Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Picture of Happiness


A rare thing on this blog, admittedly. However, my soon to be 5 year old grand daughter Hannah hasn't a care in the world. Bless her...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Olympics Begin...


...with a spectacular opening ceremony which impressed even an old cynic like me. Even if the Queen did appear to be picking her fingernails at one point, a German official looked like he was giving a Nazi salute as the German team made their entrance and Paul McCartney's performance confirmed what most of us have known for some time - he should have retired years ago.

If anyone is attending the actual games themselves, have fun - just don't bother taking a Burger King meal or a bottle of Pepsi with you.

Let the commercialism begin!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Another Thought for Another Day


At the end of a long, dark tunnel a shaft of light shines...

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

So I Went to the Doctor...

...or rather, the doctor came to me.

Regular readers of these rants might have guessed I'm not the healthiest of men. Not that I'm one to complain, of course. Which made it all the more surprising to receive the following - unsolicited, I might add - email from a company called PrivateMeds:

Dear Mr Mike Smith

Acne, anxiety, ear ache, cough? Bowel problems, sore throat, period pains, nasty rash? Need a prescription only treatment for your hay fever?

Whatever is bothering you, PrivateMeds now offer a consultation service with a UK registered GP. For a consultation fee of just £20 we will take you through a series of questions tailored to your symptoms which are designed to gather all the information our GP needs. If he needs any further information you will be contacted securely through the PrivateMeds website. The doctor will then consider your case and provide you with any appropriate medical advice or treatment you need.

If you need the views of an experienced GP act now and click to find out more about our online GP consultation now.

If you have any questions about our service, please e-mail us at customercare@privatemeds.co.uk or call us on 0845 803 9033 where you can speak to customer service between the hours of 9.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday

Thank you once again for using PrivateMeds.


Customer Care
PrivateMeds Limited


I must say, I have suffered most of the above ailments - even the period pains, albeit indirectly. Now I need to consider if spending £20 is a good 'investment' or whether PrivateMeds is just another rip-off company, capitalising on people's ill-health.

I might be swayed, particularly as a recent survey among health professionals found the majority were against proposed changes to the National Health Service. A snapshot of this survey found that:

Dermatologists advised against any rash moves;

Neurologists thought any changes would take a lot of nerve;

Ophthalmologists deemed such a move short-sighted;

Radiologists could see right through the idea;

Urologists were p***ed off with the suggestion;

And a leading pathologist argued 'over my dead body'


Perhaps I need to see a psychiatrist....



Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Monday, 16 July 2012

Getting Older...

The good news is Sylvester the cat can no longer be arsed...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Book for All Men...

...aside from Hearts 50 Greatest Games, due out on 1 August.

How about this lengthy tome?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow...


'Just take a seat, sir' the young lass said in the barber's shop in downtown Dalry. 'I'll be with you in a minute'.

Pleased at being afforded such courtesy - and, believe me, this is becoming an all too rare occurrence these days  - I sat back in the large, black chair and noticed the girl in question strategically placing the 'Pensioners £5' sign in a prominent position on the shop window. I stared at my unbecoming features in the large mirror in front of me and reached a swift and inescapable conclusion.

Bloody, hell, my mother was right - I do look old.

It's been a trying year for the Auld Reekie Ranter for reasons well documented elsewhere in these ramblings. And it appears the stresses and strains are taking their toll. My dear mother opined the other day that wrinkles were appearing on my strained face at a fair rate of knots and there can be no denying she's right.

My daughters have long commented, somewhat unfairly in my view, about my lack of hair and how going for a haircut need only take five minutes of my time. People at the office, who really should know better, smirk at my ever decreasing hairline. The lovely Marion, who has been a tower of strength to me these last few months, also takes great delight in pointing out my follically challenged status although calling me 'Slapheid' is, in my view, a tad harsh and uncalled for. Even my soon to be 5 year old grand-daughter Hannah, on using me as a human climbing frame, recently opined 'Papa, you have a big hole in your hair...'

Having turned 50 earlier this year and having endured a tough few months, perhaps it's no surprise I'm looking more and more like the stereotypical grandfather. When I reached the half century in February, I put the comments of some of those who expressed their surprise at me reaching the milestone - 'Really? I thought you were 50 years ago' - down to the typical smart arse responses of my fellow Scots. However, I now concede they may have had a point. A feeling enhanced when a girl gave up her seat for me on the bus on the way home tonight. Mercifully, the driver thought against lowering the front of the bus to help me get on in the first place but I suspect he had considered it.

At least the pleasant young girl in the barber's shop stopped short of charging me the pensioner's rate for my haircut and charged me £8. Which, for the amount of hair I have, according to some people, works out about a pound a hair...

Monday, 9 July 2012

Friday, 6 July 2012

Monday, 2 July 2012

Just Be a Little Patient


1. King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates , the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.
Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."
"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!"
Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

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2. Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss League records were destroyed in a fire, ...and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

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3. A man rushed into a busy doctor's surgery and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

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4. An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

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5. A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official, who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

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6. There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove that... "the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides". (Some of you may need help with this one).

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7. A sceptical anthropologist was cataloguing South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal elder who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the elder looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don't need enemas."



Don't blame me for these - blame Adullamite