Barcelona, Real Madrid, who the ..

UEFA

It’s been a long year and I’ve only had 3 days holiday so far.

I’m due a break … or three.

As it happens today the draw for the group stages of the UEFA champions League is made and Celtic are pot 4 and will face one opponent from each of the other 3 pots,  detailed below.

My choices ..

Pot 1 – Paris Saint-Germain as I love Paris and haven’t been for a few years.

Pot 2 – Atletico Madrid as I’ve never been to Madrid and have wanted to go for ages.

Pot 3 – Borussia Monchengladbach as my dad used to play against them when he was stationed in Germany during his national service and still talks fondly of his time there.

Did you notice that none of these choices is based on the football content and the likelyhood of getting a win?

Who cares .. we are there thats all that matters.

I’m not actually expecting a win or to qualify for the knock-out stages,   but if we do or make 3rd place and qualify for the Europa knockout stages and have European football after Christmas then that will be a bonus.

Hopefully we don’t get Barcelona,  fantastic city,  but I’m fed up beating them! 🙂

 

Mon The Hoops!

 

Champions League pots

Pot 1: Real Madrid (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Leicester City (England), Bayern Munich (Germany), Juventus (Italy), Benfica (Portugal), Paris Saint-Germain (France), CSKA Moscow (Russia).

Pot 2: Atletico Madrid (Spain), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Arsenal (England), Manchester City (England), Sevilla (Spain), Porto (Portugal), Napoli (Italy), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)

Pot 3: Basel (Switzerland), Tottenham Hotspur (England), Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine), Lyon (France), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Sporting Lisbon (Portugal), Club Brugge (Belgium), Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)

Pot 4: Celtic (Scotland), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Monaco (France), Besiktas (Turkey), Legia Warsaw (Poland), Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), FC Copenhagen (Denmark), Rostov (Russia)

 

 

Big Brother Is Stalking You!

Voting in an Election

Voting in a UK Election. Coloured Rosettes for the principal UK political parties

 

Just read an interesting article on how Facebook collects data and decides on your political, social and economic preferences to target you for advertisers.
 
In the article it also states that other social media and service providers such as LinkedIn, Royal Caribbean, Vistaprint,Groupon etc have provided Facebook with files that you use their services.
 
Click on your own preference and have a look at the data that is collected and has been provided on you. 
 
Big brother is stalking you!
 

The Wild Wild Wood?

Welcome

High tide,  mid-afternoon
People fly by in the traffic boom
Knowing just where you’re blowing
Getting to where you should be going

Last night,  Celtic made the Champions League Group Stages by the skin on their rinny-chin-chin.

After the 5-2 home win last week,  last night turned out to be a tense affair.

Essentially last weeks victory is a 2.5 goal win,  if our opponents had scored 2,  then we are through but if they had scored 3 to bring the tie to 5-5 on aggregate then Hapoel go through on the away goals rule.

I had the boys round last night,  wee practice session for an upcoming gig.

The football was on the telly,  but not-a-one of my fine church-going,  god-fearing friends showed the slightest interest until the game was nearly over.

Funny that.

Last night was our Cup Final,  most likely the biggest game of our season,  worth 30 million not including any extra money for points scored.

We played Wild Wood by Paul Weller as the game played in the background,  I’m glad it didn’t have my complete focus,  but with minutes to go,  we were all standing watching the tv and I’m certain that I was the only person praying that Hapoel didn’t score.

But we held on,  battled through 4 qualifying stages,  8 games in total, which is an absolute disgrace when this competition is called the Champions League and the 4th team in England, Spain and Germany get automatic entry.

The draw for the group stages is on Friday and I’m hoping to get one of the Madrid teams as I’ve never been and I’m due some holidays.

Celtic have found their way out of the wild wild wood.

 

Palestinian Paradise

 

GreenBrigade

So …  Celtic played a team from Israel in the first leg of the play-off stage of the UEFA Champions League last week.

We gave them a gubbing as expected and as predicted a small but significant minority of fans turned up waving Palestinian flags and holding a huge banner of said flag.

As further predicted, Celtic are now being charged by UEFA for the display of an “illicit banner”, with the hearing and penalties to be decided on September 22nd.

I wrote about this before the game last week .. hoping that my fellow supporters would keep their politics out of paradise, possibly protesting outside the ground instead, which did in fact take place.

I’m in support of these external protests as I do think that Palestinian is treated unfairly by Israel.

However, its the in-stadium protests that I have issues with as the club is not a medium for any groups politics no matter how noble these may be.

The club doesn’t want it and I would contend that the vast majority of supporters don’t want these protests or any subsequent penalties imposed on the club.

Yesterday, the Green Brigade who organised the in-stadium protests set up a page on GoFundMe for charitable donations to 2 Palestinian groups … all very admirable and the fund has already surpassed its originally 15k goal and is well on the way to 40k with donations being received from many individuals and not just Celtic supporters.

https://www.gofundme.com/matchfinepalestine

So here’s the dilemma, I agree with the charity and have made a donation .. But I totally disagree with the club being used as an outlet for the point of view of a group of individuals, particularly as the club did not sanction this protest.

Continue reading “Palestinian Paradise”

Keeping Politics Out Of Paradise?

Israel_Palestine_Flag

Where do you stand on the Israel / Palestinian conflict?

Do you believe that Israel are bullies and the Palestinians are being suppressed?

Or

Do you believe that Israel is fully within it’s rights to occupy the Gaza strip and to defend itself from Palestinian terrorists?

I expect that if you have an allegiance to either group then you’re views are already entrenched and no amount of discussion will change your view.

Personally, I believe that in most discussions, if you say black and I say white, then the answer is some form of grey, a dark grey or a light grey is in the detail but grey none-the-less as there are few absolutes.

The only absolute I subscribe to is that violence is not acceptable at anytime, by either side.

The counter-points being the right to defend yourself, which either side will obviously utilise to justify their attacks on the other.

Pathetic really .. I would like to believe that only a political solution can resolve this issue, however this is unlikely with both sides so ingrained in their point of view.

It’s like kids, fighting, sometimes, you need to be the adult, take away their toys, skelp their arse and tell them to behave.

My hope is that the UN eventually recognise Palestine as a full state, prevent Israel from controlling it’s borders and we all move along together.

Tonight Celtic play Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel in the UEFA Champions League.

Traditionally Celtic are the under-dog of Scottish Football , we were historically the anti-establishment team.

Continue reading “Keeping Politics Out Of Paradise?”

The Cosmic Poker Game Of Time?

 

IMG_9032-1

How much time do you have?

Not to read this blog … I mean,  how much time do you have left in amongst the living?

If you believe the bible,   then we get three score years plus ten .. thats 70 years to you and me.

Regardless of the source,   I think thats a pretty decent general average based on experience and observations rather than historic statistics.

70 years .. it seems like a long time.

Although,   I don’t know if I’d want to keep living if my faculties were gone .. would you?

Life is short and you have to live it while you can.

 

My wee dad is 81 and the wisest man I know.  He has the ability to see beyond himself and his own immediate needs, to look for the truth and not the reasons that he wants to find.

81 and the clock is ticking for him as it is for us all .. It goes without saying that we should appreciate every moment we are here and our parents while they are with us.

But in the past few days I’ve had a few bits of news that got me thinking ..

A not-close family member killed himself last week,    his cancer had came back and he couldn’t face the chemotherapy again .. so took his own life .. very sad for him and the family left behind.

A friend of a friend died at the weekend,  agred 22,  just tragic.

I hadn’t though of it before but by definition the average is reduced by the two events above ..  ie if wasn’t for these tragedies cutting peoples life’s short and everyone lived to  their full expected age then that full life expectation would be significantly higher.

Alternatively .. if the average is truly 70 .. does that imply that for everyone who lives over 70,   then someone else has to die early?

That in some cosmic poker game of time where there are only so many time-chips available on the table ..  for you to win someone else has to lose?


 

Nonsense really .. we are no more significant than the ants at our feet,   life comes and goes in its glory and tragedy and you can only make the best of it and look after yourself,  your family and the planet while you are here.

The clock is ticking and when its over .. it’s over.

Rocky Horror Sorry?

RockyHorror

The Rocky Horror Show plays Glasgow this week.

The show of choice is the Saturday night and its a sell out as expected.

I was looking forward to going ..  I love it,  love the campness and the dressing up and taking part.   It’s great fun  .. I wrote about it somewhere on here before.

But no .. some fecking unreliable useless pr1ck of a friend who had promised to buy the tickets 6 months ago hadn’t bothered his miserable arse.

He’s apologised .. yeah that makes it alright .. only it doesn’t.

I hate that,   imagine someone punched you in the mouth and then apologised .. all very good .. but you’re still left with the swollen lip.

It’s like that ..  sorry just doesn’t cut it.

Ah yeah but it was his poor wife who is in rehab .. again ..

Bollocks .. they had 6 months since it was agreed they would book the tickets.

So you’re not getting off with it.

The least you can do is actually let people know you havent bought the tickets and not let them find out at the last minute when the show is sold out.

Wanker!