Friday, July 31, 2009

Damp Friday ... more ways than one .. the "pants" weather continues, and still a deafening silence at work - that's them "putting off the 'sack race' for a fourth week" in effect - despite the fact that the list of people "at risk/in the sh*t" has been there ALL THE TIME - and that same list is still there - we know that - they know we know that - they just can't get their *rses in gear - and they don't seem to have the guts to bite that bullet ... does wonders for the morale/pysche etc ( see earlier posts etc etc ) ...

Still it's Friday - and I find myself in a "free TV/DVD" situation (with Mrs Smiffy being away again). I've watched "Mossley Goes to Wembley" - a rough (!) copy of the Granada TV programme from 1980 - I'm now watching Droylsden v Stafford Rangers (Conference PlayOff from 2006) - luxury !!!!!!!

As you've probably gathered, the Mossley v Wigan Robin Park friendly was called off last night - a very sensible move given the absolute sh*te weather over the last last few days - and the "cut-up" quotient from Tuesday's wet game against Hyde. Don't want to knacker the pitch up before we even start. Ever noticed how all the Conference clubs play their pre-season friendlies away from home - except the "money spinners" ?? Whereas teams like Mossley play most of their pre-season games at home, because every game is a money spinner - because it's money - however little.

Football tomorrow - the choices have been many - but I think we're going for the Frickley Athletic v Belper option, because South Elmshall is "just" in the West Yorkshire Rail Rover Area - to go up to Dronfield to see Sheffield FC v Ilkeston was an extra six quid on the train ! Could have chose the Ashton derby up at Hurst Cross - but that would be me getting in Jez's way - and at Frickley I'm only getting in Snapper Tim's way (unless Frickley have a pixman too - and I can p*ss off both of them).

Just watch me wake up late and do Daisy Hill v Trafford ... just disappointed that the guys on the non-league snapper site couldn't get themselves together ref a "pre-season meet up" - I'd suggested a game for tomorrrow @ Corby (Midlands - no excuses for absence from North or South - I was up for it - trains arranged and everything) - then it all went quiet .... shame as there's a few of the guys I'd like to have a bit of a natter with.

(It's Stafford 1 Droylsden 1 at the moment - wait for the penalties !!!)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mossley v Hyde United - the pix

Well here they are - all the excuses were made last night - weather, light, more weather, less light - hey ho 'tis all good practice for when the real weather/light comes into play (with the summer we're having that's probably next bloody Tuesday !). Anyway try this lot for size ...

Mossley 3 Hyde United 1

News from work - well the latest in a long line of rumours - indicates a certain "trans-world telephone conference" this afternoon betwixt 'Our Glorious Leaders' in India and 'Our Glorious HR Department' in sunny (ha !) Cheadle Hulme. This will then give them time to "mail merge" the doom letters and parcel them up in time for a Saturday morning delivery (OK in Mossley it's nearer afternoon when Postman Pat deigns to turn up -I could well be on my way somewhere exotic in search of football by then - early ideas include either Sheffield FC or Frickley Athletic).

There's always tonight's lottery - and yes I have a ticket !!!

Mossley v Hyde United

...won 3-1 - afraid pix will have to wait until tomorrow night as I've been "tweaking" a certain "older" pic which is to be used in an advert for another club's 2009/10 programme (excuse my ego !!) - so time has run out tonight ... yes we are still in work (!) so ... sleep is still an option.

Not sure what Mossley were up against tonight - sure as hell wasn't a full-strength Hyde team (they've got a last minute option of a friendly tomorrow - Wednesday - against Bradford City) - still you can only beat what's in front of you ... and we were treated to a goal from Mossley keeper Collinge who cleared the ball ... and cleared the Hyde keeper too !! In true pre-season friendly weather - it chucked it down for pretty much the whole 90 minutes ... d'oh !

Going back to last night's rail rant - we had instant karma this morning when the train from Manchester Picc to Cheadle Hulme was cancelled - leaving me with a train to Stockport and a bus to work - b*st*rds !!

Back tomorrow then - please be patient - we were even treated to floodlights tonight - such was the weather/light etc ... which has made the pictures from tonight a bit more "tweakable" - yes I've chosen but ....

Mossley have also arranged a late late friendly on Thursday night at home against Wigan Robin Park - my attendance at same is very very doubtful ....

Monday, July 27, 2009

You were warned - let's have a "Rail Rant"

... loosely based around this story on the BBC site ..

ATOC - they forget to say that it's actually ATOC Limited - therefore a company looking to make a profit in their own right ...

"Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers said the report was "scathing about the way Labour has run the rail franchising system". Now then Theresa ... who privatised the railways in the first place ??? Once again the government in power has to pick up the pieces of John Major's "grand finale".

I'll continue to pull out the Mossley to Manchester = £2-50 yet Mossley to Huddersfield = £9+ argument - same distance, same time - the reason being two different passenger transport executives involved.

