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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Legs

So last Saturday was the first (maybe the second?) proper training session of the year.  We'd done a lot of fitness for a couple of weeks prior but the entire squad turned up for the official beginning.


We played a few different games, aimed at skills and fitness to try and get into the new season at a run.


It was surprisingly cold so I obviously went for short sleeves because I'm a fool.


I think I had my hands crossed for 90% of training to try and keep the extremities warm.


We also played a game of 7's against a local team, I scored 2 but my hamstrings are incredibly sore again - I need to start stretching, massaging and hot/colding once again.  This seems to crop up once every few months, achilles tendinitis perhaps?


A game of 7's right after training isn't exactly a great idea so I scored our only points before I limped off.


The first one was from the kickoff, I handed off a couple and ran as hard as I could, just about making the line ahead of their team.


This is from the kickoff, bad achilles and all.

The training went well, the fitness was okay, I just need to figure out how to buy a new pair of legs and I'll be good to go!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

SkiBoarding

So last weekend I went snowboarding for the first time in a long while.  It turns out that it's like riding a bike, you really can just jump back in and do it again.  There's a ton more technique in boarding though, so I wasn't quite as good as before - I think I've hit my ceiling with regards to snow based sports.


Disregarding ability, fun was had.  The Tsugaike place we went to was somewhat easy - there were only a couple of areas worth a red, and the black was only black because of the intense moguls.  Not that big lumpy blocks aren't worth a black mark, it's just that I prefer variety.


As with anywhere else in Japan, the views were spectacular.


I've only ever skii'ed in Japan and Europe so I can't speak for the whole world (obviously), but the asian mountainscape seems to be unique as far as I can tell.  They just extend forever in every direction.  Korea is the same in many regards, when flying over Korea all you can see is a sea of mountains.


This isn't the best view to show that, but it's a nice picture nonetheless.


These were taken on a phone camera, so I've not bothered to edit anything.  They seem to have come out relatively well though.


We were there during a festival period, for some reason they had this jump set up with dudes doing jumps and whatnot over it, performing tricks and whatnot.  No one managed a backflip although a couple tried it.  Ouch.


Despite the lack of backflips there were some amazing fireworks.  I'm editing the videos to make a quick compilation thing that'll be up sometime in the future, but they were unlike fireworks in England in almost every respect.  There were some enormous explosions, some triple layered fireworks (I've never seen anything explode, grow and change colour, then explode again) and a lot of really cool ground based stuff.


Trying to focus using a phone camera is a nightmare.  Who knows if any of these are going to come out.


They do a really good job of putting their fireworks to music, usually classical, (and with a short enough crappy 'pop,' music section that you don't want to leave immediately) always interesting.  They also layer their fireworks really well.


The Japanese firework game is superb - they're superb at the whole thing.


This is an example of the ground based stuff I was talking about.  They layer these in the same way as the sky based stuff.  English fireworks guys need to take a close look at the Japanese scene.


So as it was a festival, they cut a lot of little spaces like this into the snow.  Every hotel or store has their little area in front filled with mountains of snow, a great way to make a small display like this.


Another small cubby with a candle.  I wonder what the fire risk associated with this is?


The above was one of these.


A rather large hotel had a front that obviously bore the brunt of the snow clearers, but at least they get to have a fun little diplay like this out front during the season.


I tried a small steerable snow thingy for the first time.  They're pretty cool but the one I rode was incredibly slow; the runner were plastic with random flecks of metal sticking out of the runners, screws not fully placed and the worlds smallest steering wheel, none of which add up for speed or control.  If you lived in an area like this presumably you'd have your own and maintain it properly.

The festival itself was fairly low key except for the fireworks (which were dope, so to speak)  but well worth checking out if you're in the area.  We came across a couple of local kids digging in some of the displays (shown above) which was a nice little slice of life, showing how people in the area live.  Worth it!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Like Riding a Fish in a Barrel

So I went snowboarding this weekend.  It's been a while so I thought I'd spend most of the time on my backside, but it turned out alright and after about an hour I was back around where I was a couple of years ago, minus matching gloves because I forgot where I put them last time.

The weather was great, sunglasses all the way.  The snow started out nice and fluffy, but after a bajillion snowboarders spent a few hours on it and the temperature didn't stay low enough, it became a bit mushy.  When we got on the bus to leave it started raining which means the next day was probably a lot worse, but by the end of Sunday the skiing was still okay.

