Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Ball ball ball, footy footy footy…

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Well, Euro 2008 has just finished. I’m not much of a football fan throughout the year (although it’s difficult to avoid in Glasgow), but I always get quite into the World Cup and European Championships. And let’s face it, this has been a particularly good one. I was supporting Holland, and so especially enjoyed their games against France and Italy, but there were lots of good matches and moments. I really don’t need to go on about the actual quality of the football too much though; if you were watching tonight (on the BBC) then you will have heard all the pundits going on about it (and they probably know a little more than me about the game…) As about 3 of them said, the real winner was Football.  Plenty of great goals, only 3 red cards in the whole tournament, few controversial refereeing moments, and some ridiculously close games, and the winning team entirely deserved it.

Of course, with no British teams involved, the TV companies have to work slightly harder to keep the viewers interested. Unfortunately this tends to lead to them trying to connect anything that happens to an English club team. Just tonight, Motty was going on about how this was a great moment if you were from Madrid, Barcelona etc and Liverpool! All because the guy who scored the winning goal (Torres) plays for said club team at this moment. In fact, at the moment Spain lifted the trophy, I wonder if Torres would even have been able to say where the hell he played during the rest of the year…

There was also one of the Dutch goals where Motty said “well you could say that that goal was set up by Chelsea and scored by Liverpool”.* No, actually it was set up by Holland and scored by Holland. Grrr. I understand mentioning it a bit, but it’s like trying to take credit where credit is not at all due.

* I might not have the right teams here, but I really don’t care.

Another odd thing - despite the fact that there were no English-speaking nations involved and despite being held in Switzerland and Austria, which between them have 4 major languages (German, French, Italian, and Romansch), everything was done in English. First of all, all the strips had the word “Respect” on them, which was part of a fair play campaign (which seemed to work pretty well it has to be said). Also, from what I could tell, the tannoy announcements were done in english first and then in those of the 2 countries playing. Even a certain rather well known Scottish-sounding fast-food chain had their slogan in, well American I guess (roughly translated into English it means “I am feeling amourous towards this specific thing”.

I wonder how the rest of Europe feels about all this. I guess a lot of them don’t mind, but imagine what the reaction would have been like if at Euro 96 (held in England if you didn’t know) the organisers had been told that as the majority of the teams attending spoke (for arguements sake) German, that everything had to be  auf Deutsch? The tabloid headline write themselves…

Anyway, those are my football thoughts over for another 2 years. No doubt I’ll have so equally half-baked Wimbledon-based words to share before the week is out (Come on Tim!)

(5 points for those who get the reference in the title of this post)

Specky specky four-eyes

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

After years of being not quite able to see properly, I finally got glasses a couple of weeks ago. I had glasses when I was 7 to correct something or other, but not since then. For the past 20 years my eyesight was never that bad; good enough to drive if I was able to do such a thing (I failed my test 3 times, more on that later…) However, by the end of a day of staring at a computer screen I’d often be feeling a bit blurry so I decided to take the plunge and get some specs.

It’s a weird feeling wearing  them. The first time I put them on in the opticians I thought “Ah, so that’s what things are meant to look like.” The best way I can describe it, well the geekiest way I can describe it anyway, is that it’s like raising the resolution in a video game. Although I could see enough previously well enough to play the game, everything has slightly more detail now. For example, there’s a clock on the far wall at work that I could see from desk was a clock, but I couldn’t make out the hands or numbers. However, glasses on and not only can I read the numbers but it even tells me what time it is. Genius!

I was also strangely nervous when I first put them on at work. It was like one of those times when you were a kid when you went into school with a new haircut and you knew everyone was going to stare and comment. Actually, going to school with a new pair of glasses seems like a much better comparison (although I guess some of you didn’t have glasses when you were young, while I can only hope you all had hair…)

Anyway, luckily for me it turns out that my colleagues aren’t 9 years old and no-one pointed and laughed. At least, not in front of my face. Oh, now I’m all paranoid.

The problems is that I now wear them at work all day and this means that when I’m not wearing them I really notice how bad my eyesight is. I’m going to see Radiohead tomorrow night (more on that later…) and can’t decide whether or not to take my specs with me. On the one hand, it would be a nightmare if they got broken due to some crazy No Surprises induced moshing, but on the other, Tom Yorke is only about 9 inches tall and it will be hard enough to see him with them on. From the front row.

My final part to this spectacle spectacular is a tale of woe from this very day. I was just getting into work, waiting in the lobby for a lift, and I saw a woman walking towards me who looked entirely like one of my colleagues. Being a friendly sort, or at least wanting to appear so, I watched her as she walked in and smiled in her direction. As she got closer (now looking at me as well) I realised it wasn’t my colleague at all but someone who I’d never seen before,  giving me a look as if I was some sort of freak. Under the circumstances this was probably fair enough. I quickly hurried into the lift that had thankfully just arrived…

To make matters worse, 10 minutes later I got introduced to a new colleague who was joining us from today. Guess who? Ace. She said hello and gave me the kind of smile that only uses the mouth, while the eyes are saying “oh, it’s YOU is it.”

Maybe I’ll get contacts…