June 30, 2006

Horse 580 - Forty Years of Hurt

"And here comes Hurst he's got... some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now! It's four!"
Kenneth Wolstenholme

40 years ago today a nation that had never won a trophy in the sport which was its obsession finally broke the duck and took home the World Cup.

The game in England had suffered in post-war turmoil. England was a stuffy place with the memories of the war still hanging over them. The BBC although a great and powerful institution was heavily set in its ways and still ran a single national radio network split into "The Light Programme", "The Home Service" etc.

Even football had really only just turned professional. Tottenham Hotspur's double winning side of 1961 still only has a wage cap of £3 a week for its players. This was at a time when a shopkeeper could expect to take home £4/11/9 comfortably. So when this was finally dropped for the 1961/2 season, English football suddenly went through a resurgence.

England, managed by Alf Ramsey and captained by Bobby Moore, won the toss and elected to kick off. After twelve minutes, Siegfried Held sent a speculative cross into the English penalty area which Ray Wilson misheaded to Helmut Haller, who got his shot on target. Jackie Charlton and goalkeeper Gordon Banks failed to deal with the shot which went in making it 1-0 to West Germany.

In the 19th minute, Wolfgang Overath conceded a free kick, which Bobby Moore floated into the West German area, Geoff Hurst ran in and deflected the ball into the net for an equaliser.
The teams were level at half time, but after 77 minutes England won a corner. Alan Ball delivered it to Geoff Hurst on the edge of the area, who shot on the turn. The ball deflected high into the air and bounced down into the penalty area where Martin Peters found the back of the net with a half volley to give England the lead 2-1.

In the final ten minutes the Germans pressed for an equaliser. In the final minute, Jackie Charlton gave away a free kick whilst contesting a header with a German player. The free kick was taken by Lothar Emmerich, George Cohen managed to block it but the ball bounced across the England six-yard box - hitting the hand of Schnellinger in the process - and Wolfgang Weber struck home to level the scores at 2-2 and force the match into extra time.

With eleven minutes of extra time gone, Alan Ball put in a cross and Geoff Hurst's shot from close range hit the underside of the cross bar, bounced down - apparently on or just over the line - and was cleared. The referee was uncertain if it was a goal and consulted his linesman, Tofik Bakhramov from the USSR, who in a moment of drama indicated that it was. After non-verbal communication, as they had no common language, the Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst awarded the "de:Wembley-Tor" goal to the home team. The crowd and the audience of 400 million television viewers were left arguing whether the goal should have been given or not.

One minute before the end of play, the West Germans sent their defenders forward in a desperate attempt to score a last-minute equaliser. Winning the ball, Bobby Moore picked out the unmarked Geoff Hurst with a long pass, which Hurst carried forward to score while a few spectators began streaming onto the field, believing that the end of the game had already been signalled.

For 40 years now, the argument has stood over the 3rd goal and whether or not the 4th should have been allowed. A whole generation has grown up and not witnessed first hand an English win at the World Cup. As it stand in 2006 it is possible for England to again meet the old foe on the field.

Let's hope that Skinner & Baddiel's song Three Lions won't be amended to:
Three Lions on the shirt,
Jules Rimet still gleaming,
Forty years of hurt,
Never stopped me dreaming.

England 4
Hurst (18, 98, 120)
Peters (78)

West Germany 2
Haller (12)
Weber (90)

Addenda: One of the most famous images of the Cup Final is this. It does however look like the referee has a football for a head.

June 28, 2006

Horse 579 - It's A Girl!

I was searching through my computer at work looking for files that would warrant cleanup or deletion and found this little gem. That's right it's a picture of the very first day I brought my little Rossalini* home from the car yard. Looking at the photo, I've gone Awwwwwww, it's sooo cuuuuute!

Which brings me to an interesting point. Most males drivers it would seem want a car that's big, brash and causes an oil crisis when you hit the gas. When I bought my little Ka, I wanted something that was small, red and cute. I figured that if I was going to own it for an extended period of time (like forever) then I wanted to make sure that it would still have that "Awwww" factor several years later.

I first saw the Ka at the Earl's Court motor show back in 1996 and thought back then "Oh yes, it will be mine". When they finally hit the Australian market some 4 years later, I knew that it would replace "Mintie" which was a 1989 Hyundai Excel which quite frankly was a cut-and-shut job.

