Tag Archives: People

Amazing stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Raindrops on roses etc

Not much going on chez maison Sticker at present. A series of rainy days mean I haven’t been out riding as much as I’d like. Frankly I’m wondering where summer has gone.

I’ve learned that I’m gainfully employed for another year but to tell you the truth I’m considering jacking it in. That and Mrs S wants to move countries again. If I may be totally candid with you, migration is a tough business and I’m not looking forward to repeating the experience. All the faffing around with paperwork drove me nuts last time around. All the anxiety. The money we spent. All the time and exam passing. Keeping Mrs S on an even keel, not an easy job at the best of times. Chums, It almost broke me.

There’s a point in a man’s life when he just wants to do what he wants to do. Nothing more, nothing less. This isn’t a mid-life crisis, because my whole freaking life has been a crisis on one form or another. Usually caused by other people. Stuff I had no part in breaking, but which have suddenly become my responsibility to fix. So I’ve been doing my own thing.

I see Boris Johnson is now more or less acknowledged heir apparent for the UK Plc’s Prime Monstership. May sounds like she’s trying to sabotage him on her way out by putting avid remainers in key positions before she leaves. Talk about bad faith, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from the remain camp.

Had the 2016 referendum gone the other way by a similar margin, all us peasants would be expected to jolly well shut up and watch our home country strangled to death. However, the remainers don’t really believe in democracy unless the results suit them.

All us thickies who can see the damage the EU is doing get labelled as too stupid to vote. We don’t want to be ruled cradle to grave, having our every waking thought and word dictated by some ivory tower academic. We understand that life is messy and fundamentally organic. There are no clear cut answers and sometimes you just have to wing it. A deal has no clear rules because it’s a negotiation. So there.

Oh and something just dropped into my YouTube subscriptions. “How Norway dealt with Antifa.” Enjoy.

Let the cops off the leash. Let them arrest all the violent. Allow self-defence. Make the courts deal with the violent offenders. Jail time. Short 30 day sentences ramping up like for contempt of court seems to work.

Hey, I’ve just seen the weather forecast and the open road is singing a siren song. Now where did I put the Mutts keys? See ya.

This is cool

While the UK lamestream are doing hit pieces on free speech activists and someone who was once a comedian (Briefly, sometime around 14th November 1983 I believe) used their bully pulpit to make foul insult and then claimed that such crudity constituted a ‘joke’ (Not even close – jokes have to be funny), I thought I’d offer up this little bit of techno-fun as a form of mind bleach.

First saw this item on Rt.com under the headline “Humanoid robot gets tired of merciless bullying & pulls gun on meatbags” It’s actually by turns disturbing and hilarious.

How the parody was put together.

Now the current state of the art. April 2018 but still interesting and fun.

Now I’m off to check my inbox and get all my paying work related tasks out of the way. My Lemon tree plants, Carnations and Roses are doing well but I’m going to have to re-seed the Sweet William after their foul strangling by the now-executed pansies. Such is life.

As for the ‘apology’ for the “Throw battery acid over people you disagree with” meme. Not acceptable. It was bandwagon jumping of the most mean and petty kind. When a free speech activist does get battery acid thrown in their face, we’ll know who to blame, won’t we?

Gestures

When travelling the roads of the world, some of you will notice that many motorcyclists wave to each other as they pass. There are several forms of gesture, from the nod, to the upright hand wave, drop-v and left boot wiggle. What is the significance of these gestures and who does them? Well I don’t think there’s an official version, but the style of gesture, and who uses them varies greatly depending upon who you are and where you’re from.

Mostly these gestures are about recognition of status between bikers. Whenever I’m out and about on the Mutt, I’ve noticed that the gestures are most widespread amongst those riding European style. The observant among you will also register that North American Harley riders for example very rarely acknowledge anyone unless they’re riding another Massey Ferguson Harley Davidson. Even so, the habit is not widespread among them. Some people think there’s a certain cachet to owning a Harley, personally I disagree. Yes, those big old v-twins have lots of low down grunt, but back in the day, some of the guys I knew who bought them said the electrics were worse than Ducatis, Anyway, that’s by the by. Generally speaking, Harley riders rarely salute anyone but other Harley or Indian riders.

To be honest, there’s often a bit of snobbery here. There is a partisan faction that believes Harleys are the only machine worth having and that ‘rice burners’ (Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki etc, even BMW’s) are not fit to share the same roads. So, fellas, you’re not Marlon Brando fans then? He rode a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T (Not a Speed Twin – cheers Ripper) in the iconic bike flick ‘The Wild one‘. To which I would also add; screw you, I’ve ridden in every weather condition short of a Tornado for over three freaking decades and I’ll ride what I do because it works for me. Don’t need your permission. Go way son, you’re bothering me.

However, the thought does occur that the feet out high handlebar ‘Easy rider’ style adopted by many big V-Twin riders is not exactly conducive to making hand gestures. Perhaps they don’t gesture because it is too difficult to take one hand off the handlebars while in motion, unlike the European style of machine that is increasingly common over here in BC, which is more stable and allows the rider a free left hand.

The etiquette, if such a word can be applied to rough, tough motorbikey types is that only those who ‘live to ride’ or are serious about their riding tend to give these gestures. Never in town, too many hazards. Generally these gestures are only made while on the open road and in motion. Of course if you’re purely a weekend warrior or the rider of a smaller machine like a Honda cub or similar, no one expects it. Nor is there any acknowledged requirement to do so. It’s just the done thing. A salute, a tip of the hat, the acknowledgement of a kindness, a recognition. That’s mostly all it is. We are simply acknowledging our difference from the common herd.

