Rain, rain go away, come again another day.
Right now, where I live, it’s raining cats and dogs. That’s a bit of a shame because it means I’m going to be stuck in the garret until it eases off a bit. Going out in the rain and cold is one reason lots of us English people seem to have coughs and colds a lot of the time.
It’s going to rain for most of the day here, and in fact it’s raining over most of the UK. Our Met. Office have flood warnings posted for several coastal towns ~ luckily not right here.
A lot of Americans think that it rains all the time here in England. As a matter of fact, in comparison with some places in the world, we don’t get that much rain. On average, where I live we get about a couple of feet of rain in a year. In comparison, supposedly sunny Hawaii has an average of 5 feet of rainfall in a year. Perhaps Hawaii is not ever going to be right at the top of my bucket list.
Some say that it rains every day in England. And that we English must love the rain. All I know is that we do get a little sunshine, usually in the middle of July.
what a grey day
It’s no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a sick society.
Perhaps all organised and populist civilisations are sick, or perhaps it’s just the one I seem to be living in right now. And it may be that there’s something wrong with me, rather than most of the rest of the people on this planet. But whatever the background noise may be, there is no doubt in my mind that this 21st century society is unwell, psychotic, and insane ~ and perforce I have to live in it.
Maybe I should just stop paying attention to the news, which is usually filled with trivia about the celebrities of the day, crap about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, political scandals, and sports. None of which is going to make one iota of difference to my life. I strongly suspect that nothing you read in the news today will make a scintilla of difference to your life either.
It would seem that I have a simple choice; to fully engage with modern society and everything in it, or just reject society, burn my bridges, and go on my own way.
No choice at all really.
Anyone with true self-awareness is going to realise that the only path through life that is right for them is their own. That they should strive not to fit in with the habits, mores, and flawed ethics of modern society, but instead strike out on their own. Not being part of the herd gives one a feeling of liberation and being in charge of what is happening in your life ~ of being a leader and not just another sheep in the flock.
For me, it is time to break free of the limitations I have accepted for myself, by trying to conform to what I ‘think’ I should be doing; what family, friends, and the rest of society says I should be doing. Stop trying to ‘fit in’, stop giving to charity, think before I pay my bills, and stop saying ‘sorry’ all the time.
Some say there is safety in numbers. And, that daring to be different is something only bad people do. All I know is that I’d rather be a wolf than a sheep.
Dare to be different and discover just how much you can enjoy life.
Don’t be a prisoner of society. Just don’t get yourself arrested.
big charites are rotten to the core
Climate is what we expect; weather is what we get.
The English love to talk about the weather; when an Englishman meets a friend or acquaintance they could spend a good hour or so discussing the weather.
The thing is, there are so many topics polite Englishmen almost never talk about; feelings, money, politics, religion, and sex to name just a few taboo topics.
The other thing is; we get so much weather in England. American tourists in London can never understand that, no matter how sunny and fine a day it is when they leave their hotel, within a hour it will be pouring with rain.
We English also have many, many interesting words and phrases to describe our weather. Brass Monkeys, Raining Cats and Dogs, A Bit Parky, Chucking It Down, It’s a Scorcher, It’s Just Drizzling, It’s a Bit Damp, Pea Souper, Sea Fret… to quote a few.
English weather is pretty clement, not usually extreme at all. For us 40 degrees Fahrenheit is bloody cold, and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is bloody hot. We don’t often get very strong winds, and even though it rains almost all the time, we don’t often get torrential downpours.
Mostly I like the weather in England, at least from April to September / October I like it here. From October to April it’s bloody awful and everyone in England will have colds, or flu, or even pleurisy. (I’m just recovering from a bout of pneumonia.)
So, if ever you’re in England, expect to be bored spitless by everyone always talking about the damn weather.
And, by the way, no sensible Englishman believes in Climate Change.
Environmentalists are killing the planet, destroying the economy, and stealing your children’s future.
