Tag Archives: Money

That’s the way the money goes..

Aaaaand we’re off! Writing this in YVR’s very nice Maple Leaf lounge, sipping a seriously dry Martini, awaiting our call to travel across the wide Pacific. We booked Air Canada but it looks like we’re flying in an Air New Zealand plane. Well, that’s what’s parked in our departure gate at the moment of writing and it’s just finished refuelling. I’ve heard good things about Air Kiwi, so we’ll see what’s what when we board. More on this later.

Speaking from later; I just took a quick saunter round to our boarding gate. No, we won’t be flying Air Kiwi, that one leaves at six-thirty. Our flight is a bit later. Me and my big keyboard.

So, what are we leaving in our wake? Looks like pop goes the weasel, or in this case Bitcoin. Investors are saying the blockchain based cryptocurrency is the next best thing but I’m not convinced. The time to get into Bitcoin from an investors perspective was at the very beginning. Yet money is visibly flowing out of tangibles, which is depressing the price of commodities, and into intangibles. Which makes me think that the New Year will be the time to swim against the tide and buy up some of the low(er) priced gold etc while everyone else is off chasing the next big thing. That’s the thing with chasing the next big media thing, by the time it’s all over the press all the best opportunities have gone.

Anyway, if the bozo’s are dumping precious metals to buy blockchain that may just put gold within my preferred price range. Which is good if you’re looking for a hedge to put cash into. Then when the Bitcoin bubble bursts, I’ll sell out of precious metals when the silly money comes back. Win-win I think.

Another bit of silliness is the recurrent meme, and it has to be a joke, that if we all went vegetarian this would somehow stop the nebulous ‘global warming’ or ‘man made climate change’. Frankly me dears, every CO2 driven model has failed dismally to correlate with rises or falls in global temperature. Indeed, there is better proof that CO2 lags, not leads temperature changes. The warmer the Earth becomes, the higher CO2 levels will eventually be, not the other way around. CO2 is only an indicator, not a cause. Well, it’s not for me to convince anyone, the science will bear me out when we stop focussing on the fake cause, and do a little real research instead of flawed statistical models.

So taxing meat won’t change a thing, even if the farts of all those steers was part of the problem. It’s just part of the ‘climate change con trick’ designed to divert cash from the pockets of the general public into those of the ultra-wealthy. You think the Rockefellers and Soros’s of this world would be funding the many vociferous climate activist groups if they didn’t somehow profit from it? Oh pur-lease.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back online from the fabled land of Oz in about 48-72 hours to catch up with the ridiculae of life, or when the jet lag has faded to manageable proportions.

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Bullion for me

Right. That’s the current job done and dusted and I can glance up above my particular foxhole and take stock, or in my case buy some. I’ve been watching the price of Gold and silver of late, and it looks like the market may be bottoming out. So yesterday I went out and bought some silver. The 999.99% variety. Just a couple of small 10 ounce ingots to begin with. Which is still a minor gamble. Maybe the market in precious metals isn’t quite bouncing along in the benthic depths, but I think it’s close, hence me splashing out a few bucks. The dealer I go to downtown also has a 100 ounce bar I have my eyes on, and may just purchase if conditions are right when I get back from the fabled land of Oz late January. They’ve got a few lumps of gold bullion in stock that look tempting, but the price needs to drop a few dollars more before I’m convinced it’s a good investment for the safety deposit box. Maybe I’ll stash some capital in Platinum. Just as a hedge. Just for the comfort of owning something solid with a readily convertible monetary value that won’t depreciate (much). Now there’s a thought.

Gold, Silver and Platinum bottomed out on July 10th this year, but as I was on the road I missed the opportunity to buy in at that point. However, everything but Palladium is cooling off in the precious metals world at present, at least in Canada, so I’ll have a rethink in January 2018 and see what the market indicators are like.

I’ll have the money as there’s a possible new job offer on the horizon for me in January. Nothing spectacular, but steady enough to pay for the usual household stuff and a little travel on the side, as well as setting my own hours. Nowhere near as much as my full consultancy rate, but fairly reasonable. I’ll just have to wait and see if it materialises, or not. I’m not that fussed, I’ve got more than enough on my plate right at this minute, and January is not generally a time for market panics. At least not this side of the pond, or unless old Spoonbanger (Cheers Mitch) starts punting off Nuclear tipped fireworks across the Pacific and throws one at Seattle, it’s likely to end in my back yard. In which case we’re all toast, or not, as the Sticker clan will shortly be together in Australia. If it all went into TITSUP mode we’d literally find ourselves ‘on the beach’ a la Nevil Shute. From the pictures we’ve been sent it’s a very nice beach. With a nice bar and restaurant. What a place to claim refugee status eh?

