California – the maddest place on the planet.

There is a fantastic place in California. They deliver fried chicken, pizza, anything you want to eat… and they deliver alcohol and cigarettes too. Look along their top menu bar.

Apart from, perhaps, their vegetarian option, everything they sell will send the Bansturbators into apoplexy. Everything. And they deliver. Unfortunately not to Scotland.

I didn’t think you could buy tobacco as a takeaway delivery in the UK but it turns out Tesco do it. At horrible prices. I’m surprised every image isn’t just a picture of a little door. Apparently there is no danger of cheeeldren seeing these packs online because they are all too busy watching fisting videos (DO NOT look that up. I didn’t believe it when someone told me about it, many years ago, looked it up and the revolting images I found will be in my head until I die).

Also in California is the other extreme. Picked up via the #Octabber group on Farcebok is the news that a city in California is the first to ban smoking in all homes, including private residences.

Halfway up the west coast of Wales is the stair where I sit – wait, I’m channeling that damn frog again. Ahem.

Halfway up the west coast of Wales is a place called Aberystwyth. I went there for a job interview once. It is a very long way from anywhere at all other than the attractively named Borth, the next town. The only roads are really, really twisty and have that uppiness and downiness to the extreme. The Romans never saw this place, they gave up long before getting that far. It’s not possible to build more than five feet of straight road on that landscape.

There is a single track railway that crosses the estuary at Borth on an old wooden bridge that looks like this. Oh, it’s all very picturesquee but that bridge is very, very old and often closed for repairs. The only other way out is over the mountains by tractor or well-waxed racing sheep.

Nevertheless, it is a popular holiday destination even though the locals hate everyone to an extent that makes Royston Vasey seem like a left-wing multiculti paradise.

A little over a decade ago, the overwhelmingly leftie people of Aberystwyth (yes, they are all Labour or Plaid Cymru voters, all for immigration but not in their town) decided that nobody should be allowed to buy a house in Aberystwyth unless they had lived there for two years. They really did.

The result was predictable, to all but the dense and sinister Left.

House prices plummeted. Nobody could sell because the pool of buyers was so restricted. Only those in rented accomodation and had been renting for two years were able to buy. They were in rented accomodation because they couldn’t afford to buy. So they didn’t.

This particular insanity was almost instantly scrapped.

This will happen in California. If 20% of people there smoke (I don’t know the real figure, it might be lower since if I lived in California I’d have moved out long ago and many smokers probably have) then the market for buyers for any home that is not stand-alone just dropped by 20%. If you have a wall that joins on to next door, or an apartment, a smoker doesn’t want it. They will not be allowed to smoke in the home they have paid for.

You want to attract the next Einstein to your town? Oh dear, they won’t want to live there. All you will be left with are your antismoking drones and the hate-filled hand-wavers. Then Panoptica will be reality. Maybe I should give up on that one. California is just about there.

Californians still believe that tobacco smoke passes through solid walls while simultaneously believing that dope smoke does not –

The law will also not impact marijuana smokers, only tobacco users.

Just how much dope are they smoking over there?

If you smoke tobacco in California, put a bit of dope in it. Just enough to make it stink  of dope-smoke so the dopes think their walls will protect them from the magically transcendendent power of God’s True Leaf. Or, burn a dope-scented candle while smoking. Your opponents are not intelligent at all, don’t expect them to catch on. Oh and when you move away from California as all sensible people eventually will, leave them a note explaining why they are about to die.

In California, you can have tobacco delivered to your home but you can’t smoke it in there. You must believe that walls are permeable to only one type of smoke and that only one type of smoke will make you die. If your neighbour smokes a cigarette you must report them so they can be stoned to death but if they are spaced out on Mary the Iguana, standing naked on their balcony and reciting the entire Iliad in a voice that sounds like Donald Duck – don’t bother the police, that ‘s fine and legal.

When Dorothy said to Toto ‘I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more,’ I think I now know where they were.

