Curry and evils of the world

Hi everyone, CstM here I hope you’re all doing well. I am doing much better than my last post. Thank you all for your kind comments. I really do appreciate all your advice and well wishes.
I’m so sorry for the late post. Life has been busy around here, with the visit of the Welsh mothership. It was a very lovely visit. We had a dinner party, and of course I had to go all out and make two different currys and homemade onion bhajis. At least Leggy got to have a spicy curry for once, so he was happy. I’m a strictly butter chicken girl, anything else can be too spicy or has coconut in it. Dang weird allergies.
Speaking of allergies, something funny happened. Well I thought it was funny. I was oven roasting butternut squash for the curry. For some reason if I handle butternut squash with bare hands, I get a really bad rash, so I wear rubber gloves as protection. The Welsh mothership was in the kitchen watching me prepare the butternut squash, wearing my handy rubber gear and didn’t bat an eyelid. Although I guess it’s more dramatic inside my head. I always feel like some Dr. Frankenstein ready to bring my creation to life. Even if it’s just a curry.

Another thing I’m behind on is the books. I’m about half through the Hunger Games book. I’m genuinely enjoying it, I just keep getting distracted by other things. I must admit I didn’t remember the original books being this brutal. Maybe it’s because I’m older and everyone seems so much younger.
It is an interesting book though. We’re following Coriolanus Snow, as he and his classmates mentor the participants of the games. A game they are trying to make more viewer popular. Now this is a guy who, if you’ve read the original books, will become the personification of all the evil in the Capitol. But hearing his traumatic upbringing in the first rebellion, you do end up feeling sympathy for this young boy, who is just trying to survive and excel.
It does make you wonder, when does bad people turn bad.

The book reminds me in some ways of the film The motorcycle diaries. It’s a film about young Che Guevara travelling through latin America and seeing the poverty and destitution first hand, and ultimately leading him on a path of trying to make a change. Now I don’t condone what he did, but watching that film, you do get a bit of understanding of where he came from. He started out wanting to do good. Does that excuse all the evil he brought into the world? No, in no way. It just makes you understand to some degree where he was coming from.

One book that is a very good read on the topic of evil is The Lucifer Effect by Robert Zimbardo. It looks into the psychological explanation for why even good people sometimes turn evil. It goes over his Stanford prison experiment and also talks about how similar things has occurred in real life like the Abu Ghraib prison.
It is well worth a read, if you’re interested in the topic. I’m still annoyed that someone borrowed my hard back copy of the book and never returned it. Although quite ironic to steal a book about evil.

Now for this month book in the Gloom Dog book club, I went for something short. I figured there isn’t much left of October, so to make it plausible to actually finish it, it needed to be an easy read.
So this month we’ll be reading The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Cade over from Cade F.O.N Apollyon was the one who suggested it. He’s been reading along, and helped start the Gloom Dog Bookclub, so go give him a read, if you have the time. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.
I’ve heard very good things about The Pearl, so I’m excited to start reading it. I’ve only read Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, so it’ll be nice to read some more of his works.
I hope you’ll join us on our next reading adventure.

Frank Davis

Bad news, I’m afraid. Frank Davis died in his sleep on Friday night. It was peaceful and painless, which is a mercy at least.

Franks was always a calm and steady voice among the blogging world. He wasn’t given to the wild rantings I, and others, sometimes give vent to, even though he faced the same smoker-persecution as the rest of us.

Well, now he’s gone to the Great Smoky-Drinky in the sky. I hope he saves us all a seat because we all go there in the end.

Rest in peace, Frank. We’re going to miss you.

The Darkness at the End of October

The fifteenth Underdog Anthology is being assembled. All author contracts are now in, the book is being formatted and it should only be a few more days. My mother is visiting this week so it’s been slow work but it’s getting there.

Naturally, there is a closed road between here and my kids’ houses. Every damn time. The local council really hate me. I hear it’s actually open again now so the last couple of days should be easier.

This anthology is called ‘The Darkness at the End of October’ because this is the year I’ve been waiting for. I’ve had a story ready for this for years. This year, in the UK, Summer Time actually ends on October 31st. One hour back, to GMT, at 2 am on the morning of Halloween. The story is ‘The Door Ajar’ and I’ll post it when the book is out.