What else? The pound was crawling back up despite all the negative media coverage. Then the Northern Irish decided to throw Teddy out of the nursery and possibly allow the election of Corbyn, the true nightmare candidate. I mean, Jaysus me bhoys. May is hardly the most competent statesperson on the planet but Corbyn is about as batshit crazy as they come. If it ever looks like he will win an election then my money will be out of Sterling into US dollars faster than you can blink, even if I have to take a loss. I know May is a pretty poor PM, but Corbyn would be abysmal, leading the way down to economic hell with a brass band and choir of idiots in front, Brexit be damned. He wants his authoritarian utopia and nothing and no-one is going to stop him short of a mass implosion of the UK Labour party. He’d also probably repeat the biggest mistake of the Wilson Government and put the troops back into Ulster. Which would give the good auld IRA a hobby apart from run the regional drug trade.

Labour used to be the political party of the working man, but that hasn’t really been true since the 1950’s. Now it’s all about political power and ideology, the ordinary working man be damned. And if Corbyn did cancel Brexit, the Eurocrats would really put the screws on the UK. Just to make an example of all you uppity Brits. Because that’s the arrogant way they think. If you’d ever seen a few of them blasting around Paris, Brussels or Strasbourg in motorcades or their bodyguards blocking streets outside the best restaurants you’d understand. These are people who don’t really care about the people they rule.

As for May getting all humpty about Trump Twatting out some video’s she disagreed with in a desperate attempt to placate a certain minority death cult, oh pur-lease. It seems that the Tories (And most of the other big three UK political parties) believe these sparkly new RoP imports will be future taxpayers whose output will keep the political classes forever in champagne and caviar. Dream on kiddies. That won’t happen for at least two more generations, around fifty years, if you’re lucky. That’s how long it will take to even partly assimilate this latest bulk buy of bargain basement bozo’s with the general population of the UK. By way of proof I’d like to point out that there have been ethnic ghettoes in most of the UK’s major urban conurbations since I was in my late teens, created by short sighted mass immigration policies. Matters have not improved in all that time.

Anything else? The UK media is full of anti-Trump, anti-Brexit hit pieces with rarely a fact in sight, but everyone in the mainstream seems afraid to deride those whose evil must not be named or be labelled ‘hate speakers’ and sent to the naughty step forever and ever.

Frankly I no longer care. I shall simply keep my eye on the news that really matters and slip any spare cash into solid and readily liquidated assets while prices are good.

Non Disclosure

Currently the level of cock-up in my current contract has reduced as after four weeks certain people are starting to get the idea that they can’t just throw company money around any more without proper recording or authorisation. The folks who hired me are looking at their cashflow and marvelling at how many procedural holes it was leaking out of. They’d been relying on an old fashioned cheque book and Corporate credit card to pay the bills and always wondering why they were struggling to keep their fiscal heads above water. Now they know. All we have to do is tidy up the in-house documentation and that’s another contract done. Think I’ve broken the back of this job with under two weeks to go. Well done Bill. Providing my clients stick to the Inventory, Purchasing and Sales order procedures we’ve thrashed out and don’t slip back into the bad old ways, they’ll be fine. Why they didn’t do it that way from the off is a mystery. They had the accounting package, the computerisation, all the software licences set up, they just weren’t using them. Oh well, it all makes work for the working man to do. Another happy tick on the old CV and another non-disclosure clause. Which everyone signs, but so few pay attention to because we humans are such terrible gossips.

Regarding non disclosure agreements, as a follow on from a recent post I’ve been asking around my legal contacts about civil Non Disclosure Agreements, those tricksy little contract clauses forbidding a signatory to publicly or privately discuss matters they have been paid not to discuss with others. The consensus seems to be that such orders are no protection against a criminal court action. Only courts can issue what are effectively ‘gagging orders’ and those will only be effective within a specific court’s jurisdiction.

