Saturday, December 31, 2022

31st Dec

31st December 2022. On the last lap. A few short hours till 2023 when of course things will be no different. Just some repeated sets of numbers on the wall to consider. We'll also be nudging ourselves out of this curious and exploitative season into another, buying sofas and booking holidays and getting ready for Easter. The world's nobody's oyster anymore, it's everybody's dustbin but we'll go down fighting, mostly with ourselves. Tomorrow is always another day and a superficial blog post.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Daily Cat Photo

Even for cats we're in the dog end of December. These guys are getting on now, both a tad too fragile as we up their meds and keep them warm and ticking over. Their once wild and violent playground has turned back to a rest home. No hunting and killing, just steady observation and a lot of cozy nap times. We're hoping they make it through a decent chunk of 2023 or more, we'll see.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Back to Basics


Fancy a pub argument? What the people want* (?) are proper cars. No more of these bigger on the outside smaller on the inside SUVs designed by marketing men and cost consultants. We need "fuck off" estate cars and station wagons. Cars you can fill up with couches, lawnmowers and dump runs and do all sorts of shit without breaking your back getting stuff  over the rear lid lip. We need value for money volume instead of height and bulk that's practically useless so don't talk to me about road presence either. Oh, and only an idiot would buy an EV when there's no proper charging infrastructure. As it turns out I don't drive any of these vehicles, I just like to moan in a reasonably constructive way.

*Extensive research has been done but I'm not quite sure who did it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022


Music: The strange art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
Music can also be vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.
Simply put a musical composition is music.

Next time you're near one, pop into a branch of Guitar Guitar and have a listen to what's going on in there. It's probably music but it's hard to be sure. Maybe it's something else, something greater and higher, something that's progressed past the audio appreciation of the common man. I don't know. You have to experience it at least once in your life. Then you can die happy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

South Queensferry Daily Photo


The seasonal gloom descends on the close knit community that is SQ. Shrouded in some self inflicted mist and at times horizontal rain we cleave together secure in the knowledge that we're slightly better off than those unfortunates freezing in the American Midwest. Mind you they have automatic weapons, big trucks and copious amounts of weak beer with which to battle their extreme weather. I'm still happier here for the time being apart from getting upset by the regular Facebook bulletins that tell of lost cats and dogs and people trying car doors in housing estates. 

Our supplies are less volatile and mostly consist of flat Prosecco, snack foods and slowly discolouring leftovers. In fact the humus sticks are about to be placed in the oven. We'll consume them soon. Our oven is so right on that it has an actual setting for humus sticks. Humus also means "vegetable mold", a fact I've just discovered. Yum. 

It hardly seems like two whole days since it was Christmas and we'll have to wait another 363 till the next one. I am considering setting up a petition or a crowd-funder to lobby for Christmas only to be celebrated once every 5 years. David Bowie wrote a song about that very idea, or am I mistaken? It'll probably just generate unintended consequences and the "festival of excessive landfill generation" (as I like to call it) will likely just be driven underground and become even more powerful.

Sunday, December 25, 2022



"It's been a wonderful Christmas here in the Kingdom of Fife. We all received lovely new outfits and hats from the Christmas faerie-folk's visit. Later we took a walk in the snow and then released the hounds into the village streets. It was such fun, we'll probably do it all again next year if we're spared. Did I ever mention to you what was prophesied for 2023? Never mind if I didn't, it'll catch you soon enough."

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Trickle Down Economics


A seasonal  piece from Cold War Steve. The ever resourceful Michele visits the "bank" because we all know that god always helps those who help themselves. "What business are you in these days?"

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Small Penis


It's a great (OK reasonable) advert. It certainly worked for me. I'm a simple kind of a soul.

As Christmas approaches I find it difficult to resist falling into the trap of grumpy cynicism when I consider this tarnished and exploited season. A festival of capitalism and joyful misery combined. A machine that has carried us along on it's greed and religious pointlessness for our entire lives as we became happily brainwashed and ground down. The good news is most of it will be over by next week and we've only to endure the shallow optimism of new year celebrations.

