Thursday, November 22, 2007

Baby and the Dark side

Whoops! With being busy with one thing and another, I've not really had the chance to blog like I used too. Guess its a sign of getting old, or perhaps, just work getting in the way, who cares, as long as I'm back.

First things first, 31st October, my sister had her first baby. Her name is Niamh (pronounced Neve) and she's nice and healthy. I've just returned from Newcastle for a bit of a break, mainly because I didnt want to miss out on the cute thing growing too quickly. Puts a few things into perspective, but it was great to see the family and the new addition. I spent the full day Tuesday with my sister, and probably the most we've spent together since we were with kids (with her getting married and me moving away) and I think she appreciated the company during the day.

I was torn between getting a PS3 (mainly because I have a PS2 and a PSP) and an xbox 360. I've never really been convinced about the xbox (xbox 360) - mainly because it stands for everything I hate - well Microsoft in gaming. But after some discussions with John, the nice bloke at Game and a few other people, I decided to go with it. I'd traded in all my old games, those games that I bought years ago, played a couple of times and thats it, and managed to get £120 in gaming vouchers. I came back home, plugged it altogether, managed to cable it up to my router and play a couple of games. I was a bit disappointed at buying the xbox 360 elite, to find out it didnt come with a wireless adapter. Extra cash that you don't really think you're folking out for.

I did have a 28" CRT wide screen TV and after a bit of humm'ing and harr'ing, I decided to search the T'interweb for HDTVs. Managed to pick up a nice 32" HDTV made by Sony for just over 600 quid, and that turned up 3 days later. Plugged everything in, and was gobsmacked at the difference.

Football wise, the kids have actually won a game this season, against a team who you can tell are half decent, but are struggling like we did last season. Leamington FC are doing well in the Trophy, thanks to a Tuesday night trip down to Margate for a replay. Around 50 Leam fans travelled, and I was lucky enough to get 1/2 day off to go too. We sang for 90 minutes solid, and completely put their home fans to shame. This weekend, a nice trip to London village in the next round, having to play a team 2 divisions higher than what we are. You could say, this will probably be our cup final.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stefan on Football

I eventually got my NUFC shares - I bought them for something like 22p around 7 years ago, and now had them bought out at 101p - not alot you might think, but, return on investment is pretty good - oh and it gets Fat Freddie out of the board room and stops him embarressing the club anymore. Overall, I'm pretty confident with NUFC at the moment, good manager, decent buys (although I was panicking up to end of July) and a board who are willing to stick to their guns. We completely destroyed Bolton at their place, and we should have done better against the Villa - but having played 2 games and still undefeated - pretty good going and its been along time since I could have said that.

Leam FC have just started their new season in a new League. Unfortunately, things didnt go to plan on Saturday when, after 30 seconds, the opposition keeper got sent off for bringing down Josh Blake (I'll get you butler!) outside the area. Leighton decided to play 10 men behind the ball, and do anything they could to even it up by trying to get someone from our team sent off - this didnt happen, but they did manage to gain a pen, by a very dodgy decision by the whistle happy referee. The ref was blowing every 30 seconds, thanks to the screaming opposition whenever one of our players even went near him. I suppose, rose tinted glasses, but a better game is expected tonight. We managed to sell 100 fanzines too, which is a good start, considering the attendance was something like 500.

I take my kids team into the U12 age group - and some of them are coming on leaps and bounds - some are showing potential, but yet, still suffering from a drought of players who a) can actually play football and b) want to join Leamington Brakes. A local rival club have managed to put another team into the same league as us, yet, we're still struggling to put teams together - strange. Alot of research has gone on in terms of finding drills that suit our needs and we're looking more professional in terms of turning up prepared and disciplining the team. Onwards and upwards - we can only do what we can with the tools we have.

Stefan on Friends

Facebook - probably the devil's child - but its addictive, its funny and gets you in touch with so many different people. Not only has it got in touch with 4 friends that I used to hang around in Leeds with (before the times of Mobile phones etc etc) - of which had a thing for 2 of them, but its also got me back in touch with 6 friends from School.

I have to admit, I had to remove someone the other day, because they kept inviting me to many an application, such as; Vampires, Zombies, Vampire v Zombies, Ninjas, Vampire Ninja Zombies v Pirates, Pirates that used to be Ninjas, but now Zombies v Vampire Strippers, etc etc. it got to the point where I was being invited to 20 a day. So for a simple life, I deleted him - oh well, not really a shock there, is there?

Anyhoo, I've decided to stop giving advice to friends, mainly because, 9 times out of 10, they'll avoid it - because they just don't want to know, or so stuck in their ways, that they've got so many problems, they dont want to fix the problems. I decided that the easy way is to not add to the problems, stay quiet & keep out the way. Harsh though it may seem, but I've tried - in so many different ways.

Stefan on Women (or not on Women, if you get my drift)

Strange tho it mean seem.... Na, only joking. There has been this lass that I've liked for many years, well, OK, 5 years. She is completely different to those that I normally go for, she smokes, yeah, big wow, she's funny as hell, she's caring, well, OK, she's funny as hell.

I guess you can put it down to flirting, when we've been out and bumped into one another, but thats as far as it ever got. Anyhoo, the story starts when John is away at glasto, and I was given the challenge to entertain Debbie for the weekend (more like a prison sentance). Four hours into our beer session, I had a text from said lass, asking where I was etc, and how she was elsewhere and bored. I suggested that we were in town, but probably not for very much longer, as we were starting to feel the effects. After more text messages, I'd agreed to meet her in town, and go back with Debbie and watch big brother. Was nice and chilled, Debbie said she seemed a very nice lass, and it was great.

I asked what she wanted to do, and she agreed to stay at my place - what was even more fantastic is that we snogged. Was really nice (probably down to alcohol consumed on both sides) and asked what she wanted to do, sofa, bed, what ?! We ended up in bed, probably had a little too much fun, but seems nice & natural.

I took her home the next morning, got a kiss... then .... radio silence. I text'd her when I returned from my holidays asking if she wanted to go for a coffee/tea/beverage - then got a text 3 hours later saying she was at family do. I invited her out to the cinema - still not recieved a text back, nor MSN, nor phone call. I bumped into her in the pub, and it was like she was making an effort to avoid me - meh

So, what do you do ? You really like someone, they're not interested - so decided - screw it - staying well away from women now. Chances are that she dislikes me anyhow - oh for that time machine. Mind you, if I had a time machine, I would know exactly what time/date I would visit.

Stefan on Holidays

Yes, I know its been a long while since I blogged - deal with it. I went on holiday with good friends John, Debbie, Tom and Abbie for a couple of weeks (Tom and Abbie only stayed for the one week) to Fuertaventura. Debbie and Abbie had invested alot of time of working out where was decent, feeding all our requirements into that massive world wide interweb thingy and out popped a couple of Villas. Flight times were decent too, leaving in the afternoon, getting back late evening - so you know - sun, beer, women, laughs and a jolly good time was had by all.

The first week, I mostly spent lazying around with my newly promoted "Beach Buddy" - namely Debbie. There was a nice little beach in town, surrounded by little cafe type places, which no one really used. So we spent a couple of hours sunbathing, then a couple of hours eating, then a couple of hours sunbathing, then to cap the afternoon off, wandered back, via the supermarkets and the English pub that I found which was showing Sky Sports News all day. John and Tom decided that Kite Surfing was for them, and spend many a full day down the beach learning to do this - coming back with stiff arms, bruises and many a pain.

