Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Big Pants

Small picture of big pants but not the kind I mean.

How is it that a small man such as me has to wear large pants? What a strangely sized world we live in or what a strangely sized person I am or am I buying pants at the wrong places?.

If I was younger I'd become a Steampunk for Easter. However that seems a pointless thing to do at my age and nothing whatsoever to do with Easter. It won't happen.

A young man comfortable within his own space, sense of self and with his big pants .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Avoiding the wrong hell

The inner sanctum and heart of Dunfermline Abbey. Optimistically built in spiritually better days some might say. (The spellcheck wants to make Dunfermline "downfallen" oddly enough).

As alternative holy week lumbers on and the confectionery industry applaud and German priests quake I offer the following advice for the seasonal searching masses and lost souls everywhere:

"In mathematical terms, if it were to be assumed that the existence of some god is certain, and if there are a number (n) of inconsistent faiths one could believe in, each with a corresponding Hell and no way to tell which one, if any, were true a priori, the probability of having chosen to practice the correct religion (through upbringing or by making Pascal's Wager) cannot be greater than 1/n. Therefore, if there are only two inconsistent faiths, then the probability that a believer of either faith is correct is 1 in 2 (50% or 1/2). Four inconsistent faiths result in the probability dropping to 1 in 4 (25% or 1/4). If there are five mutually exclusive faiths, then there is only a 1 in 5 (20% or 1/5) chance that the correct religion would be chosen and its believer would go to that religion's Heaven rather than to its Hell. In practice, there are hundreds of religions in existence, which makes it less than a 1% chance that the true religion would be chosen."

The problem of "avoiding the wrong hell" is an acute one for those earnestly seeking the truth. Good luck to you all, the odds are against you.

Back at the ranch it was fish finger sandwiches, what a marvellous warm feast to savour as we look out at the ongoing results of global warming and the start of British summer time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The door to the afterlife

Archaeologists have unearthed a 3,500-year-old door to the afterlife from the tomb of a high-ranking Egyptian official near Karnak temple in Luxor.

Easter egg torture

Free the Chocolate Three: Half eaten eggs and bunny, all in the name of a religious festival.

Monday night, incessant sideways rain and the memory of a headache and a cold avoided. Even in this weather the football training is carrying on outside . That’s the Scots for you, we are a tough, stupid and determined breed. We walk our Huskies in the rain and listen to the blues on the radio, as the rain falls. We carry on struggling and though we seldom succeed we never lose the belief that one day we will win out completely and then the rain will stop.

The rain is drumming along with Albert King’s drumming, drumming the blues. It must be quite easy to be a blues drummer out of all the drumming genres and styles. Economic and blissfully alcoholic I’d imagine.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This weekend has been a confused mass of fantasy viewing that, along with the sadistic habit of seasonal clock changing left me dazed and confused and tired. Friday gave us LOST, a nose dive into the predictable and bizarre; Saturday meant Tim Burton's 3D Alice in Wonderland at movies, almost wonderful; this was followed by Terry Gilliam's Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus on DVD; Sunday was the Australian Grand Prix on the TV and latterly on the way to the football in the car via the radio. It may be odd to lump movies in with sporting events but it's all shadows and colours running across glass in one form or another.

Apart from the expected experience of not scoring enough points in the Ozzy GP, Gilliam's opus was the most disturbing encounter. I want to love his stuff quite badly, I really do, it's weird, ingenious, mad and artistically unique but the constant barrage of dwarfs, rickety constructions, face slaps, mumbled lines and convoluted plots are hard to take in and follow. It's like reading a battered paperback novel whilst riding on a 1950s Leyland Tiger bus down a bumpy farm road at twilight - and every film of his is a bit like that. Maybe I need to watch it again and write down the amount of sad souls being culled so I can maintain a proper count. Here comes the chicken pie...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

LOST goes even more crazy

Satan shall "deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth," and shall "gather them together" to encircle and attack Israel.
-- Rev. 20: 7-9

The expansion of the European Union; NAFTA and global economics; a U.S. economy flirting with socialism and the election of an internationalist president in Obama. Don't bother buying any long winded or overly thick books or plan a trip anywhere near the Middle East.

