Sunday 31 October 2010

Win by relaxation.

Found this at Old Holborn's place.

I have a slightly different, though similar, approach. I buy most of my baccy from Man with a Van. When he's not available or if I miss his round, I am forced to visit the supermarket but there, I have noticed a rapid rise in baccy prices. Perhaps because my visits have been infrequent, I notice it more than regular customers. What does it mean to me? It means that when I next see Man with a Van, I will stock up harder.

I work until I have enough. Enough is well below higher rate tax. I could work harder and earn a hell of a lot more but why? I'm only going to be working for half pay and Mr. Potato Head is going to give it all to Herbie Remploy-van or ASH or the paramilitary wing of the RSPCA or Don Shenker and his Puritan Ensemble or any one of a hundred or more wastes of skin dressed in fancy suits who are so deluded and dim they really think they aren't utter morons.

Apathy is the way to go. You don't need a whole new kitchen or a leather suite or a TV so huge you have to sit in the garden and watch it through the window. You do not need HDTV or 3-D. It shows the same crap anyway. Fix what breaks and keep it going. My grill broke. It cost me £35 for a new element and a few whiskies to get some friends round to help me move the thing. Many would just buy a whole new cooker. Don't. Do not spend what does not need to be spent and do not earn what you don't need to have.

In January, VAT rises to 20%. I will stock my business before the end of the year with everything non-perishable and with long shelf lives. I will stock up on Electrofag stuff too. As of January, I become meaner than Scrooge on a tight budget. I will buy no non-essentials. Food, clothes and books are VAT free so far but that will change (hopefully not before April or I'd be forced to advise you not to buy my book!).

If you want a car, buy Ford or Skoda. Don't buy Bentley or Rolls-Royce. Great cars but the Skoda does 70 easily and that is the maximum allowed anyway. Why pay for the Audi when the CV2 can reach the speed limit?

Do you really need new carpets or do they just need a clean? Do you really need a new suite? Do you really need that new computer? Mine is eight years old and all I really do with it is type and spreadsheet. I've replaced bits and yes, it's slow at times but it still does what I need. Why buy a new one?

Minimise income tax by earning only what you need. Minimise stealth tax by only buying what you need. Grow your own tobacco and brew your own booze. Stock up on salt. Learn to set snares for rabbits and how to catch pigeons with a bag of breadcrumbs and a cricket bat. The sensitive will be shocked but in a few years, they'll be grabbing for those crumbs and feeling the bite of the bat. We are only as civilised as the world allows us to be, remember. When it breaks, and it will, we'll eat each other.

If the government falls it will not be immediate paradise for the rest of us. It will be messy and dangerous. So why do it? Well, because government is messy and dangerous anyway. They tell us that without them, hooded yobs will stalk the streets and cause mayhem while being unpunished. That doesn't happen now? They tell us we will be wide open to terrorist attack. Like we aren't? Things can only get better? They would have a hard time getting worse.

Do not fear anarchy. Effectively, we already have it.

The only real difference is that we are paying for it.

Stop paying your own tormentors.

For the cheeldren.

I'm trying to keep up with Email tips. I'll always keep them anonymous unless the tipster specifically states otherwise. If I haven't blogged yours yet, it's coming.

This one concerns our government's concern with 'the cheeeldren' they pretend to care so much about.

Well... just read it for yourself. A suitable topic for Halloween because it doesn't get any scarier than this. I have heard about the 'contact sessions' and what I've heard matches exactly with this.

This part is special -

Another purpose of the system is to ensure that as many children as possible are adopted (at a cost of £36,000 per placement), in accordance with Tony Blair's personal commitment a decade ago that the target for adoptions in Britain should rise by 40 per cent. Councils are still receiving millions of pounds a year for meeting adoption targets.

Why did the Blur decree that adoptions must rise by 40%? What is the logic of that? Adoptions are necessary sometimes but why must there be a specific number of them?

The reason is money. Your children are worth a lot of money.

Not to you. To the deadliest, most unemotional and cruel machine ever created by man.


All your cheeeldren are belong to them. That's why they are important. Not for the future of mankind.

For the future of the Socialists' bank accounts.

We are all monetary units under Socialism. If Mr. Potato Head could see that, he might not be so keen to follow its path.

Tick tock.

I have an unbelievable number of clocks. Not all intentionally. There's one on the cooker and one on the CD player and even one on my phone. Every gadget has a clock in it.

We're supposed to get an extra hour of sleep because the clocks go back an hour tonight. It'll take me an hour to reset them all.

Or I could just ignore them. That might be best.

Saturday 30 October 2010

Not fade away.

There has been a bout of blog-stopping going around lately. Some of the finest are leaving the fray. Some of them will be back, others won't. New ones will appear, inevitably.

I can't imagine a day, certainly not within my allegedly booze-salt-and-smoke shortened lifespan, when I'll be able to say 'That's it. Everything is fine now'. Certainly not as long as the country is run by Mr Potato Head without the optional brain-pack and his sidekick, the Secret Smoker with his 'do as I say, not as I do' attitude to legislation.

Not while the boss of BA can rail against the ridiculous levels of airport security and then, conveniently, bombs are found within days. On cargo planes. So all the airport security, the ban on bottles of water, the porno-audition screens and the removal of everything but your hat before you go through the arch would have done precisely nothing at all to prevent these bombs.

The bombs don't even make sense, as Corrugated Soundbite and Fraser point out. Who is going to install and use a random printer cartridge for which they might not even have a printer? Aren't American synagogues likely to be a bit suspicious of an unsolicited printer cartridge from Yemen? Surely they'd source their printer cartridges locally? Even if they actually did install an unsolicited cartridge with mysterious wires poking out of it, what makes it go off? Printing the word 'Zion', perhaps?

We're told the cartridges had 'SIM cards' but no mention of batteries or a receiver. If they are to be triggered by phone, how will the caller know when they've arrived? It's also rather an expensive phone call. It would have been cheaper and more effective to use all these 'sleepers' we are told are all over Europe and the US, surely? Some might even be postmen. If they exist at all.

As for the targets - synagogues? Are Yemeni terrorist cells really that bothered about American synagogues? That's not where the troops are coming from. That's not where foreign policy is decided. If they were going to target synagogues, surely they'd send their printer parts to Israel, to synagogues used by Israeli politicians. If sending them to America, they would more likely target the offices of the arms trade, the military or the government. Places that might not think twice about receiving a printer cartridge. And lastly, if these terrorists have even one brain cell, they will know that any package postmarked 'Yemen' is going to be particularly carefully inspected. So they wouldn't post it from there. The whole thing defies logic.

Oh, wait, the story has changed again.

Another saga that makes little sense is the frequent scaremongering concerning asteroids. One is going to hit the Earth one day, yes. It's happened before and it'll happen again. There is nothing we can do about it. It's not going to pause for a scanner nor empty its pockets for inspection. It's a rock. There are loads of rocks floating about up there and they don't file flight plans or carry lights. We can't see them all.

There is no point going through life worrying about space rocks because the chances of one arriving during anyone's lifetime are small and if it does happen, there's nothing we can do. We might as well check under the house for developing volcanoes and watch the skies for signs of cracks that lead to other dimensions. Or, my personal preference, simply not worry about things that have only a small chance of happening and that can't be controlled if they do. Why all the sudden scaremongering reports about asteroid strikes? Perhaps there's a clue in this one.

Rusty Schweickart is a former Apollo 9 astronaut and now head of the European Sapce Agency's committee on near-earth objects (NEOs): " What we need to do is bring the world together, recognise that this is a global threat. This is not Germany or the United States or ESA or anybody else. This is a global threat."

Were we supposed to clamour for world government in response to global warming? Well, that didn't work. How about world government in response to global recession? Nope. Most people realise that governments cause recessions so they're not likely to ask for another one. World government to cope with the global terror threat? Nope. Nothing seems to work.

Ah, here's one. An asteroid. They can't blame that on governments and they can't deny that the effects will be global and devastating. Best of all, it's nobody's fault. Where do we get one? Oh, we don't actually need one. Just the threat of one. Then we pretend we can do something about it and save them from it if they'll only agree to live as we say.

First, of course, there has to be a report. With a meeting and freebies. Don't worry about flying in the delegates, the global warming scam is falling apart anyway.

The report will recommend how to react to an impact threat

Here's my recommendation. If the warning comes, there won't be much time. Drink all the booze you can find and smoke everything. You're about to die anyway so fry up all the bacon and burgers and scoff the lot. Then, when it hits, you'll be completely oblivious to it. You'll be dead, possibly in a lot of pieces if you're close to the impact, but the bit with your face on it will be smiling.

I predict their recommendation will be to do as you are told and obey in an orderly fashion. It's the same one they recommend for everything else. Oh, and give up smoking and drinking and eating and talking because otherwise you might die before the asteroid mashes you to pulp.

In other words, the threat of imminent asteroid strike makes a total nonsense of every health fascist's pronouncement, ever. It doesn't matter how healthy you are if a big rock drops out of the sky.