The car is obviously a girl. I mean look at it, do you think a bloke would have a face that cute? Of course it could be argued that as a girl she should wear more chrome and jewellery but let's be brutally honest here - she looks far more honest than the posers who you might find parading up and down the catwalk. The other motors with wings and skirts which do look girly but in reality do nothing for performance.

My sister has a Pulsar and that's quite obviously a boy-car, I mean what self-respecting girl-car would degrade itself in mag wheels and a giant farty sounding muffler?
I'm still not entirely sure about the Mercedes. It wears a lot of chrome and is a grand old car, but makes a grouchy, grumbly rumble everywhere it goes. Nope on second thought it is a girl, or rather a lady. She reminds me of one of those schoolmistresses I had for English classes with horn-rimmed sunglasses, a cranky old lady with a very cross face who'd teach anyone a lesson.

But Rossalini is a girl-car; a little cheeky one at that. 5 years later I still want to go "It's sooooo cuuuuuuute!", which means I did well when I took her home.
ph34r th3 cu+3 on35

*Rossalini - Little Red One

June 27, 2006

Horse 578 - Casserole

In a yet to be released Divulge by BJD, he asks the following questions on fast food: If you owned your own fast food chain, what would it be called? What would be in your happy meal? AND Would you have a healthy menu?

To answer these requires another question which is namely, if you were the proprietor of said fast food restaurant, what sort would it be? Well I had a look around and saw what "the kids" were snacking on at lunchtime to come up with a sure fire winner.

Yummy, meaty, earthenware cooked casseroles. Who doesn't like a good beef casserole or ragout? Just think: they fulfil all the requirements of a good fast food - they're sloppy, hard to eat while moving, require cutlery, can't be served at a drive through window. In fact they're perfect.

You see the problem with our increasingly porcine population is that they head on down to their local burger joint and can wolf down 20 or 30 burgers. A casserole requires one to sit down and savour the ingredients and because they're of better quality they don't need preservatives and additives with weird numbers like E210, E330, E451, E621 & EIEIO.

No, a casserole forces people to appreciate what's in front of them and to take time. If my restaurant called Rollo's (natch) got off the ground it would be a very happy meal to be had by all, and as for the "healthy choices" menu? If people learnt to appreciate good food in the first place then this need would not exist.

PS: I want casserole now. Ha! I have the skills to make one... suffer!

Horse 577 - For The Good of the Game

It must be said that FIFA have finally achieved their ends. It makes sense to keep the bigger teams within the tournament so that TV rights can be sold, and it's a pity that Australia who have long suffered under the tyranny of the governing body now have to suffer a bitter pill of defeat at the hands of a penalty which shouldn't have been given.

Italy were reduced to 10 men and to their credit were able to hold on as the balance of power slowly shifted in the direction of Australia. Italy's inability to score was countered by hesitance by the Australian attack to penetrate the 18 yard box. It was this and the fact that the Italian keeper Buffon wasn't really tested that saw this match stay 0-0 for so long.

Already the reaction across Europe seems to be in support of Australia with DW and TVE already lamenting the loss.
DW: The refereeing in this tournament has been disgusting. The amount of undeserved cards, penalties, free-kicks etc has been diabolical.
TVE: I fear that this may have set the game in Australia back another 10 years. This result says to the minnows of football that in the grand design "you really do not matter to us"

I don't bear Italy a grudge, they played well and held out Australia with only 10 men. To their credit they were solid in the face of a constant rain. Italy go through to the next round but must surely realise that with a result such as this, they are in serious trouble of departing from the tournament in the next round.

Italy 1
Totti (95 pen)
undeserved mind you

Australia 0

June 26, 2006

Horse 576 - Fortress England

It was probably generally considered that Ecuador would be a more difficult opponent than Germany in the Round of 16 because of their abilities to atttack savagely and play a style of football that would be difficult to counter. Tenorio's 11th minute chip very nearly broke English hearts, but the saviour was Ashley Cole who sprinted in from what seemed like 300 yards away and deflected the shot.

This was pretty well much the last spark of this encounter. Ecuador spent the rest of the match playing chasey against an English side that although could keep possession for hours, looked without imagination and flair. Even the prescence of Golden-Boy Wayne Rooney did little as they were without ideas. Lampard still seems intent on spraying footballs into the Rhine from on the pitch.