Anyway moving swiftly on to the completely unbelievable last night's LOST teetered straight into Crazy town by delivering the line we'd all expected since fairly early on in the first series namely "this island is in fact Hell". Well of course that may or may not be the case and we'll debate that for years to come whatever the final ending. Even that desperate revelation was overshadowed by the spectacle of Jacob holding an impromptu hog roast after the ship wreck. Yum.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Continuous improvement... of course a myth and beyond the reach of any human endeavour. You can try and you can succeed and that cycle will continue for so long. Then, when you least expect it you will fail, probably in a spectacular manner. Rust never sleeps and neither does sudden unintended acceleration.

Meanwhile life is quiet in this particular parallel universe, my diet of questionable foods mixed with the real good stuff i.e. pasta, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, oils, various herbs and spices continues unchecked. I feel fine. As for alcohol I do rub in a small amount now and then. It all leads to growing old gracefully by indulging in this physical and fiscal continuous improvement.

Nice picture, dead lady. Sadly.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Roll Over Beethoven

I'm gonna write a little letter,
Gonna mail it to my local DJ.
Yeah an' it's a jumpin' little record
I want my jockey to play.
Roll Over Beethoven, I gotta hear it again today.

It's that last line that sums up what you either feel or don't feel; "gotta hear it again today". It's the sweet song of youth, loving music and needing to hear it again and again and knowing every word and squiggly note. Now when it comes to even good modern music the urge to hear it again seldom occurs, lift muzak abounds and too much of anything isn't good. Music should excite, enthral and make the hair on the back of your neck bristle and fire the imagination. Somehow I need to get back to Beethoven and roll over.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby Care

Now I see clearly again thanks to a decent signage regime.

What with a new baby on the way, a long shopping list and me with my bad leg there was little alternative left than to visit the peaceful environs on the shore of the Lake of IKEA in the province of Costco, Tramland. And so it came to pass that I achieved a lifetime's ambition when in a good natured queue at the buffet style cafe of HM Prison IKEA. I observed a young member of staff behind the food counter about to go on a break but filling a bowl of thin chips and ladling them over with the legendary elixir of tan meatball sauce before heading off behind the lines of shining Hobarts. Transfixed by the sight I said to the other girl serving "I'll have whatever she's having", and I did.

Earlier in the day the bonfire failed to light thanks to too much green wood and not enough dry wood. Prior to that debacle I had the unhappy task of dispatching a distressed pheasant. One short sharp blow...

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Lady Gaga turns the a-ok hand in front of her eye (representing the Illuminati’s “All-Seeing Eye”) into a gun pointed towards the viewer … the masses eating all of the poison served to them.

I'm becoming increasingly bewildered by things in general (everything I see and everything they do) and the works and motives of Ms L Gaga in particular, on one level total tosh on another clever, probing and sharp as Aleister Crowley's stick pin. We never had this kind of trouble with Michael Jackson or Madge, it was nice and simple back then. Now the deep and dark secrets are all revealed here if you be bothered to watch a 9 minute video and read a long blog with comments. Diet Coke anyone? Helps the attention span I believe (they've gotten to me).

Traffic management and trip hazards

Welcome to Queen Margret Hospital, mind your toes and shins though.

A handy trap for the unwitting pedestrian or small animals and children with no road or pavement sense. Clearly there was the germ of an idea here once, to prevent drivers from irresponsibly parking on pavements - they do this because the car parks are perpetually overcrowded and clogged up with all the organisation of a 1970s scrapyard. A few months after their costly installation they are now abandoned, sticking up like part pulled wire and plastic teeth ready to impale the unaware or the careless. Should you slip or trip over any of these mini anti personal mines there are many ambulance chasing lawyers who will be happy to take up your case with Fife Health Board and the NHS - and they'll not ask for a fee. Ironically the A&E is only a few hundred yards away.

A more complete view of some of the pathetic and wasteful efforts in traffic management on the grounds of the Queen Margret Hospital in Dunfermline.

