Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Yes that's right. Now you can watch BBC television live on the iPlayer. Just started today, so they told me on the Gadget Show Web TV.

Go on to iPlayer, and pick a Channel on the left of the page. Double click it, and pick Today. The schedule will come up. The pink item is the one currently playing live. I tried it on Buzzcocks and it worked. Oh, you have to pick London as your region.

Happy viewing. Although I have to say that unless you've got something mobile to play it on, then it's all a bit pointless. I mean, if you're at home just switch on the telly ffs.

My initial WOW over the Nokia N95 iPlayer application has moderated somewhat, ameliorated. This is because I can't find anywhere - except at home where it's pointless, see above - anywhere where it works. Didn't work either in the Regent Bar or in Wetherspoons. So my dream of watching high opera whilst the masses are glued to the footie remains just a dream. For now.

(I'm kidding, btw. Opera is almost as over-rated as football. It has its moments, but ultimately is not worth sitting all night next to the public for. Better with some Mozart CDs, if you ask me, which I realise you didn't.)


Those Thai protesters must be right miffed, getting bumped off the screens after just one day by a bunch of Indians doing much the same thing. Third world, eh? What are they like?

I was particularly taken by one western commenter in the Thai airport (Bangkok was it, or am I in the wrong continent?) who said, "Why are they protesting here? There are almost no Thai people here..."

"THEN WTF ARE YOU DOING THERE?" I felt like screaming at him. Stay home! Tourism spreads epidemics and causes grotesque social upheaval.

Much more war in the Einstein and Eddington dramadoc still on iPlayer. Britain versus Germany 1914. Starring David Tennant, Britain's hottest actor, according to the front cover of Radio Times. Now this was most enjoyable guff, but as always in this sort of thing you have the devil of a job working out what's real and what the writer dreamed up.

All the conversations fall into that latter category, sadly. Every world of dialogue... false. (Well, ninety-nine percent.) Because there's no actual record. No tape recorders. No sound recorders. So the shows all end up like Amadeus, where veracity went out as the wigs came in. Great wigs though. "Too many notes! Just cut a few!"

Tell me what you think. Two more days. I must admit I had my own private subversion, where at the end Eddington (Tennant), meets Einstein (Andy Serkis) and my only thought was Eddington saying to Einstein: "I'm Doctor Who. Wtf have you ever done?"

Thespians, eh? People who raid the dressing up box for a living, to quote the estimable Julie Burchill. Miss her. Used to make Saturdays, her column in the Grauny magazine. It was great in those days. Housing Benefit Hill, Oscar Moore dying of Aids, that woman with a daughter called Treasure (a proto-blog, that one) and so on. Nowadays they've got Charlie Brooker, whose actual funniness is in inverse proportion to his self-appreciation.

Waxing mathematical. Must be all the Einstein stuff this afternoon.

Twenty four days to the solstice. Scary. All of my life revolves around these next three weeks - the other forty nine being just dress rehearsal, with this weblog the tortured script. But only in depression are you fully alive.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


One of the joys of this time of year (and there are few), is the sight of dawn at a reasonable hour. Unfortunately where I live the sun isn't visible as it summits the horizon, due to the built environment, but you sure get the effects. Right now the pre-dawn, pre-light shows the sky quite cloudless, so to the hills I must away. It is imperative. The alternative is unthinkable - stagnation, rocking chair and death.

But oh dear I would rather sit here on the couch in the warm. Far rather. There, I've said it.

Yesterday in the Regent was fun, where I attempted to show Drew the new BBC iPlayer feature on my Nokia (post below). But it resolutely refused to work. We guessed it must be their router set to no streaming media or some such. And who can blame them? It's free after all. We have the moon.

Then I went to the Ocean Terminal and Starbucks where I penned the below ditty until both my batteries ran out. Dickens never had battery problems with his posts I'm sure. I hope Gordon and Alastair can rescue us from this financial mess, although I do quite fancy a bit of deflation. The Co-op are doing 2x200g jars of Nescafe Gold Blend for just seven quid which saves three pounds something. I got four jars and saved six pounds something. You can do that when you're comfortably off. Impresses the punters in the checkout queue something rotten.

So from last night, post pub...

Hi there. Hows it going? Been a while since we chatted in the Ocean Terminal Starbucks. Me I'm feeling a bit gutted to tell the truth. And it's nothing to do with Starfucks. Oh no. It was a shop downstairs, HMV, a tawdry DVD, CD and game emporium. I'm sure they have them where you are.

