philadelphia but I grew up in England and have come to notice some distinct differences in the way people say thank you over here versus over there. So you do someone a favour and you (usually) get a fairly ernest 'thanks' or 'thank you'... Boring! Some people have even taken to yelling it which confuses the fuck out of me. Are you just showing me your wide-eyed teeth-baring gratitude? Are you about to tackle me and punch your thank-yous into my brain? Why are you shouting at me??!!
I've always been a fan of the quintessentially English variations on the theme. But whenever I've tried using 'Nice one mate', 'Ta muchly' or the especially droll 'Murcky buckets' I'm greeted with a face equivalent to looking closely at a canteloupe melon.
Are there any other ways of saying thank you that have that East-coast flavour? I just thought of 'thanks buddy' but that's something I could never say. Unless your name really is Buddy and you do me a huge solid.

It could be that expressions of gratitude come in the form of returning the favour - somehow that seems more American to me. One of my neighbours is always bringing over left over food. That's not as disgusting as it initially sounds. She's in the catering business and she brings over really good food from parties they've catered. A former neighbour used to refurbish guns in his basement so after helping him with, well, whatever he asked for, I knew my house was now under his protective (if somewhat frightening) shroud. Even though he was probably the only gun owner in the area...

Anyway, having thought about it, perhaps it says a lot more than I realised about my American friends that they make such grand offerings for the little favours I do for them. As long as they don't mind a 'Cheers mate' in return from me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Radical Tele-marketers and my fatal error

Phone rings - we don't recognise the number.
Wife: Hello.... [sighs impatiently] We're on the do not call list, can you take us off your list please?
Hangs up. 3 mins later, the phone rings again.
Wife: Hello. You just called us, take us off your list!
Hangs up. 4 mins later, the phone rings again.
Me: I'll take this one. Hello.
Telemarketer: Hello, this is Daljit from Dish Network, we would like to offer you...
Me: Hang on there sunshine, you've just called us 3 times and we've asked you to take us off your list. Why do you keep calling?
Telemarketer: We can offer an improved television service - who is your current provider?
Me: We're happy with our provider and we're not interested in your offer. We've told you to take us off your list. What's your name? I want to speak to your manager
Telemarketer: There is no manager
Me: What?
Telemarketer: There is no manager here
Me: Then how do I complain about you?

Telemarketer: You can go to the dish network website. But that won't do anything, so what are you going to do?
Me: ...Wh...What?!
Telemarketer: Complaining won't do anything, so what are you going to do?
Me: I don't believe this. Listen, stop calling us! We're not interested.
Telemarketer: We can offer a cheaper service - who is your provider?
Me: Oh my god, he's still trying to sell us stuff! Listen, this isn't a good time so why don't you give me your home number and I'll call you back
Telemarketer: Er, I can't do that
Me: Oh, I guess you don't want strange people calling you at your home?
Telemarketer: Yes
Me: Well, now you know how I feel

I hang up and bask in my Seinfeld rip off glory. But more importantly, what is this new strategy by Dish Network? Are they getting their telemarketers to undermine the unsuspecting public to the point of submission? Do they have a handbook that says 'Don't let a little thing like complaints get in the way of trying to sell them our product. They're in America, you're in India - they can't touch you'.

So a few days later, I make a rash judgement which leads to my embarrassment.

Phone rings - we don't recognise the number.
Me: Hello

Me: Helllloooo?
Me: [Sigh] Dammit, it's those guys again. Listen, fuckwit, stop calling us!
Wife: What if it's your parents or something?
Me: Nah, it's not them, the caller ID number wasn't right.
I hang up.
1 minute later, the phone rings.
Me: Hello
Mum: Hello son.
Me: Hi. Er, was that you on the phone before?
Mum: Yes
Me: Did you hear me.
Mum: Yes, I could hear you but you couldn't hear me
Me: Oh. Oops. These telemarketers keep calling us and I thought...oh, never mind.

She found the whole thing funny which was nice for me. But those Dish Network guys should really have to answer for that embarrassment. And trust me, you don't want to have to answer to my mother...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Red sky at night....the barn's on fire

Incredible Sunset
Originally uploaded by Noopinphilly

I just found out I can post my flickr photos directly to The Noopster. So here's a rather fetching sunset in Ohio. I'm saving the video of K riding a mechanical bull in New Orleans for her birthday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Not only is their new album (The Seldom Seen Kid) a beautifully crafted letter of intimacy but they have a remarkable knack of inciting sad reflection whilst lifting you with hints of soaring optimism. Elbow have release 4 albums now and I really hope they reach the global heights they deserve. You can't help but smile listening to Newborn; Fugitive Motel speaks to everyone who's been away from their loved one for a long time; from the new album, Weather To Fly makes you want to lift off the ground and bathe in sunlight; then there's Scattered Black & Whites - close your eyes with this playing in your ears and tell me you don't feel like a kid again.
I'm spreading the gospel across the States - find these albums. Come to me and I'll give them to you. Play them whenever you're travelling from A to B. Let it wash over you and your day will be all the better for it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Today's quote

"I was on a very strong horse tranquilizer today; Wasn't waving hello to anybody. Except... maybe to a horse."

NOLA frolicks

This is from our recent trip to New Orleans. K was there for a conference on Personality Assessment and I got to tag along for fun. An afternoon beer in the sunshine goes a long way - especially when you'd otherwise be in an office.
N.O is a fantastic city where its still thriving. The cab driver told us about all of the business that are still unable to re-open and the corporations that have left because of the lack of infrastructure. It was really sad to see how depressed parts of the city still are - almost three years later! Where's the bastard government?!!


I've been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately and have found a whole slew of people who run their own blogs/sites and it's inspiring to see how connected they are (with others, not necessarily themselves). Two words: Guy Kawasaki. Pistachio seems to be in perpetual motion - brilliant. Then of course, there's the diminutive Bloggess. I like your style, guys.
Without getting too ponderous and meandering about where inspiration comes from and all that bollocks, I'm basically saying, it worked. And so it goes...