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Suffering a bit today with a mild but debilitating lurgi caught off Eldest, who leaves us for the fabled land of Oz tomorrow. Fortunately this is a short lived bug and the fever has already broken and the cough is ‘productive’. The chunks I’ve been coughing up are fading from yellow to white, which means the infection is on the decline. Should be fine to drive Eldest to the Airport by tomorrow. Plenty of fruit juice and fresh air should speed my recovery.

Dahn sarf, in the often confused morass of US politics there’s been a lot of talk recently about a super secret cabal called the ‘Alt-Right’ and what bad people they are. Oo yes, they eat babies don’cha know. Oh yes, yes, and they’re anti everything good, wholesome and natural don’t you see, so they’re evil and must be sent to stand on the naughty step forever and ever amen. So there. Odd that the term was invented by the Clinton camp, who by any measure are hardly models of honesty and integrity. Whitewater, Haiti, Benghazi, favour selling in office, breaches of national security, Is there anything they can’t get away with?

From what I can see, the ‘Alt-Right’ label, apart from being a childish attempt to demonise most of the US electorate, encompasses everyone who likes to make their own decisions without being herded into a box by government bureaucrats who are ‘just doing their job’, whatever particular job that is defined as by a ruling elite. The label also covers anyone not fleecing the state for every penny everyone else puts into it. Which is why this all embracing term, like ‘Deplorables’ before it should be enthusiastically embraced by anyone with any integrity or self respect, regardless of actual political position. Which would mean the ‘Alt-Right’ is a broad church which includes both ‘left’ and ‘right’ leaning supporters, in particular anyone who thinks the Clinton political camp are a bunch of dishonest weasels who would auction off their own unborn for political power, money or privilege. Which is a very broad spectrum, from all the independent voters and fervent Trump fans and enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporters to the most piratical free marketeer.

FYI: ‘Alt-Right’ from what I can see does not include people who are essentially shilling for Billionaire currency speculator and international criminal (Well the Russians think so) George Soros, like Black Lives Matter or a number of ‘Environmentalist’ factions. Indeed, they themselves would be first to say so because any political position that is even mildly right of centre (or even the most mild mannered centrist) is something they despise and want to tear down and destroy. Which is why Soros throws chump change at them via various ‘Foundations’ (Tides, Open Societies etc.) He can make money off the economic instabilities such movements can cause by helping block major infrastructure projects like Dams and pipelines, burning down neighbourhoods, or any economic downturns the otherwise insignificant factions he helps fund are at the root of. Like mass migration of an incompatible culture into western nations for example. The human casualties of which of course are nothing to do with him. Therefore it is my considered opinion that Soros is not ‘Alt-Right’. Nor is anyone associated with him or his organisations, or any allies thereof.

Which is as good a reason I can come up with to openly declare that I am part of the ‘Alt-Right’. For whatever that’s worth.

Anti-social media

Dentists today, and as usual, no problems. One thing my genetic heritage has blessed me with is a good set of choppers, teeth that have stood up to being abused many times over the years, including being used as adjustable grips, wire strippers and bottle openers. My hygienist was complimentary about their current state, and no fillings or other treatments were required. A state of affairs my Dentist, my wallet and I are very happy about.

While I was waiting for my date in ‘the chair’ I saw the following little missive posted on the notice board, which rather tickled my fancy.

“I’ve noticed recently how successful and popular some people are thanks to Social media like Facebook and Twitter. They post messages telling everyone what they are doing, what breakfast cereal they ate, who they talked to, funny videos of their cat chasing a torch beam, what shoes they like, whose party they went to, how many times they went to the toilet and what it looked like before they flushed it down. The wonderful thing is that thousands of people ‘like’ what these online celebrities post and ‘follow’ their every activity.”

“As I’m not a particularly popular person and don’t have many real friends, I thought I’d take a leap of faith and apply the principles of social media to real life. So I decided to obsessively greet total strangers in the street, telling them my whole life story, who my friends are, what funny things their pets do, the silly things they do when drunk, who my parents are and who they work for and every single thing we talk about including Dad’s recent arrest for sex crimes and embezzlement. I even showed my new friends pictures and videos on a computer tablet that I take with me wherever I go. And when they say they like it, I give them a thumbs up, and they do the same to me! It’s fabulous! I’ve never felt so popular!”

