Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who is watching Who ?

One of the amazing things since starting this blog, has been to see who and from where people discover the blog. However this week saw a really interesting visitor - The U.S. State Department.

Now this was not any old visit, but one where the reader went directly to one specific page, namely "A stranger in Town", and why did they go directly to this page I wonder - it could not be anything to do with the picture published there could it ? or perhaps the the words "National Security".

Or was it more sinister, surely it could not be some hanky panky in regards to the Six Nations ? - or maybe the "Wooden Spoon" is deemed sinister !

Me thinks Big Brother is watching all of the internet, for person up to no good - but it does make you wonder, does it not ?

Anyhow to those who are keeping an eye on us all, presumably to keep us safe, but for my part I hope next you visit you take the chance to explore the blog
(Click image to enlarge)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blog goes multi lingual

Just to show that I am not biased and to ensure my multitude of worldwide readers can keep up to date with our Six Nations Challenge, and using my well known multi lingual skills, I publish below the results in French, Italian, Russian and for the wee man in Tokyo - Japanese !

Six Nations - histoire jusqu'ici

Eh bien maintenant avec trois tours complets, j'ai dans mes archives, une seule personne avec

une participation de 100% des dossiers -, mais je ne dis pas qui.. Ces ré

sultats ne comprennent pas les entrées de soleil au pays de Galles.

Cette histoire sera poursuivie .......................

Sei Nazioni - storia,

Con ben tre turni ora completo, ho il mio record in una sola persona, con un record del 100%

- ma non sto dicendo che. Questi risultati non includono quelle voci da sole Galles.

Questa storia sarà continuato .......................

Шесть Наций - история до сих пор

Ну с трех раундов сейчас полным, я имею в моих отчетах только один человек, на 100% записей, - но я не говорю, кто. Эти результаты не включают тех, солнечные элементы из Уэльса.

Эта история будет продолжена .......................


3ラウンドを完了している今、私は私のレコードを1つだけで100 %の記録を持っ



Impressive is it not !!

Six Nations - story so far

Well with three rounds now complete, I have in my records only one person with a 100% records - but I am not saying who. These results do not include those entries from sunny Wales.

This story will be continued.......................

Husband of the year

Every year a competition is held which permits nominees to be put forward for the title of "Husband of the Year". The competition is unique in so much that to justify the award entrants must submit photographic evidence of the esteem in which they hold there partners.

After much deliberation this years awards are a follows

Honourable mentions

In Third Place - Greece

In Second Place - Serbia

And the winner was - Ireland

and when asked why Ireland had won, the judges indicated that this was only submission where the couple were seen to be holdings hands !

I am indebted to C.....(English- with lecherous tendencies) for the above information

A stranger in town

If your are Scottish and a Reading (kind of) supporter, then this weekend was not for you. Saturday was a feast full of Rugby, and watching Wales demolish Italy, it was with some expectation that I sat back to watch the Ireland v Scotland game at Croke park. At my side was the inevitable group of J....(Australian- does things with wood) and S.....( Welsh- with a natural bias of all things Welsh) and young P....(Irish- with a weird to do list !). Needless to say the game went the way of previous endeavors - we got thumped ! - so with the first three round now complete, it is fair bet that Scotland are heading for the wooden spoon. (is there actually a wooden spoon ?).

Now it has to said that the village lounge was actually packed for all of these games, in particular for the Ireland v Scotland game. In the main it was group of young Irish persons, all of whom it appeared were staying at F.....(Australian-keeper of behavior) hostel. I did not see one alcoholic drink being consumed by one of them, but they did tuck into what passes for an Irish breakfast at the village lounge, albeit that it was 4.30 in the afternoon. Perhaps they were saving themselves for the evening.

Now it was during this spectacle that a stranger wandered in to join P....(Irish with Russian connections) - and to a man we all stared at him- before we finally recognised him. Now for reasons of national security I am not permitted to name him, as it transpired he was travelling incognito, and just wanted a quiet beer and to watch the rugby. Frankly he was not doing a very good job in disguising himself, check it out for yourselves.

Just goes to show, you never know who will meet, when watching a game of rugby in Riga !

As for Sunday, well best not to dwell on the probability of Reading heading back to the Championship next season, but at this moment in time all does not look well.

On the domestic side, Chris Rea was back in town last Friday, presumably to say farewell again, but from what I am told this time around he was playing blues & gospel, but if any you blog readers went to the show, perhaps you can enlighten us as what you thought of the concert.

Going back to the Rugby for a moment and the Six Nations competition, as of now I have only one person with a 100% record, but this does not include the Welsh entries.

I have not commented on Zvannieki for a while, but I am hopeful that this week will se the conclusion of the kitchen saga, as well as being able to get approval from the Rietumu Bank in regards to the audit in regards to the second traunch of money which they gave in November of last year.

So to the Irish, Welsh and English contingent congrats on good weekend, but to England I say watch out for next game at Murrayfield, as everyone knows that Scotland are always up for the game against the "Auld Enemy" - but then again as the only award we have a chance to win in the wooden one, then perhaps we should continue to do what we are proven masters at - losing !!

Now to answer my own question in regards to the "wooden spoon" - here is what I believe is the definitive answer

The wooden spoon was originally associated with the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge, and was a kind of booby prize awarded by the students to the person who achieved the lowest exam marks, but still earned a third-class degree. In contrast, the highest-scoring student was named the senior wrangler.

The custom dates back at least to the early 19th century, if not before, and continued until 1909. From 1910 onwards the results have been given in alphabetical rather than score order, and so it is now impossible to tell who has come last, unless there is only one person in the lowest class.

There were actual wooden spoons which became increasingly large, and in latter years measured up to 1.5 metres long. By tradition they were dangled in a teasing way from the upstairs balcony in the Senate House in front of the lowest-ranked recipient when he came before the Vice Chancellor to receive his degree.

How the Cambridge wooden spoon idea came to be used in rugby union is not exactly known, but in the early years of what is now the Six Nations Championship there were many Cambridge graduates playing, so they may have attempted to preserve the concept after the last one was awarded in 1909. It is certain, in any case, that the tradition first arose in Cambridge and rugby adopted and perpetuated the tradition.

The Wooden Spoon is awarded to the team who finishes at the bottom of the table in the RBS 6 Nations held every year between France, England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. No physical wooden spoon exists or has ever existed in the case of rugby, however.

Such is the stigma of the award that the 'winners' will sometimes claim that the Wooden Spoon should only be held by those who win no games at all, but this achievement is properly known as a whitewash.

In 1983, a group of English rugby union supporters, while drinking in a Dublin bar and commiserating over England's award of the Wooden Spoon in the then Five nations championship for that year, decided to form a charity. It was named the Wooden Spoon Society and raises funds for disadvantaged children in the UK and Ireland. Today (2007) it is recognised as the official charity of British and Irish rugby. It has a small central office, over 40 voluntary regional committees, 11,000 social members, and has distributed over £12m.

So there we have it there is no Actual wooden spoon !! - but through it has been founded a Wooden Spoon charity web site www.woodenspoon.com - which is charity to support disadvantaged children and young people. So it just goes to show that good can come about by finishing last !

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Blog influences Government legislation ?

Now I know that it a word assortment of persons who take the time to read this little blog, but given the news today in Leta I wonder if someone in the Government has been having a peek, and taking my advice re British piss artists - judge for yourselves as I said on the blog on 18th February "for my part I would have banged him up and thrown away the keys - perhaps then the message would get across to these morons that using the Freedom monument as a urinal was not a good idea and could seriously damage your health.

and lo and behold in todays LETA news :

Administrative arrest imposed for first time against person caught urinating at Freedom Monument

RIGA, Feb 19 (LETA) - Today, the Riga Central Court imposed a five-day administrative arrest against a British citizen (born 1974) who was caught yesterday relieving himself at the Freedom Monument in Riga.He is the first foreigner who has been arrested for such conduct in Latvia.Zane Berzina from the Riga Police Headquarters' Press and Public Relations Department told LETA that the police are satisfied with the court's decision.

Up until now, many British citizens have been caught urinating by the Freedom Monument and have only received administrative penalties for minor hooliganism of up to LVL 50.As reported, the British citizen was detained at 9:30 p.m. yesterday for urinating by the Freedom Monument in Riga.LETA also reported that Riga Mayor Janis Birks (For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK) believes that harsher penalties must be introduced for people who can find no better place than the Freedom Monument to relieve themselves.Last week, amendments to the Administrative Violations Code, proposed by Birks' TB/LNNK, were forwarded to Saeima committees.

The amendments are meant to prevent foreign tourists' obscenity and lewdness at the Freedom Monument and stipulate raising the applicable fine to LVL 200, and LVL 500 if the offender is caught doing the same thing again.

So for the first time I can say well done the Latvian Seima - keep it up, but why stop at 5 days, make it at least a month with a minimum fine of LS 500.00 !!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A monument to morons

As ever I am indebted to the village members for keeping me up todate on goings on in Riga. In this case J......(Irish with recent Arabic connnections) for this contribution - prizes for the best the best excuse from pissed British Cretins caught at the Freedom Monument to be decided by a Russian jury.

British national gets five-day arrest for urinating at Freedom Monument

RIGA, Feb 19, BNS - The Riga Center District Court ruled an unusually tough punishment -- five-day administrative arrest -- for a British national who was held urinating at the Freedom Monument in Riga.

The court said that 34-year old Shirzey Heshmat from London can appeal the court's decision within 20 days before the administrative regional court.

According to the court ruling, Heshmat has not plead himself guilty at court. He said that he was not relieving himself at the monument, he had been just running around the stairs at the monument for fun, which caused his trousers fall down, and the police held him, when he was trying to fix the trousers.

The court took into account the place of committing the offence and an aggravating circumstance that defendant had been under influence of alcohol.

So far foreigners who had been caught relieving themselves at the Freedom Monument had received fines only, and such punishments arouse from Latvian officials.

Latvia's special police force Alfa officers detained the British national for urinating at the Monument of Freedom in Riga at 9:35 p.m. on Monday. An administrative case for ptite hooliganism has been launched and such an offence carries a fine of up to 50 lats (EUR 71) or administrative arrest of up to 15 days.

Several high-ranking Latvian officials have voiced a negative attitude to foreigners urinating at the Monument of Freedom. Mayor of Riga Janis Birks was surprised about low punishments imposed on the foreigners urinating at the monument and said that he had considered possibilities of granting municipal police the authority to punish the offenders.

The National Police chief Aldis Lieljuksis said that the 50 lats fine is too low for the offence. The 15-day administrative arrest would be more appropriate.

Latvian Interior Minister Mareks Seglins urged Municipal Police to punish these offenders with less tolerance and more strictness within the norms of the existing legislation.

According to BNS estimates, eight foreigners had been caught relieving themselves at the Freedom Monument since 2006, majority of them being British nationals. Last week a New Zealand's national, who came to Latvia for his bachelor's party, was held for taking photographs in the "attire" of movie character Borat at the Monument of Freedom. Last year a Scottish national was caught flashing his manhood at the monument.

The Freedom Monument has also been used for mountaineering records as last year drunk Polish and Norwegian nationals were attempting to climb it.

Just goes to show that cretins are independent of nationality, English, Scottish, & New Zealanders all in one story - but where we ask are the Welsh and Irish ? - probably around the back of the cathederal in Dome Square or in the case off one one Welsh person, in the park behind the closed toilet facility !!

Fond memories

I received the following message from A..... (welsh lady with a absentee rugby mad husband) - it so very much echoes my own thoughts of yesterday in comparison with today. Although I am not so sure about the 70's


First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a Bakkie on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Steers, Nandos. Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Chappies, Wilson's Toffees, Wicks Bubble Gum and some crackers to blow up frogs with. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because...... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and cubby houses and played in river beds with matchbox cars. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on DSTV, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents. Only girls had pierced ears! We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time.......no really! We were given pellet guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays, We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT AND NOT DUE TO BLACKMAIL, THREATS AND GUILT FROM THE PAST..... strange but true!Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bully's always ruled the playground at school. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law! Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like "Kiora" and "Blade" and "Ridge" and "Vanilla" This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. PS -The big type is because your eyes are not too good at your age anymore

Monday, February 18, 2008

25 and counting

First of all to all of those who have commented about the delay in updating the blog - my apologies, but sometimes time does not permit.

