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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Intolerable Cruelty

Just when poor Andrew Sachs is starting to get over his current phone abuse trauma, yet another highly respected and well loved celebrity is having their life ruined, yes ruined, by the callous acts of a few others.

*Award winning "actress" Sienna Miller is suffering a "campaign of harassment" by paparazzi photographers that is making her poor wee millionaire lifestyle a misery.
Sienna, who has apparently been in 15 films even though she's most famous for nobbing Jude Law, has told a court in London that she has been caused "substantial alarm, fear and enormous distress" every time she steps out of her house.....immaculately made-up and wearing the very latest cutting edge fashion, or whenever she shows up at première of a new movie. How dare they take photographs of a woman who has devoted her adult life to being in the public eye.

Poor wee lamb.

It's no wonder she wasn't in court for the hearing. She's far better off staying in America for now, where she's filming a movie. If she was in court, some unfeeling swine might snap off a quick photo. The bastards.

*She won the EMA Futures Award, whatever the hell that is, at the 2007 Environmental Media Awards.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Carlsberg Don't Do Stag Nights . . .

My sister will be getting married soon, so that means that The Mighty Stu will be having his stag night. This got me thinking about who I'd like to have on on my own ultimate stag night.
I'll assume that all my male friends, colleagues and relatives would be there, but which 6 personalities, alive or dead, would I love to have along for the ride?

1. Oliver Reed
It's easy to disapprove of his lifestyle, but no one can dispute that Oliver Reed lived his life his way, and had a damn good time doing it. The ultimate Best Man.

2. Dara O'Briain
A good laugh is an essential part of any successful stag/hen night, and who better to deliver them than the Punch It Chewie! comedian of choice, Dara O'Briain.

3. James Hunt
All the chicks love a Formula 1 driver and James Hunt did his best to love them all right back. A well known hell-raiser away from an F1 car, he'd be right at home on my prenuptial celebrations.

4. Robert Burns
Scotland's favourite son and a man who liked his women as much as he liked his drink.
I can only imagine the poem he would write after our night on the tiles.

5. Valentino Rossi
The One True God and without doubt the most gifted motorcycle racer the world has ever, and will ever, see. Is he gay, is he straight? Who cares. In my life he's a living legend.

6. Stuart Adamson
The Big Country front man left this world WAY too early in 2001, so if I could I'd definitely want to share a beer with him. It's the least I could do to say thanks for all the pleasure his songs have brought me.

All in all, I'm pretty sure that this would be a stag night to remember. It almost makes getting married seem worthwhile.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"These Are Not The Droids You're Looking For"

This may well turn out to be a long post because I've been worshipping at the alter of Staropramen all evening.
I have to thank the Jagmeister General for letting me know about a blogpost over on the Ben Lomond Free Press. Big Rab does a much better job of explaining it than me, but the general gist is as follows. The British Humanist Association has recently started an appeal to raise money to fund an ad campaign on London's fleet of bendy buses. These ads would cost approximately £11,000 to fund, but the worlds most famous athiest, Professor Richard Dawkins, has offered to stump up half the cash, leaving the BHA to find their £5,500 through an online appeal.
As I type this, the appeal has raised £106,932.00!

Now I fervently, yes fervently, believe in the rights of anybody to believe in anything.
If you wish to believe that the planet was created in only 6 days by an old man, who may or may not be white, but who is well known for having a penchant for long flowing locks and comfortable clothes and who lives in a large estate on a cloud in the sky, then be my guest.

If you want to believe that cows are sacred, or that mice are "the soldiers of Satan", by all means, knock yourself out.

If you have a hole in your life that can only be filled by an imaginary friend who you share with millions of other people, all of whom would probably be caught out be the Jedi mind trick, don't let me stop you, go for it.


As a card carrying atheist, I think that people like me, who believe that EVERYTHING that is alive is simply part of an organic process, should be allowed to shout about it too. I don't know how or why life started on Earth, and I'm not really sure that I care, but I certainly don't believe that we were spontaneously popped into existence like Mr Claypole from Rentaghost.

