Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Tale Of The Sadistic Shoe Maker

Sometimes shoe shopping can be a bit laborious for The iLL Man. It inevitably turns into something akin to hunting for the Elephants Graveyard and I usually return home either with nothing at all, or something that "wasn't quite what I was after", not that I knew what that was either, but it's always good to have an ideal in mind in these situations. Other times shoe shopping can be a piece of piss. Like when I'm looking for work shoes.

"Fuck style!" I yell, "bring me something black, comfy and inexpensive!!!.

So naturally I head to one of those self service warehouse type outlets where you can try the fuckers on to yr hearts content. Such was the case the other day and lo, I found myself a pair of size twelve slip-ons (handy in the morning when you're too numb and fucked to be bothered with anything as complex as tying shoelaces) which felt remarkably comfy. Nice! Anyway, I boxed them up and paid the £14.99(I really should know better) and off I went.

The following morning I put them on and found, to my horror, that my feet had a great deal of difficulty sliding into them. Had the shoes shrunk in the night? Had my feet mutated and gone beyond an already impressive size 12? It being about 8.25 am by this point, and time I was gone, I had no choice but to cram the ill-fitting shoes onto my feet and high-tail it out to work. Half an hour later, I waddled in agony to my desk and groped about for my old pair. There are so many holes in them that people can see what colour socks I'm wearing, but fuck it, there's only so much pain a man can take. It felt as though someone had put tiny little razor blades in the heels and I skulked off to the bogs to survey the damage. It wasn't too bad, a small raw patch of skin on each heel and the beginnings of a couple of blisters. The problem was that I couldn't resist bursting one of them and the cold air on new, raw skin had me wincing in agony. I resolved to leave the other one alone and decided the only way I could get home that night was to cram bits of paper towel into my socks

There has to be a name for this phenomenon. It crossed my mind that I might have picked up a pair of elevens by accident, but no, the stickers on the soles and the size stamp resolutely say '12'. Why do a pair of shoes feel roomy and pleasant in the shop, yet seem to have turned into medieval torture devices the following day? Yes the socks I was wearing the next day were marginally thicker, but surely not thick enough produce the vice-like effect I experienced.

I do believe the shoes will serve me well in time, but I just need to wait until I grow some new skin on the back of my feet before I go back to them.

Anyway, a few announcements. First up, The Scottish Idlers Guild meets for the very first time on Saturday. Hit the link for the details, but needless to say, if you live in the Glasgow area, crave a life less tiresome and can spare some time this coming Saturday afternoon, then feel free to join the Guild and you'll be welcomed, probably with a request to get a round in.............

Next up, I see that Steve at Dr Feelgood is back in the saddle again. Steve was one of the first people to link to me and his blog has never been anything other than essential reading. He's been away for a fair few months, but he's still as good as ever. Check his majestic Fisking of the malodorous Jon Gaunt of the Sun. OK, it's shooting fish in a barrel, but it's deserving of it. He also provides a couple of very amusing Richard Littlejohn related links. Welcome back!
Finally. Am I the only one who hates this fucking album? Am I the only one who thinks the Beatles are shit? If I am, please ignore me. I am quite wrong and my views are of no consequence.

On the other hand.............

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before.......

I'm blogging blind tonight. No plan, no ideas.........just what comes out of my head with only the safety net of a little self editing to go on. Deep breath........

You know that thing where you get someone at work who simply will not stop talking to you? Oh, you can ignore the bastards, you can do 'disinterested' until yr blue in the face, but they have no concept................If they were amusing or interesting or knew when to stop with their tedious prattle (something everyone is guilty of by the way) then it wouldn't be a problem. I know a glazed expression when I see it, I'm sure most of you do too, and in such situations I reign in my nerdish tendencies for the day and change the subject. I've seen my father bore people to the verge of suicide, it becomes a very self conscious thing...................I have that same trait and I always know when I'm about to crush someone under an avalanche of self righteous ranting. Why doesn't the woman next to me at work understand this?

No, I've only heard that one three times before..............Yes, you've told me you were a precocious child..............If you don't stop gibbering to me about how stupid the human race is just because someone failed to fill in a form correctly..............Sweet lord Above Help me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fucking Hell! I hate my job, but I'd rather get on with that than listen to this woman..............If only she'd let me.

