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Profile Information

Name: Sam
Gender: Male
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Current location: Aix-en-Provence
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 15,740

About Me

Moved to France in September of 2018 after buying our apartment in 2017 after the debacle of the election. We're glad to be here, but we continue to be involved with what's happening in the US.

Journal Archives

New vaccine regs in France. Mandatory vaccine for healtworkers

From France 24 -
Vaccination will become mandatory for all health workers. Macron urged them to be inoculated by September 15, after which they could face potential sanctions or fines. Vaccination is a "matter of individual responsibility [...] but also a matter of our freedom", the president added.
France's health minister Olivier Véran said that non-vaccinated health workers won't receive a salary nor be allowed to work after September 15.
"This summer will be a summer of economic recovery," he stated, adding that the 'health passport' – a QR code or certificate proving that the holder has a negative Covid-19 test, is fully vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid-19 – will be required throughout different establishments in France from August, including bars, restaurants, cafés and shopping centres.

New regs in France -

And PCR tests will no longer be free.

James Baldwin in a 1979 20/20 segment that was never aired.

“Nobody wants a writer until he’s dead.”


Here's part of the transcribed interview -

“White people go around, it seems to me, with a very carefully suppressed terror of Black people—a tremendous uneasiness,” Baldwin said. “They don’t know what the Black face hides. They’re sure it’s hiding something. What it’s hiding is American history. What it’s hiding is what white people know they have done, and are doing. White people know very well one thing; it’s the only thing they have to know. They know this; everything else, they’ll say, is a lie. They know they would not like to be Black here. They know that...and they’re telling me lies. They’re telling me and my children nothing but lies.”

Anyone going to watch France vs Germany? Here's a link. Allez les Bleus!

So, for football fans, here's a link to the match between Les Bleus and Allemagne starting soon!


Actually we're in Aix-en-Provence, only three hours south of Lyon.

We're doing well.
On July 13th it will be four years since we got the keys to our flat in Aix and on 5 September three years that we've been here 'definitivement'.

Driving licenses exchanged and our French 'Permis de Conduire' are good for fifteen years. Carte Vitale's, so we're covered under the French system, and CDS Temporaire(renewable every year).

In September 2023 I will be asking to become French 'par decret'. The process will take anywhere from a year to two years. I will have to speak French to a B1 level (via a test), provide proof of means, proof of integration(What are the symbols of France? What is 'laicite? Why do you want to be French? French friends? Community activities? Etc, etc), criminal background check, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, application forms, photos, tax returns, a visit from the Gendarmes, an interview, and some other stuff.

I know several people who have done it. It's not that tough, except that it takes perseverance, but since I want to be able to vote here, I'm determined.

Doesn't mean I lose my American citizenship, just that I'll have a French birth certificate and a second passport.
Posted by GoneOffShore | Sat Jun 5, 2021, 03:45 PM (0 replies)

Memorial Day poem from Wilfred Owen


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918

How a love of Stilton cheese caught a drug dealer.

So I'm watching the French news tonight and a crazy story pops up about a drug dealer in Liverpool who was apprehended because of his love of Stilton cheese.

A drug dealer was tracked down after sharing a photo of Stilton cheese.

Carl Stewart, 39, was identified through his fingerprints after police analysed the image he posted in an online chat.

Here's the link - Love of Stilton leads to arrest

The Eurovision Song Contest - Did you watch?

Apparently this year's contest was just about as dire as ever, with the UK garnering nil points in the final for a pretty crap song.

We didn't watch, even though this is one of the most watched TV events in the world. However I've been reading the comment threads on various European Facebook groups and found them more entertaining than the show could possibly have been. Lots of Brits carping about the performance of the English entry or complaining that 'it's all political', or trying to derail into absolutely weird stuff.

The first and last Eurovision show I watched was in 1974 when ABBA won with 'Waterloo' and changed the direction of pop music.

Would it be wrong to order free tickets for a RWNJ event and not go?

Because Nigel Farage is in Pittsburgh tonight and the tickets are free.

Asking for a friend.

Kitchen faucet issue - Hansgrohe Metris Select

We had one of these installed last year. The flow was always low (eco friendly - so called) but now it's definitely slowed down. I've contacted Hansgrohe but they can't give me a solution. The water pressure is fine at the dishwasher and washing machine - same water line.

I cleaned the filter at the outlet but wonder if anyone has had experience with this kind of problem.


Worry less about Russia and more about China taking over the 'Global Operating System'

Just ran across this in The Register.

Thought provoking and worrying.

Jeremy Fleming, who is the head of GCHQ warning about the threat that China poses now.

Fleming named Russia and China as the main threats and revised an analogy he's previously used that asserted "Russia is affecting the weather, whilst China is shaping the climate.

"That remains the case. But when it comes to technology, I'll use another analogy.

"The threat posed by Russia's activity is like finding a vulnerability on a specific app on your phone – it's potentially serious, but you can probably use an alternative.  However, the concern is that China's size and technological weight means that it has the potential to control the global operating system."

States like China, he said, are readying to implement emerging technologies, and "have a competing vision for the future of cyberspace and are playing strongly into the debate around international rules and standards.
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