Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pac-Man Cheesecake

Tips to enhance meal times, adding value and conversational meaning to ordinary foods and boosting your arty factor quotient: Number 1 in a short series. The simple addition of a single well placed raspberry turns any mundane cheesecake into a colourful tribute to that well loved computer game hero from the distant past (?), Pac-Man.
As per our regular early morning wake up ritual the cat decides that we will not be doing any typing for a short while.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What cats want

Cat's require attention, most of the time but only on their own terms. They will also ignore you and hide, refuse to be friendly and will be repulsed by any contact, but will invariably plant themselves all over you if you intend to work, relax, eat, read or attempt to live any kind of independent life.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Calm down it's just a TV show

Too clever for their own good: Somebody rightly described last night's Sherlock as being what "talented people making shit TV" looks like. Yes, the writers are just a little bit too clever for their own good and maybe, in the case of this series have stretched any abstract or emotional premises that they thought they had some latitude with just a little too far. It may simply be that they really had just run out of ideas and decided to try to make an episode that paid homage to The Prisoner ( a TV series of the 60s). Puzzles and conundrums and mayhem, keep the audience guessing at all costs when all meaning is lost. The idea of rebooting dead characters doesn't help either, that's simply code for "why did we kill them in the first place?" Now we need their mystical gravitas to patch up scene after scene in order to seduce the dumb and needy viewer. It's gone now, along with the magic that the earlier episodes managed to generate. That's the curse of populist TV, not knowing quite when to stop, particularly when it's a cash cow.

Wow, another picture that in years to come will make Mr Gove as comfortable as taking tea with Hitler would. Two buffoons of the first order building a thumb bridge across the Atlantic. Makes you proud to be British. FFS.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Here's some art we prepared earlier.

Alien Snowman

It must be about 39 years since I watched the first Alien film, that's too long to really remember much. I saw the Director's Cut version (whatever that means last night) and caught up with myself having traveled back in time. The future then was a cold, push button world that has now been surpassed and replaced by screen interfaces, apps and implants and a lot less flashing lights, just not much interstellar travel or proper alien encounters so far. A bit disappointing really, the visionaries did their bit, played their part, wrote the scripts, described the jet-packs, robots and worm holes in great detail only to discover that economic and political reality couldn't keep up and deliver. Then everything became distorted through the corrupting lens of social media. No direction, no up or down, no time, only metrics and randomised advertising and strangely targeted messages. So now we live in a virtual video game fantasy where everybody pretends they're having a proper unscripted adventure. Sat Nav trips to supermarkets and drive-thru fast food outlets are our WW3 battles and our most testing human encounters, at least until the real thing comes along. We buy cars that set us free to explore the wild tarmac places, dressed like gangsters or mountaineers depending on the kind of music we like or reality show we watch. Then when the snow comes we hide out in our cocoons, stay in the warm and revisit past places with confused and critical eyes trying to make some sense out of it all.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

See no evil

Please note that these photos are unrelated to the text below and are for test purposes only.

Not many people know that similar photographs taken in different places will have a different file size.  This is due to the Doppler Effect and the variations in gravitational pull experienced at different Latitudes (not Longitudes however). The camera needs more or less memory according to your location as there is no standard light pattern/weight or gravity level at any particular point on the earth's surface. Tesla was the first to realise this but unfortunately took the secret and the explanatory equation to his grave. You can test this theory simply by taking photographs across a range of a few miles and comparing the (unedited) file sizes of each image. I rest my case.