Franchises are a joke - they're too short for anyone to think about making any substantial investment - because they ain't gonna get the return (i.e. profit) in the limited time available. You think about how many different companies are involved in any rail trip ... not just the rail companies but the leasing companies (no-one owns any bloody rolling stock) - the maintenance companies (Alsthom etc) - the companies who run the stations (not necessarily the TOCs) - the perpetual outsourcing that goes on (cleaning, ticket checking - yes the semi-useless Group4 in the Manchester area). When a train is late - the amount of cross-charging that is going on has helped to create several layers of bureaucracy that must be a nightmare to keep track (no pun intended) of - and naturally when it all goes to sh*t we have Network Rail (who happily pay their bonuses for failure - because they continually "move the goalposts") begging for extra Government cash, we have National Express "copping out" of their franchise ... meanwhile the customers that have been "sucked in" have to cope with worse/more overcrowded conditions. I always remember First Trans-Pennine talking of huge increases in passenger numbers - I ain't seen any increase in rolling stock - apparently it now takes years to get a new carriage built (what ever happened to BREL York, Metro-Cammell etc - even the new trams on the (privatised) Manchester Metrolink are being built in Austria !). Never mind - there's always the North/South divide as well - we can find £15bn for the Crossrail initiative in London ... but the Manchester MetroLink "Big Bang" becomes a damp squib (never did sort that extension out for the Commonwealth Games did they - well it wasn't in London was it ?) ...

British Railways/British Rail may well have had many faults - but to try and pick faults and lay claim/blame in this maze of profit-making companies these days is one helluva job ! I will say that Mr Branson and Virgin have given it their best shot - but unfortunately no-one in Government seems to like Mr Branson do they (scared) ?? He came up with the goods regarding trains - he was let down by the infrastructure (viz Network Rail/Railtrack - whatever they change their name to in order to attempt to restart life with a "clean sheet"). They even turned down his offer to do the National Lottery in a non-profit sort of way, preferring to let Camelot rake in the profits. They just seem to prefer to let people like Mandelson - sorry Lord Mandelson - back into the fold - now there's a useful member of society eh what ??

Hope they've fixed the fault on those semi-useless ticker-tape machines (see previous post) - another example of wasted money - I'd rather have an extra carriage and a "real" person announcing times/delays rather than a computerised system that changes the next train arriving "on a whim" - a system that only tells you "it's late" when you have already gleaned that information from your watch .. never mind - make the stations nice - the actual trains suddenly become an afterthought ... rant over ....

In Between Games ....Monday @ 2015

.. some stuff from the baby-cam whilst on its travels .... it's good to see the local council are taking recycling seriously in Top Mossley .... emptying stuff on a regular basis and putting new skips to replace the full ones etc etc.

... and it's good to see the summer timetable is finally kicking in on the local railways - it's just a question of guesswork (cus there were no bloody announcements at 0700 this morning at Stalybridge !!!)

An early thing this ... there's time in my head for more tonight ... just got to think about it (for a change !!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One wet Sunday in July ....

...the great British summer continues apace - ha !!

A late start today - checked out the Ashton United pictures this morning - Jez has a new DSLR and is using the pre-season games to check out the machine, and the software as well - not a Canon - but JAlbum is the display method of choice - reminded me that I MUST get the update sometime soon - it'll go onto the laptop as the main pc is being "retired" up to small boys room - we'll see even less of him then !!! Here's a link to Jez's pix - certainly a good start (and he got something on the Ashton goal - unlike me !!)

"Robin's Robin-Eye View"

Sunday walk ? No chance ... so it was a ton of ironing and tidying before heading off to "Cineworld" on the Ashton Moss this afternoon to watch "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" - two and a half hours, and for the first time during the films, I'd have to use the phrase "loosely based on the book by JK Rowling", unlike the previous four films that were more faithful to the books. Still worth waiting for (and worth waiting the extra week before going - not too busy and the "popcorn crackling decibels" were quite low !!).

Hopefully the weather will improve this week - Tuesday sees Hyde United up at Seel Park - probably my lot for this midweek before attempting an "orgy of friendlies" the following week (yep - Mrs Smiffy away again !!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ashton United v Mossley

... lazy me ... here's the pix - and yes I missed the Ashton goal :-(

Aston United 1 Mossley 1

running off to see Mrs Smiffy in back room - she's been away for a while - you understand I hope ... maybe back later..

Sunday Morning ... apparently not !

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mossley Tonight ....

.... fans forum where the newly-formed commitee gave us the low-down on "what's coming" and "what's to do" - fairly genteel really to begin with - advertising the Fans "Open Day" on Sunday 2nd August (this used to be the "President's Lunch" - by invite only - now open to all) - unveiling new strip, Mossley Juniors "doing a bit" on the pitch (apparently !!!) - and many business peeps there as well - requests for assistance on matchdays (the "behind the scenes" stuff that sounds unimportant until it goes wrong - example given was "no bog roll in ref's cr*pper" (it was put over much nicer than that though !!!). New shirts will be available soon as well (£35). Steve then gave a run through on the commercial side - over six grand raised in the last month - a cracking start. Forms were handed out with reference to "do you know these local businesses", "any new ideas" and stuff like that - only young but the early ideas and enthusiasm are there, and like I said, some early successes. Joanne from Mossley Juniors posed the question of not just getting the young'uns in but getting the parents in too, and an idea came from the floor regarding setting up coaching sessions .. read the officical minutes when they arrive however ...

