Tag Archives: Travel

On the road again

Okay. I’m officially homeless. The apartment is closed up cleaned up and signed off. The movers have come and gone with all our worldly goods in a shipping container and Mrs S and I are currently enjoying a hiatus in a nice hotel while we let the hamster wheels in our heads slow down a little.

Upside; we’ve got a warm bed, good food and all the somewhat restricted delights of downtown. Nice coffee.

Downside; Elderly Friend is on the way out and will need increasing levels of care as she slowly saunters off into the long night, pausing every few hours to fall and hurt herself yet further. We can do nothing for her except ensure her care levels are adequate by liaising with the care home staff and as Powers of Attorney making sure the money is there to pay for her care. Funeral is paid for. Not much else we can do but wait for the inevitable. The person we knew has gone, leaving a confused husk of habits and discontinuous memories.

On the streets of downtown Victoria the face nappy wearers are much in evidence. I keep a surgical mask in my pocket just in case someone absolutely insists I have to wear one, but so far it has remained unused. And I’m not much of a social person anyway.

The whole anti-social distancing thing is inconvenient, even ignored upon occasion. However, SARS/COV-2 has passed over us, like 80% of the population, with barely a ripple. The death count is nearly zero, even though increased testing has detected more people who have brushed the virus off as a mere inconvenience.

The only people truly frightened of this bug are the media and politicians, who know, deep in their spavined little souls that they are going to hell and want to put the whole eternal damnation experience off, just in case they are sent untimely coughing into oblivion or painful retribution for all the harms they have caused. Satan, Lord of Hell, is complaining that business has dropped right off and is going to have to rethink his marketing strategy.

More mundanely, regarding social distancing; I find it keeps the intrusive at bay, which I’m developing an enduring affection for. Now no one gets in your face and the nutters on the bus are too frightened of getting the dreaded lurgi to sit near anyone. See the highly entertaining Jasper Carrott sketch below.

Which I suppose is a compensation of sorts.

Time for breakfast.

Post breakfast update: The homeless encampment behind Victoria BC’s city hall has been shifted and the area given a sluicing down with disinfectant. There were a bunch of tents there last night. Now just rapidly drying puddles of disinfectant laced water ringed with yellow tape.

Ch-ch-ch changes

Today’s bitch is about being at the beck and call it seems of everyone but us. We’re trying to arrange visitors for Elderly Friend, who is ever more confused and vulnerable. She is well cared for, but we’re constrained by this godawful lockdown and our own moving schedule, yet those who have leisure time to assist, well, ‘crickets’ from them.

Landlord is popping in and out doing minor bits of maintenance for the next tenants and caught me with my head and shoulders inside the oven. Being an expat Brit, he made the traditional joke “Don’t do it Bill!” as he passed by. It’s not even a gas oven, but someone has to clean it, and guess whose turn it is in the barrel? Got it in one.

Then our logistics company called and asked if the export packing crew could arrive early, one extra day early in fact. Which means we’re going to be sitting on boxes in an empty house watching Amazon Prime on our computers for twenty four hours longer than necessary. However, if the kit gets shifted early I’m okay with that. It won’t affect what we’re paying as they’ve told us not to downsize any more because there’s no further cost benefit to be had. We’ve also still got some old stuff to shift, but most of that will go to the charity stores on Wednesday or Friday after the shifting crew has gone.

In the latest development over these lockdowns I see that the CCP is ‘vaccinating’ their citizens without the completion of proper clinical trials. Which is rather a cynical mass experiment the Chinese may well pay for. The H1N1 vaccine was rushed out like this to health service workers, resulting in a number of issues like Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Short to medium term respiratory disease vs long-term neurological illness? Dealers choice. I don’t want to be a guinea pig.

Coronaviruses like influenza seem to have a similar mortality to SARS?COV-2. Which is not surprising, they’re all from the same family. That said, the mortality figures for this novel coronavirus are slightly higher than common seasonal influenza, but not by much. This is not the black death, as I have said several times. It’s more like the Hong Kong flu of 1969 or the Asian flu of 1957, or of the 2010 ‘Swine Flu’ which we never shut our economies down for. My major concern is that some moronic panicking politician will lock us down yet again before we can get to the bloody airport. As for making a half-ready ‘vaccine’ mandatory? I say; fuck off and let those who want to get back to their lives.

I’ll breathe properly again when we hit dirtside at our destination.

Unafraid

Thinking about what I’m about to do in the next few weeks, specifically change continents for the second time in a lifetime, I must confess to being a little stressed, but that stress is all about the small stuff. Things like; can I get to the airport on time, have I packed enough stuff in my carry on for comfort during travel, have I remembered to keep the myriad details of my life up to date so that we can pass untroubled? Is the last meter reading correct? Is the gas off? Are all the forms filled in properly? Hundreds of tiny details. But I’m not stressed about our destination or what we’ll be doing when we get there because we have a plan. A good plan. A workable plan. And I am not afraid.

I’m not afraid of this Pandemic nor of of man made climate change, or any of the other imagined crises the mass media likes to afflict us with. They’re coming across more like conspiracy theorists than the stereotypical tinfoil hat wearer bundled up in a slept-in parka raving about 5G and Chemtrails. Much of the mainstream news, with a little simple research, can be dismissed wholesale. Especially the more notoriously partisan outlets. I say; if the money ain’t moving it probably isn’t anything to fret about. It’s just drama for drama’s sake.

