That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hoots Mon !

They’ll be celebratin’ in the streets of Raith tonight.

Och Aye the Noo!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Slavery & Famine & Elizabeth I & James I & Cromwell and 1746 and all that (but no Vikings) and apologies thereof.

Descendants of slaves from British Caribbean plantations often have Scottish names like McDonald, Fraser, Stewart and so on. They were owned by someone of that name. It was the same in 18th century Scotland. Feudal serfdom existed in the highlands until 1746. Your chief owned you in a system that hadn’t changed since the 11th century. Even the hero of ‘Kidnapped’ set in the aftermath of 1746, is sold into slavery.

Half my lot came to Scotland in 1840 something to escape starvation in Ireland and the other lot were forfeit a hundred years earlier in 1746.
It’s all true. I’ve seen the mass grave and everything.
It was the way of the world in 1746. If you were on the winning side you got land. If you were on the losing side it was taken off you.

150-200 years earlier, to pick up Conan’s point, Elizabeth then James had distributed land especially in Ireland to their cronies as a reward and to stop further rebellion from Irish lords. The land grab was on in Scotland at the same time. Mary, her followers and opponents alike, carved up the place to suit themselves. We the serfs, were just the chattel that went with the fixtures.

The Indian economist Amartya Sen* showed that famine has an economic cause not related to a physical shortage of food.

In Ireland, the population was halved by famine. The cause is still given as a crop disease, which is convenient as it brings Fate and God into it but the cause of the starvation was deliberate economics. The people were left to starve while food exports from Ireland were encouraged by a government hostile to the people who were starving. A government that had abolished slavery 40 years before.

There is some debate as to whether Blair should apologise for this, and Elizabethan Planters, and pitchcapping, and the Black and Tans and so on.
I’m unsure.
Would he be apologising on MY behalf? I hope not. I’m a product of that famine and a decendant of serfs.

BUT, the likes of the Dukes of Hamilton, Buccleuch, Argyll, etc., they should get down on their hands and knees.

*Amartya Sen won the Nobel prize and ended up Master at my old college. Small world eh?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Deep sorrow

Tony Blair has expressed his ‘deep sorrow’ at Britain’s slave trade.
What an arse.
Everyone knows that Tony feels no deep sorrow whatsoever on the matter.
It’s a mockery of the whole thing.
Po-faced Tony apologising for a criminal activity which was banned 200 years ago.
What an insult.

Here are some comments that I didn’t reply to and was feeling guilty about.

Someone was telling me the other day that you can get a degree in call centre communications or some shit. I thank my lucky stars that I have neither an education, nor do I have to work in a call centre.
Jagd Kunst Homepage 11.19.06 - 9:35 pm #

they keep telling us here in the states that we're transitioning to a service economy.
If we all serve eachother, who'll be able to afford it?
Its the snake eating its own tail, and no one sees that we're fast running out of snake.

Whatever. We once built our way through a world war we weren't strategically qualified to win, and now our American car companies TOGETHER can't even capture a majority of our own car market. Blech, depressing.
SafeTinspector Homepage 11.20.06 - 12:51 am #

Doc it looks to me like your boat is flying a Danish flag.
Also, Kissinger says we can't win Iraq.
Justin 11.20.06 - 8:17 am #

I heard someone say that a jet is just a propeller with an afterburner and I thought: "How Dr Maroon would pooh pooh that, Sir". Personally, I'd love to hear you discuss the contribution of Sir Frank Whipple. Didn't he invent an ice cream as well?
Gorilla Bananas Homepage 11.20.06 - 6:19 pm #

Not cocoa, as far as I know, but apparently they do a good cup of tea.
Foot Eater Homepage 11.20.06 - 8:09 pm #

Suck,Squeeze,Bang and Blow.All you need to know about jet engines.

oh...and they stop whining at shut down.Unlike most pilots.
Hanger Queen Homepage 11.20.06 - 9:12 pm #

