Monthly Archives: May 2009

Summer, summer, summertime….

According to reports, the number of road accidents in Scotland has jumped over the past three days.  It’s also been the hottest and sunniest three days of the year.  Coincidence?  I think not.  The Scottish male is conditioned in such a way that, as soon as the sun comes out, his shirt comes off.  I reckon this is what causes accidents.  Not through female drivers being driven mad with lustful looks, no.  The glare of bright sunshine reflecting off the milk bottle white skin of your average ned torso is enough to cause temporary blindness in drivers, thus the accidents.

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After missing last weekends win over Dalgety Bay, despite only having 8 players!!  I rejoined the lads for a game in Fauldhouse on Saturday.  Fauldhouse is a village in central Scotland used to be linked with the pits, and is in one of the most ‘orange’ areas of the country.  Suffice to see, they weren’t the most pleasant team we’ve ever met, containing a couple of very mouthy individuals who don’t so much over step the mark between banter and abuse, as take up permanent residence in Tosspot Lane.  Just made the 5 wicket victory all the sweeter!  We’ve played 4 won 4 and a second successive promotion looks like a realistic target for us now.

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Just been watching the Twenty20 Cup match on Sky between Leicestershire and Lancashire.  The child in me was most amused to see the Leicester mascot on the sidelines.  As Leicestershire are known as The Foxes, he’s a Fox (well a bloke in a Fox suit, must be sweaty as all hell on a day like this)  His replica team shirt bears the name Charlie.  Yep, he’s Charlie Fox.  Charlie Fox, the PG phonetic alphabet version of the epithet “Cluster Fuck”.  A military term used to describe a situation that has gotten completely out of control and is messed up beyond repair.   Come to think of it, pretty much the Leicestershire County Cricket side of recent years!!!  You have to love the PR agency that came up with that one.

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People, people who need people

Twitter.  It has it’s plusses, it has it’s minuses, and one of those many minuses is #followfriday.  The “tradition” whereby you are supposed to reccommend a user to other users.  But, in just a short space of time it’s become a sort of daisy chain of mutual backslapping and ass kissing.  So, taking my cue from another twitter user, I started to compile a list of my favourite tweets, with a view to adding them here as a weekly listing.  Sadly I forgot to do it for large chunks of time, but, here’s the first list.  It’s short.  Both because I’m lazy and I forgot, but also because I have standards, so you have to be amngst the elite to make the list…..or offer me favours 😉

So without further ado:

nik_kee_deeRT @Angpang: Want to avoid the bollocks-fest that #followfriday has become? Use Favourites, as explained here: http://angelarambleson.blogspot.com/

quantick #smallambitions Obscurity! I want to live til Tuesday! I want to walk on the ground! Low! Remember remember remember parts of my name!

SarahMag80Right I need tea… and cake but its probably best I just have tea x

VioletsCRUKGood morning! ( as she puts on dark glasses and puts her dressing gown hood over her head) Think i overdid the wine last night! :-s lol

and a special shout out to:

Heidi_rangeHi there, watched Changeling last night and loved it, didn’t expect it to be so dark though! x

I loved that one because, well, let’s see.  Changeling, a film about a woman who spends years trying to find her missing son, time in a mental instituion for pointing out the child the police returned to her, wasn’t actually hers and so on.  And Ms Range, god bless her, didn’t expect it to be dark!?!?!?

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Taking Goals to Newcastle

OK, let’s get the bad news over with first. Newcastle United were relegated from the EPL yesterday afternoon. Unlike a number of fans I had no great belief that they would get out of the relegation zone prior to the last match, and yet, in the immediate aftermath of the game, the feeling of disappointment was still tangible. Having had time to reflect, those feelings of anticlimax, of let down, of disbelief have crystalised and taken on a new perspective. Not so much over the fact that the club were relegated, but more in the manner in which they were relegated.

Yesterday’s game summed up so much of not just this past season, but the last three or four seasons. The desperate, last ditch, disorganised rabble of a defence. Take a look at the 1000 yard stare in the shell shocked eyes of Fabricio Coloccini, the confusion of Kevin Nolans head twisting like an owl as he tries to work out who to mark at a corner. See the midfield, lacking drive, ambition, guile, bite. When Nicky Butt is your best player, you have problems. Take a peak at the strikers, struggling to feed off scraps, not making any runs with purpose, snatching at half chances. When Shola Ameobi is thrown on, a man who appears to have been constructed entirely of knees and elbows, it’s pretty much an admission of defeat. There was no art, no craft, no creativity, no drive, no urgency, no sense that there would be a goal at any time. Worst of all there appeared to be no belief and most damningly, no passion. It was a bit like watching Scotland.

