Monday, June 25, 2007

Shrek the Third well worth it. Following an abortive walk early doors, went yesterday afternoon with Mrs Smiffy - with no children. I reckon we were the only people over the age of 30 with no kids in tow (I had the smart-ass one-liner ready viz "Sh*t !!!!! we left the kids at home !!!")

Joke and siuation-wise, it was far too good for 90% of the audience yesterday (i.e. the under-10s - OK and probably some of the over-30s). Cracking soundtrack - as Captain Hook and the witches and the baddies dive-bombed Far-Far-Away ....."Joker and the Thief" by Wolfmother kicked in !! It was pointless me telling anyone...other good toons included Led Zeppelin ("Immigrant Song") and Damien Rice ("9 wotsits").

A film that comes recommended - try to go for a late showing that's not full of under-10s who are keeping up the "childhood obesity" thing thanks to the ludicrous sized popcorn boxes - and soft parenting - should do it the same way we did it - i.e. leave the buggers at home....well they are 14, 19 and 21 !!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A New Toy ...

...arrived at "Smiffy Towers" on Friday courtesy of the fine vendors at eBay - a new lens for the camera. I wanted something betweeen the 19-35 and the 70-300 lenses - so went for a 28-105. Unfortunately the F3.5-4.5 was slightly "above budget" so plonked for t'other one (F4-5.6 - half the price !).

And then - got one on eBay for just £55 - about half the RRP - or a week's ciggie money in old currency - so it feels like a bargain to me. I had a play with it last night ..
....must clean our kitchen window on the inside ....
Mossley's answer to Parc Guell in Barcelona - our garden wall....
..a "succulent" apparently !!

Oddballs from This Week ...

...courtesy of "baby camera"..

Cheadle Hulme awaits - maybe a quality butty at lunch-time for me !!

Brother-in-law David enters the "Steve Burr Lookalike Competition" in Belper last Saturday.

Painters are in at Stalybridge Buffet Bar - so the memorabilia comes down ....

A special beer at the Buffet this week from Millstone Brewery of Mossley - RIP Eric.

A rare sight on Stockport Station - the arrival of the "ghost train" is announced....

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Full "New Mossley Manager Binge"

Wide awake now !! Could put them on photobucket - but sod it - here's the pix you won't see in the "Tameside Reporter" or the "Oldham Chronicle"...

Better than the one I put on last night !!

New Boss with "new board" - I bet they all use Daz for those "difficult stains" !!
"Posy pic" number 1 - Gerry Quinn or Bobby Robson ?
"Posy Pic" number 2 - "My first wage slip"
"Posy Pic" number 3 - "Did I really sign that ??"
All comments totally tongue in cheek of course - last night there was a real buzz at the Quiz Night - it all bodes well for the new season - comfort and confidence off the pitch can only help to inspire on the pitch !!

Sorry Guys/Gals - too bloody tired ...

For Mossley manager Gerry Quinn last night (I just HAVE to make sure I beat the pros from Reporter & Oldham Chron) - somehow ...I have more pix from tonight - but please live with it - I'm knackered .....I give you Gerry Quinn...
P.S. our quiz team came 2nd ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Seel Park - 19th June 2007

The work parties start at 1830 - not even home most nights - managed to get up a touch later, to see the guys "just finishing" (apart from Derek Howard who they all left to carry on !!).

Some pictures ...

..and yeah - I'm probably trying to make a point down two to go ....

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Brief update - Fathers Day and all that ...

Saturday saw party at Belper to cover several birthdays (including daughter's 21st) - spent most of the afternoon burning meat and veggy kebabs.

Sunday - lazy day - drove home - watched Superman 2 on telly - finished off all beer in house.

Presents - oh yes - two packets of Jelly Babies (long gone) - a "Gigsworth" of CompactFlash card for the "beast" - and (listening to it now) the new Turisas album "The Varangian Way".

No beer - work beckons .....

(That was worth waiting for wasn't it ?!?!?)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's been Lonely since last August.....

But not now - ha ha ha...well I ran out of ideas basically for the "wristy" website - but here's one that should have made it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Download 2007 - the Review - for starters anyway..

It’s short and it’s sweet – but it comes out before Kerrang ! This is what I saw/heard/missed …


Turbonegro – didn’t quite make it to see them following a slight problem with the breakfast/lunch menu (that’s the first and last time I try AfterShock – drugged by my son’s mates – dreadful !).

Dragonforce – One of my highlights – completely ruined by godawful sound. I tried all sorts of postions in relation to the stage – but it just didn’t happen – was extremely hacked off.

