Sunday, February 26, 2006

Take that, you tool

Yahoo! Adelaide are out of the A-League. It's not that I don't like the team, only their coach. But I've always been partial to the underdog, so I was going for the Central Coast anyway.

The Coast won 1-0. I won't try to describe the game this week, because I'm sick of that and there will be plenty of articles about it. Pondeljak scored in the 7th minute and then the game was a lot of attack and a lot of defence.

The crowd continued Adelaide's record of abysmal efforts, only 11,400-odd. The final was always going to sell well, but I'm sure everyone's happy that, with Sydney v Gosford, they can play up the local "rivalry" (hang on, I thought the Coast and Newcastle were rivals due to that broken leg thing...) and the Mariners' fans seem to be good travellers anyway.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Simpsons did it, Simpsons did it!

I don't know if you've heard about the whole controversy going on in New Zealand about the South Park episode Bloody Mary. Their PM commented on it and everything. TV3 decided to bring the episode forward, out of its usual place in the run; to help contribute to the debate, they said.

Anyway, it aired last night and got six times the usual audience. Like a scene from an early episode, 350 people protested outside the building.

>>> I just saw an episode of the Simpsons where they bring all the kids around to catch Chicken Pox off Maggie. South Park's done it, South Park's done it!


Sunday, February 19, 2006

And the winner is Syd-en-ee

30,377 people saw Sydney beat Adelaide 2-1 to go through to the final 4-3 on aggregate. I bet the FFA are pleased. A record crowd this week and then a chance to beat it again in a fortnight for the final. Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide only has a capacity of 16,500, even Central Coast's ground is bigger than that.

The game itself? Meh... Lots of long balls in, lots of defenders hacking balls away.

To anywhere.

Sydney seemed to have the best of it, scoring once, until Adelaide equalised, and then Sydney got rattled. But as their defence got on the end of everything that counted, they got it together enough to score again and hold out until the end.

All in all, it was a grind. Adelaide fans now know how Queensland fans have felt all season. All those shots on goal and bugger-all to show for it.

But will I change my prediction of Adelaide to win the championship? Yes.

I said previously who could tip against Adelaide? Well I could. Obviously Sydney have what it takes to grind them down and win; and Central Coast are looking good.

And what was Super-tool John Kosmina going on at Littbarski about after the match?

>>>I don't like white football boots. It makes players look like they're wearing sandshoes kicking a football around in the park.

>>>73,043 people saw the four semi-final games so far.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

And then there were three

The good thing about the second leg of matches is that, unlike the first leg, you don't have to make any predictions about the rest will go. So this will be short: Newcastle are out.

No surprise there. What was surprising was how long it took to be sure. Despite the rabid crowd and grand-final atmosphere (at least two players obviously slipped on the tinsel littering the ground) who would go through was in doubt until injury time.

As always seems to happen, Central Coast had the run of play early, but then they went cold for fifty-odd minutes after Matthew Thompson's 28th minute goal for Newcastle. They woke up for a little while at the beginning of the second half, but that was short-lived due to horrible finishing by Damien Brown. But Brown redeemed himself with his cross to Heffernan for Central Coast's tying-goal.

That made it 2-1 on aggregate and the Central Coast Mariners go through to the preliminary final.

Remember, the Mariners won the pre-season competition, so being one of the remaining three teams at this stage in the season should not be unexpected. And neither, I think, was the record crowd of 17,429, since -- as the commentary pointed out -- Rugby League didn't want the Central Coast, neither did Super 14. But football did, and they got their pay-off this week.

And if Sydney wins tomorrow, that will mean the final is played at Aussie Stadium, which the FFA would be pleased with, crowd-wise.

So, have my predictions for the remaining games changed? No, not really. Whoever loses tomorrow will probably still beat the Coast next week and then Adelaide will still win.

>>>Nicky (or is it just 'Nick'?) Carle was Newcastle's best tonight; and all season from what I saw.

>>>Fox Sports seem to think the same as I do, about how crowd noise can really 'make' a game. But I think they had the effects mike too high in the mix; when the crowd really cheered, it drowned out the commentators.

