Saturday, June 28, 2008

Desert Island Blogs

All bloggers have lists of other bloggers in their sidebars; blogs you love, blogs you hate (but visit anyway, prodding away at them like sore teeth), and blogs you merely 'quite like'. Blogs you visited once in 1973, blogs who showed up on your tracker, blogs you want to like, blogs who you want to like you. Blogs that make you laugh, blogs that make you sick, blogs that make you feel old before your time, blogs that appear and disappear like Brigadoon, blogs that once linked you and now no longer do, but you're too proud to remove their link..................... Besides, you need the friends.........
Imagine for a moment, that you were only allowed to show three links to other blogs at any one time (I'm thinking of THIS but taken to it's illogical conclusion)

Simply put, what three blogs do you go to first when you log on and access your site/aggregator?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life And How Not To Live It

8.20am - Fuck! Forgot to turn my alarm on. It's new and the snooze button is hidden on the back of the clock. The last one had a meaty big kill switch on the top of it that you simply reached out to and tapped as you hit the hay. This one requires conscious thought to operate. Highly dangerous.

That said, I was out the door for 8.35, which is some sort of record, considering I managed to shower and make a packed lunch in the time available.

9.15am - Computer says No! It's still warming up. I make the mistake of summoning my email and the ruddy thing just freezes. Retire to the kitchen to microwave some water. The fucking fuckers in facilities have confiscated our kettle. I think they want us to use the machine in the corner of the kitchen, but I'd sooner drink from a puddle of piss. Mind you, the advantage in this is it encourages a little lateral thought, and a 'make do and mend' spirit. I think they wanted to get rid of the microwaves and toasters too, believing that all the sustenance a healthy office worker could need would be found in the acrid dog spunk pumped out of the vending machine, or in the salty goodness of a packet of Nice'n'Spicy Nik Naks.

No, really!

9.25am - Return to my desk, getting the beady eye from the line manager. Fanny! Computer looks to have sorted itself out, so I make a start on the days work.

9.30am - Hit the internet. Easy does it at first, nothing too crazy. Go to the BBC site to find out what Mad Boab Mugabe's been up to. Hope and pray that wee fucker Andy Murray has been knocked out of Wimbledon. Tim Hennman Loyal!! We Are The Peepel!!!

The set of eyes on the back of my head are working in overdrive. Every movement the two team leaders make is monitored through my peripheral vision and acted upon. The line manager has Ninja skills and can enter and leave a building without being noticed, though I think I have raised my consciousness to such a level that I catch his movements more than most.

1045am - The shrill, self important cow next to me starts her noise. It's not so much what she says, as the way she says it. She shows me a legal document. She expects me to give a fuck. I shrug, she chunters on, the world turns, lives begin and end............... Sometimes I make the mistake of starting a conversation and then she's just unstoppable. She will not shut up, repeating and embellishing anecdotes I've heard at least a dozen times before, in the manner of a third rate stand-up comedian. It's like she thinks she's performing or something and frankly, it's embarrassing.

11.30am - Fight with filing boxes. Filing boxes win. I shall return, I shall be avenged!!

12.30pm - Cover half of daily work quota. Feel good and reward myself with an extended toilet break, a cup of tea and..........My word! It's lunch time!!

2.00pm - More filing, just to get away from the chronic chat.

2.30pm - 'Celebrity Death Pool' idea mooted by someone. Like I don't lose enough money to these sharks already! My money's on Dawn French, Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana.

4.00pm - The magic last hour. A time of fun and frolic. The time of day you can ramp up your internet abuse to maximum levels. "Set a course to the Partick Thistle Message Board Mr Sulu!"

5.00pm - Get cornered again by motormouth. I think I secretly enjoy it to be honest. I may need some professional help...........

5.30pm - Home! Put messages away and do dishes.
6.00pm - Go on the internet to check a few things.

8.30 - Yeah, checked them now.....................

9.00pm - Make dinner and watch football. Not a good move, overcook rice.

10.45pm - Eat. Not bad, curry leftovers from Sunday night. I live like a king really..............

11.15pm - Start writing this shite.

1.00am - Bed. Theres something I need to remember to do, but for the life of me..........................

