Monday, January 30, 2006


It's surprising how easy it is to slip effortlessly back into life in the motherland. The words, the slang and the mannerisms that would be lost on the average Korean and the average nonScottish English teacher. Gonnae no daethat.
Actually, it's kind weird trying to get back into the lingo. It really feels almost alien reverting back into Scottish and talking at normal speed without fear of needing to repeat myself. Even just listening to other people is great. It's like everyone has an accent!

aNyway, got hold of a cracking cd. DFA Compliation#2. It's rather tasty. 3 cd's for £18. Was somewhat gutted to find the exact same cd in Fopp for a tenner. Ouch.


Well...flying is officially crap. Dull, boring and noisy. 3 babies in the row infront didn't go down well. Each of the babies were less than a year old. The earplugs were utilised to the full. Plus, we got the uncensored version of the 'Wedding Crashers' which is not exactly suitable on a family flight. Semi-naked birds and the odd bad word. You have to give it to K.L.M. - liberal to a tee. Clearly, I wasn't complaining since the semi-naked birds were mighty fit including that orange hair women that was in 'Home and Away' numerous years ago...whatshername 'Isla something'. Well fit!

An currently experiencing jet-lag or perhaps it's laziness. Probably a combination of both but that will be getting rectified shortly. 1st step - get dressed.
Often when I come home, I leave something behind. Normally, it's not anything serious like a passport or money but this time, I've forgotten all my telephone numbers. Clearly, not the cleverest of ideas. In fact, mightily stupid but I guess it was all the excitement of coming home haha.

Right, wHere is the fry up?
Bacon, check. Saugages, check. Eggs, check. Black pudding, check. Brown sauce, check. 'Healthy' tomates, check. Lard, check. Heart attack, probable. Ah, isn't great having no kimchi.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Tomorrow is the day. Departure.
The MP3 tracklisting is causing concern. Actually, it's the MP3 itself and the software it uses that is causing the concern. It's crap and keeps crashing on me. I've had to purge everything on the Flash and Card memories in order to try and get new music onto it. Time consuming and pisssing off.
And then, when I went to check everything was on, I found that 10 songs won't play and if I select them, it freezes the player. Time of an i-pod or Zen.

So, in my despair, I've just put anything on. I haven't even sequenced it. It's not a mix but a selection of isolated tracks that are not in any way related or meant to follow each other. But, that's the excitement. I don't know what's up next haha.
And then there is the 'travel' bit.
Honestly, I dislike flying these days. Not only is it mindnumbingly boring but you are stuck in the same place and often position for the duration. It's crap. In days gone by, it had to be the window seat. No other option was possible. Now, I don't even want to be at the window. You see, I'm alittle scared. I love being high up but I don't like the height. Strange but true. There is no way I could be the pilot looking out at the front. Way too scary. This 'fear' tends to manifest itself in my dreams more than in reality. It's definitely psychological but I'm not sure where is has come from.
I remember the 1st time I was on a plane - more than 20 years ago - and it was exilarating sitting at the window looking out over the expanse of blue. These days, I could care.
I wish I could just get there in 10 minutes or something. Alas, it's more like 15 hours of doing nothing. The things I do to get home.

Anyway, homeword bound. What joy. That's why I work in Korea-soI can go home twice a year.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Gourgeous George Galloway.
He's never far away, is he. This time is Celebraty Big Brother. Seems like he has taken alot of criticism over this. His detractors suggest that, as an M.P. he should be serving his constituents and not frollocking on a National T.V. Programme. But, then take a random assortment of British M.P's right now. I would suggest that the majority are not currently 'serving' their constituents but rather off holidaying somewhere.
Seems like he got voted off B.B. I haven't seen any of it, so I can't really comment but I'm not that surprised. The Public don't like people with bigger vocabularies than themselves...and he's got on of the biggest!

