Tag: <span>Italy</span>

Furtling around for inspiration I ran a few standard blogging fallbacks through some mental checks.

  • Too busy because – nope, did one of those recently.
  • Interesting referrers – my stats are way down as it is so I’ve been avoiding looking at my stats at all. Ohhh, actually that might be a topic I could tackle, finding out reader stats across website hits and RSS feed subscriptions… but others have done that one so.. moving on…
  • Spam comments – nope, didn’t that one recently too.
  • What do I have in draft – “How to grab TV episodes using torrents” – yeah started that one but need to be at home to finish it.

I guess all I have left is to ask for music/book recommendations, after all I have a “Dear Santa” list to fill and it’s only really got some camera stuff on it at the moment (and my groovy, self-designed Reebok trainers of course. And yes, that IS the longest URL in the world…). Suggestions welcomed..

Other than that, little of note has happened to me recently as my day is largely a set of predictable and repeated steps.

(intrepid bloggers will by now have realised that I’m falling back on the ultimate of all fall backs by posting about not being able to post and why I don’t have anything to write about, thus giving me something to write about in this post. Wise is the experienced blogger…)

Get up at 6.30am, go to work, try and not get interrupted (I’m failing at this one but that seems to be the way of things), go home, chill out for an hour or so, do stuff that needs done, then get some more work done and try to get to bed before 1am (just). Boring. Not really stuff wot people will find interesting.

(great, now this is turning into an “I’m too busy to post” post.. dammit)

Next week will be different as I’m off to exotic Warwick and will be delivering a presentation to a room full of my peers. Yes I am starting to crap myself a little but I know the topic well enough (Wikis) and will get a couple more rehearsals in before Wednesday.

Other than that, the main topic in this neck of the woods is football.

For those of you not au fait with such things if Scotland beat Italy on Saturday, we will have qualified for the European Championships. We haven’t qualified for a big tournament for 10 years so this is a very big thing especially when you consider that, really, we shouldn’t even be in with a shout of qualifying at all, having been drawn in a qualifying group with the two World Cup finalists from last year and with only two teams going through.

Two shock wins against France, and some good performances at home, have put us in this position and the nation (well the bit that cares about this stuff) is rallying. One of my co-workers has come to work in his kilt.

Which is odd as the game is tomorrow but I admire his spirit nonetheless.

We are watching the game with friends, and in my heart I hope we manage it. Our national team was a joke one year ago, and whilst I think it’s fair to say we are hitting above our weight at the moment, it’s reminiscent of the Scotland teams I grew up with.

After the game we are all off out to a highly reputed local restaurant. So if the worst happens, and we concede an injury equaliser (thus almost rendering it impossible for us to qualify (there are permutations beyond tomorrow but they involve the Faroe Islands beating current World Champions Italy… hmmm)) which given the precarious nature with which the national football team seems to operate is the most likely scenario, we will at least eat well and enjoy good company, lively banter and large amounts of alcohol.

Although part of me is wishing we hadn’t booked an Italian restaurant.



The world is full of them and the internet gives them a voice. They are a specific breed, not just your everyday idiot, they wait for a target to pass and FIRE their salvos of ludicrous suggestion, usually firing so wide of the mark you wonder if they are aiming at something else.

I really like the idea of Comment is Free. I’ve followed it since it launched, and did proffer a few thoughts in the early days but apparently I’m the wrong kind of person and shouldn’t have bothered. Instead I should’ve been developing my moron persona a little more thoroughly (after all, Gordon is a moron, right?).

This is not as easy as it seems.

Let’s look at a particular case, the one which sparked this entry as it happens.

Anna (littleredboat) Pickard recently published an article on Comment is Free entitled “I love Starbucks, what of it?“. Some would suggest the title is a little provocative and that, given the subject matter, some negative comments could be expected. In the article, Anna makes many valid points and her opinion is offered to all with little force and, as ever, some humour and humility.

As an exercise, see if you can think up some of the responses.

That’s right. Globalisation, death of the high street, better coffee elsewhere, anti-corporation stuff all that kind of thing.

However, the comment stalking moron is made of sterner stuff and in this particular thread there are some breathtaking leaps of imagination. I’ll paraphrase slightly (but not all that much) to try and capture some of the stunning suggestions.

Instead of drinking Starbucks, “try picking coffee beans from before dawn and see how much it matters then”
I’d love to try that but between laying the bricks of my house, slaughtering a chicken to eat at dinner, and plumbing the depths of my back garden for oil.. well I’m a little too busy..

