Archive for August, 2011

We are the 1980s We are the Detroit lights And I never wanna, I never wanna see this stop. I’m in debt to you But don’t feed me plant food……The lasers fill our minds with empty plans I never knew I was a techno fan.

August 28, 2011

So Jeff Mills, Derrick May and Frankie Knuckles are all playing Electric Frog September Weekender at SWG3 coming extremely soon. Well, September actually. Is anyone going? Will you take me? Does anyone want to go with me? I’ll pay (a fair amount). Serioulsy. The Godfathers of Detroit Techno in Yorkhill……..Serioulsy. Give me a shout.

Ok. Can I apologise for my grumpiness last week? Lots of deadlines came together and the equipment was doing my head in, but we got there. I don’t usually lose the place like that these days but I did. Sorry.

My thanks to the Blogmeister for offering to help. His answer’s in the ether somewhere cos the battery in his phone ran out. But as a caring sharing dad, he has other priorities. He’s trying to get two sets of the complete works of Shakespeare for his children and……. (What’s that Skippy?)…..he’s trying to get two Nintendo DSs for his children and I think that’s cool.

So this week’s show comes from the Studio of Cut’n’Paste and stuff iTunes for the time being; I’m creating a new library on Media Player. Gosh, I almost sound as if I know what I’m talking about don’t I?

Elsewhere friend and colleague, the gorgeous W, is still running around George Square and its environs, being chased by lots of things, zombies et al, (but neither of the two Als I know). Altho’, she tells me, she has been running in the company of one Brad Pitt, but their conversations must remain forever confidential. Aye, but I bet I know her first four words….. 😉

W describes some of it as like being in a rugby scrum and it certainly was when I was down there on Tuesday (extra spotting but not stalking and there was a reason). I noticed one young lady being helped away by a (real) medic and minutes later leaving the BAM Building (seriously) where the extras hang out. Her arm was heavily bandaged and she just melted into the crowd – her dreams over. I hope her contract is cast-iron.

No. The reason I was there was cos I was citated for jury duty. I phoned on the Sunday night and was told I was not needed on the Monday. Phoned on the Monday night and was told I was needed on the Tuesday and almost got called. Before that excitement we were sent way at 1130 and told to come back at two, so I wandered up to Greggs nr George Square. And that’s the truth, m’lud. Honest.

A tuna and onion crunch since you ask.

When I got back it was to see one of STV’s finest cowering in the back of the satellite van from a shellsuited gent, berating him for not having a real job. Quite exciting it was. And then it was back into the High Court where my name was not drawn out of a goldfish bowl and I was able to get on with the rest of my life. An armed bank robbery in Helensburgh. That seems to be what most people want to know.

I have sent them a bill for just over £200 for my time. I’ll keep you posted.

But the zombie thing is proving a tourist attraction. The rainforestriverman – of Glasgow extraction – asked to be shown the attraction (but we couldn’t see her 😦 ) and was quite amazed at the city’s transformation, admitting it had been sometime since he’d been in George Square. He then asked where the smog was, where the nearest tram stop was and would he get any change out of a half-crown for twenty Woodbine.

(And, rrm, she was at least 20 and she seemed willing to talk to me)

But I have other things on my mind. As the likes of the Vampire Slayer and Missie K return to study within the academic groves and e and L frae Troon return to teach there, I too have received my call-up papers.

I am being inducted into the Hall of Fame at (let’s not beat about the bush here, Skippy…you can get a cream for that)…….at the University of the West of Scotland (Paisley Campus) for a Post Graduate Diploma in Alcohol and Drugs Studies. My first class (aaaargh….nervous and exciticated….) is on Monday, 26th and I seem to have been invited to a Freshers’ Fair in the Union on Thursday, 29th……

Apparently I can meet others who share my ‘passion in life’. No. No comment. 😉

Obvioulsy I will continue blogging but I will need time to think about what I can and can’t say; consider the feelings of others around me; and consider my new environment in a non-judgemental way.

(My ex-wife, and a girl I may have been engaged to, both came from Paisley but in a non-judgemental way. No. No bitter feelings)

And finally, I had an interesting conversation with a barmaid in Bar Ten on Saturday afternoon about the best way to make that tomato juice with tabasco and Worcester sauce et al but eventually we agreed on the right recipe and that you can’t beat a good virgin, Mary.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Freshers beware.

Johnt850, wishing he could sleep beyond six o’clock in the morning……

So why am I doing this course given that, amongst other things I am an addict (primarily alcohol) and four and a half years clean and clear?

Can I stress that the course is not counselling? It is about the nature of addiction, why some people use and some people abuse and what can be done in the way of intervention at various levels to help. It is not about me finding out about myself or anything like that. It is about using my various expertises and experience to help in some way to overcome closed minds.

