Friday my old friend….

Friday and I used to be old friends. As a day that is named after the great Norse goddess Frigg, who herself was the wife of Odin and thus the Queen of Asgard, I had more respect for Friday than any other day of the week. Across my lifespan Friday and I have been through many things together and even though she has often plagued me with a hangover to meet my mate Saturday, we never had any disagreements……….until now

You see today, the name that was given to my dear friend Friday by the masters of the sea back in times of yore seems much more appropriate. For today “Dies Infaustus” is a much more suited name as she has brought me nothing but bad luck. I have lost a bank card, had a power cut, stubbed my toe, smashed a mug and fallen off of a bus. Of course these may not sound like the worst luck in the world and you would be correct in thinking that. However, all these incidents happened before 10am this morning and as a result I am afraid to move for the remainder of the day.

I have experienced bad luck days on a few occasions in the past, the worst being back in 2006 when I lost my job and my place to stay in a matter of minutes (I was living in the same house as my boss) on that occasion I also lost my bank card. Fortuna clearly has no place in her life for me and also , it would seem, has a strange fascination with removing my  bank card from my possession.

I suppose that a lack of sleep could be causing some lapse in  concentration today, last night I found it impossible to sleep, no matter how hard I tried. A phenomenon which has apparently affected more than just I. I have spoken to seven or eight different people today who all had the same problem. I suppose this could be down to our nearing another full moon on the 27th or perhaps there’s some other strange reason behind it, I’m going with the full moon thing though.

In my  attempt to avoid moving in fear of more bad luck I’ve been reading the Three Musketeers. I picked it up the other day after watching The Muskeeters on BBC One on Sunday night (might I add I didn’t only watch it because of its ties to Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi as someone accused me of, I watched it because I’m a Musketeers fan). I haven’t read it in over a decade and I actually forgot how great a book it actually is.

Many people who have read The Three Musketeers find the idea enchanting. A story about friendship, loyalty and courage. D’Artagnan of course being the hero throughout. Myself, as much as I love D’Artagnans’ tale, I have a different hero in the story. Captain de Tréville for me is a fantastic character, who defends his Musketeers to the hilt. Strict and at times coated in a strange maniacal essence, he is the character who really pulls me in at certain points. I think that everyone needs to have someone like de Tréville in their life, someone to keep them out of trouble and make sure they’re towing the line (even  if they’re not).

I have looked out both Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne to re-read once I have finished with the Musketeers. The Vicomte de Bragelonne of course featuring The Man in the Iron Mask. The D’Artagnan collection of books is almost 200 years old and yet it’s amazing that when you read it, there are certain things that really haven’t changed all that much in the society of today.

As for my old friend Friday, I sincerely hope that you are merely in one your passing moods and that this type of behaviour will not carry on through to next week, otherwise we may have to have a heated conversation. Friday today you are a wretched wench…….

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The Monday Rant…

I was born in Scotland and raised here and excluding a few months spent living abroad in Switzerland I’ve lived here my entire life. I’ve moved from place to place over the years and encountered many different regional accents.

There is one thing however that is a source of constant annoyance to me.

Why do people in Scotland constantly feel the need to type in Scottish slang?

I understand that over time our verbal dialects have become stronger and we’ve manipulated the English language to suit our own tongue and I’m proud of that.

The is however no logical or sane reasoning behind typing with that tongue. It’s idiotic and crass. At points it’s even incomprehensible and totally unintelligible. Be proud of dialects, they’re ours but a written language is not something that should be obscure beyond any sense of understanding.

There are times, when it’s acceptable to be used, and that’s to use it to punctuate a sense of humour. However, using it as a first written language is horrible. There are very few people who can have a written command of the Scots tongue and one of them is Robert Burns………if you’re not Robert Burns then shut the fuck up and learn to spell.

“Av git tae git hame tae ma maw fur ma dinur” – this is in no way a real sentence.

Scottish has always been a great verbal dialect, but somewhere along the line it’s went from beautiful to crass. There’s a difference between the dialect of our forefathers and the dialect of today and the main one is that the Scots tongue of today is illiterate and nonsensical.

I’ll be surprised if anyone will be able to read the words on the ballot papers unless it’s written in regurgitated mangled shite.