Anyway, his Libel case against the Telegraph went to Appeal but the Judge rejected the Telegraph's case. And off course there is more footage of him in Iraq meeting Saddams son's. Big deal. I mean, this is a story that will run and run and run and run and run. What's the point of telling us that he went to Iraq and met xyz. We already know this. Now all sorts of Investigations will start - probably from taxpayers money - for what? To prove that he is the real enemy and not messers. Blair and Bush.
Is this the new McCarthy hearings?
Tired all it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Well, big Sven will be leaving the England job after the World Cup. I guess his 4 million pound contract with the F.A. wasn't enough, or perhaps he fancies himself as a talk show host. He certainly likes to talk - and usually to the wrong people. Idiot. All he has to do now is prevent England winning the World Cup. I see no reason for him to alter his tactics or team selections in order to achieve this. And when he does this, we should all give him a great big pat on the back 'Love Scotland!'

So, who will replace him. There is no way Walter Smith would want the job after all is abit of a step down for him. Perhaps the new man might be English. I would quite like Big Sam. He's Northern and doesn't take any prisoners but he also is one of the most foward looking and thinking of coaches. He was one of the 1st to embrace Science in order to enhance his teams and of course, produces teams that are fundamentally English in the way they go about their business. As for the rest - that Middlesborough bloke has no chance. He's mince. Maybe Pearce but his still in his 1st job. And the best of the rest. Perhaps Hiddink. Why not? He's a proven International Coach with excellent English language skills. Maybe Martin O'Neill but unlikely. Hitzfeld et al. Either way, a new coach might want to bring back the Auld Enemy matches. Wouldn't that be good...I'd love to go down to the new Wembley and bring the goalposts home enough if it meant getting arrested for it!

Monday, January 23, 2006


Isn't it frustrating when you can't get a decent album to download fast enough. hmm.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Word of the week: 'Going'

In a week, i'll be home. Nice.

Phrase of the week: 'Sven, Sven...'

What's the point in your existance. You are a football boss and not a playboy. Put down the Champagne, stop the yacht you're on and come up with a Plan B. You didn't have one against 10 man Brazil at the last World Cup and you didn't have one against Portugual in the last European Championships and look what happened.

Sight of the week: 'Build'

Not far from where I live is some 'free' land. It was a Petrol Station but that had closed along time ago. Alas, it seems like this area is getting built upon. All I was hoping for was that it wouldn't impede my view. I don't think it will but they are building a bloody Wedding Hall - I guess it's similiar to a Registray Office back home. It's the sort of place in which the 'wedding' lasts 30 minutes before the happy couple are punted and the next wedding begins. What joy.

Song of the week: /too many to choose from./

Saturday, January 21, 2006


The final tracklisting for the epic flight home next week is starting to be compiled. I have a whole bunch of choons onrepeat right now but I think alot of them might be getting purged. There time is up and a new collection needs to replace them. With a new tracklisting comes the excitement of actually having a new tracklisting. Afterall, as football managers often say 'things need freshening up'.
Oh yes they do.
I have a couple of mix cd's that I might have to put on in their entirety but then the draw back isthat they take up alot of space and the songs are somewhat similiar. Might I be better with having a larger collection of random choons? But, then how do you select the 'best' songs from the mix. Hmm.

And then there is the next problem.If you have some MB'S free at the end of the compliation, do you fill it up with fillers. And if you do, will that disrupt the flow?
So many questions. So little time to sort it. This alone will take more time than anything else. Come to think of it, my actual packing will take less time that compiling the choons. Such stress.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Seem to be somewhat akin to watching CSI these days. The original one - Las Vegas. I haven't really had the chance to watch it before but I'm starting to like it but it got me really have no chance to commit the 'perfect' crime. Fibres, hair, tiny bits of DNA everywhere without you even knowing it.
That's not to say that i'm planning on commiting such a crime but if I were, I would probably get busted for it despite infinite care and planning. I wonder even, if it is still possible to get leave no trace.

