Tag Archives: Canada

Toilet troubles

Aaand as the Policeman said, to paraphrase an old joke, we’ve less to go on. One of our toilets is missing. Fortunately we have two bathrooms, but what this does is put one bathroom completely out of order. Specifically Mrs S’s domain. A matter that has led to some mild domestic friction.

As we currently live in rented accommodation, maintenance is our landlords issue to deal with. While the outside world appears locked down or subject to rioting and cities burn, more practical matters colour our days. Specifically being the minor inconvenience of being restricted to one bathroom. These frame built houses are warm and well insulated enough, but if you get a leak anywhere, it can be a real detective story to find where all the trickles come from.

The issues are that this; we live in a 1980’s built apartment where the wiring and plumbing don’t match the plans. For example, the shower pipework in one bathroom was never secured properly and has a habit of flexing slightly every time it is used. Now we find that there are two long term leaks in the second bathroom and utility room. Nothing major, little more than sweating from the joints.

The original build was bodged a little, presumably to keep things within schedule and price, as these things so often are.

The bathroom leak is from the wax sealing ring between the toilet and what is tweely referred to as the ‘black water’ outlet set in the floor. Meaning every time we flushed a droplet or two escaped from between the sealing ring and pipe into the surrounding floor. Over time this has caused a wet patch to lurk unseen between pedestal and floor, resulting in a small amount of staining in the apartment below.

So, the toilet has been disconnected and the floor is currently drying out. Which gives the guest bathroom a slightly surreal, but fortunately not too noisome, air. All the bathroom bits are sitting in the shower and the throne, so to speak, is sitting in a plastic tub like a rather unusual beige footstool.

The second leak is from where our washing machine overflow is plumbed into the wall. When the last washing machine was fitted, the overflow was bodged in and at the top end of the pipe, the wall fitting became slightly disconnected from the down pipe, only by a crack, but enough when the washing machine is spin drying that when the overflow backs up, a thimbleful of water sloshes out to trickle down the exterior of the pipe. Again, this gets between the studding and eventually stains the wall downstairs.

Christ alone knows what the wiring actually looks like behind the plasterboard. No wonder only a couple of the kitchen outlets can handle a microwave.

However, that’s a minor inconvenience as we’re heading out of Canada. My non-working days are currently filled collating quotes from movers, arranging cleaners for when we move out in September and all the sundry tasks associated with such a shift. Paperwork is the biggest burden. However, we are getting all our financial and legal ducks in a row and, toilet troubles notwithstanding, will be leaving Trudeaupia for good this year and the clock is ticking.

It’s been an interesting decade or so. Now it’s time to move on as things this side of the 49th are heading downhill with no likely hope of return. It’s only a matter of time before Ottawa and the provinces work out how to implement ‘social credit’ scores on the population using Covid-19 as an excuse. So we’re getting out to somewhere within reach of civilisation whilst we still have relative freedom of movement.

Welcome to my nightmare

Well bless my raddled soul. Elder sibling has started his own blog, a chronicle, a mash up of personal experiences and events in the UK. In it he tells of the gripes and tribulations of living in his part of the UK, from supermarket beefs to the media stoked paranoia of certain people he encounters.

Here’s the type of thing he writes;

“I had to attend an outpatient clinic at our local hospital today. To my surprise, it was functioning as normal. No-one was wearing a mask and there were no signs of panic or hysteria.”

This seems to be a common thread. NHS Healthcare staff do not appear to be overstretched and can indulge in behaviours like doing dance routines on Tik tok, or conga lines to ‘celebrate’ an extubation. Look, if it were an all-hands-to-the-pumps situation, would primary healthcare staff have time to indulge themselves thus? Damn straight they wouldn’t.

Then he reports on the fake news items such as;

“Sarah Montague said that all pubs and leisure facilities in cities were closed “for good”.”

No doubt with a good deal of malicious relish on her part.

I have been requested to act as a consultant in this matter to let another frustrated voice into the wild and will be acting as his right hand man on how to handle all the wonders and witlessness of online life. Which could get interesting. At least we have ensured he has a confidential email and a few layers between him and the worst of the Internet. We shall see what we shall see.

No, I’m not going to link to his output, as elder sibling has not asked me to do so. If he does I’ll think about it. Better that he develops his own community.

Yes, he too detests what the BBC has become as I too loathe the fawning arse-licking the Canadian bought and paid for mass media goes in for when it comes to Canada’s glorious leader, that neo fascist Trudeau. Yes Trudeau is a neo-fascist, his government ticks all the boxes but the military one. He cloaks his disdain for all working class northern European descended males in talk of racism and sexism, but those two sins are something Trudeau indulges in all the time. Not sure why. Perhaps he feels threatened and like so many of the middle class, suffers from a deep self-loathing and sense of inadequacy.

Good news from the UK comes via political vlogger Mahyar Tousi. With added steak. Although I think Flat-Iron steaks are much nicer than Rib-Eye. Lovely buttery texture and more flavour.

So, all the accusations leveled against the Brexiteers have come to naught. For now.

Anyway. I’ve done the shopping, fed the hummingbirds and now it’s time to get back to the day job. Sometimes the fun never starts.

