The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Richardson, Sinclair, Fleming, McMillan and Astle's Career Test Scores 

Hope this isn't too long for folk, but it's the best way to look at it.

Right, for the uninitiated these are the career scores of the above mentioned batsmen broken down into ranges so you can see where they score heavily or where they get dismissed a lot. I find averages to be very, very revealing but they don't always reveal the total picture. It's pretty obvious to most who know cricket that a player who averages 40 doesn't score exactly 40 every innings or score half his innings above that figure and half below. A player can average 40 by scoring 10, 40 and 70, or by scoring 120, 0 and 0. Primary school maths indeed.

Anyway here are the stats updated to after the 2nd test v Australia with a bit of a breakdown of them at the end. Also if you are wondering why I'm just looking at these guys it's because they have all played 25 or more tests while the likes of Oram (17), McCullum (10), Styris (19) and have not and so their scores aren't so revealing yet.

Mark Richardson
Overall test stats: 38 tests, 65 inn, 3*, 2776 runs, HS 145, ave. 44.77, 4 100s, 19 50s
Dismissals in () brackets:
[0-9] (12) 0, 1, 2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6*, 8, 9, 9
[10-19] (9) 10, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14*, 15, 15, 16, 19
[20-29] (7) 21, 23, 25, 26, 26, 28, 28
[30-39] (4) 30, 30, 32, 37
[40-49] (8) 40, 41, 41, 44, 45, 46, 46, 49
[50-59] (4) 55, 55, 57, 59,
[60-69] (2) 60, 60
[70-79] (5) 71, 73, 73*, 75, 76, 77,
[80-89] (4) 82, 83, 85, 89,
[90-99] (3) 93, 95, 99
[100+] (4) 101, 106, 143, 145

Matthew Sinclair
Overall test stats: 25 tests, 42 inn, 5*, 1365 runs, HS 214, ave. 36.89, 3 100s, 4 50s

[0-9] (15) 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
[10-19] (6) 10, 12, 17, 17, 18, 19, 19*
[20-29] (9) 20, 21, 23, 23, 23, 24, 24, 27, 29
[30-39] (1) 34, 35*
[40-49] (1) 43*, 44
[50-59] (0) 50*
[60-69] (1) 69
[70-79] (2) 74, 76
[80-89] (0)
[90-99] (0)
[100+] (2) 150, 204*, 214

Stephen Fleming
Overall test stats: 89 tests, 154 inn, 10*, 5663 runs, HS 274*, ave. 39.32, 8 100s, 36 50s

[0-9] (43) 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5*, 6, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9
[10-19] (24) 10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, 12, 12, 14, 14, 14, 14, 15, 16, 16, 16, 17, 17, 18, 19, 19
[20-29] (15) 21, 21, 21, 22, 22, 24, 25, 25, 25, 27, 27, 27, 27, 27, 29
[30-39] (16) 30, 30, 30, 30, 31, 31, 31* 32, 32, 33, 34, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 39
[40-49] (10) 41, 41, 42, 43, 45, 47, 48, 48, 48, 49
[50-59] (9) 51, 51*, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 56*, 57, 57, 59
[60-69] (8) 60, 61, 62, 64*, 66, 66, 66, 66*, 67, 67, 69*
[70-79] (6) 71, 73, 75, 78, 78, 79
[80-89] (3) 83, 84, 86
[90-99] (4) 91, 92, 92*, 97, 99
[100+] (6) 105, 117, 129, 130, 174* 192, 202, 274*

Nathan Astle
Overall test stats: 66 tests, 113 inn, 9*, 3906 runs, HS 222, ave. 37.55, 9 100s, 19 50s

[0-9] (29) 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1*, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7*, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9
[10-19] (25) 10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 11*, 12, 12, 12, 13, 13, 14, 14, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17, 18, 18, 18, 19, 19, 20
[20-29] (5) 21, 22*, 26, 26, 27, 27
[30-39] (10) 30, 31, 32, 34, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 39
[40-49] (11) 40, 40, 41, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 49
[50-59] (5) 51*, 51*, 52, 52, 53, 54, 56
[60-69] (6) 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 69, 69*
[70-79] (2) 74, 77
[80-89] (1) 86
[90-99] (2) 93, 96
[100+] (7) 101, 102*, 103, 103, 114, 125, 141, 156*, 222

Craig McMillan
Overall test stats: 53 tests, 88 inn, 10*, 3078 runs, HS 142, ave. 39.46, 6 100s, 19 50s

[0-9] (24) 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3*, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 9, 9
[10-19] (13) 10, 13, 14, 15, 15, 15, 16, 17* 18, 18, 18, 19, 19, 19
[20-29] (10) 20, 22, 22, 22*, 23, 23, 23*, 24, 24, 25, 26, 26
[30-39] (7) 30, 30, 31, 31, 31*, 34, 39, 40
[40-49] (4) 41, 41, 41, 45
[50-59] (7) 50* 51, 54, 54, 54, 54, 55, 58
[60-69] (0)
[70-79] (4) 70, 74*, 78, 78, 79
[80-89] (3) 82, 83*, 84, 88
[90-99] (2) 92, 98
[100+] (4) 100*, 106, 107*, 139, 142, 142

Right now to analyse them a bit. We came up with the figure of 30 and decided that a played who scores more than 30 runs in an innings can be considered to roughly be doing his job or contributing something significant to the teams total. Though obviously a score in the 30s is not that flash from a recognised batsman. Anyway, it's better than a score of less than 30... so.... the figures are calculated using all scores above 30 and all dismissals below 30.

Mark Richardson
Doing His Job= 35 innings (55.6%)
Not Doing His Job= 28 innings (44.4%)

Matthew Sinclair
Doing His Job = 26 innings (26.8%)
Not Doing His Job = 82 innings (73.2%)

Stephen Fleming
Doing His Job = 71 innings (46.4%)
Not Doing His Job = 82 innings (53.6%)

Nathan Astle
Doing His Job = 50 innings (45.9%)
Not Doing His Job = 59 innings (54.1%)

Craig McMillan
Doing His Job = 37 innings (44%)
Not Doing His Job = 47 innings (56%)

Now for a look at abject failures. These are dismissals for 10 or less runs.

Mark Richarson: 12 abject failures from 64 considered innings = 18.8%
Matthew Sinclair: 15 abject failures from 42 considered innings = 35.7%
Stephen Fleming: 43 abject failures from 153 considered innings = 28.1%
Nathan Astle: 29 abject failures from 112 considered innings = 25.9%
Craig McMillan: 24 abject failures from 88 innings = 27.3%

As far as my comments go on all that...

In order of reliability it seems that Richardson is way out on his own, followed by Fleming, Astle, McMillan and way behind is Sinclair.

Richardson as we all know is very solid at the top of the order and has grest mental strength to survive the new ball and hold up one end (though his form this season has been a bit shabby).

Fleming by his own admission said that earlier in his career he used to get passed 50 and feel he had done his job and soon after get out. Not a great attitude one must say, but one that many NZ batsmen seem to suffer from as well.

McMillan has been dismissed straight after reaching 50 quite a lot and again when approaching his hundred. Astle too has a massive number of scores between 30 and 70 but then if he gets through that he seems to knuckle down and go on for a hundred. Obviously he too has some mental problems after he gets set at the wicket and decides to club the ball all over the place and see how lucky he gets, then low and behold he is either heading back to the pavilion or else within sight of 100 so he chills out and works his way there.

Sinclair obviously has a problem with his nerves when he comes to the crease and he doesn't have enough footwork and crumbles early on way too much. And he is currently opening the innings for NZ at a ground near you. But hopefully not for much longer. Put him at number 4 and give him some conselling.

And you can feel free to comment on any of that lot either here or over at the discussion board which may be a bit more comfortable, where you can stretch your legs a bit.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Who Needs Strikers? 

Liverpool managed to hand Arsenal only their second defeat in 55 Premiership matches last night, which would have been something to crow about in normal circumstances, but considering we had our THREE first choice strikers (Cisse, Baros, Garcia), our first choice left back (Traore) and our first choice right back (Josemi, though I rate Finnan better anyway) all out, as well as Gerrard back for only his second full match, it rates as a little bit of a miracle.

The game was high paced, if not particularly fluent; Liverpool strung five across the midfield behind the 23 year old Neil Mellor, a legend in the reserves but only making his second (?) start in the Premiership and harried the defending champions, winning the 50-50 balls and looking in control without looking particularly dangerous (but you should see the attacking options in the physio room!). Arsenal couldn't stroke the ball around gracefully from the back like they excel in doing, and it came as no surprise when Liverpool finally managed to grab a goal 4 minutes before the break. And it was a superb team goal (one of the criticisms I have of this Liverpool side is that they don't seem to create well-worked passing goals - we tend to rely on moments of individual brilliance or scrambled goals).

Finnan got the ball deep in the Liverpool half and swept a long cross field diagonal pass left to the maligned Kewell, who headed it down to a onrushing Steven Gerrard. Gerrard took the ball up to the near the left corner of Arsenal's penalty area, while Mellor drifted left into the box to draw away Sol Campbell from the center. Gerrard stabbed the ball across the face of the box to Xabi Alonso, storming in unmarked from the midfield, who hit the ball first time with his right instep and it fair flew into the top left corner of the goal (a bit like Igor Biscan's strike against Fulham).

(Funny, it was much more exciting to watch than to type).

That was that for the half, and Liverpool had got what they deserved, seeing as Arsenal hadn't managed a single shot on or off target in the entire half. The second half started off pretty much like the first, Liverpool pressing and harrying, and Arsenal looked distinctly average. Of course, average until they managed to conjure an equaliser in the 57th mintue that was maybe an even better passing team goal than Liverpool's. From what I remember, Patrick Viera approached the center top of Liverpool's penalty area, passed to Henry (via a Lauren dummy) who was basically sitting on the edge of the box, who then laid it back to Robert Pires. Pires immediately slid the ball through the defensive line to find Viera who had continued his run into the box. Viera chipped the onrushing Kirkland and the ball dribbled into the goal.

