Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roof Roof

Brave New World

I can't get into the lifts at the Norfolk and Norwich without saying silently to myself, “Roof, Roof.”

Sometimes I say it aloud if there is no-one with me and the doors are closed.

I'm remembering the phrase in Huxley's Brave New World where the lift reaches the top and the Epsilon minus Sub Moron opens the door and says in awe, “Roof, Roof” and the last “Roof” is measured in ecstasy.

Now-a-days we have canned voices instead of Epsilon minus Sub Morons, but the effect is the same. When the metallic voice says, “Going up” it is mimicking Huxley and commenting, no matter how incapable of thought, on the futility of man and his machines. Huxley would surely approve.

Lifts, or elevators, can be funny things. At the N&N we have two lifts side by side just outside the ward. Strangely, they don't act the same, as you might expect from inanimate objects. They have, instead, minds of their own. The one on the right (as you face them) is much quicker than the other one. It even responds to the buttons on the control panel. You can get in, hit the door close button and the floor required, and it speeds off in the correct direction – without so much as a “Roof, Roof”.

The one on the left, by contrast does none of these things. You press the buttons and it just sits there as if it is saying, “Sod off, I ain't ready!” Eventually it goes, when it gets good and ready. It also makes mistakes. These can be quite disconcerting.

You get in. You press the button for floor three. It eventually goes, but (and I have heard and seen this, honest) when it gets to the third floor, the voices says, “Second Floor!”


I didn't like the lifts at the Sears Tower in Chicago. They have an express lift that takes you to the 88th floor in about 30 seconds. And, there is no real sense of acceleration. I'm thinking Twilight Zone.

Oh, Brave New World!

Chiefs Prospects 2010

The season officially got under way yesterday when the Chiefs took on the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Score: 20-10 to the Falcons.

The important thing is how have the Chiefs strengthened their team in the off-season and what are the prospects for some improvement this year?

Looking at the game in some detail and comparing the performances with the areas that need improvement should give us an indication of any progress.

At QB, Matt Cassel fumbled once. Brodie Croyle led one good 70 yard drive, but also had an interception. Tyler Palko was intercepted, but went on to lead a fourth quarter scoring drive. Verdict: not much to cheer about.

At running back Jamal Charles and rookie Dexter McCluster both had productive games.

Javier Arenas, rookie, had two excellent punt and kick off returns.

Defence held it's own.

Should we start to plan a Super Bowl Party? Bit early to say but the indications are positive (from very little evidence). Advice: don't book any hotel rooms just yet!

So, what is the purpose of the pre-season games? In one word – 53.

Players will be evaluated now on game performances not just practice. For example, Rookie free agent Jeremy Horne apparently got open deep twice but the QB's were unable to find him. For a rookie free agent this is a disaster! Maybe the coaches will see the fact that he got open as making him worthy of a roster spot. Maybe not. He should be paying the QB's to throw him the ball! That's the only way he makes the team – unless he's dynamite on special teams!

The pre-season is all about making the team, and it's not just the rookies. Some veteran players are sure to be released as well.

After just one game the players return to practice, knowing that one of their chances to get an NFL pay day is gone. This should focus the attention.

Next game – 21 Aug at Tampa Bay. Expect the coaches to go all out to win. Losing becomes a habit and they will want to stop losing. Expect some starters to play almost a half. For rookies, the time to impress is running out.