Archive for June, 2008

Radiohead GaGa

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Yup, along with most of Glasgow/Scotland, I was at the wonderful Radiohead concert on Friday night. There’s actually not that much I can say about this - basically, the band were great, it rained but no one really cared, and much fun was had by all. A few thoughts:

  • Rain down, rain down…: Yes, it rained a lot, even for Glasgow. I saw Radiohead 8 years ago at Glasgow Green in this Big-Top style tent thingy, but this time it was outside. So we all got very wet. Including the folk with umbrellas as they got pelted with bottles until they took them down. Or on one occasion it got pulled down and ripped to pieces by an angry mob. Nice one.
  • Where do we go from here?: I found out that I really don’t know Glasgow at all. Despite working about 5 minutes walk from there, I’ve never actually been in the Merchant City before. I had agreed with my mates that if we got separated we would meet in a bar, but I was too embarrased to admit that I had no idea where it was. Luckily by the end I was still with my friend who has an iPhone, so a bit of interneting and we found our way. Very embarrasing (and I really want an iPhone…)
  • And that’s what really hurts: I gave one of my friends a piggy-back a couple of times so she could see better. My arms still hurt. How pathetic is that…
  • This, this is our new song: I have to admit that my favourite Radiohead album is still the Bends, but I do like the others as well (after a number of listens in most cases). It has to be said that on Friday the crowd definitely seemed to enjoy the older stuff more, which I guess is mainly to do with the nature of the music (it’s quite hard to dance along to things in 7/8). If I had to pick three standout moments (which I don’t) I would say  Karma Police, Fake Plastic Trees, and er… probably Paranoid Android. Actually, ignore that - it was all good, I just like these songs. In fact, there were 2 songs that I had never heard before which were outragously good. One was apparently called Bangers and Mash (part of the extended version of In Rainbows apparently). No idea what the other was.
  • Show me the world as I’d love to see it: Finally, my thanks to jimmythejam in the post about my new glasses for his advice that I should take them with me.  I could indeed see far better, and the glasses are no worse for the experience.

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…

TV highlight of last week

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I was off work last Tuesday due to copious vomiting (less of that later…) and, as one does when ill, I started watching random daytime TV. I was careful to avoid the more horrific side of this genre, (specifically Jeremy Kyle. the most hideous show since Kilroy got from exiled from Tellyland), and looked about for some comfort TV. I enjoyed a couple of episodes of Third Rock from the Sun, and that episode of Quantum Leap in which Sam is a frat-boy called Wild Thing and has to stop some anti-Vietnam protesters from setting off a bomb. Class.

However, the best thing I saw was, surprisingly, on Loose Women. Now I’m hardly the target audience for this show, being a man and er… let’s not finish that thought; there’s no way it can end well. Anyhoo, I was flicking around and found that the legendary Joan Rivers was being interviewed about her Oscar red-carpet duties.

The moment I saw that she was on a day-time TV show alarm bells starting ringing in my head. I’m sure she’s done a lot of TV (being slightly older than time itself) but she strikes me as someone who really doesn’t really care about little things like the watershed. And how right I was. She was talking about how she can’t really speak her mind about the stars she meets. While talking about Russell Crowe she said “get ready to bleep this” and then called him “a fucking shit”.

What a lady, but oh dear. Being British TV there was no bleep button ready, and no delay. So Ms Rivers opinion went out across the nation in it’s full, glorious Technicolor. The presenters immediately apologised, as did Joan herself, but it really was too late.

However, being that the audience figures at the time were probably not exactly huge, I wonder how many complaints were received. The incident was reported on the BBC News, but no mention of complaints as far as I saw. On the other hand, Ms Rivers was actually removed from the set during the next ad break. Awesome. I bet she still doesn’t care.

The whole thing must be on YouTube by now… yup, see it here

This does leaves me pondering 2 things. Who actually complains about things like this? I can see why some people (like those who might have had small children in the room at the time) would be upset, but what difference would the complaint actually make after the event? It was Joan Rivers who said it, and she’s hardly going to personally apologise…

On the other hand, why do these live shows not go out with at least a 10 second delay? Not just for swearing purposes, but there must be occasional slip that they would rather cover up. The best known example of this is perhaps Shaun Ryder on TFI Friday, swearing repeatedly even when reminded not to on a number of occasions by Chris Evans. But let’s face it, the Ginger One and friends probably wanted the publicity and it must have helped rather than hindered viewing figures. And if you don’t like that sort of thing then you shouldn’t be watching TFI Friday in the first place.

One example when the lack of delay is just weird was Live8. Madonna, assumedly having been told to keep it clean, decided to scream the f word at around 7 o’clock. Now, Mrs Richie should really have known better, but surely the BBC should have been ready for something like this? However, let us not forget that this was the same concert in which someone thought it was a good idea to have Snoop Dogg sing his title song around 6pm. If you aren’t familiar with the lyrics, the chorus goes along the lines of: “Snoop Doggy Dogg; what’s my mother-fucking name” repeated a few times over. Wow, that’s some great programming, Mr Concert Organiser Person (if that is your real name).

