Thursday, November 20, 2014

They frack by night

It's almost impossible to take a decent night time shot of the mighty gas flares and industrial lights of Grangemouth with a 1937 Kodak Brownie at this I've doctored them to become semi-serious art works that will remain overlooked and misunderstood long after the Firth of Forth, Fife and Falkirk fall into the great abyss created by well meant fracking. I believe that this event was predicted in both the Book of Mormon and Viz (August 1999). It will however be unreported by the BBC but may well be worthy of a third page (small font) paragraph in the Dundee Courier and a few footnotes on "Coastal Property in the East of Scotland - Zoopla." Tweets saying things like #oblivion may also emerge. Nothing much to worry about then, just retain your wind up radios, some small change and a sturdy pair of wellingtons; oh! a stout rope with which to pull victims from the pits and crevasses might also be useful come the day. Good luck one and all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Your PC performance is poor

Sometimes everything is just a pain in the arse. The call from the phone company, in broken English. "You can have a new phone and number, a whole new account because you are a good customer." What they only tell you later is that the new account doesn't replace your old account, it just gives you two, one of which you obviously don't need and you'd pay double. No postman today, no post. What's wrong with Wednesday. Salad from Aldi dries up like it was stored  in the Sahara instead of being in a state of the art fridge. Rain. Noisy brakes. Downloads on Apple that insist on prising themselves into little shelves and tiny places hidden in iTunes...then errors occur. Central heating. BT allowing rogue pop-ups that invite you to click them because your PC is performing poorly and, whatever you do, instant doom and drastic consequences follow. Forget all that, in an insane and ill divided world there's always/sometimes/occasionally the Jones Brothers. Also liking House of Cards...only at Season 1.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Some things

I probably won't do those things,
I said I'd do some day,
Those crazy, silly, wacky things,
I lined up carefully.

I'll not see those places either,
Nor stand in that special spot,
I won't register that feeling,
I could, but I know I'll not.

I should've seen those people,
Or stood and watched that show,
But some other light was burning,
So I turned and didn't go.

I made a pact and broke it,
My principles and hopes,
They looked fine from a distance,
But faded out when right up close.

I'll travel by some other road,
More practical and straight.
I'll cut corners and miss details,
If I daydream I'll be late.

And late is what you cannot be,
For time's a precious gift,
Mine belongs to everyone but me,
And they control the list.

Caffe Canto Bistro

Some great free publicity for Caffe Canto Bistro in the fair city of Perth. The place means nothing to me of course but I like the random nature of news and the it's place on the Internet and the raising up of the great unknowns. I'll never visit it or review it for Trip Advisor either.

Today (still running) was almost action packed...some work done, black pudding cooked nicely, cats exercised, to the borders and back and new dish washing routines worked in and worked out. En route to here and there via traffic lights fog these tasty beasts were sampled and the ice cream machine was cracked:

I'm also the proud owner of four jars of pickled herring and a tin of tiny fish mysteriously described as being "like anchovies", some assembly may be required.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Forgotten Brains

More on the forgotten brains here...

Handling the truth

In the UK this would read "all" instead of both apart from whom I wonder? You see our reality has been invaded and infiltrated, watered down and diluted, history, facts and statistics are erased and changed and turned on their heads to the point that we really don't know the good medicine from the bad and the good good people from the bad and once you start to follow it's hard to turn away. So despite this am I paranoid and Anyway here's a good tweet:

Someone was slatin McGeady & an Irish fan shouted "we took on an empire, you couldn't even take on a pencil." Nae comeback whatsoever.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cometh the comet

Not that I'm a big fan of google (but just a regular user like most of the western world).

Monday, November 10, 2014

At this time of year

This album was played out and worn thin back in the early 70s. It's a flawed piece of flawed rock music but it has an important place in history for simply saying the unsayable, then and now and for  another 100 years into the future.

This explains

This handy diagram explains something interstellar apparently. It'll all make sense one day.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

In praise of playlists

Following on from the other day - It's late in life I suppose to discover the random pleasures, challenges, surprises and shocks that come from listening to the play lists of others. Their choices, their orders, their themes, their idiosyncrasies, their provocations and their taste all set out in a long audio recipe that you cook, pick up on or put down or just hammer up the bass on. Now that most radio is dead, strangled by either pointless natter, bland ads and fillers, convenient fades and sycophantic comments; however it comes at you the play list wins every time.


does anybody want to share their ordinary Amazon purchase of an H7 headlamp bulb on Facebook or Twitter?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Dementia Playlist

iPods for the aged. It had never occurred to me until today how those who suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer's can benefit from hearing the music from their earlier life. How it can calm the individual, provide a touchstone, create happiness and just maybe unlock something in experience or memory. There in the deepest of spaces and places this happens, quietly playing in the background or via  headphones putting pictures and colours back in the mind straight through to the heart. I'm making my list up now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I intend

Dundee's Caird Hall, not designed by Leo.
"The soul lives in the human body. You can tell a lot about the condition of the soul by looking at the condition of the receptacle that holds it. Never take medicine and eat only wholesome food, add a little water to your wine."