When there is so much nonsense to rip apart, how can I stop? It's not as if I can get it out of my system by discussing it in the pub. The Righteous have barred me from there. No, this is the only outlet for the burning fury and those flames have so much to feed on they can never fade away. More fuel arrives every day. More than I can use.

Hideous Harman made it illegal to upset someone with words even if they didn't hear what you said and it wasn't directed at them. Then she is filmed calling Danny 'Red' Alexander a 'ginger rodent'. Is she arrested and charged under her own law? Hell, no. A lackey comes out and says 'She said sorry. I heard her' and that's that. You try getting out of trouble so easily.

She directed her comment at a human being (well, a politician, but they are related to humans. One of her own species, anyway). She also referred to Lib Dems as 'mutants'. Compare that with Clarkson's referring to a car as 'special needs'. Which is genuinely offensive?

I'll keep writing this blog even if nobody ever reads it. It gets the rage out, it lets me analyse and sort my thoughts and it keeps me as close to sane as I'm ever likely to get.

There'll be no goodbye post here.

Goodbye Mr. E.

Goodbye Mr. E
Though I never knew you at all
Your nappies held the piss
You took from those who bawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they drove nails in your brain
They set you on the blogmill
And they made you bleed with rage

And it seems to me you blogged your words
Like a baby with the wind
Always certain who to spew on
When the rage set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was new to this
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever will

Blogging took such time
The time you need for other things
Bloggywood created a superstar
And rage was the price you paid
Even now you've stopped
Oh the blogs remember you
All the whiners had to say
Was that Eugenides could be a bit rude

And it seems to me you blogged your words
Like a baby with the wind
Always certain who to spew on
When the rage set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was new to this
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever will

Goodbye Mr E.
Though I never knew you at all
You had the fury in yourself
While others merely scrawled
Goodbye Mr. E.
From the young backwater blog
Who sees you as something to aspire to
More than just our enraged infant.

And it seems to me you blogged your words
Like a baby with the wind
Always certain who to spew on
When the rage set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was new to this
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever will

(Okay, a rush job, not the best, but it was short notice and I'm a third of the way down a bottle of Monkey Shoulder and not showing signs of stopping. If you want sense, I'd tell you where to find it if I knew).

Friday 29 October 2010


I don't suffer from stress, but I meet lots of people who do. I think it's a result of being in any kind of official capacity, because those people always seem extremely stressed whenever I meet them. Being stringently antismoking seems to cause a lot of it too. Someone should do a study.

Anyway, I happened across an article on stress which gives advice on what to do about it. It is unfortunate, I think, that the coping strategies described have the acronym STRESS in capital letters. I don't think that's going to help.

Here are the strategies:

Share your worries, swallow your pride, and admit and talk to someone about your worries (It's good to talk). A problem shared is a problem halved!

I've always been of the opinion that a problem shared is a problem doubled. Problems are better solved, circumvented or ignored. If it can be fixed, fix it. If it can't be fixed, don't worry about it. Incorporate it into a new way of life and then it's not a problem. It might not work for everyone but it works for me.

Take stock of your life. Are you living the life you really want to live? Remember, this is the only chance you've got! it's not a dress rehearsal! Do want you want to do. It's your life!

Good advice. If only it was easy to follow. I'm doing a job I love doing and earning money at it. I won't be patronising Mr. Ferrari's shops any time soon but I earn enough to live and to buy decent whisky. I don't actually want any more than that. Yachts? Private jets? No thanks. Someone once posed the question; 'If you won the lottery, what car would you buy?' My answer was 'If I won the lottery I wouldn't have to go anywhere, now would I?' I could even have the whisky delivered. Decadent or what? Honestly, if you gave me ten million quid, I couldn't spend it all before I died. I'd probably die sooner but there'd be a really big smile on my face. Cremation could be risky too. I'd be hyper-flammable.

I was lucky. Paid off with a good redundancy package, which was the only time I have ever paid higher rate tax, too old to be bothered with moving around the country for another job and too old for most places to employ anyway. I had been thinking about being a rogue scientist for a long time but couldn't amass the startup money. So now I had the money and no job. It was the kick up the backside I needed to make me do what I really wanted to do and I had the finances too.

Few are so lucky. It's all very well saying 'You want to be a playwright/actor/astronaut? Go and do that'. It's not easy to leave a paying job, even if it's crap, and take the chance of ending up penniless. So yes, it's great to spend your life doing what you want. In my case it's being Victor Frankenstein - and being paid for it - in a rented lab, but without the hunchbacked assistant and the table that rises to the ceiling in storms. If I can get those, I will. Most cannot do what they want because the government and local councils keep taking the money they are trying to collect to realise their dream.

You have to be in a place where you have no other options before you can take the hard option, and nobody is going to that place voluntarily. If I had not been made redundant I would still be working on what I was told to work on rather than what interests me. Sure, I'd have had a non-variable income but honestly, it wasn't anywhere near as much fun. But I was lucky. Millions are not. If everyone could do what they wanted to do, it would be a wonderful and far more relaxed and less violent world but we don't have a political party offering that option. All they want is our money. So you won't get de-stressed by giving up the day job unless you either have no option or you win the lottery. Good advice, but not very practical.

Relax. Get a hobby. Haven't you always fancied doing this or that? Well, do it! A hobby can be totally absorbing and therefore rewarding and relaxing!

Hobbies are good but most require time and money. There are cheap ones but if your tastes lie in things like railway modelling on garden scales, you're going to be shelling out huge amounts. Unless you're inventive. I have an 'O' gauge engine that's solar powered, it was intended for the garden but I couldn't work out how to pass the path in the middle. It runs whenever the sun shines. My neighbour suggested a tunnel under the path. I looked at him in silence because what I was thinking would have made the Devil blush. The clean version - It's solar powered, idiot.

It's a good suggestion all the same. Hobbies take your mind off work. I build models although there hasn't been time in the last three months. Hopefully I'll finish those Daleks now the work has calmed down. I also modify standard models for a laugh. I still take delight in showing off that 1:24 firetruck that I converted from left to right hand drive and, if you look through the back window, you can see the markings on the gear stick. Yes, I go way over the top but that's the fun of it. Building what it says on the box isn't a hobby. It's following orders and that's what most people do all day anyway, and what causes them to be stressed in the first place.

Exercise. Basically, you should walk at least 30 minutes each day, that's 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back non-stop!

Why? Purposeless exercise doesn't de-stress you. Especially if you feel obliged to do it. Sure, just being outside and wandering aimlessly until you happen across something new can be fun. Some people like to go rambling or hiking and that sounds interesting. They get to see things and visit places. Just going out of your front door until you are 15 minutes away and then coming back doesn't sound like anything more than some State-defined 'unit of exercise'. I have the feeling that a rigid 30-minutes-every-day regime would cause more stress, not alleviate it.

Say no! Do not take on extra work. Tell them you won't do it. Think of you, your health and your family!

Oh, that's a great idea. Try it at your place of work at a time when every company, public and private, is looking to cut down on staff. Then try to sleep at night.

For me, I take on work when it's available. There can be months at a time when it's not. Having no work is not relaxing for me because I'm not on a salary. These days, if I was, having no work would be scary because there are cuts looming and if you're not doing anything you can't be essential.

I would advise not taking this advice. Excessive work can be stressful but no work at all is worse.

Shop at a pet store! You'd be surprised at the amount of medical research which shows that having a cat, dog or pet in the family has reduced stress levels!

Not for me. Cats don't like me. I could live with a dog but couldn't look after it properly. In quiet times I'm here all day. In busy times I'm not. I don't work nine to five, sometimes there's no work and sometimes it's more than twelve hours a day. It wouldn't be fair to even have a budgie. Maybe a bat...

Fish are good. Not tropical ones, they need a lot of care, but there are some fancy goldfish around. All they need is a tank (not a bowl, you can see them better in a flat-sided tank and they have more room) and fish food. Maybe a filter so you don't have to change the water so often but otherwise, easy pets to keep. They don't care if you vanish for a week as long as you leave one of those food blocks in the tank. They are relaxing to watch and need little care. Best of all, they don't ever need to be let out or walked and they will never gouge the stuffing out of your sofa or shit in your bed.

If you feel that you are suffering from stress, see you GP, but do not accept long term tranquilliser prescriptions.

I might go and visit my GP, if I can remember who he is, and tell him I'm stressed about my lack of stress and might therefore be mad, and am in need of some free drugs and does he have any of the really good ones I've heard about? I will tell him how much I smoke and drink and repeat that despite now running two businesses single-handed (the writing stuff has shifted from hobby to business now that I'm in danger of making money at it) I don't feel stressed at all. What's the betting he doesn't make the obvious connection?

Ask for help from a psychologist, stress counsellor, relaxation therapist, qualified hypnotherapist or even alternative therapist. If these do not work, you must go back to your GP for professional guidance.

Or you could treat yourself to a bottle of some really top-notch booze, a pack of fine cigars and a greenhouse. The latter is essential in our climate if you want to sit around outdoors and just chill.

Get a good book or even a DVD, smoke, drink, let the whole world sort out its own problems for a couple of hours and pretend you're not involved in it at all.