Ballot – “Vote for one option only”

The nation – “eh wit?”

Ballot Translator – “Gonnae jist pick wan”

The nation – “aw right a get ye noo pal”

This situation is getting worse by the day, I constantly see people talking like this through texts and social media and not even to other Scottish people. I see it on worldwide pages and on these same pages I see the exact same Scottish people telling French speakers or Italian speakers to “speak English” the irony seems lost on them.

I worry for our future as a literate nation. I worry about the consequences that it will have for the education of younger people in the coming decades.

IF we do become an independent nation as a result of the voting later this year then I sincerely hope that the first thing on the agenda is to issue each household with a dictionary.

Gay marriage causes rain?

Science is wrong and soon all meteorologists will be unemployed. Everything we knew about the weather has been shown to be a fallacy.

Ukip councillor David Silvester, a former member of the Conservative party, has revealed that rain is caused by none other than gay marriage. I know, I know everything you thought you knew about the atmosphere has been shattered.

In a recent letter to the Henley Standard Mr Twat (as he will be referred to from now on) wrote: ‘The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.’

After warning David Cameron about the disasters he faced if he supported gay marriage he added He added: ‘It is his (Mr Cameron) fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods.’

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but surely that’s a load of nonsense?

I grew up in a society where it was ok to call someone ‘gay’ because they didn’t agree with you or have the coolest clothes. That term got thrown around a lot. I will admit ashamedly that I have used that term when I was younger just because it was the in thing to do.

Then I grew up, I realised that I was in no position to judge anyone. As a heterosexual male I came to realise that my preconceptions of gay people were completely warped and wrong.

If a gay man stabs someone and kills them, blame them for murder.
If a gay man breaks in to a bank and steals thousands, blame them for theft.
If a gay man uses someone else’s identity, blame them for identity fraud.

If a gay man marries another gay man, then don’t blame them for making it rain.

We are all on this earth and we all have to share it, this hatred for others because they are different is a horrible thing to witness. It doesn’t matter if a man loves a woman or a man loves a man. The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone it is not how you feel about them.

I am in no way religious but even if I was there is no way that I would believe this offal piece of scripture. More so, we live in the 21st century. Have we not moved on enough to realise that this hate, this never ending trail of disrespect is a thing of the past.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” that’s something we should all live by.

As we look around at the people around us we should learn to appreciateand love their uniqueness but most importantly we should respect their reality.

I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of people hating one another! Is there truly a point to it, do they gain anything from it?

A politician thinks that bad weather is caused by gay marriage but can’t see that the real problem, the actual problem with society is the state that the country is in because of short sighted politicians. It has nothing to do with the gay community, it has everything to do with the dumbasses who are in charge of running the country.

I realise this post is a slight deviation to the norm on here but it just really got my back up.

The end is nigh.

So…….

For the past few months I have been writing (a number of things actually) and I’ve kept pretty quiet about them. Only a few select people know about them, purely because I couldn’t be fucked with the pressure.

I promised myself years ago that at some point in my life I would write a book.

My first attempt came around 6 years ago when I tried to write a book called “Death of the Butterflies” Which was a time travel concept set in a future dystopia. I scrapped that idea when I didn’t know what I was doing……….May I add that years later, a television show called Continuum came along with pretty much the story in my head!

Then over time I tried many others. I just never had the time nor patience to put them down into words and so it was always pushed to the back.

A few months ago I was talking to a very wise person who told me “write what you know” and being the narcissistic prick that I am, I decided to start detailing my fucked up and crazy path in life, intertwined with some serious intellectual musings.

I’ve now almost finished all those words and after speaking to a few people who actually know about these things and who have read a few segments, I can now say that within the next four weeks I will release my first book.

“The Life and Times of a Mad Scotsman (without a box)”

A complete diary of some of the crazy shit that’s happened to me.

Taking that advice was some of the best advice that I have ever taken because about 6 weeks into writing it I realised that when I sat down and actually wanted to, I could write for hours on end. So, with that in mind, I started on a little side project. I started fleshing out some ideas and writing what will become my first actual novel.

“Smoke and Mirrors”

A tale of bio-chemist who’s life has been manipulated around him with the sole purpose of thermoforming a populated planet. This one, should hopefully be completed within six to seven months.

