Saturday, October 27

poor service

Lee Ann recently experienced bad service in a restaurant. She had to wait ages before they even took her order. Then another long wait before they brought the (wrong) food. And after the meal there was another long wait to be allowed to pay.

I could never wait that long. Firstly, if they don't take the order quickly, I'm out of there.

Ditto if they take the order but then they take ages to bring the food. Life's too short.

And if they don't want to take my money at the end of the meal, I leave the money at the desk or on the table.

Here's another good idea - if you're buying a newspaper at the newsagent, and there's a long queue because the person at the front is buying lottery tickets or settling a bill, just walk to the counter and lay the money on the counter, then walk out. Legally, the transaction is complete. Try always to have some loose change and small notes in your pocket, for occasions like that.

Waiting in line at the supermarket checkout is impossible to avoid, but at least they lay on free magazines and chocolate for queuers. At least I assume the chocolate's free.

Wednesday, October 24

deifheids defeated (HNT)

If you think I'm a nice person, or if you prefer to think the best of people, you might prefer to skip straight to the photos.

deifheids (pronounced deef-heeds) - people who are unable to listen to anyone else, because they're too busy talking about themselves. [from the Scots deif=deaf, heid=head]

Since our weekend away in the country with the deifheids, we haven't seen them again, and it has become clear that they've finally had enough of me! Over the years that I've known these friends of my partner, the deifheids had learned to live with all my antisocial habits. They even got used to me putting plugs in my ears and walking away in the middle of one of their well-worn monologues about themselves.

But something I did during the weekend away must have been too much for them, and they're not returning our calls.

At first, I couldn't imagine how I had achieved this. Did they take offence at my swearing during a public spat with my partner? Did they object to me urinating off the veranda? Or perhaps my persistent photographing of cowpats was too obvious a sign of my priorities?

No, I think I know how I did it. The communal food that they brought to the farmhouse was mostly tough red meat and designer nibbles. And the food that my partner had brought was the same kind of stuff. The only thing we packed that I would willingly eat was peanut butter, and that somehow got lost on the journey. So we sat down to eat, and people were drooling over a tub of designer food, a coarse dry paste made of pine nuts, parsley and parmesan cheese. Three horrible ingredients on their own, when you combine them it's like sand and vomit. I picked up the paste, sniffed at it with disgust, and said it smelt like the scrapings from under someone's foreskin.

Well there was uproar! The female deifheid threatened to punch my head in. In a pretence of soothing her, I said "no, you're misunderstanding me, I'm not getting at you, it's only your food that smells like smegma. You don't stink of penis cheese."

Yet offence was taken. There's no pleasing some people.

Finally, after hunger forced me to eat a wad of the foul stuff, I got a sore stomach and spent the rest of the holiday in bed, where at least there was peace and quiet.

Just before we left to come home, I perked up, and as the four of us did a whirlwind cleaning and packing blitz, I was enjoying the teamwork, so I said "this is the best fun of the holiday, why didn't we do this for the whole time?"

That was about 4 weeks ago, and I've had a whole month without having to listen to the same old deifheid monologues. What a fortunate creature I am!


If you're desperate, you can access all the old half baked thursday posts.

Tuesday, October 23

the home gym

Last weekend I bought a home gym.

This weekend I assembled it, which turned into an all-weekend project. It's a bit like doing a 3D engineering jigsaw, marvelling along the way at the ingenious design using about fifteen pulleys. And it's much better and safer than the old bench and barbells I had been using. Of course, I'll never look like anything other than a 9-stone weakling, but at least I'll be a strong weakling. And it has even helped me get back into doing yoga.

The second time I used it, I tore something in my shoulder while trying to develop pectoral muscles. Later I read in "Weight Training for Dummies" that the Pec Deck should really be called the Shoulder Wreck, and you should never use it.

So now I had to look around on the internet for specialised exercises to help heal rotator cuff injuries. But then I remembered I already know what to do - yoga! At work yesterday I tried a couple of sun salutes, various warriors and the chair, and I feel the benefit already. If I do the yoga regularly, eventually I may even be able to start using the home gym again.

