Because it’s Friday.

As a means of an antidote to the current climate, both weather and political, I would like to introduce my last remaining reader to something deliciously food based. Specifically this YouTube channel. Seriously, the man is a carnivore Diva. From steak and kidney pies to fifteen bird roasts, all British style comfort food is here, including a few innovations of his own. Like the Pork Scratching Plait below. I’m drooling already. As he says, this is grade A food porn.

For those of you who like me aren’t moved by all the low-fat, ‘go vegetarian’ bullshit, Scott is your man for everything from butchering and reducing a whole deer or pig to delicious cuts fit to grace any decent dining table, to cooking the end result. Go visit, watch, salivate and be inspired. Don’t tell ’em I sent you.

It’s also lunch date day today, the AWD is ready, the roads clear and I’m going to treat Mrs S to a fine feed at our favourite venue. I shall also be popping over the road to the one place I’ve found on the Island that makes decent steak and kidney pies. What with the recent revelations of ‘be monitored or be fired’ which has left her quite upset and considering resigning, my (much) better half is in dire need of pampering.

There will be red wine and good stuff. Why? Because it’s Friday, and because she’s worth it.

Also delighted to hear via Head Rambles that Anna Raccoon is still alive and fighting. Of course she can’t blog any more due to her condition’s effects on her arms and hands, but we here at the Bill Sticker Institute of Shit Happens salute her and wish her well. Many thanks to the Blocked Dwarf for keeping everyone updated.

Oh yes, and another superb and simple source of recipes that isn’t a ‘big name’ sleb chef; Food Wishes. Ow my straining belt!

Whiteout

Well this is fun. Our maximum visibility outside yesterday varied between 250 and 80 metres. That’s right, the snow has been blowing in so hard that actual visibility dropped below a hundred paces at times. I haven’t seen conditions like this since the Winter of 1987 / 8 when I was working outdoors on a farm. At times we haven’t been able to see across the street. Not quite an Arctic whiteout, but until the thaw set in during the early hours of this morning, it was as bad as I’ve ever seen.

The saga of Mrs S’s company instituting WorkSafeBC’s Lone Worker protocols is escalating and I never knew there were so many rebels out there ready to storm the barricades in BC. Lawyers and Politicians are already starting to get an earwigging if the heated remarks in some of the emails I’ve seen are any indication. Some previously very dedicated professionals are also not happy that the company selected to do the monitoring have as one of their business activities the selling of lists and information to third parties. Lead balloons could not have dropped quicker. Such is the depth of loathing this announcement has stirred up. Never mind the discovery that GPS tracking is going to be part of the monitoring. As they say over here; “This ain’t going away in a hurry.”

It’s not quite pitchfork and torches time, but unless someone in upper management comes up with a compromise PDQ, my wife’s company isn’t going to exist in six months. The peasants are most definitely revolting. And these are people who vote with their feet. So I think their business, which was chugging along so nicely, may be about to hit the buffers big time. They already lost a number of highly qualified and experienced workers before Christmas, and this may just be the last straw.

Not that the Provincial Government, whose responsibility WorkSafeBC’s intrusion is, will care. Another day, another dollar. They won’t give a shit if one of their largest sector service providers goes tits up. They can’t be bothered if people who depend on the expertise and experience of my wife’s colleagues lose all their services virtually overnight. Maybe that was the intent. The BC Liberals currently in power don’t care who they hurt so long as the state gets more power. And they and the NDP hate the self employed, even if it’s the only way some people can make a decent living. Never mind the cost savings, or the people not commuting to work and reducing their ‘carbon footprint’ that professional home workers bring. Or the extra taxes, oh no. The BC Government hate independent workers and no matter what they say, the two faced arseholes of the Liberal and NDP parties will use any backdoor method to ‘crack down’ on those who aren’t wage slaves.