Monday is coming…

Mrs S and I were discussing this on the journey out to the accountants today. For the UK I think that the lockdown will shortly be coming to an end. Our reasons for thinking this? Bojo, the UK’s suspiciously unclownish PM is back in the saddle on Monday morning. He has to make a show that he is back in control and what better way than to take advantage of the shrinking death rate by beginning to lift the ‘stay at home’ restrictions and let certain businesses open, declaring that “Britain is back in business.”

He’s had time away from the political firing line to gather his thoughts. He’s had time to risk assess, to consider. Now he has a very small window in which to react. Seven days, tops.

If the NHS is anything like over here it’s understressed. Which is quite likely given the reports of primary health workers, including Doctors and Nurses, having time to rehearse dance routines for Tik Tok.

According to this web site, we on Vancouver Island (at the time of writing) only have one person in ICU and five hospitalised with the dreaded lurgi. Seventy one cases (81%)have registered as recovered. For the more densely populated Metro Vancouver, they have fifty in hospital and eighteen in ICU. Out of a population of two and a half million. The worst is past. See screen shot below.

He should also really let Ms Patel off the leash to discipline those Police Commissioners forcing the UK Police to do all the cringeworthy stuff they’ve been observed doing during the lockdown. Not to mention direct the courts to strike down all those quarantine tickets that were, in my view, highly counter intuitive.

We could do with something similar on this side of the pond. Break time is over. Time to get back to work. Oh, and to stop buying cheap stuff from China.

Update: Watch the video below. Yes it’s long, and Ferguson was wrong about BREXIT, something he later conceded he was wrong about. But, on this occasion I think they’re right, the sluggish big state got us into this mess, but it’s individuals and smaller, private groups that can get us out.

I disagree on how to handle ‘climate change’, but that’s another discussion.

Never mind the NHS

Looking across the pond, I’m disturbed to see a media and government driven fetishisation of our respective health services. By that I mean;

fetishise (UK)

or American fetishize (ˈfɛtɪʃˌaɪz )
VERB
(transitive)
to be excessively or irrationally devoted to (an object, activity, etc)

Derived forms;
fetishization (ˌfetishiˈzation) or fetishisation (ˌfetishiˈsation) NOUN

Is it me or are the UK NHS, and the One size fits all Canadian Healthcare systems being subjected to an unhealthy (Anyone else get the irony?) and obsessive Greek chorus when there are other, far superior healthcare systems in the world? Frankly the whole business makes me worried. It’s obsessive and completely over the top.

The last time I felt this way about what should be quite a mundane support system, like getting your drains cleared or other bits fixed, was that frankly weird squirm-inducing dance routine dreamed up by Danny Boyle for the last UK Olympics. See video below.

Now I’ve worked for the UK NHS, and also over here as a volunteer and part time employee of the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Hospitals and health clinics to me are necessary places, but no more worthy of the hysteria currently being demonstrated than say, calling out an emergency plumber. My taxes pay for the service they provide and the best they are going to get out of me is a sincere thank you when a job is well done. Anything more strikes me as cringe-inducing and more than slightly creepy.

My approval of what medical staff do on a day to day service is no more than what is due to any other type of service provider. Their competence will engender my respect because that is earned. Respect is due for the years of training it takes to get qualified, but this placing an institution on a national pedestal is somewhat disturbing. Yes the front line individuals are doing a tough job, but it’s what they signed up for as medical professionals on their very first day of training.

There’s something strange going on. We’re being subjected to what feels like a massive snow job. I for one am very unhappy with this state of affairs. Never mind our health services, there’s something unpleasant under the surface and I’m not sure what it is, but I sure as hell don’t like it.

General weirdness

Went to get a takeout this evening. Phoned in my order and turned up at the appointed time. Well, so far so good young Bill. You did something mundane. Good job, give yourself a pat on the back, go to the top of the class and jump off.

Yes, but I found the whole experience, as I remarked to Mrs S over a modest curry, somewhat surreal. Light traffic. Hardly anyone to swear at. Not to mention the oddness of wearing a surgical mask and being the only one in the queue. A simple trip to the curry house had a distinct feeling of ‘The last man on Earth‘ or ‘The Omega man‘ to it. It’s like ninety percent of the population has just gone away without leaving any bodies.

Then there’s the sudden banging of saucepans outside at around seven pm, which is one of those ‘clap for our carers’ things. And I thought, “Why clap for them? At least they’ve got jobs, and no-one is asking them to take a pay cut.” Yet we hear elsewhere in the world that they’re already lifting their lockdowns and using effective treatments tested by other nations. While our own Prime Minister openly flouts the rules the rest of us are meant to live by and tells us the lockdown will continue until a vaccine is approved. Which will take until May next year at the very least.

I know that useless part time drama teacher has to live over the shop (And 24 Sussex is a very nice shop indeed), but at least he could hold the fort and do the duty he’s paid very well for. The rest of Canada having to work away from home has to teleconference to see their families. But Trudeau the hypocrite can’t make that sacrifice, oh no. Then he has the bought and paid for sycophants of the Canadian Press running interference on his behalf. Frankly the whole spectacle is nauseating.

