Category Archives: Random ramblings

Insulating…

Today we have shelled out the spondoolicks to get our new demesne properly insulated against the grim cold depths of Winter. The amount of stuff left behind in the attic by previous owners has been quite amazing. Old Christmas decorations, games, Tractor Porn and videos of same and doors for heavens sake, a dozen or more full size internal room doors. All flat plywood panel unfortunately, but still more than there are doorways in the entire house. I expect that it’s one of those cumulative things. Everything gets shoved in the loft and never taken down until fifty years later. I expect I’ll find a use for it all.

However, the insulation guys were finished within a day, my pocket is a bit lighter but goodness gracious me, what a difference a foot of rockwool insulation makes. No changes to heating but the temperature and humidity upstairs have gone from 65-67 Fahrenheit and 59-63% humidity to 70-72 Fahrenheit and 48-49% humidity inside two hours. Which is quite a dramatic shift within a very short time frame. The boiler isn’t kicking in every half hour either, which will spare my wallet on the heating bill.

Having lived in older properties for most of my youth, I’ve long appreciated how much difference good loft insulation makes. It does save money, and in our case the payback period, the point at which we would have spent more on fuel for a given period, purely on the back of a fag packet calculation, should be just under eighteen months. Maybe much sooner.

Notwithstanding, none of the above gives me any sympathy with those ‘Insulate Britain’ nutcases. They want the taxpayer to foot the bill for other people’s lack of financial judgement. Indeed they seem to have little idea what they were ranting about because one of their ‘leaders’ hadn’t had his own loft insulated before his bunch of gibbering fools started blocking UK roads. Had these people had any integrity they would have led by example, but no, with them like so many others protesting about atmospheric trace gases, it’s all “Do as I say, not as I do.”

There’s a word for people like that, now what is it?

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Tip of my tongue….

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Don’t rush me, I’m thinking…

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Oh yes…

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Hypocrite

hypocritenoun[ C ]   disapprovingUK  /ˈhɪp.ə.krɪt/ US  /ˈhɪp.ə.krɪt/ someone who says they have particular moral beliefs but behaves in way that shows these are not sincere.

Example: He’s a hypocrite – he’s always lecturing other people on the environment but he drives around in a huge car.

Draining away…

Today we’ve had the cleaning of drains, finding out where septic tanks are hidden and built a new garden compost bin. So I’m slightly mucky at the moment, but curiously happy to have done things without having to pay, or wait ages for someone else to do it.

Yes it’s hard work at times, but I don’t mind that, especially as I am motivated to get stuff done. We only moved in just over two weeks ago and we’ve gutted most of the old built in wardrobes, stripped out all the fly and wasp infested spaces, evicted the spiders, fixed and painted walls, organised the trades and warmed this old place up with the help of a propane heater running all night upstairs. Which after the insulators do their stuff tomorrow will no longer be necessary.

One other thing; I’m sleeping better. Despite all the worries about chasing about after getting building works sorted and wondering what to do about our nightmare wiring and eccentric plumbing. For the first time in years once my head hits the pillow I’m out cold for a solid straight seven to nine hours. When awake I’m feeling more relaxed and less likely to strop the razor of my wit, such as it is. It is a novel feeling.

Work is getting done on time, and we were supposed to be getting a brand new sparkly washing machine today. Which for some reason known only to the suppliers, turned into a tumble dryer at delivery. We’d ordered both tumble dryer and washing machine two weeks ago, but had been told the tumble dryer was ‘out of stock’ and we would be informed when it was coming. So it came as a bit of a surprise when what was ‘out of stock’ turned up first.

Which means we’re still washing our smalls in basins for another few days, but at least we can get them dried properly now. No more festooning our damp clothing over the radiators to get them fresh or having to track thirty kilometres to the nearest launderette. Almost.

Which was one of the reasons I was out in the chill unblocking drains this morning. Now I’m damp to the knees, sitting at my keyboard and not giving a bugger about the outside world. War in Ukraine? Pah! Putin’s too clever, he’s a chess player with an eye for the long game. I think in his own subtle Russian way he’s messing with the Biden Administration, performing a little misdirection while he does something else crafty behind their backs. Getting a some payback for the Ukrainians skimming GazProm revenues. Ensuring they can’t do it again. Maybe trying to take advantage of the Turks current economic misfortunes to strike a clandestine deal.

