keresaspa: (Seagull)
2017-07-18 07:48 pm

Feet don't fail me now

It's ate bread now given that I've been home since Sunday and, as I suspected, the Dreamwidth exodus seems to have killed this journal stone dead but the tenth annual London extravaganza probably needs to be recorded anygate.

Ergo )
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
2017-06-09 08:10 pm

(no subject)

Immediately before the election we had a statement in which the loyalist paramilitaries endorsed the DUP and now we are to be governed by a junta consisting of the Tories and these paramilitary-endorsed fascists with, worse yet, the UK about to leave the European Union and so all checks and balances on this radical right-wing rabble about to be removed. I knew this election was going to be painful but Jesus actual Christ. Happy now leave voters, you complete and absolute bastards?! If the reaction of the so-called "Republican Movement" to the British government openly realigning itself with sectarian paramilitaries is anything but any and every means of opposition then blood will be on their traitorous, collaborationist hands as much as any UVF or UFF death squad.

I'll attempt to console myself with the thought that this fragile alliance with a micro-majority is unlikely to last very long and that the hateful Theresa May is on borrowed time but right now I am about as disgusted as I've ever been.

But deep in the heart of Ireland has sunk the sense of the degradation wrought upon its people – our lost brothers and sisters – so deep and humiliating that no agency less potent than the red tide of war on Irish soil will ever be able to enable the Irish race to recover its self-respect, or establish its national dignity in the face of a world horrified and scandalised by what must seem to them our national apostasy.


James Connolly, Notes on the Front (1916)
keresaspa: (Robb Wilton)
2017-05-06 08:42 pm

Debate between sheep and grain

I mentioned a previous excursion to the Diamond in Rathcoole on here a couple of years back and, once again, a visit to the match there today ended in another abandonment. Admittedly this one was rather less dramatic as, rather than a pitched battle between the two sides today's was on safety grounds after a Barn United player accidentally caught a ferociously struck clearance right in the face and was knocked spark out, prompting the two managers to eventually agree that the 70 odd minutes played would do and the result could stand. Ambulance and everything, so good luck to the lad.

Still it was a slightly anti-climactic ending to my own season as, so far as I can see, this will be my last game of the season before the summer shutdown. Having attended 57 games as a live spectator I'm one short of equalling my record but it's still a good return, encompassing 33 different grounds, including first ever visits to Dixon Park in Belfast, the Old Spotted Dog in London, Adie Moran Park in Bury, Plumpton Park in Bradford, Pennypit Park in Prestonpans, Ainslie Park in Edinburgh and of course Central Park in Cowdenbeath, a place that I'll be keen to get back to ASAP, even if relegation happens. There was also long overdue returns to Tynecastle and the Oval, both of which had been missed these last few years, as well as Houston Park and Aircraft Park, neither of which have. I even managed my first taste of European football since 1996 watching Bayern Munich destroy poor old Hibernian in the Women's Champions League.

I was perhaps a little less attentive with regards to following Donegal Celtic as I missed a couple of home matches for various reasons (something I haven't done in a few years) and largely eschewed any away games that were outside of easy access. I'm still trying to figure out why that was the case - perhaps my legendary love of the underdog means that a season of comparative success and being one of the big fish in the tiny pond of the Premier Intermediate League hold less appeal than the struggles of the last few years. Who knows?

Either way it has been a productive season all round for yours truly although, for once, I'm rather prepared for a few weeks away from it all and am not dreading the summer the way I usually do. Check in with me in a fortnight or so to see if that's still the case (I doubt it very much) but for now 2016-17 can be put to rest with a fond farewell and I can put my feet up for a while.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
2017-04-28 08:41 pm

Cowgate's favourite son

One of the few half-decent legacies of the outpouring of bollocks that accompanied the centenary of the Easter Rising is the Belfast finally has a statue of James Connolly to call its own. I've passed it plenty of times on the bus on my way to the match but, until today, I hadn't actually viewed it in the flesh. Still, here it is for all to enjoy.



