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Archive for June, 2006

And all the rest

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Mini World Cup 2006 Groups C-H.

I’ve noticed two things whilst doing these Minipops:
1. The only kits that I really really like are Holland’s home and away kits.
2. Footballers wearing boots that aren’t black or white look stupid.

Written by Craig

June 10th, 2006 at 1:17 am

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Mini Gruppe B

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More Mini World Cup.
Players from the Group B teams: England, Paraguay, Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago.

Written by Craig

June 9th, 2006 at 12:27 pm

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Mini Gruppe A

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So, the World Cup. It’s here. So is the Mini World Cup.
Today, it’s players from the Group A teams: Costa Rica, Germany, Ecuador and Poland.
More tomorrow.

Written by Craig

June 8th, 2006 at 11:25 pm

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Balls

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I read something on The Guardian website last night about England goalkeeper Paul Robinson buying a bunch of Adidas Teamgeist balls some weeks ago so he had time to practice with the ball. It’s a new ball specifically for this World Cup. Made from just two pieces and is, apparently, lighter than a normal ball. Germany’s keeper Jens Lehmann also has reservations about the ball. This got me thinking.

If you visualise a football in your head, it probably looks like this:

Correct? My brain’s football looked like that, too. Then I checked Google Images (I checked soccer ball to bypass the other types of football). Fifteen of the first 20 images had that type of football.

Of all the ball sports, is there one that allows the manufacturer of the ball to mess about with the design as much as football does? A baseball always looks the same. A cricket ball, too. Golf, tennis, squash, table tennis; and as far as I know, basketballs and American footballs always have the same design.

It really saddens me that a game I love is being bastardised to this point where professional goalkeepers have to worry about whether they can catch a ball or not simply because of the manufacturer’s desire for some fancy ball which, ultimately, advertises their brand.

Sorry, football-haters and ambivalent-ers, there’s probably more football-based stuff to come in the next few weeks.

But for those of you that like football, and particularly the English amongst you, and even more particularly the Liverpool fans amongst you: here’s a mini Peter Crouch.

Written by Craig

June 8th, 2006 at 12:49 pm

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Clean and ready

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I went into the centre of Berlin today for the first time since the countdown to the World Cup has got to the James Bond-runs-in-and-stops-the-bomb stage. Berlin’s suddenly become clean and tidy! Parts of the city centre that had building site stuff all around is now clear of that: there’s brushed pavements, blasted-clean walls of old buildings, flags declaring Berlin a WM Stadt (World Cup city). I smelled fresh paint on two seperate occasions.

I also saw the above advert for Coca Cola: Welcome to Germany (Excludes Our Penalty Box).

Our.

Is there anything as blatantly cynical in its approach as an American superpowered company like Coca Cola pretending that it’s a part of the home nation of this World Cup? That this entity will be sat there on the sofa cheering along Klinsmann’s team with Mutti und Papa?
I know; I shouldn’t be shocked by this, should I?

Written by Craig

June 7th, 2006 at 4:37 pm

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Tic Tac

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Just in case you were wondering (and I’m pretty sure you were), Tic Tac packaging looks different in Germany and the USA.

Written by Craig

June 7th, 2006 at 12:35 am

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The date

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It’s the sixth of June 2006. That’s 6/6/2006, or if you want the shorter version, 6/6/06.

So for every fucking media outlet that’s going doolally with sub-Hallowe’en crap today: 662,006 or 6,606 are not numbers of The Beast.

Just cos it’s a zero you think you drop it to fit with your crazy plan, Mr. Marketing Department of The Omen? If that’s the case, let’s see how dropping some zeros from your box office receipts works for you, too, huh?

On a different note, here’s a bra in a puddle.

Written by Craig

June 6th, 2006 at 11:24 am

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Mapping Bruce update

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You may remember the Mapping Bruce thing I did last September. Well, over the weekend, I needed a break from my actual work and fancied doing something fun. Rather than going waterskiing, I sat down and made a proper map of Bruce.

Mapping Bruce: The Map

Next stop, I guess, could be every place mentioned in his songs, not just in the titles, although that’d be a mammoth task, I imagine.

Of course, the ultimate thing would be Mapping Bruce: The Road Trip. I’d begin by flying to New York, getting on a bus and asking the driver if it stopped at 82nd Street; then walk to 57th Street and try and cause some sort of incident. At some point of course, I’d have to serenade someone.
Then I’d rent a car and drive to Pittsburgh to try and find a good man; then up to Youngstown; then a long drive to Nebraska, (calling in on my hometown’s namesake and Nebraska’s capital, Lincoln).
A big drive across the Rocky Mountains to Reno; into California, to Santa Ana, then San Diego to go to Balboa Park.
Into Mexico to the state of Sinaloa to find some cowboys; east to Matamoros to the border with Texas, (maybe I could illegally sneak across).
Follow the coast around to Galveston Bay; north west to Amarillo to see Cadillac Ranch; back east through Arkansas to Darlington County; before turning north to the walk through the Streets of Philadelphia.
A short trip to Atlantic City to do some gambling, then to Belmar to shuffle down E Street and, err, freeze out on Tenth Avenue.
Finally, I’d make drive the few miles north from Belmar to Asbury Park, to see if I could find a nice girl called Sandy and tell her: love me tonight and I promise I’ll love you forever.

