Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's the end of the world

What with all the predictions flying around for 2009, I thought I'd recycle this vid about the end of the world as predicted by the doomsayers.

.......and what might come afterwards......

Happy new year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good gosh a mighty

Well flabber my ghast and pass the Wellington boots! The media worm appears to be turning; at least where it comes to the UK Daily Telegraph. For over the past 12 months a writer called Christopher Booker has been giving mainstream coverage to those who have serious misgivings about the doom mongering dogma of CO2 driven man made climate change. Now other columns in the same newspaper have elected to voice the doubts often fervently echoed in the comments. Particularly this report.

I stand ready to be toppled by the gentlest caress of avian plumage.

Snow Casualties

The recent snow has wrought much inconvenience and a number of casualties including eight Snowmobilers who got caught in two consecutive avalanches. Seven of the party are still unaccounted for at the time of writing.

Fortunately our only local casualty was a young female Deer which had taken shelter under a bush and died of cold. Took a walk with Dog this morning to see the still deep frozen carcase emerging from a thawing snowbank. Venison anyone? The only human casualty in our little enclave has been the wounded pride of a number of 4x4 drivers who have come to grief in roadside culverts despite snow chains etc.

Driving in the snow is a skill and requires decent snow tires, steady and slow acceleration and deceleration. Oh yes, and migraine inducing concentration. Having driven vans, cars and ridden a motorcycle in snowy conditions, I know whereof I write. There are those who can put the hammer down, trust to luck and come up smiling every time, but I'm not one of them. The ditch would beckon strongly. As for indulging in festive cheer; I won't even breathe on a glass of wine within twenty four hours of driving because sure as shooting, I'd get pulled over and busted for drink driving if I did.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Slow day

Spectacular view this morning. Fog and low cloud on the other side of Mudge Island positively glowed like a Turner seascape in the morning light.

Our roads are now a lot safer to drive. The snowplough, (Or in our case a Road Grader) a curious looking contraption with a hydraulically controlled ram blade slung under the cab, came through last night and cleared off most of the compacted slush and ice that made driving so tricky yesterday afternoon. Well done City Hall. It was getting too tricky out there.

Today we've stayed in and hunkered down. Wife to catch up with her reading, and me to pursue my literary ambitions and occasionally delve into 'Sarum'.

I see Christopher Booker in the UK Daily Telegraph has claimed that the Anthopogenic theory of Global Warming has been disproved in 2008. Personally I think it was disproved by the complete failure of all the apocalyptic doomsayers predictions to even begin coming true by 2005. Someone should let the warmista's know that theories need observable proofs, which the theory of Man made CO2 driven climate change has been conspicuously lacking in. Well, apart from unfounded scare stories and a lot of fudged statistics. Yet even now there are those with demonstrable evidence of non man made climate shifts, still choose to believe that humankind has any significant effect on the globalclimate. Obviously the salutory tale of the 'Emperors new clothes' is no longer taught in elementary schools any more.

Now, climatewise at least, we are in the midst of a Solar Minima and cool phase of the Pacific and Atlantic Decadal Oscillations. Things will get quite chilly for the next few years, and it may be worth considering moving further south. New Mexico maybe. Although there have been news items about Florida suffering from snow and ice recently. There goes the price of Orange Juice. Fortunately the latest weather news suggests it's got warmer down there again. Just goes to show that it isn't a warmer climate we should be worrying about.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow. I have calls to make and e-mails to shoot off.

I see Longrider has dropped off the blogging map. Looks like a domain ownership issue, so I'll wait a week or so before editing him off the sidebar. Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


We are undergoing a very welcome thaw at present. Unfortunately, thaws pose their own hazards. Packed snow and slush turns to ridges of hard packed ice that renders useless all your petty attempts at steering in a straight line. The first kilometre out from home at present is a real queen bitch to drive. After that the middle of the road is mostly clear and makes for easy driving. When the thaw finally reaches our little enclave I will be a very happy bunny.

In the woods the underbrush is surfacing as the tide of crystalline white recedes. For days the only tracks into the woodland have been those of Dog and myself. Only the Deer have ventured under the laden canopy of branches. When the paths are clear I might even venture down to the beach to see what else has arrived.