In fact if it wasn't for Beckham's free kick on the hour, England who were playing in white could be mistaken for Germany or worse, di Azzuri playing away. Shouts of "Boring, boring England" were heard from under the crosses of St George as they ended 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, Portugal and the Dutch at the moment are literally trading fists.

England 1
Beckham (60)

Ecuador 0

June 24, 2006

Horse 575 - On Chivalry

Chivalry is derived from the French word cheval, and from the Latin, caballus, and was to be considered from three points - the military, the social, and the religious. It is best known as the belief and practices of the knights of medieval times. It is a code of ethics or conduct upheld by the knights and influenced by Christianity.

Chivalry meant that a knight was loyal, courteous, protective, honorable and gentle. They sought love and glory - for his king and his lady first. Some more traits were courage, being humble, obedient and chaste. They lived to serve their king and country and to defend the crown. They were to show self control, respect to authority and to women, protect the innocent or those weaker or unarmed, they were never to attack an unarmed foe, attack from behind, or use a weapon on an opponent that was not equal to the attack.

They were to administer justice, avoid cheating and lying - and torture, and were expected to avenge the wronged. They would never abandon a friend or noble cause or betray them. They were to exhibit manners, avoid deception, keep one's word of honor and die with valor.
When it came to chivalrous love, they were to avoid avarice, and keep themselves chaste for the one they loved. They were not to break up another's love affair, and they were to keep their own love affair to themselves. They were expected to be polite, courteous, modest, avoid falsehoods and speak no evil. And my favorite, they were to be obedient in all things to the commands of ladies.

Chivalry supposedly died out after the Crusades, but we do see it carried over to the 19th century man in his rules of being a gentleman. Actually, though chivalry originated in medieval times, none were more chivalrous than the men of the 19th century. In the late 1800's, the city/upper class man indeed practiced chivalry and even gave it a new meaning. None would disagree that late Victorian society is when the British Empire was at its most florid. It is from here that the rules of engagement of war, business and courtship were codified.

In our world where everyone is merely looking for number one, a spot of chivalry may be in order. Society would work more smoothly... or is that too much to ask for?

June 23, 2006

Horse 574 - Don't Wake Me Up Yet

This encounter was always going to be difficult. I'd predicted that before the match that Croatia were going to play like thugs; guess what, they did. This was a most undisciplined match with no less than 12 bookable offences, 3 of which resulted in players being ejected.

Srna's free kick in the 3rd minute is still an utter mystery to me but Australia replied when a penalty was given for a handball in the box by the last defender. Kalac ronnied a weak shot by Kovac to lose the lead again and another penalty should have been given when Srna again handballed in his own 18 yard box. Clearly the referee saw that it had come off at Croatian because he awarded another corner but there was nothing else it could have possibly hit.

Harry Kewell's form which has been inconsistent showed flashes of brilliance and his 79th minute parry across the keeper redeemed himself in my mind for him playing in the yellow strip. Admittedly he will have to do more in the red before I'm convinced that he's worthy of the Liverpool 7 kit, but I hope he remembers tonight for a long time. Kewell's strike has put Australia into a Round of 16 match against Italy, and before he turns down the Australia kit again he'll have to look back at this and realise that he was responsible for this.

The dream still goes on. Whilst Sydney wakes up bleary eyed from this and spends its day powered by caffiene, it and the rest of the country will be exhausted from a night when it rode the roller-coaster of emotion from despair, to relief, back to despair, through anxiousness and finally jubilation.
This is the greatest game in the world, and the quicker that's realised the better.

Croatia 2
Srna (3)
Kovac (56)

Australia 2
Moore (pen 39)
Kewell (79)

June 22, 2006

Horse 573 - Racism?

George W may be accused of being ignorant on a number of issues and it's almost entirely excuseable in the case of football because being a US Citizen, the chances of exposure are/were so very small, but on the other subject to which this post is devoted he should be well versed. On his current visit to Europe, there was a reception with the England football team and of note is a conversation that the BBC played, between George W and England's newest recruit Theo Walcott.

Walcott: I'm the 53rd black player to be selected for England.
GW Bush: Don't you mean African-American?
Walcott: No, I mean black. My family has been in England for over 300 years, so I'm not African; I'm very much English sir.