Anyway, my 'fake interested' face doesn't seem to be working too well. She's either ignoring it with a view to making my life completely hellish or she genuinely doesn't see the apathy in my eyes........

Thank fuck for lunchtime at the Bon Accord and the company of Lee, Rombo, Lyle and TBM. Lyle was in awesome form. The man is a genius of unconscious comedy. He just says the first thing that comes into his head, and for that I'm thankfull. It's usually funny as fuck. If it's not, it's damn strange which is a decent deal all round...........
Great steak pie too.................

Yoochoob Double Bill


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Amateur Head Shrinkers, Please Start Your Engines!!

I have an admission to make. I don't remember my dreams. Well, not often anyway.......I sometimes wake up with a vague notion that my brain has been rummaging through my daily baggage and attempting to make some sense of it, but I don't tend to recollect the scenarios or storylines........

That said, I had some real crackers at the weekend there. The one I bothered to take notes of when I awoke and thus am able to recount to you consists of four distinct situations.

1- I'm on a bus and a woman I know from a previous job is standing at the front begging with the driver to stop and let her out to go to the toilet. He's ignoring her and she's becoming ever more desperate. I don't remember if she 'wet 'em' or not...........

2- I've taken a bus trip through a city and then walked to the top of a hill. On the hillside is Mark E Smith of The Fall. I sit and listen to him babble away in the sunshine whilst admiring the scenery. There are sheep on the hillside. I think Mr Smith is a shepherd

3- My scribbled note states "Bizarre autistic version of 'Dallas'". I'm not 100% sure what that means, but it's the fragment I remember least. I do remember something about nobody making eye contact, hence the lazy dreamtime assumption that I was surrounded by autistic Texans...........Still, interesting idea.

4- Carol Cleveland covered in mud. No, me neither.............I have been watching a fair bit of Monty Python recently, so it's possible my subconscious mind threw this one in for a laugh......

That said, it's probably a top five sexual fantasy for many men who were teenagers in the late sixties/early seventies. The woman was/is a fox!!!

Make of it what you will.................

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tigers 57 Mildenhall 35

Coming out of the 2nd turn, a Tigers 5-1 in the making

Ask any football fan what they despise most in a player and they will on the whole tell you one thing. Laziness. You can be distinctly ordinary as a player, but if you give everything in a match, people will tend to overlook the deficiencies, and even go as far as to overstate your meagre talent. There are of course levels of shite-ness that can never be forgiven, but that's another issue. The 'talented but lazy' player is often the biggest target of abuse. Good control, ability to beat players, the odd spectacular goal..........Not enough. In Scotland, any player(usually a winger or forward) who doesn't chase every single lost cause, fly into needless tackles in the oppositions half and run himself to a standstill is regarded as a lightweight or a 'sand-dancer'. In short, a poofy wee show off. If he wears white boots and has long hair then he's really fucked......The only way to avoid this is by scoring tonnes of goals to make up for your shiftlessness.

How does this relate to speedway? The meeting at the weekend saw the strange case Czech rider Mario Jirout of Mildenhall. A former Ice Racer and regarded as a bit of a star draw, he looked like he wanted to be anywhere else on the planet on Sunday afternoon than Ashfield. His first heat was no indication of his mindset, taking an unassuming third place. His next heat saw him lying last at the end of the 2nd lap, at which point he decided to, er, "conserve fuel" and trundle round at the back. Once you could forgive, maybe put it down to a machine failure. Twice was pushing it somewhat. He didn't even make it to the end of the 1st lap before he'd decided he'd had enough. If he wasn't going to score any points, then why bother? Needless to say he was given short shrift by the locals who know a malingering 'superstar' when they see one and the Mildenhall team manager seemed to be in agreement and he was replaced in his last heat.
George Stancl practices his start prior to the final heat
The guy from work I'd bumped into at the meeting has been going to speedway for many a year and the odd behaviour of Mr Jirout was no surprise to him.

"Ye get that with some of those foreign lads, if they aren't in the points after the first lap, they just chuck it."

Maybe a tad unfair on the foreign contingent I've seen so far who include Poles, Czechs, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Canadians and Australians (and a few others I've no doubt missed), all of whom have riden their nuts off in my prescence. He's seen more than I have though and I said no more............

