Another New Year

I woke up this morning, which is always a good start.  Brought to a state resembling full functionality by liberal caffeine intake, I turned on the TV and watched part of the Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, California.  Quite a spectacle it always is (they’ve been doing it for the past 131 years), with floats decorated exclusively with vegetable matter and many horses.  This year there was a flotilla of miniature horses, which are increasingly used as service animals.  The Budweiser (beer) Clydesdales were there, of course, a team of eight (8) posing even more of a challenge to manage than those drawing the Chariot.

Let’s see, now, what shall I do for the rest of the day?  Eat and drink.  Maybe even declare war on whichever group or country displeases me most at the moment.

But first, before I get too immersed in such things, I want to wish the Charioteers (and any others who haven’t offended me recently) a pleasant and prosperous 2020.

16 thoughts on “Another New Year”

  1. . . . and a Happy New Year to Cog and Tina, and to all other Charioteers, . . . be they alive or be they a back-up copy.

    I was up early this morning for an eight o’clock dental appointment – not a good way to start the decade. But when I arrived I was sent home again because my young dentist was “unable to attend”. The receptionist was very polite and helpful, but gave a strong, though tactful, impression that the young gentleman’s problem was hang-over related. So I guess that was good news – sort of. 😎

    Have a great year, everyone!

  2. Happy New Year to all Charioteers. I can’t possibly have upset you Cog, I rarely say any thing on the Chariot these days, although I’m still reading the posts and comments.

    I had a dental appointment too , Bearsy, although it was technically the last day of 2019. He didn’t managed to fix my problem so I’m starting the new year with a wobbly implant. 😦

  3. May I take advantage of Cog’s post to wish all Charioteers a happy and healthy 2020. Heartfelt good wishes too to all those Australians affected by the horrendous bushfires. I have just read that some of them were actually started deliberately, which defies comprehension. Perhaps Australia needs to find a penal colony for those found guilty.

  4. Ah, the New Year! What a strange and wonderful, not to mention terrible, start it’s had. Which of us, in our wildest New Year’s Eve drunkenings, could ever have imagined that such things would burst upon us.

    It wasn’t so much the bare fact of a Ukranian airliner being shot down by Iran. A tragedy to be sure, but nothing that couldn’t be addressed by a few candlelight vigils (attended as usual by mobs of people who never had the remotest thing to do with any of the victims), festering mounds of floral tributes and, yes, compensatory payments to families of the dead. What rankles far more has been the Iranian government’s handling of the matter. I’m sure I’m not alone in having an intense dislike of lies and misrepresentations being foisted upon the world, not least upon its own people, by any government. Even one Winston Churchill and some of our own Presidents weren’t immune to the temptation to slip the public a few porkies now and again, but at least none of those (prior to our current incumbent) entailed the risk of turning Great Britain into a pariah state.

    The Ayatollish approach could scarcely have been better calculated to have the opposite effect. To lie about the incident, to allow the lie to be discovered, to very publicly (dare I say, “belligerently?”) fail in the implied if not mandated obligation of all nations to cooperate in investigating any air disaster, indeed to take steps to hinder any but Iran’s own “investigation” and, most recently, bulldozing the crash site in hope of obscuring if not eliminating possibly revelatory chemical (as in rocket fuel) traces. Clumsy and amateurish, to say the least, and certainly not the hallmarks of any nation with which we might want to have anything in the way of a “relationship.” Fortunately, the demonstrations reported in this morning’s news show that the Iranian people are not nearly so stupid as their leaders take them to be.

    Then there’s the matter of how this whole mess has been/is being handled at this end by The Only President We’ve Got. *Choi oi,* just what we needed, more lies, deceptions and unexplained changes of policy. He should remember one thing when contemplating backing down from a not unreasonable position: North Korea is watching, as no doubt are various others around the world.

    Tell me, if you would: When did plain old honesty and forthrightness go out of fashion?

