Moved to new premises.

This blog has now closed, and all new stuff will appear on the new one.

I haven't moved the badges. They were awarded to this blog, not the new one, so the new blog will have to earn some of its own. Or not, as the case may be.

See you over there.

UPDATE: I've shut down the comments. Spammers love dead blogs because they think nobody's checking - but I still get notifications and it's starting to be a pain.

Old comments might become invisible but they're not gone. if I ever reactivate this place, all I need do is turn commenting back on and they all reappear.

If you want to comment on an old post, you can still do that. Just click on the post title, copy the link, and comment at the new blog (link above).

Smoke the Chicken.

(I have designated this as my second blog because I now spend more time at my sister's blog my main blog. I'm still cross-posting the main ones but it won't last much longer).

The trouble with gadgets is that once you've reached the limits of what they do, you lose interest and they go into The Drawer Of Forgotten Things. Or in my case, the entire chest of drawers. I have mini-digital cameras and mini-video cameras and a few versions of handheld computers even though the one I actually use is still an old monochrome PalmPilot. Some are broken, some have built-in batteries that have died and cost more to replace than just buying a new device, most are there because they just reached their limit of interest.

I thought that might happen with Electrofag. Why hasn't it? Today, one answer occurred when the new flavoured stuff arrived. I have smoked a roast chicken, a banana and absinthe, and laughed like an idiot while doing it. The flavours actually work! I had serious doubts about roast chicken but dammit, it really does smell like roast chicken!

So, to recap, I now have these flavours available for smoking:

French pipe (didn't like that one too much but it's only a 5 ml bottle)
Roast Chicken
(Also Unflavoured, for mixing with the chicken flavour and any others I might later try)

I can make the roast chicken into a nicotine-free preparation if any nonsmoker wants to try it.

Trying a new flavour costs about £3, just over the price of a half ounce of tobacco, and a bottle of flavour looks like it'll last longer than I'm likely to stay interested in it. You just add a few drops to the nicotine juice, which makes no discernible difference to the level in the 5 ml bottle.

(Note: always wash your hands after mixing this stuff. Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin and if, like me, you're saving cash by buying the super strength and diluting it, that absorption can feel like smoking ten Capstans on the trot!)

I think that's the main reason I persist with Electrofag. Aside from the associated gadgetry, if it starts to get dull, just buy a new flavour or two and it's a whole new gadget. The hilarity of smoking a roast chicken, with banana smoke for dessert followed by coffee and then a shot of absinthe will take some time to wear off. When it does, there are other flavours.

The antismokers who are so uptight about the sight of someone having fun, the doctors who push patches and gum and sneer at Electrofag, those Government departments of banning everything, and most of all ASH, should consider something important. Something very important,

I have made no attempt at all to stop smoking. I don't want to stop. I have no intention of trying. Since I bought Electrofag, my tobacco use has been cut in half. That is not only 'without trying'. That is with actively refusing to try.

Let me say that again to any Righteous who might still be so self-absorbed that they denied what they read the first time.

Electrofag has cut my tobacco use in half despite my determination to make no attempt at all to stop smoking.

It won't stop me altogether. It's not quite 'real' enough for that. I'll still have my roll-ups and I don't see them going away any time soon. Smoking the real thing is still top of my list. Even so, Electrofag is always with me and as long as I can vary the flavours, it'll be there next to my tobacco pouch. Electrofag wins when it's lousy outside but if I'm able to go outside at work (or if I have to at the pub anyway) I'll reach for the tobacco, not the gadget. Which is the second important thing the smoke-banners should realise.

If you ban Electrofag indoors, we won't smoke it outdoors. If we have to go outside anyway we'll smoke the real thing.

For those who genuinely want to reduce the number of smokers, letting them smoke Electrofag indoors is the best option. But then, none of these groups want to reduce the number of smokers.

If you genuinely want to give up smoking, Electrofag is your best option. You can stay on the nicotine version forever (nicotine is no more harmful than caffeine, despite what ASH would have you believe) or reduce to zero nicotine and still smoke. Patches and gum will never work. ASH know this. They don't want their stop-smoking methods to work.

Electrofag represents a serious problem for ASH, government, the NHS, all of them. If everyone switched to Electrofag-only overnight, tobacco duty would stop at once (it's already stopped from me and many others, but for another reason) and the treasury would lose a hell of a lot of money.

