All entries for May 2005

May 31, 2005

Cycling to Stratford

I woke up this morning and the sun was shining so brightly from behind my curtains that I thought they might set alight. You'll be relieved to hear that they weren't but I decided today might be a good day to go for a decent bike ride.

I'd been wanting to ride to Stratford for a while, it is rather pretty, so I set of at around 945 from Warwick campus. A few miles into the ride and somethings bugging me. You know that feeling you get when you're sure you've forgotten something? Well that's what I was having. For the life of me I couldn't figure it out until I stopped for a drink, looked in my bag and noticed the distinct absense of a map. Before you call me a muppet think about how insulting that would be to Kermit the frog. Back I went.

At 1030 I set of from campus. I was riding merrily along towards Warwick when a white transit van (It's always a white transit van) goes by and I have sudden impression of moisture on my face. My initial reaction is that the van had kicked out water from the road, but the road was clearly dry. Clearly the fuckwit in the passenger seat had come to the conclusion that perhaps his mouth contained too much saliva and chosen the moment the van was going past me to rectify the situation. I waited until the van was out of sight before wiping my face, I wasn't about to give them the satisfaction. People really don't treat cyclists with enough respect in this country, in France they'll shout "Allez! Allez!" at you, and here's the important thing, they actually mean it as encouragement, but here you're more likely to get "Oi! Knobhead!" The most comforting thing in these situations is that the perpetrators are probably so stupid that there's every possibility that they'll just drive straight into a wall or something.

I get into Warwick and dismount. It's a nightmare around there with one way systems and busy junctions, safer to take your chances as a pedestrian. I've been to Warwick a few times, one thing that always astounds me is how difficult it is to find the castle – astonishing considering it's one of the country's most famous. Maybe it's got something to do with the topography of the place but I can never see it. Perhaps when explaining how muggles don't stumble across Hogwarts JK Rowling should get the people from Warwick castle to help out, they seem to have it down to a fine art. It must have been very useful if Warwick was under attack, any opponents would stroll in thinking how easy it was and suddenly there's a great big castle and they're all full of arrows before they know what's going on. Who'd've thought a castle could attack by stealth?

I get back on the bike and head out of Warwick. I hate this part, I never know where I am with Warwick. However hard I try I never leave where I mean to. I'll approach from the north and want to ride straight through exiting in the south. I'll try and keep going in the same direction but I'll end up in the west, it's crazy. Today I don't even bother trying to figure out which way I'm going, I just wait until I'm on the outskirts and sort things out then – sure enough I'm not where I planned to be but it'll do.

From here I have an uncharacteristic spell where my sense of direction functions as it should and I make it to Stratford without undue hassle.

I saw this on the approach to Stratford, now isn't that clever? The picture's not great, but take my word for it, it was neat.

In Stratford I survive the incredible amount of traffic. I guess isn't that surprising considering it's the school holidays. I find a spot on the grassy bit between the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the nice sort of docks they have with canal barges converted into shops selling Hot Dogs or Ice Cream. It's quite clever really. I'm very tempted to buy a Hot Dog or burger but I made some sandwiches and I'm not about to let them go to waste. Damn my stubborness.

The nice dock bit in Stratford, unsurprisingly there were plenty of people about.

People go on about ducklings, but aren't these baby swans sweet? What are they called, swanlings? I don't understand why they're ugly ducklings, they're not the slightest bit ugly. I think of myself as a bit of an ugly duckling, except the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan whereas I had the misfortune of turning into me.

The grass was full of people, but there was a ring that had been made around a tramp. Seeing as I probably didn't look all that great after cycling all morning I wondered if people would give me the same treatment. Hell, maybe the tramp would've have moved away if I'd sat anywhere near him. Who knows? I certainly wasn't going to try and find out.

The Royal Shaekspeare Theatre. It looks awfully grim here, I don't think the clouds around it helped. It does look more like a prison than a place for performing arts though.

After lunch I head off, I pass this guy with a ventriloquists dumby and tacky music playing. You know the sort, one track was used in an advert I believe. I can''t remember what for but it was along the lines of "Take good care of yourself, you belong to me." Truthfully it's not all that impressive, but it wasn't particularly liable to offend.

