French farce

My maternal grandmother was a fearsome woman. My paternal grandmother was less fearsome but had a friend who was fearsome for her. We’ll stick to the maternal one.

She had eternally blue hair under a hairnet that seemed to be part of her head and she never left the house without a headscarf. Her husband, my grandfather, served in the first world war and survived the second while spending his working life in the coal mines. He was scared of her. Yeah. That fearsome.

I don’t think she ever hit us as kids. She didn’t need to. She just needed to look as though she might and we shut up.

But she was a great grandmother. She could tell us off all she wanted but woe betide anyone else who tried. She’d have defended me and my brother against Satan himself. She probably would have won.

The point is the headscarf. It was a permanent fixture outside the house. She wasn’t Muslim, I doubt she’d heard of Islam at all and wouldn’t have cared about it anyway. She was protestant and talked about catholics as ‘chapel people’ as though they were a different species with tails and stripes. Really though, she didn’t much care about God or religion. It was just a fun thing to play with and a good way to have a chat on a Sunday.

France put a ban on Islamic women’s dress. Which is a bit silly for a country that prides itself on its dress designers. Why not design a better one? A few sequins, a bit of glitz, shine that thing up a bit and it’ll be on the catwalk covering a flesh skeleton in no time.

Now, I can understand the ban on the veil. A few wanted Islamic terrorists have got out of countries dressed as veiled women and used passports that have a photo with a veil too. That’s not on.

But come on, armed police telling a woman to take her headscarf off? Her face wasn’t covered. It’s not like she was hiding from anyone. And why are there armed police at the beach? That doesn’t make me feel comfortable if I’m barely dressed facing someone in armour with a gun.

How does a woman in a headscarf cause offence? In Wales in the 60s and 70s, those people would have been offended at every old lady they saw and not one of them was a Muslim. They had blue hair long before Punk Rock too. Oh they were ahead of their time.

I mean really. Okay, it’s Cannes and they have the film festival but surely that means they must be used to people dressing up weird. Some woman wanting to be covered up on the beach isn’t a big thing. She didn’t cover her face, she wasn’t some hairy suicide bomber waiting for the surfer score that gets him his 72 virgins. Just a woman in a headscarf.

My mother has pictures of my grandad on the beach. He went so far as to take off his shoes and socks and roll his sleeves halfway up. The flat cap was never negotiable. If he was alive and in Cannes now, would he be facing pepper spray?

By the way, Islamic madmen, you know why the 72 are still virgins when they get to Heaven? It’s because they are all fat trolls from Norwich who live in their mum’s basements and spent their entire lives playing Call of Duty while growing into land jellyfish. Oh and they are all male. You’re blowing yourself up to spend eternity up a pale fat guy’s arse. They didn’t tell you?

France, grow the hell up. Hiding faces is one thing but covering hair while leaving the face uncovered is no big deal. Are you going to ban hats and umbrellas next?

It’s really getting to the silly stage now.

But then, we got there a few years back…

Still working on it

No, I have not spent just over a week drunk. I fled the country briefly but came back before Boss sent her mercenaries out to find me. In fact I have been uncharacteristically sober for a while.

On my return, it seems Boss has quit smoking and switched to vaping. She smoked menthol cigarettes and the Electrofag menthol flavour is one of the good ones, so it could stick. She has a thing that looks like it should be in a tool box on an oil rig somewhere. Electrofag seems to be developing into some kind of sonic smokedriver. I expect Dr. Who will have one soon.

I came back with a good supply of tobacco including a few packs for Boss, but she won’t need them now so my baccy supply is pretty damn healthy at the moment.

I also came back with a little box of sweets to pass around at work. So far I have only met two workmates who swallowed. The rest either spit or refused to take it in their mouths. Can’t think why…


Salted liquorice. Very nice too. CynaraeStMary sent me home with them. Oh she knew exactly what I would do with them 😉 I have another box for my son to take to work.

Lines used so far…

Go on, I want to see if you spit or swallow.

It’s finest Danish Spunk. The saltiest in the world.

Hold still while I shake one out into your hand.

How long can you hold it in your mouth before swallowing?

You won’t even take it in your mouth? Go on, just for a moment.

Maybe it’s in the name, but most seem reluctant to try it. Oh well, Nads and Cafe Girl weren’t at work this weekend and I’m off for a few days. I hope nobody warns them.

