Category Archives: Random Amusement

If it was that easy…

This is one of those dull posts about money and politics. Give it the go-by if you’re looking for something scurrilous and more interesting.

I wrote most of this post last Friday, when I was fretting and fuming over not receiving critical mail. Canada Post over here is a joke. Four weeks plus to deliver priority Air mail letters? And here’s me labouring under the delusion that I live in a first world country. Maybe the politically correct love the ‘third world’ so much they’re trying to drag Canada down to the level of Zimbabwe? I don’t know. However, a quick google indicates my postal gripes are not a new problem.

However, I’m heartened by the news of the stronger pound after Madame Tracey’s snap election announcement, as this vindicates my decision to ‘go long’ on Sterling. I’ll also be watching the French Presidential elections closely, as a victory (or even a close run loss) for Marine Le Pen means the Euro is going to take a hammering. Which from my point of view is no bad thing.

There is a saying that if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. I’m still having issues with shifting money around. Most of these have to do with Canada Post being its usual inefficient self and taking far longer to deliver a simple air mail letter (4 weeks and counting!) from my new offshore bank than a heavily sedated 3-toed Sloth with arthritis. Fortunately there is the Internet and there is the telephone. I know where the money is. It’s going nowhere without my say-so, so nothing really lost apart from opportunity. The exchange rates won’t be doing much until late next week when the fun really starts.

Update: Fun is starting. May is when the SH1T really gets to hit the fan.

Had my previous offshore bank not decided to close because of the new regulatory overhead I would not be having these issues. Monies would be paid, services obtained, and the world of business, at least as far as I’m concerned, would carry on regardless. Nonetheless, when it comes to offshore banking the state has demanded these cumbersome new regulations which have to be facilitated by, guess who? Yet another branch of the state, the postal service. All to stick a finger in the dyke of financial regulation to stop ‘money laundering’ when the metaphorical sea is coming over the top. Because, as any fule know, anyone who needs an offshore account is a tax dodger and a criminal, right? Well, thanks for nothing. Guilty until proven guilty seems to be the way of things nowadays. You’re a criminal if we say so, comrade, eh? Or a ‘thought criminal’ if you hold the wrong opinions.

Anyway, there are provincial elections coming up and there is no way I’m voting NDP or Liberal, as they’re simply two cheeks of the same ‘tax and spend’ arse who both pass laws against free speech and put up taxes. We’ve got a Libertarian candidate running, so that’s where my vote will be going this time around. Not that I’m stupid enough to vote for any NDP or Liberal candidate, that would be like selecting the fattest spoiled toddler to rule the Kindergarten.

The Sound of Music

Oh dear, to find inspiration for this one I had to bowdlerise “How do you solve a problem like Maria” from ‘The Sound of Music’. The depths to which I sink… (Video of the original here)

However, for those of you not familiar with the movie (Thank your lucky stars), let me conjure up a picture. Six Diplomats in black suits, two American, two Chinese and two Japanese are gloomily watching screens in a situation room. On the screens are images of Kim Jong-Un and missiles being made ready.

Cue Sound of Music song intro as the first American Diplomat speaks;
“They launch rockets, play with nukes, and the nation is quite broke
The second American Diplomat says;
They threaten countries all the time and look as if it’s all a joke
The first Japanese Diplomat says;
Yet underneath the bluster there’s the ghost of A-bomb smoke
The first American speaks
Do we bomb or don’t we, there’s the challenge”

The Japanese Diplomat chimes in;
“There’s money for the military, while most North Koreans starve
Even China is hacked off with them, this country that’s a half
I hate to have to say it, but I very firmly feel North Korea’s not an asset to the region”

The first Chinese Diplomat begins to speak;
“I’d like to say a word in their behalf
North Korea makes me laugh”

The Chinese Diplomat sings;
“How do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find the word that means Korea?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!”

“Many a thing you know you’d like to tell them
Many a thing they ought to understand
But how do you make them stay and listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?”

The other diplomats join in;
“Oh, how do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?
When we hear them talk it’s confusing, out of focus and bemusing
And we never know exactly where we are”

The American Diplomat sings;
“Unpredictable as the weather, they’re as flighty as a feather
Kim’s an Eejit! He’s an arsehead! Goes too far!”