Leaving Stratford proves tricky. I cycle in what I believe to be the right direction but I just come to dead ends, I cycle back to where I'd started. The guy with the dumby is still there. I try a different direction, but soon realise that this is taking me deeper in Stratford, I'd been fooled like this before here, I'm clever and avoid making the same mistake again. I head back and end up going past the guy with the dumby again, he's starting to annoy me now. Off I go again, but I soon come to a church I remember going past on my first attempt. Christ! Stratford must have been taking tips from Warwick, except they've taken it to the next level, you can't leave at all! The street I've just come up is one way, but I turn around and ride in the wrong direction. I'm past caring, really I am, I'm getting out of Stratford even if it's in an ambulance. Cars drive past me and shout "It's one way!", I respond with a cheery smile and a "You have a nice day too!"

I go past the dumby guy again, if I don't get out of Stratford soon I won't be held responsible for my actions. Currently the guy has his hand up the dumbies arse, I can envisage a scenario where these roles are reversed. I try another direction. I'm going to stick with it even if I end up in Timbucktoo.

I soon end up in Timbucktoo. I'm kidding! As luck would have it this is the right way, and hurray! I'm out of Stratford. I'm on quiet country roads now and despite a few wrong turnings I do okay and don't end up in Wales.

Doh! Oh dear! I keep getting lost. But if I hadn't I wouldn't haave come across these deer.

I make good progress and I'm soon in Leamington. This is a great relief seeing as I know the place more or less like the back of my hand. Largely this is because it's not actually much bigger than my hand. Unfortunately I have more navigational issues as the shopping parade is closed off for roadworks. Luckily a detour isn't too difficult in spite of more one way streets. From here it's plain sailing and I'm back on campus just after four. I'm knackered! For the past few months I've been doing little but revising, which frankly doesn't take much physical exertion, unless perhaps you study pogoing. So a six hour plus bike ride to follow that might not have been the smartest move. I have a shower, collapse on my bed still in my towel (now there's an image) and fall asleep.

May 30, 2005

The F411 Championship: Round 7 – European Grand Prix

First of all a mention on the rebranding of the championship. After performing a highly detailed marketing analysis we (me and my Pot Plant which grimly overlooks me as I blog) concluded that such exercises were pointless. However I also concluded that "Mike's F1 championship" sounds like a description of the 2000–2004 seasons. ie. Mike Schumacher's F1 championship. After thinking for about three seconds I came up with a new name and F411 was born.

I guess one of the main things to say is how happy I am that I was able to watch the critical part of qualifying. And what a session it was! Nick Heidfeld you beauty! Though it was tempered by James Allen's quote of "And Quick Nick has proved today that he is… quick." Um, right-o James.

Danger seems to be the big debate after Raikkonen's troubles. I could spend a long time constructing a well thought out, well worded argument about why I'm right and everyone should listen to me, but I'm no good at that so I'll just link and let someone else do it. As ever Pitpass is right on the money. Naturally there's lots of fuss about the single tyre rule and Paul Stoddart is calling for a control tyre to avoid a repeat incident. Now which team was it that stood in the way of that because they wanted to preserve a tyre advantage? A certain team in red perhaps? hmmm, looks like that came round and bit them from behind.

One of the things in the post-qualifying show that got me thinking was what Jim Rosenthal has on his clipboard. I have to admit I'd never noticed it before Saturday, but I presume he's always had it. Perhaps it has lots of statistics about the drivers, teams and tracks, all the information he needs to appear erudite and professional. Now, I think Jim Rosenthal is a pretty good host for the show, but god he talks crap sometimes. I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that, perhaps, ITV are to blame for how they pitch the programme. Anyway I strapped on my jet pack, flew to the Nurburgring and stole the clipboard whilst Jim was worshipping the short grey haired ringmaster, or as he is more commonly known, Satan. Here's what I found:

And after such a long preamble we finally reach the all important points.


10pts Mark Webber: I thought most of the drivers who made it past turn one did pretty shitty jobs. They were either too slow or kept throwing it off the track. Mark gets points for not committing either of the two previously mentioned crimes, even if he didn't get the chance. But he also gets points for being so honest. As a general rule in life I have a lot of respect for people who can admit when they messed up, though did Mark really mess up anyway? He's proven himself to be great in this regard before, such a Malaysia last year when he 'fessed up to trying too hard and throwing it in the gravel. Top bloke.

8pts Nick Heidfeld: Did you know, Nick Heidfeld is the top German drivers in the championship standings? You'd have thought ITV might have mentioned that, say, three thousand two hundred and twentyeight times. He's mega at the moment.

6pts Rubens Barrichello: After disappearing (according to James Allen) Rubens is back in existence! The Ferrari revival may have been postponed but he gave it his best anyway.

