Tag Archives: Observations

Going Galt?

Matters proceed and the straws have shown which way the wind is blowing. Hard times are coming, with emptying supermarket shelves and urban shortages. There’s a financial crunch in the offing too, if my instincts do not deceive me. A big one. Time to cash out, which we’ve already done. Just awaiting contracts on the house.

For the moment the post election Canadian stock markets have settled into an uneasy stability. Which will be to our advantage. For Canadians it means the idiot Trudeau boy will still be governing by feat, but the markets seem to like that, but markets I find are fairly short sighted and don’t see the economic train wreck coming down the tracks.

Across Europe the shortage of truck drivers is starting to bite too as a lot of chickens come home to roost for the big logistics companies. Drivers are no longer content to put up with long times away from home for miserable remuneration. Not to mention the current Carbon Dioxide shortage hitting food processors and threat of power outages because of too much reliance on ‘renewables’.

Ten years ago, the UK Government, amongst others in a fit of Green fucknuttery, decided to go down the ‘decarbonisation’ route, based on the premise that man made emissions are altering the climate. A premise only supported by dodgy mathematical modelling. Rather like the COVID predictions. And how wrong have they been, eh?

Europe could have had steady decentralised power generated by small modular reactors and fracked gas, but no. The idiots then in power made decisions to placate a green minority lobby, thinking it would win them more votes. Now Bojo the Henpecked is doubling down because his missus is nagging him into it. For which everyone else will suffer.

For a balanced perspective, spend some time listening to this podcast.

Looking on the bright side, I think a ‘great reset’ is already underway, and it’s not the one envisaged by that idiot collectivist Schwab and his followers at the WEF. Now this is just me, but I think this is going to be a ‘reset’ like after the great medieval plagues, when wages went up and society changed with the expansion of the land owning Yeoman class and decline of serfdom. A sea change in the relationship between the ruling and ruled. Because the Internet has given the ruled a real voice, and the rulers don’t own all the tools of propaganda any more. Yes there will be some short term argy bargy in the meantime, but in the end, the ruling classes will have to wind their necks in. Similarly, their great green dream will come to a crashing halt. Ironically because the policies contained therein are ‘unsustainable’. Like wind turbines when the wind isn’t blowing, or solar panels at night.

The NHS, and all similar government ‘Health’ services may also collapse because they’re simply swallowing too taxpayer dollar. Even a blind man can see the tax train running away down the tracks toward a wrecked bridge. Unless the brakes are applied very soon, we’re all going over the edge. So I’m putting my cash into bricks and land to keep it’s value.

Some like gold, art, or other hedges against inflation, but I look at it this way; you can’t eat gold or art, but you can raise food on a relatively small plot. I was fortunate to be raised thus, learning to grow stuff for the larder almost before I could walk. Later learning the skills of talking my nourishment from field to plate and not getting too fussy about the bloodier aspects.

This leaves me wondering whether the time has come to wind up this blog and step back into the shadows to look to my own needs. There are things that must be done, money put to work apart from on the stock market. Off the beaten track. Self sufficient and outside of the taxman’s greedy grasp. Maybe it is time to go Galt.

Could be fun.

Don’t know about anybody else, but…

I find myself unable to comment on the increasing ridiculousness of the news. Frankly me deario’s, every headline sends me into a daze of Deja vu every time I look at it. It’s all fear, fear, fear, stuff we’re all supposed to get wildly excised about and I’m fed up with it. Not least because most of the headlines are overblown and / or totally about face to the verifiable facts.

I’m too busy making plans for our new place anyway. Costing out the Espalier layout for fruit trees and bushes, orienting hive fronts to the south-southeast (I’m told the bees like it this way.) Planning for easy set up, care and harvesting of hives. Researching pest control. Then there’s small repairs to the new house (Providing the sale doesn’t all go AWOL on us) and redecorating.

Then there are machine tools to buy. A chop saw and angle grinder with a range of blades from ceramic to grinder. Full set of drills. An ATV for towing a grass cutter, which I will be teaching Mrs S to drive, just so she doesn’t complain that it’s only a ‘boys toy’. Hives and Chicken runs to build. It’s going to be a busy Winter followed by an even busier Spring.

So yes, the fact that the current US President is obviously senile and only being managed by a support team doesn’t bother me. Nor does all the ‘Green’ bullshit being promoted by weak and ignorant politicians whose only talent, if that is what it is, is getting elected.

Fortunately there are ways and means around all the fuckwittery those urban parasites try to foist upon us. We have fallback option layered upon fallback option. As far as we’re concerned, workarounds rule.

