Monthly Archives: September 2016

20160923 – Yosemite National Park – Americas Best Idea

Friday – hot and sunny.

Yosemite from the meadows.

Yosemite from the meadows.

Up early for a 5 hour drive down to our next home exchange slap bang in the middle of Yosemite Valley. Drive out of California into a casino strewn Nevada. One small town we drive through must be called Trumpville, judging by the number of posters for him.

Some horrendous road works with 20 minute delays. Even the lady in the most expensive gas station in America gets held up each morning for 20 minutes and has been 20 minutes late for work every day this week. Obviously either bone idle or a taco shy of a combination plate, FSM forbid she should leave 20 minutes earlier.

Quite lucky as we have to drive all the way across from the East side of Yosemite over to the Yosemite Village so we get to see more of the park. We’ve done this drive before, but this time we don’t get a bear dashing out in front of us. It’s still one pretty amazing drive.

You get all this amazing park for just $25 for 7 days. Amazing. We buy an annual pass for $80 which gives us free access for a year to all the NP and any area with the title “National” in it. Worth every penny of it, unusual – nay rarer than a bible seller in Iran – for me to say it.

More meadows views.

More meadows views.

Arrive in our next home which is a NP Employees home, in the secluded off limits area of the village, so no tourists, just us and Rangers. Because we’re surrounded by Rangers the homes unlocked – something we’re not used to even though Belthorn is quite remote. The homes lovely. An awesome location and has to be one of the most hospitable and well organised Home Exchanges we’ve been in. They’ve thought of everything to make a guests stay pleasant, unlike some home exchanges where they’re just playing at it and haven’t a clue about hospitality.

Yosemite falls. Dry at this time of year.

Yosemite falls. Dry at this time of year.

Meet our new host. Then we get settled in. Have a pleasant stroll down to the visitors Centre to get information on our walks.

Amazing we have Internet here. It’s free and 10Mbps, I’m orgasmic after being the equivalent of the dark side of the moon for over 10 days. Perhaps the shakes will disappear and my fingers will now stop hovering over an imaginary keyboard. There’s no TV but that’s no great loss, as we’ve the Internet, BBC iPlayer and Netflix all on my iPad – civilized.

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Well despite all the rants and the ravings about the religion of pieces and permanent offense, I think it’s about time to include some of the brighter sides of life. The daily highlights and items of good news that help ride the wave of life, as recommended by my guru, Hal, from Park City. It’s certainly going to be a challenge, but new rule is no good news – Ride the Wave of Life – then no blog for that day.

Today’s highlight was the pretty young lady holding a stop sign on the road to Yosemite. “You’ll only be a few moments. Would you like one of these candies?”. How nice is that. A simple attempt to make even the most frustrating travel hold ups pleasant.

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Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if he believes it is concerned in terrorism. For the purposes of the Act, this means that the organisation: 
commits or participates in acts of terrorism;
prepares for terrorism;
promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism); or
 is otherwise concerned in terrorism.

On the basis of the evidence since 9/11 and the contents of the koran isn’t it time that islam was designated a proscribed organisation?

Saturday – hot and sunny.

Inspiration Point.

Inspiration Point.

A somewhat lazy start to the day, as usual. Then we do a lovely Meadows loop walk. Wendy’s knee has decided to play her up just when she most needed it.

Waterfall from Glacier Point.

Waterfall from Glacier Point.

We call back home for coffee and lunch, it’s oh so handy. Then after lunch we take thre 2 hour guided open bus tour of the valley. Yes it’s a Wallace Arnold moment, but this tour is amazing; worth every penny of it – there I go again; so informative and entertaining; for once I don’t regret this Wallace Arnold experience.

Call in at the village store for some vitals and then it’s back home for a pleasant evening with a good beer (rare for America) and some Zinfandel.
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Today’s tale of inspiration comes from the aptly name “Inspiration Point” in Yosemite. An awesome view down the whole of Yosemite Valley, breathtaking, no picture can possibly do it justice. Thanks to the National Parks of America, who celebrate their centenary this years, for looking after these magnificent places and protecting them for the generations to come. Truly “America’s best idea”.

