Tag Archives: Irreverence

Meanwhile, away from the politics…

A pick a nic basketPolitics, like all creepy crawlies, gets everywhere doesn’t it? However, today I will be making a strenuous effort to avoid the wretched topic by staying away from the Interweb and going out for a picnic. We’ve been doing quite a bit of that recently. Going out to the park, choosing a shady spot away from all the noise, and just sitting to relax and partake of a little light lunch and delve into something literary. We’ve even got a proper picnic basket, just like the one in the picture. We have a small cool box for the food, a chill sleeve for the wine. Well, non alcoholic Cider really, as I don’t drink and drive, ever. Not even one glass of wine with a meal, but that’s just me. All of which fits in the pictured basket. Stylish, huh? Well I think so. No sitting on insect infested blankets for us, as we’ve also purchased two sturdy and very comfortable lightweight folding chairs which now live in the back of our pert little SUV.

Anyway, today’s little repast is spinach, salami and cheese stuffed chicken breasts, a small side salad with my patented hard boiled eggs (Large egg, boil for 8 minutes and 45 seconds only, then immediately dump into iced water for half an hour before serving – golden yolks with a still oozing centre) and a couple of nice crusty buns. I would have included a couple of small slices of cheesecake, but felt that would be gilding the lily. Did also toy with the idea of Salmon (It’s cheaper than chips locally at the moment), but decided against it. The idea of taking a small barbecue along has been mooted, but frankly they’re just too much fuss. Especially for just two of us.

Such is currently setting the tenor for our Late Spring / Early Summer Sunday afternoons. Mrs S and I chew the fat, set the world to rights, read, or just watch the antics of everyone else letting their kids burn off steam away from their Xboxes. Which is as pleasant a way of spending an afternoon as I can think of, short of fishing. Which is the next step. Leaving Mrs S to watch while I do some casting practice so she can have a giggle when I screw up. I can think of worse ways to spend my downtime.

The idea for today is to avoid politics. No American election news or reading about the forthcoming EU Referendum. Even though Mrs S insisted upon reading an article from the Spectator to me this morning about Donald Trump. Yes, he’s pissed off all the political insiders, which is no bad thing. They’ve had it all their own way for too long, made too many messes, and need a kick up their collective arses. Frankly I don’t care about whether some journalist thinks he’s ‘presidential material’ or not. I’ll reserve judgement until if and when he actually gets elected. The scary lady hasn’t finished singing yet. Or is there an Aria yet to be composed when the FBI finish messing around and decide to play hardball?

That is speculation for another day. For today we are going on a picnic.

A short pause

… for a commercial break and a word from our sponsor.

Still hereWell, isn’t all the doom and gloom out there wonderful? The world is supposed to end today. Again? On a Saturday? Bugger. Is there still time for morning coffee? Well, they missed the last big one, so I presume the “We’re all doomed” faction got it wrong yet again. Why do some people want the world to end? Can’t they make it in this one? Sheesh.

Talking of doomsaying, we’re told voting for Brexit will cause economic chaos. Well colour me sceptical, but the odds are that any extrication from the bloated monster that is the EU is going to take a few years at least. Even if the ‘out’ faction win by a massive landslide. In which time new trade treaties can be negotiated with new partners, so the transition doesn’t promise to be as traumatic as the ‘Remain’ camp would have everyone believe. There will no doubt be a couple of wobbles, but trade won’t come to a crashing halt, and the City of London and all its important financial markets will keep on humming away. Quite frankly I think the UK will be far better off without the bureaucratic busybodies of Brussels and Strasbourg. The EU on the other hand, will be in deep shit, having just lost its third largest contributor. Boo-fcuking-hoo.

Then there’s all the “You’ll die if you eat this” faction in uproar. What happened there? The official report, which has annoyed many lobby groups, has come out with a solid “No it doesn’t.” Repeat after me. Dietary cholesterol does not equal blood cholesterol. Dietary fat does not equal body fat. We wouldn’t need a digestive system if they did. A carbohydrate rich diet on the other hand does result in more body fat. Snacking on Pizza and fries with a large side of chocolate while sitting on your arse watching daytime TV is probably the culprit for the much vaunted ‘obesity crisis’. As for ‘low-fat’, what do you think replaces the fat? Starch fillers, that’s what. The ‘official’ advice has been wrong for years, and may even have made matters worse. Who knew, eh?

