30 November 2018

Movember - Over for 2018

Well. That's it for another year. The Mo has gone.

Final Mo

Movember wanted a half-mo for the last day.

Half Mo
And then it was time to shave the final half off.

No Mo



Foot!

My day off today and weekend have been thrown into a bit of turmoil due to my foot.

Yes. My foot. 

For a few weeks I've had this problem where my right big toe seems to disjointed and I have to click it back in.

But yesterday it did that and during the day my foot swelled up and red around the joint.

It got worse overnight and so this morning we went to the minor injuries clinic. They are pretty certain it's not gout as that wouldn't include the joint popping out.

So what is it?

As it is swollen on the bottom of my foot I have a problem walking. Limping is good though.

So. Today it wasted a few hours, but we still got Claire's car tyre fixed. 

Tomorrow I'll go to Maidstone for #MAIOLD but I can't risk #ARSTOT with all the extra walking. See how it goes.

27 November 2018

#ARSTOT

Perhaps it could be called #ARSCUM to use the more common name for the Mugs From Middlesex aka Tottenhan Hotspur.



They will be full of themselves after beating Chelsea at the weekend at home on the mudbank that was formerly Wembley Stadium and the finest piece of turf in England.  

But in the desperate attempt to force the British into accepting NFL as a form of sport, the FA managed to screw up vast areas of turf.  And not just down the middle where the armoured NFL players tend to play, but on both wings. Oh and of course they earned a shed load of cash for allowing it....

We came off the back of the away game #BOUARS and will have had less of a rest as we travel to the Ukraine to play on Thursday whilst the Totts will have an extra day off and playing at home at the mudbank.

Who says that the Premier League offer no assistance to teams in the Europa League? Here we are with another Sunday lunchtime kick-off.


26 November 2018

#MAIOLD



Football all weekend!  It doesn't happen very often and in the past I have been able to make sure that Alex took the games at Arsenal that clashed with the Oldham away games down in the South and South-East of the country.

This year I have the full Arsenal season ticket and as luck would have it, there are few clubs in League 2 that meet my travel criteria of location and whether I can get there by bike due to the weather/time of year.

So once the Latics had fought back from a dodgy Tom Daley penalty at Hampton & Richmond, and the draw came out (before that game) that the winners would be down in Kent at Maidstone United.

Both Neill and I live near enough to make it an afternoon trip.

With it being December 1st and the forecast for this weekend is terrible, I have decided to go by train and a short walk from Maidstone East station to the ground. Until I looked on Google maps I hadn't realised where the station was. I had (for some unknown reason) thought that it was quite a way off but it is very handy for the town centre.  I'll already have a train ticket and a parking ticket for Folkestone West, so no extra cost.

Let's see.

------------------------------------

Notes.

A Tom Daley in football parlance is a diver.  A cheat.  Tom Daley himself is a superb athlete and not a cheat.


#BOUARS


Another Sunday and another lunchtime kick-off. This time away at 8th placed Bournemouth.

One of the "little clubs" making headway and waves in the top division.  Always an entertaining team to watch but with many supporters from the third tier that jeer and moan all the time that they are "cheated" by the big clubs.

And so it will be this week. They were "cheated" by the lino when he flagged a player offside as he shot them into what was sadly not the lead.  The TV replay showed that Mustafi laying on his back on the ground played him onside with his head. So a player lying on the ground has that effect.  Time to re-think the entire offside rule.  FIFA do it every couple f of years anyway.

Arsenal started off at their usual pace with the opposition taking the initiative and had barely got into the game when Torrieia intercepted a stray pass and his shot beat the keeper but not the post and the ball rebounded to Iwobi who smashed it into Row Z!

And then for the first time in what seems months a goal.  Not the usual opener for the opposition, but scored by the opposition, in his own net.  Kolasinac (formetly known as The Tank at Schalke) out in a low cross and Lerma lunged in and fired the ball some 18 yards into his own net. Personally and from several TV angles I think that had Bournemouth's Cook not turned his back on the ball and had leaned into it instead he could have deflected it away. But hey.  Modern players don't take the ball in the balls or the face to save a goal!!

Arsenal woke up and then conceded in the last seconds of the half.  Iwobi lost the ball and the home side broke quickly and ended with King's left footed shot beating Leno in the Arsenal goal.

