Saturday, February 25, 2006


A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

''House'' for instance, is feminine: ''la Casa.'' ''Pencil,'' however, is masculine: "el lapis

A student asked, ‘‘what gender is 'computer'?''

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether ''computer'' should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that ''computer'' should definitely be of the feminine gender because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had only waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

West Midlands Liberal Democrats Regional Conference & Leadership Hustings

Yesterday I was busy at the West Midlands Liberal Democrats Regional Conference & Leadership Hustings. The morning was just like any usual regional conference this year we had Sarah Bond from the Federal Conference Committee come to address conference about access to events at Federal Conferences after the difficulties that people especially those with disabilities had at Blackpool in Autumn 2005. We also had a session on the new PPC Selection rules which were agreed by English Council in November 2005 and our guest speaker in the morning was Vincent Cable MP the Liberal Democrats Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. My main tasks during the morning were setting up the LDYS stall and helping Colin Ross with the training.

We ran some training for Moving Forward Seats on development plan and campaign plans. Colin led the morning session on campaign plans and I was lucky enough to lead the afternoon session on development plans. This was the first time I did some training after being accredited by the party and I really enjoyed it and hope to do some more soon. Although I will have to get some feedback from Colin on how I can improve before my next session. During the morning I spent very little time in main hall due to my late arrival and time spent catching up with Richard Burt former Liberal Democrat PPC for Shrewsbury & Atcham and Stuart Ritchie former Press Officer for Liz Lynne MEP.

My lunch break was spent working with West Midlands Liberal Democrats Chair Tracey O'Brien and Heather Kidd West Midlands Liberal Democrats Executive Officer going through the plan for the hustings and putting the many questions submitted into the order in which we planned to ask them.

This was a very unusual West Midlands Liberal Democrats Regional Conference but was one which I really enjoyed as usual it was great to meet up with fellow Liberal Democrats from across the West Midlands but I also had the opportunity to meet the Leadership contenders and due to my involvement in hustings I also had the opportunity to speak to all of them for a short time. I look forward to hearing our new leader speak at the Liberal Democrats Spring UK Conference in Harrogate on Friday 3rd March.

I know that some people have already voted and others will be voting on the basis of what they saw and heard yesterday in yesterday in Coventry, however if you are still undecided or want to read a little more before deciding you may wish to visit the links below before deciding

I also have a pdf copy of "Why should young Liberal Democrats vote for you as party leader?" if anyone (young or old) would like a copy please to do not hesitate to call or email me to ask for it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

39 Phrases of Wisdom

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. Don't worry about what people think they don't do it very often.

3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.

4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of cheques.

12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.

13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

25. It ain't the jeans that make your butt look fat.

26. If you had to identify, in 1 word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, & never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

27. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

28. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

29. You should not confuse your career with your life.

30. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

31. Never lick a steak knife.

32. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

33. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

34. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

35. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

36. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

37. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

38. Your friends love you anyway.

39. Thought for the day:
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic

Monday, February 13, 2006

Alex Wilcock on the Leadership Candidates

Alex Wilcock has started a new blog Love and Liberty on it he looks at the three Liberal Democrat Leadership contenders Chris Huhne, Simon Hughes and Ming Campbell.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Oxfam Youth Board

Oxfam Youth Board is looking for six fun, creative, committed 16-25 year olds to join its Youth Board from April 2006.

As a Youth Board member, you will play an important role in advising Oxfam on the best ways to reach out to other young people around the UK and encourage them to get involved with Oxfam.

The Candidates will have an interest in Oxfam and the issues it works on and empathise with Oxfam’s overall mission statement of Alleviating Poverty and Suffering.

Positions on Oxfam’s Youth Board are voluntary. We ask for a two-year commitment from members to ensure the board can make a real impact, however, you will only be required to attend board meetings three times a year and carry out a small amount of project work.

Oxfam will cover travel expenses to and from meetings.

We want young people from all backgrounds to apply in order to ensure the Youth Board represents the diversity of youth in the UK.

If you are interested, please email for an application pack or contact Adam Askew on 01865 472349 for more information. If you want us to provide your parents /carers/partners with more information about the Youth Board please get in touch.

The closing date for applications is February 24th 2006.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Below is an actual letter sent to a Bank in the United States. The Bank Manager thought it amusing enough to circulate it and so do we.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations some three nanoseconds musthave elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire salary, and arrangement which, I admit, has only been in place for eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account by $50 by way of penalty for the inconvenience I caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. You have set me on the path of fiscal righteousness.

No more will our relationship be blighted by these unpleasant incidents, for I am restructuring my affairs in 2002, taking as my model the procedures, attitudes and conduct of your very bank.? I can think of no greater compliment and I know you will be excited and proud to hear it. To this end, please be advised of the following changes:

I have noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, ever-changing, prerecorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will, therefore and hereafter, no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your branch whom you must nominate.

You will be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course I will issue your employee a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let me level the playing field even further by introducing you to my new telephone system, which you will notice, is very much like yours.

My Authorized Contact at your bank, the only person with whom I will have any dealings, may call me at any time and will be answered by an automated voice service:

Press buttons as follows:

1. To make an appointment to see me.
2. To query a missing payment.
3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. The password will be communicated at a later date to the Authorized? Contact.
8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

While this may on occasion involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call. This month I've chosen a refrain from "The Best of Woodie Guthrie: "Oh, the banks are made of marble, With a guard at every door, And the vaults are filled with silver, that the miners sweated for."

On a more serious note, we come to the matter of cost. As your bank has often pointed out, the ongoing drive for greater efficiency comes at a cost which you have always been quick to pass on to me.

Let me repay your kindness by passing some costs back. First, there is a matter of advertising material you send me. This I will read for a fee of $20 per page. Inquiries from the Authorized Contact will be billed at $5 per minute of my time spent in response. Any debits to my account, as, for example, in the matter of the penalty for the dishonored check, will be passed back to you.

My new phone service runs at 75 cents a minute. You will be well advised to keep your inquiries brief and to the point.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever-so-slightly less prosperous, New Year?

Your Humble Client,
(Name Withheld)