Small penis, large salad. Also stop posting dull photographs of nondescript foods that don't reflect your actual lifestyle.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Seasonal Fault Code


So today's lucky (seasonal) central heating boiler fault code is number 228. If you, like us, are the recipient of such a code message sent out from your boiler and visible on the control screen then ... well maybe you're not so lucky. The good news is of course that temperatures should not drop below zero for a few days and that a repairman may call by on the 23rd. Can he fix it? I've no clear idea. First world problems.

Monday, December 19, 2022

John Barleycorn (Must Die)

Idly creating collages of things that I randomly encounter.
Happy to be ignored.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Ghost in the Machine

Slithering up icy pavements on a curiously cold Edinburgh morning. I don't think my soul fully left my body as it was pulled upon by the warm exhaling of my breath and my stoic determination not to fall on the frozen concrete. The older you get the more you fear falling. Experts say it's a possible end of life/end of mobility moment at certain ages. Climbing ladders isn't recommended either if you're a male craving adventure. It creeps up on you but then everything does in life, like some slow motion catastrophe you're catching in your peripheral vision. 

I was wondering if other people, some pulled along by dogs, had pairs of magic shoes that grant traction and stability in frost. I lacked the courage to ask why they were progressing along so much quicker than me. I'm never sure if there's some universal truth or power out there that I've simply missed while others just use it continually and quite naturally while I struggle. Am I one of those people? 

Anyway everybody should have a near death thought experiment when heading for a health check and interview. It makes life all the more wonderful and appreciated when you emerge out at the other side under the illusion that you might just be immortal providing you can stay indoors all winter.

As I slid back down the hill from my encounter with the world of medicine I slowly careered into a chilly but welcoming cafe and ordered and ate some Scottish soul food. Braw brunch at Braw Brunch, East Fountainbridge. I'd score the food a generous 7/10 and the service was very good.


They're hollowing out the world

As we quietly stand by

They say it's something of little importance

I don't understand why.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Snow Apparently

The chimney sweep can't get here today because there's snow apparently. I presume all the chimney sweeps are stuck in it. Now the chimney won't be swept until 2023, a whole long period of time away. One health and safety situation just creates another and so it goes on. As a mark of respect and show of solidarity with those frozen chimney sweeps I lit the log burner anyway, mostly as a test but also to generate heat. There's snow apparently. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Roads to Freedom

When you're busy trying to understand and map out your younger self's life and attitudes but retrospectively. It never did look quite like this but perhaps it came close at times, or so I imagined. I simply wasn't that deep. "Tried picking up guitar but stopped because he wasn't immediately good at it", sounds a bit familiar. We've all been there. Good choices in music and clothing though, if a bit obvious, spanning a few generations too. Where's Jack Kerouac when you need him?

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Edinburgh Daily Icicle

At this time of year Edinburgh is at it's shabbiest. Grit and tinsel on roads, pavements and ground into potholes. Fairy lights, buskers and beggars. Fairgrounds and stalls have "popped up" in order to cash in on some seasonal rush of outdoor activities despite the weather being sub zero and canned music fills the grey air. Desperate and frankly half hearted attempts at Christmas cheer abound, they mainly consist of contracted out tat supported by perpetual scaffolding works. The stalwart locals carry on despite the ironic sense of gloom while the blinking but eyes wide tourists are politely fleeced on every street corner. I can't quite fathom what is needed to fix this. We have as much culture as a fucked cement mixer it seems. 

Would Scottish independence transform this delusional paradise? Bail out the fabled Athens of the North though it has more economic woes than present day Greece? A nice idea but I doubt it. Politicians can't deliver miracles or traffic solutions and God clearly hates us all at Christmas and you cant blame him for that. On the bright side I did see these interesting and 100% natural ice forms and I also had the pleasure of purchasing the world's smallest latte and largest pain au chocolate for a measly £5.50, this is known as street food now and is all the rage apparently. 