There are some photographs and videos to come at a later date, hopefully.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Snow

So Tokyo has had a pathetic amount of snow recently, that is to say barely any.  Up in the mountains, however, they've had metres.  It looks like they've not had any particularly good snow this week, but last week they had a decent amount.  Maybe it's time to get the ol' snowboard out and truck around for a bit?

We'll see what the weather is like and have a go.

For the voyeuristic among you, here are the webcams for most of the Japanese resorts.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Mars Man

The Martian is an interesting book written by Andy Weir, focusing on a manned mission to Mars that, obviously, goes wrong.

This book is fairly technical with a whimsical character and that contrast makes the overall read enjoyable.  Anyone interested in learning the ins and outs of potential Mars colonisation need not apply because the technical aspect is couched within an internal logic that mirrors the real world while never trying to replicate it (the author often refers to actual chemical reactions and pieces of equipment that could conceivably be used on such a mission) while the action is typical fantasy (he luckily has everything he needs and doesn't die a thousand times in a thousand different horrific ways).

The details in the world are interesting, providing an insight into the kinds of thinking required of such a mission without bogging down in the excruciating minutiae of an actual excursion - this is where the book stands out.  There is enough research to justify the premise and carry the character through to the conclusion.

In many ways the story of the character is the weakest aspect, delivering on the journey aspect, but never deviating from a particularly structured step by step guide on how to survive within this fictional Mars environment.  This paint by numbers approach is common elsewhere, but is made readily apparent by the main character who exemplifies the less realistic aspects of the tale.  The character is a doofus.  He's not a relatable oaf nor is he particularly charming, he's just a walking talking physics robot who has a humour module bolted on halfway through the book, in order to make him more resemble a human.  In science fiction there are often cases where the 'science,' very much outweighs the 'fiction,' and this is one case where he has so little personality that I find it hard to remember anything about his particular journey.  I can't even remember the guys name.  This may seem like a minor slight in a world where ninety percent of books, TV and film have lead characters who may as well be called 'generic protagonist 1,' or 'minor villain X,' but if the primary motivation for a given reader is to follow a story, this hypothetical candidate is going to immediately put the book down.  As such, this book is for people who like police dramas, Sherlock Holmes and other media that follows an investigatory route.  It's is most definitely not for people who enjoy character development.  I'd go so far as to say if you need a character in your story with whom to relate don't read this.  He makes one or two pop culture references that were so wildly out of character with a pioneering space explorer, and the potential audience for this book, that I raised an eyebrow.  I actual raised my eyebrow!

Having just entirely written off the character and made the book sound horrible I will say I enjoyed it quite a lot.  The ways in which the main story dude (herein referred to as robot) solves the myriad problems that arise are interesting, as is the authors imagining of just how the mission will look if anyone does venture forth.  I'd never really contemplated the specifics of some of the gear they'd need, besides the basics of habitats and supplies, so this book is a mild introduction into such things.  The idea of a rover that can cover long distances and won't break down is obvious, but the imaginings of these parts is interesting as is the inclusion of a some of the more esoteric paraphernalia.  There are plenty of doodads to keep robot tinkering away, and plenty of pitfalls to overcome.  These aspects are the crux of the story.

Ignore the blurb about this being a story of a man overcoming odds, this is a story of fictional science, sciencing its merry way all around Mars.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Nearest and the Farthest

So Stephen Baxter is a name in science fiction.  I don't know what else he's written, but I'm sure I've heard the name before and so when I came across the books Proxima and Ultima I decided to check it out.

It's pretty good.

It's another book about travel through space with ships, this time using a mythical energy source that no one quite knows the source of, this sets up the interesting premise of a society sitting atop a technology that no one really knows the nature of, creating an undercurrent of tension throughout.  The political underpinning is far less interesting than the scientific, being a simple tale of rampant communism versus a typically positive rendition of capitalism.  The opportunity for an interesting reflection of current affairs was completely missed through an absolute lack of finesse.  The Chinese archetypes are portrayed in an entirely negative light, the western faction are completely opposite, world saving heroes.  It's unfortunate because he was obviously going for something that might resonate in current times but falling short.

Ham fisted depictions of the other aside, the science and the fiction are pretty damned good.  They forcibly relocate a large number of people in order to claim a world, giving impetus to half the story, while a scientific family researching their method of transport create the other half.  The tales of misfortune that arise from both sides underline the characters in a way that make them more interesting than, for example, the typical renditions of government.  The interesting characters leading parallel lives come together in ever more interesting ways as the first book gives way to the second.  In a shock twist everything comes together towards the end of the duology, linking the past events together nicely to form a satisfying conclusion without it being a childish, american style happy ending.

