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Cartoon of the Week.

Matt cartoon, March 12


Computer stuffed.

I did the right thing, I backed up the machine and kept the backups on multiple different drives. Truly, this is the correct thing to do. Once a month I would take off line backups as well.

So what happened? Every drive on the computer got treated like a Christmas turkey (stuffed) simultaneously. Never happened to me in the past.

Still, I had the off line copy, so here it is. A couple of weeks missing, and I will try to get them back as well.

Othello Syndrome.

No, I hadn’t heard of it either. I had all the right A-levels at the right grades to do medicine but I thought physics because I thought I’d rather have a star named for me than a disease. Ho hum! Anyhows do you want a glance at love’s young dream. They are purely belter. They make Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look a bit shop-worn. Get your Nikes on for you shall need them…


… but not yet…

A little background first from the Mail

Britain’s most jealous woman to have gastric band surgery on the NHS so husband won’t stray (but he’s still not allowed to watch women on TV) Debbi Wood, 43, is paranoid her husband Steve, 32, will be unfaithful to her
She makes him take lie detector tests and checks his phone and e-mails
She even banned him from watching TV shows featuring women he fancies
Mother-of-two is 21st and wants to lose 10st but cannot afford the surgery
She says she eats a balanced diet and has not had a Big Mac for five years
Size 24 [UK size - different in the US] Mrs Wood has Othello Syndrome which causes delusional jealousy

She even put kiddy filters on his laptop. She lost it because he saw an advert for women’s razors because she thought he was ogling the model’s legs. Can’t blame him. I don’t have a lens suitable to photograph hers – and photography is a particular hobby of mine. Nobody filters my ‘net. I have moves on that score. Theresa May but I don’t. There are ways and means. Anyway if the bird in question (not our own dear Home Sec) is a sea-monster (and she is – call me Ishmael and all that) he is a wet haddock flopping around the dock at Grimsby. Dear Gods she seems obsessed with the possibility he fancies Anne Robinson! I’d consider homosexuality before drawing that card from the bottom of the deck. I quite fancy Cate Blanchett but my wife understands I have a crush on the Lady of Lothlorien. It isn’t an issue (she fancies her too). But Anne Robinson. Dear Sweet Jesus of Nazareth! No, I don’t fancy him either. He spends very little time in North East Cheshire – it would never work out.

Well, she may not have had a Big Mac for five years but she still looks like things I last saw in the Tennessee State Aquarium (well worth a trip BTW – if you like fish but I do – so elegant, so tasty). She looks like she was conceived a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and sired by Jabba the Pizza Hutt. To her sea-monster we have his wet fish. I’d best show you the next A-list couple…

…Be afraid… very afraid.


I assume that is them on their wedding day. Now, don’t get me wrong. Ugly people can bump their uglies (and he might be hung like a Grand National Winner) but he’s a got less substance than a string of cat-piss and she looks like Grendel’s Ma.

Now I have gone with the comedy here. I couldn’t help myself (clearly I am not alone on that score) but there are serious points here. What is love? Is a gastric band really the answer? I suspect her head is a bigger issue than her belly. As I said at the kick-off I’d never heard of Othello Syndrome. So is she paranoid (and he ain’t exactly the catch of the day) because she’s obese or she’s obese because she’s bonkers in the nut? Who knows? Now… I have had a number of relationships myself and have of course known many other people who had them but I can’t see how any sexual relationship can survive at all with that total lack of trust.

Is it perhaps just me but is this bizarre relationship almost a reality TV stunt. I don’t mean “put-up” by the TV but that two deeply unattractive characters (and I’m not just talking the physicalities here) see it as the only game in town? I mean if you have no skills, talent, physical attractiveness, anything really you just debase yourself. Andy Warhol got it wrong. Oh, he was (as ever) sort of on the money but 15 minutes was way too generous.

I have to add that The Mail article despite it’s stuff about Othello syndrome (neatly illustrated by a picture of Lenny Henry) leaves out Iago. Is there an Iago in Leicester. We need to know!

