A picture paints

Watching the news of late I’ve come to the conclusion that if I can’t add anything to the conversation, I won’t bother for the moment. Because reasons, okay? However, it’s occurred to me that I spend a good deal of time talking about my little deck garden but rarely take pictures, so here are a few for the edification of the general populace.

So let’s begin with the South aspect. Right to left beginning with the Lavender, Mint, Lemon tree plant Tea Rose, Geranium, Hosta, Berberis. Now from the back left to the front; Yew, Some form of variegated leaf thing Mrs S bought, a tussock of decorative grass, the Sage and Thyme, tucked down below another Lemon tree plant, up a bit to the Juniper and our other tea rose bush. The new rose at the back has about ten buds, but the older rose only three. The more observant will note a lemon tree plant snuggled between the Hosta, which has two stalks in the process of blossoming and the Berberis.
Note to self; make up a new batch of nectar for the Hummingbird feeder.

Right. So on to the Western railing where the discerning observer can look into the Fuchsia, three Lemon Tree plants which I raised from seed with me very own hands guv’nor, some Carnations, a dwarf Japonica and a decorative bamboo.
The brown box to the left is where we keep some rather straggly looking heather plants to fill a gap. Inside the box is a cushion which stayed dry all through the Winter. Which was a pleasant surprise, considering it was totally buried in snow for over two weeks.

So to the East wall where the barbecue lives. This is my experimental vegetable patch which is also home to the Sunflowers, Cannae Lilies and Lupins. Inset is a close up of our burgeoning Sunflower blossom. The more observant of you will notice a Strawberry plant, Habanero Pepper, Parsley, Kale, Radishes and even some Lettuce seedlings.

What else? Ah yes, the current state of play for my Grapefruit seedlings, three of which are doing fine, the fourth, well I don’t know what happened there. It started tiny and has continued to be so. No idea why. Such are the vagaries of growing things. It was the runt of the litter, but why it has stayed so is anybody’s guess.

In the outside world I see that the UK is still staggering around like a headless chicken because the politic’s don’t want to give up their sinecures. Not doing the value of the pound much good. The problem does not lie with BREXIT so much as the uncertainty of whether it will happen or not. Once that is resolved, matters can stabilise once more. My UK portfolio is taking a hit, but I’m hanging on to my Sterling investments to see what’s going to happen in October / November. What else? Justin Trudeau is still the most embarrassing leader in the world. The Chinese brushed him off at the G20 talks and all the silly clown can do is blather on about being a ‘feminist’. No wonder the rest of the world won’t take us seriously. We’re the only country in the world liable to disintegrate because the Western Provinces are sick of being abused by a bunch of effete urbanites. Plus ca chose, plus ca meme chose.

Well, the sun is shining. It’s Saturday and I’m off for a spin on the Mutt. See ya.

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Well done that man

So some Tories (Suspended) actually have balls. Well done Mr Field. Some whiny-arse protester crashes your private function and starts berating everyone over an imaginary ‘crisis’ and gets manhandled for their pains. Boo-freaking-hoo. These crazy morons who think it’s okay to create ructions and disrupt the personal lives of others should get a little of what they’re constantly giving out in return. These annoying little shits commonly use harassment and assault against anyone who disagrees with them because Mummy and Daddy didn’t do the hard work of disciplining their child age three, so now society at large has to deal with these emotional retards, these overgrown toddlers who can’t get past emotional age eleven. Maybe if a few get what they deserve the rest of us wouldn’t have to put up with their narcissistic disruptions.

Sometimes I think Mott the Hoople had the only solution to these self centred shits who can’t show a little decorum and respect a democratic vote.

You wanted equal rights? Ah kiddies, you forget there’s equal wrongs too. Life taught me to never start a fight and (after learning the hard way one time) I never will, but finishing them is another matter.

