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Whoa! What a day!

Today, lots of random stuff happened. Here's a quick run-down of the highlights...


Three (!) vide greniers

The first was the annual English 'do' at a nearby town. We only bumped into five or six people who know (being the antisocial b*stards that we are, preferring not to mix with the alcohol-obsessed faction of the ex-pat crowd). A few Frenchies turned up, but it somehow seemed a rather lacklustre event, like even the die-hard British/English flag waving mob don't feel so perky these days.
Vide grenier

There was, of course, some time after lunch, to be a Morris Dance performance (full costume) which will, I'm sure, leave no doubt in the Frenchie's minds that we Anglais are all a bit mad. ☺

Then off to another, which was cancelled. So we saw signs for one in the next town over, which offered maybe 30 stalls, but I got myself a lovely brown teapot for €2 and a Sony Ericsson bluetooth headset for €3. A fiver all in. Bluetooth earpiece I tried the headset in the car. Nothing. I tried it at home. Nothing. I hooked up the charger. Nothing. I saw there was a reset sequence (hold down all the buttons for a few seconds), so I plugged in the charger and did that. Light glowed red. A couple of hours the light turned green. Pairing it to my phone was pretty easy, so I called mom on the landline to see how it behaved:
Tap the earpiece (there's a little button there). My phone said, in a real nanny-English accent, "say a commahhnd". So I said "call mom home". She (the electronic nanny-girl) replied "did you say... call... mum... home...?". I said "yes".
Seconds later, ringing tone. Then mom.
It was a bit susceptible to the wind (but, then, some would surely tell you the wired headset thingy suffers in the wind too) but other than that it was pretty good. The annoying echo was present, but it seemed less pronounced than when using the wired headset. It was amusing to note that there was a rather noticable delay between speaking and reception. I suspect that annoying echo is not my phone, but rather the usual feedback from the other phone [for more info, you'll need to learn how the POTS works].
The only sad thing is that I cannot listen to music with the earpiece. It seems, in short, that Android devices just won't push stereo audio into a mono earpiece. There is a workaround, namely an app called Super BT Mono, but it is an app that takes audio and pushes it (at telephony quality) to a bluetooth earpiece, yet it requires the permission to make phone calls (which may cost me money...)? Screw that!

The final vide grenier we caught on the way home. Mom picked up a very cute little-girl-dress for the daughter of a penfriend. And I got the photo below...

Where's the CRAPA?
I suspect that it is an acronym for something. But, well... Sorry... I'll be quiet now...


Fuzzy Duckling

So I'm sitting at the picnic table on the west lawn (well, west wilderness preserve, maybe?) sipping down Raki and reading Maynard Keynes. And I'm thinking about home and all that that means...
No, seriously, I'm sipping a hot tea and waiting for the wind to abate a little so I could get the mower out. And what do I see stumble by? A bloody baby duck! I get up, rubbing my eyeballs. I've seen all sorts of things go strolling by - pheasants, escaped sheep (!), bunnies [Mick, you might meet some in your tent-visit]. But a baby duck barely capable of walking? That was new.
What wasn't so new was the duck was heading right towards the jaws of death, otherwise known as Elsie (cat), though even she seemed a bit taken aback by this.
So in a flash we rescued it, and it found itself jet-propelled into an old birdcage on a bed of grass. Mother Duck? Nowhere to be found. Useless bint must have abandoned this little one.
You got heart o'stone if you don't find this to be cute.

Well, herein lies a problem. We don't really expect it to live for very long, as it won't have a nest-like environment. To add to this, it has a little dish wish some water, plus some chopped boiled egg on a saucer. But, you know, what the hell do fuzzy ducklings eat? This one didn't seem to want to eat anything, just to make a lot of noise, which I sure Google Translate would tell me means "mommy! mommy! mommy! mommy!".

I have, of course, named this duck "Howard".
Those who don't understand why probably shouldn't be reading this b.log... there is a wide variety of the more obscure of pop culture reference scattered around (you did get the Deacon Blue quote, yes?).

The Duzzy Fu... um... Fuzzy Duckling.


Um... Me je sweez English, yeah, innit?

