Apparently arsebook is undergoing a ‘transformation’ to be rebranded with the infinity symbol. Makes no odds to me, I won’t be using the platform. Zuckerberg et al can f**k right off.
In the real world, Mrs S and I stopped off for a light lunch at a café in Galway and overheard the following exchange at the next door table. A well travelled couple were regaling their friends with stories about a Journey through South America and how much they had enjoyed themselves.
“You should put that on Facebook.” Said one of their friends. This statement was met with a mildly derisive chuckle. “Or Twitter.” The chuckle turned into laughter.
The reply came back. “Not on Twitter or Facebook. I have better things to do.”
Yet some people allow some cretins on anti-social media to disrupt their lives because someone posted something they didn’t like? Only one way to play that game is not to play and get on with real life.
Show it to your friends and ask them politely if they haven’t suspected this phenomenon for some time. Two tier policing. Calling people ‘Deniers’, ‘anti-vaxxers’, or ‘alt-right’ when all they are doing is voicing legitimate concerns.
And the follow on interview after Neil’s considered words lit up the Internet’s servers.
We in the Scriblerus group have understood this gaslighting and mischaracterisation for some years now. It’s just nice to hear a more mainstream personality lend his voice to the chorus.
As a wannabe Apiarist, I’m spending a lot of time studying the habitat and ecology, not only of Honey bees, but all the other native species of bee, like the bumblebee.
We keep getting told that bees are vanishing, but it’s not really honey bees under threat, it’s the wild varieties, essential pollinators, that are being decimated. Mainly by arable monocultures and modern pesticides. You know. All those things the politicians want to force us into with their ‘Green new deals’. Because subsisting mainly on vegetables is supposedly ‘good’ and meat eating is ‘bad’. Allegedly.
Unfortunately, anyone involved with ecology and mixed arable farming who has done their homework should be able to tell them that little land is really suitable for only vegetable crops, and a lot more is best suited for raising grazing species like sheep or cattle. There has to be room for all.
There is also the point that vegetable monocultures are positively harmful to native species of bees (And eventually the soil, water and air), which are some of the most tremendously useful creatures on the planet. It is why people say that that bees are going extinct. It is because they are being driven out of existence by the excessive use of land for vegetable and cereal growing. By increased pesticide and herbicide use, by Neo-nicotinoids and other such pesticides.
In order to fulfil the wild green fantasies of people like Bojo the clown and his missus, and all the other idiots who will be fulminating at COP26 in dear auld Glasgae, native species of bee would have to be wiped out. Why? Because these native species need marginal and grazing land which is their native habitat.
For a rough grounding on the topic, see video below. Yes, yes, I know it’s American, but the same variables apply. Larger monocultures and a higher vegetable content diet mean fewer wild species of bee, poorer pollination and eventually lower yields and all the bad things that follow.
Yes honey bees are great, and provide the basis for nice sweet stuff, mead, wax and sundry health and skin products, but we really need the wild varieties as well. Which is one of the things Mrs S and I are planning. Habitat. Making the layers fit together to form a better whole.
Unfortunately there are far too many moralising vegetarians who don’t understand how nature fits together who are responsible for the depletion of wild species essential to the health of the planet. Mixed agriculture, apiculture and arboriculture is the way forward. Omnivores, not vegetarians will save the world.
Never mind your carbon footprint. If there aren’t enough pollinating species, at this rate we’ll all be f**ked far sooner than by any projected temperature rise predicted by dodgy mathematical models. Models which might as well have been created by a newspaper astrologer for all their demonstrated ‘accuracy’. CO2 isn’t the problem, it’s the green meanies fantasy view of nature that will eventually cost us the earth.
While waiting for notification that the vendors lawyers are doing their thing, Mrs S and I were talking about the current culture war fallout this morning, where people are being ‘no-platformed’ or ‘cancelled’, and politicians are calling for an end to online anonymity because the Internet is a ‘cesspool’.
“You can’t just shut down debate because a tiny minority of immature people are offended.” I remarked as she listened to a Sam Harris podcast.