Wolfmother – on straight after Dragonforce – and the sound was perfect ! Excellent set as well – tight and efficient (their Manchester Apollo gig this year stood out for me and daughter as well).

Velvet Revolver – Very very good indeed – stuff from new album “Libertad” went down well. (COVER WARNING – “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads).

Hayseed Dixie – Sorry My Chem fans, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a review (believe they
were bottled, but played through it - big up to them) – I went for a hoe-down instead and had a grand time. (COVER WARNING – Lots actually !!!)


Turisas – Marvellous marvellous – worth getting up early for – the instigators of “Battle Metal” – or so they told us (COVER WARNING – “Rasputin” – Boney M).

HELLYEAH – Hell no !!

Shadows Fall – they’re on the list – but nothing stood out really.

Only heard from afar – Bowling for Soup (COVER WARNING – “I Wanna be Sedated” – Ramones).

Machine Head – sorry guys, left me completely cold – what’s with this “shouty voice” stuff ?

Slayer – Once you get used to the strange time signatures ….. and not as “shouty” as Machine Head either.

Lez Zeppelin – Very good – very faithful to the “real thing” (COVER WARNING – All of ‘em!!).

Marilyn Manson – Enjoyed it very much – once you get behind the posturing/make-up etc – you find some good heavy music.

Motley Crue – A right shambolic set - some good bits, some awful bits – guess that’s exactly what I should have expected….

Linkin Park - Caught the last couple of tracks – sounded OK.


LostAlone – The local band (from Derby anyways) – destined for bigger and better things.

Papa Roach – Another pleasant surprise – good set – they still have something to offer rock’n’roll.

Devil Driver – Good musically – but oh that “shouty voice”.

Lamb of God – Good musically – but again that “shouty voice” - why ?? Best remembered - by me - for the Spitfire/Hurricane flypast during their set !

Stone Sour – Pleasantly surprised here – a very good set with better-balanced vocal than I was expecting – i.e not too much of a “shouty voice” ! (believe they covered a Slipknot song – but that’s allowed !). They had a flock of geese soaring gracefully across the top of the stage during their set.

Within Temptation – Some problems (sound ? gear ?) meant a much-reduced set (probably not even 20 minutes) – but a great 20 minutes – sat behind the desk – couldn’t see a thing – but the sound was awesome.

Dimmu Borgir – Another find for me – very black, very heavy, very good – to be looked into ….

Dream Theater – Strange brew here - mostly heavy then throwing the odd jazz piano – jury still out !

Iron Maiden – Wallowed a bit (nostalgia trip ??) but hey – did what they do best – and did it well

Top 3 Bands of the Weekend ?? Wolfmother, Velvet Revolver Turisas – there were plenty of equal fourths though !!

As with most festivals – for me anyway – Scandinavia always seems to help to save the day/weekend – over the years we’ve had Turbonegro @ Leeds, Soundtrack of our Lives @ Leeds, Hives @ Leeds. This year two of ‘em.

My problem this year (and the last few years @ Download and Leeds) is the “shouty voice” – there’s some great musicians out there, but for me, it’s ruined by this style of singing voice – the only one’s that can do it properly are the Scandinavians !! A Yank or a Limey – just not right – and I’m sure it’s not only me who thinks that this type of voice detracts from the music. Ozzy never needed it – Zippy from Dragonforce doesn’t need it (he just needs a decent sound engineer/sound system !!). It’s not nice – it’s not big – and it’s not clever. For me it’s good bands out there needing decent vocalists.

Photos to follow (remember tis only Baby Camera - I'm a law-abiding citizen !!) at:

Really hacks me off though - I've no intention of making any money out of pix - pix for the people and all that stuff - I certainly missed the "EOS beast" over the weekend...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Download Beckons !

Hey Ho let’s go !! Off to Castle Donington after work today for a weekend of ear-bashing at Download. The butler and maid were dispatched in the Rolls this morning to erect my marquee and chill the champers (OK son and daughter went down – in our car !! – to put up the tents and organise the 24-packs – I arrive in dirty student style via train and shuttle bus !!).

For me, Friday is probably the best day, with Turbonegro, Dragonforce, Wolfmother and finishing off with Hayseed Dixie. Within Temptation and Iron Maiden (Sunday) and Motley Crue (Saturday) will not be missed either – otherwise I shall spend a while wandering round checking out some - to me anyway - new stuff (Turisas have been recommended and Dimmu Borgir sound “interesting”)

Won’t be taking the “big camera” – apparently it’s against regulations – I really need to wangle some press accreditation from somewhere. So it’s a weekend of Fuji Finepix, for better for worse.