Well, that's my first White Christmas since the 1960's and as far as I'm concerned you can keep it. White Christmases are for kids.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Back to business

More snow. A fine dust this time, but thickening with every keystroke. Getting home last night was fun if you like that sort of thing; especially the last kilometre. Having abjured alcohol for over twenty four hours my reactions got us safely along stretches of road where far more well equipped vehicles had come to grief in the ditch. These were vehicles with 4 wheel drive, snow tires, snow chains, the works. Just like the one in the picture. Yet they were off the road and we somehow safely skittered past, up hill and down dale, jouncing over every icy slush packed rut. After we arrived home I slumped into a nervous collapse over a large, and well earned, glass of Malt Whiskey.

MSS revision day. Have already 'Murdered my darlings' and will resubmit MSS sample to publishers in the new year. The mini screenplay is done, and I'll get that out of the door in January too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

BC Sunshine

Rain glorious rain. The snow has stopped and as of 12pm it started raining. Of course it'll take a day or two to clear all the snow, but I've never been so glad to see good old British Columbian Sunshine. I don't care if it rains all January.

Back to Nanaimo's usual temperate climate.

We've been having trouble with our 4x4 of late with some damp in the fuel line which has caused cut outs and a good deal of embarrassment on the highway. Half a tank of 94 octane and half a flask of STP fuel additive later and good ol' Sue is purring like a Puma on steroids.

Wife and I are off to party with family, leaving our fearless guard dog (not) with friends so he can courageously cower under the sofa. Bless.

Oh dear...

Just a little wintry amusement to lighten a so far very dark day. Oh well, it will only get lighter from here on in. The darkest day of the year is over thank goodness.

More snow shovelling today as we attempt a snow break out for a Christmas with some of our (over) extended family. Promises to get complicated as always. Wife is slightly emotional missing girls who are going to Englands Lake District for the holidays. This promises to put a damper on the festivities; therefore I cannot relax and have to do my best imitation of an emotional rock. Why do we do this to ourselves?

I'll need a break to get over the break.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A chat with real people

Been talking to the neighbours of late, and what they've said about the local climate and weather rather fits in with my own, albeit anecdotal, observations. Cold snaps like the one we're currently experiencing seem to happen in approximate 10 and 20 year cycles. Mostly they're not as intense, but it still forms a pattern. Working backwards from 2007 / 2008 the colder weather was noted in 1996 & 1998, before that 1987 / 88, 1978 was supposedly cold and wintry, 1971 was one of those 'All Canada' events, rather like the early 1960's and 1950's. Before that we have no local information, and the Airport Weather records only go back to 1979.

This got me thinking. In the UK we had an exceptionally cold winter in 1947, I've no information on the 1950's to hand, so I can't include that, but I recall trudging to school through heavy snow in 1967. 1977 was particularly cold and snowy. 1981 / 82 was pretty rough where I lived. 1987 had a cold snap that saw our household cut off from power, water, everything for three complete days. 1997 had a few snowfalls if I recall correctly, but nothing too exceptional, yet 2007 / 2008 have been distinctly chilly.

Again; this is all anecdotal based on memory so the years may be out, but the approximate 10 and 20 year cycles are definitely there. I'd have to check some impartial temperature records to be sure, along with precipitation measures etc. These cold weather events appear more driven by solar activity and major volcanic events than anthropomorphic causes.

Funny what a bit of a gossip with people whose memories go back further than the official temperature records will turn up.

The next person...

The next media idiot to reiterate the claim in my vicinity that all this bloody snow is to do with their farcical 'global warming' theory is going to get some nice icy 'global warming' stuffed forcibly down the back of their fashionable Gore-Tex jacket.

I've got to the point where, when I heard some Environmental advocate had died of Cancer today, all I could think was "Good. That's one less of the bastards." This is most unlike me. I am mostly a gentle soul without an ounce of malice in my heart.

"Weather is not the climate", according to some of the pro AGW whack jobs, but I would like to point out that Climate is the sum of the Weather. So there. Like geology is not about sedimentation, but a lot of sediment eventually makes rocks. Like the ones in the Pro AGW advocates heads.

Some snow is fine, but if I'd really wanted to experience a heavy Winter I'd have gone and got a job in Alberta. I've been digging through fourteen plus inches of snow since half past nine this morning and my temper is slightly frayed. I need tea.

Work work work

Well, there's another ten inches or so of white fluffy global warming on my doorstep. Time to get shovelling. We may be due a minor thaw today, but I'm a little dubious about that assertion.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Have been revising the 'Sky full of stars' MSS today because I'm sure as shooting not going anywhere. The snow started to fall first thing and it's still falling. Old family friends have rung up to say "It doesn't normally do this".

