Monthly Archives: October 2016

20161024 – Hawaii – Oahu

Monday – hot and sunny.

Well I never thought I’d say it but after 4 weeks of desert living it’s a real treat to see clouds.

View from our balcony.

View from our balcony.


Our lovely new home exchange for the next two weeks is on the 19th floor of the Makaha Towers with floor to ceiling glass windows and doors in the lounge and bedroom looking out over the valley and sea. Awesome views. The building looks a bit dated from the outside but from inside our one bedroom condo is ideal, modern, well equipped, clean and best of all good wifi. After our 3,500 square foot home in the desert, where we wore out two pairs of shoes just shuffling around the house, this place is nice and compact and the space flows well. There’s a narrow balcony but the idea seems to be open your patio doors if you want to sunbathe. 19 floors below is a full sized pool, sun lounger – not a German beach towel in sight, mind you there’s probably a whole chapter in the Mein Kampf rule book for this place on pool don’ts.

Lounge

Lounge

Lazy day after our travels. Pop into the office for a parking permit, AKA, money milking scheme.

Take a drive up the coast. Call in at the Kaneana Cave. Where there’s fresh fruit and vegetables laid out. It seems it’s to feed and appease the local gods. Apparently this cave was used by the Shark Man to store his victims on a slimy stone until he was hungry.

We have a chat with a couple of young girls, who despite being well educated and seeming intelligent, tell us they sort of believe in such pagan superstitions. They also tell us that Hawaiians resented being drafted into the USA as the 50th state. Seems that there’s still quite a lot of resentment and prejudice against Caucasians – easily identified as anyone who is not obese.

Kitchen.

Kitchen.

Get back to a missive on our door from the TSA gestapo who pose as security guards. Seems we’ve committed a heinous crime and are in violation of one of the many rules, in their no doubt 6″ thick rule book. “Failure to return parking pass”. Oh you actually mean “Sorry we screwed up and gave you the wrong pass, could you please pop into the office to swap it out”. I guessed when we arrived and saw some of their anal retentive rules like park inward; don’t cross the white lines when parked, that this place was going to be just one big TSA theme park of rules, regulations and unrelenting trivia from a band of TSA rejects.
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Sensible and friendly chat with two locals.

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Bill Maher On Islam – Part 3

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Peace offering to the gods.

Peace offering to the gods.

Well I thought Orlando was an obesity magnet, and your average cruise was an adipose tissue factory, but Hawaii is worse. The mountains of adipose tissue waddling down the streets – they’re the ultra fit ones, the athletes of Hawaiian society, the rest are in electric wobble carts – is enough to turn your stomach and make you dash to the local hospital to have your gob sewn up for life.

These folks are so fat that all that blubber acts like a fender so they can’t even sit next to the table, why they’re that far away that by the time a fork of hot food gets to their mouth it’s gone cold.

In 2009, the Hawaii Department of Health pointed to the alarming statistic that Native Hawaiians had a prevalence rate of 69.6% for being overweight. Whilst the obesity rate for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adults (over 30 BMI) in the US in 2010 was 43.5%.

Yet, Hawaii has the second-lowest adult obesity rate in the country, a new report says Hawaii’s adult obesity rate is 21.8 percent.

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

Pearl Harbor memorial.

Pearl Harbor memorial.


Another day and another violation posted on our door knob. This time it’s a stark parking violation. What it should have actually read was “we told you wrong yesterday, would you please park in the upper parking lot”. On the last day I’m going to sort out these anal retentives and give them a fiesta of violations, we’ll hang towels out on the balcony; park in the bottom lot; reveres the car in; park diagonally over 3 parking spaces; serenade Wendy from the ground floor when Noddy’s well past Big Ears; drive clockwise around the towers. That should give them severe hand cramp writing all violation tickets out.

USS Arizona memorial

USS Arizona memorial

Up early and out for a trip to the Pearl Harbor memorial – yes I know that’s not spelt correctly but consider how bad it would be if we stuck with the Hawaiian alphabet of the 5 vowels and just 7 consonants. Could that be a reason why the language is withering.

The drive down Farrington highway is a nightmare. Just too many traffic lights.

Pearl Harbor memorial is excellent, as always for anything run by the National parks. Film on that fateful day followed by boat trip out to the USS Arizona memorial to over 2,000 lives lost when the nips launched that heinous attack. A very sombre and reflective visit.

Inside the USS Arizona memorial.

Inside the USS Arizona memorial.

Then we decide that it would be a good idea to visit Wholefoods market for a decent supermarket. First one doesn’t even exist – that made my surfboard of life get a tad slippy. Finally find the 2nd one. Fortunately there’s a Starbucks next door. Pop in for a coffee to help my grip and balance on my virtual surfboard on the drive home. Decide to splash out on a pack of Kona coffee. I know it’s an expensive coffee but when she rings up the price – $25 – I take a nose dive over the bow of my virtual surfboard. Is there a defibrillator anywhere near.

Drive home along H1 and H201 – their freeways. Nearly as bad as LA. Then we have the Farrington highway to cope with. A nightmare of traffic lights and a superb gridlock creation scheme they call “contra flow”. Stupidity 15 : common sense 0.

View from our balcony.

View from our balcony.

Decide to watch “Pearl Harbor”. Not available on Netflix, so we compromise and watch “Tora, Tora, Tora”. Don’t think we’ve seen it before. Made in the 1960’s, so certainly beyond the reach of any of our memory synapses, but unlike the sop, romance and piffling side tracks of “Pearl Harbor”, this is much more factual. Despite its age it has some great attack scenes. Really enjoyable and helps put it all into context.

Classic of SNAFU of that fateful day has to be:

Radar operator “Lieutenant, there’s a large detachment of planes coming in from the North.”

Lieutenant “Well, don’t worry about it. They’ll be ours.”

Yes, that actually happened.
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Yet another awesome National Park memorial at Pearl Harbor. As always so well done and respectful. Tribute to honor all the 2,000+ who lost their lives on that fateful day. December 7th 1941, a date which will live in infamy.

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Campaign Jokes

I wonder if Donald Trumps Secret Service codename is “walnut”. So when he enters a room the Secret Service can say “The wall nut has arrived.”

Bedroom.

Bedroom.

Donald Trump is a builder, he’s going to use the vast resources of the United States government to build a wall to protect our citizens, build a strong middle class, and most importantly build a machine to cure male pattern baldness.

Donald Trump loves the “poorly educated” so much, that when he’s president there will be more of them than ever.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to paint a man orange and convince the world he was going to be president of America!

What do you call 10 illegal immigrants on the moon? A problem. What do you call 100 illegals on the moon? A problem. What do you call 1000 illegals on the moon? Still a problem. What do you call all of the illegal immigrants on the moon? Problem solved.

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Wednesday – hot and sunny.

A lazy day after all that driving yesterday. Traffic’s the main problem with this place. We’re only about 30 miles from Honolulu but the Farrington highway is a night mare at rush hour and the few freeways they have aren’t much better.

On the beach.

On the beach.


Drive down to a local Beach. Visit the remains of an Hawaiian temple and then have a walk along the Beach. Watch a few intrepid surfers. It certainly is an island paradise and our end of the island is very much the locals end. Plenty of ram shackled housing. Lots of vagrants dossing out on the beach, it seems a way of life and unemployment is high. Reminds us very much of your average little chicken shit Caribbean island.

Our pool.

Our pool.

Followed by the inevitable Starbucks treat.

Get our early evening pantomime fix with a mixture of Fox, MSNBC and CNN. Must be masochists. As for that repitious rabid reviling bitch Rachel Maddow, she must think all Americans are so thick that they need to hear the same bile 3 or 4 times for it to really sink in. Cut the pandering repetition and her raving 60 minutes could be distilled down to 5 minutes. What a nightmare waking up with that velociraptor on your pillow would be. Oh I forgot, I’m safe, she’s a lesbian – what a surprise!
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How beautiful are the green serrated cliffs around Hawaii, all covered in lush vegetation. I could look at them for hours. Awesome, you have to see them to believe them and appreciate the power of water on these volcanic mountains.

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Campaign Jokes

Bathroom.

Bathroom.

What is Bill’s definition of safe sex? When Hillary is out of town.

Did you see the Jim Carrey movie about the Benghazi Hearings? It’s called “Liar Liar Pantsuit on Fire”.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are on a plane. The plane crashed. Who survived? America

What movie does Hillary watch when she’s in a bad mood? Kill Bill.

What decision do Americans have to make in November? A “Crooked Dick” or a “Crooked Chick”.

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Pat Condell, the King of Ranters, on Americas moment of truth:

Thursday – hot, cloudy and some rain.

Waikiki beach.

Waikiki beach.


Miracles, VPS have just paid me for my consultancy after much chasing on my part. It’s an omen. Watch the long awaited Apple announcement on MacBooks. Want one – 13″ MacBook Pro fully specked out. Need one, mines well past its retire by date. At least now I’ll be able to afford one.

Waikiki beach.

Waikiki beach.

Drive down to Honolulu for the Waikiki Trolley bus tour of Honolulu. Decide to pick up the trolley in China town. What a dump. It’s grey, miserable and raining, but at least it’s warm. Spend an hour trying to find parking. End up having to each sell a pint of blood and a kidney to pay the parking fee.

Trolley is a great way to see Honolulu. Once we get out of china town the place improves dramatically although spoilt by so many high rise buildings.

Get off at the world famous Waikiki Beach, have a wander around and enjoy watching the surfing and the eye candy on the beach. Busy and touristy but much better and more civilised than expected. Lash out on lunch at the beachside at the exclusive Moana Surfrider hotel – no complaints!

Hawaiian King in the days before they were swallowed by the USA.

Hawaiian King in the days before they were swallowed by the USA.

Back on the trolley to finish our tour.

On our way home call in at a civilised Safeway for some vital supplies. No more 3rd world supermarkets. We thought California was expensive but in Hawaii I think the decimal point is always right shifted. Battle our way back through the traffic. Not too bad tonight.

Waikiki beach surfer.

Waikiki beach surfer.

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Lucky to be watching the real experts ride the surf. They make it look so easy. Reminds me it’s just a mere 48 years since I last tried it in Cornwall when I met Wendy. Now she tells me I’m too old.

Looks like I’ll have to stick to riding the virtual surfboard on the wave of live.

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Expensive lunch on the beach.

Expensive lunch on the beach.

Now I know he’s a nut job. If ever there was anything to convince me he’s crazier than a dog in a hubcap factory, then if this bunch of retarded red necks and fruitcakes in the NRA backing him, is it. Don­ald Trump, who has seen the Re­pub­li­can es­tab­lish­ment’s sup­port for his pres­i­den­tial can­di­dacy de­te­ri­o­rate in re­cent weeks, has found a stal­wart in one con­ser­v­a­tive in­sti­tu­tion: the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion.

Temple in Honolulu.

Temple in Honolulu.

The group has spent more than $26.8 mil­lion on ads pro­mot­ing Mr. Trump and at­tack­ing De­mo­c­ra­tic ri­val Hillary Clin­ton. That’s more than twice what it spent at this point in the 2012 elec­tion and more than any other out­side group back­ing the GOP ticket in 2016.

20161020 – Living Desert Zoo; Hawaii Here We come

Thursday – hot and sunny.

Off to the living desert zoo. Didn’t have great expectations of this but we were pleasantly surprised. Not too big, fabulous gardens and cacti, well laid out and very enjoyable.

Feeling playful.

Feeling playful.


Called in at Barnes and Noble for a book on Hawaii. Need to get the most out of our next adventure. Book shops seem to becoming rarer than bible sellers in Tehran, thanks to the Internet. Mind you when I over hear a Barnes & Noble saleswomen fobbing off a customer who’s complaining about her Nook, “Well you have to understand the software gets tired!”, I’m not surprised. What balderdash people talk. Perhaps the real reason was she hadn’t fed the Nook recently.

Lonesome Roadrunner.

Lonesome Roadrunner.

Starbucks for lunch and Internet. Oh how I’m looking forward to our next home exchange, which apparently has proper wifi.

Catch up on the 3rd and thankfully the final presidential slanging match. The same old. But I have to say that even though the moderator was one of Fox News crazies he did seem biased against Trump – he was asked about his groping and yet she was not asked about her emails and the Clinton foundation. Just like a woman she got away with all the rattle.

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Poland is kicking the concept of a traditional bike trail to the curb.

On Sept. 23, the rural town of Lidzbark Warminski opened a short biking path that glows blue in the dark. Charging by day via the sun, the special section of trail is a new addition to a larger recreation path that leads up to Wielochowskie Lake.

European engineering company TPA sp. z o.o designed the technology that lights this segment of the bike path. The asphalt contains synthetic particles called “luminophores,” which at night emit power captured from sunlight, creating the electric blue hue. TPA says the glow lasts up to 10 hours, according to Polish newspaper Gazeta Olsztyńska.

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Soft versus Hard BREXIT. Let’s make sure we get out. Perhaps we should just call their bluff, out ASAP, focus on the rest of the World and just go for WTO options. If they want to trade let them come to us.

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Friday – hot and sunny.

Lovely couple.

Lovely couple.

Lazy morning and trip to Starbucks. After lunch we have the almost daily visit to the post office to see if Wendy’s tablets have arrived. Surprise , surprise they’ve still not arrived after 4 weeks. You’d think it would be possible for two leading western democracies to sort out a decent snail mail solution. But then again you need to abandon all hope of service or efficiency when you enter a USA post office. Obviously accurately modelled on a UK Post Office.

Wendy packs in the afternoon.

Evenings a melange of Fox, MSNBC and CNN.

On the prowl. Is this what Trump grabbed?

On the prowl. Is this what Trump grabbed?

Interesting to watch Trumps Gettysburg address, where he at long last comes out with some concrete proposals on what he’ll do in his first 100 days. Quite an impressive list. Why hasn’t he stuck with this rather than his childish tantrums. Typical that Clinton trashes it in her typical lying, cold blooded reptile like fashion. Not a mention of his proposal just his threat to sue those women.

Telephone poll on Trump versus Clinton is advertised on TV. “If you’ve already called, call again.” Bizarre, only in America.

Even more bizarre is how Trump gets most of the media coverage / time, yet it’s so biased against him. It’s almost like they’re a load of sharks smelling blood and going in for the kill.
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About time too.

UKIP leadership candidate Peter Whittle has said he wants every British school to fly the Union Jack and have a picture of the Queen up as part of a campaign to restore patriotic pride in the country.

The campaign to make people proud of being British again and “restore the national identity” is at the heart of what he hopes to achieve if he is unveiled as the new Ukip leader on November 28.

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What if Dr. Seuss had been alive for this election? Meet the Grump who sacked Greatland.

Click image for the tale.

Click image for the tale.

Saturday – hot and sunny.

Up early and we’re off on our next great adventure, Hawaii. The 50th state and our 44th state visited. Just 6 to go.

Parade day.

Parade day.

Call at the post office for our last trip to futility and then we’re off. And no the tablets still haven’t arrived.

Get about 10 miles into our journey when I realise I’ve still got the garage door opener. A few choice words. Major crash off my virtual surfboard of life.

Rather than drive to San Diego via the quickest route, which seems to involve 10 lanes of snail like LA traffic, or over the mountain range, we go for the shortest, more scenic, route via Borrego Springs. The Borrego Springs state park is the largest in the USA.

Stop off in Borrego Springs, where we catch the tail end of a parade – had some paleogeezer not forgot the garage door opener we’d have caught it all – typical American parade and festivities. Hotter than the Devils armpit but everyone, apart from Wendy, seems to be coping.

Then we drive through more of the park and down towards San Diego. Stop off at a small state park visitors centre for a wander around and chat with inquisitive Rangers.

Cactus garden.

Cactus garden.

Check into the airport hotel for the night, have a well deserved Starbucks after our 6 hour trip and then wander around the harbour. Sat on the rooftop patio overlooking the harbour we have our subway dinners. Boring I know but I have my favourite Italian subway, with enough jalapeños to set fire to my anal glands tomorrow.

Browsing the 1,000’s of channels, all with nothing on worth watching when I come across an interesting documentary on “Why Planes Crash”. Wendy doesn’t want to watch it!
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Traffic lights are finally getting smarter in Pittsburgh.

Thanks to a new pilot program from the tech startup Rapid Flow Technologies, Steel City now boasts 50 intersections whose stoplights are running artificial intelligence software known as Surtrac that reduces wait times on empty or lightly-traveled roads.

Since Surtrac was first introduced in 2012, the Rapid Flow team estimates the AI stoplights have cut emissions by 21%, travel times by 25%, and idling times by 40%.

The magic of Surtrac is that it bundles each stoplight into an intelligent network “that moves all the vehicles it knows about through the intersection in the most efficient way possible,” Rapid Flow CEO Steve Smith said at the recent White House Frontiers Conference, according to IEEE Spectrum.

Wow, that will give your average American driver half their life back.

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Bill Maher On Islam – Part 2

Sunday – hot and sunny.

Up at 06:00 for a paupers continental breakfast. Even the waffle managed to taste like a grilled soggy corrugated cardboard sandwich. A fried grizzly bear fur sandwich would have been preferable.

Victor my hero.

Victor my hero.


Then it’s off to the airport. Let the misery begin. Hawaii here we come.

Well Hawaiian airlines have to be complemented on being the only internal flight to provide a free meal. But why is it there’s only one choice and guess what? They only pander to veggies, those tree hugging herbivores. Why does everyone assume it’s ok to expect us, normal, carnivores to cope without some blood on our plate? From now on I think I’ll become a Meatatarian and form the Obligate Carnivores Society (Obligate carnivoresor “true” carnivores depend on the nutrients found only in animal flesh for their survival. While they may consume small amounts of plant material, they lack the physiology required for the efficient digestion of vegetable matter.).

Strange isn’t it how this is considered an internal rather than an international flight. Yes I know they’re the 50th state, but 2,500 miles away.

Pick Hertzmobile up, a snazzy Buick, very up-market.

Get to our new home for the next 2 weeks. It’s a nice one bedroom condo on the 19th floor, with awesome views over the ocean – more pictures to follow on the next blog. Yeah, there’s reasonable wifi.

