Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Told you so

Looks like the grandiose UK ID card scheme which would be used to 'fight terrorism' has crunched into the rocks of reality. Then again, I've been one of the myriad voices pointing out the inconvenient fact that all the most notorious terror bombings Like 9/11, Madrid, 7/7 etc, have all been performed by terrorists with valid, government issued ID cards. That and the other inconvenient fact that such a project would provide the mother lode of all sources for potential ID thieves, terrorists included.

As an immigrant myself, I appreciate the need for controls on people entering and leaving a country, especially in these economically straitened times. There should be an unstated requirement that no country should import poverty in a time of overburdened public purse strings, regardless of 'human rights'. If you can support yourself, all well and good, but if not, sorry; Full. This is never more true than now, what with the world economy still contracting. It should be a given that non natives indulging in terrorist activity against a host country and / or it's citizens should get the perpetrator instant deportation after a lengthy prison sentence, and the permanent stripping of any residency, work or citizenship rights. If not, why not? Human rights pleas are all very well, but those who harm others should not be afforded such privileges. Human rights legislation should be there for the weak and powerless, not as a catch all 'get out of jail free' excuse for every nasty scrote out there.

There is a saying by George Santayana that "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it". Yet those who hold the reins of power seem to often disregard this axiom. Even Karl Marx acknowledged that "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." The repeated failure of Socialist doctrine being a case in point, so he was right about one thing at least. However, to fight terrorism effectively, which is what the cards were supposed to do but couldn't, you have to strike at the root cause. There are acknowledged strategies to successfully fight asymmetric wars ('Terrorist' tactics like Hit and run guerilla tactics, suicide bombings) in which ID cards do not figure strongly. Said tactics derive from the writings of Sun Tzu and latterly John Boyd, who had some interesting things to say about it. Personally, I'm quite relaxed about terrorists about to commit mayhem being 'offed' before they have a chance to do so (A.K.A 'Doing a Gibraltar'). Or if you want the Monty Python version Llap-Goch.

Now the parlous state of the UK economy has dictated that a lot of these grand projects will have to be dumped because the government has run out of taxpayers money. Ahem. Told you so... (snigger).

Update: They're going to ditch the cards, but the odious database is to be kept as an ongoing project. When the next tranche of money runs out, that will have to go, too.

Monday, 29 June 2009


Took a drive on Sunday up to Sayward. Paused at the Ripple Rock viewpoint overlooking the scenic grandeur of the Seymour Narrows. Vouchsafed to an amused Mrs S; "This place is so beautiful it makes me feel quite giddy." Which was true, in amongst all the sun splashed Spruce, Pine, Black and Silver Birch the air was heady, and I had an uncharacteristically light headed moment, leaning heavily on our old grey battlebus for momentary support.

Got back home to enjoy a shared bottle of Pinot Noir after a very pleasant days travel to find a nasty bombshell lurking in Mrs S's inbox. A job which she had been promised, one which would have made us quite nicely off financially had been kicked into touch because the money for her project had been frittered away by her would-be employer. No budget left, no job (Even though the work my beloved was asked to do still has to be done). Fortunately we are still relatively secure, as we both have work and permits for the same, it was just that this little extra would have been some very pleasant icing on the cake. It's rather like being about to take a bite out of a Tim Hortons Blueberry Fritter (A personal favourite of mine), only to have the counter staff snatch it away from you, slap you in the face, and chuck it in the bin. The sensation of WTF?!? in our household has been palpable.

Well, we're upset of course, but taking a little solace from one of Robert Service's offerings;
If you're up against a bruiser and you're getting knocked about --


If you're feeling pretty groggy, and you're licked beyond a doubt --


Don't let him see you're funking, let him know with every clout,
Though your face is battered to a pulp, your blooming heart is stout;
Just stand upon your pins until the beggar knocks you out --

And grin.

This life's a bally battle, and the same advice holds true

Of grin.

If you're up against it badly, then it's only one on you,

So grin.

If the future's black as thunder, don't let people see you're blue;
Just cultivate a cast-iron smile of joy the whole day through;
If they call you "Little Sunshine", wish that THEY'D no troubles, too --

You may -- grin.

Rise up in the morning with the will that, smooth or rough,

You'll grin.

