Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Koln Daily Photo


Koln, a wonderful city with a crazy mixture of buildings, lanes and streets, vehicles and graffiti. Above is some anti-Nazi street art inspired by the events that took place here on Kristallnacht in 1938.

Lost bike.

Music from the big pink.

Some buildings just defy description.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Heavy Ice Cream

I'm in an ice cream shop*. The ice cream is normal but their process isn't. Once you've chosen a tub or a cone or whatever then they put your ice cream on a special scale and weigh it. Unfortunately the special ice cream scales were playing up and required regular rebooting. During the rebooting the ice cream was temporarily returned to the freezer to preserve it's very nature. 

Once the scales were up and running the ice cream was weighed and a price decided (by the machine). If ever there was an unnecessary process in retail this is it. What could be simpler than selling ice cream? 

Now it's technically dependent on a dodgy system and with only a few grams either way it makes little sense. The ice cream was nice but the desire to over complicate the sale had me baffled. Also amid this technological breakthrough in frozen dessert retailing, I was surprised to find that their till was cash only.

*I know that the photo isn't actually of ice cream, it isn't even an ice lolly but it was on the wall of the shop.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

SQ Compass Daily Photo


The north is never too far away. Most of the time it's over there somewhere. This also applies to the other compass points. I'm not sure how accurate this painted, hand crafted and static compass is but it's well enough executed anyway, sitting as it does in a car park adjacent to the various bridges we have here. I'm sure tourists and vandals alike will find it quite attractive. I hope it survives the ravages of the summer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


We're all reminded by Google*, it never forgets.

Timely reminders, prompts, "take a look back", "those were the days".

Things we uploaded return to haunt us.

"Recognize this face?" 

But one day, perhaps it will forget and who know's what might happen then?

Something beautiful? Something disastrous?

Memory fills up and fades.

The ages of innocence.

And the end.

*Google wants to know your pronouns. Nobody else does though.

Life in a harmonious dictatorship where we think we make all the correct choices.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Jack Black & Desmond Decker


One of those posts where somebody talks about a kettle or a fridge they've been using for about 60 years and how it's never failed them. I'm tempting fate. Well this Black and Decker 2 speed electric drill has been with me since mid 1978. I borrowed it from a friend to use on some house renovation work and promptly broke it. The 2 speed feature jammed solid. I tried to fix it but it was truly stuck in one speed (the faster one I think). I bought my friend a replacement drill and soldiered on with the old one expecting it to break down at any time. 

Strangely I've used it regularly since and it's never missed a beat. Of course the chuck mechanism is worn out and the extra handles are long gone but it continues to operate. Last week I used it to drill into stone and masonry (3"deep holes) in order to put up a new house number outside. Obviously it will give up one day but at 44 plus years I can't complain. Thank you Chucky from B&D.

Short Paragraph

A picture is not necessary in order to understand this.

"I despise him for the contempt he has for everyone else. The narcissism. The laziness. The incompetence. The mendacity. And I despise those who are keeping him there. Supine weasels. They know who he is. They know what he is. And they let him carry on. Fuck them." 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Porsche 914


An unusual sight at the Porsche in the Glen day, held near East Kilbride. A restored 914, ex-California and Belgium. Not sure what the age and mileage is/was, with this type of rare car none of that is particularly important.  Among all the "super" cars this simplistic VW powered, 1.7 air cooled model was my favourite. Over 200 shiny vehicles turned up, fairly choking the roads and display area, it made a decent wee day out.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Kidding Myself

The internal politics of just looking out of the window as a means of seeking serenity: Quite unexpectedly I've come to a conclusion about myself. I'm still me.  

Happy with this inspirational vantage point which may be described as low, medium, high or not anything at all.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Vague News

Just when I though that it was safe to forget about religion once and for all the face of Jesus appears to me in a set of wooden drawers. OK, perhaps it's not the most flattering of images of him. Looks like an inky version from the Middle Ages or an aged Russian Icon. Perhaps it's Henry VIII or Christopher Columbus, a weird werewolf or just some random skull. That's the problem with this kind of supernatural message, there's a degree of vagueness there that only creates confusion and uncertainty. Maybe that's the general idea.

Thursday, May 19, 2022


Almost a cult figure: He's traveled the world but now he's retired from the media to a life in the hills and glens of bonnie Scotland (well they're nearby). £30, but maybe less if you're a useful or determined negotiator. Curious would be buyers are lining up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Gibson Les Paul


"The Les Paul guitar mixed artistically with a brass samovar on a train headed East, at least that's what the befuddled conductor told me as he poured out the tea."

We used to call it a Les Dawson, 'cos he was funny and on the telly. I didn't realise that Les Paul was a real person who actually designed the thing. It was just a Lezpol. Something exotic, cool and unaffordable, that is until someone I knew actually got one. And then at a peculiar party gig in a rainy Naval Base mess over in the west he played Ballroom Blitz by the Sweet on it as I stood at the side of the stage looking on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Good Advice

To get yourself through this somewhat awkward time in the history of Great Britain and to ensure that you can pay all your bills, feed your children and keep your home warm you simply need to choose to do any or all of the following:

Try to work more hours, overtime, weekends or backshifts.

