A Modest Proposal

June 4, 2019

An open letter to Elon and the SpaceX Crew

First up and first Falcon Heavy launch: serious kudos peeps but for my money the better money-shot was the recent night time landing of the supply dragon booster on the “Off Course…” [Landing Time code ~20  minutes] Effing brilliant! And your studio hostess was impressed too!

Taking the fanboi hat off I have a modest proposal.

Well two…

WRT the recent Crew Dragon mishap and the “Return to the Moom” [sic] Trumpery what might be achievable in the real race back to the Moom. No not China but between the Other Guys, with B.O. >;-)), and you!

A Grand Day Out [Wallace and Gromit refers]

Anniversary of Apollo 8

i.e. Xmas 2023 ish a Crew Dragon trip around the Moom for some white mice [School project? FreeFall cage build competition.] and a round of anonymous blue space cheeze Penicillium roqueforti wiki “Wensliton” perhaps
with a webcast of the earthRise prime time Middle America Dec 25th!

Just to whet the appetite!

Oh yes! Sell the Moom cheeze on eBay! Return white mice to school!

2024 your take on Apollo 11.

Sample return. Probably a double launch. IANARS but Nasa thinks highly of my ideas! [Augustine Commission submission under the name David Lermit. Number two on the list “Flexible Path” thread. pdf]

Launch one: custom lander / launcher hardened for lunar(fort)night [contract out/ or in-house/ or a bit of both] plus a mini-rover with waldo’s [do.]

Otherwise the same mission plan as the Mars Sample Return. Ahh!

Thus mini rover with a female name [wiki quote: “Thriae (Mount Parnassos), prophets and nurses of Apollo “] gathers nice collectable rocks and loads into the return stage Obligatory plush toy deployment. Zen Gardening?

For the site I would seriously suggest the peaks of permanent photo-electricity (shoulder of Shackleton) for this.

  • Primus it’s a pretty benign location for the Moom.
  • Secundus possession is nine-tenths and all that sort of thing.
  • Tertius the lander should have a long term solar powered landing beacon hardened as much as possible for further landers in anticipation of an international robotic village.

Colonise the Moom with tele-bots [Rudy Rucker’s Software <wiki> refers] tele-build the base with all mod cons and only then move in with the throw cushions and curtains IMHO. “The Third Way!

But as I say, IANARS!

Launch two: an orbital catcher to recover the payload launched into orbit when everything looks tickety-boo [technical term] LOR the samples back to splash down or deliver to the ISS! The capsule can then be used for a conventional materials return to earth at a later date plus they now have some Moom rocks on the ISS!

Boost its kudos rating. Win-Win/

Also (shh) failsafe should the Capsule go ‘plish’ into the briny!

Oh yes! Sell the Moom rocks on eBay!

Super secret mission –hush-hush and all that sort of thing– some live cheeze is on the lander. A Blue cheese with Penicillium roqueforti perhaps. Anyhoo when that is returned to Earth it can be cultured… Propagated… Marketed! Blue Moom Cheeze(TM)

“Is the Moom made of Cheeze Mother?” “It is now!”

Should keep the lights burning!

PS Phobos First

IMHO Mars is just crawling back into (another) Cradle.

Just saying…

Seriously Elon old chap Ceres is a way better retirement destination Mars perchlorates?! and if there’s ever gonna be a Belters’ Rebellion we gotta start planning it now! Tovarishch!


Part II: In the shadow of the Schloss (with allusions to Kafka)

September 29, 2017

“DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d put me away!

Michael Palin (as Dennis the Peasant) Monty Python’s Holy Grail

Part I: Looking out of the Pit (with allusions to Dante) Link

My Doom naturally came via a Servitor of the Demon “F’dik”. [EFDC] Thus indicating -esoterically- the nature of the Beast at the heart of it all. The means exceptional as it was objectional. Being told over the phone in as public a place as one could get. Not quite Tescos! But the desk phone of Waltham Abbey Public Library. I was about to be made homeless. I told that worthy —From ‘social services’ no less!— that this was neither the time, nor the place for that sort of revelation; as I mused on their tactic.
Curious. First, how did they know I was in the Library?!
Obvious to anyone with a healthy level of paranoia who subscribes to the Deep State form of government. As revealed by Snowdon et al.
Second. Homeless? I had thought that for non-payment of Council Tax: a prison sentence was the usual recourse and a chance to be dragged off by the Police: struggling with my Savasana <wiki> and –Foolish Client that I am– have an opportunity to state my case. But “F’dik” was cannier than that. He and his croney, chthonic Capitalists have a nice little deal. One that benefits them and their wealthy chums.
For not providing a police force —They closed the local police station and, seemingly☸, amusingly, can’t sell it!—, or lighting, or rubbish collection, or all the other services which I do not get. Or the services like schooling or ‘social services’ that I do not need. Exacerbated by having the temerity to extract the money by threats and extortion. Then Ossa on Pelion by the unmitigated incompetance of incorrectly billing me in the first place!
Reminding you, gentle reader and fellow traveller, that the debt is actually in the other direction! Indeed, thinking about it, had they actually done their job and looked into my circumstances: Zero income for twenty odd years. A writer with no buyers or agent to date. A history of depression.
Then perhaps, things would have turned out differently.
Perhaps I would have found a guardian agent or an angel investor.
Perhaps they might have helped…

