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Friday, November 30, 2007

Hate is a strong word...

The MASSIVE X-mas media machine is already upon us. Some shops are advertising that sales end on the 4th to ensure that people buy their x-mas decorations before anyone else. I actually have somebody at work whose one of many pleasures is to collect x-mas tree balls…cue head shaking…all to their own thing.

Not sure if it’s age related but my cynicism seems to increase around the “festive” season. Coming from a rather cold background emotionally with regards to x-mas , this really hasn’t helped me to accept and let things be.
Even my own sons at an early age starting sending me their “I want” list. Credit when due they did addend church even though the past years I have had to force the point a wee bit more than usual. And fairs fair it’s actually their grandmother who makes sure they take the time out to go with her to the x-mas session.

I’m at the point where I believe that if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t see any point whatsoever in celebration. Just seems a massive contradiction. Ok, truth be told they call me the Grinchen , as they know me well. But just like the famed “snowman” film I also feel sometimes it wouldn’t be a bad thing to melt as I didn’t make the freezer in time when the temperature rises.
Traditions are all very well if they’re your own. Despite living in Sweden for @ 20 (life term..) I still don’t feel as if I’m fitting in. Maybe it’s the way we announce shop store profits at the same time we do TV galas and charities to feed the starving children of the world or whatever they can force-feed to the desensitised public who’d rather watch reality TV about Posh Beckham or Ozzy Osbourne. When did TV become reality???
Fairness. That’s the lacking around December. And caring. There are those who don’t have it so well who get force-fed the same TV and media to make us feel inadequate if we don’t own the latest x-mas gift, last year it was flat screen TV’s. The irony.
Some of the discussions are always interesting while we scramble the change together to buy the presents. We shouldn’t give to charity as it doesn’t make a difference, or that admin takes 98% anyway. Perhaps anything is better than nothing? Including that 2%. I overheard a conversation which was about how beneficial it is to actually give charity. You get more back than you give. At first I thought this was positive until of course the reality came back, that business contacts could be ensured at high level and more money made. Well, there you go.
One of the truest forms of giving up time in a genuine way was a very famous road racer from Ballymena , Ireland by the name of Joey Dunlop. A pub owner and multi World Champion (he past away a few years ago) he used to collect clothes and toys, pack them into the back of his racing van and head down to Romania on his own to ensure delivery was complete. Respect.
Do you feel that we are targeted at x-mas time more than any other time as they want to prey on people’s consciences. Well, so they should, the amount of money going out to ensure the bottom lips don’t hit the floor has become more and more. I wonder what this years “present to give” will be?

It’s usually at this point, if I discuss the subject, that I get slanted as being a negative and miserable git. Well, actually I’m not, I’ve just be cursed from birth about over analysing and asking questions. This is probably the same reason I have been an International coach with multiple certificates. However, on a more private level this is a curse. Everything is questioned, including motives and morals. And I realised that the most positive place to be is in the “turn a blind eye” comfort zone. I’m envious of people who simply get on and don’t care. And believe it or not, I don’t judge them either. There is a difference between judging and understanding.
I feel that most people are very similar to those elite players that I’ve coached at top level. Despite their position as reaching the top of the pathway pyramid they still work and think in a 2 dimensional way. My job was specifically to take them out of this comfort zone and push them into the 3rd dimension. And that is perhaps something that should be and could be done with those people who simply ignore the 3rd and live in the 2nd. Where TV and media have taken over and steers their every move. They remind me of the kids going into the meat grinder in Pink Floyds “The Wall”.

So, if you’ve read this far you’ll probably notice this post is more a mess than a structured constructive piece of scripting. The effects of the up and coming onslaught I’m afraid, and one I’m sure I’ll be joining in with a second hand frown.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

7 years of bad luck..

The one thing I hate about superstitions is the fact that I kinda get sucked into believing in them.I suppose its an old fashioned sentiment, which is why I'm really not happy about breaking a mirror this morning. The only thing I hope is that the superstition doesn't include magnifying mirrors...

Sounds like a joke , but its real life.Luxembourg nite out

So there's a Russian, a Georgian, a Croatian and Serbian who all go out for the dinner.
Before they go out they sit around a table and drink a bottle of whiskey.
At the dinner they continue to swill down everything that’s free and eventually end up at the local disco.