It's so much more effective than all those rigidly defined stress relievers that you have to concentrate on. As I said, it works for me but if stressful rigidity and adherence to unwavering rules is your thing, have fun with that.

I'm going to have a smoke and a whisky.

It won't be the first of the evening. Note to Dylan Thomas - it's not a record any more.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Frightening children for fun and profit.

Just finding the blogging mood again after the end-of-project exhaustion session. I thought I'd start with something amusing.

When I was little, there was a bogeyman. He lived in the cupboard under the stairs and if we went in there, we might not come back out again. If we were naughty, he might come out at night with his bag and steal us away, never to be seen again.

As children, we were terrified by the bogeyman but he wasn't there for fun. There was a reasoning behind him. Under the stairs was where the cleaning stuff and other dangerous household chemicals were kept. If you tell a child 'don't go in there' then the child will be irresistibly drawn to the place. If you tell a child 'there's a monster in the shadows at the back of the cupboard and he eats children who get too close' then the child will stay well away. As for the threat of the bogeyman emerging, well there's nothing like a sleepless night or two to discourage bad behaviour. Back then we weren't all equipped with bedside lamps and night lights. If you wanted to turn the light on you had to get out of bed. So strange noises were not likely to be investigated.

My parents knew these tricks fifty years ago. Their parents told them, and so on all the way back to the caveman days. My father worked as a coal miner, at the coal face. He was equipped with sufficient musculature that, if used in anger, could break bones. He very rarely used physical punishments. He used psychological means of discipline and subtle ways of teaching that had been unchanged for generations - and yet have all but vanished in a decade.

The tooth fairy and Santa, for example, did not work for free. If you wanted that sixpence you had to trade a tooth for it. If you wanted Christmas presents, you had to behave yourself and Santa expected a tip when he arrived. A bottle of beer, a mince pie and a cigar for him, a carrot for the reindeer and we were left in no doubt that if Santa didn't get them, those presents would go straight back in the sack. We'd always inspect the crumbs on the plate and the cigar butt in the ashtray and the empty bottle next morning and oddly enough, there was always carrot involved somewhere in Christmas dinner. Maybe the reindeer weren't hungry. The presents were there, so Santa was happy with our offering.

In that way, we learned that nothing is free. Not even the imaginary.

Now, Santa is denied his cigar. He can't even take it and smoke it on the roof in case he deposits third-hand smoke in the next house. He can't have alcohol because all that booze in one night is binge drinking. He can't have the mince pie because he's too fat. This year, when he spies one dry low-fat biscuit, a glass of water and a pack of Nicorette gum, there might be a few Christmas stockings with coal in them. You want that fancy game, kids? Booze, tobacco and sugary cake. Otherwise, no deal.

Children are taught to be terrified of smokers. If their parents smoke, they are told they will have to watch those parents die in horrible agony. That bogeyman is still under the stairs but he's not coming for children any more. What purpose does it serve to terrify children in this way? It serves the purposes of tyrants like ASH and the profits of the Pharmers. It's done for money.

Children are taught that drink is evil, that their parents will turn into something so evil Hell wouldn't want them, just to keep Don Shenker in a job and to keep their parents under control. Child abuse is profitable for these people. I'm sure they also derive immense pleasure from it.

Now, children are being taught that Santa is going to get diabetes and die because he's overweight. That's assuming he avoids lung cancer and liver failure, of course. No wonder all those local authorities are getting us used to the idea of not having Christmas. Santa is on his death bed. He'll be lucky if he can manage this year and if he does, kids, you'll know when he's around. Listen for heavy staggery sounds accompanied by wheezing and coughing. Perhaps, on Christmas Eve, you might be so good as to leave out some Setlers, cough medicine and a syringe of insulin.

This one is also to keep the health nuts employed. Santa has been targeted by smokophobes, booze puritans and the chubby-haters. Next he'll be branded a terrorist because he has a beard and a paedophile because he sneaks into children's rooms in the dead of night. All these pressure groups really need to realise something.

Santa isn't real. Santa is not a role model. No child grows up wanting Santa's job. Mythical characters can look like anything they please, eat and drink and smoke all they want and they come to no harm because they don't actually exist. There is no point in regulating the imaginary.

But then, they did away with Tom and Jerry...

Now it seems Halloween is considered too scary. Only it's not the ghosts and devils and tricks that are scary - it's the apples.

Children are advised to wear safety goggles when ducking for apples. Remove the stalk too - you could have someone's eye out with that thing. The bowl must be sterilised and the water purified.

Consultant ophthalmologist Parwez Hossain, from Southampton General Hospital, Hampshire, said dunking your head into a bowl of water to bite an apple was fraught with danger.

This is an allegedly educated man. A consultant. The top of the profession. Keep that in mind.

Where there is a chance of a high velocity impact, for example with an apple, you need to wear eye protection such as goggles.

What do they do these days, dive off the high board into a pool full of apples? It was a long time ago but I don't recall any high velocities being involved. All that would achieve is a nose full of water.

'It is also advisable to remove stalks because they could poke you in the eye, especially if you are playing in the dark and can't see what you are doing.

We used to do it blindfolded. You know, with a cloth covering our... eyes.

'I would suggest using bottled mineral water or boiling tap water and waiting for it to cool down, like we do for clinical trials.

'This is because stagnant water and tap water could contain water-borne organisms, which may lead to infection.'

This tap water is the same stuff you wash your face with every day. The same stuff you use to rinse fruit and salads and cook food. You shower in it and lie in baths full of it for ages. Some people swim in it and I have heard tell that there are those who even routinely drink it.

It's treated. With chlorine/chloramine to kill water-borne nasties. Before that, it's filtered through sand beds to take out any lurking lumps of horrible stuff. By the time it comes out of the tap, it's so safe you can even drink it. I wouldn't bother, it's pretty tasteless and it's zero ABV, but it's certainly safe enough for your child to wash his face in. Even if it does have apples floating in it.

And stagnant water? What kind of moron would go out and look for some stagnant water for the ducking apple bowl, rather than just filling it from the tap? Who would want any apples that might be bobbing about in that?

I repeat - this man is a consultant. He's at the top of his profession. What are the ones below him like? And they expect me to listen to anything they say? Really? When the head man is telling us tap water is deadly and apples attack children?

This is going to be a dull Halloween. No candles in pumpkins - fire hazard, and they give off smoke. No masks - face coverings mean you have something to hide. No sweets - instant diabetes. No small toys - idiots might eat them and choke. No scary things - someone might be frightened.

Well, there's always bonfire night. Not that there's a great deal of fun left in that one either. Although this year, there might be some fires out there with two guys on them.

One with a cigarette in his mouth and one with a potato head.

Random thoughts.

I'm in post-project exhaustion. Yesterday was the last 60-sample day for this project. Every other time I had to start clearing up and getting ready for the next one, but this is the last one. It's like how those pyramid builders felt when the whip wielder died.

So I can't be bothered with too much thinking tonight. I have a bottle of Laphroaig and a box of chocolate raisins and cranberries. That's fruit, and chocolate is a vegetable too, so it must be good for me. Instead of the usual intemperate rant, here are a few random whisky-inspired thoughts.

Last night was a very late one. The lab is remote and surrounded by fields which often have cattle, and I have a leather jacket so I'm wary of them and leave them alone. Last night they crossed the line. I went out for a smoke in total darkness, the cows were upwind of me and at least a hundred yards away. I lit up and one of the cheeky buggers coughed.

It's a good thing it's remote. The spectacle of me calling across a dark field 'Yeah? Well, I'm wearing your mum', was not an edifying one. He asked for it.


Then there was the article in New Scientist this week about tree planting. I'm very much in favour of tree planting. Not for any deep ecological reasons, I just like forests. The trees alongside the field beside the lab also cut down the noise from the dual carriageway and reduce the wind.

That, it seems, is the problem. the Tree Greenies are in conflict with the Wind Greenies because the trees slow down the wind for those generators. The Wind Greenies want to cut carbon emissions by building lots of complex machinery with steel and electronics and concrete and transport and maintenance, while the Tree Greenies want to cut them by planting trees to soak up the CO2. If it comes down to a fight, I'm with the Tree Greenies. Trees don't need maintenance or factories, birds and squirrels and other things can live in them, they are useful when you've finished with them and they look nice. The very opposite of the Wind Greenies and their steel garden ornaments. Oh, and one more difference. Trees actually work.

The Coagulation, with politician logic, want to cut down the trees and put up windmills instead. There is nothing wrong with our leadership that couldn't be put right with a two-pound lump hammer and a good stout hickory bat.


I'm still baffled by the 'level playing field' demand put out by pubs when that smoking ban came in. Pubs are, on the whole, in denial that the smoking ban is what's killing them. Yet when the ban started, pubs demanded that private clubs should not be exempted from it. They wanted a 'level playing field'.

