Stay safe

I swear, sometimes I want to knock someone senseless if I hear them whimper “Stay safe.” at me one more bloody time. Realistically I’m more likely to sneer “You think we’re not safe? Why do you think that? Come on, out with it? Why do you believe such tall tales?” Because violence never really solves anything, does it? Well, apart from to stop someone hurting you, or to throw them out of a place they shouldn’t be. In which case the odd bit of Atemi-Jitsu has been known to come in handy.

As it is, Mrs S has been complaining about my eyes rolling so hard that she gets annoyed by the constant clicking.  My dear lady is aware of my occasionally aggressive nature and acts as a moderator, although she also has quite a temper, which led to one particular episode where I had to leap out of the car when she was arguing with someone else, pinning the passenger door shut so she could not storm out, then confronting the sources of her annoyance stating.  “Push off.  No, I’m not protecting her from you, I’m protecting you from her.”  They got the message.   But then, I’m a big guy and people tend not to argue too much.

Regarding this fad for ‘staying safe’, we are all mortal and most prefer not to acknowledge how utterly random that mortality is. To understand that, all one has to do is read the actuarial tables. Cold hard numbers tell us how brief, and random life is for so many.  It’s easy to feel immortal in your teens and early twenties, but oddly enough that is the highest risk group for death by misadventure,   Personal example; between the ages of eighteen and twenty five I lost three quarters of my close personal friends to drunk drivers, suicide, silly bloody accidents and one who fell through the ice and drowned.  Now that is very high I will concede, but it does highlight the spirit of the age and how easy it is to shuffle off this mortal coil.

Here’s a thought experiment for the over thirties; cast your mind back to your early schooldays if you can.  How many people of your acquaintance have simply dropped off the map between Leaving school and thirty years of age? How many of your social group have slipped from your circle, only to report in late from the graveyard?  From all sorts of causes.

Indeed, a walk among the tombstones, just to look at the dates, is often a quietly grim education, even considering that most get cremated nowadays and have no memorial but in the crematoria’s record books. This little exercise has blown a chilly wind through many a complacent mind, including mine when I see how young some of the dead are. I used to do it because there was an old cemetery with a few interesting / amusing inscriptions not far from where I lived.   One of which was inscribed “As I am now, so shall ye be, so be prepared to follow me.”

They didn’t need ‘vaccine passports’ in case they caught a nasty cough and snuffle.  They had real diseases to cope with, less money and much worse privies than we fortunate 21st century people.  Yet people still lived into their 90’s.  My Mother did, as did her Father, and his father before him.  They lived through two world wars and far more deadly pandemics than we ever will, such is the state of modern medicine and hygiene.

Which has always left me acutely aware of my own mortality, However, it is a major truth that life without risk is simply not worth living.  Or, to put it in the words of US Marine Sergeant Daniel Daly; “Do you want to live forever?”   Which is a phrase that always makes my lips twitch in a smile.  Which raises the question; if so – why?  Do we really want to live forever?  If so, do we understand what that truly means?  When all novelty palls, when all appetites fade to ash in the mouth.  Because it will.

None of us are immortal, that much is certain.   So we can all either get out there and bloody well live, or curl up in a little bubble and quiver our randomly miserable lives away.  I know which option I prefer.  Catch you on the flip side.

Off the beaten track

Off into the Wilder West of County Clare today looking at houses. Successfully finding a place to buy with all the things you need is a protracted process and needs a lot of serendipity. Failing that, a great deal of persistence and sheer bloody mindedness. Relying on sites like Property.ie and Daft.ie only gives you a part of the story.

Fortunately I have a great deal of bloody minded persistence in my DNA. So the hunt will continue, down leafy Irish lanes, dodging the tractors along tiny boreens and up farm tracks, thankful for decent SUV suspension. Might even book an outdoor table for lunch in Localtown tomorrow. We have errands there, so why not?

Work is slack at the moment, so this means both Mrs S and I have plenty of spare time for reading and research. And I was considering investing in a ground source heat pump, when of course we do find our new building project. However, some fairly reputable sources are making me question this aspiration.

