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February 03, 2014

I know a large number of us Scots look askance at the Summer game played by our Southern neighbours with bemusement, but miss the fact that Scotland are one of the most highly ranked of the 'other' nations in world cricket [ie those who do not play Test Matches].

But we are! Largely overlooked by the Football fixated media, over the last fortnight culminating in Saturday's final against the United Arab Emirates, Scotland defeated "the rest" and in so doing qualified for next year's World Cup in Australia & New Zealand.

Yes Scotland qualifying for a World Cup! It really should get more coverage. Of course few people will give them a hope in hell of getting out of the Group Stage, but that is less important than the global coverage [and money] they will recieve for this achievement.

More worrying however are the machinations going on in World Cricket, wherein the "Big Three" England, Australia & India, with their attempts to divide the cake of crickets global income in order that they take more money at the expence of the weaker nations, with the "Associate Nations" suffering most.

The "Big Three" are doubtlessly the main generators of worldwide income for the game, but to 'pull up the drawbridge' as it were, on all the aspiring nations is self-defeating. In recent years the Irish have shown that when they put their mind to it they can punch above their weight. [And remember this is one of the few things that a United Ireland does very well]. At the same time, World Cricket allows the basket case that is Zimbabwe to amble on, with board level internecine, factionalism and the inability to stage their own domestic competition.

No Scotland [and anyone else] must be given a chance, they must be able to play the big nations more, in order to earn more income so that our training facilities improve and the players can get paid for representing their Country.

Fingers crossed, we might beat Bangladesh in the WC.

Keywords: Cricket, Ireland, Scotland

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January 18, 2014

I detest football in Scotland! Yes! I know, I am Scottish and I support a team in Scotland, but the entire games is ridden with filth!

Why do I say this? I say this because Celtic are racing to the title and what do the pundits say? They say the Premier League needs Rangers! No you idiots, it does not, it needs a team [any team] to challenge Celtic.

But people in this country are so locked into Rantic that they cannot think beyond it. A football league where all the emphasis is upon two teams [especially when most people's reasons for following these teams go beyond spurious, my god, get over it, listen to some Phillip Larkin [This be the Verse]].

My club Falkirk, will exist no matter what. But our league is a joke [because of the biggest two] 

Keywords: Football, Scotland

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January 05, 2014

I was listening to a BBC4 Women's Hour sponsored programme on the ratio of male/female during the [I think it was the last 20 yrs [1992-2012] were on R1, now god knows I haven't listened to R1 since Mark & Lard in 1997 [and will never listen to R1 again because I am 41 & Women's Hour [which is bizareley 45 minutes long], The Archers, PM, are nearly as good as the prince of all programmes "More or Less".

Yet back to Stats, it seems since Mary Anne Hobbes & Annie Nightingale, are the only 'proper' DJs on the station [Nobody counts the shouty daughter of Johnny Ball]. You know what? I don't give a care!!! When I listened to R1 as a youth, either it was on as noispaper, or at 9:00 I would religiously turn on Peel [with a casette ready to record].

What is the point of this blog? I don't know, apart from ... I didn't care if John Peel was black/white/gay/straight/male/female/this/that/thenext he inspired me to new & good music. It was not his gender .... whatever that made me listen, it was the music & plus the enthusiasm for the music.

Now, maybe if another girl will go out and find another "teenage kicks" and keep playing it until we submit, or champion Polly-Jean Harvey without care, or give the Electro-Hippies a chance at national renown ....

Then we WOULD listen to HER

Keywords: John Peel, Music

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December 16, 2013

For the last twenty odd years the Western World [and most of the rest] has slept peacefully under the flag of Pax Americana, we have somewhat enjoyed our little holiday in the sun. But over the last couple of years things have been changing. The USA no longer carries the same weight.

The reasons for this are manifold: the US is up to its eyeballs in debt [mainly to Chinese Banks], the main country investing outwardly is now China not the US, the Chinese economy is now the second largest in the World, despite its initial position.

So what? Yes, I do not know. But when Iran tries to nuclearise the old school bully of the US comes down as hard as it can, when North Korea does the same it issues harsh diplomatic words. When Japan buys a disputed island and China retaliates by making the whole area a no-fly zone and the US mutters under its breath about escalation. It shows that there is now a huge part of the World where Pax Americana has little to no relevance.