The question on most true fans minds was of course "What about the £21,000" mentioned in the earlier crisis meeting .. it was answered by "Finance John" - basically debts have been rearranged/rescheduled over a 10 month period to the satisfaction of the creditors ... and we've already done two months "on time no probs" ... so no liquidation (lose ground lease) and no administration (lose 10 points) - the new set-up is looking sound and already doing the business - but obviously the early momentum HAS to be maintained ...

And then ... "Quiz Night" - a Thursday out is a rarity for me anyway, but with Mrs Smiffy being somewhere near Caernarfon ... I stayed ... 'twas won by a team called "Tangerine Dream" I think (wonder if they've ever heard of Edgar Froese !!!). Think we got the bronze, but it was close throughout with bottom team on 51 and winners on 57. The "tight range" to me always indicates "good quiz" - well done Mr Smith (John not me) !!! All in all a good - and productive - night out (I was wondering about the Bangor City v FC Honka game however - they lost 1-0 at home - 3-00 on aggregate for those who want to know.). Just love the name FC Honka - hope they win the Europa Cup !!!!

Weekend ... ought to be Ashton United away - but might not be because of certain family matters which need sorting - we shall see what occurs ...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mossley v Flixton

... and a wet night indeed - such is the "great British summer" - a right royal "cock-up day" at work (with some fall-out still to sort out tomorrow !) was followed by an escape ... a couple of beers at Stalybridge - where I bumped into former Unibond ref Bryan Rudkin (ex-Belper sec now at Alfreton Town - on his way - with Helen - to their friendly at Curzon Ashton) before alighting at Mossley and dashing up the (wet) road to Seel Park.

Should have been Stockport County tonight - but what with their finance problems, the youth/academy sides have disappeared - so a re-arrangement against Flixton - and a very physical Flixton it was as well (number 5 = gobsh*te for starters).

The match began with a minutes silence for Corporal Joey Etchells - a Mossley lad killed in Afghanistan at the weekend - I myself may well be totally anti the war, but .. local boy who was at the same school at the same time as my middle lad - you have to give respect - apparently he loved his job - he just died doing it (something that we desk people will never get our heads around) - my condolences to family, fiancee Julie and their little girl - sad sad times.

The game - Mossley won 2-1 - comfy I thought, but could have extended themselves a bit more I felt. Still a win is a win, and I'm sure Chris and John Management would have said a few words - especially the defence in the first half which looked well shaky/uncoordinated !! Pictures at

Mossley 2 Flixton 1

Humming and Haa-ing about tomorrow night - Mrs Smiffy IS away so theoretically the world is my lobster - just that I can't find a decent "public transport friendly" option (she has the motor !) - Hollinwood v Chadderton is a "maybe".. on the 3G pitch ... we'll see - especially after today's "balls ups" @ the "Tower of Doom". Redundancies ?? Apparently (again only rumour - we've come to expect nowt concrete from the "couldn't run a bath" crew) we'll hear nowt this week - and so it drags on - great for the already zero morale .. it's almost as is they're willing us to fail/give up so they canjust close it down - not in the computer department Mr India - we'll work our balls off until the bitter end - we're a proper team who will give our level best to the users at ALL times - the failures in this company can never REPEAT NEVER be put down to our department.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Non-Football Tango Shock Horror !!

Daughter says, "Look at this new flavour of Tango" .... Daughter then says "Now cover most of the right-hand side of the can" (OK - I have took advantage of "photoshop clone" a bit but ...)

Ooooh - I'm sure Mr Britvic was totally unaware of this ...... !!!

(Now I've just been told that this was in the "Sun" - damn !)

PS - Still in work ....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ilkeston Town v Nottingham Forest

...could start on Friday night with a bit of ten-pin bowling - won by five-year old (although I DID quite literally throw the last end ... honest !). Saturday was a drive down to Belper, which due to time constraints turned into a drive to Derby, abandon car (leaving our Michelle to extricate it !) while I ran for (and missed) the "Ilkeston Flyer" - and then when I got to Ilkeston I took the wrong road out of town, ending up walking down Millership Way as the "Battle of Britain" flight rumbled overhead (reliably informed that the Lancaster now has a Shackleton undercarriage !) Down the canal - and by now too late to walk back up to the "Little Acorn" pub, so into the NMG, paying the "controversial" £9 to see Ilkeston Town take on a "youthful" Nottingham Forest side.

Apparently it finished 2-1 to Ilkeston - until I read the Non-League Paper tonight at about 1830, I was sure it was 3-1 - as it was, I only managed to "lose" one goal in the piccies (which I blame on "serious editing" whilst sat on a bus between Ilkeston and Derby yesterday evening !!!) .. anyway pictures ...

Ilkeston Town 2 NottsForest 1

Some others from the baby-cam - the Lancaster (honest), and a picture of the Ilkeston Town car park (special section !!) ...

