Thursday, 17 December 2009

Should Mick McCarthy and Wolves be punished by Premier League?

Mick McCarthy appears to have rested his strongest side against Manchester United. No doubt, reasoning that his side had no chance of getting even a draw at Old Trafford. The reasoning continues that if he rested his strongest side they would all be fit, fresh and raring to go at home to Burnley on Saturday.

There are a number of reasons why such logic does not work and such practices should be severely punished by the premier league.

At the start of this evening Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) were lining up to play Manchester City. Spurs were 10 points behind Manchester United in the table. However, if Wolves had played their weakest side against Spurs on Saturday and Spurs had won and Wolves played their strongest side against Manchester United on Tuesday Night then Spurs could have started the evening only 4 points behind Manchester United. Instead of finishing the evening 7 points behind Man Utd. They would have finished the evening only 1 point behind Man Utd, after their 3 – 0 victory over Man City.

Football is a funny old game. Results and performances are unpredictable. A team at the bottom of the table CAN pull off the occasional surprise by beating a team at the top of the table.

What happens if the season has one game to go. ManUtd and Chelsea are level on points. Wolves have nothing to play for, they are already relegated, but Mick McCarthy is a Manchester United supporter, he hates Chelsea, and their last game of the season is against ManUtd. Mick decides to give his favoured team a better chance of winning the league by fielding a team of reserves. Or, what happens if Mick McCarthy is being pressured by a betting syndicate to throw the game?

By choosing to field a weakened side against Man Utd on Tuesday evening, some will argue that what Mick McCarthy did was throw the game.

Arguing that what he did was cynical, desperate, unprofessional, and dishonest; lacked integrity, lacked ambition, and defrauded the fans; perverted the competition and demeaned the Premier League may not be considered unreasonable.

In Scotland, Rangers and Celtic are the strongest teams by far, but every week teams challenge the Old Firm honestly and with even more vigour than against the other teams. Managers get their teams fired up and they play out of their skins. These teams are a credit to themselves and their managers. If they lose, the managers have got the satisfaction that they got their players to perform and the knowledge that they can demand such performances every week.

As a football supporter, I expect my team to go out and do their best to win every week. In fact I demand it. If my team had a manager that deliberately held back or a player the constantly shirked his responsibilities I would not be particularly happy.

As the chairman of a football club, I would not entertain a manager who would deliberately throw a game or thought that a game was a lost cause before taking the field.

Why do Wolves want to be in the premiere league? Why does Mick McCarthy want to manage a premier league team? Is it just for the money?

Players want to be tested against the best. Great players would be disappointed if they were taking on the best team in the World and that team was unable to play their best team because of injury. They would feel insulted if the opposing manager rested his best players simply because the opposing manger thought that their team was inferior.

Real football players want to play every week and they want to test themselves against the top teams and the top players. Real managers are the same.

Thinking as Mick McCarthy does is for LOSERS.

Managers like Mick McCarthy and teams with the attitude of Wolves have no place in the Premier League. In fact I doubt if they would be tolerated in a Sunday League pub team.

The Premiere League should punish Wolves by deducting 3 points and actively discourage this activity.

Wolves should apologise to their fans and every team in the Premier League.

For their lack of ambition and their lack of integrity relegation is what Wolves deserve, this season and every season until they are no longer involved in professional sport.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Let's Have a Totally Democratic Leader's Debate

John Ryley, the head of Sky News, has written to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to invite them to take part.

There should be a debate. It should be open and democratic and not just include the failures from the past aka Labour, Conservative and Liberal.

Gordon Brown has not had an original idea that has benefited the country in his whole political career. The scrapping of the 10p tax level, he had to reverse. The unfair treatment of Gurkhas, he had to reverse, thanks to Joanna Lumley. The most recent his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, only after being publicly humiliated by former Army General Sir Richard Dannatt.

David Cameron, at the Conservative Party conference has proposed a little tinkering here and there. WAKE_UP!!! The country is £800 BILLION in debt. His plan would not even cover a fraction of the cost in interest payments.

