Category Archives: Uncategorized

20191115 – Volcanoes, Gardens, Sea Day And Korea (South That Is)


Friday

Kagoshima

That Pompei moment. That’s no backdrop. It’s real, spewing out hot ash.

Well today’s sharabang takes us to an Arimura observation platform of an active volcano on Sakurajima. I thought we were going to an observatory at the rim. Turns out we go to an observation platform in the lava field. At least it’s active and get some spectacular photos and video of giant ash clouds spewing out. Sadly no hot lava spewing forth. Every where Is covered in dust.

On the ferry to the volcano.

If our squeaky pigeon English tour guide mentions the word samurai or shogun any more I will not be responsible for my actions. Thankfully she is not giggling and so far has resisted serenading us. 

Well worth the visit to the volcano just to experience close up the giant ash cloud spewing up.

Volcano again.

Then we’re off to the Shoko Shuseikan Museum. Quick wander round avoiding the mind numbing detail from our tour guide. Amazing to see some sort of press made by Platt’s in Oldham. Not really worth a visit.

Escape to Sengan-en garden, designed by a Samurai Lord. Now this is more up my street. Quite impressive but alas no Zen garden. Have a coffee and tea in the cafe along with some stoggy rice cake on a stick and some other fried rice cake with black bits in it. Browsing the store is a bit like Costco. Loads of free samples.

In the evening we get landed yet again on a table with the rude bores from Michigan, Groucho and his Russian wife, internet bride I think. Groucho is so boring his mindless monotone monologue will grind you into a coma before he reaches his first full stop.She has all the charm and interpersonal skills of a wild boar with toothache, while he just interrupts and chunners on about nothing in particular. If we encounter them again we’re leaving.

Meet up with our new found friends from LA for drinks and the show. We thought it was a full blown Cirque du Solei. Turns out it’s Duo de Solei, a couple of acrobats. Very agile and impressive. She’s certainly fit, can bend like a pretzel, and is just wearing a provocative costume to help keep the men awake. Any minute now there could be a costume failure. Not quite what we were expecting though.
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Our first Japanese garden. First of many I hope. Sad!

More delights of the Japanese way of life:

Hotel wifi is 90MB, sort of place you’d have to prize me out of.

Interesting but all our female tour, irrespective of age, seem obsessed with good looking males. Every one of them has weaved some saga on handsome males, into their spiel.

Today’s Japanese trivia – the colour red drives away evil spirits.

Very aware you’re in a minority, but the Japanese all seem very helpful and don’t resent you. Amazed how many speak English.

A lot of Japanese women seem to shuffle along flat footed. Then you have the pretty youngsters dressed in trendy clothes yet wearing high black Doc Martin style clod hoppers – bizarre.

Haven’t seen any perambulating bin liners with slits in them roving around like Daleks. But you do get the white surgical masks – “what pretty eyes”. The black surgical masks can be a bit more intimidating..

Job creation in Japan beats the USA. For example a car park with hardly any cars yet 7 directing non existent traffic. Lollipop men everywhere waving you to safety with their red light sabres.


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Green New Deal Aims to ‘Fully Get Rid of Farting Cows and Airplanes’ — Eventually


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More garden.

Every time Europeans accommodate Islamic demands to conform to Islamic law, culture, or tradition, a chip of European culture is eroded—there is a bit less democracy, freedom, enlightenment, and Judeo-Christian values.

An old Arabian proverb says: “If the camel gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.”

Europeans are waking up to the new reality. They no longer live in Europe. They live in Eurabia where Muslims are getting the upper hand:


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I know it’s a first World problem but why in the name of the FSM have we been inflicted with this need to constantly accept cookie policies every time we go to a web page? Does anyone ever stop and read the inane T&C’s?


Saturday

Fukuoka

Remember him? Seems he emigrated to Japan. Probably was politically incorrect and offended a bunch of snowflakes.

Try pronouncing that after a few beers.

Yeah, no tours booked today in Fukuoka, so no squeaky pigeon English; no being serenaded by a failed Karaoke entrant; no mention of Samurai or Shoguns; no temples; no shrines.

Lazy morning doing blogs and battling with the internet. My Internet been restored to full LTE capacity. Amazing a few days ago I couldn’t get my iCloud photos to synch and today, because I don’t want to risk busting my so-called UNLIMITED data limit, I just can’t stop the photo’s from synching.

No we’re not in Australia.

Ship docks at lunch time so we meet up with the only Republicans in LA for a ferry ride to Uminonakamichi Seaside Park. It’s like a poor mans Disney, really unspoilt, plenty of open spaces, a small zoo and gardens. After 6 days of Wallace Arnold geriatric tours I’d settle for anything under our own steam. Even a trip to the local re-cycling plant would be welcomed, so low expectations for todays jaunt.

Really pleasant 4 hours just strolling around, enjoying the lovely sunshine and good company. Had a great time. Amazed how relatively easy it all was and how many spoke English. We really should have done more of our own thing, but we’ve got that to look forward to in Tokyo and Kyoto.

He looks friendly.

Then it’s the ferry back to the ship and off to dinner, hopefully not with Groucho and his Internet Russian bride. Yeah, no Groucho or rabid plastic recycling greens. And for a perfect end to a great day our Sommelier has finally summoned up a bottle of Carmenera for me. I have to say her and all service is excellent, my glass is never empty. Must have drank the whole bottle.

Cafe for after dinner espresso and then early to bed. So tired I didn’t even manage to finish my Brandy.

How romantic!



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They get everywhere.


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Brexit: Why Britain Left the European Union


Sunday

Busan – South Korea

South Korea.

Wot no Rocket Man.

Up and out at the crack of sparrows on a tour to the Orukdo Skywalk. A tad disappointing. Not that long, not that high, so not that scary, and not that spectacular. Some picturesque little islands though.

Supposedly a Sky Walk – not very terrifying or impressive.

Then it’s a 50 minute drive to the Tongdosa Budhist Temple. Quite impressive and worth a visit, but very busy.

Buddhism just another one of those wacky religion, but seems relatively harmless. Has some really good common sense beliefs:

 Don’t be stupid – well that rules out any politicians
Don’t be angry – does that still apply when dealing with computers or web sites?
Don’t be greedy – again excludes politicians

No Wi-Fi today. How will I survive. Well at least on the coach we’re not serenaded by the tour guide, instead we have our ears battered by the repetitive chants of Buddhist monks.

Another Buddhist temple. At least this ones in Korea.

Just have a few minutes on our Lightning schedule for a coffee, plum tea – soo sweet – and Korean walnut cake – with a walnut filling that hot that it clings to the roof of your mouth like napalm.

Back on board ship for lunch. Then around mid afternoon we go to the only Republicans in LA suite for wine and champagne. Sweets are very light and roomy. Now Wendy thinks that is how we should always travel – another great way to fritters away the kids inheritance.

Cheerful folk.

For dinner we manage to avoid Groucho and have a reasonably convivial table of 6.

We were going to go to the show for a snooze but ended up retiring early after a couple of excellent brandies.

A grave yard.



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“We want our priorities funded and one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security, keeping Americans safe, and part of that was a border wall,” he said.
“We still don’t understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against it. They voted for it in 2006. Then-Sen. Obama voted for it. Sen. Schumer voted for it. Sen. Clinton voted for it. So we don’t understand why Democrats are now playing politics just because Donald Trump is in office.”


Monday

Sea Day

Islands in Busan.

Yeah, our first sea day. A lie in. A lazy day.

Navigation deck tour.

Captains makes his daily 10:00 announcement. I think it’s full of useless information such as precise longitude and latitude, problem is understanding a worda thisa mana saysa. I’m sure we all look forward to his daily pronunciations. He should share a dinner table with Groucho.

Well we’ve not seen any news from the Times or the Wall Street Journal for days now. It’s a bit like being on the dark side of the moon, but I’m certainly not fretting over the news blackout. It’s quite refreshing, although I miss the Internet for fact finding etc.

They don’t let you steer.

Lazy day around the ship, no internet and very little in the way of stimulating things to do or lectures.

End up going on a free Bridge tour courtesy of Phil as they have two free tours but Kim is not interested. Very interesting. That desperate we even end up going to a Trivia quiz.

In the evening we go with Phil and Kim to the Tuscany restaurant, one of the speciality, empty my wallet restaurants. Have to say the meal was excellent, Parmiani, lobster and superb steak. I’d certainly do that again

Then for entertainment we all do a His and Hers quiz. The men win.

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Just remember The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty: it’s twice as big as it needs to be.

20191111 – Cruise Japan


Monday

Osaka
Lazy start to the day as we don’t dock until 11:00. Mind you still up at the crack of sparrows in time for breakfast at 07:00. Still sleeping fitfully due to the jet lag.

First of many castles.

Sumptuous breakfast, with fruit – yes me eating healthy stuff – and Becher Museli.

Then it’s coffee on our balcony and blog time. My data SIM seems to work pretty well as we follow the coastline I have pretty good speed even on board at sea. Mind you as we approach Kobe and I could do with it, we loose connection.

Stairs inside were steep and high, don’t know how the little Japs managed them.

I think Apple must have declared bankruptcy as much to my excitement there’s even a small Apple store on board, mind you they’re never open, but at least I can peer in like a child outside a candy store.

Today we’re sampling the highlights of Osaka. First of many castles and shrines. I’m sure by the end of this trip we’ll be shrined out.

And now a shrine.

Castle is ok. More impressive from the outside than inside. At least the climb up 8 flights of stairs gets us some exercise.

Manage time for a rushed coffee and sandwich for Wendy, then it’s back on the coach off to a shrine.

These kids seemed to be Christened or whatever passes for it in Shinto.

The shrine is much more pleasant. Looks like there is a family christening with kids dressed to the nines in beautiful kimonos and costume. Volunteer to take family group photo for proud parents and doting grand parents. Never ceases to amaze what weird things people believe in but if it gives them solace what the hell, at least the Shinto religion don’t want to kill me, stone me to death or conquer the world. For me I’ll stick with a devotion to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

And some boys also.

It seems that not all toilets in Japan are high tech bottom scrubbers, there are some holes in the ground – obviously installed by the French.

To finish a busy day it’s afternoon tea in the lounge, entertained by a mini chamber orchestra. For me it’s a dirty chai, all convered by the drinks package.

Table for 6 tonight with two other geriatric couples. Wine flows and after dinner I try one of the Bourbons, not bad.

Talk about boring and confusing dinner guests. Couple A are talking about their trip to yet another castle whilst couple B were talking about there trip up a mountain. Nothing wrong with that other than each thought they were talking about the same thing. Confusing, but hilarious, after about 5 minutes they finally realise they’re both talking about different things. Get me out of here, beam me up, I’m too young, mind off a 16 year old it’s just that my bodies decomposing.

Japanese bridge with style.

Then we’re off to the evening show, yes even me, in fact I’m quite keen. it’s a performance by the World famous Kobe Taiko Drummers – see video. We’re sat on a front balcony row. 9 people in all but can you believe it that 5 of them are asleep, even through all that drumming. For once I manage to stay awake.
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More things to like in Japan:

All our tour guides (female) like to sing to us, it must be the karaoke in them. Whilst their voices are not necessarily going to win them a place on X Factor, you have to respect them for trying to entertain us.

I just love the way they hand anything over to you Double Handed. It just oozes respect and seems filled with a happy politeness.

Even though they have awesome dexterity with chop sticks, able to pick up a single grain of rice, they’re also capable of using knife and fork simultaneously.

