Drawing on the rigging, and other stories.

A mixed bag tonight. There will be random subject changes, sometimes without warning. All sorts of things in the news presented themselves for both rage and wonder, so here’s a bit of rage to start off with.

On the radio at work (I think it was tuned to Northsound) there was a pitiful horrible bastard child whining about the deadly second hand smoke that you cannot see or smell, but which spends five hours wandering through every room in your house after every cigarette. Presumably it then hides under children’s beds until they fall asleep, only to emerge in the dead of night and break their toys.

Okay, drones. You believe in the existence of a terrifying thing that is totally undetectable? I can go along with that. Let the games commence. You will never know when you are breathing in tobacco smoke. It can travel upwind and across continents (heck, if they believe it can pass through solid walls, they’ll believe anything). It accumulates into vast invisible clouds with no smell and these clouds stay at ground level forever. These clouds can be five miles wide – and you might be right in the middle of one now. You will not know until you get The Lumps.

This is what you believe, antismokers. This is the stuff that makes Scientology look mainstream. If you can be convinced that second hand smoke is invisible and odourless then you are doomed to an existence of permanent terror, a Hell to make Satan clasp his hands in admiration at the simplicty and cheapness of it all. No flames, no pitchforks, nothing real at all. Just the permanent fear that the invisible and odourless demon might be all around you at any moment. Get out of that. Oh, but you can’t – maybe you’re not in a SHS cloud right now but think you are, so you move over there – but maybe that’s where the cloud is!

Best stay home but then there are smokers outside and the Doom Cloud can pass through solid walls and closed windows. Basically, you are fucked. Ha ha ha.

There can be no escape when you can’t see what you’re running from. You might just run straight into it. Straight into the welcoming arms of Death.

Speaking of running, just what is the ‘Run for Life’ rubbish all about? You cannot outrun cancer. You cannot threaten it or reason with it. It is made of you. You can avoid Salmonella or Listeria or Scrumpox or Llandudno Neck or Taiwanese willy rot by being careful not to get infected. Cancer arises within you. There are a lot of different causes (the invisible Doom Clouds are only one thing to fear in this delightfully fresh Hell) including genetic defects you didn’t know you had – and sometimes it just happens. Nature is like that. Random and sometimes vindictive. For the lulz.

There is a simple way to determine whether you are likely to have been born with a genetic defect. Do you believe in the existence of smoke that is invisible and odourless? If the answer is yes, then you are seriously defective and should pester your doctor daily until he kills you in a fit of exasperated rage. There is no other cure.

(calm interlude)

I still have my grandfather’s watch chain. Solid silver, hallmarked on every link. I have never considered selling it no matter how desperate things have been. He wore it in the first World War when, as he often said, he died fighting so little swines like my brother and I could go around shouting and fighting and generally being a pain in the arse. A shouted ‘I died in the war for sods like you’ could shut us up in an instant. Confusion is a powerful weapon.

I have no idea how old the actual chain is. He had attached a few coins to it, the French one and the Arabic one (I have no idea which country) are probably from places he was fighting in. The American dime is likely to be a trade from an American soldier he fought alongside. Unless he switched sides, but if he did he didn’t say. I doubt it. He was not impressed with Uncle Herbie’s Hells Angel gear. I have some of his old badges too, one of which is an SS cap badge.

The American coin on that chain is dated 1916 so two years from now, the chain will be a minimum of 100 years old. I will have a party for it. Maybe Mrs. Queen could be induced to send it a telegram. Is that a stunt I could pull off? It has to be worth a try. It’ll be easier if Dopey is on the throne by then, but then again it’s hardly worth tricking Dopey. Fish in a barrel. No, Mrs. Queen is a wily one and she has Cynical Phil on her team. Tricking those two would be a real challenge.

(/calm interlude)

Again via #Octabber on Farcebok – another smoker for Frank’s smoker’s graveyard. This old man was hammered by the antismokers for no real reason at all until his health finally failed him. He will be classed as a ‘premature death due to smoking’. He was taken from us at the tender age of 90. How much longer would he have lived if not for petty, spiteful and (as his own case demonstrates) nonsensical claims that smokers die young?