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

Y'know, I was going to do a 'piece' about the very recently deceased George Carlin. I got as far as two paragraphs before I realised I needed to refer to some of his videos on Youtube. Half an hour later I came back and deleted what I'd written. Instead I shall simply say a hearty 'Farewell' to an incredibly funny man. Kind of like the missing link between Billy Connolly and Bill Hicks. Here are some of his best. On Cats On Dogs On Stuff..........

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Down By The River (Part 2)

White Rose thingy (to give it it's proper name)
Pigeon on a bridge.
Bumble Bee's Arse
Really, really wee wild flowers. Almost too wee.
Strange cobweb like covering on this tree. I have no idea what that's about.

I can't emphasise enough how much I love rivers. In this case, the river Kelvin and it never fails to throw up something new and interesting. The wild foliage that grows along it's banks is, to me anyway, a hundred times more captivating than any meticulously planned and cultivated flower bed, and it's a place that's just teeming with wildlife. You always seem to catch sight of something out of the ordinary. That said, on hot days this can consist of loud, pasty skinned ned families, stripped to the waist and sunbathing/fishing/loitering on sand banks with their carry outs and an out of control dog. It's been a while since I've stumbled across this particular species, but you never kbnow your luck sometimes.........

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Your correspondent has been a little quiet of late. He's been pre-occupied with various little things that have stopped him from transferring his admittedly banal musings to the virtual page, and he apologises for, well, whatever you want him to apolgise for..................

I couldn't help but notice that Google are celebrating the 'first day of summer'. Very odd, considering that in the past month and a half, Scotland has seen more summer weather than it did all last year. It's certainly getting along for the summer solstice, so maybe that's what it's all about. I think it's another name for 'the longest day'
Fucking Hippies!
I can do without the confusion you know! Anyway, I thought summer in Britain was an arbitary day somewhere between late April and mid August, where it was sunny and warm for a bit and failed to rain for any more than half an hour. Shows what I know............

Anyway, I'm tired and can barely hit the right keys..............

see yoyuinb the mornbin g.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Heroes of Comedy No7 - Vic & Bob

The Weekenders - An uncommissioned pilot for Channel 4, made some time in the early nineties.

Part 2

Part 3

Look out for a special guest appearance by Phil Oakey of The Human League, playing the part of a speciality meats salesman in a field.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Feel The Pain

I thought I was getting it easy when I volunteered to play in goals for the office five-a-side team. "Piece of piss" I thought. Stand about, dive around a little, catch the ball every so often.............. My problem is that instead of making minimal effort, I throw myself into most activities, even if I'm shit at them. The physical consequences of this full on effort began to manifest themselves almost immediately after the game, but it wasn't until this morning that I felt the full agony. I felt like I had somebody elses legs on, and just about every muscle in my body was screaming at the slightest movement. Lack of fitness, not warming up properly, not taking a hot bath when I got home....................... Kneeling down is agony and getting in and out of a sitting position is at the very least uncomfortable. What have I done to myself?!! Still, I was better than I thought I'd be. I only let in about fifteen goals. Bloody defenders gave me no protection.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Here Kids

Songs of Summer No1: Radio - Teenage Fanclub

I'd almost forgotten what a long spell of decent weather is like, considering we didn't have any at all last year.......... Summer has landed and I dare anyone not to have noticed.............. Ok, it's corny as hell, but theres nothing better than coming home from work, opening the kitchen window, turning the radio on, making dinner and slugging a very cold beer as you go. Watching the sun go down behind the flats across the way is just an added bonus. Living in a big old ground floor tennement for so long, I sort of missed the freedom to open a back door and catch what's left of the day at my own leisure.

The next project will be to gut the planting boxes out in the back garden, fill them up with fresh soil and seriously think about something to plant. Yes, I do realised I've just jinxed the weather for the next two months, so enjoy it while you can!

Ok, I'm off to recover. I swear, I'm never playing football again!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Do You Remember The First Time?

............The first time you blogged I mean..................

