Wednesday, September 22, 2004

two week wait

The doctor's appointment went ok, though I have 2 weeks to wait for the results of blood tests. I also made an appointment yesterday to finally getting these lumps that are all over me checked out. I won't lie, I'm really very worried about them and what they may be. I've had them since I was young, but they have spread in the last ten years. I don't see the dermatologist until November, so I suppose results of any tests won't come through until the New Year.

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE CAR-FREE

Today is supposed to be "International Car Free Day". Although I don't have a "proper" job, I had to see the doctor, and go to the shopping centre to pay more off the engagement ring and to get a few things I forgot to get yesterday. I left the car at home and walked everywhere, and was faced by a scene of pure irony on the way to the doctor's at around 9am as I walked up Cross Avenue in the rain with car after car after car headed in the other direction. The car-free idea was to show people they don't have to be slaves to their cars, and it was I felt an honourable sentiment. Maybe I would have felt differently if I was actually in the rat race, but I couldn't help but despair at people's lack of regard for something that has been touted in the press for weeks now. And what's more, I feel like a fool for having actually tried to adhere to it. Who is it that needs the life here?

TAKE A STAND

Should you be mad enough read this blog regularly you will notice I like to rant the odd time. Isn't that what blogs are for? For the past few years I have tried to discover where I stand on most issues, and I guess you can say I'm slightly left of centre. My dislike for the far left and the opportunistic actions of large unions is only outweighed by the pig-headed ignorance of the right. The only thing I can respect conservatives for is their decisiveness, though I disagree with most of what they decide! So it goes without saying I hope John Kerry can defeat George W Bush in the Presidential election in November!

I would also hope the opposition parties here in Ireland can get together and put forward a viable alternative to the Construction-industry backed Fianna Fail government which seems to have been in power for ever. When I first heard Enda Kenny speak I thought he came across as a promising statesman, even though he went on to lose to Michael Noonan, who went on the lead Fine Gael to its worst election result of all time. Now he is leader and has spent the last couple of years in the shadows quietly re-organizing theparty from within. I wait with quiet optimism to see how he, The Labour Party and The Green Party can work together and challenge this government, which has gotten away with murder for years without so much as being challenged.

An example of the murder? The Minister for the Environment spending €50million on machines to count the election results, then not using them, thus wasting the money. Everybody knew about it, it was all over the papers. He did not so much as even offer to resign, nor did anyone really push him to do so. Eventually, public attention turned elsewhere.

Another example? On Saturday February 4, 2004 in the afternoon, a bus came up onto the pavement downtown and killed about 5 people. The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahearn was nearby at a function at the time, came over to the scene, had a look, and took off. I feel he should have said to the people there "I will make sure we find out what exactly happened and we will have an answer by Monday" He then should have gotten his people to ensure they worked morning noon and night to have an explanation for the incident. Instead a "report" was due for May and then Dublin Bus said on their website that the "publication of the report of the investigation into the cause of the Wellington Quay tragedy on the 21st February 2004 be deferred until his office has concluded its deliberations. We consider that we must accede to that request, and accordingly the report will not become available until a later date." I read this to mean that the people accountable need time to cover their tracks. People died due to an accident. Their families deserve an explanation. They will most likely sit down to the Christmas dinners without their loved ones and still waiting.

Rant over (for now)

COME ON YE SPURS
I love football, most of all because it's the world's game. It's also a soap opera for men! When we watch a match, it's not just to see who wins, but also to explore all the sub-plots. How will the new signing play? Will the manager be sacked if they lose? Will the referee react to the crowd if challenged on a penalty decision?
When we moved to Ireland in 1977 I knew nothing about football, besides I was only 8. I didn't know the difference between the different divisions - in those days what is now known as The Premiership was simply called "Division 1". Tottenham Hotspur were in Division 2 at the time, but actually made the news one weekend when they won a game 9-0, with a player called Colin LEE scoring 4 goals. I was drawn to this news, and adopted Spurs from that day as my favourite team. And as any true supporter will tell you, once you choose you can't go back. The were promoted to the top division that year and have thankfully been there ever since. There has been a bit of success, with FA Cup wins in '81, '82 and '91, a UEFA Cup win in '84, and a League Cup in '99.
The League has been a different story, though, as we have never really challenged. A new regime this year, however, shows promise, with Frank Arnesen as Director of Football (He is best known as they guy who discovered Ronaldo) and Jacques Santini (who has won French Championships with Lyon) taking over as coach. In our five premiership games to date, we have only conceded 2 goals, an amazing record for us. Long may it continue!
Tonight we have a banana-skin cup match at Oldham, two divisions below us. It's live on Sky so you can be sure I will be watching.

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