Sunday, June 13, 2010

Canadian Grand Prix

Well, that was a cracker wasn't it ?

So into my F1 these days, and an absolute McLaren convert since the tour of their Technology Centre.

Contemplating a trip to Spa for August Bank Holiday as a late birthday present to myself...


There now follows a transcript of my reaction to ITV HD cutting to an advert and missing the England goal last night. I will leave out the swear words.

Dismal England Performance

No, no, not THAT. I'm talking about the rugby.

We seem to have regressed back to 1991, stick it up your jumper. Australia are building up nicely into an exciting team that is all set to break All Black hearts *again* next year.

It's not good Johnno, it's really not. We need a playmaker at 10 or 12, and we need pace at 13. Picking two bangers in the centre is not going to work in international rugby - they tackle too well. And our backs' kicking out of hand has been consistently poor for so long now its unbelievable this has not been addressed.

Kudos for hanging in there and making a game of it, but I'm afraid Australia's young boys gave our lumbering old men a right run around.


Why is it that when I come under pressure at work, as I have in recent weeks, the first things I sacrifice are the things that help me let off steam (RSS, blogging, Twitter etc) ?

It just means I end up abusing my only remaining outlet - alcohol - which just leads to an ever decreasing spiral of depression.

Going to make a conscious effort to rectify this starting now. It's either that or I'm going to start punching people in the pub.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wild Card I

Watched both NFL play-offs last night - okay, so I watched the second half of the second this morning, same difference.

I'm not sure whether the Bengals and Eagles were dire, or whether two very good defences just made them look that way, but Cincinnati and Philadelphia fans are going to be awful depressed this morning.

The Jets looked solid without being spectacular. They have a tough road trip to either Indianapolis or San Diego next week, and it'll be a lot harder for them to deal with those more multi-faceted offences. I'm hoping that they do us a favour and beat Indianapolis, so if we manage to pull off an upset in California, the AFC Championship game will be at Foxborough. Probably too much to ask for, and I'm not counting my chickens about the Ravens tonight - I think that's going to be very close.

Dallas look like they're on the verge of something special. Solid defence, options in the backfield, maturing quaterback, good receiving corps - potentially they've got the lot. This year may be one too early for them, but they're becoming one hell of a unit.

Snow Business

Yuck. What a week. Didn't make it to work after Tuesday, as my rear-wheel drive car is for motorway cruising, not skidding around in the snow.

Roads around here are slowly improving as it melts, which at least meant I could get to the shops yesterday (albeit using my wife's front wheel drive), but another hefty snowfall and it's back to square one.

I hate working from home. It's so restrictive. Audio conferences are hopelessly inferior to real meetings, and I can't really talk to my team without micro-managing them.

This week's going to be an interesting one. Lots of big decisions to be made.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Man Down

Just heard that Wes Welker has torn both knee ligaments and is out for months.

What a disaster for him and the Patriots. He has been the most consistent receiver in the league for the last three years.

Why oh why oh why did we play any of our starters today in a game that meant basically nothing. What an expensive lesson to learn.

Our chances of making the AFC championship game are now basically zero. Any win next weekend will be a good win. Chances of a an upset the week after are now very small.

Having lost Brady to the same injury for the whole of last year, we're not exactly doing well for luck atm...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Today in Sport

So England surprised me by winning the toss and choosing to field. That may have been partly due to the local weather conditions. Great start, but only one wicket in the final session means honours even on day one. How England bowl with that nearly new ball tomorrow morning will have a big say in this match.

Manchester United. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Gotta love that. Ages since a proper giant-killing, but that definitely qualifies.

Villa have another home draw, against Brighton. We'll take that.

Patriots lost, but there was very little on that game. Watching the Cowboys beat the Eagles right now - that's a surprise, I fancied Philadelphia for at least the NFC championship game. They may yet get there...

Darts final was awesome - 7-3 Taylor does not tell the story, Whitlock pushed him all the way in almost every set. 15 titles in 21 years - has any sportsman ever dominated so much ?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

General Election 2010

So, there's going to be a General Election this year, probably in May.

I think Armando Iannucci summed it up best, when he likened the prospect of a Tory government to a knee-operation.

“You know it’s going to happen, it’ll get done and you’ll probably walk a little bit better as a result, but you’re not really looking forward to it.”

Truth is, all of the three main parties are left of me and far more authoritarian. I despair of Cameron - unless he's playing a very clever game and is planning to lurch back to traditional Conservative principles after securing the election, I see him nothing more than a slightly less spiteful and more woolly version of Brown/Blair.

However, mainstream thinking goes that UKIP and (even more so) the Libertarian Party don't yet have the following that means they would be anything other than a wasted, or worse, a split vote that lets in the socialists. Given they don't so much count the Tory vote in my constituency, as weigh it, that argument cuts no ice with me. Truth is, I've never lived in a marginal constituency, so my vote has never counted for anything.

So I guess I'll see who's standing in my area and will have the luxury of voting with my heart rather than my head.

Sporting Predictions 2010

Random prediction time.

The team that win the toss tomorrow morning in Cape Town will bat and win the match, and the series.

Villa to narrowly miss out on the top 4, but we'll be in at least one cup final.

Patriots to win at home next weekend, but lose away in the next round. Hard to call a Superbowl winner, five very good teams this year, but I reckon the Chargers have the momentum and the best balance and will sneak it.

England to finish fourth in the 6 Nations, beating only Scotland and Italy.

England to lose a key starter to injury before the World Cup finals, but make the semis anyway.

And believe it or not, its another Ashes year ! Australia to win in Brisbane, England in Perth, a draw in Adelaide, Aussies to win in Melbourne, and Swanny to spin us to an Ashes retaining victory at Sydney.

Disclaimer : I am not responsible for any betting losses incurred. However, commission for winnings will be gratefully accepted !

A New Decade

Let's be honest. 2009 sucked big time.

Professionally, very frustrating. Trying to stop people making bad decisions all day, every day, gets exhausting after a while.

Financially, well not as bad as it could have been, but the house move we thought would see our boys through until they were ready to leave home, fell through and we're just not getting a sniff for ours at the moment. See what happens in the next few months, but son number one's secondary school allocation may bring this back to the top of the agenda. If that goes wrong and he ends up destined for the local sink school, desperate times may lead to desperate measures.

Personally, it was a new low. My father passing away very suddenly and unexpectedly in May rocked the whole family for the rest of the year. When you see a man who has worked hard all his life enjoy less than two years of his retirement, it makes you question both your own mortality, and your life goals. Thankfully, my wife has been an absolute rock, so even when I felt like I was cracking up, which was probably more often than I let on, I could always come home to her.

So what's going to be different about 2010 ?

Well, as with every year, I need to cut down on the drink and up the exercise. I think the events of last year might actually make me do a little better this year. I'm not going to become a saint overnight, but if I can average one less night of hedonism per week, and one more session at the gym, then that will go a long way.

I tweeted three actual resolutions too. I haven't made any for many, many years, so this is a change.

Resolution 1 : Tweet more often. #nyr 2:40 PM Jan 1st from dabr

Resolution 2 : Resume blogging. Find a theme, build an audience. #nyr 2:42 PM Jan 1st from dabr

Resolution 3 : Meet up in the flesh with the people I only talk to online these days. #nyr 2:44 PM Jan 1st from dabr

Well, have now made a start on the first two...