Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lost In The Supermarket

I think I just heard one of the worst product-ad marketing straplines in the history of that most worthless of occupations. It's for Johnston, Mooney & O'Brien bread and it runs 'Live life, love bread'. Seriously.

You'll Never Walk Alone

I said somewhere that Everton were starting to look tired and that after their first 11 there's not much there. I think that's been proved in spades in the last couple of weeks. That was one hell of a very easy 1-nil derby win. Torres the ledge!

It's worth noting that the Premier League's best referee, Howard Webb, showed a yellow card the first time an Everton player decided to take a lump out of Torres - Carsley in the 7th minute. The rest of them didn't dare try it after that. Or else they couldn't catch him. It was in stark contrast to that fussy coward Steve Bennett in Old Trafford who watched ManYoo's players kick Torres around the place only a week after the whiskey-soaked Fergie demanded protection for Ronaldo and booked Torres, who can hardly speak English, for having the cheek to complain about it. But it was nice to see the football press have their priorities right last week all the same.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that I'm accused of 'anti-Roy Keane bias' for pointing out that spending 48 million quid to barely escape relegation would have any other manager at risk of losing his job, I was delighted to see Fatty Reid score that injury time winner yesterday. Like I said - I'm a big fan.

On Friday night Boring Munster bored their way to victory over the poor mouths of Connacht in front of about 5,300 in Galway. This game got a full front-page report in the Irish Times on Saturday. On Saturday night Cobh Ramblers played Cork City in the first Cork derby in the League in 11-years in front of a 4,000 all ticket sell-out in St Colman's Park. That evening's match didn't even warrant the usual font-zero, bottom corner of page-seven preview League of Ireland games normally warrant. Pathetic.

At least D'Town are now two points clear after only four games played. The totally unknown quantity that is Sporting Fingal are up next.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lost In The Supermarket

What I'm having for dinner...

How To Make Rocket And Smoked Bacon Penne

Overpowered By Funk

Stuff I've bought that I'm loving right now:

Pete & The Pirates - Little Death (I loved the lead singer's Lanzafame last year, released under the moniker Tap Tap).

Vampire Weekend

These New Puritans - Beat Pyramid

Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

Foals - Hummer EP

The Young Knives - Superabundance

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

If Music Could Talk

So back in November I purchased a new iPod because the old one seemed to have died. But what I didn't follow up with was the information that the old one was not dead after all - the USB cable was buggered. So then I had two iPods, although it has to be said my 2007 80GB model seemed a lot better than my 2004 20GB model.

However I noticed with the new iPod that the disc was making a whining noise as the various files were being accessed. At first I thought it was just one of those things but then it became a real pain in the arse. So I logged on to and registered the fault.

Now this, I think, is great service (or else I have low standards). Within two days of me logging the fault a UPS package, with instructions on how to wrap the iPod up for return, was delivered. The next day UPS returned to collect the old iPod when I phoned them, and tomorrow a brand new replacement will be delivered. All at no cost and very little effort to me at all. And the whole thing could be tracked on Apple's website.

So I have two iPods again. And an iPhone. Oh yeah, I just couldn't resist it! My sister was going to New York so I just decided 'fuck it' and got her to get me the iPhone. The new 16GB were sold out so I got an 8GB and bought a software 'jailbreak' programme for $7 on ebay, which had the AT&T lock removed in about five minutes. I'm now happily using my, pretty damn fab, new phone.

That might seem a bit overboard but the dollar is so weak it just seemed criminal NOT to take advantage!...

I'll probably give my 'new' iPod to my girlfriend now or something.

You'll Never Walk Alone

Things were shaping up nicely - the 'pool had gone on a great run of form and, despite the begrudgers, were very impressive defeating one of the Champions League favourites in Inter Milan. Even Dion Fanning in the Sunday Independent wrote a decent article for once. Meanwhile D'Town have made a great start to the season as we, once again, try and get back to Premier Division football. Only three games in and we are already clear at the top.

Then comes Sunday. Sweet Jesus I hate Man Yoo...

Mascherano was a complete clown for what he did, but it all happened because of the furore after Ashley Cole midweek. You can clearly see Mascherano asking the ref, without attacking him, why Torres was getting a booking, considering Torres was getting kicked around by the Man Yoo players. Nonetheless he had been giving the ref grief up til that point so they can have no complaints.

I had the lads in the medal factory working overtime on Easter Sunday following Sundireland's spectacular first away win of the season! The wheels are back on the bandwagon!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Somebody Got Murdered

A plaque commemorating a faction fight on the wall of the local Centra in Ballinhassig, a few miles south of Cork city. Mad, huh? No wonder they all love egg-chasing down south.

Silver And Gold

'If they haven't already, no doubt someone will call it the St Patrick's Day Massacre' - Brendan Keenan, today's Irish Independent.

'Shares plunge in St Patrick's Day massacre' - Front page headline in today's Irish Independent.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Egg-Chasing Time

It's hard to work out which of the Ireland egg-chasing cheerleaders seems to draw the most wishful of outrageous conclusions from the scant evidence before their eyes.