I think perhaps I have to revise my favourite National Park from Zion to Yosemite, it’s a close thing.

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Carlin on how to speak English:

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Fairy Tales and Fables – The Quran

If Allah is a supreme being, creator of the universe and all that codswallop, how come he could not send simple messages that could not be misconstrued, distorted, perverted and would stand the test of time. Look at the 10 commandments, fairly simple, straight forward, have stood the test of time and fairly difficult to pervert to some fanatics own agenda.

Instead we have pronouncements that are so confusing there’s a whole industry surrounding their interpretation and true meaning. Yet surely all these experts, inmans and soothsayers are guilty of blasphemy, by attempting to interpret the word of the supreme being.

The best dhimmi interpretation I’ve ever heard is that “kill them…..”, doesn’t mean physically kill them but to “kill them with kindness”. I’m still waiting for a benign interpretation of “chop off….”.

Sunday – hot and sunny.

By the river.

By the river.

Usual lazy start and then we catch the free shuttle – how nice it is not to use the car for 4 days and rely on shank’s pony and a shuttle bus – to the start of the Mirror Lake hike. Mind you the shuttles chocker block and we get the dubious pleasure of 10 minutes trying to decipher what this fat arsed woman’s knickers say – it’s “absolutely” but we can’t quite make out the 2nd word. There’s nothing like a nice pair of thongs outlined or revealed beneath some tight trousers, or better still shorts, on a pert young fanny (I’m using the the American definition of this word here), to set the day off to a good start, but an aged fat arse with knickers and shorts stretched tight as a drum leaves a lot to be desired – oh shallow me.

Half Dome from mirror lake.

Half Dome from mirror lake.

We’ve done this walk before but it’s a lovely hike – sounds so much more macho than the stroll it really is. There’s no lifeguard on duty, as with most of the park this time of year the lake and the waterfalls tend to be dried up. Stop for an extravagant lunch of an apple and water by the lake. Amazing that even out here we get 3G and the joy of our kids messaging us. Fortunately there’s no wants, can I or will you’s Involved. Whilst the tree huggers are always wanting to “be off the grid”, give me 3G signals penetrating my body anytime.

Get some great photos of half dome. I’ll probably need a week to cull the hundreds of photos we’ve taken. Every view is so awesome and precious that you really begrudge deleting any of them.

Call in for a coffee in the village Deli. It’s oh some warm and sunny out. Then it’s back home for a good old stag chilli, beer and Zinfandell.

Then to finish the day off on a dirty raincoat brigade view we encounter a young piece of eye candy flouncing down the street in only shorts and a see through bra, fortunately it wasn’t a cold day!
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We’re both fans of Patagonia clothes. Yes, they’re expensive but they last and last. We were quite surprised to see a stall in the visitors centre advertising Ptagonias repair department. Apparently you can send any damaged or worn Patagonia clothes back and they will try and repair them in a bid to stop waste. There’s a charge but what a great way to stop waste.

Down the valley.

Down the valley.

Also came across this. As discarded clothing piles up in landfills around the country, a handful of companies are trying to save some of those garments and give them new life.

The Renewal Workshop is one of these. It takes shirts, jackets and other items damaged during manufacturing, then repairs and resells them for 30 to 50 percent off the original price, co-founder Nicole Bassett told The Huffington Post. Its goal is to prevent imperfect items, which traditional retailers can’t sell in stores, from being tossed in the trash.

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This weekend is cleanup weekend in the National Park when thousands of volunteers come up here and go round picking up litter.

How great is that. They deserve our thanks for such a great job.

What a pity that any scrot can even consider littering this place.

