Thursday, 31 December 2009

So What's On Your List

Now thats its Hogmanay 2009, it's just dawned on me that 10 years have went passed since we celebrated the Millennium. Where did all that time go? No matter how many times someone explains the physics of it all I won't understand why time speeds up the closer you get to your own destruction. I just know I don't want to waste my time overthinking it or starting a new decade making new years resolutions that I can't possibly keep.

Why bother starting a year with a diet that I hate just to keep the doctors happy when at some point I'm going to belly up anyway? I'd rather start this year positively and for that reason I told the woman of my life to come up with a list of must buy items for the year, and then instead of spending a fortnight trying not to do something and ultimately failing we have the whole year trying to make something special (to us) happen.

 Some of what's on my list include

A trip to San Francisco.

A new low light lens for my camera.

Regular trips to Bombay House.

A new camera for her.

At least 3 music gigs.

Take in some Jazz games.

So tell me, what's on your list.

Have a good 2010!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Given the choice of eating my spaghetti bolognese again or going out and having Indian food my better half chose chicken pakora, naan bread and curry.

I think she prefers service with orange turbans. I should probably be concerned, or maybe even offended, but its hard to be when I'm too busy scoffing the food down my thrapple. I'm just glad that at the tail end of 2009 she has been convinced that Indian food is the best around. That should make for a good 2010.

Now that 2010 is drawing near its time to introduce her to some Disaronno. She's not much of a drinker but she does like her diet coke, and almonds, so with a bit of luck this Hogmanay should bring in an interesting year.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


It's that time of the year when driving can be dangerous and lead to delays in getting to work on time but spare a thought for the pilot who landed at Prestwick airport and slid off it soon after when the wheels struggled for grip on the ice. He might have a little bit more explaining to do to his bosses than the average worker this season.

And now the craving is....

Last week my lovely and I finally had the time and the inclination to go to the other side of town and have ourselves some Indian cuisine Salt Lake City style. It was so good now she has the cravings for more. It's just a pity we do have to go to the other side of the city to satisfy those cravings and we can't just get some to take away just down the road.

However I could overlook such things and be satisfied for a moment or two with a couple of these

Dammit why don't they sell here? I know how to make my own honeycomb but its just not the same without that thin layer of cadbury's chocolate coating.

Ok, here endeth the advertising, unless of course Cadbury takes pity on my plight of poor American substitute chocolate and candy and decides to send me a lifetime supply where of course I would recommense with blatent and shamelesss advertising with every post, especially if 250g bars of Dairy Milk were included in the package, ooh and cream eggs too, ok thats just getting greedy. Back to serious programming later.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Probably the biggest local news story in these parts just now is the appeal by the husband for information on his missing wife, or should I say lack of appeal, seeing as he left that responsibility to his brother in law while he stood in front of the television cameras saying nothing. What makes it a bigger story than the more usual missing persons reports is that fact that on the night that his wife disappeared it is his story that he took his children, aged 2 and 4, sledding and then camping overnight in freezing temperatures.

As an alibi it sucks, any numpty can come up with something more plausible.

What amazes me though is the amount of time her brother spent defending the husband in front of the cameras. If my wife had gone missing when she was supposed to be under my care I would probably be hung, drawn and quartered by her family before any questions were asked. I would expect nothing less.

I don't understand it when families defend someone so vocally when they themselves must be asking the same questions as everyone else. Is it desperation, hope, trust or naivety that will have families believing that it can only be a stranger that would harm a loved one?

If he does indeed turn out to be guilty of killing his wife (and it looks like it, since the latest news is he just got himself a nice expensive defense lawyer before any charges could be brought) and depriving two young boys of their mother I personally wouldn't bother sending him to jail. I'd strip him naked, tattoo a great big American flag on his back and parachute him into Iraq or a Taliban controlled area of Arghanistan or somewhere where he will be equally welcomed.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Just Wait 5 Minutes ... For My Sanity Please

When you go to the cinema or watch tv is your enjoyment ever spoiled by the sound of someone asking questions of what is happening or "Why are the doing that" or something similar? If your answer is yes, then you should be thankful that you aren't me because I have 2 women in my life that do that to just about everything we watch.

