30 November 2012

Happy St. Andrew's Day - Here's That Saltire Sky Again!

Another year, another St. Andrew's Day, another excuse to post "that saltire sky" photo I took from the east end of George Street (whilst hanging out on roof tops, fighting crime).  This time it's on my Instagram profile, so enjoy!  
PS:  It's a little bit cold outside this St. Andrew's Day morning, as in -1.7°C in central Edinburgh at time of posting!

14 November 2012

Drinking In The SECC Ain't Cheap - According To Google Maps!

The Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow is an interesting building that hosts a wide variety of events.  So Scots should be proud of it, right?  Well, not if we go by the latest review on the Google Maps place for the SECC:  "You know how much it was for a round at that fcukin SECC BTW".  I think the SECC might want to be a bit more pro-active in their social media footprint...  Or more reactive with their social drinking prices!

Living Social Offer Silly Supermarket Deal - Was £80 Now £79

Finally it has happened.. The group / social buying sites have started mirroring the supermarkets!  Not quite at the stage of Asda's "buy three and pay more than singles" or Tesco's "false multibuys", we have the "virtually nothing off the price".  Sainsbury's have for many years put out barker cards (the big signs in clear plastic) offering "1p off a high price where that doesn't help", and now Living Social are offering the bargain deal of "normally £80 - you pay only £79".  Still, they have been in this game for a while and like Poundland, they offer many "special deals" which are actually cheaper elsewhere at normal prices.  Anyway, welcome to the big boys' playground!  Still you have a long to go before you can match  and nowhere near the legendary "Sale: was this price, now more expensive"!

13 November 2012

The Cinema Is Blue, The Future Is No Longer Orange

Whilst watching a disturbing yet excellent "romance" this evening (Rust and Bone / De rouille et d'os - highly recommend it) I was saddened.  Yet before I embarked into its dark journey I was already sad.  The final pre-film advert that ran was not the normal Orange parodying a film / film-goers who text, helpfully telling everyone to turn their phone off (not just silent - I can see your bright screen you inconsiderate yet unimportant phone addict!).  Whilst the advert was good, Kevin Bacon parodying how connected he is with the world, it was under their new guise of EE (Everything Everywhere).  It's definitely official then - this is the end of the Orange Film Board.  Let's hit those highs one more time Mr Dresden...

8 November 2012

Instagram Web Are Live, Including Mine!

Finally Instagram have launched their own Web profiles! These pages will show the most recent 12 photos that you've taken. Sadly they don't seem to show all history at present, unlike others such as Gramfeed, but it does give you a simple one click follow me button! Unless you opt out, then your profile is coming soon at Instagram.com/yourusername - enjoy my Instagram profile here!

4 November 2012

Here Comes A New Challenger: Super Amoled HD Plus Alpha 3

In the world of technology you never replace a good brand, you just keep adding to it.  Think back to the great series of Street Fighter games, starting with Street Fighter II which culminated with Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which came after Street Fighter Alpha 3.  It seems this is the nomenclature that is now de facto in mobile phone screen displays.  Not content with Super AMOLED, Samsung pushed on to add a Plus, then HD and apparently for the next device (the Note II missed out on this), Super AMOLED HD Plus.  What on earth will be in the Note 3 or Galaxy S4?  Super AMOLED HD Plus Alpha 3 Hyper-fighting edition?  Then again, maybe the screen name has to keep up with the increasing pixel size of the screen...

2 November 2012

Have Brackets Killed The Oxford Comma?

Just like Video Killed The Radio Star, it seems to me that Brackets have killed the Oxford comma.  Now I'm sure some of you will be wondering, "who gives a fuck about and Oxford comma", whilst watching your English dramas...  Well Stephen Colbert cares that's who!  Let me give you an example that is only clear in a world where an Oxford comma exists.  I went on holiday last moth with my parents, Dizzy Gillespie and a French whore.  Now, how many people did I go on holiday with?  If an Oxford comma exists then it was two, my parents who are Dizzy Gillespie and a French whore.  Otherwise I would have written 'my parents, Dizzy Gillespie, and a French whore' - did you notice the Oxford comma after 'Gillespie'?  Clearly that list is of four people.  But in a world of business-speak, which is almost as bad as newspeak, if there was such ambiguity in a sentence then the most common solution would be to use brackets, e.g. can you book a table for lunch for the two tech leads (Jane and Simon).  And if you don't even revert to using brackets to avoid the ambiguity then maybe you won't keep your business role for much longerer...

