Archive for November, 2014

‘The man who could talk longest about wine and who could likewise carry off the most bottles was looked upon with favour and admiration’ (Strang 1856)

November 28, 2014

And so dear listener, uni-Sharon and I were discussing the importance of developing a child’s vocabulary in these harum-scarum days and naturally we ended up discussing the importance of the UrbaN dicTionary. Where would we parents be without it? Obvs I look thru lots of song lyrics and peeps on fb and wonder what I’m reading and where would I be without it. 🙂

No. I am not going to quote examples but in my alter ego’s younger days all we had was a big old dictionary from, say, the forties and we’d look up naughty bits but there didn’t seem to be as many of them as there are now. And as for the magazines…..:)

I’ve mentioned before on the show that, being brought up in a fishing town, I had easy access to Danish porn from a fairly young age but I do remember the first time the Porn Fairy visited (there is a point to all this). It was not under a bush but on the top deck of a double decker. And I can’t remember what it was called but looking thru its pages, all was revealed. 😀

In many senses.

Y’see, recently I decided to go ‘fishing’ again. The last six months or so have been truly amazing (thanks to Dr W and the gd and e and the weans – No. No connection) but the double glazing’s not what it used to and I do have many manly needs – a meal cooked for me now and again would be good.

My picture in the fishing catalogue is me with the ice cream that e, RJ and AJ, bought for me for a very significant birthday at the start of this dead brill six months. And so I contacted a lady, whose username I shall not give but let’s make one up….Muttondressedaslamb is good.

And she replied quite quickly and commented on the ice cream. Now I am useless at this kinda thing. Am I supposed, as Danny Dyer would do, to come out with some kinda coded message……’Yup. My whipped cream is finger licking good.’ OR do I be me and say, ‘Yes. It was a very nice ice cream and it was Nardini’s in Byres Road and I’d be more than happy to treat you to one.’ Me? The latter.

Result? Knockback. ‘Too soon’ I was told.

FFS! It’s an effing ice cream in effing Nardini’s in effing Byres Road – not an effing Chinese opium den in Garnethill* I’m sooooooo not cut out for this. Lots of things are leaving me very confused in the run up to Christmas. But if you are going to be in the Byres Road area and can give me a couple of days’ notice, I’m happy to buy you one as well- whoever you are 🙂

But I did bump into that librarian the other day and we ended up discussing grandchildren. I thought one of hers was called Mindy but it turns out it’s expected on Monday.

*(Can I apologise to all those Chinese students for whom I do work, and who very kindly recommend me to their friends, for the outdated stereotype portrayed in the Chinese opium den image. Why it’s almost as outdated as the image that I am perpetually in process of recovery from alcoholism which is an incurable disease. No. I just don’t drink alcohol these days. No. I don’t miss it. Yes. I was alcoholically dependent for several years of my life. Yes. Most thinking since the sixties looks at it being learned behaviour and there are ways to help once you leave the black and white world of Lost Weekend and Ray Milland)

I mean I don’t believe that MadMen (or was it Admen) reflects Advertising and Marketing today. But then sometimes we are happy in our prejudices.

And I don’t miss meat either – apart from that roll’n’sausage last week..but a wee walk and I was fine. 🙂

Moving on.

And I’m still not sure about the difference between a baptism and a christening. No. No reason.

And finally, I had a couple of training days last week which involved me training in from Hyndland Station and one occasion I had to shout into the carriage, ‘If you would all move into the carriage then we can all get on’ and I did get some strange looks but then I’m a housing worker with the homeless and look a bit rough and, so, they moved but let’s stick to the rough theme of stereotypes…..Coffee of the month at the Coffee Stall on the station platform in the pretentious West End? Gingerbread latte. I rest my case and am away out to do some C’mas shopping. 🙂

Cya, Keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yup. Buffing it up now and then I’ll do the badge later.

Johnt850…….God made me funky.

So Christmas and the end of the year are fast approaching and the anniversary of me Cold Turkeying will get a wee mention soon time and regular listeners will know that that also means the special Christmas Card edition of the blog and the annual prize giving for Personality of the Year (which doesn’t have to be a person), Lifetime Achievement Award (which can be given to someone who has received it before cos I don’t keep records and can’t remember anyway) and Team of the Year (cast iron that one) and a new award – Musical Track of the Year……Nominations are open and me an Skippy would love to hear from peeps out there. 🙂

But one thing I want to say and that is….if I want to give a C’mas pressie then I will give a C’mas pressie. I don’t necessarily want one back and even if we’re not meeting then I will get it to you

I missed so many Christmases a few years ago that I enjoy being a small part of it all now.