In some ways though, theres a cold logic to it. Why scrap and scrape to get a single point, put yourself in danger and waste energy, when you can trundle round at 30mph and maybe get that point if someone else falls off............? He seems to be a decent rider, so I'llchalk it up to a really bad day at the office. Just don't do it in speedway, where fans, regardless of their persuasion will call you all the c**ts under the sun for not providing at least a nominal degree of effort or entertainment. To most sportsmen, easy wins are a blessing. In speedway, whilst it's good to get the points on the board, theres often a slight feeling of resentment if the opposition didn't put up much of a fight. It happened a few weeks back when Berwick Bandits were brushed aside with alarming ease by Glasgow. Cheers for the points lads? Ha! More like "Why not try turning up next time?"

Heat 15 winner Shane Parker performs a victory 'Donut'

As a wise man once said, "It's a funny old game"

Friday, May 18, 2007

The iLL Man Is Listening To..............

Well, nothing right now, but I'll soon change that. Ok, mind the gap, we're going back in time....

Marquee Moon by Television was the first vinyl record I ever bought. I remember it well, wandering into Fopp records and seeing it staring back at me on a display rack, four intense looking young men in shabby clothes and suffering from what looked like some kind of nasty skin complaint. Turns out it was a xerox of one of the band photos Robert Mapplethorpe had taken. It was weird, it sounded so old.....It still does in some ways. Very 'classic rock', very mannered and clean, nothing like what I was listening to at the time(Pistols/Nirvana/Sonic Youth). The beautiful guitar interplay of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd should have been enough to send my sixteen year old self running for the sanctuary of the nearest Ramones album, yet............Verlaines lyrics just did something to me..............They were elliptical, atmospheric, delivered in a neurotic yelp, words as texture, inextricable from the music that carries them............It was what had turned me onto Nirvana too, that "What is he singing about?" thing.

I still put it on with disturbing regularity. Most cd's I buy have a playing life of a few weeks. The very good ones get the occasional outing, maybe get obsessed over for a week or two before disappearing off the radar again. Marquee Moon hasn't been away from the side of my CD player since I bought it (for about the third time)

Because Of The Times by Kings Of Leon is awe-inspiring, not least because I used to think they were fucking terrible. Their previous output had never impressed me, but! Maybe I haven't been listening to them properly......

Forever Changes is another one in the Marquee Moon mould. Not sonically as such, just in that it's always there and it's always welcome in the room on a leaky Wednesday evening while I contemplate the universe and it's contents and come to the conclusion that you wouldn't get much for them at a car boot sale. Mariachi horns, string arrangements to die for and some disturbingly surreal lyrics..............

"Well, the snot has caked against my pants............"


At this moment in time I am listening to the rather fine 'Ballads Of The Book', in which some Scottish musicians put the words of various Scottish writers and poets to music. Musically speaking, it's the usual suspects like Norman Blake, The Trashcan Sinatras, Sons & Daughters, Malcolm Middleton and Aiden Moffat, along with a gaggle of lesser known names....The writers whose texts have been chosen include Edwin Morgan, Alasdair Gray, Ian Rankin and A.L. Kennedy. I'm still working my way into it, and the 'localness' of the bands involved means I have to get over petty jealousy's (Them?!! They're Fuckin Shite!!! Buncha Wanks!!, that sort of thing......)

So, what is it that everyone else has on permanent rotation in their lives? Not just what yr listening to just now.....What music is it that's never out of reaching distance and gets played come what may.....The music that never grows old.

Yr Friendly Friday YouTube.....

Bon Nuit Mes Enfants.............

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Pox On Both Your Houses

As anyone who knows me might attest, I couldn't give two figs for the fortunes of any other football team but Partick Thistle. Or maybe Maryhill......

Anyway, the talk of the shithole was todays UEFA Cup Final being held at Hampden Park tonight between Espanol and Seville. I blanked all the banal crap quite successfully I think, all the regurgitated newspaper bilge about what side of the Old Firm (Rangers, Celtic) would support what team(Espanol or Seville) in the final............ Jesus! Can these facile morons not give it up for five minutes? Does everything have to revolve around them? I'm quite sure that if tomorrow morning, a flying saucer from the Andromeda Galaxy were to land on Glasgow Green proclaiming a new dawn of world peace and human mental evolution, the first question posed to the inhabitants of said craft would be...........

"So pal, whit team dae ye support? the gers or sellic?"

