Ahh...there's no place like home. Unless you're a Liverpool fan. Because home is hovering somewhere around 4th place. Forever. No matter what.
Now, my apologies must go out in advance to a certain other long-suffering contributor to this wonderful repository of wit and wisdom. For most teams, 3rd (or even 4th for that matter) is nothing to scoff at...but Liverpool is not most teams. Liverpool is (still...somehow) the most successful British team of all time, both in the league (at least until Man U most-likely tie our record this year) AND in Europe (Five times baby. Hey Chelsea, how many European Cups have you got?....oh...).
Liverpool is no ordinary club. As the sign that the players pass under says:
Breathe it in bitches. This. Is. Anfield.
I wish I was born about 15 years earlier. Oh, to witness the splendor that once was the mighty Reds.
Instead...what do I get? The modern annual tradition. Yet another mid-season collapse. From first to third in two weeks, plus two (TWO!!) draws at home against Everton in one week! That alone is enough to put me in a corner sobbing.
I work with Wayne Rooney's uncle. And he is so blue, through and through, he once joked that he was glad Wayne was injured because he couldn't play in Man U's game against Everton. His own nephew! His sister's flesh and blood! Can you imagine what it's like to go to work and encounter that guy when they've even tied Liverpool? I swear, I don't like to hate Tim Cahill. He's an Australian hero: easily the best player we've got. Scored the tying and winning goals against Japan at the World Cup! It tears at my soul!!! But yes!! Liverpool matters more to me than Australia. And I now face Tim Cahill with anger.
What do I get for this loyalty? I'll tell you.
Allow me to set the scene:
For those who don't know (which I'll assume is everyone), I live in Melbourne, Australia. Well...Melbourne is going through it's worst heat wave in a hundred years. Yesterday was 43 degrees (yes, that's celcius, and yes, that's hotter than most people set their hot tubs) and today was 45. I do not have air conditioning in my house.
So...it's really, really, really, really, like, fill-a-bucket-with-my-ball-sweat, hot. And yes, this morning, Liverpool was playing Wigan in an attempt to re-establish some form (after three consecutive draws) and to stay within touch of Manchester United (whom we could tie on points but whom also retains a game in hand). Now... having to work today, I recorded the game and managed to avoid all news of results, planning to reward myself for a hard day of pretending to work by watching my beloved Liverpool maintain their first meaningfull title challenge in as long as I've enthusiastically cheered for them.
Now it's late. The wife has gone to bed. I'm alone with an icy cool gin-and-tonic (or three) watching Liverpool march out to a deserved 1-0 first half lead. The pride is swelling. I'm thinking of our match against Chelsea this weekend and how we can kill off their chances, making it a two horse race between the old foes: Liverpool and Manchester United. We're into the last ten minutes. And what happens?
I'll tell you what happens.
We give up a penalty. Mido scores. Liverpool draws. A close 2nd place becomes a struggling 3rd place and Aston Villa have us squarely in their sights.
I have to agree with this article right here. Benitez has gone insane. I'm losing patience. Big time. Why he played Lucas before Alonso I'll never understand. Without Alonso against Everton in the league, we had no passing fluency whatsoever. We bring him back for the FA Cup and we pass Everton off the park, dominating every stat accept the score sheet (which might have something to do with the fact that Keane wasn't even on the bench. Honestly WTF?)
So what does Rafa do? Leaves Alonso on the bench again, Liverpool struggle to create anything that doesn't come from Benayoun's twinkling toes and Lucas gives up a game-blowing penatly. So...here we are. Fallen to third place. A single point above Aston Villa. And playing Chelsea this weekend.
Ahhh. There's no place like home.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ahh...there's no place like home. Unless you're a Liverpool fan. Because home is hovering somewhere around 4th place. Forever. No matter what.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
From ESPN Soccernet...
Liverpool's out of favour striker Robbie Keane has been offered an escape route by Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp.So let me get this straight. Spurs sell a bunch of players during the failed Sergio Ramos experiment and when Redknapp takes the reigns, he buys them all back? First it was Jermaine Defoe, then Pascal Chimbonda, and now there's talk of Robbie Keane! Yes, the same Robbie Keane who has flubbed his way right off the bench of Liverpool (last week anyway).
