Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Police Priority

As you know we now live in a glorious socialist workers paradise - where as a consequence of the boundless munificence of Gordo no one need want, as we have the middle classes to pay for everything.

As such all crime has been eradicated - and the police are free to devote their efforts and capital to automated crime - such as bus lane cameras, speed cameras, parking meter infringement, box junction crossing cameras and other ways to criminalise the tax-paying classes for the smallest of infringements that can enforced by a short subroutine.

It is not a police priority anymore to investigate Private Property that is now being broken into twice to three times a week.
Obviously because we have had another vehicle stolen, our club house trashed, radios taken, meagre bar takings (£5 in change...) robbed, hangars damaged and the property rendered pretty much uninsurable we cannot be considered as at being in any risk. After all, we are not a police priority. How can we be. Nothing left worth stealing.

I suspect if we winged one of the fuckers with a bird-scarer we would be in terrible trouble - but we live under Labour - which means as a sport club encouraging flying we are not a Labour client group and as there are no votes to be had from the aviation community we do not feature in the politicised priorities of the boys in blue. Except, of course - if I do 33 mph on the way home, then I deserve all I get - obviously.

I bet if one of the scrotes broke in, walked into a prop or tripped over onto one of the sharp objects we have lying around we would have to pay compensation.


Who googled 'Dunhill Junior Smokers set'?

That's madness. Everyone knows that - and I was wrong to suggest I was going to give my Junior school age nephews such trinketry.

I have given them fireworks instead.

Where there's muck....revisited

I blogged a while ago in a singular piece of genius about how the invisible hand of the market would intervene where the Local council decide they will halve their rubbish service, yet charge the same fee.

In an interesting twist, not only have many of them decided to go to fortnightly (I am in one of those poor areas) but they have decided to charge extra if you create more rubbish.
Great idea - but only if you can then select with whom you pay for your services. Otherwise it is just another localised monopoly.

The bit that gets my gripe though is that these services are being reduced, but is the local bureaucracy which supports it going as well, and will my council tax bill reduce with it?
Will I get a discount if I don't fill my bin? What's stopping me taking my spare waste to the local tip and getting rid of it for free?

Methinks we will see rubbish on the streets again - just like the last Labour administration.

It is a matter of time until not only will there be an alternative to your fortnightly collection - but I reckon it will be cheaper, greener, cleaner and quicker than the one provided by the bloated state monopoly.

Just you watch.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gunpowder, treason and pot

Ahhh the joys of Autumn!

I have spent the last couple of days acquiring a license from the campaign against aviation to use a wireless set whilst airborne. These means I can whirl about the heavens broadcasting my particular brand of humour not only at the blogsphere, but also at bemused Air Traffic Controllers, other aircraft and mole-like military listening posts.
We were all issued a standard 'Bridget-Jones' bra for head adornment should we wish to call Tokyo as well.

But now I am back. My factory is live and my head in a space to venture forth into the world yet again with mischief in mind.

And Autumn is one of the finest seasons to do so! Oh, spring has all the joys of the sap rising - but autumn holds all manner of treats, cold weather racing, frosty mornings and the first log fires of the year to seduce phillies in front thereof. It is after all, magical the effect that a glass of champagne, a giant real fur throw, a dozen oysters and a roaring log fire has on a young lady's drawstrings. Not to mention a little Sodium Penathol to loosen the morals.

A season of autumn racing - and dark parties in dark towns to behave darkly within.
A season of epicurean delights, not to mention the bounteous harvest of the sea and woods!
A season of frosts and cold ears and 'Come by the fire my dear, you will catch a death!'

The first peak of the season which one gets to show off one's derring-do, is of course bonfire night.

The smell of powder, a slight whiff of petroleum and bonfire smoke! Roasted tatties and the best excuse to let off your out of date flares from the boat while getting blind drunk.
And we get to play with fireworks.

Lots of fireworks

Not for us chaps the weedy excuses of the stuff of Tescos. Oh no.
An hour's careful searching online reveals the joys of the Trade sector:
75mm mortars!
Rockets that require blast shields!
Cakes that fire for 10 minutes!

The joys of leaping about the garden while a little taken with wine and having the joys of setting light to things and running away while the explode should be appreciated by all, young and old!
Then the joys of taking the starry eyed young lady wowed by your pyrotechnical prowess indoors to the fire, some spit roasted lamb a bottle of burgundy on the table and some rigorous sexual extremism is naturally to be expected, given the fact that all those bangs makes one heart pump so.