Get a more highly paid job, something with better prospects. You just never know.

Try networking with the correct people.

Even if you are quite unwell still go out to work.

Consider joining a good golf club or society.

Wear a woolly jumper if it's chilly.

Be seen as the one who is "eager" in the team.

Perhaps make some astute investments.

Learn to cook using basic, cheap ingredients.

Become an influencer.

Eat less take-away food.

Put an extra blanket on the bed.

Commit financial fraud, preferably on a grand scale.

Consider cancelling your Netflix or Amazon accounts.

Put your money "off-shore". It will work much harder there.

And if this doesn't work for you then it's all your own fault. That's the government's good advice that you just didn't take.

Monday, May 16, 2022



When a picture is worth a thousand words and most of those words are likely to be swear words. Full credits go to @coldwarsteve the number one artist of our unfortunately toxic, digital and messed up times.

Ibanez Jem


Not spiky, not thrashy, not trashy, not shredded enough, not in my opinion. These gears are tough to get through, difficult to change, not easy to operate. That's why we're losing speed and fluency. We meaning a version of me that does not exist. It's down to a lack of practice and training and failing to complete those exercises in scales and fingering that require too much patience and perseverance. Now I'm tired and my brain is numb. I cannot climb this metal mountain. I cannot descend into those bassy depths and my tone is lemony and dry when it should be an enormous red strawberry of a thing, set at 97 decibels.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Gretsch White Falcon

The Gretsch White Falcon is an electric hollow-body guitar introduced in 1954 by Gretsch. The guitar was created as a "showpiece" to exhibit the craft of Gretsch's luthiers, sales and demonstration representative, Jimmie Webster, who created it for the 1954 NAMM Show. It was so popular that it was put into production and went on sale the following year. Since then, it has undergone various changes and is still being made today. As of 2013, Gretsch offers a number of guitars in its "Falcon" series, including a custom-built replica of the original, which is priced in the US at $12,000 (approximately £8300). Too much money. Please be sensible.

The White Falcon's distinctive appearance is owed to its enormous 17 inch size body (finished white, with gold-sparkle pickguard featuring an engraved falcon) and its sparkly hardware: Jimmie Webster's 1954 version had triple binding, gold-plated hardware, an ebony fretboard with mother-of-pearl inlays, and an eye-catching "Cadillac G" tailpiece. It reportedly did around 14 miles to the gallon on a long run.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Gibson ES-335


Something more that is now developing in a short series of blurry pictures and rambles themed around some types of guitar. It has a life (of sorts) of it's own which in itself is a reason to fear the potential terror that is AI. I am however going along with it quietly, feeling uneasy as I do that some kind of virtual Pinocchio is about to answer me back in a way I might just dislike.

The Gibson ES-335 is the world's first commercial semi-hollow body electric guitar sometimes known as semi acoustic. Released by the Gibson Guitar Corporation as part of its ES (Electric Spanish) series in 1958, it is neither fully hollow nor fully solid; instead, a solid maple wood block runs through the center of its body. The side "wings" formed by the two "cutaways" into its upper bouts are hollow and the top has two violin-style f-holes over the hollow chambers. Since its inception, Gibson has released numerous variations of it and other models based on the design of the ES-335.

Notable users of the ES-335 or one of its variations include Chuck Berry, B B King, Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton, Richie Blackmore, Larry Carlton, Freddy King, Dave Grohl and Alex Lifeson. Yakety Yak, Yakety Yak, don't talk back. Blah, blah, blah.

Thursday, May 12, 2022



Another one of the many things I don't know is how was it that strawberries came to be? Full stop.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022



Moving onwards from the piece the other day, here's a carefully crafted depiction inspired by the word "Telecaster". There's quite a lot going on here and I find most of it baffling but interesting. I particularly like the wood grain mixing up with a metallic effect and the strange addition of what looks like old style glass valves from an amplifier of some kind. There's also fabric like textures as background drapes and some form of liquid output pooling in the bottom of the picture. Bizarre.

Pinocchio's Furniture

Pinocchio's Furniture by Frank Zappa. For some weird reason the title makes me laugh. It's like some conversational footnote or a forgotten quip from a drunken conversation. It could be the title of a short story covering the troubled relationship Pinocchio may have had with pieces of wood following on from his traumatic creation and redemption. Some say it's all a slice of Christian allegory, I don't know.

