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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Big Trak


It was the year that Scotland voted for home rule, the first space shuttle, Columbia, was built, and Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister.

. . . all of which was small potatoes compared to the excitement of getting Big Trak as a Christmas present that year, and here he is, 28 years later!

Now Biggie has been parked up for the best part of 25 years, so I think it's only fair that I treat him to a service and MOT before taking him for a test run.

Watch this space!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"I thought Europe was a country, y'all?"


I rest my case.

Death Race 2000

Get the bastard, Seb!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Virgin Media

Brrring Brrring, Click!

(Cue barely understandable ethnic accent)
"Hello and welcome to Virgin Media, how can I help you?"

"Hi, I've just upgraded to a High Definition TV and would like my free HDMI cable please."

"An H...D...M...I... cable, sir?"

"Yes. I'm a High Definition TVDrive subscriber and am entitled to a free HDMI cable, as per your website."

"Just bear with me . . . . how long have you had your TV package with us, sir?"

"Nearly 5 years."

"Just bear with me . . . . and your cable has been missing?"

"No, I've just upgraded my TV to a HD one."

"Just bear with me one moment . . . . is your cable broken, sir?"

"No, I never had a cable."

"Do you have TVdrive, sir?"


"Just bear with me . . . . it comes with a HDMI cable, sir."

"I know it does! When I had it installed I didn't have a HD television, therefore I didn't need an HDMI cable!"

"Did the engineer not leave you a cable, sir?"

Decision time. Do I calmly answer my Asian brother's ridiculous interrogation, or do I go for the obvious "Do you think I'd be asking for a fucking cable if he'd left me one?!" answer?

"No. . . He. . . Didn't."

"Just bear with me one moment, sir . . . . ok sir, I will have one sent out to you within 5 to 10 days. Would there be anything else, sir?"

(Learn to speak English maybe?)

"No, thank you."

"Ok sir, thank you for calling Virgin Media and have a nice day."


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Retail Happiness . . .

. . . is a new SONY Bravia KDL32T2800 LCD Television.

"It has a contrast ratio of over 8000 to 1" says the shop salesman.

"That's pretty good then" says I.

"Oh yes" replies salesman "that Philips one there has only 4000 to 1"

"Well I think I'll be taking the SONY one then" quips I.

"You won't be disappointed, I have one of these myself" says my new friend.

. . . and on we go with the traditional electrical goods soap opera.

"Remember and try to get me to buy an extended warranty!"

How we laughed!

P.S. - Yes, that is Home And Away that's on, but at least it keeps her off the PC!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saint David

"Saving these children's lives is a top priority for Unicef and as an ambassador I hope I can help to draw attention to this issue across the world"


These are the words, not of Kofi Annan, or Mother Theresa, or even Bob Geldof. They are the sombre musings of that other great humanitarian of our times, David Beckham.

But wait . . .

Exactly whose attention is he trying to get?

Is there anyone on the fucking planet that DOESN'T know that people die in Africa from things like starvation, war, disease, etc etc?

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that he's deciding to do a bit for charity, but I also think he damn well fucking SHOULD do a bit for charity! This is a man who gets paid $1 million dollars a week. A WEEK! But spending 4 days in Sierra Leone? Nah, that's just not good enough, Dave.

Becks and his missus are worth an estimated (and probably a conservative) £112 million, so have acquired enough folding to see them through their lives, and probably through the lives of their kids, in the lifestyle to which they have become oh so accustomed.
If he really wanted to help Unicef, an organisation which is deserving of as much help as possible, he'd say "Right, I'm fucking loaded. How about from now on I donate all my wages and sponsorship earnings for the next decade?"

Overnight, he'd become a lifesaver a thousand times over, he'd possibly start a celebrity trend worth having for a change, not just rehab and handbag dogs, and he'd certainly do a lot more good than just visiting a war-torn African nation for 4 days, posing for photos with cute little orphans, and spouting rehearsed charity propaganda.

Like him or loathe him, but Bill Gates of Microsoft fame has the right fucking idea. Money. It's sad to say, but it's all about money. You have too much cash Dave, give some away you media whore.

