Category Archives: Random Amusement

Verboten

Breaking; mass dogging event planned. This is not essential travel. Or so say the local Stasi.

Do not go to Canvey Island. Even if it is quite close to Southend. There’s a joke in there somewhere.

The downfall of lockdowns

Well it had to happen sometime. Yet another ‘Downfall’ parody.

Sweetly apposite. ‘Nuff said.

Downtime

I’m used to living and working online. It is, in some respects, something I’m fairly good at. For other things there is a phone, and as a trained communicator (Two ears, two eyes, two nostrils and one mouth, use in proportion). Unfortunately, when I need to talk to an overseas contact, our landline is down. Like today. So no business gets transacted. People don’t get paid on time and this reduces the sum of human happiness. Not something I like being even partially responsible for.

I could of course, if I had money to burn or an international data package, use my cell phone. But I’d rather put my funds to better use than paying cell phone companies for millivolts and sitting in a call centre queue for an hour or more while my remaining brains trickle out of my ears in tune with the bland awfulness of wait queue Muzak and their interminable adverts.

So what to do? Let my blood pressure be pushed beyond safe limits because the vagaries of fate preclude action? Or do I bugger off and do something slightly more interesting and successful while the phone company fix the lines? Dear reader, I chose the latter. Life, especially under the current pointless restrictions, demands little victories, those micro successes that bolter the shreds your self-esteem can be reduced to when utilities fail, and despite it not being your fault, guess who is first in line to get it in the neck when things aren’t done? Got it in one. Guess whose turn it is to be the office cat? Yours. Enjoy.

Here’s an interesting little life hack; did you know that an air fryer can make toast and fried bread? Well this one can. Saves putting the oven grill on. Don’t have a toaster, and didn’t fancy doing the old skillet toast trick. So my air fryer was put into service. 6 minutes at 200 Celsius lightly browns the bread and makes a nice hot slice to receive marmalade or whatever topping you fancy.

As an FYI; cast iron skillets can make seriously good toast and fried bread, which is where they score over the average toaster. Get the pan good and hot, stick in the bread and frying medium of choice (Olive oil, butter or nothing at all), flip when ready. There are more ways to make top notch toast than are thought of in anyone’s philosophy. All that is needed is a little outside the box culinary thinking and Robert is one’s father’s brother.

You can’t do fried bread in a toaster either. They’re a bit one dimensional as far as kitchen appliances go. Try putting anything but dried bread in them and the next thing you know it’s sparks and flames all round like a fork in a microwave. So I have the more versatile air fryer instead.

Another little culinary parlour trick I have to pass on is to stop your garlic going off. If, like me you don’t use more than a clove every other day, the trick is to peel the individual cloves and drop them into a jar of Olive oil. Result; garlic that doesn’t go off in a week and which keeps fairly well for a month. This also gives you a ready supply of Garlic Olive Oil, which commands a far higher price in the shops than the usual. So it’s a money saver too.

Anyway, supper beckons. Just soup and a small charcuterie and cheese board. There’s probably another glass of Pinot Noir downstairs too. And here’s me with this terrible thirst.

TTFN

A bunch of muppets

As none of the muppets in power seem to have any bright ideas of to get us out of the mess they, and they alone, have gotten us into. May I offer some minor ridiculae to ease my occasional reader’s inner pain.

The European Union. Having a sing of it’s anthem to cheer itself up (and failing) post Brexit.

A screenshot of the World Economic Forums top secret COVID Recovery plan, in it’s entirety.

And a more chilling message, from the Outer Limits.

Hang loose, as it says in the Deisderata;

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

The Tao of Jigsawry

It’s Christmas, and one of the things this means is that it’s Jigsaw time. Put simply, this means that Mrs S and I get the most fiendish puzzle available in the shops, and proceed to complete it. Usually a map or montage of some kind of around 1000 pieces.

Personally I find completing a jigsaw an engrossing and wholly cerebral pleasure. Helps me think clearly because it forces me to focus my dusty frontal lobes on the task at hand. It calms me down and dispels the darkness from my soul. And there’s a lot of that at the moment. Governments reneging on promises to their populaces not to interfere with Christmas, then U-turning over a relatively mild viral mutation that’s been around for ages without bumping the death count outside of the seasonal norms. Go figure.

