Saturday, January 31, 2015

All those who wander

Glasgow daily photo and a walk across the rooftops: In town today and up on the top deck of the Lighthouse, I took these unremarkable photos and in the continuing spirit of lazy and vacuous blogging I share them now. I did enjoy being up there in the calm and cold, though the stairs were hard work and I had to pass through an irritating Charles Rennie Mac-shrine and some well meant but clumsy right-on Citypoliticbabble  to get there but it was worth it. Glasgow is dirty, compressed, noisy (with street music, traffic and sirens) and cluttered with debris but also serene, chilly and magnificent.  Lunch at the Wander Cafe was disorganised but pleasant with strong coffee and air whipped cream as we continue to explore the randomly scattered eateries and food shops knowing full well we'll never get around them all. Then home along the crusty old tobacco road where snow threatens but seldom falls. The weather people just don't know what to do with themselves at this time of year. Below: this is the safest route back to earth.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Down by the seaside

(Indeed these are the actual pictures of two views I viewed (as above), there are no photos of the views I missed however). I spent a couple of days in Cornwall. Most of the time it was wet and gloomy, the roads were narrow and the breeze from the English Channel icy as I sped around in a nippy wee hatchback. The real ale was pretty good as was the seafood. Now I'm back home...and that's always best.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I wish you all well

Whilst I certainly wish these obviously sincere folks well in their lives and chosen careers it's pretty hard to look at a photo like this, presented in any context and not think that religious processes and the garb that goes with them (and the ritual, tools and the surroundings) isn't all pretty screwy and (you have to say) it looks like it was all made up by either a lunatic or complete joker. There I've said it. As an alternative here's a likeable alien I made earlier...

Acropolis Now

From the Daily Mash:

"Greeks vote to stop having the shit kicked out of them".

GREEK voters have defied expectation by choosing not to be beaten like cringing dogs for the next five years.

Offered the choice between another half-decade of soaring unemployment and plummeting household incomes or a bit of a change, the Greek electorate has stunned Europe by making the wrong decision.

The ruling New Democracy party is still wondering how its platform of Endless Suffering For Everyone was defeated by Syriza’s competing message of Maybe Not That.

Athens voter Elena Mitropoulos said: “I was going to do the responsible thing and vote for continuing austerity, because I know how important it is not to damage the German economy, but madness overtook me in the polling booth.

“Now we face a future of working hospitals, of recovering industry, of my children not begging for food in the streets. I wish I had not been so rash.”

EU technocrat Denys Finch Hatton said: “There is a very real danger that people across Europe, inspired by the Greeks, will no longer choose to be ruled against their best interests by people they never voted for living in massive wealth hundreds of miles away. Though we hope they will follow the fine example Scotland set and continue to do just that.”

(That's a killer of a final line, let's just hope they carry on and retrieve the Elgin Marbles as part of their healing process).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blinded by science

A Stirling engine, powered by warm air and temperature difference as opposed to hot air and general indifference.
The famous 3157 12volt auto bulb, never seen one in my life until today. Now I can die happy.
Though I know I should understand I never will understand why there are so many variants and variations in the design and specification of simple, disposable, consumable objects. What is the advantage of having so many different kinds of bulbs and fittings none of which are ever compatible? Well it's a free market and there should be no restraint shown on design and innovation and letting folks have the opportunity to take their own unique goods to that market so that they can see how they do is a basic right and you would think a benefit. So it doesn't matter what I think nor does it matter that my auto-jumble bulb collection will never run out, it will just slowly grow. Thank you Mr Jeep and Mr Volvo.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Food for thought

Peanut butter &
Today was unusual in that I drove three quite different vehicles all of which had automatic transmission, thereby immediately making the left foot lazy and redundant. They were; a 14 Ford Galaxie, an 03 Daewoo and 10 Smart Coupe. Now that I have arrived at the difficult age where (apart from knowing all the songs on Planet Rock playlists) I will quickly forget simple instructions and how to go back to driving a manual (or stick-shift as an American might say). Road testing was mostly carried out on the Alpine like steep hills, tight bends and long fast straights that is the familiar Top Gear favourite piece of high quality tarmac - the super highway connecting Burntisland to Aberdour.  Just put a little Matt Monroe on the stereo, adjust your designer shades and you're away.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sunset over the water