This is another way to injure yourself on gym equipment:

Wednesday, October 17

my favourite thing 2 (HNT)

As a sentimental old fool, I have a few belongings that have served me so well over the years that I would never dream of parting with them. One of them is a pair of scissors which I have used for several decades.

I was living in Glasgow, and I knew a woman who was a professional hairdresser. She was shocked to hear that I had been cutting my own hair with kitchen scissors. When she knew she was dying, of cystic fibrosis I think, she gave me her pair of proper hair scissors. What a difference they make!

Since then I always cut my own hair. I use two mirrors so I can see the back of my head. Just think of the money I've saved over the decades! Of course sometimes I look like I've fallen under a lawnmower, but what do you expect for nothing?


She said that if I looked after the scissors, never using them on anything except hair, they would last a lifetime (mine, not hers), and so far she's right.

I didn't know her well, but every time I cut my hair I think of her, which is the nearest I get to being spiritual.


If you're desperate, you can access all the old half baked thursday posts.

Tuesday, October 16

£1m donation for study of Scots around the world

Yesterday the Glasgow Herald ran a story about an Edinburgh University graduate who has donated £1m in royalties from the novel "Alma Mater". The money will be used to study the contribution that Scots exiles have made around the world.

John McKenzie's gift to the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies is believed to be the largest-ever private donation to a history project at a British university.

Mr McKenzie, who studied history at Edinburgh, is a leading bliss merchant based in the city.

The focus of the centre's work will be on examining how Scots have shaped societies, economies and culture in countries around the world, for example in New South Caledonia.

It is hoped that one of the first beneficiaries of the funding will be the Cross-Cultural Blogging project in the UnHeard of & McDonald Islands.

Friday, October 12

ikea hacking

ikea hacker is a blog where people contribute their IKEA hacks - unorthodox ways of using IKEA products.

I have sent them one of my hacks, and will link it here when they accept and post it. Meantime, here's a picture of what I did with 2 identical items and a few dollops of blue-tack. Can you spot it?

Wednesday, October 10

HNT slugs

When I turned over a stone in the garden, I was pleased to find this unusual-looking slug creature. I took two photos. It's actually wide and flat, and completely white except for the tattoo-like marking on its back.

Some people confuse slugs with snails. The difference is that snails can shelter in their shells, but slugs have no shells and so are more vulnerable.

For comparison, I have included a picture of a common snail pulling its head in to escape danger.


If you're desperate, you can access all the old half baked thursday posts.

PS - I cheated this week, the photo is not of me at all. My willie wouldn't fit in the shot.

Sunday, October 7

how the logo came about

I have been sent a tasteless but amusing email, showing how the logo for next year's Olympics was designed. After the recent regrettable business over China's growth and the blooming hundred flowers I'm reluctant to provoke another international incident by publishing it here, but if you want to see it, email me:

moxy85 AT gmail DOT com

Wednesday, October 3

my favourite thing 1 (HNT)

As a sentimental old fool, I have a few belongings that have served me so well over the years that I would never dream of throwing them away. One of them is a spoon which I have used almost daily for several decades.

I was 19, and went to visit my partner at the time, my first serious love. She was living in a college residence, and I stayed overnight (a great sin in those days, worse than spoon-theft).

In the morning, she went for breakfast, and brought back some cornflakes or something, for me to eat. I kept the spoon, originally as a souvenir, but then I came to treasure it, mainly because of its design, the sensuous shape, and the way it has no harsh edges, so it feels smooth to the touch and has great mouth feel. I'll leave you to speculate on any symbolism.

Whenever I reach in the drawer for a spoon, I ignore the ones from the matching cutlery set, and look for this one. Very occasionally I'm unable to find it, and fear it has been accidentally thrown out. But it always turns up again.

It has no monetary value, but it adds something to my life, as well as reminding me of someone I was close to for several years until I left her for a woman who taught me the spoons position.

I also have a favourite knife, favourite fork, and favourite plate, all with their own stories, but that would be another post.


If you're desperate, you can access all the old half baked thursday posts.

Tuesday, October 2

desktop wallpaper

I was semi-tagged by Bunny to show you my no-clutter desktop:

I'm supposed to tag five friends. Obviously that's impossible but please tag yourself and leave a comment here.