And that’s why I do it…

Well, it’s one reason, anyway.

I regularly refer back to a post from 2008 on this blog. This one.

Brian Micklethwait’s words originally, but something that I live… er… blog by, every day.

And, if you can’t be bothered to click through, then you probably just need to know that despite commenting on everything from news to sport to weather to politics to whatever this falls under and everything else, this still remains – from time to time – a personal blog. And because this is a personal blog, I do occasionally put personal stuff on it. And then when I look back on it, I can be reminded of exactly how I felt about something back then. Whenever that was.

Like this post from last August:

And it’s a really good thing that I can be reminded of good stuff like that, because last night I played football and it was shit. Really shit.

Sore arse, 40km round trip through the traffic, some floodlights not working, ball with an egg in it, a whole 15 minutes game time, I was rubbish, our whole team was rubbish, the referee was a complete [censored] clown from start to finish and yes, we lost, but to be honest it would only have been very mildly better if we had won, such was the general attitude on display and overall crapness of the whole evening.

Worst game of football (that I was playing in – there have been a few United performances that would still beat it) that I can remember. I broke my rib in two places and tore ankle ligaments in one of them, and it was still better when you consider last night’s bollocks.

I came home and went to bed. At least that went ok.

So maybe I’ll look back on this post in years to come and think: “hey, things have gone better today than I thought”, because I’ll helpfully have the memory of yesterday evening with which to compare it.

Lap

Busy day. Bit late with a blog post.

Thankfully, someone did this, almost knowing that I needed something handy and quick:

And Ah Jesus. Is this quick…

The first 90 seconds are just normal, and then he checks over his shoulder and…

IT SUDDENLY ALL GOES REALLY MENTAL!!

I know that time is valuable and you can’t always find 19:19 to watch a whole video. But if that’s the case, please flick through to a few random points in the video and just watch for a few seconds.

Totally worth it.

These guys are just next level nuts.

Last chance

Last chance for a bit of high quality domestic football today, so I’m not going to miss it.

Unfortunate that the golden confetti on the borrowed image above makes each manager look like they are suffering from some sort of infectious skin disorder.
But never mind that.
It’s the FA Cup Final that we all the service stations on the M6 and M40 were hoping for.

30 minutes to get all the chores done before kick off.
Writing this isn’t necessarily a chore, but it does need to be done.

And now it is.

Before kick off, nogal.

Last day

The last day of an absolutely terrible football season (for Sheffield United, at least). We’ve broken all the wrong records, and it’s been pretty depressing to watch since before day one.

Mismanagement from the board, tactical naivety, a plethora of individual errors, a fragile mentality, a million injuries, a decent slice of bad luck, disappointing loanees, NOT ENOUGH MONEY, and some iffy refereeing decisions… it’s just all added up.

But we are in the Premier League. The best league in the world. And that’s worth remembering.

Because at the end of it all, I have to remind myself that we’re playing teams who can spend a billion pounds or more on the best players in the world. And while that certainly isn’t an excuse for a lot of what we’ve been put through this season, it certainly is a reason for some of it.

A lot of fans are saying that they’re looking forward to being in the Championship again, without the prima donnas and the piles of cash that rules the roost. Bigger fish in smaller pond and all that.
Without VAR too, but I’m always interested to understand how people have forgotten about the pre-VAR days when we complained about the referees and not the technology. Just watching the League Two play off final right now, and the ref made a howler with a penalty decision which would have changed the direction of the match (and likely the winner), and VAR saved the day. We’ll have to accept that sort of thing again, and we’ll be happy about it, right? Right.

More personally, the return to the Championship is also going to mean that I have to spend shedloads of GBPs on a streaming package so I can watch the games. And that’s not going to be pretty in ZARs, especially after the 29th.

Anyway. Last day. Last game. Last chance for a bit of pride. Not much else to play for, nothing matters, so the pressure is off, right?

My stress levels with still be in the high nineties at 5pm. It always matters…

A quick round up

Let’s do a quick recap.

My legs. They still work. And football was a lot of fun, despite the result. I’m giving myself a day off gym and other exercise today, but I’m both happy and mildly surprised to say that I could probably actually possibly do stuff if I wanted to*.


Talking of football, I’ll just repeat myself on this one:

Never bet against Real Madrid in the Champions League*.

An amazing game last night, which I almost ditched in favour of bed with 10 minutes to go, but then (wisely) chose not to. Because you never bet against Real Madrid in the Champions League*.

And, I have to say, VAR even added to the drama. [oi – stop throwing things at me!]
Incredible tension when that second goal went in and was disallowed.
Incredible scenes when that second goal was confirmed…


I added this song to my 2024 Spotify playlist:

Maximo Park meets The Enemy meets The Maccabees, maybe?
Raging, but controlled. Ferociously introspective, but dealing with things. Just.

And a reminder that all my Spotify playlists are here for your enjoyment, free of charge*.


It’s a beautiful day outside, but wow, it’s chilly this morning. It looks like it will be dropping into single figures this weekend after another cold front due tomorrow. The last one didn’t really deliver on its promises, with just 6mm of rain. Still, taking no chances, I have checked all the gutters are clear and I’ve got the firewood ready.
Also, for the first time this year: socks. [Audience gasps]


Anger at Adobe. Anger at James Popsys.

Wow. Photographers can get angry. But it’s justified this time, I think.

Adobe, who charge us many, many Rands for the use of their software (which is obviously fair enough – it’s my choice to subscribe), are embracing AI to the point where they actually use the term “Skip the photoshoot” on their Generative Background menu.

Yeah. Why bother employing a ‘tog?

In a world where AI is replacing many jobs, not least in the creative sector, this feel like a real kick in the teeth.

And photography Youtubers are at it too. James Popsys released a video sponsored by AI photo development tool Luminar Neo. In this video – and I hope you’re sitting down for this revelation – he extolled the virtues of the AI photo development tool Luminar Neo.

This did not go down well with his viewers. There were comments like:

James a couple of weeks ago – embrace imperfections in photos.
James now he’s being paid – use AI to remove power lines.

and:

Yay, a new video from James….. oh, it’s a 12 minute ad for AI πŸ™

and:

Why not just sell your camera and start making photos with an AI image generator?

Which is exactly what Adobe seem to be suggesting above.

Look, there’s likely a place for AI in many aspects of our lives*. And there’s definitely a place for it in photography. But to go in this heavy-handed (and I’m looking at you both, Adobe and James Popsys), well, that’s not the way to put it out there.

* T&Cs apply