Make mine a large steak with a small side salad. I may go fishing this afternoon.

TTFN

Sums

Apocalypse gift cardWell hooray! I’ve just won a free apocalypse, as I’ve just filled the last space on my gift card.  Isn’t that nice.

Let me explain; a few weeks ago, there was a story running about Asteroid 2013 TX68, due to make a close pass and possible impact with Earth at 0.044 Lunar Distances (Within 15,076 Kilometres or a smidgeon over 9,367 Miles) on March 5th.  Well, that’s today, and from Spaceweather.com we find that said lump of space rock is going to miss by a whopping 13 Lunar Distances (4,997,200 Kilometres or about 3,105,116 Miles) in three days time.  So, no fireworks.  Unless it’s like the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, where everyone was watching one specific asteroid sail sedately by that an undetected bolide from another direction altogether sped in and detonated near a snowy Siberian town, breaking more than a few windows.

Someone got their sums wrong, didn’t they?  Or was it our ever reliable (cough, splutter, guffaw) media misinterpreting the data yet again?

Notwithstanding, I am still planning on having a lazy day today.  For a given value of ‘lazy’, which comprises of chauffeuring wife and sis-in-law around town, writing around  1000 words, editing another 3,000 for my final coursework followed by a leisurely late lunch, in turn by a couple of glasses of a modest red wine when everyone is safe home and giggling from their ‘shop and scoff’ trip downtown.

Have a nice weekend.

Bloody hell, Sarge

Oh this is absolutely precious. The ultra PC British Brainwashing Corporation made a ‘Documentary’ about how recruits are treated in the Army, then got all upset when a noncom instructor took a squaddie to task for not doing what he was supposed to and swore at the newbie. Yes, he swore at the delicate little petal. He said nasty words because someone couldn’t follow a simple written instruction. Aw, bless.

Then the BBC got their undergarments all rucked up about a few four letter words and complained to the MOD. Swearing in the Army? Heavens to Betsy old thing, you’ll be asking them to kill people next.

So what? I’ve never been in the Kate, but a good few acquaintances and boon companions have. They have told me that when you join up you should be certain of two things; people will try to hurt you, and no-one gives a flung turd about your ‘feelings’. You’re there to do what you’re told smartly and effectively, be that pulling a trigger, wielding a spanner, filling in forms or digging a hole. It’s called obeying orders, and according to my old acquaintances the Corporals, Sergeants and Officers tend to get rather cross if you’re a bit slow. So yes, they swear at dunderheads and people whose self centred little world view won’t allow them to keep their kit clean and tidy or turn up when they’re supposed to, and justifiably so. No matter what some prissy middle class pursemouth at Al-Beeb thinks. Or rather doesn’t.

However;

“The BBC says it has now been informed a meeting will he held to address the issue, but that it is unlikely swearing will be banned throughout the British Army.”

An amused thought just crossed my mind. I have a vision of a British RSM loudly telling off a bunch of new recruits and brandishing the regimental swear box : “So you ‘orrible lot. There will be no more fucking swearing. One more incidence of bad sodding language and you sad bunch of useless cunts are all on a fucking fizzer, got that?”

Well, it’s put a smile on my face.

Addendum: I’ve just seen that the paedo-witchhunters have been going after Tony Blackburn. Yep. I thought that too. Tony fucking Blackburn? Now that’s just plain desperate. Back in the day he was the breakfast DJ everyone loved to hate because of his corny jokes, but no-one in their right mind would think he was a groupie-groper. I hope he sues his accusers and their sponsors back to the dark ages. This whole persecute a retired celebrity thing is so blatant that it’s got to crash and burn soon.

Chowderhead

I confess. I’m becoming a full blown chowderhead, but not in the classical definition. No. Today I shout my new found affiliation from the rooftops. I love chowder! I’m getting quite good at it too, developing my own recipes from the many variants out there on the jolly old Interweb.