As for worthless ‘vaccine passports’, don’t these morons in power understand that we hit herd immunity back last December? All one has to do is a little basic research. And when I say basic research, I mean not relying on mainstream media sources. The real numbers are all out there. From official sources too, and we can see how states like Florida are doing, and what is happening with Sweden. You know, the places that ditched mask mandates and lockdowns, and in Sweden’s case, barely flirted with any kind of lockdown at all.

Yet is their overall mortality any different from those places which did lock down and enforce mask wearing? Indeed it seems that countries with the harshest lockdowns and restrictions have suffered just as badly if not more so than those that did not. Apart from those so far off the beaten track that the infection hardly touched, like New Zealand. Although when they open up, then watch the fireworks. The best lockdowns can do is kick the can down the road. Then New Zealand will catch it. They might have the jabs, but the best they can do is mitigate the worst effects. The mRNA vaccines do not, like more traditional vaccines, stop you either catching a dose or do much else than mitigate the worst symptoms. The evidence is in, and natural immunity, whether inherited or acquired is better by far. But I’m preaching to the choir here.

So pardon me if I have no more f*cks to give.

As for the NHS in the UK, any organisation which can afford to hire ‘Diversity Officers’ at 75K a pop (Nice work if you can get it) clearly isn’t short of the odd bob or two. Nor is it financially ‘overstretched’. Although maybe it is, having as many bureaucrats as front line medical staff. Possibly more than half because many purely bureaucratic managerial roles are staffed by ‘Medically Qualified’ personnel Official figures here.

But all the evidence in the world won’t convince the permanently propagandised. Anecdote; in a car park lift some woman ten years my junior (And as such in a far lower risk category) remonstrated with me when I took off my mask to catch my breath. I replied that the pandemic was over, to which she retorted “But there were a hundred cases in Ireland yesterday” I pointed out that a hundred out of six million wasn’t very many at all and despite being double jabbed and having had the bug itself, I was more at risk from her. Unfortunately this didn’t seem to sink in and she snorted that she didn’t want to catch it, thank you so very much. I just rolled my eyes and waited for the doors to open before I got contaminated with her dose of the stupids. Serves me right for going shopping on a Saturday.

Shock! Horror! Yawno…..zzzz

Back in my college days, and by college I mean technical college, not a University. In the UK these are two distinct types of educational institution, we Engineering students had a saying to mock all the prognosticators of doom and hand wavers out there, living off the drama that they themselves create.

As for an Extinction Rebellion splinter group (Splitters!) glueing themselves to the road, what are these dickheads on? Because dickhead is the only appropriate descriptor for people who glue themselves to the road, especially the M25. Especially when their actions cause pile ups and casualties. Especially when the government ‘Green Homes’ scheme (For one. There are others) already offers cash for insulation upgrades. Whadda bunch of feckin morons these protesters are.

Not that XR aren’t complete dickheads already. Indeed anyone who believes that the planet is going to burn up in ten years or less can only be described thus. Frankly if these drama queens weren’t such a nuisance, the only rational thing to do when hearing these doltish cretins spout their garbage ‘sceance’, is to do what the late lamented Robin Williams advised women to do to avoid rape; “Point and laugh”

But we’re past that aren’t we? While the UK Police have been known to readily baton charge anyone protesting the shutdown of civil rights over this COVID nonsense, they seem to give people like these nuisance protesters carte blanche until it looks like the public are about to kick off, and only then do they shift the bodies and make arrests. It’s almost like the Police are under orders to increase the disruption and chaos these f*ckwit middle class morons like XR cause.

One upside is that these antics have made it almost too easy to play ‘spot the looney’, they’re the ones gluing themselves to the M25 or going on an ‘environmental’ protest in fancy dress. With the emphasis on ‘mental’. Because the proper science, based on real world observations, does not support these wild claims of death and promised disaster. The climate is changing, this much is true, but no-one has categorically proven a causal link between atmospheric CO2 and weather / climate. Indeed, the available evidence shows that CO2 is a symptom, not a cause.

The right of peaceful protest is sacrosanct, but that right does not mean that a group can jam up the normal commerce of the day to day without notice. There have to be rules. Protest. Make your point and go home should be the rule.

My own view is that these people have now reached peak nuisance and should be hunted down and subjected to mob justice, the rough music of public disapproval when the institutions meant to support civil society fail.

Because public institutions like the Police are visibly failing. Justice and law have become too heavily politicised and will now have to be dragged back to the centre ground of one rule for all, applied even handedly without fear or favour. No special treatment for any group, great or small. Protest all you want but don’t stop people getting to work, hospital or wherever they need to be.

