Fill-in.

March 30, 2007

Nabbed from fondofshape.com:

  1. I love my ass!
  2. Looking in the mirror, I see … one handsome beast!
  3. The best thing that happened to me this week was … the sun shining!
  4. Masturbating is one of my favorite things to do!
  5. I always have a good time … socialising.
  6. I’m looking for relaxation … this weekend.
  7. “Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a …stranger. But I’m sure it’s just chance.
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Condom tester.

March 29, 2007

Want to be a condom tester? Durex would like to talk to you.

Speeding.

March 29, 2007

Those crazy Danes appear to have a rather excellent way of getting people to slow down on the roads: Topless roadsigns tackle Danish speeding menace. Hooray!

Variability.

March 28, 2007

The sun streams along the street without a single cloud getting in its way. The sunlight brings a nice warmth to the otherwise cold morning.

The start of the Spring season brings the best out in people. After the perpetual cloud of the Winter, it’s always refreshing to see sunlight. It taps into something primal in all of us, whether we’re aware of it or not. Shop owners open up with a smile. Lorries and vans pull up to the various eateries to deliver goods. Postmen whistle as they move quietly from building to building. Old men nip in and out of the supermarket or newsagent to pick up their messages for the day. An old black Labrador stretches out on the pavement in front of the supermarket, panting. He’s waiting for his owner to return, unaware of the people trying to walk around him without stepping on the road.

Good on you, old dog. Fuck everybody else, it’s nice to be selfish and comfortable on a sunny morning.

The fun part about this weather is how people interpret it in different ways. I see one postman wearing fingerless gloves, long-sleeved top, and wooly hat, while I see another wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Some women go out in what could only be described as a “summer” top, while some will cling onto multiple layers underneath a heavy jacket for a few weeks yet.

I think the old dog on the street had things right. I suspect the short sleeves and summer tops are more appropriate. (The summer tops certainly make the walk more interesting.)

Tingle.

March 27, 2007

I have my head down on the train, I’m reading my book, minding my own business. The train stops at the next station. My eyes flit away from the lines of text and quickly back again without thought, in an unconscious need to observe the new passengers.

In that brief moment, I spot a pretty blonde girl carefully planting her perfectly formed rear onto the seat across from me. She’s probably 5 years older than me, occupying the perfect age bracket. She’s slim and very pretty. She’s not hot like somebody you might want to sleep with once and forget. She’s hot like somebody you’d happily sleep with over and over, and wine and dine, buy flowers for, and so forth. Before I know it, I’m reading the text in front of me, but my mind’s wandered off into a little fantasy world. The fantasy world involving two heaving bodies, soft light, and bom chicka wah wah. I found myself in that little fantasy without meaning to be there. I smile at myself, I skip back to the start of the paragraph, and I try to concentrate on my book.

But it’s too late. I notice my jeans are kind of tight. I’ve had these jeans for years, and it’s fair to say they don’t feel as roomy as they once did (though I blame repeat washes). The tightness of the jeans drags my mind back into the murky world it wandered into after first sight of this girl. If only she knew what she was getting up to.

Trains and buses are the worst places to think these thoughts, especially while wearing tight trouser-wear. My jeans were closing in around me. Or, more specifically, I was expanding within my jeans. I felt that magical tingle race across my body as blood took a pit stop around my groin.

So I’m sitting on the train, and my little man is trying to grow into something of a bigger man, with reasonable success. The tightness of the jeans only serves to attract my mind’s attention to my current situation. While flaccid, I tend to find myself occupying my left trouser leg. The tight jeans perhaps wouldn’t be a problem if my wee man had to wander down a trouser leg to grow, but he was already there, in his usual place, clearly just waiting to surprise. So he’s expanding along my leg and becoming a much more obvious lump in my jeans as the moments pass, and as the train rocks back and forth, bumping over its various points and junctions. He wants absolutely nothing more than to spring free from his prison. And that’s what I want too. But this isn’t the place.

Only a few more minutes to the station, I figured. Then I can get out. Walking is a natural remedy in this situation. Thinking about walking, thinking about not bumping into people, thinking about getting out of the station, is enough to take the attention away from my trapped, throbbing penis and the tingling feeling of a body part demanding more attention. I get out and make it to the office. The office is an astounding pleasure kill, so I doubt I’ll have further problems today.

This happens more often than you might think. Trains and buses are perfect environments for guys to find discomfort. Check discretely next time you get the chance. There’s reasonable odds that there’s one guy sitting nearby who has something on his mind, or something in his trousers.

And my leg will be jiggling until I get home.

Election.

March 26, 2007

We’re running rather close to the upcoming Scottish Parliament election in May. I find myself torn over who to vote for.