Boss is looking to take on someone new. The trouble is she’s only offering 8 hours work a week at the moment. I know someone who might be interested and who might be more interested when they hear I plan to be out of there by the end of October. I don’t want another Christmas in that place, everyone else gets so stressed and I’m sick of being the comic relief that keeps them sane. I want to do Halloween though. I really want that to be my last night at work.

There is a house move on the cards. If I go out of town I can get a house with a garden for less rent than the flat. I have to check that the increased council tax won’t wipe out the difference and that I won’t get terminally snowed in for months at a time, but I’d like a garden. I’m getting sick of stairs.

Anyway, the main point (at long last) is that the summer holiday madness is over. I am back to having a few days off every week and back to cranking up Underdog Books into a going concern. I have been putting the stories into book format (it’s going to be a thick book!) and Roobee has been helping out with editing a novel.

This week I start sending out the edited versions in final format so you guys get to see what it looks like. If you’re happy, we sign a contract and I pay you and then it’s all systems go.

I had hoped to do a Halloween book but the work stuff pushed this one back so far it’s too late to try for that now.  The Christmas book is a definite though.

And the novels or short story collections or poems (that book is still building)…send them to the email in the contact page at the top of the screen.

A few days off. At last.

Here we go.



Islamic Reformation

It’s starting. It has to, or Islam is doomed. I have heard boasts of ‘There are two million of us in the UK and you are doomed. Resistance is futile.’

I respond with ‘Well there are about 68 million non-Muslims here too. Have fun trying’.

Now there is a movement within Islam to stop the indiscriminate killing. It is completely indiscriminate. It kills as many, probably more, Muslims as non-Muslims and it’s just getting sillier by the day. Islam is at last organising to stop it. It starts tomorrow (well okay, today).

British Muslims Convene for Jihad on Terror

His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the most prominent preacher of peaceful coexistence, is the Caliph of the largest organised Muslim community in the world

Some will call it taquiyya, a lie to pretend they aren’t trying to take over. Maybe. I say give them a chance. Let them try. Reform of Islam can only come from within. Maybe this lot really mean it.

Their aims…

•    What more can British Imams do to combat extremism and Jihadist ideology

Not much if the past is anything to go by. The catholic priests took a long time to (almost) silence the Inquisition and the Protestant priests took a long time to openly turn against the Witchfinders. But it did happen. It took time but it happened. Just needs persistence.

•    Is Islam incompatible with British values?

No, not really. Only when it tries to overturn British values does it become an issue. Leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone. That’s our way. How does it sound to you guys?

•    What is Islam’s true concept of Caliphate and can it co-exist with a western democracy?

I don’t know. That would be an ecumenical matter.

•    Does Jihad need to be redefined for the modern age

It already has been redefined, by the CIA in Afghanistan when they still had control of Bin Laden. Changing it back might be a good start.

•    How valid is the title “Islamic State” as used by ISIS/ Daesh?

Not at all valid. They are killing Muslims who don’t want their strict interpretation and enslaving and raping and forcing marriage on captives. ISIS have killed more Muslims than non-Muslims. In ridiculously horrible ways. It’s not an ‘Islamic state’. It’s not any state. It’s a gorefest and a torture frenzy the darker side of Hollywood is itching to make films about.

•    Why are extremists winning the media war?

Are they? They look like psycho dickheads in the media and that seems pretty accurate to me. They are getting more press because the press loves violence and controversy. Saying ‘Peace’ doesn’t get them headlines. That’s why I’m writing this post. Give some airspace to the peace guys.

•    What’s alienating young British Muslims, and why do some become easy prey for extremist ideology

Wrong question. It’s not young British Muslims mostly. It’s crazed nutters the terror squad have converted to Islam for the sole purpose of getting them to blow themselves up. Sure, there are Muslim kids going off to be killed in Syria but the real crazies were crazy before they signed up. They were targeted, easily suggestible, brought in and blown up. The expendables.

30,000 doesn’t sound much when you consider how many follow Islam but it’s a good start. I know it’s going to get responses of ‘they’re lying, they want to take over’ but that reminds me of the old American saying of ‘The only good Injun is a dead one’. Did they ever apologise for that? Something to keep the lefties occupied or a while.

