29 January 2006

MacGoth Tartan

It would be nice but there isn't one. I discovered a wee while ago that I don't have a family tartan, which isn't really surprising seeing as most of my forebears (sp?) were from the south of Ireland and *cough* Holt.

But as discovered by Joanna there is this site that allows you to design your own tartan. Becky was playing with it last night, I think the MacVérité tartan has a lot of pink in it.

I did discover that I have a clan Aran Sweater though! I'm not entirely convinced that it isn't away of gulling Dollars from Irish diaspora in the USA and Canada.

28 January 2006

New Boots

I wasn't able to order a new fridge freezer today (I really need one, my old one is dying, but I couldn't find one I liked and in my price bracket.) I did manage to get new boots though.

26 January 2006

Burns' Night

I'm going to a Burns' Night tomorrow with Simon. We will both be scrubbed up nice, Si has been practicing tying a real bow tie and can do it now confidently but only around his leg because that is how he has been practicing. I can just about tie a real bow tie and there is a ready made one in reserve just in case so we are not panicking.

There will be reciting of Burns' poems, toasts to the haggis, to the lassies and the lassies' reply. Gordon on Informationally Overloaded has a good description of the general sort of events. It will be fun, however I have another confession to make, that will upset Gordon even more than my confession that I hate haggis. I'm not too fond of Robert Burns' poetry either.

As I've said before I went to primary school in Edinburgh, there, each year, I had to learn a Burns poem to recite in the Burns poetry competition held in the school where points would be given for remembering the poem, pronunciation and putting-the-poem-overness.

I was doomed.

I have never had a Scottish accent and I can't roll my R's and can't do accents. It filled me with a loathing for "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beasties" and all his other poems. In the end I wouldn't bother trying to learn the poem and when it was my turn to recite in the first round I would half arsedly say what I had learnt in a piping English accent with the happy result of being knocked out straight away.

So I don't like Haggis and I don't like Rabbie Burns, why am I going you ask? Well I do like whisky, the dancing, the local(ish) marching pipes and drums. I did spend my formative years in Scotland so even if I wasn't born there I do feel kinda Scottish sometimes (mostly when we are getting trounced by the Italians) but most of all because well it's a fun night out and there will be an open bottle of whisky on the table .

25 January 2006

Money Talks, Bullshit Walks - Spinal Tap*

Now is your chance to buy a Green Goddess and if that doesn't tickle your fancy how about a yellow one? The UK MoD's Defence Disposals Agency online.

Old-Maps.co.uk has been the hit sensation this week in my office. It's fascinating to see how towns have changed and on the 1850 maps most of the places I have lived were fields.

Google censor services
Google have succumbed to the lure of filthy yuan and have agreed to censor its services on its new Google.cn site. Google have said that when a search result is censored they will inform the user that this is the case which MSN and Yahoo search engines, already in China, do not do. They are also not introducing certain services into China, like blogger in order to avoid ever being put in a situation where they are asked to release user detail to the Beijing government. However it is still censorship and avoidance of a potential problem;one they are fighting in the States at the moment.

A lot of moral froth is being generated about this right now, but I think that Google are making the best out of the bad hand they are holding. Google have shareholders and in order to satisfy them they must maximise their profits through increasing their market share - expansion and then squeezing the punter dry until he squeaks sorry exploit that market share efficiently for revenue - the Google ads you see to your left for instance. Faced with the huge potential market that there is in China, principles like silver can get a little tarnished. I do not like the regime in China and am not condoning what Google have done but I can understand why and China is now such a big economy that none of us can avoid doing business with them, clothing, computers, sundries, white goods all made in China.

* Possibly my favourite line from Spinal Tap, that and "None more black"

24 January 2006


BBC NEWS | Scotland | Haggis becomes hot health topic

The 6 O'clock News on Radio 4 has just reported that Haggis has been lumped in with Turkey Twislers and Burgers as being unhealthy and not to be served in Scottish schools. All I can say is "Well Done" to however made that decision, haggis is horrible. The haggis we were served at my primary school, Sciennes, in Edinburgh was fucking foul. It looked like chopped up chess boards and would have tasted like cardboard except it was so highly salted and peppered. We are going to a Burns' Night Dinner on Friday we'll be served Haggis there and this stuff will allegedly be top notch but it will still need to be smothered in Ketchup (which unfortunately will not be available) to make it bearable.