This raises an interesting point about the subject of racism. George W probably thought that he was being PC by using the term African-American but this only applies if both criteria are met. In the case of Walcott, neither did and he was proud of his own heritage.

I wonder about other labels which have declined in use. The term Negro equally describes black people and is the literal term in both Italian and Portugese, but it is now considered either archaic or a slur. Likewise the term Oriental is a literal designation for the East. Places like Japan and China in a Eurocentic world were called the Far East but interestingly, the Middle East is still a valid use of language.

Which leads me to an interesting point, racism or racist terms only get afforded that status because of connotation and the person hearing it. On a similar note, if you called someone a Nazi, then they would take offence but not because of the political ideas of a centrallised and largely socialst state but because of the inference that they are facist or simply plain horrible. A racist or for that matter any term which exists only does so because of the negative context associated, rather than an affordable description which may otherwise be truthful.

Now I ask a pointed question - Is Wong's Chinese Laundry a candidate for reverse racism despite being run by a Chinese person presumably called Wong? Refer to the panto Aladdin and the Widow Twankey for futher reading.

June 21, 2006

Horse 572 - England Clear in 2nd Gear

Michael Owen was stretchered off in the 4th minute as England limped to a 2-2 draw with Sweden. Cole's goal was countered when England again looked shaky on defending a corner and yet another Gerrard strike seems to be saving club & country. One however can not discount Henrik Larsson's ugly goal in the 90th which tied it all up.

Now it appears that Sven may have to use Theo Walcott up front at least once. His gamble may
either be the saviour or the death knell of this World Cup campaign. For the moment Sven Goran Eriksson will celebrate the draw with his country of birth with the purchase of some
self-assembled flat-packed furniture. Some door furniture to keep the corners and free kicks out may be in order.

England leave Group B in top spot and will now play Ecuador in the round of 16 on Jun 25. Germany by virtue of kicking Ecuador to the weeds 3-0 will meet Sweden.

Sweden 2
Allback (51)
Larsson (90)

England 2
J.Cole (34)
Gerrard (85)

June 20, 2006

Horse 571 - Beyond the Electric Salad Shooter

As far as electric devices go, few rank up there for utter uselessness as the Electric Salad Shooter. The brand Presto who manufactures these also has a "Professional" Electric Salad Shooter just in case us rank amatuers who are unskilled at using the regular model may one day attain the skills of a salad ninja.

Here then are some other devices which should be invented and marketed; maybe a grand glorious gadget gallery can be gawked at by gastonomic gadget guilds.

Electric Water Unraveller:
Powered by a 30W motor, this handy little device unravells and untangles knotted water that haplessly falls out of the tap. Not unlike a Mechanical Ratchet Smicer, the Electric Water Unraveller utilises rotary cranks and a nozzle so that the water comes out in a pure, untagled stream. The unravelled water is then perfect for storing neatly in the fridge or freezer for later use.

Battery Powered Bookmark:
When most people read a book they carelessly insert their bookmark and plonk the book down without nary a thought for their own personal safety. Don't they realise that the pen is mightier than the sword and even more dangerous, that knowledge is power? All that power has to be discharged safely and the Battery Powered Bookmark via a series of capacitors and transformers is able to step down that power, suitable for domestic use.
Last year alone nearly 35,000 people died because of unsafe bookmark use*

Musical Toilet Roll Holder:
Far too often these days, many jokes are made about going to the toilet. The French consider it to be a solemn occasion requiring tact and poise, but the English speaking world has turned it into the basis of an entire culture.
The Musical Toll Roll Holder plays music sufficiently loudly so that people outside can not hear the embarrasing noises from within. Other functions include a karaoke mode in case one desires a bit of partcipation and for the patriotic there is even a function which plays the national anthem**

Conversation Calculator:
Do you sometimes feel shy? What about if you're nervous and don't know when to say something? Perhaps a special someone has caught your eye and you'd like to get to know them? Then fear not, the personal Conversation Calculator is pre-programmed with all of the necessary and difficult equations required for embarking on the correct time to initiate a conversation.
Eliminate guesswork; by just entering details such as distance, windspeed, Segnomin's Value and barometric pressure, the Conversation Calculator will display in minutes and seconds, the correct time to begin the conversation***

Who knows? Within 5 years these devices could be as commonplace as the LPman, the shoephone and the rocketpack. Perhaps science may come up with other answers to deeper questions like "What are birds?"... we just don't know.