If you are a true believer, answer me these questions:
What about all the people who lived before Jesus let everyone know what all the rules were? Are they all in hell for not believing in God?
Amazon tribesmen who've never been exposed to religion? Are they all in hell too?
Is every creature that has ever lived still up there in heaven? Every rabbit? Every cockroach? Every amoeba?
What's the cell count cut-off point for getting into heaven? Is multi-cellular life in and single-celled life out?
If I'm a widower and I re-marry, am I allowed to have two wives up there when I pop my clogs? Is bigamy cool with The Big Man?
What happens to infants who die before they have a chance to learn about the Ten Commandments?

If God made you and me and Grace Jones, then surely he must also have made the Ebola virus, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and ingrown toenails.
Why would he let all these flaws exist, causing pain and suffering to hundreds of thousands of people? Will he be releasing a patch when he's got it all figured out?

Earth Service Pack 1, including Mankind 1.1.
Designed to eradicate cancer, suffering, ginger hair and Lily Allen.

I donated £10 quid to the atheist bus campaign and I feel good about it.
I have faith.

Having said all that, and in the interests of being circumspect, IF there is a God, then I think he probably looks like Paul Teutel Snr, head of the Orange County Choppers empire. Same attitude, just more hair and less tattoos.
Drinking at home. It's never a good idea.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Magnificent Octopus

Due to overwhelming public demand by all three of you, I have decided to post, in it's full unabridged form, the (very) short story wot I did way back in 1977.

First, some background.
I grew up in an area of Falkirk known as Langlees. It was/is universally accepted to be the scummiest area of town and really just sprang up as a sort of dormitory area for the workers at the BA (British Aluminium) factory that at the time was one of the area's biggest employers.
Like so many British firms from the sixties and seventies, it's now nothing more than a memory, but both my father and mother worked there, their eyes meeting across a crowded blast furnace.
In 1977 the factory asked the pupils of my school to "do something" for some sort of celebration they were having, the reason for which now escapes me. Some kids painted pictures, some kids made sculptures from aluminium cans, and I decided to write a story, 'Boxarum'. One of my friends, Steven Cowan, was a dab hand at graphic design, even as a 7 year old, and he kindly supplied the cover art.

By Gordon Inch (Age 7)

The starcruiser with its load of bauxite came to its destination, Boxarum, which was really a space station with the power to produce enough aluminium for the whole universe. Looming ever nearer Boxarum, the starcruiser's captain saw the planet's sun, which was at the port side of the ship. This sun produced all the power the planet needed to operate, it worked on solar energy.
Boxarum was owned by the Galactic Aluminium company, G.A., which many hundreds of years before was called the B.A., British Aluminium. As the starcruiser landed and its retro rockets died down, a group of workers came forward to unload the ship. They came from many planets, fromYanis, Meltoroid, Malgo, Zacar and Accor. They all looked different. The men from Yanis looked like huge moles with smooth black fur and tiny blind eyes. They had feelers which were better than eyes. Melteroid men looked like big gorillas, Malgo men looked like long pipes, Zacar men were like abominable snowmen and Accor men were green and scaled like like snakes. Among these were men from the planet Earth who had two arms, two legs, smooth skin, two eyes, a nose and a mouth.
The planet was one huge foundry with furnaces and huge rollers to press the metal.
There were great fires which made the planet glow like one of the brightest stars.


Ok, there's not much in the way of plot development, but at seven years of age a plot was something you grew potatoes in!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Small Window

Steve, the fiscally challenged poetry whore who'll quite happily wax lyrical for only £10, has tagged me with my first meme in ages.

The rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write six random things about yourself
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

If you're sitting comfortably, then I'll begin.

1. I attended a school for gifted children when I was 12.
We learned languages, science, history, etc and were encouraged to actively search out projects that we wished to learn about and then go ahead and study them.
....Then I got to high school, discovered girls, bmx bikes, Big Country and the Atari console. All thoughts about my project on allied air power during the latter half of the second world war evaporated like morning mist.

2. I have a series of four children's books that were bought and given to me on the day of my birth by my two older cousins, Ann and Elizabeth, and are worth more to me than life itself. Ann has Huntington's disease, a genetic neurological disorder that will eventually kill her. I'd fight a badger with a flick-knife to protect those books.

3. In 1977, at the tender age of 7, I had a short story published in a major quarterly magazine that year. Admittedly, the publication was a trade magazine for the UK aluminium industry, the sci-fi story was based around an aluminium processing planet, and my dad worked at the local aluminium plant which asked everyone at my school to write a short story, but it was mine that won, ok! I was the best! They can never take that away from me!!!
I may well reproduce it in full as my next post.

