Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Off to the UK for a week

I'm flying off to the UK today, for a week, visiting my mum for the first time in over a year.

I don't want to go but I kinda have to, I'm adamant this is the last time I'm doing it before Kata and I get married.

The last week or so has been pretty crappy, both of us dreading today's arrival, but here it is. I'm waiting for the first part of my journey to begin, air bus to Toronto Pearson airport, from there its a direct flight to London Gatwick airport and from there a couple of train journeys until I get to my mum's place.

By the time I get there I'll most likely be utterly exhausted and utterly depressed, I was last time I went back to the UK and left Kata behind, though that time it was for 2 weeks.

Anyway, just a short post to say what's happening and once I'm back I'll try and get back into writing regular posts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Filler 3

I've been ill the last few days, so has Kata, not that its a good excuse, but I've not been in the right frame of mind to blog, although I have been in the right frame of mind to play Spore (which is a time sink and a half).

I have a few things on my mind, going back to the UK for a short period, looking for work, having to most likely get married sooner than we both considered...

So I'm gonna try and get back on the blog horse, but no promises.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I'm trying to find a job, really I am. Its hard though when you're trying to find work in another country. Well it is when you go from the EU to anywhere else. The EU has an open borders and open work policy (for the most part) within the original EU countries (about 12). If you are from one of those countries you can move around amongst them, live and work there, no problems, no questions asked. Its a nice system but its one I never had to take advantage of.

I'm in Canada now and the situation is this, I want to live here, most likely for the rest of my life, I want to work here, pay my taxes to this nation and partake in all it offers whilst taking back as little as necessary (the way the government want it).

I have skills, I have a diploma in Stained Glass Production Techniques (a level 2 skilled job on the NOC list) and I speak English fluently (naturally) and I have basic French (from high school). I've never been in trouble with the Police in any country, I don't do drugs, I don't smoke, I drink responsibly and infrequently and I'm healthy.

I've absolutely fallen in love with this country and its people and all I want is the chance to give of myself to this nation. If I'd decided on this and thought about it properly I'd have applied for some kind of work visa or the skilled worker immigration, but I didn't, I was thinking only about how much I loved my new life with my darling Kata and what the future would hold.

I've applied to a number of glass companies in Ontario now, waiting to hear from most of them with regards to any interest (one did reply saying they don't do anything with stained glass, although my skill cover everything they are looking for to fill the job). I think the real reason they weren't interested is they don't want to go through the hassle of proving that the job they are trying to fill couldn't be done by a Canadian worker.

Its a bit of a catch 22 for an employer, I'm looking for someone to work for me, I can't find anyone easily and there's a foreigner wanting to do the job, but technically in Canada somewhere there's someone who can do the job. I know that's probably not the way it goes, but still, it make my side of things harder.

There is one relatively simple way for us (Kata and I) to fix things, get married. We had planned to marry next year, in June of 2009, but it looks like we may well have to bring that forward, which causes problems with getting people to come for the festivities etc, but we'll see.

So if you believe in crossing your fingers or some other superstition (prayer, stinky socks etc), do them for me getting a job some time really soon, thanks (I won't though, I'm not superstitious).

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I'll start by giving and outline of my political viewpoint, how it has changed and where current leanings are.

When I was young (before voting age) I didn't care about politics, most people don't I feel. Politics and political policy are hard to grasp when you are young, you don't really care who's in charge as it never really affects you directly.

If the ruling party changes income tax, you don't get a % of your allowance taken off or added on in line with taxation (maybe parents should in order to prepare their children for the real world more).

The only time that politics actually affected me directly before voting age was when the teachers went on strike because the government weren't going to meed their pay demands, which gave us time off school, something we liked when we were young but something we dreaded as we reached exam age and a strike in the wrong place could ruin your future, or at least put a dent in your exam results.

When I started university I still wasn't of voting age, although not for long. University (or college) is a starting point for many a political career, or just a first foray into the tangled web that is politics. On the first week at university no fewer than 5 political groups were trying to persuade the fresh new faces to join their political group. If I remember correctly (it was almost 18 years ago now) the Conservatives, Labour Party, Scottish National Party, the SDP, Socialist Worker Party (oxymoron), the Communists and possibly the Green Party. I even think the Official Monster Raving Loony Party were there too, but I'm probably making that up for comic effect.

