Tag Archives: Weather

Rain, rain

Blood and sand! That was a hair raising nine hours. The roads of Newfoundland are pockmarked like a pre-vaccination era smallpox survivor. And it was raining. Raining very hard indeed. So hard that the satellite connections were going down like victims of the Black Death. Fortunately we were carrying plenty of cash, so paying for food and gas wasn’t the problem it could so easily have been. Did I mention the aquaplaning? Jeebus, I might as well have been surfing. The wheel was almost kicked out of my hands at even moderate speeds, and led to our journey time being extended by at least an hour and a half.

I don’t normally mind rain, and BC but this time the Atlantic weather really chucked it down. I was only mildly surprised not to hear pained miaowing and yapping as cats and dogs bounced off our little tin box while we alternately drove and skidded most of the way from the finger of Newfie-land down to the Avalon Peninsula.

Apparently the Western side and perhaps all sides of Newfoundland are subject to a phenomenon known as the ‘Wreckhouse winds‘, winds so strong they on one occasion, pushed 22 freight wagons off the rails. Local legend has it that these hurricane plus force gusts have toppled parked vehicles and the occasional locomotive over. Whether the Gods of Wreckhouse were active that day I do not know, but do I know that driving conditions were as difficult as anything I can recall, even over Shap Fell on the M6 on a really bad winter day. Possibly even more so. Our little Subaru normally shrugs off wind and rain like they don’t exist, but that day all bets were off.

Anyway, we made our destination, somewhat belatedly, in one piece and parked up in a sheltered place to recover from our travel tribulations over a bottle of Cabernet and a nice meal. The following day it was almost sunshine all the way. Apparently this is average for this time of year. These Newfies must be made of tough stuff if they can cope with this sort of weather.

Newfoundland is a strange place, hostile, then with a twitch of the veil the sun shines and it’s utterly gorgeous. Rather like the North West of Scotland. And the mossies and no-see-ums are just as fearsome as the notorious Scottish highland midge, an insect so aggressive that when one is captured in a jar it will attempt to beat itself to death. However, two Newfoundland midges were reputed to have got into a fight over a particularly tasty moose and laid waste to half a hectare of trees. However, that is supposedly the stuff of folklore, but having seen the real thing I’m not so sure.

Pass the Benadryl and put in a bulk order for Deet. A Lobster dinner is beckoning. For your amusement, please view the following two videos.

Yes Prime Minister Global Warming etc Part 2 from Aris Motas on Vimeo.

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More of the same

Things trundle on. More forms to complete, and I had to mess around with my handy dandy Printer / Fax to get necessary details off to the UK last night without getting charged an upper and larger extremity on courier fees. Seriously, these guys charge like a Rhino with a migraine then still don’t get the bloody thing there on time because of a lick of snow that they wouldn’t even notice over in Calgary, so it’s worth lugging the fax into the front room where the phone line connection is and spending ten minutes messing around with RJ11s and the like.

bills-weather-rockOn the subject of weather, I was checking my blogs history for ad hoc local observations on the weather, and noticed that we seem to get a serious dash of ice and snow here every two years, with more snow and ice than usual every three. Summer temperatures can end up in the low to mid thirties Celsius (Centigrade, whatever), which is nothing unusual, given that we’re on the same latitude as mid-France, so when someone blarts out that it’s the “Hottest year, EVAH!” I do have to suppress a chortle. I think these prognostications of media doom are simply cries for more funding. My Weather Rock, however, remains unconvinced, and has taken to lurking indoors on a nice cosy windowsill in the kitchen, hogging the view. It’s probably sniggering at all the other weather rocks forced to shiver outdoors, but it’s very hard to tell with rocks.

Anyway, it’s good that we have an AWD with decent all-weather tyres because I have to get Mrs S to a conference downtown today. Which means an early start allowing a bit of extra time for the inevitable dickhead faction out on the roads. Then I may amble into the downtown core for an hour to check something out before heading back to the barn and getting a nice hot feed set up for her ladyship when I go to pick her up around four. I hope to perform this task without any additional drama. Although I can hear the local snowplough already trolling up and down roads, so by the time we set off, our hill will be cleared.

