Saturday, 31 December 2011

Here it comes.

I'll be out later and back in the early hours. Tomorrow I might attempt to post or I might stay in bed, depends how it goes. The Scots take New Year very seriously indeed. Nothing starts before 9 pm and the parties really only get going after midnight.

Have a good evening, all.

Dirty macs and pebble glasses.

I used to have a grubby overcoat. I left it unattended once and it escaped. I have no idea where it is now. Probably returned to the wild and building a nest somewhere.

It was great. Literally. A grey greatcoat from the Army surplus store. You could put a full pint glass in the pocket and not spill a drop.

In Cardiff there used to be (maybe still is) a shabby cinema called the Prince of Wales in which, it was said, the moaning and groaning from the screen was often interrupted by the rustling of paper tissues and empty crisp packets. It was also said that if you stayed still throughout the film you risked being stuck to the seat. Despite being the proud owner of a grubby overcoat, I never entered the establishment to check. They wouldn't have let me in anyway. My glasses were barely curved and that apparently marks me as a mere apprentice perv. The folk going in there had proper bottle-end glasses, so thick that their eyes looked bigger than their heads, and coats that needed no hangers because they could stand on their own.

So the filthy cinema existed and I didn't want to make any use of it. How did it impact upon my life? Not at all.

Porn is of little interest to biologists, I hope, because that's my excuse. It's like an anatomy lecture. I once sat on Cardiff Queen Street station, facing the stairs from below, when an extraordinarily attractive, skimpily clad and very slim girl climbed those stairs. Guess the first thought in my head? I was about 20. What was my first thought? I'll tell you.

"You'd never get thirty feet of intestine in there".

My second thought was "Maybe I'm working too much."

When you know what the human (and animal) body looks like on the inside and have handled and experimented with those internal bits, naked bodies don't have the same effect as they do on other people. I don't see your skin colour at all. I don't even see your skin. I see the bone structure, the musculature, the adipose tissue, the churning of your intestines, the flow in your capillaries and watching porn films, all I see are the mechanics of reproduction. It's as exciting as any other instructional video. Might as well have Mr. Cholmondley-Warner in grey suit and neat moustache explaining it and pointing out the pertinent bits with a long stick.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some emotionless Vulcan-type thing. I'm not a medical doctor either. I have spent more time than is healthy around pieces carved from animals and humans and been present when those pieces were carved from the corpses and sometimes from not-yet-corpses. I'm no use to you if you get stabbed while I'm there because I don't have even first-aid training, but I won't lose my head or pass out either. You'll lose consciousness to the sound of me droning into my phone "No, I don't think he'll survive that long. Can't you get here sooner? He really doesn't look very well at all." I promise to resist the urge to see how far in the knife is and to take a sample from your perforated transverse colon.

But I digress. Porn is of little interest to me and anyway, those that are sometimes put on at Smoky-Drinky involve blokes that just make me feel inadequate. All I'm thinking is "How come he doesn't pass out, since most of his blood is pumping that thing up?" and "She is going to regret stretching her rectal sphincter to that extent when she gets older". I have learned to keep quiet during such screenings.

Strip clubs are of no interest to me either. Having some woman who wouldn't normally give me the time of day taking her clothes off and waggling her baby-buffets at me is no different to someone standing the other side of a bulletproof glass screen and drinking whisky at me. It's just cruel.

I don't wish to visit strip clubs so... I don't go there. It's not a problem. I don't care if one opens next door, I still won't go there. Will I object to it? Why would I? I'm not going in there and their clientele are not likely to want to come here (even though I now have a USB microscope so could potentially wave my bits visibly) so it would be no different to having the Plastic family living there. It might even be preferable.

Actually... if there was any kind of club next door... and I put up a sign saying "You can smoke in here all night for a fiver"... and drilled a few peepholes in the wall... hmmm.

There have apparently been lots of new 'Chicken Choker' clubs opening in the UK because of what the banmeisters like to call a 'loophole' in the 2003 licensing law. They could open just like a karaoke bar - which is far more of an offensive thing in my view. Then the new law clamping down on them came in, in 2009, classing them as 'Wankemporiums' or some such thing, and councils who have never had a place for sperm donor rejects to gather have banned them anyway.

Sounds a bit like that idea for 24-hour licencing that is now blamed for excessive drinking while pubs close at a rate of knots exceeded only by a Vindaloo-and-beans-powered hydroplane and none of them are actually open 24 hours and never have been. Set up the perceived problem so you can then impose the controls.

That wasn't a loophole. That was intentional. 24-hour licencing was never going to be widely taken up but it's a great thing to blame excessive drinking on while real booze intake falls. Let loads of clubs open for the dirty mac brigade through a 'loophole' and then you get the drones all worked up and close the loophole and they think you're wonderful. The Brown Gorgon tried to do the same with casinos but he was too dim to use the insidious techniques of Tiny Blur so he failed. Never mind, the 'no safe level of gambling' meme appeared anyway.

The Cleggeron Coagulation are not smart enough to see how this game works so they're playing along like good little Borg drones. Both have even pretended to give up smoking as instructed. If they use Electrofag, they dare not admit it.

(By the way, the Electrofag cigar isn't much good. Ordinary Electrofags can do the flavour and they work better. I'm thinking of trying an Electropipe one day, anyone tried one?)

The 'Down with this sort of thing' groups are out in force. There must be no knob-hardening experiences available even for those so repellent that even Slotgob wouldn't defend them in a human rights case on the grounds that she's not sure they qualify as human. Even the RSPCA would have to think twice. No equality for the frictionally challenged then.

I've seen a little Japanese porn in the past. I do not recommend it, it is nasty. To my analytical mind it appears to be based on the premise that women do not like any kind of sexual experience and must be forced. That is a horrible perspective, it is akin to the Middle East idea that women are pure until they have had sex (no matter how) and then they are to be reviled. It is, to be blunt, scary to find that such attitudes exist in the world. It is terrifying to see them arise here.

The Japanese tentacle stuff, well, if that turns you on you are seriously weird. Even octopi have, when shown this, tapped out the Morse code for "WTF?"

But then most of that Japanese stuff is cartoons. Nobody really gets poked in every orifice by a grinning demon who has fifteen tentacles with an elephant penis on the end of each one. Well, nobody I know has ever mentioned such an experience anyway.

Those clubs pay women to wave their bits at men who have no chance at all of ever finding themselves in an amorous encounter with anyone more attractive than a Macbeth witch. So, are the women being exploited? The Daily Drunk Reporter thinks so.

In October a case was brought to light which highlighted the alleged poor terms dancers at strip clubs have to with.

Terrible terms of employment. Waggling your doo-dahs on minimum wage must be so degrading.

Nadine Quashie earned up to £1,265 a night at the club dancing topless on stage wearing only a G-string and dancing naked in private.

(long pause) ... WHAT? I will waggle what I have for a tenth of that price. £126.50 a night and you can see it all (no touching, no tweezers) and after a £40 bottle of Lagavulin I'll have enough left over to get drunk. Okay, let's say £12.65 each for party rates and it's a deal. If that is exploitation, where do I sign?

Last month she won her three-year battle to take the club Stringfellow's to an employment tribunal.
She had complained of unfair dismissal but was told she had no right to a tribunal because she was self-employed.

Uh... that's exploitation? I am self employed. If those who employ me don't want any more work done, that's the end of that.

On that basis, every self-employed person whose contract ends and is not renewed is exploited. Funny, I never felt exploited when it happened. I felt paid. The work I did was paid for except in a couple of cases where I won't do work for them again, but that, in self-employment land, is called 'live and learn'.

These women are self-employed and can earn more in one night than I can in a month and that is exploitation? The Wimmin think so.

Anna van Heeswijk, of the feminist pressure group Object, told The Times: 'Putting in a nil limit is part of ensuring the safety of women. It's part of a council's responsibility. It's an issue of local democracy.'

So, stopping a self-employed woman earning £1265 in one night just for dancing around, no more, without even makeup or wardrobe assistants to pay,  is part of the emancipation of women, is it? You idiot, Anna, these women could earn enough to retire at 40 before it all goes to gravity and then set up in business or just live off the interest. If there was any call for hideous little old men to do this I'd be right in there even though I can no longer retire before 55 even if there was a secret massive market for badly-formed nude monsters with bits even mice laugh at..

This ban on chutney-chucker clubs will not affect me because those clubs are of no interest to me, but they are just another smoking ban to those who can see it. You didn't like the smoky pub so you didn't go there, yet you banned them and protected all those smoking bar staff and owners from other people's smoke by putting them on the dole.

I don't care about what happens inside the Tadger-Tugger's Club so I don't go there, and yet I am supposed to be offended by this? Why? I have never seen it and avoiding seeing it is easy. I see a sign saying 'Wankers, this way' and go the other way. As in the old days when an antismoker could open a pub door, say "Pooh, my delicate girlie nostrils cry the tears of the Nile at the stench of reality" and then fuck off out of everyone's way.