A bunch of rabid environmentalists have forced the British Government to announce that all petrol and diesel cars will be banned from the year 2040. Nobody ever accused rabid environmentalists of being intelligent, or having any common sense. Banning diesel and petrol cars, (or will it be all cars that have exhaust emissions?), has staggering implications that the officials, politicians, and environmentalists haven’t properly thought through.
In Sweden, Volvo has announced that from 2019 all of its new models will be either completely battery powered or hybrid vehicles. There’s a couple of interesting points here. Firstly this move will put a whopping premium on the price of all new Volvo’s. And secondly, hybrid cars still have to have a petrol or diesel engine that will produce nasty polluting exhaust fumes.
Diesel exhausts are killing us all, allegedly.
Across Europe several major cities, (Paris, Madrid, Athens), say that diesel cars will be banned from entering their environs from 2025. The Hell-Hole that is Mexico City has followed suit ~ ha! The mayor of London, Mad Sadiq Khan, wants to ban Petrol and Diesel cars from London by 2050.
These headline grabbing moves will achieve absolutely nothing except to cost consumers and taxpayers trillions of Pounds / Euros / Dollars. Banning diesel and petrol cars in the UK will impose vast costs on drivers for little environmental benefit.
There is no conceivable way that the British electricity generating and distribution systems will ever be able to provide enough power for all those battery powered cars, (and vans and busses, and trucks?). Just where will all the extra power come from? The back of an envelope estimate is that all these electric vehicles will add an extra 30 gigawatts to UK peak demand, and that means we would need 50% more generating capacity. That’s equivalent to another half-dozen huge nuclear power plants like Hinkley Point, or another 20,000 wind turbines, (which only work some of the time). I have no idea how many acres of solar collectors it would take to generate that amount of power, but they don’t work at night, which is when most people will be charging their electric vehicles.
The British Government says it will install a fast charging point every 20 miles on major roads ~ imagine how many holes in the road and road works delays that will mean.
The British Government are also considering slashing the maximum speed on our motorways to 60 mph, and what is that supposed to achieve except more fines from speeding tickets?
This all seems a bit rich considering that the whole man-made global warming agenda has been exposed as nothing more than a massive fraud. The best estimate is that if all the trillions of dollars Obama proposed to spend on his Clean Power Plan to tackle non-existent man-made global warming was actually spent, then global temperatures would perhaps be reduced by 0.057 degrees Fahrenheit ~ one five-hundredth of a degree.
Climate change is a normal, natural, and perpetual process which occurs, and has always occurred, with sublime indifference to man’s puny input. ~ James Delingpole.
There are a few inconvenient truths that politicians and environmentalists would rather the public didn’t wake up to;
- Man-made global warming / catastrophic anthropogenic climate change doesn’t actually exist in any meaningful form ~it’s nothing but a fraud, a massive scam designed to give politicians back control over an increasingly independent populace.
- There is no such thing as completely clean power. Green Energy produces nastier and longer term environmental pollution than does burning fossil fuels. Nuclear Energy is a case in point, look at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Wind turbines have a massively negative impact on the environment, are bad for wildlife, and a blot on the landscape. All batteries are inherently polluting, expensive, and dangerous.
- Switching to electric-powered private transport will require at least a 50% increase in electricity generating capacity in any country that tries it.
- A vast investment in an infrastructure of new charging points to support all these new electric vehicles will be needed.
- Electric vehicles cost a hell of a lot more than an exactly equivalent bike / car / van / truck / bus powered by an internal combustion engine.
- Electric vehicles are less capable, and have a shorter life-span, (about 5 years), before major maintenance is required, (new batteries), than do ‘conventional’ cars, trucks, and busses.
- There aren’t enough qualified mechanics to maintain the huge increase in the number of electric vehicles the politicians propose.
- Disposing of all of the ‘dead’ batteries will require a huge investment in a recycling technology that, as yet, doesn’t actually exist.