Here they are as I photographed them on the day I got married. At the time I wondered what they were discussing. I now believe that they were talking about how easy it would be to aggravate me until death does us part if they just combined their natural talent for interrupting my otherwise peaceful and probably enjoyable viewing habits. Their both experts at it too.

The little lady you see in the picture, is smart and can remember things from when she was 2. She has also probably watched every episode of Spongebob close to 47 times and yet she will still ask me questions throughout the show. Questions I do not know the answer to. At the risk of sounding like a badly written Dr Seuss inspired book that never got published, I cannot watch, I will not watch Spongebob, not on the couch, not on the floor, not on the computer chair, not anywhere.

Not because I'm trying to be mean. I have tried to watch it with her. But I can't, the constant questions spoil it. Its not like she doesn't know the answer. She's watched it before. I'm watching it for the first time, if anyone should be asking questions it should be me. I wish it was just Spongebob, but its just about everything she watches.

At first when I noticed this behaviour, I shrugged it off as she was young. She's at that age when she has a lot of questions. Wrong. She's really just like her mother. We can go to the cinema together and watch a film that neither of us have seen, and she will ask the same sort of questions when if she could just have the paitence to wait and watch for a few minutes she would have the answer without needing to ask the question. But wheres the fun in that?


At the same time as I'm sitting here listening to Aberfeldy's 'Do Whatever Turns You On' I'm cursing myself for letting my wife go out on her ladies night Scot free so to speak.

I'm cursing myself more, that I'm so easy. All it seems to take is a new shirt, with one button too many left undone, a new pair of shoes and a part of my anatomy goes "Ola!" Sometimes it doesn't even need that. I suppose thats her revenge for this morning.

Listening to: John Butler Trio - Funky Tonight I know I said I was listening to something else but it changed - OK!

Monday, 7 December 2009

I like the fact that my gmail account sorts my spam mail, but if I didn't check it every now and then I might miss out on headings like this gem

Any moment spent with a Submariner SS watch is precious. Step up your game

What Am I? 

Game 2  

Clue 2: One hump or two. 

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Don't Mention Food!

The problem with being me, well one of the many problems, is that I get hungry easily.

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to mention a particular type of food, like the selfish bachdang (that's one of our latest pretend swear words for those that are not in the know) that had to mention Indian food in a text today. One little text and my craving for an Indian meal, that I had only recently managed to subdue, rears its ugly head again. Sheep! (That's another.)

But it doesn't stop there, all morning, for a reason I know not, I suddenly have this desire to pig out on some Scottish Tablet. This craving snuck up on when I wasn't paying attention. I haven't had any Tablet since about February when I left Scotland, and haven't thought about it much either but I'm sure making up for it today. It entered my subconscious mind sometime in the early morning and ever since  subliminal messages have been rolling around my head suggesting to my brain that a sudden huge intake of sugary goodness is necessary. And I swear I'm not pregnant, at least I hope not because my gentials are the wrong shape to continue onward and that would be a whole new worry.

I really wish I had some handy skills in the kitchen to allow me to go and make myself a batch but sadly I lack in that area. I can just about manage to make my wife's version of chilli, which is amazingly simple to make, very tasty and is taking far too long to simmer.
There have been a few movies that I have seen this year that have left me questioning 'why?'

Let's take the latest one first - New Moon. It wasn't my choice to watch this one but we did sit down to watch it with my step daughter last week. I have to give the author of the books some credit, when I was watching the old hammer horror movies I didn't see the concept of the tortured vampire that couldn't bite necks through personal choice coming. It's an original concept in that regard. Beyond that a little silly but then I'm not a teenage girl so it wasn't exactly aimed at me.