“Go to Italy for a coffee”
“Anyone fancy a coffee?”
“Yeah sure, make mine a macchiato”
“No probs”
[12 hours later]
“There you go”
“Ugh, it’s cold… ”

Addiction to caffeine? “So boring, have a bloody cup of tea, its got us all through worse times!”
Tea! Gosh, excitement abounds! Ohh yes, I can sense the danger of maybe receiving a mild scald from the teabag, the lure and promise of exotic flavours and the mysterious undertones of why those fruity ones are allowed to be called tea at all. Yes, yes, you are right, tea is most certainly not boring. Wow. I’m converted. Thanks. That was easy.

Be concerned for your health for “The coffee itself is not bad, but with all the sugar, cream, and other heavy add-ons that go into each cup, you might as well have ordered ice cream”
Do Starbucks offer ice cream? Even if they did, I’d never go there. We have an excellent local ice cream emporium. Won awards and everything it has. Hang on, who has cream in their coffee anyway?

And the most frequent comment type:
Starbucks coffee is crap
Yes it is. It’s awful, tastes like piss and vomit, mixed with mouldy turds. That’s obviously why so many people keep drinking it.

There are some valid points made in the comments of course, but, for the main, the morons rule.

You have to admire them in a way, it must take an awful lot of hard work, training and dedication to come up with some of those suggestions. Brilliant stuff.

For the record, I enjoy Starbucks coffee. Yes I’ve had better in other places, and it’s not the only coffee place I frequent but, typically, it’s handy, reasonably priced and has an acceptable level of quality IN MY OPINION.

Right, I’m off to create a new profile on Comment is Free. I want to practise my moronic comments somewhere, so I may as well learn from the masters!

Blogging Work

Changed the dressings on my back yesterday and Louise took pictures of my wound. Still slightly open with two stitches, gross. Explains why it’s as sore as it was, I had no idea how deep they had to go… which reminds me, must take some painkillers before I go to bed.


So Scotland lost 2-0 to Italy, no chance of use getting to next year’s World Cup but at least they played reasonably well. If we had a decent front pair we may even score a goal or two at some point in the future.


Working on a Saturday is a pain in the ass. That is all.

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The one where the space-blog continuum almost gets disrupted.

I’ve posted and written about many things but none have a hit the nerve that my recent posting about the future of blog linking (aka the future of blog cliques) seems to have.

Firstly, thanks to everyone who commented, I did read every comment, and decided to post a little synopsis of the ‘findings’ (Note that I’m not claiming this to be scientific… I’m not that daft).

Putting aside the calls for me to organise some Scottish meets (which I may well do, one in Glasgow, one in Edinburgh… probably), one theme that appeared was the deliberate choice of many people to try and break their social and geographical constraints via the web. I do the same, hoping to get a glimpse into life elsewhere on the planet by reading about other’s experiences. Yes, it is a second hand method that will never be as rich as visiting the place in question, but the one thing the internet has brought is more opportunity to at least try and understand how life works in other countries, cultures, and social groups.

Another theme that was obvious was the (almost unconscious?) grouping by… social education/situation/class? that has evolved. I’m sure a greater mind than I could find some evidence of a self imposed class system, and I’m sure that a similar effect has long since been proven in real life situations (“morons hang out with morons” if you like), but it is very obvious. The evidence is there for all to see. (This thought, and a comment about the ‘Kevin Bacon effect of blogrolls’ made me wonder about pulling together a list of the Top 10 blogrolled sites… but I didn’t. Not yet anyway).

Most people have a few sites in their blogroll that break any rules or formulas that could be devised, call it cultural curiosity (cause we all likes alliterations) if you like, but I think it’s more simple than that. It’s the one world syndrome. The internet has probably done more for that than anyone thought possible. On any given day, I can chat to people from anywhere in the world (Ok Ok, anywhere in the world that has the money and infrastructure to support internet usage, unfortunately I don’t expect to be chatting to someone from a shanty town in Chad anytime soon – but that’s a different issue, and a damn sight more important too). I have friends in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Tokyo. Without the internet I wouldn’t even know these people existed.

So, to clique or not to clique?

As others have pointed out, human nature lends itself to naturally formed groupings. The interaction and cause of these is a complex mix comprising educational, social, geographical, and psychological aspects. Not every link (both virtual via a hypertext click and mental via a common personality factor) needs to be in place for a grouping to begin, and equally every link is not necessarily part of a grouping. As for geographical grouping, well it’s too obvious and too limiting, I think, to ever be the main cause for a link between sites and people. Comfort in familiarity is probably a more pressing factor, albeit subconsciously, for most of us… although I think I’m heading off into self-affirmation land with this particular train of thought (which has long since come off the tracks and started it’s own little cross country run).

Of course this is all flawed to start with as I’m basing my thoughts and findings on MY blogroll… so I guess it’s a self-perpetuating issue that’s discussing itself… again.



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