Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Order... have great books you have to have great authors and libraries and book shops or on line providers or e-books: simple really. So...

If you are bored with the election coverage, ill considered blogging, Facebook rants, cinematic blockbusters, tweets, cookery and home improvement shows, music, fatty and sugary foods, cigarettes, alcohol, comedy, prescription drugs, television presenters, air travel, looking out of the window, physical activity and extreme gardening - then try reading a book. There are some around here somewhere, I'm almost sure.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lobster car daily photo

Today the lobster car is parked and at rest, temporarily, or is something else going on?

That was a disaster

That "just lost 50 Grand and I can't find a decent crash helmet" look.

The self inflicted wounds continue; the SNP blowing £50k on legal fees in a vain attempt to keep wee Eck on the telly must hurt, particularly if you are one of the tartan mugs gullible enough to stump up the cash. It always hurts us when you hit us in the purse or pocket because we're a nation of toady stereotypes of course. Meanwhile Gordon Broon laid into new media star Gillian Duffy by calling her a bigot. Just as well he didn't go the whole hog and call her a coffin dodger, so that's how to treat the electorate, a fine balance of respect and abuse. The sight of the ravenous Sky news hounds lapping up the poisoness spillage was equally nauseating, ugh! Not much news from the Tories today but there is plenty of time for a few more gaffs to emerge from their slimy quarter.

Meanwhile back in the real world the volcano family was in part reunited today and I got a giant fridge magnet plectrum and some peanut butter M&Ms, none of that being any kind of a disaster as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This is England

Typical English signage

This is England

Designer shopping villages are peculiar places, rows of strange, expensive shops, coffee bars ready to refuel the exhausted shoppers and strangely huge amounts of non-English speaking clients. Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, Eastern European and from almost everywhere else. Each group of wandering shoppers chatting happily in their mother tongue and burdened down with numerous huge designer bags containing their afternoon’s worth of purchases. So where are the locals, at this village near Oxford there were none, apart from me and I’m err…not local.

World Cup Fever Pitch

Meanwhile English supermarkets are gearing up for the World Cup bonanza. Cheap nationalistic and jingoistic tat abounds; flags, plastic banners, collection cards and mountains of beer boxes are all on offer and no doubt sales will rocket over the coming weeks. By July they’ll be landfill. Events like the World Cup seem to produce some kind of strange mass national masturbation or self abuse effect, building hope, excitement, pleasure, confusion and then if it all goes the way we’d expect, disgust and that horrid empty feeling. Sometimes I’m glad we’re not there to experience that peculiar misery.

Handy Hints # Scribbling on your head at meetings

Every so often meetings drag and you may absentmindedly play with your Biro. If you do, never do it with the action end against your temple. If you do you may find that you’ve given yourself an abstract tattoo all over your face, not the best way to enhance your gravitas or credibility. So be warned, do not fiddle with loaded pens or any other permanent writing implement.

The sun goes down on a village where no one lives but everyone shops.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Loopers paradise

A rare outing and gig in the Kingdom last night - Dan Arborise in the Abbot House (house) in Dunfermline. Dan mumbles a lot and is awkward and very hairy and has discarded his shoes. This is so he can ping a number of foot pedals and so wring a few marvellous sounds out of a mid-range Yamaha. The vocals are drunk Dave Gilmour but this man has a good brain and can memorise where he is in complex loop patterns and delay sequences, skills I admire and frankly covet. Hours, days, weeks and months of practice have clearly passed and been rewarded. He re-tunes a little too much and is a straight up the fretboard player, no cross over licks or four finger runs but some twiddles that are nicely developed. The gay geek boys down the front were salivating at some of his turns and turnarounds. I waited patently on the slide and echo passage but it never came, what he did bring was a marvelous layered crescendo piece that really hit the spot. A good night out in a peculiar, quirky and fine little venue.

This is of course cartoon Locke from cartoon LOST which I presume is another time/dimension/hell/heaven place that any day any one of us might end up in, if you ever happen to step mistakenly onto a cartoon aeroplane.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Proof that we all came from the sea

As a proud and 100% genuine Fifer I was pleased to see that the remains of one of my ancestors has been discovered trapped in stone along the rocky edges of Fife's golden coast. Quite a strong and striking family resemblance I'd say, just look at the dark lazy eye socket and the slightly squint grin, light on the feet also. Probably would be quite nice lightly steamed with a portion of chips and some salt and vinegar.

For further proof please listen to "1983 etc." Electric Ladyland, the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free Disneyland

Free for some, others must pay the full price, it's an ill divided, wonderful world out there.