If the pubs are so popular now with nonsmokers, why would they want their competition - clubs - to have that advantage too? Surely if they believed at the start, as they do now, that the smoking ban won't harm trade but smoking will, the sensible thing to do would be to let the competition allow smoking. Then the clubs would be deserted by nonsmokers and fail, while the pubs would be full of nonsmokers and thrive.

Didn't the pubs think that would happen? Or did they know full well at the time that most of their customers were smokers and the ban would kill their business? That would make the 'level playing field' logical because we'd all now have private smokers clubs if we were allowed to. We'd all be out of sight of the professionally offended. They'd never even know we were there. Antismokers won't allow that. They can't whine about us if they can't see us.

It didn't work anyway. We just set up our own places which are neither pubs nor clubs.


A fantasy: Visiting a doctor's surgery (which I don't do. With my lifestyle I'd never get out without at least fifteen different kinds of pill, all of which would enrich the local sewage works as soon as I got them home).

Doctor: Do you smoke?

Me: You're not supposed to allow that indoors.

Doctor: We don't.

Me: Then why offer? If you do it again I'll have to report you.

Doctor: I see. Do you drink?

Me: Obviously. I'd dehydrate if I didn't.

Doctor: No - I mean do you drink alcohol?

Me: Define 'alcohol'.

Doctor: Um... alcoholic drinks, you know...

Me: Methanol, ethanol, butanol, propanol? What's the chemical formula and structure of this alcohol and what are the associated secondary fermentation products in this stuff you want me to drink?

Doctor: Oh, God... What's wrong with you?

Me: Nothing. I'm only here because it's more fun than the pub.

I don't go to dentists either.

Not because they won't treat smokers, but then we're not the only ones to be denied treatment these days. In fact, the list of people who the NHS don't want to treat has nearly sixty million names on it now. Why are you paying for it?


I keep meaning to update my blogroll but people keep leaving and coming back. One day it'll all settle down. Any I take out will go into the Hibernation Corner list so I'll know if they pop up again. What irks me is not the bloggers leaving - it's an individual choice - but that I use my list as a starting point to get to other places through other people's lists. I can't list everything or the blog will take all day to load.


The artist who did the cover for Jessica's Trap has provided me (at extraordinarily reasonable prices) with artwork for advertising cards and bookmarks. I could print them myself but my printer is very slow on high quality so it makes more sense to go to VistaPrint. They are ordered. These are for giving away so when they arrive, the bookmarks will go out first. The cards are for the blitz nearer the release date.


We have Zen aircraft carriers with no aircraft. Is it then an aircraft carrier or merely a floating flat thing? A containerless container ship, perhaps? What is the sound of no aircraft taking off? If an aircraft carrier floats but no aircraft sees it, does it still float - and why? Perhaps they will be used for the Olympic volleyball event because they are bugger all use for anything else.

Perhaps the Coagulation plan to cover them with windmills.


Another crack in the current Righteous domination. The head of British Airways is openly questioning why we have to have such stringent airport security to please Barry O'Blimey, when the 9/11 plane crashers all took off from within the US. Which has no such checks. Mere weeks ago, nobody would have dared question these diktats, as nobody would have dared openly question the smoking ban. It's coming apart at the seams, Righteous.


Okay, enough from me. I'll try to be coherent tomorrow night - but no promises.

Morrison's have a sale on several other malts too.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

A crack in the smokeless zone.

As many have already noted, smokers are now being evicted from their homes for smoking. In America, for now, but here I already see the ancient and infirm shivering outside so-called 'retirement homes' because they cannot smoke in there. For the sake of the staff, who are to be protected from the truth that second hand smoke has never been shown to harm anyone, ever. That's 'caring for the elderly' these days. Evictions will surely follow. Fix it before I get there or there's going to be trouble. You have about twenty or thirty years.

The smokophobes are now trying the 'science is settled' argument that has worked so well for the Church of Climatology. Their rhetoric, just like the Climatologists, is becoming ever more shrill and panicked. They are being found out in their lies and they are starting to realise it.

Interesting things are starting to happen. Where the MSM would previously no more support smokers than the German national press of 1940 would have dared publish a piece saying 'Jews aren't so bad, you know?', commenters are beginning to question - in the press - what exactly makes smokers so evil.

Dick Puddlecote picked up on this one at CIF. Today there's another one in the Telegraph, written by Runway Head himself. This time there's even a mocked-up image of Smoky Popy Time (for which the grovelling fool apologises in the article. Stop doing that. Say what you mean and mean what you say.). The smokophobes are out in force with their fake science and personal-prejudice-facts as usual. Just as I'd expect no parent to take anything I say about child rearing seriously, how can anyone expect me to take the word of someone who has never smoked when it comes to smoking? If I am an addict, how can I possibly use public transport? How can I fly, without smoking for two hours before the flight, during the flight and in the receiving airport? How did I get to China without smoking? How did I get back? If it's all about nicotine, why don't the patches and gum work? Why have I not switched entirely to Electrofag?

It is not an addiction, it is a pleasurable hobby. You might as well regard railway modelling or crochet as an addiction. All this talk of 'addiction' is the reason some smokers who don't want to do it any more can't stop. They are not addicted but they believe they are. They exhibit the symptoms they have been told to exhibit. The same ones every time. No variation at all and no individuality. Isn't that a little odd?

The smokophobes declare it an addiction, they scream the 'no safe level' crap, they howl about being offended by the smell. The same discredited arguments, the same selfish whining, the same bleating about the trivia of a small amount of smoke, the same insults, the same threats and abuse. Nothing new. Science can never be settled. Their science is settled because it was never science at all.

Well, now their prejudices are being questioned, even by the MSM. The cracks are widening.

They'll fight but they have fired all their bullets already. They have nothing new. Nothing more to threaten us with. All they have - all they ever had - is spite.

If even the MSM can see that now, the tide might not turn yet but at least its advance has been slowed. Maybe even halted.

It's early days. What happens next will be interesting.

I still say - no compromise. All they need is one sign of weakness and the wedge goes back in. Show no mercy.

We've been shown none.

Monday 25 October 2010

The danger of being inoffensive.

Jeremy Clarkson is in a heap of trouble over nothing at all again. He was being disparaging about a Ferrari and said this -

He said the F430 Speciale 'looked like a simpleton' and should have been called 'Speciale Needs' on the BBC2 show.

Note that he made no reference to any disabled group whatsoever. He was talking about a car. Cars, last time I looked, have never been offended by anything and have no pressure groups to look after their interests.

However -

Charities criticised the remark, with the National Autistic Society saying it perpetuated 'the prejudice and bullying which people with disabilities have to cope with'.

The BBC received two complaints. They did not say 'If you don't like him, don't watch him'. They edited the remark out of the repeats and debased themselves before the Altar of Political Correctness with a grovelling apology. Well, we're used to that by now. Anyone can claim 'offense' and whoever they claim it against has to plead for forgiveness and usually hand over money. It's just another feeble aspect of a society composed of the weak-minded and the worthless. It is disgusting to see and disgraceful to partake of.

It is also extremely dangerous.

For fear of causing people to become distressed, the manager at Aldgate didn't mention the bomb that ripped a train apart in her station when she spoke to her control centre.

She said she did not want to cause panic in the network control centre, adding: “When there’s a fire you don’t run around shouting fire. I tried to give as much specific information as I could rather than speculating in a panic reaction.”

This comes from the constant Righteous misuse of the 'shouting fire in a crowded theatre' line. When there is a fire, yes, you do shout 'Fire'. Very loudly. That's why we have a word for it. I mean, if you ran around shouting 'Reddy orangey hot stuff' during a fire, it wouldn't really help much. It would, however, be a lot more help than just staying quiet and watching the theatre burn.

The inquest heard that the control room was left under the wrong impression that they were dealing with an electrical surge and sent technical experts to Aldgate station to deal with the problem.

Well, that's useful for the train and the tracks but not a hell of a lot of help for the passengers. If she had used the word 'bomb', or even 'explosion', the control centre would have had police, ambulance and fire brigade on the line straight away. Not technical experts who probably wouldn't have had the parts with them to fix the train, never mind the passengers.

Hugo Keith QC, counsel for the inquiry said: “Did you think to call a fourth time and say ‘Right I’ve heard from someone in the tunnel now, there are people dying and he says we’ve got to get paramedics down here. That’s what I want to tell you?’”

Mrs Harrison said she did tell an off-duty policeman but did not contact her control room which would normally alert the emergency services.

She has direct access to the control centre. She has a phone too. What does she do? Find an off-duty policeman. All because of political correctness. If she had not been scared of disciplinary action for frightening a switchboard operator, she might instead have been shouting 'Explosion!' into the phone and everything could have moved so much faster.

It's easy to blame her, but it's not really her fault. She is a product of Righteous conditioning. Police are reluctant to release a description of a murderer unless it's a white male. Mention any other skin tone and it's racism, mention that the suspect is a woman and its sexism. If it's a gay black female amputee, they are well and truly stuffed. 'We're looking for someone who doesn't look like anyone else' would be their only option.

The police aren't doing that because they want to. Political correctness is doing it. You can't say 'bomb' when there's a bomb in case people get upset. You have to risk losing a murderer who isn't white in case a description of one man is taken to mean everyone who might look even slightly similar, and they get upset.