Sink to sleep at midnight, and although you're feeling tough,

Yet grin.

There's nothing gained by whining, and you're not that kind of stuff;
You're a fighter from away back, and you WON'T take a rebuff;
Your trouble is that you don't know when you have had enough --

Don't give in.

If Fate should down you, just get up and take another cuff;
You may bank on it that there is no philosophy like bluff,

And grin.

Stuff 'em. It's a gorgeous day. My dog is happily devouring beef ribs, and I'm back working hard on two Manuscripts (With one submitted). As far as the day job goes, this is slack season until September and maybe I should bunk off through the woods to my favourite fishing spot when the tide is right. Grinning.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

They're 'aving a larf

Yesterdays news carried the little oddment that staff on the London Underground are to be given book s of quotations from Goethe, Ghandi, Satre and Shakespeare (Amongst others) to make their announcements more 'interesting'. Well, well, unintelligible and 'interesting'; should make tube travel a bit more than a crowded journey praying for the blessings underarm deodorant.

Why don't London Underground go the whole hog and theme journeys to said quotations? A little drama to add to the usual drama if you will. Imagine the following scenario, a tube carriage packed with commuters. Two friends meet, one is looking very unhappy.
Passenger one; "Hello, what's happening? You don't look so good."
Passenger two; "What's today's play?"
Passenger one; "As you like it."
Passenger two; "Thank goodness for that. A Shakespeare comedy. So only the usual delays then."
Passenger one; "You look terrible"
Passenger two; "Take my advice and avoid the Northern line this week, they're doing Faust. It's hell down there."

Friday, 26 June 2009

Oh gawd...

Well, they went and did it anyway, in a fit of massive cognitive dissonance not seen since the hysteria of the Salem Witch trials, the cap and trade climate change bill has passed the first hurdle towards becoming a de facto law.

What is it with these politico's? Don't they examine the evidence, or are they blind to anything outside the lobby system? Don't they hear the angry voices who see the economic ruin this will bring, not just to the USA but to Canada and the rest of the western nations?

When the cold winters really bite and there's not enough power from 'renewable' sources to power what is left of American Industry and commerce, perhaps those who were so enthusiastic about this bill will have opportunity to reflect upon their folly. Then again, perhaps not. It was taxation like this that was the impetus behind the American Revolution of 1776, and I know many of our southern neighbours won't take such measures lying down if the US Sensate fails to kill this bill. Via Michelle Malkin, I am given to understand that the bill only passed by one vote, and a certain Senator from Tulsa has stated that this potentially ruinous piece of legislation will not pass the Senate. I hope so, or the economic (and social) fallout may beggar us all.

Climate change – a modest proposal (Yes I know Michael Jackson is dead)

One sees that despite campaigning and evidence to the contrary, the Environmental bandwagon is going to insist on throwing money at a (In my view), non existent problem. The EPA suppresses reports that do not agree with the man made climate change political agenda. China and other ‘developing’ nations are demanding over 100 Billion of each ‘rich’ nations taxpayer dollar for ‘climate mitigation’, and the Prime Monster of the UK (Not a typo) has put the 100 billion price tag on said funds.

This puzzles me, as in the words of a famous stuffed toy, I
'am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me". How does money change, or mitigate the weather? Why is not the investment in ‘Green’ energy and cleaning up the West’s environmental act sufficient? As for China being a recipient instead of a donor country, well ain’t that a riot? If this wasn’t a very serious matter I’d be guffawing my head off. Politicians are throwing your and my money at something which very probably doesn’t exist.

There are many voices claiming otherwise, but as the up to date evidence does not properly support their assertions, I am forced to the other side of the climate fence. I say “What evidence is there that the globe is warming?” Try the following (factual) evidence that it is not;
Sea levels not rising
Coral reef bleaching due to local pollution events, not warming
Global temperature not really rising
Polar Bear population increased year on year since 1950
Arctic not ice free (Currently behind average melt pattern June 2009)
Fewer ‘extreme weather events’
Gulf stream not ‘stopping’
No proven link between CO2 levels and climate
There is currently even a minor trend towards cooler weather in the next few years, which far greater minds than mine ascribe to various factors like reduced solar output, increased planetary albedo, weakened solar magnetosphere, planetary tilt variation, variations in Earth’s orbital path and so on. In light of the aforementioned, to blame all warming and cooling (Whatever) on a trace atmospheric gas (0.03%) that only absorbs and reflects energy in two specific parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, seems a little eccentric to say the least. You might as well blame the tooth fairy.

