Friday, December 29, 2006

The Good Wifes Guide

I actually have/had a copy of this book and did read some of it to my Wife many years ago (BK - Before Kids even). Her remarks on itthen were not printable. Needless to say her replies on the link here are again unprintable.

What can you say. You try to help and all you get is foul language!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tarland Christmas Day

Tarland Christmas Day
Originally uploaded by fitaloon.
It was cold on Christmas day. Started out at -10c at 08:00 and managed up to -3/4c later in the day. A good day was had with plenty of presents and food.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Remember Tricky Dicky?

Perhaps some people might remember how Dick Nixon was brought to his knees and humbled back in the 70's. This article shows that its likely the same sort of thing has been going on within Downing Street. If this wasn't our Government it would almost be funny.
No 10 investigated for perversion of justice - Britain - Times Online

Friday, December 15, 2006

Amazing - Bliar's Government lies again

And yet again we see Blair's dishonest government lying again. This time again about soldiers pay. As usual the government has tried to weasel it's way out of it again by judicious choices of words. Again "new" money has turned out to be redistributed money.

When will they stop.

See the following stories. One thing to note is that the biased BBC reported on the initial story but have not noted the problems later on.

MPs misled over troop payments

Lame Blair ducks the debate on soldiers' pay

Browne apologises in troops pay row

Soldiers to get tax bill bonus

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Read this and then go to Hospital

Have a read of this and then look forward to your next visit to Hospital.
In fact read the whole blog it is not only a wonderful look at the NHS now under Nu Labour, but also a great social commentary. Some of the articles will make you laugh, some make you cry and some will just make you think and examine your attitudes to people.

My favourite from his blog is


NHS Blog Doctor: Pissing into the tent

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tarland Primary School - Poems for Hiroshima child

Tarland Primary School Pupil poems for Hiroshima child

A brief story on Tarland Primary School which Ruaridh is currently attending and which Malcolm and Cameron both attended.

Malcolm might hear a former good friend of his (Of the female kind) if he listens to the replay!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween 2006

Halloween 2006, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Halloween tonight and the weather here was a tad wild, Temperature just above freezing and winds and rain. So we had a bit of a party instead.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Wishbone Ash

Wishbone Ash, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

On Saturday Neil (My Brother) and I popped along to see Wishbone Ash. You have to be of a certain age to remember them as they have been playing for a bit over 35 years and were in their heyday back in the early 70's. However they managed to fill the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen and they are still going strong. Their sound is just wonderful, makes you appreciate what real music is all about rather than todays manufactured crap...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Giant elastic-powered aircraft fails to take off | The Register

Giant elastic-powered aircraft fails to take off | The Register

Only in Britain could this happen!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Pizza?, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

After being at Goalkeeper training all week, I took the boys and their cousin Ben to Pizzaland before going bowling at Aberdeen Beach.


Beach!, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

It's holiday time so the weather has been truly awful, It seems to have rained for the last week. Boys are getting cabin fever even though they are getting out and about. Hopefully the weather will improve next week.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Howe of Cromar

Howe of Cromar, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Another one from a night of sunsets. Won't be many to come now as the nights draw in.

More photos at Diack Photos

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sunset Reflections

Sunset Reflections, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Another picture from last night but this one's from closer too home as in about 100 yards away on the road to Migvie. What a lovely evening it was.

More at Diack Photos

Slack Sunset

Slack Sunset, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Tonight was one of those nights when you only watch and wonder at our world. The natural beauty around us is so often forgotten.
Tonight I stopped twice on the way home to take photo's and then had a wander outside of our house to get some more. The light changed so quickly from this more muted but colourful night to a glorious orange later on.
More Photos at Diack Photos

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

18 Doughty Street

18 Doughty Street
Interested in Politics? Then why not have a look at this. It only started today but perhaps a more refreshing look at UK politics that Sky or the BBC/ITV. A promising start tonight.


Sunset, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Another Picture from Loch Kinord on a beautiful Evening. Reminds me of one of the many reasons why I moved out of Aberdeen and into the country.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Loch Kinord

Loch Kinord, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Went for a walk this evening with Malcolm and Holly the dog. Weather was fine and we decided to go to Loch Kinord. Took a few photos as we wandered round. The trees are looking good as they take on their autumn colours. We had a pretty sunset and the dog is now sleeping in bed after a great run around.

