Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Mon, 28 Jun 2010 18:36:32 +000028 JunpmMon, 28 Jun 2010 18:36:32 +00002010-06-28T18:36:32+00:0006 2010

A Betting Rant

The dangers of letting your heart rule your head

I’ve never been a fan of John Terry.

It’s not a reaction to his abysmal display on Sunday…

Or even a reaction to his questionable extra-curricular activities.

But rather a reaction to the way that he plays the game and has done ever since his emergence at Chelsea.

Because Terry is one of those players with a heart larger than his head…

Not literally of course.

Sure he’s a commanding presence in central defence but he’s also slow and lacks the finesse of a Rio Ferdinand.

Furthermore, when he doesn’t have things his own way, he can be a disruptive influence.

And while you can get away with these sort of limitations at club level, international football will undoubtedly show you up…

As it has done with John.

So what’s the answer?

Forget what your heart tells you and listen to cold hard reason.

John Terry should never have been an automatic choice for England in South Africa and once he’d caused a dressing room rift with his off-field dalliances, he should not even have been on the plane.

The same principle applies to betting.

Because while it was reasonable to back England to progress past the group stage, it was anything but to back them to beat Germany, once it became apparent that the defence was shaky and that the old enemy were ready and waiting in round two.

The golden rule

Sport is highly emotive…

That’s why we all love it so much.

But in betting terms that makes it very dangerous.

Because emotion clouds judgement and when you’re staking your own money, judgement should be crystal clear.

Which is why you should never back a team or individual that you support unless you are happy to lose…

Or you have a clear back up plan.

A few weeks ago I suggested backing England to make the semi-finals.

But while I had good reason…

A supposedly E.A.S.Y group…

The key part of the bet was that England were not the be all and end all.

In fact, they were little more than a back up…

In case the Germans came uncharacteristically unstuck.

A (painful) lesson learnt

Yet for many people England’s defeat on Sunday will have cost them more than a get out of jail free card…

Because in modern World Cups around one billion pounds is bet and a fair amount of that money is placed with the heart rather than the head.

This time around one bettor is £6500 worse off after backing England…

And another £110,000 poorer after backing France each-way.

Neither of which could possibly have been bets placed with the head…

Not a sane head anyway.

So in order to maintain a healthy bank balance…

And your own sanity.

It really is best to steer clear of the emotional bet.

After all, If England were to win the World Cup or your club team were to win a major trophy, chances are you’d be so happy that for a few glorious days, weeks or even months, money wont matter.

And if they instead fall short, then the extra cash…

Either in money saved or money won…

Will soften the blow.

For more of my hints, tips and angry ramblings head over to Shortcut Publications and sign up to The Betting Rant. It’s free y’know!!

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Mon, 28 Jun 2010 18:10:32 +000028 JunpmMon, 28 Jun 2010 18:10:32 +00002010-06-28T18:10:32+00:0006 2010

A New Chapter

As you’ll probably know by now, the time has come to leave community reporting behind, so good luck to all those at CAve Media and to the rest of you let’s move on together… to the world of sport and sports betting.

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Sun, 20 Jun 2010 16:56:11 +000020 JunpmSun, 20 Jun 2010 16:56:11 +00002010-06-20T16:56:11+00:0004 2010

A quick note…

As you will have noticed, I’ve not posted for a while and alas, while England are still involved in the World Cup, this will remain to be the case.

Hopefully then, my next post will be after a glorious England victory in the final on July 11th. Yes that’s right, I haven’t lost the faith and nor should any of you!!

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Wed, 09 Jun 2010 14:14:36 +000009 JunpmWed, 09 Jun 2010 14:14:36 +00002010-06-09T14:14:36+00:0002 2010

Can you guess what it is yet?!

As you may have guessed from the revamp that is currently underway, Blurred Visions will not be disappearing when my work at CAve Media comes to an end.

Truth is, I’ve quite enjoyed it and it’s also been more successful than I expected (ta very much!) so the plan is to make it bigger and better as I head off to London and beyond.

