Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gosling breaks his duck

Well, everyone else is at it so why can't I jump on the Gosling pun bandwagon.

Everton 3-0 Sunderland: "The inspirational Mikel Arteta gave Everton the lead with a free-kick after 10 minutes and quickly added a second with a deflected 20-yard shot.

Sunderland improved after the break but barely threatened Everton's defence.

And 18-year-old substitute Dan Gosling slid in his first goal for the club with seven minutes remaining."

Ah...I love it when Everton do that. In truth it wasn't a classic but the toffees were comfrtable and poor Sunderland were pretty hapless. Mikel Arteta has been superb in the last few games and today he was awesome. Dan Gosling came on and capped a great week with a goal and it was no more than we deserved. Phil Neville unleashed a 35 yard piledriver that just went over the bar otherwise it would have been the perfect day.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jesus is born.

Aw, it's difficult not to smile when you read this story :

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Peru Christmas baby named Jesus: "A Peruvian woman called Virgen Maria, who is married to a carpenter, has named her son Jesus Emanuel after giving birth on Christmas Day.

Twenty-year-old Virgen Maria Huarcaya Palomino had not been due to give birth on Thursday, but went into labour early and underwent a Caesarean operation."

and it was difficult not to smile yesterday as Everton ran out easy 1-0 winners (Are we they only team who are head and shoulders above other teams and still end up coming home with the slenderest of margins all the time) against boro who despite looking fairly good earlier in the season are now looking dodgy.

Tim netted again for us but the story of the game is Dan Gosling making an assured debut. It was would have been nice for him to cap it with a goal (he had two very easy chances) but who's complaining. The blues are 6th now and all the other results went for us.

Boro 0-1 Everton

I still think we are vulnerable and are miles behind Villa and Arsenal but at least we are now well placed to give it a go at being the best of the rest.

Villa just seem to have the luck this season without being particularly impressive, can't see us getting anywhere near them now. Arsenal will get stronger I think. Everton's main worry is what's coming up behind them. There are a lot of teams with a lot more in their locker...Whilst the blues are certainly no worse than them we need to keep up our form and get some strikers in to take the pressure off. Cahill, Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman, Neville and Arteta have all been immense in recent weeks leading the line and Jags, Yobo, Bains, Hibbert, Lescott and Howard have been equally brilliant at the back but we do need a recognised goalscorer sharpish.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stuey's song of the day - The Frug by Rilo Kiley

Gentle indie-college rock from Rilo Kiley, an American band I've only discovered recently through their lead singer Jenny Lewis.

The Frug by Rilo Kiley

Everton 0-0 Chelsea

Everton 0-0 Chelsea

Thoroughly enjoyed that last night, I read a lot of reports saying how it was a dull game. I thought it was a proper full-blooded, English footy match and one of the most rivetting 0-0s I've seen in ages. A lot will be made of the Terry's sending off but you've got to go off for that...a 50/50 ball and you go in straight with your foot up and your studs showing...always going to be a red.

After that I think Chelsea did well and deserve a lot of credit. Cech and Drogba especially. Ballack and Deco do look like flat track bullies though. For Everton I thought Jagielka, Lescott, Yobo, Hibbert and Neville were all outstanding. Credit to the entire team really. Pienaar had a frustrating evening but didn't hide for a second. Fellaini looks like such a classy footballer...he looks better and better each time I see him, if he could just up his work rate slightly to disrupt the opposition a bit more he would be a world beater.

So a point, can't complain because the goal was definitely a foul on Cech (although not offside as the linesman seemed to call it). We've played really well in the last 3 games...nice to see us getting a bit of stability because it's such a funny season this year. You are looking Europe one week and relegation the next.

One of the highlights of the night for me was the mascot living the dream in the pre-match build-up. He ran from the half way line, buried it from 5 yards, peeled off doing an AJ, ran all the way to to the corner flag to do a much cheering from the Gwladys.

Christmas is coming

Brilliant article on Christmas by David Mitchell. I loved his quote on The Unbelievable Truth Christmas special about how he hates people who take their Christmas cracker hat off straight away and how he keeps his on so long that when he finally removes it it feels like it's still there.

