2010. In hindsight.


Not a bad vintage actually.

Work wise I was run off my feet once again and almost literally in December which proved to be extraordinarily challenging due to the shitness of the weather and the fact that I was researching all over the country.  It was a real struggle, very stressful indeed.

Some great clients which include STV, Ampersand, Corporation Pop, 60 Watt, nmp and LA Media from last year.  But added a few too including Gill’s Cruise Centre, Paligap, and The Usability Lab.

My golf stank pretty much from start to finish and I had a poor Arran and a poor St Andrews.  However one highlight was an Eagle 3 on the par 5 second in the club championships first round.  I won that but went out in round two.  However Forty years of failing to Eagle were finally over. (Tom got about 6 last year alone).

Musically it was a big return to form after very poor shows in both 2008 and 2009.

I’ve already posted my tracks of the year elsewhere which will give you an idea of my top ten albums, but for the record, these are they…

I’m New Here by Gil Scott Heron

Band of Joy by Robert Plant

The Courage of Others by Midlake

Queen of Denmark by John Grant

The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire

Sky at Night by I am Kloot

Elektonische Music Experiment – German Rock and Electronic Music 1972 – 1983

Write About Love by Belle and Sebastian

The Lady Killer by Cee Lo Green

Seasons of my Soul by Rumer

My blog had a record year, just, with 340,000 hits, up 45,000 on last year and beating 2008 by only 1,000.  As a result I hit the million mark last week and raised over £1,000 for St Columba’s Hospice in the process.  Thanks to all who contributed.

I did two music quizzes (one in Edinburgh and one in Manchester) for NABS and these raised £3,500

The Hibees were a farce from year start to end and our Scottish cup hopes look less plausible than for a very long time.  Looks like we’ll be going at least 110 years before winning it again.

Theatre again played a big part in my year.

My role as a director of The Lyceum developed and I thought Mark Thomson had a vintage year.  Every show was a hit in some form or other and the highlights for me were The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Confessions of a Justified Sinner, The Price and The Importance of Being Earnest.

FCT had another good year, my first at the helm and I’d like to thank the fab committee for their support.  Two great shows in Just So and Guys and Dolls and another ENDA award.  Annie’s next but no decision yet on the festival.  Our away day in October was deemed a great success.

Amy started at Uni and is working hard as she has done all year at Dakota.  She bought a virtually new car herself ( a Toyota Yaris) and I was really proud of her for being so focussed to be able to do this.  Ria is working hard at school and did really well in her standard grades.  Tom isn’t and didn’t.

Tom’s golf continued to improve and his handicap went from 11 to 7.

Sadly Jeana’s blossoming work at Suntrap came to an end when the funding was pulled.  She was devastated and I suspect still is.

We holidayed in California and it was a tram smash of a holiday from start to finish, summed up by this video…

http://www.youtube.com/v/E5lc8c9EsXg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1

In books I didn’t read much.  I am enjoying Freedom by Jonathon Franzen but the best of the year was the Red Riding Quadrilogy by David Peace.

fantastic series of horrific police brutality .

And my movie of the year? Well, I saw over 20 movies at the flicks this year and a lot of real quality.  But I plump for The Social Network.  A Prophet was great as was Monsters and The Road, but David Fincher surpassed himself with an amazing script by Aoron Sorkin.

TV show of the year? No Question. Mad Men (we’re playing catch up and only nearing end of season two but it’s fabulous).

In reality TV The Apprentice continues to kick ass.

Digital gizmo of the year?  My iPad… but also my Canon 450 D.  An up and down year on the camera front but happy with my lot and looking for a Canon 5D Mk 1 and a new 28mm prime lens to move on a level in 2011.

Idiot of the Year?  Won hands down by Nick Clegg.  Only cos he sold his soul to the devil.  But he was run close by those fools that lead our government.  You know who they are.  Tony Blair continued to make a right fucking dick of himself and the legacy of Kenny Macaskill is not away yet with Magrahi in the rudest of health.

