Tag Archives: Politics

Oh, shit.

Just when you think you’ve finally got things under control. While travel plans are all moving ahead, bookings are being made, and everything is looking positive for our forthcoming motorcycling tour of Europe. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s going to be anything left to see. Especially if Hilary Clinton wins the US Presidential election. In their efforts to shift the blame onto someone apart from their own crap cyber security, the Washington Headbangers are blaming the Russki’s to the point where the Russians are recalling the children of their diplomatic diaspora and making Naval forays down the English Channel just to show that they can’t be intimidated over Syria.

Do we in the West (Well, our politicians and their media at least) have a terminal dose of the stupids? First the EU goes barging around in the Ukraine in an effort to corner the gas export market and bail out their bought and paid for politicians. Mainly because all their ‘Green Energy’ policies are proving as useful as a rubber spanner. Next when the Crimean locals get humpty and secede from the Ukraine, calling on what they see as ‘the mother country’ to back them up, Russia obliges. Then NATO gets pulled in and Russia gets hit with the first batch of sanctions. Which cuts off a big slice of potential export market, even if the powers that be say the effects are ‘minimal’. That’s without even mentioning the mess in Syria.

I think the US Democrats understand they’re going to lose big in the forthcoming US Presidential election, and are going to leave nothing but radioactive scorched earth behind them. They want a war. Just like in “Wag the Dog” but for real and on a far grander scale. Who says that art doesn’t mirror real life? And it’s not just me who thinks this way.

It was a really shaping up to be nice year for me in 2017, touring, having nice holidays and visiting people, but now I’m watching the US Democrat administration deliberately fuck it up for everyone. But that’s what the Democrats do. Not content with their race baiting resulting in an upsurge in inner city unrest and their neocon agenda increasing the risk of terrorism, now the Democrats want to go pick a fight with the other big kid on the block. One big and mean enough to hand the West’s collective arses back to them. On a smoke blackened plate that glows in the dark.

Now. Let’s take pause a moment and engage our critical faculties. No-one is stupid enough to want another World War. Especially not the nuclear kind. Such things might look like fun if you’re into video games like Mobile Strike, but the real life version, as I’m sure the civilians in any war zone will attest, not to mention the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is no fun at all. Besides, there’s all the extra funeral expenses and the attendant risk of a drone strike just as the priest intones “Ashes to ashes.” However, the upside of all out nuclear war means even the politicians little bolt holes get ruined, and that would never do.

What my third thoughts have come up with is like in ‘Wag the dog’ all this ‘poking the Russian Bear’ is a ruse. A ‘Vote for Hilary or you all fry!’ gambit, with the rhetoric ramping up right to the edge of nuclear Armageddon, then oh! the drama! there will be desperate last ditch peace talks, ‘Hilary to the rescue!’ which, miracula et signa will result in ‘world peace’ so long as the biggest piece of that world ends up belonging to the globalists. ‘The little people’ (You, me and the rest of the serfs) will of course end up footing a very large bill. War, even a narrow escape from one, being a very expensive business. Heaven forfend that the people who actually started the bloody thing have to pick up the tab.

Pass the whiskey. Might as well drink it while I can. Damn. I think I just stubbed my toe on my cynicism. Again.

Adjusts tinfoil hat…

This morning’s amusement comes courtesy of The Register. Those naughty spies at GCHQ have been up to mischief, the little scamps. Misuse of data collection. Illegal monitoring. Yeah, yeah, the stuff of paranoia, right? Well this is a bit of an “I tole ’em, buggrit. millennium hand and shrimp.” post. According to this report on a court judgement handed down in Judgement No. IPT/15/110/CH, between 1998 and 2015, the UK ‘Intelligence’ services have been rummaging through everybody’s dirty online laundry. Starting with the Blair government and continued ever since.

Which is something those of us who are familiar with the inner workings of the jolly old Interweb were always painfully aware of. That there is no such thing as complete online anonymity, and tracking any activity is easy peasy for those with access to the right tools. So all those folk who’ve been posting general naughtiness and insults from behind the supposed safety of their keyboards, guess what? Someone, somewhere can find out who you are and where you are in less than a heartbeat. Guess what else? That data will still be on record. In a small dark hard drive of a forgotten server in a data centre far, far, away is all your online data. Not just the metadata, but actual content. Financial transactions, secret messages to paramours past and present, browsing history, travel history, passport activity, where you went and who with and if you were married at the time.