Meanwhile the airports reopen: the blame, recriminations and law suits will follow shortly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not cool

It's not cool to worry. Cool people do not worry, they are impervious and resistant to and above the slough of worry. They float above the clouds of worry or sometimes just for the hell of it they dive down into those same dirty clouds and inhale and on the other side emerge with no worry. No worry, injury or consequences; for the ordinary and mortal there are consequences, for the cool there is only continuous progress and the shining light of being right.

Worry is unbelief, lack of trust, confidence and conviction and in general terms thinking and believing in the worst. Of course the worst hardly ever happens, it's an illusion, a beast, like the Devil or the Bogeyman or visiting some sterile industrial wilderness. The conclusion? We can be cool, we can not worry by choice, we can breathe in the cloud in great hearty lungfuls. Then one fine day we might all fly again - by Zeppelin of course.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

Nice weather recently, shows up all the muck on the windscreen thought.

Things may come and things may go but after nearly 45 years of the "revolution" you still get hippie English teachers at secondary schools. Is there some special college that turns them out or are they just drifting in some time-warp and appearing in our class rooms and at parents evenings as they pass across the universe, burning very brightly with their wispy beards and tweed jackets? (and that's just the ladies). I don't know but I did have a long conversation about them with my hairdresser today as my own once luxuriant ex- hippie locks were shaved back to reveal various bald bits and more silver hairs than my hero John Delorean ever had. So as it was a sunny, aircraft free and unscripted afternoon and I'd just suffered a crap morning at work the haircut formed part of a five pronged treat festival for me, treat details as follows:

1. Haircut and banal conversation - £7.00.
2. Late lunch from a Greggs sandwich emporium - £2.95.
3. Alloa beer and Magners purchases at Tesco - £18.50.
4. Miscellaneous trouser purchases from Debs - £40.00.
5. Coming home and cooking with huge garlic chunks because tomorrow is Saturday - £8.50.

For everything else there is of course Mastercard, please add your name, MC number and 3 digit security code into the comments box below, many thanks.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tiny particles

Tiny particles from the core of the earth
Now in orbit or at 30000 feet.
Confound terrorists, activists and strikers alike
Who's efforts couldn't stop the airline fleet.

(Clever tiny particles)

(but I hope you blow away soon)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Warr Guitar Baby

More conclusive proof that I live in a musical, cultural and social vacuum - the late, great personal discovery of the Warr Guitar, about 20 years after it's invention (thanks to Norman for the tip). If I ever learn to play the normal (Peace?) guitar I might consider taking up the Warr, maybe one fine day. I also hear that somebody's invented a mobile phone, another launched instant noodles and that threepenny bits are no longer legal tender. Wow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The other shower...

...because the current one is clearly falling apart and sadly the Conservatives despite their manifesto promises are as clueless, inept and irritating as their Labour counterparts.

Most of today has been spent repainting, regrouting, resealing, repairing and recovering from the bathroom upgrade (or deep clean as it has come to be known). The soundtrack to this highly hazardous activity was from the good old boys at Planet Rock, it was like being sixteen again: Yes, ELP, Zep one after another - it was like working in a care home.

Then out through the garden to clean up the nearby woods, carry lumps of timber across country, gingerly remove litter, tat and various discarded rusty things and then have a bonfire and a much needed beer - for relaxation purposes only. The wheelbarrow also has a flat tyre, how do you fix that? After that I headed back to the front to regrade the two tons of Flintstones quarry chips into my own sweaty version of the fast lane of the M6, smooth but with a few authentic potholes. Bored with road building I moved onto taming the Clematis, Clitoris or Cotton Candy Weed or whatever it's called that climbs across our house like an unwanted cat-burglar. It was like wrestling a drunken Glaswegian snake and I resorted to extreme measures to tame the beast, snip snip meaning painful surgery. By now I'd built a magnificent trellis type of construction so the well coiffured plant could be attached to it's new frame with some chunky tie wrap and surprisingly few major injuries for me. I'm of now to inhale some aerosol bath sealer, purely for medicinal purposes.

Below pinched from Rosie Bell's blog, from a series "After the Fairytale".

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not my manifesto

Hard to believe that this pathetic image is the cover of the Labour Party Manifesto 2010, the contents are worse, don't go there. So young families everywhere appear to be heading into or being led into either a nuclear explosion or the Golden Dawn (the darker significance of the Golden Dawn may have been lost on Gordon B) , how daft and uninspiring. This is from the party of "reform" who sadly haven't managed to reform anything despite numerous chances since about 1946. It should've been completely different, I was once a proud Young Socialist - but that dream has died and I'm an old cynic.