Lost her Marbles…

Shirley MacLaine has gone utterly tonto. It is entirely possible this is not a new thing. I know nothing about her and care even less. But let’s go…

She seems to think the victims of the Holocaust were being punished for sins from a previous life and that Stephen Hawking gave himself ALS to become “pure brain” unchained from the mere physical. (yeah, unchained from the physical for a physicist.

Normally I would regard these claims as the usual Hollyweird drivel but I shall fisk them. Why? I don’t know. I just feel like it and oddly enough it might make a couple of points. The first is logical (sort of), the second is empirical. Well, you can’t say fairer than that can you?

So let us assume past lives are real. What does that mean? Well, almost everything I’ve heard about reincarnation from Hindu Scriptures, Dr Who and of course shysters implies very strongly a level of continuity of some sort. Without that it is meaningless to the point of being beyond false (as the great physicist Wolfgang Pauli would put it, “Ganz Falsch!” or “Not even false”*. Well that is the first point. In order to believe that you have to believe in evil as intrinsic and in a bizarre sense inheritable. In a way it is like blaming me (born 1973) for slavery in the American colonies. The second point (almost too obvious to state) is that “I” was a Roman centurion at St Albans in the C2nd who worshipped Mithras. What “I” is that? I’m streaming Bruce Springsteen in a house in Cheshire in 2015 trying to type this tripe and find a suitable pro-qualification in computer security.

*I love that from Pauli. I love it.

Ya know, I’m getting really sick of having to post this.


Copenhagen, 2015.


“You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk dancing.”

- Sir Arnold Bax KCVO, “Keeper of the King’s Musick”.

Off to see the Wizards, the wonderful Wizards of…

… Er… Manchester Metropolitan University. This afternoon I am attending an open day type thingie for MSc computer science type stuff at Manchester Met. Now I’m not interested in the standard “career change” MSc computer science course available from practically everywhere (I could even do that at the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus which is HQed in a Victorian lunatic asylum) to practically everyone* or Manchester University who seem about as friendly as a “social disease”. More to the point Manchester Met offers specific courses and the only one I’m interested in is Computer and Network Security. One year, GBP5490.

I’m just currently gen-gapped. I’m too old to crawl under desks eating dust-bunnies and untangling cables. I’m not too old but as Galadriel said, “She can taste it in the water”. The World is changing. The default computer for most people is a laptop and they are difficult for an indy like me to do anything hardware on not being exactly modular like a classic box. Bah and indeed Humbug!* Security though is a big and indeed embiggening thing and it is a software thing so it is universal. And these “leetle grey cells” support “a mind most convoluted mon ami”. Not that my French is any good but the Hell with that!

But codes and cyphers are a long-standing interest of mine (I have a crackerjack BTW) as is computing and formal logic (though I shall dress in my usual attire – jeans/combats and a hoodie – well it’s Manchester).

Anyway, this is the course and well, what d’ya think? I would appreciate feedback.

*I once had had to deal with a high-end Acer laptop with a bust firewire port. So I give it the full exam. The owner’s kid had shoved jam into it. Strawberry jam (I never thought taste would matter in this game but you never know). Nothing I could do except advise a trip to the local Acer accredited repair place. I was not prepared to get the soldering iron out because apart from anything the new firewire port would have to line-up with whatever proprietary form-factor Acer had been working on. That and I’d be taking a soldering iron to densely-packed board. What could go wrong? A lot but not on my watch it wouldn’t. I was paid for my meagre troubles and did sort some issues with the AV codecs which meant I got to see the owner’s performance art which consisted of her dancing naked whilst about 8 months in the bun-club. I was paid in Stella for my 20 minutes. Fair enough and that is South Manchester for you.

From the Ivory Tower

Labour leader Ed Milliband today promised every family in Britain would receive a monkey butler if his party won the next election.

“Too many hard-working families are struggling to make ends meet, working long hours with little quality time to spend at home. A friendly primate in a little waistcoat will ease the burden and give people more time to spend doing what they really want.”

He also pledged to meet EU emissions targets by mandating that 30% of all new vehicles must run on moonbeams, and absolve all our sins no later than 2017.

Well, he might as well have.

El Salvador.