    In a perfect world (time out for laughter), the Ukraine would politely but firmly say unto Iran, “We’ll have that black box here in our country, please. Now! It’s ours, something bought and paid for as part of a larger device that, thanks to you, no longer exists. You have no salvage rights in this matter. We want it delivered to us right away, if you please, before you’ve had any further opportunity to meddle with it.” It would and should, of course, then be entirely up to the Ukraine to obtain assistance as necessary from such others as they alone may choose. Boeing might not be a bad place to start (they did, after all, build the fool thing), provided that they haven’t by then been driven out of business by their own “Max” foolishness.

    Wanting desperately to think about something else for a change, what do I find but this “Megxit” (oh, how the British do love to coin nicknames) business? As I’ve previously said in other cases, Great Britain is not my nation (well, I’m actually ¼ Yorkshire British, which would count for nothing at today’s exchange rates), not my government, etc., etc.. *BUT* (and this is a big “but”) I’m appalled at the behavior of Prince Harry and his Kardashian-wannabe wife. By all accounts I’ve heard, he was always a thoroughly likeable chap, although not really seen as the brightest bulb on the marquee. I am, however, surprised to see him so easily manipulated by a female who seems to want to separate him from his *real* family. I know the type all too well. My own son is married to one such, a situation I accept with equanimity because she addresses his shortcomings as I could not, because she makes him so happy and, what the hey, because she’s produced an adorable granddaughter for me to brag about. I do feel genuinely sorry for Prince Harry. Also, of course, for the entire Royal Family, specifically for the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Prince William. Her Majesty may well be a tough old bird but, at her time of life, who needs aggro like this? I can easily imagine the courtiers making sure that Prince Philip’s door is closed, so as to keep his undoubtedly choice comments from perfuming the Palace air.

    If any requested my own not-always-so-humble opinion (nobody has, but when did that ever stop me?), it would be that (a) Her Majesty should immediately revoke her gift of the Dukedom of Sussex and all rights, privileges and benefits thereto attendant, at the same time removing the erstwhile Duke of Sussex from the “Royal dole,” and (b) HRH Prince Charles should withdraw all financial support from the Duchy of Cornwall. Neither of those things is likely to be easy.

    None if it will be made any easier by the pall of Diana-guilt that lies over the situation, settling most heavily upon Prince William and Prince Charles. My heart (yes, even I have one) goes out to the Royal Family and to the British people as a whole. Also to the Canadians, who will apparently be stuck with the aftermath.

    Enough of that! Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found anything uplifting in today’s news. The wildfires in Australia go on, possibly even destroying some prized cricket pitches in addition to the many houses and farms of ordinary citizens. To those of you resident in Australia and who have not blatantly given me offense (I may be old but my memory is unimpaired), I’m deeply sorry for the devastation, for the ruining of any property in which you might hold an interest (I’m afraid I don’t know where any of you are located), for the loss of so much of your treasured wildlife and domestic livestock, and for the whole mess in general. I’d like to think that you’ll come out of it even tougher and more determined, as Australians seem to have a way of doing.

    Enough of enough! Today is my birthday and I’m going to enjoy at least some small part of it even if the effort kills me. I’m about to take the dogs to the park for a Terrier Toddle, pick up some more milk against the possibility that the forecasts of snow are hugely underestimated, then return home for a brunch of free-range eggs and (gasp!) black pudding, with a bagel on the side, all washed down with plenty of good coffee. Then maybe a nap. To quote Yul Brynner’s oft-repeated line from The Ten Commandments, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”

    You good people are, as always, free to make your own arrangements, just so long as they don’t result in any additional horror shows.

  5. Hello Cog, Happy Birthday for yesterday, and Happy New Year to you and those stalwart Charioteers who are still here, either in real life or in digitalia.

    I do wonder what the new decade has in store for us both personally and collectively. Suffice it to say that 2019 was, for me and the NSW, a year to consign to the gurgler, both of us having endured family feuds that leave the current Royal scheissenfest as a minor distraction, the bloody amateurs, and as a result of which we will (probably/most likely/certainly) tie the knot in 2020 after a ten year engagement. One can’t rush these things after all.

