Saturday, September 29, 2007

Robbie's Return

The draw for the fourth round of this season's Carling Cup has just been made and guess what! Cardiff City go to Anfield to play Liverpool. A dream return to his old hunting ground for Robbie Fowler, and the chance to put one over on his old muckers. What a draw! Need to find out about tickets, as me & mini-Stats will be well up for this. City always have a good away support, and with a tie like this should take several thousand up to Merseyside. C'mon you Bloooooobirds!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Scare stories

How many times have we seen something that appears to herald the doom of mankind, or at least likely to give us the snuffles only for it all to blow over, or at least fall into distant memory as the next big thing takes it's place. For example, we've had mad cow disease that had everyone avoiding beef and burgers and although bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a real disease, it doesn't appear to have had anything like the devastating effect that was predicted (yet). Similarly SARS (remember that), avian flu, salmonella etc, have all been linked to the end of the world as we know it. Until something else comes along.

I blame the media.

Don't get me wrong. I don't for one moment doubt the authenticity of such health problems, or the anguish that those who suffer as a result, directly or indirectly undergo, but if you listen to the "popular media" (define whatever that is if you can) the human race will be wiped out by the weekend. And it's all usually down to climate change. Or not washing hands properly. Or poor immigration controls. Or just because these things happen.

Me; I take it all with a pinch of salt. Or at least I would if I hadn't heard recently how the salt in my diet will do for me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

WBA 2 - 4 Bluebirds

So, my hunch came true. City sneaked past WBA 4-2. More like a hammering methinks, with Robbie Fowler & Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on the scoresheet. Who'd have thought that 6 months ago? Let's hope for a massive tie in the next round.


The skittles season is here! "Hoorah" I hear you all shout - or at least they would if anyone was reading this...

Skittles is a top game in South East Wales, played by finely honed athletes, of a dark winters night, on cold alleys with a pint of Brains Dark to hand.

Seriously, it's great fun - you should find a pub with an alley and try it. There are variations on the game all over the country, but ours is best. You can check out all the form and details at our very nice web site Dinas Powys Athletic "B" Skittles

We start this Wednesday with a home tie against the Legion A.

We're on the road to Wembley, la la la la, la la la la

Tonight City play the mighty West Brom (not) in the Milk, sorry, Worthington, sorry, Carling League cup thingy. To be honest we've done well to get this far, edging past those giants of the game Brighton & Hove Albion and Leyton Orient, and face stiff opposition tonight away at the West Midlands outfit. In our favour is our away form this season, and I think we could just edge it...then Man U away in the next round.....

We'll see

Monday, September 24, 2007


I think I've mentioned before that I hate queues of any sort. and it's getting worse. The older I get the more impatient I become, and to be honest I've never been the most tolerant of people anyway.

Why is it that whenever I have the choice between two queues, I always pick the wrong one? You know what I mean - you weigh up the options, choose the one that's moving fastest and then the person in front of you hasn't got the right change, or drops the change all over the floor, or can't converse in the language required etc.

And it's not just queues of people. Traffic, "virtual" queues when you're stuck listening to how some company or other really "values" your call and will be with you "just as soon as our next agent becomes available"....yeah! (Handy tip - when ringing a company that has a series of choices, always choose the option for sales - your call will be answered much quicker than the support/advice option).

Worst of all, queues are eating away at my valuable life time. I'm into my late forties now, so if I have a good innings I might get another forty (but then I might not), and I don't want to spend that precious time stuck behind someone or something. And do you realise just how much time you spend in queues?

There's the school run and thence to work. Typically going it's 50 minutes for a 13 mile trip - over an hour on bad days, but as little as 35 minutes on good days. The home journey can be done in 25 minutes, but more typically 35, and currently with the M4 roadworkd around Cardiff 45. That's if you can get off the Buisness Park in less than an hour because there's only 1 access road and that's straight onto Junction 30 M4 (Planners - D'oh!). That's 40m or more a day, over three hours a week that I could gain if it weren't for the traffic queues. That's a lot of time.

