Archive for September, 2010

I don’t always get it right But a thousand different ways and I just might. Pay my lip service, Keep it eloquent, Optimistic but never quite elegant. Still a weirdo, still a weirdo after all these years…..

September 25, 2010

KT Tunstall there and the song is called (Still a) Weirdo altho’ when I heard her play it, I thought it was called To a Weirdo but whatever, it’s a message sent across the high seas to a nunnery from another weirdo – me. All bases covered. (I always feel when I say something like that, that a railway bridge in Normandy will now be blown up by the remaining members of the French Resistance all in their eighties but programmed to do just that on the mention of a few keywords.)

And speaking of keywords will do a big list of mega thanks below the line later in the show for all the amazing help and suggestions I have had recently. Using WD – 40 instead of olive oil helped, btw, W. Ta. (I did get that the right way round, didn’t I?)

But I would like to say thanks to award-winning Son Brian for sending me a txt at 7.47 the other morning, asking me to phone him so he could tell me he was sending me an e-mail. You should be working in PR. Incidentally, Son Brian is involved in Scouting and I was once a trained, but not warranted, Beaver Leader. A Beaver is taught that a good turn is helping someone without being asked. No. No reason. Was it not also something Danny Wallace managed to make a book out of? Or am I getting confused. net?

And speaking of PR….as some of you know, when the rainforestriverman returns to Scotland on business, I accompany him. I like talking into the cuff of my shirt going, ‘Skippy, there is a cherokee in the building’ and holding up the palm of my hand, stopping people until I get a reply. So it’s happening again this week and this week’s exotic location is…….Cranhill? Could you not, rrm, put something back into communities like Gleneagles or Turnberry or the Alea Casino?????

And my reward for doing this? An annual stipend of a barrel of foaming ale and a cassock of virgins. These terms need to be renegotiated, I think. And apologies to the residents of Cranhill if any railway bridges are blown up, unexpectedly.

But can I, at this point, say well done to the employee of South Lanarkshire Council who actually sent the local authority’s details to a Nigerian Colonel’s daughter (or similar…..apparently it was ‘more subtle’) who benefited, sources tell me, to the tune of over £100k. Loudmo would like your details as well.

No, it’s been a bitty week, he says, sounding like one of those bloggers that the Sunday Mail used to feature but have stopped doing;

I attended a Prostate Cancer Charity session on the subject of Erectile Dysfunction, which is a serious cause for concern for many men (As with so many aspects of my actual treatment, I have ended up so lucky compared with others) but a brilliant nurse had an amazing bag full of amazing pieces of equipment and an amazing sense of humour; 

I tried to use the work- but also income-free period (living off a courgette at the moment, also useful for chasing away bears) to fix the toilet cistern handle but so far, so bad…….neither the WD – 40 nor the olive oil are working where they’re meant to;

and my car was serviced (and I’ve done that gag to death, and also asking the optician for a long slow screw, or was it a short one for the leg of my spex? That’s why I was thrown out. Now, it all becomes clearer!)

But nobody’s interested in that stuff, are they? That’s what everyone else does.

No. You want me to point out things like the fact that George Michael was not on cannabis or similar when he crashed into the Snappy Snaps photo shop but was on the tryclic anti-depressant amytriptyline. (What’s in your system when you drive?);

that Russell Brand blames his producer (an employee of Russell’s company) for the idea for that call. What a shit! It’s not too late Ms Perry, and I’m currently available;

to point out that the hermit in Life of Brian hadn’t spoken for 18 (eighteen) years;

and it was only the other day that I realised that my downstairs room (which I laughingly call the front room) is full of pictures of phallic symbols e.g. the Eyeful Tower, Peterhead lighthouse and cranes overlooking the Clyde……..mmmmmm

And finally, in the world of WTF do we pay professors for, the words of ‘footy expert Professor Chris Brady’ on being told that Dundee FC’s major benefactor might be pulling out? – ‘it doesn’t sound good’. Tonight’s analysis in The Doublet, Kelvinbridge was just a touch more insightful, Prof, but you just keep taking the large salary for stating the bleeding obvious.