I'd actually gone in for a movie. (Although "in" is a bit of an odd term for a shop missing an entire wall of welcoming entry.) Welcoming apart for the musical racket - usually - a thing we've written about here often.
A woman opposite is doing something unspeakable with her nose and a tissue. Why the fuck don't the ill just stay home or die or something.
Well, clearly HMV have been taking note of our musical outrage, because what should I hear on moving between Hits of the Nineties (there weren't any) to TV Boxed Sets (I totally refuse to say the modish "boxset". It's BOXED SET goddammit) what should I hear but the much younger Paul McCartney belting out "Eleanor Rigby".

Well, as if that wasn't bad enough, there I was still desperate for a six quid horror flick, when the tune changed to "I am the eggman. I am the eggman. I am the walrus."

I had to flee the shop. Honest. Even though those two songs were separated by decades, overdoses and suicides, they still made a stunning sequence. I applaud the young staff for their attempts at inclusion.

The credit crunch has some surprising results :) P x

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Monday, November 24, 2008


Yes that's right. I'm sitting blogging to you on the laptop, while AT LAST the Nokia N95 8Gb is blasting out a show live from the BBC iPlayer. (It's Mark Lawson talks to Rolf Harris, for those of you with an eye for historic events.)

Why historic?

Because earlier this year, the Beeb succeeded in annoying the entire ownership of top end Nokias by offering its flagship iPlayer for the Apple iPhone only.

And this Nokia man was one of the millions not amused.


But today I can gladly announce that the waiting is over!

Simply browse on your phone to this page:
Click on install, and within minutes you will have a nice iPlayer icon in your Applications folder.

Now for the few snags.

This is a beta app, and some shows don't seem to work. Especially Survivors, currently heading up the display. (Nice show, btw. Watched it last night on a conventional television. All been done before on celluloid, though.) Maybe it's the parental lock.

Make sure you're on WiFi, or your Packet Data will go through the roof. (I tried downloading Lawson/Rolf just for your information, and it would have been 100Mb. But the download didn't finish, as I got a popup telling me to register my phone with the BBC. So I did. One click register. It's a Digital Rights Management issue. DRM.)

Your phone might need the latest firmware update, for which you'll need Nokia Updater on your PC, which you get from Nokia's site. Heavens for my age and condition I'm pretty clued up.

Now I'm streaming the Rolf show and it's jest fine. On WirelessG.

Tiny screen of course, so a low resolution suffices.

iPlayer on your Nokia N95 8Gb.

Why wait any longer? Now you can sit in a pub and watch something other than football!

Soaps! Costume dramas! Highbrow BBC 3 stuff! (With an audience of literally dozens!)

Naked Blog, the first with all the tech news. Let me know how you get on.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008


Good morning from my nice cosy living room. On the sofa, laptop on my knee - rather than shivering in the freezing kitchen. All this economy has already led to a twenty pound a month reduction in my electricity payment. Frugal. One of the more sensible purchases, as opposed to the stupid ones (which are mercifully few) was the decision to go for a fixed rate electricity tariff, valid until 2011 I think it is, by which time of course there'll be no world left as we know it, and the over sixties will have been eaten, burned and organ-farmed. Possibly in the reverse order.

Today the forecasts are all in agreement., and my Lidl home weather station are all predicting quite heavy rain. The only disagreement comes from the sky itself, which is resolutely sunny. I could have hillwalked. Should have hillwalked. So there we go. Or rather don't. Hence today's post, proving beyond doubt that every cloud has a silver blog.


Last night at work I made a mistake which cost them a hundred quid. This illustrates the pressure under which modern bingo callers toil. Other mistakes are possible, which would cost many thousands of pounds, but fortunately we're yet to make one of those. Yet to. It's enough to make yer hair fall out from the very roots.

TV moment of the week was the butch (allegedly) Tom Jones sitting somewhat uncomfortably between Graham Norton and Alan Carr. This was a guesting error, as Norton and Carr together would have been much more entertaining without him. Norton described Carr as his "favourite comedian of all time" which is praise indeed. Here we've been similarly complimentary. And also of Russell Brand, who at least did the decent thing and left the Beeb, unlike Wossy.


