Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for the ‘off topic’ Category

Here’s the thing with your software

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So I have actually already whitelisted Wired – as the screenshot shows – but instead of showing me the page I get the appeal. Again. Which I have already answered.

Yes you are whitelisted. I will put up with your ads. Show me the content, dammit!

Written by Stephen Rees

January 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Posted in media, off topic

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Pete McMartin acts badly

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Today, I was going to do a column on either (a) the travesty that is our immigration system or, (b) the travesty that is our transportation system,

but fortunately he didn’t do either. You can read the rest here.

It always seemed to me – before I came to Canada, that is – that the whole purpose of the office Christmas party was to provide gossip that would last at least until the next one. Certainly that was the case in the last years of County Hall (1974-1984). I did not realize that Canada used to be like that too. Or at least Vancouver Sun office parties. What I had ascribed to the Canadian traditions of joyless Scots presbyterianism turns out be the results of the PC brigade.

I could tell you stories. The Very Senior Planner who was sick in his in-basket. The fumblings in the more distant stacks of the Research Library. The scandals that in rare cases made the pages on the Evening Standard, probably, I suspect, due to a mole in the Women’s Committee. And not only at Christmas. The Head of Statistics used to hold Norway Day parties – with plentiful supplies of aquavit – that are now a distant and merciful blur. I know I have been much more abstemious since. The staff of the Southern Railway at Waterloo Station certainly treated me more warily for some time after the last one. I have no idea why.

The reason for all this of course is that Christmas is actually a late bolt on to a much older and more raucous celebration of midwinter – “Saturnalia” in ancient Rome – Yule in Anglo-Saxon and so on. Indeed even Scots let their hair down on Hogmanay.

Your stories of office parties to dispel the midwinter gloom are invited.

Written by Stephen Rees

January 19, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Posted in off topic