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Sunday, May 31, 2009

"You hear that Mr Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability"

Saturday started in the pub, and it ended in the pub.
The time inbetween was spent on a coach, in the worst pub in Scotland, at Hampden park and back on a coach again.
Falkirk put up a spirited fight for the Scottish Cup, indeed they were the better team for the majority of the game, but that one goal, that one inevitable bloody goal by Nacho Novo was enough to give Rangers the win.
None of which really bothered me in the slightest.
Saturday's Scottish Cup Final takes my tally of football matches that I've been to to less than six but more than four, I was really only there for a good day out, which it damn well was.

By 8:30pm, the headache had well and truly kicked in, the Magners was looking less appealing by the second and a lack of food since the worlds worst sandwiches (pictured bellow) at around noon was starting to take it's toll. A gentle saunter home, passing the kebab shop on the way, led to bed around 11 o'clock.
Sunday morning dawns and I feel fresh as a daisy. More than can be said for Ze Fazer of The Demon. He looks like a corpse, well more of a corpse than usual. It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon and he still looks like an extra from CSI: Vegas.

Hopefully it won't be another twelve years before I can do it all again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Patient Cured Is A Customer Lost

I suffer from occasional lower back pain. It's nothing major and certainly not incapacitating in any way, but it's definitely something I could do without, so you can imagine my joy to hear that NICE, or the National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excelence as I always call them, are now recomending "a course of acupuncture needling up to a maximum of 10 sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks".

I can now get a 'treatment' that offers no quantifiable proof that it has any effect, positive or negative, on the NHS!

Now in case you're wondering who the hell this NICE mob actually are:

NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:
  • public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.
Wow, they must really know what they're talking about, and if they say that sticking a steel needle in my earlobe will stop my back from hurting then who am I to argue . . .

. . . but argue I most certainly shall.

I would say that it behooves, and yes I did use the word 'behooves', an organisation that offers recomendations to healthcare 'professionals' to be 100% sure that there is a proovable benefit to any treatment that they champion.
Once we start down the alternative medicine route within the NHS you can bet that your tax bill is going to rise. It'll have to, how else are we going to pay for all the staff training and HR risk assessments in things like leeching, blood letting, crystal therapy and the suchlike.
Now I don't know about you, but I've managed pretty well up til now without having my 'Chi' alligned or my energivistic state altered.

Did someone say Placebo?
Yes please, they're a great band!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I love a bit of controversy, I really do. I love it when some scientist states that he's found a clue to the secret of creation, only for some hard-of-thinking, right wing, anti-choice zealot to decry him as a 'blasphemer' or possibly the more colourful 'infidel', so it was with some anticipation that The Demon and I headed off to see 'Angels & Demons' last night.
Like everyone else on planet Earth, I'd read 'The Da Vinci Code' and I thought it was ok. No more, no less, just 'not bad'. The film however, was pretty poor. It lost a lot of the excitement and pace that the novel had, and unfortunately featured Tom Hanks, an actor that is the personification of the word beige. 'Angels & Demons' compounds this casting faux pas by including my other least favourite actor of the modern era, Ewan McGregor, as some bizarrely accented Irish/Scottish/Italian stem cell hybrid catholic priest. Honestly, there is so much blandness when they are on screen together that I almost joined the Liberal Democrat party there and then.
None of this, however, detracts from what is a pretty damn good murder mystery, possibly because I gave the novel a wide berth and didn't know the twist at the ending.
What is sadly lacking is the dogma debunking of 'The Da Vinci Code', and whilst The Vatican refused to allow filming in any of their churches, I was hoping for a bit more of an uppercut than "Faith is a gift I've yet to enjoy" dribbled lifelessly from Hanks' expressionless lips.

Come on Ron Howard*, you've got bigger balls than that!


*...and a fit daughter.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Come back William Daniels, all is forgiven!

