Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
It's strange how one small thing can transport us to a different time or place. Any time I hear If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next by Manic Street Preachers, I am back in my bedroom in Napier University's Craiglockhart halls of residence during my first week of university.
The album from which the single was taken, This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, was released on the Monday before I moved to Edinburgh, and it was on heavy rotation in my small shared room in those first few days away from home.
And so, even now, if I hear any of the tracks from that album, I can remember those exciting times when I went from living at home with Mither, Faither and Baby Brother, essentially being waited on hand and foot, to fending for myself, living on pasta, pizza and anything with cooking instructions on the packaging, drinking every day and spending every waking (and sleeping) hour in a five-floor building with 200 other 18-year-olds.
Now, more than nine years later, those songs still remind me of those first steps into life beyond the family home, Brechin and schooldays. I wonder what songs will remind me of being 27 when I reach 35?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Especially when the match ends in a 9-2 defeat.
Even if I did score an opportunistic goal with a sweetly-taken shot using the outside of my boot.
This is Aberdeen - it's supposed to be dry over here.
I am now recovering with pear cider and chocolate.
That is all.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? That mirror is fogged up.
2. How much cash do you have on you? The princely sum of 28p.
3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR? Floor.
4. Favorite planet? I've never visited any others, so I'm going to have to say Earth. Otherwise, I'd have gone for Tatooine.
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? There isn't one. I always delete my list of calls so that I don't inadvertently call someone just by bending over to tie my shoelace.
6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? My standard ringtone is an MP3 of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, but my favourite is probably Empire by Kasabian. I've got different ringtones set up for different people.
7. What shirt are you wearing? A dark blue cotton one from Florence and Fred at Tesco. Cheap and functional for work.
8. Do you label yourself? Probably subconciously. I tend to think of myself as friendly, funny, intelligent and lazy.
9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing? Black leather Hush Puppies. They're looking a bit scratched and worn, but they're really comfy.
10. Bright or Dark Room? I like watching TV and DVDs in the dark, otherwide I prefer having the lights on. Not too bright though.
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? I've never met him, but his blog is hilarious and occasionally seems to be like a trawl through the kind of crap that floats around my head.
12. What does your watch look like? Silver, chunky, with a round face. A gift from Mrs Wife for my 26th birthday.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping. I finished watching Alien v Predator at around 11.30pm, made my lunch for today, then went to bed.
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? It was a message about going to a friend's wedding in Las Vegas next year. Not sure of the exact wording though.
15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Probably somewhere in the USA. Thousands of miles away. But if the question means nearest convenience store, there's a Spar about five minutes' walk that sells a good selection of wrestling magazines, blue fizzy juice and junk food.
16. What's a word that you say a lot? I say "fuck" far too often. It's one of my worst, and least endearing, habits
17. Who told you he/she loved you last? Mrs Wife last night on the phone.
18. Last furry thing you touched? Mrs Wife's pet rabbit Pepper. She sniffed at my fingers this morning as I was putting fresh hay into her cage.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? Do pear cider and chocolate count? If not, none.
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? None. Mrs Wife is in charge of photgraphy duties nowadays, and we're purely digital.
21. Favorite age you have been so far? I think 18 was pretty good, but all years since then have been good. But for sheer enjoyment, the years up until my seventh birthday were probably best,
22. Your worst enemy? Laziness.
23. What is your current desktop picture? At work, it's a photograph of The Beatles taken during the I Am The Walrus video from Magical Mystery Tour. At home, it's a photograph of scenery from Southeast Asia that came as one of the Windows Vista options.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "There you go" as I gave him a card to sign.
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? As much as I'd like to be able to fly, I think I'd go for the money. It would make life a lot easier. Although that's only 500,000 pounds. But it would make life more relaxing and enjoyable. And if I could fly, I'd probably just find that I was cold, lost and alone.
26. Do you like someone? I like lots of people.
27. The last song you listened to? The last track on the latest Foo Fighters album on my car CD player driving into work.
28. What time of day were you born? About 4am I think. I'm not sure, my memory is hazy....
29. What’s your favorite number? 7, 8, 10 and 11. Because of what they represent on a football pitch.
30. Where did you live in 1987? At the start of the year I lived in the hamlet of Kinnaber, outside Montrose, but in April that year we moved to another hamlet, Forsinard, which is south of Thurso and probably one of the most remote places in mainland Britain.
31. Are you jealous of anyone? Occasionally, but then I remember how happy I am where I am, doing what I do and being with the people I'm with.