Like some brooding spirit in a horror movie, all this data will never go away. Even if a name flagged up only as a by-blow of an investigation of someone bumped into once, or worked at the same office, once. In order to tick names off their list, a search will have been made. Backups of those searches will have been performed. Why? Because it’s how Police and intelligence work is done. Doggedly trawling through massive tranches of data, looking for links, occasionally getting a giggle out of something stupid someone has said or done, or ordered from that convenient online catalogue of erotic aids (Do they actually do their size?). Checking up to see if their partner is not playing away from home or draining the joint account. All that stuff and much, much more.

Because when all is said and done, we’re all bog standard Mk I humans with all the flaws contained therein. We can resist anything but temptation. Just a quick peek. Just this once. Just to be sure. No harm, no foul, right? Why? Well, the Internet is a public space. So if you drop your undergarments online, don’t be startled if someone notices that metaphorical boil on your bum. But then some of us have been saying this all along.

Wikileaks, Snowden? How much more proof does anyone need? The powers that be don’t like or trust the average voter. And it’s always worse under left leaning governments.

As my parting shot today, I thought I’d link to the first of a series of videos by a certain Project Veritas, which is busy exposing the Clinton dirty tricks machine and how they work. I’m sure there’s a UK equivalent that directs the rent-a-mob, but it’s interesting to see how the US Democrat (Hah!) party does things.

When I was a boy I always liked to go lifting rocks to watch the all nasty little critters go scurrying for cover as daylight hit. No doubt this will have the same effect if it goes viral. Wonder how long Mr O’Keefe’s channel will last before YouTube tries to take it down or ‘demonetize’ it?

Stormy weather

Not felt much like posting recently. Mainly because I felt I’d run out of things to say, so did the natural thing, which was to shut up and listen for a while. Not much to do apart from hurry up and wait anyhow.

We’ve had a few storms locally, which have shut down transport to the mainland and smaller islands for a day or so. Nothing out of the ordinary out here on the Pacific Rim. I’ve been entertaining myself watching the odd scad of airborne debris heading up the road horizontally at about fifty to sixty kilometres an hour. Just clumps of leaves and the odd twig or two zipping by, and the trees in the garden thrashing around like a hyperactive teenager in a mosh pit.

Lots of storms in teacups, well apart from near misses with hurricanes on the eastern seaboard. This whole Trump thing. Oh seriously? Is this the best they can do? The guy has less baggage in his past than I do. Anyone who can get all bent out of shape over a bit of locker room talk must have serious issues themselves. Especially when the opposition is associated with cheating charity organisations, taking massive, barely concealed backhanders from overseas and corporate interests, has defended child rape, sexual assault and a number of other crimes, not to mention breaching US National Security. And people think she’s a safe person to trust with the US Nuclear codes? Holy shit! One bout of PMT and we’re all history.

Not that the US elections aren’t all bought and paid for anyway. I don’t think the popular vote will mean a thing. The Electoral College is the one that counts. Buy enough Senators and Congressmen and the electorate can all go hang. Having read the linked article, I’m moved to comment that it’s come to a pretty pass when Russia (!) has a more democratic selection process. Who knew?

The world events that have me currently pacing the floor are the various provocations going on over Syria and Iraq. Military presences are ramping up, and with the current idiots in chief declaring a ‘cyber-war’ on Russia, they may just get the shooting war they want. Not only are US ‘intelligence’ services complicit in creating and funding the current major terrorist threats, the current US Administration want to get in a military pissing match with the Russians and Chinese.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, I breathed a huge mental sigh of relief, thinking that the threat of nuclear annihilation was past. Now that threat is firmly back on the table. If, as I think is likely, Clinton becomes US President, seriously people (either of you), I think there’s even more stormy weather ahead. The glow in the dark sort.