However, should you believe otherwise, as is your right, I have a modest proposal; Let those that ‘believe’ that we’re all doooomed because of CO2 emissions purchase as many ‘carbon credits’ or ‘carbon offsets’ as they like as an option when travelling. Said credits would be solely for large scale tree planting, setting up and maintaining wilderness parks all over the world, and funding proper research into clean energy like nuclear Fusion (Windmills and solar are a waste of time). Said credits could then be ‘traded’ on a market for those (If any) who wish to purchase them. All ‘climate mitigation’ money should be derived from funds so generated. Payouts from such a fund should only happen when there was clear and incontrovertible evidence that such a payment would certainly ‘mitigate’ (reduce) the climate event responsible. Say for planting managed forests on the upper reaches of large rivers prone to flooding.

However, those who do not 'believe' in man made climate change should not be compelled to buy ‘carbon credits’ when travelling. The summation of this minor thesis is; let the ‘true believers’ dig into their own no doubt capacious pockets. Put their money where their collective mouths are. Let them pay the modern version of indulgences.

P.S Yes I know Michael Jackson is dead, but you can’t force me to care about it. The boy who couldn’t grow up is no more, but I won’t sully this blog with his eccentricities. Close the door and have done with the poor wretch. Speak his name no more except in fond remembrance of the good stuff he once did. De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

A blast..

"Calling all honest men..." Hi ho, the irony of when this was recorded (I think 1997) and the situation in the UK now. Well doesn't it just clang?

Correction: Released in 1991. However, don't the lyrics have synergy?
We're just a stone's throw
From Burning Hellfire
Does anybody know,
Where did all the heroes go?
We've had our fill of
This gallery of scoundrels,
The leaders of the world,
Those power hungry liars

Plus çà chose, plus ça même chose.....

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

All growed up...

There are times when all the effort you put into something comes back at you with a smile. When your chest swells just a little with justifiable pride in something truly worthwhile. This morning brought such a moment.

We were Skyping with youngest stepdaughter and it gives me great pleasure to see what a terrific person she is becoming. Sharp, smart, popular, and damn it all she's pretty. It fair puts a lump in me cynical old throat, guv'nor.

At the time we were making plans for what she wants to do when she comes to visit in August and it slowly dawned upon me that the child I have railed about, got mad at, and often bit hard back on showing my anger at times, is now a young woman in her own right. The one I sat with, helping with her English and History homework (I understand she got Grade A+ 'A' levels in those two subjects), talking about syntax and paragraph structure on my off duty evenings. She's an experienced traveller who thinks nothing of arranging her own flights across the world and dealing almost casually with the two imposters of triumph and disaster when they pay unwelcome visits to her life. She's getting good grades and is looking at either working in the corporate world, or joining the Police as a graduate. For myself, I would advise her to take the former course; the money's better. However, the choice is hers, and I think she'll make the right one, whatever it is.

I know I'm not her biological father, but I love her as though she was one of mine, and I'm quite pleased with myself for my minor role in her upbringing. From the times when she wouldn't show an inch of unnecessary skin, always hiding her light under the bushel of jeans and hooded sweatshirts, to the leggy, confident young woman I talked to today. I am sooo looking forward to squiring her around town this August. The local boys won't know what's going to hit 'em. I can already hear the hollow clacks of jaws hitting the floor.

Midsummer madness

Every year I see the various new age groups 'celebrating' solstice. In amongst them, there are a number of people calling themselves 'Druids'.

I would like to draw my one readers attention to the following; they aren't real Druids. None of them. They're all fakes. Every last single one. Either unemployed, or frustrated Junior Accountants, or low level Council Workers to a man. Especially those under the age of twenty eight. There is no such thing, or ever was if you adhere to the strict letter of the Lore on these things, as a Druid under that age. Three simple reasons;

First: A would-be Druid must first be a Bard, an acknowledged singer of songs who must be able to rhyme and scan - no blank verse, that's cheating. No girls either. Which is bad news for the feminists because there are no recorded instances of genuine female Bards in Druidic culture. This training traditionally began with boys at the age of fourteen and took seven years entailing a number of sacred rituals like being left to survive the night lying in a swamp (Don't ask why - they just did). At the end of this seven years the would be Bard must prove their ability by singing in front of a council of his peers, all of whom must be either acclaimed Bards or proper Druids, and satisfy them of his ability and suitability for future training.

