Wolf – Last Christmas?

wolf

Of course I miss you, it would be stupid to think that I didn’t.

A couple of years together thrown away a puff of anger, hurt feelings and faux outrage.

Faux?

Because we are both proud people and although we were both in the wrong, our pride doesn’t allow us to apologise and climb down from our moral high ground very easily.

I know that I upset you, you know that you upset me, but is worth throwing away a bright future for the sake of some relatively petty issues?

Probably not.

So why are we allowing this to continue to fester and the distance between us to grow?

I’ve already said sorry. I don’t think I can do anything more.

How many apologies does it take? Continue reading “Wolf – Last Christmas?”

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Who’ll love Aladdin Sane? .. #DavidBowie #MikeGarson

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Who’ll love Aladdin Sane?

Mike Garson does as did a few thousand souls including myself at last night’s homage to David Bowie’s finest album ( in my humble opinion ).

The reason that I think it is Bowie’s finest work and superior to the rest including Ziggy Stardust is largely down to the piano dexterity of one Mike Garson.

Garson is ( was ) Bowie’s longest serving band member, playing in over 1000 concerts together including Bowie’s first and last concerts in the states. See wiki for more details.

Personally, I just love the way he plays his avant-garde crazy piano music, both in and out of key over a rock rhythm. The cacophony of sounds happening in different layers stimulates something in my mind which I don’t really understand, but love all the more.

As a wannabe-piano-player, self-taught over 15 years and playing every day, this is a whole different level, something that I both aspire to but know that I’ll never achieve. My own poor-man’s version of Lady Grinning Soul hits all the right notes at all the right time, its recognisable but Garsons’ piano skills have so much depth, flawlessly rolling up to the higher octaves and back seamlessly.

His band were particularly tight compared with most bands I’ve seen ( and I see a lot), recently played on the Iggy Pop tour. Special mention to saxophonist and the lead guitarist who had the difficult job of covering the Mick Ronson’s part.

Last but not least, lead vocalist Gaby Moreno, dressed in an emerald green jump suit with her cork-screw hair, both prowled and commanded the stage.

I had been concerned before the gig that no-one would be able to carry Bowie’s vocal, particularly against such classic songs, but she did and is probably a better singer than Bowie. Most noticeably on the quieter bonus song Wild Is The Wind.

It was mesmerising.

It was a fantastic gig,  well worth seeing and with the additional benefit of an appearance by the legendary Steve Harley for a rendition of Space Oddity and his own song Sebastian.

This was a real Bowie fan gig, most of the audience around me were singing every word of music which obviously is a part of their life.

At one point during Wild Is The Wing,  I wished the guy beside me would just shut up, but an accidentally on purpose dig in the ribs seemed to do the trick!

If you get the chance to see Mike and the band .. don’t think,  go.

More info including a similar set-list from the recent Birmingham gig.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aladdin_Sane

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Garson

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/mike-garson/2017/o2-institute-birmingham-england-73e02e25.html

 

 

Fuck U .. #U2

Joshua_Tree

 

U2 are a colossal band,  humoungously large and presumably wealthy.

I went to see them last year with my bro and had a fantastic time,  they put on am amazing show.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/never-ever-choose-the-seats-best-available-u2-glasgow/

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/u2-new-order-or-simple-minds-glasgow/

Earlier this year,   they toured with the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree album,   probably my favourite album of theirs with its hits of Where The Streets Have No Name,  With Or Without You Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and my personal favourites of Bullet The Blue Sky and the haunting Running To Standstill.

But here’s the rub ..

On their tour,  the band only played Dublin and London,  other arenas in the more provincial cities like Glasgow were omitted from their tour.

For me that implies that they are happy to take our hard-earned dosh when it suits them,  but only when it suits them.

Tonight,   a U2 tribute band play St Lukes in Glasgow,  a smallish venue of a 3-400 hundred souls, playing The Joshua Tree album in its entirety.

That will do for me.

So fuck you Bono .. you talk shit most of the time anyway.

There .. I feel better now!

http://www.stlukesglasgow.com/events/u2-2-joshua-tree-tour-w-the-noel-gallagher-experience/

 

 

 

Alone With #ThePretenders?

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Chrissie Hynde surveyed the room before her,  a sell-out of 3000 souls all seated expectantly in the Glasgow Royal Concert hall.