Recently the Qatar government television station “Al Jazeera” has been reporting about the terrible situation in El Salvador – with savage gangs looting business enterprises, and homes. Robbing, raping and murdering – and driving people to flee to the United States.

However, Al Jazeera does not seem to understand that these gangs (who are not led by stupid people – far from it) are acting on the very “Social Justice” ideology that Al Jazeera, and the “international community”, supports.

“Social Justice” is the idea that income and wealth belong to the collective “the people” and should be “distributed” for the benefit of the poor. In short if you have got more stuff than me then I have the right to take it, by force, and if you try and stop me……. well too bad for you (and your family).

And it is not just the Marxist government of El Salvador who teach this doctrine, so does the Progressive faction of the Catholic Church. True the Church hates the violence – but someone who says that the poor have a “right” to something, that such “redistribution” is a matter of “justice” (NOT mercy, NOT charity) is backing the gangs (with all their robbing, raping and murdering). Sorry but you can not throw lighted matches (indeed petrol bombs – for that is what “Liberation Theology” is) and then say the fire is “nothing to do with me”.

Back in 1979 the disguised military dictatorship of President Romero in El Salvador (which was NOT free market – for example it greatly increased government education spending in the 1970s) was overthrown by a coup backed by the Carter Administration.

The new government, headed by the leftist Christian Democrat President Duarte, nationalised many companies, broke up some big landed estates (“land reform” – which has been a disaster again and again in Latin America, the new penny packet sized farms just do not work and big estates have to come back over time), and greatly increased government spending.

The economy collapsed – output just about halved between 1979 and 1982 (yes there was a world recession – but what happened in El Salvador was a Great Depression not a recession), and a Communist terrorist problem was turned into a full scale Civil War (with terrible atrocities on both sides).

Eventually the Communists were defeated – and a new elected conservative (ish) government came into office in El Salvador.

However, things changed when Barack Obama became President of the United States.

The Americans started to quietly (privately) back the Communists – first a television presenter turned President, now an actual “ex” Communist terrorist leader as President of El Salvador.

People who made a lot of noise about the “Death Squads” during the Civil War in El Salvador (who did indeed do terrible things) are oddly silent about the Social Justice criminal gangs who are robbing, burning, raping and murdering on a vast scale.

Vast numbers of people in El Salvador are either being murdered or having to flee to the United States (alas some of them are not real immigrants – they are bringing the gangs with them). Yet most of the media are either looking the other way or, like Al Jazeera, reporting the bare horrors – but not the Social Justice ideology behind them.

Lastly a note to American leftists.

Back in the 1980s you backed the Social Justice forces in El Salvador – and backed their use of violence. According to you only the violence of the “Death Squads” was bad – the Social Justice violence (for example of the person who is now President of El Salvador) was fine.

Well now the Social Justice gangs of El Salvador (and other parts of Latin America) are in the United States.

What do you think they are going to do when they see your wealth?

Your money, your comfortable home, the clothes you are wearing……

Have a good hard look at El Salvador.

It is the future of California and so on.

It is your future.

Moscow on the Orinoco

Venezuela Oil Takeover

As countries around the world have demonstrated, those with little in terms of mineral resources, like postwar Japan until the stagnation, can operate vibrant economies, but equally, those with significant mineral resources can be destroyed by bad economic policies. This seems to be the fate of most of South America except Chile and to a lesser extent Brazil.

The government of Venezuela may be blaming “The American capitalists and their Saudi running dogs” for the fall in the oil price, but even at the peak of the oil price they were spending the economic bounty of their oil as if there was no tomorrow – well, it looks like tomorrow has arrived.

Now the average Venezuelan can’t even afford to screw in safety, regardless of the thoughts of Pope Francis on the matter.

In Venezuela, a 36-pack of Trojan condoms now costs $755 at the official exchange rate. That’s the price being asked on the MercadoLibre website, where Venezuelans go to buy goods in short supply.

A 36-pack of condoms in Venezuela now costs $755 at official rates


The One Ring found


In surprising news from the colonies, the one ring has been found by a halfling 9-year old man-child in Kermit, Texas. It’s discovery was announced when the man-child in question attempted to use the power of the one ring to make another man-child invisible.

