The state of the world

I’ve been keeping up with the Christmas anthology (five authors in so far, I have hopes that two more regulars will come up with something and there’s still 16 days until the deadline) so have had little time to react to the news.

There is so much lunacy out there. At a private bonfire party on November 5th, a bunch of sickos burned a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower. Yeah, seriously bad taste, but six people arrested and charged over it as a ‘public order’ offence? Really? Nobody was charged over burning effigies of any President of the United States nor of any other political figures in this year or any past year. Nobody has ever minded the burning of a Catholic in effigy even though more and more people now wish his plot to blow up Parliament had succeeded. And yet burning a cardboard box is now an arrestable offence.

What about the guy who started the real fire in the real building, which killed real people? What has he been charged with? Anyone? Oh that’s right, he was never actually arrested and nobody is looking for him. It’s so much easier to arrest backyard proxy arsonists.

I would not have burned Grenfell Tower in a cardboard effigy. It’s far too twisted even for me. I’d say those who did this are arseholes but it’s not supposed to be illegal to be an arsehole. Especially when you’re being an arsehole in your own back yard and not actually harming anyone.

Their big mistake, of course, was putting it on social media. Thoughts are policed far harder than physical crimes these days, with the full backing of ‘anti-fascists’ who do not realise that what they are advocating is actual fascism. The policing of thoughts and ideas and opinions.

Oh and if you are one of the millions of Americans who tune in to UK stories to laugh at how ridiculous we have become (I don’t blame you, this place is a madhouse) you might want to check out what’s happening in your own country.

Worried about Donald Trump? Believe he is some kind of fascist? Is he trying to police your thoughts? Is he advocating the suppression of teenage jokey behaviour and its investigation by the police? Who is advocating that? That’s who you need to be concerned about because that’s who will turn you into a police state. Or you can just hate Trump because he’s Trump and let the fascists win. Like we have in the UK.

Of course, if you are an arsehole, the alternative to being arrested for burning a box is to go into politics where arseholes are welcomed.

Better yet, get a job with the Puritans in Public Control Health. Then you can be so much of an arsehole that you can call for a tax on meat, later to extend it to all foods (come on, really, you don’t think that’s the aim?), and demand a ban on milkshakes. And nobody will call for you to be arrested for arseholeness.

Milkshakes? Ban the old Moloko Plus?

Oh yes, really.

Fancy milkshakes must be banned because Studies have Shown and Experts have Said that they bring all the boys to the yard and this inevitably leads to teen pregnancy, heroin use, vaping, animal abuse and anal insertion of pomegranates.

Well it’s no dafter than any other Puritan pronouncement, and that’s actually true. When it comes to making up absurd stuff, Public Health make Kafka’s ghost gasp in admiration.

Milkshakes make you fat. Sure they do if you have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most of us have them once in a while as a treat. My personal milkshake intake is much less than one a year and my overall milk intake generally depends on how much coffee I drink (espresso doesn’t need milk so only the ‘plain’ coffee counts). I have occasionally drunk a glass of milk but it’s way down from top of the list.

It’s rare for me to get the urge to have a milkshake and I have never had one of these ‘freakshakes’ of which they speak. I don’t want one. It does not appeal to me at all. Should I support banning them since I don’t like them anyway?

How many out there support the smoking bans because they don’t like smoking? How many support vaping bans for the same reason? How many support minimum pricing on alcohol because they don’t buy much, or any? How many support taxing or even banning meat because they don’t eat it?

I think all of those people are arseholes and I don’t want to be one so no, I will never support a ban on anything just because I don’t like it. Hey arseholes, I am not one of you and am proud to be excluded from your cult of arseholery. You can believe I’m the one who is universally hated if you like but really, it’s you. In the real world, nobody cares about, or even notices, me. Because I am not trying to live their lives for them. I have a life of my own.

Speaking of vaping, I recently bought a new one because it was on clearance sale. This is a bloody monster of a thing and will be a later blog post.

The JUUL vaping thing does not seem to be available in the UK so far. It is apparently, in America, a teen epidemic (that, in Public Health terms, means a teenager tried one once) and is used as a cudgel to beat flavours out of vapes.

JUUL’s response? ‘Oh yes you must ban these flavours we don’t make because they are evil!’

Has nobody been paying attention? The antismokers were happy to have the born-again nonsmoking vapers on their side to hammer ‘real’ smokers… until they had outlived their usefulness. Then, surprise, the vapers got hit with the same hammer. They looked to smokers for support.

‘First they came for the smokers. I’m a smoker, the rest of you are on your own now.’

Why would I support any group that has already supported my suppression?

I have wondered about JUUL and whether it would be a good thing to try. I’ll never try one now, not even if it does appear in the UK. I’m not going to support a quisling.

My prediction is that JUUL is now doomed. They are siding with the business vampires and they are not an ally, as they think. They are the host for a parasite that will use them to get what they want and then ditch them. Their customer base will see what they have done and abandon them.This has happened to several early vape sellers who tried to side with the Puritans and it will happen now to JUUL because the stupid bastards never learn.

A saying has been born lately. ‘When you go Woke you go broke’. Ask Lucozade or Irn Bru about that. Ask the peanut companies who have reduced the salt. Give it a year and ask JUUL if they still exist.

‘Woke’ is a parody of reality. More on that in another post.

The best response to the Puritans is still the one given by the makers of Buckfast tonic wine. Which I have never tried, but one day I will.

‘You cannot have caffeine and alcohol in the same drink!’ screech the Puritans.

‘Awa’ an’ bile yeir heid, ya wee bawbags’ responded Buckfast.