I've made good use of the time making hearty stews that will keep even when the power goes off. Four good helpings of home made Chicken Madras, Two fish stew, four Pork and carrot stews. All they need is heating up on our gas cooker. Wife and I will not starve.

The crop of icicles we've started to grow over the front porch are mostly a good twelve inches long, with one about nine feet in length. The Lilac bush outside our front window has a crop of stylish decorations in frozen water crystal that would make a seriously artistic Interior designer green with envy.

Not bothering with any Canaerobics today because it's due to snow until the small hours. First thing Monday morning will mean I'll be grafting with the shovel. We've had the best part of a foot of snow so far today which will take around forty minutes to clear. Tomorrow will be sunny with a bit of a thaw, but until then we're snowed in. Not that I mind, but all this weather enforced leisure is getting a tad monotonous.

Wife is getting a bit cabin feverish, but now she's fed and properly watered and we've had a good heart to heart, I am pleased to say she's (Mostly) her old self again. Getting cards from old friends over in the UK, to which I have been responding with phone calls and e-mails, the post being a bit too unreliable at present what with the weather.

Video choice today: 'The Razors Edge' (1946). Am now going to get Dog outside for a romp. Today we will give the woods a miss because there's a stiff and rather gusty breeze which might bring down some of the more heavily laden lumber.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Walk in a white forest

Have just returned with Dog from a short foray into the local woodland. Judging from the tracks, the only other creatures to visit our area were a couple of the local Deer population and one of the local canines. No human has walked these paths since the first snow. Even the Raccoons and Jackrabbits are hunkered down.

Once you get amongst the trees what hits you first is the silence. Barely a whisper so that you can literally hear snow and ice drifting down from the trees and hitting the ground. Your own breathing sounds stentorious and a moments pause can enable the rushing of blood through your body to be quite audible. Then the lapping of water from down in Dodd Narrows becomes too loud as your hearing adjusts to the overall lack of noise. The odd warning creak from cold strained timber cautions against making too much noise. A functioning Heat Pump on a house a hundred metres away is unwelcome, industrial. The slightest sound is amplified tenfold. Compared to this, a Library would be a cacophony, a wall of intrusive sound.

Trees bow under their coating of light powdery snow, moving slightly in a timorous breeze, and everywhere the brilliant whiteness carpeting the forest floor and half coating every single branch and tree trunk in sight. Down below, the water is a pastel mid blue grey ruffled by the sub zero breeze. All else is shadows in the white, camouflaged by the cold into indistinctness.

After a couple of minutes your unprotected skin begins to prickle, and even a heavy overcoat seems to be full of holes through which pinpricks of cold seem to find their way. Anywhere in your clothing where there is an imperfect seal, heat leaches out, letting the cold air nick you with it's sharpness.

Yet this is not the cold I am used to, it does not drag the heat from your bones and sap your will. This cold whips at you like a million small goads, driving you on; home to your welcoming little island of warmth in the midst of the whiteness; home to the comforts of hot drinks and blessed blood heat. This cold sends you home.

Today is cold. Perhaps not Albertan cold, but cold enough for this poor mortals blood. Wife has just told me that the radio reports say it has begun snowing in Harewood. The next pale layering will be with us soon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Get over it

My favourite Eagles track from the 'Hell freezes over' tour. Which funnily enough it feels like it might be doing tonight with a very un-Nanaimo like minus thirteen Celsius prophesised. Last I checked our thermometer outside the kitchen window it was minus five and sinking. Brr.

Great line in the song "I'd like to find your inner child and kick it's little ass." Oh yes.

Managed a trip into town for a 'Do' we got invited to although any sudden acceleration or deceleration threatened to put our little 4x4 into a tailspin (Despite good snow tyres). One pedestrian just stepped straight off the kerb on the other side of the road and made a rude gesture because we didn't pull an emergency stop to let him all the way across. I know pedestrians and buses generally have priority, but had I tried to stop quickly on that precise stretch of compacted snow and ice we would probably have broadslid across to the left hand side of the road and into him, there was that little traction. Not a happy thought.

All Christmas presents are wrapped and ready to be delivered. We have invitations for drinks and stuff over the festive season. Six days left to Crimbo. It could well be the first white Christmas I've seen since the 1960's. Yay.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Canaerobic exercise

I've discovered how so many Canadians keep fit. It's a system of exercise unique to Canada called Canaerobics.

