Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

Not forgotten

Phil O'Donnell would have turned 36 today, the same age as me (albeit only until June). Calls for a wee dram and a re-watching of the '91 Scottish Cup Final video tonight I think, if only to reinforce just how badly we could do with him back in our midfield at the moment...

EDIT: Coincidentally, it was also the 13th anniversary of Davie Cooper's untimely death a couple of days ago, too. Unbelievable that two of that cup winning team died in their 30s, while just doing their job.

Wednesday Jan 09, 2008

Life after Phil

I like this idea. Motherwell fans have had two weeks to pay their respects, and Hearts fans have already paid theirs with a minute's applause before their last two games (and fair play to them for doing it the second time-- not entirely sure why they were asked to do it more than once...)

Let's just get back on with the fitba' now-- it's what Phil would have wanted!

Sunday Dec 30, 2007

RIP Phil O'Donnell

Numbed by the news when I got home last night that Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell had died after collapsing during the game with Dundee Utd yesterday.

I well remember his debut against St.Mirren in the 1990/91 season, when as a 17-year-old he was given the complete runaround by Kenny MacDowell. At the end of that season, he scored his first goal for the club-- in the memorable Scottish Cup "family final" at Hampden Park. Ironically, that was also against Dundee Utd, in a game which was also tinged with sadness-- the managers of the two teams were brothers Tommy and Jim McLean, whose father died a couple of days before the final.

(That cup winning side seems somewhat jinxed, now... it also featured Davie Cooper, who was to collapse and die a few years later on the training ground at the age of 39. And two of our other stars that day never played again, forced into early retirement through injury.)

So, thanks for the memories, Phil. Thoughts are with your family and friends today, especially to your wife, kids, and nephew and Motherwell team-mate David Clarkson who's been a revelation this year-- I hope he can find it within himself to pull on the claret and amber jersey again after what he witnessed yesterday.

Saturday Nov 17, 2007

Plus ça change

Just a bit deflated that one of the most inexplicably wrong refereeing decisions I’ve seen cost Scotland a draw against Italy this afternoon, but I don’t think it would have been enough anyway, and I’m certainly glad we’re not sitting waiting on the France result on Wednesday. Can’t fault the lads for another great performance (bar the first two minutes), bring on the World Cup qualifiers!

(To be fair, the ref ruled out a perfectly good Italian second goal for offside, and failed to disallow ours for the same offence… but to lose like that was just rubbing it in, really.)

Monday Apr 30, 2007


Just noticed that KDE's Akademy conference is taking place in my old stomping ground of Strathyclyde University's Computer Science Department in Glasgow... pity there are no usability sessions on the schedule, might have been tempted to gatecrash for nostalgia's sake :)

Back in my day (1989-93), the Graham Hills building was called Marland House (we'd just bought it off BT), and its main function was to house a lab full of QLs that Sinclair had donated. Despite the stories in the press at the time, every student didn't get one to take home-- AFAIK they all stayed in the lab, and all we ever did with them was our 68k assembly language assignments (as set by Duncan Smeed, who's probably still setting them today...)

The top few floors of the Livingstone Tower, on the other hand, housed (as they still do) the staff offices and the 3rd and 4th year computer lab, which at the time had just been kitted out with smart new Sun terminals (ELCs, IIRC-- which looking back at them now were the forerunner of Sun Rays, I guess). Little did I know then...

Monday Dec 04, 2006

Irn Bru Snowman

Irn Bru has had some classic print and TV ads to its name over the years, but this one has to be right up there...

Tuesday Jun 20, 2006

Monty's Last Stand?

Poor old Colin Montgomerie... really does seem like he's destined never to win a major.

Wednesday May 17, 2006

Farewell Tel

After a couple of weeks of speculation, former England captain Terry Butcher is officially departing his post as Motherwell boss to take up the reins at Sydney FC in Oz.

He's been at the helm since Motherwell went into administration in 2002, and despite the sort of budget that entailed, nonetheless took us to a couple of cup semis, one final, and consecutive top six finishes in the SPL. While sometimes guilty of displaying all the tactical subtlety you'd expect from a 6'4" centre-back, Big Tel did a sterling job under the circumstances, was well-liked by the fans and the media alike, and goes with everyone's best wishes.

Assistant manager Maurice Malpas takes over, with his former Dundee United and Scotland teammate Paul Hegarty rumoured to be joining him as number two.

Thursday May 11, 2006

That was not so close...

Hands up anyone who can remember the last time Scotland scored five goals? All too late for the World Cup sadly, but good to see things continuing to improve under Watty. (And to see a healthy number of current and former Motherwell players in the squad too...)

Wednesday Mar 22, 2006


One can only imagine the banter that might ensue when Dean Shiels reclaims his first team place at Hibs and misses a sitter, but you've got to admire his courage.

Monday Mar 13, 2006

Ten Years On

It's ten years today since Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 pupils and their teacher in the small Scottish rural town of Dunblane.

I won't make much of a fuss about that because the townsfolk themselves have decided not to, but I do still remember the morning I parked up outside work at Bournemouth Airport, and heard the news on the radio. It was all rather surreal, as many generations of my family (including my brothers, but not me) grew up in Dunblane; my parents were married there, some of their friends still live there, and my grandparents are buried there. Although I'd never lived there myself, I'd had enough of a connection with the place over the years to realise how utterly improbable a setting it was for such an event... but I suppose that's what people always say.

Wednesday Feb 01, 2006

Same old story

Motherwell's ability to contrive new ways of losing big games that they should have sewn up by half-time apparently knows no bounds.

Wednesday Jan 25, 2006

Your bard

Celebrated Burns Night tonight with a proper haggis all the way from a Scottish butcher, courtesy of one of Julie's friends who was back home the other week, and Julie's homemade cranachan for dessert. All accompanied by Eddi Reader's rather good Songs of Robert Burns CD. Wha's like us?!

Thursday Sep 22, 2005


Some nice photos from (roughly) my part of the world, taken by Brian Dowdy when he was over for the recent Sun (Fitba') World Cup in Edinburgh.

Thursday Sep 01, 2005

You boy!!

Michael Sheard died yesterday at the age of 65. Anyone under the age of 30 will probably recognise the RADA-trained Aberdonian from his roles in The Empire Strikes Back and two Indiana Jones movies.

For those of us on the wrong side and living in the UK, though, he will forever be the scariest schoolteacher on the planet-- Maurice Bronson, the bespectacled, be-wigged languages teacher at Grange Hill, and arch-enemy of artistic, chain-smoking rebel pupil Danny Kendall (who, after two years of running battles in the corridors, was to die in Bronson's car when he blacked out at the wheel after stealing it).

They don't make them like they used to...


I am a Principal UX Engineer in the Systems Experience Design team, working at Oracle (via Sun Microsystems) since the turn of the century. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.


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