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"Shy^ made me do it..." Me and Managerleague (16/04/2013 22:07)

It has been three years, eight months, twelve days and a certain number of hours, minutes and seconds that I cannot be bothered and have no intention to count since I have bogged on here. I feel a lot like I imagine Rocky feels. Not Rocky in Rocky I , II or III when he was at the peak of his powers. More Rocky in either Rocky IV or Rocky Balboa, a sort of punch drunk veteran whose best days are behind him. 

Actually this is a forced simile and one which doesn't quite work as Rocky was remembered by those who saw him return from retirement. He was the old champ coming back for one more round, within his own lifetime. I feel more like someone who was cryogenically frozen for decades and then thawed out in a time where everything feels somewhat familiar but most of the faces are different. It's like some sort of time paradox. 

Or maybe it's more like returning to a blog you used to maintain before life changed and destroyed your free time.  Yeah, it's probably more like that. 

Basically, I'm back on Managerleage for the first time in years. This is largely down to Sjy^ who simply told me I had to as it was the 100th season (I try not to cross her). Luckily I still remembered my password and generated a team to replace my trademark "always flirting on the fringes of promotion to division one" side of days gone by. I merely thought I would play a little bit on it for old times sake and then move on. 

However, the pull of the blog was too much for me to resist. largely because it was on here that I was first able to find my voice, as it were. I feel like I owe Managerleage quite a lot, in a way, or at least the people of Managerleague from July 2006 to July 2009. I thought I'd tell my own story of Managerleage from back in the day, both from the point of view of the game and the community around it, what brought me here and what it led to. In many ways it actually changed my life.

(In a realistic way. I realise that last sentence seems a bit culty. This is not me advocating a cult, I can asure you..... at least not yet - there is a tale of ressurection here!)


So I, like many, came to this game because I was bored at work. I was sat in my office, a low paid functionary punting data into Excel in Central London and looking for ways to waste time because work really (and I mean REALLY) wasn't taxing. I recalled playing Play-by-Mail football management games as a young teenager (this is PRE-INTERNET kids! Imagine it!) where you would get sent print outs of data posted to you, make decision and send it back by the deadline and do transfers over the phone. It was all very exciting for a while until my pocket money dried up and I had to quit because I got a SNES and a CD/Cassette recorder and so had other things to spend money on. But aside from the cash flow, I really enjoyed the play by mail. I remember seriously upsetting a grown man from Milton Keynes when he called my house (at 13 I'd not thought twice about handing out my parents landline number to strangers!) to try and convince me to part with my star striker only to discover a teenager had total control of the negotiation. He must have felt terribly immasculated when I gave him another player for free instead as he was superflous. I was the king. However, I digress. Remeber when I used to digress...?

Anyway, so boring job and childhood memories led me to wonder if such a thing existed on this Internet thing they were all going on about (ok, it wasn't THAT long ago). So I googled, tried one (it were crap) and then found Managerleage. I made up a username from a Polish name and created a Mexican team - Banditos. This was when there was only one league. I can't recall which season but it was bloody early as I remember that stuff in Spinner's history blog. I joined up and very quickly became obsessed. My day ended up being planned around the game times. First thing done on arrival at work was check the results. I certainly spent more time chasing down bargains than I ever did sorting out Medical Student placements (which may well have damaged the medical profession significantly, but I do feel it was a worthwhile sacrifice). In short, Managerleage became what I did ALL DAY and work was merely a sideline to keep my spirits up during the off season. I used to dread that week!

As things developed I decided to interest my co-workers in the game and, at one point, the entire office had joined up. It added to the fun but in the game I remained faily anonymous. 

That all changed when the Blogs were introduced...

Now, I'd always been a bit of a frustrated writer. In a number of senses. I was frustrated that I always wanted to write but never finished anything. I was frustrated that no one ever read my stuff (which was odd as I never even told people I wrote because it sounded too nobbish) and I was frustrated that no one paid me to write (which was a bit nobbish to expect in the light of the first two things). I'd also always wanted to crack on with a blog but never had a medium or a theme. So one day, before the afternoon match, I had a free hour or so and decided to knock out a blog entry...

Here it is:

Now it feels a little dated I admit, and covers the ground of my early obsession with the game, but the fact that I could see how many people had viewed it AND get feedback on it boosted my confidence incredibly. So I carried on. I blogged fairly regularly about twin topics of an obsession with the game bordering on a mental collapse in which I was unable to detach the game from reality and odd events in my life (I lead an odd life where odd things happen to me an awful lot). And after each blog I nervously checked my stats and each one seemed to meet with a favourable response. 

Then magical things began to happen. Firstly, people on the game starte contacting me directly! chatting to me and such. What I had written had encouraged them to get in contact with me. If you don't write and don't understand the pain, fear, self-doubt and self-loathing that goes into the process then you won't realise how much that sort of thing really means. The positive reaction was great and the community here seemed to embrace me through my writing and my confidence only grew. It was further boosted by being made and "Official Blogger" for the approximately two months this existed as a thing on the front page! I was delighted by this. My readership passed 1000 per entry and I actually used to tell people I was big in Norway!

I managed to develop a serious of idiosyncracies that frequent readers picked up on. These included seious typos, an tendency to digress to such and extent as to alter the topic of the blog entry in question, an alarming habot of clicking off the blog entry screen without saving (must have lost 1000s of words to that AND managed to do it about half an hour ago, as if to remind myself) and, most solidly, an over reliance on elipses.... 

I also met (in real life) members of the Managerleague community (including Miss Spoons, Shy^ and Spinner) and at no point felt threatened by them. Lovely people. Still on contact and all that.  My blog developed. I wrote live blogs charting special cups for Sir Johnny ( and then got asked to perform the duties of a sort of entertainments manager, running contests within the game. My particular favourite was the Football Shirt Game where you had to send in a picture of yourself in a shirt from the furthest geographical location you could away from where you lived. There was also the "Where's Wojteker" Game. Good times.  

Over the course of the next few years this impacted on my life in ways I would never have expected. I was, as a result, able to write two full lenght novels (one of which gained me a genuine legitimate literary agent!), completed over a dozen short stories, wrote a few short film scripts, blogged my way around the world ( and for some reason that is quite beyond me, I also applied for a job as a writer on Oxford Street. Which I got! All thanks to Managerleage!

The fact that this was the worst job I ever had is neither here nor there. The additional fact that I lost the job due to a chain of events set in motion by being caught playing Managerleage whilst at work by my boss and not being able to explain what it was in any way other that total honesty. Things spiralled down from there and I quit that job to become a teacher. The result was that I also had to quit Managerleage due to a serious lack of time (teaching is busy man!). Nevertheless, I use my writing skills, honed in this supportive place, almost every day writing weird and interesting lessons, reports and papers. I do the best job in the world for me and I would never have got to this point without Managerleage being in my life. 

I could bang on and on for a lot longer about the nitty gritty of all this but, to be honest, a lot of it is in my old blogs which are still up here. If you're bored, have a read.  You'll hopefully see how I developed from a self-concious anonymous blogger to a person who lets people read his writing and does a job every day that makes me happy more than anything else I've ever done. Along the way, I've gained a job, lost a job, made some great friends, got a better job and got the confidence to put my work out there and get it read. Hopefully one day I'll get a publisher and I can dedicate a work to this glorious glorious game. 

Not because it is a game, that's just the way in. It's so much more than that to me and always will be. So even though I may disappear for over 50 seasons I will always return as an when I am needed/wanted. 

I'll even work for free....


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The Orwellian Pubcast... (28/07/2009 16:48)

Right, this is the promised new project. I am shamelessly advertising this because I want people to listen to it, even if you think it's crappy.

Me and my mate Dave have created a podcast called THE ORWELLIAN PUBCAST.

What we have done is taken George Orwell's essay, Moon Under the Water, about his ideal pub, updated his criteria to take into account the changes in society (well, pubs) over the 60 odd years between now and when he wrote it, then made use of our new, 10 point scoring system to rate and rank pubs.

We have focused on pubs with interesting, unusual or weird histories so far.

I promise this makes sense, although it may not feel like it now. It is properly explained on the first episode, where we worked it all out in the Anchor over a few drinks.

Anyway, we are up and running on itunes and will have a new episode each week for the foreseeable future.

I would like to encourage you to:

a) Listen

b) Subscribe

c) Send the link to anyone you know. They may like it.

The itunes link is: The Orwellian Pubcast on Itunes

If you don't have itunes, you can listen online at either our blog: The Orwellian Pubcast Blog

Or at the podcast hosting website gcast: The Orwellian Pubcast at Gcast

If you do, please excuse the few technical difficulties at the beginning (the slight occasional sound loss). It stops after a few minutes, so don't worry. If you cant get it for whatever reason let me know and I'll help you get it!

Ok, that's basically it... UNLESS...

You have a pub you think we should go to. If so email me by replying, or the pubcast email at

OR you want to come on as a special guest and help us review. Email me about that too. We have already done this once and it worked really well.

Additionally, any thoughts, comments, suggestions criticisms etc are welcomed.

Thanks for you time and all,

Woj (& Dave)

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A slight return... (09/07/2009 18:38)
I'm back, your favourite whingebag of a blogger, using bluetones song titles to head up his work...

I Before I start, may I just say this. Spinner has a very nasty eye complaint, people, and, whilst I am sure you all wish him very well, I would just like to state for the record that, inspite of previous conflict on this blog and his previous attempts to have me killed by preventing me from getting off escalators and the like, I categorically am NOT RESPONSIBLE for it. He may have pushed me to my limits, but It wasn't me ok?

Hope he's back here soon, fighting fit...

Right, where was I?

Well, I have actually taken the longest and most enforced break from ML in my 50 season career. It was forced upon me by conditions beyond my control (not spinner - I know what you're thinking) of which more in a moment. It was, however, six months long...

I shall repeat, SIX MONTHS LONG...

Think about that for a moment. Think what you could do with six months where you were forced not to play this game, six months in which people made you go to a place everyday where ML was blocked from the computers. Six months where any time spent at home was spent working your arse off for people who couldn't give a rats testicle about it. Six months where you were deprived the opportunity to blog regularly (or at all) when you had been used to at least some opportunity, even when life was at its most depressing. Six whole months without contact with the ML community.

It was painful friends, painful.

Now, I realise that after six months out I cannot expect a few things. These are as follows:

1) that anyone remembers who I am whatsoever
2) that my team is feared in every corner of the globe for the rigid formation that has seen me ascend to greatness in the past and defeat notable big leaguers.
3) that my team has even managed to sustain its league position
4) that my opinions and thoughts still have cache around here.

Well, it's only right that I address each of these in turn.
1) I can't expect to be remembered, at least not by most. There will be people reading this who have never seen the glorious white and green of Banditos emblazoned in my name at the top of a blog, never disagreed with me so vehemently that they sent me an abusive email, never missed the sarcasm and made a fool of themselves in a comment on an entry.
To these people I say, ask around.
To the people they ask, I say, please just pretend, it would make me feel much better about myself.
Problem 1 can be solved through rebuilding my profile through consistent blogging. This I shall do, at least over the summer until my new job starts and ruins it for us all...

2) Well, It never was. The highlight of my ML career was a single season in div 1 that even I had forgotten about. At least I didn't finish bottom.
Record loss is still that 9-0 to shy in a friendly, I think. That hurts on so many levels.

3) Not a chance - I logged in two weeks ago to see myself lumbering around the relegation spots in Div 4! Good lord! This is where months of doing nothing with your team get you. A Newcastle. I didn't go full newcastle though, the two weeks I took control back for saw Banditos run in the end of the season UNBEATEN! IN YOUR FACE WORLD! 7 or 8 new players brought in, all young, fit and healthy, ready to be the backbone of Banditos return.
And what makes this easier? OVER 200 MILLION CASH and OVER 300 FREAKING CREDITS!!! I've never had so much of either before. It went a little to my head and I started blowing it all. Barely any cash left now. But invested wisely at least. So, watch out world, we're on our way back!

4) This, friends, is key. There is no point in coming back if I'm not going to tap away at this here keyboard on a brand new computer. Clearly what I say means something or you wouldn't have read this far. I very much expect this return to be viewed in the same way as if Stephen Fry, the Oracle at Delphi and Wikipedia all disappeared for six months and then suddenly turned up and wrote a blog. Kneel, friends, and hear the truth.

Anyway, unusual of me to blog on ML actually about ML, but there you go.
In other news...Woj is now (somehow) a qualified Teacher of History and Government & Politics, has a new job starting in September, but is currently...
wait for it...

Wonderful. I can just spend my days watching tv, writing the second novel and not wearing socks (until my wife returns and points out how lazy I've become). Bliss. I am a gentleman of leisure and no mistake. So the 9 months of hard work and 6 months of minimal ML have paid off. Expect to be able to yell at me in text speak for the next 9 weeks.

So, friends, old and new, going forward, what to expect...

a) A more prominent, vocal Wojteker.
b) Regular blogs
c) Blogs with much more structure, craft, point and development than this one (give me a break peeps, just wrote 4,000 words before I sat down to do this
d) An all conquering Banditos - Any friendlies, bring em on. Need one but no creds? message me and I'll pay.
e) A new podcast project - this will be hugely better than my last attempts, and will be mentioned some time soon.

Friends, I thank you for coming with me thus far. I hope it was suitably disappointing and worthwhile in equal measure...

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Fonder Hearts...? (13/01/2009 15:04)

Bok! (Hello in Croat - learnt that yesterday, student of life that I am!)

Welcome to the first Wojteker blog of 2009, a year that promises much, but may well dash both my hopes and yours upon the rocks of horrific anticlimax.

Now, many of you who are travellers with my on this odd little road we call "Reading Wojteker's Blog's" may well know, but for those of you who do not, I have been known to review my year around this time (early January) and lay out my plans for the forthcoming 12 months.

This i have done once more, but as part of my new found hybrid text-talk existence, I have done so in podcast form.

Please feel free to have a listen by following this link to itunes :

or this link to a site where you can just listen to it online:
Podcast to listen to online

In either case, 13th Jan is the latest one - titled Resolutions.

If you do this PLEASE email me at to let me know EXACTLY what you think. I require feedback, and despite my best attempts at bribery, only 2 of you have bothered. Please see earlier blog entires for details (most notably "Ingrates".).

Comments on itunes will be rewarded with credits if they are a) honest, not fawning and b) don't mention credits in them!!!

Right, now that's out of the way, let me explain a few things:

1. This will not be a review of the year/resolutions type blog. I've podcasted it and there is no point doing it twice. The second version will either be a plae and lifeless version of the first, or it will be much better, leaving me glum about the first. Therefore, to avoid glumness or faliure, no double-dipping. The podcast will be THE ONLY place for the review.

2. That said, there is some news to share in future that may well lead to cross-over. For that, I apologise now!

I would get to the meat of this if there were any, but as we've just been through Christmas (where i did very well) I'm sure those of us who eat meat have had more than enough. Think of this as more of a vegetable stew. Nice and hearty but full of minor tit-bits that lack any substance. Like this...

Right - an offer...

I was given a web address as a gift for Christmas. It is either or .com, not sure at the mo, but it is mine for at least 2 years. But what to do with it?

What in deed....

So i thought i may well cast about in here for some assistance. I plan to make use of this website in order to draw together a few of the disparate creative threads of my life into one amalgamated body. To do this, i need to build a website that will do what I want it to. This may be where you come in.

It is plainly obvious that i have no real idea how to do that. I could try to work it all out for myself by trial and error, but that would take AGES. So, being the type to short cut all that sort of stuff, here is what i propose.

Anyone with a suggestion for a practical solution to my problem can either voice it here, or send me a more detailed email at the address above, or both! What i want from my website is this:

- more than 1 page, up to 10?
- the ability to have a picture gallery
- the ability to have a comments bit
- the ability to blog AND to have the blog tell me how many views each entry has had (like the one in ML - I hate being in the dark!).
- the ability to contain my podcasts if possible
- ideally, the ability to have downloadable files (stories!) in pdf as well as space to have comments left etc.

These things i want. Who is going to help me with advice or suggestions about how to do it? Credits may well be awarded, and even friendship extended.



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Ingrates... (19/11/2008 18:59)

I can't believe you lot sometimes

I mean, quite honestly it's heartbreaking. I start off on a great new endeavour FOR YOUR BENEFIT AND ENTERTAINMENT. It is both humourous and enlightening. I get nothing out of doing it - if anything it makes my life more difficult than it normally is.

And then, I am generous enough to offer you free credits for this game if you go and listen to it and leave a little comment. I didn't even specify that you had to be nice. I told you directly that you could slag me off as much as you want, so long as it was an honest reaction. And still i would reward you.

And what happens? 4 people bother to do it.

Incredible. 4 measly people out of the hundreds who read the blog. (I have no idea how many bothered to listen to the podcasts - it may be just 4. The site that hosts them for free won't store that info - anyone any ideas that don't involve paying someone?)

You ingrates. Miserable, ungrateful ingrates. I slog my heart and soul out writing words to make your day somewhat less lousy and get NOTHING back for it when i merely ask for honesty. If free credits won't motivate you to do something what will? What do you want from me? Blood?

I spent a sleepless night wondering if it was just that you were all fickle, or lazy, or shy (not Shy^, this doesn't apply to her as she is wonderfully lovely. Nor is this applicable to Antjie, Spoons, Konsen, Cornish or S.Zodiac - they are the exceptions that proove the rule). Then something dawned on me, slowly like...well...dawn i suppose. That's probably the best metaphor...

What had i stumbled on you ask? I am clearly duty bound to say. I ran to the computer as the sun rose slowly to check it out and, lo and behold i was right. You aren't fickle, lazy or shy. Oh no. It's worse than that. It's clearly a personal slight upon my person.

And how do i know this? How do i know this is willful neglect? Well because in spite of my prolifigacy with the written word (oh yes), despite my committment to blogging her EVEN THOUGH i am hugely busy, despite my sharing with you everything i place creatively on the net FIRST before even people I love, people I am related to, despite all this, should a man called Spinner press three keys like this :-) and post that as a blog entry, you'll all fawn all over him and suddenly he'll have something stupid like four thousand comments all saying stuff like "Right on dude lol", "Way to go", "nice work, loving the updates" and some such.

Why do you do this? He doesn;t even give you what you want, what you need. You all need a Patalonian National league, a hairdryer button, the challenging of the male only naming system, the ability to make players transgender, have relationships with each other, become pregnant and have to miss a season. With all your sycophantic comments on his writing, his majesty hasn't provided any of these things!

So what conclusions should I draw from this? You are clearly all brainwashed by the propaganda machine that is churning out all his entries. You think i'm just some fringe dissident loony, who is beneath your contempt inspite of his delightfully crafted blog entries and wonderfully inspired freeform podcasts. Well i have news for you that will blow your mind wide open...


That's right, like the wizzard of Oz, he's not real. He is nothing more than a created figure head, a big brother type who is put there to make you think a certain way and you have gone along with it like the sheep you are, commenting on his greatness all over the place.

Some will say "but Woj, we've seen pics of spoons and kloopy with him, of him with YOU!"

To that i say only this - the Soviets faked photos too - do you believe everything you see in a picture! Take a better look next time. We never landed on the moon.


There is only one way to save yourself from this brainwashing. You MUST use your voice and comment. Here and on itunes, before it's too late for you and you become part of the machine. It is for your sake i do this, for your sake i stand up and place my head above the parapet, my face in the firing line. I am, as ever, working for your benefit!


Podcast to listen to online   or try    WOJTEKER ON ITUNES

Ps - S.Zodiac - I will double the credits i gave you (ie twice as many again) if you go back to itunes and either make it clear you DIDN'T put that you thought it was good for the credits, or slag me off a little for the purposes of balance, and then say you did that for credits too! This only goes for S.Zodiac!
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Two in a week? He gone mad... (07/11/2008 19:24)
I certainly have

The need to plan lots of history lessons to teach kids about all the really interesting stuff that happened to mankind has led to HUGE opportunities to distract myself from actually doing it.

So for the first time in AGES i have plonked myself here before you to share with you once more, mere hours after i last did it.

That said, i have little to actually say, this is more sharing stuff with you linked to previous blogs, which hopefully you know how to find.

Now, my absences from here grow more and more frequent due to my workload changing from imagined to actual. Nevertheless, i still hold special feelings for this space in which i let my thoughts express themselves. I thank you muchly for your continued persistence in clicking on these.

Your reward?

Well - let me say this. If you go and download my podcast from itunes and listen to it and then leave a comment on it on itunes, i'll fling you a credit or few for ML. To clarify - if you listen and rate it (rate it however you like, just rate it) i'll give you a credit. Need proof though! To do it, go to the itunes store and search for Wojteker. You'll find it. If you can't, click here

Wojteker on Itunes

If two people do it, i'll podcast again. If no one does it, i'll podcast three times and force you all to listen!

Additionally , video proof of the Ramshackle Rally is on youtube and can be found at the following links. Is one film in 6 parts. Again, comments and ratings, however critical, are welcome and can generate credits. Please be honest though - i am not looking to buy good ratings, just realistic ones!

Ramshackle Video 1

Ramshackle Video 2

Ramshackle Video 3

Ramshackle Video 4

Ramshackle Video 5

Ramshackle Video 6

Right, that should do for the moment. Have many a lesson to plan now, and far less time to do it in, so i'm off


PS - How are you? How rude of me not to ask...
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Podcast...election... (04/11/2008 22:06)
Ok, so have finally podcasted (is that the verb? I don't know) again. Mic still rubbish but had something to say.Is out there now - listen at:

and come back here and tell me off for being an nob.

All the best,


Ps - have submitted to itunes directory - apparently anyone can - will keep you posted on that score.
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Endings... (09/10/2008 17:06)

NOOOOOO! Don't throw yourself off the building just yet!

This is not a "Wojteker is leaving ML for good" blog entry. Actually, for some of you, the mere fact of me stating this could be enough to tip you over the edge. Please don't. It won't be so bad.

What the title of this blog actually refers to is nothing like that. It has been some weeks (well, months) since we last connected by me spouting verbage onto the screen, hitting save and then publish, then you looking at it briefly before becoming distracted and thinking of something better to do. This is partially due to holidays, but has more to do with the varying demands of life. I have recently come to the end of a number of things and so, as is the way of life, am now at the start of others. So i will outline for you what has passed. Drum roll please...

Things that have ended, are ending, or have at least been completed, abandoned, finished to the extent that they can be considered "over"

  1. The Ramshackle Rally - We made it to Valencia in more or less one piece. Should you wish to go into this in more depth, check out the blog at: In the process we raised literaly oodles of cash for the North London Hospice, in part thanks to the generosity of you lot. For proof, see the just giving page here:
  2. My short film - It was finished a bit ago, but i finally got around to having 6 hours to upload it. Should you be interested to see it, it is called The Last Page and can be found on youtube by following this link: Come back and comment here to let me know what you think!
  3. The Novel - Yes, after 3 years of prevaricating a solid spring and summer of writing has seen me complete the first draft! Hooray! the working title of this is Shades of Grey and should be hitting a bookshelf near you in the distant, distant future when all the books have been read. I am happy about this anyway
  4. My life not working in schools - for the last 5 weeks i have been pretending to be a teacher whilst learning how to actually be a teacher. This has so far involved cutting all my lustrous locks of hair off, wearing a suit (i look good in a suit) and teaching history to pupils. So far it's going well, but the workload is tough and the drink more expensive at the student union than it was a) in the North of England and b) when I was at University. Wish me well
  5. The 28th year of my life - In 10 days i turn 28. In itself no bad thing, except forever more i will always be remined on the very day i get older officially and potentially move into another car insurance bracket, Miss Spoons will also be celebrating a birthday and that she will always be younger than me. If you ask me that's just plain selfish. Sort it out Spoonsy!

So there you have it - a snapshot of my life as it stands on this, the 9th October 2008. Forever remeber this list of things that have ended, for it may go down in history as a turning point for the universe.

If not, it merely marks the point at which i suddenly find myself with a hell of a lot of new things to do...

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August so far... (12/08/2008 13:34)

I would apologise for the infrequency of my blogging recently, but to be honest it is scarcely dissimilar to the frequency i have usually put these out with. This renders any apology worthless as i have no intention of changing. Bah!

The cause of this blog, the first one in AGES not primarily driven by competitions or charity stuff, is that i am hungover and felt it was a good state of mind in which to assess where i am up to in life. Brace yourselves...

Today's hangover is, inevitably, a result of last nights quiz night. If you haven't lept up, i have been running a pub quiz for the last 4 months, and it ended yesterday (my choice - i wasn't fired or anything). It has been excellent fun, but as my life enters a very busy period, i simply don't have the time. However, the regulars and irregulars at the quiz bought me drink upon drink and so, today, i sit nursing an uneasy stomach. But I regret nothing. I never regret what i do, only how people react! It's a life lesson...

Then, as of Tuesday 19th August i will cease to be employed (my choice - i'm not getting fired or anything).

On Thursday 21st August we head to Calais for the Rally (see previous entries if you have had your head in the sand about this), followed by holidays in france at a leisurely pace, reading, writing, day trips and sleep.

And then, upon my return, i will begin training as a teacher. This will see me entering schools across South East London and Kent with the intention of bringing the magic of history to young people. I am aware that some of you in here are young people, and possibly go to school. Therefore, should a bright eyed, bearded student teacher turn up to tell you about the second world war, ask him about Peter the Great. It'll be our secret code, so that you know who i am, and i know you. And then i'll tell you all the juicy history stuff they don;t teach you at school, like how Peter the Great used to pickle dwarves and that...

Teaching will prove to be very busy, so i have been trying to tie up all loose ends before going away. This included ending the pub quiz, leaving work, but also finishing my novel. It is 7/8ths done (that may sound specific, but it is accurate!). I have a week and a bit left to complete the draft. Wish me luck!


Went to the Charity Shield Game on a Gratis ticket on sunday. Was in the Man U end, surrounded by meatheads and borderline psychos. Can someone explain to me what would prompt someone to pay £30 for a ticket and probably twice that in rail fair to travel to Wembley from Manchester to spit bile at other human beings? And singing songs to tell city to F off home? City WERE at home you pillocks! You were playing Pompy! They kept calling Crouch and James scouse b*stards. I know they both played for liverpool, but to be fair, one of them hasn't for what, 10 years? The irony of the fans yelling this having the name Rooney on the back of their shirts was lost on them - Where is Wayne from? United Fans are irritating (and yes, you may be a United Fan, but so what - you've probably got an irritating response to this. Post it and prove me right!)

And for all that, the game was still rubbish and Portsmouth are awful at penalties. But united left holes at the back, and they sorely need a striker. Tevez on his own is not enough...


One more winge before i go. Umberalla owners. Umberellas are the most selfish pieces of equipment. Essentially what they do is redirect water onto the person standing next to you while you poke him in the eye with the spikey bits at the edges. It's just water - get a grip. You get wet, you go inside and dry off, for crying out loud! If you live in Britain you should be used to it by now! And when you stop in a doorway to close your brolly you are in my way! Get out of my way with your stupid rain defence that only keeps you dry if you are standing still and the rain is falling straight down! Idiots...

Finally, The Rally Funds - got over 900 credits in so thank you all. I will be knocking on spinner's door for the cash any moment now! If you want to follow our rally activities, i will be planning to do a daily blog entry for the duration of the rally. It will be availiable here:

Catch you (hopefully) before I depart for the continent!

All the best


Read the full entry
Great Giving but more wanted....! (18/07/2008 12:13)


1. Am sorry about the clinical nature of this blog entry. In short, i am short of time. this is for many reasons besides the usual excuses that pepper previous blog entries, the reasons are thus:

  • Have been writing a novel - I know, I know, this sounds stupidly pretentious, but i have, and an average rate of 1000 words a day plus thinking time leaves little space for any other lyrical craftwork. Hence the blogging absence. Anyway, have reached 51,000 words out of my target 78,000 so now in the home stretch after nearly 3 years. Bet it'll be sh*t at the end anyway, but at least i can say "i've written a novel" and can call myself a failed novellist.
  • Have been running my pub quiz - this takes longer and longer each week as i slowly use up my reserves of until now pointless trivia. I have 4 more weeks to go before i give it up and start off for Valencia and the Ramshackle Rally (more on this lower down).
  • Have been preparing to become a teacher - start my course in September and there is obviously much planning going into this. That said, I know that a lot of people on this game are still at school. If in September, a pretty cool student History teacher is taking your class, give him a break or he may not do you any favours in the transfer market...
  • Suddenly and uncharacteristic busyness (not business) at work.
  • Preparing for the Rally.

2. I must apologise for the tardy work of my alter ego, Competitions Manager. He has limited time due to all the above as well and has no face or character to call his own. He has finally today got breathing room to update the Odd Shirt contest results (and is secretly galled that so many people thought Spinner came up with the idea. He didn't! Competitions Manager did!).

I have just realised that instead of creating a superhero alter ego i have instead created effectively an administrator alter ego. This is a hugely depressing realisation and means that i am too depressed to write anything in point 3.



4. The meat of the blog entry...

In my last blog i opened up the opportunity for you to help me raise money for North London Hospice (see here:

With the support of the managerleage organisation, you could donate credits to me and each one would generate 7p for the charity. This has been brilliant, with donations ranging from as little as 1 credit to as many as 200 from one team.

A huge thanks to each and every one of you who has donated. So far I have got over 900 credits (which works out at about £63 in total for the charity). This is great.

But i am greedy...

I want more for the charity. There is a month to go in this and i reckon we can double it. Are you with me? I know that there are now limits on donations, but if you don't plan to donate to anyone else, you may as well give it to charity. So lets at least try to double that total before 18th August!

Details of what this is all about and how to donate credits can be found on the previous blog entry. here is the link again, in case you forgot it from just a few lines earlier!

Are you with me?


Read the full entry
A plea to your charitable sides... (16/06/2008 11:59)

Now, did everyone enjoy the Where's Wojteker Competiton? Yes? Good.

Want to give something back...?

