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Posted In General by haltse Sunday November 19, 2017

Moved hosts after many years.

1/2 the price, hopefully not x 2 the issues:)

T.A.N.S.T.A.A.G.L. There ain’t no such thing as a ghostpepper lunch .

Posted In General,reality by haltse Wednesday December 16, 2015

This week I’ve been Jacked around by blazin chicken and  friend-zoned by Wendy ghost pepper fries.  You could be mistaken, or a bloody-fool,  in thinking that you’re about to get a rush of heat that comes close to a vindaloo or Thai-hot curry.  I continue to live in hope though it appears heat is the new bacon of the fast-food world and is more a marketing niche than an attempt to placate the hotheads amongst us.

There is an upside though. A nation full of people that  think they have experienced the heat of a ghost pepper have yet to experience  the heat of a ghost pepper:) So this Christmas season I suggest you rustle up something truly memorable for them out of the most there’s so many of them but I’ve always had great service from Extreme Foods and   most years I get this Box of heat which  is a random selection of their products and probably will melt their faces, rear-ends and driveways 🙂

Decade in the Desert: A new user’s guide to haltse 2018 update

Posted In Anarchy from the UK,Arizona by Haltse Saturday May 9, 2015


Updated for May 2018.

Biggest changes in past few years.  After leaving Go Daddy took a year , plus off to watch daughter grow up,   bought a franchise which turned out to be bad timing re illness , family matters and a less than honest representation of the business , etc so I ended up going back to work, this time for  P.F. Chang’s / Pei Wei which makes Asian-inspired food. It was nice to work for a company that most people don’t hate: Same kind of work Software Quality assurance but alas my position, along with several others, was removed because apparently, we were doing the jobs that Americans wouldn’t do.

Having just made contact again with the folks back home in the UK as they come on line with Facebook et all and find that I am still alive, still haven’t changed my name  to , well they don’t even know me as, haltse it’s been obvious that I needed an update post on the things that are interesting in the USA that hasn’t made it over to the UK. There are people that are into Zombies that actually don’t know who Doug Stanhope or Roger Clyne are,  I know, mind blown. 🙂

So here’s a quick list of what I’ve been up to since leaving Scotland back in 1997. A good decision given that speech irrelevant of context can get you arrested.

Moved to GA  70 mile NW of Atlanta worked for 2 seasons at tax software co helping cheap people achieve things with hardware that was pushing obsolescence into itself, seriously I edited modem strings, printer files, and more CLI DOS work than ever should be attempted with members of the public.

After GA moved to CA  on the eve of the millennium. Took 4 days to move.People in the UK, sorry it’s not a long way down to the chip shop, that’s peanuts to America:)

Yep everyone has been there and I don’t mean on vacation. Not to give it away but Californication was a nice couple of years working for a dot com that turned  b2c b2b  and b2b2c so quickly that it had to fail. Actually, it didn’t fail, people were paid, had jobs for a couple of years and had a lot of fun with nice people while doing it.

Became permanent resident, Marriage failed,  company above was bought by AOL  and I moved to Arizona where I managed to lose the friend I came here to be near ( I’m good at this it’s a motif for my life apparently )

Started working for GoDaddy.com  and lasted 11 years. Started as privately owned, which I liked, ok I only like it if I like the owner which in this case is a good match but  GD was sold to venture capitalists that changed the nature of the Co, and it was time to go. There’s little chance I could have achieved as much in the UK than I have here because, well to be blunt, it’s not a  wait till Friday to get drunk and take Monday off kinda culture. ( not true, probably 1/3 of it is:) )

Met my wifelet, Erin  spawned a Dobhran, and a Hatch, he’s 13 in September 2018  and Hatch, our daughter, joined us July 2012.

All the links to my photo sites, blogs and the like can be found through the sidebar but just in case.


Besides I’m  haltse everywhere that matters🙂

That’s the precis.   And just about all of it is contained somewhere in the posts to this blog.

New likes.

Ice Hockey. I’ve finally found a team sport that I appreciate, or did till I realized how shitty the customer service aspect was.  I still watch it but won’t pay to see the Phoenix Coyotes after they shafted us on playoff tickets. They were sadly constantly rebuilding and after years of finding out that what I hated about sports was more the “true fan”tm, than watching the game.  I still like watching tennis ( mainly the women’s:) ) US tv sucks for motorsport without chasing it down and paying for it. As such not really followed F1 or WSB for a while, god forbid they have a rally other than Pike’s peak on.

Watches.    Mechanical,  limited and free of marketing bullshit, please. Ochs and Jnr as well as F P Journe are closest to where I want to be but for daily use, it’s hard to beat Sinn.  Coming arount to serious quartz watches too. E.G,  we’re getting close to 1 second per year.