Again so clean, orderly and civilised nobody would even dream of jaywalking. Apart that is from a half-witted American couple who nearly get themselves impaled on a shiny Toyota symbol in a place where the sun doesn’t shine.

You don’t see any blobby Japanese, must be all that raw fish. The only blobbies are foreigners.


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Is this the idea of a pillow in Japan, slightly more comfortable than a brick.


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Another day another castle.

Remember the piggy bank? For most children in Western cultures, the piggy bank is their first savings plan. Scratch that for the children of England, thanks to Salim Mulla, secretary of the Lancashire Council of Mosques. “Muslims do not eat pork, as Islamic culture deems the pig to be an impure animal.” 20 In an effort not to offend Muslims the Bank of Halifax and NatWest were the first to ban piggy banks from their premises. Mulla went on to say, “This is a sensitive issue and I think the banks are simply being courteous to their customers.”


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And there’s more.

UNI professors have been told to avoid saying “as you know” in lectures over fears “snowflake” students could feel inadequate, it was revealed today.

At a meeting of Bath University’s equality and diversity network, members were warned it might cause some students to feel dimmer than others if they did not realise what was being referred to.


Tuesday

Kobe

Family portrait. Note my smile.


Another Wallace Arnold tour. What the he’ll are we doing on this Wallace Arnold tour for geriatrics, treated like a simpering simpleton; I’m too young; I can’t cope; let me out.

This time we set off for a ride on a funicular up to the observatory overlooking Kobe. Well they keep calling it an observatory but it’s more like an observation platform. Great views over Kobe and the sea though.

Overlooking the sea.

Then we’re off down to a Sake museum. Interesting video on Sake making on days gone by. My was it labour intensive. Enough to put you off drinking for life. Lots of interesting exhibits and of course a shop at the end of it all. Although to be fair to them you could escape without being forced through the shop. Wendy couldn’t resist buying the plum Liquid sugar.

The first process in Sake making is to polish the rice. Now I know the Japanese are small but where the hell do they get people small enough to polish rice?

Then it’s back to the ship for Wendy’s lunch.

Just resting a the observatory.

Thankfully a restful afternoon sat on balcony doing my blog, minding my own business and Wendy’s doing some knitting. Along sails a boat full of Japanese tourist’s, all gawking in at our floating gin palace. The Victor Meldrew in me is not amused and refuses to wave back or smile for all the clicking Nikons.

In the evening we meet up with our new found American friends, the only Republican’s in LA, well I assume they’re of that inclination from our conversations.

Sake museum. Of course Wendy had to buy some Plum Sake.

We have dinner at the Le Petit Chef an animation themed restaurant where you see the cartoon chef make your meal on the plate – see video, it’s easier than trying to explain it. It’s really awesome. What a creative idea, the kids would really love it. Amazing wealth creating idea.

At last I find a bottle of Carmenera, pretty good it is too and they keep it flowing.

Then it’s to the Yes / No game, where Kim chances her luck. Finally down to the theatre for an illusionists show, which in time honoured fashion I nod off through.

A great evening with our new found friends Phil and Kim.

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Is this what your kids do with you?


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Waving us goodbye.

Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. Islam doesn’t look for a nation to be in a better condition than another nation. Islam doesn’t care about the land or who owns the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power that gets in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy. In order to fulfill that goal, Islam can use every power available every way it can be used to bring worldwide revolution. This is jihad.”


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The problem with socialism is that you always run out of other people’s money.


Wednesday

Kochi

Our first and I’m sure not our last Budhist temple.

First tour today is to a Buddhist temple. All very interesting, even have Shinto shrines in the ground. Two for the price off one. Steps are steep and rocky. I’m sure the hospital and ambulance must pay them to keep them that way, helps drum up trade.

Wendy starts taking her shoes off to go into one of the inner sanctums, within a second, and out of nowhere, a women descends on her shouting ticket, ticket. That’s what happens when your signs are only in Japanese.

A lantern. There are millions of them.

Shinto believes every thing has a spirit in it, including rocks, trees and any thing. The bigger the object the bigger the spirit. I’ll stick with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, seems equally implausible, but at least there’s a beer volcano and a stripper factory in FSM heaven.

Oh just up Wendy’s street we go to an indoor market for a browse around and a lunch opportunity. Wendy tries the save option when it comes to food, pork noodles but then again was it pork, after all there was a picture of a cat on the front!

Wendy trying to get in the Temple. They’re having none of it.

Then it’s off to get another castle. More steps than jihadis in Syria and some of those steps are so tall. No idea how those little Japanese ever managed them.

Toilets are a major trek away, hidden down the bottom of a hill. At least they don’t call them conveniences. I bet the gift shop more easy to get to.

Wendy tries chop sticks. Not very successful, she’ll probably starve over the last two weeks.

Final destination is some beach to see a statue of a prominent war lord geezer. Beach is oh so grey but has the advantage of yet another small shrine – joy.

By the time we get back to the ship we’ve done 5 miles and over my magic 640 calorie limit – so that’s enough for a whole bottle of red wine tonight.

Yet another bridge.

Well I always thought the Japanese were experts at copying other countries products, but it seems when it comes to handrails they just couldn’t crack that idea. Certainly the castle and the Buddhist temple could do with some handrails to assist the less sure footed escapee’s from the Wallace Arnold bus tours.

Amazing isn’t it, I buy a 30 day unlimited data SIM for japan and it even works out at sea as we’re relatively close to the shoreline. My Photo Library gets corrupted so I have to rebuild it from iCloud. 10 gigabytes later and it’s rebuilt, sadly without the album structure, but worse still I’ve now been throttled back on speed to a blistering dial up modem speed of 256K.

So it’s a series of emails to Sakura pointing out that their web site says “No limitation whatsoever”.

Oh it’s probably because the telecom company have detected runaway usage. Normal service should be resumed Saturday. Needless to say they haven’t heard the last of this. Every dog has his day when it comes to review time.

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Politically incorrect 1970s TV series such as Love Thy Neighbour and Till Death Us Do Part have been left off the new BBC-ITV rival to Netflix because they are deemed unsuitable for modern audiences.


Thursday

Hiroshima

The famous gate shrouded in plastic and scaffolding.

Start our Wallace Arnold Geriatric Experience with a bus and then ferry ride to Miyajima. This tour has to be one of the most expensive and at 7 hours I wonder whether we’ll have the endurance to last that long, but it was the only one that did the Atomic Bomb Dome and Miyajima. A certain Anna had told us that we absolutely shouldn’t miss Miyajima so here we are. She’d better be right.

Shrine.

Well it’s yet another shrine (a UNESCO World Heritage site) with the Torii Gates appearing to float in the sea. One of the most iconic pictures of Japan. Just our luck the gateway is covered in scaffolding and plastic as it’s being repainted. The rest of the place is interesting though but sadly we’re frog marched through so don’t have time to linger and enjoy it. A great pity. But at least Anna was right.

Then it’s back to ferry and bus to head to the restaurant for a Western (sadly) lunch in a 5 star hotel. Ideally we wouldn’t want to eat on one of these meals for the masses, but again it was this the only way to do these places.

Meal was very good and not too big.

Bridge to shrine.

After lunch we set off for the Atomic Bomb Dome, followed by the Peace Memorial Park and the Museum. Our guide speaks excellent English, we can even understand him and gives us very informative and relevant commentary on all the places. Quite a sad place really. Then we go to the museum. It’s an awful place. Packed like sardines, carried along at a snail pace, through the rug rat infested narrow corridors of exhibits. Just so glad to get out. A real shame as there was some interesting exhibits and we could have leisurely lingered longer had it been less crowded.

Guardian of the shrine.

Back to the boat / ship, never know what to call it, for a quick turnaround and down to dinner. Risk what we now call the geriatrics from hell table one more time. At least one American couple are vibrant and interesting, unlike the other mind numbingly boring American couple who can’t even be bothered to wait for everyone to be seated before ordering.

Try the show. It’s a Motown singer so Wendy should enjoy it. I put myself to sleep to avoid the agony. Even Wendy gives up after 10 minutes and wants to go to bed rather than listen to this.

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“We are all born ignorant, but one must
work hard to remain stupid”  Ben Franklin


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Pagoda.

Tax office send me an email telling me my estimated income tax has changed. This is just yet another insult to common sense.

Firstly have to log in and can I find this revised estimate.

They send a confirmation code to my phone see below:

60886
Your Government Gateway access code is 999545. Your code expires in 15 minutes.

I wonder how many people use 60886. What is the point of it, just begs for confusion.

Wendy rings the bell.

Never mind I’ll check what my tax code is now. Seems fairly fundamental. Can I find my current tax code anywhere.

Finally find the estimate summary. My tax codes not changed so my payment won’t change. And to top it all there’s no estimate anyway. Beggars believe.

If I thought there was anyone with a skerrick of common sense I’d complain.

Hiroshima.


Hiroshima.


Hiroshima


Shadow of a women burnt into stone by the blast.

20191107 – Japan


Wednesday

Drive to Brett’s
Set off down to Ascot to stay at Bretts overnight.

Only an 8 minute delay, no real hold up. Have I been teleported into some alternate parallel universe? Am I still in Britain?

I suffered with the squitters and was shouting for Huey and Ruth last night, but bizarrely saw no diced carrots. Today is 24 hours starvation. This is what happen when you have little grandchildren milling around. They’re just walking germ factories. Mind you 3 days with no alcohol is probably also a major factor.

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Oh yes please. Let’s have a grand clear out. Guy Fawkes had the right idea.


Thursday

Heathrow off to the Land of the Rising Sun
After a good nights sleep I’m feeling better, but still going to keep off food and alcohol for another 24 hours.

Brett runs us to the airport.

We’re flying from Heathrow terminal 5 and I have to say the check in and security screening is some of the slickest I’ve experienced, even though they had to pat me down.

BA flight in Premium Economy is pretty comfortable but 11 hours with no food or booze is purgatory. To make it even more dire the choice of films has obviously been made by an escaped Chinese paedophile. Fortunately manage to get some sleep.

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Stupidity Today – I decide to be a paragon of high tech devotion by checking in online, even using the boarding card via my iPhone and thereby do my bit for the planet, saving a whole oak tree. Guess what the idiot machine doesn’t work. Common problem says the very helpful assistant “you just have to enlarge the bar code”.

I’m sure by now you know my retort “well why don’t they send it ready enlarged one the email?”.


Friday

Yokohama

I’m ashamed. All this awesome looking food and I resort to this. Not my usual approach to foreign travel.
I’ll try anything once, but my head in a toilet bowl has temporarily limited my horizons.

Arrive at Haneda airport in Tokyo 20 minutes in early. Despite having split our clothes across two suitcases in case BA loose a bag – they do tend to excel at loosing bags – both bags arrive. Customs and immigration is one of the slickest ever accounted. So fast that then we have to wait nearly 20 minutes for our luggage.

Our hotel. It’s the tallest one.

Pick up my unlimited data SIM from the arrivals hall and went over to the desk to buy a No 8 bus ticket to the Hotel – all pretty efficient. Saves £60 on a taxi. Bus arrives on time and sets off at 08:40 precisely, not at 1 second before, not even 1 second late, but spot on 08:40. Just one of the many awesome features of Japan.

Daytime view from our 62nd floor bedroom.

Drive into Yokohama was interesting pass through all the new industries and then you pass the old rusty, decaying and obsolete smoke stack industries.

Bus arrives at the hotel ahead of time. It’s the Yokohama Royal park hotel 5 star, the tallest building in Yokohama. Fastest lift in the world.