5pts Giancarlo Fisichella: Oh if only he hadn't stalled on the grid! It's going to start coming right for him soon, I really do reckon he's capable of matching Alonso.

4pts David Coulthard: A great drive and the best incredible start. Okay, well it was more that everyone drove off the track to get out of his way but nevertheless and he did do well to get a fourth place. So, clearly he can start well and race well, so why on earth can't he do something a simple thing like pressing a button?

3pts Christijan Albers: For the best pit exit I've seen in years. That's how it used to be done, slam the power on and off you go. Of course that was usually to get the car to slide out past some mechanics in the next garage (remember these things having a turning circle the length of the M1, or is that width?) Seeing as the Minardi garage is at the end anyway I'm not entirely sure what he was up to but it was good to see anyway.

2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi: For giving it some welly. Did you see that massive slide out of the last corner he had? I always like it when drivers try hard.

1pt Tiago Monteiro: He also gave it some, he even qualified quite well, which for a Jordan driver these days means being ahead of the Minardis.

-1pt Jarno Trulli: After driving so well so far this season he's gone back to his old ways. It's a shame, I guess it was to do with tyres but we've come to expect a bit more from Jarno.

-2pts Fernando Alonso: After crediting Liuzzi and Monteiro for going for it I'm going to totally contradict myself now and take points off Fernando for going off the track. Hey, I make the rules round here.

-3pts Kimi Raikkonen: He actually drove the wheels off his car, well excepting the tethers he did at least. If sporting cliches are becoming occurances perhaps Paula Radcliffe ought to start tieing her socks to her ankles, Rocket Ronnie O'Sullivan should wear Kevlar wasitcoats and Alex Ferguson should buy some parrot medicine.

-4pts Jenson Button: He didn't do anything on Sunday so I'm not going to write anything about him today.

-5pts Ralf Schumacher: I sometimes forget how pathetic Ralf is. He's just sappy and dull, I don't think I need anymore reasons.

-6pts Juan Pablo Montoya: Just get on with it already! He couldn't even overtake on Sunday. If he can't manage that then where's the point of the guy?

-8pts Jacques Villeneuve: I think helping Kimi gain a flat spotted tyre may be the biggest impact Jacques has on the higher order this year. He really is doing an appalling job, there's just no way around it. He can't even get lapped right, how hard can it be?

-10pts Michael Schumacher: There was something very Mika Hakkinen 2001-spec/Damon Hill 1999-spec about that drive. In short it was like he couldn't be arsed. I'm not convinced by suggestions that he might retire at the end of the year, but what the heck do I know about it?


10pts Red Bull: Shock Horror! They actually led a lap. I was impressed, it's gotta be said they're doing a superb job, though at this race they benefitted from everyone else being a bit shit frankly.

8pts Williams: Another decent showing. It's weird isn't it. Heidfeld inheritting a second place is a good result for them, but really they should be getting slaughtered for not keeping pace with McLaren and Renault. Williams as much as anyone have been the team to have suffered most because of Ferrari dominance, they certainly had the next fastest car between 2001–2003, possibly even the fastest during 2003, but now Ferrari are struggling they're not on it. It's a shame really.

6pts McLaren: It's not their fault Montoya seems reluctant to drive and Raikkonen seems intent on over driving. Perhaps Kimi's trying to compensate for his team mate's lethargy. Was it dangerous to not bring Kimi in? (Would he have come in anyway?) Of course it was, but motorracing is dangerous, it even tells you on the tickets! The logical conclusion is that the teams should tell the drivers to go slower because driving fast is dangerous. The teams are there to try and get the most out of the rules, so in this case is the single tyre rule to blame?

5pts Renault: You've gotta love Flavio Briatore. Regardless of how much they got their arses kicked by McLaren he was as bullish as ever. His point was that the race isn't over until it's over and at the end it was Alonso leading. And I suppose ultimately he's right. Though, I guess if you look at it that simplistically then I really shouldn't bother writing all this crap (if?) seeing as how the point to all this is redressing the balance.

4pts Minardi: Mixing it with the Jordans again, though have you noticed that they're still way off in the race? Bit mysterious that one.

-2pts Toyota They're at risk of losing their way. I suppose they're still doing okay but there's got to be big expectations now.

-5pts BAR: Frankly that was pathetic. Put it down to concerns over engines, put it down to going out first in qualifying, put it down to whatever you like, but for a team who finished second in the constructors championship last year to be down in ninth after seven (or should I say five? four? er..) rounds. Whatever, it's not good enough.