And it’s the same with cards. I could ask for donations to Cancer Research UK but I think it better to send out cards with the Cancer Research logo (Why them and not Prostate Cancer? My mum didn’t die of Prostate Cancer) And I don’t keep a list from last year and strike off people who didn’t send me one last year and whilst I will do some by e-mail and fbook and so on, I will send as many as I can and to as many as I can with stamp attached. The business has done well thanks in no small way thanks to the Chinese students mentioned earlier. It has paid for the stamps.

So I’d a wee disappointment the other day. In context, no’ a big disappointment but it was big at the time but in reality it was just disappointing and when that happens I go for a walk and I play music until this comes on and I smile;

I could be so good for you, I’m gonna help ya, Love you like you want me too, I’ll do anything for you, I’ll be so good for you (Minder)

November 21, 2014

And so dear listener, word came down from the Milanese catwalks via the Four Horsemen of the Seventh Apocalypse as they ascended the hill that is Kelvindale en route to the fleshpots of the Ardgowan Tenants’ Hall – the Vampire Slayer had spoken. And what were her wise words?

Go With The Flow. 😀

So let’s see if this week has seen any flowing and whether or not I went with it.

Monday; I decided to go into the attic and take Christmas stuff down. I want to see what C’mas cards I have left from last year. I have stepladder which isn’t quite clicking into place but it’ll be fine. Tree comes down; cards and wrapping paper come down; and I’m just going back into attic for baubles when the ladder goes down. Luckily I had anticipated problem and had my hands on the edge of the open attic door as opposed to my hands being full of baubles. I held on and then dropped down the two feet or so to safety.

More Tom’n’Jerry than falling off Everest but an interesting start to the week. 🙂

And my PC was playing up. Those of you who know that the Master (in Doctor Who) has now become the Mistress will not be surprised to know that she has shifted shape into my printer but there was some kinda problem with Microsoft Word which I seemed to tell people was a Google problem. I seem to have deleted every shortcut I ever had and am having to remember passwords all of which have something in common. I won’t say what in case a Russian website is watching.

Simon at Resolve fixed it for me from a distance which is always interesting to watch. I’m not sure if I’m being charged. I did offer as a quid pro quo kinda thing to help him out with anyone he knows suffering seizures and fits from Legal Highs. He said he’d get back to me…..

And my lack of manliness showed itself on Tuesday when Dr W and I went looking for a car in Glasgow’s East End. For why? Not saying but she knows what she’s doing (A real Arfur Daley and I was her Terry McCann). I just kicked the tyres, tbh, but she’s well at home under the bonnet but I can always be relied on to have tissues when a dipstick needs wiped. And I walked back thru Glasgow’s East End seeing signs of a re-generation that comes more from the people themselves rather than the Commonwealth Games….. 🙂

And e and I met up on Thursday and we were supposed to be breaking bread in the Hanoi Bike Shop and then do some retro shopping just off Byres Road but the bike shop was closed so went to the place I know as Yummy Mummies and then did some middle class window shopping. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas as I’m beginning to get ideas and I have my rota for the next wee while (Christmas and New Year night shifts. I will be in touch with people)

[and one of us is upwardly mobile and the other ain’t]

(Is this okay, all of those who want it straightforward? I’m thinking about what I’m writing which is really weird – however soon time it’s the special Christmas editions of the prog so that’ll be nice)

And I was in the uni-café next to the library when I watched a young lady eat a roll and (links) sausage with tomato sauce – I sat and stared at the roll and not the young lady but eventually she finished it and my Pescatarian chums breathed easily. 🙂 And she looked at me quizzically 😦

And finally, I’m making progress with my draft PhD application; I seem to have got involved in some form of rugby/concussion research at the invitation of former Internationalist John Ross Beattie; my grand-daughter, who I do mention from time to time, is doing well – and I may refer to her occasionally as gd (No. No reason.); and the Zombies are looking ahead to next year. Be afraid; be very afraid

Cya (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes and it’s the special Christmas edition

Johnt850, currently more a guide to the UWS than a roadie at the moment

So let’s have a wee rant but not a big rant.

There is delight within prostate cancer circles that an eighty year old actor who plays a seventy-seven year old character in the popular soap Eastenders has been diagnosed as having prostate cancer. I have not seen the programmes so I will make no comment. I will repeat the fact that my alter ego, as I used to refer to myself, was diagnosed with bad prostate cancer in his very early fifties but I made it work for me 🙂

I suspect that those who devised the storyline thought it was restricted to very very old men. A wee while ago a character in River City developed signs of alcohol dependency and that was so well developed as the weeks progressed. However she went to AA and was apologising to people within weeks…….this is not to knock AA but when I out it to a then Script Editor at River City that there were organisations other than AA, she had to express ignorance.