From then on, the game was more even in terms of possession, though only Liverpool really had any chance to grab a goal, with Gerrard's raking drive palmed away by Lehmann. The game appeared to petering away to a draw when the board was displayed showing two minutes of injury time to play. With 30 seconds to go, Liverpool won a free kick deep in the right hand corner of their own half. Kirkland strolled up to take the kick, knowing that something deep would basically prevent Arsenal from getting another chance. The ball sailed over the halfway line, and over Sol Campbell's (marking Mellor) head. The ball bounced up about 25 meters out, and both Kewell and Toure went for it, clattering each other and letting the ball come loose. Quick as a flash, on the volley, Mellor smacked the ball over Kewell prone on the ground, across Toure with a nice curl to the right, and landed majestically in the bottom righthand corner of the net.

It was the last kick of the match.

Anyway, it was a great game to be a Liverpool fan, especially seeing as Villa, Bolton, Middlesbrough and Everton all failed to win on the weekend. Imagine once we get some strikers back!

yamis has to be content with his Newcastle side yet again throwing away points - considering they have the second best record for goals scored, they should be doing a damn sight better than 10th. Of course, the third worst defensive record may have something to do with that!

The Dollar Dies in Cuba 

Yet again Cuba successfully gives the U.S. the finger by putting an end to the use of the green-back on Cuban soil, and by actually taxing the U.S. currency. Up until this month the U.S. dollar was the unofficial currency in Cuba, but if you’re planning a trek to Cuba and are thinking of bringing a pile of U.S. dollars, don’t bother. Things have changed…for the better. The “de-legalization” of the dollar in Cuba is a bit complicated, but interesting, and certainly an economic first. Here’s a quick run down for the astute economist or the meandering traveler.

After the Soviet Union fell apart, and the U.S. isolated Cuba like a SARS patient on the world market, the island legalized the use of U.S. dollars in order to have some means of foreign exchange. As such, all foreign transactions took place in dollars, and tourists brought and spent dollars in the island. A dollar market emerged in Cuba. It contained pretty things like Coca-Cola, fancy rum, tasty beer, potato chips, Mercedes Benzes and hookers. The national Peso (CUP), what every Cuban uses and transacts in, continued to exist, but it didn’t have the purchasing power to buy pretty things. You could still get rum and beer with national pesos, but you never really knew where these things came from and what might be floating in them. Let’s not even get into the sorts of cars and hookers on the peso market.

With the legalization of the dollar came hording of wealth and two distinct classes of life in the island. People working in tourism had better access to tips, and could easily make a months wage in a few days on the job. Likewise, people with relatives in Miami frequently received handsome remittances. For the past few years the Cuban government has been trying to figure out a way to redistribute the dollar wealth across the island, but have had little success.

In October the presidents of the Cuban banks said lets remove the dollar from the market. Since 1992 a Convertible Peso (CUC) nick-named the Chavista, existed in Cuba. It is pegged to the value of the dollar. It never really took off in Cuba, and most people just kept using green-backs. But as of November 8, Chavistas replaced the dollar. As a means to get the dollars off of the streets, and to stick it to the U.S., the Cuban government decided to put a flat tax of 10% on every U.S. dollar. So, a dollar is now worth $0.90 CUC. A very clever and a very ballsy move. Now every dollar that gets sent to Cuba from Florida is reduced in value by 10%. That 10% is then put into state programs instead of some rico’s pocket. Where does that money go? It mostly goes to the provision of food and healthcare. However, there is an idea swimming around of giving every Cuban a credit card in CUC that will be magically topped up with $35 CUC every month to go buy stuff like blue jeans, cosmetics, household appliances, tasty beer that doesn’t have crap floating in it and such and such. This idea emerged in 1989, but thanks to the embargo that plan was quickly dismissed.

Now! If you want to convert from CUC into USD, say when a tourist is leaving the country, the exchange rate is still 1 to 1. $100 CUC = $100 USD, but $100 USD = $90 CUC. Essentially, the Cubans have taxed the U.S. dollar as a way of saying thanks for the 43 year blockade. Perhaps other nations should pull the same stunt. If the U.S. doesn’t reopen the border to Canadian beef and lumber, why not tax their dollar, and send that revenue to farmers? I mean if the IMF can reinvent the value of other currencies overnight, like they did to Ecuador in the early 90s, why can’t other nations practice the same sort of magic towards the U.S?

So if you are going to Cuba you can change the following currencies without penalty: Canadian Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Swiss Franc, Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, and Japanese Yen. The country’s long term goal is to get enough foreign exchange on the world market and then float the CUC away from the, what appears to be, crashing U.S. dollar.

Perhaps the best currency exchange game with Cuba still lies with their cigars. Take about $0.50 worth of fine Pinar del Rio tobacco, say it’s rolled on the thighs of virgins and then smuggle it into the US to sell to the Yanks for $80.00 USD a pop. Ah, the sweet sweet smoky smell of economic justice.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

"The Great New Zealand Discussion" forum 

This is a discussion forum that we've just started up here at blogging it real this weekend been:

The Great New Zealand Discussion

It's intended to be a place where you can discuss any issues to do with New Zealand.

There's three sections;
News, Politics and Current Affairs
Sports and Recreation
Culture and Entertainment

I think that pretty much covers the spectrum. It would be nice if people could post about NZ blogging sites, web sites, NZ music, sport, media or anything else they please.

It's not supposed to have a major connection with this site but you are free to comment on anything you read here.... there. Another thing that motivated it's creation was that we were getting sick of not being able to communicate effectively about the sorts of issues that we blog about here and the people who pop in to read our posts.

The comment feature at the bottom of posts is really inadequate as you can't post clickable links, pictures or anything else interesting. Also after a couple of days that blog is usually so far down the page that it makes discussion basically useless and is a big disincentive to comment or discuss anything.

So if you'd go there and be one of the first to register, let your friends know as well and post about anything you want we'd really appreciate it.

And you even get ranked as native trees as you contribute more posts!!! Check out the "Rankings New Zealand Tree Names" topic in the "Board Rules OK?" part of the forum.

Cheers B.I.R. Mad Crew

Legend of Late II 

I suppose (I actually wrote "guess" instead of "suppose" there but am trying to ditch at least a couple of my Americanisms...) a few of our regular readers (all 5 of them plus the 20 odd others who stroll in here each day... 40 odd on Mondays and Fridays!) will have noticed the addition to the left side bar of a new feature titled "Legend of Late".

Now unfortunately the first ever recipient was a bloody Aussie and he achieved the honour by belting us Kiwis!

So I've decided that his time has come and gone (though he's just knocked over Fleming and Astle in quick succession) and the new Legend of Late is............

Daniel Vettori

Thus far in the series he has figures of:
105.2 overs
19 maidens
306 runs
9 wickets
at 34.00
economy rate of 2.90

OK so he's hardly set the world on fire but bearing in mind McGrath was flogging a crap bowling attack and Vettori has achieved that against the best batsmen in the world on their turf on pitches not famed for assisting spinners greatly I think he deserves to take the title. And hell, I'm one of his biggest critics usually, based on his lack of striking ability when we really need it from him.

If anybody ever wants to nominate a person to take the mantle (and they have to trump the person in the role, or at least you need to have a witty reason as to why they are the new legend) then feel free to either do it here in the comments page or else in the new discussion forum which you can go to if you use the link up at the top left corner or else link right here...

They don't have to be a sportsman. They just have to be well known to the public.

Right, now I've gotta go find a suitable pic. Ah the work round here never ends.


Well every now and then sport throws up results you weren't honestly expecting and last night threw up two.

The All Blacks whacking the French 45-6 in front of about 75,000 frogs and a few thousand drunken Kiwis who usually stagger over the channell for these matches.

I defy anybody who honestly thought they'd win by that much. I have to admit I could not see them winning by much if at all. Were the frogs really that bad or were the ABs on fire?

I couldn't watch live and can't watch a delay since Star Sports here in Korea always decides to go with the Twickenham tests which is always a pain in the arse. Especially since they got beaten for the 6th time this season (their worst losing season in their history perhaps?) by the Wallabies.

Here's a good write up of the AB win at

Here's another one at Planet Rugby which names Byron Kelleher as it's man of the match.
Man of the match: Daniel Carter was superb once again, while Tony Marsh never stopped trying for France. But Byron Kelleher was a constant threat with his play around the fringes. His defence was also unforgiving and his combination with Carter could prove a useful one in the future.
As I said I couldn't see the game but the folk at silverfern are voting for him as MOM also.

And the other shock result was the 44-4 mauling the Kangaroos gave Great Britain. They honestly held ambitions of winning the game but the Kangaroos (not even the best side they could produce and similar to the ABs in many respects) showed them who was real class.

Now Australias unbeaten series record carries on. I believe the last series they actually lost was v France of all teams though it was going back a few decades.

France only narrowly lost to the Kiwis a few weeks ago and also only lost to the Kangaroos by about 20 points a week later. Considering they were up at halftime and only trailed by 4 points with 8 minutes to go then that indicates that they may make a comeback as an international force. Now if they actually get some money thrown at them and their law suit against the government and French rugby union comes off (for past injustices) they might make it a 4 team international game.

Next target should be South Africa I reckon. They used to have decent league teams and I expect under the current governemtn real ground could be made. Especailly if those running league in South Africa were either black or picking entirely black teams (because they make up most of the population and most likely would make up most of the players as well) then it may really take off.

Who knows. Anyway if you want to comment do it over at the discussion forum. But register please. I'm still trying to tinker with a few things and need people to start registering to see how the process goes.