Buckfast won. All the companies could win by just saying ‘no’ to the Puritan thugs. Most of them just cave in. Compromise does not work when your enemy does not want compromise, just total control. As with Tessie ‘Halfwit’ Maybe’s Brexit, it is not a compromise. It is pathetic submission.

When you give in to thugs it makes them bolder. Thugs have toddler minds, they push and push to see how far they can go. If you don’t set a boundary for them, there is no boundary they can see. Modern ‘progressive’ idiot parents are finding this out now.

Basically, don’t be Lucozade. Be Buckfast.

Then maybe the end of the madness will at last be in sight.

You can’t have sharp things

The Christmas anthology is under way and I need to stay on my game for this one. It has to be loaded up in the first days of December if anyone is going to get a copy in time. As with every anthology so far, there is at least one new author in this one and I hope to see a lot of the regulars too. Although, it’s a busy time of year so I can’t really press anyone.

Anyway, more on that when I have something concrete to report.

We have a total ban on hand guns in the UK. Absolute. If you have a handgun, even if you have no ammunition and it doesn’t work, you go to jail. Judges have no discretion in this, if you have a handgun in the UK, jail is automatic.

This even applies to the British Olympic shooting team. They have to go overseas to practice.

It does not apply to MPs’ armed guards of course. They have to defend MPs against people who don’t have guns.

This ban has been so successful that it has increased the rate of people getting shot in the UK to about once a week. How did it manage that? Simple. When they said ‘hand in your guns’, the law abiding people of this land handed in their formerly-legal guns.

The guns held by criminals weren’t legal in the first place. Making them more illegal had no effect at all. So the criminals not only kept their guns, they now knew for certain that any house they broke into had no guns.

Well, not entirely. In some places, and particularly out here in the countryside, shotguns and hunting rifles are not unusual. I’ve never owned a real firearm but I did get a go at clay pigeon shooting with a shotgun once. At university, I had a go at a .22 live round rifle at a club’s open day. The latter was way before the gun paranoia set in. I much preferred the .22 but as a student there was no way I could afford a gun and regular beer drinking as well. I can see the appeal but it’s an expensive hobby. I had to prioritise.

So, if I’ve never owned a gun, why do I care about a gun ban? Well, if someone wanted to break into my house before the ban, they had to factor in that I might have a gun. A rifle or shotgun can be a difficult thing to swing around in a confined space but the burglar had to consider the possibility that there might be a pistol in the house.

Now they have no such concerns. They know there are no pistols in anyone’s house. There might be a shotgun or hunting rifle but those will be in a securely locked cabinet and the ammunition will be well separated from it in a different locked cabinet. While you are fumbling with keys and cabinets they have plenty of time to shoot you with their own illegal handgun or stab you with their already illegal (hint: they don’t care) flick knife.

How, then, would I defend against an armed intruder? Well, I could get the bow out I suppose. I could ask them to have a cup of tea and a biscuit while I put it together, string it and nock an arrow. Even if they were daft enough to agree to that, I use quite long arrows and the bow is pretty tall. It’s that confined space thing again.

I used to have a crossbow, but sold it when I was skint. I might get another one. Even so, while it’s smaller than the bow it isn’t too useful in a confined space and takes a while to load each bolt. Also I fully expect them to be banned soon, in the modern drive to disarm us utterly.

I do have a powerful slingshot and a bag of steel balls but haven’t practiced enough yet. I’d probably break every window without even inconveniencing the burglar.

No, my defensive weapon of choice would be a blade. Any blade I can get hold of. Most rooms here have at least one blade – hanging on the wall or in a drawer or stuck to the big strip magnet on the kitchen wall. Blades are very useful things. Especially in the kitchen.

I’m pretty good at throwing them too. I’d throw a small one, it won’t kill or seriously injure but it will hurt like hell and give me time to get to the big ones. Or maybe one of the axes. My wood splitting axe and sledgehammer for the log ‘grenade’ (it’s a steel cone you bash into the side of a log until it splits) are in the living room, because that’s where the back door of the house is and that’s where I go out to split logs. There are other, smaller, axes placed near to where they are used. Obviously not outside, that would be stupid.

When I was younger I had a swordstick. They’ve been banned for a long time but I didn’t have to hand mine in because I broke it. It was a cheap one from a little shop in Cardiff and it was legal to have it then. Some years later I tried using it to chop down a bush but it wasn’t up to the job. So it got binned long before it got banned. If I’d known I could never get another one I’d have taken more care of it.

I used to have a butterfly knife in my fishing bag. Very useful. I could open it and close it in one movement, with one hand. Then the buggers banned that too.

I never owned a flick knife. I had a Fonzie flick comb that looked like a flick knife. That might still be around somewhere. And I was never clear on what was meant by a ‘gravity knife’. As far as I could tell it was like a flick knife but without the spring.

I used to carry a lock knife until they were banned. The lock was a safety feature, it wouldn’t close on your fingers while you cut open a box or cut through string. That safety feature is illegal now.

In my school days almost every boy had a penknife. Now they’d be in trouble if they had a butter knife.

It’s closing in. Every new law further restricts what you are allowed to have and what options you have to defend yourself. Now we have this bill to restrict it even further.

The ‘zombie knives’ they talk about – I’ve seen them but would never buy one. They are ornaments, meant to be hung on a wall. They have no practical use at all and are made of cheap steel. As far as I know they have never been used in a knife attack. Those attacks normally use kitchen knives or machetes.

The ‘possession of corrosive substances in public’ will be applied to the bleach and vinegar in your shopping bag and the acid in your car battery. What’s that? You think there will be some common sense here? Hahahaha!