If only Andrew Scheer had the spine to say he’d cancel all the politically correct bullshit, he’d win the next election in a landslide. Can we send our current crop of politicians back to their makers? A lot of Canada wants to make a claim on the warranty.

Happier news

On the line with elder sibling in the UK the other day. We were both having a bitch about this quarantine business and how it has impacted us personally. Our respective pension funds have taken a serious hit, but the markets will bounce back so we’re not panicking. Yet. The travel restrictions are a pain, but fortunately not a game changer for us at present. He reports that there are fewer episodes of the dreadful long running soap operas Eastenders and Coronation Street, also the musical abortion called the Eurovision song contest has been cancelled. Which can only be a good thing for the mental health of all UK residents.

‘South’ a.k.a Eldest and I did some over the phone bonding in one of the longest talks we’ve ever had on Monday. Her Australian permanent residency does not give her access to social funds if she’s laid off, so I offered her a sum of money to tide her over, but bless her cotton socks she demurred. She told me she has saved some money of her own and already has a plan to make a few pennies on the side. She’s hunkering down and has a bolt hole with Brother and sister in law up in Cairns if everything goes further south than at present. So thanks Boss, she reported, but she’s all good.

‘North’ a.k.a. ‘Youngest’ is in a high transmissibility situation down in the Smoke, but she and her flatmates are hunkered down, and she has a solid contract, so her money stream has not been cut off. She’ll be fine. Smart kids. We keep in touch and let them know we will help out if called upon. Even though we’re all thousands of miles apart Mrs S and I can get financial help to them inside twenty four hours. If nothing else, knowing family has your back no matter what gives confidence, which is often of far more use than just money.

Mrs S and I have rebuilt our slightly scorched personal bridges through careful discussion this morning. We’re all good again, Kind of. I acknowledged that she’s not been sleeping as well as necessary and that her job and the Covid-19 lockdown had stressed her out. But I said that I forgave her emotional blowout and hoped that she would forgive my undiscussed investment actions. After I had time to explain why I needed to move as fast as I had, and that maybe she had her head filled with all the issues of her day job too much to appreciate what I thought I’d previously told her, and how my investment would benefit us both, she saw the sense of it. But in the heat of the moment she’d lost track of where she was, and in that lost moment, lashed out at me.

Apologies and explanations have been accepted, hugs have been exchanged and now we’re able to talk reasonably again, sharing affection and having those long rambling philosophical conversations she says keep her alive. Bit touch and go for a moment there, but like I said, we’re all good again. I think. Of course I could have held on to my anger, but anger is destructive, it corrodes the spirit and weakens reason. Blind anger makes people irrational and erodes their decision making faculties. I choose not to be angry if I can possibly help it. Cool heads, I find, tend to prevail in troubled times.

Speaking of which, I was called a ‘raaacist‘ on a YouTube comment thread today, which is an accusation a number of my old workmates and friends would find highly amusing. I had posted a comment critical of Trudeau for trying to buy a seat on the UN Security Council with Canadian taxpayer dollar, which as a Canadian taxpayer (Regardless of my race, religion or social construct) I have severe reservations about. Said lefty nonsense merchant even accused me of having a poorly adjusted tin foil hat. To which I had to respond that he brought race into the argument and that my tin foil hat was perfectly well adjusted thank you, which seemed to anger my correspondent even more, who was too busy spitting venom and projecting his own inner frustrations onto me to notice that he (possibly, but how is one to know anyone’s gender online?) was having the urine royally extracted. People like that are almost too easy to mock. They get so riled up they don’t notice they’ve lost. I could almost hear his arteries hardening. I do so hope he doesn’t suffer from an aneurysm. Not.

Notwithstanding, the peace of our home has been restored, our Irish travel plans are still in place and anger has been banished to the black pit from whence it arose. My little Grapefruit plant is still blossoming and I can breathe again.

Next crisis please. We’re finished with this one.

Time to go

The last few weeks have been a bit frenetic what with one thing or another. Elderly Friend is languishing, saying that she must have done something wicked to have fallen and broken her arm. So this weekend we sped up Highway one to see what we could do. Lighting was adjusted, books provided and instructions given to staff so that she doesn’t regress into the fugue she’s been in. For my part I responded to her repeated moans that she must have done something bad to be sitting up in a cosy bed in a nice safe and warm room with a busted wing thusly; “So you reckon you did something bad. Really? Do tell. Come on, out with your deepest darkest secrets. Spill the beans.” Well, it raised a bit of a smile from her.

Seriously though, Elderly friend is not a secret serial killer or ex-war criminal in hiding, just a lonely centenarian lady we have the dubious privilege of being POA’s for. We do our best, but we have jobs and there are only so many hours in the day. She’s just bored and a bit depressed. So we talked to the staff of the very nice care unit she’s in, told them to leave the doors of her room open so she can see what’s going on outside and laid on some reading material. She never has the TV on because even she is fed up with all the attention seeking doom and gloom that spews out of it nowadays.

On the work front, there’s a reorganisation due. My current contract might not get renewed, so I’m going to get myself on an online book keeping course over this Summer prior to our forthcoming Irish trip. I look at it this way, I have a faculty with numbers, so maybe there is part time work online as a book keeper. Just as a backup. Something to keep the cashflow going. Another string to my bow, so to speak. Things are going to get tougher up here in the not so frozen north, Mrs S has voiced a need to move on, so that is what we are going to do.