Secondly: The would-be Druid then has to undergo seven more years of training to learn the folk medicine and sacred rituals, some of which he must undergo himself as a kind of examination. Think of them as kind of high risk mid term exams. There was only one penalty for failure and that is death, usually during the ritual in question but sometimes after as a human sacrifice. Oh, and no sex, although I suspect quite a lot of that generally went on, humanity being what it is.

Soooo.... Fourteen plus seven plus seven equals...... twenty eight.

Ah, and there aren't any real Druids left because the Romans slaughtered them all back in the first and second centuries AD. Mainly because they were a pest and source of resistance against the Roman occupation of Britain. Romano British chronicles of the time tell us that a Roman army cornered and hacked a large contingent into dogmeat back in AD 60. See the contemporary writings of Tacitus, Pliny and Agricola amongst other sources. After that, the last of the Druids were hunted to extinction over the next two decades. Ergo, no more Druids, and no more documented or otherwise sources until a Victorian 'revival' when idle people with nothing better to do dressed up as Saxons, Danes or Celts and made up huge swaths of 'ceremonies' as 'historical recreations'.

Oh, and if these guys are real Druids, how come they get the date wrong; Solstice is the 22nd to 23rd of June, not the 21st or 22nd.

Why would you want to be an adherent to an extinct sect anyway? Is it something to do with exclusivity, like it's my sect and I'll sacrifice if I want to? Poor identification within your family and the search for identity within a peer group? Hated parents, and wants a peer group surrogate but isn't tough enough to join a gang? Maybe they just hate the tyranny of wearing trousers? There are clubs for people like that. Who knows, who cares. I just hate it when people get things wrong and make stuff up to fill in the cracks.

Steve Hughes


H/T The Last Ditch

Monday, 22 June 2009

Hummingbirds at my window

Every evening at between eight and nine, Mrs S and I are graced by the visit of one of these little guys. We sit inside, the windows closed by eight to keep out the first of the summers mosquitoes, and this particular bird darts back and forth less than seven feet from where we sit. At the risk of sounding a bit sad, it's one of my evening's highlights. A free aerobatic display. I would post a picture, but my camera is currently on the blink. However, in the words of one of Bob Monkhouse's less memorable gags; Norman Jervis will be exhumed as soon as possible.

Away from the delights of our current abode, we see mildly alarming news that the Sabre rattling Dictatorship of North Korea is threatening a missile launch in the direction of the USA. Certain pundits are predicting that said regime will be capable of launching a missile with sufficient range to strike at the continental USA within the next three years. However, seeing as North Korea's cash earning exports seem to be Missile technology, Insurance Fraud and Counterfeiting, I won't be holding my breath. The global financial community has cottoned on to the frauds, so it's very likely that any funds from the latter two activities will dry up like the proverbial spit on a hot stove in a very short space of time. Which will only leave the drug trade to pay for that very expensive North Korean nuclear programme.

I'm vaguely concerned about the North Korean sabre rattling mainly because our new home on Vancouver Island will be in range of the nutter of Pyongyang's latest toys if the three year prediction holds true. Mind you, if the drug trade suffers losses like the old time bootleggers did in the early 1930's, that source of income will be a bust as well, and ultimately said dictatorship will implode as the top dogs snuffle around for the scraps. Which is what generally happens with dictatorships when the money eventually runs out, as it always does. Another communist dictatorship quietly slides down the pan of history, which may not be good news for the poverty stricken North Korean public, but long term good for the rest of the world. China probably won't either want or be able to help them out, as the Chinese have discovered the joys of modern consumerism, and in all probability won't want to lose face by backing a losing one trick pony regime. I hope so for everyone's sake.

With the North Korean threat quietly consigned to the history books that means the threat of a first strike on US (and possibly Canadian) soil will disappear for the moment, and the world will breathe a little easier, and I will still be able to watch the Hummingbirds outside my window on Summer evenings. Good.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A movie I won't be going to see...

