Tag Archives: BBC

Don’t Fear the Reaper

It seems the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are abroad. It’s a bizarre turn of events but performers who once fought it out to be declared public enemy number one are now being reinvented as cuddly purveyors of all things wholesome on our TV screens every day.

The first harbinger of doom out of the blocks was Mr Johnny “Rotten” Lydon. He may well have been the antichrist, an indeed an anarchist, but these days he sells us butter.

He was followed by ‘Famine’ and ‘Pestilence’ in the emaciated shape of one Iggy Pop and a Chuckie-esque rubber mini-me style representation of himself. It’s unclear whether he’s selling golf, time or car insurance, but none of these would’ve interested “The Passenger”.

Now we have Death himself, disguised as Alice Cooper. Not content with extolling the virtues of not throwing a TV from a hotel window, but instead trading it in, he can now be heard providing the sound track to a breakfast cereal advert. Not just any breakfast cereal mind, but one aimed at children.

It’s only a matter of time before Hitler and Stalin team up to tell us what a good idea sponsoring a dog is.

On the subject, Mr Renault, the motor car has been at the centre of every major revolution in human life has it? Funny, I don’t recall mention being made of the nobles being driven to meet Madame Guillotine..

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This summer will see the end of an era, for me at any rate. I won’t be playing cricket. I’ve officially hung up my bowling callous, and decided to satisfy my inner geek by becoming a part time scorer. Other than being a closet nerd, I’ve always enjoyed the art of scoring a match and recording the stats. If I could get paid for it, I would. It’s probable that part of the charm lies in the fact that so many people find the arcane ways of the scorer to be incomprehensible, that and the fact that I wanted to be Wendy Wimbush when I was younger. Not in the ‘lop bits off and take lots of hormones’ sense of be, but to be there, watching top quality sport in the company of some of the icons of commentary. That for me would be ‘job satisfaction’.

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Haiti, once synonymous with voodoo, now inextricably linked to earthquakes. Whilst what has occurred there over the last few days has been disastrous for it’s population, it once again illustrates a couple of things.

Firstly, just how quickly emergency appeals can be set up. It seems that barely had the rumbling faded away than there was a phone number and website created by DEC. Do they have forewarning?

Amazingly, given these times of recession, money has been found by Joe and Josephine Public to pour into the various appeals and telethons. Governments, who are busy complaining of shortages and the need to raise taxes can be find vast sums at the drop of a hat to help out.

Some people could be limbo champions given the depths to which they can stoop. All those religious organizations, not least Scientologists swooping down to offer succor and aid, oh and by the way, do a little bit of recruiting. Between them and the journalists clogging up the airport, it’s no wonder aid is struggling to get in.

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Just Another Winter’s Tale

January. A month for those of us in the northern hemisphere that is pretty much in the middle of winter. That’s winter, when you would expect to meet wintry weather, you know the sort of thing. Cold, fog, ice, maybe even some snow.

It’s also a month that provides Sky, ITN and BBC News with a great money-generating scheme. The chance to supply overseas TV stations with a years worth of slapstick comedy. Once again, the great nation of Britain has been brought to it’s knees by a little bit of winter weather, in winter, well who’d-a-thunk-it!

Aircraft, which can happily fly at night, when it’s dark, can’t fly in fog. Trains can’t run when it’s cold, even those that run underground in tunnels protected from the elements. As for drivers! I live on a street that winds down a slight incline in an ess shape. It’s not overly onerous to get out of, even with 6 inches of snow, but it is almost impossible at the moment, given the number of abandoned cars. It would appear that 90% of drivers feel that the best way to counter act the fact that their wheels are spinning is by pressing harder on the accelerator pedal. Yes, more gas is always the answer. When it doesn’t work, they reverse, try to start over with more power! Once they fail for the tenth time, it’s get out the car, slam the door shut and stomp home in a huff.

All across England, news reporters are falling over themselves to describe the apocalyptic conditions. Telling us of “blankets of snow”. Err, GRASS IS STILL CLEARLY VISIBLE!!!. People have been spending the night in department stores because they couldn’t get home!

