Category Archives: Random Amusement

You don’t hear this every day

A head of state as a caller to a radio talk show? Now that is truly awesome. What a coup.

Let’s face it, Trump lacks subtlety. He’s not eloquent, he’s brash, forthright and occasionally a bullshitter. But not an outright liar as some claim. He exaggerates rather than tells total untruths. Unlike many of his predecessors and detractors who would not recognise truth if it was tugging at their sleeves.

Don’t care much for the man himself, but I do like what he’s doing for the USA economically. The UK could have a piece of that action instead of hiding in a hole and whining incessantly about how bad Trump is.

On that topic, I never understood this reflexive anti-Americanism some people have. Maybe it’s because the yanks are brash, successful and outward looking. Unlike their most vocal critics, who come across as a bunch of petty, jealous, xenophobic losers.

Today on the home front, I’m off to lay a few evil spirits with elder sibling. Following Ma Sticker’s demise in 2014 we had serious disagreements over the estate which almost went to court. Now matters are more settled, I’ll be rubbing his nose in it in a gentle sort of way. Even if I’m not really looking forward to our meeting. I’ll just have to put my game face on, wear my best coat, a dangerous smile and accentuate the positive.

Eldest is currently in recovery mode after long term boyfriend gave her the elbow, the fool. Personally I think they were right on the point of making their relationship permanent, he panicked and ran. Not an attractive quality in a spouse to be. Getting married to raise a family is a big step and requires courage which we now see he hasn’t got. If he ever comes crawling back, I think she should first kick him in the nuts for being such an idiot then buy him a kitten to keep him company in his lonely old age. Tonight, (Australian time) she’s out on the town with her friends in Sydney to have a little personal time and think about getting a better place to live. Whilst we’re able we’ll wire her some pennies to help her keep head above water post breakup. It’s what family is for.

Steak!

I love a good steak. Which is great because steak restaurants are big in London right now. All sorts of ‘Gaucho’ type restaurants are in vogue, some where they give you a large chunk of hot stone upon which you can literally cook your own piece of beef to your idea of perfection and others where they serve a particular cut, medium rare, or should that be medium raw.

Notwithstanding, the customer service I have experienced in all of these has been little short of excellent. The quality of beef though, perhaps not as great as I’d hoped. Living in Canada as I do, the quality of steak cuisine is very good, from the on-a-budget version at a Denny’s roadside eatery to more upmarket fare, I have rarely been disappointed but for one thing, there is a cut of beef that knocks every other for six no matter how barely it is cooked. It is not often served on our side of the pond and unlike cuts I have now come to regard as inferior, can be had at a lower price. Possibly because your average Canadian consumer has yet to recognise true quality of this ‘butchers cut’. They’ll happily sink their teeth into the much chewier Rib-eye, but offer them the piece of flesh I refer to and like as not they’ll turn their noses up at it.

The piece of meat I refer to is called a ‘Flat iron’ steak and I have yet to eat its peer from any breed of cattle. Cut from the inside of the shoulder blade on a forequarter, this particular bit of muscle has an entirely different texture and flavour to any other. Firstly, texture. A flat iron steak has an almost buttery feel in the mouth, it almost melts, even when almost tartare. The grain of the meat runs longditudinally from end to end, not cross grained as with most other cuts. Properly butchered there will be no tough membranous tissue which sometimes mars the wonderful saliva inducing mellowness of this cut. Next, flavour. Mass market beef can be a bit of a flavour desert, not so the flat iron. It has a more pronounced beefiness combined with it’s splendid texture, a taste that might have you wondering why the hell you’d want to eat any other part of a steer.

The best news of all is that there is a chain of restaurants in London which specialise in this cut, serving it a little too rare for my liking, but the butchery was good and despite the redness of the meat, slipped down a treat. Did I also mention that they’re also not as expensive as most of the ‘Gaucho’ style steak houses? A full flat iron steak will feed two hungry meat lovers, even if I would have liked a little larger portion (and hotter) of their Horseradish sauce. Their creamed spinach too is enough to restore a badly Bluto battered Popeye and put a twinkle in his eye that his paramour, Olive Oyle, could not mistake.