As you can see, it’s already all-singing and dancing and there will undoubtedly be more new features to follow, so as the cliché goes… watch this space….

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Tue, 08 Jun 2010 15:04:11 +000008 JunpmTue, 08 Jun 2010 15:04:11 +00002010-06-08T15:04:11+00:0003 2010

Career Opportunities

They offered me the office, offered me the shop
They said I better take anything they got
Do you wanna make tea at the BBC?
Do you wanna be, do really wanna be a cop?

Career opportunities are the ones that never knock
Every job they offer is to keep you out the dock
Career opportunities, the ones that never knock

Jones, Mick; Strummer, Joe (1977)

(Imitates 70’s DJ voice)
The Clash there with Career Opportunities
, a rather depressing outlook on the world of employment. Next up it’s “Hey Rock n’ Roll” by Showaddywaddy…

Don’t worry I’m not going to be continuing in this vein, tempting as it may be! I’m merely highlighting a contrast and what better way to highlight a contrast than to follow The Clash with a bit of Showaddywaddy?!

The point that I’d like to make is that you don’t have to be any one thing and have any one outlook. People love to pigeonhole – wear dark clothes and you’re a goth, wear a pair of trackie bottoms and you’re a chav, listen to Showaddywaddy and you’re a blinkered popite, listen to The Clash and you’re an angry punker.

Why can’t we just be ourselves? Individuals with individual tastes and individual opinions. If you despise everything that the X Factor stands for but like the new Diana Vickers track, don’t be afraid to admit it – to others but just as importantly, to yourself. So hear goes…

I loooove the new Diana Vickers track and the album’s not too shabby either!

There, wasn’t that easy?

Doesn’t mean that I like the X Factor and it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop buying Babyshambles’ albums in favour of Alexandra Burke. It just means that I’m open to new ideas. So how about this for a new idea…

Maybe, just maybe, it’s not as hard to get a job as everybody thinks. Maybe you just need to put in a little more effort now than you used to in the past, or if you’re new to this work lark, be prepared to get out there and look for opportunities, rather than wait for them to find you.

It’s incredibly tempting to look at record unemployment figures, listen to the media droning on about how there are supposedly no jobs available and just sit back and not bother making any effort because you don’t think it’s worth it.

Only it is…

Because there are jobs out there, you just need to look that little bit harder.

How do I know? Because back in the early part of this year I was jobless and it was nobody’s fault but my own. Quite frankly I was more than happy to sit in with Jeremy Kyle and Countdown and collect my £100 JSA money every other week and yet with a change of attitude came a change of fortune.

Fast forward a few months and I’m now into the final week of my job with CAve Media, not because we’re all being made redundant but because I’ve got a permanent job in London (see Sunshine Underground) as a Junior Sports Editor – a job that makes use of my degree in sports journalism no less.

Yes that’s right, shock horror!! You can get a job relevant to your degree regardless of what others will tell you.

Now I know that it’s not easy, I know that we are in a country with very real financial problems and I know that in the current system some of you may even be better off financially without a job but why not forget all this just for a few weeks and give it a go? Get out there, get looking and promote yourself. If you want it enough, then chances are it’ll be out there for you…

And if it isn’t, then why not take advantage of the generous range of benefits that the government has to offer, before Mr Cameron goes and takes them all away.

Don’t delay! Sale ends shortly…

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Mon, 24 May 2010 11:23:31 +000024 MayamMon, 24 May 2010 11:23:31 +00002010-05-24T11:23:31+00:0011 2010

Sunshine Underground

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know just if you can
Where I stand

Marley, Bob (1971)

Isn’t it odd how life is just so much better when it’s sunny? The birds sing, the flowers blossom and there’s a real motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Of course all that get up and go instantly disintegrates the moment you step outside but when there’s an option to lounge about in the sunshine, why would you even stop to consider another?!

Take last weekend for example – I planned to get things done and I had plenty of time to get things done but when faced with the choice of notepads and computer screens or parks and ice creams, there was only ever going to be one winner. Yet am I annoyed with myself over my lack of output? No, not in the slightest.

