Sunday, 26 May 2019

Red in Tooth and Claw

Some photos from the last couple of days:

Dead, healthy looking squirrel on the pavement near our house house - probably hit by a car. Never did think Tufty was a good advert for a road safety campaign.

Paper wasp's nest in a building in Goytre Wharf on the Monmouth and Brecon Canal, which we visited yesterday.

Literally, millions of tadpoles in a pool used to top up the Monmouth and Brecon Canal. The pool was alive with them.

Hornet crawling down the bank of the Monmouth and Brecon Canal. My specs dropped into the canal as I took this photo. Went to the pub, thinking they were lost for good. Had another look later and spotted them dimly - Hay delved into the water with her long arms and managed to grab them before a narrowboat came past to deposit silt over them and hide them for good.

Never seen a hornet before and didn't realise they were so huge. Get a bite from one of these buggers and you'd know about it.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Why Do We Work?

What is the purpose of work?

When you think about it, it's to earn enough to feed ourselves and provide a shelter, something we're eminently able to do if provided with a patch of land large enough to grow our own food and it contains enough material to build a shelter. That's how we used to survive until we started to sell our land to others or powerful people took it from us and called themselves aristocrats.

The actual reason is specialisation. I we were to fall ill, then we'd need the assistance of someone who had enough spare time to delve into the medicinal properties of herbs and have enough surplus to pay them - but we'd need to pay them in a form if surplus they lacked. If a band of marauding settlers from another family raided our settlement we'd need the assistance of some friends - we'd possibly form a militia.

Someone would inevitably sell their patch of land in return for an income from any surplus and that person buying the land would gain the benefits of scale and become specialised in land ownership.

The irony is that the whole system we currently have would create itself again from scratch and we'd all end up, possibly over a long time, working for other people in order to feed ourselves and build a shelter, buying our food from specialists and using specialists to build our shelters.

We call this progress, but I'm not so sure it is. We can become so specialised that an unforeseen collapse in one aspect or element of the society can have catastrophic consequences for the rest of it.

Margaret Thatcher was once castigated for saying there was no such thing as society. She was taken out of context; what she meant was that society is not an independent entity on its own - it depends on people contributing to it.

I mean, how else am I going to obtain an AUX to optical cable for my new speakers without going to a specialist? One that works, that is...

Friday, 24 May 2019

British Steel

It's rather ironic that the UK voted against the imposition of tariffs on cheap, imported, Chinese steel in the EU. It's also ironic that the Leave camp's solution to the loss in GDP following Brexit is to drop all import tariffs (which in itself is an admission that there will be a problem), thereby allowing the UK to be flooded with cheap imports and facilitating the consequences for British jobs.

Then, of course, there's the Conservatives' ideological position of economic Darwinism and not supporting failing businesses, even if they fail due to government policy.

Welcome to a preview of post-Brexit Britain. It's almost as if the government wants Britain to fail. Could it be because their backers can then pick over the bones of the UK and make a killing from Disaster Capitalism, as Jacob Rees-Mogg's father advocated in his book, Blood in the Streets?

However, tell many Leavers this, and they'll still believe it's all the EU's fault.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Gambling on Pampas Grass

I was listening to the Andrew Castle show on LBC Radio the other day on a DAB radio in the car. Gambling was being discussed and its effects on compulsive gamblers. Then the adverts came on and the first advert was for a gambling app for BetFred. Someone in the advertising department hadn't done their homework. 

I don't really like listening to DAB in a car. With FM you can change to a slightly different frequency if you lose the transmission, but not with DAB and you have to wait till you're in coverage again. Pain in the backside.

I heard somewhere this week that pampas grass in your garden was a sign that swingers live at the premises. 

I looked it up and it's true. Going to have to dig ours up.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Corvid May

Am I missing something in Mrs May's latest announcement?

As I read it, she's asking Parliament to vote for her deal, which effectively takes No Deal off the table, and then to vote on whether we have a 2nd referendum which, given the foregoing, means a referendum with two options - her deal or remain. 

For Remainers, what's not to like?

A bit of a sad day yesterday. Over the weekend we noticed an injured corvid limping around our garden. Yesterday I saw the same bird (at least I think it was) stumbling around the Kwik Fit car park, just down the road. When I approached it, the bird didn't seem the least bit afraid of me. I left it for a while and about half an hour later saw it standing in the middle of the road. Not wanting it to be hit by a passing car, I placed it in a safer position. It was obvious that it was badly injured or suffering from illness. Coming back a little later I was horrified to see it had died.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Carbon Emissions Per Capita

People are always on about China's and India's carbon emissions, but China is a huge country, as is India. A better analysis would be emissions per capita, which produces some surprising results when you look up the results.

Shocked? I was,

Monday, 20 May 2019

Pink England

You know how the far right has appropriated the St George's cross, much to the chagrin of the normal Brit? I know how to annoy the hell out of them.

Lobby for it to be changed to pink....

Not sure about the new Brexit Party logo.

Are they assuming that housing prices will fall over?

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Religion and Abortion

The state of Alabama has just enacted a very strict anti-abortion law which, I imagine, is driven primarily by religious conservatives of an evangelical bent.

Now Alabama also has a law that states: 

SECTION III. The purpose of the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment is to guarantee that the freedom of religion is not burdened by state and local law; and to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious freedom is burdened by government. 

Not all religions proscribe abortion. How will that circle be squared, I wonder?

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Crowds & Meaningful Votes

I forgot to leave a post yesterday. Unforgivable.

Hay went to the Gower for a couple of days this week as chauffeur for her dad and his girlfriend.

Glad I didn't go - as you can see, Oxwich Bay was a zoo.

Saw an amusing post on FaceBook yesterday. I paraphrase; "It's the year 2525 and Parliament is to stage the Meaningful Vote, yet no-one knows what it's about anymore. Parliamentarians will gather at Westminster - the capital of Lesser England - dressed in early 21st century costume to enact this quaint ritual, which has been an annual tradition since 2019, when it was held more frequently."

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Mercedes SL Class

I had occasion to visit one of our local automotive spraying companies this week and spotted this little gem in a corner.

A 1973 R107 Mercedes 450SL. It was having some rust removed and a bottom half spray.

Grant, the sprayer, told me that the owner might be interested in an offer on the car and rang him to enquire. He was prepared to accept £20,000. Rather too tasty for me. 

The old SL models are increasing in price dramatically and my 1994 R129 500SL has doubled in price in the last 3 years since I bought it.