Fish (opinions welcome), Birds, F1, Rugby, Football, Darts etc.

19 October 07
Hi.

I’m feeling very restless and irritable at work today for the second day running. I think these bloody squawking birds are getting to me. I can cope with the twittery ones but the bigger ones never shut up! Someone who works here got bitten right through the nose earlier by a parrot. He’s got two very nice puncture marks now. Lovely.

Rugby world cup final this weekend. Our recent amazing resurgence has put us in a position whereby if we win we’ll all be delighted, but if we lose we’ll all say “well, we know we’re crap. I don’t even know how we got that far”. What a lovely position to be in! A nice relaxing evening, win or lose. Hope we win though, obviously.

Paul Robinson having another blinder earlier in the qualification campaign – this was less his fault than the one the other day.
Now, football. Wasn’t the England game a disappointment? I don’t usually single out goalkeepers for criticism but Paul Robinson’s decision to palm the ball out right in front of him was terrible. Anyone who’s ever played as a keeper knows that if you can’t hold the ball, get it as far wide and as far away as you can and defend from there. If it’s a corner, so be it, it’s better than conceding a certain goal. The best he could’ve hoped for is for a defender to have got to it first to punt it out for a corner anyway so I’ve got no idea what he was playing at. I can truthfully say that I’d have done no worse – which when you consider he plays for the national team isn’t a great thing for him. I hear he’s out injured for Tottenham’s next game which will be a welcome relief to all you Spurs fans out there.

The F1 season comes to an end this weekend and I hope it’s a good race. It’s all set up to be one what with three drivers having a chance of winning the championship. I don’t really know who I want to win it now, all three drivers deserve it in their own way. Nevertheless, my Alonso Renault model will be sat on top the the telly as it has been for most of the season.

New Footy Manager game’s out today. I shall be starting as unemployed as always and seeing what it throws at me. the demo was very good so I’ve got high hopes for this game. If the last two have been anything to go by this one will work straight from the off too, unlike the older Championship Manager games which were nearly unplayable until an update was released on the net.

The longest and most confusing snooker tournament ever seen has got to a stage where I can understand it now – a knock out. Watching Ronnie v Joe Swail in the bottom corner of my screen at the moment. It’s a close one so far.

A Clown Loach. We’ll have one or two of these I’m sure.
Picking up a fish tank from Emma’s mate Fliss tonight. It’ll be nice to keep fish again. Got a few varieties in mind but not sure exactly which fish we’ll be getting but they’ll be tropical freshwater ones. Any suggestions, let me know by commenting. Pictures will be nice too. If you choose one we go for I might just let you name it! 🙂

Darts Update:
Team knockout this week and who do I face? None other than Jamie Wilson who just so happens to be number 34 in the world at the moment. I lost 2-0 and the team got stuffed (it was 4-0 when I went home!). We got to the semis last season but the team who we played won it so no disgrace really. I played alright but I’ve played better.

Well, I probably should get back to doing some work and finding a gun to shoot these birds with now. I might just buy them actually and release them into the skies of Leeds. People who work here shout “shut up” at them though which works for about 10 seconds. Stupid bloody creatures.

Enjoy the Grand Prix and the Rugby World Cup final,

Scott.

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Post-Fire Working Arrangements, Noisy Birds & F1 Ending

11 October 07

Hello all.

I’m working in Leeds at the moment tucked away in an office in a pet shop doing my websites. The fire’s affected things quite badly over in Bradford. Everyone’s working out of a cold and messy warehouse. I’m glad to be over here out of the way. The boss is back tomorrow so hopefully things will start to sort themselves out.

The biggest annoyance about being here is that my office door is right next to a large collection of birds who never shut up! Still better than being in that warehouse without a computer though.

The F1 season comes to a climax in a week and a half. 3 drivers can win it; Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Should be a good fight for the title. The best thing about it is that it’s not on at a silly time of day like the last 2, it’s at 5 in the evening which is much more civil.

Darts Update:
Made it 4 out of 4 by winning 2-0 last night. Inconsistent but enough to win comfortably enough and I hit my highest competitive check-out, 120, which pleased me and my team.

Summary:
Position: 2
My Result: 2-0 win
Team Result: 3-2 win

Totals:
My total: 8 legs for, 1 against (4 wins, 0 losses)
Team total: 13 legs for, 7 against (4 wins, 0 losses)


Trouble at Mill

6 October 07
Hello all.

Well, a scary experience happened on Thursday when the ramshackle mill in which I work caught fire. We all managed to get out in time, thankfully. If we took one or two minutes more though we’d have been in trouble.It apparently started when a discarded cigarette butt was thrown down in the basement. Whose it was, we have no idea at the moment.