(Were those last few pars, okay, Dr Paul? – and thanks for yr help with that problem)

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Damn tootin’ right, I am. 😀

Johnt850, as weird as a coiled penguin in heat

So to the thanks and, as ever, a million thanks to my usual support team who are just sooooooo patient with me.  A few weeks ago I offered to sponsor someone for a cancer charity run and I was turned down. It had never ocurred to me on whom the money raised was spent. So, ta for that.

New support people include some amazing ASDA ladies who, in their break outside for fresh air, not only gave me good advice about my non-love life and gave me details of their own but who, when I said that I exist in two universes, asked, ‘and which one are you in just now, son, just so we know?’ ;

The BBC’s Karen M for asking about the advice but in such a gentle, subtle way and seriously sorry to hear about the pulley;

Erik the Floodstalker for his one poster fits all approach;

The amazing Jill L from who is so patient with waifs and strays like me and Northern Soul Dave;

Anyone else I’ve missed;

And last, but not least, the fantastic Julie from and I promise I will never ever tell that story; the one that involves my car breaking down and that hotel… Clydebank. Suddenly, Cranhill seems really exotic after all.

and i can’t complain, it seems that i’ve got everything i need and i just can’t explain why things aren’t right it’s a mystery its balance how my ponderings are countless…………….

September 18, 2010

The music I’ll explain later but first something unusual for me – a request. I need help. Y’see  

has been doing lots of student dissertation proofreading and editing at all levels and enjoying it. I like the interaction with the students. And the money.  The bulk of the work (UKwide) came through a Google ad/sponsored link but recently Google changed to Instant Search and its algorithms (eh?) are all upset and no-one is finding me. The big boys seem to have taken over the sidebar on the right.

My keyword is dissertation but it’s key to so many similar services, so that’s why I need help; how do I overcome this problem? Plus how else do I reach the dissertation market? I’ve done some of the obvious things but I’ll not say what they are, except Glasgow student newspapers don’t seem to do classifieds. Thanks in anticipation. All ideas considered.

And that partly explains the music – RX Bandits – which seems to be available on a damn fine and excellent website also of interest to students and is produced by the gorgeous W 

It’s complementary to mine (‘I like your website. It’s really nice.’ ‘I like yours too. It’s very friendly.’) So anyway, all suggestions gratefully received. And a coal bunker. On behalf of us both, ta.

Now, having never done that before, I have no idea where I go with the blog, so I’m going back to bed………No, actually. Hang on. Watch this;

Can I add coal bunker delivery men to that list? No. No reason.

And maybe the ppl who designed Bellshill’s one way system and killed a fairly decent Main Street by putting a roundabout at either end……and PT’s manager for ruining a successful five at the back system by changing it to four at half time……and the woman who sold me a Green Day CD case in a Helensburgh charity shop knowing there was a Snow Patrol CD inside it and I hate Snow Patrol….and a guy I don’t know but kinda dislike except I don’t dislike anyone (not mad keen on Gavin Henson) or grudge anything that I do for other people……..but thanks to Calum for his advice regarding my car and the garage think it’s a one-off – like my hopes of adequacy….and 16lbs 7 ozs has remained that name for some time now and I blame the parents………but amazing thanks for the birthday pressies…..serious wow! Skippy was pleased.

So I did some massive retail therapy of my own, altho’ I’d like to thank fragrant smelling L of the two monuments for her inspiration, and isn’t it easy when your colour is black? I’d also like to thank one very helpful female assistant in a well known High Street retailer. I spent loads, I was that excited. 

Altho’ I did get one telephonic query late on Friday afternoon, explaining she got my number off the Internet (always a terrifying moment that. What service was I offering at the time?) and, when I gave her a quote over the phone, she said, ‘That’s very cheap. I’ll need to ask my dad.’ I’m not a great businessman, am I? I’m just as bad at that as I am at asking……oops, phone. Hang on…..out.

(And it wasn’t a Google ad response)

But speaking of Bellshill, and who isn’t these days, the leek and potato soup went down well, the bottles of water were drunk and, and, and there was something else wasn’t there? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmint.

And speaking of The Hour, and who isn’t these days, it was nice to hear Dr Debbie remind men of the importance of getting ‘things’ checked early (or in my case….just in time) but FFS, did you see that bacon and egg pie that Michelle McManus cooked the other day? Would my favest vegetarian look away now, please?

