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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Europlacer Song Contest

In the words of General Douglas MacArthur:

There is no substitute for victory

The votes were counted, opinions were considered, and in the end it was a landslide victory for me in last nights SMT Rock Off Challenge. I'm not that surprised to be honest, as my playlist was an obvious diamond right from the word go.

My colleague, Jaggy Snr, (that's him in the middle) was magnanimous in defeat, and purchased the Lion bar prize with barely a hint of his usual grumpiness.

Now, join in if you know the words:

"EASY! EASY! EASY! . . . . ." (repeat until funny)

This week, I am mostly listening to 'Saving My Face' by K T Tunstall.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Let the Rock Off begin!

My colleague, Jaggy Snr (that's him on the left), has recently challenged me to a Rock Off! We both pick, what we consider to be, a selection of the greatest songs ever (no more than one song by any given artist), and make a playlist of about 2 hours long. Ha Ha Ha! He doesn't stand a chance! . . . but wait, it's not as easy as it first would seem! On my first try, I managed to get it down to 69 songs and 4.5 hours!


Sorry Kate, but 'Wuthering Heights' had to go!

Attempt 2, and after much soul searching, I managed to get it down to 33 songs and 2 hours exactly!
Here we go:

One Great Thing - Big Country
Hangin' On The Telephone - Blondie
Alright - Cast
She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
In Between Days - The Cure
Rebel Rebel - David Bowie
The Killing Moon - Echo & The Bunnymen
King Of The Kerb - Echobelly
Munich - Editors
Twenty Five Miles - Edwin Starr
Pump It Up - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Our Lips Are Sealed - Fun Boy Three
Everlong - Foo Fighters
The Bottle - Gil Scott-Heron
Basket Case - Green Day
Jump Around - House Of Pain
I Want You - Inspiral Carpets
New Sensation - INXS
Sit Down - James
Club Foot - Kasabian
When You Were Young - The Killers
Our House - Madness
Blue Monday 88 - New Order
Supersonic - Oasis
Babies - Pulp
Bully Boy - Shed 7
Don't You Forget About Me - Simple Minds
This Charming Man - The Smiths
Local Boy In The Photograph - Stereophonics
Mersey Paradise - The Stone Roses
The Unforgettable Fire - U2
Lucky Man - The Verve
Werewolves Of London - Warren Xevon

The winner (me) will be decided by a vote by our work colleagues next week. I'll let you know when I win.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Crysis? What Crysis?

Forget Crysis! I'm now playing the highest rated game in history, and it's officialy awesome. In fact, it's so graphically amazing, that even the Burd was impressed. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you 'Gears Of War'. Cool.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is it just me, or is it warm in here?

As I sit here in my Budweiser induced hangover, I find myself perusing the world wide web, and have stumbled upon the IPCC report into climate change. For those of you who haven't heard of this Nobel prize-winning organisation I'll quote you a paragraph from their site:
"The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its constituency is made of :

* The governments: the IPCC is open to all member countries of WMO and UNEP. Governments of participate in plenary Sessions of the IPCC where main decisions about the IPCC workprogramme are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. They also participate the review of IPCC Reports.
* The scientists: hundreds of scientists all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC as authors, contributors and reviewers.
* The people: as United Nations body, the IPCC work aims at the promotion of the United Nations human development goals"

Now I know that climate change is a thorny issue, indeed my colleague, Jaggy Snr, has pontificated at great length regarding his 'smoke & mirrors' attitude towards the subject, but this report is regarded as the definitive work on the current state and future predictions about our planet.

“It confirms the increasing pace of climate change, and the serious impacts we and the rest of the globe may face if we do not get greenhouse gas emissions under control.”
UN Climate Change Minister David Parker

Time to get the heads out of the sand.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Glesga Werewolf In London

This is Oscar material!

Monday, November 12, 2007


The only problem is that I don't want to get it dirty now!

I never thought I'd say this . . .