Instead –poor things– they’re too wrapped up in their Kafkaesque world of Moloch and Maya and Money<Caberet>!
Assuming an average bill of £1,250 p.a then by my calculation: the council, by 2013, owed me £16,250. After that date you have to find roughly £3.65 [now £3.74] p.w. no matter what your circumstances or, interestingly and regressively, no matter what your property band! So allowing for that £1,000 odd, they still owe me £15,250 plus interest. But no, it doesn’t work that way. That would be too rational!  Instead the Demon F’dik has decided to take my house. Have taken my house!
To pay for a debt that they owe to me!

Not only has F’dik taken most of my money under false pretences; they have now taken all my property. Via their agents of extreme extortion. These worthies even own the very thoughts in my head, as they own my intellectual property too. They even own these words as I peck them out on my keyboard… The Demon “F’dik” having instigated Bankruptcy proceedings for money that I didn’t owe!
And this is where it gets really interesting.

Their Cerberic cronies deeper in t’Pit are a firm by the name of Smith & Williamson LLP and a very expensive firm of Chartered Accountants at that. Nothing pro bono about these Servitors of Moloch and Maya and Money <Floyd>! Their fee [Edit: 11/10/2017 at £400/hr] …for being my “Trustee” being more money than I earned –when I was gainfully employed as a Toilet Cleaner BSc(Hons) III class– in TWO YEARS! As my ‘Trustees’ they now own everything and since I now have nothing to pay their extortionate bill, they get to pick and chose what assets they can sell to pay my creditors. Principally, now, themselves. Goodness. (Or, rather, its antithesis!) Nice little earner! After them is “F’dik” and then a small host of lesser demons. All clamouring for equally spurious and inflated -doubled!- sums of money. Like British Gas for £3000 odd when I have written to them repeatedly, even complaining to their ineffectual regulatory body stating that I don’t use gas!
The System seemingly designed to make a bad situation worse.
The System seemingly designed to sow confusion and chaos.
The System seemingly designed to penalise the poor, downtrodden and depressed when they clearly need help!
And obviously designed to benefit the scions of the One Percent, as aided by their State Facilitators but that goes without saying…

A little prediction for the future. Just as the way those that owe money to the State, find that the State uses the Law to compound the debt and its Servitors of Extortion find ways to compound their profit. Then one day they’ll even privatize Life. Your entire existance operated -optimised- to make our feudal suzerains even more wealthy. True serfdom. Chattel slavery. One can only wonder at the percentage of the welfare state system already privatized. About the profit siphoned out of the Commonweal –paid for by your parents and grandparents, in the blood of the Second World War– now being safely off-shored in some hurricane-blasted tax haven.
Or Jersey.

And time for another aside:

Private ownership of Public Utilities. Sigh!  Been there. Done that. Got the tee-shirt. Another of the Sainted Margaret’s little wheezes for her husband’s friends in the City [of Dis!]
In the day: electricity generated by nuclear power was going to be “too cheap to meter.” No really! In the day: we led the world in domestic nuclear power generation. Calder Hall… Ooops! Windscale… Ooops! Seascale and it’s ongoing Ooops until they change the name again. But now? Now the nuclear industry is guaranteed to get an “economically insane <wiki>” strike price for electricity and we have to look to France and China for the money and expertise!

Laugh, dear point and clicker? Why I’m pissing myself!

But on the topic of watersports, to my mind the most egregious Privatisation of all was water. And Thames Water in particular. They cut me off sometime ago. Except for one tap.
But we survive…

It’s like some sort of perverted game of Monopoly! Except the impoverished don’t disappear off down to t’pub. Leaving the eventual winner -alone- to put the game components in the box. They die! And the One Percent, as aided by the regressive State –as ever on the side of Moloch, Maya and Money<MIA>!–  get to pick over the corpse like a pack of hyenas.