However the posh economists tell us that the Chinese economy is cooling ... Yes it is now coming down to about 10-12 % per annum growth. Where is the US?, about 1%. Do not kid yourselves, like or dislike their politics, society, whatever, the Chinese are coming. Most of the things you buy are made in China, sometimes by slave labour [yes, they still have labour camps], even our Scottish prawns, it is economically more lucrative to take them to China to process them before they return them to your plate.

Thanks to Ian McCartney for the title, Thanks to Ian & Michael Briggs for talking/listening to me on this subject over the years.
 
I have since learnt that the proper Latin ought be Pax Sinica, I will stick with Sinesia though.

Keywords: China, economics, politics

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December 08, 2013

Some time, back in those dank days of the 1980s I was a committed heavy metaller, loved the stuff [still do], but being of callow youth, I would not countainounce other music, it merited nothing.

Now I am a callow old git, and I realise some music is good for being good, ahh.

So I give this, my favourite music videos, some guitars with pedals. some not so


live is not always good, but I like this, saw Carcass several times in the old Edinburgh Venue, they were mad. This is a great song.

2 Metallica - One

A bit thoughtful, this is when metallica still thought about their songs.

3 Katy Perry & Elmo - Up 'n Down

This is great, Ms Perry did not have to do this, I smile every time I watch it, great song too.

4 Melt-Banana v Machinguru - Lost parts stinging me so cold

Okay, besides the fact Melt-Banana are a phenominal band, a cute Japanese schoolgirl with a machine gun attached to her arm, I try, but I am not impervious to being a dirty old man.

5 Shonen Knife - Super Group

Yes Japanese but not schoolgirls, the Knife are the embodiment of J-Rock, I love this because of the puppets

Keywords: love, music, taste

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November 28, 2013

Now, I have never claimed to understand how everything works, but I do get what is going on in society. There is a whole fear of "dirty old men" out there, the Daily Mail being one of the main protagonists.

However, as a keen radio listener, I often notice that middle-aged female radio presenters often inform us of how much they like the look of strapping young lads, whereas the middle-aged male presenters keep schtumm.

This is nonsense, I am infatuated with Emma Watson, she is lovely. This makes me a dirty old man, but Libby Purves fawning over some member of One Direction who had a book written for him is not a "dirty old woman", don't make laugh.

I am not denying the fact that I am a dirty old man: as the famous saying goes - there is no such thing as a dirty old man, just an old man 

Keywords: hypocrisy

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November 09, 2013

This is not a polemic, I don't know about nationalism. I know I am wary of nationalism. I could not bring myself to think less of a person because of a stupid thing like place of birth.

 BUT

 I am being more & more drawn in to kinship with the yes campaign. However not because of anything they have said.

 I look at myself, then look at David Cameron & Gideon Osborne who represent me in Europe and wider and I think: No. They know nothing of me, they cannot understand life in a flat in Falkirk.

I love Radio 4, but I notice these days that more & more is about London, and it means less & less to me.

I said before, I know not about nationalism, but the more the UK is centralised to London, and the London gliteratti, the more nationalism seems slightly more appealing. 

Keywords: Nationalism, Scotland, UK

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October 30, 2013

People are too used to the Edinburgh - Glasgow line which stops at Falkirk High Station, however the first link between the cities actually went via Airdrie, Slamannan, Avonbridge, Bathgate & Livingston.

 Next summer I am going to walk the route [well as much is possible] even the Longriggend bit. It is an interesting bit of the country. 

Keywords: Railways

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October 28, 2013

From 1941-1945 the Viet Minh fought the Japanese in French Indo-China. [Even though technically part of France] When in 1946 they sought a little bit of self Government, the first action of the British Government was to arm Japanese POWs, you discern.

If only people learned the story of Ho Chi Minh at the Discussions of the Treaty of Versailles http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/ho_chi_minh.htm

Keywords: Hypocrisy, Vietnam

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

October 12, 2013

For users of Scran, there is another site out there which does something interesting, and I would say parallel to scran: i mean Britain from Above.

