Friday, January 31, 2014

Hard life in Fife

True but sad: Taking a whizz at the local ASDA/TESCO/ALDI/MORRI - emporium, a guy a little older than me rocks at at the next urinal and moans, "ah son (?) this prostrate o' mine, I pee all the time and my mate's goat the same thing and canna' pee ataw. Five years ago I wuz diggin' gardens, now I can hardly walk." He turns and exits grunting a bit more and avoiding the hand wash. A true Fifer and no doubt one who has partaken of a little too much of the sugarelli water, Embassy Regal and late night deep fried pizza snacks. I cannot easily allow this behaviour to continue but it will (judging by contents of the baskets and trolleys at the checkout), so back to Fife Diet evangelism and normal hypocrite mode then. More anti-Tesco pro-Fife stuff here.

Sad but true:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Broen II Bron III

You can of course have too much of a good thing and stretch a mild liking to unreasonable limits -  that's never me. So bearing that in mind and taking into account 10 dull years of self critical blogging and music production I'll stop rabbiting on about the Bridge and go back to my quiet and peaceful parallel universe mind palace. A place where no one can reach me, except for those who really try. You probably know who you are and yes I am not ruled by TV or by anything else that might make me seem weak other than my own well documented but passionately denied weaknesses and some cheap Polish under the counter medicine.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Broen II Bron II

After tea, ironing and planning the brave new kitchen world it's possibly time to relax; so in order to do this we're still following the Bridge II and playing catch up via Sky. Saga Noren of all the characters is the strangest and most jarring creation. Comedy and horror gold at the same time, watchable in an oddball way and never restrained in her caustic commentary on the life and action that passes her by like an ongoing train crash.

Some other notable thing but from the dim and distant movie past, 34 years on it's those eerie twins from the Shining, all grown up and still just a bit too scary for my liking.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Broen II Bron

Every scene is washed out, cool and slow, interiors are sparse and stylish, wine plops into glasses and couches are smooth and leathery. Healthy men smoke in secret and think hard. Nobody dares mention words like design or IKEA or smorgasbord. None of that would be appropriate. There are regular murders going on but few real tears, emotions are cranked down and not what they are cracked up to be; let’s play on as everything slows down because we’re living some strange half life where everything is a drama and everyone is a suspect but nobody did it.

You wonder who would take on a Scandinavian police job, long hours, no recognition, regular humiliation and the pleasure of being blanked or ignored on a regular basis. Meanwhile a few streets away out in the frozen night time some tainted secret missions and trysts are rolling out on a determined and inevitable path of self destruction. Everybody has a sexual quirk or a deep secret and everybody, in all their clipped tones and glib sub titled language is a suspect for some kind of criminal activity, even the good guys. 

Meanwhile out on the empty roads an olive Porsche 911 (or a 912 if what they say on the forums is true) roars like a filtered and filleted sacrificial lamb and becomes a cult internet object in the process. It’s the automotive manifestation of mystery syndrome envy and calculation, see the glazed look behind those blank headlight eyes. A fantasy roadrunner piece that will live long after the killer is caught and it's only as old as it’s driver. Got to watch the next three episodes before Saturday.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Just like the real thing

Grammys. One thing that makes me feel even more uncomfortably disconnected and psychotic are glitzy showbiz awards nights. Last night it was the Grammys, I caught the tail end of that bright, light entertainment comet on the morning after. There is of course some good stuff to celebrate, even a curmudgeon like me can appreciate that but...looking at the final awards lists, the dumb rappers in tuxedos, the old rocker's with fiercely died hair and the music establishment's worthies all on parade in the celeb news; it just looks all too strange and tacky and it's obsessed with the past (that sounds familiar). If you want to count me, count me out.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gruffalo Puppet

Nothing particularly profound to share today, too tired from late nights and driving and too aware that the principal of Catch 22 is there everywhere in life; just waiting to pounce. Rather than struggling with any of that I've resigned myself to learning the delicate and soulful operation of a Gruffalo puppet. Far more worthwhile than any inner musing, reflection or the over thinking of the inevitable; nobody learns anything from experience. On a lighter note I've finally picked the three Kevin Ayres songs I want to be played at my funeral or at some similar and almost sombre time in the future.