“It’s not the Barralands,  is it?”   She quipped before bursting into her first song Alone,  the title track from her new album.

My brother Duncan and I smiled at each other and with a quick look at the mostly grey heads in front and all around us,  we had to agree. Continue reading “Alone With #ThePretenders?”

Supply, Demand, Fear And Loathing in the UK Software Industry

Fear And Loathing

John and I have worked together a few times over the years.

The first time was back in 1998 during the halcyon days of deregulation when the government was throwing money at the utility companies in an attempt to open the energy and telecom markets and make buying electricity, gas or telephone services more competitive.

That was the party-line anyway but the real reason was in making money for the people who already had the money to invest, i.e. the Tory Party demographic and the banks, pension companies and institutes which could make huge profits buying the UK infrastructure at bottom-dollar prices and their share prices doubling over night.

As individuals working in software development, there was lots of money to be made on that gravy train and even although John and I were comparative bottom-feeders, we still made a relative fortune on obscene hourly rates, but that’s supply and demand for you.

Deadlines were tight, the date at which the market was set to open was fixed in stone and our employer Scottish Power was desperate to be one of the first PES’s with its foot in the door and it’s grubby little hands in your wallet.

Of course the reason that deadlines were tight was because the early days of analysis and design had been undertaken by some of the major consultancies of the time, IBM,. Logica, Cap Gemini and they were too busy lining their own pockets with the freely available money directed from the public purse to actually give a t0ss about getting the job done.

They talked a good game, as they always do, the project managers and analysts were the kind of guys who were good at drawing boxes to represent systems or data sources and then drawing the lines between them to represent processes and data flows.

You know the type, all talk, all confidence and delivered nothing.

I hear on the grape-vine that these guys are still out there now, 20 years later working in banking and the privatisation of Scottish Water, the latest gravy train to come along offering free money to those who talk a good game.

It’s not really strange to find that these guys all know each other, a cabal of frauds masquerading as leaders when all they are good at is leading any unsuspecting PLC up the proverbial garden path.

Of course by that time, budgets have been agreed and half spent, lots of documents have been produced with diagrams of boxes and lines but not a lot of actual detail and no infrastructure or software architecture which will implement the new business requirements.

That’s when they call us bottom-feeders in, the mercenaries who drift from contract to contract getting the work done on a decent daily rate extending the contract as long as we can to keep the dosh rolling in as long as possible or until someone else makes us a better offer.

1998 and Scottish Power went live with half-@rsed systems that didn’t work, that had been badly designed and sparsely data-populated.

Let me elaborate, some @rsehole who will remain nameless had been so focused on the data flows to communicate customer comings and goings with other market participants that he had completely missed any changes to the customer service screen to deal with the new data flows and the changes.

Another @rsehole in charge of data population decided that half the customers weren’t in scope for initial population. So on day-1 when these customers decided to get their electricity elsewhere, their data content fell down the cracks between the systems never to be seen again.

Yeah, of course it caused a stushie, there were customer complaints, OFGEN were involved, but the consultancies didn’t care, the @rseholes didn’t care and the bottom-feeders like John and I aren’t weren’t paid enough to care.

If the truth be told, what John and I did, with most of the development team was party hard on the money we earned on the gravy train that seemed that it was never going to end.

Every time our contract was renewed there was another £200 per week thrown on the deal, a sweetener to keep us motived and interested, sticking with the project to get it over the finish line even although we knew that it was fecked. We were paid to fix the bad software, write the missing parts and cleanse the data, all of which should have been complete before the system went live.

Here’s a unobvious truth, a software developer will earn more money from a bad project than a good one and I can assure that we made a fortune.

There were quite a few marriages ended in that period. But that’s another story for another day.

That was then, this is now.

But back to John, he’s a good guy for a hun. ( Rangers Supporter )

Continue reading “Supply, Demand, Fear And Loathing in the UK Software Industry”

The Rebels Have Won … The #SPFL Is Dead. 


The SPFL premiership started a few weeks ago and Celtic are already on top on goal difference from St Johnstone and Aberdeen. 

In the same period, our closest perceived rivals Rangers have lost more points than they have won gaining a poor 4 from 9. 

Last weekend with last nights Champions League match pending,  Celtic played a largely second string set of players and still comfortably overcame Kilmarnock by two goals. 