More photos at Diack Photos

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Noddy & Mr Plod: Tell it like it is

Noddy & Mr Plod: Tell it like it is

Pop across and have a look at this. This guy is certainly not a politician but he does know how to speak his mind and speaks a lot of sense.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sunrise from Midmar

Sunrise from Midmar, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

OK I know another sunrise, but I just can't get enough of them at the moment. I stopped four times on the drive to work this morning to admire the view and take a few snaps.
Anyway this will just about the last I will see of them before I start driving in the dark for the next 3-4 months.
See more photos at Diack Photos

Winter's Coming

Winter's Coming, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Just a reminder what's coming soon!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Loch Kinord in the Evening

Loch Kinord in the Evening, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

This is an older photo of mine but one I really like. Just seems so calm and serene.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sunshine Rainbow

Sunshine Rainbow, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Strange light over Lochnagar created this little rainbow on Thursday Morning. The light was very strange with a very red glow over all the hills.

See more at Diack Photos or click on the photo.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Dawn, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Dawn's are fine when you are met with views like this at the end of your road. Makes the drive to work easy on the eyes and you appreciate it so much more. This one came from yesterday morning.

See more at Diack Photos

Age law 'threat to minimum wage'

What a wonderful government we have. Not satisfied with making a pigs ear of Iraq/Afghanistan they have now turned their attention to the UK. As usual, from them, an ill thought out and applied law. When will they learn.
BBC NEWS | Business | Age law 'threat to minimum wage'

Ballon and Trees

Ballon and Trees, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Spotted this balloon on Wednesday night on the way home and chased it across the countryside trying to get a some good photos.
See more at Diack Photos

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stone Dyke

Stone Dyke, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Was in Banchory at the weekend and was taking photos for my Cousin in America and popped along to Scolty Hill. Well worth a visit for the views and changing scenery.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunrise over Tornaveen

Sunrise over Tornaveen, originally uploaded by fitaloon.

Another wonderful morning of views. Was a bit late so only managed a couple of snaps. Had to stop to look at this.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sunrise at Tarland

Sunrise at Tarland
Well the sunrises have now got to that time when I can see them on the way to work. I took this on Wednesday morning when the sky was amazing. Makes going to work a joy.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Warning to Which? subscribers.

A warning to Which? subscribers. The following letter was sent out by Which? to all Which? online users. It appears that due to a complete lack of expertise they have sent the user id and password for current subscribers of the Which? web site in clear. So if anyone else sees this letter they have all your details, Membership Number, Address, ID (which is your e-mail address) and Password.

OK you say but that site doesn't have anything on it of any great interest that I can't get anywhere else, but the problem is, that many people use the same password for all their ID'S. So now we have a larger problem. Using the E-Mail address and the password many things may open up. Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, Amazon etc etc. Manna from heaven for anyone who knew what to do.

I was lucky the password on the letter is one I use for insecure or general sites. I use different passwords for my secure sites. I was also lucky I noticed this as the letter lay around our house for a few days before I read it, just before throwing it away.

I phoned Which? and their only answer was SORRY. Wonderful, no advice on what to do next and what they were doing to sort this out. I was not the first person to complain.

So you have been warned.

P.S. Just in case I have changed my passwords!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Corgarff Castle

Corgarff Castle
Corgarff Castle,
originally uploaded by fitaloon.
Corgarff Castle is now fully open again after refurbishment. It is looking stunning, helped by the great sunshine we had yesterday.

See more at Diack Photos.

Visit the following website for more information.
Corgarff Castle

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Looking Towards Queens View

View of Queens View
View of Queens View,
originally uploaded by fitaloon.
Just a quick post of a photo of the area I live in. Normally I look down on this area as I drive home at night. Took this on a walk round Tarland a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Fairy Hill of the Caledonians - Schiehallion

Thought I'd just put an entry in for this gorgeous picture of Schiehallion. Hopefully my father-in-law Jim can then see it on his new computer, which I will hopefully shortly connect to the internet. It might bring some memories back for him.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Scottish Junior Masters

Scottish Golf Union I forgot to blog this a while ago, but Cameron competed in this competition, he was just unlucky on getting into the final even though he was one of the youngest taking part. He is now playing off a handicap of 17 and well and truly beating his dad.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Newest Two Seater Convertible

Down here in deepest Tarland the latest exhibition of two seater convertibles took place this weekend... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Holiday Snap Time

Ruaridh on the Tor's
Ruaridh on the Tor's,
originally uploaded by fitaloon.
Just been on Holiday to Devon. Had great time with great people. Pity about the English residents who appeared to be weeping into their Beer and trying to sell used flags.
See all my Flickr photos here

Date for your Diary - Wishbone Ash

My brother said blog this so I have. Was at the last concert in Aberdeen last year and it was amazing. Thirty years on and they still play great music.
See you at The Lemon Tree

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another reason to move to Tarland !