As for buying knives online, teenage hoodlums do not do that. Ever. I do it, I recently bought a machete for garden purposes. Don’t think I need that much blade? Well this is no suburban square of grass. If I told you I recently bought a ride on mower and have a scythe which gets used every year, perhaps that will give it some perspective.

No, city hoodlums don’t buy knives online. They go to Mum’s kitchen drawer and take their pick. If they want something bigger they talk to the dodgy guy in the raincoat at the back of the pub. If they are doing something illegal they do not want that weapon traced to them.

I note the bill places another layer of restrictions on the types of gun that are never used in shootings here. That is not to combat crime. What would you imagine that might be for?

What the bill does, mainly, is to make it a lot harder to get even a steak knife. For anyone. This is going to achieve nothing at all in terms of the stabbings and shootings that are happening daily now. Not a damn thing. That’s not what it’s for.

It’s tightening the noose. Not on the criminals, they won’t be affected at all. It tightens the noose on the rest of us. Soon you will have to learn how to carve a roast chicken with a plastic spoon and a hard stare. And the stabbings and shootings will continue. This bill seems to achieve nothing but it does exactly what it sets out to do. It removes another layer of defence for the public. The next one will remove more.

When I was at school, there were the compulsory subjects for O level: mathematics, English language and English literature. The rest were options. I took French because I thought it might be useful but since 1976 I’ve been to France twice so I’ve pretty much forgotten it all now. I took chemistry, biology and physics because that’s what I was interested in. I also took an optional one year O level called Engineering Science and passed it without knowing, to this day, what it was really about.

I had one option left to fill. The school had just merged with another and for the first time, metalwork was an option. If it hadn’t been I’d have gone with woodwork, which was fun, but metalwork was something new. So I opted for that.

I would never have been a blacksmith but basic stuff, easy. I can temper and anneal. I can braze and solder. I can cast. I can take a decent bit of scrapyard steel and make a knife so sharp you won’t be able to see the edge. A full tang blade with a wood or leather handle, heavy, forward weighted, and very sharp indeed.

Making a knife is not difficult. It’s just much easier to buy one – at the moment. I don’t have a forge but if I start with something already strong, say a car/truck suspension leaf spring, the forge isn’t needed. It’s all cutting.

I have never attacked anyone with a blade of any kind. I’ve been attacked with one but never used a blade on anyone else. But I can make one. Heck, if it came right down to it, there’s a lot of flint lying around here and I could learn flint-knapping.

You cannot ban knives. They are easy to make. You can make a stabbing weapon out of a pencil, for Pete’s sake. This new bill will have as much effect on criminals as every other weapons ban. None at all. It’s not for them, none of it ever is. It’s for us.

Maybe I should learn flint-knapping. The way things are going it’ll be the only way to carve a roast soon.

That’s if the proposed meat taxes allow any of us to afford such luxury.

 

 

Armageddon outta here

The world is accelerating into chaos at a rate popcorn manufacturers are going to find it hard to keep up with. It is logical to assume that a pure ‘anti-christ’ would be a woman, and to keep the ‘anti’ total, she would be born to a man. Impossible, right? Not any more. With all this gender reassignment crap, one person can now be both mother and later father. The scene is set.

Supernatural? Not a bit of it. Those behind the scenes might well believe it but it’s really just manipulation to get what they want. The world’s religions all expect Armageddon, a day of judgement, and whether there is to be a real one or not, there are moves afoot to make it appear to happen. I’ve said many times that it does not matter whether you or I believe in the supernatural. What matters is whether those in control believe they are doing its bidding. Or indeed, whether it merely provides a conveniently credible backdrop for achieving total control.

And so, we have madness that does indeed look like the End of Days. I can’t cover it all in a blog post nor even in a book, it would need to be updated daily and would never end.

In Pakistan, a woman caled Asia Bibi was condemned to death. Why? Because she is Christian and she drank water from the same cup as a Muslim woman. ‘Two girls, one cup’ is illegal in Pakistan. Yes, I am taking the piss and yes, they deserve it. It might well be their culture but it is unquestionably silly. Sure, they can be silly if they want. And violent, they seem to like that, but I will never go there so I don’t care all that much. There is plenty to worry about at home without concerning myself with other countries’ lunacy.

Asia Bibi was acquitted of heresy after nearly a decade in prison. The mob response? Kill her anyway. Kill the judges who acquitted her. Kill all Pakistani Christians. Yeah, we import these people by the boatload and that is a Good Thing.

We don’t seem to import many Pakistani Christians but then they tend not to do things the elite enjoy, like setting up paedo rape gangs and blowing up teenagers. I’d say we should take every Pakistani Christian to the UK and leave the mad buggers behind but I know I will be called racist for that even though they are all the same race. What the hell. We are all racists now. It really doesn’t matter any more.

Meanwhile in America, something called mid term elections is happening. In the UK we do it the sensible way and elect a bunch of idiots all at once so we don’t have to do it again for years. America elects part of its government for 4 years and then halfway through, elects the other half. Bloody rebel colonists, they just have to make it complicated.

Anyway, lunacy has been firing up over there for a while. Red vs Blue, the other way around from the UK and you can’t take the middle road because that’s Green and is dafter than either extreme. I just wish I could vote infrared or ultraviolet or microwave or something because the visible spectrum is entirely occupied by maniacs.