The Villa came equiped with a BBQ - so most of the time we decided to drink beer, eat BBQ'd food and have a laugh. John done a fantastic job as Chef and didnt kill any of us with semi frozen meat. We were invited out to Tom and John's Xtreme Sport meal type thing on Friday Night. This involved all the Xtreme people doing surfing, kite surfing, etc etc ending up in a traditional restaurant, eating vast amounts of food, getting boozed up, then moving onto pubs and clubs in town. This was 16 Euros (or Bells, as it was renamed to during the week) for all the food and booze (including a bottle of white wine to myself) you could intake during the restaurant. Many people asked what Debbie and I were up too, as they hadnt seen us at any of the Xtreme days. I think we scared them by mentioning, "dish washing", "watching Sky Sports News", "sunbathing" and "Oh, Steve, does Ironing count as Xtreme?"

The 2nd week turned into more of a Extreme sport session for Debbie and I, with us trying Body Boarding (Debbie tried surfing once while I continued to perfect my level 1 Body Boarding badge [ might not exist ]). This was fantastic and if I knew how good it was, I would have spent the first week doing it too. Body Boarding was mainly fantastic, because of the fantastic looking Swiss girls who were also on the course. At one point, I managed to catch a fantastic wave, and somehow, end on top of her, while she was on her board. Part of me grinning, part of me blushing, I kind of apologised but she grinned and was probably thankful for a bit of "in the sea excitement"

Anyhoo, it was a fantastic place, we were out of the town by about a 15 minute walk, so it wasnt noisy, wasnt too busy and also give you the chance to walk some of the booze off before bed (until we worked out it was 2 Euroes / Bells for a taxi from town to the villa - nice)

Tom's catchphrase, "Strange tho it may seem" continued even when he left - much to the amusement of us all. John's first 10 minute joke of the Fun Flight turned into 2 weeks of the Venga Boys - and 2 weeks of us trying to work out which song he was singing (and 2 days of Debbie trying to download).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friends : Past, Present, Future?

I was up early this morning, mainly because I have a very good friend staying for the weekend, and still have a lot to tidy up. Pippa is one of my dearest friends, yet, she still scares the living crap out of me, not in a bad way, probably in a "keep you on your toes" way. Anyhoo, I'm finishing early today, to keep her out of Leam trouble, so started early - like way to early.

When I logged in to work, I received an email from my work email address from a facebook friends request. I tried everything I could to move the request from that email address to my correct facebook profile - without any success. So had to create another ID - only to find out it was a friend from Leeds when I lived there on my sandwich year. Her name is Julia, she was, how can I put it, stunningly stunning, and someone I completely bounced off and felt at home with. Don't know what it was, she was just *LUSH* and perfect - of course, 8 years on, people moving around, people moving jobs - we all lost touch with one another.

Not taking anything away from friends from Newcastle or friends at the moment - because I love them all dearly - Julia was special - very special some would say - but just didnt happen, turns out, she has a 18 month old baby and living in sin. Julia invited me to a wedding this weekend, her sister Weezie (it was a kind of a strange naming convention - Louise was Weezie, I ended up being Weephen) and old friend Russ (from what I recall Wuss was his name). Any other weekend and I would have been up there like a shot.

Anyhow, without being too corny - friends - what fantastic people they are.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hmm, one of them weeks

I knew that when Monday came, it was going to be a manic week, but tried to take it on as any other week, just slowly & taking it steady. I don't know why, but I feel drained - its probably because of someone sawing wood at 23:45 last night, it might be because I've felt meh for the last couple of days.

I've got to hold trials for my new team next season, which you would think its easy enough to stand there shouting directions at kids, there's also a tough side to it too. Its not just about their abilities to play football, its also ensuring that they have the right attitude to play, they have the discipline too. I spent far too long shouting at kids who just didn't want to play football, but were forced there by their parents, and unfortunately, the only people who suffered are those who wanted to play football & win- I want to turn this around. Part of this is for the kids, part of it is for myself, that we're actually doing something good, apart from keeping them off the streets.

Thursday night is worrying me a tad. Its the awards nights for the players from the season just gone, and I have to write a speech, based on achievements and highlights from the season. I know it sounds a bit funny to say, but a 5 minute speech based around the teams achievements is hard enough, but when you've picked up 2 points, conceeded 50 odd goals is going to be even harder. To top it off, Gary McSheffrey (of Brum City and dumping NUFC out of the FA Cup fame) will be attending, making my night even more morky.

I was tidying up my gaff, mainly because I have an old friend staying for the weekend, but came across a photo album that my mother give me for my birthday once. Decided to scan a few in, just for fun, like, and came up with a couple of corkers. There will be more to come, and available on my flickr site, but really got me thinking, should I move back up to Newcastle ? At the moment, not really sure, but its at the back of my mind.

Best toy ever! My own Tardis. Oh, look at my chubby cheeks.

Me, last week

Anyhoooo, As I say, I have a friend staying this weekend, so should be interesting to see what happens. She's a nice lass, although a little insane, but we get on fine enough. I'm a little bit miffed that the scafolding is still kicking around after 3 weeks, and really expected the place to be painted and clear again. I'm hoping that the weather is going to be fantastic at the weekend, for fun, beer, sunbathing, chatting and catching up. Might even get some shopping in during that time too.

All in all, a busy week - and still not seen Pirates OTC 3 - dammit

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Face the strange

Well, plan A went well didnt it. I managed to pluck up the courage to ask her out. Sadly got a reply saying that she's seeing someone and the age gap is too big - oh well, at least I tried, and thats what is important - and people like triers - dont they ?

Getting really into The Klaxons album this week, also downloaded Blondie's Keep me hanging on the telephone - fantastic track - even uploaded it up to my ipod nano ready for running.

Following on from Mr John's post earlier this week, I registered myself onto social networking site, facebook. Its rather addictive, but fun, but not really sure my boss will think its fun sadly. Anyhoo, my profile appears to be here so if you read, and interested at all, add me - perhaps.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Oh what do you do..!

I admit it, I really really like someone, and have done for a while - just not seen her around. I kind of asked her out (probably 5 months ago or something) and to be brutally honest, I was gutted when I didnt get an explaination. She has this stunning smile, a smile that just makes me grin (I'm grinning just thinking about the smile alone) and to conclude stunning all over.

Anyhoo, with only an email address and no other means of contacting her - do I risk emailing her, asking if she fancies going out? or what ? all very confusing I tell you. With her being stunning, chances are she'll get snapped up by someone else, but I don't want to appear to be overly eager. Oh, this is where the times of the internet and the are just bad and wrong ... in olden days, you could bump into each other, have a cup of tea and be watching a movie at the cinema.

I deffo think I need to leave it a day or so, as I don't wish to appear too eager (emailed her lastnight). If someone could come out with a book to answer these questions - they'd make a small fortune - maybe thats what I should do.

Cats & Quiz

After doing my usual "i'm so bored, but hungover" visit of youtube this morning, skipping past angry Emo's, bits of Lost & Heroes I came across e-kitten.