Over these comparatively mild Winter months, Mrs S and I have elected to eat a little more frugally, as our mainly sedentary jobs don’t involve burning up a whole lot of calories to keep warm. So I’ve been batch cooking in the kitchen and storing my output in the freezer, ready to be taken out and defrosted for a hearty late lunch. My current chief favourites are; Tiger shrimp and Basa fish with mixed veg; Chicken, bacon and sweetcorn and variants thereof, and they’re pretty easy to make. Guaranteed brownie points and a Nobel Peace prize.

All you need for this particular gastronomic delight are the basics; onion, potato, celery, sweet corn niblets (canned or frozen) chicken, bacon, flour, salt, black pepper and garlic or garlic powder, oh yes, and water. For seafood variant, simply replace the chicken and bacon with your preferred frozen or fresh (but never canned) seafood. There are ugly rumours that you can make a totally vegan chowder by substituting bean curd or Quorn, but as I’m not a fully paid up follower of Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch I won’t be turning my culinary eyes to that corner of the kitchen, ta very muchly.

Now chowders are meant to be thicker than a Vice President of the United States, but far more tasty. That is, almost dense enough to stand a spoon up in. Gloriously glutinous, cheerfully chunky, and stick to yer ribs slick. Anything else is just soup.

To achieve such a state of nutritional nirvana, simply follow this basic recipe and you can happily disappear, leaving only a simple message reading; “Missing, presumed fed.” while your stomach hugs your spine to say thank you. Oh yes. It’s that good. Well, I think so, anyway. My blog, my opinion, so there.

Right. Here we go. Chop up one very large onion fairly finely. Likewise one stick of celery. Put the celery and onion in a very large saucepan over a low heat with about a tablespoon of cooking oil, canola is okay, as is vegetable oil. For that little extra edge, a dollop (tablespoon) of peanut or olive oil can be substituted. Leave to sweat down and soften thoroughly. Half a teaspoon of garlic powder or two crushed and finely chopped cloves of garlic may be added after it’s all gone slick and semi-translucent. Some authorities advocate a large pinch of allspice, others chilli. But as seasoning is such a personal thing, I’ll leave that to you.

While the onion and celery is on the go, take one cardboard (skinless and boneless) chicken breast, or three boneless chicken thighs. Chop into small chunks. Do likewise with two rashers of bacon. Put on one side. Mix a tablespoon of flour with salt and black pepper, roll the chicken and bacon chunks in the flour. Heat up a tablespoon of cooking oil (Canola, Olive, Peanut, Vegetable, whatever) in a frying pan and throw in the floured chunks, turning and stirring almost constantly until light gold. Keep the remaining flour mix. You’ll need it.

Take a baking potato and partially (over 50%) cook it in your microwave (If no microwave, peel and dice spud, the only difference will be to extend the cooking time by half an hour). Remove potato skin and cut into thumbnail size chunks. Add chunks to the frying chicken and bacon and keep stirring. As the chicken is turning light gold, add a cupful of sweetcorn niblets and fry gently with the potatoes, chicken and bacon. When chicken is cooked through and can be easily cut with a wooden spoon, add frying mix to the pan of softened onion and celery. Stir. Add enough water to the same level as the mix in the pan. Do not cover with water. Bring to a slow simmer and stir every five minutes or so. Do this for half an hour.

If you have a liquidiser or blender, ladle in two or three medium ladlefuls (about half a cup size) of the chicken, bacon, potato onion and celery mix. Blitz. Put liquidised mix back into the main cooking pan. At this point take the remaining seasoned flour mix and add water until it’s the consistency of thin mud. Add flour and water mixture to slowly seething mass of chowder in the large saucepan. Stir every five minutes or so.  Keep on heat until reduced to a thick, glutinous and chunky consistency, tasting the mix periodically to ensure it is neither too watery and bland, or too salty. Add salt and black pepper to taste. A little extra garlic or garlic powder can be added at this late stage, just to get the desired flavour.

When you’re happy with the taste, take chowder off the heat and decant a couple of ladlefuls into a bowl. Cut some fresh bread or get some crackers. If you’re feeling really posh you can sprinkle a pinch of fresh parsley to give a little visual appeal. Eat. Enjoy. Relax. Let your taste buds do the talking. Think deep thoughts. Solve the worlds multiple crises. Chowder is so good it can help you do this. Although it is recommended that you do not try to leap tall buildings in a single bound afterwards, no matter how good you feel, as that kind of behaviour always ends in tears, charges of criminal damage and multi million dollar civil lawsuits.

