Friends make you die

Pubs are wrecked, all other meetingplaces are wrecked, the smokng ban saw to that. And yet smokers are only 20-odd percent of the population.

How, then, to destroy the social lives of the nonsmokers? Many of them are nondrinkers too since those vices go so well together.

Well, how about telling them that having friends will make them die sooner?

You will all believe yourselves individuals in the future. Every one of you unique and free while in reality you will be all the same and owned. Those who now apologise for 200-years-ago slavery intend to make you all slaves tomorrow.

You will not dare to have friends. Friends will be the new smoking.

It has already started.



(short posts this month – three projects on the go!)

The false-hope tax

I don’t play the lottery. I don’t gamble at all… well, other than when I say or do something I might get stabbed for… but I never gamble with money.

This is nothing to do with religion nor the famed Scottish parsimony. I don’t gamble for one simple reason. I am no damn good at it. I never win. I can’t win a 50/50 gamble and have no chance at a 14 million to one shot. So I do not play the lottery.

It surprises me that so many people do and it surprises me more that, on average, the Brits spend £416 a year on it. I spend nothing on it and can’t immediately think of anyone who does. Therefore some people are spending what could amount to a fortune in the hope of winning a fortune. Which, when you think about it, makes no sense.

You know, if you just kept the money in a jar, you’d be better off.

The lottery funds all kind of pointless crap we’d all be better off without, using money we’d all be better off with. Why give it to them? Sure, you might one day win that million-pound jackpot but chances are, you won’t.

Even if you do, look at the horror stories of those who did. Hounded by dodgy investors and begging letters, their lives ruined and now destitute. You really want to win that? Really?

The lottery is pointless. If you want to gamble for a chance at riches, go for premium bonds. At least you can get your money back if you get fed up of trying.

The article in the link talks of the alternative returns on the average lottery spend. Mine is zero and so are many, many others. Which means that many are way above the average.

If that’s you, go for a savings account. If you are losing that much money every month on a false hope tax, imagine how much better off you’d be in an interest-paying savings account.

Or you could just spend it on booze. You’ll still be skint but you won’t care.

Works for me.

The mystery model’s Frankenstinian origin and also chairs

I made this a long time ago –

Actros1It’s a Mercedes Actros in 1/24 scale. It came out okay but I was never really happy with it. Too ‘red’, maybe. Anyway, I have decided to scrap it for the new mystery model for Lesia. It will save a lot of time if I use the chassis from this one as a basis. What goes on that chassis… ohohoho.

When I moved it off the shelf I discovered that during its time there, one front wheel has disengaged. The steering parts have also disengaged. Anyway, after removing what I won’t need it looks like this –

ActroschassisFixing the wheel will be easy enough and I’ll replace the flimsy plastic steering parts with brass. However, I will have to shorten the chassis a lot so I’ll need a smaller fuel tank (no problem), lose the tool box and spare wheel and might have to replace the Mercedes exhaust muffler with something smaller too. If I can keep that, I will, because having a Mecedes badge under what I plan to put on top will be so horrifying that Mercedes will probably put a contract out on me.

The cab unit won’t go to waste. I have friends who are seriously into modifying these model trucks and they can make good use of any spares.

The back wheel arches and fifth wheel will go into my own spares box. As will cut-out chassis sections. I can use those to lengthen a chassis another day.

The chairs are also making progress. If I had listened to my one remaining sensible brain cell, I’d just have bought stripwood but instead I have been saying bad words and damaging my limited supply of fingers while shaving down plumsticks. So many side shoots… I think it will be worth it though. If I cut them just right I’ll have naturally-angled chair backs instead of straight chairs. The gold-plated pins I have will make them feel almost worth something.

The bigger branches… I’m hoping I can do the chairs in time to make a table, a pack of cards and an ashtray. Pack of cards.. colour printer, thin paper and a paper-guillotine. Ashtray will have to be hand-carved because I don’t have a lathe, but I only have to make one.

I do have an empty Isle of Jura miniature here somewhere, just to complete the decadent rat scene…

Experimenting on myself

It’s what all good mad scientists do. There was that nice Dr. Jekyll, he did it, and I’m sure it turned out well. I’ll have to read his story again one day. It’s been a long time.

I intended to try the stored baccy after one month. It’s now five weeks. Whoops. No matter, the longer the better, really.

The leaves in cardboard were a bit overdry, but quickly rehydrated with kettle steam. The vac-packed ones (with a cotton wool pad of whisky) seem fine, the frozen vac-packed were a bit easy to snap when frozen but OK when thawed.

I shredded some of each and tried them. They all smoke pretty much the same so far. The whisky flavour is obvious when the pack is opened but hasn’t (yet) seeped into the leaves. No surprise, I didn’t expect much of a difference after just a month. I’m pleased to note there was no sign of mould on any of them. The experiment continues.