First impressions of Hawaii. A mixture of poor shanties and luxury gated communities. Awesome scenery and flowers, a tropical paradise. Looks like everything was built in the 1960’s with lavish use of concrete. Visit the nearest local supermarket. Are we really in America? I thought, being such an expert on supermarkets, that we were in a supermarket in Spain or on Audley range. Good to see some clouds and even 10 drops of rain after 2 weeks in the desert.
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Today’s wave of life award has to go to the bus driver from the car rental centre to the airport. Pleasant; personable; exceedingly helpful; fun facts to keep us amused; trivia questions. Obviously really enjoys his job.

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Campaign Jokes
How do you know you’re reading one of Donald Trumps books? It starts on Chapter 11.

Can I tell you a joke about the wall? Never mind you won’t get over it.

What does Trumps hair and a thong have in common? They both barely cover the asshole.

What does Donald Trump and a pornstar have in common? They are both experts in switching positions in front of a camera.

Why isn’t it surprising that Donald Trump wants to be President of the United States? Because it’s not the first time he has pushed a black family out of their home!

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Of course today’s SNAFU award has to go to San Diego airport, no better or worse than any other, although there wasn’t a lounge available.

Congratulations, you manage to make the airport experience as miserable as humanly possible, on that you cannot be faulted and there’s no room for improvement on the level of misery inflicted. It all starts before you leave the hotel with the pedantic obsession with luggage weight; then there’s the rip off $25 per suitcase fee – no wonder everyone’s trying to cram oversized giant steamer trunks into small overhead lockers; TSA and their fiendish methods, by power obsessed minimum wage fanatics with a chip on their shoulder, have to take their usual 1st place in the misery stakes – what is the point of terra hertz scanners that then require everybody to be groped down; rip off food and drink prices for sandwiches that could either scurry across the floor under their own steam or would make an excellent door stop; finally waiting and queueing to board.

At least when you’re onboard the flight is quite pleasant even if they charge for movies.

20161016 – Indian Canyons; Bump Into Home Exchange Friends From Australia; Casinos

Sunday – hot and sunny.

Outdoor dining.

Outdoor dining.

Lazy day as the paleo-rockers are swarming for yet another concert this evening. Bald heads with withered pony tales and a surfeit of adipose tissue everywhere. Fortunately this weekend they seem to have turned the volume down so we’re not kept awake by them.

Tootle off down to Starbucks for my caffeine and internet fix.

They’re all there doing there homework, complete with MacBooks and Apple EarPods, even Mum and daughter. I can’t help noticing, probably because I’m nosey, that none of them, from the 8 year old to those in their mid twenties and thirties, use joined up writing. They’re raising generations that have no awareness of the world outside America; they’re not street wise, thanks to being Molly coddled by the yellow bus; they can’t even breath without EarPods and music in their ears; they can’t spell; they can’t even use joined up writing – I wonder how they go on with their signature.

Spend the afternoon deleting and editing 100’s of awesome Joshua Tree pictures.

Boy it’s hot again.

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When the Ruby Tuesday’s where Kevan Finley worked at was shut down, he wasn’t able to find another job in the area – so he continued being a cook at another branch 9 miles away from his home.

The source of America's blobby problem.

The source of America’s blobby problem.

Since Kevan didn’t have a car, however, he had to walk, 6 days a week.

His new co-workers at the restaurant in Mentor, Ohio didn’t find out about his strenuous trek until about three months after he had started working there.

Kevan supposedly has a sunny, cheerful attitude and never complains about his circumstances, so the staff decided to surprise him with the gift that he deserved.

The workers started driving him home while they were secretly raising money through a Go Fund Me campaign to buy the 30-year-old cook a car. In just 17 days, the restaurant raised over $8,000 for the dedicated man.

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Campaign Jokes

Why does Donald Trump prefer E.T. to illegal immigrants? Because E.T. eventually went home!

What do Donald Trump and a baby have in common? They both whine alot!

What’s the difference between Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan? If Trump gets Alzheimers his IQ will go up.

Why can’t you compare Donald Trump to cancer? Because sometimes you can get rid of cancer.

What’s the difference between Donald Trump and a sewage plant? Nothing they’re both full of shit!.

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A California Starbucks Experience

For any serious Internet use I have to nip to the local Starbucks, it’s a tough life.

Flowering cactus.

Flowering cactus.

The other day I went in they were showing 3 different coffees ready brewed. “Ah I’m sorry but we only have the Pike Place on. The other two we only brew in the morning”. Well that’s like spreading grease on my surfboard of life. I can’t resist with the comment “Well why don’t you take the other two coffee signs down to avoid confusion?”. He looks at me as If I’m a Dalek from another planet. Stupidity 15 : Common Sense 0.

Never mind I’ll have a pour over. No you won’t because they don’t have the two coffees I choose. Oh well I’ll have to settle for the Pike Place. At this point he exceeds all my expectations and gives it me for free. Obviously he either feels sorry for a poor old deranged Victor or, much less likely, thinks my suggestion has merit.

It was school escape time so there’s a steady torrent of youngsters coming in and ordering exotic and expensive drinks. They all have two things in common. Their drinks have a mountain of cream on top of a calorie and cholesterol special drink, and yes you’ve probably guessed it, they’re all blobbies, waddling their excess adipose tissue in and waddling out again with their next excess pound of adipose clutched in hand.

Today when I went in you’d think they were giving it away. They’re queuing right up to door, and bear in mind this is a slow process and they don’t rush.

Have the same discussion on the 3 coffees advertised as available yet only one. This time it’s a victory, she takes 2 of the adverts down. Stupidity 0 : common sense 15. And to top it all she gives me a very large free coffee. Result.

Monday – hot and sunny.

Lazy morning and then we set off to explore Salton sea an inland sea – I thought they called them lakes.

Disabled dog in supermarket.

Disabled dog in supermarket.

Don’t ever bother. Salton sea beach is the most desolate habitabed place on earth. Just desert and trailers. Must be an Indian reservation it’s so bleak. A basic guide to identify Indian reservation land – “Is it worthless, inhabitable and so desolate that not even an ebola virus would want it”. If the answer to all 3 is a resounding yes, then Uncle Sam probably gave it to the Indians in trade for the paradise they called home. Oh and if it has a giant casino in the middle of nowhere then it’s certainly an Indian reservation. Still at least Uncle SAMs given up on practising eugenics on Indian women.

Never mind says I, aboard my optimistic virtual surfboard, we’ll go down to Salton City. Sounds rather grand. I wonder what the cathedral’s like? It’s the same sprawling desert with a few houses, more up-market than trailers, dotted around. More roads than homes. Oh, and it does have a motel and a cafe. Don’t bother. Why would anyone want to live there. You could turn it into an open prison and they’d all want to escape.

Supermarket and home!

Trump’s Mrs gives an interview. What a tasty piece of eye candy – Trump locker room talk. She comes across as calm, rational, coherent, intelligent and a good speaker. Not a bit like her husband.

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Really struggled today to find anything for my wave of life. Then, like a mote in this giant cosmos, I suddenly saw all these dust motes floating in the sunlight. They danced and hovered, beautiful. Not something we see much of in England, as it requires sunshine. Memo to Wendy, all these motes had come off my hanky, perhaps a change of washing regime is called for?

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Truck of Peace; best part of my day:

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08:30 enjoying coffee and orange juice out on the patio after breakfast. It’s about the only time you can enjoy the weather without ending up wetter than a water hogs arse, it’s hotter than the Devils armpit. We’re treated to a Belagio style water fountain display as they water the golf course – I wonder whether it’s raw sewage water, no doubt improve our immune system as it wafts over to us. My this coffee tastes good.

Well since I’ve given up on Fox and MSNBC at least the crazy repetitive voices have stopped. It’s just the same bile over and over again.

As to the campaigns. Well why bother with policies and solutions when there’s scurrilous scandal to be had. It seems that every American woman over 40 has suddenly remembered she’s been groped or better still raped by Trump over 20 years ago. Mass long term amnesia, yet after all that time they can recall minute details. Does anyone actually believe them? Does anyone actually care? To add fuel to the fire Trump then points out that these women are too ugly to have bothered with. Some of them would certainly scare a rat off a cheesecake.

When in a hole stop digging.

As for Hilary I’m surprised she ever got any work done given the multitude of emails involved. Then there’s all the bribery allegations. She’d need a major accounting firm to keep track of it all. But the media do seem to give her an easier time and ignore some of the hard scandals and lawlessness.

God help the American people. You really couldn’t make it up. It’s like the worse possible horror comedy series – House of Cards on steroids rewritten by Lewis Carol. How do you choose between these two turnips. All you can do is choose the “lesser of two evils”.

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

Bugger the customers who pay your wages!

Bugger the customers who pay your wages!

Drive down to Tahquitz – sounds like the name of southern softie stock broker who was bullied at public school – Canyon. An Indian canyon. Well first signs are not good. Employee parking only near the visitor centre, customers down the hill. $12 each and not much to it. Pass.

Drive down to Indian Canyons – there are more of these places than Starbucks. They’re only $7 for us geriatrics and there’s 3 canyons and a trading store. Splash out.

