Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Retirement Party

Well, Alien Wally had to have a chat with Suit, since his services were no longer required. Yes indeed, Alien Wally has landed himself with a Job where thankfully a suit would be out of place. However, this means that Suit has been forced into early retirement. Thinking a bit of uisce beatha might smooth the conversation, Alien Wally poured a couple of drams.

Unfortunately, Suit didn't take the news very well, and began hitting the bottle a wee bit too hard. Soon the retirement party was in full swing, with Suit performing some Tom Waits karaoke, but Alien Wally has learnt about his limits and beat a hasty retreat.

Things got a bit out of hand, and when Alien Wally returned he discovered the following scene...

Sadly, there was no recovery. The only option was to bring in the body...ehm, suit bag.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

To set the record straight...

So it seems that Alien Wally has been trying to convince y'all that he and Mags aren't obsessed with alcohol. Well, Mags has just reviewed his post and is a wee bit concerned with how his efforts seem to have got slightly derailed. She'd now like to set the record straight: between bouts at the pub, she and Alien Wally have actually been seeing some sights of a different kind...

The Wurrrms
Early morning. Portobello Beach. One lone man digging up the entire seafront. Mags had to know - and now really wishes she didn't. It would be far better to be in blissful ignorance of the big wurrrms that live under the sand, ready to attack any sandcastles that might be built on their turf. Seems that even the beach has its own version of earthworms, though these wurrrms can get as long as about a metre and have nasty pointy teeth. Seems that even these aren't enough to prevent them from being skewered on a fish hook and used as bait though.

The Zombies
Early evening. The Royal Mile. A cute narrow close. With a dead man lying at the end. Blood, gore, zombies and a Matrix-like Neo fighting them. Did Alien Wally and Mags rush away to call the Lothian and Borders Police? No. Did they rush towards the action? Yes. Are they, well, stupid? Potentially, yes. But, never fear... it all turned out to be the making of an Edinburgh University student film. Alien Wally and Mags provided the students with some practice at how to deal with gawkers and groupies, oohed at the students' talent for throwing fake blood, and clapped heartily at the end. And then they escaped to...

The Ghosties
Late evening. The Real Mary King's Close. Buried under the city chambers lies this perfectly preserved close from the 1700s or thereabout. All the residents were evicted and their houses built over, leaving the rooms and streets all as they were. A bit eerie, but no ghosties in the end unfortunately. A tad disappointing that none came out to play, really - it would have been a fitting follow on from the zombies and the wurrrms.

The Culture
The next weekend. The National Museum of Scotland. Alien Wally and Mags took a guided tour and also checked out the Pixar special exhibition. It felt rather like being time travellers, zooming from ancient picts and vikings to Nemo and Buzz.

Well, Mags hopes that she has allayed any concerns that she and Alien Wally have just been pub crawling since they've been in Edinburgh. Although, reading back over her blog entry, she feels slightly worried that it sounds like the hallucinatory ramblings of someone who's had one too many. Wurrrms? Zombies? Ghosties? Ancient Scots and bright orange fishies? Did she mention that Greyfriars Pub is just across the road from the National Museum...?

Edinburgh Sights

Concerned that people reading the blog may get the wrong impression about Alien Wally and his interest in things of an alcoholic variety, he has decided to take a meander around Edinburgh, and share some of his favourite pictures. Here we have North Bridge as it enters Old Town. While the bridge originally crossed the Nor' Loch that formed the northern border of Edinburgh, the loch was drained, and the bridge now crosses the Waverley train station.

A walk down Rose Street in New Town led to an excellent photo opportunity.

And then another one.

And another.

And lastly...

After a thirst inspiring walk around the city, Alien Wally and Mags were forced to retire for some refreshment.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Birdie Num Nums

Advertising is key to a product's success, however an advertising campaign is also a very expensive exercise. Where better than in Scotland to pick up tips on scoring free advertising for life. The trick is to select the right mascot for your product, and then to develop a direct link between the mascot and product in your target market's brain. Relying on Pavlov's principle, the target market will be reminded of your product whenever they see the mascot.

While out surveying the countryside in the middle of Edinburgh last weekend, walking through Holyrood Park, Alien Wally and Mags were confronted by the following:

Needless to say, this bird of paradise looked vaguely familiar. Hurrying back to flat, suspicions were confirmed, and thirsts were slaked:

Clearly, the idea is therefore to choose a mascot that your target market is very likely to encounter. The graceful guineafowl would be a money spinner for Klippies, and while Amarula's elephant may be the stereotypical African animal, when last did you see one walking up the slopes of Table Mountain? Famous Grouse might just as well be called Famous Nessie.

Alien Wally has however decided to stick with Pavlov's proven stimulus, and is eagerly awaiting the gentle chiming from the nearest church:

PS: Some of you may be concerned about Alien Wally's apparent obsession with whisky. This is absurd. Why, just yesterday he managed to find a supplier for Pilsner Urquell, a fine beer that is sadly not available from the local supermarket. The fact that he went hunting for a supplier shortly after unwrapping his special Pilsner Urquell beer glasses has absolutely nothing to do with Pavlov or advertising, and was a pure coincidence.

Worse than Simon Cowell

So there they were, Mags and MacNoodle, sharing a quiet cuddly snuggly moment, Mags sitting on the floor of the MacNoodle's cage with the MacNoodle curled up on her lap. All was quiet in the cattery, apart from the radio playing in the background. And then a Crowded House song came on, and Mags couldn't help herself, she had to sing along. Surely, the cats would love this treat? But no, apparently not... the MacNoodle stood up abruptly, turned around, grabbed Mags' hand and bit it hard, causing Mags to cease and desist from making that awful noise. Mission accomplished, the MacNoodle curled back up and went to sleep, leaving Mags to ponder the sad fact that she would never ever be an Idol, not even amongst cats....