I'm now pondering going back to bed, thanks to the Robbins Well Quiz finishing at around 23.30, and clowns coming in singing badly on Karaoke. We managed to win the quiz, thanks to some fantastic inside knowledge on music, sport and general knowledge. The prizes ranged from more booze (8 pints worth + bottles of tesco's cheap french lager), water pistols and something else. I appear to have come back with 2 x old fasioned pint glasses, but not really sure how that happened. MMM praise by Mr Bank for being so famous, that we have a day off after him.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Merthyr 6 a-side Compo

Yesterday, a group of Leamington FC supporters headed down to Merthyr to play in their annual 6 a-side compo. You may remember, that last year, I couldnt play due to breaking my ankle, so this year meant alot to me. Sadly, I've been hit by some kind of chest infection, so spent the last couple of weeks drinking day / night nurse and avoiding alcohol.

The night before was the clubs award night - which meant a late night, and even worse, we had to set off from leamington at 6.30 am to get down Merthyr Football Club for 9.30 for registration. With the alarm kicking off at 5.30 - there was enough time for a shower, pack a few things, then Pete and Vince rang to say they'd arrived at my place. The club had kindly lent us a set of strips from a couple of years ago, and also given us access to a mini bus (and a fuel card) meaning we didnt have to folk out for transport or fuel - making it a cheap day.

We also had a couple of the players lined up to play for us, Adam Knight, and Ben Mackey (of ex Premiership Coventry fame). Sadly Ben ended up in hospital with an eye injury, and Adam was running late - having extended their award night down to the local club, and not getting in til gone 4am. Adam eventually turned up at 11.15 - fair play to the lad for finding the place in the middle of nowhere.

The Squad ...myself and Knighty - seperated at birth.

Our first game was against Peacocks Distribution Centre which we played without Mr Knight, and managing a 0-0 draw, considering only 3 of us play football on a regular basis, we dont pretty well, with myself playing up front as a lone striker / holding the ball up for support. Pete and Vince played in defence and managed to stop anyone getting pretty close to taking a shot and protecting JJ who ended up in goal of all places. The compo meant that the two 2 from the two divisions went thru to the semi finals - and we had to get points on the board. The 2nd game was against Gloucester City and we managed to score two goals (well Knighty did) showing what a player can really do - however we also conceded goals straight after scoring - taking the final score to 2-2. We needed to win the last game to get any chance of progressing to the semi-finals. We did that by beating MTFSTC 1-0 in the final group game - myself having about 5 or 6 shots saved by the keeper alone, however, Knighty was there to save our blushes by scoring.

We played the Strikers Bar Team in the semi finals, who were near enough favs to win the compo, and with the score 0-0 after 15 minutes, it went to extra time with golden goal. They kept coming at us, however once again, a one-two with myself, Knighty fired a fast high ball that any keeper would have struggled to keep out. The opposition team were mortified that we had beaten them, so much so, their keeper was in tears on the floor for 5 minutes.

Here it was, Leamington FC Fans getting into the final - and a chance to take the cup out of Wales for the first time. We kept the team shape the same, we kept the same players on, starting with most of the strongest people on the pitch. This time, it was 10 minutes each way, going straight into pens if it was a draw. We were up against Newport County, the winners of the cup last season and we had enough chances, as did they, but disaster hit 2 minutes from full time, when they scored. We had a couple of chances once again, but they were saved and sadly Leamington FC Fans came back empty handed but doing themselves proud once again.

After a shower, we headed to Merthyr's ground, had some food, had some beer, watched the FA Cup Final then headed back up the country to Leamingtonshire. Another bonus, was Knighty leaving us all his champers that he had won in Friday Night's raffle - so we cunningly sank all of that before we even got back to the English Border. A fantastic day, or should I say Ace day - hopefully we'll go one further next season. We all got back to Leamington, noticing that although it wasnt a partcularly sunny day, that everyone was sunburnt.

Sign in Merthyr : Stop - Hammer Time!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Small ball of fluff in canal ? or animal ?

I popped into town at lunch today, only to find a moorhen on my patio. Rather than flying away, it came towards me, made a funny moorhen-like-noise. When I walked towards the canal, I saw the little baby moorhen all nice and cute and swimming in the canal, against galeforce winds.

aww cute ... just a ball of fluff in manky water.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Is it a turkey? is it a duck?

I woke up a little hungry this morning, the first time for a while, so popped over to local & friendly somerfield to get some things for breakfast and lunch. I decided turkey steaks were probably the best way to go, so made a fine purchase, along with some brownbread. At midday, powered my lean-mean-fat-destroying-grilling-george-formby-grill up, placed on a slice of turkey, and went away my merry way with work.

I checked it a while later, and with horror, found that it had turned into some form of ducks head.

Scary, really.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Wembley Visit

Leamington FC got kicked out of the FA Vase a couple of months ago thanks to Curzon doing their home work on our tactics, subsquently, Curzon got kicked out the next round and never made it to the FA Vase. Some bright spark suggested that a group of us pop down on the train and help support one of the teams at the final. It was an excuse to get to Wembley on the cheap, without a) having to queue up for hours to watch the SugarBabes or b) spend thousands of pounds on black market tickets watching the FA Cup. AFC Totton where playing Truro City at the newly opened ground, and yes, I was excited. Truro were favs to win and their chairman is very amitious with the club's vision. We decided to sit with the Totton fans and support them for the day.

We set off from Leamington Station just after midday - managed to get a special offer on train tickets which worked out to be £11 each, watched the world go by and got off at the Wembley Stadium Station. Magic - as soon as we walked up the stairs you could see the stadium - how perfect is that ?!

After reading it was around 9 quid for burger, chips and a drink - we pottered around Wembley a little to find a quiet pub and a chippy. Turned out, the pub wasnt that quiet, and the chips were starch in hot fat for 3 minutes - but, at least it didnt cost us 9 quid.

We found our entrance, went in, had bags searched, went up 4 flights of stairs, bought programmes for 3 quid - not bad again and went to find out seats. We were sat in the top tier and the stadium looked massive and below us, already a sea of colours were starting to show. The day was a little dull in terms of the weather, but they had the roof open to let in what light was available. Seating was pretty good, I've been to St James Park and you struggle if you have longish legs, but this was actually comfy.

Totton went 1-0 up after half an hour, and were unlucky to go in at half time with the advantage, with Truro pulling one back with a minute to spare. At half time, we popped downstairs to have a gander at the food courts. There was something like 28,000 people there, yet it didnt seem *that* busy, you werent being pushed and pulled around, again like I've seen at St James Park and Villa Park, there wasnt the usual mad rush just before half time to get food in - everyone just went with the flow, like it should be.

The 2nd half saw Truro come out strong, scoring twice in the 2nd half, and Totton trying to walk the ball into the back of the net. The Atmosphere was a little poor, with both sets of fans a little quiet - maybe it was the big venue, maybe it was the weather. Sad to say but, we all wondered, "what if" Leamington had beaten Curzon and got into the final.

Bobby Moore Statue

After the game, we wandered around the stadium a bit, took in the massive Bobby Moore Statue that was just opened last week - and I mean massive. We headed back to the station via an offy and got the train back to Leamington. All a little too easy really. I think in total, including train and ticket - I spent around 30 quid - not bad for a day out and away from the Leamington Goldfish Bowl (tm).


Since the age of 17 and up until last week, I've had 2 days off on the sick - that includes the time when I broke ny ankle last summer. I don't like being ill, in fact I hate it, but I'd rather be busy, than sitting around doing nothing. I had to have 2 days off on the sick lastnight because of this *thing* I have sitting on my chest - not pretty & certainly not clever. I skipped friday night's mini happy friday meal, because I just wasn't up to it - perhaps I'm getting old and sensible.