Whenever I’m annoyed or unsettled, I go down to the kitchen table and force myself to focus on the task of completing the puzzle, normally a process that takes up an hour or so a day over two weeks. Such is the Tao of Jigsawry, the Zen of a thousand pieces. To be honest I find it very relaxing. Focussing on the emerging pattern brings a crystal clarity that would take a zen master six months to attain. Me, I find it inside an hour of settling down to bring order out of the semi-chaos of a puzzle.

Regrettably this year we may need yet another Jigsaw as I’ve already almost completed our current one inside seven days. Mrs S is not best pleased, but she appreciates what is driving me to spend three times my normal schedule. It’s all these on again off again lockdowns that are driving me to distraction. Not that the lockdowns work. They’re all just an excuse for the political classes lack of courage and vision. The politicians haven’t a clue, and as the saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Fortunately we have a few days before the fascist state tries to drive us all nuts with yet more tiers and more restrictions and one of my tasks if to buy another bottle of Jameson’s for me and a Vodka for Mrs S, thence yet another, more fiendish puzzle still. I think I’m going to need all the Jigsawry and associated calm available over the next few weeks.

One upside is that we’ve been promised a white Christmas. Which should annoy the living fuckwittery of the SJW mob. Does this mean though that the idle little shits will risk getting blisters shifting all the raaaaaacist snow? Not holding my breath. Although I wish they would.

Dear Santa…..

Dear Santa,

Now as a grown up I’m told you don’t exist, but if, on the off chance you somehow do, I’d like to point out that I’ve been very, very good this year and would like to ask for a few things. If you think some of my listed items are a bit of an ask, I’d like to point out that I haven’t asked or begged for anything from you before in my entire life, but I would very much appreciate one or all of the following;

1. An end to all the palaver over BREXIT. I’d just like to see no deal happen so the EU wakes up and give the UK a Canada style free trade deal so we can all move on.
2. An end to the relentless propaganda over this virus thingy. Some unpleasant accidents to befall those constantly advocating for lockdowns. The demise or shutting down of Piers Morgan and his entire propaganda team would be nice. Something messy and public please, so we’re left in no possible doubt why it’s happening to them and their fellow travellers.
3. An end to the lockdowns and mask restrictions please would be appreciated. They serve no useful purpose.
4. Some kind of legal safeguard to be put in place so that these lockdowns can never ever happen again.
5. A return to pre-COVID normal life and sanity please.
6. Some kind of serious poetic justice against the most enthusiastic COVID enforcers and snitches would be much appreciated.

You see Santa, I’m not asking for myself, but for the rest of humanity who are continually watching their human rights and livelihoods being trampled. Not by any virus, but by stupid panicky people whose brains have shut down with all the fear being pumped out by the politicians and media.

Would really, really appreciate some intervention. Please and pretty please with sugar on it.

Many thanks in advance and a happier 2021 to us all.

Bill Sticker

P.S. For me, a small Christmas stocking with a Satsuma orange or two, a small bar of chocolate and maybe a packet of wine gums would be highly appreciated on Christmas morning. There’s a large bottle of vintage Port in the drinks cabinet. Put your boots up, give the reindeer a breather and have a large drink on me.

Lemon and Lime Mousse

Food post. As if you didn’t know from the title, but literacy is so neglected in these times that sometimes one is forced to reiterate. Right, this mousse comes with a mental health warning. If it were human it would be a bullwhip-toting dominatrix clad in white stockings, leather basque and no knickers. And heading your way with a knowing smile. Seriously. This little dish is salacious.

There are some times you luck on to something which teases some taste buds, putting the rest in chains then bending them over a chair. Similarly, this is a recipe for the BDSM crowd that punches back through your salivary glands and leaves you with a sensation of pressure at the back of your shoulders. Well it did for me. Mrs S is reporting similar sensations. Caveat; this is very, very grown up. Children will not like it because it is not very sweet. Grown ups will because it isn’t.