Right. Back to work. Lots to do… and Underdog Anthology 16 will begin in mid October!

Another fake shortage

In a rerun of the toilet paper fiasco, people are now filling entirely unsuitable containers with petrol and in many cases will be turning their homes into potential infernos.

Why? Same reason as the toilet paper game. The media have told them there is a petrol shortage and petrol stations are going to run out of fuel. The result, again as with the toilet paper game, is that everyone rushed to fill their cars and anything else they could find with petrol, bought it all and… petrol stations ran out of fuel.

What kicked this off was a report that BP and Texaco were finding it difficult to employ enough delivery drivers so they were going to temporarily close ten petrol stations.

Ten. In the whole country. Ten out of over 8000 petrol stations. Now they are all swamped with idiots convinced it’s going to run out, and not realising they are the ones causing it to run out. As with the toilet paper, again, there is no real shortage. There is plenty of petrol waiting to be distributed and it is being distributed. The problem is the surge in demand – which means it’s disappearing from stock faster than it can be replaced. Give it a week and all those petrol stations will be back to normal. I look forward to the idiots trying to take their stock back for a refund.

More importantly though, some of the photographs show people filling actual petrol containers, others show them filling any plastic container they could find. Some of them will be corroded by the petrol and leak. And they are not small containers.

I live on a farm. I have a small stash of petrol for garden tools and I can store it well away from the house. Many of those people filling dodgy containers are likely to live in houses with attached garages, or even in flats. So what happens when the containers start to leak, the electricity goes off (almost inevitable this winter due to the Green lunacy) and they light candles? Terraced houses and flats are likely to go off like gigantic firecrackers.

They can’t return the petrol to the garages. They can’t safely dispose of it – and at current UK fuel prices they really aren’t going to try anyway. It’s just sitting there, waiting for a spark. Just as I wrote in May of 2020

So why this fake media-induced shortage and idiot-driven panic buying? Several possibilities have emerged. One is the idea that if you can’t get petrol, you’re better off with an electric car but with looming electricity outages, that doesn’t really work. Not being able to buy petrol really isn’t any different to not being able to plug in your car. And how many can afford those battery powered toys anyway?

One that does seem likely is that, to get the new crap E10 petrol loaded up, the government wanted to clear out the forecourt tanks so the new petrol won’t be diluted by the old stuff. I’ve been running on the new E10 for at least one full tank now. The car runs fine, but the mileage is already very noticeably down. So I’ll have to burn more of it to go the same distance as before. Green? This stuff is nowhere near ‘green’. Buring ethanol produces – guess what? CO2. So it will actually increase emissions. It will, incidentally, also increase the duty and VAT take because the same tank of fuel won’t take you as far as before.

I’d have thought that gradually diluting the new E10 with the old stuff would make the drop in mileage more gradual and less noticeable. This clearout is going to make it really, really obvious to anyone who wasn’t really paying attention before.

But then, sensible policy has never been the cornerstone of government. We vote them in and they think they are bloody emperors.

Soon, we are likely to have another King Charles. I have a very strong feeling that history, ignored as it is by many these days, could well be about to bite some political arses.

Tetanus, gangrene, botulism…

And other cheery things.

Oh come on. Halloween is coming, I’m just getting into the swing of it here.

I saw a tweet roll by on Twitter saying you can ‘develop’ tetanus even if fully vaccinated and I had one of those Pedant Moments.

You don’t ‘develop’ tetanus. You develop cancers or autoimmune diseases or rheumatism or arthritis. You don’t ‘develop’ tetanus. You catch it.

Not from other people. Usually you get it from an infected wound which can be external or internal. You see, those diseases, tetanus, botulism and gangrene are all caused by species within the bacterial genus Clostridium. They are all anaerobic, which means they live without oxygen and are often killed by it. None of them infect you in the traditional sense because they cannot live in oxygenated tissue.

They can live in your lower gut where oxygen is so low as to need very expensive equipment to detect it, and most of them are common soil bacteria. They are really lousy pathogens, they can’t spread easily between people and they kill their hosts way too often. Like cholera (Vibrio cholerae), they are bacterial species in the wrong place and just making a mess.