    On a wider stage, what to say? “The best you’ve got” as you describe POTUS, appears to be a far better friend to my country than the minnows who want to succeed Jezbullah Korbyn (think Bernie Sanders here) as leader of the UK Marxist Front and Prime Minister)

    The civilised world needs to show Iran that an admission of guilt accompanied by a Gallic shrug and a snort of contempt no longer cuts the mustard in a civilised world. Actions result in consequences which may be painful.

    Glad to hear that the Stockholm kid is back in school. Best place for he provided the manipulators are still not setting the agenda and reacting to the media overexpoosure she endured last year.

    There is a scent of change in the wind. I remain hopeful. The almond blossom has broken out this week and the citrus trees are laden with fruit. It’s a bit like QLD, but without the fiery stuff. God bless them and all Aussies


  6. Twelve days is the new cut off point for New Year greetings. Used to be 10 but even “youngish” me is getting on a bit. So, ahem,
    Happy New Year
    all Charioteers

  7. TR, my excuse is that in this country, we are decades behind the real world, so I can say Happy New Year at any time. I so now.

    I cannot help feeling that Mr Trump has played a rather skilful hand and that the Dems must be in a bit of a tizzy at the moment. As Rod Liddle says in the Spectator, DT looks set for another 4 years, while war with Iran seems highly unlikely. They simply do not have the wherewithal. Terrorist attacks could possibly increase, but General Soleimani was the chief puppet master and with him neatly disposed of a replacement with his standing, might be difficult to find. On the surface, it does look as though Iran has stepped back. They did admit to shooting down the airliner and their attack on the US bases appeared to be deliberately ineffective.

    For all his bluster, Trump has tried to talk to NK’s Rocketman, Putin and even Iran. He against war in the Middle East. The US economy is strong, unemployment is low.

    What is clear, is that left leaning politicians and media, appear to want to side so badly with the Soleimani thug simply because they hate Trump so much.

    As for the Megxit debacle, while I have always been respectful of the RF, I found myself leaning towards republicanism when I learned that HM had given her consent to the marriage of Harry to that woman. What was she thinking? “Have your exotic fling if you must, but do not make her a permanent fixture.”
    I understand that the odious couple have threatened to hold a no-holds-barred interview if they do not get what they want. In the words of the Iron Duke, ‘publish and be damned’.

  8. OZ: Thanks for the kind words, which I reciprocate and relay.

    Being engaged for 10 (ten!) years? All things in their own good time, I guess. Certainly better than the way so many of today’s kids rush into marriage. Best wishes to follow whenever they are called for.

    I’m no stranger to family “difficulties” and can only observe that the closeness that is part of family life can be both a blessing and a curse.

    “The Only President We’ve Got” was an expression coined by the late Molly Ivins, a Texas newspaper columnist, although I think it was Nixon she was angry with at the time. I liked her work in general and unashamedly lifted that phrase, to be quoted every chance I get. Our incumbent may well be a better friend to the UK than some of your own Lefty politicians, but that’s not saying much. We have our own Reds to worry about, notably Sanders and that Warren person. Of your lot, I do rather like Boris Johnson.

    I agree that Iran’s feeble statements are simply not good enough and fear for those who might be made scapegoats for the latest claim of “human error.” Let’s hear it for painful consequences!

    Has that Swedish kid actually returned to her studies? Her manipulators (including, as I now understand, her own father) didn’t do either her or the immediate world much of a favor by feeding her to the media as they did. And I don’t think that Asparagus Syndrome is a sound excuse for her being just plain nasty on all too many occasions, obsessiveness not precluding politeness.

    No almond blossoms or citrus fruiting here, I’m afraid. It’s snowing and is expected to continue to do so on and off for the next week or so. Our friends and neighbors in Canada, ever thoughtful and polite, are also sharing with us some uncomfortably cold air (-9.4° C at the moment), for our benefit funneling it down the Fraser River Gap, which conveniently lets out a short distance from our house.

    Sipu: I wouldn’t claim that The Only President We’ve Got is capable of playing any sort of skillful hand but might admit that he may recently have been listening to his advisers (assuming that any competent people are left in his administration). Military types especially are likely to favor alternatives to actual warfare. I’d never be asked to be a Presidential adviser because I make no secret of thinking that this business of a border wall between the USA and Mexico is one colossal mistake and that, instead, a wall ought to be built around the entire Mideast, always a problematic region.

