Saturday, 30 January 2010

First we had....

'Climategate'; the release of emails, code, and programmers annotations which basically began the collapse of all the "It's all CO2, and we're all guilty" assertions.

Then we had 'Glaciergate'; the exposure of the lack of basic research upon which much of the "OMG! Breathing out will kill us all you filthy Deniers!" hysteria has been based.

Now we have 'Amazongate'; The assertion that an atmospheric trace gas would wreck the Amazon Rainforests, which has turned out to be the exact opposite of reality. Based on assertions from amounts to little more than a World Wildlife Fund press release. Hardly the grounds for 'Immediate action'. Sheesh. Some people will believe anything.

I'm still waiting for 'Oceangate' where spurious claims that absorption of 'excess' CO2 will harm the worlds oceans are proved to have originated off some obscure warmist blog because no-one wanted to spend time doing original research. Ho bloody ho. I'm so not amused.

Each and every time that CO2 has been pointed at as the villain of the climate modifiers, the panic mongers assertions have been proven groundless, even dangerously wrong. When even Bin Laden's voice is heard (From beyond the grave?) saying his followers should promote 'Global Warming' well I'd say that kind of wraps it up for man made climate change / global warming / whatever.

I tell you one thing though; David Cameron and his band of merry centre ground Blue Labourites aren't getting this (or Mrs S's) UK expatriates postal vote with their spurious claims of 'greener than thou'. He and his cohorts are just as bad as Jonah Brown and his not so merry men who are currently fucking the British economy. Will Cameron be any better? I say not. He's going to take the fall just like Edward Heath did in the early 1970's.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Now I normally don't like Rap, but.......

Intelligent stuff like this between competing economic ideologies is sooo good.

H/T The Last Ditch

And another not so thrilling episode of.....

Herlock Soames and the case of the missing thermometers; Part 2

Now the story can be told in another of the three (Two? Four? Five? Who gives a shit?) not so chilling episodes.

Scene: A darkened warehouse-like room where three men sit around in high backed chairs facing away from each other. Number One is fiercely gripping an oversize barometer. Number Two sits behind a stack of papers, waist high, upon the top page of which can be seen the legend ‘IPCC AR4’. Number Three is stroking a white Persian Cat. Their faces remain in shadow.

Number Three; So gentlemen, have we decided what the weather is to be for the next fifty years?
Number Two; (Hastily riffling through the stack of paper in front of him) Er, hotter, much hotter! Glaciers and ice caps gone. Not even enough ice for a Martini gone! The report says so, so it must be true.
Number Three; How much hotter?
Number Two; Er… Don’t know, Number One won’t let me look at his Barometer.
Number One; (Petulantly) It’s my Barometer, and I don’t see why I should let you see it! It’s mine, and you’d only misquote me if I did!
Number Three; Very well. We shall announce that the Earth will warm by ten degrees Celsius and all the Penguins will melt if people don’t give us all their money. Does anyone have Moonbats phone number? He’ll believe anything we say.
Number One; Deniers! Filthy scum! Hate them all! They can’t see my Barometer! It’s mine I tell you! Mine!
Number Three; Have we dealt with the Thermometer issue?
Number One; Har har har! Thermometers? We don’ need no stinkin’ thermometers!
Number Three; Excellent. Gore can deliver the message, as usual. Number Two?
Number Two; Sir?
Number Three; Have you got Google to delete all the blogs of those wicked Deniers?
Number Two; Cunleys doing it sir!
Number Three; Has he succeeded?
Number Two; No sir.
Number Three; Oh dear, this is so troublesome. Measures must be taken.
Number Two; Shall I call him in?
Number Three; Immediately. (Enter Cunley, a tall hippie like man carrying a toy Polar Bear) Ah, Cunley. We understand we gave you a task.
Cunley; (Visibly nervous) The Denier blogs?
Number Three; Yes. Are they deleted?
Cunley; (Swallows nervously) No sir, Google won’t do it. Not even in the name of Al Gore.
Number One; (Mumbling feverishly) Denier scum wrecking my work!
Number Two; You know the penalty for failure Cunley.
Cunley; (Panicking) But Google wouldn’t do it because they said it suppressed free speech.
Number Three; Hmm?
Cunley; (Falls to his knees, openly pleading) Please give me another chance! I won’t fail you again.
Number One; Only one penalty, har har har.
Number Three; Cunley, I’m sorry to do this but you really do leave me no option.
Number Two; Only one penalty for failure.
Number Three; Indeed (Pause) I will have to cut off Number Two’s funding.
Number Two; (Screams and falls to floor twitching knocking papers everywhere) NOOOOOOOO! Ah! No funding! ARGH! No career! NOOOOOOOOO! (Two white coated men enter and drag his feverishly twitching body into the shadows)
Number Three; (To Cunley) Sit down please. (Cunley takes Number Two’s chair) You are the new Number Two.
New Number Two; Who is Number One?
Number Three; You are Number Two.
New Number Two; Can I be Number One next week?
Number Three; No.
New Number Two; Owwww.

From the deepest shadows in the warehouse-like room a soft voice, barely more than a whisper is heard.

Soames; The fiends!

Thats ends episode two of the case of Herlock Soames and the missing thermometers. Can you wait another week for the next thrilling installment? Would you want to? Well tough monkeys…..

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

More US jobs to be lost

Have just seen the news that the White House will be spending more of the 0.53% of the federal budget earmarked for NASA on 'Climate change'. My jaw dropped as I read the news that there will be no funding for the ARES and Constellation programmes which will be spent instead on 'fighting climate change'. Does the current US administration not understand basic economics? Don't they understand that projects which pioneer Space exploration has massive spin off potential, both in terms of employment and technology? Even India has a manned space program planned, yet the White house appears to be backing away from investing in manned exploration?

"We certainly don't need to go back to the moon," said one administration official. Yes you do, or you'll end up begging rides to the ISS from the Russians and Indians. Never mind nebulous hopes for a 'Heavy lift' platform. I thought that was the whole premise behind ARES. The Obama Administrations only alternative appears to be 'outsourcing' the space programme. Is this the 'Change' the US electorate voted for? Apparently so, because change is all they'll have left.

What would have happened if Columbus and Cabot had not obtained funding for their voyages to the riches of the new world? By not funding extraterrestrial exploration, the Obama administration threatens to put the USA, and hence the western economic sphere down in the economic doldrums for decades, picking up scraps from other's tables instead of making the running.

