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, May 30, 2006

The South Island 

During my long exile in Dunedin, I seldom mustered the energy to describe the true atrociousness of the place - it's pure shit qualities, and general lack of saving graces, with the sole honourable exception of the beaches on the Otago Peninsula (although even these, it must be said, have the same backdrop of boring, relentless pastoralism ... although through no fault of their own).

Anyway, would be seditious conspirator Tim Selwyn captures the qualities of the general area quite nicely in this diatribe on Southland (all of which is applicable to Dunedin, with the possible exception of the part about local ladies).

Invercargill. What can one add that hasn't already been said? A grid city for a grid population of Christians. It was 5:10pm and the street lights came on because it was dark already. It was also 6 degrees. The "city" was filled with a smokey coal stench and the southern half was even worse - blanketed in a thick, acrid, grimey smog that was absolutely filthy and made me nauseous. Every man and his dingo had a fire going - the chimneys were pouring it out like a Filippino rubbish tip. Invercargill is dead flat, dead boring, and if the standard of housing and dress sense is any measure, also dead broke. Most of the time trying to converse with locals so they would say "r" with that rolling accent (which is cute) was for naught. The girls, like most in Southland, were fairly chubby and looked to be closely related to one another. It couldn't have been more completely crap if it was raining shit (emphasis added).

Well said, Tim.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Damn It! 

I'm a bit disappointed I didn't make one of the NZ representative rugby teams this week.

91 players were named for the two All Black squads, the Junior All Blacks and the New Zealand Maori's.

If you take the starting fifteens for each of our Super 14 sides and add them up you get 75 players. Then you would have to add in an average of three reserve players from each franchise and that still leaves one spot available.

I thought that could have been me because seriously is there anybody else left in NZ that hasn't been picked for representative honours in NZ?

Crazy shit!

Oh, and Rueben Thorne pulling out because he wants to recondition himself? Yeah Right. Basically he's said "take your Junior All Black selection and shove it up your butthole".

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A third fogbowl 

Joining the 1962 CFL Grey Cup Final in Toronto, played between Toronto and Winnipeg, suspended in the fourth quarter and resumed the next day ("The fog was thick enough that fans could not see the action on the field, receivers lost sight of the ball after it left the quarterbacks' hand, and punt returners could not find punts until they hit the ground") and (slightly less appropriately) a 1988 playoff game between Chicago and Philadelphia.

The NZH reports the "reasons" for not postponing the game, and the fact of fans leaving early to go home and get a better view on TV.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Disgrace 

How could they play that fucken game?!

They were worried about logistics!!!

Logistics??!!! Nobody could see the god damn game so who fucking cares about how difficult it would be for a few commentators and TV people to arrange to stay in Christchurch for an extra day?!

What were they thinking? that if they shifted the game to Sunday nobody would bother to cover the SUPER 14 RUGBY FINAL?

That is going to go down in history as one of the dumbest calls surely. The only reason my mates and I watched it was because we had gone out of our way to go to a house and drink some brews. We had money riding on it which we took off at half time as it was farcical. If I'd been at home i would have chanell surfed like I'm sure millions did around the world.

Oh well the chickens have come home to roost.

You want to play rugby at night time in NZ. It's time we got bitten on the ass and it couldn't have been any harder. Leon McDonald said after the game that he wasn't even sure when the ball had been kicked at times, and wasn't sure where it was coming from when it had been kicked, not to mention not knowing where the deep defenders were.

Oh, and if professional players were paid by how much brain power they had the Hurricanes team would be living under a bridge in a cardboard box they are that dumb.

Twice they tried to run the ball from in their own half and conceded penalties.

A week of it 

It seems like it's been a bad week for rugby league players and the law.

Former Warrior Tevita Latu got banned for life after breaking the nose of a young Aussie beauty queen.

When I first heard that I though he'll never play again but the more I think about it it I can't help but agree with those who say the punishment is disproportional to that of Craig Gower's.

Early this year Gower recieved a $100,000 fine (most of it suspended) and was temporarily relieved by his Penrith club of his captaincy duties after groping (sexual assault) a young woman and threatening to break a bottle over her brother's head.

Then Nathan Cayless and Nathan Hindmarsh tore up a casino in Sydney, well Cayless anyway.
The NRL says it will take no action against Parramatta stars Nathan Cayless and Nathan Hindmarsh for an incident at Sydney's Star City Casino.
Cayless admitted to smashing a security camera at the casino earlier this month after being refused entry. The Eels skipper later apologised and paid for the damage.