Long Twitter


Are there any people out there who don't like or appreciate geometry? There's a bit of the golden ration going on here, in a less developed form. You could of course apply this to any piece of composition. That doesn't make it any less interesting. So hardly a month goes by without me making some cheap and predictable reference to the work of Caravaggio but I can't help myself. Elon Musk, inventor (?) of the burning Tesla also likes this, that doesn't count as any kind of Musk endorsement or supportive message from me. Since he bought Twitter it's become ... a bit different. Either that or I've just flip-flopped into following other types of accounts and it's been more interesting. They've reworked some gears behind the scenes. Upping the character limit to 4000 is not a good idea either. Nobody wants "long" Twitter. Nobody wants change. 😉

To be honest I found eating this chocolate bar to be a bit of a disappointing experience. I may include it in my thesis about why modern generic chocolate is all a bit shit really.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


Blethering on about Angus made me remember Argus. Good, tuneful stuff from Wishbone Ash, a band I occasionally think about or sometimes even listen to. They probably are still chuntering on in some form here and there but I think this was when they hit their high water mark. Happens to us all. They're like musical granola, a touch now and then keeps the system clean and regulated but you don't want to over do it.

Maybe I'll be buried in Angus to the strains of Argus. Buried by a red Kubota mini digger, dragged up the glen's winding roads behind a Transit pickup truck. Not by a team of silent workers wearing flat caps and blue dungarees one of whom is holding a Clydesdale horse steady as the work progresses. Then again they might all be convicts sent out on a forced labour trip to dig out my one and only grave. They work on in the hole with little concern over who might occupy it. That really doesn't matter. My executioner has already walked away from whatever the scene was. I just hope the ground isn't hard frozen at the time. This is quite a strange line of thought for a Tuesday morning. All very Wednesday Adams.

Monday, December 12, 2022


Peaceful scenes amid the rampant stupidity that surrounds us all as it oozes in from the TV and squelches underfoot from social media and unfettered "opinions". World Cups, politics, celebrity nonsense and non stop weather warnings. A tedious soup that's impossible to avoid or navigate, like some clogged ring road you simply must use to get home, but there's a blizzard and a thousand other idiots daydreaming behind the wheel and your traction is lost. 

Positive thinking. Some time in the peaceful glens of Angus, birthplace of Scotland (so Angus says but doesn't quite explain) might be an antidote, a cure or at least a temporary form of relief. No signal, no waves, no electrical connections, just the wind and the weather and a smattering of elements across the landscape.

Friday, December 09, 2022

Friday Gibberish

It's Friday, it's December, it's not Christmas but everyone else seems to think it is. I realise at this point that I live in a slightly different world to, well not everyone but a fair few. My world is full of slow starters, late adopters and streams of thought that might be considered gibberish if tuned into by others. Sharp encounters over these differences never happen so I'm hardly bothered or affected. The season of assumed jollity along with the mighty tinsel avalanche that we are headed for will pass, like everything else and soon we'll be back to cultivating rhubarb and thinking of future pies, crumbles and reasonable harvests if the fates allow. 

Meanwhile artists are getting annoyed by AI high-jacking their stuff and remodeling it as even worse bits of tacky art. It's a fair if slightly Luddite styled objection. Those hard working artists may down tools and leave us to stew in our AI juice and where will we be then? Eh? We all want recognition and credit even after the destruction and corruption of what we believe we built. Future researchers will study the rubble to check for AI jpegs covered in dust and cobwebs and try to decode their source and muse about "what it all meant" and "what kind of people were they?" We'll look down from our ageless matrix homes, groan and whisper "None of this matters, you should just concentrate on finding a decent, straight, well potted Christmas tree for the house."

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

I Had One

I didn't draw this but at least I owned one of these beasts for about three years and 130,000 miles. Happy(ish) days.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Dial of Despair

Another movie franchise bites on the credibility dust it seems. Indiana Jones' last hurrah is about to burst onto a bemused public thanks to the lemon squeezers at Disney. I suppose it never was believable but this one features a time travel twist that will make a bonfire of even the worst of the previous films. A slow but predicable death of a legend as Disney churns the life and fun out of once solid gold creations. Frail old Indy travels back in time (I presume once he's discovered the dial of destiny under the Pope's throne or some other unlikely spot), of course he encounters his younger self and along the way ends the Jones' timeline in a muddle of time paradoxes and flying fists fighting against the Nazis.