The second half was a different kettle of fish, Arsenal on top and coming close and rewarded on the 67th minute when Pierre Emerick Aubemeyang slid in unmarked to meet another Kolasinac cross and touch it into  the net.

Both teams upped the tempo to try and get the winner or draw level.  Arsenal looked pretty safe until the fifth minute of the four extra minutes (!) that the referee arbitrarily added when Bournemouth tried for the penalty but got a free kick on the edge of the penalty box. Luckily the shot went up and wide.

So another unbeaten game but the worry is that next week #ARSTOT  (or #ARSSCUM) will be a whole different ball game against the Mugs from down the Lane, or Tottenham Hotspur as they are officially called.  What a stupid pretentious name! 

We will entertain the homeless at the Emirates and hope that we don't make it too charitable for them.





24 November 2018

Kindle

Thursday

Turn my old Kindle on to download a new couple of books and nothing happens.

Check the "settings" menu and the WiFi setup has gone. What?

A few attempts at getting it to restart were ineffective. Then I see on Amazon Black Friday the Fire 7 tablet for sale at £29.99.  Mmmmm? 

It will do Kindle and more. It's cheap... So I bought one. Delivery Saturday as too late for next day Prime.

Friday.

At work. Kindle playing up with messages saying unable to open the library. 

I check settings. Still no WiFi and pages 1 to 3 there.

Hold power button again for 30 secs or so. Screen goes white. No change 

Workmate suggests holding power for much longer. Do that.

Screen goes white. 

Then "Kindle" appears on screen and then a bar showing it rebooting.

Fixed.

So there you go. Switch it off and on again does work.



P.S.

I bought the Fire 7" anyway. It has a memory card slot for a micro SD and expandable up to 256gb. I have a 64gb card I can use and then watch Amazon Prime video!  My Nexus 7 seems very slow at the moment! 

16 November 2018

MAG asks: Road Safety - what do you think?

As motorcyclists, we don't ride out hoping to be killed or seriously injured.  We all have a vested interest in staying alive. So what's gone wrong with the road safety agenda, and why are we made to feel like the accused instead of the victims?

The latest road safety agenda, Vision Zero, began in Sweden. It aims to achieve zero road casualties and the ideology states that safety can never be sacrificed for mobility.  Since London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has adopted Vision Zero – a concept which one of its inventors openly stated meant motorcycles "need to go," Britain's motorcyclists need to be worried.

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said "A Vision Zero founding father, Claes Tingvall, was right to say what he said about motorbikes and Vision Zero.  He highlighted that, under this agenda, safety can never be sacrificed for mobility. So, to be consistent, he had to believe that motorcycles should be banned – as well as push bikes, cars, horses, walking….

In fact we should all just stay at home and never get out of bed.  There is always a risk of injury when we move.  Walking is basically a process of repeatedly losing balance and beginning to fall – clearly if we get it wrong and don't stop each fall, it is going to end up hurting.

"Motorcyclists, much to the surprise of some road safety experts, are aware that they are taking risks every time they get on their bikes.  I personally have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, but I still ride. I've taken advanced training and do all I can to minimise the chances of it happening again – but I accept the risk.  That's a conscious decision I choose to make.  I fight for my right to make that decision and will resist anyone who tries to take that right away.

"Everyone knows there is an acceptable level of risk. Progress normally relies on taking risks.  To say risk is unacceptable is fundamentally flawed.  Let's move from Vision Zero to Vision Hero.  Risks we accept benefit not just riders, but all road users in terms of reduced congestion and pollution.  Let's make the roads as safe as possible but not through restrictions, and not at any cost."

MAG wants to know your views road safety:

•    Do you think the level of risk in motorcycling outweighs the benefits of motorcycling?
•    What do you think will make the roads safer for you as a rider?
•    Do you think you can ever be 100% safe on the road?
•    Do you think more motorcyclists on the road makes biking safer or more dangerous?
•    Are motorcyclists seen as a problem that needs to be fixed?
•    What is the most important point of focus to improve road safety for motorcyclists?

Come along to our stand D06 in Hall 4 at the NEC Motorcycle Live to let
us know what you think

Or complete the full feedback survey online (if you haven't already) 

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/THMGS72 for a chance to win a 2019 MAG T-shirt



.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

15 November 2018

MAG asks: Clean Air Zones - logic or tragic?