If I am wrong and there is a shooting war, which no-one in their right mind, including the Russians, want, at least we’re in a neutral country and can watch the mushroom clouds from a relatively safe distance. Which reminds me, must pick up seeds and bulbs from wholesalers tomorrow while Mrs S supervises the builders.

Busy, busy….

The Numbers are in

So, how many people died in each age group from a SARS/COV-2 infection between March 2020 and December 2021?

These are official statistics for the UK. From the office of National Statistics (ONS) no less. These are the thing and the whole of the thing, da bomb, or the absolute cold hard numbers, whatever your vernacular.

Brace yourselves.

The number of people to die of a SARS/COV-2 infection alone, in the UK between March 2020 and September 2021 (Statistics as quoted by John Campbell below and here), by age groups are;

  • Age range 0-64: 3,774
  • Age range 65+ : 13,597
  • Total: 17,231
  • Average ages of death UK 2020-21: 79.3 (Males) 83.1 years of age (Females).
  • Average ages of mortality UK 2018: 79 (Males) 82.5 (Females)

Jaysus, Joseph and Mary! Is that all? Considering there’s over half a million deaths in the UK every year. Under 20,000 is barely a blip, statistically speaking. 50,000 UK citizens have died through untreated cancers alone according to Dr Karol Sikora. Never mind all the untreated heart disease and other fatal conditions. Now remind me. Who were all these restrictions, mask mandates and vaccines supposed to save?

This is not ‘disinformation’ or any other form of deception. All this information can be independently verified. Any deception I leave to SAGE, Independent SAGE, the politicians, mainstream, Alphabet corporation social media and all their so-called ‘fact checkers’. See John Campbell’s exposition below:

The Black belt Barrister discusses the figures below.

These numbers have been public domain all through the pandemic. They tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so God help us all. So. Why the mainstream scaremongering? Why the constant project fear and the hamstringing of whole economies?

Personally I think this is a massive case of some people who should know better refusing to do any proper due diligence. They just trusted a bunch of so-called ‘experts’ who have repeatedly proven that they are not fit for purpose.

Then there’s the documented incidences of menstrual irregularities and heart irritation being linked to the mRNA vaccines (Short term or not). The vaccines that only mitigate the worst symptoms, and unlike regular vaccines do not provide fuller protection against a given disease. The vaccines that did not prevent spread. And so on….

At this stage of the game I think many of the ‘unvaxxed’ are clapping themselves on the back knowing that they dodged a bullet. Frankly I am unhappy that I allowed myself to be double jabbed against my better judgement, and bluntly told Mrs S; “This is what I’ve been saying all along. The raw numbers tell us the truth.” To which she grudgingly allowed me a small victory, even though the taste of it is ashen.

Personally, I’m with Mark Steyn.

Given the ramifications of all of the above, I am disgusted with the conduct of most of the people in public life over this matter. Disgusted with their censorship, lies and divisiveness. Disgusted with the media talking heads who should now, if they have even the faintest patina of any integrity, which I doubt, shuffle off into retirement and get the hell out of our freaking lives for good.

Now I have an ancient IKEA wardrobe and a few rolls of old carpet to dispose of. I’ll be saying good riddance to those, too.

Settling in

Boxes are unpacked, furniture arranged, at least for the interim. Builders engaged, electrician booked, plumber sorted. Oh yes, and the Tree surgeon has been engaged to remove a couple of old Ash trees that have what is called ‘Ash dieback

In addition I’ve got to get my head around things like water softener maintenance, insulation grants and Irish agricultural regulations. It’s a bit of a steep learning curve. Then there’s also some patching, making do and mend, and removing several 1980’s vintage built in wardrobes have to be removed. The local spiders have formed a protest movement because I keep on removing their hiding places, but my mate Henry deals with them, and they don’t like that because he really sucks.

Today we’re taking the day off, having disposed of three of our built in wardrobes with all their historic leftovers, like someone’s stash of Irish Porn;

We’ve been lucky in that it’s been a mild week and our new homes lack of insulation hasn’t left us with icicles dangling from every exposed appendage. Fortunately the loft insulation goes in next week which should keep the old place a bit warmer. I’ve only got two more built in wardrobes to remove, all sorts of kit will be flying in and out of the door including a washing machine. Which mean no more trips out just to get our smalls done.

The oven is a mess and has to go to the scrap yard, I’ve managed to clean out the dishwasher and we have a propane heater on low upstairs to drive some of the damp out. Seems to be working.