Of course post facto, Christy Clark and similar will mouth some platitudes about the job and service losses, but she won’t acknowledge that it’s the power hungry, top down, we-will-make-wage-slaves-of-you mentality of her wing of politics that is putting ordinary Canadians jobs at risk. The NDP have royally fucked up Alberta, and Trudeau’s popularity is dropping fast too, especially since he was so unprofessional as to publicly give some protesters the finger. Hell, you can up taxes, screw up the economy but don’t ever treat Canadians who have a genuine beef with overt contempt. Which is what left wing politicians always end up doing.

Excuse my metaphor, but discontent with politicians often builds up like snow in a blizzard. A fall here, a drift there, blown by the winds of incompetence. Until of course it ends with an avalanche at the ballot box. Or at least a big dump of snow off the metaphorical roof just as you’re leaving the house. And there’s Provincial elections in May 2017.

Popcorn time.

There’s an app for that

My wife and I work from home. We have done for several years since we gained Canadian citizenship. In all that time we’ve paid our dues and taxes, got on with life and generally been no bother to anyone.

Until this afternoon. Mrs S received an email about a new wheeze whereby ‘WorkSafe BC’ say that because neither of us has a current WorkSafe BC certificate for ‘elf ‘n safetee at work, even though I am trained in first aid and CPR, she now has to have an ‘app’ on her cellphone to check in and check out with a designated monitoring company, which I believe is a privacy violation under the Federal 1983 Privacy Act as the monitoring agency are not part of the BC official government. This is because she is officially ‘home alone’ and therefore ‘vulnerable’. Despite the fact that I am there most of the time. Furthermore, she has been informed that she will not be paid this month unless she signs up to this summary imposition. Which has been instituted by the organisation she works for as a contractor without any consultation of the workforce.

The BC lone worker program is being extended as part of a shitty little tax grab, an attempt to force all home workers to pay full WorkBC premiums when they really don’t need to be covered by the service. In short, bureaucratic mission creep, dreamed up by people who make the Addams Family look positively normal.

As a freelancer, I have not been notified of any such requirement and having heard the above, will not be alerting WorkSafe BC to my existence. Both of us are at home, working. We are safe. We work on keyboards, not with any dangerous tools. We pay our taxes on incomes from a variety of sources. Sometimes we work elsewhere. In another country. Out of cellphone coverage. Sometimes travelling by air where cellphones are supposed to be switched off. I do not see why either of us should have to ‘check in’ and ‘check out’ just because some arseheaded bureaucrat thinks it will vindicate their pointless existence. They can fuck right off and go Salami slice some other poor buggers privacy as far as I’m concerned. We’re not employees to be monitored and managed, we’re independent contractors and therefore not covered by the legislation. Even if these over-reaching bureaucrats say we are. Fuck ’em. And we’ve got private professional health and accident insurance. So there.

We do not work regular hours, and sometimes take a shower in the middle of the day, or cook, or go for a walk, or do any of a thousand other things where we do not care to be ‘monitored’. We are grown ups, not some feeble ‘senior’ or vulnerable child who needs to be watched unless our arses need wiping. We have walked our way since the dawn of our lives, and so long as we harm no-one else are accountable to no-one.

However, there’s a rather large loophole in the proposed compulsory monitoring procedure which is wide open to exploitation by any vaguely tech savvy type. As they say, “there’s an app for that”. In fact there are a number; for Android at least. All you need to do is check out the Apps market for your specific cellphone. If a ‘check in’ call is required, this can be done by automating a text or automated call to the monitoring number concerned and setting up a schedule at slightly different times each weekday. The ‘check out’ can be either done the same way, and any enquiry calls from a monitoring company’s outgoing number forwarded to some form of SMS or phone answering app with a recorded message. Something like; “Yeah, I’m fine. At my desk in my home office, okay? Gotta go, I’ve got an urgent work call coming in. Have a great day. Byee.“. Or maybe “Hi, I’m a little busy right now, can’t talk but I’m fine.” Just set up your cellphone to block all ‘anonymous’ numbers just in case the call monitors try to get tricksy, which is a snap, and Robert is one’s parents sibling. Failing that, all Apps are just code, and will only do what they are told. They can be hacked or automated. No biggie.

