OK, an apology... No Blog for three days - I'd not blame you if you left me wallowing in my own self pity...
Go, no really, I don't deserve you, please - I deserve it... Go now!
I'm so alone...
[Looks up sheepishly] Have they gone?
Phew! - I like to do a cull of the people who don't really want to be here every once in a while - I like to surround myself with hardcore readers like you (You know you you are, you're all my special friends)
But I do apologise, Monday and Tuesday were a bit of a blur. My car failed its MOT quite catastrophically and it was cheaper for me to go and buy a new (Well, new to me at least) one.
And Yesterday? Don't talk to me about Yesterday - If John Lennon were alive today, and he was a IT Analyst instead of an International Musical Sensation and Professional Hippy - He would look in his notebook and change the words in one of the single most recognisable songs of all time from:
'Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away'
'Yesterday, what the buggering b*llocks was going on with the bloody network?'
Which would have made it a completely different song I think you'll agree, but just as snappy...
What was (indirectly) wrong with the network was, of course, something to do with an American gentleman, who ticked a box, on a spreadsheet, years ago, that may have saved us a few thousand dollars in the long run, but cost us a few more yesterday when a box in a darkened room went *bang* and we hadn't paid the 'Quickly replace boxes that go bang insurance'
Which brings me onto today's Blog subject.
'Mericuh! - On this, their Independence Day (Read that in Bill Pullman's voice, it sounds better)
America's great, it's big, It's bright, it's brash and love it or hate it, it's currently the leading superpower on the planet. How that should make you feel probably depends on which of our world's many Gods you give thanks to before you sit down to eat your dinner and which stereotype you think of when someone says 'American'
I've worked for big American companies an awful lot over the past 30 years - Dealt with their support staff, chatted with their management and attended their meeting (on endless conference calls) And the one thing that I've established is that they tend to treat us like a bit of a poor relation.
You get the feeling that if you have a major problem, someone called Chet or Brad will explain that you really shouldn't worry your pretty little head about it and the guys with the smarts, over there in Boston, or New York, or Los Angeles or wherever will have it sorted 'in a jif'. We should just go back to... Erm... Whatever it is we guys do to pass the time.
I honestly think that some Americans believe that the UK is a small rowing boat, anchored off the East coast of Ireland that contains four chaps in bowler hats, a football hooligan, a mad cow and precisely no dentists. If one of these City Gents were to take a telescope and look to their South East, they would see the country of London, where there are historic buildings and airports and Macdonalds and things that your average colonial tourist would instantly recognise - And everyone knows the Queen - But this has nothing to do with England.
I can see why we look insignificant, let's take a look at some hastily Googled statistics
UK - 62,740,000
USA - 316,570,000
There are 5 times more Americans that there are normal people
UK - 243,610 Sq KM
USA - 9,826,675 Sq KM
America is 40 times the size of the UK
Now I'm not going to do the easy thing and do stats for guncrime and people who have no access to free healthcare, because they're boring and depressing...
Beer consumption per person per year (Litres)
UK - 74
USA - 78
Fat consumption per person per day (Grams)
UK - 145
USA - 161
Again, not a lot in it...
Number of rollercoasters
UK - 160
USA - 624
Four times as many in a country 40 times as large? Although the amount of rollercoasters per person is about the same. Also, did you know there's only one rollercoaster in Uzbekistan?
So, I guess it's just about the actual size - Well, I guess that I get that a lot.. *cough* it has been cold.
But don't let this make you think that I'm Anti-American - I honestly think that it's a great place that would be made measurably greater by me being in it. American TV's great, the vast majority of the programmes (or shows as I believe they call them) I enjoy watching are American. Stuff like Game of Thrones, Supernatural and Star Trek are all great and filmed in that slightly fuzzy 'America-o-vision' (Because I don't have an HD TV)
My favourite... Show, by quite a huge margin, that knocks my next favourite, Storage Wars, into a cocked hat by a country mile is... Wait for it...
MAN Vs FOOD
It is pure genius... One of the nicest people on the planet (at least from what I can gather from TV and Twitter) and Brooklyn native, Adam Richman, travels around the US, introducing us to diners and restaurants that serve infeasibly huge portions of food - He regularly eats stuff that weighs in excess of 7lbs - That's the same size as a newborn baby!
At the end of the show there's invariably a competition, whereby the proprietor invites Adam to take part in a challenge that only a very small amount of people have previously managed - If he wins, he gets his photo on the wall, or maybe a T-Shirt... If he looses, well, he looses in front of millions of people.
And no-one wants that.
I understand that Adam has retired from taking such food challenges now and I can't say as I blame him.
On this American Independence Day, let us all face west and Salute Adam Richman. One of the greatest living Americans.
Adam for President - Most definitely.
You! Ess! Ay! - You! Ess! Ay! - You! Ess! Ay! - You! Es! Ay!
P.S. Still not sure that I forgive them for the whole Boston Tea Party thing... Awful waste.