Caught in the rain

Up at 4h35Hmmm – looks a bit grey and they did say rain in the forecast.

Look South East: dark clouds. Lightening up in South West whence our rain is from. That means the rain has past. I won’t even need my hat – I hate rain on my bald pate;  it’s hot in  summer, but not needed at dawn.

Come Lulu, let’s get your lead on and away we go.

A quarter of a mile into the park and there are a few sprinkles, no worries…

Now a drop or two – if it gets worse we’ll duck under a tree. There’s no thunder or wind so more likely to be crowned by a kookaburra as crushed by a falling branch.

Damn, it’s coming down harder and the tree doesn’t work; have to dash for the shelter over there … it’s only 50 yards.

Haven’t dashed for years and I’m nearer 70 than 60 now, so it was not a walk in the park! My crocs nearly came off when Lulu ran around me, effectively trapping me in the lead, so I had to do a quick pirouette in the now teeming rain … we made it, eventually.

We made it – it won’t last long and at least in Queensland, the rain is warm and one dries quickly. Wish I had worn the hat!

Damn! Mosquitoes love stationary people! Hah! Got the bastard!

wet dog

 

What does one think about when stuck in the rain? Lulu is sulking because I won’t let her wander and sniff.

Murphy’s Law No 2(g): if it doesn’t look like rain it will.

Well, it is a fine opportunity to meditate. Wish I had read the book, done the course… my mind seems to go into flutterby mould when I try to focus…

I know – I’ll think of something to blog. Very little response to my last two serious bits, maybe it’s time to lighten up? How about some happy stuff, rather than the acceptability of lies and the new morality of the past? Mind you: I was right about Bitcoin! It will hit US$10k this week!

Here’s an idea: what about getting caught in the rain in the park! (just a passing memory).

I have just remembered a cardinal principle of my life: you always have a choicestand like this.!

 

Getting caught in the rain can be a miserable experience or it can be a good one.

It’s your choice!

 

You can have a happy day too, if you like…

meet me in the rain

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Blockchain? Bitcoin?

Lawks! It’s 6a.m. on Friday and I haven’t written a word!

The Youf of today!

They have no dithipline..!

Hold on while I put my teeth in… but… I’m not anymore a youf!

Yeah! … but I got no dithipline either!!

blockand tackle

What has been buzzing about in my head is blockchain. The name evokes in me an image of a block and tackle, which is a marvelous system giving great strength to allow the lifting of heavy weights.

Well, there is no system heavier than our economic and financial systems which seem to cater well for only 4% of the world, the rest of the world bends and buckles and starves…

Spurred on by the financial calamities and failures of corrupt financial institutions bitcoinin 2008, Sakoshi Nakamoto devised the bitcoin and the blockchain system to enable its implementation.

 

 

Trying to understand all this stuff nearly blew my few remaining fuses, but I think it is important stuff to know, so here is a YouTube explanation which may help.

Essentially bitcoin is digital currency with a limited number, which is digitally protected from double use and the blockchain system verifies it.

The blockchain is a totally secure public record or ledger of verified transactions which cannot be changed or altered.

What it does (You have to watch the video a couple of times) is create complete trust in the system. The implications are huge and will see banks shrink and many accountants fade away – the system will become a totally accurate bean-counter, which can tell you in real time how and when every bean was utilised. Because individuals can use the system, handling fees disappear, time delays are no more, records become totally reliable…

In early 2017, the Harvard Business Review suggested that blockchain is a foundational technology and thus “has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems.”

Well, that seems to be a step above fake news to me…

The use of blockchains promises to bring significant efficiencies to global supply chains, financial transactions, asset ledgers and decentralized social networking (Wikipedia). The blockchain is being used for identity and voting systems, real estate and insurance, payment systems and crowdfunding… all because it creates TRUST and reliability. Banks are scrambling to assess its impact on them and how they can adapt or they know they will die.

A bitcoin’s price at the moment is $7738(US$, I assume). An article in Forbes 2 days ago says:  Before the average Bitcoin investor sells … Bitcoin prices could reach very high, $196,165 per coin – roughly 30x the digital currency’s current value.

I think I am going to buy a bitcoin….

Sorry to complicate your day … but I think it is important to know about this stuff.

I hope my accountant daughter and Nat who is a new age logistics wizard read this!

A mutter of discomfort?

‘British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned from the government on Wednesday. Fallon has become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that is washing over Britain’s government. Fallon admitted to and apologised for placing his hand on the knee of journalist Julie Hartley-Brewer in 2002’

Just a murmur of discontent, an expression of discomfort … no disrespect intended – do forgive any perceived insult… (it’s called a disclaimer grovel).