There is now the Blue Wave and the Red Wave over there. In the UK that would probably come out as the Red Wave and the Very Red Wave because we don’t have Conservatives any more. I don’t want to get into the merits or demerits of either side at the moment because I don’t live in America so, as with Pakistan, as far as I am concerned they are free to do what they want to each other. I wouldn’t feel comfortable in many places over there now, one wrong word and you’re classed as one side or the other even though I’d have no vote. I would quite like a MAGA hat though, because I like hats in general and because it would confuse the hell out of British voters. A Conservative message on a red (Labour) background is baffling to us. Over here, turn up to vote in that hat and they’ll have a really hard time working out where you stand.

Which would be more troubling? Lunatics like Maxine Waters (yes, Dems, yes she really is) and the Amazing Occasional Cortex (you know who I mean) getting control of part of the American Government, or Trump’s Republicans having total control of the government?

Neither is good. UK readers – imagine if Tessie Maybe had a massive majority in Parliament right now. The shit she would shovel onto us would be suffocating. DNA database of everyone. Internet controls that would make Kim Jong Jingly Jangly gasp in admiration. She wanted those things when she was Home Secretary and she still wants them now.

Yes, Jerry Cordite and his Loony Crew would do the same if they had power – but they will oppose it because the Tories suggested it. Their refusal to endorse anything the Tories suggest is what is currently saving us from the utter insanity of a Tessie Maybe Panopticon country.

Any government needs an effective opposition. Without that, there is nothing they cannot push into law and no matter how wild they get, there is nothing to stop them.

Now, I do not believe for a moment that Trump is some wild dictator. He’s a wild card, certainly, but I think that, at heart, he is genuinely trying to do his best. However, given absolute power, could he become corrupted? When he comes up with an idea that he thinks is good, and there is nobody on the other side to point out any cracks or flaws, what then?

He isn’t likely to do anything actually evil but he’s a businessman and business can be brutal. Oh, he won’t deliberately do anything evil but when you play chess, does it matter if you lose a few pawns? He does need someone Socialist (there are still some sensible ones) to point out that a country is not a business and real people are affected by government decisions.

Tessie Maybe is a different matter. She really does want total control and is doing anything she can to get it. She is far more dangerous than Trump could ever be.

Anyway, the Rebel Colonist midterm elections are only part of the lunacy surounding us all.

We now have more varieties of gender than we have of Heinz products. There are two genders. Male and female. There is also hermaphrodite, which is rare but real, but that is showing both male and female. It is not something separate.

You might be a man who prefers to sleep with men or a woman who prefers to sleep with women. That does not change your gender, it’s just your preference.You are not a separate gender.

Maybe you are transexual, maybe you feel very strongly that you were born in the wrong body. You are not a separate gender, you are either a male who wishes to be female or vice versa. Still only two genders here.

Maybe you are asexual – this is not a gender at all, it is entirely personal preference. Bisexual, goat shagging, tree humping, none of these are genders. They are how you want to live and as long as you hurt nobody in the process, I really don’t care. Unless you are spectacularly well endowed and can go at least 30 times a night, goats and sheep aren’t likely to be bothered either.

Trees operate on a timescale where a two hour shagging of a knothole feels like a mosquito bite so they really won’t mind. They might reciprocate with splinters but hey, you make your own choices and take the risks you are happy to take.

The mass of genders has only one purpose. To eradicate gender altogether. People are getting in trouble for using the wrong made-up pronouns or for calling a girl a girl when she identifies as a boy. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if gender was totally eradicated? Won’t it be so much easier if we had gender neutral identifiers so instead of being called ‘George’ or ‘Alice’ at birth, we were just assigned a number? Think nobody will accept that? Come on. They’ll be demanding it soon.

That’s followed by being neutered at birth so your kids grow up as compliant, genderless worker bees. Nobody will go for it? They are already grabbing hard on the trend of transexualism, effectively neutering their offspring. This is not fantasy, this is just the next logical step. Does it take a majority? Homophobia. Islamophobia. Transphobia. These are punishable ‘hate crimes’. Are any of them from majorities? Noisy, well funded minorities, even tiny ones, can make it happen. They have before and they will again and they have no idea of the end game they are pushing. I call them Trotskies because when they win they will be airbrushed out. Don’t try to tell them, they won’t believe you. Trotsky didn’t.

The compliance? Oh that’s well under way. I remember when my father was obliged to fit seatbelts to his car. I remember my mother berating him for not using them and his response – ‘I have to have the bloody things but I don’t have to wear them’.

Later, of course, it became compulsory to wear them. By the time I learned to drive, wearing the seat belt was just part of driving. It was normalised, far deeper than compulsory.

Now we have normalised hate. All over the place. Dems agains Republicans. Labour against Tories. People with brains against the SNP and Greens. Even within those divisions there is hate. You can be the wrong kind of Labour MP now. Or the wrong kind of Tory.

We smokers? Well, we just sit back and watch the show now. Vapers hate us so we aren’t all that bothered when their turn comes around. Welcome back to Hateland, you pompous among the vapers. Oh I know they are not all like that but the ones that are surely deserve it. We don’t do the Pastor Neimoller thing because they already came for us and nobody spoke out, so don’t look to us to speak out for you now.

And let’s be clear here, smoking bans are just the way in. Look at this, where a Scottish council wants to ban smoking on breaks.

We are not talking about banning ‘smoke breaks’ which are portrayed as ‘additional breaks’. We are talking about banning smoking on scheduled breaks. We are talking about the council effectively controlling their employees’ free time.

At the moment, many are against it. But the upcoming generation will be all for it. They will accept controls on their home lives. Why?

They have grown up with the Lunchbox Police. Schools control what they are allowed to have in their packed lunches and they will accept that their employers can do the same. They will readily accept that smoking is not allowed on breaks just as they will readily accept that their employers can dictate the food they bring for lunch. And they will not see any connection. NPC10538 will never step out of line, personal pronouns ‘it, it’s, thing’s’ and when it does it will be quietly retired.