P.S. If you feel bloated and like a floating bloater after a small fish supper how might you feel after a special fish supper. Ugh.

Friday, January 24, 2014

For reference

Alternative Wickerman Tea Towel Souvenir. Don't all rush at once.
I'm not really sure why I consider any of this to be important, it just seems like something I should know and possibly have an opinion on or perhaps I should cook up an alternative version; other classical solutions and views are available. So here are the seven basic plots in literature, theatre and film according to Christopher Booker.

Overcoming the monster – The protagonist sets out to defeat a force that threatens.

Rags to Riches – The poor protagonist acquires power and wealth then loses them but gains them back and grows in the process.

The Quest – The protagonist, perhaps accompanied sets out to acquire some treasure or objective facing obstacles all along the way.

Voyage and Return – The protagonist goes to some strange land or location eventually returning all the better for the experiences.

Comedy – The protagonists are destined to be in love but things conspire to keep them apart. Eventually after many trials they get together.

Tragedy – The protagonist suffers a fall from grace, his/her death brings about a happy ending.

Rebirth – The protagonist is a villain or somehow unpopular, he/she redeems him/herself through the course of the story.

or by Arthur Quiller-Crouch

Human v human

Human v nature

Human against god

Human v society

Human in the middle

Woman & Man

Human v him/herself.

There are many more variations on this but nothing original from me. Which one might be the story of your life? Knowing it could save you a lot of pointless conversation - it's better if you can point to a meaningful structure rather than struggle through some tedious narrative.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Not exactly getting my shit together: I don't like the slow realisation of realising that I suffer now and forevermore from “old man's hair” syndrome. What was once dark brown and wavy and (on occasions) soft is now a grey/white Brillo Pad made of some alien and unruly material that refuses to behave and when uncombed or untended makes me look like a future lunatic or some unstable inmate of a sex offender unit. Ok perhaps that's going too far but bad hair is an irritant unless it naturally oozes nicely from the scalp and forms a smooth, perfect shape and colour set upon your head. On balance however most of my head and ears and nostrils is covered with it so it's hardly an endangered species and it still keeps me warm, it's just not the hair I remember or so took for granted for about 50 odd years. It's changed and it did so without asking my permission; that applies to a few other things come to think.  Time you look up testosterone suppliers on Amazon.

Pebble dash and tyres: How do stones actually get into your regular shoes (not flip flops) when you are far from a beach and why is it nobody cares about your new tyres? Starting with the tyres; I'm realising that it doesn't matter to other drivers what tin bucket you drive. You're just an object in space to them in one of three abstract states that they can unpleasantly interact with: a)the slow idiot in front of them, b) the twat grinding along behind them and up their arse or c) the buffoon who has stopped and is opening his/her door in the path of their fast moving car. That is all you are,  series of ill-judged events and states summed up by a badly badged, anonymous tin box, nothing more (unless you collide). Your lovely, pristine tyres that are now fully legal and rolling on the tarmac and into the pot holes mean nothing and the model of car you inhabit is just another chunk of doomed metal and plastic that happens to move. Stones in shoes I don't get, firstly, once the walking machine has started they only appear after a little while, not right away. So where were they at first? Did you step through some tiny meteor shower or avalanche of dust and debris, are mice throwing tiny stones at you as you pass, can stones pass through other materials and then reform themselves once  inside the dark, sweaty matter of your shoe? I'm puzzled and troubled by this one and my left foot hurts a little.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Holstee manifesto

Internet wisdom is cheap and can be found everywhere on the internet, whether or not you subscribe to it is up to you. Here's some. I tend to read and ... forget.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The way we were