After chatting to the lovely people at Amazon, they gave me a package which suited my needs (and quite frankly cost me fuck all) to get self published.

Anyway, the point is that months and months of hard ass work is coming to a head very soon.

The Social Media Retaliation

Hot on the heels of my rant about Social Media this morning, it appears as though it thought to seek out revenge on me. To be more specific, it appears as though someone thought to seek out some sort of vengeance on its behalf.

Not so long ago I checked my email account and was met by an unusual amount of emails from Twitter to tell me that people had replied to my tweet. This was indeed a strange occurrence and made absolutely no sense to me as everything I post on Twitter is complete nonsense.

Upon checking Twitter (and having to reset my password) I found out that people were asking why my post about Dracula and Badgers was being promoted……

This tweet here;

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I will wholeheartedly agree, there is no sane or logical reason why that tweet should ever be promoted. I felt a strange sense of fear upon the realisation that my tweet was being promoted to a bunch of strangers who didn’t ask nor want to see the shite that I talk.

I finally checked my old “campaign” account and as it turns out, someone had hacked me and activated a campaign on the most random of tweets from my account to run on a budget of £150 per day for 10 days. While I could stop that reaching the £1500 mark I was unable to stop it reaching the £150 mark.

Now, thanks to said stranger, I have a bill of £150 that I didn’t want nor need. I have a bunch of new followers and re-tweets that I didn’t ask for.

Social Media and a mystery person has bested me on this occasion and anger is surging through my body. Unfortunately I gave my punch bag to a friend a while back and so I’m currently using the keys on this keyboard in a very forceful manner.

I have learned one lesson today…………..don’t fuck with Social Media.

The Social Media Machine!

My mornings are fairly routine, the only real variable is what I ingest for breakfast. To start with I wake up (I’m sure most of you are familiar with doing that) and then I’ll have a bath while I scroll through the mornings news. Eventually I’ll drag myself out of the bath and make breakfast and a cup of Earl Grey before sitting down to start typing away. Occasionally I’ll head over to Twitter and see what’s happening, which normally is not a lot.

This morning something in the “Trend” section caught my eye. This morning, trending throughout the UK was #tired.

At first glance I thought perhaps we were in the clutches of some strange Science Fiction plot come to life. Beings from another universe had come and made this island and its inhabitants full of fatigue. I can just imagine it now, the entire country is struggling to move while somewhere Richard Burtons voice is echoing out;

“And so it came to pass that fatigue set in across the land. Yet at the same time no one would have believed, in the last hours of early morning that British affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. Few men even considered the possibility of being awake for the rest of the day and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this island as idiots, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.”

Then I realised that it’s simply another case of the “Social Media Revolution” where every emotion, action and personal issue is shared for all the world to see. A Wednesday morning, day three of the working week, students aghast at the thought of attending school for the third day in a row, surely they will all be physically and emotionally tired.

I’ve never understood our need to share everything with the world. 15 years ago the thought of telling the world that you had a spot on your gooch was a horrible idea (it still is might I add) but society today seems to find it morally acceptable.

Don’t get me wrong, I myself have been guilty in the past. I have shared things that I shouldn’t have although nine times out of ten I realise almost immediately that I have been sucked in to the false security of social media and quickly delete my post. The problem is, once something is on the internet it’s out there for good. Sites such as archive.org keep records of almost every web page on a regular basis, available for anyone to see.

Some people are in denial but it is quite apparent that social media is taking control over the way we do things. Even certain types of cheese have their own Twitter and Facebook accounts. It’s quite frankly ridiculous.

Now before you close down this page, take a look to the right hand side and find my Twitter box. Make sure you press follow, we wouldn’t want you missing out the next time I get piles would we?

Sherlock

While I try very consciously to try and keep this blog free from actual “reviews” sometimes it’s hard to write a piece on a subject without it coming across as a review. The following is (in my mind) not a review but more of a personal standpoint on the latest series of Sherlock, the BBC’s hit show and Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ love child.

May contain spoilers.

It takes a lot for me to watch what people would class as “normal” television. Sometimes my mind is so attached to the Sci-Fi genre that watching anything else doesn’t challenge me enough to dedicate any time to a different genre. I will admit I love the occasional comedy show, a friend recently introduced me to ‘It’s always sunny in Philadelphia’ and it was one of those rare occasions where I enjoy it.