Nick Clegg. Poor Nick Clegg. He is in charge of a party so committed to being on the job that they can’t keep their trousers on. Those that can either appear to be too drunk or too old to care. It is a real shame because this country is crying out for a viable alternative to the recent disastrous administrations that have befallen this country.

So let us not permit Sky News, sibling to the airhead bimbos we see on the US Fox channel, home of the page three boobies, and plaything and power broker medium for Rupert Murdoch to screw us again.

The debate should be open to ALL political parties who satisfy certain criteria. We desperately need new blood and new ideas. An open and democratic solution would be to allow any party who, at the last election, had at least two candidates who did not lose their deposits.

A true British debate would include parties from Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It would include parties that the British public have given a vote to.

A national debate should not pander to past failures.

If you agree, then let your voice be heard, add a comment and pass the word.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Panasonic SDR-S15 Camcorder and the Extorionate Cost of Replacement Batteries (VW VBJ10)

I bought this from
for £159.92 on 9-Jul-2009. The camera has worked well. It is light and easy to use. At the same time I also ordered 3 x SanDisk 8GB SDHC Secure Digital Cards (£11.50 for all 3).

Battery life is always a problem with camcorders and although the SD cards provide ample storage, I have found that actual recording time is limited to 35-40 minutes. This is because the battery will be out of juice by then.

The obvious answer is to buy a spare battery (Panasonic Model No. VW VBJ10). Now remember that the camera is great value at only £159.92, but the spare battery costs £103.99 ( or 65% of the cost of the camcorder - which included a battery).

Yes, there are alternatives, but you have to be careful. I bought one of the alternatives, but it was physically the wrong size.

So there are two problems:

1. Panasonic are charging way too much for their batteries, and that for me will be a disqualifier the next time I buy a product.

2. What is a good alternative battery?

Finally, there is one problem I have in actual use of the camera. The image size is 704 x 576 pixels which gives an aspect ratio of 1.22222:1 not 4:3. Even when shooting 16:9 the image size is still 704x576, except that the top and bottom of the video have been removed (letterboxed).

This is not a problem if you simply plug your camera into your TV set and play. The 16:9 picture is pretty good. However it does become a problem when editing videos and you have to tell the video software that you are using an aspect ratio of 0.8182:1 (576/704). Why? I don't know, but that is what it takes to work.

Monday, 9 March 2009

The true reason behind the economic collapse

The true reason behind the economic collapse

The chart below shows the $ oil price per barrel between 2000 and Feb 2009

The Number one reason was the extraordinary high oil prices. Why has no one mentioned this?

Number two the Banks made some monumentally stupid investment decisions, but remember the reason many of these mortgages went bad was the knock on effect of the high oil prices.
Peter Lynch, the legendary portfolio manager for Fidelity’s Magellen fund which increased in size from $20 million to over $14 Billion ( between 1997 and 1990), gave some sage advice when he said that you should never buy an investment unless you can explain your reasons to a child of ten within two minutes.

Why have the banks have cost us (the tax payer) £trillions of pounds? Do you know? Has anyone explained it to you in a way that you can readily understand? Do not let anyone tell you that it is too complicated. Anyone who tells you that simply does not understand. The public is due a proper explanation. Mortgages that went bad are not the full story. That explanation should come from our Political Leaders and those responsible for the economy.

The public have been let down by their leaders: Political Leaders, Financial Leaders, Industrial Leaders and the Press.

Yes the Press! The press failed to ask the hard questions. The press failed to do their homework. The press did not investigate wrong doing. The press did not investigate incompetence. The press needs to get back to doing its proper job and stop being spin doctors for their favourite political parties.

The public have also been let down by the managers of their pension funds. These are the people who vote to give company chairman and director’s huge salaries which cannot be justified in any way, shape or form. They have a huge say in how companies are run and have a huge responsibility to monitor the companies in which they invest your money.

Warning signs regarding the management of funds had already been seen when it was discovered that many fund managers were just investing in each other’s funds, paying themselves huge salaries and bonuses and relying on the fairy tale that the stock market would just keep rising no matter what.

