Rants and Observations

Jun. 8, 2019

The only great thing about Great Britain today is that it continues to nurture eccentrics. Whilst the world and Britain are swirling down the toilet, mad dogs and Englishmen focus on esoteric niceties. 
Professor William Fitzgerald expounded to the Horatian Society, a group that venerates the Latin poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus. He is better known as Horace.

The much quoted translation of his 'Carpe Diem' is incorrect. Indeed, it has been quoted by aggressive business thrusters as 'Sieze the day'.This is the opposite of Horace's intention.

A more accurate translation is 'Savour the day.' This has the opposite meaning. It is more in line with hippy, Buddhist or meditative behaviour. In modern parlance, Chill!

Jun. 7, 2019
More from today's UK times.There was a report that psychologists have found thinking of murdering people is normal. 70% of men do it and quite a lot of women. Work collegues and bosses are highest on the list.
It may even be healthy and part of a normal revue of planning options. Most will think of the consequences and not do it. (Boring I know).
Those who think me crazy for thinking murderous thoughts are therefore wrong. The reasons I am crazy lie elsewhere entirely.
My writings include many innovative forms of murder.
Jun. 7, 2019


News about plastic and more
Real Journalism is not replaced by social media after all. From today's UK Times.
1. The much heralded compostable plastic cutlery and fast food containers and cups, need industrial composting systems and would take many years if you put it in your garden compost. Worse, most local authorities do not have suitable equipment, so it will go to landfill.re is also a concern that it will encourage the ignorant to toss it onto the streets.
2. A new tire, being developed and coming in the next five years, is filled with a type of fibre glass. It is tougher, cannot puncture, has better grip, lasts longer and is cheaper to make. There go more jobs, reduced need for rubber plantations and an end to dangerous blowouts. I read this whilst waiting an hour and a half for a puncture repair. Maybe sales of the Times will decline a little too?
3. A columnist was describing a snobby relative. The man looked at the crowd at the horse races and said, "I bet a third of the people here don't know the date of the treaty of Westphalia.' (I do- 1648. I must be a snob too).
Apr. 7, 2019

We retired to a developing country, as many do. We chose Costa Rica.
Our lifestyle here includes employing people to help with the garden and the house. If we have resolvable health issues, we deal with them.
We keep fit by going to various classes and walking. My, time is spent writing books. Friends play games or have BBQs for other gringos.
In the past weeks, a Tico neighbor had a heart attack. His family were crying because there was no food.
As we enjoy our healthy walk, we see Nicaraguan workers and Ticos, some in their 80s hacking away at the sugar cane. In the coffee season, whole families, kids included, load onto tractors to do the work. Each one needs to support their family.
We read that in the USA, the greatest country in the world according to some, most people are one health problem away from Poverty. That is equally true in Costa Rica, unless you are a member of the privileged elite.
Ticos we know, are queued for long periods with chronic health issues. Gringos we know are able to work the system to get priority, even though they arrived relatively recently.
By what circumstance of birth and luck do we deserve to live as we do here? How should Ticos feel about, we strange beings who do not need to work.

Should we be surprised that our houses are being robbed and behind the facade many dislike gringos?

Mar. 24, 2019

Part 2  (Part 1 appears below)


 Asian gurus agree that we should focus on the present. The past exists only in a person's faulty memory. The future is just imagination.

Memoirs can be pretty boring unless the relevant person has done something extraordinary or is well known. Few others are worth reading, unless they resonate with one's own life in some way or are funny. Too many writers have the overarching egos to think others will be interested in their mundane stories.

Because of this, I am writing a book containing only funny incidents from my own travels and experiences. 'Memories from a Misspent Life.' The rest of my existence is only relevant to me. Much of it is sordid, warped and unfortunate.

I was advised to write everything and edit out the non-funny parts. This was an extremely bad idea. It is driving me into a depressed and psychotic state.

The problem is that from the perspective of old age, you can see how earlier events led inexorably from one bad or good thing to the next. Life is like a Pascal's triangle made into a pegboard. A metal ball is inserted between the top two pegs of the apex of the triangle resting on its base. Each row on the way down has an additional two pegs. As gravity pulls the ball down, it randomly passes down a route, till it pops out between two pegs among those at the bottom at the bottom. The particular route and exit are a matter of pure chance.

There is no going back. Once a route is started, the path forward towards the bottom is limited. Oh the errors made, the misery caused, the hurt to others that can never be repaired.

Knowing that depression can be caused by desperately trying to change the past is little consolation. Dwelling on the trauma, pain and heartache one has created is extremely harmful to mental health.

Delve into the darkest chapters of your past at your peril!

Unless that is you want to go completely barking mad, like my favourite artist. Salvador Dali. He developed a technique in which he drove himself into a paranoiac state. Well, it served him well. Maybe I should continue down that route?