Last night Mrs S and I went to see the first showing of UP, Pixar's latest offering.

UP is well worth seeing, from the characterisation and the storyline to the quality of the animation. Although it was a cartoon and the theatre was full of kids, it's not really a movie for children. UP is actually quite grown up. as it's character back story deals with topics such as broken dreams and bereavement. Still a great deal of fun. Lots of great gags, my favourite being "Squirrel!" (Watch it for yourself, I'm not going to spoil it for you.)

As I was buying the tickets I saw a promotional montage promoting the latest apocalyptic movie, 2012. According to some of the tinfoil hatters, the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. Ah. Yersss. This would be the end of the thirteenth cycle of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar then? Riiight. There were twelve cycles before that, so maybe there are other cycles to come? That one is rather like saying that because no one's printed the 2013 calendar, we're all going to die! Ahem. Remember the end of the millennium? How the end of the world crowd got that one wrong? (By three years, no less) Still here aren't we? Saying the world is going to end because we're coming to the end of your 2009 Kerranng calendar is right up there with the millennial dumb awards. The 'true believers' are going to look even more stupid in 2013, just like everyone laughs at the Jehovah's witnesses and all the other apocalyptic cults.

Suffice it to say, 2012 is on my list of movies not to see.

Update: Upon the recommendation of Mummylonglegs, may I welcome Angry Exile to the 'Australian contingent' on the sidebar.

Friday, 19 June 2009

You know what I really love about Canada?

You can read anything you want. There are no censorious book burners here (Well, not locally). You can find anything providing it is of sufficient literary merit. The librarians make no comment on your choices, as they seem to understand why you need to read, and read widely.

There is enlightenment in reading a broad spectrum of material, from Das Kapital to Mein Kampf, from the Torah to the Koran and from Shakespeare to Graphic Novels. All are grist to the mill of my paltry intellect. You know what the great thing really is? The best thing of all? You are left to draw your own conclusions. There is no tutting, no tacit or overt disapproval at your choice of reading here. No one to 'tell' you their interpretation. Discussion perhaps, like when I took the time to watch some of Leni Riefenstahl's ground breaking film work on DVD. "Great camera work" I believe was one remark. The content (About the 1934 rally of the Nazi party) did not seem to faze anyone. They even have a statement inside the front door, declaring that the library is a 'freedom to read' area.

Those who work in our local library seem to be above all things, bibliophiles, lovers of the printed word; and as such are worthy of praise. The reason I am pleased is because I happened upon a copy of the collected poems of Robert Service, and also the works of Damon Runyon. This blog may become a little literary for the next month or so.

To Redact;

A Redact or Redactor (Noun) person who edits or revises for publication.
To redact (Verb) the act of editing or revision, or formulate in a particular style or language
Redaction (Adjective) the act of revising or editing for publication

To simply black pen out huge tranches of information regarding MP’s expenses is not redaction in the classical sense, as that implies a certain delicacy or care with the written word prior to publication. There is an uglier word to describe what has been done to the MP’s expense sheets, a much cruder description with definite pejorative overtones; censorship.

The spinmeisters need to go back to school to learn the proper use of English.

Update: Addition to the sidebar for best hyphenation of the week; Anna Raccoon. 'Profli-gate' (Description of UK MP's expenses scandal).

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Counting blessings

There are consolations in this life;
  1. The view from my living room window is one most people would gladly cut an arm off for; an East facing panorama of Sea, sunshine and tree covered islands
  2. Although there was bad news in a meeting this morning I do not consider my employment in this new land of Canada onerous
  3. Despite all our recent alarums and diversions, my marriage seems to have survived, and even still feels good
  4. I still get 'hit' on by women (Mrs S is still amused by this - God alone knows why)
  5. My salary is no longer contributing to those profligate whoeresons in the UK Parliament who aren't worth their weight in rusty washers
  6. I was never important enough to figure on the journalists radar, unlike certain other bloggers.
Life's been good to me so far.....