I need to get rid of it by the weekend as I'm off to Merthyr to play in a fan's football compo and missed it last year because of said broken ankle. Looking really forward to it, although played football once in the last month - going to be tricky.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Brakes just don't stop

Lastnight, Leamington FC hosted the Lord Mayors charity game against Coventry City. It had been suggested that Cov would only send their youth team, but turns out, they started with 6 1st team players on the pitch - we all expected a thrashing. Before the game, we were allowed to touch the silverware that the Team had won over last couple of weeks and take shots. Thankfully, John had his phone with him, while other lesser mortals left theirs at home. Nice shots I think.

MFA Cup Trophy

MFA League Trophy.

Anyhoo, getting back to the game, we beat the Coventry Sunday League Team 1-0, with a Jephcott goal in the first half. Oh how the Cov massive got angry and punished us by throwing jellybabies and milk bottle sweets at us. Still, a massive crowd attendance of 856 - all in the name of Chaaariteee.

Friday, May 04, 2007

League Cup Final

Lastnight, Leam FC played in the League Cup final up at the Bescot Stadium against Tipton Town. Remember, we played there last season and lost to Barwell, well this season Captain Cadzy was trying to put to rest the ghosts from 12 months ago. Taking a detour to Brinklow to pick up the lovely Faith, we headed up the M6, talking all things Colts, Football and Brinklow. I think Pete knew I was secretly papping my pants, and I think Pete knew that I knew that he was secretly papping his pants too - so we just talked nonesence for at least 2 hours on the way there.

It was a great atmosphere when we got there - bumping into people we speak to regularly, those once in a while, and also those who turned up for the day. We took our seats, and the usual suspects who moan at anything, moaned at the stewards, then shrewly waved them away "not wanting any trouble". We had the majority of the play in the first half, hitting the wood work a number of times, with Tipton just happy to sit back and hoof it over the top to their "big man"* might actually be diddy. Against the run of play, Tipton scored from an accidental drop from Richard Morris (from what I can remember)

Once again, moaning people decided that if you're 1-0 down at half time, you might as well just pack up and go home for the remaining 45 mins. I think they'll need to learn very quickly that next season is going to be a little harder than this season, and we will lose, but its up to us and the management to pick the team up - not just give it up.

Anyhooo ... the Brakes came back, fought for the ball, hit the woodwork even more times - so much so, it looked like a Crossbar Challenge from Soccer AM. The fans were getting louder and louder as time went on ... 88 mins arrived and we managed to get an equaliser - the crowd went mental - seriously mental. This took us into extra time, with the opposition players who previously having "cramp" (*might have been trying to time waste) deciding there wasnt really time for it anymore. Leamington FC came back stronger, and you can tell that after the season we had, we were going to win it, or at least take it as close as we could. Every Brakes player was getting to the ball quicker, passing it around, moving faster, and Tipton looked like they were running out of energy. Andy Gregory (the chap who fixed my front door) picked the ball up from midfield, looked up, hit the damn thing, only to see it hit the back of the net - 2-1 in the first period of extra time.

We had ample opportunities to take the game out of Tipton's reach, by once again, hitting the bar and the post - time and time again. The final final (final) whistle went, Leamington FC were crowned League Cup final winners, 12 months after a terrible display against Barwell.

Highlights of the night were;

  • the "stand up, if you're 2-1 up" and 800 Leamington Fans standing up, clapping, making even more noise.
  • the Sack Cadzy Banner - Ironic statements from fans that can be found in the Courier

Managed to shake hands with Morts, the captain for the night - what a fantastic experience.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Best Day - Ever

Leamington FC hosted a day of football, based on past and future. This consisted of the kids doing an exhibition style game, with Brakes Legends v Chairman Select 11. We were up first and playing the other U11 team, now, Tub's team (manager of U11) are midtable division B, and my team are rock bottom of division C, 15 minutes each way, and it was all about the kids having a laugh, and showing what the Youth club is all about.

Both teams were given the dugouts at the New Windmill Ground, where the kids were able to play on the perfect carpet pitch in a 6aside pitch setup. After 2 minutes, my team went 1-0 up with one of the lads first goals of the season, and we held on, much to Tub's annoyance. Half time came and went, and we had a number of chances up front, and holding strong at the back. However, typical Colts Styleee, we conceeded a goal in the very last minute of the game - making it 1-1 - however probably good for the team, club and crowd to see an entertaining game.

After the game, I was told to go see the youth chairman at half time about getting a couple of minutes on the pitch as part of the chairman select team - fair enough. Nice to be rewarded for working with the kids all season. After 5 minutes of talking to some of the lads, my name was called out on the PA system and told to go to the players tunnel. Half expecting a rollocking for nearly beating Tub's team, I was told to go into a door way. There was the chairman of the youth squad, handing me a kit (all white - handy with my complexion) and sitting on the chair was Tubs. He pulled on this goalkeeping top, looking so giddy - you know the look, like all your dreams have come at once, you've got your first train set, or something special, just add about 30 years and add the same amount of excitement. Tubs was holding onto my arm, more or less dancing saying "Steve, we're going to play, isn't this great ?!?!?"

Photo : Paul Edwards - Me in Number 17 - Looking Excited.

Anyhoo, I sat on the bench for the remaining of the first half, listening to the lads, and hoping the weather would warm up a little. The whistle went and chairman select were 3-0 up, we went back to the changing rooms and had a couple of orders (me replacing the manager of the academy side) but mainly listening to a couple of the legends, about tales from old - fantastic - this is like every boys dream - coming true. The lad who was playing in my position in the first half, warned me about some old legend nutmegging him and generally making him look like a fool - oh fantastic I thought.

Thankfully by the time I got on the pitch, they'd swapped it around too, marking the U9's manager, Mr Ackrill, so we had a laugh, and I generally had him in my pocket for the time I stayed on the pitch. Thanks to Pete and JJ (my coaches) they had collected all the kids from my team, and decided to give me loads of abuse, and the kids shouting the same things that we shout to them when they're playing. Luckily they got bored of that quickly and went to play football. I did manage to get a bit of a clap & cheer when I back heeled the ball to a player behind me while someone was closing me down, and managed to cross a ball into the box. After 25 minutes of running around like a headless chicken, I decided to give it up for a bit and sit back on the bench.

The final score was 4-4 - so there was a bit of Pen action. I don't think it was being counted, but I took mine, managing to some how, slide it under the keeper and squeezing it into the back of the net. What a fantastic day tho, completely honoured to be involved in the game, honoured to represent the kids as a manager, and they done themselves more than proud.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day 2 - Denmark

Before I get onto the main story of the day, lets talk about Denmark a little and how they actually work. Due to the fact that I'm working on a massive account, with some problems, they have what is called a WAR room - where all the coordinators and subject matter experts (that's me) sit, so if there are any questions, they can ask, without moving more or less. The culture in Denmark is, start early, finish early - which is fair play to them really - however, this did mean, getting up at a god unearthly hour (5.30 UK time) to get showered, ready and get breakfast.

Some of you may know, I'm not the best at getting up early, and I do like my sleep, so this kind of knackered me up slightly. Anyhoo, I slightly go on a tangent, we get to this WAR room, where they've already got jugs of tea, coffee, milk, water, everything you could ask for - so by the 10am - I'm a little full. A great thing about Denmark, lunch is from 11am til 1pm - so by 10am UK time - I was having my second meal of the day - crazy. This WAR room also have salads, sweets, cakes everything - damn the Danish Pastry. Anyhoo, by 3.30pm Danish time, we were finished - and it felt good, but strange.