I have never believed all Muslims want to take over. Most in the UK run businesses and just want to be left alone to get on with that. They want a good family life and nothing more. Just like everyone else.

So let them try. Maybe the Islamic reformation is under way at last. Let it happen.

It’s the right time for it, by their calendar.


Back to books

Tomorrow is my first day off since… well, I can’t remember. I’d have to look back in the calendar. I am definitely in line for some payback for all this extra work and I plan to concentrate on the anthology for a while.

I find it easiest to print the stories and edit them on paper rather than on screen. I say ‘edit’ but most need very little real editing. A typo here, a missed quotation mark there…

Mostly I am splitting long paragraphs into smaller ones. In print it doesn’t matter so much as long as the paragraph isn’t pages long. It’s more for the eBook version. People read eBooks on their phones now – I don’t know how they can stand to do it but they do – and a long paragraph equates to screen after screen of solid text. That gets really tiring to read.

Don’t tell Boss but I’ve been doing some of this at work. I was on 10-2 shift the last two weeks and 10-4 shift for Monday and Tuesday this week. I completed all the important jobs by 10:30 and was left with several hours of bugger all to do.

Oh I found a few things. Normally I would (and am supposed to) refuse to clean a fridge outside the fridge rota but today I was so desperate for something to do by 3 that I did one. I also dismantled the floor cleaning machine, cleaned up the bits and put it back together. It still works, okay it cleans ceilings now but it works.

I had printed out some of the stories so it would look as if I was doing paperwork when I edited them. Nobody questioned why a lowly janitor suddenly had so much paperwork to do. I looked as if I was doing something. Good enough.

The sudden onslaught of non-book work means I have to abandon plans for a Halloween collection. There won’t be time now. The Christmas one will go ahead and I’ll start looking for submissions around mid-September. That will have to close to submissions early/mid November because I have to have it on sale by early December. It’ll be tight but there won’t be summer holidays in the way. I’m not Tesco, so I won’t have the Christmas stuff out before December 1st, and certainly not before Halloween😉

I’ll print every story for editing. It’s so much easier and I can’t be distracted by the internet. Then I’ll incorporate the edits and send each author their section as it will appear in the finished book. As long as the author is happy, contracts and money change hands at that point. Yes, finally you get paid.

There is also a novel on the Underdog Books editing list but I have a young lady intern looking after that one. We haven’t agreed payment terms because I haven’t actually made any money from this yet but I think maybe a cut of sales would work. In the future I’d rather pay an editor a one-off payment but can’t do that yet. The ‘cut of sales’ would be permanent so let’s hope that one takes off big time.

Novels are different from short stories. With short stories I pay for one use of the story in one anthology. You can do whatever you like with it afterwards, sell it again, add it to your own collection, anything. I don’t own the story, you do. I just rented it for one book. I’d hope you’d refer to the book it was in before but seriously, I don’t have time or resources to chase you around the net. It’s ‘ask’ not ‘tell’ because you know I won’t do anything about it.

With novels, I’ll take the standard small press approach. The contract will give me exclusive publishing rights in print and eBook formats for a period of five years. If at the end of that period you want to go it alone or get involved with people who know what they’re doing, like Random House or Penguin, we don’t renew the contract and I can’t sell your book any more. Basically, it belongs to you throughout but I have a five year lease.

Film rights, TV rights, serial rights, spinoff toys and Easter eggs and pencil cases with demons on them… not interested. If anyone contacts me about any of those things I pass the message to the author and you talk directly to the interested party. I can’t mediate those things, I don’t know how and I’d end up in some kind of legal mess. So if someone wants to make a film of your story, I’m not involved at all and take no cut. It’s all yours.

Cover art – if you have something you want, tell me. Not for anthologies, those are left to my fevered imaginings. A single author book, whether story collection or novel, means the author gets to say what they want on the cover. If you have your own cover, brilliant. If not, I’ll make one or get one made.

If I provide a cover and you don’t renew a contract after the five years are up, you can’t use that cover any more. The words in the book are yours but the cover is still mine – or belongs to whoever made it. We can negotiate sale of the artwork or you can get a new cover, that’s up to you.

If it was your own cover then it’s still yours. All that will change is that it won’t say ‘Underdog Books’ any more and it’ll have a different ISBN number. Most likely, nobody in the world will notice either of those things.

Right, the madness of work has ended for now and the book stuff is back on line. Here we go.