Have a our grand cox’s pipin picnic and a stroll around Palm canyon. Then go and walk up Andreas Canyon. Wow there’s even a flowing stream here in the desert, rarer than a Taliban girls college.

Andreas Canyon hike.

Andreas Canyon hike.

Call in for a leisurely Starbucks and Internet on the way home.

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Defenders of the French language have always been keen to protect it from the scourge of English infiltration.

Unfortunately, they have lost a key battle. In a move that would have Robespierre rotating in his grave, one of France’s most esteemed universities has announced that it will teach courses in English for the first time.

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Campaign Jokes

Palm Canyon home exchange offering!

Palm Canyon home exchange offering!

Republicans: “Hillary won’t win without blacks, Hispanics, gays or Jews.” Democrats: “Or as we like to call them: Americans”

Why does Hillary want to have sex with Bill Clinton first thing in the morning? She wants to be the first lady.

What do Monica and the Carolina Panthers have in common? They both blew it.

Did you hear about the 11th Commandment Hilary Clinton introduced? Thou shall not expose thy rod to thy staff.

What did Bill Clinton say to Monica Lewinsky? I told you to lick my erection, not wreck my election.

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Bill Maher on Muslim’s – Part 1:

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

Palm canyon.

Palm canyon.

Meet up a Starbucks for a coffee with Rudi and Gaynor, home exchangers from Melbourne. It’s amazing how our paths have crossed. We did a home exchange with them about 5 years ago. As we were travelling through Hong Kong back to England, they were travelling through back to Australia so we met up for dinner – yummy snake. Now they’re just 5 miles down the road on a home exchange in La Quinta.

In the evening we go out for dinner with Rudi and Gaynor. An excellent all you can eat dinner at the local casino and reasonably priced with cheap wine – my sort of place. After dinner we go people watching in the casino. All very entertaining with these giant machines that require you to have an advanced degree in Human Computer Interfaces just to put money in. I give Wendy $0.83 to invest, but she doesn’t bother. Probably because there are no poor people’s money consumption machines.

Palm canyon.

Palm canyon.

The media’s all hyped up for tonight’s final presidential campaign debate. Just 3 weeks to go. Plots, leaks, lies, accusations and slagging one another off. It’s just unbelievable how vile it is. A sad reflection on American society, but you only have to watch the adverts on TV – difficult not to, easier to dodge a incoming asteroid – to realise how uncritical they’re becoming. Your average advert seems to be aimed at an 8 year old who’s had a lobotomy.

Adverts for pharmaceuticals have to be the most diabolical on American TV. 10 seconds telling you how to cure dry skin if you suffer from diabetes and then 2 minutes warning you about all the dire side effects that may well even kill you. Stick with the dry skin.

The most unbelievable product has to be Act tablets for dry mouth. Have they forgot what water is? Then you’ve got Probiotic for kids and dry skin cream for diabetics.

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DeepMind is now capable of teaching itself based on information it already possesses.

Andreas canyon

Andreas canyon

In a significant step forward for artificial intelligence, Alphabet’s hybrid system — called a Differential Neural Computer (DNC) — uses the existing data storage capacity of conventional computers while pairing it with smart AI and a neural net capable of quickly parsing it.

The two examples given by the DeepMind team further clear up the process:
1. After being told about relationships in a family tree, the DNC was able to figure out additional connections on its own all while optimizing its memory to find the information more quickly in future searches.
2. The system was given the basics of the London Underground public transportation system and immediately went to work finding additional routes and the complicated relationship between routes on its own.
Instead of having to learn every possible outcome to find a solution, DeepMind can derive an answer from prior experience, unearthing the answer from its internal memory rather than from outside conditioning and programming.

Depending on the point of view, this could be a serious turn of events for ever-smarter AI that might one day be capable of thinking and learning as humans do.

Or, it might be time to start making plans for survival post-Skynet.

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Mightily appropriate in view of the current pantomine of “Lesser Of Two Evils”.

The End Of America is Near George Carlin ✪ Blow Your Mind ✪

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Palm canyon.

Palm canyon.

Starbucks has an older clientele in the mornings, predominantly Homo-waddlingblobieus ready to gobble and slurp up their daily intake of a spray cream mountain atop their calorie infested beverage – some of these drinks contain more calories than a full meal and represent 25% of recommended daily requirement.

20161012 – Joshua Tree National Park

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree NP

Up and out early. Exciting day, off to the Joshua Tree National Park, just 30 minutes down the road.

Well the Joshua Trees are ok, but the rock formations are spectacular. Perhaps they should rename it Awesome Rocks NP. Turns out that may well be necessary as the Joshua Tree is threatened with extinction, due to climate change, and may well have died off by the end of this century. It’s not really a tree but a Yucca and only grows at elevations between 1,300 and 5,000 feet. What’s really narking me is why does it only grow in this altitude range? Well apparently it won’t grow above 5,000 feet because of snow and frost damage, but I can’t find out anywhere why it won’t grow below 1,300 feet.

Another awesome 7 hour NP day. I’ll now have to spend weeks culling 100’s of pictures of rocks, but well worth it, and free with our NP pass.

Skull rock.

Skull rock.

In order to maintain a sense of balance in this pantomime of an election campaign I’ve decided that on odd days I’ll watch Fox News and on even days I’ll watch MSNBC. Day 1 of the crazy voices from Fox. Will I survive MSNBC tonight? For newspapers I’m reading Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Perhaps I should just watch reruns of the Magic Roundabout – time for bed said Zebedee.
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Another awesome day. This time we’re in Joshua Tree NP. How fortunate can we be to be able to explore these awesome National Parks. It’s the centennial year of the NP, thanks for “Americas Best Idea”.

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Computer sayings

My all time favourite:

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilisation.

But they are useless. They can only give you answers. ~Pablo Picasso, about computers

Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree NP

Computers have lots of memory but no imagination.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

As network administrator I can take down the network with one keystroke. It’s just like being a doctor but without getting gooky stuff on my paws.

If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it’s done.

Thursday – hot and sunny.

Kurt’s birthday, 32, where do the years go?

Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree NP

Lazy morning and a trip to Starbucks.

After lunch we drive down to Palm Springs to see what all the fuss is about. Well it’s a vary pleasant town with the centre being full of restaurants, clothes shops and “don’t need, but if brain dead, might want” shops.

It’s that hot that most of the restaurants have mist sprays to keep their outside clients cool. We have similar in Belthorn, it comes naturally and is called rain.

Call in at a supermarket, joy, for the weekly shop. Beer section has the usual parade of nats urine but not a decent beer, even Pilsner Urquel, in sight.

Who's the boyfriend. Watch out Trump may be about looking for some ass.

Who’s the boyfriend. Watch out Trump may be about looking for some ass.


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Our patio - best experienced at 04:00 in the morning.

Our patio – best experienced at 04:00 in the morning.

The award of the Nobel prize for literature to Bob Dylan is not just a long overdue recognition of one of the world’s finest lyrical poets.

It represents a cultural sea change: an understanding that entertainment can also carry intellectual and emotional meaning, that popular music is a genuine art form, that the Nobel prize need not be awarded to obscure litterateurs you have never heard of, and that opera is not the only way to blend words and music into sublime meaning.

It is a sign that the times they are a-changin’.

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Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree NP

Hells bells and set fire to it. I spend all this money on an eCopy of the times and what’s the best headline they come up with today “Tesco takes Marmite off the shelves”. I ask you who gives a shite? Less than 20% of the population are stupid enough to shop at Tesco and of them how many buy Marmite anyway. The Middle East is a basket case, Irans a nightmare, Islam is at war with the west, Germany is plundering Europe, the pounds being hammered, we’ve not yet escaped the EU and Americas playing out the greatest pantomime on earth, with the worst two possible candidates for President that you can imagine. Meanwhile we’re concerned about Marmite. I despair.

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Is Islam a religion of peace? A very reasoned article:

Friday – hot and sunny.

Well it’s a repeat of the big concert tonight through Sunday so we’ve decided to keep a low profile and have a couple of lazy days to avoid the crazy people and their gridlock. Who knows with Bob Dylan being a Noble Laureate there may be even more of the crazy people.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs

After much digging it seems like the best theory on why the Joshua tree does not grow below 1,300 feet is down to lack of moisture – rainfall and transpiration at lower levels. That also seems to be the reason that alpine trees only grow above a certain altitude.

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Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree NP

LON­DON—Jonathan Dunne, a 42-year-old from Col­orado, set off for Covent Gar­den tube sta­tion Fri­day with a posse of helpers, many of whom he had met through Face­book. Af­ter be­ing pub­licly ridiculed in the worst pos­si­ble way the first time around, he was more de­ter­mined than ever to re­al­ize his dream.

A week ear­lier, the Amer­i­can ex­pat, a health-ed­u­ca­tion worker, handed out a batch of 500 badges em­bossed with the words “Tube Chat?” at an East Lon­don sub­way sta­tion—a bid to help spark con­ver­sa­tion among the Un­der­ground’s ul­tra-re­served pas­sen­gers. Things didn’t go the way he hoped.

Sadly he stands no chance with the Southern softies.

