Friday, December 28, 2007


There are coupons in the Fife Free Press and Dunfermline Press this week for people to send in their suggestion for the name of the new bridge (AKA "The Upper Forth Crossing at Kincardine") which will span the Forth. As we have two papers we can send in two entries although I don't think there's a prize. We've gone for the plain old The Kingdom Bridge but I'll need to put some thought into a less serious name. Perhaps, the Third Bridge (after all we have two Forth Bridges, although no First and Second bridges) or The Trans Fife-Clackmannanshire-Central Bridge or perhaps The Fae Fife Bridge in honour of The Rezillos chanteuse...I'll get back to you. Feel free to add your own suggestions.

I phoned the Fife Free Press this morning to let them know that their competition to win one of 30 pedometers doesn't actually have a qualifying question. There's an answer space, preceded by an "A", but no question.

I must also e-mail The Adam Smith Theatre as in their latest brochure their spelling of Psychopath, in the headline for Jerry Sadowitz's show, looks like it's been spelled by a, well, psychopath. They've spelled it PHYSCOPATH! Oh dear, they're not smarter than a 10 year old, are they? (Stop Press: they've been e-mailed and I wished them a Mary Krissmass and a Hippy Knew Ear - I'm here all week).

Over the past few days, in between James Bond films, selection boxes and frustrating toys (more on that in a minute*), I've been hunting down "alternative-stroke-indie" Christmas songs. At last count, I now have over 500. I'm going to grade these that haven't been graded today for possible inclusion in compilation CDs for friends next Christmas. I must thank the people behind 17 Seconds blog and for providing me with a whole load of new ones. By the way, did anyone download the new one-day-only Christmas song from Belle and Sebastian's MySpace site? Having binned my MySpace a few months ago I couldn't be bothered making a new one just to get one song. I'm also open to receiving any other Christmas songs who make think I don't have.

People I want to see less of in 2008: Fearne Cotton (she loves EVERY band/artist/human being), Toss Daly and Jenny Falconer. Celebrity Execution anyone?

Karen, Andy and family - who are you? You've sent me and my brood a Christmas card for the last three years but we haven't got a clue who you are! The GLW and I figure that it's from someone I know as I'm named first (Paul and family). For the last two years there hasn't even been a postmark that could narrow down the search (another example in the meltdown of the postal system). Whoever you are we wish you a Merry Christmas but next year please add a return address label to the envelope.

*I was about to say that I've sent my first complaint e-mail of the year but I keep forgetting that it's still only December 2007. Ravensburger have been on the receiving end of a strongly-worded missive due to the piss poor mechanism of their Bounce Bounce Tigger game (think Winnie the Pooh version of Buckaroo and you'll get the drift). You're supposed to be able to push the head/body down into a plinth and then do the same to the head, which should "click" into place. This forces Tigger's arms right out, in a star jump fashion. The object of the game is to place various bits of clothing on him before he "bounces". Occasionally it will work but only until the nanosecond you're about to start to play the game and then it "bounces" of its own accord. The GLW almost threw it out of a window on Boxing Day. Missive sent and awaiting response.

My brother-in-law also had a problem with his "Fingers on Buzzers" DVD game, which I also got for Christmas. He brought it round to the outlaws on boxing Day but again there was a long frustrating time waiting for it to set up. We haven't tried ours yet but I'll wait until I've popped a few beta blockers so as not to fulfil the urge to plant my size 10s through the television screen. I went on to Amazon to see what reviewers had said about the product and the results are interesting. There seems to be a split down the middle between loving it and hating it and those in the latter category seem convinced Channel 4's PR company are responsible for the positive reviews. A deeper look into the positive reviews and you see that the positive reviewers have also made similar comments about other Channel 4 products, such as Jimmy Carr's Live DVD and the Deal Or No Deal DVD game. I suspect that my version of "Fingers on Buzzers" will now remain unopened and returned.

It's 1338 and the postie has turned up. He must have shit the bed. Anyway, there is good news. Mojo, one of only two magazines I subscribe to, has arrived. My usual Mojo routine involves two acts; firstly I rip it open to see what the free CD is (this month it's Electronica from the last four decades) and then I check to see if I've won the crossword. Guess what? I've won! I'd only ever won a runners-up prize previously (Elvis Live box set and tennis shoes) but this time it's three books from Genesis Publications. Three books? Not much you might think but these are no ordinary tomes. These are music photo book and the combined worth of these three is nearly £800. You can have a look at them here! What I like about the Mojo crossword is that they make you work hard to complete it but the prize is always worth the effort. I gave up on a couple of prize crosswords over Christmas because the prize was only a dictionary. The sort of person that completes these mammoth cryptic efforts from the broadsheets doesn't need another bloody dictionary, I'll be bound.

My plans to grade the new Christmas songs have gone out of the window because today's Scottish Daily Express has a number of comps and Sonic Stage seems to interfere with Internet Explorer when I have the two running together. Instead I've decided to listen to the only CD I got for Christmas. It's an Ace compilation called "The Answer To Everything - Girl Answer Songs of the 60s". Each track, as the title suggests, is an answer record. For example, we have "I'm No Run Around" by Ginger Davis and the Snaps, which is a reply to "Runaround Sue". There's also "Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight" ("Are You Lonesome Tonight?"), "Duchess of Earl" ("Duke of Earl") and "They Took You Away - I'm Glad, I'm Glad", which is a riposte to "They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haa!".

The Herald's Christmas prize crossword is doing my nut in. I'm getting there but it's such slow progress. A top prize of £50 worth of Waterstone's vouchers (£25 each for two runners-up) means I won't be giving up just yet. It doesn't close until 19 January so I've got time. I'll put it aside for a while and start on the Books "prize brain teaser" form today's Express. I've had a quick look at this and it looks like it'll definitely be a case of Googling and checking out competition forums.

The GLW and the Flickster were at The Snowman today and it was a good job because I've been having a rather bad day, in terms of mental health. My depression is really bad and I'm at the point of getting the shakes. I nearly exploded this morning when there was no cold water for my shower and a minor prang with a post at the Ferrytoll (while parked!) has me really worked up. I hate uphill starts and anyone who knows Inverkeithing train station will now there's a big one leading to the main road. I had to tell the GLW to shut up so I could concentrate. I got so worked up I stalled and before you know I was driving appallingly. The rest of the journey home was in silence. I'm off to pop a couple of pills and have a lie down.

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