I did think the second film might be a little better than Twilight, mostly because I thought by now the guy who plays Edward should be able to deliver his lines. I was wrong. Somehow it got worse. When it was finished I was left wondering why, when the books made so much money, didn't they get a decent actor to play the Edward character? Why didn't they spend a little more money so that Edward and his vampire family didn't all suffer from a bad make up job? Why is it that teenage girls go crazy over Edward and will watch the film 3 times over a weekend when he is so boring and when Jakob is not only a nicer character but the guy who plays him is more believable. Apparently I understand teenage girls now as much as I did when I was a boy.

Earlier in the year I was looking forward to seeing the remake of The Taking Of Pelham 123. Somehow we didn't get to see it at the cinema, we were probably skint at the time, but when it became available on dvd at Hollywood I eagerly snatched it. As an action movie its not bad. But I was left wondering why the John Travolta character hijacked the train. Either I'm a little bit stupid or it was never explained very well. We were led to believe that he was some sort of Wall Street expert. Every so often he would look on his laptop at the price of gold. From the start to the end of the hijacking the price of gold rocketed by 1200%. Meaning that the ransom money was worth a whole lot more. Nice! Only I was a little confused at how the markets could panic that much in one day due to a hijacked train when 9/11 didn't cause that much craziness. And wait in order to make that much money from the value of gold going up didn't he have to have the money to begin with. It was actually a decent film up until that point, then it started to make me feel stupid.

For some reason I wanted to watch Angels & Demons. In my opinion the Da Vinci Code was a little long, I had to watch it over two nights as my eyes kept shutting with their being so many twists and turns, but despite that I still wanted to know what happened in the sequel. Someone obviously agreed with my assessment of the first because the second movie was a lot shorter. This time though it felt a little rushed.

If you haven't seen the movie, and want to, you might not want to read on as I might give away too much of the plot for your liking.

It felt like that the Director was so conscious that the first movie was too long that he forgot to include a few important details in order to keep this one short. In this film Robert Langdon, the apparent reluctant hero, has 4 men to save, each one is hidden across the city and one man will die on the hour every hour unless he can work out the clues as to where they are hidden. He's just a little bit slow to save the first guy, but its understandable though he's after all in a new city still getting his barings. That though left him roughly 50 plus minutes or so to save the next guy. He then proceeded to spend what seemed like 5 - 10 minutes talking, working out the clues, before realising he has to be somewhere else, across the city and he has only 15 minutes to get there, and he uses 17. And so it when on, and on. By the time it had played out I was left wondering what was the point in having Robert Langdon there if ultimately he was going to be clever enough to work out the clues but do so too late. And what happened to the rest of each hour, the time between him thinking and him realising he had to rush off to another part of the city.

What Am I?

Game 2 - this time I want to see some more playa's!

I have a reputation for spitting at those I don't like

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Oh Tiger!

I don't generally take that much interest in the private lives of the rich and famous and feel that on most occasions they get unfair treatment from the press when they slip up. Very few people don't make mistakes in their lives and most people get to do it behind closed doors. That said sometimes though celebrities get what they deserve.

Case in point Tiger Woods.

For someone who always struck me as an intelligent man Tiger Woods couldn't have got it much more wrong. This week he has admitted "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behaviour my family deserves," after a story circulated that he was having an affair. That was fair enough, he should have ended the statement there. But he felt the need to continue with "Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realise the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means." 

If it was just the case that Tiger on one of his many weekly trips to a golfing tournament was approached by a woman because of his fame, money, or whatever and he made one mistake on one night then I would think that it should have remained a private matter for him and his family, and the decision then left up to his wife whether the relationship could continue after that "transgression."
But the reports are that he had an affair for 31 months, if those reports are accurate he's been two timing his wife for half the length of his marriage.

