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Showing posts from March, 2006

sprechen sie fußball?

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10 weeks to the start of the World Cup Finals 2006 in Germany, and I feel duty bound to spread the word about the planet’s most popular sport’s biggest festival, so I will post every Friday until after the tournament is over.

ALL THAT HAS GONE BEFORE
One of the few drawbacks of following English club football is that you are constantly reminded of England’s success in 1966.

I am very short of posting time this week, so I will share with you this brief piece on the history of the World Cup taken from the FIFA website and follow it with links to my posts in this series up to now.


THE HISTORY OF THE FIFA WORLD CUP

No other sporting event captures the world's imagination like the FIFA World Cup™. Ever since the first tentative competition in Uruguay in 1930, FIFA's flagship has constantly grown in popularity and prestige.

A group of visionary French football administrators, led in the 1920s by the innovative Jules Rimet, are credited with the original idea of bringing the world's s…

bitesize bullets

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TEN TOPICS…
NO PARTICULAR ORDER…
ONE MAN’S OPINIONS…
FIFTY WORD LIMIT ON EACH…
BELATED HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY…



FEATURE : In response to a meme I see roaming the Blogosphere I’m adding yet another feature to my bitesize bullets – I’m going to reproduce some excerpts of lyrics from my favourite tunes, ones that I always found both unusual and inspirational.

TUNES : I remember robbing my mother’s copy of Joan Armatrading’s “The Key” just to bulk out my then-fledgling cassette collection back in the eighties. Ten years later, I finally listened to it, and with tunes like “Drop The Pilot” and “I Love It When You Call Me Names”, it wasn’t bad.

TRIPPED : My 8-year-old son needed four stitches above his eye yesterday after a fall. His sister was playing my keyboard and he was dancing around her but forgot about the electrical chord and fell into the coffee table. He was very brave at the hospital and is fine now.

AWWWW… : Imagine how I felt after my son said this while we were in A&E yesterda…

sprechen sie fußball?

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11 weeks to the start of the World Cup Finals 2006 in Germany, and I feel duty bound to spread the word about the planet’s most popular sport’s biggest festival, so I will post every Friday until after the tournament is over.

This week I go over the tournament which will be most remembered by Irish fans for something that happened before a ball was kicked.


THE BATTLE OF SAIPAN
Who says it’s only religion that can divide the Irish from within?

It was one of those moments when you will always remember where you were when you first heard the news. In my case, I was driving on the M50 motorway in Dublin on my way to work when this came on the radio.

“In sensational news from Saipan, we have just learned that Irish international captain Roy Keane has been sent home by manager Mick McCarthy and will play no part in this summer’s World Cup finals.”

I was absolutely stunned. I really believed that this time we had a team, with the world-class Keane at its centre, that could go further than Jack Ch…

from in-rage to out-rage

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Shaggy XI > Omani

As part of my selection process for choosing this month’s winner of the “Shaggy” award, I first looked over the previous winners to see if there was a type of post which had been overlooked up to now.

It was then that I realized that one of the most crucial uses to which a blog can be put is yet to be recognized by my award, and I wish to put this right straightaway.

Fittingly, the author of the award-winning post himself explains precisely what I mean in his own text :
Blogging lets the powerless speak out. Potentially it is the greatest social audit ever invented. Blogs, and the community of bloggers, can hold the mighty to account and thereby prevent violence.And so, without going on about “further ado” as much as I normally do, I’d like to award the Eleventh Shagadelic Contribution To Blogland Award to Omani over at From Bath To Cork With Baby Grace for his post “Our Lady of Lourdes : Institutionalized Contraception”.

There is no need for me to go on about the actu…

bitesize bullets

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TEN TOPICS…
NO PARTICULAR ORDER…
ONE MAN’S OPINIONS…
FIFTY WORD LIMIT ON EACH…
WILL 37 CANDLES FIT ON A CAKE? ...



FEATURE : Having exhausted the Yahoo Translator tool, I will now turn my attention to the “Next Blog” button which is always at the top of the page and see what I find out there. If I can’t make sense of what I see I will have to make nonsense of it.

TUNES: Currently residing in my car’s tape deck is the much under-appreciated debut album from REM called Murmur which has such tracks as Radio Free Europe, Catapult and Moral Kiosk. It’s always interesting to hear great bands’ recordings from the early days, in this case 1983.

BIRTHDAY : On March 21, 1969, I began breathing. No real plans for tomorrow. I’m not sure 37 is really an age you “celebrate”, though I fully intend to have one hell of a bash when I hit the big four-oh.

NEXTBLOGGING : My Next Blog button just brought me to this site. Can you make head or tail of what’s going on here? Looks like a teenager, probably in …

sprechen sie fußball?

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12 weeks to the start of the World Cup Finals 2006 in Germany, and I feel duty bound to spread the word about the planet’s most popular sport’s biggest festival, so I will post every Friday until after the tournament is over.

This week’s post is short as it was definitely the most forgettable tournament of them all since I’ve had an interest.


ALLEZ LES BLEUS
Noone would argue it was a great French team, many would argue it was an anti-climax of a tournament

If a clairevoyant had told me in the early on in 1998 that I would get my first dose of chicken pox that summer AND be able to take time off work to watch a world famous sporting event staged in France, I probably would have kissed him or her.

I was working as manager of a sports store at the time, and between long hours and commuting PLUS two young children to see to at home, I would have barely had the time to turn on the telly let alone watch any of the World Cup being held in France.

Unfortunately for me, my illness was to strike rig…

what more can they tell us?