The Motorcycle Action Group claims modal shift to motorcycles reduces congestion and pollution in the UK.  MAG's guidance document clearly shows the evidence - in a manner that hasn't been challenged by ANY
audience so far. What do YOU think?

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said; "It is reassuring that, beyond the capital, we're winning the logical argument to exempt motorcycles of all ages from any toxic tax charging schemes. This fight is leaving London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, increasingly isolated in his incomprehensible resolve to push through this socially regressive policy in the form of the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).  MAG is determined to convince councils to make the promotion of modal shift to motorcycles part of their solution to improve air quality.  By contrast, London's policy is a tragic and embarrassing mistake which, unfortunately, seems to come simply from an inability to actually understand the evidence."

"It is not rocket science," adds Colin. "Figures available to all councils clearly show the current stock of cars produce more NO2 per mile than motorcycles have EVER produced.  And the emissions gap between cars and motorcycles isn't closing.  Anyone can see that riders filtering PAST queues on motorcycles rather than sitting IN queues of cars reduces congestion - and therefore pollution. I met the Joint Air Quality Unit and Transport for London, neither of whom have arguments to disprove this simple logic. It seems the only reason they aren't promoting motorbikes - when their obsession with bicycles is clear - is prejudice. That prevents all of society from benefiting from the potential gains of shifting from four wheels to two, whether or not the two wheeler happens to have an engine.  Khan has simply got to welcome bikers as an asset and not damn us as a problem."

Do you agree? MAG wants your views on the role of motorcycles in improving air quality:

•    Is it right to charge older motorcycles to enter clean air zones?
•    Would charging older motorcycles really improve air quality?
•    Are electric motorcycles more eco-friendly than petrol motorcycles?
•    Is there a case to exempt smaller motorcycles but charge larger ones?
•    Are you prepared to give up your internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycle to improve air quality?
•    Are the claimed benefits of cleaner air realistic?
•    Is it fair to punish riders who can't afford to upgrade their bikes?
•    Will there be an impact on the classic/vintage bike scene?
•    Will Sadiq Khan's extreme policies have a measurable impact on health?

Come along to our stand D06 in Hall 4 at the NEC Motorcycle Live to let us know what you think.

Or complete the full feedback survey online link:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/THMGS72 for a chance to win a 2019 MAG T-shirt.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org


MAG asks: Bus Lanes - to bike or not to bike?

The Motorcycle Action Group asks: do you want us to continue our successful campaign for motorcycle access to bus lanes?

Nationally, more and more transport authorities are seeing the sense in adopting a bus lanes access policy for bikers, with Nottingham City Council the latest to announce a trial.  MAG has released a
comprehensive report on the state of play for motorcycle access, which highlights the random patchwork of policy that adds to risk of injury, as well as a sense of entrapment and fines.  MAG is campaigning for the DfT to change its guidance to local authorities on the matter from a neutral position to one of encouraging motorcycle access to bus lanes.

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, commented; "Despite the fact that bikers are entitled to have their safety concerns taken seriously, we still see certain councils, such as Hackney in London, actively opposing riders' safety.  Following the GLA Transport Committee's Easy Rider report in 2016, the latest Mayor's Transport Policy calls on all London boroughs to allow motorcycle access to bus lanes. But Hackney's draft Local Implementation Plan contains the lines

'The council opposed the Mayor of London's decision to permit PTWs use of bus lanes on TfL-controlled roads on safety grounds and will seek to work with TfL to reverse this position. The council recognises the high accident rate of powered two wheelers but does not believe there is good evidence that using the bus lanes will address this'.  

MAG will NOT allow this blatant disregard for the interests of riders to go unchallenged."

MAG wants to know your views on motorcycle access to bus lanes:

•       Should bikes be allowed in all bus lanes?
•       Does the current variability in access rights cause you confusion?
•       Have you ever received a fine for mistakenly using a bus lane?
•       Do you feel safer riding in a bus lane?
•       Do you think you increase risks to cyclists when sharing a bus lane with them?
•       Do you think you pose a greater risk to pedestrians when you ride in a bus lane?
•       Do you think you disrupt buses when you use a bus lane?
•       Do you think motorcycles should have segregated lanes like cyclists?
•       Do you think motorcycles should be allowed to use cycle lanes?
•       What is the one reason, if any, for allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes?

