Friday 23 May 2014

Week38 - Success! We won! At long last

Stewart was an amazing person -  A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle.  He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and will be missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good.  We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer.  If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which recently appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent.  It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.


His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…

Before we begin this week’s ramble/grumble/gramble please take the time to read this article which appeared in Tuesday’s Daily Mail [What?  Your favourite newspaper? – Ed.].  For once, the paper has it spot on -

Right on with the nonsense.

Do you drive a car?  Odd question to ask, I know, but do you?  How fast can it go?  Another daft question, but it is leading somewhere.  I would wager that its top speed is about 100mph.  Am I right?  I know I am close with that because even the smallest cars around these days seem to be capable of the magic ton.  Next question.  Why?  Why does any car need to travel at that speed.  For a start, it is illegal in most countries to travel on the road so quickly.  In Britain, the highest speed at which you can drive legally is 70mph and that is only on dual carriageways and motorways.  Other roads vary from 30 to 60mph.  All you good folk from Britain are probably wondering why I am bothering to tell you all of this.  I am catering for our overseas readers, of which there are many.  In the US of A this blog is a bit of a cult, you know.  I said cult.

Any road up, you are perhaps wondering where this is leading.  Am I perchance going to berate manufacturers for producing goods which cannot be used to their full potential?  I could.  Some other time, perhaps.

Am I going to have a pop at the Beeb Beeb Ceeb for their laddish programme Top Gear?  A programme which is presented by three old youths who think that driving recklessly and fast is not wrong; or that driving a motorhome off a ski ramp is clever.  Actually, I have no idea if that has been done or not, but it is the sort of ridiculous stunt that three old men in jeans might come up with.  I could go on, but I won’t.  Not now, anyway.

So what is my gripe?  Not really a gripe or even a grumble.  It is just a statistic or fact that I am going to give you.  I asked you if you knew your car’s top speed capability.  Obviously, you know that because the car’s specification gives this information.  What you may not know is the average speed at which you travel in your car.  Many cars have trip computers which give the details.  Have you ever actually looked at your car’s average speed?  I have and I was a little shocked, but more dismayed than anything.

My car is nothing special.  It is barely capable of that magic ton.  I have never driven it at any speed even approaching that figure, officer.  However, I did expect its average speed to be a little bit higher than…what would you think?  Many roads that I drive have 50, 60 or 70mph speed limits.  Assuming that I drive on or about these limits, what do you reckon is the average speed of my car over its ‘lifetime’?  Would you believe 22?  Seriously, 22 miles per hour.  It makes a mockery of cars like the Ferrari F40 (top speed 202mph), McLaren F1 (240mph), Bugatti Veyron (267mph) or the new kid on the block; the Hennessey Venom GT, an American car which recently wrested the crown as the world’s fastest road car with 270.49mph.  What is the point?  Imagine spending your millions on one of those and averaging 22mph!

So what is the reason for such a low figure?  Traffic.  Sorry pardon excuse me?  Traffic.  There is just so much of it, isn’t there.  When you travel anywhere it is always very much a stop/start journey because of the sheer volume of traffic trying to negotiate the same stretch of road.  My car does have a trip computer.  It also has engine cutoff.  When the car is stationary – say at lights or in a traffic queue – the engine switches off and a running total is kept of the amount of time it is stationary.  All very clever and all very depressing.  The time spent sitting at lights, in lines of traffic etc. is often as much as a quarter of the journey time; that’s the depressing bit.  Do you know what is even more depressing?  The fact that the average speed I quoted you does not take these periods into account.  I have checked.  So the 22mph figure is actually too optimistic.

Where is this leading, I hear you ask.  Like the car itself, nowhere; other than it gives me a seamless link to this week’s Gramblerplan diet advice.  Ask me how I did last week at the weigh-in.  [Okay.  How did you do at the weigh-in last week? – Ed.]  Don’t ask.  Anyway, here is this week’s eminently sensible advice to help you on the Gramblerplan diet.  Leave the car at home whenever you can.  There.  If a journey is walkable, walk it.  For longer journeys, what about using a bike?  There you are.  Brilliant advice, I think you will agree.  Not only will you be fitter, you will be better off. [Not if you’ve got to buy a bike, you won’t! – Ed.]