Also if you’re like Mrs S and I, we switch off our Canadian cells when out of country because of the massive roaming charges. Say when we leave Canada for the US or Europe and take our old Nokia 6310i’s, we simply simply leave our Canadian cellphones at home on charge and forward all wanted calls from business, friends and family to our out of country cell phone numbers or use Skype.

The same works for email or SMS. There may be scope to forward all messages from the monitoring company to email. From there it’s not difficult to set up a rule or filter to auto answer any enquiry with a stock answer, or even a range of stock answers or SMS depending upon the time of day and one need never be bothered by these bureaucratic busybodies again. Which is an old tech support wheeze for all their most annoying clients. A kind of Silicon Hell if you will. Which is exactly where all these ‘monitoring’ calls are going to go.

I suppose we could simply just quit, but that’s giving up too easily. One does not have to butt heads with authority to rebel against a suffocating system. But it’s also not that hard to make fools of them, because the people hired to run these systems are firstly not that bright, and secondly are easily tangled in the web of bureaucratic procedures, rules and regulations they inhabit like kittens playing with a ball of wool.

This could get interesting…

White Supremacy

I have a few pertinent questions to ask about this business of ‘white supremacy’ that some parties are always shrieking about.

Can a Snowman on top of a hill (Or woman, let’s not be sexist here) be called a ‘White Supremacist’?

Or is ‘White supremacy’ managing to clear the front drive before the next six inches covers it once more?

What do we do to ‘end’ white supremacy? Do we take up snow shovels and dig our way out, or do we simply hunker down in front of a blazing log fire with a nice hot cup of tea and wait for the thaw?

I ask simply because I’ve just spent an hour clearing snow and you can’t tell where I started shovelling. And the sky is still full with another day of the white stuff forecast. Bloody hell. Time to put the kettle on.

Oh yes, and where are all these ‘anti-racists’ when you need a helping hand with a shovel? Oh sorry, I forgot, protestalots don’t do manual work.

Update: One our neighbours is definitely determined to prove his supremacy over the white stuff. He’s got a mini snowplough on the front of his All Terrain Vehicle and has been trolling up and down the street below for the last two hours since 5am. Thanks for feeding my insomnia, neighbour. The irony is that at 8:30am there is already a covering of snow over his handiwork.

When daylight hits I’ll be getting out the snow shovel, but won’t be keeping anyone awake but myself.

Real snowflakes

More snow. More collapsing of the man made heat death myth of the world as the revelations of sharp practice at NOAA finally hit the mainstream. Yes I know the story of the ‘pausebuster’ academic paper being a total bodge job is in the Wail, but how many other mainstream media sources will publish? Or will said news be conveniently ignored because it doesn’t fit the globalist narrative?

The so-called ‘pausebuster’ academic paper claiming that the ‘pause’ or levelling off of global temperature rise over the last twenty years never happened was always a suspect report, and people have been calling its veracity into question since 2015.

Scanning the last two days headlines, the only outlets currently giving the story any airtime are the Washington Post, Washington Times and the UK Daily Mail. The rest seem full of anti-Trump hit pieces like those about a ‘muslim’ ban, which is nothing of the sort, merely a repetition of Barack Obama’s executive order suspending entry to the US from six particular countries. Oh yes, and a bunch of black clad fascists calling themselves ‘Antifa’, rioting and smashing stuff up like a bunch of thwarted toddlers. Is that the sound of lamestream media credibility cracking, yet again?

Anyway. Our real snow is about four to six inches deep outside at the moment. Not quite enough for a ‘snow day’ but deep enough to get out the 4×4 or AWD and go looking for a slope to go sledging on. Judging by the forecast we’re due for another two to four inches over the next day or so, so maybe that snow day will materialise.