At some stage I will write some research project and maybe even a Master’s dissertation, and I’ll maybe even do a specific acknowledgements page. In the meantime can I say a really big thanks to the gorgeous W and the equally good looking e without whom……….. 😀 😀 😀 (And I seem to have some dust in my eye. No. No appropriate icon)

This is Paulo Nutini. He’s from Paisley.

So glow, glow, glowing the shower of shameless pride Cleanse as he would have cleansed God give me the strength and the nerve To pop a zombie’s head like a zombie deserves. I’ve got my shotgun, and she goes boom boom

August 21, 2011

The band is Scapegoat; it is in my collection; and there is only one story in town – World War Zee, where George Square and its environs are currently being used as the centre of Philadelphia. I was on set (Serioulsy. And don’t ask. I may want back) at the beginning and it all looks fun. Just as I arrived, the heavens opened and I took shelter under one of the many mini-marquees they have. The coffee is good.

I was watching one of the technos put up a One-Way American street sign and he asked a very pleasant young lady, who was probably the 3rd Assistant director’s 3rd Assistant, how it looked and she replied in a very bored and wet way, ‘Good. Good. Go for it.’ Kinda summed up Wednesday’s ambience.

And there’s a lot of peoples’ cars on set – really dirty old things and I was kicking the tyres of a real crappy rubbish car when the security guard said, ‘You can’t touch that. It belongs to Angelina and Brad.’ But it’s manky’, I cried. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘It’s the Pitts.’

So I haven’t heard much from friend and colleague the gorgeous W (she’s sworn to secrecy but is close to the stars and has seen Drab Ttip) but I can exclusively reveal that Angelina has marked W out as the next adoptee for the Pitts brood. Angelina was telling me so in the West End bar I know as Yummy Mummies but everyone else in Hyndland seems to call Epicures.

And #soulboyDave was convinced he’d persuaded Brad to attend the Partick Thistle game. But he never showed. Rumour on the streets of Summerston is that he attended, in disguise, the first ever Highland Games held in Summerston, held by the Ledgowan Tenants Hall just off Shiskine Drive. I drove past on my way to Firhill, and two hours later I wished I’d stayed.

However the reality was that Brad had gone to see Cardonald Thistle instead. Schoolboy error……..going to Firhill.

Apparently it is a big cinematographic week in Glasgow because a Canadian TV company has been filming an ad for the Olympics in Kelvindale. As you do.

I have been to the dentist and thought he was really evil. He played Radio 2, which was playing Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water – and he was singing along, just to prove how groovy and hip he was. I was really hoping that he’d ask me for my tastes in music and I’d reply, ‘Well currently, Detroit Techno and Chicago Acid House.’ altho’ to be honest, I have no idea what my computer is currently playing on the ones and twos as ITunes lacks internet access and everything seems to be called Track 6 at the moment. This is not a good computer week.

I am on jury duty next week so the PC is going in for a good clean. I keep getting asked to chaneg Passwors for security reasons and Paypal tells me that so much money is passing through my account that they had to check certain facts about me in case I was laundering money. As if.

Actually, in the wake of the PM’s recent attack on social networking sites – what even those which brought neighbours together to help clean up? – can I say a big thanks to one which helps top professionals like me to link in with other top pros (I know what I’m talking about), for telling me what my son’s doing these days.

Skippy, I’m fed up with this keybaots. (It actually typed the word ‘doping’ instead of ‘doing’…oooooops. It needs dusted. Get a man in).

So, finally……….’Did I tell you’ that ‘in all the years’ I have been putting this blog together, this has been the least enjoyable….for technical reasons. Blogmeister, when I’ve calmed down and done everything I need to do about being a jury person (and I maybe shouldn’t have watched X Factor) I may well be in touch.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Angelina smiled at it in a tender kinda way.

Johnt850, he of the rugged jaw and tousled hair……I did pass for Brad’s stunt double in a coffee bar off Byres Road.

So I was going to do all sorts of serious stuff about the riots and people getting five months for receiving a looted pair of shorts while David Laws who stole £40,000 is still at large and a wee word about Abdul Abasset Mahmet al-Megrahi who is still alive after two years and how the exclusive about the drug he is on was revealed on this show, and so on but I can’t be bothered.

I am awash with work, drafts of this blog are being saved every minute which means I’m stuck and I am just soooooo jealous of all those working on the Brad Pitt movie. Yes. All sorts of reasons.

During the week I bumped into Sanjeev Kohli who used to present a radio programme I produced called Ghettoblasting. Its music policy was pretty divers- basically non-white. It played everything from bhangra to jungle in the form of UK Apache. Bhangra this ain’t but I suspect when we played it we lost the opening few seconds.


