The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Worth Reading…

Posted by Exile on August 12, 2022

Oliver Cromwell dissolved the British Parliament in 1653. Tired of the misrepresentation, lies and corruption, he decided that enough was more than enough. We need men of this calibre now. His speech may be as damning today as it was then and, as far as I can see, valid for both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. These are his words:

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?
Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go! “


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Who are you?

Posted by Exile on June 11, 2020

Have you ever wondered about the reply you get to that question? Or, indeed, about the answer you give?
Ask people this and they will generally reply by telling you their name and, almost invariably, their occupation. I have never allowed what I do to become who I am, so I rarely mention it. I don’t care what you do. I ask who you are.  Your occupation is of little or no interest to me.

These days people are completely consumed by the apparent need to identify themselves as something instead of being more involved with, or aware of, who they are. They are vegan, gay, black, brown, white, trans-sexual,  muslim, christian, republican, democrat, socialist, atheist or whatever.

None of that interests me either.  You were born with your skin colour. That can’t be changed. So what? It isn’t relevant to who you are. Religion? Believe what you like. I don’t care. What you eat is none of my business either. Your sexual orientation is your business. I don’t need or want to know. How you vote is between you and the ballot box. It makes little difference to me.
We are, each and all, a complicated mix of all these things. They represent markers in our way of life, not the person we are.

So, who am I?
I am father to my daughter and grandfather to my grandson. I am husband to my wife. I am friend to my friends. I live by a few simple rules. I try not to directly offend anyone and I expect the same respect from them. I try to help those who are less fortunate than I, but I cannot save the entire world, so I won’t try. I believe one should attempt, at least, to look after oneself.  Charities won’t help but simple charity can. Live and let live is my policy. My father once told me that life is best tackled by valuing three things. “Be honest, fair and reasonable, son.” He said. I try to live by that. It was good advice. Treat me with respect and I will return the favour.  Behave properly around me and I will also behave properly.

My sexual preferences, diet, beliefs and political orientation are none of your business.
My skin colour, gender and nationality was not a choice  I was allowed to make, nor was it yours. I believe one cannot help being what one is, but one can decide who one is and how one behaves.

I am aware of the things I value and the things I believe to be right, or wrong. I am aware of the choices I made in becoming who I am at the moment.
Therefore, all these things are a part of me. I cannot be just one thing or identify myself as a single part of who I am. Doing so would show a great lack of respect for myself.

To those who identify themselves as being the one thing, be it a colour, sex, occupation, by political orientation, diet or religion, or anything else, I have only one thing to say:

I identify you immediately as being thoughtless at best and, probably, stupid.

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Living Without the TV

Posted by Exile on February 19, 2012

Isn’t so hard as it sounds. One may ask, why no TV? I’’ll tell you why. Too damn expensive, too little entertainment and way too many adverts. I told Viasat they could stick it where the sun don’t shine. I wouldn’t have minded so much, but when the advertising is around 33% of the viewing time and always comes at the least convenient time in the show, with no thought for the viewing public, then I don’t see why the subscription should be so expensive. They get paid astronomical sums of money to advertise. Why should I pay for that? Not only that. The endless repetitions, the lack of new programmes, the endless self effacing ads for their own programming, or “premiers” as they called them and the limitations on the package itself just finally got to be too much.

Here’s why:

I never agreed to have the God Channel. Strange one that. He has his own channel and never makes a personal appearance or gives an interview. I wonder why?

Ten childrens channels is more than enough. How many blasted cartoons can one see and why are they on 24/7? Do kids never sleep?

I am not THAT interested in sharks. Or whales. I think most of us are agreed now, that the climate is changing, yes, but it has little or nothing to do with mankind. Nor am I really interested in phony people living phony lives in LA, San Francisco or New York, no matter how big their tits are.

“Reality” TV isn’t. In fact, it has nothing to do with reality and those people that can’t understand that ought to be taken out and whipped.

How many news channels are necessary? TV2 news, CNN, ABC/NBC, BBC news and Euronews all send, more or less, the same garbage. Although, Euronews is merely a propaganda show for the EU and I never really watched it anyway.

Roll all that up and compare it to what I was paying for and out of thirty-odd channels I probably only really watched four. At €780.00 per year, that’s way too much.

