The Dilemma Of Beauty

!What would you choose?

Someone good looking and dull or someone reasonable looking and exciting?

You’ve met these 2 women, lets call them Karen and Alison, not that they actually exist, this is hypothetical .. honest!!

A friend of mine once met these 2 girls …

Dear doctor .. this friend of mine has this rash on his …

Anyhoo …

Karen is stunningly attractive, tall, shapely, good looking, friendly and undoubtedly desirable to every man on the look-out.

But as you’ve got to know each other a little better, she is never really available, possibly on other dates and is actually a bit dull as she is very shallow, her musical taste doesn’t go beyond the top 40 and she enjoys watching soap-operas most evenings.

Alison on the other hand is a nice looking girl … “nice” .. What a boring description.

Not that she’s ugly, far from it, but not that she’s particularly good looking either.

She’s kind of average in the looks department .. a plain jane if thats not too insulting.

But Alison is good fun, a good laugh, you have lots of common interests, love the same sort of music, go to lots of the same gigs and you enjoy spending time chatting with her.

But for all those laughs etc .. you just don’t fancy her .. you just don’t.

You’ve tried to think past the obvious “beauty is only skin deep” but in reality, although there has to be beauty within the person .. there has to be some sort of beauty on the outside too.

There absolutely has to be physical attraction.

So who would you choose? If you had that choice.

Where would you invest your time?

Spending time and energy chasing someone good looking and dull which might be eventually fruitless as she’s interested in someone better looking than you are and probably just as dull?

Or spend time having fun with someone you like that likes you but who you don’t find attractive?


ps – it is actually hypothetical .. seriously!

Could It Be Magic?

I love this song .. always have .. from the first time I heard Donna Summer sing it in 78.

Of course back then, I didn’t know it was written by Barry Manilow and couldn’t stand the guy at the time.

Not because I was just a spotty kid, who loved Bowie, Roxy Music, Blondie, The Stranglers and Sex Pistols.

But because of his scmaltzy music and housewifes favourite popularity .. which at the time .. and even now still have difficulty to see.

But I really do love the song .. love the emotion it conveys .. both through the melody based on a Chopin funeral march and those uplifting make me want to hold you lyrics.

Cheesy maybe, but I start my new piano lessons tonight and this is the first song I want to learn.

The Age Of Consent?

My baby is 16 this Sunday.

Baby eh? Shut-up dad she would say!

But you’ll always be my baby Clarabelle I would reply.

And she’d glare at me, especially if her mates were around.

But I know that she is secretly pleased as I don’t think she’s really ready to grow up yet.

My youngest Claire is 16 and I no longer have any children who are legally children.

At 16 in Scotland, she can now do just about anything she likes and parental control is largely gone.

I can’t tell her what to do, I can only ask her, adult to adult.

She could get married, live in a civil partnership, have lawful sex, be prosecuted as an adult.

All that other stiuff below, which personally I think is largely too much too soon.

She could join the army, they’d give her a gun, but she still wouldn’t be able to vote.

Claire right now, is still lying in her bed, enjoying the school holidays having been up til 2am chatting to her mates.

She doesn’t work, she has no income apart from the allowance I provide for her.

An adult .. yeah right .. only in number of years.

But I’m fine with that, I’m happy to shield her and let her grow up at her own pace.

When she’s ready, she’ll fly the nest, thats fine by me.

