Tuesday, August 30, 2005

To the Oval

Spent Sunday at Colin's new house in Wolves. The BBQ was excellent, and the cricket even better.
I started off being the only person sat watching it, but by the time England were 7 wickets down there wasn't room to sit. For some it was probably like Dr Who, and the best place to watch it was from behind the sofa.
So England go into the final test 2-1 up in the series, and most of us doing rain dances to cause a draw...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Man city 2nd

League tables mean nothing before the 3rd game of the season. So after 4 games Man City are 2nd in the Premiership behind Chelsea. It must be a miracle, and I'm sure it wont last, especially with our dodgy keeper, David James.
A poor weekend for fantasy managers. Not many goals, with the goals scored by unlikely fantasy players like Heskey and Horsfield.

Second hand organs

I filled in my first donor card when I was 17 as it came with the provisional driving licence that I'd applied for. Fortunately I've never had to use it to date. But I still carry it with me (not the same one as it wore out).
The other important aspect is that I've told my rellies that I carry a card, and that if possible I get recycled to help other people. This means that if the unthinkable happens, then they know that they don't have such a difficult decision. [This conversation occurred after a particularly thoughtful episode of Casualty many years ago, and Dad and I talked it through].
If you don't carry a donor card, think about how you could help someone else after you don't need them.
I've sometimes also thought about leaving myself to medical science...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

First hangover of the weekend

Academic Office BBQ Friday afternoon. Usual good food, and company. And finished the night in Snobs. Music not the usual crackingl indie mix, bit more obscure.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Poor start to fantasy season

What an awful first couple of weeks of premiership football. Very few goals, and not many from the established stars.
But todays and yesterdays games should change that: Quedrue, Lampard x2, Henry x2, & Diouf. And they're all in my team.

Catching up

No evening meetings at the moment, so I'm currently catching up on various TV series on DVD:
X-Files season 4 (big backlog here to get up to 7, after that it gets very ropey)
Buffy season 5 (just got to the bit where Buffy's mum dies, which is quite emotional)
ER season 3 (think this was Clooney's last)
Am also contemplating having a look at Alias. Never saw it when on terrestial.
September will see the release of Scrubs season 2, and the West Wing season 6 (not even sure when terrestial broadcast season 5!)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

White van man

Spent last Saturday helping Colin move into his new house in Wolverhampton. Hired a van from PFB in Nechells, which meant cycling from New St, as my luck would have it the rain started when I arrived in Nechells, and then stopped raining when I dropped the van off at 5pm. Fortunately I was dressed for the rain with shorts and a t-shirt, so got soaked with the number of pick-ups/drop-offs required in various places around Wolves.

Weekend in my constituency

Ok, no longer my constituency, but off to Oundle for the weekend with my parents, and catch up with my brother and (heavily pregnant) sister-in-law. Lots of talk about baby goods, and nursery furniture.
Get to spend a lazy weekend with no thoughts of delivering leaflets, or writing them. Am also well fed and watered.
Spend another lazy sunday with an ad hoc Pagemaker training session for Chris, my GE agent from Corby. Turns out all his problems with pagemaker are to do with the Focus template he started off with ages ago. But also go through some good practice stuff as well. Typical software user who has picked up bits and pieces in isolation, but not had training opportunties to bring it all together.
Sunday afternoon I get to see the Red Arrows and various fly pasts of RAF planes. And all while watching Oundle Town play Market Overton at cricket. Overton's ground is the other side of RAF Cottesmore, in Rutland, which was having a family day. So right on cue for the start of the match the red arrows appeared directly over the ground... The Eurofighter was impressively loud on full afterburner, and almost came to the assistance of a Town batsmen when he got a snick to the keeper. 15s later, the umpires wouldn't have heard the appeal, let alone the sound of leather clipping willow.

Apparently cycling is bad for you...

If you believe the Sunday Times. Diesel fumes, and particulates in particular are said to cause damage to the heart.
The research puts this down to cycle lanes sharing with buses, which are the heaviest users of diesel, and the increase in cars that use this dirty fuel. The advice is that new cycle lanes should be off road/traffic free.
Fortunately this is the direction that Birmingham has been moving in. Nearly all new routes are traffic free (although never quite in their entirety). So much use has been made of canal towpaths, river routes, back roads, and paths that run through council estates.
Of course, if there is a bus route, cycles can use as well, but these are largely used by buses, rather than bikes, as there is usually a safer alternative to mixing it with the big boys.
Manchester is much worse off as there are few alternatives to the arterial routes, so cyclists are forced to share with buses.
I would imagine that following the congestion charge in London that cycling is also cleaner and more pleasant.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Yet another election...