Meanwhile, in parts of the world where a couple of inches of snow is a summers day, they tune to Sky News and lap up the comedy as we slip, slide, skid and complain about the place grinding to a halt.

“The Day After Tomorrow” this isn’t, and yet it’s only a matter of time before there’s a charity appeal for blankets for the south of England.

It may be closer than you think though. The BBC are currently running a special program dealing with the snow outbreak as I type.

———————

I think we already have a winner for best sport headline of 2010.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/athletics/8441196.stm

Speaks for itself really!

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The NFL’s regular season ground to a halt on Sunday night, with the final playoff positions being sorted out and, in a surprising development, the Jets have snuck in there. Much to the chagrin of commentators and pundits alike in the States, who seem to think that by resting star players last week, the Colts handed it all to the Jets on a plate. This does kind of over look the previous 15 weeks of play where teams had a chance to arrange themselves a playoff berth.

America is a strange nation when it comes to sports. It’s a country built on capitalist ideals of free market economies and deserving everything you earn through hard work. Where the poorest members of society are expected to haul themselves up with no help, support or healthcare. Where the most exalted members of society tend to have inherited their money rather than earned it. Fair play is to be expected of others, but you should use any means necessary to gain an edge. And yet, the sports leagues exist in a bubble of communism. The worst teams get first pick of the best young players in an effort to allow them to become better. Revenues are centrally pooled and shared equally throughout the league. Can you see Manchester United allowing Liverpool to benefit from their shirt sales? Salaries are capped so that the teams with the richest owners can’t just hoover up the best players. That won’t fly in the UK. Apart from anything else, European Employment law wouldn’t allow it.

For a couple of weeks now, people have been up in arms because the Colts decided that having a couple of players fit for the playoffs outweighed a couple of extra wins, and this allowed the Jets a slightly easier passage. Bollocks. It shows a lack of depth in the squad if the so-called back up players are so poor that the team stops performing when they come in to the game. Perhaps if the administrators of the teams managed their finances better they’d have more able reserves. Perhaps if the teams who were relying on one or two teams beating other teams had actually taken care of their own business in preceding weeks and won games the situation wouldn’t have arisen.

Sport is big business. There are large amounts of money to be had by the winners. While that remains the case, teams are not going to “look out for the good of the league”, they are going to look out for the good of themselves.

Another argument that has been linked in to the discussion is the possibility of moving to a 17 or 18 game season. This, the nay-sayers argue would see yet more meaningless end of season games and increase the risk of player injuries. Well, boo-hoo. Again, teams that are managed properly will be able to field a decent level of back up player. It’s called building a squad. Besides which, if a team does well enough through the season to be in a position where it has things wrapped up with a couple of weeks to spare, they’ve earned the right. The rest of them need to look at themselves and improve.

The records themselves are fairly moot anyway. There are 32 teams in the NFL, split into two conferences of 16, which are in turn split into four divisions of four. Each team play the other teams in its division home and away. They then play one of the other divisions from their conference and one division from the other conference, on a rotating basis. The last two games are defined by finishing position the previous season. In effect, teams may only have a handful of opponents in common over the season, yet they are compared as if they’ve played the same schedule.

It’s impractical to play a season where everyone plays everyone else, the shear physical toll on the players would be too great, however, this pretence that everyone is equal and should be treated as such is downright un-American!

The big pre-season talking point as I recall, was the height of the new scoreboard at the new Dallas stadium. How it was going to be peppered by punters and make a mockery of the game. Well, after 8 regular season games, it seems to have been hit less than once. At least, it’s gone unreported and there would surely have been an avalanche of “I told you so” valedictory pieces from the various talking heads predicting football Armageddon.

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F***ing In Rhythm and Sorrow

Swearing.  Apparently it’s neither big, nor clever.  What it is, it seems, is a damn good excuse for a whining session designed to bemoan the end decline in “British standards”, the end of empire and general signal that Messrs. War, Famine, Pestilence and Death are abroad.

