Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Golden Baltics?

Sometime ago I commented on the triumphant return of both Saurav Ganguly and David Beckham from their respective wildernesses. In recent times, Beckham's return has been nothing short of awesome.

Steve Maclaren (or MacClown as he is called in the Brit media!) had to do an immense U-turn to get Becks back into the team for the games against Brazil and Estonia. In both games, Becks was huge and proved exactly what England had been missing. Of course, MacClown had to spoil it all by bigging himself up as the 'mastermind' who decided that Becks should be recalled. Conveniently forgetting that he was also the 'mastermind' who decided to drop him from the England setup in the first place!

Dropping Becks had been nothing but a political statement from Maclaren as he tried to distance himself from the Sven-era. The problem, of course, is that he made the wrong choice then of dropping Becks instead of Frank Lampard. Lamps has rarely been a huge performer in the international stage and even his form in the last season has not been what you would expect from a former top-three finisher in the European Player of the year selection, but Maclaren has never selected a team based on form! His strategy seems to be to only pick players from the top clubs. So, Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith and Jermain Jenas are constantly in the England squad inspite of being no-shows for their clubs. On the other hand, top English performers like Joey Barton, Scott Parker etc do not get into the first team in spite of excellent form. Its weird!

Anyway, coming back to Golden Balls, or Golden Baltics as one newspaper called him after the Estonia game. Becks's return has been so complete that never-before-heard-nor-done things like a manager, Capello, who once claimed Becks would never play again for Real Madrid, is now making statements implying that its all his fault and they should have never let Becks agree a contract with LA Galaxy. The Real board are making noises trying to prove to the supporters that they are doing everything they can to keep Becks at Real, inspite of the fact that they have already sold him to the American club. Of course, at this point in the transfer, its all just an attempt to save face for the board. They should have done this about 6 months ago! Nevertheless, the Real management has been left completely egg-faced with all this. Especially, if they manage to lose the Primera Liga next week, the supporters will let them know how they feel about the shabby way they handled Beck's contract.

Speaking of the Primera Liga, what a mind-blowing weekend it was!! And it could well be another roller-coaster this weekend too. Barcelona may well have handed the league to Real though.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Another brick in the wall...

Damn capitalism! Companies nowadays seem to believe their employees dont deserve any free time at all! Productivity is the mantra; get on that seat boy, nimble up the fingers and churn out lines of code, or whatever you do. How can you have any pudding, if you dont eat your meat? No, its eat your meat, brush your teeth and get back to work, there isnt any pudding anymore.

So whats inspiring this rant? Its them blasted internet firewalls which the corporates use to make sure employees dont get any pudding. I understand the need to block the particularly juicy kinds of pudding of course, after all you dont want your employees drooling in the cubicles and the corridors of this monument to profitable and untiring industry . That degree of freedom might be a few steps too far, and I stand stoically by the corporate in this decision, though with a slightly heavy heart. I even applaud the decision to block all web mail services during the official working hours. After all, the corporate can justly claim that employees only need the corporate mail service for all business purposes. But then, in their frenzy of righteous virtuosity, they decide to follow these decisions by adding another: let there be no sports!!

And thats where this loyal crewmember baulks and abandons ship. To club sports with the afore mentioned juicy stuff and the small discomfort of not being able to check your webmail is highly unfair. An avid football or cricket fan should be allowed to follow the game while at work. After all, the other option is to not show up for work at all!

Sports websites have been blocked for some time now, but the Slayer usually finds a way. I love those remote PC connection tools! Connected to a remote PC which was on a network that did not have sports websites banned, the Slayer was able to peruse the latest news in the world of sports whenever overwhelmed by his tirelessness of the past few working hours. And then came the rude shock today which lead to this overflowing of emotions and attempt of anger management through this rant. When the Slayer connected to that lovely remote PC today, and typed in his favourite football (or any) website URL, following that up by a dramatic rap on the Enter button, he was in for a rude shock - "This website is banned due to its content: Sports. Repeated attempts to access this website will be considered against company policies.". That remote sanctuary with its lush football-field-green pastures had been shut down, the drawbridge has been lifted, the gates closed, the towers manned by archers and the Slayer was on the outside.

Oh hateful, hateful day!

And by-the-way, all those links are to just show off my spanking new snap shots blog tool!! And the juicy pudding link might dissappoint some folks!