So say if you know your organisation is breaking the law and that criminal activity is reported to the relevant authorities, that non-disclosure clause in your contract can be worth less than used toilet paper. In the case of a criminal prosecution, individuals are not allowed to hide behind NDA’s if called as witnesses. Especially if someone is trying to cover up fraud, sexual assault or worse. Which means the civil penalties outlined in such agreements cannot be enforced in a court of law if they were designed to prevent witnesses and victims testifying. Not without a charge of perjury at any rate. This is my understanding of these matters, if it is flawed, then corrections (With citations) in the comments, please.

Now, onto the juicy stuff. The Weinstein scandal. Ooh yes matron. The dark and shady doings circling actress Rose McGowan’s possible testimony are interesting. A warrant was issued for her arrest because she left drug contaminated luggage, which may or may not have been McGowan’s own drugs, on a plane. Unfortunately for the prosecution, mere contamination means nothing. Bank notes contaminated with cocaine still circulate out of ATMs. Indeed, back in 2010, it was reported that most British Bank notes were so tainted. Which is a whole heap of nose candy in circulation if you ask me. According to Wikipedia, most bank notes are contaminated and such false positives have even led to unfair dismissal of employees following drug tests. So the contamination of items left on a plane is meaningless and won’t hold up in a reasonable court. For a possession charge to stick, more than just trace amounts have to be found and the chain of possession confirmed. Besides, in the current climate, there’s a reasonable suspicion of evidence tampering.

As for potential paedophile scandal star witness Corey Feldman’s marijuana charge, that wasn’t him, that was his crew. He just paid the fines. Which is average for any rock band on the road.
Storm meet teacup. Whether he can name the names and out his erstwhile abusers is another thing. That has yet to come into the open. Although it is public knowledge that Hollywood has been manipulating their pet media for over half a century and then some. Just watch the documentary below about just one of the notoriously Gay film stars of the 1920’s and 30’s. You heard that. Public Homosexuality in the 1920’s and 30’s? – abso-freaking-lutely.

1930’s scandals aside; the problem with all these scandals and allegations is summed up in one word; evidence. The courts can get very picky about that. Verifiable proof is required. Unless you’re hauled before the laughably titled Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Kangaroo Court of the Star Chamber more like. It’s no good just naming names, or going into “He said vs She said” territory, credible witnesses must be produced. Victims identified. Verifiable evidence confirmed. The chain of evidence has to be close to watertight or there’s no real hope of conviction. However, reputation damage is another thing.

Because Hollywood, as Kevin Spacey has recently found out, is a place where reputation is all. Reputation gets an actor their part in a movie, confidence from investors and Distributors funds Production companies, who fund movies. Tens of Millions can rest on a single word. Now that reputation lies in tatters. It was already under pressure after multiple box office flops, but now the money, the life blood for all creative endeavour is leaving. You might say that parts of Hollywood are bleeding out after being shot by moral outrage. And there lies the opportunity for more savvy small production companies to persuade distributors to fund and allow their creative products access to the wider US markets. Fresh new blood is needed to save Hollywood. New ideas backed by non politically strangled dialogue. Not the same shit different day. That and time to heal. Simply trying to paper over the gaping wounds with NDA’s won’t cut it.

On the other hand, the current feminist litany of complaint about ‘too many men’ either as actors, producers and writers has one major flaw; the market. Women can act, produce and write as well as any man, there is no question about that. Whether they can sell a heavily pro-feminist end product, or even if a mass market for such a product exists, is another question entirely. Wonder Woman worked, but only because of the strong female lead, long-established character and story. Which is interesting, as the comic books the character was culled from were written by a man, Dr. William Moulton Marston with an all male scriptwriting team on the movie. Hmm.

Yet women writers get rich from various projects. Margaret Mitchell wrote ‘Gone with the wind’. Harper Lee wrote ‘To kill a mockingbird’. J K Rowling isn’t exactly impecunious from the Harry Potter movies and associated merchandising to name but three. And there have been many others. Yet still the endless “It’s not fair we’re being repressed by horrible white men and their patriarchy!” Whining. Yet there are many successful female agents and one particular casting Director who works (Her name has slipped my mind for the moment) for Jerry Bruckheimer and gets credited in many major movies and TV series (Including Star Trek, the next Generation) from the last two decades. Don’t take my word for it. Watch the credits after a movie and look for specifically female names. There are more than you’d think, and they’ve all earned their stripes. Same as all the men.

