Jungle walks and bad timing

I might have mentioned we're on our jollies in Corfu at the moment. We're staying in Ipsos again, in a little village where we've had the chance to get to know some locals and some ex-pats. Nisakiman, living in Greece himself, has friends who own a restaurant not to far from where we are staying

I say not too far. It's ok if you own a car, preferably a four wheel drive, but walking is quite a chore. We've walked from San Markos in Ipsos, to Kato Korikiana where these people live, the last time we were over here. I did all the Google maps business and picked a route that took us straight across as the crow flies, rather than walking the main road route, which is quite out of the way. We got lost that time and the road dumped us back onto the beach, so we just walked the main roads. Including a couple of stops for a pint, that route took us roughly six hours.

I did the Google maps business this time, figured out where we had gone wrong and we loaded up with provisions for the journey. I had a rucksack and my cowboy hat and one of the locals in the bar where we had breakfast called me Indiana Jones. He was clearly taking the piss, but I've been called worse. They thought we were barmy to be setting off on a long trek during the hottest part of the day, but we're not mad, we're just British. As it turned out, he was quite right to get a few digs in before we left.

Google maps said forty five minutes. Two hours later we were in the foothills of a mountain on dirt tracks with no sign of civilisation

So we had gotten ourselves lost again, only this time, in the other direction. It took a full three hours of trekking through redneck country before we found civilisation and our first bar. Which was closed

We were still a good two miles north of our destination and our supplies were running dangerously low. Worse than that, we hadn't had a beer for a very long time

Eventually we made it to Kato Korikiana and found a bar that was open. While we were waiting for our beers, I had a wonder to look for this restaurant, '60 Needles', that Nisakimans friends own. It's only a small village but I had no joy, so went back to the bar and asked the waitress. It was right next door. To quote George Jones, If my ship's docking in the East, I'll be heading west. Indiana Jones, I ain't.

Anyhoo, the place was closed, so I couldn't say hello to these folks as they weren't there. My suggestion that we come back the following evening was met with utter derision

So Nisakiman, we tried, but no luck. Maybe next year

Open up, we wanna beer
The route back down the other side of Ipsos was much better. We managed to stock up, have a meal and stop at a few bars to break up the journey. I've got calves of steel this morning, so it's going to be a relaxing day doing bugger all

We're off on a boat trip tomorrow. If we don't return, avenge our deaths

Friday Tunes - Off on holiday

A quick selection of tunes for you tonight. As you read this, I'm sat on a plane going to Corfu, probably terrified. I don't like flying, but needs must

Blogging might be light(er) for the next couple of weeks while I'm sunning myself and eating like a pig

As I'm going away, I thought about making tonights theme a holiday one, but then I thought better of it. You don't half hear some cheesy shite abroad and my reader probably wouldn't appreciate that crap

Instead I'll give you a short preview of what I might be listening to while I'm on a sunbed.

We'll start with a little Brucey bonus



And a couple of Bob Segers





He doesn't look much like a Rock N Roll dude in that picture

I first heard this next one on the TV series, Fringe. If you've not watched it, don't hang around here, go do it, now



Another Bob



I almost went with 'Addicted to Love', but Shania Twain ruined that one for me



That's enough of that

Last one for tonight and I'll see y'all again in a couple of weeks

Grow up

If the entire history of the earth is represented as one day, apparently humans have only been around since one minute, seventeen seconds to midnight.

The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. The few seconds of human existence represents the following:

the modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it is only about 6,000 years old, and industrialization started in the earnest only in the 1800s.
We think we're evolved, we think we're cleaver, but the human race is still in it's infancy. And we act like it

Just like a child sucks it's thumb or cuddles it's security blanket, the human race still has an ingrained desire to do the same on a species wide scale. We need reassurance from an outside source because we don't yet have the confidence and the understanding to function without it

From the dawn of man, that security blanket has come in the form of religion. Early humans, lacking any understanding of the world around them and even their own existence, wove a complex fabric of mythology about a supreme being (in many forms) who created all the things they failed to understand

That mythology has persisted into the modern era. Some religions have disappeared, other have become more widespread. With a little more understanding of life, the western world has largely moved away from religion. We've have just enough knowledge to believe that just maybe, we weren't all created by an all powerful entity after all.

