Wednesday, 30 June 2010

No Football on TV Tonight!

I'm shocked! There is NO football on TV tonight! What shall I do? If I switch it on I may well be confronted by banal shows like the one shown here. This requires all the intellect of someone who reads the 'Daily Star' and has no life, yet it apparently is on daily! With the TV breaking down, and this substitute being used I can only get the five channels, and each one is stuffed to the brim with vapid drivel! This is very worrying, I might even have to talk to someone, a real person I mean, not one of those machines at customer service places. Yes I realise they appear to be human but come on, surely they must be machines? Three weeks, or is it longer, of non stop football ends. Suddenly there are several hours of life freed up. I may even have to open a window or clean all those dishes piled up in the sink now. I had better look behind the front door, I expect the postman will have been at sometime and left a few bills. Once the remaining games are over I will have to face reality once again. Oh, suddenly I have a headache.....

© Copyright Bob Embleton

Aberdeen Logic

Two Aberdonian farmers, Mat and Don, are sitting in the Farmers bar drinking beer.

Mat turns to Don and says, "Ye ken fit? I'm tired o'gan through life athoot an education.. I'morn, I think I'll go doon to the squeel and sign up for some nicht classes."
Don thinks it's a good idea, and the two leave.

The next day Mat goes down to the school and meets the Lecturer, who signs him up for the four basic classes: Maths, English, History, and Logic."

Logic?" Mat says. "Fit's at?"

The Lecturer says, "I'll show you. Do you own a Strimmer?"

"Aye"" Then logically because you own a Strimmer, I think that you have a Garden.

Mat replies, "At's true, I div hae a Gairden."

"I'm not done," the Lecturer says. "Because you have a Garden, I think logically that you would have a house."

"Aye, I dee huv a hoose."

"And because you have a house, I think that you might logically have a family."

"I hiv a femily."

"I'm not done yet. Because you have a family, then logically you must have a wife."

"Man! Yer nae wrang!! I div hae a wife!!"

"And because you have a wife, then logically you must be a heterosexual."

"I am that! a heterosexual. That's amazin'!! You were able to find a' that oot, jist 'cos huv a strimmer."

Excited to take the class now, Mat shakes the Lecturers's hand and leaves to meet Don at the pub.

He tells Don about his classes, how he is signed up for Maths, English, History and Logic..

"Logic?" Don says, "Fit's at? "Mat says, "I'll show ye. Do you huv a strimmer?"


"Well then, yer a poof."

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


BAA are advertising for a 'Eastern Campus Process Leader' for Heathrow Airport.
This is what they refer to as a 'Role Overview.'

  • This is a key role in the formation of the Eastern Campus Process Development Team. The purpose of this role is to design, develop & gain stakeholder sign off of the processes and procedures to support the effective and efficient operation of the Eastern Campus.
  • This individual will be the interface with internal and external stakeholders to agree the core operating processes for passengers (20million), airlines (20 +), handling agents (4-5) & users in the day to day running of Eastern Campus.
  • This will involve the discussion negotiation & agreement of prime accountabilities & responsibilities between stakeholders to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of how the Eastern campus will work as well as set out the key interfaces with other parts of the airport.
  • This work will form the basis on which the Familiarisation, Induction & Training (FIT) & the Trials programme for Eastern campus is developed.
  • The successful person will be the ‘expert client’ on passenger & support processes for the construction & systems delivery teams on the Eastern Campus programme.

What is a  'stakeholder sign off' when it's at home?  
"This individual will be the interface with internal and external stakeholders."  'Interface?' Are they to become a computer screen perhaps?
The applicant will have to "set out the key interfaces with other parts of the airport." Do you mean 'speak to people?' 

Why do we need to read such drivel? What is wrong with these people just speaking in English instead of pretentious phraseology? Typical of HR departments (which used to be called 'Personnel) who enlarge their kingdom with such language. This is especially true I reckon in the larger and more self important organisations. It would appear that in such cases plain speaking leaves the HR people less important than they would wish. But does such terminology lead to better employees, or better employ relations? I doubt it.