I may have forgotten to mention, but there are space Romans.

Yeah.

I've not read many books that could pull of as ridiculous a premise with a straight face, but this one manages to build a respectable enough story around the obviously outlandish so the result is one of plausibility despite itself.

You'll notice this isn't much of a review and that's because you should just go out an buy it.

Do it.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Revelation Space

So Revelation Space is a book that establishes the universe in which the similarly titled anthology is set.  I bought a digital copy of the collection which is well worth the asking price (if you can find it anywhere!) - I would guess it contains around a million words (no counting was done to verify this), most of which are worth reading.

The universe is well realised, which isn't surprising considering the breadth of work available in the collection, but it establishes itself with authority, it feels obvious that there is a plan in action and you are welcome to join in despite the obvious lack of a stated direction at the beginning.

The singular style ensures that once you've read and enjoyed the first, you are almost guaranteed to like the subsequent additions.  This also helps when jumping between time zones within the fiction itself as any character vagaries or lack of environmental definition are intentional, and importantly, known to be intentional by all involved.  Trust between author and reader is important in all work, doubly so in science fiction because both parties work together with the express aim of building into an unknown space; more so again in hard sci-fi because everything is set within the realms of current human understanding.  There are no warp engines with which story can be progressed, nor are there magical powers with which the day can be saved.  Any incongruity is a potentially insurmountable hurdle.

The pure 'future,' science is interesting enough, but the applications of current thinking are the most intriguing parts.  The melding (that's a pun, for those who might have read it) of the human and technological is well conceived, especially the use of the animal kingdom.  Other topics such as immortality and epidemic are less well handled, purely because these particular tropes are somewhat tired.  That isn't to say they're not interesting as applied to this universe, more that they take longer to reach virgin territory than, for example, the characterisation of the ships.

The plots within the collection stand alone despite sharing familiar characters and locations.  They are interwoven in interesting and unexpected ways, tending to shy from direct character sequels and taking a much longer term view of the universe than books in other genres.  While this approach is fairly standard for science fiction due to the mind boggling distances and time-spans space encompasses, it is still pleasing enough to see a nod and wink to former books and characters.  They are, however, somewhat blunt.  Instead of writing around interactions the author has chosen to outright include these ties without any allusion or mystery.  This is a bonus if you're not looking to add your own flavour, less so if you don't require everything spelled out.

Loss of humanity or the evolution of humanity is another well worn road that is tackled in particular detail within this compilation.  All the books think about the nature of a humanity capable of self modification with an interesting mix of interpretations in the manifold forms this might take.  This is one of the draws of this series, and I won't say much, except that the outcomes are fairly standard if you have read any genre books in the past - but the characters and characterisations are superb despite the obviousness of their foundations.

There are precious few books that truly innovate, that bring new ideas into the mainstream.  This is not one of those innovators, but what it does show is that tropes handled by less skilled writers are still valid in the hands of the more adept, and this author is most certainly among the adept.

The Revelation Space collection is not a transformative work, it is an excellent evolution of worn ideas.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Can't Sleep, Won't Sleep

So I'm told that being physically tired is a good way of ensuring you sleep.  Not necessarily sleep well, but sleep nonetheless.

I've inadvertently spent my entire life disproving this theory, and today is another example of this as I've just started going to the gym again after a months hiatus (off-season) and yet find myself with less than a normal persons amount of sleep.  How much less?  Well, exactly none.  After getting a couple of hours last night I've given up today, hoping that tomorrow will be better.  

Fingers crossed I can get to work alright tomorrow (what is actually today in real terms), get that shit done, then come home and just fall asleep on the sofa or something.

But, I hear exactly one of your cry, if you sleep during the day you'll mess up your sleep cycle!

Yes I reply, but if I don't sleep I'll die of headaches and/or total brain shutdown.  Also, my sleep is already messed up hence why I'm in this predicament in the first place.  I'd rather try and tackle this problem from a place of actually having slept at some point in the past, rather than where I currently stand.  Have you ever desperately kept yourself awake until 9pm only to find that your brain turns around and says "actually no, fuck you, no sleep tonight."

That's not fun, and it happens.

So basically it's another insomnia post.  Yay!

On the positive side when I was on holiday I didn't have many issues, it turns out that just getting up whenever your body says to and going to bed whenever you're tired is a really good way of getting enough sleep.

