Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cereal and Fruit

It could be mistaken for a vat of porridge, pale muesli, the surface of Mars or the Gobi Desert in detail - none of that thought, it's the detailed surface of  a skip loaded with rock solid concrete. A problem for somebody - the guy who owns the skip mainly.
Apricots, plums, tomatos, lemons, limes and an orange reflected in a friendly toaster. I probably wont eat any of these. I am stuck fast in an apple and banana routine from which I cannot escape. These pleasures will surely pass me by.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Well Read

I trudged through "Scotland's Future" or maybe waded or possibly crawled, I'm not sure. It'll never be up there with Scotland's favourite literary works however, that according to the 8000 who voted for it is Trainspotting and it is the best thing written in fifty years - no mention of the Oor Wullie Annuals or the Scottish League Review 84/85.  Most people just see the chase sequence and hear Iggy and the Stooges I reckon - we Scots are easily led. So Scotland's Future is a summary of the 650 page turner that most voters will fail miserably to read, I'm not sure many will ever read the 45 pages in the summery. I really wanted it to be good, to be a clarion call for the cause (even if it seems daft) but all we get is a wish list, a set of voters bribes and nothing that couldn't form the average Euro party's manifesto anywhere. So we're promised (and these are repeated many times) changes over bedroom tax, childcare, an efficient tax system (?), reduced energy bills and no nukes in our wind farmed waters. This mantra is repeated on every third page just in case you miss it. There's no economic detail, proper numbers or an actual strategic plan. How it'll all be paid for and quite why the SNP assumes that the EEC, NATO and Westminster will happily agree to our demands is unclear, perhaps we'll kidnap the Queen or something, I may have missed that bit. It's a route map but without a route or map. If you need another view check out this, good old Robert McNeil seldom misses.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Quite Scary

This is quite scary.
So is this.
Yes I did print out a copy, I'm a serious person underneath it all. I am going to read this and try my best to understand it. For that to work however I will have to lose the vivid and persistent mental image of a fat and smug little Hobbit called Alex Salmond trying to launch a big document that tells how Hobbiton and the Shire should pull up the drawbridge on the old Brandywine River and remain quite independent from all those strange men, elves, dwarfs, orcs and wizards across the borders who so spoil the peaceful place that the Shire should really be. Those low and ugly foreigners with their fancy ideas, banks, golf courses, wars and messing about; it's more than any well mannered and peace loving Hobbit can take. 

The rest of Middle Earth had better listen and take themselves off on a great flying feck because Alex and all the other  Hobbits (he says) just want to live well from the income of their legacy fossil fuels buried deep in the seabed whilst trying hard (but without the use of any wizards, just oil company's money) to generate other forms of alternative  and odd energy from the mystical powers of wind and waves and the great denizens of the deep. We'll use this to make heaps of black puddings to sell to the Chinese, there will be curried chicken for the locals  and surplus whisky and wooly jumpers we can flog to the Indians and Canada. That's about it apart from the genetically engineered tartan bagpipes and the Dundee video games - and there will be no fecking shipbuilding.

Alex is now smoking his clay pipe on this wooden rocking chair, smiling and pondering quite what socialism might mean and if any of his fellow Hobbits are infected with this terrible disease, if so they'll pay. They will be punished one day, their bus passes, student fees and community charge assistance will get sorted out and abolished. Quietly he puffs and puffs and allows his saltire blue Tory smoke to blow serenely out of his arse to the accompaniment of his own cackling voice. Somewhere in the distance a piano accordion is playing an old lament via BBC Radio Scotland. "You've never had it, whatever it was," says the announcer.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lifestyle Choices

How does this work out then? Nigella has allegedly been off her face on daily cocaine workouts for ten years and squandered a shed load of cash bribing her assistants to keep it all quiet. During this period she's married and left a hard nosed multi-millionaire, become a world famous household name as a guru for fine if somewhat self indulgent cookery and rich foods, chain smoked fags and drunk a whole lot of full bodied red wine...and she's 54 or so and still looks...Hmm.