Anyhoo, to the story. I missed the Brakes game last night against Market Drayton - my 2nd missed game of all season - all comps - not bad hey ?! Leamington FC lost 2-1 to the Drayton - bad, but apart from a semi cup final, the season is more or less over. One of the chaps at work, who has been very good for ferrying me around the place, offered to take me to see some Danish Football - which seems fair enough. With temps dipping to around 10 oC and only having a small hooded top we reached the stadium. The story behind the Danish "premiership" goes something like this, Brondby (the team we went to see) were massive for many years - a club for the fans. Then popped along FC Copenhagen, which from what I can tell is more or less a franchise club, who attracted fans from all over the country and it concentrated on selling things etc etc - a little like the Chelsea's and Man U's of the world. Brondby and FC Copenhagen are the closest rivals, so it tends to kick off - but in a quiet Danish way.

The ground can hold around 20K fans, but tonight only had just over 10K - which for a cold Wednesday night, fair play to them. The opposition for the night were relegation fodder Viborg FF and as soon as we got into the ground (just making kick off) you can tell the fans are mentalists and follow the team with pride and passion. What was quite interesting, was that most of the songs were English football songs, sang in English too. The first song I heard, I recognised straight away - a Newcastle song, but obviously changed the words slightly. The curse of Warburton kicked in, as Viborg FF went ahead due to the keeper completely misjudging a freekick. Half time came and thankfully, a warm drink and a hot dog later, we moved upstairs to get some seating action (around lovely pretty women - mmm). Brondby must have had a good kick up the arse from the managers team talk and came back, scoring 1, then 2 and with a couple of minutes left, scoring a 3rd.

After the game, I asked if there was a club shop that I could get a shirt from, and the chap showed me, admitting that he needed to keep a low profile, as he was a Randers FC fan, but would help me out. I asked Rich if he wanted a shirt (after he offered to get me one from Germany when he was out there) and got a text back saying "yes, get the away shirt, the home one (which is yellow) would make me look like busby".

My conclusion on Danish football, fun & exciting. It needs to take off a little more, and they need to change their tactics a little more. Its slower than the premiership and English football in general, and they'd rather pass the ball within 50cms, rather than punt it over to the wide man, who has been stood there for 20mins, more or less taking up a new hobby. Thoroughly enjoyed tonight's football tho, an experience that I completely enjoyed, however, missed watching the Brakes play.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Denmark today

Up at the crack of dawn, I swear it was still dark when I got up - great - and in a bad stressed mood. After showering and putting everything into the bag, I set off to Birmingham International Airport, only to be stuck in traffic. As I mentioned in the last most, I have a bad sense of timing, so made sure I set off even earlier than I would have normally, so we should be OK. I left the car in long stay and headed to the airport to check in. I'm never sure about these etickets - scares me that I've cock'd up somewhere along the line, or don't have the correct form of ID or whatever.

In the departure lounge, I picked up some Danish Currency and some new CK aftershave, then the flight was called. Once on the plane, I was faced with an empty row of 3 - one seat for me - and loads of space to spread out. Having already consumed breakfast at such an early time, I was looking forward to whatever they give me, turned out to be salmon steak with veg, dessert, as much tea as I could drink and fresh warm bread - better than what I get at work!

When I landed, I was met at the arrival terminal by one of the chaps at work - who kindly told me he would pick me up and take me to work, rather than trying to get a taxi, getting ripped off and lost. Within 10 mins we were at work, and was shown around, including the canteen, and more food. After being introduced to the guys working on the problem, I was dropped off at my hotel in the city centre.

My hotel, pretty expensive for people of my level, was only in the middle of a redlight district - but a clean one, so not too bad. I dumped my bags, had a quick shower and left to find somewhere to eat, and around 15 mins walk, I found an English style restaurant and pub. After having eyes bigger than my belly - yes, they're very big eyes, I was stuffed, and ended up watching some premiership football in the main bar. They had different types of Carlsberg, more of an ale type beer, rather than lager, then trying one of the local brews. After 5 beers, and it getting dark quickly, I decided to walk / shuffle back to the hotel - which I managed to find without asking anyhow - and avoiding hookers. Welcome to Denmark - only have to get up at 06.30 (05.30 UK Time) - erk!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Denmark T-1 Day

OK, a couple of weeks late, but not really had a chance to blog of late - which is really a shame - seems as one of the reasons I do blog is to destress and get the chaos out of my head. Does that mean I'm not stressed and strange in the head now ? Guess so.... *

Well, the account that I'm working on want me over in Denmark as soon as possible, I suspect the amount of problems they have, are not really problems, but, a week in Copenhagen, who am I to argue. Don't get me wrong, its a great experience and good to get out of the goldfish bowl, but I don't like to travel for the sake of it - just wastes money, time and energy. If anyone has to travel in the company, they have to go thru a travel approval database - regardless if the trip is to Newcastle or New York. Luckily, today my travel was approved and they want me there first thing tomorrow.

I booked my flight, and told to take what ever tickets are available, just so happened to be economy extra - which is the first time I've travelled above the bulk standard level - exciting too. One thing also to note, my sense of time is pretty shocking, this stems from not really wearing a watch, but having to be somewhere, in advance of a certain time - I can't really do. Turns out, Cophenhagen has a large conference, so the cheap hotels are all booked out, and had to leave it to my colleagues over in Denmark to sort out - so technically - don't have anywhere to stay.

As its around midday - I don't at the moment have a dry clean shirt to take and everything else is outside trying dry before ironing and getting packed. To confuse the situation even more, I have a meeting up at the football club too, which tends to last a couple of hours.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

10Km - Oh, so much fun

You may recall, that I applied for the Regency Race a month or so ago, against my better judgement, well, it was today. I've been loaded with cold all week, so much so that I could barely see on Friday when I went into town, full of hot flushes and burning pain. It got to Friday night and I nearly conceeded to the fact I wouldnt be able to do it, but because I'm doing it for the Football Club, and I don't like letting people down, I done my best to get myself fit. Armed with a wad of cash, I went to the nearest Chemist and ordered the strongest medicine that Leamingtonshire could provide. Rather than being given medicine, they give me some dodgy tablets called "chest-eaze" - but true to the chemist's word, they worked pretty well, so took a couple yesterday between the football and Dr Who. Lastnight also involved Vix Vapour rub all over my chest and nose, to help the process along a little faster.

This morning was an early start, mainly because of the chuckling idiots at the Grand Union Restaurant til none o'clock, but at 7.30 it was shower, get dressed and get something simple on my stomach. Bananas I thought would help my energy, so I had 3, turns out, they're not so good. I met Debbie out on the street and we went for a nice stroll into Leamington to find the race start, bumping into Liz & Andy from football. We got ourselves sorted and then it started.

The 1st Km went pretty well, and I was going past a lot of people, not worrying about distance, and listening to music. The "only incline" was up Newbold's Golf Course, which was aided nicely by the Water Treatment place leaking, taking me back to school cross country - so nice, my trainers and socks were soaking wet. The 2nd Km went pretty quickly and I was still moving forward rather than backwards. This was the theme really, and knowing I was full of cold, tried to keep it easy til 5Km - which again, was pretty quick. We headed into town, and I went past what I thought was 8Km, so I decided to pick up a bit of pace, thinking I could get to 9Km, walk a bit then run the rest. Needless to say, after hitting the road pretty quickly, I reached the real 8Km marker and being a bit disappointed, I started to walk a little, to be pep'd up by a complete stranger, while I was listening to the Klaxons.