We’ve spent our free time making lists of what we’re going to keep, what we’re going to get rid of and who we need to talk to. It’s all tiny stuff. Baby steps. On the plus side I look on our impending move as an opportunity to get rid of stuff we no longer need.

We’re talking about being out of Canada in twelve months time. It’s not the place we thought it would be, too much big government. The encroachments and enforcement of ridiculous hate speech laws. And the worst thing is that there’s not a credible opposition to the paternalistic oppression that benefits a tiny minority. The electorate haven’t got a viable alternative. The Scheer led conservatives pander to the same clique as the Liberals and NDP, and no one apart from grumpy old sods like me will vote for the radical change Canada needs to break out of it’s protectionist bondage. I’ll remain a member of the PPC of course, and keep throwing the odd hundred bucks their way, but I’m feeling rather pessimistic. Canada is potentially a very, very rich country, but it has a problem, a system of government which is too tightly bound to Quebec and Ontario. The Trudeau Liberals being part of the problem. They only care about their petty differences with Quebec and forget that they have an economic powerhouse in the Midwest, one which they seem determined to stifle. Which to me simply does not make sense. Nor does the attitude of the majority of suburban Canadians, who keep voting for dimwits like Trudeau who have about as much economic sense as a stunned chipmunk. Even if he does have nice hair. It’s what’s under it that counts, and that isn’t saying much.

To illustrate the current economic slowdown by observation; driving up and down Highway one the other day, we saw over a dozen big bulk carriers parked in the waters off Victoria, Ladysmith and Nanaimo. Ships which should be actively shifting cargo are simply parked off local harbours racking up the harbour fees. Normally you might see four or five in total if avalanches have shut down the trans Canada transportation routes. And all because the Federal Liberals want to have “A dialogue” with a few professional protesters and a tiny minority of disaffected first nations who are claiming to act for five out of thirteen ‘hereditary’ chiefs, in total disregard of the wishes of the majority of their own ruling band councils. Yet no one is telling these bozo’s to stfu and get with the program. They’re the problem, and if they don’t wise up, all the freebies the first nations get will dry up because if Canada really does get shut down, there won’t be any money left to fund their welfare payments, free University educations and tax exemptions. Before that happens, the Government will have to raise even more taxes on the already hard pressed middle and working classes of Canada. Then that will tip the country into a gravity hole debt spiral which will make a large black hole seem minimalist.

So Mrs S and I are planning to move before the inevitable rain of shit happens. Lock, stock and both smoking barrels. Some will call me a coward, others will accuse me of common sense and foresight, because I know I am in a minority who can see the globalist UN planned endgame for Canada and it ain’t pretty.

All for vanity

Canada’s Prime Minister has just returned from swanning around Africa, brown nosing for votes to give Canada one of the currently vacant seats on the UN’s insecurity council. This is nothing more than a vanity project, especially when Canada is being brought to a grinding halt by little more than a handful of Tides-funded fake nations protesters. Now he wants to engage in a dialogue? Do I hear someone laughing? Soros, is that you? Again.

The majority of real first nations are standing on the sidelines going “WTF?” They want pipelines. They want prosperity. I get the sense that they’re very pissed off about these fake nations taking their name in vain.

The Police appear to have been given stand down orders because they do nothing when main highways and rail lines are blockaded, yet will arrest any public spirited citizens who attempt to clear up the mess. Then there are the handful of activists who blocked the Legislature in downtown Victoria. Not sure if they’re still there. Perhaps they’re lecture dodging.

Protests are fine, but physical blockades? No, that’s a step on the road to anarchy. Not acceptable. It could even be described as terrorism. Not that there’s any terror involved for anyone above the level of total wuss.

There’s something going on beneath the surface because even the politicians are getting harassed yet the RCMP and local cops are doing nothing apart from jumping on any people who object to the blockades. Or are the Canadian Police simply doing this in mute protest at being given a big ‘hands off’ by their superiors when it comes to these blockades? By their forced inaction are the lower ranks making a political statement about enforcement? As political as they are allowed to be that is. Maybe they’re so fed up that they’re going to let things go down to the wire. Or are their upper echelons so subsumed by PC culture that the rank and file are ordered not to intervene? I have no idea.

As far as the first nations are concerned, the RCMP are damned if they do and damned if they don’t so maybe they’re simply choosing the least worst option, at least as far as they are concerned. If the country’s economy is heading toward lockdown, they don’t care. Or at least they’re not being allowed to care.

All the time the Federal Government refuse to allow the Police to do their job. All because the vanity of Trudeau wants a seat on the UN Security council, thinking that a worthwhile achievement. Even if the country he is supposed to be head of is slipping into deeper economic trouble. Even if Trudeau’s mate and sponsor George says things will be fine. Well, perhaps fine for someone who profits from the economic chaos engendered by the many NGO’s his Tides foundation gives money to, but not so good for the ordinary Canadian in the street.

I know it’s not all Tides, there’s the Rockefeller foundation and a few others as well as the Saudi’s funding these anti-oil NGO’s. The Saudi’s because they want to keep selling their oil to Canada, Rockefeller and similar US interests because the oil sands directly compete with their interests. Funding these NGO’s is just business, even if it does sabotage Alberta, and by proxy the rest of Canada.