“And great news! My strategy has worked! After only a week I have six brand new ‘friends’; two Policemen, a private investigator, two psychiatric social workers and a nice Doctor Lecter who has already invited me around for tea!”

Okay, you’ve probably guessed that when it comes to the much-vaunted online social media, I am a self confessed Marxist of the Groucho faction. Some people seem to spend their entire lives on it, then get all bent out of shape when some embarrassing feature of their real life is put on public display or their wages disappear because someone has guessed that their online banking password is still ‘password’. To which I’d respond with the old saw “If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined.” In Social media’s defence however, I think it would be fair to say that one should always remember that these are public platforms which offer a degree of utility, but perhaps not quite enough to justify throwing your privacy rights and quality time on the fire.

Kill Bill

kill-bill-c16Panic not dear reader. I have not been receiving death threats or any other similar abuse. Not that I care much about such things, I’m ‘too old for that shit’ as they say, and tend to respond with “Yeah, right. Just don’t expect it to be easy.” I’ve survived too much for too long to have any other attitude. Been there, done that, called CCTV. Now when random people call out abuse or other strangeness, I tend to be unimpressed.

Take for example Saturday evening where I was meandering amiably up Government Street following a pleasant evening in the Bard and Banker with Mrs S and Eldest. I was walking along ahead of wife and stepdaughter, noting that the fudge and maple syrup shop was still open when a young woman approached me, right hand stuck out saying “Hi!” Very loudly and cheerfully. A little nonplussed, I gave her my best perplexed look, but did not take my own hand out of my pocket. At which she walked straight past me and made some shouted remark about her thinking that I was a very nice person but…, or some such nonsense. She’d obviously failed to understand that not everyone wants to shake hands with random strangers, no matter how ‘friendly’ they seem. At which I turned, smiled sadly at her, tipped my hat and carried on walking toward our bus stop. My wife and stepdaughter glanced at me with “What was all that about?” expressions, to which I gave a shrug. I had no idea. Drunk kids are all part of the bell curve of human existence and nothing I haven’t come across before. I’d had a few glasses of red and was in a placid state of mind, so I took no offence. It was just a little strange, that’s all.

No, today’s thoughts are focused on the iniquity of ‘speech codes’, and why it is plainest folly to codify what people may or may not say in their own private lives, into law. The Harper Government did a number of good things, and one of those was to remove the ‘Hate Speech’ provisions from the Canadian Human Rights Act with Bill C-304. Now those cuddly kittens in the Liberal party want it back so nanny can tell us all how to think about a tiny minority of freakish people (I’ve met a number of pre and post-op TV’s and TG’s, and yes, ‘freakish is the right word) who most are not likely to meet or interact with, nor even care about.

Apparently the motivation for such idiotic legislation is to stop Transgenders and Transexuals offing themselves because someone said something horrible to them, or failed to call them by their ‘correct’ gender pronoun. Sorry folks, but the bad news is that TG’s and TV’s have the highest suicide rate of any section of the population outside of Kamikaze pilots on a Sake drinking binge. Self loathing and self destructive urges are hard wired into the physiology of the condition. Between 42-46% of Transgenders will actually self destruct. End of. These figures do not of course include suicide attempts as in ‘cries for help’, just those who succeed. There seems to be an endemic self loathing built into transgenderism, a lack of connection with tribe and family, connections which are essential to general psychic well-being in well-balanced individuals.

The above being the case, why is it so essential to shackle the mouths of the rest of the population to spare the feelings of a few who are rabidly poised on the razors edge of self destruction? Will we save them, those who are incapable of saving themselves? Probably not, no matter how much we try to spare their feelings. The sad reality is that no matter what you do, you will trigger these people simply by looking away from them or any other behaviour other than treating them like you’re their newest best friend. Like with Saturday’s random young lady, even inaction is seen as somehow offensive. It’s a no-win scenario.