Just when you thought it was safe to stay at home and not deliver any more focus leaflets for a couple of weeks...Mike Olley, a lab councillor in Tyburn, has resigned to take on a politically restricted job.
The Lib Dems have already delivered their first leaflet, and have a candidate in place, John Line. He used to be Chair of the Erdington Labour Party, but left due to the direction that Blair was taking the party, and the promises that Blair was breaking. John joined the Lib Dems early in 2004 and has been campaigning since then. He was often in Hodge Hill to help Nicola Davies.
The Erdington Labour Party now seems to be in open revolt against the regional party. Region has imposed an all female shortlist, even though 8 of the 11 councillors, including the blogging Cllr Hopkins, in the constituency are female. Why on earth they've taken this decision now, when all 6 Labour candidates in the Aston and Bordesley Green were male is a mystery.
Makes you glad to be a Lib Dem where there are no imposed short lists, and members are given the final say.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Political Compass

I haven't tried the political compass for a while, but I've come out as:
Economic Left/Right -6.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -5.69
This compares to Ghandi. I think I've moved slightly further to the left in the last couple of years, but stayed at a similar libertarian level.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lords Reform Day

Failed to blog yesterday, but it was the anniversary of the Parliament Act being enacted in 1911. Like several bits of legislation since, it was only intended as a temporary interim measure:
"...it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation."

New Politics Network has declared 10 August as Lords Reform Day. In the 21st century there can be no excuses for having a 2nd legislative chamber in which there are any hereditary members (even if they are selected by their hereditary peers).
Isn't it about time that we had a true set of constitutional reforms to bring our legislative bodies kicking and screaming into this century, and not being a throw back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

test match day 3

I'd applied for tickets more than 8 months ago back in December. In retrospect I should have gone for 10, rather than the 7 definites. I could have got rid of the other 3 several times over...
We rolled up to Edgaston at 10am and joined the queues to get in. Security has been stepped up and the bag check was the usual, but also a metal detector scan.
Seats were in the Raglan stand which is next "cheapest" stand apart from the Hollies, but it was a pleasant enough group of people around us, with a scattering of Aussie fans. Had originally applied for RES Wyatt as it was more behind the bowlers arm. But it was virtually an "away stand end" with it being almost full of aussie touring groups, including the group hosted by Merv Hughes (that moustache is incredible in real life).
Back to the cricket. England's batting was a complete shower. We were convinced that we'd be leaving in the evening having seen the aussies win. Most of our top order gave their wckets up cheaply. But we were saved by big KP, and Freddie Flintoff. KP hit a couple of massi sixes off Warne, while Flintoff hit an amazing six off Lee straight back over his head into the camera gantry. His innings was one of patience and measured aggression. When he was the last recognised batsmen he protected the rabbits and went to increase the score, and the last wicket stand was 50+ runs.
So having seen England bowled out we never expected that the Aussies would be reduced to 180 odd for 8 wickets, with England claiming an additional 30 mins at the end of the day to try and get the last 3 wickets!
So all in all an expensive day out, but highly enjoyable, and fantastic value for money.

Test match day 2

Another extraordinary day of cricket. England did extremely well to skittle the aussies for 308. It must have been great for Gilo to get 3 wickets in front of his home crowd, especially has he's been going through a low spell. Flintoff was inspirational as well. But the aussies didn't help themselves, Warne was on a mission to lose his wicket in a baseball style.
Hopefully tomorrow we'll be going to see England bat for the whole day tomorrow, increasing the lead to 400+ runs, giving our bowlers a couple of days to bowl at an unlikely target.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Edgbaston Test day 1

What a fantastic days cricket. Wish I'd got tickets for the first day, rather than for Saturday. Hopefully come Sat, we'll be able to see England's 2nd innings where we really pile the pressure onto the Aussies, before giving ourselves 2 whole days to bowl them out, leaving them a target of 500+.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

to wagamama's to do lunch

Saturday should have been a lazy day... I had a list of things to do (this was the first Saturday for about 4 months or so that I wasn't doing something LibDem) in town (buy clothes/CDs/bike bits etc). But failed to do them all. Instead met up with my good friend Colin to do lunch.
Decided on japanese at Wagamommas. Have been to a sushi bar before, but not this style of noodle bar. The food was very good, fast and well presented, with attentive speedy service. But noodles are messy, so will not where a white t-shirt there again (lesson previously learnt from eating curry!).