On the subject of woman trouble, the possible next UK Prime Minister has just had some. Shouting and arguing was heard at the flat Boris Johnson shared with his notoriously green remainer girlfriend, not sure what for, but Bojo probably needs a new place of residence a.s.a.p. Having looked at the situation, frankly it’s better for the country if she was history, influences like that should be nowhere near the seat of UK power in the current climate and I’m sure Boris will find himself someone more amenable. Yes he’s a first class philandering dick from a sexual standpoint, but that doesn’t make him incompetent. All that bumbling amiable bluff and bluster is just a front. Whenever he’s been in a position of power he’s made a reasonable fist of things, unlike his successors. I might be reading this entirely wrong, but I do think he can deliver BREXIT and even possibly save the Tories from total electoral annihilation. Because if there is further delay, they will be toast at the ballot box.

Anyway, October 31st will be the proof and I will be in West London, possibly even mulling matters over in person with Tom Paine, a fellow blogger of long standing who writes The Last Ditch.

On the home front, the Mutt has developed an electrical fault which means the battery drains even when everything is switched off, so back to the shop it goes for a little electrical TLC. I think I know what the answer is, but I’ll leave it to the boys with spanners to confirm my suspicions.

The Deck garden has been too windy to sit out in, which is a shame as otherwise the weather has been quite nice and our new rose bush has a set of burgeoning blossoms which look like they will be adding another splash of colour to the mini-jungle outside our kitchen doors. Our two Sunflowers have passed the metre tall mark and one is already developing a flower head. Which is nice. The Lemon Tree plants are growing new leaves and an accident with a seed packet means the planter that was once graced by the pansies might have anything coming up. We shall see. Life has to have some adventure.

Oh what the hell, it’s the weekend. Mine’s a large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Mrs S will enjoy the odd Vodka and Tonic. We at least are civilised folk, well her more than me.

TTFN

One last item, serious props to Donald Trump for not doing the whole ‘Bomb, bomb Iran’ thing. Apparently he pulled back from retaliating for that shot down surveillance drone after asking “How many casualties?” and getting the answer “One hundred and fifty Mr President.” Which would have only escalated the problems in that area. Good. We could do with a whole lot less mindless military retaliation in this world. World wars are not much fun.

On the other hand, if the provocations keep on coming, then the gloves can come off, but not before.

Update: Re the Mutt. My beautiful big blue motorcycle has a duff battery. Which is kind of odd as I asked and paid for a brand new one to be fitted when I bought it. Has someone not been entirely honest with me? Enquiring minds would like to know. Then theres being deprived of riding time. Not impressed. Not impressed at all. Warranty, warranty, who’s got the warranty? Oh yes. Me.

This is cool

While the UK lamestream are doing hit pieces on free speech activists and someone who was once a comedian (Briefly, sometime around 14th November 1983 I believe) used their bully pulpit to make foul insult and then claimed that such crudity constituted a ‘joke’ (Not even close – jokes have to be funny), I thought I’d offer up this little bit of techno-fun as a form of mind bleach.

First saw this item on Rt.com under the headline “Humanoid robot gets tired of merciless bullying & pulls gun on meatbags” It’s actually by turns disturbing and hilarious.

How the parody was put together.

Now the current state of the art. April 2018 but still interesting and fun.

Now I’m off to check my inbox and get all my paying work related tasks out of the way. My Lemon tree plants, Carnations and Roses are doing well but I’m going to have to re-seed the Sweet William after their foul strangling by the now-executed pansies. Such is life.

As for the ‘apology’ for the “Throw battery acid over people you disagree with” meme. Not acceptable. It was bandwagon jumping of the most mean and petty kind. When a free speech activist does get battery acid thrown in their face, we’ll know who to blame, won’t we?

Gestures

When travelling the roads of the world, some of you will notice that many motorcyclists wave to each other as they pass. There are several forms of gesture, from the nod, to the upright hand wave, drop-v and left boot wiggle. What is the significance of these gestures and who does them? Well I don’t think there’s an official version, but the style of gesture, and who uses them varies greatly depending upon who you are and where you’re from.

