Tag: AM

Too early


It’s really not fair you know, the least we could get is a warming or quiet word to let us know it’s gonna happen but noooooooooooooo.

One day I’m perfectly able to sleep until 10am on a Saturday morning, the next and I’m lucky if it’s 8am.

I’m sure this is an ‘age’ thing.

With apologies to my olde wiser readers, whilst these things may be common knowledge to you (and if it is, could you PLEASE update the life user manual please, ta) it’s a recent discovery for me, and not really a pleasant one.

Along with the realisation that the hairs growing in my ears are longer than those on my head, this new desire to be awake before 8am at the weekend seems unnatural, unfair and entirely pointless.

Can’t I revoke this, or at least appeal on the grounds of IT’SNOTFAIR?

Worst still is that this newly found desire is worsened by the intake of alcohol. A couple of weeks ago, after one too many (or three too many, I lost count after the first Jägerbomb) I awoke, and please bear in mind this is after getting to bed at around 1.30am and that I was very drunk, not only before 8am but before 7am!

In that instance I can only conclude that my brain had been enjoy my drunken state so much it decided, after all about 4.5 hours sleep, that I should wake up again.

Seriously. What the fuck?

In saying that, it does mean that I’m starting to develop a very nice mid-afternoon napping habit…

Being prepared

It is most definitely Monday. Let me rewind the opening part of my morning for you, to offer you proof that it is most definitely Monday.

~ wibblywobbly wibblywobbly wibblywobbly ~

I’m lying in bed and somewhere in the distance, through the murk of a lie-in I hear the radio. Voices, a rabble, some music, and then the pips. I open my eyes to hear the announcement of the time.

9 AM.

As my eyes close once more my brain reminds me, in somewhat hurried tones, that I have a meeting in Glasgow at 10.30AM and perhaps, you know, maybe, it might be an idea if I got up.

I tell my brain to shut up.

It responds by sending a large jolt of recognition through my body.

SHIT!!! I need to get the 9.50AM train. Shit shit shit!

I leap out of bed, rush through my morning ablutions, haul on my clothes, hurriedly pack a bag (headphones, book, notepad, pen) and check the time. 9.24AM.

The station is a 30 minute walk from the house. I could rush and make it, probably, or I could get a taxi. As it is I’m still half asleep so decide a taxi is the best option.

Having just ‘won’ 10 minutes I decide to boil the kettle for a quick cup of coffee. Whilst it’s boiling I double-check the details of the meeting. The name of the guy I’m meeting, his phone number, the time 10.30AM, the location (big hotel in Glasgow), and yup, it’s happening on Tuesday the 1st of December.


I hate Mondays.


In January 2007 a website I designed was launched. The mission of the website was to highlight great writing on personal blogs; to draw attention to blogs that you might not have heard of before; and to point you to one absolute guaranteed humdinger of a blog post, once a week, every week.

One year and several months later, I’ve been honoured to be the Post of the Week. I’m hugely flattered given the quality of the other nominations, although there is part of me that wonders what took so long!

I highly recommend you head over to the Post of the Week website to check out the other nominations from last week and all of the previous winners, the quality of writing continues to amaze and I’m humbled to included.

No read-ey, no write-y!

Dearest Reader,

(Yes, that’s you)

I’ll keep this as simple as I can.

In my previous post I stated, quite clearly, that I would be taking “the opportunity to confirm that I will not be starting to write a novel (or even a novella)”. I realise my mixing of positive and negative actions in the same sentence may have confused your simple mind, for that I am sorry. I am certain you already have enough difficulty and confusion in your life and I apologise for rendering your simple mind asunder with my badly crafted sentence.

I realise my education places me at an advantage, how quickly it is that I forget that not everyone can read whilst sitting on the loo, I can skim through a magazine in no time, picking out all the best bits with ease. I occasionally read the words too. Yes I should remember that you may not be as smart as I, and that not only do you have to remember how to tie your shoelaces every morning but that it takes you several minutes beyond that to realise that you are wearing slip-ons.