Long overdue. Heck even Chicago has had one for years and the Americans are so right-wing that they label bloodthirsty capitalist monsters like the Clintons as leftists. Still everyone's a critic and I'm no exception. Inevitably it reflects the hobby horses of the modern "republican" movement so there's a whole bit about the Irish language tacked on to make sure it gels with Sinn Fein's only policy these days (seriously, since becoming leader has Michelle O'Neill done anything apart from witter on endlessly about Erse whilst standing around looking like a hot milly?). Given Connolly's at-best lukewarm reception to the Gaelic movement and his actual preference for Esperanto it seems rather irrelevant but I suppose the Sinners aren't going to include expositions of syndicalism while they were busy administering Tory rule. But I digress.

One other thing - is it just me or does the way the statue is modelled make him look like he was about four and a half tall? OK, photographic evidence suggests he was by no means tall (although Jim Larkin was a huge man for his time) but equally he looked about average otherwise and had a stocky build from his years of soldiering whereas the statue has him like a wee scrawny leprechaun. OK, it's in west Belfast and I know blokes are smaller up there (I'm about 6'3" or so but I feel like a seven footer on the Falls sometimes) but let's aim for accuracy. Mind you, I'm sure I could have done a lot better, I don't think.

Still either way, notwithstanding the tacked on Irishian stuff or his tiny, frail body it's good to at last have a statue of Irish republicanism's best ever adherent in my own town and I'll proudly salute my comrade when I pass. Well, something good had to come out of last year, didn't it?!
keresaspa: (Ben Turpin)
2017-04-15 01:02 am

Time it was and what a time it was

Given that there was a big scare back in 2011, resulting in my backing everything up on Dreamwidth the recent export has resulted in two copies of each entry from 2003 up to the date when I made the first copies. When it comes to things like this I'm rather anal, even OCD, in my approach and as such I've been going back through all my old entries on Dreamwidth and deleting one of the copies for each, as well as smoothing out the tags so as both versions of this blog are in sync. Quite the experience it has been too, and at times an unsettling one come to think of it.

For one thing in the early days I was ludicrously prolific, knocking out up to three entries a day, most of which had little or no purpose. Bear in mind too that those were the days when I didn't have a home internet connection so you couldn't fault my commitment. That dogmatism of youth was present in those early entries, although paradoxically my intractable approach to Sinn Fein had yet to crystallize as I was more a minor critic in the early years and even spoke out loud about possibly voting for them.

I also seemed to have a deep knowledge of the contemporary ins-and-outs of Italian politics and took it very seriously, for some reason considering that developments there were vital to me personally. The number of times I was practically frothing at the mouth with anger about Berlusconi's latest japes or the political career of doe-eyed hate merchant Alessandra Mussolini rather surprised me at this far-removed distance. Mind you, a lot more things seemed to matter to me back then although I suspect, like manys a young person, I felt that I personally could have an impact on politics, something that I have long since given up on.

On the humorous side, I seemed to be under the impression that the word "meme" was pronounced "me-me", leading a lot of attempted puns that now make no sense. On the bleak side, a trigger warning might have been required for some sections. Let's draw a veil over that.

2006 appears to have been the point where Livejournal (or at least my bit of it) went into decline as, having previously had double figure comments as the norm, entries from that period started to show the "no comments" mark that has been standard for me ever since. And yet, reviewing my own writing I was probably at the height of my powers in 2011, having grown from the at-times barely literate boy of 2003 and being some way above the ideas-bereft waffler of now.

The renaissance that has been hinted at as a result of the recent Russian debacle would be a fine thing and I do rather feel the need to try to help revive things (and I've been more prolific this last week than I have in years). Whether it happens or not who knows, but the fact will remain that going back through very old posts is an at-times uncomfortable experience to say the least.