It has many pictures of the towns, cities & countryside of Scotland, and if you are knowledgeable you can add info to the pics.

I find it invaluable for getting to know football grounds which are no longer used/built over especially for minor/junior/amateur clubs.

 Anyway, check it out, but be warned - if you are into stuff like this as I am you might lose days not doing your proper job ....

John Meffen 

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

August 31, 2013

Dear Glenda,

My name is John Meffen, I was born in Central Scotland [in Fakirk] in 1972, when I was growing up you were a famous actress, I was too young to know which films, when & why [hey I was into Star Wars & stuff like that]. But I certainly remember you being famous [you were on Morecambe & Wise no?].

But then I grew up, and all I remember is that you became an MP. Since that time you have tirelessly spoken your mind on every important issue. You have not taken the party line when it was not the line you believed in, you have represented your constituents impressively.

I, slightly, regret your earlier fame because I believe it overshadows your current, more important role, but the past exists. Your current job is as important as your former.

What I wanted to say to you, is [me being a republican] please stand as leader of the Labour Party, then as President of the new Republic of Great Britain, I would harrange everyone I know to vote for you. You are a Hero.

John 

Keywords: Glenda Jackson, Politics

Posted by john_meffen | 2 comment(s)

August 18, 2013

There is a part of Falkirk which has by tradition been known as Chinatown, the other night I lit off something by saying it on twitter & FB.

 

Never started nothing racist or the like, the argument was about where Chinatown was exactly.

 

There [generally] seem to be two lines of thought, I will call them minimalist & maximalist. [but you can apply your own soubriquets. I always lived under the assumption that Chinatown was centred on Ladysmill, boy was I disabused of that notion.

 

The minimalist line is Chinatown is those streets between Thornhill Rd, York St, Adam St & Victoria Pk.

 

The maximalist line is that it is the place between Grahams Rd & Kerse Lane, F&C Canal to the south & Falkirk to the North [round about Campfield St].

 

I do not know, I love the fact we have a Chinatown though.

 

A friend has posited that it is called Chinatown because it was the last place in Falkirk to get street lighting, before they used 'China style' lamps, he could be right, I think we should just love it.

Keywords: Chinatown, Falkirk, Grahamston

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

August 17, 2013

This time last week I was in Blackpool, and can I just say I can think of few places in the World as culturally moribund [thanks to @michaelkebriggs for that]. Of course I was not there for a holiday [I don't really 'do' holidays] I was there to see some punk rock music.

Don't worry, I won't review the whole of the Rebellion Festival, but it was good if you like that sort of thing [I do], but Blackpool was such a contrast: on the promenade there was the usual families milling about doing their thing [an alarming number of them in Rangers shirts], yet a few streets away was all manner of mohawks & spikies milling about.

I always find people who are in minority groups [punks, moshers, immigrants] to be amongst the easiest going people, it must just be an appreciation of being unnappreciated, but there was no trouble [even from the skins] just people wanting to go see music that they like.

Could have done with SLF [or Conflict] playing, but they were not. Of all the bands, although often pilloried, I still think Discharge were my favourites, you can't beat that relentless pounding of the drums, that same chord progression in EVERY song, the sentiment behind it all.

 All in all it is not a bad place when you get away from the tourists [probably not as nice when there are less punks in town], but I wouldn't want to live there [couldn't find a proper supermarket for a start].

 Guilty Parties

Michael Briggs

Julie Cheung 

John Meffen

Scott McLay

Keywords: Blackpool, Music, Punk

Posted by john_meffen | 1 comment(s)

The only thing I have wrong with seeing Discharge last week is that they were not immediately followed up by Conflict.

 That would have been a gig.

Keywords: Conflict. music, Discharge

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

August 03, 2013

The title of this blog is the last signal the French Navy broadcast with Morse Code before switching to digital means of communication.

 I work in digital, but mourn the analogue existence. I am an old git, andI do not believe the people I have worked with understand that it can just dissapear.

 

With whitenoise we may have an opt out, but I believe i the french, and I believe what they said. 

Keywords: digital, noe, stuff

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

July 20, 2013

Racism is a complicated beast. Many people think they are not racists, yet are, many people think they are racist, yet are. I am not precluding myself from this, I have many, many faults.