-6pts Ferrari: Not another nothing race? Well they did manage their third podium of the year so at least they got something from it, but it's not really enough is it? If you check out the fastest race laps you'll see Schumacher was only 1.8seconds faster than the quickest Jordan, which isn't that big. Admittedly Jordan had a good race pace (by their standards), but well, you'd have assumed that it was due to tyres, but then why were Ferrari slow? You could keep going round in circles with that one forever, which is appropriate for a discussion about motorracing.

-8pts Sauber: What a mess. As if they weren't having enough problems with Villeneuve they end up with this situation with Massa. Shades of Antonio Pizzonia anyone? Actually how many F1 drivers haven't crashed a road car in similar circumstances at some point, I believe Gerhard Berger had quite a record.

-10pts Jordan: They're in danger of making Martin Brundle redundant. Previously we've needed his expert views to be able to tell which cars are handling well and which are handling badly. Because ultimately all F1 cars look more or less the same as they corner to the untrained eye, so you need someone like Martin to explain whats going on. But the Jordan is so obviously bad, even whilst watching qualifying hungover after Friday night I could see that! For crying out loud, poor Narain and Tiago would probably do just aswell if they turned left for right handers. James Allen said that they had a new aero package on the way but I think he was jumping he gun a bit. A new aero package, I didn't think they had one to start with.

Special Cases

10pts Jenson Button: I forgot to mention in the previous round how good a job he did commentating at Monaco. No I mean it! Certainly compared with expectations at least. I mean, the guy sometimes comes across as a bit of a twit in interviews, he doesn't make the intelligent comments that, say, David Coulthard does. So I didn't expect much but I thought he sounded pretty good at Monaco.

10pts Heikki Kovalainen: He's just so good. I can't believe nobody signed him up over the winter. Given the problems Sauber are having and how much they're paying Jacques Villeneuve you have to wonder what the hell they were thinking. I remember watching Kovalainen racing in Formula Renault in 2001 and thinking he looked really quick. Before anyone starts to think that I'm really good at predicting who's the next big thing, I also thought Giorgio Pantano, Antonio Pizzonia and Tomas Enge were pretty special, so clearly I'm full of it. Here's a quick bit of trivia. As you know, Kovalainen beat Schumacher to win the race of champions last December, and of course Jacques Villeneuve beat him to the championship in 1997. But which other current F1 driver has beaten Schumacher to a championship? Answers on a postcard kids.

1pt Chelsea Reay, Thomas Hourigan, David Kelly, Simon Young, James Lewis, Mathew Mannion, Bruce Davies: F1 fan bloggers are okay by me. Though clearly your opinions are all wrong, unless you happen to agree with me that is.

-10pts Me: For being rude to someone on blogs regarding a comment they made about F1. I then apologised saying I might have misinterperated them. I have no idea how you misinterperate someone but it doesn't sound particularly pleasant.

10pts Sheffield Wednesday: Definitely not a Formula One constructor, prior to this season we couldn't construct a decent scoring chance let alone a highly sophisticated racing car. But, we've made it back into the Championship now. Hurray!

Drivers Standings
30pts Fernando Alonso
29pts Nick Heidfeld
23pts Giancarlo Fisichella
23pts Mark Webber
20pts Jarno Trulli
18pts Kimi Raikkonen
13pts Simon Young
13pts Mathew Mannion
11pts Christian Klien
11pts David Coulthard
10pts Rob Margeit
10pts Glen Crompton
10pts Heikki Kovalainen
10pts Martin Brundle
10pts Mika Hakkinen
8pts Felipe Massa
8pts Pedro de la Rosa
8pts Christijan Albers
7pts Patrick Friesacher
6pts Narain Karthikeyan
5pts Takuma Sato
5pts Jenson Button
4pts Rubens Barrichello
2pts Michael Schumacher
2pts Joseph Long
2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi
1pt Chelsea Reay
1pt Thomas Hourigan
1pt David Kelly
1pt James Lewis
1pt Bruce Davies
0pts Alexander Wurz
0pts Anthony Davidson
-3pts Juaan Pablo Montoya
-8pts Tiago Monteiro
-16pts Ralf Schumacher
-31pts The twat writing this nonsense
-36pts Jacques Villeneuve

Constructors Standings
33pts Red Bull
32pts Minardi
31pts Renault
27pts McLaren
11pts Toyota
10pts Warwick BUKC
10pts Pitpass
10pts Warwick Blogs
10pts Sheffield Wednesday
-3pts Sauber
-4pts Jordan
-5pts Williams
-15pts BAR
-27pts Ferrari
-1026pts ITV

May 29, 2005

Back to School

This year I've been on the Students Associates Scheme. This is basically an opportunity for aspiring teachers to get a little bit of training and get some in school experience. So fundamentally it's like having a taster course for a PGCE.

