Day 193 – Never go Full Sharples

We’ve been here before.

My camera doesn’t work the same as Ian Sharples’ camera. My camera produces reasonable, lifelike images, not like the spectacular stuff that “comes straight out of the camera” Chez Sharples.

Stuff like this:

or this:

or this:

Sweet Jesus.

Well, it must be a very special camera. Or a very broken camera. Because sunrises over Ramsey don’t look like this. They often look very nice and very pretty, but they don’t look apocalyptic. I know this because I have friends whose homes overlook Ramsey Bay and who take photos of the sunrises because they look nice and pretty (the sunrises, not necessarily the friends) (shall we park this one right here and move on with the rest of this post?) (yes, we shall).

Their photos don’t look like these ones.

And so we can deduce that the images above are the result of one of three situations:

1. A massive nuclear explosion over England, which lies to the east of the Isle of Man.
2. A massive saturation explosion performed on Ian Sharples’ computer, or
3. A completely unique camera which our protagonist possesses which produces blindingly oversaturated images like these.

The continued existence of England tells us that it’s not number 1. All sense, logic and reason tells us that it’s number 2. But Ian tells us that it’s number 3. So why – apart from the fact that all sense, logic and reason tells us that it’s number 2 – wouldn’t we believe him?

Well, it’s just that he also occasionally takes photos of other things which aren’t blindingly oversaturated. Admittedly, not sunrises, but why would his camera not blindingly oversaturate everything, not just the Ramsey Bay sunrise images he posts for likes on Facebook?

It’s just weird.

My camera doesn’t work the same as Ian Sharples’ camera. My camera produces reasonable, lifelike images. If I want to make images of sunrises or whatever else that look like Ian Sharples’ sunrise images, I have to use software and drag several (or more) of sliders all the way to the right*.

This takes time, so I have created and saved a preset called Half Sharples:

You’ll see that I have a couple of other presets there too: Astro fix, which helps me with images like this one; Project Orange Bright Light fix which assists with photographs taken in and around orchards in the midday Mpumalanga sunshine, and Full Sharples, which I’ve never dared use.

I’m not sure my computer could take it.

There’s simply a limit to the processing power of my laptop. Just as there is a limit to the cerise pixel quotient on my fancy screen. And then there are my eyes. I only have two and they’ve got to last me all my life. Basically, the expense of replacing your motherboard, GPU and monitor, and the medical costs of mending your retinae is simply not worth the risk.
Even if you do want a few more likes on social media.

Save yourself.

Just say no.

Not even once.

Never go Full Sharples.

 

 

* just like he does

Day 188 – Football is ruined

Football. It’s ruined.

For me, at least. It could be that other people are still enjoying football, but if they enjoyed football a few years ago, I simply can’t see why they would still be enjoying football now.

Because it’s ruined.

Not all the reasons behind this ruination are football’s fault, but equally, some of them certainly are, and football would do well do look at the stuff it can control and then control it better. Especially since the causes of football’s ruination are cumulative and so removing some of those causes would make things a bit better.

Let’s run through a few of the things which have ruined football. And while doing so, let’s also remember that this is a sport that I – like many others – have loved for several (or more) decades. It pains me to see it this way and it pains me to write this post. (I’m quite sure it pains you to read it too, but that’s nothing to do with football.)

The crowds are gone. And football without crowds is crap. Whether it’s 33,000 at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane or 120 up at Sandygate, it’s amazing the difference that having supporters at games makes. The novelty (if there ever was any) of hearing the players and managers shouting expletives at one another has well and truly worn off. And the fake FIFA20 noises were briefly amusing but are now very annoying. And haven’t improved in their accuracy.

This one isn’t changing any time soon. March 2021 before they even risk trying again, I’m told.

The commentators‘ desperate efforts to keep the audience engaged in games which are very dull because the standard is poor or because it’s 5-0 with 2 minutes remaining are becoming ever more irritating. Yes, they need us to hang around so that we can boost the figures for viewing their adverts, but phrases like “there’s still time for a miracle comeback” should only really be used on Easter Saturday outside a cave in Jerusalem, and are plainly completely inaccurate when Fulham need to score 4 goals in 25 seconds to scrape a draw.
Or 4 goals in any length of time, to be honest.