Maybe too many charities are relying on mega-telethons and celebs telling poor people to give money rather than getting the message across………especially to those who make such popular soaps.

So let’s cheer ourselves up. I played this earlier on Facebook and would like to thank Dr Paul, the world’s greatest Pub Quizmaster [see w it’s a week of superlatives]. All I will say is that it won the praise of many zombies and gave me an idea for at least one Chrissie pressie: 🙂

‘As a horror story, it’s exciting. As a parable, it’s terrifying.’ (Empire Magazine)

November 15, 2014

And so, dear listener, I stood. At the eleventh hour On the eleventh day. In the uni-coffee bar. Next to the library. I do not know if I was the only one. It did go quiet. When I stood. But the canteen staff continued to serve. So that was alright then. It became noisy again. After two minutes I sat down.

I stood not to remember anyone but out of respect for those who have a reason to remember. But not the politicians who are squeezing everything they can out of wars and the dying and the dead.

I am old, Father Time, and I do not remember as many anniversaries being commemorated. And I doubt the political sincerity.

So on Monday, e contacted me. She had a problem. Could I help?

So on Tuesday, I wondered over to the residence of her and c. I was to babysit RJ and AJ who were already wrapped up in pyjamas with a set routine prior to going to bed. It all went well. I like CBBC. I find it very intellectual. I now see Dick and Dom in a new light. 🙂

They were only to be thirty minutes late in settling down with me. They seemed to have drifted to sleep. Reading Alice in Wonderland on speed…sorry……at speed helped even with oblique references to the drug, the set, the setting. I used acid, in a good mood and the Arches as an example. They looked at me with that withering glance my son throws me down the phone. I walked thru to the front room. Two minutes later AJ walked thru. Mentally, I thought. ’Oh Shit.’ He spoke. ‘jt, You forgot to shut the door’ and he went back to bed. I shut the door and breathed audibly.

I’m thinking of setting up an agency – ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ – with the strapline;

‘Do you need a helping hand? Let me give you one,’

(No. Skippy. It’s not.)

And recently, the rainforestriverman, whose longevity gives him access to the High Council, raised a number of questions about various matters. His concerns were discussed under the Auspices of the Ancient Scallop Stone. A decision was made that the only plan of action would be to contact the Vampire Slayer, currently resident in Milan. She spoke and her answer will be conveyed to the rainforestriverman and then made public. 😀

Right, back to the world of the straight and straightforward. Actually when I do that I’m lost.

Let’s go back to the uni-library and the student sitting across me speaking on the phone in something Spanish(is). The only thing I could make out (I have two ears) was ‘Jack Daniels’….ah the world language that is bevvy.

And finally, the last radio programme I ever worked on was about four years ago [thanks for the never ending supply of coffee and have you ever worn purple since?]. It was an investigation into why men with prostate cancer don’t talk about it (except, obvs for the men and their wives that took part in the prog). It was co-produced with the smashing people at and they are Scotland’s top indie broadcast production company.

They have a smashing prog going out on Sunday night or on iPlayer. It’s about the old Peterhead Prison and its replacement by HM Grampian and is on BBC 2 Scotland at 9pm. I have seen a rough preview and it’s good – not just cos I was brought up in the shadow of the prison but it highlights how that North East corner of Scotland has been exploited over the years cos of its remoteness. 😦

I am old, Father Time, but I remember how the voices that stood up against the sell-out to the oil capitalists of the seventies were silenced by those who were bought off by the big oil companies and compliant local business people. And the fact that the local people were so used to giving in to Lords and Masters cos, after all, they knew best.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge but I’ve not being proving it recently. 😦

Johnt850, the answer to every mum’s dreams….

So I was talking to a couple of the current Post Grads and we were discussing the subject of cravings for things like alcohol and the only time, these days when I feel like a drink, is when I see a decent whisky being poured in a TV ad and we’re coming up to Christmas so there’s millions of them.