EDIT: And apparently you can't queue posts on here. Bummer.
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
2017-04-13 08:18 pm

I call him Gamblor

It has often been stated that, had it not been for the 1964 betting scandal, Nobby Stiles would not have played in the 1966 World Cup but rather his place as the hard-tackling midfield destroyer would have been taken by Everton's Tony Kay, one of those to be banned in the aftermath of the gambling-based naughtiness. Well, having seen them all first-hand I can guarantee that there was no Nobby Stiles amongst their number, but it's still something of a shock that the five men suspended in local football's latest betting scandal are all known to me personally, having been five of the seemingly never-ending slew of players to have made the move from Donegal Celtic to Crewe United these last few years. Ciaran Burns, a talented defender with an eye for a goal, bug-eyed full back Paddy Fox, one of the heroes of that last-day survival job at Loughgall, Ciaran Carson, a stocky ball-of-rage and regular captain in midfield (and probably the most Stiles-like of them all), Pearse Devine, a midfield maestro who still follows me on Twitter and Michael Henderson, about whom I admittedly remember very little, all banned for betting against their own team in what was probably the biggest match in Crewe United's history. Silly boys and a terrible waste for five players who still had plenty to contribute. Fortunately it was after they had all left DC so it will have no impact on our ultimately failed attempt to gain promotion but it's a real shame and further evidence of what a fundamentally destructive gambling really is.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
2017-04-11 08:54 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I promise I will eventually try to use this for proper updates and crap but for now one last test of this cross-posting lark to see what I can and can't do.


keresaspa: (J Wellington Wimpy)
2017-04-11 12:05 am
Entry tags:

DW/LJ

Let's see if this cross-posting jazz works whilst I decide what to do with these pair of identical journals. Other than that, no reason for this post so move along.
keresaspa: (Cartman)
2017-04-08 09:10 pm
Entry tags:

The end...?

Not for the first time in memory it seems that a mass exodus from Livejournal is afoot, with several announcing their departures and promising deletions in the next few days. Armageddon it seems is here after some virtually unreadable bit of non-binding legalese that seems to suggest we will all be subjected to Russian laws on here (an extra layer of oppression to go along with the Investigatory Powers Act, if you will). I'm still trying to work out whether or not I care enough and as such am not necessarily adding my name to the exodus. I'm in the process of exporting to Dreamwidth in case they decide to throw me out for saying the Vladimir Putin loves sleeping with men but, having looked at it, it still looks as much like a tinpot knock-off of this place as it ever did. This journal has been on life support for years anyway and I seriously doubt it would survive a move to an even more sparsely populated version and, try as I might, their whole granting access model makes no sense to a 20th Century boy like me. That and a previous import six years ago appears to have led to a lot of formatting foul-ups and I'm far too old and tired to start learning a whole new set of rules on that score.

Who knows? We'll see what happens although I suspect there are a few of you whose paths I won't cross again. A shame really but if our encounters are over farewell to you and it's been really rather lovely while it lasted. For me I may soldier on here, I may give Dreamwdith a go or I might just finally grow out of this silly habit and leave it to rot as a monument the follies of my youth and middle age. As the man said, still to decide.
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
2017-04-04 10:08 pm

All flesh is grass

There's a song where some bloke with a fake accent sings "hold me tight and whisper love is forever" playing everywhere, all the young ladies are wearing bits of plastic in their hair for some reason and my breath permanently smells of diluted Harp and Dorchester Superkings. Not literally but it might as well be the case as I'm forced to fall back on a survey, just like in the old days (assuming it doesn't contravene the terms of the new Russian language-only agreement that I was just forced to sign on here). So anyway:

