Friday, September 30, 2016

Glueing the leg onto a frog

At large in the bowels of Edinburgh; capital city apparently. Location thought to be in the area around Fountainbridge, saw a bridge or two but no actual fountain.

Special thanks today go to Amazon for buying me a replacement car key (almost).

Rain and the use of the wrong size of screw caused a minor set back to the replacement gate post project.

There is some internet debate as to how best spell glueing/gluing, I'm stuck. Oh and here's the frog in question.

No frogs were injured, abused or badly treated in the creation of this blog post however my thumb and index finger were stuck together for a short and irritating period of time.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Snakes alive

When you use a set of colour coded crocodile leads to test all the possible options to try to get the coil tap and phasing on a humbucker figured out and working...and then you just think, maybe I'll just go with the single coils after all and so lead a simpler and less stressful life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Seasonal spiders

It's that time of year when for some possibly climate related reasons we start to get spiders milling around in the house. Looking all lost and unemployed because of the demise of the flies and other buzzing insects, they scuttle here and there and annoy you in the shower; so the spiders are clearly at a bit at a loose end. They also spin lots of webs in a somewhat futile attempt at showing good industry, they set them across doorways and on car  mirrors. I guess it's a desperate situation for them as the bide their time till next spring when more edible bugs come out. Anyway I took the opportunity to sketch a few in a less than realistic style albeit I've credited all of the beasts with having eight hairy legs, not quite so accurate in the eye department though. Yesterday's more comprehensive post also includes one rendering.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Creativity on a limited budget

Spider No1
Here's two rather fine art forms I've produced some time over the last 24 hours whilst travelling the length and breadth of the country and also looking after two of my grandchildren. Safe to say neither of the pieces have been an unqualified success as yet but neither have they been pilloried or criticised by the wider art establishment as bits of talentless crap (which they may well be). In the end it's all in the eye of the beholder and to some extent a bit of a joke (the art establishment's power and judgement that is) because all I'm presenting are uneducated scribbles that I quite like but ones that have no real craft or skilled composition or concept behind them. Once they're on the web though and in the files of Google they are magically granted eternal life and the gravitas that comes with romantic obscurity.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Apple harvest

Yesterday was all about the stewing and freezing of vast amounts, well two half full trugs worth of our annual apple crop, fresh from the trees plus a few from the ground. Now they are frozen in a quick and fresh fashion so as to sustain us through the North Korean attacks and the general global turbulence that will affect all and sundry come deepest 2017. It's not much of a plan but better then nothing.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


There are a few obvious names missing from the list (notably the various 27 Club members)  but I'll not bother with them. If Keef considers himself to be immortal and/or indestructible then who am I do disagree. Then again he may simply be one of the undead, out there, active and walking amongst us with ice cold black blood sliding through his thin and tiny veins and hot blue electricity shooting around in his brain.

Happening right now

"Fetch me Corbyn, Solo and the Wookie"

Stolen from:  
Fetch me Corbyn, Solo, and the Wookie.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The culmination of which

Up with the lark this morning, out on the road and an early, pleasant  breakfast was had at the Yellow Coloured Cafe in Rosyth consisting of a bacon and egg roll, coffee and a view of fields and the many housing schemes that make up Rosyth.
Home in good time to pick apples and to discover this fellow hanging in the apple tree, presumably placed there some time ago by some family joker. He seems happy enough so I left him there. It did remind me of my ongoing mission to spend my kid's inheritance on various stupid things culminating in the funding of a project to successfully send a Scottish (Scottish based that is and by some form of animal adoption) monkey to either the Moon or Mars (which ever is easier to reach). As a piece of work it may take a bit of time to fully put it together but this summer's visit to NASA in the USA has proved to be inspirational. 
These are the apples picked today from the two apple trees, not a bad haul for a year's worth of growing and us doing nothing really. They will be food processed shortly.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday's the new Friday

I haven't seen or even heard of this film in about fifty years and then it turned up on my Twitter feed via Muriel Gray of all people. It was daft then, Lord knows how it's aged, probably very badly. I also recall having a schoolboy crush on Glynis Johns that operated on two levels a) looks and b) voice. The cast are  probably all dead by now. Sad and not really jokey.
In my current line of work it turns out that Thursday is indeed the day right before the weekend which now starts on Friday most weeks. This situation requires a small amount of adjustment though not as big an adjustment as when you actually retire (which I did do and then decided to do other things including working). I should know. So none of this is really relevant as it's almost Friday and I'm on my second small glass of red wine whilst slowly recovering from the unfortunate overage cheese and fish incident.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Three photos