Stepping up to the plate in defence of all that is sacred to heart of Mr Churchill, Henry V and Sir Francis Drake is invariably the Daily Fail and their blood vendetta against the foul hand of leftie pinko communism that is The BBC.

It was the Mail who led the charge of the indignant during Sachsgate last year.  Whipping a storm of indifference into a feeding frenzy weeks after the fact.  They followed this up by manufacturing outrage at the Question Time appearance of Thicky Griffin and the supposedly controversial memo.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mediamonkeyblog/2009/oct/26/question-time-daily-mail-nick-griffin.  They have however outdone themselves this time.

Sunday afternoon, BBC1.  The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has just been completed.  The cameras follow the top three finishers into the small ante-room they use to towel off, pull on a sponsors cap and relax before heading out to the podium for the presentations.  During this segment, snippets of a conversation between two of the drivers can be heard.  It’s quite interesting; in that normally we get the well rehearsed “on message” speak of sports stars.  This was more akin to a couple of mates chewing the fat, talking about what had been a very tight bit of racing between the two over the last couple of laps.  During this, one of the protagonists dropped the F-word.

Now, everyone knows swear words, everyone has used swear words.  We all try to prevent our kids from using them, but we know it’s futile.  We also know that on occasion they can be blurted out without thinking.

Cue the Daily Fail taking up the cudgels once more and swinging them in the general direction of the BBC.  It’s an action almost as preposterous as the Daily Express and their “Diana Monday” front pages.

By the time I’d realized he’d said it, three or four further sentences had been said.  I’d guess that large numbers of people watching didn’t register the “fuck”.

Whilst the pictures were shown on the BBC, it wasn’t a BBC camera crew and it wasn’t a BBC production team responsible.  Formula One have their own in house TV production who generate all the images etc used in coverage of the races.  The only bits the BBC control are those where the BBC presenting team is on camera.

Jenson Button is the person who swore.  This wasn’t the Sex Pistols and Mr. Grundy.  It was one word, not a string of them, and not all that audible really.

The Daily Mail.  What a bunch of fucking tossers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1224611/BBCs-Jenson-Button-blunder-turns-F1-champ-F-word-chump.html?ITO=1490

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As has been written in the past, I’m a member of a cricket club.  Not a particularly big time cricket club.  Our first team plays in the third tier of Scottish Cricket.  Our second and third teams play in the Eastern District Leagues, in the second and seventh divisions respectively.

Like all clubs of our stature we have expenditures to meet.  We rely on subscriptions and sponsorships to meet some of those costs.  We also rely on fundraising.  Unlike many of our contempories we don’t own the pavilion facilities and therefore we don’t get any income from bar takings, a potentially large source of funds for any club.  To this end, our own fundraising efforts are key to the survival of the club.

Sadly fundraising events require a membership that gets off its collective arse and either volunteer to help out or gets involved.  That’s where we fall down.

This weekend Parent Association for the school my kids attend have organized to do a sponsored circuit of the Aerial Assault course here:

http://www.eica-ratho.com/content/aerial-assault/1155/

They originally booked a two-hour slot.  This would be enough for 40 people to get round.  Currently the school has around 20 people down to do it.  Seeing an opportunity, and knowing the organizer, I arranged to take 10 of the spaces for the club.

Despite a couple of appeals for emails round the club, a players meeting (admittedly cancelled on the day – no-one told me) and an email sent personally by me, we have a grand total of 3 people willing to do this.

Presumably, when the club goes to the wall, the ones who couldn’t be arsed to get involved will be the ones moaning loudest and longest about the demise of ‘their’ club.

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So, the big story of the weekend? Afghanistan?  Iraq?  Elections in the USA?  Nope.

Stephen Fry having a hissy fit?  You got it.

