Vagueness and Precision

Could have been a Blue Oystercult song, it even fits the rhythm.

Vagueness.

Her Madness’s Ripoff Collective (HMRC) have decided you have to apply for permission to buy leaves. This is not one of my wind-ups of Generation Gullible. It’s madder than that. This is really true.

However, they have not bothered with any of the mechanism of actually applying for permission. You need permission but there is no way to get it. So whether you want tobacco for smoking, snuff, pot-pourri, compost (it’s insecticidal) or to extract vape juice, you need to fill out a form that doesn’t exist to get permission to buy some leaves.

There is always the antismoker scare that nicotine is an insecticide and therefore poison. Just like a big bar of chocolate can kill a Rottweiler. Chocolate is deadly too, if you’re the right species. I don’t know about you but I only have the four limbs and no chitin exoskeleton, nor do I have hair all over nor any inclination to roll in something shitty.

So chocolate won’t kill me and neither will nicotine. If you’re scared of nicotine then logic dictates that you are an insect. For many antismokers that’s probably accurate.

Still, HMRC seem to have forgotten something. I live about 20 miles north of Aberdeen and I can grow tobacco outdoors. Make import impossible and well, I now have a hell of a lot of garden… Could be a good thing for me, and those like me, if importing is banned.

Even better for a nonsmoker with a big garden. They won’t keep back half for themselves 😉

It’s currently legal to grow it in the UK.

Oh they can make it illegal if they want. Cannabis growing is illegal and cannabis is an easily identifiable plant (except to those police who once confiscated tomato plants). Tobacco looks like a big flower. Nobody will notice even if it’s beside the road.

I am also now perfectly placed to push my ‘wild growing tobacco’ idea from a few years back.

Vague laws on tobacco. Yeah, keep it that way. We’ll play the vague game and we’ll win it.

Precision.

In the work-long-in-progress, Panoptica, I have had difficulty keeping ahead of the real dystopia that looms around us. In the story, implanted chips are everything. Your door key, your credit card, your medical record… and more.

The cards you can just wave to buy stuff already exist.  The terror of lost or stolen cards will soon get them implanted. If you lose your house keys, what do you do? Wouldn’t it be so much safer if you just wave your hand in front of the door?

Selling this stuff to the public – come on. They will fight to be first.

The reality of Panoptica would be so, so easy to implement. That’s what puts me off finishing it. The dopes in charge already think 1984 and Brave New World are instruction manuals. What they will do with this one doesn’t bear thinking about.

Longrider tells us of the monitor cards some employees are required to carry. What if they lose their card or it gets picked up by a cat or dog or pigeon? Implants are obviously the way to go.

The Borg are coming. Don’t be scared of being assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Resistance? There will be no resistance. Only insistence. You will not fight the Borg. You will fight each other in the race to be first.

You are the Borg. Not because they forcibly assimilated you.

Because you wanted to be.

Some of us will always refuse to join. You, drones, will never understand why.

The Pan Generation

It was a fast transition to the children who never grow up.

In the 80’s we had winters where it snowed so much I couldn’t find my car. It was just one of the white mounds in the street. Yet traffic kept moving, transport was barely affected. We never heard about ‘the wrong kind of leaves on the line’ or anything like that. Everyone just carried on.

Incidentally, I once asked a railway guard about the leaves thing. Turns out some leaves are more oily than others and can make the wheels slip. That part has never changed. The only new part is that it’s now an excuse. In the ‘old days’ (30-odd years ago) they just got on with it.

I saw the news the other day. It’s rare to see the news, it means turning on the TV and I don’t do that very often. There was Snowpocalypse! There was enough snow to fill a bag of flour and deep enough to almost reach your toenails. My shabby Fiesta would have laughed at that much snow as would every other car on the road that isn’t a Matchbox toy.

We were regaled with images of the M74 into Glasgow that morning with stationary traffic in one direction. We were told this was because of snow.

I have had to pass the M74 a few times this year and it’s going through massive roadworks. It’s a standstill every morning. A light dusting of snow will not affect it at all, heck, a real proper blizzard wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference. It’s slow going and satnav won’t help because it’s all changing.

You have to be scared of snow. It’s not supposed to happen. Globule Warming says there has been no snow for twenty years so you can’t be expected to cope with the world turning slightly white. Noo! You’re all going to die! The rain has frozen and it’s Snowpocalypse!

