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Championship (5/9)



  1. That very first one against Chelsea away - I was at that. I went with my brother and it was in that open terrace, in blazing sunshine. By half time we were dying of thirst and by the end we had thumping headaches and bad sunburn. And then the usual ritual of having bottles tossed on our heads as we walked out. Glenn Hoddle's first game as player manager too. He had a beautiful moment where he controlled a long pass with a tiny flick of his foot, but then again he lost the game. Ahhh magic.
  2. Went to see a mini festival in Brighton on Saturday mainly to see The Wedding Present headlining (they organised it). Took my boys (daughter still a bit young for mosh pits), and the best bits were going on the rides on Brighton Pier between acts. Saw German band Klee (very good) and The Ukrainians, who were hugely entertaining; one of them is The Wedding Present's original guitarist "Grapper". There was another of their ex-guitarists there too (Paul Dorrington) and I wondered it we'd end up with one or both onstage with them, but that doesn't seem to be their kind of thing. In fact, they seem to have acquired yet another new guitarist (I thought I'd read Simon Cleave was back, but no, there's a roadie who took over from the other roadie who took over from Simon) and are now losing their bass player of 10 years too. Not quite The Fall, but getting that way. The Wedding Present themselves just played their album "Bizarro", one of my personal all time faves. I'm not sure about gigs where bands just play an album (Pixies playing Doolittle was similar) as it just feels a bit like watching a tribute band. Still, some enjoyable jumping around and a powerful set of songs which bring back plenty of fond memories. Other than that there were some smaller acts playing in the bar, including one chap with a rather nasty song called "the day Thatcher dies" which had a few blokes singing along with oddly smug vicious smiles. Nice.
  3. You are right, of course. I've never noticed that before, oddly. I guess the cover is an important part of the uniform. It looked all wrong when the baddy went into the house at the beginning, and again when the spy was talking to Churchill and to Austin Powers. Interesting - thanks.
  4. Surely any gentleman has to remove a hat indoors? It's just basic good manners. Still, when I think about it I suppose there are lots of war films with people wearing hats. Blackadder 4, for starters. Hmmm - intrigued by this one now.
  5. Toy Story 3 at the weekend. Well-paced story, great script, liked some of the new characters (the Ken & Barbie thing was priceless) and loved what they did with some of the old ones, in particular Spanish Buzz and the potato heads (used as quite a clever plot device too). Not so sure the 3D effects were really necessary except perhaps in the incinerator. Seemed quite dark for younger kids too; the sinister big baby and the screeching monkey were quite scary, and the incinerator was quite harrowing. Still, a deeply moving end to what I think future generations will regard as the best films of our era. Inglorious Basterds last night too. Big, dumb, enjoyable film with some snappy scenes and a really brilliant villain. An awful cameo from Mike Meyers, however, and I found it extremely irritating how none of the officers removed their hats when they went indoors - just wrong. And a lovely female lead who looked uncannily like Jenny Seagrove used to.
  6. Top gigs of 2008: 1. Half Man Half Biscuit, Leamington Spa, December 11th. Fantastic. Great sound, great venue, great crowd, killer setlist. This year's release of album "CSI: Ambleside" shows that after all this time they just get better and better. Gig earlier in the year in the Forum in London was great too but Leamington was better. 2. Art Brut, ULU London, erm, some time in April perhaps; hugely entertaining gig performed with real energy; second time I've seen them and a real sense of big occasion. 3. The Hold Steady, The Roundhouse London, December 16th; long-delayed gig but well worth the wait. Lots of energy and charisma and some cracking songs. And, unusually for me, a crowd which weren't just bald blokes with glasses; there were girls there and everything... 4. The Happy Mondays, Wakestock, June; just got lost in the moment when Step On came on; all of a sudden it was 1990 again. Without the Mark Atkins own-goal against Liverpool. Ahhhhh.... 5. The Wedding Present, also at ULU; seen them three times this year and that one was the only one which really got me going; 20th anniversary George Best tour; first time I saw it it just felt like watching a tribute band, but this time I just shrugged and enjoyed myself. Feels to me like they're in a bit of a rut though and their 2008 album "El Rey" was weak.
  7. You are wrong. It's 2% tops. It makes basically no difference. But it's an easy target and a Luxury.
  8. Interesting. As soon as you mention screens in space, everyone (rightly) points out that we don't know nearly enough about climate to frig about with it like that. That's quite right, but it rather undermines the argument that spending trillions of our GDP on reducing carbon emissions by fractions of a percent is a better idea.