No not hyenas! Hyenas have a proper place in the food chain. Part of the great green, world wide web that connects us all. Lovelock’s Great Goddess Gaia <wiki> if you will. No these forces are entirely unnatural. Best summed up IMHO by the Buddhist term “preta” or ‘hungry ghosts’. <wiki> Ghasts rather than ghouls from a Lovecraftian perspective…
And naturally the winners of this perverse Monopoly of  Moloch, Maya and Money <Cyrus> go for my biggest asset. My house. Right from the get-go. A three hundred thousand pound asset to service a debt one tenth the size!
One can only speculate the reason…
One that could lead to abuses in firms less honourable and generous than Messrs Smith & Williamson LLP so clearly not embroiled in the of Moloch, Maya and Money<Python>
Messrs Screwtape and Wormwood <wiki>PLL perhaps.
“Oh by the way Screwtape old chap. Nice little earner coming up. Some benighted soul in Waltham Abbey. We’ve got his house. Put in a bid and you could double your money. And he can’t do a thing about it!”
>:-|Infernal Laughter>:-|
But I can…
Wu Wei, Ahimsa, Pu.
☸ The old Police Station is currently “Under offer”. However being a purpose built Police Station and a  listed building, it’s going to be a bit of a challenge for any potential developer!  A little local research indicated that, back in the day, Waltham Abbey had eighteen police officers… in one shift! The night shift -probably- even more. (Chucking out time at the pubs hereabouts.)
To be continued…



May 22, 2019

Wayne Hale one of the greats here


The journey from Heaven II

March 15, 2019

 –by way of Hell– and and back again

(Only in the other direction!)

Two different days, two different faces.

Tuesday Bluesday

The weather was foul and so was the sciatica. Not too surprising after my marathon hobble the previous day. Any thought of saving my seven pennies out the rain-spattered window! Then disaster, I couldn’t find my PIN! Anywhere. Time was ticking. Fortunately I had an emergency Tenner from <no names> my valiant social worker which I regard as a loan Mr A. By the way!

Anyhoo the nearest bus stop being bereft of shelter and being already soaked in a sudden downpour, I decided to hoof it up t’hill in the general direction of Honey Lane heights and the school there. Feeling certain that there there must be a bus shelter. Nope! Sadly my timing was as faulty as my memory or, more likely, I was slower than usual and I failed to reach the stop in time as a 66 whistled past. Oh well… Thus another jaunt to the next potential shelter. At least by walking I was keeping warm. Standing in that chill wind and driving rain was fatal! Walking had its drawbacks too. Unfortunately by this time the spray from various white vans had saturated my top trousers and the inner joggers were damp. No matter, we soldier on…

There was no bus shelter by the sheltered accommodation where Honeylands TB hospital used to stand. Once upon a time, in the dark days of the post-war recovery –and my childhood– the much reduced population of Waltham Abbey only had two hospitals. Now in these glorious halcyon times we have none. Bus shelters ditto. Bus shelters a-plenty in Loughton and Epping of course.

But I digress.

Worse was to come. I was close to the next stop when I was passed by a bus just as I was getting to its non-shelter. However, bless, he seemed to be waiting; so I upped my hobble to as fast as I could go—about half as fast as a snail’s pace and when I was just ten yards or so short the ‘so-and-so’ pulled away!

Imprecations don’t come close to what I had to say and we have Warlocks as well as White Witches in Waltham Abbey. Curse the man.

Fortunately the next stop had an old abandoned and vandalised telephone box redolent with the smell of piss. There I took my stand. I was going to be late for my first Jobsworth Job Centre Interview!

The phone box leaked…

Then a happy coincidence, a bus that actually stopped to my hail. Notagiven!

Thus it was I arrived in good time but in state of shock!

Having walked the best part of a mile in the rain, I had saved no money: £3.70 pence. Single. Almost a month’s bread! Almost a month’s food!

So there I stood, dripping on their nice clean parquet. Shivering. Now soaked to the skin Now chilled to the bone. Trying to catch someone’s eye!

I was studiously ignored! And there I had been, with visions of several ounces of human kindness if not a full pound: “you poor dear” and “we’ll put the kettle on!” Fatchance!! Indeed it was amusing that, as I people watched, as the staff caught my eye: they suddenly seemed to busy themselves on various tasks. No real surprise I was probably quite a sight!

Oh God. Oh let it not be me! You could almost read their thoughts.

Eventually one brave soul -Kudos my dear- approached and asked me what I was doing. I explained I had an appointment with <no names> and wanted to stand next to a radiator to dry out. Sadly she told me they had none; indicating the multitude of radiators behind the chairs and desks of the staff –as they bustled and busied themselves– then suggested I stood in the corner. Not quite like a naughty schoolboy but, as I related, I was dripping on their nice parquet! By now I could feel myself freezing solid so I started pacing. Sitting down would be a disaster! The joggers drenched in short order by the outer work trousers!

Then my slot came up and I discovered the true horrors of IDS’s bastard creation.

Servants of the Machine. Poor things. [E.M. Forster applies.]

