Archive for April, 2013

We can plant a seed And watch it grow Food enough to fill a table Running water down an overflow Eat as much as we are able But would the fruit turn ripe If the rains had never been? (XTC)

April 26, 2013

And so, dear listener, this blog reverts to being a football free zone until next season (perchance) when the joys of the New Goth in Cowdenbeath and the Harbour Bar in Kirkcaldy will be replaced by hostelries in the likes of Kilmarnock and Paisley – altho’ I do know one or two in Paisley. I might take the train that afternoon and make a day of it that night. 🙂

But worry not. Altho’ my major interest is the domination degree, other things continue to happen. And I don’t want to say too much about that anyway ‘cos I hope it’s ground breaking. Interviews have started and they average thirty minutes long and I have to transcribe them – word for effing word – but I hope the end result will be a change in the way that alcoholics (or problem drinkers as I am more and more calling them/us) are perceived. Calling us alcoholics places us in a box away from the rest of society.

It’s what annoys me when ppl complain about the Government trying to raise the price of alcohol for good health reasons and all these ppl complain that they are responsible drinkers. You don’t get ppl complaining when the price of bread goes up by shouting I’m a moderate toast maker! As Missie K would say, ‘the rant is over.’

So there I was in the Fort, Easterhouse, the other night waiting to meet a friend and all these ppl kept coming up to me and asking me one very important question; ‘Are you the Real Radio Renegade?’ I wish I had been if only for the wee girl and her mum who came out of Pizza Hut to ask that very question…..and it was nice to bump into some other ppl as well. Whom I knew.

And as I drove home, one question niggled me. Why wasn’t I asking ppl the same question?

And I did some of the domination degree interviews with some ppl on Wednesday. It was strange cos I knew one of the ppl from a previous incarnation in North Ayrshire. Do I live in a small world? Cos I had to go over to Govan Health Centre for the next one and, as I was parking the car, a young(ish) woman with blonde hair and an orange hoodie which matched her tan, walked past me and said, ‘Hi John, how’s things?’ To which I could only mumble ‘Oh, hi fine…..how’s things with you?’ and she was gone.

And then on Thursday I was with e, and me and her and RJ (AJ had another appointment) were out power-walking…(we’d reached a bench in Kelvingrove Park) when two ppl went past – one of whom I knew (and they were really powerwalking – all the way from the Beeb and back again) – and I said ‘Hi’ and they both said ‘Hi jt’ back……..Mmmmmmmm….anyway after that me and e and RJ (like RJ had a choice?) went and had coffee and cake. And I bought some black and white photo cards by someone called Margaret Watkins who died in obscurity in 1969. Two have been sent; two have been well received.

Haven’t heard from Son Brian recently. He had his stag weekend last weekend. In the wilds of Perthshire. So, no buses. So should be okay. I had a stag night organised by the rainforestriverman who was my best man. I just got drunk………

If anyone would like to sponsor him (Son Brian – not the rainforestriverman) in a forthcoming Triathlon where he will be raising money for both the Davie Cooper Centre for children with forms of learning difficulties and also for breast cancer, then please contact me for further detail……. There are reasons for both charities……personal – family and friends.

And whilst there is no way I can excuse the man who built false bomb detectors that only worked if you marched up and down on the spot which is why they didn’t need batteries, why didn’t the countries that bought them, rent out a full furniture warehouse, hide three dauds of Semtex in it and say, ‘Right big man, prove it works……..we’ll be back in two hours.’ And lock the door behind them?

And finally, I have written much, dear listener in this blog about my cancer and my alcoholism/problem drinking – from both of which I am cured. (Skippy, that is an awful sentence. Do you know a good proof reader who can fix it?…….) I have even written on one occasion of constipation caused, I now realise, by a medication I was taking, but this week I went to the doctor with a new complaint. Every few hours I feel like I am having an electric shock charging through my right foot. Or to be technically accurate – what I imagine an electric shock charging through my right foot would feel like. Actually the best person to ask would be the good Dr W who ran through electric shocks when she ran the Tough Mudder challenge. (btw, W, did I tell you I once worked with Jimmie Macgregor?)

Anyway, it sure makes driving fun. 😀

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Maybe that’s why they thought I was the Renegade

Johnt850, currently a churning maelstrom of thoughts so I shall go and make soup and dream of the hills…did I tell you….?