You see, everybody needs time to reflect every now and again and for me, the weekend just gone was the perfect time to do so. I spent Friday in London and without going into details (more next week), the outcome of the visit is going to have a big impact on my life and has consequently left me with a lot (and I do mean a lot) to do.

Now I could have rushed into this head first with a flurry of emails, calls and scribbled notes but why rush? Rushing results in mistakes.

What do Brian Clough’s 44 day tenure as Leeds United manager, the decision by Blair and Bush to invade Iraq and Ian Beale’s many doomed marriages in Eastenders have in common? None of them were properly thought through.

Cloughie tried to do too much too soon, there was a lack of real evidence to justify the Iraq war and Ian Beale just doesn’t think, full stop.

So next time you have a big decision(s) to make, or arrangements to consider, why not try taking a step back. Admittedly, it’s not always possible to take a whole hour, let alone a whole weekend but if you’ve got the chance then take it.

You’ll be amazed by just how clearly you see things when you’re surrounded by nothing but sunshine and good company.

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Wed, 12 May 2010 15:19:36 +000012 MaypmWed, 12 May 2010 15:19:36 +00002010-05-12T15:19:36+00:0003 2010

A Community Update

One of my jobs this week has been to send out an email update to everybody involved with CAve Media.

From local authorities to Lancashire police, nobody has missed out, so neither should you.

It’s a little drier than the usual entries on this blog but that’s not to say that it isn’t as important and as the update says – if you know of any local event, activity or issue that we at CAve Media should be covering, just let us know.

Good afternoon,

One of the key areas that we have been focusing on this week has been building a new platform for our web-based content. Up until now we have been hosting all of our videos on our Ning site but are currently in the process of moving to a new website. Hopefully this will be up and running next week but for the time being, all our content can be found on Youtube’s People’s Voice Media channel.

Onto local issues and this week we have team members looking at the public reaction to two new innovations by Bespoke. The first is the Callon and Fishwick “Newspaper!” This has been distributed to local residents on a monthly basis since February.

The second Bespoke led project is centred on a “digital busker” which aims to promote local musicians. The busker is currently in the design phase and it is the role of the Community Researchers to help shape that design by garnering the opinions of local residents.

Elsewhere, we also have team members working directly with Bespoke at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). They are currently working on a number of briefs, including a look at the effectiveness of PACT meetings and an evaluation of the “Blogging Pad” – a new Bespoke design that aims to let residents have their say on local issues.

The group is also working on a number of Contour led briefs, which include a look at a recent Business and Development workshop in Salford.

Another key project focuses on unemployment in Preston. In order to fulfil this brief, Community Researchers will be speaking to local authorities and residents about the state of Preston’s job market and trying to dig out any new and existing opportunities for local people.

The Researchers have also been covering local events and a number of them headed over to Red Scar earlier today for the opening of the JHP Academy Centre.

Finally, good progress is being made on a time-lapse photography project based in Oldham. A small group of Researchers will be travelling to the site early next week, where they will take pictures and work on a proposal for the successful implementation of the project.

There’ll be another update next Wednesday but in the meantime, if you know of any local issues or events that the Community Researchers should be covering, please let us know by sending an email to

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Tue, 04 May 2010 15:03:38 +000004 MaypmTue, 04 May 2010 15:03:38 +00002010-05-04T15:03:38+00:0003 2010

An Irish Afterthought

There was half a million people there
Of all denominations
The Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew, the Presbyterian
Yet there was no animosity
No matter what persuasion
But failte hospitality
Inducing fresh acquaintance

Fearnley, James;MacGowan, Shane; Stacy, Spider et al (1987)

Another break from writing, another trip away, though on this occasion the motive was pleasure rather than business.

Northern Ireland was the destination (Coleraine specifically) and even though I’ve been there before and on both occasions I’ve been more interested in the subtle differences between a local Guinness and an ex-pat Guinness (it doesn’t travel well, believe it or not!) than the difference betwen English and Northern Irish society, I still found experiencing the latter extremely interesting.