If it ever gets out that Electrofag really represents no danger at all to any bystander, and in fact removes 99% of the risk factors smoking is accused of for the smoker themselves, ASH are in big trouble. If they let Electrofag take off, they cease to exist.

The NHS also gets a lot of funding to 'combat smoking' and can use smoking as an excuse to deny treatment to an awful lot of people. If tobacco use stopped, the NHS would lose funding and lose a good excuse to reduce their waiting lists by removing smokers from them.

These so-called 'concerned people' don't want smoking to stop because if we stop, the duty stops and a lot of the funding these same 'concerned people' get will stop too. They don't want us to stop. They're having too much fun punishing us. If they really, truly, wanted to end smoking they'd have made it illegal by now. There have been no moves to do so. I don't recall even ASH asking for that. Restrictions, yes, more and more but simply reclassifying it as an illegal drug? None of them want that.

So they will ban Electrofag which is the most effective reducer of tobacco intake currently available. I actively resist any attempts to make me stop smoking and yet my tobacco intake is halved. ASH hate that. I can smoke Electrofag indoors, legally, causing no harm or inconvenience to anyone at all. ASH hate that too.

And that might be another reason I persist with it.

The main reason, though, is still the surreal experience of smoking a chicken.

Scales of offence.

Cross posted at the new place. This one is closing soon.

I first came across this tale of despair and misery at Mummylonglegs' place. Dick Puddlecote found it too. The trauma! The horror! The shock and disgust! Tesco sold a card that made a little jibe at ginger-haired people and some hideous bint's children now have to undergo counselling. Tesco must be shut down and all the staff nailed to the front of the shop until they have suffered enough. Which will be never, because the Cheeldren have never been so insulted since the last time it looked likely to get someone in the papers.

All because of a Christmas card and looking at the picture of it, not a particularly good one. Personally I always buy a box of the 'cute' cards and add my own subtitles inside. My favourite was of a badger in a chair, reading a book to a bunch of baby animals, none of which were badgers. Inside, I added 'Mr. Badger thought that maybe, this Christmas, he'd tell the kids they were adopted'.

Contrast this with the reaction of a 15-year-old who was mostly-blinded by an IRA bomb. He met the Queen and Prince Philip while wearing the somewhat bold tie of his Army Cadet group. The Queen asked how much he could still see.

"Not much, judging by that tie," said old Phil.

Compared to a Christmas card insulting gingers, I'd say that was a far more terrible thing. How did the 15-year-old react? Did he demand an apology and compo? No. He did no such thing.

He...got his own back later that year when he took part in an ex-serviceman's march along The Mall for the Queen's golden jubilee celebrations.

As he passed the royal box at Buckingham Palace he flashed a giant Union Jack tie at the watching prince.

Mrs Menary said: 'Stephen said, "If he thought that other tie was bad, then this one's even worse".'

This didn't even make the papers until seven years later when the mother was on TV for some other reason. It comes to something when a 15-year-old, who could so easily have been upset by a jibe at his injury, reacts with far more maturity and humour than a mother of three who simply saw a card in Tesco.

Phil the Greek also had a joke about a comedian's artificial foot. The comedian found it funny (he wouldn't be much of a comedian if he was too sensitive, I suppose) and laughed it off. No offence taken.

Okay, the woman was offended by the Christmas card. I'm offended by racks and racks of mindless magazines in every supermarket and newsagent in the land. Do I demand they all be taken down so I can get my copies of New Scientist, Viz and Stoat Stapler's Monthly without having to trawl through all those menstrually hysterical glossies? No. I just don't buy them. That is the sensible reaction to something that's on sale that you don't want and don't like. Leave it on the shelves. Ignore it. It's not going to follow you out of the shop. Just leave it there and move on.

If you buy the thing that offends you, the store's stock computer goes 'Oh, I sold one. Better order another' and then more of the offending thing appear. It's not a solution. Neither is running to the complaints department shrieking 'Look! Look! Look at the offensive thing! It must be destroyed and you with it!' It does not make you look like a caring parent. It makes you look like a Bedlam inmate on a day trip.

There are far more worrying things in the world than being called names. If a bit of name-calling is enough to reduce you to a gibbering wreck in need of comfort and counselling, then you are a chimp-brained saggy-faced halfwit with the social graces of a slug and all the visual appeal of a hellbender (yes, it's a real thing, also known as a 'snot otter').