At which point they'd take off again and nuke the place from fucking orbit........

Anyway, everyone knows Andromedans are Third Lanark fans and aren't to be trifled with.

Ok, to return to the original point of the post......Tonights Uefa Cup Final was another Hampden Thriller. 2-2 after extra time, some very flowing and enjoyable football, loads of drama and just maybe, the better team winning on penalty kicks (Seville) Hampden looked the part too. Also nice to see the cup awarded in the main stand like it bloody should be, instead of the crappy 'podium-on-the-pitch' approach that seems to have been adopted of late. What can I say? I'm a traditionalist.....

Anyway, after all that nonsense...............

Some of you may have noticed comments on this blog and Seven Days by a certain anonymous commenter signing off as 'Diane'. Diane is a wonderful woman who stopped me in the street one night with an imaginary microphone, and made me laugh like a loon. We've since become very close, so I'd like y'all to make her feel welcome here when she does post...... Cheers!


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Good evening!

How are you?

I'm jolly fine now you ask................There are a hundred and one reasons not to be I suppose, but fuck that. For every boot in the nuts, theres a dozen pleasures and delights, such as...........

Tony Blair announcing his departure date for one. Not that I have any more contempt/indifference towards him than the average punter in the street, it's just that I can now count down the days to 'Gordo Broon Day' and learn the words to East Fife Uber Ales.........(Attempt at humour)

John Reid exiting with his tail between his legs has also been a hi-light. Ah yes, the home office rottie, shorn of it's nuts and limping rather badly. Shall we put him out of his misery? or should we text him..........?

'Fck of bwjws pzs of bak 2 lnrkshr lcal poltix U twat!'

The Tigers have Kings Lynn in the semis of the Premier Trophy. To most Glasgow speedway fans this is the kiss of death, the guarantee of defeat before thoughts of a place in the final can be considered. That may be so, but I'm really quite looking forward to it. If the top end riders are on form and the middle order live up to their potential, then hell, who knows................... Kings Lynn could win both legs...................(Another attempt at humour)
I'm not making my case very well here, am I?

Anyway, it's the weekend, I'm a bit drunk and life is essentially a good thing.

It's Youtube ya rube!!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

View From My Desk At Work/Economic Models Explained With Cows

On a good day, the blue sky and the jet trails and the cloud forms and the sunlight on the glass buildings all seem to bring a little more energy to my movement. The traffic and the motorway and the noise can all go fuck themselves......
If it's chucking it down, if it's grey and foreboding, then it's no better than any other view in the office and I have to turn to double heaps of Nescafe to stop me crashing out on the keyboard.....

Guess what I'm more used to doing? Just have me potted and have done with it.

In other news....

That's Bock The Robber away over to Wordpress. Hell mend him.........I never seem to go a week without someone grumbling about leaving Blogger....Am I the only one who's not had problems with Blogger since it changed? People who were on Blogger pre-Beta will tell you how awful it could be. The amount of times I almost lost my mind with rage just because the stupid fucker wouldn't upload a photo or two..........Seven Days would be impossible without the beta version. That said, as long as everything works, I'm easy pleased. I'm led to believe that an 'all singing, all dancing' Wordpress site is vastly superior.

Anyway, I'm just bitchin because I have to to re-link. Och!

Someone sent me this at work today. It's probably fairly old to a lot of you, but it made my day.

Economic Models explained with Cows- 2007 update

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the
milk away...

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.

You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of
credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a
debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all
four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.

The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a
Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who
sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The
annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one

You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving
youwith nine cows.

No balance sheet provided with the release.

The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You shred them.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want
three cows.

You have two cows.

You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and
produce twenty times the milk.

You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market
it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and
milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your

You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy....

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

More suggestions welcomed.............

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Face It, Life Could Be So Much Worse............

"I'll thank you to mind your own business sir, whom I vote for is between me and the ballot box. Though for the record, I voted Conservative, Communist on the list and everyone but Labour on the council form. Cheers!"
(extract from The iLL Man: A Life Lived In Imagined 'Vox Pop' Interviews)

How can people get it so wrong? Nah, not voting SNP in unprecedented numbers (one of the Scottish publics better moves in my humble opinion). I mean the whole ballot paper fiasco. Sure, there were fuck ups with machinery, abandoned counts, ferry/helicopter tribulations and the postal votes were handled extremely badly, but surely the biggest cock up of all was on the part of the 150,000 or so voters who failed to read the instructions on the ballot paper properly.............