At 16 you can
get married.
enter into a civil partnership.
consent to lawful sexual intercourse.
leave home without your parents/guardians’ consent.
apply for your own home through your local council.
have access to many more banking facilities, including all adult services, except overdrafts and credit.
buy wine, beer, cider or perry (i.e. Babycham), to drink in a restaurant only with a meal, but cannot buy it in a bar, off-licence or supermarket.
join a trade union.
drive a moped, invalid carriage, small agricultural tractor, or mowing machine.
leave school (depending on school leaving dates).
get a full-time job and pay National Insurance.
choose your own GP.
change your name without the consent of your parent or guardian.
be sent to a young offenders’ institution.
be prosecuted in the District, Sheriff or High Court
buy a National Lottery ticket or scratch card (there is no age restriction on a private lottery ticket).
stand for election to become a member of a Community Council in certain areas.
if adopted, get information about your natural parents.
join the armed forces, but not to train as an officer, you will also need parental consent if you are under the age of 18. You can apply from the age of 15 years 9 months.
be legally responsible for babysitting.
apply for a 10 year passport without parental/guardian consent.
choose legal representation without parental involvement.
consent to medical treatment (if you are under 16 you can also consent to medical treatment if you are capable of understanding the nature and possible consequences of the procedure and treatment).
earn the National Minimum Wage for 16 and 17 year olds.
work as a waiter or waitress in a hotel or restaurant.
buy Premium Bonds.
get a piercing without parental consent.
buy a pet – you can own a pet before you’re 16 but you can’t buy one yourself without a parent present until you’re 16.
and must pay full fare on buses and trains (unless you have a travel concession pass).
officially change your name without parental consent.
get a skin piercing without parental consent.

Dealing With Cheats And Bullies!

Once there was a poor farmer who was deeply in debt to a tyrannical warlord.

The warlord came to the farmer and demanded payment, which he knew the farmer could not pay. The warlord had an alternative motive for calling in the farmer’s debt at a time he knew the farmer could not pay.

The farmer had a beautiful daughter that the warlord wanted for a bride. The warlord offer the option of cancelling the debt in exchange for the daughter, or the warlord would take the farm.

The farmer did not want to lose his farm, and he consulted with the daughter who did not want to marry the warlord. Now there is a dilemma for all
involved. The daughter does not want to see her father lose the farm, but does not want to marry the warlord.

The farmer is faced with losing either his daughter or his farm; and the warlord who would have to except the money or the farm in payment of the debt, really wants the daughter and is only using the debt as ploy.

It does seem that the warlord has the most power, but may come away without what he wants most, the daughter, but will not lose no matter which decision the farmer makes.

The farmer seems to have the power of choosing between his daughter and his farm, but will lose no matter which choice he makes.

The daughter is a pawn and a prize, and seems to have no power what so ever.

The farmer told the warlord, “I know I owe you money and you have the
right to demand payment, but it is impossible for me to choose.”

The warlord who was more experienced in these matters proposed a solution.

I will place a black stone and a white stone in an empty moneybag. Your daughter can reach into the bag and pick a stone. If she pulls the white stone, you can keep both your daughter and I will cancel the debt you owe me. If she pulls the black stone I get your daughter.

The farmer thought he had no other options and agreed. The warlord try to
divert the attention of the farmer and the daughter as he bent to pick up the two stones to place in the bag by asking the farmer a question about a building on the farm.

The farmer turned to look at the
building, but the daughter stayed focused on the warlord and the
stones hoping to detect a difference in size or shape that would enable her to pick the white stone without looking. Instead she saw the warlord pick up two black stones and place them in the bag.

No matter which stone she picked she would have to go with the warlord.

Now the daughter appears to have some powerful knowledge that the
warlord is cheating, but she knows it would be death for and perhaps
her father if she confronted the warlord. Her fate seemed sealed.

She had but a single option, to pull a stone from the bag, and her fate
would be determined for the rest of her life, the farmer would stand-by helplessly and watch as he lost his daughter.

The daughter closed her eyes and reached into the bag. She felt each
stone as if trying to select the one that would win her freedom.

Finally she selected a stone, but as she pulled it from the bag she dropped it before anyone could see the colour.

Once the stone was on the ground there was no way to tell which stone was pulled white or black. Now there was a decided power shift. The daughter apologised for her clumsiness, and said there was really no harm done. They could just look at the remaining stone in the bag to determine the colour she had drawn.

