Archive for September, 2009

You know we’re gonna want some, want some, we’re high in the backroom, gonna have a pack soon with this you will regret so just let it be, yeah, yeah, yeah.

September 26, 2009

Admittedly it sounds a lot better when actually sung by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and it may have been the Beatles references that led to Missie K suggesting it, but it’s the chorus (check it out BBC Al; a meet would be good btw) that I really like and I’ve been playing it at full volume, window down, thru the streets of leafy Milngavie recently. Oh, they hate it.

Cos I’ve been in Milngavie a lot recently watching Son Brian spend my money on furniture. To the dining table and chairs has been added a desk. But I have now eaten off the table having supplied the food, having been given the shopping list by txt. I don’t need hands to drive. Just knees. It’s a Hunter S. thang.

Thus it was I found myself charging around Tesco’s looking like Anneka Rice on speed (who will get that Treasure Hunt reference?) and I’m slowly adjusting to the idea of Tesco’s taking over the world but why, oh why, do they have a catalogue, to encourage you to buy online, that is over 900 pages. How many rainforests is that?

Incidentally they will never take over Maryhill. They bought the old Co-op there and planned mega refurbishment with underground parking, not realising the old railway tunnels which exist under there already, thus allowing the residents of that Wyndford tower block, I’ve never ever been to, to escape when the police try an early morning raid, like they did last week.

It’s got more catacombs than the Arches, the club/bar/diner/theatre place I was in last week and can I apologise to the folk I was with cos at one stage, moving from bar to bar, they turned right but I turned left and ended up exiting on the other side of the Clyde. Albeit unwittingly.

(Late night emergency phone call Thursday, package delivered Friday morning, no problem, rainforestriverman. That’s why you pay that retainer.)

And I saw my favest pic yet of the Vampire Slayer but it worried me. It involves a mirror (there is a context but I’ll keep it to myself) but worryingly, there is no reflection. Could this mean…….?

And Missie K. The Cold War Kids? I bought the CD without DVD Doc and the guy in Fopp said to me; ‘Are they playing here soon, do y’know?’ Like, I would know? Hang on….Like, I would know. 😀

And there is a brilliant American Lit book called They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? which is about a marathon dancing competition during the American depression where the winners are those who stay standing the longest. It would never work as a TV programme, would it?

And my gd frnd Clr….nice to see the competitive element is still there. Reassuring….just in case. 😉 And your College attendance record ended up sooooo much better than mine, didn’t it? You won that one.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. This week’s serious bit. When I moved into my substantial semi in Summerston, I made a will. Moist folk buying a  new place do so. (I’ve typed ‘moist’ by mistake. I’m leaving it in). Now, after the well documented events of the last five tears I’m reorganising things and doing some new stuff.

So obviously some charities are going to get some donations and maybe one not-so-obvious one as well (I’m now rolling about on the floor laughing cos, well just cos…….Summerston…..we don’t do impromptu gestures………but if we did, then maybe one day we’d get it right…..Don’t worry I’ll be fine. Thanks 😀 😀 😀 I’m okay.)

And I’m doing a ‘living will’ amongst other things (omg, Leonard Cohen’s on the radio….the new will might be too late….how could you do this to me Nick, Janis?) but this does not mean I do a piece to camera. Shame. No. It’s me making it easier for Son Brian to know when to pull the plug should things ever get that bad. And currently I am no worse than the 42 year old sitting next to you at the moment (hostage to fortune there). It just makes sense.

But my legal raised the point; ‘but it does mean he has to consider questions of your mortality, jt850’. Em, three years ago, he saw a very sedated me lying on a bed in an alkie ward with tubes sticking out of me. He’s considered that question. Now the years just continue to roll off me. Right, at this point, I pause for five minutes, go into the cemetary and seek solace from the zombies. It’s crying time again.

(Peace in the Valley is now on the turntable)

Right. I’m back. Incidentally, if anyone out there wants anything of mine (like a piece of clothing with my name on it, and one is still set aside……literally with my name on it, worn once and cheekily frisked by Special Branch……) just say. It’s yours. Oh, and the music is confirmed. And it’ll be a humanist service; e will help. And the NHS can have all my organs. They know that. The rest is up to you, Son Brian. Just keep it fun.

Right back to nonsense. Coatbridge has been named ‘best small city in Scotland’, praised for its green spaces. But seeing The Dykeenies improve the line up for the Homecoming Rock Fest that is Fat Eck’s latest desperate attempt to get down wiv the kids reminds me; Craig Ferguson? Cumbernauld never rated you anyway.

