Archive for March, 2016

A Fragrance So Tempting That Even Angels Will Sin For Its Heavenly Masculinity (Lynx Excite)

March 31, 2016

So I’ve started to use that as a ‘refreshing shower gel’ and intend to keep the manufacturers (and you dear listener) up to speed as to whether it actually does what it says on the outside just above the ingredients. 😉

No. No alcohol and just a little in the Listerine. That I can cope with.

And dear listener, I know I come across as someone who hires in men (or women) when a job needs doing but was there any need for Mary, my neighbour, when I was out planting some interesting herbs, for her to say to her daughter (ages with Son Brian), ‘Go and get the camera. Johnt’s working in the garden.’? 😦

I do do things for myself. I go to supermarkets. After a very refreshing visit to the Burgh of Paisley (and let’s hear it for 2021) I went to Morrisons at Anniesland. The group of women in front of me had not seen the cashier for ages and so I was regaled (sp) with such amazing snippets of conversation as;

‘It was then he had his leg cut off’ and ‘No. She didn’t know she was pregnant until the wean popped out.’

I don’t normally listen to such conversations but the man behind me (clasping baby to chest) was refereeing a potential argument between two silver haired ladies as to whether one of them had the right to leave her trolley, go away and get another item and then regain her place in the queue. Suddenly the Middle East becomes relatively simple.

And j, thank you for that ringing endorsement of my driving and e, I’ve still to tell her about Alderman Road but maybe I won’t bother now. But I will say one thing to j; the water in the lagoon is blue – I repeat – the water in the lagoon is blue…….. but the colour of my new blonds will be Buttermist. I’ve done it again!!!!!!!!!! That typo!!!!!!!!! It’s happened again!!!!! Look at your keyboard!!!!! I’m leaving it in………. 😀 😀 😀

And speaking of e, I went solo with Holly last week. (Skippy, it’s okay to say that isn’t it?) E had been called away and I had been entrusted with Holly and the front door key (spare). And you know those faux-comic (sometimes I feel more West End than Summerston) films where you see an owner being pulled along by the dog – well it ain’t that funny.

My thanks to Kenny the Shed Pimp for helping to slow things down just before the Botanic Gardens and to all who asked; both small black plastic bags were used and I was panicking in case a third (which I didn’t have) was needed. I mean what do you do then? Leave a wee sign saying, ‘I’ll be back.’ In a butch voice. 🙂

No. I didn’t let her off the lead. Something about it not being the end of the season yet. Didn’t know Holly was a football fan. But Holly took a real good selfie which I let a couple of people see including Jenny H (and I hope the mock Veeeeeeeeva went well – Elvis and the Dead Kennedys know how to pronounce these things) and her difficulty in telling me and Holly apart led me to decide to go and get my hair cut. Which I would never attempt on my own. 🙂

And I went to the dentist on my own. This is the dentist that was recommended by BBC Al, the blog’s bad taste pal, and his wife. And I love the picture of my mouth on the computer screen. And it is sooooo nice to go to a dentist that is not an offshoot of what seems to be Pineapple Studios. 😦

And t850 Towers is slowly taking shape. And people are slowly being invited over to enjoy its delights and  its new patio furniture – which Kenny the Shed Pimp will assemble for me – and curtains………soon time.

And finally, in a few weeks’ time, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs will take place in New York. It’s looking for an ‘integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem’ and, whilst I won’t be reporting from there, I will keep you up to date with any significant developments. And whilst decriminalisation is on the menu, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Cya, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple.

Johnt850, and if it sounds fantastic, it is fantastic.

And so, I did watch The Line Manager. And I have to say that The House Manager was a powerful piece of drama and played good homage to the works of John Le Carre whose novels have disappeared from my back bedroom and, yes, Le Carre did play a cameo role as the man who ordered the lobster salad that annoyed Corky so much and two of his sons were exec prods on the whole venture. 🙂

And the writing was good but the best bit of writing for me came when the real star of The Night Manager (Olivia Colman as the spymaster) spoke to David Harewood and there were two lines about her pregnancy not being a cover cos she really was pregnant. That was skilled writing, brilliantly delivered. 😀

It was on a par with a line from Grease when the John Travolta character says to the Olivia Newton John character that ‘you can’t walk out of a drive-in movie.’

Last week I played Fast Car (Skippy, is that the right title?). I should have played this. I mean I can’t be the only man who wants to slick back his hair, pull his collar up a la the Fonze and do ALL the actions to this. Can I? Go Greased Lightning!!!!!!!