When the rest of the chowder left in the pan has cooled, decant into some one or two serving freezer containers, and when cooled completely, seal these and put in the freezer for future consumption. You know it makes sense.

TTFN

Doomsday

Tonight I’m ferrying Mrs S to a work related potluck ‘Do’ downtown, and have promised to ride to the rescue with the promise of red wine and chocolate when she’s finally lost patience with the mandatory Vegetarian and teetotal catering these events seem to attract. Why vegetarian? I have no idea. Unless of course this is an experiment in social exclusion. Personally I’d give it a miss, or deliberately take sausage rolls, claiming they’re flavoured Tofu.  However, as these people are key to her job, Mrs S feels obligated to go.  So we’ll be raiding the Deli counter at our local Thrifty’s this afternoon.

For those of you not familiar with North American custom, or not residing in the not so frozen North, see the definition of ‘potluck’ below.

pot·luck
ˌpätˈlək/
noun
used in reference to a situation in which one must take a chance that whatever is available will prove to be good or acceptable.
“he could take potluck in a town not noted for its hotels”
NORTH AMERICAN
a meal or party to which each of the guests contributes a dish.
“a potluck supper”

To my mind there is nothing remotely lucky about vegetarianism.  From a dietary standpoint it’s more like a form of masochism with no real health benefits.  However, some people are into BDSM and that sort of thing, but like veganism etc, I’d prefer if they kept it amongst themselves.

Danger warning robotNotwithstanding….. Danger!  Warning, warning Will Robinson!  Incoming Asteroid Alert!  Well kind of.  Possibly.  Maybe.  Not really.  Which might come as a reason to forgo the dubious delight of an evening of enforced vegetarianism.  If only said astronomical event was happening this evening.

What’s actually true is asteroid 2013 TX68, a hundred foot wide (All right, 30 metre) piece of space rock is due to pass, at closest approach, 0.044 Lunar Distances or 0.00015 Astronomical Units and change from Earth, which works out around about 14673.322 Miles between March 5th and 8th 2016.  At around 14.5 metres per second.  At least according to the NASA small body database.  Wikipedia quotes 0.06 Lunar Distances (12,000 km; 7,400 mi). Which is quite close.  Very close by astronomical measurements.  An impact remains a distinct possibility.

Now the orbital data is well known, but what we don’t know is the density if 2013 TX68 does take a last second detour into, rather than past dear old planet Earth.  Which can be the difference between the firework display of a bolide type detonation in the atmosphere like the Chelyabinsk Meteor (Of which 2013 TX68 is twice the size) in the case of porous or even dense rock, or an unsightly crater in someone’s back yard around eight hundred and fifty metres across if it’s a nickel iron body.  Which can play havoc with the Crocuses and ruin that nice rockery you’ve just put together.  However, if you’ve always wanted an ornamental lake or waterfront property opportunities in your neighbourhood, then this is the asteroid impact for you.  Although local real estate prices might take a bit of a dive in the immediate aftermath.  I try to retain a positive outlook, and am inclined to think that with the right financial planning, doomsday can be converted into financial boomsday.

For those so inclined, you can have endless fun scaring yourself silly with Purdue University’s asteroid impact calculator here.

If you are planning to miss this specific apocalypse not by pulling a sickie, please be aware that 5th March 2016 is a Saturday.  The good news, for a given value of ‘good’, specifically for those at the point of impact, is that you won’t have to worry about Monday mornings any more.

Planning on having a lazy day to myself.

Squirrel!

squirrel-up-dog-gifFrom a recent news item comes information vital to our civilisations survival.  Via the Igors at the Bill Sticker Institute for Assorted Trivia I bring dire news of a global conspiracy.  A real one.  Not local like most terror threats but one whose breadth truly does affect all humanity.  Friends, we are under assault from the most effective cyber attacks ever imagined by a delusional paranoid schizophrenic completely off their meds, with or without added LSD. Oh yes, it’s that bad.

