Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | March 8, 2011

Getting the Scotts and Irish Straight

So it’s conference time again. Gotta get the “re-education” hours, sit in chairs and listen to boring dudes tell you about stuff you’re already supposed to know and the like. Sign off on the list and get your credits… for “continuing ed” and all. No, I’m not talking about Lenten “retreats”… which even the name sounds bad… as in “we lost”… but I guess it’s more or less acurate. Oh well. But anyway, as I was saying, it’s time to go somewhere besides behind my desk and sit for long hours doing nothing while someone else does all the work. Really… it’s exhausting.

And as you can imagine, the basic complaint of most would-be attendees tends to be: “Why can’t we do this in a resort?”

Yes, the neanderthals rule. And no, I don’t usually get to go on these things. The small ones, yes. The big ones… you let the OTHER guys go. It’s a “reward”. I don’t know… they seem to think so.

Anyway, my partner’s got small kids, so when they announced the industry conference would be in Scotland, he announced he wouldn’t be going.


Okay. Well… Scotland’s not exactly on my short list, or my long list either for that matter. But a trip’s a trip. And if my travel’s paid for, then heck, the better half can start working that UK-type thing out of her system in Scotland. Yes, Jane Eyre didn’t actually roam the links of St. Andrews, nor did Heathcliff and the rest of the Free-Caths, but it’s very Scottish isn’t it… to go somewhere based on it being half-paid?

This of course brings up the question of whether we’re actually going. I mean, it’s not a beach. It’s not England. It’s not even “this England” or this corner (Thank you Kappa Sigs, we’ll never forget your USPS mailbox). And it’s not exactly like we can even figure out what the heck’s the difference between Ireland and Scotland anyway. All I know is that both talk funny, and seem to have this thing for fighting, or kilts, or knives, or bagpipes or whatever.

So we decided to do some research. I mean, it’s what the internet’s good for, huh?

And of course you start with the obvious and most famous representative:

But ol’ Groundskeeper Willie only gets you so far. It’s a start, but he’s the part I knew… so you keep Googling:

Okay, so we’re in. The cuisine sounds great, the people… well… “feisty”, and “friendly” and we really, really just can’t wait for the free days after the conference when we can roam around a little and wonder about what time our plane leaves. Like maybe we need to make sure we get to the airport… early. Don’t want to miss that plane!

“Cap’n! Me eardrums can’t take it much longer! Me matter-antimatter anhiliater is over-heating! Aaaaaah!”

Ooops. Well, I’ll leave you with the most famous “Scottsman”, and maybe the most famous “engineer” in a YouTube tribute:

Well, I’m glad it’s all clear now. Then again, in case it wasn’t, maybe the Scotts’ harshness makes those sweet moments all that much sweeter, huh? And if they’re really all as nice as James Doohan’s pretend Scotsman, well… it looks all the better.


  1. I’ll go for you and take notes….

  2. Scots vs Irish! Bah Let’s hear it for the Welsh! The Red Coats might have occupied us longer but we had our revenge by forcing them to use ridiculous names on all our towns (we just make these up so that the Upper Crust of British society will occasionally look foolish trying to pronounce them).

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