Protests should be legitimised by one factor; do they do visible harm to others? Do they cause pile ups on one of Britain’s busiest roads? Are they intended to harass or intimidate the bulk of the general public? If no, then fair do’s. Right upheld. If yes and protests stop people getting to work and cause collisions, then the answer is for XR etc to sod off and inflict their idiocy elsewhere.

Observed on a sunny morning

Sitting out in the back yard drinking our morning coffee, Mrs S pointed out the unusual sight of two sets of contrails, one almost in each others wake. As they passed directly overhead I could make out the distinctive pale grey Basking Shark shapes of US military transports as they grumbled far overhead on their way west. One around five kilometres and a little lower than the other. Which was unusual. Which is why we thought that they were military. Civilian flights never fly on the same course like that.

From the flight path, I think they were out of Frankfurt, which is the usual European staging post for the US military. Might have stopped at Brize for refuelling, but one thing was certain, those guys were going home.

This led to a taut discussion about tails tucked between legs and whether it was Trump’s or Biden’s fault. I think Biden’s team have to bear the blame for this shambolic affair. Trump may have negotiated the withdrawal, but Biden’s people cocked it up. Royally. Turned a planned strategic withdrawal into an effective rout. Left billions in kit and money, effectively arming and funding their philosophical opponents. No doubt there will be Danegeld, because that’s how Biden’s side of the house thinks. They seem to think that bribing an enemy makes their enemy a friend.

Here I have to lapse into anecdote for my proof; Back in my teenage years I knew a couple of guys who thought that by throwing their money about they could buy friends. They were wrong. They were still widely disliked for various reasons, but everyone nonetheless went to their parties for the freebies. When their money was spent, everyone drifted away. Their enemies remained their enemies, and their few ‘friends’ disappeared. So it will be with the USA.

Which begs the question; are we watching the end of the Pax Americana?

Another blast from the past

This time from over a decade ago. The more time passes, the less evidence I have to alter my outlook. See updated text below;

In 2007 I posted about the old fashioned fun we used to have at Halloween when I was growing lad, and how it wasn’t all about ‘Trick or treat’. I posted a similar view (Although much shorter) in response to one of the ‘your view’ commenters on the Daily Telegraph website. The thread is likely long down the memory hole of digital doom behind a paywall.

One person took my mild mannered remarks seriously amiss and tore into me personally because they claimed their Mother had been ‘Terrorised’ by some unsupervised ‘Trick or treat’ teenagers. In his / her own words;

“You (and these scumbags) can keep your ‘sense of fun’.”

Which really says it all about the attitude of many in England. No doubt the poor Mother in question was alone at the time. She was so alone and afraid that a bunch of children in fancy dress knocking on her door and demanding sweets could traumatise her so. Yet instead of taking the trouble to help remedy said Mothers solitude and alienation, said person took umbrage against the whole festival and anyone who enjoyed anything about it Saying so in the most vituperative fashion.

Maybe it’s just me. I’m just so used to dealing with strangers and new situations that I’ve lost the conception of what it is to be isolated and scared of the world. To feel so alone all you want to do is hide. For my part, I go out and meet the world and am used to talking to anyone. Three years on the streets showed me that it wasn’t that difficult. All it takes is a little old fashioned common humanity and a little guts. My own Mother taught me that. She had a busier social life than I ever did.

This is the malaise that haunts my native country. The fear, too often reinforced by a sensationalising media that one cannot walk the streets in peace (Despite the stats saying that outside of the major conurbations you are safer than ever before). The fear that you will be unjustly penalised for defending yourself, or murdered if you do. The fear promoted by a State and media which daily sap personal responsibility from the lives of everyone, driven by vociferous cowards among us, and then cannot deliver the safety it promises to the very people it should really be protecting (And I don’t mean Politicians).

Out here in the wilder west of Ireland I have rediscovered that sense of belonging that I rarely felt living in England. I have found it within every cheery “Howareya”, where people are genuinely relaxed about who you are and where you’ve been. They even retain the old Celtic names for festivals such as Samhain (Halloween), Beltane (May 1st) and Lammas (Loaf Mass, 1st August). This list is not comprehensive, but it will serve as a rough guide.

As for the UK, I really should give up on people who have given up so much themselves. They can’t have any fun at all. Maybe once all this COVID panic has died down, and people accept that man made global warming is no more than a trick of statistics, they can get in touch with their older, and some would say better selves.

From an ancient text

I’ve been digging through my ancestral archives recently, and along the lines of ‘some things never change’ thought I would present the following, adapted for the present day;

Noah in the 2020’s : Ye Grate Fludde.