So what do I do now? Well, I get my news feed from the internet. Both local and international. I am getting to see all the DVD films we have bought along the way. Some musical in the form of recorded live concerts, some entertainment films. I get to hear more music both on the radio and from my CD collection. I get to play more with the dogs. The house is cleaner as I have more time to do it..! I get out more…

I suppose at some point, we will get a new TV supplier or I will buy a satellite decoder and see what I can find of free channels. There is, apparently, a lot to choose from but I need to research that first. Either way, there has to be a cheaper and better alternative to the crap we’ve been fed for the past ten years. When I find it, I’ll let you know.

Posted in Rant | 2 Comments »

A Few Simple Questions and Opinions..

Posted by Exile on February 1, 2012

Normally, I wouldn’t make a political comment here.. I have another blog for that. But there are a few things that, to me at least, seem outrageously wrong.

For instance….

With 10.4 of the population of Europe out of work, why are we still importing “workers”?

With 50% of the unemployed being under the age of 25, why should the old and worn out have to stay at work longer? Would it not be more sensible to lower the pension age to sixty and let some of the youngsters have a chance? Whether it’s pensions or social support, it still costs about the same.

Prices are rising uncontrollably. Wages aren’t. What’s that all about? Surely, if wages aren’t rising and less people are working, then production costs must naturally be lower.

If I’m supposed to use public transport more, why aren’t there public parking spaces available at the train station?

Why should I have to pay for the privilege of parking my car at the shopping mall where I go to spend my money in the shops in that mall?

Tax reductions are meaningless when they are simply replaced by raising unavoidable government surcharges.

I have paid pornographic amounts of money in taxes and contributions to my unemployment benefits. This allotted time where I can be on the dole has now been halved, from four years to two. Why haven’t I got half my contributions back? And why am I still paying benefits at the old rate? If the time frame has been halved, why haven’t the contributions?

Plastics contain carcinogens. Why is all the food I buy packed in it and why is that food in direct contact with the plastic?

If we are to believe in democracy, why is the EU so vehemently against referendums? And why does the EU not accept the results of those few referenda that have gone against the will of the EU,  forcing member states to repeat them until the “right” result has been achieved?

If the government is so concerned with my health, why are they closing hospitals?

If the government is so concerned about our CO2 production, why are eco-friendly products more expensive to buy than the others? And why isn’t eco-friendly fuel cheaper than the other shite?
When the government starts acting like there’s an eco-crisis, I’ll start believing it.

The Loch Ness monster, fairies, elves, goblins, aliens and bigfoot do not exist. If they did, we would have found remains or skeletal evidence already. Nothing lives forever.

God is an idea. Not an entity. Religion was invented to steer the ignorant masses. Don’t believe me? Draw Mohammed, sign the drawing and publish it.

Crop circles are all man made. Global warming isn’t. Get over it and stop wasting money researching it.

The police force is self financing. If that was not so, they would not have quotas stating how many fines they must give out to the public. Quotas equal budgets. Budgets equal finance.

I have begun to ignore smoking restrictions. If the government makes laws that exclude me, those laws cannot apply to me.


Anything else you may care to add via comments will be gratefully received.

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Our New Government.. A New Theme Tune.

Posted by Exile on October 8, 2011

It really pissed me off when, at their election victory party, the Social Democrats played one of my favourite songs. “At last”. I suppose meaning, that they had ‘at last’ gained enough power to form a government. And what a sorry collection of lying toads they are. Pretty much everything they promised before the election is suddenly impossible to deliver. Apart from easing off on the immigration policy. That will be done almost instantaneously. Otherwise, the people that believed them and voted for them and to whom they promised the world, are all feeling pretty dejected and cheated now.

Well, we tried to tell ‘em..


But it’s that song that still irritates me. So when I heard this the other day; I Youtubed it immediately.. 

The lyrics are great.. look at the lines I highlighted as you read it through. Says it all..