You don’t want this world? Of course not. You have not been brought up to want it. Just as I grew up in a world where smoking was just something people did. Where I could come back from a camping trip and walk the streets of Cardiff with a rucksack and a fairly hefty camping knife on my belt and nobody cared. Where I could carry a locking pocket knife and nobody minded at all. Where I could walk around the streets with a .22 air rifle (broken open) and nobody batted an eyelid.

I didn’t want the world we have now. I could buy fireworks when I was 12 and sodium chlorate, sulphur and (the other ingredients) when I was 14. Oh, and all those ads telling you that putting a banger in a bottle will make it explode? Lies. I tried it over and over and it never worked.

Kids can’t do any of that now and the restrictions are getting tighter and tighter and children are taught that this is normal. No, you do not want the future I paint but I didn’t want the one that we have now. Those that came after me were taught to accept it and to want it.

As the next generation are being taught to accept and to want the next phase.

The Church always taught Armageddon as a quick thing. A day or two, a sudden apocalypse. They never taught it as an incremental takeover over a few generations.

That’s why we don’t notice it happening.

 

Chips with everything

A long time ago, I made a statement that not everyone agreed with. Well. Actually I do that all the time but I’m talking about a specific one here. I think it was during the controversial proposal that children should be microchipped so if the Glitter Gang kidnap them, or they fall into the well when Lassie isn’t around, they can be quickly tracked and found.

I was not keen on the idea because those children will grow up, and then you have a completely trackable population. Forget number plate recognition and CCTV. Every step you take, and in which direction, will be recorded on a central database. Further, those chipped adults won’t think twice about having their own kids chipped. In one generation, being microchipped becomes normal, and anyone refusing is seen as odd. That bothers me for some reason.

Children are always an emotive subject, and any suggestion of doing any kind of invasive procedure on a child will get a sharp ‘no’ from any parent worthy of the title. The scheme was dropped.

What I said at the time was along the lines of ‘Adults will be microchipped and they won’t resist. Far from it. They will fight to be first in line’.

Implanted chips that allow access to restricted areas have been around for years. Really though, they are only in use in limited areas so far – but their use is spreading.

Contactless card payments came out a while back. You don’t have to slot your card into a machine, you just tap it on top, because that saves you at least three seconds of typing in a number. I don’t like them, and it was obvious that the next step would be to implant the card’s chip in your hand. Sounds ridiculous?

It’s here, and the chip makers are struggling to keep up with demand.

My phone has a 48Gb micro SD card in it. You can buy much more memory in the same size package. A tiny glass-encapsulated chip could hold a hell of a lot of data. The code for your house and your car, your bank details,your medical records… they’d hardly make a dent in the amout of memory that could be in there. It could hold so much stuff.

There are already cars with keyless ignition. I’ve driven some – rented or courtesy car, I won’t buy one – and you just need the fob in your pocket to start the car. There is no physical key, no keyhole on the ignition and none on the door.The freakiest was a hybrid Prius. You press a button, the Star Trek dashboard boots up, there is no sound from under the bonnet even when you start moving! I don’t want one, although the heads-up speedometer on the windscreen was cool. I liked that part. As for the rest of the dashboard, I had no idea what that was telling me.

Why won’t I buy one? What if you drive out to the wilds of Scotland, have a really nice day out, get back to your car and the fob battery is dead? I bet almost nobody carries a spare battery for that thing and if they do, they leave it in the car. Which you can’t open because the battery in the fob is dead. Implanted chips don’t use batteries, they work something like RFID (I’m not an electrical engineer so don’t ask me – I’m sure someone in the comments will have the answer). So they would be an easy sell to anyone who’s experienced a dead car fob.

In the future, instead of stealing your house keys, car keys, bank cards… a criminal will get all those things at once by cutting off your hand. Isn’t that a comforting thought?

I have many such chips in ‘Panoptica’. Nobody has Borg gadgets, all the chips are for monitoring and control. It’s taking a very long time to write for a few reasons. The biggest one is that I have to get into – and stay in – the head of a character who is my exact opposite. Someone who accepts every rule without question, who follows every instruction, who is happy with their slot in society and has no ambition to change anything, ever. Someone to whom the entire concept of saying ‘Oh fuck off, I’m not doing that’ is not even imaginable. Staying in that character’s head is exhausting.

There was also the problem of credibility. A genderless drone population? Solved, the new 57 varieties of gender made that part easy. I covered it in a story in ‘Six in Five in Four‘ last Easter. Getting the chips in was solved long ago, and my argument that it would be easy is now proved.

I have to get more of that written before it all comes true. It’s not easy, every time I write something bizarre it seems to be in the news the next day and as I said, writing a totally compliant drone character is exhausting. I can’t hold that mindset for long, I don’t know how the NPCs do it.

Anyway, I have the Christmas anthology up next. I have renamed Christmas as Earth Day for this new (hopefully imaginary) world and this Christmas anthology needs another tale of progress towards Panoptica.

This one will be the stage where names become numbers.

Look at your wage slip or tax form and tell me that will never happen.

You might be one of those who told me people would resist implanted chips…

 

Too big for a woman

Get your minds out of the gutter. This is about phones.

Remember the first Yuppie mobile phones? A brick with an aerial sticking out that would cost six month’s income for the average worker. Everyone laughed at the Poserphones – who the hell needs to be contactable when out of the office? It was a gimmick.

Then they got cheaper and smaller and eventually pocket sized. I had (might still have, somewhere) a Motorola Razr flip phone that is tiny. It did the job. It had games but the golf game graphics were so slow to update it was actually unusable.

