Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tesco Daily Photo #99

If this is how you normally park your vehicle in any car park anywhere on the planet then you can go and give yourself a good old fashioned...flying feck, ya feckin' eedjit!

Hot dog shit

You forget about the subtle details of dog walking when you do it infrequently. There are the "get out of the house"  panics, the lead pulls, the stubborn stops, the deviations of direction, trying to assert some kind of influence over an animal with a strong mind of it's own. It's all a part of the fun of taking your canine friend out and about in the Aberdeen rain whilst retaining some kind of assumed control. The worst part however is the (rapidly acquired) skilled used of the tiny bag into which the hot dog poo is deposited come that tricky moment. Then the awkward sensation of carrying it around in your pocket, hot and steamy until you finally find the red poo deposit box pinned to some convenient lampost...what a good feeling (for all concerned).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Breathe like Buddha

This morning a kindly sounding lady on the radio told me (and about a hundred thousand others) to take five and breathe like Buddha. Just breath easily and concentrate on those breaths, your mind will empty and in all the hubble bubble toil and trouble of the world (making toast and reading a newspaper whilst texting were the examples given) you will find true peace. Next time I'm texting, toasting and trying to read I'll try it. The strange thing is that despite my scepticism and cynicism I'm still thinking about that message and technique some twelve hours later (and dreaming of that golden Eastern peace). I'm so suggestible, maybe I should just give up, dress in Saffron and join a cult.

My Grade 1 attempt at Doomsday Prepping (see it on the Nat Geo Channel) failed when today  I broke into my back up stock of pickled baby beetroot and ate at least four pieces. I'd stupidly left the jar of attractive red anti-cancer root pickle in a drawer at work. It caught my eye and that was the end of another piece of forward planning not to mention a solid 75p investment in the future of the planet. Perhaps I just need a bigger jar or just a return to the drawing board. There must be other ways.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Late starter

I cant really be bothered with bucket lists or even unbucket lists. I'm not a list maker. The trouble is I'm conflicted by the obvious pressures of age realisation, the notions of running down the clock and worst of all missing out on something. Looking at other peoples' ideas may be inspiring but it may also be depressing, all the dolphin swimming and parachute jumps, conquering mountains and visiting the capital cities of Europe. Maybe a list is forming, maybe I'll follow it, maybe I'll be inspired, maybe I'll just do what I've done for the last umpteen years; wait and see what happens. This article might help...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maybe it's normal

Maybe it's normal for some folks to spend over two hours tele-conferencing. It's not normal for me but it happened, like howling into and then listening intently down a Bird's Custard tin connect by twine to somebody sitting up in a tree a hundred yards away. It doesn't work for me.

Meanwhile the wild wind blew and the cold rain beat down upon our house and the bedroom widow blew in. Mostly it was left to me to sleep through it, the fresh air helping keep my sinus' clear, the noise of the clattering window soothing me back to the land of Nod, to the East of Eden.

Some minor and marginal political type human observations:

Boris Johnson says that the police should've arrested Andrew Mitchell. I quite agree.
Danny Alexander looks fat and unfit at the Lib Dem Conference - he needs a change of life style.
Nick Clegg is pathetic.
Alex Salmond managed to blow £370,000 on food and entertaining during his first term in office. No wonder he looks the way he looks. Maybe that's also why he behaves the way he behaves.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Interesting theory

Every so often you just  burn it all down and start again.
Ever heard the theory that there's an 11 year swing between punk and psychedelic values in western pop culture? It goes a bit like this: 

1955. tight clothing, short punchy aggressive songs, amphetamines, birth of rock n' roll.

1966. looser fit clothing,long hair, longer more experimental tracks, grass, LSD. Beatles, Dylan, Everybody must get stoned.

1977. Punk. Tight clothes, shorter hair. Sho
rt, aggressive songs. Hippies fuck off.

1988. Ecstacy, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Baggy clothes. Rave culture. I am the resurrection.

1999. The Matrix, Nu metal, Eminem. Peace and Love completely ousted once more.

2010 and onwards...basically we are in the midst of what's supposed to be a psychedelic era. The Stone Roses recently reunited. Bob Dylan is everywhere. John Lennon has just been named NME's ultimate icon. Neil Young's new album is entitled psychedelic pill and the first track is almost half an hour long. Richard Hawley's latest offering is hailed as a psychedelic masterpiece and receives 5 star reviews all round. The most viewed television event is a sprawling, confusing, almost psychedelic Olympic opening ceremony headlined for better or worse by a Beatle. The closing ceremony was headlined by the Who. And for the rest of the decade it's going to be the 50th anniversary of everything that happened in the 60s. Which means plenty of media coverage for each passing milestone. Eventually, everyone will get so pissed off that they will banish sixties culture for at least another 11 years. But of course, Tomorrow Never Knows.