- The value of used vehicles powered by petrol and diesel engines will plummet, destroying the economies of the developed world. There is a vast investment in lending to finance vehicle purchases.
- Internal combustion engines don’t have to run on either petrol or diesel fuel. Is a ban on ethanol / methanol / vegetable oil / propane / butane fuelled vehicles also proposed?
- Are politicians also proposing to ban aircraft / railway engines / ships / electricity generators powered by fossil fuels ~ otherwise what’s the point?
- If Politicians think the backlash against Hillary Clinton was an isolated aberration, they’ve got a big surprise in store after all this banning cars crap.
In my life I’ve seen some insane ideas put forward by politicians at the behest of special interest groups, but a total ban on the internal combustion engine running on fossil fuels has got to be maddest thing I’ve ever heard. But then, politicians, special interest groups, and bureaucrats have never been known for putting much thought into anything.
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. ~ Henry Ford
At least I have the personal benefit of being able to totally and completely ignore all this banning petrol and diesel fuelled cars crap. Not only that, because I live in a democracy I can cast my vote in ways designed to discomfort the current crop of lightweight, insane, political pygmies. (And that’s an insult to pygmies and the mentally ill.)
Meanwhile, the Lotus 7 is 60 years old this year. Now that’s a great car.
read about the Seven
Big Brother is watching You.
Sometimes it’s called Political Correctness, and sometimes Equality and Diversity, and sometimes Inclusively, but by whatever name it’s a sickness taking over our society in the name of Human Rights. If you say the wrong thing, if your opinions don’t fit in, if anyone thinks you show disrespect towards minorities, you too could be prosecuted for a hate crime.
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. ~ George Orwell, from 1984.
Along with many, many other UK Institutions All Souls College, Oxford, now has a diversity officer, whose job it is to warn or discipline colleagues who stereotype, show disrespect towards minorities, or create a climate in which an individual might feel their dignity infringed. That sounds a lot like thought police to me.
Campuses that were once havens of free speech are now patrolled and regulated by thought police. Intellectual dishonesty has become a job requirement for University Administrators. ~ Michael Barone.
A woman, 26, appeared in court accused of raping a man, twice. How the hell does that work? How can a woman rape a man? Turns out that the rapist, Katie Brennan, was born a man, but we weren’t initially allowed to know that because of the political correctness surrounding misgendering. To qualify as rape I assume that Katie Brennan still had male genitals at the time of the assault, but we aren’t allowed to know that either. I do know that, for a woman, the transgender Katie Brennan looks like a bloke.
The militant transgender lobby are powerful, and have found natural allies within the left-leaning liberal BBC, (British Broadcasting Corporation). Anyone who questions the self-proclaimed ‘rights’ of transgender people will be silenced.
Axe, machete, knife, truck, and bomb attacks all across Europe are responded to by anti-terror squads, even though nobody in the media ever calls these incidents terrorism, and certainly never Islamic religious terrorism. In order to fit in with multiculturalism we are usually told that the attacker comes from somewhere that isn’t on President Trump’s list of banned countries, (until the real story comes out). Even the British Government are keen to push this non-Islamic terrorism line by saying that one in three terror suspects arrested in Britain last year was white. Which means that two-thirds of those arrested in the UK on suspicion of being a terrorist was non-white. Only 10% of the censored UK population is non-white ~ so 10% of our population commit 66% of terrorist attacks. Yet, nobody is ever allowed to say that Islamic extremism is a problem in Great Britain ~ because of Political Correctness.
The term ‘Political Correctness’ has always appalled me, reminding me of Orwell’s ‘Thought Police’ and fascist regimes. ~ Helmut Newton
The thought police are powerful enough to stifle scientific debate, change world politics, and even dictate the car you drive to work. Anyone who dares to challenge the politically correct view that man-made carbon dioxide is causing catastrophic anthropogenic climate change will be labeled a ‘denier’. This is the language of religious intolerance and has nothing to do with science. You know what? The whole man-made global warming industry is a scam, and pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes will have the proponents of global warming going into fits of apoplexy. But respectable scientists never question the man-made global warming mantra because to do so would mean that they never again get published, never get another grant, see their tenure cut off… Question anthropogenic climate change and your career as a scientist is over.