For once in my life I’ve got something to say I want to say it now for now is today A love has been given so why not enjoy So let’s all grab and let’s all enjoy…..If the kids are united then we’ll never be divided

August 11, 2011

On Wednesday morning I had coffee with a Jordanian Human Rights lawyer. His home is two miles from the border with Syria. We discussed the situation in Syria and England but came to no conclusion. Between that and lot of dissertation editing, I had much on my mind. Later that day I wrote something, unconnected, that was meant to be funny. It wasn’t. Everything has consequences. I have since apologised.

And the personal consequence was, jt? I cut my nose shaving later that night and had to sleep, badly, with an elastoplast over my nose. Serves you right, jt.

Oke, moving on.

Actually I understood every word the Jordanian said through thick accent and beard. I’d been in Dundee the day before. John on Tour visited a drink’n’drugs place on Tayside. The Dundonian accent is strong, ken, but I understood all the drugs references; an amazing needle exchange; and I now know the best way to inject a speedball (smack’n’crack) in one shot.

But I got lost coming off the train. I asked a traffic warden for directions and he talked about Debenhams and the Nethergate Shopping Centre. Useless. And then I asked a street sweeper and his directions revolved around the legendary Groucho’s record shop, the famous Fat Sam’s (club) and Private Eyes (a private Gentleman’s Club). Found where I was looking for straight away.

Skippy, why has every jacket pocket of mine got a packet of polo mints inside? Oh, yes.

And then on Monday the gorgeous W had her wardrobe fitted.  I think that’s right. As some of you may know, Brad Pitt is filming in Glasgow (World War Z) and apparently W….main role….leading lady….etc. Funnily enough I heard the same story from another three women while I was hanging around outside a building I didn’t even know existed. Waiting for W. And her red suitcase. 😀

Everyone involved has been sworn to secrecy but I can reveal from another source that it involves two car crashes, pyrotechnics and guns being fired.  They could have saved themselves a lot of money and borrowed CCTV photage from the Possil*. I think it’ll go straight to DVD (No. I’m not in it. Is it obvious?) but then that’ll solve my Christmas pressie buying.

W celebrated a birthday recently. Well hers to be exact. Around about now as did e , which I forgot but I blame AJ for not telling me. He remembered cos he gave her a card. I saw it.

This week’s ‘in’ fashion word is sludgey. Sludgey.

Oh, and ppl keep asking me if I’m excited about going to an unnamed university in the West of Scotland near Paisley. And then go off and have a glass of sherry, a five course dinner, with zambucas afterwards and I’m still rambling on about my excitement when they get back. I’m actually excited about going to Paisley……….Yup. Not a sentence I ever expected to see in print either. This weekend  Paisley played host to a Tunisian market. In the High Street. It looked good.

My thanks, btw, to Sunny D down (the) ASDA here in Summerston who is an academic at the same place who gave me advice on eating at Uny (‘Bring your own’); my thanks to Missie K for a jolly interesting Heads-Up on daytime TV; and my thanks to the recovering addict who, when I naively asked what his drug of choice was, replied, ‘Mair’. I used to get asked that a lot. Initially whisky; latterly it was anything spiritual. That way you don’t bring attention to how much of one product you’re buying.

And finally, remember how I kinda hinted that I’d be stopping doing Prostate Cancer Charity stuff? Well, the phone rang on Thursday and on Friday morning I ended up with Tam, Jean and Scotland rugby star Chris Cussiter doing a photo op in the Botanic Gardens.  I think it’s the fact that I tell everyone that my alter ego was 52/53 when it was diagnosed and everyone says ‘That’s young’. Chris’s dad died the age my alter ego has just become. In a strange way, that’s younger.

The aim was to publicise next month’s Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride from Peebles to Dumfries. No. I’m not taking part. Yes. My top half does look good in lycra. Evidence? Saturday night’s Times of Evening, page 9. There doesn’t seem to be any link to it yet, so scanned copies will be sent soon and if you would like your very own copy, please ask.

And a big thanks to tall blonde female MAMJ (journo) student Ashley who brought a smile to my face on a cold and wet Friday morning in the Botanic Gardens. Radio Clyde had sent her out to cover a photo op for radio. But she done it.

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I forgot and the lady never even noticed.

Johnt850, who will not be hanging around George Square in a moping kinda way. No sir. Just once. Maybe. No. No reason. 😦

*So I suppose as a blogger and wishywashy liberal I should be saying something about the English riots but I watched SkyNews last Saturday when a bus burned in Tottenham High Road as did police cars, shops and peoples’ houses and the police seemed to stand by and let it all happen.

Copycatting was to be expected. And it happened. A lot of people got a lot wrong and lives have been lost. There are lessons to be learned. But can we please please avoid the smugness shown by so many in Scotland as to why it doesn’t happen here? Maybe, just maybe our dispossessed have long lost the will to do anything. Speedball anyone? Or maybe a wee snakebite? Still popular in Dundee.

So on that cheery note…….

