Sunday, 28 September 2008
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Sprawl over your seat, ensuring you're in a comfortable position to speak to your mate in a similar position in the seat behind you - or in some cases across from you, whichever causes most inconvenience for other non-student passengers.
If you are travelling alone, ensure your bag, haversack, tent, rucksack etc. sits on the seat next to you rather than in the luggage rack at the front of the bus. This will ensure other passengers trying to get to work (look it up in the dictionary if you're unsure) will have to ask you to move your luggage.
If a passenger does ask you to remove said item, look at him/her with vacant eyes and mouth suitably open. Do not engage in conversation, grunt if need be and ensure they are aware of your anger at the inconvenience they have caused you by requiring a seat.
If an elderly passenger comes on, don't give up the seat which states it should be a priority for older people. They shouldn't be out at this time of the day anyway, they've got all day to go and collect their pension so don't give up your seat unless the fascist bus driver instructs you to do so.
In addition to taking up two seats by yourself, ensure your IPod is at full blast, thus creating more discomfort for passengers. A handy tip for female students is to have the most irritating pop song for years - 'I Kissed a Girl' by Katy Perry at maximum volume so those passengers who switch off their radios whenever this 'song' comes on are subjected to it's full banality.
Make sure your mobile phone is switched on and has a hugely irritating ring tone. Remember to talk as loud and as obtrusively as you can and make as many phone calls as you can to cause maximum annoyance.
If the bus is busy and none of the self-centred passengers will bother to give you and your bag a seat, ignore the signs on the bus and stand at the front of the vehicle. Disregard the instructions from the fascist bus driver to 'move along to the back of the bus' and remain at the front, thus ensuring on-coming passengers have to squeeze past you and your haversack to secure a decent standing position.
If you've had a particularly heavy evening at the students union the night before, you can belch, burp, fart and exhale disgusting odours at will. This has the added bonus of putting other passengers off the idea of sitting next to you, therefore enabling you to keep your haversack/bag on the seat next to you.
And, finally, when getting off remember to press the bell but don't move from your seat until the bus has stopped and the fascist driver is anxiously looking over his shoulder for who wants off. This will cause maximum disruption to the driver and his/her passengers making their journey as difficult as possible.
Which is the main aim of you using the bus in the first place....
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
I've ranted before about Midlothian Council's shambolic attempts to get its citizens to recycle. Red box for papers (but not envelopes) and black box for bottles, jars and plastic (although plastic cartons mustn't have the lids on) And remember to wash the rubbish before you put it out...
But here's something to consider:
If you had purchased £1000 of Northern Rock shares one year ago it would now be worth £4.95.
With HBOS, earlier this week your £1000 would have been £16.50 £1,000 invested in XL Leisure would now be worth less £5
If you bought £1000 worth of Tennents Lager one year ago, drank it all, then took the empty cans to an aluminium re-cycling plant, you would get £214.
So based on the above statistics the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and re-cycle.
I'm off to hug a tree...
Sunday, 21 September 2008
George W. Bush: I have put a significant amount of taxpayer dollars on the line to ensure the chicken crosses the road in the interests of democracy. But I'm convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative. The fact there are significant oil reserves on the other side of the road has absolutely nothing to do with my decision. Yo!
David Cameron: We’ve made our position on this issue absolutely clear. If the chicken wishes to cross the road, it should cross at the pedestrian crossing where it is safe to do so. Unless there’s a political party leader cycling the wrong way down a one-way street and ignoring red lights…
Alex Salmond: There is absolutely no doubt the chicken would be far better off cross the road to independence. The benefits for the chicken and its chicks would be enormous with an independent Scotland free from the shackles of Westminster.
Boris Johnson: Cripes! I, er, should, er , warn the chicken that there is a history of chief-killing across the road with the chicken liable to be sacrificed. And beware of Jamie Oliver. In any case my wife is cooking chicken casserole tonight. Hmm!
Noel Edmonds: The banker is in belligerent mood and has offered the chicken £13,500 to stay where it is. The question the chicken has to answer is whether it should cross the road and gamble on whether there is £250,000 worth of chicken feed in that box over there. I can’t influence the chicken in any way but I would stress it does not need to use part of this money to go into the post office across the road and pay its television licence fee.
