Saturday, 11 September 2010

9 Years Later

Before starting this post, I would like to post my condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives 9 years ago today in New York and Washington. The September 11th attacks on the USA will never be forgotten by anyone. The people who lost their lives that day and in the subsequent days afterwards may be gone, but they will never be forgotten. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that even now, 9 years on, looking at the footage is still shocking. I feel this feeling of shock may take a long time to disappear, if it ever does.

I tweeted about watching 102 Minutes That Changed America. I watched it twice. For those who haven’t seen it and have no idea what it is, it is handcam footage of 9/11. The documentary starts just after the first tower has been hit, and tracks the 102 minutes that follow in real time. It is one of those shows that you know is horrible (you see footage of people jumping from the towers, the 2nd tower being hit and both of them falling) but you cannot stop watching. When watching it for the 2nd time I expressed relief for never having gone through anything even half as bad as that. I simply cannot imagine what these people were going through – watching 102 Minutes helps you to understand as best as you can without being there I guess.

Of course, 9/11 is a significant event in history. Just like some significant events (and some insignificant events) – people consider that 9/11 has a conspiracy theory attached to it. Already this morning I’ve seen someone post that the US government should be ashamed of itself. Now, if that was in the context of suggesting it has been 9 years since these attacks at the world is still as volatile as ever, I would agree the US government has failed. However this is of course suggesting that the US government is to blame for the attacks (Al-Qaeda would probably say they are at fault for 9/11 with their middle east policy – that is not the context I am inferring, more that the government allowed people to attack the towers and kill thousands). I’m not out to call all people who believe conspiracy theories stupid – but to believe them without any real basis is questionable. On YouTube there are quite a few videos “proving inconclusively” that the attacks were caused by the US government – I’d imagine that is why its tucked away on YouTube and not being debated in the corridors of power (oh right, its being suppressed – I’m with you.....) I’m not saying it is not possible that there was more to these attacks than some pissed off extreme Muslims (if indeed, you can even call members of Al-Qaeda Muslims), I’m just saying it’s unlikely – and to suggest you have complete utter solid conclusive proof that it was the US govt or Israel or aliens (could have been right?) on YouTube completely defeats your argument anyway. If you believe in conspiracy theories, today is not the day for them. Today is a day to remember the people who lost their lives in this tragedy.

Some other thoughts

• During the World Cup, I gambled a little bit and aside from one good win, it was a story of lost money. It was then I thought “maybe this isn’t for me” as the win/lose ratio was very poor. However the new football season has started and we’re well into the football league and I started gambling here and there again. For me, betting on football is better than playing the lottery. Granted, if you win the lottery you tend to win fairly big (jackpot wise) and as a rule this isn’t the case when you are betting 50ps or £1s on football – it is more likely that a win will occur. I appear this season however to be a black cloud on betting. I bet in accumulators usually. It is better returns if you can get games come in though so it is good. The story of the beginning of the season was just getting nowhere near the good results. I tend to do 6-7 games and the standard return would be 3 or 4 coming good but not enough for the win. The latest strings of bets have ended missing 1 or 2 games. I’ve decided that I need to bet on different games if doing more than one accumulator and to keep it to a max of 5. Granted, I have a 9 game one on this weekend but I also have a 4 game and a 5 game one on. This sounds quite bad on the face of things but I am quite sensible about it. I still feel shivers when I go into a Ladbrokes branch (my bookie of choice) and see people drop 100s of pounds on football and horses. It is the exact feeling I get when I see people lose big at the casino – a mixture of feeling bad for them and feeling good that it wasn’t me that lost big. Will the black cloud of betting strike again? I tweeted this earlier, but I apologise in advance if I have screwed teams over by backing them.

• I was doing some shopping in Sainsbury the other day and noticed they have Christmas stuff out. Words cannot describe how much I hate the fact shops start promoting Christmas in September. Still better than Selfridges and opening their xmas goods shop in August last year (didn’t read if they were doing that again, so I presume they did).

• It is exactly one week until I make the journey up to London again to see Bill Bailey in Leicester Square Theatre. I seriously cannot wait for this; it is going to be a good one! I’m pretty sure I will have seen most of the jokes when I saw him earlier this year, but I’m not complaining, the man is a genius.

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