Sometimes, dear reader, I'll happily take a bullet for you, that's the kind of guy I am, and this weeks 9mm hollow point that struck me right between the eyes was Knight Rider.

NOOOO!!!! Not the fantastic original series starring the ultimate man's man David Hasselhoff. No, I am of course refering to the all-new Knight Rider starring some bloke called Justin Bruening (I'm not even sure how you pronounce it!) as Michael Traceur, estranged son of Michael Knight, and Hollywood star Val Kilmer as the voice of KITT, who clearly has fallen on hard times of late if he's prepared to be the voice of a car that looks like it's been sprayed with superglue then ram-raided through the window of your local Halfords!

To say that Knight Rider Mk 2 is bad, is like saying that Saddam Hussain was a cheeky wee scamp or that Victoria Beckham is a trifle needy.

No, it's SOOO bad that it makes you realise just how much The Hoff carried the original on his great big cheesy shoulders. The difference is that the original series always knew it was far fetched and never took itself seriously. This new one however, it's a hard-hitting drama all the way, in fact on at least two occasions in episode 2, the legend that is Justin Bruening started trying to act!

I was impressed.

Not enough to series link it however, unlike Jimmy McGovern's 'The Street' which I happened to catch purely by accident last night and remained glued to until midnight when it finished.

Fantastic writing, as you'd expect, and a brilliant performance by Mark Benton (the fat bloke from the Nationwide "new customers only" tv ad) as a down-on-his-luck postman whose life, well, basically just turns to shite around him.

I'd reccomend watching the rest of the series, but there's only one left, however it'll probably be a good 'un.

Toodle pip.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


. . . quite literally.

Now I know that my arse is the last thing that you need to be feasting your eyes on, dear reader, but you're welcome to share my pain.
As some of you may know, mountain biking is my 'thing'. I love it, I love watching it, I love doing it and love being a typical bloke and memorising the most boringly catatonia-inducing facts and statistics. What I don't in any way enjoy however is pain.
The large bruise that you can see on my right butt cheek was sustained approximately 9 hours ago when myself and the rest of the Restless Natives decided that we'd try Innerleithen's renowned national standard downhill run. Approximately 30 seconds into the run I realised that I had completely run out of talent and that the imminent accident was going to hurt . . . which it did.

Landing on your arse at speed. It's not pretty. I think I actually made up a few swear words.

See below for a lesson on how to do it right.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Radio Gag Gag

We're normally a BBC Radio2 factory, but for some reason we've mostly been tuned into Real Radio at work this week.
For those of you who have never experienced the aural "pleasure" that is Real Radio, it's a commercial station populated sycophants, has beens and drama queens who all float around safe in the knowledge that there is no one in Scotland more popular, funny and damn well talented as themselves.

I'm fine with that of course, because it's the job of a popular radio station 'dj' to be a bit "wacky" and be "a bit of a character", but this week the station is staging the annual 'Real Radio Renegade' embarrassment.
This is a competition that I can only assume is open to the unemployed and those out on bail, given that the rules involve you having enough free time to run around the central belt of Scotland (with or without your children) in an attempt to find, and indeed apprehend, said Renegade who leaves cryptic clues to his whereabouts via the hyperactive dj back in the studio.

Again, all good fun with the possibility of a cash reward at the end for the succesful punter who can then go out and buy booze and fags for his/her/someone else's children.

The real problem, and maybe this says more about me than anything else, is that the screaming dj actively encourages these 'people' to phone into the station where they are immediately put on the air. For example, and this is no joke, it happened this morning:

DJ: "Hi, you're on the air, have you spotted the Renegade?!!!"

*NED: "Pure spotted him oan the corner ae Union Street, he's got a gray jaikit (coat) oan man!"

DJ: "Why didn't you catch him then?!"

NED: "I'm in the back ae ma mam's motor, I'm oan ma way tae court"

DJ" "Oh that's priceless! If you'd caught him you might have paid your fine, ha ha!"