I'm sorry Tiger but I ain't got no sympathy for the invasion of your privacy. For a man that is regarded as the best golfer of your generation, one of the richest sportsmen in the world and has made a lot of that money from advertising with the help of a clean cut image you have no right to whine when the press turn on when you do something very, very stupid. Now would be the best time to shut the fuck up and beg your wife's forgiveness.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Comments & Riddles

Greed is supposedly a bad thing. As is having an ego that likes to be massaged, but in the blogging world very few of us don't have an ego of some discription. Most of us bloggers like to think that our writing is being read by someone other than ourselves. We may begin blogging as a means to pass the time or to get things off our chest but as soon as we get a comment or a new follower we feel a tiny bit excitement.

I confess I am not immune to such behaviour and am now a comment whore myself. I like to see new comments in the box. Sadly though I am really out of practice in this blogging malarkey and after a month of trying to get my mojo back I have decided to try in the absense of coming up with anything original have decided to introduce a game.

The game will be played at the end of one post of every day that I decide to blog, and will be recognised by the text being written in red. It will be a riddle game with up to 5 clues, one clue per day, everyone can compete, just leave your answer to the riddle in the comment box. If you guess it in the first clue you get 5 points, if you guess it after 5 clues your get 1 point. There will be a leaderboard of those taking part at the side of the blog. And yes the wife can of course play, but she does not get extra points for doing so. Oh and so that no-one cheats all comments will now face a period of moderation to allow people to take part without seeing someone else answer.

What Am I?

Game 1

Clue 1 - Success tastes sweet when I land in the hole
When you move to the States you are expected to take at least a passing interest in the local sports teams. In Utah you have the Jazz, the basketball team, so far though as much as I would like to I haven't been able to see a game live at the stadium because at the moment its just a little out of range of our budget. I would love to take advantage of the advertised rate of 5 games for $135, but with the two of us that comes to $270 which right now would be better off going else where.

There is also Real Salt Lake in football (soccer) but to be honest soccer in America doesn't really interest me, after being brought watching European football there are just not enough good players here to get my interest and Real Salt Lake aren't that good. Or so I thought. There barely scraped it into the playoffs with the last league of the season. Of course soccer here having an American sport twist to it meant that didn't matter. A team here can go undefeated in the league and still not make the national final. Real Salt Lake not only scraped through to the playoffs, with a pretty poor league record, but then went on to become champions. And I being totally uneducated thought they wouldn't do anything. In doing so they were the first professional team in any sport in Utah to win something nationally for over 50 years.

After Real, there is the Salt Lake Bees, the minor league baseball team. Despite the fact that every week they seem to play Las Vegas the wife and I have actually gone to a game. It's fair to say from that showing that the Bees are crap. They lost 5 runs in just one inning.

The other major sporting even in Utah is college football, in particular the game between Utah State versus BYU. The city is pretty much divided by those who wear Red (Utah) and those who wear Blue (BYU) based largely on what university they went to.
This weekend was the big game, which I only found out on Saturday morning, but since I was staying at the in laws for Thanksgiving and they weren't watching the game I didn't feel free to switch the channel. It's a pity since the game was tied at the end of the game and both teams went on to score in overtime so it seems like it would have been a good introduction of college football.

However over the past couple of days there has been a big deal made about the comments made by one of the BYU players after his team won.

"I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, their fans. I hate everything. It felt really good to send those guys home. I think the whole university and their fans and the organization is classless. They threw beer on my family and stuff last year and did a whole bunch of nasty things. I don't respect them and they deserved to lose." 

What's the deal? Ok maybe he's a bad winner. But in the heat of the moment after a hard fought victory he's just expressing his opinion. It likely gave him the motivation needed to try and win the game. Maybe if a few more Utah players felt the same towards BYU the result might have been different. You can be sure that some of the fans that went to the game would have said far worse. I for one actually have a bit more interest in watching the next BYU - Utah match.

If people giving this college player crap for a few ill judged words seriously think that is bad god help them if they were ever to go to a Rangers - Celtic match at the end of an SPL season when the league is in the balance.