Anyhoo, to cut a long story slightly shorter, I managed to get to Mill Gardens and greeted by Vince, a football friend, taking nice photos of my "Doc from Back to the Future" style head (putting Hair Gel on before I came out) and barely able to speak. I managed to get my prize bag, greeted by Caroline, Liz, Vince, Andy and waited around for Debbie.

My stomach done some funny thing where it vibrated for a while, then settled down, but I couldnt get any words out - all strange. Luckily for me, everyone else apart from Debbie buggered off, muttered the word "turn around Debbie" and as she asked "why" I cunningly spewed my guts up in front of her. Bananas - bad - told you (sorry if you're eating by the way). But after some water, perfectly brilliant, apart from the stiff legs. Oh, finished the race in 1hour 5 minutes, of which, my aim was 60 mins, so not too bad really, considering its the furthest I've ran - EVER!

I've not got close to £200 quid for the Terracing fund - heading to bed before legs stop working. Oh, so much fun, and bugger off to the 2 castles race!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tickled my fancy.

I've had a relaxing day by the canal today, reading a book, chilling and sitting in the sun. Yesterday, I took the train to Cradley to see Leamington beat then 4-0, and it involved alot of drinking, needless to say, my throat it knackered up and haven't been able to do any training today for this race this time next week.

I've been pottering about this afternoon while the weather got a little cooler, and tried to remember what made me laugh out loud from months ago, and came up with the conclusion, the Simpsons

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cradley v Leamington

What a brilliant day - the sun was out, it was warm, people were smiling, people were drunk, people travelled from afar and most importantly, Cardboard Dog. Met Vince and Pete in TJs at 10:20 this morning, slowly followed by heabutt pete, ordering his first guiness for the day. Walked the short distance to the train station to meet 3-1lee, JJ, Simesy and Sarah, hoped on the train, to meet the tallest man in the world, Martin. Beers were cracked open, gentle banter and sing song up to brum, a quick train swap and over to Cradley.

We found a lovely welcoming pub, had a bit of a laugh, John and the lovely Faith turned up, more banter, more piss take and watching Chelsea score against the Ham of Spurs (Headbutt Pete still drinking fast and strong).We got a nice taxi to the ground, had a laugh, watched HB Pete fall asleep in the sun, fall over, and drop all the chips that were bought for him, he then swore at alot of people.

Funniest moment of the day, was Jimmy Husband whipping a cross from our wing, missing the goal and keeper, hitting HB Pete on the forehead, and him not even flinching. Lots of songs, lots of positive chanting, lots of getting behind the team. We obviously won 4-0 with lots of random singing and again positive vibes when we heard the Roms score come thru (both HT and FT)
After the game, we had a beer, the nice taxi man turned up, give us a nudge, we all piled in to tunes of "do we have everyone" and everyone saying "yes", 2 minutes later, Simesy shouting "Sh!t, We've forgot Sarah". So we go back -- idiot.

We get to the train station, only for village professors, JJ and Simesy, deciding at this point they've forgot the rucksack with 2x flags in. Luckily John had the car, so went back to fetch them - cheers chap.

Train drive was a little strange, between JJ and Simesy moaning, cursing and swearing at one another, Sarah getting the huff, then a "fellow" geordie singing songs to JJ, kissing him and being loud. Popped into town with Tall Swedish Chap, Vince and Pete (and Headbutt, we think) for a couple of beers - come home, watched Dr Who.

Video credit : Vince Taylor.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bricking My Pants Time

Next month sees Leamington host the Regency Run, which is 10Km in total. There was talk amongst the group that we would apply for it, however with not being very fit these days, I decided to drop out, and then there was talk about John doing it, but he has to work in Japan. Debbie has shamed us all, by applying for it a while back, which made me feel a little guilty, but with the news that the race might be full, I felt a little better.

I decided to give it a chance and see if I could push myself a little more, and applied for it Monday night. With a clunk of the mail box this morning, I opened the post, to find my own race number. I've done myself proud lastnight, and considering I havent done any exercise in terms of long distance running for a while, I managed to do just under 4Km. Time to cut out some booze, drop some weight and eat healthy for a bit I think.

As the race is on a Sunday, I'll have to do the race (starts at 9) then go manage kids straight after - I'll be glowing red for approx 4 days after this.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Remember Een? Sahara Update ...

I had a text from the lovely Philippa earlier on, pointing me to a website where you can check on the progress of people in the race. Turns out, Een is currently 22nd out of 850 - nutcase & loon.

The website also has a select number of photos taken from the last couple of stages - and knowing what you need to do to be in races like this, you have to be at the peak of your health. However, this kind of scared me ...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Karma & Magic Darts

Having signed up for Friends-Reunited a couple of years ago, I've been in touch with a number of people I actually want to keep in touch with from up north. Sometimes I get messages from the website - about people getting married, having kids, moving to the States - that kind of thing. Last week, I got a bit of a funny one, KE who I used to go to school with had won an award for Undiscovered Author. KE is using a pen name of Holly A Harvey, the book is called Karma, and as another friend from school, Sarah, owned an independant book shop up north and is stocking it, I gave her a call to see if I could blag a copy. Sadly this didnt work, and I got talked into making a purchase - but you know, its helping two old friends, right ?

When I finished handing over £8.99 for a very interesting book, Sarah asked me if I wanted it signed by "Holly" so why not I said, incase its a classic in 200 years time. 2 days later, a book turns up - and looks very nice - just need to get around to reading it. It is of course, signed by "Holly" saying "To Stephen, 'Magic Darts!!!!' Love Holly A Harvey."

Magic Darts relates to a catch phrase we had at school, if anything was going the right way, we used to aim an imaginary dart at the imaginary dartboard, fire the dark and shout "Magic Darts" or "Championship Darts" - suppose you have to be there - but mildy amusing thing to do, in fact, I might re-introduce it again.

You can get the book from Amazon, or alternatively, phone up Sarah at her bookshop - she's nice and doesnt bite .. thankfully. You can also read Holly's Blog at the following address;

Buy it, read it, enjoy it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Brass Monkey's

The Arctic Monkey's are about to tour the UK - however rather than giving everyone a nice hotline and taking down the phone lines in London, they decided that it would be better if you signed up to a website. All good and well really, you would think, but they're pretty much in demand, and its first come, first served. I had an email saying "thanks, but no thanks, or and you were to slow, you fat fingered geordie fool" - well, not quiet, but for the comedy value - it works in my head.

I didnt think anything else of it, then I had an email pop up on Friday saying "not all tickets sold - click this link and enter pin code". So, I did, and got prompted to which venue I was interested in - so I entered Brum. I was then asked to enter my credit card details - so I did, then had "Thank you for purchasing tickets" - EEEEK - I thought I was only registering my interest again - whoops.

Needless to say, the lovely Jess (sadly in Leeds now) - you know the one, cute smile, funny lass, makes me giggle - suggested that they werent actually that good live. Double whoops. I had a look on ebay - and the tickets are going for 150 quid - and there is still a month left! Crumbs, imagine what you can do with that. Friendly brummie man, Bellis, is into his music, after all, he's having a midlife crisis and trying to be hip and street, so told him about it. He couldnt get tickets either, so suggested if I couldnt make it, I would sell him the tickets for face value.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I was pretty pleased with myself lastnight. I decided to get off my arse and play 5aside football, with most of the students and a couple of IBMers - its a game I don't really enjoy playing, because its full of, well fast footballers. This means, when and if you get the ball (very rare) you have to pass it on, or run with the ball as soon as you recieve it. Its also a mechanism to find people's weak spots, and basically, for crap people like myself, to have the piss taken out of me. I felt lastnight I couldnt do anything right, and thats not me being negative, its the trust god damn it. I had my back on goal, had a ball passed to me, knew someone was free on my right, so passed it perfectly, only for him to miss, but - but - people shouted at me that I should have shot. Minutes later, I took a curling in shot from the left wing - and people say I should pass - meh - football for you.