At the Zombie Rave, I felt no inclination to drink alcohol but part of my enjoyment came from the fact that others had taken alcohol and used it as a social lubricant. I did not feel challenged or threatened. I’d a great time. The drug? – alcohol; the setting? – a bar in M & D’s Theme Park; and the (mind)set? There to have a good time with marvellous people. I just go with the flow. 😀 😉 😀

I used to work in broadcast with a great guy called Jimmie Macgregor, We used to play this track a lot but a number of people seem to have just recently found it. It’s the Australian Eric Bogle and it’s an anti-war and anti-politician song called ‘And The band Played Waltzing Matilda’

‘Money is the gift that is never returned; green is always the favourite colour; and large fits any pocket (James Ellroy

November 8, 2014

‘Good evening peepers, prowlers, pederasts, panty-sniffers, punks and pimps’ (Ellroy)…….a slightly different intro from usual…and, as my old mate, Arnold Brown used to say….’why not?’

So some of you will have seen the midweek blog which was all zombie, and this week is part zombie party and part James Ellroy, so if you like your blogs straight, Pringle-sweatered and the same fourball for golf every Sunday morning, this blog ain’t for you……(t850)

Let’s begin with the zombie party.

It started with much the same textual intercourse between me and the good Dr W as last week (Skippy, you did get clearance on that phrase, didn’t you?)….’You going to the zombie party?’…….’Dunno. You?’…..’Dunno.’ and ended eventually with ‘No, jt, you’re picking me up just before 8.’ And I did. 🙂

(There was a wee girl at W’s – a neighbour’s wee girl – who asked if I knew how to tie shoelaces, and I do, so I did.)

So we arrived. (Last?) And it was a very sober affair, which for me, just days short of being eight years sober and substance free, which was good. 🙂

Basically, fruit juice and nibbles, karaoke, a conga line through the snooker hall at M & D’s, men dancing with men, men flirting with men (Yes. I like you too, Ross, but……), women dancing with the men who……, the Time Warp, more karaoke, the Slosh, the Alley Cat, the plate smashing…(hang on, was there plate smashing?), did I see a cuddly toy? (yes), did I dance? (yes), was homage paid to the lovely Katie? (yes) and did all the ladies look gorgeous? (yes) 😀

So how good was the night?

Let’s just say I woke up with hangover and a framed photo of me as a zombie lying on the pillow beside me. That good. (No. Totally sober)

So I hope every zombie will forgive me if I pick three ppl from random for the success of last night; Jason for showing me some moves and shapes; George for asking me about the blog; and Zoe for being Zoe and you know what Zoe’s like when she’s Zoe – well she’s ‘just’ Zoe; and, of course, the gorgeous Dr W and her vegan plateful of onion rings and chips…….. 😀

A brilliant crowd and a brilliant night and if I can help with anything, just shout….:) 🙂 🙂

And then there was James Ellroy the night before. He is the world’s greatest ever living author and he has much influenced. My style. Of blog writing. But he doesn’t know that. Somewhere, in one of his books, he sums up what I liked about drinking – that moment when the ‘hot’ whisky trickled over the back of my throat. Orange juice will never be the same. 😦

His mum was murdered and they never found who done it; he stopped drinking and abusing Benzedrex inhalers when he was in his twenties; and he describes his attitude to the films made of his books as ‘Film studies can do what the fu*k they like to my books as long as they pay me.’

He very kindly inscribed a copy of the book to the good Dr W (in her Sunday name and with a good appreciation of her) and he spoke to folk for about a minute each at the signing. He describes his books as ‘being for the whole f*ckin’ family, if the name of your family is Manson.’

[Yes. It is a thick book, but it’ll be a good one. Can I borrow it after you?]

Two amazing nights in two amazing nights. What could top that? Answer to the usual address with the usual reply.

Another hero seen……brilliant writer….start with the Black Dahlia [unless you’ve just been given a book called Perfidia]

And finally. Homage to George in Cresswell and Co (hairdressing and beauty emporium) who is the only person in the entire world (other than Sandra) who I would trust with my hair. But see the girl (didn’t catch her name) who washed my hair – she also did a scalp massage. That, more than any coffee I drank on Saturday morning, woke me up…… 🙂

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? No. It’s a Remembrance poppy this week.

Johnt850 – ‘the slick trick with the donkey dick’ (Ellroy but……… 😉

Many years ago, I was the Promoter of the Goalden Shot for Clydebank Football Club and every three months I would attend the prize giving dance in the Hampden Lounge of the Bankies Social Club and this is how they would finish the night…….wonder if the Rocky Horror Show’s coming soon to Glasgow?

I love zombies. If any monster could Riverdance, it would be zombies (Craig Ferguson, who I used to know as Bing Hitler a long time ago)

November 5, 2014

And so dear listener, it started like many another Saturday. Except these days I’m not getting to the football that much. Partick Thistle are such a big club that the away matches are all ticket and I’m just not that organised.