On the drama front, we’ve finally stopped watching Canadian Netflix because it’s become so crap. Seriously, as a streaming service it’s really gone downmarket. Not that it was ever brilliant, but it was better than the alternatives. All there seem to be are tenth rate ‘documentaries’ with the odd watchable feature film and a host of what used to be called ‘B’ movies and teen series. Honestly, it’s like the PC Police have decided you can’t watch programmes which don’t comply with certain nauseatingly touchy-feely guidelines, which may ultimately prove their downfall. So we’ve signed up for a CraveTV account which gives us some reasonable HBO and Showtime series for the same price. The other choice, Cable, is terrible, chock full of adverts and not worth the fifty bucks a month our service provider charges for the ‘basic’ package. To which I am moved to retort; if I wanted propaganda, there’s plenty on YouTube for free.

One of the things I have noticed over the past 12 months is a serious decline in the overall quality of TV and Movie entertainment. To which I’m inclined to hypothesise that maybe all the slebs and half way decent writers have been so busy fundraising for the Clintons, protesting and electioneering that they stopped doing their jobs as entertainers. Don’t even get me started on the patronising crap about to be foisted on Netflix viewers like ‘Dear white people’, which is such a dire idea and so poisonous to race relations that it defies rational comment.

Snow more no

Well, that was quick. The snow and ice outside has gone, washed into the gutters by a more seasonal rain. Last night was a bit wild and woolly, with wind and rain rattling the gutters and whistling around the eaves, but nothing we haven’t had before.

Various sagas trickle on in the background. Nothing all good, but nothing all bad either. I’m planning fallback measures for as many eventualities as I can against the constant background motion of moving goalposts trying to open a Sterling bank account from Canada. Oh what a complete mess of spaghetti it all is. As soon as one form is correctly filled in, some functionary comes back with “Errr, this wasn’t on the form, but…” Which leaves me hurriedly scrambling around, begging obscure answers off people who send me up a blind alley of ‘confidentiality’. It almost seems like some factions are trying to turn the administrative clock back to the early 1950’s when nationalisation was all the rage. Like they want to outlaw the individual choice that drives successful economies back into the financial dark ages. No matter. Nothing is impossible and I console myself thus; if it were that straightforward, everyone would be doing it.

Down in the Juan De Fuca I’ve noticed a lot of Canadian Naval activity of late. Today was a Frigate, some kind of Corvette / Minesweeper and a diesel powered Submarine with a smoking exhaust. They’re either on exercise or trying to stop all the anti-Trumpettes attempting a very chilly 18 kilometre swim to Canada. Not that Bryan Cranston, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Barbara Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Raven-Symone, Neve Campbell and Chloe Sevigny have actually done so. Whether the aforementioned are part of the 28 (!) people from the US who have filed for refugee status with Canadian immigration I am unable to say. Although perhaps the hypocrisy is strong with them. anti-trump-refugees-fleeing-to-canadaSo maybe the patrols are working as a deterrent or the colder Winter weather here on the Canadian Riviera has something to do with it. Perhaps trying the old Jedi mind trick at the 49th parallel wasn’t such a super wheeze?

Who knew, eh?

Here we snow again

It’s eleven on Monday morning. Two hours ago I looked out of my office window to see a grey sky that looked full of rain. An hour and a half ago it started snowing. Now it is snowing quite heavily, with visibility under a hundred and fifty metres.

This is rather absurd because over the weekend we were promised snow, which did put a dusting on the hills further north, but left our little domicile basking in sunlight. Now we’re getting dumped on. This is Victoria. The Canadian Riviera. It’s not supposed to snow here. Where’s that global warming when you really need it?

Seriously though this is just another part of the usual climate cycle. Some years it’s warm, sometimes it’s not, and despite all the fluffy whiteness currently descending upon us, it’s just weather. Like all the climate Cassandras out there, wandering round like old school bible thumpers constantly prophesying that “The end is nigh.” keep saying when things don’t happen as they predict, and that anyone who’s ever driven to work or taken a transatlantic flight is somehow guilty of causing a warmer or colder than average spring day. Earth’s climate is a chaotic system, and so far the climate models have more in common with the obscurity of Nostradamus’ poetic prognostications or a newspaper astrologer than reality. These are models that idiots like Trudeau want to impose carbon taxes for? The climate models that don’t actually work?