Now, in an exclusive, we here at BIR can reveal Warriors player Cooper Vuna has been arrested this week for driving while forbidden.

If this was the mainstream media I would now go some critic who would mouth-off about how irresponsible he is....but that's just predictable.

I just can't help but think that professional footballers can surely afford cabs, no?

It doesn't seem like the Warriors have taken any disciplinary action against him and he's playing for the Tamaki Leopards today in Palmerston North.

Speaking of the mainstream media being predictable - when was the last time you read a story about the Tua Man that didn't involve going to his ex-trainer Kevin Barry and getting him to slag Tua off a little more?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Drip feeding 

Well, looks like the public is about to start being drip-fed more details of New Zealand's sick police culture.
The three men acquitted of raping Louise Nicholas face another High Court trial in relation to alleged sexual offending against another woman.
Assistant Police Commissioner Clint Rickards and former policemen Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum are alleged to have committed the crimes during the 1980s.
The three were acquitted by a High Court jury in March of 20 charges, including the alleged rape, sexual violation and indecent assault of Mrs Nicholas when she was a Rotorua teenager.
The Herald supported the right to publish the fact that the three men are to face another trial before the High Court at Auckland.
The complainant, who has name suppression, is a different woman from Mrs Nicholas.

What's the bet there's further, and far more damning suppressed information, to come out yet?

And when it does I wonder how the jury of the Louise Nicholas trial will feel - like fools?

In the NRL this week the big Aussie tipsters have a few favourites.
I might be missing something, but I cannot see how Parramatta are favourites here. They have been pretty bad of late. While I usually like to plump for slightly out of form sides to come back to form when least expected, posting Parra in the red here is going a little too far for my liking. The Roosters look to be warming up to somewhere near their best form, and will be fielding their best side in some time. Minichiello is still missing, but Amos Roberts has been outstanding as his replacement. Impressive efforts from Roosters playmakers, Finch, Anasta, and Wing at the highest level in the game on Wednesday night will be just the catalyst for the boys from Bondi to re-establish their place amongst the League’s front-runners. They have a recent 5 and 1 record over Parramatta, while the Eels have lost their last 4 games played in daylight hours. I expect the Roosters to extend that streak to 5, keep the Eels in the basement, and win comfortably.

Hmmm, might have to find me some spare change.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Talking down the New Zealand peso 

A couple of thoughts on the New Zealand Dollar

1/ Are we the only country in the world which so consistently tries to talk down its currency?

2/ In other countries, a strong currency is interpreted as a symbol of national strength. In Canada, the rise of the dollar from lows of around US$0.62 in 2002 to US$0.91 today, has been greeted as a sign of a strengthening economy, signalling the strengthening ability of Canada to compete with the US.

3/ Even in December, when the NZ peso was buying around $0.95 Australian (as opposed to $0.82 now) it was still among the lowest valued currencies in the developed world. Lower than the Euro, the US Dollar, the Canadian Dollar, etc. I think it was on par with the Singaporean dollar, however. And it was "horrendously over-valued" at that time?? I feel a Tui billboard coming on.

4/ The benefits of the lower dollar are dubious: two stories have caught my eye of late. The first negative comment about the lower dollar that I saw was along the lines of "windpower turbines now too expensive with lower dollar: gummint must do something". Today, I heard a story about a fishing company which had improved revenues from the lower dollar wiped out by increased fuel costs.

5/ Fuel costs: wtf? Why should every NZer be punished for a low-dollar strategy, just so that farmers (primarily) can increase their revenues?

6/ There are "export" sectors other than farming - such as tertiary education, for example - where the dollar seems to make relatively little difference when compared with other, international factors. This said, I do wonder if we might do more to attract US tertiary students:

"New Zealand Universities are cheaper than most US schools, even when you're paying foreign fees! Plus a Bachelor's degree is quick and easy - over in 3 years, not 4-5 like in the US!"

7/ Servicing foreign debt becomes more expensive, along with practically every good and service.

8/ Most NZers are neither farmers nor manufacturers of goods for export. They work in the service and government sectors. For them, a lower dollar really means more expensive fuel, more expensive holidays, and savings that are increasingly worthless in international terms. Nice one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Yeah, Fuck off to Australia Then 

I hear Australia is an awesome country to live in. Check this out...
Gang wars tear Aboriginal town apart
23 May 2006
By LINDSAY MURDOCH

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Gang violence has turned Australia's remote indigenous community of Wadeye into a war zone.

