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My return to blogging July 29, 2009

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Personal, Questioning.

It has been a long time since my last post and this has generally been down to the fact that my life has gone in a whole new direction. My 7 year relationship came to an end, so I moved to a new city, met new people and am now in a new relationship. My father was seriously ill with cancer, but is now in remission and this has made me re-evalute this whole life thing.

I can not work out whether, because life is so short, we should try and ‘achieve’ as much as we can or should we just seek to enjoy the time we have. Are we becoming to programmed to follow the well trodden path of: school > university > job > house > marriage > children > retire?

Are our motivations earlier in life simply a way of preparing for old age. You get on the property ladder to ensure you not living in a council bungolow when you’re 70. You have children to ensure there are people to look after you. You get a decent job to ensure you are not having to survive on a state pension.

I realise that you can gain huge amounts of satisfaction and enjoyment from buying a house, having a family, working in a decent job. I just wonder whether we are less open to individuals opting for an alternative path?

I guess I’m musing on this subject because I’m reaching that stage in life where I ‘should’ be thinking about buying a house, getting married etc etc…and it just seems a little overwhelming.

Anyway, please do share your thoughts.

It’s good to be back.


Politically incorrect post – what’s normal? September 20, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Questioning.

I remember a few years ago being told about a conversation to with people suffering from disabilities. Person X stated that people with disabilities are ‘not normal’, to which person Y replied ‘well…what’s normal?’ Suggesting that no individual is normal.

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of normal is as follows –


adjective 1 conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

noun 1 the normal state or condition.

If we were to look at some statistics for the UK regarding people with disabilities, what conclusions can be drawn?

According to Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), it is estimated that there are about 9.8 million people in the UK with some form of disability – approximately one in seven of the population.

If just one in severn of the population has some form of disability (and this covers the entire range of disabilities from very minor to the most sever) can it be considered conforming to a standard? Typical? Expected?

My view is no, if I am truly honest with myself, I do not expect to see a person with a disability. Surely, it’s resonable to be of the opinion that people with disabilities are not normal?

I have a number of close friends who are partially deaf and rely on lip reading to communicate with those that do not sign. So this post is not about any prejudices against people with disabilities. My issue is with the suggestion that people with disabilities are the same as everyone else. They aren’t, they have a disability. Just like some people can run fast, others can paint and so on…

I think the issue is that people have stigmatised the term ‘normal’ by accompanying it with a foolish and ignorant impression of someone with a disability. The same situation occurred when a charity here in the UK was forced to change it’s name from The Spastics Society to Scope.


What counts as a life? September 10, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Questioning.
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If a bomb goes off and a pregnant women is killed, is the body count one or two?

Blogvertising – Blog off or blog on? September 3, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in Blogging, Blogvertising, Geek, General, Internet, Questioning.

I watched the latest epsiode of the BBC News 24 show >Click and they discussed, all be it briefly, the issue of online advertising. However, in amongst the debate of pop-ups, overlays and paying search engines, they looked at the issue of blogvertising.

Blogvertising is basically when advertisers pay ‘respectable’ bloggers to endorse products. The question the programme raised was ‘Is this in the spirit of what a blog is?’ Tim Phillips, technology journalist was quoted on the show as saying

“The whole thing defeats itself. Either they don’t say that they’ve been paid, in which case it becomes a time bomb and it immediately self-destructs if it comes out that they’ve been paid to do it. Or they do say they’ve been paid, in which case they lose the respect of the community they’ve built up.”

The definition provided by the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang for the word ‘blog’ is –

An Internet website containing an eclectic and frequently updated assortment of items of interest to its author.

I have some reservations about this term for a blog. Whilst it would perhaps surfice as a very generic term to cover the majority of blogs, it does not go anywhere near to really defining the nature of blogs in their entirety. Some blogs are not just an eclectic mix of ramblings, but rather more focussed with their content.

If a blogger creates and develops a blog that is about something specific and then gains a significant readership as a result, does that not give some value to the opinions being expressed by the blogger. If it does, then wouldn’t it be of benefit to the readership if the blogger promoted products thet s/he felt were worth promoting? Well, no.

This is where blogvertising falls done as it does with all advertising when being endorsed. Why should you trust the opinion of someone that is getting paid to say something is great? Of course they’re going to say ‘yeah, this new mobile phone is the best’ because they’re getting paid a wedge to do so!

So, should bloggers be allowed to advertise and promote products via their blog? In my opinion, yes, what they do with their blog is up to them. If they do and readership falls, well, it was their call. If readers purchase products solely on the basis of an endorsement and it turns out the product sucks, well, they’ve learnt the hard way. Don’t by into products purely on the basis of advertising and I don’t me just endorsements, but any advertising.

Let advertising spark an interest, but then research the product, try it out if you can, ask other consumers what they thought of it. If you do this then you will save yourself a considerable amount of grief and money.

My advice is to become a discerning consumer, not a foolish one.

UK Terror Alert Status August 30, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Government, Internet, Questioning, Terrorism, Websites.

I came across this website (www.terror-alert.co.uk) via BritBlog and it struck me as completely at odds with my views on terrorism.

The website is a simple enough affair in that it essentially offers you a way of placing a badge on your own site that displays the current ‘threat level’ of a potential terrorist attack in the UK. This seems harmless enough, and it probably is, but it is the signal that this sends out which I find difficult to support.

I spent several months researching and writing about terrorism for my university dissertation. In my opinion I believe that whilst ‘one man’s terrorist can be another man’s freedom fighter’ there is no place for terrorist activities today.