So please let me clarify my statement, and allow me to re-iterate for those of you who apparently cannot read. The statement I made is thus, clearly and unequivocally, I AM NOT GOING TO WRITE A NOVEL (OR EVEN A NOVELLA).



I’m ashamed to admit that even my own parents (who are teachers for godssake!!) failed to properly read that announcement and continue to encourage me to do something I have stated, repeatedly, that I am not interested in doing. These are the types of parents you see in documentaries on Channel 5, and if I let them have their own way they’d no doubt have me attending some horrid pageant for 30-something sons, reciting my own paltry and pathetic attempts at poetry.

You may now be considering pointing an accusatory finger in my general direction, so I will concede that, maybe, perhaps, I could have emphasised my point a little better but the underlying lesson that I will take from this sorry debacle is that my faith in you (yes YOU) dear reader has been mis-guided. I have been presuming all along that you can read and, alas, it seems you cannot.

It makes me wonder what the hell you’ve been commenting on these past nine years, if you’ve been unable to properly parse and process the eloquently crafted prose laid before you. What kind of imbecile are you?

This entire sorrry episode convinces me that I am correct (I usually am) and so I will be sticking to my aforementioned, and since clarified, announcement which I shall repeat here in one final attempt to get the message across.


After all, if you lot can’t even be bothered to read things on my blog properly, why the hell should I write a bloody book!

Yours condescendingly,


P.S. There are several grammatical and spelling errors throughout this post, but I’m not expecting you heathens to spot them.

Morning World

Time moves on and these days I tend to watch Saturday Kitchen as opposed to Soccer AM (blame the new Soccer AM bloke, he’s rubbish). So whilst I sup on my coffee, Ken Hom is stirring up some Pork and Pineapple dish and I’m salivating.

Anyway, today I’m doing a little research after an interesting phone call yesterday, I’m updating my iPhone with the new software update (and filling it with a little more music), and then I’ll sit down with lunch and watch the Man Utd vs Liverpool game. Then it’s a few little chores, and deciding what to do for dinner before I head out to lose money playing Poker. OK, not really, I’m still learning so I’m allowed to play for free. Should be fun!

Tomorrow? Well that depends when I get home, when I get up and whether the couch decides that it would like some company or not.

Although I have been toying with resurrecting Scottish Blogs… maybe. Don’t get yer hopes up!

Psychological Music

I have a LOT of music. I buy a lot, borrow some, obtain others (hey, would you pass up a 4GB download of every “Now” album.. yeah I know, I should’ve too). The one thing I’ve always had a problem with is tracking my short-term listening habits.

I tend to buy music in spurts. I’ll purchase several albums at one time and listen to them when I get a chance, which is where my problem begins. Because I don’t ever sit down to listen to music, it’s always on in the background) then it can take a while for an album to wheedle it’s way into my affections.

I guess I should learn my lesson and cut back on my musical purchases but there is still that part of me that wonders if I’m about to miss the next big thing (when, in reality, I ALWAYS miss it.. ).

Anyway, what usually happens is that one or two albums instantly take root in my brain and remain there for some time. I generally have 5 or 6 albums on rotation but even then some albums slip through the cracks and fall into the depths of my music library (I AM trying to cut back though, I know that 106GB of music isn’t really practical to manage… ahem).

However, having recently purchased a 250GB external hard drive (a Western Digital passport) and backing up all my music there I decided to take it into work as I had a quiet couple of days ahead. Rather than copy the music to my PC, I left it on there and decided to create a new iTunes library. It took about 20 mins to scan it all and then I had a pristine library to browse.

And you know what? All of a sudden I’m actually browsing it rather than relying on various smart lists to filter the new from the old. Without any metadata bogging me down I’m suddenly free to go and find whatever music I stumble across. Yes, I know I could’ve done that before but I guess not having any way to manipulate the tracks, or at least not having my usual methods available to me (smartlists for recently added and recently played) I’ve ended up just randomly scrolling through the library and picking whatever takes my fancy.

It’s been hugely liberating. So much so I’m almost considering doing the same at home.