For an informed commentary of what is currently going on, see video below. Max Bernier is right. It is a circus, and all for vanity.

On a personal front, life and work trundle on. These blockades will have little direct effect on me personally because my commute to work measures under ten metres to my windows on the world of finance and business. Which as far as Canada is concerned, look a bit sick. The Trump inspired USA continues to boom with no underlying issues that might cause a step change in the markets. Which is good for me because most of the companies I invest in have significant cross border interests.

The pound is stable, trading up on it’s pre-January 31st value despite the failure of the EU to be even remotely sensible when trying to strike a post Brexit trade deal. The EU want it all their own way and have no real idea about how to handle a proper negotiation. They want something but don’t seem to want to give anything substantial in return. Which will be the EU’s downfall. The UK holds all the aces. Links to global markets, restored fisheries, a veritable queue of negotiating teams including the USA lining up at the door. The EU is still working on the failed model of central banks, imploding economies and quantitative easing.

The only thing that can go wrong for the UK is if Bojo embraces the Green policies being discussed and sends the UK down a fiscal rabbit hole. HS2? Rail links? How very 19th Century. Never mind trying to power them with more wind farms and (derisive snort) solar farms in a cooling climatic phase. Better by far to go down the route of small scale nuclear and hydro than ‘renewables’.

Perhaps it is worth mentioning that Hydro power on a small scale can have the secondary benefit of local flood management whilst churning out stable base load, as well as being able to react quickly to upticks in demand. There are quite a few old UK mill sites that could have their networks of sluices and ponds rebuilt and a modest turbine installed. There’s also the possible added benefit of running trout farms in the mill ponds. Food and power together? Now there’s a project worth considering.

Trying to run a nation on whizzy little battery cars powered by wind and solar ‘renewables’ won’t do any good. Renewables are simply inadequate for farming or industrial use, apart from for subsidy farming. For useful power generation there’s just not enough energy density, even with the up and coming generation of battery technology. Better, and much cheaper to invest in Internet bandwidth, cabling and local distribution hubs. Now there’s an enabling 21st century technology that works. And it’s relatively cheap and flexible compared to building and maintaining railways.

If like me, your desk is at home, all you need to do is log on, hook up your comms and you’re away. Which is what I do. No scabby trains or traffic jams. No aggravation from thoughtless soccer moms or texting titheads. Add to that the advantage of not having to share an office with people I don’t really like or trust. Win-win I think.

Travel plans for 2020 are Southern Ireland this Autumn for a couple of months where we have rented a cottage in the South so that friends and family can pop over for a visit. The flights and accommodation are all now paid for, with a short hotel stay in Dublin for when we stumble thoroughly jet lagged off the plane yet to be organised. Oh my aching wallet. Car hire has yet to be booked and I’m not sure what will happen to my Lemon tree plants while we’re away, but I’m sure they’ll cope.

So, the game’s afoot and we will be gracing the Emerald Isle with out dubious presence this year.

Could be interesting.

Totally f**ked

Canada does not have much of a recognised literary tradition and it’s about to lose even that. The Liberal party, in the person of Heritage minister Steven Guilbeault said on TV, Sunday 2nd February that all websites offering content on the Internet, including small ones, would henceforth need licencing from the government. On the third of February, after criticism on social media, he backtracked. Guilbeault said he had “no intention” of regulating media and believes in a “free and independent press.”

Spot the lie in those statements. Sorry, they are complete lies. Guilbeault is dishonest, rather like the entire Trudeau administration. They want to license all digital content in Canada.

I know where Guilbeault is coming from. The Liberal party has been nettled by criticism from places like Rebel Media and even some other blog based outlets like True North, so Trudeaupe and pals thought that siccing the RCMP on any errant Internet content provider who does not have a ‘license for their opinion’ would be a jolly good wheeze did they? Did they think that one through?

Will all the independent authors in Canada, of which I am one, potentially have to submit our work for Government approval? How many lesser voices will not be able to afford the new license fee that will undoubtedly follow. No doubt it will be just high enough to price out small fry like Rebel, but the inevitable mission creep will cut all the other talent out of the market, should they not be part of the heavily subsidized Canadian Media Party, like the major newspapers and lamestream TV channels.

For those not aware, the major media outlets are poised to rake in over 600 Million dollars of taxpayer moolah between them. On top of what is already paid to the CBC etc.

So much for the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms. Free expression? But only if you can afford it.

Note to self; Time to get moving young Bill. Pack your bags because this shit isn’t going away.

New neighbours

Mrs S and I were having a chat about the news that Harry and Meghan Windsor, possibly the soon to be ex-Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have set up shop on the other side of the Island highway in Saanichton.

