Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Rangers v Capitals

Back to NYC and back to ice hockey. I decided to go and see this game as it featured a guy called Alexander Ovechkin who is probably the best attacking player in the league and on the face of last night you can see why - he did stand out for speed, skill and having a ridiculously good shot.

The game itself started well for the Rangers with them racing to a 3-0 lead (on 6 shots) in just over 11 minutes. They then scored again in the second period to make it 4-0 and seemed to be cruising.

However, just after halfway through the 2nd period a freak deflection flew into the Rangers goal and the Caps had a goal. That was it for the 2nd period and the Rangers seemed comfortable with a 4-1 lead (can you guess what happens next?).

Within a couple of minutes of the restart the Caps had another goal from a powerplay and it was now 4-2. It was 4-3 5 minutes later so it was a one goal game with about 13 minutes to play. Tr Rangers held out for another five minutes before Ovechkin scored the equalising goal so the Rangers had blown a four goal lead.

That was how the game finished and going into overtime the Caps had all the momentum so it was no surprise when they scored a minute in to take the win 5-4.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Fun on flights

You won't like me for this but when I flew from JFK to Heathrow on Tuesday last week that was my first long haul flight in cattle class for a couple of years...and as I was given an upgrade to business on the way back it will stay that way...until next week anyway.

However, I was within minutes of missing my return flight from Heathrow as my flight from Edinburgh had all sorts of issues. It was due to take off at 3pm and land and I had to check in for my other flight at 7pm latest so shouldn't have been a problem.

The Edinburgh flight was delayed by 45 minutes before I even checked in, then (and this was a new one) two passengers decided that they weren't going to fly after all and their bags had to be unloaded, this meant the flight missed its take-off window and was stuck for another half hour. Next was the inevitable circle above Heathrow for half an hour and finally (another new one) when pulling up to the gate someone had parked a vehicle in front of the gate so we had to wait for that to be moved...

After running from Terminal 1 to 3 check-in I made it with 6 minutes to spare...first and last time I'm flying BMI.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Tough Tour

It was after the first night in London that I realised that I may have set myself a rather tough schedule on my trip round the UK. In order these nights consisted:

Wed - got in at 4.30am (ish) after being out in Soho with Pete and TC (Pete made the 8am train while TC phoned in sick)
Thurs - Steakathon VII which went on until 1.30am
Fri - a potentially quieter night in Edinburgh but actually closer to 2am
Sat - a final push and about 2am in Hawick

Completely unrelated but I see that my Visa expiry countdown in under 100 days!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

As I walked into work this morning...

...the snow was falling. As I looked out the window at lunchtime the snow was falling hard. Do I really want to look at the JFK departures board?

Monday, 15 December 2008

Endurance Drinking

No me this time but my flatmate - I was having another quiet(ish) weekend before I head back to the UK and so was only out for a few on Saturday evening. My flatmate however deserves a mention for his exploits on Saturday.

He headed out to Santacon (a bar crawl in Santa outfits) at about 1pm and wasn't back by the time I went to sleep around 1am. Then, when I got up to watch the Wasps v Edinburgh Heineken Cup match online at 8am he was sitting drinking whisky playing online poker (which he continued to do through this game and the Perpingan v Leicester game). He then decided that he only had just under one more hour to go to make it 24hrs straight so got a beer from the fridge and settled down for that last push. Haven't seen him yet today but I can't think he's having a good day.

I doubt I've done that since Prague in 2004 (and thinking about it that was a lot longer than 24 hours).

Friday, 12 December 2008

2008 - I'm basically done with it

I really have pretty much switched off for the rest of the year - 2008 is done for me (with only about 5 more days left in the office and nothing much going on here either). In fact yesterday I shoved off at lunchtime and went to the gym for the afternoon instead.

Tonight is the office Holiday Party (not to be confused with a Xmas Party obviously) but I have virtually no desire to bother with it to be honest. Better show face for a few hours at least.

This weekend - well it is both cold and wet here at the moment so I doubt there is much interesting to get up to. It is Santacon here tomorrow which will mean loads of amateur drinkers dressed as Santa falling about by mid afternoon. At least there are a few Heineken Cup games to get me through the weekend.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Holiday Party

Tomorrow night sees my companies Holiday Party. It doesn't seem quite as formal as last year which was a full sit down dinner on a Saturday night but apparently I still have to wear a tie. This seems wrong to me that I have to be more formal at a company party than I am in the office on any normal day.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

WRXP Holiday Extravaganza

...or as I could have called it - The Ting Tings yet again.

This time it was Blender Theatre on 23rd Street where the local radio station was putting on a holiday show featuring four bands: Mike Doughty, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Duke Spirit and The Ting Tings. Unfortunately I was in a meeting that overran somewhat so I wasn't able to get there until 8.45pm so only caught the last two.

The Duke Spirit
- I'd heard of this band before but have no idea why, I don;t think I've seen them live before so it must have been NME I guess. Anyway, either they weren't very good or they should shoot the sound engineer - normally I'll get into most live bands I see within a few songs (or decide they are terrible) but this lot just seemed to be noise. AT the moment I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and blame the sound engineer but maybe they are just crap.

The Ting Tings
- they seem to be down to about a month between visits now and announced that they plan to move to NY next year. Might as well, they seem to spend all their time here. I think have now seen they live more than any other band (maybe challenged only Feeder or the Stereophonics but they've been around for 10 years or so). They did seem to have slightly changed the live versions of a couple of songs again from last month - watching the evolution of the live show has been quite interesting this year.

Anyway, you'll find an mp3 of The Ting Tings cover version of "Happy Birthday" by Altered Images on this site.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Rangers v Flames

After one of the best ice hockey games I have seen here on Wednesday last week I was back to see the Rangers play the Calgary Flames - and it was about as bad a game as I have seen. The Rangers had one great chance in the first 5 seconds and after that never really looked that threatening.

To be fair Calgary had very few shots on target but managed to win 3-0. I think this was the first time I have seen the Rangers shut out.

Monday, 8 December 2008

USS Intrepid

A few weeks ago I headed out on a sunny Sunday afternoon to visit to USS Intrepid - this is a decommissioned aircraft carrier which is now an air/sea museum. Unfortunately it was closed at the time having only recently returned to the city after recent refurbishment so I couldn't get on board.

As I was trying to have a quiet (virtually beer free) weekend I went back to the now reopened museum (on a somewhat colder and darker Saturday).

On the deck there are about 20 or so different warplanes from various countries. However, I found that exploring the aircraft carrier to be much more interesting (which may have something to do with the temperature on the deck).

It certainly proved to me that this would be an awful place to live and work. There is no space and even the officers rooms were tiny grey rooms with no natural light. Highly depressing stuff I imagine.

There are a couple of other things to see here as well, a submarine (which disappointingly you can't get on) and one of the remaining Concorde aircraft which you can walk through.

Friday, 5 December 2008

The Answer

OK, for the majority of you who probably have no idea who is in yesterday's picture (and still didn't get it when Jeff said Dante) the answer is that he is Brian O'Halloran and he starred in Clerks (and pretty much all the other Kevin Smith movies). Most of you still saying who? Well, its not my fault you have no taste in movies.

You'll find a short film with Dante and Randall (the characters from Clerks) here where they are discussing the merits of a flying car while stuck in a traffic jam.

Very nice guy though, not at all annoyed about some random guy asking him dumb questions. In fact we chatted away for most of the rest of the game - apparently he gets recognised 3 or 4 times at each game he attends.

As for this weekend, I'm looking forward to not having to go to the bar at 9.30am and stay there all day - that was really starting to hurt. A quiet weekend with a few Heineken Cup matches streamed online will do me fine.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Rangers v Penguins

Last year I went to see the Rangers play the Penguins in the hope of seeing Sidney Crosby (generally accepted to be the best player in the league) but he was injured and missed the game so I was back last night and this time he was playing.

This was possibly the best game I've been to, it really had everything: a fight in the first couple of minutes; Rangers coming back from two gaols down to tie the game; Crosby being hammered with a hit when he almost broke away in overtime; and the Rangers scoring all three of their shootout attempts (very unusual).

There is also another story from last night as well, when I got to my seat for the game I thought I recognised the guy sitting next to me. By the end of the first period I was sure and got speaking to the him - I don't expect that many people to know who he is but he is the star of one of my favourite films:

Answer tomorrow if you don't know.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

UK tour

I know I've mentioned this to a few people but I will be running round the UK later this month as follows:

17th - London
18th - London
19th - Edinburgh
20th - Hawick
21st - Hawick

Now, to find a feed with the Baa-Baa's v Convicts game...

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Beer Pong

I can't remember if I've written about beer pong before. Anyway, after spending Saturday morning in the Red Lion watching the rugby (as usual) we wander off to another bar at about 1pm to play some beer pong.

This is a game where 10 plastic cups with beer in them (no shock there) are set out in bowling pin formation and players take it in turns to throw ping pong balls at the opposing teams beers. Get a ball in a cup and that beer must be drunk. First team to make the opposing team drink all their beers wins. That's about as you need to know to play.

There are of course a number of other rules all displayed on the wall including one we added ourselves that Light Beer was not allowed - much to the annoyance of all the Yanks who wanted to play. In fact that caused more arguments than any other rule all day.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Thanksgiving weekend (Part 1)

On the positive side I did manage to go to the gym for three days in a row (Wed to Fri) but there wasn't much else healthy about my long weekend. I found an "Arrested Development" marathon on some obscure channel for Thanksgiving itself and ended up out until 2am watching a U2 cover band on Friday night.

The band was actually pretty good and played for about 2 hours and it only cost $10 to get in. The venue however was different matter. I've long known that going out anywhere in the vicinity of Times Square is a bad idea and we were a bit too close here (about 3 blocks). As stranger collection of individuals would be difficult to imagine - maybe the Cantina in Mos Eisley...

Oh, I was also going to mention a story I came across in the news which didn't get much coverage. Friday is a HUGE shopping day in Yankland with people queuing up in the middle of the night to get into sales - here's the story:

"A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. worker died after hundreds of customers jammed into a Long Island, New York, store, knocking down the man and stepping on him shortly after doors opened early, the New York Daily News said, citing a witness. A woman also miscarried as hundreds of shoppers rushed through the doors, which were taken off their hinges to accomodate the surging crowd, the newspaper reported, citing another witness. Nassau County police said there were several injuries without elaborating, and wouldn't confirm witness accounts, the New York Daily News said."