Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Yours truly is going on holiday.

Thank goodness. I need one. It's been a busy few weeks at work and I just need a change of scenery. Only for a week though, sadly. Scotland, then Paris then back to Scotland then out again via Newcastle. That's a lot of miles but what the hell. Do it while you're young and some song once said.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Another day, another kick in for a Scottish football team in Europe. Can't we just give up?
We're crap. The national team is. The 'best' teams in the league are crap as well. This week has seen Celtic losing at home to Arsenal 2-0 and now Hearts getting stuffed in Croatia 4-0.

Six goals against, none for.

The 2nd legs are nothing more than a formality. There is no way Celtic will be going to the Emirates and scoring 3 goals. If we get an early goal, then maybe but it's a long, log shot. Perhaps we'll score 2 and take it to penalties. That's the only way it will happen. But, given how good this Arsenal team looks at the moment, it's likely to be another 2-0 to them. As for Hearts. No chance. I can't even recall when they last scored 5 goals in a game and they certainly won't be doing that against the Croatian champions. Even if they bribed them, they still wouldn't score 5.

You have to ask why all this is happening. I don't necessarily think that you can point the finger of blame at the fact that Scottish teams don't get any income from TV these days. There must be something more to it than that. I'd say it has a lot to do with what happens is kids formative years. Big kids get picked, the smaller ones don't even though they might be better. Strength and size appears to win most of the time. Sadly. That said, it seems that Scotland does OK in under 16, 18, 19 and 21 levels yet somehow by the time it gets to the top team, something has gone wrong.

I could go on and on about the state of Scottish football but what's the point. It's been like this for years and nothing much has changed. Will it soon?

Doubt it. But the evidence for change is there.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have a bit of a concern. Actually, it's not just 'a bit'. It's a lot. I don't know this concern is based on truth and that in itself is a concern.

Well, it's this 'draft' constitution (or otherwise) that is being written in Afghanistan. The Cleric's have gotten hold of it and stamped their 'authority' on it. It seems to suggest that it is acceptable for a husband to to demand 'action' from his wife every week or 4 days or whatever and she is punishable if she doesn't coalesce to his demands.

The President of Afghanistan has since suggested that even though he signed the draft, he hadn't read it properly and didn't know that was included in it. 'Whatever' is about the only non-rude word I can utter in response to that. The outcry from this lead to it being 'reviewed'.

But, it seems that was just for show. The 'law' now has essentially legalised marital rape and forbides women to work, get education or go outside of the house without the husbands permission. Even allowing for 'cultural differences', if this is the case, it is a nonsense. It is beyond 'nonsense'. It should be outlawed and the idiots that proposed this or believe this to be 'correct' should be, well, I don't know...

To think that the British Army is in this country doing whatever the hell they are meant to be doing and let's be brutally honest, are dying there just so that this 'law' can be passed. What the hell has the world come to? Is this right or am I horribly misinformed? Lads my age and younger are ill equiped by the Ministry of Defence and to all intents and purpose, the Government and are getting shot and blown up for what? So some knobhead can do that to his wife? You're having a laugh. It ain't even funny.

This 'war' has now lasted longer than the 2nd World War! I still don't know what the 'mission' is? The UK defended itself against the Italians and the Germans and the Japanese and essentially 'won' in many parts of the world, yet the UK can't even 'win' in some small, under-developed country that is mostly mountains against blokes that travel on horseback and lock their wives up.

The mind boggles. And that isn't a compliment.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Driving here is really not helping me be nice to people. It is making me the opposite; hostile, bad tempered and likely to make me give some rude gestures. I just can't help it now. I just feel I'm surrounded by idiots. Not just idiots but unsafe, reckless idiots.

The other morning, all I wanted to was drive to the supermarket. It's about a 10 minute drive. Nothing too hardcore or difficult and a journey I do once a week on average. In addition, it was in the morning so not too busy. But, within the space of 10 minutes I was exasperated.

My first 'task' when driving to the supermarket to to drive along the road then take a right turn (bear in mind we drive on the same side of the road as the Americans). It's an easy thing to do. All I need to basically do is signal and do it. I have the right of way. Simple. As I approached the right turn another car was coming towards me and wanted to turn left, into the same street as me. As I had the right of way, I just went to turn right. As I did so, he decided to turn left. What the hell. Didn't he see me? What an ass. I honked - I like doing that now but off he sped. Knobhead.

The 2nd such incident happened just a couple of minutes. Again, I had a right turn onto a busy road. I stopped and looked to see what was coming. There were cars, clearly coming and I couldn't go at all even if I was quick. Yet, some bloke behind was on his horn at me because I was waiting for a gap in the traffic! Yeah, like I'm going to endanger myself and the oncoming traffic so that you can get to your destination any quicker. Again, a knobhead.

Two incidents within 5 minutes is just silly. The 3rd though took the proverbial biscuit. I have to travel on a 3 lane road. I was in the middle lane. Infront of my a little truck and infront of him, a few other cars. The other lanes were relatively quiet. The truck infront started to slow almost to a halt which I wasn't expecting. We were nearly at a standstill. So, I moved to my left into the next lane and continued on my way. But, the reason for the standstill? A car had stopped completely in the middle of the road. Just like that. Stopped. Lights flashing but definitely stopped. In the middle of a 3 lane road? Why couldn't he just pull over? I don't get it. It looked like a brand new car as well. Clearly, something mechanical could have happened but...?

