This is a local blog, for local people

You are here -
Talk to me -

Meet my inner child -

Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

On Yer Bike!

Probably the worlds least helpful recruitment website, but as it turns out they appear to have someone of taste and culture within their marketing department. For their recent web advert they have acquired the services of one Danny MacAskill Esq.
Young Danny is currently the most famous Scotsman on planet Earth that you've never heard of, but I think you soon will.
Recent video clips of him performing on his trials bike have had views in the tens of millions on sites like youtube and this new one will, I'd imagine, be no different.
Combining Danny's ridiculously freakish level of skill, some fantastic cinematography, various parts of Glasgow's urban furniture and the beautiful 'Barriers' by Aereogramme leaves you with something that ends up being quite a bit more than the sum of its parts and an uncharacteristic departure for what is an otherwise shite website.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the full 4 minutes and 21 seconds.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Say it isn't so?!

Can it be true?

Is there really a God?

Has he heard my prayers?

A quote from Lily Allen's own blog:
"Just so you know, I have not renegotiated my record contract and have no plans to make another record"
Please, don't tease me like this. Don't make me a promise and then reappear in six months with a new album.
Still, giving up music is just the tip of the iceberg, Lil. I still get all panicky when I consider a future where your tv show has it's contract renewed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We're in a Jam right enough!

War in the Middle East, financial markets going supernova, unemployment rising like John Holmes on Viagra, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Lulu, international terrorism, X factor is back and Robbie Williams is still alive. But just when you've lost hope, just when you can feel your fingers slipping from the mountain ledge, just when you're about to give in and watch Strictly Come Dancing on iPlayer, Pearl Jam ride into town and save the day with their new album - Backspacer.

Eddie Vedder, you should wear a God damn cape.

Monday, September 21, 2009


No one likes a Monday, they suck. Everyone loves BigTrak however, so here he comes to say hello.

"Hello BigTrack!"
"Hello everyone! Bleep - bleep!"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You're it

"Nostalgia. It's heroin for old people"
- Dara O'Briain

If this is true, then this morning I had an unexpected fix.
I was cleaning the interior of my car, as you do on a Saturday when you're forty-ish and have no children, when I overheard some of the kids who live on my street. They were playing some form of hide and seek derivative but what took me by surprise was the method that they used to decide who was to be first to play seeker.
They all stood in a circle, one foot placed in the middle, and one kid recited a rhyme whilst touching each shoe in turn, a rhyme that I haven't heard for nearly thirty years:

"There's a soldier in the grass, with a bullet up his arse, pull it out, pull it out, like a good boy scout"

This is exactly the same rhyme that my friends and I used whenever we wanted random chance to lend a hand in picking someone for a game, but when I think back I definitely cannot remember being taught the words, you just knew them. Perhaps it was osmosis, perhaps it was older kids passing on their knowledge, perhaps it was just because it had the word "arse" in it, but everyone used this rhyme.

Somehow the world seemed a slightly better place this morning and I'm not even sure why.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Thing

Having a directors name before a movie title is usually a sure fire sign that the movie in question is crap. "Wes Craven's this . . . " or "David Cronenberg Presents that . . " are the kind of things I'm on about, but "John Carpenter's The Thing" is one of the few exceptions to this rule.

If you've never seen it, the year is 1982 and it's the story of a group of American scientists stationed in the Antarctic. They discover that an alien that crash landed on earth thousands of years ago has awoken and infiltrated their camp due to its ability to absorb and imitate any living thing it touches.
This is definitely one of John Carpenter's finest films from a very long list of fine films.
He directs the cast on a downward spiral of mistrust, chaos and onwards to the eventual anarchic yet bleak ending. It's also one of the few films that Kurt Russell fits like a hand in a glove, given that he can only ever play one character, that being Snake Plisskin/Jack Burton.

It's also a bit special as it marks one of the last hurrahs for animatronics as the main special effects in a Hollywood movie. 'Tron' was released the same year and 'The Last Starfighter' was just around the corner. Soon all directors would be eager to find out what the new fangled digital CGI technology could do for them, but if you ever need reminding of just how good old fashioned fake blood and latex could be, look no further.

My local multiplex is showing a series of classic films and tonight it was a packed house for Mr Carpenter's dark sci-fi masterpiece. The sad thing is that there's probably a script for a CGI infected remake in a Hollywood producers in-tray as we speak. Which will be shite.

Not everything in the eighties was rubbish.

No Shit Sherlock

If you had passed me on the M74 this morning you might have wondered why I was talking to myself in the car on the way to work. Well it was due to a report on the news regarding a scheme in England that has just posted the results of a six month trial they had carried out with hardcore heroin addicts. Some of the 127 clinical addicts who took part in the programme were given heroin free from the organisers and at the end of the six months that the scheme ran for, this is what they deduced:

If you give drug addicts free drugs, they use less street drugs, ergo they commit less crime to fund their supply of said street drugs.

I'm gobsmacked.
Giving someone something that they are addicted to for free means that they source less of that something elsewhere?
Who'd have thought it?

Well, me actually, and I'm sure you too.

So if I'm a confirmed sex addict and the government supplies me with a string of high class prostitutes there would be less chance of me logging on to

At £15,000 a head for this scheme, the eventual bill to the taxpayer is almost £2 million.
I could have told them the answer for half that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Frying Tonight

There's quite clearly something different about Stephen Fry. He has something that no other actor/writer/comedian/director/broadcaster that I can think of possesses, that being the gift of Universal Likeableness.
No one on Planet Earth dislikes Stephen Fry, no one, and even those who disagree with him on the various points of view that he has on topics as wide and varied as the environment, politics and the hell that is Twitter, do so politely and with a smile on their face. He has what I can only describe as an 'avuncular jocularity' (Miss Porteous, I bet you thought I wasn't paying attention in your English class!).