As you know there was a point to that contest - to reveal to you in a controlled manner a little more of me so that i could more comfortably tell you about...


The Ramshackle Rally sees over 100 teams drive cars from Calais to Valencia over 4 days.

The twist is the car can cost NO MORE THAN £100 (i think about 140 Euros).

As you can understand, a £100 car might not get very far at all...

The ENFIELD VIKINGS (my team) are taking part to raise money for the North London Hospice, a care centre that does excellent work with the terminally ill. It is a very important cause and they need as much support as they can get.

And that is where you come in. We need your help!

We are trying to raise over £1000 (1400 euros, i think) for the hospice. To do this we need peope to make donations through our online givng page here:

But this is difficult for some people to do.

So, the team here at managerleague have thrown their support behind this chariable endeavour and have agreed that...

FOR EVERY CREDIT DONATED TO MY TEAM (Banditos - english league 3/10) they will give 7 pence (10 euro cents approx) to the charity.

All Credits donated will be converted into real money that will go to help a real charity, the North London Hospice.

 Now, 7pence a credit may not sound a lot, but if 10,000 people each give 1 credit, the hospice will get 700 quid!

If just 5000 give 2 credits each we can also make 700 quid for the hospice...

And if just 1000 give 10 credits each, we can easily reach £700!

(This may sound like i am fixated on £700, i am not. I want to raise MORE. It's just for ease of comparison!)

This is a brilliant scheme to support a brilliant charity through sponsoring some far from brilliant people to drive a completely unbrilliant car to Spain.

PLEASE show us your support and donate your credts to my team to support this excellent attempt!

You can follow our progress through our dedicated blog: where you can also see pics of the car and when we got in the local paper!

THANK YOU in advance for supporting THE ENFIELD VIKINGS

Read the full entry
Managerleague Review... (04/06/2008 14:21)

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to never, EVER play this game.

If you value the relationships with your loved ones, if you require a job to earn the money to pay for the food on your table and the roof over your head, if you need to sleep to re-energise at the end of 5 out of every 7 days, if you value your physical and mental health, STAY AWAY.

This game will eat you alive. It will promise you the earth, but deliver only tattered dreams. The structure of our decline will follow the familiar path of the drug addict. You will log in recreationally, say the minimum 10 minutes a day, fix your team up for the next match and log out and not think about it again until the next day. You probably think you can manage to handle that.

And at first, you will . Maybe you'll win a few matches, do well in a custom cup. Eventually you'll hit the glass ceiling and start looking for information to help you progress up the tiered pyramid league sructure. You will find it, and it will get you over that hump. And then you'll believe you are on the path to simple management glory! (Intro/learning curve 2.5)

That's what we all thought once. We were so very wrong, all 35,000 of us... 

But that's where it get's dangerous. Sooner or later, another hump will come along that you may not get over. But you'll just keep on trying!  Managerleague is like a gateway drug. You'll start of with the best intentions but eventually it will ****you in, and soon 10 minutes a day won't be nearly enough. You'll spend an hour or so a night planning your tactics to match up against the next team to wander into your home stadium. You'll agonise over the next improvement to your stadium, whether to sell your key midfielder to pay for the repairs to the ground, whether to risk that unfit player in the cup wth a key league match coming up. You'll crave the option to be able to yell at your players. You will search high and low for a "hairdryer" button and suggest changes to the game that you think you need. You probably don't but you will demand them unthinkingly in your futile efforts to succeed. (Gameplay 2.5) 

Before you know what's hit you, you are on the game more than you are of. You gloat to rival managers on the forums, get sucked into wheeler-dealings in the chat rooms and eventually find yourself meeting other managers in the shadowy corners and basement rooms of non-descript drinking dens to iron out the final details of a near worthless transfer. (Fun 3)

And then your life falls apart. You are logged in constantly at work, screen minimised to avoid detection. You schedule meetings to ensure you are back at your desk in time for the 3pm game. You log on at home and just tell your family you can't spend time with them because you are working from home each night this week. There is no respite. And you will be found out. Either your boss asks what the colourful lines are on your screen and you fail to come up with a decent excuse, or your loved ones check your browsing history and discover a page where all your players have the faces of the 1955 Man City FA Cup winning team and you spent credits to make them look like that. Your Dog will be confused by the wondrous glow of your 3D team badge (appearance - 1.5). 

You lose your job, your family, your house, your car, your life. You ultimately end up destitute, living in a gutter and holding a sign inscribed with the legend "Money needed to log in at Internet Cafe - Please Give Generously".

This is your future if you start playing this game. Some few, some lucky few, taste the true glory of a victorious campaign in division 1, or the league cup or the new champions league. For the rest of us, we dream of such day, but in our 30 odd seasons have tasted only bitter, bitter defeat. We are out on our ears, but like the worst of addicts, we cannot give it up.  (Approval stamp -1)

It has happened to the best. It will happen to you...

Total Score - 10.5

Read the full entry
Competition Results AND the Enfield Vikings... (04/06/2008 13:30)

I don't think it is any secret who won this, as the winner declared themselves as such in every conceivable location!

After a madcap search across cyberspace, which caused much wracking of brains, googling and the incessant pestering of both me and every admin on this game, only one person managed to find all eight pictures...

The locations were as follows:

1. With Miss Spoons... you had to ask her and answer her question

2. With Shy^... again you had to get the question right!

3. On my blog entry here:

4. On my old myspace, here: (since removed)

5. On my blogcast, here:

6. On a player on my team called, cryptically, "Wojteker"

7. With me! - yes, you had to as me and answer my question!

8. Finally, one was placed on my Enfield Vikings Blog Page (since removed- more info below) and, as no one found that, in was also placed on a hastily constructed photo website, here:

Now, we had some valiant entrants in the contest, so i am instigating a 10 credit second place award as well as the first place 30 credits. All from me own pocket (aren't i generous?)

We had two runners-up, each getting 10 Credits each. They each got 7 pictures sent in to me and are...


(manager of TheOneandOnlyOceanGnome)



(manager of SoS FC)


But the overall winner, who manged to find all 8 pictures and therefore wins the full 30 credits was....


(manager of Bafana)

So many congratulations to all of them!


Now, the purpose to this whole excercise was to break my anonymity.

But with reason, not for simple vanity!

For I (and three others) am taking part in the Ramshacle Rally Valencia in August. This is a Banger Rally - we have to drive a car that cost us £100 or less from Calais to Valencia via Annecy, San Remo and Perpignan over 4 days. The car will be decorated along our team theme (Vikings) and a cash prize awarded to the winning team at the end.

And we are doing this to raise money for the Noth London Hospice, that does a great deal of good work in our local area! We hope to win the grand prize, but should we not we are collecting sponsorship.

We have so far searched high and low for our car, but had some trouble finding one. We have also appeared in the local paper!

 But to tell you more about this than simply that written above would destroy my closely constructed i decided to give up anonymity to be able to try to raise more money!

Therefore, if you would like to read more about our preparations for the rally, visit the Enfield Vikings Blog here:


To donatemoney in support of us, visit our jutgiving page here to support worthy people who have given up the secrets of their identity for a cause they believe in! The page can be found here:

I would urge you to give generously to this worthy cause if you feel even the smallest urge to do so!



Read the full entry
Where's Wojteker... (09/05/2008 16:34)

Before I start, let me apologise now for any typos in this entry - the keyboard is playing up and mising out letters quite frequently today, and it's a right pain. I think it may have arthritis.

You never can tell wth these computers when they are on the cusp of cllapsing completelty. It amazes me that we make so many films about computers taking over the world and throwin off man kind. Do you really think tht'll ever happen, gven that we are incapable of keeping any of the computers we make actually operating for a long period of time. I imagine we will make one that hasthe ability to take over one day, but that it will ultimately freeze at the very point it tries to wipe s out and has to reboot, thus loosing all the hard work it hs done rounding us up and that. Ah well. I suppose mankind's own innate crapness will save it once again...

Now, down to business. I am shortly going to be bloggin on here about my future escapades in the name of charity. Regular readers will know that I am takng part in a banger rally in august to raise money for charity. So far so good.

But... here is a problem here. My closely guarded anonymity on this game will be severely dented as my real name and even my face will appear on the links to the pages detailing our attempt. Furthermore, when i finally reveal the long awaited film to you, there will be another clue to my real existence there also.

Now, I have quite enjoyed my long term anonymity under my psuedonym. So what better, and more ego stroking way to celebrate it's enforced end in the name of charity than to invet a competition. Prepare yourself (drum roll please...)

The Where's Wojteker Contest 

The contest is very simple. You have to find and send in pictures of me found in ML and on the internet. I will be discretely leaving 8 of these in a few locations for you to find. There are some rules...

1. If you have met me in real life, emailled me in real life or are, basically known to me already, you can't play. (I'm sorry, but that's the way it is!) You are also sworn to secrecy, aside from being able to offer small clues...

2. Pictures could b anywhere - clues are availiable if you ask the righ people...

2. Any pictures that don't have the logo on don't count (logo is the green text up the top there)...

3. To win, you need to find pictures with my Wojteker logo in the corner and email them to the following address...

The Prize...

The person to email in the most Wojteker logo'd pics wins 30 credits from my own fair pocket! If a few of you get the same number, it's the first whose email I receive.

Closin Date is set at 9th June    

So, happy hunting! I fear i have made a rod for my own back here, and in some ways am encouraging people to stalk me electronically across the internet!

Back soon!



EDIT: It's going very well so far - doubt it'll take more than a week to get them all  in!  We'll keep playing till one person has all 8 in or the closing date is reached, Whichever comes first. Two notes:

1. The 8 pictures should all be different, not 8 instances of the same picture!!!

2. please, if you send them in as you get them, please could you send the ones you already sent each time (like, you send in three on one email, then another 2, copy the first three in). Won't affect who wins, just makes my life easier!!!


Read the full entry
To be removed (30/04/2008 14:24)

Ignore this, it's rubbish


Read the full entry
What Wojteker done next... (18/04/2008 10:36)

Hello everyone. Anyone remember me?

Given the turmoil in my life of late, the ups and downs of this working life, I have been rather absent from this game of late. In fact, i have probably gone through my driest patch in a very long while. I barely logged in last week, due to how busy i have recently become. Lots is happening.

(A side note - you may have noticed that i am using the wrong tenses every so often here - if you are not a native english speaker and, more importantly, if you are still at school college and need to get marks for your english skills PLEASE do not use the phrases i contain herewithin. They are deliberately wrong for effect. I write proper good normally)

(Side note 2 - please do use the word herewithin. It'll probably get you loads of marks. And the phrase "The Dogs Bollocks" is a perfectly acceptable way to say that something is "really good" it is interchangable and your teacher is certain to reward you with gold stars and such)

So, a quick review of things for you -

  1. I am now a temp, having given up my job due to being miserable.  
  2. We are selling our flat
  3. I am planning to train to be a History teacher (will maintain annonymity on here forever as a result so that i can still post without losing any future jobs)
  4. I am running a pub quiz every monday night at The Commercial in Herne Hill, London (Come on down, you can hear me talk and everything)
  5. I am writing again
  6. I have finished the edit on that film! It may be broadcastable shortly on the net - watch this space
  7. I will be in the local paper with the wife to bolster support for our charity Ramshackle Rally. We're being photographed this weekend.
  8. I have scored 4 goals in the last three games for the football team i play on (oh yes)
  9. I am very tired due to this busy, busy life

That is me, in a nutshell.

But, unusually for me, I am here today to talk managerleague (I know, shocking isn't it - why would i want to do that?)

I have let Banditos slide recently. I know I have and I am sorry for that. But as you can see above and from my previous blog, I have had at least 9 reasons why it's been hard to maintain the team properly.

As a result of months of neglect, I have a few players i don't even recognise and a lot of dodgy old men....


i'll repeat that for effect...


What can I do with a whole heap of cash and credits?

Well... I suppose I can do this...


 Nearly a whole new team to join one of the oldest Managerleage Clubs in the world!

Is your Club lacking in funds to buy players? Do you have some interesting players whose Q is in the mid to upper 70s? Or even dare I say 80s? Do you need an injection of credits to kick off a campaign?

If the answer is YES! YES! OH FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS DECENT AND PURE IN THE WORLD, YES! then you've come to the right place.

For I, Wojteker, manager of Banditos, am going on a spending spree. By this time next week i don't want to have any money left. I also want to have only a few credits and in return i want a heap of new talent filling up my team. I am even happy to sell some of what i already have.

So - if you can help me alleviate myself of this cash/credit surplus - get in touch. I am looking for quick, fair deals lords and ladies.

In the old days i'd trawl through the lists, message managers, get no replies and end up trying to gazump of the transfer lists. But I am taking a new approach here.Banditos are languishing in the 3rd division, have never recovered from our brief burn in the top flight and are, like Nottingham Forest, a shadow of our former self. We need this boost to get back up there.

If you are forthcoming with your players, this will be rewarded with my almost total involvment back in the game during the working week. How's that for an added bonus?

Right - I have said my piece. Will be back in the near future with further news on the Rally, Banditos and life in its most general (and acutely specific).

Ta Ta!

Read the full entry
50th not out... (18/03/2008 18:51)
Friends, friends, friends...

(Or in some cases, people i have no interest in befriending and know who you are!)

You may or may not have noticed that I have been neither a consistent nor active visitor to this site in the last, well, 2 months. There is an extremely good reason for this that i will get to in a minute. Firstly i wish to get this out of the way...


Yes, that's correct, this humble blogger has reached the big 50 in little over 18 months! Somehow i have managed to fill this incredibly threatening blank space with partly coherent babble on no less than 50 occasions. I think that would be worth some kind of present, congratulations etc, don't you?

Well, that's what I'd have thought too. And yet so far i have received diddlysquat in gratitude for my literally hours of work researching, redrafting and perfecting this deeply interesting piece of 21st century entertainment.


This is an outrage. Just think of what i have done for this game in those 50 blogs, raising the profile of this game and single handedly drawing the interests of thousands of actual people to this site. And by way of thanks, nothing! And to think I seconded that motion to get Spinner a knighthood or whatever it was last year. I don't see him doing the Norwegian equivalent for me!


Even when there is a forum on best blogger and best blog entry i get only average mention - if you want to be as horrified as me you should check it out...

The Forum that should be dominated by mentions of me but for some reason isn't

Bah and bah again. 

So why the hell do i keep coming back? Truth be told, i may well need an outlet for my anger...

Which brings me neatly on to my next topic, why i have been away...

Basically, Over the last two months or so at work I have been miserable. My job was OK, interesting in parts but generally dull. The kind of dull, however, that you can put up with, knowing that there are worse things to do with your time. My job for those of you who have never read my blog before and don't know me, involved writing.

Anyway, these two months have been made miserable by my manager and her manager. Basically, the former told me i had successfully passed my probation and had nothing to worry about. Then the latter, having had my probation documents on her desk FOR A MONTH then decides (after a particularly nasty meeting with her manager) that actually I'm not cutting the mustard. She tells me that she wants to extend my probation because the tone of my documents is not good! Tone! could anything be more subjective? So i go away and meet with my manager an explain why i don't think this is fair etc. Not a peep out of her (remember she approved my probation, therefore judging my work to be satisfactory).

Two weeks of misery follow, then we have a nice big meeting, me my manager and her manager. Turns out, my manager, unbeknownst to me, has completely changed her mind to be the nodding dog next to her manager. Not only that, she has saved examples of my work and taken them to her manager out of context, including one piece that i had explicitly said was not finished but was presented as if a finished draft! I was so angry...

So, given that I could clearly no longer trust my manager, and her manager was looking to push a probation extension on me so that I'd be easy to get rid of in the summer (near the end of the financial year so i could be the fall guy)...I decided to quit!

Last Monday i handed in my notice and was met with the frozen smile of a corpse. My manager basically acted as this had not happened, and her manager said i could leave on Friday but they would pay me until April!

For the rest of last week, my manager's manager seemed to forget her part in all this and even came on my leaving day lunch! This resulted in a very awkward lunch due to everyone else there knowing exactly what had happened! And on Friday i left, never to return! I am off for three weeks and then will start work in a temporary role for the summer, before i start teacher training (fingers crossed). I am very sad to be leaving behind those friends that I have made, but I'm sure I'll still see them, but I at least will be much happier when I do...

So, the bottom line of all this is that I have been too miserable and too careful at work to come on the game, and when i am miserable I cannot write. Well, i can, but i can't write my own work, i can't write creatively.

I can write whilst happy, angry, frustrated, ill, tired and tetchy. This is a case of emotion 2, due to my serious lack of recognition here for all i have done! You lot better watch out or i might go crackers and do some serious damage to all your teams!

And that, as they say, is that. I will take my unrecognised self off to the sofa for a lie down whilst i contemplate what to do with my life next. I think the best thing to do first is to use this 50th BLOG ENTRY to take my whinging to a wider audience, possibly through facebook or such a site - on which note, don't try to find me there, you will fail as i won't befriend you UNLESS I KNOW YOUR FACE. That means, if i haven't met you in the real world, don't try to befriend me to up your numbers - I'll only refuse or, if i am feeling rather tetchy, will go to the trouble of making up a very embarrassing "how I know you" entry that you'll most certainly regret. Either that, or I'll just ignore you...

And after that, what next for life and work and blog alike? What will the next year hold for me, what will the next 50blogs include? Will i ever be recognised for the tortured genius I truly am? Quite a quandary, I'm sure you'll agree...
Read the full entry
Wojteker needs you... (04/02/2008 15:20)
Might as well put this in here as well, seeing as how i've been asked to...

Wojteker Needs YOU!!!

A friend of a friend is setting up her boyfriend for Valentines day.

She is trying to get as many strangers as possible to send her boyfriend a Valentines Day card.

I need your help to boost this worldwide!

Basically, can anyone help me by agreeing to send a valentines day card to a stranger from where you are, aiming for it to arrive on 14th Feb? This would mean in the Uk sending 1st class on 13th, rest of Europe probably 11th and the rest of the world probably on 11th.

Anyone interested? If so, ml-mail me and i'll give you the address. If you are not from the UK, in your own language would be ace!

Can you help?

So far i have confirmed 8 people who are gonna help out, but i want more, more, MORE!

I'll try to update you all on how many he gets, etc if possible. That way you'll get some feedback. But for now, be part of something that could be really big!

All the best


Ps - i'll blog properly soon, promise!
Read the full entry
Arrested decline... (25/01/2008 13:45)
Banditos have bottomed out!

Four seasons ago we were at our strongest point ever, having reached Division 1 with a firey line-up built on limited means. Banditos have never had the money or the depth of squad to really challenge, but we've done well.

But, after every success there comes disappointment. Four seasons on, with a squad creacky around on ageing limbs, we have slunk back down to Division 3, where we now sit, hoping a bit of fortune might favour us and push us Northwards.

Basically, we are Stoke.

Quite frankly, that's about enough of a team report as i can take. Instead, if you'll forgive me, I'd like to talk about other things!

Ramshackle Rally Valencia 2008 (this is a link to the website - how good am I at this modern technology!)

After a great many weeks of deliberating, querying the sums and browing websites like ebay and gumtree to ascertain feasibility, the wife and i have stumped up the entry fee and signed ourselves up for the Ramshackle Rally Valencia.

I shall explain - this is a competition that sees 100 teams purchase cars for no more than £100 a pop. They then have to decorate said cars, adorn themselves with fancy clothes and head to Calais (France) in late August. From Calais, the teams compete across 1450 miles, four days and three countries (increases to 5 if the satnav is obeyed!) to win points and ultimately prizes! Each night is spent in revelry in a fine locale and winners are announced on the last night in Valencia (spain). The cars are then scrapped and we all set off to throw Tomatos at each other in the streets at La Tomatina!

It's basically a banger rally across europe. We're on the Valencia trip but there are also routes to Krakow and Split depending on your preference and dates.

"What's the point!" I hear you cry? Well, other than simply doing it for the sake of propelling a rust bucket through France, Italy, France again and then Spain, the wife and i are focussing our efforts on generating £1000 (probably about 1400 euros or something!) for North London Hospice that looks after cancer patients in our local area.

As this is a scheme in the best senses of the word, i have decided to channel myself into it and go to town on it for the sake of cash, cash, cash. So, I will try to blog every week on where we're up to, what happens or what i am thinking about it at the time i write. It may be crap, it may be enlightening, who can tell at this point.

So, we have signed up, we have our theme and team name (The Enfield Vikings), and we have our charity. We even have a sister team who will be accompanying us on the trip for their own charity. This is very promising and means, should we break down, at least someone will stop and feel sorry for us! This is quite likely, considering i have a small amount of mechanical knowledge. Nevertheless, i have ordered a copy of "Auto Repair for Dummies" from the library and will approach this task like any Englishman would - undaunted  and with the expectation that sheer bloodymindedness will get us through!

(If you fancy the quest, join up - there are still 20 odd places left at time of writing!)

In good time i will be offering you the chance to support us financially or with gifts in kind, should you so wish. I hope you can support us in our quest for motoring glory.

All we need now is a car...

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Apres Last Year... (03/01/2008 16:22)
Welcome to the dark blue hatred that is the opening notes to 2008.

I would wish you a happy new year but i'm not at all in the mood.

Instead, i thought i would review 2007 and see where 2008 may take us...

Wojtker's Review of the Year 2007

As you will undoubtedly recall, last year i made some solid resolutions and actually slapped them down into the internet. This means i now have to account for my last 12 months in light of these fits of resolve. (The full blog entry can be seen by clicking HERE, but please remember to come back and read on).

So, here we go...

1. Write more. I did in fact write the word "more" more often, but that was a by product of my prodigious (relatively) output in 2007. Although I did not quite meet the promise of writing each and every day on those particular strands, I did secure paid employment as a writer of things that are not mine. A step in the right direction. Blog rate was up, i have also created another alter ego pen name (more on that another time) and have produced a number of short stories and short film scripts. All in all, a big tick to me. Patting myself on the back.

2. Complete more things i have written Again, more finished shorts, films scripts and forged doctors notes etc. Tick number two.

3. Let people read what i have written once i have written it  Well, there is certainly more out there to be read, I also have given hard copies to people if they ask for a read. That said, i am fairly coy about promoting myself. Could do better here truth be told, but with blog readership at about 200 per entry and real world readership at an all time high i'll give myself three for three.

4. Make more films Rats, a failure here i think. Actually ended up making a longer film than last year but not completing the edit (we're in post Hell!). must be a cross. (boo)

5. Gain weight Was 9.5 stone and i realise i cannot convert it to metric but all you need to know is i am now back up to 10 stone and that's more! Tick number 4

6. Experiment with facial hair Beards, chin straps, mutton chops and moustaches, I did em all! Facebook stands testament and therefore it's 5-1 to Wojteker.

7. Make better use of my personal MySpace Failed miserably here, but that's less to do with inaction and more to do with the shift of interest to Facebook. As a result, we will be substituting MySpace for Facebook and we have another victory.

Conclusions - with 6 of 7 achieved, a victorious year for Wojteker. So, time to set the sights higher. What will 2008 bring me? It sounds like its time for...

Wojteker's New Year Resolutions 2008

1. Write more.  Yes, i am well aware this is the same as last year, but it benefits all of us so stop complaining.

2. Proactively encourage people to read what I have written, rather than pretending i'm not bothered.  This will involve a metal adjustment on my part, but it will come good!

3. Complete the damn film.  I am saying no more on this subject, so do not ask me any questions

4. Produce another "Blogcast".  It was fun doing the last one, but it needs more structure to it to work next time. I will be planning some out for the future... and buying that microphone.

5. Get something published.
  I really want to break this holy grail. Therefore, i have a story i am sending off to a magazine tomorrow. Stay tuned for news. Alternatively, if you have any publishing connections and need something written, lets talk!

6. Take better care of my body.  To be honest, i've not treated it too well recently and it's full of injuries. As it's the only one i've got until medical science comes up with another solution, more stretching etc.

7. Be a better husband.  I shall say no more, but it's written down now and therefore is binding.

So there you have it. A year reviewed and a year foretold. on 12 months to wait to see how i get on. Or less. Who knows?

Finally, despite veiled invitations to read my stories sent in both the first and  third person (cheers Marvin) none of you have asked to  read my shorts. In keeping with 2008 resolution 2,  I have a number now available FOR FREE for you to read should you wish to. Some are sad, some are funny, some have a logic all their own, but they are all my brainchildren and my brood need feeding. So message me to read, go on, what harm can it do you?

Anyway, enough about me, how are you?

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Bleaughhhhhh... (03/12/2007 20:36)
Wojteker is currently unwell. He has had a cold for the last week, then pulled a hamstring playing football yesterday and today feels dizzy, has a headache and stomach pains and, ultimately, is not long of this earth.

Therefore, in a desperate attempt to engender some level of human sympathy from his varied readership, he is blogging in the third person (aww).

Wojteker has many reasons to feel sorry for himself, and as his blogging peers have been listing things recently, it occurs to Wojteker to start listing things too.

Reason's why Wojteker is feeling sorry for himself (other than the illness and injury)

1. The time of year: Wojteker likes autumn. At least, he likes the bit of Autumn in the run up to his birthday (19 October - note it for next year). The bit after the birthday, the long drag into December, is a tragic period of depression inducing nothingness, like a desert of unremitting inopportunity. He refers to it as "The Barren Zone".  Nothing to look forward to until Christmas and time off work.  He is currently in the centre of the Barren Zone, equidistant as he is from Birthday and holidays. To this he says "Bah!"

2. Work: every morning, like almost everyone else on this staid planet we are unfortunate enough to live on, Wojteker must drag himself out of a toasty warm bed, put on uncomfortable clothes and trek off in the dark to a place with no TV. Now, were Wojteker here, he would hit me for saying this next part. (Luckily he isnt.) Wojteker deserves better. He is special. He has certain talents that need to be nurtured. It would be a huge wast of a possibly era defining intellect to keep making this behemoth of brain power keep on doing proletarian work. I encourage all of you to try to keep Wojteker out of work and well supported so he can keep dreaming for us all!

3. 2007:   Wojteker can't get to grips with the era into which he has been bore. He is acutely aware that had he been born in the 19th century he would undoubtedly have been a gentleman of leisure. See 2.

4. Beard: Wojteker has spent the last month growing a rather fine beard. It has 7 distinct colours in it. It kept his face warm (despite being somewhat itchy). In short, it was impressive. Wojteker then shaved it off, leaving only a moustache that was very 19th Century British army (from the front). This could not stay (as from the side it looked like a serial killer piece of facial hair). So now his face is bald. Baldness makes men unhappy. Wojteker is therefore unhappy.

5. Heroes: Wojteker has become very keen on this particular TV show, even though it has destroyed a similar concept he had worked out in half a short story. Wojteker can do this because he is a big man. Heroes finishes on Wednesday. Wojteker knows it will be replaced with something turgid and horrendous and therefore will have yet another evening with no alternative but staring at the wall, willing it to fall down on him to put him out of his televisual misery.

6. Season 29:
Banditos were shit. Division 1 brought nothing but injury and misery. Banditos will never be as good as they were then. Banditos are destined to a future of mediocraty and Wojteker knows full well he'll be presiding over each and every bloody second.

7. Season 30:
see item 6.

8. Cinemas: There are lots of films Wojteker wants to see at the movies. Wojteker is a bit of a movie oficionado and loves the big screen. Unfortunately, the movie experience is ruined for Wojteker due to a) Tickets that cost £8 b) other people with their other people noises and other people smells c) other people's children. Wojteker believes they should be kept on a short leash d) Cinema food e) Cinema rules on cinema food f) fascist cinema staff.

9. Readership:
Wojteker is in his richest vein of form in terms of short story writing. He has never had such an output. Yet, as a modest and delicate soul, not given to self aggrandising or trumpet blowing, wojteker will never ask someone to read something. Therefore, he is hurt at how many people he has mentioned the rich vein of form, yet only 1, one single person, has asked to read the work. Like Kafka, Wojteker is worried he will end up leaving all his work with the instructions for it to be destroyed, only for his solicitor to disobey and publish them, leaving Wojteker to only be famous after his death (when he can't make use of that fame for purposes  of global domination). If you could find it in your heart to ask to read something, please do.

10. Not having a real 10th thing: Wojteker has to resort to cheating to complete his list. This is depressing in itself.

So you can see, Wojteker has many justifiable reasons for being depressed today. He may snap out of it an return to the first person narrative in the future. If not, i'll see you soon...

much love

Marvin (Wojteker's rather pleasant third person)
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10th place... (16/11/2007 17:13)
Had no intention to blog today but a number of factors have driven me to this.

1. The servers are down at work and have been all day. This means that the shared drive (where we are always told to save everything) is down. Therefore no access to documents i am working on and therefore no REAL work to do. That said, somehow we still do have internet access and i am bored.

2. I have just been caught postulating about the good/bad aspects of David Ike by my boss. (if you don't know about him - David Ike, not my Boss, you should - conspiracy theories and the illuminaties. Very interesting, up until the pan-dimensional lizards). Therefore i have decided i may as well get hung for the whole lot, so blogging at work! Shh, don't tell

Well, everyhing seems to be breaking at work today. The serves, the lift, the water cooler, me... I woke up thinking it was saturday, and lets face it, that's the worst way to start a friday. You should be happy its friday, not disappointed it's not saturday boo!

At least it's not thursday

(although, it MAY be thursday as you are reading this, for that i can only apologise. You'll get through it, i'm sure you can do it! we're with you, we all are!)

Beyond this, it's been an interesting few days in the ol' Wojteker house. The cat brouht his cat tree crashing down for the scond time in three months. The cat tree is a floor to ceiling scratching post with numerous letters, all in a wonderful 70s beige colour. Beautiful. Unfortunately, it appears to have been designed by monkeys. And not the good ones that write all the shakespeare or pick tea. Daft ones who construct a foundationless structure with the load bearing parts being made of plastic and helt togather by a single column of screws.

It was initially up for three days till it snapped (under the weight of a cat! and not a fat cat at that! - monkeys, i tell you) so i fixed it and it has lasted much longer. Nevertheless, it has finally gone. Like a felled tree it has to be divided up into its parts to get it out of the house, and therein lies my evenings.

