Wednesday, February 28, 2007

chips as a way of life and death

I was talking with someone at work today. Suddenly I felt my throat tighten and I started to sweat. Unfortunately, my first thought was that I was having a heart attack, based on my medical knowledge obtained by watching Richard Pryor's DVD: Live in concert. This didn't calm me down. Anyway I kept on talking, because in my experience people get worried when you rush out of a room, mumbling about "going to emergency room." I don't think it was a heart attack, because when I discretely burped, I began to feel better. People tend to look down on "chips" as a food stuff, but I feel that the resulting indigestion has forced me to come to terms with my own mortality.

the grand tour

When I was in Florence a couple of week ago, I occasionally found myself admiring some attractive Italian woman. However, many times I found that the beautiful Italian spoke with an American accent. (Not that I was trying to chat anyone else up I might add). It must be the in thing for American chicks to spend time in Florence to try and look Italian.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

To the holy shrines

I have just finished reading "To the Holy Shrines" by Sir Richard Burton. This was famous journey that Burton made to Mecca. He had to go in disguise, because westerners were not allowed in that city. Perhaps, it is still illegal for non-arabs to enter Mecca. The book was written in 1853, so we are not talking about the welsh actor. Burton is a very intriguing figure. In this trip, it took a lot of planning to get into Mecca. He had to convince everyone around him that he was not English. It helped that he spoke many languages. The wikepedia entry contains many of his other exploits, such as trying to find the source of the Nile. In these modern times, there is not such a big need for explorers. If I want to find out the source of the River Kelvin, I can just use google. Where is the magic in that? I have another book by Burton on swords. I am still reading that. Richard Burton was also used as a character in the Riverworld Saga books by Philip Jose Farmer . So now you know my interest.

Britney Spears

I am frankly tired of Britney Spears stealing my best ideas. She is probably having problems not with the booze, but controlling her telepathic abilities. My plan when my unhappiness got too much was to shave my hair off. This would show people that I was really suffering inside. Of course they would probably just assume that I had joined the National Front. Now what can I do? The only idea that comes to mind is a bit of self-flagellation but that it too common place and people wouldn't like my blood spread around the building. (When there is a cure for Aids that will be more socially acceptable). If Britney starts whipping herself in public then I will know that my mind control experiments have succeeded. Then she can stop this rehab business and come to Glasgow and hang out with me. I could take her to a local pub and use her to win Karaoke competitions. Hopefully her singing voice is up to that, otherwise she will be send straight back to LA.

Yoko Ono

Weird things happen. Occasionally various radio 6 presenters have played tracks from the latest Yoko Ono CD "Yes I'm a Witch." Yoko was either hated for breaking up the Beatles, or lampooned for her crazy music. When I listen to the CD, it does sound really good with a pleasing electronic sound. What next you may ask, is Craig going to get into James Blunt? The answer to that is NO! I would like to say that I have separated music from the celebrity life style, but I really got the CD because I am in love with Cat power who plays on some of the tracks.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hot fuzz

I went out to see the film "Hot fuzz" last night. I was a bit worried because the reviews from UK flm critics were not particularly enthusiastic. Still I think it is a great film. There is a big shoot out at the end of the film, that the critics hated, but I thought it was pretty clever. Of course if you live on a steady diet of action movies, then a bit of shooting is always welcome. There were a lot of in jokes. I have seen Point Break but I have never seen Bad Boys II. On the other hand I mostly watch action movies from Korean and Japan these days. OK, so I need to watch Bad Boys II, and then watch hot fuzz. Life is stressful.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I have been listening to the first CD ("Monster Movie") that the famous German band "Can" made. Can very influencial, but they were not so successful commercially. I have to admit that I had never heard of them before this year. The sound of Can is very impressive. Normally I am never very fussed by a band's playing ability, but there is something about their sound like. Being a nerdy type of guy, there is the issue of which singer of Can you prefer. I of course vote for Malcolm Mooney, because he had to leave the band for mental health reasons. His singing style is more a shouting rant, but hey it works for. I also liked their second singer Damo Suzuk, but Mooney had the crazier singing style.