I do. It was a damp Saturday afternoon in September and I was bored titless. My friend Clairwil had started one, but I'd sort of poo-pooed the notion of writing about myself online. What kind of self absorbed dipstick would go for such a thing? Of course, I didn't say this to Clairwil at the time, fearing a bloody nose and a pint over my head, but on reading her stuff, I began to change my mind. It all looked quite good fun, if you could get over the fact that for the first few months, you would essentially be talking to yourself. Well, since talking to myself is a long standing and ingrained defence mechanism that helps me make sense of the world, I realised it wouldn't make any difference. It couldn't hurt to give it a try.

So, in the space of an hour, I'd thrown up this here blog. Not as you see it now of course (I've decorated since then), but since the quality of writing has only advanced marginally since back in 2005, I'd say it's the same entity it was when I started.

Anyway, heres my first ever proper blog post:

Late Call

It's been a good day. My team won and probably due to an unusual chemical blance in my brain at this moment in time, i'm in a great mood.

A few things regarding Kate Moss and her recent tribulations.

Kate, yr alright. Yr a bit F**ked up, but i've seen worse.......

The cant and hypocrisy of the tabloid vermin is vomit inducing. A great man once said "Before a metropolitan daily exposes an evil, it takes it's own pulse" Your average tabloid hack is either an alky or a cokehead. Usually both.

The thing that had me laughing like a moron was the explanation for the benefit of Sun readers that cocaine use was rife in the fashion world. There it was, in language a 7yr old would regard as insulting, telling their readership something that Ab-Fab made jokes out of about eight years ago.......................something that has always been. By this reasoning, I had assumed Kate Moss was a regular consumer of the stuff anyway........................

Ok, maybe it's a ploy to justify the extra few chapters the publisher wants her to add to her biography. Even so, as an exercise in demonisation, it stands as something of a classic.

Nice to see that Hurricane Rita(Can't wait for Mavis and Derek) didnt cause as much damage as Katrina, but then, New Orleans will be a bit of a mess again as it's just along the coast from the hurricane's landfall.

Anyway, bye for now

So, there you have it. A rant about the tabloids, some insignificant detail about my weekend and an appallingly weak joke, shoe-horned into an inconclusive comment about the hurricanes hitting the US at the time. Who could have known what it would all lead to................... :(

Right! I've shown you mine, you show me yours................ ("~)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Date With My Tape Deck

As some of you know, I'm a bit of a tape fan. Not so much that I couldn't bring myself to buy a new mp3, but they did play a big part in my adolescence and as such, they have a place i my heart. It all started with Simon & Garfunkel albums and old sixties compilation tapes from Tel-Star (Top sixties acts suspiciously absent, replaced by 2nd division beat boom chaff like Billy J Kramer, Manfred Mann, Gerry & The Pacemakers & the Hollies) on long car journey's. Embarrassingly enough, I could still sing you 'Me & Julio Down In The Schoolyard' or 'Tell Laura I Love Her' to this day.............

Anyway, I made it through my fathers best attempts to damage my love of melody and rhythm and by the time I was buying music, CD's had appeared. I could never afford them, so I bought vinyl and tape instead. Tape LP's were always the last resort though. Sure they were easy to carry about, but they never lasted, always warped or self destructed..................

They came into their own though on a personal stereo. I remember spending a fortnight in York with my family, permanently plugged into my Walkman and listening to Carter USM, Nirvana and U2 albums on an endless loop. Doubtless I wasn't mute the whole time, but it felt like it. There were two worlds open to me and at the time I knew which one I wanted to live in.

Zipping on a few years and the odd lesson in social interaction, the trusty tape saved me again. An hour it used to take me to get to College. Mazzy Star, Madder Rose and Morrissey (among many others) all eased the pain of the journey, if not the grim reality of an HNC Communications course......................

