Navigating the Interwebs

Since I was a kid I have had a fascination with maps.

I used to spend my pocket money on the things and managed to collect the complete set of half-inch scale maps of Ireland.  I think there were about twenty five of 'em.

There was something magical about studying a sheet of paper and being able to visualise the rolling landscape and the towns and villages.  A holiday wasn't complete without all the maps that covered the journey and the destination.  For my first trip to France back in the '80s I got the full map of the country and large scale maps of the area I was to visit.  By the time it came to doing the journey, the maps were virtually worn out from all my studying.

There is one big problem with maps though – once published their information is cast in stone, or paper as it were.  Most of my old maps are useless now as of course motorways have been built and the entire landscape has changed. 

I reluctantly got myself a SatNav.  It has a couple of advantages over maps in that it tends to be more up to date and I don't have to stop every while to study it. 

Using a SatNav is easy enough if you apply a bit of logic.  Mine has a tendency to try to kill me from time to time, such as insisting I drive off bridges or head the wrong way down a one way street, but I got used to that and it frustrates the hell out of it when I refuse to obey its commands to the letter.  It also has a habit of trying to make me drive on narrow windey roads when the main road is obviously the better route but I got wise to that too.

The problem with the SatNav though is the updating.  I discovered one summer that I had forgotten to update it and was driving happily on a long stretch of motorway when the SatNav went into a right strop, insisting I was driving across fields and I was to get back on the road IMMEDIATELY.  Eventually I rejoined the road it was familiar with and it shut up, but it sulked for the rest of the holiday.

One irritating thing about updating the yoke is that the programme only works on Windoze, which as you may or may not know, I abhor and avoid at all costs.  So yesterday I fired up my ancient PC in the back room, loaded Windoze, waited for a couple of hours for it to update, download the latest SatNav updater and eventually plugged in the SatNav.

It told me the annual update was ready so I told it to go ahead and it started downloading, accompanied by dire warnings that if I interrupted it that it would kill all my firstborn and shoot a load of puppies.

That was at around three in the afternoon.

At bedtime, I checked progress.  It told me I had another three hours to wait, despite telling me at the offset that it would take about four hours.  It had been reporting its progress through the day and the time left constantly varied anywhere between two and eight hours.  I left it to it.

This morning I checked it again.  Only five hours to wait and the progress bar hadn't shifted an inch.  This is approximately twenty hours after I had started the process.  Fuck!

I decided that my firstborn would just have to suffer and that the puppies probably deserved it anyway, and I switched off.  My diagnosis was either that the PC hadn't enough memory or else it was trying to back up the entire Interweb which is something I didn't want.

I fired up the laptop Herself uses as it's a bit more powerful than the poor old PC.  I loaded Windoze, waited for a couple of hours for it to update, download the latest SatNav updater and eventually plugged in the SatNav.

It's updating at the moment.  It told me that it would take four hours again and again threatened my firstborn and the puppies so obviously it didn't carry out its first warning, which somewhat takes the sting out of its threats.  It tells me that I have to wait another 4 hours and 41 minutes.  Half an hour ago it was 2 hours and a few minutes before that it was 8 hours and 13 minutes.  An this is the device that is supposed to calculate my position to within a few feet?  Now it's saying 6 hours and 4 minutes.

I'll leave it to do its thing.  I'll probably check it again in a few days.

Herself is going to go ballistic without her Farcebook though……

Some are more equal than others

So it looks like the same-sex marriage referendum has passed?

Some quotes from today as the results are being counted –

I've lived in Ireland for 25 years and don't think I've ever been so proud or as happy to do so as today

or

Great day for Ireland and for the future of all our children 

To listen to the commentary you'd swear that Ireland had finally combated poverty, debt and disease for all time.

Let's step back for a moment and look at the scale of allowing same sex marriage.

At a very rough estimate, around 5% of the population are homosexual.  Presumably around half those are of marriageable age?  An even smaller percentage are in a lasting relationship and a smaller number again wish to commit to a permanent relationship.  So we are talking very small number here, maybe in the hundreds?  The referendum result is indeed cause for celebration for that tiny minority [and fair play to them] but let's keep things in perspective.

Now it is a sad fact but people need someone to look down on.  It used to be Negroes, but that was banned.  Then it was Itinerants but that was banned too.  In fact any mention of race, colour, religion or sexual orientation is now banned so who can society look down on?  There is no mention of lifestyle on the list so let's go for that!

So while the 5% homosexual crowd are now rejoicing, I would ask about the new Niggers of Ireland?  They constitute well over a quarter of the population and are now classed as the underdogs, with open encouragement to sneer and vilify them.  Not only do they have no laws to protect them, but it is the law itself that has classed them as the underdog, to be refused welcome, to be ostracised and to be cast in the street at every opportunity.  Millions are spent each year with the specific aim of persecuting this underclass with the stated and specific aim of forcing them to change.

It may be a great day for the homosexual population of Ireland, but segregation and apartheid are still openly practiced here in Ireland with the encouragement of the powers that be.

I'm happy for those who are now free to marry and I wish them well.

But don't fucking talk to me about equality!