It’s all academic really, if the politically correct do get their way and Islam becomes the dominant culture, as seems the intent, all the TG’s, TV’s, gays and hard line feminists will be first on their knees for emergency height reduction surgery or a free flying lesson from the very people they sought to empower.

However, I take heart that this is not a certain outcome. Bill C-16 may die. The political pendulum may swing back to point sanity and the bills PC idiocy will fade into the realm of deranged lefty student politics from whence it came. I may die before it does, the University system that nurtures such beliefs may fail even if the bill should become law, and who knows, the horse sense of sanity may even learn to sing?

Katla

In-laws are currently in Europe due to fly back next week, and if the signs and portents from Iceland are right, they may have a bit of a wait to get home. Yes, it’s time for seismic grumbling from South East Iceland again. Which I ascribe to all the illicit Hákarl dumping. I’m told rotting Greenland Shark meat is a ‘delicacy’, which is one of those hilarious euphemisms for “Let’s see what we can get the tourists to eat”. Either that or one of those “Well, it’s not that bad once you get used to it” foods dreamed up when it was a case of eat your putrescent poisonous fish or starve to death.

Seriously, there’s a Yellow warning for Katla, a large volcano lurking under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which is one of those wonderful Viking names you’d swore the locals made up to make English speaking newsreaders look like idiots. Well, just because they don’t do the rape, burn and pillage thing any more doesn’t mean these descendants of Vikings have lost their sense of mischief, does it? The little tinkers.

Anyway, nothing has gone boom just yet, but those in the know are betting on an eruption in the not too distant future, even though at the time of writing there’s no harmonic tremor. However, when that is detected, then an eruption has already started and it’s a bit late to put your nearby Icelandic Holiday Home on the market.

Icelandic Met Office pages can be found here for regular updates.

What else might delay In-laws return? Hurricane Matthew, which is currently tearing northbound through the Caribbean? Hmm. If I was going to attempt a Transatlantic flight during the next few days, I’d be making damned sure my travel insurance covered accommodation costs in case of delay. I’ve tried kipping in airport terminals before, and it’s no fun at all.

Surprises and stuff

Time is being taken up by family stuff at present. Nothing amazing. Eldest is back from Vancouver and catching up with sleep to reset her body clock and rest before we pack her off to the fabled land of Oz. She’s taken up smoking in the last five years and picked up a couple of tattoos, although nothing inelegant or indecent. Nothing to fuss ourselves over. I cobbled together an ashtray for her so she can sit out on the front step for a ciggie and not leave fag ends all over the front porch. Job done, no fuss. She’ll pack in when all her friends do. Or not. I’m certainly not going to alienate her by nagging. Besides, if she’s trying to shock us, well, only if she brought her latest boyfriend to the door on a leash with him wearing a nappy and full bondage gear and probably not even then. We’re just feeding her up and letting her rest so she’ll have the energy to hit the ground running when she gets off the plane in Sydney.

In some ways it’s strange to see the gawky teenager I first knew morphed into a mature young woman who’s got a reasonable handle on who and where she wants to be. Trotting the globe with friends all over the world. Making her own way with minimal assistance from us. Mrs S of course sighs heavily, because for a mother, her offspring always remain children, no matter what. Her wistful sorrow at seeing her eldest all grown up and independent is almost palpable. Me, I just try and keep things turning over, smoothing the path as best I can. Not a road I would have chosen had I but known, however, this is where we are, and this is the role I must play. For the moment.

What else? Bill and Kate Windsor have been in the area, but they never call, so we’re quite relaxed about that. Although I was quite impressed when young George showed good taste when approached by a Trudeau. Even if some of the First Nations are throwing a snit and snubbing the party. Who cares?

The media luvvy super-rich are building more bunkers to hide in if everything does go pear shaped after a Trump Presidential election win. However, how they’ll get out if someone welds the doors shut or parks a truck over their multi-million hidey hole is another matter entirely. Not that things will. Go pear shaped I mean. We hear all the same scare stories that “We’re all doomed” if we don’t vote for the elite’s preferred candidates, or do what we’re told, yet do these disasters ever materialise? At least in the size and scope promised. No. The world stumbles on.