Mostly these gestures are about recognition of status between bikers. Whenever I’m out and about on the Mutt, I’ve noticed that the gestures are most widespread amongst those riding European style. The observant among you will also register that North American Harley riders for example very rarely acknowledge anyone unless they’re riding another Massey Ferguson Harley Davidson. Even so, the habit is not widespread among them. Some people think there’s a certain cachet to owning a Harley, personally I disagree. Yes, those big old v-twins have lots of low down grunt, but back in the day, some of the guys I knew who bought them said the electrics were worse than Ducatis, Anyway, that’s by the by. Generally speaking, Harley riders rarely salute anyone but other Harley or Indian riders.

To be honest, there’s often a bit of snobbery here. There is a partisan faction that believes Harleys are the only machine worth having and that ‘rice burners’ (Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki etc, even BMW’s) are not fit to share the same roads. So, fellas, you’re not Marlon Brando fans then? He rode a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T (Not a Speed Twin – cheers Ripper) in the iconic bike flick ‘The Wild one‘. To which I would also add; screw you, I’ve ridden in every weather condition short of a Tornado for over three freaking decades and I’ll ride what I do because it works for me. Don’t need your permission. Go way son, you’re bothering me.

However, the thought does occur that the feet out high handlebar ‘Easy rider’ style adopted by many big V-Twin riders is not exactly conducive to making hand gestures. Perhaps they don’t gesture because it is too difficult to take one hand off the handlebars while in motion, unlike the European style of machine that is increasingly common over here in BC, which is more stable and allows the rider a free left hand.

The etiquette, if such a word can be applied to rough, tough motorbikey types is that only those who ‘live to ride’ or are serious about their riding tend to give these gestures. Never in town, too many hazards. Generally these gestures are only made while on the open road and in motion. Of course if you’re purely a weekend warrior or the rider of a smaller machine like a Honda cub or similar, no one expects it. Nor is there any acknowledged requirement to do so. It’s just the done thing. A salute, a tip of the hat, the acknowledgement of a kindness, a recognition. That’s mostly all it is. We are simply acknowledging our difference from the common herd.

Because let’s face it, riding a motorcycle and surviving for any length of time, in itself is the mark of an individual cut from less common cloth. More switched on. Motorcyclists have to be vastly more alert than most car drivers because we have to do their observing for them. Don’t argue this point, a rider who is inattentive or careless soon pays the penalty because all those idiots in tin boxes are mostly that, idiots. They fiddle with radios, take cell phone calls without hands free, drink coffee, argue with passengers, don’t bother to look or indicate when turning or changing lanes and all other manner of inattentiveness which is the biggest killer on the road. Forget drunk driving or speeding, the biggest cause of all road casualties is the air between the ears, which motorcycle riders, at a deeply visceral level, understand all too well. Which is why so many of us often acknowledge each other. It’s a badge of pride. Of commonality. A kind of “Well done, you’re still breathing. Keep it up.”

As for the type of gesture, this varies from place to place. I’ve seen everything from a sidelong nod to the very French left boot wiggle, but let’s deal with the main ones;


The standard wave; raised left hand upright, palm forward, fingers closed. This is very old school and the most primitive of gestures in the riders lexicon. It just means “Hi.” between riders. Nothing more.


The low wave; fingers loosely spread, thumb out. A general low energy greeting. Meaning; all is cool from whence I have come.


The drop vee; A very continental European variant. Originally from France and Italy (I think). Sort of an upside down V for Victory with the thumb held wide. A more exuberant version of the low wave. General greeting of coolness. Even Bike cops have been observed making this gesture.

The low thumbs up; No image as this is self explanatory. Thumb up, wrist rotated back. Bit of a Fonzie “Heeeyyy!” gesture. Sort of a “Nice day for riding” gesture.
The low wave repeated as though patting; This does have a specific meaning, it means “Slow down” it warns of a hazard ahead. Might be a speed trap, might be a crack up. Take care.
The left boot wiggle; as is suggested. Left boot off footpeg, leg angled out, foot briefly wiggled. Very Francais this. Tres continental. Means ‘thank you’ or ‘murky buckets’ depending on your native tongue. This gesture is almost universal in France and is given to both other riders and car drivers for giving way or any other courtesy.

Well folks, it’s another nice BC day and I will be taking Mrs S out for a spin later after I’ve watered the plants and had breakfast. If anyone can add to the above, the rest of us await enlightenment.

