Horticultural trends

There seems to be a hell of a lot of beards around these days?

I suppose it's inevitable.  I decide to do something that is non-fashionable and sooner or later people see the light and start following my trend.  The story of my life really.

I know exactly when I started growing mine.  It was the Spring of '71 and I was incapacitated for a couple of weeks.  When life returned to normal I discovered I had a respectable two-week's growth on my chin and I just never bothered shaving it off.  So this is really its 44th birthday [Happy Birthday, Beard!].  I have stuck with it [or rather it has stuck on my chin] for all that time and Herself, the daughter and the grandkids have never seen me clean shaven.  That could be quite handy actually, as if I ever wanted to disappear I just have to shave and they wouldn't have a fucking clue what I looked like.  Mind you, nor would I.

There are even web sites sprouting up these days dedicated to The Beard as if it were some new fantastic new invention.  "Hey lads!  Look what happens if you stop shaving!  Isn't this weird?!There is one site where it seems to be nothing but photographs of blokes with beards, as if it was some kind of registration thing – if you have facial growth, then register it here.  It's a crap site simply because I'm not in it, and I must have one of the most famous beards in Wicklow, if not Ireland.

I also came across WebMD which actually has the nerve to give 12 Easy Beard Care Tips.  For fuck's sake, do people have to be given instructions about everything these days?  One simple beard care tip – Don't shave.  That's all there is to it.  It it tickles your fancy then take a pair of scissors to it [because if it does tickle your fancy it is waaaay too long, unless you're a biker].  Keep an eye on it during Spring to make sure birds don't nest in it and comb it occasionally to get rid of all the old food.  That is really all there is to it.  No need for a fucking manual.

I was minding my business the other day when the groceries were delivered.  There was a polite knock on the back door and there was the new delivery bloke [I think the previous one is still in hospital] standing there grinning at me.  I will be honest and say that I got quite a shock.  It looked like the poor chap had been in an incredibly nasty accident and that the surgeons had sewed his head back on upside down.  The top of his head was completely bald but he had a sort of beard that seriously looked like he had strung a marmalade cat between his ears.  All the hairs stuck out at right angles to the skin so it looked like a bright red upside down Afro-style head of hair.  It was quite fascinating in a very strange sort of way.

The whole business is a bit annoying actually.  If ever I was arranging a meeting with someone for the first time, I'd just tell 'em to look for the beardy bloke.  Now I have to qualify that by saying the beardy bloke with a pipe.

I suppose everyone will start smoking pipes now?


Killing time

So now they reckon our sitting room fire is killing us?

Apparently our coal and turf fires are killing us by the thousand.

Can anyone answer on simple question?  Why should I give a flying fuck?  Isn't it just another lethal killer to add to the myriad of other lethal killers according to "research"?

Let's look at this whole problem of finding things that kill us "prematurely".  Let's eliminate all possible causes of harm and place ourselves firmly in the hands of the Nanny State.

OK.  We have forsaken all tobacco and alcohol, and are living on a strict diet of organic fruits and nuts and freezing our balls off because any heating you care to mention causes some kind of detrimental effect on our health.

But hang on….  We can't eat anything that has grown outdoors because the ground is contaminated with all the fallout from the thousands of nuclear tests.  In fact we have to remove about six feet of topsoil from the entire planet and somehow dump it in space.  You can't be too careful in the Nanny State.  That means we have to grow our own food indoors hydroponically.  But we can't because the water is contaminated with lead, floride, chlorine, arsenic and other assorted lovelies so we have to somehow distil rainwater [without any power].  We also have to find some method of filtering out any volcanic dust or whatever might be floating up there.

But what's this?  We have dumped all that topsoil but there is still radiation coming from somewhere?  Damn!  We have to strip mine all igneous rock in case it contains natural radiation and we have to dump that in space also.  Just to be on the safe side we had better dump all metamorphic rock too?  You can't be too careful, etc etc.

