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Formula 1 German Grand Prix 2014

Writen by on Jul, 21 2014, 09:07 ♦ Category: Formula 1No Responses

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg cruised to an easy victory ahead of Williams’ Valteri Bottas and Mercedes’ team mate Lewis Hamilton at the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring this afternoon.

The race got off to bad start for Felipe Massa who turned in on McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen in turn one and was flipped over while Magnussen dropped to the back; it was 100% Massa’s fault; he should have given the McLaren driver more room. This incident brought out the safety car; which thankfully was only out for two laps with the race resuming on lap 3. The big winners of the start was Jenson Button who jumped from 11th to sixth place while Hamilton jumped from 20th to 14th place. The big loser was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who had to go way off track to avoid the first corner incident and found himself drop into the lower midfield when he rejoined the track.

One highlight of the race for me was Ricciardo’s battle with Fernando Alonso for fifth place; a battle that Alonso eventually won with a much faster car at that stage of the race; but it was a real back and forth tussle. Alonso would make the pass but Ricciardo immediately came back at the Spaniard and retook the place. Second highlight was Hamilton closing upto the back of Bottas’ Williams only to held behind by the Williams straight line speed and Hamilton’s soft tyres starting to go off!

Hamilton had a crashi-bashi afternoon clipping Raikkonen as he passed the Finn and also misread Button’s intentions when the Briton went wide and collided with his former team mate. I remember thinking at the time of the incident that the Hamiltonians will be all over the incident blaming Jenson despite Lewis himself acknowledged he misread the situation and accepted the blame.

The second talking point was why the hell did the FIA stewards elect to not dispatch the safety car on lap 50 when Adrian Sutil spun at the final turn leaving his stranded Sauber in the middle of the track. Instead it was covered by waved yellows while the marshals ran across an active track to recover the car. I believe it’s not right to put the marshals lives at risk unnecessarily like that.

Both Mercedes drivers were surprised to not see a safety car with contrasting emotions, Rosberg was happy as it allowed him to cruise home; while Hamilton claimed “I think we know why”; seemingly suggesting that stewards didn’t want to ruin the all-German party as a safety car would have wiped out Rosberg’s lead possibly making him vulnerable to an attack from behind.

You can see Hamilton’s frustration as two weeks prior, the British Grand Prix was red flagged and stopped for an hour to repair a barrier that there was very minimal chance of anyone hitting again. It was definitely a red flag, it was a nasty accident, but the hour long delay was unnecessary. Which makes the decision to cover Sutil’s stranded car with waved yellows even more crazy!

Moving away from the politics of F1, now back to the race itself. It was a solid result for Williams; despite Massa’s unnecessary crash at turn 1, Bottas drove a clinical race to finish where he started in second. This result moves Williams above Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen’s poor season continues to dog Ferrari’s championship aspirations. I wonder if Sir Frank & Claire are wondering if they made the right decision hiring Massa? the veteran is now 61 points behind relative rookie team mate Bottas.

Rosberg has started to extend his lead over Hamilton in the drivers championship again after he had it cut to just four points at the British Grand Prix when the German retired with gearbox issues as Hamilton took maximum points. The gap after Germany is 14 points, I think Hamilton needs a victory in Hungary next weekend for his own sanity, his frustration was really showing at Hockenheim.

2014 German Grand Prix Results

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:33:42.914
2. Valteri Bottas (Williams) +20.700
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +22.400
4. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) +43.800
5. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) +52.100
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +52.100
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +63.700
8. Jenson Button (McLaren) +84.200
9. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) +1 lap
10. Sergio Perez (Force India) +1 lap

Why do some people get so offended by differing views to theirs?

Writen by on Jul, 14 2014, 11:07 ♦ Category: Internet, Personal LifeNo Responses

I recently unfriended a person on Facebook because they took offense to my objection to their post which proclaimed “we should return to one nation under God”; which I disagree with wholeheartedly, simply said; religion has no place in government, school or business, it’s solely a personal choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-religion; I believe everyone has a right to freedom of religion and if my kids want to follow a certain faith be it Christian, Pagan or other, I will respect that choice. We don’t believe in pressuring our kids to follow our beliefs, which goes back to personal choice.

If you don’t want people to comment; don’t post your views on a public forum like Facebook. I was not disrespectful to this person in my comments, I just expressed my view; then “friends” of theirs decided to show great maturity by calling me insulting names, which this person endorsed.