The following report was on BBC.com yesterday. Click the headline for the full story.


Scores of bodies found in Baghdad

Iraqi authorities have discovered bodies from two mass killings, taking the number of corpses found in the past 24 hours to more than 80.

The bodies of 15 bound and apparently tortured men were found in an abandoned vehicle in Baghdad's Khadra district.

Hours later, at least 29 bodies were found bound, blindfolded and buried in a south-eastern suburb of the capital.

Analysts say the killings reflect the continuing sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia extremists.


Stories like this mean nothing to us now, do they?

More than 80 people killed in a couple of days because of the tensions in Iraq.

Yesterday, for a brief moment, I actually stopped to think about it.

Eighty people.

According to Wikipedia, these are the latest approximate figures of casualties since the invasion began.

Non Iraqi civilians = at least 560

Non-US armed forces = 206

US Armed forces = 2,304

Iraqis = Of…

once more with feeling

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No bitesize bullets this week, mostly because I don't have time.
Instead I will post the poem that earned me a nomination for last Saturday's blog awards so that people that only drop by to this blog can read it. Sadly it did not win, but it really was great to be nominated, no matter how cliche that may sound! Having written several poems and song lyrics over the years, it was really good to receive some kind of recognition for one of them having overcome the fear of getting them into the public domain.

The awards ceremony got me thinking about how I want to proceed with my blogging, and I am seriously considering starting afresh with a new site and a new look. In the meantime I will proceed as normal, and of course I am open to suggestions.

Anyway, here's the poem, it's based on Irish history, which being the week of St Patrick's Day, should make it all the more relevant. It's called "Ní thosaímid an tine", which actually translates to "We Don'…

sprechen sie fußball?

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13 weeks to the start of the World Cup Finals 2006 in Germany, and I feel duty bound to spread the word about the planet’s most popular sport’s biggest festival, so I will post every Friday until after the tournament is over.

This week I recall the one World Cup I got to see in person.


MAKING SOCCER HISTORY?
Jack’s Army had a score to settle with the Italians in ‘94

Say you get married, and embark on what is meant to be a trip around the world with your fellow newlywed by way of an extended honeymoon. What is the coolest thing they can do for you on your next birthday?

It was February 1993 at the Spartan Stadium in San Jose. The referee blew the full time whistle, and the spectators were put out of their misery after what had to be the most boring game of international football ever played, a 0-0 draw in a friendly between USA and Russia. I turned to my (now ex-) wife and said, “Happy Birthday, dear!”

Even though it was a travesty of a contest, and even though it was hardly the most romant…

bitesize bullets

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TEN TOPICS…
NO PARTICULAR ORDER…
ONE MAN’S OPINIONS…
FIFTY WORD LIMIT ON EACH…
AND THE WINNER IS…



ENOUGH : Σκέφτομαι ότι είχα αρκετή διασκέδαση με το εργαλείο μεταφραστών Yahoo - χρόνος να βρεθεί ένα άλλο παιχνίδϊ, which is Greek to me, but should mean : “I think I have had enough fun with the Yahoo translator tool - time to find another toy!”

SCARY-ISH : Take The Blair Witch Project and Crocodile Dundee, mix well, add a pinch of Freddie Kreuger, let stand for a few years, you end up with Wolf Creek. I recommend you watch it, even if it’s only to work out how it can be “based on true events”.

IMMINENT : Have your fingers crossed for me next Saturday, as I will be in the Alexander Hotel in downtown Dublin to see how I get on in the Irish Blog Awards! It promises to be a fun night, and meeting fellow members of the Blog O’Sphere should be quite interesting…

OSCARS : What better subject to follow ones about movies and award ceremonies? Having said that, the Hollywood party holds little i…

sprechen sie fußball?

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14 weeks to the start of the World Cup Finals 2006 in Germany, and I feel duty bound to spread the word about the planet’s most popular sport’s biggest festival, so I will post every Friday until after the tournament is over.

This week I relive the amazing times that were to be had here in Dublin the summer of 1990.


HOW OLÉ BECAME AN IRISH WORD
At the precise moment this pic was shot, Irish men, women and children all over the world were holding their breath.

Anyone who was alive and not wearing diapers in the Republic of Ireland for the summer of 1990 should have a World Cup story to tell. The funny thing is, a lot of them, myself included, may have trouble remembering who actually won the tournament itself!


At the time I was breezing my way through college learning much more from my job behind the bar at Gleeson’s of Booterstown than I was cracking Psychology books at UCD.

Although the pub in question had much closer ties to the game of rugby, the World Cup of 1990 which was staged in su…

my weathergirl

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There are days the sun is shining
When I leave bales of hay unmade
And all the places I go hiding
Are forever bathed in shade

But when I see half empty cups
And need someone to spin me round
I know she’s there to pick me up
And turn my climate upside down

She’s my weathergirl
She’s my weathergirl
When I make weather heavy
She makes it lighter

She’s my weathergirl
She’s my weathergirl
The saviour of my rainy days
She makes them brighter

Now when the days are clear with blue skies
You can bet that I’ll find rain
Cos of the space between my two eyes
And the recesses of my brain

She'll crawl right in and drag me out
Cos she knows where my soul resides
She'll lead me back through all the doubt
A full moon to control my tides

She’s my weathergirl
She’s my weathergirl
When I make weather heavy
She makes it lighter

She’s my weathergirl
She’s my weathergirl
The saviour of my rainy days
She makes them brighter

Give me rosy glasses
I’ll look for thorns
Give me choirs of angels
I’ll look for horns
But give me a thousand wor…