I think it would have to be Jim Glennon, though. After an ultimately straightforward victory over the crappest of the crap European teams that takes this nonsense half-seriously, he managed to write an article headed 'Dark Days Are Almost History'. For real.

That same newspaper's headlines following the subsequent matches?... 'Time to Face Up to Harsh Reality' and 'Error-Ridden Campaign Ends in Dismal Failure'.

I think I'll particularly enjoy listening to Newstalk's Off the Ball, which has no problem at all having a good sneer at the national football team but seems to have been holding whiny post-mortems about the rugger for what seems to be the best part of a year now.

This time last year they held a 'debate' between the afore-mentioned Glennon, the possibly slightly-retarded Roddy Collins and ten-a-penny hack Malachy Clerkin, on why rugger was now (i.e. early 2007), in their opinion, more popular than football. They'd look like some clowns trying it again now.

Egg-Chasing Time


Simply put, it was an occasion to be deeply proud to be British. It was pulsating, emotional, sporting in the very best sense of the word, unspoiled by bad manners or churlish gestures.

It was much more than a game. Twickenham excelled itself in providing a magnificent venue for the accommodation of all traditions within the island of Great Britain. Great credit is due to the RFU for making a day that will go down in the annals of history.

The behaviour of the large crowd of more than 82,000 attending the Ireland-England rugby match at the home of Rugby football was exemplary but, more importantly, it was genuine.

At a time when it is fashionable to be critical of the materialism of British society, the rugby match at Twickenham on Saturday evening showed off Britain at its best. The playing of Ireland's Call, without interruption, was hair-raising and historic and set a special backdrop of expectation for the players before the game began. The national anthem, God Save The Queen followed with what seemed a louder and greater gusto than on other occasions. There were many wet eyes.

The respect shown to the singing of the Irish rugby anthem at Twickenham is a measure of how much Britain has changed for the better.

All in all, it was a very special night to remember in the history, not just of sport, but of a modern Britain, full of self-confidence and comfortable with herself. It was a privilege to be there, an occasion to be recited to grandchildren. A new little bit of history was made.

But, why? The Ireland-England rugby match at Twickenham will go down in history as the day that we demonstrated a confidence amongst ourselves as a nation, a generous sense of Britishness, a belief in our sovereignty as an independent state, a pride in our achievements and, above all, a national affirmation that we are in command of our destiny.

© 2008 The English Times

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Silver And Gold

It's record Lotto jackpot time again! What with the last major payout being at Christmas, St Patrick's Day seems like just the right time for a major publicity seeking rollover to occur. All pure coincidence of course. Any chance it will runover to Saturday, or would that just be too suspicious?

P.S. people giving out about the expense of all the politicians going abroad for St Patrick's Day year, after year, after year, are being as insufferably boring as the whingers who complain about Christmas starting too early.

With A Shout

Truth told I'm a very conscientious fella - almost to a fault. That might be a surprise for people who can't tell the difference between being opinionated (which I am) to beeing rude or ill-mannered (which I'm not), but it's true.

If I'm at a party, for example, I'm the one who gets worried about pissing off the host's neighbours, I'm the one who helps tidy the place up at the end of the night and I'm the one who makes the effort to chat to the guest who looks a bit lost because they don't know anyone.

When I'm out with my friends I'm the one who tries to keep everything organised and I'm the one who 'escorts' the casualties home or to hospital (which has happened twice!). I freak if I think I've stiffed anyone on a round of drink, and I get stressed if I've invited someone out to something and they don't seem to be enjoying themselves. I'm also ALWAYS on time. I'm as punctual as a German train.

Despite the fact that the favour has never been returned, I've always been very conscious of keeping the telly or the stereo turned down so as not to disturb sleeping housemates. I always close doors to keep heat in, and I always close doors quietly if someone's in bed. If I'm on the train or a plane and the person beside me falls asleep, I'll sit there bursting for a whizz, or something, rather than wake them up, for as long as I can manage. Also you'll never hear me blaring down a mobile phone from half a bus or train carriage away, or dicking around with ring tones. Indeed my phone beeps once when I get a text, it doesn't sound like a bomb is about to go off.

I feel awful guilty if I offend someone even though I dislike people who are easily offended and get pissed off at them for making me feel guilty. Stupid things I said years and years ago pop into my head to haunt me every now and then to rack me with a mixture of embarrassment and guilt. Embarrassment is the one emotion I hate feeling more than any other.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I never act the dick in public and piss off every stranger within earshot, which is the point of this post.

On Friday going to Newcastle I was stuck sitting in among a group of 30-something Cork lads on the plane. From the moment they sat down they started acting the bollox. One tosser thought it was only hilarious to interrupt the stewardess' announcements by repeatedly shouting 'bing-bong' at the top of his voice. Another prick kept pressing the call button above his friends' heads. Yet another tried chatting up one of the stewardesses and she looked so disgusted I thought she might throw up.