Because let’s face it, riding a motorcycle and surviving for any length of time, in itself is the mark of an individual cut from less common cloth. More switched on. Motorcyclists have to be vastly more alert than most car drivers because we have to do their observing for them. Don’t argue this point, a rider who is inattentive or careless soon pays the penalty because all those idiots in tin boxes are mostly that, idiots. They fiddle with radios, take cell phone calls without hands free, drink coffee, argue with passengers, don’t bother to look or indicate when turning or changing lanes and all other manner of inattentiveness which is the biggest killer on the road. Forget drunk driving or speeding, the biggest cause of all road casualties is the air between the ears, which motorcycle riders, at a deeply visceral level, understand all too well. Which is why so many of us often acknowledge each other. It’s a badge of pride. Of commonality. A kind of “Well done, you’re still breathing. Keep it up.”

As for the type of gesture, this varies from place to place. I’ve seen everything from a sidelong nod to the very French left boot wiggle, but let’s deal with the main ones;


The standard wave; raised left hand upright, palm forward, fingers closed. This is very old school and the most primitive of gestures in the riders lexicon. It just means “Hi.” between riders. Nothing more.


The low wave; fingers loosely spread, thumb out. A general low energy greeting. Meaning; all is cool from whence I have come.


The drop vee; A very continental European variant. Originally from France and Italy (I think). Sort of an upside down V for Victory with the thumb held wide. A more exuberant version of the low wave. General greeting of coolness. Even Bike cops have been observed making this gesture.

The low thumbs up; No image as this is self explanatory. Thumb up, wrist rotated back. Bit of a Fonzie “Heeeyyy!” gesture. Sort of a “Nice day for riding” gesture.
The low wave repeated as though patting; This does have a specific meaning, it means “Slow down” it warns of a hazard ahead. Might be a speed trap, might be a crack up. Take care.
The left boot wiggle; as is suggested. Left boot off footpeg, leg angled out, foot briefly wiggled. Very Francais this. Tres continental. Means ‘thank you’ or ‘murky buckets’ depending on your native tongue. This gesture is almost universal in France and is given to both other riders and car drivers for giving way or any other courtesy.

Well folks, it’s another nice BC day and I will be taking Mrs S out for a spin later after I’ve watered the plants and had breakfast. If anyone can add to the above, the rest of us await enlightenment.

Straight pride; a modest proposal

Ah, the outrage fest. Oh the drama! All over a plan to for a few people to take a walk down certain city streets to celebrate what they are. See the Tim Pool video below by way of a briefing on the matter.

Just like all the other serried ‘pride’ events like joggers pride or cyclists pride or whatever. Frankly me dears I give them all a miss, you couldn’t pay me to look. I’ve got better things to do with my time. What other people do with their free time is none of my concern, so long as they do no harm to others and don’t hold up the traffic. Or at least allow alternative routes I don’t really care. The world is a big place. Especially on a nice day.

However, if I might be permitted to comment on the volume of anger generated by the mere suggestion for a ‘Straight Pride’ march, I think if all those who are so opposed to the idea were to completely boycott the event and indeed go on strike in protest, this would adequately express their mute contempt for such an event to the entire world. What I’m saying is that the only moral way to deal with the matter is to not turn up for work in protest. Go on. Show righteous anger by withdrawing your labour. No time limit, just don’t clock in as a protest.

In addition, if such an event makes you that angry, go silent. Express your contempt in dignified tranquility. Do not give the people you so despise the oxygen of publicity. Do not draw attention to their cause by deed, speech or omission and go silent to express your objection to these awful people on your social media feeds. Indeed, not posting anything at all might not be such a bad idea. Just in case you inadvertently tweet or post anything that so much as alludes to their horrid cause.

It’s the only moral way.





Now wait…






Keep waiting…





Patience now, they’ll crack…





Who cares if they give your job to someone else, not everyone can be as great a Barista as you…





You’re just marking time to your big break, right?





Feed the cat while you’re at it…





Any year now…





Accept that it may be some time before anyone notices that you’re gone, but be patient, you can ignore those final demands, right?





In the terminal phase of your in absentia protest it might be politic to take comfort in the following statement;

“There is more than one way of being a bigot.”

See definition below.

Bigot

NOUN
A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

‘don’t let a few small-minded bigots destroy the good image of the city’
‘he was a fanatical bigot’

Have a nice day.

Back in the saddle

While the weather is nice I’ve been spending far less time at my desk and more time out on the road. Nothing much, just a gentle scootle around on the big blue mutt. No more than fifty kilometres a time, taking it easy and enjoying the wind in my face, the extra air that riding allows. Even got Mrs S on the back today for a short trundle out to get some coffee and buns for breakfast. As a pillion passenger she needs to re-learn a few things, but I’ll make sure she gets the practice.

How the old habits come back. Watching at least five cars ahead, upper middle gears through town with the revs around three thousand, ready to pull a quick stop or give it a fistful and speed my way out of trouble. Giving the odd drop V or acknowledgement to the other Sunday riders. Slipping easily into the bends and gently accelerating out. My internal soundtrack playing the Runaways “Cherry Bomb” as we gently tootled our way back to the barn.

