A gear change

For those interested in such matters, tomorrow will see me playing with a slightly different set up.

Still in will be the ever-faithful US Fender Telecaster:

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Staying in after a very successful first gig with it, the Digitech RP255:

But out will go the Peavey Classic 20 which I’ve used solidly for the past 9 years:

OK, so it’s 15 watts of sheer valve-powered goodness, but it didn’t sound great with the RP255, but – strangely enough – this did:

My Roland Cube 15 – a solid state preactice amp.

The RP255 sounds much better with this – I guess because the overall response of the Cube is very flat and it makes a good ‘blank canvas’ for the amp modelling in the RP255. The Peavey sounds great, but it does have a definite tone of its own, so it seems sensible not to layer on a Fender Blackface simulation, for example, over a Peavey Classic.

I’ve A’B’d both set ups again and I think I’ll use the Cube when Cock & Bull play Cambridge Folk Festival tomorrow afternoon.

A big plus is that the Cube is a lot lighter and a lot more robust with no valves to break or blow.

Cheap beer

I was in Tesco today buying some ginger root.

They had an offer – spend £30 in store and get a 15x440ml pack of Carlsberg  lager for a fiver.

OK, it looks like Jason Button’s piss after a few laps of Chartres Cathedral (some amazing cobbles around that pile) and tastes like it too, but that’s remarkably cheap.

It has to be the cheapest chav beer special so far…

Putting the twat back into politics

Far be it from me to come out in support of David ‘Bullingdon’ Cameron, but I thought this was actually rather amusing.

As for the BBC’s po-faced description of the word ‘twat’ as a 4 letter word…well, at least Call me Dave didn’t say ‘cunt’.

A right brewhaha

I like beer.

I like beer a lot.

I don’t know why but I just do.

I prefer the weaker brews, so, whether it’s an English-style bitter or a continental lager, about 3.5 to 4.5% ABV maximum usually does me, with 5% tops.

There’s a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, I don’t like the taste of a great many strong beers and secondly, I enjoy the factor of quantity when drinking beer, so I’m after ‘session beer’ strength.

Anyway, I definitely won’t be buying any of this.

It’s an 18.2% stout that will be brewed as a limited run of 3000 bottles and will retail at £9.99.

BrewDog founder James Watt said: “Mass-market, industrially-brewed lagers are so bland and tasteless that you are seduced into drinking a lot of them.

“We’ve been challenging people to drink less alcohol, and educating the palates of drinkers with progressive craft-brewed beers which have an amazing depth of flavour, body and character.

“The beers we make at BrewDog, including Tokyo*, are providing a cure to binge beer-drinking.”

I think it’s a pity that Mr Watt opened his mouth to justify and defend brewing such a strong beer, because first of all, it’s bollocks to claim that it’s a cure for binge beer-drinking and secondly, why does he need to in the first place?

I suppose he was worried about comments like these from the usual guardians of public morality and safety:

…Alcohol Focus Scotland chief executive Jack Law warned high alcohol percentage beer could cause as much damage as drinking to excess.

“This company is completely deluded if they think that an 18.2% abv, (alcohol by volume), beer will help solve Scotland’s alcohol problems,” he said.

“It is utterly irresponsible to bring out a beer which is so strong at a time when Scotland is facing unprecedented levels of alcohol-related health and social harm.

“Just one bottle of this beer contains six units of alcohol – twice the recommended daily limit.”

But that’s equally bollocks.

Binge drinkers are more likely to spend a tenner on a case of Stella or two 4-packs of Special Brew at Tesco, rather than a limited edition beer from a specialist outlet.

In fact, a bottle of Tokyo* would be the last thing a binge beer-drinker would buy with a tenner.

The clue’s in the fucking word ‘binge’, Mr Law.

Just leave us the fuck alone.

A burning issue

Thank fuck I didn’t take the government’s advice and paint my house white last month when it was issuing warnings about the heatwave we were all going to die from.

Luckily I made it through the week of sun we had, thanks to our wonderful health care professionals, and I’d like to think that I was a good citizen – I drank plenty of fluids, stayed out of the midday sun and closed all south-facing curtains during the day.

Now, however, it seems that June’s heatwave was just a blip and that it’s set to be cool and wet for the next month or so.

Of course, the Met Office is getting some shit about this volte face after predicting a summer-long heatwave.

The Met Office also says temperatures have been around or above normal, and that the end of August might be better again.