That poses a problem

There are two classes of people in any religion; the leaders and the led. Both become what they are out of a need. The leaders need to have people willing to follow them, the led need to follow

In the early days of ignorance when the world was very small, the system worked well for those involved. As time progressed and people started to move around the world more, religions encountered other religions and some people even moved away from religion altogether. This wasn't good for the leaders; they can't control the unbelievers and they can't control other religions that already have leaders in place. This led to inquisitions and religious wars

Religions like Christianity have evolved to a point where they understand people cannot be forced to follow a belief and you can't put them to death for not doing so. Religions like Islam have some catching up to do in that area, but that's a geographical concern. Their time will come

This change in attitudes was not good for the followers either. Even though they no longer believe in creationism, they still need something to believe in. They're not ready to give up the security blanket just yet

A good example of this is the Cold War. Following World War 2, one side embraced Communism. Not a religious belief, but a philosophy with a message non the less. The other side was galvanised by a hatred of Communism. Both sides needed leaders with a vision to pass onto the people who followed.
The US did not put a man on the Moon because they thought it would be a really cool thing to do, they did it in order to beat the Russians at something. The Space Race unified the people behind the leaders

The Cold War also gave us the constant threat of nuclear fire. This threat brought about many new pressure groups and activists. Pro and anti Communist groups, ban the bomb movements, and various advocates for peace. Many of these were made up of people filling a belief void, directionless people who had found a way

Around the end of the cold war, with pressure groups who had no one to pressure and inactive activists, new reasons to fill the void began to crop up. The late eighties and early nineties were dominated by the food health scare. We had salmonella in eggs, listeria in cheese, and the big one, BSE in beef.

These scares gave rise to the next religion. The food police. Food safety became the new direction for the pressure groups. In a vain effort to eradicate all the various types of food poisoning, new and pointless laws were enacted and some businesses were crippled by ever expanding costs and new legislation.

Food safety eventually began to grow into the general 'Health and Safety' movement. People began to look for new and ever more imaginative ways to make people safe. Regardless of the social and economic cost, people had to be protected. We saw the demise of leaded petrol. As a car enthusiast, I understand the importance of lead, particularly in older vehicles. It didn't stop there though. We also lost lead in paints and at a huge cost, computer equipment and printed circuit boards. The only harm that lead ever caused was in water piping and in some instances, paint, but we lost the lot.

Then came asbestos. A very efficient fire retardant in building materials and harmless in many building applications, was also banned completely.

Religion, having been around since the dawn of man, is heavily ingrained in the human meme. Moving away from it has left a void that is difficult to fill. Many quasi-religious philosophies have cropped up to try and fill the gap

Global warming has an impending threat of doom that can only be avoided by adopting a lifestyle laid down by those 'in the know'. Anti-global warming science is emphatically denounced, often by faith alone. People who do not follow the philosophy are referred to as 'Deniers', much like the unbelievers in the height of religious oppression in the name of a God. Deniers are roundly attacked by swarms of the faithful in an attempt to shut down their opinions and prevent their sacrilege from spreading

There is one encompassing message in any religion that cannot be duplicated in any of the pop up philosophies that have appeared since. The afterlife
If you no longer believe in the supreme being, it's hard to believe that living a pious life will result in ascension to heaven at the end of it and living forever in paradise.

So to replace the afterlife, we now have the beforelife.

With an afterlife, you have to live the life laid down by the religious leaders and as a reward, you get a do-over once you die. The before life acknowledges that you don't get a second chance, so your reward now has to be living this life for as long as you possibly can. Of course to get this, you still have to live the life prescribed to you by those in charge

We call this new religion, Public Health

Public Health works well for both sides. Those who need to be led will listen with rapt attention to the tales about the dangers of smoking, drinking, sugar, fat, salt and the rest. They will drink in the idea that if they do what they're told, they will live a very long and very happy life. They will get their paradise, just in a different place

It works well for the controllers too. They get the adulation of their flock, they get to control people and dictate how people live their lives and just like religion, it pays well

The evidence for Public Health is the same as the evidence for the existence of a God; it's faith based and it's taken on faith. People believe it because they choose to believe it. They've been told what to believe by people who are revered now as much as the priests used to be. These new priests are called, 'Experts'

