Friday, October 30, 2015

Aldi log splitter

Still life with log splitter. 

Few people know that for most of my life it's been an ambition of mine to own my own golden log splitter. As of today that ambition has been realised and I can die a happy, log splitting man. All of this has been made possible thanks to some shrewd purchasing from the well know discount supermarket, Aldi. All for less than a fiver. Of course there has been some sweat and a little pain but I don't care, any opportunity to clobber logs with a sledge hammer has to be taken; taken very seriously. Prospective buyers please note, damp logs do require a little extra effort.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Healthy Eating

Our newly acquired recipe books.
Modern life is confusing. Time was bacon, sausages and fruit juice were seen as wholesome and good for various bodily and nourishment reasons. Now it's all poison. It's black as coal and rancid as Colombian butter. The great and the green and pretty much every kind of food that you might like, particularly guilty pleasures (hot dogs etc.) will now need a detail graphic depicting the grim reaper, entrails of cats and a flaccid penis on the wrapping. It kills you, quickly. Added to that will be a detailed counter showing how many years have been lost as a result of hastily eating a moderate portion of whatever newly categorised piece of junk food you've just consumed via the drive-thru. Life is complicated, diet much more so. So let's all start the day with shot of extra virgin olive oil and some cannabis and prune porridge topped with a poached free range egg, nice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Big Trees

We may have accidentally discovered some of the biggest trees in Scotland. So big that they can't be photographed by humans with tiny phones. At least not in one single shot. Meanwhile in the distance a stag that has been turned to stone by the White Queen of Iceland, Aldi and Narnia meditates and awaits the first rays of spring. Then just a few hundred yards away by foot and by stealth we sneak up and find that out on the water a giant swan is pretending to be a boat just for the day.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stop and consider

Click-bait is everywhere, so beware the obvious traps (some strangely worthwhile), but I liked this little series found via this link. So as it's a busy Saturday I'm close to stopping at that. The wind and the stormy weather have died back, the fallen tree in the garden has been removed, the huge stockpile of peony seeds have either been planted or sorted and along the way a big breakfast was enjoyed. Now we're up for another mission.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Free Bridie Friday

Food: Last Friday a man walked into this shop and asked for 21 steak bridies, 6 mince bridies, 6 shell pies, 6 steak and haggis pies, 3 bean and potato pies and 3 macaroni pies. He left shortly thereafter having paid up in full and was gifted a large amount of "Free Bridie Friday" scratch cards. He was suddenly happy at the chance of winning a pastry prize but he composed himself and stoically got on with the rest of his work for the day (mostly involving driving, donuts and acquiring alcohol). So, busy with other things, birthdays, weekends etc. he promptly forgot about the haul of tickets and got on with life. One week passed.

I found a brace (20 odd scratch cards) in the top pocket of my F&F authentic combat jacket. I scratched for some time, then I started on the cards. Would you believe I scored highly with 2 clear winners? There was spontaneous dancing in the streets. So I headed to a nearby town and despite failing to find a quiet barbers (eventually got a good deal in a Turkish one) I cashed in my chips for 2 normal sized but completely free bridies. Truly it was X X Friday. I also lashed out and purchased 2 fruit scones, just for the hell of it.

Music: This is probably something to do with recent events in the modern music industry, there's some new product(s) available shortly that we should all be interested in apparently:

Love: (of a kind)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Rate my toast

I'm really not sure why I decided to submit a photo of a sardines on toast sandwich to @ratemytoast on Twitter.  It seemed like a good idea at the time and of course based on the user name I should at some point benefit from some kind of toastal rating and constructive criticism. I'd imagine that the score when it comes will not be good. As you can see it's hardly the most photogenic of food creations. I don't care, it tasted fine to me at the time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In the great outdoors

So now I've made it past grizzly sixty what's next? Here on the other side of oblivion life is...just the same really. There's no finish line or flag, no result, just other slender days accompanied by a greater feeling of distance between you and the past. Mountains and life events are far away and remote. You still see things you can't climb towards and you understand why you can't be bothered trying and there are always other things to do that are both closer and easier. The world remains an irritating place. Full of powerful, two faced people repeatedly and blatantly doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. Facts present themselves as facts but they are lies, truth is confused with opinion and opinion is forever distorted by your capacity to see the multiple sides of things. There are a lot of people shouting loudly, leaking their speeches and hogging the limelight with their dull wit at all levels of life. We, the reasonable people, tolerate it as if was wrong to mock the politically afflicted and the philosophically certain.That's just the way it is.