This is because everything Hollywood puts out is driven by the market. Because if people like an idea they will go to see it, pay for their theatre tickets, buy the DVD’s and the movie or TV show will make lots of money, then the Producers and Distributors will be looking to fund another to make even more money. If an idea isn’t popular, then it will graunch and the likelihood is that particular writer or team will not make any more, regardless of sex. Simply because no one likes losing money. There’s no patriarchy involved. Just dollars.

The truth is that a big movie project takes years of concerted effort, even for established Writers, Directors and Producers. A hit is a hit is a hit, and it doesn’t matter if you’re whatever race or religion, male, female or one of the thirty or so recently invented ‘genders’ – if the idea isn’t a ‘sell’ the likelihood is that you won’t be asked to make another. Or even get in on the ground floor. If there’s a ground floor left when all the Weinsteins etc have finished coming home to roost.

Anyway, for me that’s rather academic. My path to the fabled land of Oz lies wide open. Australian dollars obtained. Ferry booked. Airport parking booked and paid for. Maple Leaf lounge (The VIP bit at YVR) booked and paid for. Tickets, visa’s and passports. Flights sorted. Hotels and cars all good to go. Friends and relatives eagerly awaiting our arrival. Christmas presents packed along with my best silk shirts and other lightweight clothes for those sultry climes. All we have to do is make sure the house is properly cleaned and shut down for our return in January.

Not much else for me to do but practice saying “G’day.”

Update: Sorry about the cookery video instead of the documentary I mentioned. Situation remedied. No idea how that one happened.

Items of interest

Aside from the French elections, there are a number of issues bubbling under which as a small time currency trader I find of particular interest. These are as follows; the French Presidential election and how that will impact on Sterling and the Euro, also a mini trade war between the USA and Canada over a particular type (‘Ultrafiltered’ milk used in cheese making) of Dairy produce which the Trudeau government have implemented. Which is odd, because by doing so the Canadian Government are dictating that Canadian cheese makers cannot import and use a product which no-one in Canada makes.

For the curious this article may explain matters. However, it is worth noting that to get into the supply management chain to access Canadian markets, a license to produce is required. The cost of which varies from Province to Province, but effectively means that Canadian Dairy farmers have to pay the Government to produce Dairy products. Which effectively keeps small producers out of the marketplace. Farmers can keep cows, but unless a farmer has a permit, they can’t sell the milk or any product made from that milk (As well as needing a processors licence). So only the big guys or large co-ops really get to be players.

This trade conflict’s issues balance on a two edged sword of supply management (Canada) vs subsidies (USA). Although from my perspective I don’t need to know all the ins and outs, just the effect they are likely to trigger. Canada will lose this fight as the USA is already complaining about those north of the 49th who haven’t been paying their share of their NATO commitment. Which is another bone of contention.

Now which do I think is more important? For me the answer is a no-brainer. It’s the low level trade war over Dairy produce and collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement these issues look like triggering. Which means taking a short position on the Canadian Dollar looks to me like a good idea. Not that I’m not going to go short on the Euro, but if the French popular vote goes the way of Macron and not Le Pen, then the profit I stand to make over the shrinkage of the Euro will be much less. Macron is very much the establishment candidate and unless put under extreme pressure (And perhaps not even then) won’t give the French a referendum on membership of the EU or do anything on French border control. Although I did say that about Cameron and BREXIT. However Macron is being backed by such august personages as Jeremy Corbyn which is probably the kiss of death on anyone’s electoral campaign.

If it was that easy…

This is one of those dull posts about money and politics. Give it the go-by if you’re looking for something scurrilous and more interesting.

I wrote most of this post last Friday, when I was fretting and fuming over not receiving critical mail. Canada Post over here is a joke. Four weeks plus to deliver priority Air mail letters? And here’s me labouring under the delusion that I live in a first world country. Maybe the politically correct love the ‘third world’ so much they’re trying to drag Canada down to the level of Zimbabwe? I don’t know. However, a quick google indicates my postal gripes are not a new problem.