As for Neil Ferguson, the progenitor of the worst possible case pandemic scenario, a little bird tells me that he is heavily invested in one of the companies in the rush to produce a ‘vaccine’ for SARS/COV-2. Mm-hm, money followed and look where it leads.

Yes there are potential risks to our venture, but most of those come from over-zealous enforcement of rules made by badly advised and panicking politicians. I can deal with those by moving purposefully with the right papers in hand, having my lawyers on speed dial and paying the barest lip service to the many counter-intuitive restrictions. So I’m not scared. Exasperated probably, annoyed possibly, mildly worried, frustrated and even angry about the lack of cognition among the greater public perhaps, but frightened? Nah.

Yet I’m definitely not fearless. I actually like and respect fear. Fear is useful because the experience gives you options. It can also be a spur to action rather than make you freeze like a rabbit in the headlights. However, caution is usually a good idea when dealing with the unknown. Now the evidence is out there that this virus is a known risk and the raw numbers say it is a minuscule risk. Ergo fear at this juncture is not warranted.

I’m not afraid because I have learned that fear always makes things worse. All that screaming and shouting is so counter-productive when actions are more important. I swear, my last words on this earth will probably be something like “Oh fuck.” cursing myself for not being vigilant enough. Besides, I’ve spent a good deal of my existence fixing other people’s screw ups, as well as a number of my own. So being familiar with various minor disasters, conflict resolution gets to be second nature and all the drama others like to generate around their pointless little lives just triggers my eye-rolling reflex. Calm, I have learned, can fix almost anything. Calm lets you think, assess the true risks while everyone else is running about like headless chickens getting in the way. Panic makes you witless and prone to screwing up even further. Yes, I’m a member of the awkward squad, so what?

By way of illustration about my membership of the awkward squad, may I recite the following anecdotes; I got kicked out of the Boy Scouts and much to my families endless entertainment and embarrassment, Kindergarten. Bill, you got kicked out of kindergarten? Yes I did because someone’s little darling tried to push me around and I wasn’t in the mood. On my second day no less. Ma turned up and was visibly upset at me being asked to leave. I think there was something about a bloody nose somewhere in the mix, but it’s too long ago and I don’t remember. Honestly officer, I din’t do nuffin.

And I’m willing to bet there are a whole lot of other people out there who aren’t really afraid of this stupid mass panic either. They’re confused by all the craziness pushed by the dramatising, click hungry media, angry even, as am I. But afraid? No.

It’s not difficult to be unafraid. All you have to do is adjust your attitude to risk. Not to be fearful simply because someone tells you to be. Learn to accept the inevitability of pain, which is rarely so bad as imagined. I have old injuries that hurt all the time and slow me down a bit. However I have learned that fear only makes pain seem worse. Physical pain is a whole lot easier to handle than fear. I speak from raw experience.

The people pushing this endless fear need a good stinging slap in the face or two, just to let them know. Yes, you Piers Morgan, you media whore, we’re looking at you. Go to the top of the class and do a header into the playground. I promise not to cheer, much.

Crazy

Okay, that’s the car sold. Yes, our beloved little Subaru is going to a new home up island. I didn’t want to sell Thumper, but the shipping fees would have been half the value of our versatile little SUV and there was also the nuisance of re-registering to look forward to, so we have elected to sell. Got a reasonable price, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to a good home so what can I say. Like with the Mutt, it’s a bit of a wrench but we’ll survive. We will remember the miles we travelled (Twice across North America and back, provincial road trips and sojourns to Oregon and California) with great fondness.

As for how our car got it’s name? Hey, who can forget this moment of movie magic at about 1:01. “Hey Bambi, look what I can do!” Shouts Thumper the Snowshoe rabbit (Voiced by then young actor Peter Behn). Let me enlarge. Shortly after we bought it there was a series of heavy snowfalls and a cold snap which it sailed through while we saw vans and 4×4’s up ended in drifts and ditches. Thus ‘Thumper’ was christened. It will be a long while until I can score another car that sure footed in all weathers. I’ve looked at subsequent models, but they’re all gadget heavy and are nowhere near as much fun to drive, so we were never tempted to upgrade.

The craziness in the outside world continues unabated, from an anti-lockdown party in Ontario being attacked by two chainsaw toting nutcases, political rioting south of the border, and other stupid frightened people doing all kinds of unhinged shit because the media and politicians have scared them out of what little wits they have. They think wearing a cloth mask that is not regularly cleaned reduces their chance of getting sick. It doesn’t. Sorry kids. Even a properly made surgical mask cannot prevent you inhaling infected droplets. The only way of being completely ‘safe’ is by wearing a hermetically sealed Level A Hazmat suit like one of these with it’s own dedicated oxygen supply. Even then, that will need to be thoroughly cleaned between uses.

The best way to avoid getting ill is to keep your immune system topped up with a decent mixed diet, fresh air, moderate exercise and some sunshine. Friendly human contact helps too as it reduces stress which might act as a suppressant to your immune system.

Yes I know I keep repeating the above, but it’s my way of inoculating myself against all the crazy shit being pumped out by politicians and the majority of the mass media.