Good to see some familiar faces as well - Nosmo, Sean, Phil, "Mi Owd" - after the game I was given a "whistle-stop" tour of some of the real ale "oases" of Ilkeston - the "Dew Drop In", the "Good Old Days" (which had a Millstone - viz MOSSLEY - beer on !) and the "Spanish Bar" before catching the Flyer back to Derby, and then back to Belper.

Today - a 9 miler around Grattan Dale and Elton which turned into a bit of a "swamp trek" at times - bad underfoot - with rain as well - and this in the middle of July (OK it did rain on St Swithin's Day - but who believes that stuff ?) - pictures ... another day maybe ... and home to this ...

What will tomorrow bring ? What will this week bring ? Yes the "Work" (or lack of ?) question from the "Tower of Doom" - the number 67 was mentioned on Friday ... that number is almost exactly 50% of the current number of full-time staff. Has anyone ever received an e-mail with one of these on the bottom - tee-hee - but there's plenty floating about our place at the moment - and it's showing the correct reading as well !

.. and football - Tuesday night at Mossley up to now ...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mossley v Bury

.. 5-0 - can't argue with that ! Some cracking goals - and naturally I missed a good 'un (viz number 2 by Danny) and a good run-out for the Lilywhites - some good performances from the "old school" and some impressive trialists ( I liked the one called "Coxie"). Nice to see new keeper Collinge as well - talked well (when they listened anyway !!). We even had a "dodgy liner" who didn't have his camera hidden in his flag !!!

You want pictures ? I got some ... at

Mossley 5 Bury 0

One grouch - 50p for the programme - Joe says "There's plenty of reading inside" - i.e. the "Mossley Word" i.e the "free thing" - so yes it was a folded A4 sheet when all said and done - maybe in 57 years on EBay - but not tonight. Must mention to John (ProgEd) that I've some stuff "up my sleeve" for this season - other than photographs that is ....

Saturday sees Mossley at home to Droylsden - Saturday sees me and Mrs Smiffy heading to Belper and M-I-L - Saturday sees Belper away at Armthorpe Welfare - hopefully (!) Saturday will see me watching Ilkeston Town v Nottingham Forest (and finding out more about the whole "Chek Whyte" situation down there).

Until then ... we @ work ("Tower of Doom") await the "Words of Doom" - assuming we get them on Friday - assuming another senior managerial "balls-up" doesn't drag it into next week -you never can tell at the "three ring circus" ...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Here we go again !!!

.... sorry folks it's back to that thing called "work" - and yes I did the "clustered server sync" - now I have 537 mail files on one server and 536 on t'other - I'll find the missing bugger tomorrow !! I reckon it's the closest thing to sync that we've had since .... ever .. OK since the early 90's when we had cc:mail - and I was the Administrator (oh for the days of command line admin - oh and don't get me onto Novell Netware 3.11 - happy days indeed !) ..

No it's the "announcement" thingy mentioned last night - what it should have said was "(Last) Friday's announcement, which was delayed until this Wednesday has now been delayed until later in the week - or possibly early next week"... says it all really. Just for interest, our parent company sent out what can only be described as an "Employee Satisfaction Survey" right in the middle of the last redundancy exercise (check out Feb 2009 posts for more info on "How I was Saved" etc etc). The other parts of the group (India, Singapore etc) posted scores of 60-65% - the UK arm figure was 19% - yes 19% - so the solution was to get rid of our "top brass" (with tasty 'compromise payoffs' no doubt) and install new people up top - and then continue with the almost total lack of communication that we had previously - we're getting phone calls etc from people who DON'T EVEN WORK FOR US who seem to know a damn sight more than we do - crazy but true ! Anyway "word on the street" is yet more redundancies - between 20 and 99 naturally ... we wait and see yet again ... OGL was on Indian telly on Monday - the interesting bit of the transcript is (sic naturally ..) ..

Q: Can you give any update can give on Simon Carves or is it most of the provisioning has been done on that one and have you taken any further steps to restructure that company?

A: We are reducing the workforce quite dramatically over there because we are not seeing future for the services business in UK at all and also based on past experience we felt it was more prudent to shift that capability to other locations in the world if we have to retain that. In any case their primary focus is petrochemicals and that sector of our space is pretty much fallen-off for the near-term at least so we are waiting on that. But in terms of restructuring there has been significant restructuring and we are pretty much provisioned for everything barring probably the USD 2–3 million in write down of the redundancy of people, etc.

(end of transcript)

Naturally, most of the "USD 2-3 million" will be to pay off the sacked top brass (some probably already used to pay off the previously sacked upper management) - once again the lower level "victims" will get next to f**k all - that's guaranteed.

Why do we (or some of us) bother "being good"/"being loyal"/"being efficient" - from the grabbing b*st*rds at our place, to the grabbing b*st*rds in "Banking/the City", to the grabbing b*st*rds in the House of Commons - and "nice bonus payment for failure" being the norm ... it's a fine argument for ineptitude/criminality ... isn't it ?

