Friday, July 28, 2006

Drugs in Sport

In an effort to post the odd serious bit of journalism...

I'm saddened by the recent news of Floyd Landis (winner of the Tour de France) testing positive for Testosterone. I don't actually like the guy but I do feel sorry for the cyclists like him.

The (major) Tour organisers design a race that requires god-like aerobic/anaerobic ability in order to bring in the audience. Can you imagine doing a marathon every day for 3 weeks? Or doing 5 Ironman events on the trot?

The Sponsors then pay millions to 'acquire' a team to win this event. They say to the team, you must win, but you must be squeaky clean. The Team Manager says "you can't have both". The Sponsor says "deal with it".

The Team Manager then says to his cyclists "do whatever it takes to win this race, take whatever drugs and doping measures you need. If you don't, we won't renew your contract; if you get caught we will deny all knowledge and sack you. If you win and get away with it, you'll have put such a strain on your heart that you will probably die in your 50s".

What choice does the cyclist have? He's been cycling since he was 8. He has no education and no other skills - he does as he's told. This is systematic doping, not hiding in the toilet and popping a few pills, this is lying on a bed attached to a drip while the Team Doctor sticks needles in you and the Manager looks on.

What I find despicable is that the 'cheating' Cyclist is then vilefied and banished while the Organisers, Sponsors and Teams take zero responsibility and just hire more Guinea Pigs as replacement pin-cushions.

If you think Cycling is the worst sport of all for drugs, consider this; Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, the man at the centre of the current drug investigation in Spain has asked why only the names of his Cycling clients have been published. He would like to know why the names of the Footballers, Tennis Players and Athletes haven't.

Idea #2

Learner drivers as flag-down taxi's!

The learner driver pays £25 an hour to pootle about town and the countryside, learning driving skills so it doesn't matter where they go. So if you needed to get to work, or book to go to the airport, why not combine the two! Hire a learner driver to take you to wherever you need to go - and at a fraction of the cost!

This also helps the learner driver cope with baggage in the boot and deadlines. (And yes - the irony being that every. single. taxi driver on the road has forgotten how to use indicators and lack general common road curtesy - so could do with a lesson of learner status road ethics themselves).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I have nothing to Say

I’m Bored, Skint, and want a Lottery roll over Win.

That’s all

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You become what you most despise

Israel. What is that all about then? What is with all the rabid slaughter and ethnic cleansing of their neighbours?

Truly, the Jewish peoples have become the Nazi fascists of this generation. Prepare for the extermination chamber rumours . . .

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cool idea

Lots of the high brow papers seem to be up in arms about the scenic impact a windfarm would have on remote windy hills - but you notice how they manage to slap up electricity pylons and telegraph poles whereever they like!

Well, how about having mini wind turbines to stick on the top of these pylons and poles - the generated electricity would then feed directly into the cables and top-up the powerstations.

Anyone know of any wind turbine manufacturers?

Da Vinci Code - The Review

[if you plan to read it - don't read this]

Over a lazy, sunny IOM weekend (i.e. last weekend) I read the Da Vinci Code from cover to cover while sat in the garden.

What a great book, a real page turner; clever, slick and pacy. But mostly, it made me think about the dark history of Christianity.

The Knights Templar, Priory of Sion, Opus Dei etc., it was all fascinating. And even though Mr Brown is clear about the story being fiction, he tells us that the organisations and histories supporting the story are fact. This adds SO much to the book.

Also, I was awed at the level of research this guy must've done. His knowledge of his subject matter was astounding. I've always wanted to write a book, but reading this made me think that I might not be up to it. Could I ever know a subject so intimately?

Then I started reading another of his books - Digital Fortress. This book is based in the world of Encryption, a world that I spent a few years working in.

I've only read five chapters, so I can't comment on the plot, but I've read Chapter 4, the Chapter in which Mr. Brown shows his grasp of the intricacies of Ciphers, Modular Mathmatics, Key Distribution Schemes and Parallel Processing.

Oh no!! He has no understanding at all. None. The book (which I might still finish) is based on the vague suppositions of a moron. It would be like writing a book about aeroplanes if you thought that planes flew by flapping their wings REALLY HARD.

So I looked up some of the 'facts' on which Da Vinci is based. Interestingly, it turns out to be all fact; assuming you read the National Enquirer and have a subscription to the Beano.

Am I to believe that these writers (Brown, Clancy, Crichton et al) just make this sh!t up?