At the end of this term I'm going into George Eliot School in Nuneaton. This means whilst almost everyone else at university is lazing around and having lie ins I'll be getting up early. I hope you'll think of me when I'm crawling out of bed at six in the morning, though it's probably best you don't get a good image in your head. I'm not too pretty at that (any?) time of day.

During term two I was in the school on Tuesday mornings. This gave me a chance to see what schools are like when you're not being forced to go there.

For the most part the pupils actually seemed friendly and polite enough, hell, even some of the ones wearing caps managed to be courteous. This was possibly the biggest surprise of the whole experience. It was rather strange to hear people calling me "sir", I'd expected to have to put up with "oi! you!" so I was most pleased. I could get used to that sort of thing.

As you would imagine there were some – how shall I put this? – less pleasant pupils. One particular scenario involved me having a cap (it's all about the caps) thrown at me. Gosh! In actual fact it was thrown by a teacher trying to throw it in a direction away from the owner of the cap, unfortunately this happened to be my direction. The pupil in question then put forward a well thought out and highly eloquent case for why the teacher ought to reconsider the confiscation of said headware. This involved repeating the words "I want my cap" over and over and generally looking rather put out. The poor lad clearly didn't know what to do without it, heaven forebid anyone see what the top of his head looks like.

The most worrying situation I found myself in was with a Year 10 class. I was informed that I "looked like that guy from The Office". Oh no! You have not known true fear until you are placed in a siuation where you believe a bunch of fifteen year olds are about to rename you David Brent. I braced myself. Luckily they were refering to Tim, which is a whole load more acceptable. This was a great relief, though I have no idea how they formed this opinion. Honestly, I don't look the slightest bit like the guy, heck I even might look more like Dawn! Perhaps they just feel compelled to think of lookalikeys for everyone they meet so they can remember their name. The fact that the name is incorrect is aside from the point, just so long as you have one. Needless to say they took to refering to me as "Tim" with great gusto. Still after the relief I felt from not being named David or Brent this state of affairs was actually quite satisfactory. Though if I were an actual teacher I think there'd be a balance of power issue with that one.

But I'm not in that siuation! Though I will get to teach a lesson when I go in at the end of term, which is certainly going to be an experience. All in all I'm looking forward to the three weeks I'll be there.

May 28, 2005

Hot Dog!

I'm getting in touch with my inner Redneck and saying that Texas is great.

A shocking statement given that by comparison to the state's politics the average Warwick blogger looks like Lenin.

But forgetting about such horrible conservative principles (they're quite keen on frying people I believe) and concentrating on all the great things that Texas has given us, it's pretty darn cool. Here's why:

Texas Barbecue Sauce Pringles: A rather dubous link to Texas, but they're my favourite snack food by a good margin. Though they do give me really bad stomach aches the morning after I eat, but eat them I do anyway. It's a principle I apply to a number of things, for instance my favourite pair of shoes make my feet bleed. In all fairness eating a whole tube of Pringles in one go probably isn't the smartest thing to do. And I guess the fact that the eating of pringles is intertwined with the consumption of vast quantities of alcohol doesn't exactly help either.

Lance Armstrong: Six time winner of le Tour de France (not la Tour de France, which according to Tim Moore is his fantastic cycling book French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France translates as the tower of France) and general sporting giga-star. Famously he was diagnosed with cancer, but recovered to go on to win lots of cycling races. An all round hero.

Southern Fried food: I have no idea if this actually comes from Texas specifically but southern fried food is rather scrummy. Southern Fried Chicken is my favourite. More things should be southern fried. Like George Bush (not the finest thing Texas has given the world) perhaps, that'd be a great help to everyone on the planet.

Texas Motor Speedway: When it opened a few years back with an "Indycar" race (American F1 if you're realy clueless) they had to postpone the event because the track was too fast. Yup, that's right. They'd been a bit optimistic with the angle of the banking so the cars were cornering a little two quickly. The g-forces produced were giving the drivers nausea and headaches. Brilliant! It could only happen in America.

