Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm Rambling - Even More Than Usual !

I'm not sure if it's the weather (dammit I only managed 6 words before mentioning it) or the time of year or my advanced years but I'm in a rambling frame of mind today.

It's been raining here recently and although that's not blogworthy in it's own right, it all adds to my state of mind.  No cheap shots, Daffy !

When it rains here, it really rains.  Not quite of biblical proportions but enough to displace critters from their natural habitat.  When you've seen a couple of small gators floating past the house, scrambling to get a foothold on the tarmac, you KNOW it's been raining hard.  The park turtles are much more serene about it and they look like WWII helmets shooting past the window.  They take it in their stride because basically they can't do much else about it. They go with the flow. The gators could learn a thing or two from them. Chill fellas.

The time of year reference is all about the clocks going back......or "falling back" as that expression helps Americans to remember which way the clocks go. Spring forward, Fall back.  All clever stuff.  In the UK our clocks go back this weekend.  Oh they go back in other countries as well but that's not important now.  In the US, they go back a week later and so for this week, the UK is only 4 hours ahead (that's AHEAD, Mr. Plague) of our US cousins.  I hope they realised this when setting up the tv schedules for the NFL game that is being played on Sunday at Wembley. These things are important over here you know, although tuning in an hour early for an  NFL game might not be such a bad thing for the advertisers. 

Ohhhh a little bit controversial there, Silverback !

By the way, while I'm in this rambling mood, I've had numerous readers asking me about the reason why I picked Silverback as my id on here.  So for both of you, here we go.  It has nothing to do with gorillas.  Or software applications.  It's a make of 5th Wheel.  You see I used to have a 30ft travel trailer here called a Mallard and for a while I used that name.  Not quite the image I wanted though.  Then we traded up to a 5th Wheel and Silverback as an id seemed like a much better idea.  So I became Silverback.  Now you know.

In the UK I drive a Clio.  Don't even go there.

Moving on, last night I finally watched one of my downloaded movies - Michael Moore's Sicko.  This documentary compares the US medical system with those like in the UK and France (and even Cuba) which have 'free' healthcare for all.  As usual with his movies, he gave a one sided view of many aspects of all these systems but even so, it was a disturbing insight into aspects of healthcare here but one that shouldn't have come as a surprise to US watchers.  They live it after all.  

What may have amazed them was how things can be so much better in other countries. Americans, by and large, assume that they live in the best country in the world. They sing about it at every opportunity.  Even in the middle of the 8th innings of the current World Series.  Even during a pool party here in Buttonwood Bay.  They love their country and boast about it all the time. That's fair enough but they don't seem to realise there are MANY other countries out there.  

I was going to say MANY other countries out there that have things better than they have.  But the previous statement stands on it's own. There are MANY other countries out there.  Honest.  They might not have a clue where they are geographically but ones with better healthcare systems. Better holiday entitlement.  Better working conditions.  Better benefits for new parents.  Better education.  And so on.

But it's not a pissing contest.  I love many aspects of American life otherwise I'd not want to be here for half the year.  The Americans I know are open and friendly to an extent rarely seen in the UK.  And yes I know that's only in my experience but after all, that's all I can talk about with any authority.  So maybe Sicko needs to be seen by all Americans NOT just to let them know about how healthcare can work much better elsewhere, but that 'elsewhere' actually exists and that in many ways, 'elsewhere' can be better than here.  Bit of a shocker, I know.  I'm not sure most are ready for this reality check.

Hey it's not raining now.  The gators are probably back in the lake and ponds and the turtles may be back there by next week. An hour either way won't make much difference to them.

But it does to me.  Leeds play mid week (7:45pm UK time) so I need to be aware of the new 4 hour time difference and start listening at 3:45pm and not 2:45pm. Or should that be 4:45pm ?  S'all very confusing. I'll be glad when we're back in sync again.

Then the UK will be back to having a disasterous day on the stock markets 5 hours before they have one over here. 

It's good to know we're ahead of the US in something !!!


Daphne said...

I like Michael Moore - - always interesting even if one-sided (though I often agree with his side!)And Sicko sounds interesting too. I was surprised to find out how little holiday entitlement they have in America - perhaps many Americans just don't know how much they get in European countries.

rhymeswithplague said...

Good post. We lived in Boca Raton for six years (it's in Palm Beach County) and got to used to walking catfish (yes, you read that correctly) migrating between ponds, even crossing roads, during heavy downpours. Seems they were introduced from Asia.

You made me laugh out loud when, in talking about the turtles, you actually said "go with the flow!" Good one!!

Milo said...

You know how in the UK we're quite prone to saying "only in America...!" usually in a mildly condescending way?

Read this and just that thought sprung to mind!

Let it never be said they're not entreupenurial on that side of the world.

CLS said...

I despise Michael Moore - would live to see him living/working in some other coutry. (Please understand that it is very hot and sticky here in Florida today when reading this)
Can't wait for the result of this election! We here in the confused USofA have let so many 'foreigners' in that we won't have control over the result of this one! Y'all talk of entitlments - say that sounds just like Barak Obama !!! We are gonna' wind up with "entitlments" - - now watch the F$%#ing immigration - legal and illegal.
I am a veteran and am extremely proud to be a citizen of my country it is true - -but I am also tired of the US having to 'rescue' everybody - - in the future I believe we should wait and see what France gives and then match it! Of course, there's you lot on that island - for some reason you usually side with us -- must be daft.

Jay said...

You mean you're not a gorilla? Well damn!

I'm disappointed.

Talking of clocks, we nearly had a Major Domestic Incident here this afternoon when it was discovered that the radio-controlled clock in the kitchen had flat batteries and had stopped at twenty past midday. OH cannot bear not knowing what the time is to the last (accurate) second, but luckily I found a battery and saved the day.

So, I'll be watching the game on Sunday - I think it starts at 4pm, but if it's 3pm that's OK by me. Whatever the clock says. LOL!

Trouble is I can't decide who to root for ... probably NO, I guess.

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