So what happened to diversity? We used to have that before it became a legal requirement and now we don't have it any more. We used to have all kinds of people living in this country, some nice and some nasty, but the law and the MSM is pushing us into blue overalls, Chinese-style.

The drones don't see it. They are not pushing diversity. They are pushing conformity.

Tighter and tighter conformity.

What we are supposed to conform to isn't yet clear but consider that China now has control of most of the world and....

Mae win ti

Friday, 30 December 2011

Crabs, Spices, Orange, Ginger and Beer.

Right, well, if I can, for a moment, draw everyone away from making more of a bloody mess of the comments than the troll did, perhaps we can discuss something serious.

Apologies to Pub Curmudgeon for turf-trespassing but I doubt he'd review this one anyway.


Specifically, the most bizarre beer I think I have ever tasted. It's called Crabbie's Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer and I know, it sounds like something concocted by a drunken maniac out of whatever was left of the flat cider, decaying fruit and Creme de Menthe at the end of a particularly virulent New Year party.

Crabbies - I think of green ginger wine.
Spiced - I'm thinking rum.
Orange - what's that blue stuff? Bols? Or is it the clear stuff? Cointreau? I've never tried either sober and didn't like them drunk so I'm not sure.
Alcoholic - well duh. That's three drinks so far, I think we can take the alcohol as read.
Ginger Beer - that's a mixer. Also known as root beer.

Now, imagine drinking something that tastes like all of them at once. A cocktail invented by Asmodeus himself when he was devising new ways to torment W.C. Fields or George Best.

It looks like beer. Well, perhaps a bit light for beer but not as light as lager. It's 4% ABV so it's about average beer strength. It smells like ginger beer and it tastes like a pint of Crabbie's Green Ginger wine that someone has diluted and then dropped a fruit bowl and a spice rack into.

The weirdest part is that it's not unpleasant. If you're expecting it to taste like beer you're going to get a hell of a shock but once you get over that it's okay.

Not one I'll buy a lot of but maybe once in a while for novelty value. I had two because they were on special offer at Morrison's but it's not one I'd buy at full price. If you like the weird and the wonderful, give it a go.

As for me, I'm off to cleanse my palate with whisky.

Thursday, 29 December 2011


I decided to give Disqus a try. It's been recommended before, and often, but I was just too lazy to bother with the change. Amusing Bunni mentioned it again so I thought hey, worth a try. It lets you reply to specific comments rather than just adding another one at the end of a long list. Might make it easier to follow conversations.

It 'says' it's importing the Blogger comments. There are a hell of a lot of them so it might take a while.

We'll see how this works out. If it's crap I can revert to Blogger. All your comments are still there on my Blogger screen.

Update: That was quick. The order is a bit jumbled but new ones should follow a proper thread pattern.

We'll see how this thing pans out. If you use NoScript you might have to 'allow'. If you block all cookies you'll need to allow in the 'exceptions' list. Couple of clicks.


In New Zealand, a man called Frankenstein is calling for a tax on sugar.

Really. Sugar. That basic chemical that all your body cells run on. A lack of which will cause your body to burn protein for energy, send you into ketosis and eventually kill you.

It's okay though. Mr. Frankenstein has the answer. He'll sell you some water.

This is way below the level of biological knowledge we were once expected to understand at O level. By the end of the first year at university I had all the pathways and equations in my head. Only for the duration of the biochemistry exam, of course. Now I just need to remember which book they're in and they are conveniently all in one very big book.

Salt and sugar are essential to life. If you don't eat fast food and never add any salt, you are risking salt deprivation. No, there is not enough in natural foods. That's why we started digging it up in the first place.

The sugar doesn't have to be refined and it can be in the form of some carbohydrates, such as starch. Not cellulose, mammals can't digest that. You need it or your body will break protein to make it and it will throw away the bits of the protein it doesn't need. Some of that will appear on your breath as acetone. You can spot Atkins diet afficionados with a quick sniff.

It's not good for you. Metabolically, it's a disaster. Your body can use protein for energy but it's not designed to do that for very long. This is a backup system for use in emergencies, it is not designed to be a way of life.

Ruminants such as sheep, goats and cows get no sugars directly from their diet. None. All their sugars are made in their liver from fatty acids. Bacteria in the rumen break their cellulosic feed and the cow absorbs their waste products. There's a reason they evolved to live on bacteria crap, and indeed on bacteria because they get their protein when the bacteria are digested further down the gut. It means they can live on cellulosic stuff like grass, which is no use to humans. Cows can't digest it but bacteria can. Since the cow's bacteria can make all the amino acids, and the cow's liver can make sugar from fatty acids, cows can live on newspaper and urine. Their bacteria will make everything they need from that.

We can't do that. Our bacteria are mainly in the lower gut, too far down to be digested. They are throughout the gut, sure, but not enough to provide a protein source in the stomach. Our livers can make sugar from fatty acids but they are set up primarily to deal with actual sugar. Glucose, specifically. The alternative pathways are a backup and will be overwhelmed if over-used.

So yes, we could live with no sugar input. But not for very long.

This proposal is a tax on staying alive. A breathing tax cannot be far behind.

Ink and pixels don't mix.

Still trying to get those cartoons on Kindle. The ones with no words seem reasonable but I really need each one on a separate page - and Ebooks have no concept of 'page'. When it puts two to a screen, the ones with captions are unreadable.

I think it would work best with cartoons drawn and sized with the Kindle in mind. Some of these predate the ZX-81. Maybe they can be made to fit but I think I'm going to have to size each one individually before loading them.

I'll try again tomorrow.


Mark Wadsworth has long been cataloguing the Great Bovine Uprising in which our proto-burger stocks insist on killing us back. Most cases are the cause of stupidity, people who have fallen for the Green hype that all humans are evil and all animals are peace-loving hippies who avoid stepping on ants. Nature is nasty and farm animals are not pets.

It's important to know the difference between ewes and rams before you get into a field. Ewes will run away. Rams will not. Cows are well aware of the relative size and strength of us and them and are likely to come over and see what you're doing. If they don't like what you're doing, you're in trouble. If there's a bull in the field, start with the premise that he doesn't like you and harbours a strong desire to stamp on your face. Most of the time you'll be right. Pigs... will eat you.

All well and good, but what about underwater fishy rebels? Even big ones can be hard to see in murky water. I don't mean sharks, I mean the sort of thing that has me typing with one hand because the other is guarding my bits. Sharks tear chunks out of you and you are likely to die fairly quickly, possibly without even knowing what hit you.

Shark attacks are as nothing when compared to a fish whose mode of attack is to bite your nuts off. Yes. Feminist fish! With a taste for raw sweetbread marinated in river water.

'Amazingly, these things are quite elusive so we had to be patient catching one. We put a line into the water and waited for it to bite. 

I do not want to know what they used for bait.

Update: Looked at the pics again. 40lb? I'd say it's closer to four. Still, that mouth is big enough to take a lump out of your lumps and that's bad enough. The day you have to have a cricket box in your fishing bag is the day I stop fishing!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Troll Poll

I have added a poll, first time I've tried this.

The troll isn't a big problem. There is no gardening and no lab work, it's dark for most of the time here now and the weather is definitely not wide-brimmed hat weather. I'm staying in and writing so I'm at the computer most of the day so I can have Blogger's comment list open in another window and stomp the troll as soon as he appears.

However, I do not consider this blog mine. I didn't pay for it and at least half the words here were written by others in the comments. My own inclination is to simply delete every word the troll posts but I realise that isn't fair on everyone else who has to wade through his crap to find something worth reading.

If I block proxy servers, that would block some legitimate visitors who use them.

If I disallow anonymous comments, that would block those who don't want to have to sign up for an account.

So that leaves moderation.

Moderation would slow down comment conversations. Not by much at the moment because as I said, I'm going to be here all the time for a while. There will be times when I'm away at the lab that would mean it could take some hours to get the comments posted but lab work cannot start for at least a month. Those who pay for it are all on holiday, and when they're back, it'll start with meetings.

I put it to you, the reader. Would you tolerate delays in your comments appearing, or would you prefer to leave the troll window open?

Here's something for the troll to consider. Not one word of his, in any incarnation, will ever appear on this blog again. I will not respond to anything he says in the moderated comments or by Email. I can hold a grudge to the end of Time but in his case I'm willing to apply an extension.

So what say you? The troll will claim he wins if moderation goes on but does that really matter if nobody ever sees his words again? Who will he brag to? What has he won, beyond his own permanent exclusion?

This is not a totalitarian blog. I am not going to impose conditions here, I am going to ask the readers what they want.

Should he stay or should he go?

Whoops - forgot. The poll runs to 2 pm (GMT) on the 31st. So if the vote is 'moderate', he won't have anything to do on New Year's Eve.

Everyone is Saved!

A politician, lying.
Picture led by the nose from here.

It seems the Cameroid's latest tax wheeze has been stamped on by his masters. They won't let him penalise everyone because of a few who can't handle their booze.

Experts believe the proposal could save up to 2,000 lives a year and cost drinkers around £700million per year. 