If people who have been blinded by IRA bombs can survive a jibe and respond in kind, at fifteen years old, what the hell are alleged adults doing getting upset about a remark concerning their hair colour? If it's that big a deal, buy hair dye. If you like the colour, tell your detractors to get stuffed or better yet, learn to use words of your own and retaliate in kind. It's fun. Try it.

Most of all, try growing up. It isn't as bad as it sounds.

(It seems I'm not the only one playing the 'compare and contrast' game today.)

The plastic plod to be proud of.

Anyone remember all those stories of pseudoplods who wouldn't get in the water to help a drowning child, or who were intimidated by a photographer because he was too tall, or all those who have thrown up a daily story for the 'loony' section of every paper for many, many months? Can't really miss them, can you?

Well, here's a light in the darkness that normally fills a pseudoplod's mind. This one confronted a criminal on his own and chased said criminal over fields and woodland for three miles, while guiding police to his whereabouts. He took a risk. The criminal could have had an ambush waiting, or might have become tired of running and pulled a knife. Nonetheless, he caught the bugger.

This particular PCSO has put many real police officers to shame. We could do with some like him on the beat, with a real uniform on.

If only more had his attitude. Then the title 'PCSO' might not be quite such a joke.

Why didn't I think of this before?

As always, this is a cross post from here. This blog's days are numbered.

I've just placed a stocking-up order for Electrofag juice. I prefer the 'high' strength (18 mg). I suspect the 'super' (36 mg) is mainly for the dedicated Capstan smoker. 18 mg works for me.

However, whether you buy low, medium, high, super or zero nicotine bottles, the price is the same. So you can cut Electrofag running costs in half by buying the super strength along with a bottle of propylene glycol and diluting it.

Here's the latest order:

10ML Totally Wicked Electric Cigarette E-Liquid 36mg-Super High Cigar flavour £5.59
30ML Totally Wicked Electronic Cigarette E-Liquid 36mg-Super High Virginia flavour £16.09
Propylene Glycol. Pharmacopoeia-Grade 50ml £2.79

Postage and package (UK) £1.99 Total: £26.46

I couldn't add it to yesterday's order because that's already been despatched. On normal form, that order would be here tomorrow but the Christmas post could delay it.

In effect, I'll have 80 ml of smoky juice for a touch over the price of 40 ml and that's an awful lot of juice! You can get little bottles to do your own mixing at £1.18 for a pack of five. Since I own a lab, I have no shortage of all manner of little bottles anyway. I will, naturally, sterilise them first.

The flavour might be reduced. I don't know if that will be problematic with a 1:1 dilution but if it is, all I need do is buy some bottles of flavour and add a few drops. If you prefer medium or low strength, diluting to that extent might well mean you'd need to add a few drops of extra flavour but flavourings are £2.79 for 10 ml and you really don't want to add more than a few drops. It's seriously concentrated. One bottle will last a long time.

Note: These are the current sale prices, 30% reduced on normal. The sale ends at midnight on Dec 17th. Even then, it's not too expensive.

That amount of juice will last months. It'll need to, because I will now smoke Electrofag in preference to any tobacco that has 'UK duty paid' on it. I'm now determined never to buy a legal pack again and there might be times when supply is limited. During those times I will make extensive use of Electrofag.

Not one penny more, Chancellor. Not one. I will never buy legal tobacco until the whole of the ridiculous circus has stopped and I can smoke indoors without being criminalised again. Crank up that duty as far as you want. I'm not paying it.

I also plan to make a hell of a mess of your next census form, matey. I will lie to any pollster I meet with outrageous confidence, no matter what the subject. I will promise each and every canvasser that I will vote for them. No council official will ever get the same answer twice from me. I will put all bottles in the clear glass bin and all tins in the plastic bin. I know that when a car showroom takes a trade-in that's junk, they have to pay to scrap it and with a little persuasion, they'll sell it to me for £1 instead. I'll plonk it on the driveway, sell the engine and wheels and any other re-useable parts and fill out a SORN notice every year and that will continue when there's nothing left but rust. By the time you come to check I'll have a dozen or more SORN notices going in every year and there won't be a whole car to be found. I didn't notify scrapping because I didn't scrap them. The rusty shells will still be here.

Set up anonymous lines for snitches and I will phone them with a new random name and address every day. Every spanner I can drop in the works, I will do so. Why not? I'm a low-life. You Righteous have made me so, and charged me handsomely for it. Might as well enjoy myself.