Pete and Vince had invited me to play the slightly later game (8 til 9) so by the time I got home (7.15) I decided that enough was enough, and I wanted to take things into my own hands and I was going to play a 2nd game in 3 hours.

I do like playing this slot (although its a little late in the day for me) mainly because you do get the space, you do get the time on the ball (time & space = more confidence = more time and space .... etc etc ....). Its been a while since I turned up for this slot, but was met by loads of handshakes, welcomes and asking how "Geordie" has been and where I've been. So, we play, I megsy an old bloke, giving me more confidence, had a couple shots on target, and probably had the better game there, even tho I'd ran around for an hour already.

Anyhow, heres where the relativity thing comes in. When I got back, I had a call from a mate of mine, Een. I tend to only ever get calls from him, if his lass is up the spout (hi Sarah), Headley has managed to get himself into even more debt or Big Brother is about to start. Thats not to say we don't keep in touch, its to say, he reads my blog often and doesnt need to call me to find out whats going on.

Anyhoooo, turns out, he was at Gatwick Airport, about to take a flight. Where ? The Sahara Desert to run in a race.

The Sahara Race is a self-supported footrace across 150 miles (250 kilometers)
of the Sahara Desert in Egypt. The race consists of six stages, lasting 7 days,
with distances ranging from 10 to 50 miles (20 - 80 kilometers) per stage. There
will be checkpoints conveniently positioned along the course every 7 or 8 miles
(10 - 12 kilometers). Competitors are required to be fully self-supported
throughout the event and must carry all their own food, gear and clothing, which they will need to complete the 150 mile (250 kilometer) course. Water (including hot water) and a place in a tent will be provided daily. Generous cutoff times will be established daily so that anyone walking the course can complete it. A
limited number of three-person teams and individuals will be accepted.

Excuse me ? Isn't that just mental ? He's a 31 year old man, with two kids, lovely lass of a wife - and he's running 150 mile in the desert. Anyhow, after feeling good about myself, I felt a little deflated, that I've probably done like 0.03% of what he's going to do, in a better climate.

Good Luck Een!

Monday, March 19, 2007

What am I watching ??

Thought I'd update people with what I'm currently watching at the moment, both downloads and TV. Mainly because I havent blogged for a while and it makes a nice introduction to the magical world of me, at the moment.
  • Heroes
  • Lost
  • Skins
  • The Riches
  • Castaway
  • Shipwrecked
  • Ugly Betty

There is alot of "which is best, Lost or Heroes?" at the moment, and to me, I still prefer Lost. Heroes took a while to get into it, with a very slow start, but now that Lost is on til the end of the series - it's getting more and more interesting. Really want Heroes back tho

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Tom.

It was Tom H's 30th on Saturday and I attended with Mr John and Miss Debbie. We ended up in Pizza Express, which has always been a fav of mine anyhow, but it was good to see faces (most of them sober too at 7pm). We had our food, loads of wine - and I felt drunk before we even left - which is a nice feeling. We them wandered up to the Lounge (we had a bit of a headstart) to grab a pint. Tom decided to buy champers for everyone turned up, while some of the others chattered, a couple of us watched the results of the UK Eurovision Contest.

After a couple more pints, we ended up in Rios - where we saw Sniffer, previously of Leamington FC fame. We had a couple of dances to the 70s & 80s tracks - had a laugh - sang loads - I say sang, I mean shouted - so much my brain was about to pop out of my skull.

Due to having the kids (not mine) on Sunday morning, I decided to call it a night, as did John and Debbie, we put Abbi in a taxi and walked back home. Spotting a couple of the other Leam FC people around and about. Fun night by all - loads of booze, champers and a boogie - Oh Rio's is still Rio's

Monday, March 05, 2007

Back to the Future!

After receiving some cack news lastnight, and Rich returning from "up north" he decided it would be good to get me out the house and have a couple of pints - and cheer me up in his unique way. Needless to say, after 10 minutes of him trying to cheer me up, I just wanted to get more booze inside me to block out his counter measures. After his, "at least you didnt get kicked out the vase yesterday, oh wait" line, we decided to join the fuzzy faced gonks in the quiz.

To be fair, we didnt answer many questions, but done our fair share on motivating the troops and taking the piss out of the opposition - which hasnt been done for a while - with comments such as "Sham", "you're a mess" and "you're rubbish".

When the final results came out, our "team" managed to win by 1 point, also managed to win 2 x 4 pitchers of carlsberg and a massive box of bottled beer. We sat with the fuzzy gonks for a bit longer and drank their free beer, til we decided enough was enough and Rich had to be at work in the morning.


Monday, February 19, 2007


One of the Leam Fans contacted me during the week and asked for my email address, has he had something for me (he promised it wasnt a virus). He then uploaded it to youtube and shared it around the messageboard for all to see. Canny likeness really...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wot No Blog..!?

Whoops, I kinda got busy, but didnt if you see what I mean. Its nearly been a month of no blogging, so to summarise, heres whats happened;
  • I had 7 days off work (to return today, and finding out I have another 7 left to take before end of March)
  • Andy Gregory came to sort my front door out
  • Leamington FC lost TWICE.
  • I celebrated my 32nd Birthday, receiving many fantastic gifts.
  • NUFC beat Liverpool FC, but lost to Fulham.
  • Beat Rich in RailRoads three times
  • Helped produce a Fanzine for Leamington FC in less than 3 weeks (40 pages too)
  • Flirted with someone
  • Found a virus on my PC
  • Lost Series 3 has started again
  • As has Heroes

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wii Multimedia Station

I spent some time over lunch time working out how to stream video and audio over the network onto my Wii. Although I bought a HDD recorder over the festive period, it doesnt have a network link, which is a bit pants, but thats technology. Speaking to Rich, we knew there were ways of doing it, just needed a chance to think about it.

Anyhoo, after checking a couple of forums, the easiest way I could find was to use Orb, download the software, create an account and set the location on your PC where your music and video sits, let Orb go off and do its searching. By default, Orb sets up the Windows usual locations for these media types, including the default iTunes library location.

From the Wii side of things, you need to then go to the Internet Channel, use the Wii Browser, point it to - login with your user ID / Password, and select the file(s) from the different subsections.

The only annoying thing is the Wii Browser bar at the bottom of the screen - of which, I dont know if you can get rid of it, or at least hide it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wii're sorted

Saturday's training session got cancelled, so I used the morning to catch up with some well deserved sleep. Meanwhile, Rich decided to use his time more effectively and decided to take a trip to Birmingham on a Wii search. Annoyingly, he got lucky, and tried to contact me to see if I could get up there as the sales assistant said she could put one behind the counter, but couldnt sell a second one to Rich - incase he flogged it on ebay.

Since then, I've had a full weekend of him going on about how fantastic this Wii is, how great the games are, and how his Wii fitness is 83 years old. I admit, I was jealous, and a little miffed, but kept the mission in mind. I phoned up Game in Leamington yesterday, rather than walking up and wasting time, and they said they had nothing come in. Sadly then, I had to go into the office - the first time for 2 months, which is pretty good going.