Women can say anything they want to men, or blacks to whites, with impunity. But strong words in the other direction can bring down the wrath of the thought police, as well as punishments… ~ Thomas Sowell
I am English, and I like to think I’m a Gentleman, so there are some things I would never say in public, and there are some opinions which are an anathema to me. However, there are some things I’d like to say, and some thoughts I’d like to think, that I’m not allowed to for fear of running up against the Politically Correct, Diversity Inclusive, Thought Police. I thought we’d spent the last few hundred years working and fighting for freedom of thought and expression.
Maybe not. Maybe I am a prisoner in my own land.
Remember, Big Brother is watching You.
every snowflake is the last of the great individualists
In English, there’s often a new meaning for an old word, it happens every day. Yet, never in my long and interesting life have I seen such a meteoric rise of an all-purpose insult created out of a familiar word, in the way that Snowflake has instantly appeared everywhere. I like snowflakes, real snowflakes that is.
To be clear, a snowflake usually refers to; often a younger person, prone to taking offence, emotionally vulnerable, unable to cope with views that challenge their own, easily distressed when met with rejection, incapable of seeing an opposing point of view, unable to hold a cogent argument, and liable to pointlessly futile demonstrations of anger. In my time I’ve met a hell of a lot of people like that.
Back in the day we had a few other words for those of the snowflake ilk; wazzock, prat, jessie, dil, and many more that are considered extremely politically incorrect today. All in all I quite like snowflake. There, there, don’t cry.
Older snowflakes do exist; for example our own Archbishop of Canterbury, who used a major speech to call President Trump, (and almost everyone else), a Fascist. Oh! Do get a grip Welby. Then there’s loathsome Ken Loach, who used the BAFTA awards ceremony to say the that current UK Government is callous, brutal, and disgraceful. Champagne Socialist is a good insult to Loach the Roach. And, my award for Old Snowflake of the Year goes to that limousine liberal ~ Meryl Streep. In a speech at a New York Gala, mad Meryl seemed to equate President Trump with Hitler, and intimated that Mr. Trump was likely to start a nuclear war. No dear, that was your beloved JFK in 1962. It’s always nice to see the old Buffs again.
When they are not using awards ceremonies to give us unopposed foul-mouthed tirades, or shouting down opponents, or holding pointless marches, snowflakes have their own interesting range of insults. My own political views could easily get me labeled as an old-fashioned, misogynist, racist, war-mongering, climate change denier, and supporter of populist politics. I’ll admit to a couple of those.
My views are mine, and mine alone. Other than I will not usually break the law, I will not be told what to do, and I will not be told what to think. My views are based on things like a lifetime’s study of; hard science, engineering, geography, geology, history, finance, literature, current affairs… My views do not come pre-packaged from the pages of the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the New Statesman, or even the BBC.
Providing that you are polite, I will take care to hear your opinions, and the opinions of anyone else for that matter ~ your opinions tell me many things about you, and that’s interesting. But that’s about as far as it goes. If you think the Earth is flat, the Moon is made of green cheese, and that man-made carbon dioxide is destroying the planet, then that’s interesting too. Those views will tell me that your opinions are mostly misguided, that you don’t know much hard science, and that you need to widen your circle of friends. Have a nice day.
If you regularly use social media like twitter and Facebook, then that tells me a lot about you too. It tells me that your brain is slowly turning to mouldy oatmeal, that you have a lot of ‘friends’ you’ve never actually met, and that you really don’t know anything that’s worth listening to. (Or, maybe you still do, but soon you won’t.) By demographic definition, all regular users of twitter and Facebook are soft snowflakes.