Hot Dog! It's a great saying. Over Christmas one of my friends had some people over from America. On New Years eve we did Britain vs. America at pool, which we duly won (of course!). So in the inevitable inebriated state that goes with December 31st, I was high fiving and shouting "Hot Dog!"

Texas Long Horns: It's that symbol you make with your hands by having the outer two finger up and the middle two folded in. Moronic people (eg. me) do it at gigs all the time as some kind of rock thing. I think it's supposed to be devil horns in that case, I'm not quite sure. It's one of my favourite hand gestures along with "Spot on", which is made by forming a loop with your index finger and thumb and having the other three fingers slightly bent and fanned. Now you know.

Editorial Note (include for publication): This blog entry was written in the Computer Centre (I do like the snazzy new monitors, I hadn't been in since last year) after Internet explorer decided it didn't want to cooperate in the whole blogging process. After a slide in blogging form (I blogged about the O.C. for Chrissakes) perhaps IE was trying to stop me making myself look a fool by writing crap entries. The fact that I managed to get this entry out is evidence that it'll take a force even more dark and powerful than microsoft for me to stop looking a fool. Maybe if Sauron and Voldemort teamed up they could do it, but even they'd be struggling.

May 27, 2005

My Recovery

Follow-up to Blogger's head exploded from Bloggle

It certainly came as a shock when my head exploded. You don't expect that sort of thing to happen. Thankfully, due to the excellent work of Doctor Gurgleberger at the exploded head department at Coventry Hospital I'm well on my way to making a full recovery.

Currently I'm missing a small part of my brain dedicated to remembering what sounds farmyard animals make. The surgeons are working on replacing it using a sticky goo made from mixing marshmallows and honey. I won't bore you with the technical aspects of this but I assure you that it's very clever stuff.

Part of the surgery involved in reconstructing my head used some spooky rituals and entry level dark arts. The surgeons took me out into the middle of a field and sort of danced around a bit chanting. At least I think this was part of the surgery, perhaps that's just how they spend their Friday nights.

Finally, I'd like to thank all my well wishers without whose support I don't know how I'd have gotten through. You caringness means so much to me and I'd like to think it helped towards my head becoming whole again. Thankyou!

May 26, 2005

Mike' F1 Championship: Round 6 – Monaco Grand Prix

Once again there's no time to discuss the finer points of the race (It was a good 'un though, wasn't it?) so like a gameshow host once said "On to the Points!" (I can't think of a specific gameshow host who might have said those words, but surely there's one out there who has at some point said them)


10pts Nick Heidfeld Quick Nick uber alles!* He's very quietly becoming a real star. Yet somehow it's still too easy to forget he's there.

8pts Kimi Raikkonen *Except this man

6pts Patrick Friesacher The Minardi guys deserve some points for outqualifying the Jordans. I think Friesacher has real talent. I'm not saying he's a future world champion or anything, but he certainly deserves to be in F1.

5pts Tiago Monteiro For being ridiculously polite. Kimi was coming up to lap him and he dived into the pits out of the way. Well i suppose he does get lots of practice. By the end of the year he'll have being lapped down to a fine art.

4pts Chritijan Albers For also outqualifying the Jordans.

3pts Mark Webber: At last

2pts Michael Schumacher You forget how tough the guy is. We did only got the end of it, but that must have been one seriously aggressive last lap. He'd better start winning again soon if he wants to get in on the title hunt, if he can win it from here, that would be seriously impressive.

1pt Juan Pablo Montoya "Wasn't me. Honest guv!"

-1pt David Coulthard He promised to bare his backside if he made it to the podium. There's not alot I don't know about F1, but whether DC has a nice arse or not is a mystery to me and I'd like to keep it that way.

-2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi Not for his driving abilities, but according the the interview in F1 Racing he's into his R&B and Hip-hop. I can't get behind a driver with such terrible taste in music.

-3pts Ralf Schumacher The mistake he made in qualifying was the exact mistake I've made on Formula 1 '97 on my playstation hundreds of times – though given the primitive nature of the game I could just drive on without difficulty. My excuse on these occasions is along the lines of "I was looking at something out the window and not paying attention." Wonder if he plodded back to the Toyota garage and said "Well there was this really nice yacht see…"

-4pts Rubens Barrichello For whinging about Schumacher overtaking him. "I had to move out of the way because if I hadn't we would have crashed and lost the three points we won. I don't want to destablise the team but I have spoken to Michael and boss Jean Todt." A few points, if he didn't want to destablilise the team why is he moaning to the press. It's like me saying "I think all bloggers are dickheads but I don't want to cause contraversy". Secondly, yes Rubens had to move ou of the way, that's kinda how overtaking works. Thirdly no Ferrari wouldn't have lost any points because ninth place Felipe Massa had already finished the race a lap down.

