Archive for April, 2006

Wow! Just checked my blog stats and I had eleven views yesterday. Eleven whole views! Can you imagine that?

Yeah, me too.

Four of them were referrals from search engines: people looking for reviews of Muriel Gray's The Trickster and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera – which I just happen to have on my blog.

Hello all ye review seekers. Make yourselves at home. Leave me a comment or two. As they say on Amazon, 'Was this review helpful to you?'

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It was my new character's debut in the Iron Kingdoms game last night. Unfortunately, as a ogrun monk with charisma 9 and being new to the city and not really knowing what's going on, it was a talking session. No combat at all. So I didn't have that much to do. Certainly no opportunity to show off my +16 grapple bonus. And me being me and the other players being normal, talkative people I didn't have that much to say either.

Still, looking forward to future games when Rokul should come into his own. I'll have to wait a couple of weeks, though – I have elections to attend next Thursday.

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‘Absolute Zero’, Faith No More

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‘Absolute Zero’, Faith No More.

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Something I really hate is making a fool of myself. In fact, fear of looking stupid is one of the defining characteristics Рif not, the defining characteristic of my personality.

Last night on my way to roleplaying I stopped at Tesco to get a pot of pasta. As I waited at the queueing point for the checkouts, there was one south Asian guy manning the tills. I counted out ¬£1.49 of change. Then about three more (yes, three more south Asian guys) came on at the same time. I moved towards the one who said ‘Can I help you?’ first.

I put my pasta on the counter and the chap started getting a carrier bag ready. I said, ‘I don’t need a bag,’ but he was still looking like he was going to put my pasta in the carrier as he went to pick it up. Often I don’t speak very clearly so I took hold of the pasta to prevent him wasting the bag. ‘I don’t need a bag,’ I repeated. He also had hold of the pasta now. He didn’t say anything, so I thought may be he hadn’t understood me (being south Asian, and his ‘Can I help you?’ evidently not being a good enough indicator of his English). I repeated myself again a little more forcefully. Still he didn’t let go of the pasta, or, indeed, say anything. It was dawning on me that something wasn’t right.

Oh. Yes. He needs to scan the barcode.

I let go of the pasta.

He scanned it, I paid him, I left. I ate my pasta.

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Toilet wisdom

There used to be some graffiti on one of the toilet cubicle walls of my alma mater, Bath Spa University College (it's now dropped not only the College from its name but the toilets themselves – well, they've redeveloped the main building and they're now in a different place) that read:

It is better to live one day as a tiger than 1000 years as a sheep.

Underneath this, some wit had scribed:

Yeah, but you'd be a fucking A-list celebrity sheep.

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A big fillip?

However long ago it was now – about three months – I remember thinking when all the speculation about who would be the next England manager kicked off that you couldn’t go far wrong with Luiz Felipe Scolari. At the time, Gus Hiddink was the leading non-British contender. Then all the attention focused on McClaren, Curbishley, Allardyce, and, from the media coverage I saw, it seemed like the Brazilian was no longer in the running.

This morning the news is that he’s been offered the job. And it seems to me like the right choice – who else is available, willing to do it (which would apparently rule out Fergusson, Wenger, Mourinho and Benitez), and, most importantly, up to it?

Howard Wilkinson was on the radio this morning complaining that it should have been an English or at least British appointment. His argument was that the FA’s duty is to English players and managers. The problem is that, while there maybe some decent English managers, there certainly aren’t any world class English managers. I mean what, exactly, have McClaren, Curbishley and Allardyce won? Has anyone even heard of them outside British football? Wilkinson’s point is nonsensical. How is English football served by appointing a mediocre manager who will get torn apart by the press and replaced straight after Euro 2008, if not sooner?

And anyway, who could be better qualified than Scolari? He won the World Cup four years ago and nearly won Euro 2004. And he’s Brazilian! If the culture clash isn’t too great and he earns the respect of the players, he could be pretty inspirational.

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