Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Today is Sticky Bun Day

21 February is Sticky Bun Day.

It seems the exact origins of the sticky bun are debatable, as is the history of Sticky Bun Day. But who really cares?

Some attribute the sticky bun to the Ancient Egyptians. Others claim it originates in Germany. But who really cares?

Given the origin debate, it’s almost a surprise that there seems to be general agreement that German settlers brought the sticky bun to Pennsylvania in the United States, where the pastries were originally referred to ‘schnecken’ and became a speciality of Philadelphia.

But who really cares?

What matter is that there are plenty of bakers making sticky buns of all shapes and sizes, and I’m one of the lucky ones who can munch through as many as I like, when I like, yet stay looking like a human stick insect.

I have my problems, but at least getting fat isn’t one of them.

Oh look… NOW I care!

Sticky buns with ADDED sticky – ideal 🙂

Banana Sticky Buns With Banana Caramel Sauce

Banana Sticky Buns With Banana Caramel Sauce


February 21, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

The illegals – S1 XJP

It’s nice to look at… but it still naughty (and potentially expensive) to space this as S1X JP.

I’d almost forgotten about this one, until I tripped over the same car recently, in a neighbour’s drive.

It’s hard to forget this 2013 convertible Porsche Boxster 3.4 981 S PDK.

These later examples are vastly better looking some of the early examples, from the days when the from headlight assemblies were referred to as ‘fried eggs’. An unfortunate, but sadly not completely inaccurate example of the design fitted across the range at one time.

I even took two pics.

I confess to thinking about buying something from this series for a while, and if you’re lucky it’s a nice cheap buy to get into this club, especially for peasants like me.

But I was warned off by ‘One who knows better’ who advised of some silly fragile bits in the engines, which can be a nightmare due to the mid-mounting position, even if you’re not frightened off by such things, the hassle of getting to them can spoil the fun.

Well-maintained examples are probably OK, but if they’ve been in the hands of a cash-strapped moron, then you might be one that bears the brunt of their abuse.


Porsche Boxter S 24V Fr

Porsche Boxster S 24V Fr


Porsche Boxter S 24V Rr

Porsche Boxster S 24V Rr

February 20, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Chamber’s conversion continues in Baillieston

I almost missed this, although it’s hard to miss.

I wasn’t really looking after all the other changes, AND because the place has already had scaffolding up and down (but not over the facade, just the sides).

Also… It wasn’t obvious before, since I’m only here at night, but looking in the window of the former barber’s shop in the low building to the left shows it now appears to be boarded up, so I guess it has gone as well. The wooden panel padlocked over the entrance is probably also something of a clue.

I hadn’t anticipated this going as well, as there had been ads for part-time barbers in the window just before all this started. I guess there weren’t any takers.

Oh well, there is still another barber just across the road – although I haven’t been there during its opening hours, so don’t take my word for it before checking.

Chambers Conversion

Chambers Conversion


February 20, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is Love Your Pet Day

20 February is Love Your Pet Day.

They got this one wrong!

It should be Love Your Pet More Day.

Treat your cat to a new cat tree.

Buy the tree.

Bring it home.

Unpack it.

Save time and throw the tree away now.

Leave the box somewhere for the cat to find.

Funny Guy Dies Last

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Squeaking wipers? Just use flick wipe

Having recently come across the cause of squeaking brakes

Our handy list of cures now extends to squeaking wipers (and a use for the flick, or single wipe option).

Squeaking Wipers

Squeaking Wipers

Last week, this thieving mouse stole a ride on a US deputy’s car.

Could have taken it home, for a treat 🙂

February 19, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | | Leave a comment

This Mercedes is not a L400 NNY

Thinking of a ‘novelty plate’ rather than any disrespect to the owner, from a distance I thought I had come across an amusing LOONY registration plate.

But I was wrong, and when I got closer found it was L400 NNY on a 2005 Mercedes CLS320 CDI Auto (ignore the kid-on AMG sticker).

This is one of my favourite Mercedes body styles, but the first I’ve caught with a notable number so I could grab a pic.

2005 Mercedes CLS320 CDI Auto

2005 Mercedes CLS320 CDI Auto

I still had the gut-feeling that the number had been chosen, and when I got closer, found that the addition of a little imagination – and some stick-on letters – provided the answer. A bit fuzzy thanks to the reflections and glare, but it does explain the plate.

2005 Mercedes CLS320 CDI Auto


February 19, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Opera quietly gained a built-in adblocker


Since I recently mentioned that Chrome had gained an adblocker (after spotting a news item about the activation of this option), I thought it only fair to note the same for Opera.

I’ve never been able to work up any enthusiasm for Chrome, despite being told that for some unfathomable reason it is reported to be the most popular/used browser. It’s never offered any features that I found useful or attractive, has always been a memory hog (important on my little computer), and the extensions look more like kid’s toys than useful options, especially since Google censors them, and many useful ones (which can be freely added to other browsers) are blocked as they offend somebody or other.

