Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Mackintosh Building S47

In the last summary, I noted a certain Glasgow MP whose name I keep seeing pop up on more media opportunities than most.

This time, I’m looking an article which I really can’t decide helps or hinders the future of the Mackintosh Building, but I get the feeling would (if I were to go through it) not be favourable towards the board of the Glasgow School of Art.

I find such articles, where I get the feeling that the writer is suggesting the board didn’t care about the building, to be irritating in the extreme.

While I can understand suggestions that mistakes were made, I can’t really believe anyone seriously believes those in charge somehow planned and allowed some mishap (not necessarily a fire) to happen on their watch.

I’ve been a director, and in control/responsible for a company and scores of people’s livelihoods.

Unlike those who threw stones at me and accused me of doing wrong, and making corporate decisions they couldn’t understand, I was in possession of all the facts, knowledge of the finances, responsibilities, and commitments which had to be satisfied. All things which extended much further than any of those critics’ scope, where they only had their own single issue to deal with, and couldn’t see or understand why THEIR problem wasn’t the one being given priority.

There’s a distasteful paragraph in the article (to my mind at least)…

What tourists learn now is very different. Recently overheard from a double decker tour bus on Sauchiehall Street, in view of scaffolding up the hill, incredulous words over the guide’s microphone: “…in 2014, and AGAIN in 2018!” If it weren’t actually true, it might so surreal as to be funny, but it’s still a shock to think the building burned down twice in four years.

Who is the Glasgow School of Art really for? – Laura Waddell

What relevance has the script of a tour guide got to with this?

It’s job is to be interesting, not even factual.

And if we’re considering factual content…


Sorry Laura – your credibility just evaporated at that point.

It may have suffered two fires, 2014 may have been a bad fire, a very bad fire, but regardless of what MIGHT have happened, the building did not burn down.

Maybe that line answered my opening question too, when I couldn’t decide if it was intended to help… or hinder.

Mackintosh Scott Street

Mackintosh Scott Street

25/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bargain of week – Global Positioning System only £16.99

Quite a bargain, a Global Positioning System for only £16.99.

And that was actually reduced from the original £19.99 which would have been pretty good too.

This is currently on offer in one of my local ‘Cash Generator’ shops, occasionally (but not very often) the source of a bargain.

Considering that a Global Positioning System needs at least thirty satellites in medium Earth orbit, plus ground stations, staff, and other support, that they can fit it all such a small box AND sell it for the reduced price of £16.99 is remarkable.

I’m not sure if the real system cost millions or billions, originally being shrouded in the budget secrecy of the Cold War probably nobody really knows, but I think a single, large satellite launch is around $4 million, not counting the hardware. Multiply that by 30, double (or treble it) for losses and replacement, then do the same again for the hardware, and just keep going – let’s just say, it’s not cheap. More than £16.99.s

In fact, I mention this as it illustrates one of the major failing of Cash Generator shops everywhere, in that their labelling and descriptions are often very poor, making it hard to identify items accurately, or at all, in many instances. Stuff sits in the window for weeks.

I was looking for a number of laptops recently (which I bought ‘off the shelf’ elsewhere, based on full label descriptions) and just gave up looking in Cash Generator, as there was no clue as to processor, memory, disk, or operating system of items in their displays. You could have two identical laptops sitting beside one another, with one at £200 and one at £400, and the only way to find out the difference would be to go inside and ask about them – with staff who aren’t computer-literate. Sorry, not taking that sort of chance.

As for smartphones and tablets – heck, they already all look the same.

And it’s basically the same with most of their tech – if you know your part numbers (and they don’t have vast differences under the skin), fine, otherwise, oh dear.

Hence my look at the Global Positioning System box, which I was curious about.

The box in question was sitting on the top shelf in the window, so all I could see was the label, the price, and the words ‘Global Positioning System’ on the box. The logo wasn’t familiar to me, so didn’t help.

Time for a trick since I couldn’t see the top of the box – I thought it might have had more detail.

I held my camera up, and took a pic from above…

GPS Bargain

GPS Bargain

That worked well -NOT!

Still don’t have a clue.


25/08/2019 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Butt… is it politically correct?

I think I’m going to avoid getting into trouble for this, and just state the circumstance.

Arriving at my local charity shop, which had recently had a sort of ‘Art and Collector’s Day (I missed it, probably just as well since the goodies on offer may have been bargains, but weren’t cheap), and was clearing items that hadn’t moved on the day.

In the middle of the main window was…

Wooden Carving window view

Window view

You might not believe it, but the pic is actually clearer than the view from street was, at first, and I innocently wandered inside to see if the apparently ‘abstract’ carving was based on anything identifiable.

I’d been there earlier in the week, just after the sale, and saw a round lump sitting in the same place, and when I took a closer look inside, turned out to be a stylised sleeping cat. No, it’s not sleeping on my table – nice as it was, £15 was too rich for me.

This time, looking closer from a different angle…

Wooden Carving

Wooden Carving

I’m sure some PC nutjob(s) will be going ballistic by now, and having a fit over this.

25/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is Banana Split Day

25 August is Banana Split Day.

Oddly, I don’t seem to have caught onto this one before this mention – strange, given my lifelong consumption of bananas, and learning about them.

I won’t go into the looming disaster that may be the extinction of the current favourite, the Cavendish, due to its existence as a clone (this means it only takes one disease to take hold, and the whole species can be wiped out).

But I will note the interesting effect of temperature on their ripening.

In very rough numbers, if the temperature falls below about 16°C, this edible fruit (apparently it is a berry) goes dormant, and simply will not ripen.

That matters in Scotland, where the ambient temperature doesn’t spend much time over that, even in summer.

As for autumn, winter, and spring?

I suggest learning to digest raw, unripe, indigestible banana!

I used to buy them, then wonder why they never turned yellow, going from green (or yellowish if they had been in the shop for long enough) to shrivelled and black after I’d had them at home for a week or two – but NEVER turning yellow, and becoming ripe, or edible.

My home just isn’t that warm 😦

I make the best of summer, when we get some days that go above the magic 16°C and stay there long enough.

As for the banana split, seems it really has a proper history, and is attributed to David Evans Stickler. In 1904, he was serving as an apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Pharmacies of the day usually had soda fountains, and that how and when he invented the banana split, which quickly became a hit with the students at Saint Vincent College nearby. Its reputation and popularity spread rapidly, becoming an American institution, then going global.

It’s relatively simple too…

Split your banana(s), arrange in a dish,

add ice cream, top with whipped cream, nuts, hot fudge, strawberry syrup (and anything else you can imagine), then sprinkle with cherries.

Vary to suit your preferences.

Banana Splits

Banana Splits



Just ONE banana split 🙂


Banana Split

Banana Split

25/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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