Maybe later - Stafford have lost 3-2 @ Worcester - no idea yet on the Stone Doms v Stalybridge Celtic game tho'

LATE UPDATE (2330) - apparently Stalybridge have lost 5-0 @ Stone Dominoes - no more details yet (can only assume Trudge up front and Captain Birdseye in the net) - and I nearly forgot ...... it was on the 15th July 1986 that I joined Simon Engineering as a trainee computer programmer ... yep 24 years tomorrow ....

LATER UPDATE (0015) - the 5-0 score was apparently a "wind-up" - Stalybridge celtic have actually beaten Stone Dominoes 4-0 ..


Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Fun ??

... if fun = being woken up at 0600 by the sounds of (excuse spelling) "glurgh glurgh glurgh glurgh" followed by "hughie" - yep the "geriatric feline" decorating the bedroom carpet ...

... if fun = learning some of the various switches available for the "compact" option in Lotus Notes thus helping to sort out Mr Yoon Heang Chong's corrupt mail file on our Singapore Server ...

... if fun = starting to get cocky with this e-mail palaver - and deciding to completely "zap" the clustered server tomorrow and recreate 500+ replicas from the main e-mail server - just to get the two bloody servers in sync for probably the first time ever ever ever ...

... if fun = finding out that there's gonna be "an announcement" @ work on Wednesday - and I'm sure it's not this year's pay rises ....

Number 2 was fun - Number 3 might be fun (fingers crossed that pearshaped.exe doesn't kick in !!!) - Number 1 was NOT fun -cleaning up feline vomit at "daft o'clock" whilst trying not to wake up Mrs Smiffy - Number 4 ... well there's always Mossley v Bury in the evening to take one's mind off "whatever" ..

Some nice fall-out from Saturday's pictures @ Kidsgrove - Liam @ Stafford has "had a fiddle about" and created these ...looking to set up some new "pen pic pix" for the Stafford website apparently - I like 'em - see what you think ...

Dorryl Proffitt

Chris Millar

Seem to recall Carl @ Droylsden doing something similar last season ... you could even sell them as postcards so the "young'uns" could get them autographed ??

Hyde have had a PSF against Oldham Athletic tonight - lost 2-0 but they're happy with the performance apparently - and an alleged crowd of about 700 can't do the coffers much harm either !

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Curzon Ashton v Glossop NE

... when Mrs Smiffy's away - make the most - so it was down to the Tameside Stadium for the 1100 kick-off today - on the FieldTurf pitch - twixt Curzon and Glossop NE. Last time I snapped Glossop was something a little grander - viz Wembley - but - the pitch is the same size so get on with it !!

Can't read too much into that game either - the FieldTurf pitch was bouncing a "bit high" today (although Harry G from Curzon did tell me they were awaiting a large delivery of the "rubber crumb" that goes on that kind of pitch - I remember this from Woodley a while back, where I've got some pix of said freshly laid crumb flying into the air as the ball is kicked)

From the Andrew Booth Benefit Game

But that was a while ago - you want to see today's stuff ... don't you ? Please say yes - cus you gonna get 'em anyway !

Curzon 0 GNE 0

Can't hang around too much here though - we have an Mrs Smiffy ETA of 1900 - so just over 90 minutes to make the place spick and span !!!

Midweek football ? There's plenty - but we need to negotiate naturally - Wednesday's Mossley v Bury should be favourite though ..

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kidsgrove Athletic v Stafford Rangers

Football's back ! An early start this morning - Mrs Smiffy had to be in Malvern for 0930, so I was "waker up/breakfast chef" @0630 ! A fairly straightforward train journey (Mossley - Stalybridge - Manchester Picc - Stoke - Kidsgrove saw me "ganning up the Hollinwood Road" at 1215. Not been to Kidsgrove for a few years (now they're in Unibond South) but remembered the route via canal etc. First important spot was this...

The Woodshutts - now shut ! Always handy for a decent beer when arriving by train (two minutes from the ground) - never mind, in honour of my visit KAFC had put on a Real Ale Festival in the club, and a fine effort it was as well (over the day I drank Acorn "Summer Pale", Ashover "Rainbows End", Blythe "Ridware Pale", Derventio "Emperors Whim", Lymstone "Stone Cutter", Salopian "Oracle" and White Horse "Village Idiot" - yes, ever the saddo, I've got the "ticks" on my programme !!) - and yes they had a Mossley brew there as well (Millstone "True Grit" - with an unusual "John Wayne" pumpclip !)

Football - got off to a bad start for Stafford when the keeper Evans went off in the first couple of minutes with a nasty facial injury - and after that there was only one team in it for the next 88 minutes ! Finished 5-1 to Kidsgrove - some of the higlights (lowlights ?) to be seen at


Home team looked better organised throughout - can't really say much more than that. Naturally with it being the first game for both sides (I think !), I wouldn't like to read too much into it - but there were some glum faces from Stafford around the ground.

A couple more beers after the game and home for 2000 (the time not the year - can't afford a Tardis on my wages !) ... and now this..

Tomorrow I'll probably give the Curzon Ashton v Glossop NE morning friendly a go - it's on the FieldTurf pitch (1100 kick-off), so the fact that it's chucking it down at the moment shouldn't make too much of a difference.

Got a couple of texts through the game - Mossley drew 3-3 at Dukinfield Town in the hastily arranged friendly this afternoon - apparently Danny Egan scored a peach. Next Wednesday Mossley entertain Bury - I'll have to see if I can get the "time off", what with Wednesday being a "non-normal footy day" !

Good to get back into the swing of things mind - although I wasn't expecting THAT result !

Friday, July 10, 2009

Late Late Friendly Option for Tomorrow ...

.... Dukinfield Town v Mossley - kick off 1500 @ Woodhams Park, Blocksages, Dukinfield -head for Duki Baths or the Snipe Inn ...

However my initial trip to Kidsgrove stays - train ticket bought before I found out about this !

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thursday 3 - A "Mali Music Week"

(some of the ironing now done !!)

Yes a "Mali Music Week" ... and not a "Marley Music Week" as my boss incorrectly went for (we already had plenty of Bob's product !). No - through the magic of loyalty cards, sales and belated birthday pressies we've had three new CDs through the letter box this week.

The Nectar Card (not used very much @ Chez Smiffy - BP @ Stalybridge and Sainsburys Manchester Piccadilly Station mostly) had earned enough points for me to go for the new Tinariwen CD "Imidiwan" - the HMV sale saw Amadou & Mariam's "Dimanche a Bamako" up for grabs under a fiver, post free - and Michelle got a copy of the Rokia Traore album "Tchamantche" (which I've yet to hear).

Tinariwen .. we love 'em - got all the albums - seen at the Bridgewater Hall a year or so ago, and saw a few of 'em with Tunng @ the Academy this year - excellent "roll and roll" music. I've listened to "Welcome to Mali" on Spotify, but the Amadou & Mariam album is an older one, produced by another favourite artist at Chez Smiffy viz Manu Chao (of "Clandestino" fame). A & M were live at the Manchester International Festival this very week (sold out ages ago mind) and - bitch mode on - I bet the audience got far more value for money than the mugs who watched Oasis @ Heaton Park a few weeks ago - bitch mode off. There's a cracking track on the album called "La Realite" - bitch mode on - maybe Noel should get real and put brain in gear before engaging oversized gob - bitch mode off.

I look forward to listening to the Rokia Traore album - but our Michelle has secreted it upstairs in her bedroom !

Weekend approaches - and with Mrs Smiffy being away, the plan is a trip to Kidsgrove on Saturday to see their friendly against Stafford Rangers. Yes I know Mossley are "down there" on August 8th, but that very day is a family 60th birthday in the Belper area ... and Belper are at home to Worksop Town that day so that's probably my best hope. With Stafford having escaped administration (unlike Farsley Celtic - see another "minus 10" team) it should be a relaxing day out - but I've not checked the weather yet ! Furthermore, there's a Curzon Ashton v Glossop NE friendly on Sunday morning @ 1100 on their "FieldTurf" pitch - watching through the "net fencing" a distinct possibility !!

Thursday 2 - Noel Gallagher Makes a T*t of himself ...

... onstage at Coventry slagging off Michael Jackson ...

how to talk through one's a*se

Wonder who Noel Gallagher thinks he is ? A p*ss poor "Tune Thief" ?? When you hear a Michael Jackson tune you think "Michael Jackson" (with some Quincy Jones of course) - when you hear an Oasis offering you think "Which Beatles song have they nicked that from ?"

How to make friends and influence people - prat ...... may Wembley roundly boo him tonight - and sort them bloody eyebrows out ...

Next housey job - some ironing ...

Thursday 1 - "House of Flying Dabbers"

... and for those football fans amongst us, I'm NOT talking of the "Nantwich Town Flying Trip" - ho ho ho ...

No the play at the Royal Exchange last night - "Everbody Loves a Winner" was a belter - very funny and very sad at the same time.

As usual, a cracking set at the Royal Exchange ..

Set in a "seedy" Bingo Hall, it showed us all the meaning of hope and hopelessness - "just one more number" - "maybe, just maybe" - "what will you do with the winnings" - and stuff like that ... and we got to play as well !! After a "test run" in part one, they offered us the audience 50p strips to win a £200 "full house" (and a fiver one line and £20 two lines beforehand).

Me - not even close (full house went after 48 numbers called by the way) !!

Bingo - "It's just like life" - that was the phrase of the night ... and after having seen a few "highbrow/up their own a*se" type offerings on our last few visits, it made a refreshing change - OK I didn't finish work till six (that lightning strike caused more trouble than we thought) and thence a mad dash into Manc (yep train late from Cheadle Hulme !) for some "nibblies" @ Tampopo .. but it all helped with the "calm down" stuff.

Tonight - another late one, coming home to an empty house - hence get this one up quick - a bit of a "house tidy" to follow - and I'll be back later with "Thursday 2 - Something Else" !!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Work Stops Play ...