Meteors hit near Australia and Cyprus. There’s a ‘black moon‘ eclipse due in a day or so, but does all this really mean anything? Are we in the ‘end of days’? No. It’s just astronomy. Business as usual and nothing to get fussed about. Even if Deutsche Bank has been caught with it’s Lederhosen around it’s ankles. The world is not coming to an end. Despite all the prophesies. If the world does end, I’ll give five thousand to the first person to find me and say ‘told you so’.

Five thousand what, I’m not saying.

Parish Notice

Well I’ve had a very successful week despite being chief chauffeur for Eldest while she’s with us, and all the other ructions that come with house guests and not quite enough space. Packed her off to see friends in Vancouver for the weekend on the 7am ferry, so she’ll be partying with pals for the next day or so, while we old codgers back home discuss the revelations she brought over with her.

Right; so what’s this ‘Parish Notice’ malarkey? Okay, I’m finally ditching the gmail address and making a few administrative alterations to my various commenting accounts like Disqus etc. So if anything comes from my old gmail address after tomorrow (Sunday 25th September), it will be fake and can therefore be deleted with impunity. If anyone needs to talk directly, the contact form for this blog will field all new messages to my new mail hosting service. Gravatar is going to be on the casualty list too. I’ve used it for over ten years, but now it’s outworn all utility.

My reasons are quite simple. I’ve long been annoyed at gmail for all their spurious ‘security’ notifications which not only effectively work as a tool for tracking my movements, but suspend the account every time I take a trip up the road until I go through the whole ‘account verification’ circus. Every time I take a week away from my desk (Which is an irregular but not uncommon occurrence) I get half a dozen ‘Is this you?’ service disruptions which are about as amusing as a kick up the bum. In addition, I’d like to state that my motivation for discontinuing gmail is not derived from some paranoid “They’re out to get me” as some might think, but more out of a general “What the f**k’s it got to do with them?” Consider the account dormant.

Sadly, Google, along with Microsoft, Yahoo, Arsebook and Twatter have outgrown their usefulness and sold out to certain interests who have their own agenda. Thus their worth, at least in my eyes, is reduced to the point of near uselessness. WordPress retains utility, so the blog stays. Scriblerus stays. The means adapt. The song remains the same. Take that as you will.

The case for Snowden

Went and saw Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ last weekend. A thought provoking and engrossing movie. While it didn’t tell me anything I’ve not been aware of for some time, it also scared Mrs S into sticking all her electronics in a desk drawer and shutting the door to her office. At least until the following morning. Now she simply leaves everything, including iPad, in her office.

Now I’ve been in the habit of covering my cell phone and both its cameras for some time, and my laptop always has the camera blocked. Same goes for my Samsung tablet when it’s not in use. My phone spends all its time when not in use in a pocket or out of line of sight. What they don’t see they can’t record, right? Now I’ve been criticised by members of my family for this behaviour to the point of being labelled paranoid, but it’s long been my contention that if something is possible, such as remotely switching on your camera without your knowledge, then some smart geek will probably know how to do it. And if they’re working for officialdom, that probability factor shifts swiftly into the ‘almost certain’ range of the intrusiveness bell curve. Because whilst one emotionally stunted geek might spy on the girl / boy next door, he or she does not have the time or resources to scrutinise more than four or five people. However, give that geek the resources of a state security agency and then no-one becomes safe from their gaze. Worse still, without accountability, such an agency can quickly begin to take on a Frankenstein’s monster-like life of their own. In the post 9/11 panic, this is exactly the monster that was unleashed by the Bush presidency, fed and enlarged during Obama’s tenure, despite assurances to the contrary.

So, what documents did Snowden actually pass on? Well, nothing that damaging, only the extent of the internal surveillance on the US and UK population. He released no secret plans (Apart from there being programs of mass surveillance) betrayed no agents in the field and no US or UK intelligence personnel were killed as a result. Did he give vital defence documents to Russia? No. To China? Iran, North Korea, Al Quaeda, the Taliban, Daesh? No. China and Russia already knew, and everybody else with two brain cells to rub together had an inkling but the only pieces of information they lacked were the names of the programs under which this domestic mass surveillance was carried out.