I've decided to write a book about a terrorist group that build a Nuclear Bomb. They get their Plutonium from Laxey Pharmacy and use a centrifuge made from Dinosaur Eggs to extract the required "pixie dust" that powers it. And pass it off as fact. I'll be a millionaire.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pilgrim to the Great Drinking and Thinking Tree on the Hill.

As mentioned last week, Friday afternoon saw the 4 contributors to this blog (although 3 of them are mostly silent partners) off on our Annual All Day Drinking session.

Turn out was good, with 100% attendance, and the drinking pace was just right. We all started off with a large Bushy Bugger to get a good drink foundation laid. Then we started off talking shitte and steadily drinking.

Once we were at the Bridge sat in the Sun. and from there you can see the Drinking & Thinking Tree that Ady & I visited last year. It was decided that once again the pilgrimage would be taken. However, we are all a year old and slower, plus we had cripple Ferguson and his crutch with us.

However, armed with a couple of bottles of beer each, we set off on the trek. There was some consternation on seeing the “ladder” we had to climb at the start, but this was over come by the encouragement from our peers. “Come on you faggot, it’s not that hard”, “Christ I doubt it’ll take your weight, you fat bastard”.

Once the “ladder” was negotiated, then it was a short(ish) walk up a steep hill through the Gorse, which was easy enough for all us no shorts wearers (yes, Brittle Bone Ferguson again).

Finally there was only a barb wire fence between us and complete relaxation under a fine looking tree, on a hill side over looking Douglas, on a gorgeously sunny July afternoon (not forgetting the cold beers).

This is where I picked up my trapped nerve injury, trying to help the hefty black man Ferguson over the top of the wire.

Anyhoo, we made it, and settle down to drink the rest of the beers and talk more shitte and rest in the sun.

That was until Aidster, decided that the tree needed climbing. There was a bit of nylon rope dangling from it, where some lithe youngsters had presumably made a swing. So with some puffing and panting and a lot of sweating, Aidster made it up. Bellowed his triumph, examined the hole in his jeans he had just made and then posed for photo’s.

Then realisation dawned over his face, as he realised, “What goes up, Must come down!” especially if they wanted another bottle of beer.

There was no other way round it, without thinking through the logistics’ or with any fore-thought at all, he held on to the rope with one meaty fist and sort of threw himself forward.

17 stone of fat muscle majestically flew through the air for about half a second until the rope went taught, Then 17 stone of fat muscle went crashing in to the tree and then towards the ground.

He was actually lucky to get away with the injuries he did. Initially we thought he had broken his arm, as it looked like a bone was sticking through the skin. However, he managed to get away, with bruises, cuts and severe rope burn to his hand. By Christ we laughed.

After this we trekked back to the nearest Pub, and settled down to a beer and a game of dominoes.

After this it all starts to get a bit hazy. (Plus I can’t be bothered to type any more.)

So I can’t really remember much. I know we didn’t do anything that we should be ashamed off.

Ady & I were dancing in the Outback, when the gayest gay that ever Gayed started his Bronski Beat dancing right next to us.

Of course come midnight, we were all very very very drunk, and finished off with take-away and taxi home.

A very good night indeed.

Mikey’s memoirs were:

Memories from Friday night:
1. Being accosted by the Upper Douglas Chapter of the Klu Klux Klan
2. Seeing Ady, Paul and 'friend' dance in The Outback
3. Watching PaulK and his mate chatting about servers (or whatever) in Havana
4. Watching PaulB disappear from view in the long grass on the Howe
5. Seeing the look on Ady's face as he realised he had to get down from the tree

Actually, most of the day/night is a blur as the drink took hold. But I think we were pretty well behaved.

I remember these pubs (in this order): Rovers, Bridge, DrinkingTree, Railway, Outback, Havana, Outback.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Drink, Chat, Drink and Drink

I’m out on another all day drinking session today. But unlike the others that I have attended recently I have a good feeling that I’ll last the distance. There are a number of things going in my favour this time.

Mostly, the three lads I am out with are all real friends and not work friends. We have a lot of history together, and know how to connect to each other, even subconsciously.

Plus apart from Paulie B none of them particularly enjoy football, or at least they are not obsessed with it. So no talking about the Man U pitch for 30 mins….

We are all techy geeky gaming nerds by night, and street wise manly Adonis’s during the day.

So I am really looking forward to today, plus the weather is Scorchio here on the Island.

I hope the rest of you muppets in your grey cubicles around the globe have a nice day, slaving for the “man”. Squares…….

Fickle Bastard

Just when I had jumped on the Firefox bandwagon, along comes another browser to pique my interest: Opera 9.

It’s virtually a Firefox clone, but with a little extra as well. Mind you I have no idea who thought of the tab thing first.