So currently I’m reading and writing about alcoholism/problem drinking (alcoholism is seen by many as an irreversible disease – problem drinking is as bad but is a problem that can be controlled and recovered from)….…anyway……reading and writing and interviewing…and working in homeless housing where alcohol use plays a part as it does in the rehab unit down in West Dunbartonshire……lots of memories (good and bad) come back to me….see North Ayrshire reference above…….it’s a lot of food (and drink) for thought…….I’m taking soundings…

Oh, and I have a shift in Alexandria this week…the one near Balloch, not the one in Egypt…..

This is the now late but still great George Jones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onfce-UNmmE&noredirect=1

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Oh Maryhill. Is wonderful. Oh Maryhill is wonderful. It’s the home of Partick Thistle. Oh Maryhill is wonderful (to the tune of When the Saints…..)

April 20, 2013

And so dear listener, I am speechless…words fail me…tbh I have no voice……I have done sooooo much shouting. When one day, my grandchildren (not for some time please Son Brian and KT) ask were you at Falkirk that afternoon…when the Thistle went up with a glorious two-nil defeat of Pressley’s Pirates, I will answer with pride, Yes……And when they say what was the most memorable part of the afternoon, I will pause briefly and say, ‘It was the fact that Rab had had a good win on the horses the day before and paid us all in.’ Maybe I should have told him I get student discount. 😉

It was an amazing afternoon; me, Rab and Laurene all travelled through in the charabanc that is #soulboydaviebee’s car (Saturday night deejay at the Ad-Lib in the Merchant City) and parked miles away in an industrial estate but we got there in plenty of time and found seats at the back. Actually there were tons of seats. We chose seats at the back and took it from there. A great header from Andy Dowie, late of Dunfermline and an amazing mazy run from Kris Erskine soon to be of Dundee United…..Breathless, Yoda, I am.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=582893078402246&set=vb.100000446785236&type=2&theater

And it had been really exciting on Wednesday night where I stood (there are seats but we don’t use them in The Shed) between the lovely Laurene and her dad #soulboydaveybee and we had one of those moments which, hopefully, we won’t lose in’t’big league. Rab, a season ticket holder, had been working (he watches comedy for a living) and turned up with ten minutes to go. Laurene was persuaded (eh?) by her dad to go and sweet talk a steward in letting him in. Which she did.

As Rab joined our number, mindful that he might upset the apple cart by being there, he was given this warning by me;
‘Whatever you do, don’t.’

It worked. Single mums (and dads)…try it at home. The look of perplexity that came over Rab’s face was that of stunned silence. Well he didn’t really speak to me after that. 😦

Elsewhere, I was down at Alternatives in Dumbarton, the rehab where I do some voluntary stuff and not only did I receive a couple of (laminated) certificates acknowledging my training and volunteer efforts, but I received Hopi Ear Wax treatment (quite often I have acudetox) which is a way of clearing the aural passages by sticking a burning candle in each ear – but not at the same time. And it works. You should see the gunge that came out. Well maybe not.

And I am still seriously considering a tattoo. What I need to do is to get uni-Sharon and uni-Jo together to encourage me. They did that for me once before. And it worked. I have the World’s Shortest Scheduled Air Service certificate to prove it. I laminated it and one other myself.

As did my Blackberry after I took it to the Blackberry shop down at St George’s Cross……e-mailing wasn’t working but it is now. It’s a work thing. It’s nice to know, for example, that I’ve been paid….yes, I am awaiting some money coming in. I have had to threaten action on previous occasions. I wonder if they realise that I can legally lay claim to my suggestions if they use them without paying me……and I loved (not) the guy who asked if I did student discount. Rainforestriverman, you already think my rates are too low. I’ll pass these on to you, shall I?

And finally, this month’s Get a Grip Award of the Week is a joint winner. In a week of horrible carnage and killing in America (and let’s not forget Syria and Irag where such things happen on a daily basis) I cannot believe Neil Lennon got a ban for swearing. If the SFA want to ban me for the same offence then me and 1499 others are in The Shed next week. We soooo do not like the Old Firm.

Plus Justin Beiber went to Amsterdam. He could have done drink, drugs and the Red Light district. Instead he went to the Anne Franks Museum and left what the young man thought was a cheery greeting in the Vistors’ Book……the young man (sic)……..give him a break

Cya (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? Onwards and upwards with it.

Johnt850…one day everyone will be an 850er…doesn’t quite work for me does it?

And finally I was invited to a uni-reunion on Saturday night. Not these formal dinners I used to attend but some guys who I have not met in years – other than Stewart the organiser. After a lot of thinking and some chat with some support team, I decided not to go.

It was difficult to explain. A lot of the folk who read this and many others have been with me in licensed premises and they know I’m fine BUT they usually know my story in advance. We know the ground rules. This time I would have found myself having to explain to a lot of people who knew me as a typical student drinker that I am now a recovered problem drinker. What a downer for the rest of them!