Maybe the mainstream media in general will wise up and start doing their job properly again. Until then, on that topic at least I leave you with Mr Lowe and ‘I love the sound of Breaking Glass’.

Yeah, right…

Remember that “We have only a hundred months to save the Earth” campaign from the UK Guardian which was taken as gospel by a lot of idiot politicians? The 100 month deadline that just whooshed on by on October 31st 2016?

Well things are so gosh darned hot in Spain don’cha know, that the agriculturally astute Spanish are having trouble supplying the rest of Europe with lettuce, broccoli, spinach, courgettes (zucchinis over here), and aubergines (a.k.a. eggplant) because, guess what? It’s too bloody cold and wet. Which might lead the suspicious to ask; “Whatever happened to the ‘Hottest year evah’?

Okay, it’s just weather. No biggie, the heat of a man made climate disaster will be coming back right soon, say those whose livelihoods depend on impending climate doom. Right about, wait for it, honestly it should have been here by now. Really. No, no, no, please, please don’t cut off my funding.

For those of us who haven’t been swallowing the climate heat doom propaganda and actually observing, this is no real surprise. Severe cold weather events have been on the uptick for a few years now. Snow has been popping up in a lot of places it’s not normally expected in and over here in the not so frozen Pacific Northwest it’s parkier than usual. Only the other week we had frozen waterfalls on every rock face between our new home and the mid island. Now we have snow. Yes, I know I live in Canada, the great frozen north, but here’s a little secret; on the Western Pacific side we don’t normally get ice and snow. Even the 2010 Winter Olympics had to generate artificial snow at Grouse Mountain near Vancouver.

I’ll say this, it must be a bugger for vegetarians and vegans, having to pay way more for their vegetables. But seeing as many of them have been in the front line of the shrieking climate harpies, calling those of us not convinced of their carbon dioxide driven heat doom mongering ‘Deniers’ and all sorts of other unpleasant names, my sympathy is somewhat muted.

Violence

Now I’ve been in a few scraps. Hand to hand stuff for which I’ve taken lumps and bruises, split lips, black eyes and even got my nose broken on one occasion. The younger Bill Sticker, despite his (usually) peaceful nature, developed a bit of a reputation for being able to handle himself in a fight. He also quickly learned that some things are not worth fighting over and when to walk away. How showing a contemptuous back to a would-be aggressor can stop them in their tracks but also how to spot the semi-psychotics who actually enjoy fighting.

Violence has a value, that much is true. When it comes to stopping someone hitting you, a good disabling Karate or Judo strike or throw, I’ve found, is invaluable. But only in self defence or other dire need.

What violence as a means of communication cannot do is change hearts and minds. It can only repress the expression of those ideas. Because ideas are something you can’t get rid of by any form of physical intervention. Even if you eliminate an entire population holding a given idea, tear down all their buildings, burn their books, wipe every trace of them from this earth, you can be sure that some bright spark will try to repeat it. Did the Inquisition stop Judaism or Islam? Nope, still here. Doing remarkably well, too. Did the Nazi Holocaust or Shoah get rid of all the Jews, Gays and political opposition? Hmm, I’d be inclined to say not. Will the violent ‘Antifa’ protests unseat President Trump or rescind his actions? No. Violence and its threat did stop large scale aggression on the parts of Napoleon and Hitler, but did the military necessity truly change any minds? Take a good careful look around before answering.

So when I posted that you can’t change someone’s mind by punching their lights out on one of Stefan Molyneux’s video’s, he simply replied “False though”. To which I wanted to respond with:

No. If someone physically hits me, it doesn’t ‘change my mind’ or alter my opinion on a given topic. What it does is make me want to hit them back harder and distracts from the original cause of the disagreement.

I would argue that violence as a negotiating tool only works so long as the oppressing party can maintain the state of fear the threat of assault is meant to engender.

But two attempts to post my answer to his reply led to ‘comment failed to post’. Fine, his gaff, his rules. He can only answer so many replies and I think he’s instituted a 48 hour shut out on commenting. However, I have this blog, so this is where I will post my thoughts on the matter. If Stefan or one of his friends cares to drop by and reply within the next 21 days (See comments policy), they’re welcome.