In the movies, it's possible. The perfect crime or at least you are lead to believe it. In Se7en, Morgan Freedman and Brad Pitt burst there way into some apartment and find that close-to-death bloke. The Police completely searched the place and there was nothing. No finger prints. Yet, if that was CSI, they'd have found something.

But, would the average Police Force go to so much trouble of completely doing such testing for something like theft? Murder, certainly.

So, the question is, is the 'perfect' crime still possible?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Sometimes, just sometimes i can't be arsed. Today is that day. Seems that these days are becoming more and more common.
The importance of being idle.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


It's fairly normal upon entering a room or place, to have a quick scan of who and what is around you. Perhaps this dates by to prehistoric times when we were aware of the dangers of other animals hunting us instead of us doing the hunting.
Such a sacn tends not to last long. Long enough to become familiar with the surroundings. If something interesting is noticed during this sacn, one may linger - but not too long. If, for example there is a cute girl of if there is a tv etc.

One does not stop in ones tracks and fully stare as if they have seen something completely new or loathesome. Yet, this is exactly what happens in this damned city. I was aware of it when i first arrived but then I stopped noticing. These days, however, I do notice people having more than a passing glance as i walk past and it has started to f______________g annoy me.

The time last saturday at a Rest Stop on the motorway. I'm sitting at a round table with 5 others Koreans when I turn around to see some middle aged man literally 2 feet away, facing me, staring. He does nothing nor says anything. In the end, in my most sarcastic tone I say 'hello'. He then moves away. OR tonights episode in one of the bars we go to. 2 men/2women sitting at the table opposite. Probably in there 30's and certainly no oil-painting's themselves but have the cheek to gaze longingly over at our table. Not a 5 second 'what are they talking about' gaze but a full on 2 minute job. A stare that prevents them even talking to each other. What can you do with such ignoramious behaviour. I stare back. Who will flinch 1st?!? I've got all day...
2 very recent examples but certainly not isolated events. If I was hideously disfigured or if I had 3 eyes, then perhaps I could say 'oh, it not surprising' but clearly my only 'abnormality' is that of not being Korean. Such small minds. I could start a tirade of abuse about this country - Hub of Asia blah blah blahblahblah. But, why bother.
One day, just one day such blatant nonsense will cease. I might not be here to care.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Sven-gate, Part 354.

Will this bloke ever learn? Sven Goran Ericsson. England Boss and prone to abit of foot-in-mouth disease.

This time he has been 'stung' by some Arab Prince who was actually a newspaper journalist. He told the 'Prince' a few things about members of the England team. Like Beckman isn't happy at Madris and would move back to England if he asked him to. That Rooney's temper stems from his impoverished unbringing. That Ferdinand is a bit lazy and finally the Owen isn't happy at Newcastle.

Well, to be fair, it doesn't take a genius to work out that what he said is actually fairly obvious to the punter on the street.
Clearly, Ferdinand is lazy. See Man. Utd. current plight as evidence of that. Rooney got sent off for applauding the ref and got a talking to for mouthing off to the ref last saturday. Something clearly is amiss with his temper. Beckham isn't happy. Of course he's not. Madrid are crap and have had more Boss' in his time there than I've had complimentary remarkes about my teaching. Furthermore, Owen...Newcastle are in mid-table medocrity and playing for a team who haven't won anything since when the Beatles were going strong. Surprising?not really.

All Ericsson needs to do now is get England knocked out in the QF of the World Cup.

Agent Ericsson, return to Base. Your mission is complete.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Word of the week: 'Bored'

It hasn't quite kicked in yet. Finally expect it to but with the advent of tv, it might be bypassed altogether this holiday. Or perhaps not.

Phrase of the week: 'Will you marry her?'

Eh. No. Not today, thanks.