The problem is in definition, this is a complete bastard. I am a Scot, but the Scots were never a race [my preferred term for us Scots is 'nation' meaning something like akin], my heritage [as far as I can track it] is part Scottish/Irish/Italian. The Italians are not a race [to paraphrase Metternich] Italy is a geographical construct, the Irish are everywhere. So I don't even have a race to adhere to [unless I go for the discredited concepts of Nazism [which I don't]]

Of course, Great Britain is an island, so all of us must have come from somewhere else, unless this was the 'cradle of humanity' if you believe that please go to your silly little forum and leave me in peace.

But I look round the world, how could I find the definition of an Indian to be racist against? of course I can't, India is a state of over a Billion people, with several hundred languages, really I do not have the time to hate them all. Then China, the Communist Party might want homogeonisation, but people from Inner Mongolia will never be the same as those in Guan-Jong.

I try to rationalise concepts, even racism, but I have failed, race is a flawed concept ever since people started moving, so racism is equally flawed.

Keywords: nationalism, Racism

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

July 09, 2013

I, honestly, do not know what to make of the recent events in Egypt. Whilst I would not like the Army to get involved in politics, I would rather they supported the people. You know what would happens in this country, if the people get upitty the army get their big sticks out.

So, who is the democracy? The country where the army defends the masses, or the country where the army protects the Status Quo [if you are not sure Great Britain is the latter]

I have always been a believer in Trotsky's concept of the 'Permanent Revolution', if our Government is broke, we should change it now, not wait for five years of nonsense.

But like I said above, the army would save the Government.

It comes from the fact that the commanding ociffers in the British Army are recruited [through Sandhurst] from the upper Classes, like, William & Harry Saxe-Coburg Gotha [to give them their correct family name]

Keywords: Britain, Democracy, Politics

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

July 08, 2013

Okay, okay, let's all calm down, yes a Scot won the All England Open Tennis Championship, and for certain members of the media [R5live ahem] a Brit won for the first time since .... oh who cares.

Tennis is an elitist sport, you have to have access to facilities to play it. When growing up there was only one tennis club near where I lived, and it was well fenced off to keep out us who would not [or could not] pay the membership fees to join.

So guess what? We played fitba [all manner of rules, any numbers per side, no offside, no ref] or Wembley [where there is only one goal and it is every man for himself]. Football is simple, all you need is a ball [at Woodlands High we were not allowed to play with a real football so we played with a tennis ball [how apt]] and willing participants, you decided on the spot where the boundaries and the goals were.

I, personally, was useless at football, so spent a lot of time in goal [ever the case], but was always up for it. Like most were. I even used to play one-a-side volleyball with my sister using a rubber football, a clothesline being the net, even volleyball is easy.

Even the various codes of rugby need something, a referee, as you could not have a game of Rugby when forward passes were allowed [that is American Football], possibly only Kabaddi is close to lacking need for external 'stuff'.

But Tennis, don't make me larff, it is a sport which excludes, it does not include, as soon as you need equipment to play you automatically leave out those who have to spend their money on more important things like a roof over their head, or food in their bellies.

Rant over. 

Keywords: Class, Football, Tennis

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

July 05, 2013

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been racking my brains, and going through old tickets [but not all gigs were ticketed, and I was often drunk in my youth] trying to list every gig that I ever went to, I failed.

But here is what I am sure about.

I can also tell you I definitely saw The Stretchheads, in a pub, in a street, in the 1990s, somewhere in Glasgow .

 

Band

Venue

Year

Support [if remembered]

Acid Reign*

Venue [Edin]x2

1989, 1990

Bomb Disneyland, Beyond [1989]

The Almighty

Venue [Edin]

1990

 

Anthrax

Barrowlands

1989

King's X

Atari Teenage Riot

Arches

2010

 

Babes in Toyland

Mayfair

1991

Fenn

Boltthrower

Venue [Edin]

1990

 

The Breeders

O2 ABC

2008

 

Carcass

Venue [Edin]

1997

 

Carter USM

Brixton Academy

2012

Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Cud

Consolidated

Venue [Edin]

1992

 

House of Pain

Barrowlands

1993

Cypress Hill, Funkdoobiest

Dead on Arrival [DOA]