Sexual connotation? Where?

There are no ships on the Paisley Canal (anon)

March 24, 2016

And so dear listener, once upon a time, I would have said I was currently living in a bomb site, but we now see, so often, pictures of real bomb sites both far away and close to home that that is a poor use of language. Many of the dead do not wear military uniforms but are people like you and me on their way to work or having a coffee or whatever.

Please always remember tho’, that when you see someone re-post something from Britain First or similar or agree with Trump that we’d be better without Muslims, you are doing Daesh’s work for them – you are promoting division and hatred which is what they want. That, and recruits for their bastard cause.

They are losing on the battlefield. This is why they are turning their attention to our streets more than ever before. This is neither the work nor the thoughts of the Prophet. These are extremists using a faith, a religion, for their own horrible aims.

Pause for reflection.

No. There is a painter in my house. Called Jed. Who, amongst other things, is doing ceilings I would never contemplate doing. He confirmed on Tuesday night that he would be here on Thursday and Friday and is doing the entire Top Wing (it seems) so piles of stuff, including some jolly interesting stuff I’d obtained on Inter Library Loan which I will read before assigning it to a shelf somewhere, is all over the floors of the rest of t850Towers. 🙂

The colour I chose for the back bedroom wall – the office that is the hub of my multi-million empire? Soft gazelle. It looks much the same as some others of that pastel ilk but I like the name. 🙂

This made it difficult for the blind man (not a blind man as in the blind man and the nun gag – nor a blond man as in a typo I keep making) but a man come to measure for new blinds. The existing ones went in when I moved in some twenty-five years ago and are now dangerous. He seems to know what he’s doing.

J and I had a very pleasant day out on Monday but at one point I got a voicemail explaining that the blind man wouldn’t be over on Tuesday as promised because, according to the female voice that left the message, he had had vomiting and diarrohea (sp) – way too much information – so when he did come over I felt I couldn’t look him in the face. Or indeed anywhere else.

Interesting place, Paisley. I was walking past a semi-bungalow the other day, when I noticed a full Star Wars Star-trooper’s costume in a bay window. I may have told someone that it was a Jedi warrior’s. Too much coffee.

And then I was shown an interesting brick house out the back of a backyard. No. Not that type of brick house but an old brick building in disrepair where they, presumably, built up some kinda heating in order to help dry clothes if the weather was not good.

Either that or for smoking fish……’I may have smoked some things in my time but never fish’ a strange voice said in my ear just now.

And finally, I was going to tell you a wee bit more about the adventure J and I went on on Monday, just past, but I’ve run out of space…altho’ I did meet someone who I had not seen since my BBC days and who I want to catch up with soon time (and he’s a guy).

Many highlights, but one of the bestest was talking to a volunteer cleaner man carefully dusting what looked like very old furniture in Pollok House, who explained to us that he had only just realised that it was reproduction as the nipples on the lady had been fondled away……..or did I pick that up wrong? Anyway, it seemed to make his day. 🙂

Cya, still wearing that badge and keeping it simple

Johnt850, described recently as a non-smoking fag……

So, as I’ve mentioned to some folk I’ve been to the doctor – nothing to do with the bowel cancer fright of a couple of weeks ago but a general sense of rundown-ness. Don’t get me wrong. I can walk for miles, do a proper job of work with the homeless and run around with my grand-daughter with no problem but it’s not my usual sense of energy.

So blood tests were done and everything is dine; kidneys and liver and blood-sugar levels and no signs of diabetes and my separate PSA test for my prostate cancer is 0.9, which is good.

So I will go back and will ask to speak to a nutritionist. Am I maybe falling into the habits of five or six years ago and just going through a stock range of dishes for eating on my own? The original decision to go pescatarian was never for ethical or medical reasons.  Maybe it’s time to re-think that policy. We’ll see.

So I was very pleased with my Clio the other day – drove the road and the miles to Pollok from Paisley really good and avoiding traffic islands (No. No reason but please no-one mention Alderman Road which was much worse than the incident coming out of the Clyde Tunnel) So here’s a wee piece of music purely for it and every passenger who’s fallen in love with the two sunroofs.