Most of all, I intend to fill a few of the Electrofag tips with flavoured propylene glycol, no nicotine. I will encourage non-smokers to give it a go. It's not smoking, it's puffing on flavoured steam and you never know, it might catch on. They might even take up the real thing. You never know. Evil? I've already been branded so. Might as well live up to it.

No nicotine, Righteous. Nothing at all for you to blame. The only components are common food additives and a battery. Nothing you can legitimately charge duty on, Chancellor. Imagine what happens when you arrest someone for not smoking but for simply looking as if they are.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Of duty and sense.

All posts are cross posted here during the transition to the new blog. This one will close down around the end of the year and will be left as an archive.

I like absinthe. I take my hat off to it, in fact. Its weedy cousin, Pernod, just doesn't cut it. Not on strength but on taste. Both have the aniseed, both go cloudy on addition of a little water, but only absinthe has the bitterness of wormwood.

These drinks came into being as a result of a set of long-ago French Righteous. Those Righteous wanted to clamp down on alcohol so they introduced punitive taxation. Being Righteous, and therefore incapable of seeing the consequences of their actions, they set the tax on the volume of booze produced. A litre of beer attracted the same tax as a litre of gin. It was a stupid way to do it but it suited the simpletons who ran the show at the time.

It must have taken all of half an hour for someone to realise that they could produce an alcoholic drink at 60-80% alcoholic strength, pay the tax per litre and then dilute it for consumption later. Absinthe is meant to be diluted four to six times before consumption. If you drink it at full strength you'll soon find how deadly it is. Yes, I tried a shot, and no, I won't try again. I lost all feeling in my tongue for at least an hour.

The point is that the tax was applied to the volume produced, not the alcoholic strength. If absinthe was shipped as it was meant to be consumed, the producers would have paid four to six times as much tax.

These days, taxes are much more convoluted and arbitrary and which drinks are hit depends on nothing more scientific than which drinks the Chancer of the day likes or dislikes. The absinthe trick doesn't work any more. It was available here for a while but it's vanished again now. At £25 for a bottle it was never going to be the booze of choice for the Red Stripe brigade but it's probably been deemed too dangerous to let us have any.

Naturally, there are those of us who don't care about Nanny's rules.

Nanny will be furious if she catches us with any of the Naughty Things. The naughtiest of all naughty things is, of course, any form of smoking. Tobacco trumps guns, knives, porn or booze every time. Therefore tobacco must have all indication of what it is stripped from the packaging and these new anonymous packets stored under the counter in case a passing five-year-old decides to buy some.

Smokers are to sneak into the shop, wait until nobody's watching and then whisper 'tobacco' to the counter staff. Rather like a sixteen-year-old buying his first pack of condoms, we'll probably emerge from the shop with yet another toothbrush because there was a young girl serving. I'd be inclined to go into the shop, slap down half a dozen copies of Wanker's Weekly, demand the biggest pack of condoms in a very loud voice, ask if they have any merkins in stock, demand to know why not, and then lean over and whisper '...and a pack of tobacco,' but I won't. I won't buy tobacco there at all. Never again.

This was the last straw. Nanny now wants to ban smoking in our own homes. Oh, at first it's 'for the cheeeldren' but it's not going to stop there. It never does. Next will be smokers who live with non-smokers, whether the non-smoker objects or not. Then it will be all smokers, just in case someone wants to visit and to drive the point home, smoke police will visit all houses (all, not just smokers, in case of 'smoker sympathisers') to check at random intervals. As with pubs, restaurants and all business premises, you will not be allowed to decide whether anyone smokes in your house even if you're the only one living there. You might move, and the next occupier might pick up a molecule of tobacco smoke and spontaneously explode.

Rented accomodation? Forget it. Your landlord cannot permit you to smoke in there because he'll be fined if he does. Selling your house? Expect to be asked by the estate agent whether you're a smoker, and to lose several thousand pounds if you say yes. Ads will have to include whether the current owner is a smoker or not.

Smokers are now not merely denormalised. We are so reviled that we cannot be allowed to smoke even in the one place those antismokers will never, ever visit. Our own homes. And yet we pay for this through duty. We pay these people billions to treat us like utter scum but still it's not enough.

- a commitment to continued real-terms increases in tobacco duty to keep the price of cigarettes rising;

Keep putting the prices up. It won't matter any more because with every increase, fewer of us will be buying it.