It's jolly hard work but comprises of three basic steps;

1) Buy a snow shovel
2) Wait for it to snow
3) Get shovelling

For the advanced practitioner:
4) Wait for it to snow again (It will)
5) Get shovelling (Again)
6) Repeat as necessary (It will be)

I've been doing it all day long. Great for building up those necessary ice hockey muscles in the shoulders, thighs and back. Good for converting 'Molson muscle' into real muscle too.

Now I think I'll go to bed.

More snow. Hi ho.

Busy going nowhere

Have just taken Dog out for a brief morning walk. The 4x4 is buried, and it's still snowing. Even the ubiquitous Deer tracks that normally cross our yard are absent. Told Wife not to bother getting out of bed. Looks like we're going nowhere today.

Time for coffee.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow day

At the moment we're having a bit of a snowy interlude around Nanaimo, with an extra 10-12cm (4-5 inches) of snow at the time of blog entry to add to the foot or so outside the door. Van looks like a rather large snowdrift outside the back door. Had to drag Wife away from work as there was a significant risk that if we had waited until usual finishing time we wouldn't have been able to get home. Even our little 4x4 was struggling, the snow clogging our tyres and converting them to racing slicks.

We managed to avoid ending in the ditch like this guy above by the skin of our teeth, and a not a little intense concentration on the part of yours truly.

Above is the road home. Not quite white out conditions, but getting there.

Nanaimo Parkway southbound at around 1pm Pacific Standard Time.

Another section of the Parkway. This with the snowploughs on continuous duty.

Managed to finish my Christmas shopping today anyway. Presents will need wrapping, but for the moment I'm snuggling down.

Odd observation. Today at 3:13 PST this blog was graced with a visit from the web server registered to the Netherlands Ministry of Justice. That's slightly after midnight if I've got my time zones right.

A big hi from Vancouver Island to the guys in Tech support over there. Doesn't it get boring on the graveyard shift sometimes? Wet and miserable over there too if the local forecast is right. Despite all the current cold and inconvenience, I think I'm much happier over here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Has Honda cracked it?

Perusing my reading list of blogs as usual and came across this little gem from the UK's Top Gear TV programme.
The item was about the Honda FCX clarity, a Hydrogen fuel cell car currently only available in California for 2009 under certain conditions.
*Subject to limited availability, in designated, limited California market regions, to approved lessees by American Honda Finance Corp. Closed end lease for 2008 FCX Clarity, for qualified lessees meeting specific use and operation requirements. Not all applicants will qualify. No purchase option. Zero capitalized cost reduction. Taxes, license, title fees, liability insurance extra. Monthly payments of $600.00 for 36 months. Total monthly payments $21,600.00. No mileage limitation or excess mileage cost.
As it says on Honda's own dedicated web site.

The video tells part of the story, but on the face of it this particular car may have part of the answer to the transport / emissions conundrum. The production of sufficient Hydrogen and development of a refuelling infrastructure may follow if the trial programme is practicable. The price of Hydrogen is the other matter. Can it be economically produced in sufficient quantity to supply demand? I hope so.

Another more cynical, thought emerges; will this category of technology shut the Eco freaks up? Personally, I think not. Certain of these guys want the whole concept of the car and the liberty it gives to the rest of us to die and be buried deep. They hate anything above the level of the horse and cart and subsistence agriculture. They hate liberating technologies because they do not understand why people need it, and what they cannot understand they fear. Simply cruise the Internet for any tin foil hattery about a specific technology. The lies are out there, and I regret to say they've got the facts outnumbered.

My predictions if this fuel cell technology takes off? There may be spurious stories about Hydrogen causing Cancer / Lung Disease etc bandied around by the media, perhaps even direct action against Hydrogen production facilities. Next thing you know, the water vapour from the exhaust of a fuel cell powered vehicle will end up in the same category as CO2, classed as a cause of 'Global Warming' (Some of which would come in handy around about now, it's minus six celsius outside my house, and that's without wind chill). No dopubt some future politician will build a whole 'Eco vote' campaign around it, similar to the one currently based around CO2 emissions. (Engage Sarcasm mode) We must 'save the planet'. Yeah, right (Sarcasm mode off).

I like the Honda concept, it has possibilities. Providing of course that the law of cock-up doesn't get in the way. However, Honda have a good track record of delivering technical solutions, so I will remain guardedly sanguine about the future. Even if it isn't going to become mainstream until 2018.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

So this is......