I exaggerate of course...

Elsewhere, in the virtual world in which we all connect, my previous blog entry engendered exactly one half interest in reading a recent story. Am i loosing my loyal fanbase? I do hope not...

On that score, ol' Spinner ranked me (well, my blogs) at 10th place on his things he looks forward to.

10th place...

10th place...

At first i was quite flattered. It's not everyday someone puts you down as a thing to look forward to (and might i add, in the process, offer some parellel universe man love - Spinner, you can be as gay as you want, i'll still love you - we're all people here!)

Then i realised, I'm going to have to work harder. I seem to have come behind such items as new Servers and the mere possibility of  a new Managerleague office staff member. Looks like i have a year to get up that chart! I recon i can get past the birthday one, 34 is a nothing birthday...

Hold on a minute! If i apply for the vacant position when it comes up, i'll be present on the top 10 in two separate instances. That beat being number one if i hold even just places 10 and 9 i'll be on fire! Take that bigger appartment! ****on that guitar hero three!

If i, once working for ML in Oslo, then PLAYED guitar hero 3 WITH spinner, i'd have three spots! oh ho ho!

Roll on next year!


PS - Seriously, i'll take that job...
PPS - Shy, I miss you too...
PPPS - Antje - i'll buy a new mic...
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A Confession... (01/11/2007 23:07)
Ok, so maybe that title is a little dramatic, but then "A small nugget of my experience that i feel i should share in order to explain myself, again" felt a little bit long.

Since my last but one blog (two whole months ago) i have been attempting to move forward a story i have been telling in pieces over the last year or so. I began the next chunk a few weeks ago and have been thinking about it quite a bit but, i am afraid to say, everytime i sit down to move it on, i stare at the blank page and nothing happens. I think i know why...

The Muse has left me.

This is an annoying thing in one respect, in others quite useful. You see, unlike many people, my Muse is a fickle creature and is never gone for long. What my Muse likes to do  is give me the inspiration to begin something, and then wander off to the pub for a few weeks, leaving me to flounder around in the middle of a story and not know where to go with it.

But, the Muse  when drunk is an interesting creature, and i think i have got him trapped.

You see, whilst my Muse has given me no inspiration to continue explaining my noirish life, I, by spending far longer thinking about the next installment than i ever normally would do for  blog, have confused the Muse into inspiring my writing in other areas. As a result, in the last month i have completed not one, not two but THREE short stories. Two of them are even connected, with a third part crystallizing in my mind every day. This is, for me, an unheard of output.

In short, I have tricked the Muse into plowing my writers' block into one aspect of my writing, freeing me up to complete other work. And it is going very nicely for the moment. However, it does mean i will be reneging on my often promised next installment. For that, I can only apologise. I am afraid i cannot guarantee a continuation. Maybe the Muse will one day realise how she has been tricked and thrust writers' block back into my story writing (or worse still, the writing i do at work!). If that happens, i promise to throw myself in to the world i have created and populated with my own delusions wholeheartedly, unthinkingly and with as much inspiration as i can muster.

For now, i am afraid Delores, Calabras and the rest have been sacrificed to a greater good. I feel for them, but they are in suspended animation, rather than dead, and so can always return. (Actually, death isn't much of a barrier to this either, if you think about Halloween and the like...) Anyway, its making me happy. There ends the Confession (this one, for today, not all of them - that would take a very long time!

Given that i am happy today, and that my wife has been referring to me as a grumpy git this week, i am not going to moan about anything today. Whilst i really do enjoy a good moan about stupid advertising, redundant answerphone messages and my own right groin muscle, i would rather concentrate on other things today!

So what to talk about...

What indeed...


Well, i suppose we would get into Managerleague, that would make a change i suppose.

Since last we met, Banditos have inexplicably gained promotion from div 3/11 through the playoffs after a second place finish with 81 points! And then, the very next season, we go and gain 81 points again, but this time it's enough to win the division outright!

Banditos have, against all the odds, reached division 1!

I know, i'm as surprised as you are.  I can only say we were spurred on by that unnammed individual who said in the forums, when drawn against me, that i had been around since season 1 but "not achieved anything like the success i should have". Thats one in the eye for you pal!

Yes, in 29 short seasons we have risen, like cream, to take our rightful place in the top flight (English).

Pity it won't last - straight back down to the warmth of div 2 for season 30!

With an ageing squad, it can't last. I need a new young brilliant defender, midfielder and goalkeeper. Well, like Derby, we'll enjoy our time in the sun!

A week ago, i began a forum thread with the declaration that i had in fact found THE MEANING OF LIFE. I offered it to anyone who wanted it for the measly sum of 1 credit a go. Surely it was worth a credit to find out?

Many people were skeptical for some reason. I thought i had a reputation for honesty in this game, or at least saying what i thought! But no, there was a large amount of nae saying, a lot of people saying 42 (look, i read the  Guide long before most of you could read, and i've probably read it more times than most of you put together. Give me some credit for original thinking), and one man getting confused by maths.

A total of three people took up my offer, and i know they all were enlightened by what they heard. So i now extend the offer to the rest of you, my faithful travelers along life's highway. Will you join me on the enlightened path (for only one credit?)?

And on that note, i think i'll take my leave.

Hope you're well!


PS - Spinner, don't think i have forgotten...
PPS - if there is enough demand (and really, i don't need much encouragement, given my safe anonymity here) i may post up a story for you to read. Let me know...
PPPS - to all those who wished me a happy birthday (an NEARLY everything i wanted), i thank you. x

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I am so very, very sorry... (27/09/2007 21:05)
Antje (and others), i can only whole heartedly apologise for getting your hopes up. I promise with all that i am that i will continue the story in the very next entry. My only excuse is that i got distracted doing this: 

Please go to this link, listen to me and report back. And this doesn't count as a full blog because it is so short.


PS - consider the sound at the above link a pilot. I may well continue if the response rate is fair to good...
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Interesting... (03/09/2007 22:03)
Oh dear, this could prove to be something of a problem...

Wojteker currently sits in a directors chair bearing his name, a present from some former workmates who he really must try an see more often.

He is sat with a cup of tea cooling quietly to his left, a cat below him and a laptop keyboard under his rapidly (oh yes!) moving fingertips...

he presses the full stop button three times to prove the live reporting...

He chuckles to himself.

For Wojteker is in a good mood...

I know...

Its disconcerting isn't it?

This blog, so frequently the home of the unnecesarily disjointed rant, has little winging to be done today. Wojteker is in a relatively good mood for a Monday.

And this is in spite of everything.

Intrigued? I shall continue, but i am fed up of the third person and shall revert to the first. (NB questions of grammar should be directed elsewhere)

First, the issues.

1. Cast your eyes down from lap top level (hey! no pausing there ladies...), down my shapely-yet-hairy legs and you will find my feet in a large rectangular wash basin, filled with warm salty water. I currently have a 1.5cm diameter (across if you don;t have the lingo) hole in the ball of each foot. Each one is a lurid red colour and a few mm deep. They hurt to buggery!

Despite these wounds i am happy.

2.  I have been at work all day, hobbled home on said holes and discovered not enough food in the house to make a meal. I have therefore eaten mini dime bars (daim bars) and toast for tea. I am hungry, and cannot get any food due to the holes. I cannot get take away as have no menus to call from.

Despite my hunger i am happy.

3. I will have to go to work tomorrow, and the next day, the next and the next. In fact, given my age and assuming they do not change the age at which one retires, i am facing down the barrel of spending 5 days out of 7 each week for the next 39 years at some form of work place. This assumes no lottery win or major success. This means that the bulk of my time is spent away from my beautiful wife, my friends and family, and instead doing work that benefits someone else. This is obviously a symptom of our age.

Despite this future, i am happy.

I am happy for two reasons, the first, the recapturing of a boyhood dream, the second a desperate grasping for youth. Both have the potential for embarasment!

The boyhood dre
am of Wojteker von Wojteker (my real name, obviously)
NB - Those who don't like a trip down somebody else's memory lane, skip on ahead to the next bit in bold, which explains why i have holes in my feet.

I have played football ever since i was tiny, kicking the ball up and down the driveway of a small, semi-detached home on the Wirral. I rose up through school football and joined the local youth club. Minor success followed - i carved out a role as a striker, in the mold of (in my Dad's words) Jimmy Grieves. I once scored 46 goals in a season. I once scored 6 in a game. I can remember squeezing one in from the touchline of the six yard box whilst running at full tilt.

Reaching Uni, in freshers week, some lads and i went for a kickabout in the park. As the result of a horror tackle from a man who will remain nameless (but coverted my girlfriend - now my wife) i ended up with stretched knee ligaments and a leg brace, followed by 8 weeks of phisio. My football career hit the skids. Nevertheless, in 4 months i tried out for our hall block team, put together for the block tournament. I reinvented myself as an attacking midfielder and scored from long range in the opening minute (hooray!). Success followed and our team won the tournament, remaining unbeaten.

But from the, the team fell apart. Knowing (as i do) more men than women, and most of the men not liking football, i found it hard to find another team. This was 2000. I didn't play another competitive match.

Until yesterday (welcome back!)

Yesterday i played for the first time with a local sunday league team. They are called Kingfisher and play in claret and blue. They are a fun, accepting group and i was given a run out in attacking midfield! Unfortunately, my old boots (from 2000) wore out in the first half, and the screws from the studs came through into my feet! That is as painful as it sounds! Therefore, i went in goal for the second half, made some saves and watched on as we won 2-1! Bonus.

So - i am back in competitive football!

but sidelined with injury. Oh well, if the feet aren't better i'll play in goal again next week.

Desperate grasping for youth

In 7 weeks, on 19th October no less (argh! just scraped my foot hole on the table edge!!! that WELL hurts. JESUS! oh god, give me a second to recover *deep breaths* *winces* *composes himself*) and on the very same day our own miss spoons turns 23 (i think) i will celebrate being 9/10ths of the way to thirty.

This is tough to take, so on saturday i went to camden market and bought myself some ethical jinga trainers (brazillian and ace - mine are green!) and some SKINNY JEANS! this is the pre mid life crisis when money won't extend to a porsche. and they make my arse look good, apparently.

So, now i am back down with the kids and feel young again, am back playing football in a proper kit, life suddenly looks a little rosier. Things are bugging me less and so i have only contentment to report.

I am sorry to have turned over such a sudden new leaf on you, but there you go. Nothing but sweetness and light from now on.

All the best,


- ah bollocks to it... I hate the playoffs! i lost AGAIN despite a perfect league record WHEN I COULD CHECK IT! All my losses came when i was ON HOLIDAY or out of internet range at a STUPID CONFERENCE in Edinburgh! The div 3/11 (i think - ah rats who cares) english title would have been MINE I TELL YOU!

That smarts, nearly as much as being SLAGGED off in the forum for the Big prize cup as, and i quote "a team who has been around since season 1, but really hasn't achieved anything like what he should" HOW DARE these young newbies speak of the mighty Banditos in such a way. I'll show them, WE'LL show them ALL...

Oh god, my pills....I think i might be getting too serious again...

Wojteker hints to forthcoming blog entry then desperately searches for rage pills. Unable to find them, and in a growing fit of pique and pomposity, he forgets he has his feet in a bucket and can barely walk. slipping in the water, he falls an whacks his head on the edge of the table, and a flash of pain, like the white light of an open club doorway in Patalonia strikes accross his mind. As he passes out, he remembers something, a name, whispered softly.



PS if the last bit makes NO sense, or for a brief recap, without which the next entry will be meaningless, see here and work backwards!

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Back by (un)popular demand... (20/08/2007 19:53)
The (ir)regular blogger has numerous excuses in what i have deemed a "blog-deficient" arsenal. These range from sheer laziness, lack of the muse right up to serious injury and even death. The latter is actually more of a full stop to a blogging career, although stranger things have happened. I remember in 1987 in Istanbul the case of...

But i digress. I am about to unleash a blunderbus style volley of excuses for my near 9 week absence from my blog. My excuses are threefold.
  1. I bought a flat with Mrs Wojteker (i know, i couldn't believe it either. What's more, she's gorgeous...). We are now the proud owners of a one bed in Enfield, plus private garden (built in BBQ lads...) with views over farmland (a rarity in London). This purchase involved muchos stress, dealings with two estate agents, two sets of solicitors and a lot of sweating. Needless to say the urge to get on the net and concentrate on anything other than big brother was minimal.
  2. I moved house to said property. This involved living out of boxes for a good month, but more crucially not net access while we changed supplier and waited for the connection. Needless to say we're hooked up!
  3. I went abroad to celebrate first 3 days in said new property. Lazed by a Turkish pool, eating Turkish food and occasionally visiting Turkish beaches. I was shaved by a large Turkish man, who then used fire to remove ear hair that i didn't have (i think he was actually a sadist not a barber, but when in Rome...) and then won a competition involving spoons. Further info upon request. Needless to say i was devoid of net access for 10 days.
For all the above i apologise (English spelling), and now that life is finally settling down to some kind of routine i once more pledge to blog more often, until such other distraction renders me otherwise engaged.

It occurred to me the other day that blogging, once the initial pattern has been established, becomes very like a newspaper column (without the grand readership). Fundamentally, you need a topic to jump off from as there are only so many times you can go to the well, so to speak. I have spent a good week thinking through "what to blog on, what to blog on", drumming my fingers on my chin and looking up at a thought bubble above my head.

Upon discovering i am not a cartoon, and whilst at a wedding reception, i came across something that jumped out at me. I went to the toilet as normal (no expansion needed i hope - 1s not 2s gents), washed my hands (i know, housebroken!) and then went to dry them. What did i find?

One of these:-

This, ladies and gents, if you've not come across them, is an electric paper towel dispenser.
This, ladies and gents, is a fundamentally redundant machine. What's that i hear you cry? Justify yourself? But of course...

A machine is supposed to remove the need for human effort from a need-solution logic chain.

For example, if i need to get to Oslo, in olden days i would have had to walk. This would involve much time and energy usage on my part. In short, to get to Oslo would cost me great effort. Luckily, through time, invention and industrialisation (English spelling) someone came up with the plane, allowing me to get to Oslo in a matter of hours. Thus my need (to  get  to Oslo, probably to escape this English  summer) is solved with less effort cost to myself thanks to a machine. My life is made easier.

There are many examples of this in the world today. The electric toothbrush removes the effort from brushing teeth. The cooker removes the effort from burning food. The TV removes the effort from nearly everything and is therefore one of the best machines. (The side issue in all this is that the effort or energy expended in the creation and running of machines is actually greater than that which is saved, but the individual doesn't notice this. We'll leave this to one side for now, as it is a distraction.)

But the machine above achieves nothing to reduce the effort expended in my need-solution logic chain. I have wet hands and need to dry them, i use paper towels, my hands are dry.

If the towels were in a normal dispenser, I'd pull them out. In an electric one, i still have to pull them out! If anything, i have to expend MORE energy to get the same effect as it is motion sensitive, so i have to wave my hand back and forward to get the towels out, by which time MY HANDS HAVE BECOME DRY AND I HAVE A LOAD OF USELESS PAPER TOWELS!

There is no logic to this invention. I have thought about it (those of you who have met me know this will be true, those that haven't BELIEVE me):
  • If they are intended to reduce the amount of paper towels lost to scallies/chavs/townies (depending on your slang terms - not sure of the Norwegian equivalent) per year, said scallies still have the brain power to work it out. If anything they'll be encouraged to get more out as the machine makes a weird groaning noise! REDUNDANT
  • If they are intended to be more hygenic, that's ridiculous AS YOU HAVE ALREADY WASHED YOUR HANDS BY THE TIME YOU USE IT. REDUNDANT!
  • If they are intended to be last wasteful, most of them are positioned in such a way that walking in triggers the motion sensor to dispense paper. REDUNDANT!
If anything this invention is going to be more wasteful as it is constantly on, thereby wasting electricity, more likely to breakdown and will cause queues to form in gents toilets which are usually queue free (unlike the ladies). This will in turn force men to cease handwashing all together and continue their lives with traces of urea on their hands, which will ultimately get back into the food chain and eventually trigger a mass illness and the collapse of civilization (American spelling).

I do not overstate the case here. The pointlessness of this "machine" is surpassed only by the danger it poses to all mankind. Either it will consume all our power resources, plunging us into a second dark age and a technological retardation, or we'll all die from urine related disease. The choice is yours ladies and gents. I URGE you, if you see this type of machine (there are a number of different models on the market, all bad), it is your moral duty to destroy it by any violent means necessary (see OFFICE SPACE the movie for ideas - the fax machine scene...).

It is up to you, the fate of mankind rests in your hands....


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A year to the day... (06/07/2007 11:49)

I wasn't going to blog today. I had planned to leave it a little while longer, what with working and facebook distracting me enough (it's quite addictive).

And Besides, the next blog i was to write was to be my 40th, and so i though it needed to be something rather special to celebrate. I wracked my brains...

Then ego, that greatest of obstacles got the better of me, and so i checked my blog listings and i realised that i simply must blog today.


I'm not sure you want to know that badly do you? At the back? Oh, alright then...

Today (6th July) is a year to the very day that i first put finger to key and (unwisely) threw my thoughts at the ML wall. Some stuck. So this entry is not only my 40th entry, but is my first blogging anniversary.

Well, that means it's Happy 40th and 1st Birthday to Me! You can see why i simply had to post today!

But about what? It doesn't always come out that easily... Hence the sometimes long gaps. Luckily, i have right now had a flash of inspiration. This blog will have a twofold core theme, which may or may not be followed up by further minor comments should i have the strength. That is because part one of this blog will involve a significant amount of research, as it is entitled rather dryly...

The Stats of Wojteker's Blog

Ok here goes nothing...

To date i have produced 39 blogs (i am not counting this one in my stats!) an average rate of 0.75 blogs a week (or 1 blog every 9.359 days)

My blogs have, in total been made up of 35,036 words, consisting of 152,557 characters (not including spaces). If laid end to end my blog entries would take up 74 pages in Word.

I have received a total of 8966 views of my blogs, an average of 229.8 per entry. A total of 169 comments have been made. I know what you're thinking "Woj, What has this done to the graph?"...well, i don't have a graph for this and only put this in for Kloopy. I am not Dave Gorman... but I have met Matt Chapman...and also someone called Daniel Chapman, but that was at primary school and really isn't relevant here...

I have blogged on each day of the week, and have blogged from two countries (a credit to the first person to correctly enter them in the comments below)

This is quite startling for me actually. My Blog represents my longest continuous (of a sort) piece of work. It is also that which has been read by the most number of people. For that, i thank you!

We have discussed many things on these pages, genetics, hair growth, what happens when hot ravioli hits the colander. I have shared my frustrations, hallucinations and the occasional story, and have received kind comments back. Again, for this i thank you!

We have learnt that my suggestions are not always acceptable to everyone. Early on we discovered that the spoon exists (she does cos i met her! four xxxx's to her too). I have gone only so far with a continuing story, lost one version of it, but do still have plans to go on. And yes, i have read Terry Prattchet and Isaac Asimov.

In short, i have (in terms of length) written half a book within this blog (not this particular one, obviously). I wonder how many of you have read them all! It's quite humbling to think just one person may have!


Anyway - enough factoids for now. I promised you a part two, well here it is.... 

Life Lessons I have learned over the last year

  1. Ranting is easier than any other form of blog. It is essentially spitting electronically. I like it.
  2. The part of my fingers that hair grows on are called flanges, and it hurts to pull the hairs out.
  3. People you meet on the internet are not always deadly. They can still be hazardous to your health.
  4. Spinner does not appreciate it when you waste his time. This should not prevent you from doing so.
  5. If you have the belief in you that you can do something, it does not always mean you should try. This is most applicable to situations in which you are drunk/tired.

5 is probably enough for now. I am happy to answer any questions you may have that come out of them.

As this is blog 40, i'd just like to point out that i am not 40 yet. Contrary to what Miss Spoons said previously, i am not an old man yet! Anyway, I have dealt with the two core themes of this blog and have come out the other side feeling a little more should be said, as it's my anniversary. I'd get drunk with you if i weren't at work...

Maybe then, it might be wise to share some news...

There is a Division 3/13 memorial cup taking place on saturday. This is in honour of the end of the department of the bloggers. If you have previously had affiliation (direct!!!) with division 3/13, ML me for the password. You have a day to do this in!

Having met (tis true, we are real people not just constructs of the mind of a computer- or are we? NO! i shall not get into that again! BAH!) 4 managers at once in the flesh a few weeks ago, i felt sad that it hasn't happened more often. It is far from my place to blog about that meeting, but i was wondering if we couldn't somehow arrange a big gathering, maybe in a room over a pub somewhere, and have a party. Thoughts?

And i have conceded 8 goals or more on no less than 5(!) occasions this season, including in the cup to a division 4 team managed by someone who calls herself Shy^, who then went on to mention it in the forums! 

I'd hate her if a) i didn't have chance to avenge myself in the aforementioned cup on saturday, and

b) if she wasn't so lovely.

Well, that's about it. I suppose this marks the end of some era's and the beginning of some new ones. No more division of the bloggers, no more Banditios as the whipping boys of Division 3/13. Then there is new hope in the English (possibly about to be renamed Patalonian??? - try it out Spinner) league, Banditos may succeed , we may fail. But rest assured my friends, one day, i will continue that cliffhanger. Wojteker is staying around for sometime yet. If there is anything i can do to ease your transition let me know...

PS. Got this is horribly self-involved. I do apologise. Please feel free to criticise me for it to your hearts content!

 PPS. The word count on this is currently 1161, eh 1163, no now its 1167 - oh sod it i no longer give a shit...

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Bragging...? Surely not... (24/06/2007 10:42)
Ah, the life of a global traveller...

I find myself currently the only occupant of the Business Lounge at Krakow airport. If you are lost already, it's by gate 1, turn left after passport control. Oh, and in Poland.

At this point, i'll just point out that i am a) not working in the lounge, but a customer, because b) i am not Polish, despite the root derivation of my login name. Sorry to disappoint my polish friends, but i am Angelsk.

Anyway, so i'm waiting for my flight home after a weekend "stag do", i have bought all my gifts for friends, colleagues and loved ones, and i have to my left a nice little Bucks Fizz (traditional British breakfast ****tail of Sparkling wine and orange juice - check the time stamp!) lifted delicately from the fridge by my own fair, disbelieving that this was only 30 quid more than the ryanair flight, hand and found myself with about two hours to spare.

What to do, i thought to myself, with two hours and nothing but drink and a computer, hooked up to the net, to amuse myself with. Then i had the answer, paste my thoughts at this point in my life into some kind of 21st century newsletter and punt it out there for the world to see. Well here it is!

Lets add a little colour.
The Stag Weekend i have just been on did not live up to my expectations at all. This is because i expected to end up sat (or in fact standing) playing pool with strangers whilst the bulk of the group (people i've know since school but see vary rarely) went off to do some male bonding in a number of strip clubs. Strip clubs are something i have no interest in ever setting foot in, and i am happy enough with myself to not bow to peer presser to do things. (on that topic, whilst on this weekend away, i was voted the "Least bothered about what people think of them" of the whole group - A title i am very proud to have won!)

Well, the stag weekend was actually pretty good fun and involved little nudity beyond one of the groups towels not really being large enough to cover their whole behind. I proved i am a match for anyone at the old drinking games and was pushing the boundaries of sleep deprivation by being last asleep and first up on both days. I even got the whole lot of them to step away from the MacDonalds(TM) and got to a Polish Cafe and have Hunter's Stew. Which was great. In addition, the drink of the weekend resulted in a tip from me to try the local ****tail Tatanka (apple juice and Bison Grass flavoured vodka). The seven of us drank so many of them in one place (where we were the only customers) that the bar ran out of the ingredients and had to go out and get more. That has never happened to me before.

So there you have it, a weekend of boozing captured in a paragraph. I am aware that this has turned into a bit of a bragging session rather than the traditional Wojteker Blog Rank (or WBR) but if that annoys you, i did put it in the title of the blog, so it's your own damn fault!

So that just leave the little question of why i happen to be in the business lounge alone. Well, the rest of the group flew from Liverpool, i from London. For the price of a train ticket up to join them on the Ryanair flight (If you've not travelled with them - no leg room, no entertainment, no food or drinks unless you pay!) i could top up my BA flight to Business Class (if you've not flown this way - champagne breakfast including full english and fresh baked bread, free endless drinks, peope calling you Mr Wojteker without you having to tell them who you are, bags of leg room and access to the lounges at both departure points with their free newspapers, food, drink and internet access) so i did. Whoo Hoo for me, i am raising a glass of bubbly to you as i speak/type!

Thats the bragging done and dusted. Now for some other news...

The last blog i did got quite a reaction on the old national managers. I may have to revisit "Wojteker Suggests..." (i'm not putting the full spinner related title in their, he'll only get a big head about it) at a later date. Keep on commenting and i'll take it all into account for my sagelike rethink.

Tomorrow, at about 6pm in a pub at an undisclosed location in Englands Capital City, 5 managerleague mainstays, four of whom were in at the very beginning, that first season 2 years ago, will converge to enter the Summer Photo Competition. We will win and then try to work out how to split the prize. If we don't win, it'll be because the fix was in - MLHQ won't have expected so many managers to team up to win it and not thought how to split the prize. Guaranteed. This does all rely on me and Miss spoons successfully operating mobile phones, otherwise it'll just be four managers together and me wandering the streets alone in the rain...

Finally, i would just like to say that i absolutely hate this whole game. How can i be second bottom! I mean honestly! Someone has fiddles the game engines and put in special codes that ensure i have a crap performance despite quality players. And i think i know who it is...and it's not David Hasselhoff, despite what he says about me in the press!

And so shall end the 39th blog i've done here, and the first non-cup based sunday blog. What will the big 4 0 bring us...

Right, i'm off to the toilet, got some pipes to clean...

(that last bit was a metaphor - i really don't work in the first class lounge in Krakow. Honestly.)

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Wojteker suggests... (15/06/2007 13:53)

In addition to my other blog entry today (yes two for the price of one - if you missed it, its here: I have decided to start a new series of blog entries called "Wojteker Suggests..."

These entries, besides stroking my ego, will be my way of presenting to you ideas i have relating mainly to ML, but if it turns out i don't have enough to sustain it, other stuff too! This is in response to people ignoring my forum posts. HOW DARE YOU! And i don't care if someone already said it, as quite frankly, if you'd believed in it enough, you'd have made a blog about it!

So welcome to entry number 1! THE NATIONAL LEAGUES

I suggest:

1. Each league has a national side with an ELECTED National Manager. They can be voted in by the other players on whatever basis seen fit. Hopefully campaigning will take place, maybe dirty ones. I am happy to arbitrate in areas of conflict. There will be limits to how long they are in charge (and every so often there can be a "sack or keep" vote) and a set period of time after sacking/resignation before they can be National Manager again

2. There should be a Patalonian League for teams i wish to have in it, in it. We will have a Patalonian National Manager and National team, made up of players who once had a patalonian dog or something. I would rule this league with a benevolent Iron Fist, thus fully expressing my dictatorial tendencies.

3. League specific Cup competitions. These will probably be in anyway, but i want everyone to feel like it was my idea!

I expect these ideas, as they are all brilliant, will be implemented forthwith. You know who to thank...

PS. If you want in on the Autocratic Republic of Patalonia, put your name in the comments below. All are welcome to enter, none will be allowed to leave...

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That Friday feeling... (15/06/2007 13:39)

For some reason the massive urge to blog took hold of me, and as i had a spare moment i thought, what the hell...

I feel we are at a turning point in humanities evolution. I'm not talking about the X-men (although i am one - keep it quiet to protect my secret identity), nor am i talking about the imminet change in leadership of Britian from Shiny Golden Tony (boo) to Dour Bronzed Brown ( also). No, the precipice on the edge of which we currently stand affects us one and all. The Switch to National Leagues...

It's not often this blog actually relates in any way to the game in which it sits, but sometimes we must pay respect to our roots. So i shall do so. The talk on the forums, usually a decent capture of ML public opinion (although this is usually in the form of a series of "Nice one (tup)"s and simmilar - on that topic, i have started to simply disagree with what the general tone is, just for kicks. Not once have i had a response. I think i just get ignored on the forums! - god this is a long bracket tangent - i feel like Victor Hugo (please tell me if you got that reference), time to bring it back home) is, pauses for breath, that this is ultimately a good thing.

Is anyone nodding? Do i see one person at the back gesturing for me to give my two pennies? I believe i do...

My feeling is, and i'll put this upfront, is that it is obviously essential to the development of the game that National Leagues come into play. Taken to a logical extreme, The pyramid league system, which is fine for a certain number of teams to be involved in, becomes unrealistic at the larger numbers of players. It would be very unweildy to keep tagging on another division when the one above fills up, especially as each time its four times bigger than the one it feeds into! Too much trouble.

No - in the grand scheme of things, the National league move is the right one, and given that it comes (i think, dividing 24 by 12) two years after the game started it is the right time.

But, and this i admit is a massively selfish view to take, i have a few downsides that i feel i must get off my chest!

1. Division 3/13, where i have been in a spiritual sense, if not by league position, for a good number of seasons, feels like home. We have an active forum, good cameraderie and we usually get rid of the div 2 reject by sending him back where he came from. It's a tight knit bunch, and i know when Adib stupidly got promoted, he missed us.  But we know our days are numbered. The move to the national league will split us up good and proper! I would like to know, were i to move across to the national league, that the guys from my div who are coming too will be dropped into the same division, if only for company!

2. I am very aware that, for the first season at least, there might be a greater chance at glory in the National League. Chances are they won't be filled up rapidly, so a middling team in one could well go far, at least for a season or two. This looks tempting, certainly - but there is a logical alternate plan to this! Those who stay in the international league will slowly find their opposition leaving, making their chances of success greater by staying where they are, as time goes on! This is such a dilema for those middling managers like myself! Down which path does the best chance at glory lie, as both paths cannot be travelled!