I have felt under a lot of stress to watch all of the box set of 24 series 5 in a week. I know that in a world of insane rulers, who are thinking about attacking Iran, my mission to watch all of the 24 in a week may seem trivial. But I felt I owed it to Jack Bauer to complete this simple task, because he defends LA from terrorists. I don't really have time to watch 24 50 minute episodes in a week, so I have been staying up later to stay on course. The next time I watch a box set of 24, I will just dedicate the entire weekend to the task. This does show a somehwat addictive streak. I am glad we didn't have box sets of DVDs when I was growing up, because it would have eaten into book learning. I feell lost now that there isn't the frantic rush to see all the episodes before blockbuster wants it back. 24

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cake or death

If you were to wonder into a record store in Glasgow, you might see a sad figure looking at the CD around the Ha section. He would rumage around looking for the latest Lee Hazelwood CD "cake or death". Many times, in many different shops he raises his bloated little head and mutters a dark curse and leaves the shop with his hands clutching the empty air. But today, in fopps in the fabulous West End of Glasgow, he finds the CD he wants in another section. He clutches it to his breast and gives a little yelp of joy, that is throttled by the startled stares of his fellow shoppers.


I went to a meeting in Florence last week. In principle it is very cheap to get from Glasgow to Florence via the airport at Pisa. The dreaded Ryanair have flights every two days. The flight from Glasgow is from Prestwick airport, that is actually over 30 miles from the centre of Glasgow. I am sure that there is a reason, but the flight left at 7:05. There is one bus to Prestwick airport that gets there early enough, but I hadn't booked a ticket. So I had to get a taxi at 4:30. There is a good site about the best airports to sleep at. I am not really sure I hade the correct reading material for visiting a famous Italian city. On the trip over I read "Firefox hacks tips and tools for next generation browsing." When I got to Pisa airport I bought a ticket to take me to Florence. When I got to the bus I found it was going to some place called Firenze. All the signs pointed to Firenze so it must be the place I thought. As the bus moved along I began to get more nervous that I was going to the wrong city. Of course I could have asked someone, but frankly it would have been embarrassing (and frankly I would have deserved a smack in the head). As I wondered around the city trying to find my hotel, I was also too nervous to ask for directions, just in case I got the helpful advice "you are in the wrong city". While I was walking around, I turned the corner and saw the cathedral. "Wow, ok I am in Florence". Whenever I see a cathedral I just think of the blood and sweat of the workers who built it while the bishops sat on their plush thrones praying to God that they never have to do manual labour. The cathedral at Florence is very impressive. I didn't go inside of course -- I feel queasy on holy ground. Later I met up with some people and we went for food. On the menu, there was chicken and fried potatoes, but I was told when in Rome, do as the Romans do, so I had some tripe instead. Tripe is eaten in Lancashire -- perhaps raw. I am not sure that tripe agrees with me. Anyway I had some Italian ice cream and that made me feel better.


I was reading an article about another insane idea from Blair about how to fund British Universities in the online guardian. As part of the article, they listed the famous people who had studied at Harvard. The fist person on the list was William S. Burroughs. I was so tempted to leave my warm flat to find "the man" so I could bring fame to Glasgow Uni. Perhaps, I should get married so I could play the William Tell sexual game, before leaving for Mexico.

Elliot Smith

While I was web surfing today I found out that Elliot Smith had killed himself. I own a number of CDs by Elliot Smith. He played a kind of twangy melodic solo music that appeals to loner losers like me. If I couldn't find any CD I wanted in a store I would get an Elliot Smith CD, because I knew I would like it.


This is going to have to a be a short post. I rented the box set for "24" series 5 on Friday. I managed to watch the first 6 hours of the show yesterday, but frankly there is a limit too how long I can stare at the screen. (OK, I should have started watching it on Friday and as soon as I got out of bed on Saturday). Perhaps I have an addictive personality, but if there are 24 episodes, then frankly I must watch them as soon as possible. When something exciting happens there is a some drum beat and my heart rate goes up. I may as well call in sick tomorrow and watch the entire show. IT HAS TO BE DONE.