Lifetime conundrum

I don't often read the warning text on my packs of baccy.

To be honest, I prefer the images – they add a bit of colour and are worth a chuckle.

I noticed a particular text based one recently and I don't remember seeing it before.  Maybe it has been around for ages and I just haven't noticed it?

"Lifetime smokers lose an average of 14 years of life"

This bothers me.

Assuming a lifetime is around 78 years, then presumably they mean a smoker will only live to 64?  Therefore a smoker's life expectancy is a mere 64 years, but then that implies he has to lose a further 14 years off that?  Or to look at it in another way, if a smoker is expected to die at 64, then he can never reach a lifetime [of 78], which sort of negates the whole thing.

It's one of those little paradoxes that doesn't quite compute.  It's a bit like crossing a room where you halve the distance you walk each time, and it turns out you can never reach the far wall.  Or like my saying that everything I say is a lie [which means that statement is a lie]. 

The only way that statement can possibly work is for someone to smoke their entire life, reach 78 and then have to somehow travel back in time to die at 64.  I haven't heard of anyone doing that so I think it's unlikely to happen.

This is only an idle bit of whimsical thought though. 

I'm not worried.

You see, I'm not a lifetime smoker.

I didn't start until I was around 16.

Grinding my teeth

I watched a bit of television last night.

Vincent Brown has this programme he calls "The People's Debate" on every week where a panel of would-be politicians set out their stalls for the next election.

Last night they were in Dun Laoire which was an old haunting ground of mine so I watched it.

The panel consisted of three hopefuls [there were supposed to be five but two chickened out].  There was Alan Shatter who is an utter cunt, Alex White, who is an ultimate cunt amongst cunts [arse-lick to Fatso Reilly and rabid anti-smoker] and Peter Mathews who I used to admire up until the point where he declared himself to be an anti-abortionist.

The programme itself was a bit of a pain to watch.  There were advertisement breaks every five minutes and at one point they came back after a break and jumped straight into a repeat of the previous block without anyone apparently noticing it, but then that's TV3 for you.

The programme was a tooth grinder from start to finish.  It started with each of the three making a sympathy statement about those students who were killed in Berkley.  I cannot abide anyone trying to make political capital out of anyone's misfortunes.  They may think it shows them as being "in touch with the people" and sympathetic and all that shit but they just come across as cynical opportunists.  And any politician who turns up at a funeral should be buried along with the coffin.

At one point near the beginning, White was trying to brag about his achievements in office and bragged how he himself had opened two new schools in his constituency.  For one thing, he didn't build those schools himself so there is no credit there, and what the fuck was he doing at the opening ceremony?  He isn't paid to open schools so he is once again wasting tax payers' money.  But then Dame Enda is never seen in this country either, unless he is opening something or announcing new jobs in some company or other.  If you want to see a politician in this country, just let them know there'll be a camera there.

When asked why they should be reelected both Shatter and White both gave the nauseating reason that if they hadn't been "in power" over the current term that we would now be in the same boat as Greece.  Time and time again we heard how the gubmint "saved" us and that it's thanks to them that we are booming again.  When it was pointed out that we still had massive poverty problems and that the vast majority had seen little or no sign of recovery, their answer was that we had an excellent credit rating on the money lending market.  I'm sure that's a great comfort to all those who are homeless or out of work?

One of the best speeches came from a bloke in the audience who pointed out that we have never had a proper honest government since the founding of the state that was of the people, for the people and by the people.

[You can find his little speech here at 57:33]

He was spot on.

What we have is government of the people, by the mendacious power grabbers, for the elite.

And you wonder why I don't vote?



Bonfire of the inanities

We have actually had a drop of Summer here for the last while.

While sunshine is nice it does mean I have no excuse not to do a wee bit of gardening.

I have been doing a spot of light trimming, involving a chainsaw, pruning saw and a lot of sweat.  Naturally, this means I have a small pile of branches that I have added to the existing heap of rotting branches, tree trunks and other assorted trimmings that takes up a quare area of the woodland.

I have been doing a spot of research into ways and means of getting rid of this pile.  I could hire an industrial wood-muncher and convert the lot into chippings but not only would that be expensive but I doubt the machine could be dragged far enough into the woods to reach the pile.  So that just leaves burning.

Apparently that is illegal.

From my understanding of their regulations, it is against the law to burn wood or paper in the garden.  It is against the law to use an incinerator or any other form of barrel, open fire, range or any other solid fuel appliance either indoors or out, whether or not it has a chimney.

It is legal however to have a wood burner [highly desirable these days I believe, because they use a renewable resource?], kitchen range, barbecue, chimena or even an open fire in the sitting room.

