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People Watching

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Schiphol AirportI like people watching. You never know what they’re going to do and they are usually funny without meaning to be. Here’s a few choice gems. There I was at 6am, sitting in a bar (yeah, I know…) at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam waiting for my flight home and it just so happened that right next to where I was siting was a smoking lounge, which is a glass room with an automatic sliding door and what sounds like an enormous ventilation system.

Luggage TrolleyOne thing that is very popular in airports in Europe are these little mini trolleys that people use to wheel their baggage around. I’ve seen trolleys loaded up with what appears to be everything the person owns and I’ve seen people pushing trolleys with nothing more than a purse in the basket. Anyway, these two 20-somethiong Chinese lads come walking up the smoking room, each of them pushing a trolley with a backpack in the basket. Schiphol Airport AmsterdamI found it amusing enough that each of their backpacks were about half the size of mine that I carry around on my shoulder. When they get to the room, they take their backpacks in with them (smart thing to do, actually) and leave their trolleys outside. A few minutes later, they reappear, each one wearing their backpack. They then grab their respective trolleys and go marching off through the airport wearing the backpacks and pushing empty trolleys!

Schiphol shopping 1A few minutes later, a couple in their sixties stroll up to the smoking room. They had to be married. Why, you ask? Two reasons. First, they were wearing matching outfits. Same shirts, jackets, trousers, sneakers… The same. So either they were married or they’re a set of really weird twins whose mum dressed them alike as kids and damned them to years of therapy that ain’t working! Now here comes the zinger. They had identical rolling suitcases, only his was baby blue and hers was hot pink! How much would you like to bet she bought them and he hates them?

Schiphol shopping 2Yes, people tend to do inexplicable things. Take this one as an example. There is a second level at Schiphol with a couple of restaurants. One level up. Not very far. They have an lift (elevator for you Yanks) which looks to hold around 12 to 15 people at a time. At any given time, there will be 20 or so people waiting for the lift to come back down to the lower level so they can go up. Ok, so perhaps they are too tired to take the stairs which are right next to the elevator. But why the hell don’t they walk 10 feet further and take the bloody escalator? It goes all the way up and you don’t have to wait for it!

36dd'sI had to visit the ladies room and while in there I decided to whip out me tits and take a quick pic in the mirror. After all, I haven’t been topless in Amsterdam since I… Actually, that is a story for a different time! Putting the girls away, I wander around a bit window shopping (Being at Schiphol is like landing at a mall!) and sit down next to one of the massage centers so I can check my email. The following will be easier to understand if I tell you first that the massage center has tanks with certain species of fish that eat the dead skin off your feet while you sit in a chair with your feet immersed in the water.

Here goes. A woman sits down next to me and strikes up a conversation:

Her: “Oh, my. That’s illegal!”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Her: “Those tanks over there with the fish where you sit down and put your feet in them. Those are illegal.”
Me: “I don’t think so.”
Her: “It is where I’m from in the United States!”
Me: “Well, ma’am, you don’t happen to be in the United States at the moment. Here, it is perfectly legal.”
Her: “Oh. Do you live here? You speak English so well!”
Me: “That may be because I was born and raised in England. I’m not Dutch, I’m British.”
Her: “Oh! And here I thought you were a foreigner!”

That’s when I decided to go back to the bar.

Love ya all!

Poppy xxxxxxx

Egypy, Libya; Is More To Come?

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US Ambassador Christopher StevensFollowing the tragic murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his aides at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the storming of the US Consulate in Cairo, Egypt and the tepid response of the U.S Government, it seems to me that Barry McGuire of The Birds nailed it in 1965 with his recording and release of ‘Eve Of Destruction’… Factions in the Middle East have been at war with each other for over 5,000 years. I guess it’s not surprising things haven’t changed much in the last 47 years.