32. Is anyone jealous of you? I have no idea. No-one has ever told me that they are.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Barcelona. Mrs Wife (then known as Miss Girlfriend) and I were backpacking around Europe. It didn't really register until late in the day that something huge had happened.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Repeatedly press the coin return button, hit the machine, attempt to tilt it. Then try buying the same product again to see if I get two falling out.
35. Do you consider yourself kind? On a day-to-day basis, yes. I'm sarcastic and enjoy stirring people up, but I wouldn't intentionally go overboard.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Probably between my shoulder blades. But I won't get one.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? French or Spanish would probably be most useful based on where I live.
38. Would you move for the person you loved? Yes. I have done.
39. Are you touchy feely? No.
40. What’s your life motto? "Enjoy yourself".
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? Well, there's no item of clothing or jewellery that I ALWAYS have on. So I'll say hair, hands and feet.
42. What’s your favorite town/city? New York. Despite having spent only five days there in the past 27.5 years.
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? A Twix from the company tuck shop.
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? I have no idea. Years ago. Probably a thank you letter for a wedding gift in 2006.
45. Can you change the oil on a car? No. I can top it up. But my dad's a mechanic.....
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? I don't know. Haven't heard anything for a long time. Not especially bothered.
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? Practically nothing. In fact, I don't even know much about my own grandparents, in the grand scheme of things. Although my paternal Granny claims to be related to Robert Burns.
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? I donned the kilt ensemble for a friend's wedding party in Dublin during the summer.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Strangely, no. Although I bet if I poke my left big toe, twist my left ankle inwards or stick my finger up my nose, I can soon change that.
50. Have you been burned by love? Definitely. But that which does not kill us only makes us stronger. Or shit happens.
Monday, November 26, 2007
When Mrs Wife and I made the decision almost a year ago to move east, we did so knowing full well that the weather would be drier, but most certainly colder. But I'd forgotten just how bitterly cold it can be over on this side of the country.
The heating in my office didn't seem to be working too effectively this morning, and hopefully this won't be an indication of things to come, as the days will certainly get colder as we reach mid winter.
And this evening, I am left to my own devices, rabbit-sitting duties aside, as Mrs Wife is in Edinburgh for training. Last night, faced with the prospect of a free evening, I decided to watch the The Shawshank Redemption for the first time.
I don't know how I'd managed not to see the movie before, but I'd heard a lot about it - with several friends placing it amongst the greatest movies ever.
And my verdict - yeah, it's good, but I don't think it's quite deserving of the legendary status bestowed on it by some people.
Certainly not a patch on Star Wars.....
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Usage: Often capitalized
Etymology: German, from Schaden (damage) and Freude (joy)
Definition: Enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.
Pronunciation: Gree-tee pusssss
Etymology: Scottish, from greet (cry) and pus (face)
Date: Late 20th century
Definition: A face that looks as though the wearer is struggling to hold back tears.
Never in my life have I been so determined to see a football team from a country I've never visited record a victory as was the case last night.
Due to my participation in a football match with my own team, I missed the first 15 minutes of England's humbling at Croatian hands (or feet) last night, turning on the television just as John Motson picked over the bones of the visiting side's second goal.
I watched in barely-controlled glee as half-time arrived with Croatia's lead in tact, and laughed out loud repeatedly during the half-time analysis, where you would have been hard pushed to find four better greety puses than those worn by Messrs Lineker, Hansen (traitor), Shearer and (especially) Wright. Wright's defence of his stepson Shaun Wright-Phillips' performance would have been heartbreaking, had it not been so amusing.
During this analysis, Hansen said words to the effect of "We've all [ie the pundits] played in massive games when things have gone wrong."
Well, Wright certainly has - he was a member of the last England squad to fail in its bid to reach a major championships, scoring four as England recovered from conceding a goal inside nine seconds to beat mighty San Marino 7-1 in 1993.
And so the second half got underway with Beckham taking up his customary position
This horror escalated as Beckham delivered a perfect cross to Crouch, whose finish under pressure in slippery conditions was magnificent (it's REALLY easy to talk up England's players when you know the final outcome, isn't it?)
Thankfully, Mladen Petric saved the rest of Europe from the ordeal of seeing England flounder at yet another major championship. And Scotland rejoiced.
Maybe it's small minded to take such pleasure from England's misfortune. I don't care. To misquote Renton from Trainspotting, I truly haven't felt this good about a football match since James McFadden scored against France.
One of the real highlights was the increasing desperation that crept into John Motson's commentary as the final whistle drew closer, culminating in a final, helpless "Pleeeeease" as Beckham delivered a final ineffective corner. And with the match finished and Croatia celebrating an historic win, suddenly Motson and Lawrenson seized on an ingenious escape route - Andorra, who had lost their previous 28 internationals, might just find an equaliser against Russia with three minutes remaining!