Straight pride; a modest proposal

Ah, the outrage fest. Oh the drama! All over a plan to for a few people to take a walk down certain city streets to celebrate what they are. See the Tim Pool video below by way of a briefing on the matter.

Just like all the other serried ‘pride’ events like joggers pride or cyclists pride or whatever. Frankly me dears I give them all a miss, you couldn’t pay me to look. I’ve got better things to do with my time. What other people do with their free time is none of my concern, so long as they do no harm to others and don’t hold up the traffic. Or at least allow alternative routes I don’t really care. The world is a big place. Especially on a nice day.

However, if I might be permitted to comment on the volume of anger generated by the mere suggestion for a ‘Straight Pride’ march, I think if all those who are so opposed to the idea were to completely boycott the event and indeed go on strike in protest, this would adequately express their mute contempt for such an event to the entire world. What I’m saying is that the only moral way to deal with the matter is to not turn up for work in protest. Go on. Show righteous anger by withdrawing your labour. No time limit, just don’t clock in as a protest.

In addition, if such an event makes you that angry, go silent. Express your contempt in dignified tranquility. Do not give the people you so despise the oxygen of publicity. Do not draw attention to their cause by deed, speech or omission and go silent to express your objection to these awful people on your social media feeds. Indeed, not posting anything at all might not be such a bad idea. Just in case you inadvertently tweet or post anything that so much as alludes to their horrid cause.

It’s the only moral way.





Now wait…






Keep waiting…





Patience now, they’ll crack…





Who cares if they give your job to someone else, not everyone can be as great a Barista as you…





You’re just marking time to your big break, right?





Feed the cat while you’re at it…





Any year now…





Accept that it may be some time before anyone notices that you’re gone, but be patient, you can ignore those final demands, right?





In the terminal phase of your in absentia protest it might be politic to take comfort in the following statement;

“There is more than one way of being a bigot.”

See definition below.

Bigot

NOUN
A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

‘don’t let a few small-minded bigots destroy the good image of the city’
‘he was a fanatical bigot’

Have a nice day.

Small home truths

Barbecued steak day yesterday. I had a nice slab in the freezer and we were tired of chicken, so Mrs S and I dined on flat-iron steak with a nice green salad. Our fifty buck propane barbecue has been doing sterling service, and there’s something of a cachet to cooking outdoors. The steak was ably washed down with a nice 2015 Argentinian Rioja. A little tingly in the mouth, but which slipped down as slickly as silk knickers. Very nice.

While the meat was cooking I dead headed carnations and inspected our other plants. The Pansies I fear, are past their best, but that’s life, isn’t it? The bad news is that my planted Sweet William has been strangled by the Pansies. Well we can’t have that. A trial has been held, guilty verdict returned and sentence carried out. Replanting will be required. May the Lord have mercy on their wretched little souls.

Further on the downside, a nasty shock greeted me in my email inbox this morning. A booking that we made back in February for our forthcoming London visit was arbitrarily cancelled by our hotel booking service. No reason, just a “Your booking has been cancelled” message, which left me struggling for replacement accommodation in the smoke. A family conference was immediately convened and the situation resolved. To be honest, there’s been something nagging at my hindbrain for the last couple of months that was saying “This isn’t Kosher” about that specific booking, so it’s nice to see my instincts vindicated yet again. Anyway, within two hours travel plans were adapted, new accommodation booked and we were back on track for our original dates for Autumn 2019. Might even get to watch the fireworks for Guy Fawkes night before we leave. I may even have saved five hundred bucks, so, swings and roundabouts. We’re all good on that front. Major league kudos incidentally to booking.com.

We’re also being plagued by mystery booming noises. About seven so far this morning. Probably sonic booms from the USAF going supersonic over the Pacific, maybe meteors coming in overhead but definitely not construction, that has a different sound altogether. The low pitched booming noises we’ve been hearing have been quite loud enough to rattle my office windows. So I checked the seismograph feeds, just in case there was an earthquake, but no. Couldn’t be meteors, as the Eta Aquarids were in early May and the Perseids aren’t due until August. So it’s probably some kind of supersonic aircraft out of Puget Sound Naval base. Boom-boom.