George Michael: I refused to cross the road for years but ever since I did I feel kind of liberated, you know? And the public conveniences over here are quite superb - what a line up. You even get help to zip you up before you go-go…
Sir Moir Lockhead: There is no danger of the chicken being run over by any of the First Bus fleet. If it crosses the road now it’s perfectly safe to do so. Despite the fact there is a bus due at this moment in time we don’t expect it to appear for at least another ten minutes, if at all…
Friday, 19 September 2008
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
So, with all this doom and gloom, I've lapsed into grumpy old man mode tonight. I need cheering up. It's all very well for some people to say there are some people worse off. I don't doubt there are but that doesn't make me feel any better on this woeful Wednesday. My glass isn't so much half empty as totally devoid of any alcohol...
Monday, 15 September 2008
From the BBC News Website.
Some news items simply take your breath away. The above item was part of a story in today's news which underlines how ignorance is king in today's increasingly dumbed-down society. That Central Scotland Police have to make a statement to the media urging people not to dial 999 unless it's an emergency beggars belief. As well as the BBC item, the same story on STV reported that someone dialled 999 after the pizza he had delivered had a slice missing.
Ned culture dominates society today and no one seems able to challenge it. Respect, tolerance, dignity and decency are the exception rather than the rule. Common sense, it seems, is also lacking in many people although I'm not just talking about ordinary members of society here, I'm also pointing my accusing finger at politicians and local authority employees among others.
Although I'm no great fan of the boys and girls in blue, I do have a fair degree of sympathy for those in the front line. Dealing with wasters who dial 999 for ridiculous reasons must test their patience to the full. Surely something can be done to punish those perpetrators? Is wasting police time no longer a crime?
Got to go - there's the pizza delivery man at my door. And coming after him is a woman who looks as if she's been splashed by a puddle...
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Presenter Noel Edmonds has stopped paying his TV licence fee as he does not like the BBC's "threatening" manner towards those who evade the charge. "Auntie's put boxing gloves on. I'm so incensed by the idea that I'm guilty of something that I actually cancelled my licence fee a few months ago," he said. No organisation would threaten him, he added. "They haven't found me, and nobody's come knocking on the door." From the BBC News Website
The arrogance of this irritating, talentless 'merchant banker' takes my breath away. Years ago, when the BBC thought Noel Edmonds had talent, we had to part with hard-earned cash to pay our licence fee to fund inane drivel such as Noel's House Party and Mr Fecking Blobby. Edmonds is to light entertainment what Russell Brand is to the George W. Bush Fan Club.
From his early days as the most annoying DJ on BBC Radio 1 - in the true tradition of Smashy and Nicey - to his cringe worthy, patronising hosting of Deal or No Deal - forty-five minutes of people opening empty boxes - Edmonds has always been full of his own importance. He is so far up is own backside I'm surprised he sees daylight.
So I make this plea to the authorities. Edmonds is blatantly breaking the law, refusing to do what the majority of the people do in this country without a fuss. Don't fine him £1,000. Send him straight to jail. I'd like to see him try and deal out of that...
Monday, 8 September 2008
She proceeded to show me her new dress which she purchased from some boutique or other (she gave me a puzzled look when I mentioned the word boutique - another remnant from the 1970s) I say dress but it looked little more than a medium size handkerchief to me. It became a health hazard because I damn near choked on my stodgy macaroni when she told me she spent £60 on it. True, it's silk, Yes, it's a nice dark red colour (and anything close to maroon gets my approval) But sixty notes?
Therein lies one of the many differences between men and women. Given £60 to spend there's no way on Earth I would splash the dosh on one item of clothing. £60 would give me a good evening at the pub with some pals; pay to see Hearts play away from home, if you include the cost of a match ticket, travel, beer etc; a couple of tickets to see a decent gig (Ally Kerr is playing in Glasgow at the end of this month - this boy is a fantastic musical talent); or a fine afternoon's entertainment at the races (there's a meeting at Musselburgh a week today - the holiday Monday)
But my darling daughter doesn't see it this way. She spends three score on a flimsy dress that barely covers her ar...artic regions. Still, being a dutiful father, I'm prepared to put my ageing opinions to one side and tell her how wonderful she looks in it. After all, it's a father's duty to give his children as much praise, support and encouragement as possible.