I’ve spoken before about how I’m proud of my nationality. I’m very proud of the fact that I’m Scottish, was brought up in Scotland, and still live in Scotland. I enjoy wearing a kilt and chasing haggis whenever possible. If someone asks me where I’m from, I’ll say Scotland. I write “Scottish” under “nationality” on any form. I’m Scottish before I’m British.

But I’m torn. There are only two serious candidates in the upcoming election: Labour and the SNP.

Labour, in the red corner, are currently in power but don’t seem to have any teeth any more. Jack McConnell is fairly bland as politicians go, the novelty of somebody-other-than-the-Tories being in power has long since worn off, and enough people dislike Blair’s Iraq war, the Trident “nuclear deterrent” (just a few miles from here), Labour’s stab at promoting “Britishness” (though I wonder what our friends in Northern Ireland think of that), and Brown’s recent budget forcing the lowest earners to pay twice as much income tax, that Labour are on very shaky ground. The Tories, in the blue corner, will never gain power in Scotland, not in my lifetime. They did enough damage to their reputation during their last gazillion years in power in Westminster. The Lib Dems, bless ’em, never seem to have anything of their own to say. They don’t have any balls as a political party, so have often been viewed as a ‘default’ vote whenever the voting public couldn’t figure out if they preferred red or blue (ironic, then, that the Lib Dems are a nice shade of yellow).

The only other real option I see up here is the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP). I’ll ignore the fact that their colour is also yellow for the purposes of this blog post.

The SNP have been around for a good long while, always shouting for an independent Scotland. Their stance since the discovery of North Sea Oil is that England has been taking most of our money away from us, and that Scotland will be a rich nation if only we can make money out of the last of the oil, and that we can only do that by freeing ourselves from Westminster. I’m pretty sure using oil as one of your biggest bargaining chips these eco-friendly days isn’t the best way to win votes, but their bigger message is that of an independent Scotland. That’s the part people will listen to.

Yesterday, the papers ran the following story: The SNP revealed their intended timing and cost of a referendum on independence. If they win power this time around, they intend to ask the following in 2010:

The Scottish parliament should negotiate a new settlement with the British government, based on the proposals set out in the white paper, so that Scotland becomes a sovereign and independent state. Do you agree of disagree?”

The timing is such that they’ll have enough time in power to prove themselves in the eye of the public. I’ve not read in enough detail to find out if the white paper they refer to is available yet.

So, should Scotland be independent? Perhaps. There are certainly lots of other small nations who get on just fine by themselves, so why can’t we? I certainly don’t want to poo-poo the Union, as it’s served both Scotland and England very well over the years. But is it still relevant in 2007? I’m not so sure. So much stuff gets outsourced to business these days that Government is left merely to shape the rules within which business must play, and offer basic services such as pensions, healthcare, armies, etc. If that’s the case, then a more localised, more lightweight, Government makes sense.

Further, with more and more of the Big Power moving over to the EU, and Europe becoming more of an entity to be reckoned with, it seems that it makes sense for Scotland to sit independently on the EU Parliament, and to speak as a nation of its own

Scotland is an advanced nation. Glasgow is still, in many ways, the second city of the Empire (well, if the Empire existed any more). In the UK, we have the biggest suburban rail network outside of London, and the biggest shopping area outside of London. Lots of people, and lots of cash, flow through the two primary cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. The ship building industry in Glasgow is nothing compared to what it once was, but what little is left is arguably at the top of its game. The cities, and the Highlands, are steeped in history that brings endless streams of Tartan-clad Americans to our shores in search of their great-great-grandfather’s friend’s Auntie’s cat. All over Scotland, lots of money is being pumped into updating infrastructure, building new buildings, renovating old areas, and generally keeping things as up to date as seems possible. We’re way ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of utilising renewable power sources. We have a lot of expertise to make a go of things, particularly in the technology and software market.

To me, it looks like we as a nation stand in good stead to have a go at it. But it’s possibly now or never. The only problem I have is that the media is always vague on what the SNP really intends to do. What does the above question really mean? Do we attach ourselves to the Euro, split out our armies, NHS services, etc, from the UK, and hope for the best? Or would Scotland be an independent nation, with, say, joint membership of the British Army? Would we/should we still trade in Pounds Sterling? Or is the Bank of England (set up, by the way, by a Scotsman) too English to deal with our country? Would we have a Scottish Pound? (And would English retailers then finally have a valid reason to refuse Scottish notes?) There are still too many questions surrounding independence that I long for transparency from political parties and the media.

So who do I vote for? I don’t know. Labour, Tory, Lib Dem … they don’t offer me anything different, so far as I can see. All politicians are afraid to do much these days for fear of the backlash they might receive. The political parties really vary very little, apart from the SNP, who actually want to do something radical. I’m tempted to vote SNP and be very quick to be very vocal should they try anything that doesn’t sound good for the nation. And I don’t yet see independence as being bad for the nation…

Holidays.