Hawaii (  only been once, not enough)

Really good food.  Thai Food, Mediterranean food, slow food and I’ve upped my  heat capacity to stupid levels. www.extremefoods.com is my best friend:)  How bad is it?  Well, I collect hot sauces now.  : Boy that didn’t age well.  I’ve been on salads 5-7 times a week and actually enjoy it, removed nearly all carbs and kept off  50 lbs as a result of that, and a relatively interesting illness:

Really good cooking ( I do some things well, Erin does way more things well but )

Ghost in the Shell.  I want me some cyberisation:)

Photography ( again )

Writing instruments:  Fountain pens.

Maintain an interest in things deathy, 

Archery ( beginner)  Traditional bow.

Media, way too much. some highlights http://www.mariancall.com   a singer/songwriter that’s so good that I  donated monthly to  help pay for the recording of  the new album which is something I encourage everyone that cares about any form of art to do.  Could be heading the way of the next guy.

http://www.richardcheese.com seen him so many times live and it’s never gotten old,  his band kicks ass too.Sadly he went down the route of . If you don’t believe in the same politics as him you’re not welcome.  saved quite a bit of cash there.

, www.mynameischance.com  ,www.freezepop.com , white stripes , Jack White, and I started really liking the Proclaimers and  some weird www.slimcessnasautoclub.com.   Added Amy Macdonald,  found out that as much as I disliked Eminem first time around I realized it was more the people into him that I didn’t like at the time, Regina Spektor, Lindsay Stirling, and Halestorm. Off late Tina Guo ( cellist)  and Skating Polly ( ugly pop)

R K Morgan : Sci-fi  Altered carbon especially.

Nick Cole : CTRL ALT Revolt

Daniel Keys Moran’s  Continuing time series ( Love the books  not a fan of his politics)

William Gibson ,   which I missed when I should have read it.

Neal Stephenson , particularly Snowcrash.

Robert Rankin.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Black Swan, Anti Fragily, Skin in the game.

G R R Martin  Game of Thrones series  (patiently waiting, I seriously doubt it’s worth it)

Grant Morrison ( Invisibles, The Filth and countless DC reinventions. )

Orson Scott Card’s  Ender series.

Heinlein,  yeah I was late to that party but am now in attendance:)

So much non-fiction that it hurts.   Omnivore’s dilemma was good and am currently reading  The Gulag Archipelago , everyone worries about Hitler , Stalin was worse.

Seriously recommend  Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner and
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Taking a look into stoicism as a form of  Taoism more  suited to a Western background  ( Specifically mine,  I find it useful to think of it that way , you don’t need to)

Still Likes.

motorbikes,firearms , tori, but not live too many shitty experiences with bad venues, actually no, in the case of the Mesa Arts center,  AZ show it was not the venue it was crap mixing and we actually walked out.  NIN, red-headed women, Fish, Dick Dale , black pudding , cider and things that are sharp or light up:)

Things that are meh:)

No more buffets,  fast food is the last choice , always. healthcare  in the US, they can’t think their way out of a problem.  Insurance is the wrong word, they don’t stop to think why an item is expensive , just that they should be able to afford it.

More in a bit:)

Time to come back

Posted In Arizona,Asides by haltse Monday April 27, 2015

I have never been a good writer,  so much so that prior co-workers/ forum participants have labelled my writing , and indeed my speaking style as a kind of ” haltsese”. I fear that’s never going to change , I have more books on grammar than , well let’s be honest most people don’t seem to have books on anything,let alone grammar, but I fear I fall into the same category as Otto from A fish called Wanda…

Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

New interests, new job, same old bullshit:)

My new site Time to Win Me the watch contest site

Posted In Arizona,Sites of interest,Social Media by Haltse Monday April 9, 2012


Long Time no see. I’ve been busy over at Time to Win ME  which is my watch contest aggregation site.  I try to find at least one watch, watch related or prize being offered by a watch company and then post it to the site,Twitter and Facebook.  Even if you’re not into watches it’s not a bad way to fill out your Christmas gift bag for those that do.

Time to Win Me

Till next Time.

Element Follow up

Posted In General by haltse Wednesday August 31, 2011

We’re pretty much up shit creek with the Element. The insurance co had no real interest in pursuing our claim and have labelled it 100% our fault. They can 100% get bent and I will not be renewing with them after two crappy experiences with Allstate.House insurance was good but the Auto section were perfunctory didn’t remotely give the idea that we’re not considered to blame and while I don’t mind them thinking it, try not to let us know, k?

So we have a report from the codes saying the AVS / ABS failed to connect but they said it was post crash, we say bs it’s pre , and the cause. All I think we can do is wait for more people to suffer this and then join in the bashing.

As I have said this was the second Honda certified car we had that wasn’t deserving of the title. Honda were ZERO help. They really don’t care about how the owner views them and that’s the last car from them , the last motorbike from them and the last product that contains one of their engines. So they don’t care they know they lost a customer already so why invest in keeping us happy ?