Okay. So let’s take gangrene (Clostridium welchii). It cannot infect living tissue because of the oxygen. It grows in dead tissue around a wound. It produces toxins that kill the living flesh surrounding that wound. Then it can grow in that dead tissue. You get this, you are effectively being eaten alive and being killed a little bit at a time. Nibble nibble.

Botulism (Clostridium botulinum) does not infect at all. Not even in dead tissue. It grows in food, famously in pates where the dense nature of the liver paste gives them a nice anaerobic environment. Also in canned food or in jars – which is why jars have those ‘button lids’. If the button can be pressed, either the jar has been opened or something in there is alive and producing gas. Neither is good. Always check. Swollen cans, jars with pressable lids, yoghourts with hard, convex lids… don’t risk it. These things are not expensive enough to take the chance. It’s not just botulism, there are many others.

You don’t get infected with botulism. The bacterium produces fifteen different neurotoxins in food and they are not all killed by heat. Basically, it poisons your food. The actual bacterium could pass through you without doing much of anything, it’s already produced the nasties in your lunch.

This is what made me cringe when listening to ‘training’ of new staff in Local Shop. ‘Food poisoning and food borne disease are pretty much the same thing’. No. They are entirely different things. Botulism is food poisoning. It grows in the food and you eat poisoned food. No infection. Salmonella is food borne disease. You eat contaminated food and it grows in you. Infection. But then, I wasn’t being paid enough to intervene and I’d just have seen blank stares anyway so I let it go.

So… tetanus (Clostridium tetani). There is a vaccine for this one and it’s a good one. It doesn’t last a lifetime, you need a booster but that’s about once every ten years. The vaccine is not aimed at the bacterium, it’s aimed at the toxins it produces because like other bacteria in this genus, it’s not in living tissue. The bacterium might well appear in your bloodstream but it’s really not very active in there.The toxins it produces in the dead flesh in the wound it’s infected are what is killing you.

No vaccine is 100% perfect. There will always be a few people it doesn’t work in and a few who will get sick from it. I’m lucky in that I have never been sick from a vaccine, but it does happen.

With something like tetanus though, it’s extremely nasty and often fatal so I’d say the risk of catching it is far, far greater than the risk from the vaccine. I definitely took the chance that the vaccine would work for me over the chance of getting the disease. I live on a farm, I don’t farm it but during harvest and ploughing there is a lot of soil dust around. I’m also digging and mowing and trimming all summer. Tetanus is a big risk here. So, if it ever turns out the vaccine didn’t work for me I really haven’t lost anything by taking it – and if it does, the gain is enormous.

So far I have never experienced tetanus. Could be the vaccine, could be luck, I have no way to tell. It’s like the old joke about the guy on a train in England throwing paper balls out of the window to keep elephants off the tracks. There are no elephants, therefore it works. I have never had tetanus, so does that mean the vaccine works? No idea, but I’m happy to have not had tetanus. And no bad reaction to the vaccine or boosters.

This is not to detract from those who have been sick after vaccines or who have had serious reactions to them. I’m just saying I’ve been lucky in that regard. I fully understand that others have not been so lucky.

There are many other species in this genus. Clostridium butyricum lives in your gut and it helps in starch digestion by getting into the starch grains, producing gas and exploding them like popcorn. So other bacteria can get to them. Never got around to publishing that, it’s in a PhD student’s thesis but she had way more than enough publications to pass anyway. That’s a useful one, they aren’t all evil.

Then there is Clostridium difficile. This is a properly evil bastard. It will destroy your guts when you are at your lowest ebb and it will kill you. It is also one of the few that can spread fairly easily, especially in places like hospital wards where people are already sick and stuck in the same room for a long time.

There is no vaccine, it lives in your gut and produces toxins that tear your intestines apart. Treating it involves antibiotics that are 50/50 going to kill it or kill you first. Last resort antibiotics like metronidazole or vancomycin. There is another way but the NHS didn’t want it and I’m not allowed to make it public. Meh. If I ever catch this, I have the Stuff in the fridge.

