Tuesday, March 04, 2008

UNIVERSALLY CHALLENGED

Tuesday 4 March

WMESB™: A reasonable straightforward journey into work, although the X57 driver told a passenger that he doesn’t stop at the Holiday Inn Garden Court, even though the bus stop says it should. And I KNOW it should because I am BUS MAN!!

Last night I attended the New Driver Evening at Fife Police HQ as part of the Pass Plus scheme. Fife Police, in conjunction with Fife Council, offer the scheme at a reduced rate so instead of paying £150 for 6 Pass Plus lessons, they offer a 75% discount giving a price of £35, which, i'm sure you'll agree, is very reasonable.

It was an hour and a half presentation, including an attempt to sell Advanced Driver Training lessons too. I might consider it if I had “spare” cash but I haven’t so I’ll await that Lotto win. I also couldn’t believe that two people turned up half an hour late for the presentation. I found the venue easily enough but the trip home wasn’t so straightforward as I took just one wrong turning at one of the many roundabouts and before I knew it I was back at Police HQ! Driving round roads I don’t know, in the dark, was rather scary and I suspect I may have committed several driving offences. Thankfully the roads were quiet. Perhaps my next TV appearance will be on "Police Camera Action 7". I pulled in at Police HQ, checked my map, saw where I had gone wrong (I blame the poor signage) and drove off.

The GLW had kindly bought me the Duffy album “Rockferry” to listen to while I drove to Glenrothes and back. After a couple of listens, albeit under the steady hum of an engine, I liked the album and I know that it’ll grow on me even more. What I like about the album is that it isn’t perfect. It’s good and an excellent debut but it’s not perfect. I see that the backlash has already started and some reviews were going down the very lazy new-Amy-Winehouse route. Duffy actually dropped her first name, Aimee, for fear of such comparisons. “Rockferry” augurs well for the future and good luck to her.

I tiptoed into the house at 9pm because the GLW was watching the final episode of “The Palace”. I busied myself doing, well, anything else I could think of. The GLW had taped the final of "University Challenge" so we watched it between “The Palace” and “Damages”. It was a good contest with Christ Church Oxford (captained by a lad who could easily have been in the Lovin' Spoonful or some other West Coast band in the 60s) triumphing over a one-man Sheffield effort. I didn’t get much right but the three-part question about the 1950 World Cup was meat and drink to me (The answers were Uruguay, India and England). As usual, the GLW got what I call the “snobby” questions while I got the “scum” questions.

MUM’S THE WORD

Monday 3 March

WMESB™: Froze my nads off at my shelterless bus stop this morning (* More on this later). Got the X57 into town and had the pleasure of my pal Fiona’s company. Hadn’t seen her for ages on the bus as she now gets different buses to work. She was one of the campaigners to save the Yellow Taxibus.

I had most of the weekend to myself so I got on with a number of little projects. I’m making a box set for Jock ‘n’ Roll Dave’s birthday. He was in a band called Paintbomb! and I have most of their gigs on tape. For years I’ve been saying I’ll copy them for him but haven’t got round to it. I have an empty CD box that can fit six discs in it so I’m putting the Paintbomb! gigs and demos on to three of them and making some compilations for the other three.

One of the compilations is going to be called “I Was Looking For A Job…” and will feature tracks/bands with occupations in the title e.g. “The Composer” (The Supremes) or “If I Were A Carpenter” (Four Tops). Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon sorting out a long shortlist, which I’ll whittle down this week. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

I was also thinking of doing a compilation of instrumentals and maybe a CD full of quiz audio rounds (Dave’s a quiz nut too).

I haven’t written much over the last few days as I’ve been busy with little bits and pieces and, to be honest, rather depressed, so here’s a brief summary:

Friday: I found out today that the edition of “Brainbox Challenge”, which I feature in briefly, will be broadcast on Wednesday 5 March at 6.30pm on BBC2.

Tickets have been purchased for Edwyn Collins’ gig at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on April 21st and I Am Kloot’s gig at the ABC2 in Glasgow on April 27th (anyone with advice on parking in Glasgow on a Sunday night would be appreciated). I was in the queue behind a couple of woman buying tickets for Girls Aloud and The Proclaimers at the Castle. £77 for two tickets Girls Aloud tickets (that doesn’t include the £3.50 per ticket for using a credit card – they went to a bank to get cash instead). At least Dick Turpin wore a mask!

Thursday: Usually it’s me that is so wound up by the Dunfermline (De) Press that I feel the need to wax lyrical but it’s the GLW who is annoyed. The Press asks a number of people a question of a current subject and these answers are spread out through the paper. This week’s topic is real nappies and the GLW is appalled by the responses of the people spoken to. Some of these women need shooting for the pathetic excuses these give for not using real nappies. EXPAND.