The money generated could be ploughed into the NHS.

Well that makes no sense at all. If the NHS has two thousand fewer people to deal with every year, then they need less money, not more. In fact, since nobody gets heart attacks or cancer since the smoking ban, nobody gets hypertension because of salt controls, children don't fall out of trees or play boisterous games because of health and safety, and women can check their boyfriends for violence before taking them on, we don't actually need the NHS at all, do we? The Experts have told us that their interventions have worked and so, according to the Experts, the NHS is now superfluous. Nobody gets ill or damaged any more. They have Numbers to prove it.

All that's left for the NHS to do is to take in the elderly and neglect them to death, which could be just as effectively done in their own homes. Although maybe not, because those pesky relatives might feed them and keep them warm. The medical profession cannot possibly allow such amateur meddling in the affairs of the old. I am sure the local council will provide home don't-carers to make sure all those people are neglected to NHS standards.

Well, that's that. All done. We can now safely disband the BMA and sack all those who have been so busy making sure we're all living the Puritan way, because their work here is finished.

Seriously, folks, we're all just fine now. You can go. Sir Liam and the rest, 'bye now.

Close the door behind you.

In between boozings.

Visitors have gone and most of the clearing-up is done. I have enough empty bottles to start my own recycling centre. Quite a few nearly-empty too. I'll deal with those later.

Despite being the only smoker here, I did not see one instance of hand-waving or nose-wrinkling. Not one fake cough, only real ones, mostly caused by drinking booze down the wrong pipe. See, antismokers? It is not necessary for nonsmokers to be like you. You're the odd ones.

Strangely, nobody died of second hand smoke and nobody even suggested smoking outside. Outside? That's where all the fresh air is, for anyone who wants it. It's moving around a lot today, so fast you wouldn't need to inhale. Just open your mouth and wait. Although maybe not, there's a lot of water flying around in the fresh air at the moment. Imagine how clean it will be! Don't bother God today, folks. He's washing his air.

Not one liver failed, nobody gained any noticeable amount of weight, no heart attacks and no spontaneous popping of the eyeballs. We tried really, really hard but none of those terrible things came to pass.

Ah well, New Year next. That usually puts Christmas in the shade. I suppose I'd better let some liver grow back over the next few days.

Right, time to browse the news for lunacy. It doesn't usually take very long.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Just asking for trouble.

Cadbury's new owners, Kraft, have decided that people are not eating enough chocolate so they are going to spend huge amounts of money making the products visible.

Well I never have any trouble finding them. They are usually in a display so large you can find them by chocolate smell alone. Kraft are about to waste six million beer vouchers promoting chocolate while all around, the banmeisters are preparing to lock it all away behind the shutters, along with the fags, the booze and the fizzy drinks.

The cheeeldren might eat them and there is no safe level of chocolate. It's addictive and will cause heart disease, browning of the lips and enlargement of the midsection. If a child so much as sees a chocolate bar they will soon develop a five-bar-a-day habit and end up on the street, sleeping in the gutter and stinking of Bourneville.

Sticking your head above the parapet at this time is a bad idea, Mr. Kraft. The drones are already primed to believe they will soon be assailed by legions of rotund spotty beggars, desperate for a few pennies because they haven't had a Toblerone since breakfast. Second-hand obesity has already been suggested, and now you can even catch obesity if you hang around with chubbies.

Chocolate addiction is already well established in the popular consciousness. That part is easy. Warning labels are on the way, with pictures of rotting teeth and spotty faces and overhanging bellies. Then will come plain packaging, and then the behind-the-counter sales. Really, Mr. Kraft, there is no sense in making your products more visible. You're just making them easier targets.

I haven't heard 'Big Chocolate' mentioned yet although Kraft would better fit the monicker 'Big Cheese'. The 'Big Food' one covers it all, perhaps, but it would be nice if the banmeisters tried to develop a little bit of humour. If they did that though, they wouldn't be banmeisters.

I wonder if that 'Old Jamaica' chocolate is still around? I haven't seen it for a long time. For some reason I have a hankering for a chocolate bar flavoured with booze. Oh wait, it's just after Christmas. There should be discount liqueurs available! 

I think I'll pay a visit to Local Shop later.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Was there a special at the knife shop today?

Two years ago, just before Christmas, there was a fight in our local Tesco. Two elderly ladies had chanced, at the same time, upon the last bag of sprouts. When I heard about this my first thought was to imagine them saying "You take them." "No, you take them." "You take them or I'll thump you." I am not a fan of sprouts and would, if sent to get some, wait until there were none left so I could report "There were none left."

This year people were buying them on the stalk, which mystified me. Surely you're paying for the weight of the stalk, which is even less edible than the sprouts?

People often fight for things I can see no reason to fight for. I would never queue all night or barge into shops to be the first to have the latest gadget. I'd wait a few months until the price came down. Besides, if you're first to have a video phone, who will you call? Nobody else has one yet.

I hope video phones never become popular. Some women wouldn't answer until they'd done their hair and makeup. To be fair, some men too. Personally I'd have a selection of latex masks beside the phone. Lord Lucan, Elvis, Michael Jackson, and so on. If I was feeling vindictive I wouldn't bother with the masks, but I'd have a set of fake hillbilly teeth on standby at all times.

The January sales (which now start around mid-December) have always involved some handbag-swinging and shoulder-barging. Desperate to buy things they don't really need or actually want just because it's cheaper, people batter seven bells out of each other. I have never attended the sales and never will. These days you can just order the stuff online and wait for delivery. Less bother and less bruising.

PC World must be getting desperate. I've been getting three Emails a day which are now at the stage of 'Oh please, please buy something'. Soon they will offer to pay me to take stuff away. I'll let them raise their price first.

Today's sales have taken a new and very unpleasant turn. In London, two people have been stabbed and crowds gathered to get in the way of the emergency services. Old Holborn has video of those crowds, some of whom took the opportunity to pick a fight with the police. I am no fan of the Metropolitan Police, they are one of the reasons I won't visit London because they have interpreted 'anti-terrorist' as 'anti-tourist' and regard anyone carrying a map and camera as a potential terrorist/tourist/legitimate hassle target/DNA donor. besides, London's mayor can't even make the trains run on time. Or at all.

In this instance, however, the police were trying to clear space around a seriously injured man. Somehow they had to fit an ambulance through the London sales crowds and that was never going to be easy. Having those crowds pressing in despite repeated instruction to stay back was not helping.

The police did not stab the man. They were trying to help. Yet I would not be at all surprised to hear about more rioting on the basis that someone was stabbed and the police were involved. "It's the system, man, innit like?"

I doubt any of the rabble read this stuff because I use words of more than one syllable but should one happen by and manage to get this far without total brain burnout, consider this:

Maybe it's not 'the system' that stabs people, loots, burns shops and generally makes other people's lives miserable.

Maybe it's you.


Visitors are still here and have to be carefully watched since one of them made Irish coffees using Glen Orchy! Sacrilege! That was why I had Black Bottle available. The Penderyn has been sampled and put away because while I can grit my teeth at the abuse of Glen Orchy (it's the cheapest single malt around), putting coffee in the Penderyn will make for a very chilly atmosphere around here. I have to admit, a single malt does make a very nice Irish coffee, but if they want more they'll be using Black Bottle.

I can't be annoyed. I have a USB microscope which means I don't have to sell all that N gauge because I can see it again -

At a scale of 2 mm to 1 foot, it had been getting difficult. Now I can patch up the paintwork even though no human eye could ever see it. I'll still sell off some rolling stock. I have far too much of it and some is never used.

It's not the microscope Neal Asher described, it's a Veho VMS-004. I installed it on the laptop to make it mobile.The frustrating part is that there are no insects to play with at this time of year.

Speaking of playing with insects, I see our resident dickhead had a cold and lonely Christmas on his own once again, eating a Co-Op turkey sandwich and a single-serving Christmas pudding while hunched over his Macintosh that's running Windows. You really should get a better proxy, troll, and put some tape over your webcam. That free French one isn't one of the best. You get what you pay for.

Santa must have left him some coal because he hasn't gone into hibernation. Had your Christmas bath yet, troll? No hurry, it's not as if anyone wants to spend time in your company anyway.

He now plans to fill the comments with long blank posts which I will delete if they get in the way because there is nothing amusing in them at all. I will keep the copies sent to me by Blogger in case Pat ever needs them as evidence. These 'troll tests' of his are not worth bothering about. I will never ban him from the site because he's just so much fun but like all those with toddler mentality, an occasional sideswipe with a rolled-up Beano is called for. Expect him to claim the deletions as victories even though he is the only one who'll get deleted and the country will resound with laughter at his expense.

Okay, that's Christmas done. I have to take my time with this Penderyn because it's a rare treat. This is the 'Madeira' version and it's very smooth indeed. They make Brecon gin too, and while I'm no afficionado of gin I hear it's very good. It also comes in the tall thin bottle with an inch-thick base, which makes it less easy to knock over.