It did indeed stress at the time of the summer forecast in April that the odds of a scorching summer were 65%. It explains that it coined the phrase “barbecue summer” to help journalists’ headlines.

…rewind…

It explains that it coined the phrase “barbecue summer” to help journalists’ headlines.

WTF?

Since when has the Met Office been in the business of helping journalists coin headlines?

They seem quite capable of coming up with all manner of shit without any outside help and they’re paid very well to do it.

Tell you what, you meteorologist chappies, you stick to forecasting the weather and leave the hacks to write their own headlines, eh?

And talking of sun, sunbeds are back in the news again:

Previously, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessed sunbeds and sunlamps as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

But it now says their use is definitively “carcinogenic to humans”.

Campaigners believe the move, announced in the journal Lancet Oncology, will increase pressure for tighter industry regulation of sunbed use.

The new assessment puts sunbed use on a par with smoking or exposure to asbestos.

Now, no cancer is very much fun and my late mother-in-law suffered from skin cancer – but not fatally.

Her doctor said that it was probably caused by too much exposure to the sun when she was younger – she was a farmer’s daughter and spent many hours in the sun doing stuff that farmer’s daughters did in the years before sun lotion and sunscreens were invented.

Now, people still take risks with the sun but you’d have to be living in a fucking cave in the Scottish Highlands not to know that too much sun – like almost too much of anything – is bad for you and, if you go out in the sun for too long without protecting your skin, you might get sunburn and you might get skin cancer if you do this too often.

You could even die from it.

The same goes for sunbeds and sunlamps.

Moderation seems to be a good word to use here.

You know, that option of self-regulation people can exercise when they want to do something they enjoy or feel a need to do.

It’s an individual responsibility for your own welfare and possibly that of others around you and it’s often a good idea to know when enough is enough and when it’s time to desist from an activity that may have consequences.

Of course, people’s inability to moderate their own behaviour and face the consequences of their actions is all grist to the mill of those bodies which have fastened on to national governments and international authorities like leeches.

It would be far easier, far cheaper and far less repressive to warn people and then just let them get on with whichever activity they’re pursuing.

Of course, there’s always the danger that some people are going to ignore the warnings and carry on with possibly grave consequences, but that’s all part of exercising individual responsibilities and freedoms.

In short – give us the facts and then just leave us the fuck alone.

Iain Dale, Esther Rantzen, 15 sheep and Nadine Dorries’ vomit

You might need one of these later

As regular visitors to this blog will be aware, I am not a member of either the Esther Rantzen or the Iain Dale fan club.

However, I have softened towards she of the teeth since Iain Dale has featured her in two recent and consecutive bitchfests entries on his blog – here and here.

I don’t know what Esther’s done to Iain, but she’s not exactly his favourite person at the moment, whatever it was.*

Couple this together with a couple of missing sheep articles and you’re forced to the conclusion that maybe something really is loose in Iain’s top pasture this week.

Fair play to him though.

This line in his fawning fascinating Daley Dozen list of blogs had me sniggering in a gratuitously smutty way:

10. Nadine fingers Pat McFadden as the ultimate man in a grey suit.

Then, being unable to resist a quick click though to Iain’s chum Mad Nad’s little corner of Planet Blog, I discovered this gem.

It deserves quoting in its entirety:

How to make an MP vomit

I haven’t broken up yet and whilst working in Parliament yesterday, noticed lots of other MPs working too.

Today I have been to ‘Fusion’, a summer holiday activity scheme run by Ampthill Baptist Church and its amazing staff and volunteers.

I think it’s probably the best summer play scheme I have ever been to and I’ve run plenty myself in the past.

Can you imagine the wall of noise as you walk into a room where there are 115 children laughing?

The activities are fast and furious. One almost caught me out though. Following on from a huge wall mounted Wii session, the teams were invited to win an additional 5 points. To do this a team member had to suck custard through a sock, that so, so almost got me!!

Last year they bought 160 catering cans of baked beans for one activity!

They really are all crazy mad at ABC!

The dedication of the staff was something else, after the children had left the staff remain behind rehearsing, planning and a big group de-brief. No one in any particular hurry to get home.

I loved it. I loved the prayer at the end of the session too.

‘Let God’s light shine out of us and onto everyone we meet’.

Thanks Adrian. I’ve completely, totally failed in that one a number of times over the last year.

Well done to all at ABC, you all deserve a medal.

Just visited a poorly constituent and off to the Marston Vale centre next.

Don’t worry. I’m no martyr, my month break beckons with relish.