Becoming vaguely interested in World of Warcraft, despite the dire warnings of addiction and relationship breakdown. As one has no relationships to break down, that would hold no fear. Plus I'm pretty much back on the sudoku full time again, with no real rush to break free. Every new puzzle is like a needleful of comfort and joy for a few hours. Clean page, new pencil, no wucking furries. I'm working my way through the book Extreme Sudoku for Dummies for the second time. (Bought a second copy.) Comparing notes on this round to those I made the first time. I definitely seem to be more efficient now, especially with (sorry geek alert) Y-Wings and XY Chains. Those boring basic moves seem to do themselves as you pencil in, which is how it should be. Maybe my best-seller will be a sudoku book, rather than the emotionfest I'd always imagined. Although Carol Vorderman thinks she's got the market sewn up, there's always room for someone new. Class A puzzles, rather than B/C.

How's your credit crunch going? Better than Woolworth's I hope, which this week appeared to be on sale for just one pound. I didn't buy it though. Never been much of a one for business. Plus I really couldn't stand listening to all those staff whinging and moaning.

The bottom is falling out of the barometer. That's why everything's on to rain. Last night was a record low for this winter, at 0.2 degrees Celsius on my bathroom windowsill. Later it warmed to 1.2, which doesn't sound nearly so dramatic. Need to go nice and negative.


Ah well. Must go. The imperative is out no matter what the weather holds. Been going back to The Regent a bit lately, as it's very light, and makes a great Base Camp for Mount Arthur. Very pleasant. Re-met Drew and Dave the Writer and Karina. Plus the nicer members of staff. Dave had just been to Berlin and loved it. Cheaper than Edinburgh, he said. Oh, and we might not be getting trams after all. There's a groundswell now to just fill in the holes and cut and run. Plus Carillion aren't able to pay their workers. Apparently they're just standing around doing nothing. So what's new, various commenters wondered.

Tram workers would appear to be the new untouchables, getting verbal abuse from pensioners and business people, and even having rocks thrown at them from nearby flats. This illustrates the widespread popular hatred of this project, forced on the people by those elected to represent us. The people who really should be getting stoned are Edinburgh City Council, The Scottish "Government", and all their lackeys and flunkies who despise the people who pay their ample wages.

I heard it's going to be four pounds to get on the trams, and you can't use your pensioner bus pass. This will at a stroke remove the old and the poor from the view of the Forthside yuppies who infest our once great seaport.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"Have some chewing gum," Sandra offered. It was Trident. We were in the Pentlands some weeks back, and the day wasn't going that perfectly. So I took the gum, although secretly I think it's rather common. "It's good for your gums," she said. So I chewed it, and it was. The chronic low-level infection around Upper Right Five(it's crowned) seemed to ameliorate for a while.

So a few days later I bought gum myself and chewed it. Massaging Upper Right Five. Shift that infection down the hatch! And all was going well until...

...Monday evening in the house, when I suddenly realised my chewing gum had developed a hard bit. That's right. The crown on Upper Right Five was off. Again.

Well, no way Jose was I missing out on my hillwalk yesterday for a pesky dentist appointment, so I stowed the expensive accoutrement somewhere safe yet findable, and set out for my date with the skies. As described below, and which has clearly left you all speechless with delight.

Today then, just back from la Divine Dentists and what do I learn? The root is fractured. That's why infection gets in. The root has to come out and quick. Then I'm to replace my present metal-framed denture with a new-fangled style in flexible rubber stuff. She showed me a display model. It's like a condom with teeth. Nevertheless, always in pursuit of novelty and value, I will buy it, try it and present you with my report. The things you learn on Naked Blog!


This recently in from Brett in Florida, who for the past couple of months has been writing his own blog, Branches and Rain, and I never even noticed! Can't wait to get tore into it, as Brett is a quite gifted writer, and has contributed loads to my comment box over many years.
Now that the election is over, it's back to tending our own plots. Last week was hammer and tongs at the library, as our large student population struggles to complete term papers before the Thanksgiving holidays. Lots of reference work and computer support.

A storm on Friday brought our first days of real autumn, with sodden dead leaves and truly cold weather. Our first freeze is projected for Tuesday night. Florida State University lost its homecoming football game Saturday night to Boston College, as fans feared would happen after five linemen were suspended for brawling in the Student Union, (a campus plaza with shops and student offices).

All went smoothly at the polls this time. Masses of voters waited for hours to vote early at a limited number of locations. Our Republican Governor Crist upset his own party by extending the early voting hours. Those of us who waited until Nov. 4th to vote had no wait at all. In & out.

The shocker was Obama taking Florida. Everyone thought Florida was safe for McCain. My sister, down in Tampa, was an Obama organizer. The Repubs didn't expect Obama to challenge them everywhere. But he had so much money, and had built such a network online, that he was able to do that.
Now trot yourself over to Branches and Rain, and get the skinny on real life in the Sunshine State.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Looking down on Penicuik, all cares left behind. Lunch of cheese and pickle sandwiches, kind to the tummy. Troops are in training, chatting as they run past.