Vaccines against this genus are pretty much limited to tetanus, and that vaccine does not make you immune to the bacterium because your immune system won’t see it – and can easily deal with the actual bacterium because if it does get into blood, it’s already struggling. It’s growing in wounds composed of dead tissue. The vaccine generates antibodies against the toxins it produces. The effect lasts about a decade, then you need a booster. Seriously, look up what tetanus can do to you after a simple gardening accident and tell me you wouldn’t risk the vaccine!

A vaccine against botulism is unlikely. You’d have to derive antibodies to all its array of toxins. A vaccine against the bacterium is futile, it doesn’t infect you. Likewise with gangrene – the tissue it’s growing in is the dead stuff around a wound. It’s producing toxins that act locally so by the time the immune system gets to see those toxins, the tissue affected has died and so have the local immune cells.

If you don’t consume too much of botulinum’s toxins, there is a chance your immune system can mop them all up before they kill you – but trust me, you’re not going to be totally asymptomatic. You might be lucky enough to get to somewhere that can provide an antitoxin treatment too.

With gangrene, there is nothing your immune system or medicine can do. The affected tissue is dead and it’s spreading. The only thing to do is to cut off the affected area before it reaches some important organs. You’re going to lose parts of yourself if you want to survive this one.

Will there ever be a gangrene vaccine? No. Once it gets into the already-dead bits around a wound, you are, basically, fucked. It does not matter if you have antibodies to the toxins, the toxins are localised so you can only fight with what you have in that region, and that region is dying fast. Tetanus toxins are systemic so your whole immune system is involved, all over your body. Gangrene toxins are like fighting a war in a narrow valley, only the few on the front line can fight, the rest are just hanging around with nothing to do.

I bet it won’t stop the mRNA lot trying though. They’ll come up with the bright idea, as they have with covid, that if your own body cells express the toxins then your immune system will get to know them and be ready. Once more, they will overlook the small matter that the immune system doesn’t just attack the toxins, it attacks the cells producing them. It won’t stop gangrene. It will accelerate it even before you get it.

Hopefully someone in one of the companies has had one of those ‘Hang on a minute…’ moments and they’ll leave it alone. I’m not confident. The pharmers are all about money, not health. If they can mug you into buying the vaccine – and still keep indemnity from any damage it causes – they will make it and convince the idiots in government to mandate it. Or better yet, add it to your food so you can’t refuse – because you don’t even know you took it.

Never happen? It is already happening with covid vaccines. Once that vaccine passport is in place, there is no limit to what can be mandated and added to it. No limit at all. If one of the mandated vaccines kills you, well, too bad. They still have your money and that’s really all these companies care about.

Don’t forget there is also a depopulation agenda at play here. Oh you can hide away and pretend it’s tinfoil hattery if you like, but it’s been very openly stated over and over again. By the same people who want to inject you. To ‘protect’ you.

If you still believe governments won’t deliberately kill their own people, I’d suggest you study the likes of Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin etc. Hitler was small fry compared to these guys. And no, they are not in the ‘distant past’. Check the dates they were active.

Ah, but they are not western governments. Our side are more civilised. Like the internment camps for Japanese people in America during WWII. Like the biological experiments performed on unknowing subjects in America and the UK. Like the covid camps in use in Australia and now being constructed all over the west. Get this into your head – people are all the same. No matter what colour, what creed, what culture, deep down we are all the same. The Nazis were not a special case.

Even Churchill, the man who guided the UK to victory in WWII. The UK had captured a German enigma coding machine and found out that Germany was about to bomb Coventry. They didn’t warn Coventry because that would let the Germans know they could crack the code. Coventry was sacrificed as a move in a chess game.

Governments are dispassionate chess players when it comes to their people. They don’t care if the pawns get wiped off the board if it leads to what their end goal is. Yes, it’s just like a chess game except… you’re not playing it.

You’re a piece on the board.

Rumours and Contradictions

Blogging is going to be sporadic for a time. I am now up to my eyes in books getting prepared, getting existing books prepped for reloading on Lulu and have opened the fifteenth Underdog Anthology (Halloween) for stories. Even this post has taken three days to complete. Also, I have only just noticed we are now in September – author payments were due three days ago! I’ll get to that tonight.

