Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Toll Free...

So, the good residents of Edinburgh have rejected the idea of congestion charging; and how do I feel on this burning issue? Well, I don't have a car, but I also generally object to giving government bodies more control over anything; essentially, I had no strong opinions either way.

However, I would like to point out the following issues:

Q) What is congestion?
A) Long queues of slow moving vehicles.

Q) What do "traffic-calming" measures - narrowed roads, chicanes, sleeping policemen, etc - do?
A) They slow down traffic, thus creating long queues of slow moving vehicles.

Q) What have Edinburgh City Council been spending their road budget on?
A) Massive amounts of traffic-calming measures.

Q) Has this caused congestion?
A) Yes, quod erat demonstrandum.

Q) Is it conceivable that ECC have been deliberately installing traffic-calming measures in order to create - or at least inflate - congestion in the city centre, and thus emphasise the problem and force through the congestion charging so that they can carry on with their grand scheme for trams (or plug a big hole in their finances)?
A) If you can possibly credit the city councillors with "joined-up thinking" of that deviousness, yes.

So now that they have lost the charging vote maybe, just maybe, ECC will stop digging up all the roads, putting in yet more traffic lights, more one way systems, chicanes, and damn ugly bits of isolated pavement on pretty, cobbled Edinburgh streets.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Another night like this...

What, you may very probably ask yourself, am I doing up at 7 in the morning (what me? The Chris of Mounsey, with my reputation, etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseam)...

Well, it's very simple: I haven't actually been to bed.
"But what was so fascinating," I hear you cry, "That you have not been to your (extremely large) bed?"

Well, it's a distressingly nerdy story: I've been sitting in front of my computers all night, doing bits and pieces for the shows that I'm involved in. I had to get the Chalk publicity completed and emailed to the printer. Unfortunately, it's a massive file, and even the compressed PDF came to 20MB, so considerable chicanery - involving at least two different email accounts - was required to get around the server message limits.

Next, I was assembling the CSS and the index page for Painted Face Productions, which I am part of. We are trying to organise a tour of a one-man show called Scaramouche Jones and have to raise very large sums of money, and do it pretty quickly too. Let's hope that we can get it sorted...

As one of those helpful little things to do, I've also set up the Painted Face Weblog so that we can communicate, and also so that we can keep a record of this momentous achievement for posterity. Already, I feel the hand of destiny on my shoulder, etc.

And finally, I thought I would do it whilst my g/f is visiting friends in Spain. It's amazing how not having anyone in your bed can occasionally make you less desirous of being in it! Anyway, things did not go smoothly there... but, wait... I'm getting ahead of myself...

On Thursday night, I ended up in Cloisters Bar with a bunch of friends; Mister Matt and I - perhaps slightly unwisely - put away three bottles of wine in a little under and hour and a half. Then I went back to my flat with a couple of guys to smoke something that we shouldn't. I seriously misjudged the strength (and I haven't "smoked" in a year or so) and had to go and lie down on my bed, feeling very unwell. By the next time I woke (fully clothed and lying across my bed), they had gone, but I knew that I was going to whitey. Had to launch myself from the bed and talk to god on the great white phone, before collapsing, once again, face down onto my bed.

Was woken at half seven in the morning by Hens who, having gone to Prestwick to catch her flight to Spain, had just found out that the flight was, in fact, leaving from Glasgow Central. Whoops! She was a wee bit upset (though I had absolutely nothing to do with this, I should point out!). Got another phone call at half eight: she had managed to get a connection, and they had agreed, despite her tardiness, to let her onto the flight. So all was well there...

It's a good thing that I don't get hangovers though, 'cos otherwise Friday would have been a nightmare!

So that brings us pretty much up to date, I guess; so here I am, writing my blog at - oh, 7.47am - having listened to many, many Waterboys albums and quite a few Cure albums too. It's quite cool, I haven't listened to some of them in some time, and had forgotten just how good some of them are. Those two bands make Franz Ferdinand, Keane, Coldplay, and all those other great white hopes, look like the mediocre rank amateurs that they are.

And now the only question is: do I go to bed for a bit, or have another coffee and continue to update my show sites..?
For the good of my back, I think that bed beckons. Shall probably just read The Speccie, and finsh off Private Eye though...

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...