In the years of pestilence; The Lord came unto Noah, now living in Kidderminster, England and spake thusly; “Once again Noah the earth and all the people therein have become wicked and sinful and it is time to purge the face of my creation, save two of every species of creature and a few virtuous humans, including thyself.” The Lord emailed the CAD drawings to Noah, saying; “Thou hast a year to build this great Ark before I send a grate fludde of forty days and forty nights to purge the world. Now get cracking our kid.”

At the end of twelve months, under darkened skies, The Lord looked down to see Noah in his back yard. There was no great ark, no two of every species, just Noah, weeping. “Noah!” Roared The Lord. “Where is my ark! Where are the two of every species! Come on mate, I’m about to kick off here. I’ve got storms queueing up like Friday afternoon traffic on the M6.”

“Forgive me Lord.” Begged Noah. “But things down here on Earth have changed. Because of COVID there’s no hardwoods to build the hull and I’ve been told by the council that I’ll need planning permission, even though I told them it’s within the regulations for temporary structures. So they forwarded the decision to the secretary of state, so you’ll appreciate the length of time that’s going to take. I was going to cut down a few trees instead and got a permit for that, but then a local environmental group kicked off on FaceBook and now there’s a thousand people chaining themselves to trees. Then there’s building regulations approval and the Fire Brigade Inspector has demanded smoke detectors in all the cabins as well as a sprinkler system. The department of transport have demanded a bond for temporary re-routing of power lines and an excessive load. I’m also in trouble with the Animal Rights activists for imprisoning animals against their will. I said I was gathering the animals to save them, but they said; ho-ho pull the other one chummy and reported me to the RSPCA, who told me the accommodation is too restrictive, then they in turn reported me to DEFRA, who demanded animal movement permits for such a large menagerie. Then the County Council got involved along with the Environment Agency, and Rivers and Waterways Authority who ruled that I couldn’t build the ark until they’d conducted environment impact reports on the forthcoming flood. Not to mention a full risk assessment on shipping movements through built up areas. I’ve also got a diversity team from the Department of Work and pensions who tell me my family is all too Jewish and we have to recruit a more ethnically mixed crew or be in contravention of employment legislation. Not to mention I’m having to wait to get my Masters certificate to pilot the vessel. The Unions are threatening to picket, saying using my sons to build the ark is taking jobs away from skilled ship builders and have reported me to the Health and Safety Inspectorate. Last week border services came calling and rounded up all my animals, saying that I was potentially in breach of the live export regulations. Then Customs and Excise froze all my bank accounts because they thought I was going to leave the country illegally as part of a massive money laundering scam, and the Police broke down my door because they’d had a tip off that I had more than the permitted number of people at my house in breach of the COVID regulations.”

“So forgive me, Lord God, I’m a bit up against it here, and it looks like I’ll need another twenty five years to finish the Ark.” Sniffed Noah, cowering in response to an expected smiting.

Instead the leaden clouds suddenly cleared. A wonderful triple rainbow spanned the sky and the birds all began singing again. Noah looked up in open mouthed wonder. “Does this mean there will be no Grate Fludde of forty days and forty nights and you’re not going to destroy the world oh Lord?” He said.

“No.” Said the Lord God. “The government beat me to it.”

Good to go

Have just hit the ‘go’ on the new place, having coughed up the contract deposit. So now we have ‘Sale Agreed’ on the property and will be leaving the rest in the hands of our lawyers while we take a break in Dublin. The money is moving on schedule and we have all the reports in. So far so good.

Of course there are many things that can go TITSUP, but we’ve taken as many precautions as we can, and should be all right. With a big conditional emphasis on ‘should’. We do not want to make a mess of things. So I am taking advice at every step, wherever I can get it, from our brokers and lawyers to the local planning department.

All this and beekeeping courses too. So I’m going to put out the busy signal for the time being. The outside world can go hang, I’m sure the politicians can keep fucking up (COVID, Afghanistan, climate change policy etcetera)without any input from me. Not that anyone really listens. Facts are so unfashionable nowadays.

Gosh is that my cynicism again? It’s such a trip hazard.

Updated blogroll ETC

Have updated my Scriblerus blogroll and added ‘In Memoriam’ to the sidebar for those members no longer with us. This has been a sad task long overdue.

A few are new to the group, others have fallen by the digital wayside, having run out of things they wanted to say. A couple have simply deleted their blogs, leaving no trace of their writings.

On the home front, it’s all “hurry up and wait”. I’m on my online beekeeping course and watching at least two hours of beekeeping videos a day, trying to learn from the mistakes of others before I make them.