. . . but come back Vicki Butler Henderson! Top Gear is now officially shite! I've been watching Top Gear since I was a boy. From the days of William Woolard, Raymond Baxter, and Chris Goffey, right through to the questionable 'Best Factual Programme' that we have today, which must be said, has went rapidly downhill over the last two series. When the show returned to our screens in it's current hour-long format, I was delighted, even more so when Clarkson returned, but recently I feel the show has been drifting towards being more about the presenters themselves and less about the cars. I want some humour, some fact, and plenty of cool cars being blasted round a track as fast as is humanly possible. I really couldn't give a shit that you can take three old bangers and drive across Africa in them, I really don't give a monkeys about crossing the Channel in a pick-up truck, and I never ever wanted to play football in a Toyota Aygo even though I suspect that they'll wheel that old chestnut out again some time soon. The show now seems to be breaking it's own rules. For example, the Power Laps board was only ever supposed to be open to road legal cars. There have been plenty of race cars breaking the record, but if they weren't road legal, they didn't go on. Well I can't help but notice that the VW Golf W12 that Fatty tested a few weeks ago has made it onto the board, even though it's a hand-built prototype, yet the Caparo T1 on last nights show was excluded because of it being a bit low to the ground? Now the cynic inside me would say that this was because it's unlikely that anything else will ever beat it's time (8 seconds faster, I guessed about 5 seconds!) but that's just my poor attitude I guess. The BBC would never artificially alter the results of anything like that . . . would they?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Who am I?

There has been a lot of furore over the last 24 hours regarding Glasgow's winning bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and whilst I am happy that this event is coming to Scotland, it has left me considering the question "What does being Scottish mean to me?"
This isn't an easy one to answer, but I'll try.

To me, being Scottish means being patriotic almost to the point of ridiculousness. When we Scots go on holiday or abroad, we have a deep desire to let people know where we're from. We wear Scotland football tops, or at least the strip of the Scottish league team we support, we quite often wear our kilts, and as soon as we bump into another group of our countrymen loud singing will undoubtedly ensue.

Being Scottish to me means that we are happiest when we poke fun at ourselves. No one takes the piss out of a Scotsman like a fellow Scot. It's something we do to ourselves on a daily basis, and it seems that we're almost unique in that respect. If any of my friends were nice to me all the time, that'd freak me out. From an early age, we are conditioned to mock others around us, not because we wish to drive them away, but because it includes us in the group, because we all share the mockery equally between ourselves making us stronger. Bizarrely, it's a system that seems to work.

Being Scottish means that we, as a nation, consider ourselves to be the underdog in this union that is Great Britain, yet we consider ourselves to be superior to the English, and share a common bond of underdogness (made that word up) with the Welsh and the Irish. I think this is true to a certain extent as there seems to be a bit more common sense in Scotland's legal and healthcare systems.

Me? Well I love this country, and I'm glad I'm Scottish. The landscape we live in is well known for being awesome. The standard of living in Scotland is high too, and sure we all eat shit and die early, but we're happy, right? We are a creative people, we invented pneumatic tyres, the fridge, television, the telephone, we even invented the decimal point for fuck's sake!
We have actors like Robert Carlyle, Tom Conti, Brian Cox, Ian McDiarmid, and Ewan McGregor, and we have musicians like Donovan, Stuart Adamson, The Frattelis, Simple Minds, Mark Knopfler, Annie Lennox, Primal Scream, The Proclaimers, and on and on and on . . .

Independence anyone??

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Women - Know your limits!

Take a look at the two photos here, can you tell the difference? Well one of them is 'The Old Girl' and the other is the car that ran into me on the way home! Truth be told, I felt really sorry for the wee girl that hit me. She was only 17 and was shaking like a leaf when she got out. I was expecting the worst when I stopped, as it was a fair old dunt when she hit me, but the Xantia is old school, and is SOLID! A wee mark on my towball boot seems a fair trade to her burst radiator, bent bonnet, and wrecked bumper!
That's how we roll, baby!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Foiled again.

Well 'Woody' isn't going to be ready for Sunday. I'm still waiting on a bottom bracket, some gear cables, and a new 'top swing' front mech. All these parts should be here by Tuesday, when the bike is off to Rock and Road Cycles in Bridge Of Alan for final assembly, so it should be a baptism of fire next weekend.

Please note the alcohol wipes in this photo. I'd like to stress that in NO WAY did these wipes come from my work.

Friday, November 02, 2007

New Toys 2!

Game on!

The cranks are here, the bottom bracket is here, the headset is here, and finally the frame is here. It's a thing of beauty and every bit as fucking trick as I was hoping. 5.5" of travel on the rear should make a huge difference to my riding, as should the forks. It's a race to have it ready for Sunday though, but I'll see what I can do!