Now we all know the firework code. No cigarettes in the vicinity - but a pipe is ideal. Alcohol should not be taken, unless in cocktail form and be careful kids, remember - explosives and Ketamine DON’T MIX.
The explosives give you a nose bleed and the Ketamine doesn't burn.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hamster Wheel

Students of Nicodemus E. Chap esq., will be aware that today was a big day in the world of work.

For those of you who know / care / or frankly couldn't care less - I have a simple phrase which will strike envy into the: Government/NHS/Lefty cultural establishment/Public Sector IT delivery bods/Simpering apologistas for the political class of no-hopers. (delete as appropriate)

On time. On Budget. On scope. To the minute.

Don't hear that very often nowadays do you.... not with this lot running the show.

Chappy misbehaviour, regular pithy blog posts and more discombobulatory adventures to come!

I've earned them.

The pain and the sorrow.

I say, rather close isn't he?

A weekend very much of two halves.

Uncharacteristically I awoke when Da-Lodga returned from yet another night sweating away the last of her youthful looks in one of London's louder establishments.
Full of vim, vigour and verisimilitude I at once decided to aviate.
Now, students of all things metero metroli weather will have noticed the whopping great slice of High pressure resident over Merrie Englande.

This still, pleasant autumn weather, whilst stunning, has killed off the thermal soaring. It's all to do with inversions, and is terribly complicated and will involve graphs to explain.

As the air was so still and smooth it would perfect for some formation flying. Therefore, I took the opportunity to renew my rating on solo-aerotowing.

Aerotowing is basically formation flying, whilst being dragged through the sky by a tug on the end of a bit of long string.

I shall spare you the details - but in terms of the beauty of the day (Cambridgeshire was breathtaking in the Autumn light) and the sense of achievement - I rated it better than my first solo - or first successful climb to cloud base solo.

I landed after enjoying myself thoroughly at two thousand feet and skipped about the peri-track like a spring lamb, filled with enthusiasm and a sense of complacent joy at just how bloody brilliant I am.

It was in this sense of tearing high spirits that I wended my weary way to 'Sarf' London to chums of mine for a spot of an Ibiza reunion with a certain Rugby match in for good measure.

You can see where this is going can't you.

A couple of bottles of bubbles, some cheeky Rhone and a half decent curry later we had become refreshed to the extent that going to the pub with requisite loud funk disco had become a reasonable suggestion and one that we embarked on with notable alacrity. Certainly a journey worthy of allowing us to forget the horrors from Paris.

It is very easy to criticise one's actions viewed through the prism of sober hindsight:

We shouldn't have gone to the pub at 11.

I shouldn't have had that strong Czech lager on top of fizz and red wine

I shouldn't have been involved in Donna-Da-Lodga's mad photography attempts to persuade us gentlemen to behave like celebutards for a camera.

Dancing. (Needs no qualifications whatsoever, does it...)

Nor should I have drunk quite so much (and the rest!)

What is worse, is that there are apparently photos of this debauched behaviour in existence as we speak. (Fortunately, they are restricted to a generic social networking website belonging to DDL - and therefore almost nobody I know will ever see them)

But dear reader - as you are all aware Nemesis always follows Hubris.

My Sunday was spent the clutches of a hangover of transdimensional qualities.

It crept up - I felt fine for an hour when I awoke. (No memory as to how I got to bed either - for the concoctions which had rendered me so cheerful and willing to participate in dancing, had also contrived to rob me of my memory of some minor details - like getting home, what I did for an hour with everyone else - and who I may have drunk-dialled on the wireless telephone).

And then, when I started some gentle re-hydration therapy, it hit. And it struck as fast and as hard as an Exocet out of a cloudbank. I have had similar experiences, normally when experimenting with cheap drugs when I was int he flower of my youth.

My day? Ruined.

My head? Aswim.

My Gulliver? On spin cycle.

A poor end to such an auspicious start.

The only consolation was that this hurt more than the defeat. So, I guess in someways the sorrows had been most effectively drowned.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Society is to blame

If I'm obese because I eat junk food it's actually not my fault any more. Funny - I thought it was up to me what I ate, drank and how much I exercised.
Now apparently I have no free will and it is the fault of the fact someone is still free to sell me what I want to buy. Food is too easy to buy and too cheap and I can eat fatty foods if I want to. Well blow me. Let's dismantle the entire capitalist system, introduce a board of supply, nationalise all food production and we should only have what nanny thinks we need - then we will all be fit an healthy. Just like rationing.

Rope will be made illegal next so you can't hang yourself if you choose.

Here's a quick question: Should I choose to drink myself to death and I was part of the client state - I would obviously be a victim of society - but would that still count if I am harming myself with a glass of claret a day?

