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What in the name of God...

Sunak, the man who is clearly an expert virologist, is railing against the power that was given to the scientific community. They were all doom mongering, they stuck us all in a horrible lockdown. They...

Well, Rishi, what would have been your alternative? Were you a cheerleader for the "herd immunity" plan? Are you aware, even with the hard lockdowns (not that senior ministers would know), that the UK stands with one of the worst death tolls in the West? (bested by the United States, and we all know that was a massive bucket of Republican Stupid)
Anyway, the lockdowns happened. There are more pressing matters now.


Not one for being kept out of the limelight, Truss unfortunately opened her mouth. To opine that she's not entirely certain whether France (and more specifically Macron) is a friend or an enemy, stating that "the jury is still out".
British diplomats had heart attacks.

The French, however, took it in their stride. Macron responded that there could be serious problems if Britain couldn't figure that out, and threw in that there was no doubt that French thinks fondly of their neighbour. And then, since Macron knows how to be diplomatic in a way that Truss does not, he added that France was a strong ally "regardless of its leaders, and sometimes in spite of its leaders and whatever little mistakes they may make in a speech from a soapbox". Ouch.
A former French ambassador pointed out that Truss is pretty much just playing to the peanut gallery.

However pretty much everybody agrees that Paris no longer trusts London to keep its word (with quite a lot of evidence to point to supporting that stance) and with Truss being, well, Truss... and a Tory party shifting even further to the right than the former UKIP (and heading into BNP territory), it's unlikely that relations between France and Britain will be improving, given that Brexit and the fallout from that has raised fundamental differences. Indeed, it is being reported that Truss may trigger Article 16 as soon as she gets into Number Ten.

Thankfully, however, it does appear that Paris has responded because they were obliged to, but they've already sussed the most likely next Prime Minister to be a mad woman who doesn't understand the first thing about statesmanship. Or leading a country, as there are more pressing matters now.


The more pressing matters? How about Ofgem raising the price cap by eighty freaking percent? The average price of energy bills (that's counting electricity and town gas as many many homes are connected to gas in the UK) to a staggering €3,549 a¬†year. A little under £300 a month. Or just under £70 a week. Which conveniently makes it about a tenner a day.
What the actual hell?

Note: despite the name, the Price Cap is not a maximum, it simply sets the limits by which standing charges and price-per-unit are based upon.

Add to this inflation has already hit double digits. And d'you remember when I talked about it being 13% soon? Well, some are predicting 18% from January. Because of the volatile situation, Ofgem isn't even making any predictions over what may happen in the January re-evaluation.
Meanwhile, Whitehall is looking at the feasibility of asking energy intensive industries (such as the steel, chemical, glass, etc industries) to power down during the winter to avoid power cuts. While this seems logical, I would have to ask - what about the employees? Having less pay when their own energy needs will be higher (being at home more and during the cold months) coupled with the skyrocketing cost of electricity and gas... how is that going to go?


Some have been predicting that the January price cap evaluation may well be in the region of £6,000-£7,000. If that comes to pass, along with inflation nearing twenty percent, I wonder how long it'll be until people take to the streets?
<sarcasm> Wouldn't that be a tragic end to so many years of Tory mismanagement? </sarcasm>


Daylight hours

This is the sucky time of year. It's not even September (Morn, we danced until the night became a brand new day...) and as I get up at quarter past seven, put the kettle on, and then go walk across the field to feed the furry critter, I can now see the sun rising.
As for the sun setting, it's gone before nine.
So I've lost a little over an hour each end of the day, and it's only going to get worse.


Playing with Dall-E

Dall-E, by OpenAI is an AI artist. You provide various descriptions of what you want to see, and the AI will think about it for a while and create some art.
The name, by the way, is a mash-up of Wall-E and Salvador Dalí.

Note - you need to sign up for an invite. Mine took about a week. Then it'll ask you to confirm your mobile phone number. This is likely to dissuade people from asking for the sorts of images that shouldn't be asked for.