Yeah, right! I feel like screaming over the inanity of our current First World cultural approbation of incidents involving people who raise a hullabaloo over uninvited sexual overtures a long time before. Nothing more than overtures.

They were too timid or intimidated or ignorant to raise a hue and cry until motivated years later by the possibility of media celebrity – I mean they are far too principled to do it for the money, I am sure!

In this age,  there is a media hunger for any salacious event involving people which may invoke the interest of the hoi-polloi, the bourgeoisie or even the upper crust.

There is a scale of demand:

  • If the event is very salacious, the participants need not be famous or prominent in society.
  • The inverse applies: if you’re a big wig, a fart becomes very smelly.

While courage, charitable acts and intellectual achievements are important, they do not beat salaciousness for current media value. The appetite for impropriety is insatiable: there seems to be an irresistible need for people to be able to indulge in a superior tsk! tsk!; a holier than thou moment. As we have seen lately, there has been a rash of terrible people outed for uninvited sexual overtures.

Where does the fault lie? The Media moguls will say: “we are just giving our consumers what they want” or “our viewers have a right to know”.

I say the media must be compelled to take responsibility and beware of the likely impact of the diet they feed consumers. Every diet must be reasonable to avoid gluttony and obesity. Editors and publishers control the media fare. “They want …” is not justification.

prudence opposite

One of the cardinal virtues is prudence and that should be required of those who control media content.

As well as those making amorous advances.

How many of us have been tantalised by an attractive person and in hope, made an advance and failed?

How many have spurned unwanted advances and been castigated for it?

How many have wanted to make advances or wanted advances made, to no avail? – Certainly a lot fewer these days, when such incidents may cost a dollar or two in the future!

While my irk is about the hyperinflation of amorous advances in Western society, the extremes of female subjugation, genital mutilation and sexual slavery practiced by a far greater number of people, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East is horrifying and a most appropriate target for our outrage.

We need strong media attention aimed at preventing those cultural practices flourishing in our squeaky clean Western societies.

 

 

 

The magic of Edward Lear

One of the sweetest things happened recently: our daughter confessed that  she always associated Edward Lear’s poem: The Owl and the Pussycat with us, her Mum and Dad. The connection had been made via two photos of us dancing: one at a school dance and the other at our wedding.

It is a wonderful poem with delightful images of traditional love rituals.

pea green boat

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are.”

Pussy said to the Owl “You elegant fowl, 
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?”

 They sailed away, for a year and a day,                                 piggy ring
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?”
Said the Piggy, “I will”
turkey marriedSo they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

by light of moon

Serendipitously, I quoted from Edward Lear’s Jabberwocky in my wedding speech which I related as my father’s advice on getting married:

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! 
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
      The frumious Bandersnatch!” 

 

We must never discard the magic interwoven in our memories nor disregard the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

 

It’s a topsy-turvy world we live in

Do not for one moment think that the Establishment exists for your benefit or that the government or the opposition or doctors or bankers are right.

 

Check the facts – make your  own mind up.

 

With that as a theme I reviewed some articles I had saved and these are a few quotes that I found thought provoking from an article called Intolerant Liberals by Tucker Fitzgerald 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”Isaac Asimov

Do not accept everything you are told by the Man:

There is no such thing as an outright political lie. Instead there’s distortion, exaggeration, misrepresentation,deception, half-truth and overstatement. The assumption is that the risk is worth it.

Because democracy isn’t the only value we hold. We don’t accept the 51% enslaving the 49% by popular vote. Because Hitler was brought to power by a democratically elected government. Because American slavery was legal.

lenin deception

The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

Gary Kasparoff

Now  – getting closer to the point I want to make:

More people are recognizing that the economic paradigm that guides our global system today is deeply misaligned with a thriving future.

The Neoliberal economic system is a cultural construct. It has a particular history and espouses a cogent set of core beliefs, social values, and organizational practices. There is a narrative coherence to notions of “freeing” markets from regulation, letting wealth “trickle down” from the coffers of the rich, and a “rugged individualism” that pays too little attention to the social factors that shape economic outcomes.

Joe Brewer

Soreefersmetime last week Queensland news was filled with the successful busts by police of numerous marijuana growers who had rented suburban houses and converted them to grass growing hothouses. A number of serious statements were made about these heavy criminals.

 

There have been over twelve million cannabis arrests in the United States from 1996 until 2013.