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In my opinion artificial intelligence, the singularity – when AI exceeds human intelligence, mind you we’ve encountered quite a few humans with less intelligence than a Sinclair Spectrum – represents the 2nd biggest risk to mankind this century.

A dome from Glacier Point.

A dome from Glacier Point.

Interesting article https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_on_Artificial_Intelligence.

You may well be asking, so what does Victor think is the 1st and 3rd biggest threat this century. Well here goes:

1st threat – Islam the religion of pieces, permanent offence and world domination.

3rd threat – climate change.

Monday – hot and sunny.

One of the many deer.

One of the many deer.

Thanks to our ranger friend Michael we’re staying an extra night in this awesome place.

After my early morning stroll I do my blog, sat out on a rocking chair on the front porch with a coffee. Watching the deer grazing around me whilst the squirrels are either frolicking or perhaps it’s a male trying to perpetuate it’s genes, but it seems that perhaps the female has an headache. Talking of which, there I am soaking up all this nature and suddenly I’m struck on the head by a low flying acorn trying to sow it’s oats. Ow that hurts, perhaps I have concussion – should I sue?

Wendy in Mirror lake, under Half Dome.

Wendy in Mirror lake, under Half Dome.

We catch the shuttle down to Bridal falls. It’s still got a trickle flowing over it and results in yet more photos.

Catch the shuttle to the world famous Awahnee Hotel, now renamed by some scurrilous greedy marketing executive as the Majestic Hotel. There I sin and have an afternoon beer. Very swish, very expensive but can you believe you can’t get a snack with your vintage champagne priced beer.

Catch a couple of great NP films in the visitors centre then it’s back home for two weary foot soldiers. Coffee on the front porch with a Flying Spaghetti Monster spaghetti strainer on my head to protect me from randy low flying acorns.

In the evening our host comes home and we go out to dinner at the Yosemite Lodge. Have a very interesting and pleasant evening.

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Out for an early morning stroll to Yosemite falls. Wow it’s awesome here. Nature in all its majesty. The sheer scale of this valley is mind blowing. How lucky can we be to experience it.

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THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS”
 FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS: 

Bridge.

Bridge.

“We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.” 

 “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.” 

 “I was bitten by a mosquito.  The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.” 

 “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were
 placed in a room with a king bed.  We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant.  This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.” 

Remember they vote and walk amongst us!

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

The valley from Glacier point.

The valley from Glacier point.

Out early again for a 90 minute Ansell Adams photo walk – it’s free. Interesting stroll around the meadows and some useful pointers to some great photo opportunities along with background on the World famous Ansell Adams – Ansell who?

Pack the car and we’re of for our next adventure in Madera, just outside Fresno. But before we leave we must take a 1 hour detour to a Glacier Point. Awesome, rad, narley there are not words or photos that do the vista from it justice. It has to be one of the most stunning views we’ve ever seen. Well worth the 1 hour detour.

Wendy at Glacier Point.

Wendy at Glacier Point.


It’s goodbye to Yosemite. Hopefully we’ll be back.

In the afternoon we arrive at our next home exchange. Our most stunning home exchange ever, more on that in our next blog.

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WE ARE AT WAR.

Early morning reflections.

Early morning reflections.

WHEN will our leaders – and the progressive, liberal, lefty, do gooder, politically correct, multicultural stormtroopers who got us into this mess – accept that militant islam is at war with us. They cling with destructive obstinacy to their cherished policies of mass immigration and cultural diversity.

WHEN will our leaders acknowledge that militant Islam is the problem, not housing, poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of education or mental illness. 

WHEN will our leaders start to tackle the problem. Prayers, candles, all night vigils, flowers, days of mourning, laser light shows, kind words and moderate muslims will not solve the problem.

WHEN will our leaders realise that Sharia and this barbaric 7th century ideology are totally incompatible with Western democracy. If they’re in any doubt that the ideology of peace and permanent offence is the problem, go read the quran.