Back in 2008 I heard rumblings about a new “Sherlock” production, a one off, hour long show headed up by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I was instantly interested, not only have I been a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes novels but ever since I first saw ‘Press Gang’ I have been a huge Steven Moffat fan. At that moment one of my favourite writers was writing for my favourite show (Doctor Who) and was about to co-write a show based on one of my favourite literary characters, needless to say that I was excited.

As time progressed things changed, the pilot was filmed and never broadcast, at the point of hearing about the non-broadcast I was somewhat confused. Rumours circulated that Sherlock was a disaster and would never make it to air. Then news broke that, yes it would be broadcast but not only that the pilot would be re-shot and Sherlock would now be a three part series consisting of 90 minute episodes. I was once again excited.

Series one and two of Sherlock were exactly what I had hoped for. It wasn’t Sci-Fi and I knew that when I sat down but it captured my imagination like only Sci-Fi could. The plot lines were intricate and well thought out, there were no front and centre relationships and you genuinely had a show that made you think. The cast were and still are fantastic, being a fan of Cumberbatch since I first saw him in 2004’s television film “Hawking” I was even more thrilled with his casting. Sherlock was fast, intelligent, witty and one of the best things to hit television screens in years.

Then came another two year wait and we finally got series 3. Sherlock was back with a brilliantly written episode ‘The Empty Hearse’ by Mark Gatiss followed by a collaboration by Stephen Thompson, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss called “The Sign of Three” and finally Steven Moffats finale “His Last Vow”

For all intents and purposes series 3 was a success but for me it wasn’t the ‘Sherlock’ show that I had fallen in love with four years ago. Gone were the intricate plot lines, the fast paced intelligent action and instead the relationships took front and centre. In the space of two years a show that I had loved for being outside the box and one that I commended for its ingenuity had all of a sudden conformed to being what I despise in most other shows.

Relationships were always a byline in the first two series’ and that’s what made it so great. We were treated to some fascinating plots and some fantastic deduction scenes by Sherlock himself. Suddenly that was gone and the deduction scenes we had this series were minimal and quite frankly boring. In the very first episode called “A Study in Pink” when Sherlock and Watson are sitting in the back of a taxi and Sherlock tells him how he knew he was in the army and that his brother was an alcoholic, that was fantastic that was what made me love the show. Fast forward four years and you get Sherlock standing in a court room with some woman and working out how they were all connected, it just wasn’t the same.

To me Sherlock series three has lost the edge that the first two series’ had and while I enjoyed it it just wasn’t the same show. I’m not complaining in such a way that I’m going to take a hissy fit and say that I’ll never watch it again because that’s a lie, it’s still a good show but it’s lost the certain elements that made it a fantastic show.

I’m going to give the Moff a bit of leeway with it because he had the Doctor Who 50th anniversary last year and I can only imagine how much time was spent on that, there’s every possibility that he just didn’t have time to put together an amazing episode of Sherlock. I’ll give Gatiss the same leeway but not just as much, his script should have been better. Thompson had written his script with both Moffat and Gatiss so he can’t totally be held accountable for his writing.

My hope is that when Series Four appears there is more of a return to the way Sherlock was and less of a return to what Sherlock has become.

The one big stand out for me this series was Yasmine Akram, I instantly thought she was great in “The Sign of Three” but I thought that her story was finished so it was great to see her back in “His Last Vow”

The one bonus…………….Moriarty Lives!

That one I didn’t see coming.

Time to starve it out….

I have made the concious decision to give up nicotine. After so many years and so many failed attempts to quit I have decided that it’s now or never. If that part of my mind that calls itself “will power” decides to fail me on this then I won’t try and give up again.

Giving up comes down to two reasons, the first being health. I’m not what you would call the fittest person alive nor am I the least fittest but I have every desire to become healthier.

The second reason is money, I sat earlier today and tallied up how much I spend in a year on tobacco products including lighters etc. and it nearly made my heart escape through my anal passage. I could be spending that money on much better things and things that are actually needed.

As I embark on this journey I realise that the next two weeks will be the toughest, I’ve never made it past the two week stage and so that’s my first goal. If I can make it to there then I will feel more confident about staying nicotine free.