I like the long sustained note that turns into feedback at the end, other than that it's a pleasant enough piece of guitar noodle. Whoever put the video together did a reasonable job. Never good to criticize the source material of others. We are all just doing our best with limited resources ... and the seemingly infinite resources of the internet.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Politically Homeless


Another study in AI to try to illustrate or explain how many of us (I suspect) currently feel and how there seems to be no direction available to any credible and worthwhile political home. Perhaps home is simply something that exists in your own head and you're better of simply remaining there and not looking out very often. The problem is the "other people" who seem to inhabit the hostile universe that we are required to live in while acting as if they alone own it.

Monday, May 09, 2022


I've always been fascinated by the name "Stratocaster". It evolved from the names Broadcaster and Telecaster. Leo Fender brainstorming those names in a full 1950s flow of guitar creativity and perhaps some minor plagiarism, I don't really know. These were the names for the television generation. They were about to become the space-race generation. The first modern Americans, as I imagined they imagined themselves. 

So one day I simply said to some artificial intelligence the word "Stratocaster". The picture above is what came out of the mindless and faraway mincer. Perhaps this AI is not so smart or it's incredibly smart and nuanced and sees connections I cannot imagine.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Vika Kaj

Vika Kaj sounds like a Viking warrior or an Icelandic sex worker but it's neither. Just another IKEA tag, this time for a table top with telescopic, extendable legs. We've had one for twenty years and we're currently giving it away via some social media site. It still has a bit of life in it albeit one leg has the screw head that fits into the base stuck in it. Some lucky punter will hoover it up I hope. So this ramble is really just about IKEA hacks, as pictured above; a Vika Kaj has been nicely (?) converted into some kind of very industrial looking sink set up. There's a simple principal here: pass on, recycle, upcycle, and remodel and reuse. We need to do more of this.

Saturday, May 07, 2022



Saturday afternoon: When your team loses the second leg of the playoffs against a team they should easily beat without showing any proper gutsy fight and is instantly relegated. Now we're in the seaside league and we deserve nothing better. A poor board, poor managers and some terrible business decisions have pushed us right into our lowest point in years. You can't blame the fans and supporters, they've been rock solid. Now we'll be stuck down in the nether reaches of the leagues for a while and that's about all I have to say. Taking a summer break from it all and it's not even summer.

Friday, May 06, 2022

C'est Chic

Reaching a point in life where  don't really give a fuck about mass media output, though at times do I enjoy some of the photography or a pithy cartoon. Editorials and opinion pieces ... no, not really. Wait a minute this blurb may well be an opinion piece. Time for a factory reset or a long cool beverage.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Shut Up


Aspiring guitar players, the up and coming up and comers. While you may enjoying the delights of old masters like Fripp, Beck or Summers, or the shredtastic metal heads of the 80s and 90s or even strummy shoegazers from whenever to get your ideas and inspiration there's one name you should add to the list of players. He's dead and lacks god like status. He was a difficult genius and that's hard to market, even once dead but ... "Shut up and play yer guitar" (albums 1, 2 and 3) might just disturb you in a fairly disturbing manner. The playing of Frank Zappa isn't really appreciated or celebrated. I suspect he'd have wanted it this way, obscurity knocks etc. His invention, fluidity, speed and range is impressive and exhausting. He also knows how to use wah without wah tones being the prominent sound too. So shut up. Just buy it on eBay, cheap as chips. Nobody will ever know.

Blame my frenzied cropping for the tiny guitar Frank seems to be holding.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Simple Pleasures

 A picture once hung on the wall, 

But then it wasn’t there at all.

A dirty mark and a pin hole show, 

Where that stupid picture didn’t used to go.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022


Once in a while everybody should make up a new word.

Abstractathon: A long period of time spent thinking fundamentally stupid but still interesting thoughts about nothing in particular.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Date Collective


Date Collection: The slow hobby of date collection and consumption is moving on at a pace that might be said to be comfortably slow. The dates of the date palm are harvested by experts and then stuffed by beginners. It can best be described as being a process. We use both exotic and mundane fillings. Examples might be and are not limited to: Diced grapefruit and brown sugar, crushed cumquat, slivers of anchovies in oil and sardine paste, coriander and mushroom, Malteser and sweet pickle, shortbread (crushed) with clotted cream and brandy, scrambled egg and peanut butter and of course finely chopped Mars Bar. 

Doctored dates are popular in Catholic and Islamic countries across the world thanks to various works of Biblical fraud. In an apocryphal story Jesus turned a pile of donkey dung into sweet dates flavoured with cinnamon and the honey from wild (or fairly upset as I understand) bees and distributed them amongst the poor and the Roman colonists in order to illustrate some now lost teaching points via a forgotten parable. Hence “The Miracle of the Lost Parable”, a new film due out in December 2024 on Netflix starring literally a cast of thousands of CGI peasants and funded by the Date Marketing Board of Canada. Expect a sharp uptake in date demand that party season.

Dates are a fruit. Did I say date and mean data or did I say data and mean date?

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Still Lives


Feel refreshed, feel fulfilled, feel content. Colours and composition can satisfy.