At a time when the world is oozing with dramatic news stories that really need telling, our friends at the BBC have had a weather panic attack and are reporting fifty shades of bollocks about the current "Yellow" warning. A tree blew over near Norwich and there are actual photographs showing almost a 1cm of snow in various supermarket car parks as if it posed some major hazard. Also some houses might get flooded. So it goes on... God knows how they'll cope come the first wave of nuclear attacks or when the civil war (that's the polite UK version) starts up proper. Adverse weather that is a possibility isn't really news, it's weather, can we not just let it happen. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Internal politics

Struggling through the blizzards and general winter bleakness I actually made it to a bus stop just as the bus was about to arrive and stop. Getting on a bus is quite an adventure for me and also a bargain as I get free travel due to my condition. Usually I go for seat on my own by the window. Today was no exception and I enjoyed uninterrupted views of the 9.30 blizzard for the entire journey. I noticed that despite reports on Top Gear (on Dave) cars with fat tyres and cars with thin tyres didn't seem to be at all bothered by the snow, the regular potholes had however broken a few of them. They died where they lay. In a bid to maintain my current level of fitness I got off a stop early and trudged around for a while. Then I collected the car, bought pizza and a large loaf and headed home. Once there I poisoned a few rats in a controlled experiment, fed the squirrels in a less controlled experiment and then fed the birds in an completely uncontrolled experiment. The sofa beckoned so I watched an adaption of the Cod War sagas taken from an Icelandic perspective and then began to photograph the fireplace in a 17th Century style (as above). Next.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Windy Day

One those days that began badly with the dustbin full of recycling (yogurt pots and beer cans mostly) being blown over along with others from the nearby houses. That recycling material is way too light for the winter months. We'll have to start recycling proper heavy duty waste to maintain a little bin stability. Then whilst en route to the Forth Bridge the crackling news bulletin told of war and waste and a Curries International HGV defying safety and good sense and ending itself on the bridge in the wee small hours. Teams of vigilantes were roaming the fields looking to lynch or de-friend the hapless driver or at the very least a company representative, sadly no one could be found as the queues of traffic grew into something just a little worse than normal. 

Scotland was stuck and we prayed to a jealous Hebrew God to at least let a single carriageway open but the great minds of Amey Highways who can't stop a fucking lorry from getting on the bridge had no chance in these conditions. The wind was having none of it anyway and continued to blow, trapping people on buses and in cars (?) for hours, forcing them to drain their phone batteries by whining on Twitter about Trump's golden shower party and also to delete photos to create memory space to take photos of friendly road rage incidents. But in Scotland in January we fully expect some shit to happen and so were not really disappointed, and there's still at least 20 days to go and the promise of a Yellow Weather Warning for tomorrow. Time to hide under the duvet.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reasonably delivered

Yesterday morning came with an orangey sunrise.
"For sale, baby shoes, never worn". So goes the famous six word short story by Hemingway, or so I believe. Today's version: "For sale, mobility scooter, your price". Turns out that if you are ever selling a mobility scooter you need to brace yourself for the sad tale that the prospective buyer will bring and then add into the bargaining process like some financial hand grenade. Inevitable really and though I was well prepared the reality of the moment was stronger and more intense than I had expected. You can call me weak or naive, it doesn't really matter, a deal was struck and I was not disappointed. All in all I'm just a sucker for a good twisted sob story, if  reasonably delivered. After all, I made this one up and Roman Polanski isn't even interested in filming it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Soon to be a world leader

Sleepwalking into the ring. I was going to make some unfunny Trump comment here but what's the point so let's not get bogged down in modern life, there has to be a bright side...

...Oh yes. Our children are now well and truly sucked into an unsustainable and disappointing future thanks to the advent of the smart-phone a mere ten years since it's introduction. It's really odd how progress like this is completely unchecked, ungoverned and very much in the control (at the marketing end) by large corporations. What no one can control or predict easily is quite where this is all taking us. The digital world is not really being built, in all it's various levels, to any single, thought through and agreed design. Chaos Theory in action.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Winter Garden Textures

Yesterday was almost pleasant, although it's a damp, cold and typically grey January day. For some reason the colours and the wood and stone in the garden all seemed peacefully attractive and interesting and worth stopping for and looking at and simply capturing and placing here. 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Rogue One and a Free Strap?

 Three sets, size 9, reputable make, free strap, what could possibly go wrong?