Well, they don't, of course. Black people want a black murderer caught just as much as anyone else does. Skin colour is irrelevant when the criminal is that dangerous. It's the professionally offended pressure groups who play at being upset.

I don't see how Clarkson's remark would offend anyone other than the car it was directed at. Perhaps its designer, but if he's designing for Ferrari he'll just wave his bank statement at Clarkson and then display his backside. Clarkson insulted an inanimate object and these charities think he was speaking about disabled people? Does that mean the charities regard disabled people as inanimate objects? Now that is offensive. I demand they apologise at once.

Yet from these seemingly trivial and superficially funny incidents comes the mindset that nobody must ever be upset or miffed or startled in any way, ever. A mindset that can only get worse, now that Smoko Clegg and Dai Puffer's Coagulation have enacted Hideous Harman's 'equality' bill. A bill that ensures everyone is under equal suspicion, all the time. Anyone can report anyone else for any word spoken, even if they were not there when the word was spoken, it was not directed at them, and they are not part of any group the word was used to describe. It needn't even really happen. Everyone is equally terrified to say anything at all to anyone else. We don't even have Newspeak now. Silence.

This now means that if you phone for an ambulance, you must take care not to unduly distress the operator on the line. You must think carefully before every word uttered. While whoever you're phoning for lies bleeding, you must take care to describe the event in entirely neutral terms. One word out of place and the police will be called before the ambulance, assuming the operator doesn't hang up in a huff and apply for counselling (and compensation).

This country has fought with France many times. Sometimes they won. sometimes we won. Now? All the French need do is send this guy and the whole country will be on the phone to the BBC in tears. It really is pathetic. It is certainly not a cause for mirth.

We now live in a land where, if you see a woman who has tucked her dress into her knickers in the toilet, you dare not tell her. You dare not compliment anyone on their clothes, hair or anything else. You must be careful about eye contact and don't smile - that could be considered leering. No jokes. No laughing. Absolutely no contact of any kind at all, ever. That's assault.

When faced with an insult, no matter how personal, my response is to think of a better one. Insults bounce off me because they don't hurt. They are only words. They are the one weapon we can all use, until they are taken from us too. I wonder if that's what upsets the Righteous? They can't get beyond 'racist-Nazi-bigot-paedo' so they have to shut the rest of us up. They're upset by insults because we're better at it than they are. It's possible. They are certainly small-minded enough to think that way. Well, now they have reached the point where we can't say anything.

There are those who decry bloggers as friendless saddos who only ever see the world on a screen and have no other human contact at all. Well, that really is the future. For everyone. Cocooned from birth, all children will grow up knowing only the face of Nanny on the screen. The same one, and she's not even real.

One day, we'll be wishing Orwell had been right because what's happening now is worse.

Mayowa Adelugba

If you're reading this, I have to tell you that you are an idiot.

You have sent me two 419 scams tonight with different names in the body of the mail. When you send out these scams, there is one rule you really need to understand.

You're not supposed to use your own Email address.


Sunday 24 October 2010


The madness never stops. Mud in the Blood has a collection of recent ones, which I've pinched.

English Heritage think they own the rights to any photo of Stonehenge no matter who took it or when. Even if it's taken from the air. Does that mean we can all claim the rights to every CCTV image taken of us, anywhere? This could start a very interesting precedent.

The RSPCA think they are a police force. The courts do too.

You think pubs smell better without tobacco smoke? I wouldn't know, I no longer visit. Hate the smell of smoke and think it's just and fair that it's banned? Well, how do you feel about the smell of frying bacon? That's now 'offensive' too. Best pour away all those perfumes and aftershaves before someone is offended. Oh, and only non-perfumed soap, and be sure to rinse it away completely after washing. Those antismokers whose sole justification for smoker persecution is the smell can pat themselves on the back for starting this lot.

There's much, much more over there.

Meanwhile, Fraser has found the perfect anthem for the New World.

It just never stops, does it? Complaints about cooking smells from cafes. What do people expect to smell from a cafe? The guy who complained had lived there for years and no, he wasn't a Muslim. He was concerned that 'Muslims might be offended'. Like those idiot councils who rename Christmas and the Halal meat that's everywhere in case Muslims are offended even though they don't know it's Halal either, Muslims didn't do it. They'll get the blame for it, and their lunatic fringe will see it as an excuse to demand more and shout louder and scream about making Sharia the law of the land, but most Muslims are just people who pray to Allah. The owner of the cafe? He's a Muslim. He sells bacon sandwiches. He cooks bacon. He smells it every day. It is not against his religion to do this. It's only against his religion for him to eat it. He can sell it to non-Muslims, no problem. There is no way he is selling Halal bacon.

Am I an apologist for Islam? No. I don't want Sharia law and I don't want to join up (the bacon is a real clincher there. Imagine smelling bacon cooking every day and not being allowed to eat any. That's what Satan will do to me if he gets hold of my soul. That, and a mountain of tobacco in the one room in Hell with no flames). No, I don't support Islam at all. Neither do I condemn it. It's a religion. It doesn't interest me.

There are those who use it as a shield to excuse violent and criminal behaviour but that applies to anything any group of people believe. Look at the UAF, the most violent antiviolence group ever. Look at 10:10 and their exploding children video. Animal rights activists have resorted to graverobbing, poisoning, bombs, threats, violence, not to save animals but to just be violent while hiding behind some puppies. The odious Westboro Baptist Church use Christianity as an excuse for extreme homophobia. Antismoking is a convenient excuse for those who just want someone to sneer at, to make themselves feel superior.

The RSPCA have pursued the relatives of those who have died and left them money through the courts for more money. They interview their targets in police stations and bring criminal charges even when the police have declared no crime has been committed. English Heritage have copyrighted light. People are still stopped by police for taking photos in the street despite at least two Home Office monsters publicly declaring this is not illegal. Pseudoplods fine people for feeding ducks. Traffic wardens jump out at drivers while they are buying a ticket to park. They are not all like this. We rarely hear about the ones who just do their job.

So... should we condemn all Muslims for the actions of a few, including the actions of some non-Muslims?

I am a smoker. I am constantly told that all smokers are cancerous and all will die of terrible things. I don't know any smokers who died of these terrible things and I don't have them either. Who tells me this? Invariably, someone who has seen one person die of a terrible thing and has extrapolated their experience to the entirety of humanity. Then there is the 'I am a healthcare professional and I have seen...' Well of course you have. People who aren't sick don't visit your place of work. Further, your place of work is where sick people from all over the place congregate. You are not seeing a cross-section, you are seeing one tail of a bell curve.

Yet these are extrapolated to cover all smokers. Every smoker smells, apparently. I shower every day, wear clean clothes every day and due to the nature of my work I wash very, very often. My clothes don't smell of tobacco because I take the radical step of washing them. Yet as soon as I say I am a smoker, the antis claim to smell me. They couldn't smell me before. Does every smoker smell? Is every non-smoker as fragrant as a fresh spring morn? I could name a couple of sweaty ones that I can't get too close to.

Every smoker is inconsiderate and selfish. If I visit a non-smoker's house, I won't smoke indoors. I will not ask. If they offer, and some do, then if it's not unpleasant outside I will decline anyway. If I know they really don't like smoke and are giving me the green light just to be polite, I won't smoke. I don't get edgy or temperamental without this alleged 'fix'. I am not climbing the walls without the 'drug'. To me, smoking is something to be enjoyed and if I know my hosts are tense, I'm not enjoying it. So I wait. Now, is every smoker inconsiderate and selfish?

As a smoker, I have seen first hand what happens when one experience with one person is extrapolated to cover all who can be lumped into a group. So I don't condemn Muslims because I haven't met them all. The ones I have met have been very nice people. One from Indonesia worked as a student on an eight-week project and produced a very good peer-reviewed paper on the work. Another worked with me on a short project on pigs (yes, pigs) and produced another paper. I still use a Zippo lighter, given to me by a Muslim student at the end of her course. It has a picture of a pig on it, unfortunately rather worn now. I have a hand-stitched tablecloth from a Syrian student's mother and was given the biggest cigar I have seen by her father. No, nothing like that. They were just generous people.

I have never met a Sharia-demanding radical loony, but then they're not likely to go to the same places as me. They are unlikely to be running businesses because they are unlikely to be working at all. Muslims running businesses have no time to play with placards and marches. They also don't want to alienate around 97% of potential customers (based on the Mad Mullahs who like to say there are two million Muslims here, but who never mention how many non-Muslims there are). I am sure there are radicals posing as students but they have never, and will never, work for me. I expect results and I expect them fast. Eight weeks is plenty of time to produce a first grade project and a peer-reviewed paper - I have, after all, devised the experiment in advance.

The RSPCA, no doubt, contains many who are in it for the animals. English Heritage, I am sure, is mainly staffed by people who genuinely want to conserve that heritage and make it available to all. Most non-smokers are not antismokers. Most Christians are not the Westboro Baptist Church. Most smokers are not filthy, inconsiderate scum. In every group there is a lunatic fringe. Our mistake has always been in voting for it.

