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The diaTribe blog is our occasional take on life, the universe and everything. Observations on current affairs, the environment, politics, humour and music/gig reviews. Travel diary and extreme sports stories, along with the usual rants/raves are also chucked in for good measure.

August 2008
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Monthly Archives: August 2008

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Reciprocity on Republicans

Hurricane Gustav 2008

A few days back, a particularly dim Republican God-botherer called the “Rev.” James Dobson (interestingly, an anagram of his name is:”Demon Ass Job” lol) asked his so-called “Christian” parish to pray that torrential rain would disrupt Obama’s acceptance speech, at the Democratic convention in Denver.

But it seems that the Lord got a mite pissed off with that request.

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August the 20th is always a tough day. It’s the anniversary of my brother’s death and I always phone home. It’s hard to hear your mum cry from 7,000 miles away and not be able to give her a hug.

David was born in October 1968 with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines and of course has a major effect on virtually every aspect of it’s victim’s life. At the time, there wasn’t a lot known about this disease even by doctors and he was mis-diagnosed for the first two years of his life as suffering from colds, flu, suppressed immune system, asthma and God knows what else, before a canny GP referred my worried parents to a consulting professor at Auckland Hospital, who was delving into CF and recognized the symptoms.

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Olympic Flame - Salt Lake City, Utah (Winter 2002)

Anyone who knows me will tell you that in general I couldn’t care less about the Olympics.

While I can appreciate the commitment and self sacrifice that individual participants make in order to be the best they can be (and if at all possible, the best in the world), I loathe the inevitable dirty politics, shady dealings and backhanders that are now so interwoven into the whole spectacle, that they’ve actually become part of the fabric.

When was the last time we had an Olympic games not marred by drugs scandals, huge cost over-runs, civil right clamp-downs, forced relocations or environmental issues?

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Employee Benefits on a new scale.


Judging by today’s police raid on a cannabis factory in Nottinghamshire, the union of illegal drug producers has scored some major concessions recently.

The ex-chicken factory apparently had separate rooms for staff quarters – each with their own flat screen TV. There was even a fully equipped gym!

All they needed was a profit-sharing scheme, a couple of team building junkets and an annual BBQ (complete with bouncy castle for the kids) and they would have been the envy of downtrodden workers throughout the country!

Maybe I need to negotiate extra benefits when my contract comes up for

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British businesses (specialising in being naff)

Heathrow Baggage Reclaim

Yesterday, I had a light-hearted dig at a number of American chainstore franchises, which I think are pretty naff. A possibly-American reader, identifying himself only as “Dave”, took slight exception to this and pointed out that on this side of the pond, we aren’t much better.

While Dave seems to have missed the joke (that Australians occasionally have surprisingly good taste – honestly, it’s no fun if you have to *explain* it!) he’s absolutely right.

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News Flash! Aussies have some good taste!

Starbucks - Brisbane, Australia

Why do Australians call XXXX ‘four-X’? Cos they can’t spell “Koala p*ss”.

What’s the definition of Australian Foreplay? “You awake Sheila?”.

(I’m stopping there before I get lots of hate mail, full of sheep jokes) wink

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Rant: British Gas – Adding insult to injury

Light Bulb

I’d like to think this could only in the UK, but I suspect that’s not true…

Yesterday, I reported on how Centrica / British Gas had jacked up it’s prices by 35%, less than 24 hours after it revealed it made almost a billion quid operating profit in 6 months.

Unbelievably, when I got home this evening there was a package from British Gas sitting on my doorstep. The package contained…wait for it…four long-life light bulbs, and a booklet containing energy saving tips (which were mostly straight out the the bleeding-obvious manual).

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