One bit of good news – my grandson is making an excellent recovery, so that bit of tension has eased at least.

I see there is something of a to-do in Afghanistan. Lots of contradictory information, as ever, but I’ll refrain from commenting. I’ve never been there and have no military experience so I have nothing on which to base an opinion. Other than… why do countries keep invading Afghanistan? Nobody ever wins there. It’s where empires go to die. Just leave them alone, FFS.

When it comes to matters microbiological, that’s different. So here goes. A rundown of some of what I’ve seen and heard and the fragments that have been confirmed. There’s too much for one post.

I’ve heard that Germany and Denmark have stopped vaccinating. What’s confirmed is that both have stopped using the Astrazeneca vaccine over the blood clot issues. As far as I can tell they are still using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. So they haven’t really stopped vaccinating, they’ve just narrowed their range of vaccines.

Japan hasn’t stopped vaccinating. They have stopped using Moderna over contamination issues. Well, if you give a company immunity from prosecution, why would they spend money on quality control? As far as I can tell, this only affects Moderna vaccines and only in Japan.

Vaxpasses are about to come into use in the UK, initially only for nightclubs and other places where large gatherings of people happen. I see so many comments of ‘well it’s just for large gatherings’ and they really believe it will stop there.

In France and Australia you can’t get into a supermarket without a vaxpass. In Cyprus you can’t even buy petrol without one. This is an activity that takes place outdoors, on your own, and the ‘pay at pump’ thing means you need never contact anyone else at all in the process. So the vaxpass makes no sense here. It makes no sense anywhere, but outdoors and alone it’s extra-special bunk with knobs on.

Israel is rolling out third jabs, because if you try something twice and it makes matters worse, the obvious solution (to idiots) is to keep doing it until it does work. Therefore their vaxpass is now only valid for six months after the last jab… which has an implication that should be blatantly obvious to anyone. Especially when you notice that the EU vaxpass has space for eight shots, and that many countries have ordered ten times as many vaccines as they have people. Oh yes, if you got on this train you are on it for life.

The graphene oxide thing is still going on. I’ve never worked with it so I can’t say whether the published micrographs look like it or not. It’s a sheet of carbon one atom thick, I would suspect you’d need a scanning tunneling microscope to see it, not a light microscope, but as I said, I’ve never worked with it so don’t know. I have no idea why it would be in there and the pictures I’ve seen show no real form, just folded sheets of something.

Well, if I was going to make a nanobot, using a stable carbon based outer shell that can be made one atom thick would be a good place to start. However, the micrographs don’t show robots or any kind of mechanical structure so if they were nanobots, they got mangled during the injection. Well, I did once consider nanobots a potentially useful thing (the virus mentioned in that post was in the computer). But that was back in 2003.

So, we have a great deal of conflicting information. There are those telling us the ‘vaccines’ are safe while others are building court cases over the massive amounts of harm they cause. Those telling us they work but everyone needs another shot because they aren’t working. Reports of magnetic effects followed by Japanese scientists finding magnetic particles in the shots. Graphene keeps coming back too, although the microchip story seems to have faded somewhat now. The 5G link… well I’ll probably be dead before 5G gets out to rural here so I’m not likely to have much to say about it. Getting any phone reception at all is cause for celebration here.

The imminent UK vaxpasses will be for large events, soon to be extended to pubs and shops and your living room and every time you need a pee. Australia and New Zealand are at the point where even North Korea is facepalming but Ireland and Denmark are dropping all restrictions and vax passes at the same time as Boris and Wee Nippy demand their introduction.

Incidentally, the best description I’ve seen of Boris lately is ‘a haunted haystack’. It needs to be a story.

As for Australia, I used to think it was full of Crocodile Dundee types and that wonderful mad bastard who grabbed deadly snakes and was unfortunately killed by a stingray. I thought they all wore hats with corks hanging off them, cracked a cold tube of beer and threw another prawn on the barbie. Which gives a bit of a difficult image in the UK… my daughter used to collect Barbie dolls so I imagined a kind of game of quoits where you’d throw prawns and try to land them on the dolls. But I digress. Anyway, it turns out Australians are a bunch of feeble girlie men who will do as they are told by thugs in uniform and are scared of getting a cold. If you want to put out threats, Aussies, remember I’m on the other side of the planet and you are in detention – teacher won’t let you leave your country, or even your state. So what are you gonna do about it, matey?