Oh, the word 'blockage' in the last post attracted some kind of psychoanalyst. Apparently I am in denial about some childhood trauma that never happened but it did but I blocked it out so I don't think it happened but it is affecting me even though I have no memory of it or something along those lines.

I recall my childhood. It was great. No money, but lots of woodland and frogs and lizards and fire-meddling and everything that's banned now. All those things were free. We didn't need money to play with them. Well, a few pennies for the chemicals for explosives and matches, but that was all.

No Xboxes, no DVD or video, not because we couldn't afford them but because they hadn't been invented yet. We didn't feel the need for them. There was no childhood trauma.

No, psychoanalyst, there is no secretly loving and caring me beneath this exterior. There is no 'new man' in here. It's rage-filled smoky-drinker all the way to the middle. You want to find out why? It's simple. The smoking ban. Can you fix that? No? Well then, there is nothing else to fix.

Well, looks like I'm going to be branded 'Censor' by our very own village idiot for deleting long blank posts full of nothing. The irony is not lost on me.

I'll bet it's lost on him.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

A Merry Humbug!

On Boxing Day, the blockage was removed.

So it's here again. Humbug Day. I have visitors for the occasion which means I will look helpless in the kitchen until control of the cooking is taken out of my hands. It never fails. There are a couple of bottle-shaped things with my name on them and I'm pretty sure one is the Penderyn. I have also been dropping very strong hints about that USB microscope Neal Asher had, so we'll see how that turns out.

My vicious perfectionism has not permitted me to put out the next short story book because I want to check, double-check and then check all over again. This is why editors like me. I don't generally leave them with much to do. That doesn't guarantee the stories are any good but it does guarantee you'll be able to read them.

It'll now be after Christmas so it won't need to be purely about Christmas. The print version will have the cartoons. I decided to put the eBook-version cartoons separate as a free file because I'm not sure how it will look on an e-reader. Should be OK as a PDF on a computer screen but on a little Kindle, it might not work so well. It will therefore be free, as an experiment.

Tesco will be closed for the day. The effect was amazing. I was there yesterday evening after the main flock of gannets had been in and there were bare shelves everywhere. Staff trying to fill them and people with bulging trolleys emptying them. You'd think they were closing down for a month but they'll be open on Boxing Day.

When I was a kid, absolutely everything was closed by lunchtime on Christmas Eve and nothing opened again until the day after Boxing Day. Except the pubs. If you had a present that needed batteries, tough. You just had to leave it in the box for a few days. Nobody considered it at all unusual. Now, the thought of Tesco closing for a day induces panic.

Well, time to imbibe. Many thanks to all who sent in donations - I promise none of it was spent on anything sensible. Thanks to all the commenters (yes, even Drippy Doodlebug, for the entertainment) and I swear I'll be relatively sober by March at the latest.

There might be a post tomorrow. It might not make a lot of sense.

Don't forget to make sure the kids are tucked up tight after you've told them that a strange old man with a sack will be sneaking into the house when everyone is asleep. That's why there's so much glitter in your house, kiddies. It attracts old men who like children. Now go to sleep because if he finds you awake, well, we just don't know what he might do.

Ho ho ho.

All in one.

Well, apparently they've found it. Cancer of the oesophagus is caused by everything. Smoking, drinking and easting. The smoking connection to heartburn demonstrates a startling lack of anatomical understanding unless there are people eating lit ones,  but then the heartburn link to cancer of the oesophagus is still a matter of conjecture. Acid reflux might be linked to cancer or it might not. The jury is still out on that one.


Reflux is the type of cancer which killed Christopher Hitchens and is seen as a growing danger

... is utter nonsense. Reflux is not cancer. It's not anything that the immune system can deal with.We all experience heartburn when we've overdone things. I haven't had it in years but like everyone else, I've had a dose of it. Some get it often and it hurts, it's unpleasant but nobody dies of it. One of the biggest causes is stress and continually telling people they are doing life wrong will cause lots of stress in those who believe it.

I knew Christopher Hitchens died of cancer. A great loss to the world. If it was cancer of the oesophagus then it probably wasn't smoking that did it. It could have been drink, he made me look like an apprentice boozer, but then again it could have been just plain bad luck. I heard his father died of the same cancer so it's possible he was always at high risk of it and tanking down the booze won't have helped reduce that risk.

One of my aunties died of cancer. Smoking? Maybe. There were seven on my father's side and all smoked, including the One Of Whom We Do Not Speak who is probably in prison somewhere. One dead, six alive, all old smokers, not quite the 50% early death rate we are led to expect. My mother's side has eight, some smokers, some not, none dead.

I can understand people being scared of cancer. It's nasty and a horrible way to die. But are we seriously to be scared of heartburn now? Don't they make Milk of Magnesia any more? Sure, for some it's an unpleasant regularity but for most of us it's an occasional uncomfortable inconvenience. It is, for most people, akin to living in fear of dandruff.

There are, at last, some who question these links.

Lately the DM is absolutely obsessed with linking cancer to obesity. Every day there is at least one new article about this. This focus is a little misplaced when 41% of cancers may be preventable by lifestyle changes compared to 80% of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. So to put things into perspective, most heart disease is preventable, while most cancers are not.
Me? No.

You're so vain...

I bet you think this blog is about you.

Hey Troll. Dickless doubledim, or whatever you're pretending to be today. Take note, I do not spend my days wondering what you're going to do next. You will act as expected, you always do. When I am not writing something specifically addressed to you I am not thinking about you at all. You don't matter.

What are you thinking now? You are sneering to yourself and thinking 'Oh yes I do. The fact that he's writing this proves I'm getting to him'. You will be poised to post a comment to that effect.

You made your mindset clear with your last comment, in which you believed that my random thoughts were there to bait you. In fact, you took the bait a long time ago. You're here, aren't you? You're on the hook already and well on the way to the keep-net.

You will attempt to force me to shut down comments and try to get me to react. You've missed the point. I don't want you to go away. I enjoyed the time Dirty European Socialist tried his games here and I look forward to our games. DES used to at least try to advance an argument in between his tirades of abuse. Do you have an argument? Do you have a point? Is there any point to you at all?

Or are you simply a foul-mouthed boor who enjoys being despised and scoffed at?

Let's find out. Let the game commence. My first move begins now. I already know how you will react but I'm going to enjoy watching you do it anyway.

The Christmas Remenisce

I had to join Farcebook again. An old school friend keeps sending Christmas cards and I can't send them back because the dipshit never includes a return address. He mentioned Farcebook, I looked him up and found him - and he's a bloody Marxist now! He was a hang 'em and flog 'em type at school to the extent that the Tory furthest to the right would have said 'Now hang on a minute'.

Well, I thought, I could hardly introduce him to my current Farcebook persona. He'd send the Red Army round to my house. So I have another one, designed to sell my books to commies. They won't like the Brown Gorgon's poem in 'Fears' but they'll appreciate the Coagulation one in 'Dark Thoughts'.

I am shocked and dismayed to find an old school friend has fallen into the deepest trench of Socialism but well, a good capitalist never lets an opportunity slide. I'll be a capitalist one day, if I ever have the money. It's not likely to be soon. Anyway, the books are politics neutral so far and when Panoptica is finished, the far-left and far-right (same thing really) will either read it as something to be aspired to or they'll wake up. As long as they buy it.

There was another of our group who joined the BNP for a while. Again it was odd because he has no racism in him at all, no beef with immigrants in the slightest. At school, we'd have pegged him as the future socialist. People are strange.

A third is into mediaeval battle re-enactments. I last heard of him years ago when he said he had given up smoking. His Farcebook pictures show that he is now bald. I am not. Therefore stopping smoking will make your hair fall out. Hey, it's as scientific as anything the antismokers have ever come out with. At least I have a verifiable sample.

We were a small and scruffy group, the dirtbags that even geeks avoided. We played wargames in one guy's room because he had a long, narrow room with the wargame board along one wall. It was a tray, about fifteen feet long and filled with seven hundredweight of dirt for shaping the day's battle. The 'pieces' were 1/72 scale Airfix models and they had to be right. Not just thrown together. We had the book of rules, played that way for about ten minutes then said 'sod it' and got the airguns out. Eventually we just filled the models with cut-off match heads as we built them. I didn't smoke then but the stuff we inhaled must have killed us all by now.

Oddly enough, the only one who is dead was the non-smoking non-boozer (we were barley wine afficionados in the days before it was weakened) who played for a professional football team and was never involved in our chemical escapades. He wasn't there when the Strepsils tin filled with weedkiller-explosive went up. He wasn't there when we had to keep hosing down the shed because our bonfire became somewhat overlarge. He did not partake of the apple wine that had aged so wonderfully strongly.

All the rest of us are alive and well. The ex-smoking swordsman, the Commie, the Hulk and me.

Funny old world.

Friday, 23 December 2011

We are the British. Resistance is futile. Oh, and "Black!"

If you have a set of coloured lights, one for each of the primary colours, and you shine them all at something, the light looks white. If they're all off, then you see black. Where lights are concerned, black is not coloured. White is all the colours.