However, I’m heartened by the news of the stronger pound after Madame Tracey’s snap election announcement, as this vindicates my decision to ‘go long’ on Sterling. I’ll also be watching the French Presidential elections closely, as a victory (or even a close run loss) for Marine Le Pen means the Euro is going to take a hammering. Which from my point of view is no bad thing.

There is a saying that if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. I’m still having issues with shifting money around. Most of these have to do with Canada Post being its usual inefficient self and taking far longer to deliver a simple air mail letter (4 weeks and counting!) from my new offshore bank than a heavily sedated 3-toed Sloth with arthritis. Fortunately there is the Internet and there is the telephone. I know where the money is. It’s going nowhere without my say-so, so nothing really lost apart from opportunity. The exchange rates won’t be doing much until late next week when the fun really starts.

Update: Fun is starting. May is when the SH1T really gets to hit the fan.

Had my previous offshore bank not decided to close because of the new regulatory overhead I would not be having these issues. Monies would be paid, services obtained, and the world of business, at least as far as I’m concerned, would carry on regardless. Nonetheless, when it comes to offshore banking the state has demanded these cumbersome new regulations which have to be facilitated by, guess who? Yet another branch of the state, the postal service. All to stick a finger in the dyke of financial regulation to stop ‘money laundering’ when the metaphorical sea is coming over the top. Because, as any fule know, anyone who needs an offshore account is a tax dodger and a criminal, right? Well, thanks for nothing. Guilty until proven guilty seems to be the way of things nowadays. You’re a criminal if we say so, comrade, eh? Or a ‘thought criminal’ if you hold the wrong opinions.

Anyway, there are provincial elections coming up and there is no way I’m voting NDP or Liberal, as they’re simply two cheeks of the same ‘tax and spend’ arse who both pass laws against free speech and put up taxes. We’ve got a Libertarian candidate running, so that’s where my vote will be going this time around. Not that I’m stupid enough to vote for any NDP or Liberal candidate, that would be like selecting the fattest spoiled toddler to rule the Kindergarten.

Interesting times

My, my. We do live in interesting times. Niall Ferguson argues in his “Five ingredients for a populist backlash” talk about why we are where we are using history, from 1873 onwards;

While he doesn’t give any definitive answers, he does give a broad brushstroke picture of what will result. Which for small time investors and currency speculators like me are useful straws in the wind. I like Niall, he’s not afraid to admit when he gets it wrong, especially over BREXIT. Unlike so many others in academia.

What I’m hearing about is political and economic forces similar to those which resulted in ‘la Belle Epoque’. There will be a few hiccups along the way, but as the EU collapses because that organisation is correctly observed to be little better than a hollow bureaucratic shell to fund lavish lifestyles for European ‘elites’. I foresee a new, more localist optimism driving economic growth, and the fading of many bugaboos like the anti-human notions of man made climate change and similarly pointless divisiveness of identity politics. A new liberalism of less government, greater individualism and wealth awaits over the next decade or two for those who are willing to embrace this nascent trend. Those that do not face obscurity and the scratching pens of scholars trying to work out how ‘progressive’ politics got it so badly wrong. The ‘elites’ amongst them. Word is leaking out that they’re beginning to lose big, and like Soros and his ilk, are doubling down on political interventionism while billions leak out of their back pockets.

There’s a lot going on out in the big wide financial world with talk of Marine Le Pen’s bid for the French Presidency and possible ‘FREXIT’ vote. Not to mention the possible Italian ‘Uscitalia’ (Thanks Peter) I’ll also be keeping a close eye on the proposed Catalonia referendum vote scheduled for late 2017. As well as the Chinese doing a possible deal with the US over Alaskan oil. Which will spell yet more pain for the politically hobbled Alberta oil sands. Which are some of the reasons why I’ll be going short on the Euro and Canadian Dollar but long on the US Dollar and Sterling.

BREXIT Day

Well, well, well. It’s finally here. Official negotiations begin to get the UK out of the EU finally get underway. For my part, I’ve decided to ‘go long’ on my UK investments, keeping funds in Sterling as I have a ‘seeming’ that the value of the Pound Sterling is going to go up significantly, having been artificially depressed a la Marvin the Paranoid Android for far too long. The currency markets don’t like uncertainty, and will punish any currency where the political will of a country is judged as weak. A case in point being the Euro, which isn’t doing so wonderfully, what with the uncertainty of the Anti-EU groundswell in the Netherlands and France, to name but two.

