a curse on your house, israel…

Dear diablog,

With due respect to the somewhat ‘personally colourful’ rants of Engine Room, my inane mumblings on the Euro and, in the past, Pete’s personal view of life I am unable to write on any topic at the moment as long as the utterly disgraceful destruction of Gaza is continued by Israel.



How quickly do the oppressed become oppressors.

The mealy mouthed insincere mutterings of possible future ‘apologies for killing civilians’, insidious and continuous ‘settlement’ invasions, naked dereliction of intent to solve make me retch. A scummy state allowed by allies to destroy at will deserves nought but exclusion from humanity.

Get your house into order, and include with it the hectoring by BBC interviewers (vide Wednesday’s News at 6) approach to those ‘on the other side’.

I am at a loss for words as long as this genocidal and holocaust like persecution continues of an invaded, repressed and mostly innocent oppressed population.


British politeness gone? Or did it exist ever?

Dear Reader,

If you are British, you are very likely to be tremendously proud of British politeness. And as a non-Brit you probably grew up hearing a lot about that. Yet lately, you hear more about Canadian politeness, especially online. And there you read from Brits, complaining about Canadians stealing their reputation. Note: Stealing the reputation, not being more polite.

So, are the Brits polite?

There is my special experience with what our beloved commentator Smiles correctly identifies as the “Border Farce”, but this post is about something else. This post is about Brits calling on the phone.

The telephone is over a hundred years old. And over time almost every society has developed customs how to behave on the phone. For example, in Italy one answers the phone with “pronto”. And then the caller identifies himself or herself and says what she or he wants. Same in the US, we answer the phone with “hello”, and the caller identifies himself. Similar in France, where people answer with ‘allo or “who is calling please?”. As far as I know, only in Germany it is the other way around. There one answers the phone saying one’s surname or full name. And then the caller says hello, followed by their name, and then states his or her desire.

What about the Brits? As far as I could observe, everyone answers the phone with “hello”. Correct?

But then it gets impolite. As callers, Brits seem to have zero manners. Nobody ever introduces himself or herself. People either start talking, as if one is supposed to know who they are. Do you all think you are royalty?

Or worse, the caller just asks: “Who is this?” Or states: “I want to talk to … !”

Excuse me, shouldn’t you introduce yourself first? How about saying hello, or good morning, or good afternoon? Followed by your name and what it is you desire? Wouldn’t that be the polite thing to do?

By now I have developed a special way to deal with Brits on the phone. If they fail to introduce themselves, I say:

“May I kindly ask, who is calling, please?”

Which usually leads to Brits being totally confused. Many just hang up. Others start stuttering. The Brits seem to have lost it. Or maybe they never had it, and it was nothing but a rumor for so many years?

What are your experiences?

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

PS: Obviously, I am not talking about business phone calls or telemarketers here..

wurst roll…

Dear diablog,

I am accused of preferring Italian made cars above all others – not really true, I go for well/luscious/svelte/sexy design of which there are many Italian examples, but others used the studios as well. Irrespective of nationality there are a few post ’60’s designs/shapes that I find very pleasing.

I am not particularly a Mercedes fan but have to say that some of their current shapes are most attractive and from a power and efficiency standpoint, they take a lot of beating. Whether Italian design features I have no idea.

Add to this an advertising agency with imagination and flair and sometimes modern car companies can really deliver.


Oh the noise and action plus a great shape – thanks Mercedes, this is worth watching.

Yours, diablog, on a roll


PS. So good to be back – I don’t think!

2nd Rioja – 3rd Spanish red wine – try it

Dear Reader,

Did I mention, that I am a lucky bastard? Constantly I am invited to excellent meals and – more importantly – brilliant drinks. Don’t ask me why, those people must be mistaken me with someone friendly, important, interesting, or something.

Anyway, on one of those recent occasions I was treated to yet another outstanding wine.

Twice before I recommended a Spanish wine here and here. This one now is a Rioja again, a 2007 Vina Cerrada Reserva:


vinaCerradaCrianzaAnd this is the vineyard, Rioja Vega.

This is a wonderful wine for warmer days, although it has 13.5%. Yes, quite a strong wine. But is has a very nice fruity taste, making it ideal for a warm summer evening among friends, with or after a delicious meal. On second thought, this wine would be equally nice during winter, in front of a fireplace, with or without friends.

Just try and enjoy it.

Engine Room



Resounding at the Engine Room right now

Maurice Ravel – Bolero

Adding this piece to the category music is a bit of a stretch, since Ravel himself said:

What I had written was a piece lasting seventeen minutes and consisting wholly of “orchestral tissue without music” — of one very long, gradual crescendo. There are no contrasts, and practically no invention except the plan and the manner of execution.

But this goes nicely with making my first cup of coffee and enjoying it with my first cigarette.

My New Email Policy

Dear Reader,

As you know, I am taking care of the technical side of diablog. Presently all systems are looking good on diablog, I am happy. Besides diablog, there are a few others. And one of those went fubar. So I spent two days searching for the cause in order to fix it. I involved friends, online fora, and even a professional help desk. All without success. Until I went back to a basic method: trial and error.

Eventually I found the problem. One piece of server management software, proprietary of course, had done a “security update”. I hadn’t asked for it, ordered it, agreed to it. The idiots just forced it upon me. Like shitty Microsoft does. Along with the update they installed another program, which I did not know, did not want, did not need. Added benefit, no one told me.

The new software was anti-spam, anti-trojan, anti-maleware, anti-everything software. Or short: utterly useless and senseless.

Let me make that clear: These programs are snake oil. They do not work.

Why? Because they try to prevent something after (!) the fact. Sounds like a paradox? Yes, it is.

The horse has bolted and they close one (1) door. Never mind all the other open doors. Especially the ones, that they create with their software.

Here is another analogy:

Continue reading “My New Email Policy”

its one long cycle…

Dear diablog,

I have to say that Health and Safety together with Human Resources are two of my pet hates of the modern age – luckily I have always (sometimes deliberately) avoided both.

One of my other annoyances is all the tosh thrown around about the help that recycling can do to the world in the ‘fight’ (the only fight in this context is does it exist!) against ‘Climate Warming Global Change’.

Most of it seems to be sent by boat to India to keep kids busy – using diesel engines to add a bit on the way!

As usual the undeniable efficiency of our Germanic cousins is pretty much evident in all walks of life – and particularly in this clip entitled German and Swiss Recycling.

Difficult to argue with really!

Yours, diablog, binned


PS. I shall shortly be back ‘in harness’ to add to the UK’s problems.