And on a totally different note my sad American friend emailed me this apt quote:
"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." - H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

God help us when they completely perfect their democratic system.

The Morning After 

Bluebeardnz driving home on Saturday morning after a night out on the turps.

Friday, November 26, 2004

2nd Test v Australia 2004 - Adelaide 

Stumps on day one and it was a lame start.

Langer notches his 20th test century and 4th v New Zealand. He, Ponting and Hayden all have 20 test centuries now.

Our pacemen have combined for figures of 48 overs, 11 maidens, 0 for 191.
While the spin duo have sent down 42 overs, 9 maidens and have 3 for 130.

Prediction time: Assuming Australia cruise along at about 3.8 tomorrow and bat for roughly 75 overs they will get 285 runs and that would put them at 612. They then declare and have NZ at 31/1 at stumps with Sinclair being the man out for 6.

JL Langer not out 144 367 277 19 0
ML Hayden c & b Wiseman 70 179 124 10 0
*RT Ponting st McCullum b Vettori 68 96 79 11 0
DR Martyn c Fleming b Wiseman 7 20 14 1 0
DS Lehmann not out 28 69 50 4 0
Extras (b 3, lb 3, nb 4) 10
Total (3 wickets, 90 overs, 367 mins) 327

Bowling O M R W
Martin 19 4 82 0 (1nb)
Franklin 14 2 84 0 (2nb)
Oram 15 5 25 0 (1nb)
Vettori 28 6 74 1
Wiseman 14 3 56 2

Craig McMillans Career Scores III 

Updated for the third time this year!!! This better be the last bloody time I do this!

Unless the "chocolate teapot" (thankyou Stephen Boock) starts belting centuries in first class cricket he shouldn't be seen in a NZ test uniform back in NZ this summer.

Overall test stats: 53 tests, 88 inn, 10*, 3078 runs, HS 142, ave. 39.46, 6 100s, 19 50s

[Range of Scores] and (dismissals in that range in brackets)

[0-9] (24) 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3*, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 9, 9

[10-19] (13) 10, 13, 14, 15, 15, 15, 16, 17* 18, 18, 18, 19, 19, 19

[20-29] (10) 20, 22, 22, 22*, 23, 23, 23*, 24, 24, 25, 26, 26

[30-39] (7) 30, 30, 31, 31, 31*, 34, 39, 40

[40-49] (4) 41, 41, 41, 45

[50-59] (7) 50* 51, 54, 54, 54, 54, 55, 58

[60-69] (0)

[70-79] (4) 70, 74*, 78, 78, 79

[80-89] (3) 82, 83*, 84, 88

[90-99] (2) 92, 98

[100+] (4) 100*, 106, 107*, 139, 142, 142

Which equals:
Craig McMillan
Doing His Job = 37 innings (44%)
Not Doing His Job = 47 innings (56%)
***doing his job means scores of 30 or more, while not doing his job is dismissals under 30

24 abject failures from 88 innings = 27.3%
(abject failures are concidered to be scores of 10 or less)

Korean Work Culture 

Bitter but well informed tirade to follow.

Korean work culture (well indoor work culture) can generally best be described by this sentence: People in Korea work for very long hours but don't actually do anything.

Typical office culture in Korea entails that you should be at the office at the crack of dawn and leave after dark but while at work you are free to chat up (and feel up if you are ranked high enough - more than enough anecdotal evidence gathered there) members of the opposite sex at your leisure, play computer games, chat with your friends on msn and, if you want, sleep at your desk or under it. The later may be necessary if you were out on the Soju the night before.

Anyhow what really motivatated me to write about this now was todays nail in the coffin.

Now I'm sick today. The two panadol I've taken have helped somewhat but I'm not stupid enough to believe that they are anything other than a temporary fix for a flu problem that is going to get worse. And it's this reason that is the driving force in why I called in sick to work this morning. Or rather why I had my wife call in sick.... THREE TIMES to date!

In Korea there really is no such thing as being sick. If you're sick you still go to work anyway. And if you die in a corner somewhere they'll just say, "gee, he really was sick, y'know when he called in sick 12 times I thought he was just joking and would be fine if we made him come in to sleep on the floor anyway". As if the floor at work is more comfortable than your bed anyway. The logic is truly astounding.

So to start the story at Sunday night. I ate some old snack food without checking the use by date. I puked in the morning and I won't go into details but there wasn't much of anything left inside me by mid morning. So I took Monday and Tuesday off as I managed to get hold of one of the secretaries who doesn't give a stuff if I go off to teach or not. Then on Wednesday I forced myself to go back prematurely because that's how things work round here.

Cut to Thursday night, and I'm a zombie again. The two days teaching had been too much for me and that was despite the fact I just gave my kids puzzles and work sheets. It's now down to about 5 degrees during the day which basically screws your body big time too. This time 3 months ago it was 35 degrees.

So this morning I wake up feeling like dog turd and ask my wife to call in on my behalf. The reason being that if they get me on the phone I'll be forced to come in like it or not. But alas, despite her telling them that I'm fucked and can't even get out of bed they complain that they have no subs and that I have to teach.

A lot of swearing by me and she calls again and says "No, he really is too sick to teach". The reply from my boss (female to boot, shouldn't they be more motherly?) is that they have nobody and I will have to teach.

So my wife calls a third time to say that he's getting worse and we are going to the doctor. The reply this time is that I have an open class at 4pm (that means mothers will be there) and I have to go and that I should call after we go to the doctors and that I can just teach my 3 and 4 o'clock classes.

So basically I've moved to plan B whereby I try and arrange a teacher to sub for me since they are too fucking stupid, incompetent, rude and a bunch of &$%&(&'s to do it themselves.

I'll be glad when I walk out of this job in 7 weeks. I suppose physically I could go into class rugged up to the eyeballs, pumped up on drugs and give them some handouts and collapse at the desk and then feel even worse for the next few days. But what's the point? Also that's the shit that sets precedents so next time when you call in sick you get the same deal as before. At least my way, they are starting to get a hint of the picture.

Unfortunately round these here parts stories like that are par for the course when you're teaching kids in Korea. My old academy a few years ago was just as bad. They would literally beg you to go to work and then you'd get there, give them puzzles and put your head on the desk for 6 hours. As if one of the office girls couldn't do the same thing on your behalf.

My contract at that time stated that you would be paid a bonus if you completed a years work and only missed less than 12 classes. That's right, 12 classes NOT days. Considering your average day entailed 6-8 classes and I worked Saturdays for 7 months there wasn't much room for a little tickle in the throat. I remember being dragged in after just wiping the puke off my mouth a couple of times to say I couldn't work and then somehow being persuaded to go in. What's more when my contract was up they won't going to give me the few hundred bonus because I had missed exactly 12 classes in 15 months. I damn near blew the building up, pointing out that I would have missed a damn site more if not for them dragging me off my death bed and they owe me a shit load more than the few hundred bucks they were stalling out on.

And I was just talking to my wife about the issue of substitute teachers. She said that in Korea they don't have them. Never really even heard of the concept because they are considered a waste of money by all and sundry. Since nobody expects anybody to do anything here then it's also considered possible and indeed necessary that every man women and dog is present and correct 365 days a year, whether it's to sit online shopping at the insurance firm, baby-sitting disguised as teaching or boozing until 5am every chance because first one home's a fag and gonna be on minimum wage at the company till he hardens up.

To give this some balance though. When I was working at a two year college and felt ill I could simply mention it to one of my bosses (the other being a cunt and not worth shitting on let alone talking to) he said, no worries, go home and take some time off and we'll cancel your classes. That's the attitude!!!!

And now I'm informed that it's actually snowing lightly outside.

Anybody got the number of the Human Rights hotline?

Nah, not for me, for the NZ cricket team. Aussie are 86/0 at lunch.

Sick in the Head 

In NZ we are far too civilised to use baseball bats.

We use cricket bats instead.

The NBA has copied American Football and uses power rankings now too. Though it was probably some stupid sport like ice hockey that started it.

Seattle Supersonics are top and the Chicago Bulls are bottom.

Asia is going to be screwed by climate change apparently. Though is there really anywhere that won't be?

Rock On. Makes a change from getting in trouble at work for being stoned though.

And since NZ are about to bowl v Aussie here are my first innings predictions:
Martin 3.5 2 15 0
Franklin 3 1 26 0 (2nb)

Australia 43/0 at 5.06 an over.

Styris ---0/69

Australia 730/8 declared

Something for everyone at Destiny Church 

More than 250 young people will take a pledge tonight to abstain from pre-marital sex and illicit substances.

The ceremony is the culmination of a seven-week part time program run by the South Auckland branch of Destiny Church to encourage virginity and a life free of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

Most participants are between 13 and 25 years, and will wear a silver and gold ring to symbolise their commitment.

The Youth Pastor of Destiny Church Auckland, Caine Warren, says the only safe sex is no sex, and that abstinence will help curb the rising rate of teen pregnancy , STD's and abortions.

(Would you like some pineo'clean to go with your minds?)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

We All Told You So 

Another experiment with the AB's has come to an end.

Was it really that hard to work out why a flat backline wouldn't work when you are giving them ball with the defense on the front foot?

And some interesting league stuff from Peter Jessup including the direction NZ rugby league will take in the not too distant future.

American Sport 

Well since the baseball season is over and the NHL won't 'kickoff' due to a player lockout or some stupid thing that seems to happen in US sport every second year I'll have to run with the NBA and NFL.

Ron Artest (thug from the Pacers) came out with probably the most random sport quote I've heard for a while just to get things started. You'll have to read right to the end...
"(I'd) just like people to know how much I appreciate fans. You know, you've got fans, and 99.9 per cent of them are great and 0.1 per cent are jerks...

"Having a record company and putting out my own CD. There's clothes and shoes. There's also an upcoming book deal that I'm trying to do," he said.

