Tuesday, 16 September 2014

No bore draw - Hull 2, Hammers 2

Well, I was not expecting that result TBH.

Watching Hull Hernandez caused us trouble pretty much all night until he as subbed, and also the Diame goal did not go down too well due to some rubbish defending at the back - cheaply given away and a lack of concentration which worries me that we playing the better clubs we are going to get spanked.


What a bloody hit by Valencia ! Goal of the Month for September anyone?

If this is what he can do week in, week out, then we may have a special player here rather than rely on the aerial height of AC.

I am looking forward to seeing if Valencia can capitalise on this every week as he looks a good player and the board have taken a massive £12m punt on him.

Sahko also put in a decent shift.

I thought Downing had a decent game again, but in the midfield, we lack a little bit of hustle. Perhaps the return of Nolan may shore things up, but Song is just as good as any and maybe he needs to start first.

Adrian still doing well in goal, despite the Hollywood saves every now and again, but at the back is where I worry. I still don' t think it is tight enough - may be a little raw, but I am hoping it will come good against lesser sides.

And although we got the draw via an own goal (and luck), we did look to batter Hull and keep possession, which means that there seems to be a change in the style of play under Sam.

I can't complain with a point away from home on a Monday night and it was at the end a rather good match to watch. But we really need to start taking three points than one and methinks the next few games will shape how the squad will play for the rest of the season.

Scoucers next on Sky at 17h30 on Sat - at home.........interesting.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Concours of Elegance Hampton Court 2014 photo gallery

Absolutely gutted - we used to live right near Hampton Court and is only a spritely 20 min walk from the old abode. 

Some stunning examples here - I wish I had got to see them in the metal - swings and roundabouts....................