The irony behind all of this, is that is happens all the time. It's not an isolated 'day'. It does my head in. Perhaps each driver has a different set of cultural values that he or she applies to his or her driving but even still, surely common sense should prevail. Obviously not. How else can you explain the car accident statistics. Silly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To Norway.
Them of Norwegian Wood and not much else.
I despair.
First it was the shambolic efforts of our 'top' teams against the mighty Vaduz. Yes, exactly. Where is that on the map, the actual map and not the footballing map. 3 of our teams are out of Europe before the league season has even began. Once we just wanted our teams to be in Europe after Christmas. Now though, we dream of them being in Europe when our league season starts. It's a joke. A farce. Celtic somehow managed to win in Moscow. Is the DVD of that miracle in the shops yet?

And what of the national team. Idiot Burley predicting that he wanted 18 points or something from the qualifying matches. We'll be lucky to get 8 points let alone get into double figures. Second in the group he wanted. Second last might be more like it. I believe we haven't scored in 6 of the last 8 games. Hardly form to take us to the World Cup, isn't it?

We have 2 games left to 'save' ourselves. Both at home but one against the 3rd best team in the World, Holland. Hardly the team that you want to be facing when you need a win. It'll all be irrespective as we'll not beat Macedonia (or is it Moldova?! - they're all the same!) in the next game. I haven't always been sure about Burley and I'm even less sure now. He's not taking us to the World Cup. That'll be at least 14 years since a major tournament, assuming that we qualify for Euro 12. Chances?

Perhaps I'll just get into a new sport. I hear Kabaddi it alright to watch.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Yours truly is going on holiday soon. In fact, it's less than soon, it's at the end of the month. Yipee.
The destination this time is Paris via Edinburgh; Paris for 4 days, Edinburgh for 4.

The Paris trip is going to be excellent. I can just feel it. No tourist traps, that's the 'rule' and I'm very excited about it. In addition, we're going to places that I've never been before and that simply adds to the excitement. That, and the company and the thought of drinking wine quite a lot. Will it be red? Will it be white? Perhaps rose? Oh, decisions. Perhaps I'll just go for the lot. All at once?!

And Edinburgh. What can you say about that? It's always wonderful to get back. I'm not sure I'll be able to see everyone I'd like to but I'm hoping to catch a certain 'Cuiker and his missus. I've not seen him for a year and in fact, I've never actually met his missus! How exciting!

In fact, I'm just excited all over. How did that happen?

In the meantime though, I'm fairly busy at work with deadlines to be meeting before I had away on holiday. Hmm. No choice however. Need to be done and that's it. If I can do them I can leave Dubai with a clear conscience. Like that wouldn't happen in any case.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Often, I have difficulties taking part in 'musical' discussions. Songs and bands, I can cope with. I can chat about them and that's fine.

The problem lies with people 'arguing' that music today is crap but music of a certain period in time was much better. The old 'that was real music'. I can't be bothered with that mindset at all, hence my reluctance to get involved.

Take a few weeks ago. Some fairly average American band were on. Not sure who they were but they were kind of Green Day lite to all intents and purposes. Basically guys in their early 20's, spiky hair, tattoos and piercings. The song they were singing was alright. Not brilliant but fine within its genre. But then the others I was with start on about how 'crap' they were, how stupid they looked and how they had managed to get to where they were. That I can also cope with. It was the next part of the 'argument' that troubles me. Next up was the whole thing about rock music in the 80's was much better and more melodic blah blah blah. Then came a list of bands from the 80's - commercial stuff that is everywhere and takes no skill to 'find'. It was alleged that all this was much better than anything before it or anything since. What nonsense is what I was thinking. I was also thinking about how pointless it would be try do anything other than nod and appear to understand.

What I was thinking was 'nonsense' and the rest. I mean, I can't be bothered with such a mindset. Music didn't start and stop in the 80's (insert any decade in here). It evolves and changes and goes in one direction before coming back to the middle, then goes off in another direction depending on what's 'in'. For any decade, it needed something before it and something after it. It doesn't happen in isolation. It's like a 'language'. Words come and go but are always there but you don't go comparing or dismissing them with other forms of words.

That, coupled with people. People are idiots. The reason this individual is trying to defend the 80's rock seen is because that is when he was 'one of the boys'; in his early 20's. He hasn't moved on with the musical scene. He's 'stuck'. He strives to be that age again but can't. He can only strive to be that way again through the music that he listened to at that time, thereby dismissing all that has come since as it marks a passing of time which he may or may not be in denial over. Such 'denial' is enough to prevent me from getting involved. Appreciate music but don't dismiss it as 'crap'. It shows a lack of class and displays a definite sign of small-mindedness.

Rant over.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Summer, should be enjoyed. It should be warm and pleasant. It should be a time where you want to be outside doing things. Well, that is the Scottish view of it. In practice though it's not like that. It's seriously hot. It's windy and with that comes dust and sand. Heaps of it. Apparently it's flown all the way from Iraq. It's nice of them to send such a 'gift' to us but I could live without it. The windows can't be opened because of it. The car is covered in it. Visibility is crap and with it, the humidity increase. Air 'quality' is also crap. You can feel it in your throat. In the end, you don't want to go out and 'enjoy' it. I've not even bothered to play football. Not just for a day but for more than a week!