Never mind. Today I have forms to fill in and send to the UK. My offshore bank is closing down because similarly bureaucratic-minded morons think that relatively small time investors like me are all wicked money launderers who need to have Mr and Mrs Spank take a quick trip to bottyland. So the bureaucrats have upped the regulatory burden to the point where there’s no profit in it for my bank any more. Of course the big guys with millions will be fine, they can afford the lawyers and shell companies, but people with only a few hundred thousand are being squeezed out of the market. Which means I have to find a new bank account and jump through even more bloody hoops to transfer my funds around Europe and the UK without getting caned by my Canadian banks extortionate foreign currency transaction fees.

At one point last week I was reduced to naked sarcasm with a bank functionary over the levels of disclosure they required to open an account. Not being satisfied with my notarised ID and credit references and previous bank statements, my late parents sources of income were demanded. To which I was forced to respond; “I don’t know. Can you hang on while I go and find a first class spirit medium and ask them?” Seriously. Trying to find another bank that will take my funds is turning out to be a Kafkaesque labour of Hercules. You’d think they didn’t want the money.

And outside the snow is falling. Onward and bloody upward.

Whiteout

Well this is fun. Our maximum visibility outside yesterday varied between 250 and 80 metres. That’s right, the snow has been blowing in so hard that actual visibility dropped below a hundred paces at times. I haven’t seen conditions like this since the Winter of 1987 / 8 when I was working outdoors on a farm. At times we haven’t been able to see across the street. Not quite an Arctic whiteout, but until the thaw set in during the early hours of this morning, it was as bad as I’ve ever seen.

The saga of Mrs S’s company instituting WorkSafeBC’s Lone Worker protocols is escalating and I never knew there were so many rebels out there ready to storm the barricades in BC. Lawyers and Politicians are already starting to get an earwigging if the heated remarks in some of the emails I’ve seen are any indication. Some previously very dedicated professionals are also not happy that the company selected to do the monitoring have as one of their business activities the selling of lists and information to third parties. Lead balloons could not have dropped quicker. Such is the depth of loathing this announcement has stirred up. Never mind the discovery that GPS tracking is going to be part of the monitoring. As they say over here; “This ain’t going away in a hurry.”

It’s not quite pitchfork and torches time, but unless someone in upper management comes up with a compromise PDQ, my wife’s company isn’t going to exist in six months. The peasants are most definitely revolting. And these are people who vote with their feet. So I think their business, which was chugging along so nicely, may be about to hit the buffers big time. They already lost a number of highly qualified and experienced workers before Christmas, and this may just be the last straw.

Not that the Provincial Government, whose responsibility WorkSafeBC’s intrusion is, will care. Another day, another dollar. They won’t give a shit if one of their largest sector service providers goes tits up. They can’t be bothered if people who depend on the expertise and experience of my wife’s colleagues lose all their services virtually overnight. Maybe that was the intent. The BC Liberals currently in power don’t care who they hurt so long as the state gets more power. And they and the NDP hate the self employed, even if it’s the only way some people can make a decent living. Never mind the cost savings, or the people not commuting to work and reducing their ‘carbon footprint’ that professional home workers bring. Or the extra taxes, oh no. The BC Government hate independent workers and no matter what they say, the two faced arseholes of the Liberal and NDP parties will use any backdoor method to ‘crack down’ on those who aren’t wage slaves.

Of course post facto, Christy Clark and similar will mouth some platitudes about the job and service losses, but she won’t acknowledge that it’s the power hungry, top down, we-will-make-wage-slaves-of-you mentality of her wing of politics that is putting ordinary Canadians jobs at risk. The NDP have royally fucked up Alberta, and Trudeau’s popularity is dropping fast too, especially since he was so unprofessional as to publicly give some protesters the finger. Hell, you can up taxes, screw up the economy but don’t ever treat Canadians who have a genuine beef with overt contempt. Which is what left wing politicians always end up doing.

