Wednesday, February 28, 2007

If Sacrum & Colman united...



A very funny chain email I've received, as I'm sure you all have. Just note the surname and the writing style, and there you have it (though I wasn't aware Paul had any African brothers) :


My Dear,

I am the bill and exchange manager at FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPT,In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of U.S $10.5million US dollars, TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS in an account that belonged to one of our foreign customers who died along with his entire family in a plane crash.

Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or a business associate to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidlines and laws, but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.

It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you so that the bank can release the money to you as the next of kin or a business associate to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and I don't want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed bill.

Since the bank law and guidline here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after Six years the money will be transfered into the bank treasury as unclaimed fund.The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occassioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin.

I agree that 40% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10% will be set aside for expenses incured during the usiness and 50% would be for me and my Family.

There after I and my Family will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated and for some possible investment under your kind control.Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged,you must apply first to the bank as a business associate or next of kin of the deceased person.

1. Your Full Names and Address. 2. Direct Telephone and Fax numbers.

please i will like this transaction to be strictly between you and i Upon receipt of your reply, I will start by giving to you the application which you will fill and send to the bank.
I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer.You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive this mail,

Trusting to hear from you immediately, Yours faithfully

Milik Colman.

Notes from a large island...

Usual rules apply - picture belongs to Chauss513

Whilst not quite what I thought when I came to America, certain parts of it have definitely left their mark on me; I certainly weigh more than I did before.

Anyway, some random thoughts:

1) From a purely aesthetic view point, I can understand why David Ogilvy hated billboards. These things are EVERYWHERE. From advertising to any form of religious or nationalistic message they can stick up. So I can understand why the consumer (at least on t'other side of the Atlantic) has a dim view of advertising.

2) The exchange rate meant I could buy lots of cds/beer/clothes/women/John Deere hats (one of those is a lie). This was a very good thing.

3) Alabama, and indeed, the whole south of America is far, far, far, far, far more cultured than I gave it credit for. It's very easy to rely on some form of stereotype, and I suppose that's true, especially when they like to propagate the dixie ideals to such a great degree (yes, I saw the odd Confederate flag). However, talk to the average American and they are incredibly articulate, thoughtful and considerate. It's sad when the liminal elements of society have such a hand in making it (and the same is true for the UK).

4) Nashville is a great city. Brilliant bars, great music (indie, not country - though more on that in a bit).

5) IHOP is the way forward in eateries. And open 24 hours to boot. I would weigh 5 times my weight if this ever came to the UK.

6) The overly English accent does well out there. Natch.

7) Beer, whilst it doesn't come in pints, does come in fluid ounces. You can order a 36 fl oz beer there. Admittedly, it's Coors Light, but damn.. that's a lot of beer.

8) American radio stations are brilliant. Especially classic rock ones, and those with loads of local adverts.

9) You can win a lot more drinking games if you are English/shameless. I'm saying no more.

10) I secretly like Country music...yes, even the ultra religious stuff....but especially the uptempo, almost bluegrass kind. Like folk music, but quicker.

11) Playing a game where you can compare how many fast food places there are to churches is fun. Though you are never quite sure which wins.

12) I rescind my previous allegation about American sweets; Paydays & Butterfingers are damn tasty. Hershey's still tastes like grit and sick mixed together.

13) I still find it strange that American teens can tote around a massive truck at 16, yet can't drink until 21, nor gamble at all. The aforementioned truck is far, far more dangerous than our little cars - it has a crap stopping distance.

14) America has no squash. Just (bleurgh) Gatorade, which tastes oddly like a combination of medicine and weak flavoured water.

15) I need to see more states, and with more local people.. the only times I've been out to the US has been with American people I know; it's by far and away the best way to do things.

Anyway, just a few notes on this post - check out my flickr for some pictures of the trip. Not enough there, I'm sorry to say.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Soon I will post more. But now I must sleep. Alabama was fun; sadly, I didn't make it to Baton Rouge or Nawlins, but ne'er mind.

Oh, and in my brief scan of the blogs - Sacrum is bloody brilliant. Hope the Naked experiment goes well. I want to be Sacrum's friend.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Final Thought (before my holiday starts)

I'm not eschewing research (on the contrary, you can mine some great insights from it), but overly rely on it and you'll have no idea how to achieve that wonderful magic that communications is founded on.

Unless the comms answer is bloody obvious, of course. Which it rarely is/should ever be.

To extend the aphorism - you can know you won't get pissed on today, but will you need that umbrella tomorrow?

Any thoughts, readers?

*And on that note, I'll see you guys in two weeks time.

An American Tune..

Just before I go, I've decided to leave you with a couple of things. The first is a podcast, which can be downloaded here.

It's very Americanised, with good reason - if you are a regular reader, you'll know why.

Hope you all like it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Exercise for the mind and body..

Well, seeing as I'm buggering off for a bit in a short while, this post is simply to implore you, gentle reader, to see what I could do to improve myself:

I'm probably going to be drinking a lot out there, so copious exercise will have to wait until I join a gym into the smoke/start MMAing like all the cool kids do/playing 5-a-side (one of those won't happen).

On the other fronts - I need to broaden my reading. Since finishing University, I've been reading easy things which I denied myself whilst on the course. Sure, interspersed with all of that has been some Robert Graves, some Huxley, some more Austen.. but for the most part it's been finishing off my collections of Pratchett and King.

I need to read more 'weird shit' as Richard puts it. Just finishing the Ghost Map at the moment, and have read some more Johnson before that.

As for music, I'm doing my bit for eclectic music listening - though I didn't know about Sufjan Stevens before Lebowski told me about him, so clearly my lack of buying a cd every week (unlike University) has been my undoing.

You can get an idea of the sort of things I currently want/my tastes by looking at my Amazon wishlist.

As for other things, I'm going to re-take up golf, after leaving it in the doldrums for a long time, as well as finally getting round to picking up a guitar. God help my flatmates.

So, does anyone have any recommendations?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Come on take me to the Mardi Gras..

In a period of unprecedented change, I'm buggering off to Alabama/Louisiana to see an old University friend for a little while... but not quite yet - will be going on the following weekend.

I'm looking forward to this holiday, as I've not had one for bloody ages, and I fancy seeing some more of America.

Will be bringing my digital camera with me, so much happy snapping will go on.

It also (happily) happens to fall during Mardi Gras. Think I might be going, if all works out, to soak up some of the atmosphere.

Should be good fun (and a million miles away from my last American adventure to California/San Fran).

I probably have the most English accent in the world, so should stick out like a sore thumb/be stoned to death, so that's also good.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm moving...OR...City living well it ain't for most, and that's a fact not an empty boast..

Well, I'm about to do it. About to fly the coop, settle in pastures new and leave the glorious countryside behind for the big smoke.

And I've not got the slightest idea of how this whole 'moving' business works. However, I do have two friends coming to London with me, coming to seek our fortunes like some band of nineteenth century ragamuffins.

These miscreants will be coming with me:

So yes, it should be good fun... at least before it turns into some bitter, Peep Show esque 'land baron' argument.

Anyone got any tips/advice for moving down? I know about Gumtree... NABs? Any other places? I'd like to try for Zone 2 at a reasonable standard of living (and that's saying something, because I'll be the tidy one).

Getting used to all the big buildings and fast pace will be the biggest challenge. Only used to Worcester, and its gentle Midlands ways.

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