Fond memories.

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Good morning, dear reader. And what a morning it is. Crisp and clear, but with that touch of red in the dawn sky to bode a warning for the unready shepherd. In short, a day for some mindless hillwalking. O'Leary! O'Reilly! and so on and so forth.

Except it's not. We have gut issues. The Naked Entera are still a tad sore today, showing that last night's post below (don't look; it's too awful) was not a one off scheissen-spatter.

Stomach flu, as my dear transatlantic friends say. The skitters, as we pronounce here in Scotland. But I still could and should exercise. There are acres of heather, hectares, to poo in, and on a Tuesday I'm unlikely to see even a soul. Not like Sunday gone, where a crowd of teenage boys were rejoicing on top of Scald Law. Shouting, dancing and photoing each other waving their tribal scarves. It was good to see. Normally the young have useless, degenerate, Playstation bodies, after falling for the ad hype that you can get healthy simply by waving a Wii thing about. Poor sods. But profits come before health, any day.

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Monday, November 17, 2008


Why do "accidents" always happen when you're
(a) within inches of the toilet, and

(b) wearing clothes fresh out of the washer?
Beats me. Just had one half an hour ago when I came in from an afternoon's drinking and strolling. Thought I'd made it in time until I checked the back of my jeans, and oh the horror. Horror indeed. Faecal material on the belt. Even in the back pocket. (Never had that one before.) That'll larn me not to drink four pints of lager after a day of all fruit.

Healthy diet? I'll give you healthy diet. And if I hadn't bent down to greet darling zoe I definitely would have made it. Definitely maybe.


Sunday was the Pentlands for a change, but it wasn't just the marching song below. No way, Piotr. I met loads of folk. The sun had brought out so many it was like Princes Street I swear it. Chit to that one, chat to the other. Sociable. And of course on days like that - surrounded by non-walkers - my fitness conquers (nearly) all. It's a glory feeling to sail up past people half one's age. God I'm such a shit. No wonder I've no friends to speak of.

Anyway, I won't bore you with this one and that one, except for this girl towards the end. (Oh, incidentally - the young woman who got stranded in the rain with just tights and a skirt a few weeks back turned up in the Flotterstone Inn quite safe and sound, Ryan told me. Happy ending, then.)

And here, yesterday, coming up towards me this time was a similar young woman. Dyed blonde hair with dark roots. Bright red ear warmers looking a bit silly to be honest. Across on Black Hill, on the other side of Glencorse Reservoir there was billowing cloud after cloud of choking white smoke, but yet no visible fire. I spoke to the woman, not realising at that point her Eastern Eurpean origins.

"Why is there smoke but no fire?" I asked. Her answer came strangled, quite tortuous.

"I think it is, how you say, the tractor," she said.

"Tractor?" I echoed.

"Yes, the tractor for the feathers..."

Unlike the previous Polish woman, she didn't look that interested, so I left her to her ascent, and our ways parted probably for ever.

The tractor for the feathers, I pondered as I descended Carnethy. And then it dawned, brighter than one hundred suns. Tractor equals farmer, and feathers equals birds. She was telling me it was the FARMER burning the heather for the BIRDS! In these small ways do we share our communication.

Later, at the Flotterstone bus stop, three hunks turned up and started to chat. Forty-ish, shaved heads, butch. In my prime I'd have been angling for some sort of bisexual gangbang, but I'm glad those days have long since gone. Peace in our time. They sat beside me on the bus when it came, and I invited them to join the walking group. Said to mention my name. We don't have much money, etc.

Tractor for the feathers.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


The O'Bama song by Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys (luvvit!) is just wonderful for hillwalking, being as it is in rhythm with the steps. I can only compare Darma Chameleon (it's Karma Chameleon, of course, but twice my fingers typed Darma so it must be meant. Dharma is the law) Karma Chameleon which is ideal for jogging...
Karma Karma Karma Karma

Karma Cha MEE Lee On

(pound, pound)

You come and go

(pound, pound)

You come and go-oh-oh-oh


Karma Karma etc
(repeat till you collapse or get home)

With the Obama song the idea's the same, just the pace much slower. I discovered its exercise benefits this morning whilst tackling Turnhouse Hill for the first time for some weeks, due to inclemency of weather and company.