4. I've broken 7 bones in my body so far, mostly due to bicycles.
Well actually it's mostly due to the ground, but you get the picture.

5. I never have, and never will, knowingly eat a mushroom.
Even the thought of touching one has me feeling queezy.

6. I have two large scars on my back where I was attacked with a knife when I was in my early twenties. I didn't feel a thing (apart from the good kicking I received) and only knew about my back when I started to stick to the couch in my friends living room afterwards.


I think I'll tag Jaggy, Sky Clearbrook, Roman Empress, Lost Jimmy, Eostre and Downhill Dad.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh My Gok!

Ladies, why do you do it?
Why continually self-flagellate yourselves on television over the way you look?

The Demon is using the pc as I type this, so I'm banished to the couch with the laptop kindly donated by the bronzed Adonis that is Mr Jaggy, where I'm confronted by the conundrum that is Gok Wan and his latest method of getting the tits of Britain out into the open, his beauty contest 'Miss Naked Beauty'.

The premise of the show seems to be that he's looking for a woman, any woman, who can represent the 'woman of today' as some sort of beauty ambassador. She'll be natural, confident, intelligent, and most importantly, she'll be different.
Our Gok, who's name means Noisy Big City incidentally, will have the girlies running and jumping through hoops in order to get them to cry on national tv using all manner of confidence sapping tricks like photographing their body part that they hate the most and then showing it to a few million viewers whist simultaneously criticising them with extreme prejudice. The bastard!

After about 5 minutes of this drivel I switched over to Dave which had Joanna Lumley on an old episode of Top Gear.

Normal service had ben resumed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

With Mirth And Laughter Let Old Wrinkles Come

I'm now in my 'late thirties'.

That actually sounds worse than saying "It's my 38th birthday today", but given that life expectancy here in the heart disease capital of the world is 69.1, then at least I should only have to worry about how to finance the next 31.1 years.

The birthday festivities kicked off last night when myself and The Demon made the 10 minute walk to meet Fat Albert & Tall Dawn and The Heid & Natalie Cousteau for an excellent meal at Ye Olde Falkirk Towne's newest, and indeed only, contemporary Indian restaurant, D'Yoga.

I must admit that I'd never heard of anything on the menu, but thanks to some inside info from an Indian technician who had visited my work last week I had a rough idea what I was about to eat.
I started with Patta Sheekh Kebab:
"Fine lamb mince seasoned with Indian spices, rolled with chopped fresh coriander and cooked in a charcoal tandoor"
This was light and very tasty and just enough to set me up for my main course.
Tandoori Murg with spicy Kadai sauce, which is colourfully described in the menu as:
"The king of kebabs made from whole chicken marinated in yoghurt, ginger, garlic, chilli and chef’s special tandoori masala and chargrilled"
This was all topped off with Gulab Jamun with ice cream:
"Small dumplings made from thickened milk, deep fried and soaked in cardamom flavoured sugar syrup and served warm"
This was easily the finest Indian meal I've had the pleasure of getting my gob round, and a good time was had by all. It was also a small reminder of how lucky I am. Wonderful food, a few drinks and the company of damn good friends.

I think I'm going to enjoy my late thirties.
Bring on the Big 4-0.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dead Man Walking........Or Running, Depends Who You believe.

I dunno about you, but I find something deeply troubling about the whole sorry Jean Charles de Menezes saga, least of all that an innocent man on his way to work was executed by armed British police officers.
The cover-ups, untruths and blatant lies that have followed the incident at Stockwell tube station on the 22nd of July 2005 make me extremely angry and disappointed at the conduct of people that we rely on for our own freedom and safety, but what makes me livid is that it seems that nobody will ever be brought to book for the fundamental errors that led to Jean Charles taking 8 'hollow point' bullets to his body, 7 in his head and one in his shoulder, that left him "unrecognisable".

Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner at the time of the incident, initially blocked the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) from investigating the shooting and wrote a letter to the home office saying:
"the shooting that has just occurred at Stockwell is not to be referred to the IPCC and that they will be given no access to the scene at the present time."

A week after the shooting he rejected a vote of no confidence in his leadership by the London Assembly, an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority, that scrutinises the activities of the Mayor Of London, but thankfully Boris Johnson has finally seen sense and booted him out.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, the officer in command of the operation that led to the shooting of the Brazilian electrician, told the inquest into his death:
"If you are asking me did we do anything wrong or unreasonable then I don’t think we did".
Oh really?
None of her officers either positively or negatively identified an innocent man who was behaving completely normally, yet she still gave them the go ahead to, quite literally, blow his head off.