If this is ‘toxic masculinity’ I’m all for it. Screw the angsty soyboys and lemon sucking feminista’s. They might think they’ll live longer but they won’t. In prisons of their own making their politically correct lives will be joyless greyness, punctuated by saccharine faux-laughter and massive student debt before the final hammer falls. All they will know is empty noise devoid of real emotion. My experience is that the lottery of life deals out the good and bad completely at random and the best you can do is have decent insurance for when things go wrong. As they will. As for the rest, well, I’ll leave you with this bit of Irish folk wisdom adapted from an old song called “The Moonshiner”.

I’m a rambler I’m a gambler I’m a long way from home
and if you don’t like me then leave me alone
I’ll eat when I’m hungry and I’ll drink when I’m dry
and if this one don’t kill me I’ll live till I die

That’s enough for now, our deck garden needs a little water and the essays of Montaigne await. The carnations are flowering like they’re on steroids and my two sunflowers are growing at something around two inches as day. I won’t tell you what the pansies are up to, but I’m sure you can guess.

Playing the game

Had a little run in with a lefty the other day and something occurred to me. They were couching their arguments to make me look like a bad person just because of the skin I’m in, and afterwards I heard the term “Anglophobe” in a discussion of Orwell’s ‘Notes on Nationalism’, which perfectly described my opponents arguments.

They were behaving and speaking in a manner that was openly racist against people of my skin colour. So by their own twisted logic they were being exactly what they claimed I was, simply because of my age and racial characteristics, which as any fule kno are simply successful adaptations to colder climes. If those from other climes stick around in northern Europe for a few thousand years their descendants will all become paler because that’s how natural selection goes.

The find of Cheddar man points in this direction. The DNA says he had darker skin than current North European and a lot of people in the area share similar genetic alleles, well, that proves evolution works on fairly small timescales, comparatively speaking. This also fits in with my observation that a few old county families reputed to have “A lick of the tar brush” (some distant non-European ancestry) as it was once known, look almost exactly the same as all the other inhabitants of rural Britain. This is probably more common that most acknowledge. My own DNA ancestry contains a mix of Celt, Pict, North and Southern European and even a few outliers that are common across Persia. So my ancestors didn’t hang around the old place watching the inbreeding stack up, they got out there and mingled. Yet to look at me you would think I was solid North European through and through.

But to listen to my verbal assailant, you would think I was some kind of white supremacist monster. Which is not true. In real life I’m as amiable a chap as any other, willing to take as I find and deal accordingly. Yes, I can use rough language, but that’s my shop floor upbringing, there’s no harm in it. My grudges are rarely nursed unless the opposition is so hostile I must never trust them again. But the sheer Anglophobia exhibited by my assailant was a little hard to stomach because they were actively trying to push my buttons, make me angry with their constant Anglophobic assertions. In the end I shut up, gave them a hard look, which they ignored (A bad move) then asked “Is that all?” in a rather tart tone of voice before turning away from their racist tirade and got on with the rest of my day.

The thing is, my verbal assailant was just recycling ‘intellectual’ talking points, which are Anglophobic arguments Orwell would have been familiar with. There are some very well ‘educated’ people who cling to these assertions and are even English by birth. I don’t get it. Why hate your homeland so much? I don’t. It’s not perfect, but it’s where I’m from. As was the person who was giving me grief over my accent. Which I found rather ironic. They were probably ‘Whiter’ than I am. And I ask myself, is this naked hate against those who are of British / English heritage some kind of transposed anger against distant / oppressive parenting? By hating the English / British these Anglophobes are actually railing against their parents? Their Mum and Dad fucked them up so they just have to spread the shit around? Because feelz? As a by-blow I’ve noticed that people advancing this kind of argument have to break down all resistance before they even advance one single cogent thought. Which makes turning their own tactics against them all the more delicious. Anglophobia is naked racism and I like to remind people of this now and again. A kind of trolling of trolls.

Frankly, as I get older I tend to have less and less patience with this kind of person and will cut them off as soon as possible with all the irony and sarcasm at my disposal. Sometimes the word “Really? That’s rather Anglophobic isn’t it?” Delivered in a sharp or world weary tone is enough to chop them off at the knees. Or to use the more modern vernacular “Seriously?” It’s often no use arguing point by point, there’s rarely anything coherent in their arguments. It’s just puppy like emotion spilling all over the place which should thus be treated with the rolled up newspaper of contempt and an hour or two of being pointedly ignored.

So yes, I too can play the victimhood game, although I’d rather not because I’m not a victim. I’m just me.

The gift of laughter

Downtown today, I managed to find a copy of the Sunday Times, which sparked off one of those conversations between Mrs s and I. About a particular kind of laughter.

Now Mrs S and I laugh with each other all the time. She takes the rise out of me unmercifully, which I allow. We find this makes for a healthy relationship. We have the gift of laughter. This not only feels right, but buoys us both up when dealing with the many cerebrally challenged we come across in our day to day lives. Our shared laughter has become an essential mutual inoculation against the many petty evils of this world. We are even able to laugh at ourselves. Which make the “Aw-shee-it!” moments which occasionally punctuate our lives more bearable.

