Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I’m writing this entry on my laptop as I sit in my room in my holiday apartment. I’m currently on holiday on the west coast of Scotland, 16 miles from Oban on a place called Melfort. I have no internet access and no mobile phone access. The fact that I cannot be contacted is liberating. I don’t think anyone would really want or need to contact me this week anyway.

The weather has been pretty extreme. Yesterday the wind was strong and the rain was heavy. The road was full of fallen branches this morning. From the window of the house you can get a great view of the Loch. The water is rough, tempestuous.

I have been doing as little as possible. I have done some walking. I went for a short swim yesterday. I had a massage this morning. My only concern just now is the avoidance of all concerns. There is time enough in life for thinking.

Many of the places around here are very desolate at this time of year (today is Halloween). Yesterday we visited a place called ‘crow haven’. I am sorry that I have not used the correct Gaelic spelling. It is a small port and marina. Very quiet and under populated. It reminded me of a Nick Cave song from the Murder Ballads album. Cold and lonely. We went to a pub called the Lord of the Isles for lunch. It was quiet, with only two other paying customers and the barman. The most dominant sound was the voice of an upper-class old Englishman as he discussed crossword puzzles. I liked watching the sea against the grey sky. Yesterday was a dull day, in terms of weather and colour.

Today we visited Crinan. We ate lunch in the hotel at the mouth of the canal. The hotel was cold and windswept. The staff was reminiscent of the Adams family (although there was one very attractive waitress). The food was overpriced. A rich Norwegian couple sat at the table across from us. As they spoke they switched languages, mixing English, French and Norwegian. They were in Scotland to shoot pheasants.

I’ve been reading a bit while I’m here and catching up on my CD listening. I’m working my way through the works of Lou Barlow at the moment. Sebadoh III is on the stereo as I write. The music is mournful. It fits the countryside.

You could read this entry and think that I don’t like this part of the world. That would be wrong. I love it. The landscape of the West Coast of Scotland is important to me because it reminds me how small and insignificant man is. No matter what happens in my life these rocks will always remain.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

SFX magazine

SFX is probably my favourite geek magazine. I thought I'd write about it because I just bought issue number 150, I'm watching torchwood on BBC2 and it's raining outside and I have nothing else to do.

In case you don't know SFX is a British science-fiction glossy magazine that you can actually buy in most high street newsagents. It's been going for 11 or 12 years now and it covers films, tv, books, comics and computer games (as well as more general nerd stuff).

The latest issue has an interview with Stan (the man) Lee who created Spiderman, the Fantastic Four and the X-men as well as loads of neologisms. It also has an article on Quantum Leap, a TV series that I loved when I was a kid.

The book reviews and film reviews are generally good. It has useful nerd news (about TV shows and films and fanboy shit like that). It has a bit of a sense of humour and it looks good. I like it. You might to.


Daily Record headline

'Glasgow fails terror attack test'

gonna no dae that

I mean, couldn't we just sort it out quickly and quietly without advertising the fucking fact? A wee bit of discretion and more security guards? (plus more police, doctors, nurses, firemen, ambulance drivers, etc, etc)

Better yet, why not come up with a way to stop people wanting to blow us up? I guess that's not too likely though......


Saturday, October 21, 2006

internet insomnia

I have rebound insomnia. I've just finished 12 days in a row at work (3 of which were 24hour on-calls, including last night) and now I can't sleep. Bugger!

So how about a few thoughts for 2 in the morning.

Muslim women and veils. Who cares? Let them wear what they want. I work with the public and I would NEVER ask a muslim woman to remove her veil unless I had a specific (medical) reason to do so. Would Jack Straw ask someone not to dye their hair green or pierce their nose before he would talk to them? Would he ask them to take off sunglasses? I might be missing the point here but it just seems a bit rude to me.

I recently recieved an invitation to play with a medical news review site. It is basically designed to sift through medical journals and highlight information that you would find useful. Thousands of medical journals are published every month and most of the content is crap. Filtering it can be useful but you have to be able to trust your filter (do you believe everything you read in the Sun or everything you see on Sky News?). I guess the main risk in a medical filter is that drug companies might use it to make their products appear more useful. This one is still being developed. Go to http://labs.onexamination.com and check it out.

For more light-hearted relief of boredom I get my weekly fix of lies and scandal from Popbitch. Go to http://www.popbitch.com/ and subscribe. It's pure sleaze.

