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Soup of This Day #385: Oh The Nights Are Warm

July 9, 2014

Tyrrell P34
This might look like a patchwork fantasy car but it is in fact a clever and complete automotive design that was realised into a competitive race car. The Tyrell P34 remains to this day the only 6-wheeler to get a decent run in the demanding world of F1. The #3 1976 edition, piloted by ace South African driver Jody Scheckter, even won the Swedish Grand Prix. Sadly, this was the sole win for the innovative P34, and with a lack of development on the unusually small front tyres, the model would only see two years of F1 – Photo: Lothar Spurzem, 1976.

I’m writing this post via a tablet device. There are a lot, maybe billions, of these gizmos in the world and there’s probably even more blogs so this is surely not unique.

It is bloody laborious though.

To be air, this is probably not how it is with all tablets. This one though is problematic.

And I meant ‘fair’ back there, not ‘air’. Although ‘air’ is strangely appropriate. As in ‘dead air’, because this tablet specialises in a sort of that. You tap the screen and you get nothing. Parts of the screen anyway. So you can be typing on the on-screen keyboard and you’ll find that some letters are missing from the selection you’d carefully composed in your mind.

There is some compensation of sorts – Some letters can appear twice – Like an ‘a’ or an ‘s’ – Pretty much everything from that area of the keyboard. Meanwhile ‘l’ and ‘t’ can not be there at all.

Or aa aa.

There is a workaround. I just rotate the screen and I get a different set of problems. Suddenly my ‘t’ is there ut I need to rotate the sree ak to get ‘c’, ‘b’ and ‘n’.

Auto-complete helps but not always and honestly, it gives me the sshiss so much that it’s hard not to swap this fukig device for one that is more consistent.

Like a leaking fukig pen.

Not for almost all of this post though and not for parts of others either.

Because, for all of it’s faults and quirks, I’m stupidly content with this tablet. Partly because it cost just $1, but mostly because it had been cast off, designated as waste, fit only to be deconstructed as a teaching aid. It hadn’t always been so lowly estimated – It served a senior staffer at my former workplace with aplomb. But then it suffered an impact and the touchscreen developed it’s quixotic approach to function. Out of warranty, the wayward tablet was sidelined, before being rescued by me prior to being ignominiously broken down.

Now it has a new lease, perhaps with it’s best form in the past, but still with much to give off the bench. There are still productive at bats to be gleaned and every time I pitch an idea at it, I feel like I get some bat to the ball. Sure, they’re often bloop hits, lobbing comically into an area of uncertainty between fielders, but it’s entertainment at an affordable emotional price.

This is how I’m viewing the 2014 Boston Red Sox.

In 2013 they were the best going around, tapping out hits all over the place and from any position. All of the functions worked and there was a smoothness that made you feel that successes was inevitable.

Not so much in 2014.

Maybe they suffered an impact across winter, a fall, a drop in motivation. Whatever the cause, while the components are still largely there, some key strokes just aren’t getting in safely.

Actually, it’s a lot of key strokes that are going awry – As at the 2014 All-Star break, which sits astride the mythical mid-point of the season, the Red Sox are ranked 15th among 15 American League (AL) teams for runs scored. They’ve managed just 367 of them.

The San Diego Padres of the National League (NL) do have a scant 279, but without a Fesignated… Sorry… Designated Hitter (DH) the NL teams have some excuse – The AL is relatively friendly to hitters. As evidenced by the LA Angels, ranked 1st for run production in the AL and across the Majors.

They’ve knocked in a lazy 478.

The Angels don’t, it’s true, have baseball’s best record at the moment. They sit 1.5 games behind fellow AL West outfit, the Oakland A’s, who have a decent 59 and 36 line. At .621, the A’s are on track for a 100 win season. They may have scored less runs than the Halos (466) but they’ve conceded significantly less ass well (321 vs 389).

And yes I know I left an extra ‘s’ in there but honestly, inserting an ass/donkey reference just works in most situations.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox have further diminished their paltry total of runs scored by conceding 405. That’s relatively a lot of runs to give up and the resultant deficit suggests the Red Sox are unlikely to defend their World Series winning status in 2014. Given the feel-good success of last year, and the other two recent titles (2004 and 2007), the Red Sox Nation of fans could be forgiven for looking at this team and being a bit crestfallen.

That’s a difficult word on this tablet – Crestfallen – but it is a great one, so I took it as a challenge.

That’s how I’m taking the remainder of this season for the Red Sox. They’re a great side – 2014 proved that and for sure it’s a challenge watching them playing donkey badly donkey they are, but like with this tablet, there are moments to be proud of – Little quirks to celebrate and positives to be gleaned for hardly any outlay on my part.

That last bit is because the Red Sox won 2013, giving the Nation’s faithful a sort of emotional capital that will generate interest and dividends for years to come. For all I know this tablet won 2013 too.

I figure then that for the Red Sox and this bonus tablet, any successful key strokes this year are a bonus.

That does not mean that the Red Sox shouldn’t have cut A.J. Pierzynski. He didn’t hit good for the club or on this keyboard. Names like Ortiz work better.

Otherwise known donkey Big Paapi!

Oh The Nights Are Warm

  1. Always nice to hear about a successful stint in rehab whether it be an electric personality or an electric device. Best of luck as you continue to bring your friendly tablet back to life. You will likely soon become more emotionally invested in working around its quirks, give it a name of some gender and eventually be asked to use this life story as the basis for a major motion picture. Seriously though, I think I would have little or no patience with the imperfections you are navigating through to use that tablet. But I think it’s great it has found a new home and purpose!

    • I like the thought that the tablet is post-rehab – It was definitely on the DL there for a while and looked like it was to be cut but here it is. I’m not sure if I’ll name it (Not my style) but I may have started to anthropomorphise it a little as it demonstrates it’s usefulness – The hardy trooper is currently streaming the Tour de France for me as I type this comment and it has also proven itself with Red Sox games and AFL games. I’m hopeful that it may add an extra dimension of coverage to cricket as well.

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