Two things I like immediately are that if you mouse over the tabs at the top it gives you a preview of that whole page.

Second, you can set it so when you open it, it will open on the last page you had open the previous time. This is excellent if you are half way through a page and your alarm goes off to remind you to go home, which means shutting the browser quickly and running out the door. When you get in the next day and launch Opera 9, there is the page you were reading.

I wrote this yesterday, but having played a bit more this morning, I think I might just prefer Firefox.

Am I Fickle, or what?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Tale of Two Cinema's

We often get stuff five years behind you city slickin' wallahs in the UK – and so you can imagine my excitement when I hear that one of the local cinema's allows for online booking.

Check it out – the website Palace Cinema allows for booking the mouldy seat of your choice and then charges you 50p for the privilege! Whereas the rest of the world considers self-booking across the internet cost-saving and convenient, the Isle of Man will use any excuse to whack a charge on (any of you poor soul's who have come over for TT week will understand). So not only are you fleeced on the ticket price, robbed over the popcorn and pop, you also stump up for not having to face the dead-eyed counter assistant.

You can always go to the other cinema - Broadway Cinema – where the best way to judge what is showing is to check on the Palace Cinema guide (two cinema's on the island does not always mean double the choice!). And the great thing about the Villa's cinema is that it is government owned. Yep – the Isle of Man can boast the only State-owned movie house this side of Moscow.


I don’t really follow Politics, as it doesn’t really effect our daily lives, and all politicians are lying scum bag perverts in it for their own self importance.

However, this made me choke.

President Bush is having ago at President Putin over basic civil rites???

Pot calling Kettle Black?

Surely he has the decency to be smirking with his fingers crossed behind his back.

Let’s see:

Guantanamo Bay: 500 people held without trial for 4 on years.
Government Sanction Torture: Did you know that US actually fly suspects to Saudi to be tortured?
Invasion: Everyone by now knows that the US only invaded Iraq to get it’s oil. Surely that is common knowledge.
Death Penalty: This should only be used on Pedophiles.
Incarceration: The US rate of incarceration is around 690 inmates per 100,000 residents-a rate Human Rights Watch believed to be the highest in the world (with the exception of Rwanda)

They are only the one’s I can think of, off the top of my head, and as stated I don’t follow politics.

Here is what Amnesty International has to say on the USA.

I suggest everyone watch the first hour of Fahrenheit 9/11.

Later Days

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

To Look forward to.

Friday afternoon, myself and a couple of the lads are on an all day drinking session.
Friday evening Wigan are playing on Sky Sports
Saturday morning Australia vs. South Africa are playing on Sky Sports
Saturday evening I am getting my haircut
Wednesday my lady wife and I are having a few days in the Lake District with no kids.

Then after that, only Merry Xmas to look forward to.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


How many people have been “beasted” in the Army?

Everyone that’s ever joined.

We are talking millions and millions of beastings, and how many people have died from it?

One (Carol: in all your years with an associated with the Army, did you ever hear of anyone else dieing from a beasting?)

And some of you are saying that you shouldn’t join the Army???

Doesn’t really add does it? Not logically speaking.

The Army is a tough place and rightly so, it needs tough people as War is not for softies. They train hard to give them the best chance of survival in Active Combat situations. It is this toughness and professionalism that have made us the most respect fighting force in the World.

It is that reason that all you left wing softies are not either eating Bratwurst or some Argie equivalent for breakfast.

I would worry less about your kids joining the Army and in my opinion, becoming rounded confident individuals, with a sense of maturity and respect for their elders with only the remotest chance of dying during a beasting.

And more on what them smoking, taking drugs and being knifed on a night out or ending up drunk is some gutter. Which is the more likely scenario.

Just my opinion.

I actually enjoyed beastings, as I love physical exercise.

Monday, July 10, 2006

In the Army now

Just to give some support to Paul...

My son is 16 - he's lazy, moody and less than motivated.

I would LOVE him to join the army. He's perfect. He's very capable, strong and social. And can take orders.

He used to Cycle at a very high level. When he did, he trained frequently, was in excellent physical shape and really enjoyed life. Travelling the UK doing races and mixing with other like minded youths.

He gave up coz he couldn't be bothered training anymore (and I was sick of fighting about it). Now he regrets it.

So, what's he got to look forward to:

Travelling the world with a bunch of mates doing bizarre things like abseiling and leaping into rivers while learning a trade and getting super fit


miserably hanging round the local youth club, drinking cider and hoping that one of those 'advanced' girls will let him take off her bra (oops, that's my life I'm talking about)

Youth is wasted on the young.