I got my first one when a pheasant hit my windscreen. Quiet, dead straight country road, full daylight with clear vision ahead, travelling along at a quite reasonable and almost legal speed, a pheasant decided to cross the road ahead of me.

It saw me and stopped. Took a few steps one way, then the other way, finally its pea brain said ‘fly’ just a second too late. It smashed the windscreen.

Well, okay, the insurance covers that so the windscreen repair cost me nothing. While in town though, waiting for the garage to fit a new one, I picked up a mobile phone. It cost about £60, PAYG, primitive but serviceable. I only bought it in case the next collision took me off the road in the middle of nowhere. I rarely used it and gave very few people the number.

That last part is still true. I have a very short contact list in my mobile phone. A couple of them are work ones and they can be a pain on holiday but I rarely bother with holidays anyway. I’m lucky enough to live in a place many people would think of as an ideal holiday destination as long as you like finding skulls in trees and total darkeness when there’s no moon. Also, self-employment means your working hours are when you’re awake. Stop working and nobody is paying you.

Phones got smaller and cheaper… then started to get bigger and more expensive again. And the batteries didn’t last as long because of all the weird shit they can do.

I used to have a Hudl tablet computer. It died, as they all do eventually. I replaced it with an Ibowin Android machine and then another after I stepped on the first one. They cost around £50. Enough to make you swear when you break it but not enough to make you think your financial world has ended.

I do not buy Apple devices. Never have and never will. This is not really about the ridiculous prices they charge, it is much more to do with their declaration that the warranty was invalid for smokers in case a molecule of nicotine in the returned (full of evil and toxic rare metals) gadget killed their entire servicing staff.

They may have withdrawn this paranoid nonsense by now. I do not care. The fact they were so stupid as to put it out in the first place means I can have no faith in their ability to do anything sensible at all. At the prices they charge I expect to see intelligence at every level of the company. They have proved, to me, that this is not so. They employ idiots. I’m not paying their prices to support idiots.

The Ibowin thing I bought runs Android. It’s not fantastic but it does what I want to do and also things I don’t want to do.

It has a slot for extra memory which I instantly filled. Everything important goes on to the SD card in case this one dies. I can then just port it elsewhere.

It also has two SIM card slots. Two. I had to get a £1 SIM just to shut it up because it bleated about having no SIM whenever I turned it on. It’s a phone too! This is as big as an iPad and it’s a dual SIM phone. I am not holding this thing to my face to have a conversation. It would be like talking to an ironing board and people have been sectioned for less.

So, for phone calls I have a Fusion Android phone. It’s bigger than some phones but easily manageable. I picked one I could handle. It’s not a hard thing to do and Android phones are a fraction of the cost of Apple ones.

I had a Windows phone for a while. It didn’t die. Apps were no longer being updated for it and things stopped working, which forced the change. Pity. I liked that one.

Now we have feminists moaning that the new Apple phone is too big for girlie hands.

Well don’t fucking buy it then.

I could use the Ibowin tablet as a phone. A dual SIM phone. I’m not going to because it’s just silly. I’ll use the Fusion phone as a phone.

And you know what? Buying both of them cost about £100.

Imagine what you could do with the money left over from not buying the Apple gadget.

I’m going to spend it on trains and whisky.

Fat or sugar. Make your choice.

There is a current spat on Twitter about the low-carbohydrate vs low-fat diets. Which one is better for weight loss?

Neither.

Also… both.

Anything can make you fat. I have met the occasional fat vegetarian. I was once pretty fat because of whisky. Really. There are around 1800 calories in a bottle of whisky so a daily bottle plus all the food plus the fact that, back then, I spent most of my time in front of a computer, made me into a stunt double for Mr. Blobby. Some nights I became less intelligible than him…

I cut down a lot on the whisky, landed a job as a janitor (times were very, very hard). Very physical working 6 to 8 hours a day, 6, sometimes 7 days a week – the weight simply vanished. I made no changes at all to my actual food intake. It was the same ‘unhealthy crap’ I always ate and still do. Curries, pizza, lemon chicken, anything I can culturally appropriate, I’ll eat it. Except rat on a stick. Everyone has a limit. I’d try it once though.

It’s really simple (as long as we are talking solely in terms of weight loss and ignoring essential amino acids, vitamins etc). Calories in, calories used. If you take in more fuel than you use, your body will store the excess. If you use more fuel than you take in, your body will use its stored excess to make up the difference.

What should you eat to lose weight? It does not matter. Eat what you like but don’t eat more than you need. Eat less than you need and you will lose weight.

Do remember to stop dieting at some point though. Too thin is actually more dangerous than too fat. Having a little bit of reserve is always a good thing – you never know when you might need that little bit of extra energy reserve. Chubby Venezuelans will attest to this. So will all the currently-villified British fatties if Corbyn gets in.

There is much more to it than weight, of course. Healthy eating does not simply consist of calories. The above considers body weight in isolation, it does not consider what those calories consist of.

Sugar, the naked truth – you don’t need any, other than what’s already in the food. Now before you get all outraged, hear me out. I don’t need to smoke, I don’t need to drink whisky. In fact I know that those things are likely to be bad for me one day. I do them because I like them. I know the risks and accept them because to me, the enjoyment outweighs the risks. Okay I don’t drink as much as I used to by any means but I do still like my whisky. One of the advantages of reduced whisky intake is that I don’t need the swill at the bottom end of the market. I now have smaller amounts of the good stuff.

I like sugar too. I will not buy aspartame sweetened things because I know, from personal experience over many experiments, that aspartame will make the world drop out of my bottom. My guts don’t like it at all.