It seems Mr Fry, not normally known for diva like antics took exception to someone on Twitter describing his musings as “boring”.  Well, boo-hoo.  Cue ‘hurt’ responses claiming he was leaving Twitter, followed by a frenzy of followers giving him “hugs” and “cuddles” to get him to stay.  Couldn’t he have just ignored the fella?  Blocked him?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Mr. Fry, for a man so much more talented, witty and intelligent than a mere mortal, he’s very down to earth and seemingly genuine.  He’s pretty much a national treasure, and not really given to outbreaks of “lost in showbiz”.  He’s also I would say for many people, the “acceptable face” of gay.

He doesn’t wear his sexuality as some sort of badge of honour.  He’s not in your face about it at all, none of that, “look at me, I’m gay, isn’t it faaaabuuulous!”  Compare him to the likes of Dale Winton, Graham Norton, George Michael, Julian Clary or Ainsley Harriot.  Each of them is camper than a Winnebago convention.  They all appear to be competing to be the most flamboyant, conforming to the worst kind of stereotype.

This “story” seemed to be a big issue with weekend news bulletins, achieving a prominence wholly at odds with its importance.  Celebrity has argument with pleb, sulks!  It was the third top story on the BBC News website at one point.  Of course there was the follow up story the next day.  Celebrity grows up, remains on Twitter, world saved!

Who says the UK media has become a celebrity-obsessed trash-fest?  Use of the word celebrity is to massively over-rate many of the people being photographed or written about.  Never mind A-List and all that.  For these reality show rejects grimly whapping out their breasts for the paparazzi a whole new alphabet is required, although given the surgical enhancements they all seem to get maybe DD list is the answer.

I fear for the future of this country given the numbers of Sun reading, X-Factor auditioning, WAG wannabe, make me a footballer youth out there.  The entitled generation is upon us.  God help us all.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/nov/02/stephenfry-digital-media

 

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Suicide Is Painless….

….unless you’re caught in the fallout.

So yesterday I left work early.  Not terribly exciting or out of the ordinary, but I did.  Did I get home early?  No, no I did not.  Did I get home, buoyed by the happy satisfaction attained by leaving work early?  No, I arrived home seething.  If the cat lived downstairs I’d have kicked him.  It’s a good job the dogs have him living, Anne Frank style, upstairs.  (As far as I know, he’s not keeping a diary).

Dropped onto the M90, which was no busier than normal, until I’d just gotten past the last chance to exit the thing before the Forth Road Bridge, where the queue started.  Soon the crawl became a stop.  Turns out some attention seeking miserabilist had driven onto the bridge, stopped his car at the mid point, gotten out, climbed over three barriers and was now standing on the outside of the bridge, holding onto the rail and making the wholly empty threat of jumping.

Two hours the bridge was closed for, TWO HOURS!!!  All so four police offers could coo at this whiner in an attempt to get him to come back over.  It’s time we stopped kid gloving these time wasters.  If he were really determined on jumping, he’d have done it as soon as he got to his launch pad.  But, no, he just wanted a cuddle.  Mummy didn’t give him enough teat or something.  I hope everyone who was forced to go 40 miles out of their way in a diversion sues him to recoup the extra fuel he cost them.

In future the police should just offer a push.  Or get a marksman out to pick these wasters off sniper style.  Instead of mollycoddling, give them an ultimatum.  “You’ve got 10 minutes, either piss or get off the pot.  If you don’t we’re getting you off your perch one-way or the other.”  If they need someone to do the pushing, I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of volunteers in the traffic queue.

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Just how bad is children’s TV these days?  Just how low can it go?  If recent experience is any guide, the possibilities would appear infinite.

Due to the recent half term break, I’ve had the chance to “enjoy” rather more kid’s TV than I’d like.  There appears to be a cornucopia of choice out there in the area of the digibox between the Haji channels and the munters bouncing on a mattress with a mobile in their hands.  Closer inspection reveals a far more hideous truth.  It’s all the same!!!  Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Jetix et al all appear to show the same programs in some sort of incestuous love in.  Worse, they are obviously sending out some sort of signal that prevents children from remembering what they’ve seen as they’ll watch it again a few hours later oblivious to the fact they’ve seen it all before.