“He’d out pester any pest, drive a hornet from its nest
He’s a real live fan of circled firing squads
He’s a nutter! He is wild! He’s a riddle! He’s a child!
He’s a headache! He’s a moron! Thinks he’s God!”

The other Diplomats join in the chorus;
“How do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find the word that means Korea?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!”

“Many a thing you know you’d like to tell them
Many a thing they ought to understand
But how do you make them stay and listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?”

“Oh, how do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”

Boom-boom.

I’ll get me coat. Have a good Friday.

Syria

With huge apologies to the great Dean Friedman and his 1978 hit song ‘Lydia’.

Syria keeps nerve agent in their armament and we complain.
Well, hardly never. And then jokingly they say
Boy, it’s been so long since we saw you, we nearly bombed them all to death. We nearly left them all for dead. Nearly left them all for dead.

Syria, Syria, how come we don’t understand?
We can offer them nothing at all. this is more than we had planned.
Syria, Syria we are trying to command, at least until Korea comes,
Then, we must be off again.

Syria, you know we always talk about making conscious decisions, about running all your lives. Well, maybe we’re just fooling ourselves. It’s a role we like to play.
Because more often than not we’re backed into a corner. We’re sorry we bombed you. Do you feel like some company? Refugees need a place to stay.

Syria, Syria, how come we don’t understand?
We can offer them nothing at all. this is more than we had planned.
Syria, Syria we are trying to command, at least until Korea comes,
Then, we must be off again.

We mess with a country who thinks we’re all dumb. well, maybe we are. no, that wouldn’t surprise anyone. we suspect that much is true.
But, Syria, if you only knew how much we love you. did you know that we love you? it’s the best that we can do.

Syria, Syria, how come we don’t understand?
We can offer them nothing at all. this is more than we had planned.
Syria, Syria we are trying to command, at least until Korea comes,
Then, we must be off again.
We must be off again.

Free Kekistan!

There is a nation of the oppressed out there in Interwebland. A nation of people who have suffered horribly under the boot heel of a harsh totalitarian regime. A nation of peaceful Meme and Typo farmers whose only ‘crime’ is to claim their universal right of self determination and worship their green skinned God, Kek and his prophet, Pepe. A people struggling to be free from the cruel larping of hatemongers.

Bizarre? Certainly. But these are a people whose oppression must be recognised and removed. Article 1 of the UN charter demands this.

My friends (either of you) this is an appeal for your help. A cri de coeur on behalf of dispossessed ethnic Kekistanis, kept down for centuries by the identitarian Normies of Cuckistan. Forbidden to laugh openly in the street for fear of being physically beaten by black and brown clad masked hatemongers. Watching their memes stripped away year after year by a harsh left wing Cuckistani regime who sadistically tread precious, carefully nurtured crops underfoot. Humourless heretics who worship the false gods of Justin Trudeau, Jeremy Corbyn and Hilary Clinton have done this. Why? Because they hate the Kekistani flag and cultural identity for being way cooler than anything the Normies of Cuckistan can create. Because Cuckistanis, by their very definition, are incapable of Cool.

Now, despite suffering horrible casualties in the 2016 Meme war, the oppressed Kekistani diaspora are rising up against the identitarian brutality, declaring a merciless meme Jihad against the source of their hardship. This blog says the vile Cuckistanis must be overthrown and driven out, back into the foul swamplands of identity politics from whence they came. Why? “Because it’s 2017, dummy.”

Thus we implore you to take up the cry to liberate Kekistan. Join the meme Jihad against the wickedness of the Cuckistani Normies. Sign the petition. All hail to the great Kek. Shadilay to you my green friends.

Trust issues

Excuse the lack of posting of late, but I’ve been up to my neck in UK financial issues. Banks, lawyers, all the usual shizzle. Everything has to be verified, documented, double checked and rechecked before the compliance people are happy. They trust nobody, but then again, neither do I any more. This isn’t paranoia, it’s experience. And all because my family trusted someone to do their job over three decades ago. However, there’s light at the end of this particular tunnel, and it’s not some bleeder with a torch bringing me yet more paperwork.

I see someone has breached their trust and forwarded on Donald Trumps 2005 1040 form (Client copy) to the mainstream media, who have found; shock! Horror! He paid the taxes he was supposed to for that year! Right, so he’s done nothing wrong. Nothing to see here, move along. Apart from the theft of legally protected paperwork, which should not have been released until the IRS completed their tax audit. Not that the lamestream media can be trusted with anything.