More bedroom views.

I passed on the breakfast on the plane – full English no less, and it looked pretty good – as part of my starvation, but now it’s time for some food. I think perhaps I’m pregnant as I have a real yearning for a MacDonald Egg MacMuffin.

Not exactly a recommended light meal to recover from a failed attempt by Wendy to poison me, but it’s what I want.

Old dry dock in front of the hotel- now a feature.

Within 4 minutes from the hotel we’ve found a Macad’s. It goes down a treat and is served on a tasty sweet bun.

Night time view of the hotel. Bugger me we’ve left our bedroom light on!

By now it’s only 10:00 and the room’s not ready but for an extortionate fee they can somehow miraculously summon up a room for us. You’d think for the price that this hotel is extorting they could be a tad more accommodating. We’re pretty tired so stump up the extra – it’s just the kids inheritance anyway.

Have a well deserved 3 hour nap – I know a violation of my 3rd law of retirement.
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Impressions of Japan

Light flower display, constant changing colours.

Yokohama – awesome, rad, gnarly – civilisation on steroids, this is how it should be done. After this no chance I’ll ever go to some 3rd world cesspit.

Pictures give the awesome views day and night from our room. It’s the tallest tower in Yokohama and we’re on the 62nd floor. Needless to say Wendy overcame her fear of lifts. Fastest lift in the World apparently.

No litter, graffiti or dog muck, mind you not seen any dogs yet.

Laser light, music and public frolicking in the park.

Just love the smiling, bowing and politeness. Expected it to be obsequis and sickening, but no it’s pleasant and reminds you to smile. Really love the way they hand everything over to you with a slight bow and double handed.

Night time view from our bedroom window.

Realised that even in Japan in a 5 star we wouldn’t be sleeping on the floor but did expect a brick for a pillow. Instead it was the softest pillow – and I like soft pillows – I’d ever encountered, no need to drill a hole or channel to fit my ears in.

Oh so civilised just need to sort language, mind you to be fair most speak English, even in MacD’s.


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Saturday

Yokohama to board cruise

Oh no not another shopping mall and all ready for Christmas, don’t you know.

Good early breakfast. Mainly Western with some tempting tastes of the orient. See the Japanese Monks eating salted plums so give them a try. Must be some sort of punishment for their sins, the worst taste ever, I’d rather chomp on nettles.

Hotel Wi-fi was a blistering 90mb. I think I must have died and gone to Flying Spaghetti Monster

Old sail boat outside our hotel. Thank the FSM we’re not travelling on it.

Have a stroll to try and buy a few essential for the cruise. Then get a taxi to the Celebrity Millennium. Lightning quick and efficient check in. Amazed and impressed, a very rare occurrence for me these days.

Champagne to greet us. How am I going to cope with 24*7 free drinks?

Lazy afternoon.

Finally on board.



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Sunday

Shimizu for Mount Fuji and Mount Hakone

Mount Fuji from top of Mount Hanoken.

Dinner last night was on a table for 6. Ok but not really a very stimulating bunch. At least they all spoke English. Free drinks package was good though, the wine flowed freely, topped up regularly by the Eastern European surly sommelier. Even had to refuse the last top up.

After a great breakfast we dash off on our first Wallace Arnold tour for geraitrics, mentally infirm and weak bladdered moaners. Our tour guide is a giggly, squeaky and singing Japanese lady who is chronically suffering from a severe dose of verbal diarrhoea. Absolute nightmare would be waking up with her screeching away on your pillow. But to be fair she did keep us entertained and she did epitomise my expectations of Japanese womanhood.

Mount Fuji backdrop. Yes, it is the real Mount Fuji in the background.

Two hour coach tour; then a pirate ship across a lake; followed by 30 minute queue to catch a cable car up to the top of Mount Hakone to view Mount Fuji. Great photo opportunity. We were really lucky with gorgeous sunshine and a clear view of Fuji, it can be covered in clouds 50% of the time. Then a pewk invoking one hour drive across the mountains. Just about survived without calling out for Huey and Ruth again. Two hours later we’re we warily board our floating gin palace. Was it all worth it?

Wendy was quite disappointed on today’s tour, she thought we were going to the top of Mount Fuji and not the top of Mount Hakone to take a photo of Fuji.

Met an interesting American couple. Must be the only Republicans in Los Angeles, good to know there are at least two.

Greeted at the port by a Japanese drum band, big, big drums, followed by a brass band.

Back on board we have speciality afternoon tea in one of the lounges, serenaded by guitars and a singer.

Dinner is again on a table for 6. Not a really exciting menu but food was good. Company left a bit to be desired, spoilt by southern softie snobs from oxford – majestic centre of the known universe, don’t you know. Really do prefer avoiding Brits at dinner, American’s or Canadian’s are much better dinner companions. Sad isn’t it.

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Equity has passed a motion that the phrase ‘Ladies & Gentlemen ‘ should not be used in theatres so as not to offend those who do not see themselves as either.

Perhaps we should adopt another activity recommended by the students at Oxford University, just a bunch of PC snowflakes, and greet the end of a theatre performance with ‘Jazz Hands’. I wonder how the praise-needy egos of the average bunch of luvvies would cope with complete (non threatening) silence.

20190911 – France, At The Caravan In Normandy

Well again there’s no daily blog on this trip. Instead I’ve just done the main photos from our French trip to the caravan in Normandy. Sadly in no particular order. France like America is now so much part of our daily life that we no longer really treat it as a holiday, just somewhere we go to live for a month or so each year. But my blogs important if just for an aide memoire of what we did. Through my blog that we can find out what we actually did. One of the problems when you can’t even remember what you had for breakfast and I’m sure when we’re sat in the old folks home, drooling and waiting for the grim reaper it’ll come in even more handy.

Here goes with a picture blog to remind us, no rants or raves, just pictures with some captions.

A semaphore station near Cap Levi on the Cherbourg peninsula. There’s a lot of them around.

Awesome coastal walk near Jobourg on the Cherbourg peninsular.

Coastal walk.

More of our coastal walk.

Granville on a grey day.


Harbour at Port Bail.


Relaxing with early morning coffee and papers. More depressing news from the treacherous clowns in the big chattering house. When will they do as they have been told and get us out?


And to see just how bad the weather can be click here –
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New blow up awning. Easy to blow up but you still have to crawl around for an hour trying to peg it out.


Call in to see Brett and Karine on the way back from France. Visit to Windsor Castle. Well worth it even if the staff are somewhat arrogant and truculent.


Sadly her majesty didn’t pop out to welcome us. Still going strong though. Heaven knows how she puts up with the treacherous self serving MP’s. She should sack the lot of them for failing to deliver what they were instructed to do by the public. They really do seem to have got above themselves and forgot democracy and that they are there to serve the people.


Windsor Castle.


St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.


If ever you go to St Georges Chapel just look at the exquisite minuscule wood carving under the chairs and around the pews. They’re called misericords and each tells a story.


Finally on the way home we make an awesome pilgrimage to the hallowed grounds of Bletchley Park. One of the birthplaces of computers and an enormous contribution to our 2nd World War effort, estimates reckon that their codebreaking efforts shortened the war by 2 years. Sadly did not get to see Colossus, but can look forward to that in a return visit – Wendy will be ecstatic.
Whilst the birthplace of modern computers with the rise of artificial intelligence and the approach of the singularity – when they’re finally smarter than us – will it also be seen as the birth place of the demise of the human race?


An Enigma Coding machine.


One of the original Bomb machines (early electro mechanical computer) used to help crack the Enigma codes.


Statue of Alan Turing, the genius who founded modern computing and so much more. Just pause a moment and consider how life would be without modern computers. Sadly he committed suicide at an early age. Who knows what else he would have gone on to develop.


Well France may be ok but paradise in the Fall just has such awesome colours. Has to be on my bucket list.

20190601 – Park City For Summer. Then A Wedding In St Louis

Well there’s no daily blog on this trip as I’m just too busy, so much to do. Just see my typical week here which helps explain how busy we are and why we love Park City so much.

A typical week for us in PC.


Plus I’ve managed to recapture the joy of reading, admittedly mostly non-fiction these days. Instead I’ve just done the main photos from our summer in Park City and then Paul and Mels wedding week in St Louis. Sadly in no particular order.

I realised how important my blog was to us when I tried to remember what we’d done last time we were in St Louis. It was only through my blog that we could find out what we’d actually done and all the photos were of. One of the problems when you can’t even remember what you had for breakfast.

Here goes with a picture blog to remind us of a most awesome summer, no rants or raves, just pictures with some captions.

Jasper just loved his Friday bowling session with the geriatrics from the Newcomers Club. Such enthusiasm inspired us all.


Early morning bike ride to the white barn with my daughter-in-law.


1812 Overture concert at Deer Valley outdoor venue, complete with real cannons and not forgetting picnic, approved low chairs and of course wine.


Oh she’s back again.

Introduce Jasper to all the fun of the Heber City Rodeo. Just love it.


Fiona gets her gun. Wait until you see her with an AR15.


Kayaking on the Jordanelle as a volunteer with the National Ability Centre


Hiking with our friends the Schmitts.


Leading a weekly Leisure Bike ride with the Park City Mountain Sports Club (PCMSC).


Dinner with good friends at an authentic American diner. Great food, awesome atmosphere and excellent company.


Bike ride with Mike down the Provo River trail. Awesome ride and spectacular views.


Another one of my many early morning bike rides with Fiona.


Hike to the top of the ski jump.


Olympic ski jump.


4th July parade. Just love how they respect their troops and veterans. Pity Englands forgot ours.


Target practice. Make my day.


Deer Valley free concert. Car park this week as the grass is too wet. Never mind we still have wine.


Jasper enjoys the free outdoor water park down at the Basin Recreation.


Leading a weekly leisure hike.


Best ribs in Salt Lake.


Pickleball every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. Awesome game.


PCMSC 4th July Barbecue.


More Deer Valley concerts. This time in first class seats with Ruth and Mark.

View from the front.


Kayaking with Jasper.


Hiking with Kurt.


Jaspers first hike in the mountains. He did well.


All the fun of the Coalville parade. Whatever happened to parades in England. Gone the way of all our traditions. I wonder why?


Freebies from the Coalville parade.


Fun in the Jacuzzi.


Kayaking with the NAC.


Our home for June through August in 2020.


Shooting with the Johnsons in Saint Louis.


Visit to the Arch in St Louis complete with Beatrix and her doll.


In the train to the top of the St Louis Arch.


St Louis Arch.


Paul and Melanies wedding in St Louis.


St Louis wedding.


St Louis wedding evening do.


Wendy gets ready for brandy and flight.

20190324 – Still Oodles Of Snow, But It Has To Be Goodbye To Paradisde.


Sunday


Not many new pictures this week so I’ve selected the best from our two months here in paradise.Wendy has a cold and is just a constant sniffle and nose drizzle.

I drove down to the gym for a workout. Then dropped Wendy at the supermarket.

Yeah….. Sunday and no vegetables. Instead the ultimate in junk food as at last I get Kaisserscharm for my tea. Nothing else just Kaisserscharm – it’s an Austrian pancake like dessert. I really love desserts but try to avoid them as they are so fattening – see being healthy – however I’ve decided that one night a week I’m going to have just a dessert for my tea. Bring on the Macaroni pudding next week.

More Netflix and a luscious bottle of Cline Zinfandel. Stagger to bed as I had to drink it all by myself.