It was massive Desparate Dan stuff. Cow Pie. Out of DC Thomson. In Dundee. (which isn’t as bad as I make it out to be and if there’s a good reason for going there, I go) but Michelle loved it. With some lettuce on the side. She loves her grub does Michelle. And her drink. I had Roast Vegetable Pasta in Cafe Milano in Garelochead the other day. And met a removal man who said, ‘Of course, you’ve given up the drink as well, haven’t you, jt.’ ????????

So can I apologise publicly to Jaymi, and who doesn’t these days? Did I really call you what I called you? I shouldn’t be jealous of people’s hangovers particularly when they have an entire morning ahead of them serving rolls’n’bacon’n’sausage’n’black pudding and that’s before all the schoolies from John-Paul Secondary come in for lunch, sneaking in the chips they’ve bought from the Philly next door. How come there’s never any curry sauce when I ask for it?  

And yes, Vampire Slayer, when you phone me on the mobile it comes up as Vampire Slayer and Missie K as Missie K and hahahahahahahahaha…..I’d completely forgotten that one. 🙂  All of which makes for a rich tapestry of my life should anyone look at my list of names and numbers. (Like, if I get knocked unconscious by a jealous boyfriend and they need to phone someone……..will they know that psycho clr is my psychologist or will they think…….?)

Who the hell is Petals? And I must be the only person in the world, lying unconscious, who would want to see a psychologist before a para-medic.

And finally, I am re-reading William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch (Yes. A reason) and I had forgotten all the Scottish connections.  In the midst of all the strange drug fuelled references, for example, there is mention of something uniquely Scottish, something uniquely tenemental; the old practice of attaching a tube into the gas bracket on the stair landing and sending a whiff or so into a glass or bottle of milk. Oblivion called. Quickly. Apparently. But does that explain the RX in RX Bandits?

And finally final, on the sub-committee front, I have made my decision but there’s as much chance of it happening as there is a former member of the Hitler Youth called Benny being serenaded by Susan Boyle in a park on the south side of Glasgow.

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge

Johnt850, and I’ll be Agnelli if you’ll be Nelson.

And my alter ego has received two invites to an Evening Reception at the Scottish Parliament at the end of Oct with Guest (s….presumably). It’s either ‘cos he spells his surname with, and without, a ‘p’ or recognition that he lives in two universes. What if one accepts and the other declines?

Well you impress me so completely I start obsessing to hear from you Whatever you do, you do sweetly It takes a lot to not take from you

September 11, 2010

Message or no message – and you the listener decide – those lyrics don’t look quite right, do they? It’s Jack White and it’s The Raconteurs so obvioulsy it’s brilliant ‘cos everything he does is brilliant (mostly) but it’s possibly because I can’t get Village People’s YMCA out of my head at the moment that I’m not hearing things properly. And I’ll tell you for why in a tryst.

I was going to play the radio edit version of Barber’s Adagio for Strings by Tiesto off the album The Ultimate Workout Mix for the fitness fanatic that is W, but it’s not got words, so I won’t bother. Tiesto‘s playing Braehead at the end of the month and there’s a guy I know, lives in the high rises and he works in that shop where the dead man bought his drink and he was talking to another man and he said,’ No I’ve stopped going to Braehead. Do you still go jt?’ and I realised he was talking to me and I don’t think he was talking about Xscape.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a programme where you could find out what you were doing when you can’t remember what you were doing? What? Oh, yeah, it’s called Facebook. Actually in my shallow youth, it used to be called the Beer Bar at GUU on a Saturday morning. (rrm, you’d be amazed at what I’ve just deleted there! No. No reason!)

And, yes, it will soon be Christmas. Log fires and mulled wine. But will I be invited? I was at a Christmas Fair a few years ago at a Scout Hut in Bearsden and I bought some small Chrissie pressies and I’d a plastic cup of mulled wine for one pound. I made it as far as the ASDA car park in Summerston and had to go for a walk to clear my head before I could drive the remaining five hundred yards. A burn and a half that one.