Now I don’t do shout outs like this often, if at all, but if you want to get away from the fancy stuff masquerading as food whilst in the UK’s capital, you could do worse than visit one of the nine (At the time of writing) “Flat Iron” franchises dotted around town. First come first served. Expect to queue. Don’t forget your dessert. (Oh, the calories, the calories!)

Unless of course you have the misfortune to be a vegetarian, or worse still, vegan. Then I am afraid there is no hope for you. You poor thing.

BTW: No one really ‘hates’ vegans, vegetarians or other diet obsessives as claimed in the Grauniad.  The rest of us find the endless proselytising somewhat tiresome, even annoying, but no-one really hates them.  For example, one of my stepdaughters is a ‘fish vegetarian’ (Won’t eat meat but will eat eggs and fish).  Which I find curious but hardly a Casus belli.  To truly hate someone over their chosen diet would be to say that the matter was worth taking seriously.  Chacun a son gout.

Where there is tea

There’s an old World War two slogan that came to my attention yesterday. “Where there is tea there is hope.” attributed to English dramatist Arthur Wing Pinero from his play (Book?) ‘Sweet Lavender – a comedy in three acts’. Saw it first in the Churchill War Rooms, now it seems to be popping up everywhere. On souvenir mugs and teapots, on tee-shirts, fridge magnets, even in sermons. Like a modern interweb meme it seems to materialise in the most unexpected places. See below.

These are frustrating times. People do not do what they are asked and seem incapable of passing on messages correctly, or even performing simple tasks. This is something I often find, when tempted to hurl my laptop across our hotel room because for example the account I’ve been given to manage data has not been set up correctly. Even the most creative solution I’ve been able to come up with won’t work, so I am reduced to reverting to older, more tried and tested methods to get my job done on time. Getting things done has always been an important facet in my life, and to not be that way is incomprehensible. So with Parliament at present. Won’t have an election, won’t deliver on Brexit, in fact will do anything but do the job they were put in place to do.

In these times I always fall back on a morning cuppa to hit my reset button and restore my internal equilibrium before stepping up to meet the challenges of the day and emerge victorious. Well, not always, but I don’t give up without having a damn good go at it. If in a losing fight, it’s always useful to make sure that any aggressor gets the message that one is not to be trifled with lightly. A mug of what I call ‘builders’ tea (English breakfast with milk) always helps. No idea why. Perhaps there’s some obscure biochemical trigger within the blend which calms the emotions whilst stimulating the cognitive faculties? I do not know.

No other hot drink has such a restorative effect. Coffee leaves me buzzed but disorganised and those wishy washy herbal brews are little but flavoured hot water with no readily sensed benefit, yet a traditional English ‘cuppa’ can drag me out from under a metaphorical ton of rubble to fight another day. This is one of those unexplained mysteries of life which can lead to exchanges like;
“Sir, that building collapsed on you. Do You need to go to hospital?”
“No, I’m a bit beat up but I could really do with a cuppa.”

I know I’ve explored this topic before, but can anyone tell me which is the best? Is PG Tips the most efficacious or perhaps Tetley, Yorkshire Tea, or even your basic bog standard brew? Let us plumb the depths of one of life’s great mysteries together.

Dear Remainers

Hello My dear BREXIT remain campaigners,

Just a little missive from over the pond to say hi and point out a few things. If the UK does not leave the EU on the 31st October 2019 you are all screwed. Not just you, but the Brexiteers as well. In fact the whole population of the dear old UK. As an expat, my funds have very little exposure in Europe at present, but yours. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. You are so totally fucked. Not because of BREXIT itself, but by the continual uncertainty and delay you have caused.

Why do I say this? Well a few reasons actually, and they’re not hard to see from my moderately lofty viewpoint. If the UK bends the knee to the EU, either as a vassal state or still within that bureaucratic morass, I have seen hints that the next decade won’t be much fun for UK Plc as a whole. In fact you’ll only think it’s fun if you’re really into sadomasochism in a big way. This includes all those small to medium sized businesses struggling to compete in an environment ever more skewed by the EU to favour the big corporates.