A recently enjoyed little cheeseboard featuring cheese, figs, chutney and a little more cheese.  
Every so often the geek gods at Google take it upon themselves to steal one of your photos and doctor it up in some randomised way. I've no idea why, this one was plucked from yesterday's page without any explanation. 
After at lot of poking around locally and on the web the new, custom built, non-standard back garden gate has arrived in a raw if allegedly well preserved form. All I need now is the will to succeed, a dry day, opposable thumbs and various tools and accessories. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Down by the sea

I was able to provide a small amount of assistance tonight at the launching of a boat. Pulling on ropes and pushing trailers, that sort of basic thing and avoiding getting my wet feet. Not something I do regularly either so the boat handling skills are not fully formed. Anyway she makes a pretty sight on the Forth as the sun sinks slowly over yonder. May god (without a capital G or any pressure to perform) bless her and all who happen to sail in/on her.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Back to work

The Monkees during their short lived Kiss period. Little  is known of how this came about but thanks for showing us it Mr Internet.
I've gone back to working for a living, a slight shock to the system but not one that is causing any aches or pains yet despite my body journeying around the sun nearly 61 times in succession. The already high quality sleep pattern I regularly adhere to can only get better as I burn myself out. But I'm made of sterner, stronger stuff, built to survive on coffee and bananas and a reasonable amount of mild stimulation. Actually the worst thing about work is the journey there and back again; getting in and out of the car park and listening to the (ugh!) news on the radio. Anyway the novelty will wear off in a few weeks no doubt and I'll return to my usual idle contemplations.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Breakfast with Jackson Browne

Some of my oldest daughter's fairy tale art work, nicely done but  captured badly by my phone in Aberdeen.
Number one in an occasional series of reported weekend breakfasts consumed whilst listening to some significant songwriter or musical genius and offering up a deep critical and meaningful appraisal of their best works and how they've influenced the likes of me over the years.  You know sometimes these far of folks seem like real people and are almost friends what with all their sharing and stuff.

Nice bright, calm morning, no rain and a wee sleep in following yesterday's road trip to Aberdeen. So breakfast consisted of some rather nicely burned eggy bread (AKA French toast but without sugar or syrup), bacon again nicely burned, saute potatoes only slightly burned and beans slightly overdone but edible thanks to some microwave type miscalculations. There was also strong coffee and apple juice but I passed on the apple juice. Sometimes I'm just not a real  juice person in the morning, more of a banana and porridge type  if their no real cooking on the go. Oh and there was some Jackson Browne album or other playing in the background.

A growing number of unhappy and unsettled wasps are choosing to end their days in a water filled jam jar for some reason. (Lolly stick added for scale and extra, attractive sweetness.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Buzzed into the yellow

(By the way all this happened yesterday but then I do get time periods mixed up). So on a day when a dead bird flew down the chimney I seriously considered the possible fact that we are now living in the end times (things falling from the heavens etc.). A harsh and waterless future lies before us, warmed up so as to melt the polar caps but chilled by regular power failures and starved due to a lack of successfully usable arable land. Anyway rather than dwell on any of that negative stuff I paused to enjoy our neat 365 day Christmas display hanging up in the garage. Just the thought of that time of year, all those eager rosy cheeked children, snow falling, warm fires and huge shopping lists and the debt that goes with them took my mind far from more serious matters and the imminent massive world-system's breakdown. After all today has been the day when I've been buzzed into the yellow tower, paid for free coffee, learned how to polish a car in six easy stages and held a successful farewell to a blackbird quasi religious ceremony. I also boiled a bag of potatoes and as a result of all that starch and stimulation had a few ideas none of which were any good. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dead blackbird = shock discovery

I can't really explain how this poor fellow met such an untimely end in our wood burning stove nor how it came to be transformed into some kind of avian shrine for the dead, those lost souls who've fallen from the blue skies above. Strange things happen here from time to time. I thought that we had a bird proof chimney pot or a pigeon proof cowl fixed and that all the exorcisms had worked. Something in the long process has clearly failed but people do say that random household dead bird discoveries bring good luck and wealth.
No point in asking the three closest witnesses either. Being pretty wooden about the whole thing.

In other news I've returned to the world of full time work as a special correspondent in a big rectangular place that on a regular basis briefly allows dreams of various kinds to come true. Hopefully none of it will end in tears as my thought processing and brain-washing experience begins.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Good beef

One of my sons bought this for me when we were in Florida a few months ago, only just got round to opening it up and chewing it over. I'm an unintelligent and unrepentant meat eater and I can't help myself. Tastes...tasty, nice dipped in humous.

