Wednesday, May 30, 2007

bin day cheat

Ok, so it is bin day again. I have to admit, I drank two cans of Stella after I took this photograph, because I was chilling after a bad day at work. So pleas imagine two additional cans of Stella in the bin.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shadow Boxer

I was bored on Thursday so I rented the DVD "Shadow Boxer" from Blockbuster. This film is about two assassins, who pick up a woman and her new born child, when a job goes wrong. Yep standard stuff. Helen Mirren of, the Queen, fame was in the film, but somehow this didn't really help. Somehow all the ingredients in the film didn't gell for me. Also, when I was in Blockbuster I noted that have the box sets for the first thee series of "24" in. Somehow, I doubted that work would view needing to take two weeks off to watch them, as a legitimate reason for not coming in

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


As I walked in today I suddenly woke up and started to look for some remarkable event that I could record and ponder on. The pavements were almost deserted. The term is winding down at the University, so the students have gone home or are getting up later. There were enough people around so that I wasn't alone on the streets As I walked towards to Great Western Rd, I saw a Rastafarian smoothly walking towards me. He was cool and relaxed. He seemed to be carrying two machine gun shells. I don't mean small ones like you would use in a AK-47, but really big meaty big ones that could be used in Gatling gun. He wasn't giving off any negative vibes. This was some kind of non-local sonic vibration from Lee Scratch Perry's DJ set on the radio last Sunday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Since I have been living in Glasgow I have been going out much less. This might be because I live in a nicer place where people don't throw rocks through the window, or it might be one of those age things. Look why would I want to go out when I see scary things from my windows. It is marching season in Glasgow. Marching doesn't seem to attract beautiful people. I did venture out to go shopping down Great Western Rd on Sunday. There are so many "ethnic" shops in Glasgow. I got some chillies from a Mexican shop on Great Western Rd. I had to wait because a bunch of lads from Northern Island, really each needed the Mexican sandwich from the shop. I have to admit there was a choice between getting 9/10 hot chillies and getting 3/10 dried chillies. The packet for 9/10 chillies warned about even touching the chillies. There are certain realities about the way I live. After I prepared my salad and chillis, I went to the toilet. I suddenly thought, perhaps I should wash my hands before I use the toilet after I have prepared chillis. This chilli trip is all going to end in tears.

two days in my life

As I walked to work on Monday I saw a big white truck. I was surprised to see an older woman with whitish hair driving it. On the side of the truck was written "Correctional unit". I wanted to bang on the side of the truck -- for the purposes of solidarity with the comrade who who was clearly on the way to one of her Majesty's long term hotels, but I didn't because I hesitated. I was going to write about some event I had witnessed as I walked to work today, but my mind was total blank. I couldn't remember anything about my journey to work. I then started to recall the speaker on "thought for today", on the Today program on the radio, talk about how he got sacked for stealing a packet of cigarettes when he worked at a pub. I thought it was kind of a strange story for a priest to use, but then perhaps he was lying. When I was putting my rubbish out, I suddenly felt something lick my hand. A white bulldog had been left outside the Tenement building. The area is enclosed, so he couldn't get out. I petted him for a while. He was a very friendly dog. I like dogs, but I don't really live a life style where I can take care of one. There are lots of places to take a dog for a walk around here. The dog looked betrayed when I locked him back outside. I like dogs.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Glasgow melts into Edinburgh

I always thought I lived in Glasgow. However, I found out that a pub close to me called Crosslands on Queen Margret Drive was actually used a location for the film Trainspotting. This is particularly weird, because Trainspotting was actually set in Edinburgh. I assume it was cheaper to film in Glasgow. It has been a while since I have watched the film, but the pub features in the scene where the nutter throws a glass over his shoulder. It is a local pub for local people. I don't go in there too much, (except when I need to spread my message of temperance). What does it mean, when a pub in a film set in Edinburgh is actually in Glasgow? Reality can no longer be trusted. Glasgow and Edinburgh are merging.