With pigments, it's the other way around. Black absorbs all visible wavelengths so it has all the colours in it, and white reflects them so it has no colour. Whether you consider 'black' or 'white' as 'coloured' is a matter of which aspect of physics you're looking at.

In the real world, the one not inhabited by the Righteous and the professionally offended (we could call them 'reality deniers') none of this applies to people. It applies to lights and paints. White people are not white, we vary between a sort of pink and an ashen grey depending on how much we had to drink last night. Actually, I have met two white people, and both were very scary. One was a chemist who looked as if he showered in bleach. The other ran the greatest homebrew shop I've ever seen and was known as 'the zombie'.

Generally though, if your skin looks actually white, it means you are not at all well and quite possibly dead.

Not so long ago, you could not buy a blackboard but you could buy a chalkboard. That was before another arm of Righteousness banned them on the grounds that chalk dust will give you rabies, or warm your globules, or something. You also could not order black coffee or refer to a black telephone as 'that black one' or indeed use the word 'black' in any context whatsoever in case it offended someone. Oddly, it never seemed to offend anyone sensible who was black, in the same way that 'whiteboards' or 'white coffee' never offended any sensible white people. Even though white coffee isn't white and very few people are as white as a whiteboard. Incidentally, I used to have a tin of paint called 'Rustin's blackboard black' which was such a tremendously matt black you couldn't see it. Nobody on the planet is that black.

You were not supposed to call black people 'black', you were supposed to say 'coloured', and the Righteous reasoning went that, well, not everyone with non-white skin is black. Some are beige, some yellowish, one I know of was orange for months (too many tanning pills so we sympathetically referred to him as 'Tango'). This served the Righteous agenda of separating 'white' people from everyone else.

Then they changed it again. Now, 'coloured' is offensive even though those who call it offensive are the same ones who insisted 'black' was offensive. The term 'coloured' when used to refer to people was always offensive. It was a useless descriptor because all it means is 'not white' so it covers everyone else on the planet. What about those like me, who have an almost chameleon-like ability to go out for the evening a healthy pink and wake up the next morning ash-grey? Sometimes tinged with green.

PC terminology changes all the time. Fail to keep up and there will be Outrage! Then they will rewrite history right before your eyes.

Hansen was even labelled ‘ignorant’ and ‘overpaid’ by society blogger Toby Young on the Telegraph website - the same newspaper Hansen writes for as a columnist.
Mr Young wrote: ‘Alan Hansen, the overpaid football pundit, just dropped a clanger on Match of the Day. In fact, make that two clangers.
‘Clearly, Hansen’s intentions were honourable. But his ignorance is breathtaking. Is he really unaware that the word “coloured” has been verboten since the mid-70s?’

Mid-70s? Really? I seem to recall Outrage! over the use of the word 'black' in any context within the last ten years. This Righteous switch is recent, so it's no surprise to find someone missed the memo.

What the football chap said was not racist. He was not calling for any kind of censure or control. He merely intended the word as a descriptor. True, it's a lousy descriptor and always has been, but is he really to be branded Hitler because he was using an old copy of the Manual of Righteousness? There are those calling for him to be sacked over his use of the wrong current PC term.

People are desensitised to real racism by nonsense like this. There are white people who beat up black people just because they are black. There are black people who beat up white people just because they are white. That is racism. Yet what causes Outrage! is the use of a word that is currently on the Righteous naughty list.

If a black man called me 'honky white trash' is that racist? I would not consider it racist unless it was prefaced with 'kill the...'  It's an insult, yes, but I've had worse. In some contexts it might not even be an insult.

I don't care when I'm called 'wop', 'spic' or 'dago' by people who are too dim to know the proper derogatory term for Italian. I don't mind when I hear, once again, the line 'What do you call a Welshman with a hundred girlfriends? A shepherd'. If you come from Wales you don't laugh at that joke. Not because it's offensive but because you've heard it a million times and just wish they'd come up with a new one. I don't worry about insults because insults are only words, and I can retaliate with words of my own.

I only worry about words when they are accompanied by bared teeth and fists or weapons. 

Ron Manager... oh wait... Alan Hansen, did not even intend an insult. Oh look, I just insulted him by using the wrong name. Did he die? Is he bruised? No. It had no effect on him whatsoever. Even though my use of the wrong words was deliberate and his was not.

Counting Cats has an article in which he argues that any culture that must be defended by legislation is a culture that's on the way out. He is right. If the culture cannot survive without laws forcing everyone to comply then that's a culture nobody really wants any more.

British culture, whether English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish has nothing to fear from immigrant peoples. No matter what colour their skin, no matter where they come from, we absorb them. We have never needed laws to force us to do this. They bring new foods and new words and new ways and we'll absorb them too, and often corrupt them to suit ourselves. Eventually we don't even notice the differences.

I was at school with kids with surnames like Tomacevsky and Poslad, in among the mass of Davies and Evans and Prossers. What nationality were they? Welsh, of course. Their families had been in the country for generations. They had definite Welsh accents. Why would I object? My own family includes Barberos and my own surname derives from the German while my first name is Irish. Check my DNA and you'll probably find I'm related to everyone on the planet. I am Multiracial Man, the Ultimate Mongrel and as scruffy as any mongrel you'll ever meet. Racist? Against who exactly? I belong to them all and chances are, so do you.

We had Pakistanis running shops who would call you 'butty' and 'boyo' with Welsh accents. They looked like Pakistanis still, but they were Welsh. And they had no objection to selling bacon or booze. You wanted to buy it, they'd sell it.The stock in the shop had no connection to the owners' religion at all. Islamophobia did not and could not exist. We were vaguely aware of Islam just as we had noticed the church in passing but neither contained anything to frighten us.

None of those people needed laws to 'protect' them from the natives, other than the same laws that applied to all of us and protected all of us from the likes of the skinheads. They were around, sure, but nobody liked them. I never met a white person who liked skinheads and had some unfortunate encounters with those we called 'the Densa boys' myself. Their brand of racism extended to anyone not fitting the old eugenics idea of Aryan, and I don't.

These new laws that claim to promote inclusivity have entirely the opposite effect. When moron after moron can regard the innocent misuse of a simple word as equivalent to marching six million people into gas chambers then something somewhere is very wrong. It is deliberately wrong. It is intended to be wrong. That's why the rules keep changing.

Black people, Muslims,. all you 'minorities', take care when dealing with those who claim to be looking out for your interests. You have moved into a strong culture that will, if it's allowed to, painlessly and effortlessly assimilate you. You will be British, no matter what you look like on the outside, no matter which god you follow, no matter how you choose to set up your home and your life. Everyone here does those things differently anyway, a few more differences won't even be noticed. One Of Us.

The Righteous and their permanent taking of offence is not to protect you. It's not there to save you from slavering white cannibals ready to tear you limb from limb and spit-roast your children. We're not like that. We don't want to force you to be exactly like us and there's no need anyway. Left alone, it'll happen. Resistance is futile.

Yes, the Borg were modelled on the British. Our language is composed of bits of grammar and vocabulary from everywhere we've been and that's most places. Restaurant menus cover most of the recipes we assimilated from all over the world. Clothing is modelled on anything the rest of the world designed and we liked the look of. My own family came here from Italy three generations ago. None of them now speak Italian, hardly any are Catholic, they are primarily Welsh and they drink beer and whisky. Some of them don't even like olives!

So I speak from experience. This country is a Borg cube. Set foot in it and the assimilation begins. It's not obvious, we don't force the issue, it just happens bit by sinister bit. Those Islamic hate preachers can spout all the shit they like, we're sucking in their congregations and there is nothing they can do to stop it. Shout and bawl, preachers. We have fish and chips. This cannot be resisted for long.

The ones trying to stop it are not the immigrants. They are our own malcontents and vicious spiteful bastards who see themselves as polar opposites to the National Front but who, really, are the same. While the NF wanted a 'pure white Britain' (ridiculous since the earliest inhabitants so far discovered were Iberian) and were prepared to use violence to get it, the Righteous want the exact opposite, the destruction of the white race and its culture, but are just as prepared to use violence to get what they want.

Their form of violence comes in the shape of laws. Laws that excuse any non-white violent attacks on whites as justifiable while decrying any white mention of those who the Righteous deem different as being akin to a demand for racial purity.

Let's be clear on this. There is no such thing as racial purity. In fact, if you look at the history of human shagging, it's touch and go whether there is even species purity. We will, let's be honest here, poke it anywhere warm and wet. Rabbits could learn from us.

The Righteous actually think their Frankfurt school crap will work here.They think they can destroy British culture by sending more people from different cultures to live here. We. left alone, would just absorb them and the Righteous know this. So they make up laws to separate us and to put us in fear of those we once welcomed.

Immigration is the UK. It is what we are. It is what we assimilate and what we have welcomed since before Stonehenge.  This island at the wet end of Europe has always taken the dregs, the leftovers, the runaways and the mongrels. They come here and they make themselves British and then they look at the rest of the world and say '"We are British. We live in the shitty place at the arse end of the world and we love it here. Fuck you."