Then there’s the heating, which is an old (and rather noisy and smelly) kerosene fired system. That has to go. It isn’t that it doesn’t work, it just burns through fuel at a frightening rate and will be replaced by a more modern and economical LNG fuelled heating system sometime this spring. LNG prices tend to be more stable, so at least we won’t find ourselves coughing up half as much again some months for five hundred litres.

We hear that all the restrictions are going to be dropped this side of the Irish Sea. No more “Show us yer papers”, every time you want to enter a restaurant, but oddly enough the wearing of masks will persist, which makes shopping a somewhat bizarre experience. Mrs S and I have a standing pre-mask up joke; “Disguises on Mugsy. I’ll get the stuff, you get the cashier.” Well, it amuses us.

Why keep the masks though? They only encourage mouth breathing which bypasses the immune systems primary gateway, the nose. These rules really are nonsensical. At least from a physiological point of view.

We are evolved primarily to breathe in through our noses, which have all sorts of structures inside to catch and deal with all sorts of lurgi before said pathogens get anywhere near our important little places. Those structures in the diagram are loaded with your immune systems heavy mob, who act as doormen, controlling access to the party town of your bodily particles. Breathing through the mouth bypasses this primary line of defence and lets whatever slips through those pointlessly wide mesh paper filters straight into the more lightly defended mucosa of your mouth and bronchus. Which is what you really don’t want to happen.

I’ve said it before and will repeat myself ad nauseum. Masks and lockdowns have extended the pandemic. Outside of a clinical setting, surgical masks are effectively useless. Lockdowns only serve to keep the infected and non-infected closeted more closely together, thus spreading the disease more effectively. Which has been amply demonstrated over the last twenty months.

Not that I’m bothered. There’s too much to do in our new place. We’re just carrying on like nothing else is happening. The apocalypse will have to wait – we’re busy.

Welcome to Mayo

In the past week I’ve had half a dozen people, neighbours, postmen, shopkeepers and various others wish Mrs S and I a warm welcome to County Mayo now we’ve bought our place and are clearly here to stay..

It’s a curious sensation. One one hand I feel very privileged, on the other slightly paranoid as in ‘this is too good to be true’.

I do so hope it’s not the “Welcome to the Village.” detailed below….

Elsewhere, the current talk of ‘banning online misinformation’ is strenuously and cogently argued against from this piece, written for ‘Unherd’ by Professor Vinay Prasad.

“Perhaps the most serious objection to censorship is that the censors themselves are not fit for the task. Censors are unaccountable. They may be biased, misinformed or undereducated. They may lack perspective. In short, they are as fallible as the people they are trying to censor. This is especially true in science, where, as history shows us, consensus views can turn out to be false, while controversial or heretical ideas can be vindicated.”

Precisely. Quis custodes ipsos custodes. Who will tell the censors if they are wrong if nothing outside of the orthodoxy is allowed?

Meanwhile back in the real world: builder, window guy and sparky sorted, which leaves me with just the plumber to organise. This will get expensive., but we’ve got the money, so here goes.…….

In

Our move is complete and the tedious business of unpacking our lives begins anew. In between times there was a plague of flies to be eliminated, lists of building works to be agreed and the years projects to be funded and planned for.

Planning is all I’m good for right now. Physically I’m knackered. After a strenuous last few days my bodily particles have all formed a protest movement and gone on a work to rule. My ATP reserves are depleted and I need a solid twelve hours of deep sleep to recover. I can’t even raise the motivation to make silly gags about the latest media-fuelled panic.

That and I’ve got a raging need for protein, raw or cooked. When it comes to times like these, I have learned to trust my body and do what it tells me.

One doorstep bacon butty (Minimal bread, lots of bacon) later I’m starting to feel vaguely human again and may just make it for another four hours until bedtime. At times like these, carbs just won’t do. Cakes, chocolates or sugary stuff for fast energy only makes me extra sleepy. Only bacon or steak can cut it followed by fruit juice (Maybe, beer is also good). I know this from long experience. Don’t ask me what the underlying metabolic process is, but it’s worked since my late teens and that’s all there is to it.

Anyway. Mrs S is suffering too. She has her own remedy at times like these. Sleep, lots of it.

We’ll be fine in the morning.

Save the Health Service!

Another day, another text trying to inveigle me into baring my arm for a third time. I think it’s the fifth I’ve ignored in the last two weeks. You think they’d get the hint wouldn’t you? Keep sending out texts that get ignored, maybe the recipient isn’t interested? Next time I’m blocking them. this is getting silly.