Noddy & Mr Plod: This is pants too!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Dilbert Blog: Common Knowledge

The Dilbert Blog: Common Knowledge

This article points at two things I am currently interested in
a) Politics - Why and how people vote.
b) Education - I have three kids currently going through School.

Both are mentioned in some way in the articles.

My main comment is to say that I was always a big reader and I know how much it helped me both at school, in work and at home.

Now how to convince some of my sons (not all) what a boon reading is both in terms of knowledge and education but also that it is a source of great pleasure.

Now back to my reading...

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Mars a day....

For those who have seen that Mars Bars have launched a marketing campaign to support England in the World Cup, you will have seen that the word 'Mars' on the wrapper has been changed to 'Believe'. These are currently on sale in most stores in England.

They have also launched a separate campaign in Scotland, as attached.

Thanks to BigBruv for this one.

Updated 12:05:

Have a look at

Mars Bar sales slump in Scotland

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

BBC NEWS | UK | Magna Carta tops British day poll

BBC NEWS | UK | Magna Carta tops British day poll

Nice to see that the day selected to celebrate "Britishness" is about England.

The English out there might like to know / remember that the Magna Carta starts as follows:-

JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.

I don't quite see any mention of King of Scotland in there but never mind Scotland is just part of England isn't it.

The king of Scotland at that time was Alexander II or as sometime known Alasdair II. Not a bad name really.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Iain Dale's Diary: Cherie Scrapes the Barrell by Signing Hutton Report for Auction

Iain Dale's Diary: Cherie Scrapes the Barrell by Signing Hutton Report for Auction
Following stolen from Iain Dale's page

"This piece seems to have caused such outrage that I'm reprinting selected exercpts of the article by the Mail on Sunday's Jonathan Oliver below..."

"Cherie Blair was last night accused of 'bad taste' amd 'insensitivity'after helping the Labour Party to cash in on the suicide of Governmet scientist Dr David Kelly. Mrs Blair signed a copy of the Hutton Report into the weapons inspector's death, which was then auctioned off to raise money for the party. The document, which was also signed by Alastair Campbell, fetched £400 at an after dinner auction. Last night Reg Keays, whose Red Cap son Tom was killed by an Iraqi mob in 2003 said: "Cherie and Campbell have shown very bad taste. The coffins draped in the Union flag are still returning from Iraq. To auction off a report which inquired into the suicide of a very eminent, respected scoientist is effectively profting from other people's misery. But themn that is just typical of this government's attitude." Mrs Blair also came under fire from Labour MPs, shocked at the way the tragedy which rocked the government was now the subject of jokey fundraising events. Jeremy Corbyn MP said: "It is incredibly insensitive and in seriously bad taste. The Hutton Report is not a triumph of anything except obfuscation and secrecy." The auction took place on Wednesday at London's Arts Club in mayfair and was organised by James Purnell, the newly promoted pensions minister. The auctioneer was Rhondda MP Chris Bryant who explained to the audience this was not the first time a Hutton Report had been sold for party funds. To excite interest in the sale he pointed out that even unsigned copies cost £70 from HMSO. He boasted that at the previous event the buyer was able to make a profit by reselling the document signed by Alastair Campbell on Ebay. But Mr Bryant insisted this year's lot was unique becasue it also bore the imprint of Mrs Blair. One guest told the Mil on Sunday: "Even at the time there were a lot of people wondering whether it was really appropriate - even in jest." Among the 200 guests were Rosie Winterton, Gerry Sutcliffe and Tom Watson".

Updated 13:15

BBC now reporting on this see

Updated again at 14:45

And I love this
Hat Tip to Beau Bo D’Or

Friday, May 12, 2006

How Scottish Are You?

Just a quick game for you to play and a little tune. How Scottish Are You?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

NHS Blog Doctor: I'm all right, Jack

The attached article about Mr Bliar strikes a chord with me as one of my work mates is currently in this position. He has just had another appointment delayed for 2 weeks.

He has now been waiting over a year for some sort of succesful treatment. The worst thing about this, is that, up until about a year ago he had the symptoms but was blissfully unaware of what was wrong.

It was only at a simple interview for participation in a Company Health Programme that concerns were raised. To cut a long story short over the past year he has had a variety of treatments / problems / appointments none of which have so far sorted out the problem for any length of time and in somes cases the side-effects seem to be worse that the condition.

Whilst we tend to joke about him nipping in for a quick electrocution and offering him some quick DIY surgery with a balloon and a penknife, he has had a year of worry.

I obviously don't know the full facts about his case, but the treatment of Mr Bliar does make you think.