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Given the two jester clowns in the greatest pantomime on earth (USA Election Campaign) unraveling before our very eyes, it seems appropriate to have some awful jokes about them. Ladies first:


Bad hair day

Bad hair day

Why is Monica Lewinsky not voting for Clinton? Because the last Clinton left a bad taste in her mouth.

Why is Hillary Clinton running for President? Because it’s easier than running from Law Enforcement.

Why should conservatives vote for Hillary? Because a woman’s place is in the (White) House.

Why does Hillary prefer dogs to Bill Clinton? A dog chases his own tail 

Why shouldn’t Republicans worry about losing in 2016? Apparently depression is covered by Obamacare.

What was Hillary Clinton’s last gift to Monica? Spot remover.

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Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree NP

Well that’s two nights of Fox and two nights of MSNBC. I’ve lost the will to live. It’s like they’re in two different universes with completely different sets of reality – perhaps the multi-verse theory has some merit after all. I’m giving up on balance with this election and climbing off my virtual surf board, a blind man on stilts on a surfboard stands more chance of maintaining balance.

I give thanks to my retirement commandment “No daytime TV”.

From now on it’s either the Magic Roundabout or pornography – no chance here in Puritan land.

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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 lets satan mess with his messenger. Initially Muhammad praised and confirmed the existence of three goddesses, worshipped by pagans, by confirming their ability to intercede before Allah. This caused the pagans to bow in worship and also praise Muhammad for speaking highly of their idols. Later Muhammad, the messenger of a Allah, claimed that his statements were not from God but from Satan who caused him to slip! So how come a supreme being couldn’t suppress such cross channel interference.

And this is what sparked off Muslim spitting their Fatwas out because someone had the temerity to write about it with the “Satanic Verses”. Bring it on they desperately need to man up and thicken their skins.

Saturday – hot and sunny.

Hair of sorts.

Hair of sorts.

Lazy morning and then for lunch we have a drive down to La Quinta village. All very swish, but not really much to it. Wendy spots a Trader Joes and a Lidl, so like a couple of intrepid trolley spotters we explore – how sad is that.

Wendy lunches at Panera Bread. Then back home to the secret entrance to our gated community, manned by one TSA reject, but at least there’s no queue. With all the bald pony tale crazies (Dylan fans) around it can take upwards of half an hour to penetrate our ultra secure gated community – who knows what they’re protecting us from is it Paleo-BanTheBombers, flea infested rag headed jihadis or Trumpkins.

Watch Captain Philips in the evening, followed by Poldark and an aged Question Time with some gobby American wench, God only knows why we ever granted her citizenship. It really is about time David got a grip. Raw sewage buckets poised over heads could help them engage brain before gobs.

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The other day I got to see one of the new Teslas. Wow. Great looks; awesome interior; self drive; screen bigger than an iPad Pro; 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds. Best of all energy efficient.

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Now Trumps turn, plenty of material here:

La Quinta village green

La Quinta village green

What is Donald Trump telling Independents? Orange Is The New Black.

Fear is the Path to the dark side. Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, and Hate leads to the Republican Nomination.

Why shouldn’t Donald Trump rag on illegal immigrants? Because an undocumented worker has been living on his head for the past 2 decades!

Trump: “Foreign Policy?, if you mess with the United States, there will be hell toupee.”

If minorities have the race card and women have the gender card, what do rednecks have? The Trump Card

What airline does Donald Trump aspire to fly? Hair Force One!

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Views from a sensible Muslim. Yes they do exist:

Posted by Dr. Estella Sneider on Freitag, 18. Dezember 2015

20161008 – Indio, Palm Springs, Mission Viejo & Laguna Beach

Saturday – hot and sunny.

TV lounge

TV lounge

Well were settled into our new home exchange for the next two weeks here in hells sauna – 102F / 39C today. It’s another awesome home – see pictures. 3,500 square feet of it. We’ve already wore out a pair of shoes just walking around it. It’s another gated community home. Our home backs onto the golf course, completely wasted on us.

Front parlour

Front parlour

Have a leisurely day. Lack of wifi is a real pain but at least we can get internet on our phones. Nip down to Starbucks to complete last weeks blog. Was going to walk or use the bike but it’s just too hot for either and the bikes obviously designed for a 7 foot basket ball player. If I ride that I’ll end up as a eunuch talking in a very high pitched voice.

Evening we watch some HBO. At least there’s no adverts. Who knows perhaps we’ll get to watch Bill Maher.

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13-year-old-google-prize-winner-released

Kitchen

Kitchen

A 13-year-old just revolutionized an age-old problem in medicine using a remarkably simple method.

Anushka Naiknaware from Beaverton, Oregon became one of the top eight finalists of an international Google-run science competition after she invented bandages that notify doctors when they needed to be changed.

Using graphene nanoparticles and ink, the bandages start to display fractal patterns when they detect that moisture levels have dropped. Bandages need to be dampened in order to properly heal wounds, but changing bandages too often can be harmful to an injury. This way, medical officials no longer have to rely on guesswork.

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Fairy Tales and Fables – The Quran

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

If Allah is a supreme being, creator of the universe and all that codswallop, how come the so called religion of peace and understanding is so insecure that it believes that any apostate – someone who finally sees through the fairy tales and stupidity of it all and wants out – should be killed. Wow, that’s one hell of a way to ensure that everyone stays in your gang!

Sunday – hot and sunny.

A day out with Paul and Doris at Laguna Beach.

A day out with Paul and Doris at Laguna Beach.


Up and out at the crack of sparrows for our drive down to Mission Viejo – no we’ve not suddenly got an overdose of religion – we’re visiting Paul and Doris for the day. They’re a by-product of fixed dining on our recent cruise. We did fixed dining on the cruise with a little trepidation but had a great group on the table and got on well.

Laguna beach

Laguna beach

Have breakfast at their home and then they take us down to Laguna Beach, where we have a pleasant stroll and some lunch and a Foo Foo. What you may ask is one of them. Well now I can tell you. It’s a fancy girly style drink, as per Dell Boys tiple, usually served with colorful umbrella and trimmings. Entering into the spirit of this alcoholic perversion – I usually prefer my alcohol un-polluted – I try a pina colada tequila. I nearly threw a tantrum as I instead of an umbrella I got a slice of orange and a cherry. Have to say it was very nice. Goes down too easy, you could soon get rat arsed.

California beach life

California beach life

Then we have a drive down the coast. All very lovely, sun, sea, sand, surfing and that most boring of pastimes paddle boarding. Typical California, expect the beach boys any moment.

Then it’s back to their home for wine, pizza (Round Table pizza, one of the best in America) and putting the world to rights. It’s what us old folk do best. We pass on watching the Trump & Clinton debate. Why spoil a great day.

Stay overnight.
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Laguna beach

Laguna beach

Having had the pleasure, of the much misnamed, LA Freeways (they’re certainly not free of traffic), I came across this very apt article – see below – and web site http://trafficwaves.org/. Who knows it may help me retain my balance on that slippery surfboard of life.

When you’re caught in a traf­fic jam, you feel pow­er­less. What you may not know is that you can ac­tu­ally have a big ef­fect on the traf­fic around you.

There is a grow­ing body of re­search find­ing that an in­di­vid­ual dri­ver, by pre­vent­ing bot­tle­necks and main­tain­ing a steady speed, can some­times sin­gle-hand­edly ease or break up a traf­fic jam.

Paddle boarding - oh so boring.

Paddle boarding – oh so boring.

The tech­niques are sim­ple, though some of them—such as leav­ing a large gap be­tween your car and the one in front and freely let­ting other driv­ers cut in—feel coun­ter­in­tu­itive to most driv­ers.

Thanks to Seat­tle en­gi­neer William Beaty, a lead­ing pro­po­nent of jam-bust­ing tech­niques for in­di­vid­ual driv­ers.
One Driver Can Prevent a Traffic Jam

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Crazy Alaska Laws.

California coast.

California coast.

* Dog grooming is illegal.
* I believe this was made to keep owners from shaving their dogs fur off in the winter.
* A person may only carry a concealed slingshot if that person has received the appropriate license.
This law is related to the concealed weapon law. It is unlawful to carry anything hidden away on your person that you can and will use to maim or kill another person.
* It is considered offensive to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
* While it is legal to shoot a bear, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.
* In Juneau, Alaska owners of flamingoes may not let their pet into barber shops.
* Owners may not let any pet into barbershop, hairdressin shops, or any place that may contain food for human comsumption.

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Hotel doors and carpets

Dinning room

Dinning room

Has anyone noticed how well thought out hotels are. At least 50% of guests must have pull along luggage these days. Makes life oh so easy. Well at least until you encounter miles of corridors with shag pile carpet that deep you need a pair of stilts to avoid sinking in it.

Wouldn’t you think – think being the lacking word – that they’d tile the corridors.

Then you come to corridor doors, every 10 feet, that require the strength of a Russian weight lifter to open them. Then they spring shut like a giant mouse trap, whilst you’re still trying to navigate your wheelie case through. Just as you think you’re home and dry you’ve your room door to negotiate. By now you’ve lost the will to live, of course the key card needs at least 10 swipes and a rub down with your snotty hankie to unlock the room. This doors the final straw, so narrow that even a flat chested size zero model can’t get in without turning sideways; with a threshold plate you need a Sherpa to heave your case over; whilst at the same time wedging open the door open that has been designed to resist a nuclear blast.