As I write this, the inevitable has happened - Steve McLaren has been made the fall guy for the FA's haplessness and his players' hopelessness. Already, names such as O'Neill, Scolari, Allardyce and Capello are being bandied about. At the moment, I don't care. It's just great to know that England's "Golden Generation" is going to achieve exactly the same on the international stage as their gifted forebears Carlton Palmer and Tony Daley - absolutely hee-haw.
The end of England's qualifying dream could also spell the end of a few of the players' international careers. Beckham may struggle to find favour with a new manager. Robinson and Carson will have to work hard to rebuild their reputations. David James is surely yesterday's man. But big decisions on the futures of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard will almost certainly be shirked. Gerrard looked pedestrian last night, whilst Lampard, despite inexplicably being named man of the match last night, has struggled for England in recent years.
As for the proposed return of the Home Nations tournament - will England fancy it now that Scotland are immense and they are so patently weak? In fact, I'd be prepared to put money on both Scotland and Norn Iron having a right good go at England if the tournament was resurrected.
Bring it on.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Good luck my man - you'll need it.
Monday, November 19, 2007
All I will say is that the defeat seems all the more bitter in that it came in the final match of the qualifying campaign, when we still had an outside chance of reaching the European Championships finals.
The campaign has, despite its unhappy ending, been a success - finishing in third place was more than we'd have expected when the group was drawn, and we were still in with a chance of winning it up until around 6:43pm on Saturday. The great strides taken by Scott Brown, Allan Hutton and Kris Boyd in particular have been heartening, and it's now inconceivable that a Scotland squad would be missing any of them.
So, in the aftermath of the match, the positives we can take are that we defeated France at home and away, skelped Ukraine at Hampden and went toe-to-toe with the world champions for 88 minutes, looking like the better side for much of it. And our performances in this campaign are that we exorcised the ghosts of Berti Vogts' reign, whilst also ensuring we won't be drawn in as tough a group again.
As for England - I'm currently on the lookout for a Croatia top going cheap.....
Friday, November 16, 2007
Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, everyone associated with the squad can hold their heads high at their achievements in still being in with a chance of qualifying at the final round of matches. Anyone who predicted that would be the case when the draw was made is, quite simply, a liar.
LET'S GET STUCK INTAE THEM!!
As seen at Big Rab's and about 20 emails over the past week.......
Here's how the scam works: Two seriously good looking 18 or 19 year old girls come over to your car as you are loading your stuff into the boot. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windolene with their cleavage almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. It is impossible not to look.
When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say "No" and instead ask you for a lift to Holburn Street. You agree and they get in the back seat.
On the way, they start having sex with each other. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and perform oral sex on you, while the other one steals your wallet.
I had my wallet stolen on October 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, three times just yesterday, and very likely again this upcoming weekend as soon as I can buy some more wallets.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Well, if the alternative is Dubya playing at wars....
Strangely though, I'm on the borderline between Democrat and Totalitarian, and fairly close to Centrist. When, in truth, I'd be happy if the government just left me alone and charged me less in taxes.
|You are a |
You are best described as a:
Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
But I suppose the site does have its downsides.....
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The concept is certainly innovative - each person who signs up at the website pays £35 to become a member of the club, but not of the club's board. The club will be owned by MyFootballClub, which will essentially be a co-operative. So far, so normal - Barcelona, to name but one side, have more than one million 'members' who can vote to elect a president who is then in charge of running the club for a fixed term.
But MyFootballClub is promising an even more hands-on experience than that - each member will be given a vote on team selections and transfers. And it is here that the plan falls down.
So far, 20,000 members have stumped up the £35 membership fee. Each of these members will therefore be entitled to a vote on tactics. But how is that workable - will there be a poll on the website before each match to determine the formation? Will the members then have to vote on which players will wear each shirt? Frankly, it's unworkable.
The same applies to transfers - will each of the 20,000 members be canvassed to determine their preferred signings? Again, that's unworkable, especially in a sport where player movements are restricted to two transfer windows. Running such a system on transfer deadline day, where a single minute's delay can make or break a deal, would be a complete non-starter.
The aims behind MyFootballClub are to be lauded - to take a club into the hands of the fans, and prove that the combined will of the members can be a positive force in British football.
And, if it were simply a case of each member putting in their cash and attending the matches, it might work. But if every Tom, Dick and Harry then expects to have a say in every single decision at the club, I can only see the whole experiment descend into farce.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Anyway, with the dreaded C word just around the corner (that's Xmas, for those of you who can't get your minds out of the gutter), I've decided that, should my readers wish to reward my random mutterings by way of a festive gift, I know exactly what I want.