Frankly, I think the EU has had it. Indeed, the old Warsaw pact collapsed because it was being artificially glued together by the old Soviet Union. But there were too many differing cultures and languages for such a beast to work without a rule of iron from the top down. So it will be with the European Union.

It’s a shame for Europe. Had the EU stayed as the European Economic Community free trade zone to standardise weights and measures I think it could have survived. However, the bureaucrats wanted a big federal state with all the trimmings, and economically sane people don,t. Because big bureaucracies are unwieldy and uneconomic. Too much is taken from the productive to provide millionaire lifestyles for a self-selecting and unaccountable political ‘elite’ which strangles everything else. Canada and the USA function because they are (mostly) held together by the grass roots of common interest. There is some form of democratic control. The EU doesn’t really have any.

Now the trigger has been pulled on BREXIT I’m quite sanguine. Indeed, this is a form of ‘triggering’ which along with several other factors directly affecting the Sticker household, are giving cause for celebration. BREXIT, like the Daffodils and Cherry blossom may be late, but all three are welcome, and presage better years ahead.

Here we snow again

It’s eleven on Monday morning. Two hours ago I looked out of my office window to see a grey sky that looked full of rain. An hour and a half ago it started snowing. Now it is snowing quite heavily, with visibility under a hundred and fifty metres.

This is rather absurd because over the weekend we were promised snow, which did put a dusting on the hills further north, but left our little domicile basking in sunlight. Now we’re getting dumped on. This is Victoria. The Canadian Riviera. It’s not supposed to snow here. Where’s that global warming when you really need it?

Seriously though this is just another part of the usual climate cycle. Some years it’s warm, sometimes it’s not, and despite all the fluffy whiteness currently descending upon us, it’s just weather. Like all the climate Cassandras out there, wandering round like old school bible thumpers constantly prophesying that “The end is nigh.” keep saying when things don’t happen as they predict, and that anyone who’s ever driven to work or taken a transatlantic flight is somehow guilty of causing a warmer or colder than average spring day. Earth’s climate is a chaotic system, and so far the climate models have more in common with the obscurity of Nostradamus’ poetic prognostications or a newspaper astrologer than reality. These are models that idiots like Trudeau want to impose carbon taxes for? The climate models that don’t actually work?

Never mind. Today I have forms to fill in and send to the UK. My offshore bank is closing down because similarly bureaucratic-minded morons think that relatively small time investors like me are all wicked money launderers who need to have Mr and Mrs Spank take a quick trip to bottyland. So the bureaucrats have upped the regulatory burden to the point where there’s no profit in it for my bank any more. Of course the big guys with millions will be fine, they can afford the lawyers and shell companies, but people with only a few hundred thousand are being squeezed out of the market. Which means I have to find a new bank account and jump through even more bloody hoops to transfer my funds around Europe and the UK without getting caned by my Canadian banks extortionate foreign currency transaction fees.

At one point last week I was reduced to naked sarcasm with a bank functionary over the levels of disclosure they required to open an account. Not being satisfied with my notarised ID and credit references and previous bank statements, my late parents sources of income were demanded. To which I was forced to respond; “I don’t know. Can you hang on while I go and find a first class spirit medium and ask them?” Seriously. Trying to find another bank that will take my funds is turning out to be a Kafkaesque labour of Hercules. You’d think they didn’t want the money.

And outside the snow is falling. Onward and bloody upward.

Woodwork and nail guns

Well that’s it, the Drinks cabinet is finished and the house smells of varnish and woodstain, which will go away after a few days. Frankly I’ve stopped noticing it already. Everything works and Mrs S has a better looking reading corner. Job done.

One nice surprise was my electric stapling gun. An Arrow ETF50PBN, which is fine for what I need it for, and makes stapling domestic cable runs a breeze. Only good for softwoods though, but I don’t need anything heavy duty. What amused me was it is able to shoot nails too. Well, one type of nail, a 5/8th inch BN1810 to be precise which will require a last tap with a light hammer to drive home, but this is good. I now have a capability I didn’t think I had. No more bent nails because my hammering technique is on a par with a Tourettes sufferer with a bad case of sleep deprivation, and using a nail gun there’s no denting of the wood.