· What kind of a mood are you in right now? Meh.
· What's been on your mind lately? Non-payment of debts by a certain airline and non-delivery of Bandcamp orders.
· What has been the best part of the past week? The second goal in the match I just got back from. Best I've seen live all season. Some youngster named Pearse who ran along the edge of the box and then stroked the ball into the top corner for my local club Rosario against Grove United in an NAFL 1B match.
· What has been the worst part of the past week? Phoning the flybe call centre this morning. God but I hate the phone.
· Where are you? In my flippity floppity floop.
· What did you last eat? A rather unpleasant cottage pie.
· What did you last drink? Chocolate Moo.
· How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Three at best. I just don't sleep any more.
· What are you wearing? Green jumper, blue pyjama bottoms with a grey stripe, fawn socks and brown sandals. Every bit as stylish and dashing as it sounds.
· What did you do yesterday? All sorts of pointless nonsense.
· What are your plans for tomorrow? Respiration and that.
· Have you learned anything new lately? Theoretically, how to replace a broken handle on a window but I won't know if I've genuinely learned it until the new one arrives and I undertake the changeover.
· Who was your last text from? Hotmail, who have suddenly become security conscious to wanky levels.
· What was the last website you visited besides this one? RateYourMusic.com
· Who did you last compliment? What did you say? Can't remember. There was a homosexual barista rather taken with my moustache a while ago so maybe that. (Read that wrong didn't I - who did I last compliment. No idea, never do, haven't the confidence.)
· When was the last time you exercised? I threw the weights around the other night, to little purpose.
· Are you listening to any music right now? No, TV's on in the background.
· What's the last thing you Googled? "Newington Dundela abandoned". A match was abandoned recently after some nutjob slapped the ref and I was looking to see what will happen as a consequence as it might impact on my mob.
· Is there anyone in the room with you? No.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
2017-03-21 07:27 pm

(no subject)

There's very little left to say about Martin McGuinness that I haven't said already but suffice to say I won't be mourning him. As John Stephenson's stooge and then Provisional IRA Chief of Staff he oversaw indiscriminate bombing campaigns that did nothing to advance the cause of Irish unity but instead brought death to civilians. I don't condemn armed struggle as a motor of revolution but McGuinness's strategy of untargeted mayhem accomplished little or nothing. Then he single-handedly brought the peace process (so the obituaries will claim) and in doing so opened up a glorious future of kowtowing to monarchy whilst continuing to (occasionally) call himself a republican and administering Tory rule in the North to the benefit of himself and his own little coterie (equally true of all the parties here admittedly but Sinn Fein are the self-described republicans). On top of that he happily worked alongside a hate preacher like Ian Paisley and propped up the radical right Democratic Unionist Party in government, while also trying to court the feminist and LGBT vote when it suited him. There is also the small matter of the Fisherman business, the truth of which I really hope will come out now that he's dead (although I doubt it as the myth of McGuinness is still important in ensuring that republicans continue to serve their masters in Westminster).

I've already seen comparisons to Michael Collins and I think they're apt. Both firmly belonged to the old Catholic wing of republicanism and ensured that the left was silenced, despite courting the British left (many of whom are now wringing their hands over a man who happily signed off on Troy welfare reform and bedroom tax plans). Both also did their best to ensure that partition continued as long as they were alright, Jack and in that aim both were highly successful. In the final analysis McGuinness was no more a republican than his great mate Paisley and his major achievement was finishing off Irish republicanism and replacing it with a compliant, fiercely pro-British population in Northern Ireland, one part of which happens to watch silly games with sticks and talk a bit of Goidelic now and then. If the taming of the Taigs and their rebirth as nodding dog soft Unionists are to be celebrated then McGuinness is rightly to be lauded as a hero but a hero of Irish republicanism? About as much as Vidkun Quisling is a hero of Norway.
keresaspa: (Obelix)
2017-03-17 12:36 pm

Time has come for magic boots

It's more or less convention that on this day every year I make a post on here bemoaning this day and disavowing my Irishness for 24 hours as I shake my head in gloomy anger at the chaos engulfing this tired town. But not this year.

No, I haven't been reborn as a "quare bai" and I won't be donning a GAA shirt and entering the melee. Rather it's hard to adopt the doleful countenance needed when, shocks of mighty, the hitherto maligned Flybe have caved in and accepted my demands for compensation for the recent delayed flight. Huzzah!

