Saturday, September 09, 2006

Good game, good game

See, I knew if I went along to support the Pilgrims, they'd win! A well-deserved 2-1 victory over some unimpressive opposition. We might just avoid relegation yet. Although a terminal shortage of fans might still kill the club off - York Street was half empty, and the total attendance was just 1700. That's a really sharp drop from the kind of crowds they were getting just a few years ago - never Man Utd kind of levels, or even any-other-team-in-the-league kind of levels, but always comfortably over 2000. Apparently, this has been going on for a while, and it's a great shame. There were about a hundred travelling Stockport fans, and they made much more noise between them than any Bostonians. Hardly a home game at all for the poor players.

They did well, though. With Paul Ellender suspended, goalie Andy Marriott was acting captain, and he had an excellent game, making a couple of really first-class saves. The one goal he let in nobody could have done anything about, it was a surprising deflection. We went 1-0 up from a Tim Ryan penalty for handball (slightly unlucky, to be fair, it was ball to hand), they equalised almost immediately and then a bit before half time Anthony Elding celebrated his first home game back with Boston with the winner. The highlight of the second half was a fantastic run from out of nowhere by Dany N'Guessan, skipping past the defence as if they weren't there and cracking a shot which the Stockport keeper tipped over the bar. Lee Canoville had a brilliant game too, not putting a foot wrong in central defence. It wasn't what you'd call a promotion-worthy display, but it was definitely the performance of a team that can avoid relegation again this season.

I need to go to more games. With the other old-timers Mark Greaves and Simon Rusk both out injured, this team were practically strangers to me. And they obviously need all the support they can get.

While in Boston, I also did my usual check of the charity shops for cartoon videos and found three brilliant public domain collections, all of them containing entirely different cartoons to the ones listed on the packaging but with some fascinating selections - apart from some of the old Warner Bros ones I'm looking for, there's Westward Whoa (not, as you might expect on a Porky Pig tape, the 1936 cartoon featuring Porky and the rest of the Beans Gang that I've never seen and really want to find, but the Mutt and Jeff from ten years earlier that I'd also never seen and didn't particularly want to, but it's fun nonetheless), Molly Moo-Cow and the Indians and "Jasper and the Watermelons", a weird George Pal Modeltoon from 1942 which I'd never even heard of before today, but now I want to find some more of them.

Also encountered a big, friendly, but cowardly liver-spotted dalmatian in the park. He was happily bouncing around all the people sitting on the benches trying to persuade them to give him some of their food, until a man came past with a little jack russell on a lead, which barked at him. Whereupon the dalmatian, roughly ten times the little thing's size, hid behind his owners.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Furrball's unlucky

Fans of cartoons, or just people who care whether I'm entertained or not, will be pleased to hear that Boomerang have got over their summer Scooby Doo obsession and started showing a wider variety of cartoons again. Even better, they've started repeating Tiny Toon Adventures, most episodes of which I haven't seen for years! Today's was the all-Furrball show, starring possibly my favourite character, so I'm happy. Including the cartoon where his owner takes him on holiday to stop him eating her pet bird, but whenever her back's turned for two minutes he dashes from Florida to California to try to catch it. Very funny stuff. Not to mention Frank Welker's unique vocal stylings, always a treat. Also, it's Friday!

And while we're talking about cats I like, I appreciate that I've mentioned this before and possibly freaked out a reader or two, but I'm still in love with Nigel from Newshounds. Just look at his facial expression in the last panel of today's strip - I wish I could draw that well. Or at all. Isn't he adorable?

Another thing I've just remembered today is that I promised to sponsor Ed a penny per digit memorised at the world memory championship in aid of Romanian orphans and then forgot to send the money. That's the kind of excuse that nobody ever believes from me, although it happens surprisingly often.

Anyway, I feel inclined to go down to Boston tomorrow and watch the football match. I feel bad about calling myself a fan if I don't see one live game a season, and we've had a dreadful start this year (not least because those eejits in charge of the club sold Julian Joachim after all - I remember praising them last year for not doing so), and we're at home to Stockport tomorrow, who are always rubbish, so we should get a good morale-boosting win which I can take the credit for by claiming it was all my cheering that did it. I need to pick up my books for college tomorrow morning too - I hope I can remember some of the stuff I did for the earlier stages of CIMA all those years ago before I start again. I need to keep my reputation as the swotty teacher's pet.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

And I've been working like a dog doesn't

And actually, doing quite well considering I'm facing deadlines that Superman would have trouble meeting. And not just because of his lack of basic accountancy experience, either. So it's one more day to finish off a lot of little bits and pieces, then the next week of other, more annoying and pointless, stuff to finish, then the week after that being pestered by auditors, and THEN it'll all be smooth sailing towards October 13th. Except that I'll probably have to teach the job to my replacement in that time, which is something I really hate doing too. Sigh. Still, just a month and a bit to go...