Or, at what point I am I merely being a glutton or I am becoming a victim? Does it only count if I eat burgers and chips - or should I dine upon roasted fowl in oyster sauce, a shoulder of mutton,a race of hen lobsters, roasted potatoes, mash, suet pudding with vanilla cream and a bottle of Madeira everyday - am I part of the exploited or am a part of the exploiters - for such food is obviously plutocratic. Or the zero-summers will have it that because I have so much choice, I am clearly forcing those I exploit to eat McSwineys.

You know, thinking this one through - it wouldn't be beyond this socialist state to introduce rationing anyway. Along with it 'being for our own good' rationing was introduced in the last war not because of shortages - but to reduce fuel usage in distribution. Just you wait - the green lobby will want that one. Think of how carbon consumptive it is having a choice in the shops…… especially when we can queue up with our rations cards and save the environment.

Now, all we need is another created crisis to jump this one through…..terrorist stunts? Deliberate viral releases? Or another staged explosion at a fuel depot…..

Soviet Britain is upon us.

Time for a day of Chappy anti-nanny action. Better than that pathetic blog-action day.
A stay in and stuff yourself day, methinks.

Menu to follow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

All quiet on the bloggy front pt 345811

My next toy.....
Yes, yes, I know I have been terribly quiet. It isn't because I have nothing to say either. I know it is all kicking off in the politcoes world and there are all sorts of things that have been catching my eye, but I have been rather busy.

'Ah-ha!' I hear you murmur, 'With what, to where and to whom?'

What with the old hamster wheel requiring an awful lot of amperes (Big Go-live this weekend dontchyerknow) the madness of Big Grey internal politics, food poisoning from dodgy food from Ibiza (NOT that luminous drink I consumed in DC-10 either) and a Man-Flu-with-complications (slight head cold) my time has been spread thinner than the margarine on a GNER sandwich.

On the aviating front - I have done my last flight tests - so I am in possession of the equivalent of a PPL (albeit for proper aeroplanes - sans big mincing machine to drill a hole in the sky) - and this has been taking up a lot of my run time of late.

So what next?

Well if my chum Jaguar is anything to go by, I ought to go and get a passenger rating then cue some industrial grade slithering.

He has already suggest that I should order 20 white silk scarves to give the Victims dear young volunteers a special and very personal souvenir of their little dash around the clouds. If that sort of behaviour is anything to go by it is a very slippery slope to wearing a cravat and a monocle with phrases like 'Let me get you out of those terribly wet clothes my dear, you'll catch your death.'

It does have it's merits - but Jaguar, whilst a yachtsman of average skill and caver of unfortunate renown, is the sort of individual only the foolhardy, deranged or sexually desperate should seek advice from. After all - he has fled at least three countries to escape paternity suits and is running out of continents in which he can safely show his face in the company of the fairer sex without the accompanying posse bearing flaming torches, baying hounds and a priest with good book and requisite noose in hand.
But saying that - he is a stout fellow and a good sport.

Also - on hearing this news, Scotty started texting me 'Top-Gun' quotes including the ludicrous 'take my breath away Maverick'. This is highly inappropriate, as under no circumstances could I accept a moniker quite as ripe Stilton as 'Maverick'. 'Algy', possibly. 'Binky' has a certain doomed Spitfire-ace ring to it. At worse 'Goose' - particularly as it has a certain lewd undertone.

However - the sport is far to genteel to allow such goings on - and as such I am happy to waft about skywards without resorting to grisly Americanised clich├ęs about fly-boys offering rides on their 'jet'.

No. Gliding is more about flasks of stewed tea, curly fishpaste sandwiches and discovering new ways of peeing into bags while lying down and getting the resultant waste out of a perspex window two inches square while doing 70 knots - a practice which lacks the glamour of an F-14 and is hardly endearing when trying to impress the Ladies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Back, from outta space

Hello again reader dear.

As you are aware I have been off the grid for a bit. A couple of day's worth of yachting about Ibiza, with some exceptionally heavy drinking and some unfortunate food. I call it unfortunate as it has made me suffer a mild dose of the bloody flux.

We are not talking hallucinations and serious griping pain - but considerable discomfort has ensued and I am restricted in not being too far away from full-bore facilities, preferably with refrigeration close to hand.

Oh, the sailing was fine enough, the scenery is absolutely staggering - but all of us who passed through the apartment taken by my chums has suffered to some extent with 'the slackening'.

This has curtailed both my time and my blogging urges. It has even prevented me from the latest phase of my radio work this evening - which is fortunate as I completely failed to either revise True Bearing calls, nor prepared my flight plan. This I shall do tonight, hopefully between bouts of suffering terribly for my travels.

