Monday, September 28, 2009

A reason to watch Heroes again

Heroes is on tonight. Season 5 started last week with a two hour episode.

The first season of Heroes was excellent, but then somewhere during season 2 the writers lost their way. They tried getting too clever and introduced so many characters and story lines it was nearly impossible to figure out what was going on.

This season however I am optimistic it will return to form and the simple reason is the addition to the cast of Robert Knepper.

If you're not familiar with Robert Knepper, he played one of the greatest bad guys of recent years in the series Prison Break where he played Theodore Bagwell a.k.a. T-Bag, the inmate who double crossed pretty much everyone he ever dealt with.

This guy is a great actor and even though he carried out some despicable acts, he made T-Bag my favourite character in the show.

Rumour has it that his character in Heroes will turn out to be much worse than Sylar. Here's hoping!

In the US Heroes is on NBC Mondays at 9pm/8pm Central.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tight squeeze

Is your garage well organised, or a bit of a mess?

Ours is somewhere in between, at least we can find most things we need.

Just in case you think you have too much clutter, have a look at our neighbours garage:

I'm sure there's a place for everything and everything in it's place.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

All change

It's all change in our house today.

I've been sick all week with manflu and now my wife has found that it's a condition that not only us blokes get.

I didn't sleep much last night, and actually woke up dripping in sweat when my wife was freezing cold but I feel a lot better today. I still have a cough and it still tires me out to walk further than the fridge to get a drink but at least I know I'm on the mend.

My wife however is where I was last Friday. She aches all over, and even though she has a fever of 102 she's shivering and covered in goose bumps.

So the tables are turned. Now it's my turn to look after her.

It's a good job she was nice to me while I was sick!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The little things

Sometimes it's the little things that make you laugh.

My wife is very funny, often unintentionally but sometimes she'll do something that makes me smile.

Earlier today she called one of her friends and started to leave her a voicemail.

She spent the majority of the message trying to remember what day it was. "Hi, it's Jennifer, it's Monday August the wait, it's September, it's Monday September 21st. Is today Tuesday? Today is Tuesday the 23rd? 22nd! Anyway, I was just calling to see how things were going. Give me a call back. Bye."


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Derby Day Thriller

It was the Manchester derby today so I was hoping for a happy birthday present from the reds.

It was probably the best game I've seen in a long time and when Craig Bellamy scored for City to make it 3-3 with seconds left on the clock, it looked like it was going to be a disappointing finish.

Rio Ferdinand carelessly gave the ball away and Bellamy easily out paced him to score from a tight angle. But the drama wasn't finished there.

On 95 minutes and 28 seconds, Michael Owen got free in the City box and scored a dramatic winner for United in his first taste of a Manchester derby.

City were their usual bitter selves complaining that the referee had indicated there would be four minutes of injury time and were fuming that the referee hadn't blown sooner.

If they actually knew the rules they would save themselves some anger, not to mention embarrassment.

As we approached 90 minutes on the clock, the fourth official signalled there would be a minimum of four minutes added time. The important word there is a minimum.

If they're still not sure of the rules, let's break it down even further for them. City scored on 89 minutes and 58 seconds. There were over 91 minutes on the clock when the game restarted, which means that there is still the four minutes of added time left.

United then made a substitution, bringing on Michael Carrick for Anderson. Substitutions mean an additional thirty seconds added on.

If you're still following, that means the referee should not blow his whistle before 95 minutes and 30 seconds are on the clock. Michael Owen scored on 90:28. Perfectly reasonable I think you will admit.

By the way, is it just me or is City's new kit one of the worst there's ever been? I don't know how grown men can actually choose to wear a shirt that resembles a baby grow. Especially when Craig Bellamy is wearing it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday dear Andrew.
Happy Birthday to me.

Hip hip, hip-hip, hip-hip hooray!

For he's a jolly good fellow,
for he's a jolly good fellow,
for he's a jolly good fellow,
and so say all of us.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two years ago today.

It was two years ago today my wife and I got engaged.

We were in Australia at the time. All I knew was that I wanted to propose to her in Sydney, which gave me pretty much four days to do it. One of those days was my birthday so that left me with three days.

Having never visited Australia before this trip, I had no idea where would be a good place to propose so there was added pressure to find somewhere memorable before I even got round to popping the question.

This particular day we visited Taronga Zoo which is over looking Sydney Harbour. The spot I actually asked her to marry me was sat on a wall at the back of area where they put on a bird show, although we didn't stay for the show.

We had a great time at the zoo, entering the koala enclosure for pictures, as well as mingling with the kangaroo's who seemed more interested in sun bathing than getting close to us.

Here is a picture of us minutes later on the spot we got engaged. You can see the Opera House and Sydey Harbour Bridge in the background.

