Tag Archives: Weather

Things I never knew

Blustery weather means my bee colonies still aren’t ready until this weekend. The builders are still doing their thing and we won’t have liveable conditions at our new house until the end of June. So I’m just pootling around with odd jobs, and whilst doing that browsing around the interwebs just for the shits and giggles. It’s a real education out there, I can tell you, or I’d rather not.

You know, those revelations just pile up don’t they? All these things I never knew, like:

Only ‘far right fascists’ or the ‘alt-right’ believe in freedom of speech. Sensible debating of a topic is ‘hate’ and all the perpetrators should be shouted down, their channels of communication cancelled and their fire alarms set off so no-one can have a reasonable conversation. Who knew, eh?

The Union flag of the UK is a symbol of all that is wrong in the world (especially if you’re an overpaid dickhead like Gary Lineker). All Brits (Especially Expats) are bad, bad, naughty people who should be taken behind the bike sheds for a damned good spanking on their bare bottoms. Three times a week and twice on Fridays Oooh Matron!

What about those awful northern European types? Apparently they’re the only category of people who can be insulted with impunity for being their own ethnicity. They’re all members of the American Democrat Klu Klux Klan or similar and must go on ‘anti-racism’ courses to cure them of something many never did in the first place. Like keeping African descended people as slaves apparently. Even though we’re all supposedly from that continent some hundreds of thousands of years ago. Guilty as charged. Take all their money and send them down to the cells.

If you don’t have a University degree on a topic, you can’t express an opinion. Only ‘qualified experts’ can give their version, but only if they are ‘qualified experts’ who have the politically correct opinion, of course. Everyone else can jolly well shut up, and give back that Doctorate you bigot!

Anything that can be called a ‘weapon’ like an air rifle or pocket knife automatically turns the bearer into a raging murderous psychopath. Because it’s never the actual person pulling the trigger or holding the blade, it’s always the weapon that is the problem.

Teaching pre-pubescent children all about outlier minority sex practices is a good thing, so getting f*cked up the chuff by some random pervert doesn’t come as too much of a shock when it happens. Childish innocence is over rated anyway.

Killing a foetus right up to and even during the birth process is a reasonable form of abortion. Doesn’t matter that the ‘cluster of cells’ in question is capable of surviving independently outside of the womb. The cis-normative birthgivers body, their chosen pronouns ‘right’, right?

It’s not your biology or genitalia that matters. It’s your pronoun, even if you only made it up last Tuesday week. So there, ‘hater’.

Innocently getting someone’s chosen ‘gender’ wrong is as heinous and even more evil than slitting their throat with a rusty razor, or doing horrible things to their bodies with soldering irons and sharp objects. So we are told. ‘Misgendering’ is a horrible crime and should be treated with a life sentence in durance vile. Serial multiple murder and mutilation is a minor offence by comparison.

Destroying someone’s personal and professional life by complaining to their employer, University, bank or other service provider about having one’s feathers ruffled, because they supposedly said something online that you disagreed with, is a good thing, allegedly.

Oh yes, and it’s “Get your jab you science denier!” even if you have reasonable doubts about the risk / reward over said ‘vaccination’ whose clinical trials were cut short and attempts made to hide the data. Oddly enough this view comes predominantly from the “My body my choice” activist types.

Disagree and we’ll send your kids to a “Queer ecology camp” for re-education, you bigot.

Well, that’s me educated and no mistake. No wonder today’s social scene is such a minefield, and I’m sure those in the peanut gallery can come up with a few more examples.

I’m just happy that I’ve got a prospective pickup date for my bee colonies. Providing this unseasonably cool weather warms up by the weekend. Otherwise my hives are going to remain empty. As they would if the Queen decided that all those drones were sexist pigs and drove them out into the cold to die with all the excess workers.

Wonderful thing, nature.

Anecdotally speaking

‘North’ is over in Canada visiting her aunt and uncle on Vancouver Island at present. It’s been raining more than usual, according to sister in law. Here in the wilder west of Ireland I’ve talked to a number of outdoors people who reckon it’s cooler than usual. South of the equator in the fabled land of Oz, where other in-laws and ‘South’ reside, according to them, report cooler weather this year and last.

Australian brother in law works the Great Barrier reef and says that it looks good. Canadian contacts complain of Polar bear infestations. My suncream futures are dropping like a rock. My ordered colonies of bees are still not ready for delivery because apparently the weather is too borderline for them to forage properly. Just what in Bill Gates‘ Satan’s left trouser leg is going on?

Now I know this is all anecdotal reporting and therefore not ‘science’, but doesn’t it all sound rather counter-intuitive? I mean, according to the greens it’s getting hotter by the year, the Polar bears are dropping like flies and the Great Barrier Reef should be crumbling into rubble by now and we’re all about to drown because the CO2 levels are rising. Yet none of the dire consequences we are constantly bombarded with by the unthinking activist media or politicians are actually happening. Could it be that the true believers in ‘climate science’ have got it terribly wrong? Or are they (Gasp!) purveyors of the dreaded ‘disinformation?

Shirley Knott.

Also I’ve noted that comments on threads concerning the latest scare story, including two of mine on Longrider’s and Leg-Iron’s places have gone missing. Particularly those saying truthfully and honestly that the Monkeypox is spreading mostly amongst gay men. Have I ticked off Leggy and the Rider that much that they are now deleting my comments, or is this one of WordPresses ‘Happiness engineers’ (or their ‘algorithms’) at work? Or did I simply click the wrong button? At least four times? Mmm-hm. Does it, in the full scheme of things, matter all that much? Because no matter how much propaganda is pumped out there, reality will always have the last laugh.

Stormy weather…

Ah, storm ‘Eunice’ and other alarumed divers. Mrs S chiding me for not panicking over the wind and sleet currently knocking over our garden chairs and stirring up the leaves in the yard. The trees seem to be holding up okay and I’m just keeping my head down. The roof is still on the house, but we’ve got insurance, propane heaters and a tarp on standby just in case, so mostly we’re okay.

No doubt this wee bit of stormy weather will be blamed by people who rarely get out of their nice, air conditioned and heated homes and offices on the mythical ‘global warming’. To which I respond; “Look, if the world is supposed to be getting warmer, why is it so freakin’ cold and windy?” No one has ever given a satisfactory answer to this question. A lot of pseudo-scientific blather yes, but not a proper cogent and empirical answer.

There is inadvertent comedy out there, like a kids trampoline being dumped on the nose of a train. Well, it beats the ‘wrong kind of snow’ or ‘leaves on the line’ as an excuse for being late to work, doesn’t it?

As an aside; for anyone interested in where all this weather is coming from, may I recommend windy.com, which shows that we get a lot of our inclement weather from the good ol’ US of A. The storm systems, as is usual for this time of year, are following the Gulf Stream up across the North Atlantic Drift right onto Ireland first. At this time of year they’re like buses on the North Circular, nothing for long while, then three turn up all at once. Which is what is happening right now.

So, anything new on the Canadian truckers protests? Well. the cops have arrested some ‘leaders’, but truckers as a whole are rugged individualists who don’t blindly follow diktats from others, so these ‘leaders’ being removed from the scene won’t make a lot of difference. However, ‘violence’ has broken out in the form of a snowball fight. Which has now been taken down. See below.

No doubt the Trudeau pantywaisters will now try to bring in the army to quell these ‘vicious thugs’. Although a little bird tells me that the army have already given the Trudeau regime a polite but firm “No.”

I have also heard that many Police officers (Including at least one RCMP, others have posted their own Youtube videos) are already unhappy about the orders being given to them by the politicians. If little Trudy does call out the Army, he may well find that they will not open fire on the truckers. After all, they weren’t called out when violent people were blocking the railroads and throwing burning pallets at trains as recently as February 2020.

Must be a Thursday

Moved some of my assets on the recommendation of my broker into the financial sector yesterday. That was before those idiots in Ottawa decided they could invoke the Emergencies Act and use those powers to freeze bank accounts and call those donating to the Truckers Convoy ‘terrorists’.

Well, in response the banks share price is nosediving, so I imagine that the people who own the politicians will already be making angry phone calls to Trudeau’s party hotline. The financial powers that uphold the Liberals will be growling at him. The attack dogs of financial lobbyists will be let off the leash, which leads me to one inescapable conclusion; Trudeau is officially toast. Turn the feckin eejit over because he’s done. He can call them ‘ists’ and ‘isms’ all he wants because his fate is already sealed.

The people who keep the financial heart of Canada beating will be very unhappy with their lapdog PM, mostly at being caught with their underwear around their ankles, so I’m expecting little Trudy Blackface to be thrown under the bus very shortly. He’s already an international joke, and now he’s hurting the banks, which is something no sane Prime Minister of any country should ever do.

Sure, I have lost money already. I estimate about 3% of the trade in total, but the markets will bounce back and in the meantime we can use this loss as a tax write off. Not that we need to, but it’s always good to reduce tax bills when they come due. I’ll make it all back and then some when this whole mess is over.

Closer to home we’ve just had a bit of a breeze. I was out pruning trees in it yesterday. Despite all the ‘Orange warning’ drama the weather was absolutely average for a Mayo February day. Today it’s all calm and the rain has mostly held off. Tonight and Friday is going to get a bit noisy, but the house is shielded by trees, and there’s nothing big enough to fall and damage any of the buildings.

So I’m just going to take a day off tomorrow, curl up like a Dormouse and wait for the storms, real and financial, to pass. Like I say, must be a Thursday, never quite got the hang of Thursdays.

Storm red

Well that’s the weather warning for out here in the wilder west of Ireland, so I’ve got the logs in and lit the main stove ready while we watch trees cartwheeling through the air outside, or as the media drama queens would have us think.

‘Storm Red’ sounds jolly dramatic though doesn’t it, almost as though it’s primary purpose is to spread fear and dismay. While we were out this morning I also noted that good many of the businesses in LocalTown have actually shut up shop for the day.

Yes, it’s going to get a bit wet and windy, but having lived through some of the regular Winter storms on Vancouver Island BC, I think a few gusts of over 130km/h (80mph) won’t bother us much. Unless one of the local cows gets blown off it’s feet and dropped on the roof. Now wouldn’t that be a hoot? Steaks all round I think.

All that’s really required to sail through one of these events is to hunker down, put the kettle on, and make sure you have enough goodies, candles and firewood in for when the grid goes down.

In hindsight I really should have installed a new UPS so we could have some light, sound and vision when the power outages come, but we have books and enough lighting stuff, so I’m not bothered about that. We have heat, light, shelter and hot water. The Internet can go hang for a while.

At one point Mrs S put RTE on the car radio and we heard some brain dead presenter ask a meteorologist “Is this to do with climate change?” Media code for “Is this something we can scare the ignorant with and generate some clickbaity headlines to boost our ratings?” The meteorologist to his credit demurred, and said no, this was more to do with the jet stream coming further south than usual, but then again this storm won’t be as bad as the one back in 2014, or previously 2001 (I think). Nice to see a proper expert being asked for a change and not some ambitious academic who’s only set foot outside his university to go on holiday or when he needed his grant money topping up.

As the woman blithered on about other dramatic topics I finally asked Mrs S to turn the radio off as it was annoying me. Now we’re home, there’s coffee in hand and the fires are lit.

Well that’s it for the moment. Not much else to say apart from Bojo the Clown trying to appear all butch and decisive (And failing utterly) by trying to put in place some very stupid legislation indeed. See below.

The benefit of foresight…

In light of the news that Vancouver, and more particularly, Vancouver Island, until 2020 where Mrs S and I made our home base, is now cut off from Canada and possibly the rest of the world, I’m awaiting a call from sister in law to ask for asylum over here in the Emerald Isle. She and eccentric brother in law are stuck in the mid island, with only one route out; the local airport, thence to Vancouver airport.

And the border to the USA is also closed. Or rather more accurately if you leave, you can’t come back into Canada without a ‘clean’ COVID test Which you pay for. Wonder if that applies to the migrants getting their bags carried for them by the Mounties in Ontario?

Flights from Vancouver seem to be little affected. According to the departure board, all the major airlines are getting off on schedule. However, now the local politicians are panicking, anything can happen in the next half hour.

The main Coquihalla (Pronounced coke-i-hal-la) highway down to Vancouver is washed out about forty miles east of the Vancouver suburbs near a place ironically named ‘Hope’, I kid you not. It’s like losing a chunk of the M40. I’ve stopped in that town on a few occasions dodging back and forth up the trans-Canada, and trust me, Hope is not as Hope hopes.

Mrs S and I are enjoying a quiet bit of smugness over our decision to leave BC when we did. We know it gets wet, and ferry shutdowns are a regular facet of life on the island, which is overall about the same landmass as mainland England with a 60th of the population.

Vancouver Island is not a bad place to live in terms of views and space, but too heavily infected with the PC virus for our tastes. Too suburban and self involved for our tastes. Too easily ‘offended’. That they are getting a thorough soaking by the weather however, does not mean that they will be any more or less wet.

They’ll still blame ‘man made global warming’ though. Even though the storms are more likely a symptom of cooling.

Next

Got up this morning to find that yesterday’s snow is all gone. Still cold and breezy out, and I’ve got some kindling to cut and dry later for our wood burning stove in the front room for when the central heating needs a bit of help. I try to keep busy.

On the topic of keeping occupied, that’s the last but one jigsaw finished. A 1000 piece rendering of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting ‘starry night‘. As jigsaws go it rates a ‘Pretty fiendish’ on the scale of difficulty. Took me five days. The Yin and Yang swirls in the middle were the most difficult to make sense of. Rather like the chaos of life.