Point of order here; you Remainers might think that you are on the side of ‘democracy’. Yet any effective democracy will die if the UK stays within the EU. Because the EU as now structured has about as much democracy as had the old Soviet Union. Don’t take my word for this, the documentation is all on the EU’s web site. All the legislation. All those regulations that will begin to tighten around the UK like a seventeenth century hangman’s noose. One that slowly constricts and strangles whilst the feet of the condemned dance in the air. Slow and painful. The economic punishment beatings of austerity will forever be your lot. See Greece.

You see, all the bad things that will follow a failed Brexit will be for your own good. Also to serve as an example for any other bumptious little country with ideas above its station who dares to even think of leaving the glorious EU empire. Also like Greece, your constitution and a thousand years of law will be torn into tiny little shreds. If you have the ill fortune to find yourself in a court of law, the onus will increasingly be on you to prove your innocence against fairly flimsy evidence. Think that’s easy? I could cite the examples of the UK Family courts where most fathers are considered guilty upon the most paper thin allegations. Like the so-called Canadian court of human rights where evidence for the defence can be (and often is) dismissed at whim. You’re there so you’ve got to have done something? Right? Think Twitter hate mobs are bad? These will be worse. Not only that but not falling foul of the rising flood of legislation will be an increasingly more difficult task. You will have lost even the pretext of innocence before the law. The process will go like so; allegation, automatic charging, show trial, conviction, sentence. Defence? Oh dear me no.

By the way, did you know that although the EU does not officially have a death penalty, there is a law on their statute books that allows for one to be imposed should you ‘insult’ the European Union? Go look. It was there when I last checked. So wrongthink might take UK citizens to whatever execution device the Eurocrats deem fit. Be that a bullet in the head or the horror of the Fallbiel. Even if at first it is only those filthy Brexiteers who literally get it in the neck. Don’t think that these self-serving Eurocrat bastards won’t consider mass murder to keep themselves in positions of power and privilege.

My brother in law, a staunchly typical remainer, has indicated that he would be more than happy to fill mass graves just for the ‘privilege’ of remaining within the European Union. So don’t say that it’s all paranoia. Remainers have left those on the pro leave side of the fence with no illusions on associated matters and what they’ll do, given half a chance. So give the pseudo moral outrage a rest. You’re only fooling yourselves.

Add to that, in case of civil unrest I hear that there are plans to deploy non-UK Police personnel and non-UK military personnel on UK territory. Think I’m talking from an orifice not normally used for that purpose? Go look it up. All within the EU’s web pages. The EU Army we were told was an febrile illusion invented by a deluded pro BREXIT faction? That’s there too. Ever closer union? Now we learn that was always the way this was going. The Eurocrats have been working toward that goal since day one. A new German empire with it’s own patrician class that you won’t be able to get rid off.

Free person or modern day serf. Ask yourself this; do you really want to be at someone else’s unfettered beck and call all your life? The EU will make you all slaves to a self-selecting elite. Think it’s bad now?

Oh and the European Central Bank is in serious financial trouble. The printing presses are rolling and ECB interest rates are sub zero. If you haven’t pulled your funds out, do so now. As a small investor I took this step a couple of years ago.

Now there is, however, one bright spot in all the imagined gloom that the remainer pundits endlessly (and tediously) predict. If a ‘no-deal’ Brexit does go through on the 31st October, at least you won’t have to hear another EU Parliament speech from Nigel Farage ever again.

See you in mid-October,

Stay safe.

Bill

P.S. I may be outside Canada when our Federal elections happen, but there’s a thing over here called ‘advance voting’ so Mrs S and I can get our anti-Trudeau ballots in the box before we board our plane.

Well that worked

Or rather it didn’t. Put not thy trust in Princes, to bastardise the old biblical saying, nor in the weatherman in whom there is no hope. Despite grey skies, Wednesday’s weather forecast up the island highway all the way up to Campbell river said dry and cloudy. Oh no it wasn’t. Thursday afternoon, what was supposed to be a sedate swan northbound was a damp old ride once I cleared the big hump of rock we call the Malahat. So the Mutt and I turned around and retreated back to the louring grey skies of Victoria.