If ever it happens I'll consider eating my virtual hat: When science fiction writers and futurologists try tell you tales of doom and gloom all about that awful day when evil robots will completely take over the world and subjugate mankind to some terrible technological revenge just point out this nice little image to them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

For those abroad, some home thoughts

The bare trees of winter. 
The last two leaves about to hit the lawn,  in some way to start again.
Cat in her natural habitat. 
Confused cat considers some territorial spraying into the void (or at least the well). 
Here comes a rather feeble and ineffective November sun, peely-wally you might say.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Guitar Orphanage

Thinline solid (but 3 ply) Tele body now filled and sanded. Not sure why it was routed out this way with the HB slot at the neck and the SC slot at the bridge.  Anyway an early eBay adoption (by me) for £6 + P&P.
Another sectional Strat body, seems to be in three chunks but pretty much undamaged apart from some clumsy cutting out of the H-S-H slots. Not sure how to finish this one but there are plenty of options.
A busy weekend, too busy for nonsense and the usual irrelevant blogging. Ali's gone out to NYC to work so now on my own, I decided to sand down these guitar bodies out in the clear November air and thereby save energy. I'm considering the name "Guitar Orphanage"(only £2.99 and available on GoDaddy) - where all the lost and broken guitars of the world (maybe that's going too far) can be fixed up and adopted, for a small fee. Each one repaired with reasonable and reliable parts and completed with some unique design feature or other - features TBC.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Post Python

Monty Python: The hyped up pension funding return to live performance and a final cash in is proclaimed. Were they ever that good/funny? They were;  a hysterical early set of mangled programmes that as a teenager I loved - but I suspect that their best material and actual full legacy of comedy genius is safely under lock and key with the BBC. There it will remain because, like a lot 60s and 70s comedy it fails the modern PC acid tests and just cannot be displayed or broadcast in these serious and cautious times. There are too many bizarre references and frankly odd and scary bits that would require explanation and subtitles if they were to make any sense to a 2014 audience. The offence taken would be enormous and the resultant misunderstandings staggering. So they are remembered for some funny but patchy films and the Dead Parrot, Lumberjack and Silly Walks pieces (all borderline themselves), the rest is out there somewhere, (along with Jonny Speight, Milligan and Sellers and Pete and Dud), forever lost.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Trails

Short road home today at 17:00.
Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond this afternoon. A bit chilly.
Happy trails into Glasgow airport.
How long will my use of Google Drop Box last? 374 photos and counting (but not counting the many deletions) in 6 months. There can be no other generation that has taken so many dumb and useless photographs that will forever remain unknown, hidden and generally not worth bothering about. So they remain, hogging their own special piece of disk space on some hot and whirring server in an anonymous building somewhere out there. Meanwhile large advertising budgets from hopeful companies and speculators fund this ongoing nonsense convinced that somehow, what with all the effort expended and the potential shown it will all amount to something substantial one sweet day. The illusion that it already does remains and is a gnawing and persistent irritation to us all. That's the way the hard to handle truth works on your dull subconscious mind.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dark Glamour

For those who are feeling that really, what with one thing and another and the tedious repetition of human events in general, they just can't be bothered. Well good for you and it's unlikely that you're alone.

I think we may have left the lights on in Fife.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mental Paths of Resistance

The point of reading good books or watching good movies is to create mental paths of resistance.

The persistence of mobile phone providers is...irritating. Somehow they seem to regard the product or service that you have bought from them as some mysterious divine device and relationship that you should cherish and hold close like a family member. They call you regularly like they were some cosy chatty friend and ask you if the phone is OK as if it was an orphan you'd adopted or a pedigree puppy that's moved in with you for the purpose of some planned breeding programme. "How's it all going?" they say in bright call-centre speech tones. The simple fact is that mobile phones have always been just another piece of pointless techo-tart consumerism. Here in all their new fangled splendour today and then, most likely in twelve months or less superseded by a lighter, smarter, faster more expensive model that is destined to steal your heart as the old model is headed out like Cain into the wilderness of eBay. So whoever you are don't phone; I don't appreciate cold calls from anybody asking how my car/ dishwasher/ microwave/ reading lamp/ socket-set/ pots of yogurt/ underpants/ kiln dried logs/ Mr Sheen/ razor blades or energy saving light bulb is doing. It's all just everyday stuff and I do not worship it or live to serve it nor do I wish to further your company's purposes by automatically purchasing a series of your ill conceived products as they appear in some mindless and never ending procession of development, nor do my family (as far as I know) or the people next door. There, I feel better now...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daily Ghosts