A thought about life slunk into my hindbrain while I was making the coffee this morning. It was about how much we as humans need stories. Not only that, but how we need to be involved in those stories. How we need to create our own tales, not just about what we saw on TV, but what we’ve experienced in our own lives. From discussing what happened at the weekend to a bit of gossip, or the book we’ve just read, we need to share our personal stories to confirm to ourselves that we are not alone. To confirm to ourselves that we still have all our marbles. We need to communicate.

To enlarge; we need to communicate face to face. Because I’ve noticed that when I hear someone telling their story, I’m not so much focussed on the what as the how. Because the what is just the narrative, but the how lets us know about the person telling the tale. Are they being less than honest or are they just being entertaining? Some people are good at joke telling and making others smile, others, with exactly the same words, can relay an entirely different message. Our styles of communication alters meaning. A sidelong meaning glance and twitch of the mouth can fill a million gaps between sentences, but we do need to see all these micro-expressions up close and personal. And it is an emotional need.

Not only that but we as humans need physical contact, even a simple handshake, which can tell you a thousand details about someone else in less than two seconds. About what kind of person they are and their level of sincerity. Handshakes convey a litany of mood and emotion. A hug volumes more.

Deprive people of that contact and they lose touch, not only with other people, but with their own inner selves. People get broken. Without touch we lose our will, our impetus. It’s why solitary confinement can break even a moderately strong willed person. We as humans are not designed to live in our own heads all the time.

This is why we need the lockdowns to end now, whatever the risk of disease (Even if it is minimal). These repeated lockdowns are stripping us of our humanity, damaging our sense of commonality, of our shared experience and turning us into isolated screaming online mobs.

What we are seeing is that lockdowns encourage hate and division, increase civil disunity. They make it easy for certain people to be manipulated and others marginalised. Which is why Twatter and Farcebook can be such toxic environments. Isolation is not good for us. Even me, and I’m used to long periods of working alone. But at the end of a working week I still need to go wandering down a crowded street or walk into a pub, even if I end up drinking on my own.

On the topic of risk, for those who want a clearer picture of the current statistics, you could do worse than read this article.

Keeping up to date

Rainy day today, sitting in my office idly listening to the rattle of water on the skylights. Our worldly goods have arrived, been unpacked and set in place. I’m doing so many Amazon deliveries that I’m on first name terms with the postman. A few things to come, and Mrs S and I are getting a bit twitchy, having been forced by the lockdowns to sit on our hands when we should be up and moving forward.

Back at our old domicile I’m told they’ve already had their first snowfall of the year. Which is odd, as Victoria BC is supposed to be one of the most snow-free parts of Canada. They’ve even had November frosts. So much for that much-vaunted ‘man made global warming’ eh? Last Winter we had four snowfall episodes, when in most years up until 2008 the snowfall count was zero. Over here in the wilder west of Ireland, we’re told we might get snow once every ten years. I have a seeming that record is going to get ever so slightly dented this year. We’ve already had one unseasonable frost at the end of October and I think we might have to be out getting the cattle and sheep indoors over Christmas. We’re in the middle of a cooling event that has bugger all to do with carbon dioxide.

Did have a nose at the cold weather events from North America. Serious snow. Cold that is making brass monkeys audition as sopranos and Greenland gain ice hand over fist. Have a look at this web site for real time temperature and rainfall stats. Word to the wise; the clever money is on a thirty year cooling trend.

On the other hand, the dopes of organisations like Extinction Rebellion, who choose to disrespect science and the rest of humanity, still believe in an outdated body of knowledge. Which leads me to wonder, if such people want to believe that humanity is a cancer, why do they choose to carry on living? Go on guys. Depopulation has to start somewhere. Or is it just us plebs who have to pay for your delusions? Thought so.

As for these pointless lockdowns, Ivor Cummins (see below) runs the numbers and find that they don’t support the restrictions. Likewise the real science. By ‘real science’ I mean the real world stats and studies, not the shonky Imperial college data models used by SAGE and NPHET. Tell me again, why are these obvious incompetents still in a job?

Regarding the enforcement of lockdown out here in the wilder west of the Emerald Isle, the most I’ve seen on a visit to Ennis the other day, was a couple of Gard, or should that be Gardai, haven’t got the knack of the terminology yet, talking to two women whose ‘crime’ was sitting together on a car park bench, having a quiet natter over Coffee. If the Irish government were to stipulate draconian lockdown enforcement like in parts of the UK, there just aren’t enough coppers to do the job. As for previous (and red faced climbdowns from) various UK Police forces threats that they would be breaking down people’s doors on Christmas effing day, that has hurt the UK Police services effectiveness and may move enforcement into the hands of ‘private individuals’ (hem-hem) who might not have so many scruples over what happens to your friendly neighbourhood burglar. Which is a bad thing for the rule of law. Worse for the criminals of course, but also really, really bad for good governance.