The only cure I can think of is a heroic dose of the old tincture, but Tesco won't sell it to me anymore and I daren't consume more than a thousand drops. Failing that I think I need to be bled and a slime draft.

More news to follow. If you are lucky it will be followed by sports and weather.

I will express my surprise, though, as in the brief interlude whilst I was off sunning myself and loafing about the White Isle - I return to find that Gordo has bottled the election, England beat Australia in the Rugby and we have even won a one day test series.

I should do these short breaks more often.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Burma - The North Korea of the Indian Ocean?

One shares the usual horror at what is happening with Burma of late - The Greek Chap puts it much better than I - and includes links.

My mind casts back to the velvet revolutions of the late 80s - and the successes they had. Is the Burmese regime more brutal than that of Romania? It's hard to judge. What is different to then is the sponsor - the skin in the game as we call it in my profession.

Back in 89 - the Soviets were a busted flush. And as their support crumbled their satellite regimes did with them. It would appear that China - hardly a paragon of democratic openness - potentially sees Burma as a satellite - and would gleefully prop up it's regime, and clearly sees the lives of fellow humans as rather cheap.

One wonders why.

Perhaps we see the world slightly differently to them. The Cold war view isn't there anymore for us. We forget the great game between the blocs fought in the buffer states from Angola to East Germany. Things may look a tad different to our chums in Beijing. All that has happened is the Old Bear has gone bankrupt. But There is a lot of her claws left.

I also think there are a host of geopolitical factors clearly at play.

I'm no expert - but I am familiar with some of the terrain - so here's a few guesses.

Could it be unofficial empire - long memories there in the land of the dragons. From suffering at the hands of Japan in the 30s - and a hundred years before that through the colonial manufactories in the great rivers - the Pearl northwards - would suggest that a few satellite regimes with resources and friendly goons at the helm give china a sense of comfort as it grows and flexes it's economic muscles.
The Pacific rim is lined with hostiles - Japan, Taiwan and the Americano-Australian bloc. Recent interventions in the Celebetic Archipelago to defend interests of the old SEATO bloc obviously unnerve China - so landward borders with friendly or propped up regimes may tip a local balance of power in her interests.

Could it be an interest in challenging an Indian economic bloc? India represents the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism, free trade and democracy that clearly concerns China. How else to maintain the regime if you keep the people in ignorance. With a Maoist insurrection stoked in Nepal, ongoing hostilities in Kashmir - how better to play the great game with India - a Nuclear India after all, than by keeping a modern day East Germany fizzling away to her eastern flank - to hem in any pretensions an economic powerhouse waiting to happen that is the old Raj.
Also If you can keep Kim and his cohorts ranting at the Americans across the 38th parallel and Burma worrying the Europeans - eyes can be blind to other pressures that she may wish to push - Japan - or West into the Sino-Russian frontier. Not the first time they have come to blows either. With a stroppy Russia to contend with - the great game can be played up against the old west and at the same time the old bear can be baited at leisure.

Finally - good old sea lanes. China's navy and therefore her ability to project her interests beyond the Pacific Rim is hampered by her Pacific Navy being largely littoral and the fact as far as she is concerned the scrap with Shek and Mao isn't done yet in Formosa / Taiwan - and all that island represents is the same scale of unsinkable aircraft carrier as we were to the threat of Soviet expansion across the Elbe in 45-89. With the Sea of Japan sonar-ed as tight as the Greenland - Iceland - UK gap was in 88, the Indonesian Archipelago a theocratic bloc - and the Malaccan straits covered as far as fleet movements are concerned - a friendly port in the Bay of Bengal is an ideal place to project interests to your trade enemies.

Power projection is still rated in Flat-tops. When Saddam went buying petrol in Kuwait - Both Maggie and George's Daddy asked the same question - where are my carriers? George 1, of course knew of these things - being a decorated navy pilot himself. She hasn't got them right now - but you can bet they are being built - or bought. (Good article here: Here)

In short - is Burma the soft underbelly China wants to the Indian Ocean? Or a buffer state for security in a cold war mind-set? Either way - this could be the first move in the Dragon flexing Geopolitical muscles beyond her old backyard of the Mekong to the south and represent a push in her interests Westward.

Gweilo ought to watch his step.

Lois Maxwell

Most of you know Lois Maxwell died at the weekend.

With IMDB crediting her with over 82 key appearances she will be sorely missed.