21 January 2006

This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius.

I am notoriously bad at going to the hairdressers on a regular basis. I went for the first time in two years on Thursday. I had about 12 inches cut off, I had to - to remove the split ends and stop it looking quite straggly. It felt so strange brushing my hair since I run out of hair about halfway through a normal brush stroke. It is also a lot curlier that it was before because the weight is no longer there and of course it no longer feels like straw.

I can still do my impression of Cousin Itt but fortunately no longer Worzel Gummage.

In Other News I been shopping. My old little suitcase died the other day, it was also a bit too small for more than one night away without packing extremely lightly so time had finally come to replace it. I now have an intermediate sized semi hard sided suitcase in black and shocking pink. That shouldn't be too hard to spot on the luggage carousel hopefully.
old case
the old case.

19 January 2006

Nigeria to outlaw same-sex unions

BBC NEWS | Africa | Nigeria to outlaw same-sex unions

I can understand why this might happen. Much of Africa is deeply conservative. Nigeria is split between two competing forces trying to see who is more fundamentalist than the other.

As I said I can understand why this might happen I disagree with it completely but I can see how this happens. What completely shocked me, because I didn't realise that free speech was the work of the gays, was this bit.

Justice Minister Bayo Ojo said the law would also ban "any form of protest to press for rights or recognition" by homosexuals, the AFP news agency reports.

What the fuck? If it's the will of the people no amount of protest will change how they think so why should protest be so dangerous.

13 January 2006

I Have A Headache

I don't require sympathy as it was self inflicted, went out last night to help celebrate my friend Anne's birthday, she turned 30 on New Year's Day but last night was the first chance we've had to celebrate it, much beer and champagne was consumed but perhaps, not quiet enough food. Anne was sensible and booked the day off today, I wasn't so am suffering on work time.

Therefore as a bit of recycled blogging: Vote for your favourite Daily Mail Headline at Daily Mail Watch. It's a cool little blog which is really made by the comments. Spotted on Plasticbag.org

10 January 2006


Well I've finally done it, I've got almost the entirety of my CD collection copied into iTunes. 12.8 GBs, 9.7 solid days of music ranging from easy listening to punk to classical music, Abba to the Zutons. However I calculate that about half my music is either on vinyl or cassette, almost all my Cure records, all the Sisters of Mercy stuff, all but two of the Siousxie and The Banshee albums, the Charlatans first album. Because I don't currently have a working record player (must sort that out) I haven't heard some of it for a long time I wonder if I will still find it listenable.

I'm a bit horrified that I've got so much music. I don't think that I have enough to count as a proper music buff, but I've got a fair bit for a girl, which is cool but nothing like some, that's scary to think that some people are filling 60 Gig Ipods.

Most of the women I know, no lets make that all the women I know in real life are not really interested in music, they will have a few CDs but it's always towards the populist end of the scale, (nothing really wrong with that as long as it isn't inflicted on me and I don't have to listen to a Katie Mellua CD again or hear Jamie Cullen described as Jazz - No there is something wrong with that but I can't be arsed to go into it right now.)

I'm also a bit proud of my music collection, the first album I bought with my own money was Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band which I think was pretty cool for a 12 year old. I think my collection shows some thought and care and devotion to loud, dark alternative music and that for a few years I did read the NME.

Gah I'm such a music snob.

09 January 2006

Life On Mars

Sam Tyler - "Where's my PC terminal?"

1970's Copper - "Who?"