The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book (Frye)

March 17, 2016

And so, dear listener, I start off this week’s show with a confession; I currently have no Facebook on my phone and I have no idea what to do about it. I still have it on laptop and tablet and all I had to do is un-install it (after an upgrade), and then re-install it and I do get a big green tick to say job done but it still doesn’t come up. I’ll go to the Blackberry shop in Great Western Road when I next go to the dentist – which isn’t that far away. 🙂

The date, that is. Not the dentist. Who was suggested to me by two Facebook friends when I needed a new one – dentist that is, not a new Facebook friend. It’s in Great Western Road as well. The guy who works there (see my Facebook page for the Blackberry shop – not the dentist) hasn’t quite got to the stage of saying, ‘Oh, it’s you…..’ of blessed memory (which does, when I think about it, suggest at least one previous meeting of some import), but he does smile graciously and does stuff with his fingers and asks me to put in a password, which I can never remember but it is in my computer in a folder that used to be called Kleenex Tissues (No. No reason) 😉

So where was I? Sorry, I was night shift last night and to a certain extent I’m procrastinating. Y’see, the next item on the yellow Post-It that is my equivalent of the Filofax (BBC crest) I once had, is my first attempt at writing my first SVQ reflective account. (I wonder where that now is – my Filofax; not my first SVQ reflective account cos it doesn’t exist yet).

I need chocolate. Give me a minute. Why don’t they make chocolate covered Haribos with a caffeine shot? That’d be good. There’s wired and there’s Haribo-wired. 😀 😀 😀

Y’see a few days ago, I was able to give j, the blog’s favest Adventurer, directions – not with a Geo- locator or Sat Nav or some strange app(lication) but by using one of Glasgow’s best known landmarks – Watt Bros – and it put a real smile on my face. Y’know where you are with Watt Bros.

That very underplayed Hyperlink address takes you straight there, as do many buses, but I would normally take the train from Summerston to Queen Street except I am now about to be unable to do so, as they’re closing Queen Street High Level for many months as they build a bigger tunnel. Build a bigger tunnel and they will beat a path to your door. 🙂

Re-establishing my links with Facebook on my phone is not a priority; and whilst the SVQ style of writing is not my style, for the first one, all I have to do is write a draft and take it from there.

Y’know, Holly, I feel so much better now (OMG! I have just spoken to a real dog that is not here, as opposed to an invisible bush kangaroo who I think is downstairs).

And finally, I was going to talk about a colleague and friend who recently had a vasectomy but I had to cut it for reasons of space………suggestions please for a child-friendly punchline – other than mine – gratefully received….and no, it’s not a way of me describing me……

Cya, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple – like Watt Bros.

Johnt850 with everything in working order

I’ve just apologised to Skippy for talking to Holly…….life can be soooooooooo complicated.

A few weeks ago, I said that the two most asked questions I got were ‘do you still get cravings?’ (and I think they mean alcohol and not meat – but the answer is ‘no’ to either) and ‘do you have any male friends?’ (I’ll get back to you on that one – but, yes, Holly’s a bitch)

The third most asked question is ‘who is Skippy?’ Obviously there is a loose link to another Skippy, a well-known but real bush kangaroo who had a brilliant TV series (and they got through four Skippys plus stand-ins) and tbh, I have no real idea how she got incorporated into the blog but as I approach the eighth anniversary of the blog, and therefore, the eight anniversary of my sandblasting (or radiotherapy as some traditionalists would call it) but not the first half of my treatment which took place before the radiotherapy, which is why I refer to it as the first half…..I thought I’d explain just a wee something about Skippy.

Yes. Often, there are regular references to individual people such as j, e and rrm (there’s an anagram for you – possibly Swedish with an umlaut) and irregular references to others – all of whom are remarkably receptive to being used in the blog but always with pseudonyms.

And, indeed, one week I was not well and Skippy wrote the blog which included the brilliant line (in an Ozzie accent), ‘that was some Sheila on the phone claiming to be your sister.’ 🙂

Y’see, you are all Skippy. Whenever I’ve needed someone, you’ve been there – but I’ve not always named you and sometimes it’s simply been a response, for example, on Facebook and I’ve always tried to say thanks, in person, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes the other person is ‘too busy’ to meet – which is a shame – or it may be just a nice way of saying ‘I’ve never really liked you jt,’or’ you’re no longer useful to me.’ That’s life……..but negotiations are well in hand with some folk and I did enjoy meeting Missie K’s mum a wee while back and occasionally it’s been me seeing flat tyres where they don’t exist….a metaphor for life. But not mine.

But at times of despair, but never depression, Skippy’s been there. Who’s your invisible friend that you rely on – cos you can. No matter how many aphorisms and sayings you re-post on Facebook, Skippy talks me to me individually. And that’s so much better.

What? Sixty-one going on sixty-two but why do you ask?