The Russian is adorned with gold chain and open shirt, shaved head and basically not someone you'd really want to mess with. By the time he's in the night club he's had enough spirits to knock out a donkey and his behaviour seems to corrugate this. He obviously feels he's a bit of a ladies man and pours on the charm onto the native ladies. Of course, Russian charm is not the same as what we work, and with this he manages to upset a few boyfriends within the space of 5 minutes. He is confronted by a string of piss who demands satisfaction and who brings along 4 friends just to make sure the point is made...

At the same time the Serbian in the group has forgotten his wallet in his jacket which he's left with the guards and so goes to ask for it back. At this point the atmosphere changes dramatically as the guards discover he is from Serbia and proudly present themselves as Monsters Inc. from Kosovo..
The way in which they talk to him is rather frightening and suddenly you start getting visions of ethnic cleansing, a black bag and the back of the night club.
The Serbian is not taking a step back and is giving them a piece of his mind...

Meanwhile, Andre the Russian is heading behind this argument with 5 Luxemburgish and the Georgian who has repeatedly pleaded to the young and innocent fools that they really don't wanna take on this rather unstable rugby league and Russian Super league player. The reply from the leader of the Luxemburgish is to bitch slap Andre..NoNo the Georgian decrees a gladiator style one on one, and if any of the four jump in they will have to deal with him..

At the same time the Croatian has ended upstairs in the private area of the club and has, together with the Dane and German in the group, no idea of anything else , including his wallet and phone..

At 4 o’clock in the morning the Police came in and demanded everyone left immediate.
A Serbian was last seen swearing at Monsters Inc bouncers who looked almost disappointed this one got through the net to survive another day.
A long string a piss Luxemburger was heard , with muffled cries of help as Andre the Russian Pit-bull was dragged off him with blood from both hands and a broken knuckle. the other four in the gang did nothing as NoNo stood with a glaring eye at them.
The German was the only member in the group to get laid with what he called a 26 year old who still lived at home, went to school and didn’t look a day over 15..
The Croatian and Dane were last seen showing each other their bollocked collar bones that looked like broken coat hangers..
Me? I ended up leaving a bar which I didn't realise was 50/50 bar and having told two men (??) to get fucked and stop pestering me to buy a drink was influenced in going back to the digs before the caveman came out to play..


Basically it has become increasingly difficult to find the time in the day to produce scripts as well as everything else.
Always a good sign though.The to do list is slowly being ticked off.
The '76 phase 3 Univox hi-flier arrived Florida yesterday and had to be tightened up a notch and tuned. The few glitches looked over and of course , having played the 70's cheapo and cult status plywood/cardboard monster the next thing is to remove the strings, the pickguard and clean up the solders and replace the bridge humbucker to a single coil Dimarzio which is on its way from Missouri as I write.Of course, first I have to fit a special single-coil ring to convert from humbucker PU to P90 type. All the parts are at the ready and the next question is wether to fit grover tuning heads.
The sound as it is , is so far from my Les paul JP signature. There is no resonance whatsoever as the body is so thin and lightweight and the whole thing sounds like a massive distortion stick , feeding back and crunching away with a much higher tone that imaginable. Intonation my ass, these things are there to be thrashed and you can actually understand that Grunge and Garage all get they're sound from either cheapo lawsuit Univox or s/h mosrite surf sounding guitars.
Now all I need is a sound proof room and marshall stack!

So, thats in the Pipeline.

At the same time the box in the kitchen needs to be taken to the workshop where my GasGas 450 Super"Retard"Motard lies in a coma. To summise, the box has a new right hand block, a cam chain and a flywheel removal special tool. Nuff said then, full strip down and rebuild and fingers crossed the valves didn't touch the piston when the chain snapped!