We are British. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

The Righteous cannot win here in the long run. Their desperation shows in their Outrage! at trivia. Let them squeal like pigs. It's abattoir time. What they hare never grasped is that while this British culture assimilates what it wants, what it does with things it doesn't want can be brutal. You cannot object. It's our culture.

The professionally offended will arrive here within seconds because I said both 'black' and  'coloured'. Hello, hello to you all. I'll respond when and if I can be arsed.

They, like Dickie Doubledickless, will never work out why I just don't care.

Call it a disability and give me money.

Or maybe we could go back to the old days and just ... get along.

It used to be so easy.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A flying visit.

Still on drive-by blogging at the moment. I finished what was possibly the most difficult book review I've ever written yesterday and sent it in. You know how sometimes you read a book, think 'That was really good' and then find you can't articulate why it was so good without giving away so much that nobody would need to read it? Well, it was one of those.

So I sent the review and relaxed with the amusing little film 'The Devil's Rejects' which Amazon sold me cheap, along with a large part of a bottle of 'Glen Orchy' which Lidl sold me cheap. An evening's entertainment for under twenty quid. Damn, I'm tight. Must be the Aberdonian air.

Today, the inevitable happened. The editor wants changes. I also owe this particular editor a short story and I'm still trying to put together the next collection ready for Christmas (electronic only - no chance of getting the print version ready in time). So I will be scribbling and typing and I have a nasty suspicion I will still be doing that on Christmas morning.

The New Year is for Panoptica, which is the current title of the dystopia. It's nicked from a particular type of prison called a 'Panopticon', the principle of which has been successfully applied to our CCTV-infested world.. Panoptica has no prisons. No need.

I now know what brings our hero out of his Righteous-induced trance, how his life plummets from comfort to pain as a result of a trivial transgression he did not even do, and where the 'retired' actually go. I think - I think - I am still a few steps ahead of the real world but they're catching up fast so in the New Year, that project gets priority.

If you get an apparently deranged comment from me, it's probably not me but the Pseudopat troll, who I don't have time to properly torment at the moment. He's not important enough to prioritise, and he's stupid enough to stick around until I'm ready to play tease-the-troll. If you're on Blogger, then I'm always signed in to comment.

Right. Back with something to rile up the Righteous later, once I've done this review again. Hint: It'll have the word 'Black' in it. Start that blood pressure climbing, Righteous.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Fiddling with the kiddies.

"Hello Kiddies. Ready to play the Dull and Pointless Life Game?"
Picture reproduced in crayon from here.

History. I remember that. It was the beginning of Grammar School which turned into a comprehensive shithole while I was there and has now been closed and demolished.

I was twelve. I wanted to hear about Cavaliers and Roundheads, the Spanish Inquisition, Napoleon, about Romans and about Knights in armour and what did we get?

The economic development of the Balkans or some such mind-numbing rubbish.

Okay. That might actually interest me now I'm past fifty but to a twelve-year-old this is absolutely in the 'Couldn't give a damn' category. I dropped history at the first opportunity because I saw no reason to stick with it. If it had been tailored to twelve-year-olds at first and built into serious stuff later it would have worked for me.

I  have many history books now. If only school history had been interesting I might have done well, although obviously not as a history teacher because Labour made that illegal.

Then there was geography, Not a subject of great interest but not one I objected to either. To those of a geographic bent it might have been fascinating but not to me. I dropped geography before the O-level years too.

Both these subjects are to be compulsory until the age of 16. Which means they join English and Maths as the only compulsory subjects at GCSE (O-level).

Michael Gove is an idiot. He wants to take schools from their Socialist ridiculous curriculum to one that is more proscribed than any in the past and he expects children and teachers to just switch, just like that. One extreme to the other not in a generation, in a term.

Yes, there should be more real subjects in schools. But forcing history and geography on twelve-year-olds does not improve their lives nor ours. They should be options, yes, and certainly, history classes for the first year could be better designed to get twelve-year-olds interested in the subject, but compulsory?

So what's next, Govey-boy? Compulsory woodwork so we can build the huts you arses want us to live in? Compulsory metalwork to boost the stock of windmill-makers? Compulsory voting?

The thing I remember most about being twelve is that if you wanted me to apply myself to the utmost to avoid doing something, make it compulsory. If you wanted me to do it to the best of my ability, ban it.

I doubt things have changed.

The intelligence of politicians certainly hasn't.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


If you put wet wood on a fire, it spits. If you use pressure-treated wood on a fire it spits like Satan with a bad dose of catarrh. If you are putting wood on top of a coal fire you're an idiot. Fireguards are there to catch spits and crackles before they hit the carpet.

I knew these things when I was seven. I was allowed to build and light the fire in the living room at that age and trusted to be left alone with it long before that. Careless parents? No. Respect for fire and how to deal with the problems it might cause were drummed into me from as far back as I can remember.

Fireplaces were the only source of heat in those days. Therefore, anyone with children had to be certain their children knew all about the fire and its dangers. About the fireguard, why it was there, why it should not be touched. All of it.

This is not to place any blame on the mother who has lost four children to a fire. Not at all. These days, few people know how to set a fire and keep it going safely. It's a skill that must be learned and Greenery has ensured that two generations have no idea how to deal with it. I will not blame the mother in this instance.

Others will. But not for the right reasons.

Mr Hunter read from a statement given by Mrs Burrows in which she said: 'It was generally known that Rachel liked a drink and I used to see her with a glass or a bottle in her hand.
'She never used to hide it.'

Mr Hunter asked if she and her husband considered Ms Henson’s alcohol consumption above average and she said: 'Yes.' 

When she was taken into Mrs Burrows’ kitchen she said she was 'very vacant.' 'She asked for a cigarette and I said ‘We don’t smoke’. Somebody brought her one in, I can’t remember who. 'She opened the back door and I told her that she had got to come in and close the back door because the smoke was coming into the kitchen and she just fell backwards on the doorstep.' 

She is not being blamed for not understanding fire. She is being blamed for smoking and drinking. Evidence? Who needs it? Hearsay is good enough when it's a smoker or drinker in the firing line.

There is nothing to suggest that her smoking or drinking were in any way the cause of this tragedy. She fell over a step, but maybe her house doesn't have a step there so she wasn't expecting one. The neighbours who consider her drinking 'above average' would no doubt consider mine 'positively Satanic'. They objected to her cigarette smoke coming into the house while she was outside and rather than close the door, they insisted she stop. Nice people? I don't think so. I bet they do.

The likely cause of this was the actions of people just like those who try to condemn her for being a smoky-drinker. Those who have prevented children learning about that most basic of human skills, the safe use of fire. Without which we would still be huddled together in caves.

The woman has lost four children and what is the prosecution's case? Another case of smoking and drinking demonisation. She will be told it's her own fault. Is there anything more disgusting?

Give me at least half a bottle of whisky (good stuff, or I will not drink it) and point me at a fireplace and you will see a perfectly safe and correctly banked fire roaring away within half an hour. Drunk? Doesn't matter. This is subconscious now, it's been ingrained since childhood. Give me the rest of that bottle and then hand me wet wood for the fire and I won't put it on. It will spit, and wood should not be on top of coal anyway. Coal burns too hot to be supplemented with wood. One or the other. Coal or wood fire. Start as you mean to go on.

Again, it's set so deep into my mind that it no longer matters whether I'm thinking in words or in bottle shapes. I have never burned myself with fire. Once with phenol and twice with electric grills, with electric irons and other gadgetry, but never with open fire.

The problem here is not booze, and it's certainly not smoking. The problem is education.

Not school education. Real life education.

Handling fire is basic in a way that even learning to read and write can never be. Failing to teach children about fire is failing to teach them how to be human.

Have we really forgotten so much?

Book idea.

The trouble with new ideas is that you want to drop everything else and do the new thing now. This means that nothing will ever get done so the impulse must be resisted at all costs.

The people I do some work for send me a box of wine every year. I send them copies of the latest book. It's a bit like when you're a kid and your parents give you Action Man's tank and you give them something you made out of toilet rolls and tinfoil but these company people, like my parents, have much more money than me.

One phoned to thank me today. In the conversation he mentioned that he liked short stories because they are ideal for reading while engaged in Nature's way of dealing with the indigestible. Okay, let's be blunt. He reads them on the toilet.

Other writers might be offended by the suggestion that their book might be hanging next to the toilet but my brain is wired differently. The 'Idea' light came on. I thought 'Aha. What the world needs is Bog Book'.

The ideal toilet companion. Very short tales for those quick visits, longer tales for serious emptying sessions and of course, the 'scare it out of you' section for the times when you're convinced it has corners. All sorted according to expected session requirements.

It must wait. It must. I have a request for a short in the works, I have the Christmas eBook (no time to get it edited and ready for ordering print versions) and I have a book review to finish.

The Bog Book must happen. The world is ready, and full of shit, and needs this book.