I don't know what it is, but Spurs have been the most active team in the transfer market. They seem to be linked with a move for everyone. I assume this is due to bounty left over from the sales of Berbatov and Keane. It's kind of nice, but at the same time, I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't speak out against it due to the manner it is being carried out.
Harry Redknapp, Spurs' manager and transfer recipient himself last fall, has started lofting names out everywhere. He is accused of unsettling Craig Bellamy from West Ham, before he ultimately left for Man City, and who knows how many others. This is exactly what pissed me off about the transfer of Keane. As soon as Liverpool declared intent publicly, Keane was gone. What a stupid way to do business. And this happens constantly. Spurs' hypocrisy just lends credence to the fact that nothing will ever change.
I really feel for the mid/bottom-sized clubs in a transfer market. They are faced with being forced to sell their players (9 times out of ten it seems, Stewart Downing being the only notable exception recently) and though they are compensated with cash, if they go and find another star player and he performs, that player will just get poached next. Hence nothing really changes very much in the standings from one year to the next in European soccer.
Posted by Hamblore at 4:35 PM
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This is the story of a parrot who started mimicking the refs whistle and causing chaos.
But I have one question: who would let someone in to a soccer game with a caged parrot? Why would you want to bring a parrot? What the WTF?
If this was the lady's goal, ie. to cause havoc on the field, then why didn't she just bring a whistle and do it herself? Was it supposed to be a mascot? Good luck?
So many questions.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Me! I'm worth 1 Gazzillion Dollars!
Oh Manchester City, how you entertain me. Or maybe I should thank Juventus. Demanding 100million pounds for Buffon? Genius.
Maybe Kaka turned them down because he found out that they tried to sign Villa, Silva, Henry and Buffon all before him. Or maybe his "god" forbade him from going. But really, who cares? At this rate, I'm expecting Blackburn to ask 1 Trillion Pounds for Santa Cruz. Why not, I say. Let the absurdity continue. For some reason I just enjoy watching Manchester City get screwed. I think it's all their hubris. Yeah...definately the hubris. Mmmmmmm, hubris.
Posted by Hamblore at 11:10 PM
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
As President-elect Obama nears becoming plain old President Obama, I think it's time to give a glance back at the wonders that were the two terms of George W. Bush. Here, I present to you, Bush: 8 Years in 8 Minutes
Ahhh...he may be the biggest f@*k-up in presidential history, but admit it, you want him at your next bbq.
Posted by Hamblore at 11:09 PM
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Update: ESPN is now reporting that it is indeed a 500,000 pound a week contract offer to Kaka. So an update to the math goes like this: for a 5 year contract, Kaka would cost 46 million pounds a year (~83 Million $ CAD).
The picture on The Score's Footy Blog pretty much sums it up. Man City are launching a brick shitting amount of money to try and land Kaka. But it looks like Kaka himself has poopoo'ed the move (oh God, I'm proud of that one), saying Jesus wants him to stay. Either that, or Italy's PM / AC owner Silvio Berlusconi would declare war on Brazil.
Despite the "facts" I state above, the truth is that 100,000,000 British Pounds have been offered for Kaka. This would smash the world record transfer fee of 48 Million Pounds paid by Real Madrid for Zidane in 2001. This is a tenth of a billion pounds. This is ~180 Million Canadian Dollars. And most of all, this is insane.
For those who don't know, this transfer fee just gets the player from one team to another. From my understanding of James Sharman's explanation, they then have to negotiate a contract with the player. Kaka's offer is being reported differently from what I've seen, either 250,000 or 500,000 pounds a week (I don't think the latter offer is correct because it is so ludicrous). If the assume the former fee, that would be 13 Million pounds a year for Kaka, or 23.4 Million CAD.
Now admittedly, baseball contract and even NBA contracts can be more ridiculous than this, but they don't come with a giant transfer fee paid up front. So if you average it out over 5 years (if that was the term of Kaka's contract), then Man City would effectively be paying 33 Million pounds a year, or about 60 Million Canadian Dollars, to land him.