Sadly I lost a number of friends during the year; Myles, Kathy and Jim, I’ll miss you all.  God bless and love to all of your families.

Wife of the year? Jeana Gorman. 21st year running.  How can she bear it?

Put it this way. I couldn’t live with me. Still.

And so to 2011.

My hopes?

Hibees win the Scottish Cup.  (That’s just stupid.  Ed.)

Tom gets down to a 4 handicap.

I win something, anything, at Golf.

The kids do well at school and uni.

I am healthy throughout. (And lose rather a lot of weight.)

Both Cath and Jean stay healthy too

The credit crunch doesn’t get worse again.

Thanks people. The power of the blog.


First of all, because Alex Sneddon read my recent post about the HTC phone failure and Carphone Warehouse’s response, he gave me the correct contact details for Charles Dunstone.  I emailed him last night and I received this email in reply this morning…

Dear Mr Gorman

Many thanks for your email, I am extremely sorry to hear of the problems your son is experiencing and concerned that you have had to contact to me in search of resolution.

I have got someone investigating what has gone wrong and we will be back to you shortly.

In the meantime, please accept my sincere apologies

Regards
Charles Dunstone

Literally five minutes after reading it the manager of the Gyle phoned me full of apologies for the treatment Tom had received at the Princes Street store!  He offered an immediate exchange explaining that this “NEVER happens.” and that I had clearly escalated my complaint in an appropriate manner.

So, well done CFW for eventually doing the right thing.

Well done also for the brilliant Phone Expert in Dunfermline who allowed us to cancel our £75 (not £175 as we had been quoted by CFW) spare part order.


I wonder why they changed their minds?  The power of blogging or just realising that they had made an unfair decision?

Good old Simon Shakeshaft; MD of The Usability Lab


He’s a charming chap and a great client.  What’s more he has donated his £100 prize money for Pego’s millions and as a result my fundraising has beaten its target of £1,000 to St Columba’s Hospice where my dad died.  It is a truly wonderful place and hopefully this will go some way to helping with their  ongoing work.

If you would like to gild the lily with any further donations follow this link.

Harrods Christmas cheer


I love this story, I really do.

A guy was fired from the toy dept of Harrods last week.  So hacked off was he that after drinking nearly two bottles of whisky he managed to get himself into the control room that operates the outdoor lights dispaly (10,000 of the beggars).

He then changed the display to reflect his feelings.

Sweet.

"It was drinking in this manner that got him fired in the first place." quoted a mortified Harrods spokesperson.

Read the full story here.

My movies of 2010


Great finish to the year yesterday with  Monsters.  Here’s my complete list of cinema ratings (from IMDB) for 2010 this year.

On reflection I think The Social Network may indeed justify film of the year on the basis of this perfect ten rating.Burke and Hare was certainly the year’s donkey.

Best of 2010. Music.


It’s been an epic musical year.

The best for longer than I can remember.

We’ve had great dance (Crystal Castles, Hot Chip)

We’ve had great folk (Villagers, Midlake, Anais Mitchell)

Great indie (Arcade Fire, Sleigh Bells, I am Kloot)

Great pop (Cee Lo Green, Glee, Paolo Nutini – well that’s a hangover from 2009 that’s just grown and grown on me, Rumer and Fyfe Dangerfield)

Great rock (Arcade Fire, Robert Plant)

Great balladry (Corrine Bailey Rae, Rumer, Tracey Thorn, Gil Scott Heron, I am Kloot again, John Grant)

And then there’s been a few oldies that have crept through into my particular headspace (Dead Kennedies, E.M.A.K)

Here is the full top 20 listing…

I am producing my usual year end CD (since 2004)

I think this is the best yet.  Certainly the greatest strength in depth.

If you want a copy let me know.

Mobile Me. Fail. Viral hell.


Mobile wee more like.