We were alerted to the fire at about 12:45. I’d just had my lunch which was an egg and bacon sandwich that I’d been looking forward to all day. Stuart, the new telesales bloke, came rushing upstairs saying that there was a fire and we had to get out. So we did. The smoke had just started coming through the door as I picked my coat up so I decided that this was getting serious and rushed out. Everyone else was making their way out as well at the time and as we jogged into the car park, we saw the smoke streaming out of the basement. By the time the last of us was out, the smoke was so thick you couldn’t see our hand in front of your face (to use a cliché – though it was true). The electrics failed just as we left the building.

While we were in the car park, after checking everyone was present and correct, the first fire engine came, which had been phoned by one of our warehouse staff – who decided to do that rather than alert us by phone, in person or otherwise. Nice one. He hang about for about 10 minutes then buggered off. You can draw your own conclusions if you like though I’m not going to start throwing accusations around on here as I’m not certain and never can be.

After some initial commotion where the firemen were asking how the fire started (we didn’t know), if there were any gas cylinders in the building (we didn’t know) and such like, they started getting the hoses connected and fighting the fire. 3 of 4 more engines had turned up by this point including one with one of those cherry picker things on top of it.

Smoke coming at us while in the car park.
In all, 12 or 13 fire engines were present at the height and around 50 firemen. The smoke which was drifting towards the supermarket car park where we were stood was choking at times, though the wind in general was blowing it all away from us.

Battling the fire.
It turned out that there were gas cylinders in the basement, where the fire started. They contained oxyacetylene – used for welding, i.e. heating things up to around 1000 degrees centigrade and is generally stored at around 2200psi. Sensibly, the supermarket and nearby houses were evacated and a 200 yard exclusion zone was put around the building which remained for 24 hours.

That whole side of the building is buggered. It burnt through all 3 floors.
By this time I’d decided to head off home as there was nothing I could do and waited to hear any news from my work colleagues.

A local BBC news report stated that the building was empty when the fire started. I would like to say that the report was complete bollocks as there were 6 people in the office and whoever it was who dropped the fag end.

The next day I went back to get my wages and hear any news. The fire brigade were still in attendance spraying cold water onto the volatile cylinders – which they had to do for 24 hours. The police still had the road closed off with policemen manning both ends. Two stupid women decided to take a short cut across the Lidl car park despite the attendance of police, fire services and both blue and red incident tape cordoning it off. One of the women was also pushing a pram with a young girl in it. What on earth goes through these people’s heads? When the police started telling them to turn back they simply ran so they could get across quicker. Eben the police weren’t prepared to go and stop them – which shows you quite how idiotic they were.

Anyway, today i’ve received some photos from one of my workmates of the damage done. My desk area is unaffected, except for the layer of soot sat over everything. The fire safety bloke reckons that all of the electrical equipment will be unusable and the soot gets into the workings of eveything. I’m off in on Monday so we can all salvage what we can and see what we can get done in relation to getting work back to some kind of normality.

The damage on the 2nd floor.
A thin layer of soot has settled on everything – even rooms that weren’t on fire.
My desk is in the far corner.
I’ll keep you posted.

Had the car MOT’d today. Cost about £250. Booooooooooooooooo.

Good result for United today, 4-0. I knew we’d tonk someone soon.

Darts Update:
I won 2-1 after losing the first leg. Had 161 left in final one. Hit 137 to leave double 12 while he was one 200-odd. Finished on double 3 in the end. 3 wins out of 3. Good stuff.

Summary:
Position: 4
My Result: 2-1 win
Team Result: 3-2 win

Totals:
My total: 6 legs for, 1 against (3 wins, 0 losses)
Team total: 10 legs for, 5 against (3 wins, 0 losses)


A busy weekend and 2-0 to United and Me.

28 September 07

Hello there.

Got a busy weekend ahead of me. Off to watch Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Dougal from Father Ted, in case you didn’t know) at the LBT in Huddersfield tonight which should be good. Not seen any of his stand up for a few years so am wondering quite what he’ s going to be like nowadays. I’ll have a laugh no matter what though I expect.

Got the Japanese Grand Prix to watch at 4ish in the morning on Sunday which’ll be a challenge. The Chinese race is on at a similar time the following week so I’ve got two weeks of odd sleeping times coming up. Lots of coffee and Lucozade required.

Manchester United beat Chelsea last week in a very poorly refereed game. I think on the balance of things a 2-0 win was a fair result but the manner in which the goals came was a bit dodgy. Not sure about John Terry and John Obi Mikel’s attempts to stop the referee from showing the red card though, I thought they might’ve got in trouble for that. I know the club themselves have been charged but the players need to take some responsibility in that kind of situation.

Shame about the Coventry game. Looking at the team that we put out we really should’ve done better than that. Players like Nani and Anderson are taking their time to bed in but hopefully they’ll be special when they do.

United v Roma next Tuesday though. Another 7-1? Doubt it but it’d be nice!