Good beer

Possibly this brew could be the crack cocaine of beers, Brewdog Jack Hammer, strong, interesting and oddly addictive. Normally I'm not really fussed about beer, a nice IPA or even a pint of warm English bitter and I'm a happy bunny but this stuff (BDJH) really is good. There.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Broughty Ferry

The topmost top of Broughty Castle, free entry for all and a tricky spiral staircase to boot. Also explains how Broughty Ferry came to be Broughty Ferry in a kind of roundabout, museum based way.
Looking westwards up the silvery Tay towards the fabled city of Dundee with a small portion of Fife (always threatening) on the left.
During the war they put a big "fuck off" gun here. I'm not aware of it ever being fired in anger, now it's scrap metal somewhere in Spain with only the fixing bolts remaining.
Some nice coffee in a cafe about to be shut down for sanitation violations. Well the ladies had sprung a nasty leak (?) and could only be used by shining a mobile phone light upon the business and the gents had been blocked up by the over zealous use of toilet paper by a previous customer. The staff were violently unblocking said lavvie upon our arrival (successfully I believe) and so were able to serve us and the other punters a decent and reasonable sandwich lunch. All very entertaining, I understand that they also do comedy nights from time to time.

The ability

Now I can burn my name onto/into pieces of wood. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Things to come

I awoke this morning from a strange dream. It was my funeral (sometime in the distant future obviously), anyway it was in the "North Korean" style. Lots of military types surrounded the extravagant coffin, all wearing those big daft hats as I was paraded through the desolate streets of Dunfermline. Even the charity and coffee shops were closed as a mark of respect and the buskers held back, stopping their tuneless clarinet music as we passed by. In it's own strange way it was a dignified though unusual send off, the driving snow adding a chilling and appropriate lack of colour to the day. Obscure pieces of psychedelic music from the 60s and 70s were played loudly from large army vehicles carrying larger sound systems. In a fitting climax as we approached the place (Communist Party HQ or East End Park?) of the actual service Frank Zappa's Peaches in Regalia was blaring out, deafening and silencing the assembled masses. After that it's all a bit of a blur. I'm guessing most folks headed either to the pub, Tony Macaronis or back to jail depending on their recent behaviour or how they were regarded by our grim faced lords and masters. Of course I've no idea what turn of events led to me getting such a send off...I just hope you all can make it come the day.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Brits don't quit

So the  time has come, with immediate effect to say farewell to one of the worst British politicians in over 100 years. A man who will be remembered for being...not very good at his job but who will no doubt be knighted or honoured in some special way and flung into the alcoholic bear pit that is the House of Lords. He has a sorry record of indifference, poor decision making and providing ongoing support for corporate greed and self interest, in other words a fairly normal record for our elected leaders, elders and betters. Good luck out there David.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Listen Carefully

As I travel back in time ( a regular occupation of mine) I'm soundtracked by Mr CBQ's History of Progressive Rock, Volumes 1, 2 and 3. More are due out on a daily basis, or so it seems. This is in addition to his other music sharing activities which cover a wide range of styles and tastes. So I'm revisiting past lives and haunts as this music runs in the background stimulating and exercising memory and recall. A lot of it sounds like something else, I didn't realise that at the first time of hearing but now I have layers of sound in my head. Such is the power of reflection. So I've nothing to fear from dementia or anything else, the benign patter of prog rock drum and based coupled with baffling lyrics, weird electric noises and sudden changes of pace bend and stretch the core areas of the brain and probe the soul to rise and paint pictures of faces and places and missed opportunities...or maybe it's just that strong coffee and a little too little sleep or the ritual disassembly of glued together IKEA furniture.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

How we build

Some things get built in factories, some in yards, some in cottages. It all depends on the industry and the amount of exploitation that you are willing to endure. Also how desperate and hungry you are. Sad facts but these are the true lubricants of capitalism and what some might consider to be progress. My up-cycled guitars are built in the garden/garage/workroom; largely it depends on the weather. and that strange bed-fellow that is opportunity.  Here in the photo a Gibson/Baldwin Les Paul is getting a new neck and a new veneer skin on the headstock whilst sitting on my (so far) faithful B&D Workmate. All this is being done whilst avoiding various rainstorms and those naughty acts of god that regularly prevail round these parts.  New pickups are winging their way from some Chinese quarter as we speak, top quality parts are always used in any upgrade as you'll understand.

Last night's TV

Japan: I seldom watch regular TV these days, there's a repetitive blandness about it all that I can't be bothered with, anyway in a rare moment I accidentally stumbled upon Joanna Lumley's tour of Japan in glorious HD and strangely enough it was glorious. I only caught the last half hour, a victim of channel surfing but I may search for the first segments in slow time. The visuals, slow shots, colour and sharpness painted Japan in vivid, electric tones moving from soft landscapes to the hard details of temples, tall trees, snowy mountains and radioactive wastelands all captured beautifully while Joanna burbled her glowing narrative and purred her stunned reactions. It was a seductive piece of  filming and tourist baiting set at a high level, or maybe it was just plain cheesy, I don't quite no where one ends and the other begins. Ms Lumley, well into her sixties but still alluring remains the star of  the show, she has all the wide eyed wonder and enthusiasm of a convent girl out on her first school trip outside of England. Japan never seemed so attractive, pity that it's a tough destination to plan into any forthcoming  road trip.