That could quite easily have been you or me on the floor of that subway train.
I'd say that FUBAR is probably the best way to describe how that operation turned out.

Someone better fucking end up behind bars over this.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spinal Tap

Rol has created a pretty good story from the spines of some of his books so I thought I'd have a go.
It's not the best and I know I've used some creative license, but it was 8 in the morning.

Goldilocks & The Three Bears
Use Of Weapons (Ian M. Banks)
With Nails (Richard E. Grant)
In Cold Blood (Truman Capote)
Pretty Dead Things (Barbara Nadel)
A Spot Of Bother (Mark Haddon)

Catch Me If You Can! (Frank W. Abagnale)

Think you can do better?
Photos required.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Drink . . .

. . . is not your friend.

I am SOOOOO hungover today.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

*"Laugh while you can, monkey boy!"

There's something special about climbing a tree that takes you straight back to being a kid.
Feeling the tree bark under your fingers, the sway of the tree in the wind, the smell, everything.
That's one of the reasons that myself, The Heid (pictured above), Fireman Steve and Fat Albert thoroughly enjoyed Go Ape at Aberfoyle today.

Go Ape is essentially just climbing trees with the added excitement of aerial walkways, platforms, Tarzan swings, cargo nets and five or six zip slides, two of which are the longest in the UK at almost half a kilometre long and 150 feet from the valley floor.

You're constantly attached to the safety lines that surround everything by two carabiners, one of which is locked on at any one time, and a safety harness, but after an initial safety briefing you're on your own.

Suffice to say it was a great way to spend three or so hours and I can thoroughly recommend it.

*Bonus points for anyone who can name the film that the title of this post is from, the character and the actor who played him.

Friday, October 10, 2008

PalinWatch: Day 42

I think the average American would be safer handing a fully loaded Desert Eagle to a toddler having a tantrum than to have Sarah Palin doing anything in the White House other than vacuuming the carpets, but on the other hand I do realise that some Americans do like her.

Why though?

She hasn't got a clue about the world outside Alaska, she's doing her damnedest to piss off the leaders of Pakistan and Russia, and she thinks dinosaurs were walking around on the earth the same time as mankind was!

This made last night's BBC news all the more interesting. A report by Justin Webb from the fantastically named Strongsville, Ohio featured members of the public being asked:

"Why are you voting for John McCain?"
"Because of Sarah Palin! Woohoo!!"
"Because she's beautiful, she's young, she's a working mom! Woohoo!!"

Hmmmm...not really concerned with the McCain policies then? The environment? The 'War On Terror'? The financial crisis? Her possible abuse of office in the so-called 'Troopergate' scandal? The fact that she's all style and no substance?



I think I'll stop now, I'm getting angry.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Thin White Duke

I don't have much to say today, so until I do you can enjoy one of my heroes, and an honest to goodness living legend, The Thin White Duke himself, Sir David of Bowie.

David Bowie was the first artist I have memories of. My uncle was a big fan and so my first exposure to the world of popular music was to be dropped in at the eccentric end of the pool with his 1974 album 'Diamond Dogs'.

Bowie therefore set the benchmark against which other artists, to this day, are judged.
Part of the reason that I love bands like Placebo and Suede is that you can trace their roots right back to Ziggy Stardust himself.

The strange thing is that even though he's one of the most famous artists ever, I don't think he really gets the recognition that he deserves. He's every bit as important as The Beatles and, in my opinion at least, far superior.

This particular track is one of my favourites, it's 'Oh! You Pretty Things' from the excellent 1971 album 'Hunky Dory'.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Top Tottie Tuesday: October '08

Welcome one and all to yet another in the hugely successful 'Top Tottie' series that I know you all have come to love so much.

Today's delectable pumpkin is US comedienne and actress Tina Fey.
She's probably best known in America for being part of the team behind Saturday Night Live(SNL), a show she joined as a writer in 1997 before becoming a performer in 2000.
She left SNL in 2006 to begin work on her own show, 30 Rock, a comedy show that itself would go on to win multiple awards.

