Monthly Archives: May, 2012

I dont like cricket!

Oh no, I love it, oh yeah!

Well maybe I wont go as far as saying I love cricket in a literal sense, but enjoying watching it on a nice day, that I can definitely go for. Alright, there was at least one occasion last year that I watched Ireland when it wasnt a nice day, but we got play in eventually to some degree, and won, so it wasnt too bad.

But yes, watching cricket on a nice day is far more enjoyable. And currently the rumours on the weather forecast suggest I might get one of those tomorrow, though it will be Yorkshire in Leeds, not my beloved Ireland that I’ll be watching. With luck, one Irishman, Niall O’Brien might be playing, but thats it. Not that he’d know me, but…

Sadly, it does seem the weather is about to break, but hopefully not until tomorrow evening, and I will have got my cricket fix by then, with luck. I’ll only go to the first 2 sessions anyway, so that I can get home before the rush hour strikes, and in time for dinner! And lets face it, there are a lot worse grounds than Headingley to visit, that has to be said.

I dont know when things changed, but I’m far less of a general sports addict now than I used to be. To be honest, the only sports I get into nowadays seem to be Cricket, Baseball (you can see the connection?) and NFL, and thats about it. I can take Snooker, Golf and Horse Racing, but dont get the same feel for them anymore. Maybe it coincided with an influx of female hormones into my system, maybe it was something else, I really dont know.

No, I wont get to see Ireland live this year, and given other things, this might prove to be my only chance of any live cricket this year, so have to take it. Just hope the weather forecast is right, thats all.

Yes, a video tonight, and some might even have worked out what it is lol!

Bank holidays

Any other year, today would be a bank holiday. This year, it isnt, due to the Jubilee celebrations next weekend, when there are 2 bank holidays instead, both Monday and Tuesday.

The thing is, apart from bank staff, and most office workers, how many actually dont work on a bank holiday nowadays? Think about it, people go out for the day somewhere, or go shopping, or as is relevant in my case, go gambling, and people have to work to cater for all this need. Dont get me wrong, I appreciate why we need these bank holidays, and everything, I just think the concept of them has become a bit of an anachronism, given the percentage of people who actually wont be working that day. And yes, I get 8 days added to my holiday allowance to allow for working on all these days. Well alright, not Christmas Day, but equally that is taken back from the holiday allowance.

No, I’m not a staunch royalist, not in the slightest. Not sure if that makes me a republican though, or just a ‘couldnt care less’ type! So no, working while the Jubilee celebrations will be going on around me, doesnt bother me in the slightest. Except, like the last royal wedding, I can foresee all the TV’s being focussed on it at work anyway!

But alright, one of my main bug bears about bank holidays, even more so nowadays, is the Sunday bus service that runs! Seriously, trying to get on a daytime bus, on a bank holiday is akin to sardines in a tin! Maybe in the good old days, a very limited bus service would be enough, but nowadays…I know, I know, trying to rob even more of their day off lol, but…Interestingly the trains run a normal service, hint, hint.

Yes, I’m in one of those silly periods at work. I was off yesterday, in today, then off tomorrow and Wednesday. The logic of which is…? As it is, assuming the weather holds, it helps. Given that I wont get to Ireland for cricket this year, I’d assumed I might not get to see any this season. But a hole has appeared in my diary, Yorkshire are at home on Wednesday (first day of 4 day game), so might sneak off there, if the weather holds, as its supposed to (ha, ha).

Sorry, for those who like the videos, there isnt one. One, I cant think of anything obvious, and even more so, two, I need to get off here in 5 minutes for work, so not really the time to find one.

Tomorrow, got some writing to do, and I dont mean a blog, though I possibly will do one as well. Ironically its about 3 months since I had the time I last worked on the story, but as I say, a window this week, so need to get it done.

Here comes the sun

Yes, shock horror, summer may finally have arrived, though probably only for a few days, knowing our luck! But something went wrong, the weather has been lovely here today, and its supposed to last for at least a few days more.

I can see me heading for work tomorrow in just a t-shirt and trousers, though given I’ll be fairly late home, I suspect I might take a light coat with me all the same, suspect 10 pm might not be quite that warm lol! But hopefully…

As many will know, summer up to this point has been pretty much a wash out, quite literally in many places. I couldnt believe the number of waterlogged race meetings while I was away in Seattle, though that problem has been gone for a short while now. But today, today was lovely, it has to be said, and the weathermen are even threatening its going to last until at least, ooh, Friday. I might even have to discard my summer boots if it stays like this! Yes, I might wear shoes, though definitely not ones with killer heels lol!