The lockdown enforcement over in the UK does seem to be very uneven, with certain political groups being given free rein to congregate, but those protesting the lockdown restrictions get the heavy handed treatment.

As for further lockdowns, I don’t see how, given the evidence, that they do any good. Or that they can be imposed, yet again, without serious civil unrest from the general population. As for possible mass mandatory vaccinations, there are laws against that sort of thing from the 1940’s. Laws created because of the medical atrocities committed by the fascist regimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. In most, if not all Western nations, the powers that be can ask people for their consent to be vaccinated, they can try to persuade, but cannot use any form of coercion, threat of job loss or other legal or extra-legal sanction. That is unlawful, both in international and domestic jurisdictions in most culturally western countries. This goes for any employer. Consent is paramount and the powers that be know it. If they have forgotten, then they need to be reminded. Because no-one in their right mind wants a re-run of those events from the 1930’s and 40’s.

One thing I’ve noticed from the stats is the low level of demographic information, where we don’t know the sex or ethnic heritage of the deceased. I have heard it rumoured, that those of a darker skin colour, or who practice whole body covering without increasing their vitamin D intake, tend to be at a higher risk of becoming a SARS/COV-2 statistic. Now if that information was publicly available; perhaps, he said naively, that lives could be saved. However it is not, so we are left with rumour and surmise as our only analytical tools. Or plucking numbers out of thin air, as so many ‘government advisers’ seem to do.

As for me, the rain continues to fall and I will be playing with a new kitchen gadget today. In these testing times we must find our satisfactions where we can.

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)

Another day

Elderly friend is phoning us at least six times a day from her care home bed, she’s fretting over trivialities because she’s got nothing better to do. Contrariwise I hear Bojo, the UK’s suspiciously unclownish PM has been admitted to hospital and thence ICU. Hope it’s for a treatment that works. I may not like absolutely everything he’s done, but he’s a lot better than many alternatives. That said, he’s in for a rough ride. Good luck to him. Looks like he’ll be hors de combat for the next week or two.

We’re okay. Just hunkering down and weathering the storm like any sensible people. We get out on the deck whenever the sun shines and work allows. I’ve had a minor morning cough, but nothing much. Just a seasonal snotty nose. No other symptoms. Mrs S says I need a haircut because I’m looking a bit shaggy around the edges and has threatened to stake me out on the lawn while she gives me a quick run over with the lawnmower. Unfortunately all the local barbers are shut, so it may well come to that. Am I afraid? Good God yes.

Out in the neighbourhood, every day looks like Sunday. It all looks so peaceful. Neighbours doing chores, mowing lawns, fixing odd bits and pieces, cutting wood. We’ve even sighted a couple of the older deer looking a bit unkempt, but the usual bucks, fawns and yearlings are conspicuous by their absence.

Oh well, another day, another crisis, another fix. This afternoon I was playing around with four man sized Kleenex, a bit of plastic packaging wire, some sellotape and a little twine. Result; twenty minutes later one perfectly adequate limited-use four layer pleated face mask. Not up to Operating Theatre or Intensive Care Unit standard, but good enough to keep the worst of the dreaded lurgi contained or at bay when out and about or in a shop. And comfortable enough to wear for a couple of hours.

Talking of the dreaded lurgi, a clue has surfaced regarding misleading Covid-19 figures from China. Now cell phones are used for everything over there. Even small transactions. Apparently even the smallest street vendor uses them. This being the case, a stat poked it’s head above the parapet recently saying that twenty one million cell phones have gone inactive in mainland China over the last three months.

Now AP says that this is a bit of fake news as it’s all about cell phone users with multiple accounts cancelling unwanted phone plans. Which on the surface makes perfect sense. Okay, it’s rather a lot to happen all in a relatively short time frame, but it’s probably mostly down to their travel ban. People are obviously rationalising multiple SIMs and cell phone accounts, but still, that’s a very high figure. We don’t cancel our phone SIMs just because we’ve had to miss a trip. What is actually interesting is that a total of 840,000 landlines went dead in the very same period. Which is also, upon first examination, a high figure. I have no idea what the usual phone line turnover is, so cannot draw any solid conclusions.

However, other news keeps popping up about mass deliveries of cremation urns being delivered within China, which look, and I’m choosing my words with caution here, look like there are a lot more deaths than official figures would indicate. Then there are the people who are just dropping off the grid in mainland China. The usual crop of dissidents, but still, it’s a lot more than would be expected, so maybe a fraction of those dead cell phone and landline accounts reflect a higher death count than we’re being told. It’s hard to make an assessment with such limited information but enough to flag up on the old bullshit detectors.