I looked at my options to help me quit and I decided on cold turkey. Why? I believe that if I still have any nicotine going into my system then I’ll just want more, it’s my mentality. If I go cold turkey and completely starve myself of it then I’m less likely to want it after a few days. I know that doesn’t work for everyone but it’s how my mind works with everything else so I’m hoping it’s the same for this.

I have no doubt that over the coming two weeks I shall be a jack in the box of moods and agitation and so there will most likely be some extreme posts on here. Writing for me is a way to release some tension and I have a bad feeling that my nicotineless body will have a lot of tension over the next few days. I may be that agitated that even Doctor Who won’t settle me down.

I’ve been training recently for this feat. Little over a month ago I gave up my second addiction – Irn Bru. Ever since I can remember I have been addicted to the orange goodness that is Irn Bru. I could drink anywhere up to two bottles per day every day. I’m now 32 days clean.

Who knows whether I’ll succeed or not, I’m determined that I will and I have a good feeling this time. Only time will tell…..

Geez some haggis doll….

This year is a big year for Scotland. We have to make a decision on whether or not we become an independent state. I don’t get involved in politics for one simple reason…….it’s a corrupt society. In all honesty up until about 10 minutes ago I was undecided on how I would vote.

Instead of delving into a plethora of “for and against” arguments, I’m just going to leave this picture here……the picture that helped me make up my mind.

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How memories work…

Memories are peculiar things. Similar to paintings, they become cracked and distorted over time. The older the memory becomes the less clear it appears.

The thought occurred to me when I was recently speaking to an old school friend about something that happened when we were around the age of 13. As we progressed further into the conversation we both realised that our recollections of that particular event were slightly different. While both of us were certain that our own memory was the most factual series of events, we decided to ask someone else who was with us at the time. Strangely, when we got the third person to recount their memories they also had a different perception. This struck me as odd. All three of us had a very lucid memory of the exact same event and yet each memory was divergent.

Have you ever watched an old family video and thought “I don’t remember that”
I have, and I always seem to think it every time I watch one. Slowly but surely I have probably unknowingly rewritten the events from those videos in my mind and that’s why they always seem different when I view the recorded version.

I wonder how many of our most important memories have become distorted over time. The memories that we cling on to and the ones that make us smile.

I quite clearly remember the moment that my daughter was born or at least I think I do. Upon trying to envision the entire thing, I can’t. I can tell you that I was in the room, her mother was in the room (obviously, that would be some strange birth if she wasn’t) and that there were some other people. I can’t tell you who the other people were, I can’t tell you how many of them there were. I can’t remember anything that really happened in that room besides 3 small specific moments, which I now wonder if they happened exactly the way I remember them.

There are two quotations about memories which I think sums it up pretty well. The first is;

“Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.”

A quote by a man named Thomas Fuller.
I truly believe that is an accurate description. Memories are just leftovers, they’re never the full picture. If I had a 12 inch pizza in front of me and it was untouched then no matter what way I looked at it, it would always be the same pizza, the same shape. If I cut that pizza up and eat 3/4 of it, what’s left of it can move around the plate, it can be moved into different positions and and even different shapes. The original shape in its entirety is now gone and I’m left with what’s left behind. I still know that it’s the pizza that was there at the beginning but it doesn’t resemble what was there to start with.

The other quotation is;

“Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events.”

I feel that this one is fairly self explanatory. As a result of most of memory being distorted our mind automatically tries to fill in the blank spaces and ultimately we believe it to be true. If there is one thing that the human mind is programmed to believe then it is itself.

I am no expert on the human mind, as a matter of fact I know nothing about what sits inside the human skull or any other skull for that matter. A small part of me wishes that I did because the human mind fascinates me. The way we perceive things and the way we use logic is truly remarkable.

I’m sure that there are a lot of studies on memories and how they work and why they change. I should probably have researched them and made this blog more educational but the truth is I don’t want to know. I’ve studied many things over the years, I’ve been educated in a variety of wonders and I enjoy it, I enjoy learning new things. When it comes to my mind, as much as it fascinates me,I prefer the wonder and mystique of why it does what it does.

The human mind created Doctor Who, Comics and beer…..I don’t need to know how it works as long as it keeps doing what it’s doing.