There are in fact still two days to go to the end of September, but already it’s clear from the graph that with a result of 139 km for September so far I’ve beaten the January result of 135 km and won’t manage to beat the March record (the record month for this year – and of all time – although that only means since May 2011 when I got the pedometer) of 170 km. I prefer to save attempting that one for October – we’ll see how that goes. There were three better months in 2011 or between 150 and 165 km, so that makes this month the 5th best.
The graph comes from http://www.silvaconnect.se , which is the on-line tool for holding and displaying stats of the users of the Silvaconnect pedometers. The highest ones in their range have the possibility to synchronise via a computer to this website, and it’s a facility I greatly appreciate. One can also pit one’s performance against friends using the same pedometer.
The graph shows pretty clearly what happened to me in the summer – the months of July and August were my months of being ill. At the start, when I was already ill but maybe just bronchitis rather than full blown pneumonia, I was still walking, and so the first ten days of July had some walking, but much less than normal. The same for the last week of August.
As I was hoping, the level of health to which you get back after recovering from an illness is higher than the level achieved before, and so the result for September is higher than that for April or May or June. I’m hoping that I’ll beat all the records to date, in other words beat 170 and get past that white line you see on the graph which was supposed to be my target for average monthly performance this year, not record performance, but I’ll hold that target over for next year.
Here’s a sneak preview of what the Huliganov.tv pens look like, five of which are going to be given away in the contributors’ competition which still lasts another twenty five days. I hope these pictures whet your appetites to add more comments and to to links into this service!
So now finally, the inevitable has happened. The long-awaited competition jointly hosted by Poland and the Ukraine has come to an end, the teams and fans and the organisers have all gone home, that is those who weren’t home in the first place.
What conclusions can we draw from this competition? For each of us no doubt the conclusions will be unique and personal, but some of the ones I have reached are as follows:
1. England has in fact got a very good football team, however we do need for them to learn a few games other than football, especially the one involving the goalkeeper simply trying to save a ball which somebody’s kicking into the net from point blank range. It would appear impossible to win a football tournament without knowing the other game also. It seems tantamount to having a chess competition in which one grandmaster, unable to do more than stalemate the other grandmaster, suggests a game of draughts in order to decide the competition.
2. The organisations which are responsible for arranging these competitions have turned into huge molochs whose every whim must be obeyed even by the state servants who are paid out of everybody’s taxes, and also by elected politicians. People seem so desperate for their cities to be hosts to these huge competition is that normal democratic considerations – as in does anybody actually want this – are swept aside, and the people of the place put to amazing inconvenience in order to be able to host these events. Nobody seems to be in a position to present a business plan that shows whether a place is likely to be better or worse off for hosting an event. Also UEFA were able to stop people filming in public places as well as block routes to and from work for people.
3. The conception of Poland in the Western part of the EU wasn’t necessarily helped by being twinned-up with a CIS nation in order to run the show. The Ukraine got to host 17 of the 33 matches, a slight majority, as they had the final in Kiev, or Kyiv as they insisted on spelling it on the boardings around the pitch, like we didn’t already have a perfectly serviceable word for the place in English. There was no difference in quality of broadcasting and filming at all in the various game locations, and the camera work and cutting were of the highest quality I’ve ever seen. However, Poland played host to thirteen of the sixteen teams. One of the three teams in the Ukraine was of course the Ukraine itself as indeed one of the teams to choose Poland was Poland itself, so effectively Poland quartered 12/14 of the visiting teams and 5/7 of the visiting teams whose matches were played in the first part all in the Ukraine. This included England of course, who were based in Nowa Huta, an unlikely destination as that place has Stalin nostalgist tours running to it out of Krakow to show what communism used to look like. The destinations chosen by visting teams really seem to have done their utmost to welcome them and whole towns in Poland have been decked out in colours of such countries as Greece, Portugal or Italy. The hotels where the teams stayed have been inundated with post-tournament accommodation requests, with holidaymakers willing to pay top zloty to be in the room where their favorite football star stayed for the tournament.
