Monday, March 23, 2015

National Puppy Day

Apparently, today in American is National Puppy Day.  Who knew there was such a thing?  It's to encourage people to adopt from shelters and not buy from puppy mill pet stores. 

This comes in a bit handy since only three weeks ago we had a new family member arrive at our house.  This is him

Yes, he is a teeny tiny pitbull puppy.  The poor little fellow has to live with that bad pitbull reputation for the rest of his life, bless him.  But he will be protected by his big brother Charlie.  [Not sure 'protected' was the correct word here, actually, what with all the bad connotations the word pitbull conjures up with some people].

Big brother will look after him
It took a while to name him but we finally settled on Spencer.  (Pronounced with an English accent of course.... Spensahhhh).

I'm not going to get into the whole debate about pitbulls and Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), but will say they are the most lovable dogs who grow into 90 pound lapdogs and will love you forever.  If you are interested, this is a really good article by Jake Flanagin from Pacific Standard: "The Tragedy of America's Dog"

I was thinking we should have called him Marmite.... because him being a pitbull, people either love them or hate them!!!!

How could you NOT love that face?

Friday, March 13, 2015

How Rude!

I was just wandering around the world wide web the other day, as you do, and I came across this little gem in Wikipedia.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Inselaffen [plural] is a German word meaning "Island Monkeys". It is used, perhaps pejoratively but mostly light heartedly, to describe the people of England, UK. The word is generally used fondly and as part of the friendly and often humorous, competitive banter between the two countries.
The actual meaning behind it refers to the German (and other European countries) stereotypical image of the English as heavy drinking, violent, criminalistic and yobbish. These characteristics of the English are regularly witnessed by Europeans when visiting the UK, while on holiday elsewhere or at football matches, where many Europeans have been victim to the internationally infamous English hooliganism.
German people offer this behaviour as evidence to a tongue in cheek theory that evolution stalled on the island of Great Britain.
Although the phrase is used in reference to the people of the British Isles, the same stereotype mainly refers to the people of the regions Scotland, Ireland and Wales, who, it is considered, have a much more violent and aggressive nature, though still suffering the same commitment to inebriation and constant fight to avoid sobriety.

Well, bugger me, that's a bit rude, isn't it?  I've never in my life heard this word, let alone known anyone to actually use it.  And why would someone think it necessary to write a Wikipedia post about it?  Who's out there looking this stuff up?  That's just down right cheeky.

Apparently, whoever wrote of the "...friendly and often humorous, competitive banter between the two countries..." has quite obviously never been on a package holiday to Majorca, where you have to get up at 4:00 a.m. to put your towels on a sunbed so you can beat the Germans at their own game! [Yes, I did just go there...]
Too late, the German's got there first!
I'm not so sure this is actually a 'tongue in cheek' Wikipedia entry, but seeing as I am, in fact, English I am going to ignore it and reaffirm my commitment to inebriation and avoid that fight with sobriety, .... I'm going to have a drink! 

We're a lovely lot - don't know what they're talking about!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Real Football Experience

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to get up at the crack of dawn to drive to a pub some 60 miles away to watch a football game.  Nowadays most of the games are on television (well at least on ATT UVerse anyway) so I all need to do is get my morning cuppa and some toast and watch in my pyjamas.  (Because I'm in California the games start at 4:00 a.m. - although it's very rare I ever see those games!  I'm usually just about awake for the 6:00 a.m. ones)

But, whilst watching the footie this past weekend there was an advert for an App so that you can find out where to watch games.  It’s called NBC Sports Matchmaker and I though I would take a look and see what it had to offer.  Apparently, according to the advert and the blurb in the app “Diehard football (soccer) fans know the only thing better than watching football is watching it surrounded by other fans.  But sometimes, finding other fans to watch with can be a challenge…”  [Yes, soccer was in brackets in their description].

That description should have been my firrst warning that this wasn’t for ‘real’ football fans… reading a bit further there is a list about who the app would be helpful for:
  • Fans who are new to the game or their neighbourhood and want to know where to watch their team play [If you are new to the game, why would you have a team? – oh wait, it would probably be Man. Utd]
  • Fans who are away from home and need to find where other fans are congregating [ok, that makes sense, but ‘congregating” – sounds like there will be trouble]
  • Fans who want a way to organize their regular football watching meet up [Umm, wouldn’t you just meet at the pub/bar?
Oh and you can meet people through the app and via Facebook.  Something about this sounds pretty pathetic really.  I don't want to be walking into some pub to meet random strangers who may, or may not, possibly, support the same team as me... just so I can have a pint at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Because no matter where you go or how many people are there, nothing will emulate the feeling of standing on the terraces (if there were still terraces to stand on, that is).

Years ago, when there was little or no football coverage on the telly, occasionally there would be a pay-per-view game on a Saturday morning.  At that time, everyone we knew would come over to our house and have a whip round for the price of the game.  I would then spend the morning making sausage or bacon sarnies and endless pots of tea (and trying to watch the match).  It was a lot of fun and something that I do miss, although now I don’t even have to get out of bed if I don’t want to.  

But to spend the early morning with random football novice s is just something I wouldn’t ever want to do. So no, I am not downloading this app.  Sorry NBC.