3. (completing the tryptich) erm... no actually, it's just the two above.

Ultimately, I am leaning towards an instant move to the National League (England, if you are interested). It's a new, fresh challenge and one i think Banditos are ready to attempt (especially as relegation beckons this season. I hope some friendly rivals come too, but it would be good to know that we won't be randomly scattered across the English league. Ideally, as my team hails from a small corner of South America Known as Patalonia (not to be confused with Patagonia) if there was a Patalonian league, i would be delighted to join it, although obviously lonely. Maybe some friends would come join me...

That said, part of me wishes there was some kind of system whereby we could "buddy-up" for a move to the National League. We could take a few friends across too. It would be like the end of Cocoon where all the old people go together. I am so not being the one left behind! Why on earth would you stay! Eternal youth is on offer.

Nevertheless, the extra competitions and the possibility of (i hope) being elected to NAtional Manager status is too much to risk for the sake of continued contact with rivals. Sod you all - I'm going for the GLORY!

(Please note - Eternal Youth is NOT on offer in the National League. I'm not getting sued over that one again...)

In other news...

Spinner continues to hinder my movements through London's multifaceted transport system. I think he dropped his free paper at the bottom of the Escalator at Bond Street last week, and instead of leaving it, turned around to try and pick it up, oblivious to the moving line of people behind. This is a unique variation on the scenes mentioned in my last blog. I'd link to it here, but i can't be bothered. You can use a computer, i'm sure you'll find it!

My Organised Cups are still open for the Weekend. Copa el Banditos VI and VII are for teams in div 4 and below. Join up if you like!

So thats that, a mid month blog for the first time in ages. It feels good to break the chain. Do i have anything else? Actually yes, but i'm going to put it in another entry, just for kicks!


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Back on the blog... (01/06/2007 10:44)

Greetings peeps...

For some reason, the last two blogs i've done have been posted on the first of the month. Well, i thought, why change a habit that is blooming so happily. With this in mind, i decided to dust off the old keyboard and let the rant out of the bag...

The first of June has rocked up on me without warning. I did not (for possibly the 39th month running) remember to say "A pinch and a punch" and all that, so your friend (by that i mean me) is in for another month of back luck - or at the very least, lack of good luck.

This is annoying. Yet it is far from being the MOST ANNOYING thing i have been party to recently. No, that is reserved for...

{Regular readers of these entries (and to date there are a maximum of 38 people who could have potentially read all 35 of the blog entries - who are you? put your hands up) will know that, on the odd occasion i have given vent to feelings of frustration, both within managerleague and without. If you dislike this aspect of my character, 1. why the hell are you still reading these you masochistic weirdo. Go read something less caustic! and 2. skip to the lower half}

...for the strangers who keep getting in my way!

At first glance, that reads a little bit mental, but let me expand upon this. I have recently begun to notice a number of affronts to my personal space that have taken place recently. This may or may not be related to my monthly dose of bad luck, but that's a side issue. The affronts take the form of what i can only think of as the self-involved nature of the modern world. The "I'm alright Jack" mentality. Well, I'm not alright Jack, and i blame YOU!

Thats is, not the you reading this (unless you do these things to me) - no i mean the people who

  1. Get to the top/bottom of an escalator (moving stairway for those unfamiliar with the term) and just stop! What the hell do you think your doing? There is a conveyer belt of people heading inexorably for your backside! The top/bottom of the escalator is on of the least opportune places to stop for a little think. 
  2. Stand in front of a tube/train doorway as they open and try to get on THROUGH me who is attempting to get off. What's your beef? I once saw a man get so angry at this that he threw himself off the train like a stage diver and flattened the waiting crowd. This in itself was a selfish move. I on the other hand, am english and therefore sigh quietly to myself, pull a face, say nothing and then whinge about it to my friends. Who's the better off?
  3. Stand in the aisle of a plane once it is at the gate, waiting for the doors to open so they can madly get off. They barge past you and that. This is a pointless exercise as we all know you ultimately see these people slightly ahead of you in the queue at passport control. These are the same people who get frantic waiting for their bags at the moving bag thing...

These are merely a few examples of the types of people i have come across recently. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, SO STOP IT NOW!!!!

It keeps happening to me everywhere i go! I'll give you a nice example. A few days ago i was yelled at by a cyclist. My crime? Crossing the road at a zebra crossing.Ever aware of the demographic of Managerleague, in the UK a zebra crossing is a road crossing with no lights, but at which pedestrians have right of way. Cars, lorries and bikes all have to stop for a person on foot. The man yelled at me to "Take all day why don't you!" My friends, i wish i had a quick witted retort to give you, but i merely said "I'm on a pedestrian crossing" when in hindsight what i should have done was stick a, well, stick i suppose, through his front wheel, forcing him into the world of the pedestrian. GRR.

Is this a malaise that only i am seeing? I thing people are in too much of a hurry, whilst simultaneously dawdling about. DOES ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE FEEL THIS WAY ABOUT THE MODERN WORLD?

Maybe my problem is simply that i live in london. There are far too many people here. I might go find myself a nice quiet mountain, ideally one with a view of the see and internet access, preferably wifi. Then i can live my dream of becoming a hermit. I would build myself some form of shack, make clothes out of squirrel fur or equivalent and write endless novels about 19th century Ukraine. Ah, the dream...

My wife would obviously be dead pleased with the shack lifestyle.

Hmm... this is a bit disjointed isn't it? You'd think i'd write these up in advance, read them through and redraft them. But no, i just blather on, sick i'm being sick through a keyboard until i run out of steam . I suppose (not to be immodest or anything) that its quite James-Joyce-stream-of-consciousness-esque. Ahem - I guarantee that will be the longest hyphenated (joined with little lines) word you read all day. I bet you money.

In other news...

Banditos were relegated through the playoffs in season 22. I got to the playoff match, took a look at the division below and thought "What the hell, lets have a little success for a season) so played a back-to-front team and went down. Looks like a straight return coming up too - just in time for the National Leagues. Which i won't win. Stupid Game...

The short film i have mentioned too often was filmed and is currently in the editing process. We will then screen it to friends and then bung it on the net for all and sundry. It will be under my real name (sorry to wreck the illusion, but i am not polish) so don;t get confused. More on that at a later date.

The lost blog that i mentioned last time (and which ironically would have got about 1 tenth the number of readers and comments that the blog about the blog got) is still in my head, i just haven't had the spare time to sit down and do it. Although, to be fair, the time it's taken to write all this would probably have done. I promise i will rewrite it in the future (and may even adapt it a little into my next film ooohhhhh!).

Quite frankly, i think thats enough from me. I miss the camaraderie of the div 3/13 forum. The 4/51 one isn't quite up there with it. sigh.

Anyway, better be off. will be back soon - or at the very latest, july 1st....



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Remember me...? (01/05/2007 16:16)

I am well miffed. Truly and utterly. I wonder how many of you are crying out "Why, Why, why on earth, why are you miffed?"

Well, i'm going to tell you.

I have been busy for about a month no non-stop, for reasons i will won't go into now... actually, on second thought...

1. I am still in my new job. It is fairly demanding, requires me to think and write relatively creatively and, more to the point, my boss can see my computer screen. This cuts down my blogging potential somewhat.

2. My wife and I have aquired a kitten. Called Moriarty. He is a little evil, but in a cute way. He wakes me up at 5.30 am, and so i am tired. This limits my bloggin potential somewhat

3. I recently shot a 10-12 minute short film in a saturday. (once we've edited it, cut it down and played with it, it'll go on the net and i'll tell you about it - stay tuned) This took an inordinate amount of time to organise and meant my evenings have been spent thinking about shot composition and dialogue, leaving me with little relaxation time. This severely damages my blogging potential.

So all in all, my bpw (blogs-per-week) statistics have gone through the floor. But this week (namely, yesterday, also known in some odd circles of sun worshipping strangers as "Monday") i found myself miraculously with 2hrs of nothtingness stretching out before me. I had an empty room, a cup of tea, a radio, a laptop and a wireless internet connection. And the first though to hit my alert mind was....write a blog entry!

So thats what i did, i sat down and wrote. I wrote for 2 hours. It was witty, dialogue heavy. I introduced new characters, reintroduced old ones, thickened the plot. It was all good. In short, i was continuing the story i started way back when, when blogging was young on ML and there were a mere five thousand of us in here (and many of them were offline). It was NOIR! The bug was back, and it had me, tooth and nail it had me. (if you are confused by this, follow this link, work backwards and then back forwards and you may understand. It's

So there i was, finishing touches put in, details clarified, plot holes removed or more often simply pointed out (as is my way). Then i hit save....

I waited...

I waited a little bit longer...

Then the window refreshed and i was confronted with the most sole destroying words any blogger could face...

"Cannot Find Server"

I cried...

You see my friends (and Antjie, i feel your pain on this) i had taken my story forward for the first time in literaly months, devoted a spare evening to crafting it just right so that 30odd people could read it before it sank without trace, but had lost it all becasue my stupid server chose thaty moment to be unavailiable. ARRGGHH!

Ah well, mores the pity. It was good, not my best work, but up there certainly. Maybe i'll try to reconstruct it. maybe i won't. I suppose it depends on the public outcry. So, if you want my noiresque adventure to continue on these pages, please leave a note at the bottom of the page and i'll judge my next entry (which will be soon, i promise) on the responses i get.

Your forlorn friend,



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The Official Happy Easter Cup Blog!!! (01/04/2007 17:17)

So, where were you then? What were you doing when the 1024 teams entered the fray at 12.30 managerleague time? Out in the sun were you? Or asleep?


Some people have no commitment, no drive! No wonder you didn’t win the cup!


Yes, for this day saw the massive, thousand team behemoth of a tournament that was the HAPPY EASTER CUP. Over the course of several hours, managers sweated, cried, bled even (if they stood on a pin or something) over their selections, their draws their results!


There would be man winners, even more losers, and thanks to the generous cup sponsors (to whom we bow down in equal parts admiration and envy) there would be a number of prize winners.


But only one team could win the cup, but who would it be?


Pre cup build up!

The forum was active from the moment the cup was announced, but things really kicked into gear when the Official Cup Thread started up. Predictions flew across the net like bullets in a bad mood. Some predicted their own demise, others were bold in their belief of success….


Torstein Krokstad, manager of Det Sugne Laget, thought he’d get as far as round 2/3, as did Sir Sten Christian of Haugesund FK and Obi of FC Rogues. Others, like Sab Sublime of Sublime Athletic, thought they would be lucky to get through the first round. Some brought grudges into the tournament, boasting (like sonofline, manager of snowstormjr) of being the best in their family. Few predicted success, can you guess who? He has a red car…


Official odds were posted by MordaciousK and broke down like this:


Vartdal FK favourites with 2 league cup wins and many custom cup successes are-2/1

Stovner Massive surprise 2nd favs due to good cup record-5/2
Blackpool despite poor record in big cups due to Q team 10/3
A-Tack as D1 leader installed at 9/2
Svenmania having threatened to promote to d1 3 seasons running 7/1
The Gremlins-led by the original tactical master but with an inexperienced team 10/1
The Evil Empire-A few really strong players but squad lacking depth 10/1
Oh yeah ofc Man U Senior is also a creator.Struggling to rebuild at the wrong end of 2:2 his odds are considered no better than Spinners at 12/1
The Spinners-Obviously as creator of the game and a decent team must have an outside shot 12/1
Fifth Season-Inexperienced and poor team,managers judgement in doubt 50/1

Banditos Not too shabby a team-expected to get by at least a few rounds maybe more with luck in the draw.However not high enough Quality and no strength in depth




But but but, did someone mention prizes? Aside from the reward for winning the cup (which Spinner Doubled!) there were additional prizes, worked out in the following way:


The team knocking out evil empire, blackpool, vartdal fk or man united senior:

5-6div 50mill+50creds
4div 35mill+35creds
3div 25mill+25creds
1-2div 15mill+15creds

The team knocking out chairman or spinner:
5-6div 100mill+100creds
4div 70mill+70creds
3div 50mill+50creds
1-2div 30mill+30creds

Biggest win against a team from same/higher div.: 25mill+25creds

best team from 3-6 div: 20mill+20creds (if there are several teams coming equally far, we'll pay up to all teams)



Now that did whet the appetite….


15mins before the draw the cup was full, so all 1024 would play in round one. The draw threw up some corkers…a few shots at the big time, a few high profile casualties. We may see some large hats on the ground after the opening dust ups!

Pick of the draw, had some top v bottom crackers -

Three div 6 sides faced top flight opposition, with 6/733's avenge the gates facing ddude, DLBS1STS being challenged by Xkanon of 6/735 and the mighty dwarf SMeghunters from 6/249 playing Hoynes.

Faced with just as tough a challege were teams like Torp Jentene of 5/210 playing top team lightning, and strikingly, Barcelonians (5/90) getting a crack at the prizes by drawing Vardtal. Finally, Early favourites Stovner Massive of 2/1, cruising to the divisional title, plaed The rivals of 6/706.

But the key tie, the big match of the round, saw Omen Gaming of 2/4 face Malmo FF of 1/1.

And then was the terminal, the unhappy 30minute wait for the games. At 12.30, 1024 teams entered the fray, only 512 would remain for round two…

Round 1 

There were few surprises! But few are not none!


Marking their territory early on, div 4 side SuperGlimt beat div 1 complacent Murdoch 7-6 on penalties. What a scalp to take in the first round!

ddude put 5 past avenge the gates, while DLBS1STS and hoynes went one better and put 6 goals unanswered past their div 6 opposition. Meanwhile Lightning demolished Torp-jentene 8-0.

Sir Johnny's defence didn't look up to it's most rigorous best, conceeding once against Barcelonians (although they did score 6 back!) Stovner massive went through too!

But Omen Gaming are out, a casualty of Malmo FF's superior attack, the div 1 side walking of with a 3-1 win.


Giant killing didn’t end with Murdoch, other notables were

Svenmania (2/3) losing to Ringnesklanen (4/49) 1-2
Wedda United (6/389) - Bizze (4/52) 5-4 (after penalties)
KaMpSus Fotbollar (5/93) - Firefighter (3/11) 7-2!
Team Afro (5/168) - Team Verno (3/7) 3-2
San Paulinho (5/233) - Start IK (3/10) 4-3

We had 8 teams scoring 10 goals or more with Alien Team wiping the floor with FC Okole 11-0. The div 4 team put in an early claim for the biggest win prize.


Round 2, and I found myself saying “Oh good god. Oh bollocks.”

I know we're supposed to be objective here, fair to one and all, but i knew I was all but out. The Evil Empire, drew me, banditos in round 2. It was a shot at the prize, but a longshot! Despite luck offered to me in the forum, I went down 2-0.

Giant Killers SuperGlimt (4/42, who put out Murdoch of 1/1 on penalties faced fellow div 4 side Max team. They walked off 5-0 winners.


Uslan University of div 2 made themselves a contender for the cup, storming to an 8-0 win over Sun Derland of div 6. In an all div 2 clash, Anum Primera succumbed to Kile Utd 1-2. A-tack of 1/1 looked strong, thrashing Galleywood Utd 8-0.

Krakra went one better than Alien Team, winning 12-0 against poor Fyllingen SMG1 from div6. And the first knockout prize was awarded, with Speers Finest trashing Fifth Season soundly and collect 50 mill and 50 creds!


There were also two official giant killings, Fjelds Mountain Goats of 4 / 47 egging off Eggs Army (2 / 2) 1 – 0, and Reduco ad Honore (3 / 11) being seen off by team-boyz (5 / 78) by the same score.


And we moved into Round 3


I was grumpy, but I kept going...

It was hotting up in the cup....

We saw our first all div 1 clash of Hoynes v Blackpool, with Hoynes sneaking off 3-2 victors and pocketing the prize at the same time!

But that was not the only prize decided…


Dinamo of 3/1 beat the Evil Empire 3-1, and Spartacus of 2/1 clonked the Spinners 2-0. But in an act of power, skill and giant killing, Far East Movement found themselves 5-3 winners over Man United Senior. What a result.


They were rewarded as follows… Høynes United 15 mills and 15 creds
Far East movement 35 mills and 35 creds
Dinamo13 35 mills and 35 creds
Spartacus 30 mill and 30 creds

This left just Sir Johnny of the prize teams. Everyone was fair game!


Solrac team also won the prize for being the best div 6 team, surviving into Round 4. 20 mill and 20 creds

In non prize matches, Stovner Massive faced a tough test in Sparta Rotterdam of div 1/1 and were duly dumped out of the cup. Other tough clashes saw SOCA Lighting of 3/13 play RO Forza Rgazzi of 2/2 and walk away victorious.  Shadeyy of 3/9 put up slightly more of a defence than free scoring Uslan Uni of div d, the latter losing out 7-6. There was also one more dead giant, badekare (3 / 3) losing to FC Badaboom (5 / 185) 0 – 3.


And we moved into Round 4

The round of 128 gives us few surprises, but some interesting results...

We bade farewell to the last div six team, Solrac, who were finally overcome by The Keane Team 6-0. We salute you!

Elsewhere, normal service resumed with Malmo FF casually strolling past Team Villa Servic 2-0, and Jailhouse Gangs did for Sleivspark 6-2. Finally, SOCA lightning marched on past nicks hotspur with a wopping 6-1 win.

In other matches, an all div 2 clash saw liverpudlians of div 2/2 sneak past Team Magic 2-1, while Sparta Rotterdam underlined their cup bid with another easy victory, this time 7-1 over gooners of 3/6. Only one case of Giant killing occurred, with Fryteam (4 / 34) overcoming El Zombies (2 / 1) 3 - 0

And finally, Spoons FC, everyone's favourite Spoon related team, took a legendary beating by urban legends 3-0.



Swiftly Round 5 was upon us, and the breakdown of teams left in was as follows:

Div 5 - 2 teams
Div 4 - 8 teams
Div 3 - 25 teams
Div 2 - 16 teams
Div 1 - 13 teams


The team with the best chance on paper of going through was azari team of 5/121, who played FC Mancunians of div 4/34 and only lost 1-0. A more problematic tie awaited AC Trates of 5/33, who faced A-tack of 1/1. Skills showed for a 7-0 A-tack victory.

In other games, we saw clowns facing bulldogs (who wouldn’t want to see that!) with the evil looking ones of 1/1 facing the tough Bavarian Breed of 2/1. The former pulled off a 4-2 victory. We also learned that div 1 is 17 times as good as div 2/2, with only one goal being scored by the three div 2/2 sides combined...

Speers Finest, our first prize winners were still in the mix, but came up against a strong Fystor 2/4 and lost 5-0

Elsewhere, SOCA Lighting fell by the wayside, losing out to div 3 Java Coders, while Sir Johnny's first team looked weaker than his reserves, sneaking through quietly 2-1 against div 3's RO Esperence.



Round 6 awaited…


Div 1 facing each other in three ties! A-tack played Skjoldar and lost, Evil Looking Clowns conceded 7 unanswered to Sparta Rotterdam and lightning failed to strike against Jailhouse Gangs.

And Division 3 did a little better than divison 2. Division 3 must truly be where it's at! Malmo FF, many people's outside bet for the trophy and so far a destrcutive force in nearly every round, were upstaged by Java Coders the team that were the undoing of SOCA Lighting in round 5. Who'd have preditced that!

Elsewhere we found Fystor breaking Spartacus over and over again (well, they all said they were him...) to go through 6-1 winners, and we had a win for div 3 over div 2 with Möllenborg losing out to CS Cizme Rupte, 3-1. And our final Div 4 team went out when FC Mancunians lost out to Hoynes.



The Last 16 was where it got juicy…


We had left 9 div 1 sides, 3 div 2 sides and 4 div 3 sides. All he div 2 and 3 sides face div one opposition, and should they all lose there will be a lot of cash paid out in prizes!!!

Well, most of them did!


Order was restored. We say goodbye to the last 4 div 3 sides, heros all. They had been a thorn in the side of better opposition all day and will leave quite a hole in Sir Johnny's pocket. The four were Vard Haugesund CS Cizme Rupte FC UMU and Java coders.

The one surprise of the round saw Kile Utd beat ddude 3-2, to be the only non-div 1 side left. Will they reach the semis? They'll have to get past an awkwars DLBS1STS first...


Quarter Finals

Plum tie saw free scoring Sparta Rotterdam face the edgy Vardtal. Sparta had scored 7 goals in three of their matches to get this far, but they couldn’t keep the pace up, losing out to Sir J 4-1.

In the other two matches, Skjoldar faced div 1 opposition again! in the form of Jailhouse Gangs and won again 3-1. DLBS1STS wiped out Kile Utd 5-0.

Finally, Høynes United face up to Sleivdal il who had quietly progressed this far. They quietly bowed out, 5-0.


This set us up for our semis


Vartdal drew Hoynes, while DLBS1STS got Skjoldar! It was crunch time.


The surprise was in the scorelines, no one predicted how easily Vartdal would walk all over Hoynes. The final score was a monstrous 6-0. In the other Semi, DLBS1STS put two past Skjoldar for only one in reply…


Setting up the final! A repeat of the semi of the Special Vartdal Cup, where Sir Johnny walked off the winner of the match and the tournament. Would the same happen here?


The match began with a bang, Paul Ince getting sent of for Vartdal in the sixth minute. DLBS1STS capitalised on this and scored in the 28th minute with Jacinto Lima. While they were still celebrating, Vartdal’s player manager Sir Johnny went up the other end and scored, to make it 1-1. The rest of the game was spent in deadlock, even shots, and we entered extra time. It wasn’t until 114th minute that Lima popped up to score his second and take the cup for DLBS1STS!


A great cup, disappointment for some, for others financial and credit rewards! I’m sure the sponsors will be able to provide a list of prize winners – they can add it to the foot of this.


I’d like to thank the sponsors for making it possible, as well as my fellow reporter teammates T Daddy, Sir Johnny and Torstein Krokstad and The Evil Empire for not making my tem look too foolish!



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2 Weeks Later... (16/03/2007 16:06)
So here we are, two weeks later. Cannot stay long so promise a fuller update and maybe, just maybe, we'll find out what happened when i went through the door at the bar...
So - the point of this brief excercise is twofold.
  1. To prove i am not dead (although fate may tickle us all soon by killing me soon after writing this, allowing us all a good chuckle at the irony of our existence)
  2. To, on the back of the success of my last 500 word short story posted up here, present for your thoughtd and reviews and comments, not 1 but 2 stories, each clocking in at 499 words exactly

What i'll do, i think, if you'll let me, is post them in two separate blogs, then post the links back in each one. How's that sound?

Anyway, as this is my first blog from my new work and is therefore "illegal" i will bid you adieu, but i'll be back before long, promise!
Story 1...
Robert Myra span in his almost comfortable swivel chair and came to rest facing the window. It was Wednesday, and a slow one at that. He peered at the outside world as it moved by, hundreds of feet below. He did this about five or six times each day and each and every time he did so, he desperately felt the urge to kill each and every person out there. 
It had, on many occasions, been pointed out to Robert, either on observation platforms, from plane windows, or even in this very office that from this height people resembled ants. On every occasion, Robert said nothing but smiled quietly and imagined pouring a giant kettle out over the cities below, scalding the ant-people and washing the earth clean of their filth.
For obvious reasons, he kept these kind of urges private. It did not bode well for your future employment prospects to inform you colleagues that you harboured strong impulses towards mass murder. And on a global scale at that. Many a good administrative career had been halted in its infancy through the unwise verbalisation of such intentions. But, unfortunately for Robert, these involuntary and frankly murderous urges only grew within him. He straightened out paperclips to relieve the tension, on each occasion picturing the face of someone he knew as he twisted the metal until it broke. It didn’t really help much, but it felt good. 
As he mused on his homicidal plans for the world beyond his window, Robert slowly approached the worst part of his day. It was the moment when he looked deep within himself, working out how to best put his plans into action, how to kill everyone out there, either individually or one by one. It was at these moments, each and everyday, that Robert realised his own ineffectuality.  
In a split second everyday his fantasy would fall though and he would be faced with his own pathetic existence. He would feel the cavern of his empty sole opening before him and his stomach would sink rapidly into it. A single tear would break for freedom down his cheek and he would confront reality. He knew as much as he would like to he could never so much as harm a hair on one head. He did not have the drive or ability to make his fantasies into reality 
Robert turned back from the window to his computer screen and the 18 outstanding emails in his inbox – all but one of them to do with paperclips. He sighed and clicked through them as the world outside moved forward without him, leaving him behind. That world in which he would never fit, had never fitted and where, more to the point, he had been refused entry into the Enrst Stavro Blofeld Academy for the Practical Application of Criminal Insanity in the field of World Domination and/or Destruction simply because he hadn’t cheated on the entry exam. He’d kill all them too, if he could.   

Story two can be found here...

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2 Weeks Later, too... (16/03/2007 16:00)
Here is story 2, only because it was the second one i wrote. story one can be found here...:
The Baron Aepoch, self styled sociopath, megalomaniac, evil genius and honourable graduate of the Enrst Stavro Blofeld Academy for the Practical
Application of Criminal Insanity in the field of World Domination and/or Destruction looked out over the inner courtyard of his secret lair and sighed heavily. He was depressed, and distressingly he knew why.
So far, life for the Baron Aepoch had been something of a breeze. A blissful childhood surrounded by the trappings of his parents business-evil lives had led him effortlessly into the Academy after he simply paid the invigilator to do the test for him. After that it was full marks all the way, destroying the grading curve. An unparalleled period of professional success, marred only by that short stay in the high security mental hospital, had made him stupidly rich and powerful, commanding an army of henchmen numbering into the tens thousands. He had the world for the taking, in the palm of his hand, and yet he had recently begun to feel unexpectedly melancholy.
His second in command, Syrus, seeing in his boss an all too dangerous malaise, had suggested dispatching some henchmen in unexpectedly painful
ways to get back to his roots. This hadn't worked, so The Baron Aepoch had liquidated Syrus (literally) in a fit of pique and now had no one to talk to. Tapping a pen on the table, he reflected that it truly was lonely at the top.
He watched his henchmen training rigorously in the yard below, then started pressing the trapdoor release buttons to keep them on their toes, but he soon found he had no drive to do this anymore. It was,simply, no longer fun for him.
Sometimes The Baron Aepoch would daydream of the lives he never led. He would fantasise about toiling away quietly in an office sourcing stationary for a large multinational, other times it would be crafting furniture out of wicker. Then at night, his favourite would involve tilling soil as the good maid Gracie, his love, watched on from the homestead.
His reverie was broken by reality as the crackle of small arms fire drifted up to his high arched window. Exasperated, the Baron Aepoch pressed two buttons on his desk simultaneously, casting six more of his troops into the bear-pits below. They'd learn their lessons in there. Then he looked at his to do list. It was reassuringly short.      
 To do:
 Dominate World
Maybe he could find someone interested in a job swap – a dissatisfied administrator or similar. That could break the monotony of indiscriminate murder and ransom. He added to his to do list a note to place an advert in Loot.   Feeling somewhat more upbeat towards the future, staring intently at the suddenly more tangible fantasy life on the horizon.
In celebration, The Baron Aepoch started to write another threatening letter to the Prime Minister. While doing so he pictured the maid Gracie waiting for him after a hard day at the office and smiled happily to himself.
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The News on Saturday morning... (03/03/2007 10:02)


I am currently sat in my front room nursing quite a hangover. I have, to my right, Withnail & I on the TV (a film i only recently have begun to appreciate). Before me is a large glass of water and on my lap sits a lap top. To complete the mental picture, i am wearing clothes. The time is 8.45am and it is a Saturday. I am waiting for a man who will bring a new windscreen for our car.

Yesterday  was my last day at work. My old work that is, as a University Administrator in London. My hangover is a direct result of my (now former) work colleagues helping shot after shot of tequila into my admitedly willing palm. That was followed by a trip to gig where we saw two quality bands, one called After the Fox (the keyboardist plays this game!) and the other called The Miners - they both have myspace pages...

On Monday i begin my new job as a Writer in a university communications department. This is clearly a period of change in my life, exciting change.

There are drawbacks though. I leave behind me a group of work colleagues whoi have for a long time now considered friends. I leave behind an office atmosphere where we could get away with pretty much anything. I also therefore, most likely, leave behind the lax internet policy that has allowed me to be on managerleague from 9am to 5pm each and every weekday.

Drawbacks indeed. So for the next few weeks at least, and possibly for good (at least until i work out exactly how to be paid to sit at home and be on the internet all day - any suggestions?) i will be logging in only in the evenings and weekends, limiting my team management skills as well as my blog capacity. That said, i will do my very best to blog with something like the consistency i have previously and to keep Banditos up in the good ol' division of the bloggers, div 3/13. 

So my friends, i will leave you for now - until we next meet,


PS - in case you are worried, i am in no way leaving this game - it's far too good for that!!!



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Stumpy... (26/02/2007 15:00)

Should i get serious (in a manner of speaking) for a moment? I think i may just....

This is stumpy....

Stumpy is a rare duckling who has four legs.

Stumpy was born last week i think. It made the news in parts of the country that have less shootings per day than where i live. (it's here if you are interested - i cannot be held responsible for the content of other websites....)

Now, lets get on shaky ground for a moment. So far i have felt from the responses these blogs receive, that the people who play managerleague are a fairly open-minded sort of bunch (bar the Evertonians who can't always read sarcasm, but we'll overlook them for now). I think the managers out there who read the blogs can handle a bit of, shall we say, dealing with the big topics. So, i'll share with you my thoughts on seeing stumpy last week.

I did not think "more food to go round" by the way...

No, the first though into my head was the thought that if ever there was proof that the theory of "intelligent design" is bunk, then it is a four legged duck.

Why? Well, i'll tell you... (and it is at this point that we may be verging into the unknown waters of religious opinion and such like. To those of you with such feelings, please bear with me - i am in no way saying anything heretical, as i will explain).