It has been conclusively proven that mass surveillance does not reduce terrorism. Indeed, there is an excellent case to present that mass suspicion, repression, meddling and abuses of power actually result in increased terrorist threats. The greater and more indiscriminate the mass repression, goes one argument, the less freely people associate and they retreat into their own little echo chambers, the greater the threat of political violence becomes. Why? Because shutting down or suppressing open individual dissent simply creates a climate where a simple disagreement can fester into real life physical threats. Our Police and other authorities do not need powers of mass surveillance because the more policing intrudes into everyday lives, especially those not guilty of any crime, the more likely there is to be pushback generated against the host culture from those who are, at least in their beginnings, merely hotheaded and dissatisfied with their lot. Put simply. The more widespread repression, real or implied, the greater the implied justification for violence against the perceived oppressors. And once the violence begins, well, then it’s seen as the only solution to any dispute and everyone’s day gets ruined.

I’ve often heard it said that if you have “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.” This is so far in the direction of wrong it’s not true. The total surveillance by the state was practised in the old Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany, the old GDR with the notorious STASI, the notorious ‘prison state’ of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, and under every regime that has ever sought to repress the whole of it’s population with mass surveillance programmes. A great deal of Soviet era Russian humour was based upon this very principle. My all time favourite below;

Prisoner on transport to Gulag: “I’m innocent of any crime. Why am I going to prison? The court wouldn’t tell me. They just sentenced me to twenty five years!”
Kindly Guard on transport; “No idea comrade, but you must have done something. Twenty five years is a pretty stiff sentence. Can’t you think of anything?”
Prisoner (After a thoughtful pause); “After sex the other night I told my wife that I thought the KGB was spying on us.”
Kindly Guard; “Well there you go comrade. Revealing state secrets.”

It seems this is Snowden’s real ‘crime’; revealing, that for a number of years Western ‘intelligence’ agencies have been rifling through innocent people’s private lives without a bye, leave or thank you or even a proper warrant. Yet isn’t that a crime in itself? On those grounds alone, I would strongly argue that Edward Snowden should not only be pardoned but rewarded for his public spirited actions.

Overpriced junk

In the Mall the other day, waiting for Mrs S to come out of one of the stores, I found myself looking across at one of those vehicles powered by electrickery. A few folks were wandering around, giving it the once over, and the charging cable was plugged in. So I relieved the boredom by doing an ad hoc cost benefit analysis of such a vehicle by asking myself certain pertinent questions.

My basic thought process went like this:
Thought 1. Only 200km maximum range? That wouldn’t get me up to Nanaimo (A bi-monthly trip to the next majorish town see elderly friend) and back.
Thought 2. What happens to that 200km ‘maximum’ range on a cold wet day or evening when you have the heaters full blast and all the lights on?
Thought 3. How long does it take to get maximum charge, and how long do the battery packs last at full efficiency? What are the replacement costs?
Thought 4. Who pays for all those public charge points that don’t seem to have a means of payment for the charge?
Thought 5. How much public subsidy is used to pay for these vehicles? In purchase discounts, infrastructure provision and running costs?
Thought 6. What happens to the running costs of such a vehicle when all the public subsidies dry up?

Which are simple, very reasonable concerns when you come to choose a vehicle to cope with our northern, but relatively mild maritime climes. A neighbour has one, but their commute is only downtown and back. For any more serious travelling, I think they have a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek.

Hmm. I think the old conundrum of battery recharge times is going to mitigate against Thought 1. A basic charge takes around two hours to get any measurable benefit. Unless you are lucky enough to find one of the ‘Superfast’ charging stations which can do the job in around 20 minutes.