Edinburgh people don't really have a Scottish accent, do they? It's more of an English accent with a bit of a twang on it. Twangers.
kav Homepage 11.21.06 - 9:45 am #

What is a Morningside accent?
Pat Homepage 11.23.06 - 7:29 pm #

Pat , In Morningside, sex is what they take the garbage out in. I hope that helps.
Kav, I feel terribly guilty that no one’s enlightened you yet. There are a half dozen counties in Scotland that must be avoided at all costs. They are, in order of hellishness, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Stirlingshire, The Borders, West Lothian, Dunbartonshire, Dumfriesshire and Fife maybe. Fife’s borderline. All the others are tolerable, with Perthshire the best. Obviously.
Get your family and stuff together and shift without delay. It’s a very small country so it won’t be too much of an upheaval.
Hangar Queen, you’re almost right but quite fundamentally mistaken. You are describing an Otto cycle. If you sign up for my home study course, I shall explain.
Foot Eater, I like the one the monkeys drink.
Mr Gorilla Bananas, Frank was in the great tradition of English inventors. A pioneer of remarkable talent. His engines were thermodynamically similar but mechanically different from the Metro Vickers design which is the type in universal use today.
Justin your eyesight is astounding. Kissinger’s a nasty piece of work. Very nasty.
SafeTinspector, your page has a myriad of popups and stuff which does not go down well with steam driven computers like this one. Sort it out boy.
Jagd don’t be so hard on yourself. You’d be great in a call centre. For a while anyway. I think you’d be sacked eventually. There’d be complaints.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

But the wolves came,
and they ate him,
and they drank his beer.

This week, I have been experimenting with the effects of alpha, beta and gamma sources on the physiology of our Finance Director.
I have put the salts of various emitting metals into his lunchtime soup.

All together now,

There’s (deep breath) thallium and thorium, polonium and radium,
And strontium, uranium, plutonium and barium,
These are the only ones of which Maroon has give to Dick yet,
And there may be many others - but they haven't made him sick yet.

(to the tune of “the modern major general” with apologies to Tom Lehrer.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Glasgow is the call centre capital of Britain.

That’s right! Those annoying people who phone you up at half eight at night when you’ve just started your second kir and are hoping for light relief on the TV, to ask you about your financial affairs, or your guttering or if you’ve got a conservatory.

Thoughtless weasels.

Reading Pat's Blog , I am reminded how high a fall that is.

Her husband, ( not HTL, the other one ) worked for Metropolitan Vickers.
Now it may interest you to know that among many other things, Metro Vickers in Manchester developed the first axial flow jet engine way back in 1938. It was a Metro Vickers jet engine that powered Campbell’s Bluebird speedboat, or one of them, anyway, 4000 h.p. in 1955.

Before ISO, when British Standards ruled the roost, it was companies like Vickers who wrote the book. They developed the test methods and so on that we still use today.

Manufacturing output in Britain has now fallen to it’s 1840 level. Our Christmas arrived last week on a super jumbo ship from China. Yeah, well, they can make you a microwave oven for £20 but can they make beer? Can they cocoa.!

Monday, November 13, 2006

My first meeting with Mr Gorilla Bananas in Central Park New York. Note the traditional clubs of welcome. It's like morris dancing.
Click on the picture to see us in our glory.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

In England, land of Magna Carta, trial by jury, presumption of innocence - they’ve just sentenced a man to 40 years imprisonment in a way that would be difficult in Scotland. The man claimed to be “the top Al Qaeda operative in Britain.”
Yeah right, of course you are son.
The spooks say they have thwarted some wild terrorist attacks against us in our beds.
The terrifying plans were fantastic, literally.
The man had dreamt up all sorts of nonsensical rubbish. He had worked it all out in school jotters and the security services jumped at the chance to use him to frighten us into giving them more leeway than any government agency has a legal right to expect.