The warlord could not argue with the logic, and had to agree lest he be caught in his scheme to cheat the farmer. So even though he was unscrupulous he could be publicly found to be a cheat.

So by thinking beyond the apparent options the farmer’s daughter, who
had no real say in the matter, decided her own favourable outcome.

There are many lessons to be learned from this story.

The first and foremost is that when faced with a seemly impossible problem there are always favourable solutions.

Another is not to let your opponent set
the options or parameters, or if he does, think beyond them.

A third and important lesson is that even though the daughter knew the warlord was cheating she could not directly use that information to confront
him, but employed it subtly against him.

Often employees feel because their boss has stepped out of bounds that they can prevail by confronting him.

Not always the case. Had the daughter accused the warlord of cheating he would have killed or imprisoned both the farmer and the daughter.

Be skilful on how you use special or secret knowledge. Going public is not the panacea against management it seems to be. They still hold a lot of the power.

One of the most important and often missed lessons was the daughter’s ability to stay focused under duress. Often when faced with an impossible situation we lose our focus.


From a wise man on CQN.

Breaking Bad – From Glasgow!

Hey .. its the weekend!!

This Sunday the first of the final 8 episodes of Breaking Bad are shown in the USA.

Thankfully saving me finding an illegal download site, Netflix is showing them 24 hours behind in the UK … Yaay!!

I don’t watch a lot of tv, but this show had me riveted with its descent of the mild mannered Walt to become the drug baron Helsinborg, not only does the story have wonderful dark humour, but is fantastically shot with a great soundtrack.

At this point Walts has taken control of the drug empire, his wife Skyler has shown him how much money he has made, then as he retires, his brother-in-law DEA agent Hank has just realised that the drug-baron he seeks has been under his nose the full time.

Just noticed that the actress Laura Fraser who plays Lydia the Logistics manager who distributes the drugs to the global users is actually from good old Glasgow …. Go Laura!!

I’ve no idea how this is going to pan out, and neither did the cast apparently .. but one thing I know is that its going to be a roller-coaster.

Can’t wait!

If you don’t have Netflix in the UK and don’t see the reason to pay the subscription .. this justifies it alone.

The second clip below where Walter is diagnosed with cancer and faces his fear and changes his life is one of the most tragic yet inspirational monologues I’ve ever heard.

Fear is the enemy. Face it, Conquer it

The Results Are In ..

Today is the day my younger daughter gets her Standard Grade ( Intermediate 2 ) results.

I’ve been sitting at my desk biting my nails.

Our postman usually comes between 11 and 12 .. its now 12:30 and I’ve been calling .. nothing.

C’mon Clarabella .. gonnae gie yer aul da some good news?!!


I think that I’m worrying about it more than she is.

My pragmatic, rational head says don’t worry about it, these are only standard/credit grades and just a stepping stone, it’s her Higher’s next year that are important and set her on the path to University and hopefully the course of her choice rather than being left with a place on a course she doesn’t really want.

It’s just a hurdle to cross, but it’s still a worry as its an indicator of her progress and efforts and the wee soul was worried last night and had a bit of a sleepless night.

If your child is expecting his/her results today, I’m sure you are agonising too and I hope that they get the results they desire.


2pm and the results are in … Clarabella is delighted and I’m a happy bhoy!

Maths A
English A
Chemistry 1
Biology 1
Physics 2
French A
Geography 1
Compuitng 2

The wee soul was crying last night telling me that she thought she had failed her Int 2 Credit exam in Physics and would be downgraded to a general.

But she got a Credit 2 .. well done the munchkin!!!

This deserve celebration.

The Platform Lovers – 9 – Blonde

I don’t usually see her on the way home.

Possibly because I don’t always go home at the same time, often staying later, adding an extra hour to my flexi-time so that I can finish early on a Friday.
But more likely because she leaves university well before I finish work.

Today, it’s Friday and I’m early, the train is full of students when it arrives at Glasgow Central low-level, probably half way through it’s journey from Milngavie or Helensburgh, passing through the West End and picking up students from Glasgow University along the way.