>>>Finally, some Queensland Roar news. Miron's kept his job. Now we wait to see how much more of the team will leave.


Mrs. Peel, we're needed.

Channel Eddie has The Avengers on again. As usual, it's the colour Diana Rigg series, not black and white Honor Blackman, but hey, it's been so long since I've seen these -- it was The Fear Merchants -- I can't remember a lot about them.


Let's beat hippies with truncheons

Some band should do a remake of The Song Remains the Same. Led Zeppelin did something with that movie that no one has ever tried again. For good reason.

Let's allow the band to do wanky fantasy sequences over interminable '70s guitar or electric piano or drum solos; the lead singer banging away on a tamborine. Robert Plant; we get it.You like Lord of the Rings. As if Misty Mountain Hop wasn't a big enough clue. Jimmy Page; we get it. You luuurve Satan. Peter Grant; what a character!

I love the bit in the guitar solo in Dazed and Confused where Jones and Bonham just look at each other as if to say "Where's he going now?" "I don't know. Just go with it."
"No comment is more incriminating than a comment." "Is it?" "Yeah." "No comment."
But I just think of Mr Dark using my pink paisley Telecaster to play Stairway to Heaven at a school mass.

I'm not sure if I was in that band, but I remember playing Tom Apelt's 12-string acoustic. I went out and bought my own soon after.
"Does anybody remember laughter?"
Wow! So now we're at the drum solo where Bonham plays them with his hands. Classic!

Carpentry with a fag hanging out of his mouth. Racing hotrods and dragsters. Fantastic.

Now Jimmy Page brings out the theremin.

And then they hop into their limos, drive to their private plane and fly away...


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Marc Ecko ain't getting up at all

Jeez, you patronising morons, it's just a game. And it's available over the internet anyway.

And when it comes down to it, fat little X-Boxing kiddies are unlikely to do anything that requires physical effort.

UPDATE - I just don't see what would be wrong with kids going out and doing this.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

For those of you watching in black and white, Sydney are the team in blue: A-League Semi-Finals, First Leg

Can Newcastle bring out their away-from-home magic and snap the Central Coast's 10-game winning streak? Can Sydney and Adelaide play two halves of football? Should Newcastle's Corbo have been sent off for a second yellow in the first half? Would it have mattered? Will Adelaide's Carl Veart get an Academy Award for his acting in the 80th-minute kerfuffle? Can I explain the away-goals-rules accurately and succinctly? And does anyone really care?

Newcastle has to win and score at least two goals. Adelaide have to win or score at last two goals (and not lose). I'm halfway to getting my predictions right for the first round.

All this and more after the jump...

Friday: Newcastle 0, Central Coast 1

The Jets fell to their third loss in a row; but at least they stemmed the bleeding, with the goals-against coming down from 5 against the Roar to 3 against Perth and now 1 against the Central Coast. But is it enough? They looked okay in the first half, with fast breaks from the halfway line involving two or three players, whereas the Mariners farnarkled about a lot between halfway and the edge of the area with the whole team involved. The Coast didn't look much more penetrating than that, but for some reason they looked like the better team. Maybe it was just the advantage in possession. (Or maybe it just looked that way because I watched most of the first half on x2 speed?)

Maybe Newcastle's first-half running and wayward shooting left them worse for wear; but in the second half, the Coast finally took advantage of always having the ball. First, however, Central Coast goalie Danny Vukovic was called on to make what may have been a crucial save. May have, because I'm not really sure what Newcastle would have done one goal ahead and with most of the disappointing crowd of 10,236 at their backs.

But we won't know. Instead, from about the 10th minute of the half on, the Coast just ground Newcastle down with possession until they scored twenty minutes later. The goal looked like Newcastle in the first half, sure touches from five players, starting in their own half of the field.

Continued pressure couldn't bring a second goal, so the Central Coast takes a one-nil lead and a precious away-goal into the second leg at home next week.

The FFA may not be pleased with the crowd. It was high, but lower than the game against Queensland a few weeks ago, and 30% lower than the first-round record. Not good for a home semi-final. There were more away-fans than I've seen (and heard) at a game before. (Still with only 80kms to travel, this is the league's local derby.) When the goal was scored it sounded great.