Start your life now

...but not by doing this sort of thing. One life affirming, positive step is to avoid the current crop of TV advertisements. Another good move is avoid the chronic, patronising glossy ads in the Sunday sups (but you cant), anyhow the top X crap ads at the moment in my humble opinion are:

1. The Volvic challenge. A dippy looking guy who looks like a reject from a bad BBC sitcom suggests in fairly forceful terms that you take the "14 day Volvic Challenge". All you need to do is drink 1.5 litres of this volcanic water every day for 14 days and you'll feel better. No, I'd rather stick pins in my eyes thank you or just drink the odd bottle of Theakstons.

2. MS search engines tries to engage with normal folks (?) by creating an unlikely and irritating beardy couple who search on line at supersonic speed every time the other utters a word. Bollocks.

3. Go Compare. Nauseating and unfunny, fat opera singer with a false moustache. Nobody could like this drivel. Almost as bad as the bald shouty guy doing the Moneysupermarket ad.

4. 5 Gum by Wrigley. Apparently you slip a piece into your mouth and the effect is like going into a funky roller coaster that runs through some kind of industrial fridge plant at 100mph. No it's chewing gum, you put it in your mouth, it freshens your breath a bit then it turns to Plasticine and you have to gob it out or dump it into a tissue and it makes a horrible mess. It does not equal any kind of roller coaster ride anywhere.

5. Internet Explorer and "I'm a PC". Worst of all is the guy who's proud of hiding his browsing history from his wife - so he can buy her presents he claims, yeah right. He's either on porn sites or he's a paedophile, just look at his scary, smug and insane grin. Yuck! Get Firefox.

Glad I go that lot out of my system - I'm also avoiding cooking and home improvement shows and my blood pressure is normal, I may be almost fit. Having said that I shovelled two tons of chippings today and survived without any Volvic but there are a few odd pains emerging now as night falls.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Arrest the Pope

I'm too busy to wonder why I cannot put the salt and pepper away in different parts of the cupboard, they must stay together at all costs and the sauces must be in a line and the pickles together. Sometimes however the pickles get mixed withe the jam and peanut butter. For some reason that doesn't bother me so much. Meanwhile in the fridge the cheese has a new neighbour - salad, worse than that wretched forgotten salad. (The salad is now in the compost heap.)

In a busy, sunny weekend of whole hearted house painting and half hearted gardening (on my part) I estimate that I must have washed my hands about 75 times and I'm not in the least OC.

Moving into more serious matters Mr Dawkins now wants to arrest the Pope. Can't wait for the Sun's headline if that ever happens. If he succeeds there could be a long line of others - the usual suspects, start your list now.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Cheesy pasta again

I was dreaming of cheesy pasta in that dumb, unthinking way you dream of things you badly want to like. Not sure why I really want to like cheesy pasta at all but the spark of misguided suggestion is in there somewhere. Eventually the feast was prepared with the addition of some hot dog related items, ones that were on the cusp of freshness and possible botulism. It ate it because I was hungry but I knew I wanted to feel different about the pasta but that I didn’t, it was pasta and not very good pasta. It’s always the worst kind of disappointment to experience, wanting badly to like something because you like it in some under served, abstract and unenlightened way and then facing up to the plunging kick in the balls that reality invariably delivers. There are some leftovers for later, maybe about half past six or never.

I cant be easy for old people to really regard themselves as Avant-garde. You Dada folks and Situationalists, how are you doing? Are you better or worse than old punks?

Always an odd experience getting text messages from Credit Card companies.

Politicians and economics. This is not a good mix. Nobody in any party seems to have a handle either on the numbers or the answers to the country's numerous financial problems. Perhaps some professionals from a proven part of the finance industry should have a go - Macdonald’s franchise owners, car boot entrepreneurs and the management team from the Cooperative Bank.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

35 bits a week

Once again a popular theory has been debunked and defrocked, confusing and disillusioning the chattering classes. All that awful fruit stuff I've been eating for the last 8 years, 5 a day, 35 a week, 1820 a year: a grand total of 14560 crispy, stringy, juicy, sticky, yucky bits of coloured fibre. I so wanted to live long, prosper and avoid cancer and this was the keystone of my strategy. I feel badly let down by the governing powers and I am considering voting Conservative and going on a Port, sweet cured bacon and Stilton diet, at least till 6th May.