Most of the students switch here to carry on their journeys to other parts of the city, but she’s the only person sitting at the small 4 seat booth.

She is very pretty. She looks almost Scandinavian, delicate features, high cheek-bones, bright blue eyes and shoulder length blonde hair. A slightly older version of my own daughter or a younger Debra Unger.

Her face is slim and usually pale, but is slightly tanned with the summer sun that has blessed Glasgow over the past few weeks.

As I sit, she looks up from her mobile, briefly smiles, then turns her head to look out the window, not that there is anything to see with the wall of the tunnel right outside, but conformity demands that eye contact is avoided.

I smile and check my phone, not that there is any signal in this underground station, but just in case I missed a message on the way. Nothing!

I close over the cover and look down the carriage, noticing Rock-Couple a few rows ahead, it would be hard to miss those straggly grey and metallic burgundy pony-tails even from behind, She is leaning against his shoulder and as far as I can tell they aren’t saying much but they look happy.

Certainly much happier than the last time I saw them!

At Argyll Street, a couple of older ladies board, arms full of shopping and full of chat. They are obviously very good friends, very warm with each other but don’t look like sisters. A couple of grand-dames, comfortable with life and enjoying a day out together, good for them.

I briefly think of my mum and my auntie Maureen on their shopping trips in Glasgow and hope that they had just as much fun. I have no doubts they did.

The ladies are looking for the closest place to sit and there are 2 seats free in the 4-seat booth. I move over directly facing young Debra, allowing the ladies to sit down with their bags without breaking their conversation except for the slightest of nods.

A few minutes later we are at Bridgeton, back in the sunshine and my mobile pings, its my daughter “Dad, what are we having for dinner tonight, x”

“Anything you fancy baby, I’m meeting Stephen for a curry later, so I can either make you dinner or I can take you for a Chinese take-away on the way to your mums? Dad x”

“Macdonalds please? X”

It pains me that my daughter enjoys that crap, but what’s a dad to do?

“No problem honey, anything you want, see you soon, Dad x”

I’m slightly annoyed with myself that I pander to this, I know its small stuff in the big scheme of things and it doesn’t happen very often, but with the hostility I usually get from my ex because Claire chooses to live with me, I like keeping my girl on side.

Young Debra’s phone pings too, she still has it in her hand opens the message.

Then the strangest thing happens, her eyes seem to glaze over and she shifts uncomfortably in her seat. It’s as if she wants to get up and run.

A tear runs down her face, a big large round tear, streaming down her cheek, quickly followed by another, she pushes them back with a finger and tries to sniff them away as she turns her head to face the window.

I’ve no idea what the text contains, but it must have been serious. I can’t imagine that it was anything serious like a death in the family, who would send that by text?

I imagine that this beautiful young woman has been dumped by text, dumped by some heartless unfeeling inconsiderate prick that didn’t deserve her in the first place.

My paternal instincts make me want to wrap an arm around her and tell her that he’s not worth it and that there are plenty more fish in the sea, but I can’t, I sit there and try not to make eye contact.

Fortunately as I look to the side, I notice that both of the ladies have spotted her crying to. The lady beside me reaches into her handbag and passes Debra a few tissues, which she accepts and turns to face the window sobbing quietly.

A few minutes later the train arrives at Cambuslang the Rock-Couple are already standing and the ladies and I join them at the exit. I know this is Debra’s stop, but she waits, obviously taking some time to compose herself.

As we walk up the ramp, the lady beside me says “Such a beautiful girl, I hope it was nothing serious”

I nod in acknowledgement saying “I don’t imagine it’s too serious via text”.

“Probably been dumped by her boyfriend, the poor wee thing” she replies.

As we reach the top of the ramp, the Rock-Couple stop dead in their tracks, almost blocking the passageway and forcing people to push around them.

The blonde woman standing at the entrance to the station looks absolutely livid.