*claim unverified
**ettiquette demands that one should always stand for the playing of the national anthem
***can also be used in reverse mode to calculate Segnomin's Value

June 19, 2006

Horse 570 - Obituary English

Wherein the author of this epistle laments the loss of one on his little friends

Iff the reeder of the Englishe being a stewdent of the works of Chaucer was koncern'd, then the rules of the Englishe by the fourmal nayme of Grammar be taken to be. 'Twas betwixt of stone and of the place of flint for ne'er do well those which spoile the rules.

And so we move onto modern English which the large part of thanks falls on the works commissioned by King James (the Bible) and the collected works of Shakespeare (yes, I did start this with a conjuction, I apologise).

There appears to be a blurring over the last 20 or so years of what is actually acceptable in grammar. One expects if this trend were to continue then we could very well see the death of the apostrophe in our lifetime, for very few children are being taught grammar and instead have turned to txt speak sans punc2at3n and whatnot.

How for instance did pwnX0r3d become part of the language? at what point did it become acceptable to not capitalise sentences or use question marks at the end
I ph34r th4t I will b3 klose 2 teh last generation of people who remember the English Language: great and powerful; masterly and exact, as it swept aside all borders conquering all in its wake.

or will mi lingu4 frank4 d363n3r4+3 into teh s&$*%N i* c433 ^536?

Horse 569 - Incompotency Incognito

A couple of months back it was great Brazillian striker Pele who told us in adverts about nasal delivery technology to cure impotency. When Australia play Brazil at Stupid O'Clock EST perhaps they should have taken something similar for incompotency.

Yes, the referee spent most of the match admiring his naval; yes the Brazillians spent more time rolling around on the ground than the ball itself but when opportunities like that were like a gaping chasm just waiting for someone to fall in then Australia really has no-one to blame but themselves.

Kewell again proved my disdain for him when after looking at all available options in-front of an open goal, he decided to put the ball into Saarland. Quite frankly Kewell & Cahill would be a better option as a pair than just Viduka who is forced to come back to cover Kewells waywardness.

Der Sport Bild reports a general favouring of the football superpowers at this World Cup, and tonight this was also on display. Especially when a man called Fred can score in such wide space.

Brazil 2
Adriano (49)
Fred (90)

Australia 0

June 17, 2006

Horse 568 - Dawn Chorus

This little kitten has lost his mittens and doesn't know where to find them...

...so is sitting at the top of the back steps with his hands curled furiously around a warm mug of tea hoping to extract any heat at all from it.

Unlike uni students, the world of work has ruined me. I'm unable to sleep in on a Saturday or Sunday morning because 4 hours later, everything clicks back into drive and I'm going again. So after a night of watching football (again this is the World Cup) and finally slinking back into bed at 6am, come 10am I was awoken by the Saturday morning symphony of lawnmowers and edgers.

Sydney has been living with water restrictions continuously now for about 5 years. People's lawns are not the manicured seas of veridian they used to be. So now as they all head towards sienna and old movie tone, the first sign of rain and a few days of weeks later, the grass goes mental and grows all over the place.

Right nowI think I can hear about 13 lawnmowers all singing away. The two cats currently in our backyard have for the moment declared it to be a safe haven where the monsters with spinny teeth can't get them.

And just think, not less than 20 years ago, all of this was semi bush and the dawn chorus would have been Rainbow Lorikeets, Cockatoos, Galahs and Rosellas and now the only place you're likely to find any of them is on a tin of bikkies.

June 16, 2006

Horse 567 - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

"We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness on sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size"
John of Salisbury - 1159

This phrase "Standing on the shoulders of giants" is seen every day by just about everyone in the UK, for it is borne around the edge of the £2 coin. Attributed to Issac Newton it is obviously much older than that as stated above. Though yesterday it was not England standing on the shoulders of giants but rather jubilation as a football was driven into the back of the net by the head of one.

It is often said that an international fixture will often make players rise to the occasion but for Peter Crouch who stands 6'7" tall, his gangly frame hardly needs to. Ungainly and looking decidedly unco at times, he scares defences. When Wayne Rooney was brought on in the 58th minute with the scores still deadlocked at 0-0, Trinidad forgot to fear about Crouch and concentrated on Rooney - big mistake.