I don’t know about making an MP vomit, but I very nearly upchucked lunch’s bacon, Brie and rocket sandwiches when I read it…

I’d fisk the whole thing if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m fond of my stomach lining…but not that fond of it that I want to see it in front of me…

*I know there are people reading this who like a punt, so the odds on possible reasons for Iain’s antipathy towards Esther read as follows:

2-1 Esther makes more TV appearances than Iain

5-1 Esther has more hair than Iain

10-1 – It’s too much of an effort writing yet another sycophantic tribute to some troughing MP chum who’s just decided to stand down at the next election

Atheismus macht frei

Richard Dawkins – sucking a Werther’s Original – or something…*

I only caught the tail-end of a news story about this on the radio this morning but the excellent Spaghetti Factory blog filled in the gaps for me (and also raised some interesting pointers on how to really fuck up a child’s summer holiday).

I mean…what the fucking fuckity fuck?a summer camp for the children of atheists?

But not just atheists.

(Yes, Mr and Mrs Antireligionist there is somewhere you can shuffle your children off to whilst you shag each other’s tits off in an overpriced hotel on Cos before you go down with a nasty dose of the shits.)

Camp Quest, founded in 1996, is the first residential summer camp in Europe, United States and Canada specifically for irreligious children or the children of nontheistic parents (including atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, skeptics, (nontheistic) rationalists, freethinkers, brights, antireligionists, and others who hold a naturalistic worldview).

I didn’t know there were so many ways to not believe in something…

Now, I’ve made it abundantly clear that I have no time for religion in any form and its attendant bullshit regarding evolution and other hijackings of scientific thought.

However, I have an equal lack of patience with this new rise of organized non-faiths – atheism and secularism.

I see this strange new phenomenon as a reaction to religious communality.

Now, whilst there might be threats from organized religion – some subtle like the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control and some not, like Muslim Fundamentalists blowing your shit up – it seems to me that as religion is a matter of choice, then you either believe in a particular deity – in which case you join a religion – or you don’t believe in a deity – in which case you don’t.

End of.

As an atheist you are a free-thinker, unbound by the shackles of faith and instead guided by your own moral tenets and principles and there must be as many individual atheist creeds as there are atheists.

But as soon as you start to band together to cement your non-faith with others then there’s a danger that you lose that freedom and instead you end up following a non-faith with all the blinkeredness of a religious adherent.

It’s not just moronic, it’s oxymoronic or, as I tweeted to Mr Spaghetti Factory this morning:

Organized atheism – right up there with compassionate fascism and low fat lard…

It’ll never catch on…too much fucking effort…

Besides, do you really want your kid sharing a tent with a Tamsin or a Gregory?

No?

Thought not…

*Dicky’s up there because he supports Camp Quest.

Who the fuck does he think he is?

JK Rowling?

Some blogging bollocks

Although Al Jahom’s excellent and very eclectic blog has been in my blogroll for a while, I’ve never actually given it the official bigging up that it deserves.

So, here goes – and cash is never refused, AJ…

Al Jahom’s blog has a great deal to recommend it: topical comment, great music, humour, pointy squirty cars, foul language and it always adopts a viewpoint that’s guaranteed to get you thinking.

Bookmark the bastard – now – or even do something geeky with that fucking RSS whosit that I always ignore.

Those gods of the blogosphere, the ever excellent Boatang and Demetriou, have been blogging like muthafuckas lately.

Messrs B&D never disappoint and this latest article on the LPUK is essential reading for anyone interested in UK Libertarianism and its future after the recent by-election in Norwich North.

I hate to compliment the twin godhead of B&D any further, but they’ve recently highlighted an interesting point that will have significant implications for the future of blogging and political internet comment in general, and they seem to have beaten several people to the idea since I’ve seen several bloggers cover this after B&D.

A recent article of theirs queries the position of bloggers like Guido and Iain Dale after the next election when David ‘Bullingdon’ Cameron and his band of bastards Merry Men will sweep to victory – and sweep to victory they will; I’m 100% positive.

At the moment, Guido appears to hold a sort of centrist anti-establishment position although – inevitably with Labour in power as it makes better reading – he seems more critical of the Left. He claims to be impartial, but some Libertarian bloggers have their doubts and suggest he might lean further to the right with a Tory victory. Dale is obviously going to keep his Tory stance and it will be interesting to see if he finds Tory activity as equally blog-worthy as he does at present regarding Labour’s fumblings.

You see, it’s all a matter of your political stance – if you blog from a position of diametrically contrary opposition then when your party gets in what are you going to do then?