As for the violent ‘Antifa’ anti-Trump riots. The only thing those do is persuade me that these so-called black masked ‘anti-fascists’ are the very embodiment of fascism. Because they try to repress other opinions by physical intimidation, but their actions only serve to cement an opposition to their goals, at least in my mind. If asked, I’d say that these riots have all the sophistication and persuasiveness of a thwarted toddler pitching a fit at Mummy because she won’t let them have just one more sweetie.

Indeed, I am of the school of thought that violent action too often serves to prolong disputes. See Northern Ireland, where those on the shallow end of the IQ curve are still fighting the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.

Anyway, it’s snowing and I must get shovelling if Mrs S and I are to make our usual Friday lunch date.

World not doomed

Sister in law has been bragging how she’s signed the petition against a state visit to the UK by the new US President. For what? Because of the travel ban for nationals from half a dozen countries? Something Obama did back in 2011? I think Sister in law gets her politics from the dumpster behind her local Supermarket it’s so far past it’s sell-by date. That or CNN. They’re both just as tainted.

What’s not being widely, or sympathetically broadcast is the other side of the story. Trump has been negotiating ‘safe zones’ for refugees in country, allowing many more of those poor sods displaced by war to be helped closer to their own homeland without being transplanted to what is for them, an alien culture. Specifically the West, where they will have great difficulty getting decent jobs, extended families will be split, and the stage set for yet more terrorist attacks by disaffected youth funded by religious zealots with too much money… oh yes, and elements within Western regimes who use such zealotry for their own proxy wars. Oh yes, people can virtue signal about how much they ‘care’ about refugees, but if they really, truly ‘cared’ they would be looking more critically at the core issues and protesting Western middle eastern meddling like Hilary Clinton’s handling of the ‘Arab Spring’.

Well, the good news is that at least one source of funding for such groups may start drying up because of this little piece of financial news. Which is only of interest to those with a finger in an international pie. I hope it will lead to a reduction in monies flowing to groups subsidising terror attacks. Which will be good for all of those preferring not to be blown to bits because someone thinks their God has been insulted.

Those of you reading the article may go “WTF are you on, Bill? How does imposing tax on expats, tobacco and sugary drinks reduce the risk of terrorism?” To which I would answer, look at the wider picture. Oil revenues are shrinking due to the current glut and will continue to do so, which is leading to a rude awakening in some quarters. So much for ‘peak oil’, eh? Whether certain regimes will wise up and wind their necks in is down to them. I’m hoping the spare change which has been funding terror cells will shrink, because there’s no money in blowing people up for free.

Incidentally, have you seen the cost of ammunition recently? Well, that’s just the USA, but can be considered a reflection of a wider trend. Maybe terrorists will think twice before going on the rampage if they have to shell out more for bullets.

So yes, I’m optimistic. Less money for the radical Wahabi sect stirring up disaffection, which is fuelling the current Islamic terror attacks, should allow more moderate voices to shine through and begin internal reforms, which Islam as a whole seriously needs to address if it is to remain relevant in the 21st century. In fact all the interested parties could begin by considering the following; “It’s impossible to change minds after you’ve blown their brains out.”

As for the USA’s proposed new diplomatic stance with Russia, that’s good too. The cold war ended officially in 1989. So why the hell the West is farting about with military deployments instead of building metaphorical bridges and opening up broader trade links is beyond me. Russia isn’t the old Soviet Union any more.

Then there’s a wonderful sucking sound as the ‘Man Made Climate Change’ nonsense is relegated to a more realistic place in the USA’s threat list. Specifically the bottom. It was never more than a bogeyman to frighten the gullible into line anyway, because the models don’t work, and the real numbers are all wrong. And numbers, unlike people who want to keep riding their gravy train, don’t lie. As it is in international commerce, so it is in science. The real numbers are all that matter. Everything else is a Netflix ‘Documentary’, to be viewed only with a very critical eye.

