Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

I hope Kelvingrove doesn’t operate a ‘Three Strike’ policy

I hope Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum doesn’t operate one of those American style ‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’ policies – if so, I’m in trouble.

I mention being moved after carelessly daring to stand at the balcony behind a (by then) redundant barrier tape.

Guess what? I got into trouble again there yesterday, at exactly the same spot.

And from the same nice lady staff member too – I’m beginning to get used to her dulcet tones, always starting the same way, “Excuse me sir, would you mind…”.

This time I’d carelessly sat (the sad remains of) my Poundland mini umbrella next to me on top of the balcony.

Not really THAT carelessly as I’d chosen one of the wide sections, and had sat it at the rear edge (AWAY from the front edge that overlooks the central hall) because it was kind of ever so slightly wet, so couldn’t really put it in my pocket, but I did rest my elbow on it, to make sure it didn’t go anywhere, and to remind me I had it (having managed to leave it in Halford a few days ago).

I don’t even know how she saw the black fabric under the sleeve of my black jacket, but there it came once again, during the organ recital, that voice I’m getting used to…

“Excuse me sir, would you mind…”

Apparently quantum physics is alive and well in Kelvingrove, as it was explained to me that it could ‘Tip over’.

Not really sure how a floppy piece of cheap fabric with an extremely light (and cheap) frame inside it is going to ‘tip over’ (maybe it could quantum tunnel for a foot to the other edge, and jump), but since I don’t disagree with the principle (having seen the shocking piles of junk some visitors lay out along the balcony), it was time for the contrite and ’embarrassed at my silliness face’, plus an ‘Oh, sorry’.

So, that’s ‘Strike Two’ for me.

I’m going to have to be very careful if I go back to my usual spot on the balcony during the organ recitals, and make sure I’m squeaky clean.

One more “Excuse me sir…” could be a Third Strike, and I could be banned for life!

Kelvingrove Balcony Shot Minus Dippy

Kelvingrove Balcony


12/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | | Leave a comment

Would you believe I was assaulted twice while cycling last week?

I’m slightly glad the weather deteriorated last week (unless you were a fish that like to go for a walk), since it meant I didn’t have to wonder if it was safe to go out cycling.

While my encounter with (yet another) angry old bike hating man of Glasgow didn’t constitute assault, two other incidents unfortunately did.

While the old geezer did shout at me, he didn’t make any sort of threat, or physical move towards me, so didn’t satisfy the general definition of assault, which does not actually require any contact to be made:

Assault is a relatively common charge in Scotland, arising from attack against another person with intent to cause harm or injury, or which puts the victim in a state of fear for their physical safety.

But the two others did.

The first was while waiting for the cycle path lights to change near Kelvingrove Park, when a male youth from a nearby school approached me and raised his hand towards the handle bars of my bike. When I stopped him, I was offered the option of being stabbed (by a schoolkid!).

As we exchanged words, he suddenly ran off – I was puzzled by this until I thought about what was happening when he took off.

I had reached down to adjust the bottom of my trousers while I was speaking and commenting on his stabbing offer, but it could have looked as if I was reaching into the edge of my boots (yes, I wear substantial boots when I cycle), and if we’ve watched enough TV, we all know what violent people carry stuck down the side of their boots.

The second was only a day later, as I headed home and had just entered Tollcross Park, as I’ve done on dozens, if not hundreds of times.

There was a group of youths on bikes coming the other way.

As I passed the group, the one at the front shouted “QUICK, SOMEBODY PUNCH HIM AFF THAT BIKE AN’ GRAB IT!”

I’ve no idea if this was a serious call or not, but I was past the group when it was made, and just carried on – and noted I wasn’t being chased or followed.

While there was another incident, it didn’t involve me, but did feature a piece of road/location I regularly use, AND at a time I’d be likely to be there.

Fortunately, the following happened on a day during which I wasn’t out and about.

Attempted murder in Shettleston – 33-year-old hit by car in broad daylight ‘targeted’ attack

Time for pic.

Lovely Pettigrew Street disappearing off to the left, with Amulree Street and the rear of Kingco (supermarket) on the right.

Even made the BBC: Car driven at man in Shettleston ‘attempted murder’

Pettigrew Street

Pettigrew Street

12/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pavlov’s Cat failure

Since I recently posted a successful depiction of Pavlov’s Cat showing how the famous experiment SHOULD be carried out (being conducted by the cat, of course), I thought it only fair to post an illustration of how NOT to carry ot this experiment, unless you actually WANT to fail miserably.

Pavlovs Cat Failure

Pavlovs Cat Failure

This seems appropriate 🙂

Expert Ignore

12/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Vinyl Record Day

12 August is Vinyl Record Day.

I have to be honest, and confess I would like to be scathing and dismissive of those who still insist on worshipping vinyl records under the delusional belief that they sound ‘better’ than digital recordings.

They seem to operate under some utterly crazy misconception that digital involves a lot of conversions that the ‘purity’ of vinyl records somehow avoids.



They seem to think that a purely electronic series of conversions (which includes the ability to specify recording quality, has no conversions to another medium by mechanical means, and even includes error correction) is somehow less accurate/perfect than a system which converts the sound into a mechanical movement, is then used to gouge a groove into a piece of plastic, then reverses that process by scraping a stylus along that groove, converting the resultant motion to an electrical signal which is then amplified.

They say all the electronic processing of digital distorts the sound quality too.

They seem to forget that vinyl recording suffer an extreme form of distortion called RIAA equalisation (I don’t think I’ve ever heard a vinyl fan acknowledge its existence, or its effect on the recording), forced on the audio to ensure the groove gouged into the will/should not exceed a maximum limit, and thereby cut into an adjacent groove, This equalisation has to be ‘undone’ when the vinyl record is replayed.

They seem to ignore the fact that once played, a vinyl record is worn, so is changed, and is no longer an accurate rendering of the original.

I’ve heard some who say a vinyl record is worn out after about 50 plays.

But, so long as they’re happy – let them play with their records. Leave them alone.

As long as they leave me alone with my digital audio… clean sounding, scratch and click free, and the same the first time I play at the 50th, or 100th, or 1,000th, or…

Believe it or nor, I kind of miss playing vinyl.

I suspect it’s not really the sound they miss, but the ceremony and ritual followed every time a record is played.

Not forgetting the astronomical costs and ‘one-upmanship’ enjoyed by fanatics with bottomless pockets.

On the other hand, I can do without the delay and hassle of cleaning everything, avoiding dust on the records, setting up the cartridge alignment accurately, and the tracking weight, and… and… and…

And I think I just talked myself into loving my MP3 collection!

Vinyl Record

Vinyl Record

Like many of these fondly remembered systems…

I’d like to see someone sell the vinyl record system to audiophiles today, if it had never existed and had no history or following.

I suspect they’d go hungry if they tried to rely on their ‘Great Sounding New System’ to put food on their table.

12/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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