People are camping in tents like refugees in their own country, too afraid to return to their homes as two rival gangs run riot through the community, 450 kilometres south-west of Darwin. Scores of others have fled into the bush. Even the gang leaders are frightened.

"Somebody's going to die," said Gregory Narndu, 32, a leader of the Evil Warriors gang. "What can we do? That other mob attacks us with rocks, boulders, spears and anything else they can get hold of," he said.

Almost every day and night the Evil Warriors and their enemy the Judas Priest boys fight a turf war that is threatening the future of the largest Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.

The situation is so grave, the community's chief executive Terry Bullemor said yesterday, that the local council is looking to evacuate up to 300 threatened people to Darwin, where they could receive basic services.

But the only road to the community remains blocked by wet season floodwaters. Community elders interviewed by The Age yesterday said they would welcome the army to help keep the peace.

Wadeye, a former Catholic mission called Port Keats, looks like a Third World refugee camp. Women and children are often too frightened to walk the streets of the town that nestles into coastal mangroves.

An average of 20 people are living in each sweltering, graffiti-covered house.

Almost half the population of 2500 is under 15. Most teenagers cannot speak English, indicating they have had no formal education. Life expectancy is 20 years less than that of non-indigenous Australians. And an acute housing shortage will worsen over the next two decades as the population doubles.

"Our cry is for help," says Theodora Narndu, Gregory's 54-year-old mother.

Mrs Narndu is one of Wadeye's most respected elders. "Seeing what's happening, my tears are never dry," she says. "I hear the screams at night; terrified women and children; It has never being like this before. Our kids are not safe."

Wadeye has only five full-time police officers.

"When there's trouble around here and I call the police to come and protect my mob they never come," Mrs Narndu says. "Where are the resources that the politicians kept promising us?"

Pleas to boost police numbers to levels that are maintained in the Northern Territory's non-indigenous communities have gone unanswered despite the fact that Wadeye has had law and order problems for years.

The community's only doctor, Patrick Rebgetz, has been told by the Northern Territory Health Department not to speak about the six-year-old boy he recently treated who had been raped.

But Dr Rebgetz refuses to remain silent and insists he can talk as a member of the Australian Medical Association, which has warned that all of the community's 1300 children are at risk.

"Australia should be ashamed at what's happening in remote indigenous communities," Dr Rebgetz told The Age.

"We as Australians need to stand up with these people to reclaim their town from the groups that are trying to destroy it," he said.

Mandy Leggett, a council worker, drives past one of many houses that have been trashed in the rioting that has caused more than $450,000 (NZ$545,000) damage to houses and other property in the past three months.

"Two young kids hid in the roof as they did that one," she says. "Imagine how terrified they were."

Three years ago Wadeye was chosen as a trial site for what politicians called a "bold experiment" to end disadvantage in remote indigenous communities.

They called it the Indigenous Communities Co-ordination Pilots program under the Council of Australian Governments umbrella.

Ministers and other MPs, even Prime Minister John Howard, along with bureaucrats arrived in droves.

But yesterday, as the gangs massed for their daily conflict, the trial was in tatters.

"It's time to walk away," Mrs Narndu said. "What did it get us? Nothing."

Mr Bullemor said the community was angry and frustrated that the trial program never improved the delivery of basic services as the politicians and bureaucrats promised it would.

He said elders were "pretty disheartened" when NT Chief Minister Clare Martin refused last week to attend a national summit with federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough, insisting that problems in indigenous communities should be handled through the Council of Australian Governments.

"When the people here saw that they asked where has Clare been for the past three years," Mr Bullemor said.

He said the gang violence was a symptom of much deeper issues that elders had been trying to get governments to address for many years.

"The gangs to some extent are militia for various interest groups," he said.

Mr Bullemor said unresolved issues, such as land tenure, were fuelling the violence.

"We have gangs trying to solve problems that we should be solving ourselves if governments were working better together," he said.

"One of the main problems is that there has been no serious development strategies for emerging territory towns."

Mr Bullemor said people in the community were confused by the territory's legal system.

"There's no real enforcement of the Child Welfare Act, for example," he said.

"We have the Government saying there are laws in place but the people here see that they are not enforced."