By laugh I mean what Lyall Watson, in his book ‘Supernature‘, once described as ‘the soul laugh’. Not the appalling “That is so funn-ee” beloved of retarded High school sophomores or the tittering near-sneer of dinner party faux-intellectual dweebs. That is feigned laughter. Made by people who don’t know how to let the humour get deep into their inner being. Made by people who go to comedy clubs and really shouldn’t because they ruin it for everyone else. The people I refer to are often found berating the stage act for breaching some strange moral code or challenging the audience members belief systems. In the clubs I often get irritated by these arrogant little shits and often think that people who don’t really get humour could do with a very large brick over the head to try and knock some sense into them. These are the people who I have nothing but contempt and increasingly rarely, pity for. The walking damned. Those who are forever unable to get it. Those who exclude themselves and because they cannot understand humour, forever try to exclude everyone else and prevent them telling jokes that are even remotely funny.

A soul laugh is by contrast a bucket of ice water over the head, a fresh mountain stream, a cloudburst of emotional catharsis. This kind of laugh washes the spirit clean and destroys all those poisonous little shibboleths the perpetually offended would clutter our lives with. It defuses tense situations and the daftest thing can trigger an attack. And it is predominantly male. A sign of relaxation, of being at ease with your inner core. It cannot be faked and when properly shared, soul laughter bonds and unites. Offence evaporates. One of life’s great sadnesses is that so few females really understand its necessity. I count myself blessed because my wife is one of those who actually does.

The thing is, to the weak, fearful and immature, soul laughter is frightening and therefore to be suppressed at all costs. There is nothing more dangerous in the eyes of a would-be oppressor than a full blown soul laugh. Because the soul laugh is literally spit in their eyes. It’s the only sane response when those wielding power think they have broken all resistance. It can be found even on the final scaffold when death is inevitable, because well, what the hell, what have you got to lose? A soul laugh is also a great defiant middle finger to those who perpetuate lies because it says; “I’m not taking you seriously – motherfucker.”

Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot and Hitler weren’t big fans of humour, especially when it was directed at them. Which is why Russians used to be so habitually gloomy and Germans only had a very shaky grasp of what was actually funny. All their best comedians ended up in concentration camps or Gulags. Or worse, shot and consigned to mass graves.
My favourite Russian joke goes;
Prisoner: “I don’t understand, the judge gave me twenty years. I’m innocent of any crime!”
Gulag Guard: “Twenty years comrade? You must have done something.”
Prisoner: “I don’t know. All I did was call Stalin an idiot.”
Gulag Guard: “Ah, there you go comrade. Revealing state secrets.”

What we need is more jokes directed at the hate speech laws themselves. To demonstrate how unpopular these things are to left-leaning politicians, who really only want popularity, because that is the path to power, and power is all they really crave. A really good joke would be to wipe out the Tories, the Limp Dems and Labour in the forthcoming EU elections and bury the Canadian Liberal party. Then if they don’t learn the lessons, hand out a really sound electoral kicking at every possible opportunity, directing a humiliating barrage of soul laughter at the totalitarian bar stewards. Just to drive the point home good and hard.

There will be arrests, but this could become the benchmark to every aspiring stand-up comedians career, getting nicked for hurting some humourless buggers feelings. Look at Count Dankula. He went from unknown Communist comedian to overnight celebrity and MEP candidate. Yes, I thought the whole Nazi Pug thing was a great gag, if a bit tasteless. As for Sargon’s sidelong jibe at the awful scarecrow like figure of Labour MP Jess Phillips. Well I wouldn’t want to either. I know it’s not wise to look at the mantelpiece whilst stoking the fire in certain cases, but a blindfold and last cigarette might be more useful at that particular juncture. Double-euw. If given the option I’d rather hump Worzel Gummidge.

Treason May on the other hand increasingly looks like a piece of badly stuffed Victorian taxidermy. I’ve also noticed that Justine Turdeau could pass for a very close relative of a certain Mr Schickelgruber if he were to grow a toothbrush moustache. As for Hildebeast Clinton, yeaah. Shades of a reanimated Eva Braun there. Occasionally Cortex resembles one of puppeteer Jim Hansens worst nightmares as might be animated by Director Tim Burton. She’s certainly got the intellect for it. Only just though.

Notwithstanding, it could be argued that the soul laugh is nature’s greatest gift to humanity because of it’s role in both breaking down aggression and bringing down the tyrannical. It could also be argued that such laughter damages people who are basically not really grown up enough to live in the real world. Then there is the moot point that a bloody good laugh is worth having at the downfall of the unrighteous, unfaithful and divisive. Go on, have a guess at who I’m talking about. There are two right answers. One for the UK, one for Canada. They can pass all the anti-free speech laws they want, but the soul laugh will always find a way to it’s intended target.

What is man?

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m finding there is less to do workwise and more spare time to read. The good news being that the company I work for like what I do enough to keep me on and enlarge my role, while giving me a pay rise. Which is nice. Paying attention to detail does pay off. But then I’ve always had a certain faculty with numbers, which is part of how I earn a crust. Ensuring A gets B in good time without too much trouble to C and not bothering D with the fine detail. Which people appreciate.

At this juncture I’m feeling a tad philosophical. Let me enlarge, my current reading matter is the Essays of Michel De Montaigne, a sixteenth century philosopher and humanist. There are quite a lot of them, but they contain delightful little musings on the nature of pedagogy and also of cannibal societies, amongst many other things. A curiously fluid style, very modern and readable. If transplanted to today’s society, I think he would do just fine, after a short pause for acclimatisation of course. What he would make of Social Media I have no idea.

Michel De Montaigne
Statue of Michel De Montaigne, Paris
This statue, which I recall from my last visit to Paris, is an image of what shines through his writing. That of a true gentleman who pays very close attention to what is going on around him and treats said matters with the amusement (And occasional mockery) they so richly deserve.