I’m getting a more than a little impatient over all this COVID nonsense. As I have said many times, we never locked down or wore masks everywhere for colds and flu, so WTF are we doing over a bug that has morphed into something analogous to a bad head cold? Especially as the “OHMYGAWD!” variant seems to infect both vaccinated and not equally, regardless of being ‘boosted’ or not.

In addition, we keep on hearing that we, the general public have to “Save our health service” In the UK this is the ‘wonderful’ National Health Service fetishised by so many despite it’s many flaws. So, having a bit of time on my hands on site between waiting for estate agents, technicians and builders to turn up on site, I did a bit of Interweb searching and found the following;

In the UK, the ‘wonderful’ NHS which people are constantly exhorted to ‘save’ is shrinking. It has been in decline as far as bed capacity is concerned since at least the year 2000. In the year 2000 there were approximately 240,000 beds, almost a quarter of a million beds serving a population of just under 59 million people. That’s about one bed for every 246 people.

By 2020, the NHS had a capacity of approximately 167,000 beds serving a population of around 68 million. That is one bed for every 407 people. If you want to check the percentages, knock yourself out.

Now pardon my arithmetic, but that sounds rather like an institution in decline. Go back to the mid 1970’s and the total bed count was 400,000 for a population of just over 56 million. One bed for 140 people. How do I know? this site has done all the heavy lifting. All right, ‘care in the community’ hadn’t happened yet and the UK still had large mental hospitals, but still, that’s a hell of a step change.

By the mid 1980’s the bed count had shrunk to 151,000, but grew again to 299,000 (!) by 1986/7, with the majority of spaces being in acute and emergency care. Read the full story here.

However, I would call one thing into question; The articles quoted population figures. See quoted paragraph below:

As bed numbers have fallen, England’s population has grown, from around 47.3 million in 1987 to approximately 56.6 million in 2020. As a result, the number of beds per capita has fallen faster than the absolute reduction in number of beds. Over this period, the number of older people in England – who are more likely to spend time in hospital – has also increased.”

43.7 million in 1987? World bank and ONS figures give the UK’s population as just under 57 million for that year. In 2020 the overall population figure is over 10 million higher at a shade under 67 million, putting even greater stress on the fewer beds available.

I’d tend to concur about the increasingly elderly in secondary health facilities like nursing homes. But memory is waving a hand here and is reminding me that this was a problem even as far back as the early 1980’s. Space in the public waiting rooms for God has always been at a premium.

I can recall some breakfast TV talking head using the ‘Oldies are hogging all the resources’ kind of rhetoric before 1990, coining terms like ‘bed blocking’, as if older people like getting ill and taking up bed space. If my family is any guide, they generally hate being in hospital, because there is always the suspicion that they might not come out breathing. This was a widely held belief at least back to the 1970’s.

One of the other factors currently putting even more pressure on hospital beds has been less reliance on primary health care sources like GP’s practices, with more shifting directly onto hospital A & E departments. Especially with undocumented newcomers who are not even registered with a GP. They bypass the buffer of GP’s and end up inflating the A & E queues. There is also a breed of Doctors receptionists who have not helped this situation by deflecting would be patients and forcing them to seek help in the only other place available. Other countries get around this, Canada and the USA being examples, by having ‘walk in’ clinics where anyone can go in off the street and get relatively affordable health interventions, no matter who they are.

Anecdote: I was in for major chest surgery in a UK midlands hospital in the mid 90’s (Cancer with a small c) and in the High Dependency Thoracic Unit I spent 3 days in there were 12 beds. Four of which were occupied by ethnic north Europeans, one of whom was myself. Six of the remaining 8 beds were occupied by elderly non-Europeans from the Indian subcontinent. Which at the time surprised me somewhat. Over 15 years before, during my time working on the wards, non-European patients were a rarity. Non-Europeans were commonplace among the staff, but not the patients.

And you can’t even blame it on any particular political party. The largest growth of NHS beds since the mid 1970’s occurred under the premiership of (gasp) that awful public health hating Margaret Thatcher, topping out at the end of her tenure as Prime Monster of the UK at 299,000 beds and thereafter declining throughout the Major, Blair and Brown administrations. Said decline continuing under Cameron, May and Johnson. This is the story the raw data tells.

Before that, during the late 1970’s, NHS capacity dropped 50,000 beds under the Callaghan Labour government, before Thatcher came to power. I mean, this is the Labour party that allegedly just Luuurrves socialised health care, right? Yet the biggest decline in NHS beds happened on whose watch?