Concours of Elegance Hampton Court 2014 photo gallery

The 2014 Hampton Court Concourse of Elegance car show
Over the weekend London’s Hampton Court played host to 60 of the world’s rarest and most desirable cars at the UK’s third Concours of Elegance. Some 10,000 guests poured through the gates of Henry VIII’s sumptuous Thames-side palace to feast their eyes on many cars that had never been publicly seen in the UK. Ben Whitworth shouldered the onerous task of donning his blazer and Panama to rub shoulders with the owners, buyers and car fans. Photos by www.fluidimages.co.uk.
1904 Oldsmobile Model N French Touring Runabout
1904 Oldsmobile Model N French Front Touring RunaboutLooking fit and healthy given its 110-year age, this Oldsmobile was the first to make it into production with a steering wheel. It was powered by a 1.9-litre 7hp single-cylinder engine, which was mounted beneath the plump smoking-room seats.
1912 Bugatti 5 Litre Chain Drive
1912 Bugatti 5 Litre Chain DriveThis is the oldest surviving Bugatti racer, and was Ettore’s own personal competition car. Its manacing wasp-tailed aero bodywork hid a sophisticated three-valve-per-cylinder four-pot engine driven by an overhead camshaft. Bugatti raced it at both Le Mans and Mont Ventoux Hill Climb in 1912, where its 100mph plus top speed saw it take a class win.
1928 Mercedes Benz 680 S Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster
1928 Mercedes Benz 680 S Saoutchik Torpedo RoadsterThis beautifully proportioned coupe from avantgarde French coachbuilder Saoutchik dropped the sleekest of bodywork, complete with lizard-skin cabin, over Mercedes-Benz’s rampant S Series to create the ultimate road racer. The supercharged 6789cc straight six delivered the pace to match the two-seater’s hedonistic grace.
1929 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Grand Prix UW302 R and 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Rennsport GP10
1929 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Grand Prix UW302 R and 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Rennsport GP10Two of the finest racers from the Mercedes-Benz stables, both developed under the technical watch of Ferdinand Porsche. The 7.1-litre 170bhp UW302 was driven in torrential weather to victory in the 1929 RAC Tourist Trophy by Rudoph Caracciola at an average speed of 72mph. GP10, which boasted an even more muscular 250bhp version of the straight six engine, was owned by Malcolm Campbell. In his first outing at Brooklands in 1930 he obliterated the lap record and he continued to race the car successfully at Brooklands in the early 1930s.
1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Touring Flying Star
1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Touring Flying StarWinner of this year’s Pullman Trophy for Best of Show, this legendary Alfa Romeo was built for a wealthy Italian heiress by Touring of Milan. Undeniably feminine with its flowing curves, the 6C was also a fiercely competitive racer – its 85bhp six-cylinder engine was good for 90mph and in 1929 it won the Mille Miglia, the Tourist Trophy and the Spa 24 Hours. Owner Deborah Keller looks suitably happy with her award.
1933 Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental Freestone & Webb Coupe
1933 Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental Freestone & Webb CoupeVast, fast and dramatic, this Phantom II was clothed by coachbuilders Freestone & Webb for Sir John Leigh, Conservative MP for Clapham. He wanted something for ‘fast touring in Europe’ and this elegant long-bonetted four-seater was the end result.
1936 Dusenberg Model J Rollston Victoria Coupe
1936 Dusenberg Model J Rollston Victoria CoupeThe Model J was the finest American car of the 20s and 30s, with an unmatchable combination of power, presense and performance. Its 6876cc straight eight developed 265bhp – good for 120mph – and it was the car of choice for Clark Gable, Cary Grant, King Alfonso of Spain and Prince Nicholas of Romania. Big, brawny and bold – how very American.
1936 Bugatti T57 Paul Nee Pillarless Coupe
1936 Bugatti T57 Paul Nee Pillarless Coupe
This stunning Type 57 – the last and arguably Bugatti’s finest production car – was designed by Parisian coachbuilder Paul Nee. It’s impossibly sleek and elegant in the metal, all curvaceous and flowing, and its 3.3-litre supercharged straight eight engine delivered 100mph performance. Gorgeous from every angle.
1938 Talbot Largo T150C SS Figoni Falaschi Coupe
1938 Talbot Largo T150C SS Figoni Falaschi CoupeThis isn’t a car – it’s a rolling art deco sculpture, a teardrop of mercury made metal. It’s difficult to describe just how perfect this car’s streamlined proportions are, and the fact that it was underpinned by an advanced 4.0-litre 165bhp straight six with a four-speed pre-selector 'box makes it even more incredible.
1952 Jaguar XK120 Jabbeke
1952 Jaguar XK120 Jabbeke
Can you even begin to imagine what Jaguar works driver Norman Dewis must have experienced being strapped into this heavily modified XK120, having that Perspex bubble bolted into place and then being turned loose on Belgium’s concrete Jabbeke motorway to have a crack at the Flying Mile world record? Whatever his anxieties, he coolly kept his toe in and the Jaguar clocked up a faintly preposterous 172.412mph word record.
1955 Mercedes Benz 300B Pininfarina Coupe
1955 Mercedes Benz 300B Pininfarina Coupe
Possibly the most breathtakingly beautiful Mercedes ever – 300 SL Gullwing included – this Pininfarina-syled 300 Coupe was the perfect marriage of German engineering and Italian style. Born out of a written request from Pininfarina for a 300 chassis to modify, this was one of only three Mercedes-Benz cars the Italian coachbuilder created.
1957 Jaguar XK140 Zagato
1957 Jaguar XK140 ZagatoNope, that’s not a typo – this really is a Jaguar XK140. Taking on a damaged XK140, Zagato created this svelte and sexy one-off model, hoping it would lead to a more formal relationship with Jaguar. All traditional Jaguar styling clues were dispensed with, and the flamboyant result was shown at the 1957 Paris motor show.
1957 Ferrari 250 TDF GT Scaglietti Corsa Berlinetta
1957 Ferrari 250 TDF GT Scaglietti Corsa BerlinettaOne of only seven surviving Tour de France Berlinetta 250 models – hence the TDF moniker – this aluminium-bodied beauty featured a stronger tubular chasis, wider track, double-wishbone suspension, a 250bhp 2953cc V12 and... a third windscreen wiper. It raced competitively in both Europe and South America in the late 1950s.
1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Lightweight
1959 Aston Martin DB4GT LightweightOne of only two surviving lightweight GT models, this DB4 was some 170lb lighter than standard and was powered by a 302bhp 3.7-litre straight six – good for a white-knuckled 150mph. Stirling Moss took the chequered flag in this car at the 1960 BARC Goodwood meeting, and it was also a winner at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park.
1974 Porsche 911 RSR 214 Turbo
1974 Porsche 911 RSR 214 TurboJust look at this beast. One of only three RSR Turbos built by Porsche for the 1974 World Championship, this 500bhp monster completed every race it entered and racked up some impressive podium finishes – second at Watkins Glen and second at Le Mans. Traction was apparently still an issue, despite those toilet-roll rear tyres and vast rear tail. Sweaty-palm scary…
1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corse
1985 Lancia Delta S4 CorseThis is the Lancia in which Henri Toivonen ansd Sergio Cresto won the 1986 Monte Carlo Rally, a supercharged and turbocharged monster that epitomised the radical Group B racers of the late 80s. Weighing just 890kg and with 550bhp on tab, the Delta could out-accelerate a contemporary F1 car up to 100mph. Makes today's WRC cars look like mobility scooters…
1970 Lancia Stratos Zero Bertone Concept
1970 Lancia Stratos Zero Bertone ConceptThe work of Bertone head stylist Marcello Gandidni, the Zero caused a riot at the 1970 Turin motor show. Not hard to understand why! It's this wonderful juxtaposition - concept cars rubbing shoulders with McLaren F1s - which made this Hampton Court car show something quite special.
The seminal McLaren F1