    As for our Dimmycrats, it’s high time and then some that they dramatically narrowed their field and pooled their resources behind the very few likely to have a real chance of winning the next Presidential election. That – a fresh election – is probably our best hope for straightening out our current mess, given that our Senate’s impeachment “trial” will almost certainly result in a “not guilty” finding. Even if they did miraculously vote to remove The Only President We’ve Got from office, we’d then be stuck with our current Vice President stepping up to fill the void. No, for my money we’d be better off gritting our teeth, waiting a year and making a fresh start.

    I agree that Soleimani is well gone and further agree that the Lefties are whining about his removal for their own political ends. I do, however, disagree with my own dear wifeperson, who thinks that killing ought to be done with broadswords rather than with drones. Move with the times, say I, and don’t risk your own people if you don’t have to.

    The Only President We’ve Got has played up to those you name and various others in hope of being seen as their “friend,” somehow ignoring others who might do him/us some real good. (Are there any such?) Iran has obviously been counting warheads and backed down appropriately. I fear that not as much can be said of North Korea, where “Rocket Man” continues to pump into weapons development and testing vast amounts that would be far better spent on his own people. Does anybody want to know how I think we should address his brand of “blackmail diplomacy?” (What, no takers?) Just fire one of our tested and proven (but unarmed) long range missiles right over the northern Korean peninsula between the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, phoning Pyongyang to let “Rocket Man” know when to look up.

    Ah, “Megxit.” The Queen’s statement today, mild in tone, leaves room for much theorizing and analysis, such as that printed by The Daily Mail. Reading between the lines at this end, one might gather that Sparkle has flown from Canada to the Los Angeles area, no doubt to be near her mother. One might also suspect that, once the USA has a new occupant of the Oval Office, such a move is more than half likely to become permanent. An article in The Vancouver Sun makes it clear that Sparkle insists upon getting her own way, to the detriment of any who do not facilitate that (“her way or the highway,” according to some of her erstwhile friends). I seriously doubt that she will ever again set foot in the UK, despite Her Majesty’s implicit consent to her marriage to Prince Harry. And why shouldn’t they have got married, what with the succession already being well established? Let the lad have his fun.

    Mumble, grumble…

  9. Cog, mention of your wife’s longing for the return of the broad sword with which to quell the Muslim hordes, reminds me of a poem I learned as a child, though I now only recall the first stanza. Mr Mackie may be able to supply the rest. It comes from a book called the Kings and Queens of England, by Eleanor Farjeon.

    To hew and hack
    The paynim black
    To flay and fell
    The infidel
    To make short work
    Of the murky Turk
    To draw the gore
    Of the dusky Moor.
    This was the first and favourite art
    Of reckless Richard the Lionheart
    Who was sure of aim
    And never afraid
    And always game
    For a good Crusade.

    I think Christina would have got on well with King Richard.

  10. Sipu: I think you’re right, except for one thing that she discovered in a carefully hidden-from-the-masses library archive: Despite his battlefield heroics, King Richard was (how can I put this without being too non-PC?) somewhat limp of wrist. That explains why he avoided Italy (and thus his wife, whose father had provided ships) on the way home from the Crusades. That, of course, got him into another sort of pickle, but that’s another matter.

  11. Let me try again:

    To chew the fat
    On the paynim’s mat
    To ring the bell
    Of the infidel
    To go to work
    With a sweet young Turk
    To ask for more
    From a husky Moor
    This was the best and secret art
    Of carefree Richard the sultan’s tart
    Who was limp of wrist
    And never dismayed
    And sometimes dressed
    As a chambermaid.

    Sorry if that breaches the rules. Feel free to delete.

  12. Interesting that for a queer, Richard was rather effective with a sword!
    Could not have subscribed to a transgender lifestyle then?

  13. Sipu: Well writ! I can’t remember when I last laughed so hard or so long. Be it breaching the rules or breaching the breeches, your rhyme has brightened the snowy, windy, frosty and generally dreary day we have here.

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