There is much I find admirable in his writing. Very down to earth. Fond of quoting Cicero, Juvenal and Propertius to make his point, but in a way that is gently mocking of pomposity. Very humane. His use of their quotations is not used as a bludgeon to any readers sensibilities, but rather utilises the delicacy of a fine surgeons scalpel, subtly dissecting and separating rather than amputating ideas. Seeing humans for the fallible creatures we are, prone to self delusion and irrationality. Looking at differing cultures and finding the admirable rather than the negative.

Some of his work echoes in Shakespeare from Hamlet (Act 2 Scene 2);

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!

Which appeared to be common ideas during the late 1580’s. Indeed Shakespeare may well have have come into contact with people who had actually read Montaigne and sparked these thoughts off in him. There is even a branch of scholarship that claims old Bill from Stratford culled some of his best speeches direct from translations of Montaigne’s work. I’m not surprised. Shakespeare seems to have collated some of his best work from other sources, filed off the serial numbers and claimed it as his own. No need for conspiracy theories about a grammar school boy from an obscure midlands market town not being capable of writing as he did, all Shakespeare needed was a translated volume of Montaigne’s work, a little dramatic flair and hey presto!. Job’s a good ‘un. No rich noblemen from Oxford needed. Half Shakespeare’s work was already done for him.

Now all the above does not get me where I wanted to go. I ask the question, “What is man?” mainly because I often hear some very ill-informed and perhaps callous people say that ‘mankind is a cancer’. Which is not true. Indeed such statements tend to come from that part of humanity who have held a tiny mirror up to existence and then short sightedly tried to chop off all the bits that won’t fit. I leave the task of identifying these poisonous philosophies to my last remaining reader. Personally I think that when these people say; mankind is a cancer, they mean everyone else but them. Which is rather selfish and nihilistic, but that too is part of the human condition.

Coming from a very rural area and having grown up in houses with largish gardens, I tend to take a contrary view of what humanity is. As a gardener I firmly believe that Humanity is the steward of the Earth, vital for it’s good management. Paying attention and making the most of what we have whilst being aware that this small blue marble spinning in the infinity of the Universe could do quite adequately without us. Even if the end result looked rather scruffy and was prone to being re-sculpted by every single natural disaster that came it’s way. Which we could ameliorate the effects of by not building on active volcano’s, managing flood plains and just taking a little care with our leavings before ending up as the next layer of fossils. Oh and looking out for any pesky bits of space rock that might prove an inconvenience. Despite my often voiced misgivings, I actually quite like humanity. People are by turns entertaining and infuriating, fascinating in their ordinary lives and when not completely up themselves a source of constant amusement.

We are the one known animal to have developed tool using intelligence to the point where we actively manage our own environment and able to take the first faltering steps off this little ball of rock. Which is a task we might do better if we stopped clinging to some very inaccurate ideas and did a little due diligence. Managing, not protecting. Farming, not asset stripping. Creating more from less. Doing a bit of joined up thinking. Letting people get on with their lives. Yes, yes, I know, but it’s a fantasy I like to entertain from time to time. There still burns a minuscule guttering candle in the darkness of my heart. The last contents of Pandora’s box. A dusty little shrivelled husk of hope. It’s the writing of people like Montaigne that keeps that very singular part of me alive.

What did they expect?

Busy gardening at the moment, the really cold weather has shifted to the Midwest and Spring has poked a cautious head around the corner here in Victoria BC. My remaining six large Lemon Tree plants have been taken outside to soak up some sunshine and we’re putting out some colourful blooms to provide us with a little visual cheer when the working week is too full of WTF! moments. Which happens a lot. Especially when our line managers come at us with a “We’ve got a little job. Can you help us out?” which happened last week.

Anyway, it’s been a nice day today. The heating has been switched off and our windows are all open to blow all the Winter miasma out of the house. Outdoor temperatures have just crept over the sixty eight Fahrenheit marker so it’s quite warm out on our deck. The fresh air is invigorating.

Looking at the news in the FT I saw the news about the New Zealand shooting and was filled with a profound sense of Deja Vu. It won’t be the last. Plenty of people are pissed off with the way Islamic migration and terrorism is often glossed over, then when a sick individual from the native population shoots up a place of worship, a certain section of the media use it as a stick to beat all ‘white’ people with. According to a bunch of academics and similar pantywaisters all us north Europeans very bad and ‘white supremacy’ (Whatever that is, I never got a membership) must end.

Well I’m not guilty of the shootings, nor are any of my neighbours or the population of New Zealand, or Australia, the USA or the UK. Donald Trump and Chelsea Clinton are not to blame. It’s the whole identitarian race-baiting industry once known as journalism. That’s where the finger should be pointed. A distinct class within their ranks has repeatedly berated the Anglosphere for asking pointed questions about mass immigration. Those are the witches we need to burn. The sowers of discord. Tim Pool has it.

To be charitable, these media types may have only been selling puritanical rage-bait to boost their terrible circulation figures, but when similar rage-bait is used by politicians to create a protected class of individual who get a free pass, well, the outcome is hardly surprising. You can only spit on people so many times before someone goes completely postal. This is true across all ethnicities, all religions and all cultures. So what did these rage-baiter media whores and their sponsors expect? Seriously people. Their IQ tests must have come back negative. As for farsightedness and statesmanship, one can only guess at where that went to. If it ever existed at all.