Safety and risk

Reading the news from around the world, I'm often stunned to mute amazement. We live in one of the safest times in recorded history, yet scare stories abound. The Earth is going to heat up uncontrollably and future generations will boil / freeze / lose money on their waterfront condo's. We're all going to die from Bird flu, Swine flu, AIDS, Ebola, SARS. Now I'll qualify that implication by saying here and now that all risk is relative. If you don't work with poultry in unhygenic conditions you aren't very likely to contract that particular strain of H1N1. If you don't have unprotected sex with drug abusers or those who practice indiscriminate anal sex with many casual partners, then HIV / AIDS is not going to figure large in your life. If you cook your food properly, then all the bogeymen aren't going to crawl out of your dietary input and rot your intestines. Certain parasitic diseases are only endemic in certain temperature ranges / climates. As for contaminants and poisons, as Paracelsus rightly pointed out, the 'poison is in the dose'. The human body is, when fed and watered adequately, a tremendously robust machine. Like a well maintained car, moderately driven (Not too fast or slow) will run for many years longer than the warranty without serious complaint, and you don't have to get all obsessive compulsive about maintenance either.

What is it with certain people? Aren't they whole unless quivering in a terrified heap in a darkened corner under a blanket covered in fluffy pink wabbits? Why do they have to be victims of whatever all the bloody time? Why don't they get out into the great outdoors and grow a couple. What is more to the point, why should the rest of us have to share their anxiety states?

We in the developed 'West' are better fed, longer lived, breathe cleaner air, drink cleaner water, are healthier and keep our teeth and hair longer than any previous generation. How can I be so sure? Because I'm just about old enough to recall when it wasn't so. The 1970's in fact. Our diet is certainly healthier because the much despised 'globalism' puts healthy food on your plate (Should you wish to eat it) at all times of the year, and not just when a particular vegetable is in 'season'. The 'green revolution' of the 1970's saw to that, with more disease resistant and higher yielding crops. The air is cleaner due to stricter emission controls on industry and vehicles. Disease control is far better due to improved drugs and antibiotics (Although we could help by not coughing, spitting, and picking our noses in and around hospitals). There is less water pollution. According to this article in the Australian, the Great barrier reef is in fine fettle. This is because we are slowly but surely cleaning up our collective act.

Now part of the reason for cleaner air and water is because we have exported much of our industrial capacity to places like China and India, where they aren't so much bothered by the pollution as we effete westerners. They were up until recently more concerned with developing their economic and industrial capacity and hang the airborne particulate matter. Yet now they are finding that all this industrialisation has a downside and are looking to clean up their collective acts.

Yet sometimes the elasticity of my credulity goes into acute failure mode. Via this article at wattsupwithat.com I read that those in the 'Denialist' faction (Couldn't all those clever people who believe in man made climate change come up with something better?) are:
a fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters funded by the oil companies
One might point the finger the other way. All the oil and energy companies (or at least their marketing departments) seem to have embraced the green propaganda as gospel, and have no logical reason not to. There's gold in that there postulation pardner. New niches in the market to be carved out, extra dosh to be squeezed from the paying public in the form of 'Carbon indulgences' (Where's Luther when you need him?). Why on earth would they want to fund the climate sceptics contrary view?

The mainstream media bombard us with images of a doomed planet; yet we're missing the whole point. There are environmental issues we should be concerned about. Over fishing, pollution (Ironically some of which is due to 'biofuel' production), yet all the mainstream and the politicians can blather on about is a trace atmospheric gas that has minimal if any effect on the climate.

So I'm an Eeeevil 'Denier', a shill in the pay of 'big oil'? Okay, if that's the case, where's my money dude?

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The UK Times does it again

The Times claims another work blogger scalp. Nightjack this time. Well I hope it makes the editorial team and their lawyers proud and I hope their celebratory drinkies bloody well choke them.

The Times in particular has a history of outing anonymous bloggers for no good reason. The most famous of which was "Girl with a one track mind". She's still going, bless her, but it was touch and go for a while. That reminds me, must add her to the sidebar again.

It says a lot about journalistic 'ethics' if the Times thinks it can publish confidential details of people's lives against their express wishes.

This is not to say that certain bloggers are cast from the same odious mould, but for the most part, a certain etiquette is observed regarding anonymity. You don't slag people off repeatedly and indiscriminately, or make oblique threats against their families, and your privacy is usually respected. Work bloggers especially, who often face summary dismissal for their off duty musings. I'm sure my ex employers would still like to nail my figurative arse to the wall for some of the things I've written about them; even if what I wrote was an accurate representation of my one time working life and practices. Despite the necessary camouflage of names, times and places. Too late for that now. Is bag of the out cat the (Flat pack axiom, some self assembly required).

