Friday July 13th, 2018 01:28 The conspiracy of goalkeepers

Years back, one of my favorite Premiere League seasons of all time saw Edwin Van der Sar at Man U and Petr Cech working for Chelsea, with both sides in a heated title run.

My Villa did pretty well too, but nevermind that now.

As a player, I only remember doing part of a single season as the dedicated keeper. But I do remember being a de-facto backup for a number of teams.

The coaches/captains consistently saw me as more useful elsewhere, but I always did love being a keeper. It’s a huge responsibility and one that not infrequently leaves you bearing the brunt of blame for goals.

You also get to be the commander of the entire defense, shaping play to your will [as much as one can]. For as many shots that get past, you get to be the hero for every one that doesn’t. You get to make an enormous contribution to the team, albeit one with great risk of failing that same team.

And while your teammates respect the skill required, the greatest respect comes from other keepers. Only they can truly appreciate a spectacular save, be it the inevitable result of reading the situation to anticipate the oncoming attack or reacting to good effect while functionally blind.

Long story short, I have unending respect and admiration for quality goalkeepers. If for no other reason than:

The other 10 can score all day long, but if your keeper lets in just one more than you scored, it’s all for naught.

Now, I had started this post before Tuesday’s epic England-Croatia match. I then did and still do hold great respect for this man, Jordan Pickford.

pickford

He came out of nowhere, in terms of the international stage. He was with smaller clubs until signing with Everton last year. Commentators and opinion-writers for the sport generally panned the selection when it first was known.

For the uninitiated, it’s positively bonkers that a 24-year-old with a single EPL season under his belt would not only be selected for his national team. The side was known to be relatively weak in general; this was still one of the more questionable decisions at the time, despite how well he later embarrassed his detractors.

Your usual keeper of quality is older than 90% of the team, has proven himself in multiple leagues in multiple countries. Your usual keeper of quality would burst out laughing at the idea that a team with a 24-year-old in goal had a real chance to make the World Cup semis.

I mention that i began this post days ago because it was only today my mind drew a line between that man and an American politician.

Namely, Trey Gowdy.

In politics, he’s a relatively young man with, not just an relatively unremarkable but also relatively short body of work as an elected official, compared to his contemporaries. One that also jumped well above his expected station to so quickly chair House Oversight.

Unlike Pickford, one of the clear standouts at this year’s Cup, his performance is somewhat lacking.

Whether you believe or not that some actionable failure/crime was committed in the Banghazi incident, the man utterly failed to prove a damn thing. Those hearings were voted into existence on May 8, 2014 and didn’t end until December 12, 2016.

In 29 months, at a cost of somewhere between $6-7 million dollars of our (the taxpayers) money, absolutely zero was produced beyond a report of their findings, which, for all its rhetorical jabs, never once concluded that Secretary Clinton was at fault for the deaths of those brave soldiers.

Some things might have smelled a bit fishy, but any reasonable person should be able to accept that the committee had more than enough time and resources to discover the truth. In the end, that was their conclusion.

Now, working on the topic of possible FBI malfeasance concerning the 2016 election, he’s doing even less of a job to keep [what is the ball in this metaphor] out of the back of the net.

Note: I will omit commentary on the manner in which today’s testimony was handled, despite obviously having something to say

Based on Gowdy’s questions, he appears to be probing the possibility that someone, at some point, did something to interfere in the 2016 election and that it was done for partisan goal of preventing Donald Trump from being elected.

And that’s where my mind tied him to Pickford.

Pickford is tasked with not letting bad things happen that will hurt his team. In theory, Gowdy is tasked with the same goal. The FBI and DOJ are his field players, and he is there to stop anything that gets past them.

So, if the FBI – the effing FBI that most Americans spent a lifetime being taught to respect – set out to sabotage the campaign of Donald Trump, it should at least be a little bit of a shock that they failed so miserably.

In the ‘sabotage Trump’ theory of events, the FBI, a massively powerful arm of the US government, was actively involved, at the highest levels, in a conspiracy to steal the presidency from Donald Trump, and their public acts in furtherance of that goal were:

  • They publicly announced an investigation into Trump’s opponent’s actions as Secretary of State.
  • They released large amounts of officially-reviewed communications in connection with that investigation into Trump’s opponent, giving them to Republican-led committees with known track records of leaking such information to the press*.
  • They released more caches of those communications involving Trump’s opponent, multiple times, over the course of several months, ending shortly before the election was held.
  • They kept almost perfectly silent about ongoing investigations into Trump and his campaign, specifically in regards to now-known interactions between Trump, his businesses and his campaign with Russian officials during said campaign.**
  • The FBI publicly stated that Russia, specifically, was attempting to exert influence on the 2016 election. At the time, they made no accusations of any kind nor linked said interference to either campaign.
  • When people began learning about Trump/his companies/his campaign’s involvement with Russian citizens, entities, government-affiliated companies and government officials, the FBI deferred all questions, offering little to no substantial information
  • The FBI director, mere weeks before the election, personally announced a return to the investigation into Trump’s opponent, long after the first investigation found no actionable criminal or civil violations.

***(see bottom)

If Jordan Pickford set out to prevent England from winning the cup, he did a similarly bad job. He was a rock in the goal. Stopped penalties, amazing strikes and surprise headers. Surely he could have let one in here or there. But all the while, it appeared to any objective observer that he was doing all he could to thwart his opponents rather than his own team.

The phrase ‘own team’ being operable because the vast majority of the FBI are registered Republicans. This is fact.

Thus, to suggest that the FBI was working on behalf of Hillary Clinton is the same as suggesting Jordan Pickford was working for Croatia and every other team England faced.

In which case they were both pathetically inept in achieving their intended result.

Which would mean all of those keepers of quality were cruelly duped in their respect for Pickford, as would be all the other LEOs of the nation in having any respect for the quality, stature and honor of the FBI.

And I find it difficult to posit that, in both cases, those entire nations could be so subverted with so little evidence left to prove such an act.

*The same press that then-candidate Trump named as enemies of the nation, whom he later not-so-slyly suggested were acceptable targets for murder

**While those investigations were later revealed, whether anything done was illicit or not is still to be determined. I don’t like the man, but we, as Americans, should be fair.

***I’ve personally seen teenage girls organize a more effective conspiracy to give someone they don’t like an unflattering nickname.

In: News, Other, PoliticsNo Comments

Tuesday June 26th, 2018 14:02 Iceland Comes At Night

Just gonna leave these estranged brothers right here.

just_sayin
In: OtherNo Comments

Friday June 22nd, 2018 13:07 WTF World Cup

Seriously, did anyone in their right mind see this coming?

wtf-mate

In: News, OtherNo Comments

Thursday February 22nd, 2018 15:26 Cisco Easter Egg

Just poking around at IP phones today when I ran across this device:

2018-02-22 15_22_55-Cisco IP Conference Phone 8832 - Cisco

If you look real close, you will see that the person they are calling is none other than:

Neu im Kino: TragikomĖ†die "Rushmore" mit Jason Schwartzman

That is all.

In: Computers, Music/Movies/TV, OtherNo Comments

Tuesday January 2nd, 2018 16:43 First thoughts of the new year

I was configging a workstation on the Dell site, just to see what the price would be, when I noticed that selecting the ‘no mouse’ option enabled the following spec code:

nomse

And now, all I can think about is this:

Perhaps 2018 will be an improvement.

In: Computers, Music/Movies/TV, OtherNo Comments

Wednesday August 23rd, 2017 11:14 15-year-old TV show on the NYC subway system

This morning, it took me about 90 minutes to get to work.

I used to have a relatively long commute growing up, so I know that doesn’t sound too awful in the ears of a lot of people. But you might change your tune upon learning that this was how long it took for me to get four miles. 3.25 as the crow flies.

This means that, in a city with one of the largest and supposedly best transit systems in the world, I would have arrived roughly 30 minutes earlier if I had gotten out and walked.

In my state of frustration, I went looking for a gif of my favorite line from Black Books, in which Bernard screams “Lies! Subterfuge! Seething Corruption!” This was in response to the fact that mta.info specifically said the 7 was borked due to mechanical problems with a train at 33rd Street – the exact train I was sitting on, with a conductor telling us we weren’t moving because of smoke in the tunnel.

This was followed by a transfer to the N, which I was immediately informed was also not running, due to both a sick passenger and a power failure. This forced me to exit the station entirely, walk to another one, and catch an E, which did run, but with infuriatingly vague ‘train traffic’ delays.

I could not find the gif in question and had not the patience remaining to make it myself.

Yet, paging through the images that did exist, it became clear that the modern MTA has a lot in common with a show about a surly, filthy, alcoholic shopkeeper. Allow me to illuminate.

The all-purpose comment:

nope_train

Everyone off, please. This train has suddenly forgotten how to train:

time_wasting_bastards

No matter what time I get up or leave the house, there is some nonsense that will make me late to work:

betrayal

Just about anything that ever gets said over the intercom, even on those magical occasions when you can actually understand the words being said:

what_what

The entire city, for the last decade or so:

up_with_this

Come to think of it, we’d all be a lot happier if they just gave us a damn sausage before boarding.

That idea right there is free. You’re welcome, MTA.

In: News, OtherNo Comments

Wednesday August 9th, 2017 13:03 Stop the presses: changing thing changes

It’s an unholy rite of passage for a New Yorker. Once you’ve been around for 20 years, you’re obligated to blather on about how the city is changing for the worse.