"I'm trying to be positive. I'm a big fan of the Nobel Peace Prize."
Moving to the actual court though, Seam Marks still hasn't played a game for the San Antonio Spurs despite having been at the club for over a year now. He is currently on the 'disabled list'. And even when he isn't on it he'll be getting splinters up his arse for a long time yet.

Teams doing well so far this year in the Eastern Conference are the Indiana Pacers (7-3) though with all these suspensions it's hard to see them really finishing the season with a winning record and Miami Heat (8-3). Miami have been one of the weakest teams in the league in recent seasons but they signed some Irish guy called Shaquille O'neil and things are looking up for them.

On the other side of things the once almighty Chicago Bulls have no wins and nine losses to start the year. That's a lesson for every sports fan out there. Celebrate success while you can. They may never get near another NBA title in a 100 years.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference Seattle Supersonic and phoenix Suns have opened up with 9-2 records with San Antonio at 8-3 and Dallas Mavericks at 8-4. Expect the Mavericks to do what they always do. Put up a lot of points, play a fast open game and get nowhere near the championship ring once again.
Eastern Conference 62 wins 78 losses (24-40)
Western Conference 87 wins 71 losses (40-24)

Seems the Western Conference is looking a bit stronger this year. Though that never really matters for shit come the end of the season as it all comes down to the two best teams.


Right, now for the NFL. I just finished watching the New England Patriots (24 wins from last 25 games) beat the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots are just a machine that keeps on rolling on. They aren't flash but they don't give away many points and beat teams either easily or quite comfortably every week.

Teams to beat this year are the Patriots (9-1), Pittsburgh Steelers (9-1) who have a rookie quarterback who is breaking records for.... um... rookie quarterbacks, Philadelphia (9-1) and surprise packets Atlanta Falcons (8-2).

Teams that suck are bluebeardnz's San Francisco 49ers (1-9) and Miami Dolphins (1-9).

Actually these traditional pin up teams combine this year for this record....
49ers 1-9
Dolphins 1-9
Cowboys 3-7

4 wins, 25 losses. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Like I said earlier, enjoy it while you can fans.

As for who will win the title well these are the teams that can still make the playoffs (being realistic) with their records...
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
New England 9 1 0 .900 264 171 5-0 4-1 6-1 3-0 4-0 Won 3
N.Y. Jets 7 3 0 .700 212 165 4-1 3-2 6-3 1-0 3-2 Won 1

AFC North
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Pittsburgh 9 1 0 .900 240 161 5-0 4-1 7-1 2-0 4-1 Won 8
Baltimore 7 3 0 .700 204 140 4-1 3-2 5-2 2-1 3-1 Won 3

AFC South
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Indianapolis 7 3 0 .700 339 230 4-1 3-2 4-3 3-0 3-1 Won 3
Jacksonville 6 4 0 .600 166 181 3-2 3-2 5-4 1-0 2-3 Lost 1

AFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Denver 7 3 0 .700 233 167 4-1 3-2 4-2 3-1 3-0 Won 2
San Diego 7 3 0 .700 285 190 4-1 3-2 5-2 2-1 2-1 Won 4

NFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Philadelphia 9 1 0 .900 266 158 5-0 4-1 2-1 7-0 3-0 Won 2
N.Y. Giants 5 5 0 .500 196 172 2-3 3-2 1-0 4-5 2-1 Lost 3

NFC North
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Green Bay 6 4 0 .600 256 230 2-3 4-1 1-2 5-2 2-1 Won 5
Minnesota 6 4 0 .600 264 246 4-1 2-3 2-1 4-3 2-1 Won 1

NFC South
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Atlanta 8 2 0 .800 208 194 4-1 4-1 2-1 6-1 2-0 Won 3

NFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Seattle 6 4 0 .600 230 185 3-1 3-3 1-1 5-3 2-3 Won 1
St. Louis 5 5 0 .500 220 254 3-2 2-3 0-3 5-2 4-0 Lost 1

The Rams won't make it past the first round even if they do top the Seahawks to win the NFC West. Atlanta may scrape through the first week but hard to see them producing when the crunch comes on. The Green Bay Packers are on fire at the moment but they seem like one of those teams that's solid but never good enough. Forget the Vikings, and you can also rule out the Giants and the Jaguars.

So that leaves Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Denver, San Diego and Philadelphia.

From what I've seen of the Indianapolis Colts you can scratch them as well. To hit and miss, and shit defence which is what wins you games in the playoff games. San Diego are putting up a lot of points but it'll come down to how they go when the opposition keep the games tight that's the real test.

So it seems that at this stage I'll just go with all the nfl commentators and say that it's a 3 horse race. Patriots, Eagles and Steelers. Though it's probably hardest to see the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger (their rookie quarterback) take the title with him at the helm in the hardest games of all.

So I'll go with an Eagles - Patriots final and the Patriots to win their third staright. Wankers.

Korean Store Names 

Anybody who has been to Asia would no doubt have had a laugh at come of the store names when English is involved.

So after a journey into Seoul today here are a few I noted on the return trip.

Mr. Pizza (simple yet stylish)
RED O MANGO (think they were selling fruit shakes?)
BANG BANG (womens clothing shop, maybe they sell handgun accesories as well)
Donky Fried Chicken (no comment)
Baro Bang Bakery
Pizza Cat (pizza store, not a pet shop)
Sweetheart ... Dog (pet shop, not a restaurant)
KGB Billiard Room (Koreans seem to use "KGB" for just about anything)

Another local favourite is the "Fashion Shocking Mall" on the main drag.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Stuff Man 

So Steve Hansen is having a go at the govermnet for not shelling out millions of tax payers bucks for building a giant stadium (essentially) for rugby to use one day a year (and maybe even fill if they are lucky).

He goes on about how it's our national game and unites all NZers blah blah blah.

Well, Mr Hansen, how is it then that you are involved in one of the most disrepectful acts/crimes ever comitted against the AB jersey by allowing them to be handed out to every man and his dog.

Meanwhile Graham Henry was waxing lyrical about how great his team of novices were in the weekend when they thrashed Wales by one point (our worst result against them in 51 years). He was talking nonsense about how far they had come and how the Lions must be terrified now of facing guys like Piri Weepu (Who? I hear you saying. That's also what the Lions are saying).

I have one question for Henry though. If the team in the weekend played better than you were expecting (which is how it sounds from what you have said) then were you expecting to lose to Wales?

We had enough bullshit from the previous coach. Spare us more of the same.


The V8 Supercar race has unsurprisingly been scrapped in Auckland. Let's be honest, it was never really going to go ahead in the first place, or if it did it would have been a bit of a shambles.

If they had had consent for 1 or 2 years it may have been a goer. But SEVEN? Me thinks not.


I see in the latest radio audience figures that Radio Sport has taken a massive hit going down from 4.3% to 2.5%. Obviously the percentage is low, but that's not far off half of the audience. Something to do with a couple of their 'star' hosts sodding off perhaps?

The other 'story' from the figures is a new station Flava 96one registering 4.9 percent and stealing all Mai FMs audience (11.7% down to 5.8%).

On a more shitty note, these two companies now have 90% of the Auckland radio market between them.

TNR = Coca Cola
Radio Works = Pepsi Cola

Press release of the week  

(Where would we be without these progressive and lucid citizens protecting our moral integrity?)


Civil Union Supporters Confused

''Love doesn't discriminate and neither should the law,'' is the deluded catchcry of the very confused individuals promoting the Civil Union Bill.

Young Labour President, Michael Wood, has made this call.

Conor Roberts, a spokesperson for the Campaign for Civil Unions, has said it too. Campaign for Civil Unions (Auckland) Inc.

Co-ordinator, Michael Wallmannsberger, and the 1,000 odd people, including Tim Barnett, the chairperson of the select committee considering the Bill, who helped fund a $16,000 full-page advertisement in the Sunday Star Times supporting the Bill, also appear to believe it is true.

The Labour-led Government and its hangers-on seem are in the main similarly confused.

The last time we heard this nonsense was from the lips of a young blonde "hooker" who was interviewed in a recent TV3 documentary that screened at 7.30 p.m.

The programme investigating the 'glamorous' lifestyle of an older Wellington "whorehouse" operator (yes the TV female interviewer used the term "whorehouse" and "hooker").

The interviewer asked the prostitute whether she felt repulsed by some of the men who paid for her sexual services and whether she ever chose to withhold them from any unsavoury males.

The "hooker" was forthright in her reply denying that she had ever shown any discrimination towards her male clients.

All her clients were as worthy as any other of her love and sexual favours she said. She was there to perform a service and therefore she saw it as a virtue to show no favours or discrimination provided the money had been paid up front for the service.

Anyone in a committed relationship of marriage who would defend this approach to love-making has no understanding of real love.

The sleazy counterfeit offered and defended by a "hooker" and accepted by her clients does conform to the "love doesn’t discriminate" philosophy claimed by its supporters to undergird the Civil Union Bill.

It may be news to the promoters of the Bill that love DOES discriminate. Let any husband try and convince his wife that love does not discriminate and he will soon find out that he is speaking nonsense!

Let any wife try and convince her husband the same nonsense!
To claim that love does NOT discriminate is an utter absurdity!

The unique love that forms the basis of the marriage partnership is exclusively confined to that between a man and a woman and NOT to same-sex couples.

Only that kind of love has the potential to lead to children who are united biologically with both life-long committed parents - comprising both a mother (wife) and a father (husband).

To claim that the actions and motivation of love is equivalent to the proper application of the law is an absurdity!

It is a given that the law is blind. Genuine love that undergirds marriage is not blind. It discriminates!

While the law can be applied by judges who are often able to apply genuine discretion, they do so only within certain defined narrow constraints.