20 thoughts on “California – the maddest place on the planet.

  1. Kim-Chee. The smokers there should all develop a taste for, and regularly cook, kimchi (var.spelling). I have never had the pleasure of experiencing it, but evidently it smells SOOOO bad to those not accustomed to it that the Russians spent millions of dollars trying to find a way to make it smell less bad so their Korean astronauts could have it on the space station!

    Alernatively, setting up nice little hippie-dippie altars to the various solstices etc and burning cow dung in them might be a nice reaction to a nosy neighbor.

    I hadn’t caught the note that the law exempted marijuana smoke earlier. Truly incredible. It’s a religion: God made mj so its smoke is “good.” Satan made tobacco so its smoke is “bad.” Sheeesh!



    • Ah, kimchi. How to lose friends and alienate the rest. A Korean friend introduced me to it a couple of years ago, wonderful stuff. But I only eat it when I know I can go hermit for a couple of days afterwards.


      • Saul Alinsky, Obama’s supposed “mentor,” is reviled by a lot of conservatives in the US, but he had some excellent thoughts on how those in a “powerless” political situation can gain power through unorthodox techniques. I’ve sometimes thought that smokers might do well to read his Rules For Radicals.

        Two examples that spring to mind:

        (1) Blacks were being excluded from some event down in a southern state, so Alinsky outlined a plan whereby all the black folks would gather for a humongous luncheon of pork ‘n beans and then go en masse to the uppity white folks pleasant concerts and stink ’em out. Dunno if he ever actually carried through on it though: I believe the simple image of all that farting during quiet lulls in the concert was enough to ge the policy changed.

        (2) Students at a religious college complained to him that they weren’t allowed to do ANYTHING at the their school: no drinkin’ no dancin’ no smokin’ no funz. Alinsky asked, “Well, what CAN you do?” and the response was that they were just barely allowed to chew gum! OK… so the plan became one of handing out thousands of gum sticks to all the students to chew and then “dispose of” on the general walkway area leading up to the main administration building. Supposedly the rules at the school were quickly liberalized.

        I think I’ve shared this before: a picture of what’s under the edges at those nice smoke-free bars:

        That’s not bright ‘n fresh either, despite how it looks. All absolutely rock-hard-n-been-there-for-quite-a-while stuff!

        – MJM


    • I saw the comment you left over there regarding building regulations. So in California, if the house next door catches fire, you can expect to be dead from smoke inhalation long before the fire gets to your house. The walls are so badly constructed that smoke can just seep right through them.

      They should stop those Californian builders smoking dope at work.


  2. We had two consecutive summer holidays in Borth as cheeeldren. As I remember, it consisted of one long street and the very large caravan park at one end. It was a nice park. Brynowen. Swimming pool, club, chip shop: the lot. When we returned home we got a new hamster and called it Owen.

    We had a few trips into Aberystwyth (naturally), where the only thing I can really remember is the funicular railway (naturally).

    Don’t remember the people being particularly unfriendly. Maybe because we were ‘fellow Celts’. The caravan site had a hall with pool tables and a table tennis table, but it wasn’t open most of the afternoon (I think it was owned by the chip shop people), so we cheekily asked if we could have the key to spend rainy afternoons in there and even though the boss woman was like an angry old dragon, she gave it to us, so had the games room all to ourselves.

    But yes, the roads are like a roller coaster. Not so good when you have an old Skoda. We just couldn’t reach the top of one or two of the steepest inclines on the first attempt, so had to reverse back down to the bottom and a bit further back and attack it at full speed, which for a Skoda is about the same as a ten year-old on a skateboard and we just made it the second or third time. Just as well or we could have ended up living there. We could have spent those two years waiting to buy a house stuck in the Skoda half way up a hill and out of petrol after numerous attempts at reaching the summit.

    As for that smoking ban. I had to check the date, but it says 21st, not 1st. The vote at the city council was unanimous. You’d think that even in California there’d be one politician with a brain. Or would you?

