Thursday, July 09, 2020

Hot Jenga

In the rarefied presence of a more lukewarm, refined, abstract but traditional Jenga. Family Edition.
We built a temporary and experimental fire pit using paving blocks. Also invented a new outdoor game in the process. Try to remove a key brick or two once the fire is alight. Hot Jenga with real flames. Try it if you like, I'm not going to recommend it though. Alcohol doesn't help with actual game play either.


Google releases the contemporary, troubled poet hidden within the algorithm of the beast:

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Shameless Product Placement

Irn-Bru: I never really drink this sweet and traditional Scottish softy but I know it to be OK, that's about all I can say. Classic fare for the Scottish taste buds. I could be more enthusiastic but I'm biding my time. I'd like to be able to add that I've been offered a significant sum of money to post this picture here and wax lyrically about the drink. Well I haven't yet but I live in hope. Is that not how these things work?

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Nice Place

Nice house, shame about the bins.
South Queensferry High Street: A lovely place for the most part but we're let down by the intrusion of real life when ugly bins are the unfortunate ambassadors of otherwise respectable households. In simple terms because of historical design limitations we are stuck with this situation until a practical household version of "Mr Fusion" comes along. Any day now, I hear it's 2020 in most places.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Double Slit Theory Triptych

As soon as you start to observe examples of the double slit wave theory it's wave patterns immediately change even if you view it through three distinct prisms. I might need a new prism or a new theory. When you travel at the speed of light other rules apply.

If these formless physics based witterings appear pretty clueless to you then you'd be completely correct. My current level of knowledge is around about "Beano" standard at the moment but I'm not standing still. I'm actually moving forward in a glorious field of waves. Takes me all the way back to 1972 and some unfortunate but memorable experiences. 

And another thing, for those who liken the universe to some kind of giant cosmic piano, the universe is actually guitar shaped and we are all slowly pulsating along on a finely tuned A string awaiting the arrival of the next full chord. You might want to tighten your grip just in case there's some unexpected turbulence. I have all this on good authority. On other authority it seems that  the universe may well be an enormous version of a Corona Virus cell that is busy ... err ... replicating as you might expect. If nothing else this might explain entropy and aid in the measurement of the rather elusive term "infinite".

Sunday, July 05, 2020

South Queensferry Daily Photo

High tide on the pier.

A Sincere Thank You

Yesterday, whilst being both sound in mind and body I received a nice card from the Edinburgh Kremlin thanking me for my long service, good conduct, stoical attitude and generally sunny disposition. I'm a model citizen now it seems. Not sure if I'm with Airfix, Lego or Play-Dough however. All that therapy, torture, extensive surgery and long periods of housing scheme incarceration have paid off. I'm no longer the uncomfortable, racist, sexist, materialistic and deranged person I used to be. My eyes have been opened, possibly my third eye also. I may well add up to more than the sum of my parts.

I ways I don't yet understand that weird feeling of approval from my peers and tormentors has delivered strange healing and cathartic properties to my soul, I'm positively light headed. Money cannot buy this feeling. Money can't actually buy very much these days either, it's pretty much useless on account of the faltering economy, tactical foreign interference and the white noise of Covid despair polluting the media. It's a long list. If it was an itch you'd scratch it's eyes out. However the future is just around the corner as is the past but it's a different kind of corner pointing in another direction. My bronze medal and citation will no doubt arrive in the next post.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

More Mystical Experiences

Your toilet may be golden but your shit still smells as bad as everybody else.

"I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand
What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask".

The lyric from the song "What are their names?" from David Crosby's album "If only I could remember my name", I guess about 1971 or so, 49 years ago. I was but a lad then. It's not really a great song, the performances are pretty shaky, long noodling start with just a single verse and chorus near the end, not  a well structured piece in the conventional sense, the playing and singing is all a bit dopey, as were most things back then. I still like the sentiment however and of course these things mentioned in the lyrics remain unchanged, as they were then and as they still are today, most probably it always will be so. Here's the actual audio version.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Gloomy Friday