March 25, 2007

Yesterday was so sunshiney. It was warm, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I thought everybody was out in the street, until I got into the city centre where I realised that most people were in fact there instead.

Busy wasn’t the word for it. Take your average busy street in London, and put the same number of people in a much smaller Scottish city … I could barely move. It was a holiday atmosphere out there, so much so that I was out enjoying the atmosphere for most of the day. Walking along one of the busiest streets, I see no less than one guitar player (seated), one guitar player (standing), Highland piper, one man break-dancing, numerous people handing out balloons, dozens of charity workers, and the normal quotient of Big Issue salespeople and homeless folks. The sunshine makes even the homeless that little bit happier. To add to the atmosphere, the Tartan Army were out in force. Kilts, Scotland tops, and See You Jimmy hats. It was a fun day.

The Sun continued to shine when we actually won another game of football. That’s two that I remember in recent times.

Today feels like the cooler, less sunny day of the holiday. It doesn’t quite feel like the weekend, or that I’ll be back at work tomorrow.

Roll on next weekend!

EDIT: For those unfamiliar, international football brings a unique atmosphere to Glasgow. And if you know little of the Hampden roar, I urge you to watch some youtube footage from the France game I linked you to above.

Naked.

March 23, 2007

Here’s a topic likely to drive the wrong sort of traffic to my site. First thing’s first: this is not pornography. This is not voyeurism, as such. It is, however, about empowerment.

I spotted on Flickr a set entitled Support Topless Women. Now you see why I placed the disclaimer at the top of the post; no doubt this entry will attract attention either via Google or via the various appropriate tags.

The purpose of the set seems vague. Certainly the last photo in the set celebrates a woman’s right to be topless in public in one part of New York. Which brings up the question: why, in the enlightened 21st century, is it actually an offence in some places for a woman to walk around topless?

Let’s think about this.

Primary sexual characteristics are those parts that are required for natural procreation. The external genitalia, to use such a horrendously clinical term, are the bits that we can see and, erm, touch. I can understand people covering these parts, for reasons of hygiene, dignity, etc. The other guys on the street don’t need to be embarrassed when I gleefully swing past them, for example.

Secondary sexual organs are the bits that help define us. Things like facial hair, muscular definition and strength, general body shape, placement and volume of body hair, placement of body fat, etc. The things that make women women, and men men. These things are never as ubiquitously offensive as, say, a naked penis in the bakery section of the local grocery store. Some people may be offended by a muscular man, just as some may be offended by a naked breast, just as some may be offended by a hairy back.

So why exactly is a naked breast considered illegal by some, while a hairy back is not? I’d wager that more people would find a hairy back more offensive these days than a naked breast.

Of course, I can understand that the idea of exposing breasts on the street as casually as you would a Somerfield bag is a scary one, especially given the number of men around who barely manage to scrape together the requirements to join the human race. But that’s not my point.

Why is the naked breast, arguably a thing of beauty in the same way the rest of the human body is, such an offensive thing to some people?

Ships.

March 22, 2007

I’m walking along the train platform to my usual spot. You know the way that people have “their” space? Well, I have mine, and I stand there every morning. I get annoyed if somebody is in my space.

This morning, somebody was. But this time, it was somebody I’d seen before, and I wasn’t annoyed. It’s difficult to be annoyed when a pretty face looks back and smiles. I’m not so sure I smiled back; I suspect she got my morning scowl in return. I tend not to be in a mood for communication while I’m in transit … I’ve simply left A, and I’m trying to reach B.

It took me a few moments to realise that I’d seen her here before. It takes a while for the more sociable parts of my mind to kick in sometimes, and so I missed those few moments where starting a conversation would have been socially acceptable. She continues to read her book, and I read mine.

Perhaps I’ll talk to her next time I’ll see her.

Veil.

March 21, 2007

It looks like English schools will be allowed to ban full-face veils. This debate has been going on for a while now here in the UK, but I’d almost forgotten about it until I spotted this news story.

It’s good to see some common sense coming into play here. Clearly, somebody finally had the balls to not be 110% PC on this. Schools, educational establishments, exist to serve; schools should be available to all, and all should receive the same treatment while at school. This is the ideal, of course, but this new ruling takes things a step closer to that ideal.

The only place religious artefacts belong in a school is in a class on religious education. A fair and balanced, modern, religious education — not the readings from the Bible with cursory glances toward other religions I got. I would have loved to have been taught about various religions — the fact that I’m a non-believer is beside the point. School should be neutral, just like Government should be neutral, when it comes to religious influence.

Of course, outside of the classroom people may do what they choose, wear what they choose. They might choose to follow certain religions or wear certain items of clothing. But School is largely about communication, and covering even part of the face hinders the ability to communicate.