Interior design//
The oil oak shelves are now up. First time and using the over priced mini konsols the entire shbang came tumbling down when the CD's went up, so it was back to the drawing board and some thicker and longer screws used. The cheap oak shelves were given a soaking in teac oil and came up much nicer and darker.
Next move is to take the large 4cm thick wood items and get them according to plan to make the living room table. I'd like to have some box joints cut in but not sure as yet, I believe dove tail joints would be too difficult due to the thickness of the wood.
It should look awesome once it's also finished with the teac oil.
To add to this I have finally managed to get some stuff up on the bare walls, which have been bare since I moved in. There are three different levels of sofistication and purpose in the living room. From huge canvas abstract paintings to the more personal real photograph of a 1921 board track daredevil adorning a 1000cc HD of the era. The detail is up close and fantastic, all credit to the photographer! Feels like he's gonna drive straight out of the photograph with dissonance sound!To match up the rest of the wall I framed the photograph in an oak frame.
Those people who know me will understand the significance of this image. Those who don't will not get it at all, but unlike most people I know I do not decorate to impress the neighbours and friends.
It's not all finished yet, just a few adjustments and lighting and I will be very happy.There will be no carpets of course.
When walking in you can see how the images and sticks and stones of the living room represent my personality well, from abstract to machine and man at speed, to two guitars from different ends of the spektrum and different tonage, to the minimilist style interspersed with glass sculpture and memories of International test matches and awards.
And of course, records, cd's music dvd's adorn the shelves and have two guitar stands underneath them.

Next room to be done will be what I call my shambles room, as that is what it is. The bedroom door is always closed as its a shambles 24 / 7. Just the way I like it , so to reflect I will put up all the different framed stuff I have collected over the years, just to add some colour.Once again its basically an empty room with a 120 bed and some laundry baskets. It's what you'd call an on off room, in every case your either on or off in this room-right?

The downsides of course, I've stopped prioritising training and as nothing is being done at club level to initiate any training its quite depressing going from 4 days a week to none.However, I haven't been very well recently anyway so maybe the time will help to build up again.But that grey zone of non training is always hard to deal with as one feels soft , as opposed to getting fat. But never the less the time of year (dark dark and wet) and the lack of any colour always produces some kind of blue.I will try and get back on track before I also become an extra in tellytubbies..

Monday, November 26, 2007

travelling again

Just spent the last 5 days in Luxembourg.
The entire trip was organised by the SRF and as usual it was the cheap tickets that were the most interesting, so a taxi kicked off the proceedings as no bus left at 0430 to the airport.
Upon arrival to Copenhagen I noticed my plane was delayed, from 0840 to 1040.Ho hum..
At 1030 the neons changed to flight, having been ushered to the travel centre I was very happy to be informed that I would be stuck on the next flight in 7 hours time...
With a free meal ticket of 100dkk I went on my merry way to discover that for this kinda money I could afford very little from the cuisines...
As already scripted I'm not a big fan of flying, and to assist this anxiety I get I always ask to get a seat closer to the front than the back ever since the first episode of "lost", when only the front half of the plane crash survived...
...of course when I got on the later flight they had no other option but to squeeze me in a window seat stuck at the back with what looked like a cast of extras from "Tellytubbies"..nuff nuff said..
Then we went through the standard delays and excuses, boarding nowadays actually means getting on a bus that takes you on a 5 minute tour of the airport (airport sightseeing, a new tourism plan?) but of course once you've rushed onto the bus you realise its a cruel trick to make you believe your on your merry way.Then, once you've actually got onto the plane and waited for those very special travellers that are anal retentive about packing their stuff in the overhead locker, you sit squeezed up with weightwatchers excursion clubbers only to hear over the com that due to the fact that the flight was delayed in alisabbaba they have missed their alloted takeoff slot and they will be starting the engines in 15 minutes and hopefully take off in 24 minutes...This is once again a cruel trick as we all know, they start moving towards their alloted airfield after 25 minutes (at which point the old joke always cues in my mind;are we driving there or flying there?) and at last, 40 minutes later I'm sweating bullets on take off asking myself the same question; when was the last time I spoke to my sons and did I tell them how much I loved them?