Personally, having actually worked in the UK’s National Health Service, I think that there’s been a lot of political cheese paring over the years, trying to ‘cut costs’ and ‘improve’ the management of said organisation, but only ending up with a huge bureaucratic monstrosity chewing it’s way through everyone’s wage packet.

Of course this could have been mitigated by implementing a French style system where there is a basic service with additional top up, either by insurance or cash. Yet the propaganda soundbite machine has always been opposed to a ‘two tier NHS’, and so here the UK is, with a bureaucratic behemoth that is failing it’s original purpose.

As one who keeps his ear to the ground, I hear constant leaks from the health service front lines about management interference in clinical decisions. Just little trickles and dabs of information, but when viewed as a whole like an impressionist painting, these snippets paint a comprehensive picture which does not imbue one with a sense of confidence. Far from the utopian vision that brought about one size fits all care’s naissance.

For a little light relief, see the trailer for the satire ‘The National Health, or Nurse Norton’s affair’ below.

Yes I have seen Lindsay Anderson’s ‘Britannia Hospital’ – didn’t like it much, although some of the characters were awfully familiar.

What is that whirring sound? Oh, it’s only the political father of the NHS. Aneurin Bevan, spinning in his grave. As a semi serious aside, if we could harness all his rotational energy, maybe we could solve the unfolding energy crisis?

Talking of crises, I have to get back to packing my life away ready for the move. Next time some other bugger can have the pleasure.

Update: Just as a matter of interest; Canada has undergone a similar decline in hospital bed capacity since the 1970’s. In 1976 there were 6.92 beds per 1000 population. Now it’s 2.52. No wonder the politicians and their ‘experts’ are panicking.

Not so fast….

Or to put it in supervillain speak; “No meestair Bond.” or rather “Yes!” another step on the path to my next evil plan. Tomorrow the world. Well after I’ve tasted a small libation of Jamesons Gold.

We have completion. Repeat, we have completion on the new place. Talk about taking it down to the wire. We were thinking we’d have to postpone our move date because things were dragging on so long.

After a flurry of phone calls and emails, our movers are confirmed for next week and we get to take possession of our own piece of Ireland tomorrow. Or as our estate agent said “We have white smoke.” to which I responded Habemus Papum.” and I’m not even a Catholic. I thought I heard him chuckle with relief. As well he might, it’s been almost six months from first offer to completion, and from what I hear that might be something of a speed record in Irish property law. At least out here in the wilder west of Ireland.

Now we’re busy packing and the house currently looks like a series of very tidy bombs have just hit it, ripped up huge amounts of packing paper and made most of the contents of my kitchen disappear. The books are all in boxes, well, most of them are. By the time we’re done next week this old place will just be a very tidy shell.

Then the shit is really going to hit the fan. I’m going to be really busy for a while.

That’s it, I think

Don’t care what anyone else thinks, but moving money, especially my own and paying large amounts of it to someone else is always stressful. Especially when the other party has all the get up and go of roadkill. Fortunately the people I’ve chosen to do the job are heads up and on the bounce.

Right. My part in the house and land purchase is done. All I have to do is oversee getting the Interweb connected and arrange to fill up the oil tank so we can warm our new place up before the movers do their stuff. The worst is all over bar the shouting, and arrangements are made for the last of the vendors rubbish to be removed, accounts for water and leccy sorted. So, all I have to do is turn up on time to oversee works and stand there looking masterful. All right, stop laughing. I can look masterful when required. Allegedly.

Frankly I’ve begun tuning out all the panicky hand waving COVID stuff. If anyone tries to use it as an excuse not to do things I contract for they won’t get paid, simple as that.

Any whining noises won’t be coming from this end of the house. For my part, recently I’ve had a headache, a minor cough, sense of smell a bit off kilter and felt a bit snotty, but you know what I’m going to do? That’s right. Ignore it. Just like I ignore all minor symptoms. What am I saying?

OH MY GOD! I’VE GOT THE DREADED LURGI! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! Full Hazmat everyone! Distribute testing kits! Bill’s got the plague!!!! Emergency! Emergency! AWOOGA! AWOOGA! We’re all DOOOOOMED!!!

Sorry, no idea what came over me there. Take a breath everyone. Panic over. As you were. I’m perfectly fine. A paracetamol took care of the headache, I caught a nap to catch up on the old Z’s and the snottiness and cough disappeared by ten am after a large mug of tea and a couple of biscuits. I’m a great believer in the healing power of a cuppa.

