Saturday, December 10, 2016

Excuse to pause

It may come from some jacked up chrome machine but the milky coffee taste is quite serene. A Stephen's coffee purchased from their global HQ (along with a tantalising raffle ticket opportunity). I'm spaced out and watching the waves and reading wooden bench dedications, almost a moving experience. That's coffee for you, today's most over-rated and over exposed beverage. Millions suffer under the illusion that they somehow need it to "get through their day" as if they were coal miners, fishermen or chimney sweeps needing to be warmed and revitalised during their back breaking, dangerous and  sweaty toil. No, it's just a cup of coffee, an indulgent luxury and an excuse to pause but not a necessity. We live in a post-industrial and flea brained society that (assuming they might even be aware of them) remains firmly confused by the many classical sets of human values and conditions that have gone before.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Good News

At last, that pesky cold of mine is definitely on the retreat, feeling altogether better and quite ready to face the prospect of Christmas. A thing that seems to be almost unavoidable. Anyway the cold did a allow a strange, short period of self indulgence mainly consisting of binge watching clips from "the best of Curb Your Enthusiasm" (Seasons 1 -8) on YouTube. I'm not sure what the long term effect of this will be though I'm unlikely to consider Judaism as my next religion. Larry David is a peculiar role model, I just worry that usually I can kind of see his point. In my life there have been odd, inconsistent outbursts similar to his but thankfully not on a daily basis and many largely you get older things do change though. I'm remaining guarded (arms firmly folded) about the whole thing.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

View of the bridges

Back to the 'Ferry for another alternative view of the biggest construction project happening just over there. Just think, next year at this time I could well be stuck in a traffic jam on it (or one of the many roadways connected to it). It's all back to the theory of repressed demand.

In other news I think the CIA may finally be on to us, or maybe the FBI, some of Trump's henchmen or the KKK, whoever it is they're based in the USA and I just don't know why. Is it some keyword trigger, some phrase or some expression? Initials or graphics or photographs that draws them to our information? We'll never know...just keep sending the messages and ignore the statistics.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Not going out

Currently I have the cold. I share the common feeling of having a chilly and leaky aquarium for a head. Every so often it fractures into some kind of glass shattering sneeze and then relents simply to drip a version of thicker than normal condensation from some unrelenting source. This is of course to be expected at this time of year so no point in complaining, just head under the duvet, pop a few pills that don't seem to work and stay there, that is if the tiny cranial explosions allow. Any cats present will of course lend a hand by either a) ignoring you completely unless they want food or b) trying to sleep on your chin if you adopt any kind of remotely horizontal position. Ugh...too choked to type anymore, this'll have to do.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Extraordinary Sausage

Travelled overland to the remote, mountainous and almost perpendicular village of Kippen where there is an extraordinary sausage company. I've no idea what it was that attracted me to the place, anyway once there I bought no sausages (other than pigs in blankets) and mainly concentrated on a soon to be dead turkey for the festive feast albeit steak pies were also thrown firmly into the mix. I may return for the sausages at some later date.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Cold spells

The cold spell tempted me to start a fire, burning up waste wood not dry or good enough for the household stoves; so I let it burn away in the garden. A small and avoidable contribution towards global warning I suppose. 
I rather like the mystery red spots that appear in sunny shots, here and there, inexplicably. It's as if they exist but unless you discover them and then attack them from a certain angle they can't be seen. A bit like some media and political figures...and the royal family. 
Stones from the old pier seem to scrub up well in the pale winter sunlight. Broken lines and disrepair. Dog and human footprints everywhere messing up any clues to any unsolved crimes or acts of treason. 
Just the ragged patterns of some wall clinging  shrubs, lost without their leaves in the cold, and naked to the bone and bark.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Good to go

What happens to ironwork if you don't paint it.
What happens to ironwork if you do paint it.
Breakfast yesterday was in Rankin's Cafe North Queensferry. Here's it's web page if you're interested. They do all the usual cafe stuff but (unusually) they do a decent all-day breakfast, something  that not so many of the other Fife coast cafes do; internet research and a few phone calls revealed that fact to me. Another cafe that does breakfasts is the Yellow Coloured Cafe in nearby Rosyth. FB Page here. 