In reality it’s the mildest winter we’ve had for ages. Just a few years back, winter started in October and Scotland was frozen until May. That was a real bastard of a winter. This one is a doddle. If this is Gabble Wanking, let’s have more. We won’t though. The shitty winters will come back. They always do.

Oh but now, just a few days after the Ice Age Cometh, we are told Scotland will be hotter than Barcelona. It’s winter in Spain too so we’re going to have a degree C more than another country that’s in the middle of winter for a day… Well I have a rug with a bullfighter on it and that could show up on Twitter with a plate of paella and ‘nyaah!’ if I can be bothered.

I’m not religious but Dear God, can’t you smack some intelligence into the things you made? You say you made them in your image and they make you look like a fucking retard. Aren’t you cringing in embarrassment right now?

I mean look at this one – Tam Fry wants to pay toddlers to eat as directed.

Really? Toddlers have the ability to think ahead and understand bank accounts and compound interest? Toddlers?

Look at any responses to any story about pensions and they are full of ‘why should I pay to keep old fogeys alive?’

Because, dickhead, when you’re an old fogey the kids you hate now will be paying your pension. That’s how the screwed up system works. Want to change it? Go ahead, it means no state pension for you but hey, go for it. I’m buggered anyway, I’ll have to live to 72 to get a penny and most of you will be in the same post office queue as me by then.

So with 20+ year olds having no concept of the future, Tam Fry expects toddlers to understand economics and saving and the banking system. Actually no, that’s not what he expects.

He expects you to believe that they will.

Because in his mind, like the minds of all the sociopathic Righteous who tell governments what to do now, we are just children. We are the lower orders and we need to be instructed in how our betters expect us to live. Many people actually fall for this.

We now drink our coffee from baby trainer cups. We drink approved soft drinks and water from baby bottles. We wear romper suits renamed as onesies. We eat and dress as directed, we stay off the booze in January and we don’t smoke.

Oh, and you all ostracise me because I break every single one of those rules and steadfastly refuse to die or even get any disease at all. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Scared of snow and terrified of global warming.

Don’t take the car, travel by bus, fear the diesel fumes. Bus diesel is not the same as car diesel, like patch nicotine is not the same as smoke nicotine, even though it is. Yeah, believe the shite, you fucking morons.

Decry smoking but fear the steam that might replace it. Calm down, boil a kettle, don’t breathe the steam, and have a cup of tea but no sugar in case it gives you cancer and no milk in case it makes you fat. No tea either. because of something about to be made up…

Live for the children but looking at them or thinking of them is illegal.

Doublethink is not a fantasy. It’s already here.

In God’s image? Really?

God must be Peter Pan.

Or he’s just having a laugh.

Working…

The Goddess of Protruding Ears is now on Amazon in print, and soon in eBook.

Once that’s complete I have two more novels, plus a short story collection from Longrider, with another novel on the way.

Everything got slowed down today because Windows chose today to apply an update to the very same laptop that I moved the publishing work onto. One of those that shoots up to 80% complete in a matter of minutes, then increments by around 1% per hour thereafter. It’s a day when I really wish I had clicked on ‘remind me later’.

I’ve also written a project proposal for some microbiology work for a company who are pretty vague on what they want done. If I get it, it’ll mean six weeks intensive work but with a good payoff at the end of it. So it was worth it.

Then I have to try getting the deposit back on the flat I left at the end of October. The buggers sent me an electricity bill for £2.16 for the four days between me leaving and the next resident arriving. Now, I could get all stroppy and argue that I’m not liable for the electricity used by their cleaners’ hoover but sod it, it’s two quid. Won’t even buy a beer these days. The most useful aspect is that they can’t now claim they didn’t have a forwarding address for the deposit. So far they have managed to dodge speaking to me which is really only making it worse. I’m now thinking about reasonable interest rates to charge on an overdue account. It’ll be more than that electricity bill…

I haven’t seen much of the news as a result, although I have wondered about the Leftie argument that Trump is in with the Russians. Aren’t the Lefties the socialists, and Trump is supposed to be some far right wild-eyed hater of everyone? Which one is the natural soulmate of Soviet Russia? Aren’t the lefties trying to make the West into a Soviet enclave too? If Trump is best buddies with Putin then shouldn’t the conservatives/republicans be the ones shouting about him?

It all seems a bit playgroundish. Putin once again comes out looking like the only adult in the game. Aside from any other considerations, that alone should give our leaders pause for thought. Putin is the one showing level headed responses while all we see from our leaders are hysterical knee-jerk reactions with little to no thought behind them at all.