- more stringent implementation of guidelines on smoking in films and television programmes;

They aren't guidelines. They are no-compromise demands. There is nothing voluntary about them and no discussion is possible. Even Popeye's iconic pipe is too much for them to bear and he's just a drawing. I refuse to pay people to tell me I can't watch a cartoon because there's a drawing that looks like smoke in it.

- new controls on the marketing of tobacco accessories;

This is the most sinister one. It's the one they'll use to control Electrofag. It won't be applied to patches and gum because Big Pharma won't let that happen. It will be applied to anything that looks like smoking.

- further investment in accessible and effective NHS "stop smoking" services;

Patches and gum. It's all they offer. Anything else is banned even if it's more effective. They don't want to succeed because they need that duty income. I'm not paying any more. Especially not to the NHS, who don't even want to treat me for any illness at all because I'm an evil smoker.

- imposing a total ban on smoking and the sale of cigarettes within the London 2012 Olympic site.

I hadn't planned to go anyway but if you're a smoker and you did, don't bother. You could stay home and watch if through the window while you stand in the garden but the Olympic no-smoking zone now covers London. You'll need to get to Reading to light up. This, I hope, will result in some countries' teams refusing to attend at all. Those who do turn up are supporting this draconian Righteous action and are not people I'm at all interested in watching. So I won't.

There cannot be a single smoker in the country who doesn't know of a dodgy tobacco supplier, or knows someone who does. That industry is about to boom. It's a pity they can't list on the Stock Exchange because they'd knock it up ten points on their own.

As for Electrofag, well, it's even easier to move than real tobacco. Like absinthe, the juice can be concentrated for transport and diluted for use. Propylene glycol and flavourings are food additives. Banning those will send the food industry apoplectic and simply set up another underground supply chain. Current electrofags are made to look like cigarettes but they don't need to be. They can look like a fountain pen or a pencil and they can even be made to act like those things.

This action will do nothing at all to persuade people to stop smoking because it's not even trying to do that. It's ordering people to stop smoking and we aren't going to respond to that with 'Well, okay'. We're going to respond with 'Stuff you.'

I will not pay these people to do this to me any more. You want duty, fine, that's not a problem in itself but when you use that money to buy yet another stick to beat me with, the money stops. I will not stop smoking. Every non-smoker who visits anywhere overseas can sell me their tobacco allowance at a profit. I will pay no more duty until this continual harassment is stopped.

As for Electrofag, I think I'll stock up with the highest strength fluids and some of the propylene glycol solution to dilute it. It's only a matter of time before they strike at what is actually the most effective smoking cessation device ever.

They don't want us to stop smoking because if we do that, the income dries up. Yet they are happy to use that income to beat us up and to encourage others to do the same.

No more from me, Chancer.

Oh, sure, there'll be 'crackdowns on those smoking imported stuff' but so what? The act of smoking is now so despised that it really doesn't matter whether what we're smoking is legal or not.

We'll be treated as criminals anyway.

Electrofag - sale now on!

All posts are being cross-posted here while this blog prepares to close down. This one will eventually remain as an archive only.

It's not really time for an Electrofag update. I thought I'd drop those to once a month to make the cost comparisons worthwhile but I've just found out that the supplier I use has a sale on until December 17th. 30% off most of the stuff there.

Here's the three-month comparison, summarised as:

Electrofag essentials £102.32

Semi-essentials (bought already but not necessary) £49.16

Totally unnecessary but fun gadgets £37.56

Real tobacco £112.50

That was only two weeks ago. From that, it seemed that my approach of roughly half real tobacco and half Electrofag would take three months to reach parity in costs, after which Electrofag would start to look cheaper.

It's true. Electrofag has incurred no further costs in the past fortnight while real tobacco has. I haven't even burned out one of the heating elements yet even though they are long past their guaranteed lifespan. Although it's a little skewed because of the severe cold outside which means that at the lab, I make much more use of Electrofag than I would if the weather was mild. At home, real tobacco use is higher but even so, I can make a half-ounce last more than two days now.

The supplier claims a 90% reduction in smoking costs over a year. My own experience suggests I would have had roughly 50% reduction in costs over three months if I had gone completely over to Electrofag, but I still like the real ones too much to do that. Going fully electronic could certainly cut the cost by 90% over a year, I'd say. I'm now in the reduced-cost stage even with still buying real smokes. I'd go over totally to Electrofag if it develops to the point where it's exactly like the real thing (but without the tar and other chemicals) but as it stands, it's not quite there yet. It's miles ahead of patches and gum though.

