Monday, 21 May 2012

The Insects Have Won the War

Over the weekend, I discovered a nest of termites in my workshop gleefully munching on some discarded cardboard boxes, and probably on the timber frame of the building.

I don't know how they got in, and I don't care - I just want them GONE.

Google is your friend, so off I trot to find the solution. Only I don't find the solution, I find a whole range of options, none of which is anything LIKE the "nuke-em-from-orbit" answer that I seek.

I can spend a HUGE amount of money on an ecologically friendly, bio-degradable spray that acts as a deterrent, and lasts a few months.

I can spend even MORE money on a less degradable deterrent spray that lasts a few years.

What I CAN'T do is spend my money on something that will KILL THE DAMN TERMITES - NEST AND ALL. Why? Because the pest control companies are not allowed to sell it or use it, even when the manufacturer is still allowed to make it, in the name of the environment.


Years ago, my father and I renovated an old mud-brick farm-house. 

The floor was gone - joists  and boards eaten by termites and turned into fancy insect architecture made of dried termite spit.

We removed all the damaged wood, and then deployed that great insect leveller - DDT - liberally. New joists and boards installed, a coat of plaster, several coats of paint, new stove, new window frames and glass - house habitable again.

The best bit? No more termites - EVER.

The ability to do that has not been LOST - we gave it up, for nothing, and that makes me sad.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

I despise journalists

In an online article on the web-site, "staff writers" demonstrate just how stupid & lazy journalists are.

The article is headed:

"Now, to the small matter of Kodak's nuclear reactor. Wait. Nuclear WHAT?"

and contains this gem:

" reports that in the basement of Kodak's New York property lay 3.5 pounds of enriched uranium. Which means they had enough to build an atomic bomb."
Which is the most egregious CRAP. 
Thirty seconds with Google reveals that PURE U-235 has a critical mass of 52 kilograms. A lump smaller than this is known as sub-critical and cannot sustain the chain reaction necessary for the blinding flash and the big-ass BANG.
For the arithmetically challenged, 3.5 pounds converts to LESS than 1.6 kilograms, and just to be BLINDINGLY obvious, 1.6 kilograms is LESS than 52 kilograms.
For the likely level of enrichment of the Kodak uranium (20%), there is precisely ONE way to turn this amount of radioactive uranium into an atomic bomb - add another 400 plus kilograms of 20% U-235.
Journalists are the reason that journalists are despised.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Revolution sounds like a ... whimper?

This blogging thing is hard. Well, not hard per se, but it's definitely hard to keep posting regularly.

I have a job, and the income from that is desparately needed because I also am afflicted by the greatest income-attrition device known to man - a wife and two children.

I have hobbies - I shoot competitively, and I have a couple of old cars with which I tinker occasionally.

I own a house, so there is maintenance to be done.

Finding time to blog - and then actually doing it - is an ongoing challenge. I have lots to say, but little time to say it, although if you ask my extended family, they might tell you that I talk too much. The arguments that I have with my left-leaning cousins are EPIC.

So now we come to the point of this post - the pressure in my head has reached a point that exceeds my lack of enthusiasm for making the effort to post, and my ability to exercise restraint.

The Australian Federal Budget.

Apparently, as parents of two school-age children, my wife and I are now entitled to $1,640 of other people's money. Why?

I am also to be compensated through the income tax system for increases in the cost of living caused by the new Mining Tax and the new Carbon Tax. The total of the compensation is said to be equal to the increase in government tax revenue. Why?

The Budget also doles out money to various other demographic groups, while somehow also returning to a surplus. Why?
Now, don't get me wrong, a surplus is a good thing compared to the alternatives, but why is government taking more than they spend in the first place? Why are they giving it to other people instead of back to those from whom they took it? Heaven knows, I could gainfully make use of more of my money if they would only let me keep it. Of course, for every surplus billion in taxes taken by the government, only 900 million gets returned (if it ever does) - it costs 10% to run the bureaucracy that manages the money, but still.

Now I read in the local paper that every taxpayer in the country is involuntarily contributing $100 per week (through taxation) to welfare recipients in this country. Why? I recognise that genuine cases of hardship exist, but am I really alone in saying that nobody should get more for NOT working?

Australia is done for. The ANZACs are spinning in their graves scattered over Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Mid-East.

No country can long survive when a family can have NO bread-winner, and still afford housing, clothing, food, a car, mobile phones, alcohol, cigarettes, and entertainment.

When that family consists of adult members whose ancestors for TWO GENERATIONS have never held a job, and children where that number is THREE, then there is NO HOPE of turning things around at the ballot box. These indolent leeches on the body of society will NEVER vote to stop our largesse.

The revolution can't be long away. It won't be pretty, and I am not looking forward to it.