So Happy Birthday, Son Brian. 😀

So, speaking of car parks, let’s talk about Bellshill and its YMCA. As some of you know I do volunteer awareness stuff for The Prostate Cancer Charity, and it’s not all about appearing on the telly. But why Bellshill, you ask? Well, there’s something about the place that means so much to me, short but pleasant memories and full of temptation……so I’m pleased to say Friday lunchtimes at The Derby Inn, Bellshill Main Street seem very much the same as they always did. 

What’s that, Skippy? Something more up to the minute and more contemporaneous and that I talk about a lot at the minute? You know me so well, Skip. Yes, folks, I did go and visit the Bellshill Cultural Centre and Library, where I understand they do Zumba lessons on a Friday. Em, the North Lanarkshire hyper-link to it only showed a blank screen just now, so I’m not sure what else it does. And it was raining.

(And I must find a route to Bellshill that means I don’t drive into Bothwell Services Station Car Park and drive through a No Entry sign into the Fallside Road.) 

The Health Fair itself? Pretty badly attended even with the offer of free food and free condoms….not at the same stall! Naw, it was supposed to run from two to six but you know it’s not going well when the Bowel Cancer and the Anti-Smoking people give up at half past three and why did the young lady from Terence Higgins Trust leave after I started chatting to her. So it finished much earlier than expected. Which had a resultant knock on effect even in these days of mobile telephony.

It wasn’t all bad. I came away with a large leek, two potatoes and an onion and four condoms (2 x ‘naturale’, 1 mint and 1 chocolate)  and two bottles of water. Willing to share all above.  Actually a memory of Braehead is coming back.

But I’d just like to say thanks to the people of Bellshill for their apathy and for, basically, screwing up what should have been a simple wee notion of mine. ******* *****! They don’t deserve Christmas Tree lights. At any time of the year. 

So, and finally, almost a final word on the sub-committee in that I have one more presentation to go (e, that’s you that is) but I’d like to thank Missie K for a very interesting and thought provoking lunch, eh powerpoint, and you’ve risen a million times higher in my already high estimation of you (and your new Converse All Stars) for something you said BUT (to quote someone recently) the final decision will lie with bestest friend Caitlin who I don’t think has a clue what we’re talking about, therefore her judgement will be unbiased. Or the Pope. I could ask the Pope. Pope Benny.

Like, anyone out there in any universe knows what we’re talking about. lol, mweh, hahahaha, 🙂

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge.

But I’ve just remembered. A female member of staff gave me a donation of £3.40. No. No spoken reason. Maybe I was doing something for the wrong reason.

Johnt850, or as I used to be known down the Braehead Fantazia, the epitome of quasi-funky spunky weirdness.

But at the end of what should have been an okay day with a pleasant five minutes even, would one drink have been so wrong and bad for me?

Robin Williams in Friday’s Herald;

‘It’s like, ‘I can be somewhat circumsized.’……It’s that idea that you can have one drink – no, you can’t. Within a week I was drinking heavily. It was so quick that even I was like ‘Wow!”

It’s funny, and I don’t know if Robin feels the same way, but those times when I prepare to talk to unknowns about my addiction or my dealings with cancer, I really need to psyche myself up and whether it happens or not, it still takes a lot of coming down afterwards. That’s what makes a Prostate Cancer Charity volunteer so different from so many people who were there. 

But I do owe one or two people an apology. And an entire town. Sorry. I should have gone out for the walk first. 😦

There’ll be other days. Hopefully. And maybe one day I’ll grow up. Maybe.

Don’t watch TV It’s all lies I watch TV day and night I believe everything I see And I can’t turn it off The only thing that held me together in the good old day was a wish That I could wish the world away

September 4, 2010

So was that really Johnt850’s alter ego on The Hour on STV the other night? Or was it the Stig? Is jt really 42 in any universe? Just how grey is his hair, and how hot is Dr Debbie? (Very) And why was he so professional in looking at the presenters but not in selling himself to the millions of women watching? And did he really come to a compromise with the STV production team that he could say ‘finger up the bum’ as long as he didn’t flip the middle finger? Yes, but it was two minutes less than promised so needs musted. 