“Ironic isn’t it?” She replied. “That the platform so many of these so-called ‘serious’ conversations are being had on, is called Twitter…” Well, it made me smile.
Such exchanges are one of the reasons I married her. And why we stay married.
Had a nice-ish weekend away. However, returning to my desk I see little has changed. Hi ho.
There’s an old children’s ball game ‘Pig in the middle‘. Used to play it when I was eight or nine years old. There are three players. Two throwers and one who has to catch, the throwers have to throw the ball to each other and the person in the middle has to try and catch it. Played in the right spirit it can be a lot of old fashioned fun.
Not so much fun at present. Continual delays by issues on the side of the property vendors are stressing out Mrs S, she in turn is venting twice daily (at least) in the direction of yours truly. Which is something I really don’t need. This situation is creating disturbed sleep patterns and putting me in my least favourite position, that of a no-win scenario. The vendors are taking their time, however the exchange rates are still relatively favourable but will not stay that way forever. I have people from all quarters coming at me asking why this or that is not happening. All I can do sometimes is bury my head in my hands and point. Because somehow, apparently, this is all my fault.
Normally I can brush most of these delays and general shenanigans off, but right now everyone is losing their shit, which is landing upon my desk to deal with. Thus leaving me with a pile of the wet and smelly stuff, hence the following appeal; send Lawyers, Guns and Money.
Passing thought; I’ve got lawyers and money, not so sure about the guns as I’d be forever in a cleft stick wondering who to shoot first. Please do not let me be so tempted. I have an eccentric and often perverse sense of humour.
In a time when everyone else seems so gosh-darned angry, said sense of humour is an essential psychic survival tool. It helps me get past things which are of such cupidity and foolishness that my haemoglobin does not spontaneously fission.
Based upon the original quote from turn of the 20th century preacher W L Watkinson. For some reason I always thought it was philosopher Bertrand Russell. Just goes to show eh?
“Far better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
But I Say; what the hell, why not do both? Nothing like a good swear when you’ve just burned your fingers on the stupidity of others. I hear a lot of swearing from Mrs S’s office of late. Mostly about people who don’t read their email and can’t follow simple directions, even if said instructions are properly indexed and bullet pointed.
Note: I see someone took a knife to David Amess MP. He’s been heavily involved with Middle Eastern negotiations, so might his assailant have such a connection? If they did, then expect radio silence on the ethnicity. If the guy was an indigenous Brit, then expect loud media trumpeting from the usual suspects about ‘incels’ or ‘white supremacists’.
Fortunately Mr Amess is not dead and will hopefully survive his ordeal. Unfortunately this may mean an uptick in security theatre regarding access to elected representatives and therefore a higher reliance on misleading polls and focus groups by MP’s in case they get slashed.
Did it not occur to his assailant that it is easier to change a person’s mind with words rather than an edged instrument? I’ve always thought that it was easier to win people around to one’s point of view while they are breathing, but that’s just me. I’m old fashioned like that. Even if the temptation is very strong.
Update: Mr Amess has died of his wounds. Still no talk of ‘White supremacists’ or ‘incels’, which in a strange negative way tells us a lot about his murderer. Also about the media, but isn’t it strange how an absence, extrapolated from previous behaviour, can be a modestly reliable guide to who did what? That the knife wielder was an idiot is a given, but what type of idiot will be revealed by the news coverage or lack thereof.
Update 2: Reliable sources tell me Mr Amess’s assailant was a Somali. Documented or not.
News on the home front is that the local council have done their thing, so we can proceed with the next phase of purchasing our new home. Sometimes buying property feels like swimming uphill through cold porridge, but at least we are making progress, albeit far too slowly for my liking.
Went to the movies on Monday. Overall I’d describe it as a bittersweet experience. Apart from the still-bizarre experience of having to prove one has had the double jab to go see a film in a deserted (Apart from Mrs S and I) auditorium. The popcorn machine was down too.
Now I grew up watching Bond movies, from the dire (Woody Allen’s Casino Royale) from Sean Connery in Dr No and Roger Moore through George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton to the latest and (I think) best Bond, Daniel Craig.
If you go to see No time to Die you will note there’s a strong connection with the Lazenby film, from the premise (Megalomaniacal nutcase intent on poisoning the world) to some of the sound track, featuring good old Satchmo himself, Louis Armstrong. The poison garden idea is a direct steal from Fleming’s book (But not the movie) ‘You only live twice’ but overall I found it a good, well put together movie, well paced and entertaining. One for the video collection. I’ll happily watch it several times. Your 167 minutes will not feel like a waste of time or money.
The introduction of a black female 007, which some have taken as a tokenistic affront to the franchise, I consider a mere bagatelle. The actress concerned, Lashana Lynch, put in a workmanlike performance but was always going to be overshadowed.
Is it a good movie? All I’ll tell you is this; I left the movie theatre with a profound sense of sadness. Do I regret going to see it? Definitely not. Would I recommend it? Oh yes. From my point of view I’d give it two thumbs up. However, it is the last of a venerable line of action thrillers.
Even before entering the theatre I knew this movie was going to be a franchise killer. The last ever Bond movie, which incidentally, goes out with a serious bang, but apart from that I’m not giving anything away. You’ll have to watch it to find out the ending. No spoilers here.
I have the sense that I’ve just witnessed the end of an era.
Still in ‘hurry up and wait’ mode and can’t be bothered any more to comment much on the COVID idiocy that Boris the henpecked clown and cohorts are inflicting on the UK. It’s just a shame there’s no opposition worthy of the name. Labour are so wokely unelectable it’s untrue, and the flaccid Limp Dems and Greens just as bad. Across the political spectrum they’re all heavily invested in the “Carbon Dioxide is evil” meme. Dozy lot.
While we’re waiting for the go from the lawyers, I took some time out to think about heating and lighting, two things I am very much in favour of, having grown up in a series of cold and draughty building sites my parents chose as homes. Ever woken up with ice cubes in your beard? I bloody well have and I’m not in favour of it. Building regs be damned.
It has always created a sense of slack jawed amazement in yours truly about electrickery and the cognitive dissonance surrounding energy policies from all mainstream political factions. The end result of decades of muddled ‘green’ thinking has led to an energy crisis in the offing. Across continental and island Europe (Including Ireland and the UK) we are going to run short of electrickery because we’ll be relying upon big silly propeller driven generators to provide all our energy needs, all the while shutting down working power stations, which will be a bit of an own goal when the wind stops blowing, as it has been known to do during the coldest months of the year. The Russians haven’t stopped laughing at us since 2010.
Frankly, with huge, energy gobbling data centres being planned across the Emerald Isle, this situation promises to create interesting* power shortages, because no-one seems to have done some fairly simple sums or bothered to ask some basic but pertinent questions about power supply.
Here’s a couple of interesting topics to look up; fracking and Small Modular Reactors.
Fracking could provide a quick and dirty interim solution because an area called the Northwest Ireland Carboniferous Basin has been identified as shale rich, this comprises parts of Fermanagh, Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Roscommon. There are also deposits in the West Limerick and North Kerry areas.
However, the Eejits who think we’ll all burn alive if anyone so much as lights a cigarette have the people in power by the lugholes. Ergo, fracking is currently banned in Ireland.
Small Modular Reactors are based on a simple and very safe nuclear technology, proven in nuclear powered ships for over forty years, which would supply serious baseload electricity supply. Rolls Royce do a good series. Yes, series. Not just one type but several. Not to mention the major players in the global market like NuScale Power (US), Westinghouse Electric (US), General Electric-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (US), Terrestial Energy (Canada), and Moltex Energy (Canada). The projected footprint for such sites is no more than twenty five acres. About half the size of a small family farm. Yet such a reactors output can be as much as the plated capacity of a hundred and fifty 2MW wind turbines, each of which needs 40 to 70 acres of land each. Nor do SMR’s hold any risk for wildlife, unlike wind farms, which are known to kill bats (Many of which are endangered species) and birds (Specifically Hawks and Eagles) alike.