A man-made island located one mile off England's southern coast is available at the perfectly reasonable price of USD 8 million, which, given the current value of the dollar, works out at around £1.54. The island, originally built to defend against the French (couldn't we just have said "Boo"?), was a private residence for a time and was later reborn as a luxury hotel, complete with a heated swimming pool, jacuzzis, 21 themed rooms, two helipads and two restaurants. A bore will supply me with fresh water from the sea bed. Generators will take care of my electricity. There is also a rooftop garden that must feature some pretty hardy plants, and a gym to keep me in shape.
What says "I love your work" more than several thousand tonnes of concrete in the English Channel? If each of my daily readers wishes to contribute to the present (and why wouldn't you?), I figure that USD 136,666 from each of the strange sixty will be sufficient to secure the property. And, once I've received the keys, I'll hold a massive blog meet/housewarming party to say thank you.
I await your generous donations.
Friday, November 09, 2007
OPENING CEREMONY: The Commonwealth flame will be ignited by a petrol bomb thrown into the arena by a native of the Easterhouse area of the city, wearing the traditional costume of balaclava and shell suit.
THE EVENTS: Glasgae's previous competitors have not been particularly successful. In order to redress the balance some of the events have been altered slightly to the advantage of the local athletes...
100 METRES SPRINT: Competitors will have to hold a video recorder and a microwave oven (one under each arm) and on the sound of a starting pistol a police dog will be released 10 metres behind the athletes.
110 METRES HURDLES: As above but with added obstacles, ie car bonnets, hedges, gardens, fences, walls etc.
HAMMER: The competitors will be allowed to make a choice of hammer (claw, sledge, etc.). The winner will be the one who can cause the most grievous bodily harm to members of the public within their allotted time.
WEIGHTLIFTING: From a standing position, competitors will have various electronic goods placed in their arms. In order to complete a lift, these must then be taken through the shop door and placed in a mate's van.
FENCING: Entrants will be asked to dispose of as much stolen jewellery as possible within five minutes.
SHOOTING: A series of targets will be set up to establish the competitor's ability over a range of disciplines. The targets to be as follows:- 1 - A moving police van. 2 - A Post Office clerk. 3 - A bank teller or Securicor driver. 4 - Their next door neighbour's youngest child. NB - This target to be followed by the ritual cry of 'I thought he was a Bizzy' or 'He pulled a knife on me'.
BOXING: Entry to be restricted to husband and wife teams. Competition will take place on every Friday and Saturday night of the games.The husband will be given 15 pints of Stella, and the wife will be told not to make him any tea when he gets home. The bout will then commence.
CYCLING TIME TRIALS: Competitors will be asked to break into the Glasgae University bike shed and take an expensive mountain bike, owned by some mummy's boy from the country on his first trip away from home. Against the clock.
CYCLING PURSUIT: As above, however this time the break-in must occur at a police station and must be witnessed by an officer.
TIME TRIAL: The competitor who can waste the most of the court's valuable time before being found guilty will be adjudged the winner.
MODERN PENTATHLON: Amended to include mugging, breaking & entering, flashing, joyriding and arson.
THE MARATHON: A safe route has yet to be decided, but the competitors will be issued with sharp sticks and bags with which to pick up dog shit, crisp packets and used hypodermic syringes on their way round.
MEN'S 50Km WALK:
Q - Why does the Clyde run through Glasgae? A - Because if it walked it would get mugged.
Therefore for safety reasons this event has been cancelled.
RELAY: Each of four competitors to remove an appliance of their choice from a house in Kilbride and get it back to Glasgae using at least four different stolen cars.
ARCHERY: Each competitor will be given three needles, the winner will be the person who gets nearest to three different main veins in their own body.
DISCUS: Will be decided by which contestant can get a hubcap off a car and throw it to his mate the fastest.
In addition the following 'exhibition event' designed at promoting the local culture will be introduced:
PILLOW EATING: The contestant who can get the most pillow in their mouth after their 18 stone cellmate takes a shine to them will be adjudged the winner.
And occasionally, visitors to this site follow my advice and head out into uncharted territory in search of new horizons, having arrived here by chance in the first instance.
Last night, at around 1am Greenwich Mean Time, someone from the USA arrived here after searching on AOL for "Jocks & sex blogs". Whoever this person was, they didn't find what they were looking for, and headed off after just 48 seconds.
Where did they go? Well, if Groanin' Jock isn't going to help you get your rocks off, why not try a Straight White Guy.....
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Sorry, that's a lie - I REGULARLY call for musicians to be shot for crimes against music.