Am taking great delight in the downfall of the idiot fop who weaseled his way into becoming the Prime Minister of Canada, a post for which he is both unqualified and has too little real life working experience. All the times he has claimed to be ‘anti-racist’ and a ‘feminist’ are turning out to be a bit of a bad joke. Three cheers anyone? Hip-hip hypocrite!

Not only is Trudeau a known groper of women, but also once liked imitating, some would say parodying, darker skinned people. Mm-hm. That’s without being a corrupt politician whose office goes against it’s own much vaunted principles. If he doesn’t get voted out during our October election, I for one will look at my fellow Canadians with even more disdain than at present. Not that I really like the idea of Andrew Scheer as PM. He’s kind of a very wet cod-liberal who wouldn’t try to bail out a boat if it was sinking, just in case it ‘offended’ someone. My vote, such as it is, is going to our local People’s Party Candidate. I like what Maxime Bernier is saying, and will be giving his fledgling party what support I can.

Any way. The sun is shining and I’m suited and booted for some weekend riding.

Boring….

A bit bored at the moment. We’re on the run up to London in just under a month and looking for places to entertain ourselves. I’m rather put out because the weather around here has turned quite damp, so the Mutt is currently snuggled up under cover and I find myself reluctant to look out of the window at the rain. Such are the issues with being a fair weather only rider. I’ve got a hankering to take a run up past Comox (450km there and back, all right, 280miles) or even Campbell River (530km round trip, about 330miles) to clear some accumulated cobwebs.

On the plus side, work is under control and Management are happy with the what’s, why’s and wherefores of my workload, which I can handle without difficulty because I’ve whittled a number of tasks, including my weekly reporting, down to a few mouse clicks. It’s all a question of streamlining and automating the simpler procedures, which I’ve had time to do over the Summer, even with me and the Mutt sneaking out for two or three hundred kilometre long rides while things are slack. The mountain loop round Sooke and up to Port Renfrew, thence over the hump to Duncan via Lake Cowichan and back to the barn is a favourite. The road surface gets a bit rough after China bay and up to Port Renfrew but it’s very scenic. You go from a massive vista over the Pacific, where there’s nothing between you and Japan to nice tightening curves between the hills, dodging the logging trucks as you gain altitude. Snow normally hits the high ground in early November on this particular leg, so this is a Summer only pleasure. The Mutt is going into cold storage in the garage until the end of April 2020, so I’ll be making the most of all the sunshine we have left until October.

I was rather hoping that the warmer weather would continue for a while, but like I said, it’s raining and I’m no longer happy to don waterproofs and duke it out with everything the British and European sky can hand out. Never mind the Canadian weather. Yes, you can call me a wuss, but over the years I’ve ridden in everything from blazing heat waves where the mercury casually blew past the hundred and ten Fahrenheit (Forty three Celsius) marker to thunderstorms, torrential downpours where the rain meets itself coming back up, cannonball pea sized hail and even near whiteout blizzards. I’ve come home soaked to the skin through full waterproofs and on a couple of occasions with my leathers covered in a quarter inch of ice. So. Been there, done that, not dumb enough to want to do it again.

One of the benefits of my current age is experience and what I consider a little hard won wisdom. So there.

The sound of science

Reading the abstract below, and subsequently the whole paper, enlivened what has otherwise been a dull workday. It’s mostly what I’ve understood to be correct and fills in a few gaps. In short; the climate modellers tools might as well have  been made by Airfix.