It’s when I get asked ‘do you remember the time at university (first time around) when…..?’ ‘Eh, no…cos I lost a lot of memory cos of the drink…..’

I done fine at the uni-nite out last week but I just couldn’t face going in to the final pub of the night so uni-Jo and uni-Anne decided not to bother either….I owe them a drink 😉 And I also remember the blogmeister’s 30th birthday, for example. I walked around the block several times before going in.

The wedding of this and any other year? Many people do know me and my situation but that’s not why they’ve been invited. They have been told not to worry if they don’t see me for an hour. I will be outside, smoking an imaginary cigarette…….I don’t mind passive smoking in the right place.

Last week I never saw a programme called Peter Higgs: Particle Man. This is that very song by They Might Be Giants…….When it comes to my final appearance at Maryhill Crem, it’s another song by this band that will be playing you out…..enjoy  My legal eagle has the detail.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=they+might+be+giants+%2b+Particle+Man+%2b+youtube&docid=4731616104088025&mid=A34C10802B789D27F1CFA34C10802B789D27F1CF&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

Usually, overwhelming feelings of happiness and well-being take over, and it is difficult not to smile

April 13, 2013

And so, dear listener, many, many years ago I decided to keep this blog more-or-less a football free zone. My relationship with Partick Thistle is a unique one as it is part of my alcoholic recovery, albeit an unusual one. I can go to games and to pubs with people who know my status and who do not force me to have drink. But for the second week in a row, we have a slight change.

No. I have not been drinking. I want to mention Wednesday night before catching up on other matters. Wednesday night was amazing!!!!!! The crowd was 8,872 and that minus three of our usual crew and to anyone I tongue-in-cheekly suggested that ‘if you made the Cup Final, then make sure you are there for the Morton game’…… You must have done…….. so many thanks. 😀

My voice is still recovering from both games and it shows. I have been talking a lot recently. Unusually.

‘We are Partick Thistle – we score when we want’……….be it the 89th and 90th minute….phew!

So I am taking the weekend to recover from that. And a number of meals out recently. In good company. And a brilliant movie. Good spot, Dr W, and I was a wee bit apprehensive ‘cos of the French sub-titles but, no, they worked.

And in that scene at the end I not only saw a woman taking her clothes off but there was a sex scene and someone being shot. Oh, and the British Board of Censors thing at the top of the movie? It highlights too much of what to expect. It said there’d be a hanging scene, so I spent most of the movie trying to guess who, what and where…..and I was wrong.

So it’s been a couple of weeks of catch-up. Lots of things. I mentioned to someone, for example, that I had received an invite to the wedding of this and any other year and they said, ‘Oh, is that the first you knew of it?’ NO! I am dead chuffed at how much, as part of the wedding party, I have been kept in the loop and I am making big effort. I am even having people across to show me how to wear and tie the laces you get on brogues – the shoe; not the accent. Seriously.

And this is a big event for me as well………but I will stand quietly to the side and smile….not just the smile of a proud dad (and dad-in-law)…….but as someone who got there with lots of help….and some interesting practice at the Spateson Bowling Club in Spateston some time back…. 🙂 Every so often I will leave the room. Those of you who read this who will be there…you’re not to worry about me and it won’t be during the speeches….

But I caught up with some interesting news on TV. I had never heard, for example, of 17 year-old Paris Brown, who tweeted her way out of her job as a Police and Crime Commissioner. She had said some bad things some time back and they had bounced back. One irony was that that would have been part of her job – to talk to people to explain the dangers associated with social media……..a lesson  lost on 72 year-old Martin Fitzmaurice – ‘the voice of darts’ – who did not understand the significance of the British International Championship being streamed live on the British Darts Organisation’s website and told racist gags. Now has he done the decent thing like Paris Brown and resigned? Don’t think so but I could be wrong.

And if we’re talking about responsibility and taking it……don’t blame computer game manufacturers cos you’re stupid enough to give your five year old your password! Jeez…….

And there’s been a lot of editing work but it does my head in when people say they will send me work on, say, a Saturday morning and I have the entire global resources of www.thewordprocess.net available and standing by and they make no effort to contact us….but on the other hand there’s the man who, when I asked how much I usually charged gave me a figure much more than I had ever expected……….I am one of Thatcher’s children so I took it……

One quick thought on her death (a sad old woman with no friends or family there at the end). She encouraged the sale of council houses to do away with one of the strengths of local authorities – the ability to build the type of housing that was needed and thought appropriate. Had local authorities still that responsibility then they could be building a whole range of social housing so that people on housing benefit but with two bedrooms might be offered alternative housing as appropriate; thereby giving people the jobs of building and maintaining them; and therefore reducing the reliance on benefits……anyone out there with the ear of Ian Duncan Smith, please feel free to present this idea as your own.

