:: Thursday, April 26, 2007 ::

The Absolute Game

Dunfermline's victory over Hibs to reach the Scottish Cup Final certainly took long enough. It took nearly 3 hours of football for either side to score. Against the odds it was the Pars with a cheeky penalty. And now on to Celtic in the final...they have already won the league, we are propping up the bottom and are likeliest candidates for relegation. What could possibly go wrong?

However the victory was foreshadowed. It was inevitable once Dunfermline legend's The Skids announced their reunion. It is the Skids 'Into the Valley' which heralds the entry of the Pars at East End Park and I managed to get tickets for their first gig for 30 years at Dunfermline Glen Pavilion.

Richard Jobson talked about the reunion in Scotland on Sunday.

"A campaign started among fans to get the band to reform for the 30th anniversary this year, but initially Jobson was against the idea. Bassist Willie Simpson and drummer Mike Baillie tried to talk him round. "'Meet us,' they said. 'OK,' I said, 'where?' 'Outside Woolies in Dunfermline.' I was like: 'Come on guys, we're not teenagers anymore. How about a cafe?'"

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:: Monday, April 23, 2007 ::

Something Stinks

Engineers stem huge sewage leak

Millions of tons of raw sewage have been emptied into the River Forth. The cause was an equipment failure at the Seafield Treatment Plant run by Thames Water through a PFI scheme.

This is a catastrophe for the area, for the environment, for health. It raises a number of questions. Did Thames Water not have a backup for this vital piece of equipment? Was the plant underfunded?

The head of Thames Water should resign immediately, the contract should be suspended and the work returned to the public sector with proper funding.

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:: Friday, April 20, 2007 ::

mark eitzel

mark eitzel, originally uploaded by alister.

Mark Eitzel
Live at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Thursday 19th April 2007.

Mark Eitzel has been a favourite of mine for many years. His former band American Music Club were one of the most important US bands of the late 80's-early 90's. Their album California is one of my all-time favourite records. American Music Club recently reformed and put out a new album, but Mark is currently touring solo. I've seen him with AMC and solo several times over the years. When I was in San Francisco last year I spotted a poster for an anti-war rally that he was set to play at. I seriously contemplated doing a 100km trip through the state to catch it, but couldn't do it in the end.

Despite his intense lyrics Mark is a pretty witty and self-deprecating guy on stage. He noted that one of his friends had criticised him for playing the same set and telling the same stories for the past six months. He told us that subsequently he would be spending the next evening writing new songs, which of course we wouldn't hear but the lucky people of Exeter would.

The set itself stretched from old AMC tunes to solo stuff to new AMC stuff. There was also a a notable cover version of Joy Division's 'Heart and Soul' which had to be heard to be believed. I got some of that on video so I will post it once I can figure out converting it to mpg without all the sound dropping out.

Mark spoke about his song Patriot's Hearts, which interweaves imagery of a Columbus Ohio gay strip bar with the events of 9/11 and remarked that it was an anti-nationalist song and that he knew that with independence approaching that was a controversial concept in Scotland. He went on to say that if Scotland did seperate from the 'war mongering' UK state it would be no bad thing.

There was even a nice sing-along as Mark forced us to play the part that should be played by the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian choir.

A terrific night and probably the best gig I have been to this year.

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:: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 ::

Einstein was right: space and time bend

"90 years after he expounded his famous theory, a $700m probe has proved that the universe behaves as he said. The early results from Gravity Probe B, one of NASA's most complicated satellites, confirmed 'to a precision of better than 1%' the assertion Einstein made - that an object such as the Earth does indeed distort the fabric of space and time."Actually i'm just testing blogging from Digg.

read more | digg story

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:: Monday, April 16, 2007 ::

On the stump

Campaigning at Haymarket, originally uploaded by alister.

Out on the campaign trail, here at Haymarket station spreading the free public transport message. And if you live in Pentland Hills ward you can vote for me you lucky people.

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:: Monday, April 09, 2007 ::

Politician tells truth shock

With the SNP surging in the polls surprise surprise the rabidly pro-Labour Sunday Mail has come out with a story of a 'sex scandal' involving an SNP MP. So how did he and his party react? Denials? Allegations of MI5 plots? Libel actions? No. He owned up and apologised. The story is already dead in the water. If only certain other politicians had the brains to do the same thing.

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:: Sunday, April 08, 2007 ::

Hail Hail Jock 'n' Roll

jock n roll banner

The Jock 'n' Roll website has been revamped with a redesign by me with site admin Paul doing the dreamweaver legwork.

The singles chart has concluded with the following top ten:

  1. The Associates - Party Fears Two (1982)

  2. The Skids - Into The Valley (1979)

  3. Aztec Camera - Oblivious (1983)

  4. Big Country - In A Big Country (1983)

  5. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out (2004)

  6. The Blue Nile - Tinseltown In The Rain (1984)

  7. Trashcan Sinatras - Obscurity Knocks (1990)

  8. Cocteau Twins - Pearly Dewdrops Drops (1984)

  9. Orange Juice - Rip It Up (1983)*

  10. Danny Wilson - Mary's Prayer (1987)

and you can now vote for the top Scottish albums. So time to dig through your 'crossings' and 'psychocandys'.

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Mayday for Scotland

All the details for Edinburgh Mayday 2007 are now available. Go check it out, promises to be a good one with Craig Murray and a bunch of other folks.

Edinburgh Mayday 2007

The event will take place just after the Scottish elections and it should be interesting to hear the chat and pick up the vibe. The polls are showing a trend towards the SNP. Labour's plan to concentrate on a 'scare campaign' about independence seems to have back-fired as it has made the SNP seem more credible...as though they could form a government. As things stand it still looks to me like the SNP will be the biggest party but may have problems forming a government. This really depends on how 'flexible' the lib-dems want to be. I hope and expect to see the SSP still in the parliament and we should pick up a couple of seats. In some areas the swing to the SNP will benefit the smaller parties as it could free up more list seats.

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:: Monday, April 02, 2007 ::


Pioneers, originally uploaded by pantufla.

Cute photoset of Soviet children's books on flickr.

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:: Sunday, April 01, 2007 ::

Sunshine on Holyrood

parliament, originally uploaded by alister.

Independence First Demo, Edinburgh 31st March 2007

Yesterday's Independence First demo took place in fantastic sunshine. The turnout was decent but slightly down on the previous one I would say. Why should this be given the big upsurge in debate around this issue as the May Scottish elections approach? It seemed to me that there were fewer SNP banners this time. Either SNP branches have been told to back off or more likely they have been satisfied by SNP leader Salmond's promise to hold a referendum in the first term of an SNP administration. Furthermore many will be hitting the streets in the first week of full-on campaigning before the elections rather than come to Edinburgh.

Good entertainment and fewer boring speeches from politicians also helped although I left before Dick Gaughan came on unfortunately. And a nice story in the Sunday Mail today as one of the Proclaimers has left the SNP for the SSP and polls that see us maintaining a parliamentary presence.

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