Tuesday, January 23, 2007

23/01/2007 Shang-A-Lang

Tam Paton had a spot of bother in court the other day....
and you can read about it here.....
Tam of course is a legendary figure in Edinburgh and was the manager of the Bay City Rollers.
My attention was only drawn to this article by the hilariously awful photo of the aforementioned Mr Paton.
It really is a cracker isn't it?
It's like he's half way through a transformation scene in a Werewolf film.
I mean to say...he was never a looker...he would never have had Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt nervously looking over their shoulders...but even by his standards..this is a shocker!
I loved his "moment of madness" excuse in court...
The last time I heard that line was from the Welsh politician Ron somebody who had a "moment of madness" on Hampstead Heath one night.

Btw I recommend big time "Harry Hill's TV Burp" on Saturday on ITV around teatime.
TV programmes are usually a pile of common denominator, mainstream shite at this time...but Harry's show is gloriously silly and had me snorting with laughter throughout.
I've also been loving watching the new Seinfeld DVD of series 4 and 5.
It is without a doubt the smartest, funniest sitcom ever made.
I am always amazed that a lot of people I've talked to have never watched it ; mainly due to it being consigned to assorted graveyard slots in the schedule.
It's a shame...it's magnificent, and makes "Fawlty Towers" look like "Two Pints of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps".
I've been chuckling in quiet moments at work over an anecdote Ed recounted to me in't pub last week.
He described how he was out on a bit of a bender and stumbled into a bar on the South side of Edinburgh...very pissed...with his friends.
Their arrival coincided with the imminent commencement of a "Yard Of Ale" challenge race in which 2 teams were lined up, ready to each drink a whole YOA, and see which team could finish first.
A team was a man short, and all of a sudden Ed found himself co-opted into one of the teams.
His senses were too dulled to put up any resistance.
At his turn he began confidently, and each gulp, was serendaded in time by a "wo! wo! wo! wo!" shout and stamping of feet by everyone in the pub.
He then paused...the pub went quiet...and he began to projectile vomit around the pub indiscriminately.
After recovering, he joked with the barstaff, and pretended to break the Yard of ale glass in two over his knee.
However, his co-ordination hadn't fully recovered, and he did indeed snap the yard of ale glass in two...much to the disappointment of the bar staff.
I've got a picture in my head of Ed's apologetic inebriated expression which has kept me giggling all week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

19/01/2007 Shut That Door

I must admit I'm thoroughly enjoying my stint working in the crazy world of servicing pensions and life assurance policies.
It makes me very sad when I ponder that I only have 10 weeks left on my contract!
To be honest, even though I get paid a fairly good wad of cash for doing this, I'd be perfectly happy to do it for nothing, such is my love for debugging a suite of financial programs.
I can empathise with David Beckham in this regard.
He has let it be known that the money is not the principal reason he's going to play football in LA, preferring to look on the experience as a historic opportunity to raise the profile of soccer in the USA.
I know exactly what he means...
Similarly, the satisfaction I get from knowing that my computer tinkering will allow the company to make higher profits on the sale of their financial products is reward enough for me....and to get paid for it as well is simply marvellous...!
I do get a little stressed out by the doors at my office though.
They tend to be double sets of swinging fire doors.
When you open a door and go through, it swings right back on release, in a style reminiscent of the classic saloon doors in the Wild West.
Therefore, an unwritten etiquette exists whereby if you notice someone walking behind you, you stop and hold the door in the open position so that they can intercept the open door with their hand, and then pass through.
I'm trying to come to a policy on what the acceptable cut-off distance is for the person behind you, when it would be socially acceptable to go through the doors without stopping to hold the door open.
I usually settle for 10 yards, but on Friday I was shocked to see someone hold the door open for someone who was at least 20 yards short of the door.
I think that's too much, but at the same time I worry now that my 10 yard ruling will be interpreted by some in the office as anti-social and selfish.
If you leave too far a distance, there's always the possibility that the following person might not even be going to go through the doors at all, and you will be left looking like a complete idiot politely holding the door open for nobody.
I also find the social interaction of this manoeuvre very awkward.
When you hold the door open for someone, they usually say "thank you".
I don't know what the door holder is supposed to say in this situation.
If I was to try "Oh, it's nothing really..." or "you're welcome!", I am convinced it would sound very sarcastic.
The convention seems to be to smile meekly and raise your eyebrows slightly, in a tacit acknowledgement of your courtesy and consideration.
I hate it when the same person ends up following you through a series of doors, thanking you every time.
After two thank yous I think that the practice should be curtailed as the whole thing becomes ridiculous.
My record is a 10 door thank you festival.
Mind you, this pales into insignificance with the fury I feel when I don't even get a thank you at the initial door.
This is tantamount to waving a car waiting at a junction on to a main road ahead of you and not receiving a wave of gratitude.
It would perhaps be a good idea to employ a doorman at each door to preclude this awkward social phenomenum from occurring?
Or better still, get some Star Trek type doors fitted.
You know...the ones that go "Fsssschhh" and open and close like.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