One thing though David :

To test your suitability for this fight, consider your reaction to the phrase: "We actually had goose this year." It's not the nature of your reaction that's important, but its strength. I'm hoping for a strong one. Either: "Yes of course, goose is a much tastier meat and an older tradition. I can't believe those turkey-eating scum are suffered to live. They should be locked up in the same hell sheds where the bland objects of their culinary affection are chemically spawned." Or, and this is the one I favour: "Fuck off back to Borough Market with your talk of goose deliciousness. We're supposed to eat turkey - that's now the tradition. Stop pretending you're Victorian, drop this obsession with flavour and get defrosting a Bernard Matthews."

Goose IS loads nicer!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Liverpool to bring Capital of Culture year to a close on the River Mersey

Liverpool is to host its biggest free event as its year as Capital of Culture comes to an end at its waterfront.

Cultural venues across the city will be open later into the night as part of a special Transition Light Night.

It will be held on 10 January 2009 - a year to the day the city officially launched its culture year.

The evening will start with a "People's Celebration" at the new-look Pier Head. The show concludes with a pyrotechnic finale fired from ships on the river.

It will use the Museum of Liverpool's waterfront window as a cinema screen, with showing also at the New Mersey Ferry terminal and at the Arena Liverpool on Kings Dock.

The IT Crowd

Loving the IT Crowd, it's ace.

Discovered the Reynholm Industries Website. The staff intranet is superb as is Moss's homepage.

There is also Facebook groups for FriendFace and Cuke.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Apparitions at your local church

I don't watch a lot of telly, mainly just QI and MotD so it came as no surprise that I missed Apparitions last night but thanks to the joys of the BBC iPlayer I can catch up.

BBC iPlayer : Apparitions Episode 6

Why, I hear you ask am I interested? Well it was filmed at Holy Trinity in Garston which is where I go when I'm not feeling sprightly enough to nip to 9:15 mass at St Francis of Assisi. Kind of weird to see such a famliar building used as a film set (especially as they seem to reversed it for the external shots). (It's the church scene about 10 minutes in).

Anyway none of the priests in the show were Father Ron so I'm going to grumble...although it would be pretty cool to go to mass and find out that the celebrant was Fr Doyle-from-The-Professionals!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Frohe Weihnachten & Buon Natale

Stuey and Anne's Christmas pictures 2008

Ben Johnson's Capital of Culture portrait of Liverpool

I love this picture, superbly done.

Liverpool : Capital of Culture portrait

The detail is amazing both in the foreground and in the distance. Nice to see Goodison Park just lurking on the edge of it too.

On the Liverpool Museum website there is a nifty little viewer that allows you to zoom in on the various bits.

Some good images of the painting's development here too

Everton makes a teeny tiny profit

But a profit nonetheless.

Everton announce record turnover

Everton have revealed a record turnover of £75.7m and a slight pre-tax profit in their latest financial results.

Revenue for the financial year ending 31 May 2008 increased by 47% compared to the previous 12-month period.

A profit of £6.8m compares to a loss of £500,000 the year before, but transfers reduced pre-tax profits to £260,000, although last year £9.4m was lost.

Pretty decent really, but you'd expect that considering how good a season we had in 07/08...we obviously benefitted from the EUFA Cup and League Cup runs. You'd wonder what next years will be like given the fact that everyone is feeling the pinch and football grounds in general seem a lot emptier than they have done in ages.

In other news it seems James Vaughan has finally undergone his knee operation (how many players are that unlucky that their surgeon get's injuries as well?). Please, please, please let him get back fit again. Not really for Everton, just for him...he's such a good young player and he's been desperately unlucky over the years. You just fear that he'll never really get himself fit enough for long enough to establish himself. He's got all the skill & talent you need, now he just needs games.

Little Donkey...more problems

Quite like this, a good way to bring the problems of the Holy Land into focus for us westerners.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool walking from Nazareth to Bethlehem, retracing the journey made by Joseph and Mary, pregnant with Our Lord. He's keeping an online video diary and a blog as he does so :

BBC : The Road to Bethlehem

Will be following with interest.