Compare our swivel-eyed loons and their determination to blame everything on Russia with Putin’s general response…

disappointedHe’s no threat to the West. He doesn’t need to do a damn thing to destroy the West. We’re doing that ourselves. All he has to do is wait.

And he knows it.

Leg Iron Books – forthcoming attractions

I need to set up a Leg Iron Books site but it’ll have to wait. I might just do it on WordPress but with a ‘proper’ WordPress site, not just the blog one. From there I can sell eBooks direct with nobody taking a cut, even if I can only do them as PDF files. That way both me and the author get a better return.

I had to go with ‘split profits’ on author royalties because the damn price varies so much. All the different VAT rates on eBooks mean they are a different price in every country. There will be no creative accounting – if I make money, the author makes money. I’m no accountant, the accounts will be dead simple.

I won’t deduct tax or anything else from author payments. Declaring income is your business, not mine.

Okay, the next book coming up is ‘The Goddess of Protruding Ears’. The print version is now awaiting approval on CreateSpace which will put it on Amazon, hopefully by the end of the week. The eBook will be coming out shortly after (or before, if CreateSpace find things I have to fix)

Here’s a taster…

Who is Ayu, and why does she insist Johan’s home lies on an island he’s
never visited?

A criminal lawyer who mixes with and defends the darker residents of
Antwerp’s red light district, Johan becomes entangled with a woman whose
fetish for ear-based role play sex leads him into a world where the laws he
knows and understands no longer apply.

Ayu leads him into a new world of pleasure, linked to a past he didn’t know
he was so connected with. The people he met, the lives he crossed, were no
mere coincidences.

Eventually, Ayu’s true nature is revealed, as is Johan’s destiny.

The past, in time, catches up.

It’s not anywhere near as ferociously filthy as Hugo Stone’s ‘Cultish’ but it’s not for children. It’s a good read, complex but not difficult to follow even as it changes between time streams. it’s also not as weighty a tome as Hugo produced. His looks expensive in print but there’s about half a tree in each book! The Goddess won’t be quite so pricey, it’s a shorter book.

Following this I have a short story collection, two novels and a third on the way. Also a biography of an artist and a Dutch translation of ‘Goddess’ which is going to need a separate contract.  My contract only covers English books.

Then I have to start getting ready for the next Underdog Anthology. Oh yes, there’s going to be another. Plus, I have my own books to finish.

Meanwhile, I have to cost a microbiology project for a company who want some stuff tested. No hurry, they don’t want it until Friday…

I really didn’t have time for Christmas. I should have been working.

Science and books

I am in some science books. They’ll never make the bestseller lists because they are horribly expensive books, but as a contributor I sometimes got a free one.

My favourite is a non-serious article called ‘Science and the Simulated Organism’ but that’s a story for another day.

It has long been an ambition of mine to produce science books in non-jargon language at an affordable price. Maybe Leg Iron Books will one day achieve that. Books students can read and not say ‘What the blistering fuck does that mean?’ on every second page. That could be fun and useful too.

It used to happen. I still have a copy of A.E. Lehninger’s ‘Biochemistry’ which is probably woefully out of date now but which was invaluable in getting me through the first year of university.

Ah, university, three years I’ll never recall in detail and some of the flashbacks still make me wince. And yet… I learned enough to pass with a good degree and impressed a few professors enough to get me invited on to a PhD course. Oh I didn’t apply for that. It only recently occurred to me that I have very limited experience in applying for any job. The ones I applied for, I mostly didn’t get. Most of them just happened. A phone call, ‘are you interested in this?’ sort of thing. I did begin to wonder if someone was trying to keep me out of the way.

I applied for the janitor job. Well, I called in about the job at 4 pm and was employed at 7 pm. Boss later told me she wasn’t sure I’d be up to it and gave me a chance. Today she sent more texts asking me to come back. I am tempted to put on the uniform for one day and go in, just to see the looks on the staff faces.

Universities are not what they were, some say. Yes, they are, although they are worse now. We had the dopey dicks in charge of the student’s union when I was there (1978-1981) and they insisted we buy life membership to the student union. I didn’t. The bars in there were cheap but so damn humourless we rarely used them. The Cardiff dockside bars were much more fun – back then, before they yuppiefied the whole derelict area.

Universities were always loaded with Leftie idealists and they’d get involved in committees and running the student’s union rather than doing proper student things like drinking and smoking and learning stuff with the remaining brain cells. They never grasped the simple equation that we ‘normal’ students managed to get real degrees in real subjects even though we had destroyed at least 50% of our thinking capacity with strong drink. They, on the other hand, managed to scrape a third in elementary witchcraft and daytime TV while abstaining from anything that could harm what little brain they possessed. Which, on the face of it, was probably a wise decision.