  9. It was a pretty good program. It's a shame that climatologists are reduced to engaging in the same kind of sensationalist propaganda as the Al Gore loons, but imagine what it's like being the head of climate science at MIT or the co-founder of Greenpeace and being constantly told that "the debate is over". I thought they overdid the point about cosmic rays affecting cloud formation (which sounds extremely dubious to me and a bit of research suggests I'm right), but the basic facts are there: Al Gore's central assertion that CO2 has driven temperature change throughout history is precisely wrong; temperature rises drive up CO2. And water vapour is a much more significant factor in controlling temperature than CO2, yet we still understand very little about it. In fact, read the IPCC report yourself rather than what The Independent has to say about it; the picture is far more complex than that. There may be a strong case for taking action, as the balance of probability is still in favour of limiting CO2 emissions, but this case isn't helped by ridiculing anyone who disagrees quite reasonably with the science.
  10. Ahhhh, I've gone all shivery just looking at the photos again. My wife doesn't seem to mind me describing this as the best day of my life. We'd had a grimly miserable season - bottom of old div 2 at Christmas, then Saxton was fired and they brought in McKay, then he brought in Hendry and, er, Sully. and then this. I think I went to every round except Huddersfield - notably a farcical game against Oxford where you could hardly see the other goal from the Blackburn end. Started getting excited against Chelsea (it's funny to think we hated David Speedie once, until Keeley took him out), and the semi was just amazing. I loved the game itself - I loved the flags, I loved Garner's near miss in the first half, I loved everything. I think you're wrong saying O'Keefe was man of the match - he should have been, but that went to Simon Barker (I remember my dad commenting on that). Then the goal - over the other end, Miller at last beat his man, you could sense something when the cross came over, then next thing we see the net bulge, and mayhem. They nearly equalised too right at the end, but it was our day. I honestly have tears in my eyes thinking about it, and that wonderful impromptu bash in the town centre when we all got home. Winning the Championship was nothing like that. Not for me anyway.
  11. I expect I'm one of the first people home from this, so a quick review. Goodness me, that was poor. We looped lazy passes to each other with a horrible lack of pace and energy, with really only Savage looking anywhere near fit. Neil, although he might have been unlucky to get sent off, wasn't nearly quick enough to deal with their attack and they knew it right from the off. They were first to every ball and just pushed us off the ball when we had it. I'd like to see them again, but I think although Kanu's two headers were well placed, Friedl will still be cheesed off he didn't get both of them. Good save from the penalty though. Interesting ground - an astonishingly dlipidated dive, as if someone had pulled a few weeds out of Plough Lane and declared it open. I quite liked it though, I have to say, although all my life I've found the whole "Pompey" thing and their stupid chimes just, well, a bit gay. The referee had a poor game, although not really in anyone's favour. There was an odd incident where we banged a ball into their box which caused all sorts of confusion and Stevanovic just lay on the ball and might have been lucky to avoid getting penalised, but I'm not even sure. Generally, the ref blew his whistle when he didn't need to (I hate that) and seemed to not be in control - as the world cup so painfully illustrated, our refs really are the world's worst - officious and incompetent. I feel that to have any fun this season, we need to take a leaf out of Sheik Nasrullah's book and just claim anything better than 10-0 defeats as massive victories. Some work to do for Hughes and his men, not least on simple fitness. I suppose I can forgive Neil - after that display in the World Cup, he's deserved his pies.
  12. I'm bored, my wife is away with the kids, and if I don't want to spend my whole weekend fixing the shed, so I have a ticket for Pompey. 28 quid for a ticket to a ground which doesn't even have a roof, which means we'll either get drenched or sunburnt, or if we're really unlucky, both. What I hate most about roofless stands, however, is that when you sing you feel like you're singing all by yourself. Like that Fulham game back in old div 1/older div2/whatever it's called now. Was looking forward to it for weeks at the last chance ever of standing on a terrace, in a ground that looked a bit like the old Ewood, but it was rubbish, and even though we scored first, we lost. Or like that game at Chelsea's old ground, Hoddle's first in charge, where we already had thumping heatstroke by half time and neither me nor my brother had enough money for an orange squash or a hat. Ah well. We did at least win that one, although I was too ill to care by the end. Looking forward to it nonetheless. I reckon they'll fancy themselves and I think we'll thump them.
  13. Wow. That was exciting even on "live text" on the Interweb. Must have been unbearable on Ceefax.
  14. I didn't go to this because I had to take some boring people at work out to dinner. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH! Don't know whether to laugh or cry. Great result though. Mind you, reading this thread is a good substitute!
  15. Well, how would you restrict it? Limits on reproduction? You'd be happy, would you, having your local council and police enforcing your birth control? Advising you to have an abortion or get hit with a prison sentence or punitive taxation if you overstep the mark? Or maybe enforced sterilisation?
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