Sweden, meanwhile, has ignored it all. With a covid infection and death rate result that was… exactly the same as everyone else, except they didn’t destroy their children’s education (well, apart from the Doom Goblin’s ‘we don’ need no education because we already know everything’ crap), they didn’t wreck their businesses and didn’t force everyone into pointless masks. But let’s not talk about that because it is so very inconvenient.

The messaging coming out is contradictory, much of it is unconfirmed, it is confusing and disorienting and I suspect that is deliberate. I have used this kind of technique for fun when faced with antismokers and other generally stupid people, and it really does work to scare people. I never imagined it could work on such a scale, it seems I underestimated the levels of stupidity and gullibility out there.

It is not going to improve any time soon. We are going to see much more of rumours that are later randomly proved or disproved, definitive facts that turn out to be false, clear ‘conspiracy theories’ wrapped and sealed in an Alcan factory that will later be shown to be the truth, until you don’t know if you are up or down, whether black is white or blue is brown.

At that point you are open to anything. Anything that will take away the confusion. Even if it is bizarre, it’s less mad than the world in your brain. Anything that at least looks logical.

Here is a bit of logic. One I have used more than once.

There are no roundabouts in America because the Romans never got that far. The Romans built dead straight roads because they hadn’t invented steering. So the invaded peoples built winding roads and roundabouts to slow them down and that is why the Romans failed. They did not reach America, so America has straight roads and no roundabouts. It’s logic.

It’s nonsense. It’s entirely made up. The real game takes longer than this simple outline but it has never failed. You will not believe how many people have accepted that as a sensible explanation. There are so many others, especially with antismokers but they were all one on one, retaliation if you will for snide remarks or fake coughs. It did not occur to me to scare an entire country, but looking back, I had the basis of it.

The basis is confusion, especially confusion that looks like logic. Once you have someone confused, any offer of any kind of illusory logic is grasped at. This is not hard to set up, the only hard part is keeping a straight face while doing it.

The setup was ‘your mask protects me, my mask protects you’, after many conflicting messages on masks until everyone is just desperate for some kind of logical reasoning behind them.

That sets up a mindset whereby everyone around you is at risk unless you do something to yourself (wear a mask) and if someone else doesn’t wear a mask, then they are a risk to you even if you are wearing yours. It’s senseless, but after a few months of ‘wear a mask/don’t wear a mask’ people are ready to grasp anything that gets them out of the confusion.

From there it’s a simple step to ‘my vaccine protects you, and if you don’t get one you are putting my health at risk’. A moment’s thought makes it clear that this is ludicrous, but so many aren’t thinking any more. They have been battered by confusing stories to the point where they just want it to stop, and they’ll accept anything at all that means they can fix some kind of logic in their minds.

So now we have the absurdity of the non-sick unvaxxed being dangerous to the often-ill vaxxed. If you are not vaccinated you can generate deadly variants of a virus you don’t have and infect people who have been vaccinated against that virus. People really believe this. They really do. I have to admit to being grudgingly impressed by the behavioural scientists of SAGE, they have performed a feat of brainwashing on most of the population that is absolutely astounding.

Of course, it’s not over. There are already calls for the unvaxxed to be segregated from society – including from Noam Chomsky, a man who was born in 1929 and will have observed multiple instances of the consequences of those words. Australia and Canada are building very large ‘quarantine camps’, and I hear rumours that other countries are also building them. Of course, any mention of them being used to round up the unvaxxed is tinfoil hattery. As was the vaxpass, the third jab, the fourth jab already being discussed and the eight spaces on the EU vaxpass. And there are already supporters of rounding up the unvaxxed, so they’ll have no problem finding camp guards.

