Category Archives: opinion

Timeless TV

If I am being honest I do watch a lot of TV. What I particularly like is inane comedies that have no particular desire to be anything more than they are. A great example of this is Scrubs – it is a TV show about people working in a hospital. they don’t try to dress it up to be more than it is – although the show is funny, the actual hospital situation is quite dull.

My favourite TV show of all time is Red Dwarf… if you are from outwith the UK it is possible that you have never heard of it – and that is such a shame. The show is about a guy called Dave who is the last man ever living. He has a hologramatic ‘buddy’ called Arnold and a companion who has evolved from a pet cat. They are later joined by an android called Kryton. The best series are the earlier ones when the budgets were low – it was obvious that they recycled sets, and between seasons the ship interior changed dramaticly. nobody bothered because this wasn’t what the show was about. It was about relationships and the situations the cast found themselves in. Here is a perfect example:

I mentioned earlier in my blog that I am not having the best time of it of late. the funny thing is that Red Dwarf has helped lighten my mood and get me through some tough experiences. I don’t think that TV is the worst thing, indeed I do think that it can have a hugely beneficial effect on peoples moods when they are feeling down. I do also strongly believe that the writing of a sit-com is so much more important than anything else. A strong script = good TV.

Here is a ‘Top 10’ complied by a Youtube user. They are not my top 10, but they are good!

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Have you ever hear of Ronnie Coyle?

Most people haven’t, but he is a man who can teach you a thing or two,

Ronnie was a footballer (or Soccer Player for you yanks) who started his career at Glasgow Celtic 1984 and left in in 1987 having played only played two games for the club. He then traveled south to play for Midlesbourough and Rochdale. He eventually joined my favorite team – Raith Rovers – playing in 253 games between 1988 and 1996.

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Ronnie was a good player, never truly ‘brilliant’, but he always performed. In every game in which Ronnie played you knew we would have a chance as he always put in a full shift. He was part of the team that got Rovers promoted and subsequently won the Coca-Cola cup. It was a tragedy that he didn’t play in the final (due to injury) as he would have been one of the select few that you would say should have been guaranteed a starting spot due to his commitment alone.

Well, when we won the Coca-Cola cup we got into the Uefa Cup… which was a bit ludicrous, a wee team like us playing the cream of European talent. Ronnie played in the two most amazing games in our history – against Byern Munich. It was not until recently we found out that Ronnie blamed himself for a Jugen Klinsman goal – something that played on his mind for years afterwards. of course, all of us thousands of fans thought this was ridiculous.

I spoke to Ronnie a number of times. He didn’t have a clue who I was, but he always gave me 100% of his attention (no matter the drivel I spoke). He was a true gent.

Time came, and Ronnie left Rovers and went on to play for a few other clubs. But when Rovers had a major financial problems, he was back joining in a copious number of fundraisers. He proudly (along with his son and daughter) pulled on the blue shirt to aid in our fight for financial survival.

Sadly, in the 1990’s Ronnie was diagnosed with Leukemia – a battle which we all thought that he had won. Unfortunately, it came back. It was worse. He continued to attend games with his son when he could, even addressing fans on occasion.

In 2011, a benefit match was arranged for Ronnie – to aid his family in the financial nightmare this must have been. Now, if you don’t understand how special this guy was, the match was arranged against Celtic – the team that were deeply embarrassed in the Coca-Cola cup final – their players signed up with little hesitance. This was such a dark spell in Celtic’s history – a time they wanted to forget and they turned up for Ronnie! John McStay even flew from Australia for the match! Take a look at http://www.raithroversfc.com/cgi-bin/features.cgi?id=206 for match details.

Sadly, Ronnie died 16 days after this match. It was so sad, but fitting that he died after we all had a chance to let him know how much he was appreciated.

At his funeral a silly number of great players attended – including Ally McCoist (a Rangers legend…). http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/3536418/Legends-in-farewell-to-Ronnie-Coyle.html

His kids and wife still attend games at Starks Park at times, and are always very warmly welcomed.