But not today.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Meddling with marriage, and other things.

Apologies to commenters and Emailers for the lack of response from me lately. It's now too late to get the print version of the Christmas collection ready in time for Christmas but there is still possibly time to have it available for all those ebook readers that will no doubt be unwrapped on Christmas morning. I decided to keep the ebook cheap and simple - the experiment with cartoons will be separate in the electronic versions, the print version will have both.

There's lots of parenty stuff around today, which is why I dredged up that image from 1983. I'm not going to bother with links for most of this, much of it is old news anyway.

Children are getting rickets through lack of vitamin D, so while Clegg claims the Tories are taking us back to the 1950s, he conveniently forgets that socialism has already taken us back to the 1890s. Which means that Cameron's pledge to encourage married couples to stay together by paying them actually represents a move forward in time, not back.

I don't see how morality is enhanced when the only reason Government sees for couples to stay together is money. Tax breaks for married couples are fair enough: a married couple occupies the same number of houses as a single person and is allowed the same volume of bin waste each week. However, this idea that all you need to do to fix a problem is throw money at it is typical of modern political thought, no matter the rosette.

Couples should really only stay together because they want to. Staying for financial reasons only is a terrible basis for a relationship, just as young girls getting pregnant as a career choice is a terrible basis for parenthood. That's what happens when you throw money at problems. They get worse.

This extends to everything Government interferes in. They fund the Salt Haters and therefore the Salt Haters must hate salt in ever more minute quantities in order to continue their funding. That's why we now see that our once-a-year Christmas dinner will instantly turn us into a pile of pork scratchings and we have to continue the Puritan minimalist lifestyle on Christmas Day.

Interestingly, these are the same sort of people who once banned Christmas altogether. They aren't Christians this time, but neither were Cromwell's lot, not really. It was just a convenient vehicle for their particular brand of controlling spite, as political correctness is today.

The antismoking groups only exist because they have convinced Government that smoking is a problem. Smoking was in decline before the smoking ban and has stopped declining, in some places increasing, since the ban. They have not solved 'the problem', they have made it worse and that was their intention all along. A group that exists solely to address 'a problem' can only exist as long as that problem exists. They now deny that any contraband tobacco enters the country and will continue to do so until they are ready to make it the next problem.

So it is with the anti-drink groups. Boozing has also declined but we aren't allowed to believe that. We are to believe that last Friday night's once-a-year revelry is a standard weekend in every town centre. The anti-booze groups can't let us believe that the problem is gradually solving itself because that means they, and their funding, are not needed.

The Brown Gorgon extended boozing hours, in theory, which gave rise to Smoker's Hell on Earth. Pubs can open 24 hours a day but we're barred from every one of them. In practice, I have never seen nor heard of a 24-hour pub anywhere near here but maybe there is one somewhere. The 24-hour option means that the antiboozers can claim that we are all raging alkies, plastered from the moment we wake until we pass out. Not everyone is like that, not even in Scotland. There's this bloke across the road...

The Gorgon also planned to give casinos free rein. He didn't do it in the end so the anti-gamblers are now struggling a bit. Especially since we are less likely to risk any money when times are so tight. They must be so disappointed.

There is talk of raising the speed limit on motorways to 80 mph. You just know that the next pile-up will be blamed on the irresponsibility of letting drivers choose their speed rather than on some idiot shaving, putting on make-up, filling in a crossword, updating Farcebook or carving a granite bust of Lady Gaga while driving. These days, clearing up after motorway crashes is a breeze. The police close their eyes and count to ten and when they open them, a Romanian gang has nicked all the wreckage.

All those apparent relaxations of the iron fist of control are traps. Take them up on their offer and you'll get blamed for anything that might happen, even if it would have happened anyway. All that Government meddling ever achieves is to mess things up in the most expensive way possible.

Look at the current state of their family meddling. They are calling for an absolute ban on smacking children, soon to be a ban on touching them so you'll have to goad them up to bed by poking them with a foam-tipped stick or laying out a trail of gummi bears. There are calls to define shouting as domestic violence, equivalent in law and in punishment to flattening your spouse's nose with a steak-hammer before carving it off, microwaving it and serving it with buttered new potatoes and peas.

So there will in the future be no means to discipline children at all. If you so much as raise your voice, you will be in trouble.

Meanwhile, Cameron wants fathers to be forced to sign birth certificates and this will inevitably mean that the father is whoever the mother says it is. She's not going to let Dwayne sign, he's skint and useless, she's going after Paul McCartney because she had the Beatles playing to drown out Dwayne's weird animal noises. She was thinking of Sir P McC at the time, so he's the father.

Men who actually care about relationships are going to become extremely wary and will insist on a chaperone at all times just in case they get blamed for something they didn't put there. Gobshites with a knob that's been down more holes than Sid the Ferret, champion ferret of the ferret fancier's elite, won't give two hoots. They'll just sign the form 'Paul McCartney' anyway, except they'll spell it 'X'.

Women, on the other hand, will be allowed to visit the police station with a photo and a name and check whether that bloke from accounts she met at the Christmas party is really Charles Manson in a ginger wig and glasses.

Neither side can now trust the other. Even if they do get together and pass the CRB checks to show they are suitable child-keepers, they dare not have children because they will not be permitted to control them in any way, even if the child starts dropping dead postmen on the doormat and chewing up their slippers.

It's not even as if they can reasonably expect to keep their child. If they gain weight their child will be confiscated. If their store loyalty card reports they have bought a can of shandy, their child will be confiscated. If someone spots them in MacDonald's their child will be confiscated. If they smoke, their child will be scrubbed with disinfectant, hosed down with formalin, kept in quarantine for six months and then confiscated. Step out of line and they steal your child. Do as you're told and your child becomes uncontrollable. Honestly, who's going to bother?

This is the Government recipe for family life. This is how they plan to improve things and they will spend money as if the numbers are fading from the notes while they do it. This country will soon host the most expensive shambles the world has ever seen. In many ways, we are already Number One.

If the Government really wanted to improve our health and happiness, there is an incredibly easy and astoundingly cheap way to do it. It's the only option they have never considered.

Leave us alone. Don't you have a country to run or something?

Champix for chubbies.

The inevitable reasoning behind the demonisation of those who have, shall we say, a little more gravitational influence than average, is now here. There is a miraculous wonder drug that will make you lose weight.

These drugs don't just pop put of the air. They have to be developed, tested, refined, retested, and go through approval procedures. It takes years. In fact, it is entirely possible that the first indications of success in the life of this kind of drug would have been, oh, let's see, around the time the fatties had their first invitations to Denormalised Club.

Denormalise you, ostracise you, push you out of society and then sell you medication so you can get back in. A familiar pattern and one which we will all experience eventually. Well, those who think society is currently worth getting back into will experience it.

Currently there are drugs that interfere with fat absorption but this means that the fat continues in its natural runny form all the way down the gut and emerges as wet slime. Not pleasant, as you can imagine. It can also lead to lower-gut problems as things that should never reach the colon are fermented by hungry bacteria. A combination of acid, gas and runny stuff is not going to brighten anyone's day.

The new one works differently. It works rather like Champix...

‘I think we could mimic the dramatic weight loss achieved with stomach bypass surgery by giving people gut hormone-derived therapies. If you could take away hunger, food is not attractive.’ 

Yes, it removes the enjoyment part of eating. With this hormone coursing through you, you will not find food attractive and will eat far less of it. That makes perfect sense to the clinical scientific mind.

As did the Champix notion that removing the pleasure associated with smoking means people won't bother doing it any more. That made perfect scientific sense too, in a Mr. Spock world of pure logic.

However, people need some form of pleasure and what makes one person happy does not make another happy. I like to smoke and drink. Some people don't like those things at all. Some people find a long drive in the country relaxing. It used to leave me a nervous wreck when I did it. Some people find food a particular pleasure.

Take away a person's primary source of pleasure, whatever it is, and what are you left with? A miserable git who, sometimes, decides that life is no longer worth living. That part is never factored in to any scientific calculation because science has no means of measuring it. I don't think it has ever really tried.

It's worse than just taking away a pleasure. My enjoyment of smoking is curtailed these days pretty much whenever I leave home. Even so, I know that when I get back home I can fire up the espresso machine or pop the cork on the whisky and light up a smoke. These drugs are different.

They take away your ability to find pleasure in something that was pleasurable. It's still there. You can still eat. You just won't enjoy it any more. No matter what is on your plate, the pleasure you once took from it is impossible to feel. This is not a ban on food. It is not applied to particular foods or particular places. It's a ban that applies inside your head, a hormonally-induced ban on pleasure. The Puritan dream made reality.

If you like beer, imagine being at the greatest beer festival the world has ever seen where all your favourites and more are freely available. However, you have taken one of these mind-meddling hormones and no matter which beer you try, you cannot enjoy it. It tastes the same, smells, looks and feels the same, is at the perfect temperature and the perfect degree of carbonation. It evokes no feelings of pleasure in you at all.