Many of us remember her for her regular slot as Moneypenny - M's long suffering secretary.
However - she has a certain cachet amongst the spods among us. Who can forget her dulcet tones as the Lt. Atlanta Shore of W.A.S.P. Troy Tempest's bit of stuff - however, why she hung around beat me because he was always chasing that annoying fish girl that Matt Munroe droned on and on about.

She was also a regular voice-over on Thunderbirds, and appeared in Several episodes of UFO. To complete the collection of cult 60's appearances - she also showed up in The Persuaders, The Saint, The Avengers and the ever silly Randall and Hopkirk (deceased). She was almost as prevalent a voice as the great Shane Rimmer.

Put simply - her transatlantic tones coloured the soundscape of my childhood.
Farewell, Lois.

Monday, October 01, 2007

House guests.

As predicted Dulux thoroughly disgraced herself during her visit. Not only did she paralyse herself with faffing - but - as predicted - she fell asleep and dribbled on my sofa.

I picked her up from Stevenage station where she was negotiating with the ticket clerk over her failure to buy said billet. Giant wheelie case in hand - I enquired if she was planning on staying for a month or more? Tricky as the Donna-da-Lodga would be back soon and she would have to vacate the spare-room - and move to the parcel shelf in room 3.
Indeed prepared for the two nights only - but she 'felt the cold' and had brought her entire skiing wardrobe, jumpers and long johns. And she borrowed a fleece.... All this 'healthy living' has obviously broken her internal thermostat - and she must be in need of a decent sticky suet pudding to reintroduce a ready-brek glow.

Light supper followed by early night - as tomorrow we were to fly.
I roasted a little salmon which we ate with green salad and the like. All terribly abstemious - I had offered a small rib of beef with dauphinouse pots, mountains of fine Hampshire cabbage and some gravy to be washed down with a presumptuous Chateaux Neuf Du Pape. Apparently this represented all of her forbidden food groups - and could have killed her stone dead. Personally I would have preferred that than the self-imposed starvation diet of steamed grass roots and inedible stalks. Better to go like a burning comet than dying by degrees, eh?

We arrived at the aerodrome the next day with her half asleep and me needing tea. I introduced her to one of our more jocose instructors and soon despatched her to play with an aeroplane - in a state of bewilderment. The planes she is used to have jetways, stewardesses and airports attached. They are not towed around a grass strip by a golf buggy driven by an old man who smells strongly of pipe tobacco.

She's a nice lass, but she is prone to asking a lot of insensitive questions - a LOT of questions in a steady stream. This caused some amusement.

Much of the amusement was derived from her demanding to know how many years her flying instructors had been teaching for - and at one point refusing to fly with someone.
This caused hilarity rather than rancour - and a spate of the instructors insisting amongst other things - that they had been flying a week and had the book on how to fly (with the pictures all coloured in neatly too), they had a note from their mum, the charges were dropped last time and that he got away with it last time as he was wearing a parachute and the insurance covered the burial charges.

Despite spending a good half of the day pretending to be asleep in my car at the end of the runway when we all knew she was reading 'Hello!' she flew twice - and even soared for a few minutes on one. How someone can feel airsick though from 6 minutes is beyond me.

I, on the other hand spent the entire time in my flights scrabbling around at 1100 feet in two knots of sink and manfully failing to stay up for more than 7 minutes.

She completed the evening by dining on a particularly tasty roasted prawn and red pepper Provencal with basmati rice and a bottle of Savigny Les Beaune 2005 - which is clearly a grand, grand year - and delicious for a white only two years in the bottle.
A glass of Cremant completed the evening - and allowed her to fall asleep - entirely as seen in my prophecy - on the sofa. Head lovingly nestled on the Dog's arm-rest to commune and share in the sleepy world of dribble.

Her appearance in the morning on the sofa was akin to an old English sheep dog who had fallen asleep in a washing machine. Yet again she was paralysed with faffitude for I had been to the gym (I know, I know - but the body beautiful is paid for in sweat and self denial and I cannot brook the latter) and prepared breakfast before she had emerged into the world, dripping and betoweled from the only shower in the house.

'Sorry dahlink I didn't know you were back…are you being all organised?'
'Yep - and I am turfing you out. I have to be airside by 13.00 and it is quarter to twelve now.'

The rest is fairly tedious and doesn't bear much blogging. Drop off at Station (with attendant fashionista air-kisses), drive through countryside, duty at airfield - radios, clipboards and gliders zipping about the place.

Home for tea and curry.

And time, I think to wash the sofa arm covers again. They are getting a little sticky. As I don’t like the central heating too high I am loathe to warm the house purely to allow my guests and my lodger's doggy dribble to congeal into a brushable crust.