Surely it can’t be beyond the wit of man to design and go on dragons den with an easy to use door opener. One that a sand in face 6 stone weakling can easily open with his pinkie finger and stays open for about 10 seconds.

Monday – hot and sunny.

Master bathroom

Master bathroom

After breakfast we say goodbye and thanks to Doris and Paul as we head off back to our Indio home. Start the day with a Starbucks, getting into the swing of California. Call in at the Nixon Museum, but just my luck half of it is closed for refurbishment. Do what all Americans do in this situation. Go to the local Mall.

Rather than going back along the Freeways and Interstates we head back over Mount San Jacinto. It’s a typical scenic route over the mountains. Call in at the National Monument visitors Centre. Have a pleasant stroll around their dessert garden and Wendy’s rewarded with the siting of a Road Runner – awesome.

A full days driving, especially down the freeways of the LA area, wouldn’t be complete without being dragged around a supermarket – oh joy.

Paul and Doris and Foo Foo

Paul and Doris and Foo Foo

In the evening we catch up with the Trump & Clinton slagging match on my iPhone – it’s the only Internet we have. They’re going at it like two fish wives having an alley cat fight; of course they don’t answer the questions and the moderators just let them get away with it; very little substance, mainly vitriol; God help America if either of these numpties get in, they’d be better off with a Typhoon Tea chimpanzee. I though our debates were bad, but they even make the Corbyn (an unelectable communist and if he was running in the US instead of Hilary, then Trump would win with a landslide) and Smith, leadership debate look like an intellectual Oxford Union debate. All part of the greatest pantomime on earth – the USA Presidential Elections. What a great time to be here with all this free comedy.

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Palm

Palm

Thanks to the volunteers at the San Jacinto National Monument who have created a lovely dessert garden and help run this National Monument. Awesome that people give of their time so freely. Very much an American thing.

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For our American friends here’s a basic principle they’d better get to grips with before November the 8th.

The lesser of two evils principle (or lesser evil principle) is the principle that when faced with selecting from two unpleasant options, the one which is least harmful should be chosen.

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

San Jacinto Mountain overlook

San Jacinto Mountain overlook


After being a freeway warrior yesterday we decide to have a lazy day today. Just relaxing and enjoying this lovely home and the road melting heat. Highlight of my day is a trip to Starbucks -muse rant below. meanwhile Wendy’s still chunnering on about knitting patterns.

Around tea time we have a walk down to the club house. I think I’m starting to acclimatise. The torrents of sweat seem to have subsided to mere rivulets.

After the delights of the debate and the rambling aftermath of mind numbing analysis I’ve decided to implement my balanced observation policy. After all when you’re riding the wave of life on your virtual surfboard it’s important you don’t lean too far to the left or right or you’ll fall off. Odd days I’ll watch Fox News and even days it will be MSNBC. Daily newspapers will be Wall Street Jouranal and New York Times.

Well as HBO seems to have disappeared from our screen we get 2 hours of Fox. Now I know what it’s like to hear crazy voices. Its certainly an alternative reality and enough to make one believe the multiverse theory. Perhaps East Enders might be a better alternative!
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After the gutter snipes tore chunks out of one another, a member of the audience, in a very respectful tone, bought some semblance of humanity back to the pantomime by challenging candidates to say something nice about each other. “Would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?”

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Computer sayings

Typical LA Freeway. That's me silver car,  right hand side, 4th lane to the left, about halfway up.

Typical LA Freeway. That’s me silver car, right hand side, 4th lane to the left, about halfway up.

Web sites, computers and inane password demands seem to be the bane of my life. Especially web sites designed by morons who should never be allowed near a keyboard. How I wish I could ween myself of them – not at all likely. It seems these days that any numpties who can use a keyboard and has half a GCSE in computer studies is allowed to create a website, without a glimmer of common sense, and then to add insult to injury they put it live on us poor “users” (don’t you just love that way to describe your customers, only the computer industry could be so crass) without so much as testing or spell checking.

It was never like this in my day. I know how difficult it is to design good software and web sites. All programmers and web designers are the worlds worst testers. They should never, Never, NEVER be allowed to test their own work. But there’s no excuse for not passing it to someone else, hopefully someone with a skerrick of common sense, to test it before it goes live.

Well today the never ending health reporting industry has come up with the unsurprising conclusion that loosing your temper contributes to heart attacks – well who’d have guessed that. It therefore follows that the computer industry is responsible for more deaths than even Muslim terrorists.

Anyway some apt computer sayings:

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.

Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Computers, huh? I’ve heard it all boils down to just a bunch of ones and zeroes…. I don’t know how that enables me to see naked women, but however it works, God bless you guys.

After growing wildly for years, the field of computing appears to be reaching its infancy.

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Islam the fastest growing religion:

20161003 – Bear Alert, A Close Encounter

Monday – Cool, cloudy and even some rain.

Bear encounter. Just 10 feet away but sadly can't confirm the age old question though.

Bear encounter. Just 10 feet away but sadly can’t confirm the age old question though.

Set off early, that’s 09:00 for us paleofolk, for our day in Kings Canyon National Park.

Watch the visitor centre film and then visit the giant General Grant Sequoia, allegedly the 2nd largest tree in the world, but then again you have to remember this is America.

Kings Canyon.

Kings Canyon.

Drive all the way down the canyon to the Roads End, 35 miles (1 hour) down switch backs. It is quite spectacular, more rugged and barren than Yosemite, but as the canyon was created by water erosion it’s a lot narrower than Yosemite and not as easy to see the majestic rock formations. Have a wander around the meadow and are rewarded for all our efforts with a bear siting. Yes there it is in all its glory just 10 feet away, rooting around and not bothered by the 3 or 4 orgasmic photographers. Nearly ran out of film as it poses for us all. Awesome.

imageThen it’s 35 miles back out of the canyon.

Then it’s a drive through more National Forest and Sequoia NP on our way to our hotel in Three Rivers.

Hollow tree.

Hollow tree.

The governors highway out of sequoia NP has to be the worst road ever for zigs, zigs and hairpins. It should be renamed the Huey & Ruth Highway, as I’m sure the lay-bys are littered with masses of congealed diced carrots as passengers part with their last meal.

It’s a hard days driving, all 8 hours of it but most of it at 30 miles an hour on switch backs.

35 miles down Kings Canyon and they chain down the picnic tables to stop the scrots messing.

35 miles down Kings Canyon and they chain down the picnic tables to stop the scrots messing.

Less said about the hotel the better. Try getting in the room. Silly me, of course the door handle has to be pushed upwards to open. This does not bode well. Very clean and comfortable, we even have a suite with a jacuzzi, but within 10 minutes I’ve fell off my surf board of life as I go into battle over the elusive high speed wireless internet. I’m more likely to find a giant tortoise in Sequoia NP than a connection in my room. Why do they taunt me so.

Subway for tea and a bottle of wine to help me regain my balance on the surfboard of life.

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More Crazy Alaska Laws.

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon

* Dog grooming is illegal.
* I believe this was made to keep owners from shaving their dogs fur off in the winter.
* A person may only carry a concealed slingshot if that person has received the appropriate license.
This law is related to the concealed weapon law. It is unlawful to carry anything hidden away on your person that you can and will use to maim or kill another person.
* It is considered offensive to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
* While it is legal to shoot a bear, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.
* In Juneau, Alaska owners of flamingoes may not let their pet into barber shops.
* Owners may not let any pet into barbershop, hairdressin shops, or any place that may contain food for human comsumption.

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Today’s mention has to go to the very pleasant lady who served us in the Three Rivers Subway. Pleasant and great customer service skills.

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

Wendy still can't get over our close encounter.

Wendy still can’t get over our close encounter.

Up early for a mediocre breakfast. Wendy’s fell off her skateboard of life (she doesn’t swim so no surfing) as they’ve run out of tea bags. What is this country coming to. I blame Obama.

In a big tree.

In a big tree.

Drive back up the Huey & Ruth Highway for our day in Sequoia NP. Start off at the general Sherman Sequoia, this is the largest, allegedly. Fact check: turns out it is the largest living tree in the World by volume and is about 52,500 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters) in volume.
Good exercise walking down and back up to the tree.

Then we head to the Lodgepole village for some lunch – someone forget our picnic.

Moro rock.

Moro rock.

Visit the free museum and off to Moro rock. This one you can climb up, all 350 steps. Wendy stays in the car as her knees giving her some gyp. I set off with some trepidation for the top. Get about halfway up, when the sheer drop offs get the better of me, and I wimp out. I don’t do heights. The views and the drop offs are awesome. Well worth my half hearted effort.

Drive up to the meadow for a picturesque stroll. No bears this time. Then drive through the Sequoia tree and back down the Huey and Ruth highway. It’s quite a pleasant drive when you’re not so tired and the sun’s out.

View from Moro rock.

View from Moro rock.

Tea consists of a Mexican take away. Whilst we’re waiting we have an enjoyable chat with one of the locals. I think he’s a it of a tree hugger, although certainly not a veggie, judging by what he’s eating, but he’s certainly well informed, even on BREXIT – which he thinks is a good thing. He claims American IQ has gone down by 20% over the past 50 years. Well that got me thinking. No way has there been such a decline but I did come across this graph which showed IQ by state. Mississippi comes out lowest, no real surprise there then, but as for Fargo and the portrayal of Minesotans as slow bouncers it turns out they’re one of the highest IQ states – see graph. Great news he informs us that Bakersfield, our next stop, is the armpit of California and Fresno is another orifice. Despite having lived here all his life he is very disparaging about California’s Central Valley and the US Government – now there’s a surprise. Once his 90 year old parents kick their clogs he’s off to New Zealand.

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ARTIFICIAL SYNAPSES AND NEURONS

Drive in tree.

Drive in tree.

Our quest to build a computer that mimics our brain took another important step. Researchers have used a single memristor — a resistor capable of “remembering” the flow of electrical currents — to build efficient electronic devices that partly imitate our brain’s neurons and synapses, according to a new study in Nature Materials.

The devices emulate how calcium ions diffuse through junctions between neurons known as synapses — a process that is far from fully understood. And the memristors can store information when electricity is no longer flowing, unlike circuits found in present day microcontrollers, microprocessors, and static RAM. They also “forget” information over time, much like a real neuron.

The model neurons could help develop better computing and shed light on the mysteries of the brain, said lead research Joshua Yang of the University of Massachusetts.

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American IQ by State.

American IQ by State.

I took down my Rebel flag (which you can’t buy on EBay anymore) and peeled the NRA sticker off my front window. I disconnected my home alarm system and quit the candy-ass Neighborhood Watch.

I bought two Pakistani flags and put one at each corner of the front yard. Then I purchased the black flag of ISIS (which you CAN Buy on EBay) and ran it up the flag pole.

Now the local police, the sheriff, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other agencies are all watching my house 24/7. I’ve NEVER felt safer and I’m saving $69.95 a month that ADT used to charge.

Plus, I bought burkas to wear when I shop or travel. Everyone moves out of the way and security can’t pat me down.

If they say I’m a male wearing a burka, I just say I’m feeling like a woman today.

Hot Damn…Safe at last!

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Truck of peace; take me to church:

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

The biggest tree in the world.

The biggest tree in the world.

Take a pleasant, leisurely drive down California’s Central Valley to our next stop over, Bakersfield.

Big Bear Lake - a tad dry.

Big Bear Lake – a tad dry.

The Central Valley of California is a tourist black spot apart from the NP’s, but driving down it does evoke powerful images of Oakies escaping the dust bowls to a better land; turtles crossing roads; fruit pickers being exploited; Steinbeck country. Perhaps the illegal / un-documented Mexicans are the modern day Oakies of Steinbecks novels.

Our friend from last night was certainly right about Bakersfield. There really is nothing there. But never mind we go to Costco to try and get some Citrus Green Tea and for a bit of excitement. Fortunately our hotels excellent with great wifi so we have a leisurely day after two days of NP’s.

Big Bear lake village.

Big Bear lake village.

Why did I choose Bakersfield? We’d done the coast a few times and I’d always wanted to see the Central Valley; I’d heard of Bakersfield but hadn’t a clue about it; to break the journey up so we didn’t have to drive too far in one day.

For tea we try a new gourmet venue, Carl jars. One of the many big brand fast food chains. Burger was pretty good and service good.

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Mental health

Not only do pets provide companionship and help improve your physical health, they can also provide therapeutic and emotional benefits. According to Ingrid Collins, a consultant psychologist at the London Medical Centre, “A pet is better than Prozac. Animals have a completely different agenda to humans, and bring things back to basics. They want comfort, feeding and love. In return, they give huge affection.”

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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 it took him until 6th Century AD to publish his first fairy tale guide book? What had he been up to all those centuries. Was he just shy? Was he having a nap? Is he just a lazy God? The Greek, Roman and Arabian gods, along with the God of the old and New Testament weren’t so lazy or retarded. They’d already spread their word and had captured flocks of drooling followers.

Perhaps Allah thought it time to come out of his shell before it was too late and he was cast into the hell fires of obscurity.

Thursday – hot and sunny.

Another awesome National Park.

Another awesome National Park.

Early start from Bakersfield and we drive down to Big Bear Lake. It’s a good 3 hour drive. Up through the San Bernardino mountains.

Quaint little tourist trap. Lakes not all that impressive, mainly because it’s drying up. A bit disappointing but the scenery is beautiful.

More views from Moro rock.

More views from Moro rock.

Set off down the mountains to Redlands, next to San Bernardino and by way of a change the roads closed. Of course they don’t bother to tell you this until you’ve driven 10 miles out of town. Drive back into Big Bear Lake and take the other route down the mountain. Again great scenery down a switch back road.

Get to our hotel in Redlands. By way of a change its a great comfort suite – restore my faith in Choice Hotels. I think the best rule is stick with comfort suites only in the big towns. Comfort inn and quality inn tend to be inconsistent in the smaller locations. Sleep inns can be quite good although breakfasts are a bit basic. It seems it’s all due to lack of quality control.

For tea it’s a Taco Bell at last. There’s one just opposite the hotel. It was meant to be.

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Give me coffee to change the things I can, and wine to accept the things I can’t.

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We did a home exchange with this amazing woman, Joan Cheever, founder of the nonprofit mobile food truck known as the Chow Train, she has been cited by San Antonio police officers for feeding the homeless in Maverick Park.
Cheever has been serving restaurant-quality meals to the city’s homeless population for the past 10 years, and has been profiled on Rachel Ray’s cooking show for her charitable efforts.
Over the years, police officers have passed by and waved as she fed homeless people, but last Tuesday night four bike-patrol officers stopped in the park and gave Cheever a ticket that carries a potential fine of $2,000. Cheever has a food permit for her mobile truck, but she was cited for transporting and serving the food from a vehicle other than that truck.

Full article here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/04/20/what-happened-when-this-feisty-woman-got-fined-2000-for-feeding-the-homeless/

Wow I didn’t realise that corporal punishment in schools was still allowed in 16 states over here. Nothing like a good flogging to instil a little discipline.

Friday – hot and sunny.

She's still excited about that bear. I'll be spending the next 2 weeks culling bear photos.

She’s still excited about that bear. I’ll be spending the next 2 weeks culling bear photos.

Lazy morning. We have a drive into San Bernardino. Sadly nothing much there either. Attracted to it by the mountains I suppose. Not one of my better choices.

More from  Sequoia NP.

More from Sequoia NP.

Sequoia NP again.

Sequoia NP again.

Nip to Walmart and Best Buy. Then it should have been a 1 hour drive to our home exchange in Palm Springs for the next two weeks. Takes nearly 2 hours what with interstate roadwork and the biggest outdoor concert clogging up every road. Well I’ve certainly fell off my board trying to ride the wave of life with this lot. I’m ready to use my surf board as a lethal weapon on the paleo baby boomers who should have more sense. Our foray to the supermarket means we have to spend 35 minutes dodging gridlock.

Then to add insult to injury we’re kept awake well after Noddy past Big Ears, with the racket from the Rolling Stones. It’s over a mile away but they’re still sharing it with us.

More on our awesome new home exchange and pictures follow on the next blog.

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Well the pounds certainly taken a hammering, now at $1.24. I just have to keep reminding myself, as I ride my virtual surf board along the wave of life, that it’s a small price to pay for BREXIT. Millions have given their life’s in the fight for democracy, sovereignty and freedom from tyranny, all I’m having to suffer is some, hopefully, short term financial hardship.

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There I was a couple of months ago, sat in Costa people watching whilst her in doors spent an eternity in Primark stumbling through the clothes ridden floors – cheaper than carpets. I noticed all these single perambulating black bin liners, with slits in them for eyes, gliding along like Daleks without a proboscis.

It got me thinking. If these Muslims women are so devout as to wear a niqab / burka, as prescribed by the fairy tales and fables of the Quran 24.31 – “…..guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty save to their husbands….”. If they’re so devout how come then they’re out on their own without their lord and master or a chaperone as decreed by their 7th century barbaric religion.

Could it be that their niqab / burka is just a statement of defiance, non-conformity and refusal to integrate from the religion of pieces, permanent offence and world domination?

20160928 – Fresno – Hotter Than The Hinges of Hell


Wednesday – hot and sunny.

Our new home exchange.

Our new home exchange.

Wow this home exchange is awesome, even has its own swimming pool and great views over the golden parched earth, with just a hint of green down by the river. California’s had 5 years of drought, it’s golden through the dried out grass. Looks more like a desert. As to the home I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. It’s on a gated community, keeps the riffraff (only Costco trade customer allowed in) at bay, the homes are all 100’s yards apart – room to breathe.

We have a lazy day after our wonderful but busy Yosemite experience. It’s so good to have Internet, I can catch up on blogs, the news and the 1001 questions. Wendy’s busy pricing up a Disney Cruise and Orlando trip for the whole family next Autumn. She’s right excited.

It’s hotter than hell and half of Georgia, 98F / 36C and not a cloud in the sky. I knew that Palm Springs was going to be hot but had no idea that Fresno was as hot.

In the evening we catch up with Netflix.
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Lounge.