Mr Bullemor said sending soldiers to Wadeye could act as a confidence-building circuit-breaker.

"The whole underlying issues would remain but the arrival of soldiers would help us cap the situation for the moment at least," he said.

"We need some breathing space so that we have time to consider how to resolve some of issues."

Wadeye's problems are creating tension in Ms Martin's Labor Government as serious questions are being asked about the territory's discretionary spending of Commonwealth grants earmarked for remote communities.

An internal Labor paper suggests that Commonwealth money that is supposed to be spent in remote communities is being redirected to projects that mostly benefit non-indigenous people, such as a $160 million (NZ$193.7 million) wharf convention complex in Darwin.

Wadeye receives 50 Australian cents in the dollar for the education of a local child compared with the full dollar distributed to children on average across the territory, a recent report found.

More for Gore 

The Democrats could do worse, a lot worse, than looking at Al Gore for a run in 2008. What with a thoughtful new documentary in which he actually speaks his mind, rather than trying to be everything to everyone. He'd be a less polarizing and perhaps more principled candidate than Hilary Clinton. I'm not sure if John Kerry is thinking of running again, but it would be foolish to discount him as a candidate. Now what do the Republicans have up there sleeve ("What act of unmitigated evil shall we plan this evening, gentlemen?" to paraphrase C. Monty Burns): Bush Jr Jr, and McCain. The latter's a real prospect to be sure.

Bringing Back the Biff 

With State of Origin barely 36 hours away rugby league fans are eagerly awaiting those first few dislocating hits, the fiery blow-ups, and hopefully props throwing a few wild round-houses.

Seldom now do league fans witness all-in-brawls or even decent dust-ups (especially now Monty Betham has left our shores) which is what makes State of Origin so good.

But never fear, for fans who mourn the hard old attitudes of rugby league players I give you Tb Tevita Latu.

Latu has brought back the biff in a big way, I sure didn't see it coming......and neither did the lady he decked.
CRONULLA's firebrand hooker Tevita Latu has been suspended pending an investigation into an allegedly unprovoked assault involving a woman in the early hours of Monday morning.
Latu, 24, allegedly struck the woman, believed to be aged around 20, while she was waiting for a taxi with a group of people outside a service station along the Kingsway, Cronulla, after frequenting a local nightclub.
It is understood the incident was witnessed by several people and was "out of the blue". "She didn't see it coming," said a source.

Queensland were paying $2.15 and New South Wales $1.65 as bloggingitreal went to print but stories in the Sydney Herald suggest the NSW camp is in dissaray.

In other completely unrelated news - the NZ Herald had a story yesterday about a woman injured when her car was hit by another vehicle fleeing the cops.

As usual, the crash happened only seconds after the pursuit began, according to Inspector Ian Brooker, who says police, "have to take into account speed, weather and other traffic and decide whether the need to stop the car outweighs the risks to the public, the occupants of the fleeing car and police themselves".

The next paragraph of the story suggests perhaps the police aren't particularly good at weighing these factors up.
Police say there were 6026 pursuits between January 2000 and November 2005, with 222 ending with an injury and 17 ending in fatalities.

Perhaps a good follow up story could be, is it acceptable for nearly four per cent of police pursuits to end with people being injured?

If that many pursuits end in injuries how many more end in non-injury accidents?

But wait there's more:
Saturday's crash is one of three involving police cars in which people have been injured in recent days. An unmarked police car was one of three vehicles involved in a crash at Kumeu, west of Auckland, yesterday. St John Ambulance said one person was taken to North Shore Hospital with moderate injuries.

And a final example of why cowboys shouldn't be given Holdens:
On Thursday, a police officer lost control of his car during a pursuit in west Auckland and ploughed down 20m of a concrete boundary. The officer escaped with minor injuries after his vehicle failed to take a bend on Te Atatu Rd and crashed through the concrete wall.

How can you fail to take a bend on Te Atatu Road?

It's dead straight.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sorry stat, great result 

Finally a hammering of a side that isn't called South Sydney!!!

I just went back through the records and the Warriors haven't put more than 34 points on a side other than South Sydney since the finals in 2003. So basically about 55 matches.

We scored 34 v the Panthers a couple of years ago and have scored 34 or more about 4 times v the Rabbitohs but against decent opposition we just haven't carved in a long time. Especially disappointing considering a) that most sides rack up big scores quite regularly and b) we are supposedly some sort of dangerous attacking force.