WHEN will our leaders realise that the nonsense word islamaphobia is the shovel to dig our own graves with. A phobia is an irrational fear. It would be irrational not to fear islam.

By the river.

By the river.

WHEN will our leaders do something before we have such an extreme right wing reaction that will make Nazi Germany look like Disney land.

Let’s hope our leaders wake up, smell the cordite and blood stained pavements, before it’s too late. It’s time for some action, some practical steps to defeat militant islam and it’s barbaric ideology. “You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog.” Buddhist saying.

Clinging with destructive obstinacy to their cherished policies of mass immigration and cultural diversity, they refuse to face up to the lethal Islamist threat in our midst.

20160930 – A letter from the British Home Office to the People of America

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To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light, by your own admission, of your abject failure to even choose two suitable candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchial duties
over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Oklahoma, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Theresa May, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. State governors will continue to exist but they cannot be ex movie stars. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Then look up “aluminium”. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it, along with words like tomato and pecan. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’, skipping the letter ‘U’ is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter ‘Z’ (pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) and the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise”. You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh is pronounced ‘burra’ e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you can’t
cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your
vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary”. Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up “interspersed”. There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jerry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn’t have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won’t have to use bad language as often.

There is no such thing as “US English”. We will let Microsoft know
on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of “-ize”.

You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents.
It really isn’t that hard. English accents are not limited to Cockney,
upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents – Scottish dramas such as “Taggart” will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we’re talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is “Devon”.

If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become “shires” e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as “Men Behaving Badly” or “Red Dwarf” will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can’t cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

You should relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The
Queen”, but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

You should stop playing American “football”. There is only one kind
of football. What you refer to as American “football” is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays “American” football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty
seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US rugby sevens side by 2025. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called “rounders” which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

You should declare war on Quebec and France, using nuclear weapons
if they give you any merde. The 97.85% of you who were not aware that there is a world outside your borders should count yourselves lucky. The Russians have never been the bad guys. “Merde” is French for “shit”. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don’t believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will
require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public. The NRA will be declared an illegal organisation

July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 7th will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called “Indecisive Day”.

All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for
your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French
fries are not real chips. Fries aren’t even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called “crisps”. Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat.

The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to
all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not
actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer”, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as “Lager”. The substances formerly known as “American Beer” will henceforth be referred to as “Near-Frozen Knat’s Urine”, with the exception of
the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be
referred to as “Weak Near-Frozen Knat’s Urine”. This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

From December 1st the UK will harmonise petrol (or “Gasoline” as
you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2018) prices within the former USA.

The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the
Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $8 per US gallon – get used to it).

You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns,
lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.

Yellow standee line revoked.

Lines to become queues, yes we know it is a bit more difficult to spell.

Passport control will forwith have 80% of the desks open for British Nationals, the remaining 20% can be used for Americans and the rest of the world.

All restrooms will be relabelled and referred to as toilets. If you need to rest so much then they should either open lounges with beds and settees – you can look this word up and then use it as the replacement for the word sofa.

All prices will be displayed including the tax, rather than your ludicrous habit of displaying the price without the tax and then asking for the tax inclusive price. Anybody found flaunting this rule will be deported to an EC country where they can really appreciate the meaning of pointless bureacracy.

You will learn how to brew and serve tea properly. Boiling water and milk, anyone found serving cream in a cup of tea will be sent to our penal colony – Australia. All coffee, apart from that served in specialised coffe shops, will be labelled WWWBW – weak wishy washy brown water. Americans are not really coffee conniseurs – look it up.

Food portions will immediately be halfed, lets try going for quality not quantity. This should also help with your obesity problem – look it up.

Finally to global warming. You will immediately sack all your environmental scientific advisers, sign up for and implement the Kyoto Protocol, all members of congress and the senate will appear in the adverts admitting that global warming is a reality. In addition you will all acknowledge Darwins theory of evolution and stop bending science to meet your political ends.

Tax collectors from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776). Thank you for your cooperation.