At this time of year and in the dark I often mistake by boots for cats but I have never mistaken my cats for boots. Socks and pants also suffer from the same mix up but they seldom scurry away or have smelly, furry bottoms (not when clean). I think these thoughts as I slurp warm home made soup from a cup shaped like a hand grenade. Sometimes it's the little things in life that make the least sense. With that in mind I consider a brace of tweets released on Sunday that badly quoted famous lines of dialogue from the 1979 film Apocalypse Now. A film that had been on my mind all week as funnily enough I'd watched it the previous Sunday on ITV4 or some other obscure channel. The tweets sank without trace except for single retweet from a surfer dude in California who clearly liked my almost comic take on "Charlie don't surf" featuring a cat. One of the cats that I have never mistaken for a boot. None of that helps me believe in aliens or an afterlife. I'll only believe in aliens if first and foremost they believe in me and I'll only believe in an after life if I can manage to scratch together some primitive belief system that covers the possible existence of intelligent  life on this earth. Impossible really.

Sunset over the water.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Messages in the stone

The tribes of our elders and visiting divine presences of Scotlandshire aided and abetted by aliens and alliteration left a series of complex messages hidden in ancient stone structures all across the blasted and sometimes frozen landscape. A brisk, hangover clearing walk any given Sunday accompanied by a pair of binoculars and a large magnifying glass will reveal their hidden secrets; so I have been told. The truth is (seldom) out there if you only know where to look. I'd say more but the strict laws of blasphemy currently practiced in Fife force me to hold my tongue. Heresy is an unspeakable crime so best not to speak of it. In terms of understanding history and the nature of god and suchlike I must say that I found the recent blockbuster DVD release "Noah" starring the wonderfully concrete faced Russell Crowe, the girl from "Labyrinth"  and a truckload of special effects extremely helpful. Religious groups of any moderate persuasion should take note.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Being creative

OK it's 11:45 on what I thought I would call a "creative day"... I'm starting slowly burdened down by the bitter cold and having too much fried bulk for breakfast. I started by lighting up the stove, it's still blazing hours later and the house is full of a hazy smoky film or fugg, a bit like my head.  So far I've only managed to place three rather puerile and distorted quotes onto Twitter based on famous lines from Apocalypse Now. I also added some tenuously linked up up photos taken whilst scraping around in the house this morning. Waiting for inspiration sucks. I watched Nick Cave's 20000 Days last night (?), his output is phenomenal but the quality is patchy to say the least. He ate fried eels and also ate sloppy pizza, he has very enthusiastic fans, he's different. I'm clearly not Nick Cave but he is clearly not me. I take some small pieces of damp consolation from this. He does have a nice Jaguar though.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Favourite shirt?

Two people wearing shirts as well as other clothes.
It's a question that I often ask myself. It's also a question that I regularly find I can't answer. I probably have about twenty five shirts, some obviously worn more than others, some that fit better or are more "wearable" or just feel good. Some, sadly are nearing the end of their lives, a few more washes and they will be gone, stuffed into the bin after years of faithful service and tipped into the refuse cart on the second or fourth Wednesday of the month. That's how it goes, the life cycle of a shirt. Many of my shirts come from Debenhams, I have no idea why. Maybe it's because their shirt department is straight in front at the top of the escalator, not far from the gents loos. A convenient location you might say or is it their keen prices, reputation for quality and well laid out display area?  Tesco shirts are the worst then it's Amazon's unseen buys. Choices matter but it's all pretty random really, anyway a purge is coming up. Faded and tired out shirts, beware!

Danelectro do some crazy and almost disturbing guitars. I've never owned one, seldom played them either. The Sitar Guitar (directly above, below the Longhorn Baritone) is a classic oddball. At £388 who would buy such an instrument? It's not even anywhere on Ebay yet. Strange.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Freezing Conds

Beware, freezing conds could damage your building.
I was a bit baffled by the wording on the high level motorway warning signs today on the M90. "DRIVE WITH CARE FREEZING CONDS" they said. Not really a clear message and you cant help but wonder what a dyslexic, elderly or non-English speaking driver might make of this ill thought through message. Could it be referring to:

FREEZING CONDOMS - not a pleasant thought (but some fetishists may disagree).
FREEZING CONDOMINIUMS - over enthusiastic or badly adjusted air conditioning.
FREEZING CONDUCTORS - if at some chilly orchestral concert.
FREEZING CONDORS - birds of prey descending on the road from a high altitude.
FREEZING CONTENDERS - winter Tough Mudder venue up ahead?