There was some textual intercourse with the good Dr W. (Skippy, am I allowed to say that?).

Y’know the kind thing – ‘You going to be a zombie tonight?’ ‘Dunno. You?’ ‘Dunno.’ – and so uncertain as to what was happening I travelled out to Zombie HQ (M & D’s Theme Park at Strathclyde Park) thinking I’ll meet W in the car park and we can discuss what’s happening.

I arrived at the car park to be told, ‘Can’t get in, mate, there’s a Drive In movie tonight’ to which I replied, ‘But I’m a zombie,’…….’just park over there, mate,….you’ll be fine.’ And I was in. My fate had been decided. 😀

I went to the haunt, made up and got dressed. (I should point out that I had not fallen out with anyone and was not naked. I was adorned with latex and greasepaint and given scrubs to wear). W arrived a wee bit later. She had done her own make up which was smudged by a professional; she was wearing a strait-jacket (oh be still my beating heart); and her hair was at a Johnt angle. (say it out loud)

Very kindly we were assigned to the padded cell area together. And we both received injuries.

One of my tasks was to lean through an open window overlooking a dark corridor full of smoke. They’d had a scream already but this was their first test. I had to lean out and touch the heads of the punters and to the very tall women I touched as well, slightly inappropriately, can I say….tee-hee-hee…… 😉

All went well until one man (a grown older man) decided to pull me thru with a very strong grasp. He did enuff to scratch my arms badly and to make me bang my ribs…..W was pushed by a very strong wee boy into a wooden barrier and hurt her back……that was the downside. 😦

The upside was all the other paying punters. Basically it was £10 per head to hear about how some experiments had gone wrong and those being experimented upon had broken out – us – the Living Dead. 🙂

It was fun. Even the nerds who came in determined not to be afraid were a good laff. Listen up, cretins, we weren’t real. You were not proving yourself to anyone. You wasted £10.

Two faves. One was the woman who came in to the padded cell area crying out, Oh My God, Don’t Touch Me, Oh My God, Don’t Touch Me, Oh My God, Don’t Touch Me so I didn’t. Instead I leered at her all the way thru the padded cell and was there to meet her again in the autopsy room where I continued leering and all she could say was Oh My God, Don’t Touch Me, Oh My God, Don’t Touch Me, Oh My God, Don’t Touch Me.

And the other was another young lady who I happened to be leering at when I heard one of her friends say, ‘he’s taken a fancy to you, Bethany.’ I made it quickly thru to the autopsy room and when she came in I just looked at her and said ‘Beth——an—–nee, Beth—–an—nee’. She ran. Into the cages.

W made the point that a murder could have been carried out in almost perfect circumstances and she should know (No. No comment) and I thought we could invent Zombie Cluedo…but it would always be the zombie that done it.

There were guys who hid behind their women, clutching them and swinging them around as protection and, and, and oh so much more. We started at the back of six and finished just before midnight. At least me and W did. Remember the Drive In? It was about to start and W and I walked in front of it as I searched for my car and she went home; I found it by the simple expedient of pointing my key in all 360 degrees until it pinged. The remaining zombies were girding their loins. There was fresh blood in the car park. 🙂

For me the adventure was not over. I was let out the special zombie gate by the stewards and headed towards Glasgow – with my make-up still on. Terrified in case I was stopped. And I almost was. Just where the Garscube Road joins the Maryhill Road there was a major police incident (dangerous building?) and I turned my head away (as you do when you’ve maybe had a drink but in my case the last one I had was just under eight years ago). I drove past. I didn’t go into any food takeaways on the way home but I might have been okay with a fillet o’ fish from Maccy D’s Drive Thru – the clown on a bad trip.

I texted W to say I was Home Safe – my hand was shaking so much I managed just the first two letters – I’ve been apologising ever since – and I washed off the latex and make-up. And fell asleep about 2.30 and awoke the next morning ‘bout 7. I showered and it was like rivers of blood running down the plughole. A brilliant experience.

It’s the zombie night out this Friday – smart but casual zombies

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? No, but one woman did bit my neck.

Johnt850. Awaiting the next challenge, Dr W…….

A major big thanks goes to Mark and Katie who organised the whole thing. We were all volunteers doing something simply for the concept of fun. I/we only did a couple of runs and would love to have done more.

It was a smashing team effort with people I certainly didn’t know but came to trust. In the smoke and darkness. It’s really difficult to pay tribute to all involved without a speck of dust getting in my eye. Many thanks and keep us posted……and amazingly well done.

This is Roky Erikson – not lyrically his most challenging but maybe it could be our anthem?