In truth I have no idea why I'm banging on about cafes, elusive breakfast providers and the like but there you are.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The air that we breathe

The good folks at Ineos Grangemouth are happy to send smoke and vapour signals to all and sundry on a clear December day. Unfortunately I'm not fluent neither in smoke or vapour so I've no choice other than to simply observe the spectacle from what I presume is a safe distance. I did try Google Translator but it doesn't do smoke much either. It may be a Christmas message of some sort or perhaps the presentation of an economic forecast for us all here in the ideologically foggy, bloody freezing and culturally bankrupt north. I'm sure the future is bright around here, particularly at night when their spectacular  roaring chemical flares light up the dark skies.

Pop up put down

Those pop up ads that fly in lethal squadrons in formation across my laptop screen are sending me some new messages today. It is the dawn of the "bladder calming" treatment era. Based on who knows what I'm now assured on all the best places to go for non-prescribed but guaranteed help for my irritated bladder (some herbal kind of solution). Smiling middle aged male models with strangely combed hair assure me that I'll be well taken care off as their perfect wives look on and nod in passive approval. If only it was my bladder that was irritated I'd know just what to do. It's a change however from funeral expenses, little black party dresses (?) and holidays in the Canary Islands. Inspired by my recent browsing history never has made sense; when did I ever search for a new Vauxhall or a smart phone on eBay? A credit card with HSBC, Chinese recipes or Netflix access so I could catch up on the Gilmore Girls? The truth is it's a very blunt instrument that is being used against me, and sadly, despite all the effort I'm unlikely to bite on any of this algorithmic bait. Ah! But still it influences my thinking in sinister, strange ways I cannot the ads in the Glasgow Herald or the billboards at the traffic lights? The internet is not as smart as it thinks it is. I also wonder what advertisement would go best with spending a sunny morning indoors drawing Christmas hats onto cat's heads?

Friday, December 02, 2016

Official dead bird photos

Exhibit A. Colourized.
Exhibit B. Natural
It's officially official, signed, sealed and verified. Another dead bird discovered in the conservatory. A guilty cat stands by, looking the other way. To ease the pain and mask the sense of loss and bewilderment I broke open the emergency mince pie stash that I bought today. 

In other news: a brief visit to the fair city, the purchase of fired up audio (talking that is) ginger biscuits and more drum machine practice using time travel techniques established in the 1980s. Singing and operating heavy equipment tends to lead to lyrical mix up mash ups...

"First we take MacDonald's, then we take Limekilns."

Thursday, December 01, 2016


Twink is a lovely wee cat who comes around to our back garden  on odd evenings for food and not much else. We've tried to coax her in, particularly on cold nights but she refuses. She remains stubbornly aloof and independent which is pretty much how most cats are. Our own cats seem to have a convivial enough relationship with her; no howling or fighting so far anyway. 

After being away (?) for a few days she returned last night, curiously mooning about outside just when we'd finished watching the latest Attenborough epic episode of Planet Earth II on the iPlayer; all about animals feeding in strange and arid locations. So she quickly scoffed a tin of cat food and a portion of biscuits before disappearing back into the final night of  November 2016.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

More pictures of the sky

Ten things that successful people sometimes do:

1. Take the headlights off the car, fiddle, fix and change a bulb. Top up the oil in another car.
2. Eat two bananas one at a time.
3. Split some logs just for fun.
4. Check out the woods and invasive ivy (still pretty much there but under control).
5. Exercise apprentice drum machine operator antics, coordination C+, concentration C-.
6. Observe one fire engine, one Coast Guard pickup, one ambulance, one police car passed the door.
7. Walk out to see what the fuss was all about...fuss far away. Lifeboat in the water but headed East. All appliances stood down shortly thereafter (except for household ones).
8. Sort cardboard and recycling materials.
9. Check the "Build a Bear" website.
10.Take a few pictures of the sky, keep some and discard the rest.

That was yesterday but only up to a vague point in time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

As if I could

Well that was yesterday, irritating and stubborn clouds hanging around blocking bits of sunlight and keeping the entire area dull ... but I needed a rest anyway. So things are so much different now. The weekend required some recovery; driving, football, theatre, hot, cold, steak pies and new places. I find that the best therapy is simply to sit down and take the tumble drier to bits. Give it a good clean, extricate all that stubborn belly button type fluff, hose down the filters and major components, reassemble methodically using a carefully chosen Chinese screwdriver and fire her up for a quick spin. Summed up: as exhilarating as a burn out in a sports car. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Long live Fidel?