Now consider this; each wind turbine averages an output of between 20-25% of plated capacity output at peak efficiency. So that means for example that a V120 2.2 Megawatt turbine actually outputs around 400 Kilowatts. From over twice the acreage as required for a single SMR that can put out a steady 300 lovely cosy Megawatts. For the hard of arithmetic among you, that’s 750 times more, I repeat, seven hundred and fifty (Thanks Mick) so you will need 750 wind turbines covering 56,250 acres to equal the output of one Small Modular reactor. Erratically. Intermittently. That’s more than 227 Square kilometres. Enough to wipe out several of Ireland’s larger National Parks.
An SMR can generate a steady 300MW for ten years without reload. With a considerably lower environmental footprint one might add, both in terms of materials and local ecological impacts. Zero emissions, steady output of clean baseload supply. Maybe even enough to power all those electrical fantasy batterymobiles the politicians tell us we all have to purchase by 2030, or is that 2040? What we’re going to buy these things with I have no idea as they’re several times the price of cheap and dependable ICE technology.
Then there is the option of Thorium molten salt reactors, in reality actually Uranium 233, a shorter-lived and less dangerous form of Uranium than Uranium-235. Which has been a workable but neglected technology since the 1960’s. Such power generators have two main advantages. First; they cannot be used to create weapons grade fissile material. Second; any shutdown or system failure carries little or no risk of contamination outside of the reactor vessels. They also produce much less toxic waste, and can, I am informed, burn the fuel from older and more toxic leftovers from older generation nuclear power stations such as the old Magnox power plants.
As for fracking, the claimed environmental hazards of this method, contamination of water table etc aren’t real. A properly sleeved bore means that gas cannot leak into the water table and thus any potable aquifer. The only real ‘evidence’ against fracking was highly localised phenomena where gas naturally leaking from the strata in certain areas of Wyoming, Texas and I believe Louisiana had contaminated the local water supply long before any actual fracking took place. As for the claimed risk of ‘Earthquakes’, the worst attributed to fracking so far have been around 2.1-2.3, which are all but invisible except to seismometers.
As for other means of staying warm in the chill of Winter, regrettably, Fusion power will always be twenty years in the future while the current models of reactor are being used. Even the giant ITER under construction in Southern France will never output the promised power. Why? Because it’s a Tokamak, and like so many other methods of nuclear fusion, the physical design of Tokamaks mean they can only ever produce a ‘bang in a bottle’. I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but I won’t be.
Of course when the idiots in power finally get the memo a good many of the population this side of the Irish sea will have gone back to burning dried peat for heating. Because no-one wants to be wet and cold all the time. Maybe all those currently employed as COVID inspectors will find new ways of making people’s lives miserable by being retasked as smoke spotters. Who knows?
When the power outages hit this January and February coming, just think; when you wake up with ice on your lips and that fancy air source heat pump gives out less heat than a wet fart. Then look at your electrickery bill and wonder who will let you take out a third mortgage to pay it. Consider thus; you could have had warmth and light in abundance. Could have had fracked gas. Could have had small nuclear. Might not be scrabbling down the back of the sofa for coins for the leccy meter.
Here’s an energy spokesperson on the matter.
Oh well, I’m off to buy some shares in the companies that produce thermal underwear. If the prognostications are any guide, it’s going to be a cold Winter. Don’t forget to wrap up warm now. I bloody well will do.
*Interesting as in having to warm one’s hands over a candle during the depths of winter. If of course, candles are still ‘allowed’.
Spent time talking to people over the weekend. One guy, an ex-roadie who is one of Localtown’s ‘characters’ and thus up against some pretty stiff opposition let me tell you, was bemoaning the modern ‘Machine music’. He had a point. The sanitised pop music since the 1990’s leaves me yawning, but older stuff, with complex melody lines and interesting lyrics still compares more than favourably with mainstream pop.