Crowds slowly gather at the Church of the Sacred Thumb to celebrate the correctness of the forecast and the destruction of this year's crop of whatever it was.
The forecast was correct, 97% chance of rain. July in Scotland, we've had our warm spell, our windy spell now we're back to our wet and gloomy spell. Across the border the public houses open tomorrow as a sign of even more of a lack of grasp of any anti-plague strategy. People will sup pints in plastic booths, be sanitised and socially managed. Pubs will be as much fun as a cocktail bar on the space shuttle. Jollity and atmosphere surgically removed and the punters, so eager to participate apparently, don't seem to have any idea how shit or awkward it'll be, then the fights will start. Alcohol and common sense meet only ever briefly, then it all breaks down into either violence or comatized storytelling. 

The English media seems confused that Wales, Scotland and NI have their own separate health responsibilities, quite inconvenient for our colonial masters in Westminster. When they cry "advance" we're all supposed to head up over the top singing happy songs and dodging bullets as best we can. For a rare moment in history Scotland, using it's own historic ability to not quite toe the line revels in some kind of Presbyterian conservatism and prudence that as of today (in the rain) seems strangely safe and attractive. It's all a pot mess. Stay home and scran your BrewDog on the couch till the vax comes out.

I really have no idea how any of this drip feeding of restriction management is going to work out and neither does anybody else but if you're seriously thinking about blissful pub chats in sunny beer gardens, dining out with "friends" or two weeks in Lanzarote to calm your nerves and chill you out then you are kidding yourself and in my view heading towards wasting sizable chunks of your own money. But hey, we need to boost the economy they say.


Chris McQueer: I've seen a little of him on TV and twitter, an interesting, likable and funny guy it seems. BBC Scotland's new bright star. I watched the 16 minute segments of "Hings" last night and was pretty disappointed. Three shallow, mucky and dark (not in any kind of good way) tales that your average 5th year English student author might have thought were OK, just about. Didn't work for me, the hype has left me confused.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Litter Bin Daily Photo

In these troubled times even litter bins count too, remember to respect safe distances.

Lost Suppers

And Lo, Jesus said unto the gathering: "Look we just need somebody to sort this whole thing out in an orderly fashion. Anybody up for that? All I had were the spicy buffalo wings and a green salad along with a glass of tap water. I was hoping to get an early night".

Lost Suppers: Rhubarb crumble and cream. A bowl of mixed up crisps. Cheeses, crackers and wine. A chip sandwich. Kellogs Frosties and milk. Actimel. A bottle of Guinness. A Mars Bar. Toasted cheese with Branston Pickle. Beetroot sandwich. An apple. Cold pizza. Custard dregs from a carton. Rice pudding. Ovaltine. Horlicks. Hula Hoops. Berocca. Strawberries. Coffee. Whisky and ice. Shreddies and milk. Buttered toast. Chinese meal leftovers. A banana. Cold potatoes. Cadbury's Dairy Milk. Monster Munch. Toasted scones. Nothing at all (sometimes).

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Wednesday with Toyah and Robert

Reaching your inner Viking: So we all know how cool (well almost cool in a kind of awkward way if you are of a certain age) "Sunday Lunch" with Toyah and Robert has become as they perform (?) their slightly insane kitchen based home made musical routines for old punks and fans of slightly more progressively styled material. Any elderly couple with a reasonable iPhone, some back catalogue rock-a-billy material on a loop and a bit of free time could do the same, probably. We might well try it some day but not today, not on a Wednesday. 

The reason for that is simple really, we prefer to quietly stay at home and worship the mighty Norse God Odin with a few well placed sacrifices, some good thoughts, fire, chanting, body painting and all that sort of thing. Occasionally a great green bird arrives and takes us up to Valhalla for the afternoon which adds a lot of complexity and unpredictable social contact into the celebration. There's not much time for impromptu musical numbers performed in a kitchen in that kind of schedule, what with the planning, preparation and ordering of offerings that's required plus the astral travel. Maybe we'll try on a Thursday ... but wait, of course that's Thor's day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Leaky Dishwasher Door

On the Summer Isles they always knew where and who to turn to in a domestic crisis. It didn't always end well however.
Help of any kind is welcome when dealing with unwanted water from leaking kitchen appliances (try asking God to help but in the "for a friend" style). Today's "classic" problem being the old chestnut that is what to do when water is pissing out of the dishwasher door (lower seal) mid wash cycle. My first approach was to apply dish towels to stem the tide, not a long term solution but sensible first aid in a crisis. 