It always throws me that Central Coast aren't the ones wearing the sand-coloured jerseys. I think coast, I think sand. And it's hard to remember that it's actually the home team, Newcastle, in sand/gold; probably because the stadium is decked-out in the red and blue strip of the NRL Newcastle Knights. Of course it wouldn't matter if there were enough fans so you couldn't see the coloured seats...

Sunday: Adelaide 2 Sydney 2

And talking of the colour of teams' jerseys, finally both teams were wearing their home (coloured) jerseys today. All year, the league have made the team playing away wear their mostly-white alternate strip, which has lead to comments that one of the teams is the same in every game that's played, that team in white. Even when both teams could wear their home jerseys with no chance of a colour clash. Tonight, finally, they did and it looked like a real game of football, the reds v the blues.

It's a shame that it didn't sound like too many away fans made the trip because Sydney, the away team, took the lead early. What the hell was Adelaide defender Michael Valkanis doing? Waiting to see if the ball would bounce back to him off the post? Kosmina might be a tool, but he's right to be unhappy with his central defenders after that effort.

Dwight York should have scored for Sydney twenty minutes later, with the clock on 30:01. After what seemed like an eternity, but was only the previous twenty seconds, of thwarted runs into the box and ineffective clearances, the ball is cut in from the right to York in the 6-yard box. York's first mis-kick helps him wrong-foot his defender and... this is taking too long to write, because - while York's eventual shot was harmless - Adelaide scored a wonderful goal on the counter-attack.
Travis Dodd stepped both his defender and the goal-keeper to score. The clock was at 30:20. Then while I was still writing about York's miss, Adelaide scored again at 32:35 after two minutes of pressure since the previous goal.

In two minutes and thirty-four seconds, Sydney went from nearly 2-0 up, to 1-2 down. But it was kind of okay 5:54 later, when Sydney equalised again with their second away-goal.

And the Hindmarsh Stadium A-League record crowd of 15,001 (!) went quiet! Unfortunately, the game did, too.

Someone was robbed of some time at the end of the first half: what about some added time for that injury? It seemed like I was fast-forwarding for hours through vision of some Sydney player writhing about on the ground. But whoever was robbed of a those couple of minutes of play, (the viewer?) Sydney's Petrovski was robbed too; in the last play of the half. I've freeze-framed it myself. He wasn't off-side and he was away.

Sydney 3-2 would have made for an exciting second-half. Unfortunately, instead we got bitty grinding football from two teams that had played an entire game in the first 45 minutes.

So now Adelaide go to Sydney (And Newcastle go to Gosford) for the final leg, where away goals don't count double.

What actually happens is that away goals count 'extra'. First, the aggregate score of the two games has to end up in a draw. (If not, the team with the most goals wins.) Second, they look at the number of goals each team scored in the tie during the game when they were playing away from home. The team that scored more goals away, wins.

For example, let's say Sydney and Adelaide draw 1-1 next week, the aggregate score will be 3-3. But Sydney will win, because they scored two goals in the game in Adelaide, but Adelaide only scored one goal in the game in Sydney. If away goals counted double, Sydney would win 5-4, but they win "3-3 on the away-goals rule".

>>>Alex Brosque has left the Queensland Roar to Join Sydney F.C.


Global Flyer Update 10

I assume you've heard they made it.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Global Flyer Update 9 - They're going for it

8.26pm AEST. They've passed the point of no return and they're going for it.

The updates on the website seem to have now reverted back to older messages, saying the PNR (point of no return) will be W40. Well, they've passed that now (they're at W38, N51 now at 8.40pm) and they're still going.

The website says that the scheduled 'landfall' over Ireland is at 1700 UTC (3.00am) and landing at Kent Airport (which is at 1.33 degrees east, by the way) at 1900 UTC (5.00am), so I've written all this crap and I won't even see the end, unless the news does a story on it tomorrow. Do you think they will?

Again, I say, I don't know why I love these things.


Global Flyer Update 8 - a heading for home?