As you can imagine being thrown into this kind of political mire at a young(ish) age can do one of 2 things, turn you on or turn you off to politics. In my case it kinda turned me off and left me feeling that it didn't make much of a difference to me who was in charge as long as they left me alone. These were the days when the Westminster Parliament still ruled the entire UK without question, devolved power to the Home Nations didn't come to fruition until the mid 1990s when New Labour swept to power after the fall of John Major's government.

I did flirt with Nationalism for a while, being brought up Scottish, you tend to feel that the English shouldn't be allowed to run your life (as they pretty much did until the Scottish Parliament was reinstalled) and that independence from the United Kingdom wasn't a bad idea. I also flirted with Conservatism for a brief and lamentable period, although no more than to vote for them in 1 general election and later rue that I had ever done something so silly.

So let's push forward to today. There isn't really a political party for me, I'm Liberal in my political leanings, but at the same time I'm environmentally concerned and I tend to like government to keep out of much of my business, but I also don't think the "free market" should be allowed to have its own way either. So basically, I'm a Liberal, Libertarian, Socialist Green, and of course I'm an atheist, so nope, no one political party for me.

Now I don't find that this attitude has caused me any problems, I can find my way through life with these attitudes without having to subscribe to any one party. Sure I have to hope that my fellow citizens don't mess things up by voting a radical party into power, which for the most part they don't, but sometimes even the centrist parties (as most of them have become) can have some idiotic policies that they wish to push.

Therein lies the problem, no matter how I feel, my 1 vote carries no weight, not even in a proportional representation system will my single vote carry any sway, at least not in a realistic government, one with more than 2 parties you can vote for (I'll come back to this point later). In a PR system even if the 2 main parties are 1 vote apart, that 1 vote will make no difference as they will both still receive the same amount of seats in the parliament and an inevitable coalition government will be formed (see the Israeli Knesset for proof, only once in all its years did they almost have a majority party in power).

Let me return to my comment on a realist government. In most of the democratic world, the members of parliament and the political parties of the country are numerous, they usually number more than 5 parties, of which 3 are relatively powerful and the rest are lesser parties with often very specific agendas. The main exception is in the USA where basically 2 parties rule the country, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Now technically speaking if the elections were held using PR, then every single vote would count without a doubt, especially in the Presidential election, but the system is a complete mess. In the USA they use the Electoral College system, which is an extremely poor way to elect the single most powerful person in the country, but hey, they think it works, so whatever...

The Presidential election is almost upon us, as is the Canadian general election. I know I should care about who will rule over Canada, but to be perfectly honest, the Canadian Premiere is far less important than the next President of the USA even in Canada. I guess one day I'll pay attention to the political situation here, but not yet.

With regards to the US Presidential choices, I find it hard not to choose one candidate that I'd wish with all my being to become President, no surprises for guessing that its Barak Obama. I'll give you a few reasons; 1, he's young and seems to be highly principled and highly motivated to try and change the USA for better, both domestically and Globally, 2, he's not George Bush (the single worst President in living memory for US foreign relations and domestic prosperity) 3, he's not 71 years old unlike John McCain, 4. his Vice Presidential nominee isn't some nut job from Alaska, and finally 5, he's a really well educated and intelligent man who genuinely appears to give a damn about someone other than himself (unlike Bush and McCain).

I am currently living in hope that the American people as a whole won't make another hideous mistake and that they elect Barak Obama to the Presidency, because I've no idea what will happen to the world if they elect a Republican demagogue like McCain after 8 years of the demagogue buffoon George W Bush.

Here's hoping come January 20th (stupid date to swear in a President) its Barak Obama and Joe Biden who are on the dais and not John McCain and Sarah Palin....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Filler 2

I'm going to post tonight. but I wanted to make a comment.

I know I said I was going to try and post every day, but sometimes you just aren't feeling creative, or your head is in the wrong place or something along those lines.

You may have noticed I've kept my blog "clean" which isn't a chore, but its different to the way I speak in daily life to some extent. I'm a swearer, a good old fashioned swearer of the old school, mostly for emphasis, rarely for conflict. I bring this up as if my mind is in the wrong place I'll spend too much time editing my expletives and get frustrated at my lack of progress in the subject matter.

I also don't want to blog fade or repeat myself on a weekly basis, unless I find a topic that can be made into a weekly issue, but until then, I'm trying to stay fresh and be relevant, or at least as relevant as I can be.

Thanks for your patience and I'll be back later to talk about something or other.