18/01/2007 Oh Dear!

It's all a bit of a Shakespearianesque tragedy isn't it?
It was "Big Brother" that made Jade Goody rich and famous, and now it is again BB which has smashed her career and reputation irretrievably to pieces...
Whoever advised her that it would be a good idea to revisit her BB experience will be running for cover when she gets kicked out tomorrow.
When she gets home, she will find a pile of cancelled contracts to read through while she contemplates her pariah status...
I reckon one day this will be a play or even a musical...
Not that I've been watching any of it...
I've got a life, kind of!
I've been having a little celebration every night this week.
From 17.07pm to 20.07pm I've been wearing nothing but my union jack y-fronts and have skipped around the flat singing "God Save The Queen" at the top of my voice.
I just thought that at least someone in the UK should make some kind of effort to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Union.
I don't know if it'll catch on or not...?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

15/01/2006 The Bleak Midwinter

Well, it's been a grim start to 2007.
I was shocked to hear of the tragic deaths of Harry Horse and his wife Mandy on Shetland.
I first saw Harry when he fronted the 80s Edinburgh band "Swamptrash".
Their thang was highly danceable bluegrass, and they all affected to be brothers.
Much as I enjoyed their music, the element of the performance which impressed me the most was Harry's hilarious between-songs banter, delivered in a totally convincing american country boy drawl.
I loved the way he never, ever let his character slip during a performance.
I'm sure he could have been a great stand-up if he'd wanted to.
He played 5-a-side football with us for a while as well, and it's probably fair to say that as a footballer he was a prodigiously talented cartoonist.His cartoons through the years for Scotland on Sunday and the Sunday Herald were always striking and memorable works of art.
One of the last times I saw him was an evening when we had been roped in to go and see a mutual friend in a rather creaky amateur production of "The Sound of Music" in Edinburgh.
During the interval Harry pointed out to me that amateur performers often have a problem of not knowing what to do with their hands.
In this show, a few of the cast held their arms rigidly at their sides, some grasped their hands rigidly together, and some burst on stage with their arms flaying around like a deranged octopus.
He came up with funny classification names for each type (which I sadly can't remember)...
However, I do remember he made me cry with laughter...
It's that inappropriate classroom laughter syndrome, whereby trying to suppress it just makes everything 10 times funnier.
He didn't have a pretentious bone in his body and would always be a model of charm and affability whenever you bumped into him.
A few of us met up last night in a pub to reminisce...
I got rat-arsed and am suffering today...
I can't drink properly any more...
At least, I can start getting smug about not smoking...That's 2 weeks now, and I've taken the decision to bin the packet of fags on the mantelpiece...
I find stopping smoking pretty easy really...I have no cravings at all really to have one...
The problem is I find starting again for no apparent reason very easy as well...if that makes sense...
But anyway, why do people ALWAYS say whenever anything involves fire...that it is "like a scene from Dante's "Inferno"...
Have they ever seen Dante's "Inferno"?
I doubt it...
How would Dante feel about this?
You could also say it is "like a scene from "Towering Inferno"..."
or "like a scene from Dante's "Towering Inferno" ?
or maybe just "there was loads of fire and that everywhere"
I didn't mind too much being back at work...
It was actually quite a good laugh in terms of office banter...
I observed a man who would come and talk to people at their desks periodically.
What was interesting was that he stood very upright with his arms behind his back in a military style.
He would then speak to the person at their desk, but would look straight ahead all the time, never once making eye contact.
It reminded me of the way the Sergeant Major spoke to the concert party on parade in "It Ain't Half Hot Mum!"....
Is there a point to this anecdote?