Meanwhile, the drones are still breathing in that odourless, invisible death. I hope the bastards choke on it. And I hope their cheeldren wake up screaming every night because of something that isn’t even real. Most children do at some point but this time, their drone parents can’t tell them it’s not real because they are stupid enough to believe in it too.

I have converted another at work to pure leaf. This one doesn’t want to buy it so I have given them seeds. A bit late to get flowers but they’ll get leaf. I almost converted one of the bakers to pure leaf but she was only on one or two a day, then she got a bun in the oven so stopped altogether. I am not going to even try to tell her about my chain smoking auntie whose sons are all strapping huge lads. I am not going to prevent her stopping smoking because I know she lost one in the past, and every precaution should be taken.

In fact I will never try to convince anyone who wants to stop smoking to carry on. Smoking is a choice and should remain so. If you smoke but don’t want to do it, don’t do it any more. If you smoke, become pregnant, and believe all the stuff about smoking turning your baby into a kipper, then stop smoking. The stress of worrying about it will do more harm than the smoking. Stop, and lose the stress.

I have rarely bought food from a Subway shop. We do have one locally but I am rarely looking for food while they are open. My hours are odd, and more suited to the curry houses. Which is okay. I really like curry.

Now it seems that Subway are taking bacon off the menu and having Halal-only shops. This is likely to wipe them out as fast as the pubs that embraced ‘no-smoking’ before the smoking ban.

They claim that their Halal meat comes from animals that are stunned before slaughter. This is a prime example of the stupidity of those suited monkeys who consider themselves intelligent. If the animal is not fully conscious when killed then it is not Halal. If it could be stunned before slaughter and still be Halal then there would never have been a problem. Subway is thus evidently run by morons. Do you want to eat food prepared by morons? You can if you like. Speaking as an intestinal microbiologist with 30 years of experience, I am not touching any of it.

I don’t care about Halal but I do like bacon. If I am hungry mid-day, a bacon roll is my preference. So if Subway don’t sell bacon I will go elsewhere – no problem for me, no problem for them. Their business, their choice. My favourite curry shop will not sell me a bacon sandwich either. I do not expect them to. I have another source of readymade bacon sandwiches and it will never be Subway.  Since they now sell no bacon, have never sold curries and are evidently run by idiots, I see no reason to trouble them at all.

Finally, the point of the title.

A Thing has been invented,  a wonderful Thing with endless possibilities for small scale model makers. Imagine fitting the rigging onto a 1/600th scale ship just by drawing it with a pen. In the air. Yes, from September this year, it will be possible. It’s expensive now and will remain so until after Christmas but then I bet the price will drop.

Sometime, even today, science still manages to do something actually useful. What a pity it is more and more the commercial side, and less and less the old ‘blue (now grey) sky’ science that comes up with innovation.

The future is like the past. Real science, real invention, will depend on private money. And maybe that’s not a bad thing at all.

If you are spending your money on your idea, you’ll be a damn sight more frugal than if you were spending mine.

I wonder how much of her own money the Dreadful Arnott has ploughed into the cause she so believes in? My bet is … none.

What’s your bet?

32 thoughts on “Drawing on the rigging, and other stories.

      • Besides, if you’re ever short of ashtrays I have a myriad of old airgun pellet tins. Lead-contaminated so I can’t really use them for foodstuffs or anything like that, but they’ll do for ashtrays. Give me a shout if you want ’em.


        • Old tins of that sort are ideal for those odd screws and bolts you end up with when B&Q and their like sell you a pack of ten when you wanted four.

          I might have some old airgun pellet tins around the place myself, although mnost of my odd bolts are in old tobacco tins. They still sell pipe baccy in tins, though not rolling baccy any more.