Who would have thought it.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Green Fingers

So I'm horrible at plants.  I am also horrible at animals.  I bought a spider plant a few months ago because I think it would be impossible to kill one of those - low and behold I was right.  Unfortunately I picked a really good place for it to go and it grew really big, outgrowing the pot I bought it in and sprouting roots and whatnot everywhere.

Obviously I had to buy a bigger pot, so I did, and now I have this:


They actually gave me 2 spider plants, so I split them up and put some mossy stuff between them.  I've not forgotten to water it yet, so I think they should be fine.  I bought the wrong kind of soil so I've got to change that; put a big wodge of real soil underneath the stuff that's currently in there.

Because there were so many roots wedged into the old pot (there was no soil left) I couldn't get it out.  I resorted to taking out my pen knife and cutting the damned things out, nearly chopping my fingers off in the process.  The knife came in handy for cutting the plants apart though, so I was going to need to risk life and limb at some point in order to get the desired effect.

Regardless of how long it takes to kill these things it turns out that you can grow something for a short time even if you are terrible at that kind of thing.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

I Think I'm Done With Chocolate Forever

I have officially become fed up with chocolate.

I have eaten so much lately that I fear my arteries are forever hardened, my veins forever clogged and my brain forever dulled.  Well moreso than before, at any rate.

I do this every year and honestly it seems to work pretty well for me.  Now is my current off-season and I can afford to get really fat and stupid, so that's what I do.  I'm not an angel when it comes to food during the season, but I don't overindulge and I certainly don't drink heavily - the upshot is that I consider myself fairly healthy (I even eat vegetables, to the shocked gasps in the peanut gallery).  The problem is that I eventually build up a resistance to this behavior and I crave the experience of eating far, far too much unhealthy stuff; which is what I do around this time of year as my own personal Christmas ritual.

So I did it again this year.

The result is my current big fat bloated belly and the aches I now harbor.

My training regimen starts for real next week, with a few light sessions building up to the real grunt work of trying to put on weight and get more explosive.  Luckily the fitness doesn't come into it for another month or so (but there's no way I'm going to neglect it completely, can you imagine how much it would suck to be forced into pre-season off the back of zero running?).

So that's about it for me currently.  Back at work.  The holiday was long but still too short.  Still have intentions of writing a million selling novel, after I invent a perpetual motion machine and earn infinite money from that, of course.

Hot News Flash:  Scientists are REALLY BAD at naming things.  CERN should have a specialist come in and talk to those fools, Jesus.

In other news, Happy New Year and all that.

Monday, 29 December 2014

New Years Recipe

So it's official, steam is the future.

I recently obtained a steamer of some kind, big enough to steam a chicken breast and all the vegetables.  It's the only way to cook potatoes (I really didn't eat many potatoes outside of England).  It's the best because you just turn it on and leave it, you don't have to worry about it boiling over or not being covered (so basically there's no difference between steaming and boiling).  It's good for just setting and forgetting which is perfect for me because I can't cook.

The one downside is that there's literally no flavour.  Spuds are so devoid of taste that they go with anything, but that's not exactly a boon for someone who can't cook.

The answer is simple, and is one that I've only reached today.

Before I unleash this recipe upon the world I must add that I'm making it now (I'm writing this while it boils away) and I haven't tasted it yet.  But here goes:

Boil or steam or fry your vegetables and chickens.  Or microwave them; whatever suits you best.  Put it on a plate in your preferred order.  Put cheese on top.  Wait, you're not finished yet.

Now add lots of marmite.

Done.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Merry Hacking!

So someone in Holland has tried to hack my Hotmail account.

Obviously, he's not actually in Holland (or he's a really bad hacker), but Hotmail detected the intrusion and told me someone from the Netherlands was trying to access my account.

This is nothing new; Hotmail gets hacked weekly by some botnet sending out e-mails about viagra (if you've ever wondered where all that spam you get comes from - hacked e-mail accounts!).  They're pretty good about fixing stuff, to be fair.  They won't jump all over the news and warn you, but they fix intrusion weaknesses quickly enough.

I've decided my password library needs an update.  If you use a-z 1-9 and all the other stuff on your keyboard and have an 8 character password there are 3025989069143040 possible combinations (roughly) (I think).

That's a lot of combinations, but computers are pretty quick so I've decided to upgrade my passwords and whatnot. The best way to make a password, jam on the keyboard! Write it down and after a few inputs you'll remember the combination. You need three or four passwords for all the things you do, so as a service to the internets, here you go:

password 1: eirgbp347b3iubi3g4igbs
password 2: 432982h2uifdwnhifbuwib
password 3: huisghsdfsdfaoujbfamn83
password4: asikudfb3671bsdhfbsdhfbv3

Now you don't even have to come up with your own passwords!