Then again, there's a sale on and it's a sale of little electronic gadgets, therefore I'm going to put up the gadgetry costs of Electrofag now. This is entirely non-essential stuff. It's just toys. Here's the additional stuff:

5ml banana flavour juice (have to try that one!) £2.79
10 ml flavour concentrate - roast chicken. Yes, really! £2.79
5 ml unflavoured juice in super-high strength £2.79. I already have some of this but it's earmarked for an experiment. It's double the strength I normally prefer so I've also bought another bottle of propylene glycol to dilute it - another £2.79.

Even though the five batteries I have still work well, I've taken the opportunity to buy a five-pack of spares at 30% discount - £24.99. Not essential yet but rechargeable batteries don't last forever.

And... I've been putting this one off because it's only available in super strength and 30 ml bottles but since it's reduced, I have to. Absinthe flavour! I can dilute it if it's too powerful.

So that'll add £53.73 (£1.99 postage) to the Electrofag gadget additions. Sounds a lot but what the hell. If there were gadgets for real fags I'd buy those too.

So if you pass someone in the street smoking a black cigarette that lights up blue, and you get a whiff of roast chicken, absinthe or banana as you pass, and if he's cackling like a madman, it's probably me. Smoking a chicken.

The essential costs haven't changed. This is all gadget money, so if I were using Electrofag frugally and just buying essentials, it would now be ahead on costs. But then, cost isn't the primary motivator.

The principle reason I bought Electrofag was to be able to 'smoke' in some form when I'm away from home and it's too horrible to go outside. Also when visiting a hospital or some other Centre of Righteousness where they won't even let you smoke in the grounds. They're happy to give you all manner of deadly diseases that will kill you now, but they won't let you indulge something that might - or might not - kill you decades in the future. You're not allowed to harm yourself on hospital premises. That's their job.

I wasn't sure if I'd persist with it because while it's a reasonable semblance of smoking, it's not the same. Advantages are many, yes, including a complete absence of ash and the fact that you don't need to carry a bulky pack or tobacco or a lighter. You can also take a couple of puffs and drop it back into your pocket or sit and smoke for an hour.

The downside is mainly that it's too heavy to be real. The 'tobacco' flavour isn't like the real thing, although the 'virginia' flavour is pretty close (for me, anyway). It's not a full replacement yet but given time and development it could get there.

I think I persist with it because it's just so much fun. I already have cigar flavour, coffee, menthol, virginia, tobacco and French pipe. I still get a kick out of the look on people's faces when I puff on what appears to be a pen, it lights up blue and 'smoke' comes out. So far I have never been approached by security anywhere and told to stop smoking. I'm actively trying for that one because I want to see their faces when I drop what they think is a lit cigarette into my shirt pocket. And, of course, it has enormous gadget value. Plus it is totally and absolutely harmless to any non-smoker so they have absolutely nothing to complain about. Not that that will ever stop the more dedicated of them.

ASH (The Association of Spite and Hate) want to ban Electrofag too. They claim that if you stand beside an Electrofagger, the amount of nicotine in the steam that comes out will give you a heart attack. You are not to consider, for a moment, why the Electrofagger is standing perfectly healthily while you, exposed to far, far less than he, are expected to drop dead on the spot.

You, antismoker, are not to think about the patches and gum endorsed by ASH, about the nicotine content of those things, nor are you to connect the idea that the trace of nicotine you might experience (and which is going to kill you right now) is barely detectable compared to the amount of nicotine in the patches ASH want people to stick on themselves and which they say will, paradoxically, save their lives.

If ASH promote dosing people with far higher levels of nicotine than they attribute to a heart attack, why are they not already being investigated for attempted murder? The intent is definitely there. They believe a tiny amount will kill and they insist people attach far higher levels to themselves. In their own minds, they are deliberately setting out to poison people. That cannot logically be seen as anything other than a deliberate attempt to kill.

You non-smokers must never, ever find out that there is more nicotine in a tomato than in the residual steam from an Electrofag. You must wipe from your mind all that previous talk of tar, benzene, formaldehyde and carcinogenic particulates in cigarette smoke because none of those exist in Electrofag. You must believe that it's the nicotine, only the nicotine and always has been only the nicotine.

You are at war with nicotine. You have always been at war with nicotine.