7.15PM AEST: LATEST. The Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer website is reporting that the "point of no return" decision will be made around 1030 UTC, which is in 75 minutes. They have 1800lbs of fuel left, but I don't know what that means. They quote someone named Kevin Stass as being "cautiously optimistic".

EARLIER: 7.00pm AEST. It's technically decision-time. They're about to head out into the Atlantic over the Flemish Cap, which is the lighter-coloured wedge shape in front of the right wing in this picture (again, stolen from the website):

In one of those cases where the book and the film made of it are totally different kinds of beasts, Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm is pretty good book which tells you all you ever wanted to know about fishing off Newfoundland and the north-eastern United States; and how the fishermen had to keep heading further and further offshore.

After reading it, you think about things differently when you hear that someone is beyond the Flemish Cap. That's getting into deep water.

STILL EARLIER: 6.00pm AEST. Well, according to the tracking page on the website, the plane has reached St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, and they've changed course from about 52 degrees to around 67, which - by my reckoning - would point them straight at the U.K.

It's only 0800 UTC, which is an hour before the expected decision point. But if they've almost got enough fuel to get across, then they should have the fuel to get almost half-way across and then turn around and come back*, so the go/no go decision might not be made for a few hours yet. Watchers of the tracking page should be able to tell if they've turned back within a few minutes of them doing so.

*Wasn't there a Marx Brothers routine like that in A Night at the Opera?


Global Flyer Update 7

3.45PM AEST: The go-no-go point has been shifted forward to 0900 UTC, which is 7pm my time.

And, because he's going north from around 30 degrees N to 51 degrees N, it isn't really a matter of saying x degrees to go. Maybe we need the x and y axes: 63 degrees E and 9 degrees N to go.

EARLIER, at 12.15pm AEST:

About half an hour ago, they passed the same longitude from which they took off: Cape Canaveral.

When I first checked-in this morning, the plane was over the middle of Texas (I'd just missed seeing Midland drop off the map). That seems to be around the time of the most recent update on their website. Fossett is quoted thusly:
"The decision of whether to go for it or turn back is looming, currently I would say the chances are no more than 50/50. I will have until around 11:30UTC, a couple of hours into the final leg across the Atlantic, when I reach the point of no return and will be forced to make this crucial decision."
That's in around nine hours, at 9.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.

He's currently flying at a heading of about 44-46, which means pretty much due north-east. (North is zero, east is 90, south is 180, west is 270.) But the U.S. east coast also seems to curve to the north-east up to Cape Hatteras, so he's tracking along off-shore at present. My point is, I'd say he's already started the "final leg across the Atlantic", but maybe he doesn't consider himself to be going "across" yet until the coastline recedes.

EARLIER, at 10.00am AEST:

They're about as close to Pensacola, Florida, as they're ever going to get.

Apparently, he's altered his route; but I hadn't heard of the route they say he was originally going to take, so I don't know when this 'alteration' occurred.

87.87 degrees to go.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Global Flyer Update 6 - breaking radio silence

They're at west 145 degrees, approaching Mexico; but that's something like four or five hours away when I'm in bed.

Aren't these [stolen, not copyright-free] pictures purty?

I hope they will still be flying over America when I get up tomorrow so there's something to see on the close-in view, otherwise it'll be another bloody ocean.


Brosque and Dilevski in Socceroos 18-man squad

Out of eight A-League players in the 18-man squad to play Bahrain later this month, two of them, Alex Brosque and Spase Dilevski, are currently with the Queensland Roar.

It's a mid-week game on a non-FIFA-sanctioned date, so the Europe-based players aren't in the team.


Global Flyer Update 5

Within the past hour, they've passed 180 degrees east, and now the longitude counts down from 180 west. Landing near zero west makes it all nice and easy to work out. 172 degrees to go.


Global Flyer Update 4 - Look! Up there!

Way up there. They're at 153 or so degrees east, right up there north of me now.

Surrounded by nothing.

But it's such a big plane, you wouldn't think getting down would be the problem from here...


Global Flyer Update 3 + a plane flys into mountains.

The plane has just passed 139 and a half degrees east. The equivalent of Mt. Isa.