The crew stopped serving alcohol as soon as they realised they were dealing with a bunch of knuckle-draggers. Eventually the pilot threatened to have the police meet the plane in Newcastle and that seemed to shut them up. However one of them still managed to put on a (bad) mockney accent for everyone he passed as he was walking into the teminal after we landed.

If they had been kids it would have been bad enough, but these guys were older than me! I've come across their type loads of times before - lads who've probably married younger versions of their mothers; girls they've been going out with since they were 17 or something. They've gotten a visa off 'the woman' and seem to have concluded that having 'a bit of craic with the lads' means acting like a total fucking cretin at every given opportunity. These are the sort of blokes who still think stories about how much they've drunk, and the subsequent ill-effects or fights, are hysterical despite the fact they're old enough to have teenage kids (God help us).

To be honest if I had been offered a plane crash there and then that wiped every one of the fuckers out, yet let me off with a couple of busted limbs, I might well have taken it. Twats.

A Sort Of Homecoming

Finally I'm home! My flight was cancelled on Monday and I ended up stranded in Newcastle overnight. There were no direct flights until Friday either, so I spent an hour scrambling around the internet looking for the best option. In the end I booked a train to Edinburgh and a flight from there yesterday afternoon. Of course that train ended up being over an hour late and, thanks to light traffic and a sound Edinburgh cabbie, I made check-in by the skin of my teeth.

Good weekend in Newcastle as usual, but that Sunderland game sucked big, juicy lemons. It was only dire stuff. The genius of Royston deciding to play one up front, at home, against bloody Everton. Coward. They could still be playing and the only way Sunderland would score would be if Tim Howard died of boredom. Apart from the goal I managed to capture the only remotely half interesting event of the match - Tim Cahill having a header deflected onto the post by Anthony Stokes:

As for the egg-chasers is there really anything left to say? It was like watching paint dry. Again. I loved the intro to the report. It said "Ireland were denied the Triple Crown by Wales on Saturday" That's one way of putting it, I suppose!!!. Still the delusions of grandeur continue...

Friday, March 07, 2008


Away on my first StagWedding of the year (following the slightly ludicrous five stags and eight weddings in 2007) to Newcastle this afternoon. This will be my third stag in Newcastle in a year and AGAIN the stag has heard of Buffalo Joes, unfortunately. This time I'm going 'til Monday. I'm going to be in bits!

Anyway I'm going to the Sunderland v Everton match on Sunday, so I'll get to see the genius of Royston Keane (i.e. spending 48 million quid in an effort to be better than Derby, Fulham and Nirmingham) up close. Still I hope they win - I'm a big fan of Fattie Reid after all and Everton fans seem to be really getting well above their station right now!

On the other hand there'll be plenty of Boring Munster-esque schadenfreude should Sunderland lose. So it's a win-win situation for me!

I'll be in Newcastle when the barcodes are playing in Anfield tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be quietly celebrating.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Beautiful Day

Arsenal were only unreal last night. It was fabulous to watch and the whole time I was watching it I kept thinking about all the arsehole pundits who have been writing them off for the last couple of weeks - just because they lost a game they couldn't care less about to ManYoo and drew a couple of games they totally deserved to win. I hope they win the League and, if 'pool don't, the Champions League too.

Meanwhile the flat-track bullies that are ManYoo bored their way to victory. It's all very well claiming to be great entertainers, but they never actually do it when the chips are really down, do they? Especially not in Europe.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

If I ever have a sprog, or grandsprogs, and I'm telling them about Ian Paisley for school or something I'll tell them that if you had to finger one person as being responsible for the Troubles starting, and lasting as long as it did, you'd finger him. But that, at least, he decided to facilitate peace before he meets his maker.


Reading the Turbine's Book Review section on Sunday, I saw a 'review' by a Tom Widger of the new paperback Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All (American 'argument' book titles are always styled like that, don't you think?...).

Now the thing is Mr Widger can't possibly have read the book at all. Either that or the guy licks windows in his spare time, because in the review he says: "So isn't medicine a matter of progression, of experimentation and rejection? Yes, says Shapiro, if something works, fine. But it can no longer be called alternative. Which is a bit too convenient for knockers of alternative cures", which is such a misunderstanding of the scientific method as to render any opinion the guy has on the book worthless.

He follows that gem up with: "For example, she has little time for evening primrose oil, yet it cured a lingering rash for this reviewer when other conventional 'cures' failed." An anecdote. He 'reviews' a book that's trying to explain how all 'alternative' medicines ARE alternative because they all fail rigorous scientific testing (double blind testing in comparison to placebo, for example) each and every time, and his response is a personal anecdote!

Shouldn't book reviewers read the books they're reviewing, and, maybe, have the brains to understand what's in them for good measure?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Egg-Chasing Time

An Inter-Hemisphere World Series?!?!

There really is no end to the mockery, is there?

"Go hemisphere (north)! Go hemisphere (north)! Woo hoo!!"

My schadenfreude levels went through the roof watching Boring Munster and their deathly dull ginger talisman blowing up on Saturday evening. It was like taking happy pills.
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