NED: "Aye man, ha ha man!"

Now I'm as patriotic as the next proud kilt-wearing Scotsman, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I was French.

*NED - A slang term for a Scottish urban youth who engages in hooliganism, violence and crime.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Shower Of Lying Bastards

Hello all, quick question:

Can anyone name me an honest, trustworthy member of parliment?




Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two blokes, a flying pizza and a posh bird from Kashmir

Two things have impressed me this week, the first being the magnificent Joanna Lumley and her fight for settlements rights for soldiers from the brigade of Gurkhas. She's been fantastic, and for someone who claims to have no understanding of politics it's been clear to me that Ms Lumley is now running the country and doing a damn sight better job than the majority of the cabinet!
I can just picture Gordon Brown holding his head in his hands as clips of 'Purdey' and a hundred retired Gurkha warriors screaming "Ayo Gorkhali!" were beamed around the globe.

Joanna Lumley herself first came to my attention way back in the seventies with the tv series 'The New Avengers' and, along with Tiswas' Sally James, was right at the coalface when yours truly started to realise that women had an appeal that went further than being able to cook a souffle.

Incidentally, what's the problem with allowing the Gurkhas the opportunity of remaining in the UK after they have completed their service?
If they are prepared to die fighting for this country then not only should they be allowed the possibility of living here permanently, but they should be given a massive pat on the back and subsidised housing at the very least.

The second thing to have impressed me this week is the new Star Trek movie, and be warned, I'm about to get VERY geeky.
As much as everyone who grew up in the seventies claims to be a Star Wars fan, I always preferred Star Trek if I'm honest. I love the tv series and I'll happily hold my hand up and say:
"My name is Inchy, and I'm a trekkie"

I have every episode of Star Trek: The original Series (TOS) on video.
Ditto Star Trek: The Next generation (TNG).
I have all the Star Trek movies on dvd.
I have The Star Trek Encyclopedia and numerous other books.
I have . . . etc etc, you get the picture.

The new film though is fantastic. A decent plot, a great cast, top notch special effects and they have remained truthful to the existing Star Trek universe . . .

. . . but

I feel I have to query some of the decisions made by JJ Abrahms, the director.

* Uber Geek Alert! *

Plot: The young James T Kirk rides his motorbike across the Iowa plains to watch the Enterprise being built.
Hello?! The Enterprise was quite clearly built at the Starfleet Utopia Planitia fleet yards on Mars, everyone knows that and it even states that fact on the commissioning plaque on the bridge!

Plot: The Enterprise, and indeed the remainder of the fleet, leave Earth orbit and go immediately to warp speed.
Erm, correct me if I'm wrong, but a starship cannot engage warp drive when in the vicinity of a planetary body, ie a planet*. (*Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Plot: The paint on the Enterprise has barely dried, indeed it's her maiden voyage, when young James Tiberius takes command of the helm, but, like me, you're probably thinking, "Wait a minute, the Enterprise was commanded by Captain Christopher Pike for the first 10 years of its operational life before Jim Kirk took over?!"

Having said all that, it's brilliant, and I fully understand and accept that the film had to take my beloved Star Trek in a new direction. The film itself is really about three heroes, Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise itself. It also has to be said that all the cast definitely add something to the mix without taking away from what has boldly gone before, even Simon Pegg.

Live long and prosper.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


It doesn't take much you know.
One crisis or important issue in your life and before you know it blogging has taken a back seat. For a time it feels refreshing, liberating almost, free from the requirement to dissect X's latest post or Y's funny video clip. This is where I've been for the last four months, in a blog-free world with no monkey on my back saying "What are you going to talk about today, Inchy?"

It's funny though, feeling a desire to take a peek, see what I'm missing, find out what's going on. It's a bug. So I'll dip my toe once more in the cyber water and paddle around the shallow end for a while. Say hello if you see me.