Important stuff

Well, that’s that. Eldest is now in the Fabled land of Oz. Flight went on time, landed on time, and according to latest message update her immigration visa acceptance was ‘a breeze’. She has a decent place to live, friends in country and even two very reasonable job offers. It threatened to get a bit emotional when we took her to YVR, but my final words into eldest’s ears before we saw her off at the security barriers were; “For god’s sake don’t forget to send pictures and tell us what you’re up to, or your Mum will drive me nuts.”

On the way back to our hotel we had a near-comical Satnag failure where the screen went blank at eleven on a very wet Vancouver evening. Mrs S stressed out at me, but all we needed to do was pull off the main drag, work out what turn we’d missed and memorise an old fashioned road map before setting off in the right direction. Wasn’t that fun? No. If there’s one thing guaranteed to disrupt domestic harmony, it’s driving and navigation.

Notwithstanding, Eldest has a place to run to if things go sour because sister in law now ensconced up Brisbane way can take her in. Mrs S of course is missing her firstborn. Which comes as no surprise. All mothers have this issue, be their offspring two hours or twenty eight years old, ergo my beloved will be less than her usual efficient self for the next two or three days. So I will step into whatever breach is necessary and smooth the path, reminding where necessary, forgiving as much as I can. Settling back to work, planning our next trips to Europe, Australasia and possibly the Caribbean for a little snowbirding in February. Not only that, but Youngest is due for two weeks at Christmas, so there will be another emotional trauma to deal with when she goes back to her London job. Hi-ho, it’s all part of growing up and being part of a global family.

Over here, the story about the Wikileaks Clinton email release and DCleaks Soros information releases is starting to gain momentum. Those in the know have long suspected the interventions and manipulations of various Soros funded organisations, but it’s like being a villager watching for suspicious ripples in a murky swamp that tell you where the Monster is. You can’t see the beast, what it’s target is or what it’s looking at, but you’ve suspected for a long time said critter is up to no good. And you know damn well it’s hungry because stuff goes missing.

Now the evidence is out there in the public domain, defended by a flimsy cordon of hatred-stirring middle class student activist types with their faux-battlecries of ‘Social Justice’, and claiming to be for ‘the people’ when they themselves have no real idea what ‘people’ are really about. ‘People’ are something you can’t learn at a liberal arts university. ‘People’ requires observation and over thirty years of experience. And when you’ve seen ordinary folk in all their light and shadow, will know in your bones that there is no such thing as ‘the masses’ or ‘the people’, just individuals trying to make their way the best they can. Some reekingly bad, some downright monstrous, but also many unaccountably good, the startlingly kind and outrageously decent. All flawed, all imperfect. All in a big, constant murmuration of societal motion.

This being said, itshould come as no surprise that there are those who want to control the motion so that they might personally profit from it. So it seems with the Soros funding machine, which channels millions of dollars (Yikes!) to various politicians and political NGO’s via a series of foundations and ‘charities’, including the ‘Open Societies’ and ‘Tides’ Foundations, which argue and push for more state organisation under the guise of ‘Saving the planet’. For example the news that ‘Global Warming’ pundit Al Gore had at least ten million USD a year bunged his way to ‘aggressively’ push the catastrophic warming agenda should not come as a shock. And there are several thousand more Wikileaks cats gleefully bounding out of bags regarding back door multi-million bungs. So it’s not really surprising that everyone who is anyone wants a taste. It’s easy money these control freaks don’t have to produce or sell anything for and ultimately feeds off society rather than contributing to it in a form of vampire economics.

The word from the sceptical side has always been ‘follow the money’ because the science for Man Made Climate Change / whatever is so obviously weak for any impending man made climate catastrophe. Indeed, certain astrophysicists have predicted that a new Dalton Minimum (possibly worse), when the climate was colder back in the 1800’s will occur over the next thirty to forty years. But there’s no slush fund money for such research, no cash for the activists, so don’t expect to hear much about it outside of academia.

