Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Most-False Smile of the Year 2010

The award has just been won by these two men, who take the crown from Jenson Button's grimace at the 2009 Sports Personality of the Year awards, when the Formula One World Champion finished as runner-up to a Welsh charisma-vacuum.

Rooney is evidently off his rocker. A combination of injuries to body, pride, hairline and marital stability appear to have finally cracked the poor (not in the monetary sense, with his £150k a week wages) lad into making random statements and playing appalling football.

On his day, Rooney is a fantastic footballer and a credit to any team in the world, but it hasn't been his day for a long time. Ditto Fernando Torres, unfortunately.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Smartphone Month

I've had my HTC Desire for about a month, now, and am finding it to be an utterly excellent phone.

It's easy to use, works properly, gets reception in the small villages were I didn't really have any before and also has a lot of fancy features, cool apps and, more importantly, useful apps.

What I don't like about it: the speaker phone option is crap, it doesn't vibrate strongly enough in my pocket and... and... erm. The optical trackball is only useful for using in camera mode, otherwise it gets in the way a bit.

Well that's about all that's wrong with it.

A couple of the apps aren't quite up to scratch, but that's hardly the phone's fault. For instance I can't use the full features of Facebook, such as seeing who has liked comments, and I cant like or comment on other people's comments, yet. The Blogging app, too, is pretty pointless, as even though Blogspot is a Google subsidiary and Android is Google's mobile OS, there's no official app for it, so I won't even bother with blogging on the go.

The camera is a decent quality, the LED flashlight is a useful idea, and all the usual nifty bits of Android work very well. It is, quite simply, an excellent phone.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where's Roo Off To?

Frankly, I don't care.

Funny way to start a blog, though, declaring a non-interest in a subject that I proceed to talk about.

As long as wherever he goes, he ends up playing properly for England at whatever the next tournament we somehow manage to qualify for, then I'll be happy.

Manchester City will be on alert, as a player with excellent FM ratings is wanting to leave his club. Barcelona, too, will be pricking up their ears at the thought of yet another Nike-sponsored player coming to their ranks. Chelsea are already prowling around and Mourinho has said he wants Rooney at Real, too. While even droppy chops at Spurs has stated his interest in him. Of course, being English, Daniel Levy will try and buy him, but he's probably worth more than White Hart Lane.

Turning £100M of operating profit into an £86M loss through paying off debts is no way to run a business, and United only made a £40M profit last year because they sold Ronaldo for £80M. So, essentially, their losses thanks to that debt have doubled since last year.

They're not quite in the pre-NESV Liverpool situation yet, where one of Hicks/Gillett was defaulting on his £150M loan repayment date, but They way debt has been artificially created at United with the Glazer takeover (at least that was outlined from the start, Hicks/Gillett specifically said that there was no debt in the club, just like NESV have said) is worrying, at best.

The season Liverpool are currently having, however, is something I'd really like to pretend isn't happening.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christmas Gifting

A little early, perhaps, but we're coming up with Christmas-related editorial, cover images and the like for our November and December editions, so sleigh bells are jingling in our ears already and it's time for the office Secret Santa.

Now, being an office comprised of precisely two people, this takes quite a lot of the secret out of who has got you the gift.  We have a different game, however.

Within the £5 limit - it's the thought that counts, of course, and with only a fiver you need to put a lot of thought into it - we randomly pick a letter from the Alphabet to decide what sort of present we buy.

L brought a Liquorice Allsorts mug and a Crossword Loo-roll, for instance. This year I have drawn F, and will be receiving gift(s) with R as the main letter.

Time to get my thinking cap on...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finding the Inspiration

The RPing bug hasn't bitten me in a while over at nationstates.net, but various ideas that have been swirling around in my head are starting to form together into something that I can start exploring with a post or two. Far too many ideas to be able to merge into one, of course, so I'll have to drop some for another time.