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This magic is amazing. Magician Justin Flom Cuts Open James Corden – The World’s Best Championships


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Just about sums it all up. Secret diary of an MP: I want to help but it’s humiliating — a dead cat would be as useful:

“I’m one of the 650. We’ll all get the blame when the ship sinks, but in truth you might as well have put a dead cat in there instead of me; it would have had as much of a role as I’ve had in the Brexit discussions. Want to know what that feels like? It’s embarrassing, humiliating and hugely, overwhelmingly frustrating.”


Monday

Excitement as Apple announcement today. Big decision do I replace my old iPad Pro with the new iPad Air Pro, iPad 11″ Pro or keep my 3.5 year old 13″ monster? Good trade in values at the moment ($270) so very tempting.

Well the announcement was a black screen of disappointment. Too much snowflake crap, just California on steroids, full of holier than thou PC, goody two shoes intentions and constant mention of culture. Apple TV+ is still a twinkle in someones eye. I had such great hopes of them finally offering a one service for all rather than having to have so many different services. Why don’t they stop messing about, buy Netflix and consolidate it all in.

Wendy has yet another cold so she stayed in all day. Meanwhile I had a marathon 2.5 hour Pickleball session. I borrowed someones paddle as mine wasn’t making that consoling sweet spot sound. Really liked it and sound was more rewarding. Don’t think it improved my game though. I was cream crackered.

Home to a Jacuzzi and beer, followed by Netflix and some Midwinter Nights Dram. Nearly finished it.

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You just have to laugh at this fiasco.


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Let’s hold all muslims to account, by asking, on every conceivable occasion and on every conceivable platform: Do you agree that those who leave Islam should be killed? Or punished in any way? Yes or no? How many ways can they possibly squirm out of answering that?

Then let’s ask do you want Sharia law in this country?


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Parliamentarians were given the opportunity today to take control of the negotiations, after holding indicative votes on their preferred Brexit strategy. Now, the results are in, and we have found out that they don’t support any option at all.

Below are the number of votes for each option. Of the eight proposals, none managed to achieve a majority in the House of Commons, giving them little chance of passing in the weeks ahead:

Brexit option Ayes Noes
(b) The UK should leave without a deal 160 400
(d) Common Market 2.0 (Norway Plus) 188 283
(h) EFTA and EEA (Norway) 65 377
(j) The WA must include a customs union 264 272
(k) Labour’s Brexit plan 237 307
(l) Revoke Article 50 the day before Brexit 184 293
(m) Any deal needs a second referendum 268 295
(o) Malthouse B / mitigating no deal 139 422


Tuesday

Pop down to the PCMarc, just around the corner from us, as they now have Pickleball most mornings, but alas there was no one there. Very disappointed.

Wendy’s off out shopping with Marilyn. She drops me off at the gym so they can have the car. Of course they could always have walked! I’m afraid Wendy’s caught the American disease – why walk when you can go in the car.

Have a good workout. Managed to survive that elliptical torture for 20 minutes. It really do seem a great exercise, especially on my dodgy hip. Follow through with a coffee at Starbucks then catch the electric bus, well not so electric these days as someones smashed the charging station so it’s back to harmful diesel – am I bothered. Then another walk from Fresh Market – alas no free Sushi, again.

Wendy and I go round to look at number 130, our potential AirBNB for next summer. It’s fine and will be great for next summer, especially as it’s just round the corner on the Racquet club. All we need to do now is sort out the deposit.

B&M and Helen and George come round and we troop off to Sammies in search of grub. Just love their Chivito sandwich. Then it’s back to our place for drinks. The ladies sink down some Basil Haydn Dark and then I finish off the last of the Midwinter Nights Dram. A great nightcap. I suppose I’ll have to wait until next winter for a refill.
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Wednesday

Lazy start.Try and sort the deposit on 130. Drop Wendy off at the CC and then return to watch the treacherous loons arguing over BREXIT and screwing us.

Off down to Pickleball. Really enjoy this and will miss it when back in the UK. So much I need to do to improve, especially get up to net. Never mind perhaps my new book will help. AT least my serves seem to be improving. Really need to get in more serve practices and play against the wall. So far the wall always seems to win in the end.

More Netflix in the evening and no alcohol.

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The left ruins everything:


Thursday

Finally get to my target weight of 182lbs. That’s 11lbs lost since we arrived, despite eating well and plenty of wine, whiskey and bourbon.

Lazy start, then we’re off down to The Apple store in Salt Lake to pick up my ne iPad Pro and trade in my old (nearly 4 years old) one got $270 trade in against my new iPad. Service in store was great. Ended up buying a case at Best Buy in Kimble junction. New ones really fast, a smaller more handle able size and the case is thin and light and protects both sides.

I went to the gym in the afternoon whilst Wendy had her nails done. Just love that elliptical machine. It’s a great workout, up to 30 minutes now.

Pop in the liquor store to get some brandy to take home, they’ve got two new ones I’ve not tried. Miracle is they also had some High West Manhattan that B&M have been trying to get hold of. Bought a bottle to help Bob recover from his shoulder op. Probably better than any of those crazy pain killers they give you.

Then it’s one of my favourite for tea, a carnitas burrito from Chubasco’s.

Another alcohol free TV night.

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These had the right idea to show their contempt for parliament by giving a moonie from the gallery in parliament. I could have shown the moonie view but really felt the boob view was more interesting. I’m sure you get the gist of it.


Friday


Ten pin bowling in the morning.

We’re child minding so we pick Angela up from school and then Wendy takes her to the CC with her for the afternoon. Whilst Im go down to Pickleball for the afternoon.

Home for a quick shower and then we’re off down to Hearth & Hill for the TGIF. Just have a swift drink and then we finally get to go Giordottis with Helen, George, Mark and Judy. I enjoyed the meal – OSSO Buko – but Wendy wasn’t so impressed. Their Chianti was luscious and couldn’t resist a glass of Fonesco Bin 27 port to finish the meal off along with am espresso. Great evening, good food, wine, company and great intelligent conversation.

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How great it is to have a good snow storm in our last few days. Something magical about walking and driving in a snow storm.


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I DON’T BELIEVE – the latest from the Snowflakes.

Ban the word ‘cyclist’ as it dehumanises ride bikes riders and promotes aggression towards them, expert say.

Cyclists should instead be called “people who ride bikes” because the former term is dehumanising, experts have claimed.
An academic study in Australia found that there is a link between the dehumanisation of cyclists and acts of aggression they face from other road users.


Saturday

Lazy morning packing and getting ready to leave. Wendy’s cleaning like a banshee.

Hal and carol pop round to say goodbye then we’re off to B&M’s for dinner. Bob’s rotator cup surgery seems to have gone ok, but his arms in a sling for six weeks. We’ve got Bob some proper medication, a bottle of High West Manhattan. Much better than Oxycodin. Psychedelic, hallucinating drugs.

Great meal, company and of course a Midwinter Nights Dram to finish off the meal. We’ll really miss them but we’re back on 1st June. Can’t wait.

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Sunday

Lazy start to the day. Don’t need to set off until 10:00 so it’s quite relaxing, until the usual TSA CRAP. But at least I survived the TSA. Always an ordeal. Really need to consider some of Wendy’s propanaol tablets to help me through. Good news is they’re improving, they now only miss 70% of weapons.

On a more positive note, great news Green Book is on the Virgin flight.

Great to just get in the lounge and starting sinning by downing some wine before 17:00.

Flight is very comfortable as Wendy’s booked premium economy seats, and after the Green Book; two glasses of champagne; two glasses of Malbec, seconded from Upper Class as I cant’ stand Syrah; two large Otard brandies; and just one sleeping tablet, I settle down to 5 hour deep slumber. Wake up just in time to watch The Girl In The Spiders Web. Great flight, pretty comfortable.

Chaos at Manchester airport as you now have to go yomping on a root march to the pickup point. Welcome home to chaos.

Well we’re home. Never mind just 4 weeks before we escape to France and only 2 months before we’re back in paradise.

AT least we get to see the grandkids and we’re around if our very pregnant daughter-in-law goes into labour. Anybody would think Wendy was going to be delivering it.
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Well we say goodbye to 2 months in paradise, but I don’t despair too much as we’ll be back in two months. Great news is I survived winter without skiing. Just so much to do. I think I’ve actually done more exercise than when I skied. Lost 11 pounds and still managed to eat pretty well and consume copious alcohol. Loved it, great friends, pickleball, snowshoeing, walking, ten pin bowling, shooting, archery and of course drinking.



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and the chaos goes on:


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An interesting article on that religion of pieces and permanent offence.:

Leaving but we still have snow.

Generally, public criticism of any religion, ancient or contemporary, is completely acceptable, and should be encouraged. It is noteworthy, then, that criticism of any other religion nowadays will earn you at worst a dose of invective, whereas saying the wrong words or drawing the wrong cartoons about Islam will get you killed in any country where Islam is the official religion, and liable to earn you physical repercussions in countries where it is not.

Why is that it in Western countries, merely pointing out the similarities between the writings of the Quran and the Hadiths and the violent and intolerant preachings of groups such as the Islamic State is cause for censure?

Up, up and away.

We certainly have no problem holding Christianity responsible for its part in the horrific Spanish Inquisition, nor do we stutter at recognizing Christian scripture as having encouraged anti-Semitic attitudes along European history.

Ah, I can hear the rebuttal already: “Of course there are horrible passages in the Quran. It was written at a different time, and there are similarly horrible ones in the Bible!”

Without a doubt, the Bible is a bloody, violent book filled with unspeakable atrocities. But then, why is it that no Christian feels personally targeted when Deuteronomy 21:18-21, which encourages the public stoning of disobedient children, is criticized?

It is because Christianity has gone through, over the past few hundred years, a modernization process where it has been ejected out of civil law, and where its most vile and intolerant preachings are no longer ordained as official doctrine by the church’s institutions.

With some exceptions (such as enduring Medieval attitudes toward homosexuality and fundamentalists’ rejection of science in favour of creationism) the most vile, intolerant, and backward parts of Christian practice have been abandoned.

Perhaps this might help explain why the treacherous political elite can’t manage to implement a simple democratic mandate such as BREXIT – No Deal Please.

Islam, on the other hand, has become more intolerant than it was a millennium ago, when Muslims were creating algebra and algorithms and naming the celestial bodies. The result is that Christians can shake off most criticisms of their own scripture and their beliefs, but the Islamic world seems a lot more thin-skinned.
I, however, reject the often-brought-up and dangerous notion of this conflict being a “war of civilizations,” pitching the united secular West against the similarly united dogmatic Islamic world.

This is wrong simply because it is an inaccurate depiction of both sides. This particular struggle is far more complicated and it is certainly not contained by international borders or racial origin. This is a war of ideas, not of skin color.

Which is why the first victims of Islamic extremism are almost always Muslims: women, apostates, homosexuals, modern Muslims seeking the evolution of their faith, and yes, even just Muslims who belong to the wrong traditional Islamic sect.

Similarly, the people often most opposed to helping the victims of Islamo-fascism, those who refuse to hold Islamic ideas accountable for their role in these crimes, are not Muslims at all, but westerners brandishing multiculturalist arguments.

Meaningful change can only come from within the Islamic world, from the reformist voices that want to modernize Islam to fit today’s standards of human decency and compassion. These are the people whom we must try to empower today by giving them coverage, a platform to speak out of, and most importantly, by acknowledging their suffering and struggle.

It is for this reason that we must not delude ourselves with the idea that all cultures are equally good in every way. We should not shy away from sensitive conversations about the role of religious dogma, even at the risk of being called racist or Islamophobic. Such insults are minor and insignificant compared to the atrocities that the victims of this violent and intolerant doctrine suffer every day.