Yes, I know he’s (only) a tradesman and not some highly qualified academic who publishes highbrow papers, but when push comes to shove, he’s got nothing to gain, loads (Over ten years) of hands on experience, and as he states in his video, particularly with regard to Air Heat pumps, there’s a burgeoning legal mis-selling culture. Don’t know about ground source. But I do know that Air Heat pumps do surge at startup, which may mean that any ‘savings’ aren’t worth the candle. I’ll do the sums and see if it has a significant payback between 3-5 years. If not then I think my interest might exhibit significant wane-fall. However, we live and learn.

Certainly I’ve lived in a house with an air heat pump in Canada and wasn’t too happy at being awoken in the middle of the night by the noisy monster. New ones may be quieter, but after four or five years? Experience tells me there’s potentially a big downside.

Maybe if we end up out in the sticks as seems likely, we should invest in a methane digester as backup to a more traditional hot water / heating gas boiler setup. Spend our money on top notch insulation instead. Go for the passive solar option. Keep the heating bills down that way.

HAPPy freedom day

So you still have to hide (self-isolate) at home if you get ‘pinged’ by the NHS app. Even if the ‘infected’ person was on the other side of a wall. If, and this is a big ‘if’ they were actually infected in the first place and not at the end of an exponentially long chain of ‘pings’.

And you can still be told to wear a surgical mask (In public spaces no less!) if local authorities dictate.

You may lose your job if not double vaccinated.

Your travel rights are still heavily restricted by a ‘traffic light’ system. Even if you have had the prescribed two vaccinations.

Local lockdowns will still be enforced, albeit by civil rather than criminal coercion.

You will have to show ‘evidence of vaccination’ to get into a pub or club, or buy a ticket to get out of the country.

Happy f*cking ‘freedom day’ everybody. Yeah, right. Freedom. Like almighty buggery it is. Then you see all the politicians and celebrities doing what the hell they like while the sanctimonious time pleasers talk down to the general public like no-one else has a brain cell to rub the inside of their skulls with.

It’s no better here in Ireland. You can go out to eat but all the restaurants feel very weird. Masked waiting staff feel very sinister. I often feel like I’ve walked into a junior assassins convention.

You can stay in a hotel and have a pint indoors if you are staying in the specific hotel. But it’s no fun. Places once full of music and laughter seem deserted and hollow. The conversations are muted and there’s lots of looking over shoulders.

You can’t get a beard trim or hot towel pampering because you have to wear a useless f*cking mask in the barbers. It’s very surreal. Yes, surgical masks are useless at stopping viral spread. Cloth masks even less so. The science (Proper scientific knowledge based on observation and experiment, not the snake oil modelling peddled by politicians and their advisers) confirms this.

Then there are worthless mouths talking about re-instating the out of county travel ban. They want ‘zero COVID’, which is an unachievable goal. At least not within the next fifty years. Not without dousing everyone in toxic levels of disinfectant and killing way more than they save. But they don’t care how many they kill in their worthless attempt to live in a sterile world.

The numbers, the official numbers, not the fantasy figures trotted out by the pantywaisters whimpering ‘stay safe’ over the airwaves, tell us that we hit ‘herd immunity’ sometime in 2020. The ‘variants’ the politicians want us to be frightened of are phantoms, very large shadows cast on a big wall by tiny figures, like a fruit fly in front of a searchlight.

Trying to look on the positive side, Mrs S got a creaky shoulder on the way to recovery, we’ve been out for a modestly productive drive. It’s been a nice hot day, and our water heater has been fixed, but now I need to cool off. Unfortunately every time I hear a pro-restrictions politician or lamestream media talking head open their putrid dishonest gobs I feel like I need to scrub my skin clean from the inside.

Pass the soap.

The NHS app in action!

Exclusive footage of the NHS app in action as it sends people into ten day self imposed lockdowns.

PING!

Lovely warm day today, the skies have been a cloudless vault of wonderful blue since first thing, only marred by a few puffs of cloud. Mrs S and I have been sitting outside under a recently purchased gazebo, one of those nylon sunshade things you see used as market stalls, preventing us from being cooked by the big yellow thing in the sky.

