Out of Synch

At the moment I’m a bit out of sorts, a weird sort of pseudo jet lag where my body hasn’t moved but it’s behaving like I’m living on Atlantic time rather than Pacific Standard. Which means I’ve been waking up at 4am like it’s 8am and doing almost a days work before breakfast. Then come early evening I’m ready to flake out. Feels like my body clock is having a bout of jet lag without any travel involved.

Which helps when you’re talking transatlantic to other people on the phone for an hour every time. But it’s no fun when the weekend comes as Mr Boring here is going to sleep at the wrong times during social occasions. Still, I don’t mind as there’s a potential big payday on the other end and in recent years I’ve gotten into the habit of working to the job, not the clock. Getting in early to finish early, or finishing when the work is done and not before. At least working from home I don’t have to face commuter traffic with the proverbial matchsticks holding up my eyelids like I used to.

This WorksafeBC thing is still hanging over us, and we’re seriously contemplating Mrs S moving into a more consultant like role where she doesn’t have the security of a regular work contract, but isn’t being transformed back into a wage slave, which she says she hates the idea of. Funny thing about freelancing. Once you start, you never really want to go back to the dreary old nine to five. Which is where our major objection lies. None of her colleagues want to be reduced to clocking in and out either. Not to mention the power of entry and control WorksafeBC can exercise on ‘workplaces’. You might like the way you’ve set up your screen and keyboard in your own home, but if the guy with the measuring tape disagrees, they can shut you down on the spot. In your own home. Mind you, from what I’ve heard, their inspectors are rarely seen up country, even when people do call them about real safety violations. So we might be thinking about buying a place that is somewhere a little too far out for them, but still has a reasonable Internet service. Or shutting down altogether. From what I hear, some of my wife’s colleagues and support workers have already done so rather than lose their privacy. The rest are busy giving their MLA’s and everyone else in range serious earache. The consensus seems to be that they will submit to the intrusion, but only under extreme protest and very grudgingly. This is, as I have observed to my wife several times, not going to end well.

Anyway, Mrs S is off to Jolly old Londinium in May and is currently obsessing over flights and hotels. I’m thinking of popping over to the old country to see what it looks like and go visit friends and relatives oop norf. However, I haven’t decided yet, so watch this space.

Just received

An email just dropped into my inbox containing the following:

HM Government believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit. We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised.

HM Government supports this petition.

During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for a State Visit to the UK later this year. The invitation was accepted. This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the State Visit.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Well, now watch the thwarted toddlers of the fascist left permanent student class and their fellow travellers burst a blood vessel over this petition to allow Donald Trump a state visit to the UK.

In other words the decision is already made. Not that I’m going to watch, but rather enjoy the schadenfreude of watching all those out-takes of fuming rioters have a collective public stroke over the visit of a friendly head of state to the UK. Couldn’t happen to a bunch of nicer (?!?) people. Except they’re not nice at all. Not by any measure of the word. Neither pleasant nor scrupulous. Rather the opposite. That much is obvious.

What I would like to do is address the following remarks to those who think it’s okay to smash places up because they can’t have their way and never voted anyway. Please, please do go off and scream kiddiewinks. That nasty old Trumpy man is coming to the UK whether you like it or not. Go throw Teddy out of the pram. Go have your childish self indulgent petulant fit. Wet yourselves in public. Wail, scream, cry. No one really cares. Your side lost the vote, now build a bridge and get over it. Besides, nobody really likes you. Not even you. And that is your own self-perpetuating tragedy.

To everyone else; Happy Valentines day.

Oh dear

The latest border creep of what constitutes ‘racism’ has just crossed the boundary into the kitchen. Specifically the rather strange claim that drinking milk is now ‘Racist’. Which greatly upsets me. Especially as the white stuff figures largely in so many of my favourite savoury or dessert recipes. Will a new crime of ‘Hate Cooking’ be created making it illegal to prepare things that are deemed ‘Too white’? What of whipping cream? Will that have to be withdrawn from sale because the act of flagellating milk derivative into lovely stiff, creamy peaks becomes the equivalent of statuesque blondes strutting around in swastika encrusted basques and black stockings thwacking people with riding crops? God yes, Helga, take me home I’m ready. Gosh. What an interesting thought.

milk-is-only-for-racist-nazisWhich raises a question. Is milk now so racist even Nazi’s hate it? Fortunately I can answer this question with a definitive “Yes” and have been able to obtain historical photographic proof. My God, this is political dynamite!

Also in the event Marine Le Pen wins the French Presidential election does that mean I will no longer be able to source the delights of Roquefort, Brie or Camembert? Friends, (I know I used to have some) possibly, well, maybe not so many; this is terrible. That nice Mr Trudeau will have to outlaw ‘hate’ dairy products that are deemed too ‘white’. Oh, hold on a minute, I’ve just read the year dates on some of the cited articles. 1997, 2004, 2016, and now 2017. Good gravy! Is there no end to this awful prejudice? When will this madness end! What will happen to the economy of Wisconsin? Is no-one safe?

the-french-resistanceFortunately my fiends, (either of you) there is hope. From Europe comes a brave group of heroic figures, skilled in the art of converting racist milk and cream into lovely, non racist blue cheeses. Meet Michelle, Rene and Yvette, specialist resistance cheese makers who can rid us all of the terrible racist curse of milk drinking.

Oh shit. That’s another of the sacred ‘ists’ isn’t it? The really naughty one prefixed with S-E-X. Oh dear. I’m in real trouble now.

Never buy anything Trudeau

No, nothing to do with the current Prime Minister of Canada, who is sucking up to everyone but our cousins down south. At present if he went to see President Trump, that would be electoral suicide in the urban enclaves which gave the fop his mandate. Today’s little missive, by contrast, is about a pepper mill.

Now I use fresh ground black pepper when I’m cooking. A lot. I like the bite on my tongues midsection when cooking spicy food, not too much, just enough to give things an fine edge. To this end I purchased a pepper mill. One of those dildo-like wooden thingummies that waiting staff in restaurants threaten you with, before they sneak up on you and try to make you choke with a sudden “How is your food tasting?” Who tells waiting staff to do this? I’d like to shake them warmly by the throat. I’m actually amazed that more people don’t die in restaurants when challenged in this fashion mid mouthful.

I’d also like to know why Black pepper is treated with such faux-reverence and doled out so sparingly in some establishments? It’s a condiment for heavens sake. Bought in bulk it is no more expensive than any other kind of pepper. If I want extra pepper on my food, which if it’s cooked and seasoned properly I won’t, I will use some from the cruet selection, or ask my server / waiting staff. But not before I’ve actually taken my first bite.

Anyway, I digress. The tale of the pepper mill. Sixty plus dollars. Ten inches tall. Make, Trudeau. Inferior quality steel on the screw cap (The thread stripped when finger tightened) Uneven grain size on the grind. No better than an ornament. Looked nice but absolutely useless after two weeks serious kitchen use.

Have replaced with matching (English) Cole and Mason salt and pepper grinders last Christmas which work beautifully, produce an even grain size for seasoning, don’t lose their thread, and get this blog owners full culinary approval. They cost me fifty bucks for both and should provide years of reliable service. Not two weeks.

There’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

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.

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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