As for stress, I’ve got quite enough of that and more to come until at least the middle of next year and don’t need any more thank you so very much. Due to yet another Canadian ‘Government advisory’ we’ve had our booking changed yet-a-bloody-gain this morning.

What is it with these idiotic ‘government advisories’. Do the Canadian authorities think that by keeping changing people’s flight arrangements they’ll put them off flying? Don’t hold your breath baby (On second thoughts please do, oh yes, please, please hold your fucking breath). Because to paraphrase the famous words of St Anne of Widdecombe, we’re going, and ever more glad to be going. We’re off.

Downsizing rapidly

Wow. Have we only a month or so to go before our flight leaves? How these things creep up on us. Fortunately we’re keeping to schedule, and despite mildly bizarre happenstances like having masked people turn up at your door to buy stuff off you, oh and disturbing a rather large wolf spider, about five inches span, which somehow had hitched a lift indoors last night, all is moving along nice and steadily. So far so good.

Masked people have come and gone. Spider was dealt with and this week sees us passing our power of attorney on to our deputy along with all the paperwork that entails; bank accounts, wills, DNR’s and all the rest of it. A trip up island is planned to visit Elderly Friend and relatives who are taking over from us. A time for everything and everything in it’s time sets the order for the day. All we can do is grit our teeth and hope we don’t have too many more curve balls to deal with.

At least locally our parks are open again and a few families are venturing up to our local lake for a dip when it gets a bit too warm. Apart from the malls and stores where all the silly restrictions are in place, life trundles on.

Today I have car hire to organise and the last of our stuff to put up for sale. Our apartment grows more echoey by the day.

Incoming

Gordon Bennett! It’s been a bit of a stormy few days with stuff flying in from all directions. First was yet another change to our bloody flights. Because of ‘Government policy’ the airline changed our flight date. Which means I had to go chasing around, changing hotel bookings on the fly, ensuring that the fragile procedural strings binding our whole move together remained intact. If I can’t blag an upgrade to Business Class out of this, I’ll feel I’ll be letting the side down.

Fortunately we’re using Bookings.com which allows me to make changes and find alternatives in short order, so changing our existing bookings wasn’t too onerous. Just another dose of “WTF!” to enliven the day. A shower of emails currently passes through my inbox regarding all the minutiae of travel nowadays. Transfer of residence forms, waiting for hours in booking call centre queues, conversations over moving out details with landlord, all the fun of the fair. Although in these instances the ‘fair’ concerned isn’t very fair at all and appears to have been designed by the Marquis De Sade with a bad migraine. Not my idea of fun but some thrive on it.

So, the rollercoaster of life continues unabated with few bright spots apart from ‘North’ calling in to tell us she’s blagged a new job with much more money in a far bigger practice of solicitors. ‘South’ is snuggled down in Cairns with in-laws, so physically they’re both okay, which is always good to hear. Especially when so many are struggling in this Government-created crisis.

On a personal note our tally of worldly goods continues to shrink to a more reasonable level. With just over a month to go we think we’ve found a buyer for the car with another interested party on hold. And an interested dealership if those options go south.

As for our apartment, we’re working with our landlord to ensure all is in apple pie order for the handover, things like filling in tiny holes in the drywall where mirrors and pictures were hung and ensuring paintwork is up to snuff. We’ve already asked for a written reference and it never hurts to show willing. He’s sorry to see us go, so he says, but I’d like that in writing to be on the safe side when our boots hit the ground and we need some proof of character. A good reference can be worth a hundred times its weight in gold, so we try to keep on our landlord’s good side. Can’t hurt.

As for what’s going on over here with supplies being bought for mass vaccinations; I’m suspicious. This whole vaccine thing is being rushed, and what’s the saying? “You can have it quick or you can have it good.”

Besides, some random bugger comes at me with a shonky Chinese made needle and I’ll be asking some pointed questions beginning with “Are you aware you’re violating my charter rights?” followed by “What training have you had?” then summed up with “I’ll get mine from my local nurse when she tells me it’s safe. She has a proper license.” and perhaps a tart “I want your name and your supervisors name so I know who to send my lawyers after if I suffer any ill effects.” if forced to comply.

We’re in this mess because panicking politicians and drama obsessed mass media, faced with a disease most have some form of immunity by now, are still running around like chickens with their arses on fire. Doesn’t matter that a mask is currently less use than a chocolate teapot. Doesn’t matter that infection and death rates are way down despite a massive increase in testing. The political class have decided to send us down the road to hell. So Mrs S and I are trying to dive under the wire whilst also ensuring our little clan are safe.

All the mandatory masks and talk of mass vaccination is just lip service to convince the rest of us peons that our political class actually know what they’re doing. Which I am ever more convinced that they don’t and leads to the truth that the mass media and politicians always lie, but, as I am ever ready to observe, the real numbers don’t.

Playing the game

Mrs S and I were taking advantage of the weather this morning, sitting on the deck, drinking coffee and enjoying the view under cloudy skies. Observing differences in the weather from Thursday evening. Last night was quite the sight. A huge weather system dominating the whole sky was drifting in from the Pacific like a whirlpool galaxy made up of streaks of scudding cloudlets lit by a gibbous moon. Quite spectacular.

