Tuesday, October 31, 2006

there was a young man from tassie..

Get Back [1969]

As the Beatles continue to crack,

Paul produces a plan to Get Back.
But the tensions intrude:
John and Yoko pose nude,
And the two of them struggle with smack.

Get Back, the lost Beatles album of 1969, went through two track-listings but was never released in either form. Over a year later it emerged, reworked, as Let It Be.

Much much more of the The Beatles’ Discography in Limerick Form at Speedysnail by Rory Ewins, expat living in Edinburgh.

Monday, October 30, 2006

customer service

Here in Aberdeen my nephew at Uni does casual work at a large UK wide discount sporting clothes chain. All staff were paid to go to a meeting the other night. The subject was the new manager and some new rules.

One rule was not putting your own favourite music on the store system. A rule enthusiastically supported by my nephew as “we were getting crap from Radiohead, through to Metallica and Artic Monkeys”

My favourite new rule was: “No Swearing at Customers”

A hard rule for Scotland but hey it’s an EU country now.

Uncle FX’s advice: “Fuck that for a joke”

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

history quiz

kinky jew governor conspiracy

"Sadly, we Texans are beset by what is best described as a stale smorgasbord of choices for governor that is enough to turn the stomach of any right-minded resident of the Lone Star state.

The only bright spot is Kinky Friedman, who wears a cowboy hat, smokes a cigar, and tosses off one-liners. He can sing, play the guitar, and writes mystery novels. Kinky is often downright funny. He has a day job, so he doesn't have to suck up to special interests. He is clearly the most qualified to serve.

Therefore, our endorsement goes to Kinky Friedman for Governor of the State of Texas." ..more ....Round Top Register

"The Daily News endorses Richard “Kinky” Friedman, independent, for governor of Texas.........."..The Galveston County Daily News

practical mystical

Cathedral Killarney

Friday, October 20, 2006


Greetings from Skibbereen http://www.skibbereen.ie/
I'm just off to the Famine Museum: http://www.skibbheritage.com/

We have been soaking in the true Celtic experience - Australian barmen in Scotland, Polish waitresses in Ireland and Scotland and Swedish bargirls and B&B managers in Ireland. A glass of wine is always Hardy's, Wolf Blass or Jacobs Creek and a small Irish flag is made in Pakistan.

In other unfamiliar news, TV and newspaper comentariat is concerned that housing prices are too high, the boom can't last, a nursing home has been exposed for bad care of the elderly and there are concerns about teenage binge drinking.

We are heading up to Dublin to day for a couple of days
and will visit Newgrange then back to Aberdeen on Monday

We have been at Dingle for a few days http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/

At Dingle there is a political row over the name change to Irish only:
read here: http://www.dinglename.com/

Monday, October 16, 2006

dunnottar castle

Dunnottar Castle. As seen in various films. Just up from Stonehaven - home of the deep fried mars bar.

rebus edinburgh - oxford bar

This is the favourite bar of Rebus in the books of Ian Rankin, who also likes to drink here. Front bar holds about 8 people standing up, back room about 15 at tables.

Afterwards we had coffee at
The Elephant House also mentioned in at least two Rebus books. The Harry Potter first book was also written here at a back table.

Late at night we went to a session to listen to a famous scottish fiddler at the also famous Sandy Bell's Pub.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

adam smith grave - swept clean

For Nic Gruen, Quiggin and the catallaxy boys: Adam Smith's grave in Edinburgh. Hard to find in graveyard, according to a local 'tha's te stop busloads of ignorant yank neo-cons tramping in and oot of graveyard'.

Below a snap of the headstone - above a snap of a yellow £4.32 price tag on slab - I couldn't make up my mind if the tag was an accident of wind or a deliberate political, or philosophical statement or some post modern irony or even art.

Friday, October 13, 2006

myth busted

It's always used as an example par exellence of how bad Scottish eating habits are, and in a land where the Health Minister has just proposed giving people lessons on how to eat fruit, one could be forgiven for resisting the taste test.

Visiting Stonehaven, the birthplace, a typical cute place just above Aberdeen that's probably 'had a film made here', I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to sample.

Place didn't open till 4 pm and there was a small queue waiting (what else do queues do but wait I wonder). Was clean and modern inside. We shared one amongst 5 of us. I can report it was surprisingly good and tasty.

Surrounded in a thin crunchy coating of clean, light coloured, flakey, tempura type slightly sweet batter, it was melted in the centre and broken into 5 pieces. We all were shocked at the layered tastes and texture. We decided that as an after meal tidbit with coffee that a half one would be a sensation.

We were reassured, however, by the token teenager present that it was indeed possible, nay, likely, to find that most places selling the DFMB were delivering a greasey, limp lump of gooey chocolate slop.