Saanichton isn’t that bad an address. At least the rural part of it. a little dull perhaps. But there’s reasonable transport links, the Brentwood to Mill Bay ferry. A decent marina for a hundred foot plus boat. I know it well. Then Victoria (cough) International airport (Only if you’re travelling to the States) isn’t far away. There’s also a cute little seaplane place not far from the Spitfire Grill around the back of the airport. It’s pleasant enough in the Summer months. The traffic on the Patricia Bay Highway can get quite congested when the ferries from Vancouver are unloading, but there are ways around. A couple of winding back roads from the airport through Brentwood and into Saanichton. West Saanich road can also get you off the beaten track and down onto Highway One if you know which turns to take. There are wineries producing rather average Canadian wine, hiking trails, a couple of parks, sea fishing, Kayaking and suchlike. A lot of Deer, and the occasional Bear and Cougar.

Regarding the possible loss of titles, from what I hear Meghan is the major fly in the ointment. She’s been backchatting the Queen and behaving in a most unregal way in public. Which may be one reason why she and Harry are over here on Vancouver Island. If they do lose the Duke and Duchess titles over their lèse majesté, they’ll have to go through the whole immigration process to stay in Canada like the rest of us plebs, or at least their lawyers will.

Now I can’t speak for Meghan, but I’m told Harry is a decent enough sort who is allowing his affection for his wife and newborn to cloud his judgement. If I were him I’d quietly upgrade my military training on helicopters and parlay it into a professional civilian rating. Which wouldn’t do any putative immigration application any harm. At least if he and his wife intend to stay. Canadian immigration rules, okay? Do either of them speak passable French? Mais non? Desolee messieurs dames.

Fortunately they’re both set for life as far as money is concerned, although their security bills will eat through their respective fortunes fast enough without the protections afforded to those on the Civil list.

In addition; for the benefit of those who don’t understand the UK’s Royal Family, may I offer a little insight. An insight which Diana, late Princess of Wales and latterly the ex-Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, forgot. They too thought they could do what they wanted, and look what happened there. HM Queen rules, UK? She said frog, they had to jump. Which, after some wandering willies got in the way of their relationships, they declined to do.

The UK’s Royal Family is unique in that it is the last real sacerdotal monarchy left in the world. That means the hereditary head of state, currently Elizabeth II, is both the titular head of state and landlady to most of the UK, she is also the head of the Church of England. Well so what? You might say. Well actually not so much “so what” as what HM Queen does as her job.

From sparrow fart until bedtime Liz II has her whole life mapped out for her, from cradle to grave. She is the head of ‘The Firm’ as Prince Philip once perceptively referred to the Royal family as. Because as Royals their lives are a business, the business of the visible state. All the parades, protocols and flummery that help socially glue the UK together.

Not only that but as head of state Elizabeth II is also the head of the UK’s military. You know when someone makes the rhetorical challenge “You and whose army?” Ahem, well that’s hers, including the tanks. As well as the UK’s Navy and Air Force, which she lets politicians borrow from time to time. Their oath of loyalty is to the Crown (Apart from the Royal Marines, who swear fealty I believe, to the board of Admiralty), which Liz II is the public figurehead of. It’s a strange, symbiotic relationship between the person and her immediate family, and the entity that ensures the continuity of her rule, or rather not rule. The queen is notoriously apolitical. Sometimes, some would say, to her personal detriment.

However as monarch, the Queen’s whole life is bound up in narrow protocols. She has very little say over her daily activities because she is the visible component of the whole machine that is the Royal Family. She can’t publicly disrespect anyone. Not even the nastiest little third world dictator, so long as they’re on a state visit. She has to be on her very best behaviour at all times. No room for even the smallest public slip in decorum.

Unlike Meghan, who seems to think that simply because she married Harry, she can treat anyone any old how. Actually the opposite is true. If she wants to retain her title, she has to apologise to the Queen, promise to do better and then keep her word to the absolute letter. She must now set an example. Follow protocols and precedence. Do the duty of deputising for the sovereign when called upon to do so. Because by marrying into the UK’s Royal Family and taking on the title and privileges, that became her new day job. She is no longer a B-list celebrity actress but a Duchess, which probably requires far better acting ability. Indeed, it could be construed as the role of her lifetime. Unfortunately Meghan doesn’t seem to have the stomach for it and she’s dragging Harry down with her. Which is a shame.

Oh well, there goes the neighbourhood.

The Mad Max vote

This election, in fact in tomorrows advance voting I am casting a ballot for my local People’s Party of Canada candidate, Maxime Berniers bunch of outsiders. I would urge my fellow Canadians to do likewise. Yet, I hear you ask, why should you vote for a party loaded with bigots, racists whateverophobes and whatever cheap label being tossed around by their opponents?

I’ll give you my reasons and see if anyone agrees with me or not in a sort of dialogue format.

But first; this could be a defining moment for Canada. A different path, away from the cronyism of the Tories and Liberals. A reasonable vision where people who want to be Canadian are welcome and those just looking for a hand out instead of a hand up aren’t. And Max Bernier and his policies are for the little guy. Both the Tories and Trudeau’s Liberals are often been seen to be in the pockets of multinationals, can’t speak for the Greens or NDP, but their instincts are similar, geared ever more toward ever more state control over the lives on individuals. They want the Godzilla of big government trampling over everything, killing necessary infrastructure projects and the employment they would bring to many. Like the Obama administration tried to do. See this cartoon here. Just change Key XL for Trans Mountain and Obama for the Trudeau Liberals trampling Alberta, the energy hub of Canada.