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A long piece but I wanted to preserve it for when I’m sat in the geriatrics waiting for god space, drooling down my bib, to try and remember the difference between the left and liberals.

What is the difference between a leftist and a liberal?

Answering this question is vital to understanding the crisis facing America and the West today. Yet few seem able to do it. I offer the following as a guide.
Here’s the first thing to know: The two have almost nothing in common.
On the contrary, liberalism has far more in common with conservatism than it does with leftism. The left has appropriated the word “liberal” so effectively that almost everyone — liberals, leftists and conservatives — thinks they are synonymous.
But they aren’t. Let’s look at some important examples.
Race: This is perhaps the most obvious of the many moral differences between liberalism and leftism. The essence of the liberal position on race was that the color of one’s skin is insignificant. To liberals of a generation ago, only racists believed that race is intrinsically significant. However, to the left, the notion that race is insignificant is itself racist. Thus, the University of California officially regards the statement “There is only one race, the human race” as racist. For that reason, liberals were passionately committed to racial integration. Liberals should be sickened by the existence of black dormitories and separate black graduations on university campuses.
Capitalism: Liberals have always been pro capitalism, recognizing it for what it is: the only economic means of lifting great numbers out of poverty. Liberals did often view government as able to play a bigger role in lifting people out of poverty than conservatives, but they were never opposed to capitalism, and they were never for socialism. Opposition to capitalism and advocacy of socialism are leftist values.
Nationalism: Liberals deeply believed in the nation-state, whether their nation was the United States, Great Britain or France. The left has always opposed nationalism because leftism is rooted in class solidarity, not national solidarity. The left has contempt for nationalism, seeing in it intellectual and moral primitivism at best, and the road to fascism at worst. Liberals always wanted to protect American sovereignty and borders. The notion of open borders would have struck a liberal as just as objectionable as it does a conservative. It is emblematic of our time that the left-wing writers of Superman comics had Superman announce a few years ago, “I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my American citizenship.” When the writers of Superman were liberal, Superman was not only an American but one who fought for “Truth, justice, and the American way.” But in his announcement, he explained that motto is “not enough anymore.”
View of America: Liberals venerated America. Watch American films from the 1930s through the 1950s and you will be watching overtly patriotic, America-celebrating films — virtually all produced, directed and acted in by liberals. Liberals well understand that America is imperfect, but they agree with a liberal icon named Abraham Lincoln that America is “the last best hope of earth.”
To the left, America is essentially a racist, sexist, violent, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic country. The left around the world loathe America, and it is hard to imagine why the American left would differ in this one way from fellow leftists around the world. Leftists often take offense at having their love of America doubted. But those left-wing descriptions of America are not the only reason to assume that the left has more contempt than love for America. The left’s view of America was encapsulated in then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s statement in 2008. “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” he said.
Now, if you were to meet a man who said that he wanted to fundamentally transform his wife, or a woman who said that about her husband, would you assume that either loved their spouse? Of course not.
Free speech: The difference between the left and liberals regarding free speech is as dramatic as the difference regarding race. No one was more committed than American liberals to the famous statement “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Liberals still are. But the left is leading the first nationwide suppression of free speech in American history — from the universities to Google to almost every other institution and place of work. It claims to only oppose hate speech. But protecting the right of person A to say what person B deems objectionable is the entire point of free speech.
Western civilization: Liberals have a deep love of Western civilization. They taught it at virtually every university and celebrated its unique moral, ethical, philosophical, artistic, musical and literary achievements. No liberal would have joined the leftist Rev. Jesse Jackson in chanting at Stanford University: “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Western civ has got to go.” The most revered liberal in American history is probably former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who frequently cited the need to protect not just Western civilization but Christian civilization. Yet leftists unanimously denounced President Donald Trump for his speech in Warsaw, Poland, in which he spoke of protecting Western civilization. They argued not only that Western civilization is not superior to any other civilization but also that it is no more than a euphemism for white supremacy.
Judaism and Christianity: Liberals knew and appreciated the Judeo-Christian roots of American civilization. They themselves went to church or synagogue, or at the very least appreciated that most of their fellow Americans did. The contempt that the left has — and has always had — for religion (except for Islam today) is not something with which a liberal would ever have identified.
If the left is not defeated, American and Western civilization will not survive. But the left will not be defeated until good liberals understand this and join the fight. Dear liberals: Conservatives are not your enemy. The left is.

20190316 – Bluebird Days, Time To Get The Chairs Out On The Front Deck


Saturday

Lazy start then, after lunch, we drive down to Willow Creek, park up and take a walk down the snow track to Kimble junction. Time for a Starbucks.

Stroll to Willow Creek.

Pop into the liquor store and come across a bottle of Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, a blend of Rye whiskey and a touch of Port, very nice indeed. Mellow and quite sweet with no burn.

Then home for a jacuzzi and alcoholic ginger beer, then tea. Italian sausage and American baked beans, awesome.

A quiet night in Bourbon sampling and snoozing over Netflix.
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After the treachery last week we need to be mindful of how lucky we are being 4,500 miles away from BREXIT and our loony politicians. Here we are in a snow filled paradise. A hard 3.5 mile walk in the snow, with glorious sunshine and blue skies is enough to brighten our day and help us forget the treachery.


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Still recovering from last weeks screwing over by our treacherous loons in the big chattering house. There’s going to be such a reckoning at the next general election. We’ll get retribution, it will be merciless and we’ll take great pleasure.

Meanwhile a sacrifice of a chlorine washed chicken and prayers to the FSM are being offered up for the EU to reject any extension so we escape the Evil Union on a NO DEAL. Especially important when you read the Spectators top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal – https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/12/the-top-40-horrors-lurking-in-the-small-print-of-theresa-mays-brexit-deal-2/. Absolutely terrifying.

Meanwhile normal sick humour and religious commentary will be resumed.


Sunday

Up early as Angela’s being dropped off by Hal.

Clearing snow to get at chairs for the front deck.

Lazy start to the day. Angela’s with us all day and is no trouble. I’m teaching her English and she’s teaching me American.

I go off to the gym whilst Wendy and Angela troop off to TJ Max and the Supermarket. Even at 10 years old little girls already have a highly developed addiction to shopping. I pop down to the Pickleball courts for a spot of practice against the wall, before my gym torture session. Get dragged into playing.

Drop Angela off to her dad at PCMR base. Then it’s off to a St Patrick’s day apres ski party with H&G, held as usual by the PCMSC.

Back home in time for a quiet evening in and finish of a tasty Carmanere.

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I can’t quite decide whether this should just be a rant or a religious comment, but since it’s focus is on the religion of pieces and permanent offence I’ve slotted it in here.

Courageous women in the Islamic Republic of Iran are taking off their hijabs as a sign of resistance to the oppressive Sharia regime under which they live, and at least 29 women have been arrested for doing so. Some of them have gotten long prison terms. A lawyer who defends women who don’t wear the hijab was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.

So what does the UN do about it?

They appoint Iran to U.N. Women’s Rights Committee. Iran, one of the top human rights abusers in the world, has been awarded a seat on a key United Nations committee that oversees complaints about the global abuse of women.

An announcement by the U.N. on Wednesday said that Iran and Nigeria, another country that is no stranger to human rights abuses, would be promoted to the international organization’s Committee on the Status of Women, which oversees abuses committed by oppressive states, such as Iran and Nigeria.

Not the first time the UN has put the fox among the chickens. Back in 2015 there was anger after Saudi Arabia was chosen to head key UN human rights panel. Yes, Saudi Arabia, another country somewhat renowned for it’s human rights abuse and suppression of women.

Trump is right about not funding the UN. Sadly they’re toothless when it comes to suppressing violence and wars, which if you think about it is great pity. But this is just another example of their PC, snowflake approach.


Monday

Jacuzzi after 2 hours of Pickleball.

Lazy morning. Then we both drive down to Salt lake airport to pick up Bob and Marilyn. Drop them off and then drop Wendy off at the bus stop, so I can get to pickle ball. Good afternoon playing pickle ball.

Then it is a quiet alcohol free evening in watching Netflix and that damn Madelyn McCann saga. If they are not guilty then they are certainly guilty of negligence.

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Is Islam a religion pf peace?


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Tuesday

Coffee round the fire pit at the Canyons.

Another lazy start to the day. Then Wendy and I drive down to the old white barn, park the car up and walk down to Willowcreek. Then we walk up to the canyons gondola and have coffee and soup around the lovely warm fire pit. Walked back to the car and overall we had a great 4 mile hike, most of it on snow. Followed by afternoon tea on the front deck in glorious sunshine. It is certainly starting to warm up and sadly the snow is melting.

Then I treat myself to a Jacuzzi before getting ready for our dinner guests. Sylvia and David come round for dinner and drinks, we haven’t seen David since last summer. A very pleasant evening all round.

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Says it all.


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Wednesday

Iconic house.

Lazy morning for me. Drop Wendy off at the CC, then off down to Pickleball. Always try and get there early so I can have some serve practice and play against that unforgiving opponent the wall. But usually others turn up early and before you know it you’re warming up or playing. Today we had a younger couple turn up who mainly play tennis. They really shouldn’t be allowed to wipe the floor with us beginners.

B&M pick us up at tea time and we head off to try the Brass Tack up at Deer Valley Lodges. Good start from the Greeter – that’s the person that US restaurants are obsessed with, she greets you and allocates your table. Funny how a lot of Uk restaurants manage to function perfectly well without this role. Anyway as we have not booked she’ll manage to squeeze us in – not surprising as it only about 30% occupied – but in future please pre-book. A totally uncalled for and rude greeting, I’m ready to go into CUSTOMER mode, and either walk our or rip her head off. Totally arrogant and uncalled for. Food and wine was a tad pricey, but there again it was Deer Valley – often misspelt.

Anyway meal was pretty good apart for Wendy’s bland and greasy pasta, but to be fair to them the manger took it off the bill and was most thankful for us bringing it to their attention – top marks for the way he handled it and took the trouble to thank us for complaining.

B&M pop in for a nightcap, to try my Basil Haydn Dark Rye.

Watch the Gunpowder Plot, when the last honest man went into parliament, along with 50 barrels of gunpowder to blow the place up. They had that tasty eye candy from “Silent Witness” in it and munch to my surprise she flaunted her nipples. Mind you she was very young and I’m sure there’s no way she’d be exposing all these days.

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There’s a morass of adverts for super pillows that promise the holygrail of a good nights sleep, and can probably even make a cup of horlicks and tickle your balls. Yet no one produces one to prevent sore ears. Think I’ll register a patent application for a pillow with a groove for your ears to rest in and one with a hole on each side for your ear.


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Yet another reason why we need to get out from under the tyranny of the European Union:

European judges rule that UK airport cops breached rights of al-Qaeda chief’s wife, taxpayers must pay her $28,000

How did they breach her rights? By stopping her for questioning. In that case, my rights have been breached in several airports, but no one is giving me a big payout.

The wife of an Al Qaeda chief had her human rights breached by UK airport police, European judges have ruled.
Sylvie Beghal, 49, was stopped at East Midlands Airport while returning to Leicester after a visit to her husband Djamel Beghal in a French jail.

The mother of three said she was detained without reasonable suspicion – violating her right to private and family life.

Why do we even allow her back in the country?


Thursday

Wendy has lucnch around the fire pit.

Very lazy morning watching the snow – got 3″. After lunch went for a 5 mile walk up to the Silver Star cafe for coffee and back. Sun and clouds a very pleasant walk. Interesting menu, will have to try it one evening.

