Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Après Match 2008

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

If there’s one thing that always brightens up RTÉ‘s coverage of the big fitba’ tournaments, it’s the Après Match team’s piss-takes of the Irish TV pundits, which are usually shown at the end of the live coverage or highlights programmes. They remind me a lot of the early Only an Excuse? sketches from back home.

I’d missed most of AM’s Euro 2008 efforts so far, so I was happy to find out tonight that they’re online here[1]. I presume the site will be updated as they do more throughout the tournament.

Naturally they’re much funnier if you’re familiar with the Irish TV stations’ football coverage, although the targets include the likes of Graeme Souness, Liam Brady and Frank Stapleton who are familiar enough to viewers in the UK and elsewhere. That said, they actually started with a Sky Sports send-up this year—just a pity Gary Cooke‘s impression of Andy Gray is one of the poorest I’ve heard any of them do, especially as Risteárd’s Richard Keys is right on the money!

[1] RealPlayer plugin required, and doesn’t seem to work with Firefox, I’m afraid

Not forgotten

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Phil O’Donnell would have turned 36 today, the same age as me (albeit only until June). Calls for a wee dram and a re-watching of the ’91 Scottish Cup Final video tonight I think, if only to reinforce just how badly we could do with him back in our midfield at the moment… 

EDIT: Coincidentally, it was also the 13th anniversary of Davie Cooper‘s untimely death a couple of days ago, too. Unbelievable that two of that cup winning team died in their 30s, while just doing their job.

Moon on a stick

Monday, March 10th, 2008

In an odd twist of 90’s nostalgia fate, I had the opportunity to see (and, indeed, briefly chat to) both Stewart Lee and Richard Herring live in Dublin in the past couple of weeks… older readers on this side of the pond may remember they used to be a double act in the BBC TV shows Fist of Fun and This Morning with Richard Not Judy (some of which are archived on Stewart’s website). More recently, Stewart Lee co-wrote Jerry Springer– The Opera.

Enjoyed both their gigs, but Stewart Lee was probably a bit more to my rib-tickling taste. Then again, he is the 41st best stand up ever.

Life after Phil

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I like this idea. Motherwell fans have had two weeks to pay their respects, and Hearts fans have already paid theirs with a minute’s applause before their last two games (and fair play to them for doing it the second time– not entirely sure why they were asked to do it more than once…)

Let’s just get back on with the fitba’ now– it’s what Phil would have wanted!

RIP Phil O’Donnell

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Numbed by the news when I got home last night that Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell had died after collapsing during the game with Dundee Utd yesterday.

I well remember his debut against St.Mirren in the 1990/91 season, when as a 17-year-old he was given the complete runaround by Kenny MacDowell. At the end of that season, he scored his first goal for the club– in the memorable Scottish Cup “family final” at Hampden Park. Ironically, that was also against Dundee Utd, in a game which was also tinged with sadness– the managers of the two teams were brothers Tommy and Jim McLean, whose father died a couple of days before the final.

(That cup winning side seems somewhat jinxed, now… it also featured Davie Cooper, who was to collapse and die a few years later on the training ground at the age of 39. And two of our other stars that day never played again, forced into early retirement through injury.)

So, thanks for the memories, Phil. Thoughts are with your family and friends today, especially to your wife, kids, and nephew and Motherwell team-mate David Clarkson who’s been a revelation this year– I hope he can find it within himself to pull on the claret and amber jersey again after what he witnessed yesterday.

Plus ça change

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Just a bit deflated that one of the most inexplicably wrong refereeing decisions I’ve seen cost Scotland a draw against Italy this afternoon, but I don’t think it would have been enough anyway, and I’m certainly glad we’re not sitting waiting on the France result on Wednesday. Can’t fault the lads for another great performance (bar the first two minutes), bring on the World Cup qualifiers!

(To be fair, the ref ruled out a perfectly good Italian second goal for offside, and failed to disallow ours for the same offence… but to lose like that was just rubbing it in, really.)

Meteorological apology

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

We’re having summer in Dublin today. Apologies to anyone who will have missed it by visiting on any other day of the year.

Sidelined

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Bit disappointed to be sitting out the FreeFA World Cup this year, especially as I’d presumably have been lining up in the menacing black kit– I have a dodgy shoulder at the moment though and I know what these “friendlies” are like!

Having only contributed one goal en route to the final last year though (albeit a sweetly-struck volley with my wrong foot), I doubt I’ll be that badly missed.

Och-aye-demy

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Just noticed that KDE’s Akademy conference is taking place in my old stomping ground of Strathyclyde University’s Computer Science Department in Glasgow… pity there are no usability sessions on the schedule, might have been tempted to gatecrash for nostalgia’s sake :)

Back in my day (1989-93), the Graham Hills building was called Marland House (we’d just bought it off BT), and its main function was to house a lab full of QLs that Sinclair had donated. Despite the stories in the press at the time, every student didn’t get one to take home– AFAIK they all stayed in the lab, and all we ever did with them was our 68k assembly language assignments (as set by Duncan Smeed, who’s probably still setting them today…)

The top few floors of the Livingstone Tower, on the other hand, housed (as they still do) the staff offices and the 3rd and 4th year computer lab, which at the time had just been kitted out with smart new Sun terminals (ELCs, IIRC– which looking back at them now were the forerunner of Sun Rays, I guess). Little did I know then…

Holiday catchup

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

So, first blog of 2007… bliadhna mhath ur, and all that.

It was a fairly quiet break for us this year, at least in terms of travelling and seeing family– we did neither, apart from a one-night spa break up the road at the Johnstownhouse Marriot in Enfield. (The food there really is gorgeous.)

We were out and about around town a bit though… went to see Jason Byrne on December 23rd, and we took in Casino Royale, Flushed Away, Happy Feet and Deja Vu at the cinema (mostly for free– thanks Curly!)

Work-wise, I’m trying out a Sun Ray 2 at home for the first time this week… the technology is certainly impressive, although it remains to be seen whether it’ll oust my laptop as my working-at-home tool of choice. It would probably be more useful if I had one on my desk at work as well, to get the full benefit of session mobility– maybe it’s time to retire my old Ultra 10….