I have rambled somewhat in this post & have become quite emotional at times. The message here is simple – you don’t have to be a super-star to be loved and appreciated. Be honest, decent and caring and your legacy will out-live anything you can imagine.

Thanks for the memories Ronnie.

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London and on and on and on

I am just back from an enjoyable weekend in London. I went down with my parents to visit my sister who has lived and worked down there for quite some time. I do enjoy visiting London on the whole, however, as a city it isn’t a patch on Edinburgh in my opinion. The problem is that journeys take so long when in the city as so much is spread out – not the case in Edinburgh. Again, that is just my opinion and I am very slightly bias.

I always find it amusing that very few people working in London are actually from London. If you have a think about it, it actually makes sense. The majority of those employed in tourism, or retail are on minimum wage… and you can’t live in London for any length of time on minimum wage. Many of the low wage workers are younger people on student visas. The government are looking to crack down on such visas which does make you think what will happen with much of the tourism and hospitality industries in  places like London. I assume it will simply mean prices will rise as businesses will need to pay their staff more.

Anyway, I digress (which if you have read other posts you will know is a common problem). London is a great city, with one of my favorite attractions being the Natural History Museum. It is a free attraction, and is highly informative and very entertaining. Being a 29 year-old kid my favorite part was the Dinosaur gallery. It isn’t huge, but it does contain some fantastic interpretation and specimens. It also has some very realistic animatronic  dinosaurs including a juvenile T-rex. The only problem with this gallery is the number of people visiting. You can wait for a couple of hours to see it on a busy day… it could be controlled much better.

There are number of excellent other galleries. the Darwin Center ‘Cocoon’ was absolutely fascinating and much quieter than the rest of the building. The Cocoon is much more like a trail than a gallery. You can use a bar code card to ‘collect’ information to review at home. it is a great idea and looks like it is being rolled out across the NHM.

Anyway, I could go on and on about the NHM or my trip – but you don’t want to read too much about that I am sure. So I will sign off in a second. Before I do I have two things I need to get of my chest…
1. East Coast trains are very good, but, the coffee is awful!
2. A quiet coach should be quiet. Sit down and shut up. Needless to say, being polite Brits the coach simply tutted, and complained behind the selfish woman’s back.

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The days of interesting clothes and decor

I’ve not been feeling too great of late so I had a bit of a look through old photo albums in the hope that it would cheer me up… and they did. So many memories that were near-forgotten. Friends that have been lost

So this is me a baby. I think that I am enjoying a ride-on thing, well, to be honest it looks more like I have spotted something shiny

You can see here this is me enjoying the local beach. Even although it is summer, it still looks bloody freezing! We use to go to the bech quite a lot when I was a kid – I loved it.

This is me with my sister. I was a Beaver and she was a Brownie. I take it that this is when I hit my growth spurt – It does look a bot like I am wearing a belly top! You have got to love my dad’s attempts to be stylish with the broken slab edging around our patio!

We were always very fortunate as kids. My mum & dad worked so hard to give us so much. Every year we went abroad on holiday. We went to Corfu a few times – this is where this picture is taken.

I love this photo! I clearly look grumpy about something. If I remember correctly it was because I was getting fed-up having my pictures taken!

This is another of my favorites… can you spot me? I’m a clown. I love the Gpllywog on te float – don’t think that would be allowed nowadays.

These were taken at my aunties wedding. Strangely, I can remember most of the day…. I can remember being told off for sliding across the dance floor on my knees and bum.

Remember when TV’s were this size? We only had one too! Geez…. I’m old!

I love looking at old school pictures. They remind me of good old days, simple times and a life without worry.

I’ll sign-off with this picture. It just echo’s fun times for me. I can’t remember where or when it was taken, but it makes me smile.

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You gotta laugh! Westboro Baptist Church

I am a proud Scot, and recently I stumbled across a video on their website about the inclusion of Gay and Lesbian ministers in the Church of Scotland. It is worth a watch for sheer comic value alone.