I give a monthly donation to the charity 'Riders For Health'. It's not a lot, but it's what I can afford. They do a great job under difficult conditions. They get money, I get a clean conscience, everyone wins.

Preach to me when you're actually doing a bit, you ignorant cunt.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Totally Lentil!

The humble Lentil.

We all love this tasty little thing in our soups and stews, but whilst eating my delicious lentil & bacon soup today, I realised that I had no idea what it was and where it comes from.

Luckily I happened to stumble across (yes, really!) which has a page impressively entitled 'Letil Facts & Lore'.



Here we go:

The lentil is a cousin of the bean, and both are a part of the legume family. All legumes are seeds that grow within pods.

Lentils are shaped like a lens. In fact, lens is the Latin word for lentil. The size and appearance of lentils varies depending on the variety.

Lentils have been found in Egyptian tombs that date from 2400 BC. It may have been used as an aphrodisiac. They also thought that the lentil enlightened the minds of children, making them more cheerful and studious.

During World War lI, Americans were encouraged to eat lentils to help the wartime economy.

Fascinating, I'm sure you'll agree!

I've signed up for the weekly 'Lentil News' email, so expect more lentil-based trivia soon!

P.S. - Should anyone be interested, the 20th annual National Lentil Festival is on Friday & Saturday, August 22-23, 2008 in Pullman, Washington.

See you there!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chieftan o' the puddin race


You either love it or loathe it. There is no middle ground.

I spent my entire life being disgusted at the very thought of Scotland's traditional dish, right up until the 12th of June 2004. I was part of the wedding party at my friend Jason's wedding to his lovely wife Jennifer, and being an usher, I was kept pretty busy all day. This meant I didn't get much chance to have food, so when I saw a waitress strolling around the reception with a platter of hors 'douvres I thought salvation had found me:

"What have you got there, little girl?" Says I.

"Just some haggis balls left" says waitress.


"Ok, gimme one" I reply.

5 minutes later I'd scoffed the fucking lot and my love affair with the mighty haggis began. Since then I've become a regular haggis muncher and try my hardest to follow Burns Night tradition and have haggis on or around the 25th of January every year, but it is with some concern that I have discovered that not all the nations of our world unite under the haggis banner. The US, for example, has haggis on the 'banned substances' list and has done since 1989!

You can eat a Chicken McNuggets which contain little or no chicken, but you can't eat haggis, the most organic of foodstuffs?!

Lets just go over the contents of this ambrosia:

1 Set of sheep's heart, lungs and liver (cleaned)
1 sheep or lamb's stomach bag (cleaned)
3 cups finely chopped suet
1 cup medium ground oatmeal
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 cup beef stock
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon mace (which I thought was something used to incapacitate muggers)

What's not to like?

If you're disgusted at the thought of eating this, then just consider what you're chomping into the next time you order a Whopper meal.

Food of The Gods

Ben & Jerry's?? Haagen Dasz?? Baskin Robbins??


I laugh in the face of all these so-called luxury ice cream makers!
Not one of them has a product that can hold a candle to the mighty Mackie's Of Scotland 'Traditional Luxury Dairy Ice Cream'. It is without a doubt the best that money can buy, fresh from the farm in Aberdeen.
I actually think I could eat a whole tub in one go. All I need is the right amount of beer and the right friend to dare me.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Ahh . . . the mighty Forth Road Bridge!

Magnificent, isn't it?

A feat of civil engineering completed in 1964 connecting North Queensferry in Fife to South Queensferry and Edinburgh. It cost £11.5 million to build, was the fourth largest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed, and is now a Catagory A listed building.

. . . and it's fucked.

Yep, it's knackered, kaput, wasted, shagged, and whatever other adjective you wish to use to describe it's deteriorating condition.
The problem is the suspension cables themselves, which are made up of approximately 11,000 strands. Strands which are now snapping at the rate of one a month!

It's looking increasingly likely that HGV's will be banned from using the bridge from as early as 2013, and that another bridge will have to be built pretty damn sharpish.