Darts Update:
I won again! 2-0 it was. The team were ¼ of an inch from winning 5-0 for the first time but it wasn’t to be. Good performances all round though. We’ve got a strong team for this division and I’m confident we can challenge for the title this time around. As long as the players keep the belief they’ve built up from the end of last season and the beginning of this, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with. More trophies, please!

Summary:
Position: 4
My Result: 2-0 win
Team Result: 4-1 win


European Football – A Revamp, Colin McRae & A New Darts Season

18 September 07
The UEFA Vodafone Heineken Sony PlayStation 3 Champions League starts tonight. Of course ‘champions’ doesn’t mean ‘champions’, it means teams that finished quite near the top of their league, if not top itself. Why does a competition need so many sponsors? There are probably more than the three I’ve mentioned up there. At least it shows where a lot of the money’s coming from – it also shows where a lot of the tickets are going but that’s been going on for years.

The Champions League is the most watched club football competition on the planet, I believe, and it invariably throws up a good game every week it’s on. I’m a fan of the competition despite it being completely detrimental to the other European club competitions. The Cup Winners’ Cup has already met it’s demise and the UEFA cup will surely follow as the money juggernaut that is the Champions League rolls on.

The Champions League Trophy
The problem with how it’s affected things is shown in the winners of the competition over the past 8 years. Here’s what I mean:

2007: AC Milan – Finished 4th in Serie A
2006: Barcelona – Finished 1st in La Liga
2005: Liverpool – Finished 5th in Premiership
2004: FC Porto – Finished 1st in Portuguese Liga
2003: AC Milan – Finished 3rd in Serie A
2002: Real Madrid – Finished 3rd in La Liga
2001: Bayern Munich – Finished 1st in 1.Bundesliga (losing 9 games from 34)
2000: Real Madrid – Finished 5th in La Liga

Over 8 seasons, only 3 teams have won both the Champions League and their own domestic league in the same season. Not good for what is supposedly the best team in Europe at that point.

Only 4 times in this period has a club won their domestic league one season, then the Champions League the next. Really then, in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007, the club that won it shouldn’t have been there (as was the case with Manchester United in 1999).

This shows me that there’s life in the UEFA cup yet, if it’s managed properly.

This is why the Champions League needs cutting down to just the Champions of each country, maybe two from stronger nations. The 4-team group things works well and brings money and fans in so that can stay but get rid of the 3rd place team jumping ship to the UEFA cup.

The UEFA Cup
The UEFA cup needs the next one or two clubs and the domestic cup winners in a straight 2 leg knockout format. None of these soppy 5 team leagues where if you play a team at home you don’t play them away and vice versa.

The winner of the Champions League get re-entered for the next season no matter their domestic league position. the UEFA cup winners get a Champions League spot too. Sound fair to you?

This way you cut down on meaningless games, get rid of the Inter Toto (is that still going actually?) and get to games where you have the very very best from one country playing against the very very best from another which is what it should all be about.

The UEFA cup will have extra spice. An increase in team quality and a more exciting knockout format. Not our 7th placed team playing against the 3rd placed team from Finland, for example, with Channel 5 only deciding to show it half an hour before kick off because they’ve got nothing better to show.

We all know it’s down to profiteering so none of this will happen. In fact it will expand and the quality will get worse until it’s tiresome I imagine.

As I said earlier though, I’m a fan of the competition. It’s not gone quite too far yet so enjoy the games from the next 2 days. I hope I’ve given you something to think about when it gets a bit dull though 🙂

R.I.P. Colin McRae, by the way. A fearless rally driver and the ultimate competitor. He will be sadly missed by all of us who enjoy the sport of rallying.

The entrance to The Vineyard
Added on Wednesday…
Darts Update:
First game of the winter season and we were away at a place the likes of which I’ve never seen before. It’s called ‘The Vineyard’. It was literally a hut with two rooms on the side of an overgrown hill. They sold beer in cans, had 3 draught beers on, all of which were bitter, and didn’t let women in until a couple of years ago. They had a ghetto blaster with a Beatles CD on for entertainment and teletext on the little TV to follow the football.

Anyway, enough of my observations. I won 2-0 and the team won 3-2. I played better than I have done in ages so was very pleased. Apart from one 26 I threw, every score was at least 60 – apart from my darts at doubles which were both hit first time.

Summary:
Position: 4 (3 is now a pairs match)
My Result: 2-0 win (it’s only best of 3 in this division)
Team Result: 3-2 win

Scott.


A $100,000,000 fine and final darts update of the season

14 September 07
There’s some bloke on Five Live right now who’s saying that “There’s too much technology in Formula One. It’s all about the car. It should be about the driver.”

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but even back in 1950 when the F1 World Championship started the constructors tried to make the car the fastest and most technically advanced they could. Ok, the technology has got a lot better but the point still stands.