Anyway, there is whiskey, lots of wine and beer left over from crimble, so we’re all good. Apart from Mrs S turning round three or four times a day to say “Bill… have you thought about?” you can hear my eyeballs rolling from over the interweb, can’t you?

That said, there’ll be plenty to do over the next week, but I’m all geared up and as ready as I can be. My office is packed up and ready to go, has been for weeks. As has Mrs S’s. We’ve both been working off the kitchen table, and you know what’s really great? No-one died.

They say there’s no rest for the wicked. Hi ho. If that is true then I must have negative Karma coming out of every orifice because there’s always something clamouring for my immediate, repeat immediate, like do it this minute Bill, attention. It is all, as they say, part of life’s rich tapestry.

Well then.

So. Here it is. 2022. ‘North’ goes back to jolly old Londinium shortly to resume her frenetic pace of life. We hope we haven’t bored her while she’s been with us. She has been spending a good deal of her time asleep. Maybe she’s just playing catch up. I just keep the fires stoked and make sure everyone has a full glass available.

Happy to report that ‘South’ is out of restrictions and back out with her mates again in the fabled land of Oz. During this mornings video conference she looked much happier and not in the least bit snotty. Funny though, she did test positive for the dreaded lurgi despite being double jabbed with a top up.

I’m still on tenterhooks awaiting completion on our new domicile in the next few days. Which is getting far too close to the wire for my liking. If we have to reschedule moving and connections, which will cost me extra money, I will be looking for someone to sue for breach of contract. Or strangle and provide future archaeologists with a little mystery to solve. Either will do.

Anyway, despite all the hype I’m not very impressed with these vaccines. They only give you partial immunity for less than five months from what I can see, which doesn’t sound like they’re much good. And the ‘breakthrough infection’ rate (i.e. getting the disease even after the ‘vaccine’) is far too high for my liking, so what’s the point of these constant top ups? Israel, with one of the highest percentage of vaccinated has been talking about mandating a fourth or even fifth jab. Then there’s the adverse reactions, which though ‘rare’ are still significant.

Considering that Sarf Efrica only had at the last count only 24% of population vaccinated, they didn’t lock down or similar despite being the source for the heavy cold now masquerading as the Moronic Pandemic. Indeed, the chief medical honcho down there has repeatedly said that the Moronic variant is nothing to worry about.

Yet the powers that be this side of the equator and their pet media (or should that be the other way around?) are all losing their collective shit despite a relative lack of people snuffing it, and the complete failure of the Moronic Variant to overwhelm health services all around the world. But no, they keep mandating masks and lockdowns, then when that fails yet again, more masks and lockdowns. It’s like being on some sort of a dystopian merry go round. Frankly me deario’s I think they’d have done less harm if they’d done nothing. Or just issued standard colds and flu advice and put the Army medical corps on standby to staff overflow units like the ‘Nightingale’ hospitals that never really got used.

Across the pond, Florida man (to be more specific his press secretary) is having a giggle over all those privileged New Yawk hypocrites like Occasional Cortex who have left their home city with all it’s curfews and mandatory masks and been seen in various Floridian locations sipping the local beverages, pandering to the only demographic who believe in her.

Likewise a lot of ‘red’ states have simply dispensed with all the Hoo-Haw and simply got on with life as normal. Even that Brandon old fool masquerading as their illustrious leader has thrown up his hands and said that it’s all down to the individual states. Not that he’s really in charge. Any more than Bojo the clown in the UK is. Who they’re in hock to, no one’s quite sure, but they’re not doing sense and logic, that’s for sure. Don’t even mention the fop allegedly in charge of Canada, because it will call you an ‘ist’ if you disagree. There, that’s you told. So there!

Then there have been the protests against all the continual restrictions across Europe, where the politicians keep on doing more of the same to the point where their respective populations are kicking off at various protests. Even normally docile Germans are going off on one. Now they have around twenty million jab refuseniks. Smart people the Germans, pity about the 1930’s and 40’s. And the whole of the 19th and early 20th century. Who do they think they are? English?

Back over here in the Wilder West we’ve not been going out as much as we normally would because everywhere shuts down by gubbermint edict at eight pee em. As if any disease was that time sensitive. Even in daytime nowhere has been very crowded, except Dunnes, the local equivalent of Marcus Expensius in the week before Christmas. The hospitality business must be almost dead on it’s feet.

Strikes me that the lockdown lobby must be stuffed with the ‘no-one must have any fun at any time any where’ faction. I remember people like that from school. They were miserable bossy little tossers back then and I don’t think they’ve changed much since.