I’d been up since five, filling in forms, valuing goods and responding to a flurry of emails from our logistics company. I swear we never had this when we moved to Canada from the UK. Still, it is what it is and as Mrs S remarked, we’re still in the game and playing hard. Because moving continents is a game. A game played by at least four sides with rules changing by the minute. Especially at present, when panicking Western politicians without a clue about epidemiology are fussing with rules made to make them look as though they know what they’re doing (Clue; they don’t). Which means I’m currently ‘sleeping’ with one eye open and my keyboard to hand. Which is not very much at all.

When I put ‘sleeping’ in inverted commas, I mean napping fitfully waiting for the next curve ball to come flying at me. This morning was the threat of our first accommodation booking going AWOL on us, which would have required some very fancy footwork on my part. Three transatlantic phone calls later it was all sorted and payment accepted. Then there’s the customs people, who seem to want everything but my Grandfathers inside leg measurement to pre-clear our goods and chattels even before they’re loaded.

By nine am I’m normally done for the day, having done everything required of me. Just a couple of calls today to tidy stuff up and I’ll be finished. Except for one final form. Well, not final, I’ve still got the insurance documentation to complete, but that I can take my time over. We’ve got a month to go yet.

Mrs S has gratefully taken a back seat to all these shenanigans, happy to leave me in control. There are things to be done, money to be shuffled about but that side of things is mostly okay and all I have to do is keep on top of it, paying by due date, making sure all the necessaries are done to schedule. Despite the fact that my final paycheck from the job that recently went belly up is going to be late. Heavy sigh.

No matter, all I have to do is keep my own personal money-go-round moving and we’ll all be golden.

Until the next idiocy comes flying at me like a rabid raccoon on acid.

Update:
Okay, paid a brief visit to the mailbox of the company that just let me go. There was nothing for me to do but it was full of increasingly shrill “Where are you?” Emails. I guess someone didn’t get the memo then.

Also. I forgot. It’s a long holiday weekend! I won’t have any middle-of-the-night-must be-done stuff for three whole freakin days! What am I going to do……… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (Snore)

Patterns

Still busy clearing house for the big move. Movers are contracted and deposits paid. Paperwork is in order (So far!) and we’re hammering out the fine details. The pieces are falling into place and I find myself on first name terms with the guys at the recycle yard. Oh yes, and a big milestone. We finished disposing of all our unwanted documents yesterday! All the pulping is done. Yay! Everything we need recorded is now in electronic format and can be accessed from backup at a whim. And I have multiple backups and a disaster recovery plan.

As someone who watches markets, I’m always on the lookout for patterns which might indicate where the money is going and what it is doing once it gets there. One of the other things you get used to doing is what the conspiracy theorists do, find coincidences which might indicate that someone in a position of power and privilege is playing fast and loose with what is not rightfully theirs and behaving in a reprehensible manner.

Like with this Covid-19 business. The actual figures indicate this ‘pandemic’ is now endemic in the population. Those who are going to die have mostly died. All else is politics. So there is no sound epidemiological reason to wear a mask any more. Although I was chatting with one of our contacts, who said that masks were like little totems, fetish items, something to hang on to when a complacent belief system is challenged. People are being terrorised by all the conflicted hyperbole out there, and so are using face masks as a statement of compliance. Even if they do look rather ridiculous wearing surgical masks whilst driving along the highway with all the windows closed.

The most interesting series of events are those surrounding the Epstein case. It is becoming more readily apparent that there really is no smoke without fire, and certain ruthless people with political power and privilege have been abusing not only their power, but also those too young to make informed sexual decisions.

Jeffrey Epstein was (is? some say his death was too convenient, perhaps even staged) a billionaire who was (so it has been widely reported) no great shakes as a Wall Street trader, but a hell of a panderer and blackmailer. Which is how he is alleged to have made his fortune. His parties were notorious events where he would attempt to ensnare the wealthy and connected in a web of sexual corruption, trading the sexual favours of under aged girls for insider information and being sold properties and securities at under market value to sell at a profit later. However, now he is ‘dead’ he is no longer available to incriminate others. No doubt a similar fate awaits Ghislaine Maxwell. Although Epstein probably kept direct knowledge of those he was blackmailing or being blackmailed by away from her, so she could be thrown to the dogs as and when needed. From what I have seen of Ms Maxwell, this has a high likelihood of being true.

Tim Pool has some interesting reportage on the continuing scandal involving the Clintons. But not Trump, despite all the media twatter squawking.

Now I think Epstein was a catspaw, someone who was used in turn as a means of securing soft power over greedy and sexually depraved people. He had a network of people indebted to him and those rich and politically powerful people who in turn he owed his continued existence and wealth to. Anyone who poses a threat to the network of the rich and politically connected perverts he served is still very much likely to be at threat to their life.

What is obvious is that the depraved rich play for keeps, as demonstrated by the recent assassination of a Federal Court Justices son and wounding of her husband after she was assigned a case related to the Epstein farrago. This killing demonstrates that the nerve of the depraved is beginning to break. The alleged gunman is dead, so supposedly cannot point to another link in the chain of evidence. If of course the real gunman did die and not some patsy.

However, with a media, large sections of whom seem determined to run interference for the depraved and politically connected, there seems no way that these high powered criminals will ever be brought to account. The very media appear ideological allies of a political Mafia, loosely affiliated crime family or political Cosa Nostra whose tendrils reach all the way into the depths of world governments and the United Nations.