In a world where I was king, Gareth Gates, Westlife and Aqua would all have bitten the dust years back.
But now I'm putting a bounty on the head of Mark Ronson.
If I have to listen to that abomination of a Zutons cover once more, I may be tempted to remove my own frontal lobe with a spoon.
Amy Winehouse's solo version of the same song - fine. She's a bit of a fuck up (like Graham Norton is a bit camp), with the maddest hair I've ever seen outside a 1980s metal band, but she can fairly sing.
But Mark Ronson's faux-Northern Soul horns and beats REALLY annoy me, for reasons I can't entirely fathom.
As for the horrific version of The Smiths' Stop Me that preceded the current single - it's the musical equivalent of slaughtering sacred cows on a temple's doorstep.
My hatred of Ronson was hammered home over the weekend when he appeared on both Soccer AM and that shite cookery programme presented by Tim Lovejoy. He could barely be bothered to show even the slightest interest whilst on either show.
If you don't want to promote your abysmal record, don't subject us to your mumbled nonsense. Hearing the story of how exciting it was to DJ at the Cruise-Holmes wedding twice in as many days was barely bearable. Just finish now Ronson, and spare us the sacrilege of further miserable covers.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
A 17-4 defeat obviously isn't anyone's result of choice. And coming on the back of a 12-2 loss, things aren't looking too bright early on.
But I suppose we need to take into account a number of factors: that as a small publishing company, we have only a squad of around 11 players to choose from, whereas our opponents last night were from a multnational oilfield operator, whose Aberdeen offices alone must contain hundreds of employees. That as a team, we'd never played together prior to our first warm-up match a month ago, and that we've never yet fielded a full-strength team.
So last night's performance, whilst tough to take, was an important step forwards. We scored more goals than in any previous match, with four different players hitting the net.
However, these goals came at a price. My first touch of the match saw me turn my marker, and my second saw me lash a shot at goal. But the marker I'd just turned smashed his foot into mine at high speed. My big toe on my left foot is now a lurid shade of purple and has been in agony since it received that kick. And my knee sports a beauty of a bruise sustained in the final minutes as we desperately chased further goals.
So now, to end this post, a question: is there an easy way to tell if your toe is broken?
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
A heated email argument amongst myself and three colleagues this afternoon on the facts behind the Champions League three foreigners rule eventually sent all of us scuttling off to the internet in search of clarification.
Lest anyone think that I don't know my facts, I was convinced that the rule applied to all players who weren't born in the country in which they played - and that Rangers' historic unbeaten Champions League campaign of 1992-1993 was made all the more remarkable by the fact that the team was denied the use of several "foreigners", including Englishmen Mark Hateley and Trevor Steven, during the competition. And I was right.
Anyway, the dust has settled, the gloating has been gotten over with and I'm now reading the history of the Champions League on Wikipedia. It always amazes me that the strange people of the worldwide interweb take the time to sit down at their keyboards and share knowledge just for the sake of sharing it.
To me, it sounds like some forgotten age (that may never have existed) when learned men and women did research for research's sake, when knowledge was shared because it might help mankind progress, rather than because it possessed some commercial value.
Admittedly, the history of the Champions League is unlikely ever to advance the development of our species, but the information contained on the Wikipedia page is nothing if not exhaustive.
Except that it isn't. Not quite. No mention was made on the page I read of Rangers' incredible run during my first year of high school. Nor was there any firm description of the three foreigners rule.
But hey, nobody's perfect.
Monday, November 05, 2007
And this is me visiting the Itchy and Scratchy studios:
Pointless? Entirely. Fun? Definitely. I encourage everyone to Simpsonize themselves and give Burger King some free advertising on the Blogosphere while they're at it.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Quite often, these sites have been translated into English from their mother tongue, and from the translations, the meaning of the original phrase isn't always immediately apparent.
Looking for information on Russian environmental agency Rostekhnadzor, I found this site. I'd ask you all to look at the sixth line down and hazard a guess at what the Russian creators really meant to say....
Thursday, November 01, 2007
So, what do we learn from the document? That Riise earns 120,000 pounds a month - 30,000 a week in popular tabloid terms. That for August 2006, he earned a 250 pound "points bonus" and a tidy 15,000 pound bonus for playing in the Champions League.
We also find out that an average Premiership earner, well below the top dogs like Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard, pays more than 55,000 pounds in tax in an average month. And that, after all deductions, he walks away with more than 82,000 pounds in an average month.
So what do we learn? Absolutely nothing - we already knew that Premiership footballers had far too much money. Nonetheless, Riise and his advisors have launched an investigation to find out how the pay slip became publicly available.