I’ve even heard astrophysicists say that shifts in Earth’s molten nickel iron core have had some effect on climate via changes in our planets Magnetosphere. Which apparently ups the rate of cloud formation. See Svensmark’s work on cloud formation due to cosmic rays (The strange spelling is due to translation errors from Danish to English). Although some atmospheric physicists have claimed that atmospheric CO2 causes shifts in the Earth’s core, which is a mechanism that I have more than a little trouble with, at least from a physical modelling perspective. CO2 is comparatively speaking a very weak climate influence, swamped by all the natural feedbacks and how humanity’s CO2 emissions could alter movements and rotation of the Earth’s core has yet to be satisfactorily explained. Like the laughable claim that all the heat retained by man made CO2 emissions went off to sulk in the deep ocean because no one was paying it any attention rather violates the basic principles of heat transfer.

But we knew all this really, didn’t we? Well, you would have if you’d really been paying attention.


Suffering a bit today with a mild but debilitating lurgi caught off Eldest, who leaves us for the fabled land of Oz tomorrow. Fortunately this is a short lived bug and the fever has already broken and the cough is ‘productive’. The chunks I’ve been coughing up are fading from yellow to white, which means the infection is on the decline. Should be fine to drive Eldest to the Airport by tomorrow. Plenty of fruit juice and fresh air should speed my recovery.

Dahn sarf, in the often confused morass of US politics there’s been a lot of talk recently about a super secret cabal called the ‘Alt-Right’ and what bad people they are. Oo yes, they eat babies don’cha know. Oh yes, yes, and they’re anti everything good, wholesome and natural don’t you see, so they’re evil and must be sent to stand on the naughty step forever and ever amen. So there. Odd that the term was invented by the Clinton camp, who by any measure are hardly models of honesty and integrity. Whitewater, Haiti, Benghazi, favour selling in office, breaches of national security, Is there anything they can’t get away with?

From what I can see, the ‘Alt-Right’ label, apart from being a childish attempt to demonise most of the US electorate, encompasses everyone who likes to make their own decisions without being herded into a box by government bureaucrats who are ‘just doing their job’, whatever particular job that is defined as by a ruling elite. The label also covers anyone not fleecing the state for every penny everyone else puts into it. Which is why this all embracing term, like ‘Deplorables’ before it should be enthusiastically embraced by anyone with any integrity or self respect, regardless of actual political position. Which would mean the ‘Alt-Right’ is a broad church which includes both ‘left’ and ‘right’ leaning supporters, in particular anyone who thinks the Clinton political camp are a bunch of dishonest weasels who would auction off their own unborn for political power, money or privilege. Which is a very broad spectrum, from all the independent voters and fervent Trump fans and enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporters to the most piratical free marketeer.

FYI: ‘Alt-Right’ from what I can see does not include people who are essentially shilling for Billionaire currency speculator and international criminal (Well the Russians think so) George Soros, like Black Lives Matter or a number of ‘Environmentalist’ factions. Indeed, they themselves would be first to say so because any political position that is even mildly right of centre (or even the most mild mannered centrist) is something they despise and want to tear down and destroy. Which is why Soros throws chump change at them via various ‘Foundations’ (Tides, Open Societies etc.) He can make money off the economic instabilities such movements can cause by helping block major infrastructure projects like Dams and pipelines, burning down neighbourhoods, or any economic downturns the otherwise insignificant factions he helps fund are at the root of. Like mass migration of an incompatible culture into western nations for example. The human casualties of which of course are nothing to do with him. Therefore it is my considered opinion that Soros is not ‘Alt-Right’. Nor is anyone associated with him or his organisations, or any allies thereof.

Which is as good a reason I can come up with to openly declare that I am part of the ‘Alt-Right’. For whatever that’s worth.

Spider season

The first hint of Fall, or Autumn as we expatriates call it, always brings the wolf spiders indoors. A shriek yesterday morning alerted me to the first of these annoying eight legged interlopers when one was found poised perkily on the coverlet. Using the old jar and card trick, which goes like this, to the feminine chorus of “Don’t kill it! Nooo, get rid of it! Bill! Do it now!” Using a piece of card and a sufficiently large jar or glass, put jar over offending creature, slide card underneath affronted arachnid and carry to window or door and eject summarily. I found said dreaded wee beastie’s brother (Or sister, with spiders it’s hard to tell. Is there such a profession as ‘Spider sexer’?) in the tumble drier this morning and decided to deploy the heavy artillery, otherwise known as the vacuum cleaner, which is the nuclear option as far as spiders are concerned. Those that learn to keep out of the way of humans live, those that don’t, die. This is the way of things since Mrs Ug first screamed at Mr Ug to get rid of this horrifying half inch nightmare from their cave. You’d think that after the last couple of hundred thousand years of evolution the spiders would get the hint that humans are bad news, but no. Hi-ho.