We're probably amongst the last people here in the Grease Belt of Central Scotland to watch this Disneyfied blockbuster. It felt that way last night in an oddly crowded cinema where battle commenced in an fiery mix of Saving Private Ryan and Full Metal Jacket, all nonstop shrapnel and near misses set in a troubled place in space. This is of course the film that fits in between all the other films in the traditional non-linear creation pattern of Star Wars as it seeks to answer the questions that only the Geeks ever asked and the general public didn't seem to care about. Well now we all know how the cartoon like plans of the Death Star came to be in the possession of the Rebels (unruly bunch really, portrayed as being a bit like the Labour Party) and so the whole Star Wars franchise makes more sense. If only the Empire didn't design everything with those huge, unlocked USB type portals so readily available on every corner, they really need a security expert badly. Talk about joined up communications?

Along the way digitized dead actors populated the screen in a video game-like twist, notably Peter Cushing and a young Carrie Fisher. There may have been more lurking like ghosts earning eerie fees for their family inheritances. In the end after a lengthy "beach" battle at the Empire's own Cape Canaveral, everybody on the Imperial planet base dies, good and bad alike as the Death Star wipes them out. This left me wondering quite how the true story could ever have been told, of course that fails to take into account the ways of the Force which now seems to work for you by some kind of repetition or rote style of deployment. I must try it the next time I'm under duress. It could be that Donald Trump (a secret Sith?) is already using this method via Twitter, though he's too dumb to realise it. 

I guess I enjoyed it and there's a few good roller coaster or thrill rides in there so it'll have a life certainly for the rest of mine. Good to see the old X-Wing's getting another outing with the usual dog-fights. I almost expected some kid to stand up amid the burning palms, shake his fist and yell "X-Wing Fighter, Cadillac of the Sky!" It will happen one day. So some say that it's the best Star Wars film yet (though it leans heavily on the original for it's tone and the stolen references) and they may well be right; 9/10.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Out of date...

...but in the frying pan. That post holiday problem, the exploration of the nether regions of the fridge and associated cupboards and tins for unused food that may still be considered safely edible. So the good times have all gone and all we have left to gnaw upon are the ship's biscuits, film wrapped leftovers of uncertain origin and slimy packets of carefully chosen but never consumed meats and cheeses. Like some stranded Martian colony down to it's final set of supplies we try to calculate what kind of food combinations might work for a cook up, and it's all to be done against the clock as if in competition. Everything with food is time critical except when you're buying it. Now the day of reckoning has arrived at long last, no room to dodge the issue and eat favourites. So some is prepared along with complimentary products and eaten, tasting strangely good and some is dumped and some...the crumbly but mouldy bread products, feeds the local birds and bees.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Silvery Tay

Breakfast Bait: Jolly's Hotel in Broughty Ferry does a large Scottish breakfast for £4.95. It's feckin' enormous with two of every thing (except for the beans and a tomato). It was so big I, hungry as I was,  couldn't finish it and needed an emergency 40 winks on my return to Fife hours afterward. I can't understand how this phenomenon hasn't featured in some tragic but lightly humorous Bob Servant story as yet.

Click Bait: OK, I did laugh at the "Real Housewives of ISIS", but just a little, mainly the eight foot chain (how come ISIS are not metric yet?). Watching it was a bit like playing Cards Against Humanity (which I have not put into inverted commas) in that conflicted/funny way you feel when you're being just a little too naughty and others are watching.

Some kind of trick of the light.