A little further north from where they passed is the site of the world's deadliest single-aeroplane crash, that of JAL123. If you've never heard the sound of a fully-laden 747 crashing into a mountain, listen to the end of this. (Takes a while to load on dial-up connections. Takes a while to get over, after listening to the whole thing.)


'Dacking' proudly re-enters the language... or does it?

I was going to write a short post about how good it was that the word 'dacking' had re-entered the language and was being used as a normal word. (And possibly how sports reporters get a lot more leeway than real journalists.) The Sky News sports report on the Sydney Swans high school dacking incident (see links below) used the word twice in three sentences without explaining what it meant or using any different vocal stress, and there are no apostrophes around the word (as in my subject line and first sentence) on the Sky News Active sports screen.

But then I looked on Google News - gee, I wonder if people will be able to find that if I don't provide a link? - and there are several stories from News Corp papers. The stories 10 hours ago don't have apostrophes but the one two hours ago does.

And the Adelaide Advertiser not only uses apostrophes in the headline and story, they use the phrase "pulling a teammate's pants down" more than dacking. Wimps.

So, I'm not sure if the word has proudly re-entered the language or if news editors have had a rethink this morning and have decided that we are not yet ready.


Global Flyer Update 2

They've just hit Japan. 240 degrees to go.

In Australian terms, that's the middle of Western Australia.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Global Flyer Update

They've passed 60 degrees east longitude and are heading for Pakistan. I hope that airways clearance has been obtained way in advance, otherwise things might get hairy flying up there above Karachi. Three hundred degrees to go.

>>> The Prime Meridian that's what that Greenwich mean-time zero degrees east latitude thingy is called.


Yes, I'm okay.

I'm a bit sore like I've done a long hard weekend of gardening; and I've got a few cuts on my knees and fun-looking bruises, mostly on my fleshy bits (upper thighs, belly.) I was going to post a photo - using the camera since now both our new phones are busted. Frickin' Panasonic. Don't buy Panasonic mobile phones, don't even accept them if they're free - but I couldn't get a good view that didn't also get a lot of me in the picture.

My helmet and glasses came off, but it only took me a few moments of wandering around after I'd clambered off the lady's bonnet to realise what was wrong with the view and find my glasses, so I figure I'm okay.

The big contusions are slowly moving with gravity, and since I've been mostly sitting on my arse for the last two days, they have now joined and spread rearward to cover an area larger than my hand. Fun.

There are still clearly visible triangular marks in the middle of the bruises, though. I can't remember what part of the front of the lady's car I hit. The hematomas are a nice share of maroon, just in time for the start of the Super 14s.

Oh, yeah... and my suspected broken hand turned out not to be.


Internet Explorer 7 beta 2 is out...

Now, I'm not a big fan of IE. I was willing to leave it on my desktop for Boycat's Mum to use, but she likes Firefox now, too. But work uses IE exclusively, and the product I write for is delivered to the user's browser over the intranet, so maybe we can start planning for some of these features that are finally coming to Internet Explorer.

I could see us delivering news of updates via RSS. I can't wait for tabbed browsing at work. I'm not familiar with the thumbnail extension for Firefox, but I've downloaded it and I'll check it out tomorrow.

But of course, given the time it takes our I.T. people to security check new software for use on the network, it probably won't be until IE8 is out.


I'm savouring my last Doctor Who

I'm only up to the end of episode one of Survival at the moment, although I'll have plenty of time to watch the rest now.

I'll just say that people rarely manage to make pussy-cats scary. The X-Files couldn't do it either. Showing a picture of a cat on a wall and playing ominous music over the top just ain't gonna cut it. Especially, when it looks like Salem from Sabrina.

Despite what's said about it in the show, Perivale seems happy to be associated with Ace.


Flap those wings, Steve

I gotta admit that I'm a sucker for things like Steve Fossett and Richard Branson's latest world record attempt. 80 hours in a plane; lots of will-he-make-it, won't-he-make-it moments... And I especially love it when I can follow it easily because the Virgin Global Flyer's website has a frequently updated map tracking where the plane is. I love maps.