First you MUST listen to the song, if you've not heard it. It's quite viral. Also a tricky thing. More to it than meets the eye.

Whilst pretending to be a simple bedroom band, the recording also has brass, strings and piano. The video is artfully edited with just the right amount of repetitions for optimum likeability and retention. This is no amateur production. Great song too!

So there I was, trudging up this thirty degree slope, sloughing off one by one the cares of the preceding days. The thing about solitary walking is that the thoughts change. The latest complaints (work usually) are the first to come and go, to be replaced by longer-established gripes (Edinburgh's World Heritage Status - we're keeping it... they must have nobbled the inspectors) longer gripes and hopefully eventually the whole damn lot get exposed to the sun and disappear faster than undeveloped photos on a celluloid film.

But the first thing to come in to my head was this...
O'Leary! (step)

O'Reilly! (step)

O'Hare and O'Hara (grunt)

There's no-one as (step)

Irish as (step)

Barack O'Bama (grunt)

O'Leary! O'Reilly! etc.
Repeat till you get to the top of the hill, by which time hopefully something else will have occupied your mind.

A consummate marching song, then. Well done. It is little things like this which lighten our lives, although in the olden days they would have rushed out a single and made a medium-sized packet of dosh. Top Of The Pops. Nowadays you're expected to give your stuff away.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008


So this woman comes up to me at the bingo this morning... well dressed, expensive glasses...

"Does nothing work in this place?"

"Yes, madam. I do, quite hard."

"One coffee machine is out of order, and the other one hasn't got latte. I want latte."

"I'm very sorry."

"So am I"

To be honest, I was quite struck dumb. What I wanted to say to the cow was on the lines of: Why doesn't madam fuck off to Starbucks where they've got gallons of the stuff. I think you might find there's no bingo there, though.

Latte. I'll give you fucking latte. Next they'll be wanting crepes. Prawns in aspic.

She didn't win.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008


*Janice voice*

"Oh." "My." "God."

You'll never guess what I've gone and done! Only connected Tosh the new laptop to Brad the PC via a network. Now I can sit in the living room penning my ouevre, then print it all out in the kitchen. Although all this wireless stuff makes yer flesh quite tingly. Hope me bona riah doesn't fall out again.

Robin Williams has just come on Graham Norton. Oops, bad choice of words there.

(It's been so long since I've blogged I get nervous and have to do it in the middle of the night when no-one at all will notice.)

Williams isn't being very good. He's just done O'Bama the Irish thing, but it's four days after the song was on BBC1. In fact I think he's in altered consciousness. Rolling Stoned.

Right. Off goes the telly. Now there's just you and me. And zoe, of course. She's a sausage. I've had to train her off the laptop, and then the poor thing tried to play with the lead, but I had to stop her from that as well, in case she got 19 volts up her wee hairy bits.


This is really trash. One way to break a block is just to write anything and then delete it. After a bit the good stuff comes. Supposedly.

UNESCO inspectors are here this week to see whether Edinburgh will retain its World Heritage Site status. They've become concerned at the amount of trashy new building - clearly been reading Naked Blog then. Yes, garbage developments all over town, and now we might lose WHS status.

You'd think the powers that be would be dismayed, concerned - but no. Architects and councillors are hitting the media with, "We don't want Heritage status. It slows down developers."

Yes - you dumbfucks. That's what you're meant to do... but clearly that notion hasn't sunk in. We've got one guy on the council from the Weedge. (Glasgow.) He won't be happy till there are flyovers half way up every building. "I belong to Glasgow... Dear old Glasgow town..."


Dearie dear. Life goes on. Without the walking group now, though. No more leading groups up hills. No more looking back and getting horny. No more no more.

It was privacy concerns. Yet, not strangely this blog. A Flickr group. Shared online album. Committee didn't like. Bye bye Peter. (Oh they begged me not to leave, but a man's gotta do.) I'll find another group. Must be more. Start my own. They were a lot richer than me anyway, but that's not hard.

Nights fair drawing in. Just five or six weeks to da Solstice. Watching the clock. Must go out. Don't want to go out. Must get some light. But it's miserable wet and grey. Want to stay in and play with my toys. Warm. Sick of gales up me jacksie. Better than nothing, some would say.

Getting the hang of typing on the flat. Getting more of an urge to write the real stuff, rather than the sanitised blog. Like in the beginning, when nobody knew who you were. Well, just Scott and Tony and then Rex. If I don't write the nineties some time then it'll start to slip, and that would be an awful waste of an awful lot of experience you dear reader could vicariously live. Walk the forest path. Need to make some dosh though.