Marriage sets the expectations of definite boundaries to partners as it is inherently a monogamous relationship that is formed on the basis of life-long commitment, trust, fidelity, faithfulness and genuine partnership.

The claim that the law must not discriminate is correct, providing the law is being applied to persons who have committed truly EQUIVALENT acts.

That is why on conviction of an offence under the law, different convicted individuals who commit the SAME offence, must be treated equally when sentencing is carried out by the Courts.

Offences are defined within specified categories and thereby in sentencing, equivalent acts must be treated the same way in law.

A marriage is NOT equivalent to a de facto relationship (same-sex or heterosexual). Marriage is NOT the equivalent of a civil union under the proposed bill, as marriage can never be applied to same-sex couples, based on its unique character.

It is just to discriminate between relationships that are fundamentally different.

Marriage is fundamentally and undeniably different from a civil union and the law must recognise this.

It is not the task of the law to treat the two as equivalent. This is exactly what the civil union bill does. It is fundamentally dishonest.

It is reminiscent of the Prostitution Reform Act that treats the work of prostitutes and those who run businesses of prostitution as though it was legitimate work, thereby sending out a clear message that it is an occupation worthy of consideration as a source of employment for young women.

Prostitution is treated under the law as a business like any other and yet it is fundamentally different from every other form of legitimate business.

(I think I need a smoke)

Monday, November 22, 2004

This clown really knows how to rub it in... 

Captions are invited for this image, inspired by none other than Happy Gilmore.

How about, "Gillespe celebrates his half century against Palmerston North Boys' High Second XI"?

Ha ha glad I went away for the weekend 

Because I didn't see the losses in the cricket, the league, and the netball, and the near-loss in the union, not that I would have watched it anyway. The Black Craps' defeat was so utterly comprehensive, and Glen McGrath's starring role with the bat so unlikely, that it's impossible not to laugh and take the result with a broad smile. It's hard to know whether Cricinfo is being ironic or not in writing:

A track flat good enough for two tailenders to share a record for the 10th wicket against New Zealand had become unplayable.

I guess the umpires didn't do New Zealand any favours in the 3rd innings, but nor did NZ's selection policy, which included the hopeless McMillan. It doesn't help that Astle is a class player badly out of form and Fleming frequently fails to front up. In terms of players who can't share too much of the blame ... (and bear in mind I didn't see Australia's first innings or New Zealand's second), it seems that McCullum got 2 terrible decisions, Oram played very well in the first innings and was dismissed under freak circumstances in the second, and that Martin and Vettori at least made some impact at the bowling crease. Still, I guess they also contributed to that handy 114-run last wicket partnership featuring Glen "my average used to be 2.1" McGrath.

Still, it's nice to know that our cricketers aren't the only crap team out there. And hey, in the second innings we were on two of my favourite all-time New Zealand batting scores, 33/3 and 44/4. If I had a dime for every time the Crappers were on those scores (and I note the 5th wicket also fell on 44).

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Black Craps - dc_red tribute innings 

19/3, 40 odd for 4, 50 odd for 5, 60 odd for 6.

Where have we seen this type of performance before?

Um... every year I believe.

Development Tours 

Can go fuck themselves.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Premier League Predictions 

Fresh off my amazing 50% effort last week, I am suitably emboldened to continue this practice until:

(a) I am recognized as the genius I so obviously am, or
(b) Someone spams me with pictures of Don Brash naked

PS The RAIN soundtrack is freaking awesome, dudes.

Man United 3 Charlton 0

Arsenal 4 West Brom 0
Everton 1 Fulham 2 (UPSET!)
Middlesbrough 1 Liverpool 2 (don't ask me how)
Norwich 0 Southampton 1
Crystal Palace 2 Newcastle 3
Chelsea 1 Bolton 1 (I hope, hope, hope)

Portsmouth 2 Man City 2

Blackburn 1 Birmingham 1

Aston Villa 2 Tottenham 2

Friday, November 19, 2004

NZ v Australia Test One Day Two round up and Predictions 

Well, not a bad day for NZ. I was expecting one of two things to happen on Day 2 and posted them as comments on another blog.

First scenario was we would be dismissed very quickly and they would knock up 300/4.
The second scenario was we would make 330 (353) and they would be 200/4 (197/4) at stumps.

So I was damn close on the second part.

Predictions for tomorrow are that Aussie bat on pretty solidly with us making the occasional break through. They will pass our score with 7 wickets down and we will eventually dismiss them for 389.

Then with roughly one session left to bat we throw the test away and have a small lead (41 runs to be exact) with only 5 wickets in hand.

Most likely my predictions will prove to be like dc_reds comments on my bowling. Complete horse shit. muhahahahaha. Actually my flipper is a weird one. I bowl it out the back of the hand, much like a googly but it often kicks on like Warnes top spinner that goes straight and bounces sharply. Shame that it often hits the batsman in the head on the full or lands 4 feet outside off, bounces twice etc etc.

Comments on Day Two. Oram did a fantastic job. When he takes 15 more test wickets he will qualify for my table of the top 25 test allrounders of all time.

He could turn out to be more valuable than Cairns was if he sticks around long enough. He probably needs to be a bit more destructive with the ball though. He seems to be one of those bowlers that takes wickets at the rate of 1,2 or 3 in an innings and very rarely knocks over 4 or 5 (in 16 tests he has no 5 wicket bags). His current test averages are 47.1 with the bat and 31.88 with the ball.

Mills hit his highest test score to date. Well done mate. It was also the 3rd highest score in our innings. We had too many players making starts and not going on.

Incidentally, 9 of our 11 players have test centuries to their name. Pretty good depth in our lineup then. I can't see Mills ever getting one though, and if Martin can ever get to double fingers than I'll be happy.

This guy, Michael Clarke is a worry. He is in his 5th test and averages 61.57 right now. Hopefully he isn't really as good as that suggests and flucks up tomorrow along with Martyn. Any serious hope we have of winning this test rests on dismissing those two in the morning session and then running through Gilchrist, Warne and Gillespie (no easy task, we all know Gilchrist is a chance of flogging a hundred and Warne likes batting against us). Kasprowicz and McGrath should'nt stick around for too long.

Day 2 was the day when NZ made a statement that they won't roll over, but Day 3 will be the day when the test starts to turn for one team or the other.

McMillan ya duffer 

A sorry state of affairs yesterday as McMillan - have done fairly well in getting himself started and clocking up 23 runs - decided to charge down the pitch before Warne delivered the ball, presumably with a view to hitting the ball out of the ground. Now everyone enjoys doing this when Yamis is bowling in the nets, but it's a rather different situation when your team is in trouble, you're just getting set in, and the bowler with the world record for the most wickets in test is at the other end.

Take a note, Macca, Warne has been dismissing batsmen who charge at him like that, very successfully, for about 14 years. It's not that hard ... any spinner worth is weight knows that when a batsman charges down the pitch like a maniac, you fire the ball in low, fast, and preferably a bit wide ... even the "part-time tweaker" playing club cricket on a Saturday afternoon can manage it.

Take a note John Bracewell, Macca is crap, and has been for quite a few seasons now. His relatively decent test average reflects former glories. He's even more hopeless in the one-day arena. Send him back to Canterbury and make him earn his keep. I've had this to say about McMillan in the past, while Yamis has a slighly more charitable interpretation of his test record.

For what it's worth I've always thought Sinclair was potentially a class act, and I think yesterday's effort showed he's been working on his game ... which is what quality players do when they're dropped from the team.

Oh yes, and fair play to Yamis, I can't read his flipper in the nets. Revenge will be mine in January though.

NRL 2005 Season Length 

Bit early perhaps to be bringing up the 2005 season but then again the news that they will stick with the 24 game, 26 week season plus four weeks of playoffs news has only just come out a few days ago.

I've mentioned in the past that a season of that length is not only too hard on the players, but it also produces sub standard performances and the defences show it. Here's a small part of what I wrote with the stats slightly updated after a series of final round massacres.
In the first half of the season there were many more close games than in the second half. Rounds 1-13 saw 48 of the 90 games decided by 12 or fewer points with the vast majority in the 0-6 point range. In the second half however there have been just 40 of the 90 games in that 0-12 range with more than half of them in the 7-12 point range. What's more the first half of the season yielded margins of 30 points or more on just 7 occasions, compared to the 20 in the second half...

To add to all this, on 40 occasions in 2004 (34 last year) the victorious team has scored 40 or more points.

Teams are more attacking these days than say they were a decade ago and the speed of the game combined with the referees cracking down on slowing the play the ball type tactics doesn't do defences any favours, but as it's the same for both teams the scorelines shouldn't be blowing out so much should they?

Look at the distribution of scores of 40+ over the seasons:
11 in the first half of last season (13 weeks) and 23 in the second half (13 weeks).
13 in the first half of this season and 27 in the second half of the season.
I've always wanted to blockquote myself!

Anyway, on with the 'fresh stuff'...

In the lead up to the NRL making their decision on next seasons length and draw there were a few comments from the likes of Newcastle Knights coach Michael Hagan.
Newcastle coach Michael Hagan is leading the chorus for the NRL season to be shortened but he's frustrated rugby leagues power brokers aren't listening.

Hagan wants the NRL season reduced from 26 rounds to 22 to ease the demands on elite players, whose bodies are still being punished in the Tri Nations tournament.

The Kangaroos' international schedule for 2004 doesn't end until December 1 when they play a tour match against the USA in Philadelphia.

Asked at Newcastle's first pre-season training session today whether the NRL season was too long, Hagan said: "Yeah probably, but we don't seem to be listening or taking much notice of the coaches or the players.

"People don't understand how hard this game is and what the players are putting themselves through every week. Twenty-two games would be fine."

A jaded Danny Buderus called for a 22-match schedule in the lead-up to Australia's opening Tri Nations clash with New Zealand in Auckland last month.

The Knights hooker was forced to carry a stress fracture of his foot and a nasty toe infection into the last month of the regular season as the Knights unsuccessfully tried to qualify for the finals series.

Buderus was inspirational but the mental and physical drain of a gruelling year left him in dire need of a break...
what's worse about it all is that there have even been whispers that the Tri-Nations may not go ahead next season.
The Tri-Nations tournament has been hailed as a re-birth of international rugby league, but there's no guarantee it will be played again next year.

The Australian Rugby League has an in-principle agreement to participate in the Tri-Nations over the next two seasons but chief executive Geoff Carr said they would be guided by the NRL clubs and Australian players.
So the ARL has said they will listen to their NRL clubs about whether they feel their players can cope. To me that's a load of horse shit for several reasons. Firstly why is the Australian Rugby League (responsible for running the game right across Australia and internationally) essentially being dictated to be the NRL (a domestic competition)?

Secondly the team that is hurt the most by having it's players playing on late in the year in their international side most years is the Warriors [check the bottom of the blog for the numbers]. But do you ever hear them calling for international games to be scrapped? No, in fact it's quite the opposite.

The remainder of my reasons can be found later.... (suspense is killing you right?)

The tournament, the brainchild of Australian coach Wayne Bennett, is certain to return in 2006 but may be replaced by an Ashes tour next year....

"It's certainly been a huge success," Carr said.

The tournament has attracted sell-out crowds and unprecedented interest in England, with the final between Australia and Great Britain in two weeks expected to be played before more than 35,000 spectators at Elland Road in Leeds.

The three competing nations and the international game are set to reap financial windfalls as a result.

The players and coaching staff of all sides have also praised the concept.
So please explain how rugby league is in a position to fuck over a "huge success" then Mr Carr?
However, the impact on the players and, as a result, the NRL clubs is always in the background.

"I can see it from both sides," Australian assistant Craig Bellamy, the Melbourne coach, said.

"It's very hard on the players. They have a long NRL season."

The easy answer would be to alternate the tournament between the northern and southern hemispheres but the ARL remains concerned with its financial viability if played in Australia.

"The issue is more than that," Carr said of the tournament's success.

"We always have to consider the welfare of the players and the position of the clubs. Can they keep doing this every year?

"If the players come away and say it's been too long and the clubs say we don't want to have our players playing until December, it may be better having it every two years.

"If they come away and say they're tired we'll have to listen to them. You can't kill the goose that lays the golden egg."
So international games may face the ax simply because a few teams lose a few players until early December? [test players by club is at listed at the end of this blog] The season doesn't start until around March so give them a bleeding rest until Christmas. I don't see why they are that crucial to what is essentially fitness and conditioning work that early in the season. And besides, the trip through America is basically a bloody holiday. They are playing a test against the United States which should be a massacre. On a side note, they were trying to get it played at Yankee Stadium but that all fell through when the ground owners wanted too much money.

Basically it once again comes down to the big boys in NRL circles deciding that their competition is more important than international football. This despite the fact that international games draw bigger crowds than your average NRL game EVERY SINGLE TIME for about.... oh, say.... ONE HUNDRED YEARS!!!

Great Britain and New Zealand both have ALL their players playing either NRL seasons or Super League seasons and they want to play so shut the fuck up, shorten your ruddy season, aim to get bigger crowds to the NRL and get on with some serious promotion of the game at international level. I'm not sure how they can get away with saying that the international season is too hard on the players, and the NRL season is too hard on the players, but we should leave our competition at a tortuous length and get rid of the more popular success story.

The NRL just had it's highest average crowds ever. Next year I would expect them to beat this years crowd mark again. If they actually cut the season to the suggested 22 weeks with 20 or 21 games, and thereby made it more cut throat, and more competitive then they will surely see the crowds increase markedly more than the measly 1% rises they have seen in the last 2 years. They'll also do State of Origin players a favour.

Then with increased gate receipts we may be able to realise all our dreams come true.... YAHOOOO!!!!

Anyway, here's the latest comments on the whole deal from Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer

Since I have selective reading I'm only going to highlight this part from the rather lengthy article...
"I think I said it last year, if you want to do this (Tri Nations series) there has to be a reduction in the number of club games," said Lockyer.
Bracketed is players in the Kiwis...
Bulldogs: 4 (3)
Brisbane: 6
Sydney Roosters: 4 (1) + Morley with Great Britain
Warriors: 5
Penrith Panthers: 2 (3)
North Queensland: 2 (1)
Newcastle Knights: 2
St George Illawarra Dragons: 2
Melbourne Storm: 1 (1)
Parramatta Eels: 1 (1)
Sharks: 1 (1)
Raiders: (1)
and 2 teams have nobody in the test side.

So who the fuck should care about what those 2 teams plus arguably the Raiders, Sharks, Storm, Eels, Cowboys, Knights, and Dragons have to say?

Let's face it, the teams hardest hit by having players missing will STILL be sitting at the top of the table come next August. But no, we can't have these international games because um.... I forgot.

Right, I'm off to sit on the couch and annoy the wife.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The US learning from the 'successful' Israel model 

No Right Turn has some nice writing.

It seems the US has learnt a lot from Israels overwhelmingly successful methods against the Palestinians. At this rate they should have Iraq, whoops I mean the insurgents under it's thumb in say 25-100 years. I bet they will be dumb enough to keep wondering where the hell these insurgents keep coming from for the next few decades.
The US has used devastating force in Fallujah - artillery, aerial bombardament, automatic weapons, tanks - in an area primarily inhabited by civilians. The weapons they are using are simply indiscriminate - the kill radius of one of those 2000lb bombs they were dropping is around 100m, and white phosophorus and cluster bombs do not distinguish between those carrying weapons and those without - so indiscriminate in fact that it can called nothing less than a reckless disregard for Iraqi lives.

Those arguing that this is just how modern warfare is waged, and that "you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs", should note that it is only the US that behaves like this. The British face insurgents in their zone, but they respond with a good deal more care. More significantly, they faced a terrorist insurgency in Northern Ireland for decades - during which it was absolutely unthinkable that they would use any of the above weapons. They did not call in airstrikes on IRA safe-houses, or use tanks to shell suspected sniper positions (in fact, they did not use tanks at all). And the reason in both cases is clear: they have some regard for the lives of those they are fighting amongst. The US does not. Instead, as Crooked Timber's Chris Bertram points out, they have a "deliberate and systematic policy" of transferring the risks of combat from soldiers to civilians - because the lives of American soldiers are more valuable even than those of innocent Iraqis. But whose name is this occupation being waged in? Whose "freedom" is being fought for? Iraqis. It seems strange to treat your ultimate goal, the people you are supposedly protecting in this manner. And, as Bertram notes,

[i]t is hard to escape the thought that were co-nationals of the people dropping the bombs the ones in the bystander position, different methods would be used.
The position of those opposing the occupation has always been clear: if the US is to claim moral superiority over terrorists, then it must act like it. If it wishes to claim that the indiscriminate murder of civilians is wrong, then it must refrain from doing so itself. But an examination of US policies and actions in Fallujah, and in Iraq in general, shows a disregard for civilian lives that is indistinguishable from that of the suicide-bombers. The message for people like Sock Thief is clear: if they vigorously condemn terrorists, they must also vigorously condemn the US's indiscriminate tactics. Their refusal to do so, and their defence of US actions, marks them as nothing more than hypocrites providing moral cover for murderers.
My wife and I are babysitting our niece again. My sister in law has just given birth to her second son which means I have 3 nephews in the collection now to go with my niece. Her and her three year old cousin were around here a couple of nights ago stealing my coin stash, throwing balls at my head, peeing their pants, pulling plugs out of the modem and playing the piano on the keyboard. So there may have been some connection between that and us not having an internet connection for a while. My main concern however is with Yei-eun and Ha-min stealing all my bloody lollies!

And I see racism is alive and well in Spainish soccer. Someone should point out on the big screen at one of these games to those responsible that it's 2004 and they are still losers?! Who are the real monkeys?

I've spent a few days in Madrid and it would be fair to say that it's not the most multicultural looking city in the world. The only non Spanish that I could make out were Africans in some of the central city parks who were trying to sell things, drugs seeming to be one of their most popular items.

NZ - Australia Test Averages against each other 

I'm predicting a loss for us late on the 4th day. All depends on that first innings though. If we bat and knock up 400+ we can do alright. Where are our hundreds going to come from I wonder?

Our batting lineup with experience against the Aussies have only scored 2 centuries against them in 67 digs combined (plus 12 50s).

Their batting lineup has 6 centuries against us from 53 digs (plus 13 50s and 3 more 50s from Warne who fancies himself as an alrounder against us.... wanker).

