Amazing what you find…

…when looking for something else.

First, apologies are due for my lack of response to comments. I am adjusting to having to wake at different times each day this week so I might fall asleep spontaneously.

There seems no point lambasting the politicians today. They are doing it to themselves very nicely. Today, Cameron has found his party won’t let him make a law that says future governments have to give away 0.7% of every penny the country has, since we don’t have any pennies to start with. Clegg has now shouted that he will have this in his manifesto next election. Excellent. He’s going to promise to give away more money that we don’t have. That should bury his lot forever.

Tomorrow I have to be up early but it’s not work. Friday I have to be up early but that’s a good thing. I have a day off Saturday so Smoky-Drinky was planned for Friday night. The trouble was, I was working until 9 pm originally. By the time I got home, changed and ate something, I would not be at Smoky-Drinky until after 10 pm and they’d all be absolutely plastered by then. So now I finish at 5 on Friday and will be drunk at the same pace as the rest.

No, it’s not work tomorrow. It’s fishing. Haven’t been for ages. I have spent most of the evening looking for my scattered fishing gear – the fly fishing stuff. Found it all at last but on the way I also found this –

franklynsI knew I still had one somewhere. It was in the old fishing bag and was full of flies on lines wound around cards. There is a faded health warning on the side of the tin but nothing on the front. Ah, I have a ‘new’ baccy tin! Well, after a bit of a cleanup.

Then there was a box of ships. Many, many years ago, I was involved in a global conflict with a few friends. I had control of the German and Italian navies in that tabletop war and I find I still have all the little ships. Loads of them. Here’s a tiny sample –

littleshipsClicking might make them less tiny.

In the middle is Bismarck and to the right of it is Graf Zeppelin, the aircraft carrier. Above those is the Italian battleship Littorio and those tiny lines are Type XXI U-boats. I was fond of U-boats so there are quite a few in that small box.

These ships were, I think, made by Davco and are cast whitemetal. They were supplied unpainted. Just bare metal.

Yes, I was once capable of that kind of painting.

There are a lot of cheat boats in the box too. We had a rule that if you wanted to use a vessel, you had to have the physical vessel to place on the board. If you had Bismarck in the Atlantic, you could not transport it to the Mediterranean, it had to sail there and that took time. If you also had Tirpitz then you could have that one in the Med. Likewise with the U-boats. That’s why I have so many.

The cheat boats came about because I discovered that I could make good copies of the original boats using plastic resin, and plasticine as a mould. Painted up it was hard to tell the difference – so I was not constrained by spare money for the real models.

I’m not going to get involved in sea battles again so I’ll sell these off as soon as I find time to catalogue them and list them on eBay. Some I have trouble identifying, so it’ll take a while. The cheat boats will be included as free extras because they aren’t really worth anything.

Bismarck is three inches long. I can’t remember the scale, I would have said 1/1200 but that sub I’m drilling for a smoking captain is bigger than these. Anyone know? I know U-boats weren’t very big but surely modern subs aren’t as long as battleships?

Well, best wind down for sleep. A hard morning’s fishing lies ahead, before a relaxing four-hour shift in the evening. With luck, I’ll have a trout feast in between.

Normal service will resume… eventually.


Out of focus.

I am a trifle tiddly this evening (yes, I know, *yawn* what else is new?).

Since I finished at 9 pm and tomorrow might be my last day off for a while (the departure of Boss means we are down to two) I called in at Smoky-Drinky on the way home. With a bottle.

Normal service will resume as soon as I get a reasonable grip on what normality actually is.

And as soon as I can type a sentence without having to edit every single damn word in it.

My fingers are drunk, and I seem to have more than I should because they keep hitting extra keys. And when did I get two screens?

Warm and squishy.

Local Shop does not sell nappies. That’s okay, I am nowhere near old enough to need them yet. They certainly wouldn’t put them next to the beer or we’d be picketed by the ‘For the Cheeldren’ loonies for promoting Stella to those incapable of reading the labels.

Sure it is easy to confuse shoppers because most of them are shoppers second and idiots first. If they were to apply a slight touch of thinking to their trolley-rally experience they’d do so much better but that is not in any shop’s interest. Selling the stupid ones things they don’t need is a much better business plan. It does not work on everyone.