Well we seem to be dodging bullets over here in the Wilder West of the Emerald Isle despite all the prognostications of doom from the man made climate change crowd. A solar flare was supposed to cripple the power grids and all the rain has migrated into Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium, causing all manner of chaos, from floods to sinkholes.

The ‘experts’ have been bouncing out of their hidey holes like funnel web spiders to pronounce that it’s all our fault unless you renounce anything that looks like fun. Right guys. All your predictions have failed. Every last single one. Your public credibility should be flushed down the toilet by now. Besides, if anyone does any basic historical research, they will find similar incidents, although not in the same locations, from eighty or ninety years ago. When it comes to climate, there is little new under the sun.

At the moment I’m sitting around waiting for the anaesthetic to wear off after I lost a fight with a well done steak a few days ago. There was a tiny crack and half of one of my bicuspids ended up on my plate. A little discomfort, but more surprise than anything else as my errant tooth fragment bobbed around in the gravy. So I did what anyone with any base would do and picked up the fragment, sucked off the sauce before putting it in my top pocket wrapped in half a paper serviette. “Half my tooth has broken off.” I announced quietly.

“Where?” Said Mrs S. I pointed to my upper mandible before proceeding to demolish the rest of my steak. “Does it hurt?”

“Damnedest thing, no.” I replied. And here’s me not registered with a dentist. Well that was just rectified. It had just slipped down the list of priorities under a slew of other details.

Came as a bit of a surprise as I’m pretty assiduous about brushing my teeth, using toothpicks to clear detritus from between my pearlies and even flossing twice a week. Although I thought I would miss North American dentistry, but it turns out that modern Irish dentists are pretty good. So Mrs S and I are now registered as private patients. Wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be either.

Despite that, the gods appear to be looking favourably upon us, unlike a certain memorial to a dead junkie that got hit by lightning, according to witnesses. My driving licence is now up to date after three months wrangling with the NDLS and we’re starting to get taken seriously by some people who like the cut of our wallets. Our investment strategies have borne fruit and we’re into the numbers now with regard to buying a project house.

China is getting flooded again and certain EU countries are suffering under huge rainfall, so maybe God is trying to get their attention, saying “Okay you EU chappies, stop messing the Brits around. They’ve left your club, now calm down or next time it’s the Frogs.”

As far as the Chinese are concerned, maybe he’s registering his displeasure at the germ warfare they’ve been indulging in. The SARS/COV-2 virus, the balance of probabilities tells us, leaked out of the Wuhan lab. Whether the leak was deliberate is moot. But what was deliberate was the propaganda campaign designed to frighten the West into submission.

Oh yes, and what about this rogue NHS ‘track and trace app’ pinging all and sundry, forcing them to self isolate when they probably don’t need to. Apparently the promoters of this piece of software were warned by some of the Project Engineers, who said it was too sensitive, but no, the bureaucrats and politicians didn’t listen and now somewhere in the region of ten million plus people (Allegedly) have been pinged and told to self isolate. That’s a good chunk of the working population. Talk about an accident waiting to happen. Put not thy faith in Bluetooth should be the lesson here.

Like the Blair regime before them, the Johnsonites are finding that the technology they thought had all the answers, doesn’t. Maybe this will curb their control freak ambitions. We can but hope.

Happy weekend everybody.

Yeats country

We’re buzzing around Sligo at the moment, passing a pleasant break in Sligo itself. Unpleasant name, very tidy university town in ‘Yeats Country’, even though W B Yeats was part educated at the Godolphin School, Slough, England.

Then I got an email. From a no-reply Health.gov.ie address.

Well now chaps, apparently I’m now one of the ‘privileged’ who is ‘allowed’ to travel or access certain services. Which bothers me.

Medical apartheid is here folks, in all it’s ugly glory. I got nagged into getting the jabs, but now I have to provide proof within the borders of the country I live in, for such simple things as visits to hostelries or theatres. Which makes me angry and prepping the excuse that “I left the bloody thing at home. Now do you want my feckin money or what?” I’ve got a ‘Covid passport’, but I’m disinclined to carry the freaking thing around for every Jaysus Joseph and Mary-Ann who asks “Papieren bitte.”. I will be giving anyone who asks a hard time. Expect withering (As in ‘withering fire’ ) sarcasm on a scale as yet unvisaged.