You have never complained about the smell. Only the nicotine. You have never complained about the smoke. Only the nicotine. You have never worried about tar or formaldehyde or benzene or particulates. Only the nicotine.

You have never worried about lung cancer. You have always been concerned about spontaneous heart attacks. No lung cancer. Heart attacks. Keep saying it over and over until you believe it.

And when you do, we smokers are going to sue every doctor, every producer and promoter of nicotine patches and gum and every shop selling them for attempted murder. Because ASH has declared that much tinier levels of nicotine are deadly, and you'll all believe it. Therefore deliberately persuading people to attach high levels to their skin or put it in their mouths is a clear and unequivocal intent to kill.

The best part is, those people ASH convinced will be there, on the jury. Unless they're smokers. Which won't help.

I say, let ASH push this new line of lies. Let them convince all their drones.

Then prosecute.

Life can be fun. I think I'll take a smoke break now.

No Geminids for me.

Nothing to do with the Smoky-Drinky place, but you won't find it in this weather.

Subrosa has the news that it's Geminids night. Last night and tonight, it's been dense fog here so I won't get to see them. Bah.

By the way, those are indeed cycle lanes on either side of the road and the more observant will have noticed there's no white line down the centre of the road.

That's because if there were, nothing wider than a Mini would fit between the lines. If you stay out of the cycle lanes you risk hitting oncoming traffic. If you go into the cycle lanes you risk a fine.

The cyclists use the pavement as they always did.

Common sense, eh? Who needs it?

What happens when you ban things.

At the Smoky Drinky place last night, we put away rather more than the government's made-up guidelines for consumption. Let's just say there were two bottles of whisky per three people, and none was left. I managed to find my way home around 3 am, was overcome with the munchies, dealt with that by means of a couple of these heated up with butter on them, and then slept until 2 pm. I am fully recovered now, and I put that down to all the whisky being of good quality. None of that own-brand toilet cleaner rubbish at the Smoky Drinky place, oh no.

Imagine how much we'd have spent in the pub if we were allowed in there. We're all smokers so we have been banned. Not by the pub. By non-smokers who have never visited these pubs and who still don't. So we've set up our own socialising method. It can't be licenced premises because if we do that, it immediately becomes subject to the smoking ban. We cannot allow people to come in uninvited because then it becomes 'open to the public' and again, here comes the ban. We can't even call it a club. It's the Smoky Drinky place and that's it. No staff. No sign outside. No membership.

A public house, once upon a time, was just a house. Someone brewed their own beer, let anyone into a room or two and sold it. That didn't require a licence at first. The licencing was originally applied only to spirits. Anyone could open a beer-house, any time, no licence required unless you were selling gin or whisky.

That seems to be happening again. This time it's not beer or whisky or anything that's being sold. No money can change hands within a Smoky Drinky place because that would make it business premises and as we all know, smoking is not allowed on any business premises. The principle, however, is the same - people gather to socialise, drink and smoke within a private premises. It's a smoker's speakeasy.

It was bound to happen, and it's bound to continue. When booze is priced into the rich-only bracket, the Smoky Drinky place will invest in homebrew facilities. We'll buy a little bit each. Illegal stills will pop up and I, for one, will have no idea where, nor will I remember where that old copper tubing went that I used to have in the shed. Soon, the little old lady next door will be cooking up those butteries for us, once the health nazis have managed to take them from the baker's shelves.

Many of the Smoky Drinkies buy their tobacco from non-tobacconist sources. The health warnings can't scare us if we can't understand them and the prices are much better than the legit stuff. This sort of thing has become far more common since the smoking ban and the socialist ban-brigade will howl about the lost revenue. Tough. You banners are demanding that people pay you to persecute them so it's no surprise smokers no longer care about the legitimacy or otherwise of their source. It's not the money as such. It's the use it's put to. All that tobacco revenue goes into schemes to tell the people paying the revenue that they are scum. Why the hell would you pay someone to treat you with utter contempt? We don't all aspire to be gimps, you know.

Pubs need customers. The customers don't need the pubs. It's a convenient place to socialise, it's a place to have a couple of beers someone else has gone to the trouble of brewing, a good place to try out one glass of a new whisky before committing to the expense of buying a bottle. Someone goes to the trouble of seting up a place where all are welcome to relax, so we use that. Smokers are no longer welcome - again, not the decison of the landliord, but of the Righteous who demand he runs his business their way. Therefore Smoky Drinky places are appearing that do the same job as pubs used to. Cheaper - a bottle of good malt costs less than a night out. Friendlier - nobody is demanding the places are run a particular way, indeed they are not 'run' at all. Above all, nobody is forced to go outside in the cold.