My main regret this summer, is going to be the lack of a trip to Ireland to watch the team play cricket, the logistical planning of the sporting summer makes such a trip nigh imnpossible, so it will have to pass me by. The ‘ghastly’ Euro 2012 Football will be followed shortly after by the Olympics, so all in all, makes for a lively summer at work. I could say other things about work at present, but with discretion being the better part of valour, I wont!

I will say, roll on September, and New England though, really looking forward to that, and hopefully some nice weather while there. Good company is already ensured while there, I might add. I’m such a forward planner that both venues for 2013 are already settled in my mind, and April 2014 as well. Not sure if that makes me wise, or sad, but… Oh, and September 2014 is down to one of three places already as well lol!

And given we will probably be back to weather suitable for ducks by next week, I’d better slip this video in while I can. You’ve worked out the song, I’m sure, just need to know which version, dont you? Well, you can either click the link, or look at the categories, or both to find out.

And no, I have no plans to buy a bikini lol!

Saturday night (well, afternoon actually)

Its famous last words, isnt it? I said that getting home at the weekend was far easier than rush hour. Ah well, I was so wrong! It took the best part of 2 hours to get home tonight!

No, for once, not Trans Pennine Express’s fault, even if I was on one of their trains when the delay hit home. But not their fault all the same, I suspect it was a combination of testosterone and alcohol, somehow, though I cant confirm it.

This is the story as I was told by the train intercom. A group of men appeared on the platform at Huddersfield station in the middle of a brawl. Just off the end of the platform is a large viaduct, carrying the line over the ring road around the centre of town. This group proceeded to take their rumpus onto the viaduct, therefore blocking both rail lines for traffic. My train sat a short distance out of town for about 30 minutes while the police presumably arrested them, and cleared the area. Finally, we did get into town, but my hope of getting home at a decent hour had disappeared.

Why did this happen? Well, I cant say for certain, but I have a good idea. During the football (soccer for James, and other US readers) season, large numbers of men go to ‘the match’ and rabidly support their team. Some teams fans are better (or worse) than average in behaviour, but most have a few idiots in support who are more interested in fighting, and drinking, than the match. So why this week? Simple, the football season ended this month. Well, alright, Huddersfield have a play off match next weekend, but in terms of weekend activity, the animals got restless this week.

I suspect they got together in the bar somewhere, instead of the ground, imbibed copious amounts of alcohol, and any braincells they may have had, got wiped out! So then, with judgement tainted by alcohol, they seek out an argument. Given there are no opposition fans to take this out on, they start to take it out on each other, and things exploded from there. Sadly, the line is run by diesel trains, so no chance of them getting on to an electric line, or anything like that.

What baffles me though, is what I call the sports fan mentality over here. Here, for soccer games, fans have to be separated from each other for every game, large numbers of police have to be employed, so that there is a good chance of the 2 sets of ‘fans’ being kept apart, and ensuring the town survives the visit of the opposition fans. But this doesnt appear to just be a British thing, seems to be needed throughout Europe.

But in the US…

Last night I was watching one of the great baseball local derbies in Chicago, between the Cubs and the White Sox. There the fans sit together, chat together, and have fun together. No need for several hundred police officers, no need to keep the fans apart at any point. And the only delay post game would be all the fans getting on the trains and buses together in large numbers.

And next month, we have Euro 2012 championships, when England fans will take their style of mayhem and violence into Europe, oh joy! Makes me proud to be British, not!

Ah, the video, what could be more apt? Well alright, it was afternoon, not night, but otherwise…


Whats the rush?

Last night I finished work at 5.45, and got home smoothly and sweetly, in just under an hour. Train on time, bus on time, frightening stuff, yes, I know lol!

Tonight I finished at 4.30, hit the beginning of the rush hour in Leeds, certainly hit it in Huddersfield, and took me the best part of an hour and a half to get home! Train was late (shock horror, not!), and of course the bus made slow progress at this end, because of all the traffic.

Thats the thing with working shifts, you travel at all hours. I’ve left here as early as 6.20 am, got home as late as 11.20 pm, so I’ve pretty much seen everything. I’ve also (thankfully not often, other than in depths of winter at least) done shifts where I’ve left in the dark, and came home in the dark, which says it all sometimes.

