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Sunday, June 09, 2013

A quiet Sunday at home

Gees, I'm glad that I went for a little stroll earlier this morning. It's now rather bleak, and I severely doubt that the washing that I put out when the sun was nice and warm is ever going to get dry. A pity seeing some of it is my soccer gear.

Yup, nice tie in there. Played yesterday, despite the bleak conditions, despite the track work doubling the amount of time it normally takes to get to the game, and most importantly, despite my recent foot injury – which doesn't appear to be any better or worse after yesterday's game. (Strangely enough though, another nagging problem, with the same foot, which surfaced during work over Thursday, seems to have gone away.) I was struggling to get through the game, and at times was not only battling whatever complaints my feet were generating, but felt that I was on the verge of cramping up as well, which made things considerably harder. At times I was clearly limping, and thankfully was ordered off in the first half, and had my return back onto the pitch delayed in the second.

But I got through fifty minutes of the game, and actually felt better in the second term than I did in the first. Had a good game as well – forcing opponents to go wide, and them making poor crosses or shots which resulted in nothing, sticking to my targets like a bloodhound, and even dispossessing a few players of the ball and trying to generate some counter-attack.

It was all for nought though. We lost by the smallest of score-lines, 0-1, the only goal coming from a very bizarre goalkeeping error in the first half, made more frustrating seeing there were no side-line officials, and what could really only be described as a lazy, one-sided referring performance by the man in the middle. (We did not get any free kicks for the entire match, despite our players being frequently hacked.)

Having forced an opponent to go wide, where he was picked up by the wide midfielder, I drifted towards goal, anticipating another attacker coming in. The player on the far side fired in an innocuous cross, which, myself and at least three other players confirmed had gone out, seeing it was stopped by our keeper high up on the side netting.

Unfortunately, the referee did not see it go out. What happened next was something I needed to have confirmed by other players, seeing I could scarcely believe it at the time. The ball somehow squeezed from the keepers' fingers, landed back in the field of play, where it spun back over the line (which, again, was not seen by the referee), poorly cleared by the defender, the ball slewing sideways straight into the path of an oncoming attacker from the other side of the field, who just tapped it in.

Had the keeper just let it hit the side netting, instead of trying to catch it, the goal would no doubt have been avoided. But then, hindsight is a marvellous thing, isn't it? (It reminded me of the goal scored against me from a throw-in during my return season... )

It was just one of those things. However, what made the loss so much harder to bear was the fact that despite having plenty of chances, we just couldn't put any of them away. As a defender, having thwarted all but one opposition raid during the match, it's just so frustrating to see so many chances spoiled down the other end. A 0-1 loss should've been at least a 4-1 win with the amount of chances that we had...

Oh well, I took some consolation from an even more freakish own goal from an Italian match that I saw footage of on FB. This one, I felt, topped ours...

Just listening to Cake's 2011 LP Showroom of Compassion whilst typing this up. A selection of this band's tracks are always on my MP3 player. I have all the albums, including the B-sides and rarities compilation, that has their version of Black Sabbath's War Pigs. I find the laconic delivery of the lyrics, plus a mixture of musical styles and instruments (the trumpet really enhances the bands unique sound, along with the occasional use of Christmas bells in their studio recordings) really appeals to me. They're one band I wish I had an opportunity to see live.

I really do like their lyrics. Cynical, deep, meaningful, poetical, even controversial (like in the track I bombed Korea). One of the tracks in their Showroom... LP, The Winter, is quite beautiful, even though it's about a relationship that has ended. One line of it just grabs me every time - “Christmas lights look desperate in this room... ”

Work. Well, what can I say? Yes, it's ongoing. (Ha ha) Again, there was a discrepancy in the number of papers we had to deliver on Thursday and Friday – this time there was too many of them. For the last month, we had a shortage of papers, which required me to come up with some “creative book-keeping” in order to make sure we dropped papers off at every listed stop. However, for some reason, we had too many, meaning that some stops that I had reduced in size on the previous run, now had to be increased once again. At the end of the second day, we had three bundles left over, so, like the Allied bombers of WW2 getting rid of surplus munitions on a bombing run, we dumped the remainders at a shopping centre along the route (where surplus papers had been gotten rid of before) and came home with no further copies of the current edition.

However, there were at least 1500 copies of the previous edition in the back of the van, which were duly dropped off into recycling bins. We have a good idea as to why our numbers had been fluctuating. The gent who had been doing the Wyong shire walks has left the business and obviously he had been taking too many the previous month (deliberately or accidentally we do not know), and the person filling in for him has taken the right amount. I actually ran into the person looking after the walk-around for the day (one of the office staff), and she was sick of it just after one day...