The warning signs have been there for the banks since Nick Leeson’s rouge trading caused the collapse of Barings bank in 1995. Nick for his part spent six and a half years in a Singapore jail. Why have none of the traders been prosecuted for their part in the current financial fiasco?

We will now return to the number one reason for the economic collapse: the extraordinarily high oil prices ($150/barrel). The economy is a delicately balanced eco system. There needs to be sufficient money running throughout the system for all the parts to function properly. If you like, the economy needs financial lubrication, or cash.

If one resource gets all the lubrication then other parts of the economy will be starved of that vital lubrication. In the UK we have statistics like 7% of the population control 90% of the wealth. Of course if that 7% got greedy and tried to up the percentage of wealth that they controlled then parts of the economy would dry up. They would no longer be able to buy goods and services. The goods and services parts would also then dry up. The system would begin to fail.

This is what happened when oil prices escalated out of control. People had to spend five times as much on energy costs and other parts of the economy went without. In the UK petrol went as high as £1.30 per litre. It cost some people more than a days pay to fill their tanks for a week (20% of their earnings just to get to work). The system began to fail.

There is no doubt that that catastrophe was made far worse by our greedy bankers gambling their assets on high risk investments which they clearly did not understand. They were paid huge salaries because it was assumed that they new what they were doing. In fact they knew didly squat. We need to remember this and adjust the salaries of business leaders in line with their abilities and not their job titles or their inflated egos.

It must be obvious that many of our leaders are running around like headless chickens. The US Republican Party and their spin merchants are spouting the most unutterable garbage. Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister, is full of bluster and bullshit.

Banking chairmen and Business Leaders are the first to look for the lifeboats. What ever happened to Women and Children first?

It must also be remembered that the decisions taken by Tony Blair, George Bush and every single politician who voted in favour of the war in Iraq are primarily responsible for the events that have unfolded since that ill judged decision was made.

What do we need to do here in the UK?

1. Oil prices must be lowered still more to 2002/2003 levels ($30-$35 / barrel).

2. Domestic energy charges for Gas and Electricity must be returned to 2002/3 levels.

3. The massive amount of Government spending must be turned towards investment

projects which will return our investments within 10 years.

4. The UK must be self sufficient in energy (includes vehicle fuel, domestic energy, and

industrial energy usage) within 10 years. This is the best investment we can make.

5. The banks must work out what their investments are really worth and look to see if there

is any true underlying value that can see then make use of these assets. They should not

be permitted to just write them off and let the tax payer pay.

6. High speed broadband (100mbs/sec) should be available to every home and office in the

UK by the end of 2012. The current plans are truly pathetic.

7. Roads, Bridges, and Rail projects must be brought forward and completed by 2015.

8. Hospitals, Schools, and Prison Projects must be brought forward and completed by 2015.

9. The country’s infrastructure must be in a fit state to take full advantage of the economic

upturn when it comes.

The real concern for everyone here in the UK is that the same morons are still in charge.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Online Shopping made easy

RatingsWorld: The Mother of UK Shopping sites
The RatingsWorld website gives you the ability to search approximately 300 stores and 1.5 million products from a single site. You have the best choice on product, price, availability and service.
Find exactly what you want, whether it is clothing, dvd's, video games, or anything else you can think of.
Items I found:
London Theatre Tickets - This is the best layout of London shows I have seen.
The search function is really easy to use and the filters help you remove all the items which are only loosely associated with what you are looking for. It is then easy to do price comparisons from the results returned.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

How to post html source code to your blogspot blog

I had a project the other day which required that I post some HTML and some source code to a blogspot blog. I was fortunate to find an entry for the Microsoft MIX 10K competition that did just that.

The entry is called Blog My Source Code, by the Luddite Developer.

Before downloading the app I would recommend that you have the .NET Framework Version 3.5 SP1 installed.

You can find the application here.

The application does just what it says on the tin. Simply cut and paste the source code to the application, press the Encode button, and copy the result into your blog. Job done. I gave it five stars for its simplicity.