So – nowt till Monday – take the weekend off !!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Busy Weekend 3 - Long Sunday Walk

Out of front door - turn left - to Scout Green - over to Heyheads - through to Buckton Vale/Castle Clough - onto Roman Road - over to Dove Stone Reservoir (tea/pop/ice cream stop) - across dam - through Binn Green Car Park - over to "Pots'n'Pans" monument - along the ridge - down to the "Church" at Uppermill (beer stop -whoo-hoo !) - down onto bridle path through Uppermill - arrived Greenfield - onto canal towpath - back to Mossley. Mileage - haven't a clue (couldn't be *rsed with GPS !). Got home just before the rain - took a few - nowt special mind so ...try to imagine the whole thing - oh go on then ..
Looking back towards Mossley on the Roman Road....
Boaty things on Dove Stone Reservoir..
Planty things outside the "Church" @ Uppermill...

Busy Weekend 2 - Andrew Booth Benefit @ Woodley Sports

I'd heard about this via the Woodley Sports Message Board - Andy Booth, a former Stockport Georgians player, had died suddenly whilst on holiday in Spain - aged 27 years old..... Offerton Green (Andy's Sunday side) were therefore trying to organise "stuff" to help out - they were hoping to set up a trust fund for his young son Jake - and one of the events was a football do at Woodley Sports last Saturday. It's football Smiffy - let's go - and contribute to a good cause as well.

A glorious day - and as I walked through the turnstiles - donating of course - I saw something that you don't often see at Lambeth Grove - namely a crowd ! I'm not being nasty here of course, but if you've been there for Unibond games when the attendance didn't "quite" reach three figures, you'll know what I mean. Huge amounts of traffic meant my trusty 330 bus from Ashton took nearer 40 minutes rather than the advertised 27 - so I turned up later than I'd hoped. I snatched a quick pint (not enough bar staff - not used to it see !) and cames outside in time for the "One Minutes Applause" by all the teams and officials involved.

After that - I just took some pictures - I have no idea which teams were involved - I was unable to keep track of the "Round Robin" results - and I've no idea which team won - especially as the "final" finished 1-1 and there was no extra time or pens (I heard a vicious rumour that the ref said "Give it to the Greens" - QED !!

Here's a couple or more of viciously reduced pictures from the day - the good (i.e. full-size) ones are residing on a CD somewhere between a chap involved with Stockport Georgians (who happens to share the same workplace as me in Cheadle Hulme) and the organisers - if they can make any money out of them - good luck to 'em.

I know what some of you might be thinking - you are WRONG ! This guy for me was one of the "Players of the Day" - great vision, calm under pressure at the back and a sweet left foot - went by the name/moniker of "Asa" - and if that refers to Asa Hartford - they're not far wrong.

See the "rubber crumb" fly up from the 3G "Field Turf" surface...

Part of possibly my best pic of the day (?) - the ball was blurred in the uncropped original mind !!

Picture taken during a "lost ball" moment - "spiritus footballus !!"

Let's hope that lots of cash was raised for Andy's family and dependents - I'm sure everyone who turned up/played/drank beer had a grand afternoon out - I did.

Busy Weekend 1 - Whit Friday

Once upon a time I found it possible to enjoy a Whit Friday from early doors until very very last doors - the thrill of the chase in the morning to find an open pub at 0830 (in the days before all-day opening) - dressing up the kids in their bestest clothes (and if they were lucky people might give them money !). Watching the Churches and some of the bands march through Mossley. Repairing back to the pub for the afternoon, before the band contests started early evening.

While this belief continues for many, for others it's just a glorified p*ss-up involving many who are incapable of holding their drink. In fact a few years ago in Mossley all the pubs closed for a three-hour "cooling off" period in the afternoon.

Now the kids are old enough, I've no real need to take the day off - so this year was, I make it the third time in the 23 years I've lived here that I went to work on Whit Friday.

Went out in the evening mind - a lovely day - so it heading towards the New Bridge Inn (the Bottom Mossley Band Contest venue), before veering off down the canal towpath towards Freizland (not too far, but "over the border" in Oldham !). The trestle-table bar contained three different Millstone Brewery offerings on handpump - can't complain ! We then wandered further up the canal before trying a quick one in the "Railway" @ Greenfield (and checking on the England score !) before going down to the Greenfield Village venue, followed by some Black Sheep Bitter in the "Clarence" and a gentle walk home.

Took some pictures - of course..