Hey, I'm off work until next Monday, this will be perfect: cable news coverage (because we all know they love something like this, too - three and a half days of being able to fill airtime with just some dot in the sky or glitchy video) supplemented with the net.

He's just crossed the zero-degrees line, whatever that's called. Y'know, the line where you go from some number of degrees west to zero east, due south of Greenwich U.K.

Only 360 degrees to go, give or take.


What do you get if you cross a 50cc motor scooter with a family station wagon?

Really sore, with minor cuts on the legs and some interesting bruises.

This (left) is what my bike used to look like.

Very Mod.

I'm not sure what it looks like now. We last saw it when we dragged it behind the ice freezer at the Beenleigh Ampol to wait for the insurance company to arrange a tow out to their assessment centre.

The accident happened Tuesday on my way to work.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Queensland Roar Wrap

The end of the A-League season was pretty much as you'd expect from a new league with a salary cap. Perth beat Newcastle 3-1 to move into fifth place, so the Qld Roar ended in sixth, three points behind fourth-placed Newcastle but only two points above seventh-placed Melbourne.

In fact, six points was the difference between third and seventh; and four people shared the 'golden boot' award for most goals in the regular season, with eight. (Qld's Alex Brosque was one of them.) All of which serves to refine my impressions of the first year of the A-League: there are two top teams, then Central Coast and Perth, then the rest, and New Zealand. I'm not currently impressed with Newcastle at all, they look like the Roar did in December.

But the crowds were good, and excellent if you exclude New Zealand. We got 13,000 at Suncorp for the dead-rubber and almost 10K at Newcastle. You'd hope the ground is full next Friday night in Newcastle, but whoo... the part-time fans might not like what they've seen recently.

And apparently, the merchandising sold well for the Qld Roar, at least, so things are looking good for the future, especially if coaches get to settle in and learn how to cope with the particular constraints of the league.

So, my tips: Central Coast and Sydney. Adelaide over Central Coast and then... what did I say last time? I'll just do it with my eyes closed... Adelaide.


Blogger ate my homework

I posted three posts yesterday that all disappeared after they'd gone on line. (And one at the other place. The re-post seems to have stuck for that one, but I'm afraid to hit refresh.)

The blog ate my homework... honestly!

Luckily, for the last post, there was a copy cached in my browser so I could re-do it, but the other two appear gone. And they all appeared online, so it's not like they all got lost when I hit 'post' and were never there at all.

Of the two posts that I couldn't reconstruct, one was about Courtney "I Killed Kurt" Love getting out of home detention. I thought the other was about the Rocket Racing League, but I see that post is still down there.

LATER: After a little bit of googling, I discovered that it affected everyone, you know, even blogs that people read.


Queensland Roar, Queensland Roar, I ain't gonna do this rhyming thing no more.

Originally posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006, but something is very wrong with blogger.

Well there you go, the end of the season for the Qld Roar. 2-2, one man down for a lot of the game, against third or fourth-placed Central Coast. Two wins and a draw with an aggregate of 9-3 in the last three games against the teams that ended up second through fourth... not bad at all.

Miron might just keep his job after all -- even though we didn't reach the mythical 30 points he's been going on about -- but will we keep the team together?

Because I hear that Baird is going to play in the Romanian slave league. Now, when I first read about this, I thought Baird's transfer was just a temporary thing to cover the big gap between now and the new A-League season next September; but SBS says it's for four years and the Fox commentators were talking like it was goodbye to the Roar for one of our best goal-scorers. And there's always that chance that Brosque will be leaving...

We ended up with a good team there, we don't want to lose it now that we've found some strikers (even though the two above have been there since the beginning.) Reinaldo doesn't seem to achieve a lot but it seems that something happens just by him being there. And... and the fact that I can't name another striker says it all, I think. I'm not saying we don't have loads of great attacking mid-fielders, but we have no strikers to spare.

Let's see now, if Newcastle win in the final regular season game tomorrow, we'll end up in fifth place four points behind fourth. But if Perth win, we would only be three points behind fourth, but we'd be in sixth. A draw would be the same as a win for Newcastle. I think I'll go for one of them, because fifth is better than sixth.