Spider season is a little earlier by my reckoning this year and betokens a cold winter even though locally we’re having a run of sunny days with only a few showers. Normally they don’t start infiltrating households in any numbers until October. At least in these latitudes. A couple of our local species are known to pack a nasty nip, so instead of meandering around the office and apartment in bare feet as I usually do, I’ve elected to put my socks on. Just in case.

And speaking of those human web lie-spinners and purveyors of influence, the Clintons, I see the lamestream is finally owning up to the fact that Hilary Clinton is most definitely ill, no it’s not just a temporary sniffle because you don’t ‘fit’ during a faint or bout of pneumonia unless you’ve got something else pretty serious going on. Now here’s an interesting medical fact; the coughing is a known side effect of certain blood pressure medication, which, knowing that she has a family history of strokes and previous TIA‘s, it’s not a total wild guess to say she may be taking something like Ramipril. Which also might account for some of the fainting and spasms observed. She’s had TIA’s before, so I have a strong suspicion that she’s on quite a high dose to prevent another incidence. It would fit in with the prescription of Coumadin she’s been known to be on. Which would account for more or less all of her observed symptoms. The fainting and fitting, ‘zoning out’ and episodes of imbalance, not to mention the coughing fits. An adverse drug reaction would also account for the fast ‘recoveries’ as the dosages are altered. Well done Bill. Mystery solved.

Anyway, that’s besides the point. Eldest is due in under a week, the freezer is full, and we’re turning the apartment upside down in order to rearrange for her coming royal visit before she heads off to Oz. Brother in law is much better, and currently recuperating in France. Despite the spiders, life could be a lot worse.

The randomness of existence

Illness in our little clan has reared its head once more, with eldest having a close brush with Malaria two weeks shy of her Australian residential / work permit medical. Brother in law looks to be on the mend, although post-op he’s looking a bit tattered and torn. This has also been a frustrating time because Mrs S and I have debated flying off to Africa on a rescue mission, but then deciding we’d be as much good as a chocolate teapot, because the medics at the hospital in question gave Eldest the most up to date treatment for the Malaria parasite, which has now been purged from her system. Like brother in law, she’s looking a bit worse for wear when we talk to her on Skype, but give her another forty eight hours and she’s going to be fine. Brother in law will take a bit longer because his condition was a direct hit on his lymphatic system. However, he is too robust and will recover quickly because if I know him, it would take a small thermonuclear device to put him down. This is good, because his Australian immigration medical is scheduled for November I think, and he and my other sister in law have worked too hard to fall at the final hurdle.

What else? I managed to piss off junior sister in law this weekend because I gave brother in law a small bag of birthday goodies we’d picked up in our trans american travels. She’d have been just as pissed off at me if I hadn’t, but I’ve learned that as far as she’s concerned, I’m always in a lose-lose scenario. Apparently I’m to blame for everything from her older sister, Mrs S, not calling her precisely on time because junior sister in law has such a busy schedule and never answers the phone herself anyway. Or some other minor inconvenience because I had the temerity to marry into ‘her’ family. Not middle class enough I think. Or as one of my cousins remarked, having met her briefly when Mrs S and I got married. “Lady Muck.”

At home I’m trying to steer clear on the subject of the US Presidential elections because although I’m not necessarily pro-Trump, I just feel he’s a much better bet than Clinton. While Mrs S disagrees, having swallowed the narrative being fed to the public via the lamestream. Why do I feel this way? Because I’m betting that Clinton will be no better than Obama, whose presidency now looks like it will only leave scorched earth behind it. Clinton, from what I can see is in hock to special interests and overseas influences as well as the big dark question mark over FBI investigations (It’s not just the emails, folks) and what seems to be a serious health problem that will directly impact on her ability to adequately fulfil the role of US President. Anyone remember the premise of Ivan Reitman’s amusing political fantasy movie ‘Dave‘? Where a cynical and corrupt US President (Republican of course) is replaced with an underachieving lookalike after suffering a massive stroke, who ironically turns out to be a better president than the real deal.