What else? Bitchute has been playing up of late. Video’s wouldn’t play and a few people were saying that the platform might be under attack, others that the increased traffic necessitated a major upgrade. Which if true is no surprise. Bitchute is rapidly becoming a refuge for those video creators YouTube don’t want. Or that Alphabet Inc (Owners of Google, YouTube etc) think their advertisers don’t want. The truth is that Alphabet want anodyne. Alphabet want ‘safe’, inoffensive. Funny cat and dog video’s. Which is where they think the money is, but that isn’t the content their market was built on. That was built by the very unsafe citizen journalist vloggers, comedians, gamers and commentators. It’s like watching a company that fires it’s top earning people for no good reason then watch the board stand around wondering where all those lovely profits went.

Although in Alphabet’s defence it’s common knowledge that online platforms, some advertisers and even credit card companies have come under pressure from certain activist media outlets, partially because said media outlets get money for pushing a certain world-view to rid YouTube etc of it’s most engaging voices, partly just to see the world burn. It’s also true that legacy media is increasingly under even more financial pressure from the new media, like the citizen journalists and gamers of YouTube. Now these ‘professional’ media types see all the advertisers paying what they see as their much sought after moolah to a bunch of upstarts who, horror of horrors, never went to journalism school. What must sting even more is legacy media watching advertisers paying these upstarts for poking fun at legacy media misrepresentations, bias and omissions, leaving the mainstreams credibility more full of holes than a good Emmental cheese. All the time the mainstream have been scrabbling for eyeballs they could sell to advertisers whilst watching their ratings sink like a torpedoed cruise liner. So the advertisers have been quietly cutting their legacy media spending, because what’s the point of advertising on a platform whose best days are long behind it? YouTube will follow. Personally, I’d sell my Alphabet Inc stock while the value is still relatively good. The market has peaked. Time for some serious profit taking before the crunch comes.

The penny is currently dropping like a rock that the relentless output of left leaning media, with it’s deranged hatred of all things heterosexual and north European is deeply unattractive to much of the eveyday public. As a result CNN has become a shrinking market. As are most of the main cable and digital news platforms, apart from the much maligned Fox News, who are smart enough to see which way the wind is blowing. For the rest, mass redundancies are becoming the order of the day. Huffington Post, Vox etc are all feeling the pinch.

Tim Pool has an interesting take on what’s going on.

In a bid to kill off the competition in the vain hope those straying consumer eyeballs will somehow come back to them, certain media outlets have resorted to using underhand tactics to silence anyone who isn’t them, because frankly me deario’s, many YouTubers have been effortlessly waxing the bums of the self appointed journalistic classes. People like CNN have been losing viewer ratings big time and desperate money men will have given out orders to shut down these upstart YouTubers by fair means or foul. Since these people don’t really do fairness, they have gone straight for the low foul tackle. Play the man, not the ball. Don’t present evidence or have a debate, that’s boring. Just go for the juicy Ad Hominem. Libel those unable to defend themselves. Sell the drama of Nazi’s behind every bush, which is a strange thing to do because there just aren’t enough real ‘Nazi’s’ to go around. Then apply the tactic of accuse, accuse, accuse, ‘expose’ with no real evidence, ‘out’ or Doxx, making people’s personal lives public so selectively that even Christopher Robin might look like Satan incarnate. Imagine such a headline; “Christopher Robin parties with animals – scandals of the hundred acre wood exposed” with some salacious insinuations about paedophilia, honey pots and bestiality in the first two paragraphs, the clickbait headline of which would be subsequently contradicted in the last lines of the headlined article. Which most people wouldn’t read as far as without suffering a bad attack of WTF! Then the story gets passed on in a game of Chinese whispers which only present the accusations as fact, not the original clickbait titled story in full. So the lie travels and the outrage machine roars into life.

