Travel Music for Smiles

Dear Reader,

Our beloved commentator Smiles complained a bit here, about my choice of music.

Now I am with him, Ultravox published some great music. And thus, besides ‘Hymn’, already we played ‘Dancing with Tears in my Eyes’ as well as ‘Vienna’. Vienna is one song we played twice, breaking with the tradition to nor repeat ourself, which had been my mistake.

So, looking for a travel song for Smiles, another tradition at diablog, I thought of this one here:

That’s ‘If I was’ by Midge Ure. Who, of course, was the front man of Ultravox during its most successful days. Prior to that he was part of Visage and a few other bands. And the line “seven oceans I’d sail (to her)” clearly fits into Smiles’ traveling habits.

Keep moving,

Engine Room

Become an e-citizen

Dear Reader

Recently at diablog we were debating immigration, integration, citizenship, culture, and all those other concepts, the British know all about. Pardon my coughing.

OK, I am back. Of course, the internet community is way more integrative than any traditional nation could be.

One example, the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Palestine, .ps, was introduced already in 2000. Fourteen years later most conventional countries/nations are still failing or struggling to recognize Palestine as a nation or state.

While they keep failing, the internet is coming up with its next move. By December this year you can become an:


I think it is a brilliant move, made by a tiny country known as Estonia. How Estonia outpaced every nation online you can read at The Guardian.

e-residency gives you a bunch of online services, which in other countries are not available online and mostly a bloody nightmare offline.

I’ll sign up, as soon as I can at the Estonian consulate.

Stay connected,

Engine Room

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Reader,

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and a wonderful time with friends and family.

This year I am thankful, that Glynsky has saved us from his Christmas music horror show, at least until today. If he will not start before December 20th, it would be even better.

On this peaceful day I would like to post a classic, intended as a conclusion to the debate here:

Your pizza is Italian,

Your kebap is Turkish,

Your noodles are Chinese

Your sushi is Japanese.


Your vodka is Russian,

Your wine is Italian or French,

Your tea is Indian,

and Your coffee is Brazilian.


Your car is Japanese or German,

Your toys are Korean,

Your cellphone is Korean or Chinese,

Your shirt is Vietnamese,

Your horse is Hungarian,

Your movies American,

Your oil is Arabic,

Your rug is Afghani,

Your furniture are Swedish.


Your bank is Swiss,

Your shares are all over the world.


Your numbers are Arabic,

Your letters are Latin,

Your democracy is Greek,

and Your Christ was Jewish.

How is your neighbor a foreigner?



Engine Room

what’s it got to do with the price of eggs…

Dear diablog,

Engine Room is probably viewing the calender with dread as the possible annual Glynsky onslaught of Christmas music approaches! And he is right to do so – but only time will tell.

In the meantime, the consumer lobby is gearing up for the annual (literally) bun fight with all sorts of offerings to choose from.

For whatever their reasons, Sainsbury (a British supermarket chain) have come up with something which is really quite moving on a completely different level and if I am honest I can’t really see what it has to commend their stores above their competitors.

I think the footage is from a recent drama series about World War 1 on BBC1 which was quite, in my view, exceptional.

Whatever, it is worth a look.



Just goes to show the futility of it all.

Yours, diablog, reflective


and so (almost) to bed (padua part 3)…

Dear diablog – and particularly Smiles,

The penultimate (probably – there is one other thing but I don’t dare tell you, for now) snippet from my great trip to the


where all sorts of stuff was to be seen including this one off Peugeot (an art deco jewel if ever I saw one)


with a rather ‘stringy’ lady in attendance


but truly resplendant


in its reflection of the golden age of motoring…


Continue reading “and so (almost) to bed (padua part 3)…”

Don’t you just hate … ?

Dear Reader,

The following was inspired by the lively debate in the comments here. It is a bit off topic, as diablog is about the good things in life. On the other hand, diablog is about debates too.


Don’t you just hate those Martians, their culture, and their religion?

For example, how they abuse children, those damn pedophiles?

Oh, wait. That’s the catholics, who sexually abused hundreds of thousands of boys and girls. Sorry, I got confused.

Anyway, don’t you hate it, how they keep their young ignorant? Denying evolution, not teaching them about sex and contraception? Causing teen pregnancies, ruining their young life?

Oh, bugger, that’s the Christians all over the world, even in those ‘highly civilized’ countries like the USA, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, Portugal.

But it’s the Martian country, where synagogues are vandalized, and Jewish cemeteries are vandalized, and people of different religion are threatened, right?

Sorry, wrong again, that’s the west.

But the Martians discriminate against gay people. And against other religions and cultures. And who insist on having their religious symbols in class rooms and courts, on the currency, in their oath? With religious indoctrination education, mandatory morning prayer, etc. Right?

Sorry, wrong again, that’s the Christians.

But what I truly hate, is how the Martians go to war against each other, fighting over religion. Bombing and killing each other. Oh wait, that’s Ireland, and the catholics and protestants there. Or Israel and Palestine. Sorry.

But at least we are peaceful, where the Martians are not.

They bomb or invade countries. Like Vietnam, and Grenada, and Iraq, and Yemen, and Pakistan, and Syria… They occupy countries at will, plunder them, kill or enslave the indigenous people, and leave, when there is nothing to gain anymore. It is called imperialism or colonialism or something like that. The Martians often refer to it as the golden age, or the good old times. And today they just send drones killing thousands every year. Mostly innocent people, and a few others, but of course without trial.

The Martians support dictators and extremists, when ever it suits them. They sell weapons, and poisonous gas, and spyware to them, helping dictators to suppress and kill their own people. Or helping extremists to overthrow regimes, the Martians don’t like.

And the Martians have put the whole world under surveillance. Really, they are recording everything from everyone. Phone calls, emails, browser history, location data, everything they can get their dirty hands on. They are spying on everybody, even their own people. And then they are using what they call intelligence to blackmail or ruin people. Or to undermine the UN.

Oh wait, these are not the Martians, these are what Smiles and Phillipa call the civilized Westerners.

But the Martians are so uncivilized. They have the death penalty still. They have more people in jail, than any other nation. And they have secret prisons and torture centers. In their own country and abroad. And they hold people in camps illegally.

And just look how political power is handled by those damn undemocratic Martians. They have a president. And once he is gone, his son comes into power. How uncivilized it that? Oh wait, we have the Bushs, and the Kennedys, and …


It would be quite nice, if all this were the Martians, wouldn’t it? Then we civilized Westerners would be liked and admired all over the world. And we would have a common enemy again, we could bomb the shit out of. Someone we could all hate, instead of contemplating, what is wrong in our society.

Or, just as an example, we could ask, what is happening to all the oil – and related profits – from Libya and Iraq. You know, as Iraq is the 13th largest source of oil, and Libya the 17th largest.

But I guess, we are all too happy about slightly lower gas prices at the pump, to really care about the people in Iraq and Libya.

Keep debating,

Engine Room