Yet could life end up mimicking art? Because I still think Clinton will win the Presidency because she’s bought and sold. Every dirty trick in the electoral book will be brought to bear upon her behalf, and like the scheming fictional Queen Cersei the throne of the west will be hers.

Although I hope she won’t win the election because instead of representing the US population, she only represents her own interests and those of big business and foreign donors. It seems that this is not an opinion that is uncommon. As I’ve said before, we toured through twenty three States on our big US road trip in May and June, and saw plenty of support for all the other hopefuls, but not one lawn sign, bumper sticker, banner or advertisement supporting Clinton. Most of the overt support we saw was for Bernie Sanders, with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz banners coming in second. There was even a John Kasich billboard up in Utah, but nary a one for Clinton. Which tells me one thing; popular support won’t win this election. Big money will. Just like for Bush and Obama.

Anyway. More important things have been done, like getting my recipe for dry garlic salt and peppered pork ribs right. It’s so easy it’s ridiculous. A pound of frozen pork back ribs. Rub with a lick of Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder to taste. Give it a quick rub, sprinkle with black pepper, set the oven at about 325-350 Fahrenheit (Gas Mark 3 or 180 Celsius). Stick the rack of ribs in a roasting pan, put in oven and leave for ninety five minutes. Switch oven off after time is up. Remove ribs and leave out to cool. Or if you’re feeling brave, eat while they’re piping hot. “Do not change this recipe. It’s evil.” Says Mrs S.

Well, far be it from me…. Good or bad it’s all part of the randomness of existence.


A lot of stories are bubbling under the surface about the Clinton campaign south of the 49th parallel. Concerns have been voiced about a possible stroke risk to the candidate in question, especially in light of the public ‘symptoms’ which include repetitive coughing, occasional stumbles and small changes in facial appearance. Then there’s the prescription of blood thinning medicine Coumadin – might be something, might be nothing, US Doctors prescribe heavy duty medication at the drop of a Stethoscope. The other stories concern the deaths of those who have been associated with that family and their business over the last three decades, which at the very least do seem statistically anomalous. From the rather convenient deaths of key witnesses over Whitewater and the known murders of people reputed to have witnessed certain drug deals to the latest 2016 tranche of demises.

Now by comparison I’ve lost most of my old friends through one cause or another, and we led a very robust lifestyle. Most of my close old mates died in drink drive incidents, SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You) RTA’s (Collisions), dumb accidents (Getting paralytically drunk and falling into a frozen canal), with only two by actual suicide and none by murder. Four have succumbed to various cancers and medical conditions around the big five-oh. With a few of us still soldiering on man (and woman) fully with only the occasional health glitch. So the number of violent deaths of people associated with the Clintons over the past three decades do seem to stand out, at the very least, as being frightfully unlucky. At least in comparison to the US Actuarial life table.

However (Adjusts tinfoil hat), if the deaths are proven to have a suspicious conspiracy element, I’m minded to think that no major criminal mastermind has time to fuss with all that detail, all they have to do is give a well timed shake of the head, laboured sigh or loaded sidelong glance at an article and their minions do the rest. These bosses delegate all the tedious details, and just like in any other major organisation, trust their subordinates to do what they think they’re told. Off the record, of course. Like a certain meeting at Phoenix Arizona airport’s tarmac with the U.S. Attorney General and the FBI, where no recording devices were allowed. Where the conversation was about about ‘golf and general social chit-chat’? Mm-hm.

Which is all rather academic if you’re the poor sod who ends up dead of an ‘overdose'(Shawn Lucas Died 2 August 2016, awaiting autopsy report), shot in the back during a ‘robbery’ (Seth Conrad Rich. Died 6 July 2016), a crushed throat reported as an untimely heart attack (John Ashe. Died: June 22, 2016), murdered at her home in Honduras (Berta Caceres. Died: March 3, 2016) or does a header under a London Tube Train (John Jones QC. Died: 21 April 2016) is just a casualty. If these people had even the most tenuous links to the Republican presidential campaign, the lamestream would be all over it like a cheap suit.