It ain’t complicated
Well I’ve grown to hate it
I never liked the taste of crow
But baby I ate it
They tried to warn me
They said that you were ornery
So don’t bring me those big brown eyes
and tell me that you’re sorry
You might as well throw gasoline on a fire
The way you lie…
You lie like a priceless Persian rug on
a rich man’s floor
Yeah you lie like a coon dog basking
in the sunshine on my porch
Well you lie like a penny in a parking
lot at the grocery store
It just comes way too natural to you
The way you lie.
That ain’t my perfume, I bet she had a curfew
You told me you were out with the boys and
baby I believed you
So why you lookin’ so nervous
You know you kind of deserve this
I ought to kill you right now
And do the whole wide world a service
Well my daddy’s gonna straighten you out
Like a piece of wire, like a piece of wire
The way you lie..
You lie like the man with the slicked back
hair who sold me that Ford
Yeah you lie like a pine tree in the back yard
after last month’s storm
Well you lie like a penny in a parking lot at
the grocery store
It just comes way too natural to you
The way you lie.
Well I tell you what I’m gonna do
I’m gonna drive to the big old muddy river
I’m gonna park my car in the middle of the
mile long bridge
And then I’m gonna cry
Well maybe just a little
Then I’m gonna slip off the ring
that you put on my finger
And give it a big old fling and watch it sink
Down, down, down
And there it’s gonna lie until the Lord
comes back around
Because you lie like a priceless
Persian rug on a rich man’s floor
Yeah you lie like a coon dog basking
in the sunshine on my porch
Well you lie like a penny in a parking
lot at the grocery store
It just comes so dang natural to you
The way you lie.
The way you lie.
Well it’s what you do, it’s who you are.

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So, that was Summer..??

Posted by Exile on September 30, 2011

I haven’t been able to keep up with the blog of late. I’ve been busy. And we had the most miserable summer I have ever experienced. In fact, summer was a wash-out. Cancelled. Rained off. Three endless months of pissing it down. A shameful event. I curse the weather gods.

I had a job for a while, on subsidised wages mark you, and now that’s over and done with, because the firm, despite being more than pleased with my performance, didn’t have the money to employ me on a regular, full paid, scale. Screw ‘em. Their loss. But it’s back to the ranks of the jobless. By the way, those ranks are growing, daily. Job prospects are about zero right now and especially so for a man of my age. So I’m not going to panic about the situation. After all, Denmark went mad a couple of weeks ago and put the bloody social democrats in power. My comrades in the party will doubtless tender me care and solace. (My ass, they will. They’re a bunch of lying, stealing, tax-fixated bastards and nothing they promised us under the election campaigns will materialise. I knew that before the elections. Everyone else apparently didn’t.)

So, apart from the rain, unemployment and national political disaster, what else went on?

peasant-spreading-manureThe tobacco project. This took up a good deal of my time. I planted seeds, replanted young seedlings, finally got them into the garden and successfully raised a crop of baccy. Not the huge success it might have been because of the bloody god-awful weather but nevertheless, I did get a return. I reckon I have about four pounds of smokeable weed out of the affair. I’m currently trying different ways of maturing the stuff and figuring out how to convert the harvest into good tobacco. In fact, I was so successful that I’m going to repeat the success next year. With my own seeds this time. I hope the weather is better next year. My present crop survived the rain but tobacco doesn’t like standing in mud so I didn’t get the full crop up where I wanted it. Most of the plants suffered but stood bravely up until I decided to start harvesting.
I planted potatoes too. They did OK but they had far too much water as well. Still, forty odd pounds of spuds from my one little patch was a success. They tasted great and I’m gonna be doing that again too. In fact, I have great plans to extend the gardening idea. Next year, I‘ll be planting a shed load of stuff. If I’m going to be out of work, I may as well use my time saving on the food bills.
To prepare for this, I’ve been working my ass off in the swamp that is my garden today and have prepared the third patch of earth ready for next years grow. I now have about 320 square feet of good earth to get going on. The long haired one has suggested I get a greenhouse. Good idea, but there’s a bloody huge multi-stemmed poplar tree standing right there where the greenhouse should be so I guess more lumberjacking is called for. I’ve already cut one down that was way too close to the house. Loads of wood, but loads of cleaning up to do afterwards. Those branches don’t walk to the rubbish dump by themselves and the city ordinances won’t allow me to burn the rubbish. (More bloody social democratic shite..  Ooh.. think of the environment.. Right. What do they expect? Polar bears don’t eat wood. And while we’re about it, just what did the bloody environment do for me lately? Bugger all. It just pissed it down all over me for the last three months.)