Breaking the family

Many have been vociferous about the Communist ideal of destroying the family unit. Stewart in particular has often pointed this out as an openly stated aim of that group.

We have had children as thought police for some years now, reporting on their parents to their teachers. Little squealers telling teacher that their parents smoke, drink, argue sometimes, feed them on Pop Tarts and fizzy drinks, let them stay up late playing games they are too young to play…

At the same time, parents are encouraged to give in to the child’s every whim, not realising they are being set up to take the blame for doing what they were told to do. Disciplining children is seen as evil now. The result is a large number of feral, greasy little urchins destined to a life of belligerence, unpleasantness and adult acne.

Not all kids are like that. Some are still growing up into decent human beings but the proportion of spoiled and uncontrolled brats is still increasing.

In the old days, parents were the ones you looked up to and respected. Well, you were cautious of all adults because any one of them could give you a telling off if you were a brat. Parents though, were sacrosanct. The idea of squealing to teacher because Dad smoked while watching TV and drinking a beer… no, we didn’t even think twice about those things. As for Dad’s political views, nobody ever asked and we didn’t care.

But then we weren’t indoctrinated with antismoking, antidrinking and antiresting propaganda. We didn’t have Green nonsense pushed at us, we had gym class but we were not expected to follow a rigorous exercise regime, and what we ate was between us and our parents. That’s all changed now.

When I was small, any adult would come to a child’s aid if they fell or hurt themselves. Now? Adults are wary, especially men. So much as smile at a child and the parent is thinking ‘Paedo!’ Fortunately I am not the type to smile at children. Never have been. Growl, maybe, but never smile. Nasty, unhygienic messy little noise makers. You don’t have to worry about me molesting your child, but you might find it duct taped to a wall.

Back to the point. If I fell over when I was maybe three or four, an adult I didn’t know would pick me up, dust me off and send me on my way. If a child that age falls now, most adults walk by. It’s not just the parent/child link that is being broken. It’s the entire adult/child relationship. Children are being isolated from the adult world and taught, in that isolation, what their world will be. It’s for the children, you see?

All this in the name of a ‘collective’ society. Children are not the property of the parents, they are the property of everyone. That’s the public image of communism. The real intent is that children – and ultimately, in a generation or two, everyone – is the property of the State. Slavery is freedom. Orwell knew what he was talking about. He was deep into this stuff.

It hasn’t taken long. Now we have most students insisting the UK cannot survive outside the EU and going all out to make sure we stay in. They believe their future depends on it. They live on a little island that once controlled half the globe and they believe we can’t manage on our own? Oh I know we’re supposed to be ashamed of our past empire but that’s just silly. A tiny island that ran most of the planet with just a few administrators? A people so feared, so self-confident, that an old admin officer with a cane could chase away armed bandits? We should be ashamed of that? Really?

I’m not saying we should take over the world again. I doubt we could anyway. The rebel colonists in America still celebrate their independence from us (yeah, just rub it in, why don’t you?) and the criminals in Australia seem intent on turning their country back into the joyless prison it was when their ancestors first arrived. We don’t want that back, thanks.

Anyway, the children of today have been taught that taking over the world is something to be ashamed of. They will welcome the New World Order which will put an end to anyone taking over the world by… taking over the world. Don’t bother trying to explain this to them, they are doublethink experts.

How far has the family-breaking ideal progressed? It’s made a lot of progress even in the last ten or twenty years. Parents don’t trust any other adults and children are being taught to fear them. Adults are afraid to go anywhere near a child they don’t know because that will label them ‘paedo’.

Children are abducted, seemingly at random, in the name of ‘child protection’. Genuinely abused children are often left with their abusers while others are taken into care for being a bit on the fat side. Could be a bit of eugenics involved, a bit of ‘no, we don’t want that one’, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

A couple of generations and you’ll see children separated from their parents at birth and brought up in places where they are routinely abused and their spirits broken to the point where they will accept the State as their God. Humiliation at that level leaves a person open to any kind of comfort, no matter how pitiful. The State will save them, take them under its wing, enslave them and they will be grateful.

And they will gladly give their children to the State that looks after them so well.



Reticent as I am to be a member of any club that would invite someone like me to join, I (along with CynaraeStMary of course, since this is no longer a single author blog) am pleased to accept membership of a new blogging group.