Excuse my metaphor, but discontent with politicians often builds up like snow in a blizzard. A fall here, a drift there, blown by the winds of incompetence. Until of course it ends with an avalanche at the ballot box. Or at least a big dump of snow off the metaphorical roof just as you’re leaving the house. And there’s Provincial elections in May 2017.

Popcorn time.

White Supremacy

I have a few pertinent questions to ask about this business of ‘white supremacy’ that some parties are always shrieking about.

Can a Snowman on top of a hill (Or woman, let’s not be sexist here) be called a ‘White Supremacist’?

Or is ‘White supremacy’ managing to clear the front drive before the next six inches covers it once more?

What do we do to ‘end’ white supremacy? Do we take up snow shovels and dig our way out, or do we simply hunker down in front of a blazing log fire with a nice hot cup of tea and wait for the thaw?

I ask simply because I’ve just spent an hour clearing snow and you can’t tell where I started shovelling. And the sky is still full with another day of the white stuff forecast. Bloody hell. Time to put the kettle on.

Oh yes, and where are all these ‘anti-racists’ when you need a helping hand with a shovel? Oh sorry, I forgot, protestalots don’t do manual work.

Update: One our neighbours is definitely determined to prove his supremacy over the white stuff. He’s got a mini snowplough on the front of his All Terrain Vehicle and has been trolling up and down the street below for the last two hours since 5am. Thanks for feeding my insomnia, neighbour. The irony is that at 8:30am there is already a covering of snow over his handiwork.

When daylight hits I’ll be getting out the snow shovel, but won’t be keeping anyone awake but myself.

Real snowflakes

More snow. More collapsing of the man made heat death myth of the world as the revelations of sharp practice at NOAA finally hit the mainstream. Yes I know the story of the ‘pausebuster’ academic paper being a total bodge job is in the Wail, but how many other mainstream media sources will publish? Or will said news be conveniently ignored because it doesn’t fit the globalist narrative?

The so-called ‘pausebuster’ academic paper claiming that the ‘pause’ or levelling off of global temperature rise over the last twenty years never happened was always a suspect report, and people have been calling its veracity into question since 2015.

Scanning the last two days headlines, the only outlets currently giving the story any airtime are the Washington Post, Washington Times and the UK Daily Mail. The rest seem full of anti-Trump hit pieces like those about a ‘muslim’ ban, which is nothing of the sort, merely a repetition of Barack Obama’s executive order suspending entry to the US from six particular countries. Oh yes, and a bunch of black clad fascists calling themselves ‘Antifa’, rioting and smashing stuff up like a bunch of thwarted toddlers. Is that the sound of lamestream media credibility cracking, yet again?

Anyway. Our real snow is about four to six inches deep outside at the moment. Not quite enough for a ‘snow day’ but deep enough to get out the 4×4 or AWD and go looking for a slope to go sledging on. Judging by the forecast we’re due for another two to four inches over the next day or so, so maybe that snow day will materialise.

Maybe the mainstream media in general will wise up and start doing their job properly again. Until then, on that topic at least I leave you with Mr Lowe and ‘I love the sound of Breaking Glass’.

Yeah, right…

Remember that “We have only a hundred months to save the Earth” campaign from the UK Guardian which was taken as gospel by a lot of idiot politicians? The 100 month deadline that just whooshed on by on October 31st 2016?

Well things are so gosh darned hot in Spain don’cha know, that the agriculturally astute Spanish are having trouble supplying the rest of Europe with lettuce, broccoli, spinach, courgettes (zucchinis over here), and aubergines (a.k.a. eggplant) because, guess what? It’s too bloody cold and wet. Which might lead the suspicious to ask; “Whatever happened to the ‘Hottest year evah’?

Okay, it’s just weather. No biggie, the heat of a man made climate disaster will be coming back right soon, say those whose livelihoods depend on impending climate doom. Right about, wait for it, honestly it should have been here by now. Really. No, no, no, please, please don’t cut off my funding.

For those of us who haven’t been swallowing the climate heat doom propaganda and actually observing, this is no real surprise. Severe cold weather events have been on the uptick for a few years now. Snow has been popping up in a lot of places it’s not normally expected in and over here in the not so frozen Pacific Northwest it’s parkier than usual. Only the other week we had frozen waterfalls on every rock face between our new home and the mid island. Now we have snow. Yes, I know I live in Canada, the great frozen north, but here’s a little secret; on the Western Pacific side we don’t normally get ice and snow. Even the 2010 Winter Olympics had to generate artificial snow at Grouse Mountain near Vancouver.