The day-to-day grind of football results simply isn't interesting to RP any more. I've been doing it on and off - mostly on - for the last six years (Starblaydia itself celebrates its 7th in-game anniversary on April 5th) and there are only so many ways to play out a scoreline, and so many times that you can elaborate on quite how a particular goal was scored, or tackle was punished.

Developing characters, storylines, the myths and legends of the future along the way is far more interesting to me. Unfortunately, though, it is a far harder task to get all that going. Some of it comes around very naturally, some are shoehorned into fitting where they don't belong, while others develop a life of their own without me going anywhere near them, so I can use them later on.

To keep my opponents going with RPs about my team, however, I need to do the hard part and create a World Cup squad each time. Aging 4 years per cup, like in real life, makes this the big creative drain on me every few months, as 23 names, clubs and positions need to be figured out. Once they're done, though, I can let myself loose on tales the like of which have never been read before.


Either that, or I'll not RP at all, scrape through the Qualifiers and get flattened in the Finals, watching my rank drop yet further, then not making it to the World Cup at all, at which point I'll either be spurred on into trying again and making it another record-breaking (or by that time, more like record-equalling) 6th world title, or just giving up entirely. I've written a little too much history to let that happen, though.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Euroskeptic for another 2 years

I like the Ryder Cup, and blame my parents for it. They'd never watch Golf usually, but would be glued to the Ryder Cup coverage when it came around every other year.

Thankfully, people who like golf every other time it's on realise that the Ryder Cup is the one event that non-golf fans will watch. I won't pretend to know who the hell Rory McIlroy (pictured) is, but he's looks like a Hobbit who's missed a few second breakfasts. Crucially, he's playing for Europe, rather than Britain, or Northern Ireland.

Like many people, I'm only European when the Ryder Cup is on. It's not just the American-bashing that we get to revel in, uniting ancient foes against a common sporting enemy, but also the sense of togetherness. Nowhere else in the country would you find jubilant chants of "Europe! Europe!" (more like "You-rup!", but never mind) from sane-minded Englishmen. And Welshmen, Scots and No'rn Irish. Not to mention everyone else on the continent.

It's one of the times when you realise that, really, we're all the same. Not that being foreign is a crime, of course - as it's just all a tragic accident of geography - but my travels around this globe, from the New World in the west to the Far East, er, in the east, as well as the liberal smattering of foreigners I've met from all corners of the world, have taught me something (a few things, actually, but there's on that's relevant to this post):

We're all the same, we just do things differently.

That and, for one weekend every two years, golf is actually not the best way to spoil a good walk. Sorry, Winston.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Now with 33% of Results

Tim's Norse putting four past Damo's Humans was the game that meant we're more than a third of the way through the regular season of the first Portal Wargaming Club Blood Bowl League.

The Griffin Division looks like it's going to be a shoot-out between Tim's Norse and Dan's Skaven, with Tim having the edge after I battered the ratmen and took out all of their Gutter Runners with serious injuries.

Simpson Division, too, has a shoot-out between myself and Roy, with both teams on Played 2, Won 2 records. Our final match of Divisional play is against each other, and in addition to everything that's on the line already - has the Padawan got to the stage where he can beat the Jedi Knight competitively? - and subsequent glory and bragging rights, the fate of the Simpson Divisional Champion may well be on the line.

Fry Division looks far more complicated at this stage, as their games were weighted towards the end of the schedule, and only Harry's Wood Elves and Paul's Gobbos have played more than one match, having a win and a loss each. Andy's Dwarves look like they're able to take this Division's top spot, but both they and Phil's Lizardmen have only played the one game, meaning anything can happen.

Who would go through right now? Tim, Dan, me, Roy, Andy and Harry as the top two in each Division, while Paul and Ben's Vampires would sneak through as the two runners-up with the best records.

The final Matchday 2 game between Tom's Necromantic and Stu's Humans should be completed on Wednesday, which means the Dead and Gooners will be soon re-taking the pitch to face Stu in our Matchday 3 game. Once we're in the home stretch, this is going to get intense, like a double-rainbow.

And then we'll play the Knock-outs...