Abstract:

The reliability of general circulation climate model (GCM) global air
temperature projections is evaluated for the first time, by way of
propagation of model calibration error. An extensive series of
demonstrations show that GCM air temperature projections are just linear extrapolations of fractional greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing. Linear projections are subject to linear propagation of error. A directly relevant GCM calibration metric is the annual average ±12.1% error in global annual average cloud fraction produced within CMIP5 climate models. This error is strongly pair-wise correlated across models, implying a source in deficient theory. The resulting long-wave cloud forcing (LWCF) error introduces an annual average ±4 Wm–2 uncertainty into the simulated tropospheric thermal energy flux. This annual ±4 Wm–2 simulation uncertainty is ±114 × larger than the annual average ∼0.035 Wm–2 change in tropospheric thermal energy flux produced by increasing GHG forcing since 1979. Tropospheric thermal energy flux is the determinant of global air temperature. Uncertainty in simulated tropospheric thermal energy flux imposes uncertainty on projected air temperature. Propagation of LWCF thermal energy flux error through the historically relevant 1988 projections of GISS Model II scenarios A, B, and C, the IPCC SRES scenarios CCC, B1, A1B, and A2, and the RCP scenarios of the 2013 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, uncovers a ±15 C uncertainty in air temperature at the end of a centennial-scale projection. Analogously large but previously unrecognized uncertainties must therefore exist in all the past and present air temperature projections and hindcasts of even advanced climate models. The unavoidable conclusion is that an anthropogenic air temperature signal cannot have been, nor presently can be, evidenced in climate observables.

Emphasis mine.

At first skim, this paper comes across as a careful analysis of the current and previous states of climate models, upon which all the scare stories of ‘Climate Emergency’ and ‘Climate crisis’ (Not to mention the wealth transfer con trick called ‘Carbon Taxation’) are based. Essentially this study carefully weighs, measures and finds the claims that ‘it’s all CO2’ seriously wanting.

And this paper has passed peer review. Not that the true believers like those boneheads of extinction rebellion, Justin Trudeau etcetera will pay any attention. If climate change is not caused by humans, and it isn’t, they don’t want to know. This sort of information is well above their pay grade and they know it. Hell, it’s a little above mine, but from what I can see it passes the bullshit test in which no obvious bullshit was found.

Want to read for yourself? The whole paper is open access and can be accessed here. The supporting information can be found here.

Hat tip to Small Dead Animals and Wattsupwiththat.

P.S.  If I was Gore, Nye or Suzuki, I’d be packing my bags and leaving town for good. The jig is up.

Update:  Have read Dr Roy Spencer’s critique at Wattsupwiththat which points out a couple of weaknesses with Dr Franks work which seem fair.  Yet to read the author’s response.  However, Dr Spencer, whilst highlighting the point that the models predict twice any observed warming, he sticks with the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) measurement which does not take into account alterations to climate systems like the jet streams by their sensitivity to variations in the earth’s magnetosphere.

Then there are Dr Frank’s responses to the points raised by Dr Spencer, who then answers in the comment string below.  Who says science is dull, eh?

Points of failure

Following the BREXIT news, I see Bojo, the UK’s deceptively clownish PM has just outmanouevred the remoaner MP’s. He called their bluff. Talk about cojones, I’d hate to play him at poker. Despite being in a weakened position he flipped the noisy remoaners the bird and Labour, recognising that much of their own voter base were the ones who mostly voted ‘leave’, folded.

The BREXIT party poses a significant electoral threat to the Corbynites, as it does to the Tories if Bojo fails to deliver on the 31st October. Farage and co are likely to capture a significant part of their vote and they know it. The Limp Dems might garner a few seats because of split votes, but they won’t make much headway in largely leave constituencies. The numbers are against them. A hung Parliament would result with a majority of dark blue (Tories) and light blue (BREXIT party). Maybe Farage would deal, maybe not.

A lot of what I see going on at present is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Remain faction won’t get any bills past the Lords in the time frame available to them and the Tories won’t invoke the Parliament act to force the issue. Only the ruling party with a firm majority can do that. Boris Johnson won’t go cap in hand to Brussels, partly because even the EU has lost patience and won’t negotiate further and partly because if he does bend the knee, from an electoral standpoint he and the rest of the Tories would be heavily overdone toast. I think he understands that this is his defining moment and he must not fail.

