Born Sleepy

October 07, 2010

Well, the electrical work seems to have finished, and other that a bit of local DNS weirdness that I’m experiencing here, everything seems to be ok.

Let me know if you have any problems viewing this site.


October 06, 2010

We’re having some electrical work done here at Chaos Towers in the next day or two*, which I fear will mean that our servers may be coming and going a bit, since they are hosted locally.

So if everything disappears for a while on Thursday/Friday, fear not - it should be back by Saturday at the very latest.

(* it’s amazing how much power killer death rays draw - turns out that world domination can only be achieved with three-phase power**)

(** actually, that’s a lie, we just need a new fuse box***)

(*** or is it…?!)


August 14, 2010

Last weekend QPR started off our league campaign with a 4-0 victory over Barnsley. Whilst the result was a bit flattering (two of the goals were penalties, and Barnsley were rubbish), it was hard to complain with a start like that. We ended the day top of the league on goal difference.

Fast forward three days and we played Port Vale in the League Cup. Despite them being two levels below us in the league structure, they comprehensively beat us 3-1.

I was more disappointed with the team selection than the ultimate result of this game. We made quite a few changes from Saturday’s team, and although some of them were necessitated by international call-ups, not all of them were.

We gave every impression that we were “concentrating on the league” - ie not taking the cup seriously.

WTF? Hello? We’re QPR. We’re in the Championship. We’re not Barcelona, snowed under by Champion’s League fixtures and World Club Cup malarky! And anyway, it’s the first week of the season!

It seems to me to be pretty poor psychology to pick a weakened team for cup games, especially coming off the back of a good victory. It puts the fans in a negative mood. Let’s face it, football fans are never happier than when in a negative mood (perverse and perhaps even oxymoronic, but true). They love nothing better than having a bit of a whinge.

When we pick a weakened team, they have the perfect excuse, especially if it results in a defeat to opposition who we clearly ought to be beating. We pay our money and turn up on a wet Tuesday, and in return we get to see some players who the manager probably doesn’t rate, or who are too young and inexperienced for the first team at this point. Occasionally they impress, and a new legend is born, but more often than not they display all of the qualities (or rather, all the lack of qualities) that the manager saw in them, and which placed them into the reserves in the first place - and so the fans get on their case.

Knocking the confidence of players who are struggling for form is bad enough, but of course some of the players who played on Tuesday were first team players, some of them playing only their first or second game for their new club, and they got tarnished by a bad performance too.

Before you know it you’ve got a few idiots in the crowd who’ve convinced themselves that someone is rubbish on the basis of one performance in a bad team. That sort of thing rubs off on players, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. In extreme cases, it can complete bugger up a players career at a club.

So like I said, bad psychology from the manager!

Surely, so early in the season, it’s better to maintain momentum and pick your strongest team. Apart from anything else, they need more pitch time together, and they need that mercurial match fitness that only playing regularly gives them. This has got to be even more true when you’ve got six or seven new players in the team who barely know each other.

And surely we’re not worrying about them playing too many matches at this stage? If they can’t cope with an extra game now, we’re going to be in big trouble in the spring!

I have one theory about all this. Neil Warnock knows that we need some better players, so he deliberately chose a team on Tuesday that would illustrate the weakness of our squad to the board. If true, I’d say that part one of the cunning plan worked - we clearly do need some better players. Whether part two - the buying of said players - will follow, it remains to be seen.

Whether or not this theory is true, I still think that the danger of some of our better players suffering collateral damage as a side effect is real, and wasn’t worth the risk.

Oh, and of course, I’m pissed off that a wasted a couple of hours of my life on a wet Tuesday!


August 04, 2010

I’ve just finished reading my first novel on the iPad.

There was a certain irony in my choice of material - Singularity Sky, by Charles Stross - as I’d already read half of it as a paperback on holiday a while ago, only to be scuppered when I turned from page 138 and found myself on page 203.

Yes, it turns out that paper books can have bugs in them too! In my case the book had been mis-bound causing a sizeable chunk of the middle section to have been replaced by a copy of another sizeable chunk! Much swearing ensued…

Anyway, that was the paper version - what of the iPad? Overall I found the experience quite favourable.

I’d read a few technical documents already using iBooks, which is pretty functional. The display is great (though an iPhone 4 style retina display would be even nicer), and even reading documentation outside in the park is very manageable.

I’d wondered though whether I’d get tired or feel awkward reading fiction on the thing, late at night or for extended periods of time. Apparently not! Despite it being a bit heavy, the iPad is no worse than a large hardback, and reading in bed was fine. Reading on the train was easier too - other than generating a few interested glances from fellow passengers - since it’s considerably slimmer and easier to fit into my bag. The only thing I missed was reading in the bath!

Regarding software, as it turned out, I didn’t use iBooks, I used the iPad version of the Kindle application instead - which has pretty much the same interface.

My choice of the Kindle app reflects my only real criticism of Apple in the iPad experience so far, which is that the UK book store is absolutely rubbish. I can only assume that this is down to a failure to negotiate licensing deals. The upshot seems to be that if you want to read something that isn’t on the best seller lists, you’re out of luck. Science fiction? I think not, unless it’s so popular that I’ve already read it…

Luckily, Amazon, whilst still not having anything like universal eBook coverage, nevertheless has a much better selection, and the Kindle application is at least as functional as iBooks.

Overall conclusions? Much as I like paper books, I’m sold on the iPad as a reading experience. I have approximately 1000 paperbacks and a couple of hundred hardbacks on my shelves at home, and they don’t half take up a lot of room. One or two are special, but the vast majority are cheap paperbacks, bought second hand, with no intrinsic sentimental value above and beyond their contents. At this stage in my life, the opportunity to do one of my favourite things (reading), without adding more clutter to an already too cluttered existence, feels highly attractive!


I’ve updated my iCal calendar of QPR fixtures for the 2010-2011 season.

You can find a link to the calendar on iCalShare here.

Fingers crossed for a better (and more stable) season this time round…