Monday, January 08, 2007

08/01/2007 A New Hope?

There's great excitement at Ibrox as Sir David Murray presents the new "dream" management team of Walter Smith and Ally McCoist...!

I'm in shock as I was at the first day of my IT contract today...
Too tired to type...any...more....must rest....must resssssttt....

Saturday, January 06, 2007

06/01/2007 Warming of the global variety

Glencoe, January 2050

Today I noticed that daffodil shoots have started appearing in my garden.
The first week in January?
That's unprecedented!
If you told me 25 years ago that in 2007 I would be commenting on the growth progress of daffodil plants in my garden via the medium of a global messageboard, potentially viewable by the entire planet...I would have believed you and asked you if you would like a cup of tea and a Bandit biscuit...
("You can stand it with Bandit, It's as big as a door")
I'm not watching "Celebrity Big Brother", but I did hear Jade Goody say that she was the "25th Most Influential Person In The World"...
(I think David Bann is number 26?)
Continuing my handyman success at replacing two window panes, I have put up a shelf in the kitchen as an encore.
It is now supporting a heavy load and is perfectly horizontal.
I am on a roll.

Friday, January 05, 2007

05/01/2007 We're doomed...DOOMED...!!!!

Well it seems that messrs McCoist and Smith will indeed be heading to Ibrox....
There's even talk of Alex McLeish getting the Scotland job...
The whole world has gone crazy....
I remember all too clearly attending a series of highly embarassing Champions League nights at Ibrox when Rangers were managed by Walter...
(his record in the group stages of the Champions League is P 16 W 3 ; D 2 ; L 11 , and there were the grim qualifying round exits to the likes of Levski Sofia, AEK Athens & IFK Gothenberg )...
Yes, he won a lot of trophies at Rangers...
However Tommy Burns was in charge at Celtic at the time.
Tommy's match tactic of choice at the time, was to read "The Charge of The Light Brigade" to the players before the match.
Walter's only tactic was to tell all his players to pass the ball to Brian Laudrup or Paul Gascoigne.
Walter's tactic usually prevailed domestically, but was hown to be rubbish in Europe.
The appointment is a backward step, and that's all I've got to say about football for the time being.
Ok, he's improved Scotland...he could hardly have made things worse...!
It's enough to almost make me reach for the packet of Marlboro Light sitting on my mantelpiece....
I haven't touched this packet since Hogmanay...woo hoo...!
I resisted the urge to crush the packet and throw it in the bin...as far as I'm concerned I'm just "currently not smoking"...
I've made stupid pronouncements so much in the past about never smoking again that my credibility is shot to pieces...
If I don't smoke again, fine...but if I do, big deal...c'est la vie...!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

04/01/2007 Ooh La La..! Ou est mon "P Quarante-cinq"?

Well, so much for my ringing endorsement of PLG's management techniques..!
One thing is certain though. This wasn't a straightforward "sacking".
Rangers can't afford to offload him and pay him the remainder of his contract.
The departure has to genuinely be "by mutual consent".
And that is probably a first in the history of Football.

There's talk of Ally McCoist taking over....

...as well as the possibility of Walter Smith coming back...

ah well, it'll all come out in the wash...
Just spare me seeing Chick Young doing his ridiculous attempts at gravitas as he "exclusively" reveals nothing of any interest to anyone ever in the history of the universe...

I was thinking about what Saddam's death announcement in the Baghdad Daily News might be...?

HUSSEIN, Saddam Suddenly, after a long imprisonment, surrounded by his most hated enemies shouting things at him. Keep your Sunni side up!

not very funny is it?
I heard someone describe the mobile phone footage of Saddam as a "Happy Lynching" video...that's quite funny...