Actually there’s a wee green space just down the road from me and someone’s cut a Crop Straight Line into it – ‘Summerston – we don’t do circles‘.

But on the work front there might just be a wee change in direction. I’m doing okay with the stuff I’ve got just now but whilst I quite enjoy the self-employed aspect of things you do miss out on office gossip. I mean I know what I’ve been up to. And I do remember what I did the night before at the office party. Altho’ much of 2006 is still shrouded in mystery.

And I was so deeply envious when I heard of some friends going team bondaging this week. Altho’ I may have added some letters to the original txt. Albeit unwittingly.

So there you go. Another week over and I think the blog flowed okay. A wee bit like that amazing rainforestriver, what’s it called….the Orinoco. Oh Damn and Blast. I think I’ve just lost that retainer. Bloody shame. (It’s what they call a Virgin Mary at the Hilton.)  Ho hum.



Oh, and I heard a brill story about Jimmy Saville which I can tell you without any worries. Y’see…..What? Word count? Already? Ach, well it will keep until next week, I suppose.

If your body’s feelin’ bad And it’s the only one you have You want to take away the pain Go out walkin’ in the rain…….Can I put my hands on you?

September 19, 2009

Sensational. Faith Healer. Alex Harvey. And it was him a long time ago who started off the first blog with a piece of music which will be played at my funeral in a rolling five years’ time. (Anthem, it’s called, but not all of it, please) And today is now the hundredth edition. (Whistling in the Dark is to be played on the way out of the Crem btw) So far, so good.

So, how did it all start, jt?

Well I was about to start Part Two of my cancer treatment (the sandblasting) and I thought ‘everyone with cancer blogs’ so I asked the blogmeister for advice and he said ‘stay out of the shed and use WordPress’ and I approached my gd frnd Clr for editorial advice and she said, ‘your choice of title is crap, but keep it fun’ and that, dear listener, was that, and there are now about two hundred and fifty of you out there each week. Ta. So, let’s move on. Had you worried there, eh, rainforestriverman ?

Incidentally, BBC Al, I don’t mind writing ‘crap’, as it were but she actually said ‘sh*te’. Where do I stand on that kinda thing? And the rest of the Steel Panther album is in a very similar vein, btw. No. No reason.

Incidentally, some really good Scottish progs on BBC 4 and the funnest 🙂 was the one about Calvin (the protestant reformer, not the boxer shorts designer). So based on that prog, a wee centenary quiz throughout the show;

a) Who is the top female presenter with whom I spent many a happy Saturday morning?

Incidentally, if stv are serious about product placement, then they could do worse than give me a minicam and let me spend a week in Tescoland, or Springburn as my mum knew it, existing totally out of the uber-capitalist shop. It’s taken over the entire area. I’d sleep in a Tesco sleeping bag in a Tesco sponsored bus shelter, but at least I’d be Tesco insured. (All your needs met, jt?)

And the John Hartson prog showed how good the programme makers down there at stv can be.

b) Who is the leading MP with whom I had many a pleasant glass of sherry in the old BBC Club?

Incidentally, is Flat Earth News on every student’s reading list? That’s my copy promised away to someone. Send me your reading lists, your huddled masses. It’s not just Journalism; it’s Politics and Literature and Al-Quaeda before 2001 (serioulsy). You’d be amazed at what I’ve got. I’ll call it ‘long- term’ loan. It’s what Paulo Freire would want.

Incidentally, if you’re ever asked for suggestions for a guest speaker for college or Uny………why not? You’re reading this, aren’t you?

c) Who is the well-known female author and stand-up whose West End flat overlooks that bit of the River Kelvin where I go for inspiration? (Pixies, Elvis and Dragons, was it, C?)

Incidentally this being 42 for the rest of my life ain’t easy. I was talking to my(former) sister-in-law and happened to mention that I was at that Neil Young concert a wee while back and she said,’ so you were six at the time were you?’ She’s a primary school teacher. 😉

d) Answers next week, if I remember.

Incidentally, it’s 100 years that PT have been at the Field of Dreams that is Firhill and it’s Johnny Tuffey’s one hundredth game for the club. (Didn’t expect that when you threw your jersey into the crowd at Dundee last game, last season, did you?)

Incidentally, I didn’t make it to the game. I ended up at Son Brian’s new flat helping him and his mum (she looked familiar, somehow)  with washing, hoovering and measuring. Now, I’m sure I said I’d buy a coffee table. Somehow it’s transmorgified into a dining table and chairs. Anyone out there with a new flat who’d like a coffee table?

