Football Manager studies

In which I take a non league team to European glory.

This may seem strange to measure my life against what amounts to a spreadsheet-based football simulation, but one constant in my life for the last 15 years has been the annual release of this game. Added to this is the fact that the first weekend of release has been passed over to a 48 hour session of tinkering with formations and scouting every single under-18 player I can find. Football Manager, and before that the original Championship Manager has been there tempting me with one more game since my mid-teens. I have FM Addiction.

Along with Sensible Soccer it was my education into the world of football, cementing my love of Italian Football and AC Milan in Championship Manager Italia. With my squad of Franco Baresi and Danielle Massaro I was Fabio Cappello (as it was at the time) leading the Diavollo to European success.

It was the game that took me from 10 library books a week to interfering with my revision at GCSE and A-Level and it took up my time at University. Some games claim to be able to change you life, for me only one has and with very significant impact. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Toys in the attic

In which I find a treasure trove of Lego and wooden trains.

The advantage of living in a house is that I now own an attic. I had to find out if I have a loft or an attic, apparently a loft is an open area, and an attic is enclosed and generally not inhabitable. As it requires the use of two lengths of ladder, squeezing through the hatch, and then dodging all the roof beams I am fairly sure we have an attic.

What is pretty clear are the uses most people have for this roof space. It becomes a general dumping ground for all the pieces of your life that you know you should through but don’t have the heart to get rid of. There may be a twelve key Casio keyboard with 12 beat settings but what if I need to play Ode to Joy to someone, and you never know when you’ll need an old (but broken) suitcase, and the Christmas decorations…foil shapes will come back into style.

Grandma G’s attic is like a mini-Toys ‘backwards R’ Us. Brown boxes filled with the toys me and my sisters used to play with waiting to be used by a new generation. There is a wooden train set made by my grandfather waiting to be rescued from beneath a Christmas tree (one of those fancy modern ones, I have the family heirloom tree up in my attic). We could bring down a box a year and still have enough to last us till they are teenagers.

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Cats are fickle and stubborn

In which I attempt to understand what a cat really feels other than contempt.

There is a great video from the UK Cat Protection league on stroking your pet’s belly. Apparently they don’t like it up ’em.

The result is that even if your (apologies for the upcoming sentence, I am British so have a in depth education in entendre) pussy looks like it needs a stoke you should try to resist the urge to give it a little tickle lest something untoward happen.

The reality is that unless the cat is explicitly asking you for something then they don’t want you to do anything. Unless of course it’s the opposite, because cat’s are the most contrary animals in existence.

The danger of this video being released on YouTube is that all the cats on the internet will now want to have their tummies tickled because it’s the opposite of what you will now think. Cat’s are waging a long psychological battle against their human minions which isn’t about supremacy but the complete breakdown of human logic.
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I write because…

In which I’m not sure why I type a few hundred words a day.

When I started this blog, and the one that came before it, it was because I was looking for inspiration, although I still don’t know what I want to be inspired to do. Initially I started writing these posts for two main reasons:

  • To vent some of the pressure and anger I was feeling,
  • Something to do

My previous attempt to start a blog seemed to sway more to 1 than 2 and became more of a chore than enjoyment, and I don’t enjoy chores (seriously – I need to really do some vacuuming at home). Most of us will only have 36 million minutes on this planet so even to waste 60 of them each night not having fun seems a bit of a waste. It also seems to be a bit foolish to spend my time ranting to the environs of the internet rather than actually trying to resolve the problems in reality.

Yet, I still want to do this.

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Abandoning your friends

In which I appear to have muted rather than unfriended.

My closest friend is myself. I have few friends. Before you go all “oh that’s so sad/funny” let me add a caveat. I know a lot of people, and have known a lot of people. It’s just that I don’t class many of them as friends. Acquaintances, colleagues, contacts, companions, yes. There is nothing wrong with being one of them. What makes a friend though? What has to happen to push through simply knowing someone to it being a friendship?

A real friendship is one where you are completely honest and truthful. You have complete trust in the other person. You would do anything for them without expecting any reward or praise in return. Cicero thought that as well, and he was one of the greatest philosophers. A friend knows when things are wrong, and knows when and how to ask what it is. A friend doesn’t just say “what’s up?”
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Hoarding memories and mementos

In which I store my memories on the bonfire of time.

Hoarders is a programme where people who have a mental illness are paraded in front of a TV audience for us to point at like they are a Victorian freak show. The participants have normally experienced a traumatic event in their life that makes them feel unable to let go of any item that they possess. Being afraid to lose anything about their history they keep and store every memory in physical form.

I suffer from the alternate version of this, I have little sentimentality for past possessions and as a result tend to through away stuff before I should. I don’t have piles of cards or items I’ve collected from holiday. The memories of my past times are in my head, which is a worrying prospect as my recollection of my youth is terrible.

It would be easy to feel sad about this, but I am someone who does not like to live and dwell in the past. I’ve been there and it was pretty good, mostly, but I am way more excited by the future and I can’t be tripping over my memories while trying to do that.

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Being careful what I write

In which names are changed to protect the guilty.

The most difficult part of writing on this blog is not knowing who is going to read it. I know of a few people who do so let me say hello to:

  • My wife
  • My Mum
  • My Wife’s Mum

I don’t know if they read that but a hello anyways. In total I have 173 people I actually know who may read this and one thing I am very careful to do is not say anything that might mean that number decreases. Being quite ranty this makes it very hard.

In the beginning I didn’t really care, there were a lot of complaints about princesses. I would get angry about how I was treated by members of the fairer sex and translate that into some pretty angry blog posts.

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I am a night owl

In which I want to stay up late.

Of all the arguments I have with Mrs G (which are not that many) the topic of complaint that crops up most often is going to bed. We have similar tastes in food and TV, we have a set of ethics and morals that are well aligned, we like doing the same things. Get us in the bedroom though late at night and it becomes a battlezone.

The main issue is that my wanting to turn the lights off pre-11pm means that I’m not a night owl like my wife. This is patently nonsense, I’m as much a night owl as the next red-eyed fellow, as my issue with going to sleep is not related to my personal preference for a bedtime but to pure biology.

My morning alarm call is dictated by what time we need to go to work, for us this means leaving the house at 7am, so there is the whole morning routine to complete. I have tried to make it as efficient as possible by preparing the morning coffee the night before, having lunches ready and not caring what I wear and just grabbing anything from the wardrobe. To give myself that little more time I even skip breakfast until I am at my desk so I can have a few more minutes.

It still doesn’t seem enough.

I have managed to get the process down to 35 minutes, and that is both for me and The Feliciraptor to be ready (heaven knows what it will be like if we through another child in the mix). Still I don’t feel like I sleep long enough and all I’m longing for are seven hours. Continue reading “I am a night owl”

I just can’t choose

In which I’d love to share some other great blogs.

I talked before about how I hate to choose favourites, it makes me uncomfortable to pick out people (even if I think they deserve it). I’m nearly at the end of the Writing 101 course and with one day to go I should really showcase some of the excellent writing that has been done.

The only problem I have is who, and what, to choose from the hundreds of posts made during the last few weeks. So as per the norm I am just going to pick some of the posts completely at random and see where we go. from there.

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Travelogue : Cruising around the Med

In which I’m on a boat.

I like cruising around the Med

A poem by Geek Ergo Sum aged 37 and 3/20ths – written in semi rhyming free prose (and done on the train so no guarantees on the quality) and inspired by both a map of the Mediterranean and two weeks spent on a boat

PIC-Map of the Mediterranean

I like cruising around the Med,

I can do it from my bed,

You get to go on a great big ship,

The waves go up and then they dip.

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