Monday, June 27, 2005

TNS Dream Tie

Liverpool have been let into the Champions League but will have to start at the first qualifying round. Here they will play Total Network Solutions (of Llansainffraid). The TNS manager said, "I'd hoped we would get someone easier in the first rounds so we could get to the third round where the big boys like Everton come in." He is of course an Everton fan.

I'm sure they'll be delighted with the draw as they can move the tie to a bigger stadium and attract a bigger crowd and get more gate money which they can use to win the welsh league forever. Maybe they could find a way out of the welsh league at someone elses expense (maybe Cambridge Utd who look like they are about to fold) and get into the English league set-up.

Just think if they beat Liverpool. Jeff Stelling, "They'll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight!"

Personal Bests Tumble

Last week I beat a couple of long standing personal bests and now it's time to share them.

Firstly I completed Spider Solitaire on difficult level at lunchtime at work. This beat my personal best of only getting 3 suits complete. Sadly I still have a 0% completion record as that was my victory in 105 attempts.

My other personal best was due to a combination of a couple of things. I was out for my birthday and the 5 year factor. Friday night saw me consume 2 VK Ices and 9 Smirnoff Ices (= 11 vodka drinks) which beats my previous best of 10. Still can't get up to 6 pints though. Doubt I'll ever equal that yet alone beat it. The most impressive thing was I didn't have a hangover though lots of fizz doesn't agree with my stomach very well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Birthday Continues

Yesterday I received cards and presents from JJ and Kate. It's nice to know I'm thought about. Hmmm best stop there before unintentionally insulting someone. Very nice. I also got a card from work today which was nice. I take them buns they give me card. Seems like a good swap. We all got ice cream bought for us today by the partners as it was hot today. Oddly enough I didn't feel overwarm but tomorrow will be hotter. Doubt we'll get ice creams twice in a week though.

We came 3rd in the quiz last night with a bit of help from Andrew S and Kate's mum. 4 points off winning too which is an impressive effort.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Philosophical Take On Life At 23

The early 20's - ages 20-22. They've gone now as I'm 23 today. This isn't a bad thing but gives me a little time to reflect and set goals for the future. I quite like my birthday being in the middle of the year as Christmas is another time to reflect and a reflection every six months has to be good.

Hitting 23 is not really a landmark but I feel it is the first of four mid 20's years. Towards the end of these years I would be looking to have a settled job and at least start thinking about finding serious happiness for myself. The late 20's has always been my aim for marriage etc but that's a long way off. I'm not doing anything just because I'm about to turn 30 if it doesn't feel right (remind me of this in six and a half years). The next four years will bring hard work but hopefully it will be worth it. No doubt new local friends will be made to fill the void of the ones living far away who will not be forgotten about.

The last three years have been quite uneventful on a personal note but I do feel I have changed as a person in this time and become more mellowed. This probably means more mature and able to tolerate people more also enabling me to get on well with more people and generally anyone I don't like I'll just try to avoid, which seems to be working.

Whilst appearing not to care in many situations, inside I often care deeply. Maybe this should be an aim to let this out on the outside but fear is always present. Namely fear of rejection and fear of conflict. Perhaps my life would be far smoother if I didn't fear these and perhaps one day when I'm feeling mighty brave I'll overcome the fear.

Professionally I've moved jobs twice in my early 20's but don't regret any of it. I've worked with some great personalities in the past who I am still in touch regularly with. Big thanks to Rob, Louise, Paul, Eppy and David. Moving on in order to make something of myself was something I felt I had to do and hopefully in the end it will pay off.

So while the early 20's were uneventful in many senses they've also been an enjoyable few years. In fact I've probably been happier in the last year than ever before. Is this because I started a blog? I don't think so. Various wisdomic words from a few friends have made me see the bigger picture. There have been sad times but the good times far out-weigh the bad. It also makes me happy to see others happy (well, usually) and with the first of my friend's weddings approaching, this is also something to be happy about. Good luck
Sarah and John.

Anyways that's the reflection and future goals. Now is a time to forget hard past times, remember the good ones and look to the future.

Philosphical part over.

I've had a happy 23rd birthday by the way with triple chocolate ice cream followed by double chocolate gateau the highlight. Various celebrations will come in the next few weeks.

I Know What My Knob Is For! (More Car Revelations)

Thanks to Ed, I now know what my knob does. As stated in the comments to the post it does indeed affect the intermittency of the wipers when the weather is drizzly or there is spray on the road. It is not the most effective bit of kit especially as i nudged it today in the bright sunshine and it felt the need to put the wipers on however I know what it is which is pleasing. I'm quite sure I know everything about my car now.

Oh there is one more thing :-) Since my car went for a service last week it says Maintenance Reminder on the drive computer whenever I turn the engine/ignition on. I guess they've forgotten to reset it and it doesn't really matter. Just another curious thing about Magical Mikey.

I had to use a pool car at work the other week. It felt really weird putting a key in the lock. I then put it back in my pocket forgetting I needed it to turn the ignition on!

The Last Ever American Grand Prix?

The world of formula one was sent into turmoil yesterday as just six cars started the American Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was because the cars on Michelin tyres were told they were not allowed to race due to the tyres being unsafe round the fastest corner on the circuit.

The choices were:- go slow round the corner, install a chicane, let them use new but as yet unproven tyres or not race.