-10pts Jacques Villeneuve One word. Muppet.


10pts Minardi 13th and 14th in Qualifying. That's pretty sensational. Admittedly it's only because of BAR's ban, Ralf and Juan's skirmishes and that fact that the Jordan was the first thing designed after the invention of the wheel, but still, it's not bad going.

8pts Williams After dissing them big time this season they come good. Obviously they just needed a kick up the arse from me.

6pts McLaren The boring obigatory points for the winners. Yawn.

5pts Red Bull I was very bored by the "oo look, celebratories approach", but the Storm Trooper pitcrew was hilarious. Though I think they may just have stolen the kit from McLaren and painted it white.

4pts Toyota Yup, still quick(ish).

3pts Ferrari That car's so quick in the races, if only they could get those tyres to work in qualifying. I think Brundle's talking shit when he says the car's not right. It's probably every bit as good as the last, I don't know, million Ferrari's made.

2pts Sauber Er, well the Grand Prix was a while ago so i can't remember why I decided to give them 2pts. I think it was for when Peter Sauber ran up to Ron Dennis and slapped him with a haddock. Or perhaps that was a (rather disturbing) dream.

1pt Jordan Because… they turned up?

-6pts Renault Not the best tyre choice there, it has to be said. Thats about it.

Special Cases

-1pt Me I discovered that apprently you can listen to qualifying 2 on the BBC website so I thought I'd make the effort to listen in. So at ten o' clock I switched on my computer, completely clueless to the fact that qualifying had already happened. hmmm. Least we'll have rid of this weekend.

10pts Pitpass I love pitpass. I've said it really is great. It's got allt he latest news. Actual news too, not the usual garbage you get on t'web. Sometimes they run fake stories to see who's copying they're work rather than looking for their own news. And other than that it's really funny

-10pts ITV For all the damn crazy frog crap during the ad breaks. And for James Allen suggesting that Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello had vanished from existence. Apparently they were "Literally nowhere", That's one heck of an achievement. I hate pedants but where's the point of having the world "literally" if it's only ever used to emphasise the point. What would he say if Schumacher and Barrichello actually did vanish altogether? He's got nowhere to go!

May 23, 2005

Exclusive: The O.C. sneak preview

I was taking a peep at some O.C. episode guides and noticed how they like to make puns on "The O.C." eg. earlier this season there was The Sno.C and coming up there's an episode called The O.Sea. Anyway I was curious to see what was in store and hacked onto the secret storyline computer they have in a shed somewhere in Hollywood and found some previews of episodes due for the third season:

The Glo.Sea. Arnold Schwarzenegar guest stars as himself and launches a nuclear strike on Iowa. They counterstrike destroying half of Newport. At the end of the episode there's an emotional scene with Ryan and Marissa (who now has three arms) kissing on the beach next to the sea which has a radioactive glow after the fall-out.

The No.Pee. Bladder problems all round as a mysterious virus hits the Orange County.

The Doh.C. Sandy gets fat and bald.

The Proper Bo.C. Avid Merrion guests stars and is taken in by the Cohens. Unfortunately he is deported when Kes pecks out Kirsten's right eye.

The Wo.C. Just your average episode.

The Blo.Me. Julie Cooper opens a brothel.

May 21, 2005

Big Bother

Six days…

…until Channel 4 becomes really shit for two months.

May 20, 2005

Mike's F1 Championship: Round 5 Spanish Grand Prix

A week ago my friend Ian nagged at me for not having written up this round of the championship. Yes! You read correct. Someone actually bothers to read this tripe! It may have taken me a whole two weeks since the actual Grand Prix, but here at last is my round 5.


10pts Kimi Raikkonen I really love Kimi at the moment (not in a gay way, I'd still rather have his wife thanks), so I was happy to see him win. Considering I'm fairly anti-McLaren that really says how much Kimi rocks!

8pts Giancarlo Fisichella The sky turned black. Fire and brimstone rose from the earth, a cackling was heard from all around. The world seemed to fall apart for a moment because someone managed to overtake at Barcelona.

6pts Mark Webber Mark Webber qualifies well, through no fault of his own makes a crap start, finishes up sixth. Bet he thought he'd left those days behing with Jaguar.