...well mostly - when the e-mail server goes "pop" shortly after a big flash of lightning and a big crack of thunder at approx 1655 .. you think "bugger" - although the weather was seriously putting me off any form of football tonight anyway (I recall last season's first friendly @ Woodley - it hammered it down and I left early). Then when some dozy git turns up with a printing problem - allegedly (further investigation found that "said report" worked fine last month .. but someone (viz dozy git) "made some design changes" - naturally without testing said changes - before the urgent/desperate/ effort tonight). Always thought that was why Computer Departments existed - to keep the "enthusiastic amateurs" out of the bloody picture. Not at our place though - so many times I get the "Can you sort this ?" .. this being something that someone outside the department has "written" .. often something that someone "wrote" before buggering off elsewhere for an extra quid an hour and leaving said department in the mire .... and me with extra work ...

OK I got to watch part 2 of the new Torchwood five-parter (pentogy ??) - gonna miss tomorrow (I-Player later ?) as we're off to the Royal Exchange Theatre to see "Everybody Loves a Winner" - and I believe we get to play a real Bingo game in part two !!!

Some good (football) news from Stafford Rangers though...

... fingers crossed for the many others "in the sh*t" ...

Monday, July 06, 2009

At Last - a Real Rail Rant !!!

..since it all went pear-shaped at work, I've taken to catching the "first train outta town" viz 0654 - and with holidays etc over the last couple of weeks, it's been five days a week. Today - train a couple of minutes late when it pulled into Mossley - another minute or so before the doors opened. On arrival in Stalybridge - same - the doors did not open immediately - and someone grumbled .....

Why didn't the doors open immediately ?? Because the conductor was checking tickets - or rather selling tickets to people who were on the train without tickets. I explained same to the "grumbler" - probably because on many days the conductor doesn't bother to check - maybe until the 15 minutes twixt Ashton and Manchester... point being people are on trains without tickets - I'm sure some of them arrived too late at the station to buy one - but I'll guarantee that a good percentage are actually FARE DODGERS - so if the doors don't open in time .. I don't care - and of course the conductor gets his 2.5% commission on every ticket he/she sells (used to be 5% - but strangely cut in half ...).

Have also noticed some of the well-known fare dodgers from Stalybridge/Mossley who go into Manchester Piccadilly have discovered that - if you catch the earlier trains - you can arrive at Manchester Picc before 0730 - i.e. before the semi-useless Group 4 Security ticket checkers come on shift (viz 0730). I've plenty of other tips for the fare dodgers of this world - because I've seen 'em all. My option would be .. not throwing them off the train - more throwing under a train coming in the opposite direction. When you see some of these cocky b*st*rds actually getting "caught" (when the guard starts at the front of the train for example), they attempt to look as though they're in the right / hard done by ????? I live for the day when GMPTE attempt to do something like London Transport - barriers/cctv on every station - in fact NO-ONE should even be able to get on a platform without a valid ticket .... bring on the Manc Oyster Card ....

.... and then I can stop having to subsidise these crooks - on Stalybridge Station recently, they had a "splurge" - and the poster went up saying that 23 people were taken to court - unfortunately it just said "23 people", rather than naming and shaming - photos would have been good as well.

Whoever came up with the "open station" policy should be shot - let's save money on staff ? let's lose money on tickets ? let's waste money on outsourcing ticket checking to people who don't give a monkeys (that's you G4) ?
Privatisation ? total joke ... anyone wanna buy the East Coast franchise .. formally run by a bloody bus company ..

Oh and while in rail rant mode - to all those cocky cockneys who want to take away the "right to strike" from the London Underground staff - maybe you should all move up here where we have Fascist MEPs - maybe you'd feel more at home ... unfortunately - unlike Ferroviaria Mussolini - our trains tend not to run on time - unlike London Underground - be thankful for your system - we'd kill for something like that up here - and we'd probably support the workers, because if you're considered "essential" - it's nice to get the financial recompense as well (and that goes for nurses, police, firefighters to name but a few - unlike financial consultants, bankers, and other similarly overpaid/semi-useless members of society - they're probably the southern equivalent of fare dodgers as well, if they can find a way around the Oyster Card - either that or they claim it all on expenses !!).

Made it through today at "work alone" anyway - but could still do with some ideas behind one weird problem with a Lotus Notes database (custom-built by some bugger else !)

But hey ...... football tomorrow !!!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

.. some pictures from today - but get the "rail rant" in first ... Stalybridge to Huddersfield Day Return - £9-10 ... Stalybridge to Manchester Day Return - £2-60 ... similar travel times, similar mileages - just some strange privatisation rip-off involving John Major and Standedge Tunnel ... oh and the Canal is not signposted when you exit Huddersfield Railway Station - found it in the end mind, and wandered down as far as Marsden before the lure of the "Tunnel End" pub was too great - and then ... train back to Mossley !! Still we'd done the bit of the canal we'd never done before - and very good it was too. Home = patio culture for a while - watched a bit of Wimbledon on the Beeb web site (next door had in on telly - now I know that the "live feed" on the website is some 10-15 seconds behind - therefore "not live" - so do you need a TV Licence to watch it ?? Anyway .. snaps ..

Wild raspberries on the canal

Canal boat on the canal

Approaching Slaithwhaite - can recommend the cake at the "Vanilla Bean" Cafe !!

