Not the usual suspect

There was an incident here in Ireland a couple of days ago.

I'm loath to call it a "tragic" incident simply because it is an overused term constantly employed by our beloved press though it was in fact a tragedy.

Anyhows, an elderly man was being brought to hospital by ambulance when the ambulance exploded.  The patient died in the explosion and the ambulance crew were seriously injured.

The immediate reaction was that a cylinder of oxygen had exploded.  This struck me as strange, as I had always understood that oxygen is an inert nonflammable gas.  Indeed it is necessary for combustion but always in conjunction with something else.  In other words, I cannot get my head around the thought of a cylinder exploding unless there was a fairly intense fire, sufficient to rupture the cylinder where the sudden addition of oxygen would indeed cause an intense flare up.

I was chatting to the daughter last night.  She is a trainee [nearly qualified?] paramedic so naturally the subject of the explosion cropped up.  She too had been having serious doubts as she is very familiar with oxygen cylinders and ambulances.  However this doubt doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone else, as there had been a general alert put out for all ambulance personnel to check their cylinders.

Of course I was waiting for the inevitable.

The family of the dead man have had to go public to state that he wasn't smoking.

Even in the aftermath of a terrible incident, they just have to jump on the anti-smoker bandwaggon.

But if it has been in the papers then it must be true.  A denial by the family will be conveniently ignored.

Doubtless there are people gloating as I scribble this.

Cataclysmic Disaster

I received a few mails yesterday and this morning.

Some of you were kind enough to let me know there was a problem with the site.

The rest of you just shrugged and fucked off without saying a word.  Thanks very much.

It seems it was a worldwide phenomenon [that word is easier to spell than say!] as I received reports from such diverse spots as Australia and Germany.  The symptom was quite simple – the site just said that I hadn't posted anything since September the 2nd.  If I had known about it earlier in the month I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and scribbling.

So I delved into the darkest pits of the engine room once more and started pulling plugs out of the wall.  There are quite a lot of them and I had no idea which one was faulty, so I just pulled out everything except the one that actually powers the site.  It was red hot at that stage.

Then I got a mail to say the site was working again, but quite slowly.

So now I am tentatively inserting the plugs back into the wall, one by one, and hoping nothing blows up.  If there is a conflagration, then the only solution would be to rebuild the whole lot from scratch.

It's really dark and dusty in this engine room.

At least I found that screwdriver I thought I'd lost months ago.

It had dropped down behind the grommet switch.


Inside the mind of an Anti

I dropped by the Ashtray Blog yesterday.

They posted a series of "most shocking" images put out by our good friends in the Tobacco Control Industry and asked whether they would make us want to quit smoking, have a cigarette or did they have no effect at all.  Of course, like any straw poll I found myself muttering "none of the above".

It is difficult to describe my reaction to those images.  A lot of them are quite clever [such as the bloke apparently hanging himself using smoke] and some are quite disgusting [such as using a dead baby in an ashtray – that is way beyond the bounds of human decency].

I suppose I could sum up my emotions as being a mixture of amusement and disgust.  I am amused because they are so far fetched as to be totally irrelevant. 

A woman shows her hands with apparently [photoshopped?] amputated fingers and I am supposed to recoil in horror at the prospect?  I have been around smokers all my life and have never seen any such amputations.  Or maybe someone forgot to tell her to blow out the match before the flame reaches skin?  Either way it is a nonsense.

A man sits smoking while his leg has apparently become a cigarette and is dropping ash?  What the fuck is that supposed to indicate?  Again, a clever bit of photoshopping but it bears no resemblance to anything in real life.

I am disgusted though at the level to which these pornographers have sunk.  They are actually getting their jollies by implying that smoking is equivalent to oral sex?  Maybe that's their fantasy but it ain't mine.   And what is the point of showing a bloke whose head has apparently been split open by a hatchet?  That is visual porn just for the sake of shock as it has no relevance to smoking whatsoever. 

Of course what these images really represent is a wishlist of things the Tobacco Control Industry would love to see happen to smokers.  They would love to see us with massive growths on our necks, with faces like dried prunes and limbs falling off.  They would love to see us in the gutter frantically injecting ourselves with raw nicotine.  They would love to see our new-born discarded in an ashtray.  This is nothing short of a vivid glimpse into the nasty twisted evil minds of those in the Tobacco Control Industry.  Their hatred knows no bounds.

They really are sick in the head.

Those images say a lot more about the Anti-Smoker, than the smoker.