By my reckoning, Stephen Fry should offend huge swathes of the worlds population, after all he is obese, extremely intelligent, very posh, homosexual, successful and rich, any one of which could quite easily be used against him in the court of popular opinion. But popular he is, and rightly so.
I first remember watching the sketches featuring a very young looking Fry & Laurie that featured on the eighties 'youth' show 'Friday Night Live'.
In recent years the world of TV documentaries and game shows has kept Stephen Fry busy, but it's 'Blackadder' that will always be his finest achievement in my opinion. 'Lord Melchett' was a character that was clearly written with Fry in mind, but it's his portrayal of the Duke of Wellington that still cracks me up.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Gravity Legend

Steve Peat (GBR)

UCI World Downhill Mountain Bike Champion 2009

We are most definitely not worthy.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

District 9

I am a huge fan of cinema. Myself and The Demon have unlimited cards for our local movie theater that we pay for monthly which allow us to see as many films as we like, as often as we like. I, therefore, see a lot of films, usually as soon as they open, so it takes a lot for a film to really impress me, to 'blow me away' as they say, but director Neill Blomkamp's 'District 9' is more than a little bit special.
The film has been described by many as E.T. meets Alien and by more than a few critics as racist in it's depiction of the alien 'Prawns' as a filthy, dangerous, second-class citizen. The film certainly does nothing to try and hide the fact that it's an apartheid allegory and I suppose that at its core the story is nothing particulary new to any sci-fi regulars out there. Man meets alien, man abuses alien, man helps alien. Nope, been there, done that. What certainly hasn't been done before, not successfully at any rate, is the delivery that Blomkamp uses. The film is shot in a semi-documentary style and is far better executed than last years 'Cloverfield'. It's brilliant, and I mean genuinely brilliant, due in no small part to the crop of South African actors that Blomkamp uses. The stand out is obviously Sharlto Copley who plays 'Wikus van de Merwe'. He's a sort of South African David Brent. The film is almost entirely carried by him and the special effects which, given that most of the cast are entirely digital, feel less intrusive than anything Hollywood has recently churned out.
Shot entirely in Chiawelo, Soweto, it's a breath of fresh air to sit down to a movie with no actors you recognise and that actually lives up to the hype.
I absolutely loved it.


Friday, September 04, 2009

Lufe God abufe al and yi nychtbour as yi self

It may look like I've had a bit much to drink when I typed the title of this post, but it's actually Early Scots language and is a quote that can be found adorning the outside wall of John Knox house in Edinburgh, built in 1490. What it says is:

"Love God above all and your neighbour as yourself"

The reason I'm mentioning this quote is that over the last couple of weeks Scotland has taken a bit of a bashing on the world stage, mostly from America it has to be said, but I suppose that globally we're looked upon by many at this moment in time a bit like something unsavoury that you may have stepped in.
It would be easy for me to partake in a bout of Yank-bashing in retaliation, God knows they give us plenty of ammunition, but instead I think I'd like to simply 'big-up' the wee nation that I'm part of.

Scotland to me is, was, and always shall be home. Which can be tricky sometimes when you have a girlfriend who has lived and worked all over the world and can tell you almost to the minute how long a flight to any major European city will take. But home it is and bizarre as this may sound, I'm not sure if I'd like to live anywhere else, I genuinely love it here.
Yes, we have pish weather, yes, we have binge drinking and teenage pregnancy, yes, we consider cholesterol to be a major food group, and yes, we have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the entire World, but at least we're good at something.
We have poverty, we have knife crime, we have unemployment, we have substance abuse and we have Alan fucking Hansen, who thankfully seems to be growing more English every day.
We've made some questionable decisions, the Scottish Parliament building at Hollyrood being one and the obvious case of Abdelbaset Al-Magrahi being another, but more of that later.

On the other hand let's look at a list, shamelessly ripped off from, of just some of the things that my backward, drunken, uneducated, uncouth, aggressive, primitive but proud nation of around five million people has gifted the world:
The pneumatic tyre & tarmac.
The telephone
Finger print identification
MRI scanners
The hypodermic needle
Beta blockers
The fridge
Hugh MacDiarmid
Simple Minds
Frankie Boyle
Irn Bru
Tunnocks Tea Cakes
...and on, and on.

But what of the people of Scotland, what are we like?
Well all I can tell you is that until recent events, everyone, and I mean everyone, that I've met on my travels around the globe with The Demon have had nothing but good things to say about the Scots men and women that they have met, and it's fucking true. We are a wonderfully warm, open, welcoming and friendly race. We genuinely love to meet people and talk, talk, talk, another of our inherited skills. Party? Oh yes, we can shake our booty with the best of them and if you need help and there's a Scot around then you can bet the mortgage that he or she will do all that they can to help you, while probably dipping your pockets at the same time.

If America wants to boycott all things Scottish then who am I to stop them, but I would caution them to take a peek in The Mirror Of Hypocrisy before condeming all Scots, lets not forget that Osama Bin-Laden was tucked up in bed with the CIA during 'Operation Cyclone', nudge nudge, wink wink.
In any case America, look at what you'll be missing out on. Rannoch Moor, Loch Lomond golf course, Edinboro Castle, Haggis, Whiskey and, of course, Tablet.
It may be 519 years old, but the words on John Knox house have never rung truer.