The whole business has taken on the air of farce. The NZ authorities have blamed and banned a commenting platform called ‘Dissenter’, when the whole thing was livestreamed via Facebook for heavens sake! Is Facebook now banned in NZ? No? Why not? Something stinks here. It may simply be incompetence on the part of the NZ powers that be, but I suspect pressure has been brought to bear and Facebook because they rolled over and played loveable puppy for the powers that be, whilst Dissenter did not.

We’ve heard of other, similar plots thwarted over the last five or so years, but successful ones, like Anders Breivik and the Christchurch shooter are thankfully rare and are a reaction rather than the root cause. In this case the root cause is the reckless mass-importing of an alien and diametrically opposed culture into a well-established society. The funny thing is, if we’d wanted to really help these people as has been mooted, it would have been far more simple and low cost to get aid to them ‘in country’ where they felt comfortable. Not to import the poor sods wholesale into places which they don’t understand and even have contempt for the cultural norms.

Despite what some people say, we humans are not all the same. Men are not women, trans people are neither and you can take the local Yokel out of his hovel, but you’ll never take the hovel out of the local Yokel. At least not for at least three generations. That’s how long it takes to integrate into a non-native population. That’s discounting the throwbacks every generation throws up. Why, because they ‘identify’ as whatever. Only takes one generation of weak or heavy handed parenting.

A quick shout out

Anyone remember Cass Brown of Cancergiggles fame? The guy who wrote this? Oh, and an entertaining little tome entitled ‘Mountains are easy‘.

We Shouldn’t be here

According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s probably shouldn’t have survived.

Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just plimsolls and fluorescent ‘clackers’ on our wheels and hardly any brakes. We popped wheelies, fell off and lost skin in the process.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the front passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle – tasted the same.

We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded.

We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends – we went outside and found them.

We played football and cricket, and sometimes that ball could really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learned not to do the same thing again.

We had fights, punching each other hard, getting black and blue – we learned to get over it.

We walked miles to friend’s homes.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, rarely were eyes poked out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.

We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

Cass, who died just after Christmas 2006, was an inspiration to a lot of people. Especially some of us veterans. You might even call him a godfather of blogging. Anyone else remember the man? Blog-City, the platform he wrote on (So much for the Internet being ‘Forever’) is now defunct, but some of his wit and wisdom may be found using the Wayback machine or similar.

The green new deal

Sometimes at shareholder meetings, you do hear the most awful nonsense. Especially from those who consider themselves ‘ethical’ investors. This morning Mrs S and I were at an investors meeting when one guy started making arbitrary remarks about Trump not getting re-elected. Which he probably will because the opposition haven’t got a strong enough candidate. Then he started talking up the ‘Green New Deal’ some of the Democrats are touting. To which everyone else in the room was going “Say what?” or “I totally disagree.” Which was quite telling. A year or so ago the room would have been calling Trump names like the mainstream media want us to. How times do change.

I’ve actually read this Democrat inspired ‘Green New Deal’ and it’s utter garbage. One of the key precepts being to stop US citizens from flying and insisting they go everywhere by train. Ostensibly to ‘save the planet’.

Two words adequately convey my opinion of that idiocy; “Yeah, right.” Have these proponents even tried travelling across the USA by train or on a road trip? Have these advocates for other people’s austerity ever gotten out of their cosy little suburban nests and seen the mind-strangling vastness of North America in a car? I have. Three times and counting. There and back. Twice trans Canada, once to Florida. Take my word for it, there’s a whole heap of big in North America.

Even at full speed it can take over a week to go from New York to Seattle via car or truck. Forty three hours of non-stop actual driving. That’s without factoring in lunch and gas stops and the odd pause for much-needed sleep breaks. By train it’s almost three days solid travelling without a break. As opposed to only ten hours by air if you factor in all the hanging around at airports, including standing in line, baggage check-in, security theatre and getting to the airport in good time.

As for ‘renewables’, Wind and Solar are no better than subsidy sinks and the proposed ‘Carbon Taxes’ a licence to steal money from the hard pressed middle and working class population and feed it into the pockets of the ultra-rich 0.1%. Not only that but the Chinese and Indians will take one look at the proposals, if they have not already done so, and walk away giggling at the stupidity of the decadent westerners. CO2 is a symptom, not the illness, and human emissions are a drop in the pond. The Indians, Chinese and Russians understand this, but seeing as according to some they’re the ‘bad guys’ instead of just competitors. To the Green New Deal proponents their judgement means little. Even if the Russians, Chinese and Indians happen to be right.

Besides, as Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign strategist, James Carville, once said; “The economy, stupid.” Middle and working class USA likes strong economic growth and wealth creation. Trump has brought this about by re-energising a business-friendly environment. Overall unemployment is as low as it’s been for at least five decades and the only thing that might unseat him is a massive crisis that he flubs completely. Rather like Bush did with both 9/11 and the ’08 financial crisis. Besides, the US Democrats haven’t a strong enough contender for the US Presidency and the Green New Deal is proving massively divisive.

Nor are there any indicators of a financial crisis which might threaten the prosperity the US is currently rediscovering. Of course there will be market corrections over the year, just like over Christmas, but any dips won’t exceed much over 5% of total market value, which to me is no good reason to dump any stocks. Indeed the dead cat does seem to be bouncing like it was made of super ball rubber. I’m just wondering if I should leave my cash reserves just as cash in a high interest account or find an undervalued stock that’s worth a buy in.