And the co-commentators are getting worse as well. Thankfully, it seems that David Pleat is only dug up from his vault and briefly semi-reanimated when everyone else is busy or infected these days, but hey, step forward Jim Beglin stating the bleeding obvious with gems like:

Yeah, well Arsenal will be hoping to keep a clean sheet this evening.

and (on Arsenal’s goalkeeper):

Yeah, well I think he’ll be glad he was in that position because it came straight at him.

No shit, Sherlock. Thanks, Einstein.
I’m so glad that they’re paying you the big bucks for insight like that. Honestly, I would pay almost as much never to hear your irritating, talent-free, Irish/Scouse voice polluting the air in my living room ever again, you lousy, utterly clueless goon.

And I’m clearly not alone. Because how many other co-commentators have their own Facebook group like this?

No. I didn’t set that up. It’s real.

Then there are the changes to the handball rule. Utterly ridiculous. I don’t want to get technical here (and so I won’t), but the rules are crap and they’re being applied poorly.

Even  with helpful synopses like this:

and this:

… it just all seems like randomised, inconsistent guesswork from the referees.

And while we’re on the subject of refereeing, even those who hate VAR have (to some degree, at least) welcomed the new guidelines instructing referees to use pitchside monitors during games this season. It’s just that they don’t seem to be using them very much, or very consistently. It’s massively frustrating, especially when everyone except them can see that they’ve got a big decision wrong and the technology is there to put it right and… isn’t used.

There could be a lighter, happier side to try to balance out all these ills, but as discussed earlier, that’s not there right now either. And yes, of course that just makes the whole thing even more miserable.

It all adds up and now it’s got to the point where my FOMO at not watching games has been easily overcome with my desire to just go to bed. I haven’t watched a single minute of this last weekend’s Premier League football and I haven’t missed it at all.

Big wow? Yes, big wow.

You need to understand just how scary that is for a guy that will watch literally every minute of every live game he can, no matter how arbitrary or pointless those matches may seem to be.

There is a hole in my life where football-based enjoyment used to be and it’s making me very sad.

Football is ruined and needs to be unruined as soon as possible. Will someone please sort it out?

Day 176 – Tracked

I’m going away this weekend and you know that because I’ve just told you, but apparently, the government will know that because I have the Covid tracker app on my phone.

“OMG!”

(some of) the nation cried.

“They want to track our every move.
They want to know where we go, what we do, who we meet, when we poo.
THEY WANT TO STALK US!”

Wow. How utterly dramatic and ridiculous and desperate.
(I’m talking about the people, not the government.)

Yep. Because if the government really wanted to stalk you, they’d probably just look at the data from your registered SIM card. So I guess that the fact that you haven’t been spirited away by clandestine extrajudicial forces just yet can only mean one of two things. Either they’re not actually tracking you after all, or they are tracking you but you’re so f____g dull and unimportant that they actually don’t give a toss what you do or where you go.

But there are other options for the SA spies and the CIA and Mossad and MI5.

Maybe they could look at your Instagram with the pictures of your car and your daughter all over it.
Maybe they could wander onto your Facebook or your Youtube or your Twitter profiles and extract information from there.
What about your licenced car(s)? Your firearm? Your ID book? Your driving licence? Your house insurance? Your GPS tracker on your vehicle?
What about your municipal rates bills? Your bank accounts? Your medical aid?

All that valuable – and often public – information about you, your life and your family so readily available, and yet there you are still living free and easy, almost as if the government doesn’t actually give a flying f__k what you’re doing.

But yeah, sure: they’re going use the information from the bluetooth on your phone to find you when you’re planning a coup d’etat going to Pick n Pay or playing with your kid in the local park, and fling you into Pollsmoor.

Day 172 – Spring clean

I have noticed that it’s time to have a Spring clean. Not in the house (although…), but online.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve blogged about this before (yes, here we are), but those little annoyances on Facebook and Twitter which you can ignore on a day to day basis can subconsciously mount up and you get to a point where actually, it’s just better to unfollow, mute, unfriend, block or otherwise rid your platforms of those individuals who are the repeated culprits.

Preserve your sanity and make each day just a little better.