Also can I just recommend NHS Blog Doctor as being a good read and exposure of the NHS as it is today. This is from a GP with a wealth of experience who voted New Labour 10 years ago, in the now mistaken belief it would renew the NHS.

NHS Blog Doctor: I'm all right, Jack

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

One of the many reasons we moved to Tarland

About two years ago whilst living in rented accomodation we saw a possible house in Tarland. We weren't really that sure where that was but knew it was close to the Aboyne area where we were looking for houses. The advert on the Property Centre wasn't that great but as there were so few houses on the market we thought we would go and have a look. One problem, there was about 15-30 cm of snow on the roads to Tarland, but having been told they were passable with care, we drove out to Tarland on a lovely cold March day.

One of the many great views that day was of coming out at the top of Queens View about 2 miles from Tarland. It was then a very snowy scene but with a view of many miles.

I now get to to see this view twice every working day as I drive to work and it is still a privilege.

Is this how Blair affords his Mortgages

John Lidstone wrote the following on Lloyd George. Is Mr Bliar the new Lloyd George?

"Lloyd George perfected this lucrative trade. He appointed an honours broker, one Maundy Gregory who set up an impressive office in Whitehall. Those who called on Gregory found themselves in surroundings which had all the trappings of the office of a government minister. Even the flunky who ushered in the visitors to the inner sanctum wore a uniform which, to the untrained eye, looked like an official government Messenger.

In this stage setting, Gregory interviewed well-heeled businessman, newspaper owners, politicians on the make, crooks and status seekers, to discuss how they might help the government in return for a consideration. And the consideration was an honour. The costs were: a viscountcy from £80,000 to £120,000 depending on your bank account; baronies from £30,000 - £50,000; baronetcies from £25,000: and for run of the mill knighthoods the rate was £10,000 - £15,000.

When the Order of the British Empire was founded by George V in 1917, Lloyd George is said to have asked Gregory what he could ask for an OBE, Gregory's reply was 'about £100 a time'.

Between 1917 and 1922 when Lloyd George resigned, 25,000 people had received the OBE. A nice little earner. Lloyd George is estimated to have amassed in his private bank account over £1.5 million pounds from the sales of honours. (Value £150 million today). As a child, in the 1930s, I remember seeing how he had spent some of this money on his estate at Churt, in Surrey.

Gregory, according to John Walker, author of 'The Queen has been pleased', was paid £30,000 a year from the traffic in honours. A letter published in The Times in 1918, signed by 25 peers included the comment that 'honours may come to be regarded as Dishonours'.

As a result of Lloyd George's scandalous conduct, the exploitation of the honours system for gain was made illegal under The Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

UK peerage for sale! Going Cheap.

Want to buy a UK Peerage. Heres where to find one.

UK peerage for sale on eBay | The Register

Clearing the Air Scotland

A reminder to all you smokers out there in Scotland that you become official Lepers in 5 days time.

Even living in West-Aberdeenshire, which has one of the best smoking records in Scotland, more than 100 people die every year of directly attributable smoking related diseases. This is more than 2% of all deaths.

In the worst region (Glasgow Shettleston) nearly 10% of deaths are caused by smoking. The life expectancy of all males in Shettleston is 63.9 years versus 76.7 in West Aberdeenshire, the difference is not all due to smoking, but much of it is (Chibbing, murder and drug and lard overdoses are more common in Shettleston).

So before you light up again, think and stub it out. You know it makes sense!

Smoking Ban Scotland, Scottish Executive Smoke Free Laws - Clearing the Air Scotland

Monday, March 20, 2006

Malcolm Runs again

My middle son was running again at the weekend. This time at Castle Fraser in another of the Tartans Shorts 2K fun runs for Kids. He managed a creditable 29th place. A little more practice (when its not so snowy) might help him. His friend Darren managed a very good 12th place.

How Malcolm likes running is a bit beyond me. I always thought it was a bit like banging your head against a wall, great when you stop!

Civil war over 'shambles' of Follyrood's faulty roof

Can it get any worse, or is that, funnier than this.
The whole building, and the Parliament and MSP's,
should be returned to whence they came from
as "Not fit for Purpose".

Keep up with the fiasco of Follyrood here

Civil war over 'shambles' of Holyrood's faulty roof: "Civil war over 'shambles' of Holyrood's faulty roof"

Aberdeen 3-0 Livingston

Aberdeen have done themselves a lot of good with this win. If they can win next Saturday against Motherwell, they will likely get into the top six for the rest of the season. Caley have a difficult fixture on Wednesday when they visit Celtic who should be on a high after their CIS cup win in Sunday.
Reaching the top six seems like such a poor acheivement compared to 20 odd years ago when Aberdeen where battling for premiership honours. Having watched the BBC program "That Was The Team That Was" on Friday night it brought back some memories. Apart from the final itself, the biggest highlight was the Bayern Munich game at Pittodrie. Who will forget the free kick "mixup" that led to the 2nd goal. An old trick for Aberdeen but one Bayern had obviously not seen.
The aftermath of that game is still a haze to me.