Monday, January 12, 2009
UPDATE: Asus is in the red for the first time
Coincidence? I think not!
So the RMA request for the Asus Eee PC mini-laptop that I bought for our Australia/NZ trip has been replied to by Asus Customer "Care." If you'll notice in the picture below (which Asus attached to the email), there is damage to the LCD screen rendering the machine useless. What happened to it? I'll never know because I was sleeping as Heather used it during our last night in Auckland and then charged it overnight. The next morning this is what I woke up to:
There was no dropping or smashing or ramming or slamming, so I've been told. So I figured I would try getting it back into Asus' hands and maybe, just maybe, they would be like "our bad, we'll fix it for you." No, instead, they replied going "pay for this." Though this was kind of an expected scenario, given I was told in Melbourne what their policy is on LCD screens (namely: "you fucked up, pay us"), I was kind of hoping they would at least be courteous enough to tell me their policy and why I was being charged for it. Even an attempt at pretend sympathy would have been appreciated.
So the bottom line is, I have to spend another 23% on top of the price I paid for the machine to make it usable again. After I used it for a whole 10 days. After it decided to shit the bed on itself. And I don't even merit an explanation as to why.
Conclusion: I won't be buying from Asus anymore. They were my preferred motherboard manufacturer, but not anymore. I will likely, but very begrudgingly, pay them 115$ dollars (which they didn't mark as being in Canadian or US dollars) and hope to get more use out of this laptop to make it a worthwhile purchase and repair. But this has soured me so much that I recommend to spend your dollars or pounds or euros or rupees or mana elsewhere and declare that ASUS, YOU ARE OFFICIALLY ON NOTICE!
CFL ref unextraordinaire Jake Ireland comes off the board. But the reprieve will likely only last for the offseason before he starts to stick stuff in my craw again.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
UPDATE: YOUTUBE OFFICIALLY SUCKS. In the time it took me to write this post, all these videos got banned. I've tried to replace with whatever shit was left.
The ultimate joker/jackass, now that Avery is gone: Jarko Ruutu. How do you even play with a guy like this? He bites Buffalo brawler Andrew Peters, and lucky to escape alive.
And this, THIS! is not how you fight. This is like a baseball fight. Hilarious. Alex Semin (extra hilarious name) attempts to fight Mark Staal, by beating the back of his head.
And of course, how could any of us forget this gem. Tie your helmet up, son! You're a goalie for God's sakes. Jacob Markstrom tries to swim on the ice.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
This website provides some insights on "Annoying Body Glitches," including hiccups. I was keen to see if my sure-fire cure was present. It is not. Which is kind of satisfying knowing that I am member of an elite, select few knowledge carriers. It's kind of a cult-ish feeling. A secret society whose sole rite is the vanquishing of hiccups with our mystical elixir. And though that might be overstating it a little, Peanut Butter is the true cure. As Stephen Colbert would say: Peanut Butter is the proven scientific cure for hiccups, one can assume. But it seems that this solution is not commonplace and I've rarely if ever found anyone with this knowledge. Props to Dylan and his family for discovering or sharing this with me, back in the proverbial "day."
As a side not, the one about random jerking (not that kind Kevin) before falling asleep has always been a source of amusement for me being that Heather falls asleep before I do. What I laugh at when she's sleeping can't hurt her.
I've been torrenting lately, and though I admit I have yet to perfect the art, Sasktel's high speed classic has been punishing me. Actually, it feels like Sasktel has been punishing me. Though they won't say that they have anything against torrenting, I suspect they are complacent with certain hardware deficiencies which help to make it difficult.
