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  1. Unreservedly recommended: http://www.houllshorsesandhounds.co.uk/#!dog-boarding/c153y
  2. Just read the really very good pre-WW2 thriller The Shetland Plan, by 'Taffrail' (Henry Taprell Dorling) which exhibits a very exact knowledge of Shetland geography. I know Dorling was stationed in Busta Voe during WW1, but I have heard that he lived at the Bridge of Walls Hotel or perhaps owned it. Does anyone know anything more? This is for a possible article in Shetland Life Thanks Tom Morton
  3. 'Etterscab' is Tom Morton - that would be me - in a personal capacity. 'SICcomms' would be Peter Peterson and Tom Morton, representing the nascent SIC communication project. I do apologise for accidentally getting my Etterscabs mixed up with my SICcomms in the case of one posting on the SICcomms thread - a slip of the trackpad. As someone involved in the music business professionally and engaged day by day in dealing with the issues raised by the digitisation of music, I was keen to contribute to the healthy discussion of topics raised in the 'Clive's' thread. And Malachy's right. I am a freelance advisor to the council, not an employee. Perhaps 'Ghostrider' and 'Earl Patrick' would care to clarify or confirm their own 'real' identities?
  4. Indeed, the services must be promoted. But the point about 'promoting the council' is surely that the public have to be confident in the council's ability to deliver those services. A major programme is under way, spearheaded by Alistair Buchan, to improve the way the council is run. What we're committed to at the comms project is for openness, trustworthiness, honesty and accountability to be communicated to the public because...well, because they're real. Because the council is genuinely working to become those things. And if you have an open, accountable and honest council, you can trust it to deliver its services effectively. Properly. Now, we really believe this. We're not cynical. We're not spinning. You may accuse us of being innocent or naive, but listen, we're absolutely genuine about this. And we'd really like you to respond to this thread in the spirit it's offered. Tom Morton
  5. http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-music-industry-sales-2011-2?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+businessinsider+(Business+Insider)
  6. I've spent shed loads of cash in Clive's, going right back to the days when he sold second hand stuff from that tiny wee shop opposite the Lodberrie. And Davie's right, his prices were at one point really competitive. Coupled with the tasteful selections of obscurities and the sheer breadth of music on offer, Clive's was one THE great UK record shops. But the sad fact is that Clive's is now one of the last independent record shops. They've disappeared. If you're committed to music, if you're a serious fan, and especially if you live remotely, you now have Spotify Premium, you have iTunes, you have Bleep, Bandcamp and - for the brief interim period when we're actually still buying hard copies of digital information - Amazon and Indigo and Play.com. And that takes in DVDs and games, too. For the majority of consumers, music is a whisker away from being a completely online, mobile, almost free phenomenon. Once the fibreoptics are up and running here we won't need Blu-Ray or DVDs. Everything will be coming down that digital pipe. Or to our phones/tablets. And, Davie, I think you'd admit that musicians who depend on CDs are drinking in the last chance saloon, most now accepting that their money in the future will come from live shows and associated merchandise sales. But. Fans will always want a souvenir. Committed fans will always want the best. They will want cover art and lyric sheets and other goodies. And so there will forever be a market for high-quality, luxurious sonic souvenirs of the band you love. For that, there's nothing better than vinyl. One of my sons is thinking of buying the £33 luxury vinyl package of the new Radiohead album. Even though he doesn't have a record player. On the other hand, technophobes, late adopters and the elderly are going to want a sound format they can understand. Which is why Tesco is full of all those Sinatra compilations, and £1.99 Kinks/Stranglers/Sinatra/Buzzcocks/Val Doonican Greatest Hits. I've had this conversation with Clive. I told him I thought there were fantastic online niches available for someone selling rare vinyl, souvenir, limited edition box sets, curated, recommended downloads, and merchandise of every sort. But that, sadly, the days of the record shops we loved and once lived for are over. Google 'Lefsetz Letter' for the cutting edge music industry thinking on this.
  7. The Brae NHS dental surgery has a new policy of not booking appointments a long time in advance - |I think they book a maximum of three weeks ahead. That has massively cut no-shows and increased efficiency. You can get an appointment there very quickly (I was offered first, the chance to wait half an hour, then to come back next day; this for non-emergency work) even if you're not in pain, and the standard of treatment is exemplary in my experience.
