Saturday, February 18, 2012

Audioboo - the return of the murderer

Feb 15th - the return of the murderer (mp3)

Yes I will!

FeBOOary 13th Yes I will! (mp3)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fitness & morning breath

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Psychic scone

A couple of years ago I moved from a Glasgow office in Atlantic Quay to make way for the Scottish Government, yes I used to be very large indeed.

Of the few benefits accrued from moving to an office in Kilmarnock is proximity to  Mamitas Coffee Shop in Bank Street.

I searched for a Starbucks equivalent in Kilmarnock for a while. I even sent pleading letters to Starbucks UK for them to set up a store in Kilmarnock or Irvine to no avail, which turned out to be the wrong address.

I didn't notice Mamitas right away. It's a hidden gem.

The best thing about Mamitas is the warm welcome and the next best thing is the fresh scones, baked at 0630. The shop opens at 0800 and in a weird way, the place is usually half full at 0805. I have no idea where the people appear from. They just appear and they are all regulars, say good morning and I haven't the first idea of their names or who they are. Lovely atmosphere.

Date and Ginger!
A take-out double shot coffee and a freshly made scone is the best way to start the working day and the scone flavours change daily. For no particular reason (probably after reading 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman) I decided to test the psychic powers of the twitter-verse by asking them to predict the scone flavour using the hash-tag #psychicscone.

It hasn't turned in to a global viral meme monstrosity, but there are regular scone predictors that often make me LOL (get me with the young person phrases) first thing in the morning .Sometimes people even get them right, but that's not the point.

There aren't very many flavours and there is a cyclical nature to them, Monday is always Treacle Scone day, but that hasn't stopped the loyal #psychicscone twitter followers suggesting imaginative flavours and combinations. I decided to compile a list of the weird ones. I should say that there is one flavour I will not countenance. Cherry scones are just wrong, WRONG I tell you.

For your enjoyment:
Apple and Cinnamon!
  • octopus and ryvita @AiTinpot
  • Stilton and marmoset @jnanagarbha
  • ptarmigan and nutmeg @jnanagarbha
  • cheese (team guess) @rogue_cannons
  • Cheese, coleslaw & amp; deep fried asparagus @AiTinpot
  • Breadstick and Angel Delight @AiTinpot
  • Mushy Peas and Scotch Egg @AiTinpot
  • horse & dime bar @rogue_cannons
  • haddock & porridge @jnanagarbha
  • Chick pea and haddock? @AiTinpot
  • Shetland Pony and Cheese @L_McNeil
  • Sunyata @jnanagarbha
  • Horse hair and a chomp bar @AiTinpot
  • Dime bar and figs? @AiTinpot
  • Apple and Cinnamon!! @rogue_cannons
  • Donkey & Pavement @rogue_cannons
  • Date with treacle. @L_McNeil
  • Rubber chicken and horse @rogue_cannons
  • The bitter taste of betrayal @jnanagarbha
  • horse and red berries flavour @rogue_cannons 
  • Tyre, date & baby deer flavour @rogue_cannons
  • Apple, cinnamon & sultana @rogue_cannons 
  • Apple, cinnamon and raisin @_HomeHarmony
  • Pear, date and cinnamon @L_McNeil
  • bacon, egg + chips scone! @mig29conn
  • white chocolate, cherry + almonds Mick at @mig29conn
  • bacon + egg? @mig29conn
  • cheese + onion? @mig29conn
  • sushi or prawn? @MConn01 @mig29conn
  • bangers + mash? @mig29conn

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's just common sense - gig organiser advice.

Interpol, Edinburgh 27th November 2010

I've been at two gigs in the space of 2 days. An increase in my rock and roll credibility of 200%. The music was fantastic in both cases. Thanks to the guidance of my colleague Mr K Legg (author of the hugely entertaining football blog Adventures in Tinpot and a devoted attender of gigs) we secured an excellent spot to stand, with a great view of the stage.

I have some suggestions for gig security companies that would improve everyone's enjoyment of gigs.

