Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Topgun Simmons

So I discovered the Kissing Suzy Kolber blog when it lost Best Sports Blog to Arseblog in the 2007 Bloggies awards*. Anyway, they're pretty funny, for merkins, so I bookmarked it. And now, their excellent, if somewhat near-the-knuckle, predictions for:

100 Future NFL Player Names

Particular highlights for me? Wutang Clanton, Scooter Cooter and Megatron Vampira (presumably a cross-dressing hard-running bomb-throwing base-stealing-oh-no-that's-the-other-ball-game quarterback). Pick your favourite.

* hmm, rather a lot of 'blog' in that sentence, I fear...

Monday, 26 March 2007

It's A Moo Point

(from Inkling Magazine, via kottke)

An Intelligent Designer on the Cow

"Today, I feel like doing a plant – no, an animal. Yes, today, I am going to make an animal. And it will be a masterpiece. I shall call it the.... No wait! Maybe I should think of the name later. Yes, you should always name your pieces after you have completed them. Better that way. .."

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Overheard #6

As if by magic, a nugget from the phrases which have randomly caught my attention of late.

Number #6:

"I wonder whether his arm has finished loading yet?"

Monday, 19 March 2007

Hard Toffee

It would appear that Arsene Wenger doesn't read my blog.

Arse Out - Thursday, 8 March 2007

"Notice a pattern? We are all too often outplaying the opposition for huge swathes of the match, without actually putting the ball in the net, then getting hit on the break with ~5 minutes to go and not having enough time to respond."

Everton 1-0 Arsenal - Sunday, 18 March 2007

Andrew Johnson's stoppage-time goal maintained Everton's European push. Johnson had worked hard throughout the game without really having a chance to speak of before he crashed a shot past Jens Lehmann following a corner [in the 91st minute]."


Still, at least Liverpool drew with Villa so we are still in 3rd place (with a game in hand). Actually, I've just noticed that Everton have moved above Spurs in the race for UEFA Cup places, so I suppose it's not all bad :)

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Sunday Bl**dy Sunday

So this afternoon we have Everton v Arsenal, England v Canada and the Australian Grand Prix. I'm going to need another telly...

Come on the Gooners/Three Lions/Red Bull Racing*
* delete as applicable

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Yeah We Love You RB

I have recently discovered the wonderful Blackwood 's Vintage Dry Gin, available (exclusively?) at Oddbins which describes it thus:
"Blackwood's flavour is fresh, with delicate citrus and herbal notes. Meadowsweet and Sea Pink add a floral undertone to the earthier elements of juniper and angelica root and bring a subtle sea-green colour to this exceptional gin."
And it really does taste fantastically like the sea (no, not in a fishy way, what do you think I am, mad?)

Anyway, whilst enjoying a small libation of the aforementioned botanical spirit (with a splash of Fever-Tree Tonic Water) I was reminded of that other famous Blackwood - Richard!

Far from only being famous for examining his poo on television, being a third-rate Will Smith and declaring himself bankrupt, he is also the cousin of Junior who had a hit with 'Mama Used To Say' in 1982. And here is the promo video which obviously then went on to inspire the 1988 fantasy horror film, Paperhouse [Are you sure? - Movie Ed.]. Enjoy...

Friday, 16 March 2007

Have A Nice Triptych

Fred Deakin (yes, him out of Lemon Jelly) has just released "The Triptych", a fantastic 3-CD album in which he ushers us on a musical meandering in a clapped-out campervan through the busy B-roads of his extremely extensive vinyl vaults. Eclectic? You bet. Ninety tracks of juxtapositional jump-cut and segway surprises await...

I got my copy from those extremely nice people at (pigeonhold-endorsed!) Disque who casually mentioned that there was a 'mystery' 4th CD containing tracks that they couldn't licence for the official release. So they sent me that as well! And then, they threw in some promos to make up for the extra cost of the postage! Two thumbs up for the mighty Disque please, people.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Overheard #5

Herewith another nugget from the phrases which have randomly caught my attention of late.

Number #5:

"So that 'I, Robot' - is that something to do with Apple then?"

Saturday, 10 March 2007

In The RED?

(or, How To Disgruntle A Totemic Bono)

Bloomberg.com: U2 exclusive

"Bono doesn't invest his own money in RED, the U.S.-based marketing venture he introduced at the Davos meeting in 2006. RED is an alliance between the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and six international companies: American Express Co., Nike Inc. subsidiary Converse Inc., Gap Inc., Giorgio Armani SpA, Motorola Inc. and Apple. "

Advertising Age: Costly RED campaign

"There is a broadening concern that business is taking on the patina of philanthropy and crowding out philanthropic activity and even substituting for it," he said. "It benefits the for-profit partners much more than the charitable causes."

I think you all know my feelings about bog-trotting-holier-than-thou-short-arsed-pub-musician Bono.

No further comment, m'lud.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Overheard #4

So once again we find ourselves in the company of phrases which have randomly caught my attention of late.

Number #4:

"Ninety percent of all donations we receive are used to further the Kingdom of God and 10% goes toward administration costs."

Fork The Police

Remember The Adam And Joe Show? Well, Adam Buxton will be appearing soon in a BBC3 comedy series called Rush Hour, set in a traffic jam (honest). Anyway, my particular favourite preview is:

Brilliant. Go swimming with Lorenzo. Word.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Arse Out

What have the following got in common?
  • Drogba (84)
  • McCarthy (87)
  • Alex (83)
Yes, that's right. They are the scorers and times of the goals that have in the last 11 days halted any chance of silverware in all three Cup competitions (Carling, FA and Champions League).