Which means I’ll be talking to my brokers again next week. Although SNC-Lavallin aren’t on my list of investment opportunities. Not until the dust has settled over subpoenas being served on various members of the Canadian Trudeau administration, which might lead to their electoral downfall. Not only is little Justine pissing Canadians off because he makes them look weak and silly, but there’s a scandal brewing which may involve the RCMP being brought in to give our current PM the ‘perp walk’. Although that sort of thing only happens to the little people, not the ruling elites.

To replace the Liberals politically, I rather like the sound of the new People’s Party of Canada under Maxime Bernier, as Scheer’s Progressive Conservatives come across as totally cucked who will do little to get rid of the oppressive extensions to ‘Hate Crime’ legislation as expanded over the last three years. The local Burnaby by-elections next week should show which way the Canadian wind is blowing but I have noticed that there’s a lot of new activism at the grass roots level. A sea change is taking place, but whether that change will be enough to get rid of the Liberal party is moot. We will see.

I also talked to my broker about picking Mastercard or VISA as an investment opportunity. I found myself explaining in detail to Mrs S why Mastercard might take a share hit in the next six months because of their implication in the Patreon scandal. Payments processors should just do that. No more, no less. Not intervene in people’s opinions and private lives where they have no business.

To close on these and related matters I would point out that money has no morality, because one persons morality is another’s blatant hypocrisy. As certain payment processors and their cohorts may find out when the mechanisms they put in place to enforce their world-view are turned against them. Could it happen to nicer people? Mmm-maybe.

Have a nice weekend.

Power

There is no such thing as power without responsibility. Well you can try, but it always ends in tears. Even when you don’t there are winners and losers. Let me enlarge…

Over the last three weeks we have been busily involved in exercising our legal powers as powers of attorney on behalf of an old family friend. Emphasis on the ‘old’. We’re talking upper nineties here.

Recently our very good friend became ill. For twelve long hours she lingered at death’s door, or should I say dithered indecisively before deciding to stay with what she knew. Which annoyed some people, but less about them later.

Upon hearing the news, we thundered up the Island highway. Made sure all was under control at the hospital, obtained reports, discussed issues with medical staff and care home manager. Then we thundered back down home getting back late and very tired. Daily phone calls to hospital and relatives ensued while juggling new work issues. A disinterested and cynical reader might think we were being a bit over the top, but we reckon we owe our elderly friend a debt of gratitude for the help that she and her late husband gave us when we first landed. That is a debt I will not consider paid until she is gone and her estate settled.

What didn’t help was Hospital staff and Doctors often giving conflicting information. On one occasion within an hour of each other. On the third day one refused to give us any details over the phone because we “Weren’t on the list” which we bloody well most certainly were. Top of the list of contacts as legally registered powers of attorney if you please.

In the middle of this muddle our friend was blithely and obviously non compos mentis so we held all the aces. A terse conversation with hospital administration was had. Apologies were received. “Oops, sorry, that was on another screen.” Yeah, right. A full report was forthcoming. Necessary people were notified and informed, arrangements made, through which our old friend glided sedately as a Swan, while we and others were doing a lot of desperate paddling underneath. Which made some people, how shall I put this delicately, a little defensive.

Let me explain. A lot of West Coast Canadians hate confrontation to the point where it’s almost comic. They cannot negotiate like a European or our Southern cousins will. They either duck the issue and pass the buck like nobody’s business or get all whiny and passive-aggressive. For our part Mrs S and I handle confrontations without all the circumlocution and squirming West Coasters so often go in for. To us a spade is a spade, you use them to dig holes. Or hit people who won’t give you a straight answer. As people we are often direct, concise and to the point. Which makes us unpopular but what the hell. Did I say West coasters hate confrontation? The passive-aggression we occasionally meet is easily deflected by a flash of legal powers. The opposition might know their ‘rights’ but unfortunately for them, so do we.

Notwithstanding, another trip up and down the highway with a two night stay was booked so we could be there for our friends release from hospital into her residential home at the weekend. Then a phone call from the Care Home Manager. Why not from the Hospital? We’re the powers of Attorney, not him. She’s being sent home when? Today? Hells bells! Thanks for letting us know, you utter tossers. Change of booking. Thunder up Island highway again. Negotiate care instructions and agree with fortunately co-operative Manager of Residential home where elderly friend is resident. At least he appreciated our no-nonsense approach.

I’ll say this for this particular care home, it’s very nice, more like an upmarket hotel for Seniors than a UK pattern care facility. Elderly friend’s apartment is compact but more of a studio apartment plus bedroom. It’s roomier too with a full en-suite bathroom. The facility also has it’s own care unit for the less able, which is where elderly friend stayed until she retrieved all her marbles and got reassessed so she can go back to living more independently.

Additional problems arose when a couple of ‘relatives’ decided to turn up out of the blue and foist themselves on our elderly friend. Eating her food, using her facilities, which we, as her powers of attorney thought was a bit of a nerve. Especially when other family members far closer than we would not put them up. Which I found a little odd. When we asked why, no-one wanted to deal honestly. Mrs S and I found it quite comic listening to someone literally squirming on the other end of a phone line. Obviously no love lost there. It was a pity they couldn’t just be honest with us. “No, they’re an utter pain we don’t want as a house guest.” Would have been quite acceptable as a response, but no, we had to listen to fifteen minutes of ever more elaborate excuses. They had their own lives and wanted someone else to make the hard calls while the vultures descended.