The trip was amazing. We got to hand feed kangaroo's, climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, see fairy penguins come out of the sea to feed, as well as getting engaged obviously. We also visited Tasmania and Melbourne but we definitely have a good excuse to go back to Sydney one day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Waiting for the rapture

If you're a pet owner, as well as a God botherer, have you ever wondered what would happen to your pets after the second coming and the angels have saved your soul and taken you to a better place?

Well, wonder no more.

Eternal Earth Bound Pets have an offer just for you. For a fee of $110, they guarantee that should the rapture occur within ten years of payment one of your pets will be saved and housed with an atheist family who remain on earth. A further $15 per animal will save any others after the first one.

As the website says, this is indeed a small price to pay for peace of mind.

But how can we be sure that they will honour the agreement? Asks one of the FAQ's. They are after all atheists.

Worry not. Being an atheist doesn't mean they lack morals or ethics.

Phew, that's a relief.

Monday, September 14, 2009

R.I.P. Ike the fish

Last year, when I moved into an office at work, my wife bought me a plant, and a fish.

The plant didn't last very long. I put this down to the lack of windows so it wasn't getting any light.

The fish however seemed to prosper. Well, maybe not prosper but at least he didn't die in the first few weeks.

The fish didn't really have a name, until about a month after he moved in, Hurricane Ike happened.

The office was closed for a week and there was no air conditioning during that time so when I returned to work I expected to find a dead fish.

When he was discovered alive I decided to call him Ike.

Ike survived many long weekends and holidays without food and air conditioning but when I moved to a new office in August this year, I decided I would bring Ike home.

Unfortunately, yesterday, on the first anniversary of Hurricane Ike, Ike the fish was found dead.

Admittedly he wasn't looking too well on Saturday but he was a strong fella so I gave him some food and left him to it.

Ike was my loyal companion for 13 months, my longest fish relationship to date and we had some good times, so this is not a time to be sad but a time to celebrate a life well lived.

He certainly was a (Siamese) fighter. There was none beta.

R.I.P. My good friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One year on

Today is the one year anniversary of a shocking event.

An event that was as unexpected as it was devastating, one which happened so fast, caused so much damage and yet left us all stronger for the experience.

That's right. It was one year ago today when Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Liverpool. Obviously United went on to win their third title in a row, and record equalling 19th title ever, while Liverpool finished the season empty handed, again.

Also, today is the first anniversary of hurricane Ike but we won't go into that just now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

On a day like today

Eight years ago today, my brother was on his honeymoon. My parents were in England, staying over after the wedding for a few days before returning to Houston and I was working in Manchester.

I left work at 1.30pm and got the train to Halifax to see my parents.

The train journey from Manchester to Halifax is about 50 minutes through the countryside so it's difficult to get a phone signal. Once I stepped off the train in Halifax I had quite a few missed calls and a couple of voicemails.

While I was on the train terrorists had attacked the US flying planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The reason people were calling me was because my brother and his wife were flying from New York to Las Vegas on September 11th 2001. Their honeymoon was going to New York, Las Vegas, and then down to Houston to spend few days with my parents.

They never made it to Las Vegas.

Luckily, they were ok, but it was a frantic afternoon spent trying to get in touch with them, trying to get information, trying to remember their travel plans.

As all the phone lines were down in New York, they had no way to let us know they were ok. Our main contact was a limo driver in Vegas who was due to meet them at the airport. He called us a number of times to let us know what he knew and used his contacts in New York to try and get information.

My brother and his wife finally managed to get a flight to Dallas on Saturday September 15th. They then hired a car to drive to Houston.

Even 8 years on, the memories are clear. Whenever there's such a big world event you remember where you were when you first heard about it. I remember where I was during the Hillsborough disaster. I remember where I was when Diana died, and I remember where I was on September 11th 2001.

If I had been alive, I'm sure I would remember where I was when JFK was shot. As I wasn't born yet I'm pretty sure I have a solid enough alibi to avoid getting dragged into any conspiracy talk.

I'm still fascinated by September 11th. It is probably the defining moment of our generation. Watching the footage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre and the twin towers' subsequent collapse is still as shocking today as it was at the time.

As terrible as this event was, this was one hell of an attack on the part of the terrorists responsible. To hit the United States with such ferocity, within it's own borders was remarkable.

I've only ever flown through New York via it's airports but I would like to visit ground zero one day. Maybe it will still be a construction site when I do, maybe the Freedom Tower will be standing but i would like to go and pay my respects in person, as well as have a nose around myself.

The world has changed a lot over the last eight years, but a lot of things are still exactly the same.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

World Cup 2010

England qualified for next year's world cup today with a 5-1 win over Croatia.

It means England have won 9 out of 9 in qualifying so far and with one game remaining away to Ukraine it is possible they will finish with a 100% record.