The professionally vac-packed sample from TL4U still looks and feels perfect. No mould, no drying, no change at all. I’ll continue to observe it but won’t open it yet.

So far then, it looks like vac-packed is the ideal way. I suspect Rose’s cardboard storage will work as long as the humidity/temperature of your store room is within the right range. Mine isn’t, they dried too much, but it works for Rose so it’s worth a try.

My second experiment doesn’t involve whisky. In fact it involves me drinking rather a lot less of it. I have three big projects running and New Guy isn’t quite ready to take over my long shifts yet. Therefore I have to get up earlier (deep breaths)… I can do this!

Not every day, naturally. Let’s not get silly about it. The night before a day off remains a whisky night but I will be on limited to zero whisky the rest of the time. Also limited espresso. These projects require focused eyes, a clear head and steady fingers.

The blog might become a little more sober for a while. On the plus side, this should mean fewer typos. However, the things that trigger rages are still out there so it won’t descend to sanity.

Tonight, I have no whisky.

I have a three litre box of wine instead. That should be enough.

Model building time

Another day off today. That’s two this year and in consecutive weeks! I’ll soon be expecting one every week.

So I went in search of something suitably Easterish to corrupt. Found nothing at all. Not a single damn thing. Okay then, I need a project to help Lesia and it might not be Easter themed but has to be done before Easter.

You will not believe what I found in the model shop. I had to look three times. Someone made a plastic model kit of that? Why? Why would any model shop stock this thing? Anyway, it was dusty and cheap and wonderfully funny so I bought it.

I’m not going to say what it is. I’ll post progress pics and see who can guess. It will, of course, be a smoky model.

Then there are the little chairs for the Thai knitted rats. I had started to prepare the wood in the garage the last time Spring started up but then Winter brushed Spring aside and had another go. A really really cold go this time. It’s warmed up again now but I am taking no chances. All model building is now indoors until the Oak King finally shuts the Holly King down. And that doesn’t happen until the equinox.

It took a while but I was pleased to have managed to clear model space in my little office. The worktop in here is ‘kitchen surplus’ and already old, and I have new kitchen surplus in the garage. Actually, I need more space for the tools than the models but even so, for the little things I’m making now, a small space is enough. Here is a carefully trimmed pic of the tidy bit in my office. One day it will all be tidy, but it is not this day.

minishopDamn, I should have straightened that picture before taking this. It’s straight now. Ish.

All I have to do is swivel my chair around between computer and model construction area (yes, the office is tiny) and there need be no interruptions between blog, Twitter, Panoptica and models. Perfect.

All I need do now is persuade Boss to let New Guy take some of my long shifts, and it will all become easy.

It’s worse than that, he’s dead, Jim.

It really hurts to have to say anything bad about Spock. I grew up with Star Trek and marvelled at how, no matter which planet they visited, they always sought out an identical spot to beam down to.

Kirk shagging his way through the universe, Bones and his ‘Dammit, I’m a doctor, not a [insert alternative profession]’. My favourite will always be the time Bones was asked to help a silicon-based life form that seemed to be made of rock. ‘Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer.’

There was Scotty, the engineer charged with looking after Starfleet’s most appalling rustbucket. The engines broke every week but he always managed to patch it back together. Sometimes I still wonder if their ‘five year mission’ was really a means of getting this band of idiots out of Starfleet’s way.

‘Which ship shall we give them?’

‘Just grab one from the condemned pile and give it a coat of paint. With any luck they won’t make it back’.

What growing teen could forget Uhura’s almost-a-skirt? Every time she swivelled that chair the entire male teen population leaned forward. Almost… Maybe next time.

Spock was the top of the list though. Logical, implacable, impervious to just about everything and he had mind-meld and the Vulcan neck pinch too. Where Kirk was squaring up for a fight, Spock just casually put his hand on the enemy’s shoulder and down they went.

Leonard Nimoy’s characterisation of Spock was always the best part of that show. It was sad to hear of his passing. And yet… and yet… I have to take issue with some of his pronouncements.

He was diagnosed with COPD thirty years after he gave up smoking. Thirty years. He firmly believed that his smoking caused the disease.

Well maybe it did. I never met him nor his doctors, but my bet is that it was the medical world who drummed that into him. ‘You have a smoking related disease because you last smoked thirty years ago’.

COPD could be caused by many things in the air now. Those 2000+ nuclear explosions might just be involved. All the fuel burned by all the road, sea and air traffic could have some part to play. All of these increased during the 30 years between Spock’s last cigarette and his diagnosis. The one thing that decreased – to zero – was his tobacco consumption.