My attitude to the vultures is simple; visit by all means, but pay your own way please. Elderly friend gets charged for having guests in her apartment, which even we as her legal guardians are refused access to. Another set of terse phone conversations were had with the care home. Veiled statements of legal intent were issued. Instructions were reiterated. If elderly friends recovery is threatened by these people, out they bloody well go. Do not pass go, do not dip your hand into her wallet. Elderly friend is supposed to be resting after a very life threatening illness, not in need of ‘cheering up’ or ‘taking out of herself’ by mindlessly well-intentioned freeloaders with their piggy little eyes on our old friends money. Have the common decency to wait until she’s dead, you greedy bastards.

That’s one thing about our part of the Sticker clan is our fierce loyalty to close friends. We look after our own and we like our friends alive thank you very much. Now sod off.

Oh dear

NAFTA is effectively dead and Canada is in even more trouble over the Saudi-owned Canadian Wheat Board. All the bloviating and focussing on minority issues from Ottawa isn’t doing us much good economically speaking. The Trudeau regime has effectively been asleep at the switch, preferring anti-Trump posturing to actually doing anything positive, saying that the “Economy would sort itself out.” Yeah, right. You can’t say that about supply chain type economies like Canada. The institutions they run on are Government mandated. Like the Liquor control boards, the various other bureaucratic machines which only really serve the big cartels. Not to mention that Trudeau’s government slamming heavy tariffs on things we can’t make from the USA hasn’t helped.

Now they’ve got until Friday to decide whether or not to throw the Canadian Dairy cartels under the bus. After slamming on massive tariffs on unfiltered milk products from the US, which are useful if you want to make cheese in Canada.

If the letter pages of the newspapers and overheard snippets of shoppers conversations are any guide, The Trudeau regime is growing ever more unpopular. Food prices are up significantly. One of the things I’m in the habit of is putting our grocery spends on a spreadsheet and even a casual glance tells me the Sticker household is currently paying sixty percent plus more for just groceries than in the last four years. True, this sum is partially down to changing purchasing patterns because we can now afford better stuff, but even the basics are way up. This is the penalty for electing a nice-but-dim Prime Monster who has never held down a real job for long.

The whole Canadian Liberal party narrative appears to be dissolving. Not that they are anything like ‘Classical’ Liberals, more a bought and paid for bunch of vanity project sockpuppets. Not that I think that the NDP or Progressive Conservatives are any better. From what I can see they’re all at the beck and call of various Canadian Cartels, be that Dairy, Telecoms or even Maple Syrup to name but three.

Update:  Looks like the trade talks with the USA will continue next week.  Ottawa isn’t ready to defy the cartels.  One thing is certain, with the current light shower in office bursting into tears for the camera, this will go on right up until the November deadline.

Smoke gets….

Smoke gets everywhere over here. Wildfire smoke that is. We can taste it in the air and today visibility has dropped to below a hundred metres. I was able to just about see the Weather radar tower, but now can’t even see the hill it sits upon. Missed the Perseid meteor shower the other weekend because the sky was too full. Then we had a little rain which cooled things down from an oppressive thirty plus Celsius to a more comfortable mid twenties. Now it’s getting warmer again.

If it’s not from California, the smoke is coming from the many mainland fires and further east. It’s got so bad that some of the smaller airports are closing until the air clears. Not that we’re going anywhere, but there’s a lot of outdoor camping holidays being affected and Canadians do like to go camping.

Work is picking up with being called to a video board meeting to explain how the financial systems our team has developed to handle money, only to see it outright vetoed. Why? Because dwarleengs it might hurt someone’s ‘feelingz’. Which I didn’t get. What we’ve done is streamline the process, iron the bugs out and make life easier for everyone on our side of the business as well as improving the financial reporting. A win-win for most as everyone gets a say and usually exactly what they ask for. The boards objections to our new and improved way of working sounded like they were trying to reinvent the wheel. Oh well, they don’t have to adopt our working practices, but they will once reality bites or their side of the business will implode. The money men will see to that. I can see lots of tearful conversations ahead.

That’s the thing working over here on the Wet coast of BC, this is SJW central. Down here in Victoria it’s all flowers, pink unicorns, fairies and pixie dust because actually working is so passe. And if you object you often face the full flamethrower of irrational fury. Seriously, there’s a lot of crazy over here. It’s why the City of Victoria couldn’t agree on a sewage treatment plant and busies itself removing statures and putting in bike lanes. Until local people stood up for office and forced the issue through in 2016-7.

That’s right. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, like a lot of other major Canadian cities still discharges untreated sewage into waterways like the Juan De Fuca Straits, a body of water two thirds the width of the English Channel. Why? Local politics, thats why. Too caught up in a smog of soft words to focus on really important things, so they fiddle around with bike lanes and rainbow pedestrian crossings while the sea around the provincial capital, as well as that of our southern neighbour, Seattle, remains contaminated by raw sewage. Fortunately a new treatment plant has finally been agreed and is being built but will not be fully effective until 2030.

Think this is just applicable to the West Coast? Even Canada’s major city, Toronto has a serious sewage problem.

Oh yes, just an observation; all this NSAATANA (no smoking at any time anywhere near anybody) doesn’t happen in mainland Europe. In Copenhagen, Amsterdam and the South of France there are outdoor and indoor smoking areas with people puffing away contentedly. The whole ‘No Vaping’ thing is likewise ignored everywhere except the Anglosphere (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA etc). Funny that.