It's about time there was a news blackout or a total ban on the publishing of government funded research resulting in "helpful theories", "pointless and stupid ideas" and "patronising advice given from the assumed heights of good sense but with no brains", one fine day we'll all just die from having too much of what was good for us.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

As time goes whizzing by...

...and green buses wait for the arrival of their missing cargo the clouds gather as clouds do. Elections, Popes and pop songs come and go and who can tell what difference the really make to the man, woman or animal in the street? Anyway I'll do my duty as a good, upright citizen and vote but not for the Pope or any pop songs. Four weeks of impotent media hell and fiery hailstones are about to break over us all, so wispy, blue and undiscovered islands of remote lonely pleasure with no TV or newspapers beckon. Could this private bus take me part way there?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Seafield daily photos

Speeding through Seafield on the way to the horse racing event at Musselborough yesterday, everything nicely distorted by the car wobbles and my hand wobbles. A wonky pub and bins appear out of the corner of my eye.

Sheds, yards and car dealerships that I'm never likely to visit. Good luck to them all, some day crowds of people will come.

Some battered piece of beach, the Fourth of Fifth and faraway Fife and a broody sky that eventually delivered some broody rain on the race track.

Cars for sale if you can be bothered to shop around, any colour of silver you like available for £100 down.

In real life this fence is pretty straight but as the camera never tells fibs who knows? Meanwhile back at the racing we made some cash but lost more. It was great fun and a valuable social experience and information gathering exercise. Nice beer too but the plastic pint mugs have some serious design flaws. .

Saturday, April 03, 2010

New Dr Who a nobhead?

Artist's impression of an impression of shopping for Cheesy Pasta on acid. Note repetitive and demented bar code motif.

Many things seem to have happened in the last 24 hours but it would be tedious but blogger friendly to list them. So after a few Fife based rendezvous involving seed potatoes, a mattress and depositing Easter Eggs with various grandchildren the Saturday rain came as is the custom. This resulted in a garage clear out and a long and winding up struggle with a stubborn two stroke engine that refused to start. After the almost total collapse of my upper body muscles it finally did and ran like a Swiss watch, well a rather petulant Swiss watch as I looked on almost grinning and definitely sweating.

Next as dusk and more rain was falling civil war broke out between me, a honeysuckle resembling Jack's beanstalk, 3 large posts and a newly acquired trellis. Newly acquired things tend to bring unplanned challenges that act as fierce time bandits marauding across the weekend scape. This was no exception but it was claw-hammer time and I was destined to be beaten back albeit with the conflict ending with me having a bright idea, but the plant world won the day.

A new Dr Who person appeared in the lounge just as a fish based tea was being served, he seems ok and will no doubt carve a niche for himself with the ladies. I did fall asleep midway through his timely performance but woke up to see the tumultuous CGI ending and a nicely compiled series of plot spoilers to wet the viewers by now highly confused appetites, we'll see. The borrowed bow-tie does make him look like a bit of a nob head though.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Indifferent Friday

How can anyone resist an emporium such as this? Howard's Storage World (I had to add the apostrophe) Livingstone gets 10/10 from me. I didn't bother to go in however in case the dream was shattered by cheap reality.

It was a peculiar experience yesterday to travel over to the heart of our great county, the town of Livingstone, and see the many melting glacial deposits lying part frozen across roads and piled on verges and car parks. We seem to live in a Brig a Doon area where we get mists, frosts and mud slides but avoid the extremes of the weather, well last week's passed us by. Perhaps in this Holy Week we are simply avoiding the wrath of God with our good natures or maybe he in his weather controlling wisdom is completely indifferent to us. That's the thing, you never really know. Whatever ever way I quite like the pointless extremes of Easter, chocolate shapes and big eyed rabbits and a cultural mish mash of 21st Century trash that we adapt to suit whatever takes our marketing fancy - and you get a few days away from work.

You can tell a lot about a place by the "Greggs Density Factor" (GDF), how many of the mighty steak-bake suppliers there are per mall, town or high street. The Wallmart bit in Livi has 3 at about 200 metres apart giving it a GDF of 66.6, Dunfermline scores 333.3 and Broxburn comes in at at 600.0, says a lot about our eating habits and dietary needs. Further research is required on this one. I myself went for a regular latte, a Mexican chicken roll and a sugary tart containing some unknown fruit substance and more sugar. Still tastes better that anything Costa or Starbucks can conjure up but I can feel the arteries thickening in my chest wall. Time for another slice of Easter egg.