The rail bridge, on the other hand (completed in 1890), is doing just fine.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Who the fuck funds these people?

They've done it!

People said they'd never do it, but they proved them wrong!

Hungarian scientists have developed software that can translate the growls, yaps, barks, and grunts that your dog makes!

Let's just mull over this snippet of earth-shattering news:

In Hungary, there are 'scientists' who have decided that the cutting edge of research isn't hybrid embryo cloning or spintronics or even the 'Large Hadron Collider', but talking to your dog? That's the edge, God damn it!

Now apart from the fact that this software is the most useless piece of shite since 'The Sims', most dog owners are already pretty adept at knowing what their dog is trying to tell them. When my dog barks and wags it's tail, it's happy. When my dog barks and growls, it's up for a fight. When my dog yelps, it wants me to stop standing on it's paw. You're getting the picture here, right?

If they win a Nobel prize, I'm buying an airline ticket to Hungary and a gun.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Waiting Room

I was at my Doctor's surgery today, which meant I had to spend 20 minutes in the waiting room. Now this is a great place for observing social convention, the unwritten rules by which we all live. I'll explain:

Upon entering the waiting room you will head for the first seat you see that has an empty chair either side of it. You NEVER sit down next to someone as this would mark you down as a weirdo. Only if every other seat in that God damn room is taken can you sit there without everyone else judging you. This is Rule 1.

Once the heat has died down, you are the new bloke in the room after all, you can start to casually glance around you, speculating on what conditions all the other fellow waiters are suffering from, but you must NEVER make eye contact! This is Rule 2.

You may sigh loudly, or tap your feet, or read the posters, but you must NEVER speak to anyone else in the room, even if you know them. You must do your time in silence. This is Rule 3.

There will be a woman with a child who cries a lot, and there will be an old person who has a cane or a stick of some description. There will be a strange mix of TV magazines and golf magazines, and at least 1 box of children's toys in a corner.
You will find yourself wondering if the carpet really is hard wearing, or that maybe you really should go for the 'Men's Health Check', or any other random thought that boredom induces in you.

You are now one of the group, and can scrutinise fresh waiters as they enter, daring them to take a seat next to someone.

Suddenly, the buzzer goes, the tannoy calls your name, and it's all over too soon. Until the next time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

San Quentin here we come!

I should warn you, I'm about to sound like someone's dad, but what the fuck is going on with the 'Youth' of today? I'm referring to today's conviction of three teenagers for the murder of 47 yr old Gary Newlove.
As the BBC put it:

"Garry Newlove, 47, died two days after being "kicked like a football" when he confronted a gang in Warrington in August 2007, Chester Crown Court heard."

In my day, whenever that was, if someone my parents age gave me a row, or said those terrifying words "I'm telling your dad!", I'd be shitting myself, because I knew that if that person did indeed tell auld Andra what I'd been getting up to, then I was in for a right good kicking when he got home from 'The Club'!

Young people nowadays bask in the safety net that is The Law. That being that if some young shite is trying to steal your car stereo, you catch him, and in the words of Scotland's national hero, John Smeaton, "put the boot in!" then it is you, my friend, who shall be spending time at Her Majesty's Pleasure.

I hope these murdering wee bastards get a monster prison sentence handed down to them, or at the very least raped in the showers, but experience has shown that time and time again the punishment does not feel remotely severe enough to match what is a shocking crime. I'd send the bastards to Jaggy Island!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Round, round, like a record, baby!"

Some days you just open the paper, and everything seems good in the world.
Robbie Williams, everyone's favourite talentless prick, has announced that he is 'on strike' due to not sharing the vision of his record label's new owners.

This is a tragedy!
How is the poor lad going to put food on the table?!

Oh aye, with that £80 million pound record deal he has, that's how!

Don't be so naive. Lets do a CSI on this story:
Robbie has fell from the limelight recently, but he allegedly has a new album ready to go which he is now holding back, but maybe it's not so clear cut. I'd like to offer a different hypothesis. Robbie gets other people to write almost all of his songs. His most successful writing partner has left him. Any publicity is good publicity.