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The MCG - in Lego

The display is on at MYER in Melbourne CBD - and reminds me of the John Lewis display of the Olympic Stadium in 2012 at Westfield Stratford. 

5000 figures were used - and I love the injured Pies player on a stretcher - surely this should have been Garry Lyon?

Great display.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Second bite of the cherry tastes sour..............Geelong (13.14) 92, North Melbourne (14.14) 98

Despite a gutsy last quarter and a huge performance from  Tom Hawkins with Josh Caddy and Joel Selwood., the Cats still could not take the second opportunity to progress in September.

Having had a look at the players ratings for Geelong, this was a poor performance. Team players under performing on the big stage, which at the this stage of the season is simply not good enough.

Since 2007, the Cats have been in the mix there or thereabouts within the Finals and unfortunately, the success of the last few years has brought a huge level of expectation to the club and the demands of the supporters.

Why should we - as a group, club, and fan base - settle for second best? Why not demand the flag every year week in, week out, and dominate the AFL for years like Manchester Utd have done in the Premier League over the last 15 years.

This simply isn't good enough TBH. As blogged a few days ago, I have hardly followed the AFL this term and have only kept half an eye on Geelong and the progress this season.

But I think last weeks drubbing by Hawthorn really said it all, that this year the Cats were simply not good enough to win the Flag let alone reach the finals. We got there on a wing and a prayer, and missed Stevie J's creativity and inspiration.

But one man cannot make a team, and this year, they fell short. And fluffed the lines with the second bite of the cherry - how many teams would love to have the opportunity to play in a qualifying final?

Chris Scott has interesting words:

"I'm incredibly disappointed right at the moment, but really driven and motivated, even at this disappointing time, to improve and get better," Scott said.

"We were poor at times tonight. The opposition were excellent, but we found a way to get ourselves back into the contest and give ourselves a chance. "

What will happen in 2015 is anyone's guess, but rather than cheer one and be happy, get on the players 
backs and demand more - hard earned money goes on memberships which in turn feeds into players and staff salaries - so again, why should we accept second best? All the love about the Cats on FB is just silly - "Get behind the team, you did great, we are Geelong!" Yes we are, but as a fan(s) we should demand a performance that is worthy. Witnessing the 2009 and 2011 GF's on the TV, I can tell you there is no better feeling in the world when the final siren sounds at the G on the last Sat of September. 

The charter set out by Geelong a year or two back said that their aim was to win Premierships - 1963..................and then 2007 - that was a bloody long time. And possibly it could happen again. Indeed I may never see another flag in my lifetime, which is why every year the team must dig deep and find the inner strength to convert the opportunities presented - such as the qualifying finals - to get to the last week in September.

In 2005, a last minute goal by Nick Davies broke my heart.......I sank to my knees knowing that we were that close to edging to the GF that year - it was some game to watch. It was a match that gave me hope for the future. 

Today, I looked at AFL,com and saw that the Cats were behind in the second quarter. I knew that listening or viewing the game was hopeless. 

Just like watching.............er...................West Ham?

Now, we all know that the current first team are having some issues, with a great win against Palace followed up by a drubbing from Southampton - but what about letting the reserve team have a go?

Matthais Fanimo was in spectacular form against the Tractor Boys in a friendly and some of the play some brilliant on the floor football.

Now why can't we play like this every week with the first team??

Thursday, 11 September 2014

What Premiership???? Are we in the GF yet??

Last year, I watched and followed the Geelong Football club with great passion. I was watching highlights of every game and we were looking on course for another potential GF, when up popped the Hawks.

So be it.

I also did very well in the tipping helping a friend come 2nd (or 3rd, I can't remember) - it was a great season.