It is worth noting that these are often the very same people currently telling everyone else what is moral and how to live via their networks. Forever dividing us with their talk of ‘diversity’ and endless race-baiting. Weaponising the deluded. Forever throwing up hobgoblins and bogeymen to keep the majority bamboozled and confused, ensuring they do not realise that they are being lied to. The globalists who want power for power’s sake and if a few individuals get used and abused, hey, they can be bought off, bullied to silence or in extremis disposed of.

This is what I see as the patterns emerge. Too many convergent lines where the hidden stories, like arcane monsters from the deep give notice of where and what they are with a swirl in the news cycle that arises then disappears. Then there are too many people who have been telling us not to see the evidence of our own eyes. Using our own institutions against us. Telling us that criticism of their ‘truth’ is ‘hate speech’. Well, the patterns are there and there are now too many to disavow their existence.

What happens next is going to get really interesting.

I’m not paranoid, but…

I do worry about ID theft. So Mrs S and I are busy destroying documents prior to our departure from Canada. It’s amazing how much paperwork you accumulate in thirteen years. Powers of attorney, copies of this, copies of that and so forth.

So much paper, particularly legal documents, have to be disposed of. So we’re doing what Embassies do when they need to get rid of documents. We pulp.

Pulp old documents you no longer need? Isn’t that a bit extreme Bill? Well yes and no. We scanned all the important stuff and will be putting less replaceable items like birth certificates, originals of legal documents such as SIN cards, Citizenship certificates and so on in our personal baggage, securely packed and labelled. A customs agent will know not to bother with these things if our baggage gets selected for search as sometimes happens. They are looking for contraband, not documents, so we’re on safe ground as close to ‘safe’ as can be done.

Yes, I know our plane could fall from the sky, and as I posted previously there is so much else to go AWOL, but honestly if things get that bad we’re all dead anyway. Then our wills kick in and that’s all taken care of except for funerals for our shattered remains, so, there you go.

So why are we pulping instead of shredding? Good question. Well, (Coughs in a faintly embarrassed manner) I managed to blow up the shredder. My bad. Our hitherto reliable shredder just gave up the ghost one morning when I was feeding paper into it’s noisy maw. A cog was stripped, smoke was coming from the motor, so that was that. Past economic repair. We thought about replacing it, but thought “Two hundred dollars for something we only need for a month or so?” and “That’s a lot of money to shred paper of limited value.” when we looked at the opition of sending it to be shredded by someone else. As for incineration, this is BC, getting a burn permit would have us besieged by the Green party and every eco whack-a-loon in the district until we ran out of money to pay lawyers.

Thus we set up a simple process. Soaking tank, pulping machine and drainage. For a tank we set up one of those heavy duty plastic boxes and filled it half way with a 5% solution of bleach and white vinegar to help the paper break down, then ripped the documents we wanted to shred into strips and threw them into the solution. Every day for the last two weeks I’ve been taking the solution soaked paper strips and chucking them in an old food processor for about sixty seconds and change to turn the wet paper into a rather disgusting looking grey porridge. Then dropping the pulp into a sieve over a bucket to drain for a few hours before dumping the damp pulp into a bin bag and our bin for disposal.

Old bank, credit cards and VPN tabs got cut up, partially burned and the bits thrown into different bin bags just to make life ultra difficult for anyone who wanted to get their hands on our account details and any written down passwords. As the job that I recently lost involved dealing with financial matters and gave me control of two corporate credit cards and a few other bits and pieces, we did a number on them so any person wishing to get hold of those details would need more resources available than the average ID thief. Bar codes, chips, mag stripes all got seared with a lighter and chopped into small, heat distorted pieces to prevent any form of reconstruction.

I suppose we could have put all these records in a box and dragged them behind us, but frankly there’s no need of them where we’re going and all the records can be accessed elsewhere. Then all the paper would be an extra cost on the moving bill and we have striven mightily to pare that down to the minimum necessary.

Yes I know it all sounds a little extreme, but I like to think of it this way; if you have just enough paranoia, you don’t get any nasty surprises.

Selling up and out

July and the living has slowed down. Elderly friend showed a new symptom recently to go with confusion and breathlessness. Slurred speech and pain down one side which indicates a recent Hemiparesis or form of Transient Ischaemic Attack, otherwise known as a mini-stroke. We’re handing on our duties as powers of attorney to one of her nephews. The whole business has the feel of closing the book as we come to the last chapter. We know the outcome, just not the exact timescale. Five years to death from first TIA onset is the usual prognosis.

Chez maison Sticker, we’re busy selling that which we can sell. The Mutt, my motorcycle, went last weekend and I’m putting the car up for sale next week once it’s had a thorough wash and brush up for the camera. Good pictures sell, and it’s been a marvelous car. Mileage is slightly below book for the year and our model of Subaru, I’m told, is much sought after. The all wheel drive has kept us on the road in conditions from near whiteout over packed ice in BC to blazing hot forty five plus degrees Celsius crossing Death Valley with only a couple of flat tyres and brake replacements. Not bad for a ten year old car that we’ve had from new. I’ll be sorry to see it go, but Tout passe.

Then there’s all the household stuff we’re not taking with us. Some furniture, odds and ends that can easily be replaced on the other side of the water has been sold with some still to go. Electronics have mostly been disposed of because we’re migrating to a different voltage standard. No sense in taking kitchen widgets like mixers, microwaves or coffee machines that only work at 110v. They weren’t that expensive anyway.