Venue [Edin]

1990

 

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles [DRI]

Mayfair

1990

Corrosion of Conformity

Deicide

????, Glasgow

1990

 

Dinosaur Jr*

Barrowlands, O2 ABC

1991, 2010

Boo Radleys [B]

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy*

Tunnel, King Tut's

1992, 1992

dc Basehead [T], Fenn [KT]

The Fall*

 Glasgow QMU, Glasgow City Halls Edinburgh Calton Hill

1992, 1993, 1994

Suede

Fugazi

Barrowlands

1992

Silverfish, Chumbawumba, Dawson

Gang Green

Venue [Edin]

1990

Corrosion of Conformity

Godflesh*

Venue [Edin], Hollywood Studios

1992x2

 

Gza

Arches

2012

Hector Bizerk

Half Man Half Biscuit

Liquid Rooms

2011

 

Human Don't Be Angry

Arches

2012

Aidan Moffat

Ice Cube

Barrowlands

1993

Da Lench Mob

Inspiral Carpets

SECC

1991

 

Iron Maiden

Playhouse

1988

 

The Jesus Lizard

King Tut's

1992

 

Kreator*

Calton Studios, College of Building & Printing

1990x2

Death

Lawnmower Deth

Venue [Edin]

1990

 

Morbid Angel*

Calton Studios, Mayfair

1989, 1991

Napalm Death, Carcass, Boltthrower [CS]

Ministry

Barrowlands

1992

 

The Misfits

O2

2013

Goldblade, ?????

My Bloody Valentine

Barrowlands

2008

 

Nuclear Assault

Garage

1989

 

Obituary

Venue [Edin]

1990

Demolition Hammer, Morgoth

The Orb*

Barrowlandsx2

1992, 1993

 

Paradise Lost

Venue [Edin]

1990

 

Pop Will Eat Itself [PWEI]

Garage

2012

 

Prong*

Venue [Edin], Cathouse

1990, 2012

 

Public Enemy

Apollo, Manchester

1990

Anthrax

The Rollins Band

Venue [Edin]

1990

 

Sabbat

Venue [Edin]

1989

Xentrix

Sacred Reich

College of Building & Printing

1990

Atrophy

Senseless Things

Venue [Edin]

1991

The Hard-Ons

Sepultura

Barrowlands

1991

Heathen, Sacred Reich

The Shamen

Motherwell Civic Hall

 

 

Shellac

????, Leeds

 

 

Shonen Knife*

King Tut's, Sneaky Pete's, Oran Mor

2010, 2011, 2012

BMX Bandits [OM]

Silverfish*

Venue [Edin],Mayfair

????, 1991

Bomb Disneyland [V]

Slayer

Barrowlands

1990

 

Snuff

Venue [Edin]

1990

 

Sonic Youth

O2 ABC

 

 

Stereolab

Oran Mor

2009

 

Teenage Fanclub*

Barrowlands, Falkirk Town Hall

2006

Malcolm Middleton [FTH]

Testament

Ingliston

1990

 

Tricky

Manchester Academy

2012

 

Suzanne Vega

Oran Mor

2012

 

The Wedding Present*

Barrowlands, Venue [Edin]

1991, 1992

Buffalo Tom [B]

The Young Gods*

Calton Studios, Mayfair

1992x2

Cathedral

 

Keywords: Concerts, fun, Music, Scotland

Posted by john_meffen | 1 comment(s)

June 24, 2013

I spent a very interesting evening with @SEOzz0r, on Saturday night, he is the only person I know who can just make a statement which baffles me. Okay his knowledge of Buenaventura Durruti is not great, none of us is perfect.

 He is one of the most straight up folk, he always converses well with me, I need more friends like him.

Conversation on the exact strictures of Trotskyism was fantastic. 

Keywords: Friends, Glasgow

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

June 21, 2013

I tweeted to my mate @Scott_McLay yesterday morning, in reply to one of his tweets, and the more I think about it the more telling it seems in my mind.



We are both wrong, and [of course] we are both right.

Some backgound, in SEO we try to help websites get as close as possible to the top of those results when you type something into google [nb - there are other search engines [I myself always liked DuckDuckGo]]. But you get the idea, some company pays us money, we try to get them above their competitors, in order that somebody might 'click' on them first ....]