And finally, the Domination degree is back up and running. The Essex Committee has met and decided and I’m cool…….all the time I’ve spent recently at the computer mastering away is about to pay dividends and me and a tape recorder is about to go back out there. And for those of you wondered if I’d had any feedback from that presentation I did to the Post Grads…apparently they enjoyed it, but no, they had never heard of Watergate. Sometimes I do feel older than 42. 😦  

Cya keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? It may need a season ticket next year….mmmmm

Johnt850 – the man who talks with porpoises.

So as well as various goings-out already mentioned I spent some time in Vodka Wodka off Byres Road last Thursday night……a nice wee bar. And I’m often asked if I miss alcohol and my standard reply is I don’t really miss the taste but I do miss the effect……but I’m now asking myself what ‘effect’?

I no longer need the blackouts (which was why sometimes I kept on drinking after I got home) and if I ever needed it as a way of loosening my tongue…….well, I think not these days. It’s quite interesting to wake up the next day and remember everything that was said the night before. Doesn’t mean it’s any less embarrassing but it’s nice to remember.

And in a week when all the talk was about Radio 1 editorialising, this long link is to an Elvis Costello song which was editorialised but didn’t seem to get any attention…….the offending word? Here’s the clue. It’s the same word as was the name of the dog in a black and white movie called The Dam Busters…..No. No prize.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=elvis+costello+oliver’s+army+youtube&docid=5049705682567593&mid=B7B6D2C8A28ADE622175B7B6D2C8A28ADE622175&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

We are Partick Thistle, We score when we want (usually)

April 7, 2013

So this is not the introduction I had planned. I had planned to take you, the listener, back to other great victories I had known. I was there when the Clydebank Youth team beat the Celtic Youth team in the first round of the BP Youth Cup, for example, and even in my own brief footballing career, the high note was playing for Eden Rovers in the Final of the Adoration Trophy (for under fourteens) in my home town of Peterhead, which we won 3-2 in extra time. On a full-size pitch.

But it was not to be this afternoon. We, Son Brian and I, and several others, several thousand others went all the way to the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium in Livingston, for which there are no signposts cos it would take an awfy big sign for all those words. Queen of the South had their people there and the atmosphere was good.

I had bought the tickets – adult for my son and student concession for me – and he drove. All very grown up, kinda father-sonly, and then when it was time for him to go for refreshments, I, being the dad, offered him money for the stuff, and he being my son, accepted. Can I stress, Son Brian, that when I said ‘Keep the change’ I was being ironic in a post-modern kinda way?

Being Partick Thistle, everything’s done in a post-modern kinda way.

Thistle did not play as well as they have done. O’Donnell and Sinclair did not live up to the pre-match chat. That I had with Son Brian on the way there.

But Queen of the South should have had two players sent off and their goalie. Who is, in my opinion, dear lawyers, a cheat who fooled the referee and was incredibly unsportsmanlike.

Being Partick Thistle being sportsmanlike is important. 

But it went to extra time. And we went one-nil down. But with minutes, nay seconds to go, we got a penalty, And Aaron Muirhead stepped up. But their goalie did wee putting-off type things and put Aaron off. We did not score. But with minutes, nay seconds to go, there was a rammy, and Aaron did stick the heid on the guy but not that heavily and Aaron got sent off.

But with minutes, nay seconds to go Doolan scored – a goal of exquisite beauty. And it went to penalties. And we didn’t score as many as them. And they won the Ramsden’s Trophy and their goalie won the Man of the Match, which makes a nonsense of FIFA’s Fair Play strategy.

Highlights? There were a few but then again too few to mention. I liked it when someone dropped a large pile of red, yellow and black balloons on the pitch and the referee told his assistant to stamp on them all and burst them. And I liked my son’s Sat-Nav but that was it.

But one thing I really liked, on a very personal basis, was the natural high I got from the buzz attached to a big game. Cos that’s what it was for two relatively small teams – a big game. And I got a buzz until the very end that was natural and came from no drink nor drugs I had ever taken. And the downer came from a man unable to kick a ball past another man but Conrad Balatoni, you are a favourite with the fans. You have a cool name.

Being Partick Thistle, cool names are important.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Todqy it was replace by two scarves. With pride.

Johnt850…I’ll be in The Shed on Wednesday night for the game against Morton if anybody’s looking for me 🙂

Johnt850