    P.S. To cap it all, we had an orange Skoda, because you really want to draw attention to yourself as old ladies on mopeds overtake you…


    • “The vote at the city council was unanimous. You’d think that even in California there’d be one politician with a brain. Or would you?”

      Nope. Not in Kookiefornia. Aside from massive antismoking money in the state having created an atmosphere where it’s safer to proclaim yourself a racist or an anti-semite than it is to admit being a smoker, and aside from the standard “Are you going to vote for Big Tobacco or for the lungs of the CCC (Captive Choking Children)?” you also had the “We can be the FIRST!” prod surely poked at them and the “It’s the Trend Of The Future!” Borgian sound bite that I’ve seen mouthed lately by conquered natives.

      Dunno if you can see it at all o’er the waves, but there’s a TV series on Netflix here titled “Portlandia.” Portland is in the state just north of California, Oregon, and Obama won over 75% of the vote there in 2012 (as compared to just 51% nationwide.) It’s supposedly the dream environment for the bicycling, peace-loving, tree-hugging, etc hippies of the 1970s who have now grown all up and taken over a city of their own. While the show exaggerates the stereotypes it may not be all that far off base in some ways: it’s definitely where my own little activist neighborhood of the 70s was heading thirty-odd years ago… a very … hmm… “scarily pleasant” place that I’m sure Leg could create a great horror story from!

      In any event, in a place like that, a unanimous vote for just about any antismoking measure wouldn’t be unexpected at all.

      – MJM


    • I lived in Aber for several years as a PhD student. Plant parasitology, FWIW. What the locals object to is extremely English people, which more or less equates to a southern English accent. Scottish, even broad Yorkshire is enough to get you off the shit-list, at least with the locals.

      Nothing on earth will get you off the shit list of the ultra politically correct Welsh Nationalist students there. Back when I was there, they had the Bi-Lingual Policy. This practically meant that if you put up a poster in English, there had to be a Welsh translation on it (but you could get away with sticking up a poster just in Welsh and nobody minded). They even took it to the extreme of having English to Welsh translators in student union meetings.

      For a time, I was part of a student society there, and we quickly discovered that the various student union rules were so onerous that it was easier not to use Union funding and simply raise money ourselves; the money we raised didn’t come with all the ridiculous strings attached.

      These days Google Translate will have utterly ruined that particular party. It’ll have put most of the text translators out of business, since on a website all one needs to do is to stick the page into Google Translate and a rather basic but functional translation will appear; this takes all the Leftie inconvenience and amusement out of the thing.


    • I remember visiting as a small child too. It seemed okay at the time but I recall my father complaining for years afterwards about the locals switching to Welsh in shops as soon as a stranger came in. We never went back.


    • Actually Aber does have quite a few things going for it. The pub crawls there are possibly the most epic I have ever seen, one notable one consisting of a pint to start, and one to finish and a half in every pub in between, all thirty six of ’em. Not speaking Welsh is not a problem in such cases, as by halfway you’re not going to be speaking any known language.

      A similar rule applies with another of the lesser-known exports of Aber: magic mushrooms. Psilocybe semilanceolata grows especially well in those coastal regions, as the sheep pastures seem to really suit it. Unfortunately for them, the sort of folks who really like shrooms are also the sort who consider attire found in a hedge bottom, a rusting bus converted into a hovel and the standard scabby mongrel onna string as being a disguise that will fit in nicely with a mostly farming community.

      Generally speaking, such types get to spend but a day in the hallucinogenic climes of Mid Wales, before being escorted out of town by Dyfed-Powys police all the way up north past Machynlleth and over the Tywy Bridge, where their north Wales colleagues would take over and escort the loons back to England.

      As you can see, Aber does exert an almost magical attraction on those who study there; the pity is that there are very few jobs in the area, or most people who’ve visited would stay and the hell with the bloody rat-race of a life elsewhere.