Similarly, we spent some time jawing with Colum our landlord. He told us he’s stopped watching TV or listening to the news “Because it’s all madness.” Mrs S and I agreed, having seen the news about the petrol shortage that never was in the UK. I’d bought a copy of the Times, and the front page, apart from being dominated by a murder committed by a copper, carried a complete wind up story about Christmas shortages like there weren’t going to be enough goodies and everyone is going to starve to death over the holiday season and other such nonsense.
Hence today’s earworm; Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Freddie Mercury’s covert expression of his newfound homosexuality. Yet the opening lyrics can be used as an expression of the insanity currently enveloping the world.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Yes, this isn’t real life. Vaccine passports for a disease with a mortality rate far lower than advertised. ‘Green’ politics threatening to beggar whole peoples based on the fantasy, and yes it is a fantasy, of man made global warming. The real science says different.
Caught in a landside, No escape from reality
Superficially the world seems to be in inescapable chaos. Supermarkets and shops short of goods. Panic buying of fuel. Threats of power cuts. There seems no way out. This is our new reality. Yet hang on;
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,
As for the current talk of shortages, the global supply chain is currently disrupted by prolonged lockdowns. Public demand for goods is spiking erratically driven by mainstream media scaremongering. Everyone wants to be a prophet of doom when there is a more sensible answer. See embedded video.
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, Because I’m easy come, easy go,
For myself all this talk of Christmas being cancelled is just hyperbole. Sure, a few items of cheap Chinese tat won’t struggle into your families stockings this year, but is that such a big deal? Is their love really conditional on getting the latest shiny new electronic toy? Or like me, can you make do with quite serviceable machines? Do I need a sparkly new office chair built in China by slave labour? No? Can I step back from wanton consumerism and watch a few YouTube videos on acquiring new skills and having a little old fashioned fun putting them into action? Why yes I think I can.
Why do we have to spend our time running around the supermarket buying up stuff that will probably end up in the bin? Why do you have to have a mass produced turkey? Why not roast beef, lamb, or pork with crackling (Yum) from your local butcher instead? Or chicken or salmon? I’ve already ordered a 3lb rind on pork joint. No one goes hungry on my watch. Or cold. All it takes is a little forethought. A little budgeting. Anyway, I’m preaching to the choir here, aren’t I?
Little high, little low, Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me
I still have a quarter full catering size bag of Yorkshire tea bought last October which should last us another month. A kilo and a half of coffee beans. The freezer is three parts full, and when people get their act together and stop running around like headless chickens there will be a house move (Yes another bloody house move) to organise.
Think on this; without the protracted lockdowns, this would not be happening. These shortages are all down to big government and their mishandling of what was a moderate health crisis. I say was, because the pandemic has mostly been over since November / December 2020. It was panicking politicians who made the decision to send infectious people into care homes in March / April 2020 and cause biggest spikes in COVID deaths. It was panicking politicians who stood in the way of letting health professionals treat the infected with well established doses of cheap anti-viral drugs. It was panicking politicians who pissed Billions of taxpayer dollars over the sacred cows of nationalised health services. It was they who screwed up and blamed us.
Yet it doesn’t matter to me. The politicians can talk about Winter lockdowns and shortages all they want, but I’m in the system now and I can see how it works and where the workarounds are. Where the back roads are. Who can supply me with barter goods and who we can exchange gifts of real value with. Food, alcohol, goodwill and good fellowship for example.
That said, things should start to settle by March 2022. I hope. However, if that doesn’t work, I can see me digging deeper into my large store of sheer bloody mindedness to get by. But you can take this to the bank; I won’t be bothering with the mainstream press, RTE, or BBC. It’s all clickbait.
As for mask mandates; book plug. James Nestors’ ‘Breath‘ is worth a deep read. Stop breathing through your mouth, use your nose instead, because your nose is a crucial part of your immune system. The old schnozzle could even be compared to having a built in surgical mask. So masks don’t matter. Re-learn the art of breathing and become a healthier person. Personal anecdote; it seems to work.
So I’m not quite gone. Just busy getting ready for when everything frees up. The blog has to take a long second place.