Well maybe people like Scaled Composites will step up to the plate and deliver. Maybe a private consortium will develop a 'better, stronger, faster' means of off world exploration. For myself, I doubt it. Miracles of technology aside, only Governments have the funding necessary to set mankinds metaphorical feet firmly on the road to the stars. Without that impetus, this dooms Homo Sapiens to being an evolutionary footnote, just another layer in the fossil record. We are an expansionist species. We must spread out or die out.

There is no net economic benefit from spending US taxpayers (or anyone else's) money on fucking totally discredited claims of anthropogenic climate change. The only 'green jobs' will be taxpayer funded, and that will take necessary investment capital which in turn creates employment for US citizens out of the system, even I understand that. FFS If what the project indicates is true, then the claims of nought point whatever temperature change are completely unverifiable. The US temperature record alone is not reliable enough to say that global temperature is actually rising out of control, even by tenths of a degree. The biased siting of many Weather monitoring stations helps put all those prognostications of climate doom in doubt.

All we see happening are cycles that repeat the weather patterns of the 1920's and 30's. Any bloody idiot can verify that for themselves by checking out news sources from that period.

Clucking bell. Someone in the White House has been talking the stupid pills. When the USA needs all the economic clout it can muster, what it doesn't need is an administration which removes fuel from the economic powerhouse.

By verifiable example; 7,000 Jobs at the Kennedy Space Centre (Ironic that Kennedy was a Democrat) will be lost when the Shuttle program ends in September 2010. Other related industries will also have to shed workers. More people on the breadline, taking social security and contributing nothing in return. But what the hey, maybe those redundant space industry workers can get jobs with the Indian program, eh?

Just as a matter of interest; here is a list of spin offs directly attributable to NASA's space program.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

For the chop.

Have been feeling very low of late. Stuff which should have me rattling the keyboard at warp speed has quite frankly left me cold. Basically, I couldn't be arsed about anything. Not a proverbial sausage. Mrs S noticed and prodded me about how I felt.
"I don't know." Was the only answer I could give her. "I've just hit the buffers, that's all"
"Well, you moved house alone with a dose of flu, and we've had all the immigration fuss recently, so I'm not surprised. You're over stressed and need proper rest." Suggested my much better half. "Go to bed." Then she smirked. "I could always call the vet." Thank you dear.

She's quite right of course, I've been under the gun recently regarding work and had no real outlet for my frustrations. It kind of drains you after a while. Blood pressure goes up and you're left feeling tired all the time. Just like I used to feel back in the UK. Now all the medicals and form filling are completed I'm just about to keel over. The only thing I disagreed about was the 'go to bed' suggestion.

My solution? We have a log fire. Log fires need logs. Logs must be split and dried. It's a vigorous, highly physical activity which gets the blood pumping and burns a lot of excess calories. Landlord has a nice six pound log splitter with a thirty inch handle which he let me borrow today. He also has forty plus sections of approximately thirty inch diameter chunks of tree trunk already chainsawed into fourteen or so inch lengths sitting in the front yard. Each one weighs around a hundredweight (50kg ish). Ergo I have been splitting these hundred pound plus chunks of timber into eight or twelve sections per log ready for fiery sacrifice in our Moloch of a woodburning stove. Of course these things will take a few months to dry in the log store, but in the meantime, they're good solid exercise. Something to work up a good honest sweat about. Clear the arteries, lower the blood pressure, pump up under used muscles, all that jazz. Because at the moment the teaser below from the 'Incredibles' feels awfully familiar. My figurative superhero costume is, shall we say, a little snug in places. I need to peel off a few pounds, and the only way to do it is heavy physical exercise.

I like cutting wood the hard way. There's something about the smell of fresh split timber, the clean grain and pale straw of the sapwood with its abrupt transition into the rich orangey brown of the heartwood. The shock as your Maul bites deep into the grain. The splintery cracking noise of a clean cut followed by a solid thump as another fifteen to twenty pound log is sheared through, bouncing off the block ready for piling up to dry. Highly satisfying. Takes about five to ten minutes and about forty strikes per log. See picture below.

I have elected to cut at least five of these log sections a day. Just to get the old muscles back in some sort of tune. Perhaps recondition my currently saggy frame into some sort of fitness. No doubt there are those who would decry such activity, considering it mere physical labour and thus beneath them. Some might choose to go running or visit the Gym to burn off the stress and calories. Spend money at a spa, or visit the health centre, get a massage; but that wouldn't get next years firewood cut now would it?

I like this way best.

Monday, 25 January 2010

An interesting development...

MIT have announced an invention which might just bring the technology of nuclear fusion closer to the realms of possibility.

One lives in hope that this will be so; because if this world needs one thing, it needs a cheap and clean source of power. Petawatts (1000 Terawatts, 1,000,000 Gigawatts) of the stuff. Fusion has that potential. Whether this new approach will pay dividends after 50 years of investigation, I have no idea. However, it is trying a counter intuitive approach to Fusion which could see some sort of breakthrough, or if not, some further clue to where the real answer to cracking safe Nuclear Fusion might lie. Other projects like the LDP are showing promise. It's only a question of time.

I'm not holding my breath, just watching interestedly.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Global warming was a WWF press release?

Well, there's a turn up for the books. The IPCC's AR4 report appears to be in deeper trouble than even those of a sceptical mindset first surmised.

If those sharp cookies over at and are correct then all the concerns that the planet is warming uncontrollably have no more authority than a, a press release? "Hey! Give us all your money or the world's going to end!" Is that all there ever was to it? Ouch. That's gonna hurt.

There was a time when the World Wildlife Fund was a respected organisation, who dedicated untold hours of their time into saving endangered species. Now their, and by the same token, the IPCC's credibility is breaking up and slipping Titanic-like into the depths, ne'er to be seen in several lifetimes.

Perhaps some future Bob Ballard like character will find the rusticle encrusted hulk of their failed political science two and a half miles down. "Looks like it broke it's back under the weight of falsehoods when it ran into a berg like mass of empirical evidence." He might say when asked to give a reason for the cataclysm. "The not so good ship Global Warming was poorly designed, and although deemed unsinkable, brought the reputations and careers of many Scientific Researchers and Environmental Journalists to an untimely end as their funding sank without trace. It's very sad."

Glug...glug...glug.......... (Evil snigger)

Another country heard from

Was talking to youngest stepdaughter via Skype this morning. We were nattering light heartedly about the comedy channel that passes for UK news nowadays when Youngest vouchsafed without any word of encouragement from me; "Britain's fucked, isn't it?"

All I could do by way of reply was nod, slowly and carefully. Over the miles we shared a look of mutual understanding. "Okay." She said brightly. Clever girl.

I am very proud to have instilled some of the virtues of critical thinking with her. There is hope for the future.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

and tonight's thrilling episode of.......

Herlock Soames and the case of the missing thermometers; Part 1

Now the story can be told in three (Two? Four?) not so chilling episodes.

Scene: A small set of ‘rooms’ not very far from Baker St, London, England. Present are Herlock Soames, investigative journalist and his friend (But only in the most platonic of senses), Hodson.

Soames; (Lighting highly illegal ‘herbal’ cigarillo and wafting the fragrant smoke into Hodson’s face) They’re missing, Hodson.
Hodson; What are?
Soames; (Cryptically) Thermometers Hodson, thermometers.
Hodson; No it isn’t, I can see ours from here, it says minus eight. I can’t wait for this global warming to kick in.
Soames; (Sighs heavily) I do not refer to our amusing combined barometer, clock and temperature gauge where the little man comes out, drops his trousers and farts the hours. I speak of the world wide temperature records upon which ‘the science of Global warming’ is based.
Hodson; Pardon?
Soames; Like you my dear Hodson, they are apparently missing something.
Hodson; Don’t be ridiculous Soames. Who would want to steal climate science?
Soames; Climate thieves, Hodson. Devilishly clever Climate thieves. Evil men without scruple.
Hodson; Soames, you‘re being more cryptic than usual. How can anyone steal the climate?
Soames; Not the climate Hodson, the temperature record.
Hodson; Why on earth would anyone steal temperature records Soames? I do wish you’d lay off the wacky baccy, it makes you too obtuse by far.
Soames; I speak of a villainous cabal led by my old arch enemy, Manniarty.
Hodson; (Shocked) Not old ‘ringer’ Manniarty?
Soames; The very same.
Hodson; Good God Soames, the fiendish sidekick of the wicked Prince of Yamal?
Soames; None other but the Pennsylvania hockey stick maniac.
Hodson; My God Soames! We must act!
Soames; I already am acting Hodson, do you think I speak like this in real life?
Hodson; Well I had wondered….
Soames; There is no time to waste Hodson! We must thwart their evil plans.
Hodson; But how? Manniarty has the whole of CRU and even worse, the BBC, behind him.
Soames; There is nothing else for it. We must find each missing thermometer in the climate record, Hodson. Every last single one.
Hodson; But, but, they deleted the source data, Soames. The original records are gone. Thousands upon thousands of temperature records through the shredder and deleted from hard drives. It’s an impossible task! Only a fool would even attempt it.
Soames; (Turns around swiftly) Am I a fool, Hodson?
Hodson; No, no, of course not Soames, and would you kindly take that ornate but razor sharp Malay disemboweling dagger away from the vicinity of my testicles please? It always makes me nervous when you do that.
Soames; Sorry Hodson, force of habit.
Hodson; (Nervous swallow) Thank you.
Soames; Hodson! We must away! The game’s afoot! Break out the sled dogs!
Hodson; We ate them last week. Don’t you remember? PETA said keeping dogs as pets was bad for our carbon footprint.
Soames; The fiends! No matter, I have a plan.
Hodson; This wouldn’t be a cunning plan would it?
Soames; Is there any other kind?
Hodson; (Sighs heavily) No, I suppose not.
Soames; We must catch these climate thieves by the most devious means available. Hodson, you must travel to East Anglia disguised as a snowman. There you will introduce yourself as a bosom friend of Al Gore and illicitly gain entry. Once inside you will find the secret data files, stuff them into the pockets sewn inside your snowman suit, and saunter out, whistling the theme from ‘the great escape’.
Hodson; (Wearily) So I have to wear the silly costume as usual.
Soames; Correct! Off you go.
(Exit Hodson carrying white snowman disguise)

Whatever will our two desperate heroes do next? Can you wait for the next scintillating episode? No? Do you care? No? Oh what the hell.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Hot off the press

Just picked this up off the Army rumour mill;

"Suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda management have so far failed to produce an agreement."

Comic genius.

There's a thought

Now that US Kraft foods has bought up UK confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes, does this mean that there will soon be a chocolate flavour Kraft Dinner? For UK readers, this would be like Nestle teaming up with Golden Wonder to produce Smartie flavour Pot Noodle.

Well, that was the joke going round work today.

Stranger things have happened, and if they do; watch those low income group obesity levels soar.

Apologies for the inconvenience

Sarcasm levels will be restored shortly.

In the meantime, here is a video of a 1974 Colin Blunstone track which kind of sums up my feelings at the return of Mrs S.

My heart is full, and even the daftest pronouncements coming out of No 10 Downing Street cannot change that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of time to make up with the better part of me, bless her little pink (truly) booties.

Monday, 18 January 2010


I do wish some people would learn to be a bit thicker skinned. Caught this over at 'Angry Exile' and thought it was hilarious and occasionally true. In my oft mis-spent youth I was fortunate enough to have had contact with said species, for which my better half (Ahem!) currently reaps the benefits.

There are even on line classes for 'Cougars'.

The two ladies I once knew needed no lessons.

Those who raise their hands in horror and call for the banning such amusing adverts really ought to get out more. It can be a lot of fun out there. Now I'm going for a lie down in a darkened room......

Sunday, 17 January 2010

No pain

Have had a small epiphany. After yesterdays jaunt on a Kwak 650 trailie I think I've discovered the source of much minor inconvenience in my life. You know, the nagging little twinges that begin to plague you as you get past the forty mark. The occasional stiffness after sitting too long. Nothing major or worth consulting a Doctor about, but just part of the background noise of living.

Today that background noise is barely a whisper. A wraith of its former mildly frustrating general background presence. Something in my life has changed. A watershed, some kind of transcendence has occurred. Are the old injuries gone? Nope. Scar tissue still there from various knocks and scrapes obtained along the winding path of my life. I don't look very different, but, and this is the big but; there appears now an additional glint in the eyes. An ease and grace in movement. A sureness of step and purpose. The back straighter, taller and more confident. What is going on with me?