Crouch's downwards driven header from a Beckham cross gave England the lead and hopes of the next round. Gerrards 90th minute strike sealed Trinidad's fate and now they must beat Paraguay and wait for other results if they are to go through.

But for one day at least, England was carried not on the shoulders of giants but the head of their own gentle giant.

England 2
Crouch (83)
Gerrard (90)

Trinidad & Tobago 0

June 14, 2006

Horse 566 - Vampire Day

Hello everyone, and Happy Vampire Day to you!

This comes from a suggestion that the 14th of every month be some sort of holiday for something. 14th February is Valentines Day, 14th March is White Day and 14th of July is Bastille Day, etcetera etcetera etcetera etc.

Vampire Day is the time of year we (meaning, basically, me) gather togeather to celebrate vampires, in particular my favourite vampire Count Dracula. Any way, here are some fun facts about Count Dracula:

Dracula's favorite food is Elf, blood type 0-.

Dracula is 532 years young.

Once, Dracula had a sidekick named Percy Teatherspoon, who was a seven foot tall axe wielding maniac. Every vampire needs a good axe wielding maniac to help disperse angry torch bearing mobs, wash windows, and sort mail.

Like all vampires, Dracula becomes very cross if his mail is not properly sorted. "Properly sorted" means it is filed into at least three catagories: fan mail, junk mail, and 'letters from people I should eat'.

Sometimes on his birthday, Dracula has the local children over to his castle for an egg hunt. Who ever finds the most eggs is deamed a subversive, and summarily stoned to death by the other children.

Other vampires when faced with a dying mortal whom they particularly like might offer him immortality. Dracula would offer you a delicious apple pie. Hmm, yummy.

Vampires, Ninjas and Pirates are unionised labour. They have their own health care fund and superannuation plans. This is yet another reason why they need sorted mail.

Because Vampires like Zombies are part of the undead, they can only be killed by a steak through the heart. Traditionally this meant one made from wood, though equally ones made of iron, steel or beef will work just as well.

Okay, that is all the vampire facts for now! For next week (or whenever next I update), send me your questions and I'll have Dracula answer them. Okay? Good then. Probably best you don't include a return address, lest he file you in category number three.

June 13, 2006

Horse 565 - It Was All Yellow

When they handed out the lists of whom one should sware their allegiences to I must have been out at lunch or something. For the most part I do not follow the Australian team in any sporting theatre, however there are three places in which I'm prepared to make an exception - football, netball and field hockey.

3-1 over Japan last night in the World Cup brought the nation together like nothing else could. For 32 years Australia has been in the football wilderness and with the boots of Cahill and Aloisi, not only has Australia scored it's first ever goal in the World Cup finals but notched up a convincing win at the same time (also a first).

Everton midfielder Cahill came off the bench to score in the 84th and 89th minutes to overhaul a one-goal deficit after Japan had taken the lead following an error by Mark Schwarzer in the first half at Kaiserslautern's Fritz-Walter Stadium.

Aloisi then rounded off the victory in the Group F opener - Australia's first ever at the World Cup - 32 years after the nation's only previous appearance at the finals, also on German soil in 1974.

This has made the front and the back pages of all major newspapers in every capital city. People may talk about the passion of a Rugby League State of Origin match but seriously it has not a bar on what we witnessed last night. As I drove home from B's there were honks from car horns from people I'd never seen before and even the Town Hall across the street from where I work this morning bears the boxing kangaroo flag.

Brazil beware, It'll be 11 superstars against 11 ordinary Aussies, 11 ordinary Aussies who have so much history to undo.

Australia 3
Cahill (84, 89)
Aloisi (90)

Japan 1
Nakamura (26)

June 12, 2006

Horse 564 - Being Horrible

After church a bunch of us went to see The Break Up with Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Aniston in and I came away from the film wondering why I'd departed with $10 when there was Rugby on the telly.

Vince Vaughan appeared on Z100 in New York on Wednedsay and he's reporting that this film is actually responsible for creating more break-ups than your average rom-com. Again, I want to ask the question what's the point in a film in which people are deliberately horrible to each other?

Perhaps it isn't in my mentality, but in this film the two antagonists are pre-occupied with using as much arsenal as they possibly can to blow each other's heads off, so the end of the film is inevitable rather than a surprise.