Generally, I find a lot of sound sense in most blogs I read. It takes time and effort to write a decent blog post. It takes a lot of time, effort, and a little money, to maintain a regular, high-quality blog. Any wazzock can write 140 badly worded characters and stick it on twitter. Maybe President Trump is a snowflake too? Anyhow, where I come from trump is just another word for fart.
these views are mine and mine alone
Should You Make Your Next Car A Diesel?
The first thing I need to tell you is that, contrary to everything Governments, Left Leaning Liberal Media, The Green Lobby, and exponents of Man-Made Global Warming have been saying for years, diesel cars are no cleaner and no better for the environment than petrol, (gasoline), engined vehicles. Like so-called renewable energy, all these green lunatics are costing us the Earth banging on about various means of powering a vehicle. Electric cars are not green, the electricity has to come from somewhere.
There is a huge difference between the manufacturer’s official pollution figures, and the amount of nasty stuff diesel cars chuff out in the real world. Volkswagen, (VW), have just reached an agreement to pay $4.3 billion in fines after fiddling the fuel consumption and pollution figures of its vehicles ~ and that’s after agreeing a $14.7 billion settlement to recompense aggrieved VW diesel owners in the USA. In the United Kingdom VW diesel owners are looking for a settlement of £3,000 each for the German car maker’s lies. Respectable scientists even say that diesel cars produce ten times more pollutants than buses and trucks. I don’t believe that either.
Jumping on the anti-diesel bandwagon the mayors of four major cities; Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris have announced that diesel cars will be banned from entering their towns from 2025. Who gives a damn? These cities are so bad to drive in that you’d have to be mad to take your car into the centre, and come 2025 it can only be worse than today. Banning diesels won’t make these urban areas any better, the exhaust from petrol engines is just as ruinous to your health.
One should never believe anything car manufacturers are car salesmen tell you, because they always lie about everything. For example, in the real world most cars use twice as much fuel as the car makers’ own fuel consumption figures, and some bad and aggressive drivers get terrible fuel consumption. It’s obvious that the more fuel you use, the more pollution you create. And bad, aggressive drivers often end up in accidents, which also create a lot of pollution, and death. Death in car accidents is bad.
However, diesel / compression ignition cars have two major advantages over an exactly comparable car powered by an exactly comparable petrol, (gasoline), engine. Firstly, you get about 50% more miles to the gallon from a diesel engine. Secondly, properly looked after a diesel engine should last for twice as long as the equivalent petrol engine. Longevity is good for the environment as the real pollution of any car should be measured over its dust to dust lifespan.
Right now diesel fuel costs just a few pence / cents more than the same amount of petrol / gasoline. However, you get far more miles from a gallon of diesel than you do from a gallon of petrol / gasoline. Take a new Kia Sportage as an example.
- Petrol / Gasoline 37 miles per gallon (Imperial)
- Diesel 61 miles per gallon (Imperial)
The diesel engined car is perhaps 5% more expensive to buy than the petrol car, and perhaps it’s 5% slower, but one gets about 165% of the mileage from each tank of fuel. Diesels are a lot more fuel efficient than petrol cars. (Don’t actually believe the total fuel consumption figures, most drivers won’t get that in the real world.) So, if you are a higher mileage driver, (more than 6,000 miles a year), or you want to keep your car a long, long time, (100,000 miles plus), then a diesel makes a lot of sense. And, there is always the likelihood that a diesel car will depreciate slightly slower than its petrol engined equivalent, (although with all the controversy over diesel cars this may be a good time to pick up a used bargain).
Except in terms of extreme speed and acceleration there is nothing wrong with the performance of modern diesel-engined cars ~ in fact Audi, (another German manufacturer), has won at Le Mans and other endurance races with a diesel racing car. Bentley’s new diesel SUV, the Bentayga will go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and on to 187 mph, mind you, you will pay in excess of £160,000 for the privilege.