You might think that this all sounds a bit tin foil hat, but I can cite at least six real live people whose well-meaning contact with the mainstream media has seriously screwed with their lives. Ergo, I don’t trust ‘Journalists’. One of the few pieces of wisdom my Dad imparted to me that stuck was “Don’t believe all that you read in the papers”. This would seem to be ever more apt as the blatant spin and news management has even polluted the pages of the Financial Times. Excuse me chums, I pay my FT subscription for hard information, not for some affectioned time-pleasers half baked opinion.

Of course the politicians go along because they need the media mouthpiece to get them votes so they can keep, in the immortal words of Mel Brooks’ corrupt William J LePetomane in Blazing Saddles “Their phoney-baloney jobs.” Which is why left of centre politicians are so keen to shut anyone with a ‘non-mainstream’ viewpoint down. They get their airtime from grateful legacy media platforms. It does not matter that otherwise innocent people end up getting defamed and even thrown in jail for ‘hate speech’ (Which is being defined by some very thin skinned individuals) Who cares? Gimme, gimme, gimme.

Stuff it. It’s too nice a day not to go riding. TTFN

You can’t say that!

Well, apparently that’s what the fascist Trudeau and his soi-disant ‘Liberal’ party are saying (Yes they are genuinely fascist, their policies tick all the boxes). Christ on a bike these people are dumber than something which is totally devoid of rational reasoning. Like a rock that’s really lost it’s raison d’etre and subsequently all self-respect. Apparently getting someone’s sex wrong is now a criminal offence, as is saying mean words to certain protected classes. Not that I would, but the ‘courts’ that try these cases tend to ignore any defence and automatically drop a ‘guilty’ verdict upon a simple denouncement. Where are we? Soviet sodding Russia? Bugger. I used to think Canada was a civilised country. I was wrong.

Well fuck it dear hearts. I wish to say that I am now truly, completely radicalised. The finger of blame for this radicalisation should be pointed at the globalist authoritarians like Trudeau’s Liberals, the NDP, the Green Party, Andrew Scheer’s ‘conservatives’ and all the left leaning media outlets with their continuous barrage of anti-Canadian propaganda. They have forced me into an action I never thought I’d find myself performing ever again. Yup. I’ve gone and joined a political party. A party that is for freedom of expression, the right to bear legal firearms, for fairness between the provinces and less supply chain management, which keeps Canadian grocery prices artificially high. Oh yes, and they’re for dumping the Trudeau imposed ‘carbon’ tax too. See their party platform here.

The Maxime Bernier led People’s Party of Canada. The only rational choice. All the rest are about crushing the freedom of the individual Canadian and keeping their rich sponsors on the gravy train.

If I was still in the UK I’d have probably joined the BREXIT party. Although I will be making a donation in cash next time I’m over in Autumn. I’m still a UK passport holder and citizen. I’m registered to vote, so why the hell not?

Now, you lefty bar stewards. See what you’ve gone and done? Hope you’re bloody happy.

Just a bit of weather

While all the zombie peeps are getting up in arms about ‘saving the planet’ by taxing CO2, might I point out we’re getting another dump of late season snow up in the Rockies. It’s June FFS! I know the old saying goes “Ne’er cast a clout until May be out” but this is ridiculous. Or hasn’t Madame Tracey stepped out of Number Ten yet? She is taking an unconscionable time a-going. So casting any clout of any description or size before she’s gone will be highly premature. Come on girl, get your walking shoes on! Some of us are waiting, clout in hand, to cast it over our shoulder with gay abandon and we can’t do that unless May is out properly. I don’t know, some people just have no consideration.

While we were waiting I took Mrs S out on the back of the Mutt (For those who missed the memo it’s a big blue sports tourer) today for a forty kilometre spin out to Sooke for coffee and a snack before heading back to the barn. Nice and easy little eighty kilometre run. She’s getting more confident on the bends, remembering how to move with the bike, not fight the motion as she was originally doing, which gave me a few headaches, Nevertheless we got home safe and I could feel her relaxing all the way back. She wasn’t holding on so tightly or gripping my hips with her thighs so much.

Which made the ride a pleasant little saunter to catch the air before the rain paid us a visit. Which it has, although not as much as prophesied. Maybe it’s all heading over to the Rockies?