Beer is easy to make. As the pubs die, new informal ones appear in which no cash changes hands, no licences are required and there is, at first, no public access. Technically there is no public access to a pub at the moment anyway. It's private property. If the landlord doesn't want you in there for whatever reason, he's not legally obliged to let you in. So it's not that different anyway, other than the smoking part. Yes, it's easier if someone else makes the beer for you, better if someone else takes the risk of a bad batch and simpler if someone else stores it. However, it's not hard to do it yourself and as drink controls tighten, more will do so.

Whisky is not so easy. Aside from the fact it's illegal to make your own, the risk of introducing dodgy contaminants is much greater than with beer, and tyhose contaminants are concentrated by distilling. Then there's getting hold of the oak casks and waiting at least eight years until you can drink the stuff. It'll take longer, but as long as those controls keep tightening, the illegal stills are inevitable.

As it stands, the Smoky Drinky place has no dedicated fixtures and fittings. No bar. No optics. No pumps. The entire group can move to another Smoky Drinky place at the drop of a hat. It cannot be formally banned because it doesn't formally exist. Last night it was in one house, another night it might be elsewhere. Even when the beer-brewing starts, that won't hold it down. The equipment can be in one house for one batch, another house for another and made-up batches will be small and mobile. Next summer, we are considering designating one of the local stone circles as a Smoky Drinky place but that will require tents. Nobody is going to agree to drive home afterwards.

There will be attempts to put a stop to this. Not for any real reason at all, but because we are smoking indoors. Even though we are in a place no non-smoker is going to visit and indeed is unlikely to be allowed to visit, the fact that we are smoking in comfort is enough to set Righteous eyes a-swivel. There is no reason to stop the Smoky Drinky places other than pure spite. As has become evident, pure spite is what drives the entire anti-everything brigade so they are bound to try. They will fail.

It's what happens when you ban things. People do the banned thing anyway. Ban smoking in public places and private businesses and we'll find somewhere you can't control us. Ban smoking in private homes and we'll buy big sheds. Ban smoking in those and we'll chip in to buy an old minibus or a camper van, SORN it and leave it in the garden. There is always a way.

The smoking ban is killing pubs. I can't do anything about that. Non-smokers who claimed they'd go to the pub if we smokers were ejected were, it turns out, lying. I can do nothing to save the pubs because when I visit I have to stand out in the cold to smoke, and the last couple of nights have been extremely cold. Electrofag is handy in that respect but some pubs are so scared by the ban they won't allow even that. If I have to go outside anyway, I might as well smoke a real one. The Righteous are moving to ban Electrofag too, even though it produces no smoke at all.

So I'd be surprised if these informal smoking clubs don't start popping up everywhere. Perhaps they already have. Naturally they don't advertise their existence. They don't need new members because they aren't run for profit and the last thing they need is the anti-smokers tracking them down, although even if they do, the Smoky Drinky place will just move.

The Righteous can't win this one. Ban tobacco from sale if you like. There wasn't much around last night that was bought in this country anyway. If we have to get it under-the-counter in shops and be made to feel like we're buying something dirty and dodgy, why not simply buy the dodgy stuff in the first place? It's cheaper, it doesn't include a donation to people who want to beat us up, and the seller doesn't look at you as if you have a dildo sticking out of your ear.

Ban beer and we'll make our own. There are recipes that need no hops. Bread yeast can be used as a starting point if beer yeast is banned and successive brewings will yield a fair to middling beer yeast in no time. No, Righteous, you can't win that one either.

Destroy the pubs and we'll gather in our homes. You can't stop it, Righteous, and you can't sit at a nearby table and listen in because you're not invited. You have no idea what we're talking about now, no idea how many of us are gathering and no sense of the mood of the gathering. Although if there were such a thing as an intelligent Righteous, they could guess.

Finally, for all those socialist utopians who are waiting for the likes of me to die, to be replaced with the drones they've created and nurtured through school, take a look at this. Schools ban snacks, kids buy snacks, take them to school and sell them at a profit. Even when one is thrown out for selling this evil contraband, the trade continues and always will.

It's what always happens when you ban things.