But anyway…

Its funny, so much is said about the whole rush hour thing being diluted, with so many (like myself) working shifts nowadays, but it doesnt seem so. Fair enough, due to Trans Pennine Express insisting on only running 2, or 3 carriage trains most of the day, the trains would be crowded anyway. We do generally get ‘double length’ trains in the rush hours, but thats about it. Too many people, not enough space, thats for sure. Certainly was tonight, when 2 ‘sort of’ rush hour train capacities get crushed into 1, because of the delayed train. Thankfully I was lucky, got a seat, but so many didnt. Even if the train had been on time (Yes, I’ll stop laughing now!) it would have been busy, but with all the extra traffic as well…rolls eyes!

The irony is, tomorrow morning, on the 7.26 am (yes, early start on a Saturday, aargh!) I will probably end up with most of a carriage to myself. That train, Monday to Friday, total opposite!

Ironic, its called the rush hour, most of the time the term, crush hour would be more apt.

The video, well I’ve never commuted, or travelled like this, thats for sure! More relaxing, and more comfortable than Trans Pennine Express, thats definite!

Money, money, money

Alright, I probably needed a good laugh today, as its back to work tomorrow, and the sports news tonight provided it. Yes, cricket related, as a warning to James at least lol, though the sentiment of this isnt entirely cricket related.

Shock horror, 5 players have been suspended from the IPL (Indian Premier League) for possible match fixing. No, I’ve never heard of any of them in all honesty, I’m sure you can find the names in a news article if you want to. To be honest, the word that amuses me the most, is the word, possible. Oh, come on, surely they havent got the nerve to suggest it isnt fixed…oh, they are lol!

Equally, its hard to believe that they seriously think that 5 players (1 of whom hasnt even played this year) who would play a very minor part at best are fixing the games? Get real, its the names who can affect a game that are doing it, lets face it. To be honest, I dont go out of my way to watch the IPL, unless I want a good laugh. If I want to see easy catches dropped, deliberate bad bowling, or egos being blown out of all proportion, then yes, I’ll watch it. But otherwise…

The thing that really scares me though, given how generally this is known, is how many people actually bet on this. Well, unless they are in on the fix of course, which I wouldnt know. But seriously, even if I bet nowadays, I wouldnt touch this with a bargepole. Of course, as its India’s own cricket board that will be investigating this, I dont expect any serious results, and I certainly dont expect the real culprits to be shown up, thats for sure. Lets just say that the contrived results to get Mumbai (Tendulkar) and Chennai into the playoffs have been entertaining to say the least.

I cant say I’m a fan of India, but I dont think thats influenced this post. The difference between the exceedingly wealthy owners and players, and the impoverished folk of India is just too much for my taste. And of course, there is no corruption anywhere in Indian authority lol…

The video, well, I’m not renowned for making it difficult to work out. Yes, its Abba, and yes, its

I was only dreaming

Well, maybe thats a step too far, but at least I can say that I was only sleeping the last couple of mornings lol! Yes, great logical planning, work 10 days in a row, then get 4 off in a row afterwards! But after a series of early starts, its been nice to be able to sleep in until a reasonable hour, and know that I’ve still got a couple more to go before normal service resumes lol!

Is it wrong to say it though, couldnt things be split up a bit better? After all, this then leaves me with 6 in a row again when I get back to work. The snag I find with 4 days off in a row, is what I call ‘cell fever’, I need to get out at some point while off, just for the sake of getting out for a while, nothing more. Whereas, if they were spread out better…

Oh, and getting political just for once, do any of these politicians really have a clue about what we term real life? I really doubt it in all honesty. Yes, its William Hague, and his idiotic comments today that have annoyed me so much. I really would love to see him do a real days work, for the sort of money I earn, and see why people get annoyed about comments about working harder. It has to be said, the recent council elections marked a new point for me, I didnt vote for any of the 3 major parties, to be honest, I havent got any faith in them at present. Luckily I was able to do so, there was a Green party candidate, plus an independent, and yes, I voted for one of them. I know, wasted vote probably, but I felt good about it.

One last thing, its been a good day for irish cricketers. Ed Joyce got a century, William Porterfield got an unbeaten 81, and McCarter again bowled well for his county. Oh, and much deserved I might add, John Mooney has earned a trial with a county too, all great stuff, and just shows the strength of Irish cricket, if only the ICC, or is that the BCCI would realise it!

The video, goes back to the title, and original comments, and no originality prizes for the group concerned. Yes, I’m biased lol!

A golfing delight

When it comes to sports I enjoy watching, golf would be in the plus zone, if not as high as obvious ones as cricket. But what happens with golf, is that every so often, something very unique jumps out at you. This week, at Sawgrass, has just one of those holes, the 17th.