Mrs S and I are waiting for reports to come through about the new place, and keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t get ‘Gazumped‘ in the meantime. We’ve arranged for the money to move, and have a decent reserve in case something critical goes pear shaped. We’ve also lined up a full ‘building and contents’ insurance policy ready to go. But it’s the sense of sitting on my hands that abrades my good nature. That and Mrs S repeatedly asking me “Is it done yet?” which I also find a little caustic. However, I just take a deep breath, hunker down and keep banging my head against the wall and say “Yes, dear”. It’s all baby steps. One thing at a time. Of course it could all go FUBAR, but what can you do but hang on in there and put the kettle on when needed?

The graveyard of Empires

So everyone is baling out of Afghanistan. Well not before time. The West has wasted enough blood and treasure on that bleeding piece of Earth. Let the Chinese move in and waste theirs.

I’ve been involved in a YouTube comments spat about whether the Chinese will succeed. Yes the Chinese have a lot of troops and weapons, but so did the Soviet era Russians, and look what happened to them. Ten wasted years. 1989 anybody? Don’t take my word, read what the then Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, has to say on the matter.

Let’s face it; as far as the UK is concerned, Afghanistan was another one of Tony Blairs vanity wars. I’ve read various reports and I’m still baffled as to why the Western powers bothered to invade. Maybe the reports of rich mineral deposits blinded them to the long history of other failed occupations.

The Taliban just sauntered into Kabul like they’d never left and laughed in everyone’s face. Which makes me wonder if maybe they are the true face of the Afghan people. I think they always have been. From before the Mughal and later the British Empire, then all the failed modernisations by their own monarchs. They keep reverting to type. Trump was right to talk to the Taliban and stop wasting the lives of western troops.

Here’s a thought. Maybe we should just let the Afghans be until a new generation comes along and gently eases the country out of the 14th century? Until then, leave them be to subsistence agriculture and poverty. If that is what they want. Buy their opium for the pharmaceutical trade and turn a blind eye to the rest. Or let the Chinese buy it for their own abuse.

As for the Chinese ‘moving in’, I say let them and watch them come a cropper. Has no-one else heard of a Pyrrhic victory?

Peak Absurdity

From midsummer. Let’s remember some of the most laughable bollocks put out on the lamestream in dear auld Oireland. Remember Luke O’Neill ph.D in a ‘Zorb’ demonstrating how to socialise while ‘staying safe’? Whadda Maroon.

Or “Handshakes may never return”? Seriously? If someone tries the whole elbow bump crap with me, which ironically requires closer physical proximity than a handshake, I always demur and keep my hand sticking out for them to shake. If they insist I lower my hand, step back and contrive to look annoyed. Even if I am creasing up inside at their discomfiture. Lunatics. As for hugs, eff off you nutters. I will publicly hug any person I hold great affection for and will cheerfully give the finger to any remonstrations.

Can we ever forget ‘COVID Expert’ Luke O’Neill’s advice to freeze your grandparents to death? You’d think after the whole ‘Zorb’ thing he’d shut the hell up, but apparently he’s in love with his own image on the old Boob tube. His opinion of his advice is not widely shared.

As for the already massive additional logistical costs, supposedly to protect politicians from themselves, Jaysus! What’s wrong with wearing a surgical mask all day like the rest of the peasants, eh? I don’t wear a mask at all if I can help it, but then I’ve been taught about the proper use of a surgical mask and where they are actually useful. Besides, given the size of Ireland’s Parliament chamber (Dáil) and the fact that it’s rarely full, the likelihood of catching anything in there is probably not significant.

Then there’s the tale about Armed Gardai (Police) who had to run away from a guy who told them he was COVID positive. Oh for heaven’s sake! For the under 70’s, the chances of catching and suffering serious illness from SARS/COV-2 are currently less than a quarter of ordinary influenza. And have been since at least December 2020, and the morons in power are still talking about a ‘third wave’, which seems to be taking an age to arrive. Wasn’t it due last year sometime?

A personal observation; in my day to day travels I pass two of our local hospitals. The car parks are not full. Ambulances aren’t queueing up, there are no refrigerated containers doubling up as mortuary storage. Frankly they both look under used. Rather like the streets of Localtown, with all their closed down and shuttered businesses.

Just watch the rest of the video and laugh, or cry along for what has been taken from us. Which makes me wonder why we are still taking this whole COVID business seriously.

For myself I’m trying to look on the bright side and take the attitude of Peter Jurasik as Babylon 5’s Londo Mollari; “Whatever it is, it can’t be that bad.

Well, if you turn off the TV and just go about your day to day business it isn’t. It’s only serious in the minds of the mainstream media and politicians. As for ‘vaccine passports’ anyone asking for one simply doesn’t get my custom.

We have hit and surpassed peak absurdity. Gender pronouns, vaccine passports, banned protests, ‘no fun allowed’ all under a ludicrous rainbow banner of diversity and inclusivity. Ah yes, the ‘diversity and inclusivity’ that has divided society more than anything else in living memory.

Additional: from the Daily Sceptic. The average age of death from Covid in England and Wales in the spring epidemic was 80.4 according to the ONS, splitting 78.7 for men and 82.5 for women. The average age of death in the UK is 79.3 for men and 82.9 for women (though note these are modelled estimates of life expectancy at birth based on life tables, not the actual average age of those who die each year). Public Health England has estimated that life expectancy was reduced by 1.3 years for men and 0.9 years for women in 2020 due to the Covid and lockdown death tolls, though these figures are also modelled.

See graph:

Oooh nooooo!

Ah the gift that never stops on giving, good old man made climate change got a boost from the latest IPCC report which has been touted as ‘code red for humanity’. Now where have I heard that before?

1989?

Throughout the 1990’s?

All through the 2000’s?

Since 2010?

And so on, and so on. We had “Ten years to save the Earth” back in 1989. Whatever happened to that ‘tipping point’? There was “A hundred months” . Don’t take my word, here’s an article containing a compendium of these hyperbolic claims.

North pole ice still there? Er….. actually yes. Polar Bears? Doing nicely thank you. Antarctica? Still very cold. No real ice loss. Is Iceberg alley still active between Labrador and Newfoundland? Damn straight it is. Even at midsummer, last time I was up at L’Anse Au Meadow. Bergy bits in the harbour and big flat topped bergs you could land light aircraft on off in the distance. Just in case some of you don’t believe me Here are a few pictures from late June 2017.

My first ever berg sighting, a grounded growler, seen in Ste Genevieve Bay. I was so excited I took a picture of our wing mirror.

Then some ‘Bergy bits’ grounded inside St Anthony’s Harbour, south of L’Anse Au Meadow. The smallest are ten feet across.

Oh, and this fifty metre square specimen grounded berg pictured just outside St Anthony’s on the same day. All of these pictures were taken on and around June 22nd, before we beat a hasty retreat southward.

Now this is a thousand miles south of the arctic circle. In late June. A bumper year for wildfires in BC when we arrived home that August. So when anyone guffs off about the world being doomed and it’s all my fault, I will simply ask them how they account for my first hand observations that I can back up with pictures taken by me at a verifiable location.

By way of an observation, over the last few years I have been hearing of cold weather phenomena, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. Indeed ‘South’ has recently reported temperatures as low as three Celsius in Sydney, Australia. All right, it is Winter down there, but we’re not doing much better here in the wilder west of Ireland. We had a ten day heatwave in July and today our thermometer has struggled to clear sixteen Celsius in early August. To the point where we had to switch the heating on.

So, are we doomed or aren’t we? I don’t think so, because we humans are good at adapting and surviving. We’re even capable of adapting our own environment like building houses to keep us dry and sculpting the landscape to keep us fed. Something the doom addicts don’t seem to be cognisant of. But if they fall for such an obvious con-trick as ‘global warming’ when it’s chucking it down, one might say they deserve all the misery they get. Although I’d rather they simply got on with being unhappy and just left the rest of us well alone.

Or according to Tony Heller of Real Climate Science, quoting Solzhenitsyn.

A thoughtful man

Today I bought Mrs S a bunch of red roses. No reason. I saw a bunch of supermarket blooms on a display and thought to myself “She’ll like those.” So I bought them. For no other reason than I thought it would bring a smile to her face. Her smiles please me. They are high on the list of my favourite things in life.

In these times of digital witch burning otherwise known as ‘cancel culture’, partisan politics, and groupthink, I think we all need a link with our favourite things. At present there is too much negativity flash flooding down the digital and media channels at us. So we must scramble up the banks of sanity using whatever handholds we can find or be swept away on a tide of manufactured mass psychosis. See video below.

For me, the little handholds against falling into a bottomless pit of Menticide are the returns I get from random acts of kindness to those I love. The gift of roses or a bottle of wine. Taking my wife on a day out to places like the Hazel Chocolate Mountain in North Clare. Which, let me add, makes very nice choccies indeed. Giving her a random hug. Telling her I love her.