The final stand for the tape LP came in my kitchen years. This was my chance to impress or disgust people with my musical tastes. I think I just about managed an equal balance. Bliss at Bonhams was being left to prep salad with the Pixies, make soup for REM or wash dishes to the Flaming Lips. Later, at the Bank Restaurant the bigger kitchen meant everyone else's fuck awful musical tastes were discharged in my direction without mercy. There was no escaping the aural buggering that was the 2nd (3rd & 4th) Oasis album(s), or the incessant repeat plays of various 'hit singles' of the time (1999), all of which drove me to the edge of insanity. By this time CD players were making their way into such workplaces, though it was never advisable to bring a disc in. While tapes could easily be left in the deck for all eternity, anything in the CD player could at any moment be flung out and replaced by some verruca faced trainee chef's 'Bonkers' Happy hardcore CD while you were on a day off. By the time you came back in, the CD case would be in at least three separate segments in various parts of the kitchen, the inlay lying in the dry store, attractively decorated with tomato ketchup stains and the CD itself lying down the back of one of the chest freezers, covered in flour.

Anyway, I recently discovered some old tape albums I thought I'd lost. In no real order............

Metallica - Black Album - AC/DC - Let There Be Rock

Both bought on holiday in France many moons ago. The Metallica tape is great, but the AC/DC one is a true joy. I could be wrong, but for me it's Malcolm Young's synapse shredding riffs that make it stand out, though shouts for Angus Young and Bon Scott will be considered...........

Associates - Popera

This is what all pop music should have sounded like in the early eighties. That it didn't demostrates just how fucking wrong the rest of the world got it.

Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap

God how I tried to like this mob! Really, I gave it my best go, but could only conclude that they were pioneering some evil form of 'Easy Listening' for fey Glaswegian hipsters, and by dint of that, every other soggy arsed pseud in the country as well. Arch, twee and inheritors of Morrissey's box of old hearing aids.

Ok, that's the vitriol and jealousy out of the way, what of the music ,viewed in the cold, sober light of day...................Yeah, it's ok. The odd nice tune, the odd clever lyric, but you still want to hit them. Hard.

Ramones - Ramones

'Hey Ho, Let's Go!'

If you think I need to say any more than that, then I believe you may be missing the point..............

Morrissey - Vauxhall & I

Why is every new Morrissey album a disappointment? For me it's because he made his best solo record in 1994 and will never surpass it. There are great moments on many of his albums both before and after this one, there will probably continue to be great moments on any CD the mardy old fucker chooses to release between now and the end of the world, but none will get within sniffing distance of the sheer majesty and consistant loveliness of this record. So there!

REM - Automatic For The People

I'm a sucker for sad songs. This has probably got more tear jerkers than most country albums. With two exceptions (Ignoreland and The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight), it's all pretty much as maudlin as it gets, but in a sort of cosy, non-depressing way. You might be crying (if yr a big jessie), but you'll be smiling as well.

More Seaside Photos

The beach at Ardrossan
Isle of Arran from the train.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hey, Bo Diddley.....

Died yesterday. If this doesn't make you move, yr clinically dead. the buncha stiffs in this clip...........A weird mix of preppy and hippy kids, looking like they aren't having much fun, or maybe they were just too cool to show it..............

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Doon Das Wasser

Largs-Cumbrae Ferry approches the slipway
I think I got it's best side
Arran looms behind the Cumbrae pastures
Winged Sentinels
Yachting Today

It's been several Ice Ages since I last set foot in Largs. Last time was at the tail end of summer 2003. It's changed a bit, but not much (or enough). Theres one less shithole arcade (The Cumbrian), but it's now become a bowling alley/kids adventure playground/boozer. I didn't realise the fucking place was that big!! The station has been tidied up a bit since the incident in which a train rammed through the station building in 1995. It was never the most impressive building, but it has taken on a more functional form these days.

I spent most of the day wandering the esplanade, dodging sunburnt weegie hunks, their jaw droppingly sexy wives and their lovely, well mannered offspring and taking the odd photo here and there.

The place is an absolute mecca for seagulls. They just wait, watching and getting ready at the right places to swoop down and feast on the detritus left behind by the masses. methinks the 'don't feed the seagulls' signs are a little in vain..............

I did have a brief notion to head over to the Cumbrae, but it was a tad late when I got to Largs. Didn't need the hassle. If you wanna hit Millport, get there early............

I tell ya, one thing Largs doesn't lack is the lesser spotted senior citizen. Millions of them. Good on them I say......................Give me OAP's over fat men covered in fucking Indian ink tattoos any day of the week. At least you can conduct a conversation about the relative merits of Sonic Youth records with an OAP...................