"Two donkeys down, I crossed into the West Bank alone" is a great quote.

At Christmas and Easter especially it's always particularly poigniant to hear of the suffering and strife in places we are so familiar with from The Bible.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Press the red button

This will be a good site to bookmark

BBC digital/freeview "red button" scedules.

Sometimes you just stumble upon a little sporting treat on there like I did a few weeks back with the utterly brilliant Munster V All Blacks game.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Harumble. What a brilliant Saturday!

So, the weekend. Has to be said it was a good'n. It started at an eerily quiet Goodison Park as Anne, myself and some mates met up for the Fighting Talk special that was coming from Goodison Park. It was, from start to finish, absolutely brilliant. Loved it. Colin Murray was a great laugh as were Bob Mills, Pat Nevin, Tim Brabants and John Aldridge.

Everyone there seemed to have a great time and if the resulting radio was a bit edgy and near the knuckle actually being there made it a whole lot more outrageous (and all the funnier for it). If they do more of them live I'd go to them all and I'd definitely recomend it to anyone.

It was Tim Brabants first time on the show and you could tell he was really nervous but he was superb. It was great to meet Sarah Ayub who's one of the cricket afficianados from Facebook.

So then fast forward to 3pm, on a Saturday....for some crazy reason some weirdo had scheduled Everton and Man City to kick-off on Saturday afternoon. Bonkers, it'll never catch on. Without a proper striker Everton were always going to struggle, still after last week's crushingly cruel defeat a reaction was vital. A 0-0 would have been brilliant so for Tim Cahill to pop up at the death and knock home a corner for the win was just fantastic. That was just what they needed and deserved after last week. Chuffed.

Man City 0-1 Everton

Friday, December 12, 2008

Look at the stars

Big moon and asteroids! Woohoo

Sounds like it should be fairly interesting tonight...must remember to look up.

Each month the Moon orbits the Earth in an oval-shaped path, and on December 12 it will move past it around 28,000km closer than average.

The unusual feature is that this will coincide with a full moon, which will make it appear 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than most full moons this year, on Friday night.

Astrologists say the next encounter with a moon this close and full will not be until November 14 2016.

To make the sight even more spectacular much of Britain should be treated to a phenomenon known as the Moon illusion.

This is an optical illusion in which the Moon appears larger near the horizon than it does while higher up in the sky.

Psychologists have tried to explain this as a trick of the eye, as the landscape on the horizon appears to make the Moon loom much larger, an effect that disappears as the Moon rises above the horizon.

Another astronomical treat that could be seen over the weekend is the annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the year's best displays of shooting stars.

Up to 100 meteors an hour can fly across the sky. The meteors, which are easy to spot with the naked eye, appear to shoot out from the constellation Gemini, hence their name, but they can be seen all over the sky.

The best chance of seeing them is to look away from the Moon.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Reasons to be cheerful

I am too gutted to comment on yesterday's game (I've felt so utterly robbed after a footy match apart from a derby) but I did notice this today :

New waterfront stadium plans for Everton.

Please, please, please let there be something to this. PLEASE!

This is the site if you want to look it up Stanley Dock & Clarence Dock. Note the circus there when the satelite image was taken. :) ;) :P

Friday, December 05, 2008

Weird randomness of the day!

Okay, it's Friday and so I've decided that today is Meso-American God day here on Things and Stuff :









Have I missed out your favourite...let me know!

Poetry corner

Love this poem :

'The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered'

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy's much-prized effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life's vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one's enemy's book --
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seeminly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I rejoice.
It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion
Beneath the yoke.
What avail him now his awards and prizes,
The praise expended upon his meticulous technique,
His individual new voice?
Knocked into the middle of next week
His brainchild now consorts with the bad buys
The sinker, clinkers, dogs and dregs,
The Edsels of the world of moveable type,
The bummers that no amount of hype could shift,
The unbudgeable turkeys.