BBC SPORT | Football | Scottish Premier | Aberdeen 3-0 Livingston

Italy 10-13 Scotland

Good to see Scotland finish off the Six Nations with a win in Italy. This is now no easy place to get a decent result as many teams will testify to. The game was also much better than many played in the championship as both Scotland and Italy played a much more open game.
Coming third in the championship after the dire predictions for this season was quite an acheivement, particularly as the auld enemy came fourth!
BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | Six Nations | Italy 10-13 Scotland

There are 2 million Cobol programmers in the world. Thats a fact! (thanks Katie)

As an old (well relatively) COBOL programmer it is good to see it is still in demand. I personally haven't coded in COBOL for about 7-8 years, but it was one of the best languages I have ever used. OK it was a bit wordy but it could do just about everything and, if written properly, was just about self-documenting.
Amazing to see that even nowadays there are still more active Cobol programmers than any other language and that more transactions are done in Cobol than Web pages are served.

COBOL Resartus | The Register

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Not so good for Scottish Rugby

After the result against England two weeks ago this was very disappointing. Scotland were always second to the ball and the lineouts were just shocking which left Scotland with few options to attack. The defence was good but to win some more games we need some attacking options. The next game, away against Italy will be a test as well, the Italians have come on very well this year and will be hungry for a win.

BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | Six Nations | Ireland 15-9 Scotland

One more Year Older.

Well it was my birthday a couple of days ago and I am now officially that bit closer to 50.
It was a good birthday this year, very quiet, but with the kids waking me up with Cards and Presents from them. I also managed to have the day off (flexitime) which was a good bonus. We had a nice family meal at night and my wife had made me (after a long battle and much brandy and a few swear words )a lovely large Cheesecake which must be just about my favourite food in the world. Unfortunately it is now finished, with Malkie my middle son managing to devour an awful lot of it.
Also today my big birthday present arrived, a new printer for the computer to print pictures, so some of you might see some of our Kids soon.

Well only another year to wait for Christina to bake again!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Follyrood sorry Holyrood Update

The "Scotsman" now devotes a complete topic to the Follyrood Building and it's problems.
Arup the engineers investigating the current problem managed a 6 sentence report in a week. Not bad almost as quick as building this waste of money.

Now its costing us in Scotland an extra 10k a week just to hire somewhere else before you count the cost of everything else (Buses are 1500 pounds as MSP's can't walk like normal people)

In addition it appears that Follyrood is losing lots of hot air, over and above that generated by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Mafia's spoutings.

In complete contrast the Welsh, yes the Welsh, appear to have managed to create a reasonable building for their parliament. Even only managed to be just 10% over budget and at 67m a snip compared to our 430m. News - Holyrood parliament building

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Non PC - Jogging your way to saggy breasts

A mind-boggling (literally) new link to keep the males amongst you amused on a quiet night. Of course there is a serious side to it!

Non PC Link - Do not follow if easily offended
PC Link - Jogging your way to saggy breasts

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Team bus pelted by Rangers fans

Rangers captain Barry “Bazza” Fergushun said after the incident …“Aye , but , no , big man it wisnae me , by the way ‘n that , I seen the boys ‘at done it ‘n that , but no it wiznae me , honest mister !”

Fernando Ricksen and Alex Rae were unavailable to comment.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Team bus pelted by Rangers fans

Monday, March 06, 2006

No Smoking Day - Wednesday 8th March 2006

Right its National No Smoking day on Wednesday so all you smokers stop. If I can do it, anyone can.
Nine years ago, I gave up a 30 a day habit of over 20 years and have never looked back.
During this time I have, at a conservative estimated, saved over £15,000. I have also, probably, extended my life by a number of years.
Those are just two of the benefits.
Thanks to my bruv for reminding me of this. Maybe he is going to give up the weed this year.
No Smoking Day - Wednesday 8th March 2006

Friday, March 03, 2006

And I thought he was god...

Apparently Tony asked God what he should do about the Iraq war and the result was...
Reading through the rest of this just makes you want to cringe (and a few less savoury things).

Also have a look at an updated posting at.

PM attacked on Iraq 'God' remarks

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Blair 'prayed to God' over Iraq