Bash the opposition? That’s a bit easy and rather lame.

Shower praise on your party? Boring and boorish – and one thing Guido and Dale don’t want to do is lose any of their page views which is what will happen if they both go for a Tory cluster wank…

If Guido and Dale do lose their oppositional motivation then they’re going to be Tory mouthpieces and hence part of the MSM, which blogging was never intended to be.

It may be that it’s a natural evoloutionary step for blogging to go mainstream, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Rest assured that the better bloggers – two of whom are mentioned at the top of this piece – aren’t going to sell their souls to the MSM and water down their opinions, and neither am I.

As I blogged previously, a cunt is a cunt no matter who they are or what they believe.

Stick around to see them outed.

It’s our mission from Jeebus…

“How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic”

There was a time when you’d have to do something pretty fucking serious to bring social opprobium upon yourself.

I mean serious shit; like beating your wife, mugging an old lady for her pension or your kids getting into trouble.

Nowadays, however, it’s all changed and as far as I can see, you now have three new transgressions that are likely to get you shunned in most social circles:

1) Stating that even though someone, for sake of argument, might have a hook for a hand, be transsexual, come from a different ethnic group to your own or is in any way different to you, they can still be a cunt.

Not because they’re different, but because a cunt is a cunt is a cunt – as Gertrude Stein once wrote.

Being a cunt just slices across ethnic, social, cultural, political, physical and religious boundaries.

Anyone can be a cunt – and, be warned, there’s thousands of the fuckers around and many of them are protected by law.

2) You smoke.

This really is the new ‘addiction’ monster paraded to scare people. It’s replaced drinking alcohol and jacking up heroin as being the single worst thing a person can do to their body and not only do you harm yourself, you kill others around you with second hand smoke – a fact not proven by anyone of any scientific reputability so far – and you also produce third hand smoke.

Yes, third hand smoke.

Read it and weep – and then cry because so-called serious scientists who help to form government policies which become bad laws can also be cunts…(see #1) above)

This brings me on nicely to:

3) You’re a climate change sceptic.

Now, this really is serious shit, because you’re not just insulting someone (however much they deserve it) or even jeopardising their health, you’re destroying the whole fucking planet.

Yes, you, you selfish and utter cunt – unwittingly you are now in category #1.

But without any legal redress whatsoever.

Because you are an unbeliever.

This is the new religion for the 21st century – the new dogma – the basis of a new Inquisition; snooping in your rubbish bin, curbing your freedom of movement, impinging on your lifestyle and when you have sinned you can buy your way to redemption through the indulgence of the holy carbon offset or by recycling your empty alcopops bottles.

Start to object, criticise, question, even, and you’re going straight to climate change sceptic HELL.

(Oh, are you going to fucking burn, you bastard.)

So tainted are we heretics that the apostles of Gore have devised many answers to the naive and petty questions we ask.

Here, in a handy list, are all the questions we will want to ask and all the answers we can ever want to hear under the heading of  “How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic ” by one Coby Beck (file under #1 above).

That, my fellow sinners, is one fuck of a long list.

It’s worthy of the Jesuits or the Scientologers or the Moonies.

It has headings such as ‘Stages of Denial’ – ‘Types of Argument’ – ‘Levels of Sophistication’…

Then there are the questions and concerns Mr Beck thinks someone who walks round in shoes made of muesli should be addressing and asking us as we luxuriate in our dirty sins and which are supposed to convert us to the right path one by one.

Here’s a sample – a very small sample:

Water vapor accounts for almost all of the greenhouse effect
There is no proof that CO2 is causing global warming
CO2 doesn’t lead, it lags
CO2 in the air comes mostly from volcanoes
What about mid-century cooling?
Geological history does not support CO2’s importance

It really does look like the ‘how to convert’ pages from some religious cult manual.

But nowhere does it ask two rather pertinent questions – to me, at least.

1) Aren’t many people making a shitload of money on the back of climate change concern?

2) Can anyone think of a better way to enforce social control?

Think about it…there’s a whole new technology coming out of this with all manner of opportunities for people to trouser fucking tons of cash and there’s all sorts of ways in which people can be monitored, observed and regulated even more than they are already.

It’s possibly the biggest hoax ever perpetrated by mankind and it’s going to affect all of us for years and years to come. It’s going to halt economic recovery, it’s going to place restrictions on us that are going to have a profound effect on our everyday lives and it’s going to cost every one of us who pays tax more – a lot more.