Saw Prince Charles in France on Remembrance day. (Sunday or Tuesday - can't remember.) He was with that Sarkovsky (sp) guy. Left breast covered in medals, (Charles) yet strangely I can't remember his getting shot at, even once. Funny that. His young brother did (the straight one), in the Falklands. His son in Afghanistan. (Or was it Iraq? So many wars.) Yet Charles seemed to spend his younger years playing the cello, drinking cherry brandy and boffing Camilla. Mebbe they were medals for adultery. Oh that's me in the Tower again.

I go days on end without speaking to a soul. Get depressed about future depression, but it might never happen. Didn't last year.

Network. Can't believe I just click Print here and Epson on the kitchen table will burst into life. Wonder if Brad himself has to be switched on, or if he too will awaken like in Alien. "Stop the press! Peter's written another masterpiece!" And what about file sharing? What's that all about? Haven't really much idea what a network is or does.

Plus musn't forget Priscilla... she of Windows 98 not even Second Edition. And finally for now - I've still got Julie, on Windows 95 upgraded from Windows 3.11

Oh that was an exciting upgrade. Lost about three year's writing, as I refused to back things up, thinking it would never happen to me. But c'est la vie. Easy come, easy go. Plenty more words in the sea. Much of the last two decades is on these machines, gathering dust and rodent poo in corners.


I often wonder what my grandad would have thought, hunched over the Home Service for the football results to hear if he'd won the Pools that Saturday, or was it another week of grinding poverty. He used to keep hens to help out. Sell the eggs. Jews would come and buy the birds to cook. They couldn't eat meat because of their religion my mother explained.

One Sunday he was just about to kill a chicken for our dinner which was a treat. Beef was common, chicken posh in 1950. You had to pluck them.

He had the bird between his legs, hands on its neck, ready to twist and shout. Me I was about three, my head hardly higher than the chicken's. "Should I kill it, Peter?" he asked. The chicken stared at me, pleading. I could see desperation in its big brown eye. "No, Grandad! Don't kill it!" And he didn't. But we still had chicken for dinner, so I guess he did eventually. Mebbe I'll go to heaven for trying to save a chicken.


Check out the Irish song on YouTube. Search for Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys. Check out Simon Amstell spoofing "that" speech on the latest episode of Buzzcocks. iPlayer. They're putting too much on Obama's shoulders. He's the US president-elect, not the saviour of the world, ffs. America will be first, and rightly so.

Tell me how to work networking. And how to get Priscilla hooked up from her Win98 chateau. Files can't have changed that much in ten years. Guess I'm now officially more advanced than everyone I know. And fitter. Got hair too. Would look great on the red sofa promoting my book. Don't know why more people don't like me.

Useful networking article
Obama song, the version on Andrew Marr
Scotsman on Edinburgh UNESCO visit (Spot my comment!)
BBC on Edinburgh UNESCO
Simon Amstell on Obama

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Friday, November 07, 2008



Glenrothes by-election result:

Lindsay Roy (Labour) 19946 votes (+3%)

Peter Grant (SNP) 13209 votes (+13%)

(The Conservative candidate lost his deposit.)

Although one swallow doesn't make a hooker, Her Majesty's government can sleep just a little easier tonight. Some say it's a victory for the 'Brown bounce', others posit a defeat due to SNP alleged arrogance and presumption of victory. But reasons, as ever, count for naught in elections.

Now how will this play in the House of Commons later today? And will Barack Obama be the first to congratulate Lindsay Roy?

BBCi Guardian

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Thursday, November 06, 2008


Yes - it's time to forget that US election now... things are seriously interesting back home today. Yet almost no-one reading this will be able to do anything about it.

It's a by-election in Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland, where the main contenders are, as usual in this country, Labour and SNP. (Scottish National Party.)

Now, until the meltdown Glenrothes was widely taken as a shoe-in for the Nats. Those people who gave Edinburgh trams after saying they wouldn't, the ones who sell off the Aberdeenshire coastline for their rich American pals to exploit, the people who hate Gordon Brown with a vigour not seen since the days of Aldolf himself (because he's both a Scot and Prime Minister of the UK) - the SNP were sure to win.

But not any longer, Jose. Because Gordon is on a roll. He had a good financial crisis, to quote the estimable Diane Abbott. His stock has risen as the markets fell.

So things in sleepy Glenrothes today are more interesting than usual for Fife, the county which practically invented boredom. Which way to vote? Eenie, meenie, minie mo - I wonder where my cross will go!