As a matter of principle gathered by the wisdom of years I have always found that a governmental label is its complete antithesis. Vide the Americans with their “Operation Enduring Freedom” that has plunged Iraq, and the region, into a pit of “Fitful Slavery.”

A Jahannum by any other name…

Hence “Universal Credit” becomes “Selective Debt.” On day one I owed them fifty pounds! Only a Tory ghoul could turn a Benefit paid out after paying National Insurance into something that is further owed to the State. One predicts that, like America, once the system becomes vaguely profitable it will be privatised and J.P. Morgan and their like will get the benefit of government money out of not paying benefit for spurious reasons.

I explained I didn’t want the money, want the loan. Merely to relocate my place of pilgrimage and penance to Waltham Cross DHSS: a mere hours walk and a five minute bus ride away. Versus Loughton DHSS –who have a history…– lying some three hours away along an unlit and unpavemented set of narrow lanes. Then a hack through Epping Forest [Witches; Wolves and Worse: dirt bikers!] and thus saving the aforementioned cost of seven pounds forty pee: a monthly food bill per weekly interview! — Once upon a time we “signed in” once a fortnight, Sigh!— Hence a further £29.60p in the red before the first benefit is paid. A month in arrears.

Or not paid, in my case.

Sadly before I have even committed to my ‘Commitments’ I have already fallen foul of them. Caught a head cold and possible ear infection. Naturally this will have cleared by the time I see a Doctor.

[Edit: Or not! The receptionists at the medical centre took pity and I have an appointment this Sunday!]

After I left, I missed the bus -again- owing to its rather circuitous route and was thus waiting on the next in the chill wind for a good half hour; it was close to six p.m. before I was out of my sodden clothes. All three layers! Which are still damp when I reluctantly put them on to struggle down to the Library and begin pecking out my CV. Commitments…

This effort, one hopes, a far more profitable affair. Oh Ghost in the Machine, the Singularity to be…

One curiosity out of the whole benighted business: one of my commitments, amongst a whole plethora of stumbling blocks, is that one to accept work within a 89 minute commute… Eighty nine minutes?! In any vaguely human context: an hour and a half. Presumably some random number the Machine has picked out of the Big Blue. [IBM refers…] Still some two hundred and forty-one minutes less than the time that it took for for me to fall at the first hurdle.

A final quibble. In any rational society a quote Job Centre unquote should be helping one to find jobs. Alas they seem to lack simple computers with the elementary software to enable such a task. Like that of OCRing my scanned CV. Now, thanks to the Machine, a tiresome and labourious re-typing of the whole affair.

Go figure.

As I remarked to my ‘Job Coach’ –despite the soulless efficiency of the Machine– a lot more primitive than I thought it would be!

Naturally as a “Benefit Denial-Severence Mechanism [BD-SM >:-] ” Loughton DHSS will excel. No change there. No Future. No Thirty.


The journey from Heaven

March 15, 2019

–by way of Hell– and and back again

(Only in the other direction!)

Two different days, two different faces.

Happy Monday

The NHS wanted to have a look at my liver and I was happy to oblige moreso as <no names> my valiant social worker was able to give me a lift so that I was assured of being on time. Bless. The weather being fine I assured him that he could go shooting off. No sense in wasting his time waiting for my internal organs to see the light of day!

The hospital in which I was born: “St. M.” did not disappoint. Cheery faces and outstanding service as always. Thus after the briefest of delays I was getting intimately acquainted with my liver and points south. Indeed all the way to the prostate.

Whilst I was prostrate on the bed.

Not quite the medi-scanner of the starship Enterprise but pretty darn close!

The Future is Now!

Thus it was, I was out of the hospital grounds and determined to hitch, but only once safely past Epping itself. Courtesy of the Demon EFDC: surly [sic] a suburb of Dis.

Once through Epping; out came the thumb. But, alas, no thumb-friendly drivers. Not even a Vogon Constructor Fleet. Although a few things of note amused and bemused on the way home:

First although I saw many buses, all empty and labelled “NOT IN SERVICE” the only time I saw my bus was once and that was within a half a mile of home! Secondly I was passed by two ambulances kitted out as passenger-carrying vehicles that seemed not to see me, as limped along by the side of the road.

In any rational caring society…

The last -doubly!- noteworthy incident was being ‘pulled over’ by the police. Plod number 42 going by the number on his roof! Or rather a ‘Community Support Officer.’ Ah-Ha. I thought, the shade of Douglas Adams is smiling. It was not to be. It was to be told that what I was doing was illegal –who knew, but then most things not compulsory are these days!– but escaped a caution; once he realised he was dealing with a razor-sharp mind and no boozed-out vagrant!