Looking down on Standedge Tunnel - while heading to to pub !

Heading back to the Railway Station ...

Tomorrow at work should be fun - not only is Johnny still on hols, Rick has been "sent to London" to sort out OGL's perceived internet problems - leaving me ... alone ... AAARGH !!! Three months ago ... 9 of us ... tomorrow ... just the one ..... (if you don't know what OGL stands for - ask around !!!)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Greenfield CC v Friarmere CC

... but first you have to sit through the events of Friday night ... after a hard week at the "Tower of Doom" .. it's time to relax. A barbie therefore was the choice of meal (although having seen the weather Friday lunch/afternoon it was looking a bit iffy !). Light up the two barbies (now our Michelle is "back home" it's a barbie requirement of 1 meatie and 1 non-meatie !) and prepare the food (OK extract most from the fridge, but the courgette was "tweaked with" !).

Now .. a small point from 168 hours ago - whilst camping in the Dales up Howgill way, we had a barbie up there. We looked for the cooking oil .. and found two containers, one with cooking oil and one with washing up liquid. A quick sniff ensured the right stuff went onto the barbie food. Now - onto last night - I'm twiddling with the barbies, getting the food and .. I am presented with the oil. All you carnivores know damn well that you don't need too much oil on lumps of dead animal, but it helps a bit on the veg ... roll on to all cooked time ... peeps start to eat .. and then our Michelle dashes over to check the cooking oil .... OK you can guess the rest ..... !!! Fortunately there was plenty more of the veg options ... and plenty of real live cooking oil as well .. so all was not lost (no probs with my kebabs and burgers mind !!!)

Saturday morning ... no-one dead, no-one foaming at the mouth - Michelle to Basingstoke to see mates, me and Mrs Smiffy chasing Chinese Pancakes down at Wing Fat (it's a school thing !), me then for haircut and then - after checking the website - it was off to Greenfield to see some cricket. Unfortunately Greenfield CC has no real ale (unlike Saddleworth CC) - but hey ... it's the cricket is it not ??!!??

If you've got this far, you deserve some pictures ....

(although (@ 2054) jalbum appears to be "on an outage" or summat !)

Left about 1815 and dropped into the "Railway" in Greenfield - only to bump into a former Simon Carves employee (aaaargh - trying to get my mind free of that damned place for 48 hours - FAIL !) and several of the "Stalybridge Buffet Bar Crew" - all of whom had been doing the "Trans-Pennine Ale Trail" (check out - but it doesn't mention the "Railway" @ Greenfield .. and it should !).

1851 train home ... relax .. no fairy liquid in the tea (I hope not - but I've not had it yet !) ....
tomorrow's plan - train to Huddersfield and walk back down the Huddersfield Canal to Mossley - if the weather is poo - or we get bored (!) - there are naturally stations (and pubs - tee hee !) at Slaithwaite, Marsden and Greenfield - fingers crossed for the weather ...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Lazy Summer Thursday ....

.... sat outside on the patio (in the back yard if you like !) - isn't wireless wonderful !! Should be talking football what with all the FA Cup/FA Trophy "early round" draws out yesterday (see for the full stuff). Mossley away @ Cammell Laird in the FA Cup Prelim on 29th August (played 'em there in the Trophy in November 2006 - got beat 2-1 ... try here ). Curzon have a nice draw if they beat Lancaster City at home ... they'll play Ashton United in the 1st Qualifying Round !

The FA Trophy sees Mossley at home to Bedworth United ("Beduff" if you like) with a tempting trip down to Spalding Town (and Rodney's hat !) in the 1st Qualifying. Curzon get Brigg in the Prelim with a home tie against Burscough (Kilheeney still there ?) on offer in 1st Qual - Ashton United come in at 1st Qual level with the "plum home draw" against FC United of Manchester (who incidentally have a PSF this Saturday against Maine Road !)

But if you're looking for an interesting early PSF - how about Sheffield FC v Ferencvaros of Hungary next Monday ??

Blue Square fixtures are out tomorrow as well .... it's coming - slowly but surely ....

Looking back locally though - I feel Mossley have scored a spectacular early season "own goal" with the cancellation of the Mossley Juniors Tournament on Sunday 23rd August - reason being "we've spent money on the pitch - we don't want to knacker it up".... having spent a good few months "wooing" the Juniors back into the fold and making it more inclusive ... then this happens. OK there are pros and cons both ways - had they wanted the tourney in the midst of winter - fair do's ... but a Sunday in August ??? It's a football pitch - to play football on for Frith's sake ! Hopefully this will not cause too many ructions in the "new found love affair" - but my sympathies at this moment in time would certainly be with the Juniors. No one can deny that they've had a rough deal from Mossley AFC in the past - it was to be hoped that the new set up would help to smooth things over ... let's hope it's just one of those "lover's tiffs" you get in any relationship ..

Work still poo by the way .... and the summer timetable is starting to "kick in" viz late trains/overcrowded trains ad nauseam ... we hope for more controversial train stuff (with pics of course !).