Yeah Bill, but isn’t that Mickey Barmpot just a fascist with a Quebec accent?

No. I would argue he’s less of a fascist than all the rest because fascism is all about state control and race purity. Max and his fellow travellers want to give the power of the one, the power of the individual back to the individual. That’s less state control and he’s publicly stated that he doesn’t care about skin colour or where you came from, but he does believe in the Canadian charter of rights. You know, freedom of speech, conscience and expression within the law. All that old fashioned stuff my parents and friends fought and sometimes died for. In other words, the PPC are all say and do what you like so long as you don’t physically hurt other people. Is that fascism? Doesn’t sound like it to me. If you think that in any way looks like national socialism, maybe you need to do a bit more reading of books instead of burning them.

Yeah, his policies on immigration, that’s just spreading hate isn’t it?

I hear a lot of things coming out of Max Bernier and none of them even remotely resemble hate. Mild exasperation with an abused system perhaps, but not hate. He said he wants a conversation with Canadians about immigration, but that’s not hating anyone, that’s about being a bit more choosy who we let in. We’ve already got widespread gang crime and murders on the streets by migrants. As a recent immigrant myself, I would be interested in ensuring the safety of the people who already live here, not bringing people in from places where tolerance and freedom aren’t societal norms. Just dumping random people wholesale into what for them is an alien culture also isn’t fair on them and it’s definitely not fair on the locals.

Look Bill, he’s just an anti-gay bigot and white supremacist, that’s a fact.

WTF are you on? No he isn’t. I think he actually cares about individual liberty. No-one, apart from a few knuckledraggers really care about what other people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. I think Max and friends want free people to prosper and thrive, providing Government lets them. If that means sometimes certain people who lead with their emotional chins get their delicate feelings hurt, well sorry chaps, perhaps you need a thicker skin. As for this lefty shibboleth of calling people ‘white supremacists’ when they are most definitely not, that’s firstly overt racism, and secondly it’s so far wrong it’s on the other side of the reality curve coming back on itself. No-one outside of the political bubble believes that nonsense anyway. There’s just no proof. Apart from the racists who keep on yapping that it’s ‘White supremacy’. That kind of talk is just a cynical cover for asset stripping the productive citizen to buy votes from the not so productive. Just like all the talk of ‘Democratic Socialism’. ‘Taxing the rich’ has a long and inglorious track record of watching the smart money disappear like the Cheshire Cat and the greater burden to fall on the middle and working classes who lack the ability to move jurisdictions.

I hear what you say Bill, so shouldn’t we elect the NDP or Greens instead?

Are you out of your tiny mind? The NDP and Greens want more Government control over you and yours. Do you want your life to be inexpertly ordered by people who need a good run up to be half wits? Seriously?

But-but, Bernier’s like Trump, a denier of climate change, aren’t we all going to burn up in twelve years if we don’t shut down our carbon emissions and stop having children?

Okay, here’s my take on the so-called ‘problem’ of man made climate change; we’ve been told for at least the last fifty years that the Earth is doomed unless we stop living wealthy and responsible lifestyles. In the 70’s it was global cooling, the glaciers were going to march over Africa and everyone would have to move to Tahiti. In the late 80’s the ‘scientists’ told us we were all going to boil and drown by the year 2000. Well I just went out on my deck at lunchtime and the temperature is in single figures, the forest fires haven’t choked the sky orange like in 2018, so I guess all that flammable underbrush the Greenies kick up a stink about leaving in place hasn’t grown back enough yet. Up here in BC we’ve had few forest fires compared with last year and it’s not been that warm a Summer compared with previous years. The jet streams have shifted south, so we’re going to have a lot more cold and windy weather this Winter.

Look at it this way. On a purely practical level ‘Carbon emissions’ (Which are an estimate, BTW) don’t seem to make a spit of difference to the weather. As for major weather events, compared with accounts from the 1890’s and 1930’s this is a comparatively mild climatic phase we’re in at present. I can also tell you from a personal perspective that the air is a lot cleaner, even in the industrial heartlands where I first worked. Even in the mid 1990’s the diesel fumes just south of London’s Tower Bridge often used to give me rotten headaches. When I was there last year, the Thames breezes were little tainted by such pollution. London felt like a different city.

As for not having children. Yeah, go ahead, give yourself a Darwin award. Not passing on your genes to the next generation means there will be no one to pay for your frail dotage apart from immigrants with large extended families, whose taxes may well not be able to afford to keep you in the style to which you wish to become accustomed on a state pension. I won’t be around to see it, but you well might. I’ve seen real poverty, living off the limited largesse of the state and it ain’t pretty. Which is why Mrs S and I have invested and saved, allowing extra for inflation. When we die, our kids will have a significant financial boost to help their children through college. Unless some politician siphons it all off to pay for worthless boondoggles and vote buying. If that vote is worth anything when the globalists have had their way.

So yes. I’m voting PPC this election. The other parties can kiss my cosi fan tutte.