Bullshit headlines

I love it when the meeja gets in a flap over something.

Spike in number of weather alerts and warnings for 2014

Scary, huh?

There's even more scary stuff to follow –

It’s official: the wet and windy southwest has endured the wildest weather since Met Éireann’s colour-coded warning system was introduced

It's official so we have to be scared.

Oh, hang on….  sorry…..  I missed a bit at the end –

It’s official: the wet and windy southwest has endured the wildest weather since Met Éireann’s colour-coded warning system was introduced in 2012

Wow!  So there were more weather alerts in 2014 than there were in 2013 or 2012?  Somehow my heart palpitations are easing a bit. 

But hold on…..

These are weather alerts, not weather.  Those alerts are indications of what they think is going to happen at the time, and quite often they are hopelessly wrong.  We have had Amber Alerts warning of torrential rain only to be greeted by a couple of showers.  And anyway these alerts are purely subjective things.  Is there a precise mathematical definition of the danger level of a prediction or do the weather people just go on a hunch – "We think it might piss down tomorrow so we'd better issue an Amber Alert.  No, hang on, we'll make that a Red Alert just in case some house might get flooded"?

So I have advice for two groups.

For the people in Met Éireann – step up the Valium a tad and you'll find the alerts decrease correspondingly.

For the people in the Irish Times – don't try and fill your pages with garbage just because you have nothing to say.

If I have nothing to say I wouldn't stoop to writing bullshit.  I just don't write.

In fact, today is a perfect example.

Disenchanted and disenfranchised

I received a rebuke in the comments on yesterday's post.

Noel says – Really disappointed in you Grandad with this post and your previous article re the marriage referendum.  Thought you were a fighter for minority rights.

Now he has a point so I thought maybe I should explain myself.

The fact is that I feel completely disillusioned with the Irish electoral system, and indeed the Irish political system. 

Starting back in the days of the smoking ban I realised that the Irish State didn't give a damn about me or my lifestyle.  They "knew better" what was good for me and despite a complete lack of demand for such a ban, it was imposed on me.  That may seem a trivial point to some, but it generated a minority of which I was part.  I feel marginalised and disenfranchised and more than a little resentful as a result of the ban.

Following on from that we had the famous Lisbon Treaty debacle where despite the clear vote of the Irish, they demanded a second referendum so that we could give "the right answer".  Clearly they now not ony think they know what's good for me but they also want to tell me how I should think. 

When the recession hit it became abundantly clear that the Ruling Elite don't give a damn for the plain people of Ireland.  The banks, the bondholders and the foreign investors were well catered for while the ordinary Joe had to face massive and additional taxation.

The Ruling Elite don't give a damn about me so I don't give a damn about them.  I feel the entire system is corrupt to the core and I really don't see why I should play their little games where they pretend to listen to the electorate but intend to proceed on their own preconceived path.  They will lie, cheat and obfuscate to achieve their ends so I just close my ears to them and go my own way.

Being part of a minority, of course I fight for minority rights.  I don't however believe that by casting my vote that I would make one iota of difference.  If I for a second thought that my vote did somehow count then I would indeed vote, but as things stand I choose to use my right not to do so. 

Do they give a damn about me?

No.

Do I gave a flying fuck about them?

Draw your own conclusions.

Gay cakes

The law really is morally bankrupt.

The case is very simple –

A family open a cake shop.  That's fine.  The shop is their business [literally and figuratively] and it's up to them how they run that business.

Along comes a gay activist.  He decides to order a cake from the shop that is deliberately provocative in that he knows full well that the shop family are devout Christians and will probably object to the cake design.  Indeed the shop does object so our gay friend runs squealing to the courts claiming discrimination.  The courts decide that this was a case of discrimination and fine the shop.

That is wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to start.

Firstly, the cake shop is a business.  They are presumably there to make a profit and a living?  It is entirely up to the shop how they run that business and if they want to turn away potential customers then that is literally their loss.  It may not make sense from a business point of view but that's entirely up to them.  What's more they shouldn't have to give any reason for refusing business – their shop, their rules.  This applies to any business.  If a pub owner has a thing about people with red hair, he should be completely within his rights to refuse service to a red-head.  The customer can go elsewhere and it's the pub owner who is out of pocket.  It's his loss not the red-head's.

Then there is our gay friend.  He knew damn well that the shop was run by devout Christians.  He knew damn well that the decoration he demanded was provocative and contra to the shop owners' beliefs. I presume there were many other cake shops and bakeries in the area but he quite deliberately chose this specific one.  He hoped to be turned away so he could bring his whining little case to the Equality Mob.  And boy did the Politically Correct jump on his case!!

Now I don't hold entirely with the beliefs of the shop owners.  But what they believe is their business and if it affects their turnover then again that's their business.

Nor do I have any problem with homosexuality.  It's like religion – none of my business.  However when some little cunt deliberately and with malice aforethought provokes a situation where he can hide behind the law then I do have a problem.

The shop owner was fully within his rights.

The activist should have been told to grow up, rev up and fuck off and to stop wasting people's time.

Alternatively the shop should have baked the cake and decorated it as ordered.

With an added ingredient of copious quantities of laxative.