My Pet Hate

People who don’t have their contact telephone number as a signature on their work email.

If I need to phone them up, it’s the easiest place to look it up.

Come on play the game.

Offended Me?

By the way, I never get offended by comments, and those of you don’t rate the Army, then fair enough. However, if you could have seen the difference in the skinny, chronically shy Island teenager that joined the Army aged 17 and the toned, muscled, confident well travelled killing machine Adonis that left six years later, then I think you would change your minds.

I realise that the Army isn’t for today’s teenagers as you need to be able to do as you’re told, and get out and do exercise.

But I would love all my boys to do 3 years, (which was the minimum when I joined). It would give them so much. And teach them a lot about themselves and discipline.

Mind you I left the Army 16 years ago, so god knows how much it has changed since.

Anyhoo, you never know, by the time Nemo is old enough, there might be Space Marines….

Useless Fun

This shows you the UK’s number one single on the day you were born.

That’s it, nothing really happened over the weekend, well it did but I can’t be bothered typing anything today.

Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blowing my own trumpet

I wasn’t going to post this, as I thought it was a bit narcissistic, however, isn’t that the whole point of a blog to write about your self.

So here goes.

I’ve changed my routine at the Gym this week, I used to do 20 mins on the cross trainer and then finish off doing either 500 or 1000 metres on the Rower depending how tired I was.

But to I decided I’d focus on the Rower, as this gives a more complete workout than the cross trainer, doing up and lower body as well as cardio.


So I sat down for my forth session of the week and went for it….

Although I was knackered, I was thinking of my Beasting blog, and that this was the perfect time to put that mental toughness to real life practise. So no matter how tired I got, I just pushed that bit harder.

Well I finished on 7 mins 48.4 secs.

Which according to Concept 2 online site is ranked 39th in the WORLD in the 30 to 39, lightweight cat (under 75kg’s) for 2000 metres category.

And if you only take the 39 year old’s I am ranked THIRD….

I am a rowing GOD.

Being realistic this only accounts for people that have been narcissistic enough to put their times on the official Concept 2 website, but then again which true sports man wouldn’t?

Later Days

Beasting in the Army

Someone asked me what a Beasting in the Army entails, and so I thought it was a good excuse, or at least an excuse to write a blog post.
Remembering, as you will that this is from my personal experience in the Army Air Corp over six years.
A Beasting is basically a physical exercise punishment, and not bullying or a beating as some people have stated. It is purely exercise to the extreme.
Obviously, in the Army there is a lot of physical exercise involved, especially during training, however, if a Beasting is deemed necessary, you wish you had never been born.
The one (of many in extreme cold (I remember having to do a Beasting in the snow in shorts and it was minus 20) and extreme heat) is when I was doing my Junior Cadre Course.
I’ll pause here, whilst you pull up a sand bag.
Anyhoo we had been on a three day exercise that involved sleep deprivation to see if you could handle the stress and fatigue you get from doing everything with no sleep for three days.
As you can imagine, when we finally finished and got back to camp, there were a lot of very very very tired bunnies. However, the first thing you do in the Army is look after you kit, and then look after yourselves. So we had to wash all the vehicles (that the instructors rode around in as we had to march everywhere) and then clean your weapons and hand them in at the Armoury.
When some of the lads sat down on the end of their beds to clean their weapons, they immediately fell asleep, and unfortunately one of the NCO’s walked in and saw them asleep. Well they went ballistic!
So they lined us all up (as we were to be punished as a squad) and ran us down to the Gym in full kit. We then loaded up on medicine balls and set off on a ten mile run…….
You can imagine or probably not, never having been through that, that it was more than tiring or exhausting, it was … well words escape me. People were dropping like flies, but we had to pick them up and force them to carry on running.
Then once back in the camp we were told that if they caught one single person asleep before all the weapons were cleaned, inspected and put away, that we’d be out again for a 20 mile run.
Although we were obviously a hell of a lot more tired than before, NO ONE FELL ASLEEP.
So there you are a chance for me to regal you with an old Army tale, and to impart to you the knowledge that a Beasting in the Army, to my knowledge and experience is just an extreme exercise routine.
Later Days

Do Spell Checkers Make you a Worse Speller?

I have always been useless at spelling. I can always pass spelling tests as I am good at learning things, but once the test is over, by brain thinks that I no longer need to remember how to spell that word, and removes it to the Recycler.

So in the old days whilst I was in the Army and writing letters home, you would find half a dozen mistakes on each page.

As an aside: Does any remember the free Army letters you used to get, they were blue and about A4 size, once you had finished writing you licked the sides and it folded it an envelope, they were dead cool.