Up pops the Pope

We've just trudged through all ten (or was it twelve) episodes of "The Young Pope", I'm still confused. This fantasy, quasi-religious mash-up ran out of steaming holy water around episode three turning into a slow, repetitive churn-fest of familiar Roman Catholic themes, where every other priest is gay, a child abuser, a substance abuser or sexually active in some odd way. Power has corrupted everybody and generally few bishops if any actually believe in god or have any clear understanding of Catholic theology. They spend most of their time prancing around in silly hats and gowns that would look better on a flock of Disney Princesses. There's also a lot of schoolboy level Papal titillation included in a kind of "will he, won't he" way that quickly becomes tiresome and really there's no proper plot other than a sombre orphan narrative that's slowly rolling downhill to nowhere (other than the bottom of the hill). Every so often there are flashbacks and fantasy scenes that make wish that the young Pope would just get over his past and do the job of being Pope however ridiculous that is anyway. I feel sorry for any Catholics or believers watching, god knows (?) what they made of it but it's clicked somewhere, apparently they are filming a second series.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Here comes the Voodoo

Sunny, frosty morning, here comes the cold of the Voodoo, the sharp pain of the spell, the tired out piercing and the dulling of sensations follows. As if life was just some long running and confused celebration.

In some other place a ghostly lion avoids sleep, day dreaming in the hope of finding heat as outside the windows the world spins by and the trapped and frozen lion wonders why.

I don't talk to the early morning trees as they never listen. Cold shards break the light and the day times awaits the coming of the night. Spring will be along soon, green and fragile will return. The persistence of seasons shines through as we dream of warmer mornings and a brighter noontime. Bees and insects, birds and flowers, only away for a few short hours.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Don't worry it's normal

It's normal to worry, usually it's about things that are outside of our control. Things like health, far away and unstable countries, grinning MPs and meteorite strikes all tax the mind, eating away at happiness like some unopened Christmas gift that has a doubtful shape and feel. So unwanted reminder sessions in the school of hard knocks and the unexpected consequences of well meant actions are never too far away. They hang in the air like the smell of urine or dumb Americans praising the good works soon to be done by Trump via some badly constructed text message. Worry is a slow form of mind cancer that is best overcome by studying the blue skies, sipping the milk skin from over heated coffee or puzzling over musical scales and drum beats. Worry sinks without trace like a Russian sub or your bank balance on the 30th day, if you mask it with idle happiness and baseless optimism. It's all a puff of self indulgent mind wandering pollution corrected quickly by any unexpected positive jolt. There's one due at any minute.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Moon, Venus, Mars

Those of you watching the recent Sci-Fact series Mars on the History channel will be aware that there's a fictional planet called Mars not so far away from the Earth. Apparently a cartoon space craft can get there in about six months if the internationally sourced and ill-matched crew can stop arguing and avoid pulling the incorrect lever to the left of the steering wheel. Married couples, brooding scientists and do-gooders should also be avoided as passengers and would be colonists cause they just screw everything up. Venus, also nearby is best ignored as it's very hot and it's surface is covered in boiling vinegar according to the Roman star gazers. Anyway these places plus some large tide pulling moon or other are all visible to the naked eye or any reasonably priced phone in a single shot these days. It's all called celestial alignment and spells good omens for all aboard our troubled planet. Failure to observe these night time sights may bring you bad luck, boils or temporary blindness, bit of a lottery really. So don't shrink back from looking out of your window, simply pause the TV and social network inter-blethers and take in the blessed spectacle before we all get blown to pieces.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Slow start

For whatever reasons I've decided to allow 2017 to start at a much slower pace than previous years. This falls in line with Einstein's  Theory of  "the older you get the less fucks you give" about anything. It may well be that for me 2017 might not start at all or I might postpone it until 2018. If you think about it (?) time is only exists in your own head.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the year show

A few hours from the end of 2016 here in time trapped, storm lashed, baffled old  Scotland. Thanks to all the readers and robots (more robots than readers I guess), the good people of Alaska and Russia and god knows where for some odd statistics and sporadic support and to Google for free hosting. Frankly I'm glad 2016 is done but I've grave reservations and trembling anticipation over what 2017 may hold for us all. Signs are that I may not be able to cover future developments in any kind of clear or rational manner. This blog has been going a while, it probably will continue but I'm not so sure about life on Earth, as we know it.