1 November 2012

How Not To Write You Are A Psychic On LinkedIn

Now, I'm not saying I have special extrasensory perception, but I am safely going to gamble this is not how to use LinkedIn to promote yourself as a Psychic:

Current Job - "Psychic Tarot Reader"

Education - "BTEC ... didnt [sic] get to finish these courses due to unforeseen circumstances"


31 October 2012

Ly-Canth Not Believe This 'Were' My Hallowe'en Costume...

It's a full moon.  It's Hallowe'en.  And it seems I've 'turned' into a sexy werewolf...  Or maybe this has nothing to do with the time of the month and the month of the year, and it just so happens I'm a pretty hairy little monkey...!  Loup Garou!

28 October 2012

Rekorderlig Made This Man-Go (Rasp-) Berry Happy!

Rekorderlig have done it again!  After the failed 'Apricot & Peach' which only seems to be available in Tesco, Rekorderlig hit the sweet spot with Orange & Ginger cider.  In an unusual bar this weekend, filled with Friday evening work refugees, I spied yet another wild sounding cider: Mango & Raspberry.  So how does it taste?  Incredible!  As you can see it's a red drink but the mango really works and it's a refreshing and very drinkable beverage from the world leaders in fruit cider making!  Please don't stop innovating Rekorderlig!

27 October 2012

Worst Hallowe'en Decorations Ever At The Dome, Edinburgh

Sigh...  We haven't even reached Hallowe'en yet and The Dome has their Christmas decorations up.  Why couldn't they have gone to this effort for All Hallows' Eve...?

24 October 2012

If New Instagram Photo Then Post To Blog

Over the years I've taken a lot of photos, and Instagram allows me to quickly snap something and push it out to my feed, as well as Twitter and Facebook but not Blogger :(  Despite Instagram not having a web feed, you can view my current photos and captions at gramfeed.

So thanks to If This Then That (IFTTT) I've added a link that should mean my photos are added straight to this blog.  Hopefully it won't create double entries in other social media but we will see...  Now if only I could get this linked up properly to Google+ too I could have all my chickens in one basket ;)

UPDATE:  Okay, this auto-posting is causing duplicates in both Twitter and Facebook, so it's easier just to integrate my Instagram feed as my slideshow and manually post the best pictures.  Of course when IFTTT gets the option to add 'exceptions' then I can automate almost everything (will just be waiting for Google+ to provide API access)!

18 October 2012

Canny Scots Cannae Infer Aliens From UFOs

Compare and contrast the automatic response of people living in the middle of nowhere in Scotland (specifically Fraserburgh) and those in America.  It's the middle of the night, you see freaky lights in the sky and you film them.  The national news picks up on it and asks for your opinion of what they were.  Calmly the Scots answer "I really do not know what it was. I know there are military exercises and there may be an explanation there. But why would we be the only people in the universe?".  Wonderful!  First say you don't know.  Then offer the most logical and sensible explanation, whilst keeping open that there are other (but less likely) explanations.  Calm, measured and sensible - despite being offered your 15 minutes of fame.  Kudos Morag Ritchie!

On a related note, there was and interesting UFO sighting over Edinburgh in the very early 1980s that was witnessed by many people...  Anyone else care to confirm this?  I Want To Believe!

2 October 2012

EXCLUSIVE - Luis Suarez Gets Ignored By BBC (Just Like Refs)!

It's official!  Just as Brendan Rogers quite rightly complained that Luis Suarez's repeated calls for a penalty are being wrongly ignored by referees, it now turns out even the "impartial" BBC are ignoring Suarez in footballing terms by "suppressing" the fact that he's the joint second-top goal scorer with 5 goals in the Premier League!  Yet for some unknown reason they manage to make sure the Man Utd's Robin van Persie (who appears after Suarez alphabetically) is on the list.  Suspicious, no?!?  As verification you can see that Demba Ba has 6 goals (two of which he scored on Saturday) whilst Liverpool's 5-2 victory away at Norwich happened at the same time and is clearly listed in the Previous Results section right next to the Top Scorers (when Suarez scored a hat-trick from the edge / outside the box).  It's also repeated on the main Premier League page (see insert in the top right).  So BBC, referees - stop pretending Luis Suarez doesn't exist!

PS:  It's been a busy couple of months which has resulted in no posts.  That doesn't mean I haven't thought crazy things or noticed what passes other people by.  Hopefully a steadier stream for the rest of the year.