Most times it's the seemingly small and insignificant things that tip you over the edge. Those tiny but irritating pieces of bad human design and shoddy or disrespectful behaviour that confirm all the views you have but wish you didn't have to hold on to.

Initially the premise is: Human life and society are broken things but with time, intelligence and invention they can be repaired.

I'd like to offer an alternative view: Human life and society are broken things that cannot be fixed, their brokenness is an integral part of their being. So get over it, put down the spanners, the super glue and the booklets about retuning out of tune pianos...and live your life but be careful where you tread. If you feel guilty about this counsel of apparent despair, don't, your efforts didn't ever make any real difference anyway.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Extreme Brain Freeze

Inside this beaker there is the coldest place on Earth. One careless suck on the over sized straw and the extreme cold transfers itself to the very centre of the brain. That special, deep and indistinct area often represented in sci-fi films as some golden, sparkly, flashing place, somewhere between the soul and the soft machine you might say. I did survive the deep chill but I then suffered (or enjoyed, not sure which) a short but vivid out of body experience, more about that some other day. The upshot of the freeze effect being that I can now no longer take myself or significant parts of my life seriously anymore. It is curtain up on another act in the ongoing performances of the theatre of the absurd.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Greenock Daily Photo

Skylines full of cranes etc.

The old buoys of Greenock and Campbeltown.

Today I was mostly in Greenock and Port Glasgow enjoying the splendour of the Clyde and the nearby urban road systems in the almost warm Scottish Spring air. I may have had a nice sausage and egg MacMuffin and Latte in a local non-local eatery.

There's nothing quite like losing 4 hours of your life watching your laptop tie itself into pathetic knots of self imposed Windows torture installing updates all across the sad little screen. The whole tedious update process illustrates perfectly what is wrong with computers and living with them. No other household item should or would behave like this; fridges don't stop chilling to get updated, cars don't pull over onto the hard shoulder for a refresh, TVs don't freeze whilst a bar of % information drags itself across the screen (OK I know Freeview boxes do this). It is just wrong. So I've a laptop like a sick puppy that's getting a red hot poker quietly inserted somewhere whilst I stand back, fume and share the pain.

Meanwhile more conclusive proof that Banks, their managers and their advertising agencies have neither a sense of shame or irony and that they do not understand how the public view their recent antics. How else could RBS use taxpayers money to show a TV commercial containing the following lines:

"Since 2004 RBS has taught 400,000 school children about money management".

Might have been an idea to include a few senior RBS managers on that particular course whilst you were at it, in fact why not collar a few of those "trained up" school kids and offer them a job right now? You couldn't make it up. I'm not sure which is worse their ice cream van bank or their seaplane bank, both seen buzzing the highlands whilst cloth capped ethnically appropriate crofters sing the Banks' praises to the tune of some torrid Gaelic lament.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Burn down Asda

Every week three Scottish pubs close down and have their windows replaced with compressed Amazonian timber products. Thanks to this initiative we are all living longer lives, eating less pies and being exposed to less germs and puffs of tobacco smoke. Meanwhile different coloured supermarkets are offering bewildered ex-pub goers the opportunity to get quietly comatosed at home in front Steven Fry or River City on the telly. About a tenner's worth of red wine does the trick and a few days later it's Monday and you can start to plan the next weekend.

Scotland's problems are pretty obvious but not easy to face up to - the burning desire to spend 48 hours a week numb and detached being the main one requiring treatment. While they like to talk about social mobility and brilliant careers and possible economic answers none of our political parties can fathom out the dilemma of what to do with a part population of 2.5 million people who don't really give a shit anymore. Perhaps they should close a few supermarkets.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ingredients and Umbrellas


I don't know how to cook but I am content that other people do and continue to cook, at times feeding me and improving in their techniques and expertise whilst I experiment with bonfire building methods, listening and trying on sunglasses in petrol stations.

Germaine Greer was on the radio talking like some old friend about how her father had returned home after the war: broken, drinking heavily and silent. "We never had a decent conversation" she said, " he remained silent in order to protect us from what he had seen and done, like many men who return from war". Germaine went on of course to discuss her feminist writings, failed marriage and various other things she had experienced. I was however not listening to any of that, I was hanging onto and mulling over "broken, drinking heavily and silent". Words that seemed in a vague and yet precise way to be some recipe for the make up of my own long gone father (mentioned in this old post), who went to war and paid the price for the next 30 years of his life. Sometimes I think I am gathering together the elements of some wonderful recipe of understanding, as these ingredients appear, change and come together. Then I remember that I cannot cook and cannot be bothered to cook. I am trying to feed and entertain ghosts, ghosts best left silent and hungry.

...and ingredients

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My other Ferrari is a car

More months of agony, tension and ultimate failure are headed my way. The last red Italian sports car I owned was a Fiat Uno, this time it's serious, personal and slightly less real and not so rusty. Fantasy F1 time has come around - Saturday practices and Sunday sweat sessions will follow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Broc & Croc

The use of some elusive vegetables and badly dissolving stock cubes has resulted in a new Anglo (?) Australian recipe guaranteed to promote good health and long life:

2 x Ham stock cubes, M&S Broccoli, S&M Cauliflower, regular carrots, chopped, diced, sliced, splayed and dehydrated onions, water and heat. Optional crocodile or alligator steaks to taste and mystery spices.

Heat and eat, easy as a pie in soup form and the fast food franchise is currently available, post a comment and send a cheque for £25,000 and away you jolly well go.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Starbucks want your guns

Good news: You can now openly carry a gun in Starbucks, where State laws allow. Must remember that the next time I'm in Dunfermline and needing a warm grande latte and an overpriced lemon muffin.


It's hard to imagine that when commercial air travel first became popular anybody could have thought that it would turn into the current muddle of security measures, queues and pointless shopping experiences that it has become. What strikes you as you stand in line to be searched, scanned and prodded is the magnificent and stupid industry and futility of it all. Huge squads of sweaty shirt sleeved operators maintain the conveyor systems, shift the trays, stare into flickering screens and then worst of all search and tickle the poor lost beeping sod with a steel pin in his ankle or some loose change in his pocket.

In the crawl to get through to the lounge passengers adopt battery chicken facial expressions, yawn and stare into space, invariably arriving at the rollers and trays slightly surprised and despite numerous other travel experiences quite blank in the mind. They forget to take out their laptops, remove chunky belts, discard liquids or take off their jackets and then like scolded children obey the relentless last minute reminders to contain your paltry little collection of belongings in a plastic tray. Only once you have passed through the great electronic portal will you be allowed to experience the dubious privilege of flight - as a highly valued passenger, a potential target and more importantly a credit card holder.

There is of course no answer, we must be kept afraid and so the great white tide of terror has won by clubbing us into deathly obedience like wide-eyed seal pups. Our lives have become ruled by unbalanced risk assessments that see half empty and dull provincial flights to Southampton or Wick in the same light as those to Newark or Chicago and every poor Muslim traveller or olive skinned student is a threat. In the silent war that has been declared on life in the west we've only to look at our current set of overblown tactics and unfortunate reactions to know that we've lost it already.

Meanwhile outside the airport as concrete defence systems are set up to baffle attacks from Panzer Tanks or low flying Kamikaze pilots, ordinary travellers struggle to pass through these monuments to construction company profits and so enter the shrine of the travel gods. So do we feel safe, fly happier and sleep any more soundly? Not really, it's only a mater of time until some extremist pulls his rusty and flaming Hyundai into a branch of the Co-op or Morrison's. At that point it's time to get out and buy an island, any island.

Onto another matter altogether: "There were songs in that guitar"...hmmm.

I'm writing this watching "It might get loud" again.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

We were promised space hoppers

Me and the required and cliched imaginary friend playing in the streets of Rosyth in 1963.

Despite the tone of the image above I can look back on a happy childhood, I can also look back on a bloody awful one as well, it all depends of what type of psychotic episode I'm having or subjecting myself to. I take full responsibility for all that happens in real time, the past is another matter altogether.

Today I've mostly been listening to 99 Red Balloons by a girl with hairy oxters and eating soup (I'm eating the soup not the girl). The soup and a healing visit to Dobbies cafe was a necessary part of my football recovery programme.