We’re not talking about Cyber attacks by Anonymous, or China, Daesh, threats to civil liberties by the very people sworn to protect us or even zombie armies looking to snack on what little brains we have left after watching daytime TV.  We’re talking about a real threat, responsible for genuine power outages and all manner of suicide attack as well as nut theft on an industrial scale.  The real enemy is….. Squirrels.

Cybersquirrel with bluetoothInformation is emerging of the sheer magnitude of these assaults on our civilisation. A map of power outages caused by these Decepticon borg-like creatures can be viewed here.  The heinous acts by these creatures include causing multi-vehicle pile ups, single squirrel kamikaze attacks on drivers in open topped vehicles, with invasions of licensed premises and failure to pay for their own drinks tab.  Not to mention the recent California terror rampage and reports of Vampire squirrels targeting deer. Even major sporting events are not immune. The list goes on.

So what can we do, how can we protect ourselves from these random terror attacks? What is the actual depth and scope of the threat we face? Most of the attacks appear to be a ‘suicide’ variant; Squirrels throwing themselves under the wheels of traffic or into sensitive infrastructure thus terrorising entire communities. How do we identify the threat?

CybersquirrelThe problem with threat identification is as demonstrated in this rare picture of a cybersquirrel caught off guard by a courageous camera person, who, although they took this picture using an extremely long lens, was shortly thereafter ambushed and hospitalised by several lightsabre wielding assailants later pictured fighting amongst themselves over credit for the ‘kill’ (See below).

Lightsabre squirrels So what are we to do in the face of a threat more real than global warming, mad bankers, room temperature IQ politicians, rogue asteroids, alien invasions and people who forget to carve new calendars? Fear not. I have a solution, but I would caution my last remaining reader to sit down with a stiff drink before proceeding further because what I am about to propose may seem unpleasant and may even make you nauseous. Are you sitting comfortably? Okay, brace yourself. My proposal is that we have to eat them. All of them. Every last single tree rat has to go. Before these cybersquirrels bring our brave 21st century civilisation and all the comforts we have come to rely on crashing to it’s knees. Because it really is them or us.

It may be the only chance we humans have left……..

And finally….

This is a timed post, as I’m probably busy cooking and eating (Although not simultaneously) a seasonal repast. I will also have consumed far more alcohol than others might deem advisory, but then I rarely take the advice of advisories, unless of course……….

But if you’re into over indulgence in a big way……

TTFN

Bill

Absolutely average

Just for a lark, I took a quick time out and completed this fun Quiz on ‘How evil are you‘? Turns out that I am moderately Nefarious. Which is absolutely average as far as most people are concerned……Moderately nefarious As my reader will attest, this is hardly news. If I wasn’t, then I’m sure I wouldn’t have a full crew of Igors slaving over a hot dictionary upon my behalf. They don’t work for anyone who is less than at least modestly evil.

Me? I’ll settle for moderately nefarious. Sounds about right.

ne·far·i·ous
nəˈferēəs/
adjective
(typically of an action or activity) wicked or criminal.
“the nefarious activities of the organized-crime syndicates”
synonyms: wicked, evil, sinful, iniquitous, egregious, heinous, atrocious, vile, foul, abominable, odious, depraved, monstrous, fiendish, diabolical, unspeakable, despicable; villainous, criminal, corrupt, illegal, unlawful; dastardly
“the nefarious long-lost brother returned to steal Iris’s family jewels”

Proof? You want proof? Why should I give out any? No-one who is at the very least mildly wicked would even dream of confessing their evil deeds in public. Half the fun is watching others tie their petty moralities in knots trying to figure you out.

Favourite TV character; Raymond Reddington. So charmingly wicked.

Introducing

Greetingthe, young marsterth.  Jutht a quickie to thay hello on behalf of the Igorth here at the Bill Thticker Inthtitute for Taking the Pith. It ith our great pleathure to be given the ‘keyth to the Kingdom’ ath it were, to bring you the world from a particularly Igor perthpective.

Theeing ath Young Marthter Bill ith buggering off for a thort while, the ladth in the lab have found thith rethurrected old clathic.

Back thoon.

Regardth,
Igor