21 July 2012

Edinburgh Festivals Start With A Jazz Mardi Gras

I know the Jazz and Blues Festival started yesterday, but I was working. So today, down in The Grassmarket, under blue skies and the sun smiling, my Edinburgh Festivals kicked off with the Mardi Gras. It's just a shame that they have not returned to Princes Street Gardens on the first Sunday to do the wonderful Jazz On A Summer's Day... This is what it used to look like, an here's a snap from today and how glorious the Gardens (East) are - Summer has arrived in Edinburgh at long last!

14 July 2012

What's The French For "That's A Nice Pair" (Say Pear)..?

Ah, don't say pair, say Cidre Pear! After the very successful campaign launching Stella Artois Cidre, we now have a new flavour complementing the classic apple: Pear. It's a lovely clean, fresh colour and has that crispness of the original Cidre. So really the question should be, how do you say that's a lovely French pair..?

A Very Perculiar Chocolate - Marmite Flavoured!

I couldn't bring myself to buy this... As much as I loved the Marmite advert featuring Zippy, and the packaging looks elegant, I really can't see myself eating Marmite Chocolate! Can you..?

Happy Bastille Day From The Place That Inspired Napoleon Bonaparte!

According to the secondary source known as Wikipedia, Lord Street in Southport (Merseyside, previously Lancashire), was not only where Napoleon Bonaparte lived before becoming President (well just off Lord Street), it was also the inspiration for the beautiful tree lined boulevards in Paris with quaint arcades off the buildings.

10 July 2012

Why Wait 2 Weeks? I Already Have Now '82

Sigh... Okay, some songs were recorded in 1982 but officially it was released in 1983 (source Wikipedia) but still, Now 82 means Now '82 to me! Feeling old...

7 July 2012

Orange & Ginger Is Good, So Long As It's Not In A Scottish Tanning Salon!

Rekorderlig launch another great new flavour, possibly only in pubs right now... Tesco are selling Apricot & Peach but pubs, including Milnes on Hanover Street, are selling a delicious Orange & Ginger cider. This is not the first time these flavours have been combined, Crabbies have a special Orange Edition of their Ginger Beer but really it's not great and is a bit too sweet (bet you didn't know I spoke French!). As always Rekorderlig's ciders are not overly sweet and have a perfect balance of flavours. I strongly recommend you try and find it, more so than Koppaberg's Cloudberry.

5 July 2012

The British Icon (BA) Is Back In "You Only Fail Twice"

Well done!  I'm usually irked by the word "fail".  For me you can put it in the same category as other short term pseudo technical words that the masses adopt, well, en masse.  But when British Airways manages to fail to load their own brand new "transfer BMI points to us" page (frame) and then hits the ultra-rare 'double-fail', even I relent and think that's impressive!  So behold, British Airway's beautiful double-fail:
The requested URL sitedown.html was not found

I'm On Cloud Nine With Kopparberg's Cloudberry Cider!

Okay, maybe I just hyped it up for that headline (or Instagram post)... Truth is Cloudberry is a light, sweet and very fragrant cider that is exclusive to Belhaven Pubs (such as The Black Bull in Edinburgh). Kopparberg make decent ciders but compared to their countrymen at Rekorderlig they just miss a sharpness and clarity. But that said they are a lot better than Bulmers (Scottish & Newcastle brand, not the original Irish Magners).

16 June 2012

My Soft Pink Dismembered Member Flops Out On My Bed

Nothing to see here, just that I can remove my soft pink thing (with bulb-shape thing underneath) and just leave it lying out on my hotel bed...

In case anyone is really wondering, it's my camera cover!  I call it William...  Or sometimes Richard...

9 June 2012

Paying A Pretty Woman A Compliment Makes Me Gay?

Picture the scene, you bump into a girl you haven't seen in ages at a wedding and notice her dress. You pay her an observant compliment and in reply you are asked if you are gay!

Me: Wow, you look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman!

Her: You're the only person to have noticed that! I love that film, that's why I bought the dress! Are you sure you're not gay?!

Top Marks For Top Shop's Sign To Nowhere

"Entrance this way" with no arrow on a walkway that has people going in both directions is not a helpful sign. Then again maybe it's for the best...

