Sunday, June 18, 2006

The 24-Pass Goal

I missed the Argentina V Serbia match because of a doctor's appointment, and finally got to look at the 24-pass goal via YouTube.

All I can do is shake my head in wonderment and make this Reason #13.

Ouch, that must've hurt

Richard Williams on the English World Cup team:
  • ... the most overrated and under-performing team at this World Cup

  • On Thursday, the midfield resembled a man who has been asked to write a novel in a foreign language, using only a quarter of the letters of the alphabet.

  • Apparently the latest tests identify (Frank Lampard) as the fittest member of the squad, which merely suggests that the medics are testing the wrong things.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thirteen reasons why the World Cup scores over club games

  1. In the World Cup, you represent your country. In club games, you represent your club, which may not even be your home, come next season. Makes a big difference, commitment-wise.

  2. The shot of the Japanese player's closeup fading into the blood red Nippon flag as the national anthem is played.

  3. How you always end up supporting a team -- usually the underdog -- no matter how detached you are the start of the game.

  4. How your legs involuntarily kick out to take possession of the ball as you see the striker either overhit the ball or run out of steam as he approaches the six-yard box.

  5. How you can sort of understand how things like ethnic cleansing happen, when you look at the supporters of the opposite team crowing after their team scores a goal (just kidding).

  6. You want your team to escape defeat so badly that it doesn't matter how the goals come -- your team's witch doctor could have put a spell on the opposite team's goalie, for all you care.

  7. The sheer relief of hearing the final whistle, as the underdog hangs on by the skin of its teeth for the last ten minutes, defending with only ten men against the hot favorite.

  8. There is not a single empty seat in the stadium.

  9. You know it has something to do with the Stockholm Syndrome, but you still feel stupidly sentimental as the opposite team give the ball back after your team sportingly put it out of play so that one of their players can receive treatment.

  10. Every game -- even at the group stages -- is do-or-die.

  11. You'll never forget the sight of Ronaldo being overcome with emotion in the substitutes' bench, as he waited for the whistle to blow in the 2002 final, after he had more than paid back for the ignominy of France '98, including two goals in the final itself.

  12. The agony and the human drama associated with a penalty shootout.

  13. The 24-pass goal.

And we are back to Mandriva

For all its ease of installation, inbuilt support for the Conexant driver and the nifty Free Serif font, Kubuntu 6.06 did not prove to be immune from my PC's freezing problem. Back to Mandriva.

Cheesy Word Play / Quote of the Day

Cometh the hour, cometh the Ahn
-- Gary Bloom on Ahn Jung-hwan scoring South Korea's winning goal against Togo

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Two interesting quotes from a novel I am reading:
Time was not a big deal with (him). Everything was right now. He could read a history book about Rome and get angry about the Roman empire.
Time passes, but sometimes it beats the shit out of you as it goes.
Speaking of time, one of the techniques I use sometimes to fall asleep is to try to define the concept of time. How much ever one tries to do so, it's difficult not to end up with one of these conclusions: a) the passage of time is strictly a mental construct or b) time is very tightly coupled to matter and space; one cannot talk of time in a manner that is orthogonal to either of these things (I sure as hell don't understand relativity theory, but the space-time continuum does sort of make sense).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Rajesh's Law #177

Law #176 doesn't always apply.

Rajesh's Law #176

If a team leads by the odd goal in three when the halftime whistle blows, bringing an exciting 45 minutes to an end, and you look forward to more goals in the second half, you are invariably bound to be disappointed; there will be no more goals, and you will be left wondering whether these are the same players who disappeared into the tunnel during the break.

Meta bad, very bad

I am sitting through ESPN's pre-match discussion of the Germany-Costa Rica encounter. The TV is on mute, and as I keep half an eye on it while my attention is focussed on the computer, a thought strikes me: the amount of time these guys spend talk about something (as opposed to letting one enjoy the actual event) is simply unbelievable. Game plan, win-loss record, who said what about whom, who is hot and who is not, yada yada.

By the time you get to the game, a) your senses are dulled by the sheer amount of commentary you had to put up with and b) you have been fed all kinds of BS predictions which invariably fail to materialise.

P.S. ESPN gave me a fright when they kicked off the match with Hindi commentary; mercifully, this was replaced by English commentary very quickly. Guess somebody had a cojones-in-the-vise moment.

How in the name

... of all that is ineffable, sacred, heavenly and profound did &*^%#ing Harsha Bogle become ESPN's World Cup anchor? Who is responsible for this? And where the hell is John Dyke?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

And the World Cup is here (finally)

Some of the matches begin at 6:30 pm IST, so unless I dash back quickly from work, I may miss the first fifteen minutes or so. Come to think of it, going to bed at 2:30 every night for a month may also not be feasible. I could do it easily when I was in college, when Italia '90 coincided with the summer vacation, but not so now.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Smoothest switchover ever

I must say, the switchover to Kubuntu 6.06 went very smoothly and painlessly, even considering your host's considerable (ahem) Linux experience. I completed the installation in about half an hour or so last night, and started the customisation/tweaking at about nine this morning, and by noon I was pretty much done. My desktop is practically identical (in both look and feel and functionality) to the previous distro -- Mandriva -- minus Mandriva's glitches. Mind you, I have not really started working on the development tools -- gcc, CVS, Anjuta, etc., but all my day-to-day needs are taken care of.

Going to reward myself with a perfect cup of tea.

My work is done

I installed Kubuntu 6.06 today, and was not exactly looking forward to carrying out the steps to install the Conexant driver, when, to my very pleasant surprise, I found that the 2.6.15 kernel has already done so.

I guess I can update my instructions page, lean back and put up my feet.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Purchase free if you don't get a receipt"

I used to look at a similarly worded sign at a local pizza joint and wonder what purpose it served. Now I know the reason.


The more I think about the whole issue, the more I feel that it is a turf war between two rich and powerful groups; the prize being money, power and position, not just for the current generation, but for their progeny as well. Each group puts forward seemingly fair arguments -- the supremacy of merit on the one hand and the setting right of social injustices on the other -- but the real motives are pretty transparent. While all this is happening, the real people who deserve reservation are completely ignored by both groups. The politicians are meanwhile having a whale of a time.

BTW, The Hindu editorial flaming President Kalam for sending back the government's Office of Profit Bill is totally uncalled for; here's one guy who is calling BS on the politicians, and all you can say is that "he's throwing a spanner in the politics of the country"? Shame on you. If you ask me, we don't need a spanner; we need a nuke.