(This post does not refer to people working in such departments in the Lothian regions.)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Now I'm Not One To Gloat


World Cup 2010: 

Germany tear down England's defence


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Longest Day 2010

I took this picture at around ten minutes to ten last night. The resulting picture was a bit darker than reality so I have lightened it somewhat and this reflects the sky as it was at that time. Isn't this the best day of the year?
I awoke at three yesterday morning and while there was much cloud above in the distance patches of light blue were seen as dawn approached. What a great sight! After I took the picture he sky remained remarkably light for a considerable time and had I stayed awake I could have watched it until it disappeared. How such sights have come to mean so much to me. Simple things mean a lot. I would love to spend time in the north where six months of daylight exist, although when the winter darkness arrives I would be off! How can folks endue such a long darkness? It turns them to drink, drives them mad, and must have a detrimental effect on all aspects of life! Not for me thanks!

From now on the nights are drawing in and darkness threatens us once more also. Not quite in the manner of those in Lapland but bringing accidents, depression and cold weather. You can tell I am feeling real cheery this morning can't you? In fact yesterday was very warm and bright, today looks similar so far. It is so bright out there I may even stir myself sufficiently to turn off the world cup and go out into the bright world. Well, maybe I will just think about it for a while longer. You can never tell quite what is out there can you......


Saturday, 19 June 2010

England Flags



Friday, 18 June 2010



Thinking about 'Power,' as you were, made me think about, power! To be specific, Electricity power. You see we tend to take for granted electricity, until the bill comes in every quarter of course! While trendy 'green' folks are constantly talking about power on the TV and radio we just go on using it with little thought as to where it comes from. Whether it is produced by nuclear, or coal fired power stations, wind farms or some other trendy means, we just find it at the end of a switch or a button on some technological marvel we also take for granted. Yet without it we come to a sudden halt, the world stops! Between the two world cup matches today a man from Zambia was informing the BBC World Service that there had been no power today. No power meant no world cup coverage and he was obviously listening on a battery powered radio. Poor chap, how I felt for him.

However I have long thought that the best way to cripple any society is not by bombing main streets or large buildings, it is simply by blowing holes in the electric supply. Do this and the whole world goes out! Communication fails, darkness falls, shops and businesses come to a halt, and only major organisations have their own emergency power supplies to keep them going. Try doing without electric power for a week? It's impossible! This abode is almost all electric and occasionally we suffer power loss. For a few years this was almost every six months however the electric company, with their shareholders permission, have eradicated such breaks almost completely. I hope! There is no doubt we need power, washing machines, microwaves, TV, radio, and a hundred and one other items that make life so much easier, if you can afford the bills.

How did people survive in days of old with no electricity? How did the Victorians make their computers work? I am surprised they had a life without the electric switch! No music, no soap operas, no hoover to keep the wife busy, how did they cope? How would we cope if today we lost power? It happens in war zones, and Zambia, and life would change greatly for us in similar circumstances. We may have to talk to one another. dark nights would inevitably increase the population, or just make folk go mad! How frail our life really is. Ah well, as long as I can see the football, hear the news, and play the music I wish. As long as the PC keeps me in touch with the world, and the USA, I will be happy.

Oh yes the USA! They gave us the best game of the world cup this afternoon. Playing Slovenia they came from 2-0 down (pronounced two - nil Mr Landon Donovan, NOT two - zero!) to draw, and almost win the game! good for them. Tonight all football fans will be behind Algeria as they defeat the imperialist hordes of Englishmen! It's only right!


Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I got a shock today! Putting aside the World Cup I wondered outside and discovered the sun was shining! Look! Blue sky with little puffy clouds in the distance! The only sun I have seen for the past week is casting shadows over the pitches during the games! They say the sun in South Africa is hot, I discovered today that it is quite warm here also! I might go outside again in a few days time if it keeps like this! Germany still the only side to show form so far, I wonder if they can keep it up when faced with stronger opposition?


Sunday, 13 June 2010

World Cup 2010

Lots to say, but too many games to watch, three a day at the moment, eat in between, sleep, shop and then what with howling at the moon there is just no time these days to blog!  Suffice to say that there has been three stupid sendings off, too little decent football, and Robert Green is the player of the tournament so far!  

Oh and ITV ought never to be allowed to show football at any time - but you will have known that already!

Thursday, 10 June 2010


So I eventually get around to fixing the puncture.