Gentrification. My favorite store closed. Younger people have different expectations from restaurants or retail outlets. The rent is too damn high.

THINGS THAT EXISTED DECADES AGO ARE NOW DIFFERENT. CALL IN THE NATIONAL GUARD.

garth_change

Myself, I’m only around the 10-year mark here in the city*. I too have noticed that things have changed. But what I’ve noticed most is that things always change. Constantly. It’s a feature, not a bug.

So, when I read something like this [from the venerable LongReads, no less], I can’t help but think the author an imbecile for not realizing they’re penning the exact same swan-song bullshit that every single era before them has written. If they take the time to look around (or possibly stop shoegazing for a minute and listen to the constant stream of complaining all around – which is our right as New Yorkers), they’ll find their story not as original as it may feel.

Because here’s a fun fact: the neighborhood you’re whinging about, the very buildings and stores and restaurants you strive to keep around – were all, at one time, instruments of gentrification themselves.

New York City was founded in 1624. That ‘indispensable’ neighborhood locale that’s been around for 50, 75 or even 100 years only ended up there after 300 years of change. There’s an excellent chance it used to be the location of someone’s home or another much-beloved neighborhood staple that the New Yorkers of the time were thoroughly pissed off to see replaced.

Now, gentrification is a very real thing and certainly no laughing matter. A lot of these chain businesses are vastly inferior and are unfairly supplanting their predecessors, to the detriment of all. That said, gentrification is a complex situation and not every Starbucks (pronounced ‘The Devil’s Failing Kidney Piss Dispensary’) that replaces a bodega is a pure travesty that sucks the ephemeral ‘soul’ out of the neighborhood.

Change is the soul of New York. Your favorite deli, no matter its fascinating backstory, is not.

*If I try to pull this crap next decade, feel free to force-feed me a printout of this little ditty.

In: OtherNo Comments

Monday July 31st, 2017 15:02 A preparatory ponderance on Mooch’s next CV

mooch

Might also want to warn the next guy not to trip over the bar he set for performance.

In: Other, PoliticsNo Comments

Friday January 20th, 2017 16:12 Post-inauguration soother

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

fox-jumping-over-dog
In: OtherNo Comments

Thursday September 15th, 2016 12:32 Apple is everything I hate about brand worship

iphone-7-and-iphone-7-plus

One of the most annoying questions/comments one gets as an IT person is some iteration of ‘Bet you have all Mac at home’ or ‘What kind of systems do you use? [insert shock at anything not made by Apple here].’

Putting aside the fact that most IT people don’t go for anything Apple besides their phone and maybe a tablet because their desktop OS is a walled garden where the wall is 75 feet high and lined with armed guards…

Or that the question suggests that they don’t know the difference between IT and design or dev, who are the ones more likely to go Apple in hardware, nor that all three groups hate being mistaken for each other…

It’s annoying because that question makes it abundantly clear that they don’t give a flying fuck about the actual operation of the product. All that matters is that it has a logo.

Motorola put out a new ad about these kinds of users. Whether the people in the ad are actors or not, I can confirm from experience that they are perfectly representative of real people. People who just buy whatever the hell is new from Apple, which is a huge segment of their customer base.

Proof of concept: Google “complaints about” followed by any iPhone model or iOS version. The hardware is savaged by the “fans” the instant it’s announced and the software is similarly panned the instant it’s pushed out to the hardware.

This is entirely normal.

The nerds and the geeks and the freaks do that with absolutely every company’s products. It’s practically a Constitutional requirement for anyone with a keyboard, internet connection and entirely too much spare time. Nothing can ever be seen as perfect because there are simply too many people to please.

The difference for Apple is the percentage of people who are directly opposed to a feature (or lack thereof, in the Case of the Missing Headphone Jack) will just buy the damn thing anyway.

It’s like a pizza joint that forces you to have anchovies on every pie, no matter what you ask for, and that store doesn’t just avoid immediate business collapse, but has incredible sales, thousands of franchisees and an army of rabid followers that will instantly attack you for the mere suggestion that maybe some people just don’t like a bunch of weird tiny fish dribbled on their damn pizza.

That Motorola ad should be quite powerful. Showing that, hey, there is already a product that does these things that you really want it to do. You just have to look up from your Apple Bottle Feeder® for half a second.

That stuff is located just next to that group of people whose tech suggestions you typically ignore despite the fact that they have far fewer complaints about the things they decide to buy.

In: Computers, OtherNo Comments

Whois

IT guy, dev, designer, writer.

Got a degree in print journalism from UF but history dealt some bad cards to that industry, so I moved back to an earlier love: the computer.

Was recently at ZMOS Networks, but am now the Senior IT Associate at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

My name is moderately common, as are a couple screen names, so always look for the logo to make sure you're reading something with official Km approval.

You can get to me directly with kyle(@)kylemitchell.org