The story of Indie: BBC4 had an endurance test style programme of made up Indie historicals rolling out all the craggy and balding pioneers of a sometimes dull and tuneless genre. There was a lot of good stuff but the most of the self indulgent dross is really bad Prog-Rock dressed in eighties clothes with added Ska or electronics to beef it up. I wonder where all the money went, money was never cool in that circle, too many idealists. Anyway I gave up after about 1130. Too much warped, grey haired nostalgia for me to take.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Anyone for tennis elbow?

I'm not a medical person, you may have guessed. I just think I have a sore left elbow from time to time. Mostly when I use it. The internet information seldom helps, there are too many options when you look for help. I was thinking that those long summer days in the heady 60s playing tennis with a splintered racket from Woolworths and the dog's ball (?) on the gravel in Rosyth had finally caught up on me.  Hand to eye coordination? None really. Of course I was no good and have religiously avoided the sport for years though I did play a lot of summer time campsite badminton for a bit. I guess it's all catching up but then what if it is golfer's elbow? There's a bit of a stigma attached to such an injury i.e. the suggestion of once playing golf, sticky social mobility and bad trousers, I'm not quite there yet. Could it also be bass guitarist's elbow or gear change elbow? Beer swilling elbow? Black and Decker elbow? Wanker's elbow? Nah! It's the left elbow anyway. Probably just a bad case of people of a certain age's wonky parts getting worn and time to reach for the ibuprofen or some other cheap medicine from Aldi, that and some minor alterations to my lifestyle such as avoiding tennis matches and courts.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Problem solved

I bought a seven guitar guitar stand from a nice bloke in China to hold at least seven of the numerous guitars I'm either putting together for future sale or actually using in order to play for (some kind of weird) pleasure. It was relatively easy to assemble and even easier to stand the guitars up in, all at a peculiar angle. It does however take up a bit more floor space than I has imagined. Imagine that. Perhaps it's better to consider it as a piece of furniture that can be moved around as required rather than as a permanent storage unit stuck in one set lace. Of course if I got up of my arse, got my up-cycled guitar shop started properly I might well sell some of these and thereby solve the problem. That is of course both overly optimistic and completely unrealistic.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Saving the world one bee at a time

OK, it's not overly impressive but a spoonful of sugar at the right time and in the right place may just save the life (temporarily) of one of your friendly neighbourhood bees. Not sure why, with all the daft superheroes bouncing around on film and in comics nobody as yet has been stung by a radioactive bee and so received super powers. These powers would obviously include the ability to fly albeit somewhat erratically, buzz very loudly, be annoying at picnics, get mistaken for a wasp, gather huge amounts of pollen and require regular pit stops for sugary water. You can probably tell the scripting of this may need quite a bit of work. As for the costume, not an easy design even for the best artists out there.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Right now

So what am I thinking about right now?

Breakfast and a shower, most likely breakfast first which will be porridge, banana and syrup. The shower should mainly form warm water, soap and no porridge whatsoever.

Partner gone to work. Traffic.

Guitar pickups: I put two new Warman Humbuckers on an old Les Paul copy. They work really well and importantly worked and fitted first time with only a tiny bit of tweaking being required. No drama.

Weather forecasts, even though it seldom stops me doing things I still zoom in on today's weather.

Instagram. What are people taking pictures of today and will there be any good ones offered up for one dimensional approval via the little red heart?

Last night's fishy leftovers (?), salad with a really good dressing and of course well sliced, tasty tomatoes.

A phone call or email from a prospective employer, so many things that are promised but take far longer than they should to arrive.

Road trip and Amazon delivery.

And then there's the blurry edges, between the real and the imagined, sitting considering the pale light of day and the hazy recollections of a distant night time and what might have passed by or been experienced in a few hours of sleep but is now remote and forgotten.

Monday, September 05, 2016


Here are a few pre-Poldark clouds from Sunday evening: Sometimes clouds are pretty dull, sometimes they are interesting. You never really tell what you're going to get until you take a little time, stop and look upwards. Commonplace as they are they still make strangely compulsive viewing unlike Council TV. "Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air..." They've been blocking the sun for some time but I guess that's part of their job, if they didn't we'd be in a mess, or even more of a mess. I'm just glad that Michelangelo was astute enough to invent them back in the Renaissance or at the dawn of time or whenever, I can't be precise on this. Too young and not observant enough.