I struggle to turn the nut to release the wheel, always the back wheel of course, and, covered in filth, bring it upstairs. The tyre lever has disappeared. A silver tool fails to release the tyre. Neither does that strange shaped thing in the tool box, nor does a screwdriver, nor a combination of several tools! Scrambling for something in the rubble I find the tyre lever, (how did it get there?) and with a great deal of effort move the tyre sufficiently to remove, with a struggle, the inner tube. I shove it, by now willingly, into water and note the hole. Removing it from the water I lose the place and struggle through pumping and drowning the thing again, this time having some way of marking the tiny hole that causes the grief. 
Another search in the tool box for the box of patches. Plenty of those, lots of those white chalk bits, some emery paper scraps, a few yellow crayons and NO rubber solution!
I clean my filthy hands and soon afterwards make for the dole office where a nice young lass signs me on amid smiles and encouragement. Clearly she does not know how to do her job! I wander about looking for things connected to the Great War history of the town that I have been studying, and arrive home, hot, sweaty, and flushed. As I pass the bike remember I have forgotten the new puncture outfit! I leave it till later! Just before five I rush to the shops and find one in an overpriced shop dealing in motor items/ bike stuff. This is run by guys who smile at you while lifting your wallet. You know the smart ass type in such shops, not allowed to sell used cars as used car salesmen don't trust them, that sort. I find myself paying £2:99 for this small box! £2:99! I was expecting to pay 99p! Stunned, and determined never to return, I head home.
So stunned the thing is still sitting here beside me. At least the rubber solution is a decent size this time, although there is not much else in there, bar the small bit of emery paper and a couple of patches. 
£2:99, and they say Dick Turpin lived around here? I believe them!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sunday, 6 June 2010


With the dawn already risen I rode out at 5:15 the other morning to enjoy the quiet before the day starts. Being up that early meant I passed the postmen going into work and the early bird catching the worm. (I do not refer to postmen when mentioning 'worm.') I sauntered around in what was a warm sun at that time and thoroughly enjoyed the time. Later, as I took my stiffening knees out to the shops, I noticed the tyre was flat. "Strange," I thought wondering why this should be? Later I pumped air into the tyre, the rear tyre as all punctures have to be there, and watched as the worn rubber slowly deflated again. On the journey I had run over some minute object which had done the deed.   

This means I am on my knocked knees wandering the streets instead of trolling through the countryside enjoying the damp weather. This is somewhat of a blow, especially as I am too lazy to fix the puncture. The problem is the back wheel. This has to come off, the gears moved, the grease, dirt and oil has to be spread all over the wall, the carpet and even the ceiling if last time is anything to go by. Hours later the tyre has to be replaced, and inflated. Now I don't know about you but in my experience when this happens, the wheel tightened, the gears replaced, and all is well, then by the next morning it is flat again! So the ten minute job, according to those who write books, takes three or four days before it is finished! The idea of riding the brute after that loses all interest as the fear of another puncture fills the oil covered mind. 

Tomorrow I begin the operation. If it is finished by Friday I will be very surprised! 


Friday, 4 June 2010

A Very Random Sense Poem

   A Very Random Sense Poem

I saw a black cat as black as the ocean at night
I saw a young man as mad as a hatter
I saw a puppy as fierce as a lion

I heard the wind as fierce as the sun's blaze
I heard a faint cry from a man as poor as a church mouse
I heard her voice as clear as a whistle 
I heard the girl sing as sweet as honey from a hive

I felt the ghost's cold touch as cold as frostbite
I felt the warm coat as warm as wool
I felt the dog's ears as soft as silk

I smelt the gas as strong as a horse
I smelt a rose as red as blood
I smelt the smoke as bold as brass
I smelt a daffodil as yellow as a banana

I tasted a peach as good as gold
I tasted a lemon as bitter as vinegar
I tasted a strawberry as red as a rose
I tasted a banana as yellow as a chick



Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Sir John de Stricheley

This story interested me the other day, an archaeological reconstruction of a face from a skull discovered at Stirling Castle in 1997.  Nine skeletons were discovered under the stones of what once was a royal chapel in the castle once long lost through many reconstructions over the years. A team from the University of Dundee (yes it does have a proper University) led by forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black have put a face to one of the dead. This turned out to be a man with the body of a professional rugby player, in his mid twenties and one who had suffered serious injuries in previous battles. Unusually documentary materials survive from the time of his death and evidence from his bones indicate he was from the south of England, that explains the thuggish looks I suppose. Putting these together it is now believed, but I suppose can never be conclusively proved, to be Sir John de Stricheley, a knight who was killed there in 1341. At that time the English dominated the castle and the peace loving Scots were requesting, through peaceable means, the Sassenachs to go back from where they came from. During one of these negotiations it is likely this invader managed to catch one of the Scots arrows, peacefully offered as an incentive to depart, with part of his body and, as you do, perished from the earth.  As Mark Twain out it, "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it." 