Okay, any birthdays of note this week?  Yep.  Born on the 24th of May 1941 was none other than Elston Gunnn (with 3 n’s).  No?  What about Blind Boy Grunt?  Still no?  All right, how about Bob Landy?  Robert Milkwood Thomas?  Tedham Porterhouse?  Jack Frost?  Sergei Petrov?  Lucky/Boo Wilbury?  In case you didn’t know, these are all names used at one time or another by this week’s birthday boy, Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan.

I’ll let you into a secret.  I can’t stand Bob Dylan.  That isn’t quite correct; I am sure he is a lovely bloke.  It’s not him I can’t stand, it’s his voice.  When he starts to ‘sing’…Argghhh!  I know that will upset a lot of you good folk of Gramblerland, but I just don’t like the noise he makes.  It is meant to be singing, but it reminds me of trying to start a car when the battery is a bit flat.  He has written some cracking songs, I’ll give him that.  Just don’t sing them please.  Anyway, in amongst all those great songs there must be a good un to gramblerise.  Mr gramblerine man?  Like a grambling stone?  Grambling in the wind?  The times they are a-grambling?  Nope.  I’ve gone for this one…

Gram, gram, gramblin' on heaven's door
Gram, gram, gramblin' on heaven's door
Gram, gram,, gramblin' on heaven's door
Gram, gram, gramblin' on heaven's door


Right on to the grambling.  How did we fare with last week’s bet.  WE WON!  WOO HOO!  WE FINALLY WON!  GRAMBLER FOR KING!  BRILLIANT! [Please make sure that exclamation mark after the word king is there when this gets posted. – Ed.]

Here’s what happened…

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds


Newbury             3.50            Olympic Glory             11/10

It won.

Newmarket        4.05            Pinzolo                         6/5

It won.

Newmarket        4.40            Yuften                          8/11

It won.

Doncaster           5.55            Haxby                           4/5

It won.

Uttoxeter            8.50            Forever Field              4/6

It won.

Not really a lot you can say about horse racing, is there.  Horses race one another.  One goes faster than the others.  It wins.  Erm…that’s it.

Ironic though, isn’t it?  The Grambler has been randomly selecting football results for two seasons with only occasional success; the first time he/she/it picks just horseracing…ker-ching!  Can he/she/it do it 2 weeks on the trot (or should I say, at the gallop?)?  Doubt it.  We will give it a go, anyway.

Slight problem.  I like to post this before Saturday if at all possible.  Friday is late for me.  Unlike footy, where things are fixed way before an actual game, horse racing can alter right up to the last moment.  It is pretty much impossible to get accurate odds until the very day a race is due to take place.  Any road up, my point is that, if you good people out there in Gramblerland wish to have a bet on the races selected by The Grambler, you will have to move quickly as they all take place today.  Sorry.

These races are all due to take place today, May the 23rd.

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds


Haydock             2.00            Luck of the Game                10/11

Haydock             2.30            Winslow                                 10/11

Goodwood         2.20            Parsley                                   4/6

Towcester          8.50            Carnival Flag                       8/13

Pontefract          7.30            Kasb                                                4/9

If all these donkeys run faster than the other donkeys in the same race then the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of…


Fantastic or what.  What.  Definitely.  Thanks to shi…not very good odds, the amount we might win this week is a bit piffling.  How exactly does one piffle?  Anyway, will it happen?  Two weeks running?  Do me a favour.

Do you realise that we have covered all the usual rubbish without even a mention of football?  What kind of a football blog is this?  Time to remedy the situation.  I am now going to give you a couple of Stewart’s awful gags from another of his on-line pages.  Readers of from way back have probably seen them, but these should be new to some of our more recent converts.  Hope you like them…


Okay, time for our teaser.  Last week I asked what first was attributed to Everton’s Goodison Park in 1957.  Answer:  they were the first club to install under-soil heating.  That’s very interesting.

This week’s footy teaser?  Ryan Giggs has just announced his retirement from playing football having spent 24 years playing for Manchester United.  In that time he has made a record 963 appearances for the club.  Obviously, that includes games when he was brought on as a substitute.  But which Englishman holds the record for appearances (albeit with several clubs) without even being brought as a sub?  Hmm…Tricky one that.

Think it over.


Happy grambling.

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