Like many people I am starting to worry about my "carbon footprint". (Ok, I don't worry about it in the sense that I am not going to not attend two conferences in Germany this year, or go on holiday to Poland, but I will wring my hands a bit). I think the only responsible thing to do is semi-regularly publish picture of my rubbish bin. This will show how much packaging that I am using. So you will find the state of my bin today. There is no recycling in this part of Glasgow. Also, I am trying to cut down on having a couple of beers before I go to bed. After a week, my bin is full of shiny aluminum cans. This is probably not a good habit. I am baring this intimate details of my life. Other people may have hidden in their kitchens, bins full of dead dogs, bloody condoms, drug pipes, and playboy magazines, but I am not afraid to show the full details of my life.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Tesco have finally consented to sell me strong chillis. How I thought this was going to make me happy I don't know. I used some with my dinner. My stomach felt that it had been liquefied. I am not sure where this urge to eat the maximum strength spices comes from.. Anyway, there are places on the great Western Rd, where I can get chillis. Perhaps, these chillis are stronger that those on sale from Tesco. I have to go and find out. How can I look people in the eye, if I am not operating at maximum chilli eating strength. I can see that one day I will disappear. There will just be a pool of burnt flesh seeping under the door of my flat and into the drains.

Thoughts on Kate Nash

I was watching "later with Jools Holland" last night, I was happy to see that he had Kate Nash play a song. I really like her singing, but she does seem to hate men. OK, a bit unfair, but she is not the kind of chick you would want to have an argument with. She spits out "why don't you have another beer again," in way that makes it sound like a bad thing. In fact a lot of the newer female singer song writers tend to sing about being emotionally cruel to their men folk. It is the latest thing.

28 weeks later

I went to see the film "twenty eight weeks later" on Thursday. This was the sequel to the film "28 days later". This was another zombie movie. I went to see the film at the Grosvner cinema in the fabulous West End of Glasgow. The cinema was fairly full of people. Zombie movies are always popular. I really liked the scenes in the film, where London was shown deserted. I now know that in a fight between a helicopter and a crowd of zombies -- the helicopter will win. After the film, I went for a few beers around Gibbons street. This street is meant to be a big student area, but all the pubs were very high class.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Life on Mars

I watched the final episode of the box set for series 1 of Life on Mars last night. What a great TV series! A policeman gets knocked down in 2006, and then wakes up in 1973. It is pretty clear that he is coma, but he doesn't know how to wake up. There is a lot of cultural problems with his 2006 views clashing with those from the people who really live in "1973". I particularly liked some of his dilemmas where he felt he was the only person who was really real. (Although some people felt that this made him a bit crazy).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The money machine

I just finished reading "the money machine -- how the city works" by Philip Coggan. This book explains, in basic terms, the financial ideas used in the City of London. Since I have also been reading a lot of books on Silicon valley start ups. it was interesting to see that there was nothing on venture capital. At the end of the book I was slightly more convicted that some aspects of "the city" were useful. I don't really see myself as a stockbroker, but perhaps I could hack a bit of code for them.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

spiderman III

Ok, I went to see spiderman III on Friday. Ummm. I was thinking of leaving the cinema after the first 1/2 hour, because nothing much had happened. It picked up after a while. I could see what they were trying to do, but I was still bored at the end. I miss seeing the spiderman cartoons on Saturday morning. Even though I watched many of the episodes many times, I was still confused about "mistress web". I find it hard to get up on Saturday morning without my spiderman treat.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What's cool in my musical household

Joanna Newsom. Harp playing is cool again. Joanna gets a lot of name check from radio6 DJs. I own her CD called "Ys". A very different sound. Rumour has she is an item with Bill Callahan (who used to be known as SMOG). My jealousy is more bizzare, because I don't know what she looks like. I still need her first CD, as well as the latest from Bill Callahan . Joan as police woman. I almost went to see Joan as police woman play in the West End, but I was sick and trying to hit some deadline (that seemed important at the time). Joan is another chic with a weird and harsh singing voice. Grinderman. This is Nick Cave with most of the bad seeds. It is noisy aggressive stuff. What's not cool. I am not going to get the new artic monkeys CD. Why bother? I liked the first artic monkeys CD, but I lost interest when Gordon Brown said he had it on his Ipod (yeah right). Also I am not too excited about the new White Stripes CD. Somehow, the sound of the white stripes has become diluted. So now you know.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A walk through the fabulous West End of Glasgow