What might be useful, as a way of compiling a predictive model, is to reverse engineer the Covid-19 stats from Northern Italy which would give a better idea of what is happening behind the bamboo curtain and great firewall of China. Not that it matters. No doubt the Chinese Communist leadership will be reaping the gales of wrath behind their polite smiles in the very near future, as voices are already calling for a boycott on anything made in the PRC.

For my own part I’m watching the disease stats closely, as they may well impact the travel plans we have for September. We may even need some kind of permit to travel involving getting some sort of ‘we’re immune’ documentation that is recognised on both sides of the pond. That will be when the restrictions are lifted and a decent antigen test becomes available, not those shoddy ones currently emanating from mainland China.

All this and spring rolls too

While we’re closeted away, amongst all the other stuff I’m getting up to is that I’m trying to expand my culinary catalogue. I can produce a reasonable facsimile of special fried rice, Cantonese style, but last night I was handed the following challenge by Mrs S; Szechwan style fried rice.

First try was a bit hit and miss as I had to adapt and improvise on ingredients, however, throwing in a little handful of fried chicken and fudging my ingredients a bit of a with powdered Ginger and chili flakes actually brought forth a reasonable result. Add some store bought vegetable spring rolls and the final result was quite acceptable. A nice amount of heat in the mouth without searing the old vocal cords. I’ll post the recipe when I have had more practice and my results are consistent.

While I’m on the topic of diet, rummaging through memories of decades old (Some out of date, some not) training, there is a well founded school of thought out there that a healthy diet helps the immune system fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin D and Zinc are good against the viruses that result in colds and flu. So if you partake of Oysters, Lobster or red meat once a week, your cellular zinc should be high enough to help fight off the worst of anything. For vegetarians, beans and pulses are modestly endowed with the necessary, as are mushrooms and spinach but supplements like cod liver oil and vitamin D2 or D3 (D2 is plant based, D3 animal based) will be needed. But as Vitamin D is a ‘fat soluble’ vitamin, a low fat diet may not be such a good idea in the face of a pandemic. As is covering up on a sunny day. Vitamin D is essential to a healthy immune system. Without enough of either you’re more likely to be a candidate for a ventilator.

Note to the dense; licking things made of zinc is not a good idea to get your Recommended Daily Allowance. Firstly, it’s the wrong kind of zinc, like fish tank cleaner isn’t pharmaceutical grade anti-viral chloraquine, and secondly, dietary zinc in foods needs to be bound to specific molecules within those foods which your digestive system has evolved to process. Which is why you are only supposed to take these supplements with food. So directly trying to ingest metallic zinc won’t work, and heavy metal poisoning is no laughing matter.

Side note; dietary advice from anyone who uses the word ‘veggies’ instead of ‘vegetables’ should automatically be considered suspect. It’s soft language used to cover up a lack of ability and sophistication and is so far from cool it could be considered as the real cause of the minor increase of global temperature we’re constantly harangued about that is going to drown everybody and is all our fault. At least according to people who have more than three houses each and fly everywhere on private jets without ever having done a proper job in the real world.

Candidly, baby talk should be reserved for babies and Mumsnet. Anyone using such regressive speech to grown ups needs to take and pass a proper course in English. That and be tested for schizophrenia.

Explanation; ‘veggies’ is a classic neologism and such neologisms are symptomatic of low grade hebephrenia, a type of schizophrenia or may even be a precursor to dementia. Some authorities even say that ‘precursor to’ may not be the right term and would substitute ‘symptomatic of’.

Communications wise, the world and his wife are currently bombarding us with nauseating saccharine email messages about the dreaded Wu-flu, assuring us that their services will not be affected and that they ‘care’ about us deeply. Everyone has ‘resources to support you’ which turn out to be not much different to the usual online services I use on a day to day basis. I blame the parents of people who grew up watching the Tellytubies and Care Bears pap on TV. Which makes me convinced too much TV negatively affects brain development in infants.

These spammy emails and messages are actually beginning to get rather tiresome and intrusive. Yes, fine. We’re in bloody lockdown and honestly we don’t need anyone’s ‘help’, which is only a thinly disguised marketing ploy anyway. We’re grown ups who have crossed continents and only require that anyone we pay for a service does what they contract to do. Yes, I’m cynical, but my experiences have made me so.

That and it’s tax paying time. Because we did so well last year, my tax bill has almost tripled. Unfortunately for me, all the gains I made last year have just been wiped out, so I’ll have to dig into my savings, my ‘walkaway money’ as Mrs S likes to call it to pay. Which some call ‘rainy day money’ – and boy is it pouring right now. It’s also been real four season weather outside. Snow, hail, wind, then sunshine. In other words, Spring.