For a weirder range of distractions click on the Warren Ellis link at the side of the page. He's a comic book writer (check out transmetropolitan and nextwave - they fucking rock) who searches the internet for unusual stuff.

Hope I fall asleep soon


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bad Brains

You wait a month for a post then 2 come along on the same day.

Playing with youtube - found this


It's a video by the Bad Brains the godlike rastafarian hardcore punk band from washington dc. They are so good that you will shit yourself. I saw them once. They were great.

Enough - listen and fall in love


ps - sorry if you don't like punk

Monday, October 09, 2006


Inspired by the brilliance of the Sopranos I've started to work my way through some of the other shows from American TV station HBO. You can pick up most of the good stuff on DVD from CD-WOW at a reasonable price. I started with Deadwood.

Deadwood had been getting some good reviews. It has only slightly impinged on my thoughts because of an energetic advertising campaign. I don't have easy access to Sky so I haven't really seen any of it. I knew that former lovejoy cheese-merchant Iain McShane was involved. Generally not a good sign.

Still, I was curious. The DVD cost £18 - S.F.A. Worth a shot. It was better than I expected.

The show is set in the mining outpost of Deadwood on Native American land in the America of the 1870s. The town is full of thieves and scoundrels. Most of the characters are not very nice. A few of the characters are based on real people including Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

McShane is actually pretty good here as Saloon keeper/pimp/general scumbag Al Swearengen. He strikes an uneasy balance between pure evil and charisma (although not as much charisma as Tony Soprano). It pisses all over Lovejoy.

The hero of the show is Seth Bullock, a decent man and former sherrif who is trying to make his forture despite being in constant thrall to his morals.

The show is gritty with a constant air of squalor. People die with alarming regularity and the town is in continual entropy. The primative medicine of the doctor is well portrayed. The language is shocking - there is enough use of the words 'cocksucker' and 'motherfucker' to embarras a busload of Glasweigan schoolkids. I like it. I'm waiting for series 2 to come in the post.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

further tinkering

I've now messed about with this site a bit more. I've gone through all the old posts and added labels to them to make things a bit easier to find.

As I was doing that it became apparent that I've put a lot of stuff up here over the past 18 months. A lot of it is rubbish but I do like some of it. I enjoy playing with the site anyway.

I've slept most of today. Work has been quiet this week but I'm on-call a lot over the next two weeks so it's not always gonna be such as skive. At the moment I'm working on a dialysis unit which is a very different pace of life. Interesting, but I wouldn't want to do it forever.

Just been watching some episodes of a American TV series from a few years ago called the Tick. It seems cool. Might write more about it later.

new stuff on the site

I've been messing around with the site a bit. I've tried to make it more pretty and easier to find stuff. I'm using the new blogger beta stuff which seems cool. This interweb stuff is turning me into more of a nerd than before.

One cool things is the labels that I've started to add to the bottom of posts. They include broad catagories like music, film, books, shite and egomania. Click on a few and explore the site. I love you longtime if you do.


Film review - Clerks II

Clerks II probably only appeals to a select audience. How many people have seen the original Clerks? It's a cult movie for a niche market, the Kevin Smith fan. Luckily, I am a Kevin Smith nerd.

This film was never going to set the box office on fire. There was a reasonable audience in the cinema tonight but a lot of them didn't seem to expect the film that they got. Several people walked out. I'm not sure if they were offended or bored. I don't really care cos I liked it.

The story revolves around Randall and Dante, two 30-something losers who have been in McJobs for several years too long. Dante is about to escape to a new life with a new wife. Or is he getting cold feet?

And then there was this donkey.....

Jay and Silent Bob are back although their antics are tame this time. They really need to work a bit harder to offend me. The film is probably about average for Kevin Smith which is good for anyone else. I laughed. At one point I laughed so hard I thought I might hurt myself. I have a sick sense of humour so this film was good for me. You might not like it if you have 'strong moral values'.

Good, but not his best.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Children of men - film review

I went to see this film without really planning to do so and I'm really glad that I did. It was great.

It's set in the near future in a fascist Britain. The world is in ruins and the last human was born 18 years ago. The population is aging and the world is dying.

The main character leads an empty life until he is kidnapped by a terrorist group led by an ex-girlfriend. She wants a favour.....

The film is grim and gritty and emotional. Something about it really worked for me. The last 20 minutes are great.

Michael Caine is in it and he gets some more classic lines (his tombstone should read 'pull my finger')

ch-ch-ch check it out