>>>And should Miron keep his job? Well, on the one hand, we don't sack our coaches that often here in Brisbane. Unless it's the Qld Reds. And he did manage to get a dangerous team together, but it was a little too late. But then again, he was the one who reminded everyone of the 30 point target and we did end up with only 28. Give him another go and let's review it next November.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Today, we are offering half-price on all broken items...

One of the reasons I went into such detail with my wasteful consumer-lifestyle updates previously was, of course, something that I forgot to write about at the time. I'm not sure if it's interesting enough to actually write about now, but hey, it's my blog, etc.

Way back in the history of time when I was a lad -- you know you're getting old when you start to make jokes like that, by the way -- a friend and I once recorded a sound-piece (it certainly wasn't a song) and we got someone else to do some vocals over the piece. This person either was working or had recently finished working as a pleb at a store like Target. Anyway, over this soundscape-thingy he launched into this great ad-lib like he was doing an announcement over the store P.A. and it began with something about offering "half-price on all broken items".

I still remember that bit, and it often floats into my head. Dealing with the girls at the return counter was one of those times.


To fly. The dream of man and flightless bird alike.

The Rocket Racing League is due to start in 2007! Currently, though, they've only flown a prototype and are just now building the first 'production' model, out of a planned ten X-Racers.

But I don't want to be cynical. While I think 2007 will be a stretch, I really want to see this. It'll be like Star Wars: Episode I, except, you know... good.


Friday, February 03, 2006

A-League Finals

I bet the FFA kinda wishes that Sydney hadn't won tonight. Now we know the top two will be Adelaide and Sydney, which means neither Central Coast or Newcastle have really anything to play for in their games this weekend; they aren't even playing each other which would have added a bit of spice. Still, we're playing the Coast, so the less enthused they are, the better.

And the FFA -- like me -- probably wishes that the final four hadn't been decided last week - the crowd at Suncorp for a dead-rubber will be interesting, so will the size of the fickle Newcastle crowd -- but at least it didn't affect tonight's record crowd of 25,557 in Sydney. And the best thing about the crowd, which still looked anaemic in the expanse of the stadium, was that they sounded like a football crowd. The atmosphere for the few minutes surrounding the handball, penalty and first goal was actually like it was a real football match...

And not only do we know that Sydney and Adelaide are the top two, we know that they will be playing each other again next week, and the week after, and then most probably two weeks after that. I don't know if I've written it down here or in the other place, but it seemed obvious from early in the season that there were two standout teams (guess which ones,) a bunch of average teams, with the Central Coast as the top of them, then some mediocre teams (of which we were threatening to be the only one for a while there,) and New Zealand.

So, the arrangement of the semis... Adelaide vs. Sydney and Newcastle vs. Central Coast over two legs. The winner of the first fixture (the major semi-final) gets a bye, the loser of the second fixture is out. The other two play each other. The loser is out and the winner goes on to play the winner of the major semi in the final.

My tips? Toss a coin for Sydney v Adelaide, but the stats listed below say Sydney has the edge. Central Coast over Newcastle, unless Newcastle can turn around from last week's drubbing. Then Adelaide over Central Coast and it's back to Sydney v Adelaide for the final which this time, I'll say, will be won by Adelaide.

>>>Ahh, New Zealand, poor suckers. I read an article a while ago about the problems lone Kiwi teams in Australian competitions have, most notably that every second weekend there was no game of that sport played in the entire country which made it hard to for supporters and sponsors to get behind it, but it's so long ago that it would take too much effort to find again*. But now I'm reading in the NZ Herald that there's speculation that they'd try to get Bleiberg if Qld hired Farina.

*why do people keep putting up money to back the teams? Greed. Dreams of the big pay-off in the Australian market.

>>>One thing I was saying last week was that Sydney vs. Adelaide would be interesting over a two-legged match. Tonight, I saw the scores for the previous matches this year and they were Sydney 2-1 at home and Adelaide 3-2 at home, which makes an aggregate of 4-4, but Sydney have one more away goal, so they would go through.

>>>And if anyone is interested in 'what my heart felt' (see last week), I was going for Adelaide tonight so that it would give one of the other teams a chance to make number two.