So here we are, huddled in our freezing houses with nothing to eat or drink.  Maybe we should move to somewhere warmer, not that there is much land left having dumped most of it into space and wherever we move has to have little or no sunlight [damned Ultraviolet!].  But there's no transport.  All transport has been banned because of emissions.  So we have to stay put and stare at the walls, with the ony comfort we have left – the knowledge of eternal life.

But people are still dying!

I had forgotten about disease.

OK.  So somehow they miraculously manage to eradicate all disease [and that had to be done without using water, power of chemicals, don’t forget].

But still we die?

For the sake of the exercise, we'll ignore the 80% of the world's population who have topped themselves from sheer boredom and hunger [though strictly speaking 25% of those didn’t actually kill themselves – they were eaten by their starving relatives].  If they aren't willing to play the Nanny Game, that's their loss and anyway we are used to ignoring figures that don't fit our experiments.  What the hell is killing the survivors?

What's this?  Cancers?  Heart failures?  Organs packing up left right and centre?  How can that be?  We have eradicated every theoretical cause of cancer and everyone is leading the healthiest possible life [apart from being dehydrated, starving and frozen] so where are those coming from?

Could it be just old age?

Does anyone know how to stop time?

Crossing the line

Bill on minimum pricing of alcohol due before Dáil recess

Am I surprised?  No.  When international Nanny Stateists get together it's almost inevitable that Ireland will be in the forefront.  In fact Ireland is rapidly becoming the very definition of The Nanny State.

OK, so they reckon we are a nation of binge drinkers? 

75 per cent of all consumption of alcohol in Ireland is done during binge-drinking sessions. Alcohol was not abused by a small minority, and “the majority of people who drink do so in a harmful way”.

What the fuck?  Alcohol is not abused by a small minority?  The majority of people who drink do so in a harmful way?  Where the fuck do they get this from?  Maybe if they redefined their definition of "binge drinking" to something less ridiculous that drinking three pints at a session it would help?

Or maybe he is just going from personal experience in the [heavily subsidised] Dáil bar?

Mr Varadkar reiterated the Government’s commitment that minimum unit pricing to eliminate very cheap alcohol from stores would be introduced, and said currently “a woman can reach her low-risk weekly drinking limit for just €6.30, while a man can reach this weekly limit for less than €10”.

I'd love to know how that's done?  €6.30 for three units?  He has to be referring to the type of cheap canned lager that's about as alcoholic as gnat's piss.  Good luck with binge drinking on that!

“ultimately, the price needs to be set at a level that will reduce the burden of harm from alcohol use or it will be ineffective – but not so high that it increases the cost of a pint in the pub or a glass of wine in a pizzeria”.

Oh for fuck's sake, wake up Varadkar!  If they have the slightest excuse, of course the pubs are going to lam up the price of drink.  How fucking naïve can you get?

Senator Jillian van Turnhout (Independent) expressed concern about Government departments dealing with drinks companies.

Welcome to the birth of Big Alcohol.  Of course they have to be excluded from all discussion.  Of course anything they say is a pack of lies.  Of course all they are interested in is turning us all into alcoholics.  They are even more evil than Big Tobacco.

Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú (FF) said children were the main victims of the abuse of alcohol, whether in the home or elsewhere, and “that alone should make us more determined and courageous than we have ever been before on this issue”.

Ah!  Of course!  The cheeeeeeldren.  We must think of the cheeeeeeldren

They are crossing a very dangerous line here.

Up until now their Nanny Laws were directed at specific people.  Crash helmets were for mototcyclists, seatbelts were for car drivers and their Anti-Smoker laws were directed at smokers. Each are well defined groups and you either are in that group or you're not.  Now however they are introducing Nanny Laws that are only targeted at a minority section of a group, but which will affect all within that group whether they are problem drinkers or not.

Of course this minimum pricing will fail, just as all their Nanny Laws have failed.  There will still be drunken fights, kids puking their rings up in Temple Bar and fistfights at home.  The gubmint will however scream about how successful their measures have been, but we must introduce more laws to continue the fight against Big Alcohol.

Warning labels, anyone?

Plain packaging??

Everything is fine

I used to have a despicable little shit of a bank manager.

This was back in the early Eighties when I had a massive mortgage and money was tight.  Despite having a full time job and an owner-occupied house the little cunt refused to give me an overdraft unless I had an equal amount in savings.  Wonderful logic!

I wrote a cheque for the milkman one day for around £6.  Little cunt up in the bank bounced the cheque and fined me £10 for the privilege,  meaning I now owed £16.  This was my first real introduction to the insane world of using fines to try to bend my will.

There is a grander example of the above within our health service.  If a hospital exceeds its budget, they levy a financial penalty on the hospital.  Does anyone see the absurdity of this?  A hospital grinds to a halt because of lack of funds, and instead of giving more money to keep it going they levy a fine from a budget it doesn't have.

This concept of robbing cash is growing at an alarming rate.  Everywhere you look now, they are taking fines and taxes to try to get you do either do something, or not do something.  In most cases it fails to achieve its objective but does return a handy cash stream.  Is your local town congested from lack of parking?  Stickup parking meters.  It won't stop the congestion, but just think of the cash!  Want to stop people from smoking?  Whack a massive tax on and again it won't achieve its intended results but brings in the billions.

The latest absurdity to hit the news is the M50 – that beloved ring road around Dublin.

The M50 has been a fiasco from the very start.  It was very badly planned from the outset and they have been spending billions trying [unsuccessfully] to modify it ever since.  The only thing its good for is creating massive traffic jams at any rush-hour, usually exacerbated by road works where they are trying to add an extra lane or something.

Their latest idea to "reduce congestion" is not extra lanes or fewer intersections.   Oh no.  Introduce extra tolling.

So here we go again.  Hit people in the pocket.  Extra tolling will hardly reduce traffic that significantly but will produce a massive bonanza for someone's bank account.  They overlook the obvious – if people find the congestion too much, they will simply take an alternative route. 

It has reached a stage where no matter where you turn, someone is trying to dip their grubby little hands in your pocket.  Our precious gubmint is of course the worst.  Their latest idea is to take any money they think they are owed from the source.  So by the time I get my pension the gubmint will have already dipped their filthy fingers in and will have stolen whatever they want under whatever excuse they dream up.  It will literally be a case of my pension being paid to the gubmint and they then decide what small change to pass on to me.

This fucking world has become obsessed with money.

Usually my money.

Saving the World

There used to be a custom where motorists hung a St Christopher medallion from their rear view mirrors.

St Christopher was the patron saint of travelers [people who traveled, not itinerants] and it was considered that old Chris would always guide them on the right path.  In fact he was the original SatNav before SatNavs were invented.

Then one of the popes decided to do a clearing out of saints and poor old St Christopher was demoted to just Chris.  No one is quite sure why this happened, though my theory is that it was just a spot of Celestial Downsizing where they decided to just pension off a few to cut on wages.  Of course, within a week, all motorists who had been relying on their medallions to guide them drove off cliffs, into rivers and into concrete walls because their Devine SatNav suddenly ceased to work.

The WHO is trying the same trick.

They have decided to eliminate a whole moxy load of diseases.  Their rationale is simple – any disease name which may offend someone has to go.

Naturally Ebola gets the axe, as the people who live by the Ebola River in Africa are highly offended.  German Measles of course has to go for obvious reasons.  Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is a goner too as there are quite a few Creutzfeldts and Jakobs who are in high dudgeon at their names being slighted.  Legionaires will be quite happy with the move also.

It's quite an ingenious ploy as probably the majority of ailments from Athlete's Foot [poor athletes] to the Black Death are named after people or places so the majority have to go.  There was a rumour that the Black Death is to just be renamed Person of African Descent Death but they decided to just scrap it instead, as it would still offend all Africa.

The problem now is that millions of people died from these diseases in the past.  Now that the diseases have been eradicated are all those millions to be resurrected or will the authorities just change the death certificates to "cause unknown"?

The WHO are of course delighted with their little ploy.  Basically the only disease they have to worry about now is the Common Cold.

They can now concentrate all their efforts on curing us of diseases we haven't yet caught or which haven't been invented yet.

Just as a by the by, is there anyone out there of a very sensitive nature called Tinnitus?