Incidentally, isn’t ironic that communications workers have to have a postal ballot to decide whether or  not to go on strike? Why don’t they use e-mail like the rest of us?

Incidentally, before any postman complains, one of the joys of my student life, and the range of holiday jobs available, was being a postman in the Summer (two o’clock finish) and just before Christmas. The postman always rings, incessantly. That way you get a Christmas tip.

Incidentally, in a week when cheats in sport was top of the news, can I just say to my PT mates; Adebayor and the Arsenal fans? We play Airdrie United in two weeks’ time. (Death to the Diamonds) I’ve just had an idea for when we score. Just don’t hold me back.

Incidentally, to the man in the (now very) brown trousers crossing the road down by the ASDA this afternoon at a very obese angle…….Yes. I did speed up when I saw you doing that but it was okay. My knees were controlling the steering wheel. That’s why I was able to give you the v-sign with both hands.

So and finally, yet another blog without incident….just in case. It’s better that way. Albeit unwittingly.

So has it been worth it, jt, keeping the blog going?

Son Brian (23, who picked up keys for his new two bedroomed flat only yesterday, but it’s not a competition) reckoned that one of the reasons I took to the bottle so quickly and easily after my mum’s funeral (that afternoon) was ‘cos I lacked a focus. During the cancer treatment I might have returned to it, and I saw someone else do that after sixteen years without alkohol. The blog gave me a focus and a discipline.

I’m still off the bottle. I’m still blogging. Is there a connection? 1100 words every week is a discipline and I’m not going to take that risk.

Thanks Kevin (Sunday name). Thanks Claire (Sunday name)


Johnt850 (Not really my birth certificate name, but you might have guessed that, anyway.)

Incidentally, I’d a great week. It started on Sunday (novelty) when two incredibly beautiful women phoned me from Italy to complain bitterly (LOL) that my credit was no good (I’ll be in touch. The champagne is on me. Bring a friend…. or two. I won’t) and I just couldn’t stop laffing. Thank you.

And it finished with a meet with blossoming friend, e, who took me to places I’d never been before. (There is so much to see in Glasgow’s West End, isn’t there?) Thank you as well.

Roll on 101.

Been around the block once, twice, maybe more Never met a hungry fool I couldn’t learn to adore Hopeless smiles and crooked eyes Trade it in for a heart full of lies. I won’t tonight

September 12, 2009

Ah, the gorgeous Juliette Lewis there (age 36 and hot woman with guitar) and I have fallen in love with her and I’d like to thank Emma J for bringing us together, kinda, but Hope springs eternal and I’m trying to remember who I last fell in love with, but I know it was quite recent. Suggestions, anyone?

BBC Al, I did consider using Steel Panther‘s ‘Community Property’. Have a listen and tell me what you think.

But before next week’s Hundredth Anniversary celebrations of the blog, a very important Birthday message;

Happy Fortieth Birthday Scottish Ballet!!!!! 🙂

Check out

Was that okay, Heather?

For next week’s hundredth edition of the blog, plans are being laid. Lucky plans. Bunting is being bunted, balloons are being balled and the shag pile has a very smug look on its face. And ppl have been saying to me they enjoy the blog but they don’t understand half of it. Clrly much more than I do, then. And I write it. Sober and solvent free.

Y’see ordinary blogs sound like this;

‘See that Speech Debelle? Doesn’t she sound just like Katy Brand doing Lily Allen but with a Kanye West accent? She’s awful. You’d think her friends would say something.’…….. but I don’t/can’t do that. But she is awful. Albeit unwittingly. I hope.

My friends say things to me like, ‘Lucky you weren’t me last week ‘cos I was pished as a fart.’ OR ‘I was going to come to the pub after the game last week but I thought you’d all be drunk, except you of course, jt’ …and what would have happened if he’d found me drunk?…..’I’d have been forced to take you outside and kill you…..just in case’.

So in the spirit of friendship, a spoiler alert to Renney, blogmeister and Kev’s pal Al; for everyone else, ‘omg, did you see the opening scene of True Blood?’

Happy maternity leave, e, btw !!!!!! 😉 Cranberry juice and crisps was it?

‘And I don’t need a motto. I let my guitar playing speak for me’ (quote from Mr Mosh in Kerrang), except I don’t play the guitar. I also don’t like cycling and never learned to swim. It’s the bit where the floor dips towards the deep end. It terrifies me. Serioulsy.