I don’t need people like this in my life; I respect others opinions, even if I disagree, but this particular group of Christians have a hard time extending me the same courtesy. The scary thing is that this group of people think we should have a predominantly Christian leadership in the United States; citing how this country was built on Christian values. As I pointed out on Facebook; a lot has changed since 1787, today’s government should be a representative mix of the people it represents.

Bottom line here is that I don’t want people on my “friends” list who can’t have a debate without resulting to insults and/or endorsing people that act in this way. This is why I have a healthy dislike for religion, the followers are often blinded by the “message”; many religions in my view are a form of control. My dislike for religion came from my RC primary (elementary) school in the UK, when the priest ranted on about being cast unto hell if we (9 year olds) didn’t follow God’s rules.


Luis Suarez Gets His Wish With £75m Barcelona Move

Writen by on Jul, 13 2014, 19:07 ♦ Category: FootballNo Responses

Luis Suarez will now sit out his four month football ban in Spain after the Uruguayan striker signed a £75m deal with Barcelona during the week. I think it’s some great business for the Reds, Liverpool signed Suarez for £22.7m back in 2011; which sees the Reds net a 230% return on their investment.

I think that this ban was the final straw for Liverpool, having Suarez sit out another start of season after another biting incident. And despite signing another contract 12 months ago, it was no secret that Suarez wanted out of Liverpool. At this point there really wasn’t any point trying to hold onto the Uruguayan, it made little sense to keep fighting for him! It’s time to move on, sign some new talent and continue to develop Liverpool’s young stars like Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Stirling.

There has been lots of comment about how Suarez is irreplaceable and I wholeheartedly disagree; Suarez is an incredible talent but no one player is irreplaceable, Liverpool did just fine without him during the opening games of the 2013/14 season. I think Liverpool’s young talents are good enough to replace Suarez, with Sturridge scoring 25 goals last season, that’s just six less than Suarez!

Liverpool have four confirmed signings so far this summer; Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen, Adam Lallana and Richie Lambert from Southhampton and Kevin Steward from Tottenham Hotspur, none of which are replacements for Suarez in my view. I think that Liverpool need another World class striker to partner Sturridge. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong, and I really hope they do in the coming season!

Formula 1 British Grand Prix 2014

Writen by on Jul, 8 2014, 15:07 ♦ Category: Formula 1No Responses

Saturday’s bizarre rain hit qualifying session saw both Ferrari’s and both Williams get knocked out in Q1. The session also threw another surprise as Lewis Hamilton aborted his final lap thinking it was too wet for anyone to beat his provisional pole time found himself down in sixth place because the final sector had dried enough for five drivers to jump ahead of him. Which included team mate Nico Rosberg who took pole position ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren’s Jenson Button.

On race day; Rosberg drove off into the distance while Button jumped a place to second, McLaren team mate Kevin Magnussen moved upto third, Lewis Hamilton upto fourth while Vettel had a terrible start dropping back to fifth having to fend off the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. Meanwhile Force India’s Sergio Perez got nerfed off the track at turn 1 by STR’s Jean-Eric Vergne.

But there was a huge crash to come; out of place Kimi Raikkonen went off track, hit a bump coming back on track, lost control of his Ferrari, hit the barrier on the right before bouncing back across the track, collecting Felipe Massa’s Williams and narrowly missing Max Chilton and Kamui Kobayashi.

Raikkonen’s crash brought out the safety car and later the red flag to collect debris and repair the damaged Armco barrier. After an hour’s delay, the race got restarted behind the safety car; Rosberg made his breakaway catching second placed Button napping; Williams’ Valteri Bottas who started 17th passed Daniil Kvyat for seventh place and Hamilton forced an error from rookie Magnussen to move upto third place on the restart lap. One lap later, Hamilton also passed Button for second.

Hamilton took victory cutting his World championship deficit to just four points after it was Rosberg’s turn to have reliability issues; being forced to retire his car on lap 29 with gearbox failure. Which ultimately robbed the fans of a grandstand finish with Hamilton closing down his German team mate. It has to be asked, how much of Hamilton closing on Rosberg was related to Rosberg’s gearbox issues? The German had been reporting issues for a few laps prior to the failure!

Driver of the day for me was Bottas who passed car after car on his way to claiming second place. I’m really happy to see Williams do well at their home grand prix especially after their troubles in practice and qualifying. Williams look like a genuine front runner this season, third for Bottas in Austria, second in Great Britain, will be be first in Germany?, personally I’d love to see it!