One wouldn’t have minded but he delayed my journey by half an hour. First by taking my details into his PDA [Police Digital Assistant] and then all over again on apiece of paper when the PDA suffered a server failure and the laboriously tapped-in data was lost!.

Tee-Hee! What price a Police notebook and a pencil!

The Past was Now.

But the real kick to the freshly scanned prostate, after the unnecessary delay and warnings and record taking, he then zoomed past me, five minutes into my -interrupted- limping along!

One would have thought that in any rational society a “Community Support Officer” would be just that, and that he would have better spent that time more supportively by giving me a lift! A half an hour would have taken me home with time to spare and resulted in a positive note for Essex Police rather than the usual negative one!

Even a five minute ‘hop’ to the Upshire turn would have been nice!


I had high hopes of the Upshire road. Although there are stretches where no sensible driver should stop AT ALL. So, sensibly, I refrained from a thumbs-out in those black spots. Sadly, the trans-Upshire traffic was also a thumbs down. Police [sic] verso!

Once through Upshire and past the school, I was into my second wind and was now determined to do the lot. Although it was, by now, with a hazy struggle. Babysteps. In addition to the baby steps the scan had required a “nil by mouth” of eight hours prior -no problem there of course- but this Author was a little light-headed by the time two-thirty rolled around and I staggered in through my front door.

But the real reward: by the end of the journey I was seven pence richer!

Cont.: Tuesday Bluesday



November 13, 2017

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

A short period of AFK engendered by my sciatica seemed not only to put me on hold, but the rest of the world too!
On return to said keyboard the UK WordPress server was decidedly down. As was the online reporting structure to tell WordPress that their server(s) was (were) down! A further delay before your humble reporter could set out my latest round of trials and tribulations!

In my keyboardly absence I had expected a bulging ‘inbox’, but instead found nothing from Social Services (No surprise there…!) but also nothing also from one of the two charities whose worthies have taken up my case and cause. I would have -elliptically- referred to these august bodies but have been specifically enjoined from so doing in the case of one of these.
Curious… and a little surprising as one would have thought that the challenges involved would have made good copy for raising their public profile.

No matter…

Born agin!

Amongst other Revelations during my period of ‘AFKness’ your humble correspondent seems to have become a born again Christian!
Something by way of an accident…

Something of an embarrasment for someone who eshews formal religious practice and –more especially– organised religion; treading a tortuous path to gnosis or self-enlightenment in the manner of a (neo) Buddhist.

It all started by an invitation by a kindly soul to an event which I accepted before really knowing what the event was. Eventually gathering that it was a Harvest Festival. However it proved not to be quite the sort of Harvest Festival I had mentally pictured! The harvest was for this year’s crop of Souls by the CRC <wiki> a modern Pentacostal Movement.
The service something of an anathema to my Methodist Godparents or my Mother for that matter. The latter decidedly a daughter of the High Kirk<wiki>.

One couldn’t fault the production values and the sound system and lighting work was spot on… (If you will forgive the obligatory techie pun!) Unfortunately the Pastor from South Africa was not as clear as he could have been. But perhaps these tired ears have experienced too many Hawkwind concerts and then twenty odd years of discos through to techno-raves, courtesy of the University of Hertfordshire and an ENTs crew for whom turning it up to (log)eleven is their idea of Heaven!

Unfortunately the Pastor chose Jonah and the Whale as the main text of the evening.
Oh dear! The one fishy tale out of the Old Testament with which this biologist could take issue.
Whales don’t swallow human beings
Nor do Big Fish for that matter. The Great White has to chew you up a bit first and the giant economy size Basking Shark is a filter-feeder like most whales!

Moreover the subtext of the sermon was “You can’t hide from God” to which I would reply —that if one truly Groks <wiki> the concept of God— “Thou art God” [Heinlein applies] and one cannot hide from one’s self. Although from personal experience, you can give it a damn good try.
And there is always catatonia!
But to continue the theme –and meme– this observer felt there was a great deal of similarity between the CRC event and the Fosterite service described in the epiphanal (?) “Stranger in a Strange Land.” But then RAH probably borrowed some of the Pentacostal trappings when describing same.

And my heart goes out to the heartfelt plea by an anonymous congregationalist, desperately wanting to see me being “Born Again”; quoting John. Presumably John 3:5 <biblehub>. But then I was already! Firstly because of my personal epiphany at the age of twelve on reading “Stranger…” and becoming a pantheist on the spot! But secondly, and topically: as, in order to gain admittance, your humble pilgrim needed a security pass and the kindly souls requesting same, lacked my last name… Hence for the event, your’s truly was born agin’ as “Dave R***!”
At least I didn’t need photo ID!

On that score -alas- there has been no movement.