A few years ago we decided to shore up our defence more and we do actually have one of the best defences in the competition, no doubt about it but it's come at the expense of our attack I feel.

Now what's in store for us next week away to the Sharks? Not an ideal game given their hot form at the moment combined with the fact that they have no origin players backing up. Still I think I'll just enjoy tonight.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

People don't care about politics as much as the media thinks they do 

There, that should win some sort of prize for the most verbose blog title. "Still don't give a fuck" was a close second, but I've already used it at least once.

I was just reflecting on the two "big" political stories of the week: Don Brash's leadership wobbles, and the Telecom "26 billion dollar leak" (or whatever figure has been made up to estimate how much share value has been lost as a result of the anti-monopolistic plans). Both have made front page photos of the Herald I note ... although today's photos of the two "culprits" cycling ... wtf, it's not like they exchanged the document during a bike race. More like those are the only photos the Herald could track down in the 8-10 hours before going to print.

Note to the journos, and the frequenters of political blogs: my sense is these issues barely register with the public. Don Brash walking the plank as a symbol of his leadership woes? I care not for Brash, and it would be an icy day in the depths of hades before I voted for National, but even I don't think the photo mattered one way or the other. It's not like he was photographed with a call girl on his Official Leader of the Opposition's Desk or anything. Percentage of the public that might give a fuck? 2% max I'd say (one person in 50 ... honestly, try it on Queen Street). The Cabinet paper leak and Telecom share price fall at least has a bit of substance, but it's irrelevant to most ordinary lives, even the lives of informed folks (not the majority). Give a fuck value? 5% or so (one random passerby in 20).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Fuck Broadband 

All the hype over lower costs, higher speeds and local loop unbundling rather ignores the point that broadband is, or at least has been, a fairly crap way of accessing the net. I suggest the following problems are fairly common: slow speeds; bloody thing stops working on semi-regular basis; partial incompatibility with phone line. Well they've sure been common for me (our connection still falls over every time the phone is picked up, necessitating at minimum the closure of all browsers, and sometimes a complete restart).

Now, I distinctly recall living in Canada, using cable internet everyday: high speed, no problems with the phone, and at worst it failed about once every six months (sometimes due to in-house network problems). And now this:

Vidéotron now offers the quickest Internet connection in Canada, at up to 16 megabits per second (Mbps) – a speed that lets a user download three songs in 10 seconds.

After Vidéotron, Montreal-based Cogeco and Maritime cable operator EastLink C, owned by Halifax-based Bragg Communications Inc., have the next-fastest download speeds, at up to 10 Mbps.

In a three-way tie, cable firm Shaw Communications Inc. of Calgary and phone companies Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. of Winnipeg and Saskatchewan Telecommunications of Regina are all at more than seven Mbps.

Rogers offers maximum download speeds of up to six Mbps, Bell Canada of up to five Mbps, and Vancouver-based Telus Corp. of up to 2.5 Mbps.

OK, so apart from BC's Telus, that's practically light speed compared to what the domestic consumer gets here. But it's not just speed: it's reliability too.

I know speeds are increasing here, but even so, Canadians have been enjoying fast and reliable permanent internet connections for years (independent of poxy phone lines too).

Sunday, May 14, 2006

LOTD 

Link of the Day: Reluctant Leftist encourages us to think about identity and ethnicity. I find the obsession with attaching amorphous ethnic/national labels to individuals (esp. on the part of state institutions) irritating, unnecessary, and often pointless.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Scrooge McCullen 

The one man who most obviously stands between Labour and ongoing electoral success is not Don Brash, nor John Key, nor Bill English (and certainly not Ben & Gerry Brownlee) but Michael Cullen. The key to any future success for National will be the promise of tax reform.

Labour in general, and Cullen in particular, need to realize that this actually presents an opportunity: they could implement tax cuts now, furthering Labour's general goals while also taking a great deal of the steam out of National's sails (National's not exactly a one-trick pony, but nor are they far off that).

Labour needs to realize that if they can either implement progressive tax cuts now, or wait for National to implement regressive ones in 2008, a la Costello's budget for the hard-up millionaire. I have a few ideas on potentially progressive tax cuts, but am willing to consider pretty much anything.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oh Yeah 

and the new Tool album is pretty decent.

Spark up a doobie, close your eyes and...