So, the bottom line is, would I buy a diesel car? And the answer is maybe. If I expected to do a hell of a lot of miles, take transcontinental road trips, and keep the car a long time, then a diesel wins hands down. But then I don’t live in California smog all the time, and I don’t care one jot about man-made global warming, or inner city pollution.
I would buy a classic SAAB diesel convertible in a New York Second.
these opinions are mine,
and mine alone
Now that autumn is drawing in, there’s nothing much nicer than sitting near a crackling log fire. Cats love being near the warmth, and the flames seem to fascinate the little assassins. Almost every woman you meet will love to curl up in front of a log fire, if you’re lucky right next to you ~ or the cat anyhow. Burning wood is environmentally friendly, (more or less), and it’s a much cheaper and nicer way to heat your living-room than oil or gas.
Well, let me tell you, if you’ve never had a log fire, (or a wood burning stove), then it’s all a lot more complicated than you’d think. First of all do you have a fireplace, or a wood burning stove? Do you even have a chimney? Look outside, are there neatly stacked plies of seasoned firewood?
Start with the basics, and assume that you at least have a fireplace.
When was the last time the fireplace / stove was used, and when was the chimney last swept? Burning wood creates ash, smoke, soot, and tar, which then goes up the chimney, and some of it sticks there. Birds and other creatures nest in chimneys, or on top of chimneys. Dead stuff and other crap falls into chimneys. If in doubt thoroughly clean out the fireplace and chimney, (this should be an annual job anyway). If you’re a useless wimp and in real doubt get some guy to do it for you, (if you have never seen a fall of soot you have no idea how filthy, stinking, dirty that is). If you don’t have a clean chimney some very bad things could happen; the fire may not light, your house may burn down, you may die.
Do you have some firewood? Have you any idea how much seasoned firewood you can get through in one winter ~ even if you only light the fire / stove at weekends? Do you know the difference between hardwood and softwood? Have you ever used an axe, log splitter, saw, chainsaw? Do you own a truck?
We could see that gas was costing us too much money. That’s why we made the choice to go to the wood burner. It’s easy to do. Cutting firewood is putting a little sweat equity into it, is all. ~ Jerry Lambert.
An average sized home could easily get through two cords of wood in a winter, just to heat the lounge in the evenings ~ Jerry Lambert must be one fit actor, or he buys in his firewood by the truck load. I have cut, hauled, split, stacked, and brought firewood into my home ~ and let me tell you it’s hard work requiring some expertise in everything from forestry to using hand tools.
The Finns have a proverb; Judge a man by his firewood. If you can haul enough firewood to heat your lounge in a cold winter, then you’re a real man.
Open log fires can spit sparks onto the hearthrug, burning embers can fall out, and they are quite inefficient, (maybe 10 to 15%). Really, an open log fire is for looks, cooking the odd whole side of lamb, (cooking with wood is by far the best way to do a lot of meat), and for snuggling near in the flickering light, (much better than scented candles).
To actually get some heat into your home by burning wood, what you need is a wood-burning stove. These are heavy, expensive, usually iron or steel, use much less wood for the amount of usable heat you get, and you can also get your hot water and central heating from the thing. Some come with pretty glass doors so you don’t lose the joy of watching the flames, (or you can open the doors while your girl is snuggling with the cat).
If you don’t already have a stove, you may need a professional installer to put the thing in for you ~ or you could start learning some practical skills. One benefit of a wood-burner is that you do not need a working chimney, you can run a steel flue outside of the house. (If you don’t understand that, then you do need a professional installer.)
The choice of stoves is huge, and mostly limited by your wallet.
The last time I built my own place I had a pretty little stove with glass doors in the lounge, and a much bigger, utilitarian, stove in the kitchen for cooking, central heating, and hot water. I also owned 18 acres of woodland, a tractor, and passed my chainsaw certificate. My cat, Pyewacket, loved those stoves, but I was always too damn busy shifting firewood to take his picture sitting next to one.