Politicians however, are exempted from this rule if caught with both trotters in the public feeding trough. Corruption in all it's subtle guises is also fair game for bloggers. Fisking, or deconstructing arguments point by point is likewise acceptable. Publishing someone's real name against their wishes for no better reason than you can is most certainly not.

In closing I will express only one wish; may the UK Times get leprosy in it's circulation and find it's advertising revenue dropping off.

An authentic voice has been lost for no good reason. Such a loss diminishes us all.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Harbouring curiosities

Went Kayaking at the weekend and passed this strange monument opposite the Yacht club. It appears to be some kind of pile out at the side of the channel festooned with the tops (And I think a few bottoms) of young ladies swimming costumes.

Must be one of those curious local Canadian customs, crossing the channel at night to display one's prowess at swimming in the harbour. Sounds a bit icky to me though, exposing young ladies delicate little places to the importunate ravages of the local piscine population. Watch out for those Eels, girls, they get everywhere.

A very, very, angry man

But with a very sound understanding of macroeconomics........

96.42.42.# (Unknown Organization)

After a few hectic days spent chasing around after indecisive in-laws (Ooo, let's go there - no there. That looks nice...) I checked the site stats to see who had been visiting and found the above IP address. If there is such a thing as a creepy IP address, I think it may well qualify. A quick WHOIS tells me it came via a server with following details;

OrgName: Charter Communications
OrgID: CC04
Address: 12405 Powerscourt Dr.
City: St. Louis
StateProv: MO
PostalCode: 63131
Country: US

NetRange: -
NetHandle: NET-96-32-0-0-1
Parent: NET-96-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Allocation
RegDate: 2007-12-19
Updated: 2008-04-28

OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE19-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-314-288-3111

OrgTechHandle: IPADD1-ARIN
OrgTechName: IPAddressing
OrgTechPhone: +1-314-288-3889
OrgTechEmail: ipaddressing@chartercom.com

I have a message for whoever is visiting from this address; would you kindly please go away and not come back? You make my flesh crawl. Don't ask me why, you just do.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

A Thought for.....

"Oh God, not another fucking beautiful day."

Can't blog. Too much real life stuff going on. Family party, final MSS edit before submission, all that stuff. Full report later.

In the meantime.......
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

I'm waiting, and I can wait....

When is that unelected dolt going to go?

To borrow a chant from the rentamob;

"Whaddo we want?"
"When do we want it?"

Monday, 8 June 2009


My dearly beloved is not happy and I can't figure out why. She's been offered a new job with more money (Lucky her, wish I had) - she's miserable. We go to Sister in laws to plan multiple birthday party / picnic day and do giggly stuff. She comes away unhappy. I've tried everything; attention, ministering to her every need, treats, hanging on every word - nada. I've already been pushed into telling her that I'm fed up with having my head snapped off for things I have no control over (Immigration forms / economic conditions). It interferes with my writing and quite frankly her attitude is getting on my tits. Even trying to explain something to her is hard work as I find myself having to repeat everything three or four times, and God help me if I omit a detail. It's like her head is so full, everything else just bounces off. She's unhappy because younger sister makes her feel 'worthless'. She's snaps at me when I say that I've already told her something twice before. Well I'm stuck for answers. It's like the woman I married isn't there, and that bothers me. I might as well hunker down and get on with the stuff I have to do and wait for her to surface.

Mind you, I'm not the only one with cause to be unamused. The unelected idiot in the UK has just lost another minister and I give him another week, two at most before he has to resign and call a General Election. His Labour party almost got annihilated at the polls last week. county Council and EU elections have reduced their number of MEP's to 11, only one more than the Liberal Democrats, and the same number as the anti-EU UK Independence Party. Hells Bells! Even the National Socialist clone British National Party got two seats, although I put that down to a protest vote by disgruntled ex Labour voters.