Anyway. Here’s hoping for a better year. The wind is howling outside and I hope to lessen my own inner howl by getting extra busy in the next couple of days. Good luck everyone, I have a feeling we’re going to need it.

Why the confusion?

Yes. Why the confused mixed messages over SARS/COV-2 and all the rest? Triggernometry (Who as you can see have had their video without bad language or any other pejorative content ‘age restricted’ – then restored, weird huh?) looks at why people are shying away from the much-vaunted boosters and asks some searching questions.

As this blog has observed on more than one occasion, trust, once lost, is awfully hard to recover. This applies to Alphabet corporation and all their subsidiaries (Particularly YouTube) in spades.

I won’t say happy new year because the only happiness you will get is that you go out and find for yourself. Good luck, you’re up against some pretty stiff opposition. Your own sockpuppet governments for one.

Unclean! Unclean!

Ah, this is one of those “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” situations. Now we’re told that those who refuse a third, fourth or possibly fifth and sixth jab of vaccine against the fairly harmless Omicron variant of SARS/COV-2 are now going to be ‘unclean’ and their ‘vaccination certificates’ revoked until they submit to the next experimental vaccine booster.

Back in medieval times when Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy), which is a moderately rare condition now curable by a course of antibiotics was ‘treated’ by turning the sufferer into a pariah, an outcast, doomed to wander from hospice to hospice in search of shelter and food, forever denied the right of simple labour to fill their bellies, warning any who might get close to them with a bell or clapper and the cry of “Unclean!”

Now I’ve heard of old treatments being resurrected like maggots used to clean wounds and packing with honey or sugar, as opposed to the more modern practice of debridement (Removal of non-viable tissue) and packing with Magnesium Disulphate (Epsom salts) to kill an infection. Both work quite well, so I am informed, although I have never seen the former in action. But bringing back the practice of exiling, how very retro.

Yet this is the very thing modern politicians are proposing with their eternally upgrading ‘vaccine passports’. To be honest I’m not going to be pressured into getting a booster jab just to be allowed into some second class eatery. I did the first two vaccinations, had some minor reactions and there my participation in the current round of uncontrolled mass clinical trials ends. You can ban me from restaurants, clubs and pubs. Don’t care. Don’t go to mass sport events and my travel plans are restricted anyway because I have other things to spend my money on. Bitterly pissed off because family members are not able to come and visit, but when panic is the norm, as with Hansens, all logic and sense go out of the window.

“It’s only a little prick.” I can hear the compliant whining already. “It’s for everyone’s safety.” No it isn’t. The “OHMYGAWD!” variant has mutated into a bad cold, the hospitalisation and death rates do not lie. Indeed I would argue that the testing, vaccines, masks and lockdowns have extended SARS/COV-2 from a nasty one season bug into a multi-year phenomenon with no end in sight. Despite all the hype it has failed to live up to expectations.

If we were to do the same for any of the multiple other Corona, Adeno and Rhinoviruses out there, you know, the ones responsible for everyday colds and flu, the whole world would really grind to a complete halt. And it will never end. And it’s not just me saying this (See below).

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We need…

After a day at the beach and subsequent discussion session it’s been concluded, we need a dog for new year. Mrs S would like a house dog for company. I would like a companion for when I’m working up the fields and come back to the house knackered. ‘North’ also wants us to have a dog so she has someone else to play with when she comes visiting. Said dog will also occasionally travel with us.

Oh by the way, here’s a picture of our two little fields taken from the back of the house (See below). We’re still waiting on final completion, but we and our money are committed and probably should be, but what the hell, you go nowhere in this life if you don’t take the occasional leap of faith.

My previous pooch was a much loved family member. And I’m not sure who picked whom at the shelter I got him from. All the other dogs didn’t make an impression, but when I first saw him he cocked his head expectantly and looked directly at me as if to say “Is it you?” He’d have loved our new place. A complete slut when it came to fuss and treats, and his loss still grieves me after almost seven years. I’d have loved to have gone straight out and found another to replace him, but circumstances and landlords forbade, so we went dogless. Which has left me feeling a little empty at times.

If there’s one thing that can break my heart, wound me to my very soul, it’s losing a family pet. Because deep down I’m a big old softy. Even if I put on a stern face toward the world and can be quite implacable to humans. Pups and kittens? There lies my Achilles heel. Mrs S knows, ‘North’ and ‘South’ know. Anyone even briefly acquainted with me knows. So now we are putting down roots (Finally!) and have something to put roots into, a dog comes as part of the package.