The law in Scotland is quite different. A conviction cannot be secured on an uncorroborated confession; in fact there can’t even be a prosecution. This saves the court’s time when fantasists crawl out the woodwork with schoolboy ideas about putting piranha fish in the Clyde in the hope that Jack McConnell will fall in and be eaten.
Even when these trainee sociopaths work it all out on paper and have diagrams of tankers with ‘nitro-glycerine’ written on them, or ‘poison cyanide gas cylinder here‘, the police, that is, the normal, world weary Glasgow polis, will ask the budding terrorist to prove it;

“ OK son, this bit here, where it says Strontium 90, have you actually got any? ”
“ Yes. ”
“ Where is it then, in your uncle’s lockup? Next to the strimmer? ”
“ It‘s on order, it‘ll come, you‘ll see, then you‘ll be sorry. ”
“ Alright son, alright, what about the explosives? Your ‘plans’, [winks at two way mirror] call for about 10 tonnes of the stuff. ”
“ I’m going to mix it myself. ” says the mass murderer to be.
“ That’s a lot of sugar and weed killer. What about setting it off? ”
“ I kept back some bangers from bonfire night…”
“ You seem to be taking your time about blowing anything up.”
“ What do you mean? ”
“ Well, some of these plans go back to the late nineties…”
“ I’m a meticulous planner.”
“…in fact, to around the time your girlfriend chucked you.”
“ It was amicable, we remained friends, a mutual decision, I chucked her actually…”

I don’t know, maybe he is an Al Qaeda terrorist, he certainly wants us to think he’s important, but there’s something fishy about it all, and the spooks have their excuse now to kneed the country into the shape they or their paymasters want and there ain’t eye-diddly-do you can do about it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We were just talking there at dinnertime hahaha, you’ll love this, about foreign travel and how funny foreigners are, and I remembered my visit to Rome, waitaminute, sorry, but it is funny, I can hardly typre, anyway I was following these signs for the gents that seemed to lead nowhere and I ended up on a dual carriageway in the middle of town with a policeman on points duty har har glugg, so I asked him where the lavatory was and he “pointed” at a small bit of bent tin in the central reserve which covered you from chest to knee on three sides but it was totally open at the back and you peed against this tin thing in broad daylight and there was a rusty gutter affair that collected it and poured it out onto the road so I made a funny face when I was using it so that the photo would look interesting and zany when it came out so that’s what we were talking about at lunchtime here the strange toilet habits of our continental “cousins” that and the fact that interest rates are up to 5% I suppose once I decide on an actual method of killing myself I‘ll feel better more relaxed I hope so.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The most wonderful lesson I ever learned from the Jesuits, perhaps the only lesson, was in Calcutta in 1984. I quote.

Don’t for one minute think, that your presence here will be of any help whatsoever to the people you’re about to live with. You’ve been brought here for your benefit, not theirs.

I’m not 100% sure why I’m bringing it up now.

It was a kind of a gap year* thing and the school tradition was that you got your hands dirty in a semi-sanitised but also thrown into the deep end sort of way.

He said it conversationally, not to fire me up to better things but as a bald statement of fact. In an instant, a fool could see the honesty of it. The most wonderful lesson alluded to, was the accidental nature of our position. If it held for me, then it must hold for all.

* five months only in India then six in Australia.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

T here’s no two ways about it, this blog is in a right guddle.

Strange people are wandering the Devon moors with mad monkeys on chains, fresh faces popping up like mushrooms everywhere and we haven’t had a gas flow lecture in ages, there’s a frigate somewhere out there on the foaming billow, Sarah and El Beardy have eloped to the anvil at Gretna without a spare set of handcuffs, there’s a cream Maserati (now a rich gold in the early sun) hammering down the Via Aurelia…the shortbread’s running low…duty free spirits of summer greatly depleted…nights are getting dark…black…bible black…must keep going…

Someone better get their act together and be damn smart about it.
Blogging’s not for the amateur.
You’re either in or out.