However, this year - 2014 - I was simply out of the loop.

OK, I watched The Footy Show when I could - even that was not every week, and noted the retirements of Jono Brown, Luke Ball, Dean Cox and Jake "The Push-Up" King........but the farce surrounding the Essendon Football Club seems to have left a dire taste in the mouth at the moment with the headlines dominated for some time with James Hird and Bomber Thompson.

Indeed the ASADA investigation was not handled well and may be the one contributing factor for tuning people out of the footy this season. I for one could not care less and am bored with it all.

But what of the Mighty Cats?

Normally I write a piece after each game, but this year I just did not have the fight to do so.......

We made it to the Finals and were promptly dispatched by - once again - the Hawks.

Were I used to look for Ling, Chapman, Scarlett, Milburn, Ottens et al, I can hardly name a player this term..........and it seemed every thing fed around Stevie J more than anything else.

But a team can't be a one man show - and with his injury, it showed that the Cats are still raw after the loss/retirement of some legends of that golden side from 2007-2012.

Can you blame Chris Scott? No, not really - a good coach who one the flag in his rookie season, BUT it is the players who haev to step up - and I think the majority of them are still learning the trade.

I cannot - at this moment - see Geelong winning this years flag on the near future. I think we had our wonder years just gone. But that does not mean negativity. The side is young, and I need to get familiar with them to assess if 2015 will be better.

In saying that, we still have a shout - but the likelihood is remote.

Dare I believe..........?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Do I feel sorry for Jennifer Lawrence??

No, not one bit.

Silly cow, WHY keep pictures of yourself on a mobile phone that you knew were deliberately provocative or explicit??

Or is this just one massive publicity stunt?

Likewise for Kate Upton.

Many a person has commentated that this is a violation of their rights, but FFS, why keep them on your phone? If that phone got stolen, it would be almost the same scenario happening all over again.

I have seen the photos that got "stolen" - you don't need to look hard to see that they are splashed all over the internet......and TBH, it is all pretty tame stuff......and very easily available to peruse. Despite all the chatter of legal action, how many thousand people have these pictures hoarded on their hard drives by now or shared them to a wider audience?? Yes Jennifer Lawrence, I am sure your lawyers are going to go after them and sue them for all it is worth.........Tutankhamun............

Kate Upton has a good rack I concluded......

And look at Englands favourite chavlebrity Tulisa Constavlous.....that sex tape does not to have done her any harm as she is back on the Naff Factor as a guest judge later on. (Again, very easy to find via Google!)

Photos of Kate Middleton showing her jugs were all over the internet and now a distant memory..... Likewise Posh Spice and Prince Edward's missus Sophie of Wessex had similar photos shown in the press......again these are forgotten about now............

These people want the limelight - they are welcome to it. Jennifer Lawrence should enjoy her photo fame for the brief time that this is being lauded up in the media as in a few months folk will get bored and move on.

More to the point, all the people who shout that this is a violation of privacy are correct - but again, why take selfies or get someone to take them ON YOUR CAMERA PHONE!!! What is wrong with a digital camera that you could store on a secure NAS drive???

Their own vanity and self craving for neediness has led to this situation, and I have absolutely no sympathy for them in any shape or form. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

LEGO moves into the toy top spot

Why I just coudl no care less about colour variations, plastic bodies, or the rants of pubescent teenagers who stil have not discovered girls.............as Macca's say "I'm Lovin' it!"
Press Release

Global LEGO® sales up 15 percent in first half of 2014

Double-digit growth across all regions delivered a turnover of 11,504m DKK in the first half of 2014, fueled by the success of The LEGO® Movie products.
Key financial figures from the interim result:
  • Revenue in first half of 2014 increased 15% compared with the same period last year measured in local currency (i.e. excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate changes).
  • Revenue for the first half of 2014 increased by 11% in DKK to DKK 11,504m compared with DKK 10,408m for the same period last year.
  • Operating profit (profit before financial items and tax) for first half 2014 was DKK 3,632m compared with DKK 3,246m for first half 2013, an increase of 12% year over year
  • Net profit for first half of 2014 was DKK 2,715m compared with DKK 2,381m for first half 2013
  • Cash flow from operating activities was DKK 3,383m compared with DKK 2,908m during the first half of 2013.
Commenting on the financial result, LEGO Group President and CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp says: “Our revenue in the first half of 2014 has more than tripled compared to first half year revenue six years ago, in 2008. It is a very satisfactory result that shows our significant growth in recent years in a tough economic environment. The result for the first half of 2014 is an outcome of our ability to develop, launch and distribute LEGO® products, which children all over the world put at the top of their wish lists. We are particularly pleased that classics such as LEGO City, LEGO Creator, LEGO Technic, and LEGO Star Wars™ continue to deliver very strong growth globally.”