Bearing False Witness

The problem is that the local jobsworth centre won’t processs my JSA claim until they have photoID and the cheap and cheerful Citizens’ Card that is recognised by HMG and the Home Office and police authorities and, well, lots of other worthy organisations, isn’t recognised by Loughton Job Centre!
My old visitors passport and other -more venerable- photo ID cards are similarly refused. Instead it has been decided I need a twenty pound driving licence –when I can’t drive — or a ninety pound passport when clearly, being destitute, a holiday abroad is out of the question!
And it would seem that a question is my latest spiral of hell in my descent into t’Pit, as there are two questions that –if honestly answered– will disqualify me from driving and hence being issued a driving licence. I have written to the Charity dealing with this issue. (They are the ones -bless- providing the cheque.)

However, as of writing, some two weeks has passed since I wrote to them setting out the problem. Requesting a letter indemnifying me from legal prosecution for falsely filling in the Driving Licence application.

Waiting is…


Circles Redux (Or déjà vu, all over again)

October 9, 2017

One might think one is going in circles… but then one realises that these are not circles but a spiral. Spiralling out of control!

“Confusion will be my epitaph…”

An update on the confusion spiral:

A meeting with my Social Worker is in abeyance because Social Services cannot book a secure room at the local medical centre as the lady who performs these room bookings has left with no replacement. The suggestion being to try the various surgeries downstairs. A subsequent visit there was most unrewarding. They want nothing to do with me and have referred me back to my surgery. Apparently said Social Worker has to get in contact with the Limes Surgery and speak to NHS Property Serices. The worthy involved refused to provide any telephone number, person responsible and especially her name! Except she had a name tag…

However it now seems that –without even an interview– Social Services are refusing to have anything to do with me. Yet another service that I paid for, for most of my adult life, and now –when I need it– isn’t available.

Similarly rubbish collection. My worthy next door neighbours (ish) got my rubbish bin out front. No easy task! Kudos. Then, come the day, the rubbish men passed it by as they always do.

Back in the day, when we had dustbins, the dustbin men would collect from behind the garden fence. Opening the garden gate and everything. Now they won’t even collect a wheely bin parked in the middle of the front lawn. So now I have a stinking wheely bin full of rubbish slowly festering and attracting vermin.

Thanks F’dik!

When I first received our wheely bins –and was fit as a fiddle– I did a simple test.

Prior to these “brave new bins” [Huxley] yours truly merely bagged up the rubbish in a black plastic bag and it was collected. Job done.

Not any more…

If a black plastic bag is placed in a bin: the bag is collected. If a bag is placed next to the empty wheely bin it is not collected. Naturally a bag by itself is ignored. Even when the wheely bin was full.

Currently, with my siatica even an empty wheely bin is something of a struggle; a full one is impossible.

Moving on…

Meanwhile I cannot apply for JSA because I lack a bank account into which said allowance can be paid.

Sadly the days of the fortnightly Giro <wiki> that could be cashed at the local post office are long gone.

Amusingly once in receipt of a letter stating that I am receiving a benefit, then that is proof of identity that a bank will accept. Except I need a bank account to start the JSA payments.


[Edit: for some reason wordpress won’t accept the following link as an embedded Youtube Audio Link. Go figure…

The above link plays from the start of the album; despite being identical code. Gremlins…]


And starting a bank account is now fraught with monsters from the ID [Forbidden Planet applies]. Time was when in order to open up a bank account one merely had to have some money and the ability to sign a document. Just as soon as I learnt cursive I had a savings account at the Midland Bank. Simples.

Not any more.

Now one needs photo ID and supporting documents but to get photo ID one needs photo ID…

Apparently my: P45/ medical card/ blood donors card/ Nationwide Card/ Bavarian Illuminati Card and a half a dozen passports of my parents and my good self is not enough!

Indeed according to one worthy from the DHSS -bless- I do not exist until I can produce my driving licence –a scrappy bit of green paper some forty-seven years young– and lost somewhere in the Trustee’s house some twenty years ago. But even then they are not satisfied. As my old licence then needs to be swapped for a photo driving licence.  Then and only then do I exist.

Only then can the DHSS process my JSA application. The one that the
computer system swallowed without trace and the old fashioned pen and paper application that is now filed under P for pending

The really amusing thing is the fact that –in addition tofinding said scrappy piece of paper– I have to find twenty pounds for a driving licence that I cannot use! With my siatica I no longer trust myself to drive!

My right leg has a tendency to suddenly stop working…

It would seem that by the time I have jumped through all the Skinnerian hoops: I will have a job and the whole thing a pointless exercise in futility.

But that’s joined up (local) government.