Dropping down to the Championship may, just may, be a good thing for Newcastle. A chance to take stock, a reality check, the kick in the head wake up call the heirarchy needs. Some tough choices need to be made. It’s well known that Mike Ashley wants to sell the club. However, it’s a tough economic climate out there, no-one seems willing to invest overly at the moment. The club has just been relegated, has significant debt, he’s given a two year contract to a manager with a dicky ticker. Who want’s to inherit that? A new owner, will want to bring in their own management team. The squad just isn’t good enough, it is aging, lacks depth in a number of positions, lacks flair, lacks pace and seemingly passion. Who are the saleable assets? Difficult to see really. Of the bodies involved yesterday:

Steve Harper – will probably stay. He’s waited years to be the number one, won’t be keen to be a number two elsewhere, plus he’s solid, and we’ll need a solid keeper next season.

Fabricio Coloccini – often looked lost, didn’t seem to cope with the pace and tempo of the games. Probably be buyers for him on the continent, he is an Argentine international after all

Steven Taylor – One player who did look like he was trying, still makes too many mistakes, will probably be around to try and get the club back up

David Edgar – might actually benefit from the drop. He just doesn’t look good enough for Premiership level

Damien Duff – has done well and tried hard as an emergency left back, but his days of being a threat are long gone. Don’t see many takers for him though.

Danny Guthrie – lacking confidence and class, he’s a grinder in midfield, young so may improve.

Kevin Nolan – seems to have been something of a panic buy, hasn’t been the player he was at Bolton. No takers.

Michael Owen – out of contract, not likely to resign, there’ll be a club somewhere willing to take him on. He’s looked well past his sell by date, but there may be something to the theory that surrounded by better players he could contribute.

Nicky Butt – been the best player at the club all season. If not sold, he should be skipper next season.

Peter Lovenkrands – signed for nothing, will be let go for nothing. He’s just not done anything

Jose Enrique – can’t see many takers for Jose, has shown moments of his ability potential, but is likely to be back in Spain on a cut price deal.

Mark Viduka – the big man is finished. Although, strangely, I think his pylon like abilities could make him a key player in the Championship.

Shola Ameobi – should be let go. Like Viduka he’s a big target man, with a physical presence. Unlike Viduka, the ball pings off him all the time, he barely seems able to control his limbs, never mind the ball.

Obafemi Martins – A luxury player we can’t afford. He won’t stick around, and would be ideally suited to a bigger club where he can sit on the bench as an impact player.

Tim Krul – likely to be number two to Harper
Alan Smith – another who has had too many injuries. Big money contract means he’ll be a difficult sell,
Jonas Gutierrez – may not want to play at Championship level, has shown a lot of effort but no real production likely to end up back in Spain
Ryan Taylor – seems to have been a throw in for the N’Zogbia deal.
Joey Barton – who exactly will want him??
Habib Beye – hopefully he’ll stick around.

Ashley has apparantly spent £250 million of his money on Newcastle already.  He won’t be able to sell the club for that in it’s current state.  What does he do?  Sell for what he can get and take the loss, or invest more in retooling the squad, getting the club back into the Premiership thus increasing it’s value?  He may even discover a love for the club.

Of course, we’ll struggle to attract much in the way of decent quality through the doors. Much as the jury is still out on Shearer’s abilities as a manager, he’s the only person who will have an leeway from the fans in terms of being given the time to rebuild the squad. Joe Kinnear certainly won’t get that, although he might have a role to play as an advisor, he should be let go. Shearer is also liable to have a bit more cachet with agents and players than Kinnear in terms of getting them to play at SJP. I don’t see the club bouncing back at the first attempt, I just hope they don’t implode like Leeds did. We don’t have the core of young saleable assets Leeds had, but we have got the Dennis Wise episode out of the way already!

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Seem’s everyone is watching Britian’s Got Talent. My family do, I try to avoid it, but one thing about it got my goat on Saturday night. It was the last of the “audition” shows. Where several people got voted through to “the next round”. This next round seemed to consist of shipping two hundred and odd people down to London, only to spend the day waiting around, to be told to piss off home again as they hadn’t made the semi finals. What?? Basically anyone shown in the final audition show got two minutes of exposure before disappearing, whilst everyone from the earlier shows has had at least a week of media hype. Or in the case of Susan fucking Boyle, far too bloody much hype. Why not have a rundown of the “Yesses” after each show, and give Joe Public a week to vote on them, the top 5 vote getters over each of the ten weeks get to make the 50 semi finalists….Cowell, you’d earn even more from the phone votes. Of course, I’d like a cut for the idea!!