A couple of interesting things did happen though. The Thursday before last (May 31), I received a very interesting e-mail from the boss, asking me to cover the upcoming A-League All Stars vs Manchester United football fixture – as a journalist. It doesn't require much more than me to attend the game, make a note of how the Central Coast Mariners players fare, then write a report on their efforts. Oh, and fill out an accreditation application so that I can get a free pass into the game.

The other thing was that I had a few more pictures published in one of the papers – the Wyong Regional Chronicle. The unfortunate thing is, the article that the pictures accompanied, were of Wyong Shire students entries in the “Sculpture by the Bay” exhibit at East Gosford. The pictures used, were of the “Sculpture on the Green” exhibit at a golf resort at Wyong. I wonder if any one phoned in to complain about it...

Next week, I only work Tuesday, because of the Queen's Birthday long weekend here.

Oh, BTW, there had also been a couple more “Seven degrees of Kevin Bacon”, the following two really demonstrating just how true this theory is.

Errol Flynn – Kevin Bacon

  • Efrem Zimbalist Jnr featured in one of Errol's last movies Too much, too soon in 1958.
  • Efrem, whose career was only really starting in 1958, was also in the 1991 flick Hot Shots, with Kristy Swanson.
  • Kristy was the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) which had Donald Sutherland in it.
  • And from there, one of our regular favourites, Animal House, which had Donald and Kevin in it.

Try this one. This really took some doing.

Rudolph Valentino – Kevin Bacon

  • One of Rudolph's last films was a 1926 movie entitled The Son of the Sheik, which also starred Vilma Bรกnky.
  • Vilma, a European actress, also starred in another 1926 film, The Winning of Barbara Worth, which featured Gary Cooper.
  • Gary Cooper starred along side the former Mrs Sean Connery, Diane Cilento, in The Naked Edge (1961).
  • Diane then did Rattle of a Simple Man three years later, with Harry H Corbett (from Steptoe and Son).
  • Harry played the squire in Jabberwocky, with Michael Palin.
  • Michael had a small part in another Terry Gilliam film – Brazil, along with Robert de Niro.
  • And finally, that leads us back to Sleepers, with Kevin, et al.

Apologies if I've already published these before, but they were so good I just had to publish them again!

I have also been a bit busy with some web-design work. My good friend Eric asked me to get the basics done for a website (for a community centre) that he had been asked to construct, and, duly inspired, I also found the time to get my website up and running. Both are now online, though mine is the only one in the public domain. My site,, named after a book that I have written (but has yet to be published) contains pages on my various interests – Blood Bowl, writing, poetry/song-writing, and especially photography, where I fully intend to put some of my better images for sale. Naturally, I don't expect to make a profit on it, just to get my pictures out to a wider audience (so a dedicated FB page may follow as well).

What else? Finished the ANZACS in Arkhangel book, and have moved on to Christopher R Browning's Ordinary Men – Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. I had previously read a couple of chapters of it whilst at uni, using it in my (rather excellent if I don't say so myself) Genocide Studies essay on the topic of Responsibility in War Crimes. (To put in a nutshell, my argument was that the whole ruddy world was responsible, not just the perpetrators, not even just those that just stood by and watched it happen, it went straight to the heads of nations that could've stopped it and just let it happen for whatever reason.)

The reason I used chapters from this book in the essay, was that it demonstrated, that at a ground level, that a) the average soldier ordered to do the executing could find ways to avoid being involved, without receiving recriminations from superiors and b) how easy it was for the average soldier to get carried away in situations such as this. Reserve Police Battalion 101 was just one example. The majority of its numbers came from Hamburg (apparently the least Nazified city in Germany around 1939), had grown up in a non-Nazi Germany (average age – 39), 63% came from a working-class background, and 35% were white-collared workers. Most by 1942 were Nazi Party members, but not fanatics.

A very disturbing, but fascinating read.

Finally, to lighten the mood just before the end of the post, I was able to catch up with my sister for a very belated birthday lunch last Monday (June 3). We only went to the pub across the road, but I didn't mind, seeing the food there was quite good.

And seeing the sun has come back out, I should go see how dry the washing is. Ciao!

P.S: Just been corrected, that it is actually SIX degrees of Kevin Bacon (and Seven Degrees of Separation) so the Kevin to Rudolph is slightly over...

However, eliminate Vilma Banky from the above steps, as Valentino and Gary Cooper were in a 1925 film entitled The Eagle (Cooper had a small part), so that brings it back down to six.

Of course, there is the Google "Bacon Number" application, which allows you to type Bacon Number followed by an actor's name in the search bar, but that I feel takes all the fun out of it. That, and I ran Valentino through it and it gave him a 2. The link? Diane Lane in a 2007 documentary that had ARCHIVE FOOTAGE of Valentino. (He had only been dead 81 years by that stage... )

Sorry Google, but gees, do it properly!!! No documentaries, voice overs for computer games/cartoons and ruddy TV shows, eh?

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