Sight of the week: 'Food'

Sometimes, I can become amazed at this country. Not amazed in it's beauty or in a funny haha kind of way but just by the things that people do. How about a 3 hour detour in Saturday evening traffic to a fish restaurant in a distant city. A restaurant that could be found in numerous other cities closer to home. These guys are only interested in their stomachs and things they can fill it with.

Song of the week: 'The Boxer' by the Chemical Brothers (D.F.A. Mix)

Worth the wait. Typical Chemical Brothers but equally, typically D.F.A. Who needs words when you can have the music.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


SO...Pakistan gets hit by a missile or something similiar. 18 or so 'innocent' people die as a result of the attack. All because the perpetators thought that the 2nd-in-charge of Al Qaeda is thought to be hiding in the village when in fact he wasn't.
The us Government Army deny it was them. Fingers point at the C.I.A.

Perhaps. Either way, it won't matter that much who carried it out. Pakistan is rightly suitability upset about it as, I suspect are a large portion of the International Community. Interesting behaviour by one of Pakistan's so called 'allies'.
No apology is likely and most likely, no official acknowledgement that it was carried out.

Whether or not the Al Qaeda bloke was there or not isn't really the point. The point being 'X' has fired missiles and the like within it's borders and killed it's citizens. Surely, by definition, that is an act of terrorism. Furthermore, it must surely be classed as state sponsored terrorism given that it was carried out on behalf of the U.S.A. There is no way the Bush and his cronies can take the moral highground any longer as they are no better that the 'enemy'. This invisible enemy that they blame x/y/z on. The fear factor which they use to justify all this nonsense on.

It's certainly not the 1st instance of this kind of action and there is little likiehood that it will be the last. Is fighting fire with fire the answer? Has history shown that by doing so, a 'winner' prevails. I suspect not.
I tell you, if the U.S.A had launched such an attack on Leed prior to the London bombings /some of the bombers lived there/ there would a bloody riot and a major diplomatic incident. They would not be allowed to get away with it. Why should they get away with it in a poor country like Pakistan.
Such arrogance.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Again...the rudeness prevails. I'm alone in the elevator, going to the 1st floor. I edge myself closer to the exit as the doors open but as the doors open, there is a man waiting for the elevator. I knew what was going to happen. Take 1 step to the mouth of the elevator. Instead of this knobhead waiting until I'm out, he literally squeezes past me through a space less that a foot in width to get into the elevator. I don't move for him at all. I then turn to him a give him a look that says 'you're an idiot'. He doesn't bat an eyelid and settles himself into the elevator while I move out of the elevator still staring at him.

Perhaps this is cultural but there is no excuse for such actions. I mean, is waiting for 5 seconds until I've cleared the elevator going to kill him? Is it bawes...Next time i'm ready. It doesn't matter who it is, if I'm in a rush or if I'm not. Irrelevent. I'm not moving one bit. He /it's always a 'he'/ will be the one who is pushed back. Come one mate-i'm ready for you.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Depressed. Changed 1 students grade. Was determined to change a big, fat zero. Alas, I had made an error and had to do the honourable thing...still, a d+ to a c isn't going to change the students life nor mine!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