Most Muslims are not Al-Qaeda. Most muslims are people who believe in Allah, and that's all. I am just someone who smokes. And drinks. Monkey Shoulder again tonight. I have to endure the 'You will get cancer and we'll catch it from you' and the 'Poo, you stink' and the 'You are selfish and evil' and the 'You are a binge drinker and you'll probably go out and pee on someone's cat later' (I would never, for the record, let any cat get within range of that part of my anatomy. They are equipped with many sharp things and they're faster than me). None of it is true. All of it is extrapolation.

I won't join in the extrapolation that says 'all Muslims are terrorists' any more than I followed the old 'all Irish are terrorists' mantra of the past. It is up to Islam to purge itself of those who use it as an excuse for violence. It's not my club, not my problem.

Of course, it would help if we could get rid of our non-Muslim Righteous who also use Islam as an excuse to impose insane controls on us all. They are making life worse for Muslim and non-Muslim alike. The result is no different to the feminists who declare that because a few men are rapists, all men are rapists. Just because the majority of men who have never raped anyone are never in the news (except when falsely accused, which is on the increase), they are deemed not to exist.

The guy who runs the local pizza/kebab/pakora/whateverthehellyouwant shop is a Muslim. You will not meet a calmer, more pleasant or more tolerant individual. It has nothing to do with his religion, it's just the way he is. You will never see him holding a placard saying 'behead the infidel'. He never goes on marches. He just wants to run his business and live his life. If he was threatened with a Muslim purge, I'd fight his corner. And not just for free pakora, either.

Two million Muslims. How many do you see on these marches? A hundred? Two hundred? Where are the rest? Sitting at home, watching it on TV and thinking 'What are these lunatics doing?' Then they go to bed because they have to be up at 5 am to start work.

Radical Islam is dangerous, there is no denying it. The IRA were dangerous, still are but not so much. Did that mean all Irish supported them, or all Catholics? Or did they mostly keep quiet because they had knees with caps on and liked them that way? Radical Islam is small in this country but it can't be discounted. Hitler's real Nazis were small in number too. Most were just carried along on the rhetoric. Like the antismokers.

There was a time when people thought for themselves. For thirteen years, they have been taught not to. Everything that happens is now someone's fault and there is always compensation involved. Now we have a population of unthinking drones who latch on to whatever the TV tells them and who are enraged on command. We have an animal charity that thinks it's the Law. We have a heritage charity that thinks it controls every camera in the land. They genuinely believe these things. Idiots like the anonymous commenter who has just posted here (I can multitask and I'm not even female) believe all the rubbish that ASH spout. You know what my grandparents called the galvanised rubbish bins we used to have? The ASH can. Prescient or what?

One dog attacks a child and all dogs are evil. One maniac lets loose with a gun and anyone with a gun is evil. One Gary Glitter, and anyone photographing any scene that might include a child is evil. One drunken band of louts means that anyone buying a bottle of sherry is suspect. That's extrapolation. It is never a good thing.

It's a pity people won't see that.

The Two Faces of the Clegg

Tipped by Foreign Entity in the comments here.

Remember Nicky the Clegg and his 'we are listening but not to smokers' website? Remember his 'we are not going to repeal the smoking ban any more than we'll bring back hanging' wordplay?

The smug child is on Desert Island Discs. Look at the last line of this.

Oh, he struggles with his conscience over cuts but when it comes to making smokers into something so evil even Satan winces, he sleeps like a brainless politician.

Clegg chooses tracks by David Bowie, Shakira and Prince, and selects "a stash of cigarettes" as his one permitted desert island luxury.

The two-faced, spite-driven, vicious and evil bastard. It's at times like this I wish I wrote like Obo. I can't use the words to describe this man because they haven't been invented yet. Not even the most base Anglo-Saxon swearing can cover it. Maybe Italian but you'd need the hand gestures too.

Put him on a desert island and give him these discs. Oh, and don't forget to dip his cigarettes in the sea before delivery.

Bastard. There is no possible excuse.

And I thought I wrote about evil people. I have much to learn.

Saturday 23 October 2010

What planet am I on?

Work is intense for the next week, including weekends so if I miss a day it'll be because I'm shattered. The thing about self employment is that either you have loads of money and no free time, or loads of free time and no money. The trick is to stash during the loadsamoney periods to survive the skint ones.

I'm looking forward to the lull that comes after this one although other projects are already being discussed. Sod it, I'll pretend to have a cold for a week.

Anyway, today I'm wondering if I've worked so fast and drunk so much caffeine that I've exceeded the speed of light and slipped into an alternate dimension. The news is beyond weird, even for the Daily Mail.

A man with no arms crashed his car. Question Time has a lefty bias (this is news?). Traffic wardens are playing James Bond and millionaires are buying babies. This is not the real world. It can't be.

UK schools are now the worst at teaching the fundamentals. Meanwhile a teacher has been barred from the profession for being utterly useless. Just how useless are we talking here? He would have to actually suck knowledge from children's heads to reach that level of useless. How did he get through teacher training college? How did he manage to teach for 13 years (oh, wait, there's something about that number). And how did he get to be head of business studies before anyone noticed he was useless?

Did you know Mrs. Queen owns the seabed? I didn't. So the wind farmers have to pay her rent for building their windmills on her submerged estates. That son of hers, the one who looks like the FA Cup, is a big fan of wind farms but doesn't want them on land. Especially not on his land, although on yours is fine. He wants them at sea so his Mum gets the rent. It's no wonder the Navy are cutting back on ships. Soon there won't be enough open water around the coast for anything bigger than a dinghy.

I've had booze-fuelled dreams that made more sense than this.

Oh, that's enough of the Daily Mad for anyone's blood pressure. Let's try the Telegraph. Surely there's a trace of sanity over there? Not a bit of it.

In order to save us from global warming and cut the deficit, the government plans to... sell all the trees. I'll have to put some padding on this desk before I give myself concussion. Sell the trees? Is that really all that's left? What next, dismantling Snowdon and shipping it across to some American millionaire's ranch? We are so skint that we have to sell the trees!

Sky news. Surely there's sanity over there? Nope.

One man gets out of bed to feed his child, twelve people who know him - he lives there - mistake him for Satan and attack him, then they all jump out of the window. I really can't think of anything to say.

When did Kafka take over running the planet? Who thought it was a good idea to let him?

Reuters. Surely the staid and sober Reuters contains no madness?

London fire brigades are to strike. The TUC wants a street riot but they'll have it next March because it's a bit cold at the moment. Someone should tell the TUC that the country has nothing left to sell but trees. Sure, keep your jobs. There's no money to pay you, but you can go to work if you like. Perhaps they'll declare leaves legal tender. They already think money grows on trees.

Oh, and Jane Austen was a crap writer, declares a loonie who bases her assessment on the fact that Austen's first drafts weren't letter-perfect. There's no spellchecker on paper and pen. First drafts always look terrible, they are just to get the idea written down before you lose it. Spelling, grammar, handwriting, none of that matters at that stage. Just get the damn thing down. Then work on it. Nobody gets to see first drafts. Especially not the ones that didn't turn out to be worth keeping. Well, not until some mad professor pulls them out.

I'm not worried about being 'denormalised' as a smoker, drinker, unapproved-food-eater or anything else. Denormalised?

What the hell is left that's normal?

I need a drink. And a smoke. Ah, normality at last. I knew it was here somewhere.

Smoky Satan.

This one has already been hit by Richard of the Puddlcotes and by F2C Seeyoujimmy. They have pretty much covered it all.

Dave Atherton's comments on the article have debunked it faster and more comprehensively than any UFO report or Trotsky badger uprising with placards saying 'Badger badger badger'. There is not much more to say. Indeed, the lying toads of ASH have nothing more to say. So I can't add anything.

Other than... well, you know, if you want totally evil, I can do that. I chose once to try cartoons and sold some. I decided to be a microbiologist with unslit wrists and here I am. I stopped working before I reach 40% tax and still do. I am now an independent rogue scientist and still paying the bills. I thought it would be fun to be a novelist and now I am.

So, ASH want me to be as evil as The Joker just because I like a smoke. Okay. I can do that too. I know how to fade into the underworld. Been there. I could go back if I had to.

Denormalise me, ASH. Despise me, Dreadful Arnott. Hate me, antismokers. Burn me, witch-hunters but watch out for the fumes. In my last breath I keeel you.

Do it.

You can't. You don't have the guts.

None of them call for a ban on the sale of tobacco. Their existence would be threatened by such a ban. They couldn't even convince a half-wit like Vinnie the Wire that an illegal substance must be banned. Tobacco will not be banned.

Neither will salt or fat or cars or anything else. They won't be banned.

They will merely be restricted to five miles offshore.

Mr.Godwin, you need a new law. This one is long past its sneer-by date.