I’ll say this, it must be a bugger for vegetarians and vegans, having to pay way more for their vegetables. But seeing as many of them have been in the front line of the shrieking climate harpies, calling those of us not convinced of their carbon dioxide driven heat doom mongering ‘Deniers’ and all sorts of other unpleasant names, my sympathy is somewhat muted.

Violence

Now I’ve been in a few scraps. Hand to hand stuff for which I’ve taken lumps and bruises, split lips, black eyes and even got my nose broken on one occasion. The younger Bill Sticker, despite his (usually) peaceful nature, developed a bit of a reputation for being able to handle himself in a fight. He also quickly learned that some things are not worth fighting over and when to walk away. How showing a contemptuous back to a would-be aggressor can stop them in their tracks but also how to spot the semi-psychotics who actually enjoy fighting.

Violence has a value, that much is true. When it comes to stopping someone hitting you, a good disabling Karate or Judo strike or throw, I’ve found, is invaluable. But only in self defence or other dire need.

What violence as a means of communication cannot do is change hearts and minds. It can only repress the expression of those ideas. Because ideas are something you can’t get rid of by any form of physical intervention. Even if you eliminate an entire population holding a given idea, tear down all their buildings, burn their books, wipe every trace of them from this earth, you can be sure that some bright spark will try to repeat it. Did the Inquisition stop Judaism or Islam? Nope, still here. Doing remarkably well, too. Did the Nazi Holocaust or Shoah get rid of all the Jews, Gays and political opposition? Hmm, I’d be inclined to say not. Will the violent ‘Antifa’ protests unseat President Trump or rescind his actions? No. Violence and its threat did stop large scale aggression on the parts of Napoleon and Hitler, but did the military necessity truly change any minds? Take a good careful look around before answering.

So when I posted that you can’t change someone’s mind by punching their lights out on one of Stefan Molyneux’s video’s, he simply replied “False though”. To which I wanted to respond with:

No. If someone physically hits me, it doesn’t ‘change my mind’ or alter my opinion on a given topic. What it does is make me want to hit them back harder and distracts from the original cause of the disagreement.

I would argue that violence as a negotiating tool only works so long as the oppressing party can maintain the state of fear the threat of assault is meant to engender.

But two attempts to post my answer to his reply led to ‘comment failed to post’. Fine, his gaff, his rules. He can only answer so many replies and I think he’s instituted a 48 hour shut out on commenting. However, I have this blog, so this is where I will post my thoughts on the matter. If Stefan or one of his friends cares to drop by and reply within the next 21 days (See comments policy), they’re welcome.

As for the violent ‘Antifa’ anti-Trump riots. The only thing those do is persuade me that these so-called black masked ‘anti-fascists’ are the very embodiment of fascism. Because they try to repress other opinions by physical intimidation, but their actions only serve to cement an opposition to their goals, at least in my mind. If asked, I’d say that these riots have all the sophistication and persuasiveness of a thwarted toddler pitching a fit at Mummy because she won’t let them have just one more sweetie.

Indeed, I am of the school of thought that violent action too often serves to prolong disputes. See Northern Ireland, where those on the shallow end of the IQ curve are still fighting the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.

Anyway, it’s snowing and I must get shovelling if Mrs S and I are to make our usual Friday lunch date.

Snow ho bloody ho

Just looked out of the kitchen window and it’s snowing for the second time in four days. WTF is going on? This is Victoria for heavens sake. It’s not supposed to snow in this part of BC. The road out front is pretty much clear, but as I don’t have to commute, that’s not much of a problem.

Still packing and wondering where the hell did I buy this? Every so often. And more to the point, why? As far as the festering season is concerned Mrs S and I will be on a pretty tight schedule, bouncing back up and down Island like we’re riding a Yo-yo on bad knicker elastic. Shopping is done. Cards sent. Presents bought. I think we may be ahead of the curve. However, it looks like a busy Yuletide.