Nothing of importance was taken this time, but you never know.

Also merry christmas.

Monday, 22 December 2014

It's Nearly Christmas

Christmas rolls around again.  I've got a small pile of boxes in the corner, containing (hopefully) many kilo's of chocolate and/or marmite - we'll have to wait for the 25th to find out.  In case you were wondering what Christmas day in Japan looks like the following pictures have a handy guide.

The girlfriend is annoyed that I appropriated a bed sheet to cover her present (too big to wrap economically).  I don't think she gets the Christmas spirit.


There are one or two parcels knocking around on the left hand side that aren't in shot - I found that spreading your presents out makes them look more voluminous than just heaping them up.  Top money saving tips on this blog!  This year I'm expecting lots of shoes, because almost everything came in shoe boxes.  The reindeer wrapping paper is bright and sparkly enough that it had to be kept out of direct sunlight; it was causing an 80's disco lighting effect around the room which tends to be distracting outside of a nightclub.  

When packaging your presents in stripes, remember that vertical stripes makes you look taller and thinner, horizontal the opposite.  Therefore accentuate your natural body shape or some such nonsense.

As you can see in the bottom right, Dean and Deluca sent something this year, which was nice.  I'll have to send them something next year.

At this point, some of you may be noticing the lack of a Christmas Tree.  Do not despair.


This is a typical Japanese Christmas tree accompanying the traditional Japanese Orange Juice that is drunk during the holiday season.  Don't forget the traditional Japanese Playstation Controller, used at this time of year.  This troika create a Traditional Japanese Holiday Scene tm..  

So there you have it, a small look into the world of a Traditional Japanese Christmas.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Film Version

The film version is never as good as the book, but these colours are really great so I'm tempted to say that the film camera can still kick it.

As per usual, these are the low quality jpg's they gave me on a DVD.  I have the negatives so I can make high quality prints directly (well I can't, but someone can) or I can scan them in with a decent scanner and get decent files that way.


I really, really like the reds this particular film gives.  I don't know whether that's a thing (having film toned towards good looking reds) but they do have film aimed towards nice skin tones.  If I ever get a willing victim in front of the lens I'll try some of that out and see what the results are like.


This is the colour version of the black and white one I took before.  Except this time it's from the film camera.  I waited for literally an hour, sitting on the next bench in line waiting for the entire avenue to clear.  Needless to say it didn't and the light was fading, so I left with only this shot.


The colours really are nice.  I like this new camera quite a lot.  (It's a bit expensive to get films done regularly though).


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Last Colours of Autumn

So these are the last photographs from the Autumn season.


The night before I went out it started raining and winding all over the place.  The result was a floor covered in leaves and trees very much lacking them.


The trees that retained their leaves were showing some really interesting colours though, so even though they were a bit thin, they made up for it in impact.


The yellows played off the greens really well.  There are a lot of evergreens in Japan, so there are a lot of pictures like this one.


Obligatory black and white picture.


A decent mix of colours on show.


In the more enclosed areas around Shinjuku Gyoen there were a lot more trees intact.


It was mainly yellow when I went, so I wonder if the different trees are uniformly different colours or whether they start of yellowing then move through oranges and reds.


This is the most stock-photo-esque picture I think I've ever taken.


It was a tossup between making this one b/w or leaving it as is.  I was tired and sitting on a bench waiting for one of the above pictures (too many people) so I took this one while eating a sandwich.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Autumn Colour

So I made a really quick video showing the kinds of colours you find around Japan in the Autumn.  It really is quite spectacular.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Black and or White

So I got the film back from a few weeks ago.

The same caveats as before apply - these are all low quality scans and I haven't touched them in any way.

Here's what turned up on my doorstep this evening:


This is the b/w version of the picture that featured on this blog a couple of weeks ago.  The colour version is also my current mobile phone background.


I love the look of wood in b/w, but this needs more contrast.  In fact, none of these pictures are contrasty enough.  (Something I would edit on the computer if I had access to high quality scans).


This is the floor.  It is a picture.


This looks like arteries or something.  I don't know.


Needs about 50% more contrast.  It's one of the tea houses overlooking the lake in hamarikyu onshi koen.  The whole place is pretty interesting to visit, even if there's not much colour.