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo impressed once again driving from eighth to third with what was effectively a one stop strategy; changing from the medium to hard tyres before the race restart on lap 2. While his four time World champion team mate finished fifth after starting second. Although Vettel did give us a great battle with Alonso for 13 laps before eventually taking fifth place away from the battle hardened Spaniard, which was as much as battle of words over the radio as anything!

McLaren’s Button had what has to be considered the best race of his season so far, finishing just 0.7 seconds away from a podium position; but the Briton equaled his best British grand prix finish of fourth in his first British grand prix without his father John Button by his side. Team mate Magnussen finished the race in seventh place, which counts as a decent team result for McLaren!

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne round out the points scorers in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. The most disappointed of those drivers has to be Hulkenberg who started the race in fourth place, seems the Force India just wasn’t hooked up today!

Williams have moved upto fourth place in the constructors championship ahead of Force India and just three points behind the powerhouse that is Ferrari, I’d absolutely love to see Williams take third position away from Ferrari, Williams deserve to have a good season after the past few years.

2014 British Grand Prix Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2:26:52.094
2. Valteri Bottas (Williams) +30.100
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +46.400
4. Jenson Button (McLaren) +47.100
5. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) +53.500
6. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) +59.500
7. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) +62.100
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +88.200
9. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +88.800
10. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) +101.000

Businesses given right to withhold medical benefits on religious grounds!

Writen by on Jul, 1 2014, 11:07 ♦ Category: News & OpinionNo Responses

The Supreme Court has ruled 5:4 that Hobby Lobby has the right to withhold medical benefits which the Affordable Care Act mandates based upon the company’s religious beliefs. The ruling affects coverage for after the fact contraceptives such as the morning after pill, which under the ACA would be free of charge. Business and religious should not mix, there is no such thing as a religious for profit businesses. The five justices that voted for the ruling are Christians, abuse of power I’d say!

This ruling will almost certainly lead to more challenges to mandated ACA coverages by businesses based upon their religious beliefs. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented saying “Would the exemption … extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus)?

This ruling sets a very dangerous precedent; I believe religion and business should not be linked in any way, I believe religion is a personal preference and should not be applied to business where that belief can be forced onto it’s employees, it’s taking away people’s right to personal choice.

While Hobby Lobby claim to be a Christian company, they choose to ignore that faith when they do business with China which has terrible human rights and forceful abortion policies based upon their one child per family law. Hobby Lobby can’t claim one rule when it suits them, then ignore their religious beliefs when it benefits it’s profit margin. Yet the five justices choose to ignore that fact!

Time To Go Mr. Suarez

Writen by on Jun, 28 2014, 14:06 ♦ Category: FootballNo Responses

Liverpool & Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has been handed a 4 month ban from all football plus a 9 game International ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s game with Italy on Tuesday.

Luis Suarez Biting Giorgio Chiellini

This is the third time that Suarez has been banned from playing football in the last four years for biting an opponent. In addition to the ban for biting Chiellini in the World Cup, he was banned for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 and PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in 2010.

I have read lots of comment on social media and various media outlets saying that the punishment was excessive; but it’s a third offense for the same thing. He is a persistent offender and clearly will never change his ways, he has shown zero remorse, trying to dismiss the incident saying “These are just things that happen out on the pitch”. No, Luis, this is not something that just happens, we don’t hear about other players biting opponents in the heat of the on-pitch action!

Before the end of the Premier League season I was hoping that Liverpool could fend off big money bids for Suarez but now that the Uruguayan will start another season on the sidelines serving another ban, if Real Madrid or Barcelona offer £80m for Suarez, Liverpool must let him go.

If Suarez isn’t sold on come 16th August; he will miss 13 games for the Reds, nine Premiership matches, one FA Cup match and three Champions League matches; which will add up to a total of 32 games missed because of bans for various offenses since signing for Liverpool in 2011.

I’m betting my view will not be shared by many Liverpool fans; but Suarez is poisonous to the stability of Liverpool; three bans plus multiple attempts to force his sale to other clubs including Arsenal, despite saying he didn’t like playing in England because of the media attention. I believe that manager, Brendan Rogers and the Liverpool board need to cut their losses and move on.

Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix 2014

Writen by on Jun, 25 2014, 02:06 ♦ Category: Formula 1No Responses

F1 has made a return to Austria after a 11 year absence and despite being renamed the Red Bull ring; it was not a good weekend for the team it was named after. Mercedes took another 1-2 with Nico Rosberg coming out on top for the third consecutive race. But I think Lewis Hamilton will settle for second, starting from ninth after having his qualifying lap taken away for exceeding track limits.