Terrorism works on initiating and spreading fear, without fear the terrorists really are left powerless. It is for this reason that I found the website and its badge somewhat gauling. It is suggesting that we should always be informed of potential terrorist activity in order that we let it effect our lives in some way. I don’t care what the current ‘threat level’ is because I am still going to carry on with my life irrespective.

If anyone is interested why not just go to the Home Office website and see for yourself, there’s no need to have a live feed straight to your webpage, surely?

Is blogging success all in the title? August 26, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Questioning.

I was just wondering, being a relatively new blogger, how much of getting a successful blog is down to the titles one selects for each post.

The reason I ask is that I’m not really sure how people come across my blog! Are they just browsing a list of blog names, or post titles and they click on one that looks interesting? Or when people are searching blogs do they get a snippet of the post as well? Thereofore, perhaps it is the first few lines that need to strike a chord with the potential audience.

I recognise that once a blog becomes established then it is about good content that maintains and builds readership. My question is from the persepctive of a new blog.

I mean how do people come across my blog? How can I find other peoples blogs? At the moment I just link from the WP forums or from my dashboard. What is there some secret portal to a blog directory that I am yet to discover?

Banking should be like computing August 25, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in Geek, General, Personal, Questioning, Whinging Stuff.

I have a loathing for banks and most financial institutions for many reasons, but mainly because they have too much control over peoples lives. Anyway, if I could live my life without having to be associated with banks I would be a much happier person.

I know that I am next to useless at budgeting for future financial commitments. I can happily manage my rent payments for example as that is regular i.e. every month. However, things like utility bills, car repairs, house repairs etc…I am rubbish at budgeting for. Anyway, I was just thinking of ways in which banks could be improved that might help me overcome my inadequacies in this area.

It struck me that my problem is that if money is in my account I will tend to spend it, of this I am sure others can relate. So I thought why can’t you have a folder system for your finances, much like you do on a computer.

You could access your current account and then have a number of sub-accounts where you could set-up a standing order for a specific amount of money to go into each sub-account every month. So for example, you could have a sub-account named as ‘Car Repairs’ and each month (on pay day) £50 is automatically transferred. Come service time you would have a nice stash to cover any unexpected expenses. If that £50 had remained in my current account it would gradually get spent, leaving me in a familiar predicament of thinking, bugger, where’s the cash going to come from for this?

Now this should be possible, but banks (certainly in the UK) don’t like you having lots of accounts. Why?

Well, it’s more paperwork for the bank so you would be a more expensive customer. Secondly, banks like you screwing up because they make money of people who screw up.

Does anyone else suffer the same frustrations?
What do you think of this idea?

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

Do you have a showering routine? August 20, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Humourous, Personal, Questioning.

I just realised that I have a really regimented shower routine. Is this normal?

I wash my hair, then my body (starting with my left arm, across to the right and then work down to my feet), completing with a scrub of the face.

I do it this way, EVERY time! Why?

Please, someone else tell me that they have a shower routine as well, or is it just me?!

Blogging for blogging’s sake? August 13, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Personal, Questioning, Whinging Stuff.

After an intial flurry of posts I realised I had gone a few days without posting. I should be thinking ‘so what’, but strangely had the feeling of ‘must post something, anything….JUST POST!!’

It made me realise that it is perhaps this sense of blogging for blogging’s sake which is creating so many blogs out there that are just inane ramblings of peoples day-to-day lives? Went to the shops today, watched Eastenders this evening, must do the washing-up, purely because people feel they should put content on their blogs, even if it means scrapping the barrel of literary interest.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the freedom of expression and that is why I believe the Internet to be such a valuable asset to modern society. However, with the power of ‘Feeds’ should bloggers become more discerning in what they post?

Traditionally, unless blogs were regularly updated, it was thought that people would lose interest and readership would fall. The use of ‘Feeds’ has meant that it is no longer necessary for people to continually check blogs for updates. Instead, if they enjoy a blog and it has the option to subscribe to a feed they can easily stay abreast of new posts without the need to hunt out the blog every time they’re online.

I would therefore, much rather come across a blog whose posts were more infrequent, but more enjoyable, than a blog that posts daily, or perhaps even more frequently, but what’s written is no more interesting than the ingredients on a packet of spaghetti.

I therefore vow, not to blog for blog’s sake, but instead blog when I actually believe what I am blogging is of more interest than the contents of my shopping basket!

Hunting Ban August 9, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Personal, Questioning.
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Back at the beginning of the summer I was around at a mates house with a group of friends and the subject of hunting came up in conversation. I then came across this little flash box on the Bebo website that just brought me back to that conversation.

During the conversation I was suggesting that I find it difficult to be anti-hunting when I eat meat knowing that the animals, on the whole, are slaughtered in an inhumane fashion. I have watched a number documentaries showing undercover footage that puts the slaughter industry to shame and yet I continue to purchase meat. So, how in this knowledge, get on my moral high horse and say hunting is terrible, cruel and unnecessary and should be banned. Eating meat fits all these critieria and yet I continue to do so.

My friend debated that you can’t look at the issues together as they are distinctly different. I found this difficult to recognise, but one point he made did strike some resonance. I was arguing that for all the time, effort and funding that was and continues to be put into banning hunting, very little has actually been achieved towards meeting its objectives. My friend did agree with this point, but he added that we also do not know where we will be in a hundred years time because of this ruling. Perhaps then hunting will have been completely prevented because of what was started in recent times.

This maybe so, but I still believe that we should be focussing on more mass issues of animal cruelty than the comparitively minor concerns of fox hunting.

Want some more info?

RSPCA Chicken Farming
Animal Aid