Castro in 1951, a truly timeless photo.
Now that Fidel Castro is dead the process of reevaluating his life has begun; revolutionary, leader, torturer, killer, oppressor, man of the people, obsessed with getting the better of the USA and not caring about Cuba enough? The man the CIA failed to kill, smoker of cigars and friend of Che, he outlived most of his rivals and died peacefully (?). I don't know what to think. When I was first reading Guevara's writings as a teenager, (me being a revolutionary without a cause), their work was fascinating and seemed simple and righteous. It was all set in black and white 1950's jungles, government troops were the enemy and capitalist influences were everywhere corrupting the good, plain, simple people (who could do no wrong). Now I'm not so sure. 

None of it every happened in Scotland, it was all irrelevant really and an almost romantic distraction whilst we were failing to build a better post-industrial society, sitting around smoking dope, listening to downer rock and talking rubbish. A wistful reading, fashion and fantasy exercise and no more than that. Combat jackets, jeans and a blank stare into space because the Tories never were smashed and Socialism, with it's petty antics simply gave itself a bad name. As we grew up we only built New Labour and it drove itself over a cliff. Now that troubled but impotent generation has passed and really there is no clear direction, which is just the way that things actually are and maybe always were.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Surf Beast

Strange Surf Beast: Some guitar projects work out better than others, this one has been a struggle, resisting construction and refusing to line up properly in all the main places. It's a (cheap but cheerful considering it's injuries) Blackie Strat type body with obvious added in road worn features. It's been hard-tailed via rough surgery and has gone through intensive renovation to receive a neck transplant and a pair of lip-stick single coil tube pickups on a custom scratch plate. You could say it's unusual. Almost Danelectro in look and in feel (the body) and not as playable as I'd hoped but it still is...interesting. As it's a surf beast there's heavier strings (possibly part of the problem) and tight action. The thing is it sounds pretty good; twangy, pingy, crystalline even (well in places). I'm viewing this as work in progress, changes may be made. Time and my powers of endurance will tell.

This may be some kind of emerging  "view from the office" photo series. I don't know, I just make this up as I go along. Obviously. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wheels falling off

Not often that punctures occurs these days. Though this was more of a disagreement between the wheel and the tyre where one decided they'd had enough of the other. There followed some loss of pressure and a dull thud and a reminder that cars need four equally sized wheels to remain happy and stable when on the road. It was a case of limping to anywhere suitable  for carrying out a repair. The limping was perhaps not the best idea but by then the tyre was pretty much shot. The man said that major structural damage had occurred so whilst a replacement was sought the natty red space saver had a rare outing. I followed the instructions and remained calm at no more than 49mph, some extra lessons in limping. That is the rule.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sorry... probably can't read this either. Try Vision Express for vision success.

Alt-Right now

Hopefully we'll have all the best draughtsmen and artists on our side come the day, though no matter how well you think you know people you can never really tell.
Baby it's Alt-Right now. When exactly did the term Alt-Right become part of common parlance? These guys and gals appear to be on the march, released it seems by some evil force now that we've all become bored with regular corrupted politics. So Alt-Right sneaked up and now it's mushroomed out into an appropriate descriptor for New Fascism available everywhere. Maybe New Labour used to be called Alt-Left and I missed that too. That's the thing with political labels, they're are coined presumably by some young and cunning spin doctor and then adopted by all and sundry as the correct new way to describe some old regurgitated political idea as if it was new and sexy. New and sexy is just about simple enough to get foot soldiers and camp followers signing up in droves. That's what people do it seems. The evil absurdity of it all is awful and it's as powerful as a runaway bushfire. 2016's getting a reputation for being one of the worst years on record (well that's what my biased and carefully manicured and cultivated Facebook and Twitter feeds tell me) but I suspect that we've seen nothing yet. Certainly nobody's laughing on my side (?) except for cackling idiots like Farage, Johnstone and Trump.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Older school

A pot of vegetable curry and a pot of vegetable soup fly in close formation upon the red hot and sacred top of the sacrificial log burner. Some of the vegetables involved found themselves in both pots, others did not.  Good choice of cooking and kitchen warming medium on a cold and foggy day filled with strange distant noises and the deafening clatter of the falling leaves over there in the woodland. Regards cook outs,  I'm quite serious in trying to have more of a mixed but balanced diet. These hot and splodgy meals kind of help (as far as my own roving and free flowing imagination is concerned) to maintain a balance.

In other news, a wise man once sang: "When they said repent, I wondered what they meant." I wonder what it means?