Thankfully his younger and leveled headed assistant (played by the snappy Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Fleabag) survives and takes on the Indy mantle (as per Dr Who) for the foreseeable future (?) in subsequent films*. You can imagine the scenes of joy and table thumping when the producers and writers came up with this idea. Not too much to think about now for the next ten years, just keep the contracts solid and the cast alive. We can confirm that the public will watch any diluted shit for a given period of time if the title rings a bell for them. 😕

*None of this may ever come to be but the rage and outrage in the internet rumour mill is a wonderful if bitter sweet thing.

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Cat Food

The internet is going crazy for cat food, three brands I've never heard of are bombarding me with offers on various platforms. The pressure is intense but don't they know we buy our pet food at B&M? All other cat food doesn't even contain meat apparently. There's something rotten at the core of the world of cat victualing they say, hardly a surprise, the competition is stiff but then their full menu is "slow cooked" and that makes all the difference. As for the cats, they just like chewing on Tesco chicken pieces from the cooked meats aisle, at £1.79 a pop.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Warm Wishes

"Warm Wishes". My charity shop bought Christmas mobile motto. To be honest "warm wishes" sounds a bit like somebody has wet the bed or partaken in water sports of some sort but then it's an official Chinese Disney jumper. I'll wear it with some pride and a seasonal dose of irony. Hope it's not itchy. The older I get the more I fuckin' hate Christmas (well the warped mass media version of Christmas that's been shoved down our throats since October). First of December and I'm ready for a Christmas rant.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Biting The Hand That Feeds You Crumbs

Everybody says that the music industry is in terrible shape. I guess that makes it like all the other industries then. There is no balance, mainly because "we (the business) take all the risks". In the words of Scotland's national bard, "Aye right!". Of course most of us bottom feeders in the "industry" accepted long ago that we'd never make anything but we'd carry on building the blocks for the pyramid anyway. We like building blocks after all and the general public are pretty happy to collect them from wherever they're cheap or free. 

Actually you can get our music free in loads of places but if you want to pay, best go along to Sonstream. It's a pretty bleak looking site, no bells or whistles but the musicians actually get a reasonable return on every stream or whatever. I'm still leaving the Spotify link up above because despite the obvious I haven't got a better idea at the moment.

What's 26 countries worth?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


The spacey theme continues as Orion flies beyond everywhere: Surprisingly I didn't take this photo nor was it taken by the wonderful iPhone XL5. Anyway if you look very closely at the blue planet you'll see me waving and supping on a tepid cup of Nescafe.

The Red Planet

Mars seems closer than ever these days. The extreme gravity created by Elon Musk's self awareness and gravitas is obviously pulling it towards us. I took this photo with a stock iPhone XL5 from my back garden after the (mental) fog had lifted. Absolutely buzzin' with the result. Also considering digging down and building a fall-out shelter. I always had a soft spot for the 60s.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Winter Gardens

November in an urban version of the Garden of Good and Evil: Sucking up leaves with a leaf sucker/blower when the leaves are wet isn't easy. The damp leaf material clogs the machine and it's basic metabolism is changed into a kind of super glue come super mud. A handy material for emergency shoe repairs. The internals of the machine are not impressed and a pit stop is necessary to clear the plumbing. This is akin to sticking an electric screwdriver up a cows arse in the dark and hoping for the best. It's an almost satisfying procedure. Thankfully I'm good at hoping for the best and now our winter garden is pristine in a kind of untidy and damaged way and the brown bin is full of horrid leafy material that's ready for collection tomorrow. As a result of this I'm now quite relaxed.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Handling the Truth

The truth is that there's a hotel toilet and a rather effective shower behind this door in Aberdeen. However all the towels have been used. Just turn the handle to reveal this truth if you are in that part of the world. If not you'll just have to take my word for it.

