Wednesday, March 31, 2021

5 for a Fiver

I'm not sure what I was thinking, a fairly common experience for me. I'd been watching a YouTube snippet of Terry Reid performing at Glastonbury in 1971 and was also idly reading a little about his musical career, or his lack of a career you might say. A nearly man who seemed to miss out on one opportunity after another but is still going (?) strong  somewhere in the music business, in quasi obscurity. He was always highly regarded by the press and his peers but lacked that magical edge the others had. Wrong places, wrong times, who knows? So despite a decent voice and a quirky kind of talent he remained a ghostly figure during rock's golden years when the rest were cashing in. Now he's old and grizzly, like me.

Then into my irregular Amazon feed came a daft offer; five of his albums in a box (I don't mind CDs either) for a fiver. I agreed to make the transaction. That was a few weeks ago. I'm now trying to decide at what point I give them a listen, perhaps on some future longish car journey when Radio 4 isn't interesting. I'm procrastinating. 

History is repeating itself here, I'm sure back in 1971/72 I saw Terry on the Old Grey Whistle Test playing songs from "The River". Bob Harris was very enthusiastic about the album. I meant to give it a listen, but I never did. It all just floated away, for me and about a million others I guess. We moved on silently. Now I find myself in the same place. When will I ever get round to listening to Terry Reid? Deja Vu.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Your Theological Questions Answered

So is jealousy a sin?

Jealousy falls under the tenth commandment - do not covet. Jealousy is the noun that relates to the state of being jealous: “feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages; inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness.”

Is God a jealous God?

"Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14.

In Exodus 20:5, when God commands that His people worship no other gods, He acknowledges it is because “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God". So he's pretty much admitting it.

Scholars might say, God isn't so much jealous, he's just zealous ... hmm.

(The old "lost in the translation from the Hebrew/Greek/whatever" explanation).

I think God's jealous and therefore, on balance, he's a sinner. And a pretty big cosmic one.

He's a Boogie Man.

That explains a lot.

It's not a firm base on which to build a religion either.

Nobody cares anyway.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Gateway to Disruption


From a Scottish perspective: I'm quite enjoying the SNP's shock and outrage that "somebody else" should have the temerity to start up other political party focused on delivering an independent Scotland (whatever you may feel about that as a goal). The Alba Party and the ISP (there may be others) have a perfect right to exist and to mount any challenge over key issues they feel strongly about. (I'm ignoring personalities here).

That was how I thought democracy worked. It's certainly how disruption works. It's also a taster as to how the political landscape might look post independence. It's going to be pretty toxic out there.

Turns out not everyone thinks it's a good idea to have more choice or more voices puffing and spouting into the ether. I'm thinking that with all the finger wagging, high energy rhetoric and spitting taking place ... media types, journalists, spads and politicians need to remember that they really don't own anything. Not even their self generated hot air.

At best they might construct a policy, perhaps even deliver on a policy. At worst they are just mouth pieces and influencers; positively or negatively or quietly ignored. So don't believe a word - or at least very little of what's blethered, boasted and leaked until something tangible is produced.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Social Commentary

For those with severe unicorn envy I can only say, please don't try to be something you cant quite be (to the point that you become a danger to yourself or slightly delusional ). In due course the universe will reward you. I'm not sure with what though.



I realised properly today that most adults eventually become "Collies". They want to put disorder into some kind of order. It's a powerful urge. A group of youths moving down the street or across a car park seem to pose a threat. Why? Because they move randomly, they'll stop without warning. They chat, shout, behave in an unpredictable manner, maybe turn round suddenly and head off in the opposite direction, like sheep. 

Adults see this disjointed and illogical behaviour as dangerous. It's not, it's just kids moving around,  making noise, having fun, being; without having the burden of purpose and timing in what they do. Adults quickly forget this and need to create order. They (we) often judge kids too harshly, expecting them to act like adults when they are not.