If this is indeed he, then it is clear that coming from a 'noble' background he would naturally be involved with the fighting way of life. Politicians today back-stab while smiling, in the 14th century one whipped out a sword or club and took ones opponents head off. It saved all that bother with voting papers I suppose. You had to be tough to get to the top, and Kings no less than knights fought in ferocious battles. Indeed it was said of the 'Black Douglas' that when he arrived in Spain to fight in the Crusades (not all Crusaders went to the Middle East, many fought the Moors in Spain) others remarked on his handsome features! They were all battle scarred veterans of many conflicts, often with each other, while he had managed to keep his good looks. Well I suppose he was only fighting Englishmen anyway.  

Among the dead were the remains of a female, unnamed, who had had her face smashed in with a heavy club. The mind boggles at the fighting and how this incident occurred. The idea of gentle women is often put forward by pushy feminists, however human nature shows them often in the roughest places, and a castle under siege is extremely rough! Unless she had an extremely high rank it is unlikely she will have been mentioned in any document and will probably forever remain nameless. One day all the relevant details of the skeletons will be known although the chances of linking them to a name appears slight.. 

Another interesting point is that the forensic anthropologist is a woman. have you noticed just how many woman get involved in such study. Thinking back to my NHS days I realise now just how many females worked in the path lab, some I was told were 'brilliant!' The person in charge was a female (she said!) although any similarities to the creature who fought crime in a puerile TV drama ends when you consider she spent more time sitting beside us gossiping, when she appeared, and then ran off elsewhere! Women do appear to find science, and this type in particular, fascinating.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Useful Scots Words

This picture is 'acquired' from Graham Stewart's blog on the BBC Site using the Scots language. 
It is dated from last year but worth a read - if you can cope with the Scots language!

Language is a flowing medium. Words used in one era are unacceptable today. 'Peculiar' for instance, once implied you stood out from the crowd, as in 'a peculiar people,' which would possibly be rendered, 'an exclusive people,' today. Similarly words used in one part of Scotland are not used in another. Anyone called 'George' in Edinburgh is often referred to as 'Dode!' Why I do not know, I can only tell you that it is so! I am unaware of this happening anywhere else in Scotland but remain open to contradiction.  

Here are some words I occasionally use down here in the English wilderness and I must confess wish I could use more often. How ever the mind responds to those around us and they rarely come to mind here. Funnily enough crossing the border enables Scots words to rise to the surface of the mind. For instance on one occasion I was flying into Edinburgh airport (I was in a plane) and as we flew over the darkened Firth of Forth, the lights of Kirckaldy on one side and similar lights from Leith glimmering on the left, the plane shuddered in the air flow. "Gey shoogly," I thought to myself, and realised immediately that had I been approaching Stansted I would have remarked "A lot of turbulence around tonight."  Scots words are indeed more homely, and in that case more appropriate!

Here are some I like.The come from the 'First Foot Dictionary,' which is a must read! 

Barry  Splendid, good, wonderful

Clatty  Actually this is Clarty in Edinburgh. 
               Adj-- meaning dirty,unkempt as in-- He could dae wae a guid wash!

Dreich  ADJ.Description of the usual Scottish weather viz:Damp, dreary, overcast, drizzling, threatening to pish doon, looks like it will stay like this for weeks.......

Drookit  Soaked to the skin.
               Ah'll need tae get hame an dry aff,that rains got me drookit.

Galoot  An idiot.  A wonderful word, and often put into use near me, er hold on.....
             Yah big galoot ye, yuv let the aligator oot.

Glaikit  Another of my favourite words! Much used in my family!
ADJ. Stupid, foolish, thoughtless, vacant. As in "Awa, yi glaikit bastirt!" 
           Often used of gadgies, minkers and schemies.

numptie moron.  This is the snob way of spelling this. 

Numpty (Numb tea). A useless individual.See that Hugh Keevins?
               He's a right numpty, see that Chick Youngl? He's a real numpty.

Nyaff (Kneeyaff). Annoying wee bugger, especially applicable to a politician. 
               See you ya wee nyaff if ye dinnae bugger aff yer gettin' a bash in yer mooth

Peelly wally  Unwell, extremely pale and tired - usually referred to children (and me) when unwell

Teuchter   Anyone living outside the central belt of Scotland. Actually it is the folks north of the central  belt the highlanders! To the Lowlanders they are indeed Teuchters!

Toerag A scamp, scallywag, mild form of bastirt. (from forces slang "Tuareg"-an Arab)

Radge Adj. Crazy person, madman. What you looking at me for? 
               Verb. To do something crazy