These kinds of things are best taken in black and white.  The detail of the crumbly bits stands out so much more when you're not forced to process the colour as well.  This was taken at the end of the day, so the shadows are long and interesting.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

IBM vs Akita

So prior to this weekend, IBM were third from bottom which meant not having to play any playoff games at the end of the season (to determine promotion/relegation for next year).

The team below us were Akita, and the team below them were Secom.  We'd beaten Secom a few weeks ago, but now it was time for us to play Akita.

Much like other leagues around the world, scoring 4 tries gives you an extra point in the league table, as does coming within 7 points of the opposition if you happen to lose.

As such, the table was interesting.  Akita were 1 point behind us despite losing all their games.  We had 5 points, they had 4, Secom had 0.  The next match is the last of the season; Akita are playing Secom next week which is one they are likely to win handily.

Basically, the only way to ensure we did not have to play in the relegation match at the end of the year, was to beat Akita, score 4 tries and ensure we won by 8 or more points.

Just a heads up, I didn't get any attacking opportunities as my mission was basically one of defence.  The worlds only defensive winger.  They had a Samoan or Tongan international 13 whom I was tasked to stop, so I just followed him around the field from set piece to set piece.

The referee was also not a fan of me.  I was not a fan of him.  It was a mutual mistrust.

I missed one tackle all game, and it ended up with them scoring a try after a couple of phases from the attack they set up.  In total, it's a game I'd rather forget from a personal perspective.

So, we scored first.  They scored.  We scored.  They scored.  It ended up with them a few points ahead with about twenty minutes to go.  Our scrum-half scored to put us ahead (our kicker nailed all his kicks) so after his double (he scored earlier too) we needed another try in the last ten minutes without letting them score in order to fulfill all the requirements.  They had a scrum around the halfway, they passed it out into the backs where they promptly knocked on, literally handing the ball over to our winger.  He raced away to score the final try we needed under the posts.

The referee blew his whistle, everyone was happy.  Except the referee had blown the whistle because, and I quote, 'there was no advantage to be played from the knock-on.'

This gem, coupled with an earlier penalty for me being off-side (despite the call coming directly from the referee and not a touch judge) and for me high tackling someone (I was chasing the guy from behind, unless I grabbed his head and or neck, it's physically impossible for me to have tackled him high.  For the record, I grabbed his arms.) made me think there might be something slightly dodgy going on.  I forgot to mention earlier that this was an away game.  Very, very away.  We'd flown up the night before and stayed overnight.  (Free food, yay!)  I can only assume the referee was a local.

To be fair, he apologised after the game.

Anyway, with about two minutes left our full-back evaded a tackle and danced over the line to score.

We were 6 points ahead at that point, so our kicker needed to get the extras for us to be clear this year.  It wasn't an easy kick, but he managed it.

So that's that.  There were a few tears, much stress was relieved (last year they had to play in the relegation game, which they won so managed to stay in the league, but it's not an ideal position to be in.)

The upshot is that we are playing Yakult in a couple of weeks, for the chance to end mid-table.  A great result for IBM if it's possible.

I just need to play better and cut my hair or something.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

It's an Interesting Thing

Last week I put up some pictures I'd taken of a park.

I thought they were absolutely fantastic, but interestingly enough I didn't get many page views on the particular post, which leads me to believe that they weren't anything special.  It's an interesting thing, taste.

As an aside, I've been given a load of photos from the game against Hino, so here they are!


A few are from training.


It's starting to get really cold so I'm wearing an awful lot of clothes.  It's starting to feel more and more like England.


I've started a few games now so I've got some game fitness, but there's nothing like running some laps to get breathing.


This is the warmup before the Hino game.


As we walked onto the pitch.


The ground was in a park from the 1960 something olympics held in Japan.


You can't see it but the in-goal areas are about 2 metres long, given an extra 2 metres by laying some carpet.  Literally carpet.


The solo effort from a kick our wing and fullback fielded.


You can't really see the carpet from this angle but I made sure to dot down before getting anywhere near it (I was actually tackled and just fell over the line).


The first time I've scored and had such congratulations from the team.  Feels good!


Smiles all round!


This is probably me walking right after the try, attempting to catch my breath.


The Australian guy was playing centre, but switched positions after the try to cover my position.


This is me scoring the second try, pulling a sexy face.


Unfortunately the second try was judged to have a knock on during the build up.


After the game.  Annoyed at the score and extremely tired.  I attempted 12 tackles, the most attempted on our team was 13.  Needless to say it's strange to see a winger trying so many tackles in a game.


This face sums up the game pretty well, I think.