Basically, only idiots join committees and committees should be nothing more than a gateway drug into the secure psych ward or at least the remedial class or perhaps a bag and reservoir thing….

What Frank describes was starting to happen when I was in university. The useless and the downright dangerous-in-a-lab morons were pushed out of the way. Not fired, the union wouldn’t allow it, but shunted upward into admin and manager roles. The dopes were put in charge.

In those days it didn’t matter too much. Nobody took any notice of them anyway. Later though, they took control of the money and then things got very screwed up indeed. Research priorities changed. You couldn’t research for the sake of it any more, there had to be a profit motive.

Then the profit motive took over and it didn’t matter what the results really were, the conclusions had to fit the funder’s declared interests. That’s where we are now. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Get the right result or next year, you’re teaching HND tractor control.

The Leftie Loonies leave university with a determination to make the world a dark, sad and miserable place. I left university with a 2:1 Hons in microbiology and John Otway’s autograph on a copy of DK50/80. And a hangover. And a job as a research assistant working on oil spill degrading bacteria, that later morphed into a PhD on something entirely different.

You know what? In nearly 57 years, I have never been on any kind of march or picket line for anything.

I don’t believe the world owes me anything.

Neither does the world.

The Science of the Obvious

Or maybe the ‘oblivious’. It’s New Science. Never let the facts get in the way of a profitable conclusion.

Scientists (and I use the term in the loosest possible sense) have discovered that people like to socialise in pubs. What a pity then, that ‘science’ also declares that drinking is evil and there is ‘no safe level of alcohol’.

The article states its reasons for the decline of pubs…

In recent years, the lure of cheap booze from supermarkets and tougher drink-drive laws have resulted in many becoming restaurants or even closing.

No mention of the smoking ban? No recognition that booze has always been cheaper in supermarkets and even before them, in off-licences? No mention that the tougher drink-drive laws only happened in Scotland? The two reasons they give for the closure of so many pubs are not reasons at all. The one they miss out is the primary reason. Oh, and they don’t allow vaping either, because it ‘looks like smoking’.

Yet Science, that new version of it that doesn’t bother with any actual science, declares we must all go to pubs and be sociable and friendly – but no smoking, no drinking and soon no talking.

The commenters include a few utterly moronic drones who declare that pubs only serve to put out drunks into the community at closing time. Really, they believe that’s all pubs do (or rather did, before they shut down). They must have watched too many zombie apocalypse films and the limited space in their brains has caused a crossover between Dawn of the Dead and Last Orders.

There are, however, an increasing number of comments pointing out the real reason regular pub visitors like me suddenly became non-pub-visitors. The smoking ban. There is some intelligence out there still. Just not in any politician’s head.

I doubt anyone in government will ever manage to make the connection.

Home again

 

There has been some mouse activity in the two weeks of emptiness in the house. Out here in the country that’s no surprise and the level of activity suggests it’s probably one field mouse who had 14 days to make holes in things. It shouldn’t be hard to eradicate it.

Could have been worse. I half expected to find a rusting Transit outside and fifteen Romanian gypsies in residence. I had brought home two epees to add to my collection although those are only really effective against French invaders so really I would have had to get indoors and reach my double bladed or the slide blade sword, or perhaps the sledgehammer, to deal with the Transit invaders.

In the end it was just a mouse. The sledgehammer has not been ruled out but using a long blade seems like overkill.

There was a discussion on the epees, which I’ve had since I was about 14 but which were still in my father’s workshop…

CStM: “Do you really need more swords?”

Me: “Different ones are for different things. These, for example, are mainly for killing French people.”

CStM: *rolls eyes and mutters*

Anyway, the poor little Fiesta is still in the garage enjoying a well earned off the road rest. I’ll tart it up, add some optional extras (brakes, wheel bearing, suspension) and see if I can sell it later. Or maybe thrash it to death across harvested fields because it’s worth bugger all really…

I have a mini monster truck now, the same age as the Fiesta but with half the mileage and a lot less shabby… for now. It has an automatic gearbox which is a bit freaky at first. Gears change but I’m not doing it. Still, it’s progress, it’s not like the old fashioned ones where you have to change gear yourself.

Now I have access to all my emails and have cleared out most of the two weeks of spam. Holiday is over, publishing resumes with a vengeance.

Busy busy busy busy…