I give her my time when she wants to vent. Room to dree her own weird when she’s not in the mood for my often lame wisecracks. Jokes like when I saw a sign saying “Sheepdog Demonstrations” which made me ask frivolously ; “What are the Sheepdogs demonstrating for? Larger flocks? Better dog food?” Mrs S didn’t like that one much. My career in stand up is definitely dead in the water.

Yet even that kind of response grounds me. Gives me boundaries. Which I sometimes ignore, just to show there’s still a sarky old Bill Sticker behind the face I normally show to the world. Just to let her know I’m paying attention. Which in turn lets me keep a grip on myself when all the counter intuitive restrictions feel too oppressive to bear. Giving me a place to stand firm in the universe when it seems everything has gone completely AWOL and contradictory. When all the messaging from the mainstream is fear, fear, fear. Yet when I look into the numbers I don’t see the justification for that fear. Just a bunch of people who have totally lost their heads over a virus that has already done it’s worst and is not doing anything like the damage that is too often intimated.

For myself, my main concerns are monetary. What these meddling restrictions will do to the overall economy and in process the resources I’ve been able to squirrel away for a new home and a little investment capital besides. But even then as a thoughtful man, I’m not simply doing this for myself, this is for my family, for those I care about.

I make no claims to infallibility because I’ve been wrong about a few things in the past. Not everything, but a few. However, the knowledge that I’m often just as full of shit as the next guy is no bad thing. It gives me distance. And distance from the current crazy crapshoot is no bad thing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

News from down under that Sydney is in lockdown again, further isolating ‘South’ and a need to talk to her whenever she needs to vent. She’s missing her friends terribly poor thing and has even taken to speaking to me directly, not via her Mum to try and keep a grip on things.

From the fabled land of Oz I’ve seen footage of people being ordered off the beach by loudspeaker toting helicopters, being ushered into their houses by the fecking Australian Army for heaven’s sake! Out of the healthy fresh air and back into the bacteria and virus ridden captivity of their houses. For what? 140 positive tests and one attributed death after a positive PCR? That’s just full on, disproportionate, out of your tree batshit crazy.

Going back to my operating theatre training, we had it drilled into us that the average human habitation is a veritable plague pit. Because if you did swab tests of your own living space you would be horrified at the concentration of contagion lurking there. Even if you are incredibly houseproud and everywhere stinks of disinfectant. Bacteria, viruses, fungi and moulds proliferate, and even apparently ‘clean’ surfaces can be as full of spores and lurgi as any outside space. Not a place you want to spend too much time, you old plague carrier you. Because most of the lurgi in the average home has one major source; humans. Sorry. You can’t blame this one on your Dog / Hamster / Goldfish. They get what you got.

As an aside it’s the same for CO2. CO2 levels are much higher within the average building than out. Take a CO2 (Dioxide, not Monoxide) meter and check if you don’t believe me. Then stick it behind your mask. Go on, just do it. Now try it outdoors with your mask off. You might be surprised at the readings.

FYI: A side effect of CO2 in higher concentrations means your cognitive performance can be significantly reduced. Here’s the science. Prolonged exposure to levels over 500ppm means you’re not as quick witted or on your game as you should be. Work in a stuffy office? Check the CO2 levels.

Put simply; wearing a surgical or other mask without additional squirts of oxygen for more than two hours or so increases rebreathing of CO2 to a point where the oxygen content of your blood is reduced. Not to the point of hypoxia, but certainly making you a little more stupid and possibly more compliant than you are naturally.

Ergo, you are safer outdoors taking a brisk healthy walk than lurking indoors with all the sources of infection and increased Carbon Dioxide. Of which you are one. So taking a shower on a regular basis might be a good idea. Some fresh food, a little fruit, and regular time out in the garden or sitting in a open window. Or at work, if you have a regular job, some time away from your desk is a good idea. You are at no more risk at a restriction free workspace than you are at home. Which studies on Supermarket workers from the start of the pandemic have demonstrated.

As for the reduced numbers, my argument for some time has been that we already have herd immunity. The constant reduction of cases, irrespective of vaccine take up and low mortality speaks volumes. The worst has come and gone long since. There is no need for extra vaccines. Only the pantywaist class of professional politician or the under informed think that.

Taking the aforementioned into account, under lockdowns, a strategy last used during medieval times, your risk factor of catching anything indoors is therefore elevated. Like you are more likely to catch the dreaded lurgi in a hospital, because guess what? Hospitals are full of sick people.

This is the simple truth. Not ‘disinformation’. I leave that to the real ‘experts’ in the mainstream of politics and the media. Those with product to sell and for government propaganda to foist on everyone.

In the meantime, my family is shattered. The economy is in tatters, as are our civil rights. I hate it.