Mrs S by contrast is quite miffed, as she has not had hers yet. Ironic that. I got mine first and am going to resist using it, and she, who desperately wanted one so she can go to London to see Youngest, despite having both jabs before me.

What Yeats would have thought of this state of affairs I have no idea, but as he was by politics an Irish Nationalist, I have the feeling he might have penned some pointed anti-medical apartheid lines woven into a tapestry of magical symbolism.

While we’re in town I’ll raid a few bookshops and busy myself with a little study. Something for the bookcase and maybe the odd quotation.

Update: Mrs S just checked her spam filter and she how has her very own “papieren” for the enforcers of this offensive idiocy. We are now both ‘privileged’, whatever use that is going to be.

Irony alert

A new commenter answered my query about why the giver of vaccines covered the AstraZeneca Vaccine phial when I was being given my second vaccination with the following.

CJ Nerd  

IIRC the dose is 10cc, but there is 12cc in a vial. They can carefully use the leftovers to make some additional doses. Once the vial has been breached, they need to keep it clean.

Which at first I found hard to swallow, because when I first did my NHS Deep Subcutaneous and Deep intramuscular injection training (Initially on an Orange would you believe,) all doses we were asked to administer were delivered as single dose only ampoules. The old method of drawing up drugs from multi-use phials (we were told) was potentially unhygienic.

However, I engaged my cynicism and did a little searching for myself, finding this five page document about phial sizes for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Which says yes, the ampoules are multi-dose. However, the penultimate paragraph (Section 7 Health & Safety) of which makes interesting reading. See quoted portion below:

There are no special handling requirements for routine handling of Vaxzevria® (AstraZeneca). However, Vaxzevria® (AstraZeneca) contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Should a spillage occur this should be disinfected with an appropriate antiviral disinfectant (active on coronavirus). To note that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) refers to the chimp adenovirus vector system

Fun fact; the AstraZeneca vaccine is based on GMO’s, (Genetically Modified Organisms). Specifically those cultured from Chimpanzee adenoviruses.

So if you’re one of those people who dislike GMO’s in your foodstuffs and a fervent vaccine advocate; that’s what’s in it. Chimp virus GMO’s to boot. Which makes vaccines doubleplusungood for the Animal rights lobby. Which is amusing as the Greeny-weenies are heavily pro-vaccine, along with all the other ‘Green’ advocacy organisations, including most Western Governments.

Myself, I’m not bothered. The risk of an adverse reaction for me is so small it’s infinitesimal. I’m at more risk of being run down by a tractor crossing the road outside our house. Only had the jab to keep Mrs S quiet. It’s just the thought of all those loud mouthed luvvies and media cheerleaders finding out that their non-organic (Argh! Amputate! Amputate! Get me a CHAINSAW!!!) vaccination was produced from Chimp viruses.

Sorry, but Mrs S is asking me why I’m giggling so much.

For some reason this old favourite flagged up in the memory banks. I have two copies of the original CD set. One for in the car, one for in the house. Mrs S says I play it too often.

All I have to ask is; which characters viewpoint do I represent? The detached cynicism of the journalist? The fanaticism of the crazed preacher or the faith of his wife? I think it’s a little of all three.

Hey, it’s a wonderful piece of aural drama. Phil Lynott stole it completely. Never fails to send a shiver down my spine.

Oddments on the move

Been out surveying houses this week and re-learning what the phrase ‘Jerry built’ means. Frankly, one of the properties we looked at needed completely demolishing and rebuilding. The price wasn’t that good. Way over the odds. So, following the advice of a friendly, gruff spoken but very savvy Structural Engineer, we’re giving it a miss. Having taken his advice, we now realise that our planned purchase would have turned into a money pit and a complete nightmare from a planning perspective.

Anyway. Hate speech laws. Where the law is applied to one group but not for all. Which tends to contradict the spirit of having a legal system in the first place. Rules should be for everyone, not just to protect certain groups. Indeed, I feel the people who moot such rules should be held to a much higher standard than the rest of us mere mortals.