35.6 percent of 12th graders in US and 67% of medical students had used marijuana during the year prior to a recent survey

Also last week, I received an article from an investment advisor heavily tipping investment in marijuana projects listed on stock exchanges.bank of ganja

The United States Marijuana Index (a stock exchange index) has jumped from a level of 48.39 a year ago to the current level of 70.83, an increase of 46%

Enjoying a growth rate of 77% over the last few years and an estimated 700% growth rate by 2018, it’s bigger than corn, bigger than cotton, and bigger than wheat.

In fact, according to UN data, it’s valued at about $142 billion. To put that in perspective, the global coffee market is valued at about $80 billion per year.

Possession and cultivation are Federal offences but lawful in over half the states in US. It will be totally decriminalised in Canada next year. Possession is lawful in South Africa and Netherlands. Medical marijuana can be lawfully prescribed in Australia.

Now how about that for a disconnect in values?

I am not a recreational user (yet), but I may well become an investor.

How does one reconcile that with being a law abiding citizen?

 

And just to see if you are awake and did read this to the end, I have included a quotation which should make most of my African readers grin.

This is a gentleman’s affectionate description of his donkey:

“most fokkin fency-schmency blerrie fokkin perd on the whole of the Cape-Flats, eating epples from fokkin Woolwurths.”

donkey grin

Random Views

 

“Democracy is popular because of the illusion of choice and participation it provides, but when you live in a society in which most people’s knowledge of the world extends as far as sports, sitcoms, reality shows, and celebrity gossip, democracy becomes a very dangerous idea.

democracy

Until people are properly educated and informed, instead of indoctrinated to be ignorant mindless consumers, democracy is nothing more than a clever tool used by the ruling class to subjugate the rest of of us.”

– Gavin Nascimento on Collective Evolution

desperate pol

 

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favour of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.

Marshall McLuhan

Now this is an attractive thought!

A representative who is a server (pun intended) that:

  • will be fully informed on all relevant information, legislation and current affairs
  • cannot deviate from principle, without electorate approval
  • can consider rationally every submission made by electors, evidence in committee and Parliamentary utterances and vote in accordance with his electors’ wishes
  • can attend multiple meetings in hologram simultaneously
  • is not subject to suspicions about national loyalties
  • is not distracted by things politicians should not be distracted by
  • is not corruptible
  • does not need expenses

We need to find better ways to rule ourselves – people are just too human and unreliable!

well thought out pol

You’re the nigger, baby

(Watch the video)

James Baldwin puts the finger on racial epithets. So sad that the lesson hasn’t been accepted in the US yet, let alone the rest of the world.

all same

In the meantime, we hope that somehow or other, control over the big, nasty toys is removed from the nasty little boys.

us korea

 

 

 

 

Murphy’s Law No 147(b)

If you have a puncture while cycling, it will be in the proximity of the furthest point from home.          

Being  a disciplined thinker, I didn’t invoke any special inference the last time I had a puncture just after I turned to go home and had to walk 2 miles to get there. However, it seemed more than coincidence when I had a puncture yesterday, just 100 metres from where I turned to go home. This time it was a 4 mile walk.

Maybe next time it will be 8 miles from home… except that I am going to carry one of those puncture fix kits from now on!

black schnauzerJust as well for that bit of reverse fortune, as the black dog had slunk in for a sombre lurk and the enforced march cleared the air; black dogs don’t like competition, so it slunk off!

I think it slipped in with my tax return. This is my 4th year of involuntary unemployment, so I have little to distract the taxman with. That doesn’t make completion of the form any easier! One would think that by now the Revenue dudes would have worked out an idiot proof format so that any dummy could complete a return…

But… wait… maybe they did … and my brain has atrophied to super-idiot size…!  See how easily the black dog slinks in? Its the government’s fault and I don’t have a vote even though I do pay tax…. rage can get the endorphins flowing nearly as well as exercise!

My consolation is that I have time to enjoy the birds making their nests and write mimosawonderful books about myself and sniff the subtle anisescent of the spring flowering mimosa on the wattle trees.

photoOf great joy right now is the bright colours of my nasturtiums, which are nearly my favourite flowers now, especially as they are entirely edible: flowers, leaves and seeds

Hmmm… maybe I should be finding a new project to distract me – this design by IKEA caught my eye:

ikea-flat-pack-garden.jpg

It’s a flat-pack garden farm of the future – I have the plans if anyone wants to build one: all you need is a saw, hammer and a screwdriver.

Or maybe this is more your style? ikea garden

Whatever – the point is that we all need to start growing our own vegetables…