One of the associated exercises to do with moving is that you have to run down the amount of stuff in the freezer. Which often gives up pleasant surprises, but also the occasional booby prize. Nice surprise of the day was a Liver and Bacon Stew, which will be served with mustard dumplings, a little mashed potato and cut green beans. Culinary disaster lurking at the back was my attempt to do something spicy with cauliflower that ended up having the effect of paint stripper on the palate. Well, we’re moving, so the cauliflower will join a couple of other pots in the recycle bin. Reminder to self, cayenne pepper has to be used very sparingly. Anyway, I’ll stick the recipe for mustard dumplings on the ‘Cooking for Conspiracy Theorists’ pages as it comes under the heading of tried and proven.

Sooo. What’s going on in the big wide world out there? Apart from the snow, which has now stopped after leaving an inch or so on the ground, further startling the locals, bringing the comment from some of the perpetually offended that the whiteness of snow is part of the ‘racist patriarchy’ (Derisive snort).

In the headlines the F-35A debacle took yet another blow in the shape of President-Elect Trumps disapproval which has made Lockheed-Martins share price nosedive. Frankly, I’m not surprised. The F-35A is five years overdue and counting. So why aren’t the orders being cancelled? Or doesn’t it count because it’s only taxpayers money? I think that the F-35A’s major problem is that it tries to be all things to all men and fails.

Then there’s the whole transgender fad sweeping through university campuses and educationalist circles. Oh well, it’s a fashion, and will die when the penny finally drops, along with the removal of funding for Gender Studies courses and various worthless NGO’s. Somehow I get the feeling that some very convincing schizophrenics are embedded within academia, at least judging from the flood of neologisms and other strangeness bubbling therefrom. Please note; Coining Neologisms is one of the symptoms of Hebephrenia, part of the grab bag of behaviours indicating disorganised schizophrenia. Inventing new ‘gender pronouns’ for the sake of it certainly raises psychiatric red flags about the mental stability of the inventors. Insisting that everybody else use them also has that certain ring of ‘the lunatics are running the asylum’. To which I would respond; “if only they could be persuaded to stay there and leave the rest of us alone.” (Heavy sigh)

Newsflash! (Or rather not) If anyone wants a decent job when graduating, a ‘Gender Studies’ (Or similar) degree is going to be worth less than used toilet paper. I’d also add that if anyone tries to address me as ‘Ze‘, there will be ructions. And vitriol. Possibly even legal action, because referring to people by the incorrect gender pronoun may soon be an official ‘Hate crime’ in Canada. Which is absurd. But then George Orwell distilled my thinking on this topic when writing his essay Notes on Nationalism (1945);

“One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

I know he was talking about academics voicing the belief that American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution during the early to mid 1940’s. However, it’s a damn good quote and illustrates that even if someone can wallpaper their walls with University degrees, it does not automatically follow that they know everything about anything. Only that they know a lot about a little. A sentiment which was later echoed by Bertrand Russell in ‘My Philosophical Development‘ (1959) as “This is one of those views which are so absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them.”
Not: “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” For heavens sake, if you’re going to quote someone, at least take ten minutes to check the bloody attribution. To find that the usually trustworthy Goodreads gets it badly wrong is somewhat galling and devalues their brand.

Anyway; back in the real world, the snow has stopped and the outlook is for five days of sunny but cold weather. Which means black ice and watching obvious newcomers slipping and sliding all over the place. To which I have been known to comment; “Welcome to Canada.” However, it’s all part of the learning curve of immigration and learning that what’s really great about this cold weather is being able to watch it from inside a nice warm living room. TTFN.

Ciao Italia

Well that was a busy Monday morning. A business deal was concluded before 8am and we had the movers in to take our first tranche of kit into storage. So I’ve been busier than a metaphor with two adjectives moving very quickly indeed.

Did I mention we had a little snow this morning in Victoria? Nothing much, hardly enough to wet the ground, but it’s still colder than usual for December, but fits in with the local cycles of warm and cold Winters we’ve experienced so far. All weather tyres on the car, check. The only thing I might need is a replacement battery for the old Satnag. Well, the car is hitting its sixth birthday, but still goes up hill and down dale without missing a beat.

