Saturday, December 31, 2005

And a happy new year

I feel a bit embarrassed about staying at home tonight and not celebrating the new year in some kind of alcoholic way, with people around. Not that I normally go to a wild party on December 31st, but now that I'm writing about my everyday life on a daily basis, I feel like I'm under some kind of obligation to do interesting things every now and then, and I've probably not lived up to that standard just lately.

Also, because I spent the day before my birthday two and a half months ago looking back on the past year and wondering what the future will hold, I can't really do what everyone else is doing right now in their blogs. I'm just going to go and memorise some packs of cards and then watch the football. And I wonder why nobody reads this thing! Ah well, I hope anybody who does end up reading this has an absolutely wonderful 2006. Peace on earth and goodwill to all!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Goody Goody Yum Yum

I know I normally try to avoid writing about whatever's on telly at any given moment (otherwise it's too easy to use it as an excuse to run out of imagination and not think about what to put in this thing), but I'm watching something at the moment that makes me think "My god, this is awful!"

It should be good, too - it's a 90-minute special about the Goodies, the long-running, popular and very funny TV show from the seventies. They produced somewhere in the region of 40 hours of material over the course of the series, so there should be just about enough reasonably entertaining stuff to fill this special by itself. What they've done instead, though, is show a barrage of two-second clips that would have been funny if they were shown in the context of the 30 seconds either side of them, mingled with new footage of the Goodies themselves reminiscing in painfully unfunny style (worse even than the Two Ronnies in their recent series) and the usual list of celebrities all saying in identical words that they liked watching the Goodies when they were younger.

There isn't even enough of THAT to fill an hour and a half, so they've resorted to showing everything twice, padding out the show with "Later on, Rolf Harris will be saying this about the time the Goodies mentioned him on their show..."

Just repeat the flaming episodes, for crying out loud! It wasn't the highlight of British comedy history that everyone seems to be saying it was, but it was still usually funny enough to be worth watching, and every now and then it was hilarious. This, on the other hand, is rotten. I wonder if they're doing it on purpose, in line with the usual BBC policy of not repeating Goodies episodes? They're trying to convince people it wasn't worth watching in the first place.

Honestly, I'd stop watching it if only I could be bothered to get up and change the channel. I need to get over this laziness thing. I'm not planning anything for the new year, I'll do a whole load of memory training over the long weekend. Then, I suppose, I've got to go back to work. Ah well, could be worse.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

As Time Goes By

It really bugs me how quickly this year seems to have gone. I'm going to have to go to great lengths to make 2006 really drag. I should make the year as boring and uninspiring as possible, to make sure it feels like it goes on forever. I feel inspired to make resolutions, but I've already done that a couple of months ago on my birthday, so I won't. If I achieve too much next year, it won't leave anything for the rest of the world to accomplish.

I've just come 6th out of 23 in an othello tournament on Kurnik, mainly because of two walkovers against absent opponents, but it's still good. It drags my tournament rating up above 1200, which is cool, but not quite cool enough to get into the 1250+ tournaments they have from time to time. More hard work or sabotaging people's internet connections at crucial moments, whichever is most convenient, I think.

Meanwhile, I need to arrange a holiday - the US Memory Championship is on Saturday March 11th, and I've just about definitely decided to go there, just for a bit of competition practice. It's only a little competition, just five short disciplines, and I wouldn't be allowed to win it, because it's meant to be for US citizens only, they just let foreigners take part occasionally without their scores being counted. But it'd be nice to see New York properly. I've only ever had one flying visit, on my way by train from Boston to Washington back in 2000, and I don't think an hour and a half is enough time to do the city full justice.

Oh, and as a footnote to last night's entry, Everton lost 3-1, and West Brom beat Spurs. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


The midweek football matches that haven't been called off because of the weather are kicking off round about now. I hope Boston's match was postponed in good time before the poor Carlisle players had to trek all the way down there - we've had a history of waiting till the last minute to call a game off in the past.

Anyway, at the moment I'm not as enthralled by Boston's hypothetical chance of making the playoffs as I am by the significantly more possible chance of Everton getting relegated. I do feel a bit guilty about hoping a team will fail so spectacularly, though. Admittedly it's normal to hope that one particular team will win any given game (very few people go to a football game hoping for a draw), and this does naturally extend to hoping that the other team will lose, but there seems something rather more malicious about desiring Everton to lose a sufficient number of games that they end up somewhere in the bottom three places of the league table at the end of the season.

On the other hand, three teams do have to finish in those positions every year, and thus drop down to the level below for the next year, and I think it's very much in the spirit of cheering for the underdog if I hope that the lesser teams manage to avoid the drop at the expense of Everton, a normally very successful team currently in their 52nd consecutive year in the top flight. So it's entirely reasonable of me to be wishing for them to follow up their two consecutive 4-0 thrashings with another heavy loss to Liverpool tonight.

They're currently 16th out of 20, coming up to the half-way point of the season, and with Sunderland dead last by a mile and seeming to have no hope at all of survival, and Birmingham also struggling so much that you wouldn't want to bet against them being relegated, we need Portsmouth and West Brom to rally sufficiently to drop Everton down to 18th. It could happen tonight, if they both win (unlikely, since they've both got difficult games), and it would certainly cheer me up unreasonably if it did. Of course, Everton's game on Saturday is against Sunderland, who ANYONE can beat, so they'd have to be even more terrible than they currently are to stay in the bottom three into the new year. Fingers crossed, though.

I've had a very lazy day today. Did a very little bit of memory training this morning, but not the several hours I was planning to put in while I'm off work with nothing better to do. I keep finding good reasons not to - along the lines of "Hey, Virgin Radio are playing their top 500 songs all this week, I'll have to listen to that..."

I think part of it is dietary. I'm no expert on what you should and shouldn't eat, but I'm pretty sure that stuffing yourself all day with leftover Christmas chocolate, biscuits and cake (home made cake, and delicious it is too) isn't good for you. Likewise, having no exercise whatsoever for the last week or so possibly contributes to my general lethargy. Never mind, I'll snap out of it tomorrow, do lots of healthy things, eat vegetables, run a marathon or two, that kind of thing. Or I might do the same again and sit around all day reading and listening to the radio. It's the holidays!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It's the longest possible time till more Christmas

But apart from that, everything is good in the world of Zoomy. I hope all my loyal readers had a great festive season too! Apologies for not posting here over the last few days, but as I mentioned, my brother was round, and although I've officially told him I've got a blog now, I think there's a fundamental difference between writing an online diary in the full knowledge that someone will read it, and writing an online diary while there's someone in the room with you who could look over your shoulder. But maybe I'm just weird.

Lots of snow today, on and off. There's quite a carpet of it out there now. Hopefully it'll carry on for the next week, making everything look shiny and pretty, and then go away before I have to go back to work next Tuesday. Hearing a lot of birds chirping outside this morning, I decided to put some food out for them, but after the Christmas gorging of the last few days, didn't have anything left in my food cupboard except some boil-in-the-bag rice. So I put an uncooked bagful out on the windowsill, then an hour or so later started worrying that if birds ate it, it would expand in their stomachs and kill them. Thinking that it was probably better to kill birds by neglect than by actively giving them lethal food, I took the rice back in and resolved to give them some bread when I get round to buying some tomorrow.

I have no idea whether these concerns of mine have any kind of medical validity. I'd look it up somewhere, but I can't be bothered. This also makes me feel guilty, but I suppose that's what the Christmas season is all about.