Barry McGuireI don’t pretend to have the answers, either. I only know that if you go looking for trouble, you will find it. I also know if you turn the other cheek one too many times, you run out of cheeks and end up face down in a ditch. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between those two extremes. Don’t go stirring things up spoiling for a fight, but if you are accosted, you have to let your adversary know that you most definitely will respond so as to leave no uncertainty as to the outcome. As the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

Ancient Aliens

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Ancient AliensI’m going to let you all in on a guilty little secret of mine. I watch Ancient Aliens on The History Channel. Now, before the flaming asshats crawl out of the woodwork, I did NOT say I believe in what they’re putting forth but merely that I enjoy watching it! Some of the things they bring up are certainly thought provoking, but I don’t jump to the “It must be aliens!” when I can’t explain how something happened. Most Interseting Man In The WorldTake for example how the show explains the building of the pyramids. Their take on it? Ancient Aliens visitors MUST have shown them how to do it. Uh-huh. I don’t think even ancient humans needed any instruction on how to put one block on top of another. I don’t understand how gravity waves propagate (but then again, neither did Einstein) but I do not think because I can’t explain it that it must have been created by Ancient Aliens.

But I do enjoy the show. The cast members are a wacky looking gang and they are fun once they get revved up. Also, when I have the telly on while working on the computer (like now) I rather have something on that I don’t have to actively watch in order to know what’s going on like i would with a good movie. Giorgio A. TsoukalosWith Ancient Aliens, I can simply look up when I hear something that piques my interest and then quickly turn back to work with an amused expression on my face. There are a few select movies I can use in that manner as well. I can watch scenes without watching the movie and not be confuddled about what’s going on. Two that immediately come to mind as “Van Helsing” and “Dawn of The Dead” (Zack Snyder’s 2004 version).

Georgio & LadiesBut I digress… While the show goes completely overboard explaining everything with “It was aliens!!!”, do I believe in extraterrestrial life and that they MAY have visited our little back-water area of the galaxy? Yes, I do. Over the last few years, astronomers have found hundreds of extrasolar planets, many in so-called Goldilocks Zone (not too hot; not too cold) orbits around their host suns. There are billions of stars in our galaxy and billions of galaxies in the known universe. If there aren’t any other systems that have developed life, well, it seems like an awful inefficient use of real estate!

Keanu & AliensMy own personal beliefs are that while aliens do exist out there somewhere, I doubt they were running all over the place several thousand years ago. Archeologists have found landfills that are many thousands of years old and while they found fragile items such as pottery shards, copper tools, written notes, even bottles of beer, they have not found a single artifact that cannot be explained, such as a piece of plastic or tooled metal. What do you think about the possibility of alien visitors, ancient or otherwise? Let me know your thoughts on all this. Is there life elsewhere? Have we been visited in the past? Or is it all bullshit?

Love to all!

Poppy xxxxxxx

Video Autoplay Is Evil


Prepare to be AnnoyedHey, guys. Time for a rant about Video Autoplay. To me, it is the height of fucking arrogance for a website to start playing a video as soon as I enter the site. I am a big girl (36DD!) and I am fully competent to click on the ‘Play’ button if, and ONLY if, I want to watch the video. I usually have music playing while I’m surfing and I freak when the audio track of a video I do not want to watch starts playing on top of my tunes. 36dd'sOther times, I’m poking around the Internet late at night and the sudden blaring of the audio portion is not welcome at 2am! If I want to wake up The Boyfriend, I’d rather do it by giving him a blowjob as he is far less cranky when he awakes with his dick in my mouth.

You may be able to tell by this point that I am fairly opinionated on this topic. I get completely incensed when the video in question is not part of the website content, but is nothing but a fucking advert! That is nothing less than cheap, crass and insulting. I think most of us can agree that this whole situation is beyond annoying but the question remains is what can be done about it. The answer? As far as I can tell, not a hell of a lot without severely hampering your browsing experience at the same time.

More Loud NoiseI’m using Firefox in discussing what can be done mainly because it is my primary browser. Firefox used to have an extension that would disable all autoplays, but the author stopped development on it more than a year ago so it does not work on the last several versions of Firefox and as a result, it is no longer available for download on the Mozilla website. Mozilla does offer two add-ons called “Stop YouTube Autoplay 1.0” and “YouTube Autoplay Stopper 1.0.7” that will disable autoplay of YouTube videos, but that doesn’t go far enough as the autoplay practice is rife throughout the Internet. I have run into it on websites belonging to CBS, ABC, CNN, Anorak and so on. Mozilla also has an add-on called “Flashblock” that disables all Macromedia based videos, but once again, not all embedded videos are Macromedia based.

youtube-logoI’m sure there are similar tools for the other popular browsers; I simply haven’t looked into it. If anyone knows of them, let me know and I’ll update the blog, giving you full credit, of course! Also let me know your thoughts about Autoplay and if you hate it as much as I do!

Love to all. Poppy

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