I’ve never been able to get Mail on my Mac to work.  And the more I’ve tried the more it has simply fucked up my computer.  But the biggest mistake I’ve ever mad with Apple was to sign up for Mobile Me.

It didn’t work, so I canceled it.

But now, every half hour or so, a syncing message pops up on my screen trying to sync Mobile Me with Yahoo Mail.  Despite the fact that I have apprently eradicated it from my machine.

I have had four online helpdesk chats with Apple (helpful but unsuccesful) and it still plagues me.

Apple.  It sucks.  (Can anyone help me rid this cancer?)

I have tried removing everything about .mac and mobile me from my Keychain but it simply does not work.

You know that “Macs don’t get viruses thing?”

Yeah they do.

From Apple.

Monsters


My movie-going year is suitably bookended by two Road movie love stories, each with a flavour of the apocalypse about them.  In January, The Road took Cormac McCarthy’s seminal novel and told a love story about father and son that has seldom been rivalled.  Now, in December a young British director has created a love story that is the year’s best, as a sci fantasy and for half a million dollars.  How is this possible?

Written, directed, filmed and CGI’d by the quite remarkable Gareth Edwards, this film is an absolute joy from the first slate to the last.

At every single turn he avoids excess.  The film is so lean it ‘s positively fat free.

The CGI could be Oscar winning if the Academy decide that a Sci Fi movie with CGI you barely notice at times deserves such an accolade. The cinematography is sublime and yet is filmed on a $8,400 camera (My guess is it may have been a Canon because Canon is strongly product placed throughout).

The acting, although not award winning is perfectly good.

It’s a two man show featuring the very able Whitney Able (great too in “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) looking like a young Charlize Theron, sans scars, and Scoot McNairy.

There’s no doubt which of the pair is more likely to feature in Edwards’ next movie.  The camera absolutely drools over Able for long periods of time, but hey, who’s complaining.  Reminded me a little of Bertolucci and his penchant for ravishing his young female talent on screen.

He uses a lot of very tight depth of field which, if you like it, creates a lovely soft feel with the action often moving in and ourt of focus.  This adds quality and emphasises the beauty of the surroundings that are being destroyed in a war between the US Army/Airforce and aliens who landed in New Mexico six years prior.

Of course it’s like District Nine (everyone says so) but I prefer to compare it to Apocalypse Now (and The Road).  I think Edwards might thank me for that because the movie is essentially a trip up river (as in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness) and he has a couple of homage moments, most particularly in the Army’s motivational music;  The Ryde of the Valkyries.

The day we saw this the cinema was full of young delinquents who were clearly unimpressed.

Barely a monster in sight.

Next to no blood.

Boring.

Alien vs Predator this is not!

My daughter and I  on the other hand were enthralled.

A fine, fine debut and most certainly one of the films of the year.

Today was bad


I’ll keep it short.

3 hours to get to work in Glasgow.

Good day there actually.

3.5 hours back despite leaving at 2.30.

Lot of pissedoffdness involved

Give up on Scotrail and hail taxi.

Taxi driver refuses to drive to South Queensferry.

(More money to be made in town.)

Scotrail ineptitude off the scale.

Leave for Manchester.

1 hour later, including car dig out and unbelievable local driving conditions, pull into Tesco Petrol station.

Fill up with Petrol.

Realise car takes diesel.

Have to enlist four chaps to push me off the money bit.

Walk home in blizzard.

Get drunk.

Write post.

Night.

Igloo central


All of my kids are committed to igloo building.

Snowmen are so 2009.

But their fruits of labour are at different levels of commitment and construction.

Both are better viewed from a front elevation; but it’s freezing so you’ll have to take the front door view.

Amy and Stuart. late starters but in bad conditions.

Tom. Very committed. Unlike his English homework. And created in more temperate conditions....daylight.

I’m sure both will improve because this shit is here to stay, but I think a poll is in order…

So…