He’s saying that the driver makes no difference too. How the hell can he say that?! If that was the case then Johnny Herbert, Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello would have won world championships alongside Michael Schumacher.

Fernando Alonso
Anyway, that’s an old boring story that’s been going on for years. The big story is the ‘spygate’ row. McLaren have been fined $100,000,000 (about £50 million) for using Ferrari’s technical data which they obtained between a Ferrari engineer and one of their own engineers.

I have no doubt whatsoever that McLaren did not use this data for their own development, and I’m not a McLaren fan by any stretch of the imagination.

They have also had all of their constructors points up to now and for the rest of the season removed thereby losing all prize money for the season. Now, if my sketchy knowledge of F1 intricacies is correct here, they also forgo a percentage of the next two season’s prize money, they will not be eligible for as much support when it comes to logistics, they will be at the ‘wrong end’ of the pit lane for next season and they are likely to lose sponsorship money as many sponsors pay on a bonus scheme down to performance.

So, the fine will work out to be considerably more than the $100,000,000.

Lewis Hamilton
The legal action was supposed to have been over a few months ago but new evidence had come to light, namely emails between the drivers. These emails (allegedly) contained conversations as to how the ill-gotten information should be put into practice, mainly tyres and brake information. If this is the case, why have just the team been punished? I feel that if the drivers are involved, then they should be punished too (if any punishing has to take place at all). Now, I’m a big Fernando Alonso fan and the last thing I want to happen is for his title challege to be derailed, and Hamilton’s for that matter, but if they are involved then why should they get off scott-free?

Rumour alert: Eddie Jordan was on the radio this morning talking about a supposed deal that was supposed to be mooted to the McLaren team. The deal was that if Ron Dennis resigned as McLaren team boss, the action would all be ‘forgotten’. Ron Dennis, quite rightly, said ‘bugger off’ to this. This was all down to a complete breakdown of the relationship between Ron Dennis and the head honcho at the FIA, Max Mosley. I don’t know what to make of that.

Anyway, the FIA are supposed to be making a statement as to exactly what McLaren have done wrong later on today. I watch and listen with interest.

Darts Update:
Summer season is over now, we finished 2nd in our group in the league and so get a runner’s-up trophy. We reached the semi-finals of the team knockouts and so win another trophy. I get a commemorative set of flights for my 180 as well. Not a bad first season back overall! Pleased 🙂

Summary:
Position: 1 (drawn out of a hat)
My Result: 2-1 defeat (it’s only best of 3 in K/O)
Team Result: 3-0 defeat (it got to 3-0 so we stopped, no coming back from that)
Season 180 Count: 1 (told you it’d stay that way!)


More football, nothing on the radio & sunshine

23 August 07

Hello.

It’s been a short while since I wrote on here so thought I’d do something to break up my day of cutting things out of photographs. Also, I never put the result of the last darts match of the season down and I like to keep track (I hope I can remember it, we’ll see!).

First things first, the footy season’s well and truly underway now with 3 games down (2 for some inc. Liverpool & Arsenal) in the Prem. The top 4 is dominated by clubs in the North West but the two biggest aren’t in it yet. Manchester United have had a wretched time so far in front of goal despite dominating large spells of all three of their matches so far. Tottenham on Sunday, buoyed by their 4-0 win last weekend, aren’t exactly going to be a walkover either.

I’ve already been to one game this season. I watched the Mighty Mossley play the slightly mightier Curzon Ashton in the Unibond Division One North. It finished 2-1 which I suppose is a fair reflection on a game where Ashton had the ball 2/3rds to Mossley’s 1/3rd.

However, the best football I’ve seen this season can be seen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EljSEzdBL3c
Classic stuff. I’m not childish you know! “Phil Babb’s injured! Get the torch and the ice cream scoop!”.

One last thing about football.. England v Germany. What I reckon is… ah, actually sod it 😉

Nothing much has happened with me, personally to be honest. Still doing the same old stuff. Football Manager, darts, watching telly, listening to radio etc. TalkSport’s not working and it’s giving me the hump though. I’m having to listen to some complete shit. The best thing I can find is some Aussie station but it keeps buffering.

It’s sunny today. It wont last.

Huddersfield v Carlisle on Sunday. Looking forward to that one. Always a good laugh in with the Carlisle fans.

Well, I’ll write next time I have something to say because this time I didn’t!!!

Darts Update:
I think I lost 3-2, 3-1 or 3-0. Team lost 3-2. We didn’t get relegated. Team knockout semis and final (if we get through) in 2½ weeks. Practice, practice, practice!!!

Summary:
Position: 3
My Result: Some kind of defeat, I can’t remember but it was annoying!
Team Result: 3-2 loss
Season 180 Count: 1

Keep well,

Scott