The last days of the east elevation: A state of the art time lapse camera is set up, waterproofed, discreet and disguised (?) in the nearby woodland to record the momentous events about to unfold; the building of a new kitchen and what not onto the rear of our house (all in the popular style of the Scottish Vernacular). Life is destined to never be the same again, a bit like most days really. The snowdrops have been rescued reluctantly from a watery and concrete grave and it's all systems go...any day soon and weather permitting. Not too many trees were  badly injured in the production of this short film and even fewer animals.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Club

It's Saturday morning and I'm spending two hours listening to Sounds of the Sixties on Radio 2, well it's playing in the background but my mind wanders. The smooth, stylish and timeless tones of Brian Matthew (aged 85 God bless him) join up the various musical strands of a four track decade into a pleasant air brushed on-air reminder of a time that never existed; those swinging fucking sixties. The nation's memoirs regurgitated and exaggerated by text message dedications for all those singles lost at parties or abandoned at the back of the smokey bus. Billy Liar still loves Julie Christie but she's still not for coming back to collect the stilettos she left under the bed and she didn't even open the badly written love letter.  

The strange thing is the hypnotic quality and the illusionary power of all those over spun and familiar 45s from lost record labels on endless repeat, a more potent drug right now today than anything smoked or ingested back then. I'm bizarrely transported to some easy and ideal life when everything worth having was two bob, cars were tinny and unreliable and prejudice, bigotry, class and humour were all boiled down into  the same entertaining and common thing - 625 powdery lines on the BBC. It's bound together in lots of musical slabs: Janis Joplin screaming but hardly in any discernible pain at all, the Small Faces resonating in a twangy soup of reverb, the Moody Blues with their serious meetings and bad hair cuts and moustaches, Jan and Dean inventing a surf music tragedy with Brian Wilson co-writing from the dead man's curve, Bob Dylan singing like a razor blade, the Kinks giving birth to the rock riff and the hopeless and disembodied  cry for light gauge strings to be available for all bedroom bound guitar players, soul music's eccentric search for itself in the rusting black heart of those all-American junkyards, the Stones and the Beatles bickering and squandering their talents, while guys with plumber's mates spectacles and gawky smiles strum sunburst Rickenbackers and sing in perfect harmony - but they never get the girl. 

Here it is, all replaying in a non-stop black and white world of teenage angst, repression and odd expressions of misplaced freedom and protest. I'm lost in a sea of Pirate Radio buffoonery and static where eggs are turned in carbon black frying pans and you can cook, smoke and shave all at the same time in any respectable working class kitchen. This non-digital and un-networked world seems so clean and fresh despite it's obviously dirty backside, like the mis-shapen fresh farm shop vegetables and produce that we think have  avoided the harsh and cynical distribution of the supermarket systems and Monsanto's sterile bugs. You can't get enough of them but then suddenly you're bloated, sick in the stomach and full of wind and cramps. Collective memory loss, fashion murders and musical credibility never properly make any kind of sense looking back. It was all over by the time I'd gawped at Easy Rider's X certificate closing scenes, the end of the innocence and the decade indeed.

The sixties were great, I was five, then I was fifteen, eyes and mouth wide open to all that passed by and passed away but I never felt part of any of it. It somehow slipped away on the pages and printer's ink of the growling Daily Express and the brassy Sunday People. An expression of pace and change and some bloke who is busy writing a decade's worth of soundtracking and noise to accompany the Space Race and the adoption of the decimal system. The decade we gave it all away.  It was all just an elaborate  Cold War fish and chip moment, crumpled and in the bin, discarded and  soon to be swallowed by the greasy, glittery and unholy seventies. Growing up is not all it's cracked up to be. Reflecting and remembering however is not so bad.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The week in pictures

Hypnotic Japanese Subway
Knitted and kitted out Central Africa gunmen
Ceiling and wall based playground for cats
Who knows what Putin said to the small boy?
Alternative and truthful movie poster

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In the light of our trangressions

I suppose I would say that, if only it was original but so few things actually are, and of course even fewer things actually are. Aren't they?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Better than me anyway