I complained when I returned home after the trip and went through a process that made about as much sense as the Voynich manuscript and ultimately was left with nothing to show for it, despite returning with idle threats of solicitors and reporting their antics to BBC Watchdog. Finally, in a fit of powerlessness, I took to rotten old Twitter and denounced them as a shower of mountebanks and, sure enough, the public calling-out moved several arses into gear and now the cash offer has arrived. Having invoked an EU directive that allows a passenger to claim compo for a flight delayed for more than three hours (so that's something else we can kiss goodbye to soon - thanks again, England) the little guy has for once triumphed. Heck I take any victory I can get these days and right now the win is gushing out of me like blood from the sacred neck of sweet Mundamala.

Oh and bloody patriotism, refuge of a scoundrel, Sinn Fein gits and all that. Still, yay.
keresaspa: (Default)
2017-03-06 10:25 pm

Murder

*Insert weak joke about visiting Edinburgh lots before waffling for ages about most recent visit*

Therefore )
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
2017-02-18 09:28 pm
Entry tags:

Droop quota

Apparently we can disregard that last entry as today fun arrived in the post:



I ask you, what a rabble. Nice to see them being as honest as ever although I don't know which is more laughable - Marty Millar and his millions in a little semi in Coolnasilla, Stalford in the Braniel or Gauleiter Hiddleston in a wee tumbledown terrace in the back streets of Cregagh. I'm sure they all own their alleged abodes as politicians here invariably are also rack renting landlords, but who the hell are they trying to kid giving those as their home addresses?! As much as I can't stand the woman at least Little-Pengelly is being a bit honest about her mansion.

At the risk of repetition the election to this tinpot jaw-factory is as meaningless as they come but I'll most likely go through the motions anyway and submit a 1-2-3-4 of Mervyn, Kerr, Burns and Bailey and be done with it. So apologies in advance to all four of you as, given my track record, defeat is now inevitable. Ah voting, if it had any impact they'd have abolished it years ago.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
2017-02-13 08:24 pm

Priapism

I've avoided discussing the RHI scandal on here as it's just such a depressing microcosm of what a waste the Northern Ireland Assembly really is. Equally I resisted the temptation to gloat about the political retirement of the utterly detestable Martin McGuinne$$ as we always knew he would be replaced by an equally faceless collaborator who would continue on the same devolutionist-unionist path and sure enough along came Michelle O'Neill who was also up to her neck in the same scandal. Plus ça change!

But with all that having been said, the scandal has brought yet another Assembly election on our heads and the circus rolls on as ever. Well, for most of it does as the way things are looking just now I appear to have been disenfranchised for this particular one. Yet again I will find myself in Scotland on the day of the election and on that basis I requested a postal vote but the other day a normal polling card arrived at my house and, as I'll be off in my spiritual home at the time, it appears that I'm to be denied the chance to vote for a losing candidate. Quel Dommage!

I may get up in arms at the drop of a hat but on this occasion I really don't care if I don't get to vote. Since the Tories took over in England it has been clear that the Northern Ireland Assembly, already a pretty weak institution, has been relegated to the role of talking shop. Certainly, the speed with which the hated welfare reform was forced through by the Secretary of State indicates that any important decisions will always emanate from Westminster and Stormont will just have to grin and bear them (ditto Holyrood and whatever the hell the Welsh chatter-house is called, by the way). Effectively the Assembly has been left somewhere between a glorified council (I shit you not, one of its major decision was changing the layout of bus stops in Belfast city centre) and a bribe to the elites as a way for them to keep their useful idiots in line. It's jobs for the boys up there, be it MLAs or their truly pointless Special Advisers so it will continue even though it has no real function any more in a fine example of sod you Jack, I'm all right. Sacrebleu!

If by some miracle they do decide to give me my postal vote I am faced with a very limited selection of candidates from which to choose, although of that mob I would most likely go for People before Profit. Even if they won a plurality in the Assembly (not going to happen) they would still be able to do sod all but they at least talk the talk about austerity and a few more of them on the hill would be preferable to yet more Sinn Fein and DUP apparatchiks (or indeed UUP, SDLP or Alliance ones for that matter). They haven't a hope of getting a seat in "leafy South Belfast" of course (a cliché that always ignores the pile of loyalist estates we have in this constituency too) but if I get the opportunity they can have my vote anyway. Nice to see that the previously mentioned John Hiddleston is back yet again for another election. Pleased to see my exposé had such a great influence! Mind you in these days of the Azov Brigade, Brexit, Donald Trump and (let's hope not) Marine Le Pen I suppose having a past in the National Front might even help him get elected. Zut alors!