I've seen plenty of my friends so through similar self-destructing and defeating methods of resolution and again I don't understand what's to be gained from deliberately being horrible to someone. I know personally that even if I had a major disagreement even with an enemy, my natural reaction is to retreat and let everything diffuse, because simple logic dictates that being horrible will only result in making things worse for both parties.

Then again maybe it's because I have such an ingrained sense of fair-play, chivalry and nobility (did I mention that when it comes to humility, I'm the greatest) that I don't even want to wish me being horrible on other people... not when they already have to put up with my childish annoyingness ^_^

June 11, 2006

Horse 563 - A Tale of Two Owens

A 1-0 victory over Paraguay was both satisfactory and deflatory. Three points were garnered as excessive optimism, epitomised by the flag-bearing masses who have turned England into a mosaic of Union Jacks, was fuelled further by the ideal start given them by a combination of David Beckham and Carlos Gamarra.

A second goal could have been scored though, while the Germans excelled at long-range shooting with the much-debated World Cup ball, England surpassed themselves at lifting it into the Frankfurt orbit but it would have been undeserved. There must be a few more balls above Europe along with Southgate's and Beckham's penalties.

Listless and off the pace, Michael Owen performance made a mockery of the first half of Eriksson's assessment "I think he did well and will get better and better", though it is hard to dispute the latter, if only because it must rank among the poorest displays in his 78 caps.
And as match fitness proves elusive for Owen, Eriksson's faith is starting to look blind. Alternatives, briefly tested and swiftly discarded, languish at home. Where is Defoe? Where is Shaun Wright-Phillips?

Oh yes, this was a tale of two Owens. Michael Owen off Owen Hargreaves on, who it must be said symbolises a metaphorical punchbag for Sven's critics. Old habits, and all that.

England 1
Gamarra (og 3)

Paraguay 0

June 07, 2006

Horse 562 - 26 in 26, A-Z of Stuff

In 26 words (or less) write something on a subject for every letter of the alphabet:

Everyone needs to create something, it's just that some people have more skill than others. Artists dare to dream about that which has not yet been.

I'm the man in the Big Black Boots who stomps and stomps and stomps and stomps and stomps and stomps until it's time to stop.

Put on your Adidas jacket and your trainers, it's time go loiter around the off-licence. Mostly found on Giro day.

That's nothing compared to the damage and pain I am going to inflict on you, with a single ordinary pencil.

Is alive and well and living in Guildford as a television sales and repairman.

For 90 minutes, life ceases to matter as all our hopes and expectations dissolve into the world inside a ball. Life's a ball!

Who doesn't love the smell of two-stroke and smoke as ten thousand bits of grass get decapitated?

There are too many people wearing not enough hats and not enough people wearing too many hats. Society is more civilised when it has hats.

Somewhere as the sun rolls away for the night, and darkness descends like a veil, this is the colour, upon which we rail.

It takes a very special person live a life without flaw and still be abused by the people he came to save.

Kawaii! Super-Kawaii!!

Poets and songwriters are the best people to describe this; while the rest of us chase and sometimes find it.

Mobile Phones:
Are you that important that you need to be contacted 24 hours a day? People got on fine when they did not have these infernal devices.

A sunbeam is perfect for napping in. Soon you'll have competition from wandering cats.

I'd be pretty grumpy too if I lived in the rubbish. Sesame Street also teaches you how to judge and label people.

Hmm, Pie. It's warm, meaty, tasty, yummy and just what one needs when outside is yukky. A pie is happiness wrapped in pastry.

Queuing is a remarkably British sport. I was in London once and an old lady asked me "Are you a queue?" Very strange that.

Rain, rain coming down. On the plain, on the rooves of the town. Every drop is like money falling out of the sky for the farmers.

One day in September, we want to remember. When again the titans battle for the flag at the G.

Let your darling children travel, wise one. You're as darling as they come - travel is OK!

All that summer we enjoyed it, wind and rain and shine, that umbrella we employed it, by August she was mine.

I'd much rather have a Griffin on my steering wheel than a lion. It's a pity about the chav Novas though.

White Day:
The 14th of March is a day for menfolk to repay the kindness done to them one month earlier.

Although fun to smell in a pen, do not make a habit of it lest your brain and nervous system cease to function.

If you ever needed proof that Coldplay were whiny whinge-rock then this is it. They should have been stopped there and then.