This is a horror story I couldn't write. It is a depth of despair I cannot imagine.It is a situation that makes suicide inevitable.

Worse, you will find those who will take pleasure in the death of someone just because they disapprove of their lifestyle. They will crow and cheer the suicidal chubbies as they now do with smokers. This is how they get their kicks. This is where they derive pleasure.

Those are the minds those scientists need to treat. They never will, because those are the minds of the Righteous.

Fifty Captions.

(I'm supposed to be working but procrastination is more fun)

Fifty old photos, fifty captions.

The photos are here and my attempts at captions are here -

1. The ladies took their turn in helping to fill the dirty bomb.

2. He took umbrage at her not being a virgin... so she stabbed him.

3. The Knobhead Express encounters an unexpected tree.

4. "Do you want a smoke, or are you chicken?"

5. "I'm sure I heard someone speak."

6. Never again would Roger blow a kiss at a bear.

7. Cedric was shocked to note that the cycling skeleton wore a wholly unsuitable hat.

8. Mavis thought that maybe it was time to take personal hygiene seriously.

9. The fat hairy kid was never much use in goal.

10. The child obesity inspectors call.

11. Emily and Josephine demonstrate the art of wardrobe cycling.

12. When it was Johnny's turn, the other kids substituted Easy Alice with a hen.

13. Rubber. If his father had known about it, he wouldn't be here.

14. Smoking stunts growth. This man is 54.

15. Boxing, sponsored by Scottish Widows.

16. Piglet's anti-child shield seemed to be working.

17. "See, Bob? I told you a bull terrier would never attack a gorilla carrying a parasol."

18. He had been dead fifty years, but his chat-up lines were still incredibly effective.

19. Showtime at the Baked Bean Feast.

20. "No problem. It's double-barrelled"

21. "You said you wanted to stroke my pussy.. Where are you going?"

22. "I'm not going through all that again. This parrot is dead and I want my money back."

23. The look in the cat's eyes said "Call the police".

24. There is no more secure mode of child transport than the firmly clenched buttock.

25. Quoth the raven: "What the fuck?"

26. Every winter, the potholes on the M25 are worse.

27. The Crufts' new 'Smoky-Drinky' category.

28. She knew the heads hadn't seen her because the trousers had not reacted.

29. The NHS recruits a new goat-sliding consultant.

30. The Russians had managed to get in on one ticket.

31. Deborah Arnott arrives for her pre-TV makeup session... three days before the show.

32. When he married her, she neglected to mention her addiction to sprouts.

33. This year's beer festival was limited to one drink per participant.

34. At the ' Miss Hideously Ugly but Good Figure' finals.

35. America. Land of the free... and some very small psychos.

36. "Goooorrrrdonn. It's tiiiime".

37. The perils of the travelling peanut salesman.

38. A young Madonna demonstrates the correct way to punt a gherkin.


40. "Shut up woman, or I'll swat you with a dwarf."

41. The gin trap. They get in, drink the gin, and they're too pissed to get back out.

42. They don't want it, and they have uniforms. Don't mess with the uniforms.

43. "It's an unusual shape," said the cat, "but it's neatly brushed."

44. The railways demonstrate their new cut-price engine horns.

45. The rest of the band never understood why Ozzy insisted on wearing that dress.

46. How modern teaching sees mathematics.

47. On reflection, Death decided the scythe was more his sort of thing.

48. "I'm sorry. This has never happened to me before."

49. Another two ministers face the sack.

50. "So, Santa. Did you bring everything?"

Your turn.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Happy Herman's Christmas Cheer.

This week I received my annual box of wine from one of the companies I work for. A little surprising, considering they have asked for very little work this year, but appreciated. It's not a 'box of wine' in the sense of a box with a bag inside. It's a bigger box with twelve bottles inside, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas.

I reciprocate in a small way. I don't have the bank balances of these successful business owners by any means so last year I sent signed copies of 'Fears of the Old and the New' and this year it was 'Dark Thoughts and Demons'.

It seems I'm not the only cheapskate sending books. Herman van Munster has send the world's leaders a series of essays on 'Happiness'. There isn't much happiness in my stories, I'm afraid, although there was a Christmas tale in 'Fears'.

Perhaps he should have sent a series of essays on 'listening' or 'actually working for the people who pay them' or simply on 'how to not be a total git all the time'.

All the same, it did tickle me to see someone who looks the way he does sending out books on happiness. It's a bit like being told to cheer up by Death.

Just before he swings the scythe.

Pricing meat out of the plebs' reach.

Flying visit tonight. More deadlines.

Just had to mention the best way we have of long-term storage for bacteria. We freeze-dry them. Freezing will reduce their numbers but it's certainly not a reliable way of killing them all.

Chilling only irritates them. A fridge at 2 C is no better than one at 4C, despite what the mindless morons in Brussels might have been told by fridge manufacturers. When it's an open chill cabinet, the cost of losing those extra few degrees is appalling and will be reflected in prices.

Still, as with smoking and drinking, we can't eat meat if we can't afford it, eh? The smoking-ban template has been applied to everything. Break the smoking ban and you break it all. Consider this, even if you don't care about smoking at all. The smoking ban's success is the reason for the ban on the thing you do care about. As long as it is there, the banmeisters will never stop.

Destroy the root and the whole tree falls over. Chop off a branch and another one grows. You will never stop the bans unless you destroy the root. As long as smokers are the whipping boys, everything you enjoy, everything you hold dear, comes under Righteous control. We were just the beginning, as we told you at the time and you didn't listen. Some never will. We were proof of concept and it worked. It's now working on you.

Right, back to deadline-chasing. I made the last one, just, and the next one is imminent too.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Hey, Pepsi...

Well, looks like you'll have to ban your workforce from drinking your own product soon.

Just like every other company will be obliged to. Still enjoying this Righteous game?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A deadline looms.

I have a couple of deadlines for Friday night and if I can get get them done in advance, I can go out to Smoky-Drinky. Hence, you are spared my ramblings for a little while.

Just had to point out to those halfwits in authority who believe the tosh they are fed by the medics what really happens when you price booze to high for ordinary people. It's already started in the UK. Exploding stills and methanol-laced fake vodka has already appeared here. Next plan for the healthists? Make it worse.

Also, tipped by hangemall in the comments, the crackdown on dissenting voices has stepped up a notch.

Interesting times. Right, back to work or there'll be no Friday night boozing for me, and that would be terrible.

The meaning of vendetta.

I own no Apple products and never will. They declared some time ago that their warranty is invalid for smokers. .I don't care if they change their minds. Mine will not change. Apple are off my options list for all things forever.

I no longer donate to nor buy from PDSA even though I was a regular in their shop, since they declared their belief that second hand smoke harmed pets. I don't care if they change their minds. Mine will not change. PDSA have ceased to exist as far as I am concerned.

Now, (via Pat) Pepsi are on the list of things I will never buy. No product even referring to that company will get a penny from me for as long as I live, no matter what they say in future. There is no going back. A vendetta is for life.

No apology will I accept. None. They have joined the Antismoker Nazis and there will be no forgiveness from me under any circumstance, ever.

This is my vendetta. It means nothing to you and nothing to those companies but it matters to me. I will not pay to be bullied. You can buy all the smokefree stuff you want, you can support harder and harder intrusions into your home and life all you want. I support none of it.

The smoking ban was not just an inconvenience for smokers. It was a starting point, a proof of concept. It was  proof that the Righteous can control what happens on private property. Pubs and clubs and cafes and restaurants. All private property. Shops didn't allow smoking even before the ban. It was their choice to decide what happened on their private property. It's not their choice now..Many of them have not understood the difference.

So the Righteous can now dictate what can and cannot happen on private property and the owner has no say. The idiot drones support it and continue to pay money to those businesses that support it. Controls of anything anyone does on private property is just fine with them. They think it will only apply to those they disapprove of.

How would you describe your home? Private or State-controlled? Where are we now? Is an Englishman's home his castle or just another local amenity under State control?

"First they came for  the smokers..."

I'll modernise that.

"And when they came for Pepsi, the smokers said 'Fuck you'".

Seek no sympathy here, Pepsi, when they come for the fizzy drinks. They have already started on you in some places. Sympathy?. Smokers have long forgotten the word.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I am Fishead.

Today I watched a short film, an hour and twenty minutes of very interesting information. Unfortunately it's password-protected and I can't hand out the password because it's not my film. Sorry about that. There are some clips available though.

The film is called 'I am Fishead'. It explains the creatures I refer to as the Righteous. It explains how they have reached such high positions if influence. It explains why there seem to be an incredible number of them these days (something I didn't know the answer to). It explains why people don't seem interested in stopping them and it suggests a course of action to turn things around. Oh, and people are smoking in it.

The two freely available clips are the best explanation you'll hear of the Righteous mind.

Clip One

Clip Two

The title is taken from that old saying, 'A fish rots from the head' and the reason for the title becomes clear at the end.

If the clips get you interested, there is a contact page where you can request a password. I am not clear on whether there is any charge for that. The ideas it contains are definitely worth hearing.