London Calling

On Friday the 15th of February I will be flying to London, I’m only there for a couple of days and I’ll be attending a birthday party on the Saturday night. That does mean that I have, at present, Friday night free.

So, my London-based blogging friends, are you about? Fancy a social gathering? I’ll be based in Wandsworth but I’m willing to travel. I have little to no knowledge of how far is too far when it comes to London, and I have little to no idea of where might constitute a reasonable place for some strangers to meet.

Ohh yes, we are strangers, don’t kid yourselfs. I may know a lot about you, and vice versa but it’s never the full picture now, is it.

Anyway, don’t let that put you off. I know many of you have been through the first tentative blogmeet type things, so let’s not call it that, let’s just say that some of us will meet in a pub/bar somewhere.

And yes, I know that what I’m basically asking is for someone to organise a blogmeet on my behalf but, honestly, I AM worth it. Honest.

So, Friday 15th February. Anyone free?

Questions Answered – Wrapup

Early in October of this year, I stole an idea and asked my readers to ask me a question. 14 questions and almost 12 weeks later I’m finished. In case you missed any of them, here are those answers in full:

  1. 4.56 AM or other similar times that should not exist, what to do when you find yourself there
  2. Mackerel: an intimate portrait
  3. Redesigns I have hated, and why
  4. The 15th Guinness, table top dancing, questionable headwear and other fun things to do at a blogmeet
  5. Time travel for bloggers
  6. Five Things The Scottish Could Learn From The English, and Five Things The English Could Learn From The Scottish
  7. If one life is all you get, then
  8. The ideal jogging route
  9. Why I will never be cool enough to own a Mac
  10. Why are bin bags so flimsy?
  11. Why I’m glad I’m not single
  12. Why beard?
  13. Daddy or Chips?
  14. “Chips” or “The Dukes of Hazzard”?

It’s been fun coming up with answers, some of which were more challenging than others, some of which were complete nonsense, most of which took me longer than I thought they would.

Mind you, I could just have done something like this:

  1. 4.56 AM or other similar times that should not exist, what to do when you find yourself there – go back to sleep
  2. Mackerel: an intimate portrait – [insert painting of mackerel]
  3. Redesigns I have hated, and why – Renault Megane, hit with ugly stick
  4. The 15th Guinness, table top dancing, questionable headwear and other fun things to do at a blogmeet – yes, yes, sometimes, and “strip blog name guessing”.
  5. Time travel for bloggers – also known as ‘scheduled posting’.
  6. Five Things The Scottish Could Learn From The English, and Five Things The English Could Learn From The Scottish – nothing and lots, in that order.
  7. If one life is all you get, then – why the hell are you reading this rubbish?
  8. The ideal jogging route – is flat.
  9. Why I will never be cool enough to own a Mac – I’m SO cool that I’m above such issues
  10. Why are bin bags so flimsy? – Because they are made that way
  11. Why I’m glad I’m not single – I hate ironing
  12. Why beard? – Because I can.
  13. Daddy or Chips? – CHIPS! (joking… ish)
  14. “Chips” or “The Dukes of Hazzard”? – Daisy and the General Lee, natch

But where’s the fun in that?

A big THANK YOU to everyone who asked a question — Keith, Alex, Lyle, Neil, Peter, mike, Hans, Jane, Lesley, Andy, Adrian, my Mum, and Ally (yes, someone asked more than one question!) — I hope the answers were sufficient, and if not… well… tough!

Fresh Air

Despite not sleeping well last night I was up and out in the garden early. A little bit of digging, raking and planting, a trip to the skip and I was done. All in time for lunch.

Then I did nothing. Literally, nothing. I just sat in our back garden for about thirty minutes, watched the birds flit from tree to tree, the clouds race each other across the sky, content and quiet.

My parents arrived mid-afternoon having visited my Gran in hospital —she’s doing fine— and stayed for dinner. They’ve just left and in a minute I’ll go and grab the remaining Equi’s ice cream that they brought (which went really well with the fruit salad we had for afters).