From on top of the Empire State Building, to the five boroughs and beyond, Z100 is the sound of New York City.

June 06, 2006

Horse 561 - 666... kHz

OK, I admit it; being an accountant I happen to like the asthetic beauty and the inherant design of numbers; including 666 - the number of the Beast. There are various interpretations as to what it means or why it's in there and whilst I remain totally confused on the issue I will continue remain silent on theories and postulations. However...

666kHz just happens to be the radio frequency for 2CY (ABC Local Radio) in Canberra.

When 2JJ vacated the 1540kHz frequency, the ABC decided that a re-transmission of the NSW broadcaster 2FC (internally called NSW Radio 1) was in order. 2CY remained on the 1540kHz frequency until 1983 when it took up the longer wave frequency 666kHz to improve reception for the immediate areas; then when ABC Local Radio became fully integrated it re-branded itself.

Consider what the frequencies used to be before 9kHz cycling for digital tuning:
Sydney 700
Melbourne 777
Canberra 666
Adelaide 888
Perth 717
Brisbane 612
Newcastle 1234

It made sense therefore for 2CY to be 666kHz. Other ABC stations had been deliberately cast with memorable numbers; it's just a wee bit ironic that the Devil's number should be the ABC in the nation's capital.

June 04, 2006

Horse 560 - 40 Years of Hurt Over?

"Please tell me this is not a dream, this is the greatest game in the world. Oh, I Really don't believe that scoreline. This will make every nation sit up and take notice, England are back and back to the bank." - Martin Tyler

England ripped apart Germany 5-1 on the qualifying run to Japan 2002, but the result yesterday of 6-0 is the greatest margin under Sven Goran Eriksson's tenure. To say that this is anything but a pasting is to underestimate the current squad; even without Wayne Rooney, this current crop is looking dangerous.

The scorecard reads as follows:
Lampard 11
Taylor (og 17)
Crouch 29
Owen 32
Crouch 67
Crouch (miss pen 83)
Crouch 89

Even with Crouch's missed penatly, England were sitting on their highest margin since WW2 and the fact that he bagged another for his hat-trick in regular play just 6 minutes later is probably proof enough that the lanky lad should probably get at least one start in the tournament. Remember this is the same Peter Crouch who not even 12 months ago took 15 matches for score for his club, and now he's scored 4 times in as many days for the country.

A whole generation has had to put with with their fathers' stories about the 66 Cup at Wembley in which our Alf took England to a 4-2 win over West Germany. 40 years later, will we now be able to see a similay scoreline in Germany?

66 & 06? Perhaps D-Day part 2 begins on Jun 9.

June 02, 2006

Horse 559a

The acrid smoke has gone and they're now downstairs with a barbeque. I can smell onions, sausages and tomatoes.

I'm off for a bacon buttie now, but the comments between Derik and Jase in 559 are hillarious.

Horse 559 - I Think My Lungs Are Collapsing

Our offices at work are located above a hairdressers. Usually the smell of ammonia and bleach is tolerable if not off-putting but this morning I seriously wonder whether our health isn't being affected or not.

The place downstairs has a glass frontage onto the street front on the town square (ooh, I've gone all a bit rustic lyke - me cows in the canal an all that). It constantly along with several businesses in the area gets the unsightly tag of miscreants and ne'erdowells who will from time to time leave their filthy, yukky spraypainted tags on things. So this morning, they're being renovated.
Oh the chemcials, urk.

If the foul stench of Winnie Reds wasn't enough to make you cough your lungs up black, then whatever they're using as a basecoat to render the walls with is enough to make them collapse. It's as if you took the contents of an Artline 17 which already contains Xylene and warns you to use in a ventilated area, concentrated it, packed it into block containing plastic, rubber and bitumen, set fire to that and then inhaled the contents in an area where you'd require a confined spaces ticket.
Honestly, passive smoking has nothing on this.

If that was enough, the acrid black smoke and particulants are beginning to seep in through the windows. Is it possible for it to eat through the walls? I could be sitting here entirely naked with half of my skin ripped off and no walls surrounding me by half past 2...
Worse, the stoner kids who usually hang around by the milk bar on the corner are all sitting outside presumably in order to get some sort of buzz from it, which only means that when this is all finished they'll leave their filthy, yukky spraypainted tags on things again.

Book now for a repeat performance next week I say.