In recent weeks she has made a return to SNL performing in sketches that, quite frankly, take the piss out of Sarah Palin. You can see a couple of examples here and here.

I have to say that although I love comedy, there are few women who really float my comedic boat. Tina Fey is most definitely one of them. Watch this.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Death Race

It was Saturday afternoon.
"Want to catch a movie tonight?" says I.
"Yeah, we could go and see 'Death Race' if you like." says The Demon.
"Erm....ok then." replies yours truly.

That was my first mistake.
The second was thinking that this film would be a decent way to pass 105 minutes of my life.
Oh, how wrong I was. They're gone now, I'll never get them back.

The film, like 'Taken' that I watched last week, follows the traditional Hollywood driving/action rules, in that to make a car go faster you simply change gear again...and again...and again, everyone who crashes and rolls a car survives only to be killed in the resulting explosion, no matter how powerful and fast your sportscar is, it can be caught and passed by a bloody huge pickup truck and the hero, as always, is imprisoned for a crime he most definitely did not commit.

The hero in this particular case is played by Mr Mahogany himself, the great Jason Statham.
You have to admire Mr Statham, taking up acting when he quite clearly suffers from Möbius Syndrome. Only the legend that is Nicolas "Sequoia" Cage can produce 'acting' of the calibre of young Jason.

In truth, it's a wonder that any acting took place at all on the set of this movie, given that people must have been drowning in a huge sea of testosterone.
The plot, for that I believe is what they called it, is quite frankly, dire.
I won't bore you with the details, but I'm sure you can probably make up something that's reasonably close to the real thing.

In summation, this film will appeal to you if you like fighting and stealing cars, or possibly both at the same time.
Anyone else, stay at home and watch Strictly Come Dancing.

1/10 - And it only gets that 1 because Joan Allen says "cocksucker" at one point.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Between Books

I can do this.
I can.
I can make it to Monday without a book to read.
I will follow the sage advice from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

Due to an unforeseen shipping error and a bout of mid-week insomnia, I currently find myself 'between books'. Now I'm one of those people who MUST read something whilst I'm in bed before I can get to sleep. If I don't, my brain doesn't really wind down easily, and I end up tossing and turning and lying there all night.

I thought I'd got it covered, I thought that ordering 'Orphanage' by Robert Buettner from Amazon on Wednesday would mean that it would arrive possibly on Saturday, Monday at the latest. Unfortunately I didn't realise that it would be coming from America and wont arrive until mid-week at least.
Also, I thought it would be Monday at the earliest that I'd finish the excellent 'Line War' by Neal Asher, but my insomnia on Thursday night meant that I spent a good four hours or so just lying in bed reading and finished the book ahead of schedule on Friday evening.
I didn't even get a chance to buy a quickie today to tide me over. I ended up driving to Aberdeen and back so I didn't get near a book shop.

All this has left me at around the Olive mark on the stress chart below.

Anyone got a pamphlet I can borrow?

Friday, October 03, 2008


Yes indeed, as Maxi Jazz put it "I can't get no sleep".

I've always suffered from the odd bout of insomnia since childhood and this has carried on into later life. It happens maybe every couple of months or so, and last night/this morning has been one big long day so far for me.
As I type this I've been awake for 27 hours and I'm about to head off to work for the day. All in all it'll probably be around 10 o'clock tonight before I get to bed giving me a potentially 40 hour long day.

It's fascinating to see how fatigue manifests itself on the mind and body.
Right now my spelling has taken a real dip from it's usual low standard to that of a six year old. Thankfully, Firefox's spell checker plugin is here to save my blushes.
I look like I have a hangover, which is fairly accurate up to a point. My eyes hurt and are red and my mouth feels like someone of dubious personal hygiene has slept in it.
Strangely though I will get a second wind. Around 2 o'clock-ish I know I'll feel fine, I always do.
The body is an incredible machine, and the mind only more so.

Wonder if I can go the whole weekend?

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Ok, I know that it's not on his face, but you have to question the wisdom of a mother allowing a three year old child to get a henna tattoo on his arm.
Yeah, I know it's supposed to fade after two weeks or so, but I still think it's a bit stupid.
Don't get me wrong, I love body art. I have a couple of tattoos myself and am looking at getting another, but this kid now runs the risk of looking like a Muppet for the rest of his days just because his mum thought it'd be cool.

Parents, your child is not a fashion accessory. Stop treating it as such.