4. Mr Platini who is the UEFA top brass had a lot of praise for Poland and said that this tournament had set the standard that everyone from now on would have to measure up to. He had great praise for the hospitality in Poland. He called the Ukrainian hoteliers “crooks and robbers” for upping their prices during the tournament, which seems to be a fine case of double standards seeing how official merchandise from his own UEFA is much more expensive than unbranded merchandise of the same quality. Ecuadorian Radio Sports Commentator Alan Heath went on record saying how he was glad to see that a man like Platini, making several millions of EURO, could still find the time to criticize ordinary men and women who were trying hard to scrape together an existence.
5. Platini has also caused controversy since the tournament by suggesting that instead of countries winning and then appointing cities, individual cities, 12 or 13 of them from around Europe, will each bid to host some matches. The potential for bribery and corruption given that way of doing this will escalate tremendously, and so my congratulations go to Mr Platini’s personal advisers for dreaming up that one for their client. That’s real thinking outside the box.
6. It seems that if you want a road built in Poland, you need to wait for twenty years waiting for it and driving on overcrowded back roads with your life in your hands, and then when a football tournament comes along suddenly it will all magically be finished on schedule.
7. Polish people really care about whether they look good in the eyes of people from other countries. The Ukrainians were much less worried about that and just expected people to take them as they found them.
8. The police in this country are quite clever and capable of handling a situation with balance and without undue provocation, while putting the right amount of resource on the street.
9. International media are only interested in stories about yobbery and violence among fans, and immediately put out with relish the few such scenes that occured in Poland. They had very little to say about the 99.9% of the interactions of strangers on the streets in Warsaw, which were friendly and cordial, and frequently ended in sexual intercourse, if what I noticed is anything to go by. I don’t see the international news networks reporting on that. Likewise there were all these reports about likely racial abuse from Polish fans, whereas in fact there were no such incidents. Will the networks now kindly offer Poland an apology?
10. I still don’t understand the offside rule, and often get the impression that people make up the rules of football as they go along. Some goals that were disallowed, some things that were fouls and didn’t look like it or which were not fouls when they did – all of this adds to the impenetrable mystique of this game.
If you’d like to see my full coverage on film of the impact of EURO 2012 on Warsaw, please look up the EUROWARS series on http://www.youtube.com/usenetposts. In due course they’ll also be up on here as their own category.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are at the end of another quarter, known in the mouth of the people as Q3 – 2011. You can call me a typical accountant if you like, but I always tend to be aware of these quarter ends and I tend to have certain aims and goals for what I like to achieve both professionally and in my hobbies each quarter and so days like today are an opportunity to take stock of where I am.
Doing so generated just a couple of thoughts which I thought I’d like to share with you.
I had a nice long time in the UK, and was supposed to be taking time off, but in the event work kept me fairly involved even though at a distance, and I made little progress on the writing projects I had in mind, especially the Goldlist book and the workbook for the Huliganov Russian course. Hence these are not really ready to show yet, apologies to those of my viewers and readers whom I may have led to hope that they would be. Work has to come first, I have to be able to look after my family.
It’s also three quarters through the 400th anniversary year of the KJV and I also didn’t get far with the readings of the KJV I wanted to do – this is all in the last quarter now if I’m going to do it at all in this year.
In Japanese I made a slight breakthrough while discovering a way to adapt goldlist principles to working through the Heising book and getting the best of both worlds – more on that when I get further on with it. In any event I registered for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, level 5, which is on Decmber 4th in Warsaw, which is a target to work towards,
World events seem to be leaving something to be desired, with hurricanes in the UK, people defrauding UBS out of money that makes Nick Leeson look like a small timer, and the continuing threat of the EURO going down the tubes at the hands of defaults by Greece and other weaker countries, as well as a few nights of crazy behaviour in the UK by vandals and malcontents out for some fun at the expense of working people have made the last quarter a very strange time. We are edging nearer and nearer to a precipice. Winter will draw in soon, the nights will be longer, the days colder, and we are going to be in for a long and hard winter.
Last winter I wrote an article explaining to UK people and others from places where the winters are normally mild how to go about surviving a Siberian style winter. I recommend you read this once again and think about it.
Many thanks again to my loyal viewers and readers, which here on this blog currently number 96. Thanks especially to those of you who join in on discussions, I hope for more of that. If I am sometimes slow in getting to moderate them, sorry. I have to keep the mod thing on because otherwise a lot of spam will get on, which thanks to the new technology is not the case at the moment, and sometimes I don’t have the ability to go online every evening.
Every comment is valued, even if I don’t have anything to say back to some.