So what do I do? I talk and listen a lot, which is why, sometimes, mails and messages and txts go so wrong. I stare at the screen too long and want to fillet. So, sorry. So sorry.

But it does mean that I have amazing conversations and my second favest of the week took place on the train into town where a young American woman (serioulsy….these things do happen) told me she smelt diesel and what should she do if there was a fire? So, I consoled her.

But it turned out that her major worry for me and her and others of the iPod generation, as she described us, was that we’d go deaf before we were thirty. My knees are trembling at the thought.

And favest conversation stays a total secret, but to Central FM’s JC, I’m kinda glad our meet was cancelled. My mind was all over Finnieston. Some friendships may drift and then come back, but some stories remind me why friendships exist and some stories are closer to my own than I can ever imagine.

Moving swiftly on, and I’ll re-read that closely before publishing. (And I did)

Incidentally the Vampire Slayer, Missie K and bestest friend Caitlin are on pre-returning to Uny holidays…….

So my thanks to those nice ppl from Bell’s whisky who sent me a wee questionnaire, in the ‘spirit of friendship’ (and how many of these did I sign up for in my alcoholic gap year?). It says, ‘I suppose it’s because Bell’s, like true friends, never fails to reward.’ Nope. These days I’m happier with true friends, even if some of them seem quite far away at times.

Actually for me a true friend is someone who clears my computer history as soon as I’m dead. But I do love the sense of cameraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent another from cutting in at the front. We are united as one on these occasions. And my thanks to Trish for those profound thoughts.

And whilst I remember;

Happy Birthday Son Brian 😀 😀

(Thank goodness for shops like Urban Outfitters and Papyrus, and the hand of friendship they extend)

Y’see this is where the serious cancerly message kicks in, and I’ll maybe say it here, rather than at the birthday dinner party. (Incidentally we’ve had to liaise, Son and I, to make sure we avoid the same Byres Road bars tonight).

No. Because I had prostate cancer my Son has a much greater chance of getting it, but it’s no death sentence. After all, I was quoted in The Sun as saying ‘all my bits are working’, and not a bad place for a quote like that but it’s one helluva present to pass on, cos my dad didn’t do that for me.

So, where did I get it from? Well we don’t know what specifically causes prostate cancer but in my case it was possibly lifestyle. If I’d known then what I know now? Not sure, but I notice Reg McKay in the Record complaining that ‘young journos (these days) are all diets, spring water and eight hours kip every night’. Well, I’m not sure that’s true, but I’m only too happy to help disprove his theory. I’m handy. Try me. You know where to find me.

And so, it’s a wee bit more thoughtful than usual and a wee bit shorter this week, but sometimes, when you speak open and honestly through something like the blog, it has to be, and one conversation this week caused me to think a lot more than I’ve done for a long time. So, hopefully, gd frnd Clr, you’ll excuse me if for once, I don’t keep it fun. Normal service tho’, of a sort, next week.


Johnt850, and incidentally blogmeister, that Facebook comment where I mentioned my disappearing envelope icon, WTF has it gone? I miss it. I feel a bit of a yelt, now.

Your friends they were so close One by one they didn’t stay Drift away like rolling sea One by one they drift away One of these days I’ll blow away

September 5, 2009

Except it didn’t happen like that ‘cos, when I resigned from the College, I took a conscious decision to stay in touch with people and, mostly, it’s worked. Of course I was thinking soooo rationally at the time ‘cos I made the decision to resign exactly one year after Cold Turkey Sunday and three months after Cancer Confirmation Wednesday. Happy Daze indeed. So, hi Lynne. 😉

The band, The Doves, chosen by top pop picker Missie K, and I’m still looking for that password for you and the Vampire Slayer. So, in a word,  divertirsi!!!!!

Heather C will have some top selections for us soon time and my thanks to Emma J for introducing me to Juliette Lewis (36). Well, not literally. Well, not yet.

And I’m going for it. So stand back.

‘Cos it was the week when I heard the filthiest story I’d heard for a long time. And I was down on Maggie’s Farm at the time. Don’t worry ‘cos I’m not going to tell it. Here. But an important part of it is to imagine Scottish Country Dance Band legend, Jimmy Shand, playing in the background. On a real record. Not a CD. Not a download. A real record.

And then picture me, hair just cut (but who’ll notice? L frae Troon didn’t) on the train from Summerston to Queen Street, quietly reading The Rum Diary by the great Hunter S (whose surname my alter ego sometimes uses) and I come across one word. Just one word.