Frankly I’m amazed at the amount of stuff we’ve gotten rid of. All the fripperies of day to day living that turn out to be pretty irrelevant. Yes they’re useful, but are easily replaceable. If you saw some of the estimates for the move that we’d been given, you’d understand why. To give anyone interested a clue, we’ve been able to reduce our moving bill from five down to four figures (Just). Moving continents is a pricey business.

Then there’s the social side, or rather lack thereof. We’ve not made much in the way of social connections, partly because neither of us are great socialisers, but also because we feel so at odds with the blinkered nature of things over here. From some perspectives it’s been like living in the Kingdom of the Lotus Eaters. Too much complacency. Too much magical thinking. Anti-prosperity attitudes are so entrenched in the politics of BC there’s no making a dent in them, so why even try? So. Time to move on. We’re done with Canada.

In the meantime my little deck garden, sadly neglected while we’ve been getting ready to up sticks, is all going to recycle. My Citrus plants, once green and thriving are now dried up and brown, the bottom of the pots sucked dry by thirsty roots that formed deep knots of tendrils groping for the last moisture at the bottom of the pot. Which makes me want to set up a self watering greenhouse when we build our new home. There will be all forms of fruit now I know how to germinate and nurture them to maturity.

Oh, by the by. Have started watching this channel on Youtube, which may disappear when some ‘moderator’ decides it’s not PC enough. This one on slavery through the ages is very interesting.

Makes intriguing watching. So far from the narrative being pushed by under educated talking heads isn’t it?

What could possibly go wrong?

Regarding our forthcoming move Mrs S vouchsafed the following this morning, “what could possibly go wrong?” I’ve got an answer for that. Oh, lots. Huge amounts. Governments clamping down on travel because they’re frightened. Someone discovering the link between the real me and this blog to try to get me arrested for some sort of historical ‘Hate speech’. Rioters could try and prevent us leaving, the ship carrying our belongings could sink. We might not be able to get a reasonable rental in time. We might get put in quarantine and a giant purple people eater might gobble up the solar system. Or a world war might break out, or, or a big, planet killing meteorite could hit our plane while in flight…. and, and, and…..

There comes a point of risk which you can plan for past which there is no planning. We have three, no sorry, four insurance policies covering credit cards, travel insurance including trip cancellation / disruption, emergency medical care and all points south with the usual act of god exemptions, in which case we’re all bloody well dead anyway. We also have a reserve of cash and investments to tide us over in case of trouble. We have credit cards, travel documents and passports. All else I leave to the whims of an erratic world and my own skill at bluffing my way past obstacles.

Meetings have been had with brokers and lawyers to smooth our path and if that is not enough then nothing will be. My metaphorical ducks, such as they are, are standing in neat rows awaiting each ticked box. I’m not saying that it isn’t stressful, but it’s also an exercise in applied patience. Especially when every western politician under the sun appears afraid of their own shadow even though the worst of this pandemic is long past.

To tell you the truth all this panicky hand waving has me wanting to make sheep noises at anyone wearing a mask. At this point of the season, fabric masks not regularly sterilised or changed at least once every six hours become a health hazard and sink of respiratory infections far greater than the original virus. If you aren’t coughing and spluttering then you don’t need a mask.

Cloth masks are as much use as a chocolate teapot at preventing the spread of infection. Primarily because they only reduce the radius of infection but aren’t much good at stopping fine particulates.

Besides, if most people actually thought about the host of bacteria, funghi and viruses their upper respiratory tract and sinuses are ordinarily host to, they’d want to rip that cloth mask off their face and never wear one ever again. Because that’s what those cloth masks keep in and concentrate. The ordinary microbiota of the sinuses and upper respiratory tract. Cloth masks can rapidly become like shoving ones nose into a petri dish in fairly short order. Unless the cloth masks are regularly sterilised (or put through a hot wash cycle between uses). They were only ever meant for an any port-in-a-storm get-you-home one off use, not as regular day wear.

I’m just keeping my head down and plodding ever onwards. You’ll know where I am from the heavy sighs emanating from me as I encounter the massed ranks of ill-informed idiocy. Lawks.

Confirming my bias

What second wave? Protests have not led to massive increases in Covid-19 cases. It’s bollocks. Complete and utter bollocks. Just as anyone with more than two active brain cells to rub together will understand. The time for masks and lockdowns has passed. It passed in the second week of April. We are well past peak infection and despite raised testing numbers, cases are declining by the day.

I ask again; what second freaking wave all you brain dead mask wearing doomsayers? There may be a small blip in care home fatalities as places open up, but the rest of the population have brushed Covid-19 off like an errant fly. According to the more reputable figures, only 20% of the population have shown symptoms past a sniffle. It’s over.

The case to answer is for politicians who ordered convalescing patients into care home facilities, thus effectively murdering thousands. Yes, murdering. That and through bad advice and panic western politicians have wiped out whole swathes of the global economy for no good cause.

Back at Chez Sticker, the place is starting to echo a bit as we downsize ready for the big move in September. We’re offering moral support to the kids as best we can over the jolly old Interweb, and watching with interest as another Maxwell sinks without trace. Anyone taking bets on an early suicide?