Deadheads are familiar with various types of social exclusion.
After posting bits on FaceBook and the blog about the Open Source Vehicle (below) I began to experience an awkward feeling of nagging doubt. The kit car that I was so impressed with yesterday probably meant little or nothing to most of my friends or family, they simply either wouldn’t get it or really care about it. It would  not interest them, fair enough, but still meant something to me. A project I could enthuse about but one that left the rest of the civilised world... happily cold. That’s a kind of weird feeling; knowing that your own tastes and interests are not so neat a fit with those of the people around you. It can make a person anxious, insular and affect your confidence but it can also make you feel individual and unique, (“special” isn’t the best word to use here).  In general nobody really wants to be out of step - unless you’re a psycho or well along on the “high performing sociopath” spectrum or just geeky about grammar. So I’m now unsure to what extent I may or may not need the drip feed of validation from social media, I guess I do, in trickles. Knowing this doesn’t really help either as it has the ring of awkward truth about it but as a plus it must mean I’m still self aware enough not to be crazy. I have a reference point.

Scientists have published the first mathematical proof explaining the reason that it always seems that everyone else is doing better than you – because (on average) they really are. In other words, there is a genuine logical excuse for anyone who wonders why they don’t seem to have as many friends on FB or followers on Twitter as everyone else. You don’t and that’s because you’re you.

Scientists from universities in France and Finland claim that their discovery is based on the “generalized friendship paradox” (GFP). This reveals that most people have only a small number of friends. However, a handful of people have a significantly greater number of friends. It is this second category that distorts how you regard your friendship group as a whole. They say their study doesn't just apply to friendship and can also be related to wealth, the number of sexual partners people have and how successful they are. When we compare our characteristics like popularity, income, reputation, or happiness to those of our friends, our perception of ourselves might be distorted as expected by the GFP.” They said that while we will naturally be biased towards thinking ourselves “worse” when we compare ourselves to our so-called “better” friends, the same still applies “compared to the average friend”.
Referring to previous studies which showed active FB users describing themselves as less happy on average than others; “This might be the reason why active online social networking service users are not happy – when it is much easier to compare to other people.” So, don't get annoyed the next time your friend posts a picture of an engagement, a new car or a status about a promotion. Statistically speaking, they were always going to be better than you anyway.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

A week with no alcohol

It's been more than a week since I last sampled any strong drink. No wine or beer or whisky has touched my lips, liver or waterworks for 8 long (?) days. I would say long but they've all been pretty much the standard 24 hours. So far I've managed not to lose my mind, be extra grumpy or any more unhinged than usual. That's a disappointment. Conversely I don't really feel any better, fitter, thinner or happier. I'm sure experts could explain why, no doubt more time is needed and less tea or orange juice and a boost of Spanish sunshine now and then to help. I am yawning a lot and the hives are acting up, perhaps there's less fur on my tongue but I don't ever check that kind of thing. I do did a bit of biking, almost wrote a song and generally went about my normal business. Maybe I'm deluded, maybe I just feel shit anyway as a normal thing and drink and bananas and bio-rhythms are nothing to do with anything. I could be depressed or extra mellow but it is January and there are Easter Eggs in the shops and my life style is erratic anyway. Bollox to it, I'm staying dry, at least until I need to get wet ( and I resisted a grinding temptation to watch the final Sherlock with a glass in hand, that didn't help me follow the story line either).

Some serious shit going down here in the Dorky Fantasy Land aka GOT, enough to drive you to drink.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quiet life

  1. This weekends results: dogs 2 - 0 Guy, Pigeons 0 - 1 Guy. At least I won one battle this weekend.
  2. :- ( fighting dogs is never good, no real pigeon experience just squirrels from a safe distance
  3. I was evicting the pigeon from the loft. 1 dog attacked me and cut my leg the other tripped me up when I was running.
  4. it's nasty when they collaborate against you, A&E needed or do you know a nurse? How did the dogs get into the loft?
  5. and getting into confined spaces by the sound of things.