Anyhow, that’s all behind us now. Chins up, everybody. It’s only twelve weeks to bloody Christmas so I’ll have to start thinking about that soon. I hope it snows.

It’ll make a pleasant change from the weather we’ve been getting.

Maybe I can get a job as a snow clearer….

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Racking ‘em Up

Posted by Exile on March 12, 2011

My dearest lady decided the old music system was over the hill. A new one was required. Unilaterally, she shot off into town and used a huge amount of money on a wall mounted CD player. Naturally, I had to put the thing on the wall but, luckily, I am well enough equipped to do such things with a minimum of fuss, foul language and loss of blood despite having to resort to power tools to get the job done. Two holes, two rawl plugs, two screws and one extension lead later, the thing is up, plugged in and working. Hooray. She thanked me and proceeded to dig out CD’s from the myriad of boxes we have for such things. Yay. We have music in the house again. For me, that would have been enough.
Not so for the dear one. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a rack for these CD’s?” she asked. Innocent enough a question, I thought. “Yes”, I said. “Good. I’ve seen them in the Ikea catalogue…”

imageToday I was sent off to Ikea. About 15 miles away. The drive was OK. Sunshine and light traffic, radio on and no rush. My mood changed when I saw the overfull car park. Parking took me a quarter of an hour. Finally, parked as far from the entrance as I possibly could be, I went shopping. I hate shopping. Well, maybe not the shopping bit, but all the idiots one has to fight with just to make headway through the way too small aisles and dodge round the far too many shopping carts that no-one seems to be attending but that are strategically parked in the aisles. The fat people who take up far too much space and can hardly walk, let alone get past the gawping masses that don’t really know what they are looking for and, therefore, have to stop every two steps along the way. The multi-ethnic families of twenty four people in varying sizes of tentage that all have to stop and admire plastic crap disguised as furniture while their children play a game of shouting, screaming and getting in the way.
I eventually found the department I needed to visit. I even found the CD thingy to put CD’s into. Borrowing a computer placed there for customer usage, I identified my CD rack’s stock number and even found out where I could collect it. Of course, the warehouse section of the whole affair was as far away from where I was presently standing as possible, so I had to fight my way back through the madding crowd and go two stories down just to get close to what I needed. After about a half hour and a forced detour through parts of the shop that had no interest for me at all but is apparently vital that I see, I reached the warehouse section. I found a guy to help me. He helped me get two of the rack things out of the section and loaded the two meter long boxes on to my shoulders. All the shopping carts were still filling aisles in other departments, so there wasn’t one for me. Total weight, 21 kilograms, total length, about two meters. I then started the long forced march to the check-out area trying not to kill people with the load as I swung round the corners.
The wait to pay and get out was ridiculous. It took twenty minutes standing in the check out queue before that particular ordeal was over.

Outside and in the fresh air again I comforted myself with the fact that I could now simply load the car and drive home. Until… I realised the guy in the warehouse had given me the wrong coloured racks. My wife specifically said black, and so had I. These buggers were.. WHITE. My life hung in the balance. Do I return these or just go home and plead ignorance?

I returned to the store. Returns department. I went to the counter with my 20 kilogram load on my shoulder. “Take a number”, said the assistant. He didn’t assist me at all, so why do we call them that? I took a number. Another twenty minute wait and it was my turn. Returning the racks was no problem. The guy gave me a card credited with the money I had paid and told me I could go get my goods and pay with the card at the checkout.
Back to the bloody warehouse then. I found what I needed, this time unassisted by the jerk that set me wrong last time and loaded my shoulder again. Back to the check-out queue then, but the difference this time was that I didn’t really care if anyone got whacked in the ear by the exceptionally long and heavy load on my aching shoulder. Another wait, this time thirty seething minutes. OK, the card bit worked. Hallelujah.

Finally, after about one and three quarter hours, I loaded my car and sat myself in the driving seat and lit a cigarette. Now I know why they call it Holy Smoke. I made a solemn vow never to return to Ikea on a weekend again. Ever.

At least the drive home was pleasant.

The racks? Oh, that was easy. I assembled them and filled them up in no time..

Right now, I’m shagged out.

My wife, on the other hand, is both impressed and grateful. Little does she know!