There are groups in this world that insist on the teaching of "Intelligent Design" in biology lessons. They have quite a hold on the minds of the American people, and are starting to get more of a foothold in Europe. I don't like this. I find it frightening. Here's why.

For those of you who don't know, the theory of "Intelligent Design" is one that believes that all creatures in the world (man included) were created as are by a grand Deity (usually the Christian God, but i believe - tell me if i am wrong - that Islam teaches the same thing). People who support the doctrine of Intelligent Design believe that evolution, fossils etc are all a massive concoction and that Darwin was essentially wrong.

It is a viewpoint, and they are as much entitled to it as i am to believe that Manchester United are the root of all evil (Red Devils? It's right there in front of you). The problem i have is that it is a belief, like my view on Man U. I would never consider it right to go into a biology lesson and tell the impressionable children that Old Trafford is essentially a portal to the very depths of hell, AND PASS IT OFF AS SCIENCE.

No i would not. The place for that kind of debate is in the Religious Studies room, ALONG WITH INTELLIGENT DESIGN. Evolution is based on scientific method, the collection of data from all over the world stacked up over 200(ish years) and literally millions of pieces of evidence. Science. Therefore should be in biology. Intelligent Design, as it is a belief, not a scientific theory should be in the realm of religious debate. Bah!

Rant partially over. If you've stuck with me this far and your attitude is "Pesky Atheist - he just hates belief and all it stands for, burn him, burn him!", let me point out to you that i am no Atheist. I am a quietist Deist (and possibly the only one in the UK at the 2001 census - go look it up and then we'll talk...). And anyway, Atheism is as much a belief structure as anything else....

If you have now stuck this far, you may well be thinking "That's all very well and good Woj, but how does this relate to the four-legged duck? You've gone off on one again..." - Well, my friends, allow me to draw this narrative back in on itself...

I looked at stumpy, his yellow fur and two redundant legs, and i thought "If ever there was something to prove that intelligent design is bunk, it's a four legged duck". If you believe in intelligent design, you believe that God, Allah or whatever sat up there on high and pointed at the essential matter that would become poor old Stumpy and said "Lo, and the world will have a four-legged duck!" and bam, Stumpy came into existence.

Does this sound intelligent to you? Stumpy would not survive in the wild. Not for a second. He'd be hobbling about on two working legs and two legs that are no more than stabilisation and be snaffled up by the first fox on the scene! He wouldn't even be good at football...

Stumpy, bless him, is fundamentally redundant. He is useless. He is the final proof that intelligent design is bunk because no deity worth his salt would go out and DELIBERATELY build a four-legged duck.


EVOLUTION could make one for you, what with all those recessive genes banging about, one's bound to turn up sooner or later. 

So there you have it, the headline should have been "Four-legged duck hailed as final proof of non-existence of Intelligent Design!" But this is England, it was on the BBC, and so we got none of it.

So it is up to me, to point at Stumpy and say "here is an evolutionary cul-de-sac, a dead end in every respect."

Poor little blighter.

Please, Please don't take offence at this. Feel free to whack a comment or two below if you are. I promise i am not trying to prove the non-existence of God or anything. I just hate it when belief tries to pass itself off as science. It hurts the science part of my brain greatly. And one more thing for you to keep in the back of your head for all time, if ever there was proof that science and belief can go hand in hand, so long as there is give in one and the other is not too literal, then it is this...

Darwin was a Christian...


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Time (31/01/2007 15:41)

I think i may currently be residing in the Department where bloggers go to be frustrated. Div 3 Dep 13 now contains myself, shy and webvictim - all three of us active bloggers. Is there a higher density of blogger to non blogger in any other division? I think not! We also have adib - who could blog more if he wished to!

Due to a very busy few weeks where i have

  1. been acting up at work into a management position and
  2. been offered a NEW job as a WRITER (of sorts - tis at least creative) for more cash and opportunities 

I have not this week got a proper entry for you. I feel it in my waters that my ongoing story may well continue at a more rapid pace from now on, but in the mean time here is a stop gap to be going on with.

The text below is a short story i didn't enter into competition. (I entered a different one.) 

The theme was "TIME" and it could be no more than 500 words. Here it is. Hope you like! As always, comments, thoughts etc appreciated muchly!

Au revoir my friends

It was six-thirty when Jack Miller, halfway through his second bacon-double-cheeseburger, was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Death in his front room. This was a surprise for Jack, partly because the sky had turned black and the clocks had stopped, but mostly because the figure of Death was not what he would have expected.

            Death, dusting himself down and peering around the room, was in fact a short, balding rotund man of middle age, wearing an ill fitting, crumpled grey suit.      

‘Can I help you?’ asked Jack timidly.

            ‘Jack Miller?’ asked Death, his eyes squinting at a small notepad.


            ‘I’m Death. I have come to take you to the afterlife,’ Death replied in a bored tone ‘if you wouldn’t mind coming with me…’

            ‘What? Why?’ spluttered Jack.

            ‘That’s what must be, Mr Miller. Look, I’m rather pushed for time’ he peered at Jack over the notepad and gestured to the spot beside him.

            ‘But I’m not dead!’ exclaimed Jack in horror. Death frowned. He closed his notepad and sat down next to Jack.

            ‘That is very true, Mr Miller,’ Death began, wriggling into a comfortable position. ‘But then, I’m working on something of a project that I thought you might be able to help me with.’

            Jack stared open mouthed into the round, frowning face of Death, into dull grey eyes, wrinkles of tiredness creasing away from the corners.

            ‘It’s like this,’ said Death, running his hand across his forehead. ‘I’m overworked, seriously so. Do you know how frequently you people die? It’s one every couple of seconds. Even with the ability to slow time to a crawl, it still moves on, I never get a break. It’s constant work.’ Jack looked confusedly at Death. 

            ‘Well, that’s not very nice, but I’m not sure I’m really the right person to help you out,’ said Jack

            ‘If I was asking you to do anything, that would be true, but in this circumstance, all I want from you is your time,’ replied Death.

            ‘My time?’


            ‘How much, exactly?’ asked Jack. He gestured to his burger ‘I mean, I’m pretty busy and…’

            ‘Twenty-five years, give or take,’ Jack’s mouth gaped again. ‘You see,’ continued Death, resting a hand on Jack’s shoulder, ‘You don’t do anything, you never have, you never will. If I can get a few more procrastinators like you ahead, a window opens up and I can have a holiday in twenty-five years time.’

            ‘You want me to die now, early, so you can have a holiday?’

            ‘Yes – what do you say?’


A few moments later, as the clocks started up and the sky brightened, Jack knew he had made the right choice. He now knew he had twenty-five years to change his life. He wouldn’t put things off anymore, no more laziness. Death had given him the gift of time, rather than the other way round, and he would make the most of it. Or he would in a bit. Maybe. Right after he finished his burger.


 (if you read this far, this may be of interest....

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Flight to the night... (22/01/2007 16:59)

Were I Jack Bauer , CTU agent, trained killer and all round hard ass, I might have leaped out of the window as an explosion tore through the room I had just left.

Were I Jack Bauer, I would have caught hold of a broken drainpipe at the last second and swung round the side of the building.

Were I Jack Bauer, I would narrowly have escaped being shot by the terrorists/police/my colleagues whilst in flight, drawn my side arm/Knife/empty biro tube and have taken out my foes, before landing comfortably in the dust below, rolling forward into an alert crouch before disappearing rapidly into the shadows undetected.


Unfortunately I am not Jack Bauer, and so I tentatively exited the window, made use of the fire escape and descended slowly to the second storey, before slipping on a greasy step and landing in an uncomfortable heap on the dry hard ground below my window.

By this time, the police had made it to my window and were staring down at me laughing as I limped off, very detected into the night. I knew they wouldn’t follow immediately, as I had left an open bottle of tequila on the window ledge. They weren’t going anywhere till they had disposed of that particular piece of evidence. I had bought myself some time in which to give a quick roundup of events so far. Convenient? I think so…


As I ran on in the night, quickly covering the scrubland between the stadium and the shanty town, my mind ran through the events I had just been part of, quickly editing them for an audience who had read the previous story but might still need their memories refreshed, while still telling enough of the back-story to interest new readers. We know our plot devices here in Noir land…


So, having discovered in my office, upon waking, the dead body of my Boss, and being fully aware that I was the last person to see him alive (as I was present whilst he was killed, but unconscious and therefore without alibi), I had fled the police that had turned up to investigate the smell. Added to this a mysterious voice on the answer phone who is out to get me for reasons unknown (the voice, not the answer phone) and the odd blackouts I keep having which cause time to jump on at huge leaps without me understanding why I am confused as anyone.


To alleviate some of this confusion, see the previous entry ( and work backwards…


Anyway, so you find me once again, after a few weeks hiatus (for which I cannot account but apologise for) fleeing from the police. I know I have two friends in the whole of Patalonia who could help me. One is Calabras, my first choice yet injury prone goal scoring machine. He may be on the way out soon, at 34 an older squad member, but still loyal. Then there is the mysterious Delores – an enigma, but one with so far good intentions. She’s my only lead…


Stumbling over the scrub, kicking up dust as I limp, I realise I am running away with little thought what I may be running towards. The shanty is a dangerous place for a manager of the local football team to be. Will they hide me thanks to good service, or lynch me because we didn’t finish above third. This uncertainty concerned me, but then I heard the pursuit of the police and the barking of bloodthirsty police dogs and knew for a certainty that one bottle of tequila doesn’t keep a police department off your back for long. I gained the shanty and disappeared into the shadows.


As the streets became more narrow and the houses more imposing I pulled my collar up around my face and my hat low over my brow. The wind whipped at my coat, flapping it against my legs. I made my way to a central square, putting the sounds of pursuit behind me.


But where had I to go from here? It was only a matter of time before the police barricaded off the streets and found me. I needed shelter, a place they wouldn’t look for a football manager on the run for murder…


Then a thought struck me like a bat  to the back of the head. It wasn’t long before I realised that it had coincided with a different type of bat striking me to the back of the head. I saw stars and felt my legs buckled. A voice rang out


“We lost 3-0 in the playoffs to beboki, esse – what were you thinking?” it said, before kicking me swiftly in the stomach. I doubled up, wondering if it was the voice or a foot that had struck me. I felt a hand go through my pockets, raiding them.


“I need recompense, esse,” continued the voice, “your ticket prices are so high, when we loose like that you should pay us.’ Finding my wallet, the rifling stopped. I heard feet beat a retreat into the night.


I felt despair, nothing but all consuming despair. I needed to get to safety, but without my wallet, I had no money, id, or anything. Luckily I still had the gun, so if the worst came to the worst, I could blow my brains out. Then I wondered why I hadn’t used the gun on the mugger. Ah well, mental note for next time – gun beats bat (not in a literal sense – gun shoots bat works better I suppose).


At the memory of the bat, the thought I had had, which had been waiting patiently to the left whilst the mugging took place, hoping like a reserved beauty at an 18th century ball that the gallant hussar that was my mind would rest it’s steely eyes upon it once more and ask it to dance. That simile might be a bit long. Oh well…


Delores had said something about the Blanco Bar, in the fourth district. That was my one chance, my one possibility to gain the safety of the Blanco Bar, ask for Benny and tell him Delores sent me. Then I could work on my plan to flee the country form there. I stood up on wobbly legs, cast a glance around me and saw a sign for the fourth district. Once again, my luck was holding and furnishing me with these lucky coincidences. I wondered briefly if maybe this had something to do with Jungian theories but there wasn’t time to get into that.


I followed the sign down a narrow, winding ally, hiding my face from passers by who had no interest in strangers in long coats moving shiftily through the gloom. My way lighted only by gas lamps casting spots of light on the pavement, it wasn’t long before I saw a blue neon sigh flashing above a building. “Blanco Bar” it said over and over and over again. (Actually, it said “Bl nco Ba ” as two of the letters were broken). I made straight for it.

Reaching the door and finding it locked I knocked heavily three times.


“Wadda ya want?” asked the door. Then I realised a speaking hatch had opened and directed my attention towards it.


“The answer to the question of life, the universe and everything” I said grandly for reasons unknown.


“Piss off, everyone knows you are supposed to ask for the question which fits the answer to the question of life the universe and everything. I’m not having any more of you jokers in tonight.”


“Alright, alright” I said “I’m here to see Benny”


“Benny doesn’t see people”


“Is he blind?”


“No it’s a figure of speech. Now beat it” I considered this for a moment. I had one chance, to get through this door. I had tried wit, asking for Benny, in short all my usual repertoire. I had but one last resort.

I pulled out my gun and poked it through the speaking hatch. It came into contact with a fleshy nose and I could see one fearful eye peering over the barrel.


“Let’s be nice. Please may I see Benny?” I asked “and before you answer, consider that I have not had a wonderful night so far and am liable to take things out on you”


The eye looked to one side and I heard a latch click. The door swung inwards and noise sprang out.


I stepped through the doorway…

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Grampa Joe... (04/01/2007 11:36)

Once I thought I was the only one who saw it.

I watched, as a child, over and over again, the original movie version of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory (the one with Gene Wilder).

As I watched it more and more, it slowly dawned on me that all was not as it should be in that world. One of the central characters was not as he at first appeared...his name was Grampa Joe.

Now hold your horses there, I can feel an uproar of disagreement coming from you, anger that I might say such things. Believe me, I have heard this before. Many a time I have proposed such a thing, that Grampa Joe is inherently selfish and bad, but few will listen. Well now I know I am not alone...

Grampa Joe is presented to us as a frail old man, cared for by his (only?) daughter and grandson. He is joined in his frailty (and his bed) by his wife and his daughter's in-laws. We are to believe he loves Charlie, and as a result, when Charlie needs accompanying to the chocolate factory, he bravely get's up for the first time in 20 years to go with him.

That is the misapprehension most of the world labours under. 

What I realised long ago was that Grampa Joe is not as he would have you believe. What I pieced together myself through many a viewing was this. Grampa Joe has spent 20 years with his feet up in bed, feigning the illness that has so debilitated his co-grandparents. He has spent 20 years heaping misery on his daughter and then grandson by doing this, forcing both to work hard, day and night, when he is perfectly capable of bringing home some bacon himself. How do we know this? Why - as soon as the opportunity arises to go on a jolly to the chocolate factory, he's out of that bed, shaking off the years, dancing and singing about how HE'S got a golden ticket!  

I'm sorry Joe, but I don't buy it. If you'd spent 20 years in bed your muscles would have so wasted that you would be unable to stand, let alone dance about. He shakes off the stiffness of his joints in a matter of seconds, suggesting firstly that he has only been lying down for, at most, a day and secondly that he has been keeping fit.

I believe Grampa Joe has been sneaking off somewhere (possibly for dance lessons...) the evil git.

Furthermore, if you remember the film, Charlie gives the last of his money, the money he has earned from his paper round and NOT used to buy a chocolate bar from the singing candyman (who is also evil - giving all the sweets away to the rich kids at the beginning, but charging Charlie full Recommended retail value on what he buys - I shake my fist at you candyman!), therefore basically taking candy from a child via an intervening step, and what does he use it for? He uses it to buy tobacco!!!! He takes money from his 12 year old grandson to fund his habit!!! Appalling. 

Logically, he must also get Charlie to go and buy that tobacco to keep up the impression he has spent 20years in bed, thereby criminalising his widowed daughter's only son. Again, evil git I say.

Do you see it friends, or is this not enough for you? Over the years, as I retold my Grampa Joe theory, I became disillusioned that no-one else could see it - like a conspiracy theorist with evidence that no-one else could see. But it was not until this very morning, that I put the words "Grampa Joe" into Google, and the first thing to come up, the top result of the search, was a website called "Say no to Grampa Joe"!! Here is a group who believe what I believe, who have not been swayed by the subliminal messages in the film that make you want to think he's a good guy. Finally I am proved right, and they have far more evidence than I!

I urge you to pass this on, to spread the word far and wide that Joe is a cynical b*stard and addict, impoverishing his family to his own evil ends. But if you don't believe me, if you still hold to the collective hallucination of Grampa Joe=Good Guy, view the site and learn the truth for it is here 

Go in Peace my friends, and don't be like Joe...  



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1...2...3...MySpace! (02/01/2007 12:25)


I come to you fresh from a holiday in Brittany for Xmas followed by a Singstar party new year fuelled by Breton cider and spanish aniseed liquor. I use fresh in a non-scent related sense, and sense in a non-human faculty sense.

Glad that's cleared up.

I imagine the lot of you have made resolutions for 2007, the most part of which you will already have failed to keep. Well i my friends, intend to share my resolutions with you now, in the time honoured fashion of my previous life lesson entries, so that they can be recorded for the ages and not merely let slip by. In doing so i will be calling on all of you to harrass me in such a way that i fulfill all the resolutions i have made. Be nice and help me out...

Wojteker's 2007 Resolutions

1. Write more. (this does not mean simply writing the word "more", but related to my works of fiction, screenplays and, oh yes, blog works, that i do not spend nearly enough time on. I promise to write something each and every day on one of these strands of my work.

2. Complete more things i have written (follows on logically from the above!)

3. Let people read what i have written once i have written it (the blog does help with this -so i will link to things when they are availiable, or if like Antjie, someone asks to see something, damn well let them!)

4. Make more films (I directed a short for a nightschool class. It wasn't perfect, but it worked. We have a longer version of this to film hopefully before the month is out, and then i have another script in the pipelines, and another short to convert into a script, and then two feature film ideas to do treatments for and then script and then get money and film.... I am out of breath, in a typing type of way. Anyway, to aid in this process i have set up a myspace. I think you can find it by following this...

5. Gain weight (i need more, more i say!!!)

6. Experiment with facial hair (I am currently sporting a nice pair of thick sideburns, not mutton chops as they dont come forward. Expect more in the future...)

7. Make better use of my personal MySpace (i have 11 friends. I have not blogged on it once. I must begin!!! it can be found here if you are interested...

So there you have it - i have resolved to do these things and i hope you will all pester me incessantly to ensure i do these things. I am relying on you my friends, every single one of you. In exchange i promise to maintain this blog even if fate and chance conspire to grant me fabulous riches so that i become drunk on the power that they bring, invest huge amounts in my own vanity projects (such as that deep-fat-fryer-slash-printer i have always though my office needed) get tied up in lawsuits, and in the midst of an ego trip with my yes men friends spurring me on, choose to defend myself and lose it all, ending up a penniless booze-ravaged hasbeen who knows that the pain is ever greater to have had it all and lost it than to have never had it to begin with. Yes, I shall still blog here, first and foremost my friends, first and foremost.

Now to things manager related. Due to my sabatical i missed out on the xmas cup, so i know i won 3 games but have no idea the scores or whom i played as the season had rolled on by the time i got back! I slumped to 10th in the league, but that's ok. But with an aging squad in need of some high class young blood (ha!) i fear for my division 3 survival. This season could prove difficult... Anyone want to sell me a really good striker who is about 19 at a discounted rate? Anyone? ah well....

Until next i return, which i hope to do before the week is out (see numbers 1 and 3 above), ta ta!




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Shameless self promotion... (07/12/2006 17:03)


Only very brief this one - have a story currently up on a website - it's a competition and the person with the best average score gets to sell their short story on for a massive 49 us cents a pop!

Anyway - as the rule of thumb of writing is "what's the point if you are not going to let anyone read it" i have decided to link up to it here.

Follow the link if you are interested, if not that's fine too. Unfortunatley they (the website people) butchered the display of it  - I preferred it in 3 fonts, it's now just the one, and not brilliantly spaced out -  but i am reliably told it still works! Hey ho, such is life i suppose...

To vote you have to sign-up, so if you like it enough (or in fact, hate it enough) to vote, simply sign up and do so. I don't have any link to the website other than this story, so if you don't wanna sign up, don't feel like you have to - i'm not pushing anyone! 

If you read it, please comment, either here or there - like to hear back! It won't be up for long, but if it goes and you wanted to see it, m-mail me or comment here - if enough people are interested, i'll post it as a blog...


Ps. Antjie - it's a different one from the one i sent you, in case that one hasn;t deadened your nerves and you were wondering.

PPs. None of the characters are based on reality, and it was written a long time before i met people with these (one in particular's) names. Therefore, no offence is meant by the names!!! This is directed to one person in particular - don't want you getting the wrong idea!

PPPs. The film may be availiable soon (not of the story - another one i mentioned before in another blog!) - will link when i know when it's up!


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When last we met... (06/12/2006 11:46)

I keep dreaming long involved dreams.

I keep dreaming that i work in administration, somewhere in London.

I keep dreaming that my life is made up of small victories over multinational corporations.

I keep dreaming that my management career is limited to playing some kind of online football management game, where i care a little bit to much about my players.

These dreams seem to last longer and longer, but each time i wake up back in the real world, back in good old Patalonia, back in my office overlooking the shanty town outside the Stadio el Banditos and i know they were just very, very vivid dreams...

Weird hey...

Oh well. So where were we? I think when last we met i was sitting in my office, the body of my (well i suppose, "former") Boss the Colonel slumped on the floor across from me, with a gunshot wound in his back, rotting slowly in the heat. I had for some reason been reading Elton John's songbook and i had just sent Trusty Calabras off to get me food, drink and a new pair of trousers...

If this makes no sense at all, you might need to look at this...

Then this...

and possibly entries before them...

Oh, and i had just finished listening to an answerphone message that had stunned me into silence...

For a month...

Time had passed, i must have lapsed into unconciousness again as i had quite a beard when i woke up this time. The world flicked into clarity and i played the answerphone once more, just to check i had heard it right.

"Well, young Wojteker, aren't you in a pretty pickle, hmm?" said the voice - high pitched and evil. "Dead boss, followed by instant promotion and a followup season in division three ending in a trip to the playoffs. Comendably suspicious!"

Division three? what was he talking about? How long had i been out? This was very strange.

"Yes it is very strange, hmm? And more to the point, you have had a dead body in your office for over a month and not reported it. The police will find that very interesting i believe, especially when they find the murder weapon in your drawer, with your fingerprints on it. Very interesting indeed..." he tailed off again. I was sweating as i opened my top drawer. The gun was inside. I didn't pick it up.

"Tut tut, my young friend. Not a good position for a young manager to find himself in! This may well mean the end of your career, if not your life..."

The answerphone went beep to tell me that the message had ended. There were some massive continuity errors and plot holes in that message that i just didn't have the heart to explain - i chose to sidestep instead and concentrate on the dead body in the office.

I concentrated.


Nothing happened. This was getting me nowhere. Thinking might help. That mysterious voice - who could that be? A wronged player perhaps? someone i wasn't picking, or had sold on to a lower club for profit? Or sacked? Could it be another manager? Someone i mullered 7-0? or pipped to a playoff spot? Or could it be the league officials?

There was a crash outside the door at which i leapt out of my seat.

"Polizia!" screamed an angry voice "Open up in the name of the law!"

That line was extremely corny. Massively so, but then this is clearly a true story so i can't account for how real people act. That's what he said, take it or leave it!

I took a quick account of my situation...Police outside uttering lines from a bad western. Dead body. Murder weapon. Soiled trousers. I looked at the answerphone - that message could get me off the hook. The red light still flashed. Then a little hiss came from the tape...

That was convienient. If i didn't know better I'd have said that was a poor plot device from mission impossible, nicked and put to work, but like i said before, true story. Go with it.

Now I had nothing. I opened the draw and pulled out the gun. I knew full well what the police here were like. Shoot first, screw the questions. The likes guns to much. Well, i wasn't going down without a fight.

Then the phone rang. Instinctively i grabbed it like a drunk man grabs the floor for support.

"Hello?" I said  

"Hey Handsome" said a familiar voice. "What's cooking?"

"Me sweet cheeks." I said calmly. How cool was i? Reading Elton John's songbook...

"Any ideas Delores? I could do with a helping hand here and you've provided them before, haven't you?"

She giggled sweetly. Her voice was dusky and treaclely at the same time. Even in my situation, i was enjoying this. The last flirt before death in a hail of bullets...

"As my friend Morpheus once said - and I'll paraphrase for you hun - The window!"

The Window! an escape route. Two floors up but still a way out. A lifeline.

"Thanks Delores - if i can ever repay the favour, let me know"

"Don't count those chickens sweetie, you have to get out first. If by some lucky break you do, come buy me a drink at the Blanco bar in the 4th district. Just ask Benny for me. See ya, maybe...." She hung up. 

A thumping came from the doorway, i heard a yell or two, a few scuffles. then more thumping. I didn;t have long.

I picked up my chair and threw it at the window. Instead of the shower of glass i expected, it flew right threw and crashed to the ground below. The window was already open. This getaway wasn't going to be as spectacular as i had hoped. I grabbed my trenchcoat and hat, and made for the window...



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The Special Vartdal Cup Blog...! (29/11/2006 15:00)

Were you there? Were you in it? It happened today, this very afternoon! A special wednesday cup created and paid for by the latest League Champ! If you missed it all, here's a little report for you all to munch over....

From the announcement of this cup on Tuesday, teams flocked to participate. Nothing like this had been seen before(?)...

The forum chatter was rapid fire and centred on grudges and big talk about how well, or how badly, managers would do...

Blackpool was many a manager's tip for the title, whilst there were also preditions of wins for League cup champs Stovner Massive. Sir Johnny himself plumped for a list of five (the above two, plus Unreal Betis, the Penguin Conspiracy and, erm, himself...).

Some managers, such as Verno's Vernon the Great, said they'd "be happy just to not get beat 10-0" in round 1, whilst Spinner himself hoped to reach round 5. Personal preditions varied from probable "****up"'s (Relaxor of BryyM) and hoping not to "make a fool" of oneself (Crispin, manager of Husvegg IL). We'll follow these preditictions below...

The draw was made at 12.00 ML time, and it threw up some corkers. Div 1 champs, sponsers and self proclaimed possible winners Vartdal FK faced div 5/90's 7th place finishing Ivahavet, whilst League Cup winners Stoner Massive aimed to continue their cup success against xEROx of div 5/12. Some teams looked for giant killing, and in the two games where division 1 faced division 6, Anum Primera (14finish, div 1/1) playing Velez Rubio dragons (2nd in 6/638) whilst Hunnbakken IL (8th in 6/806) faced Media Blitz Sk (12th 1/1).

512 teams entered the fray at 12.30, but only 256 made it into the hat for Round 2. There were walkovers with both Orc Warriors (div 2/3) and FC Haugesund (div 3/1) putting 11 unaswered goals past their opponents. There were some colse games (Sorter FC (5/64) narrowly losing 5-6 against take me (3/8), and FC Zappa (5/140) squeezing past tommyb-boys (6/158) 8-7).

But while Stovner Massive, Vartdal, Anum Primera and Media Blitz overcame their lower league opposition, there was giant killing going on! Suited Aces (2/4) lost out 1-0 to MNK Etiri - King Sat (5/217), 4 Italy (6/577) pulled out all the stops to beat FC-RSG (4/10) 2-1, Dragon_Slayers (5/19) mullered Brugas (3/15) 4-2, and a dangerous Northampton Hurricanes (5/187 - keep an eye on this name) plugged godeset (3/9) 4-1.

But the biggest upset of the lot? Big favourites Blackpool (1/1) slumped out in the first round to Barca FC (2/4)! It seemed any team was fair game out there! As for other predicitons, Verno only suffered a tenth of his predicted defeat, going out 1-0, and Husvegg didn't make a fool of himself, losing 4-2. Bryym avoided a first round ****up, with a 1-0 win.

And so Round 2 Rolled on...

Pick of the ties involved The Penguin Conspiracy demolishing div 5 opponents Poles FC 6-0, whilst Scouse allstars (5/148) put three past FC Krakra (1/1) but the stronger team put in 7.

There were also a few shocks:

Stovner Massive, league cup winners, crashed out to fellow div 2 opponents A-tack. A moral boost for the latter.  Media Blitz were overcome on their second tricky tie, losing to Milan AC (3/11)6-5 AET, and Tottingham (5/59) giantkilled FC Para (3/11) 3-1!

But Upset of the round went to the rampaging Northampton Hurricanes of 5/187, taking on and beating Olsks Eleven (of 2/3) 2-1 to set up an all division 5 tie with Leaders of 5/50.

Other notable results - Orc Warrios drubbed tangmoen 96 10-0 (21 goals in two rounds - looking dangerous!) and FE Vestal (4-63) came close to an upset but eventually lost to div 2's AFC AJAX. Round two also saw Bryym bow out with a 1-0 loss (but not a ****up).

And so we moved on to round 3....

Clear pick of the round, by a country mile, saw The Spinners face Vartdal FK. No explaination needed here. Spinner wanted fifth round at least. Sir Johnny wanted to win his own cup. Something had to give. It was the creator of the game left smarting, going down 4-0.

The storming performance of Northampton Hurricanes continued, beading Leaders 2-1. THe Penguin conspiracy netted 6 against Jake the Peg (5/22)  whilst Heracles Almelo handed out a 9-0 drubbing to Korona Kielce (5/170). Porto da Cruz (5/235) beat classy opponents Real Bolados (3/7) 3-2, and upset of the round went to Ajax Ploiesti (6/968) for beating Chinnock Raiders (3/5) 2-1.

And What about Banditos? What happened to us? Did we make it this far? We did, and we made it as far as...

Round 4...came along, and with it a plum tie between Banditos (div 3/13) and Heracles Almelo (1/1), last seen sinking 9 in division 3...The result was annoying! Banditos came back from 2-0 down to level it at 2-2, then conceed one more to lose 3-2. Bah. Proud of them though...

In other features, we lost all division 6 teams - how well they did getting this far - and we'll mention each of them, giant killers all!

FK Fritz went out 5-0 to div 4's Ulsan University. Ajax Ploiseti didn't progress against Golden fighters, conceeding 4 without reply, whilst hats came off for pluck Inter Ploiseti, who pushed division 2's Holy Bunch, but finally succombed 3-1.

As for Division 5 teams, the gallant cup run of our favourite giant killers Northampton Hurricanes (5/187) came to an end at the hands of the powerful attack or Orc Warriors. 8-1 the score. All other division 5 sides went out at this stage. Well done to them all.