Well, if this is the Global Warming the politicians and activists keep wittering on about, it's very pretty to look at, being deep, crisp and even etcetera, but it's also bloody cold. Currently minus 2 Celsius by our thermometer outside the kitchen window and SNOWING. Current depth around ten inches (25cm) and deepening. Now This latest batch of the white stuff looks like it's here for the next day or so if these two photo's (Taken at 08:10 PST 14th December) are any indication.

Brother in Law is supposed to be driving up from Victoria this evening. Well, if he hasn't got snow tyres the Mounties won't let him even attempt the Malahat, the highway between Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island (Webcam link here). Current conditions look pretty difficult. Time to hunker down and stay home I think.

10:20. A Snow covered Mudge Island is materialising as the snow fall eases. There is a thick ghostly carpet all the way down to the waterline and our thermometer is reading slightly under minus three Celsius. Dog and I have been out for a romp in the white stuff, which is over a foot deep (30cm) on our drive.

Dog loves snow. Just as well really.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow gone

Looked out of our window this morning, and all yesterday's snow has gone. There might be some left up on Mount Benson, but we'll see that when Wife and I pootle in to town for a civic 'do' this afternoon.

Next report is for another, more substantial fall to hit in the early hours of Sunday. Must make sure everything is in standby mode in case the power goes, although BC Hydro, our local Energy supplier has been trimming potentially fragile trees that might bring down the power lines all Summer, so maybe we'll get away without outages this year.

Last year, one heavy fall of snow brought down eleven trees across Barnes Road which feeds down into our little Waterfront enclave. This year we're wrapping up extra warm.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow on the road

Some quite heavy snowfall in town that is currently turning to rain. Got a call from Wife around 11am when the white stuff started coming down and so fired up the 4x4 and dashed off to the rescue. The Island Highway was quite greasy despite the volume of traffic, and the steering wheel gave a couple of minor twitches as we passed over some compacted slush at a couple of points. Local gossip reported a few people stranded when their cars couldn't cope with the compacted ice and slush. However, we didn't see anyone in obvious distress, so matters can't have been that bad.

Current conditions on the main routes out of Nanaimo are not too bad at present, although we heard a report of an accident near Terminal Mall on the radio around fivish as we made our way home. We elected to go home the long way and ducked out of town along Bowen and Pine down to Tenth Street. Sue, our little 4x4 (As in a boy named) coped easily with the conditions. Now Wife, Dog and I are tucked up cosy and snug at home. That reminds me, I was going to make a little mulled wine this evening. Good idea.

The video is a bit naff, but.....

I'm not a fan of 'Xena - Warrior Princess' apart from thinking 'great number', and red blooded carnal thoughts about Lucy Lawless bringing a lump to the old trousers.

Never saw the movie 'Electric Dreams' from which this song came so this one is missing from my ELO archive. A cracking little tune by Jeff and the boys. I think an MP3 download is in order.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Forecast for snow days

While we're waiting for the snow to arrive, I've taken the liberty of adding a little seasonal snow to the blog. Not that anyone will notice, my reader stats logging something between zero and 'whoops, what's this load of old tosh'. It pleases me.

Local forecast is for a six inch snowfall sometime in the next three days. Whether it gets to us down at the waterfront I don't know. We'll see. Our little Mountain Goat of an SUV is thoroughly prepared with Winter Kit, snow tyres etc, so we're quite looking forward to slipping it into 4x4 mode and pootling around in the Wintery whiteness.

Gas prices locally are still slipping downward, and have reached 82 cents (About 44p UK) per litre. Still a ways to go yet. Amazing what happens when the speculators get their fingers burned isn't it? No money to gamble with, the latest 'Peak Oil' scare being ignored. I don't mean to be complacent, but the world is still here, and economic difficulties aside will continue to be.

Day job has been keeping me quite busy of late, and I seem to spend half my life in or travelling to, meetings. Still, I took it on, and although there's much to do we're getting there. Which a lot of people won't be doing if we get a big dollop of the white stuff as prophesised. Time for a coffee break.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Global 'Cool it' Video

Although I don't agree with the "It's all CO2" argument, and that the climate changes with or without human influence, I like this video and what Bjorn Lomberg has to say. Especially his approach to the arithmetic of the situation. Loved his explanation that 'saving' one Polar Bear (Maybe, maybe not) a year in fifty years time with Carbon tax was pointless because 3-500 Ursus maritimus are shot per year for making a nuisance of themselves. Want to prevent 'heat deaths'? Some air conditioning might be a good idea. Oh, and what about the cold related death toll? Which is ten times any caused by heat.

