Wednesday, 24 December 2008


To all my blogger friends - worldwide - happy and merry Christmas. And to those of other faiths, creeds or ideologies: some peaceful days at home.
Christmas: let silence enter.

And to all of us - regardless of everything - the good news is this: the sun is coming back, the days get longer, Summer is just behind the horizon.

That's the kind of activity I am looking forward to, within the next five months.

Best wishes to all of you, for the days and months that lie ahead of us.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Harsh winter when it's automn still

Living in a tiny village - center of France thus center of world - has multiple advantages. But our electricity grid is certainly not one of those items to be proud of.

For last Sunday we had a meteorological red alert: stay at home good people. It started to snow in the early morning hours and continued right into the next night. That might be nothing worthwhile mentioning for those living in Norway or in Canada but here?

And what about global warming? Where are you, please?

In the evening we had three or four short power cuts and the fifth settled it for good. Light the Christmas candles, let's go to bed early, best thing to do.....

Next morning, Monday, everything was so peaceful. No car running, no street lighting, tepid water coming out of the boiler, house decidedly cold but peaceful, too.

So we stayed at home, admiring the white out. I did not dare to start the wood fire because it is equipped with little fans for more efficiency. They are not supposed to stay idle; ball bearing don't like to be heated up.

Here, have a look at the living room, fire ablaze. That is "normal procedure", electricity being supplied.

No more. Fortunately I bought eight years ago a little stand-by stove for an emergency like that, running without electricity. And the dear little thing made of sheet steel or so did the job. See here:

Suddenly, the place looks impoverished, a place for displaced people who make go with what is available. And so it was.

25 hours later - on a road cleaning job - I heard the church bells chime again: hosiannah, the juice was back. An hour later the phone went dead for another 20 hours. But who cares. And yesterday, the washing machine got a bout of Alzheimer's. The darling is quite willing to turn around but refuses to pump and seems to know only one program these days, anyway.

That's a slice of life at the beginning of the 21st century. Everything is available, but on a temporary basis only.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

On the downward slope - let's get slim

If you are only moderately interested in economics, just listen to the ABBA singing "Money, money". They know all about it.


The economy - everywhere - is heading south, bye bye boom days. Most of us are mere onlookers while the future unfolds, but not everybody is idle.

Opposition or governing parties - right, left or center, green guys or oil hawkers - realize their hour has come. Now is the time to tell us what to do to get the economy humming again. "Don't worry, good people, we'll manage".

What I have not yet heard is that: you might easily loose your job, could be we'll have to fight inflation, quite possible taxes have to be raised. On the contrary, I am listening to a tune I know too well: "we'll do the washing without your getting wet".

Some days ago a worthy politician (no name given, no country specified) told me this:

"Every citizen should get a bonus of 500 € (about 600 $) to be spent immediately with the only condition to add 200 of his own.

Imagine I get the 500 what would I do with this: I would buy a new computer so as to be able to run "Microsoft Flight Simulator X" thus making happy Hewlett-Packard and Bill Gates. And afterwards? Nothing. Same script as before, just read again the first two lines here above. Useless, costly straw fire.

Others are clamoring - a big chorus, worldwide - for a substantial tax break. That's more or less the same as the 500-€-stunt. Most of us don't pay a fortune in taxes anyway thus the break will look like a pittance. And the big income people will like it, certainly, but it will just make a splash in their wallet.

And all that money where does it come from?

a) from the state coffers - but I hear they are empty

b) borrowed somewhere - but the money has to be paid back and
before there are the interests.

c) the good old money printing machine - say hallo to inflation

So I think we have to solve the recession the hard way: cut useless prestige spending, raise the taxes where possible.

Because if we don't want to go under, become a kind of backwater, this has to be done: upgrade our schools and universities, research and development in real science, credit to people who wish to create new businesses. Stop our addiction to oil coming from non palatable countries.

These are the challenges and there the money must go. Our money.

Meanwhile, if someone of my dear and esteemed readers wishes to save souls from hell by doing something for or against the beast exposed, the economic collapse 2008-2009, the number 666, the anti-christ revealed, just listen to this one: