Tuesday, December 14, 2010

13 December 2010: Sequel

Sequels are usually a recipe for disappointment.

Kokomo's 2010 Christmas Lights maintain this fine tradition.

It was bleddy cold out there, by the way - minus ten celcius and you can't operate that little camcorder with gloves on. Sheesh, the sacrifices I make for this blog.

Oh, ok, here's last year's one. The original is always so much better, isn't it?

Monday, December 13, 2010

13 December 2010: Luna

This is kind of cool.

NPR (roughly the US equivalent of Radio 4) has on their website a blogger by the name of Robert Krulwich. He wrote a blog entry expressing a little surprise at learning that the moon pioneers, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, didn't venture very far at all from the lunar module on that first Apollo 11 visit to the moon. In fact, the area they covered was less than the size of a normal athletic field.

"Who knew?" he asked.

Neil Armstrong knew. After all, he was there. So he emailed in and enlightened the blogger as to why they didn't go far (not much time, not sure about the cooling devices in the space suits, very very busy), how he did on one occasion break the rules, and generally gave interesting insights into what they got up to and why, back in 1969.

You can read the article and the full email here on Krulwich's blog.

And all this after I got to see Neil Armstrong waving a flag at a Purdue college football game I went to just last month. Clearly my life and his are now heavily intertwined.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

9 December 2010: Gaudete

According to the liturgical calendar that I don't take much notice of, it's Gaudete Sunday this weekend (third Sunday in Advent).

Hence this video, from one of the few acapella Latin chants ever to make it to the top of the UK Singles chart...

I post this just in case I don't get around to making the annual AKTing Lark Christmas video this year (yes, the Kokomo Lights are up and include Snoopy, but it's somehow hard to think of a good commentary for it.. might wait until we get to Southampton on the 15th and do the Flowers Estate.)

9 December 2010: Quadruple

To those who've been asking after Gloria's dad's health, thanks! He's doing well after sudden (surprising!) heart bypass surgery that was originally thought to be a triple but ended up being a quadruple once they got in there. He was home within four days and recovering well. Kudos to the staff at the St Francis Medical Center down in Monroe, especially the excellent Dr White who actually did the surgery and was rightly rewarded with a box of Cocoa Puffs.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

8 December 2010: Extension

High Court grants Argyle a 63-day extension despite Argyle only asking for 56 days. This leaves us with Feb 9th as the new D-Day. Possibly the bank account might be unfrozen now, so the players and staff can be paid.

Other notes include that the lack of payment means that Argyle are in breach of contract so any of the players can give two weeks notice at any point (in fact as I understand it, their lack of payment for two weeks effectively counts as notice, so they can leave at any point) but they have so far chosen not to.

And HMRC objected to the extension, of course, saying it's just a stalling tactic.

Which it is, but it gives Argyle time to breathe. And bring in Mr Ridsdale... get ready for a bumpy ride as the Riddler tries to get rich off the back of another failing football club.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

7 December 2010: Roadkill

Plymouth Argyle face a winding-up order in the High Court tomorrow, brought by HMRC (they who were of late swindled by Pompey who somehow got away with it).

Normally when this happens, you place the company into administration - effectively, bankruptcy protection - so that it doesn't get wound up. Even Pompey did this. The football club gets a sizable points deduction and probably gets relegated as a result. The administrator tries to find a buyer for the company and negotiates a settlement of debt at some small percentage in the pound, and HMRC votes against this 'Company Voluntary Agreement' and (unless you're Pompey) this results in a further points deduction from the Football League. But the club survives, and after a few years can grind back to normality.

So Argyle, whose 'New World Order' board took over eighteen months ago with promises like 'World Cup 2018' and 'We don't do failure' and 'Five-year Premier League plan' but who since the failure of England's 2018 bid have said nothing, now face oblivion. And unless someone puts them into voluntary administration by tomorrow morning, they're finished.

And the current board - Japanese mega-rich businessmen, Sir Roy Gardner late of Man United (and worth in excess of fifty million quid) and the small remnant of local businessmen who ousted Dan MacCauley ten years ago - are doing nothing, except occasional transactions to get control of the land that was bought from the City Council six years ago. England's World Cup bid was a speeding highway to success, they thought, Plymouth a host city for the world's biggest sporting event.

And now the speeding highway is closed, and Argyle are currently lying like roadkill on the hard shoulder. And nobody is doing a blind thing about it, it seems.

Surely something has to happen in the next 18 hours.

Edit to add: The rumours continue to circulate about Peter Ridsdale - he who is somehow not in prison after running Leeds United into the ground and siphoning 1.4 million pounds out of Cardiff City - being involved at some level with keeping the club going. Strongest one says Argyle will argue for 56-day stay-of-execution and if they get it (if?!), Risdale will be announced on Thursday in whatever role he has, probably some sort of unofficial administrator. This goes from bad to worse: if Ridsdale is the best hope a football club has, maybe oblivion becomes an attractive option.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

2 December 2010: Failed

So, England fail miserably to get the 2018 World Cup.

Does this mean Argyle are finished?