Mousse is normally a fairly mundane dish. Soft and billowy in the mouth, tasty and refreshing, but fairly unmemorable. Mousse can be the base of a pleasant savoury starter or a lightweight dessert but this one is neither. The texture is light and billowy like a ballerina’s tutu, but with the bite of a lime flavoured mongoose on methamphetamine.

To experience this sensation you will need;
1 lemon
1 lime
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, no more
Half a pint of whipping cream
1 dessert spoon of full fat Greek Yoghurt
A large bowl and a whisk
3-4 raspberries for garnish per serving

The above recipe will make enough for three people. You may also need a bucket of water with five pounds of ice in it. Or not, depending upon your personal predilections. The great thing is that it’s very unfussy. No eggs, no gelatin, no unpleasant bending, just simple ingredients in proportion.

Squeeze the juice of both the lemon and the lime into a small glass. Remove pips but not the pulp.
Put the cream in the mixing bowl and whisk until it begins to thicken.
Add sugar and continue whipping until the cream stiffens.
When mix is stiff enough that most of it forms a soft lump inside your whisk, fold in the Yoghurt.
Mix in the lemon and lime juice.
Decant into serving bowls. I use small Ramekins.
Put in fridge for half an hour to finish setting.
Garnish with raspberries.
You may also garnish with a little lemon and lime zest. If you dare.

Eat and enjoy the savage tartness. At this point you may need to use the bucket of iced water. As for the rest, well disclaimer alert; this blog takes no responsibility for your actions during or after consumption. Do not eat in public. We will not pay your bail money.

Now I must go and polish my mistresses high leather boots.

Comfort food

The main heating went down today, so while we’re waiting for the heating guy to come and fix it, I went looking for recipes for a traditional rice pudding for some good old stick to your ribs comfort food.

Frankly me deario’s the results of my digital perambulations left me distinctly underwhelmed. Is it just me or do some Interweb chef types keep trying to make things far more complicated than they should be? Eggs in rice pudding? Do me a favour.

So I went back to the recipe I learned at Ma Stickers knee, which was an occasional but avidly anticipated treat to accompany Sunday dinner. One which I have adapted for the 21st century and simplified to produce a rich, creamy rice pudding to outdo anything you can get out of a can or packet. And it doesn’t leave you with an unpleasant eggy aftertaste.

You will need:

A three pint saucepan and wooden spoon.
A half cup of Pearl or short grain rice.
A quarter cup of sugar
One pint whole, full cream milk
One half capful of vanilla essence or half a de-seeded vanilla pod if you want to be ‘authentic’
A pinch of Cinnamon or ground Nutmeg if you have it, if not, don’t worry, this dish is great without either.

Method:

Throw rice and sugar in pan. Heat up half your milk in the microwave and add to rice and sugar. Stir. Put on a low medium heat until it begins to bubble. Stir again. Add half capful of vanilla essence. Stir again. Allow to bubble gently but do not boil. Stir again every ten minutes or so until milk has been absorbed by rice and sugar and the mix has thickened. This will take a while. About an hour. Add milk and stir in to reach the desired texture. Some like it milky, I like mine as a creamy glutinous mass. Sprinkle with a small pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon if you want and stir again. Chacun à son goût.

Serve hot or cold with a dab of jam. I like raspberry, but this is a cooks choice. Kids love this as they get to stir the jam into a warming pink mix which isn’t too sweet yet is very grown up. This has always been an instant hit Chez maison Sticker, and in these times when economical and low cost comfort food is an essential to keeping sane, will gain you high praise and esteem, even from teenagers, been there, done that and survived with kudos. May you be accorded the same success.

Happy eating.

Up, up and away

A blast from the airborne past

Or more realistically;

and;

Catch you on the flip side….

See y’all later.

On the road again

Okay. I’m officially homeless. The apartment is closed up cleaned up and signed off. The movers have come and gone with all our worldly goods in a shipping container and Mrs S and I are currently enjoying a hiatus in a nice hotel while we let the hamster wheels in our heads slow down a little.