The modern cartoons seem to all be incredibly badly drawn (Ed, Edd & Eddy springs to mind) and thoroughly mindless with all the subtlety of a Trident missile.  The “live action” shows seem to be populated by a procession of identikit “stars”, all of them horribly, smugly precocious or actually 15 years older than their characters but unable to get any other job.  If these shows weren’t American they’d be slated for being so horribly middle class and aspirational.  Designed purely to sell merchandise, they are soulless and despite laugh tracks to the contrary, thoroughly unfunny, I defy anyone to crack even a scintilla of a smile at any point in the entire run of “The Suite Life of Zak and Cody” or it’s even more painful sequel, “Suite Life on Deck”.  Quite how you can take a character designed to send up Paris Hilton and end up with something that makes the real life caricature infinitely more rounded and interesting is almost a work of genius.

The BBC offerings aren’t much better, caught as they are between the ‘lashings of ginger beer’ of Enid Blyton and a cloying need to educate.  Where’s Rentaghost?  The Pink Windmill?  Chorlton and the Wheelies??  Murphy’s Mob?   OK, two of those shows are not like the others, but the point stands.  There is nothing out there at the moment that will be reminisced quite as much as the shows from the 70’s and early 80’s.  No icons of childrens entertainment are being created at the moment, no seminal moments in shows that will be remembered forever.  Every child of the 80’s could tell you who Joey Deacon was.

Maybe I’m just an old fart these days, but surely John Noakes slipping in elephant piss is a better role model than Miley bloody Cyrus.  Once again quantity has replaced quality.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to my bunker with Ms Popov.

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It’s the finaaaal Countdown….

…or it just might be soon.

One of the delights of a “staycation” is watching Countdown, (rock and roll) although if the cunning plan of Channel 4 is to succeed, it might not be for much longer.  Having seen the clothes they are pouring the new Vorderperson into I fear large sections of their audience may be shuffling off this mortal coil at an increased rate.  Those “greyhound” dresses, you know, the just about reach the hair, are fantastically short and tight, but given the blood pressure of the average OAP, they must be playing havoc with grandma and grandad’s circulation.  (Insert cheap stroke gag here.)

No wonder Stelling is smiling, and it’s not because he’s away from the unbelievable Chris Kamara for a few days.  If she drops a letter, she may end up winking at him as she picks it up.  Actually, that’s the one thing she has in common with the audience.  It seems necessary to wear sensible, big-ass, granny pants.  They need something substantial to hang the microphone battery pack on.

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I saw “The Quick and The Dead” last night.  Long story, but it was the only western available I hadn’t seen.   It’s OK I guess, the story is familiar to anyone who has seen a western.  The twist being, the “hero” is a *gasp* woman.  Anyway, about midway through came the obligatory “Sharon Stone gets her tits out” scene as she cosied up to Russell Crowe.  Got me wondering, has anyone else ever had their career so completely upstaged by their own va-jay-jay?  The only other person I could think of who has seen their career so completely killed off in this way is Michael Douglas.  Yep, the Stone bush casts a large shadow.

In 20 years time, when Ms Stone stars in the remake of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, I have this horrific image of her uttering the immortal line, “I’m ready for my close up Mr De Mille”, only for us viewers  to be treated to a loving soft focus tracking shot starting from her head, then moving down, taking about 15 seconds to travel the length of her spaniels ears, until finally reaching her waist, where her distented nipples will finally be seen, pointing floorwards. *shudders*

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So, “Nasty” Nick Griffin, the man who would be Austrian is going to be on BBC Question Time tonight.  Seems it’s an issue that has divided the country.  Whilst his fascist outlook is unwelcome, I do believe it’s time these guys were given the chance to be seen and heard for what they are.  Unfortunately, Question Time isn’t the right platform in my mind.  It tends to deal with the issues of the day, in a semi scripted manner with pre-chosen questions.  So, tonight it will likely cover The Postal Strike, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.  I doubt they’ll let Joe Public ask anything that’s likely to prove overly controversial, and whilst Griffin is undoubtedly an idiot, even he isn’t going to be so foolish as to start ranting about “Jews, Paki’s, blacks and the wholesale destruction of all that is pure and white and British.”