Some of you already know what I mean, but for the rest of you…this hole is only about 140 yards long, but…between the tee and the green, pretty much just water! Well there is a narrow strip of land (would be harsh if the golfers had to swim to the green lol!), but that is pretty irrelevant. You look out, you see water, and a tiny green.

I know, its a bit perverse watching the top golfers in the world making idiots of themselves occasionally, but hey, its fun!

The funny thing is, I can claim to have played Sawgrass many times, and indeed have a decent record at the 17th, but only in a cyber sense. Many years ago, when I had a lot more spare time than now, I used to buy the odd PC game, one of which was an early version of the Tiger Woods game, which yes, featured Sawgrass as one of its courses. To be honest, I’m no real gamer, and I did buy a later version, but didnt like it as much. Most like complexities and challenges from gaming, I just enjoyed having some fun. And nowadays, I havent bought any games in about 6 or 7 years. And the irony is, those early games wouldnt even run on modern computers, they would be far too basic for that!

But it has to be said, even on a computer game, standing on that tee was quite a challenge, especially if the ‘game’ decided that the wind was blowing ‘a bit’! But yes, a good shot was extra special when I did hit it. The one other hole I remeber fondly from that game was the very short par 4 at River Highlands, where on the game you were able to reach the green with a driver, and yes, in cyber golf terms at least, I hit an albatross/hole in one there, but it is the only way I ever would have done.

While talking of golf, here’s an irony for you. When Tiger Woods was nigh invincible, I always wanted someone to come through and beat him. Nowadays, he seems a lot more human, and here I am, on Friday evening (my time) hoping that he makes the cut this weekend! Crazy, or what? I know, he’s human, and certainly proved that of late, in more senses than one. But it didnt always feel that way, it has to be said lol!

Want to see what I mean about this hole? Check out the video then.

Walking in the rain

Yes, I know its been a while, but in all honesty, this still has to rank as a bonus while I’m doing 10 days in a row. That series ends Friday, so you should get something over the weekend, famous last words lol!

The irony over here at present, as of course the Brit’s will already know, is the rain we have been having of late, while many areas of the country are actually under drought conditions. All this, and horse race meetings are being abandoned, waterlogged, and the cricket is suffering pretty badly too. Yet, we are in a drought situation. Truth is, we’re just starting to catch up on needed water in the reservoirs. Thats the point, even the ducks are drowning now (joke), but over the last couple of years, just the opposite. But, it just doesnt feel that way, lol! I know we need it, but couldnt it just rain overnight…? 😉

Summer will arrive I guess, just no idea when?

The music video, now this was fun. I was going to go for the obvious Darts song, but its already been done. A certain Travis song was also tempting, but then I remembered this. Only depressing factor is this song is over 40 years old, and I remember it being released.

No, I havent got a ‘one I love’, but no song is perfect lol!

Back in the old routine

I doubt many will know the pop group concerned here in the video, if it wasnt for the category giveaway at least lol! Its only frightening what ancient songs I can vaguely remember at times!

Yes, tomorrow, I finally get back in the old routine, a fortnight after I stopped work for my holiday. Wisely, I asked for my days off this week to be Monday and Tuesday, just in case I needed it, to get over the jet lag. And yes, doing so yesterday was a pretty wise move in all honesty. Today might have been fine, but given its my normal day off…I stuck with it.

The journey back was actually fine, both flights were a few minutes late, but I do only mean a few, this time around. Given I wouldnt be flying with American Airlines again before next April (Aer Lingus have a far better Boston connection), I have time to mellow my thoughts about them, but I suspect I will at least look at other airlines when booking that trip. Connection times, and prices will play a bigger part in my choice though, thats for sure. And yes, I know pretty much where I’m going then, in fact I do for both holidays next year, and I suspect the first for 2014 as well. Frightening, or what?

For better or worse, tomorrow is just a short day at work, just 5 hours. Unfortunately that means that the rest of the week isnt so good lol! I’m sure I will quickly get back in the old routine, I usually do to be honest. Mind, its just a matter of how long before I start counting down to the next holiday (flight now booked) all the same.

Going to be a busy weekend, thats for sure. The first 2 horse racing classics of the year, which I knew about, and as I found out today, the FA cup final too. Shows how much I care about soccer lol! World Snooker final might attract my interest more though. Oh, and being a bank holiday weekend, public transport will be a delight too, with Sunday bus services on Monday as well, oh joy!

So yes, excuses being made, I make no promises as to the time of the next blog, probably as reliable as Trans Pennine Express again now lol!

So alright, as promised, we are