And I’m like a schoolboy reading the rude words in a dictionary and I start humming the Bluebell Polka whilst listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the MP3 player and I just corpse. I burst out laughing. And then I realise they’re looking. At me. The shellsuits. White. They got on at the station at the Possil. They clocked me straight away ‘cos I was reading a book and not the Metro (which I don’t read anyway. Solidarity.). And they’re staring. I am in the lime::::: light:::::

I jibber and I jabber but no words come out.

But the train pulls in at Ashfield, home to the speedway stadium of the great Glasgow Tigers, and I mutter the words, ‘I’m off to see my shale shifting mate, Northern Soul Dave.’ They stood. Uncertain. And it bought me just enuff time, dear listener, for the doors to close and I was safe.

And I spent the thirty minutes until the next train comes along, jigging away quite happily, but on my own. Content.

And it was a week when alkohol played a big part in the news but it was the fact that supermarkets couldn’t sell booze until ten o’clock in the morning that seemed to annoy folk the most. I actually heard one vox pop say; ‘It affects normal people the most. After all alkies and neds will have their stash, their stockpiles in place.’

I’d like to know, dear listener, at what time my well stocked drinks cabinet and wine cellar (mostly Rioja) became a ‘stockpile’ and I know several of you out there who work in supermarkets. Ask yourselves; did I look ‘normal’ or did I look like a sterotypical jaikie when I bought my whisky at nine o’clock in the morning? (I speak as a non-practising alkoholic who does miss alkohol. I don’t crave it, but I do miss it. Not just a glass of wine with a meal, but the whole frigging bottle.)

But the craic in the pub today was good. Hope it’s as good tomorrow. Scott Brown’s decorum at the end of the First Half helped.

And I don’t mean to belittle anyone else’s alkohol dependency. It’s my way of coping and so far, so good. One addict should never comment on another.

But I laffed when I saw that French chess player Vladislav Tkachiev turned up drunk for a major chess tournament and fell asleep after just eleven moves. I seem to remember falling asleep after making just one move. Once.

And it was the week when  Nicola celebrated her eighteenth birthday. Some cyclist your mum. Ten times better than me.

And it was the week when the Banksy exhibition in Bristol came to an end. Banksy is well known as a street artist but he/she/they are more than that. I was lucky enuff to wake up in a flat in Bristol one Sunday morning a few weeks ago and went to the Banksy thing. At 9.30 in the morning.

And as I wandered towards it I noticed a man of obvious Caribbean descent selling The Big Issue and as I approached I was aware that he was rolling the largest spliff I have ever seen outside of large spliff rolling evening classes in (for legal reasons the editor has deleted the name of a well known Byres Road pub) so I shook his hand, and didn’t wash it, but gave people the happiest High Fives they’d had in ages.

But, I now wonder, was that Banksy?

(My mobile fone pics didn’t work that well but for my favourite exhibit, Google ‘Banksy + rabbit with lipstick’ or borrow the Banksy coffee table book I gave Son Brian. It’s his 23rd birthday dead soon. I’ve promised him the coffee table to go with it.)

And it’s the week when I realised it’ll soon be the hundredth edition of the blog, so I’ll be having High Horse Level Discussions dead soon with the appropriate people. It’s a while since I’ve been slagged. Rotten. (Spellcheck can be a real spoilsport. Sometimes.)

But Edition Two saw me experiment with a hyperlink and, as my gd frnd Clr recently reminded me, it’s been a wee while since I mentioned this charity;

So, there you go. 😀 No. No reason.

(Dr Paul, you’re just back from living in Greece. What do you know about Arcadia? And given the recent weather, why have you come back?)

And finally, it’s a week when a guy I didn’t know died. Others down on Maggie’s Farm did. Know him, that is. It’s one every hour. Well, not on the hour. It’d be like Bono clicking his fingers.

I don’t mean to belittle these things either. It’s my way of coping. So I raise a quiet glass in his memory. (No matter how much you use your imagination, the tomato juice never becomes a Highland Park or a bottle of Bud).

But I’ll cross that particular bridge when I come to it, as Teddy Kennedy once said. And never did.


Johnt850, And for those of you still wondering about the rude Jimmy Shand gag above? I still won’t tell it. Here. But the punchline ? (Remember it’s a real record.)

‘Seventy-eight or forty-five?’ ‘No. Sixty-nine will do nicely.’