It’s ages since I turned to Opera for some browsing, but as I loaded it up, it flagged up a pending upgrade AND a note to the effect that adblocking was now built in.

While it’s not my browser of choice, I did spend long enough using it after the upgrade to be impressed, as the adblocker seemed to be almost as effective as my own choice.

Bear in mind I don’t use the vast majority of so-called ‘social media’ sites (especially Facecrook), so Opera’s adblocker may have an easy time here – on the other hand, I didn’t see a single ad while using it for an evening.

So… For blocking ads, apparently quite well (they also say they have anti-cryptocurrency mining built-in too)…

Try the Opera browser – now with a built-in ad blocker, battery saver and free VPN.

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

What? 2018 is the Year of the Dog!

No wonder they slipped that in under my radar!

2018 Year of the Dog

2018 Year of the Dog

Don’t bother looking for the Year of the Cat – The Rat stole it!

You’re about to learn why cats chase rats with such vigour.

Folktale 1:

One day, the Jade Emperor initially selected 12 animal, and told the cat to inform the rest 11, in which the rat is not included.  The rat heard this information by eavesdropping when the cat told the ox. The rat secretly came to the heaven palace and registered for the first position before everyone else. The stupid Jade Emperor didn’t even check the authenticity of the Rat’s registration. Then the first informed Ox only got second position. Finished informing everyone and came back for his own position, did the cat only to find that no position left for him anymore. So rat is the first and no cat. From then on, cat and rat became life enemies.

Folktale 2:

Once, the Jade Emperor thought it’s better to assign an animal for each year so people can remember the Zodiac cycle easier. So he decided to hold a meeting with all the animals and he will elect 12 of them to be the Zodiac animals in the meeting. At that time, cat and rat are close friends, just like brothers. They are very excited for the meeting and decided to go together.  The cat is a sleepyhead, hardly woke up before noon. Night before the meeting, he ask the rat to wake him up the next morning.  The rat agreed: No problem, take it easy, I will wake you up for sure! The cat felt assured and had a sweet dream. The next morning, the rat got up early and quietly, washed and brushed, left for the meeting alone.

When the cat woke up afternoon, he knew it’s too late.  The news about newly selected 12 animals were everywhere; and the rat is the first of them.  Felt betrayed by the rat, from then on, the cat turned into rat’s enemy. So that’s also why cats are always chasing  after rats.


The two folktales above are the most typical and most funny ones. I like them. But probably you will doubt that’s the truth.  12 animals for the Chinese zodiac must have been developed in the early stage of Chinese civilization for hundreds of year until it become the current edition; and it’s very hard to investigate the real origin.  As to the absence of Cat, most historians agree that Chinese zodiac 12 animal were formed before cats were introduced to China from India with Buddhism.  So the answer is clear: There is no cat on the list because Chinese people never knew a cat at  that time.

Vietnam’s edition has Cat:

Just some additional information on this topic, although Vietnam adapted 12 animal zodiac from China, their edition is a little different. They have Cat in it, while Rabbit is dropped off. Why? Not sure. One explanation is that the “Rabbit” pronunciation in Chinese sounds like “Cat” in Vietnamese, so they made a mistake.

Explanation thanks to finding a Chinese blog:

Why no year of the Cat?

Just Waiting For The Rat

Just Waiting For The Rat

They’re a bit tougher than mice, so I did some checking, and found this, just to help 🙂

Rat Trap

Rat Trap

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Upvote teamwork

No words needed.

Just enjoy the ending 🙂

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Street art surprise in George Street

I often suggest people wake-up to their surroundings, and pay just a little more attention to what happens around them.

Along with quite a few others, I advise others to ‘Look Up’, especially locals, and especially in Glasgow, where there’s a whole new world that I know many are completely oblivious to.

But sometimes all it takes is a look at places you’ve been seeing ‘forever’, as the fact that they haven’t changed for years doesn’t mean they won’t.

Case in point, this doorway in George Street, passed many times yet never interesting (although I do always look at the building it lives in), yet a quick glance changed that.

I wonder if it would have been different if seen earlier, if perhaps some politically motivated moron thought using it might make one of their similarly moronic posters more noticeable?

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Art

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Battery Day

18 February is Battery Day.

Another simple one that doesn’t really need any explanation.

So, a little history to fill the space.

Credited with the invention of the electric battery, Italian Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was a physicist, chemist, and pioneer of electricity and power.

His invention was the Voltaic pile in 1799, and he reported the results of his experiments in 1800 in a two-part letter to the President of the Royal Society.

Critically important, his invention proved that electricity could be generated chemically, ending the belief that electricity was generated solely by living beings.

Volta had disagreed with Luigi Aloisio Galvani’s conclusions about “animal electric fluid” or animal electricity, but the two scientists disagreed respectfully. Volta coined the term “Galvanism” for a direct current of electricity produced by chemical action. The disagreement between the two in regard to the source or cause of electricity led Volta to build the first battery in order to specifically disprove his colleague’s theory.

Voltaic Pile

Voltaic Pile

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

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