Sunday, 30 August 2009

Which Witch?

I hope FIFA, UEFA, The FA, The RICS, Ofcom, The ASA, RoSPA, UNESCO, The RSPB and the Co-Op are all called in to look at Wayne Rooney's penalty winning dive from yesterday.
Yes, that's DIVE.
D. I. V. E.

Watch his back leg below; totally pre-meditated going to ground before any contact is made. Isn't that exactly what Eduardo is accused of against Celtic? Attempting to influence the referee through unfair means? Yes, it is. So I await the outcome of the forthcoming Rooney investigation with keen interest. Everyone seems to be calling for a two match ban for this kind of thing; Sir Alex will be ever so pleased. You want a witch hunt? Sure, we can do that too.

By the way, unlike Celtic I'm not saying that this decision cost us the game (we managed to throw that away ourselves, unfortunately) but simply that every single incident of this kind must be treated exactly the same from now on, and closely investigated using all the available technology.

Or is that not what everyone wants, suddenly? Well?

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Something To Say

This morning, I was reading a load of reviews of last night's Arsenal -v- Celtic match, in particular the furore around the Eduardo dive* which led to the penalty. The Telegraph, the Times and the Mail all had articles which asked for Your Comments but then required you to 1) register your details, 2) wait an unspecified time for an email from them with a confirmation link, 3) click the link, 4) re-enter your now approved login, 5) continue back to the original page to add your comment, 5) wait an unspecified time for it to be moderated and then eventually 6) see it posted -- by which time someone else has probably already made all the salient points you were so keen to express.

I didn't bother.

Now I fully realise the need to moderate comments on a national newspaper site. I also understand about comment spam and email address confirmation. But it doesn't feel much like the 'conversation' they so desperately claim to crave with their readers. It just feels slooooooooow.

1-0 to Twitter (at least)

UPDATE: I have since signed up for the Times to test how long it actually takes to get a comment published, more later...

UPDATE 2: It took three hours from start (clicking the Register button) to finish (seeing the comment at the bottom of the article). Sheesh.

* yes, he dived and yes, I am disappointed in that from such an apparently genuine guy.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

No They Couldn't, Stephen

Overheard #87

A cricket match, just south of the M25:
"Middle please."
"Er, could I have middle stump please, Umpire?"
"Yes. It's about 3 feet to your left."
And that's for Dave, who subsequently bowled like a demon and nearly got a hat-trick (your fault, Lewis...)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Conversation

I'm blogging this because if I tweeted it, the recursivity might make Janet Street-Porter explode:

Actually, I've just remembered that all my blog posts get tweeted (via twitterfeed - hello, Mario!) so if you're in the vicinity of JSP, start running...)

Start The Card

Fascinating article about Ricky Jay, the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive, probably.

Watch 13 examples here: Master Magician

When we were out in Dubai last Christmas, some friends organised a party at which there was a brilliant close-up magician, an young English guy who had moved out there to do just that for a living. As there were a fair few of us, he split everyone into two groups, one inside the house and one in the garden. He then moved swiftly between the two, barely repeating a trick (unless pressed!) and keeping both groups entertained and baffled for over an hour with cards, rope, rings and other props he found lying about. Thoroughly enjoyable; I still have the folded-up Jack of Clubs, with Solveig's name on it in marker pen, which he produced from his top pocket when it was supposed to be tightly clenched in her hand. Awesome. :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Just Billing Time

Interesting idea, recording all interaction with particular companies/brands and then invoicing them (at your full hourly client charge-out rate) for your time, ostensibly to ascertain how much they value you as a customer but also to highlight the consumer/brand power question:

The letter from Julian at Pret is excellent :)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Kicking Off

So it all starts again today with a 5.30pm kick-off away at Everton. Now this is by no means an Arsenal blog - there are many that fulfil that role way better than I could) but I do chip in from time to time when something piques my interest. Like this, the Arsenal Pledge (I've always been more of a Mr Sheen man myself):

All well and good, but where are all the other players?

I want to see Fabianski's pledge to not come charging out of his goal like a freak every five minutes, Song's pledge to look less like he smoked a massive reefer before putting his shin-pads in and Eboué's pledge to be a bit less Eboué (or should that be fewer Eboué...)

Anyway, off we go. Come on you Gunners!

Friday, 14 August 2009


Brilliant idea; no more KFC rip-offs or oily £8.49 3-item Granada breakfasts:

Or you could not bother actually going anywhere for your summer holiday and spend two weeks in your local :) Still, we shall be using this next time we venture North...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Jaguars Earlobes

In fact, no tasty Roman nibbles here but another excellent mix from the Ocelot boys (who did a really great reworking of Dragonette's 'Competition').

When you see Toxic Avenger back to back with Timo Maas & Felix Da Housecat you know it's worth checking out. So, er, check it out.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Fifty Weeks Off

Having just got back , this really made me chuckle:

Especially this bit:
"There is a dizzying array of choices but we usually opt for the activities in which we exchange our labour for money, which we find hypnotically calming. The long vacation days are so calming, in fact, that our 50 weeks of holiday can sometimes seem even longer."

Saturday, 1 August 2009

What I Done On My Holidays #6

Today I was mostly being stung by wasps:

Followed by trying to light a BBQ in a monsoon:

Actually it was a quite amazing thunderstorm; when they get weather in Cahors, it does not mess about. A few hours of all hell breaking loose and calm descended once again. Which was handy for the drive to the airport...

...yes, our sojourn to the wonderful forest near La Vallée du Lot has come to an end*. Freyja said she wanted "one more day"; Theo did his now-famous fish impression. It's been lovely though. Same time next year, everyone?

* so this time, easyJet managed to happily check us in despite the 40 minute cut-off having passed, put us on Speedy Boarding for free because we had two kids under 4 and get us to Gatwick (early) with all our luggage unbroken. So am I still hopping mad about the 3-hour delay on the way out? Heh, what do you think...