I'd also add that kids are obviously not angels, things can escalate quickly in groups (adults are also prone erratic actions - big time) and get out of hand. The trick is to know when the tipping point occurs, then you might have turn on the sheep dog (Collie) instinct and authority .... or turn a blind eye. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Bot Conversations


Some recently composed examples of the dialect spoken (and typed) in Botland. A slightly wild place that's  just over there, nearby in the distance. Even though I don't speak the language it all makes perfect sense to me. In time I plan to make peace with the natives and establish diplomatically harmonious relations. I don't intend to fall into the trap of playing at colonial conquests either, an attractive though inhuman objective. Then again I may just ignore them, as you would noisy neighbours who have some other good qualities. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Unnecessary Things

The tracks of my tears and personal data: 

All those sadly redundant cables that live in the darkness of our drawers and cupboards. Throwbacks to old equipment and connections, a multitude of ways of doing things in non standard ways that were standard once. The different ideas of joined up thinking and disjointed disposable devices. A competition that was hard to win because there was no finish line, just a vanishing point. The odd lost socks of electronics. 

All before the days of the blue toothless, wireless and whatever else that was less and could be under engineered. Progress doesn't care about anything, except for seeing it's own dust in the rear view mirror. Now it's hard to part with these dinosaur bones and so they languish. You never know, they all might come in handy one day. Just not anytime soon. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Just another Twitter blocking

Keep your enemies close they say. Well these guys aren't my actual enemies, they just get right up my nose and I cant be bothered with them, so if they happen (via a sponsored link no less) to appear uninvited in my feed I feel obliged to push the block button. There are better things to read and/or ignore.

Numerous other organisations and bots have felt the weight of my mighty index finger in this way, sending these irritating accounts to Room 101. Blocking was a particularly pleasing little moment. Also quite nice to zap those stupid click bait accounts that pop up like early morning lawn mushrooms, those and banking adverts.  It's one of my few chances in life to be some sort of digital hitman, delivering a humane form of judgement and retribution ... quietly.

There are of course some baddies that I tolerate, if only to see what bollox they are peddling or purely for some feeble entertainment and shock factor. There is always the vague hope that they will in some way blow up in flames whilst I'm watching. Social media is just a primitive and destructive visual lottery of chaos.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Other Bricks, Other Walls

Late to the party? Every other day it's something's 50th anniversary. That's a useless fact. The culture of eternal replay is strong right now, grainy clips championed on YouTube and boxed sets with extensive notes and "tell all up to a point" books. So many memorable things happened about 50 years ago, most of which I've failed to remember until some active Tweeter or digital journalist reminds me by posting a brief celebratory message. Mostly along the lines of "they're not quite dead yet!" The product parade duly follows. 

I imagine older folks being jolted out of their surgical couches and spilling their porridge as yet another King Crimson, Pink Floyd, football (when it was good), punk, movies or motoring milestone is mentioned, or even worse the lives of our Royal Family or some (golden) TV series are given the hallowed retrospective treatment. For these icons, a certain age of being creates opportunities for sanctification, redemption and revenue; so many grizzled heroes stuck or lost in the woolly mists of the past seeking a final fling of revival and explanation. 

Of course I completely understand the need to keep things alive and despite myself still grudgingly support these odd activities, apart from those feckin' Royals.

Funny how trying to understand the past seems quite important, even the quietly irrelevant and trivial parts, as if that knowledge,  once acquired, would somehow help us to fix the present and make safe the more scary aspects of the future. All very unrealistic in it's analogue splendor, but an occasional quick dip into nostalgia's unheated pool can be refreshing. The past is OK but it's no place to live.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Drone Orchestra

These quasi-silent, singleton, single tone musical works in all their avant-garde splendor are easy to access and enjoy; music lover and friend we're whispering into your being's very core. 

Listen carefully as we broadcast directly to your inner ear, somewhere above the plane of a dog whistle and below the hum of your age induced tinnitus and in between your cynical outlook on the arts. 

The sweet spot in other words.

You will probably hear nothing but you will definitely experience something. 

Money back guarantee if 100% complete, soul filling, over powering aural pleasure is not experienced (up to a point). 

Regular music is so overrated.

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Modern Interior


"One fine day, subject to the will of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we may well all live comfortably indoors, agog and aghast and surrounded by some unexpectedly stylish and fashionable furniture of one kind or another. We have no doubt that it will all be fully functional, compact and bijou. Remember, we have your inner peace and satisfaction firmly in our mind. So thank you kindly for the enquiry, your call is appreciated and will be returned nearer the time once more sign up information becomes available."