Judging from the mood of things from over here in BC, the British voting public, outside of a few noisy activists, have had enough. Now if it does come to a UK General Election, there are certain parties who will be in for a punishment beating at the ballot box. Those who have demonstrated bad faith will be the worst hit. Which is what the Corbynites fear. They have broken faith with a good deal of their traditional voter base who wouldn’t vote Tory even if threatened with red hot pokers, but might well vote BREXIT party or just stay at home in disgust. All the remainers “We want an election and we want it now” rhetoric is just guff, as has just been proven. The shadow of Farage hangs over them all and they know it.

These are their points of failure. Despite the threat of electoral annihilation, the remain faction will not give in, but will grow ever more shrill, right down to the wire. The thing is, to continue the poker metaphor, they’re a busted flush. They’ve played their best cards and bet the farm but they are beaten. Now they’ll try to kick over the table and call a mismatch, but they’re too late. All Bojo and company have to do is stand firm and filibuster like their lives depend upon it. Because in a way they do.

My, my, this is interesting. I’m positively looking forward to London this October.

Update:  Speaker Bercow has resigned?  Good gravy.  Whatever next?  All I know is that another must be elected by the Commons while one of the previous speakers three deputies stands in.

Having had a quick breeze through the history, a Speaker’s resignation is unusual, but not unprecedented.  So apart from calling into question Bercow playing ducks and drakes with certain parliamentary rules, it’s going to be business as usual.  The Brexit clock ticks on.

Interesting times

“May you live in interesting times” as the legendary curse goes. Well, these past few days have been interesting as far as we are concerned. On the home front, elderly friend is slipping away down the sad path of dementia toward the long night. Her short term memory is all screwed up, so when she cannot find anything she’s on the phone to us at all hours. Brother in law had a bit of a fright when lack of regular sleep caught up with him and he simply collapsed. Twice. Mrs S wants to up sticks and move countries yet again and guess who is being given all the heavy lifting? Now our normally reliable car has packed in, so I’ve had to arrange for full diagnostic. Looks like an easy fix (allegedly) for the garage, being something to do with a bit of electronics having given up the ghost, unfortunately my automotive skill set and tools are sadly lacking for such a relatively modern vehicle, so off to the shop it goes. Fortunately we’ve still got the Mutt to get about on.

This morning, having had a breeze through the FT, I see the Queen, God bless her, has given the green light to Bojo the UK’s deceptively clownish PM, to suspend or prorogue Parliament. Of course all this has the remoaners up in arms, claiming that this is ‘anti-democratic’, but their pointless prolonging of BREXIT has clearly gone against the democratic mandate that was handed down to them in 2016, so yar boo to you lot. The delay has already cost the UK dearly. The Queen knows this, Boris knows this, the remoaners don’t seem to care. They’re just acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

They’ve had three whole years to get a deal from the EU and they have failed. So WTO terms it is. In sixty five days from the time of writing and counting. No referendum, no votes, no attempted palace coup by the fantasists who think that Corbyn driving to Buck house in a taxi and forcing the Queen to make him PM. Err, can I point something out? You know the old challenge “You and whose army?” Well, fun fact; HM Queen is commander in chief of the armed forces. All the officers and squaddies in the Army, Navy and Air Force have sworn loyalty to her, not some unpopular and crabby left wing politician. It’s her army, not the Corbynites. The Police are also sworn to the Queen. True, they may be managed day to day by politicians, but they work for her. She’s the boss. The Chairman of the board. The EU attempted a stealth takeover, but over half the people of the UK used their votes to say “Out.” and that’s that.  HM Queen rules UK, okay?

Oh, by the way, saw this over at Raedwald‘s. So apposite, so goddamn on the money when it comes to the remoaners. So I too shamelessly nicked it.
Remoaner Tantrum

Since even before the 2016 referendum those who intended to and voted leave have been subject to continual abuse and insult from the opposing faction, which is no way to change hearts and minds. Newsflash kiddies; you can only convince someone to change their mind through persuasion. Constantly beating them over the head and abusing them just won’t cut it. This is negotiation 101, as they say over this side of the pond.

Right. Now I’m off to talk to a mechanic or two. Yes, these are indeed proving interesting times.