I finally arrived at my destination.No further drama.
The trip back was amusing for one reason which takes us back to Copenhagen.When I asked why the flight was cancelled I was informed that it was becoming difficult since the Dash-8 de havilland planes had been withdrawn by SAS after the 4 crashes that happened in such a short time span.(You may recall one crashed at Copenhagen airport a month ago and four days later one in Vilnius for the same reasons, poor landing gear).
Nobody had informed LUXair, who, surprise suprise, use the Bombadier Q-400. This is of course the new name for the Dash-8 by De havilland. So, lets just say the flight from Luxembourg to Frankfurt, despite being short, had a peculiar smell to it....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Univox meets Dimarzio

So, "moving forwards" (irony)

In a land far away and a long long time ago we never had webshops, internet and indeed we never even had Microsoft windows, you had to understand how to program on an old BBC computer on the equivalent of CM dos.
I was a wee lad, and every weekend I used to take a bus from Mussi to the High Street in Edinburgh to a shop called "Sounds".The place was always packed with rockers and punks, skins, basically everyone apart from the dreaded mods and scooter boyz (to come later).

All felt like a scene from "the wanderers" or "warriors" which were of course cult status despite being crap.I used to bump into the likes of "Watty", the lead singer of "The Exploited" and I could glance around at all the mohawks, pins and needles and sex pistol posters for hours.I would always buy something just to prove to myself that I'd made the trip, usually a cheap badge, or if I could afford it a patch that I would later sew on to an undiscovered peice of denim on my denim jacket.
So, now years later, the hair has gone, the denim has gone and the internet and country as well as fashions have misted the past enough.Or have they?
An old passion has been rekindeled in the form of music, one which has always been a priority in my life in every aspect. However, despite working with it, indeed as a guitar roadie before my move to Sweden and then for EMA telstar over here before the ruptured disc put a stop to that, I have once again entered into the fray.
A Gibson Jimmy page Signature sits upright on a stand in my living room asking to be played.
Now, and in order to really get back to some Ramones / Exploited roots I have had to get me a compromise with a faster neck action to play some barr chord punk sounds. So last night, at around 22.00 I secured a 70's univox "mosrite" copy from Florida. These guitars were el cheapo when they were sold in the 70's but are now harder to find.Kurt Cobain made them famous. More importantly, if you want to try and get the sound of a Johnny Ramone Mosrite its the cheapest way to go. Just add a Dimarzio DP110 Fs pickup at the bridge and put some better tuners on it (he changed from Kluson to grover). These things are made of plywood and weigh nothing, but the sound is MASSIVE! So, hopefully I'll be waking up Santa on his sleigh.
Now all I need is a mesa boogie mk1....

So, the plan is to eventually try and put a band together and do some cover stuff like the ramones, stranglers, damned, exploited or whatever.Surf and slam music. We shall see, as I say, your only as old as you want to be.
However, with the Les Paul waiting to be used (and not for punk) there are some compositions which I'm toying with a messing about with. Just need to buy a Handy Zoom 360 recorder off ebay and start laying down some trax.

So, what else? Well, the return of Bombi. Plus ca change...or not.

The TV got moved from the bin and now resides on a bänk, and an amazing and huge canvas is turning up in december to hang up. Abstract and amazing, more info on that when it arrives.
I bought some really heavy solid oak (4 cm) with the idea to make a living room table. News to follow.
Despite seeing my shelves fall down on the first go, I managed to make things more permanent with 4.5 x 70 spax screws. So I finally have got the finger out and put some shelves up, having looked for the correct konsols and teak oil to finish them off.A large vase (1 meter tall) also ended up in the living room.So, I'm trying at least...
The shelves are now adorned with the prizes won as a coach as well as cd's for all ages and styles.Nice when a plan comes together.

Of course, to normal people this listing sounds pretty sad, but in all honesty its a huge step for me to try and prioritise the interior.I'm happy it's still minimilist anyway.

Right, I'm off to fix a digital camera that somehow has a screw loose in it....

The gasgas 450 engine parts are finally here as well as the puller, so the camchain swap as well as right hand engine block is also to be done. Can't wait.

Interesting to say the least..or?