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Seeds of Revolt

Posted by Exile on February 28, 2011

I make no secret of my affection for the briar and baccy. I am a smoker, I enjoy it and I enjoy my pipes every day. For me, the thought of giving it up would be akin to stopping breathing. There are those out there in the great big world that would deny me this simple pleasure and if I am to believe their incessant lies, I should have been dead twenty odd years ago as tobacco is killing thousands of people at a distance of some miles due to so-called second hand smoke. Wierdly, I’ve been sucking first-hand, directly injected smoke for donkeys and amazingly, I still wake up in the mornings. Maybe the second hand, used variety is deadlier. As a smoker, I wouldn’t know. I’m not new-religious. And frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn.

What really gets my craw up, is the obscene taxation that our oh-so new religious, anti-everything-enjoyable government is forcing upon me in order to “regulate” my behaviour. I’ve had enough. The time has come to revolt. To deny them their pornographically high extraction of my hard earned cash. I hereby declare my independence of their tobacco taxes. Or at least, the beginnings of that revolt.

I have a garden. Little but doubtless productive, I have decided to dig in the earth and prepare it for war. Not by digging trenches. Oh no. I’m planting tobacco. I’m gonna grow my own. Tax-free and legal. And no-one’s gonna stop me.

I’ve sent off for seeds, been to the gardening centre and bought all the necessary paraphernalia to get my seeds going and now I am waiting for the ground to thaw. While I’m waiting, I can get my seeds sprouting and will have time to prepare for the coming agricultural adventure. Obviously, all the hard work starts when I can get digging but until then, I have a lot to learn. My father was the gardener. Not me. So the learning curve will be long and steep. I then have to learn about drying, curing and storage of the expected harvest. One can’t really just pick a leaf, cut it up and smoke it. There are many processes involved after the growing is done before one actually gets to enjoy the weed.

There are places I can go to read all the information necessary. I have joined an internet forum to help me get started. I am not alone with this. I am making contact with other home-growers and a few professionals. I won’t say success is guaranteed, but it is achievable.

The first blow has been struck. I have planted my seeds today and await their germination in about five to ten days time. Six weeks from now and they will be transplantable and will probably go into pots for a hardening period. By then, the weather should have improved enough to start serious planting.

I’ll be back on this topic later. Wish me luck.

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People that Ride Bikes…

Posted by Exile on January 12, 2011

…are bloody stupid.

idiotI come to this conclusion after hours of careful observation. For instance, the roads lately have been covered with snow and ice. It’s hard enough to just stay upright on your own two feet so how the hell do they suppose that balancing on two rather thin rubber tubes on a mechanical device while maintaining a forward motion is going to be any easier, or quicker, as a form of locomotion? Apparently, they believe that the laws of gravity and friction (or the lack of the latter) don’t apply to them. Equally, they don’t seem to appreciate that a car on ice cannot easily brake and that, therefore, it is extremely dangerous to take a sudden and violent swing out into the road in front of one of the said cars. Or dirty great big lorries…

Red lights also do not apply to cyclists. I don’t know why. Perhaps one will explain it to me one day, if they survive the winter, that is. This is equally as dangerous as the aforementioned swing into the road but cyclists, as they all know, are immortal and undamageable. We, the motorists, will protect and preserve them. Continuing onward, oblivious to crossing traffic despite the red light, is popular amongst the two-wheeled psychopathic, egoistic, suicidal, bloody stupid cyclists.

Another form of light is also unknown to the greater majority of these eejits. A white one at the front of the machine, and a red one at the back. They aren’t even expensive, but they are apparently very hard to find and affix to said machine. Or maybe this is just further proof of stupidity. But hey, all we motorists have infrared vision, so no worries, eh? We can easily see them in the dark. Even when they wear black. 
Cyclists are also dyslexic or illiterate or irreverent. One of the first lines in the Bible is “Let there be light”.

idiot2I can’t help wondering what they are thinking as I sit in my car, heater on ten, comfortable, warm and dry and trying to steer my way through slithering traffic, while they are out there, in the cold and snow, open to the blizzard that is upon us and freezing to death as they attempt to propel the iron horse forward through the ten centimeter deep snow covering the ice below. This can only be a sign of stupidity. I can only assume that the slow freezing of their otherwise atrophied brains is also depriving them of the ability to see the absurdity of their own situation.
Or how about the summer months? I sit in my car, comfortable, air conditioning on, cool and relaxed, while they are out there again, under the broiling sun, sweating like pigs, working like dogs and still attempting to propel the iron horse forward risking heart attack and dehydration.