Wednesday: I have another Top 5 in the Recommends section of The Scotsman. The topic was “Musical Mothers” for Mother’s Day. I’ve also noticed over the last couple of weeks that someone else is trying to muscle in on my musical Recommends. McCabe, I’m the Daddy – remember that!!

There wasn’t much on telly so I adjourned to my study and listened to Andrew Collins and Richard Herring’s very enjoyable first Podcast . (I’ve downloaded their second and third ones too, for later consumption). It took me up to “Shameless”, which was a less than cheery episode. I’m actually getting to the point with it whereby I wouldn’t be bothered if I missed it. It used to be essential viewing.

*I received a reply from Fife Council again with regards to my request for a bus shelter, which goes as follows:

“I refer to your email dated 26th February 2008 to Cllrs Goodall, Martin, Rumney and Walker and also to our previous email correspondence regarding the above matter.

As you know, a recent assessment of the bus stop in question has shown there is currently an insufficient passenger usage to meet Fife Council's criteria for bus shelter provision.

However, the forthcoming bus service changes (7th April) may have a positive impact on the usage of this stop. Therefore, once these service changes have bedded in, I will arrange for another passenger survey to be carried out in May. Should the usage of the stop then meet the criteria for shelter provision, I will look towards the most suitable available Capital funding source to procure shelter facilities at this stop. I would point out at this stage that any proposed bus shelter site is subject to consultation with adjacent households and any objections duly considered.

With regard to the existing bus shelters on Linburn Road, I will monitor the usage of the two stops near Masterton roundabout following the service changes. When the NHS submitted their planning application to build the new Health Centre on Linburn Road near Trondheim Parkway, Transportation Services requested the provision of two bus shelters at this development as this type of facility is likely to generate a significant public transport demand. I understand these shelter facilities are currently being installed.

I trust this clarifies the current situation and will write to you again once the May survey is complete.”

This translates as “you’ve got two hopes and one’s Bob”. I actually thought my ears were going to snap off this morning it was so cold. I can’t help wondering what we in the Eastern Expansion are getting for our council tax. Oh silly me, I forgot about our three recycling bins and…er…that’s it! We’ve got no direct bus service to Edinburgh (three services have been removed), the police can’t find us and only now, four years after moving in, are we finally getting local amenities; a library, a school and a health centre. Rumours of a pub and Post Office are unconfirmed at this time.

I get a call from Orange about the reverse-charged texts I’ve been receiving (remember the one asking me to text STAR to 60999 to audition for the next Harry Potter film!). It seems that, under normal circumstances, Orange don’t provide itemised phone bills for Pay As You Go customers but, because I was misinformed, they’ll send me a list of calls for the last three months. The guy who called me also gave me the contact details for the company concerned, MX Telecom. He gave me their 0870-19994741 number but there’s no way I’m going to give them any more money. Orange have said that, once again, they’ll give me 100 free texts but they said that last time and then sent me a text that they couldn’t do it after all.

I’ve now e-mailed the company (support@txtnation.com) and asked that all of these messages stop and that they refund me for charges already accrued. It may be only pennies but there’s a principle at stake here. How can I be charged for something I didn’t ask for in the first place and why show I pay again to ask them to stop? Don’t make me angry; you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. (Stop Press: my e-mail has returned as “YOUR EMAIL TO SUPPORT@TXTNATION.COM HAS NOT BEEN PROCESSED” so I’ve resent it to feedback@txtnation.com).

Me and “the lads” have three topics of discussion in our usual e-mail chats (usually entitled "Working Group" or "Evaluation Report" to disguise the fact we're not really working); top 5 own goals, top 5 girl singers and top 5 songs that “get you in such a way that you find yourself having to listen to them on repeat endlessly” (© Joe)

My Top 5 girl singers, off the top of my head, were/are:

1. Helen Shapiro
2. Madeline Bell
3. Dusty Springfield
4. Ella Washington
5. Duffy

My Top 5 songs to play on endless repeat are:

1. Chin Chin - Stop! Your Crying
2. Babybird - Goodnight
3. Ride - Twisterella
4. Field Mice - Sensitive
5. The Icicle Works - Hollow Horse

Competition Update: The GLW and I have won a personalised bottle of Famous Grouse whisky from The List. We don’t drink it so we’ll get it personalised with a message for someone who does like the stuff. How about “how can you drink this shit?” We’d give it to the postie but he still hasn’t delivered our prizes from Mojo or the football website.

Memo to self: Write shorter daily blogs instead of saving them up and why don't you use pictures anymore?

1 comment:

JC said...

'I Am Kloot' at ABC2 same night as Billy Bragg plays the main auditorium upstairs!!!

Parking will be especially horrendous - myself and the missus (we're going to the BB gig) tend to park in the vicinity of Blythswood Square/West George Street and walk the 5 mins to the ABC. Pretty safe part of town - its metered parking by day, but free at night.

Hope that's of some use...