Amazing stories

The older I get, the more amazed I become at some of the strange stuff that much of humanity calls cognition. Of late I’ve noticed that certain millennial females, in an attempt to appear ‘nicer than thou’ behave in ways that are positively dangerous to other road users. One occasion was when I was waiting to enter a traffic island (Many Canadian drivers here on Vancouver Island understand traffic islands like they understand cornering, lane discipline or changing gear – the answer is that they don’t), when a female driver stopped and waved me in front of her, which I could not at first see because of reflections on her windscreen and side windows. There was no-one behind her and more than enough room to allow me to slot in behind to take my turn. Yet when I opened my side window and waved her to go past, firstly because I like potential road hazards in front of me where I can see them, secondly because the rule with traffic islands is to give way to traffic already on the traffic island. In return she got mad and shouted, then gave me the finger, simply because I did not want her behind me. There was plenty of room, no need to get irate, yet she blew up.

Similarly, I was travelling the back roads a few days ago when I came across a local transit bus (Not a school bus – different rules apply) sitting at a stop with it’s hazards blinking just before a blind right hand bend. The car in front came to a sudden stop which I almost missed because their brake lights weren’t working, forcing me to pull a full on, brake screeching jamming on of anchors, I did something I rarely do, which was hit my horn to warn them of this ill-timed behaviour. This appeared to annoy the driver, who had pulled up to allow two cyclists, who were blocked from my line of sight by the now-stopped car blocking the road in front and the bus itself, to cross a fast country road on foot. The car driver gave me the finger. Then proceeded to drive at under thirty kmh for the next two kilometres, all the time favouring me with rude gestures, until she thankfully turned off. In my book the driver and the bus driver should have moved on to let the cyclists cross safely at their own discretion. Instead the virtue signallers created a problem which need not have existed and thus a deal of raised blood pressure. Not to mention that crossing the road from in front of a large parked vehicle is something I was taught at my mother’s knee was a bloody silly thing to do and likely to be terminally bad for your health.

Now I don’t know about you dear reader, but all this trying to show how ‘nice’ you are on the road is positively dangerous. Having checked my copy of the Canadian Highway code, yes, I had it right. Both drivers, both female, both in their late twenties, were in the wrong. They had also taken it amiss because one road user at least found their behaviour somewhat counter intuitive. For ‘counter intuitive’ read dumb as a bag of rocks. I see a lot of this. People too focused on trying to appear pleasant, but when encountering even the slightest objection, go into complete meltdown. I’ve even come across this standing at the roadside, waiting for Mrs S to catch up before crossing. I’ll be waiting at the roadside for my wife, head turned away, body language indicating that I’m not going to move any time soon, only to have some grinning bozo beeping their horn, waving at me to cross from behind a windscreen that is more or less a mirror, then getting all irate when I wave them on. It’s all so very passive aggressive.

Now I’m a well travelled man. I’ve driven all around Europe, the USA, Britain and Australia, but nowhere else in this big wide world have I come across this “Don’t you dare not let me be what I think of as nice to you” attitude. If you want to annoy a suburban western Canadian or urban Ontarian female, just tell them you don’t think that they’re as nice as they claim. Believe me, there is nothing more likely to enrage the entitled than having this one petty hypocrisy called out. White hot humour failure will be immediate, often followed by disproportionately spiteful and petty acts against you which ultimately benefit no-one. Canadians as a whole may have this reputation for being pleasant and charitable, but in major urban populations this attitude only runs skin deep, if that.

It’s almost a mirror image of what is going on online, where people who disagree with a given viewpoint are subject to disproportionate displays of virulent hatred, even to the point of being hounded out of their job. Which is a bit rich, or rather not, as kicking an able worker out for merely expressing an opinion is a shot in the foot all round. Considering it may be only one actual person really put mildly out of sorts by such an opinion, the rest of the outrage being amplified by a form of cognitively-impaired drone network. The loss of service of a key employee will probably be far greater and impact not only the organisation so targeted, but also the people served by that body of people and those within it. Not to mention the desire for vengeance from the person thus persecuted for so little reason. Hence the saying I was taught as a boy; “If you would seek vengeance – first dig two graves.”