Maybe Spring will mean the collapse of the Trudeau government and it’s complete ineptness in the face of two crises (in 2020 alone!) so we can get someone in who will stop being such a muppet and be half way economically sensible. I live in hope. But I’m not holding my breath.

Another observation; our local deer population has not been seen for over four weeks. Normally they’re snacking on everything with a flower on it. Are they packing someone’s freezer somewhere? Not that I care, our garden is not being denuded as it usually is by the freeloading little sods.

Speaking of gardens, our daffs are starting to fade but my tulips are coming on strong and buds everywhere are beginning to break. We’ll survive.

Update:
Read the abstract on this 2015 paper on immunology. It confirms that proper nutrition can help resist viral infections.

Digging out

Well, the snow has stopped falling and our driveway cleared after an hour of vigorous snow shoveling on my part. It was good exercise as there was between ten and eighteen inches of global warming snow to shift. Now my working morning is being punctuated by soft subsonic thumps as the ten inches or so of snow on the roof slides off in a series of mini avalanches as a welcome thaw sets in. However the sun is out and I’m looking forward to getting out of the house for the first time since Friday. Or was it Saturday? Bloody hell, I’ve lost track. It’s already Thursday.

Working from a home office is all very well, but you do need a change of scenery after four or five days or a little cabin fever starts to set in. So we’re going out. I’ll deal with the rest of the shenanigans my morning job throws at me later. It’s only numbers. Easy enough.

The outside world trundles on without any input from this household. The Iranians have ‘fessed up to downing that Ukrainian airliner and are having to put up a patsy to take the fall for an error from higher up the food chain. BREXIT moves ever closer to a WTO ‘no deal’ outcome because the Eurocrats are still trying to stymie the whole process and why wouldn’t they? That’s their fat expense accounts that are about to walk out the door. A seventh of total EU yearly contributions are about to wander off whistling happily. Unless they get their act together, fast.

If asked I’d say the spectacle was almost pathetic, rather like the Limp Dem peer who essentially called all pro-Brexit voters ‘ignorant Nazi’s’. Which just illustrates the depths of desperation some people will sink to.

Despite all the whining and bitching from the opposition benches, who seem to be of the disarrayed mindset that if they can’t direct the game, they’re going to run interference for the opposition, things proceed. Unfortunately for them, Bojo has his majority and can more or less ramrod through the necessary legislation regardless of any opposition from the upper house. Blair set the example in the 00’s with his repeated use of the Parliament act, so the boot is now firmly on the other foot.

For BREXIT night itself I’ll be laying in a bottle of pink fizz to drink the health of the dear old UK and wish everyone in the old country every possible success. Eleven pm UK time translates to three pm Pacific, so a Friday afternoon glass of bubbles should provide a happy end to that working week.

Anyway. Where’s me shades? That reflected snowlight is getting kind of intense.

Off the wagon

Our seasonal snow has arrived and at the time of writing is drifting down in big fat lazy flakes. Mrs S and I have hunkered down and are getting on with the usual run of things. Which has led to me needing a stiff drink of an evening to unwind. Just the one.

Work is gearing up, but it looks like one of my current jobs is going to disappear during the next round of reorganisation. However, that’s six months down the line and I’m busy looking to replace that specific income stream. Of course it might not happen, but my instincts tell me it’s better than 50:50 so I’m on the hunt for an alternative.

Of course there are lots of minimum wage alternatives, but I’m a number cruncher, a linker of information chains, so going for one of the plentiful minimum wage McJobs out there isn’t something I want to do. I’ve served my term face to face with the general dyslexic and reckon I deserve the rest of my lifetime off. So, that kind of narrows my choices, as does the notion that Canada is getting less hospitable with all it’s hate crime laws and suchlike. There’s no way I personally am going to persuade the rest of the populace that voting for the wetter kind of politician like Trudeau or Scheer is a bad move. Time to bail out.

Won’t be going back to the UK. I’ve gotten used to the sheer wide open spaces of this part of the world. Rudyard Kipling’s Chant-Pagan sums up how I feel about that option. No idea what the future holds, but I’ll give it the old college try.

Last ride of the season

Still coughing and spluttering a bit to the point where my upper chest aches first thing in the morning. This London cough has been no fun at all. I’ve been home for three weeks and it’s hanging around like a bad smell. Gone but certainly not forgotten.

The other not so good news is that the Mutts insurance finishes tomorrow. So I went for a quick spin around town for the last time this afternoon before I put my big blue motorcycle into storage. Temperatures locally have settled into the single digits with some serious hail on Tuesday, some of which, like my cough, I noted was still hanging around at the edges of the road as I rode around town.