‘Alcohol is the aisle you end up in after you have got all your provisions,’ says Mr Adcock.(7)

I assume the number in brackets is his age. He is wrong in my case. Alcohol is the aisle I start out in. As for ‘selfishness’, I am buying for me, with money I worked for, so where does ‘selfishness’ come into it? Should I be handing the Big Issue seller at the door a bag of groceries? Get stuffed. I have paid enough taxes to cover his income support and his brood back in Romania, I am going to feed myself with what I have left.

But, as I said, Local Shop does not sell nappies. Lots of little children appear in the place nonetheless, and Rentokil say they have nothing to get rid of them. All my suggestions to solve the problem have been summarily dismissed and at least two were threatened with police action.

And yet… it seems that even primary school children are still wearing nappies.

Hmmm. So the extreme elderly and incontinent wear them and now, older and older children wear them. Eventually it must meet in the middle.

I suspect a ploy by Big Nappy (or maybe Big Log)  to make them a lifelong addiction.

Or maybe, a Government conspiracy designed to destroy the Frank Hovis show –

We’ll probably never know.


How the Big Bang was started.

pull-my-fingerAnd the Lord spake unto Adam saying ‘Go on. Pull my finger.’

And Adam didst pull and lo, there was an Almighty bang.

And the Lord didst fall about laughing.


Well, the lightning bolt missed me again so I thought I’d have another go. I’m sure a supreme deity can take a little taunting now and then. Besides, maybe that’s what happened? Who’s to know?

Waste not, feed to drones.

In these early hours of April 1st, I have been looking for April Fool stories. The Daily Mail is no use, any of their stories would qualify on any day of the year. I suspect many of their day-to-day stories are just made up anyway.

Over, then, to the sites with no sense of humour. There is a story about using crushed date kernels to make fake coffee. Could that be a hoax? Well, there was once Camp coffee, made from chicory. It looked like a bottle of brown sauce and tasted almost entirely of other things than coffee. Maybe that stuff is still around somewhere. I didn’t like it so have never looked for it. The name has probably been long since Stonewalled as offensive. Now it might be called ‘Whoopsie’ or ‘Get her!’ fake shite coffee.

There are things that make it suspicious as a potential April Fool. Halfway through it becomes a coffee and tea alternative. It pushes the idea that crushed kernels are actually healthy (although every time industry wants you to eat their waste, they say it’s healthy) and that this new wonder dust could have uses in ‘cosmetic and personal care’ products. And the company gets their raw material for free.

Even that part isn’t so unlikely. Companies have to pay a lot of money to have waste taken away to landfill. Someone offering to take it off their hands for nothing would get a warm welcome. I know of someone (commercial connection, could be work in it for me in the future so buttoned lip on details here) who is selling anaerobic digesters to food companies. They cost a lot but they produce methane which provides some power. More than that though, they hugely reduce the solids content of food waste and therefore hugely reduce the cost of getting rid of it.

And there is a lot of food waste. Lots of perfectly good food gets chucked out every day. Even in a little business like Local Shop. Out of date food is usually absolutely safe. They build a good safety margin into those shelf lives. Yet, if you even give away date-expired food and the homeless guy who eats it gets sick, you’ll be sued until you’re homeless too. Even if it can’t be conclusively proved the food was responsible for his illness. That doesn’t matter. What you have to prove is ‘due diligence’ and selling, or even giving away, expired food does not match the definition of due diligence.

So the homeless guy eats the date-expired but perfectly safe Victoria sponge cake you gave him, then licks a spilled curry off the pavement, then gets a bad dose of shitting-out-of-every-orifice and blames you. You can insist the cake was safe until the cows come home, redecorate, jet off to Marbella for two weeks, come home again, draw their pensions, die of a long and debilitating illness and then get cremated in Burger King but it won’t help.

You gave him out of date food. The pavement curry was not out of date. You lose. Mostly because nobody knows who bought or sold the curry and in any legal battle, someone has to pay the lawyers. Homeless guy is skint so you’re it. That’s how the law works. It’s a great thing, the law, if you can afford it.