A quiet but chilly Sunday in a dozy part of Fife: made a bacon roll breakfast, cycled out along the coast (filming the sights as I travelled thanks to a handy bike cam), chopped logs and kindling, surfed the surf, chuckled at the Sunday Herald headline, ate soup and crackers, fed the birds, pruned the rampant roses and cut up a Christmas tree. No dog major bites either.

How the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence imagine robots that provide domestic help might look in the near future. You've a way to go there Japan, (or maybe there's some ironic piece of explanation written in Japanese across the cover text that's beyond me).

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Victor and Victim

The words victor and victim can be traced back to the Latin root where the term "Vic" was used to describe a primitive but effective alcohol based nasal spray used by the early Romans. How it was ever translated forward into it's modern use I've no idea. I presume that it's something to do with the Addams Family and the WWII based comic strip paper. So early this morning Victor the Cat seems to have done away with Victim the Mouse in the conservatory (very Cluedoesque) and thereafter placed the dead rodent on top of a table where the poor victim looked very much alive if a little immobile. It's not clear in the photo but Victim's corpse was also covered in sprinkles of Christmas glitter. Bizarre. "Investigations are ongoing" said a spokesperson from the saddle of a bicycle.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tony Macaroni v Lego v Mystery

Food: I can't quite understand why the staff in Tony Macaroni's insist in pretending that they are Italian when they are really from Cowdenbeath or Poland. Maybe that's the best way to get an Equity Card these days when the Edinburgh Fringe is asleep and the pubs are empty. Maybe they've spent too much time cleaning the toilets where a loop of Parliamo Italia plays constantly, perhaps it's in the small print of the zero hours contract or perhaps the Scottish/English dialect is just breaking down into some pan European kind of jumble that is triggered by nearby food and national colours. The burger was pretty big and pretty tasty though and I heard good things said about the steak from the other side of the table.

Rock'nRoll: Lego albums covers, Roxy Music's "Country Life", Led Zep's "Houses of the Holy" and the Stones "Let it Bleed" rendered in sympathetic Lego. Genius.

Mystery: I've absolutely no idea what's going on in this photo that I unearthed earlier. It seems to have been taken by a rather tall person.

Thursday, January 09, 2014


Predictably enough, as all birthday's once established are, Jimmy Page is 70 today. Quite remarkable really. More things you probably know already via this link.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

American Hustle

I'm not a regular cinema goer, as if that matters. Anyway this is a funny and entertaining film for grown ups and people in general, I saw it today and I now understand what a "science oven" is. I'd even recommend this to friends or people I don't particularly like because that's really no way to be in life. 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Cicada 2014 (yawn!)

If you are at all interested the link leads here for 2014.

The first problem you encounter is when you have to decide quite what kind of madness it is you have. Eventually you may identify it, give it a name or form or at the very least put your sweaty finger on it. Once you've done that and got it in your sights as it were you promptly deny it altogether. Denial of fact or reality is of course a basic form of madness itself. I seem to be stuck. I guess that is the second problem.

Now for some good news, the new camera I ordered from Amazon arrived today, can't wait to try it out.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Time Travellers don't Tweet

  1. If Time Travelers Exist, They’re Laying Low on Social Media: If time travelers do walk among us, they’re doing...
  2. If Time Travelers Exist, They're Laying Low on Social Media: What's This?By Kurt Wagner2014-01-04 01:05:31 UTC...
  3. If Time Travelers Exist, They're Laying Low on Social Media — Has anyone searched for aliens on social media yet?
  4. If Time Travelers Exist, They're Laying Low on Social Media
  5. Do time travellers exist? This is an actual academic paper about tracking time travelers online
Time Machine operating system in detail
Useful to know that despite being offered the opportunity of a subtle entrapment via their give away Tweets, most (or indeed all) Time Travellers refuse to be caught up in Twitter or other social media type traps. This is probably because in the future Tweeting will be as much used and remembered as Morse Code or Semaphore are today (except for sailors). It's also a bit of a worry that in this random sample of Tweets nobody can spell traveller correctly.