Only one thing has changed since yesterday; for the first time in several years I was back in the saddle, using my whole body to manoeuvre a KLR 650 along local roads and over rough ground. For a while there I felt a twinge of the old adrenalin rush I used to get from riding a sports tourer. Just a little, as the handling and performance of the KLR are mainly for off-road. There is only one diagnosis possible; my endorphin levels have had a significant boost.

What do I say next week when the immigration Doctor asks me "Are you addicted to anything?" If answering truly I would say I have a terminal addiction to Motorcycles. If so diagnosed, could I get a prescription for two hundred Kilometres a week to be taken at weekends? Say up to Campbell River and back, or maybe Port Alberni. They do it for drug addicts, and riding (to me at least it seems) is a drug, so maybe..... Gotta be worth a try.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Back in black

Today, for the first time in several years, I donned my old black leather motorcycle jacket in earnest. I rode around local roads on a borrowed Kawasaki 650 for two whole hours with friends. Now I am cold, tired, and warming up in front of an enormous log fire and feeling abso-fucking-lutely wonderful.

I think I've died and gone to heaven. Or maybe I'm just easily pleased.

I'll be happier still when my much better half is home and safe in my arms. In the meantime, things to do, people to talk to, meetings to attend. Work, work, work, work, work. Roll me over and shoot me Doris. Ooooh nice.

Time nice a having I'm.

Webcams bloody webcams

Mrs S is on the last stage of her UK odyssey, and is due to return home to British Columbia shortly. Because I am a caring husband (Well she thinks so), I'm chafing at the bit a little. Because of this minor anxiety I've been scratting around the various webcam feeds from Manchester and Leeds in the UK to see what life is currently like there, but the image quality on all but the Highway Authority Cameras are either missing or crap. 404 and 403 errors abound. Especially with the BBC's webcams. You'd think they could do better.

There's nothing truly complicated about webcam feeds, so why do most of the buggers appear to be inaccessible from this side of the world? Is it because whoever set up the feed switched the hosting machine off when they went home? Sheesh.

This is one of the issues with being eight time zones away from your family when there's a possible problem. You're cut off and blind as a day old kitten. It's very frustrating.

So here's my request; I know from my reader stats that there's one of you site visitors at least who lives in or around the Manchester area. Can I presume upon your better nature to send me some recent (Daytime preferred) images of Manchester or Leeds? The e-mail address is billsticker at gmail dot com. Many thanks in advance for any help given.

Just confirms my suspicions....

Read this in full.
"For the last 30 years, I’ve devoted the better part of my life to frightening you, trying my best to make you believe that you are weak, vulnerable, dependent and at risk. I know what’s good for you. You don’t."

Even if this piece turns out to be a spoof, it's closer to the truth of the matter than the evening news. Perhaps that's why I don't bother watching mainstream TV.

H/T Small Dead Animals

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Wrapping up warm

Here in our part of BC the current El Nino is keeping us snug from the ravages of Arctic air currently bedevilling our Midwestern and European cousins. Although it's not doing the preparations for the Winter Olympics much good. However, should the wind shift we're ready for that too. Full log store, all weather tyres, heat pump operational, gas tanks topped up and definitely not relying on wind power.

According to the above video, this man made 'Global Warming' thing was never a threat, in spite of all the hoopla. None of the doomsday predictions have come true, or have shown any signs of doing so. It's a silly pointless circus where the lions of over hyped climatic disaster have emerged from their cages into the light of public examination, only to be seen as six week old kittens. The Climate Change Lion Tamers crack their media whips but the crowd have seen the reality and have started to boo them out of the ring for being cowardly frauds.

Tell you the truth, I'm so fed up with the whole thing that I'm shutting down the Apocalypse Sweepstake and I'm off to point and laugh at the freak show of activists as they trudge through the freezing rain and snow with facile 'Stop Climate change now' banners their only shield from the wind chill. As their funding disappears, so will all but the most fanatical. The smart money is on people like this being right.

We're still waiting for Winter to arrive, but I have a feeling we will be spared the worst over here on Vancouver Island this year. That will be nice.

Monday, 11 January 2010

A little note on Archery equipment

Comment from the Sea Shepherd forum.
"More likely the arrows were to ber (sic) used to take dna skin samples from whales to do real research. The arrows are fitted with small cookie cutters to take a miniscule wad of whale skin and blubber, real research, the sort of non lethal research the whalers try to bullshit the world that they are doing."

Pure fantasy. That comment is so completely ignorant that it begs for response. Whoever wrote that knows bugger all about arrows or archery. The arrows (or Bolts or Quarrels if you like) displayed are standard shafts fitted with standard target points. 'Cookie cutter' samplers would look quite different, rather like the business end of an endoscope. Furthermore, there are no fixing points on the shafts for retrieval line, essential if using them for mythical Cetacean 'DNA sampling'.

See the video below for how arrows behave in flight. Google Archers Paradox if you don't believe me. As additional proof, here's a slow motion video of an arrow in flight.
Crossbow bolts do not flex so much as they tend to be stiffer, but they do flex in flight, demonstrating a slight up and down flight pattern like the shaft in the video.

Update: Have been looking more closely at the tips of those arrows. They appear in that low resolution shot to have hardened chisel edged points. Not a high res enough shot to definitively identify the make though.

Update on the update:
I'm looking at those arrows again. Again, too low res to be sure, but those look like arrow nocks on the back of the shafts. Crossbow bolts tend to have a half moon or blunt nock. Something doesn't quite gel here.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The truth behind our changing climate

Yes, yes. It's a piss take of the BBC scary carbon advert, but a chillingly truthful one.

H/T The Filthy Engineer and Freedom 2 Choose

The fine art of log fires

Once upon a time, crusty old Uncle Bill was a real Boy Scout (Well, until that unfortunate incident with Arkela, those two Girl Guides and that game of 'strip spin the bottle'). He learned many tidbits of practical wisdom about living outdoors, and why it is strictly for those who enjoy such edifying pursuits as self flagellation with barbed wire whips and sticking one's willy into an active Wasp nest.