Note: Back from checking out Rebus landmarks and bars in Edinburgh and generally having too much fun to post about things at all.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

blog meet pictures melbourne

The photo above is of the blog meetup in Melbourne on the occasion of Mark Bahnisch coming down to the southern delta. The bloggers were behind the camera so you can see what they saw. Going clockwise there is Nic Gruen, Lucy Tartan, C.I Balcony, B. Oynton, Gum OTrosky, Nab Akov, Will Typeforfood, Rex Ringschott, Door Ian, B. Arista, A. Grogblog, Mark LP, Will Burroughs-Baboon, and others.

Then we had a meal of chilies.

The chilies must have hopped people up because when we went back to the bar it all seemed to go downhill fast. It might have also had something to do with the crystal ice they were all smoking and the vodka being swigged out of the bottle.

Barista had a jibe at After Grog Tones about the doof music and then Tones said it wasn't his bloody idea anyway and why didnt barista jump on his bloody bike and peddle off to listen to Johnny Farnham. With that barista headbutted AGB then kneed him in the vicinity of the groin area.

Well Toney being a big fella straightened up and grabbed barista around the neck and they fell to the floor, somehow barista got to his feet again and stared laying the boots into Tones while he was down. Boynton, Lucy Tartan and Balcony started screaming, and although dressed in short tight summer skirts of flimsy material and tottering around on stilettos they all started flailing into barista with their handbags.

Typeforfood made some comment to nabakov pertaining to Nabs 3 piece worsted tweed country suit and tie and something about the pearl handled walking stick. With that Nabs clocked him with the stick, Willtype went down as well, knocking over Dorian and Lucy in the process. Nic Gruen who had been collecting cigarette butts out of the ashtrays in order to roll a bumper, tried to pull people off but was floored when Rex Ringschott whacked him over the head with a half full bottle of Corio.The women were yelling and screaming and bonyton broke her high heels and pushed Gummo into the melee, WBB was asleep on the couch when something caused a table full of empties to crash on to him he woke with shout and came up punching.

Just then the bouncer came running in from outside and tackled Nic Gruen and threw him out the door, next there was a siren and the paddy van arrived. The uniformed boys looked like the ones who had been rejected from the Armed Robbery Squad for lack of sensitivity to clients needs and they proceeded to throw Tones on the floor face first and cuff him, then they moved on and thwacked Gummo over the head with a truncheon, grabbed one of the women and cuffed her, then spotting the ringleader, barista, grabbed him, frog marched him to the divvy van and chucked him inside face first along the floor, but not before he had given one of them a black eye.

Just then I realized I hadn't said much to Mark. Crunching across broken glass and skidding on blood and mucus I put out my hand "
Welcome to Melbourne Blog Meet Mark, sorry its not as exciting as Sydney mate". I never heard his reply as he was tackled from behind by the steroid enhanced bouncer and thrown in the divvy van.

I picked up a loose shoe or two off the floor, someones wallet and a packet of quick eze and walked outside into the side lane putting as much distance as I could between myself and the writerly ones.

As I walked past the games arcades on Russell Street near MacDonalds, I spied Rex Ringschott staggering around, blood dripping from his left eye, and trying to score a bag of scag whilst hanging onto the arm of a huge maori transvestite. I wriggled him away, poured him into a taxi, gave the driver a $50 and told Rex "C'mon look smart mate."

I walked around to Collins up the steps of the
Melbourne Club and as I sat in the lounge, cognac in hand, cigar in ashtray I pondered if this blogging caper would ever take off.

Friday, October 06, 2006

friday cat blogging

Seeing as the week after next I'll be in Ireland, and the other day Barry Jones quoted from The Second Coming in an interview and suggested it might help understand these times, I thought I'd post an Irish Cat.

The worst are full of passionate intensity - indeed

William Butler Yeats - Cat of the Week.

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

and peace be with you too

Yesterday’s funeral mass was held in the chapel. The seats were padded. As it is part of a retirement complex for church professionals I wasn’t altogether surprised to see nuns and priests. I was just surprised to see about 6 elderly priests all in vestments and 15 nuns in habits.

Not being a regular attendee at mass the use of English still seems new to me and I follow the kneeling, sitting, standing rituals as clumsily as a bemused proddy. The turning around and shaking hands greeting bit startles me and feels uncomfortably like a hug from a concerned marriage counselor.

Nevertheless I was impressed that they were using incense and I was moved by the look of serenity that washed and rejuvenated the faces of the frail priests and nuns in wheelchairs when they received the communion wafer. The combined effect of the incense and orqan music induced the reverie from old and I was thinking about death, my funeral, other funerals, belief in after-life and especially transubstantiation. My thoughts went to the communants who accept that this is the body and blood of Christ, not a representation. For some reason I drifted to Lacan, postmodernism and the hours we spent at school discussing transubstantiation, then back to belief, death and spirituality. It was a good mood, solemn, thoughtful, sad but not unhappy.

Then, just as the incense was swinging again, the silence was punctured by a mobile phone chirping in the chapel. I looked around for the idiot with a disapproving frown.

Even though it was only micro seconds, I’m still red faced at the thought of how long it took me punch off the phone after I registered that the vibration on my mobile was connected to the ringing.