Lounge.

These good things, good news and things to celebrate are really taxing me. There’s absolutely nothing in the Times, Walls Street Journal, New York Times or on even BBC or Daily Mail. As to Fox News and the Daily Express I don’t even bother.

Anyway today’s good news is there isn’t a black hole in my pocket or anywhere on earth. Watch this entertaining little video that simply explains what would happen if there was a black hole in my pocket.

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Dinning area.

Dinning area.

Has anyone noticed how the police worldwide seem to have become experts in psychiatry all of a sudden. Every time there’s a bomb blast or attack on the public, that any right minded individual would ascribe to the religion of pieces and permanent offence, the police within minutes are able to diagnose “mental illness” as the cause. No wonder we’re closing down all these psychiatric wards and casting the patients out on the streets as the police are all expert psychiatrist and can provide all the care they need.

They invariably are struggling for days to find any other motive. Even though the perp may have shouted Allah Aqaba, be of middle eastern origin, complete with a beard and was dressed like some 7th century barbarian. Yet quicker than you can say “Mohamed peace be upon him” they’ve diagnosed this mystery attacker as having a “mental health” problem.

Come on folks, lets man up, face the problem that Muslim extremists are at war with us, and call a spade a Muslim terrorist.

My only conclusion is that reading the Quran or being a Muslim must cause mental illness.


Thursday – hot and sunny.

Madera - I think we're really in Mexico. There are 6 of these big fat Greek wedding dress shops on Main Street, they stay open until 20:00. How do they survive?

Madera – I think we’re really in Mexico. There are 6 of these big fat Greek wedding dress shops on Main Street, they stay open until 20:00. How do they survive?

Trip into Madera. Wow I think we’re in a remote Mexican town. Nearly all the signs are in Spanish. Most of the people seem Mexican. All of the restaurants are Mexican. The place has more bridal and gown shops than rednecks at a Trump presidential rally, every one of them selling frilly gown from the 1950’s. How can a place this size supporters 6 bridal shops. Is it the wedding, divorce and remarriage capital of California – big fat gypsy wedding springs to mind.

We encounter a few Trump signs but most of the political signs seem to be “We need jobs and water”. Does this hint at why Trump could be popular?

There are some signs of civilization as they have a MacDonalds, Starbucks and even a Taco Bell. Wendy passes on lunch. Mind you didn’t see a visitors Centre.

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Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged more than $3 billion towards a plan to cure all diseases in the lifetime of their 10-month-old daughter.

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George Carlin again, this time left wing nonsense:


Friday – hot and sunny.

Madera.

Madera.

A tad cooler today, only 92F.

Wot no scorpions (shaking my shoes just in case), snakes or bears yet. Centipedes yes, and there’s 8 vultures circling the house. Should I be worried.

After the usual lazy morning we set off to explore Fresno. Sadly not much to it. Go down to the Woodward Park to do a geriatric shuffle around the Japanese garden – sad to admit I quite enjoy them these days, really screws with my 16 year old mind. $3 to park my car and to top it all the Japanese garden doesn’t open until 16:00. Pass. Have a wander around the lake, not a blade of grass to be seen, just geese and geese shit.

View from the lounge.

View from the lounge.

Never mind there’s a WholePayPacket downtown so we head off to make Wendy’s day. I get a freshly made burrito for me tea.

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Kids take note, today is National Grandparents Day.

Woodward park.

Woodward park.

Grandparents blow kids’ inheritance

A cruise is on the bucket list of many grandparents

Hoping for a big inheritance from Granny? Forget it — she is going to spend it all before she goes.

See the Times article on how your inheritance is being frittered away: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/grandparents-blow-kids-inheritance-3wpzn332w

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Crazy Alaska Laws

Bedroom.

Bedroom.

Drunk people are not allowed to come in a bar.

It is illegal to throw a grenade on the street.

No one may tie their pet to the roof of a car.
Actually this law was written to protect animals riding in the bed of a truck. Accoring to the law the pet needs to be in a secured cage in the manner that the animal will not be thrown from tne vehicle, fall out of it, or be able to jump from the vehicle.

A moose may not be viewed from an airplane.

It is illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they are moose hunting.

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Qur’an Gangbang episode 7: Would I Lie to You?


Saturday – hot and sunny.

Bass Lake.

Bass Lake.

Take a drive out to Bass Lake, we’ve been told it’s very picturesque and nice restaurants. Drive past the turning and 8 miles later do a U’y.

Well there’s not really much to it. Nearly all of the lake front is private property. Americans have this obsession with trespassing signs –
‘You will be cited, blah, blah……’. Pass on the two restaurants. Drive down the lakeshore and finally find picnic area by the lake. Time for our picnic. Then some shifty individual comes and asks for $5 to park in day use area of National Forest. I point to my Nation Parks pass which he claims isn’t valid – wrong go read the T&C’s.

Well I’ll express my feelings on Bass Lake on trip advisor – don’t bother. No wonder so much property is up for sale.

Picnic at Bass Lake.

Picnic at Bass Lake.


Take the scenic route back home.

Bass Lake.

Bass Lake.

Evening in with me ranting and raving about crap software, websites and especially BBCiplayer and Wendy ranting and raving about knitting patterns. Quite consoling really as now she gets a taste of the joy of incompetence. Time for Saturday afternoon amphitheater lion feeding. Today’s food could be the whole of the BBCiplayer software team, lead by the director responsible, and the author of V&A Products Ltd, knitting patterns.

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New centre for human compatible Artificial Intelligence opens.

The new center will be funded, primarily, by a generous grant from the Open Philanthropy Project for $5,555,550. The center will focus on research around value alignment, in which AI systems and robots will be trained using novel methods to understand what a human really wants, rather than just relying on initial programming.

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Will a robot take your job.

Kitchen.

Kitchen.

As we approach the singularity, sometime in the next 15 years, then artificial intelligence and robots are likely to replace human workers. The BBC have a website that assess the risk you will be replace. It seems if I was still working in IT then I’d be safe in the bottom 20 jobs least likely to be replaced, along with nurses and teachers (I find this job rather surprising). It seems that the safest job is as a publican, while the least safe is Telesales (finally them dam accident claims guys get their come up-pence) and secretaries. Amazingly it seems that drivers are halfway down the safety list, I would have thought they are much nearer the least safe with all the effort already going into driverless vehicles.

Check your job out here at http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34066941


Sunday – hot and sunny.

Has anyone noticed it’s Grandparents Day today?

Giant bathroom.

Giant bathroom.

Lazy day today. Wendy’s gamy knees playing her up so she’s resting ready for the next 4 days on the road and in the National parks.

We also need to pack and tidy up. Fortunately this is a lovely home so it’s quite relaxing, like staying In a 5 star hotel. Sadly the area around Fresno is not exactly a tourists dream but to be fair it is the largest town nearest (2 hours drive) 3 national parks. Actually it’s worked out quite well to have 6 relaxing days after Yosemite and before our next NP’s foray.

Finally a word on my scientific experiment to discover if all this dry golden California grass is dead or just parched awaiting some rain, to spring back to life. For the past 5 days I’ve daily watered a square of California’s finest gold grass. I’m sad to say it has not come back to life. It is well and truly parched to death. The only way California’s every going to be green again is plenty of rain and grass seed.

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And of course an all American barbecue.

And of course an all American barbecue.

Perhaps Moore’s law is not defunct after all, 100 chaos based circuits could do the work of 100,000 single function circuits.

Kia explained that his team’s theoretical chip design utilizes chaos theory. Instead of each circuit in the chip performing a single function (as they do currently), the circuits would each be multifunctional. This would allow the same number of circuits to perform an increased number of functions, resulting in more powerful chips without the need to make them any smaller.

Back outdoor lounge, awesome views and swimming pool.

Back outdoor lounge, awesome views and swimming pool.

“We believe that this chip will help solve the challenges of demands for more processing power from fewer transistors,” Kia says. “The potential of 100 morphable nonlinear chaos-based circuits doing work equivalent to 100 thousand circuits, or of 100 million transistors doing work equivalent to three billion transistors holds promise for extending Moore’s law – not through doubling the number of transistors every two years but through increasing what transistors are capable of when combined in nonlinear and chaotic circuits.”

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Computer sayings

If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in. ~Author Unknown

Swimming pool.

Swimming pool.

The problem with troubleshooting is that trouble shoots back. ~Author Unknown

Never let a computer know you’re in a hurry. ~Author Unknown

To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer. ~Bill Vaughan

Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months. ~Clifford Stoll

User – the word computer professionals use when they mean “idiot.” ~Dave Barry

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. ~Edsger W. Dijkstra

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Fairy Tales and Fables – The Quran

TV room.

TV room.

If Allah is a supreme being, creator of the universe and all that codswallop, how come the interpretation of jihad is so often misconstrued. The dhimmis, PC liberals, appeasement monkeys and radical inmans will all try to con us that jihad is not physical violence or war, but “an inner struggle..”. Yeah, of course it is! In which case, how come the fairy tale guide to world domination – the Quran – explicitly excuses the old, infirm and disabled from jihad? Surely if it’s a benevolent inner struggle then physical infirmities would not inhibit you from jihad.

I rest my case.