The Experts tell the people what to believe and they lap it up. The people have the faith in the Experts, they read the good book (Daily Mail) and they do as they are told in anticipation of the reward they will receive. Long life

The people have their security blanket back

But just like religions with supreme beings and afterlifes, this philosophy is on even more shaky ground

When you live as you are told to and believe you are going to heaven when you die, actually dying won't change your opinion. You'll be dead. Also, the other believers around you cannot know if you actually went to heaven or not. The only way for them to find out is to go there themselves

The difference with Public Health is, everyone can see the reward in action. If you live exactly as you are told to and then get hit by a bus, everyone can see it. If you live the pious life and then still get cancer, it's no secret. The Experts can cloud the issue by claiming it was second hand smoke or whatever, but that cannot keep working every time.

And if the Experts are right in your case, if you do end up living a very long life and spend the last years of it sat in a puddle of your own piss at the mercy of social care, unable to function on your own, it's obvious to anyone who wants to open their eyes and see it. There are already splits in the seams

Unfortunately very few of the initiated do open their eyes. To pinch a quote from the X-Files, they want to believe. It's so much easier to believe what you are told than to throw away the security blanket and step out into the big wide world on your own

As a race, we really need to grow up. Unfortunately I doubt that will happen in my lifetime

A drubbing in the comments

Some people really should know better
Mum-of-two's horror at discovering mouse in Blackburn McDonald's restaurant
I don't know what these people expect when they get themselves in the local rag. Sympathy? Fifteen minutes of fame? Well she certainly got her fame, but not in the way I imagine she hopped for. She's taking a right bashing in the comments. There isn't even one person who has taken her side. And you can see why
A HORRIFIED mum-of-two watched in disbelief as a mouse ran across the floor of a McDonald's restaurant.
The 24-year-old said she ran out of the store with her kids in fright before making a complaint to McDonald's and council bosses.
"I was just left shocked by the incident as you don't expect to see a mouse when you're eating in any restaurant, let alone a big chain such as McDonald's.
"It's a real food hygiene issue and needs to be addressed."
Those two kids don't stand a chance if that's how their mother behaves, do they?

What grips my shit, is that we live in a time where idiots like this get their publicity and where their stupid complaints actually get taken on board.

McDonalds would not get away with telling her to grow the fuck up, as attention seeking, baby machines like this woman, probably have the power to get them shut down if they wail for long enough and at the right jobsworths
The fast-food chain said it also closed the restaurant for a period of time to allow an independent health and hygiene specialist to conduct a thorough inspection.
Following the inspection, the restaurant re-opened and operated as normal from yesterday morning.
Sigh.

Inspector: "Yeah, it was a mouse. It's gone now.
McDs: "Just as we thought. Fancy a brew"
Inspector: "Eye. Why not"

At least they didn't offer her free stuff or compo. And she's made no friends in the comments. I hope she's thoroughly ashamed of herself. Unlikely though, she's clearly one of the entitlement generation. There's a lot of it about

Aww. Someone give him a McNugget

There's only one solution to these people

Ban it

The new chairman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland is calling for a ban on “killer” kitchen knives.

That's right. We can no longer be trusted to own kitchen knives
Well we banned guns and now nobody gets shot, so banning knives is obviously the next logical step

Dr John Crichton, who took on the role in June, said the sale of pointed kitchen knives should be banned to help reduce the number of fatal stabbings.

He's been on the job less than two months and is already shooting ahead in the 'must be seen to be doing something' wibble. This guy is clearly going to be a right pain in the arse

I presume he's done some kind of study?

Dr Crichton conducted a study into 260 mental health services users who had committed homicide. He found 45 per cent of the murders involved a knife and of the knives that could be identified, 85 per cent were kitchen knives.

Notice how he calls murderers, 'Mental Health Service Users'? A service user by definition, is someone who chooses to use a service, not someone who is detained by that 'service' for the protection of society

There were 600 murders in the Uk in 2016 and roughly 36% of these were with a knife or sharp object (I don't know how many of these sharp objects were the long bladed kitchen knives this dick wants banned). That's 216 or so knife murders

Mr Crichton wants to ban 65.6 million people in 22.5 million households from owning the most useful of household objects, the kitchen knife, just because a they are used in the odd murder

And correct me if I'm wrong, but drugs are banned right? But 31% of knife homicides were committed by people on drugs. Knives won't go away if they are banned and I'm pretty sure that if you are willing to break the law by getting smacked off your tits and murdering someone, you'll have no problem using an illegal kitchen knife to do it

The only people that will be penalised by this, just like the ban on guns, are the law abiding who use kitchen knives for what they were intended, chopping celery and stuff

But if it saves just one life...