My next move was, once the wash cycle was finally over, was to check the seal and remove the assorted types of grease and gunge that seem to collect in that area. This was/is/remains an unpleasant task. Hand shovels full of undigested watery and wasted food gunk from way back. I also made some vital adjustments as to how well the door seal was bedded in, this could be a critical factor in the whole problem. Then a slow process of testing follows whereby the machine is run and I inspect it for drips and leaks at key moments in the program. This of course prevents me from leaving the house to head to the post office, get coffee or do anything else remotely worthwhile. I'm monitoring the situation in a fairly OCD style now as the machine hums and gurgles, somehow with a newly added menace.

Of course it's wrong to regard household appliances and plumbing systems as sentient beings but much of the time it seems like the only explainable way a reasonable way of working can be maintained, through thick and thin, good and bad times and the everlasting repair and maintenance loops we get drawn into and trapped within.

It's all over now, the cycle was completed with no obvious leaks but I can't say that faith and trust have been restored. This is a complex relationship and time, precious time, will be needed to build it back up. The sad truth is that all the major appliances know they have no long term future, a kitchen revamp is due and subject to the Great Plague will happen later this year. They've already seen what took place with the dangerous and unreliable gas boiler...

Monday, June 29, 2020

Cartoon food spoils the soul

Abandoned cartoon food being consumed by unexpected red soot spiders (clearly mutated in some way) but based of the characters created by Hayao Miyazaki in Spirited Away. The food is typical of what you might find served up on a nightly basis in any good quality, ethereal and ghostly bath-house you've accidentally stumbled into into whilst taking a break on a long car journey. Of course had you taken up the full serving, over indulged and eaten it all you'd have been magically turned into a pig and that's a problem. You see cartoon food can only spoil the soul, redemption after that is tough.


P.S. All dead on popular laugh tracks: Current comedy shows using canned laugh tracks from audiences recorded in the 60s, people laughed better in those days apparently. They felt freer to laugh before identity politics and a woke and critical mentality arrived. Now they're all dead, but still laughing, that's not really funny when you think about it.

Home Bargains

Before and after animation showing original breakthrough footage. You can actually believe your eyes.
Troubled by lackluster bakery goods? Underwhelming pies or sausage rolls? Fearful and worried about this sort of thing? Want to impress friends, neighbours and colleagues in these troubled times? Socially excluded even before Covid-19? We can help.

We're pleased to offer, at a reasonable but experimental price our home style pie and pastry inflation kit. No more embarrassing moments with awkward pastry based revelations. Now you can serve and display consistently sized and scaled baked goods without fear of rejection or offence. It's what every home-maker, amateur chef and DIY cook has been wishing and praying for (in a non-religious sense of course). This new and remarkable hi-tech method is fully compatible with all premium kitchen and communication systems including Apple, Android, Toyota, Winfield and Waltham. 

For even more vague details, including our newly launched special "Guinea Pig", "Conservative and Unionist Party" and "Red-Neck" offers please leave £1000 (or more if you wish) in used but clean notes in a plain rucksack in the phone box near our house after 2000 any weekday evening. Thank you.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Iconic album art we're all bored with

Iconic Album Art: The visual equivalent of wallpaper for the shelf, designs either hidden, visible only as spines or laid out on a coffee table like a copy of Empire or Viz. Album art is funny stuff really. I don't know quite how to take it. My top whatever choices would be different from some click-bait top 20 but so would everyone else's and to be honest some aren't really very artistic, more accidental and, more worryingly, the album art was/is often better than the music. It should tell a story, or at least be a part of the narrative, just for fun maybe. Things might almost make sense then. Some do, some don't.

So covers still are a force in the imagining of music, more than a meaningless snapshot, more than marketing, something that still powerfully endures because ... we need it to. It's a reference, an anchor and a curse. I can say that with some confidence as I used to be the kind of floundering teenage chancer who bought albums with cool sleeves or names and pretty much ignored key parts of the words and music captured inside. I was that shallow a youth, I may still be that shallow a man. 