Evening in watching more Netflix as BBC was being temperamental – software written by 12 year olds with Acne and who need their Mummy to tie their shoelaces. It’s just another National disgrace. Have to wait until tomorrow to see Question Times reactions to this weeks fiasco.

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Wife beating in Islam – The Rules:


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Why is it that the quiz master feels he needs to explain, at great length, that people should not shout out the answers to the quiz, just write them down. Yet, still we get numpties shouting out the answer for the benefit of everyone.


Friday

On one of our many strolls.

Ten pin bowling with the geriatrics for me and the CC for Wendy.

Then it’s a Starbucks coffee for lunch followed by Pickleball. In two weeks all 3 of my Pickleballs have split in half – cheap. Get two hours in. Just love this sport, will have to go to Burnley when I get home and see if I can play there.

Pop into the liquor store on the way home to pick Wendy up. They’ve suddenly added 3 very tempting brandies, but I manage to resist for now. Buy some Sushi for dinner.

The Schmitt’s come round for dinner. Hal takes me for a spin in his Volta electric car. It really is a pleasure to drive and so sprightly. Driving in LOW mode must be the ultimate for Americans all you need to use is the accelerator and the steering wheel. When you take your foot off the accelerator it slows down, puts the brake lights on and comes to a graceful halt. Fortunately you can still use the brake. Sounds ungodly and quirky but after 5 minutes driving I’ve got used to it and really love it.

Have a lovely evening with them as always. Angelas getting really grown up these days.

Finally get to watch Question Time but it’s a tad disappointing. Meanwhile the chaos over BREXIT continues. Time to feed a few politicians and BBC iPlayer software developers to the Lions in a Saturday afternoon amphitheatre spectacular reminiscent of Roman days.

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New research suggests Carbon monoxide detectors could reveal existence of aliens. Time to send a spaceship load to alien planets to detect life.


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Saturday

Yes, we still have snow.

Yet another lazy start, reading the depressing news back home in the Times. Still at least things will liven up over here with the release of the Mueller report. The talking heads will be in a feeding frenzy and you can bet, dollars to dumplings, that the democrats will be busier than a one armed monkey with two peckers, trying to find some sh.t to nail the president with.

Tootle off down to the gym for an hours workout. Then after lunch we take a walk up to PCMR base to buy some Campos coffee beans to take home. Have a Superior Americana, it is so sweet you don’t need sugar – awesome roast.

In the evening we’ve free tickets to go to the library cinema to see Beale Street. Starts off good but slows down to an arthritic snails pace, with sound mumbled through damp underwear and background noise to drown out any syllables that manage to escape. But it was free and a night out. It’s a great little theatre / cinema and quite quaint how they always have a raffle at the beginning. Saturday night small town America at it’s best, it reeked of popcorn and everyone even brings their own containers to help save the planet. No one cheered, booed or clapped. No National anthem – sad. And worst of all no wine for sale. Next time we go we need to smuggle in our own alcohol as most of the regulars do.

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Good progress on the diet. Lost 9 pounds since I’ve been here and still enjoying wine and whiskey.


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Yet more reasons to escape the EU:

European Court of Human Rights: Insulting Muhammad not “free speech”

This is clearly the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who was fined and given a jail sentence for calling Muhammad a pedophile. He married a six-year-old and consummated the marriage when she was nine, but “the Austrian courts had held that ES was making value judgments partly based on untrue facts and without regard to the historical context.”

The problem that the Austrian courts overlooked here was that Muhammad is held up in Islam as the perfect example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21). Accordingly, his example does lead to pedophilia, and in any case the distinction between pedophilia and child marriage can be very fine. In Afghanistan virtually all girls above third-grade age are married, and because of Muhammad, but the Austrian court would have us believe either that there is no pedophilia in these child marriages, or that they have nothing to do with Muhammad, both of which could be proven false readily.

And as for “untrue facts,” the hadith collection that Muslims consider most reliable, Sahih Bukhari, affirms more than once that Aisha was nine at the time of the consummation of the marriage.

Finally, would the European Court of Human Rights rule that someone deserved a fine and imprisonment for criticizing Jesus? The case wouldn’t even come to them.

This is an important step toward the imposition of Sharia in Europe, as it is a tacit acceptance of Sharia blasphemy restrictions on criticizing Muhammad.


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20190307 – Health Warning Many BREXIT Rants. We’re Being Screwed.


Thursday

Now there’s a number plate and stickers to get your car trashed.

Lazy start again. Have to stay in all morning waiting for the plumber to come and fix the hot water heater. Like all plumbers the World over he let us down and we have to chase him up. Finally arrives at 13:00.

Wendy and I went a walk in the snow up to Campos coffee and back.There’s something quite magical and mesmerising about walking in the snow.

Quite nice to have a hot shower and not have to rely upon a chlorine dip in the jacuzzi – makes you appreciate how these chlorine washed chicken must feel.

Passed on the quiz and had a quiet night in. Question time programme help raise my blood pressure. BREXIT is such joke.

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If anyone still believes in REMAIN then they should have their eyelids glued open and be forced to watch this on BBC:


Friday

How many men does it take to fix a tap?

Wendy goes to the CC whilst I pick up Helen and go ten pin bowling. What a 4 year old beats us. Good job we go with the losers credo, “It’s only a game”.

Afternoon I have a good two hours at Pickleball. Really like this game. Then it back home for a quick change before Helen and George pick us up for TGIF. It’s up at Deer Valley. Wow they’ve had some snow up there as we drive through 7 foot drifts.

The house is amazing, complete with a temperature controlled wine room and ski in and out. Must have been in the $20,000,000 bracket and I overheard the owner saying they only get to stay there 35 days a year. Serious money.

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Saturday

View from Huber trail.

Lazy morning.

Drive down to Kimble to buy some shorts. Mine stink.

Afternoon I go to the gym – no excuses. Their lateral exerciser is awesome although very tiring. Manage to survive 10 minutes. Great skiing exercise – hang on I’m not skiing this year.

Netflix night in and book our Japanese shore excursions. They’re going to cost a fortune – great way to fritter away our kids inheritance and hopefully a great way to experience Japan.

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Sunday

Carol striding out.

I have a Pickleball lesson at 10:00. This low bent knees ready for action position sure is good exercise on your hips. Too many women playing. They spend most of their time at the net gossiping and arguing the toss. Just play, it’s only a game. Learn so many new things. Too many really, it’s all about remembering them. Key thing seems to be practice against the wall.

Meanwhile Wendy has gone shopping and is having her nails done.

Home for a quick shower and turnaround.

Meet Hal, Carol and Angela at Wassatch state park for a snowshoe up Epperson and then down to the Huber farm and back. A pleasant 3 mile workout in sunny weather. Thankfully it’s 10 degrees warmer down at Wassatch.

Duck with built in ear mufflers.

Then it a coffee at an eclectic coffee shop in Midway. Followed by dinner at Mercantile. Food is the best I’ve had since we’ve been here, sorry have to modify that or Wendy will divorce me. Best I’ve had at a restaurant since we’ve been here. Would definitely go again.

Back home for a Netflix evening. Nearly finished The Last Kingdom.

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Monday

Stroll to Campos coffee.

Lazy morning then Wendy and I take a 5 mile stroll, along the rail trail, up to PCMR base for a lovely Campos coffee. Their Superior blend espresso is unbelievably sweet and rich. Mind you it’s not cheap. Then take a stroll back. Overall a good workout.

Afternoon is Pickleball for me. A great 2 hour workout.

Evening is spent booking the rest of our shore excursions on the Japanese cruise. Certainly not cheap, but a once in a lifetime opportunity to fritter away our kids inheritance.

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Tuesday

Wendy goes off for brunch with her “Girlfriends” from the CC whilst I exercise 2nd Amendment rights at the gun club. Try a Smith & Weston .22. Ammo is a third of the price of 9mm. There’s no kickback, just like firing my Sig Saeur P320 air pistol. Great little target practice with a 1911 style automatic.

After dinner we both do a 3 mile stroll down the rail trail and then pick Angela up from school. Angela’s gob smacked that she has to walk back to our house – wot no car! Her school has an amazing amount of Apple Macs and MacBooks. Angela teaches me American.

Helen and George come round for dinner and drinks. George has a black eye and is missing a tooth from a ski crash where two of them collided. No one was at fault just one of those both on the same trajectory accident. I think the other guy was really a snowboarder just on skis for a day. A real mess but lucky it wasn’t so much worse.

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No jokes today other than the loons in parliament.


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Another step in the great BREXIT betrayal.


Wednesday

Wendy is off to the CC. Whilst I take a walk up to PCMR base to get some of that awesome Campos Superior blend coffee. Pop into Cole sports to see if they have the Eider jacket in the blowout sale. Yes they do and it’s reduced to half price. As my Mum would have said “you were meant to have it”.

Lunchtime I sin and watch the loons in parliament flush us further down the toilet.

Afternoon is Pickleball. Great opportunity to take out my frustration on the loons.

It’s a real treat for tea tonight, I get a Chimichanga’s from Chubascos secret menu. Have a pleasant chat with the Ukrainian girl who serves me.

Evening is a quiet night in with Wendy ranting on about BREXIT. Never known her get so engaged in politics, she’s even signed up to the BREXIT party site.

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The Great BREXIT Betrayal is so bad even religion gets a pass this week.


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And so it goes on:


Thursday

Lazy start again.

We both do a 2.5 mile Yak Trak down the rail trail. It’s such hard going in the snow, exhausting. Would have been so much easier with snowshoes on.

We’ve only gone a 100 yards down the rail trail when a big naked backside squatting over her snowshoes greet us, as this old woman pees on the middle of the trail. Didn’t even have the courtesy to pee off the trail. Reinforces that wise old adage – never eat yellow snow. Wouldn’t have been so bad if she been some fit eye candy, but alas more of a blobby. Anyway we wished her a hearty “GOOD MORNING” in our best British accent. I suppose we should have added “cold out today isn’t it”.

After lunch Wendy goes with Barbara to her first Knit and Stitch meeting with PCMSC. A gaggle of women knitting, knattering and komplaining. I pop down to the gym. Get in some pickleball practice serves and then tackle the gym. That elliptical machine is real hard work – so it must be doing me good.

Hang on what’s this for tea. I know I agreed to a salmon stir fry but nobody mentioned all these vegetables, including the dreaded brussel sprouts – it’s not Sunday! Next time I’ll go for bread and water or starve.

Quiet night in. 2nd day without alcohol. Need it to cope with Wendy ranting on about “The Great British BREXIT Sellout”.

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Says it all and now they’ve voted for a delay to BREXIT. Let’s pray the EU refuses and we go out on a NO DEAL.


Friday

Wendy is still ranting and raving over the great BREXIT treachery. You think my rants are bad, they’re not a patch on Wendy’s vitriol. Why she’s even signed up for the BREXIT party. She’s even talking about marching, yellow jackets and all. Thankfully some peace and calm is restored when she goes to the CC whilst I go ten pin bowling.

Afternoon is a marathon pickleball session. I get there early to get some serve practice in but then there’s only a few of us so no chance to sit out and rest.

Pick Helen and George up and go to TGIF a the Jeremy Ranch golf club. Not one of our favourite locations and certainly one to avoid their bar food. Last time we were here we eat in the restaurant upstairs with about 20 others – members and guests only. Can you believe that apparently they complained that there were too many. How enterprising of them.

Go out for dinner to Loco Lizard. Must be over 6 years since we’ve been there. Food and service was good.

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Knife crime takes a catastrophic increase as 17.4 million voters are stabbed in the back by the treacherous loons in the big chattering house. Fear not we’ll have our retribution. Remember Guy Fawkes, the last honest man in the House of Parliament.


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For those who can’t understand the BREXIT fiasco this may help explain why we’re being stabbed in the back by the loons in the big chattering house:

20190228 – Awesome To Just Be Here. Time To Get My Bike Out.


Thursday

Wendy gets a workout on her snowshoes.

Lazy start as usual.

Ideal for for Beatrix next year.

Then we both catch the free bus up to Deer Valley for coffee / lunch followed by a walk in the snow to Campos coffee at Park City mountain base. At least this time they have some stock in so I buy an expensive bag of their Superior roast. Wendy catches the bus home whilst I grab some more exercise and walk.

Then at 16:00 it’s the CC Volunteers appreciation party. I escort Wendy there, but sit it out playing on my phone. It’s nearly all women and at the end of the day I’m not going to freeload as I’m not a volunteer.

Wendy at volunteer appreciation party.

Then we’re off to the 17:00 quiz down at the Legends bar with B&M. As usual we’re pretty hopeless. Mainly modern media questions and music. I’d not even heard of the people mentioned. By half time we’re coming last.

Set off for dinner at the Double Tree hotel. Menu’s not that enticing but the burgers good. Given the size of the hotel surprising to see we’re the only 4 in there. Rest of the evening is a quiet night watching, ranting and raving over Question Time and then we both manage to fall asleep over the Last Kingdom.
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Brexit morons – more from Pat Condell.

What a pity him, Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees Mogg don’t run our country.

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The ISIS bride saga. Thank the FSM that common sense has prevailed and she’s been stripped of her UK citizenship. No doubt some greedy civil rights lawyer and a group of snowflakes will want to waste public money on legal aid appealing this.


Friday

Awesome snow outside our condo.

I’m off down to bowling with the geriatrics, AKA The Newcomers. My score seems to be gradually improving but far from stunning. It’s a typical rowdy, cheering, high fiving and clapping bowling session. If I ever go bowling in England and behave like this I’m sure I’ll be tossed out on my ear.

Then it’s coffee at Starbucks followed by a couple of hours pickle ball along with the other geriatrics. A few of the women are bossy USA matriarchs. Best avoided. No fun. Think they know it all. Best keeping your own council and look to team up with people who laugh and smile a lot. They need to remember the losers creedo, “It’s Only A Game”.

Call at Chubasco for my first Carnitas Burrito take away. It’s awesome. Turns out they do Chimichangoes, just too dam lazy and inefficient to put it on their menus – more lost opportunity.

Evening in again falling asleep over “Last Kingdom”.
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  Should’ve raised chickens instead of kids, they’re cheaper and you can eat them.

Bear in mind that the average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 in UK is £231,843. On that basis I think each of my kids still owes me about £231,644, and that’s without interest charges.
 
 

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Left or liberal? What’s the difference?


Saturday

Just a stroll in the snow.

Lazy start. Then we drive down to Kimble, park the car at the supermarket and have a walk to the Levi Outlet store and back. Unfortunately I could do with a new pair of jeans. What a nightmare it is, too many choices and most of those I finally decide I like don’t have my size in stock – now there’s a surprise. Finally find a pair I like, they’re not hanging below my crutch and best of all have button up flies. Sadly they don’t pull up to my chin, but guess you can’t have everything.

Walk back up the hill for more exercise, fun while it’s snowing, so much better than walking in the rain.

Me being a nerd.

Then back home to do battle with iMovie. It keeps crashing, yet more crap software probably written by a spotty 10 year old dyslexic who can’t tie his own shoelaces.

Then it’s off to M&B for dinner, along with George and Helen – Pappa Murphy pizza – awesome.
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Nigel Farage’s seminal speech in EU parliament helps to understand BREXIT;

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Over 30 Nigerian Christians were killed in a brutal early morning attack by radical Islamic Fulani herdsmen, who have been systematically targeting believers living on lands the extremists claim to be their territory.

Hardly a mention in the news of all these daily ongoing Christian’s slaughtered daily by members of the religion of pieces and permanent offence.

All due credit to the Guardian they do mention it, but like all witless PC snowflakes they forget to mention the word Muslim or Islam – obviously don’t want to be considered Islamaphobic or offend anybodys sensibilities.

When will we wake up to the realities of islam. We really do need a first amendment.


Sunday

Angela’s tenth birthday.

It’s my first 2 hour Pickleball lesson in the morning.

Lunch time we’re off to Hal and Carol’s for Angela’s 10th birthday. I think we’ve been to her every birthday since she was two. Have Quesadillas for lunch and take a birthday cake. Wendy’s going to add these to her repertoire.

Then more Netflix in the evening.
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Monday

Our great friend Hal – AKA Ori Noko – has lost his voice.

Lazy start for both of us. Wendy drives down to B&M to do yet more shopping with Marilyn. What do they find to buy.

I leave about an hour later and walk down to B&M to pick the car up. It’s a 4 mile, 90 minute walk, in snow. Should have put my yak tracks on, by the time I get there I’m exhausted. Walking in snow is as exhausting as walking in sand.

Drive down to Kimble for a Starbucks and then off to Pickleball

Is it a cat or a sheep? Angela’s cat munching on some foliage.

After an hours Pickleball I’ve had enough.

Arrive home knackered. I’m pretty sure it was having to go to the supermarket for some drinks thats exhausted me.

Quiet night in.

Finished all my nerdy IT projects so need a new project.
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The Israeli Palestinian Conflict: 10 Myths Preventing Peace

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Book our car for summer with Hertz. You really have to watch them and understand how their “rip you off algorithms” work. Online price ranges from £5,600 to £3,300. So you can save £2,300 just by juggling rental periods. You can then save a further £400 by speaking to those lovely ladies in their Dublin call centre – somehow the males never seem to do as good a deal.

Sad really, you’d think it would just be easy to do a single 87 day rental (bulk buying discount) rather than have to juggle rental periods to optimise the price. It’s this syndrome I have where I keep thinking I’m a CUSTOMER and I’m important to them. But don’t worry it’s not dangerous or contagious, it just brings out the rants in me.


Tuesday

Wendy on La De Dah.

After a lazy start we both set off for a snowshoe on La de dah. It’s all up hill going out and then of course all downhill coming back. Sunny day with awesome views and a great workout. As Bob would say “I wonder what the poor people are doing?” How lucky can we be.

My stroll down the snow tunnels.

Wendy went for lunch with her “girlfriend”, Sylvia, while I went shooting. Had my favourite 1911 Springfield. Feels like a proper gun. Tried a 9mm version of the sig safer 320 the other days. Similar to my air pistol at home. It was a nightmare. Black sights make it difficult to aim but worst of all was all the cartiridges shooting out into my face. Thankfully I had glasses on.

In the evening we have friends round for drinks. Great end to another awesome day.

Forecast is for another 20″ of snow over the next few days – we live in hope. Looks like I’ll have to defer getting my bike out until this storm passes.
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“Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty”, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who told an audience in Berlin that sovereign nation states must not listen to the will of their citizens when it comes to questions of immigration, borders, or even sovereignty.

Her words echo recent comments by the deeply unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron who stated in a Remembrance Day speech that “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism [because] nationalism is treason.”


Wednesday

Awesome views fro La De Dah. How lucky can we be.

Lazy start to the day as usual. Desperately seeking a new nerdy project to keep me out of trouble and maintain the levels of anger and frustration with software – once a nerd, always a nerd. People, especially Wendy, struggles to understand why I enjoy programming so much as I’m constantly battling with it. The psychologist’s have an explanation for it. Like a gambling addiction, it’s the random rewards when you crack a problem and get it working. In my mind it’s a better way of keeping your mind active than crosswords or Sudoko.

My stroll down the snow tunnels.

Wendy sets off for the CC while I set off for the gym and Pickleball. Get all the way down there and realise I’ve forgotten my trainers – just one of the many benefits of being a geriatric, but so much better than the alternative – so have to drive all the way back. No time for the gym – any excuse. Couple of hours Pickleball, but really need to work on my serve – so many times it’s illegal.

Hot waters packed up. Albert comes round and diagnoses the problem as a faulty thermocouple. Arranges a plumber to pick up the part and come round tomorrow morning to fix it – we live in hope, as I’m sure plumbers are the same unreliable cowboys the World over.

I have a jacuzzi instead of a shower. If chlorine washing is good enough for chickens, then it’ll do for me.

B&M and grandson come round for dinner and drinks.
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Interesting, if somewhat lengthy piece on the religion of pieces and permanent offence. Not sure who wrote it, but just about sums up the issue with Islam.

“Radicalism is not representative of all Muslims, but illiberal ideals, violence and extremism are representative of Islam and, unfortunately, many Muslims do condone such things.

Apostasy—the act of leaving one’s religious faith—for instance, is punishable by death, according to the Quran. Verses 4:89, 9:11-12, 2:217, 9:73-74, 88:21, 5:54, 9:66 call for Muslims to kill those who leave the faith (and there are many more from the Hadith).

This crime is punishable by death in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, according to the Library of Congress.

According to a poll done by Pew Research Center in 2013, which asked Muslims of various countries (such as Albania, Russia, Bosnia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan and others) about the penalty for apostasy, a large number of them supported the death penalty. In Egypt, 86 percent supported killing apostates.

In the same poll, 89 percent of Pakistani Muslims supported stoning as the penalty for adultery and 88 percent favor penalties such as “whippings or cutting off the hands” for crimes like theft.

According to The Week, in Saudi Arabia (ironically, the head of the United Nations Human Rights Council), women cannot go anywhere without a chaperone, drive a car, “wear clothes or make-up that show off their beauty,” interact with men they’re not related to and many other oddities.
Crimes that are punishable by death in Saudi Arabia (often by public beheading or stoning), according to Vocativ, include adultery, “consensual gay sex with an adult,” robbery, drug distribution and possession, apostasy, consumption of intoxicants, sorcery and witchcraft. You can also be executed for being gay and being an atheist, according to The Washington Post.

That being said, it is evidently clear that immoral and violent practices are not simply those of fanatic and extremist Muslims, but also those of many so-called moderates.

Now, I’m not claiming that all Muslims support laws and penalties like the above, but a shocking number do and it’s time to stop sugar-coating the issue—as many liberals in this country do—and denounce the arcane and depraved laws and practices of a bygone era. It’s time to admit that Islamic violence is not only practiced but also encouraged by large numbers of Muslims. It’s time to admit that Islam is not a religion of peace.

I am not calling for people to hate Muslims, nor am I calling for violence against them. I do not support any sort of bigotry or intolerance towards the Muslim community, but we need to stop ignoring the reality that Islam is no better than Christianity was during the Inquisition.

Even when considering Muslims in non-Muslim countries (many of them democracies), the statistics might be surprising.
A Populous Poll from 2006 showed that 12 percent of Muslims in Britain believe that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified and 1 in 4 support suicide attacks against British troops.

In 2007, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll which found that 26 percent of younger Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are justified. 42 percent in France.

With these figures it’s hard to settle for the common quip of “Islam is peaceful.”

Looking at just the United States, which has an estimated Muslim population of five to 12 million according to Frontline, that’s still over a million Muslims (even taken from 26 percent of the lower estimate of five million) who statistically believe suicide bombings are justified. Granted, this number is taken from the 2007 percentages and I’m highly skeptical of such a high number, but it’s still quite telling.

