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Electricity

My electricity bill came to -€23,42. Which meant the bill for the past two months was €76,58. I used 149 units between November and December, and 128 between December and January...or 277 in total, at a price per unit of €0.1374 these days (without taxes). The electricity itself came to €38,06. Add to that €22,86 for the provision of electricity, and of course €6,14 in taxes (20% of my 277 units, a further 20% of 178 units, and 5.5% on the provision). That comes to €67,06. Then that is taxed again, at 20% for the total of €40,18, plus 5.5% for the total of €26,88. There's something quite rancid in having the tax being taxed. As my basic consumption adds up to €60,92. The taxes and taxes-on-taxes add a further €15,66.

If I divide the cost by the consumption, the electricity this time is costing me about €0.28 per kWh.

This time last year, I used 159 and 174 units respectively, or a nice round 333 units. My bill for that came to €81,97. Well, it's always going to be higher then as I'm on winter holiday and will be heating more. Plus, it's winter, so I'll be heating a little anyway. Or maybe it's the endless cups of tea. ☺

Last year, the electricity was €0,25 per kWh, so it has gone up "a little bit". My average consumption is around 85-100kWh per month, with around 50% more in the winter months.

The EDF app says that my electricity budget for 2022 was €384, which is €27 more than in 2021.
But the truth is unveiled when looking at the kWh report. In 2022 I used 1282kWh. Which is 13kWh more than in 2021. Maybe they shouldn't make such a big deal over the increase in price (it's in bright red) when the main factor there is their price increases.

Of course, they also say that "similar houses" use 5123kWh per year, and they reckon €138 is spent on heating water, and a further €22 on washing and drying clothes. That's insane, as washing machines and driers, left to their own devices, are prefectly willing to suck around 2kW for extended lengths of time.
I can actually calculate this. Heating the 200l once a week for around 5 hours (more in winter, less in summer when the water is warmer) is 260kWh. At €0,28 a unit, it's just shy of €73. This will give me a nice warm bath, and a few days later, a cooler shower.
It also provides three buckets of hot water to toss into the washing machine, so I'm literally only running the three motors - the drum motor, the one that spits out the water, and the dinky motor that makes the mechanism work. I don't use a tumble drier. I have an old (now somewhat rusty) one brought over from the UK but it was a dismal failure. When I need it is in the winter. And the air is so cold that it didn't get even remotely warm as it passed through the machine. The only way it would work is to run the dryer in an enclosed room rather than the cow barn, and that will make a humidity problem exponentially worse.
In the summer? A few hours on the line and the washing is done.
Oh, and in the summer - especially if it's a hot summer, I knock the immersion heater on for a couple of hours to take the chill off, and shower in that. It's quite refreshing to take a lukewarm shower on a hot day. I have to do that quite often when mowing, as the mower throws bits of dry grass into the air, and my hair seems to attract the stuff. So a good shower and scrunch of that mess on the top of my head is necessary.

EDF reckons my fridge uses €14 a year. That again is silly. I'd guess it's probably closer to €50 a year. I think it gives a guide of how many kWh it uses in a year on a label on it, but I'm too lazy to go look.

 

More Tory scum

I might have written several paragraphs about my electricity consumption, but it's nothing compared to a friend I know who has managed to get his 'leccy down to around £9 per day. I'm going to say that this is a winter rates charge. At least I hope so, as a month and a half equals my entire yearly bill; with his yearly being... a scary huge number.

So while people are paying stupid prices for energy, while people are living in their beds because of the cold, while people are skipping meals to be able to keep themselves warm, and everybody else is on strike...

...it only goes and turns out that Graham Stuart, the climate minister, pocketed twelve grand in donations from fuel and aviation companies. Which might be why he recently said that not all fossil fuels should be viewed as the spawn of the devil.
My personal take is that they are, currently, a necessary evil. But still an evil. Battery technology and transportation infrastructure isn't currently good enough, especially in non-urban areas. Plus, is it really better to swap burning dead dinosaurs for pillaging lithium which will last maybe 3-5 years before becoming it's own chemical cocktail to dispose of, not to mention what you're actually going to be charging the things with. Too many fear nuclear (not such a problem in France, it's about 80% nuclear here....when they work). But there are countries trying to do away with nuclear, to replace with what?
Here's the deal. Any first world nation, or a pretender to being an advanced economy, is going to need plentiful and reliable power for commerce, finance, cities, and manufacturing. Relying on renewables will not cut it. We can't be expected to rush to work, but only when it's windy.

So while the climate minister may be correct in saying that a more nuanced approach to fossil fuels may be needed than simply saying "fossil fuels, ewwww!" (he supports the new coal mine in Cumbria), it leaves a bad taste in the month that he's accepting donations from the very sorts of companies that the climate minister would likely be up against. You know, if they weren't offering "consideration".

Of course, this news has likely been swept to the side with the ongoing Zahawi drama, just one in a seemingly endless parade of Tory sleaze.
I don't get why so many people are so gung ho on "BREXIT-F**K-YEAH!" that they go along with this (some even want Johnson to return!) that they don't run the bastards out of the country with the pointy end of a recently sharpened pitchfork before they do any more damage to the country and it's citizens. It's what they deserve.

Instead, we hear that Rees-Mogg is going to have a chat shown on Britain's cheap-arse facsimile of Fox News. You know, I'll be quite disappointed if the interviews aren't conducted in Latin.

As for everybody else. Well, you might as well do something productive on your picket lines. I suggest a whetstone and any convenient gardening implement.

 

Stupid broken lyrics

"Musixmatch is the world's largest collection of song lyrics used by millions of people" according to the blurb for their Android app.
LyricFind is another similar company.

Problem is, they are largely crowd-sourcing their contributions and seem to be heavily involved in licencing this to third party sites.
Which means if you're looking for, say, the actual lyrics to "Requiem Xiii-33" by Fields of the Nephilim, you're going to find pretty much every lyric site will end with these lines:

  Save...
  Save your new life
  And move lunch*
  Until you feel inside
  Not for them

I'm guessing wherever this was lifted from had a footnote to explain the asterisk, that would have said something like "no frigging idea, this is what it sounds like".
And now, all around the world, the third-to-last line is "And move lunch".

At least Carl McCoy's interesting delivery can make it hard to work out what is actually being said (move lunch!). You'll also find errors that range from amusing to annoyingly unforgivable.
"Nitrogen Pink" by Polly Scattergood, is often quoted as having the line "About this mad mad days survival".
Which is wrong.
How do I know this? Option one - we both grew up in the south east of England. My accent isn't that unlike hers, so I can understand what she's saying.
Or option two - I'm holding in my hands the little piece of paper that's tucked into the CD case. You know, the one with the words printed on it. ☺
It's "dog", not "day".

 

Oh, hello!?

On the way to work this morning, I was listening to something suitably depressing for the morning commute. So I'm guessing "Termination Bliss" by Deathstars.
Anyway, I'm going along and... uh-hu. Okay. This is totally normal.
Lost, by any chance?
Lost, by any chance?

I stopped in the village at the sister of the mayor to let her know there was a confused horse wandering around.
Poor thing is in a muddy field with little in the way of grass to eat. So of course he wants out. But that's about as far as his thought process went. Once out... um...

She made some calls, and he was rounded up before some twat caused an accident.

 

More messing with Dall-E2

As always, these images are a combination of work between Yours Truly and the AI-bot with the virtual paintbrush. Please get in touch if you're interested in the full resolution (1200×1200) non-watermarked images and/or licence for commercial use.
I am perfectly happy for my/AI's creations to be used non-commercially, but note that if your website/app/whatever makes money (including via embedded advertising), then I consider it "commercial".

Anyway, legal blurb over, let's get on with the fun stuff.

A neon pink cat skateboarding?

A neon cat, skateboarding
A neon cat, skateboarding.

 

A girl skateboarding in the rain...?

A girl, 'skateboarding'
A girl, "skateboarding".
I suck at skateboarding, no balance (or maybe just no practice), but even I'm pretty sure this isn't how it's supposed to be done.

 

Okay, enough of that. Let's get a little more existentialist.

How about imagining what the end of the world would look like?

The end of the world?
The end of the world?
Looks like one of those diagrams in '80s books that explained how the Earth's crust was put together.

 

Or there's this...

Melancholia!
Melancholia!
Don't ask what the text is supposed to mean. No idea why Dall-E2 decided to insert a title. I wonder what bits of imagine it ingested to get that?

 

Well, instead of the end of the world, how about the end of time. Like, the end of everything?

The end, period
The end, period.

Dammit, Dall-E2, that's some nightmare fuel right there. But we can do better. Let's crop it and mess with the colours a little.

Spooky as hell
Spooky as hell.

Of course, you can further mess with the colours to ram home the demonic nature of this aparition that will suck the soul right out of your body for eternal nothingness.

It's over, goodbye.
It's over, goodbye.

 

And on that note, sweet dreams...

 

 

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David Pilling, 27th January 2023, 22:08
So how did the conversation go 
 
"Madame, I am here about the mare in the high street" 
 
"I assure you the maire is in his office" 
 
"No the mare outside" 
 
"The maire would not go outside in this weather" 
 
<sigh> 
 
I found today that I can download the electricity usage for all the postcodes in the UK. It's a 20MB file from the government. Interesting to see what the neighbours are using. 
 

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Last read at 10:39 on 2023/01/28.

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