The close proximity of the daily ghosts: I don't know what you believe, I don't really care. I know what I've seen, what I feel, what I've lost and what satisfaction the resolution of a puzzle can bring. Of course life and it's purpose are the great puzzles that haunt and taunt us. That's OK, we've become used to it but for me I felt the need to explore, to see further, to look deeper, to somehow understand. I wanted to see past my senses, past where they took me and then stood still, over an indescribable, vague but tangible horizon.

I'm seeing them more regularly now, out of the corner of my eye as patches of light or shadow. It can happen at anytime, usually when least expected, maybe in a moving car, there in the rear view mirror, at home over my shoulder, just at the edge of my vision, a hazy shape caught for a split second on the staircase or a subtle movement in the trees. At first I was puzzled wondering why I was seeing these things, these flimsy figures that called voicelessly, echoing from close by to far away in a peculiar silent language. I realised I was becoming aware, a new sense was developing, a grey awareness of some other kind of being. A being from elsewhere but here, studying my soul. Now.  So to you pseudo ghost people on those early morning TV couches with empty mugs and inappropriate clothing. Why when you mean yes do you say “absolutely”? And why do you say it so emphatically, do you think we will believe in you or even believe the silly things you say anymore?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Peebles Daily Photo

So what's been going on the quiet little town of Peebles today? Not much really other than it has a fine river running through it and everything seemed (suspiciously) to be in it's proper place. "Beware the superficial and observe the detail" you may say - but I just couldn't find anything amiss. Anyway it was all very pleasant and we have a super lunch - mine being the Danish open sandwich variety featuring rye and white bread, beetroot, blue cheese, herring, soft boiled eggs and Cheddar cheese.  No doubt there will be a bit more recordable controversy elsewhere tomorrow as I discuss the proximity of our daily ghost visits.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sympathy for Rob Ford

Week in a day: Maybe not quite a week's worth of thought in a day; but of course there are just too many thoughts, most are tedious, most quickly forgotten, or so we think, some secret and only a few worthy of recording. I'd be fine if those were the ones that I did remember but no, that's on some other clever dick's web pages and it's providing a regular income stream.

Crisps for breakfast: What is the bizarre body requirement or function that cries out for two early morning bags of crisps to be consumed as an early morning breakfast and then leaves a legacy dry and salty mouth for the rest of the morning? I don't know and I don't get it but some Scottish people do suffer from this affliction.

Love and guilt: Everything anybody ever did anywhere is driven by one of these two things. I thought that briefly for a while this morning while I was reflecting. Then my reflecting grew dull and I wasn't so sure. Then I dropped the mirror. I did wonder why young female adults feel the need to drink entire bottles of wine, straight from the bottle before heading out for a night out. The girls in the flimsiest of clothes, tottering on impossible heels like swaying flamingos and giggling and chatting incessantly. Unaware of their curious vulnerability and potential to suffer from hypothermia despite the warm alcohol. Then the boys, tanked up on foreign beer and testosterone, swaggering in a uniform of sportswear, all stocky and muscular and herding in circles like confused buffalo. The two tribes meet at a certain point in the evening having been denying each other's existence and presence for a while, then illicit cigarettes and grunted bravado breaks out and shatters the evening's ice as the shrill and pounding music consumes conversation and...they’re off.

Folie a Deux: There is scientific proof for life after death. There I've said it. Of course it's that kind of abstract, awkward kind of quantum proof that the Daily Mail and the top floor of the BBC will never quite believe in. That does make me question my own conflicted position as I consider the “shared psychosis” theory that all of (uninformed) humanity unknowingly suffers from, all the time. Anyway it centres around the theory of biocentrism, the evidence lying in the idea that the concept of death is a mere figment of our consciousness. So when we die our life becomes like a perennial flower that returns to bloom in the (quantum) multi-universe. Life being an ongoing adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. When we die we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix (?) but in the inescapable-life matrix. I'm taking that for conventional eternal life we should read “inescapable life”. That's really a different concept altogether which most western religions seem to have missed out on. Fate, you might say.

