Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

What's Great in '08?

Time to make some resolutions to improve things in 2008.

I have some good ideas.


Lose weight. Always a popular choice, but, hang on, is it really necessary? Does anyone ever ask if losing weight is really necessary or has it simply become an all-encompassing mantra? Why does everyone want to lose weight?

There is no doubt that as I have gotten older I have added a few pounds. How many? I've been checking. I've been tracking my weight religiously for about nine months now. In that time my weight has fluctuated by about 8 pounds. It started out going down and then just after Christmas it has peaked about 2 pounds more than it was in April.

Why is this? It was lowest in the summer when I was eating BBQ and drinking beer. That makes no sense! Unless you factor in the increased physical activity provided by outdoor activities that are possible in the summer and not in the winter, things like sport, gardening, long walks with the dog.

Conclusion: Weight is cyclical according to the season and needs to be tracked for at least a year before any real conclusions can be drawn. Also, your weight in Jan is bound to be large, remember all that Christmas dinner!

Shakespeare usually got it right. What did he say about weight? Sir John Falstaff: “a good, portly man was he”. And we all know what a great guy Sir John was.

Let's not forget Julius!

Caesar: Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

Nuff said?


Give up smoking. No, sorry, I already did that one. Was it hard? Yes. Can anyone do it? Yes. I wish I had given up 30 years ago! Am I sounding sanctimonious? You bet.


Sneak out of Iraq. This sounds flippant, but it is not. It is not necessary to declare the withdrawal from Iraq. It would be better to just do it. Unfortunately, military operations have become almost impossible since the end of WWII. Now the generals have to announce their plans and allow them to be scrutinised by the politicians before they are attempted. This is just nutty.

Better idea – make your plan to get out, get out and then tell everyone about it later.

Works for me.


Stop looking of Who's – a – ma – bin – liner. The man is irrelevant and if the military establishment couldn't find him after all these years it's not likely to happen now. Better plan. Announce that he is dead and when the inevitable video tape turns up purporting to be from him – declare that it is a fake and ignore it.

Also works for me.


Throw money at Afghanistan. I actually emailed Ol Dubbya to just such affect when this mess started. Needless to say, he ignored me. It would be better for everyone if we just game the Afghans lots of money. People sitting around watching re-runs of Little Britain do not suddenly break off and plant an IUD. If you can't win the hearts and minds – buy them. That's what capitalism is all about anyway.

Last real revolution we had in the U.S. was the Whiskey rebellion of 1794 - after that we just got in the gas-guzzler and went to the store. Great for democracy.

Should work for the Afghans as well. Let's try it!


Forget Global Warming and go the beach. I was astounded the other day when on TV a commentator let slip that the climate data they use to “prove” climate change is only 100 years old. Yep, that's one hundred years. It's like basing your calculations for the coming wheat harvest on the growth rate of a wheat plant in the corner of a small field in Nebraska in the last 14 seconds. It is all nonsense.

Trouble is if you question the orthodoxy of that globe-trotting, very rich eco-warrior Al Gore, people call you nutty.

Bottom line. Climate varies naturally. Right now, it's getting a bit warmer. End of analysis.

All the other nonsense is just conjecture. We have no accurate, historical climate data to base any conclusions on. There is good circumstantial evidence that the climate has changed fairly dramatically in the last 1000 years.

Witness the Vikings. Pretty tough dudes by all accounts. But, about a thousand years ago they up and sailed away to Iceland, where their descendants are still, grabbed a quick holiday to Greenland (anybody notice the name, Greenland) and mooched over to Canada - probably Labrador, not noted as a holiday destination today!!

Had they lost their marbles? Probably not. It was just a bit warmer then. And, this was nine hundred years before much fossil fuel had been burnt.

Explanation? Climate is subject to natural variations.

Learn to live with it!

Don't forget the “Mini-Ice Age” in the 18th Century!!

Of course, we all need to be responsible for husbanding the resources of the planet as well as we can. But, and this is a big but, you don't have to subscribe to the Global Warming Quasi-Religious Dogma to be a good citizen.

Stop feeling guilty and enjoy the warmer weather.

That's enough resolution for anyone!

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