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Miner Willy

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  1. What are you reading at the moment?

    Finished this. Felt like my initial impression was about right: it just seemed like a bog standard whodunnit with a bunch of uninteresting 2D characters. Really can't understand the praise for it I'm afraid. On to Song of Achilles next, which seems more likely to be up my street. Still loving Fire and Fury on Audible. Even if you're not interested in the Trump situation (surely few people at this stage), it's wonderfully entertaining stuff. The guy reading it does a great job too.
  2. Tennis

    Federer back to no.1 at 36 is another crazy development - especially considering he missed the entire clay season. Having said that, he looked pretty ropey this week: he was clearly very nervous against both Kohlschreiber and Haase. Having secured the no.1 I fully expect him to play much looser in the semis, but it shows how much it means to him, and is perhaps another indication that he's not playing as free flowing this year. He's already talking about trying to defend his Indian Wells/Miami double, which suggests expectation - in marked contrast with last year's approach. It will be very interesting to see, but I'm not confident we'll see the same level of play as last year (IW especially, where he was amazing). Still, he's clearly quite good at confounding sceptics, so who knows.
  3. What are you reading at the moment?

    I'm an hour into Fire and Fury and really enjoying it so far (listening on Audible). The concept of Trump having screwed up by accidentally winning the election has a certain delicious irony.
  4. What are you reading at the moment?

    Finished Blink, which I thought was excellent. A fascinating examination of how the mind works.
  5. Torment: Tides of Numenera

    I'm making slow progress with this, but enjoying it. Not had a fight (outside the initial tutorial) yet, which I view as a very good thing.
  6. What are you reading at the moment?

    I'm not loving The Dry so far. It's trundling along, but I don't think the writing is very strong, and it all feels a bit 'lightweight whodunnit page turner' to me. Maybe the genre just isn't for me; I only grabbed it because it was recommended in the Guardian's books of 2017 roundup.
  7. Dark (Netflix)

    I just finished this and absolutely loved it. My bizarre mistake of accidentally watching the final episode first didn't seem to undermine my enjoyment, though the final scene probably didn't have quite the same impact. I'm looking forward to sitting down with a detailed analysis and checking I understood everything.
  8. Dark (Netflix)

    I assumed that was the case. Seemed pretty clear to me when watching, though I can't recall what was leading me to that.
  9. What are you reading at the moment?

    And finished. A good story extremely well written, with a small cast of really solid characters. I guess I might describe it as slightly whacky biopunk dystopia, which may not sound too appealing - but it's actually very good. Four books down for the year. Now on to The Dry. Also part way through Gladwell's Blink on Audible, which is absolutely fascinating so far.
  10. Tennis

    Overall that was a very strange final. While appreciating I do have a somewhat one-eyed view of his matches, I think it’s arguable that it really shouldn’t have gone to five – or even four – sets. As well as Cilic did to hang in there, the primary reason he managed it was because Federer allowed his level to slip. He did so in the second by suddenly playing tentatively off the backhand side, and then in the fourth when – from double break point up – he entirely lost the range on his serve. I was interested to read tennis.com’s Steve Tignor’s review last night, in which he referenced the 2009 US Open Del Potro final – that was exactly the match running through my mind while watching this one: it felt so familiar, in that Federer really should have put both matches to bed; didn’t, and then found himself being blown off court by a more powerful opponent. The difference here was twofold: 1) Federer is mentally much more complete now than he was in 2009 (off the back of various Nadal beatings, culminating in that 2009 Aus final); and 2) Cilic isn’t Del Potro. Ultimately, as much as I like CIlic, that 5th set was there for the taking, and you have to think that Del Potro wouldn’t have let Federer off the hook in the opening game. The point in bold is a very interesting point, I think. At this point I think the jury is very much out regarding whether Federer actually is in decline, as ridiculous as that sounds. I don’t think he played at his best in this tournament, but his 2017 play was, for me, better than any period since 2004-7. Perhaps he’s slower – although when you see him defend like he did yesterday that’s debatable – but the backhand is clearly much better than ever before; the serve (already one of the game’s best) has somehow improved; and mentally he’s probably stronger than ever. In fact, the mentality is probably the one difference in the 2017 form compared with this year. I think this tournament showed a Federer who was beginning to think about expectations again, compared with 2017 when he returned without any and promptly played unbelievably - and then just enjoyed riding that feeling all year. In the past Federer has talked about his past form as a “monster” he created in terms of expectations, and while I don’t expect he will fall back into quite that mindset, I think the way he faltered here suggests that we can’t necessarily expect the free flowing 2017 Federer to reappear through 2018. Still, if this wasn’t quite vintage Federer, it’s undoubtedly an incredible way to start the year. At the age of 36 he has won three of the last five slams. Even by Federer standards, that’s just mind boggling.
  11. Tennis

    Excellent match. Cilic played great, and must be gutted: he had Federer rocking at the start of the 5th. I really felt Cilic had a slight edge going into that 5th - shows what I know...
  12. Tennis

    That was such a strangely tentative set from Federer. Instead of being released by winning the first set, he tightened up on the backhand especially. Cilic looking good now.
  13. Tennis

    Wow, what a start. Federer hasn't even really got his serve clicking yet, but he's unbelievable from the baseline. I expected Cilic to come out blasting, as he did in the Wimbledon final - got that very wrong. He looks tight.
  14. Tennis

    Just woke up to find Edmund at match point. I didn't see that coming at all.
  15. Tennis

    What a tie-break that was from both players. Djokovic was so gutsy to come from 0-3 back to 3-3, but that ridiculous running forehand pass from Chung at 4-3 won him the match. (And then he did nearly the same thing on match point). Amazing tennis.

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