Pole sitter Felipe Massa made a good start to head into turn 1 ahead of the chasing pack, while Rosberg got an excellent start to jump ahead of Valteri Bottas going into turn 1, but the Williams took the place back before turn 2. Hamilton had an amazing start, passing Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat off the line and then Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen down the long back straight and finally dispatched Fernando Alonso in turn 8 to give his team mate Rosberg a shock. I bet the German didn’t expect to see the sister Mercedes immediately behind after just a single a lap.

Red Bull had a terrible day; Sebastian Vettel had a complete loss of power on lap 2 and dropped to the back of the field. The four time world champion managed to get his car restarted but never recovered from a lap down and retired the car on lap 36 after colliding with the Sauber of Gutierrez. Canadian Grand Prix winner Ricciardo trundled around in the low points paying positions; eventually finishing the race in eight after a superb last lap pass on the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.

Ferrari had another lackluster race with Alonso finishing in fifth place and Raikkonen finishing in 10th place. Ferrari really seem to have no answers in the new V6 Hybrid Turbo era of Formula 1.

Sergio Perez had a fantastic race, finishing the race in sixth after starting 16th after his five place grid drop for causing a collision in Canada; while team mate Hulkenberg finished one place ahead of where he started in ninth. Jenson Button had a nondescript race, starting in 12th and finishing 11th while young team mate Magnussen finished a place down on where he started in seventh.

With Hamilton scoring less points than Rosberg for the third consecutive race, the Englishman is now 29 points behind and with both drivers evenly matched, it’s going to be tough overhauling Rosberg’s lead. But Hamilton did it once after not finishing in Australia, so he could do it again, one DNF for Rosberg would make things near enough equal again assuming Hamilton can win the race.

2014 Austrian Grand Prix Results

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:27:54.976
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.900
3. Valteri Bottas (Williams) +8.100
4. Felipe Massa (Williams) +17.200
5. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) +18.300
6. Sergio Perez (Force India) +28.200
7. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) +31.500
8. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +42.900
9. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +43.500
10. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +47.100

Have Credit… Will Spend!

Writen by on Jun, 15 2014, 20:06 ♦ Category: Personal LifeNo Responses

On top of my credit card with Kay Jewelers, $20,000 car loan with Capital One; I have just opened a third line of credit with Wells Fargo to buy a mattress and foundation set from Cherry Orchard. I have never been one for using credit but since living in the US, I have come to the realization that it’s hard to achieve anything without being in debt, so it’s a case of if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

Getting credit initially was a real pain in the rear; most lenders wouldn’t even entertain the idea of giving me credit because I hadn’t previously established credit despite being 37 years of age; now I have some credit under my belt, it seems they are tripping over themselves to loan me money!

While filling out the paperwork for the purchase of the mattress set, I was fully expecting to be turned down for credit for the $1368.30 purchase. But to my surprise, not only were we approved without jumping through all sorts of hoops; but Wells Fargo allowed us upto $2100 in credit.

Of course me being Mr. Sensible, I won’t be allowing the spending to get out of hand; I will be paying off the mattress set in less than 12 months before the interest free credit expires. I’m looking to pay off the balance in nine months so there is no ambiguity about going over the 12 month interest free time-frame, Should we go over that time-frame; we will be liable for 27.99% interest for the entire period of the 12 months and beyond, which will add at least another $357.43 in interest charges.

I have already been burned by Kay Jewelers; who promised nine months interest free credit to make the sale; but that turned out to be complete BS, they starting charging interest from month one. So my intention is to pay off the balance and cancel the card, clearly the company is not trustworthy!

The next step is to apply for a credit card, something that I can spend anywhere in the world and not specific stores. At this time I have two store cards and a car loan, but at least we are moving in the right direction now, believe it or not, poor credit can affect your eligibility for employment!

Is there such a thing as a good shared webhost?

Writen by on Jun, 11 2014, 13:06 ♦ Category: Internet, Personal LifeNo Responses

Yet again I find myself moving my blog to another webhost. Over the past six months this website has been hosted by Bluehost, Dreamhost, iPage and 1&1; all of which fail to offer stability and speed. Bluehost’s issues have been well documented by myself and others. Dreamhost were simply too slow, changes took forever to happen, specifically relating to DNS, I changed my name servers, but no zones were ready when the nameserver change happened, meaning extended downtime. iPage returned a 500 error on my WordPress site from the outset and never worked. Finally 1&1′s response times were three seconds and non existent; plus random 300 and 500 errors; and this was on their “Performance” package; I’d hate to experience their cheaper packages if that’s performance.