So by my understanding of the law, you can have a wood burner but only if you buy wood for it.  If you decide to use your own wood you are technically "disposing of garden waste" and therefore committing a mortal sin.

If I buy logs for my wood burner I am being "eco friendly" because I am using a renewable resource and am doing my bit to save the planet.  If I use my own logs I am producing dioxins, carbon monoxide and deadly carcinogens that are going to kill everyone in the parish, open the ozone hole and hasten Warble Gloaming.

If I light a wee fire that scents the air with the beautiful smell of burning wood I am committing a heinous felony, but if I dunk my neighbours into a cloud of burning charcoal and scorching fat [carcinogenic!] I am grand?

I really must start a league table of incredibly stupid laws.

Blog Awards Ireland again

For the second time in as many months, they have announced the launch of Blog Awards Ireland 2015.

This time though they are serious.

There is a small problem however.  I can't enter.

You see they have given a list of categories and I don't fit in any of them.  I sent the nice people a nice email asking why they hadn't included such golden oldies as "Personal" and "Humour".  I explained nicely that my humble efforts wouldn't fit into any of their categories.  I got a nice email back asking for a link to this and they said they would have a look and tell me what category to apply in.

I haven't heard from them since.

Now maybe they took one look and realised that I would win either [or both] categories of Personal and Humour outright and they didn't want to embarrass all the other hopefuls, or maybe they are still scratching their heads.  I don't know because they haven't told me.

Maybe I would fit into a category or two?  Here they are –

Art and CultureWell, I am pretty fucking cultured?

Food and Drink.   I have mentioned food occasionally, and Guinness once or twice?

AutomotiveWhat the fuck?  Does complaining about a leaky boot count?

Health and WellbeingWell yes I could fit in here.  I'm sure they appreciate all my tips on the health benefits of smoking?

BeautyI am beautiful.  I can't deny it.

LifestyleAnother WTF moment.  What the hell can fit into that category? Vegans, Cyclists and Yoga freaks?

Irish LanguageI'm Irish and I write language.  Or do they mean as Geilge?

DiasporaI sometimes think I live in a foreign land.  Does that count?

Marketing and CommunicationsThere are a couple of advertisements buried deep in the bowels of the site.  Do they count?

ParentingNo mention of Grandparenting?  That's blatantly ageist.

Digital & TechnologyThis site runs on a server which is digital and technological?

PhotographyAh yes.  I have included quite a few photographs of mine in the past.

Educational & Science I don't know about science but this site is definitely educational!

TravelDid I mention I have just been to West Cork?

EntertainmentNow this is one I could choose, but I have a sneaky feeling they want sites that rabbit on about music and cinema.

YouthBest ignored.

Innovation.  Eh?  What? 

FashionHas anyone noticed the preponderance of beards lately?  That only started because I have extolled the beauty and convenience of mine.  I am truly a fashion icon.

So there you have them.  No mention of personal ramblings, humour or even sport?  Very fucking strange.  Any suggestions?

A strange feature of their site is that there is one form for me to fill in [where I have to select a category], but anyone in the world can nominate me without choosing a category.  Furthermore if you nominate me, they only get the web address and won't have a clue how to contact me.

If you want to play around with them, the nomination for a site owner is here, and anyone else can nominate here.

It’s all Greek to me

I confess I am at little at sea when it comes to the shenanigans in Greece.

I have tried to follow it and have at times rubbed my hands in glee.

I watched in fascination as the EU tried "negotiate" the situation with the Greek government, where "negotiation" is defined as "do as Brussels says".  Their way is The Right Way and brooks no argument.

I watched with delight when Greece introduced an idea into the negotiations that utterly baffled the EU as it was an unheard of concept in their books, namely "democracy".  "Democracy" according to Brussels is telling the people to do what Brussels wants, and the plain people just aren't relevant.  The idea of asking the plain people in a referendum is a complete anathema.

I watched with disgust as the Irish contingent frantically licked arse as they told the Greeks to behave like the good little Irish did. 

So what now?

Well, the banks are shut and it looks likely that Greece is out of the Euro.  Lucky bastards.  If nothing else it is a massive crack in the whole concept of a United States of Europe.  The EU's wet dream is becoming a bit of a nightmare.

What interests me is the possibility that the new currency will be the Greek Rouble.  If Russia steps in to lend the Greeks a few bob, that is going to cause massive headaches both in Brussels and Washington.  I somehow doubt that either of them would welcome a Russian ally right in the heart of Europe?

I presume that Brussels will have to do something to prevent the Euro collapsing and the ony way I can see that happening is for Brussels to pay off the IMF and the Greek bondholders.  More billions being handed to gamblers.

So having footed the bill for Irish bondholders, it looks like we will have another massive bill on our hands?

It's worth it though just to see Brussels squirm.