Come along to our stand D06 in Hall 4 at the NEC Motorcycle Live to let us know what you think.

Or complete the full feedback survey online here for a chance to win a
2019 MAG T-shirt.

Link to MAG - PTW Access to Bus Lanes: 
https://wiki.mag-uk.org/images/8/89/2018_10_25_PTW_Access_to_Bus_Lanes.pdf

Link to survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/THMGS72


Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org


Movember - On the 15th Day

I have been slow at putting up updates to my Movember Mobro page as I wanted the 'tache to show up in photos.

So here we are are just a few hours before the half way stage. I've not made it too large as some of you might want to eat today.




13 November 2018

R66 shirts!

When we were driving the Arizona section of Route 66 I didn't really think about a t-shirt.  Okay, we didn't do it all from Chicago to the Pacific but some of it.  And we took loads of photos.

Sadly, not on a bike but in a Dodge Charger.  So when I saw these at a clearance price on Fat Skeleton's website I had to get a couple, especially with an extra 15% discount. One for me and one for my (now) BMW megabike riding brother, Neill.


At the time of writing I am probably going to keep the winged one.





And give him the other one! He has done the whole thing twice, once on a bike and once in a car.





Romance of the Cup! #H&ROLD

Down the years the "Romance of the Cup" raises it's (often ugly) head in the early rounds of the FA Cup (the oldest football/soccer trophy in the world) when underdogs defeat the bigger boys.

This David versus Goliath conflict is most often confined to the FA Cup 1st Round Proper.  So called because the teams from the lowest tiers of the football pyramid have been playing Preliminary and Qualifying rounds since August 11th!

And so it was that last night, November 12th, that my original love, Oldham Athletic, currently in the 4th tier were drawn away to Hampton & Richmond Borough in the 1st Round. H&R, the David in this battle, are from the 6th tier. Another name for this type of game is "banana skin" or to keep the David and Goliath motif going, a giant-killing.

And so after 13 minutes when in probably their first attack and with minimal contact any where about his person, the H&R winger went flying in the penalty box and the referee pointed to the spot.  1-0 to the hosts.

It's always easy to judge from the luxury of the TV with several angles available to show that the guy took a dive worthy of Tom Daley, but in this instance the referee was close by and had a clear view as did his assistant or "lino" as they are still called by supporters across the country.  Calling a bloke that runs the line with a flag "assistant referee" is like calling a cook "a food processing and manufacturing operative".

The remainder of the half saw Oldham huff and puff and make little or no headway.  The H&R keeper was named Man of the Match after the game and earned it many times over. The home side did have a few chances mainly self inflicted by Oldham's poor passing.

Oddly even though the ref gave H&R the Tom Daley penalty he gave a yellow card to Oldham's Jose Baxter for a similar Daley-esque special.  A dive, Although to be fair he did jump over the keeper's outstretched leg and fall over on landing. And later, the commentator and pundits thought a clear cut penalty wasn't given, again with Baxter involved, when he has hacked down in a clumsy tackle from behind.  So going into the second half, Oldham knew where the H&R 12th man was at all times.  

As the second half progressed Oldham looked the stronger team and started to apply pressure.  Baxter was again involved. At the near post he received the ball and was again hacked down. Again the referee deemed this perfectly acceptable and some 9 minutes later after lengthy treatment on the pitch, Baxter was stretchered off with his leg in an airbag to support it.  No foul.

Both sides made changes and with 88 minutes on the clock Rob Hunt fired in the equaliser. With the extra nine minutes to play Old ham turned up the heat. H&R again relied on their keeper and the woodwork to keep it at 1-1.  Then, Callum Lang, the player involved in the Tom Daley penalty when he didn't trip or even touch the H&R winger, took on a through ball and fired into the net. 2-1. relief all round for the Blue fans.


The rewards?

  • Frankie Bunn keeps his job as Oldham Manager another few weeks
  • OAFC bank a massive £19000!!!
  • OAFC through to Round 2 away at Maidstone United
  • Me and Neill (my brother) might get tickets to go as it is local!