The band? American Music Club, although I would like to thank the gorgeous Ms W for her Carly Simon suggestion but I think that was a different jt she was referring to. Carly. Not W. 🙂

But, no, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, altho’ I must remind people that the topic was  prostate cancer and help and info are available from and we provide speakers and fund research and offer information stands such as the one I’m doing on Friday, 10th September in Bellshill YMCA (Don’t sing it!). No. No ulterior motive. 😉

(And it’s Son Brian’s birthday two days later)

And I know I’m an apologist for the BBC from time to time but The Hour is such a smooth affair, it puts certain aspects of Pacific Quay to shame. It was like radio with make-up. The Green Room is the reception, the studio is next door and there is absolutely no fuss about anything. You do a wee run through with Stephen and Michelle, and then I got taken to make-up by Fiona (I thought she was saying how ‘cute’ I was but she was actually saying how ‘cool’ I was and I think she meant unflustered, not what I was hoping she meant.)

What else? I did not chat up any of the 18 year old models but one of their mums, Catherine from Abronhill in Cumbernauld, Dr Debbie is hot (Yes. I know. Opening para), and whilst Stephen is good, I came away well impressed with Michelle. And not just that glint in her eye towards me.  A lot to learn but a natural in a TV studio.

And of course that amazing quote from Stephen Jardine;

Robert de Niro, Nelson Mandela, John Thomson here, are all living proof and are all here having survived prostate cancer.

On a wow factor of one to ten how big a wow is that? I told someone I was going to put that on my gravestone and they pointed out that kinda defeated the purpose.

So please can I for once be forgiven;

Part One has a smashing shot of me at five mins in (now my F/book profile) and Part Three has me and the sizzling Dr Debbie from about 6 mins 50 secs.

And a big thanks to all well-wishers and the folk who got in touch afterwards and mums who phoned daughters to say ‘your friend’s on TV talking about his prostate’ and to Ann my mate down the red light district who said she’d tell ‘the others’ and to Tam for the pic which is now my Facebook profile and L frae Troon and, and, and the wonderful lady from STV who gave me a hug and for telling me about her mum. Not every cancer is a prostate one. 

So, now can we get back to the usual nonsense where jt850 is seen as a separate individual living in a parallel universe surrounded dreamily by ladies of the knight where I can say whatever I like without people knowing it’s me? Please?

 Where jt850 takes counself from an increasingly large round table and, rrm, you are no longer the sole male member of the sub-committee. Al, not BBC Al, but another Al who has a whisky blog somewhere which is so gooooood that I have deliberately lost it (just in case) but to be honest his every word had six syllables in it so I have no idea what he was talking about. : (

Anyway I have received a number of individual presentations and I believe there’s another two next week.

My fave so far came from the well tanned Vampire Slayer. No. I’ve no idea what she was saying.  I was too busy trying to conceal my smug smile as all these guys were going past (Buchanan Galleries – Starbucks) wondering what it is that I have that makes me so damned attractive to women. Or maybe they were looking at the Vampire Slayer……mmmmm….I seem to know a lot of women who Zumba.

Strathclyde Police were doing a fair amount of that last week as well.

Someone has suggested body pumping (?) to me but do I want a body like Les Mills? No. If I’d a choice, the body I really want is………….(it’s oke. Cold shower with added ice cubes is being prepared by my faithful retainer….hang on, I don’t have……..Yes, I have returned to the world that is beyond the naked lunch from Henderson’s Salad Bar.)

So, and finally I was going to say something about football but I can’t be bothered. Instead I’d like to applaud Prince Charles for his recycling efforts and that fact that he wears shoes ‘made from bales of leather salvaged from an 18th-century wreck off the South West of Britain’. Doesn’t sound like TX Maxx or Primark to me.

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge. Happily. 😀

johnt850, restored

Actually a few folk have said how brave I was the other night. The bravest person I have ever known cancerly is my late mum. I was there when she was told that she had cancer and it was too far gone and all they could do was offer chemo to keep her alive but she turned it down partly cos she wanted to keep her hair and I thought that is dying with dignity and if anything like that were to happen to me then I would want to be the same and I remember thinking after I walked home that I’d actually taken my car to the hospital that day……….and had to get a taxi back to collect it.

Welcome to my universe. Enjoy!