Other games saw the much touted Penguin Conspiracy losing out to a dangerous Evil Looking Clowns 3-1. The clowns were in with a shout! Meanwhile, FC Krakra laos horribly 6-2 in a second half demolition at the hands of Lardyuk FC of div 2/1. A (by this point) smug Vartdal only just squeaked past a strong Liverpudlians of 4/25, 2-1.

Round 5 left us with only 2 division 4 sides still in with a shout, and only 3 division 1 sides!!!

And the division 4's faltered where the divison 1's succeded. My vanquishers Heracles Almelo had less trouble with Duckland (4/2) mullering them 7-0, whilst Uslan University finally came a cropper 4-0 against Stovner Massives vanquishers A-tack.

Division 1 teams Lightning squeezed past a useful Eggs Army 4-3, despite Eggs striker Emil Finke netting a hatrick! Tough Luck. Vartdal faced Orc Warriors, but made light work of them, running out 6-1 winners.

What would Round 6 bring?

It brought us just 3 division 3 teams trying to get into the quarter finals. Unreal Betis (3/3), one of the favourites who had quietly snuck into the last 16 and whose manager Ca2 complained of media bias (probably correctly) prior to the match absolutely destroyed the Evil Looking Clowns 5-0 to make the quarters. No overlooking that result!

Vartdal marched on 2-0 against Team El-Greco, whilst the other two division 1 teams had a one sided encounter, Lightning beating Heracles Almelo 7-0.

Elsewhere, A-Tac finally ran out of steam (and defensive capabilities) going down 7-0 to DLBS1STS. Attention began to turn towards the Quarter finals...

Pick of the ties was Unreal Betis v DLBS1STS, whilst FC Babadoom faced Lightning. One all division 2 tie saw Wycombe play Murdoch Uni SC, whilst Deathknights played Vartdal. Once the dust settled it was clear that Unreal Betis's challenge was over, losing out 3-2. Both the lightning and Vartdal (despite the manager being detained elsewhere) got through 5-1 and 7-2 respectively, whilst Murdoch SC became the 4th semi finalist, beating wycombe 5-0.

The Draw for the Semi-finals gave us Div 1 v div 2 in both cases. Lightning v Murdoch, Vartdal v DLBS1STS. Would veteran playmaker Adolfo Tlahuixcalpante star for DLBS1STS? Would Johnny Puma shile for Vartdal? Would Hatrick heros Richadino Forte and Mike Popcorn strike for lightning or would youngster Jarle Hoiseth run the show for Murdoch?  

Lightning were pushed hard by Murdoch SC Uni, but despite a hatrick for Evaldas Beniusis the division 2 side couldn't stand the pace, going down 7-3 Stikers popcorn and Forte as predicted doing the damage with 5 goals between them.

In the other semi, Vartdal waltzed past a lacklustre DLBS1STS, Johnny Puma netting a brace and the MOM award. Roberto Pinho fired in two more, with Vartdal running out 5-0 winners.

And that meant Lightning, all guns blazing faced the tight at the back and nippy Vartdal. It was all to play for...

The Final!

After a nervy start and a few opening exchanges, Mike Popcorn popped up and headed home for Lightning in the 41st minute. Vartdal went in 1-0 down at half time, but made no changes. It took another twenty minutes for Roberto Pinho to net the equaliser in the 65th minute. Then the nerves wobbled for the rest of the game, few exchanges, until, in the 89th minute, Olívio Estrela put a header beyond the Lightning goalkeeper Torkjell Kildahl. 2-1 Vartdal.

So what did this prove? Ultimately, did the biggest cup I've seen on this game come down to little more than a vanity project for Sir Johnny? Make up your own minds. IT was Exciting nonetheless, and might i suggest this becoming a regular feature of the end of the season?

Anyway - My picks of the cup are...

Northampton Hurricanes - best run, best giant Killers, best Div 5

Inter Ploiesti, Ajax Ploiseti and FK Fritz, Joint best Div 6

Duckland and Uslan University - best div 4s 

Unreal Betis -  best div 3

Murdoch SC Uni and DLBS1STS, best div 2.

Top 3 upsets - 3rd - Barca FC beating Blackpool, 2nd Northampton Hurricance beating Olsks Eleven, but 1st is, for me, MNK Etiri - King Sat beating Suited Aces.

Most Destructive attack - Orc Warriors 11-0, 10-0, 3-1, 8-1. (=32 goals, 4 games average 8 per game!)

And that's it. Cannot possibly write anymore! After the live updates me and philry4n did in the forums i'm surprised i got this far!

Anyway - Thanks to Sir Johnny for an entertaining afternoon. Hope it won't be too long till the next one...

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Playoffs! (27/11/2006 16:21)


Bollocks, I've started so i may as well carry on properly, as i am so very very bored at work and have exhausted the entertainment value of both the photocopier (what looks like an arse when photocopied but is not an arse!) and the electric stapler (how many sheets can it go through and betting on when it'll staple - that thing is evil!).

But again, i find i must apologise for the lack of blogging activity dripping from my figertips recently, but i have good excuses!

1. I went to Vienna and spent four days pretending to be in the Third Man. Cue visits to the big wheel, but not the sewers. Unfortunately, i lacked the hat, but i'm noir through and through, so it didn't matter. Watched the film in the cinema there on our first night. Still so very, very good!

2. Have finished (finally) a 10,000 short story that i may or may not rework into a short film of some sort. Interested parties can enquire of me directly and i may even be tempted to send on a sample section (ooohhhh)

3. Am putting the finishing touches to the short film i mentioned a few weeks ago. Should be up on the net in a couple of weeks. It's only very short, but for the time we got in class, we're pretty happy. Have finished a script on a longer version, ready for a second go after the course ends in December

4. Got into a correspondence with Nestle over a Rolo. This will take longer to explain.

I bought a pack ("re-sealable grab bag" size) of Rolo's from the local shop. I haven't had rolo's for a while, and wanted something to share, and thought they'd fit the bill. They did not! Upon opening said bag, i discovered the caramel had suspiciously leaked out of the base of not one BUT TWO of the rolos, causing all the others to stick together into one giant lump. This Lump, as i'm sure you can imagine, was impossible to share. 

On closer inspection, the leaky Rolos had holes in their bases, they had not been crushed. Therefore, I got on my consumer high horse (which i have not been on since i sent a crumpet back to tescos with a letter saying WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS?) and sent one of the rolos back to nestle, asking for them to investigate. I suspected that they had been cutting corners and reducing the amount of chocolate on the base of each rolo, thus causing some to burst. Alas i will never know...

They responded, saying it got squashed in transit (a likely story)  and can't investigate.

They did give me £3.00 to cover costs. £3.00 for a rolo. Not bad eh. I'm sending everything back now!


I'm sure you'll aggree that these four reasons are more than an explanation as to why i have been absent from my blog. But in addition to these, My team continued to press for an unlikely top three finish, which i got this morning, finishing a strong third. I wanted to resist jinxing myself by talking about it (and we all know how often THAT misfortune comes around!). But i was roused from y quietude due to a very sporting gesture from my opponent in the playoff first round, BOB, manager of Hearts and all round good sportsman.

You see, He sent me a good luck message before our clash. Lovely gesture. I returned it. It's the first time i've got one of these in the playoffs (i think!) and it's rather good. I returned the thought and started to think I didn't mind losing!

The reuslt? A hard fought 3-3 draw, leading to pens. Which i took 4-3. But as i am quietly confident of a complete slaughter of my team tonight, i can't wait to play Hearts again - especially as this one seems to be able to hold on to its manager!

And a final thought before I close this pictureless monologue...If i lose either this game or the next, i will be content not only to play Hearts, but to finally lock competitive horns with my compadre Harvey, manager of Div 4/50 champs "Suck My Thermos".

Roll on Season 17...

PS. (I'm sure some of you are interested so...) I got £5 for the crumpet, and a report from the bakery...


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Er..... (13/11/2006 15:54)

I am feeling a little uncomfortable.

Before you ask, no my underwear is not too tight, nor have i sat down too quickly and trapped my genitals between the chair and my body. That is not the root of my discomfort.

(As an aside, just if anyone is wondering, i am male.

Confusion could potentially lie in the previous statement about genitals if you mistakenly believe i am a woman...

With protruding genitals.

Male. Promise)

Nor am i feeling uncomfortable within myself, as the gender enforcement above might have you believe. No happy being me (a man).

Obviously, the adverts in the Uk would paint me as some kind of moron who is completely distracted whilst eating an oversized Mcdonalds burger, or the kind of human being who might mistake a tampon for a sugar sachet or wrapped sweet. This is not the type of man i am. I know what a tampon looks like. But i am off topic...

No, my discomfort lies in my managerleague position. Take a look at Division 3 - 13. Sat happily in 2nd place you will find Banditos. On the face of it this makes sense.  I assure you if you are me, it does not.

After 15 seasons (pretty much, give or take the one relegation to div 5) i finally walked off with the division 4 49 title. Finally. I demolished the opposition, they stood no chance before my 110 odd goal strikeforce. I lost but one game all season. I was dominant.

So, like most teams who dominate a low division, i fully expected to spend the next season rooted to the foot of division 3 13, only to have my form lift agonisingly towards the end of the season, then to miss out on surviving the drop back down on goal difference. I've seen it happen to many times to mention.

And yet, here we are, 11 games in, second place. This is not right and i am uncomfortable.

I am uncomfortable because i am getting delusions of grandure and thinking that i may, just may be in division 2 - 4 next season.

I am uncomfortablr and what i am suffering from is hope.

This is not good. Hope is a bad thing. Hopes can be realised, but more often they are dashed on the rocks below, like the fat one in Lord of the Flies. I hope mine are not so unfortunate.

I have not blogged for a while as i have been holding my breath, waiting for the bubble to burst and trying not to do anything differently that may jeapordise my league position. We all know that fate watched our every move and no one more than i feel her icy gaze on me, even as i write this.

But i had to take the risk - i couldn't not put myself out there, even if only to prove fate right, to prove superstion right in all it's glory. I hope i am wrong. There's hope again!

As for the last time i blogged, i thank those 31 people who read it, i thank my usual friends who commented, and i note that no one wants free credits. Ah well, my attempts at setting up my own competitions die with me. Unless that job offer of being a story writer was real, Antjie. Dashed hopes acoming?

So in short, i feel uncomfortable and i expect my hopes will be dashed. I am sorry for the big gap, i hope you didn't (and i doubt you did) hold your breath, and for those still wondering who was on the answerphone, i am afraid i have poured my creative juices in a different direction this month.

I will tonight be editing my first short film, written and directed by yours truly.

I have also been writing as the bug has me again.

Should any of this amount to anything, i'll link it all up for you all to have a look.

For now, keep your fingers crossed for me...and i'll cross mine for you (but only in odd numbered pairs, as we all know the even numbers would cancel each other out....)

here's hoping...

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Blog entry number 20 (31/10/2006 16:47)

Well, 20 entries and still kicking! Who'd have thought!

And in order to celebrate this milestone my beautiful Banditos put in their best months work yet and came away not just with the 4/49 title, but also a cup over the weekend - and in some style i might add. How's 115 goals catch you? 81 points (a 21 point gap on the team in second)? Only a single, solitary loss to blight otherwise unstoppable progress! Calabras netting 43 all on his own! Oh, wondrous days.

I know full well i direct return to division 4 awaits me next month, but for now, 3/13 beckons with the bright lights of the upper half of managerleague! Never did i dream it could be true!


I googled Spinner in google images and found he had told us a massive porkie pie (cockney rhyming slang for those not in the know. It means lie). The picture of him in his eye patch was edited for our eyes. The unedited pic is here...

I hope he didn't kill the parrot...

On other fronts, my life here moves slowly. I need a new job as i am bored with this one. I need a job that stimulates my creativity in some small way! Obviously, if there was one that would stimulate it in a big way, all the better. So if anyone has a job offer for me, put it in a comment and i'll happily give it thought. Doesn't matter what - i'm open to suggestions! I may even dish out a credit or two...

Other than that, stuck for ideas today. I'm just sat staring into space, wishing i wasn't here (at work, obviously being in managerleague is the light in an otherwise dull day!). Things crop up occasionally. I am a bit worried by the censor software that has its grubby little paws in my blog entries. It seems to think the word "S U C K" is worthy of replacement by asterisks regardless of the context! To be honest, replacing it with asterisks makes an otherwise innocuous sentence look rude than it was. I'll give you an exaple as i can tell you are baying for one...

if you see the phrase in, oh i don't know, a line of dialogue "s u c k on the straw" it is innocent (assuming the context is too, lets say it's involves a strawberry milkshake being drunk in a barn - this is besides the point! sorry!). The same line, censored by the software would look like this "**** on the straw" which, if you replace with either of the two main four letter swear words "sh*t" or "f**k" takes on an entirely different meaning, especially given the barn setting. Suddenly you're two characters are not interested in the milkshake and are either defecating on the harvest or using it as a love nest (i'm proud of that! love nest - straw!). It makes an inoffensive statement more offensive.

You see what i'm getting at? It make more sense just to let the words alone and then we have no misunderstandings! Bollocks to the censor! (especially if bollocks doesn't count in it's swear box!). I also noticed that if you translate s u c k into Norwegian (suger if you are interested  ) it is not censored - why is this? can the norwegian users get away with swearing where we can't? if so that is søppel (that's the best my translater could do - i'd like to know the norwegian for bollocks for future reference - please let me know). 


Everything is an effort today, and i am breaking up my day by drinking more tea than is good for you - i know they say four cups a day, but i'm currently on my ninth. If you put that together with the biscuits i've eaten with it that's not a healthy day's food. How am i not fat?

Oh well, just when i needed it, we've got the bloody off season to deal with now - nothing much to do till monday afternoon! (bloody also not censored - i think this software came from the US! - i'll test it - THE CENSOR IS A TOSSER! - proven i think) I don't even have a decent way to wast my day anymore! THIS IS UNFAIR - some of us use this game as a crutch to prop themselves up during the otherwise munday existence they eek out at work. Could we not run cups in the off season, just to keep up the interest? PLEASE I BEG OF YOU.

Well there is little more for me to add. Obviously no one will read this as i imagine the drop off in log ins hits pretty hard during the off season so i imagine i'll get next to no hits and even fewer comments (i dare you to prove me wrong!).

Until next time (when i may have worked out who was on the answering machine...any suggestions? Credit for that too - and i'm serious about the job thing - really serious...)

back to work then...


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The Continuation of "The Cliffhanger Nobody Read" (23/10/2006 12:48)

As with all these accounts of my noirish life, i came to my senses with my eyes closed. Clamped shut in fact, like this  except in black and white and not an old chinese man. And no beard. Well, a little bit of stubble, obviously. But other than that, fairly simmilar to this image.

I came to my senses slowly, one at a time in fact. Taste, weirdly, came first. My mouth tasted like a small rodent, possibly a hamster had been living in it for the last three weeks.

No change there then. This suggested to me that i wasn't dead. Touch came in a close second, breathing heavily but proud of it's performance. I realised that i was sat upright, in some kind of chair, gripping the arms tightlg. The chair was, i guessed, the one in my office. It felt familiar at least.

Third in, dependable as always, was smell. It smelt like a gun had gone off. Pretty self explanatory really...

Hearing came in slowly, stumbling over the line before collapsing, sounds emerging as light out of a murky gloom.

"Boss - Hey Boss!" Calabras was trying to rouse me. He sounded a long way away. He probably wasn't.

Last in came sight, like the unfit kid at school who walks their way round the cross-country course whilst having a fag, nonchelantly as always. I decided to test that bloater by opening my eyes. The metaphor shrugged and let me down.

The office  was swimming before me. I felt certain it shouldn't be doing that so i forced it to stop. It turned out it wasn't swimming after all. Calabras stood in the doorway, looking horrified.

"What is it Hierro - Can't you see I'm busy?" i said. Calabras rolled his hands over each other in the way old women from the shanty town did. It was quite an irritating habit. He looked worried.

"Well, boss, it''s....." He stuttered

"Spit it out!"

"Well, i wasn't sure if you knew that the Colonel is lying by your desk with a hole in his back?" he said meekly.

Now, i had been in management long enough to know that you don't let your players realise that you might not know something. This is not the way to success. It is important to maintain the impression that a superior mind is in charge of all things, tactics, lineup, training, the whole party. Bearing this in mind, i gave Calabras an icy stare

  and said

"Of course i know that Hierro. What do you take me for, some kind of idiot? No wages for you!"

"Sorry boss, it's just that he's been there for three weeks and the smell is starting to drift over the training pitches and make everyone a little ill"

"It's all part of your new training regime. If you feel sick to your stomache you play better. It's the new thinking from the book i'm reading" I grabbed the nearest thing to hand and held it up


Calabras looked at me, confused.

"But, isn't that an Elton John songbook boss?"

"Of course it is Hierro - do you think i'm an idiot? No biscuits for you either!" Calabras' shoulders slumped.

"Anything else?" I asked, flicking through the songbook.

"Well, me and the boys were wondering if you were going to take our training session today? You've been sat in here with your eyes closed for three weeks and we'd like you to come down, i'f you wouldn't mind that is."

Three weeks? I haven't left the Office in three weeks? The team must be in an appalling condition.

"Ok Hierro, I'll level with you. The Colonel tried to shoot me, somehow he got shot instead, and i have no memory after that"

"Oh" Calabras looked disappointed, like a mall child whose lost his balloon. He really looks up to me, this kid.

"I'll make you EL Capitan if you help me out"

"El Capitan? Do i get more biscuits?"

"As many as you like!"  smiled to seal the deal. Calabras smiled back.

"First things first Hierro. Where are we in the league?"


"What? Top? By how many?"

"Eleven. We've scored 84 goals in 20 games" This stunned me. Was the secret to management to have the dead body of your chairman immediately before your office and to not leave your seat for three weeks? 10 games to go and an 11 point lead. Things were starting to look up.

"ok, that's not bad, but i want 100 goals by the end of the season. I'm counting on you Hierro"

"Yes SIr!" he saluted me. That felt odd, but in a good way. "Do you want me to get rid of the body boss?" he asked.

"Not yet Hierro, not yet. We need to work out why he's dead and i'm not. Plus, it seems to be helping team morale to have him lying there, and i'm superstitious enough to know you don't change anything when you are winning. The body stays there. We're going to have to do some investigating. We've got to find the killer or else suspicion might fall on me." 

Calabras looked horrified, bless him. I think he'd die for me, given the opportunity. That could actually come in handy.  

"No first thing we need to do is get me some food, drink and possibly a new pair of pants.

These ones smell kind of funky - and if i've not moved for three weeks i'm fairly certain i've soiled myself. Either that or the Colonel did. Get me those pants HIerro!"

He saluted again and ran off. So, someone shot the Colonel and we suspiciously started playing up to our potential. Who would do such a thing. The problem was, only i had the motive, means and opportunity, and i benefitted the most from the Colonel's death. If i didn't find the killer, i'd be swinging for it.

My answer machine was flashing. I pressed the button and it told me i had one message. It was three weeks old. I pressed play.

I was stunned by what i heard... 



Fortsettelsen av «Cliffhanger Ingen Leser»

Som med all disse konti av min noirish liv, jeg kom til min meninger med min øyne stengedd. Klemt lukkende faktisk, som dette Unntar i svart/hvitt-# og ikke en gammel kinesisk mann. Og ingen skjegg. Godt, litt bit av stubble, åpenbart. Men foruten det, rimelig simmilar til denne avbilde.

Jeg kom til min meninger langsomt, en om gangen faktisk. Smak, selsomt, kom først. Min munn smakd som en liten rodent, muligens en hamster levd i det for den siste tre ukers.

Ingen forandring der da. Denne foreslått til meg som jeg var ikke død. Berøring kom i en nær andre, puste tungt men stolt av det er prestasjon. Jeg forstått at jeg satt opprettstående, i en type av stol, gripe armene tightlg. Stolen var, jeg gjettet, den i min kontor. Det filter fortrolig minst.

Tredje i, pålitelig som alltid, var lukt. Det luktet som en gevær dradd av. Vakker selv forklarende virkelig...

å Høre kom i langsomt, snuble over ledningen før bryting sammen, lyder komme frem som lys ut av en murky skygge.

«Kommanderer - Hey Sjef !» Calabras prøvde oppirre meg. Han lydt en lang måte borte. Han sannsynlig var ikke.

Varer i kom sikt, som den uskikket kid på skole som går deres måte avrunder kors-landkursen whilst ha en fag, nonchelantly som alltid. Jeg bestemt seg prøve den bloater ved å åpne min øyne. Metaforen trukket på og lar meg ned.

Kontoret svømte før meg. Jeg filter sikkert det ikke gjør at slik jeg tvunget det stanse. Det vendt ut det ikke svømte etter all. Calabras stått i døråpningen, se forferdet.

«Hva er det Hierro - Kan Ikke De ser jeg er travel ?» jeg sagt. Calabras rullet hans hender over hverandre på i den måte gammel kvinner fra shanty by gjorde. Det var helt en ergerlig vane. Han sett bekymret.

«Godt, sjef, det er....det er.....«Han stuttered

«Spytter det ut !»

«Godt, jeg var ikke sikker om De visste at Obersten ligger ved Deres skrivebord med en hull i hans rygg ?» han sagt spakt.

Nå, jeg vært i ledelse lang nok vite at De ikke lar Deres spillere forstår at De ikke vet noe. Dette er ikke måten til suksess. Det er viktig vedlikeholde merket som en overlegen sinn er i pris av all ting, taktikker, lineup, opplæring, selskapet. Lager dette i sinn, jeg ga Calabras en iset stirring

og sagt

«Selvfølgelig jeg vet at Hierro. Hva gjør De tar meg for, en type av idiot ? Ingen lønner for De !»

«Trist sjef, det er akkurat at han vært der for tre ukers og lukten er start drive over opplæringskastene og lager alle litt syk»

«Det er all del av Deres ny opplæringsregime. Om De føler seg syk til Deres stomache De leker bedre. Det er den ny å troing fra boka jeg er lesende» jeg grepet den nær ting gi og holdt det opp


Calabras sett på meg, forvirret.

«Men er ikke at en Elton John songbook sjef ?»

«Selvfølgelig det er Hierro - gjør De tror jeg er en idiot ? Ingen kjekser for De enten !» Calabras› skulder falt.

«Noe annet ?» Jeg spurt, smekke gjennom songbook.

«Godt, meg og guttene undret seg om De drog ta vår opplæringssesjon i dag ? De sitter her inne med Deres øyne stengedd for tre ukers og vi liker De komme ned, De ikke har noe imot det er.»

Tre ukers ? Jeg har ikke forlater Kontoret i tre ukers ? Laget er i en forferdelig forhold.

«Bifaller Hierro, jeg nivellere med De. Obersten prøvd skyte meg, på en eller annen måte han fått skudd istedenfor, og jeg ikke har noen hukommelse etter det»

«å» Calabras sett skuffet, som en mall barn hvis tapt hans ballong. Han virkelig slår opp til meg, denne kid.

«Jeg lage De EL Capitan om De hjelper meg ut»

«El Capitan ? Gjør jeg blir mere kjekser ?»

«Da mange da De liker !» Smilt tette handelen. Calabras smilt tilbake.

«Først ting først Hierro. Hvor er vi i ligaen ?»


«Hva ? Topp ? Ved hvor mange ?»

«Elleve. Vi scorer 84 mål i 20 spill» Dette bedøvet meg. Var hemmeligheten til ledelse ha liket av Deres formann straks før Deres kontor og ikke forlate Deres sete for tre ukers ? 10 spill dra og en 11 punktbly. Ting var start slå opp.

«Bifaller, det er ikke dårlig, men jeg vil ha 100 mål ved slutten av sesongen. Jeg regner med De Hierro»

«Ja HERR !» han saluted meg. Det filter uvanlig, men på i en måte. «Gjør De vil ha meg blir kvitt kroppsjefen ?» han spurt.

«Ikke ennå Hierro, ikke ennå. Vi utarbeider hvorfor han er død og jeg er ikke. Pluss, det synes hjelper lagkampmoral ha ham ligge der, og jeg er superstitious nok vite De forandrer seg nichts når De er å vinnende. Kroppen blir der. Vi drar ha gjøre en undersøking. Vi finner mörderen eller ellers mistanke faller på meg.»

Calabras sett forferdet, velsigner ham. Jeg tror han dør for meg, gitt anledningen. Det faktisk kommer i hendig.

«Ingen først ting vi gjør er får meg en mat, drikk og muligens en ny par bukser.

Disse lukter type av funky - og om jeg ikke flytter for tre ukers jeg er rimelig viss jeg har soiled meg selv. Hver det eller Obersten gjorde. Får meg de bukser HIerro !»

Han saluted igjen og kjørte av. Derfor, noen skjøt Obersten og vi mistenkelig startet å leking opp til vår potensiale. Hvem gjør en slik ting. Problemet var, bare jeg hatt motivet, mulighet og anledning, og jeg gagnet den mest fra den Obersts død. Om jeg ikke fant mörderen, jeg svinger for det.

Min svarmaskin avgasset. Jeg trykkedd knappen og det fortalt meg jeg hatt en budskap. Det var tre ukers gammel. Jeg trykkedd skuespill.

Jeg bedøvet av hva jeg hørt...


This may, in hindsight, only make sense if you have read this:

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Hair (16/10/2006 17:30)

Well, what to blog about today?

I could work out what happened after that gun went of, but i can't face it today so i won't.

I could post a nice picture of my recent form, like this..

or even emphasise a particularly potent run like this...

but that would be tempting fate. Gloating could very well bring this run to an end and so i can't risk it.

So what to blog on? Nothing is pressing in on my life significantly at the moment. I am relatively happy in life. But there is one thing that has become something of a worry.

I am approaching my 26th birthday on thursday of this week (a date i share, interestingly enough, with the lovely Miss Spoons - whose profile has been viewed an astonishing 44 times so far today! my hat is off to you!) and the nature of ageing has come to the forefront of my mind in a very odd way. 

I am not too worried that my chances of becoming a professional footballer are now, realistically, very small. I am not worried that i no longer qualify for a young persons railcard. I am even not bothered that, should i choose to enter x-factor (for our overseas friends, like American idol but with groups and rivalry) i would be in the older age group. None of this is an issue with me.

What i find disconcerting is the hair situation. Not on my head i might add - I still have a full, thick, head full of hair that my barber has reliably informed me will last me well into my 70s - but rather the expansive growth of hair in areas where, to my mind there should be none.

Take, for example, the part of my fingers between the second and third knuckle (counting from the back of the hand towards the fingertip - it must have a name - any ideas?).

Why on earth would i need hair there? It provides no service for warmth as it is too sparsely populated; it does not serve the purpose of blocking infetions like in the ears or nose (and i dispute the usefulness of hair for these purposes too - what kind of self respecting germ couldn't get through the gap between nose hairs? It must be drunken germs!). Nor does it provide any kind of sexual attraction for members of the opposite sex, as far as i am aware? Do the ladies out there like a good hairy finger on a man? In short, the hair in this spot is, unlike all other hair, completely devoid of funtion.

What is more, it is possibly the most painful hair in the world to remove. Those of you out there who have plucked nose hair may disagree - but the pain of plucking nose hair is cumulative - the pain of one is bad but one is never enough so by the time you reach eight or nine you are in agony. Plucking a hair out of the back of your finger actually does hurt like hell. On its own! Gent's (and possibly ladies) i urge you not to try. Eyes will water, blood will flow. Those suckers are deep.

But i am (almost) 26 - is this going to get worse and worse until i die or subject myself to electroysis to remove it?  Will i just have to put up with having hands like a gorilla? Or will i, in a desperate attempt to maintain the smoothness of my youth, resort to shaving the backs of my hands! I do not look forward to the day i make that choice! I hope this growth stabalises soon.

Nasal growth is another worry, but i have that under control (to a certain extent - i am plucking those blighters faster than they are growing). There is a chance that one day they'll reach critical mass and overgrow my nostrils altogether, but that can always be hidded by a nice bushy moustache. But the finger thing is doing my head in, as i can't exactly backcomb my arm hair down to mask it - I'd look like teenwolf!

So there you have it, a small if odd (an i imagine slightly disgusting) window on my life. I realised i don't give much of myself away in these blogs, and i am sorry for that in one way, and not so sorry in another. I'll maintain the enigma if you don't mind - it serves me well. That said, i shall include here a picture of me in non-everyday attire to give you a general idea of what i look like:


Hope you enjoyed that like i did - maybe i'll do that again sometime! I shall be back soon, promise.

PS:- a friend of mine is cycling round cambodia for the International Childcare Trust ( charity. The details are here if you are interested in sponsoring him. He may shave his legs for added aerodynamism but i'm not confident that wasn't just pub talk... 

Ta Ta

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Complacency! (10/10/2006 16:32)

Hands up (electronically - by way of comments if you feel like it) all those who have been hoping for a continuation from the gun going off? Anyone? ah well....

So here we are, three games in and Banditos already has a 7-1 victory under its communal belt. Not bad you might say. Damn right i would say. Down to Calabras you would retort. And that is where you'd find yourself in error... shows what you know!

No, there is a new hero at the Stadio el Banditos and he is a home town boy (sort of). A double hatrick in the demolishion of Crazy-11 (they most certainly are now - boom boom!) is the stuff of schoolboy dreams, achieved very rarely in reality. But there it is. Tis a glorious day, and because i am sure none of you would believe this shameless gloating, here it is in all it's glory!


 and there you have it. Gloat over before (hopefully) i am in danger of counting my chickens and all that. Will stop now...

On to other things. A few threads in the forums got me thinking, most notably the one (can't find it now) complaining of the Norwegian only forum and the one that states in english at the top "Only in Spanish". "We are not being very inclusive here are we?" I thought to myself. And then it struck me that i myself have been guilty of the same crime. I blog entirely in English, i message entirely in English, and because i am English I expect responses in kind. My associate, the manager of ****My thermos (division 4, dept 50) had trouble with a manager who wouldn't respond to queries about a player for sale. I suggested that he may not speak English, so we looked him up, took a best guess and translated the message into Spanish. Instant response!