It doesn’t end with covid either. We are now to fear Marburg virus, a disease endemic to certain parts of Africa and virtually unknown elsewhere West Nile virus is making a comeback, and you can expect variants to start popping up like farts in the bath as soon as the fear of all the new diseases is established. That vaxpass is going to look like a telephone directory – and it’s only valid until the next booster is due.

Miss one booster and you can join the unvaxxed in the camps. Square one.

The future is very dark indeed. There is one ray of hope though – this sort of thing has been tried throughout history, time and time again, and it has always ended very badly for those who have done it.

Better polish up Traitor’s Gate and oil the hinges. It’s likely to get a lot of traffic in the future.

Book stuff

Still lots to do here, still fighting lockdown ennui as, I suspect, are most people. At least I moved out of that tiny flat in time. It was a very nice flat but being locked in there now would have been a nightmare. Also, grandson is recovering well fom his surprise illness which is good news. Somewhere between good and bad news is that my daughter, my youngest, just turned 30 and I feel almost as old as I did when she jumped out a plane skydiving. I think that event took my last non-grey hair.

Anyway. The Halloween anthology is open, and Leg Iron Books is going to be putting print books on Lulu.com. They have some steep postage charges and if you undercut Amazon, they ditch you fast so it was never a cheap option – but so many people are boycotting Amazon now, an alternative outlet for print is necessary.

The eBooks are already also available via Smashwords, and most of them have made it through to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple etc, but the only source for print was Amazon.

Lulu.com have changed since I was last there. A lot. It’s taking time to figure out the new layout but eventually all Leg Iron Books will appear there. The single author books will go in first (their trim sizes are a little different so if you provided your own cover I might need to ask for a slightly different size) and the anthologies will go in as three-book omnibus editions, where those were in the contracts. So they won’t be the same as the Amazon ones, won’t get the Amazon snarky price comparisons and will be worth the steep postage rates. I’m considering some hardback copies even though those would be so expensive they are unlikely to sell. Costs nothing but time to try it.

Anyway, the end of this month is author payment month so if you want our authors to succeed, have a look at the selection available. They don’t all have the Smashwords Ebook links yet, but they aren’t hard to find.

Best of all, they take your mind off the current Hell on earth for a while.

E10

I had to fill the car with petrol the other day. I also filled my 20 litre jerrycan for all the petrol driven things around here – generator, mowers and the brushcutter (AKA The Petrol Driven Bastard). The only unleaded petrol available here now is the new E10 – ten percent ethanol.

The car’s fine with it, almost all Toyotas have no issue with this silly diluent. Saving emissions? You really need a bit of chemistry education – what do you get when you burn ethanol? The generator and mower are also fairly new so I don’t expect them to have problems. My little tractor – the ride on mower – might, and the Petrol Driven Bastard (PDB) certainly will.

So I’ll have to get the ethanol out or at least reduce it for those things. It’s not difficult but it will reduce the octane rating of the remaining petrol by, as far as I can find out, 3 points. It’ll drop from 97 to 94 octane, I doubt the old engines will notice that.

I am not going to do it for the car because I’d have to deal with 50 litres at a time and the car doesn’t need it anyway. The PDB declares alcohol-free petrol essential and I expect the old engine in the tiny tractor will need it too, but I only have to deal with a couple of litres for both.

It’s very simple. Ethanol is soluble in water. Most of the hydrocarbons in petrol are not. So you mix the petrol with water (for E10 I’d say 1 part water to 9 parts petrol), shake the hell out of it and leave it overnight. You’ll have the water (and hopefully most, if not all, of the ethanol) at the bottom and the petrol at the top. Oh and… don’t be tempted to have a smoke around it. Shaking it is going to release a lot of explosive fumes. Probably best to not do it in the kitchen, eh?

This is easier if you have a garage full of lab equipment including a separating funnel and stand but you can do it in any petrol resistant container. If you can tap off from the bottom, take out all the water and a bit of the petrol just to be sure, and dispose of it without killing anything that matters to you. Do not attempt to drink the ethanol/water mix, you don’t know what else got extracted. Dump it. Ideally not into the sewage system and certainly not into your septic tank. I have a lot of weed-strewn waste ground here that would be improved by a treatment with something horrible, you have to find your own way.