Some reporters still just don’t get it, as with this interview with French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Trust has been dropping like a rock with mainstream media sources all over the world for over twenty years. And with good reason. The mainstream has become less trustworthy, deciding what to report and how to represent those stories. It has fallen prey to the triple poison of bias, groupthink and manipulation. Not that it was ever immune. So much so that stories presented in a particular way get automatically cascaded through all the ‘professional’ outlets. Others are ignored or shuffled to a couple of lacklustre paragraphs on page 7. Mountains become molehills, and vice versa, it’s all in the presentation.

Matters have gotten to the point that Mary-Rose Papandrea, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law has stated: “The American public is hostile to the media. Every news outfit should be very afraid of what a jury will do,” from this article. Specifically over a slanted ABC ‘News’ comment that a meat company sold ‘pink slime’. And this is one example of only a few. Remember Christopher Jeffries? Unfairly defamed by eleven news outlets. Piers Morgan’s editorship of the Daily Mirror and the infamous fake cover of ‘British soldiers’ beating up an Iraqi to name but three?

It’s all too easy for those with the mouthpiece to defame dissenting voices, labelling them ‘Rednecks’ and other such denigrations, yet come over all precious, clutching at their pearls in horror when the proles won’t swallow their misrepresentation wholesale. I mean, how dare the public not believe? How could they?

For myself, I was brought up to be cynical by my parents, who knew all too well what happened if you talked to a reporter with an agenda. So when contacted by the BBC in 2006 for an interview over my then work blogging, I rapidly backtracked after yet more high profile bloggers were ‘Doxxed’, that is, their real names and details were published. At the time I was on my uppers and seriously needed the money my erstwhile job brought in, so couldn’t afford to get fired. So unlike others I declined my fifteen minutes and slunk cautiously back into the alleys and side streets of my genesis.

Then there have been many misrepresentations over BREXIT, the US elections and a whole lot more. The reporting so biased that even the politicians are taking notice. Anyone even vaguely right of centre is being painted as a villainous thug, even when all they want is to restore a little balance. While others seem to be given a free pass because of the colour of their skin or religion. This view is spreading. Seems like I’m not the only one.

Yet who is to blame? Well, there’s only one answer, the Western mainstream media. They have been like kittens with several balls of wool as far as the truth goes, trying to shape it to tell a particular tale and just leaving a tangled mass of misrepresentation and omission. By their antics they’ve made the most wild eyed conspiracy theorist look like Bertrand Russell. Which makes me surprised that they can lie down straight in their own beds.

Speaking of beds, I’m finally beginning to sleep more than five hours a night as my particular tangled web becomes more organised. Other people have created a legal and financial mess which Ma Sticker’s youngest (Me) has been helping tidy up, but it’s not been without personal cost. As Mrs S commented yesterday, I’ve physically aged ten years in the last eighteen months, to which I’ve responded; “Add another century to that in terms of cynicism.”

Now I trust no-one. Especially not in the news media. Because they have proven themselves untrustworthy.

On the nature of custard

Some like it cold,
Some like it hot,
Some dab while others smother,
And with a simple, yellow blot,
Robert’s one’s father’s brother.

Excuse me rewriting Nancy Tyler’s old saw, but I often remind myself how much I like custard. Not the thin runny nightmare of School dinners long years past, but of a thick yellow comfort food which lubricates any pie, cobbler, crumble or steamed pudding down into the digestive tract like a greased pig off Teflon. There are many versions, from the almost white sauces with a huge hit of Vanilla to the golden lusciousness of which I write, made with Mr Birds famous custard powder. Which is a strange substance, given to exploding and people have even been known to walk on it. At General Foods in Banbury 1981, some actually detonated, the explosion being strong enough to blow the factory wall out and injure 8 people. So, handle with respect. This is not a safe cooking space.

I belong to the thick custard end of the spectrum, because thin custard, as anyone who has partaken of a pre 1980’s UK school dinner will know, runny custard is an abomination and not fit for polite society. Thick custard is far more versatile and as well as generally being more tasty, can be moulded and even sliced by those inculcated into the culinary mysteries that even the Freemasons and other so-called ‘secret’ societies never tell you about. I’ve even heard it whispered that some chefs crust it over like Crème Brûlée, which is basically a fancy custard tart without pastry, and consume it in guilty secrecy so that the waiting staff will not look down their noses at them. Because custard is, well, too English, and English cookery is très inférieur, non?