Just watched Life On Mars on BBC1. Yay it was great, a mash up of the Sweeney with Quantum Leap and that Comic Strip Presents send up of Spender and the like. I'm a sucker for a good police procedural and this looks like it has the potential to be a classic. The mis-matched pair who will learn "to have grudging respect for each other" the quest to get home ala Quantum Leap, the natty suits, the better bits of the early seventies rock cannon and the little details to invoke the early 70's. I enjoyed the nods to the classic police series of the past, perhaps Brian Blessed will turn up in a later episode. There was wit and pathos and John Simms was excellent, he had me engaged in his character from almost the get go.

07 January 2006

So What Is A Transvestite?

Wanna know what a transvestite is? Well currently if you were to google on the word you wouldn't get a useful answer if you clicked on the number one result as that spot is occupied by Transformation.

Transformation is a website and chain of shops in the UK that sell overpriced badly made tatt to the transgendered market. Becky and Siobhan have between them started a campaign to ensure that in future that the first result on google for transvestite isn't Transformation but rather the wikipedia disambiguation page.

I think this is rather a beezer idea and I'm right behind the movement and if possible I would ask that you do the same. If, for any reason you happen to mention transvestite in your blog or web page please use this link.

05 January 2006

Think I've Heard This One Before.

You can tell it was is a quiet news week if the BBC's online magazine is recycling old old stories with a bit of a modern twist. (This has all changed though, what with Charles Kennedy admitting to having alcohol problems and Arial Sharon suffering a bad stroke however I'm not going to a little fact like hard news ruin my rant it's sure not stopping BBCi news from being inconsequential.)

Which gets me onto my current bugbear. I've noticed that sometimes the quality of writing for the BBC news website is not up to scratch. An attention grabbing headline then a short and confusedly written piece beneath it which often seems to have little in common with the headline.

So please welcome the ipods will make you deaf scare story which is a re-invention of the walkmen will make you deaf story of 1979 which I remember as fondly as I do the winter of discontent.

Based on the very sensible advice from the RNID - "Don't listen to too loud music on your headphones" A headlines were frothed up implying that we were putting our hearing at risk if we used headphones. But the article itself did not seem to support the headline what so ever, Ok Pete Townshend is blaming headphones for his hearing lose but he's spent the last 40 years playing in one of the loudest ever rock bands there are other possible causes. The article also stated that good number of professional musicians have some form of hearing loss but not whether there is any link to head phones it becomes a fact thrown in to scare us.

The article says that all those dire warnings about the Walkman from the 80s do not seem to have come true and then quoted an audiologist as saying the biggest threat to hearing is not from your headphones it's from loud discos and pubs. But it did so in such a manner to hide the meaning.

I know that I don't produce glittering examples of what good writing should be but then I'm doing this for fun, it's not a job I got on the basis of journalistic skills and I'm not being paid to do so. That said, I try to ensure that what I write is clear and coherent even if the grammar and spelling are suspect.

03 January 2006

Mmmmm smooth

We took the Christmas decorations down at work today, returning the office back to its dull, slightly shabby self. I took down the tree after much sighing and heavy hints from some of my colleagues. If I had my way the decorations would have stayed up until 12th night, but then again if I was in charge they would have not been put up until a few days before Christmas.

We did have a new seasonal decoration to put up in the office, in my paper today was a January "advent" calendar issued by Innocent (Non Brits - They are a fruit drinks company) so we stuck that up. It's quite a neat advertising trick by Innocent, who seem to be trying to get us to equate healthiness with their products, behind each door was a healthy living hint. It certainly seems to have worked in the office; we talked about the calender, we stuck it up which will ensure more chat and I'm blogging about them now cos I was intrigued enough to have had a peak at their website. I thought the website is trying too hard to be "wacky" and "home grown" but it's all a matter of taste I suppose.

Coincidentally Si and I bought one of their smoothies yesterday because they were on offer in the supermarket, strawberry and banana it was OK, Simon thought it has a bit of a metallic aftertaste, I wasn't really moved either way, pleasant enough but I wouldn't pay full price.

01 January 2006

Happy New Year

Finally back home. Last night we went to an 80's themed New Years Party. Today we felt a tad jaded so relaxed eating nibbles watching DVDs and telly at friends up in Derby.