Friday, June 27, 2008

Apropos of nothing

Just browsing and found this. Schizo Fun Addict's 'Dream of a Portugal keeper'. (Perhaps they mean this one; I don't know)



Groovy

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cured

There is a new cure for stress related illnesses. It's called Allen Stanford's millions. One testimony from 'MT' of Taunton said "I was so ill, I could barely bring myself to leave the county, let alone travel overseas. But after one application of Stanford's millions, I feel fine and ready for a trip to the Carribbean".
Marvellous stuff is Stanford's millions.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Double header

Some time ago, there was a radio discussion about film double headers, i.e. going to the flicks and watching two films with either a topical or amusing link. I've found the two films I wish to see in such a manner. Now it's a case of finding the appropriate venue.
In this order, I reckon Taxi To The Dark Side followed by Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay would make for a good afternoon.

The game

It's been a funny old week.
First, we had the bizarre situation of the Conservatives making civil liberties arguments against a Labour government. This left many of us in a terrible tizz. How could it possibly have come to the point where, on a matter of principle - that of not banging people up without having the decency to tell them why for up to six weeks - it was the Tories that were speaking up on behalf of people, like me, who find the whole thing completely abhorrent.
That was then followed by David Davis's extraordinary manoeuvre of resigning his seat, forcing a bye-election over East Yorkshire way. Fortunately, the universe was restored in the wake of his resignation with a Tory talking head saying how 42 days wasn't the answer to the problem, but the Human Rights Act, which the Tories have pledged to abolish on getting into power. Muppets. Anyway, order restored and I could once again sleep soundly, safe in the knowledge that the Conservatives are still hateful idiots.
Neither the governement nor the major opposition parties - or UKIP - are fielding candidates against Davis. As far as the government are concerned, this was the only move possible, leaving Davis bellowing into the wind and denying him the opportunity for debate that he craves. Instead, Kelvin Mackenzie, former Sun head twat, who supports 420 day detention without charge according to a Radio 4 interview yesterday, is picking up the cudgels. I'd be half tempted to have a go myself if no other bugger is going to represent my views, if I had the money for a deposit and the inclination to spend time on the outskirts of Hull campaigning.

And then to Ireland, where the EU Lisbon reform treaty was rejected in a referendum following a lamentable yes campaign versus a thick fug of conflicting opinion and misinformation on the no side. Apparently, people were urged to vote no lest accepting the treaty meant that Ireland would be forced to legalise abortion, gay marriage and conscription to an EU army, not one proposal of which is in the treaty. That makes it virtually impossible to take it back to the electorate. If the Irish government want to go again, it has to be a different proposal on the ballot. This means that the treaty would have to be amended to scrub out the provisions that aren't there, which clearly can't happen. What a mess.
And further highlights why I wouldn't want any referendum on European issues in this country. For a start, we have a parliamentary democracy. We appoint people to make decisions on our behalf according to the ticket they stand on at election time. Second, the campaign would consist of the same two lobbies as we saw across the Irish Sea. On the one hand, you'd have the foaming mouthed right blustering "Europe? No! Never! They want to force us to rename Jerusalem artichokes as 'two-state solution artichokes'." On the other, like in Ireland, you'd have the yes lobby telling us "Look, it's complicated and explaining it to you would take ages. Just trust us. We know best". Which won't work either, no matter if it is actually true. Even before Iraq, trust in politicians was in short supply from the proles. Less so now. What a mess.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Alpine extravaganza

The European Championships kick off today and, it may have escaped your attention, England aren't in 'em. The last time England failed to reach a major championships was back in 1994 when they arsed up qualifying for the World Cup in America. And it was brilliant. That was in part due to Ireland being in it and me being, for the major part of the tournament, in Ireland.
And John Aldridge swore a lot in front of millions of viewers:



No such Irish representation this time, nor Scotland, Wales or Norn Iron. Instead, we have 16 decent teams involved and it promises to be the usual feast of football without the ridiculous hype attached to England's failure to win on penalties in the quarter-finals. But football has changed since 1994 - or rather the change evident then has progressed exponentially. Players will be referred to as "Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas" or "new Spurs signing Luka Modric" or "ex-Everton winger Niclas Alexandersson" and that's really, really tedious. With no England there, it ought to be something for the football purist to enjoy, but continuous attempts to hook in the short of attention will spoil it. Similarly, the BBC's campaign to drum up a bit of interest from the passing punter by suggesting that one requires a team to support in order to get anything from it. Since when? For a start, that's more than slightly patronising. I shall be watching and no doubt enjoying most of it when commentators concentrate on the football and not the clubs the players are being linked with, especially as there's no Ian Wright.
Having said all that, up the Poland.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Best goal ever

Apropos of a conversation the other day, just what is the best goal ever? Maradona's weaving run against England in 1986? Esteban Cambiasso on the end of a 26-pass Argentine move against Serbia in 2002? Ryan Giggs bursting Arsenal apart down the left in that cup semi-final replay? Nayim from the half-way line? Give up. You can keep all your long shots, lobs, chips, overheads, volleys and diving headers. Dennis Bergkamp. Three touches, all with the right foot. 1) Control. 2) Send the defender - Bobby Ayala, lest we forget - out for a paper. 3) Finish.

Beer of the week

Been a while since I did one of these, but then I've not been on the unusual brews quite so much lately. And then Sunday. Whilst waiting to be served, and having made my mind up, my eye was distracted. What's that you say? Goldilocks Yorkshire lager? Oh, well go on then.
MISTAKE.
It's sedimenty, so requires careful decanting from bottle to glass. It's lifeless, has an overpowering lemony finish - a bit like lemon Fairy Liquid, I imagine, not that I drink a lot of that - and is more bitter than any bitter I've ever had. Stirring up a bit of sediment takes the edge off a bit and at least allowed me to get it down, but it was not a pleasant experience.
It introduced me to a sensation that I've not had since I first tried Carlsberg - a beer I don't actually like. Hang on, that may not be true, as wheat beers really don't agree with me. Either way, you get my point.
Instead, I turned to the Americas. Having tried Quilmes in vast quantities and Cusqueña less so, it's to the socialist idyll of Cuba that I turned and Cristal. Like the Argentine and Peruvian beers aforementioned, it's a session beer. Crisp, light, clean and very, very drinkable it's an excellent session beer as my usual Quilmes is also, though it comes in a very left wing 350ml bottle, presumably to annoy the capitalist pigs and their fridges only designed for 330ml. Fairly unremarkable, but up against Goldilocks, that's more than enough to make it beer of the week.

G-rumble

What is the point of those rumble strips either side of villages on main roads? I'm sure you know the thing. The only point of the ones on the way in to a village or other demarked potential accident blackspot is to warn blind drivers of the imminent change in speed limit or proximity to crossroads. The ones on the way out...? Perhaps to say "you've just passed somewhere. You're a bit further past it now. Now you're really past it. Bye-ee".