Bugger it. I've more important things to do. I'm submitting three MSS samples to some agencies in Vancouver and Toronto this week. See if I get any luck this side of the water. I'm going to keep my head down, keep working and trust to luck. Something has to give.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Absholootely shuper....indeed

Have been slightly the worse for wear in the past day or so; reason? Well, Mrs S's side of the clan are now here and getting over the long journey, but this means that Mother in law has company that is not us. We are no longer at the beck and call of her every whim. I wouldn't mind if Mother in law tried a bit, but she requires help for almost everything short of getting dressed in the morning.

We were at Sister in law's apartment on Friday evening ensuring Mother in law was fed, watered, and comfortable in youngest Sister in law's apartment, when the rest of the clan walked in after their drive up from Victoria. Everyone appeared less than amused, and youngest Sister in law greeted us with a "What are you doing here?" Nice to see you, too, Sis. Both my Brother in laws looked less than happy, and only middle sister had a hug for her elder sister. I greeted my Brothers in law cordially, and Mrs S and I made our exit so that everyone could rest and get comfortable after their long journey.

Neither Mrs S or I thought it politic to ask what was amiss. Suffice it to say that there is a certain friction between parts of that side of the clan which I have no desire to become embroiled in. Not my fight.

On the steps of Sister in laws apartment, Mrs S and I high fived each other before heading off to the Liquor store to purchase two bottles of a moderately drinkable Sauvignon blanc. Then we promptly went back home to get smashed.

"Fuck a duck Bill. I'm glad they're here." Said my much better half as we returned to our small place in the boonies.
"Drink up." Said I, pouring a large glass of the aforementioned vino for her and passing the chocolate and strawberries.
"We've survived." She said.
"Indeed." I said in my best Christopher Judge impersonation.

We giggled ourselves to sleep.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Juno Beach 6th June 1944

My dad was there. AB Signals RN on LCT's

Update; Empty rhetoric from POTUS. Gordon Brown gaffe "Obama Beach", also booed by D-Day veterans (See vid below H/T The ranting Penguin). Queen not invited. Oh Gawd, an empty suit and an empty head. My Mother in law could have done it better.

Good job Brown, Sarkozy and Obama and their administrations weren't in charge on the real D-Day.

Friday, 5 June 2009


While waiting for the rest of Mrs S's clan to turn up for two weeks of Birthday shenanigans, am currently watching the UK politics news with an unmasked, malevolent glee. The Brown government is finally, irrevocably, beginning the long slide down the tubes into electoral oblivion. Off with their gold plated pensions!

Over the next five years the truth is going to come out about how much damage New Labour did to the UK, and may HMRC have mercy on their souls (Or not, I don't care). I want the whole crew to be dragged through the bankruptcy courts and suffer the humiliation of being flat broke and busted with no real prospect of surcease for three long years. I want to see the bastards learning why you shouldn't bend over to pick up the soap in the showers on E Wing. Of course, seeing the guilty pay for their malfeasance won't bring back everything I've lost, but there will be a grim satisfaction coursing through my veins from afar as I watch them getting their comeuppance. I cite IR35 and several ruined pension plans (c/o the Brown instigated Work & Pensions Act 2000) as motivation.

I don't want to see any of the bastards in Canada (And definitely not in BC) either. If Canadian Immigration would be so kind, would they deny all members of the current UK government any visa whatsoever (No Diners Club, Amex or MasterCard either). Keep characters like Hoon, Brown, Blears etc out of Canada.

Now if some kindly member of a terrorist organisation would off the arch-traitor Tony Blair for me, messily and publicly, my joy would know no bounds.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Will he or won't he?

Well, El Gordo is well and truly hunkered down in his bunker despite multitudinous calls for him to go, some of which have come from some surprising sources, despite previous support. Sigh, how fickle these media types are.

Will be watching the electoral destruction of the UK Labour Party (Please don't disappoint me) from this side of the pond with a great deal of satisfaction. May they be consigned to eternal electoral oblivion. Every time they've been in power they fucked up the UK economy. The late 1940's, mid 1960's to late 1970's, and now the current bunch of troughers.

When will the electorate learn? You can't get more money out of Government than you put in. Government is horribly inefficient at doing everything. As Benjamin Franklin obliquely pointed out, you can't 'redistribute wealth' via government without eroding the very system that allows reasonable personal liberty, and all the luxuries that can allow to the ordinary working man. Governments have no business deciding who should be rich or poor, nor are elected bodies of politicians qualified or competent to do so.
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