When I was bowling along happily in the sunlight it wasn’t too bad, but once passing through shadows for more than a kilometre, despite several layers of insulation I felt the cold leaking in. After an hours meandering around at both highway and urban speeds I retreated home feeling like I’d been working in a cold store, naked. Chilled to my bones. Haven’t felt this cold since I was soaked to the skin on a rainy Winter days foot patrol. It was just like half my body heat had leaked away.

Now as Mrs S likes to say I have what she calls a ‘cold weather metabolism’. Anything above zero Celsius doesn’t really bother me. Normally speaking. I can sit in an unheated room in light clothing while everybody else has chattering teeth. Think there must be some hidden Geordie in my DNA. So the wind chill must have been getting into sub zero territory. Should have worn my trusty old heavy leather riding jacket rather than my Summer riding gore-tex. Maybe some heavier gloves and switched on the heated grips. However, we can all be wise after the event can’t we?

Oh well, it all burns calories and I’m off to arrange some storage insurance tomorrow before I put the Mutt into hibernation mode for the Winter. Not that I won’t be running the engine at least twice a week to keep the battery alive and fluids circulating. Then when the temperatures begin to rise in Spring I’ll put full riders insurance on again and get out and about. Not that it’s been a great riding season for fair weather riders like me. To be quite honest I hear all the panicmongering about the coming heat death of the universe as promised by the UN and think “Bring it on.” Some higher temperatures and less rain, at least around Victoria BC this Summer, would have been nicer. I remember the foreshortened riding seasons of the 1970’s and 80’s. Those weren’t much fun.

Now there’s a promise of a longer, thirty year global cold period coming, perhaps even a descent into a new Maunder-like solar minimum, which kind of makes a nonsense of all the rhetoric about oceans drowning the cities or higher temperatures making places uninhabitable. Seriously, haven’t these people heard of galoshes or air conditioning? No really. I’ve a sneaking notion that as things cool we’ll actually see global CO2 levels stop rising or even begin to drop off as outgassing from the oceans that cover two thirds of our little blue green planet reduces or even reverses. The upside of which will mean that all the carbon doomsayers will have to find something sensible to talk about. Not that it’s likely. Some people just aren’t happy if there’s nothing to act up about. Me, I like being able to relax and enjoy things. We only get one life each and it’s important not to waste it.

The downside of a global cooling means coughing up funds for some better insulated riding gear. Winter drawers on as they say. Note to self; must get some shares in Damart or other maker of thermal underwear. Now there’s a marketplace which is due to take off in the next few years.

Boring….

A bit bored at the moment. We’re on the run up to London in just under a month and looking for places to entertain ourselves. I’m rather put out because the weather around here has turned quite damp, so the Mutt is currently snuggled up under cover and I find myself reluctant to look out of the window at the rain. Such are the issues with being a fair weather only rider. I’ve got a hankering to take a run up past Comox (450km there and back, all right, 280miles) or even Campbell River (530km round trip, about 330miles) to clear some accumulated cobwebs.

On the plus side, work is under control and Management are happy with the what’s, why’s and wherefores of my workload, which I can handle without difficulty because I’ve whittled a number of tasks, including my weekly reporting, down to a few mouse clicks. It’s all a question of streamlining and automating the simpler procedures, which I’ve had time to do over the Summer, even with me and the Mutt sneaking out for two or three hundred kilometre long rides while things are slack. The mountain loop round Sooke and up to Port Renfrew, thence over the hump to Duncan via Lake Cowichan and back to the barn is a favourite. The road surface gets a bit rough after China bay and up to Port Renfrew but it’s very scenic. You go from a massive vista over the Pacific, where there’s nothing between you and Japan to nice tightening curves between the hills, dodging the logging trucks as you gain altitude. Snow normally hits the high ground in early November on this particular leg, so this is a Summer only pleasure. The Mutt is going into cold storage in the garage until the end of April 2020, so I’ll be making the most of all the sunshine we have left until October.

I was rather hoping that the warmer weather would continue for a while, but like I said, it’s raining and I’m no longer happy to don waterproofs and duke it out with everything the British and European sky can hand out. Never mind the Canadian weather. Yes, you can call me a wuss, but over the years I’ve ridden in everything from blazing heat waves where the mercury casually blew past the hundred and ten Fahrenheit (Forty three Celsius) marker to thunderstorms, torrential downpours where the rain meets itself coming back up, cannonball pea sized hail and even near whiteout blizzards. I’ve come home soaked to the skin through full waterproofs and on a couple of occasions with my leathers covered in a quarter inch of ice. So. Been there, done that, not dumb enough to want to do it again.

One of the benefits of my current age is experience and what I consider a little hard won wisdom. So there.