Nevertheless, before being ceremonially stripped of his Woggle, he had learned the basics of how to read a map and navigate cross country using a compass. He also learned about wildlife, and how not to get bitten by some (but sadly not all) of it. He also learned the fine art of building and lighting a nice toasty log fire. An essential Winter time skill.

Log fires? Well it's easy innit? Any bloody fool can light a fire. All you need is wood and gasoline, oh and a match. Pile up wood, pour on gasoline and strike match. Well the aforementioned is a quick and easy method for quickly igniting fires, especially if you don't care much for your eyebrows or interior decor. Firelighters also work, but they are so infernally slow. The object of this exercise it to quickly light a fulsome and warming glow that gives out a lot of heat and doesn't generate much asthmatic wheezing because it's smoking the place out. A key objective is minimal smoke creation. A fire that burns quickly and forms a nice bed of orangey red hot embers is best. A smouldering heap simply stinks the place out and may result in the Fire Brigade / local council / environmental activists paying you an unwelcome visit. It's crap at warming you up as well.

For myself, I prefer a more studied method that obviates the singeing of facial hair and other teensy inconveniences. All it takes is half an hour and a little attention to detail.

Before 'laying' fireplace; cut logs. Preferably from old, dry wood. Best burning woods are Birch, young Oak, Horse Chestnut etc. Fruit trees are also very good. Acacia and Rhododendron not so much. Pine is often too resinous and will spit and crackle alarmingly all over the place, leaving little black scorch marks in your nice fireside rug and immolating your household pet. Said logs should be no longer than the width of your fireplace or stove grate. Logs a little more than the diameter of the palm of your hand are also best. For the purpose of this exercise, we will assume you know what the bloody hell a dry log looks like. If not, turn up the central heating instead, for heating of this nature is destined not to be your forte.

For those dogged souls determined to press on regardless, the next few steps should be followed religiously (Literally, fire laying is best done kneeling).

Step 1; In a grate or stove when you are reasonably confident the vents and chimney are clear and swept (Not choked up with soot, or inconveniently blocked with wodges of old newspaper), crumple up a few handfuls of dry newspaper to cover the entire bottom of the grate. Magazine flyers, old envelopes and junk mail are good too, glossy magazines not so, because the china clay that is used to make the pages glossy isn't much good for firelighting. However, in a pinch it will suffice.
Step 2; On top of the paper, lay the thinnest kindling on the first layer in a grid pattern. FYI Kindling wood is thin cut, and above all dry wood roughly cut into approximate 30cm lengths about 10mm square or maybe a little more. Some can be thinner, some thicker. If you're the patient type with a sturdy and sharp pocket knife, you can even make some wood shavings and cast a loose double handful onto the kindling grid.
Step 3; put another grid of kindling wood on top crosswise to the first, and repeat twice. This is the grid method of building a fire, and as far as I'm concerned, the best for getting a good blaze quickly.
Step 4; using the smallest dry logs you have, put a single layer on top.
Step 5; strike match and light paper. If using a stove, close the door, but do not drop the catch.
Step 6; wait. Fire should begin to burn fairly rapidly. If it doesn't, and appears to go out, quickly blow on the embers three times. If it hasn't relit by now you tried to light the fire with damp or unsuitable materials. Smacked wrists. Try again.
Step 7; assuming you've lit the fire successfully, wait until first layer of logs is well alight before adding some larger ones.
Step 8; stand in the 'at ease' position proprietorially in front of the blaze to warm your buns and the backs of your legs, refusing to let the family pet / child / wife / husband / significant other close until you are sufficiently toasty to step aside. Sod it. It's your bloody fire, you laid it and lit it, they can wait their turn.

Stack any damp logs at least half a metre to one side of your blaze to dry overnight, no closer. In the meantime, put a log on the fire when the bed of red hot embers starts to die down, the one exception being if you're going to bed, in which case, don't put any new logs on the fire for at least two hours beforehand.

Cautionary note; FFS don't overload the fireplace, or you run the risk of a chimney fire, which aren't much fun, and will result in a visit from the fire brigade, or possibly worse; 'elf 'n safety.

If, on the other hand, you have successfully negotiated the pratfalls and pitfalls of the aforementioned; sit down, pat yourself on the back, have a drink, and gaze smugly out of the window into the freezing cold. Feet should be extended to take full advantage of heat source. Marshmallows and bread may be toasted, as may be sausages if the eco-friendly wind powered electricity fails. Potatoes may be roasted in the ashes, as can frozen chicken joints (Whole chickens need a different method). Just wrap tightly in baking foil and dig out after an hour or so. Dee-lishous.

Any objectors to your new found state of cosiness can be roundly admonished and bluntly informed that they can kiss your oversize carbon footprint. Let the self righteous buggers freeze. Friends and family may be welcomed to share in the blaze after you have had first dibs. Ah, the simple pleasures in life.

Good to know

Mrs S is now staying with my mother for a few days before jetting home to Canada. Am pleased to know that Ma Sticker has taken my advice from earlier in the year and stocked up on logs for this bout of chilliness currently coating the UK. She is toasty and well provisioned which is good news to me, confirmed during our conversation on Skype this morning. We played word games, which my side of the family are quite fond of.

We are a practical bunch, and have no truck with all this airy fairy rot about global warming / climate change / ocean acidification. The general Sticker family view is that if you believed all the scare stories in the press, you'd never get out of bed in the morning. The matriarch of our clan speaks thusly; "We've all seen this before. Happens every ten to fifty years or so." Which to her sons is sage wisdom superior to all the unhinged pseudo-scientific ranting from the green lobby. Why? Because it was only a generation or so ago that our family made its living in agriculture, and if you don't pay attention to weather patterns in that job, you can lose crops and income. Never mind what some desk jockey tries to tell you. If Russian, our little clan would be classified as Kulaks. Which were the backbone of Russian agriculture, until collectivisation in the 1920's and 30's screwed Russian food production and people starved to death in their millions. So much for 'top down' political philosophies.

Any old road up, that's all in the past, and now my mother is happy to see one of her sons gradually making good in a new land. Laying foundations for the next generation so that they can live better than their parents. When it comes down to it, that's what family life is all about; teaching your children what you know so that they can profit from your experience and live better.