Well that worked

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

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

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

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

Amazing stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outlaws

I was watering the deck garden today, pleased that the sun was paying us a protracted visit. The weather of late has been windier and damper than average leading to an upsurge in umbrella sales. So many locals are adopting them for shelter against the elements, when a small idea popped into my head. About outlaws. Well not so much real Robin Hood or William Tell outlaws, but those dubbed ‘bad’ by a vociferous and corrupt faction in the media and political classes. I think we all know to whom I refer. The oppressors who use cries of “You’re a racist!” or “You’re an (add poorly latinised prefix here)ophobe!” to bludgeon any opposing voices into submission. Because the currently oppressed don’t think themselves bad people, they’re just saying “Not so fast. Give them time. Let the newbies integrate.”

The bad guys are those currently with power, the ones who pass laws giving privilege to the politically connected, in hock to NGO’s and the UN like Trudeau and his Liberals or corporate interests like Scheer and the Progressive Conservatives up here in Canada. To my eyes, they’re just two sides of the same debased coinage. You can include the NDP and Greens in that club too. They all sing off the same polluted hymn sheet.

It’s easy to be an outlaw in today’s political climate. I can think of three major candidates; Donald Trump in the USA, Nigel Farage in the UK and up here in the not so frozen north, ‘Mad’ Maxime Bernier. All three the result of personal passion and a genuine desire to help the little guy against their corporate overlords. In effect the Robin Hoods of global politics. I do not include Boris Johnson in this group because I have my suspicions, although if he can get BREXIT by October 31st when I’ll be in London, perhaps he can join the ranks of the Merry Men, especially if he enlists the support of the BREXIT party to move things along. The Tories as they are currently structured may be toast, but I have a seeming that Boris might just weld a new small state, pro small business Conservative Party together out of the wreckage. Not what the UK has had in recent years, which was effectively ‘Blue Labour’ but something a little more broad which actually recognises that what was good for the big corporate interests is not good for the smaller concerns, who can’t afford all the ‘compliance’ business today seems to require.

I liked his openings. Above and below. Love the wailing of broken-hearted lefties in the background.

Johnson’s speech proper opens at four minutes and ten minutes. Corbyn’s reply at twenty one minutes and twenty five seconds. Johnson’s riposte begins at thirty two minutes and forty eight seconds. Ian Duncan-Smith drops in a carefully planted question at thirty nine minutes and eighteen seconds. I could have listened to the rest but quite frankly the sun is shining and my throttle hand is getting twitchy.

Other good news is that now we have a certainty that BREXIT will happen, the value of the pound has begun to rise again. I am really looking forward to London 31st October. There will be champagne.

Now I’m off to get suited and booted. TTFN.

A picture paints

Watching the news of late I’ve come to the conclusion that if I can’t add anything to the conversation, I won’t bother for the moment. Because reasons, okay? However, it’s occurred to me that I spend a good deal of time talking about my little deck garden but rarely take pictures, so here are a few for the edification of the general populace.

So let’s begin with the South aspect. Right to left beginning with the Lavender, Mint, Lemon tree plant Tea Rose, Geranium, Hosta, Berberis. Now from the back left to the front; Yew, Some form of variegated leaf thing Mrs S bought, a tussock of decorative grass, the Sage and Thyme, tucked down below another Lemon tree plant, up a bit to the Juniper and our other tea rose bush. The new rose at the back has about ten buds, but the older rose only three. The more observant will note a lemon tree plant snuggled between the Hosta, which has two stalks in the process of blossoming and the Berberis.
Note to self; make up a new batch of nectar for the Hummingbird feeder.

Right. So on to the Western railing where the discerning observer can look into the Fuchsia, three Lemon Tree plants which I raised from seed with me very own hands guv’nor, some Carnations, a dwarf Japonica and a decorative bamboo.
The brown box to the left is where we keep some rather straggly looking heather plants to fill a gap. Inside the box is a cushion which stayed dry all through the Winter. Which was a pleasant surprise, considering it was totally buried in snow for over two weeks.

So to the East wall where the barbecue lives. This is my experimental vegetable patch which is also home to the Sunflowers, Cannae Lilies and Lupins. Inset is a close up of our burgeoning Sunflower blossom. The more observant of you will notice a Strawberry plant, Habanero Pepper, Parsley, Kale, Radishes and even some Lettuce seedlings.

What else? Ah yes, the current state of play for my Grapefruit seedlings, three of which are doing fine, the fourth, well I don’t know what happened there. It started tiny and has continued to be so. No idea why. Such are the vagaries of growing things. It was the runt of the litter, but why it has stayed so is anybody’s guess.

In the outside world I see that the UK is still staggering around like a headless chicken because the politic’s don’t want to give up their sinecures. Not doing the value of the pound much good. The problem does not lie with BREXIT so much as the uncertainty of whether it will happen or not. Once that is resolved, matters can stabilise once more. My UK portfolio is taking a hit, but I’m hanging on to my Sterling investments to see what’s going to happen in October / November. What else? Justin Trudeau is still the most embarrassing leader in the world. The Chinese brushed him off at the G20 talks and all the silly clown can do is blather on about being a ‘feminist’. No wonder the rest of the world won’t take us seriously. We’re the only country in the world liable to disintegrate because the Western Provinces are sick of being abused by a bunch of effete urbanites. Plus ca chose, plus ca meme chose.

Well, the sun is shining. It’s Saturday and I’m off for a spin on the Mutt. See ya.