Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Scottish football - warped sport

With the moral arbiters wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth at the possibility that some Pakistani players might have allowed bookmakers to lose vast sums of money - Quel Damage! - I note that the Scottish back pages have quickly forgotten Celtic's woeful European performance - what with that magnificent late penalty at Motherwell, who wouldn't think the corner had been turned! - and are celebrating the elevation of Anthony stokes to the Old Firm... What a joke!

With the war criminal still in charge of them, despite forking out a fortune for the worst manager in their history then replacing him with an untested and utterly inexperienced manager with a history of confrontation, particularly with their arch antagonists on the other side of the city... I am disgusted today that 3 games into the season they've signed the Hibs striker.

Having opened a new stand and with their history of boardroom parsimony I suppose it's only to be expected that Hibs would allow it to go through, but how disappointing for the Hibs fans to find that once again their club is treated as nothing more than a nursery for the Old Firm. No doubt time will pass and the the knuckle draggers will be bemoaning the lack of domestic competition which prevents them competing beyond... err August!!!! in Europe...

What sane competitive league would allow a team from the same league to sign a key first team player from one of it's rivals just after the start of the season, i.e. after pre-season training is complete and the manager has bedded in his first team? I understand that the manager should need to have contingencies for losing a player to injury, but to lose a top player who has been an integral part of your strategy and planning for the season must be utterly gauling. To lose him to a rival giving them both your player and an insight into your plans for the season... it's beyond belief!

Scottish Football? A cruel Glasgow-centric joke played on the rest of us!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The eternal and unchanging word of the Lord...

I received this email from a mate. It's pretty funny, but as I'm a sad engineer I thought I'd check its veracity. It turns out that Dr. Laura Schlesinger does indeed exist and did use some poorly chosen words in a debate about homosexuality.

The version of the letter I received was attributed to James M. Kauffman, however that bit turns out not to be true - which is a shame, such great work shouldn't go nameless... maybe the original author feared a backlash of Levitican proportions. I've added links to the biblical references for your viewing pleasure...

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Joined up thinking

So, the Edinburgh festival kicked off at the weekend, and I had a fantastic Sunday through in the capital. Took in a few shows, enjoyed the ambience in the High Street, the beauty of our ancient capital and the joy of great company.

I wasn't the only one though. There were thousands of people there on Sunday, and so there should have been for it was the day of the festival cavalcade.

So, bearing in mind that Edinburgh in August is one of the world's great jamboree's, where artists and entertainers from all genres gather to celebrate their vocation, you might think that the powers that be, who we trust to run our country might manage to think about how people will be getting over to enjoy this extravaganza.

The obvious way to get from Glasgow to Edinburgh is to jump on the train at Queen street, where the service typically takes around 50 minutes as it rattles through Croy, Falkirk and Linlithgow.

On a Sunday, there is one train an hour from Queen street up until 12:30. After that, the service doubles to 2 trains per hour. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the 11:30am train on Sunday morning resembled a high speed sardine can when it left Queen street. The level of discomfort then endured by people paying £10.80 for a return journey as our fellow passengers at the subsequent stations joined us, is indicative of the contempt in which Scotrail holds us. Is it really too much to ask that the people responsible for our transport infra-structure remove their heads from their arses and have a think about where people are likely to want to go and when. Big events require integrated thinking. We never get it!

Friday, 6 August 2010

What's good for the goose...

Aw for fox sake! Just when I thought that stirring controversy from fuck all hee haw, was the sole preserve of the Labour MSP, Alex Neil steps up to the plate to demand the resignation of Karen Whitefield... her crime? She's written letters of congratulations to Primary school children heading off to the big school after summer...

If there was some controversy over how Ms. Whitefield had obtained the addresses, maybe a quiet word in someone's ear over the aye's and naw's of database access. The dangers to children however are not from someone in public office sending them a letter of congratulations. To pretend that this is somehow an issue of child protection rather than some reprehensible and petty party political point scoring is insulting to us all.

Alex Neil MSP - "Seems to have little grasp of perspective! Must do better next term - perhaps paradoxically, should consider not trying quite so hard!"

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pathetic Peacock prefers pointless party political protest to personal pride

Sad to see yet another Labour MSP stoop to the depths normally occupied by Richard Baker in order to get some press time. How pathetic is Peter Peacock? In, what I can only hope is faux, indignation he 'slams' Alex Salmond for a quip made to the excellent Scottish golfing magazine, Bunkered.

Mr Salmond told the current edition of Bunkered magazine, in an interview before last week's meeting in Dornoch, that ministers would be promoting the local hotel and good causes in the Highlands.

He added: "Having said all that, the fact that I've never played Royal Dornoch crept into the equation. As someone who has played hundreds of Scottish courses, I feel bereft that I`ve never played Royal Dornoch, but I`ll be putting that right soon."

Peackock's reaction:
"This is an extraordinary admission from Mr Salmond and an abuse of public money," the former education minister said.

Sometimes I think that the Unionist parties have taken it upon themselves to convince that electorate that we are too wee, petty and stupid to be responsible for our own affairs. If that's the case, good on Peacock and Baker for their willingness to take one for the team paying the price of their own dignity. Personally, I'd rather have Alex Salmond talking us up than have these stooges talking us down. I'd rather have the likes of the first minister giving rural communities the sort of boost that his quip could have been, without some big mouthed dummy spoiling the potential in order to score a worthless party political point - but hey! that's just me!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

When I was 11...

Astonished to read this story about 11 year old girls being on the pill.

When I was 11, the summer holidays were amazing. The weather was generally pretty good. Mum & dad both worked, but I had a Raleigh Grifter and some great pals and grew up in the sort of town where a lot of you probably went on your holidays anyway, so life was safe and fun.

At the start of the summer holidays during Wimbledon and for a few weeks beyond, Brent and I would head off to the tennis courts straight after breakfast and try to emulate the amazing Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors. McEnroe won Wimbledon that year, but I don't think either of us really took to him in the way that we did to the long haired swede or the enigmatic Connors. I can remember preferring Chris Evert-Loyd to Martina Navratilova, but was never really sure why.

If I wasn't playing tennis or riding my bike, then I was over at Kenny's really long back garden where we dreamt of being like Ian Botham. 1981 was the year of the Botham ashes, but it's not like beating Australia was such a great feat when we all knew that the West Indies would wipe the floor with either of them anyway. Still, it was lots of fun. I still maintain he was something of a 'chucker' with ball in hand.

If I wasn't riding my bike, playing tennis with Brent or taking part in an 'electric wickets' game of cricket over at Kenny's then I was almost certainly in Alastair's back garden, where his mothers washing line and poles were about perfect for a goal. The neighbours fence at the back prevented most of our headies and crosses going out of bounds. The only problem with playing football at Alastairs was that he was a mad Rangers fan and left footed, so he always got to be Davie Cooper and I had to be Dundee United... very tiresome for a tim, you know!

One thing that I absolutely know that I was not doing was shagging. I enjoyed at least another 7 blissful summers before all that yucky stuff starting getting in the way of my childhood fun. How worry I am for the daughters of today.