But whatever happens no doubt the same old crap will continue. O'Neill will find a way to work with Arlene Foster or possibly a replacement and the gravy train will rumble on, achieving nothing apart from feathering the nests of those involved. Meanwhile the republicans and loyalists on the ground will continue to suffer but will be content that "our ones" are in charge, despite all the major decisions being dictated by our Der Führer Theresa May (and hi Teesie, seeing as the Investigatory Powers Act means you're reading this now). Brûle en l’enfer!
keresaspa: (Seagull)
2017-01-26 05:52 pm
Entry tags:

Posted from my Acer Aspire ES 15

Long-term readers, if any, will recall that I started updating this crap from home back in 2009 after I finally acquired my own laptop. Well guess what? Yup, I've finally acquired laptop number two and this post is the first to be delivered from it. Yay!

Inevitably I'm still trying to find my feet on the new effort, adding the bits and pieces that I'm used to but which do not come as standard and attempting to iron out teething problems as I go. I've been a Windows Vista man since I first started using my own machine and so the sudden jump to Windows 10 has been a culture shock and, as things stand I hate bits of the new set up (switching between internet windows specifically, as well as the inability to resize pictures in that poor excuse for a replacement for Picture Editor or whatever it's called). Still, moves are always traumatic and happen things will settle down when, for instance, Microsoft office has finally arrived (and by God but hasn't that become eye-wateringly expensive).

In some ways I'll miss my old machine and it's still standing at the side in case I need it, notwithstanding the seemingly daily warnings that 2017 is the year in which Vista is going to be killed with fire. But in saying that the clamp that holds the broken hinge and casing place, the sheer weight of the bloody thing, the space bar that only occasionally worked, the "m" key that regularly broke and its general slowness this last year or so can all do one right now. Music and sundry files still need to be transferred over but for now all that can wait until I familiarise myself a touch more with things.

But otherwise woah, new stuff and junk.
keresaspa: (Homer rage)
2016-12-31 09:24 pm

(no subject)

You'll forgive me if I pass on the end of year survey thing this time out as, for more reasons than I care to remember, I'll have little desire to recall 2016 in the future. But nonetheless I'll draw a veil on this most egregious of twelvemonths in my own time-honoured fashion:

Top 100 Artists of the Year )
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
2016-11-26 08:13 pm
Entry tags:

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (13 August 1926 – 25 November 2016)

With what moral authority can they speak of human rights — the rulers of a nation in which the millionaire and beggar coexist; the Indian is exterminated; the black man is discriminated against; the woman is prostituted; and the great masses of Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Latin Americans are scorned, exploited, and humiliated? How can they do this — the bosses of an empire where the mafia, gambling, and child prostitution are imposed; where the CIA organizes plans of global subversion and espionage, and the Pentagon creates neutron bombs capable of preserving material assets and wiping out human beings; an empire that supports reaction and counter-revolution all over the world; that protects and promotes the exploitation by monopolies of the wealth and the human resources of whole continents, unequal exchange, a protectionist policy, an incredible waste of natural resources, and a system of hunger for the world?


keresaspa: (Cartman)
2016-11-09 08:14 pm

Back on here, so guess what's coming

Hell, even I think I've been away too often recently. The joys of growing up in a warzone, I suppose. And let it be known too that the following load of old rambling nonsense should have been published yesterday but my internet provider decided to give me a day of no service just to remind me who the boss is. Thanks as ever Virgin Media, I would denounce you as vermin but recent events have drawn me closer to that class of creature. Intrigued? Didn't think so but read on anyway, it's good for chilblains.

Read more... )
keresaspa: (Gus Goose)
2016-10-08 12:33 pm

Nedderbury

Such is the regularity with which I go to Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth mentioning.

But let's anyway )