__________was walking past the big Department Store here in Cheonan, on my way to dinner when this bloke ran past me closely followed by another bloke. Didn't really think much of it as people often run to catch the lights. But further down the road were these two blokes. One of them if of Middle Eatern appearance whilst the other bloke is definitely Korean. The Korean guy had the Middle Eastern bloke by the scruff of the neck and there was abit of a scuffle going on. As I got closer the Middle Estern bloke was shouting 'my money, my money' at the top of his lungs whilst the Korean bloke is dragging him back towards the Department Store. My mate goes to investigate since she is Korean and can 'translate' and find out what was going on. The Middle Eastern bloke continued shouting and screaming, so much so that I have to go over and try to calm him down. Finally, he calms down enough for me to try to find out what the hell is going on. His bloke - he's Turkish - has this big massive wad of U.S. Dollars in $100 bills. It appears that he was trying to exchange $300 worth into Korean Won which the Korean guy had done but something happened /not sure what/ which meant that the Turkish bloke had 'stolen' about 500, 000Won and hence the 'chase' and the shouting match. The Turkish bloke was maintaining that he was exchanging Dollars for Won in a very robust way. Finally, he starts to saying something out more money and which point he starts to lift up his shirt as if to show us something. This is when I started to get somewhat twitchy...irrational yes, but I half thought 'what the f_________________k is under his shirt' whilst a couple of people in the watching crowd also had the same thought and tried to stop him reaching under his shirt. Thankfully, he had a concealed money belt under there. He then proceed to show us another massive wad of U.S. Dollar, again $100 bills. He starts mouthing off again. The Police then arrive and finally ask him to empty his pockets because they think he has 'stolen' x amount of Korean Won. It was at this point that he was lead away to the Police Car and I and the crowd moved on in a 'there is nothing to see here' fashion.

1st up what is some Turkish bloke doing with at least £5,000 in U.S. Dollars and no Korean Won in Cheonan? At Incheon Airport, perhaps but Cheonan. And if he has so much money why is he running away having 'stolen' the equivalent of £250.00.

Next time, i'm not stopping to 'help'.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Please, please please/please, please please change my grade week in here.
I've had a few E-mails giving me the old sob stories "If I don't get a C+, I can't get a Scholarships" or "I worked so hard. I was never late or missed a class but I only got a B"

Clearly, the students didn't write that but that's what they were getting at. I find it much easier to tell them 'no' by E-mail. I well strong infront of a computer screen. Don't mess with the pf.
Of course, I have sympathy with the students but that doesn't mean that I'm going to change their grades for them. I haven't just picked some letter out of the air and assigned it to them as some people may do, there is actually a method calculating grades and I feel that I've done the best I could given 1. the students ability and 2. the constraints placed upon me.
I can honestly say that I've given my students a fair grade based on the what they have done whether that be their homework, tests and general attitude and behaviour in class. I might not know their names but I can tell you how they are in class.

Anyway, a couple of E-mails of 'no' have gone out, not out of nastiness but due to the fact the there cases have been pretty clear cut. They were not close enough to merit a change of grade however much begging goes on. The students know the situation. What's the point of coming begging after the event? We'll see if anymore 'please, please please' requests come my way.

Monday, January 09, 2006


I've killed my Aloe plant.
A very bad start to the horticultural year to say the least.
Was never really 'into' plants but then I was transferred from the 'D.I.Y.' Department to the 'Gardening' Department at Homebase /uk diy store/. At the time, I wasn't impressed. I was a man and men did D.I.Y. Tools and wood and nails and drills. Men didn't do gardening. Houseplants and conifers and mulch and moss peat. I guess I was wrong in that one. So, from that point, I quite liked plants.

This year, I decided to get a few plants into my office to try to give it/the office/ abit of life and perhaps make it a nicer, more welcoming place. In my quest for plants I've visited a few 'shops' but it's not like UK plant shops. There is much less variety and a lot of the 'shops' lend not to have a large selection. It seems that it is customary to give plants as gifts but they tend to be orchids which while perfectly good plants are not my thing as they are a pain in the ass trying to make them flower. I want big, green bushy things. I found a couple. A palm of sorts which is currently doing well - it has a few new shoots coming through whilst my Umbrella plant wasn't that great in the shop but is currently staging a late revival. I think it was because it was placed in a draughty corner in the shop, although some of the leaves are kind of yellowy. I wonder if that is due to lack of sunlight. My 3rd plant is a type of Dracaena. It could be better. Getting worried about that one. Brown tips on the leaves. Not uncommon but not great.