Then there are other various miscellaneous queues:
  • At the bar on skittles nights when I need my pint of Brains Dark
  • At the take away on Friday's
  • At any shop
  • Getting out of Ninian Park after Cardiff City's latest home defeat/draw (never a win)
  • Trains - don't talk even to me about queues and trains......
  • Airports - a queue haters nightmare, but thankfully only faced a couple of times a year
  • Time waiting for your PC to boot up (technically a queue of instructions)
  • Waiting for the kettle to boil (mental note - must get one of those jobbies that promises to boil a cup of water in 3 seconds)
and so on...

But what to do about it? Be more patient? Not in my nature. Get more stressed? In my nature but not good for my health. Go with the flow? Wish I could. Answers on a postcard please.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

City 2 - Preston 2

I went to Ninian Park today quietly confident that at last City would get their first home win of the season, and that either Robbie Fowler or Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink would get on the scoresheet.
Sure enough, RF opened his Bluebirds account with a great poacher's header, but PNE equalised it early in the second half after some more dire City defending. When RF doubled his tally, it looked like we'd bagged all 3 points, but in injury time a needless free kick on the edge of the area, well worked by PNE put the scores level. Worse, City's star man (in my opinion and that's over the last 18 months) central defender Roger Johnson was injured in that goal and stretchered off after prolonged treatment for a head injury. Hopefully it looks like he'll be OK, because neither of our other 2 centre backs (Purse and Loovens) are fit yet!
So I went home feeling like we'd lost. It's a point, but that's not good enough, and the defending has got to improve. God knows what RF and JFH are thinking about the sloppy goals we give away.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spam, spam spam

For as long as we've had email (well almost) we've had spam - unsolicited emails, usually suggesting you part with wads of cash for some potion or pills that will perk up your libido so to speak. Generally, most people get onto spam lists quite unintentionally by responding to requests to provide their email address which is then sold on by a third party, or because they naively respond to a spam email itself which does little more than verify the email address is active, and therefore continues the cycle...

I've always been pretty responsible in the respect (I thought). Careful about who and under what circumstances I provide my email address to, and for several years actually didn't suffer from too much spam. In the last year though, I've noticed an exponential increase, and now I get shedloads on a daily basis.

I use a program called "Mailwasher" to filter my spam on my host ISP server before I download it, and this helps enormously, but it's still a right royal pain in the ****. I can't undestand why there isn't a more concerted effort to try and tackle the perpetrators of spam. Unless of course there's a financial incentive not to. But then maybe that's just a cynical viewpoint.

Premiership? Not yet

I loyally bought my Cardiff City season ticket way back in May, confident that we'd be able to push for promotion this year. With money in the bank from the sale of Michael Chopra to Sunderland for £5m, manager Dave Jones had money to spend.
8 new players in, included the ageing but Premiership experienced duo of Robbie Fowler and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - great coups.
Sadly our start to the season has been decidedly mediocre. 3 home losses. 2 away wins and a draw. JFH finally got off the mark with a stunner against Watford last night, but we still lost 2-1. We can't defend (although having Purse, Loovens and Scimeca all out doesn't help. Fowler looks off the pace, but you can see his (and JFH's) thought processes are a step up on everyone else.
There is a long way to go, but we need to start winning at home. Bring on Preston this Saturday!

Via Vox

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another shiny gadget

I'm just a sucker for shiny gadgets and 8 months after replacing my broken Treo 650 smartphone with it's 680 successor I've made the move from the Palm platform to Windows Mobile. I'm now using an HTC S710 or "Vox".

It's a Windows Mobile 6 smartphone, smaller than the Treo with a slide out QWERTY keyboard which when opened automatically switches the screen to landscape mode.

With WIFI, and GPRS it really only lacks 3G, but frankly I don't need that sort of performance.

Whilst I still can't bring myself to ditch the Palm platform entirely, I must admit I like the Vox. Cool.

Mobile email via Vox