To ignore the rising air pollution and blame a diagnosis on something that last affected your life 30 years ago… sorry, Spock, I’m going to have to say it.

It is llogical.

RIP anyway, Mr. Nimoy, and I hope you get your pointy ears and tricorder back in the afterlife. It would be only fair and just.

Religion and the Tobacco Template

Fear not, God-fearers, I am not about to blame you for the persecution of smokers, drinkers, those with unapproved body shapes nor indeed anything else. I know the tobacco template had nothing to do with religion. It was the Righteous who did all that and their only religion is control.

No, I come not to blame but to warn. Yes, this miserable(?) sinner is to alert you to the dragon coming your way.

Where did you lot get the idea that sinners were miserable anyway? If it made us miserable we wouldn’t do it. Didn’t you ever think of that? I’m currently at the stage where I won’t be legal to drive for a week and have a little fire smouldering in my face. I’m not Pat Condell, I don’t ‘deny the holy spirit’. I’m drinking a bottle of what I consider to be holy spirit right now. In a sense, I’m worse than him. I don’t care about the holy spirit at all.

Okay. By now those who wouldn’t have listened anyway have clicked away from this page and probably unfollowed me on Twitter too. Good. No point talking to those who don’t want to listen. To the one who’s left, hear this.

This is not about linking the tobacco control template to religion. This is about the imminent application of that template to religion.

Yes, you heard right. Look around you. How much news coverage does the charity work of any religion get? Zilch. How much coverage do the extremists of any religion get? All of it. Lately the news is full of ‘Jihadi John’ and his British life. Who the hell cares where he comes from? Shoot the bastard and be done with it. I don’t even care what religion he is – he’s a serial killer, incurable, wipe him out.

But let’s chill a moment. Calm down, relax, drink and smoke awhile.

Then look again. Politicians say that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam when it clearly is all about Islam. Even other Islamic countries recognise that and want this super-extreme band of maniacs wiped out. Even Saudi Arabia, one of the strictest Muslim countries, don’t want ISIS around. Yet they do recognise that it is based on a combination of an extreme interpretation of Islam and the desire to be as viciously deranged as subhumanly possible. Saudi is building a wall to keep these buggers out. It’s true that Saudi metes out the same barbaric punishments but at least in Saudi, you get a trial first. You also have to go to Saudi to be subject to their laws. They don’t seek to apply their laws to you.

For the Righteous (who follow no god but themselves), ISIS serve a purpose. They make Islam as a whole appear utterly insane. More – they make religion appear utterly insane. All forms of religion. Even Christianity. I mean, come on, have you met Church of England types? You know they hate you when they give you weak tea. Compare the press coverage for the one-family loons of the Westboro Baptist Church with the press coverage of any other church anywhere. Remember too, every other church has far more members.

It all makes religion look like a bad thing. Like smoking is a bad thing. Drinking is a bad thing. Not fitting the Standard British Human body shape is a bad thing. It’s how they all started.

I have no religion. None. I am an apathist. There might or might not be a God or gods, I don’t care. I also don’t care if someone believes absolutely in their own personal God. It does not affect me one bit. I regard second-hand religion in the same way I regard second-hand smoke. Bunk.

Okay, if you’re the wrong religion in certain (mostly Muslim, let’s not sugar-coat it) countries, then second hand religion can kill you in a way that second hand smoke won’t. But that is all part of the plan.

Second hand smoke, second hand drinking, second hand obesity, these have all been promoted as real things and now second hand religion is a phrase waiting to be coined – but not yet. Not just yet. This year, you’ll hear it, I bet.

The stirring up of anti-religion is at its peak. It’s time to ban advertising of religion. Follow the template.

When I was small, my favourite and best-cherished toy car was a JPS black racing car. Covered in smoking ads. If I still had it, it would probably be worth a bit of cash now. Smoking advertising was banned except for racing, until that loophole was plugged.

I can’t remember if I sold my N gauge whisky grain wagons during my desperate times. I’d have to root through the still-substantial collection to be sure. I definitely took photos so they can be remade. I also once had an OO-gauge Guinness tank wagon. I bought it as a child. Bet they can’t now.

Plain packaging for cigs is on the way, then for booze and then for food and eventually for religion. It’s some time in the future for religion but it is coming. One World Religion, as some have said, and it will not be Islam. It will not be Christianity. It will not be Sikh or Buddhist or Jain or Pagan or any religion you can name now.

I think I might have happened upon the name of it but it will be otherwise, and more correctly, known as Control. That is what they want. It’s not about money, that hasn’t been a real thing for a long time. What they want is control. Total control.

The template starts here, religion. All religions. Believing in God makes you think you are safe and that is dangerous.

Within six months or less – belief in any God costs the NHS money.

Scoff at the prospect all you want. Smokers did, once…