Alas, it's the plant that I thought would be the easiest to care for - the Aloe - that has kicked the bucket. It started well but to my horror the middle bit collapsed and never regained it's upright ways. The 'leaves' went kind of mushy which means that perhaps the 'leaves' had been watered directly. There are some plants that prefer to be watered from the bottom for example the Africian Violet. The leaves have a 'hairy' feel to them and if you water them, the plant dies. And, I think that's what happened. Nightmare.
I'll replace it...but what I really want is a Ficus. I could pick up a 4 or 5 foot one but what's the point. I want a small that I can nurture and probably kill!
See, it's hard looking after something other than yourself.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


At this point I would be writing about the previous week but to be honest, I cannae really be arsed.

Alas, some Korea for you. This is what I'm trying to learn /amongst other things, this week/

잘 들으세요 = Listen Carefully
여기 보세요 = Look here.
한국/영어 말로 하세요 = Say it in Korean/English.
질문 있어요? =Do you have any questions?
알 겠예요? = Do you understand? / this one is well hard because of the '곘' bit./
천천히 말해 주세요 = Please speak slowly. I feel I might be using this alot.
다시 말해 주세요 ==Please say that again/
잘 모르 겠습니다 = I don't understand. /particularly useful./
'___________' 은/는 한국/영어 말로 뭐라고 합니까? = How do you say '______' in Korean/English?

And that is all.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


The joys of tv. Saturday is football day. ALWAYS has been and will always will be. It used to be saturday afternoon but these days, time differences mean that it is saturday evenings. Previously, it had been a case of getting onto the Beeb's website and getting live commentary from Radio Scotland. That's how I manage to retain my accent hahaha but before that, is 'Off The Ball' which is this pre-football programme which is advertised as a 'football' related programme but it's actually just a irrverent look at the world with football as a kind of distant backdrop.
Alas, the advent of tv means that I have both Scottish football and English football. One on the radio, one on the tv. It's a tough call/

English football, I don't particuarly care about but now that I have access to it, well, you know, it's kind of rude not to have a wee noisy at it in much the same way as it's rude not too check out 'erotic island' when it comes on. That's not to say that I would do such a thing. I'm a Christian and Christians don't do things like that. Such evil.
Anyway, it might be a case of turning the volume on the tv and listening to the radio whilst watching the tv although it might get somewhat confusing with what's being said on the radio not matching what I see but then why break the habit of a lifetime.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Korean doctors. Sometimes I trust them. Sometimes I don't. That's not to say that they are incompetant or are lacking in knowledge and ability, it's merely a slight on myself not being able to converse with them and explain exactly what the problem is and the resulting method of how to 'fix' the problem...
I've had this mole on my foot for, well, i'm not really sure, but 'awhile' so I thought it was about time that I got it seen to and potentially removed. The doctor literally had a 10 second look and touch of it and then decided either 1. Whip it off or 2. Laser it off.

Being the poof that I am, I tried to delay the whole process. I thought he might suggest that we do it at a later date. Clearly not. It was now and I had exactly less time than it took him to look at it to decide on the method of removal. 'Shite' was my 1st thought. In a desperate attempt to delay this whole course of events, I wanted to know more about the procedures like how long it would take, what is the best method, what method would leave the most scarring etc. when all I really wanted to ask him was 'Which one hurts less 'cos that's the one I want'. I tried to get my dictionary out to try and make that question but I didn't have time. He'd decided for me. Laser.

The rather pretty nurse sat me down in another room, at which point the doctor marched into the room and whipped out this needle and proceeded to poke my foot with it whilst I tried my best to admire the wallpaper. It really was a remarkable shade of off-white. Then he got a kind of zapper thingy and started pulsing my mole with it. It was like he was giving me electric shocks. Finally, he put on some rather fine looking sunglasses, got his laser and zapped my mole. Ouch.

Of course, in true British style, I was fine. No problems. I'm a man, I can take it. But on the inside - f ___________g hell. What the hell was that. Blasted and zapped. I couldn't look. And then he gave himself sunglasses to protect his eyes. What about me?!? All he gave me was a bloody plaster, a bill and a note saying that I should come back in a month to continue the treatment.