Now, I have never met a Muslim who has judged me or who seemed radical. My intention is not to smear the average Muslim who believes in peace and kindness and all the good teachings and lessons found in the Quran. Verse 5:89 of the Quran, for instance, tells Muslims to feed and clothe the needy, 7:199 says to be kind and forgiving toward one another, 42:42 states that it is wrong to oppress people.

However, I do want to bring to light the hypocrisy of calling the religion itself nonviolent, when so many Muslim nations and Muslims themselves support such radical violence.

We have to stop demonizing anyone who questions Islam and talk about it frankly. I think having this discussion would be incredibly enlightening. And we must stop referring to criticism of Islam as “racism.” Islam is a religion practiced by many people across the globe, over a billion in fact, and it is not the sole property of one single ethnicity. I criticize Islam, just as I criticize Christianity.

Sam Harris once said, “Holding Islam up to scrutiny, rationally and ethically, must not be confused with anti-Muslim bigotry. Cries of ‘Islamophobia,’ which have become ubiquitous on college campuses and in much of the liberal press, have been used to silence legitimate criticism. In an open society, no idea can be above scrutiny, just as no people should be beneath dignity.”

To say that Islam is a religion of peace is just simply not true. And Muslims who believe in democracy, human rights and nonviolence need to figure out how to spread their progressive beliefs, rather than perpetuate those of a violent Stone Age.”

20190219 – More Snowshoeing and Just Having Fun


Tuesday

Snowshoeing again.

Up and out early to go snowshoeing with Joe and Donna. We go up Robs trail, about 1,200 feet elevation and about 4 miles. Use the Yak Tracks instead of snow shoes.

So true. We need a 1st Amendment.

First halve is a rapid ascent in Donna’s wake then take it easy in the rear with Joe. Despite it being all uphill I don’t even break a sweat, colder than a brass toilet seat in the Yukon. The Yak Tracks just about make it.

Bob picks up Anna and Leon to go skiing with them for the morning.

In the evening Hal, Carol and Angela come round for dinner.
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In the afternoon we have to go to the bank to change our PIN’s on our debit cards. It seems that in this advanced colonial civilisation you can’t do it at an ATM. Can’t be done by a teller, needs the expert services of a banker. Teller tells me we’ll have to wait because the bankers busy at the moment, at which point I point out that “…well he’s sat around doing nothing, make him aware there’s a CUSTOMER waiting”. We get served promptly – just needs a bit of focus on “customer service”.

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The anti-American dream by Pat Connell.

The quickest way to create a captive society is to educate children to hate their own freedom.
Nobody’s feelings were consulted during the making of this video. Anyone who has a problem with that can drop dead.


Wednesday

Just clearing up some more snow.

Anna and Leon set off for a days skiing with Carol and Angela.

We have a lazy morning. Then I walk up to the CC with Wendy – she’s volunteering there for the afternoon. That’s my exercise for the day.

Finally manage to display the glyphicons and control the column width in my CRUD web site I’m writing. It’s taken hours to identify which elements of Bootstrap are causing the problem and which CSS classes work. Nerdy stuff but so much more fun than crosswords or sudoko.

Then it’s off to the gun club for some target practice with Joe. Use a 9mm 1911 Springfield. A joy to shoot. The only disadvantage is the sights are black so on a black target it’s not so good but on a light target it’s amazing. Moral of that is to only ever use it to shoot white men.

Drinks in the hot tub.

Jamie comes round to collect the table that Janelle’s getting rid of.

In the evening Anna and Leon take us out to dinner. Go to the Blind Dog for sushi. Getting in training for our Japanese trip. Leave the choice of the myriad of options to Anna. Raw fish, pretty tasty. Mind you it gives me the squitters, although there is some blue crab in there so perhaps that’s the cause. Need to experiment ready for Japan. Great meal, the Cline Zinfandel was awesome and great company. Yet another fantastic evening here in paradise.
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Farage asks who the damp rag is:


Thursday

Ten pin bowling from Monday night.

Lazy morning.

Lunch time Wendy goes to help out at the CC. I walk down the trail from Peaks hotel to Starbucks at Kimble. Exactly 5 miles and pretty exhausting in the snow without YakTraks. Catch electric express back up to meet Wendy at the CC and for a lift home. A good 6 mile walk.

In the evening it’s poring down with snow. Pick B&M up and head off down to the PCMSC AGM at the golf club. Cowboy evening theme with a meal. Pretty good evening but pass on the line dancing.

Wendy’s having kittens about the snow so we leave pretty early to avoid getting too snowed in.
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Probably lost on our colonial friends but this opposition (extreme leftwing) home secretary has a reputation for being a complete dick, with worst numeracy skills than that of a talking horse.

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Next time you hear someone slagging off our superb National Health Service refer them to this “Mirror Mirror” survey – yes we come out top amongst the developed nations, despite spending substantially less. For my colonial friends it really isn’t a communist inspired plot but more like a fundamental human right. Read it to find out how the USA fares in World ranking.


Friday

More ten pin bowling from Monday.

Pick up Helen and we go bowling with the other geriatrics from the Newcomers. A good morning and even a respectable score. Then it’s Starbucks.

Afternoon is the CC for Wendy whilstI get in a couple of hours Pickleball at the Basin Rec. It’s awesome. Win 4 out of 6 games.

In the evening we’re all off down to B&M’s for dinner. Ravioli with Bobs awesome tomato sauce and Italian sausage (Wendy needs to add these to her shopping list). Not forgetting wine, whisky, espresso and good company.
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  Vikings, a mythogy of peace:

Sadly Syeten has been closed down by the snowflaky do gooders and PC brigade. More infringement of free speech. We need a 1st amendment. What a subtle way of describing the religion of pieces and permanent offence.


Saturday

Snowshoeing again. Bob tries his new snowshoes

Up at the crack of sparrows take Anna and Leon down to the airport. Yes, another trip to the airport.

Afternoon we take B&M down to Wassatch State Park to christens Bobs new snow shoes. Do the Huber trail. To be fair we could have walked or YakTraked it but it was B&M’s first outing so we did it for fun – even Wendy snowshoed.

Then seek out a coffee followed by a trip to the sportmens warehouse and that good old all time Saturday afternoon favourite Walmart – you know the place where the crazy people go.

The evening’s our first quiet evening in for over a week.
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Well it’s somewhat consoling to know that it’s not just us Brits suffering with all this. Why you can’t argue with a leftist:


Sunday

Start of the Bear hike.

Lazy start. Then off snowshoeing up to the Bear Hike, aka Snow Top. The usual root round was 3 foot deep snow and no idea where the trail was so we went clockwise, out and back. Better in the snowshoes, only took us about 50 minutes.

Then in the afternoon we picked B&M up and went to the apres ski. Not many there, a quiet do. Remembered to take our own food back!

Quiet night in. Finished off the wine with a spot of sushi and a great alcoholic ginger beer.
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Don’t we just love American roundabouts! They really are more dangerous than trying to sell a bible in downtown Tehran. Why do the colonials not understand them. For us geriatrics, who have the memory of a goldfish, it’s so much easier than remembering who was 1st, 2nd and 3rd at a 4 way Stop sign.


Monday

Wild turkeys. I wish I had my bow.

Lazy morning again. Recovered Kurt’s wedding photos from Google Plus before they got deleted and started work on a revised photo gallery web page.

Dropped Wendy off to have her nails done, then she was having lunch and shopping with M. More “want” less “need”.

I went to the gym and then played nearly two hours pickle ball. It’s awesome, just wish I could play better.

Then it’s a quiet night in watch Netflix series with French subtitles.
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What is it with some of the women who play pickle ball? Wow. Bossy and nasty. Such a fun combo. Certainly wouldn’t fancy waking up with some of them on my pillow. Seems to bring out the worst of colonial matriarchs. For the Sake of the Flying Spaghetti Monster it’s only a game


Tuesday

Snowshoeing scenery.

Lazy start. Then I set of for a 3 mile walk in the snow whilst Wendy does the shopping. I’m Hotter than a road lizard walking up a hill backwards carrying a bucket of slobber. Perhaps I really don’t need my ski pants, fleece, wooly hat and anorak on – it’s too warm, cruelty to snow.

Meet Wendy back at the supermarket. A bottle of Bourye just screams out “Please buy me” from the liquor store shelves. Temptation to buy this limited edition, 96 point score Bourbon, is just too great.

Then in the afternoon I go down to Salt Lake archery with Joe. No one else from PCMSC is interested.

In the evening B&M and Mike come round for dinner and drinks of course. Sample some of the Bourye – it is truly awesome.
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Just love this true geriatric story. How do I know it’s true, well it came from a friend who shall remain nameless.

He went to see Bohemian Rhapsody and was raving about how good it was. The lady he went with then pointed out that he’d gone with her 2 months prior to see the exact same film, had fell asleep before it even started and had no memory of the prior visit. Jut one of the many benefits of old age, but looking on the positive side it’s so much better than the alternatives.

Fortunately scientific research has come up with an answer to what best factor determines longevity. It seems that people with more birthdays live longer.

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Here we are with the colonials in the land of free market economy and enterprise. Enterprise, that’s a word that like anyone aged under 21, not allowed in a state liquor store.

More snowshoeing scenery .

Wendy to sales staff: “Do you have any alcoholic ginger beer anywhere?”.

Sales (well lets be more realistic and call her a clerk): “No we’ve none in at the moment. As soon as we put any on the shelves it just flies off the shelves”.

Unlike me Wendy didn’t say what I would have said: “Well why don’t you buy more, that way you would sell more? It’s called stock control and enterprise.”

In fact if you wanted to be a real smart arse you could even sell them a formula:

Economic order quantity = square root of [(2 x demand x ordering costs) ÷ carrying costs]

Not exactly rocket science, especially with modern computer stock systems. This country really does seem like a shrine to lost opportunity cost. No one stocks anything anymore.


Wednesday

Snowshoeing.

Lazy start again.

Then it’s a 3 mile walk into town and back. Wendy goes to the CC.

Afternoon is shooting with Joe. Try an assortment of weapons including a rather “Make my day” style revolver. I think its the worst performance since I’ve been here. Must say the Springfield 1911 never lets me down.

A quiet night in for a change.
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Tony does a snow angel.

Don’t you just love the annual car insurance renewal charade where the shisters treat you like an imbecile and try to rip you off. This year Aviva have excelled themselves. A 10% price hike on a dual car policy. The exact amount of 10% says it all. But then you find that if you insure each car individually with them it’s about £150 cheaper than the supposed benefit of dual car. They really do have no respect for their customers.

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Group snowshoeing

In Arabic, “Islam” means submission and “Sharia” literally means “path” or the path to salvation. Sharia, a set of guiding moral principles derived from the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed is inseparable from the practice of Islam. There are many tenants of Sharia law but here are a few to ponder:
• Muslims should engage in Taqiyya (Lying to advance Islam). Lying to non-Muslims is encouraged by Muhammad
• Men are allowed to practice polygamy and to be married to four wives at the same time; women can only be married to one man
• Muhammad instructs female genital mutilation; girls clitoris is cut out so they cannot ever enjoy sex
• A man can beat his wife for insubordination
• A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death
• Muslim men have sexual rights to any girl or woman not wearing the hijab (Head Covering)
• A woman or girl that has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist.
• Testimonies of 4 male witnesses are required to prove rape of a female
• A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s.
• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a wife needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
• Criticizing Muhammad, Allah or any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
• Homosexuality is punishable up to death