My New blog. A Time to Win me.

Posted In watches by haltse Wednesday August 31, 2011

Do you like to watch? Er I mean a watch?

I’m on a mission to make wrists more interesting by aggregating  watch contests and giveaways.  E.G., the prize is either a watch, a watch related accessory or is being given away by a Watch brand.

Here you go  www.timetowin.me 

If you could be so kind as to Like our Facebook  page, follow our tweets and best of all enter the contests.

Does a post with biscuits show up

Posted In General by Monday August 29, 2011

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Element update. stuck in the middle with you. Catch 22 , if the honda has a recall we can look, if it doesn’t it can’t be faulty ( Allstate’s logic)

Posted In Arizona,Bad CS,Honda Element by Haltse Thursday August 4, 2011

Exhaust remidies for time-being with Honda cust care.   They say that they won’t comment on it, send a person to look or in general car unless the insurance company  claims the part is defective.  The dealer, Arrowhead Honda thinks the same which leaves me in the “good hands” of Allstate.

Allstate so far have proven to be useless. E.G they say that with0ut a recall on 09 there’s no reported brake issues.  Despite the fact I am a paying customer of theirs for years   we’re not, apparently, capable of reporting a dead braking system without warning.  Ergo they won’t investigate which was the case of our last phone call.

We’ve lost a lot of money , or will via the deductibe and increased rates, the car is now a salvage,  the car will lose money when we sell it. We have  failed to get anything remotely like the peace-of-mind that buying a low-milage certified vehicle.

an 09 Honda element may not stop when you want it to. Another certified failure.

Posted In Arizona,Honda Element by Haltse Sunday July 31, 2011

Seems like I didn’t learn my lesson.  A certified car is not a guarantee of a functioning car but of their promise to fix it after the fault shows.  Previously I bought a Honda Civic that was certified  which I had issues with as reported here     After that the car was fine so it came to pass that we bought another Honda, an 09 Element,with the same certification.

That’s nice if you get a chance to take it back to the dealer.

A couple of months old and our Honda Element suffered  a catastrophic brake failure  that resulted in an accident. No warning lights,  just a heavy pedal  on brake once, braked again, got really hard then on the next attempt  to the floor , no brakes and  we now have a sad element and  a sad owner of a CRV that  was the resting place for the Element.  Car hadn’t been back for a service since buying it , e.g., under 2000 miles.

After searching this topic we’ve seen a lot of traffic on  Google  re Accords and the prior year Elements failing in the same way. There’s no recall for 09, unless our car isn’t  really an 09 which would explain why a similar condition would happen to us .  09 Odyssey’s are not exempt from brake-failures  too. Odd that Toyota took so much bashing last year over  what amounted to nothing.

We’re at the start of this process but regardless of what  the dealer/ Honda say this < 2000 mile since certification vehicle was not fit for it’s intended use.


Posted In General by Thursday July 14, 2011

We came to replace the Mini which was a fun car to drive and own for the most part. After you get rid of the run-flats it’s propensity to chew tires isn’t as expensive as it once was. Got a pretty decent trade in price on it too. We didn’t buy another Mini re the  treatment we received documented in this ,Minimum CS , and other posts as a result of a loss re the car not working in the way the manual said it would.  Way to go Mini and BMW bought something else x 2 that directly compete in your class.

Apparently no one wants to sell me their otter art. Wholesale annoyance.

Posted In Bad CS,General by Haltse Monday May 2, 2011

Over the past three weeks I have been trying to get my Otterman Empire store  stocked. Primarily I’m looking for American, hand made  wherever possible art , any medium,any type of otter .  To date only one of the US  companies approached  re wholesale prices have contacted me, they  received  an order and then have failed to get back to me with final shipping cost/ ship date.

I.E.,  I have nothing new in stock.









A little video item

Posted In General by Wednesday April 13, 2011

Test post

Arizona otter of the day.

Posted In General by Wednesday February 16, 2011


Originally uploaded by mariancall.

Ah Dobh and the original “otter” This otter was stolen from the cinema in Phoenix after he forgot it and wasn’t there on the way back. Yeah I know they pay the cleaning staff little but, hey , bastards

This was his first concert , in a backyard in the Phoenix heat, with Marian Call which is about as good as any first concert memory you’re going to have.

Where the Mini key saga rests today.

Posted In General by Monday January 31, 2011
I have been quiet blogwise for quite some time but I followed up on my personal blog  re Mini’s manual being incorrect and their reluctance to do anything about it.   I wonder if Small Claims court for the loss of the remote is even possible? 

Mini Cooper kept mum. So what if our manual is incorrect. no keys for you

And then 
End of the year Mini Bash or how to lose a sale by pissing off a customer.

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