5pts Jarno Trulli Because he seems a decent bloke in the interview in the latest copy of F1 Racing magazine. "I'll never be a superstar" is the quote on the cover. Fair play to him.

4pts Michael Schumacher I never thought it'd come to this but Michael Schumacher is getting pity points.

3pts Felipe Massa I can't remember where he finished, it was too long ago, but he's having a good season. How many drivers in F1 are making a former world champion team mate look silly?

2pts David Coulthard More? More? How many points does this guy want? Christ, he's doing better than last season in a McLaren. Wonder what Kimi would do in a Red Bull.

1pt Fernando Alonso I really need him to have a bad race so I can close things up a bit. Damn, he's just too good!


10pts BAR Yeah you heard me! That was brilliant interpretation of the rules. Stupid FIA getting all narky. F1 needs more cheating, it makes life interesting. Look at it this way: Would you rather hear about some clever way that a team cheated to get more pace or about how they worked for hours in a wind tunnel?

8pts McLaren Continuing my new pro-McLaren stance they get points. They do deserve them afterall. I still think they're a bit nasty, but maybe I'm turning to the darkside.

6pts Jordan Out of sympathy. The teams being slaughtered and now Alex Shnaider is apparently thinking about pulling out. It doesn't look good. If that weren't bad enough, there are rumours that a consortium led by Eddie Irvine are interested. oo er.

5pts Red Bull They just can't stop scoring points. Who'd've thought it hey?

4pts Minardi I don't need to justify my bias to you.

3pts Toyota God I'm bored of giving them a good score but it can't be helped. grrr.

-6pts Renault Stop screwing Fisichella over already.

-8pts Ferrari Just making hay while the sun shines.

-10pts Williams God they're awful this year.

Special Cases

10pts Mika Hakkinen For winning his first DTM race. Go Mika! (Plus it continues with the sudden urge to be nice about McLaren/Mercedes)

-10pts ITV They must have done something wrong.

May 18, 2005

Spontaneous Giggage

At 5 o' clock tonight my friend Chris texted me to see if I wanted to go watch The Music play tonight. Seeing as the options were this or revision, by half seven I was on my way to the Coloseum – alas the club in Coventry and not the place in Rome.

Due to what may be claimed to be brilliant timing we arrived just before the support band were due on.

Onto the stage came a scruffy looking, scraggily haired lager lout type with a facial expression like he was ready to pick a fight. Surely not? Could it be? Liam Gallagher? Well, what do you think? It was in fact the singer for support band Agent Blue (or perhaps it was Blue Agent). Well I suppose it was a chance to rehearse for when I go to see Oasis play in July.

As it happens Agent Blue were pretty good, in spite of nearly losing it by announcing that they were from Stoke. Cue the crowd scratching their necks embarrassedly and avoiding eye contact with the band. Fortunately they rocked sufficiently to ride over this blip and get everyone going.

The Music came on at around half nine. They rocked quite nicely I thought, I think the (over used) description of a wall of sound fits quite nicely for them. I have to admit my knowledge of The Music is scant, so there were a few occasions where they'd announce they were playing such and such a song and everyone would go wild and I'd be left looking confused and trying to nod along in the right places. Having said that I'm a bit of a daydreamer meaing I hardly have a clue what's going on at the best of times (witness blog socials with me sat around looking perplexed) so this scenario wasn't exactly alien to me.

The other problem with going to gigs for bands you don't know that well is trick endings. This is where a song seems to stop and you start clapping only for it to start up again. The Music seemed to have a plethora of these, indeed one song contained two trick endings, which, personally I think is just asking for trouble.

Nevertheless it was thoroughly enjoyable. They caused constanation at the end though. They went of stage and most of the lights remained off, misleading the crowd into anticipating an encore. A few minutes went by with nothing happening, indeed it proved too much for some fans who ended up cheering when a roadie came on stage. Eventually it became clear that there wouldn't be an encore which resulted in some sections booing. Now, that was a bit presumptuous in assuming we deserved an encore. I find the whole idea of encores at gigs is a bit silly anyway. I mean The Music could quite easily have gone off ten minutes earlier and then come back and called that an encore, but no one would have gained anything from it. You never see real encores at gigs because they have to finish at set times, it's all a bit false really.

So it didn't spoil my night. I hadn't been the the Colly for a good while, it was nice to be back. I think they might even have done up the toilets since I was last there, though as I remarked to a friend, it may just be that they'd bothered to clean them. I was back home by half eleven and having done it and thought it, all that was left to do was to blog it.

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