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My significant other watches those property shows. The ones where ‘experts’ meet a couple, hunt down some properties and show them around. They never have anyone on them whose budget is less than £250,000. Just once, i’d like to see them deal in the real world, with £90k to spend on a fixer upper…..plus there’s the fact that no-one ever actually buys any of the houses they view either. It must be great for the house owners, they get a camera crew and a bunch of strangers tromp round their house, sealing it off from genuine potential buyers, they know these people won’t be making an offer let alone buying, then a few weeks later they get to watch as their sense of design and decor are ripped to shreds by a couple of tyre kicking snobs on a jolly, who want their friends/colleagues/former school mates to know exactly how much money they have.

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Sorted out for E’s and Whizz

So today, I had to go and collect an update to my prescription meds. I phoned my local health care provider on Tuesday to make an appointment with my GP. Surprise, surprise they had nothing available for today (Thursday) or even Friday. As an aside, does anyone know of any illnesses that book a slot in your diary? Me neither.

Anyway, so, I mention to the appointments person that my meds will run out on Saturday, and I need the appointment to get a new prescription. She then fires me through to the repeat prescriptions person, or rather, transfers the call to a person sat on the other side of the desk. This gravelly voiced lady informs me that the prescription will be ready to collect after 4pm on Thursday. All well and good, except I’m not authorised to get automatically repeating scripts. A fact I only find out at 4:15pm on Thursday, as I hold up the queue of swine flu sufferers, whilst the receptionist vainly attempts to find my script.

After 20 minutes of to-ing and fro-ing, she finally goes to confront some random GP and gets me a form. I then have to trot over to the dispensary, sign the form and hand it over. Now, this is the bit I don’t understand. Why does it then take half an hour to actually get your mitts on the drugs? How hard is it to read the form, go to the shelf, remove the boxes, stick them in the bag and hand them over? And why does the action have to pass through four sets of hands? It’s not as if they have to count the bloody pills into bottles any more. They just give you a box of them. Christ, there were actual sick people in there, I could have caught anything whilst I waited. I especially didn’t have to hear the large truck driver discussing his toilet habits and stool types as he moaned about his recent weight gain. Is it any wonder I’m depressed??

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A Blog with a Purpose

Moving away from the usual drivel on here, I’m going to get all serious for a second, and draw your attention to an important cause.

Bullying is an issue that touches us all at some point in our lives.  Many will have been bullied, some may know a person who is/was bullied, some may be parents of a child and worried about bullying, whilst others may just be the bully.  As someone who has been on the receiving end of this very special form of cowardice, and also a parent who knows that this issue will some day affect his children in some way, I would like to draw your attention to the wonderful work of Bullying UK – the UK’s leading anti-bullying charity and safety net for children and families. It’s not just children who get bullied – people young or old at home or in the workplace can suffer too. It’s great to know there is an organization that can help with advice and support.  Take a moment to visit them.  I’m not asking you to donate anything other than a couple of minutes to visit their site.  It’ll maybe open some eyes.

This blog post is part of Zemanta’s “Blogging For a Cause” campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

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Too Much Coke Will Kill You…

Well, okay, maybe not kill you as such, but, it is bad for you.  Imagine my surprise, drinking 3 litres plus a day won’t do your health much good.  Well, no shit, Sherlock!  All that carbonate, sugar and carcinogenic shit, in such large quantities!!

Most surprising of all was the news that an Australian was drinking 4-10 litres a day!!!  Of Cola!!!  WTF!!!  It’s a well known fact that lager comes out the taps Down Under, and this gallah was drinking upt0 25 cans of Cola every day, and then was surprised to suffer health problems.  He is from Oz so I guess allowances should be made.

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The other top news story of the day?  Alfie, all upset to discover he didn’t father a child at the age of 12.  Or is it his parents who are upset?  Their handy pension of government benefits and special TV documentaries has been ripped from them, usurped by the 15 year old bully boy from down the street who happened to win the great sperm race, and it seems to have been keenly contested.  At least three joined the queue claiming paternity, how many were too embarrassed to admit sneaking behind the bike sheds with Ms Munter???.  Frankly, Alfie, you’ve had a lucky escape, whilst you’ve popped your cherry early, she was an absolute moose.  You can now move on unencumbered to better things.  Though I’d maybe wait a few years. 