I think you can see where I'm going with this.
When it comes to Robbie Williams, the only talent he has is a gift for media manipulation.

On strike?!

It's all spin, baby!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


GodTube. It's fuckin' hilarious!

Charlie Wilson's War

. . . is probably the only film I've seen Tom Hanks in that I've enjoyed. The true story of Texas Congressman "Good Time Charlie" Wilson who, in the early 1980's, conspired with a rogue CIA agent to fund the Afghan Mujahadeen in their war against the Soviet armed forces. The fact that this film is a true story made it even better and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tom Hanks gives a typically understated performance, but Julia Roberts, who many consider to be a top flight actress, just didn't do it for me and felt out of place in her role. Philip Seymour Hoffman on the other hand, who plays Gust Avrakotos, the CIA agent, completely steals the show with a fantastic performance.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

You don't have to be gay to be a wanker . . .

. . . but the guy who lives upstairs from me is both. Not only is his old shit-stained toilet STILL lying at the back of the house, not only is his wheelie bin STILL filled with rubbish because the pillow-biter put the wrong stuff in it and the bin men refused to lift it, not only does he STILL insist on dragging furniture across his wooden floorboards at 2am, but for the 3rd day in a row now we've had 'Spirit' by Leona Lewis playing extremely loudly ALL. FUCKING. DAY!

Looks like it's time for another round of 'Gay Bar' by Electric Six.

"Just hit the dash, that'll stop the rattle"

Most of you would recognize the Grumman F-14 Tomcat as the big plane that Tom Cruise flew in 'Top Gun', but what you might not know is that only one other country bought the F-14 for it's armed forces, and that country was Iran.

Pause for irony . . .

. . . carry on.

The Nirouyeh Havaiyeh Shahanshahiye Iran, or Imperial Iranian Air Force bought 80 F-14A's and began to take delivery in 1977. This lucrative contract was worth approximately $300 million to Grumman, and helped save the entire F-14 programme from being cancelled.
Following the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the US decided to impose an embargo upon Iran, holding back on all deliveries of parts, spares, and also the 80th and final F-14 itself.

Fast forward to 2008, and Iran is alone in continuing to use the F-14, the US having retired the aircraft in March of 2006, so this means that the Iranians have continued to keep their fleet operational from 1977 onwards with no access to parts and spares.
I can only assume that these once formidable air-superiority fighters are currently held together with copious amounts of Duct Tape, Hubba Bubba, and Pritt Stick!

You could probably take one out with an air rifle!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jehovah! Jehovah!

This is Stephen Green. He's a Christian fundamentalist campaigner, leader of the UK's 'Christian Voice' organization, and he's fucking mental. I can say this for two reasons. One, the UK basks in the safety of the freedom of speech laws whereby I can say pretty much anything I like, and two, he's fucking mental.

This is Dr Evan Harris, he is the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon, and has recently proposed that the UK's blasphemy laws be removed on the basis that there are many other laws that would protect groups of people and not just the Christian Church.

For example, Mr Green believes that portraying Jesus (a character in a novel written 2000 years ago) wearing a nappy is blasphemy and should result in a prison sentence or a public stoning, whereas naming a teddy bear Mohamed is fine because this Mohamed character isn't in the Bible.
In other words, Stephen Green wishes to take the UK back a couple of hundred years to the time when censorship was rife. His organization is attempting to take the BBC to court for showing 'Gerry Springer: The Musical' on the grounds that it's blasphemous, portraying Jesus, as I've said, in a nappy and sporting an erection, but surely if the Bible is true, and that Jesus was a real man, then surely he woke up one morning with a boner!

The blasphemy laws are ridiculous. There are plenty public order offences that offer pretty much the same protection to much more people.

I don't believe in God. I think anyone who does is misguided or weak-minded, but I certainly uphold your right to believe in whatever deity you want, but in no way should you be able to decide what I am allowed to read, watch, listen to, purely on the grounds that YOU may find it offensive. It's called the off button, and you're free to use it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Nostalgia: Heroin for old people.