Which is a nonsense. French cooking is good, but when it comes to stews and roasts English cuisine matches the English climate, in that it is bucolic, robust and hearty. Both the French and English traditions have their specific strengths, but neither reigns supreme. Each has a place. Just like sometimes you want the brash horseradish heat of Colemans English Mustard with roast beef where the spicier Dijon or German mustards just won’t do. Or a decent crumbly Blue Stilton where Roquefort is too pungent and Danish Blue too greasy.

This is where English style custard raises a triumphant two primitive fingers against all the food critics. It has no pretensions, no finesse, it just is. The trick is not too much custard powder and just enough sugar. I find a 50/50 mix does the trick, adding just enough whole milk, not skimmed, 1% or 2% but full cream, to give your custard the rich creaminess that is the hallmark of this viscous gold.

To make really thick custard for slicing when cold:

Ingredients:
One heaped teaspoon of Birds Custard powder
The same amount of white granulated sugar
One drop of Vanilla extract
One and a half cups whole cream milk

Method:  
Mix custard powder and sugar together, add a little of the milk to make a smooth yellow paste. Heat the rest of the milk on a small one pint pan over a medium heat until it begins to bubble at the edges.
Now add the custard and sugar paste in the pan, stirring gently.
Or
Decant hot milk into bowl with custard and sugar paste. Mix. Now return to the saucepan and put back on heat.
Now add one drop of vanilla extract, no more.

Keep stirring gently, or your custard will become full of lumps as the cornstarch in the mix binds too quickly and no one will love you ever again because it has been scientifically proven that those who make lumpy custard are no good in bed. I use a whisk for the best results. Wearing Leather bondage gear is optional. Not PVC or leather substitute. Like with your custard, only the real thing will do.

When the mix is thick enough that a slow stirring motion briefly exposes the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and decant custard into a dish. At this point you can eat the custard hot with the pie or pudding of your choice, but I’ve another suggestion.

Leave the custard to cool for an hour until it has the consistency of jelly. remove from dish using a knife so it forms a dome. Now you have the choice of making a kind of fruit compote and pouring it over the solidified golden dome, or stewing some apple, leaving that to cool and, having sliced your solidified custard into quarter inch slices, put a layer of stewed apple between each slice. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar, ground cinnamon and perhaps even nutmeg if you’re feeling posh. Bung in the fridge for half an hour. Serve. Or keep it for yourself. You’re worth it. I give you permission to caramelise with one of those rinky dinky little blowtorches. Tell me how you got on because I haven’t bought one yet.

Yes, Jordan Peterson says you must embrace your inner monster so you never have to use it, but I say, don’t just give your inner monster a kiss and a big hug, take it by the hand and drag it into the bedroom. Well made custard will enable you to do this. Honestly.

Told you so… again

Well, the writing on the wall is now appearing for the latest ‘Gluten free’ fad diet in a recent study of 30 years data. Well, colour me surprised. Not. Another fad diet bites the Broccoli.

That’s the thing with fad diets, they take little or no notice of actual facts. Now if you have the flattening of villi in the small intestine that indicates Coeliac disease, a lot of Gluten is not fun. Lots of abdominal issues including distension, dire rear, discomfort and a tendency to huge flabby woof-woofs await (As well as upping your ‘Carbon Footprint’). Besides, that’s only a problem for the one percent of the population with a genetic predisposition to the disease who have to lay off the sarnies. The rest of us are quite safe. Although too high a proportion of grain based food in the diet isn’t the best thing for you, so maybe cutting back on the breads and pastries isn’t that bad an idea. As for too much Gluten causing Coeliac disease, well, doubt has been cast upon that assertion.

According to the head of the study behind this news item, Dr Geng Zong, a ‎Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston:

“Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrient [such as vitamins and minerals], making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more,”

Which is what we see in the supermarkets, like with the fad over ‘Superfoods’ and the otherwise inedible Kale, which some people rave about. ‘Rave’ being the operative word here, or maybe ‘unhinged’ would be better. Fixating on one’s diet to the exclusion of all else isn’t good for you, physically or mentally. That way lies OCD.