So as to the goings on in our little village, well the big news is course is that the lovely I.....(Latvian barwoman of the year) has now moved on from the village lounge and is now to be found in a Stella Bar !!. This a new one just opened and is next to The Dickens Bar. I have to confess it is not to my liking as it bears no resemblance to any pub that I would frequent. All glitz and metal, although it does boast the biggest projection screen in Riga - so it may well suite the cretins and the upmarket locals, particularly if my information is correct it also boasts the most expensive steak in town - at Ls20.00! I wish it well but my patronage will be staying at the village lounge.

Elsewhere life has been carrying on as normal, although some of the conversations taking place are becoming more and more surreal. Who would have guessed that we have a Goth in our midst ? and an Irish one at that - so step forward P...... (Irish with a hint of mystery), likewise our Mexican/Latvian village member regales you with tales of the "String theory", and he is not referring to a G-string ! So none of your everyday pub chat for us.

Winter seems to have passed us by, as we have barely seen any snow nor serious sub zero temperatures.

Over the last few weekend rugby has as ever dominated the sports scene, and courtesy of S....(Welsh with a passing interest in the sport) has organised a competition to see who can forecast the winners of each and every game. Apart from a bit of fun it also gives us chance to raise a few lats for the Zvannieki children's home, as a fee of Ls 10.00 was charged for each entry. With two rounds already played I can advise that at this time only three people have a 100% record, one from the entries in Riga and Ireland, and two from sunny Wales. So it will be interesting to see how the competition evolves over the next two weekends.

Saturday saw an invitation from J...(Irish would be builder) to join him for lunch prior to Wasps v London Irish game. It was not so much a meal, more feast, as along with others in attendance I struggled to clean my plate - Pork, Potatoes, Carrots, Mushy peas, stuffing, etc all in Irish man size portions. By the end of the game, and after a few liquid refreshments I was not alone in just wanting to retire to bed.

We have also gained a new village member E....(American - dabbles in scanners) - recently arrived from the UK, and is currently sampling a variety of feminine charms to be found in Riga.

A couple of weeks ago young R....(English/Latvian - recruiter of note) visited for one of his infrequent visits, and as usual managed to reduce the alcohol stocks of Riga in record time.

Now on the subject of alcohol consumption, is it just a coincidence that a certain Irish gentleman of notorious fashion fame is being being blamed by all and sundry for leading them astray when he is in town ? - as all of these escapades seem to take place in the wee hours, I of course have no first hand knowledge of these reports, but I do sense a great deal of relief from his cohorts when he departs these shores and heads back to Ireland.

I regret to advise all that once again a young Brit has taken it upon himself to use the Freedom monument as a toilet, but for some reason which I cannot fathom his fine, which was a mere Ls50.00. What is going on ? - for my part I would have banged him up and thrown away the keys - perhaps then the message would get across to these morons that using the Freedom monument as a urinal was not a good idea and could seriously damage your health.

Now as we all know Latvia has some serious political problems, but one of them is not the lack of political parties from which the population can choose. Up until last week Latvia had 25 political parties, but guess what a breakaway gang of the New Era party are now going to set a 26th. So that is roughly one party for every 100,000 of the population, including children. Now that what I call a Democracy. Just a pity that the majority of the politicians are verging on the border of lunacy. However I suspect many of them will be leaving domestic politics for the biggy in Brussels, not because of any great altruistic reasons, just that the EE parliament in Brussels ( ala Strasbourg) have decided that from April 2008 all EU parliamentarians will get the same salary. Now this is seriously bad news for the Italians, but for the Latvian EU representatives this will represent a whopping 600% increase from there current Latvian based package. Who said the EU was not good for Latvia, certainly not the Latvian MEP's - so watch out for the next EU elections.On the lunacy side of life, well the Lattelecom saga goes on and on, but of course with background political obliachs still controlling the "real" owbership issues, I suspect it will be a long time before this saga is over, and I will take bets that at some time, mother Russia will have a stake in this.

As I write this the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and I saw this morning a horse drawn carriage wending its way into town - it must be summer ! - bring on the outdoor bars - and to the woman who is knitting wooly jumpers for her hens ( apparently they lost there feathers fighting) - keep it up, as it is people like you who make me looking sane