So at the weekend and a party of eager townies rose up and set upon finding the country. Sure enough it was there, just outside of town and filled with parallel language signage, buzzing motorcyclists and threatening insects. The views however made us all speechless and kept us set in a poignant sense of scale. One where nature is truly big and beautiful, raw and all too clever for us. We are roaming misfits here, OK for a day or two of chewing the rocks but then our weak flesh and thin shoes and clothing finds us out as we scuttle backwards into the concrete.  We are spirits in a granite and volcanic world where trade, petty wars and economics have clouded our judgement and messed with values and ambition. There is space to think but most of it is not in our own heads or on a screen (however well developed). It's in the tiny silences and huge spaces, that void between the land and that sky that young children always draw. Then they grow out of that when some distorted sense of adult gravity and proportion comes in. We need to explore it a bit more before it's lost, or just get back to the future.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Birthday bender

Been on a bit of a birthday bender for the last few days. That explains everything and nothing. It was inevitable that this age thing would come upon me, tripped up and trapped as I am by the confines of time and the thought dulling powers of alcohol. Still I'm far from unhappy and still headed in some direction along quite an interesting road. I'm not alone in this either. I'll have more to say once I master the language.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Smaug 3

I think this is Smaug 3 anyway, I keep losing count, burned and battered for that road worn authenticity in a  thin-line tele shape and very much in the throes of design sickness and under construction. The magic of the pyro and Teak Oil will work wonders.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Singing in private

Singing in private is probably the best and most liberating way to exercise your vocal chords. No audience, no tension, no expectations, no concern over mistakes; and you can sing whatever words you like without getting pulled up over a chronic lack of song knowledge.

There are many other things that can be done in private but let's not bother going there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The pious bird of good omen

Somedays don't you just want to drink a lot of creamy milk, meditate and ride on the back of a gigantic white bird across an impossible landscape...endlessly in huge random circles. Well it's been one of those days but like all things it will pass. Everything must pass, thank goodness.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

High living

The infamous Red Road Flats were demolished today, about twenty minutes ago in fact. Twitter went into all sorts of iPhone powered Glaswegian convulsions as a result. It seems to have been a great spectator event. Now we have the regular and slow, stalling demolition of the ignominious non-listed buildings of Scotland, dust particle by dust particle accompanied by some Sunday afternoon bevvy. The end of an unloved  concrete and steel dream of living fairly close to the clouds in harmony with who knows what. Now houses are to be built, hopefully in more humane proportions by 3D printers, quickly and effectively. Replacements in decent design and in better, sustainable ideas abound, each with it's own whirling windmill and reflective panels set to dazzle the Russian bomber pilots whilst vacuum packing the householders against the hostile elements in triple glazed splendour.The snag is they'll still be occupied by our petulant and feeble human kind; and that's the ongoing problem. None of us fit in all that well when we crowd together in this green and pleasant land. Social housing but few social skills, little tolerance and always quick to take offence. Of course it's the government, education and the media to blame, eh?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

His Bobness

When not busy being the semi-retired genial and erudite genius of the beat/pop/rock/folk/( and all genres that are applicable) generation apparently His Bobness, Mr Dylan likes nothing better than to weld together scrap metal in his spare time. He makes gates, fence sections and artefacts from junk. He does this in a big shed (great concept for blokes of a certain age range) in Malibu, instantly proving that all lost and bewildered men need a shed of some sort in which to explore their creative instincts. They probably need to injure themselves a bit in the process as well and get annoyed and frustrated with how tricky it can be to do simple things in metal fabrication. I salute his efforts and look forward to seeing his work, it is about to be exhibited somewhere over here in the near future. I need some ideas for a new gate so who knows where this theme time ironmongery will lead.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Friday night

Friday: Bimbled about a bit, drove to Dundee, reset the pesky "run flat" tyre sensor (now reaching expert level), put up with the rain, threw together (?) a beef olive/haggis and random vegetables casserole and placed it in a slow but warmish oven, considered a suitable wine and naturally picked the only one there actually that's Friday. I did some work earlier however just to maintain some balance but nothing world changing I'm afraid. So there are some funny cartoons here...these (below) are the ones I liked best.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Best of the day

Worst of the day really. Not much to add to this, says it all rather nicely. We certainly get the politicians we don't deserve, such a fine, caring group of people running things right now. I'm sure they'll put everything back in it's proper place once they are done, if there's anything left that is.