No Thirty

Update: before managing to resolve the Youtube issue over a time stamped replay of a particular track I called in at the local and last bank in Waltham Abbey. Barclays is closing its branch. Leaving just the TSB formerly the Waltham Abbey Building Society/ Waltham Abbey and Cheltenham Building Society/ Cheltenham & Gloucester/ TSB. Probably only a matter of time before thattoo closes leaving just the Post Office.

Yet more evidence that this town is slowly dying on its feet.

Something like this author!

This author whowouldn’t take nofor an answer.

Afterdeflecting the teller and insistingon speaking to a personal advisor and then playing the difficult customer card. Noting obstructionism and names and pointing out that their literature clearly stated “may” rather than “must” I discovered that I could be ‘electronically identified’ by the ‘system’.

To dothis they had to claw back the various documents they hasd rejected out of hand as proof of my non-identity and the computer “he say yes”!

So although I don’t exist in the meat world, my friend the computer thinks otherwise. It’s nice to have someone on your side! Even if it is in cyberSpace.

Yours electronically…



September 30, 2017

Ooops (Scroll down)

No thirty…


Corpus: Going round in circles

September 26, 2017

oak-seedling An eventful few days to say the least, gentle point and clicker. The most significant  for me since being Banged Up was the sudden discovery of an apple tree growing in my front garden where I had planted no apple tree. It would seem that my new apple tree is growing around the decaying stump of an old Bird Cherry Tree. Last year there were no apples! Then, suddenly, as if by majick: apples. Appearing on what had previously been a bird cherry!

Said bird cherry tree and I go back a long way and -hopefully- this page will be further embellished with a picture of your intrepid hacktivist –aged about three– and my pedal car “Thunderbolt.” Behind me is this thin whispy thing which, in the last sixty odd years, has grown; matured and largely died…

Now there’s a poignant metaphor.

I had thought that the growth around its base was a renaissance in the
manner of  a coppiced tree but no… for in its place, an apple tree has sprung forth. The Great Goddess Gaia endlessly renewing herself for sure!

On the other side of the path was another bird cherry. Much larger than its twin. Now also sadly declining and will probably have to be truncated…! Especially since –springing up in its place– is now a young vigorous oak tree.

As an aside, one of my thoughts considering my physical remains had always involved an oak tree. The maxim: One thousand years to grow. One thousand years to mature. One thousand years to die. With the bonus of  being turned into furniture!
My current intent –after cryo-preservation of my genome (and the extraction of my gold teeth!) is organ donation, then medical science, then the remnants: “cremated and preserved for incorporation into the first lunar biosphere. Ideally to fertilize an oak seedling… with 1 micro-gram reserved for the 1st Interstellar cargo vessel to a new colony world.

I will have the stars!”

Meanwhile back on terra firma: my little bit towards climax vegetation hereabouts. Acute oak decline?
Not a problem in my little nature reserve! Five☸ young oaks in a healthy state. Another triumph for the Wu Wei…

However it had not always been thus. When mowing the lawn in the past  –that was when I had the electric and a working mower and the physical agility– I was always on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of an oak tree sprouting out of the ground before being decapitated by the rotary death of my GEV green death machine. On occasion three beheadings and it would still be coming back for more!
These would be carefully dug up and transplanted to pots. Whereupon my mystical green fingers of death would kick in.

Sometimes the best action is no action at all.

This certainly seems to be the case with the online JSA system.
Now I would like to think that I am reasonably au fait with computers. Having been programming for some 43 years. However this was one kludged system! At one point forcing a reset and wiping two pages of data. Including a strange output of: “Concerning your current work: Writer, Html coder and Web designer please describe your current work”!
The input frame being the source of the generated text on a previous iteration!
So the data was already in there somewhere!
Thanks to multiple requirements to resubmit the same data to blank fields previously completed: it was a close run thing to complete the form before the time limit on the Library computer ran out. One can only wonder how this kludge of a system is handled by someone with learning difficulties or technoPhobia!
Apparently the Universal credit system is even worse!

Anyhoo the form was submitted and an automatic confirmatory NOREPLY e-mail generated and then I waited for an e-mail; setting out the date of my appointment.

And waited… and waited.

Finally I contacted my local CAB.
Then we found out my submission had evaporated; or had never been sent; or was on the system… but some foul up by Capita meant that the COMPLETED form was not available online.
All depending on who we were talking to at the time!

This took about two hours. Including one excrutiating eternity: roughly nine iterations of the opening  bars of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in automated attendant / tape loop from Hell.
Fortunately there are top secret CAB shortcuts to speaking to a real human being!
Who knew!
From whom we discover that I should make my way to Loughton Job Centre and collect an old fashioned paper form and fill it in!
Since I am destitute this means a 7.3km walk, much of it along roads
largely without pavement, and -in places- no street lighting!
The time for a normal fit person: 1hour 32min. With sciatica and a
sporadically painful osteo-sarcoma (currently benign) I better set
aside double that. Unless I can hitch a lift!