7 June 2012

Taking Your Cherry Shouldn't Leave A Bad Taste In My Mouth

Does it get any better than this? All the best bits of Cherry Coke less the nasty sugary after taste plus the better taste of Pepsi! Plus you can still sing the Savage Garden line "like drinking Cherry Cola". Only downside is that I have only found Pepsi Max Cherry in 2 litre bottles so far. Cans please PepsiCo!

4 June 2012

Proof Babies Are Nothing But Trouble (By Dragonfly)

Babies are notoriously trouble to such an extent that Dragonfly (111 Broughton Street, Edinburgh) decided to display this apt baby-grow (or whatever it's called). "Been inside for 9 months... " - pure gold!

2 June 2012

Why Do Nearly Naked Men Crucify People Upside-Down?

I'm struggling to make sense of the world right now...  Walking along York Place I see a group of men walking along in the bus lane, nearly naked, carrying a large and heavy wooden structure.  Catching up with them as they turn left to get to Multrees Walk I can their "friend" on an inverted crucifix with his blonde hair flopping down.  Lifting over the bollards wasn't easy and it clear takes a lot of effort.  Can anyone tell me why they would be doing this?  It seems too intense for a stag party, plus everyone seemed relatively fit.  Perhaps an end-of-season team event due to a lost bet..?

6 April 2012

Is This The Greatest Children's Playground Ever?

Not sure what the motivation here is on Lamma Island... They have done some work on their children's playground and right now it has extra ladders, metal bars, bundles of wires and ropes, plus the obligatory warning / danger signs. Why not just open the venue to the kids now? It's what every (male) child would put into the fantasy playground...! Safety rules gone mad...

5 April 2012

HD TV On A Bus? Better Pictures Than Looking Out The Window

Yep, free WiFi on a bus is a great step forward but there had to be a next level. And it seems that is HD TV Channel on-board. What could be the motivation for this? See the route map as if it were outside your window? Or be sold to by adverts inside in great quality rather than those lofi versions up on billboards or in lame neon tubes...

4 April 2012

Drinking Coffee Makes Coffee Mugs Depressed

Aww, poor thing! My coffee mug this morning seems depressed that I'm drinking coffee out of him... Or am I just misinterpreting (t)his enigmatic smil(i)e and is this in fact Art..? Answers on a melancholic postcard to the usual address...

28 March 2012

Scaffolding Sprouts Up As Quick As Bamboo In Hong Kong

Danger: Mem working at great height above. On scaffolding. Made out of bamboo. Wow! Apparently it's very strong and lightweight so a great material. Think I'd prefer metal though...

Advertising Location Is Better Than Location Location

It seems battles can still rage even after one party wins a coveted location... Here on Hong Kong Island KFC clearly have a great location, so much so that McDonald's wants to advertise right next to it! Naturally KFC decide to place a huge advert right above their own store. Madness...

My First Taste Of China, Just Past Customs

My first ever sight of "China" (well, Hong Kong) , as I exit Customs at Hong Kong airport. It's amazing how exotic and eastern it looks...

17 March 2012

Altruistic Graffiti Or Another Art Student Project?

 Edinburgh is seeing an increase in chalk graffiti right now but this time it has a message.  Unlike a decade ago when an art student promoted his degree show chalking (is that even a verb?) "Who Is Ryder?" across Edinburgh, this time the graffiti has a message of doing good.  The day after Valentine's Day we have "You Look Pretty Today! :)" and a week before Mother's Day (it's tomorrow!) "Tell Your Mother You Love Her!" appears.

Is this the work of someone wanting to make the city a happier place, or an experimental piece of art about love (such a cynical thought!)...?

PS: #700

UPDATE:  Another nice one taken near The Royal Mile (via Google Local Edinburgh's twitter feed)

13 March 2012

Pixar's Brave European Premiere Is '7 Days Later'

Okay, so I got it wrong.  My carefully predicted estimate of the European Premiere for Pixar's Brave was a week earlier than it actually will be as they have decided to have the premiere on
 the closing night of the 2012 EIFF.  It's a pretty good idea to make it a focal point although I think closing night films are even ore expensive (the opening night film is usually £15), should have factored the money making aspect in to my calculation!

8 March 2012

Too Big To Nick? Then Fake Chain It Up!

How exactly are these chains helping? If it's to stop it falling over why the padlocks and not just simple (cheap) rope? Or do they not see the flaw in their plan...?

6 March 2012

Divorse Is Such An Ugly (Spelled) Word

Every time I read the word "Divorse" I cry. I think they should separate with their sign painter...