Home Depot still stocks the nails and staples, so despite being over fifteen years old my electric stapler / nail gun will do all I need it for. Which was the final nailing of the finished back over the rear of our pine drinks cabinet. This final phase took longer because I stained the outer skin, so that was another two hours drying time out in the garage (We have a garage! For the first time in absolute yonks!), so fixing the back happened about seven pm last night.

The new home is taking better shape after six weeks. Pictures are finally going up on walls with more to do. Mrs S and I are discussing ways to make the place look a little more homelike, a little less stark whilst retaining the lack of clutter and not spending a bloody fortune. Things have been worse.

eutanic-rock-and-a-hard-placeI’m also keeping a weather eye on the currency markets and looking at taking a serious (for me) short position on the Euro. The Euro is going to take a big hit over the next few months due to the French and Dutch elections because of the strong showing Euro-sceptic candidates of Le Pen in France and Wilders in the Netherlands garnering popular support. The news coming out of Sweden and France regarding Immigrant riots and the large uptick in sex crime will give them extra momentum. So it’s a fairly safe bet to say that if the Euro sceptics don’t win, they will at least come in a close second. In the meantime, I’ll be shorting the Euro. I may lose a bit at first, but what with BREXIT looking a bit more steady, the EUtanic will be going down and I’ll be able to trade out at a reasonable profit. We may even see the return of the Franc and Guilder. That will be interesting.

A little bit of woodwork

Things have slacked off on the work and financial front. Documents have all been signed, funds transferred and nothing mission critical is going to happen for the next month (I hope). So there’s not much for me to do and frankly I’m tired of listening to the mess Trudeau and all the other Liberal (Hah!) politicians are making with their virtue signalling (instead of doing the more mundane but important stuff like not spending so much) and trying to tell everyone else what they can and cannot think, the dickheads. So I’ve decided to immerse myself in a little woodwork.

There’s something soothing about natural wood and I’ve always had a penchant for a little DIY since getting my Grade 1 in woodwork at school. Something about patiently working with the grain and texture that fully engages the hands and mind, focusing the attention on minutia, driving out all the negative shit that silts up the daily consciousness. The gentle rhythmic motion of hand sanding, staining and finishing soothes the head, smoothing over all your own roughened edges and allowing a little time to put all your mental dominoes in the right order, letting the right bits of your mental jigsaw fall into their correct places and lower the blood pressure. It’s an exercise that is worth all the pills and potions in the world, and probably much better for you.

drinks-cabinet-beforeAnyway, the project I’ve begun is the improvement of a cabinet we bought two years ago. The main body of which is solid pine, which looks great, but like so much Canadian furniture the back is thin, tatty and unfinished. The current back is some very rough looking plywood which doesn’t even cover the whole back, and since we’re using the unit as a room divider, this needs ‘tidying up’. So the current back, which is frankly a bit of a bodge job (See picture), has to go.

What I’m doing is very simple. I’m removing the old and rough 3/16ths plywood and rather shabby looking beading, and replacing it with a double layer of 1/4 inch finished plywood into a rebate already cut into the pine. Which will make for a more solid back with a nicer finish, even if it does make the whole unit about ten kilos heavier. When I’m done we won’t be looking at a cheap and tatty bit of rough plywood back which needs covering with a backcloth, but a simple solid and plain looking piece of nicely finished wood grain in keeping with the antique knotty pine front and sides. Nothing fancy, although I might be tempted to add some light 1/8th inch pine beading around the edges at a later date. It all depends on the end result. So long as it looks neat and tidy when I’m done.

So far the inner layer has been cut, sanded and stained and I’m waiting for the varnish to dry before removing the ugly old (and much more fragile) cabinet backing to pin and glue the inner layer in place. Then I’m going to sand the outer piece to a fine finish on the edges, sand, stain, varnish and fix with panel pins and glue. Like I say, this is nothing complicated, just a gentle exercise in improving on a previous bodge job.

While I’m at it, I’m also fitting a small LED light internally to illuminate my single malts and the wine rack. So we’ll have a much more functional piece of kit than before. Not bothering with a motion sensor, just a simple bar light and switch.

Doing stuff like this, at least for me, helps clear the mind and improve decision making. Which is nice. More on this project later.