Ok, some people get confused by such things, the elderly in particular. Indeed, there are people (not unlike myself) who roll through life in a state of absent mindedness and may have cocked up their council form...............But it's the numbers. 150,000 people.

We're talking here of people who are of sound mind and judgement, though obviously not 100% on what the system is, who couldn't be arsed looking at the instructions on the ballot papers. There were of course some very decent people in some polling stations who were more than willing to explain how it all worked. Other polling stations were less accommodating

Holding the council elections on the same day was probably not a good idea either, as this simply adds to the ratio of fucked up ballot papers/confused voters.

Ok, now I've had my Roy Keane/Vinnie Jones/Billy Abercrombie style 'studs up tackle' moment on the Scottish electorate, I think it's time I showed some solidarity. How embarrassing must it have been to see those images on the front of newspapers and on the Tv news, of the computer images of fucked up ballot papers, only to see the very vote you had cast staring back at you. Yes, the one with the cross and the no 2 in the corner, or maybe the number with the scrubbed out cross, or vice versa........

Nobody needs their noses rubbed in it.

Human beings have a propensity not to read instructions and I include myself in this. You don't need any elaborate system, you don't need any instruction seminars or leaflets or hectoring broadcasts. Simply hand people the form at the polling booth, tell them to read the instructions and if they're still confused, provide a few people per station to assist and explain. Maybe the person they deploy on the door to tell you where to go and vote, despite there being signs up telling you where to go and vote, could be better used no?

Anyways.............A big thanks for the response to the subject of the stain on the right leg of my jeans. The stain was last seen with it's agent at a Camden watering hole, in the company of Jack White, Geri Halliwell and Bruce Forsyth and sharing a taxi home with Melinda Messenger and Charlie Manson. Saucy!

I also hear the weather is to turn shit over the weekend. After near enough ten days of lovely sunshine, I'm sure some will say this is Gods punishment on man for returning the Feegie Fatman to his seat on Paisley Council. I say it's more to do with the law of sod dictating that 'thou shalt have the worst fucking weather possible for thine bank holiday weekend and thou shalt be happy with it'. Someone mentioned something about random chance, low pressure and isobars, but I chose to ignore them. Witchcraft I call it!

Youtube anyone?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

O' The Snot Has Caked Against My Pants.......


Don't quite know in what sense Arthur Lee meant it, but for me it aptly described my situation. You put on trousers, you go out. (As opposed to not putting on trousers and not going out) and you realise there's something grim sticking to one of your legs. The hazards of hanging one's clothing up on the floor I suppose. Being a vain fucker, I'm back inside in seconds finding something else to wear.

That said, it seems many people think nothing of the odd mucky mark on their clothing, why should they bother about me? For instance, a guy at work had a nose bleed all over his shirt and whilst he was marginally embarrassed, he still looked quite dashing with the sort of spatter marks that your average knife killer would be proud of. Some bloke I saw yesterday had the best part of half a bottle of red on his shirt, but seemed unfazed by the experience. So, what's my problem with an unidentifiable mark on my right trouser leg?

I think the word "unidentifiable" covers the bases on that one.........

So, what else has floated past me in the past few days.............

Saved a dog from strangulation the other morning. Sort of. Some tit had put the noose end of the lead over a railing spike outside a shop, resulting in the poor mutt being unable to put it's front paws on the deck. The resulting distress and pained yelping led me to stick my head in the shop and find out if the inconsiderate cunt owner was about. I was met by a little girl who ran out and comforted the dog and loosened the slack on the lead.

Hard to know what to say really.................So I said nothing. Maybe should have chastised her, maybe I should also have taken a flying fuck at a rolling donut for all the good it would have done me. Anyway, I saw a female adult in the shop with her and decided I couldn't be arsed getting into an argument about it.

Also saw this mob up to no good in the local park =D.

Ach, they're alright. Just wish they'd calm it with the Anarchist flags. I'd wager a fair few of them wouldn't know an anarchist if it bit them on the erse...............


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Scottish Idlers Guild

Just a post to mention the Scottish Idlers Guild that has just been set up by Clairwil. For a good description of what's involved, just read this, then dive in if it's exactly what you're after in life.