Perhaps following on from the meeting of the Brit bunch at the vide grenier (many for whom "book" rhymes with "puke"), I wish to recount two stories, in an unholy mélange spanning decades and cultures and countries.
Okay, let's not sex it up too much, it isn't that exciting really...

We bumped into an American the other day when buying my lottery ticket. It was easy to tell he was American. Not from the accent, but because he was very talkative. He hadn't quite sussed that the girl behind the counter of the tabac smiling demurely wasn't an English speaker, so he performed that bizarre Americanism known to the rest of us as TMI. Namely he was here for a lottery ticket, Jim (IIRC?) said he should come here, he hadn't realised the two-a-week Eurolotto thing doesn't start until May 7th, which is a shame as he wanted to get a ticket for Brenda as well.

A Brit, on the other hand, will likely volunteer no additional information, and just repeat the instruction in increasing volume and simplicity so a request that starts out "I'd like a lottery ticket for tonight" would quickly become something akin to "ME WANT TICKET NOW" which is, frankly, just plain rude...

...I remember going to an anglo-french meal/soirée thing, back around 2005 or so. A woman, didn't speak a word of French (and probably still doesn't), entered, and started saying "me no speak french".
What the hell? That isn't even English!

I remember when I was in Madiera, as an itty-bitty-brat, went on a cruise around those islands (Azores, Madiera, Canaries...) and didn't really appreciate it as I was quite an insolent little prick when I was young. Anyway. There was a hotel in Madiera with a pretty nice swimming pool. And there was a section for people like me who "don't do swimming" (long story, suffice to say putting my head underwater freaks me out). Anyway... Me, pool, absolutely cute girl paddling around on her own. So I introduced myself. Somehow. Don't ask me, it was a long time ago. It isn't as if gestured for her to approach, and when she did I said "I knew if I fingered you long enough, you'd come". Hell, at that age I probably wouldn't even have understood such a terrible pick-up line.
To cut a long story short, boy meets girl. Girl says: "I'm very sorry, but I do not speak English".
God-damn, she sounded like the Queen the way she said that. Word for word perfect.
I would have been seven or eight, she was a little smaller so guess six or seven.
Compare with a fifty-something grown woman saying "me no speak french". Would it be so difficult to learn to say something like:

Je suis désolé, je ne parle pas français
[djeh swee day-so-lay, djeh neh par-l pah fhraan-say]

Here is one from me:

Gomen-nasai, watashi wa nihongo ga wakarimasen


Triste, me no hable español
Or the fairly similar:
Tristi, io non parlo italiano

That said - there is no reason you can't just type in what you want to say into Google Translate and try to learn the result. In some cases it may not be good, but it has to be better than "me no speak French". For example:

Tá brón orm, ní féidir liom Gaeilge a labhairt
(and given how their language is often spoken completely differently to how it is written, asking a friendly bilingual native shouldn't be too challenging)

"me no speak French".

Pffft! Dumbass!


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Rick, 19th April 2011, 12:34
:-( Last night, Howard died. A victim of a determined desire not to eat anything.
Anon, 19th April 2011, 17:54
You say that Android can't push stereo audio into a mono headset.  
This isn't quite true. 
As you may or may not be aware, everything in Bluetooth is a "profile". So there's a profile for dial up networking, for personal area networking, for file transfer, for contacts transfer, etc.  
There are two profiles for audio: 
(acronym I can't remember) - mono, hands free calling only. Only designed for telephony. This is what your headset supports. Android supports this but only for its intended purpose 
A2DP - stereo high fidelity audio, higher latency. I can't remember if it supports a microphone too. This is supported by Android too, but for audio/media playback. Your headset probably doesn't support this, it is meant for Bluetooth headphones and car stereos etc. 
You're trying to use a device that only supports the hands free profile for music. Won't work, it's not supposed to, although you say there is an app that can push rubbish-sounding audio.  
You could always get a set of bluetooth headphones (although that'll cost rather more than 3 euro).
opal, 20th April 2011, 17:31
I thought you don't like radio emitting near your brain (I recall something like that written on one of your blog posts) ;). But seriously BT handset saves me a lot of money being on phone while driving. In my country traffic control would not encourage holding cell phone and driving at the same time :).

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