Over the weekend I’ve been watching with amusement the next crack on the shins for the bureaucracy that should have been just a free trade zone, the EU. You know, with all the snappy terms for leaving the EU bouncing around like Brexit and Frexit, no one gave thought to the Italians, whose referendum on ‘reform’ came up with a big fat NO, with huge political gains made by the anti-EU faction. The obvious next contender for media neologism is “Ixit”, or even “Italexit”, which somehow lacks the big ‘E’, but as the Italians aren’t net contributors to the EU budget, any “Ixit” would not be as much of a blow to the EU as when Britain finally leaves or possibly even when France bails out.

Any vecchia strada su, we have our travel plans for Italy 2017 firmly in place and it doesn’t matter which way the votes go because we’re planning to insure ourselves up the wazoo so that no matter what happens, we go five star.

That’s all for now. Cleaners are arriving for the first stage of wrapping up this apartment this afternoon and there is more packing to organise. TTFN.

Update: It’s not ‘Ixit’ or ‘Italexit’, but the far more elegant ‘Uscitalia’.  Thank you Peter.

Winter is coming

Took a look out of our rear window yesterday morning and an early light frost had just started to melt off the carport roof and the tarmac tiles off the bungalow next door. “Is that snow?” Asked Mrs S, indicating the hills to the north of Sooke. I grimaced because there is a not quite denuded Poplar tree in the way, but was forced to conclude that yes, it did indeed look like there were bands of snow over a couple of the hills in that direction. Which is odd this far south. We don’t normally see anything roughly approximately resembling snow until at least the turn of the year. In the mid-island yes. The odd flurry is no big deal but doesn’t normally give anyone grief until late January. It actually took my 20×50 binoculars to determine that what looked like bands of snow was actually dazzling low angled sunlight reflecting off the new housing around Bear Mountain.

As far as Summer goes, it’s been warm but a little truncated here in Victoria, with the expected run on of warmth and sunshine that normally lasts until early October replaced with chilly showers from early September onwards. I’m told it’s actually worse where we used to live. An elderly friend has repeatedly complained that she’s seen more rain than usual. Sis in law is so fed up with the near constant drizzle that she’s seriously contemplating a move south. Other friends have come back from Guatemala and all points south, so we’ll be swapping tales of derring don’t with them over a curry on Friday. See what they say.

Oh yes, and the Yanks had something called an election Tuesday night. A Globalist vs Nationalist grudge match with the political Establishment and most of the lamestream media in one corner, and a billionaire businessman turned politician and a whole bunch of disenfranchised blue collar types in the other. Quick note to the propaganda arm of the Democrat party, latterly known as the mainstream media; you don’t win people over by insulting their intelligence. Which should translate as; you may have been to college, but that doesn’t mean that those who didn’t are thick. If certain commentators were really as intelligent as they claim, they would understand that true intelligence takes many forms, not merely the academic.

The stock markets, as they are wont to do when the narrative fails, initially tried to throw dolly out of the pram but then bounced back. But I’ve come to expect this kind of behaviour, and if you’ve the nerve for it there’s a great deal of money to be made by going against what the lamestream media tell you. Wish I’d had the capital in play to go short on the US dollar for the predictable market panics over the last couple of days, but it was not to be.

Will Trumps victory change anything? Well, the big money was behind Clinton but on the whole the grass roots weren’t. Which will give a yet another well-deserved upset to the apple cart of Establishment politics. But then again, that’s what all the anti-Clintonites were upset about. The same shit different day of endless wars, foreign influence, divisiveness, political correctness and large parts of the populace feeling dismissed as of no value. Not to mention the attempt to create political dynasties. As an aside, I wonder if all those foreign contributors to the Clinton Foundation are already asking for their money back? Who knows?

So, the Ancien Regime of globalism is down, but not out. A Winter is coming, and we should be prepared for a tough ride for the next year or so. However, I console myself that no matter how rough it gets, the Winter we will have to endure will not be of the nuclear variety. As would have been likely had the crazed Clinton implemented her insane ‘No Fly zone’ over Syria. I was watching Vlad Putin’s reaction to the news of Trumps election, and despite his affected public calm, looked very relieved.