I didn't see the game today but when I checked the score England were already 3-0 up and I felt excited. After the disappointment of not qualifying for Euro 2008 27 points from nine games, including 4-1 & 5-1 wins against a Croatia side who qualified in place of England last year is more than we dared hope for.

Fabio Capello has done an excellent job with what is basically the same group of players that failed so miserably under Steve McClaren.

It means that I can now look forward to the World Cup, and trying to ignore the British media who will no doubt have the team down as certain winners but we can now enjoy the build up and look forward to pitting our wits against the best in the world.

I just hope this time somebody practices penalties as I'm getting sick of going out in a quarter final shoot out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Strachan does it again

Manchester United beat Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford last weekend.

Surprisingly after recent battles between the two clubs the match wasn't a particularly dirty or aggressive one, but one man did get sent off.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was sent to the stands with 30 seconds remaining in injury time for kicking a plastic bottle in frustration as Arsenal had what they thought was an equaliser correctly ruled out for offside.

Farcical scenes followed as Wenger didn't know where he was supposed to go but this Match of the day clip makes an already funny incident even better.

Gordon Strachan certainly has a way of adding a bit of colour to the game.

This is the guy who, as Celtic manager was asked for a quick word by a reporter after a game to which he replied "velocity" before walking away. Brilliant.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rodeo Time

Howdy Y'all.

If you live in the Houston area and have thought about volunteering on a Rodeo committee but were never able to find a vacancy, know is your chance.

My wife is a team captain on a new committee and needs volunteers. She needs 40 people in total for her new team so we need help spreading the word.

First up, you will have to pay your committee dues but volunteering does get you and a guest free entry to all Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo events.

The new committee is for Ticketing Services. For the 2010 rodeo it will involve manning a ticket booth selling carnival tickets. Your commitment will be for 6 six hour shifts.

From 2011, the rodeo committee will be responsible for selling all tickets. This is currently done by Ticketmaster but their contract ends in 2010.

If you're interested, please send an e-mail to: or check out the Facebook group.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Motherly Love

This post is for my Mum.

I'm not very good with feelings and all that but I just wanted to tell her that I love her.

It's much easier writing it down than saying it to her face.

She won't read this anyway as she thinks reading people's blogs, or looking at their Facebook page etc is prying and an invasion of privacy but we'll see.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chelsea transfer ban

Chelsea have today been banned from registering new players for the next two transfer windows, meaning that they are unable to buy anyone until January 2011.

This is brilliant news.

The punishment was handed out by Fifa, the world governing body so it's not to be sniffed at.

Chelsea will inevitably appeal but I just hope for once a high profile club is told where to stick it.

The punishment is after the club were found guilty of inducing Gael Kakuta to break his contract with French club Lens in 2007.

Chelsea must also pay Lens £114,000 in additional compensation and the player has been banned from playing for four months.

The Chelsea scumbags official statements says they will "mount the strongest appeal possible" and they consider sanctions "totally disproportionate to the alleged offence".

You can buy Drogba, you can even buy the championship (sometimes) but you can never buy class.

Thirsty dogs

I think Busby was trying to tell me something.

I'm on the computer catching up on a few things when I heard a strange noise.

My wife is out at a rodeo meeting so I know it can't be her up to no good...this time.

Busby had jumped into the bath and was banging on the tap trying to make water come out.

He does that sometimes so I turned the tap on, then thought maybe the dogs didn't have water as he usually only gets in the bath when someone is there with him.

My hunch was correct and the water ball was empty so I grabbed a bottle out of the fridge and started to pour it into the bowl, only for Busby to barge Boomer out of the way and start drinking it straight from the bottle.

Next time boys just tell me you need some water.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Holiday weekend

Are you ready for the long weekend?

In the US, next Monday is labour day, or labor day as they incorrectly call it, which means a day off and a long weekend.

I haven't had a day off work so far this year, other than national holidays so I'm looking forward to a three day weekend. The week always goes much faster when you're not in work on the Monday.

We don't really have anything planned, except for a quiet weekend at the beach house in Galveston. We'll probably take a few dvd's down with us to watch, do some reading, and of course we'll have the dogs with us but it's nice to just sit on the balcony with a cold beer watching the pelicans.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The boy in the striped pyjamas

I haven't recommended a good film for a while so here's one we watched over the weekend.

It is called The boy in the striped pyjamas.

It's a holocaust movie, but don't let that put you off.

It explores the holocaust from a child's point of view and follows Bruno, the son of a German soldier who befriends a young boy named Shmuel (that's not a typo), an 8 year old boy who lives on a strange compound nearby and wears only striped pyjamas.

Shmuel is obviously in a concentration camp but the friendship between the boys grows as they get to know each other through the barbed wire fence.

It's definitely not a feel good movie but if you want something that will make you think more than GI Joe or Transformers 2 then give it a try.