Off to Luxembourg tomorrow.Interestingly enough there are some hidden agendas but nothing too devious, just all positive.
Having resigned my position as national side coach due to the incompencies, lack of positive support and sheer lack of transparency it's all fairly ironic.
Talkin' of ironys, it always surprises me when you hear what people are saying behind your back.What is more surprising is the question as to why? Self gain? Why else? To try and gain some higher ground by belittling people to complete strangers? 'Aint right.
But what is really ironic is the fact that half the time you know exactly where you are and with who.
The word transparency has been raised on several levels recently in my circles, and it makes me laugh.At one point I had to ask a certain person what they percieved was "transparency" and their anwer kinda reminded me of the Nixon Watergate scenario.
Here was their answer;
Transparency is information released to people we consider have the interest and right to know"...
Nuff said on that one...

Ah yes, self gain meets the mirror ego. Should be a name of a song.
There are those people around who really think they're theatre act isn't transparent, which is to say they actually have a wee plan that they think is sweet and working, as they haven't given enough credit to those of us who make sure we have all the bases covered.As Sun Tzu scripted, "know thy enemy and make them as your friend so you know their every move"..don't qoute me on that, scripting "sand slant" 'aint my thing.

So, as usual its the lines between the lines, and always for a reason. All i'll say is, make sure you know who to trust and who not to trust. And don't play the same Nixon game, or you'll end up the same way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Does my natural sponge have a soul?

This came shooting through my mind as I was taking a shower and went through my usual routine of looking at the natural sponge, (which I purchased on my visit to Crete, the more expensive variety of course), and feeling sorry for it in its dried up state and to conclude the ritual routine I run enough shower water through it to “bring it back to life”…

Strange, and perhaps a tvångssyndrome which includes the over washing of hands. Something I find that I have to do after various activities.

But as I ran water through the natural sponge hoping to pump some life into it, this behaviour trait struck me as being rather unusual. Or is it? It does go with my other scripts regarding the sofa and it’s soul, or taking the old car to the scrap yard. But a sponge?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Its been a while, glad to be back.....

Things have been very busy since the last inlägg.

For a start , today is basically the start of a new life for me without my position as a coach for a National side. There is always an emptiness that follows any decision when it comes to affecting relationships in teams or private, and it takes a long time to make such drastic decisions.

There are many negatives that could be written about the reasoning behind the decision. However they aren't new and it is rather amusing when people feel that your blind to the hidden agendas being slowly built around the up and coming changes. Of course the denials come in when something happens out of time frame but basically it's time to move on and start enjoying life without the complications of working with incompetence, hidden agendas or people who simply do not have the same goals and objectives. Interestingly enough, but I have written previously about how usual it is to have persons sitting in high positions who are incompetent and who rely on middle management to make them look good.Well, same same, difference being that I have sacrificed my own integrity and swallowed my pride too often for **************

So, what has happened since september. A whole lot, thats what.
My interest in music is back, so I am now the proud owner of a Jimmy Page Signature Les paul which takes up all my evening time as opposed to sucking a straw and watching TV.
Suffice to say the sound is simply awesome even through a Roland MicroCube. I have to wear headphones but the sound variation is treble fold.
This isn't my first dabbling with the electric guitar, my first was a 71 les paul custom black beauty which I purchased in nashville. However, I sold it on and it ended it's days with a broken neck in a freak accident with one of Uppsalas more popular blues bands.
The approach to playing will be the same approach I use in coaching, which is more on general feeling than technic.It helps if your not tone deaf which I'm not. So far things are awesome and only getting better.

Training wise has been cut back and the body is basically fixing itself. So for a while I will not be doing any gym or training sessions, except for korp indoor football which has started again and always fun. having played 4 games in the elite this year I plan on getting fit and making myself available for the bench once again if necessary. I have to say Ive never had more fun than playing the game than coaching.Different rewards and the only anxiety is the fact that my age is a huge restriction.Can't do much about that.

The passion of motorcycles and engines in general is back and the rebuilding of the blown up GasGas is now in full swing. The Supermotard blew up last year and after an investigation it appeared she had snapped her camchain.
New price is 1650kr, so I have now taken a gamble and purchased another type, from another model from ebay for 100kr. Lets see if that works...

Its gonna be a real adjustment now that I have taken away a huge part from the jigsaw I call my life, but as usual I'm sure I'll keep myself busy and for the first time in a long time I won't have to put up with the negatives.

Will also be posting more often.