Then there’s Joe Montano, ex DNC chief who died Aged 47 of a ‘massive heart attack’ July 25, 2016. Not to mention anti-Clinton writer Victor Thorn, who ate a bullet on August 1 2016. Which is a lot of people dying in a relatively short time frame with one common denominator. That’s a lot of coincidences in just over two months. Not that any evidence of a connection between these latest deaths or anyone associated with the Clinton Foundation will be found of course. Well, naturally. But if I had any links to their dealings I’d make damned sure my life insurance was up to date and my affairs were in order.

And people keep telling me that Donald Trump is ‘dangerous’? Well, maybe some of his public statements are ill considered, poorly presented or appear rash, but at least people who have done business with him and his companies don’t seem to die in suspiciously violent circumstances.

Update for clarification: assertions that Hilary Clinton is suffering from Parkinsons disease have been mooted, which are plainly quite ridiculous. The early onset symptoms of Parkinsons are quite unmistakable, and having carefully watched recent videos of her moving around a stage with the sound turned off, have seen nothing to justify such a remote diagnosis. No stoop, no pin rolling gestures, no visible tremors which generally precede ‘freezing’ of thought or motion. Far more likely is a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA, or mini stroke) or the obscure but debilitating Subcortical Vascular Dementia ( Subcortical Arteriosclerotic Encephalopathy) or Binswanger’s Disease, either of which are a better fit with her observed lapses and coincide with a known family history of strokes. Could be wrong, but the reports of blood thinners being prescribed would rule out Parkinsons because the treatment for that is Levdopa and perhaps some form of anticholinergic drug.

How to eat an Elephant

Vaudeville comic. “I say, I say, I say! Have you seen my Elephant?”
Straight man. “I didn’t know you had one. Why do you have an Elephant? Is it a pet? Or are you just bragging?”
Vaudeville comic. “No, my dear chap, it’s for my lunch.”
Straight man. “Good god man, you must be hungry.”
Vaudeville comic. “I am. I am. Have you seen it?”
Straight man. “No good sir, but you’ve piqued my curiosity. How on Earth do you go about eating an Elephant?”
Vaudeville comic. “One slice at a time!” Ba-Boom!
Catch and eat elephant
Yerss… wellll. I’ve done it again. The realisation has sunk in that I’ve let my wife talk me into another mammoth (Groan. I know, I’ll get me coat) undertaking (Groan again) The Elephant in question is this three month European motorcycle tour for 2017. Mrs S as usual is dropping a good deal of the research in my lap and then when I’m just about to hit ‘Book’ on the accommodation booking site wants to take an entirely different route altogether. Also known as the “Oh Bill.” Manoeuvre. Which always leaves me with the sensation I’m following the Mrs Beaton recipe for Elephant a la Tanganyika (Serves 500), which not only requires half a tonne of star fruit and oranges for the sauce, but begins ‘first catch your elephant’.

Now the maps have arrived I’m reminded of the first round Europe tour we did on two wheels, which was a titch by comparison yet still took up slightly over three thousand miles in three weeks on my old 900ST. This version will be taking us almost three times as far in three months. Which is a much different ball game.

However, today I just saved myself well over three thousand dollars which is a little less Heffalump to scarf down. Let me explain. Touring motorcycles, even big ones like a 1215 Trophy, BMW KL1200T, Honda Gold Wing or ST1300 Pan European have a finite luggage carrying capacity. One of the solutions to improve the carrying capacity is to fit a tow bar and tow a small trailer. But these things, while popular in Germany and over here in North America, are expensive and leave rider and pillion vulnerable to people who are not particularly switched on. Here in North America, where on some roads you can go an hour without seeing another vehicle this isn’t a problem. In crowded old Europe it’s just more bike to be hit.