Chart of Response Times and Down Time over 72 hours

1&1 Response Times & Downtime

Key: Vertical axis shows response times, Red Dot(s) indicate downtime.

From 7pm on Tuesday, 10th June on the above chart is after switching to Knownhost, you can see the immediate jump in performance, zero downtime and response times drop to sub 100ms.

I’m not expecting sub 100ms response times on a shared host because that’s not feasible given that hundreds of websites are using the same hardware. I’d be happy with 1 – 2 second response times, but the random 500 server errors which takes my site down for upto 15 minutes at a time is not acceptable. I have come to the conclusion that here in the US, a good reliable shared host for less than $15 per month doesn’t exist. For the time being I have my website hosted on a VPS server.

Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2014

Writen by on Jun, 9 2014, 19:06 ♦ Category: Formula 1No Responses

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took his first Grand Prix victory and Red Bull’s first win of the 2014 season at Le Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada. On a personal level, I am so happy to see Daniel claim his maiden F1 victory, it genuinely couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, I actually found myself punching the air in celebration when he made the overtake on Nico Rosberg, well done Dan!

Ricciardo started the race in sixth place and really failed to make an impact on the cars in front during the opening stint; but did manage to jump his team mate Vettel in the first round of pit stops. It’s fair to say Red Bull’s pit stop strategy played a major part in Daniel’s victory, the strategy and Hamilton’s retirement put him in a net third place before finally getting past Perez’ Force India, who was holding up several drivers; and chasing down the ailing Rosberg for the lead!

The main story of the Canadian Grand Prix other than Daniel’s victory was the Mercedes team’s failure to get both cars home; both cars had an MGU-K failure which meant that both drivers were running on the internal combustion V6 only, losing 160BHP. In Lewis Hamiton’s case the issue became terminal when his rear brakes failed; which is likely to be related to the MGU-K failure. With the MGU-K not functioning, the rear brakes need to work harder because the ERS is not actively slowing the car to recover energy and the smaller thinner brake discs couldn’t cope with the load.

Nico Rosberg drove an excellent race to finish the GP in second place given he was down 160BHP on the chasing pack and I presume had to push brake bias forward as far as he could to avoid using the rear brakes as much as possible. Although I feel Rosberg was also lucky because he got away with cutting the final chicane while setting a new fastest lap of the race as Hamilton was closing him down and probably would have been passed on the next lap under DRS down the back straight!

After scoring their first ever points at the Monaco Grand Prix; Marussia’s fortunes were reversed in Canada. Max Chilton lost the rear end of his car in turn 3 tagging his team mate, pitching Jules Bianchi into the wall at turn 5. The end result is that both Marussia’s race ended at turn 5 on lap 1, I suspect some harsh words were exchanged at the team debrief; but ultimately it was Chilton’s fault!

Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez had an almighty crash into T1 on the penultimate lap. Massa was going down the inside of Mexican when Perez deviated from his racing line onto Massa’s line leaving the Brazilian nowhere to go; the net result is that both drivers ended up in the wall and out of the race. Sebastian Vettel who finished third was super lucky to not get collected by the out of control Massa, the German avoided contact by just a few feet as Massa’s Williams flashed in front of him!

As Perez and Massa were running 4th and 5th at the time of the collision, that promoted everyone below up two places including McLaren’s Jenson Button who had overtaken both Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg in the final few laps to finish fourth. Team mate Kevin Magnussen moved into the points in ninth along with Kimi Raikkonen who claimed the final points paying position.

A lot of the F1 pundits have been making a lot of noise about Hamilton’s 22 point deficit to team mate Rosberg, claiming it will be difficult for him to close the gap on the German. But what they seem to forget is that Lewis was 25 points adrift after Australia before going on to win four races in a row to take the championship lead away from Rosberg. I don’t see why he can’t do that again to surpass his team mate and there are still 12 races remaining including double points Abu Dhabi.

2014 Canadian Grand Prix Results

1. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:39:12.830
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +4.200
3. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) +5.200
4. Jenson Button (McLaren) +11.700
5. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +12.700
6. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) +14.700
7. Valteri Bottas (Williams) +23.400
8. Jean Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) +27.700
9. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) +28.900
10. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +53.300