Y’know I often say that if I have a problem with Latin pronounciation, then I always ask myself; how would Elvis say it?

The desire to annoy no-one, to harm no-one, can equally well be the sign of a just as of an anxious disposition

August 7, 2011

Me. To a tee. I thought. And those wise words come from the (former?) Newcastle United player, Joey Barton, who used Twitter to pass on the wise words of Nietzsche; that’s Friedrich Nietzsche, btw, the 18th century nihilist philospher and not Jack Nitsche, keyboards player with seventies’ band Crazy Horse who later went on to marry Buffy Sainte-Marie and yet, and yet, I can’t get to Kevin Bacon….


It’s been a curious week and can I begin with a big 😀 to an amazingly patient person who took the tongue in the cheek  comment comparing her nicely to alcoholism and cancer in the spirit in which it was intended, and yes, I am a ‘bloody genius’.  And a pain.  (That’s a personal comment and not linked to this next paragraph)

Because this is going to be one of those thoughtful blogs I (personally) need every so often and I can hear my own RAJAR figures being affected even as I process words painfully (but there’s a reason for that as I might be auditioning for Embarrassing Bodies soon, but more of that later).

No. As many of you know you, the taxpayer, through those kind people at the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), are paying my University fees, as well as continuing to give me some money weekly through Working Tax Credits for my daily supplies. This also means that some other money (kindly) set aside for possible use as fees can now be diverted elsewhere. Like books and train fares. AND DAYS OUT. So it’s all really happening.

And, asked the blogmeister, does that mean any differences in the content or feel of the blog? But the changes have been creeping in.  There has been little mention of my cancer these days, for example. It’s not part of my current psyche.

I recently went down to the Maggie’s Centre (Maggie’s Farm as I called it) and it’s the same guys there (which is good) but I feel so far removed from them cos I seem long sorted. They’re not. And there’s others there welcoming the new guys.

And I’ve done little, formally, in the way of awareness recently. The charity that I do stuff for has appointed its fifth Volunteer Organiser in just over two years. All the others have left. And I’m sure she’ll be brilliant but I know I’m not the only one fed up reading,  ‘I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you better.’ Again. Y’mean better than the readers of The Sun, The Record and STV viewers? Check the cuttings. Please. Oh, and listen to the radio programme. You have a copy.

Okay. Since you ask. I was at the doctor this week. My problem is…….I have fluid on the elbow and man, does it sag horrible? Yes. it does. I’ve to be referred to Orthopaedics……..and there is always this terrible sense of where do I go from here….again? Well, the Western, probably.

And then I was at the dentist. Work done a few months ago did not reveal other problems within my mouth. But I’ve come to a financial arrangement with them cos it was a different dentist and technically a different practice. I explained that I was soon to be a student  doing Alcohol and Drugs at UWS (Paisley). ‘Oh, what was my background?, he asked. ‘Well, I’m an alcoholic’, I replied. From his splutter, it was not the answer he expected.

And I needed some work done to my car (a perspective and context is emerging, isn’t it?) and that was okay, except I sat and watched a woman using an iPad. To do sudoko. Twenty years of the Internet, of Cyberspace and technology unbelieveable to previous generations, and she’s doing numbers.

This was no cyberpunk as envisaged in the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson. It must be like Alexander  Graham Bell looking down from Heaven, seeing the advent of the mobile phone and realising that so many footballers see it as the perfect vehicle to send photos of their genitalia.

And Dundee Football Club may be out of administration again, but they’ve got a diving wee toerag who won them a cheating penalty minutes from the end. And therefore the game.

So I rebelled. Against authority. I was in (an) ASDA in a posh part of town, with all its posh hotels and posh fripperies and posh fineries and I was on the escalator and the stupid voice said, ‘Please hold on and stand still.’ So I said ‘F**k You’ and walked without holding on. I won’t be back. That’s not exactly my decision, it should be pointed out. Management may have won on this occasion but……

I often tell students to read/say things out loud as you will be aware more of meaning. Not always a wise decision.

And finally, I asked a highly qualitative and quantative focus group of adult male graduates (PT fans after the game upstairs in the Doublet), if they were to return to university, what they would want to do more of. Yes. I should have guessed that would be their answer. No. That had never occurred to me this time round. But what would you, dear listener, change if it were you?

cya keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Actually, its anniversary has just been and gone 🙂 It needs marking.

Johnt850, roady to the stars and a personal stairway to heaven.

So I think I’ve got through this week’s angst. A busy week for me and friend and colleague W as there is much happening in the world of theses et al. A lot of work has just come in. But others will be hearing from me. If you haven’t already been in touch.

So I thought I’d leave you with a self-satisfied smirk. A few months ago I put some money on this young lady to win  X Factor. I was laughed out of court and she came fourth. Depending what chart you believe in, astrological or Top Ten, this lady is Number One. I give you Cher Lloyd.