I had a walk into town today, after rescheduling a meeting, and got to Game. I spoke to the sales assistant, which now had a restraining order on me for hassling him for Wii's, but rather than the traditional "no, and get out" I had "Yes, only got one in today, want to buy it?". So, 3 nanoseconds later, I was leaving the shop, protecting my carrier bag with my life, lightly jogging home to get it setup.

Have to say, its fantastic, and I've only played Wii Sports today, consisting of Wii Bowling, Wii Tennis and Wii Baseball - and currently a little knackered. Oh the fun!

Friday, January 12, 2007

CSI #2

Just by chance, I checked my bank statement this morning, and yes, I know I should do it a little more regularly, but I dont. Turns out my out goings over the Christmas period are larger than my incomings, so I've now declared a CSI (cost saving initiative) for the next couple of months.

As most people do, they join a gym, use the gym for about 3 days and then bomb it off, and fair play, so I took the decision to cancel my membership today. I wandered up, and expected that scene from Friends, where they bring out the pretty assistant and presses cleavage together, making you upgrade to gold level, however, disappointed tho I was, they pushed a form in my face, told me to sign it and oh, I can still use the gym til the end of the month, even tho they'll cancel the direct debit for the 15th - ace!

No more impulse buys from my current account will happen, I've decided, shopping, football and the odd Happy Friday will happen. Luckily, I now have enough TV and movies to watch for the next month or so, and with Heroes and Lost starting up against shortly, I'll have enough on my hands. On top of that, I intend on still eating more healthy and stepping up my "canal fitness" sessions.

The one thing that could be taken as none CSI, but in a way, will help, is this Wii sham that appears to be happening. I was going to add it to my credit card anyhow, but thought, bit of fitness, bit of fun, not really harming anyone, is it - just got to get my damn hands on one first. The tip off I was given kinda ended in a dark tunnel, and after two days, they've not had anymore in, which in my situation, is probably a good thing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wii're on a mission

Rather jealous of the new Wii, I have to say. I wasnt too impressed when the reports came out in mags and technical forums etc, so I'm the first to admit, I was wrong, and I should have put my name on the waiting list. Needless to say, Captain Headworth done exactly the same, thinking that come 2nd / 3rd week into January, they should be more available and maybe pick one up for even cheaper - ha! fools that we are.

Having had a sneak play at Wii Sports on New Years Eve, it gets better, and with Rich getting back from Tunisia, we're on the look out for a couple of consoles. We both refuse to pay inflated ebay prices of 350 quid for the console alone and we've spent the majority of the weekend researching areas where we can obtain.

Tomorrow is looking hopeful, and with a bit of luck, the wind blowing in the right direction, we might be able to pick a couple up, being in the right place, right time, and using our mason handshakes.

Of course, the only reason I'm after one is to increase my health ... guv

New Year, New Rules

We have MC joining a gym, John going off jogging & Debbie being generally healthy, so I thought I'd get on this bandwagon and sort myself out. Slowly at first of course, after all, I did get back from Newcastle full of cold thanks to my mum's storage heaters, that appear to have sucked every ounce of water out of me. First of all, I started shopping at Sainsbury's, to reduce my weekly shopping (see, bit of CIS too), and also get a wider range of healthier stuff. Yes, I bought some Haribo too, but you have to treat yourself once in a while. I dont know what it is, but of late, I've really got myself into peppers, so appear to be having them with anything that doesn't move. The Haribo thing is Philippa's fault - after the last visit, she had this massive tub of starmix, of which I had to eat the majority, still not making a dint in the mass pile - magic you see. Luckily, I cant find the tubs down here, but prefer SuperMix, less problems with my fillings - anyhow I digress, once again.

So yes, I've been eating a little more healthier, with salad, fruit and veg, and less ready meals and deep fried mars bars (that bit isnt true, snickers maybe). On top of that, having forked out for a nice fancy dan running jacket, I decided to take it for an airing on Monday. It was a little damp, a little rainy and windy, and was worried incase I fell into the canal, but you know, if you dont go out, you wont do it - so I did. The jacket is fantastic, and houses my nice nano pretty well, and to top that, I managed to do from our bridge to the goose bridge without stopping. Being full of cold that I am, I was gasping for air at the other end, with bits coming out of my mouth, which wasnt very nice (sorry if you're eating and reading this).

I'd already signed up to 5aside football on Thursday (which has now been cancelled) and the usual slot on Wednesday night and came back with a tight hamstring - so going to take it easy til Friday and hope I can stretch it out. I havent played football for around a month or so now, so was nice getting a couple of goals, even though I could have easily had a hatrick, if I wasnt looking at the ground while running at the same time - oh well.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Oh me too my monkey chum

Fantastic - Al and Monkey are back - funniest set of adverts from the now dead ITV digital, brought back to you by a different company. Even better, advert for Tea.

"What on Earth!"

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Leo Sayer ...

.... in a room full of freaks, oddballs and a scary bird. No, not big brother.

New Year Party 2006/2007

Once again, a massive thanks to John and Debbie for a fantastic New Years Party, with loads of entertainment. This year's party was based around the theme of 2006, basic, but also hard to think of things, and I decided to go as a Cyberman from Doctor Who. Debbie went as the scary student nurse I had a fling with, so had to tell everyone the full story of being acused of many things. John went as Steve Irwin, Troy turned up as the Christmas Tree from the Doctor Who special (which linked in pretty well with mine), then there was Laura, MC and Super Gary who turned up as Come Dancing contenstants.

Some of the usual suspects werent there for different reasons, so was a little more calm than normal. After music, snacks and socialising, John got his Wii out and I was introduced to Wii Sports, which I laughed at, but after playing 6 rounds of Wii Boxing with Tom, I woke up on the 3rd with my arms completely strained.

Singstar came out, and I was talked into singing with one of the guests. I really do hate that SingStar game, not because its a crap game - its actually pretty good, its because I just cant sing, that being the object of the game, kinda ruins it for me.

As I was pretty lazy, and didnt take my camera, here is a link to John's Photos.

Nada Nada Nada Sleep

I thought I'd caught up with my sleep over the Xmas / New Year period and felt pretty healthy and after what was a fantastic new years party at John and Debbies - what could go wrong. Well, on the 2nd, around 10:30pm, I was about to head to bed, catch up on some sleep from the night before when the buzzer went, I decided to ignore it, thinking if it was important enough, and its someone I know, they'd call me - right ?

I went to go brush my teeth, get ready for bed etc etc, when I noticed someones feet on my side pavement. Knowing I'd been to Sainsbury's to do some shopping earlier and knowing I closed the door correctly, I paniced, opened the window as the fella was about to walk backout the door, and asked what he was up too. To be fair, I'm no policeman, but I dont think he was really dressed for breaking and entry - wearing a long scarf, with them tassles at the end, and he came up with an excuse he was trying to get into the Lock and Dock. I told him I was calling the police, he said there was no reason to and disappeared.

I did in fact call the police, which gave me fantastic advice such as, "make sure you're door is locked" and "if anything happens, call us back, use the 999 number". Meanwhile my heart was pumping so loudly and any noise was waking me up straight away, thus vr little sleep, putting me back to square one - dammit.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Historical Football

No real reason to this post, just found it and laughed. Even tho we gave the title to Man U, it certainly spelt out an interesting season for me.