And that's what I mean - trust. I thought that would be it done and dusted in 1 sitting but no...he didn't tell me that, did he. All he did today was take the top layer off. I need to go through all that again and the worse bit is, the next time, I'll know what's coming.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Just sometimes, something comes along that makes you think 'whoa'. It tends not to come along too often and when it does, you know. You can't put it into words, I guess it's more of a 'feeling' than anything else. Sometimes 'big' events have that kind of 'whoa'. Some plane slamming into some building was such an event, as was Celtic losing the League in the final two minutes of the season and watching it unfold via text that refreshed itself every 2 minutes. Sometimes, the 'whoa' is a women. Sometimes is music.

Listening to 'Entroducing' had that 'whoa'. I had never really heard stuff like that before and certainly not over the course of an album. LCD Soundsystem is another such example.

It's an album of some swagger, kind of like some wide-boy in his best gear walking into a bar or club thinking that he could pull any bird or take any bloke in a fight depending on what mood he was in. The album is something that cannot readily be classed as x.yz. It blurs the boundaries. Part electronic, part rock, part hipster baiting, part garage rock, part dream like. It has an ability to blend and morph into something else, something that does push the boundaries back unlike say a Coldplay or Oasis or even the Prodigy who remain relatively faithful to their tried and tested formulas.
The 1st for songs are this in a microcosm.

The 70's dancefloor synth that opens 'Daft Punk is playing in house' gives way to the exclamation that they are in fact playing in 'my house' and have been waiting for '7 years and 15 days'. The 2nd - 'too much love' almost feels like the future with a sort of spoken, robotic lyric meanwhile 'Tribulations' is pure, unadulterated electro-clash with an analogue melody. It pulses with venom and pace. Whilst the 4th song - 'Movement' is essentially a garage track with hand-claps in place of a snare drum. It starts slow but bursts into life akin to epic Nirvana-esque choruses.
The pace then drops down to a melancholy tale of 'Never as tired as when I'm walking up'. Too true.
'On repeat' represents a acknowledgement of Kraftwark in it's simplistic analogue beats. It could almost be the 80's again yet with modern sensibilities. The homeward straight is equally eccentric in it's influences with 'thrills' science-fiction feel to it and 'disco infiltrator' as the name suggests is a disco-baiting, hip shaking joy. If 'on repeat' is the pulsating highlight, the 'great release' is the comedown. Simple piano, epic-esque.

It is this constant shifting of the goalposts that gives this album the 'whoa' factor. It's constant shifting and inclusion of influences is what makes it standout. Also, it's ability to sound quite unlike anything else marks it as 'special' in the truest sense of the word. Forget all those end of year lists, this is album of the year. Rather exceptional.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


The students have their grades. Now is the time to turn off the computer, take the phone of the hook, switch the lights off and lock the door.
Alas, some student's have been abit sneaky...instead of contacting me directly, they have contacted my colleagues and asked them to pass on the message that they 'can't understand' their grade.

I suspect that some of the students think that their grade is simply calculated on the basis of their final and mid-term tests yet fall to realise that they are only part of the grade - a large portion of it, certainly. Other variables like attendence, homework and class participation are also taken into account. Even if the student loses 1 point in each category, they are still looking at, at best, an A...For example, a student my have done well in their 2 tests but if the student has been a lazy b_____________d in class, who doesn't bring his or her book coupled with a 1 or 2 absences, then they are not going to get an overall score that they 'think' they should get based purely on their tests. And that is where the actual and real grades may be in disagreement.

2 students have contacted me. 1 did ok in class but his final test was dreadful. He definitely typed his presentation into a translation tool in Korean. The resulting translation was utter nonsense as is often the case. I could understand it at all. Plus, he had no passion or eagerness which I suggested would go down well. Alas, it is this that has pulled him way down. Hence the 'change please'. The 2nd student is miffed because her friend got an A whilst she 'only' got a B+ even though they scored te same in their tests. This is where the 'variables' kick in.