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On to more mundane things now.  The further adventures of the mighty RHC.  The ones were due to visit Weirs on Saturday, but the wet Weegie weather left the match a Stadio Della Prod cancelled.  The twos fared little better, reducing Stirling to 60-2 before rain forced an abandonment.  The three’s though had to wait until Sunday before heading to Linlithgow to do battle with West Lothian 3.

After calling wrongly at the toss, skipper Mooro was left to give us the bad news.  We were being put in to bat.  Skippy and Tricky had first look and proceeded to get us off to a slow start, 1 an over for the first 10 overs, and it took that long for the first run off the bat.  Still, this was pretty much to plan, as we were keeping wickets in hand.  Tricky perished playing his first offensive shot, JK following not long after, playing on.  Will played a couple of big shots before going for one too many, and Jonesy followed suit as the run rate increased.  Skippy was playing the anchor role at the other end, calmly accumulating ones and twos.  It was the arrival of Macca that swung things our way.  (the less said about Rider’s golden duck the better).  The big aussi set about the Wests bowlers with relish, only being stopped when Skippy couldn’t get out of the way of one screaming drive.  Skippy reached his 50, closely followed by Macca, both perishing soon after.  Mooro, Fraggle, Kev and Chappers all adding a few to the final tally of 192 for 9 off the 45 overs.  Our biggest total since the first game for the new threes (which we don’t count as there was a ringer involved!).

After a decent tea, Wests began their reply.  It was the usual tight stuff from Chappers and Kev, runs being very hard to come by.  Good ground fielding served to increase the pressure before Chappers struck, removing the off stick.  Macca came on for Kev and took two wickets in his first over, with Fraggle picking up scalps at the other end.  The score was creeping along, never getting above 1 an over, and the home side were getting more anxious.  The fielding was pretty much impeccable, and Mooro came on to tighten the noose further.  His 9 overs yielding 3 wickets.  Fraggle returned to finish things off, West Lothian dismissed for 45 in 35 overs.  COM-PRE-HEN-SIVE. 

So, two wins from two in our first season in Div 7, and a message sent to the rest of the teams that we won’t be pushovers.  Last season we got by very much on our bowling attack.  This year we still have a deep bowling lineup, but we’ve added some batting too.  Most teams will tend to have a couple of bowlers they rely on, so conversely they expect to see off the opening bowlers and get runs from the change bowling.  We don’t allow that to happen, we have strong options for 6 or 7 bowlers, none of whom will be taken apart regularly.  A consecutive promotion is not outwith the bounds of possibility.  So long as we don’t lose too many players to the twos.!!

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Oh time…where dost thou fly to?

Hmm, seems I’ve not been around for a while.  Oops!  In truth, not had all that much to say.  (Not that that was an impediment over the previous posts).

Anyhoo, schlepped my way into Edinburgh last Saturday for the second league game of the season.  Our oppo travelled across from the inbred hick land that is Fife.  It pished down with rain for most of the afternoon, but, in a blithe experiment of hope over the obvious everyone insisted on hanging around and trying to play.  Eventually at 2:30 we wandered out to try and bowl at the opposition.  15 balls later we ran back into the warm and welcoming bosom of our new changing facilities.  Match abandoned.  On the bright side we’re still at 100%.

The good old Scottish spring is doing it’s best to cancel this weeks game already.  It’s a monsoon out there, we don’t play until Sunday so fingers crossed.

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Our wonderful MP’s have been making all kinds of unsavoury headlines this week, claiming expenses for things like porn, hanging baskets, booze and the cleaning of moats.  The stench of snouts in the trough hangs heavy over the country.  Still, I suppose when you’ve gone through school being the least popular person there and gone into a job that makes you even less popular than Gary Glitter opening a school fayre, you need every little perk you can get.

I don’t blame them, as much as the idiots who signed off on these things.  What were they doing?  My work pony up for travel and hotel when I need to go away, plus a £20 per night average per diem.  I have to provide receipts, and if I don’t or it doesn’t add up or there’s even the sniff of an issue, they’re all over me like a tuppeny whore until I give them a good reason.  We should be making these “honourable members” stand up to scrutiny in a similar way.  They’re members alright.  A bunch of dicks!

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OK, time to walk the mutts, it’s going to be wet….

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