My personal favourite piece of pre-watershed swearing, and this is the last one I promise, was when Slash was on CD:UK a number of years ago. Once again, whose great idea was this? Okay, let him play but surely they must have realised that his chat wasn’t going to be exactly kiddy-friendly. Anyway, Cat Deeley started asking the usual pointless questions about his band/latest song etc, and Mr Slash dropped in a few rude words here and there. I have to say that they were such a natural part of his speech that I barely noticed, and he doesn’t exactly announciate his words (that might be the most British thing I’ve ever said…)

However, from some stupid, STUPID reason, Cat asked him “what’s the most rock n’ roll thing that’s ever happened to you?” Now considering who she was asking, they got off kind of lightly. Slash’s reply was “Well, I was in this bar one time and this girl came up to me and just started giving me a blow…” at which point Cat interrupted. Quick cut to Ant and/or Dec after the interview to apologise, rather red-faced…

Deeley never worked in this town again. But only because she went off to make more money in the States. Dang.

This pun’s for hire

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I’ve decided to prove how pointless this blog is by having nothing of real value to say in this post. Instead, let us pun like there’s no tomorrow.

The game is this: taking the title of a well-known song and changing it so that it contains a place name. For example:

  • Surrey seems to be the hardest word (Elton John)
  • Godalming knows (The Beach Boys)
  • Devon is a place on Earth (Belinda Carlisle - with an unintentional extra)
  • Woking class hero (John Lennon)
  • I guess that’s why they call it Toulouse (Elton again…)
  • Danzig in the dark (The Boss)
  • Show me Hendon (er… can’t remember who it’s by, but you get the point)

I’ve got a stack more of these (you have been warned…) but for now I pass it over to you. I’m not expecting you to come up with these right away, but as you go about your daily lives look out for new ones and let me know, using the comments button below…

Welcome!

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Hello, and welcome to my blog - The Blog of The Bob.

As you might have guessed, I am The Bob and this is my Blog. But who am I and what’s the point of this? Read on and hopefully neither of these questions will be answered.

First of all, I’ve decided to make this anonymous. The way I see it is that if you know me out in the real world then I don’t need to tell you who I am. If you don’t then you can get to know me through my ramblings without getting tied down by things like name, rank, and cereal numbers (bran flakes by the dozen mostly). I have a rather rare name and am entirely googleable (it’s a word…) and my job involves certain responsibilities and stuff which entirely restricts what I would be comfortable saying here. That said, I’m not here to express any particular opinions on religion, politics, history, culture, the youth of today, cricket, flavours of ice-cream, or animal husbandry (that’s farming, not marrying goats) so I don’t imagine there will be anything particularly controversial. It’s just easier this way.

(If you want to know less about me, check out the “About The Bob” link in the right-hand column)

Which brings me to the point of The Blog of The Bob: nothing at all. I’m just planning to write what comes to me, without too much editing or forethought. Ultimately this is so I can look back in 3 years time and think “wow, what a waste of my time…”

And now it’s your turn. I want you, the People of Internetland, to leave comments, requests, stories and complaints. Why should I do all the hard work? I might use this Blog partly to seek answers to things that I can’t be bothered looking up myself, and maybe for the occasional poll. But for now, why not leave me a wee message to say hello or to tell me what you did today, in 10 words or less. The best answer receives 10 points, and you know what points make…

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As this is my first post, I’ve decided to put down what is going on in the world just now:

News:

  • The Zimbabwe Presidential election is rather messy, to put it lightly (this probably doesn’t really narrow down when this was written…)
  • Oil prices are high and getting higher - this also doesn’t really help.
  • Gordon Brown is Prime Minister; Alex Salmond is First Minister; George W Bush is still President somehow, but not for much longer (Obama won the Democratic race about 2 weeks ago…)
  • Physics might, but probably won’t, kill us all.

Sport now:

  • Wimbledon has just started - my prediction is that Andy Murray will do okay, people will start to get vaguely excited about it, and then he will lose to someone who is actually better than him (like Nadal).
  • Euro 2008 is nearing the close, with the 2 semi-finals later this week (Germany vs Turkey and Russia vs Spain - my prediction is that Germany will beat Spain in the final. But more of this later…) It’s Summer, so England are probably losing at cricket somewhere.

TV and Entertainment:

  • Harold Bishop left Neighbours last week. I’m still in mourning.
  • Yet another series of Big Brother has just started, and I haven’t seen a single minute of it yet. I feel good about this.
  • Glastonbury is on this weekend, with acts including Gilbert O’Sullivan, Katie Melua and Neil Diamond. Your mum would love it. I’m not going, but I am seeing Radiohead on Friday (more on that later…)