Yea, his slim volume with its understated wrapper
Bathes in the blare of the brightly jacketed Hitler's War Machine,
His unmistakably individual new voice
Shares the same scrapyart with a forlorn skyscraper
Of The Kung-Fu Cookbook,
His honesty, proclaimed by himself and believed by others,
His renowned abhorrence of all posturing and pretense,
Is there with Pertwee's Promenades and Pierrots--
One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment,
And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor's Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
"My boobs will give everyone hours of fun".

Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
Though not to the monumental extent
In which the chastisement of remaindering has been meted out
To the book of my enemy,
Since in the case of my own book it will be due
To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error--
Nothing to do with merit.
But just supposing that such an event should hold
Some slight element of sadness, it will be offset
By the memory of this sweet moment.
Chill the champagne and polish the crystal goblets!
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am glad.

Clive James

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Stuey's song of the day

Stuey's song of the day : Jumpers by Sleater Kinney

Song meanings

The Fox

Cool site that debates the meanings of songs. Although in the case of The Fox by Sleater Kinney I reckon it just a whole load of randomness.

"On the day the duck was born. The fox was watching all along"

This is another great, great site that's been around for years Kiss This Guy, for all those misheard lyrics.

"The algebra has a devil for a sidekick eeeeeeeeee...."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Spot the difference

David Norris makes a gesture in support for a convicted criminal - big fine

liverpool fc players make a gesture in support of a convicted criminal - no action

Not a comment on the Michael Shields case, my thought on that relate mainly towards the sheep-like Groupthink so rampantly enforced across the park...just a comment on the rank hypocrisy where the the FA comes down on the likes of David Norris like a tonne bricks whereas liverpool fc can get away with anything and the FA just ignores them 'cause they know it'll just result in an outpouring of righteous indignation.

Pathetic, but par for the course when it comes to the 'big' four.

The Guardian's Fiver put it better than I can :

Now the Fiver is simple folk - we can't even spell M Night Showaddywaddy, never mind understand his films - but after a wasted life of rifling through Spot The Difference puzzle books, there is one thing we're good at. And after hours of staring REALLY HARD at our ZX81 screen, we've spotted the difference between the cases of David Norris and Liverpool FC. Norris was fined £5,000 for a gesture in support of a man convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. Liverpool FC today went unpunished for their collective gesture in support of a man convicted of attempted murder.
The Michael Shields case is one of the most sensitive and emotive in this country's history, and a judicial review will begin tomorrow. We have no idea if he is guilty or not: we're simply not in a position to comment with even a smidgen of authority (so what's new etc). But surely we are entering extremely uncomfortable territory if we allow public perceptions of a miscarriage of justice to supplant that which has been established in a court of law. A lot of people think Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol is a good film; it doesn't mean it is. (Actually it's a belter, the pick of a blisteringly funny series, but you get the point.)
Besides, are the players really so familiar with the minutiae of the case that they can wear such T-shirts with a clear conscience? Does Alvaro Arbeloa, say, have a theory as to why a number of witnesses came forward to say they saw Shields batter Martin Georgiev over the head with a seven-pound paving slab, fracturing his skull? And given what happened to Norris, are we to assume it's one rule for 27-year-old midfielders called David who play in East Anglia and one rule for the rest?
"We understand that Michael Shields's case is one that many Liverpool players and fans feel strongly about," said an FA spokesman, as the Kenny Dalglish pin-badge he had just hidden down his pants accidentally pierced his swingers, splashing blood all over the journalists' buffet, not that they'd mind. "Having heard the club's explanation we will not be taking any formal action, and we are satisfied that they understand the sensitivities around football matches being used as a platform for political messages." If that was the case we wouldn't be writing this, would we? 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Google Street View hits New Zealand!

Mount Eden, Auckland

I am obsessed with Google Maps and Google Street it, love it, love it. I can now explore all the places we visiting in NZ. The link above is Mount Eden, a small extinct volcano in Auckland. The reason I've linked to it is thatI remember a funnny story about some blokes sneaking up there on the morning of April 1st and putting a load of old tires in there and setting them alight so that residents woke up to the sight of thick smoke pouring out of their local volcano. Make me smile whenever I think about it.