Archive for the ‘General’ Category

What a day. Illness and holidays have hit our sportsdesk workforce like a nuclear apocalypse, leaving a few brave souls to preserve the future of society (or ‘the paper’ if you aren’t coming with me dramatically).
I have been wiped out to be honest, but continue to be spurred on by the success of the basketball section of our website (ww) which continues to grow it’s audience figures. What I need to do now is figure out a way to male more people watch the longest running weekly episodic video blog in Chester Chronicle history, Jetstream. It’s on the same page and all suggestions on how to increase viewership will be given serious consideration. Leave a comment to offer your input.


This is crazy. According to this report in the Telegraph scientists have invented spray-on clothing that can be washed and re-used.

But watch the video and a few things spring to mind. Firstly it is sprayed onto the skin. Yes it might build up a thick layer and may withstand washing but it’s hard enough removing a tight t-shirt, never mind trying to get that off, surely it would split?

Secondly, If you are not a size zero are you really going to want to parade yourself down the street in something so fitted, that shows every lump and bump that clever dressing can compensate for?

But most imagine the thought process behind it. Perhaps – and this is speculative – they thought “We’re scientists doing research at university, it is important work in the main but pretty dry. How can we get an attractive woman to take her clothes off for us? Invite her to try out our new fashion innovation of course!” (This is a purely hypothetical situation. Any similarity to any persons living or dead is coincidental)

Today’s a big day. Not because of the basketball I spoke of yesterday, but because my future father in law and fellow sadist (the new nickname for Tranmere Rovers beleaguered fans), is going in for a big heart operation.

Obviously everyone is very worried, surgery is a scary thing at the best of times., but it has all been brought into sharp relief by the fact he has just added a granddaughter to his flock (and it is not mine, before anyone goes panicking).

That has simply added another level of emotion and poignancy to the situation and has led to a highly charged atmosphere in the house recently.

Luckily though he is having his procedure at Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool, which in my opinion is probably the best place in the world he could be.

Great facilities and great staff who know hearts inside out (handy) will make sure he received the best treatment and care available.

It is unlike me to do this as I usually have a light hearted pay-off but please, think on if you pass a British Heart Foundation shop or see someone collecting for the charity and give a handful of the scrap metal in your pockets.

You might just be thankful you did if you one day end up in L14.


Posted: August 25, 2010 in General, Sport

Having got a particularly challenging Flintshire edition boxed off this week I can turn my attention to a little bit of excitement, the GB Eurobasket Qualifiers at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Two local young players are part of the GB set-up and it is a big deal, when you consider how many players make up a squad.

But more exciting than that its the fact that the event offers me the rare pleasure of being able to leave the office for a job. The Echo Arena is a great venue and this will be the first time I have worked there, but to be honest I’m just glad of the fresh air.

Once an old mentor of mine, Mike Green (not the one currently working for the Chester Chronicle, if you know your local weeklies) regaled me with romantic tales of overnight jobs and travelling to London to cover marches and strikes by steelworkers.  

Now I would be as happy being sent to a job in a crack den or a sewage works, such is the opportunity for me to get out of the office.

Education. An important cornerstone of a successful economy and a civilised society. But the current obsession with going to university has become ridiculous, with news programmes leading on the fact not everyone will be able to go on to higher education.

Boo hoo.

I speak as a non-graduate who works in an industry which people keep telling him is a closed shop without a degree. Bunkum.

Somehow, somewhere along the line, someone decided that everyone had to go to university to be of any use and the whole country subscribed to it. Well I’m here to disprove that. If you are good enough, qualifications shouldn’t come into it.

I have to say in my experience, th most useful people in society are the ones who left school at 16 with some average qualifications or at 18 after their A levels.

Because these people go out into the real world when they are still young enough to learn and be shaped by it and they tailor their behaviour and skills accordingly.

People in university are mollycoddled in a school-like environment, often working a handful of hours a week and at the end of it they whine because they can’t find a job that pays more than £15,000 a month or they are told they do not have the necessary experience or a relevant degree.

We place no stock at all these days in manual skills. Some people have a manual intelligence that means they might be great as a mechanic or a tradesperson, but not great academically.

It’s a different type of intelligence but oh no, little Johnny has to go to Oxbridge rather than take an apprenticeship.

We undervalue these trades then complain when there is a shortage. The nation’s priorities must change. Remember, the recession was caused by university types (investment bankers) ripping off hard-working people (us).

University is not all it’s cracked up to be now is it?

It’s happened. My future sister and brother-in-laws have had a lovely baby girl and the inevitable has happened, my good lady now wants one. To be honest, I want one (although preferably a boy, I think they are easier).

Unfortunately while I am fairly laid back about timescale, feeling no pressure at all, it seems I have overlooked some major piece of machinery that has had a dramatic effect on my missus – the biological clock.

Apparently there is a time limit for these things, and the countdown begins not at a specific age, but when someone else has one. If I do say so myself we both have youth on our side but now there is a ticking noise accompanying every day as previously unknown deadlines loom.

We’re getting married…tick tock…I’d like to save to buy a house…tick tock…shall we go on holiday…tick tock…

But as I sit back and think about it, whatever happens, when you look at that little baby and think of having your own, the sacrifices, pain and discomfort necessary to raise it all pale into insignificance.

And those mini Adidas Superstar II’s are just adorable.

The Unconventional Truth

Posted: July 28, 2010 in General
Tags: , ,

Weight loss seems to be the big fad of our generation, and unfortunately, I have now caught the bug.

While most people begin this insane pursuit in the New Year, unfortunately I have little choice but to start at as we head toward August.

With the wedding of our friends in a month and a half and our own wedding in under a year, myself and the future Mrs Doyle are officially on a health kick.

Monday night football is noo longer enough as I have barely lost any weight since adding a stone to my not inconsiderable collection Christmas before last.

So the Wii Fit has been dusted off and we have a schedule where exercise is penned in six out of seven days.

After weathering the abuse of the all-too-clever plastic board (“It’s been 23 days since your last session, I wonder if I can remember your name…) I was actually rather pleased with my first efforts, just 24 hours after a gruelling football match in the warmest rainstorm I have felt on these shores for some time.

We are also ‘eating healthily’. This apparently means binning all the food in the house that has taste and replacing it with salad. So far it’s going well but it has only been two days. Can we stick to it? Time will tell.