My own preference is for a modest dog. Not a miniature or ‘toy’, nor a purebreed. A mutt or mongrel is my choice. Spaniel / Collie size. Short haired and under 6 months old. Said pooch will have the run of our 5 acres plot and a loving home. As well as the pick of my leftovers and it’s own specially brewed batches of ‘Stoo‘. No one goes hungry on my watch.

However, lockdowns and fashion have inflated the market for house dogs out of all recognition. No doubt when the fad ends the shelters will be swamped with some animals turfed out simply because they are ‘inconvenient’ or ‘unfashionable’. Which is sad for the dogs. They are pack animals and to simply oust them because they are no longer part of a ‘lifestyle package’ must be like throwing a child out of the family home for no good reason.

Dogs, for all their other faults, are loyal, and a good family pet is just that, an inseparable part of your little tribe. To cast them off like so many are is cruelty personified. At least from the dogs perspective. Abandonment from the pack is worse than death because to canines, that is death. A pack is a voluntary co-operative tied by bloodline and preference. Each member has a purpose and to lose that raison d’etre must be agony for them. It’s bad enough for humans. I speak from experience.

Better not to take them into your home in the first place, because the bond between human and dog should be ‘until death do you part’. But that’s just me. A dog is part of your life, not simply a lifestyle ‘choice’. If all you want something just to cuddle or show off to the neighbours, buy yourself a Teddy bear.

It is said you can always tell the measure of a man (or woman) by the way he or she treats his dog (or cat, or whatever). There the matter stands. I may be a while choosing. So may the dog.

An insight

In this short YouTube segment of Jacob Brownowski‘s ‘Ascent of man‘ about the horrors of Auschwitz today I found the answer to many of our current dilemma’s and failures of humanity, from ‘woke’ to COVID.

The key quote is between 1:50 and 2:10 “When people believe they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of Gods.”

Authoritarianism is the source of our ills. The ‘do as I tell you’ mob. The compliant and small minded who can’t bear that others are able to make better choices.

Now I need a day at the beach to mull this one over.

Happy new year.

Oh-oh

There is a new (What? Again?) financial scandal underway in that capitalist paradise, the People’s Republic of China. Apparently someone has been issuing duplicate Yuan. Specifically the Chinese minting companies. See news item below.

Corruption is so endemic that the Mint’s management have been printing one set of banknotes for the public, then another with identical serial numbers for kickbacks to CCP officials. Estimated impact; several Trillion dollars. Finds of cash by the authorities aren’t being counted, but weighed.

Just as a thought experiment, how much is a ton of Chinese 100 Yuan banknotes? That’s in tonnes, multiples of 1000 Kilo’s. Given the Chinese habit of not trusting banks and using cash as a direct commodity, literally stuffing it under their mattresses and floorboards, what is this doing to the ordinary Chinese persons financial security?

The authorities have two main choices. Seeing as it’s their officials who have been taking large kickbacks of genuine duplicate currency, they can arrest those found with large hoards of bribes under existing anti-corruption laws and destroy the duplicates. Alternatively they can brush it all under the carpet for a while, but as this scandal is going mainstream right now, the value of personal savings in China will be turned into a haunted wasteland.

The thing is; the Chinese mint, under it’s ‘belt and road’ initiative, prints currency for countries as far afield as Brazil. Now this isn’t in the report above, but any currency that has their currency printed by China may, and I say this advisedly, may be subject to the same duplicate banknote problem, where Chinese officials, paying with ostensibly kosher duplicate cash, buy up property and all manner of commodities in the local currency, thus undermining the cash value of same and create large inflationary bubbles anywhere these corrupt Chinese officials and their families are financially active. The property market all around the Pacific rim for one, and all the major trading centres around the world. Anywhere that does large cash transactions. They all have to ask themselves “Did I just get taken?”

Yeah, yeah, okay, you might say, Bill, all this may be true, but what’s it got to do with us on the other side of the world? My response to that is, so was SARS/COV-2 back in 2019.

Sometimes I feel like a fisherman far out at sea, who, hearing a submarine rumble and feeling the gentle lift of his boat, recognises the sound of a big undersea earthquake and the beginnings of a tidal wave racing off toward land. He does know what will happen when the wave arrives, if it ever does, but he will warn, he can radio the shore so they may prepare, but that is all he can do.

That is, if anyone is listening.