What’s really needed is a debate style program where every party in the UK political scene gets to appear and give the public a proper insight into their policies etc, show how each differs in regards to particular issues.  This would be far more effective in enabling the true colours of each party to show through.  The big danger tonight is that Griffin comes across as reasonable…..

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This Is What It Feels Like (When Gloves Dry)

Apologies, it’s not a good pun, it’s not even a bad pun.  It’s so far from being a bad pun, it’s not even a pun…. but well, it doesn’t matter.  Not to me anyway.

This must be what it feels like to lose a cup final, or maybe a play off final.  To be so close, and yet still so far away from the goal you set out to achieve.

We set out with high hopes for the final league game of the season.  A battle of second placed Edinburgh and third placed RHC in what was essentially a winner take all, play off to take second place, and with it, promotion to ESCA Division 6.  Coming into the game Edinburgh had lost only once in 13 matches.  Their points tally having been affected by a couple of deductions for late match returns and ineligible players.  We had three defeats in 13.  Two when we’d been short of 2 or 3 bodies for games, and one when half our team had to go play for the 2s at an hours notice, forcing us to default to the bottom club (more on that little incident later).

In truth, we were rarely in the game, but it started reasonably well.  I was bowling a fairly tight line, as was Hoffy junior.  There was the odd monster slog for 6, but some good catching saw us holding them to 44 for 3 off the first 12.  The fourth wicket was to prove the key partnership.  I had my very own “and Smith must score” moment, and this was to prove crucial (at least to my mind).  Going for a pull shot the batsman got a top edge, sending the ball high, but straight to me in the mid wicket area.  I didn’t have to move much to be under it, the unfortunate thing being the sun.  It sounds like an excuse, and it’s not an excuse I’m making, but the guy couldn’t have bulls-eyed the sun any better if he’d tried to.  The ball reached its highest point bang in the middle of the sun; I may as well have had my eyes shut.  All I could do was get my hands up and hope the ball lodged, it hit the end of my fingers and dropped to the deck.  He went on to make 60, the partnership added 100 and despite Fraggle’s late flurry of wickets Edinburgh finished up all out for 195.  My return of 3 for 12 from 7.3 overs was pleasing.  My best spell of bowling since the opening game.

For us, the equation was simple.  196 runs required for promotion.  Just 4.36 runs per over, Skippy and Hoffy Senior at the crease and a good start required.  A good start is just what Edinburgh got as Hoffy Senior slapped a square cut, flat toward point, who took a blinding, one handed, full length diving catch.  Skippy and Frase battled to right the ship, but already the required rate was climbing.  Skippy was unlucky to be out as he blocked a ball only to see it spin back and just do enough to dislodge the ball, Frase went shortly after as the only shooter of the day went under his bat to bowl him.  When Hoffy Junior played all round a straight one (again!) the writing was on the wall.  JK and Jones did their best but the rate was creeping above 8 an over and they couldn’t find the boundaries.  In the end we crumbled to 126 all out as the tail tried in vain to go for the runs.  We probably could have batted our way to 150 for 7, but that would have done us no good, better to perish having a go.  Congrats to Edinburgh, who played well, paced their innings with the bat and bowled and fielded well enough to build early pressure.  Our top order failing to do anything helped them out, but maybe if that catch had been held, who knows.  So, it’s Division 7 again next season.  It holds no fears for us now; we can play with the best of them.  The only question is, will I be playing, or is this finally it?

Just to put an exclamation point on the day, the 1s managed to lose by an even bigger margin in their own 2nd vs. 3rd league match.  This meant they were leapfrogged by Dumfries and it is they who will contest the promotion play off for SNCL Division One/Two and not us.  There is at least the 20/20 finals day to look forward to.  For the rest of us, it’s winter nets in January.