That said English has become the lingua franca (ironically) of the net and subsequently of this website, and I am constantly impressed by the language abilities of those bloggers, thread posters and players for whom English is not a first language. So, rather than fall into the stereotype Englishman category, i am translating some parts of my blog into other languages as a desperately appaling salute to those who have language skills beyond my own!

Unfortunately, as i have not one jot of language skill, i will therefore be making use of babel fish (the website, not an actual fish in your ear) or equivalent (where the language i want is not supported). This has it's own traps, as it's translation is literal. I will therefore, translate it all back into english via babel fish again to see what i get. I would also be interested to know if the meaning of anything alters either!

SO! here goes - In honour of our fearless creators country of birth (one assumes), the above in Norwegian!

Hender opp (elektronisk - ved hjelp av kommentarer om De føler seg som det) all de som håpet for en fortsettelse fra geværet drar av ? Noen ? ah godt. ...

Så her vi er, tre spill i og Banditos allerede har en 7-1 seier under dets kommunal belte. Ikke dårlig De sier. Forbanner til høyre jeg sier. Ned til Calabras De vil retort. Og det er hvor De finner Dem i feil... utstillinger hva De vet !

Ingen, det er en ny helt på Stadio el Banditos og han er en hjembygutt (sort av). En dobbel hatrick i demolishion av Gal-11 (de mest sikkert er nå - dønndønn !) er stoffet av schoolboy drømer, oppnådd meget sjeldent i ralitet. Men der det er. Tis en strålende dag, og fordi jeg er sikker på at ingen av De tror denne skamløs gloating, her det er i all det er ære !
(Ser pic over)

Og der De har det. Gloat over før (forhåpentligvis) jeg er i fare av å telle min kyllinger og all det. Stanser nå...

På til annen ting. Et par tråder i foraene fått meg tro, mest signifikant den (ikke finner det nå) klage av den Norsk bare forum og den at stater på engelsk på den topp «Bare på spansk». «Vi er ikke være meget inklusiv her er vi ?» Jeg trodde meg selv. Og da det slått meg som jeg meg selv vært skyldig av den samme forbrytelse. Jeg blog helt på engelsk, jeg budskap helt på engelsk, og fordi jeg er Engelsk jeg venter responser i type. Min kollega, sjefen av Suger Min thermos (deling 4, avd. 50) hatt vanskeligheter med en sjef som ikke reagerer på f0respørsel om en spiller til salgs. Jeg foreslått at han ikke taler Engelsk, derfor vi slått ham opp, tok en best gjetning og oversatt budskapet inn i Spansk. øYeblikkelig respons !

Det sagt Engelsk har blir lingua franca (ironisk) av garnen og deretter av denne website, og jeg bestandig imponerer av språkevnene av de bloggers, trådplakater og spillere for som Engelsk er ikke en først språk. Derfor, heller enn fall inn i stereotypengelskmannkategorien, jeg oversetter noe deler av min blog inn i annen språk som en desperat appaling salute til de som har språkferdigheter hinsides min egen !

Dessverre, da jeg har ikke en jot av langage ferdighet, jeg derfor lager bruk av babel fish (website, ikke en aktuell fish i Deres øre) eller ekvivalent (hvor språket jeg vil ha ikke støtter). Dette har det er egen feller, da det er oversettelse er ordrett. Jeg vil derfor, oversetter det all rygg inn i engelsk via babel fish igjen se hva jeg får. Jeg også er interessert vite om å bety av noe som helst forandrer seg enten !

Well, has it worked? Have i accidently offended anyone? Let me know - unfortunatley the stupid website won't let me translate it back! Stupid Internet - everything in the world my rump!

Maybe Spanish next? Maybe if that takes off a full translation of everything! And then i shall take over the world! (There are steps in between translating my blogs and global domination, but i'm sure they are the easy ones.)

 Ah, well, until next time...Au revoir...

 Ps. - Not one person attempted to involve me in a polemical debate. I am disappointed by this, but will not hold it against you. The offer still stands....


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Comments (03/10/2006 23:44)

Rest assured i am not, in fact, dead.

Actually, allow me to revise that: As i am writing this i am very much alive. This blog entry is not coming to you from the next life, heaven, hell, limbo/purgatory, the spirit world, the netherworld, another dimension or Valhalla (more's the pity). Whether or not i am dead when you are reading this is another matter entirely. Let's not tempt fate any more than we have to. Suffice it to say, a living hand types these words. So please put your minds at ease.

The mention of my curent condition will only make some sort of sense to the 20 people (again at time of writing) who read the previous entry and the even smaller minority of those who made it all the way to the end. Well done you. What you witnessed there was the possibility of my internal struggle against my obsession winning/losing depending on point of view. To be honest, i'm in the dark too - so the 2 people who commented (10% - best proportion yet, interestingly to none) will have to await with barely baited breath the continuation of what i might well possibly retitle "the cliffhanger nobody read!".

But this brings me nicely, evenly and not at all contrivedly (is that a word?) to the core of this entry. If you have a very short attention span - that is comments. (look at the title - it's all in there if you read between the lines...)

Those of us who blog, to a man i'm sure, like to hear back from those of you who read the blogs. I also like to respond to those as it's quite good fun. One in particular caught my eye recently.

Antjie wrote: ( Delete )
Does this mean we get no more stories to read?

This is one of my non-layzeh commental moments, now can i have a credit?

Now, i have offered credit's before if people wished to predict by season end or answer a question, but the simple boldness of this comment caused me to feel that i would respond in good faith. By the time this entry is published Antjie will have a shiny new credit. I bring this up here for two reasons, both very good reasons...

1. - I am not buying comments, so don't get any ideas

2. - I am actually proving these offers are not idle. I stand by any such offers. For example, on Friday i bet a student five whole english pounds that he would not eat a jam donut in a bread roll. He did, i lost, i paid up. I am true to my word, and it is the same with credits (but don't think i'll give you one just for the donut roll trick - i leant my lesson good that night. Luckily the booze was free...)

I urge you, comment as much as you want - we like it even if it's critical - actually especially the critical ones! I feel like a polemic and i need a topic! Gizmo - i urge you to come back to the commenting fold!

Life Lessons 3 (i think?) - things i have learnt recently

1. - student's will do anything for money, especially if it involves eating. They will always do it for less than you expect, so never bet with all the money in your wallet. Start with you lowest denomination and work up from there. The hangover is less intense if you can still buy hair of the dog

2. - If you drain ravioli in an aluminum pasta strainer the ravioli can form a watertight seal across all the holes,causing the boiling water to fill up and possibly overflow the strainer. Scalded fingers ensue.

3. - typing with scalded fingers is more difficult to do than you would expect.

4. - Gas from Norway imported through a huge pipeline under the north sea costs LESS than gas found naturally in the UK and kept for UK use. This apparently makes sense.

Ah, the post/pre season week is upon us. Managerlegue sleeps and those of us out of the cups and playoffs sit and stare blankly at an unchanging screen, just waiting for something to happen. Meanwhile, in the ML Towers, high up behind that bronze and marble rococco facade, the game is regenerated, improved and rolled over. They work tirelessly in there, like umpalumpas toiling unquestioningly for the magical, enigmatic Willie Wonka-esque Spinner. how we long to know what goes on in there. How little we care in the end, as the finest, sweetest online football manager game emerges each month better than before...Our dreams are fullfilled...we'll some are...

Banditos, after a poor yet even season dragged themselves into 3rd place on goal difference, only to fall at the first hurdle once again. The most disappointing aspect of this was that had i won tht first playoff, the team i would have met, known as ****my Thermos, are managed by the person whose bck of head i see most of everyday.

That's right, a grudge match, my first, could have taken place! so close! Mabe this was a good thing for me though. The last thing i needed was gloating rights beyond the managerleague world (both here and in my head).

Avoiding that, and the undoubted chanting that would have followed (be that by, or directed towards the crying figure of me) is probably the best thing that could have happened. After all, i don't want to get too obsessed with this do i? Is it not after all, only a game...? 



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When the wheels fall off (26/09/2006 21:03)

I awoke to the sound of thumping. My head hurt in an extremely monotonous way. I could feel a small burst of agony on each rush of blood through the veins in my temples, each one dragging after it an all to brief period of relief and the hope of the end of the pain, a hope swiftly dashed with the next hear beat.

It felt like a bongo player was using my head for practise and the tune was heavy on the percussion.

I asked him to stop, but it was clear he was happy to continue to be unreasonable. What was worse was that someone was yelling at me. I tried to remember the last time i had woken and that hadn't been the case, the last time i hadn't passed out drunk in my office, but my brain hurt to much.

"WOJTEKER!" screamed the voice.

"Please, not so loud - can't you see i'm sleeping?" It was out before i realised who was yelling. A string of profanities too long to mention entirel, but largely centred on things the voic planned to do to members of my extended family sprang back at me at a higher volume. I winced and then realised that my face was in a pizza.

"GETTA YOU UP, LAZY SON OF A DOG!" - The Colonel howled at me once he had finished swearing. We'll pause here breifly, whilst i explain a little. The Colonel was my boss, the club owner.

My astute people reading ability told me as fast as lighting he was not best pleased with me.

"What can i do for you sir?" i asked matter-of-factly.

"GETTA YOU FACE OUTTA THA PIZZA!" - He spoke with his strange Patalonian accent. I don't know why really, as he was born in Barnstable. I calmly pulled my face away from the pizza.

"For my next trick...?" I asked


"Look, Colonel, if you insist on the ridiculous accent and talking exclusively in capital letters I shall return to my pizza. It may wash with the players but it doesn't wash with me. Besides, it's annoying to have to keep hitting caps lock every few sentences" I picked up slice and hoped he would back down before i had to eat it. I was not dissapointed.

"Ok, ok my friend, i'll stop. But we need to talk, seriously"

"Then let's talk. What's on your mind?"

"We're fourth, my manager is lazy and my club is hemorrhaging money. Anything else you can think of?" he sat down and lit himself a cigar.

"Not off the top of my head, no. But on the points you raised, allow me to respond. My answers would be that's true, i am not lazy but dilligently at my desk late at night and early in the morning-"

"Because you are drunk in your office!" cut in The Colonel.

"Besides the point, sir-"

"NO" he yelled, banging his fist on the desk "It is EXACTLY the point. A manager should be out there on the training pitches, in the dressing room, in short MANAGING! It's what you are paid to do!" I raised my eyebrows at him.

"Ok, alright, i know i don't pay you, but still, could you maybe take more of an interest? You got them working before, Calabas at he 8-1. Where's the old magic?"

"It's painful, believe me i know all about it" I do. as you know if you've strayed over here before. "but until i get that hairdryer button my hands are tied!"

"Hairdryer button?"

"It's like capital letters for team talks. You know, yelling at them" I explained

"Ah, I understand" It was clear he didn't, but he continued and i let it go "But for all that, all the money i've spent and all the chances i've given you, i'm not so sure we'll continue with you for much longer..."

He left that phrase hanging as he drew out a newspaper from under his arm and dumped it in the pizza box. It was the sports page of the Patalonia Express (they don't like me over there by the way - fascists) and on it was my picture. Again. The headline read WOJTEKER OFFICIAL and was a report on my being apparently bought of by the league officials in order to end my suggestions of conspiracy.

"As you can see, my friend, i'm not sure i can trust you anymore" I looked up from the paper and found myself staring into the black business end of an M9 Pistol. (believe me, that is what it was, i coud read the name off the barrel...)

I felt the sweat gather on my fingertips.

"what are you doing boss?" i asked nervously.

"Retiring you. How can i trust you after what i read in the paper" he pulled back the hammer

"Seriously, Colonel, you can't believe what you read in the paper. They hate me over there anyway because i'm too left wing for them!"

"So you've not been made Official?" it was his turn to raise his eyebrows.

"I'm not going to be swayed by that! It's not going to be like they say. My first responsibilty is to the club. It's not that simple!" I stammered, trying to say three things at once and aware the sweat was pouring down my face was making me look guilty when i wasn't

"ARE YOU OFFICIADDAD, ESSE, YES OR NO?" he screamed, back in capitals and accented. he rose to his feet holding the gun at arms length.

"YES" i yelled back . Well, i was wasn't I? What else could i say?

The gun fired. 

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Pride (18/09/2006 21:01)

Oh my yes! Elbow room... can you feel it? the elbow room that comes with the first "official" blog from yours truly. It is a beautiful thing indeed.

When last we met i was complaining in an almost total fashion about nearly everything. I have very little to complain about now, an here is whyfor...

1. Calabras, fresh out of the cast and wheel chair did this...


(bear in mind this would be 6 in two for him)

2. Blog made official! (to this later)

3. Calabras then did this...

Oh yes. Back on fire my friends. A happy mood descended upon the Stadio el Banditos. Cloud nine found its to Patalonia. The mountain dwellers from the shanty town sacrificed a few pigs and all was well in the world. All is good and rosy when you win 8-1 away.

(I would like to now apologise to the manager of Xencocide for this rather public humiliation. I hope they - assuming they read this - do not take it the wrong way, The intention is truly not to rub their nose in it, more to boast a little - and its finaly possible for a little boasting!)

We have our pride back. We have it back in Division 4's top rated striker (currently). I have not had to resort to the booze once.

(That last bit is a lie. I actually drowned my happines in substantial amounts of Belgian Beer consumed with endless bowlfuls of moules mariniere in Brussels on saturday, followed swiftly on sunday by more imported belgian beer (thanks to the Eurostar) and topped of with absithe. But i digress, my drinking is not at issue here. Yet. I would heartily reccommend Brussels to one and all for food and drink. Take the one you love - or wish to love - and relax in the squares and cafes and think of nothing much. Wonderful...)

It is far more difficult to write this happy than when irritated or angry/frustrated. I find myself drowned in bliss for large numbers of reasons. Tranmere are even doing their utmost to appear to be a football team, which is encouraging in itself. (Tranmere, for those of you not in the know - is my team. Look about 45 places below Portsmouth and you'll find them!).

But that niggling feeling is there again - It keeps saying "It's too good to last Wojteker, something'll pop and destroy it all". Well, all i can say is - you ride your luck until it bucks you back into the dusty prarie and gallops off over the horizon with your water, money, food and potentially woman/man (that is woman or man, depending on preference, not woman/man (unless that is, of course, your preference - each to their own of course - we judge not - Arrghh brackets in brackets again! Get out Get out!) - I'm too quick to reference the transgender community, that's about the fith time - i wonder what it means..).

In short (or long in this case) carpe diem.

Well, for today at least...8 bloody 1! away! hurrah!






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I cannot believe it...! (12/09/2006 17:27)

I really can't, it's too much of a coincidence, too much of fate screwing me royally.

And for those of you interested in that type of thing, that is officialy the second worst way fate can srew with you (Can you guess what the worst one is? Answers on a postcard please...)

I hear you all crying "What, what has happened?" and such like - well i'll tell you.

As the 19 people (at time of writing) who read my previous blog entree (not a mispelling - it's what i will call the type of blog entry it was) entitled "Failure" (- how true that was! only 19 hits - appalling!) know, Calabras Hierro was last seen sitting with a cast on his leg after having his season (and therefore mine) curtailed due to his fitness dropping from 100% to 50% as a result of a single tackle.

That was fine. It was annoying as it cost me a playoff spot to say the least, but for regular followers of Banditos fortunes it was obvioulsy a fair finish given a poor start. But i was hopeful for the new season. My squad was once again stronger than ever, and had weathered the season change quality drop admirably.

We were all hopeful for our first game and it started well. Calabras netted himself a hattrick. Back on fire was my best striker (don't know why that cam eout backwards but if you'll forgive me i'll move on). But then came disaster - the coincidence that is too great to be believed. One horror tackle later and Calabras found himself back in the physio room with a plummeted 49% fitness! 

This means that, as far as I can tell, the tackle half killed him (1% more than half in fact!) how can this be. Something is afoot in this game to keep me down and i'm going to find out who's behind it, so help me!

49% fitness. Jesus...

That almost put the kybosh on the opening to my season, but luckily i had players to fall back on. This did cause me to fall out of the cup at round 1 for the first time in god knows how long. It's distressing it really is. I am certainly not a happy bunny.

Before the end of last season i breifly asked for predictions on my teams fate. As not one person correctly guessed the outcome of my season, i will not be bestowing the offered credit on anyone. (the fact is, not a single person offered a prediction - this either suggests no one was arsed to predict or no one felt i was true to my word and would have stumped up the credit. Well i would have, and you missed out - so more fool you!). I will roll this over to the next time i challenge you to answer something. It may not be today or tomorrow, but we'll see...

I hadn't intended to blog again so soon after the last one, but i got so angry it came out of me. I seem to write more when pushed by frustration, anger or unhappiness (anger mostly - i'm not usually unhappy).  I don't know if the products of this, the fruits of my belaboured and misguided mind are any better or worse depending on mood. I would need to conduct some kind of blog related experiment to work that out properly. Have done frustrated to death here, and angry now, so what would make me happy....? (get yourselves after that credit - i'm serious! stick it in a comment - you never know what might happen...)

Finally in this rant going nowhere...(i seem more coherent when blogging in Patalonia than in the real world. less disjointed at least, and definately less brackets) ... spinner, i notice has opened up discussion on the credits-for-cash debate.

My two pennies - do it, i have lots of credit and would prefer the cash. However, my associate here has mixed feelings as he thinks rich people in the real world would drown their teams in cash "abramovich style". I can see his point and the capping of this would be sensible in that case...

This is very admirable and why this game works so well, ie. that opinions of it's faithful players are asked for an contemplated and sometimes taken on board. So it leads me to thinking ...


consider this angry rant complete. I will blog again in either real world or Patalonian form when i have calmed down sufficiently to carry out my where is that spare bottle of Desperados... 



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Failure (08/09/2006 16:41)

"Boss...Hey Boss...BOSS!" came the voice, rousing me.

I opened my eyes to find i had fallen asleep on my desk. Drool had glued paper to my cheek. I was aware of this so did not move. I needed to save face after what had happened at the end of last season, and letting Calabras see me like this would damage what little respect he may still hold for me.

"What is it Hierro? Can't you see i'm busy - I've got a lot of paper work to get through for the next season" I couldn't see Calabras from where I was. My field of  vision was filled with something far more enticing, but also far more destructive.

And it was full...

Calabras wheeled himself around my desk. His leg had been in plaster since the end of last season and as a result he was confined to a wheelchair. I still had my head on the desk as i reached out for the Desperados

"It is next season Boss- a new beginning and we're stronger than ever!" Calarbras was far too positive. I don't like that in my players. I reached for the booze...

"I think i'm ready Boss!" I peeled my face off the desk, peeled the paper off my face and took a swig from the bottle.

Turned out it wasn't my favoutie Tequila, but in fact French Teqilua flavoured beer. I grimaced and looked at a slightly wet Calabras. For once, thankfully he was not smiling like an idiot.

" What do you mean it's next season? You broke your leg, We finished fourth with nothing to show for a season of effort and so I went on an end of season bender to blot it out. That was yesterday"

"No Boss, that was last week - You've been locked in here for 5 days"

"Then how did I get this?" I asked, genuinely confused how i could have found Tequila flavoured beer without leaving the office"

"No Comprende Boss. But look on the bright side, at least you have your colour back!"

He was right, I'd got rid of the Sepia

So things we're looking up. I was in colour for the first time in months, Calabras was ready to train again as soon as the cast was off. Thing's were on the up. But i still felt knotted up inside. Once again we had been so close, We had third place in the bag, and then one horror tackle ended my ace striker's season and it all fell to bits. But i still didn't understand it. Still the best team, still the best players and still not the best. What more had i to do?

Calabras coughed.

"What is it Hierro, i'm busy" I asked angrily

"Sorry boss, it's just that you've not said anything for the last five minutes-"

"Get that cast off now Hierro, I want you training faster than you can say 'Immediately'!" Calabras wheeled himself quickly out of my office as fast as his wheels would carry him. He was a good lad when all was said and done. Could go far in this game, with the right attitude. Still too happy though, but give me a few weeks and i'd have him as mean as the rest of that good for nothing bunch.

That said, I'd still sell the sucker for the right price, although apparently i can't force him out anymore if he keeps being so damn happy. We'll see about that anyway, we'll see.

I realised that, after a five day, one-room bender i had no idea what i looked like, so i checked myself in the mirror

It was worse than i thought - Were did i find hair rollers?

"Nice Outfit, Sugar" said a voice dripping with honey. It was her again.

"It's my day off and I'll wear what i damn well choose" i said. I looked down to see if i had trousers on. I could see my knees. That was a rather short skirt. I decided to remain seated. "Anyway, I've had as much as i can take from you and your conspiracy theories. Now get the hell outta here, I'm busy!"

"Alright sugar, but that means you won't get the surprise i got you"

"Oh stop being an enigma - i'm not in the mood. And what surprise?" I realised it might be Tequila. I couldn't face going back to the Desperados.

"Take a look out of the window honey, you'll see what i got ya" She lit a cigarette. I considered this breifly. She might just want to see my legs. I took the risk, stood up and made my way to the window.

"Nice legs, might get a pair of them myself" she said. Even though i couldn't see her, I knew she was smiling. I sighed heavily and peered out over the training pitch.

"So what is it? All i can see is my team."

"Count them."

"Quit playing games"

"Just count them Rik"

"I've told you before, i;m not Rik". I counted. There was one too many. One young, fresh Patalonian face to many, and he was running rings roung Hawksworth...


"You got it sweeite, with my love" She made to leave.

"I still don't know your name"

"Delores - nice to meet you. I'll come back when your dressed less comfortably"

And with that - she was gone...

Teo. One mystery solved. Now could i get to the bottom of Delores. (In every sense.)





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Progress! (25/08/2006 11:11)

Ah ha! Have I cracked it? Is this solid surge from 16th to 4th and 2 points off the playoffs mean Banditos have turned the corner? Have i spoken far too soon? Can i ask any more questions without giving answers?

(answers are respectively, i don't know, hopefully, , probably, obviously not)

As the done thing now on these blogs seems to be including a screen print of the relevant data to prove one is not lying, here it is...


Riviting information i'm sure you'll agree. Starting to look a little like the Honk Kong skyline, which has a really tall one at the right hand end - so hopefully i can stalk down the purple angels in the last week. Doubt it, but with new signing Calabras Hierro on the case (14 goals in 11 games, including 4 this morning!) anything is possible at the Stadio el Banditos.

A word on Calabras. My new signing is a machine. He keeps on going through whatever is thrown across his path. Banditos may have had the reputation of a party club in the past, but the aquisition of such a model professional marks the turning over of a new leaf, a fresh page, and any other metaphors for newness. Just as long as he can keep away from the Cranberry Sambuca (colloquially called "Cranbuca") that the hills of Patalonia have started to produce he'll be fine...

Its much more fun to be sitting on the verge of something going into the last week. In recent seasons I've watched from the dugout as my boys have thrown away championship after championship. Mostly, we ended up disgruntled in the playoffs. This time, I'd be very happy with the playoffs, as would they (especially the new boys) and that is a much better mindset to go into them with. We've won promotion through the playoffs only once in six attempts, and this needs to change swiftly. Maybe this season is our season, who knows...

(do you know? do you have a crystal ball in your back pocket, if so let me know?  Comment on to this blog entry what you think will happen to Banditos. A correct prediciton might find you getting a credit or two flying at you (either in rage or happiness, oh no, brackets in brackets again! better get out!) - almost like some kind of sideline competition. All depends on the detail you go into and whatnot...)

Recent thoughts on improving managerleague

If you have happened to chance past this blog before, you'll know i have suggested previously both 1. a "Hairdryer" button to allow me to yell at my underperforming squad, as well as 2. a "Pyschologist Staff Member" to help those players who are clearly having some emotional problems. I would still go for the first option, but the second i'm not so sure about as it seems to have got messy in the trial of it i did in my head. Paolo is still distracting Eric more than anything else, but at least he's training better. Anyway...

My latest thoughts to add to the list of growing brilliant reccomendations that will ultimately be ignored are

3. Hall of Fame

I suggested this in the forums in the PB era (pre-blogs, i thank you) that a hall of fame listing the winnerds of division 1, possibly division 2 and the league cup would be nice so that we can see who's been the most successful etc. There is no self promotion in this i assure you - look at my league position! I feel i should state it again here.

4. Loans

This is the brainstorm one from this morning.  I have my new youth player, a 71 rated defender who is be worst defender. Now, i'd like to train him up as in a few seasons he could be useful to me. At the moment he is not. I can't play him in my team and risk losing just to improve him, nor can i play too many friendlies as i don't have a squad big enough to do so without affecting my overall fitness for subsequent games. So what can i do?

Well, a team in division 5 would probably be interested in having him play for them. He may be better than their defenders. But i don't want to sell him, and they can't afford him.

If i could loan him out to them, he would get match practice and improve as a result, they'd get a good first team player. You could have the loans lasting for a fixed length and shade the player's box to indicate who actually owned them. At the end of the season, they'd come back to me, unless i still wanted to loan them out? Everybody wins? I think so!


But will I win? Will Banditos finally realise their potential and succeed where they have failed so many times in the past? Will Teo ever be found? Will I get the taste of Cranbuca out of my mouth after drinking a whole bottle to prevent Calabras from seeing it? Will my vision ever be the same again after doing that? Will  i really give away a credit to someone who correctly predicts the end to my season? Will I post subsequent competitions of an equally pointless nature?  Can I get a cup of Tea? Will I get my Hairdryer button? Will I answer these questions in the form of a Noirish Chandleresque Bogie-Bacall parady in my next blog?

Can you wait to find out?

You'll have to...

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Crisis Meeting (17/08/2006 15:45)

Miss me? (did you, I mean - I'm not trying to give myself a new title. I can assure you i was not absent from the game for nearly three weeks in order to get some "gender realignment" work done, that's really not my bag). I doubt you did, but i'll ignore those kinds of slights and move on...

So, from the far east I (occasionally) was able to check up on my progress through the last week of last season, the off season, and the first few games of this season. Horrified is the only word to describe how i felt. I watched from Singapore as Banditos drew nearly every single one of the last 10 matches, to finish a poor sixth. I have previously compared them to Newcastle United, and i was so on the money with that one. A few heads would need cracking, so i planned, upon my return, to stir things up a bit, make sure they knew who the boss was.

That's me, by the way, if you are not following this at all. Pay attention or you'll get lost...

But before I could return from the Far East (quick review, great food, nice places, shame about the Himan rights violations) the new season was upon us, and at Stadio el Banditos this was not a good moment. My rudderless team fell to pieces. Having gotten rid of Jimmy Letterford after his drinking, i discovered to my disgust that whilst i was awayEric Hawksworth developed (thanks largely to the influences of Paolo Psicólogo) had developed a Pie addiction of a level to rival Gazza (but thankfully, not Maradona....yet). Not only that, my team kicked off the season with their second worst start ever! I couldn't have been more annoyed if this was reality! (is it? - oh god i'm thinking of spoons again, and it's not Miss).

Arriving back on the Patalonian plains with the latest copy of Patalucia, our local newspaper, revealling the results of a poll they had done, asking fans "Would you rather see Wojteker fired, resign or be strapped to the back of a truck and dragged around town whislt you pelt him with balled up socks". The results were clearly rigged by the paper for option three, but i'm sure the faithful at the Stadio will vote with their money and spend it on my team. I needed fresh blood, and quick.

Now, thanks to swift sales of yougsters before my trip away, i had racked up £30 odd mill with the intetion of picking up an 80odd rater sriker on the free. I had my eye on one, i just needed a little more cash. Then, once i had the cash, he'd gone (to Spinner of all people! Grrr). And then i lost out in taxes as i couldn't spend it! It was all going so wrong.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel - I have got two new players to put pen to paper and i have now my first 80+ rated players (the best in my division i think - means nothing witht the human detritus they have to play with...). Thanks to this fresh blood, or more because of it, Banditos are clawing their way up the table. The Crisis may have been averted just before the Chaiman asked for my head and all thanks to my management skills once again! Still need the hairdryer button though...

Life Lessons 2: More things i have learnt recently.

1. British Airways are awful. I need leg room and Vegetarian meals when i ask for it. And while they're at it, a decent entertainment system too. Best thing to say to them if you need to get them to do something is "well it wasn;t like that on Virgin!" - always fly Virgin if you can, or at least avoid BA.

2. Crisps are not a major meal

3. A thousand year egg (see is actually delicious. If you get the chance eat one!

4. Fox news is hilarious as people on the right wing never understand anything. I'm so glad i don't live in america...

5. It is possible to buy too much cheese, despite what you may think.


The plane doors opened at Patalonia International at 2am and the desert wind hits me like a desert wind. (sorry, i don't have a picture of that). And instantly i spotted her. Lips that could kiss like a bicicle (i need some better similies, i really do...)

"How was the trip" she asked, before dragging on the cigarette, causing the ash to glow orange in the darkness.

"Fine if you, like Chinese food" i replied, casually.

Century egg sliced open.

"I don't" she said

"We'll, it's a good job you didn't come with me"

"It's a good job you left" 

"Can we get to the point here, sweetcheeks?" i asked with a sigh "this banter is meaningless and going nowhere" 

"Fine by me, honey" she dropped the butt and crunched it out under her foot. "How'd you like the info i gave you?"

"Again, can we stop all this 1940's Bogart/Chandler/Marlowe homage. It hurts my eyes. I need to look at you in colour" i responded. She said nothing, she just looked at me with eyes like saucers

A cup and saucer

only with bits on to make them look like eyes. She turned to walk away, i'd upset her and i still didn't know who she was.