I managed to pick up another cold on Sunday. How many more am I going to get this year? Whine, whine. Since I couldn't work on bank holiday Monday, I went for a walk around the fabulous West End of Glasgow. I went to Gibson street that is close to the University. There are a number of nice restaurants and bars around there. There is a very big bar (that I have forgotten the name of) near Woodlands Rd, that I remember that I went to with a big party of people maybe about 7 years ago before I started living in Glasgow. It is good to find places that you have been too, during a drunken night, in the clean light of the day. I found a good Indian supermarket there. I need to get an Indian cookbook to take advantage of all the ingredients I can now buy. Glasgow is very cosmopolitan. I know where there is a very good Chinese supermarket in the center of town. I now have a cupboard full of strong sauces.

the smart crowd

File Edit Options Buffers Tools Help I am not a person who is known for their dapper dress sense. I was watching Carl Perkins play "Blue Suede shoes". He looked so smart in his sharp suit. I started to think that perhaps I too could smarten up a little bit. So into Glasgow I went for some shopping. After going around the shops I ended up buying a grey sweatshirt and a pair of trainers. Part of the problem was the washing instructions on the more fancy clothes involved low temperatures. It was clear I would probably destroy them in one wash. I only know one setting for the washing machine in the flat, mostly because there are no instructions. I was never meant to hang out with the beautiful crowd.

Crossing the chasm

Last night I finished reading "Crossing the chasm" by Geoffrey Moore. This is a book about marketing high tech products. The idea is that there is a chasm between selling to different sets of people. For example, some people (early adaptors) like new technology, so will buy (or download) new things. Other people will only buy the software if they are convinced there is need. Also there are people who hate new things, so have to be dragged kicking and screaming to buy new technology. So a product may sell well to early adaptors, but the company needs to open sales to the pragmatic group There is a chasm in sales. There are more pragmatic people than early adaptors. This another book that has show me the importance of vertical markets (specialized product) versus horizontal markets.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

London to Brighton

I watched the DVD for the film "London to Brighton" on Monday. This was a recent British film. The one sentence plot is a prostitute and young girl go on the run from a London gangster and pimp. The film is very real and gritty. The actor who plays the prostitute was particularly good. I was sad to read that she is working in a shop, because she couldn't get any new acting roles. I felt I should have gone out to watch "This is England", as the critics says this is another good British film. It is a sad testament to Thatcher and Blair that are not many British films about politics. Most of our films are about gangsters or fluff ("love actually"). On TV there was a program about some film about a person working in the council. I am not sure that type of film would be made now, mostly because a large fraction of us having given up on this voting business. On reflection there is a lot of drama on TV about modern politics, so perhaps I just need to watch more things on the smaller screen.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I had a number of bad dreams one night about people shooting into my house. This is particularly weird because I don't actually live in a house with a garden, where bodies can be buried. (OK, I need to cut down on the number of action movies I watch) The worst dreams are when I feel like I am being smothered by someone. I try and wake up ready for a fight for survival, only to find my arm has cramp. Before I went away I saw a TV program about the depression that Stephen Fry suffers from. As part of the program, Stephen showed the inside of the hospital on Cromwell Rd in London where he stayed, when he had a break down because he was crap in a play. How these celebrities lord it over us! When I used to live in London I used to de-stress by walking along Cromwell Rd. In the darkness, I used to stare at the green windows of the Cromwell hospital. I used to fantasize about the emotional care they were getting in the hospital. I would trudge back through the litter to my solitary bedsit. Yeah, celebrities go to rehab. The rest of us fall low and end up drinking special brew outside the super-market. Yes, rehap for me would be spending a couple of years selling the big issue. There is an interesting story about depression in the online guardian. From the article:
Then, in the early 1600s, a mass epidemic of depression broke out.
It is clear that we need Dr Who to travel back in time to sort this depression thing out.