In both cases, I suspect I'm not changing their grades. So long as I can justify them and it wasn't a case of typing in the wrong grade, then I'm happy.

Of course, it's a fine line...if you change 1 student, then chances are the word gets out that you will change grades and an avalanche of students begins.
We'll see.

oh yeah...and there are 3 'Christian' channels on satellite tv. Shocker. It means I can go to 'mass' without leaving my bed on a hangover laden sunday morning. Now that's worth the money fee alone.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I've literally gone a whole year without watching much tv. All I had was 5 or 6 channels - 2 of which are Japanese and Chinese respectively.#
Clearly, far from ideal but that has changed. Satellite tv has arrived in my apartment. Mixed emotions about that but something that is entirely necessary. Admittedly, there are about 50 + channels that I'm not going to watch but at least I have the option of watching.
It seems also that one of the Channels is BBC Prime. No news but past shows from the Beeb. It's the small things in life...Faulty Towers was on and even Ground Force. I never thought I would enjoy seeing Alan Titchmarsh on my tv but I truly do. What a man. Apparantly, the Old Grey Whistle test is on on thursdays. I wonder if Jools Holland might be on...wouldn't that be something.
I wonder though if it means that I will become increasingly lazy. It's the easy option, isn't it, turning on the tv instead of being 'active'. That's the challenge!

Monday, January 02, 2006


The excesses of the 'holiday' period remain in the bloodstream. Too much self pity. Too much desire to be at home and drinking 80Shilling and vegged infront of the tv watching crap. The belt loosened somewhat in true Homer Simpson fashion. Alas, that was not even close, although that shortbread sent over by my parents went down alittle to well /and fast/. Nice.

Instead, it's a new year full of, well, inponderables ANd Things that will definitely not happen. Marriage and all it's trappings. Become fluent in Korean. Become the worlds best teacher - that is the aim however. Watch Scotland qualify for the 2nd round of the World Cup. Win a hefty amount of money. Kill or maim that dog next door however much i'd like to. GeT on with my 'amazing' American colleague - yeah, you know the one. Become Korean. Make a record. Bench press - can't be arsed with that. Play for Celtic; might have to make do with playing for the Departments yet-to-be-founded football team. Like the 'war on terror' and all the deeply dubious shit that comes with it. /yeah, we don't torture, just transport them to a 3rd country on a Learjet on holiday/. Watch England win the World Cup - come on. It's like they have already won it 'We have a great chance'. Eh, no you don't. Quarter-finalists at the 2 last major championships, a 1st round exit at the championship before that and a 2nd round exit in the '98 Word Cup. Not great form boys and a Swede who still doesn't know his best team after 5 years in the job. Anyone but England.

As for the things that will happen. Who knows? Not me. The man who sold the world. haha.

Oh yeah and in pure Bridget Jones style: January 2nd - just a tad over 81 kg. hmm.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Foggy/cloudy/ and very much like being in Scotland greeted me on the 1st day of the new year. Alas, I was hangoverless. Not very Scottish. Perhaps a sign of the times. A sign of maturing or simply getting old. Both. But, then I don't need to be out freezing my bollocks off and swigging from a plastic lemonade bottle, trying to get as mingin' as possible and get off with as many mingin' birds as possible. I did try though but Bill was having none of it!

And a little trip to the beach and some relatively fresh air.

I do like the beach although not particularly when it's the height of summer. Strange, huh? But, in winter, it has that desolate air about it. A dark, brooding prescence which could explode at any time. Yet, it has that calm feel to it which the constant sound of waves hitting the shoreline. /Plus, the chance of getting sunburnt are low. Always a bonus./ I wonder if I might end up living by a beach somewhere.
Hope your New Year was something*