The Mr. Fred Phelps makes so many errors in the video – errors that would be corrected by a customary glance at any legitamate news-site or statistical document.

1. The video is called “Scotland considers gay preachers”. Preachers…. hmm. Yeah, the name of the video discredits it before it even starts!

2. His grammar is absolutely atrocious throughout.

3. “Not a single preacher in Scotland will speak-up in any meaningful way.” By this, he means that no church minister will speak-up against inclusion of LGBT (AKA ‘fags’) in the church.

4. So, the only place to hear the truth about god is from the Westrbro Baptist Church…  yeah, that is why almost every other church IN THE WORLD believes you to be wrong.

5. “Your perverted government wants to ban us.” Substantiate ‘perverted’. Our government has laws against hate crimes, that is why they wish to ban you.

6. “Pretending to debate.” No pretend about it. The dabate is happening.

7. “Get the death penalty for parading their filth down Main Street.” Huge cultural faux-pa. We don’t have ‘Main Street” in the way you imply.

8. “put away your fornication”?????

9. “They try to ban us, your only friends” In the past you have stated categorically that you are the friends of nobody.

10. England…. they state-
Streets overflowing with violence
Police AWOL
London is burning
All wrong! Especially when compared to the USA

Yeah, there is more. You should go and have a watch of their videos, they are truly enlightening. You do wonder how or even why.

I would love WBC to come to Scotland. We are an open minded society that may be enlightening to them. I could even take them to the church where the King James Bible (the one they follow word-for-word as they believe it to be ‘the word of god’) was interpreted and agreed upon!

As stated previously, I think religion is hokum, however, I can respect those who follow a religion for good. That isn’t these people.

I have a few favorite videos regarding religion – this is one of them.

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I thank the lord that…

I don’t believe in god, any god. I don’t particularly believe in any religion, infact I would go as far to say that the majority of it is a whole load of crap. That being said, I don’t want to demean other peoples beliefs as I do believe that some good can come from faith.

I have a great deal of respect for those who do have faith. I can not begrudge someone their beliefs and I would never, ever try to change their religious thoughts. I do, however, wonder why those who do believe in a faith feel the need to convert me?

I have been fortunate to have traveled the world and spent some time in the USA – which is perhaps the worst place for ‘devout’ religious people. I was in a Wal*Mart (an experience in itself), having a laugh with a few friends that they had chosen to sell goldfish next to live lobsters when I was approached by a random woman. She was nice enough until she randomly asked “Do you believe in god?”
Now, this was like giving a dog a bone, and with a giggle I replied “No!”
It was at this point that the nice lady decided to say “Oh dear.” looking at me as if I had manifested a forked tail and horns, she went on to say “I truly feel so sorry for you and your soul.”
Now, I had no idea what had just happened. It became even more bizarre when she went away and returned a few moments later with a bible, handed it to me and recited something (I assume a passage from the bible) and said “Let the lord speak to you. he is the only one that can save you!”

So, If you go to a Wal*Mart and see a bible being read by a live lobster – it will be my copy.

Religion isn’t a problem until people disagree, and then the [stupidly] start to argue and fight over it. “There is only one true god” is a phrase that I hear repeated frequently. Who says so? And if there is only one god, who says it is the one you believe in? And even if there is a god, and it is not the same one that Bob believes in, why should we chastise him? If he is happy and causing nobody any problems, why not let him believe what he wants.

I would not describe myself as an atheist, because an atheist needs a religious belief. I was going to say that I am not religious – but that isn’t strictly true. I’m a Good-thiest. I believe in people doing good things. *IF* and it is a big if, there is an afterlife I doubt God, Bob, Jimbo or whomever is in-charge will discriminate against entry based on who read the bible and went to a cold building every Sunday and sang truly awful songs. I truly believe that the person that has done good will be rewarded.

I have been so fortunate to have worked withe devout Jews, Muslims, Christians etc. over the years. Despite the rather annoying need they feel to convert me, I would say that they all share something in common. Good. All religious text preach being good. So why can we not all just be good to one another?

I found this picture which made me laugh. It is true in many respects.