The saving comes from digging out my old water resistant ripstop nylon thirty inch duffel bag which will bungee and cargo strap neatly onto the rear top box platform of the Trophy whilst giving us at least thirty kilo’s of extra luggage capacity. It also gets us round several logistical concerns, like whether Air Canada will treat such a trailer as a separate vehicle and charge me another three thousand dollars on top of what I’ll already be coughing up for the air fares. Then there’s parking, overnight storage and security in the less secure environments we may find ourselves passing through. Better a single bag I can sling over my shoulder, Mrs S can take the electronics in my old weatherproof Belstaff backpack and I still have a bolt cutter resistant wheel lock and cable. I’ll spend some of the money I’ve saved by purchasing a proper tank bag and cover.

Overall this little epiphany may end up cutting at least five thousand dollars off my original trip budget, possibly even as much as seven. Which is money that can be put to other uses like upscale accommodation, and nicer country restaurants who don’t bat an eyelid at people who amble in from the car park wearing full motorcycle gear. Any of you who were alive and riding in the 1970’s and 80’s will recall the many ‘No Biker’ signs around every pub in the UK. Contrariwise, I have found continental Europe blessedly free of such blind prejudice.

The one dark spot on the horizon is a household disagreement over the current state of US politics. Mrs S thinks Hilary Clinton should be the next president of the USA, mainly because she’s female and a veteran politician. My view is that if I had a vote it would be for anyone but Hilary Clinton, precisely because she is a ‘veteran politician’, and thus part of the problem not the solution. She may have a ‘track record’ but so has a horse that’s run a lot of races and consistently come last. As an observation; during our road trip around the US, and latterly when we spent our last long weekend north of Seattle we saw lots of Bernie Sanders bumper stickers and lawn signs and quite a number for Donald Trump, even a few for Barack Obama, but absolutely no visible support for Hilary Clinton anywhere. From Washington State down through California and across to South Carolina. We saw no bumper stickers, lawn signs, billboards or anything. Well, perhaps her campaign has been pacing itself, or they were hiding off the main Interstates, but I’m not convinced.

Anyway, that’s someone else’s Elephant to eat. Hope they brought plenty of mustard and a bakery load of bread.

Trump card

Now that Donald J Trump is officially the Republican Presidential nominee I expect to keep hearing even more stories about people from south of the border (and I don’t mean Mexicans) threatening to move to Canada should he become President of the USA. Trust me chaps, it’s a bad idea. Honestly, as this cartoon by the irrepressible XKCD points out. Our Winters can get a bit brutal, especially in the Rockies and Eastbound. Which is why most of us prefer to snuggle up close to the 49th Parallel or thereabouts. Even here in the comparatively mild Maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest it can get decidedly chilly. Especially Campbell River and north.

Dont move to canada To begin with, north of the 49th parallel we do not enjoy the same diversity of goods as in the US of A. Grocery stores do not stock wine or even lite beer. Did I also mention it’s more expensive to live up here as well? Food and rent prices are generally higher, and property costs more to buy, even with the current exchange rate. A lot of places close on public holidays as well as Sundays and Mondays and Wal-Mart is no longer taking VISA payments in some of its stores. And if you want to shop at Target instead… oh, wait. You can’t. They’re all shut. Permanently. Then there’s the bears. Who aren’t to be messed with, even in the suburbs of Vancouver. They’re are also known to break into cars (To be fair, it was a Lexus). On the plus side, the wildlife does tend to keep the human varmints indoors, when they’re not indulging in the odd gang shooting (The gang bangers, not the Bears or Cougars). Which keeps our local Police busy. Yes, and Marijuana isn’t fully legal just yet. So before you sell up and fill up the U-Haul, take a deep breath.

Then there’s the Governance. It’s a bit more, well, intrusive if you know what I mean. Especially at the local scale. We might currently have a progressive prime minister, but no, Canada is not the progressive paradise you might think it is. Trudeau or no.

Don’t even mention the First Nations land claims or the endless prevaricating over relatively simple decisions like building a new sewage treatment facility for BC’s provincial capital. Or that our Provincial Prime Minister avoids coming to Victoria as much as possible because there’s “No real people” here (Which I find a bit insulting). Dear me no. A can of worms? More like truckloads. It’s why things move at a slower pace up here in the not so frozen north. Especially immigration.

However, we like it, but for Americans some of our more, ahem, eccentric practices might be too much of an an acquired taste. So are you damn Yankees absolutely sure you’re going to head north if, or more likely when, Donald Trump becomes the next US President?