It might be stretching things to describe Skippy as my ‘own personal Jesus’ but here’s Johnny Cash singing about his.

So I looked for a good rhubarb quote and couldn’t fine one other than a very long Groucho Marx quote (jt850)

March 11, 2016

And so dear listener, I am beginning this blog without the benefit of a working server. Something strange seemed to happen this morning when I got back in just before 11 o’clock. In case you wonder where I’d been, I’d been out. A notice on my phone told me I had no wi-fi access, my landline phone had a voice mail message telling me I’d no messages and my printer wanted to me to print a calibration page. Plus various house and car alarms were going off in the neighbourhood. 😦

Also the CD player had been switched off. Yes. I still have a CD player and CDs;

  1. They are easier to swop than downloads and
  2. Charity and second hand shops do not sell downloads.
  3. You cannot scrape the ice off a car with a download.

At the time I worried. It was as if the electricity in the neighbourhood had been switched off and come back on. I have seen too much Sci-fi in my time but things settled down and when I investigated, my wi-fi connection was still strong but there was no contact with the DNS server. Whatever. 😦

Now, like most people I can access various things through my phone but I had editing work to return or to acknowledge or Paypals to send or my SVQ stuff to research or……….when this blog is finished I need access to WordPress to send it……Ten years ago I might have had a drink to help me calm down (Yes. Even that early.) but an incident on Thursday night reminded me why I am off it. 😦

This has happened to me once before.

I had bought two individual panna cottas and had checked the ingredients for glutens (No. No reason) and meat (unlikely but you never know) and was happy. So I decided to eat one. It had been a hard day. After the second mouthful, I realised I was experiencing a taste I had not experienced for a long time so I checked the list of ingredients and there, quite far down the list, was alcohol. I threw them both out as a strange sensation went down my throat and through my body…….the heat that alcohol can bring. 🙂

My body felt weird and I decided against driving. (Yes. I had nowhere to go but I once before I had had a desire for munchies during a paracetamol high and made the mistake of getting into my car and just sitting there – realising I was about to do something wrong but didn’t). Not long after that it hit my head and a headache began. 😦

In a way that’s quite reassuring – to realise that my body reacts the way it did. And yes, I did send out some e-mails UTI but they seemed fine the next morning. Hopefully. 🙂

James Ellroy, the great American author, once described perfectly what that first drink once meant for me.

It.Is.The.Heat.Of.The.Whisky.Going.Down.The.Back.Of.Your.Throat.Slowly….very slowly. But this time I didn’t like it.

Let’s have a joke.

How do you know when Will Smith has been in the snow outside your house? Fresh prints.

And another one?

A man walks into a bar with a piece of tarmac under his arm. He says, ‘one drink for me and another for the road.’

Y’see, I was going to start off with something else. Myself and J were beginning to indulge in one of those annoying in-gags that sometimes permeate the blog and put people off as some casual readers don’t know what is going on. But, at the beginning of the week, the English, fascist, Tory, right wing reactionary government issued some guidelines for England and Wales saying that primary school pupils would only get credit for using exclamation marks in sentences beginning with ‘what’ or ‘how’. I think that is as in,

‘What a stupid idea!’ Or ‘How vibrant the rhubarb looks!’

Now I do agree that social media sees far too many exclamation marks (lol) and therefore, their effectiveness is reduced but could they not just give some guidance rather than take marks off?

There are no rules in grammar (and apart from anything else, there are no punishments) but there are conventions but even they, often, do not stand up to scrutiny. Why does it matter if you split n infinitive?

But I’ll maybe stop the in-gags for a while. Government snoopers could be listening.

And finally, the editing season is upon me. I can still get out but the midnight hours are burned. But I don’t mind. Apart from the money, I genuinely feel I’m helping students in a way busy tutors aren’t always able to. The thing is I’m not allowed to comment on content but sometime it’s difficult not to. What I do then, and did on this occasion, is to say ‘I’m not too sure that, statistically, you’ve got the best out of your work in the way that you’ve presented it. Why not go see your tutor and have a chat.’ To which the answer came back, ‘I have done and she’s happy.’ 😦

I had put over forty odd suggestions in the comments section down the side of the page. I just hope she’s never my doctor.

Cya, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple

Johnt850, still glancing at the wee wi-fi indicator on the bar below. And, hang on, I’ve just been told that a mail I sent about an hour ago has got through. That must mean…….and yes, it is. It’s back on and fingers crossed, it stays on.

I was going to do something serious about cancer in this bit but like rhubarb and editing, it’ll always be with us. Maybe next week?