Of course there are times when the kids get a bee in their bonnet and won't listen, and it's no good trying to lecture them when their ears are closed. Then your job as a parent becomes simply to catch them when they fall. Our girls trip up occasionally, but with a little background support they're doing well, all things considered. We built foundations of trust and set clear boundaries in their support mechanisms, and it seems to have paid off; or to put it another way, so far so good. This parenting lark is an inexact science, but what the hey, so are people.

Off to a very nice supper at neighbour folks house this evening for conversations about travel, family and friends. They invite me, so I go. Good 'ere innit?

Saturday, 9 January 2010

View from a deck

Of course it's far better in real life. Much smugness.

Mild anxiety and random conversations

Have been concerned for the welfare of my much better half while she is in the UK. Mrs S is due back home to Canada in just over a week, and I can't say I'm unhappy at the prospect of her return. I've been pining somewhat, and the dog isn't much of a conversationalist.

To enlarge; Mrs S has been travelling around the UK, which I'm told is currently not the easiest of tasks. However, I have just spoken to her on Skype, and she has safely reached her next destination without too much ado. Couple of minor issues with a frozen screenwash bottle, but some hot water from the tap directly into the washer bottle sorted that. WD40 cleared a frozen car lock, and most of the roads were clear for her journey, which I am particularly relieved about. She is currently at my mother's house, toasting in front of a nice log fire. I am, for the moment, content.

Incidentally, here's some simple Winter driving tips. Firstly; don't clear your windscreen with hot water. The reason being that because of the Mpemba effect, warm water will cause ice to crystallise more quickly than cold. Really, it does. Hot water evaporates quite rapidly off a large flat surface like a windscreen, dissipating heat energy more quickly and thus setting the stage for rapid cooling and re-icing. No de-icer spray? A solution of washing up detergent works reasonably well in my experience. A squidge of any type of oil in the keyhole will free up car locks in sub zero conditions, but WD40 is best. FFS don't clear your lock with any water (aqueous) based cleaning fluid, as this just clears the locks lubricant and leaves droplets in the mechanism which will result in rapid refreezing. Been there, done that. Lastly; Load up the boot (trunk) with a hundred pounds or so of whatever which will help rear end traction. It may increase your gasoline consumption, but full speed ahead and damn yer carbon footprint me hearties. It's also better than ending up in a ditch.

Said snowfall is currently proving a major inconvenience to the British, and a source of amusement for much of the rest of the world, as in "Six inches! Is that all?" Back in the bad old days, I used to commute around twenty miles to work (and twenty miles back) in all conditions, including over six inches of snow. One English Winter (1981/2) I even rode a motorcycle throughout, including hard packed snow on major A-roads. Another (1985/6 I think) I learned the fine art of driving the notoriously unstable Reliant Robin (Yes, a blue one) in anything up to eight inches of the white stuff. The trick is to bung a hundredweight of whatever in the boot to keep the rear end firmly on the road, and the front wheel in the offside rut to travel slightly crabwise. It worked for me. I'm still breathing. I even used to pick up hitchhikers for 'ballast'. The looks of relief on their faces when I dropped them off were often quite priceless.

Regardless of cold weather in the UK, over here in the (Thankfully) not so frozen part of British Columbia, local friends have been throwing invitations at me so I'm never short of company. All I have to do is walk across the way or next door for a talk. Local conversation is mainly grouching about the onset of the provincial HST or harmonised sales tax. Got into one of those random gas station conversations while I was fuelling up last night. Total stranger hailed me as I was fuelling up the trusty old battlebus, and we had a general snarl about the Carbon tax on gasoline, the imposition of HST etc, about which my comment has always been "Tax just ups the cost of living. Then you need to do more to just pay the bills. You can't tell me that's environmentally friendly." Then again, I've long known that 'green' politics and taxation are something only a wealthy nation can afford (But not for very long).

While you will always find me bang alongside the need to cut particulate pollution and manage our planets resources in a sensible way, I was only ever briefly concerned about CO2 being a major climate driver. Then I looked at the facts (Temperatures leading CO2 levels, Vostok ice cores, yadada, yadada.) and reignited my natural scepticism. I've also long been concerned that simply exporting manufacturing activity was rather sweeping certain eco-environmental issues under the carpet.

For example; logging. Some people are against log exports. They say it's bad, period. No more cutting down trees, ever. Very bad. Now I have no issues with clear cut logging, providing you don't lay waste to whole hillsides. Certainly in BC we have plenty of forestry land which could be harvested in a way that benefits both humans and wildlife. Mixed replanting being one method. If you clear cut an area and immediately replant with a mixture of Fir, Spruce, Birch etc, there could be a policy of staged harvesting over say a 20-50 year cycle which would give wildlife clear cut areas to forage over, while retaining 'islands' of longer term growth to retain wildlife habitat. Two key benefits; Humans get the lumber (Timber), wildlife gets freshly clear cut areas and young regrowth to forage on. Nature routinely clears areas with forest fires, which are part of the natural cycle, so why not harvest the timber and replant?

There's an environmental win-win for you. Although the greenies would never sign up to it as it doesn't fit in with their guilt laden hair shirt philosophies. Many of the extreme eco-mentalists appear to think that Mankind must suffer for his 'eco-crimes' and don't appreciate that a carefully managed environment benefits everything. However, that's just the opinion of a rather jaundiced émigré Englishman and who gives a toss about what I think?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Media horse shit

This side of the world I still don't watch TV because most of the programming is poor, and only the odd series piques my interest. Especially when the news tries to report on anything remotely scientific. Like the story where two tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate went missing. On both Global and CBC I was astonished to hear Ammonium Nitrate described as an 'explosive'.

What utter bollocks these ill educated media types spout. Ammonium Nitrate's primary use is as fertiliser, a nitrogen 'improver'. Only when mixed with the correct proportions of fuel oil does it become ANFO, a low grade explosive. ANFO based devices are more like the old fashioned 'sugar and weedkiller' mix. More an unstable compound than a proper 'explosive'.

FFS! Does no one in news 'reporting' do any fact checking any more? Lots of things can be made to go 'bang', but they're not definitively 'explosives'. Under the right conditions, even foodstuffs can detonate. Like the 'great custard explosion' at General foods in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK in 1981 (I am not making this up) fine atmospheric corn flour dust built up at the plant making the excellent Birds Custard powder and 'flashed'. Apparently it blew out a section of wall and concrete floor at the plant.