I’m talking about those people who post on a single subject (it’s usually politics, but anything goes) to the exclusion of everything else. Now, please note that I’m not necessarily throwing anyone out based on their political views. I’m not one of those people who requires the perfect echo chamber to be able to use social media. I like the occasionally thought-provoking posts from those with different viewpoints, even when I don’t agree with them.
Equally, I’m always happy to see people validate my point of view. Of course I am. We all are.

But if you are posting n times daily solely about any one topic: be it Brexit or Cyril or Football or Covid, and nothing else, then I’m afraid* it’s goodbye.

 

I’m talking about those people who enter those “competitions” to “win” a car or a holiday. The ones where “last week’s winner, Becky R, wasn’t eligible to win the Land Rover Discovery because she was underage”. Never mind that the page didn’t even exist last week and you’ve just voluntarily supplied them with all your personal information to sell on. Muppets.

I love the reaction when a certain quizmaster calls them out on it:

Yeah, I know it’s not real, but what if it is?

wut?

If you are wondering why on earth those (mainly) Nigerian phishing schemes:

Hi Dear,
You have a donation of $3,800,000.00 ( 3 million and eight hundred thousand dollars).
My name is Richard Wahl from  united states. I won America lottery worth $533 million and I am donating a portion of it to 10 lucky people and a few Orphanage homes as a memorandum of goodwill to humanity. Kindly get back me via Email for more info.

are still ongoing, it’s because of people like these.

Goodbye.

 

And finally, I’m talking about those people posting cryptic statuses simply to elicit attention. The ones like:

Oh no. I can’t believe it’s happened again!

or

 Just got the greatest news!

These are just passive-aggressive cries of “Notice Me! Me! Me!”.

If it was so bad, why not tell us about it up front – or not at all? If it was so good, why not tell us about it up front – or not at all?

Yep. I know that I’m the one following you** suggesting that I am at least mildly interested in your life, but either tell me or don’t. I’m really not going to put in the time and effort to dig deeper only to find that your toaster is on the blink for the second time this year or that your local Pick n Pay have stock of your favourite sort of rooibos tea. (Please note that (however puerile it might seem), I would have no issue with you simply telling me that your toaster was broken or your tea was in stock – it’s the “mysterious” way you choose to do it that’s the problem here.)

No. Spare me.

 

And so, if you should fall into any of the above categories, you’re likely to find yourself expunged from my social media life in the very near future. I wouldn’t put up with it in real life, so why should I accept it online?

I’d like to say that it’s nothing personal, although of course, it very clearly is.

Cheerio!

 

* this is merely a figure of speech: I’m not actually afraid at all
** although not for much longer

Day 168 – Pandemic ends as parent is “so over it already”

Great news.

A parent on a local Whatsapp group has single-handedly ended the Coronavirus/Covid-19 world pandemic.

During a discussion around the need for safety protocols including sanitising your hands and wearing a mask* at an indoor venue, the parent happened to remark:

But really now I am so over this already

And added a facepalm emoji for extra gravitas (please note that touching one’s face is not recommended).

Anyway, it seems that someone important was reading the aforementioned Whatsapp group, as a statement from the SARS-CoV-2 virus was issued very shortly afterwards. It’s fairly lengthy, so I’m not going to share the whole thing, but here’s some of what the spokesperson had to say.

As the officially recognised causal agent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SARS-Cov-2 virus was both disappointed and alarmed to learn that one of the parents in the [redacted] Whatsapp group was “so over this already”. It was believed that the human population of the planet were at least content with the situation as it currently stands. We had no idea that people were unhappy with how things were going.
Someone should have said something.

While it was always our intention to kill as many people as possible – a goal assisted by individuals being “so over” wearing masks, washing their hands and socially distancing – we’d like to keep our relationship with mankind as amicable as possible, and so we will be ending the global pandemic with immediate effect.

We would have done this much sooner if we had known that really now people were so over this already.

So there you have it.

If only someone had made the point that really now they were so over this already previously.
We could have avoided an awful lot of fuss.

Personally, really now I’m so over people ignoring Covid-19 regulations because really now they are so over this already.

Want more regulations? Then just keep choosing to ignore the ones we have now.

Very straightforward stuff.

 

* clutches pearls, fans face, faints dramatically