Me, I shall be planning for the worst, but hoping for better. The 2017 Europe trip is still very much on, and I have a few more financial tools in the box to make things happen.

Stormy weather

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

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

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

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

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

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

Katla

In-laws are currently in Europe due to fly back next week, and if the signs and portents from Iceland are right, they may have a bit of a wait to get home. Yes, it’s time for seismic grumbling from South East Iceland again. Which I ascribe to all the illicit Hákarl dumping. I’m told rotting Greenland Shark meat is a ‘delicacy’, which is one of those hilarious euphemisms for “Let’s see what we can get the tourists to eat”. Either that or one of those “Well, it’s not that bad once you get used to it” foods dreamed up when it was a case of eat your putrescent poisonous fish or starve to death.

Seriously, there’s a Yellow warning for Katla, a large volcano lurking under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which is one of those wonderful Viking names you’d swore the locals made up to make English speaking newsreaders look like idiots. Well, just because they don’t do the rape, burn and pillage thing any more doesn’t mean these descendants of Vikings have lost their sense of mischief, does it? The little tinkers.

Anyway, nothing has gone boom just yet, but those in the know are betting on an eruption in the not too distant future, even though at the time of writing there’s no harmonic tremor. However, when that is detected, then an eruption has already started and it’s a bit late to put your nearby Icelandic Holiday Home on the market.

Icelandic Met Office pages can be found here for regular updates.

What else might delay In-laws return? Hurricane Matthew, which is currently tearing northbound through the Caribbean? Hmm. If I was going to attempt a Transatlantic flight during the next few days, I’d be making damned sure my travel insurance covered accommodation costs in case of delay. I’ve tried kipping in airport terminals before, and it’s no fun at all.

Above and below the snow line

That was fun, wasn’t it young Bill? All we needed was hail and a hurricane and we’ll have collected the set as far as weather is concerned on this trip. As you can see by the photo below we’ve been up above the snow line, watching the less prepared skid and swerve after powering past us on dry roads lower down. The chap in the picture below for example, was travelling on summer tyres and shortly after Mrs S took this picture shimmied into a left filter lane to let us past when the fog got too much for him.
Snow Joke driving Then he cut in behind us as we caught up with an eighteen wheeler on the downgrade, only to vanish off the road a few minutes later, having already stirred my survival instincts with his mildly erratic steering. Did he lose the road completely or lose his nerve? No idea. All I know is that he was there one second and gone the next. The three pickups and cars behind us showed no signs of alarm, so I assume he swung off into one of the laybys on the other side of the road to catch his breath. The old US-50 through the mountains isn’t a road I’d like to travel in less than totally dry conditions on summer rubber. Anyway, I digress.

A week left. Wow. I keep getting asked by various people about what I, as a Canadian and expat Brit, think about the USA. To which the answer is a big “Don’t know”. Which sounds like a bit of a cop-out and maybe it is, but my sense of scale is still in complete overload. ‘What I think’ is not something I care to distil into a single sentence. I could of course cheat and resort to vague and cheesy adjectives like ‘fantastic’, ‘amazing’ and even ‘awesome’, but these would be highly misleading. The USA is too diverse, too big to sum up in this fashion. From desert to swamp, farmland to forest, from flood plain to salt flat. Oh yes, regarding Bonneville salt flats (Another one ticked off my bucket list), this is what the raceway looked like yesterday.Bonneville salt flats 11th May 2016
The bullet hole riddled black sign (I estimate at least 20 perforations, and another 30 bullet dents) in the lower right of the picture is at the end of the access road. After that the rest of the area, several square miles, are two to six inches deep in water. By the end of the month this water will be gone. Evaporated, just like every year. We didn’t take our sturdy little SUV out on the waterlogged flats, as the fee for getting towed out of the mud and salt should you get stuck, is a cool twelve hundred bucks US. I’m not sure if the towing companies take credit cards either. Anyway, the salt will all have dried out by early June, and the crust will be hard and smooth enough for race week and speed record attempts by the blistering head of mid July and August. I’d like to see that. Fly into Salt Lake, hire a car, park out at the rest area at mile 104 with a big sunshade and my 20×50 binoculars and watch the fun.