Best so far. We've got a moon tune on the internet radio thingy here... thanks to Fi.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Unplanned chaos

A nearby outbreak of unplanned chaos blighted my travel plans and some small opportunities for life in a more sociable world. Not deterred and armed with a deep seated joy for life and a manic kind of obstinacy I stayed at home did some ironing. With only two cats, a dead mouse and dead spider for company but my spirit refused to crack despite the voices of doom and uncertainty playing on the radio. As dusk fell I feasted on strangely flavoured tuna and contemplated the lost art of songwriting whilst solving simple mechanical problems in my head. After a while I put on a woolly jumper, reflecting on the changes of season and the poor news coverage regularly provided by BBC Scotland. A channel that is easily bad when it could quite easily be good. I'm not sure what's wrong there. Now a cat is lying across the keys of my laptop like some furry bolted on keyboard guard. Time to do something else.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Peanuts & shake

Back to food, staple diets, gourmet burgers and that sort of thing; tonight's tea, peanuts, peanut butter milkshake and a (gourmet) cheeseburger with a large potion of tiny chips. Turned out to be a satisfying but over too quickly kind of meal. The good news is that I felt perfectly safe to drive not long after consumption.


Almost but not quite abandoned in Glasgow. A strange, perfect and dilapidated building that has somehow survived who knows what.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Monday seems like Tuesday

Things we didn't enjoy tonight; various TV shows and films such as University Challenge, The Kennedys, Under the Skin, Neil Oliver blethering about the Celts, the John Peel Lecture with Brian Eno, the weather forecast, some weird dragon film on the Sci-Fi Channel, Alaskan Goldrush and not finding series 5 of Homeland (because it doesn't begin until next week). These things, it would seem are sent to try us, like chocolate. We seek entertainment and meaning here, there and nowhere in particular and are thwarted by a lack of proper choice and our own unrealistic expectations. We're not bored really, we're active but we're still looking for something that we can't quite describe or define. We're hardworking and tired, we move around and find meaning in...meaning something. We like macaroni cheese and sausages but there are other foods. We like Mondays but on a Monday Tuesday can seem to be a better bet.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Martian Chronicled

So is there a word for that feeling you get when you get to the end of the big film, the titles are rolling, the music is swelling up around you and slowly everybody leaves their seats, kind of stumbles along to the steps and with coats and bags and stuff and heads down the stairs in the flickering film light to the flat front of house and then out into through the two sets of double doors to the main corridor that gets you back to the foyer and daylight? Your head is in in odd place and it's tough to strike up conversation. Things like "wow" or "that sucked" might be going through your head but how you really are feeling can be difficult to express. It must be a common experience and situation but I don't quite have a good, appropriate word for it. I bet the Germans do.

This random thought was sparked by an unusual early Sunday afternoon visit to the cinema to watch "the Martian" in wonderful 3D. It was fine really, I'd mark it at an 80% as a good piece of  Sci-fi entertainment, there's some minor plot holes and a bit of miscasting here and there but well worth the watch.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Vinyl black hole

Still on this erratic voyage of rediscovery. This week's chosen item of pleasure / torture being "Then Play On". A suicidal and enigmatic offering that sees the doomed guitar stars, Danny Kirwan and Peter Green burn themselves out as they question existence and meaning via the neck of a Les Paul. The therapy didn't work and the band collapsed shortly thereafter as M Fleetwood, J McVie and the mischievous J Spencer, all clearly sidelined from the beginning of this project looked on aghast and sought out their own kinds of personal salvation. That led to a mixture of tragedy and multi-million dollar sales and earnings. None of that seemed likely in 1972 to this puzzled listener.

So after 40+ years what are we left with? As an album it's not aged well, Kirwan's songs are trite and annoying, Green's troubled work masquerades as deep and spiritual but is saved by that guitar tone and finger light technique. His mental health is certainly stretched out in the lyrics but back then who knew anything of the dark side of the mind? It's a bizarre and mixed album. Maybe best forgotten but, if like me you first heard it as a vinyl scraping and head booming experience when a teenager then the angst and the questioning probably disturbed you. It scarred you just enough for you to remember it with fondness and if nothing else respect for the unpolluted, undistorted studio sound of a real band. Best track? Rattlesnake Shake, it has everything; mad drums, big guitar sound, humour and ritualistic and comical masturbation. Next!