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Paid Promotion


Don't be fooled by this sweet's lack of bulk and size. A tiny assassin. A proper mini marathon. It's a sugar micro-monster. A peanut creme hydrogen bomb. Crack cocaine in a shrunken chocolate and peanut butter engineered sandwich. Deadly. Available in some world bashing, badly laid out supermarket near you where you can park safely under the cover of your soul's dead darkness (access is possible provided you wear the appropriate cartoon themed face covering, sanitize your sweaty palms and use a contact-less bank card), 10 for £2.00, or just name your price in the ransom note. You will thank me (or the confectionery cartel) later. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Unknown Tracks


This is our "correct" and inoffensive logo, used briefly when we were worried about the yellow "IS" logo being confused with Islamic State, what with us being a high profile global phenomenon and everything. So playing it safe we adopted the two asterisks to avoid any abhorrent connections or confusion. We've effectively remained under the radar ever since. 😉

The weird yellow/green tone was my fault. A result of skills fade, clumsy execution (?)  and stupidity. We've since moved onward and backward to the former IS idea. I suppose the ** logo will be a collectors item some day.  Follow that on eBay if you will. In the mean time here's our radical radio channel too.

Friday, March 19, 2021

That time we forgot to make memories

From my non-existent diary - Day numpty numpth of existential lock-down, quiet unrest  and a general background of pandemic pandemonium paranoia. 

Urgently required but not urgently sought after: 

A haircut. An appointment with an optician. Family time.  People inside your house that you've invited to be there. A pint of dark beer served at room temperature in a regular kind of pub without any fuss or awkwardness. A day out in the hills. A wee jaunt on a bus. Fresh coffee and scones in a cafe with a wooden table but without wooden staff. Driving 100 miles. Some sort of low key, low maintenance, low level social life. Dog walks. A second vaccination.

I'm actually pretty lucky.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Ora Good Cat


Please excuse me if I just indulge myself a little. I've stumbled upon and enjoyed a brief and fleeting moment of auto design and technical ecstasy. The reality is that it's not all that great an overall package but it's cute and looks fun.

It's electric powered, Chinese made and currently unavailable in European markets (as you might expect), but what's not to like about the Great Wall Car Company's stylish little EV (Electric Vehicle), the "Ora Good Cat". It is not and never will be a Tesla beater but at least it's entered into the competition. I also love the fat exclamation mark badge on the bonnet. That in itself is no reason to buy such a car, or is it?

P.S. They also make an SUV called the "Haval Big Dog". Trim level model names all equate to dog breeds i.e. Labrador, Border Collie and so on.

(In ten years time we'll all be driving Chinese made vehicles, unless there is a war.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Welcome to your future


"Those air-conditioned bright canteens". 

It's a bit like how you'd imagine entering the afterlife to be. You arrive to find yourself in a well spaced line made up of an assortment of silent figures, all staring ahead into the near distance. Some smart, some casual, some wrapped up in warm coats. Nobody is in any hurry as they enter the clinically neat building and are checked in, all in an orderly fashion.  It's V-Day, and V only means vaccination these days. Clearly we're not dead yet.

An unused pavilion on the Royal Highland Showground site in Edinburgh is the location of our well mannered local Covid vaccination centre. There won't be a Highland Show with cattle and restless natives until the rules well and truly relax. The weeds and ongoing airport hire car disposals are the only things thriving. I was there about a month ago to successfully receive my first, easily absorbed dose, a big step on the road back to normality we're told. Except that's not quite how it's going to be. No.

I'll return perhaps in May for a booster with another slew of shuffling pensioners but I suspect that won't be the end of it. Mass vaccinations are here to stay for the foreseeable future, as the virus mutates and people misbehave and travel. We're all human now and needy, suddenly fragile and prone to a disease that has no respect for our virtual reality and finely imagined ways of being. 

These are the new rules as to how life will be lived, with our vax record passports, more subtle mask designs and curious forms of safe distancing. We'll be visiting the revolving doors of this unloved Telly Tubby bunker to take our health preserving dose of soon to be obsolete science for some time to come. Buckle up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Damage to a Statue

Deep Dreams and Modulations: Wordlessly watching we wait by the window and decide that if some alien god wanted guitars to sound like organs then they would be  keyboard driven instead of being stringed instruments and they would not try to fly through these dark, thick sonic clouds that are even now gathering above our own very thick heads.

In other news: I've just changed my regular font as a result of a humorous little item that I saw on the TV show "Would I lie to you?" That is how easily I'm led and why I am not and never will be any sort of influencer on social media.