I saw this man a few months ago. He goes by the name of Withered Hand. He’s rather good and I’d quite like to see him again.

I know words. I have the best words (Donald Drumpf)

March 4, 2016

And so, dear listener, in a week when Donald Drumpf gets closer to getting his finger on the nuclear button, but not as close as the North Korean President, and we discuss the ins and outs of Brexit (what a horrible word), there are only certain questions I need to ask this week;

Why is it not possible to get a return ticket for the Glasgow area which would let me go to work on the Thursday night and go home on the Friday morning? Not only that, but it turned out that the cheapest way of travelling was to buy day returns rather than singles and that saved me 20p on each journey and that was without my pass, which applies at only certain times.

And why, possibly a direct result of last week’s news about me NOT having bowel cancer, did I go to sleep straight after that night shift* and missed the call from the BBC to take part in a programme following good news of yet another breakthrough in cancer treatment?

*Cos I was knackered, that’s why.  😦

I’m told by BBC producer Steve Hollywood that it was a good item anyway – without me. This is BBC Steve who once told me that I’d taught him everything he knew and five minutes later did things in digital editing that I could only dream about. I think my son, who did a school work experience with the BBC, could do more in the way of digital editing than me. 🙂

(Steve I still remember that time, after a BBC night out, when I woke up (in my own bed) with over £600 of cash and IOUs.)

And does anyone out there remember a BBC TV programme called ‘What’s My Line?’? I do but I think it’s one of those implanted memory syndromes. It was in black and white and a panel, which included Lady Isobel Barnett and Sir Gilbert Harding (dressed in tiaras and tuxedos), had to guess the occupation of a member of the public from their actions.

J, the blog’s favest librarian; my first guess would have been a baker kneading dough; my second a fish porter; and my third would have been someone working in Post Office Parcels Counter – which considering I know your profession doesn’t say a lot about me minutes before I go on shift. Yes. Your mime was a librarian. I can see it all now. 😉

Incidentally, a private message, if I may to j. I’ll see your five and raise it to six!!!!!!

And why, when Holly the dog starts to play with other dogs, am I the only person thinking, ‘Oh my God, it’s a fight.’ ‘No, jt, they’re only playing.’ Sometimes, after a long walk, my legs feel as small as the daschund (?) in that insurance ad.

And am I watching too much daytime TV and in particular, antique programmes? (No. Not very old programmes but programmes about antiques) or does everyone else in my position find themselves shouting, ‘No. That’s too much for a monkey on a stick. Buy the spoons!’

Sorry, what was the question?

And finally, I was intrigued by the tabloid headline ‘Codgers on coke’ which referred to claims that two pensioners had to be kicked out of a charity event after claims they snorted cocaine in a toilet. Well, why shouldn’t they? Okay there are many reasons including the legal aspect of it all but substance use ain’t ever been the preserve of the young. 🙂

I may have been ‘alcohol only’ in my student days but cannabis started floating about the West End of Glasgow in the mid-seventies (unless you were some form of Bohemian, jazzy, painter, thespian type) One pub in Byres Road, in particular, was big a draw for people wearing curlers….but that was fifty years ago. In just the same way that not everyone who drinks becomes dependent on the stuff, not everyone who smokes, jags or pops pills becomes drug dependent.

That ‘grassy’ smell at the Beach Boys concert? That’s my generation, that is. 😉

Cya, honestly still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple.

Johnt850, more questions than answers sometimes…….

So a guy called Tony Warren died during the week. Two aspects of his life stand out for me.

First he was openly gay at a time when gayness was illegal. But it’s strange. I knew quite a few guys who were homosexual, but they never formally ‘came out’. Rather they quietly said ‘No, jt, I don’t fancy her. I’m more interested in men, myself.’…and it was accepted.

So when Sam Smith stands up making pronouncements about homosexuality and racial discrimination as if it were all completely new he shows a complete lack of respect for all those who have gone before him.

I now know many people and their friends and families at various ends of the rainbow spectrum that is LGBTI and one of the most diverse groups of people I have ever known (from that point of view) were those amazing Zombies of just over a year ago now. 😀

Tony’s other achievement was to bring working class life to the TV screen when it had never been there (in any great depth) before. He came up with the idea of Coronation Street and had to persuade TV bosses to give the idea a thirteen week run – and it’s still here today. What an amazing tribute to an amazing guy. 🙂

So at a time in my life when others were influenced by Hendrix and YES and ELP I really liked the sounds (and hairstyles – ah those fringes) of bands like this. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lindisfarne;