A pub lunch

For the first time in eighteen months, Mrs S and I popped out for an indoors lunch in a pub. In Tipperary no less. As we were sitting there, I was treated to a large screen running footage from the ‘Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ live. Yes, I know that sounds bizarre, but then we are living in bizarro-world, so no big deal right?

Actually the games are being held in 2021. Quite frankly I found the spectacle completely weird. Athletes competing in an almost completely empty stadia. Tier after tier of empty seats with no-one but a couple of dozen or so team members and officials to cheer their team mates and champions on to victory. I found the sight somewhat disturbing and remarked upon this observation to Mrs S.

“I know, but it was the only way they could do it.” She replied.

In reply I wrinkled my mouth in disgust. There was a wrongness I could not put words to, but I saw it in the faces of the athletes before their events when a camera was shoved in their faces. Self-consciousness and embarrassment were how I would describe their expressions, like they wished they were elsewhere. After their event, when the adrenalin was still high, the winners looked excited, but even there I saw shadows, such is the penetration of 4K cameras, nothing escapes.

Still, we had a pleasant lunch and will stop at that hostelry again if passing. Decent pub menu and presentation of the food was good. Pity it was raining, but then you can’t have everything.

Afterthought: What’s the point of a ‘Victory lap’ when there’s no-one there to celebrate with?

Stay safe

I swear, sometimes I want to knock someone senseless if I hear them whimper “Stay safe.” at me one more bloody time. Realistically I’m more likely to sneer “You think we’re not safe? Why do you think that? Come on, out with it? Why do you believe such tall tales?” Because violence never really solves anything, does it? Well, apart from to stop someone hurting you, or to throw them out of a place they shouldn’t be. In which case the odd bit of Atemi-Jitsu has been known to come in handy.

As it is, Mrs S has been complaining about my eyes rolling so hard that she gets annoyed by the constant clicking.  My dear lady is aware of my occasionally aggressive nature and acts as a moderator, although she also has quite a temper, which led to one particular episode where I had to leap out of the car when she was arguing with someone else, pinning the passenger door shut so she could not storm out, then confronting the sources of her annoyance stating.  “Push off.  No, I’m not protecting her from you, I’m protecting you from her.”  They got the message.   But then, I’m a big guy and people tend not to argue too much.

Regarding this fad for ‘staying safe’, we are all mortal and most prefer not to acknowledge how utterly random that mortality is. To understand that, all one has to do is read the actuarial tables. Cold hard numbers tell us how brief, and random life is for so many.  It’s easy to feel immortal in your teens and early twenties, but oddly enough that is the highest risk group for death by misadventure,   Personal example; between the ages of eighteen and twenty five I lost three quarters of my close personal friends to drunk drivers, suicide, silly bloody accidents and one who fell through the ice and drowned.  Now that is very high I will concede, but it does highlight the spirit of the age and how easy it is to shuffle off this mortal coil.

Here’s a thought experiment for the over thirties; cast your mind back to your early schooldays if you can.  How many people of your acquaintance have simply dropped off the map between Leaving school and thirty years of age? How many of your social group have slipped from your circle, only to report in late from the graveyard?  From all sorts of causes.

Indeed, a walk among the tombstones, just to look at the dates, is often a quietly grim education, even considering that most get cremated nowadays and have no memorial but in the crematoria’s record books. This little exercise has blown a chilly wind through many a complacent mind, including mine when I see how young some of the dead are. I used to do it because there was an old cemetery with a few interesting / amusing inscriptions not far from where I lived.   One of which was inscribed “As I am now, so shall ye be, so be prepared to follow me.”

They didn’t need ‘vaccine passports’ in case they caught a nasty cough and snuffle.  They had real diseases to cope with, less money and much worse privies than we fortunate 21st century people.  Yet people still lived into their 90’s.  My Mother did, as did her Father, and his father before him.  They lived through two world wars and far more deadly pandemics than we ever will, such is the state of modern medicine and hygiene.

Which has always left me acutely aware of my own mortality, However, it is a major truth that life without risk is simply not worth living.  Or, to put it in the words of US Marine Sergeant Daniel Daly; “Do you want to live forever?”   Which is a phrase that always makes my lips twitch in a smile.  Which raises the question; if so – why?  Do we really want to live forever?  If so, do we understand what that truly means?  When all novelty palls, when all appetites fade to ash in the mouth.  Because it will.

None of us are immortal, that much is certain.   So we can all either get out there and bloody well live, or curl up in a little bubble and quiver our randomly miserable lives away.  I know which option I prefer.  Catch you on the flip side.