After the warmth of the last few days it has felt a little cooler today. Not enough to warrant adding another layer to my jacket (It’s one of those fancy three layer gore-tex mesh things) but quite refreshing. I really had forgotten how bloody wonderful it is to ride again. Although I’ve long maintained that riding a motorcycle is more real than driving a car. The best analogy I’ve ever come up with is that driving is like watching the match on a big screen TV, while riding is like being on the pitch and in the game itself. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like driving as well, but if given the choice of a sunny day out on the open road it will be Jacket, boots, gloves, helmet, and see ya later. I have been known to get quite carried away. Usually over a hundred miles away from where I started.

Anyway, milady needs new riding gloves as the lining on her twenty year old Belstaffs have begun to disintegrate, so a quick amble downtown is called for tomorrow. As it’s liable to be showery the Mutt will stay home covered and chained up in his kennel, while Thumper, our reliable little All Wheel Drive will ferry us through the traffic to a little store I know.

6th June

Seventy five years ago my father served on D-Day. Just one of the cast of thousands. A nineteen year old ordinary seaman signalman or Bunting Tosser (‘Bunts’ in Navy slang – a Semaphore and radio operator, that sort of thing) on LCT’s (Landing Craft Tank). Second wave, Juno Beach carrying Canadian Armour, thereafter back to blighty to load up again and deliver the next bunch to the Normandy beaches until Antwerp was re-opened to allied shipping later in November 1944. I’d have to pay to get his service record to find out which ship he served on and do a little research on which sectors it served. Might just do that.

Dad always said he enjoyed himself on the day, what with the big rocket barges and all the other Naval ordnance zooming overhead. He liked his time in the Navy as a hostilities only volunteer until demob in 1947, although he was out in Malaya post hostilities helping repatriate Allied POW’s from Japanese POW camps. As a result he hated the Japanese with a venom I couldn’t understand until I learned about what the Japs did to Allied POW’s and Chinese civilians. Dad hated Nazi’s too. Not the pretend kind we are told to hate nowadays, but the real genocidal deal. Because of this deep felt hatred, wouldn’t buy anything German or Japanese and almost had a conniptive fit one day when I rode home on my first ever Japanese motorcycle. That was a day, I can tell you.

Yet the more I learn about those times, the more fortunate I count myself. We have not had to fight a major war in my lifetime, apart from the Cold War, which fortunately never really turned hot. However, a threat to liberty remains, not least from Silicon Valley. Absolute power corrupts anyone?

The major threat now is formed by the globalist authoritarian left. The anti-freedom factions. The EU bureaucracy and their allies. The US Democratic party and RINO Republicans. The Canadian Federal Liberals and to a lesser extent the NDP, Greens, and the Scheer led Progressive Conservatives. The insidious influence of the Chinese government and the bad example set by it’s loathsome ‘social credit’ system. All these people want is more power for themselves, yet call those of us who just want to be left alone to do our own thing ‘fascists’.

Anyone else see the irony?

The Motorcycle diet

As my one remaining reader will know, I’m a biker. One who passed his motorcycle test three years before he took and passed his car test. I’ve ridden everything from a beat up Honda 175 to a full sized sports tourer, which is what I have at present. 1261 wonderful cc of genteel fun. It’s a big dog, currently securely chained up in the yard under cover. It gets plenty of exercise and gives me a fair bit too. Which is why I am currently losing weight quite rapidly.

The thing is about riding a motorcycle is that unlike driving a car or truck, it is a dynamic process. Every time you corner for example, your whole body has to be involved, in my case piloting a machine almost two and a half times my current body weight. There’s no power steering, no gadgets (Apart from heated handlebar grips), just bodyweight dynamically managing a heavyweight machine along uneven roads and some fairly tight uncambered bends.