Today, for your viewing pleasure, I have posted what I consider to be some of the greatest tv theme tunes of all time. Enjoy.

The Professionals


Fraggle Rock

The Rockford Files

Pole Position

Metal Mickey

Admit it, you sang along to Fraggle Rock.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I may be The Stig, but I'm definitely not The Ari.

Every time I watch Top Gear I always think that I could do a faster lap than their so-called celebrity driver. I've been driving for over 20 years, have a thing for fast cars & bikes, and generally consider myself to be a bit of a petrolhead.

This, on the other hand, is true genius at work. The year is 1988 and Peugeot have decided to make an attempt on the Pikes Peak hillclimb record with the 800bhp 405 T16 GR, and Finnish rally driver Ari Vatanen (MEP Ari Vatanen, Chairman of Mobility for Prosperity in Europe). His subsequent record stood for 6 years.

Road Rage

. . . is something I definitely suffer from, and it's been getting noticeably worse over the last couple of years. Let me paint the picture:
Today I had the misfortune to journey into Glasgow city centre, a trip of some 25 miles or so. I didn't want to go, knowing that it was Saturday, the sales were on, and the weather was foul, but I had to go, so I'm already at Defcon 3 by the time I hit the motorway.

There are road works near Cumbernauld which slow the traffic down to just under 40mph in both lanes = Ding Dong! Defcon 2.

Then some nob in a brand new BMW X5 decides to sit in the fast lane at 55mph. At first I assume that it's because the driver in front of him is slowing, but after glimpsing ahead of him round a bend, I see that the road in front of BM Boy is empty! = Hello Defcon 1!

At this point I'm calling the driver of the Chelsea tractor every name I can think of, and I'm sure that if my mother had been in the car at the time, then she'd have started crying. Once said arsehole finally moves to the inside lane, I'm further angered to see that he's no older than 19/20, has a baseball hat on that's about 8" tall, and at least 3 sovereign rings on each hand.
By now I've convinced myself that 6 months in jail is a small price to pay for happy slapping homie all the way home.

Thankfully the comedy show on Radio2 stepped in to diffuse the situation.
I now know why millionaires all buy helicopters.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I don't want to get my hopes up . . .

. . . but things are definitely looking good for a Britney Spears total F.U.B.A.R. meltdown!

With a bit of luck it might be a case of one down, two to go!

Ok K-Fed, lawyers at the ready, boy! . . . and don't blow it this time!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Barking mad!

As I lay on my couch yesterday in my post-celebratory hangover, I found myself surfing the airwaves in a vain attempt to find a tv program that could hold on to my attention for more than 2 minutes, when I happened to find something called the E! Channel, and no its not about class 1 drugs. This channel is devoted to the phenomenon that is Celebrity. Now I've voiced my opinion and open contempt for this concept in the past, but this show had something that actually amazed me. They had a reporter inside P Diddy's New Year party, and I swear that every second female 'celebrity' strolled up the red carpet with a fucking dog either tucked under their arm or stuffed in a handbag!

What the fuck is that all about?!

I've had dogs all my life, but I'm pretty sure that the last thing that a small Shi Tzu really needs is flashguns going of in it's face, being carried everywhere by it's ribcage, and forced to listen to dance music on a bejillion watt P.A system!

This, once again, reinforces my belief that these people have way too much power and status attached to them. You know something's wrong when most school kids aspire to be simply 'famous'. Not a famous musician or actor or footballer, but just to be 'famous'.
It's possible to be incredibly famous and live a 'normal' life, many people do, but the vast majority seem to feel the need to throw common sense straight out the penthouse window and take their pooch for a pint.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Well 2007 has come and gone. Good, get rid of it. It's obsolete already.

I hope everyone had a good time and I'd like to wish you all the very best in the coming year.

2007 will go down as the year that . . . well, nothing particularly memorable happened, in my opinion. I can't recall a single event that sticks in my mind that would give me reason to put 2007 in the 'Outstanding' file. It just happened, that's all. Well I'm off to lie on the couch to let this hangover run it's course.

Wish me luck.