Our own clock is ticking down and we’re just biting our lips and hoping the politicians don’t go and do anything silly to royally screw us over. I’m watching share values and will be cashing up a five figure sum to keep us solvent over the next year, Things may get a little dodgy for a while, but we console ourselves that we won’t be in China.

God really is taking it out on the Middle Kingdom isn’t he? All those shonky buildings falling into the Yangtze with the Three Gorges Dam looking ever more like it will break and send a tsunami of debris and silt laden water all the way down over Wuhan and Shanghai. With yet more rain prophesied. The Yuan is looking ever more dodgy by the day and I’m hoping that none of my investments in that region are over-exposed to the Chinese market. Trump doesn’t have to life a finger. Between economic collapse and ecological disaster, the mainland Chinese look like they need to evolve webbed feet pronto. See video below.

I’m also told that according to a new Chinese security law it is now illegal to criticize the Chinese Communist Party, anywhere, no matter what nationality you are. Good luck with that, the CCP forces have just caught a spanking from India, and the Russians aren’t too chuffed with them either. The whole edifice is incompatible with the rest of the moderately civilized world and looks like it’s in for a mighty fall. They’re panicking too, thinking that main force is enough to keep the current regime in place. It isn’t. They haven’t managed it in Hong Kong and they’ll soon have their hands too full to cope.

I will watch their fate develop with interest. Yes I’m biased, but it looks like my biases will be confirmed.

What the hell?

One of my income streams has just gone belly up. It wasn’t a big one and I had an inkling it was coming so it’s no big deal, just a minor irritation. What made me go into ‘WTF!’ mode was the way in which it was done. “Hey, we want to talk about your contract…” then to be told there was no new contract. Oh well, what the hell, those people were insufferable anyway and deserve the fate that is coming their way next year when their funding is cut completely. At the end of the bad news delivery I was asked to “Have a nice day.” The irony was not lost on me, but I didn’t much feel like laughing.

From my perspective, that income stream had become uneconomical, often taking up way more time than I was being paid for without a bye, leave or thank you. You know the saying, “If you want something doing, give it to a busy man”? Well I was the busy man who kept finding more and more of his day being eaten up without being paid any extra money for more work. So, no great loss. I need the time for another major project anyway. More news about that later in August.

In the interim I’m looking at my share portfolio and am seriously thinking about cashing up. This prolonged lockdown has hit market confidence badly, leaving me thinking that any market bounceback that could have occurred won’t happen. This isn’t to say that some of our investments haven’t made money, just that others have made larger losses. So financially speaking we’re back to square one. As I’ve said before, this whole lockdown business has been badly mismanaged and the economic fallout looming just over the horizon ain’t gonna be fun for a lot of people. The ‘cure’ is going to be much worse than the disease.

The major problem with pandemics is infectivity. A pathogen (Virus, bacterium etc) can only thrive in conditions where it is freely transmissible and a lot of potential hosts are tightly grouped together in unsanitary conditions. Say a block of flats or apartments in the low rent sector, or where the standard of cleanliness is less than reasonable. Or like in facilities where the inmates don’t or can’t observe such rigorous hygiene standards, such as in cheaper care homes or prisons. On the other hand, in single family homes and out in the ‘burbs, the rate of spread slows to a complete halt.

This is why China has had multiple reinfections, housing is mostly cramped and unsanitary compared to Western standards and keeping housing clean enough to eliminate any pools of infections becomes nigh on impossible. Masks won’t help at this stage either, because as has been noted, the closer you are to high concentrations of infectious material, the greater the likelihood of rapid spread. Masks can only reduce the radius of infection. Oh, and stay out of air conditioned buildings if you can. I worked for an air conditioning company for a couple of years and learned about what happens if the maintenance schedules are not rigorously applied or the cooling coil drains get blocked or iced up.

Remember the fuss over Legionnaires Disease? Trust me. The great outdoors is far safer. Bugs like droplets to ride on.

Which makes me wonder at the advice to shut down outdoor facilities like the garden of a pub. We were at a Tim Hortons the other day and they’d shut down the outdoor seating so everyone had to either sit in their cars and drink their coffee, or do so in the epidemiologically speaking far more dangerous environment of the coffee bar.

There’s so much counter intuitive information going around that it’s a wonder people are still venturing outdoors. Although some aren’t. Poor darlings have been terrorised by all the scaremongering being trotted out in the mainstream and all the sensational clickbait headlines. What no-one seems to be saying is that the worst is past.

Likewise, the time for masks has passed, and the only halfway safe ones were the disposable surgical type, as those might not have stopped every bug, but reduced the radius of infection, and being disposable after each use, don’t act as a reservoir of infection like the worthless but rather stylish non-disposables I see so many sporting. First these home made things need boil washing or thoroughly nuking in a microwave after every single use. Second, cloth masks are way more porous than a surgical or N95 mask and thus stop less infectious material. An N95, as Ripper will no doubt remind me, is better at stopping infected droplets than a surgical mask, but still has to be disposed of after each use. These cloth things are better than nothing, but often more use in an armed robbery than against the spread of a virus.

However, from our perspective, no matter what happens the Sticker household is going to be okay. Not rich, but well off enough to put our money into building a decent house and keeping the bills paid with a little aside for travel.