And if you happen to read this, Michaela, I'll need a lift home from work tomorrow...
Saturday, 6 September 2008
The World Cup starts today. At least, the qualifying stages do for Scotland and the other 'home countries' and the Scots face a hazardous trip to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Searing temperatures and a hostile environment will greet George Burley's men and my natural pessimistic tendencies when it comes to all things football - forty years of following Heart of Midlothian does that to a man - means I'd happily settle for a draw this afternoon. And, hopefully, take three points from Iceland on Wednesday.
It's a sign of the times, however, that today's 'crucial game' - every game is seemingly crucial to the media - is not being shown on terrestrial television. Not even recorded highlights as the clock heads for midnight as used to be the case. This is because Setanta Sports, in their bid to rival Sky Sports world domination attempt, have exclusive rights to Scotland's away games in the qualifying stages of the World Cup. Now I can take a self-centred view here and chortle loudly as I have been a subscriber to Setanta for more than a year now and for barely more than a crisp ten pound note each month I'd say it's a pretty good deal, particularly as SPL and English Premiership games are included in the price. But I do feel some sympathy for those who haven't subscribed to the Irish satellite channel and would be eager to see how the Scots do today.
It's a far cry from Scotland's memorable qualifying campaigns of the 1970s. No satellite television coverage then and I still vividly recall watching Scotland defeat Czechoslovakia 2-1 at Hampden in 1973. STV covered that game 'live' in an age when very few games were covered live at all on television - not even the cup final. The legendary Arthur Montford was the commentator that evening and he was quite brilliant. His shouts of 'watch your back Denis' when Denis Law was about to be challenged by a Czechoslovak player were memorable. Scotland's triumph took them to the World Cup Finals in West Germany in 1974 - their first appearance at a finals in sixteen years.
Four years later, it was the BBC's Archie 'Woof' Macpherson who damn near fell out of the commentary gantry at Anfield when Kenny Dalglish scored the winner against Wales which meant Scotland qualified for the World Cup Finals in Argentina in 1978. Although given what was to happen in South America perhaps it might have been better if they hadn't bothered...Archie's emotive 'there's Buchan on the overlap' and 'there's Dalglish, oh what a goal!!' still send tingles down my spine. Although his 'a penalty if ever there was one' when Joe Jordan handled the ball in the Welsh penalty box and the referee somehow gave a penalty to Scotland was, to say the least, patriotic.
I don't know who'll be commentating for Setanta this afternoon although given they're also covering the Northern Ireland and England games (six hours of footy, wha-hey!) I hope it's not some English non-entity who won't have the passion of Messrs. Montford and Macpherson.
And, I suspect, he won't be wearing a checked jacket....
Thursday, 4 September 2008
From the BBC News website.
I have to say I have a degree of sympathy for Mohammadu Bello. I mean, at 84, he's probably had a hard life. Now, in his twilight years, he nips out for a game of dominoes with his pals and is a wee bit late back. So he gets 'What time do you call this?' not once but 86 times.
He has 170 children. 170! I find it tough with just two and sometimes struggle to understand my daughters (like the majority of the female species I don't think I'll ever understand them)
But the worse part of this is the fact he has 172 mothers-in-law. Just think what the late, lamented Les Dawson could have done with that...
Monday, 1 September 2008
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos...
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer. Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags and we went round the streets on Go-carts made from old pram wheels & bits of wood. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, or Subway. Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on Sundays, somehow we didn't starve to death...We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this. We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......we were always outside playing. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were okay. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY, no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........we had friends...
We went outside and found them. We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. Only girls had pierced ears. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...
We were given catapults for our 10th birthdays, we rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them. Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet. Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bully's always ruled the playground at school. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. A burly policeman would clip you round the ear and our parents actually sided with the law...
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And YOU are one of them! Congratulations! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.