Eagle Rock

I’m just sitting here with my ear-phones on listening to Ross Wilson and Daddy Cool doin’ the Eagle Rock.  Heh, heh, heh, good old eagle rock… it’s a great song.  – just a minute – I might wind that back – and do it all over again.  Not bad for a song played mainly in A.  The reason I’m sitting here listening to Daddy Cool at 1:20am is that I am well and truly pissed.   Today, I received a notice  from the Federal Magistrates Court informing me that I am now formally divorced.  Having been separated for some time, I didn’t think it would be such a problem, but here I am, blogging my woes away.  Thank goodness for Efexor XR or I would really be inside the black dog (no offense to Led Zeppelin – another great song).

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Cricket Round 2 – The Weather Knows…

Another one-day game and I arrive at the ground, get my umbrella out and watch the rain.  I swear, the weather knows when it is Cricket Season and it knows that we play on Saturdays.

After waiting around for hours, it stops raining.  The ground is so well drained that it is playable almost immediately.  Now to get the covers off.  Hmmm… no super-soper to get the water off, so the players try to sweep it off.  After watching that for a while, it is time to remove the covers.  The idea is to hold each end up to stop the water running off and then to role the covers over until about half way and then drag both ends off the square before releasing the lower half to drain the remaining water away from the square.  But the best laid plans go astray and we end up with water on the square.  We decide to take tea early and go back to look at it after tea.

After tea, my colleague and I check the square and the pitch has improved and is playable, but the edge of the square is still sloppy.  We get the Captains together and they both want to play and agree that the area in question is not likely to affect play and they will advise their players to take care.  Good, we will get a game in, but by this time it is reduced to 30 overs per side, which is the minimum.  Any further interruption to play means it will be called off and declared a draw.

We start play in light that is not good, but it is not dangerous nor unreasonable.  I am delighted to say that both teams played within the spirit of the game and both teams enjoyed themselves.  There was no sledging, just some jovial banter and at no time did either team put pressure on the Umpires.  This makes for a great day’s umpiring because if you are left to do your job, you do it better when nobody hassles you.

Any Umpire worth their salt knows that they are their own worst critic, and I am no exception.  I made a “technical” error in umpiring, but not one of decision-making.  A full-toss was delivered to a batsman who was subsequently caught.  In my opinion, the ball was not above waste height at the popping crease.  I turned to see the bowler’s end Umpire signal “No Ball”.  He then asked me if it was above the waste and I said “no”.  He then revoked his call of “no ball” and game the batsman out.  There are a few problems here:

1.  In our pre-season discussions, the Captains had asked us to be hard on full tosses that are close.
2.  My colleague at the bowler’s end had already signaled “no ball”.  Since he is the overruling Umpire, I should have agreed with him.
3.  Since there was doubt between the bowler’s end Umpire and the square leg Umpire, the benefit should have gone to the batsman.

The fact that it made no difference to the outcome of the match is irrelevant.  I will take it on board and hopefully not make the same mistake again.

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Cricket Round 1 – The Joys Of Umpiring

Well, round 1 of the cricket season was on the Saturday of the October long weekend.  Daylight savings started on the Sunday.  So, what normally happens?  Let’s see, holiday, daylight savings, cricket – ah yes, it rains.  But it rains just a little so that we can get most of the day’s play in.  However, it is heavily overcast for most of the day and I had to pull the pin just 5 overs from making it a match, due to bad light.

One team was well on top and the other near collapse, but what could I do?  I had to follow the Laws of Cricket that state that I must suspend play when it is dangerous or unreasonable for play to continue and I must not take the state of play into consideration.  I did just that and copped the wrath of the team who was on top (naturally).  The other team was delighted with my decision (also naturally).

The Laws of Cricket were updated for 2010 and came into force on the 1st of October, so you pommy b my English counterparts have not yet experienced the new law that states that the Umpire is the sole judge of the conditions for play.  That is, we don’t consult the Batsmen nor the Captains, we just say “it is unreasonable for play to continue”.

I do feel for the side that was on top, and I know that if the roles were reversed, the other team would strenuously object, but I am happy with my decision, even though I have probably made a few enemies along the way.

When it comes down to the bottom line, I love umpiring impartially more than being known as biased to certain teams as the latter will certainly not get me anywhere with my umpiring career.

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I’m Impressed

I must admit I’m impressed with Google’s ability to interpret what little I have on my blog and translate that to targeted adverts.  I talk about Cricket and suddenly there are ads for the upcoming Test Series in Australia.  I break a tooth and within a few minutes there are ads for dentists.  I complain about the slow broadband in Australia and straight away there are ads for faster broadband that I cannot access because I don’t live close enough to the higher density areas covered by those services.

Still, to have a piece of software read my ramblings and decide what adverts would best suite what I have written is quite unique.  Artificial Intelligence?  Probably not, but there seems to be more effort spent on marketing software than there is on pure scientific research.  If Google had been swapped with NASA, we would probably have colonised Mars by now.

Has anybody read “Buy Jupiter” by Issac Asimov?  It’s about a group of aliens who buy Jupiter to use it as an advertising sign for passing travelers.  Real Estate agents would be frothing at the mouth about the idea.  But why not?  It’s just a giant ball of gas.  But who owns it?  We cannot work out our own territorial differences here on earth, let alone the rest of our solar system.

Is it “legal” to claim ownership of other planets?  Under what law can we lay claim to anything that we haven’t produced ourselves?  Is it a case of “I was here first”?  Well that didn’t work in Australia.  Only now are the rights of indigenous Australians being seriously discussed – 200 years after we walked in and took over their land.  Still, I was born here, so I cannot do anything but consider myself an Australian.

Confused?  Let’s see; Google adverts, Issac Asimov, universal possession, aboriginal rights, land ownership.  Let’s see Google make something out of that!!!

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Premiers Challenge

I’ve just got home after officiating in the inaugural Central Coast vs Newcastle Premiers Challenge.  This is a match between the winners of last season’s Central Coast Cricket Association competition and the Newcastle District Cricket Association competition.  The teams were Wyong for CCCA and Cardiff-Boolaroo for NDCA.  Unfortunately for the Wyong boys, Cardiff-Boolaroo were too strong on the day.

As for me, it was a good day – warm but not hot, no contentious issues, both teams were in good spirits, great partner to umpire with, excellent pitch, good facilities and my new shoes felt very comfortable.  If only it could be like that throughout the season.

What an enjoyable day.  That’s what it is all about.  If I didn’t enjoy umpiring I wouldn’t do it, and when you have a day where everybody enjoys themselves, it all seems worthwhile.  It is the best seat in the house, only you don’t get to sit down.

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