This weblog, unlike old-fashioned paper media, never dispenses voting instructions. Never. Nor do we bore you with our own voting patterns, preferring the sleights-of-hand of hyperbole and humour to entertain rather than dictate. (I never forget how intelligent you are to have got thus far.) Plus I don't have a vote in Glenrothes for obvious reasons.

But let me leave you with this one thought, before I head off into the Leith murk for the afternoon: a vote for Salmond is a vote for Cameron. Easy when you put it like that, now isn't it?

List of candidates, etc


Having lots of fun with the iPlayer, particularly Stephen Fry in America. Although I think I'll have to get some sort of sofa table, as my body seems to get in the way of the radio waves. Wireless I should say. Giving my age away.

Learning some keyboard shortcuts.

Today's highlight: F5 refreshes your page. It is the Heineken of Internet Explorer. You can select a Tab with CTRL n, where n is the number of the Tab. You can open a link in a new Tab with CTRL, SHIFT, click.

And that's quite enough for today, chickadees. Vote wisely, o people of Glenrothes. It's not time for change.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Congratulations and every good wish to President-Elect Obama on his stunning, even startling, victory a few hours ago. And here at Naked Blog offices we're pleased to take just a little credit for helping put him where he is. President-makers. I just pray it doesn't turn out a poisoned chalice.

Because the real ruler of the world is not any person, but a thing - sometimes tenuous, sometimes all too concrete - a thing called money. As the last weeks have surely shown. Money and the people behind it. The shadowy people. As David Icke memorably said: if they're visible, they're not important.

But enough. Let me not sourpuss on the party! And he even mentioned gay people in his speech, which is quite wondrous. We came after Hispanics but before people in wheelchairs, if I recall. Truly the United States of America.

So no points to COUNTRY FIRST, but full points to TIME FOR CHANGE. The last time we had such a big change here in the UK was with the election of a woman to lead us. Yes, an actual woman. Her name was Margaret Thatcher. Within a year there was rioting in the streets and we were inches away from a police state. So change in itself is meaningless. It has to be the right change.


Laptop joys continue! Last night was a new high, as I sat in comfort watching the BBC tech show Click. On full screen in High Quality. Oh yes. Worth every penny of the Wireless N router. Previously I've not watched much iPlayer, as it meant sitting in the kitchen in an uncomfortable chair with the possibility of mice turning up for the show.

And talking of mice, I'm on a learning curve with this touchpad. Still haven't a clue how to highlight text, which is why there've been no links of late. Not got on to Windows keyboard shortcuts yet. Child of the mouse generation.

Nor am I sure what to do with the laptop battery. Is it OK just to use the thing with the lead permanently in? Or should you be cycling the battery all the time? When the battery runs out it goes in to Hibernate mode automatically, although just minutes ago I shoved the lead in too quick and got a Windows Did Not Close Correctly message. Haven't even had the thing 48 hours, and broken it already.

Gordon Brown's just come on to congratulate Obama, commiserate with McCain ("very gracious in defeat") and remind us of the cultural and historical links. (He means slavery.)For my overseas readers let me point out that Gordon Brown is the Prime Minister. It's not been Tony for a while now. You didn't miss the election, as we didn't have one.

Laptop typing sucks. Too flat. Getting mistakes all over the place.

For 400 quid they're all much the same. You get three USBs, a processor around 1.9 or 2.0, 2Gb RAM (this one has three), webcam, DVD not Blu-Ray and usually a lowish-end graphics card, which is notionally better than onboard chip. Not planning to play much in the way of games though, as sudoku keeps me fully absorbed. It is an on-going delight, and I can't believe it was only last winter I started. Interestingly, Brad in the kitchen still handles DOOM 3 just fine, despite being choked with applications these days, and running quite slow on Windows. Time for a factory reset. Just like the United States.

You know, you can forget Obama's skin colour. What he's really shown is that you can achieve the highest office in the world, even with the initials BO.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008


In just a few hours the American people go to the polls to decide who will be the most powerful man on earth. An awesome task. Me I look at both of the candidates and think, "Is that all there is? Out of 500 million people are those two really the best to be had?"

Senator McCain comes over as a cross between Homer Simpson and Chucky the doll. Times I feel if I see that meaningless thumbs-up one more time, and that jacket collar turned up, military-style, I'll be forced to hurl something at the TV. (I never would, of course. Not made of money.)