Also, my MSN messenger isn't working, and I suspect it's something to do with the unfathomable security programs this laptop comes equipped with. Honestly, I'd uninstall the lot of them if I had the faintest idea how to go about it. Nobody's ever going to hack into my computer - I'm much too nice for anyone to want to be mean to me.

I'm competing in the Mental Calculation World Cup in November, in Gie├čen, Germany, and that means I really need to start practicing. Or at least remembering how to do square roots, because I honestly can't right now. I used to be able to do them, I'm sure. Still, it'll be a lot of fun, I'm sure. The previous one in 2004 was great - the competitors were treated like royalty, with tours of the town (Annaberg-Buchholz) by the mayor, free accommodation and meals (at a restaurant that specialises in potato dishes - had I known that there were such places, I would have informed someone beforehand that I'm not all that keen on potatoes, and avoided the potato soup followed by baked potato and for all I know a potato-based pudding too but I'd given up on the food by that point). I also attempted and spectacularly failed a world record attempt at memorising cards, as well as competing unspectacularly in the calculations competition. So this time round, having failed to learn from my mistakes, I'm going to go for another record - 1 minute binary, which I notice has recently been broken by an Israeli guy I've never heard of with a very impressive 240. I'm pretty sure I can manage 270 or maybe a round 300 with a bit of practice.

By the way, the Mental Calculations World Cup isn't to be confused with the Mental Calculations World Championship, which is the MSO event. That's where I stole the idea of asking Andi to rename his world memory championship from, back in 2004.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Only smarties have the answer

I bought a tube of smarties today on my way home. I had vowed never to buy them again after they changed to the hexagonal packaging, but I was peckish and they looked appetising and I figured they'd been punished enough. It's not the same, though. There's no excitement, wondering what letter will be on the underside of the lid. And the new all-cardboard packs just look so cheap and nasty.

Still, there's good news too. In London I found a video of Bobobobs, the extremely weird cartoon series (originally Spanish, I think), that in its English translation appeared on channel 4 in around 1990. It's a very unusual space-odyssey saga about a large cast of little people who sail their wooden spaceship around the universe. They're theoretically on a quest to find a distant planet (Earth, according to the endless theme song) and save the inhabitants from dinosaurs, but in practice they just have a different adventure every week and never really get anywhere. It's one of those things you have to see to understand the appeal, so just take it from me.

My ear's burning. Someone's talking about me. Must be one of the people I just emailed - only three 'fan mails' to catch up with after a week and a half at the MSO, obviously nobody likes me any more. Or perhaps it's because I never get round to writing to people unless they write to me first. I'm terrible like that, it's nothing personal, I assure you.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What a headache

I went through the arduous process of enrolling at the university tonight, for my final year's CIMA course (which is nowadays called Strategic Level, because Final Level sounded too simple. And it was only called that for a couple of years - when I started CIMA back in days of old, it was Level 4), so I'm now officially a student again! I've got a card with an unflattering photo and NUS written on it! I haven't had one of those for ages!

I've also had a headache of a more literal kind on and off all afternoon. Too much work, in too little time.

Monday, September 04, 2006

So many topics, so little time

Well, I'm back home after all that London extravagance, and I find that there are dozens of things I want to write about tonight. A sort of blog backlog, or backblog, if you will.

Also, I still need to iron some shirts and trousers for next week before I go to bed tonight, so I'll keep this brief.

So, I didn't win any medals at the MSO, which is a bit disappointing. I always used to aim to win at least one. But then, I wasn't there at all for the last couple of days, and they didn't have the events I'm really great at, and I wasn't all that interested in it anyway, but it still annoys me. I was hoping for a last hoorah, like a typically zoomy flukey win in a poker tournament, but even though I was sticking closely to my usual strategy of bad play and outrageous good luck, it didn't get me very far this year. Indeed, on the last night I went out to a guy who combined both those skills much more adeptly than I ever did, and won two consecutive big hands with a better full house than another player had, cleaning me out on the second. Darn it.

But I'm pretty sure I won't bother going to the MSO again. If there's a memory championship there, I'll probably go along to that but not the rest of the event. The main problem with the MSO nowadays is that the only people who bother to come are the ones who take it very, very seriously - it's just too expensive and out of the way to attract the kind of person who just wants to play games for fun. So there are a lot of people there who spend half an hour before, during and after every event arguing about petty details of the rules. Which always gets on my nerves. And no, I don't do that to anything like the same degree in memory.

That wasn't very nice of me. I was intending to be all cheerful this evening, too. Must be the impending horror of going back to work tomorrow. Ah well, it'll soon be over...