Sympathy for Rob Ford – by Charlie Sheen: An almost comical sense of senselessness and high scoring negative axis self awareness leads to... survival I'd say. When the going gets tough, no matter how absurd the protagonist's position is there comes a point where people just stick their heads down, batter on through and survive, coming out the other end as heroes (or more likely anti-heroes). Maybe this is they key feature of modern politics or modern anti-politics and anti-business and anti-religion and so on. It really doesn't matter if you're a complete horse's arse, a criminal or a proven liar. If you choose to be obstinate then the position you occupy is almost impossible to challenge and you can't really be deposed until your wife (or partner) tells you to stand down via pillow talk or some cold and withering public stare. So everybody else can go to hell as far as Rob Ford's concerned and about a quarter of the good folks in Toronto would agree with him. The opera is here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dark side of the light

Photo: Abandoned Scotland, thanks.
From the dark side of the light: A dim and stylistic rendition of how things almost are amongst the bare woods, here in the land of battered seas, still rodents and raging cats and trees as the mighty might of an east coast November night descends upon us in all it's rain and air trembling grandeur. Dull and Grim with tinges of burnt toast and fine roasted cheeses.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fun Sponge

Useful extracts from some Urban Dictionary or other; for no obvious reason I wasn't looking for a term to describe such a person but then I stumbled upon it, suddenly everything made sense:

Fun Sponge (or funsponge if you want it to remain a single word).

"This word is used when a person sucks up all the fun out of a room and makes the atmosphere really boring."

Like the way a normal sponge sucks up liquid.

Maybe, just maybe, if I keep trying I could become one myself or better still avoid that fate altogether. RIP self awareness and hello old age!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Black Cat Moan & Fat Cat Strat

Fat Cat Strat.
Black Cat Moan.
Here in the primal, volcanically  formed basement workshops of Buckingham Palace my willing elf slaves have been busy forming, storming, borrowing and mocking up guitar based ideas that we've then tirelessly rendered into real versions of their long imagined selves. It takes bloody ages I can tell you. I should also say that the industrial relations between the guitar making elves and their human master(s) are a little strained at the moment. This is on account of a) the traditional Christmas rush for product b) the large amounts of cheap red wine that are consumed on the premises c) old and inefficient manufacturing practices that we are trying tirelessly to put right and finally d) material management and inventory issues within the craft process. I'd been hoping that since they'd put the Lottery up to £2 I might have a better chance of a grant so that I could at least pay for some ice-water and seasonal cigarettes for the elves (in lieu of wages) however that plan has caved in on itself in a flurry of sweaty indifference and resentment aimed at our Japanese cousins. All I am left with is the maniacal desire to string irrelevant streams of words together to form long winded sentences before heading out and kicking another lazy elf and then throwing pairs of their tiny but well cobblered shoes onto the fire. Having said all that here are early versions (unbolted or screwed up) from this century's guitar production line of fine musical instruments. As a well meaning clone of Andy Warhol  once said, "never forget what kind of business your business is in."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Heat Fan

This is in colour. 
This is a more tasteful black and white. You choose.
The news is that the Heat Fan actually works, it fans heat...well after a while and once the precious heat has built up in the stove below. We look forward now to surviving numerous ice-ages, reverse global warming and natural disasters whilst the fan provides free vital life support systems to us. Above are the actual photographs taken by me of this fine piece of eBay entrapment and entanglement engineering in action blowing hot air across a cold room powered only by the heat of...some spare and otherwise unusable heat. She spins as smoothly and silently as Isadora Duncan on a good day out in Paris. Easily the best £56 I've spent this week. I look forward to purchasing the nuclear powered version shortly.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Ocean That Only Begins

