web analytics

Taxes. It’s always taxes.

We went to the Summer fete on Saturday. They made us sanitize our hands and sign in – it’s part of the ‘track and trace’ thing in the UK. In theory, if one of the hundreds of people attending came down with covid, they’d phone all of us up and make us isolate. Ha!

We went in, and just like that, it was the old normal. Not a mask in sight. People hugging and laughing and standing inside the social distance to converse. Kids running around screaming and doing cartwheels in the grass. Petting other people’s dogs and buying junk.

The tents asked people to stay six feet apart in the queue, and they did when they remembered. They usually forgot.

If you were worried that we’d transmogrified into a world of neurotics, nah. The lower orders, at least, are going to be just fine.

Pictured, a smuggler brains a redcoat. This part of Sussex was alive with smuggling in the late 18th C. High taxes on luxury goods like tobacco, brandy and tea meant an ordinary man could get by very well rowing untaxed goods over from France (France, on the other hand, was desperate for leather, wool and other commodities, so it worked both ways).

There was a large contingent of colorful smugglers in attendance (and a much smaller group of redcoats). They put on a display of musketry, among other things.

Yes, that’s right. If I wanted to hassle with muzzle-loading, I could have my guns again. I’ve always fancied a blunderbuss.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 28, 2021, 10:09 pm

I like smugglers¹. Smugglers are at the heart of the free market and represent the natural tendency of free people to actually act like free people even under the eye of those who want to control them forcibly and take their money and possessions.

It’s good to see the juxtaposition of (actor) smugglers with the fair goers who, once inside the quasi-pseudo-cordon-sanitaire, happily go about their free associations as usual. Good on ’em!

1. Except for slavers, i.e. smugglers trafficking in human beings. Those smugglers are in need of being stopped by any means necessary, preferably messy means. Messy for them, of course.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: June 28, 2021, 10:16 pm

Yesterday, I think. What’s today? It doesn’t matter.
Instapundit promoted a book by Andrew Wareham titled ‘A proper end,’ which is book 4 in a series. I would prefer to start a series with book one, so I searched it out and found ‘Bold and Blood’ which details the civil unrest (circa 1640) leading up to Cromwell.

It was not entertaining. It was educational, but I am suspicious of all the similarities between then and now. I don’t believe they were coincidental, nor accidental.
Some of it I already had an idea, but this narrative was unsettling. I have no clue just how historically accurate Wareham’s details are.

I would like to know if this work was historically accurate.

Are you still feeding your neighborhood badger?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 28, 2021, 10:20 pm

Mme. Ermine, if muzzle loaders are unregulated (or significantly less regulated) over there, you may be interested to know that there have been some modern advances there. Although you will always have to load the powder and shot through the muzzle because of the legalisms, there are a few bolt action muzzle loaders that use the bolt to seat the primer at the rear of the chamber and to do a MUCH better job of handling higher chamber pressures.

One of them I’ve read about, the Paramount HTR, fires a 225 grain .40 caliber bullet at a very impressive 2,740 ft/sec, and holds MOA or better accuracy out to 400 yards.

In most U.S. states, you can get one of these shipped straight to your front door. No licensed firearms dealer required, no govt forms to fill out.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 28, 2021, 10:29 pm

@Skandia Recluse — You’ve piqued my curiosity. I just checked and all four of the series’ books are available for Amazon’s Kindle (if anyone’s still hanging on guiltily like me and not kicked the Amazon habit yet), and furthermore all four are in the Kindle Unlimited library.

OMG! I’ve made THREE comments here. At least they’re all relevant in different areas. I’ll try not to let it happen again.

edit: Uncle Al here. But you figured that out.

Comment from Weaseltablet3
Time: June 28, 2021, 11:28 pm

I try not to give Amazon any money, but I’ve not found a solution to the Kindle issue.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: June 29, 2021, 12:08 am

Amazon Kindle

I would pay a dollar or two more if I could buy a .pdf format version of an eBook If I could buy it directly from the author’s webpage. I don’t know how much the transaction costs would be, nor how much it would cost the writer to put up a storefront. Perhaps several authors could share a webpage/storefront.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: June 29, 2021, 12:34 am

Get you a slightly more modern Brown Bess – an Enfield. Percussion cap. Not sure what the model was the preceded the rifled musket, but you can load buck and ball and make life interesting for things at 100 yards.
Also Redcoats. If you want to play cowboys and Indians SOMEONE has to be the Indians.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: June 29, 2021, 5:49 am

I’m probably going to go Kobo for my next ereader. They have a decent store, and DRM can be removed from ebooks.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 29, 2021, 12:31 pm

Thanks for the tip, Mrs Peel. They look excellent!

Comment from Jon
Time: June 29, 2021, 5:10 pm

Finally got to spend part of an afternoon doing nearly normal things in a local town. One shop still forcing people to wear masks if you came inside, elsewhere mostly mask-free.
Unfortunately, I feel in my bones that it won’t be long for the next catastrophe to be invented/exaggerated so that even more power is concentrated in the hands of the Covidcracy.

Comment from BJM
Time: June 29, 2021, 5:33 pm

@Scandia Server shares, redundancy, backup, storefront security all have to be managed. ISPs can and will perform these tasks for additional fees.

But the most important consideration is data transfer, a popular, high-traffic ebook could really rack up data transfer fees…backhaul ain’t free or cheap. The big sites have the wherewithal to contract huge pipes directly with the backbone providers and it behooves them to fill ’em, cuz unused capacity is the most expensive of all. I guess I’m saying scale matters re costs.

That’s just a few reasons why many self-publishers sell on one of the big online bookseller sites.

You might try Project Gutenberg too if you are into classics.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: June 29, 2021, 7:54 pm


Thank you for that information. I had not thought about data transfer costs.

Comment from Tonyc
Time: June 30, 2021, 10:43 am

I’ve been getting all my ebooks recently from the public library. Didn’t cost a thing, except sometimes having to be put on a waiting list for more popular books.

Quick question for the weasel or the ET experts, what species of alien is that peeking over the smuggler’s left shoulder?

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny