Not the greatest game this one, but at least we didn't lose.
Bircham didn't play for some reason - there hasn't been any mention of injury on the QPR website but he was holding his knee when he warmed up at half-time, which was a bit worrying.
Without Bircham playing at his best, we really look poor in midfield. Marcus Bean just isn't up to the task at the moment - he clearly has energy but he doesn't offer himself in the way Bircham does, he rarely seems to be in the right place at the right time, and when you notice him at all it's because he's just given the ball away. And let's face it, Kevin Gallen isn't a midfielder is he? He has been a great servant of the club, and is a hero to all QPR fans, but I think it might be time for him to start bowing out gracefully. By making him club captain I think Ollie might have made it a bit hard to drop him, but when our other strikers are fit I can't see that Gallen should play ahead of them, and personally I'd like to see a midfield of Ainsworth and Cook on the wings, Bircham as the holding midfielder, and Rowlands with a more attacking central role.
Speaking of Rowlands, he played on the left against Brighton, and Lee Cook didn't even make the sub's bench, which is no great surprise given how poorly he played against Crewe. I don't really understand what's happened to Rowlands. Reading his interview in the programme it almost sounds as though he himself feels that last year was a fluke, and that he isn't really that good. It's weird - time to give the sports psychologist a ring I think! On the pitch, the thing that frustrates me about him at the moment is that, like Bean, he doesn't look like he wants the ball half the time.
Not sure about the Furlong sending off - we were on the wrong side of the pitch to see what happened, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did have a little dig; he was getting no joy from the ref all day (normal story), and Hinshelwood was all over him at the time that the incident took place.
The only good thing to come out of the Brighton game was how fired up Gareth Ainsworth was. He had the kind of intensity that Birchham usually shows, and it was nice to see that at least one player still has some passion - everyone else looks distinctly flat at the moment.
Dominic Robinson pointed the Skate project out to me. It's an attempt to recreate SK8, which was a Lisp based RAD development environment developed by Ruben Kleiman at Apple's Advanced Technology Group - very cool.
Another friend, Royston Sellman, worked on this whilst he was at ATG, and it's something that I had access to whilst at ULTRALAB. Given my long standing interest in developing a new authoring environment, I'm pretty keen to follow this project's progress, and maybe even try to get involved.
A good night was had by all, and it was fun for me to catch up with all the old gang from my time at the lab.
Tom & I stayed at the same hotel (the event was in deepest, darkest Essex), and as we both at a loose end the next day we wandered into town together, had fun getting slightly lost in the Tate modern, and inevitably ended up in a pub bouncing ideas off each other.