While it was a marketing disaster, safety was at the forefront of everyone's minds which in a sport like F1 it has to be. This was probably the only option open as Ferrari (again) went against the other nine teams in installing a chicane, going slow would also have been dangerous as a faster car would have to avoid the slower car (we're talking 100mph slower), and new tyres would have been a high risk strategy which also broke five regulations.

Whilst it was a farce, it was the only real option given the short time they had to decide. However they knew the problem was there but did not discuss it until about three hours before the race. Surely discussing it 24 hours earlier would have come up with a better solution all round. It would appear there is now a bleak future for Michelin in F1 despite supplying a far superior tyre this season ut withdrawing 14 cars from one of the world's biggest races is simply unforgiveable.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Ashes 2005 Twenty20 Prequel

England first real match of the 2005 summer season was played today. I say real because playing Bangladesh and then Hampshire were always going to be walkovers. In short we thrashed the Aussies at Twenty20! It was just your general full of action twenty20 game until Australia were 23-0 then a few overs later, all their specialist batsmen were out and it was 31-7. Just great to win and looks like The Ashes will be a really hard fought series. Also really looking forward to the Twenty20 cup now. I was seriously considering cancelling my Sky subscription for a couple of months but it's worth it just for that and football. Haven't watched a movie on it this year though so maybe that's a waste!It's nice to have it there though. I ramble. Anyway bring on The Ashes!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Public Transport or Cars and The Proposed New Road Charging Scheme

Long title! I had to get a bus today as my car was being serviced and it made me think about their safety. While I was being thrown around I thought, why are seatbelts required on coaches but not buses? Coaches are more comfortable but standing is not permitted (on some) whereas it is encouraged on buses by handles like on tube trains. Then to get the bus back I had to wait for one. They come every 20 minutes which isn't too bad i guess but how can they be expected to keep to a timetable when their movements depend on the business of traffic at the time. It turned up 7 minutes late or 13 minutes earlyas it was very quiet this morning. I much prefer my car. It didn't get valeted (or is it valetted) as they only valet it on weekdays but the guy said if I ever want it cleaning i can take there.

This week the Government proposed a new road charging scheme. This would be done by tracking the movement of every car by satellites. It would result in reduction of petrol prices and less or no road tax. It would work by charging drivers for every mile they drive. 2p per mile would be charged for driving on quiet country roads at non peak times while £1.30 per mile would be charged for driving on busy motorways at peak time. For me this would mean if I was driving to Leeds working 9 to 5 a probable cost of £18 per day (plus parking). If I was going to the city centre I would get the train but, being an auditor, I tend to travel to businesses which tend to be on the outskirts therefore making it impractical to go via train then bus with 2 huge cases to carry too.

It's a good idea to only tax people who are using the road however it could mean people couldn't afford to get to work and some people will end up paying huge amounts which will more than make up for those paying very little, probably leaving the Government with more money. For me personally I'd probably be better off under the new scheme so I'm for it.

A quick game to check you were reading. Title of a song in the above post, what is it?

Bouncebackability Boost

Bouncebackability has made it into the Collins English Dictionary. Now this surely means it will be entered into the Oxford English Dictionary when they add new words. It means, "the ability to recover after a setback, (especially) in sport.” It's not made it through the Blogger spell check though!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Does Football Ever Stop?

It's been a while since I posted mainly due to having very little computer access due to it being in bits for the last few days and other family members using it when it got put back together. The walls were being painted too.

Anyway the bank holiday weekend was fun. I was out with Rob and then Kate and JJ joined us in Halifax on the Saturday then we toured Sowerby Bridge pubs before tucking into some wine back at Kate's. We went to the quiz at The Stafford where the question difficulty seems to vary enormously. The theme round - The theme is brown (ie all the answers have brown in them) "Who did the first budget speech after Tony Blair became Prime Minister?" Hmmm could the be the only chancellor under Blair's leadership Gordon Brown. Correct. The sport round. Which world championships were held for the first time in 1976? I wasn't sure so I took a guess which was wrong as the correct answer was hangliding. It's so obscure spellcheckers don't ever know how to spell it.

Work's really busy. I'm auditing next for a couple of weeks now which is a nice change. There's a dinner party at Kate's tonight and I'm taking a starter which should be ok but i've not really made anything from scratch since GCSE food technology. Sadly the (in)famous breakfast roll may be too filling for a starter so I'm just doing egg mayonnaise instead.

Now for football. Southend, Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham got promoted through the play-offs. England went on a pointless "tour" of America laying two games beating USA 2-1 and Columbia 3-2. It became less pointless as a couple of younger players shone through and Owen got a hat-trick but I'm suffering a bit from overkill at the moment so didn't watch either. Now the womens European Championship has started and England's games are live on BBC.

They believe it should be seen differently to the mens game. Like in tennis, the womens game is all about rallies the mens is all about power. There just seem to be less things going for it. Ok so there's 22 ladies in shorts and tight t-shirts rather than men and the odd flash of brilliance but it doesn't seem different enough to distinguished differently. Maybe this tournament will change my opinion or maybe I won't watch much of it and just look forward to next season. Oh and before I get angry comments I'm talking about the top level here, not amateur Sunday league any sex football as that's always good to watch especially when you know someone playing :-)