So I’m not signing any silly ‘anti-Trump’ petition because I think he’s thought long and hard about the issues of this world and wants to try a more businesslike approach.

Beaches

We’re enjoying our new home. Not only is it only ten minutes from the stores, it’s less than ten minutes from the closest half way decent beach, there’s a small but perfectly formed fishing lake less than three hundred metres walk away, and I have my own full size office. It’s not beach weather, but it will be in a few months. And although the sand is a few shades darker than I’m used to, it’s still the same texture.

Mrs S is still hors de combat and will be until mid February / early March, so I’m having to ferry her around and perform various personal functions she has trouble with, like the simple action of pulling on a sock or lacing up her shoes. I don’t mind.

Our new place has a lot more space than our old apartment, and needs a few more sticks of furniture. Selection of which is a work in progress. New desk for her. New bookcases (Yes, more bookcases) for me. A new Ottoman for the front room. Small stuff. All of which I’m okay with. Pictures need to be hung. Two large mirrors need locating. All thieves of time, but hey, she is injured and needs time to heal properly, so I’m happy to go along. It’s just part of the whole “In sickness and in health” thing I signed up to. No biggie.

What I am getting annoyed with is the hatchet op-eds she keeps on insisting reading aloud about Trump and what a naughty man he is for doing exactly what he said he would do on the campaign trail. Why she and the various pundits are so surprised I have no idea, but if the FT doesn’t get back to reporting some proper financial news soonish, our subscriptions will be shut down. I pay for proper financial news, what’s really happening, not some Journo’s half-arsed emotion-ridden ‘opinion’.

If I wanted to read trashy personal attacks on Trump I’d go to CBC, CNN, the Huffington Post or similar. Although it’s such fun to read various Grauniad columnists getting their panties in a bunch over stuff Trump is doing which they gave Obama a total pass on. But I do so love the smell of burning hypocrisy in the morning.

Well it amuses me. But as I’m real bastard son of a bitch it would, wouldn’t it?

Well, there’s always the Winter beach and sea. There’s also a friendly Bernese Mountain dog who patrols one particular isolated little place and ‘adopts’ any moderately sensible human. The first time we met I half expected him to try and jump in the back of my car, just like my old mutt used to. But no, he just ambled on his way home to get fed, fussed and the sand brushed out of his coat by his real boss.

Migrating off Twitter

Twitter seem to be suspending a whole bunch of accounts for what seems no good reason, and quite frankly I’m not bothered any more, not that I ever was, so my Twitter account is on its way to the junk heap to keep my old Facebook ID company with the rest of the digital trash.

Instead, I’m migrating to the ‘high beta’ Minds.com, which is a much more open platform. At least ideologically speaking. Look me up sometime. Or don’t. I’ll probably post just as often.

Then there’s the YouTube issue, where terrorist accounts are left untouched, but someone who says something ‘ist’ gets theirs suspended or deleted, or compiles the wrong sort of playlist, as in my case, gets their playlist summarily deleted.

Not that the Tech billionaires who run these service haven’t turned into blatant hypocrites. Zuckerberg for example has had security staff harassing people who walk along public beaches and paths close to his 700 acre Hawaiian property, and the locals have been protesting his attempted annexation of ancestral land. Then he stands up and pretends to be all goody two shoes, lecturing people on the evils of others? Frankly I’d rather he just stayed as a rampant capitalist and kept his public mouth firmly shut.

Then there’s ‘do no harm’ Google’s ironic motto when they provide various security services with access to everyone’s data. For a fee of course. I think one of the questions that should be posed when one signs up for any digital service should be; “Tick this box if you’re comfortable with our double standards.”

Update: Another YouTube account deletion, this time Richard (The Hamster) Hammond late of Top Gear and now part of the successful Amazon published Grand Tour.

Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad trying to stay in the middle of the road without getting run over.

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