Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Friendly Glasgow – return of the violent crime stories

I’m not going to waste my time listing them, but this week seems to have seen a return to the various violent crime stories I mentioned seemed to be becoming more frequent in Glasgow.

I will mention one, simply because I once lived near the spot concerned, and it’s embarrassing to say I live in the same city where two men find the need to assault an 89-year-old woman with sufficient violence to dislocate one of her shoulders. A bit more serious than the scratch I once got from a gorgeous cat sitting there one day (and I learned, the hard way, how it came to look so gorgeous).

Much as I don’t condone violence, I’d rather read about such ‘men’ (and I should probably refer to them as ‘males’ since they are NOT ‘men’) being taken to hospital after locals had dislocated their shoulders for being caught attacking an 89-year-old!

An 89-year-old woman sustained injuries in an attack by two men who robbed her of her handbag inside a block of tenement flats.

The incident happened at around 3.35pm on Friday, January 25 in the stairwell of a property in Onslow Drive in Dennistoun, Glasgow.

The pensioner was approached by two men who snatched her bag and knocked her to the ground. The woman suffered a dislocated shoulder in the attack and was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

The two suspects, both wearing dark blue jackets, ran off and the lady’s bag was recovered a short time later in Whitehill Street. Several items had been stolen from it.

Woman, 89, injured in robbery inside block of flats

It’s really sad that even someone with a memory as bad as mine should be able to think that there have been a number of such incidents – elderly people being attacked and robbed by young people – in recent weeks and months.

Violent crimes


26/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

If you’re going to screw something up…


Although this is kind of trivial, as it solved a long-standing problem I’ve been suffering for some time, (at least a year), I thought I’d pass on a hint at the solution.

I use a number of video/audio streams online, many of which are considered obsolete, but are based on a large archive of similarly old files which are not always available on newer formats. I find them handy as a source of titles which can be searched for on YouTube, and if I’m lucky, find the same content there – but not always, as some moron might have issued a ‘Take Down’ of the material with a (usually false) claim of ownership.

This hint relates to a problem I encountered with VLC, one of a small number of media players I use as they play just about any file format, including those considered to be old or obsolete. It also offers a number of features that make it into handy media player, and one I came to rely on when Winamp imploded some years ago, as it was (and still is) my all time favourite for online media streams. I’ve given the Winamp link as it recently saw v5.8 released, so may be coming out of years in the doldrums.

VLC had been completely trouble free for years until I updated it last year, after which it suddenly started crashing every time I tried to play video, regardless of whether this was a local file, or my more usual online live streams.

I couldn’t find a reason, and rolling back to earlier versions didn’t help either – any video caused it to crash the moment it started to play.

I tried all the online help forums, searched for similar complaints, checked versions and file locations, file dates, virus scanned the lot, but nothing restored video replay.

I even spent ages going through the configuration, step by step, looking for any silly settings, or something I may have set unintentionally with a careless mouse click. All I got was eyestrain.

Today, I spotted another VLC update, version 3.0.6, checked the update notes, but there was nothing related to my problem.

Completed the update – surprise… NO change, still no video replay of any kind.

While I was checking the ‘Preferences’, I noticed the big friendly ‘Reset Preference’ button on that screen.

I’d never thought about it, as I’d gone cross-eyed checking them all – but thought ‘What the heck, I can’t make things worse, and I’ve never clicked that button’.

If only I’d made that click way back at the first appearance of this problem.

Instant fix!

So, the moral of the story is just one of NOT ignoring any possibility when trying to fix an issue that refuses to be fixed – even if it seems unlikely.

This is probably yet another example of an assumption that went wrong.

Pointless button

26/01/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment


I’ve just been given oxygen by paramedics called to revive me when I suddenly collapsed this afternoon.

During a technical discussion, the subject of cleaning various types of moving electrical contacts in electronic equipment came up, in particular very old contacts in vintage equipment, where it’s often not possible to replace the component, or get any sort of spares.

There are various options provided the contact surfaces still exist (sometimes they are just so corroded and pitted, it’s almost hopeless, and you are obliged to dump, or be imaginative with replacement parts from the junk box).

We all have various cleaners to tackle this problem with, some are chemical/lubricant, some are mechanical/abrasive. All have advantages and disadvantages.

I new item was suggested to me (at least I’d never come across it anywhere before), a product called DeOxiT, and I was treated to some examples of its use, and undoubted effectiveness. It really did fix all the noisy or failed moving contact it was applied to and worked into, and didn’t require dismantling.