"Gizmo's not your man, he's clean"  she said as the mist gathered around her

"I know that - i played him 5 times alternating 3-6-1 longball and 3-3-4 longball. He was right. It's a stupid formation"

"only as stupid as those who play with it" her voice was fading now, dropping away in the wind. "I said dig deeper anyway, there is more to this than you might expect"

"I'm sure there is baby, but right now i need my sleep"

A double bed

"Sleep tight then Rik, I'll see you at the bar" I couldn't see her

"But my name's not Rik, it's Wojteker - that's me on the back of the Paper" i yelled back, gesturing at the paper in my hand, but she was gone. A Stewardess came up to me and pulled at my arm.

"Sir, this is Casablanca. You can't get off here, you have to travel to the destination on your Ticket" she pointed at my boarding card.

"Wait a minute" I said, shaking my head in confusion. "why would you route a plane from Hong Kong to South America via Casablanca? It's the wrong way round!"

"No sir" she said with that indeterminable stewardess expression "It's the BA way round".

What on earth did that mean? "Can i at least get my Tequila?" I asked

"No liquids on board sir"





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Still here, just (27/07/2006 10:41)

The rot continues.

After another draw where Banditos threw away a lead when they should have been able to wrap things up comfortably. Too many chances not converted. Oh this is killing me. It's like being Newcastle United, how awful is that?

The big news from Patalonia is that, due to stress brought on by the ongoing trial of Jimmy Letterford, i will be taking a restful break for the next two and a half weeks. I need to get out of Patalonia, away from the glare of the media spotlight that has risen up since Letterford's tangle with the law. I won't be fully back until the season ends, so i'm selling the malcontent to the highest bidder by the end of the week. I don't need his type of disruption spoiling team morale. I think he's the reason we're doing so poorly, and i really could do with a scapegoat, so he's out. Good riddance i say. Muppet.

I think the break will be good for me. Although i'll be checking in occasionally to see what's happening, no more blogging until mid August as the beaches and cities of the far east are calling. And if you read my last one, don't worry, i assure you this doesn't mean i've been done in for what i said before (which i won't repeat in case i get done in!). My investigation continues into the somewhat errant info we've been given as gospel. My report is as follows.

It was suggested that 3-6-1 is a useless formation, and would not ever work with longball. I quote:

                 'I can't see any other then continental work in this one. Maybe mixed can work a little bit, but what is a lonely striker gonna do with a longball?' Gizmo

So, to test my admittedly tin-pot theory (see yesterday), i decided to challenge Gizmo to a friendly where, unbeknownst to him, i would use 3-6-1, play my worst players (and two of them out of position no less) and play Longball. I fully expected to lose, assuming the info Gizmo gives is correct.

I can tell you are holding your breath for the result...

Well, the match didn't take place. The Gremlins weren't fit enough to make the trip (or were they scared of what might happen? had they heard of the murderous tackles of Cristiano Justino?). In itself, this would not be suspicious. Well, i had credits burning a hole in my (electronic) pocket and i had spent all that time altering the formation and events etc, so i thought i may as well mess around a little.

Three friendlies later (again bearing in mind i had picked a shitty team) i had the evidence i was looking for. 

Game 1 - against a team leading their department (4- so equivalent to mine) and playing a strong side. Came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1, 10 chances, both goals from the "lonely" striker. Hmm i thought. Hmm indeed.

Game 2 - against a team in Division 2. Expecting a mullering. Went 2-0 down quickly, but then miraculously pulled it back to 2-0. Then bad tacking and a sending off forced 3 more goals past Hawksworth and we end up losing 5-2. But to come back to 2-2 shows there is still something to this 3-6-1 longball business...

Game 3 - against a div 5 team. straight 2-0, 9 chances. Nuff said says i. Nuff (?)


1. "the lonely striker", ray morgan, my third best, scores 5 of the 6 goals.

2. 25 chances created in three games - average of 8.3 recurring per match!


1. There is something to this 3-6-1 longball.

2. There is something about this game that means even the info we're given can't account for the random elements that will allow 3-6-1 longball to work, given the right motivation!

3. There is something odd going on that needs investigating...

I suddenly found my office becoming tinted with sepia. On my head a fedora, my body a nice smart lounge suit, shoes scuffed but whole. The dame across from me had the kind of lips that would kiss you, but only if you asked nicely.

"What ya here for, lady" - i asked her, surprised.

"got some info for you hun, real juicy" - she replied. The smoke from her cigarette twisted upwards towards my ceiling fan. The ceiling fan had blades that would also kiss you if you asked nicely, but that would be a real different kind of kiss.

"Quit busting me, lady, i don't need it. Spit it out or take your hourglass elsewhere. Me and the worm got some talking to do" - I tried to work out  why a beautiful woman was suddenly sitting across from me in the Patalonian dusk of my office, why there was no colour in the world now, and why i was talking like Humphrey Bogart.

"It's a hallucination baby, the tequila's talking to you now. I'm gonna say it quick before you pass out or attempt to make a move on me" she put out her cigarette on the palm of her hand and i winced at the sound. She opened her bag and pulled out a revolver which she placed on the table. Next she pulled out a brown envelope and flicked it towards me. I let it hit my chest and fall to the floor.

"What's that supposed to be?" I asked.

"It's information." she responded in her deep husky voice "You need it, i got it." She stood up and started to leave. As she reached the door she stopped, silhouetted by the light from the hallway.

"Dig a little deeper hun. This rabbit hole is long and murky. You'll have to get dirty before you can get clean" She turned to go.

"What's your name?" I asked.

"Does it matter" she said. and with that, she left.

Too much Chandler this week...My head hurts. I'm going on honeymoon now, so bye bye to Patalonia, to Stadio el Banditos, and to Letterford. I'll leave that envelope to be opened when i get back.  

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Real Life (25/07/2006 11:21)

To paraphrase a Liverpool legend - Managerleage is not real life. It's far more important than that.

I never said managerleague was real life. In fact, I remember saying I was fully aware it was not real life and yet in reading Gizmo's blog I find myself mocked ever so slightly, but yet still mocked! I bristle now with barely controlled anger. Grrrr

This would be tempered if Banditos were actually achieving anything AT ALL this season. How can they be almost all round better and yet be playing worse? What's happened? What's changed?

Well, one thing. I read Gizmo's blog and altered my line-up as suggested. Best passers and whatnot in the right places. I'm happy with my 4-4-2 as its how we do it over here and it makes sense. So if the advice I am following is as excellent as it is supposed to be why am I slumped in 4th when at this stage last season I was 2 points clear at the top without having lost a game?  

I still played attacking away from home because, hey, that's the kind of guy I am. And I won 4-1 doing so. So that's not it. My morale is high, largely to do with the paella and sangria party we had at the weekend, and although Jimmy Letterford was arrested by the policía for public indecency with a pavlova (don't ask - he's young) the event went off rather well. My midfield are playing their socks off, strikers have 13 goals between the three of them. Granted, the Eric Hawksworth keeps missing training sessions to go hiking in the Patalonian mountains with Paolo (it's definitely a woman) and so is stuck with an average rating of 50.

The only difference is the tactical changes I unleashed on my team based on suggestions made in a blog that mocks me ever so slightly. From my office window over the shanty towns and dusty sock fields, it is starting to feel like a big ruse to fool me. Or maybe, to make everyone else's team worse so his team works better? How far does the trust go?

It may just be a natural slump in my team. Maybe in the lower leagues, where the players aren't so hot, there is a greater element of chance and these tactical ideas are not as useful as cold hard tackling and an all out disregard for defence. Maybe my team is just crap. But do any of these maybes sound realistic to you? Is it not more believable that Gizmo has fooled us all? After all, why would he tell everyone his secrets? Simple human kindness? There is something murky behind this, and it's time to see how deep the rabbit-hole goes...

The frustration this builds in me, knowing I’ve been duped once again by someone who is fast becoming my nemesis. The Tequila bottle shatters in my clenched fist, forcing shards of glass into the palm of my hand. I hold it before me as the thunderstorm breaks over Patalonia, over Stadio el Banditos, and as the lightning flashes illuminate the blood running down my wrist I laugh manically. I will have my revenge, oh yes!

Obviously, if I don’t wake up tomorrow morning and you never here from me again, you'll know it's because I was telling you the truth! It may not be real life, at least not yet...


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The Circle is now complete (24/07/2006 10:32)

Watch this.

Nothing further needs to be said...for now.

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Grumpy, Bored, Hot and in a certain amount of pain (18/07/2006 16:33)

I hate this weather. It's far to hot to do anything, so you don't do anything, so you become bored which in turn makes you grumpy, so you petulantly lash out at things and hurt yourself. Title dealt with.

For some reason i still insist on drinking hot cups of tea at my desk. I am not sure if this is sensible or not but its the only thing keeping me from throwing my mug across the room in a fit of pique, so it's got a certain funtion for me at least. I don't want to get sacked for throwing crockery.

Its on days like these when you realise you really need either a swimming pool, or for London to be a lot closer to the sea. I may move to Brigton (or possibly New Zealand - it's winter there so the climate will be far more pleasant). 

Arrrhhh. Even the game is appearing to move slowly today. I know its not really, and that it is my heat addled brain's perception of the passage of time which is at fault here, not in any way managerleague, but thats how it's feeling. I have little to look forward to until the cup match tonight, when Banditos will turn out against Ibizan Allstars, and which i have already preplanned my evening to check in on because its tuesday and there is NOTHING else to do but sit and wait! God i am bored!

Of course, i could be doing work right now, but lets face it, what's the point? It's not like the world's going to end because i slacked off today (really it won't - i'm not in that sort of job, so if you are of the mindset to worry about armageddon, please don't over this).

I need a retreat now, a place to go and withdraw into, somewhere up in the mountains, will a stiff breeze and possibly a storm brewing...Patalonia, obviously. Southern hemisphere you see, winter again. A nice office above the shanty town, pina coladas, ice cubes and an assisstant bringing me freshly sliced papaya on a silver platter. That's exactly what i need. What i have is a desk and two fans, one either side of my head and both on full blast. It isn't anything like good enough. I would welcome suggestions as to how i could cool down. The most effective method i have ever had involved a lagoon in the south pacific (any lagoon will do), but unfortunately i have not got a lagoon to hand.

So here i sit, hot, bothered, achy and grumpy (only one of which is the name of a dwarf) and taking it out on anyone who comes near me/stubles across this. I have reached a point where i regret having attempted to flush my fantasy world out of my head and instead wish i could reenter it now in order simply to escape the opressive heat. I would risk my own mental health for the sake of feeling (or believing that i feel) cooler. 

At least my Goalkeeper seems to be playing better. He has seemingly shaken off his previous poor form at the start of this season and long may it continue. I must send thankyou match day tickets to Paul/Paola Psychologist. Not sure what to make of my new 17yr old. I may give him a few matches and see what happens. No news on the hairdryer button though, and Teo has not been found. The police came round to interview me but i wasn't saying anything. The ****broke my window remember, not to mention the tequila i spilt on the floor of the office in dashing to throw the ball at him. Both these and the cost of cleaning the carpet are still coming out of his wages, but even so, we'll need that little tyke if we're to get into Division 3...

Bah, Bah i say and Bah again! I will attempt to be more jovial/less grumpy next time i write. But i promise nothing!

Roll on Friday... (god i hate Tuesdays).     

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One a day and still not better... (12/07/2006 20:29)

I so very very nearly didn't blog today.

Obviously I checked into the game on the off chance something interesting had happened at Stadio el Banditos. Nothing had. Teo disappeared all together and i have my scout searching the shanty town for him as we speak, but without success. To be fair, when the drunken manager of the football club that not only employs you but to which you are totally devoted hurls both footballs and obscenities at you at the same time, you get away swiftly. Plus he broke my window (which i'll be taking out of his wages, obviously) so that it is no surprise he's lying low. But we'll find him...

Sorry, gone off topic. So i checked the game, found little to nothing had happened. Traning camp completed without incident
(has anyone had one that was completed with incident? Or even not completed at all? Sometimes i click on that message and briefly wonder if my Robin King has been sent home early in discrace for throwing his bed through the window in a drunken rage because the hotel would not provide him with a cheese and pickle sarnie at 1am, but alas it has not happened once. not once i tell you...). Goalkeeper getting (apparently) even better, although doubt that it'll affect his performances next season. Nothing much to look at or mention.

So i looked at the messages of the day, informing me of the downtime over the weekend (which if you have read my blog before, you'd understand me having mixed feelings about...). But then, lower down, i spied a line saying "handpicked blogs" and then the details of my Monday morning entry next to shy^'s rant on men (don't lose faith in us - honestly we're not all crap - i admit i have met many who are, but they are not all, i assure you!). Well, i have to say i was made up! I mean, i was pleased enough with getting recommended, and noting how many views my blogs had had, but to be handpicked! I would very muh like to thank the ML gods for that (and doubing the number of views and comments i got - you gotta love the comments!).

Obviously, i immediately returned to earth with a bump, finding out only 7 people read the one i wrote yesterday. But i am not disheartened (plus i doubt many people ogged in today- that or the blog was rubbish!). if anything, i have decided to continue bogging until my fingers are worn down to malformed nubs. I will try to keep to one a day, but with a wedding in two weeks, then a honeymoon, there may not be as high an output as i have sustained so far. But i promise to do my best. Besides, as i'll be leaving my team in the capable hands of my coaching staff for the back end of next season, i can leave the blog alone too.

Peice firmly said on that. To another topic - Miss Spoons. Is she the Queen of manager league (or is there no monarchical system in ML. Comment on this if you wish, i'll happily debate this endlessly)? Occasionally i check the other players section to see who are the most visited profiles and Miss Spoons get's HUGE numbers of hits on a daily basis (15 so far today, 29 yesterday!). Popular of what! I have had an email exchange with her and i can honestly say she is a pleaseure to contact. Added to that, i recieved no abuse when Banditos ungentlemanly destroyed her team Spoons FC 7-0 in a recent friendly, so she must be a gracious loser also.

So my final point here now becomes, whilst we previously established that there may or may not be a spoon, kitchen, coffee machine and owls (apparently?) there most definately must be a miss spoons, and she is currently ruling the roost in here
(that is ML). Done.

Back to reality, if that is what it's suposed to be...

PS. Please do comment to your heart's content. And to Gizmo, i was only playing my friend...


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The Reprive (but not as long as Satre's) (11/07/2006 14:45)

"so the spoon is there, but the future survival of the human race doesn't rely on it's outcome.

Are you really sure of this?
So you're saying that if you pulled the plug (sack) on
Eric Hawksworth he wouldn't die?
Your whole team lays in your hands. Every single player can vanish if you aint gettin your economy in shape?
- 2.500.00 is the magic line in the end of the season. Can you really say the stakes aint the same?
Going bankrupt would been to pull the plug on all your players at the very same time :o

You are cold Wojteker!
*sSs*" -
Gizmo - in response to by entry of yesterday entitled An impending sense of doom...

This opened my mind up to a few thoughts this morning, after the reprive that it (my mind) recieved when Banditos slumped out of the playoffs with a woefully poor 4-1 defeat. As i said yesterday, i hoped for my current sanity levels that we lost, and lose we did. I managed to return to normailty, restore my equilibrium and look forward to the next week of calmness and distance from Patalonia and my broken office window.

Then i read the above and i heard a little pop towards the back of my head. Dragged back in, if only to clarify things...

Ignoring the spoon aspect of the above (lets not get into that again), the future survival of the human race does not rely on the outcome of my playoff games. It cannot do as I lost and we're all still here (unless of course, the entire universe disappeared and then was instantly replaced by an identical version of itself - but that is a whole other metaphysical discussion). That said, i take the point that if i was to be lax with my accounting, maybe cream the odd few $$s into an account in the Cayman Islands, then yes, my entire team would vanish at the end of the season.

Or would they? As far as i can judge, a sackled player becomes a free agent - is this not correct? When a team is wiped off for debts (or for other reasons) do they not just become a bot team and continue on managerless? Besides - football in Patalonia is the only way out of the dust farms and lost sock replacement sock production lines, so if Banditos ceased to exist my players would all head back to their families and go back to wage-slaving like the rest of us. This is of course, assuming that this isn't just a game. It most clearly is not!

And as for Eric Hawksworth, considering the amount of money he's paid, and his now blossoming relationship with Paul/Paolo, i'm sure ending his career early to spend his time lounging on the Patalonian Riviera with his guy/girl would not be adverse to him. He certainly hasn't seemed interested in playing at the Satdio recently.

In short, there are many options for ex managerleague football players. I truly hope Gizmo is not suggesting here that all players on teams that are discontinued are subject to summary execution simply because of the actions of their manager? That's hardly fair is it? I find myself now much happier with my little Patalonian heroes, doing there best for Teo and the other shanty towners, who slave all day long just to buy over priced replica kits and the occasional ticket for a game. With a spring in my step i re-enter the training room and hit the (hopefully not for much longer) imaginary button "Gee-up" and give them a speech like they have never heard.  

I immediately played two friendlies to test myself and my team, and i became over the moon with happiness as i recorded my best ever win in a friendly (7-0), and then a tight 2-1 victory over a friend of mine. Not too shabby.

Yet, wasn't i trying to get out of this? To lose in the playoffs was my aim (although i could not allow myself to lose deliberately) to save myself from myself for at least one more week or something approaching sanity. But now, thanks to Gizmo's suggestion that all my players will die if i stop playing, i have to stay in now! I have to wait around for that week 35 training camp to inspire my team. I have to wait to find out if Teo is the wunderkind we all hope he is and find out if he'll be promoted from the Youth team, or if we'll have to wait another season. I may even have to wait past monday for the next game, depending on the MLFA (the managerleague football association? - take on this name guys!) move.

I was so nearly out then they pulled me back in. I will not be responsible for the deaths of my players...unless they deserve it! Now, where's that damn worm and his Strawberry Daquiri? I need a drink... 

Ps. And no, i am not cold! I am mean and spiteful - that is a very different kettle of fish (which, if you were wondering after yesterday's post, does exist!) 

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An impending sense of doom... (10/07/2006 11:16)

If it is possible to feel an anticlimax in your bones, i am. If it is not possible of course, then i may have some odd medical condition. I hope the former is true, because i don't have the nerves to face the latter right now.

I'm still caring too much about what happens to my team. Once again finding ourselves (ourselves??? - too much you see) cemented into the playoff positions with little expectation of advancement. My team will lose, i have no doubt of that. Most of me thinks that my team losing would be the best thing to happen for my own well being. I don't need this to be strung out for another day, another two games because then i'm still over involving myself. But that part of me that i have mentioned here before, the part of my that (belives it actually) employs Teo the poverty stricken Patalonian bell ringer desperately wants the lads to achieve something today.

I find myselt wrestling with that part of me. The scene inside my head is one i can now only describe as "Matrix-like", except with much lower stakes and no special effects. It's not like the future survival of the human race relys on it's outcome. It would be nice if it did, then maybe my players would get off their lazy rear ends and do something about it - but then, like those still plugged into the Matrix, they don't know about the outside world, about the supposed reality that is my life. 

I know that the Patalonians are not real, i know Teo is a construct of my overactive imagination that has become unfortunately too engrossed in what happens in this game. I also know that caring too much about what happens between what is, when you get down to it, little more than huge amounts of 1s and 0s, has a detrimental effect on your real life relationships. I know this because this weekend i logged into managerleague three times even though i knew full well that there was: 

  1. no new match reports to read
  2. no training happening
  3. no transfers i was involved in happening

Why did i do this? Because i had nothing better to do? On the off chance something may have happened that i could take advantage of? To make sure that my players were ok? To make sure that Eric Hawksworth's fledgling relationship with his psychologist Paul/Paolo (who may actually be the same person, i need to keep an eye on this - are they ever in the same place?) is not impacting on the rest he needed to get before the final league game? To sit in my lonely office, with its view across the dusty plains and from where, on a clear day you can see the far off snow capped mountains, drinking tequila from the bottle and having a chat with the worm (who by the way, told me that whilst he doesn't mind the taste of Tequila, his personal preference is for Sambuca, and occasionally the odd Strawberry Daquiri, but these days he doesn't get out too much) because i live a lonely manager's existence and the club is everything to me? 

The real problem is that I have no idea why i logged in, i just did. It took me over, and became something more than a thing i look at when i am already at a computer. It became something i would actively take time out of my weekend to look in on, even though i know there is no reason to do so! If you extrapolate this to its logical extreme, I will become that lonely manager, spending all his time in his office (the computer?) going over and over information and reports etc that he has already read, looking for a clue or two that could come in useful. I will lose touch with my actual human to human relationships and live entirely in the fantasy would that i part construction part Massive Multiplayer Online Game. That is far too dangerous to comprehend - i like the relationships i have in the utside world. I like the climate here (mostly), i like reality a great deal.

But still there is part of me, a significant part now, growing daily, that want's this to happen, want's me to upsticks and move to Patalonia, knowing full well you can't manage a club like Banditos from abroad. That part of me sits there, looking out over the shanty town beyond the fabulously polished marble of the North Gateway, past the small boy ringing that damn bell, thinking to himself that, maybe, just maybe, this time they can do it, Banditos can get into Division 3. That part of me probably has a part of him that imagins he is sitting in an office in London, working at a computer desk. Ordinarily, that small part of him would confuse him into losing his grip on his reality and giving me back mine, but he can't concentrate on it because that damn bell is still ringing. Through my booze soaked eyes i can see that lad Teo, still in his torn replica shirt, yanking that rope for all he's worth. He's certainly got stamina as he's been at it all bloody weekend! It's doing my head in and i lurch out of my seat, sweeping the tequila bottle and my old freind the worm from my path whith a crash and a small squeaky wormlike protest, wrench open the window and fling the first thing that come to hand (a football signed by the Patalonian National team) at the little irritating monster, whilst i yell every drunken obscenity my mind will allow me to think of.  

The ball loops right towards Teo, and i suddenly realise that drunkenly throwing objects at small boys is a) a really good way to lose your job, and b) a really good way to get arrested. But as i watch, the shoeless Teo takes the ball on his chest, then his knee, then lashes it right back at my window, shattering the glass and knocking The Golden Plaque to the floor. As the little lad runs off towards home, as fast as he can, afraid of what he has just done, I stand agog at the glassless frame. If he did that on purpose, he may just be what we've been waiting for...I'll have to get him into training. Maybe i can buy him off his parents...

Hold on here for a second. When exactly did "he" become "I..."

I really, really need to lose today...    

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Life Lessons (07/07/2006 11:03)

A single bell tolls mounrfully over the North Gateway at Stadio el Banditos. It swings back and forth rythmically, ringing out it's sound acroos the bleak and dusty plains with each movement. It is set into motion by a small boy, pulling the rope as forcefully as he is able, pulling with all his heart, because it means something to him. He is calling forth the faithful to share their grief at the stadium, to share his grief, for he knows his team have fallen at the last once more. His tears creep down his cheeks and are carried off by the hot wind. His mother will later ask him if he has been crying, and he will tell her it was just some dust that got in his eyes. His mother knows him better than he thinks she does. It meant so much to him, to all of them, and the team really could have done it this time.

Oh god it's getting worse now. I'm not only anthropomorphising my players, but now that (no longer so) tiny part of me has devised, not only a locale in which my club is based, but to add to my growing and rather misplaced depression at failing to win the 4/49 title for the sixth time (although 4th when actually in real contention) a small bell ringing (and probably poverty stricken) little lad who the club employs to ring the bell when they lose! This is awful now. This could only be made worse if the little lad had a name. 

Spinner suggested on my last post that he could recommend a psychologist for my goalkeeper (and in fact for me, although i do hope these were two different psychologists - whilst i could probably afford a better one {or in fact one at all - oh bracket in brackets, sorry!} through managerleague, i doubt very much if his qualification would be genuine, or his advice would be much above the level of Alan Agent's suggestions and advice on bids). I think this could come in handy - a combination of the "Hairdryer" button and trips to Paul Psychologist, or maybe his rival, the lovely Paola Psicólogo, would probably do the trick. Then again, my Keeper could end up having some torrid affair with his psychologist (either Paul or Paola - i cast no aspersions in my team) that could see him missing training sessions and what not. 

Ahhhrrgg! Am getting dragged back in, need to stop this! (Need to establish a universal spelling of the word "ahhhrrgg" - am in favour of the double "g" but not sure on the "r" to "h" ratio - any ideas?).  I need to focus on other things. It is important that i don't get sucked into this odd, probably south american country that part of me is now fleshing out. So, I must share from the real world, to purge myself, at least briefly, of the unfortunate decline that i am currently spiralling down.

Life Lessons I have learnt this week: -

1.       When making cheese on toast after a night on the sauce, it is important that you do not slip, drop the toast but still have quick enough reactions to catch it before it hits the ground, yet because you are three sheets to the wind and have deadened you nerve endings, don't realise until the next morning that molten cheese really burns, leaving blisters on your finger tips.

2.       If you sustain cheese related blistering, and you somehow pop them by accident, don't get orange juice in the wound. that really stings. (This is probably true of all wound-juice combinations, but these are my life lessons this week, so they are fairly specific.)

3.       Do not finish reading Les Miserables on the bus as the tears that you pass off as dust in your eyes will make you look like a weirdo, and god knows there are already enough of them on London Buses as it is.

4.       Tears are a useful way of ensuring that the seat next to yours on the bus remains free of any people who may try to fall asleep on you, or touch your bare leg (wearing shorts - i will categorically state now that i am NOT a bus weirdo) with their sweaty leg, or just generally talk to you.

5.   (Aditionally, a rare moment from my actual private real world here, although not strictly a life lesson, will see if i can turn it into one...) - Saw a band at Koko in Camden last night (actually 3 bands, but went with the intention of seeing one in particular) called Gogol Bordello. If you have not heard of them, get on Youtube and look them up - especially the live clips - as they will blow your mind! Gypsy punks with, what appears to be, a huge cult following, the music is punk fused with east European folk and much other stuff. Knocks your sock off and they go on for ages! If you get a chance see them as (and this bit is the Life Lesson...) Gogol Bordello are ace! I have a t-shirt now to prove it.


A purge! It feels better! for a brief time there i didn't think about the inhabitants of Patalonia and their distress that their team will fail miserably in the playoffs (assuming they get 2 points from 2 games) again, a distress that is personified in the lonley, weeping yet strong figure of Teo, wearing his white, green and red replica shirt, the name of creative midfielder Blain elblazened on the reverse in Auld Gold lettering, doggedly ringing that mourning bell.

Shit - he's called Teo... 


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Feeling Frustrated Yet? (06/07/2006 12:01)

I think i may be starting to take this game a little too seriously.

For me, I came across this game towards the end of its first season. I was looking for the internet equivalent of a game i remember playing as a youth - a Play-by-mail management game - but free(ish) because i am tightfisted. I liked the interface, i liked that there was game every 12 hours and i liked that i could happily play this at work as it would not take up too much of my time each day. Maybe 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minute after the 2pm (for those of us in the UK) game and little more. Good, a little distraction for me from Office work. 

Unfortunately, it would appear that, after ten months, i find myself all consumed by this. I have so far managed to get 7 other people from my office interested, one in particular completely engrossed like me, to the point where work is 15 minutes of a distraction from the game. I imagine i am not alone in this. 

But this is not all - two games a day are not enough for me anymore, i become impatient when i sit down at five to two, and keep hitting the general tab to refresh the page, waiting for the result to roll in. I have been known to go into the tables page and flick back and forth across the leagues to see where the game-engine has got up to. It is becoming all consuming. We have conversations about the various merits of our players, discuss scenarios for how we might get promoted or avoid relegation. But even worse, I have found myself considering if, by dropping an underperforming striker, i may in some way, be hurting his feelings and he may never play well for me again, out of spite! I think i may actually be loosing my grip!

The frustration is building in me now. My team, once again has slumped back in the chase for promotion. We're quick out of the blocks, but tail off towards the end. Yet with four games to go, there are only two points between me and the team in first place. And what can i do about it? I want to go in there and give my players a complete rollocking, throw some teacups and kick some boots about. I need to impart to them how much this means to me, how for 10 seasons I have built this squad up to the best the club has seen, how the weight of expectation of 25000 fans who fill the stadium each week is to see their team ascend to previousy unreached heights. They need me to lead them to the division title, because they know, and i know too, that we're pretty crap at the playoffs, and as we all know the best way to do that is through a mixture of carrot and stick. Encouragement and threats. 

But what can i do? At this point, it's out of my hands. I am frustrated because it looks like, once again, we're going to fall short, and what i need, in all honesty, to dispell my frustrations, is a button in the training page that simply has the word "Hairdryer" written on it. That is all. May come in handy every so often to be able to yell at your players.

Like i said before, i may have taken this too far now, losing grip on what this is. It is after all, as they always say, only a game, but there is part of me, a very small, fairly weird and slightly pitiful part of me that in a very very tiny way has trouble understanding that this isn't actually real. That part of me believes that these games actually take place, has given personalities to his players, know which ones have tempers, which ones need to stay off the sauce and which ones can take the game by the scruff of the neck. That part of me knows the faithful 25000 expects more of this team. That part of me knows my team has old rivals, bitter ones who have put one over us in the past. That part of me is worryingly close to taking control of the rest of me at this point, towards the close of the season. And it's that part of me getting worse as the seasons continue to roll by, that is frustrated that he can't get at his players and slap them across the back of the heads when they throw away yet another one-nil lead in the 85th minute.

Frustrated? I couldn't be more frustrated if this was a real team i was actually managing in the real world, because at least then i'd be getting paid for it! Maybe this will subside in the week long lull before the beginning of the next season. Maybe that part of me will  calm down just a little, to allow me to develop realationships again with real people. I do hope so. Spending 20 minutes telling a stranger in a bar all about how you think your goalkeeper is lacking in confidence due to surpressed memories and a previous history of emotional problems, but asking him about it may make things worse and, lets face it, your second choice is not really any good, then to have to tell them that it's an internet game is not good for your sanity. It's becoming too much. I think i need to chill out for a little while, maybe have a lie down, maybe take the phone of the hook so Alan Agent will quit ringing me with under strength offers for my 17 year old superstar. I hate Alan Agent, he's so smug with his "I suggest you take a look at it right now" crap.

No Alan, i'm on a break right now, i'll call you back.   

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