On balance somebody probably meant "freezing conditions" but what could that possibly mean around here?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cat interrupted

In a desperate bid to avoid any further negative examples of posting or random carping about irritating types, rubbish music or all the evil in the world  here's a cat waking up from an otherwise peaceful sleep on a basketwork chair just as a blizzard is about to start. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ex-Creme eggs

Now that they've changed the formula I can't go on and eat any more of these. It's not possible, it seems like it's some unspeakable and uneatable act. Wrong and reprehensible. From now on I vow not to consume any CCEs ever again (in the January or February of any year). It never was any more that a sugary Polyfilla mixture in a greasy chocolate egg shell that was far to small to ever have been mistaken for a real egg.

I can't explain

I hate to say it but there's something about Margaret Curran that makes my flesh creep. Driving home today she came on the radio to discuss the awful Citylink collapse and despite my interest in the story that radio had to go straight off. A mild panic attack and a grab at the rotary switch. I'm thinking chalk on a blackboard here. I don't understand why she gets to me this way and it's not all about Scottish Labour or any of that tedious business nor is it about the referendum. I'm sure, outside of politics she's a nice person and a caring human being but...that voice and that way of talking...of course I apologise for any offence taken.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Not my heroes

I was born too soon for these guys to be my heroes. They're out on the margins, interesting but not burrowed into my life like the "others" who as it turns out are mostly people from that god-awful decade known as the sixties. This forgotten and woe begotten place /decade remains as the major and persistent source of various ear worms and technicolor flashbacks of lucid and often awful memory. It must be an age thing.

So help me but I can't help but buy food, despite the fact we don't really need more...somehow it all gets eaten. Some law of physics is bending to the point of imminent fracture here. So today I went looking for a chicken pie but could only find a steak pie and a tray of brownie like chocolate sludge, milk and a bag of potatoes. I will, without the assistance of the web, a net, an app or any prompting turn these random things into some sort of presentable meal. Later.

The good news is that the bad weather has attracted a colourful pair of magpies into the garden. Like crazy crows on drag these green and purple monsters clamber all over the bird feeders as the tits and sparrows look on, puzzled and bemused from a safe distance. Treat of the day for our feathered bandits are those pink suet bullets that Tesco sell. Birds of all sizes love them, perhaps they are some kind of socially acceptable drug in the avian community. They go in a matter of moments, gobbled up in a frenzy as the seeds and breadcrumbs are ignored. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Self assisted selfie

Well maybe it's the time of year or then again maybe it's the time of man but you see, at this particular moment I don't quite know who I am and of course, with the true and irreversible passage of time, life is for learning. So I watched three acts on the Voice, and walked away, ate a chicken Kiev, drank some wine and stoked up the fire (no euphemism there). it seems that today has gone by the way, that way, in some by the way way. The good news being that the drains are unblocked and that the dishwasher works on the second click (who knew that), the Volvo will get MoT'd and all good taxi drivers with car trading experience would recommend Skodas, every time. I also learned a French term for melted chocolate and added cream and in an earlier version of myself found myself agreeing with Will Self. That was today, tomorrow is chicken and leak pie; naturally.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Club sandwich

Today, for the most part the weather / traffic / news / stuff outside was totally frightful. Escape is rare but I found some in this lunchtime club sandwich containing the works. All the bad things can just go away at least for a few minutes while the moment of sandwich (near) perfection is enjoyed. Good coffee also at Reubens in the quaint old and sadly neglected town of Dunfermline. Outside a busker played Beatles tunes on a clarinet. Next door in the £ a chair barbers I had a haircut and a blether. Then back home to make more beds than you could shake a ragged duvet at.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Here today...

...and gone today. Naturally it seems quite right to show solidarity with #JeSuisCharlie this evening. I'm tempted to rant about religion, terrorists  and extremism but Rushdie puts it far better than I ever could so just to maintain some balance here's a rainbow cat.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Nanoblock Guitars

The incredible thing about the two tiny guitars that I've assembled is that they are both totally playable...nice tone also.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

On the beach

The new years's high standards of typically lazy bloggings continue, here's some photos from our local stretch of storm battered beach.