Upside; we’ve got a warm bed, good food and all the somewhat restricted delights of downtown. Nice coffee.

Downside; Elderly Friend is on the way out and will need increasing levels of care as she slowly saunters off into the long night, pausing every few hours to fall and hurt herself yet further. We can do nothing for her except ensure her care levels are adequate by liaising with the care home staff and as Powers of Attorney making sure the money is there to pay for her care. Funeral is paid for. Not much else we can do but wait for the inevitable. The person we knew has gone, leaving a confused husk of habits and discontinuous memories.

On the streets of downtown Victoria the face nappy wearers are much in evidence. I keep a surgical mask in my pocket just in case someone absolutely insists I have to wear one, but so far it has remained unused. And I’m not much of a social person anyway.

The whole anti-social distancing thing is inconvenient, even ignored upon occasion. However, SARS/COV-2 has passed over us, like 80% of the population, with barely a ripple. The death count is nearly zero, even though increased testing has detected more people who have brushed the virus off as a mere inconvenience.

The only people truly frightened of this bug are the media and politicians, who know, deep in their spavined little souls that they are going to hell and want to put the whole eternal damnation experience off, just in case they are sent untimely coughing into oblivion or painful retribution for all the harms they have caused. Satan, Lord of Hell, is complaining that business has dropped right off and is going to have to rethink his marketing strategy.

More mundanely, regarding social distancing; I find it keeps the intrusive at bay, which I’m developing an enduring affection for. Now no one gets in your face and the nutters on the bus are too frightened of getting the dreaded lurgi to sit near anyone. See the highly entertaining Jasper Carrott sketch below.

Which I suppose is a compensation of sorts.

Time for breakfast.

Post breakfast update: The homeless encampment behind Victoria BC’s city hall has been shifted and the area given a sluicing down with disinfectant. There were a bunch of tents there last night. Now just rapidly drying puddles of disinfectant laced water ringed with yellow tape.

We need aliens

Mrs S and I were discussing the current government caused coronacrisis yesterday as the rain fell and a thought popped into my head. “What we need. Really need right this minute.” I declaimed. “Is a bloody great flying saucer landing in every capital city on the planet. We need aliens. It would take everyone’s mind off this stupid panic.”

Mrs S started to laugh, then her expression changed. “That’s not such a bad idea Bill.” She replied. “But it’s hardly likely.”
“A man can dream can’t he?” I said, staring gloomily at the trees. At that moment I would have shaken tentacular appendages with whatever life form who wanted to say drop by and say / squeak / whatever hello.

Does anyone else feel this way about lockdown and this belated and unnecessary mask policy? We really need a real-life, no shit Sherlock event to wake people up from their blind compliance. A few starships dropping off tourists to visit our blue green marble might be just the societal kick up the arse everyone needs right now. Arecibo is off line at the moment, so they could probably sneak right on by and drop in for tea / beverage of choice.

If any non-humans from beyond our solar system are reading a translation of this text, don’t be shy. Come on down and just remove the uncertainty. Give our politicians something to really think about. Phasers or whatever energy weapons you have need not be set to stun when you meet them.

No alien civilisations were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Cancelling cancel culture, a modest proposal….

For quite some time now, a cancer has been eating at the body of civil society. The cancer I refer to is that of ‘cancel culture’, where some anonymous complainants and their associated Twatter hate mob can pressure employers into firing an employee who has personal views the hate mob find objectionable. The problem is that once accused there appears to be no redress. There is no-one to sue for loss of income apart from the employers / source of revenue.

My own take on this is that if someone holds off beat views, or even objects quite reasonably to certain things, anonymous complaints are held to be evidence, which is an injustice of gargantuan proportions. No one should have that sort of power without some form of direct accountability. Either legal or fiscal.

Say if HR pulls you in and says that you’re fired because of a complaint against you pertaining to matters outside of your employment, first demand to know why, then insist upon being given details of the complaint against you, and the complainants details so that you can send your lawyers after them and sue them personally for the loss of income that they have occasioned. If the answer from HR is “It’s confidential.” Your automatic reply should be firstly “Why?” followed by “Who laid the complaint? All the names please. This is my right.” This is only fair. Your dismissal or ‘cancellation’ has now become a legal matter and is subject to the process of contract and civil law. And civil law has avenues for redress.