Therefore masses of perfectly good food – including bakery products baked fresh that very day – get sent to waste rather than risk their ending up in the hands of the Compo Crew. I can see the sense where doughnuts are concerned. Supermarket ones last for days but taste awful. Proper ones, cooked that day, are wonderful but will be rocks in the morning. And yet the bread should be okay tomorrow (except soda bread) and the granola squares that look horrible and the shortbread and… well most of it apart from the doughnuts.

You could label it ‘yesterday’s bread’ and sell it cut price. It will last one day less than today’s bread. Really though, that is commercial madness because if you did it, nobody would buy today’s bread. The balance point would be between the cost of throwing out fresh baked bread against the possibility of just calling the shop ‘Yesterday’s Bread’ and accepting lower profit margins and less waste. It costs to pay the baker, to power the bakery, to throw away the waste so that balance point isn’t as far away as it seems.

Ah, if only Captain Beefheart were around. ‘Yesterday’s Bread’ would be a discordant cacophony of delight within a day. Krafwerk couldn’t use it. Maybe Focus could. If they are still alive. Well, I am at that age where everyone I have ever met is dead or mad or on medication or ‘stressed’, whatever that is. Whatever is affecting them does not seem to affect me at all. Just lucky, I suppose.

All this whining about food waste and how many millions of tons are binned each year is not really about the people it’s blamed on – us. It’s about the legal system that forces shops and supermarkets to chuck out perfectly good food by the truckload or face the Compo Claimant Collective.

Now here is the clever part. If you produce a food, it has an expiry date. If you take the waste product of that food production and produce another food, it has another expiry date. A date that stems from the point you produced the finished product.

So, you buy or take the waste from one place and turn it into Soylent Green and the drones will never question it. Never ask how or why their lives are sustained.

Producer A makes a product that will be definitely safe three weeks after shipping. Producer B’s product lasts three weeks also – but once a week he picks up the the leftovers from Producer A’s system and then, three weeks later, his date-limit begins. So what does the date limit mean? Aside from being another control measure and another way for the Wastemonsters (or, if you are in the US, the Waste House) to make money, it means pretty much nothing. Do what my grandmothers did. If it smells okay, eat it. If it smells a bit off, oven-blast it until it smells okay.

But I have digressed. The point is, is it likely that anyone would think it a good idea to sell waste as food, and would anyone buy it? In only a part of my lifetime, the answer has gone from ‘no’ through ‘maybe’ to ‘definitely’.

Feeding the drones on what amounts to industrial swill does not seem at all unlikely these days. Ten years ago I would have called ‘hoax’ at once but now it’s impossible to be sure.

Maybe this is not an April Fool after all. They get harder to spot every year.

In the Mail, the hoaxes are harder to spot every day.

Gibberish alert.

Tomorrow is my first day off for three weeks so tonight it’s time for an overdue liver-workout at Smoky-Drinky.

If I get back online later and manage to get past cackling like an idiot at Lolcats, whatever appears here isn’t likely to make a lot of sense.

You have been warned!

happyThis is not what happens at Smoky-Drinky.


For some resaon the rockers have declared Nickelback a silly band. I have no idea why, they sound pretty good to me.

It was hard to find an uncensored version of this song, which is wonderfully ironic since it contains the line ‘I’m gonna sing the songs that offend the censors’. Seems they succeeded.

Anyway, I am a little tipsy now because work doesn’t start until 3 pm tomorrow. I have to be up at the crack of noon. So I’ve been singing along to YouTube again. It’s a good thing the neighbours can’t hear or I’d get more boots thrown at me than a tomcat on heat. I might have been brought up in Wales but I am not designed for rugby and male voice choirs used to send hitmen out to silence me. If there is a Hell, then Satan will put me on permanent karaoke to torment everyone else.

Can anyone explain what the rock problem is with Nickelback? As far as I can see, they come up with some good stuff and they play and sing it well.

Okay, here is the uncensored example. On the radio, ‘drugs’ and ‘drug dealers’ are faded out by the censors they offended.

I like it. Why are they despised?