Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Time for a little embedding test

One of the (many) irritations I’ve come up against in recent years with WordPress is the roll-out of various ‘improvements’.

Improvement which their propaganda machine tells me make things ‘better’, as does their ‘Happiness Team’ when I dare to complain comment.

I’ve given up on the latter, after it proved futile when I joined those who moaned when they removed the spelling and grammar checker – without warning (so we floundered around until we reported the bug, and got told it was a new feature, since we could go find our own, better checkers online).

But one of the long-standing irritations (for me at least) was the disappearance of various embedding option, as I used to drop in links to goodies found in imgur, and also BBC video features. These worked fine for a while, then the blog just started deleting them when I tried to include as I had been doing before.

However, I recently noticed that tweets with image or video content seems to work OK when they’re embedded, so I might be able to get around the ‘ban’ by blogging a tweet with the content I want to embed.

This is slightly silly of course, since WordPress also automatically sends a tweet for every blog post I make, so now I’ll be guilty of double-tweeting – unless I jump in and delete the second tweet.

But then I lose the tweet about the blog post, which will be different from the tweet I made previously just be able to get the embeddeable image.

I can’t win, can I1?

Well, it SEEMS to work.

Although, I DO have to go back and delete a bit of useless javascript that appears.


Looks as if I DON’T need to bother about double-tweeting.

While the tweet I make just to get the embeddable tweet with the image actually shows the image, the tweet that WordPress makes automatically when the post with image is published doesn’t – it just shows the post title, and a text extract. No image!

Looks like this is worth playing with, and may be of help to anyone else who got ticked off by WordPress’s ‘ban’ on imgur images and BBC embeds.

22/08/2019 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Volunteers… DON’T go into the light!

While I admire those who are able to volunteer their time and effort to support legitimate charities (always check any organisation sailing under the charity banner – and find out if it’s supporting a multimillionaire head first, and beneficiaries second).

I can’t offer the same ‘charitable’ opinion of huge commercial ventures that depend on volunteers to make it work.

Yes, I’m looking at you, usually giant sports ventures that eat millions, pay little or nothing to those who make them successful, and strut their stuff with claims of how much they benefit the local economy – while selectively forgetting about any monies that goes to those behind them.

I suspect a few lucky folk walk off with a nice little pot – while thousands of volunteer get expenses and beer money to keep them happy, and probably lots and lots of mind-bending indoctrinational inspirational talks about how ‘important’ they are to the success of the venture.

I’m impressed, really, I am, at how these events manage to pull the same trick every time they come around, be they the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games or whatever.

There’s currently a whopping THREE such events competing for free labour volunteers to help them along to a healthy bottom line once the books are closed and the accountants go home.

A recruitment drive has been launched for volunteers to join the team running three major sporting events in Glasgow.

Glasgow Life are looking for people to help with the running of the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships, the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship and UEFA EURO 2020.

Applicants will be able to choose which event, and how many, they’d like to be involved in.

A variety of roles, including supporting spectators and visitors,

Applications open on Monday July 22 and will close on Sunday August 25, for a variety of roles including supporting spectators and visitors to the city during the events.

Thousands of people have volunteered at previous events in the city including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships.

Across all three events, more than 1,000 volunteers will participate in some of the biggest events in the world.

Glasgow volunteers sought for three major sporting events

It’s funny how unions and suchlike get all up in arms and mouthy about ‘Free labour’, ‘Cheap about’, or even ‘Slave labour’ when business try to run apprenticeships, or work experience schemes, but I can’t think of a union that has lifted a finger over highly profitable sporting events and similar – which would probably be financial ‘Black Holes’ if they were forced to pay EVERYBODY involved in their running.

Maybe the union bosses like football etc, and have corporate boxes at those events, for their rich mates.

Volunteer Zombies

PS – Don’t forget

Don’t forget the other little scheme that let goodies be divvied up between the lucky few.

The ‘Awards’.

I’m not going to waste time on this, but it would be nice to know how much Glasgow will have to throw into a ‘Money Pit’ (regardless of whether it wins this award) just to keep in the running for this.

Glasgow officially noted its intention to bid in January of this year, and submitted a formal candidature bid last month, resulting in the city being shortlisted for the title alongside Genoa, Italy.

If successful, Glasgow would be the first city to win the coveted title twice. It would also mark 20 years since it first gained the accolade back in 2003.

Glasgow shortlisted for European Capital of Sport award

Mentioning ‘sport’ seems to make some people lose touch with reality, and expenses.

22/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

So, THAT’s Coats Observatory (the outside, at least)

I don’t really know why (apart from the obvious distance), but I’ve seldom made the trip to Paisley, despite the presence of interesting places to see/visit there.

Decades ago I did end up there a few times, once to look for a camera shop (now gone of course), and a few more time to visit Dunn’s Models, also gone after making the move to Glasgow city centre.

I never got around to even finding, let alone visiting any of the features, such as Coats Observatory.

I’ve almost rectified that, having found the place recently, purely by chance, while visiting Paisley (to buy some computer goodies).

However, with my usual spectacular timing and the intervention of ‘Spooky Coincidence’, the place looked closed, abandoned, and almost derelict – not what I’d expected.

Seems my timing was such that I’d arrived at the wrong time…

Coats Observatory along with Paisley Museum and Paisley Central Library is currently closed to the public while the buildings undergo a 4 year long £42m transformation. During that period there will be no public tours or visits. We will re-open in late 2022 following the redevelopment.

So, I have to wait for a further three years before there’s any chance of looking inside or visiting.

Oh well, at least I know where to go now.

It’s easy to see how/why it became an attraction (as opposed to an observatory), given the proximity of houses with chimneys filling the surrounding air with smoke, and how the expanding town would have filled the sky with light.

It’s a while since anyone cleaned and polished the plaque, or even blew the cobwebs off.

Coats Observatory Plaque

Coats Observatory Plaque

These views show the problems the observatory came to suffer, despite being on a hilltop, with houses and chimneys around it.

Coats Observatory

Coats Observatory

The entrance is reasonably impressive, with an appropriately themed carving in the tympanum.

Coats Observatory Tympanum

Coats Observatory Tympanum

it got me thinking…

The telescope is obvious, as is the wise owl standing on books.

But a chicken?

A little research, and it seems I should be referring to the chicken as a cock (sorry, I was actually trying to avoid that).

And that, it seems, stands for ‘Courage and perseverance; hero; able in politics’

While Thomas Coats (1809–1883) was a Scottish thread manufacturer who, with his brother made the Ferguslie Thread Works substantial, I suspect that latter did not tarnish the family name 😉

So – now all I have to do is keep breathing until late 2022, as Coats Observatory becomes yet ANOTHER museum class venue that I’ve lost access to for around four years.

And I thought I was done with this waiting crap as I shuffled around waiting for the Burrell Collection to reopen its doors in 2020.

I don’t really want to sound morbid, but I’ve recently begun to wonder just how many people drop dead waiting to make that ‘One Last Visit’ during these extended closures?


Just a few days later, and various media sources carried news of the £42 million museum revamp underway in Paisley.

But no mention for the observatory, which is part of the plan, and as noted about, closed for related work at the moment.

First images of £42m Paisley Museum revamp revealed

22/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

22 August is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day.

Celebrate Take Your Cat to the Vet Day by doing just that, and helping your feline friend to stay supple and healthy by identifying any medical problems long before they require extensive and expensive treatment.

It’s a good idea to prepare for such visits by having a favoured blanket in the carrier, and also to have the cat at least familiarised with the carrier. Do this by NOT just bringing it out when going to the vet (even if nothing happens, it can be a worrying time just because it is a break in familiar routine), but leaving it around casually, and even using in play.

While I wasn’t one for doing this annually, I did make sure that the visit was made if I thought something just wasn’t right.

And, at least in Scotland (and the UK), we don’t get presented with the sort of scary bills that vets seem to be able to make up in the US.

When I read stories about cats that have been saved in the US, and then see the bottom line on the vet’s bill, I find it hard to have bad feelings for some Americans (unless they are Orange Morons, for that, I’ll make an exception).

Cat Vet Fun

Cat Vet Fun

Couldn’t resist this pic that came up at the same time.

It’s NOT the result of getting ready for a vet visit though…

This is what happens when the cat’s on your lap and somebody drops a big empty pot on the hard kitchen floor!

Scared Cat

Scared Cat

22/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: