Iskaral Pust

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Everything posted by Iskaral Pust

  1. It's also because the PL has far and away the widest distribution of TV revenue, especially compared to Bayern, Barca and Madrid impoverishing their league competitors.
  2. Shakespeare had some greats: Iago, Lady Macbeth, Portia. Glotka is memorable but I don’t dislike the character. He’s the literary opposite of Umbridge. His self-awareness and internal monologue makes him a great character who does despicable things. Too many books use cartoonish antagonists to ennoble the protagonist. WoT especially. Portia is my overall pick because she was intended as a hero. Aslan would be up there too.
  3. I don’t think it’s a focus problem so much as our midfield thrives in an open game but has few ideas against a tight, defensive shell. On top of that Bobby had a poor game and Mane has been off form for months. But it is peak Liverpool to play City off the park and then lose to Swansea.
  4. Yes, thanks. Locating things that aren't actually hidden is my greatest weakness (and greatest source of bemusement to my wife). Usually google covers my disability but the search function on the board requires a bit more persistence.
  5. And to think I just said in the monthly reading thread that I was surprised there was no dedicated thread for this series. I just needed to look harder. I've read #1-4 within the past three months. It just flies along. I'm really enjoying it, although it has some flaws, notably the gary stu main protagonist and that the treatment of the main characters feels like a mix of Harry Potter and Rand al'Thor -- lots of coupling off, everyone has their own special niche in the team that supports and never over-shadows the star, will he die or not, prince-in-waiting trope plus lots of convenient allies to give him massive power-ups. But I shouldn't focus too much on the flaws. I'd rather enjoy the positives: great focus on tactics and logistics, very good details on arms and armor, innovative magic system that doesn't overpower the story, good breadth in world building that does a very nice job of using familiar geography & history with just enough of a twist to make it an alternate world, enough factions to add interest beyond the simple dark lord trope.
  6. Finished A Plague Of Swords by Miles Cameron, #4 in the Traitor Son Cycle. This series just flies along. Since the fifth installment is the conclusion, I'm sure I'll move on to that pretty soon. This has been a very good series and I'm surprised there hasn't been a dedicated thread. I only heard of it because it was mentioned in these monthly threads. I've now started Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, The Miseducation Years, a humorous social satire about Ireland's over-privileged youth during the Celtic Tiger. It's the first of several novels following this character through his late teens and twenties. It feels like a time capsule because I'm close in age to the character. I did not move in those circles but I had enough peripheral exposure to people like this in University and after. But self-absorbed over-privileged youth is a universal theme for social satire. You don't need to be Irish to enjoy, but it would certainly help with understanding the phonetic accent, slang, etc.
  7. I did not expect the Eagles to stomp the Vikes like this. I did expect that Keenum would be too limited in big games, and that Foles could be better than he has shown in recent games, but the disparity in scores is a big surprise.
  8. Great game, contrast of styles, big momentum switches from tactical adjustments, narrow win decided by quality rather than an error.
  9. Football365.com had an opinion piece a week ago that claimed Chelsea are targeting English strikers because their 25 man squad is already at or near the limit (17) for foreign players, and pointed to Barkley and Drinkwater as examples where they had to buy homegrown squad players in recent windows just to reach 8 homegrown players. They could fix that with some of their young players on loan, e.g. Tammy Abraham, but either don’t want to or don’t have the right to recall them. So if you have to buy an English striker, and your rivals won’t offer you Kane, Rashford, Vardy, Sturridge, etc, then you quickly get linked to a lot of strikers who sound like a terrible fit for the team. I don’t think Chelsea will really move for a mid table English striker. If they have that little faith in Batshuyai then they can sign a striker to take his place in the roster, or they can drop a peripheral foreign player in another position. Striker is too important to force a square peg.
  10. The old thread was most abominably locked. Last night was shoulder press, pull-ups, etc. Really good workout but still feeling that damn strain in my right elbow. I've been resting it, massaging it, icing it, but I still get a nagging pain in the joint.
  11. I’ve heard about Creatine fluid retention before but never experienced it. The early myth was that creatine caused your muscles to store more water and therefore made them look bigger without being stronger, and risked dehydration damage to your kidneys. Everything I’ve read in recent years says that Creatine is just a couple of amino acids that allow second stage cellular fuel (by combining with waste product from burning glycogen) when exercising to exhaustion, therefore allowing you to work your muscles harder for longer. And you need to drink more water to help your kidneys process the additional metabolic waste, but you shouldn’t retain water particularly. IDK. I’ve never noticed any particular effect of either type. I stopped taking Creatine throughout 2017 just to see, and noticed no difference.
  12. There are reports* of unprescribed use of Ritalin and similar by students and academics in highly competitive circles based on the logic of PEDs: everyone else is using them and I’ll be at a disadvantage if I don’t. * I don’t know if these were reliable or just a mini panic.
  13. I’m really disappointed by the Sanchez, Mkhi, Auba development because it strengthens two of our competitors. I wasn’t too worried about Sánchez at City because they’re already far ahead, but this will make it harder to catch United, plus it gives Arsenal an outside chance of improving; they needed some catalyst to shake things up. I’ll just have to hope that Mourinho stifles another attacking player and Wenger undermines his great attackers with a weak defense and midfield. Paying over the odds for an aging quick fix player is such a Mourinho move but Sánchez will strengthen any attack in the PL. I agree that RM are making early overtures about off-loading BBC, although I doubt Ronaldo will find any takers at the wages he wants, unless he’s willing to go to China. And I don’t see RM getting huge transfer fees for the three of them. If RM are able to jettison BBC, then I doubt Hazard is the only galactico replacement they have in mind. Neymar must be unaffordable. Icardi seems more likely than Neymar. I hope Salah doesn’t make it onto the list. I expect Kane would and Pogba might. You’d think they would want players who complement Isco and Asensio, while offering huge marketing potential.
  14. My wife was at the gym on Monday and stumbled*, fell and banged the top of her head against the dumbbell rack. She has a mild concussion and has slept for around 40 of the 48 hours since we got back from the ER. She wins the prize for weirdest gym injury yet. But thankfully she’s less dazed today so I can be nonchalant about it now My workouts are going well still but I’m exhausted now from working at home this week while also taking care of my wife and son. And I have a nasty suspicion that I caught the flu during our 3 hours in the ER waiting room. If I don’t get a fever in the next 24 hours then I think I can safely call it just a cold What a fucking week. * she said she was doing step-lunges onto a step-up platform while holding dumbbells, and just caught her toe against the step one time and pitched forward.
  15. Finished that, an OK read. The setting and atmosphere were very good but the plot and characters felt a bit run of the mill. Since Amazon did a good job of selling me the entire trilogy as a bundle, I’ll eventually feel compelled to read further. I have now returned to medieval fantasy with #4 of the Traitor Son Cycle (actual name escapes me just now). Still good but I hope this series concludes soon. Every victory by the protagonists so far has resulted in the antagonist bouncing back with a bigger army and more toxic dark magic. It’s starting to feel like a repetitive leveling up. I want the story to go somewhere, not feel like a treadmill. Miles Cameron has done a very good job with this series but he needs to stick the landing soon.
  16. Ederson was worse than Karius yesterday. His effort at saving the first goal was as poor as Karius first concession, and he directly caused what proved to be the winning goal. At this point it’s a convenient story to harp on about Liverpool GKs. I think Klopp has to give Karius a decent run (Mignolet has to be finished) before deciding in the summer whether to buy a first choice keeper.
  17. Gomez was definitely at fault for the first, no denying it. Even with the strong wind he should have known not to over commit. But his play throughout the rest of the game was excellent. A 20yr old defender has plenty of potential to reduce errors with experience. And, to be fair, after Gomez’ error, Matip was ineffectual one-on-one against Sane, and Karius should not have been beaten at his near post. For their second goal, Milner was missing to stop the initial run, Matip was ineffective and then Lovren and Robertson didn’t react very quickly to the loose ball. No-one made a major mistake but any of them could have prevented it with more alertness, or less tiredness. For their third goal, Lovren ran far out of position to track the initial runner, again because Milner was out of position, and then when Lovren rushed back into position he was bizarrely passive in not making a challenge while Gundogan chested down the ball to score. And Karius didn’t rush out to block the shot in the couple of seconds between chest and foot.
  18. Although the Steelers are a likable team, I always root against Rapistberger. I’m kind of surprised though that they conceded more than 40 points at Heinz Field. I did not see that coming. Three of the four games this weekend were pretty closely contested, and the exception is the Patriots barely breaking a sweat. They’ve looked the most likely champion for a while but the NFL is still more likely to produce an upset at the championship level than almost any sport. It’s not a foregone conclusion yet but they must be heavy favorites.
  19. I feel so bad for the safety who missed the tackle that I have to point out that a successful tackle would have probably taken the WR out of bounds with a couple of seconds left on the clock to kick a winning FG anyway. The catch looked like it was within kicking distance, although that’s just my rarely reliable memory. He should have been trying to tackle and wrap up the WR with his arms to keep him inbounds — which would’ve been a game-winning play. I don’t understand why he threw himself torpedo-style at all, even if he weren’t to miss completely. It was risky to assume that would ground the WR inbounds even if he connected.
  20. Enigma was sufficiently difficult to crack with available computing power and the number and intended length of messages. It was a balance between code strength and practical requirements to have it distributed throughout the navy. Enigma was a system more than just a code: underlying code, machines for encoding/decoding, one-time day pads, etc. Even when the underlying code was known (the Allies seized an Enigma machine in May 1941) they still struggled to decrypt many days of messages. It was the sloppiness of longer messages and especially repeated phrases (“Heil Hitler”) that reduced the computational permutations that allowed Bletchley Park to routinely decrypt the daily volume of messages using a custom-built decryption computer.
  21. I laughed so hard. I don’t dislike the Saints but that was hilarious.
  22. Although the last 3-4 minutes were really nervy, Liverpool had outplayed City for most of the game and created the majority of chances. Lovren especially (went walk-about for Silva’s goal, stood like a mannequin for Gundogan’s) and Matip were at fault for those but the major catalyst was the withdrawal of Can — who was struggling with an illness — who had shielded the defence from City midfielders running with the ball into our box. Milner was OK as a sub but doesn’t position himself like #6. Andy Robertson was great today, even if he was adjacent to their two late goals. Joe Gomez is a wonderful player for 88 minutes each game — I’m willing to be patient with a 20yr old who still has fewer than 30 PL appearances; he’ll learn how to spot those dangers. Gini has had a very poor season but I thought he did very well today. He still dithered a few times and wasted attacking opportunities or turned over the ball, but he was a much bigger presence than most other games lately. Overall the 4-3 shoreline flattered City a bit, reflecting just how dangerous they are and how well drilled they are about finishing strong, and how inevitable it was for Liverpool to concede some initiative late on with a 4-1 lead and a huge amount of energy spent. Game of the season there.
  23. I was all ready to brag about how we limited them to a single goal despite missing VVD, having a bad keeper, and four of our back five are back-ups. But that fell apart, didn’t it. Glad we hung on. We used so much energy to pull ahead that I wasn’t surprised at all we flagged late on, but that City team is dangerous until the last second.
  24. I saw the highlights from Spurs vs Everton. Son has really become a key player for Spurs in the past two years and lately he is often a catalyst when his team looks sluggish. At first I thought his form in the early part of last season would be unsustainable because it was so far ahead of his prior form, but instead he has managed to sustain a whole new level of play. The commentators were so busy orgasming over Kane’s latest record (his first goal) that they made zero mention that it looked offside in the replay. I think Spurs always get a soft ride from the referees. Refs can no more disallow a Kane goal than show a red card to Kane or Alli for horror-show tackles. Everton’s new manager bounce didn’t last long. Winless in six, I think. And two of their wins in their big recovery were under Unsworth before Sam took charge. They need to hope there new striker hits the ground running. And once again I have to ask why anyone thought Rooney was worth a transfer fee and a big contract. He chipped in with some goals amid dreadful play, but any striker they spent that money on instead should have contributed more by now, and wouldn’t be tailing off sharply now either.
  25. I agree. Sánchez would be good for Utd but what’s in it for him? He’s good at tackling and tracking back but, even so, unlikely to enjoy the restrictive tactics of Mourinho. City are more likely to offer him trophies and CL games, play with several other South Americans in a good attacking style, lots of chances to score, and he’d probably get to play as a false 9 in place of Aguero. If he joins them now, he only has to make 5 appearances (the threshold was lowered) to get a guaranteed winner’s medal this season, and possibly get a good shot at a CL win too. The only downside at City is he might not be an automatic starter all the time, but I would bet that over 2-3 years, Sanchez will be a better fit than Aguero and a more consistent scorer than Sterling. In the last few years Mkhitaryan, Depay, DiMaria, Martial and Schweinsteiger have all bombed at United, while Lukaku, Pogba and Mata are iffy compared to pre-Utd form (Lukaku even getting booed lately), and even golden boy Rashford has regressed. Only Zlatan and Lingard look like successes so far. If you were one of the top attacking players who has already played for top teams, with one last big contract ahead of you to win some more trophies, would you really want to take a chance that Utd suddenly escapes this rut?