Then there are the energy drinks, or ‘wakey water’ as I call them. I have, again, restricted my intake to one or maybe two a day and never after midnight. But I still like them. Actually I prefer most of the cheaper ones to the full-fat Red Bull but that’s a matter of personal taste and also wallet strain. One for about £1.50 compared to a pack of six for £1.50, it’s not a heavy decision for a one-time homeless guy in Scotland.

As I said before, calorie-free ‘energy’ drinks are a joke. If you drink those and believe they give you energy you are insane. And probably awake and tired.

We use sugar because we like it. Yes, too much is bad for you but too much of anything is bad. The dose makes the poison – even too much water will kill you. It will kill you faster, too. We do not, however, need raw sugar in the same way that we need water. In an internal sugar shortage, your body can make the sugar it needs from fatty acids produced by bacteria in the gut, and even from protein. There is also sugar in a lot of foods anyway, especially plant foods. Your body can get all the sugar it needs from a salad but, well, salad… chocolate… no contest really.

Oh I eat salad sometimes. With salt, because everything is better with salt.

That’s another issue. The healthists insist we have a daily salt allowance. I do not accept any kind of ‘allowance’ because I’ve always been a rebellious little goblin and always will be. I live by my own rules and often break those too.

The salt thing is bollocks on many levels. If you have a job that involves a lot of physical work you will sweat a lot. If, like me, you really don’t like hot weather because it makes you sweat to the point where you have to replace your eyebrows with rain gutters: If you labour day in, day out at heavy lifting… you lose salt as well as water in that sweat.

If your job involves sitting at a desk in an air conditioned office then you don’t need to sweat much. If you are one of those Satanic hybrids who like hot weather and don’t feel like you’re melting whenever the sun hits you then you probably don’t sweat as much as those of us from normal, cold places. So you don’t lose salt and water so quickly.

A one size fits all approach is horrifyingly wrong. In anything, if it comes to it. I eat a lot of salt. I’ve no idea how far over the ‘allowance’ I am because I don’t care enough to measure it. I carry little salt packs from takeaways with me everywhere and I have been known to just open one of those packs and eat the contents as raw salt. On very hot days, usually.

Your body regulates its salt/water balance. Too much salt and your urine is salty. Too little salt and you die of hyponatremia. It takes a hell of a lot of salt intake to wreck that balance, and you’ll know if you’re heading that way. Your kidneys will tell you with pain.

It doesn’t take very long to die if you have too little.

There is no point drinking water on hot days if you’re not also taking in some salt. You lose water and salt in sweat, you have to replace both, not one, or your body will simply piss out the water to keep them in balance. Modern medicine makes no allowance for this, nor for differences between individuals. Modern medicine uses the British Standard Human as their model and if you don’t fit the manual, well tough. They will let you die.

It used to be enough to have a bag of peanuts or crisps to get plenty of salt. I have, in recent years, had to add salt to peanuts and crisps when I eat them because it’s now been reduced to silly levels. Like the calorie-free energy drinks, we now have ‘ready salted’ crisps to add to our list of false advertising. I remember when crisps were unsalted but came with a litle blue twisted bag of salt to add as much as you wanted. Sometimes a pack had two bags of salt by mistake. I loved getting those.

Let’s talk about fat.

You do not get fat from eating fat, unless you are eating human fat. Or you are eating too much fat. Your fat is not the same as cow fat or pig fat or sheep fat or nut fat. Yes, bags of nuts now have a ‘high fat’ warning. Sigh. They are seeds. The plant has to start growing underground, in the dark. It has to have energy reserves in the form of fats and starches until it can get its leaves into the light and start making its own.

Seeds are full of stored energy. That’s why we eat them.

In fact seeds – cereals, grains – are so full of stored energy that you can get very fat indeed eating those things. Even if you never eat any meat based fat at all.

When you eat a bag of nuts or cereal or rains you are not eating pure carbohydrate. You are also eating some protein and a lot of plant fats. So don’t tell me you are ‘avoiding fat’ by eating those things. You are avoiding certain types of fat by eating loads of another type.

In the end it doesn’t matter. Any fat you eat is broken down by your cells and if it doesn’t need to be used, it is reassembled, along with any excess carbohydrate, into human fat and then stored. Fat does not make you fat. Carbohydrate does not make you fat. Taking in more calories than you use is what makes you fat.

There’s a lot more – there’s enough for a series of lectures in this topic!

Some vitamins are fat soluble and you will not get them at all on a fat free diet. They only exist in the fat. They are insoluble in water. Vitamin K – ever tried to make a bacterial growth media where that was an essential ingredient? It just sits on top in a little blob.

So much more, but this is just a little backwater blog and putting whole lectures up feels somewhat futile.

Protein is worth a mention. Some years ago, the Atkins diet was all the rage. No carbs, just protein. Everyone on it was instantly recognisable because they had acetone breath. Their bodies broke the protein to make sugar and dumped the excess parts as nitrates and acetone. Sure, you can live like that but if your only goal is weight loss it’s pointless. All it does is make you smell like cleaning fluid.

All you need for weight loss is to take in fewer calories than you use. That is all there is to it. There is nothing more complex involved and it will save you money, not cost you money. You spend less on food. Alternatively you can spend more to have someone else to tell you to spend less on food. Can you see how silly that sounds?

Diets are expensive. You pay people to tell you to spend less money on food. You pay more than you save. Does anyone see the scam in this?

Look, it’s really simple.

Are you happy with your health on your curent diet (ignore weight)? No? See a dietician. A proper, quialified one. Yes? Your diet is fine.