4 March 2012

I'm Only Two-Thirds Of A Devil

Maybe it's time to go to bed... Or work harder to be more of a (the) beast...

2 March 2012

Another Muppet's Film Is One It's Way, Yay!!

After a hugely successful, Oscar winning film, it seems that we are (hopefully) at the start he start of a new series of Muppets films as Coming Soon.net is reporting that a sequel to The Muppets is on its way! Another Oscar winner?  Maybe Best Film..? Yay!! C'mon everybody...

26 February 2012

1 Million People Listened To John Paul II Here

Great shot, lovely day and great composition (if I do say so myself). This is Phoenix Park, the largest (walled) park in Europe and the location of Pope John Paul II's mass in 1979 to over one million Irish Catholics (one would assume those two groupings are correct). Legend has it the city folk made loads of sandwiches to sell to the influx of 'tourists' at some cost but expecting a decent profit. The travelling thousands brought their own food and a huge amount of food (and money) was lost!

25 February 2012

'Labelz Are For Jars Not People'

Great art / graffiti on the banks of the River Liffey in central Dublin.

Why Does The EICA At Ratho Twist My Words?

They may not "my" words per se, but these are words I could say.  It's just a shame they have been twisted and are running upside down (and rotated 90°).  All credit to Donald-san for spotting this (on our way to a fantastic hour abseiling) at the EICA in Ratho.

With Friends = Happy. Jump Off A 92 Foot Ledge = Sad

Lovely before and after pick of mine good friend Patrik looking all happy before a barrier, then when he steps past it he realises he is about to step off a ledge 92' in the air at the fantastic Edinburgh International Climbing Arena in Ratho, for some reason he looks less happy...

Jumangee! Do NOT Try This At Home (Or In A Bar)!

This was bad... Rather than the 'normal' three WKDs in a pint glass, we went crazy and made it all four. Never (drinking) again...

11 February 2012

99 Hanover St Can't Spell (Or Subverts Customers)

Sigh! Why is it always bars? Just like The Kilted Pig it seems 99 Hanover St can't spell correctly or are tricking customers (kidding!). Complimentary nibbles are free, whilst complementary nibbles go well with the drinks. Which is it? Granted it could be both but I'm betting potential customers only care about the 'free' one...

7 February 2012

Edinburgh's Shore Sure Looks Still & Stunning

Walking around The Shore is really nice on a bright blue morning and no ducks muddying the waters...

4 February 2012

Nescafe Subliminally Sponsors The RBS Six Nations

So Nescafe (not to be confused with Julian Baggini's faux company Nest Cafe in The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten) have a new advert out, just as the Six Nations Rugby Union competition kicks off. It's spooky then that a coffee bean with 'gold' stamps on it looks so much like a rugby Ball isn't it... Let's see how long this campaign stays up after the tournament ends...

31 January 2012

Two Meals For £5, Choice Of One Meal

What a great deal in The Grovsenor at Edinburgh West End. 2 meals for a fiver and you get to choose from (reading the asterisk) erm, incredibly there's only one choice! Why not create a more accurate (and honest) advert, 2 Chicken, Ham and Leek Pies for £5..?

29 January 2012

Drive Misses Out On Best Soundtrack Oscar Nod

Hmmm, not happy about this.  According to Variety, Drive was ruled out in the category for Best Soundtrack because (according to 'sources') of "two problems: songs instead of score at key dramatic points, and Martinez not being the only composer listed on the official studio cue sheet. Apparently two other names were included as contributing to some cues".  This is a real shame as the music to Drive was exceptional and had a haunting quality the accentuated the film's impact.  Oh well, life goes on.  If you want another hit then here's the YouTube video for the (non-Cliff Martinez) main song, A Real Hero by College.  On the other hand, let's face it this award is destined for The Artist...

28 January 2012

Tesco Entrance Man Has Fat Back

I'm not one for normally pointing out people's physical foibles, but when you are a 2-dimensional image on an entrance sign to a Tesco store you really should take better care of yourself so that you don't have a noticeable 'fat back'.

27 January 2012

The Rare Semi-Semi-Semi-Colon Key for Half Winks

I was working on my Lenovo laptop the other day and wanted to send a half-wink smilie.  You know, a subtle or sly wink that doesn't require the full ;)  Thankfully my laptop includes the rare punctuation mark the "semi semi semi colon" as seen here.  Perfect, just what I was after...