The plan is this; Mrs S watches the finances and I go do. We consult, pay for land, planning and architects. Then when we’ve got all our ducks in a row, I go do some of the low level work, building, logistics, labouring, ring mains, lighting, a little plumbing and non-specialist decorating. Oh yes, and the day to day project management of telling suppliers that if they don’t deliver on time they won’t get paid on time either. Her job is to watch the budgets while I get to do the old walk and talk, set up accounts, negotiate discounts and delivery schedules etc. Which is part of what I did for the people who just dispensed with my services.

Round and round we go, but the pace rarely lets up.

Update: This article in the Times makes for interesting reading and confirms much of what I understood to be true about the origins of the embuggerance known as SARS-Covid19. Yes, it is very likely that the original virus came from bats, but the Covid-19 variant is highly probably derivative from the original found in bat faeces at a copper mining site. It’s a lab grown variant which was accidentally released into the wild. The seven year timeline sounds about right, too. A good piece of work.

What I want… (The simple desires of a complicated man)

A place to live,
Someone I love,
Somewhere to strive,
Maybe a dog,
A beach to walk,
That way I’ll thrive.

We’re heading off on the next great adventure. Family have been informed, with predictably mixed reactions. At least all the toilets are now working or we’d have nothing to go on.

Fuck it. Whose life is it anyway?

Regards,

Bill

Time to go

The last few weeks have been a bit frenetic what with one thing or another. Elderly Friend is languishing, saying that she must have done something wicked to have fallen and broken her arm. So this weekend we sped up Highway one to see what we could do. Lighting was adjusted, books provided and instructions given to staff so that she doesn’t regress into the fugue she’s been in. For my part I responded to her repeated moans that she must have done something bad to be sitting up in a cosy bed in a nice safe and warm room with a busted wing thusly; “So you reckon you did something bad. Really? Do tell. Come on, out with your deepest darkest secrets. Spill the beans.” Well, it raised a bit of a smile from her.

Seriously though, Elderly friend is not a secret serial killer or ex-war criminal in hiding, just a lonely centenarian lady we have the dubious privilege of being POA’s for. We do our best, but we have jobs and there are only so many hours in the day. She’s just bored and a bit depressed. So we talked to the staff of the very nice care unit she’s in, told them to leave the doors of her room open so she can see what’s going on outside and laid on some reading material. She never has the TV on because even she is fed up with all the attention seeking doom and gloom that spews out of it nowadays.

On the work front, there’s a reorganisation due. My current contract might not get renewed, so I’m going to get myself on an online book keeping course over this Summer prior to our forthcoming Irish trip. I look at it this way, I have a faculty with numbers, so maybe there is part time work online as a book keeper. Just as a backup. Something to keep the cashflow going. Another string to my bow, so to speak. Things are going to get tougher up here in the not so frozen north, Mrs S has voiced a need to move on, so that is what we are going to do.

We’ve spent our free time making lists of what we’re going to keep, what we’re going to get rid of and who we need to talk to. It’s all tiny stuff. Baby steps. On the plus side I look on our impending move as an opportunity to get rid of stuff we no longer need.

We’re talking about being out of Canada in twelve months time. It’s not the place we thought it would be, too much big government. The encroachments and enforcement of ridiculous hate speech laws. And the worst thing is that there’s not a credible opposition to the paternalistic oppression that benefits a tiny minority. The electorate haven’t got a viable alternative. The Scheer led conservatives pander to the same clique as the Liberals and NDP, and no one apart from grumpy old sods like me will vote for the radical change Canada needs to break out of it’s protectionist bondage. I’ll remain a member of the PPC of course, and keep throwing the odd hundred bucks their way, but I’m feeling rather pessimistic. Canada is potentially a very, very rich country, but it has a problem, a system of government which is too tightly bound to Quebec and Ontario. The Trudeau Liberals being part of the problem. They only care about their petty differences with Quebec and forget that they have an economic powerhouse in the Midwest, one which they seem determined to stifle. Which to me simply does not make sense. Nor does the attitude of the majority of suburban Canadians, who keep voting for dimwits like Trudeau who have about as much economic sense as a stunned chipmunk. Even if he does have nice hair. It’s what’s under it that counts, and that isn’t saying much.

To illustrate the current economic slowdown by observation; driving up and down Highway one the other day, we saw over a dozen big bulk carriers parked in the waters off Victoria, Ladysmith and Nanaimo. Ships which should be actively shifting cargo are simply parked off local harbours racking up the harbour fees. Normally you might see four or five in total if avalanches have shut down the trans Canada transportation routes. And all because the Federal Liberals want to have “A dialogue” with a few professional protesters and a tiny minority of disaffected first nations who are claiming to act for five out of thirteen ‘hereditary’ chiefs, in total disregard of the wishes of the majority of their own ruling band councils. Yet no one is telling these bozo’s to stfu and get with the program. They’re the problem, and if they don’t wise up, all the freebies the first nations get will dry up because if Canada really does get shut down, there won’t be any money left to fund their welfare payments, free University educations and tax exemptions. Before that happens, the Government will have to raise even more taxes on the already hard pressed middle and working classes of Canada. Then that will tip the country into a gravity hole debt spiral which will make a large black hole seem minimalist.

So Mrs S and I are planning to move before the inevitable rain of shit happens. Lock, stock and both smoking barrels. Some will call me a coward, others will accuse me of common sense and foresight, because I know I am in a minority who can see the globalist UN planned endgame for Canada and it ain’t pretty.