Now the political pendulum is swinging ponderously rightwards, certain people should be quaking in their little pink booties in fear of the wrecking ball they used without provocation upon others has begun the long ponderous sweep in their direction. Yea in the words of my head librarian, Igor the badly stitched; “What cometh around, goeth around. Oh yeth.”

You’re going to like this

…but, to quote the old Paul Daniels catchphrase “Not a lot”. Rather than get drawn into the same old “Oh! we’re all doomed if there’s a no-deal BREXIT” that the remoaner commenters have been tediously banging on about, I’ve been watching the European markets with interest. After all, one mans downfall is another’s opportunity. Germany is especially vulnerable. If the markets for their heavily manufacturing based economy undergoes serious shrinkage, as is likely, they will have trouble. This is despite shipping cars over to the North American market via Nanaimo BC, Canada. That’s right. The small city of Nanaimo BC, Vancouver Island (Where I lived for five years) is Canada’s major port of entry for BMW’s, VW’s etcetera. This is into a near-saturated market you understand. We in Canada have the pick of the world as far as vehicles are concerned so it’s a highly competitive environment. Some people like BMW’s etc, I don’t, but then I have my own, highly personal reasons for this choice.

Today I’m stuck in the office, gearing up for an increase in work. It’s wet out, and nowadays I’m a confirmed dry day only rider. Might get a tootle in tomorrow before sister in law comes down for the weekend. Which means I have to go and get a few things before me and the mutt go out to play.

Anyway, back in the old country the paperwork on leaving the EU is all done and dusted and the date is set. 31st October it is. Mainly because the EU has refused to negotiate any further. It was their way or the highway. So it’s time to stop talking and get walking. Seventy one days and counting at the time of writing. I know we’ve been here before, but this time it’s on. No returns, with knobs on.

Equipping the RN with a few lightweight fisheries protection vessels might not be such a bad idea. Arm with two anti-shipping missiles (Buy a dozen Harpoon RGM 84’s from the Yanks, or maybe even use up some surplus Anti-tank stuff) and a 20mm Oerlikon should be enough firepower for the interim with some line cutting gear, at least until the EU fishing fleets get the message.

That means with the UK’s contribution to the EU about to disappear with a now-inevitable no-deal BREXIT, the Germans will be left holding the larger part of the EU’s fiscal baby, which is bad news for the Eureaucrats. From a simple business perspective, you simply can’t just lose such a major element as the UK in a continent wide cashflow without a major restructuring. Or even in extremis a European economic collapse if the Russians decide to apply a little judicious pressure via their gas pipelines. The whole renewables thing the Germans relied on for power is collapsing, so power prices will rise, much to the chagrin of the poor German public and the disadvantage of German industry. The French have their own major economic issues and will have to look a bit slippy if they aren’t going to end up carrying Brussels can as well. The EU has been going round signing trade deals with a lot of other countries of late, extending their circle of influence, but that won’t do them any good if what their member nations produce becomes too expensive.

As for the other nations, Italy won’t hang around when things go pear shaped, nor I think will the French. The Hungarians, Poles and Czechs may well split off into a mitteleurop trading bloc of their own taking a few of the smaller Eastern European nations with them. Thirty nine billion pounds (43 Billion Euro’s or 48 Billion US Dollars just disappeared ne’er to be seen again.

So a number bloated bureaucrats may well find themselves jobless with nothing but a depleted bank account and several expensive mistresses to provide for (Or in Junckers’ case his wine cellar). Spare a Bentley for an out of work Eurocrat guv? Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. This could be fun.

Update:  The UK is purchasing twenty six all weather drones for fisheries protection.  I wonder if any of then will be armed?

This is cool

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

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

How the parody was put together.

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

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

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

Straight pride; a modest proposal

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

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

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

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

It’s the only moral way.





Now wait…






Keep waiting…





Patience now, they’ll crack…





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





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





Feed the cat while you’re at it…





Any year now…





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





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

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

See definition below.

Bigot

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

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

Have a nice day.

Just a bit of weather

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

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

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

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

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

Back in the saddle

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

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

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

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

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