Their 2wire modem will grind to a halt because it's session tables / RAM get completely full due to too many established connections. I have already had them come in to add a new modem because the last one had other somewhat related issues. The new one hasn't solved anything wrt torrents though. Of course, Sasktel claims this is a hardware issue and there is nothing they can do about it. Oh, and despite one of their techs telling me that I can correct the modem from being brought to it's knees by power cycling it, I was told today that this won't really work. Thanks. So even if I remove power to my modem, it can somehow maintain knowledge of prior connections. I'd love to know how/why it does that. They recommended changing my torrent client's settings to restrict the number of connections. I'll see later today if this worked.
re: Million Video Games Sellers Worldwide
As I have started up playing Duke Nukem 3d again with the new High Resolution texture package(AWESOME), I have pondered it's place in history. According to VGChartz.com, it didn't even sell a million units. This strikes me, no simile required. This is one of my favorite games of all time and a legendary PC game. Clearly PC games don't rate as well, which makes sense, but look at the other crap on there.
Nintendogs?!!! Number 7 selling video game of all time??!! What has this world come to. And there is 6 or 7 huge selling Pokemon games. I don't know anything about them, but I'm betting all they did was change the colour of the characters in the games and the title. "Pokemon Yellow, where do we go from here? Wait, I've got it! Pokemon Red/Mango Tree Fuchsia!" Oh, spoiled children and your fickle parents.
My niece received Nintendogs as a gift and she sat there playing with virtual dogs. Granted kids are hard to figure out and there are plenty of stupid video games, it's hard to not to stare with a blank look at a child telling her Nintendo DS to "sit!" Having said that, I give this to my children any day of the week before a real dog. Real dogs poop. I'm not making this up.
In an act of self-punishment, I eagerly await Future Shop's availability of the ipod touch I'm looking for. Of course they are sold out and will be forever and I hate the place, but I have a 100$ gift card and it needs to get used. Damn it! Give me my toy!
Friday, January 02, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Officially, I'm calling New Years day Hangover day from now on. So Happy Hangover day to everyone I guess. Hope you and yours have had a wonderful holiday season filled with cheer and an abundance of happiness stuffed full of family and friends all together in a turkey stuffing topped with love and an angel on top to christen this most cherished of times for everyone to enjoy in peace and reflection of the year that passed and the year that comes ahead which inspires optimism and wonder which is only surpassed by the awe of the gift of life itself now here within, so much about, and thusly.
Now that that crap is out of the way, let's all welcome a new contributor to this here great land of merriment and slackery:
We stayed in for New Years last night, which was probably a good thing because as I was sweeping off the front step, and we have a small step, by the time I was done the other side I started on was full of snow again. And the roads we shit holes. But it was great to see everyone out on the streets this morning powering up their big snowblowers to clear their three car driveways, burning up some fossil fuels and churning out some rpms; Augh, augh, augh (read: Tim Allen's Home Improvement sounds). Like seriously, I only saw one person shoveling, everyone else snowblowing (the guy shoveling was shoveling the street in front of his house, a practice I have never seen before and baffles my mind, but they are shoveling nazis so I'm not surprised). Is everyone that lazy? What's wrong with a little exercise and motor restraint? Having said that, someone has been taking what must be a giant snowblower or cat or something and blowing off the entire areas sidewalks. That is sweet.
Anyway, we all drank our pants off (quite literally in C-dog's case). We played Guitar Hero World Tour until 4 AM. We also played Settler's of Azerbaijan or something like that and everyone's favourite drinking game: black or red. And, AND, we revived the slap fight routine between Kevin and I. Always a crowd pleaser.
Later in the night, I was able to revive an old clayssic (sic) with some wifing. I think the picture speaks for itself. She just found out a few minutes ago that this was done to her:
But the highlight of the night was the World Junior victory against the states. And Gord Miller said it best, we may have witnessed one of the best games we've ever seen. All those years, literally since he was 13 or 14, of following Jon Tavaras is now proving worthwhile. The guy is going to set the record for most goals all time by a Canadian and maybe of any team and already has the most PP goals. He's going to go number one. You can take that to the bank.
I have to interrupt this to say that James Bond Quantum Solace sucked because my dim witted roomate thinks it was OK. I have two words for him: Fiddlesticks!
Anyway, this is on the front page of digg today and it completely echoes my sentiment that it was the save of the year with 3 hours left in it. Since we were all off the couch screaming we completely missed Pierre Maguire's reaction to it. I think the caption on the youtube page says it all:
Also, Pierre McGwire has an orgasm on air.
Oh Pierre. God bless you.