Aussies Who Have Had A Crack At Us B4

Matthew Hayden 4 tests, 7 inn, 336 runs, ave 48.00
2, 37, 136, 13, 91, 0, 57
Justin Langer 9 tests, 15 inn, 695 runs, ave 53.46
63, 24, 0, 0, 46, 47, 12, 57, 4, 122*, 104, 18*, 123, 75, 0
3 ducks! Just ignore the 3 centuries in his last 6 at bats v us.
Rickeeee Pon-ing 6 tests, 9 innings, 370 runs, ave 61.66
26, 73*, 16, 4, 5, 32*, 157*, 31, 26
Only scored more than 32 twice in 9 knocks v NZ
Damien Marten 7 tests, 12 inn, 410 runs, ave 41.00
1, 74, 17, 36, 78, 17*, 89*, 4, 4, 0, 60, 30
Adam Gilchrist 6 tests, 10 inn, 404 runs, ave 50.50
7, 59, 3, 75, 0*, 118, 20, 39, 0, 83*
Warney 15 tests, 17 inn, 442 runs, ave 31.57 (bit high isn't it?!)
22*, 22, 3*, 2, 11, 74*, 21, 36, 14, 7, 12, 7, 10, 22, 70, 90, 10

bowling: 75 wickets, best:6/31, average 25.08 (fuck!)
Jason Gillespie 3 tests, 3 inn, 21 runs, ave 21.00
20*, 0, 1*

bowling: 11 wickets, best:2/40, ave 28.72
Michael Kasprowicz 3 tests, 3 inn, 42 runs, ave 21.00
13*, 9, 20

bowling: 6 wickets, best:2/40, ave 38.83
Glenda McGrath 9 tests, 7 inn, 36 runs, ave 6.00
0, 6, 8, 1, 14, 7, 0*
bowling: 30 wickets, best:5/32, ave 32.56 (now that's crap by his standards)

Keuwees Who Have Had A Crack At The Kangaroo Shaggas

Mark Richardson 3 tests, 5 inn, 152 runs, ave 30.40
26, 57, 30, 9, 30
That won't be good enough this series.
Matthew Sinclair 6 tests, 11 inn, 141 runs, ave 12.81 (WHAT?!)
8, 6, 4, 0, 19, 24, 3, 23, 23, 2, 29
Wow, he owns the Aussies!!! Average of 12 and top score of 29 in 11 digs.
Stephen Fleming (mullet) 9 tests, 17 inn, 479 runs, ave 28.17 (uh oh)
91, 0, 10, 4, 0, 0, 21, 8, 16, 60, 30, 2, 0, 57, 71, 105, 4
Do not expect much from this man sick or fit against the green and puke.
Nathan Astle 9 tests, 17 inn, 608 runs, ave 40.53
12, 14, 12, 19, 22*, 40, 31, 35, 61, 14, 0, 26, 66, 49, 11, 156*, 40

bowling: 268 runs, 2 wickets, ave 134.00
Average of 134. I think it would be fair to say that the Aussie batsman don't cry themselves to sleep at night when thinking of facing him off his 10 yard run up.
Craig McMillan 9 tests, 17 inn, 514 runs, ave 32.12
54, 0, 54, 23, 2, 41, 6, 78, 1, 0, 79, 30, 45, 23*, 55, 4, 19

bowling: 8 wickets, best:3/57, ave 36.87
Daniel "ladies man" Vettori 8 tests, 13 inn, 4*, 100 runs, ave 11.11
14, 0, 14*, 1, 3, 15*, 0, 27, 8, 3*, 10*, 2, 3

bowling: 33 wickets, best:7/87, ave 29.33
not bad lad, not bad at all. Good luck on the Gabba pitch though :(

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Wankery or Goodery? 

Oh my god! New Zealand now has a celebrity 'movement/scene' going.

Does this mean the country is now fucked or saved?

I suppose they'll all be out in force at the next election supporting the left.

We should work out who our version of Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn etc are.

dc_red's election round-up 

Well, dorking labs captured it fairly nicely.

Yes, couldn't have put it better myself. There's also been some great commentaries on the rather unexpected emergence of undefined "moral values" as a key concern among the US voting populace. Gay marriage is immoral - war mongering is not, apparently. I find it hard to believe that government recognition of same-sex relationships will be more injurious to families than, say, dropping bombs on them, but then again I could be wrong.

There's been some great critical commentaries on this, from both likely and unlikely sources.

An example of the former is Frank Rich in the NY Times. Some excerpts:

Everything about the election results - and about American culture itself - confirms an inescapable reality: John Kerry's defeat notwithstanding, it's blue America, not red, that is inexorably winning the culture war, and by a landslide.

The blue ascendancy is nearly as strong among Republicans as it is among Democrats. ... Excess and vulgarity, as always, enjoy a vast, bipartisan constituency, and in a democracy no political party will ever stamp them out.

If anyone is laughing all the way to the bank this election year, it must be the undisputed king of the red cultural elite, Rupert Murdoch. Fox News is a rising profit center within his News Corporation, and each red-state dollar that it makes can be plowed back into the rest of Fox's very blue entertainment portfolio. The Murdoch cultural stable includes recent books like Jenna Jameson's "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" and the Vivid Girls' "How to Have a XXX Sex Life," which have both been synergistically, even joyously, promoted on Fox News by willing hosts like Rita Cosby and, needless to say, Mr. O'Reilly.

None of this has prompted an uprising from the red-state Fox News loyalists supposedly so preoccupied with "moral values." They all gladly contribute fungible dollars to Fox culture by boosting their fair-and-balanced channel's rise in the ratings. Some of these red staters may want to make love like porn stars besides. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) [Editor's Note: hear hear]

But the distance between this hard-core red culture and the majority blue culture is perhaps best captured by Tom Coburn, the newly elected Republican senator from Oklahoma.... As a congressman in 1997, Mr. Coburn attacked NBC for encouraging "irresponsible sexual behavior" and taking "network TV to an all-time low with full frontal nudity, violence and profanity being shown in our homes." The broadcast that prompted his outrage on behalf of "parents and decent-minded individuals everywhere" was the network's prime-time showing of Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List."

Thomas Frank, the author of "What's the Matter With Kansas?," ... writes, "always take a backseat to the needs of money once the elections are won." Under this perennial "trick," as he calls it, Republican politicians promise to stop abortion and force the culture industry "to clean up its act" - until the votes are counted. Then they return to their higher priorities, like cutting capital gains and estate taxes. Mr. Murdoch and his fellow cultural barons ... are about to be rewarded not just with more tax breaks but also with deregulatory goodies increasing their power to market salacious entertainment. It's they, not Susan Sarandon and Bruce Springsteen, who actually set the cultural agenda....

According to [one] argument, the values voters the Democrats must pander to are people like Cary and Tara Leslie, archetypal Ohio evangelical "Bush votes come to life" apotheosized by The Washington Post right after Election Day. The Leslies swear by "moral absolutes," support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and mostly watch Fox News. Mr. Leslie has also watched his income drop from $55,000 to $35,000 since 2001, forcing himself, his wife and his three young children into the ranks of what he calls the "working poor." Maybe by 2008 some Democrat will figure out how to persuade him that it might be a higher moral value to worry about the future of his own family than some gay family he hasn't even met.

Ok, it's long, I know, but the guy has something to say. Now for my second, and perhaps less likely source.

Nine of the ten states that get the most federal fucking dollars and pay the least... can you guess? Go on, guess. That’s right, motherfucker, they're red states. And eight of the ten states that receive the least and pay the most? It’s too easy, asshole, they’re blue states. It’s not your money, assholes, it’s fucking our money. What was that Real American Value you were spouting a minute ago? Self reliance? Try this for self reliance: buy your own fucking stop signs, assholes.

Let’s talk about those values for a fucking minute. You and your Southern values can bite my ass because the blue states got the values over you fucking Real Americans every day of the goddamn week. Which state do you think has the lowest divorce rate you marriage-hyping dickwads? Well? Can you guess? It’s fucking Massachusetts, the fucking center of the gay marriage universe. Yes, that’s right, the state you love to tie around the neck of anyone to the left of Strom Thurmond has the lowest divorce rate in the fucking nation. Think that’s just some aberration? How about this: 9 of the 10 lowest divorce rates are fucking blue states, asshole, and most are in the Northeast, where our values suck so bad. And where are the highest divorce rates? Care to fucking guess? 10 of the top 10 are fucking red-ass we're-so-fucking-moral states. And while Nevada is the worst, the Bible Belt is doing its fucking part.

And who has the highest murder rates in the nation? It ain't us up here in the North, assholes.

Well this gravy train is fucking over. Take your liberal-bashing, federal-tax-leaching, confederate-flag-waving, holier-than-thou, hypocritical bullshit and shove it up your ass.

And no, you can't have your fucking convention in New York next time. Fuck off.

Boycott CD and DVD Store 

What a dork.

How can anybody who has no doubt sold numerous violent and explicit DVDs and similar CDs to Eminem's latest be suddenly pulling out some bullshit moral stance now
A national music retailer is refusing to promote the new album from American rap singer Eminem because of its explicit lyrics.

The CD and DVD Store is not displaying the album Encore, and will only give it to customers who request it.

It is also donating $6 to Women's Refuge and a suicide prevention charity from each sale.

The retailer's managing director, Roger Harper, says he made the decision after hearing the lyrics, which he describes as violent and pornographic.

He says a "clean" version of Eminem's album will be available on Thursday.

The rapper, also known as Marshall Mathers and Slim Shady, is reknowned for his controversial lyrics, which have helped him become one of the biggest names in music.
Actually after thinking about it more I'm sure it's simply a marketing ploy. Not only does he get free publicity but he also gets the odd moral twat (who he probably thinks there are a lot of in the world right now, but no it's only America, dork) going into his store. And the added bonus of people out there who want to buy the album and donate 6 bucks to a couple of worthy causes. I'd recommend buying the album from some place else and sending them a cheque.

And now I'd like to reprint in full the lyrics to Snoop Doggs "Ain't no fun (if the homies can't have none)" (released in the mid 90s, just to show how music really hasn't got any 'worse' or more graphic in the last few years) which is no doubt available at all good CD and DVD Stores near you...