Only a tyrant exercises Quia sic dicit (Because I say so) as a guiding principle, and since we do not (At least superficially) live in a tyranny, there has to be some Quid pro quo (something for something). Anything less is injustice personified.

The kind of suit I allude to should be a massive business opportunity for all those ambulance chasing personal injury lawyers who should be all over this issue like fleas on a dogs back. Their marketing byline could be something like; “Anonymous complaints cost you your job or livelihood? Give us a call.” followed by a toll-free number. Could be a nice little earner.

I mention the above in a tongue in cheek manner, but this is deadly serious. Platforms who allow ‘cancel culture’ to flourish have, by their very actions, become complicit with the anonymous complainants and should therefore bear at least some of the financial consequences. By choosing to cancel some accounts and not others they cross the line between being merely a platform, a noticeboard which bears little or limited responsibility for the things posted upon it, and become publishers where they are seen to be exercising editorial control. Any platforms who enjoy the status of non-profit or charity should also lose their charitable tax status. Likewise employers who dismiss employees on the basis of anonymous complaints should bear some of the cost of punitive damages.

The anonymous complainants and the twatter hate mobs have been getting away with this shit for far too long. Payback time is long overdue.

Pass the popcorn, this might get interesting.

Addendum: The recently formed ‘Free Speech Union‘ looks useful. I wish them many successes.

Another Addendum: Patreon is in trouble. Watch Vlawgger Viva Frei’s take on the court case.

I’m currently listening to the world’s tiniest violin and chuckling darkly.

A little amusement

Went to the dentist today for a quick scrape and shine of the old Herkos Odonton (Lit; hedge of teeth, meaning discreet or top secret) and Mrs S and I put on our masks to enter the Dentists office, which struck me as incongruous. Mrs S made a crack about wearing masks to go to the bank to make a withdrawal and the comedy jukebox in my head dredged this Peter Cook written sketch out of long term memory…..

“Hold up your sticks and gimme the money!” Classic.

Modern comedy seems crass and tired in comparison.

What I want… (The simple desires of a complicated man)

A place to live,
Someone I love,
Somewhere to strive,
Maybe a dog,
A beach to walk,
That way I’ll thrive.

We’re heading off on the next great adventure. Family have been informed, with predictably mixed reactions. At least all the toilets are now working or we’d have nothing to go on.

Fuck it. Whose life is it anyway?

Regards,

Bill

Baking day

And today’s special is ….. wait for it Pork pie! Aaaand a game pie made with chicken, bacon and a little sausage. Unfortunately the local deer have vanished, so no venison. Not enough bunnies around either. So I had to make do with what protein was in the fridge. The leftover sausage meat filling some store bought frozen puff pastry. See below.

However, the hot water pastry is all my own work, and the game pie facsimile on the top left looks good, with the one pound (ish) Melton Mowbray style pork pie top right even better.

Victoria is not a great place, if like me, you are a fan of traditional English savouries. Our local stores have not seen a Pork pie since November 2019. So I have to cook my own. Which I do rarely, but the recipe is fairly straightforward. I won’t post the text on the main blog as it can get a bit involved, but I will give the how-to’s their own page under ‘cooking for conspiracy theorists’ along with my recently perfected recipe for Szechwan sauce, which makes fried rice zing and heats the mouth nicely rather than give you paint stripper breath or send you running for the cold tap.

That’s it really. Today has been a baking day because some chump thought it would be a wonderful idea to shut down a resource I needed to do my job effectively. Yes, because that’s exactly the right time to shut down ten percent of the companies online infrastructure. I shouldn’t complain really because it means I got to cook some old time favourites. It makes a pleasant change instead of staring at spreadsheets all day.

Oh, one last thing for my one remaining readers edification and amusement. A series of parodies culled from YouTube made by some very talented and bored people. Enjoy.

And finally (although there are many, many more)