Archive for May, 2006

T-Mobile Fan Park

Outside Millenium Point, from June 9 to July 9, there will be a T-Mobile Fan Park (Birmingham City Council website), and according to that site, along with the World Cup matches, there’s more fun to be had:

“Acts lined up by 96.4 BRMB to perform before the first three England games include former Busted Matt Willis, Duncan James from Blue and Tony Christie who’ll rally the crowds behind Sven and the team with his World Cup version of his number 1 hit, ‘Amarillo’. ”

Not listed here, shockingly, is Birmingham’s own The Mexicolas, who will be on stage at 12.30 on the day of the Trinidad & Tobago match (I don’t know when that is, I am not a football fan), so if you are planning to go, get there a bit early, because they’re good! Their Myspace appears to have more information than their actual website.

Back Again

From today’s Metro newspaper:

Commuters force way into station

Commuters were forced to break into a rail station yesterday after staff forgot to open up. Workers heading to Birmingham climbed over a wall and a fence to get to the platform at Lichfield City station. A passenger eventually called National Rail Enquiries and they sent an employee to open the gates. A Central Trains spokesman said: ‘Nobody opened up and as a result people would have been late getting to work and we apologise for that.'”

I know Lichfield isn’t quite Birmingham, but it’s one of the main commuter train routes into Birmingham, and it’s a story about everyone’s favourite train company ;)

I would like to apologise for not updating here for ages. I have handed in my dissertation now, so I have no more distractions, and shall be delighting you lovely readers with very interesting stories. Lucky you!

Dodging a Bullet?

Phew. It looks like there won’t be a Supercasino coming to Birmingham anytime soon, as I had previously feared. Phew. Well, a “£250 complex” wouldn’t be very impressive anyway.

But I suppose this is only postponing the inevitable, and in fact might make matters worse if it leaves room for multiple smaller casinos…! Hmm…

City-wide Wi-Fi?

It looks like the prospect of ubiquitous ‘net access in Birmingham is coming ever closer, as BT recently announced plans to massively increase the number of wireless access points around several UK cities (including dear ol’ Brum)! There are already several other initiatives aiming to provide such coverage, such as The Cloud and T-Mobile Hotspots, which cater more towards just the coffee shop crowd. Anyone know of any more in the Birmingham / West Midlands area?
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Gourmet Burger Company

The other day I finally got around to visiting the new Gourmet Burger Company which has recently opened in Brindleyplace right next to the mainline canal (in the space formerly occupied by The Pitstop… good riddance to that!).

Overall verdict: A bit pricey, but worth a visit if you like a good burger.
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We Love Porn!

Woo! This just in: Google claims that more web surfers in Birmingham search for porn than in any other city in the world!

We’re #1! Keep it up, you perverts! ;-)

UPDATE: I forgot to post a direct link to the Google Trends results.

Abuse of Power

So the other day a co-worker (let’s call him Bob) was getting on a Virgin train to head over to the NEC arena for a concert. He was running late, and only had a minute or two to get on the train, so he headed for the closest carriage. The door was being blocked by one of the Virgin train staff, so Bob asked the guy to get out of the way. The guy did not move. So Bob asked him again. Still the guy did not move. So Bob went around him, pushing the guard slightly out of the way as he did so (because the guy was blocking the way), and, angered by the lack of cooperation from the guard, muttered some phrase like “wanker”. Bob then proceeded down the carriage to find a seat, at which point the guard turned and followed him. Upon catching up with Bob, the guard got in his face and retorted “oi, you can’t talk to me like that you little sh*t!”, at which point Bob, not wishing to be so close to the guard, backed off and pushed the guard back. This angered the guard even more, who then took a swing at Bob and actually hit him! Bob, not wanting to get in a fight, just walked off and found a seat. The train was then delayed while the guard called the police, who came and took Bob off the train and put him in a cell for two hours, without letting him explain his side of the story nor even let him call his parents (who were waiting for him at the NEC)! Eventually he was allowed to give his version of events, but because there were no witnesses (the train was empty), it’s basically Bob’s word vs the guard. And of course, because the guard is in a position of authority, the police are probably going to believe his story over Bob’s. No charges have been pressed yet, but Bob is not planning on letting the guard get away with this…

No More HP Sauce!

Nooooooooooooooooooo! I just came across a news report saying that the production of HP sauce is going to move from the HP Foods factory in Aston to the Netherlands! Sounds like another knock to business in the Birmingham area. Hopefully this won’t lead to any sort of HP Sauce shortage, though.

mmmmmmmmm sausages and HP sauce…. *drool*

2005/2006 Premiership Finale

Today saw the end of the 2005/2006 Premiership. Although the race was won a couple of weeks ago by Chelski, there were still a few battles to be fought out in other places. Manchester United needed a win over Charlton in order to secure automatic qualification for the next Champions League. Fortunately they accomplished this with ease, cruising to a stylish 4 – 0 win. Arsenal needed a win over Wigan in order to have any chance of reaching 4th place (and a place in the Champions League qualifiers). Tottenham could have beaten them too it had the Spurs beaten West Ham, however a Henry hat trick saw the Gunners hold their end of the bargain, while West Ham’s Carl Fletcher and Yossi Benayoun secured their 2 – 1 victory over the Spurs. So the top four places in the Premiership, in descending order, go to:

1. Chelsea
2. Manchester United
3. Liverpool
4. Arsenal

Now with the bad news… down at the other end of the table, Birmingham have been unable to scramble out of the last 3, although this had been settled since last weekend, which means they’ll be joining their neighbours (West Brom), as well as Sunderland, in the championship next season. Sorry to all you Blues and West Brom fans! :(

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