I know the evidence of 2 gigs is statistically a small sample, but quite frankly I don't care. I'd like to rant please.
 "impressively voluminous chaotic gravity defying hair"
The people I would like excluded from gigs have most of the following characteristics:
  • They arrive late after the headline band has started.
  • They push their way through the crowd usually apologising or making pointy gestures with their hand to the front I assume implying that they have friends they are heading towards.
  • There is a “pathfinder” with assorted people trailing behind, who are less sober than pathfinder (that's why he/she was nominated) and in the case of a girl pathfinder much less attractive.
  • The whole group are taller than the average person.
  • They will often have impressively voluminous chaotic gravity defying hair.
  • The line of intruders will stop as pathfinder finds a spot he/she is happy with; the tail end of the group look glassily startled at their new surroundings.
  • The audience surrounding the intruders tenses as their previously selected positions and enjoyment of the gig are suddenly upset through obscured views and/or as the intruders inebriated swaying starts to push people around.
  • The intruders than start talking to each other ignoring the music. No doubt they are sharing their second by second critical appraisal of the music, validating their set list guesses, how truly amazing the drummer is, and can carry this function out while ignoring what is being performed.
  • They also make arms in the air pointing gestures with some precision, consistently missing the beat of the music, with their eyes closed possessed by some form of rapture, with no regard for those they jostle around them. The upturned arm may be carrying a plastic beaker of beer with which to anoint their fellow audience members into the great time they are having.

With any luck pathfinder will lead them further into the audience, gravitating towards others of a like disposition who are also doing the hand pointy, loud shouting, beer anointing to share in their “what a great gig this is, it's so good I just have to tell everybody now and not pay any attention to it” rituals.
"Tall people have no sense of timing"
So what conclusions can we make?
  1. Tall people like to hang out with other tall people.
  2. Tall people like to emphasise their tallness, adding centimetres with improbably high hairstyles.
  3. Assuming they were present at the beginning of the gig, they feel that even though they are tall and able to see well from anywhere in the auditorium, they must progress to the front of the crowd for their enjoyment to be complete.
  4. Tall people are capable of almost instantaneous gig appraisal.
  5. Tall people have a strong desire to communicate on a continuous basis with their fellow man.
  6. Tall people have no sense of timing.
  7. Tall people smell of camel catarrh.

Ok, I make the last one up, but I think you get my drift. Gig security people, don't let them in. I don't care how, just don't let them in.
Have a height restriction, with areas zoned so smaller people can be at the front and taller at the back? Maybe something invovling high powered lasers slicing their foreheads or hair off? 

I mean it just makes sense.

What other inferences can we make? Have you had similar experiences? Are these just the people that go to T in the Park and piss on other people's tents?

Thank you for listening.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dutch thoughts

I was invited to present at a training event in Amsterdam and had a fantastic three days with a great bunch of people and fantastically generous hosts. 

Some observations about Amsterdam and things Dutch for the traveller:
  1. There is a lot of Dutch cheese in the world and a lot of it is expensive. 28€ for 50g is just plain stupid though.
  2. Cheese is a valid and appropriate gift to take home to loved ones / significant other / pet / invisible friend.
  3. The Dutch are very generous, happy kind people who pronounce the letter "S" as sshhh
  4. When crossing the road, keep your head scanning 180 degrees from side to side until you are at the other side in case you get hit by a tram, car or bicycle.
  5. There are no fences between the trams and pavement.
  6. There are a lot of bicycles in Amsterdam. I mean a lot. Certainly more than in a bicycle shop.
  7. If happening upon a Red Light area unexpectedly, try not to: 
    1. Jump in surprise
    2. Yelp in surprise
    3. Stare 
    4. Speak your thoughts .
  8. When wandering in a group of jolly people in a Red Light area, at least one male member of the group will divulge a lot more than you would expect about the area and "sector" (prices, opening times etc) but will be oblivious to the more obvious inference that can be drawn from their encyclopaedic knowledge.  
  9. The Dutch people (male or female) can be extremely tall. Try not to: 
    1. Jump in surprise , 
    2. Yelp in surprise 
    3. Stare 
    4. Speak your thoughts .
  10. The delicacy Vlaamse frites (chips in a paper cone with sauce) can substitute for a main meal if it's late and you can't be bothered sitting is some random restaurant on your own.
  11. Schipol airport has a "Meditation Centre" for all you Buddhists out there.
  12. The ticket machines at Central Station can swallow your debit card. Always have your bank phone number handy to cancel them.
  13. A lot of the Dutch live on canal boats and don't close their curtains. When seeing something inappropriate try not to: 
    1. Jump in surprise , 
    2. Yelp in surprise 
    3. Stare 
    4. Speak your thoughts .
  14. The novelty of  "living statues" wears off in about 60 seconds in Dam Square.
  15. Don’t go to Amsterdam is you are allergic to the colour Orange.
 I hope the above is useful.