The process of positioning your body correctly for a bend takes effort which is not unlike the philosophy behind ‘hot’ yoga. Even at relatively sedate speeds, shoulders set, knees cuddling the tank, it takes a a fair bit of energy to swoop, apparently effortlessly, through repeated bends. Then there’s the loss of body heat which means you can burn quite a few calories keeping up even within the space of a two hour ride. Think of it this way. What might be a warm day standing still can get decidedly chilly over sixty miles an hour, so even fairly well insulated you can burn up a whole heap of energy simply keeping warm, thus losing weight as your body goes through those calories like a blast furnace.

Add to that a fairly high protein, low carbohydrate way of life and weight loss is guaranteed. I call it ‘the motorcycle diet’. It works. At least for me.

Anything in the news? Not really, just the usual bunch of suspects getting bent out of shape over Trumps state visit to the UK. That idiot Sadiq Khan didn’t attend the state dinner, neither did Corbyn. Jesus H Christ on a moped! Are these people so devoid of intellect and statecraft that they shut themselves out of the party. While Liz and Trump were celebrating the alliance between the UK and the USA and deals were quietly being discussed, a bunch of incompetents were trying to virtue signal that because ‘orange man bad’ this somehow excused them being utterly atrocious at their jobs. Then the credulous morons who can’t be bothered to do their own research and see how well the USA is doing under Trump turn up en masse to complain. These would be the same people who ‘think’ that man made climate change is a physical threat to humanity despite the continual failure of their end of the world prophesies and that Socialism isn’t a bad idea despite a century of failure. Newsflash kiddies; if you believe what the bought and paid for media tell you, that ain’t ‘thinking’.

Oh well, I look at it this way. In order for a certain number of people to be of above average intelligence, there have to be a whole heap who are dumber than a bag of sponge rubber rocks. It’s a simple rule of averages. Like what we have taken to calling ‘Emotional Literacy’, like reading ages, some people only get as far as an emotional age of 11, others make 13, fewer still 17 and the very few emotional maturity.

Mrs S and I had a broad and in depth discussion on an associated topic last night. She came back from a conference at UVIC yesterday and we had an interesting exchange of views about childhood trauma and how it impacts people. “You control your impulses very well, Bill.” She observed. Yes, she knows I’m damaged goods, but I know precisely where and how I’m damaged and try to take a breath before simply reacting. It passes for wisdom sometimes. And that pertikular commodity, me deario’s, is where you finds it.

Is that the sun shining? So it is. Time to shed another pound of two.

Back in the saddle

While the weather is nice I’ve been spending far less time at my desk and more time out on the road. Nothing much, just a gentle scootle around on the big blue mutt. No more than fifty kilometres a time, taking it easy and enjoying the wind in my face, the extra air that riding allows. Even got Mrs S on the back today for a short trundle out to get some coffee and buns for breakfast. As a pillion passenger she needs to re-learn a few things, but I’ll make sure she gets the practice.

How the old habits come back. Watching at least five cars ahead, upper middle gears through town with the revs around three thousand, ready to pull a quick stop or give it a fistful and speed my way out of trouble. Giving the odd drop V or acknowledgement to the other Sunday riders. Slipping easily into the bends and gently accelerating out. My internal soundtrack playing the Runaways “Cherry Bomb” as we gently tootled our way back to the barn.

If this is ‘toxic masculinity’ I’m all for it. Screw the angsty soyboys and lemon sucking feminista’s. They might think they’ll live longer but they won’t. In prisons of their own making their politically correct lives will be joyless greyness, punctuated by saccharine faux-laughter and massive student debt before the final hammer falls. All they will know is empty noise devoid of real emotion. My experience is that the lottery of life deals out the good and bad completely at random and the best you can do is have decent insurance for when things go wrong. As they will. As for the rest, well, I’ll leave you with this bit of Irish folk wisdom adapted from an old song called “The Moonshiner”.

I’m a rambler I’m a gambler I’m a long way from home
and if you don’t like me then leave me alone
I’ll eat when I’m hungry and I’ll drink when I’m dry
and if this one don’t kill me I’ll live till I die

That’s enough for now, our deck garden needs a little water and the essays of Montaigne await. The carnations are flowering like they’re on steroids and my two sunflowers are growing at something around two inches as day. I won’t tell you what the pansies are up to, but I’m sure you can guess.