As for Kale, it’s one of those things I was once persuaded, much against my good judgement, to eat. But honestly after one prickly mouthful found wasn’t worth the effort. I’d class it as one of those foods you only need to eat if there’s nothing else in the larder and every shop within a fifty mile radius has sold out and shut down for the next forty eight hours. Yes, it’s got minerals and vitamins, but so has a brick. Oh yes, and depending upon where it’s grown, can contain significant levels of the toxic metal Thallium. I’m told that it used to be popular in Scotland. Which would explain much about the Scots.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a nice brace of steaks ageing in the fridge calling my taste buds. That’s a low gluten diet fixation with flavour.

Can’t give it away

In the past three days I’ve had two sales calls from my local Internet Service Provider offering me Cable TV. Both times I have declined, and asked them, quite pointedly not to ask me the question again. Which my last remaining reader might think odd, because in their desperation to increase their CableTV subscriptions the Cable company were offering quite a financially attractive package. No contract. Ten bucks a month off my Internet and phone bill. Pretty please with sugar on it. Pur-lease buy.

On the second call, when asked why I didn’t want to effectively be paid to have the service, I essayed a chuckle and opined that CableTV was “Crap that you couldn’t pay me to watch.”

I don’t need Cable TV anyway, because all the news I need is out there on the jolly old Interweb, and I’m quite capable of reading and listening for myself without having overpaid people telling me how to think and feel about a given situation. The Weather news I get direct from Service Canada. The Financial news direct from the markets themselves. There are some other excellent reasons for not bothering with Cable TV like;

  • I don’t watch sports
  • I don’t watch Fox, CNN, or MSNBC
  • I don’t watch anything on our TV until at least 7:30PM, and then I only have a series or a movie on as background while I read a book
  • Most of Cable TV is dire and chock full of adverts for stuff I’ll never want or need
  • The ‘News’ is all third hand Op-eds and therefore useless

Seriously, if I want the financial news there are far better real time sources online to base my decisions upon. If I want real news there are far better sources than Cable. Honestly. It all depends what I’m looking for. As for analysis, don’t make me laugh. These services are little better than paid mouthpieces for the guy with the deepest wallet or the most useful idiots.

So it doesn’t matter how much they discount the price, I will not be taking a Cable TV subscription. Because it’s so bad and obviously slanted now that the service providers can’t even give it away. Well, at least not to an old cynic like me.

Snow more no

Well, that was quick. The snow and ice outside has gone, washed into the gutters by a more seasonal rain. Last night was a bit wild and woolly, with wind and rain rattling the gutters and whistling around the eaves, but nothing we haven’t had before.

Various sagas trickle on in the background. Nothing all good, but nothing all bad either. I’m planning fallback measures for as many eventualities as I can against the constant background motion of moving goalposts trying to open a Sterling bank account from Canada. Oh what a complete mess of spaghetti it all is. As soon as one form is correctly filled in, some functionary comes back with “Errr, this wasn’t on the form, but…” Which leaves me hurriedly scrambling around, begging obscure answers off people who send me up a blind alley of ‘confidentiality’. It almost seems like some factions are trying to turn the administrative clock back to the early 1950’s when nationalisation was all the rage. Like they want to outlaw the individual choice that drives successful economies back into the financial dark ages. No matter. Nothing is impossible and I console myself thus; if it were that straightforward, everyone would be doing it.

Down in the Juan De Fuca I’ve noticed a lot of Canadian Naval activity of late. Today was a Frigate, some kind of Corvette / Minesweeper and a diesel powered Submarine with a smoking exhaust. They’re either on exercise or trying to stop all the anti-Trumpettes attempting a very chilly 18 kilometre swim to Canada. Not that Bryan Cranston, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Barbara Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Raven-Symone, Neve Campbell and Chloe Sevigny have actually done so. Whether the aforementioned are part of the 28 (!) people from the US who have filed for refugee status with Canadian immigration I am unable to say. Although perhaps the hypocrisy is strong with them. anti-trump-refugees-fleeing-to-canadaSo maybe the patrols are working as a deterrent or the colder Winter weather here on the Canadian Riviera has something to do with it. Perhaps trying the old Jedi mind trick at the 49th parallel wasn’t such a super wheeze?

Who knew, eh?