No separating funnel, you could carefully pour or siphon the cleaned up petrol into another container. Make sure you only get petrol and sacrifice the last bit, don’t try to get it all or you’ll get water in there again.

This works if you only need a litre or so for an old, small engine. It’s not viable for a very old car engine. That would need a whole industrial scale fractionation column and I don’t think many people will have space for that – or sufficient training to use it without blowing themselves into mince.

This E10 is not about saving the planet. Burning ethanol produces carbon dioxide, same as pretty much every chemical compound on the planet. It’s about getting rid of old cars. They want you to drive electric dodgems that won’t work in winter or in floods.

There is a solution, if you have the equipment and knowledge. Unfortunately modern education has ensured that few people have that knowledge.

I am increasingly convinced that this has happened before.

Reading ambitions

Hi everyone, CstM here.
I hope you’re all doing well and haven’t melted away in the heat. We had almost two weeks of really great weather. Of course summer arrived before and after Leggy’s mother had gone back home. That’s how life works I guess. We did have a really lovely time with the Welsh mothership. It was sad to see her go home, but it was also nice to have the house for ourselves again.

Now I almost had to come back here and admit that I once again didn’t actually read the book of the month. I spent way too much time munching ice cream, playing Zelda breath of the wild and dazing in the sun. It was far too hot for cross stitching, so there hasn’t been any progress on that front. But after procrastinating, I finally read the book on the last day of the month. Now I had read it before, years ago, but I’d forgotten how great a book it is.
The characters are well written and I was finding myself getting invested in their development. The characters have their flaws and Carl Mørck, the main character, is battling with PTSD following a job that crippled one of his coworkers and killed another, plus going through a divorce. But it is all really well written. He feels like a real person and you can’t help but root for the cranky sod.
Although hands down my favourite character is his side-kick Assad. Where you know the back story for Carl Mørck, not much has been revealed yet about Assad. He has a wife and daughters, has strange not so legal contacts, can drive a tank and much else isn’t known about him. For me it makes it me much more invested in reading the other books in the series, because I want to know more.
Now this is the first book in so far an 8 book series, so I was thinking of being ambitious in my reading plans and keeping reading one of the Department Q books parallel with the Gloom Dog Book Club book. So there’ll technically be two books a month for the next 7 months. Hopefully you’ll keep following me deeper into the Department Q universe.

Now that brings us to the new book of the month. This month we’ll circle back to political satire/comedy and read “Look who’s back” by Timur Vermes.
I haven’t read this one before and I must admit I don’t know too much about it. It’s about Hitler coming back to life in the present time and how he reacts to life in modern society. It claims to be funny, so we’ll have to see if it can keep that promise.
We’ll also be reading book two in the Department Q series, so Disgrace (UK title) or The Absent One (US title) by Jussi Adler-Olsen. The Danish title is Fasandræberne (The pheasant killers). Side note, am I the only idiot who keeps getting pheasant and peasant mixed up? I’m still surprised NSA or MI5 didn’t show up asking questions, after I accidentally Googled “Can you keep peasants as pets”. Not my greatest moment.

I almost forgot, it is a bit of a special month. Gloom Dog is turning 13 on the 12th, so she’s looking forward to her celebrations. We’re still figuring out what to get her. She got a new bed for Christmas, so we may get her something nice to eat. A cheap cut of steak or some chicken maybe. If the weather holds up she may insist on us taking her to one of the castle parks nearby.

I hope you’ll join me on the reading adventure this month and have an amazing day.

A smile interlude

The competition has been won. Ianronj got it right, it was an ancient Goons song, I think it’s the oldest vinyl in my collection (even older than me, you’re lucky it’s not in Latin) and here it is with the B side too. I had it in my head it was the B side of the ‘Ying Tong Song‘ but no, it’s even older than that one. I’ll have to rummage in the records to find what’s on the B side of that.

The video is not of my copy, my record player is a Garrard, but it’s the record I have always played when I need a bit of cheering up. That and the Marty Feldman album, maybe a bit of Bonzo Dog Band. Could do with a bottle of that Goon stuff around the place now, it probably cures Covid too.

Anyway, Ianronj, you have mail. If you don’t see it check your spambox.