It’s not even as if there aren’t scientists who offer the alternative point of view – that climate change isn’t man made and that it’s as natural as the sun rising and setting and the tides ebbing and flowing.

But no, all oppositional debate is drowned out by cries of ‘vested interests’, ‘denial’ and ‘crackpot theories’.

Anyway, come what may, I shall still continue to call a cunt a cunt, smoke – if only to annoy prissy bastards who inhale more shit than I produce from their own fucking car – and refuse to get suckered in by the climate change clergy.

Fuck them and their carbon offset scams.

I’m already seeing my personal freedoms and liberties taken away on an almost daily basis.

Enough is enough.

So, how should you talk to a climate change sceptic?

Pretty fucking carefully if you don’t want a solar panel rammed up your arse…

The usual Daily Mail dogwank

OK…back to some Old Skool Daily Mail bashing.

So, if you have a swear filter, plug the fucker in NOW because some shit’s about to fly.

If you haven’t got a swear filter and don’t like bad language, please fuck all the way off.

If you haven’t got a swear filter and you’re a Daily Mail reader then please fuck all the way off after having rolled your shitty reading matter up into a stout cylinder and stuck it up your arse.

If you don’t give a fuck about swearing then welcome…

I’ve been very restrained on the swearing front lately and I’m going to grab this cunt of an opportunity with both fucking hands and really enjoy the motherfucker.

Ready?

Right…

Here’s the headline:

Muslims refuse to use alcohol-based hand gels over religious beliefs

Here’s the story.

Here’s the first line of that story:

Some Muslims have refused to use alcohol-based hand gels to combat the spread of swine flu because they claim it is against their religion.

See what the Daily Fucking Mail’s doing?

Your attention is grabbed by the headline and then after you’ve assumed that all Muslims are going to stop using hand gel – thus allowing Swine Flu to kill everyone in the whole wide fucking world – it qualifies the initial statement with ‘some’.

A real cuntish trick.

However, how many is ‘some’?

Some of those employed by St Albans Council in Hertfordshire have complained about the antibacterial lotion, which is considered a key strategy in containing the virus.

Officials were concerned because the Koran bans Muslims from consuming alcohol, so council chiefs issued them with non-alcohol hand gels, which studies have shown to be less effective in killing bugs.

Ah, some of those employed by one town in one county.

Furthermore:

…Muslim leaders criticised the council’s decision to change the gel, pointing out that Islamic teachings allow Muslims to use alcohol for medicinal purposes.

The Muslim Council of Britain said: ‘We would advise people to follow the medical advice so we would, of course, encourage people to use hand gel. ‘People need to find ways to accommodate their beliefs.’

So, that’s some Muslim employees from one town in one county acting against the teachings of their own religious leaders.

Out of the 8 comments so far made (yes, only 8 because it’s not about people in gay marriages adopting children or plummeting house prices) on the article by readers (and I use that term very loosely) there’s the usual frothing:

All those who are unwilling to adhere to set guidlines should be sacked. Yes, we all have the right to practice our chosen religion in UK, a privalidge not afforded in all countries. But this does not equate to increasing the risk of infection to others solely on the basis of your chosen religion.

Why are muslim advisors invoved? This is a matter of public health, infections do not discriminate.

– diane, london, 26/7/2009 00:41

Stop wasting our tax money on coming up with expensive alternatives to anyone who refuses to abide by the rules on “religious or any other non ridiculous grounds.” There are troops out there dying because of lack of funds and equipment. Please – somebody rescue us from this clueless party – Labour.

– Emily Moran, Wokingham, UK, 26/7/2009 01:21

Thank you Emily and Diane – now fuck off and screw yourself with your precious fucking newspaper.

However there’s also a bit of reason evident for a change:

‘But Muslim leaders criticised the council’s decision to change the gel, pointing out that Islamic teachings allow Muslims to use alcohol for medicinal purposes.’

So what’s the fuss ?

– Jay, Liverpool, uk, 25/7/2009 23:42

I’m guessing Jay found his usual paper had sold out and he had to make do with the paper read by fuckheads.

So, there you go…

More cuntishness by the paper that never fails to surpass itself in cuntishness.

A nice bit of alarm-rasing for those easily swayed.

Result?

Hordes of pig-ignorant pillocks with dogwank for brains are going to read that headline and then accuse every Muslim in the country of putting the entire nation’s health at risk.

Well done, chaps.

I bet Paul Dacre’s really proud of you.

Cunts.