Obama, whilst obviously more appealing visually, has yet to utter one sentence that rises much above the banal. In my earshot, at least. I've heard better scripts on Friends. Oh dear. Just where are Bill and JF when you need them?

But anyway. Much as I hesitate to unduly influence your election, I have to say that after extensive watching of the television this weblog has come out in favour of Obama. (And what a strange electoral system you seem to have there, where the results are decided by TV stations.) It's true! We saw it last time... "Fox TV has called a victory for the Republicans..."

Gadget Show

Yes, now that the nights are fair drawing in, and the afternoons are spent chasing what little sun there is, it's time as ever for this year's choice of gadget. Usually something techie, and this year is no exception. My first ever laptop, a Toshiba L300 - 13S

So why do I need a laptop, when I already have an Amstrad CPC6128? Followed by an Amstrad PC with DX-50 processor and 8Mb RAM? Then Priscilla with Celeron 333 and 128Mb RAM; Brad with Intel Core Duo 2.8 and 512 Mb Ram - and finally last winter's Nokia N95 8Gb? Why more? Well I can tell you. It's for one room living. Beating the energy crisis by not having to heat the kitchen, which I'm never in anyway apart from computing, cooking being almost as horrific as cleaning. Plus I can watch the telly and blog about that, as these days I never seem to do any actual thing much myself. (Apart from walk up and down hills, and you're well tired of that.)

Oh - just noticed. One of the Almodovars I mentioned yesterday is on Film 4 tonight. Talk To Her. You'll love it. Once again Naked Blog setting the cultural trends.

8pm now, and about to wallow in the last episode of Friends. For the fourth or fifth time. (But at least the sorrow is tempered by the sure and certain knowledge it'll start up again tomorrow. Plus Frasier is back on Channel Four in the mornings. The American people might make disastrous choices for Presidents, but you can't half churn out the happy rays.

Gotta go! "I'll be there for yoooooooo!"

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That's right. This one coming via my new Toshiba laptop. Hopefully now there'll be no further excuse for not blogging. I can blog all over the house, and all over the outdoors too. Only thing missing lately has been the ability to read and respond to your own little blogs. So this goes some way to addressing that problem. Never let it be said that we don't at least try!

Fun and games yesterday in the Pentland Hills with Sandra, who on arrival seemed unwilling to climb one single hill. "I'm not going up any hills," she declared flatly. "And I'm not getting mud on my shoes or jeans. We can walk on that road."

I saw red, I can tell you. "If I wanted to walk on a fucking road I would have stayed in Leith," I huffed and puffed. Our friendship was on a knife edge. It could have gone either way. To go to the Pentland Hills is one thing, and not to go there is another. But to go there and then refuse to climb even one hill plumbed new depths of peskiness I felt. Sandra, realising my anger, was frantically hunting for topics. She told me about her new bedding from Debenhams. Half price. But I wasn't for placating.

Eventually a compromise presented, and I created a walk which while not too strenuous, was at least off-road. Although it was so muddy that Sandra had to roll her jeans into turn-ups. Madness, we agreed, and launched into "Our House." Soon she had to roll them up even further. Bay City Rollers now, we thought, and launched into Shang a Lang. After about an hour we saw a figure up ahead at a junction, standing stationary just staring at us. Hills Have Eyes. Creepy. My god it must be Barry George, I said. I think you'll find it's a woman, Sandra corrected. Oh then she probably fancies me, I said back.

It was a woman, but definitely a strange one. When we got closer she literally turned her back on us and stood a few yards away. "I wouldn't have sex with her now if she begged for it," I whispered to Sandra. "Too weird." We laughed.

Today I had my first ever MacDonalds, Double Cheeseburger and Chips. (I utterly refuse to say "fries".) Tasty enough, but barely bigger than a ten pence piece. Some mark up for two pounds eighty, mas o menos.

What about Brand and Ross? What are they like? Must have been well coked up to behave like that if you ask me. Deserve all they get, really.

Cabin Fever on the telly as I write. Fun. Didn't think that much of Charlie Brooker's Dead Set, although it was nice to see Davina as a zombie. Peter Kay's talent show thing was far far better. Approaching genius.

Ah well. Bed time. Expect rather more Peter presence from now on - until I get sick of this laptop, at least. Blogging's not dead, just grown up a bit.

I haven't the faintest idea how Vista Home Premium works, but I know it's got Windows Moviemaker in it. And this laptop has a handy webcam. Ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille. Been watching Almodovar lots. Tie me up, Tie me down; Talk to Her, and All About My Mother. Brill. Almodovar is to film what I am to blogging.

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