P.S. not my theory, pinched from a FB link.

Dalmeny Daily Photo

In the distance, the Forth Bridge. 
The train now standing isn't stopping. 
This one is stopping.
The Indian Summer arrived and covered the whole weekend in golden sunglobs that were nice but didn't produce much heat. We made the most of what we had, as you do in the UK: it was the Edinburgh University open day, an opportunity to buy football socks, being puzzled in the automated corner shop, demonstrations in the city, traffic jams and constructions, train spotting in Dalmeny, heaving sacks of stones, black bagging rubbish, watching Dr Who's space cubes whilst curried and wined out and fitfully dreaming. Next day it was up early and showered, football in a sunny Aberdour, recycling, eating muffins and sausages and apple pop tarts, designing kitchens and back to work. Busy busy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Same old jeans

Just realising that it's been maybe nine earth months since I wore a pair of jeans. The uniform of uniforms has fallen away from grace and favour and no longer do these scraggy blue icons from wherever come first in the choice of daily trouser clothing. It's about forty two years in jeans of some sort (also forty two years since the last loon pants outing as well) not that I'm counting this properly. The trouble is they've been replaced by chunky unfunky chords mostly or occasional lazy Chino type of things. It's all quite unsatisfactory really and a bit Doolally Debenhams (which was where I got my last pair of jeans I think). Somewhere along the line I've lost the real me, having said that I've not fallen quite so low as to resort to the comfort minefield that is trackies...yet. That's the worst look of all, black shoes, trackies and an open neck shirt. See it exhibited in a mall or a Morrison's car park near you any day of the week but not on me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Project 29

It was a tough day at work today, suddenly I seem to know where all the bodies are buried and I've been told that there's some wisdom residing in this old head of mine. I was quite unaware of that. Meanwhile the wide mix, reverb guitar and drum rolls in Project 29 pin me back to a place of some kind of sanity. I do like having my reference points set up in there. In the black hole.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A good location

Charlie's Angels, they're now based in Miami or a contrived studio lot nearby, just another warm location. They fight that kind of glamorous crime you only get on TV, they attack it at it's troubled roots with their high tech labour saving devices. They wear vests, boots and tight pants. I guess it's more practical and the look comes with all that perfect hair and lipstick. Here and there a dapple of sunlight kisses the skin, the slowly swinging palm trees, warm breezes and soon the crime wave is under control. The same can't be said for the plot and dialogue. It's all a done deal and a bad person we don't care about is handed over to the police in forty three minutes. Avoid it today on Channel 5 or E4 or some such number. Meanwhile pixie queens reign ever after in the Zooey Deschanel show while other cookery queens enthuse about dull food in bright kitchens, it's all sailing along in a baffling sea of Lurpak, Uniform Dating and Toshiba adverts.

A good location.
Now I realise what modern TV programming is all about, it's not to entertain or even pass the time, it's unique and nonsensical surreal piece of experimental performance art. A stream of consciousness that's unrelated to anything, beyond structured themes and explanation and not interested in saying anything, ever. It runs on in the background like a random high definition, back lit aquarium that's plumbed into the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. See it this way and you'll never be disappointed, just surprised and occasionally disgusted and stay away from BBC4, that's like getting closer and closer to a wood chipper. Now look out, here comes an IKEA advert and the weather girl is a dominatrix apparently.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


For Anna: our cat who died very peacefully today after, we estimate, the cat equivalent of 102 years. that's one long life. Sadly the telegram from the Queen of Cats never did arrive here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Early morning experiments

First shake a leg, then get past the stupid pheasants, the pleasant and the unpleasant. The radio should be on, catch the headlines, the weather, tittle-tattle, important background knowledge for a rare conversation, the ferry hasn't left Kilcreggan yet either. A tale of tailbacks headed elsewhere. Then hope for a break in the traffic, get out before the mobile crane comes, a trail of terrible traffic in it's yellow, chugging wake. Now in the line, but dreading a bus barging it's way across my bows, before me still two rainy bus stops approach and no cut ins there. Poor road surface here I observe and don't observe the speed limit.Maybe stop for cash or a pint of milk, the cash machine does run out of money though on Mondays. Judge the movement in the inside lane with the precision of a surgeon entering an open wound, heated mirrors help. Dodge the HGVs that never give an inch and bump over the expansion joints. The radio babbles, any moment it'll be Thought for the Day; the dreaded Hindu, or Salvationist with a lisp, the happy Glaswegian Buddhist, the Elder of the Kirk. I listen and dream it's over and pull across to let somebody out. Now back to A roads and roundabouts and a speedy Subaru on my tail, he's too intense and one day will regret it as he stands and watches over the smoking wreckage. Nearly there, nearly there, maybe I'll experiment some day, vary the route, fool the followers. All those followers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A long time ago...