  1. He will be classed as a ‘premature death due to smoking’. He was taken from us at the tender age of 90.

    Once whilst I was working the cigarette rack in a small-town grocery store, a tiny little old lady took a carton of Camels from the rack. I, laughingly and with a gentle smile, teased her, “Geez, Ma’am, don’t you know that those are going to kill you?”

    She was old, but not so old as to ignore a smiling young man. “Sonny, my doctor told me that for over fifty years, but we buried him last year so he doesn’t bother me about it anymore.”

    I gave her a coupon for $5 off the carton.

    BTW, that drawing pen sounds pretty cool, but I’m more likely to use the new pen that draws an electric path. I can’t solder worth a flip.


      • I linked to that exact page before as the variety also requires nothing more than hanging for a year or so to be smokeable. Only problem is that it is a ‘caporal’ tasting tobacco I believe and that would not appeal to most Brits. It is the main ingredient in the infamous filterless German “Roth Haendle” (AKA ‘lung torpedo’) cigarettes -the German equivalent to Gauloises Mais but without the Mais… before they got all nancy-ifcated.


        • Might be okay blended with some mild Virginia. I find the Burley far too strong on its own – a bit like those rollies of thirty years ago, made with pipe tobacco…


  2. “If it could be stunned before slaughter and still be Halal then there would never have been a problem.”

    There would for me and a lot of folk who don’t want the animal’s throat slit while facing Mecca and gobbledygook spouted in Arabic.

    Re. the pens. Can you buy them in a marker thickness? That’d be handier, though not the wedge-shaped ones then you’d have problems keeping the same thickness.

    But one day (I expect) there will be a gadget I just have to own.


    • Actually, all the Halal slaughter thing says is “The animal must be healthy before it is killed, and when you kill it you must use a razor-sharp knife so as to kill it as quickly as possible”. There’s also a load of guff about talking to a skyfairy at the same time, but that’s the gist of it: what you kill has to be healthy when you do so.

      So, all you do is present the god-botherers with a fait accomplis. You simply say “As a part of slaughter, you have to pre-stun all animals then you can slit throats and pray and whatnot. This is not negotiable, nor will we let you import meat not slaughtered this way”.

      That’ll be the end of it; all the god-botherers have to do is agree that yes, the animal is healthy before slaughter and that the pre-stun is part of the killing process. That is all the law need prescribe, if they want to mutter over each slaughtered animal, then so be it. You could even write that into law, so they have to do that for pigs as well…


    • Personally, I don’t care if they recite Caliban’s lines from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ over each animal or do what they do in Glasgow – ‘See you pal, you’re bacon, so y’are’.

      That part is irrelevant. Since you don’t believe in Allah either, it shouldn’t matter to you any more than if they read out their list for Santa over every scrumptious corpse.

      All that matters is that the animal is killed as painlessly as possible. I like to eat meat but I see no reason to torture it to death. Bam-dead-bacon slicer. Next.


  3. There’s a Kentucky Fried Chicken not far from me. They have huge banners up saying all their chicken is halal. When I’m working in London I sometimes use Subway. I’ll not be back to either of them. They’ve been honest unlike some food retailers.

    Why doesn’t the RSPCA take halal slaghterers to court? They are breaking the law?

    I buy curries too. I know what I’m getting. I’m visiting someone else’s culture and I go along with it.


    • Likewise on the curries. I know it’s all Halal meat before I even cross the threshold, I know they won’t have any pork in there and no chance at all of a bacon sandwich. That’s no problem.

      If I go to an ostensibly British sandwich shop, it’s usually because I’m looking for a bacon roll. Or maybe ham and cheese. If they have the same range of meats as the curry shop then I might as well just go for a curry.

      Subway can decide their business practices for themselves, that’s fine, but if they don’t sell the sandwich I want to buy then they won’t sell me anything at all.


  4. In NZ when the middle east opened up as a market for Mutton and Lamb the need for correct slaughter cam up. Solution
    All meatworks hired Iranians as slaughter men so it is all done that way. No need to sort different piles for different markets. Possibly they may not have told Israel but not a large buyer. Very large volumes now going to China after mother England abandoned us for the EU..


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