For starters there’s the whole religious divide, which I won’t even pretend to be an expert on, other than to say that I at least have some experience of it, having spent a lot of time with Protestants on my first visit and Catholics this time round. This shouldn’t make any real difference but invariably it does and there are buildings I went into on the first visit that my host for the second wouldn’t even dream of entering (and vice-versa).

The fact of it is there are deep seated issues and tensions between the two groups, caused by years of conflict and very different opinions with regards the north/south divide in particular. As a consequence there are places where people of certain beliefs aren’t welcome but providing these unwritten rules are adhered to, everybody gets by harmoniously and unsavoury incidents are few and far between.

So, what did I take from my visit? First and foremost NEVER book a flight at 8am when you’re planning on going out the night before, no matter how cheap it is! Beyond that, I’ve also seen proof, now from both sides, that people with sharply contrasting views can live together happily, even when there is a genuine reason for the split in attitudes.

With this in mind, why on earth do people that are essentially of the same mindset not get on, just because they look a bit different or hail from different countries? When you look at our cultural integration issues in comparison with those faced by nations such as Northern Ireland, they all seem just a little bit trivial.

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Sat, 17 Apr 2010 18:08:29 +000017 AprpmSat, 17 Apr 2010 18:08:29 +00002010-04-17T18:08:29+00:0006 2010

An interview with… Stuart Pettman

Apologies for the delay in uploading this interview. Life got very busy very quickly!

Stuart Pettman (15-04-2010)

Stuart’s first round match against Ding Junhui will be played from 10am on Tuesday and Wednesday (20th and 21st April). You can catch all the action on the BBC’s interactive service and online.

Posted by: lifesablur21 | 3Tue, 13 Apr 2010 15:57:55 +000013 AprpmTue, 13 Apr 2010 15:57:55 +00002010-04-13T15:57:55+00:0003 2010

OK Computer

A bit of a rant…

Sometimes I get overcharged that’s when you see sparks
You ask me where the hell I’m going at a thousand feet per second?
Hey man, slow down, slow down, idiot slow down, slow down

Greenwood, Colin;Greenwood, Jonny;O’Brien, Ed;Selway, Philip;Yorke, Thom (1997)

People are often accused of being old fashioned and standing in the way of change. Take Sepp Blatter for example. The head of world football’s governing body (FIFA) has consistently refused to introduce video technology into the game, despite readily acknowledging that referee’s are only human and will never be perfect. The fact that this can result in major errors doesn’t bother our Sepp, due to the fact that these errors simply make the game even more of a talking point.

I agree with Sepp’s point of view for a different reason. I agree with it because as far as I’m concerned, technology is just as error-strewn as human judgement. My computer is forever stopping, stalling, coughing, crashing and generally misbehaving. It’s the same with my work computer and my iPod and my mobile phone and seemingly every other piece of technology I touch.

Thing is, I know that it’s not even a case of me being incompetent or unlucky. That I could handle. It’s a case of manufacturers rushing out products without first taking the time to iron out all the bugs and glitches that plague their individual cash cows. This results in numerous irked customers such as myself, cursing the cows and wishing that their farmers took a bit more care and attention over their upbringing.

It’s not surprising then that some people feel the way they do about change that involves new technology. Sometimes it’s not much better than what went before and yet it will always be more expensive.

It’s fair to say that I’ve not had the best couple of days with technology. I’ve spent most of them messing about with an internet connection that either doesn’t work at all, or crawls along at a pace that makes snails look like Olympic sprinters. More now than ever I can understand the scepticism that some people hold.

Computers are undoubtedly going to become even more prominent as time goes by and as such, I think it’s only right that the people in charge of production should work just a little bit harder on quality control. If they continue with their slap dash approach they may just get a rude awakening. At least from where I’m sitting, it’ll no longer be a case of OK computer but **** off computer.

Rant over.

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