Thought 2 is a no-brainer. Heating and Aircon push your fuel usage up significantly in an Internal Combustion Engined vehicle. Put on the stereo, the heated seats and lights on a cold rainy day or evening and your fuel use goes way up. So too with electric vehicles. If for example we were to do what we normally do like run up to Nanaimo, one way point to point distance being a shade over 120 kilometres, plus, let’s say, 15 buzzing around town, running errands for elderly friend and taking her to lunch, that makes a grand total for an average round trip of 255km (Usually around 270 if my odometer is any guide), 55km over the maximum range of the vehicle I found myself looking at. Which doesn’t make sense for anyone living outside of 30km from their destination. Even a 60km round commute on a cold wet day will drain the batteries very quickly and costs will vary depending upon whether you can find a free charging station close to your destination, and even if a ‘Superfast’ charger is available, you’re still hanging around for twenty minutes while your batteries top up. Providing your electric vehicle has the ability to accept a fast charge. So you have to plan your journeys around charging stations, and be very mindful of journey’s taken during the hours of low light or darkness.

Thought 3 is an interesting one. The guaranteed life of a battery pack is five years, with a weighty CAD$7,400 (USD$5,633) non-warranty replacement cost (Parts only. Price quoted is without labour, which is currently around CAD$150 an hour by a main dealer) Budget will probably be around four hours per vehicle, so bang on around CAD$600 before adding around 12% tax and environmental to the total. Which ends up being around CAD$9,000 or more. In one bite? Ouch. That’s without the possible cost of having to replace the entire battery management subsystem as with some of the Nissan Leaf models, if you go for the battery pack upgrade option.

Then there’s consumables like tyres, windscreen (oh if you must, windshield) wipers and regular servicing costs. Just like any other vehicle.

Thoughts 4 and 5. Okay, there are ‘free’ public charging points, the installation costs for which were, up to 2013 mostly (75%) paid for out of Federal, Provincial and property taxpayer revenue. So on the surface you might get a free or low cost charge to get you home, but actually you’re paying for your ‘fuel’ via the general tax fund, and depending upon your municipality for everyone else’s electrickery to run their over-hyped golf carts. Even the ‘rates at the pump’ are heavily subsidised. Because BC Hydro, as we are reminded every time our electricity bill comes in, is not a registered charity.

Thought 6. This is the kicker. What does happen when the taxpayer funded subsidies for electric vehicles cease? Because just like what’s beginning to happen with Wind Turbines in Europe and what will happen under a Trump Presidency in the USA (Which is as decent a reason to vote for him as I can think of), public taxpayer funding will at some stage dry up like spit on a hot stove. See the last sentence in my previous paragraph. This is not a sustainable technology unless the purchaser funds the entire life cycle cost of the vehicle. Electrically driven vehicles, while they still rely on battery technology, will always remain little better than a curiosity, an uneconomic technological dead end, just like they were back in the early 1900’s.

Never mind the pollution and other issues associated with Lithium production for the batteries. Whilst a Lithium-Ion battery is fine for your cell phone, tablet or laptop, it’s not a brilliant idea as far as vehicular transport is concerned.

Compared to a vehicle which are their equivalent in performance and utility, even with all the most up to date developments, Electric cars just don’t make economic sense for the average North American, or anyone else for that matter.

Hence the title of this post.

Update:
I have been reminded that I forgot to mention depreciation. Silly me. After a quick search through the motoring press, I was astonished to see depreciation rates of between 39-42% on ‘Plug-in’ vehicles. The only versions to buck this trend are the Tesla and Prius, but neither are really a ‘proper’ electric vehicle, and even then there’s the cost of battery replacement every five years of USD$12,000. You heard me, twelve thousand dollars as of today. Which unless there’s a significant reduction in cost via economies of scale, is going to put a lot of people off. That’s without even touching on the reliability issues known to plague models like the Tesla S.

Just found this story from the UK’s Northern Echo, where a man recently lost Fifteen thousand Quid in eighteen months on a Nissan Leaf. Having read the article I’m inclined to observe that if he’d paid the full price of GBP30,000 without the GBP5,000 Government ‘cashback’ incentive, he’d have lost twenty thousand pounds. Double ouch!

A Saturday Post

Apropos of nothing, a quick rework of an old Moody Blues number for the early 21st century.