As Bjorn points out, if you want to make a difference, increasing the albedo of urban areas and planting more greenery seems like a far more sensible idea than the economic seppuku of 'cap and trade' and 'carbon taxes'. More money for energy R&D would be good too. Put some more cash into projects which can bring positive results, like jobs in technology research and production. More efficient Solar panels? Maybe? Cleaner, and more efficient power production? Yes, good idea. Cleaner and more efficient cars? Definitely. Money into Fusion power research? Yes, a priority.

We need research and development. Anyone who has been in business knows that a healthy, well managed R&D department underpins a companies ability to keep producing better products and so keep making a profit. Bjorn makes his points well. Spend less on the 'climate' and more on adaptation.

H/T Theo Spark

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Paradise found - on YouTube

From the ultimate Demigods of comedy. Utter brilliance and terrific news.

Sea Lion surprise

Took time out from the day job to take Dog for a good walk along the sea front and came across this piece of waterfront theatre macabre, a decidedly deceased Sea Lion. Possibly a Steller because of the lighter coat colour and wider, flatter snout. It's also over the maximum size (2.5m) for a California Sea Lion. The one in the pictures I took is 2.74m long as close as I could measure.
The scale in the picture can be ascertained by the tape measure, which is stretched out to twelve inches in the top picture (305mm) and twenty four inches (610mm) in the picture below. As you can see, the corpse is pretty fresh and despite the gulls having pulled the eyes out, is in pretty good condition. Another couple of tides will change things though. My smaller walking staff as seen in both pictures is 50 inches (1.27m)long to give a further idea of scale.

Now this is the third dead marine mammal I've come across in the last four months or so on the same hundred metre piece of waterfront. On this one there were two blemishes in the pelt that could possibly be bullet holes, but I can't be sure because I've only ever seen bullet holes in people before now (Long story, one I'll save for another day. Suffice it to say I didn't cause the holes in the people).

Two dead seals and a Sea Lion washed up within four months on the same stretch of shoreline? That I think pushes the envelope of coincidence a bit too much. Has someone been potting the local Pinniped population? I'm told that it happens. Possibly as a measure to protect the local Salmon population, which is currently at a low.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fog and awe

For the past three days it's been foggy, and today visibility seems to have closed in to well under a hundred metres. You keep on waiting for the greyness to burn off, but I suppose this is the downside of living close to the sea, although I can't recall this happening last year. The temperature hits the dewpoint and bye bye view of Mudge Island. Yet right now the fog appears to be lifting, and not before time. That was getting truly depressing.

Yesterday afternoon Wife and I travelled up to the Galaxy Cinema and spent it watching the latest Bond movie, Quantum of Solace which left me a little stunned with the visual overload during car and rooftop chases. I think I'll have to watch it three or four times to catch all the detail in the various chases. Daniel Craig too seems to be closer to Fleming's literary creation than any of the previous incumbents. He seems to have encapsulated both the brutality and mortality of the role. The sense of violence he brings with him is intense and more tangible.

The opening sequence of the movie reminded me of an incident I witnessed on the entrance to the St Gotthard road tunnel in Switzerland a few years ago, where a car, an Audi TT as I recall, got caught in the blind spot of a big truck. The truck moved over into the exit lane and first pushed the car onto the hard shoulder, then as the hard shoulder narrowed on the exit slip road, began to crush it against the crash barrier while all the time the car was buckling, the windscreen starring, the car driver all the time sounding his horn and shouting. We were on my old Triumph 900 just behind the truck and couldn't believe what we were seeing. Bits and pieces of trim scattering all over the road. Behind, we had to do some fast manouevring to avoid some rather nasty punctures. By comparison, in the movie Bond's Aston Martin got off lightly. The Audi was totalled, finally coming to a scrunched up halt, jammed between the crash barrier and the truck, a third smaller than it was. Fortunately, the driver and his family got out unhurt.

Am currently boning up on Mathematics and Physics as a background to improving my job prospects. It's surprising how much you forget over the years. However, the old learning comes back pretty quickly too. All you need is a little practice and the fog lifts.

Update: Twenty minutes later and the fog is back with a vengeance. Just goes to prove the old Vancouver Island saying; "If you don't like the weather right now, go inside and wait five minutes."