And we just can't be trusted not to use 'accessible' items to disembowel each other

Dr Crichton said research shows that many attacks, particularly in households where there has been a history of violence, involve kitchen knives because they are so easily accessible.
You know what else is accessible and just as deadly as knives in the hands of the murderous? Forks


Here comes the emotional appeal:

In 2015, Bailey Gwynne was stabbed to death at Cults Academy in Aberdeen after a dispute with another pupil. In that case, the murder weapon was bought online.

So I presume a ban on kitchen knives would have prevented this?

The boy told police that the knife he used to kill Bailey was purchased on Amazon “because they don’t check your age”.
[...]the boy [was sentanced] to eight years in detention for culpable homicide, with a further custodial term of a year for each conviction of carrying knives and a knuckleduster in school, to run concurrently.

No. He knew it was illegal for him to buy the knife, but he found a way anyway. He was also carrying a knuckleduster. Which are already banned

“This is a public health measure and public health measures are always about society deciding on a self-imposed restriction for the public good,” he said. “It is a bit like the smoking ban or minimum alcohol pricing.”

Bollocks! Public health measures like the smoking ban and minimum alcohol pricing are not measures proposed and imposed by society, they are restrictions demanded by interfering prodnosed turds with a superiority complex, like Mr Crichton

He would like to see safe kitchen knives introduced in all schools and colleges following the murder of Aberdeen schoolboy Bailey Gwynne.

Where the knife was brought into school by a pupil...

He would also like the government to re-examine the issue with a view to bringing in legislation.

Of course he would. And once that legislation is brought in and were all cutting our celery with bits of blunt plastic, he'll no doubt move onto a range of sports equipment, chairs, house bricks, power tools and probably celery

If it saves just one life...

Dr Christine Goodall, a founder of Medics Against Violence, said: “We need to stop people from thinking about picking up a knife in the first place.”

Oh what a good idea. Killers gonna kill. But dealing with what makes a killer in the first place would require an in depth, long term and systematic look at society from the roots up. (Probably starting with the imported gang culture taking over London). It would be very difficult.

Proposing a ban is a good way to get your name in the paper though, when you're two months into the job and power has already gone to your head

Saturday wibble

I went to my friends 40th birthday party last night. I've known the lad for twenty years now and I've been quite friendly with his folks during that time

His Dad bought us a beer and sat with us when he turned up. He asked for the first time ever, how I had actually met the guy.

My mate started a job at the place where I currently worked about twenty years ago. I was 21 and he would have been 20. He had been at the company for only a couple of weeks and didn't know me from Adam, however as he was walking past me and I was about to sit down, he whipped my chair out from under me and I went arse over tit.

He brings that story up quite often when we have a beer. Apparently it was an instinctive reaction to pull out my chair and one that he instantly regretted. For all he knew, I might have been inclined to get him fired. Fortunately we became good friends

There were a lot of young people working at that place and the wages weren't very good, but all we cared about was earning enough to have a beer at the weekend, so we just had a laugh at work and got up to quite a few antics.

With today's health and safety laws, you would definitely get fired for some of the things we used to do.

Being a grown up now though, I still find that people like to give each other whatever pain they can get away with at work. The most popular one at our place is jumping on an air pillow behind someone to frit the shit out of them. We go through a lot of air pillows and not just for packing boxes

I once tip toed right across an empty warehouse to pop an air pillow behind a girl working away at a computer terminal on her own. I've never heard a scream quite like it

My personal favourite is disconnecting someones telephone handset at the phone. When the phone rings, they pick up the handset and say hello, but the cable is just dangling and the phone is still ringing. It's a simple trick to confuse the noggin off someone

Has anyone else got any work pranks?

I've been rough as arseholes today, after the party last night. The sun's over the yardarm now though so I've just opened a hairy dog.

I'll pop into the smokey drinkey bar later on and see if anyones about. Probably about tenish. It's Saturday night, there might be a few people having a scoop or two. It often gets busier later on a Saturday night

See you there?