I wonder who made up the version of history we were taught. There are some obvious gaps and omissions. Perhaps they've something terrible to hide. 😉 The dark past of colonial extravagance and cruelty? What sort of person just goes outside and damages an innocent and obviously immobile statue anyway? 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Strange Talents

Strange talents: Warren Zevon, Terry Reid, Judee Sill. There's a long list that despite my liking for lists I'm choosing not to construct. Unexplored worlds, cult followings, unrealised potential, missed chances, obscurity and death; or is it just the way it is? Everybody has a song inside, or a novel, maybe just a one liner or an idea or a take on things. Just don't sit on it or procrastinate. Everyone's talent is strange (except to them).

Whilst talking about raw talent, C4's semi-reality show "The Great Pottery Throw Down" has just finished. As far as conventional TV shows go this one has been hard to beat. Actually likable experts and judges, funny and engaging presenters and competitors who all seemed to be genuinely nice people. No arseholes, premadonnas or cheats, just skilled people testing and developing themselves in a fun and friendly competition based around highly artistic pottery work. Other reality type TV shows tend to be just a car crash of emotional cripples and idiots all going nowhere ... in my humble opinion.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Fruit Bowl Blues

 Three chords, four bananas and five apples. 
That's the fruit bowl blues.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Friday, March 12, 2021

The lowest form of wit


Allow me if you will to enter into sarcastic mode for a brief moment in time. Nobody asked for a bridge to Ireland, not the Irish or the Scots, not the Welsh and probably not even the English. Ryanair, EasyJet and the various ferry companies all seemed to be doing a reasonable job of getting folks there and back again but it turns out that two engineering professors have been tasked to look into the "problem".

Of course there's nothing like an unwanted and costly international bridge linkage of some sort to bring people together. The cause of brutalist architecture will flourish and many jobs(?) will be created. All our real and imagined ideological and cultural differences will also evaporate once we see that shining steel (Chinese I presume) and concrete (from Australia) trusting out across the the blue waters of the Irish Sea as it threads its way between the various deep water munitions dumps, radioactive waste and perpetual fog banks and shipping lanes that might be in the way. 

Thanks to the left wing sycophants at the BBC for the original un-doctored picture and the tedious repetition of the fantasy bridge strategy. Perhaps it should be a tunnel.

In other news the bots are back: welcome to my many Russian and American friends wherever you may be based in the cyber cosmos.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

New developments


Great new developments are taking place in the world of digital fireplaces. A work saving boon for busy families and householders in these tricky times. This is just a glimpse of one of the many sustainable "whisky glass" examples that are now on offer to the general public. Don't hold yourself back. The Flaming Dram model is on some special deal this week. I've no clear idea why.

Next up; the surrealistic version where supernatural flaming gnomes dance across underground lava streams reciting the complete works of Enid Blyton to a seated and quietly dozing Keir Starmer, a noted but not notable politician.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Random Acts of Chocolate

My relatively mild food obsession continues: The other evening, halfway through a reasonably dull University Challenge semi final (or something like that), there was an unexpected ring of the robotic door bell. Via the good services of an Amazon delivery driver (aka the Ritter Sport Fairy) these rather nice sweets where delivered, out of the blue etc. No names and no pack-drill. I can only say a sincere "thank you" to our anonymous Ritter benefactor, whoever you may be. (I know now).

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

A matter of rice and death

Fried rice meets boiled rice in a rare moment of yin and yang unity. Some might call this a bowl of leftovers, a food surplus following excess preparation and the use of incorrect quantities but for others it's simply tomorrow's lunch (topped with a portion of grated, melted cheese). Fine if you like that sort of thing.

Monday, March 08, 2021

No Shame


Division Bell: The design always did remind me of Robo-Cop though I didn't really ever put the two together properly until I saw this. That's certainly not Ely Cathedral in the background either. I'm 65, occasionally I might wear a Pink Floyd T shirt and feel no shame. There you have it.

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Pie of the day


The gift of a pie: The holy trinity of pie ingredients encased in a light, shortcrust pastry. A layer of haggis and a layer of turnip topped with spiral cap of creamy mashed potato, all just crispy enough on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. Served hot, 10/10. If you want to know where you can purchase a pie of this sort I'm sorry but I'm not telling you. However if you're guessing somewhere in the colony known as Scotland then you're probably not wrong.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

When you're first in a Twitter Poll

So you're the first. Then there's also the thought that you might also be the only one in it too...