An excerpt

Here's a little teaser or two -

“Where does the corridor go?” Jessica could hear defeat and resignation in her own voice.
“This is the circle. The trap will be within.” Phenex grinned up at her. “It has to hold a Golab, remember. Your little circle was just a play-pen for small magic. We need something much bigger to contain the power you wish to ensnare.”
“So this corridor is one big circle?” Jessica stared along the glass wall. “How big?”
“One thousand yards in diameter. The triangle will be within the house. We don't really need it, but Malphas insisted. He won't do slipshod work, he says.”
A scurrying in the long grass outside interrupted Jessica's amazement. Something moved, fast and low, leaving a channel in its wake. She strained her eyes but could not make out its shape.
“That will be Bifrons.” Phenex’s eyes glittered with some secret amusement. “I don't think you're ready to meet Bifrons.”

But she does...

Jessica grabbed the horse’s mane. It turned its head and snickered at her.
“Loosen your grip. He will not let you fall.” Seere climbed up behind her, lifting Bifrons as he did so. He placed Bifrons in front of Jessica. She immediately released the horse's mane and pressed herself back into Seere. Bifrons leered up at her, waggling his eyebrows. He reached out one thin leg and lifted her skirt.
Biting her lip, Jessica pressed her skirt down. Bifrons withdrew his leg and pouted.
“Bifrons. Behave yourself.” Seere's chuckle shook him, overwhelming the tremble in Jessica's body. A strong arm encircled her waist once more. “You need not fear Bifrons. His lusty manner is an empty threat. He no longer has the equipment to carry it through.”

I like Bifrons. He pays no heed to any authority and he's a dirty little bugger too.

Thursday 21 October 2010


Smoky-Drinkers start arriving at eight so there'll be no long rambling babble tonight.

Instead, here's a preview of something that won't be available until next April. It'll be in both print and Ebook versions. April is ideal, the book opens with April 30th 1647 so it makes the numbers neat.

That's not me on the cover. I probably won't be on the back cover either. I don't want to scare people away.

And now, time for smoky-drinky. Back later. Maybe.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Denormalised and Proud.

I was too shattered yesterday to pick up the anonymous tip on the Norwich Smoker Terror Group. I'm less knackered and better lubricated this evening, but I see England Expects has already caught on to it.

What's interesting here is much more than the abuse of RIPA powers to attack people who aren't harming anyone (no, second hand smoke has not been shown to cause any harm to anyone at all, ever. No made-up numbers, please, and no Roy Castle case for another debunking). What's interesting is that with all the press coverage, all the hysteria, all the fake scares and kindergarten science, all the Dali logic and all the spiteful guttersnipes and hate-filled cads and bounders willing to shop a smoker via the snitchline, the council had to use spy techniques to find out about this. What does it mean?

It means nobody complained.

All it takes these days is one complaint and injustice is served. Under the twisted version of Sharia employed by British justice, a Righteous whining jessie has twice the testimonial authority of a smoker. Nobody cares if the smokers says 'But I didn't'. Nobody cares if the smoker says 'It was an Electrofag'. Nobody cares if the smoker says 'But there is no proof. How can you convict on no evidence?' On the word of the smug drone, the conviction is assured.

Therefore, in order for a council to find it necessary to spy on pubs in order to catch evil terrorist smokers lighting the Little Leaves of Doom, it can only mean that they received no complaints. Not one bun-haired, purse-lipped, cardigan wearing harridan with Dame Edna glasses and arms folded so tight she has dents in her boobs even bothered to phone the council with the message "Evil smokers are burning the Death Herb in a pub! They are chanting too, and dancing around naked and drinking and slaughtering mallards using nail clippers! They are riding brooms and sailing in sieves and consorting with demons. They are impregnating hamsters while smelling of elderberries. They are enjoying themselves, inhaling the Smoke of Eternal Denormalisation! Someone stop them! Think of the cheeeldren!"

Not one. Not one slathering hatemonger managed to work up enough bile to moan about smoking in a place they never visit. Which is, in itself, unusual.

Ozzy announced his cuts today. I find it hard to care any more. He has increased the chocolate ration from 30g to 25g per day and cut the overseas aid budget from 100% to 140% in the same speech. The Green Men and the EU will find the cuts leave them considerably better off than they were before, and massively better off than the rest of us. Why argue about it? You might as well try to catch the wind. There is no way to get through the wall of stupid that surrounds the Wastemonster now, it's tougher than the thorny growths around Sleeping Beauty's castle. It will take a prince from a faraway land who has no sense of responsibility and a violent streak to get anywhere near the place, but they've just jailed him.

One thing Ozzy will not cut is the Government funded hate directed at all those they disapprove of. They have your votes now, they don't need you any more. All parties will do the same in the forthcoming Holyrood elections in Scotland. They will promise, but don't kid yourself they have any intention of trying to deliver. Once you place that X, you cease to matter. No smoking or drinking in the polling booths, and they are built narrow to keep out another sort of undesirable. Vote for your own persecution if you wish. I won't vote for mine - or for yours.

Despite the absence of complaints from this pub, and the absence of complaints about many pubs before the Smokefinder General stalked the land, we are denied any choice in whether to allow smoking in the pub and soon, in the car and in the home. Whether you have cheeeldren or not. You might sell that car or house one day and a child might find a single molecule of nicotine and drop dead on the spot. Let's pretend that tobacco is the only plant producing it, it's not like it's in potatoes or tomatoes or anything. No, cheeeldren will only die of tobacco nicotine, not any other source. It kills on contact and there is no cure and never will be because nobody is looking. Just like nobody is looking for the cure for coffee. Shocking, isn't it?

It's not just the UK. Spain has decided to ban smoking everywhere. I can't see the Spaniards taking it as meekly as the Brits, somehow. They tend to see laws as vague guidelines rather than as rules. As in France and everywhere else, they will see smoking rates increase as a result of the ban and Eastern Europe will see a lot more tourist traffic. The odd thing about these tourists is that they arrive with empty bags and leave with full ones. I might buy shares in greenhouse companies too...

This denormalisation game, Righteous. You don't really know how to play, do you? Every measure you apply backfires. You should have learned by now - everything you do backfires. There has never been an exception.You are the failures of the species, you try so hard, you push and push and every time you push too far and it all comes tumbling down. Now you have denormalised so many people, you are outnumbered. Even your drones are starting to think 'huh?'

Over on Tea and Cigarettes is a call to fight denormalisation, but I'm not sure I want to. I think I like it. I mean, look at those antismokers who consider themselves 'normal'. They believe all the rubbish spouted by the Dreadful Arnott without question. They believe I can kill them with a breath, they believe I can leave behind a residue that makes Chernobyl look like spilled milk and they believe that if they so much as see me smoking, they will get cancer. Many of them think they can catch cancer from me even though I don't have it. Why would I want to stop this? I have never had so much power.

I can kill you just by saying the death mantra "I am a smoker". You'll die psychosomatically. You'll get chest pains when I tell you to and you will find lumps where I tell you to look. Those lumps were always there, they are lymph nodes and junctions in arteries and veins but you will shit yourself when you find them. You will fear and loathe me at the same time. You will want to kill me but you can't touch me in case you get third hand smoke. There are molecules of nicotine all over me and everyone knows that nicotine causes rabies, mouth fungus and hangnail. Nicotine can even follow the path of a bullet back to the hand holding the gun. Why would I want to stop this game? I'm winning. Weapons? Who needs them? The indoctrinated can be instructed to die with a few words. They are conditioned to believe what they are told. All you need is a straight face.

The 'normal' spend their lives filled with hate and spite. They wake up looking for something to complain about, their faces are pulled into a permanent sneer and they believe themselves superior in the same way that Ozzy believes that increasing overseas aid and EU contributions is a cut. They go to work at nine and stop at five and despite working 12 hours (noon to midnight) on big-load days, despite running a business and writing fiction and pressing a company to market something they should have marketed years ago and writing this blog and being several people at once, if I am not there in the morning rush hour I am being lazy. They have 2.4 children and a plasma TV and a leather sofa and those game box things for when the TV isn't showing them mind candy. They fear the Glitterman while indulging in a bit of cephalopod necrophilia while the miniatures of themselves are asleep and dreaming of sugar-free plums, drowning puppies and gas chambers full of tobacco smoke and alcohol fumes (Actually, I dream of that last one too, but in my dreams I'm smiling). They drive past smokers in their Range Rovers and call them polluters. They deride the Red Stripe drinker over cocktails and laugh at the ready-meal eaters over a tin of caviar. They scream about benefit claimants and scream louder when their child benefit is withdrawn. When they ask me if I know what they think on any subject I can only respond 'What you think? I'm still trying to work out whether.'

I really don't want to be like them. I don't want to be 'normal' if that's what it is like. I take great pride in being told I am not one of them. I am delighted that they consider me different from them because different from them is what I want to be. The more different I am, the better.

I am Denormalised and Proud. Everyone denormalised should be proud not to be included in the ranks of the hateful and the small-minded. You know, if you added all the various types of denormalised together, we'd be the majority.

Since we're the majority, isn't it time for some tyranny?

Why would I want to stop the denormalisation game? I haven't had this much fun since I convinced a kid at school that the graze on his elbow was first stage syphilis. I hope the school nurse has died by now.