Peter Capaldi and I had soup together this evening. Well he didn't have any soup, he was stuck inside the TV in that bizarre and wobbly place known as Sky Arts 2. Peter was busy being or at least representing and verbalising the thoughts, ideas and manic (but lucid) rantings of Leonardo da-Vinci. There were gestures too, lots of them. The saddest, wisest and most driven man of all times and not Malcolm Tucker or Dr Who either. There were a few quotable moments shared between the three of us, Peter, Leo and I,  although frankly, I never really got a word in. As I supped on the hot home made soup like some puzzled student or an old man bundled into a care home I hardly moved. There really was no point as I help my breath between spoonfuls and waited the punch line that never came. But now I know that somebody got a hold of those 30000 notes, words, ideas and diagrams and kept them safe, right up until today. Then of course there are the secrets, the hints that Leo dropped, the dark magic and those hidden places; we'll never know what he really wanted, how he was, you just can't trust TV's versions of events,  "I intend to leave a memory of myself in the minds of others." This must be how you do it.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Tenement symphony

The insides of buildings can be as interesting as the outsides. Here are some studies from a strange world somewhere on the East Coast where bicycles go to die or at least take refuge from persecution. I do believe that for them, peace will eventually come.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Abandoned again

A brief but very enjoyable visit to Bridge of Orchy this weekend resulted in spotting a few interesting (or not) abandoned pieces of man made construction left to rot in the great outdoors. You can't beat going over and checking out a nice bit of desolation, human failure and despair when pointlessly wandering in these unfamiliar wide open spaces. A place where the rain seldom stops and hotel staff get more unhelpful and surly as the season comes to it's dripping end. It's all the Toffs and the Tories fault anyway (with a bit of help from the Labour Party).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Found items

I've rediscovered and polished up (almost) this old timer, he may well make the trip to Bridge of Orchy. A wild and remote place well know known for it's fire, floods and pestilence and occasional white man blues jams. I'm also thinking hard about the great bacon roll and brown sauce conundrum. Anyway as it's Halloween here's a grim but reasonable offer from the dark side of civil engineering and building contracting.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cat deserves an Oscar

Well maybe or maybe not, turns out there were a load of cats used to portray the main cat character in the Coen Bros "Inside Llewyn Davis", a film about an irritable and dysfunctional singer-songwriter's existential breakdown and subsequent failed recovery whilst accompanied by a cat. I've no sympathy for the foul mouthed Llweyn Davis but as the film progressed I grew more anxious over the welfare of the cat(s). In true Coen Bros style the story was pretty much irrelevant and the cat just drifted in and out as if to make some vague and unnecessary point. An occasional, visual cat that is a feather in the wind if you will, a metaphor for fate etc. So an interesting film but it didn't endear me to folk music or wooly jumpers or New York in 1961 but the cat(s) need recognised for their improvised and measured performances, is there to be an Oscar CATegory this year?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Then there was

Photo by Sharon Reid
Then there was...the Wickerman Festival 2014, here's the gatekeeper from the festival entrance captured in a moody black and white shot. Not the big fella who burned up and not quite how I recall it; the whole ethereal effect and the flying debris are a's not what you see sometimes, it's what you feel. So that felt like summer to me, now it's a completely different season altogether.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Quietly disconnected

Fear not for the future, that never helps; so here's something that's true and relevant.
I was considering sharing the all new (?) music video by those riotous video makers OK GO. I saw it Tweeted via that "you must see/share/agree/protest/roll over and sleep on" account known as the mighty but vacuous Huffington Post. I follow it and go there from time to time in order to experience disappointment and the feeling of being patronised whilst still vainly hoping for substance, interest and meaningful content. It falls short in these areas but then again so do most things. Anyway as the video (OK GO) wouldn't load from the Huff post link  so I searched direct on YouTube where various versions were already being hawked. The video is of course wonderfully clever, has detail and organisation and "wow" factor shots rolling one into another relentlessly. There is a cast of thousands and various devices click in and out. The song is pretty crap however, not even cod pop or pseudo pop, not even good pop pop. So I watched and thought, "is this one for Face-booking along with a smart and savvy comment or quip, just to show I'm up to date, connected and informed?" No, not really, I'll leave it and remain quietly disconnected. The video can be found here if you want to see it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

That time of year

The leaves turn brown, amber and red, the nights are longer and colder. The world of living outside and sitting and avoiding wasps and flying beasts is a faint memory. There is a damp taste to the air, root vegetables return to the tables, soup becomes attractive and the logs are laid out and stockpiled for the coming cold. The grass stubbornly tries to grow but slowly gives up the fight and, one by one, the wild birds return to the feeders now that the harvest of insects and berries is giving no more nourishment. Winds pick up and fluffy clouds scurry across the sky, as if they had a very important appointment over in Norway or somewhere past the May Island. I look about for some thicker shirts and find coins, stale sweets and unfamiliar pens buried deep in winter jacket pockets. I wont need sandals or plimsolls either, not for a while now. In the distance the oil refinery lights are bright, the hot orange flare burns into the sky, some futile and temporary warmth but no match for the big and hostile weather systems, circulating and out on the razz, looking for trouble and finding it. Just when we're settling into this pattern, looking forwards and checking the horizon, I'm all easy-peasy and going with the seasonal flow...along comes the pooh-sticks envelope. Suddenly concentration, commitment and a steady hand are all required.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tales of Brave Ulysses

RIP to the often abrasive but highly talented and influential bassist Jack Bruce. One of Scotland's finest. I only found this clip, one I've not seen before, thanks to a Twitter storm following the announcement of Jack's passing. It features Jack on the classic red Gibson EB that I coveted as a teenager and also Eric Clapton using (way too much) wah wah and noodling whilst playing on "the Fool", a hand painted Gibson SG that has also become something of a rock legend. Meanwhile Ginger Baker just hammers the drums and looks manic. Nothing new there then. 

In other news on the domestic front; I painted the bathroom and cleaned out and also polished the solid fuel stove. Blissful feeling getting these jobs out of the way.