I will not go into how it is done, frankly, it is quite dull and can be very tedious. so I will return to the question in point.

SEO is seemingly dieing, but only because of blindsightedness on the part of the e-commerce sites who control the shekels. They want to save money [I can understand that], so they are moving toward inhouse SEOs [I can even 'sorta' understand that]. But the biggest enemies are the so-called web designers who also sell their services as SEOs in the same package.

I understand where the web designers are coming from, they, simply, want more money [don't we all], but Web Designers, Companies, all, understand this: In a perfect world Web design & SEO compliment each other, but they can never be the same thing.

A web designer wants a site which is lovely, people want to look at it and think "I wish that was my website", as an SEO I want a site to be easy for the googlebot to read, with a lot of relevance to whatever the company wants [preferably with a big red button saying "buy me" in the middle]. The two have to come together in a middle place neither of the concerned are comfortable with.

We know [in the western world] that our eyes go to the top-left of a page, so that is where we ought put our most important stuff, bottom-right being the least important. We in SEO could do this easy by a bit of code, but the designers know how to put it in context, I can't. 

Look at the page you are viewing, I did not make this, I write occassional blog posts on some web designers' and web developers' terms, but that is a blog, I could not make a blog. But I could tell the designer what is hindering it from realising its full potential.

It needs a happy medium, but it does not need one who does the other person's job. I could code a perfect website for the googlebot, but no one would like it, link to it, or even look at it [it would probably be an uploaded text file]. A great, creative, web designer could make the best website ever, but it [sorry, nerdspeak] be done using Java, Joomla, flash or all manner of stuff which is stored offsite, often leaving the googlebot with nothing to read.

The perfect site is neither the prettiest, nor the best reading for the googlebot, it is a compromise. The client needs both, but can't. Webdesigners/SEOs lets work together, but it can never work if we try to steal one another's jobs.
 

Keywords: Google, SEO, Web Design

Posted by john_meffen | 0 comment(s)

May 09, 2013

The British Invasion of the Soviet Union 1918-1919

I was strolling through my local cemetery the other day looking for the graves of old Falkirk Football Club players [as I am wont to do] when I stumbled across an interesting gravestone. 


For many this seems quite unremarkable, a family grave with an added inscription for a son who died while off fighting for his country during the 'Great War' but all is not what it seems. The date and location are too problematic for that.

Now we were all taught about the First World War in school [well at least I was] about how Germany, looking to expand its borders was feeling encircled by the 'Triple Entente' of France, Russia and Great Britain, and backed the Austro-Hungarian Empire in its invasion of Serbia as a means to encourage a war with Russia without involving Britain and France.

We now know that did not happen and a chain of events lead to a large [mainly] European War drawing in Belgium, Italy and the Ottoman Empire, ending [as we are reminded every year] at 11 o'clock on the 11th of November 1918.

Now look at that inscription again -

"who died on Service at Archangel, Russia, 31st October, 1918"

Before the Armistice, fine, two allied combatants, fine. so ......

If you remember your other history, the Russian government was overthrown by the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution, October of 1917 that is [well it was actually in November as the Russians used a different callendar]. Immediately the new Soviet government started negotiating a peace with Germany. In December 1917 the two sides agreed a peace with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and the Soviet Union withdrew from the War.

Not so clear cut a gravestone anymore, the date is nearly a year after the Soviet neutrality. There were no German, Turkish or Austrian troops anywhere near Arkhangelsk throughout the war [the closest agressors were Finnish Nationalist troops who were funded by Germany] but that was very far away.

So how can this be explained. The truth is simple Orwellianism. A re-writing of the details of the 'Great War'. Anti-Bolshevik counter-reactionaries [the White Russians] had rebelled in the Caucasus [funded by Britain], and in order to aid this, on May 23rd 1918 Britain sent an invasion force to Arkhangelsk, soon to be followed by several thousand US troops, with the intention of taking the Russian northern ports of Arkhangelsk & Murmansk, before driving south to Petrograd.

British troops remained in the northern Soviet Union until November of 1919, when they finally withdrew.