...something fell into the sea. The sea, being very busy that day brushed past the thing, that same object and roughed it up a bit. Turns out that the sea was busy most days and so this process continued for a long time. Longer than one of our relatively short lives. Let's say it went on for a thousand years. Then one day somebody went down to the edge of the sea and for no particular reason picked up a handful of sand and pebbles, somewhere in the hotch-potch of which was this red heart shaped object. That same thing that had been churned over and around for a thousand years by the salty sea. So as it was an interesting shape somebody took a liking to it and brought it home and was happy just to look at it and admire it's heart shaped shape. All that time to make a shape, that's a natural representation of a heart. Funny thing is that the heart was really made of plastic...but made a very long time ago I guess.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Naked Freddo

What's not to like about a small chocolate frog? An agreeable treat for the grand weans, pocket sized, easy to shoplift, kids love 'em and hardly any nasty hallucinations follow if you greedily OD on a dozen of the little brown amphibians. Six pack for £1 at any reputable wide aisle superstore near you.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Sugar rush

Actual research material.
Over eating on the fudge side: Too much sugar creates a kind of energy fudge and fuzz in the brain. Scientists have confirmed this following extensive and slightly irritating experiments they've been carrying out on me (and my brain) this very sweet and sticky weekend. The big dilemma is really getting to the root cause; is it the white sugar, is it the condensed milk or is it the Demerara sugar...or a combination? How do I know there's a problem? It was while I was taking in "The Thick of It" last night, I found the funny and witty quip ratio, running at about 3:1 was too much for me to absorb, process, understand and then laugh properly at. The research team needs to understand how it all impacts on the cerebral cortex and if the Will Self Lecture crack was actually the best line of the night as my newly energised mind would seem to suggest. Then there's that nagging doubt about the whole thing succeeding in a fourth series...

Friday, September 07, 2012

The truth about green tea

The truth is that it's not so bad and the wonderful soporific effects stay with you and in your system for at least a week.

So today, as the sun was high in the autumn sky and I'd a spare tenner I decided to visit the local barber.  I've found that no matter what I ask for I always get the same Devil's haircut, I presume that barbers are taught at barber school the one true cut and they just vary it according to head size, hair density and the actual chair price. The busyness of the salon may also have an effect but I never darken the door (?) or enter a  barbers where a queue of my fellow yokels might be forming. This is of course for religious reasons that I cant be bothered to explain. Today's visit was highly entertaining, full of plum racist and sexist remarks, repeated use of the word "feck" to describe things, a scourging of the South African way of life  and most of that troubled land's  inhabitants, the (lack of any kind of obvious) Scottish work ethic these days, the fundamental flaws in the UK benefits system and the best home made techniques that can be used to quell an impending riot.  I was riveted to the spot and reminded of a piece of advice I received many years ago; "When somebody is wielding sharp instruments all around your restrained head and  is  also in the middle of a long and passionate social and political rant it's always best just to let them carry on." Well said Mr Mussolini!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Full Muddle Jacket

I can't but help remember not quite the not (normal) breathing of the title track that never was in the best interests of everybody. The clashes of badly mixed up words and more. It was on the John Peel Show and indeed at no time did his mouth leave his head or body. At least not as far as I could see on our black and white radio. That bar code didn't exist then either.

East of Java

Ah! The exotic promise promised exotically by the film title "Krakatoa East of Java". Seas boiled, ships flailed and turned turtle in the heaving oceans of South China, heroes did various heroic things as the great volcanic explosion wreaked cinematic havoc across various models of islands and palm trees mixed no doubt with a liberal dose of the dreaded stock footage, long before CGI impregnated the movie world with that sinful sham realism. Needless to say (or indeed needles to say) the film was something of a disappointment but I was only about fourteen at the time so disappointment had already become a routine thing. This mock Creamola Foam can image ploughed up from the depths of the web somewhere reminded me of those heady, sugar inspired, long gone days and the deadly damage done to my newly forming molars. Everything was good for you then.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Chinese Democracy

I’m becoming increasingly worried about the people of China and their space programme.. It’s really all about one of their flagship projects and how it could go very wrong. I cant help but wonder how they will ever get to the moon if they can’t blow their noses. This inability could lead to some serious space suit malfunctions which, if left unchecked may jeopardise the whole mission. It may be they have developed an in house solution but I doubt it. It would require a huge space helmet and some kind of built in repository. I predict that it’ll be up to the lumbering West to provide a solution. I see that  taking place in the form of an educational and marketing programme, aimed at the new middle classes, one that promotes nose blowing as a cool Western thing, like cocaine, Marlboro or Pepsi.