Anyway... My first request was wide eyed young female astronaut admiring the Martian landscape.

A wide-eyed girl on Mars
A wide-eyed girl on Mars.
Okay, not bad, but it took the wide-eyed thing a bit literally. So let's drop that and try again.

A girl on Mars
A girl on Mars.
This one is actually cute (just needs some minor touching up of the eyes). The Martian scenery isn't much to talk about, but it's done a pretty good job of capturing the wonder in her face. Because, I think for humans for a rather long time, it'll be a case of "nope, never going to get used to this" when looking at a Martian landscape.

Now for some fun, how about we emphasise the landscape, and say that it would be nice if it was done in the style of Impressionism? Dall-E says "hold my beer" and knocks up a painting quicker than I can imagine what it might look like.

A girl on Mars, Impressionist style.
A girl on Mars, Impressionist style.

Okay, so there's plenty of scope for interesting Martians. Let's try... something just a little bit different.

How about A 3D render of a mystical flying cheeseburger armed with lasers that is intent on world domination, with a background of a burning city?

My crazy imagination does not faze the AI. People have probably asked for weirder things.

Cheeseburger attack
Cheeseburger attack!

This was one of the other options (it creates four possibilities each time). I'm not quite sure what hiccup threw the plastic ladle in there, but hey, whatever, it's awesome.

More cheeseburger attack
More cheeseburger attack!

Let's end the AI torture with Two kittens fighting wuxia style over a lake.

Wuxia kittens
Wuxia kittens.

Alright, alright. One more. Let's give them lightsabres!

Wuxia kittens with lightsabres!
Wuxia kittens with lightsabres!
Not quite right, the pink lightsabre turns blue and the kitten on the right looks more like a giant mouse... or... maybe the AI has already thought this one through and figured a cat fighting it's prey would be a better image? I'll let you decide.


They offer 50 image credits to get started with (because they know you'll try a load of weird things to see what the AI can do), and then 15 credits every month. They don't roll over, so it's effectively 15 renders per month. You can buy more (bought credits are valid for 12 months). But... I'll have to think about what I could describe to create a really epic picture (suggestions welcome in the comments!).


Playmobil and the cookie cutter

My Playmobil arrived and, yeah, it's cute. I like the christmas lights sweater. It's a shame that pattern doesn't exist in reality, or I'd get it for Christmas!
Playmobil and cookie cutter
Playmobil and cookie cutter.


Rotovator air filter

I pulled open the air filter of the old rotovator to see what sort of state it was in.

About that...

The old air filter
The old air filter (what was left of it).

So, back to Amazon and I found nothing for a forty-odd year old engine, even with a download of the engine operating instructions which gave me part numbers.
But I did find a dirt cheap generic foam filter that looked like it might fit. More or less.
And more or less was going to be better than sucking dust and whatever else into the engine.

The new air filter
The new air filter, this should help.

I probably ought to tip out the old oil and replace it but... oh my... what a mess that is.



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Andy S, 27th August 2022, 01:18
I'm loving the cheeseburger invasion. It's hard to see exactly but those blue things on the top of the second flying cheeseburger look a bit like evil alien/smurf hybrids, holding on for dear life! It's great.
J.G.Harston, 28th August 2022, 13:28
Have you ever seen Bob's Burgers? He has a picture of flying burgers on the back wall the yours reminded me of. :)
David Pilling, 28th August 2022, 19:31
In favour of Rishi Rich (cartoon book no one remembers), the science was wrong because different scientists said different things. Good ole Boris protecting his backside by saying "we'll follow THE science". 
It's not even science because they can't try again with different parameters. 
Headline in the Guardian this week "Lockdown killing more than Covid". Lockdown was always going to suffer from revisionism - at the time the MSM were telling Boris he was murdering people due to not doing one thing and another. Now we're a bit safer people change their minds. 
I don't understand how chucking money at the gas shortage will work - given supply is finite the more money you put in the higher the prices go. Presumably a bit more LNG will make its way to Europe. Rationing - seems democratic. 

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