In the mean time I've seen the future, proving for once that I am not totally preoccupied with either myself or my childhood, the one spent serenely in what was then an unspoilt Fife - a few steps only from the raw and bleeding Eden. Anyway the future looks like this, invest all of your money now and get over the whole banking fiasco thing. Apart from all the obvious human rights, environmental and financial issues involved, any company called Build Your Dream cannot be completely wrong - tell that to Shoeless Johnston/Jackson.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

King Burger

There probably is only one true King in the Scottish Kingdom of currently available burger food types. It is of course the mighty Angus and at £4.50 it is the size of your face, the right size for any self respecting burger. Angus tastes best purchased at the drive through (no fries, though they are good they serve to distract from the main event and the ketchup is in a sachet) and eaten in one square go, edges to centre swallowing each of the three tomato slices whole and then allow to sediment to settle by the application of a chilled strawberry shake. Nice.

My first ever "full face" burger was purchased in Walcott Street in Bath in 1985 from a garishly painted Hero Burger shop. Up until then it had been only puny Bird's Eye efforts or nondescript greasy plain cheeseburgers for me, served up from mobile vendors. Little did I realise that my life was about to change and that my stunted and chemically reduced horizons were about to broaden. As I recall the Bath monster had peppered mayo and lettuce and I ate it walking down the street, it was wrapped in greaseproof paper and I was heading for the Saracen's Head pub on a Saturday afternoon, Joni Mitchell was on my Walkman. It was the perfect Road to Damascus experience for me and I have never looked back, finally I had found a burger that ticked every box. On my return to Ecosse from exile in Bath I was denied this experience for a few years until branded fast food outlets started to creep back across the border to what is indeed their true spiritual homeland. Angus I salute you.

This week's irrelevant play list:

Them Crooked Vultures - the Album of the same name.
Norman Lamont - the soundscapes album.
Madison Violet - No fool for trying.
Ukelilli - includes the Derren Brown song etc.
Impossible Songs - the wedding album (various ever changing artistes).
Captain Beefheart - Safe as Milk.
The Beatles - Abbey Road (again).

Friday, March 05, 2010

Frankie's daily photo

The depressing spectre of our local F&Bs rising like some welcoming Godzilla of Burgerdom from a barren wasteland of pot-holed car park black-top. It pretends it's in New York, an impressive but wildly incorrect claim as it sits next to a first division Tesco in South Queensferry. From this vibrant and wind swept location it dispenses beer, fries, lattes, burgers and various other pieces of saturated fat and sugary liquid substances - all with token pieces of exhausted salad. A welcome feeding station for hungry Chavs and lost travellers alike. In it's defence I've had grub there a few times and lived to tell the tale and I paid the bill in full and probably left a tip of some sort. Across the road lies the great sleeping bulk of Burger King, a totally different proposition altogether.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Lilli serenades me whilst mistaking me for David Tennant, an easy mistake to make.

She sings, she plays, she writes songs about Dr Who, Derren Brown and obsessive compulsive urges: Ukelilli. The good lady uke jockey played at Mr I's Secret CDs last night along with a rash of other gifted performers. Ms. U however did inject a welcome degree of humour and pathos into the evening with her offbeat songs and North American humour. As for the ukulele I'm not convinced about it as an instrument, any thing with less or more than six strings baffles me a bit, I've never gone much on 4, 5, 7 or 8 string guitars at all and the uke always sounds a bit out of tune - it's all an acquired taste I guess - and Eddie Izzard likes her and the shrunken head guitar it seems.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

District 9 P.S.

Watching District 9 is not recommended if you happen to have a morbid fear of losing your fingernails under extraordinary circumstances or you cant easily watch shaky camera work. You may also struggle if you are unfamiliar with 60's space exploration terminology i.e. command module or if you dislike the popular South African accent and regular to excessive use of the word "fook". End of broadcast.

Meanwhile back in the safer realm of TV we are up to Series 6 Episode 3 of the mighty, magnificent and increasingly baffling LOST, or as a friend described it; "the ongoing dream of the Golden Labrador featured in the first series." That explanation certainly helps me make some sense of it all.