The only concern I had was with regard to the longevity of the ‘fix’, but I was assured this usually ran into years provided the components didn’t actually fail or break in later years.

All was well, until I got around to thinking I might try this magic liquid.

I wish I’d been warned about the price!

70 quid for 25 ml – and a quick check showed this was not just down to the exchange rate.

At a very rough guess, that’s at least (if not a lot more) than thirty time the price of the various gloops I use for this job, and they seem to work well enough. This stuff looks good, but not THAT good.

Needless to say, I WON’t be giving it a try.

A UK gallon would be over £130 k, and a humble pint over £1,500.

No wonder it comes with a NEEDLE applicator to dispense it tiny drop by tiny drop!



This reminded me I have a bottle of contact treatment liquid I bought years ago (a LOT of years) for 25 pence or so.

I may go resurrect it…

It is EXACTLY the same colour as this magical fluid, and has done the same job whenever I was having a real problem and went to the bother of digging it out.

It would be funny/ironic if it was the same stuff, and the manufacturer had decided to cash in on its goodness by racking the price up and up over the decades.

26/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Time to stop throwing council/tax millions at sporting events

Ever since a close watch of the spending reports on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games stupidity, and learning that the organisers are NOT the ones who fund their fun, but the poor mugs of the host city who foot the bill, I’ve been amazed that few realise this, and even fewer object to having their money (taxes) squandered on the promised/claimed benefits they supposedly bring.

A few days ago it was revealed that Glasgow was being coerced into pouring some £15 million into another ‘Sport Black Hole’, to host the first World Cycling Championships in 2023.

Guess what?

That initial £15 million has already grown by £40 million (so that’s already £55 million, to be blackmailed from partners and the Scottish Government, on the basis that we simply HAVE to host this.

This when the council needs to find £500 million for its recent equal pay settlement, and more importantly, £7.5 million to renovate the Winter Garden of the People’s Palace.

Those behind this money grab MAY just be beginning to realise the people might not be fooled for much longer.

Amidst fears public libraries and swimming pools could close through lack of funding, Glasgow councillors will bid to host a £50 million cycling event.

Glasgow City Council has one week left to convince the Union Cyclist International (UCI) to allow the area to present the inaugural World Cycling Championships in 2023.

The local authority would spend £15 million on the tournament and have to secure the remaining £35 to £40 million from partners and the Scottish Government.

Councillors agreed it would add to the “legacy” of the city but some raised concerns that residents might not be so welcoming with budget cuts looming.

Councillor Archie Graham said: “It is unfortunate congress is next week. This means the council will only have a week to speak to funding partners and the Scottish Government to confirm they will fund the rest of the event.

“We already have challenging budget pressures. I do worry that people will be unimpressed to see the council spending £15 million on a large scale event when their libraries and swimming pools are under threat.

“We need to have a good communication strategy otherwise we will receive a lot of criticism.”

Councillor Elaine McDougall added: “I think this is a flimsy proposal and we need something more concrete.

“I would like more information. I know it will benefit the city overall but will it benefit the public purse?”

Depute Leader of the Council councillor David McDonald said: “It will benefit the social aspect of the city as well as the economy. The council has been asked to fund £12 million of the event, which is costing £45-50 million overall.

“The local authority will then spend a further £3 million engaging with tourists and locals who want to get involved in the games.

Councillor Matt Kerr said: “This is a legacy. Glasgow has undertaken a long journey to get here and to be able to host these events.

“We have developed a very positive relationship with the UCI and as a former road racer I am looking forward to 2023 and the opportunity to take part.

“I have four years to get my act together.”

Glasgow councillors raise budget concerns about World Cycling Championships bid

You have to love that last quote.

You’d never guess the speaker had any self-interest in the proposal…

So should recuse themselves!

Stop! It's a money pit

26/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Neeb’s wheels 13

Hopefully not unlucky 13, a surprise revisit of an earlier spotting, but that was in Rutherglen, far from being a “Neeb’s wheels” until I glanced into the driveway of a house that changed hands a while ago, and spotted it was now apparently in residence just along the road.

Still no luck for me, with a handy rear view, as this seems to have a custom spoiler – always worth a look on a 911.

Last time out I notice the bonnet badge had a custom item in place of the factory fitting.

This time, I thought I’d get to read it, but… the custom badge has gone, and the factory badge is back in place!

Oh well, maybe next time.

1999 Porsche 911 Carrera [N90 SSH]

1999 Porsche 911 Carrera [N90 SSH]


1999 Porsche 911 3.4 996 Carrera 2

1999 Porsche 911 3.4 996 Carrera 2

26/01/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment


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