(feat. Nate Dogg, Kurupt, Warren G)

You're back now at the jack-off hour this is DJ, Eazy Dick
On W-Balls, right now, somethin new, by Snoop Doggy Dogg
And this one goes out to the ladies, from all the guys
A big bow wow wow, cuz we gonna make it a little mystery
here tonight, this is DJ Eazy Dick, on the station that
slaps you across your fat ass, with a fat dick

[Verse One: Nate Dogg]

When I met you last night baby
Before you opened up your gap
I had respect for ya lady
But now I take it all back
Cause you gave me all your pussy
And ya even licked my balls
Leave your number on the cabinet
And I promise baby, I'll give ya a call
Next time I'm feelin kinda horny
You can come on over, and I'll break you off
And if you can't fuck, that day, baby
Just lay back, and open your mouth
Cause I have never
met a girl
That I love
in the whole wide world

[Verse Two: Kurupt]

Well, if Kurupt gave a fuck about a bitch I'd always be broke
I'd never have no motherfuckin indo to smoke
I gets loced and looney, bitch you can't Do Me
Do we like BBD, you hoochie groupie?
I have no love for hoes
That's somethin I learned in the pound
so how the fuck am I supposed
to pay this hoe, just to lay this hoe
I know the pussy's mines, I'ma fuck a couple more times
And then I'm through with it, there's nothing else to do with it
Pass it to the homie, now you hit it
Cause she ain't nuthin but a bitch to me
And y'all know, that bitches ain't shit to me
i gives a fuck, why don't y'all pay attention
Approach it with a different proposition, I'm Kurupt
Hoe you'll never be my only one, trick ass beeeitch!

[Chorus: (repeat 4X)]

It ain't no fun, if the homies can't have none

[Verse Three: Snoop Doggy Dogg]

Guess who back in the motherfuckin house
With a fat dick for your motherfuckin mouth
Hoes recognize, niggaz do too
Cuz when bitches get skanless and pull a voodoo
What you gon do? You really don't know
So I'd advise you not to trust that hoe
Silly of me to fall in love with a bitch
Knowin damn well, I'm too caught up with my grip
Now as the sun rotates and my game grows bigger
How many bitches wanna fuck this nigga named Snoop
Doggy, I'm all the above
I'm too swift on my toes to get caught up with you hoes
But see, it ain't no fun, if my homies can't get a taste of it
Cause you know I don't love em

[Verse Four: Warren G]

Hey, now ya know, inhale, exhale with my flow
One for the money, two for the btiches
Three to get ready, and four to hit the switches
In my Chevy, six-fo' Rad to be exact
With bitches on my side, and bitches on back
So back up bitch cuz i'm strugglin, so get
off your knees and then start jugglin
these motherfuckin nuts in your mouth
It's me, Warren G the nigga with the clout


White Cross II 

To further my argument that Transit NZ's case against white crosses on the motorway is complete shit I've been doing some investigative reporting.

Actually, I just drove down the North-Western motorway and counted how many billboards were within 1km of the two crosses laid for Storm Apere-Seve and her father.

Not quite a Yamis-sized break down of statistics but nonetheless good enough to illustarate a point. (What is bloggingitreals' mileage policy?)

And it was still more than the Herald's or TV3's reporters could manage.

Attempted wit aside, there were seven in total, all of which were directly facing the motorway.

The only other consumer traffic they could be possibly directed at would be the seldom-used cycleway connecting Pt Chev and mighty Te Atatu.

The Tui billboard was most prominent but there were speedway, pizza, carpet, steel, mattress and sealant billboards too.

The Cathay Pacific billboard mentioned in my first post has been removed.

Then again maybe there's a more sinister reason behind Transit NZ not targeting genuine distractions to motorists:

The environment exceeding on the level of our unconciousness
For example
What does the billboard say
Come and play, come and play
Forget about the movement"

Rage Against the Machine's lyrics are particularly topical considering these billboards are all in the Rosebank Rd 'dirty dirt' zone.

NZ Netguide awards 

Well I really have nothing to say about them since I only had a vague awareness that they were on (happens when you don't live in NZ).

But it turns out that the winner, "bizgirl" was a bloke named James Guthrie who also has a music site that I had come across before and quite liked. So well done to you sir.

Anyhow 'both of them' link to our site so cheers very muchly.

I'll have to return the favour and add some more links to blog sites or whatever other interesting sites are out there, only it'll have to be further down the right column than perhaps they deserve. There are so many well written, researched or whatever the fuck NZ blog sites that it's hard to keep track of em all.

Meanwhile in keeping with the vague sports theme of our crumby wee blog (which should have cleaned up all the awards) here is the sports and recreation winner (or some award thats similar in name to the sports and recreation award). Confused? Me too.

One other thing I can't let slide though.

How the fuck does Winston Peters get 8% support in the latest preferred prime minister poll?

According to the latest population figures that works out at 324,872 people wanting him running the country!!! Now you can't just blame old fogies in "The Raunga" for that.

More of the country is sniffing crack than I thought. Butt crack that is. Brownnosing ho's!

Monday, November 15, 2004

The 25 Greatest Cricket Allrounders 

Right, here it is. The '25 Greatest Allrounders of All-time'.

I took the players batting average and subtracted their bowling average from it. The greater the gap the 'greater' they are.

To qualify: 50 wickets, 1000 runs

1. Garfield Sobers 23.75 (WI)
2. Jacques Kallis 23.07 (SA)
3. Wally Hammond 20.65 (Eng)
4. Imran Khan 14.88 (Pak)
5. Aubrey Faulkner 14.21 (SA)
6. Keith Miller 14 (Aust)
7. Steve Waugh 13.62 (Aust)
8. Ted Dexter 12.96 (Eng)
9. Sanath Jayasuriya 11.19 (SL)
10. Shaun Pollock 11.17 (SA)
11. Billy Bates 10.91 (Eng)
12. Frank Worrell 10.76 (WI)
13. Asif Iqbal 10.52 (Pak)
14. Mushtaq Mohammad 9.95 (Pak)
15. Trevor Goddard 8.24 (SA)
16. Tony Greig 8.23 (Eng)
17. Jack Gregory 5.81 (Aust)
18. Brian McMillan 5.54 (SA)
19. Monty Noble 5.25 (Aust)
20. Ian Botham 5.14 (Eng)
21. Warwick Armstrong 5.09 (Aust)
22. Charles Kelleway 5.06 (Aust)
23. Richard Hadlee 4.87 (NZ)
24. Bob Simpson 4.55 (Aust)
25. Chris Cairns 4.13 (NZ)

Australia 7
South Africa 5
England 5
Pakistan 3
New Zealand 2
West Indies 2
Sri Lanka 1
India 0 (though if Tendulkar takes 15 more wickets he will qualify)
Zimbabwe 0
Bangladesh surprisingly 0 also.

I admit it's not a perfect way to measure as some players have had advantages such as being able to play weaker nations more regularly such as Sri Lanka in the 80s and early 90s and more recently Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. But I think it's pretty fair.

In the case of some players their bowling average wasn't incredibly low (ie high 30s or even higher) but their batting average was so enormous that they were/are of great value to the team. Good examples being Steve Waugh and Sanath Jayasuriya. In other cases the batting average wasn't that high but the bowling average was very low, Richard Hadlee being a good example of that.

Anyway, it's a pretty quality looking list all the same. They'd roll most teams in a few days if you picked a couple of teams from the list.

PS. In case you are wondering, it's thorough as hell and nobody has missed out that should be there. I went through each country's wicket takers of more than 50 at cricinfo and checked their batting average. Took a couple of hours of clicking their name, scanning their averages and then hitting the return button but it's bang on the money.

Smoke-free & market failure 

Well, it appears that the market did not entirely fail to respond to those desiring a smoke free bar environment, although in this case it appears the "demand" was led by the proprietor, as opposed to the public. Still, this story is "news" in part because it has been so unusual for bars to go smokefree in the absence of regulations requiring them to do so. Quite why fairly strong public preferences for smokefree air never really translated into widespread market responses I'm not quite sure....

A few thoughts to follow up our earlier debate on this issue.

First, I find it hard to take seriously arguments that requiring bars to be smoke-free is totalitarian ... it's hardly the most intrusive government regulation you'll encounter, and I expect that after an initial adjustment time, smokers get very used to walking the 5-10 metres to a door or outdoor patio where they can light up. This rapidly became standard practice in Vancouver after smokefree bylaws were introduced in 2000-01. Not really a major inconvenience I wouldn't have thought. A bit different in a really large venue like a casino, but even then, I'm sure access will be provided to outdoor spaces.

Second, I think there is a strong workers' rights argument here. I just can't accept that "bar workers accept that they will work in a smokey environment" line. Either all workers have the right to a smoke-free environment, or none do. Take this argument back a few years, prior to the 1989 legislation, and you could argue the following:

"Teachers must accept a smokey environment because smoking has always been allowed in school staffrooms"

"Nurses must accept a smokey environment becayse smoking has always been allowed in hospital waiting rooms"

Or a few years before that:

"Univeristy students must accept a smokey environment because smoking has always been allowed in lecture theatres and libraries".

You get the point ... we really require regulation to uphold the rights to clean air of the 75% of us who don't smoke.

I don't think any employer has the right to expose his/her employees to a known and readily-avoidable carcinogen, and that is the flip side of the "bar workers know what they're getting into" argument.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Man, dead at 35 and from natural causes as well. What's the hip hop community coming too?

He lived life hard though.

The cause of death was not immediately clear, but O.D.B. had recently finished a prison sentence for drug possession and escaping a rehab clinic. He would have turned 36 on Monday...

But as his fame increased, so did his erratic behavior, and fans came to expect the unexpected from O.D.B....

When MTV News followed him around at the height of his popularity, he took the camera crew and several of his kids (he was said to have more than a dozen, by numerous mothers) to the welfare office — in a limousine — to get an allotment of food stamps...

Over the years, he was wounded in shootings and arrested on a veritable laundry list of charges, including menacing security officers, illegally possessing body armor, driving with a suspended license, shoplifting and threatening a former girlfriend...

In 2000, after escaping a court-ordered stint in a California rehabilitation center, authorities searched for him for a month. He was finally arrested in Philadelphia — three days after performing in a New York City concert with his Wu-Tang clique...

He was sentenced in 2001 to two to four years in prison for drug possession, plus two concurrent years for escaping from the clinic. He was released in 2003 and immediately signed with Roc-a-Fella...

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