As to why it is no longer taught at school, I can not say. But I suspect that some people might think that the invasion [without declaration of war] of a war-weary, but most importantly neutral, country in order to overthrow that country's government might be seen as immoral, bellicose and possibly quite illegal.

This possibly explains why there is discord between the history now taught about the 'First World War' of 1914-18 and those War Memorials which were erected before somebody decided to re-write history. Such as the Falkirk War Memorial, Camelon Road, with a slightly different date.


John Meffen

Keywords: Falkirk, History, WWI

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February 16, 2013

To some of us this is a bit of a given, but to others not so given. I was reminded to write this post because of a conversation about a former client's site I had with @Scott_McLay [no names, those who know, know]. The client had a HUGE site [and I mean HUGE [no I seriously mean GIGNTOR]], and we were joking about the possible amount of search terms for this one site [...on a Tuesday ... in a leap year … in 2069 … only if dinosaurs have come back] anyway, occasionally goggle would give it a spanking.

 

The thing was that any natural links would go [naturally] to the home page, so we had to make some deep links. But where to start? Of course, what we did was what the client asked/told us, but it makes me think. I automatically prefer deep links, but when a site is too HUGE it can dilute your efforts, so that you can never effectively target your keywords.

 

To me, [falkirkirkhistorian.blogspot.co.uk] it means little, I have some fifty-odd deep pages, and my site is not commercial so I don't really care. But I know that e-commerce sites care, and I know that it is important to goggle.

 

Hmm, if you are still building links to the homepage it had better be a very new site, or you want to find a new job.

 

John Meffen

Keywords: Stuff

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November 24, 2012

The other day I heard Desert Island Disk [I listen to Radio 4, get over it] and it made me think, what are my favourites, so I set about adding &, sadly, excluding some of my favourite songs.

This was a nightmare [how can I exclude Beth Orton, or JemBroadcast [RIP Trish], Carter USMPoppies or more Stereolab?]

I must say that I hate Desert Island Disks [Poncy upper-middle class people telling each other how much they love Rachmaninov etc., [like the food programme], it is everything I am not. Don't get me me wrong, I love opera & classical, but the music of opera & classical do not move me in the way that I feel when I hear "Alternative Ulster" [Sadly Stiff Little Fingers' song was another that did not make the cut].
 
Well here we go ..... 
 
Minor Threat - Salad Days [classic song of regret, from a hardcore perspective]
Macabre - The Iceman [I have a fascination with serial killers, this is the best song about one]
Mudhoney - You Stupid Asshole [cover version of an Angry Samoan's song] [my favourite Mudhoney song is actually "Suck You Dry"]
Fugazi - Long Division [eerrrm, just love the song]
Stereolab - Heavy Denim [my fave, fave, band I had to something [my favourite Stereolab song is actually "...sudden stars..."] ]
Suzanne Vega - 99.9 Farenheit Fegrees [Just love this song for some reason [her or Beth Orton [what a horrible choice]]]
Nine Inch Nails - Wish [d'uh]
The Fall - How I wrote Elastic Man [there was no chance I could go throughout this without a Fall song, however distilling it down to one was very disconcerting]

For all the Conflicts, the Crasses, The Extreme Noise Terrors I am sorry, you did not make it.

It must be said that looking upon my choices it looks like my chances of ever being invited to appear on Desert Island Disks is looking slim.

Aah well it is the Radio 4 listeners missing out....

[[I am currently trying to compile a list of gigs that I have been to by bands [excluding festivals [it would be a lie to say I had seen all the bands at festivals [and I was generally too drunk to remember them anyway [coming soon]]]]]]
 
Post Script [7th Dec 2012]
 
About two days after writing this I remembered so many songs that I did not have space for ... it is an impossible job to split.
 
here are four more I can not do without. 
 
 
I could go on, but you know I change all the time and love lots of music ...... 
 

Keywords: DID, Me, Music, Radio 4

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November 13, 2012

[If you want a review of the gig, go to the NME or something...]

Me & Michael Briggs went off on another of our jaunts to see a gig at the weekend, we were off to see Carter USM supported by Ned's Atomic Dustbin at the famous Brixton Academy. It was fun....

