Every Trick In The Book

23 October 2020

Following a certain football match, the manager of the losing team later made the comment that the opposing team “used every trick in the book”. He was clearly unhappy at the result of the game and the tactics that were used. In a similar way, in the realm of Formula One motor racing one particular team can sometimes dominate the sport for a while. This can lead some of the other teams to question how one team could be as successful as they have been. Of course it is recognised that some of the drivers are more skilful and perhaps more talented, also being able to drive a good car does help, but a few have at times questioned whether or not teams have been able to exploit aspects of the rules to their advantage.

American Football is a little like our own rugby. But it does differ, as it consists of a series of ‘plays’, where the ‘offence’ players of one team attempt to move the ball a minimum of ten yards down the field in four attempts, or ‘downs’. If they succeed, they retain control of the ball and can attempt to to move the ball at least another ten yards, the ultimate aim being to get the ball over the goal line for a ‘touchdown’. However, the ‘defence’ players of the opposing team try to stop them. If the defence players recognise or ‘read’ the offensive play and can prevent the ball being moved forward ten yards after four downs, then control of the ball switches to the other team. That team’s offence then take over and attempt to do the same. In our soccer, goals are scored by kicking the ball so that it crosses the goal line in between the goalposts of the opposing team. But in American Football the ball can be physically carried over the goal line and into the ‘end zone’, or a player from the offensive team can go into the end zone and another offensive player, who is usually the ‘quarterback’, will throw the ball to them and the ball must then be caught whilst that player is still in the end zone. Either way, it is then regarded as a  ‘touchdown’, scoring six points.

There is a great deal more to that game than described above, but certainly so much of the game is being able to first recognise the plays and if possible gain control of the ball and attempt to score a touchdown. Which means that any allowable trick or diversion to confuse the other team can & will be exploited, wherever possible! In all of these and in many other games too, anyone who does break the rules will be given some form of penalty and in many cases it is not just the player but the team as well that suffers by paying a fine or losing points. However, so long as the move, manoeuvre or tactic is allowable within the rules, there is no problem.

Computers have become a great deal more interactive and easier to use by people of all ages. They are designed to provide entertainment, to make our lives easier as well as providing the capability to share information between other people around the world.  

Sadly, some people do not feel that they have either the time, inclination or perhaps the capability to learn what to them seems a complicated process in using a computer, yet many of these same people have learned to drive a car and obey the rules of the road. Yes, unlike many other items, computers have a variety of uses. A kettle just boils water and enables you to make tea, coffee and other drinks. A washing machine cleans a variety of clothes, likewise a digital camera enables you to take pictures of different subjects and, with the aid of a simple connecting lead allows you to transfer those very same photographs from the camera directly to a computer. These photographs may then be sorted and if necessary edited before using the Internet to share with family and friends around the world, or stored safely on backup drives.

But a computer can do so much more, like storing information, researching family history, playing games, writing letters, keeping a diary, creating and listening to music & video and talking directly to family and friends around the world.

To achieve these skills does require a little training, but they are easy to learn. These include useful tips and tricks, referred to by some as short-cuts, but they do speed up the time involved when using a computer. The more of these tricks you learn, the more adept you become and the more you find you can do. The old saying that “the more we learn, the more we find there is to learn” is one I have found to be so very true!

There are many publications nowadays to help us, as well as people who offer training, for example on getting the best from computers as well as taking photographs. It is what I used to do before I retired. At one time I would take photographs and then I’d send the film away to be developed. A week later the pictures would be returned to me, so I never knew if they were any good until they came back. But now, a digital camera shows instantly what picture has been taken by showing it via a display screen on the rear of the camera!

There is no doubt that using a modern computer is a great deal easier than it used to be, whether you are using a Windows-based one or an Apple computer, but learning even just the basics makes good sense. You may not learn every trick in the book, but the more you learn then the more skilled you will become!!! That applies to any job, hobby, skill or pastime you enjoy.

For now, I leave you with this.
During an inspection of a soldier’s locker, a dead fly was found inside. The soldier was given two punishments; one for keeping a pet, and the other for not feeding it…

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