The problem with hate speech laws is that my observation and small wisdom tells me are in effect more divisive than unfettered insult and opprobrium. By suppression they do not prevent the subject matter being thought about, because such laws will always incite resentment from the targeted population and militate against tolerance of a given ‘protected’ group.

The thought process goes like this:

  1. Rules say you can’t be seen to be ‘hostile’ even by a raising of the eyebrow against a given ‘protected’ group, even if the gesture was only targeted at the unpleasantness of a single individual of said group.
  2. If said ‘protected’ group is so hypersensitive, and one is likely to inadvertently run into problems when dealing with them, the easiest response is to avoid contact with said group altogether, just in case ‘offence’ is taken, even if none was meant. Thus leading to an increased ghettoisation of the ‘protected’. Simply because they’re too much trouble.
  3. The division thus created means that there is now a ‘two-tier’ society worse than the one that the Hate Speech laws were intended to avoid.
  4. See any long-repressed native population for the medium to long term outcome. Catholic Ireland is a good example, where the native population was oppressed for a long time, deprived of political power and forced into being second class citizens.

Conclusion; Excessive repression breeds violent revolt. Enforced compliance under an unfair system such as one that ‘Hate speech’ laws create can only be continued for short periods of time while the enforcement of said rules can be maintained. The essential social contract between rulers and ruled cannot be sustained under these conditions. This is one of the lessons of history.

N.B.: ‘Stirring up hatred’ is not the same as the current hypersensitive definition as used by people of a ‘woke’ persuasion. The word ‘hatred’ (Noun) implies a very strong, even violent dislike of a person or group and to incite it by making up stories about how bad the targeted group are, or warping language to paint said group (for example with the ‘beneficiaries of slavery’ meme) as ‘evil’ falls neatly into that category.

So, given this salient definition, who are the people ‘stirring up hatred’? Those warping the language to sow division for political or monetary (Or both) gain? Or those being accused of ‘hatred’ with questionable and highly subjective evidence?

Any old road up, I’m on the road again for most of this week. We have electricians and estate agents to haggle with in between times, and I’ve found a problem with my new Irish Driving Licence that needs to be resolved, so if I’m a little slow in responding to anyone, I beg my last readers forbearance.

The Covid Shuffle

Having just been (Or should that be nagged into going?) for my second SARS/COV-2 jab, I was in the queue for getting the needle yet again, I found my mischievous brain rearranging a popular song lyric into the one below.

Everybody’s doin’ a brand new dance now
(Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle)
I know you’ll get to hate it if you give it a chance now
(Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle)

Your little crabby grandma has forgotten ID
She’s here under ten minutes and she needs a pee
So come on, come on, do the Covid Shuffle with me

You gotta scuff your toes now
Come on baby, step up, step back
Well, I think you got the knack, ohh

Now you’re at reception, forget your phone now
(Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle)
Patting at your pockets like a mindless drone now
(Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle)

Do it nice and easy now you ain’t got control
You ain’t got no rhythm and you lost your soul
So come on, come on, do the Covid Shuffle with me

Come on, do the Covid Shuffle
Come on, do the Covid Shuffle
Come on, do the Covid Shuffle
Come on,…

I’m not here for the rest of the week. Play nice

Regards

Bill

Just in passing; why did the person giving me the jab feel the need to cover the vaccine phial over with a papier-mâché kidney dish? Answers in recycled grey wood pulp please.

Bored now

Will the UK finally lift its restrictions 19th July? Will the EU stop playing silly political games to try and regain control of it’s major cash cow? (The UK)

Don’t care. I’ve got a midweek break booked into a nice hotel with a restaurant and a bar while we go and size up a property to buy. I intend to have my conversations with Auctioneers and Surveyors before disappearing into a quiet corner, sinking a few pints of recycled Liffey water while Mrs S indulges herself in a few Gin and tonics.

It’s raining (Of course it’s bloody raining-this is July in Ireland) so all the outdoor drinkers will be inside regardless of whether the rules say you can or not.

In the meantime, cheers. Oh, and here’s an appropriate blast from the 1980’s from Tear for Fears.