It’s in its infancy but growing, I understand more bloggers are to be contacted imminently and asked to join.

I could go into a long and rambling explanation of what it’s all about but Bill Sticker already did that so there’s no point doing it again. Besides, I am on split shifts so have to go back to work soon.

Soon this insane workload will be over and I can concentrate on the anthology again. The science side is in discussions that don’t need me at the moment so at least that part of life is quiet.

Anyway, here’s what the badge looks like, or will, as soon as I can get it in the sidebar…

scriblerus border large

It’s been some time since the blog had a badge.

Seven thousand nothings

There are now seven thousand chemicals in tobacco, and the same number of chemicals in the smoke from a cigarette. The educationally challenged will believe this without question because they want to. They want to hate someone – anyone – and smokers are the easiest target today.

It’s how Hitler won Germany, by blaming it all on the Jews. How the Spanish Inquisition did so well, by blaming all evil on Protestants and Muslims. In the 1600s it was imaginary witches and these days it’s white man bad, everyone else good. Oh, and smokers are obviously stupid.

Obviously, because we question how 7000 chemicals can even be measured in the 0.6g of tobacco in the average cigarette.

We question how a little bit of dry leaf, which is mostly cellulose (made of glucose and not carcinogenic in any shape or form) can contain so many chemicals and all at detectable, never mind measurable levels.

Plant cell walls are made of cellulose which is a polymer of glucose. Dried, at least half of what you have there is cellulose so really we are talking about 7000 chemicals in 0.3 grams.

Okay, they probably include cellulose as a chemical so 6999 in 0.3 g, but we’ll round up to 7000 because they made the number up in the first place anyway. Ah, I remember when it was only 600.

And we’ll be generous and give them 0.5g of chemicals per fag because it makes the numbers easier, and no less ridiculous.

If antismokers had a brain between them they would realise that these deadly chemicals are present at 1/14000th of a gram per cigarette. Oh but wait – they don’t claim 7000 deadly chemicals. Just 7000 chemicals. Probably about the same number you’d find in lettuce or celery or… anything with a leaf on it.

Oh sure, you can take a kilo of tobacco and maybe find 7000 different chemicals (all of them naturally occurring because we are talking about leaves) if you include all the metabolic bits in there but almost all are harmless.

Oh and you won’t find road tar in there. That’s bitumen. From oil, not leaves. If you burn that and inhale the fumes you won’t get to your 20 a day today 😉

Yet smokers are stupid? You think that only 1/14000th of a gram of something that’s mostly harmless is deadly and you call me stupid?

Most of the material in a cigarette ends up as ash. The smoke is a tiny part of the total weight. It contains the magical 7000 chemicals too. We are talking micrograms now and still they want to divide it into 7000 undetectable little bits and claim it will kill you.

Death by homeopathy.

Comparatively, smoking in itself is far less dangerous than going outside to a busy street full of petrol and diesel fumes, and that is what the haters have made us do. So when we all get respiratory problems from the traffic fumes they can blame it on smoking and keep selling oil.

I’m not saying smoking is good for you. I don’t smoke to improve my health, I smoke because I enjoy it. I’ve been doing it for 35 years and have no ill effects. Is it as harmful as they claim? Hard to tell, when pretty much anything a smoker gets wrong with them is instantly blamed on smoking.

This wave of antismoking really took off big time with the introduction of NRT. You know, the patches and gum with the pitiful success rate that are pushed so hard by the antismoking crowd. They don’t like Electrofag because they get no back-handers from the Electrofag companies. Yet that has a much better success rate than the Pharmer drugs. Even I have a few that I use from time to time. They still don’t have tobacco flavour quite right although the menthol is pretty good.

Now they want a tax on Electrofags ‘to stop children buying them’ even though they are already not for sale to under 18s. Electrofags are already taxed. There’s VAT on them. What the Righteous want is a cut of the action, they want more money funneled their way so they can keep pushing their non-working methods that keep us all smoking and keep the gravy train on the rails.

If we all stop smoking, the antismokers are out of a job. They don’t want any successful cessation devices spoiling their easy ride.

Here’s a tip for the antismokers and the medics too. If you want people to listen to you, don’t make utterly farcical claims that anyone with half a brain can rip to shreds in a matter of moments.

When you get caught in a lie, people start to wonder if anything you say is true.