I know why they don’t have a car. They are too bloody stupid to pass the driving test. Clearly, they have no knowledge of the rules of the road. Not only that, they are probably too bloody stupid to have taken any education or training and therefore haven’t got a good job, so they can’t afford a car. This is probably a good thing for all us motorists. And dogs, cats and small children or anything else that has the misfortune to cross the road in front of them. Think what would happen if we allowed these morons to command and control a one and a  quarter ton of motorised vehicle. The death toll would rise appreciably.

I wouldn’t mind it all so much, but why do they have to dress as if they are in the Tour de France, in the middle of winter, while riding on a converted garden gate on wheels? Stupid? Well, they certainly look it. Denmark is as flat as a pancake, so why do several of them have a shirt with red spots? Who do they think they’re kidding? There are no bloody mountains here. I even saw a yellow jersey the other day. He was the first one to cross the red light.. Must have been his sunglasses that hindered him in seeing it. It wasn’t Lance Armstrong, even if the bloody stupid and apparently schizophrenic cyclist is convinced that he is that very persona while he is on his beloved velocipede .

But worst of all, is the bloody stupid cyclist with a child, strapped to the machine, sitting behind the bloody stupid cyclist. They are having a hard enough time of keeping the damn iron horse upright with only themselves to worry about as cargo. If the machine slips and tips in the snow and ice, they can save themselves by simply hopping off the mechanical deathtrap. The little kid on the back, strapped securely into the plastic and often padded seat, can’t. Which means a long fall at some speed for the helpless little kid with no chance of escape or rescue.
Which is why we now have kids going round with post bicycle traumatic stress disorder, ensuring the next generation of mentally disturbed youngsters who will doubtless continue to scribble incomprehensible graffiti on everything due to the brain damage they suffered in the fall and steal cars to get around in at the age of fourteen, due to that trauma, instead of riding a bike. Eventually, they too will ride a bike, because of the sentence, dished out by the courts, banning them from driving a car for life due to repeated car theft.

And thus, Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow motorists, be aware and afraid. With the next generation of bloody stupid cyclists on the horizon… the cycle continues.

If you’ll pardon the pun.

Posted in Rant | 1 Comment »


Posted by Exile on April 18, 2010

I am supposed to be going to the UK on Thursday. Right now the prospects of being able to make the trip are looking almost nonexistent thanks to a volcano in Iceland. The damn country isn’t only bankrupt, it’s genuinely falling to bits.

The ash spewing forth from the bowels of this volcano has successfully managed to shut down all European airports for the last four days. I wonder, is this a new feint from the Icelandic Al Queda? I mean, we’ve pretty well got the airports sewn up security wise, and the aircraft, so there is only the air left to attack.

I wouldn’t mind so much if the ash was visible. It isn’t. It is so fine, apparently, that even tons of the stuff can’t be seen in the skies above us. The skies recently have been surprisingly clear. Sunshine by day and a starry heaven is visible at night. Hardly seems to me, that there is anything to worry about. One would expect a certain manifestation of dim sunshine by day and blackness by night. But no. Not even a hint of grey.

I have conducted experiments, from the comfort of my own home, to determine the visibility of ash in the atmosphere. Filling my largest pipe, I smoked it to the bottom of the bowl and then climbed my fifteen foot ladder and emptied the ashes into the air around me. I could clearly see it. Following this, I took two days worth of ash from my wood stove and repeated the experiment to confirm my results. I could see that too. So could my neighbour and he wasn’t exactly pleased about having all that nitrate poured out over his flower beds and asked me what the hell I thought I was doing. I explained the underlying science to him but he wasn’t moved by my efforts.

Now I know the true meaning of sackcloth and ashes.

I can only hope that someone manages to get a lid on the boiling pot that is Eylafjallajökull before Thursday. Or that the powers that be decide that what is invisible to us is also not dangerous. Indeed, the Dutch have had a few aircraft up today and no negative results for either aircraft or crews has been recorded. This may yet be crucial. If the invisible ash isn’t that bad or damaging I may yet get to see a crowd of my old mates at the reunion.

One lives in hope….!

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