Fortunately the very nice lady in the CAB lives in Loughton and will
pick up a form!
Then it’s back to the beginning again!
No thirty…
☸Alas, one has been beheaded since I started writing this post. A victim of a little over-enthusiastic clearance by some well meaning neighbours helping me pickup the pieces. Kudos Julian and David!

Like me oaks are tough… it will be back.

Edit UPDATE 30/9/2017 The DHSS Loughon gave her a reassessment form not an application form. Sigh. Now pending a bank account. Apparently a bankrupt can open a new account… Who knew?

But so far I have yet to be able to prove that I am me. Currently a non-person as I lack photo ID!

No thirty.


Banged Up!

September 23, 2017

Well it’s well before six o clock in the morning and I’ve just been woken by aloud banging on the door!
Naturally this brings on a panic attack!
On prior occasions, the banging has been quite vociferous. However, owing to the parlous state of the porch, they had better not bang too hard, as things are not too stable!

I’m not too stable!!

With a heart trembling like a church mouse, I waited in the dark. Expecting the worst. Expecting a deep gutteral: “This is the police” and then the sound of your front door being smashed in with a sledge hammer followed by heavy footfalls up the stairs as the SWAT squat take up positions, weapons drawn!
Lacking an aerosol deodorant, the Rorschach (Watchman applies)

option is not really viable and, as a NeoBuddhist, one trys to echew violence.  Whilst –at the same time–  appreciating the aesthetic in works of art like Watchmen! Kudos Zac. [Kudos Dave and Alan!] A little hyper real but not going overboard. Unlike some movies I could mention….

But back to my own domestic drama: after lying quiet for a bit, they seemed to go away. But then they do. It’s a tactic!
As is my wont, after a little while, I sneaked up to a front window to see what was what! Naturally not putting the lights on! That would be a bit of a give away.

However I earnestly try not to use electricity. My provider EON, having refused to carry out my wishes, still perversely continues to supply the house! Despite not having paid a bill in the last four years! Merely threatening to invade my privacy and charge me for the privilege! Some two hundred pounds if I remember correctly.
Why not just cut me off? They keep threatening me with that option and indeed it’s what I instructed their representative to do! Verbally and in person! Simple enough to do. Cheaper for them to do. And cheaper for me!

I suspect that their secret intent is to install a paymeter—Naturally at my cost and their profit— and thus ensure an above cost electricity supply and further profit! Then, after me and my house get parted, charge someone else for yet more profit to take it out again!
It’s what they do…

namaḥ saptānāṃ samyaksaṃbuddha koṭīnāṃ tadyathā
oṃ cale cule cunde svāhā

Cundī Dhāraṇī Sūtra <wikiSource>

A little timeless meditation quieted the heart palpatations; so I investigated in the dark. Making my way to the front of the house.
Catching hrough the trees: a white van!
A big white van!
One reads that the Police perform their raids at an ungodly hour.
Perhaps the Bailiffs do the same.
Well I would. Catch their poor victim napping!
Or having heart palpitations…

Peeking through the venetian blinds I quickly espied a severe looking man. A man in black! With what looked like “security” emblazoned on their black uniform. Although without my glasses, it was difficult to see. But I could see they were harassing my next door neighbours!
A quick check to the skies didn’t reveal any black helicopters.
A few of those would have made my day!
Or rather my six o’clock in the morning!

Although thinking about it, black surveillance drones may be a feature of our daily lives, at all hours of the day –or the night– if things go on…
After harrassing my neighbours they returned to their van.
Perhaps a waiting game…
Perhaps a blog entry!
Inspired I returned to my computer –More electricity! Oops– discovering the time: 6.16am, no less. —Eschatological or what!— and pecked out this latest piece by the light of the LCD; as night slowly turned into day.

Such is the curious life that I lead at the moment.
Not quite a Wonderful life (Capra)
More like a Wonderful life (Kafka!)

But the curious thing is, is that in choosing six o’ clock in the morning for their raid. By what right do they have, disturbing my next door neighbours!
My heartfelt apologies Ian –and Family– that you have been embroiled in this little drama at this ungodly hour!
Perhaps they have a cart blanche.
Or should that be a carte noir!

When looking out of the Pit one tries not to be too paranoid but sometimes it’s a little difficult!

No thirty…

[Edit interestingly there is no official online reference to this little phrase dating back to the early days of newspapers. Perhaps a wiki entry… The phrase means “breaking story, more to follow…”]

Time for a toilet break.
Well they’ve gone and it’s now light enough to see my keyboard. Time for some serious work before I retreat to my not-so-secret-sanctuary and get this latest on the web.
Like I’m going to be able to get back to sleep after this!