Headstocks half finished with unfinished designs but showing what might be described as good and/or  peculiar amounts of industrial potential.
My slow adoption of the marvels of technology knows an alarming amount of bounds it seems. Despite reading quite  few books via the peculiar powers of the Kindle I'm still a bit baffled by it and the separate life it leads in it's own way (by hiding and revealing things about itself and it's numerous hidden treasures in some flickering and magical trickery). Today I found all the mp3 music that Amazon has converted from historical plastic purchases and with a little prodding added them to the bowels of the Kindle's inner workings. I have some new assets squirrelled in there it seems and they are almost pleasantly listenable; particularly so when plugged into a big boomer of a rattling speaker. Whilst on the subject of Kindle usage - please buy my friend Norman Lamont's highly useful book on the ISB. Just the thing for children of the 50s, 60s and so on. A bargain @ £2.49 or thereabouts.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Two acrobats riding on a motorbike

What you see is what you just might get: Today is the birthday of the fellow who came up with the much maligned and no doubt unreliable ink blot tests that were used to trial washing powders in the nineteen twenties in Vienna...or something like that. The fellow was Hermann Rorschach. He died tragically young but his work lives on.

Earlier I had milk and cookies so I feel a bit... meanwhile in a parallel universe I'm waiting on the cat to wake up in order that I may use the newly repaired tumble drier without disturbing her kitty slumber. Soon it will be time to unpack the money saving (14% at least) heat fan, stir the smouldering curry and uncrinkle a few shirts so that they can be worn safely. It must be the weekend anytime soon and I completely forgot to celebrate Joni Mitchell's birthday yesterday, as an indirect result I now carry a new burden of guilt. Here's a cute picture to finish with, the kind of thing you can find on the internet here and there most days.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Simple things

These are the malevolent or even magnificent seven, what your body craves and perhaps really needs when the protein counter is low and the heartbeat is slow and the eyes don't really glow so you know you need a big tasty fish based tea. Note the use of left-centric artificial milk-bomb used to create a sense of space and to provide deep and  inexplicable feelings of well being into the remote viewer's experience.

Sunday, November 03, 2013


The word for today is of course "octopus" - my grand daughter is learning in along with it's first letter, an O. All quite important. Outside the wind blew and the sea, well the estuary, boiled and spat at us while that fat old sun, predictably shone down and formed long, distorted winter shadows that I find amusing. All was well in the world for this bleak November  afternoon it seemed. My "media, politics and self driven unreasonable boomer type anger at eternal life, time and complacency" subsiding for a moment so I celebrated with fish and chips, peas and salad and wistful imaginary postings that I cannot repeat.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Before the deluge

Out and about bright, cold and early this morning scouting farm shops, dodging postmen, potholes and buying wine, oranges and three kinds of bread rolls. It's amazing how much you can fit into the basket of a bike. Then the rains came and we stayed out of them but travelled through them with the kids, all cosy in our big Jeep jacket. That's what cars are for; green supporters and people who favour all weather cycling don't forget that and don't judge us for it. As it happened - there was so much rainfall today I was able to take some photos of passing fish...

Friday, November 01, 2013

Death & Legend

The steady decline and collapse of the old people as the Reaper's purposes become clear and the pale horizon closes in: I read today in the Independent that some time next week (Thursday) Joni Mitchell turns 70. That's three score and ten, all the life you are biblically entitled to, after that time is borrowed like some exorbitant pay day loan that can be cruelly cashed in at any time; apparently. So all my once bright and incandescent heroes and heroines are reaching the end - though there are some who some hardy made it to a reasonable age at all. Now they are all bundled like antiques and celebrated and referenced by other fresh artists, poets and celebrities, most of whom I've never heard of, the dreaded younger generation that grows all too quickly. So we are left to walk alone in a shadowy world of crusty memory, grey zombie hippies and dried cadaver punks, junk-shop rockers and arthritic artists chasing down squinting directors and producers. Chewing the last few dollars from some decrepit career carcass or other and for the most part still looking cool if tired, the truth hidden by dark glasses. So it's got to be tough for the younger generation, tough to make a unique mark and show some originality to the angry new audiences with all that soft parade of old and raw material still teetering towards death and legend. That's what you get in the end, death and legend.