all change at radio6

I was really enjoying listening to many of the shows on radio 6. Then suddenly a bunch of my favorite shows were cut. For example the following shows were ended , MINT, Phil Jupters, and Andrew Collins, in the last couple of weeks. I particularly miss listening to Phil Jupters in the morning. I am back to listening to the Today program on radio4. They seem to move in a lot of comedians as DJs. This would be OK, but there is usually less emphasis on music and more on the presenters sexual exploits or failings. Having Russell Brand the station was some horrible nightmare. Yes of course, I didn't need to listen to his show, but they used to advertise his show on all the other shows. He has been off the station for a while, but as you can see I am still bitter about having his existence forced on me. Still, I find that I like many of the new shows. I like Guy Garvey (lead singer of elbow), Queens of Noize, Bob Dylan, and Don Letts. The aim of radio6 is to promote new music, so perpetual change is part of the deal. The listen again feature has changed the way I listen to the radio. I am listening to last night's Guy Garvey's show on this bank holiday morning. He just had an interview with the singer "Joan as Policewoman". I can now listen to shows I want, when I want to. So if I don't like Stephen Merchant -- I don't have to listen. I can put on an earlier show instead. The "listen-again" feature means that there is no excuse for missing a show. So I try to listen to every "Marc Riley's Brain Surgery", just in case I miss some new sound. The Grinderman session on Brain Surgery was great last week on the Brain Surgery.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I have just finished reading "The Raw shark texts" by Steven Hall. In some sense this was a confusing book. The main character wakes up in a room not knowing who he is. He then finds that he is being chased by a conceptual shark made from words and ideas. To find out what is going on, he has to find "unspace". (Did I mention it was a bit confusing). I find that normally that this kind of plot is too intellectual and clever for its own good. This book somehow managed to walk the fine line between humanity and cold intellect. The main character dreams of his girl friend who had drowned off a Greek Island. One of the main characters was a cat who ate tuna and slept a lot.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I was shocked when I heard that Billy Bragg liked Motown music. I was young, but somehow it didn't seem fair that an angry young man with a guitar, should like Motown. Looking back at Bragg's work, it is more obvious that he has a wide taste in music. Don't get me wrong I don't dislike Motown music, I do sort of like it. I wouldn't buy any Motown music, but I wouldn't (metaphorically) smash a radio up if I heard it played, as I would do with many tunes from boy bands. I do like Amy Winehouse. I like her singing style, and I even own her first CD. So I am finding soul. (Note that I said singing, rather than talking). She is a bit gobby. Another singer I like is Candie Payne from Liverpool. She has such a sweet rich voice. She is a guest DJ on radio 6, so also has a cute speaking voice. Candie Payne is playing Glasgow on May 16th at King Tuts I was going to end this scribble by saying that Napalm Death are going to be playing in Glasgow in the summer, so I will go to seem them to cleanse this soul madness from my system. Still I like what I like. By the magic of Firefox tabs, I can play Napalm death at the same time as Candie Payne. Interesting.

new voting addiction

I did actually bother to vote in the local elections and elections for Scottish parliament today. I had not voted for a while. It did seem pointless, when "new labour" was just the same as Tory. I assume I didn't screw up my ballot papers. I did follow the written instructions, but given the large number of spoilt ballot papers I could be one of those who screwed up. Anyway the only reason I wanted to vote was to give Blair a bloody nose, before he left. Although Tony Blair has been on TV, saying the election results were not so bad for labour. That's so true Tony, just like your foreign policies in Iraq have been a success. I am now addicted to voting. What can I vote for next? The BBC have an interesting page for the LHC.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will re-create the conditions present just after the big bang. Some scientists argue that during a ten year spell of operation there is a 1 in 50,000,000 chance like the LHC could cause a catastrophe of epic proportions. Either a Black Hole or a new type of matter known as `strangelets' could form destroying the planet. Or possibly the fabric of space could be ripped apart producing a truly cosmic cataclysm. Given these odds do you think the LHC should be switched on?
I voted no. I am willing to admit that I am being slightly disloyal. The web page from the BBC was created because of a science TV program about the LHC. This was a depressing program, because they marketed the LHC as a telescope. The first twenty minutes of the program was about astronomy. Why did they need to show pictures from the Hubble telescope in a program about particle physics? There were a lot of celebrity physicists saying folksy and basic stuff in semi-darkness. Although, I am in favour of popular science journalism, somehow this program was misleading. They stressed black hole production (bollocks), but didn't mention "the grid". Somebody should be punished for making that crappy program, so I used my vote. If you interested the vote was 53% to 47% for turning the LHC on. So as usual my vote didn't matter. I do see visions of Profs from High Energy Physics groups ordering their graduate students to vote "yes" before they were let out for the weekend.