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All of this returns me to the subject of the scratched game.  Mid season, things are going reasonably well at all levels of the club.  I’m just preparing to leave the house when the skipper phones up and announces a change of plan.  Seems the 2s skipper has thrown, not just his toys, but also his blanket and mattress from the pram.  There are now only 5 bodies available for the 2s team.  League rules state a minimum of 7 are required, and we can’t have the team scratch and still fulfill a lower team fixture.  So, half of the 3s team are moved up to the 2s and the 3s game is scratched.  This goes down as a loss on the 3s record, with no points given.  The saddest part of it is, the opposition for the 3s were the bottom club in the division, and an all but guaranteed win.  We’d played them when we had 8 players earlier in the season, winning by the thick end of 200 runs.

Fast forward to the end of the season.  We finish third, outside the promotion places.  Take that scratched game out of the record and we’d have missed promotion by a whisker.  Reverse the result, giving us the win we would have expected to take, and promotion was ours.  To add insult to injury, the offending 2s captain returned to play for the 3s.  Over the last few games of the season, he achieved the square of fuck all, failing to trouble the scorers in either of the last two games.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda… bloody sport!

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As I sit in this over heating office in the depths of Fife.  Not that Fife is in any way deep; the people of Fife are much like the townsfolk of Rock Ridge in ‘Blazing Saddles’.  They all share a surname, and they are “the common clay of old Scotland, you know.  Morons.”

So anyway, I sit, in an overheated, airless and stifling office, consoled by the fact that I can actually see out of windows on two sides of me.  Ten yards distant, but nevertheless, I have a lovely view of an empty office building on side and some windswept trees on the other.  Sadly in this time of waiting, the walking gunt sat nearest to the window on my right thinks I’m giving her the eye.  Either that or she’s hungry again.  If you want proof of the obesity epidemic just come visit DBS.

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For those needing further clarification on a “Smith must score moment”, fast forward to around he 6:30 mark.  Sadly it’s the voice of Motty.  I couldn’t find the immortal, though sadly dead, Brian Moore giving it the full”…and Smith must score…”

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I’m Learning to Fly…

..but I ain’t got wings.

Lunchtime, and I’m reading through the news on the BBC.  I stumble across this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8160923.stm.  Amongst the usual bluster and scoffing, this paragraph caught my eye:

“Ryanair also confirmed it had been in talks with European safety regulators about proposals to allow passengers to stand on its flights.”

So, the airline that wants to charge its customers for going to the toilet now plans to introduce standing!!  I’m intrigued as to how this will work.  I once traveled 50 odd miles standing in the aisle of a bus as there was a shortage of seats.  It wasn’t pleasant.  I’ve stood on the Tube, I’ve stood on packed city center busses.  Everytime the driver, each one a frustrated Lewis Hamilton, stands on the brakes, or accelerator you are pitched forward/back with a fair amount of violence.  Strikes me that standing in the aisles of a plane during takeoff and landing is a great way to get dead!

It can’t be that people will be required to sit for these parts of the flight then can stand the rest of the way as this is basically allowable now.  They wouldn’t be able to cram more people on and charge a premium for a seat if that was the case either, and let’s face it, Michael O’Leary exists to make money, so this has to be about profit in some way shape or form.  Are they planning on installing some sort of padded ‘pen’ for people to stand in?  How else would they be able to get the trolley down the aisle to sell the cattle those £5 sandwiches?

If this comes in, how long will it be before wingwalking becomes a legitimate technique of travel?  Or planes become like the Indian train below!

Ryanairs dream

Ryanair's dream

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Is anything more depressing than a Saturday when the cricket is cancelled?  There I was, just getting my kit bag packed when the text came through to say we were rained off.  Yes, I could do other rewarding things with the family, but as it’s hosing down cats and dogs outside that becomes an expensive proposition.  Besides which Mrs C has other ideas and the “Emergency Honey Do” list is brought out.  Domestic tidying and a pile of ironing, woo-hoo!  My favourite.  Thank the gods for TMS.  Somehow ironing becomes a joyous task when Blowers is allowed to regale you with tales of pigeons and seagulls and cranes and just occasionally the cricket.

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