Written by Craig

June 5th, 2006 at 3:03 pm

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World Cup pizza

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Apparently, there’s a World Cup about to begin here in Germany. Not that you’d know it from every fucking shop having some tenuous link to it in their window (World Cup soap! World Cup bicycle chain! World Cup angina pills).
Over the past couple of days the rubbish bins attached to lamp posts have been re-designed with some all-over sticker thing that, ha ha, looks like a goal, so, like, you’re scoring a goal when you put your rubbish in the bin. Genius.
Last night I ordered a pizza online. I’m not proud of it, but I wanted some stodgy cheesiness. Despite their banner ads – Pizza Is Coming Home – I didn’t go for one of Call a Pizza‘s World Cup-themed pizzas. Thirty two of them, each representing a team playing in the World Cup with its toppings. Here’s a picture of them all.

Germany: salami and cheese
Simple. Classic. Straight forward. Efficient.

Costa Rica: ham, pineapple and extra cheese
It’s a bit tropical there, thus pineapple.

Poland: mushrooms and feta cheese.
This one screams: damn! Greece didn’t qualify!

Ecuador: ham, mushrooms and jalapeños.
Near the equator, so, err, ham, and… err, mushrooms, and, err, something hot?

Argentina: spicy beef, onions and extra cheese
“That’s where they make cows, innit?”

Ivory Coast : spicy beef, sweetcorn and jalapeños
No elephants?

England: bacon and eggs
Oi! oi! oi! Wallop! Roll aaaht the barrel! I want extra chips on top. And a nice cuppa tea to wash it daaaaahn.

Paraguay: bacon and jalepeños
The guy who thought of the idea to do World Cup pizzas is now sweating a bit cos he’s running out of possible toppings, and he realises his geography isn’t so good.

Trinidad and Tobago: salami and chili peppers
“Err, dunno. Dieter, can you call your black mate, see what he likes?”

Angola: spinach and gorgonzola
I’ve never been to Angola. I know virtually nothing about Angola, but I’m guessing that Call a Pizza are assuming that’s the case with their topping choices here.

Iran: curry sauce, “curry chicken breast,” pineapple and extra cheese
Iran… it’s nearly an anagram of India…

Schweden: salami, ham, mushrooms and chili peppers
C’mon, dude: go to IKEA, have a look around the food section; you could’ve chosen meatballs for fuck’s sake.

Serbia & Montenegro: ham, mushrooms, olives, artichokes and chili peppers
How I pray that this one comes already cut in half. Or with half of the toppings on one Serbian side; the others on the Montenegrin side.

Netherlands: Hollandaise sauce, ham, asparagus, cheese
Hollandaise sauce. Good choice. Shame Turkey didn’t qualify, huh?

Mexico: Salami, Jalapeño and Tabasco sauce
Wahey! Here’s a pizza that comes quite close to being correct.

Portugal: Ham, spinach and an egg
Random ingredients surely?

Italy: Tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil
A fairly classic pizza, so that’s fine. Plus the bonus of the toppings being the same colour as the Italian flag.

Ghana: honey mustard sauce, cheese, chicken, mandarins and mozzarella
?

Brazil: broccoli, onions, peppers, sweetcorn and olives
“C’mon gang! Think of something a bit samba-y!” Broccoli and sweetcorn surely just there for their colour.

Croatia: spicy barbeque sauce, bacon and onions
Another random variation, I suspect.

France: Hollandaise sauce, asparagus, peppers, artichoke and cheese
Surely you could’ve done better here.

USA: BBQ sauce, cheese, salami, beef, more cheese, onions and bacon.
Germany’s calling you a fat fuck, America.

Czech Republic: Hollandiase sauce, cheese, salami, bacon, broccoli and peppers
“Oh God, what do they eat there?”

Australia: Mozzarella, rocket, Parma ham, parmesan
“Do we have any kangeroo steaks back there? No? Okay, chuck some ham on that Australian one, Ralf.”

Japan: Tuna and onions
They eat fish.

Saudi Arabia: Hollandaise sauce, cheese, spinach and mushrooms
“I’m getting bored of this now.”

Spain: salami and onions
C’mon, think! Tomatoes, at least.

Ukraine: ham and mushrooms
“Mum, I don’t wanna work at Call a Pizza any more!”

Tunisia: “seafood” and garlic
The German word “Meeresfrüchten” seems to mean seafood. Not sure if that’s vague enough. Whale? Dolphin? Shark?

Switzerland: Edam, mozzarella, feta and gorgozola
“Switzerland. Cheese. See what we did?”

South Korea: Tuna, onions and salami
“It’s close to Japan, isn’t it? Bung some salami on it, that’s different enough”

Togo: Barbeque sauce, cheese, salami, chicken, onions, peppers and sweetcorn
“Right, what’s left in the fridge?”

Written by Craig

June 1st, 2006 at 8:06 pm

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