Anyhoo I digress.

So now I work with computers all day, and everything except MSN messenger has a spell checker on it. I tend to just try and get as close as possible to the spelling and then let Word sort it out.

Occasionally I will try and correct the word it is telling me is spelt incorrectly, but mostly I give up.

I’m a bad speller and it’s as simple as that. I have other gifts that make me special to make up for it.

Later Days

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ok this is what has happened

Yesterday was a public holiday in the Isle of Man as it was Tynwald Day, and for once it was a glorious sunny day. In fact you could say too hot for the average Manxie.

Unfortunately one of the kids was really sick (temperature of 104) and so we couldn’t venture far from the house.

Daniel and I donned our trunks and headed for the beach for a couple of hours in the morning, digging holes, making Sand Castles, paddling, catching Crabs, looking at fish, poking Jelly Fish all the usual stuff.

We got home just in time for a picnic lunch.

Then the afternoon as spent lazing around the house and garden playing with trains and cars, and when ever I got a spare 30 mins, playing on Oblivion.

The only down side yesterday was our Sky+ has finally died. It has been spluttering along for the last 6 months or so, continually failing to record, or losing everything that was recorded. So after our third system reset by Sky they admitted it was “likely” that it wont work again.

So last night we had to watch TV without Sky+. How the fuck do people do it?
If you sit down at 20 past the hour, you’ve either missed most of the program or have to sit around twiddling your thumbs until a new one starts. We spent 10 mins going through all 999 channels looking for something we’d watch and found nothing. We settled on something that might be OK, but then we had to sit through the Adverts. I haven’t watched an advert in years. PLUS, if you need to go to the toilet you have to wait for the adverts, no pausing and saying I’m just going for a quick piss. PLUS, if you need to get another drink from the kitchen, you have to wait for the adverts. So you are sat there gasping till they decide when it’s time for a refill. PLUS, an hour long programme lasts an hour? What’s that all about? With Sky +, since you don’t watch the adverts they only last 40 mins. I swear it was hell, sheer hell. How on earth people live without Sky+ I don’t know, the poor poor bastards.

There was also an alarming twist to the Sky+ failing, which gave me kittens….

During the failed System Reset Procedure that Sky had me do, was turn off the system at the mains. I just flicked the switch at the wall, and this switched of Sky, the TV and my Xbox 360, which I thought nothing about. Later that day I sat down with my wife and poorly child, who was thankfully feeling much better, to have a quick blast on Oblivion. So, I’m sat there chatting to them both whilst it all fires up and then it only gave the option to start a new game? Where were my previous saves? There was nothing, I literally went white. 60 hours of intense gaming GONE! Hours and hours of quests and levelling up, GONE!

I almost literally cried….. I shit you not.

Then it dawned on me that it had mentioned I had signed in to live as Daniel, which was the second Profile on the machine, so I restarted and logged in as me and all the saved games were there. I could have cried again with relief…. Seriously I was that relieved. No I am not a geeky nerdy loser…..

Finally I was reading about this in the paper today, Squaddie Beasting. I am of course not happy he died, BUT seriously, any one who skirts an Officer with a fire extinguisher is going to get a SEVERE beasting. I can’t believe he actually thought they would take it as a joke….. It’s his own fault but a terrible accident. Apparently he asked them to stop. He’s in the fucking Army, they tell you when to stop… As an ex squaddie I sympathise with the Army and not the dead soldier. It was just an accident and not man slaughter. Obviously, that’s just my opinion.

That is all….

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A very Pleasant Evening

I finished work bang on time, got a lift home, tea on the table (Pie, Mash, Peas, Broccoli and Asparagus), quick change and then down the beach with baby son.

2 hours of fun and laughter, home, bath, milk, cuddle and bed.

Then relax with the wife.

Then a couple of hours playing video games.

The question is; does life get any better?

I don’t think so.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Weekend Round up.

Friday I cooked a Romantic meal for the Lady in my life, which got off to a Mr Bean start. I opened a bottle of Champagne (actually it was Cava, but don't ruin the illusion), and it just slipped out of my hands. It hit the floor and then went flying across the kitchen and dining room floors via jet propulsion. Doh!

The rest of the Meal was fine, and I drank a bit too much.

Saturday, kids party in Peel, and then my Wife was out, and middle son and I made Pizza and watched Zuphora (or how ever you spell it) and then I watched the Wigan game (which they won) and managed an hour on Oblivion before she got home.

Sunday was a lazy day, interspersed by the School fair.

All in all nothing special.