Does anyone doubt that this Celtic juggernaut will continue?

The bookmakers certainly don’t and have reduced their odds on Celtic winning the league accordingly with best odds dropping from 1/8 on to 1/33 on.    In percentage terms,  a poor 12.5% return has now dropped to meagre 3.33% return and not worth the money. 

Essentially,  the bookmakers are saying that it’s all over already. 

What is worth noting in the numbers that Aberdeen are now second favourites,  with Rangers best return increasing to 25/1 from 20/1 before the league started. 

To put things in perspective,   I’m a Celtic fan,  I love my club for more than football,  it’s not about 22 men chasing a ball round a park,  it’s bigger than that.  

It’s about rivalry,   about historic repression, being the underdog, standing up to bigotry and not letting the establishment club or its supporters regard us as second class citizens. 

Football is just the medium in which that message is expressed.    
And bhoy have we expressed it. 

Celtic are better run, better managed, more financially astute and generate much more revenue than any other team in Scotland. 

But let’s not be arrogant,  it’s not our way.    20 years ago that arrogance eminated from the other side of Glasgow.   They thought they were untouchable,  they spoke of floating pitches, world class hotels and casino complexes. 

It was all moonbeams. 

They reality was that they refused to pay their social taxes and look where they are now,  in a box in a liquidators office going through the process of stripping the last flesh from their rotting carcass. 
It’s quite sad really. 

Even worse is that the new entity which purchased those assets are a shadow of the former club. 

My Rangers supporting friends don’t care about administration, liquidation, assets etc.   They just want to put their fingers in their ears and support the team in blue that plays out of Ibrox.   

I get that,  they want the joy,  they pay their season ticket and support their team.  

But they don’t  want to think about finances, management or governance.  That’s someone else’s responsibility. 

That attitude is why their club was liquidated and why they are in their current predicament. 

Meanwhile,  I miss them,  I don’t miss their songs of hatred,  but I miss a genuine rivalry.   I miss the banter with my mates and the excitement of playing our closest rivals knowing that we could lose. 

Actually I don’t miss them,  it’s the genuine challenge that I miss. 

Sport is meant to be competitive and winning the SPFL without it is pretty dull and not good for Celtic or the other clubs who are more restricted financially. 

Do I have a solution?

Not really,   Celtic is a big club in a small pond but we can only play what’s in front of us.   

The EPL would provide a challenge but they don’t want us. 

The Champions League provides our only real challenge and we look like plucky minnows compared with other giant clubs with huge tv revenues. 

Thankfully we made the group stages again this year,  generating an additional £35 million in revenue and increasing the gulf between Celtic and the other Scottish clubs. 

That gulf is only going to keep getting bigger and the following thought occurred to me. 

Back in March 1994 when Fergus McCann, John Keane and others saved the club from being foreclosed by the Bank Of Scotland,  Brian Dempsey famously stood on the steps at Celtic Park and proclaimed that “The Rebels had won”. 
The rebels have won,  but at what cost when you’ve outgrown all other clubs and killed the SPFL as a competition. 

For Celtic and for the good of Scottish Football we need to find a different challenge. 
Original Stats 

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/more-free-money-celticfc/

Current betting

Flashbacks Of A Fool?

I would do anything for you
I would climb mountains
I would swim all the oceans blue

I would plant roses at your door
Reveal my secrets
More than enough for me to share

Nah you’re alright Bryan,  I’m just having a good time and enjoying life.

Secrets are for keeping and should never be told.

Well unless you have a blog and can write about them anonymously.

So how’s your weekend looking?

Should I tell you about mine?

As it happens,  two of my favourite bands are playing Glasgow this weekend.

Roxy Music and David Bowie,  my favourite artists as a boy growing up in the mid-70s grey slums of Glasgow.

These guys provided images of glamour and decadence to the unrequited lust of my youth.

The clip above asks … how could you choose between Bryan Ferry and David Bowie?

Personally Ud choose Bowie any day of the week.    But maybe she meant in a fldifferent context.  

Of course this weekend bands are both tribute acts,    they aren’t the same as the real thing,  but both are pretty good,  particularly the Bowie tribute and if you close your eyes or have just enough drink to let your mind wander,  you can imagine being in a club in the 70s listening to these guys raw and passionate before they got famous.

Or is that just another flashback of a fool?

Have fun!