If she finds me, she'll probably kill me. It took her weeks to convince him because every time she did, I had another reason to prove she was lying.

(Monkey Shoulder is pretty good. Not as smoky as my own preferences but pretty good. The trouble is, I will really have to try to get those metal monkeys off the bottle and the more I drink, the more likely it is to involve something sharp. There might be red stains on the next post. Don't worry. It grows back.)

Boxed set.

I don't see many miniatures on sale although at this time of year, they sometimes appear for Christmas (as if a bottle that size would get you anything more than "What's this? Children's portions?" in response). Usually it's just the 'standard' ones, Famous Grouse, Jack Daniels and the like. Once in a while there are malts.

I called in at Tesco on the way home. I can't hit the booze yet, there's more requirement of steady hand and clear head tomorrow, but tomorrow night there is a small Smoky-Drinky at my house. So I thought I'd better get a bottle of something and try to resist 'testing' it too hard tonight. The bottle is something called 'Monkey Shoulder', a blend of three Speyside malts. I haven't tried it before but any minute now... Well, I can't offer guests something I haven't tested, can I? Interesting bottle, with three metal monkeys bonded to it.

There was also a little box called 'The Single Malt Whisky Flavour Experience'. Far too much packaging. inside are four miniatures, one each of the Singleton, the Dalwhinnie, the Glenkinchie and the Talisker. (Pouring a double Singleton always tickles me).

It costs a tenner. I thought about it for a while, and reasoned that these 50 ml bottles were, in effect, £2.50 a double. For single malts that's well below pub prices, almost half, and with the snow already making a comeback, there's also the matter of having to go outside to consider. So I bought it. The packaging is insane, the empty box feels heavier than the contents, and the bottles are plastic but the Glenkinchie, at least, has not picked up a plasticiser taste.

I might pick up another.

So, while the Bank of England announces a 'sober decade', I have to announce that I will not be participating.

I have other plans. Sorry, Merv.

Update - the Dalwhinnie doesn't taste of plastic either. So far, so good. There are no warnings on these bottles which improves the flavour enormously. The 'drink responsibly' nonsense (come on, four miniatures?) is on the box but they're not in the box any more so that rule no longer applies. Let the ex-box games begin!

Speed of Life.

I've always preferred to live life in the bus lane. Not for me the 24/7 and the permanent phone ring. Earn enough to kick back for a while, kick back for a while and when it's running short, earn some more. With, of course, a modest reserve in the bank just in case the 'earn some more' part proves tricky.

Tonight I was lucky enough to flag down the Inverness bus, which doesn't normally stop at the lab, before I froze certain assets worth £200 right off. I had missed the last 'normal' bus. Yes, it was a 60-sample day, there's another one next week and when I came home there were Emails from the publisher too. Next week's samplefest should be the last for a while. Good. It's started snowing, which is ideal weather for staying home and editing a book.

The pace doesn't let up though. Tomorrow there's a meeting about the C. difficile work which is progressing everywhere except Aberdeen for reasons of administrative idiocy. When Aberdeen has the only C. difficile problem in the country, we'll call on them again but the price will have risen somewhat.

So late home tonight, early start tomorrow, late finish tomorrow and hardly time to manage my Government mandated 21 units a day. I can't even binge at the weekend because the next set will be here on Tuesday so it's going to be a hyper-turnaround. I'm going to be in a lot of trouble with the Drink People because Scotland's overall alcohol consumption will drop below the level of 'something must be done'. They will be furious.

Anyhow, no time to rip into this Email tipoff properly. Take your blood pressure tablets before clicking the link.

No time also to look in detail at another Email tip, which looks like it could be fun.

Maybe tomorrow. Depends if I can wind down enough to get sufficient sleep tonight. I have a red wine all the way from Chile, called 'Chilano'. It's a cheap wine but it's not bad at all. 12.5% in 750 ml is about 9 units, I think. Hardly enough to induce a daze, normally, but coupled with overall knackeredness it might work.

I'm going to have a lot of catching up to do when this is over. I might have to suck those injection swabs again.

They taste like nurses.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Drugs don't make you infertile. The Righteous do.

Okay, publishing contract and all the rest of it are done and tonight, for the first time ever, Gmail went crackers on me. I knew I should have used one of my own domain addresses for this. Finally persuaded it to send. The real-paper one goes in the post tomorrow. Now I can drink again - but not too much, there are another 60 samples on the way. Hmm, a lifetime of making up stories or a lifetime up to the elbows in infected shit... it's a tough decision.

Not as tough, perhaps, as deciding whether to have your firing pin removed for £200-worth of smack. Pat Nurse is furious at the implication and with good reason. It is possibly the most ridiculously stupid, dangerous and counterproductive idea ever to pass through a human mind.

Most druggies - and I'm not talking the occasional snort of septum-remover, I'm talking can't-find-a-vein-that-isn't-scarred druggies, have at the back of their heads the thought "I don't want to be like this." Many try to kick the drugs but it's not an easy thing to do. Not when you're addicted, when you live where pushers are always offering you a little bag of escape-dust so you can forget the squalour of life for a while, when you come down to find the world is just as shitty as when you left. Getting out is difficult. I've never had to, I've known quite a few who tried and most failed. Some failed all the way.

In the drug-addled mind, £200 is ten £20-hits. It has no other meaning. Giving them £200 while adding to their debasement and sense of worthlessness simply guarantees that the whole lot will end up in the pocket of the nearest dealer. Yes, telling people they can never hope to be fit to be a parent is debasement. These people are not jolly suited Yuppies snorting a bit of nose-rot through a rolled-up £20 note. These are people at the very bottom and the only way to make them feel worse is to tell them they have no hope of ever getting out.

Consider this - if you're doped up, someone offers you £200 to have a vasectomy while telling you that you are guaranteed to abuse any child you father, what does your mind do? It doesn't do the logical thing of "£200? That's £100 a nut. Not nearly enough to encourage me to embrace a lifetime disability". No, the druggie mind translates £200 into however many bags of whack powder the dealer will give them and thinks "She's right, I'm a failure."

So now you have a druggie who is sterilised. Why would he ever try to get straightened out? What would be the point? He'll never have a family now. He might as well stay on the dream dust because there's nothing to come down for.

Further, why would that druggie worry about using condoms? He's firing blanks anyway. STDs? Why would a druggie care? What are his chances of getting old enough to experience tertiary syphilis or full-blown AIDS? 'Slim' is the word you're looking for there. Why worry about getting old? He'll never be a father, much less a grandfather. By removing all possibility of future responsibility, you create a loose cannon. Female ones too, of course, but I wasn't going to fill that with 'he/she' in the interests of being inclusive. Anyone with sense can see the wider picture and those without aren't worth worrying about.

You know what makes many druggies make the effort to quit? Becoming a parent. They don't all feed the kids on Pot Noodles and end-of-day cakes and LSD. For many, the responsibility of parenthood is when they grow up and think "Shit, my life is a mess and my kid is going to think I'm nothing". It's the kick they need.

You don't hear about those cases. They don't make the news. 'Druggie stops taking drugs' is a headline you'll never see. The ones you hear about are the bad ones, the kids in three-day-old nappies and the parents on a three-day high. By all means, let the SS intervene in those cases. take the kid into a foster home and get those parents sorted out. But sterilise them? Yes, they are unfit parents now, but will they always be so?

There are many problems with this American woman's eugenics program and she can't see any of them. I heard that her gang accosted a woman leaving a clinic in Glasgow. A woman who had never taken drugs but who just happened to be leaving a clinic that deals with addicts - among other medical things. The woman was, shall we say, on the portly side. Not a body shape you would associate with the heavily addicted. They tend not to look well-fed. Yet she was accosted by a gang who tried to get her to agree to sterilisation for £200.

Not a particularly discerning organisation. Unless their ultimate aim is a little more than drugs?

You're too fat to be a good parent. You must be sterilised.

Is that a bottle of gin in your shopping? You are an unfit parent. You must be sterilised.

IQ too low? Snip.

Buying cigarettes? The horror! Off with his knob!

She doesn't realise what she is starting here. This idea of hers is not new and it has been put forward by some of the nastiest people ever to walk the planet. They have supporters who will take this idea and widen it until it encompasses all who do not fit the Standard Human Image and while it will start with bribes, it will end with compulsory. Such ideas always do.

Then of course, there is the problem of people like me. I'm fifty, I have no intention of future fatherhood, so a vasectomy would be no more than a trivial inconvenience. Sounds like an easy £200, and all I have to do is pretend to be a druggie. I'm not going to because voluntary surgery is against my religion (the church of pain avoidance) but others will.

With any luck, she'll get fleeced by pensioners and go home skint. Maybe some of those pensioners will be those who helped dispose of the last eugenics fanatic who wanted the Aryan ideal.

It does give me an idea though. I wonder if I can get 'Druggie Monopoly' ready for Christmas?

...your little metal syringe lands on Chance. You take a card. It says "Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass the vasectomy room. Do not collect £200"...

I wonder if it'll sell?