Archive for the ‘Life Information’ Category

Well, this will be quick. It’s past midnight and I have to catch a ferry in the morning. This will tie up a few loose ends I’ve been meaning to say something about in the past couple of weeks.

First, the election.

I’ve been bombarded with campaign literature for the last couple of weeks. All for some bizarre reason, from the Scottish Labour party. Included was a personal missive from the indefinably-odd looking Iain Gray urging me to help keep the eeeeeevil Tories at bay (if I read it correctly). Oh and stop the Nats from doing something they’ve quietly dropped.

Anyway, the whole election thing is incredibly tedious – despite the efforts of two Facebook friends, one on either side of the SNP/Labour divide, to breathlessly tell us all how incredibly exciting it all is. I have been very interested in politics since I was sixteen, when I was some sort of ill-informed Marxist type, to where I am now, a free-market minarchist (still pretty ill-informed), but the whole Scottish thing really does fill me with a deep melancholy and boredom. Mainly I think it stems from a belief that, until we are not ruled from Brussels, our petty national politics are an irrelevance, and none of the four candidates up here will lift a finger to campaign for us to get out of the EU.

The regional list thing  seems to be a touch pointless too, a strange way for nobodies and losers to get a seat and make a noise in Holyrood. Losers here meaning both not-winners and sad political beings with no future or past. And a token Tory

Lastly we will be given a chance to vote on a brand spanking new shiny system of vote-counting. A choice between FPTP and AV. Hmmm. To paraphrase, “the most exciting chance to change our system of democracy and to re-connect with the voters”. Allegedly. I cannot really be bothered to go into my reasons for wanting to stick with FPTP, other than to say that I think it is the least bad system.

I’m just waiting for the resurrection of old excuses when the inevitable “No” is returned. Top of the list, I suspect, will be that it was too confusing for the electorate to have the vote the same day as the Scottish Parliamentary elections and English council votes. I’m not sure what advantage was gained by the campaign teams making this argument to begin with. Calling the electorate morons never seemed too smart to me. But what do I know.

To cap the whole sorry saga which – rather pathetically – has taken up a large part of my (obviously extremely valuable) thinking time in the last couple of months I will be away on the 5th anyway. When I discovered that I would be back at sea on the date, the postal vote deadline had passed. A family member asked if I wanted to vote by proxy, but the problem I had with this was that the only person I could trust to be my proxy and not to vote for someone I didn’t want, refused to draw big comedy willies all over the ballots. Because yes, dear reader*, I had come to the conclusion that I was going to spoil at least two, if not all three ballots this time.

Mean new colour scheme

The office

Secondly, work. I’m still running a wee taxi company up in Stornoway, which provides a handy excuse for someone who keeps asking me why I don’t write more (hello again, reader). It keeps me incredibly busy but I still want to get back to sea as much as possible. Back at the end of March I was contacted by the company I worked for at the end of last summer for a while saying that there might be a position open this summer, and would I like it if there was a place. Yes. Yes, I would. So I have to join a Coastguard tug in Ullapool on Wednesday morning. As it’s now 1.30 on Wednesday morning, I feel that I will be rather sleepy when I join after an early morning ferry trip. Unfortunately, I’ll only be on board for a month, but I enjoyed the trip I did last year, so I’m looking forward to it.

There’s tons of stuff I’ve been wanting to talk about recently. From the Royal Wedding and how one can support the monarchy and simultaneously be bored half to death by wedding build-up coverage; Obama feeding the trolls and releasing his birth certificate and breeding a new species of swivel-eyed conspiraloon; the rather odd circumstances surrounding the murder of OBL, and the FB  friend, who wrote – apparently without a trace of irony – “Vengance is mine, I will repay, sayeth the Lord”; latest erosions of civil liberties and intrusion of the state; and many other riveting subjects. However, I have to be up in four and a half hours, so I’ll leave these exciting topics to another time.

Also I suspect I may get some comment on this post for a change, but bear with me. I will endeavour to reply to anything asap, but I’ll be away from decent interweb connection for probably a month.

*Yeh, thank you, whoever you are.


Well, I’ve discovered WordPress for my (new) BB*, so I suppose I better post something.

Quickly, I’ve got a couple of teething problems, first off, being the qwerty keyboard – I keep typing three “c”s or three “r”s (r is the 3 key), or similar. The optical trackpad (or whatever it’s called) annoys me occasionally, and what I already mentioned*.

Anyway, what I’m mainly writing about is the big political news of the week, and my tuppence-worth on the whole thing.

Yes! In this wonderful democracy of ours, we get out half-decade’s-worth sop to the idea that we have any say in what’s going on! It’s the General Election in a month! Yay!

When I was in my last year of secondary, my Modern Studies teacher got me interested in politics, and I’ve voted in each possible election since – including a postal vote in (I think) the European elections while I was at sea. I’ve voted in four different constituencies – Eilean Siar, Edinburgh and two in Glasgow – in a dozen (or so) local, Scottish, National and EUSSR elections.