In a completed unrelated note, last night I learned that Salvador Dali designed the Chupa Chups logo. What a wonderful world.

Anyhoo, tomorrow we are off to Perth (Scotland) to visit Brenda and, as I’ve finally snagged an iTrip, I am, at this very minute, compiling a wee driving playlist.

Then I’ll go back outside, brave the midges, and water the plants.

What a lovely day.

Yes. I AM in an annoyingly cheery mood at the moment. And I’m savouring every second of it.


Money for old rope? Or is it possible to blog full-time? Last year Jason Kottke tried it, couldn’t make it stick. Now John Gruber is heading down the same road.

The reason I ask is that yesterday’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek post seems to have… well not quite enraged but definitely “irked” a few people somewhat. I guess for a lot of people it comes down to personal values, namely what you value most in life.

Me? Cold hard cash. Piles of it. Enough to burn.

OK, not really, er well maybe just a small pile..


Web design posts have been few and far between on here of late. There is a very good reason of course, namely that I want to setup a blog on onemandesigns but haven’t had a moment to do it. Ideally I’ll cross-post an excerpt on here as well but I’m not exactly sure on the details yet.

Need to get it done though, I’ve a stack of things to write about, and my head is gonna burst if I don’t get them out soon.


I don’t blog about work on here, well not directly anyway just the occasional “ya boo sucks” kinda nonsense that everyone goes through. It’s just as well too as —and don’t ask me why this has just occurred to me— my referrer stats have shown up somebody (people?) searching for my name in conjunction with my employers name. I’m guessing it may be interview candidates as they know who is interviewing them and who I work for… or it could be someone else who is checking me out in a “professional” capacity.

Either way, a lesson to you all. Careful what you say!


WordPress questions. I seem to have developed a penchant for my old friend the mdash (—). However, it’s becoming a bit of a drag having to type out the HTML entity code each time (& mdash ; ) and I’m wondering if there is an easier way around this problem. It’s the same for & pound ; and letter accents. Annoying.

I’m guessing I’ve missed something really obvious but CBATG.


.htaccess files are fun, aren’t they?

Well, no not really. They still fall into the realm of black magic as far as I’m concerned but I’ve been mucking about (on a test system) with something I hope to implement here. I mentioned it, er, last week I think. A homepage.

Problem is this blog is the default page for the domain, but I’m sure I read somewhere I could do some clever redirecty thingy using .htaccess… I don’t mind moving the blog to, say, /blog/ but it’s a bit of a pain in the ass for everyone else.

Mind you, as I’m linked to under so many different monikers (as previously discussed) it might be good to force people to update their links! And yes, the most annoying one is most definitely the “Gordon McClean” links. One “c” people, ONE!


SQL Injection attack anyone? Scottish Blogs has, suddenly, has a huge amount of rogue “submitted sites” (over 100 in the past hour, as opposed to 20 or so a day). I’ll see how many there are in the morning but might need to turn … um… something off somewhere! Balls.

AM update: Seems to have calmed down and, in the cold light of the morning I think it’s more a concerted attack on the form rather than SQL Injection. So far, so quiet(er).


I have a new method for dealing with cold callers. Last night, Louise had gone out to dinner with friends, I was sitting at the PC doing some work when the phone rang. The phone upstairs doesn’t have a caller id display so I picked up… only for some woman to immediately start yakking down the phone at me about how I’d “won” a mobile phone and how wonderful it was and how lucky I am. Now, would I give her my mobile number?

“No…” said I, and before I could complete the sentence she was off again… I was mid-way through hanging up when I decided against it. I listened to her for about 30 seconds, and with no sign of her abating, I gently placed the handset on the desk and let her enjoy a little bit of Kate Bush. She finally stopped after a further minute (34 seconds after I put the phone down, I was counting by now) and I could just make her out.. “hello? HELLO?”.

I held my breath, expecting her to disconnect. She didn’t. Over the music I could faintly hear the next round in her glorious eulogy —this one timed at a full 77 seconds— before she paused again. “hello? HELLO?”.