Sometimes it's actually quite hard to know what you really like as you worry about what you should be liking according to fashion, charts, knowledgeable friends, press opinion, Radio 6 and your age and status's demographic norms. This must be what shallow looks and feels like. The old grey waffle test that you fail on a regular basis. I'll just let CBQ, Danny Baker, YouTube algorithms or Spotify choose.

"There, there".

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Explaining Brain Fog

For those of you experiencing brain fog: Here's cartoon that I've stolen and put here in all it's ill proportioned glory thanks to me wanting the text to be readable without anybody having to click on it. I wish I'd written it but I didn't. This breaks the fourth wall but only in a small way.

Apple Fritters

Today's breakfast: A flat white and an apple fritter from Tim Hortons and a fairly brisk stroll in a socially distanced queue. Chomped and enjoyed as a thunderstorm passed over and umbrellas prove their worth. I watched a guy throw a wooden stirrer from his car window and drive off. Was that littering or some kind of long term recycling as the stirrer slowly turns to compost? There wasn't quite time to challenge him to a debate or simply punch his windscreen either. These type of events are troubling for a host of reasons.

Everywhere there are warnings about heavy rain and taking care, as if we didn't put those two things together ourselves, as if cloudy weather and the possible consequences was something beyond our understanding but no, it now must be explained. If it's not explained then somebody will try to make a claim or blame the government or write to their MP or score with some puerile tweet that'll get 7000 likes. Somebody might even do a blog post about it. We deserve the shit we get, we really do.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Kingdom of Heaven

Heaven: when you read about it and think about it, it's all a bit shit really.
All is not well in the Kingdom of Heaven, it never has been.
I read somewhere that lockdown and Covid-19 fears and social distancing etc. (shit coming down basically) has resulted in people turning to religion, finding god, reflecting, getting some kind of peace for themselves or using it as a coping strategy to get them through. Of course I could dismiss all this quite truthfully and cynically by saying it's a load of tosh and just get over yourself and get on with life but whilst that's easy for me to say I understand that for some folks its necessary to find peace and comfort wherever you can, particularly so if you've lost a loved one or some other tragedy has occurred in your life. Respect.

Maybe I don't like those "religious" or "faith based" spaces for a number of personal reasons, maybe I find most religions repugnant and those who "officiate" at their ritualistic services and provide leadership, counsel and advice even more odious. I'm not perfect. There's also a lot to learn from history and the tendency for humans to take things a little too far from time to time.

None of that matters if it's working for you right now: just don't be used, bullied, exploited, controlled and subjugated by your so called elders and betters. They are neither "elder nor better" than you. Don't give them your bank details either. Some are just deluded and I suppose well meant, some however are total psychos. It's not always easy to tell who is who when you're vulnerable. Choose wisely but if I were you I'd avoid it all like ... some kind of awful plague that you can catch from being in close proximity with certain infected and influential individuals. Best to remain at a safe distance and don't give too much away about yourself.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Hippies, Punks and Other People

Dick Dale, not a name I expected to see on the list.
Reliving your entire life in music in single click or how awkward it was being a teenager in the 70s (almost): Here's an interesting set of mainly listenable stuff from the BBC John Peel sessions archive, remastered and all that sort of thing. Comes along with various unfamiliar photographs that kind of enhance the listening experience or distract you from some of the more screechy, dim, white noise, tuneless and experimental drone styles. 

If you have a spare week or so to spend you might want to recklessly click here or hereabouts and see/hear what you fancy (the site formally known as The Bollocks by the way). Dodgy self indulgence is so Covid-19 in 2020. Pretty much every taste is covered up to a point, obviously there's nothing from the post JP era of music as you might imagine so calm down if you like hip-hop. Not much in the way of modern jazz either, what were the last 50 years of music about anyway? OK it's not the complete history of everything, we're a niche within a niche and are we even "we"?

There's even more if you click the "even more" links. Wow.

Those pesky young Fairport people from 68/69.

Kevin Ayers and some odd version of Gong (in a garden naturally).