Anyway, elections coming up. And for the first time in my voting life, I’m stumped. I don’t want to harp on about living in the back of beyond – it is my choice after all – but there’s so little point in voting here. For the past century or so** this constituency has swung between Labour and the SNP. It’s rather depressing really.

My reasons for not voting Labour should be abundantly clear.

The SNP have, in their Holyrood tenure, been only slightly less authoritarian than Labour in Westminster, and jump on any passing “BAN IT!!!!” bandwagon going past. Nae chance, pal.

If the Liberal Democrats could find it in their parliamentary party to be at all libertarian or even democratic, they would be a possibility, but they can’t, so they’re not, so it’s a pass on them too.

The Tories. Well, they’re not Tories any more, are they? Under the helmsmanship of the vapid Blair-alike Cameron they have entered a “who’s more Socialist” pissing contest with Labour.  They never even had an outside chance of representing Lewis, even before their candidate joined a spoof Facebook group calling for a new harbour for Achmore. A hamlet whose only claim to fame is that it’s the only village with no sea access on the whole Island. Foot out of your mouth now darling, and jog on, Blue Labour.

I am reserving judgement on the new Christian Independent candidate. I’ll make up my mind when he publicises his economic, social and environmental policies. I want to hope that he will be more to my taste than any of the others, but he previously stood for the Christian Party, and I’m not their biggest fan. I need to do more digging I feel.

So, I’m a true floating voter***. I’m in a position now that I will vote for the first independent candidate that can offer to fight for at least most of my requirements****.

A month of tedium to go, then.

*That’s BlackBerry for the uninitiated among you. Two big annoyances: StupidCapitalisation and no Flash compatibility. There’s bound to be more, but I’ve only had the thing for a week or so.
**Will update that when I get out of bed later today, and can bother looking it up.
***Not literally, unfortunately. I’m still looking for a job afloat.
****More on these soon.

There have been a couple of questions asking why I haven’t posted a blog since mid-November.

Here are the reasons:

  1. Work takes up so much time.
  2. There has been too much to write  about.
  3. What has been going on, has been covered in a much more enlightening way by others than I ever could.
  4. Kittens. I have five kittens. They rock the casbah. Apart from their current gi problems.

I will endevour to add some kitten photos ASAP.

Woo! Free stuff!

Posted: 16-November-2009 in Life Information
Tags: , , ,

I got a free book today.

So can you. Well, not today but you can order it from that link.

I’ll review it when I get the time.


Posted: 12-November-2009 in Life Information

Round of applause for Steve Wood everybody

Posting has been rare recently. This is most definitely not due to any lack of ready material; in fact it is possibly the glut of inspiration that is the reason. Where to start with such a messed-up, confused and doomed country? I have an unexpected few days off, so if I make the time in the next couple of days, I’ll make some rambling, ill-informed and poorly-constructed posts. That is all.


Posted: 22-October-2009 in Life Information

Chain Gang

I have a (shore) job, so posts will be even more sporadic and of even lower quality.

John, you spoil us with your third post today!

John, you spoil us with your third post today!

Originally – in my head at least – the last post was going to be about the BBC. I spent a while looking through stuff to find a certain post that I was sure I had either seen or read about recently. But I couldn’t find it so I changed the subject to DEFRA’s rubbish about CFT bulbs. Imagine my surprise when I went to look through the blogs I follow to find this post from Mr. Eugenides, quoting this article on the BBC website. It wasn’t the article I was looking for, but it says exactly the same thing.

Anyone who monitors BBC coverage regularly will see, first of all, that we do not have and have never had a line on the issue


Here’s a list of the thirteen most recent BBC environment stories from their RSS feed. I’ll colour the bullet points for the links RED *if they are pro-AGW; and BLUE if they are neutral, don’t shoe-horn in an unnecessary reference to CO2 or, indeed acknowledge that there may be any sort of legitimate AGW-sceptic view on the matter at all.  

G8 aims to halve greenhouse gases

Mayor quashes £25 C-charge hike – you have to go to the end of the article, but the inevitable indefensible quote from unwashed tree-hugging vegan comes along.

UK to slow expansion of biofuels

Australia ‘needs carbon trading’

Aviation impacts ‘hotly disputed’

US city to charge polluting firms – also reinforces the spurious link of pollution and CO2 emissions – legitimate pollutants should be condemned, as they pollute, but CO2 is harmless

Next decade ‘may see no warming’

Slowing the biofuel bonanza

Japan waits on US for CO2 targets

Time to leave the comfort zone

Church to step up climate fight – wonderful, manages to come very close to equating AGW-scepticism with the crazy Southern American churches, well done!

Now, I know it may well come as a shock to many of you, but it turns out that Richard Black, BBC environment correspondent is either a liar, has amnesia or has never read any of the BBC’s output or even his own blog, or ever spent a minute on the most basic of research. Chump.

*Just in case you don’t know what red looks like.