Friday, March 05, 2021

Reanimating the Dead

The past is big business. Your roots are valuable. Your images are priceless but maybe you can get them for free. Your memories are commodities you can trade. If you don't like the look of things use our complimentary editor. Add sound clips. Once you reach a certain age nobody remembers the details anyway, unless there was some sort of trauma. Improve your looks? Perhaps our easy to use editor can deal with that. It's all very professional. History exists to be rewritten. People like things that are a bit "creepy", some might say edgy. It's very peaceful in our digital archive. There's no conflict here. Have a good day.

"I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you." HAL 2001.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Fit for Purpose

Twenty Four Great Pulteney Street, Bath (Second Floor Flat): My home and postal address many years ago in the serene city of Bath. Over the years I've spent a lot of time there between college and work. I've a soft spot for the wide streets, Georgian buildings and the overall ambiance and style of the place. Bath is OK (or at least it was the last time I was there). Strangely Bath is also the home of "Wings Over Scotland", the unruly and controversial website that continually picks fights with the Scottish Government/Parliament, calls them to account and shouts abuse. 

Of course WOS is a provocative read and not exactly  balanced or accurate at times, but then neither is life or politics so ... so what. It arguably has a bigger readership than anything else within the Scottish media, the civilized side being bunch of turncoats mostly. Truth is that the SNP and the Scottish Parliament badly needs a kick up the arse now, maybe the high energy and pointed writings of Wings is the tool to use as Holyrood remains stuck in a mire of their own making; fat, happy (?), complacent and icily detached. Every one in ever party ... well almost. And of course Westminster is about to administer a slow dose of economic strangulation and the long screwdriver of interference. Time to protect your MSP pensions folks, your days are numbered.

Whatever happens in the Sturgeon v Salmond wars there are no winners; Scotland just looks foolish again, incompetent and weak. Infighting isn't a good image. Westminster is exactly the same but is well protected by a sympathetic media that tolerates the bad behaviour of certain types, all bought and sold. Scotland remains as bouncy as a burst football, easily kicked over the hedge and ignored or brought out as a colourful and comic distraction when it suits. Our comparatively decent record on dealing with Covid is squandered by these distractions. Strangely there was a flurry of people actually joining the SNP last night, according to Twitter anyway. Sympathy for Saint Nicola I guess or just some faithful bots?

But right now the SNP have certainly lost my confidence; last year's insulting exams catastrophe, the waste of energy and puff on Brexit, the current AS muddle and the putrid investigation, the lack of political ownership and most worryingly the morphing of the party into a tight and inflexible, inbred community cult where disagreement isn't tolerated. It's all rubbish really and I'm marooned with no one to vote for. 😕 None are fit for purpose. Where do we go from here?

Politicians are after all just people, sometimes brilliant, greedy and needy, often stupid and always fallible. Perhaps we need a benign AI government designed and built by Tesla's engineers. Charge it up and see how it goes. Let the logic of the machines rule, drive things forward or at least steer us blindly in some general direction consistent with what might be "best for us" according to the algorithms. Ach, who cares? We're now soaring above Scottish politics, it's just that we're doing it at the grass roots level.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Names, no frames

Any designer worth his/her salt would be appalled by this curious fontage, not to mention the invention and use of the word fontage for which I now claim full credit and worldwide rights etc. I don't much care for the trivial matters of kerning and formatting either. Our fortunes are therefore assured (going nowhere).

Below: a newly deconstructed kitchen probe lands accurately on the earth, right planet but in the wrong room.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Citroen Design


Publicity shot: I've never owned a Citroen but if I did it would be a 70s DS. I say this purely based on the composition of this artful advertisement. That's reason enough. Modern car ads are complete rubbish in comparison. 

Monday, March 01, 2021

Reasonably Priced

Been a while since I've been to the "big" Tesco due to the required travel restrictions and the fact that I've no real reason to go there. Geography and pandemics work together to thwart my random wanderings and irregular shopping. My spies have informed me however that Spartacus the Tesco cat now has a proper bed set up in the foyer, in the screen wash display area. It does look rather comfortable and I'm glad to see he's taking a well earned rest. I am also quite interested in the hopefully reasonably priced kindling on display towards the rear of the photo. Might have to wait a while to get access to that.