LEGO Movie product line exceeded expectations

A significant contributor to sales growth in the first half of 2014 was the LEGO Movie products launched in conjunction with the release of the LEGO Movie in theaters across the world in early 2014.
“We are thrilled by the reception of the LEGO Movie products that provided a significant boost to our sales during the first half of 2014,” says Executive Vice President and CFO John Goodwin adding:
“The LEGO Movie celebrated the creative potential in us all, which is also the foundation of any LEGO product we develop. Every LEGO set must offer a versatile play experience that fosters creative building, and this is what we continually strive to deliver to children all over the world.”

Strong growth in all regions

In the first half of 2014 the LEGO Group experienced broad based sales momentum in the regions where it operates.
“Consumer sales growth in Europe, the Americas, and Asia was in the double digits, which is very satisfactory in the light of the global toy market which experienced a slow start in 2014,” says John Goodwin, adding:
“It is too early to say if the strong performance will be reflected in the full year results as the majority of LEGO sales to consumers happen in the second half of the calendar year in a short time-span of a few weeks leading up to the holiday season. The strong performance of the LEGO Movie products had a positive effect during the first half of 2014, and it remains to be seen how the line will continue to develop behind the highly anticipated launch of the LEGO Movie on DVD in the 2nd half of 2014.”

Global presence a successful strategy

In the Asian region growth in LEGO sales varied from market to market. China saw the most significant growth in consumer sales in the region by more than 50%. This supports the LEGO Group’s ambitions to further globalise the company and make Asia a significant contributor to future growth.
During April 2014 two significant celebrations marked this intent; the official ground breaking of the first LEGO factory in China, located in Jiaxing, and the inauguration of a new office in Shanghai, which is one of five main offices globally for the LEGO Group.
“There is a huge potential in Asia, and we are still learning and in the process of building our capabilities in the region. The factory and the office represent a significant expansion of our physical presence in the region. Alongside our other main office in Singapore, the Shanghai office and the new factory enable strategically important functions to be located close to our customers as well as children and parents in China and Asia,” says Bali Padda Executive Vice President and COO.
The decision to place a LEGO Factory in China is a direct consequence of the LEGO Group’s ambition to have production placed close to core markets.
“This enables us to deliver LEGO products to retailers and ultimately to children all over the world very fast, offering a world class service to our customers and consumers. This has proven to be a successful strategy for us, and by further globalising the LEGO Group, we hope to reach even more children around the world with a creative play experience,” says Bali Padda.
In the first half of 2014 other significant milestones on the LEGO Group’s journey towards that ambition were achieved.
In Europe, expansions of the LEGO factory in the Czech Republic continued, while a brand new factory was inaugurated in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary in March. Alongside the LEGO factory in Denmark, these mainly supply LEGO products to children in the European markets.
In Mexico, expansion of the LEGO factory in Monterrey was completed and inaugurated in June. The Mexican factory mainly supplies the American markets, and the expansion is expected to create more than 1,000 new jobs.
“We have been investing and we will continue to invest significant resources in further globalising the company, which is a precondition for our future ability to not only create great LEGO experiences for children all over the world, but also our ability to build a culturally diverse organisation where we can attract and develop global talent. Ultimately this is what will ensure the future success of the LEGO Group,” says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Feeling better

I am going to see if I can go through September without visiting the MCF.

Already I feel better - no stupid childish crap to read about from resident numpty mbx64; no worrying about the plastic content of MB........no worrying about clashing with others and the mbx64 Fan Club.

I am enjoying some of John Lambert's TLV pictorials; I am really liking Brickset.com and the many MOC's that folk are creating as well.

I keep an eye on diecast as I will always have an interest, but this is very much taking a back seat again. I picked up a few 1-75 the other day but I could not tell you if they were part of the collection or dupes until I checked them off.

Let's see - at the moment I have no need to visit the MCF. I will continue to update 1-75.co.uk and will gain my updates via the likes of John Lambert and the 3inchdiecastbliss blog as well.

And importantly, I am enjoying watching football again - MOTD is videoed now every week and watched in full.

It is good to get back to basics. Enjoy the things you like.