And there it is.  Eyes firmly on the club's website and twitter to get tickets for the match at the Gallagher Stadium in Maidstone.  


12 November 2018

MAG at Motorcycle Live!

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is gearing up for this year's Motorcycle Live show, which is one of the country's premier annual motorcycle events.
Leading riders' rights organisation, MAG, is busy working on putting the finishing touches to its stand at the NEC 'Bike Show', to be ready to open on Saturday 17th November.  The show runs until Sunday 25th November.

MAG's Chair, Selina Lavender, stated "We are looking forward, as always, to attending this prestige event.  Do come along and visit us on Stand D06 in Hall 4.  You can have a chat, renew your membership, join up if you're not currently a member, and even set up a Direct Debit payment to ensure that your membership doesn't accidentally lapse.  
Our stand will be manned for the duration of the show by a rota of valuable volunteers, plus our political lobbying team will be in attendance: Lembit on Monday and Tuesday and Colin on Thursday and Friday."

The show will offer a wide range of things to see and do: check out the Motorcycle Live website for full details (https://www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/).
  • Adult ticket price is £19.50 in advance or £25.00 on the day (NO LOCK).
  • Seniors (65+) pay £12.00 in advance or £15.00 on the day.
  • Special offer: buy a ticket before 17/11/18 at full price (£25.00) to 
  • claim an Oxford HD Max Disc Lock (collect from Hall 2 C05).
  • Youngsters under 10 go free, 11-16's just £1.00.


Book in advance for a chance to win: get a golden ticket and win a prize.  You'll find your unique golden ticket link on the order confirmation page after you have purchased your event tickets.

Car parking will be £16.00 on the day so if you are driving, book in advance to save £6.00.
BIKE PARKING is FREE of charge.

MAG looks forward to meeting you soon!

10 November 2018

#ARSWOL



Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday. The actual day - 11th November.

With the Centenary of the ending of WW1 it might have been nice for football and TV to have set aside greed and not played any games on the 11th. But we know greed outweighs decency and respect.

And so we have a 4.30pm kick off at the Emirates against newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Fingers crossed for another win.

Update..

Played terribly. Another giveaway goal. Could have been well beaten but for keeper Leno




posted from Bloggeroid

8 November 2018

#ARSSPO

And back into the Europa League.

This time Arsenal entertain Sporting Lisbon in Matchday 4. This ought to be the most difficult of the emaining three matches. Winning tonight should see us through into the next round

Currently we top the group but can't afford any slip-ups.



Let's see how it goes?

Update

Ten points from 4 games now after a 0-0 draw with Sporting Club Portugal to five them their proper name.

Although Arsenal pressed to win the game, the final ball in the danger areas was generally poor. Sporting seeme dto have come for a draw.

The dowmside of it is that Danny Welbeck broke/damaged his ankle landing badly from a header attempt on goal and then later Stephan Lichsteiner pulled up with hamstring problem.




posted from Bloggeroid

7 November 2018

The Dualers

Back to Paradise

It's some time since we saw the fantastic Dualers in concert. Maybe it was at the same venue or at Skabour in Folkestone.

So I booked tickets for Mote Park in Maidstone.

Have sensible e-tickets on my phone.


posted from Bloggeroid

1 November 2018

#ARSLIV

And back to the Premier League.

The toughest test since the opening two games when we lost, narrowly in one game, to the teams currently in the top three of the Premier League.  This time against the team in 2nd! At least it is at home.

It's an evening kick off for television.  Who cares about the people that go to games? At least the Scousers will be able to get home after the game!


Update:

For the first time this season the Arsenal players started to play from the first whistle rather than let the opposition take the initiative.  It seemed to be working. The game would have been great to see for the neutrals watching on TV but it was more hard work for us in the Arsenal seats.

In the end a defensive error led to James Milner scoring for Liverpool. A cross was parried out by the keeper Leno and Milner took his opportunity to strike the ball low into the net.

Both sides had "goals" disallowed for offside in the first half and it ended 0-0.

In the second half I believe that Arsenal were the better side but not by much. Conceding first again doesn't help but in the end Lacazette equalised after tenaciously pressuring the keeper into a mistake, then doing a 360 turn to shoot into the goal.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2018/11/03/arsenal-vs-liverpool-premier-league-live-score-latest-updates/.

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