I’m just a wandering on the face of this ‘net
Reading ’bout so many people
Who are trying to be free
And while I’m surfing I read so many lies
Language barriers broken
I think we’ve found the key

And if you want the winds of change
To blow through and through
And you’re the only other person to know, please tell me
I’m just a blogger in the Scriblerus band.

A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word
Only who are the artists
We don’t have to agree
Ten thousand miles can lead so many ways
Finding out who is driving
What a help it would be

So if you see this world of ours
And the turns of the screw
And you can see exactly what to do, Please tell me
I’m just a blogger in the Scriblerus band.

How can we understand
Lies by the people for the people
Who want us to enslave ourselves
And you can see the frightened
People who are frightened by the
People who are stealing this world, stealing the Earth.

I’m just a wandering on the face of this ‘Net
Reading so many people
Who are trying to be free
And while I’m surfing I read so many words
Language barriers broken
Now we’ve found the key

And if you want the wind of change
To blow through and through
And you’re the only other person to know, please tell me
I’m just a blogger in the Scriblerus band.

How can we understand
Lies by the people for the people
Who want us to enslave ourselves
And you can see the frightened
People who are frightened by the
People who are stealing this earth, stealing the world.

Words are the travellers crossing our world
Reading so many people who are bridging the seas
I’m just a blogger in the Scriblerus band.
We’re just the bloggers in the Scriblerus band.
I’m just a blogger in the Scriblerus band…

I think I got the syllable counts right whilst keeping the spirit of the original alive. Comments, questions, whatever.

Spider season

The first hint of Fall, or Autumn as we expatriates call it, always brings the wolf spiders indoors. A shriek yesterday morning alerted me to the first of these annoying eight legged interlopers when one was found poised perkily on the coverlet. Using the old jar and card trick, which goes like this, to the feminine chorus of “Don’t kill it! Nooo, get rid of it! Bill! Do it now!” Using a piece of card and a sufficiently large jar or glass, put jar over offending creature, slide card underneath affronted arachnid and carry to window or door and eject summarily. I found said dreaded wee beastie’s brother (Or sister, with spiders it’s hard to tell. Is there such a profession as ‘Spider sexer’?) in the tumble drier this morning and decided to deploy the heavy artillery, otherwise known as the vacuum cleaner, which is the nuclear option as far as spiders are concerned. Those that learn to keep out of the way of humans live, those that don’t, die. This is the way of things since Mrs Ug first screamed at Mr Ug to get rid of this horrifying half inch nightmare from their cave. You’d think that after the last couple of hundred thousand years of evolution the spiders would get the hint that humans are bad news, but no. Hi-ho.

Spider season is a little earlier by my reckoning this year and betokens a cold winter even though locally we’re having a run of sunny days with only a few showers. Normally they don’t start infiltrating households in any numbers until October. At least in these latitudes. A couple of our local species are known to pack a nasty nip, so instead of meandering around the office and apartment in bare feet as I usually do, I’ve elected to put my socks on. Just in case.

And speaking of those human web lie-spinners and purveyors of influence, the Clintons, I see the lamestream is finally owning up to the fact that Hilary Clinton is most definitely ill, no it’s not just a temporary sniffle because you don’t ‘fit’ during a faint or bout of pneumonia unless you’ve got something else pretty serious going on. Now here’s an interesting medical fact; the coughing is a known side effect of certain blood pressure medication, which, knowing that she has a family history of strokes and previous TIA‘s, it’s not a total wild guess to say she may be taking something like Ramipril. Which also might account for some of the fainting and spasms observed. She’s had TIA’s before, so I have a strong suspicion that she’s on quite a high dose to prevent another incidence. It would fit in with the prescription of Coumadin she’s been known to be on. Which would account for more or less all of her observed symptoms. The fainting and fitting, ‘zoning out’ and episodes of imbalance, not to mention the coughing fits. An adverse drug reaction would also account for the fast ‘recoveries’ as the dosages are altered. Well done Bill. Mystery solved.

Anyway, that’s besides the point. Eldest is due in under a week, the freezer is full, and we’re turning the apartment upside down in order to rearrange for her coming royal visit before she heads off to Oz. Brother in law is much better, and currently recuperating in France. Despite the spiders, life could be a lot worse.

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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