that’s just great

I’m trying to book tickets for Catherine online at The site does something bad in Firefox, so the helpdesk person said to use Safari (after suggesting “Tools -> Internet Options”, which in my case I have not got), which is supported. So on I go to the site with Safari, and I’m redirected to:

Unsupported Browser Warning. We have detected that the browser you
are using is not able to view some of the more advanced elements of our website, and may prevent you from completing your booking.

Supported Browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 5.5, 6.0 and above (Windows 98 and higher)
  • Netscape 7.2 (Windows 98 and higher)
  • Firefox 1.0 and higher (Windows 98 and higher, Mac OS X)

Yup, so the browser I had been using is supported, but the one they recommended isn’t. After many retries (‘You failed to check Futile Checkbox #36, and therefore must restart your booking’) it finally worked. Took the best part of an hour. The booking is almost as bad as the flying.

flying sucks

Flying – especially to the US – is such a tawdry experience. You trail out to a part of town that noone would otherwise go to, you wait in line, ticketing systems malfunction in ways that airline staff accept blindly, you wait in line again, a bored immigration official grills you half-heartedly, you wait in line again (this time without shoes), then you look forward to some dinner in the departure lounge – and have to make do with some cardboard pizza, since the only other choice is a hockey bar. And all of this is a good 90 minutes from your departure time.

Why does anyone put up with this?

people are stupid

There’s going to be some ranting here, so I advise folks to look at this nice picture of a monarch butterfly I took at Bluffer’s Park today, and move along:

monarch butterfly - spotty!

In the park there was a gull that wasn’t moving like the others. I got close to it, and discovered there was a large fishing lure lodged through its beak. I had no way of helping it, and a nearby parks crew couldn’t do anything either. It could fly, just, but the big lure slowed it down, and the trailing fishing line mad it stumble.
I know gulls are often seen as nuisance birds, but no animal deserved
this fate. There’s no fishing and no kite flying in this park because there are so many birds. I’m angry that someone could be so thoughtless.

There’s a picture below the fold. You probably don’t want to see it.

too many wind turbines in the UK? Hardly!

Flying back from Denmark over the UK the other day, I hoped to see at least some wind farms. In a highly unscientific study, I peered out the window from approximately Nottingham to Iona. You know how many wind turbines I saw? Four. You know how many were working? One. Hardly something that’s taking over the landscape.

And strangely, the one I saw working, at Chelker Reservoir, I used to drive past quite often on my way to Skipton. I’ve never seen more than a couple of those old WEG 300kW two-bladers running. I was frankly amazed there were any of them left. Even from 10000m, you could make out the herky-jerky rotation.