The finding of Isildur’s Bane in such circumstances bears remarkable similarities to its last return from hiding in the shadows upon the banks of the Anduin back in the middle of the Third Age, so to find it causing strife among the school districts of the Texas / New Mexico border is perhaps not so surprising.

The man-child allegedly in possession of the one ring, one Aiden Steward, did not say how he came into possession of it, nor could he explain how it survived the fires of Mount Doom. But Aiden is perhaps seeing the error of his ways after being suspended for threatening his unnamed school friend with invisibility.

The school’s head, Roxanne Greer, has declined to comment on the suspension, due to the school’s confidentiality policies.

It is currently unknown whether or not Aiden really is in possession of the One Ring.

Texan schoolboy Aiden Steward claimed he could make his classmate ‘disappear’

Presumably the Texas Rangers will make a more detailed investigation :-)

Vote Labour, Get Miliband

Wallace and MillibandOne of the perceived oddities of the Parliamentary system is that the PM is not directly elected by the people, but rather by the internal mechanisms of the party with the majority in parliament or in the case of a minority government, that party which believes it can bring together sufficient votes from other parties to remain in power.

Thus in the UK we have the Labour Party attempting to seize power from the Conservatives in the upcoming 2015 election, whilst simultaneously hiding their leader, who has become the party’s greatest electoral liability – thank god.

This peculiar aspect of party leader as electoral liability is not new to Britain although it does seem to be more a feature of Labour than the Conservatives (though lets not forget former Tory Leader Iain Duncan Smith)

If Ed Miliband had not shafted his brother David in the 2010 Labour leadership election by playing the union card, then I suspect that a Labour victory wouldn’t be quite so doubtful, but then again a David Miliband government would probably have been very different from an Ed Miliband one.

The point is exacerbated when in an apparent attempt to limit the Conservatives use of Ed Miliband as an electoral liability in their own propaganda election literature, they have offered to not attack David Cameron directly if the Conservatives will lay off Ed Miliband.

Vote Labour - Get Miliband

Labour has promised not to use any pictures of the Prime Minister in election posters– in a bid to stop the campaign turning into a presidential-style run off between David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

The party said it would not use negative personal attacks on Mr Cameron – and would focus on policies instead of personalities.

It comes as the Tories attempt to use the ‘nightmare’ scenario of Mr Miliband becoming Prime Minister to scare voters off electing Labour.

Labour promises no attack posters on Cameron in bid to stop election turning into presidential-style run off for Number 10 *

The chances of Dave Cameron giving away such electoral capital given the wafer-thin chances of him retaining power are slim to none. As the old saying goes “If you’re taking flak, you’re over the target”.

* – From the Daily Mail so the usual caveats apply

Something for Le Weekend…

Well we are back up, after yet another few days excursion up the backside of oblivion… sigh!!!  You Counting Cats readers must be the most patient people (well probably down to person by now) in the Universe! So I thought I’d hip you to an internet radio station I discovered when in the South of France last year.

It’s called Ledjam radio, and it’s French. Now the French, bless them, are no great shakes at contemporary music. If Johnny Hallyday  is still considered the biggest rock n roller they have ever produced, well it makes Cliff Richard look like Iggy Pop, doesn’t it? But they have great taste in other people’s contributions. The playlist is very eclectic in its taste and selection, as is your humble correspondent.

Give it a try and tell me what you think. If you run your cursor over the Now Playing flashing lights, you will get a biog of the band that is playing, if available. This is handy as you can, if you have never heard of them before, then pop over to Spotify or YouTube and check out more stuff by them.

It’s freezing cold here, and probably where you are too, I hope the sounds bring  a little sunshine and warmth to you all.

Sorry fellas

Cats was down…


Yes, I know. No major shock there then.

I am guessing it was a power spike or something. I woke up to find the file system was corrupted, the server wouldn’t even boot without hitting a kernel panic, and it has taken me two days to clean it up and recover the data.


Mea culpa I guess.

Cartoon of the Week.

Matt cartoon January 27

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