Are you feeling like you have to lose weight but answered ‘yes’ to the first question? Just eat less and/or exercise more.

Are you feeling like eating a cake of yourself and don’t give a shit? Good. Carry on.

All of those are correct answers. If you want to lose weight, take in less than you use. If you are feeling bad, and you think it’s because of what you eat, see a dietician. If you are happy as you are, carry on.

Modern medicine will never get it.

So the diet scammers have an open field for profit, when losing weight should, by any definition of logic, cost less than whatever you spend on food now.

You can change your life and body without outside help.It does not depend on how much you want to spend.

It only depends on how much you care about it.

Boycott Suicide

It’s all the rage now. Boycott this or that because they are connected, sometimes tenuously, with something or someone who is the current focus of today’s Two Minute Hate.

I’ve been feeling a bit left out. Everyone is boycotting things I’ve never bought anyway so I can’t join in.

Not that I would anyway. I can’t be bothered with boycotts, other than personal ones. The ones where I get shitty service in a business and simply go elsewhere. I’ve never demanded anyone else boycott that business. Maybe I was the only one to get shitty service. Maybe most people are happy with shitty service. I strike them off my list of shopping places and move on. Life is too short to get involved in organised boycotts and silly vendettas.

I’m not talking about the supposed ‘boycotts’ of reduced-sugar fizzy pop or breakfast cereals. People have stopped buying them because the new taste is awful, not because of any organised boycott.

I have also not boycotted pubs. I rarely visit since the smoking ban but it’s not a boycott. I just don’t feel welcome in them any more. It’s no longer an enjoyable experience so I don’t go there.

This has been made worse by the Spiteful Nannying Puritans of the Scottish government and their recent lowering of the alcohol limit for driving to where one beer puts you over the limit. The local pub is two miles away. I could take a 40-minute walk to a place I can’t smoke with my drink, or drive to a pub in which I can now neither smoke nor drink. What would be the point? The same drive takes me to Local Shop where I can buy a bottle of whisky, drive home, and then drink and smoke indoors in comfort.

The real boycotts are coming from howling Twatter/Farcebok mobs. None of them work and most seem to have the opposite effect to that intended. A recent one involved an American burger takeaway called ‘In and Out’ or some such. Sounds more like a brothel name to me but we don’t have that company in the UK so I couldn’t have boycotted them anyway. Apparently business has boomed since they got all that free Twitter advertising. They are now out of the shadow of MacDonald’s and the other really big franchises. Boycott? They’re lovin’ it.

I can’t remember what that boycott was about. It was, most likely, something very trivial. They usually are.

There was a call to boycott Amazon some time ago. Well I’m not going to do that. They sell Leg Iron Books! Boycott my biggest outlet? That would be as much of a commercial suicide as, say, Lucozade selling energy drinks in which they have reduced the sugar – the primary source of energy in the drink. It would be a stupid thing to do.

Incidentally, I have noticed some so called ‘energy’ drinks describing themselves as such, then boasting that the can of chemical fizz is sugar free and calorie free. So there is no energy in there at all. It’s just chemical fizz with caffeine. It’ll keep you awake and tired. I fail to see the advantage in this.

Back to Amazon. I live about 15 miles from the nearest town that’s big enough to have an Aldi and Tesco. Two miles away is Local Shop and it’s actually called that. Prices in there are not sky high. They are quite reasonable. Also they have cut price whisky sometimes and I’ve become quite partial to a drop of Glen Keith whenever they have it at £20 instead of £30. It’s one of the few places I’ve seen Glen Garioch on the shelves too. They don’t have a big range… of anything. It’s a small shop. You can’t really stock up your kitchen there without emptying their shelves.

Actually, as long as the bridge is out, Local Shop is 8 miles away along single track farm roads at harvest time, which is very inconvenient as it’s also the post office.

So if I need something that’s not stocked by Aldi or Tesco, I can drive all the way to Aberdeen (nightmare!) or I can bring up Amazon on the browser, click ‘buy’ and it’s delivered to my door. I don’t care what they’ve done to upset the perpetually offended. I am not boycotting them.

The most recent boycott involves some football bloke with big hair called Colin Kapplenapple or something like that. I wasn’t really paying attention. Seems he got fired from football for being useless and a pain in the arse, and lots of Americans despise him. So Nike, the sports mob, have taken him on to advertise shoes. Now, lots of Americans want to boycott Nike. I may be a bit sketchy on the details because I don’t actually give a shit. I don’t know anything about American football (it’s a bit like rugby for girls, I think), I’ve never bought anything by Nike and I have no interest in any sport that involves no sharp objects.

The bit that got my attention was all the idiots on Twitter videoing themselves burning their Nike shoes. What is that about? You do not hurt a shoe company by buying shoes from them and then burning the shoes. You still have no bloody shoes, have you? So now you have to go and buy more shoes. The shoe company doesn’t care. They have the money you gave them for the shoes. So you burned the shoes. You cannot cost them a sale by reselling yours.

If you don’t want your Nike shoes any more, give them to the homeless. They don’t care about fashion or politics or boycotts. Trust me on that, I’ve been there. You would wear Lady Gaga’s goat-hoof shoes if that was all you had.

I wonder if I can convince these maniacs to burn books. Get them to buy all the books I publish and burn them all. That would be fantastic. I’d get paid, the authors would get paid, and those books won’t be floating around the second hand shops cutting down sales of new ones.

The best part is they are all print on demand. Keep buying them and we keep printing them. And getting paid.

We make more per sale on the eBooks. Are there people stupid enough to buy fifty copies of an eBook and then burn their Kindle? There has to be at least one out there.

The search begins.