  8. Link is on the SIC homepage at http://www.shetland.gov.uk Weather disruption page is an interim measure until we can get full Twitter, Facebook and website updates up and running. For the moment, the links are there for roads, schools, ferries etc. Any suggestions on what we can do to improve the communication of weather disruption information are welcome. Tom Morton
  9. Just a quick word of thanks for friendly support and, to everyone, including the less friendly posters, a couple of addresses: On council matters, Alistair Buchan's blog welcomes comments, but they shouldn't be anonymous: Go to http://shetlandchiefexecutivesblog.wordpress.com/ Any thoughts on my radio show, or BBC Radio Scotland in general, can go to tommorton@bbc.co.uk. Again, we welcome real names. Tom Morton
  10. ...a study of which is surely crucial in the Greater Zetlandics, as in Battlestar Galactica: http://grownasspeople.blogspot.com/2009/01/semiotics-of-shaving-beards-in.html Tom Morton
  11. I haven't the time to pursue this, but if I were, I'd want to see these 'procurement procedures' and how they square with 'Best Value'. At the very least, this all looks absolutely awful. When local and national public spending is going to hell in a handcart, someone at SA is frolicking with obscure London agencies on an informal, non-accountable basis, discussing amorphous design and marketing ideas which change with every piece of reportage on the subject. And now there's an apparent need for a 30 grand advance on a subsidy for the first year's running costs, also for 'marketing'. No connection, obviously. We're all 'stakeholders'. And we deserve much better than this kind of patronising obfuscation. Tom
  12. Can't be bothered with the anonymity of this, and I'm pleased to see that Gwilym can't either. I'm just flabbergasted by this latest piece of nonsense, really. There is such evident graphics/design talent in Shetland, and the choice of this firm seems, to be charitable, odd. Especially as they don't appear even to know the correct title of the organisation they'll be 'branding internationally'. So why this company, Gwilym? How much are they being paid? Was there a bidding and tendering process, and if not, why not? Is the fee included in the already up against the buffers capital budget for Mareel, or is another part of SA's budget being used? Tom Morton
  13. how, pray, does indefensible madness like this happen? http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2010/10/27/16321-branding-for-mareel-shetland-arts-development-agency-to-make-happy/
  14. His last appearances here were a mite...divisive...but legendary ex-Teardrop Explodes eccentric Julian Cope is playing Orkney in June and looking for a suitable venue in Shetland. With his acoustic band. Promoter Rob Ellen is keen to hear suggestions, and from prospective co-promoters. Contact him at http://houseconcerthub.ning.com/profile/robellen I understand he's having trouble contacting established promoters hereaboots... Proximity of venues to ancient monuments an advantage...
  15. (** mod edit - moved from Shetland News section **) This was forwarded to me by a Shetlander now living and working furth of these shores. I was reading about Rubens recently, & came across a piece of info I thought you might find amusing. Apparently, quite early in his career, Rubens had as a patron one Vincenzo, the Duke of Mantua. He was, by all accounts, something of a joke-figure. EG - after his first marriage failed, because it wasn't consummated, he had to shag a virgin in front of a papally authorized committee, to see whether it was him who had the problem (as his former in-laws claimed) or his estranged missus. (He had also murdered a Scottish scholar, apparently -- jealous of the esteem in which Jock was held by some powerful duke figure.) Anyway, when he was first made duke himself, Vincenzo embarked on a series of ultra-vain, grandiloquent measures, designed to give him some palace cred. These involved him assuming the most ridiculous airs & graces, poncing around in ermine & satin, designing a ridiculous tomb, replete with a sculpture of him enthroned, etc etc. And: one of his most bizarre acts, it seems, was to create his own 'army' -- in effect, a toy army, which put enormous pressure on his coffers -- which was supposed to make a powerful contribution to the overall forces of the 'holy Roman empire' against the Turks. (Their input was miminal, but Vincenzo acted as if his soldiers were saviours of Christendom. Delusions of grandeur seem to have been a speciality.) So, why am I relating all this? The most amusing thing, I thought, was that this fairly laughable shower had special black uniforms created for them, emblazoned with Vincenzo's personal motto, 'Thus do I grow ever brighter'. Or, to be more accurate, emblazoned with the initials of the Latin version of the same: Sic illustrior crescam. In other words, a sort of dad's army of the late renaissance went about central Europe with SIC uniforms on. A bizarre thought.
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