Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bored by score at Essen

Goals at the start of each half put paid to Rot Weiss Essen's Cup bid in what proved to be a disappointing evening at the Hafenstra├če. The first sell-out crowd of around 21,000 were unable to help their team but RWE were not outplayed by any means and can be proud of their performance considering they had so many first team players out injured.

With a bit of luck things could have been different but the two goals followed by a third with half an hour to play spoilt the game as a spectacle. All credit to Hamburg who put in a professional performance and rarely stepped out of second gear.

A scoreboard appeared for the first time that I can remember at the end where there is no stand. Never really liked them myself. If you are at a game you should at least know the score unless perhaps it was against Cologne last season.

For those in the slightest bit interested I can be seen on the picture above. If you can spot me then you are a better man than me.

Anyway, had a few beers after the game in the club bar and it proved a good night but was totally knackered after my travels to England to see some friends in Leeds and for my brother's wedding. He upset K by thanking people who had travelled from various parts of the world but not us. I couldn't really care.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good news for smokers

It's not often someone has the balls to stand up for smokers' rights these days so it was heart-warming to read this story here about a German employer who sacked three of his non-smoking employees for threatening to kick up a fuss if smoking was not banned in the office.

"I can't be bothered with trouble-makers," the employer said. "We're on the phone all the time and it's just easier to work while smoking.

"Everyone picks on smokers these days. It's time for revenge. I'm only going to hire smokers from now on."

Germany banned smoking from most public places including bars and restaurants on January 1 but businesses with less than 10 employees can allow smoking in the office.

I find anti-smokers as detestable as racists running around, as they do, on their high horses on their moral high ground.

Smoking is disease which many people want to be cured from. Instead of getting all high and mighty non-smokers should be quietly trying to help people give up.

Most smokers want to give up and they need encouragement and help - not aggression and surrogate racism.

Check out the following for a better picture of the smoking ban sweeping Europe and beyond.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

National search confusion

I've given up trying to work out the way search engines operate after checking a piece I wrote about Grand National betting last year to see if it could be found with a search for "Grand National".

Now it was hardly a Pulitzer prize piece but it was short and straight to the point about the race and how people bet on it. Now, I didn't expect to be number one or indeed on the first page and some would be happy to be on page three but I feel a little aggrieved because of the irrelevance of some pages ahead of me.

The official site is in there which is, of course, fair enough and with the race being centred on betting there are a couple of Grand National free betting offers sites in the list. Some other websites are selling tickets and with Aintree being sold out recently this once again this is once again fair enough. There is a band called Grand national who, I suppose, deserve to be on the list though I've not heard any of their tracks while some national newspapers also make the top 20.

There are some rogue entries like the National Archery Society and some far from natural looking horse racing sites though I most most annoyed to finish the Grand National search engine horse race behind the Scottish National and the insignificant version from the Isle of Wight!

Anyway, who am I to wonder? I've been paid for the work so whether it's number one or number 100 why should I care! Just boredom I think. When do Rot Weiss Essen play next? The winter break in German football is far too long.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Poker tourism

Up to 250,000 German poker players are set to land on English shores this summer following Germany's decision to ban all forms of online gambling.

Armed with laptops and their cashcards these 'poker tourists' will spend up to six weeks at various UK destinations playing online ......and winning.

Although angered and shocked by the government decision made just before Christmas, poker player such as Didi_bvb now intend to spend the bulk of his summer holidays playing online - in England!

"I've booked into a B+B on the south coast," said the Rot Weiss Essen fan.

"It didn't matter where just as long as the place has Wireless LAN. I only have to play a few hours per day to cover the costs and then start making some profits.

"Once in England I will just use my laptop to join a site like Betfair.

"The English guys who play online are pretty poor and most of them seem to be drunk."

"I'm hoping to make about 10,000 Euros per month off the English suckers and still have some time to do some sightseeing and perhaps find myself an English girl.

Many south coast hoteliers will be dusting off their No Vacancies' signs come summer for the first time since the mods and rockers riots in the late sixties and it's all been made possible by the laptop, wireless Internet connections and the German ban on online gambling.

"I'm fully booked up until October," said Bet Smith, owner of the Sun View Hotel in Margate.

"Ninety per cent of the bookings are from German clients - both male and female - but I have no problems with that.

"They are clean, well mannered, speak better English than most of the English and don't get so drunk."



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