Due to the frankly baffling rules and regulations covering how to get a cheap train ticket we took the infamous night bus to London, I don't sleep at the best of times, so the chances of me sleeping on a bus are always minimal, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't fun, let's not talk about it...

After staggering, bleary-eyed, from a bus into London Victoria at God Knows o'clock in the morning, then finding some coffee, we set off on our day.

Completely up to me we started by a trip to Embankment, for the simple fact that I like Embankment, it is truly one of the places I feel at ease. But there was another, better, reason for walking along the Embankment, Michael had never been on the Wobbly Bridge [now known as the Millenium Bridge], and that bridge takes you to the Tate Modern [I also wanted that].

The Tate Modern is fantastic [I am talking about the building not the art], being a former power station it is mainly empty, but it is a lovely use of space, and a much better idea than knocking it down and building some modern building in its place [things like the Gherkin just don't do it for me].

Oh... and the Tate Modern also has what people call 'Art'. Don't get me wrong, I am a philistine, I spent most of my time at the Tate Modern either giggling or doing my WTF? face when confonted with things like a paper octagon pasted to the wall [it either stays in perpetuity or the they get the wallstripper out....] or the Condensation Cube [it was a perspex cube with condensation in it....], worst though was the mirror set on canvass [yes, you know what it was trying to say, but come on ... it is a mirror], yes we giggled like schoolkids for a lot of the pretentious wank involved [including the conversation "What is it?", "It is a bunch of Brillo pads ..." it was.] Like I said, Philistine ....

But whether I am a Palestine or not, I did like a quite a bit of it, I was somewhat taken with a lot of the minimalist stuff, and of course the view from the balcony from the cafe is quite stunning.

After several hours of Kultur at the Tate we headed of insearch of something to eat [I wasn't paying the prices at the Tate Modern restaurant], but for some reason [possibly the Lord Mayor's Show] all the local food places seemed to be shut, so we had to go out of our way to find some, relatively, cheap food. Then on to Peckham and the hotel.

That makes it sound easier than it was, there is more than one station with Peckham in the name [London for foreigners is like a big test], but we worked out a route from London Bridge. After 'The Shard' scaring the hell out of me [seriously it is too big that building, especially when you are at the bottom] but we made it to 'Only Fools & Horses' country eventually.

We decamped & rested for a bit before the evening began, after watching the football scores come in [yes, Falkirk dissapointingly losing to Raith as usual :(] then it was time to be off to Brixton.

YES - BRIXTON

In Brixton we met up with Michael's cousin Keith @coriusuk [sadly we did not 'walk down toElectric Avenue, though it was tempting] at some pub or other [I think it was actually called the Crown & Anchor but that is so non-Brixton sounding, so in my mind it will be called the Courtney & Curtly [hope you get the reference]]

We drank very strong beer and talked rubbish until time for the gig itself. As is usual for me though we missed most of the Ned's [hey, we were drinking ...] but I soon got the vibe [maybe driven by PWEI being played on the tannoy], I am not usually too exciteable but I was p for this.

Carter did not 'come' on stage, but were drawn by the repetitive chant of "You Fat Ba***rd" from all and sundry, which every carter fan will understand. Then they started. I am not going to give a list of what they played, or do a review [I was too busy jumping around], but I think they played everything. They were stunning, they played for nearly two hours, they were great [even better than Lawnmower Deth who I saw in May], I honestly loved it.

Oh and another thing, the Brixton Academy is built based on the arena idea, semi-circular, and the sloping down to the stage, thus those at the back can actually still see what is going on, think about it Scottish Venues .... I am sick of that perennial line of tall people who seem to go to every concert about fifteen meters in front of me.

After the gig, we went to the after-show party [shock], where me & Michael continued to get quite, very drunk, fell out at least five times [we were being very drunk & puerile] and jumped about as if we were some fifteen [twenty?] years younger :), until some ridiculous time in the morning when we dragged ourself back to Peckham for some sleep.

 ----- I recently turned forty, and some people may think I should grow up a have a proper life and a career ...... that's never gonna happen as long as there is good music


The Guilty Parties

Me - @John_Meffen [I don't tweet much]
Michael - @michaelkebriggs [he tweets a lot more]

Keywords: Brixton, Carter, London, Music

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