Saturday, November 26, 2022


Some early seasonal gifts from Ukraine. Even in war, turmoil and loss, kindness and appreciation can still prevail. Most people are good, it's just tragic that the rotten ones rise into powerful positions that they then abuse for their own personal gain and ambition.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Self Portrait

Apart from questionable hair color and the actual amount of hair the likeness here is uncanny. The artist in question being none other than a five year old HP laptop that has both issues and attitude. Our high tech masters know their stuff (but maybe not the script) and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with if they can develop some sense of style and remain fully charged. ⚡

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Gratuitous Forms


When I was at secondary school lunch money was always tight, tough choices were necessary. Did you eat, did you drink or just buy some fags? Maybe a charitable friend would help out. Maybe you could steal a posh kid's lunch box. These were daily trials and decisions. Sometimes you ate nothing as you had no money or were paying off some debt or loan. Maybe you'd bought a second hand LP or needed to pay off a bully. Nonetheless there always was some kid, a boy naturally, who'd spend his lunch money on a single Swiss (jam) roll from a nearby corner shop. This would be eaten, often whilst walking and/or smoking, direct from the packaging as if it was a large sausage roll or a chicken wrap (which by the way did not exist in those dark times, neither did fast food outlets). It was the lunch of champions, or so those uncrowned and unlikely champions thought. I'm sure it still takes place today in some other gratuitous form.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Observational Ranting

It's common knowledge that all the supermarkets sell cheaper own brand versions of famous brand foods. Usually not quite as good but passable and if you're on a budget they're fine. What I've noticed over time though, particularly with chocolates and certain biscuits is that the quality (not just the size, that's a racket that's been going on for years) is falling. Mars, Cadbury, Galaxy and Nestle brands all taste worse and have a poorer consistency than they did 30 years ago. You'd expect that food standards are better (who knows really) which might impact on taste etc. but the chocolate isn't nearly as good by colour, flavour and texture as it once was. Along the way they've ruined their business and I wouldn't miss not eating Mars or Cadbury products ever again. They are simply not worth it. The odd thing is that the inferior copy products now out perform the originators in every department. Aldi and Lidl copies taste better and more like the Mars/Cadbury stuff did back in the 60s and 70s. Anyway. Blah, blah, blah. Lovely distortion there.

Monday, November 21, 2022


"Some traditions are good, some not so good. All generalizations are wrong. Sometimes I think that those annoying and cantankerous dead people really knew a thing or two albeit they'd probably struggle with social media and think tanks. Many of them could write books though, compose songs and music, paint pictures and set up worthwhile institutions that changed things for the better. Those who knew about science and maths discovered life saving drugs and treatments, they build pyramids and space rockets and brewed beer and coffee. They explored. A few even turned out to be our parents. Anyway enough of that, there's stuff like religion, bagpipes, torture, exploitation and corruption to consider."   Also unknown.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Impossible Psychedelic Moments

We have a different garden shed, the other has gone to the brown recycle bin located just outside heaven. Quite liking the interior space and the new fangled LED lighting. I spent most of yesterday sorting it out and quietly marveling. The older you get the more marvelous the world becomes until you reach the point where you're overcome by the wonder of it all and exist simply as the essence of your presence. You still need to eat, sip wine and take showers.

Meanwhile in the actual garden...

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Film Noir Totoro

Another questionable project: Took the financially risky decision to do a live action, film noir style remake of "My Neighbour Totoro" in period perfect monochrome. It has a downbeat feel to it but the warm poetic essence of the plot and characters remains cute as ever, well almost. "You may not want to feel good but you just might eventually" is our overlong working strap line. 