I attended a leaving do at the City Cafe last night for the only male member of the waiting staff at David Bann's exclusive eaterie.
If you ask me this would be a great job if you were a young man...
You've got all these gorgeous waitresses to work with and 80% of the restaurant's clientele is female.
You would need to attend evening classes on the use of a shitty stick.
They have a big ceiling fan in the City Cafe.
My friend Mark was in there a few years ago during the Festival when a street entertainer came in on stilts, loudly announcing details of his upcoming show.
Unfortunately, he didn't notice the fan and it smacked him on the forehead, sending him flying off his stilts.
He wasn't seriously injured or anything, and apparently it was very, very funny.
I've told so many people that anecdote that I'm convinced when I'm old and doddery, I'll believe I actually witnessed the event myself.
I bumped into long-time-no-see aquaintances DJ Simon and Siri, and exchanged a few minutes of chirpy banter.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

03/01/2007 Je ne regrette rien

Well done PLG!
I have no sympathy for Barry "Mr Rangers" Ferguson...
It's been apparent for a long time that something is rotten in the state of Ibrox.
I never rated Alex McLeish as a manager anyway, but it was still obvious that certain influences in the dressing room wanted him out and frequently just wouldn't turn up on the day at all.
I suspect Mr Ferguson had some involvement in this, and I reckon he sees himself as untouchable when it comes to conflict with Ibrox managers.
Surrounded by an army of unquestioning sycophants, Barry seems to have detached himself from reality.
If you go against your managers wishes in organising squad piss-ups, then refuse to act on his tactical directions during a game, what do you expect?
BF is a good player, but horribly overrated.
Rangers would be better off without him in the long run.
However, can PLG survive the disdain of the Fergie Loyal if results remain poor?
Well, no he can't....

Well that's my little 2007 football bit.
Wasn't that fascinating?
I don't know why I bother writing about it.
I've lost a lot of my day-to-day interest in Scottish football...
Is there any other country in the world in which the main TV coverage of the "national sport" is scheduled at 11pm on a Monday night?
That's like an admission in itself that no-one gives a shit any more...
Shouldn't it be scheduled at a time to attract the interest of Scottish kids?

Having to sort out all my junk with a view towards submitting my Sel-Assessment Tax form is not good for improving ones mood.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

02/01/2007 Random thoughts

I just got back from a yomp up Arthur's Seat and around Holyrood Park.
It's like Piccadilly Circus up there. I've never seen so many people clambering up the hills there.
There were a few people jogging around the park who I suspect were not in the habit of jogging.
They looked like they were just about ready to collapse with heart attacks...
I reckon they are making the classic "resolution" mistake of doing too much too soon in a desperate, doomed attempt to get fit/lose weight etc etc
Well, I suppose it's better than paying hundreds of pounds to join a gym then never go.
I saw the Wizard of Oz at the cinema the other night.
It brought back fond memories of my last cinema viewing of this film, when as a child, I was severly traumatised by these rather evil looking winged monkeys.
I also remember being irritated as a child at Dorothy going right back to the very, very beginning of the yellow brick road, when she easily could have saved a bit of time by missing out the initial winding section and instead head off from the point where the road opens out a bit and disappears onto the horizon.
I also wondered what type of dope the film producers were smoking when they thought it was a good idea to let the lion sing that dreadful song just before they met the Wizard for the first time. ("King of the Forest" or something like that)
I noticed that his earlier little intro song was a good bit shorter than the Tin Man and Scarecrow equivalents...perhaps he insisted on an extra song to even things up a bit...
Anyway...what a disaster...I can't remember the melody even though I've heard it loads of times...
It's good seeing it at the cinema again...There's lot of stuff going on in the background that you don't notice on the wee TV screen.
(still, no sign of the hanging munchkin though)
I thought Miss Gulch was looking quite foxy...
Strange how your perceptions change...
When the show "This Life" was first out, I couldn't believe that a lovely female like Millie could have an affair with an old sleazebag like O'Donnell.
When the show was recently repeated, I thought O'Donnell seemed like a distinguished, good looking gent, and represented a fine catch for Millie.
What could have changed in my appraisal?
Surely it's not just because I am 10 years older?
I'm not that shallow....
I drove out to South Queensferry on Sunday night, then drove back an hour later and was shocked to see two large trees collapsed over the road, blown down by the stormy weather.
We'd just missed them...
Now that would have been a bad start to 2007...getting squished on the A90...!