The script is that smiling male and female Chinese actors in smart clothes, shining with clean hair and tossing their fringes emerge in slo-mo from open top Mercs and BMWs in some bright location (one that looks like the South of France), they remove their oddly shaped but fashionable sunglasses and before greeting or kissing the glamorous friends they are about to meet they all take out their nasal equipment and blow their noses into their colourful designer monogrammed hankies. The dirty hankies are then collected by toadying uniformed European servants who seal the used handkerchiefs in special disposal bags. The bags are then collected and shipped to New Caledonia for recycling or incineration; a requirement if the used mucus contamination is serious.

We’ll run this little number for a few weeks and then hit them full on with Kleenex ads, wait till they hear about the aromatic balsams and the neat pocket packs. Buy your paper tissues shares now! Then order your moon landing ticket for 2021 safe in the knowledge that all the cultural nose clearing issues have all been dealt with. All that remains is the small problem of building a better spaceship. I believe this is being tackled at the moment, they’ve already got some iconic Alfa Romeo designs that are being slightly modified and updated.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Black hole mining

Home recording is a curious one dimensional experience. The sound lives only in the cans, wide and booming, panning from side to side or oozing warmly across your head, a kind of sonic titillation. So it's not really living, it's a trapped animal in tubes and plastic sheathes and metal boxes, fed and manipulated, tamed and beaten back, encouraged and then kicked around. Nobody hears, nobody gets offended, floors don't vibrate and doors don't slam shut. Across the way no one taps a foot or closes a window in diversion and disgust. The TV can play on whatever it likes and the dishwasher and dryer produce a rousing chorus that doesn't matter. Traffic's patter and hum is irrelevant and low flying aircraft are anonymous. No signs and signals, smelly armpits,  cigarette smoke or spilled coffee. Just a strange hidden treasure in an imaginary mine. Buried deep in there. Still it's better than £50 an hour and humping big speakers about.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Old School

They (?) are tearing down Dunfermline High School (probably the Mark II building) and replacing it with some glass PFI centre of educational excellence and mediocrity. I drove by it the other day then stopped to reflect and possibly mourn it's sad passing.The lyrics of the old Steely Dan song came back to me:

Well I did not think the girl 

Could be so cruel 
And I'm never going back 
To my old school 

Quite irrelevant really, I don't recall the girls being cruel, it was the teachers and they were just doing their job and it was 1969 when beating up kids was still ok. All the young student teachers with their Triumph Spitfires are now grey and retired and the Headmaster whom I despised with my best home made revolutionary left wing vigour is long dead. When I departed after three years of soft drugs, sports avoidance, smoking, alcohol, discovering art and progressive rock, chronic under achievement and various cultural misunderstandings -  I left it behind quietly and without fuss. It was 1972 and I didn't look back, I didn't know how to. A full blown teenage life and the confusion and corruption of some kind of a potential adult life to follow was calling like a Siren on a reef. I thought of myself as being like Peter Gabriel leaving Genesis, "feeling part of the scenery, walking out of the machinery etc." even if that didn't happen until 1974, I'd always prided myself on being ahead of the times. I really did not have a clue about anything.

Anyway this palace of pain, educational ruin and hypocrisy is about to be turned to dust, recycling materials and architectural salvage, shielded from the public eye by safety fences and bollards. At least I have a few snaps of the dear old place (sniff).

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Bringing it all back home

Artists impression of our new residence as seen from 50' below the earth on Google Subterranean.
Ten years of living in the sticks and only now are we beginning to understand the inner and outer workings of septic tanks and such. As usual Wiki-explains explains.  So we'll retain this link for future possible reference and in the bright new light of our bright new enlightenment carefully observe all the rules and operating procedures that go along with this watery/sludgy and highly necessary plumbing device. Any family members or occasional house guests stumbling onto this please take note.

As it's a wet 1st of September, today will be a rare "recording day" - let's see where that takes us. Brain cells are about to be seriously stretched, heated up and over taxed. 

(Conspiracy theorists please note the secret message(s) in the above text).