Notice a pattern? We are all too often outplaying the opposition for huge swathes of the match, without actually putting the ball in the net, then getting hit on the break with ~5 minutes to go and not having enough time to respond. Yet again, last night against PSV Eindhoven we ran rings round them with some wonderful passing, intricate interplay and fantastic vision - but no end product. Adebayor, Baptista and Fabregas were all guilty of failing to convert good chances and it came back to haunt us as their (admittedly excellent) big Brazilian central defender, Alex popped up to head the winner from a needlessly conceded free-kick near the corner flag.

Yes, we have had injuries (Robin van Persie has been particularly missed) and yes, we have had a lot of fixture congestion (the Man City match has been moved four times!) but that's why you need a squad of experienced players who can pace themselves throughout a season of 40-60 matches. Our youngsters have taken over for the Carling Cup and were fantastic, but in general we rely too heavily on Thierry Henry and when he is missing or not on form, as he has been somewhat this season, it really shows.

So what to do?

Despite the emergence of Hoyte and Djourou I still think we need an experienced defender who can play anywhere across the back four. Gallas is awesome in partnership with Touré but his 6 week absence due to an ankle injury showed how brittle we can be at the back. Clichy is a world class left-back going forward (reminding me of a young Roberto Carlos) but needs cover when he goes on those rampaging runs into the opposition penalty area. I have never had any faith in Senderos who seems to hit the panic button when any big centre-forward comes near him (cf: Drogba). Eboué is becoming a liability with his rash challenges and play-acting and if he can't get a grip he is going to spend more of the season suspended than he is on the pitch (weirdly, Kolo looked great at right-back last night but I'd rather have him in the middle...)

In midfield, we have an embarrassment of riches. Cesc is just magical, Denilson is a mini-Cesc and Gilberto sturdily mops up behind (and now takes the penalties to boot). Diaby has recovered from his awful broken leg and is like Vieira in so many ways, it's uncanny. The choices come on the flanks where for me Rosicky is a certain starter on the left when fit (bye bye Freddie?) but Hleb gives the ball away too much for my liking and has been known to forget to tackle back (and get an ear-bashing from Crazy Jens for his trouble). But do you start with Theo-o-o-o? He may be quick but he is slight and gets knocked off the ball too easily (yes, I know he's only 12). For a while yet, he's going to be used as an 'impact' player off the bench. Time for him to actually make an impact.

And so to the front. Thierry is a genius, when he turns up. As an Arsenal fan, it sticks in the throat to criticise him, given all he has done for the club, but this year must have been his worst to date. Injuries aside, he's missing a bit of that sharpness, that devilry, that sheer enjoyment of the best elements of goalscoring-for-fun which he brought to the team. He's been injured - ankle, back and now groin - but I want the old Thierry back. RvP started brilliantly but has also succumbed to a foot injury (see any themes developing here?) and Adebayor, whilst he has had his best season so far and given a lot of good defenders a torrid time with his quick feet and good movement, has also missed some stinkers. Baptista ("Beeeeeeast") has blown hot and cold - brilliant against Liverpool, rubbish against Blackburn, effective against Reading, anonymous against PSV. Will we keep him? Well we don't want Reyes back so Mr Dein and Mr Wenger are going to have to get round the table with Real Madrid and thrash out a deal. They might just recall him; they've had a poor season and with an ageing squad he might just get a second chance in Spain.

Summer signings? I hear we have targeted the promising 20-year-old Ajax winger, Ryan Babel, but we have 'promising' coming out of our ears. Samuel Eto'o has been mentioned in the papers but Chelsea and Liverpool are also keen (and Chelsea have deeper pockets if it came to a bidding war). Franck Ribery also crops up regularly especially after a good World Cup in 2006 but that trail might have gone cold lately (I'd still welcome him) . Still, once we've got through this first (trophyless) season at The Emirates, I fully believe in Arsene's ability to dip into the summer market and come up with a gem. He's done it before. Keep the faith.

The future's bright, the future's red and white.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

What The Wurlybird?

I am speechless: Wurlybird Flyer

In my day ... hoop and a stick ... rolled up newspaper ... jumpers for goalposts .... zzzzzz

I wonder if they put the propelling handles on the left deliberately?
Seems like an odd choice to me.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Jaxx Of All Trades

Following on from the Lily Allen post the other week, another nice site for tracking down the, er, influences on your favourite sample-tastic artists is Palms Out Sounds which has its regular 'Sample Wednesday' dedicated to just that task.

Previously these have included De La Soul, OutKast and Daft Punk but this week it was the turn of those nice South London boys, Basement Jaxx:

Some absolutely corkers too: ESG (Jump & Shout), Locksmith (Red Alert) and Chic (Just 1 Kiss), to name but three. Smoooooove...

Friday, 2 March 2007

Overheard #3

Further continuing the occasional series of phrases which have randomly caught my attention of late.

Number #3:

"She wore her wimple at a jaunty angle."

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Quorn, My Son

Interesting article in theGuardian about the meat/veg dichotomy amongst couples:

How to have meat with your veg

I'm thinking of Chris & Helena primarily - anyone else want to own up?