  3. Being from the place it has more than its share of emotional train wrecks, in fact most of them run the state politically. However, those sane of us left here tend to ignore all rules set by them, (I don’t even use the seat belt) and for the most part run free and get away with it all. And your average liquor store here in San Diego will deliver smokes, drinks, pizza, and probably a little blue dwarf with a cunt growing out of the top of his head, if you are willing to part with the coin to have it brought home.


  4. Ban smoking in private homes ? Flip me, can the state extend its tentacles into private property now ? Oh. smoking in cars, private clubs, yes they can. Private homes with children next for us, then private homes. Is smoking dope OK ? Really ? Are all hippies dumb ? Oh. They are. Always were, the selfish gets.


  5. …that crosses the estuary at Borth on an old wooden bridge…

    That reminded me of the old wooden bridge in Gundagai, NSW. When I was first doing the Melbourne – Sydney run, we still had to use that bridge, which was a real pain, because it was quite a long bridge, and only one truck at a time from each end could cross, so you’d have to queue up to go over. As you met the truck coming the other way, you could feel the whole structure swaying with the weight of 2 x 38 Tonne trucks (I used to drive a K125 like this one) approaching each other. There was barely the width to pass, too. With your nearside wheels rubbing on the timber at the side, your wing mirrors would touch as you passed each other. The concrete bridge which replaced it was much more efficient, but lacked the character of the old one.


    • “The concrete bridge which replaced it was much more efficient, but lacked the character of the old one.”

      Nisaki, there are few things in life that it is worth sacrificing “character” for, but I think you’ve outlined one of them.



    • I have a kit in the ‘waiting’ pile of a 1/25th scale K100 Aerodyne. That won’t be touched until some of the current projects are finished. I was smart enough to lay in a stock of kits when I had money – the prices have almost doubled now! In desperate times, I can sell them on eNBay at a profit.

      The bridge at Borth is currently concrete most of the way out from either bank but wooden in the middle. It’s that middle bit that causes the problems. I remember hearing a very good reason why it couldn’t all just be concrete (I think that part of the estuary bed might move) but can’t recall the details now.


      • Ah, the K100 Aerodyne! I lusted after one of those when I was driving, but they were only available in USA in those days. Kenworth actually manufactured their trucks in Australia rather than import them from the USA, and there was even a model, the Kenworth SAR, which was designed specifically for the Australian market. It was a conventional cab, but with a somewhat truncated snout to conform with the length limits which pertained in Australia at the time.

        Kenworth trucks were pretty innovative at the time. To my knowledge, they were the only manufacturer to use torsion bar suspension, and their cabs were aluminium skinned, both of which offered considerable weight savings. As with many makes of truck at that time, you could specify what make of engine you wanted (Detroit diesel, Cummings, Caterpillar) and what brand transmission, so they were infinitely customisable. The one I drove had a Detroit Diesel (about 14 litre, I think) V8, which was interesting in that it was a two-stroke diesel with both supercharger and tubocharger, coupled to a Fuller-Eaton 13 speed overdrive gearbox and high-speed diffs. Although only 350 bhp (big for those days but small by today’s 500+ bhp standards), it used to go like shit off a stick. I’d broken into the governer (a sealed unit) and increased the governed revs from 2250 to 2400, and it could get up to 93 mph (150 kph) on the flat, fully loaded (ie 20 ton payload on the trailer). It was a beast, and I loved it. That was when I was in my 20s, and I thought I was immortal.


        • Most of these kits are made left hand drive – although there are Australian trucks available as RHD. I once remodelled a dashboard in an older DAF to make it RHD but modern dashboards look like something out of a starship. It’s not just a matter of moving the instrument cluster and steering wheel any more.

          One day I’ll get a 3d scanner and printer setup, scan the dashboards from those kits and 3D-print them as mirror images. There’s likely to be an enormous market in the UK for RHD dashboards in 1/24 and 1/25 scale. Maybe someone already has the expertise and the equipment to do it. If so, I know quite a few folk who’d be interested.


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