In this post-production still I'm shown travelling on the famous Catbus. To be honest I'm looking just a bit too smug and it's obvious that the production values could've been higher. You get what you pay for and we're living in a universe of self generated austerity. Despite that we've still to pencil in a few special effects, GCI blooper fixes etc. to smooth out some of the visual bumps but otherwise good to go. The arts are all  fucked anyway but we'll see you at the Oscars.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Unchained Recipes

First World Problems: People eat shit and more often than not it's their first choice. They could eat less shitty stuff seeing as how one man's shit is another man's pancake, but where do I begin? Ultimately it's a matter of taste, life style and affordability. These are not easy things to balance or criticize. So it was a rainy day yesterday and being bored on the hot new venture Mastodon I decided to carry out a few experimental recipes just to see what the outcomes might be. 

First up there was leek, onion, bacon and Coca-Cola soup. Truthfully not as brown as I imagined nor as sweet. Leeks are a powerful force in the world of vegetables and can neutralize harsh chemicals and small animals due to an electrical charge they emit mostly at a molecular level. If there ever was a "Soup-Off" TV show this soup would get a slimy handshake from the sincere millionaire presenter 8 days a week. Industrial giant and destroyer of worlds; Coca-Cola I salute you.

Next was Dr Pepper Chicken Korma. At least half a chicken had to die to fill this pot. A fact that leaves me uneasy and the chicken a whole lot worse. As the rain beat down against our leaky window panes I said a short prayer, "thank you God for the millimetre, Amen." Again the mystery that is Dr Pepper added an enigmatic and fruity je ne sais quoi to the dish and left the spellchecker befuddled. The curry consisted of Dr P, a jar of spicy gunge, onions, peppers (mixed), chicken bits and some E numbers (nobody mentions these anymore). Served with slow boiled rice it was surprisingly OK.

"I've been aware of time going by, they say in the end it's the wink of an eye," Jackson Browne, The Pretender.

Thursday, November 17, 2022


Experts everywhere are of the opinion that there's never been a better time in human history to pack up and head for the moon*. It offers peace, quiet and serenity if you can put up with a smattering of Chinese space junk that's been abandoned there. See Zoopla for details of some attractive property that's on offer for the curious buyer. Get in there before somebody else finds gold whilst raking through otherwise worthless mineral samples.

*Photo of Artemis 1 and the USA's moon taken from a Canberra.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Lord of the Bins

Spotted in an Aberdeen street and digitally captured by my phone one Sunday night. No idea what's actually going on but it's an interesting photo. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Into the Distance

However or wherever you travel you're always headed into the distance. A place you never quite get to. Perhaps it's home to you or a strange and unknown destination or nothing more than some fleeting visit that will be quickly overtaken by other experiences. Being there may change you, harden you, kill you. You're not really there though, you're not anywhere. We're all moving along on this abstract cosmic cycle. Tiresome at times, wonderful at others. One thing after another. Feet planted firmly onto the quicksand of travel.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Most Painful


So what or where is the most painful place to get a tattoo? I've little or no lived experience of these things but rumour has it that it's Dunfermline.

If you think that this image is NSFW you might well be correct but whatever it looks like to you I can assure you it's 100% pure AI.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Treacherous Cretins

Frank Zappa Treacherous Cretins.  Pau, France 1979.

40+ years on and I probably should try to do my own (pretty sketchy) version based on today's "popular" everyday events, dumb-fuckery and dangerous circumstances and call it Venomous Morons or something. A homage and tribute to some of our various Short Kings.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Short Kings


Not really sure of what to make of this.

Cat: No Filter

Here's an unfiltered geriatric cat adopting a sitting freeze position which he managed to maintain for pretty much three hours. Most of this time he was purring and to all intents and purposes staring into space, happy with his lot. Frozen insomnia. I guess we've all been there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

The Elusive Melody

If there's a fuss then I don't know why: So I joined up to the Mastodon community and nothing really happened other than I thought I'd fallen into some sort of twenty year backwards time warp. Twitter seemed to encourage a pile in or a pile on to take place. "You have to be here" tweeted those in the know. Maybe all those escapees from Twitter don't actually know what they're doing or maybe they're just attention seekers wanting to make a point about this Musk fellow. Perhaps I just joined the wrong wing of the community (?), the Toot Community it appears to be called for no obvious reason. Sometimes social media is pretty disappointing regardless of the ownership or the platform. I wonder who might be at fault there?