Even when the RCMP reported that there was no missing fertiliser, just a clerical error, the anchor people still talked of 'possible terrorist threats' to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver based on a non existent 'theft'. Talk about a non story. Must have been a really slow news day.

Stuff this, I'm off dirt biking this weekend. One of my neighbours is loaning me a Kawasaki 650 to play around on, and I'll dig out my old motorcycle jacket (With full body armour) in case of tumbles. I deserve some fun. Anything's better than watching vacuous crap on TV.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


The view from my kitchen window in four small instalments. Taken around 07:30 Wednesday 6th January 2010 with cell phone camera. No zoom, and the only photoshopping was resizing the images and the addition of a caption for Mt Baker in the USA 93-94 miles away.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Told you so

Well kiss my size 12 carbon footprint, the UK is suffering from a larger than usual dollop of the white stuff. Also Korea, China, and a whole heap of other places. Fortunately we've mainly been spared serious snowfall on Vancouver Island. According to the weather forecaster on CBC last night, the temperatures were "bang on the average" which must come as a severe disappointment to those pushing the 'low carbon' agenda. I've been saying for a long time that the warmista's were talking rubbish, and along comes the weather to prove me right.

One can only hope that the weather deigns rain on other parades as well. Like this particular publicity seeking chumpanzee (Not a typo). Not that he and his followers will, or be allowed to, show their faces in Wootton Bassett. Although I think it might be a good idea, just to show there are no hard feelings, for the townsfolk of that place to invite said gentleman and his followers to a first class conciliatory pig roast (Perhaps using a local firm) with a really good real ale bar. In a gesture of amity between those of differing belief systems. Should of course said gentleman and his followers decline such a generous and warm hearted invitation, then one can safely assume they are more about seeking confrontation to promote their own agenda, and not about healing the wounds of conflict. As if that wasn't blindingly obvious.

This camera is no more....

My little camera is now in silicon heaven

It has ceased to be. No silicon heaven? Then where would all the calculators go?

What the hell, I was going to buy a new one this month anyway.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Mad, am I?

A newcomer to this blog, one George Saint, felt moved to comment on the post 'Moving part 3';
I've just blundered across your site and my first impression is that you must be completely bonkers, the evidence being that you moved homes during Christmas. Further exploration has proven my initial impression to be quite accurate but in that wholly eccentric way that only the literate Englishman can be.
Now this is an interesting point of view, and being of an independent cast of mind, one I have encountered many times before. George, please don't take this as a rebuff or insult, implied or otherwise. In fact I hope you don't mind if I explore this a little further.

Now my initial reaction was to detail my reasoning behind moving house during the festering (sic) season as follows;
The move over Christmas was necessitated by a number of factors;
1. Opportunity. Christmas was when the new rental became available.
2. Space. We need it because Mrs S and I had simply outgrown our previous apartment and were beginning to drive each other crazy. Also we needed space for work, visitors and the socialising that comes as part of our jobs.
3. Comfort. Three bedrooms. Log fire. Heat pump. Big yard. Swimming pool. Massive deck. 1800 Square feet of indoor space. Contrast with living in a two bedroom (1 a box room) 800 square feet apartment with only basic electric heating.
On the surface this seems a fairly reasonable thing to do. It is only the timing that seems slightly dodgy. To opt for more space and comfort when it becomes available is to me at least, a pretty rational act for any creature.

There is also a reasonable case to be made that I must be more than slightly nuts to uproot myself and travel to a strange land. Ummm... No. Relocation of this nature has been undertaken by millions before me in the hope of a better life, and if you'll indulge me, I have my own reasons for doing so.

At this point I must point out that I am a 'man of my word'. That is to say that if I 'give my word' that something shall be done, it gets done, regardless of personal cost. One condition though, that 'word' is never given for what I view as trivial or morally questionable reasons. I have to want to give my commitment. True, it is an old fashioned concept drawn from a time when sworn oaths formed the very basis of the law, yet that is not to say it does not have value, even in the early 21st century. For all the rest of my many failings as a human being, Integrity is one of my core values. 'To thine own self be true' as Polonius said to Laertes in William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. Because this precept seems to give me emotional strength, I try to follow it as much as possible, even it is oftentimes not an easy road. There are times I curse the very air I breathe for my stubborn persistence in the face of unfriendly odds.

One of the reasons I am here in British Columbia, Canada is one direct result of me 'keeping my word'. By making a solemn promise, I bound myself to a course of action that whatever it's inconveniences to me personally, had to be followed through. The promise in question was made on my wedding day to my wife, who wanted to 'go home' to Canada. Mrs S grew up in Quebec and Ontario, and just before she finished High School and very much against her own wishes, was taken back to England with her family because of her father's work commitments. Ever since she has wanted to return, but lacked the opportunity to do so. Until she met me. Muggins.

The shorthand of the situation ended up with me making my solemn commitment to my wife to help her fulfil this dream of (for her) homecoming "Though hell itself should bar the way" (My very words - stupid boy). So far I have kept up my end of the bargain. My reward? A solid emotional stability which I'd previously felt lacking. In itself no small possession.

The adventure of crossing continents has also appealed to my more wayward self. The constant novelty and uncertainty somehow make you feel more, well, alive. Becoming a stranger in a strange land, and yet finding more genuine friendship here in this new place than I ever did in the land of my birth is a novel experience. There is little of the workaday surliness it was my displeasure to constantly encounter in the UK. Canadians, with some notable exceptions, seem to have no 'side' to them. They say what they think and you don't need to be a mind reader to divine their intent. They are, in my current experience, wonderfully direct and relaxed. This is something I find a constant fount of spiritual refreshment. Even when a newbie like me gets the piss royally extracted from him.

To cut this rambling discourse short; I feel I am finding my true home here, and if that is a result of some form of irrationality, then hand me the straitjacket matron. I intend to enjoy every moment of it.

Incidentally George, you're now on my blogroll. You poor, benighted fool you. Welcome.

Update: Have finally found the widget for downloading from my Cell phone camera. This is the internal view of our new front room. Good 'ere, innit?
External view will follow when it gets light.

I love the smell of fresh cut Cedar in the morning...

You know, I'd forgotten how splendid a log fire is in a proper stove.

One of the chores I've set myself every weekend is to cut kindling from Cedar board we pick up from the scrap pile at a local sawmill. I try to cut enough kindling for a week and find it a pleasant task. There is something about the spice wood aroma of fresh cut Cedar that I find very calming.

Still suffering slightly with the lurgi from before Christmas. I've been aching and feverish for the past two weeks, but not enough to take to my bed. It's been very low level; more of an inconvenience than a show stopper. You get tired more readily than you should. Your get up and go has a lie-in, but apart from that, not much else. I'm due my immigration medical in a couple of weeks, and I fully expect them to say "Oh, you've had H1N1." when the blood test results come in.

If it has been the dreaded 'Swine flu' then the experience has been a bit of an anti-climax. With the assistance of a little paracetamol etc I've got through the working day quite adequately. Funnily enough the smell of fresh cut Cedar also helps keep my sinuses clear. Less catarrh, less sore throat and no chestiness. We were using fresh sawn blocks as air fresheners in the old place, but in the new the log fire does all that. There's also something very healthful about stepping out into the cool fresh air on the deck, secure in the knowledge that you can take as many lungfuls as you please before stepping back into the indoor toastiness again. Nice.

Seem to have got the knack of lighting a log fire without too much smoke. Just took a wander outside to see how much smoke the stove was kicking out and couldn't see any, just a heat shimmer from the chimney cowling. Unlike a few of the neighbours who appear to be trying to burn damp wood. From what my local friends tell me, the trick is to fill your log store in late summer from timber felled the previous year. That way it has time to dry out properly before use. Seems to work.

Dog is still a bit unsettled by the move, and sticks to me like glue. As if he's afraid of being abandoned, silly mutt. You'd think that having carted him across the world and Canada, he'd be used to my comings and goings. Not so. He still whines like his heart is breaking every time either Mrs S or I leave the house. Well at least he doesn't tear the place up like some other dogs do. Although he does attention seek by positioning himself in doorways so that you find yourself constantly stepping over him. I'd scold him, but he's such a good dog I can't find it in my heart to do so. He's a house pet, what else can you say?

The new place is gradually shaping up, and by the time Mrs S returns from the UK everything will be in order. 'Although', my cynical subconscious mutters 'she'll still rearrange everything'. Hi ho for a lazy Sunday. I've earned it.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Moving part 3

Well I'm in, a log fire has been lit. Oh... right. The new place looks like it's been carpet bombed with black polythene bags. Would like to be smarmy and upload a video of the new view, but the widget to do so is languishing inside one of the aforementioned black bags, so that will have to wait.

Today I'm off with friends to pick up a couch so that I can laze on it over Sunday and contemplate said heaps of black bags. I'll get better organised as the days go on, although when Mrs S returns I'm sure she'll change it all about. Sigh. such are the joys of married life. I bet Ug the Neanderthal caveman had the same problem. He'd tidy up the Flint and Mastodon bones into various niches in their little domicile, then Mrs Ug would come along and rearrange everything. Nothing much changes in that side of human nature then.

My mother rang this morning to complain about how cold it is in England. She's got the heating full on at present and stuff the bills. She's even resorting to putting hot water bottles on exposed pipes indoors. This is no surprise to me, as one time while I stayed at her house I had the discomfiting experience of waking up to find lumps of ice in my moustache. Since then she has had the place draught proofed and insulated and my moustache has gone, but her house still gets bloody cold in Winter. Happens every ten to twenty years.

Over here it's turned mild but grey, which is absolutely average for this time of year. Islands I can see from where I'm sitting at present (From North to south); Gabriola, Mudge, Link, DeCourcey, Valdez, Round, Galiano, Thetis / Kuiper and North Saltspring. Wow.

Friday, 1 January 2010

2010, eh?

It's not officially the 'end of the noughties' until 31st December 2010, but I reckon 2000-2010 should go down in history as the 'decade we'd rather forget'. At least as far as the UK is concerned. For me it's been a decade of highs and lows. 2001-3 were pretty good years for me personally and financially. Marrying Mrs S. My first trip to Canada and the USA. Touring Europe on our beat up old Triumph motorcycle, and learning how wonderful air conditioning can feel after a long hot day in the saddle. Work was good, I was making good money. Yay.

Then came 2004-2007 which were very poor years. Work evaporated. Not so yay. Lost pensions (Two of them). Lived off my savings for a year until my money ran out and ended up taking a menial job which I hated, although that hatred gave me some cracking first hand material and serious insights into the human condition. Oh, and a book, funnily enough.

2007 was when Mrs S and I took our great 'leap of faith' and threw up our highly stressed lives to come half way across the planet to BC. We'd watched the way things were going in the UK and sold up almost at the apex of the housing boom. Mrs S sold the house, we packed the kids off to Uni, and after crossing the trans Canada highway from Campbell River BC to Halifax Nova Scotia and back stopped here in the mid-Island area. Over 12,000Km or about 7,500 miles. We're over 4,500 miles (almost 7,500km) as the crow flies (If said putative Crow wanted to take the shortest sub-arctic route) from where we first started. It has been a long and varied journey so far. 2010 promises to be more of the same with some of the restrictions removed, which will be a help.

Will 2010 be any better than 2009? I've just turned my head to watch a Bald Eagle sail lazily past before casually taking a perch on the highest solid branch of a threadbare Douglas Fir some four hundred metres away. He's currently preening his flight feathers ready for another foray in search of sustenance. To make 2010 a better year than 2009 I must do likewise and gird my loins for the next step forward.

Perhaps the UK electorate will see sense and oust the current pathetic shower. Perhaps I will be wrong and 'Call me Dave' won't turn out to be the next Edward Heath. Maybe the UK economy will strengthen and our capital will go up in value. These are things I can do little about, but which I have great hopes for. I'm also hoping that the current Harper government over here continues to resist the siren calls from the IPCC to trade the very air that we breathe, and instead focus on keeping the Canadian economy set on producing and selling real goods and services.

Whatever happens, I shall make like the Eagle just across the way; tidy my feathers, take in the lie of the land and prepare to soar. The future is out there and all I have to do is go and take a look. It may be raining as I type these words, but the sun is making a spirited effort at breaking through the rain clouds, and patches of blue are beginning to make themselves known.

Anyway, that's 2009 done and dusted. Glad it's over. May I wish a far better 2010 to everyone. I think we deserve it.
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