"But I would wish it all, away
If I thought I'd lose you just one day

The devil and his had me down
In love with the dark side I've found
Dabblin' all the way down
Up to my neck soon to drown.

But you changed that all for me
Lifted me up, turned me round

So I, I would wish this all away

Pray like a martyr does to dawn
Beg like a hooker all night long
Shout to the devil with my song
And got what I wanted all along


But I
I would
If I could
I would
Wish it away
Wish it away
Wish it all away
Wanna wish it all away"

Gee thanks slingshot 

Got a letter in the mail yesterday from slingshot. I assume it was hard on the heels of the unbundling 'announcement' in an effort to make sure customers don't start suddenly looking around for good deals.

Anyway the gist of it is that we will get more bang for our bucks for our current broadband deal we have with them. Yeah Right.

"From your next bill date you'll benefit from;
- The same great price...
- 5GB data allowance - that's 2GB more than the plan you're currently on.
- The same connection speed..."

So basically we can download a bit more, which may or may not be of use to us. The rest of it we will not be benefiting from because we were already getting it and paying a pretty penny for it as well. They always make out like we should be greatful that we are paying them so much money for sweet f-all. In Korea the internet is many times faster, can be connected in a day or two and never fucks out. All for roughly the same as we pay in NZ for a medium broadband deal.

Anyway, wow, thanks a million Slingshot.

Me thinks that they'll have to come up with more than that in the not too distant future.

************

In other news, a Korean 'friend' of ours told my wife that one of his Chinese english language class friends with pretty shonky english heard the tsunami report on the news the morning it was broadcast, didn't fully understand it and baled up One Tree Hill muhahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Vettori 

Further to what's beneath, I've always been cynical of Vettori's inability to ever take 4 or 5 wickets in a final innings when we have needed him to (even on turning pitches). We always hear complaints afterwards about how it was slow turn, or the footmarks weren't in the right place or whatever the fuck.

Anyway, Vettori's career stats are 71 tests and 219 wickets at 34.96 which is respectable but nothing flash.

But if you take out Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and simply look at countries who we actually want to beat his stats are:

60 tests, 6592 runs conceded, 170 wickets at a fairly crap 38.78

World class? I think not. Certainly not in tests.

One dayers however he has been bloody good because of his accuracy. Unfortunately his only potent delivery is the quicker date which drifts in towards off stump. Aside from that he's got fuck all.

We need somebody who bowls leggies or else a chucker since they are now legal it seems.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Bowlers' Averages 05/06 (aka Bring Back Bond) 

Averages for our bowlers from the 05/06 season (somewhat inflated by the series against Zimbabwe!)

Ranked by wickets taken

Franklin: 8 matches, 29 wickets, avg 27.34

Vettori: 9 matches, 23 wickets, avg 29.08

Martin: 8 matches, 23 wickets, avg 30.78

Bond: 4 matches, 21 wickets, avg 15.85

Mills: 3 matches, 14 wickets, avg 18.64

Astle: 9 matches, 10 wickets, avg 26.40

Styris: 8 matches, 4 wickets, avg 35.00

Obviously we need Shane Bond. Other thoughts are that Mills has been unusually good (for someone I used to think of as Caleb Relphesque) and Astle's been handy too.

Someone in the Herald was giving Vettori a bit of stick about his bowling, and he hasn't taken many (only 12 wickets in 7 tests) since the series against Zimbabwe. He's fielded in 12 innings post-Zimbabwe, but has been limited in terms of opportunities:

Did not bowl: 1 innings
5 overs or less: 2 innings
10 overs or less: 3 innings

So that only leaves 6 innings in which you might reasonably expect a spin bowler to get amongst them to any real extent (and in fact he only took 2 wickets in innings where he bowled 10 overs or less).

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Averages 

Haven't done any cricket averages for ages and it will be ages till any more you can bank on that.

Some batsmens averages in the last 3 years.

Fleming 51.59 (28)
Oram 47.04 (17)
Vettori 39.86 (26)
Styris 37.61 (23)
Astle 37.58 (21)
McCullum 34.77 (22)

So basically Vettori is a better batsman these days than Styris, Astle and McCullum. And let's not even talk about Papps and How.

In fact in Vettori's last 24 tests he averages 42.00

And in his last 11 tests he is averaging 49.33.

I wonder what his ICC rating is as a batsman? The ratings site isn't working at the moment.

probably also worth noting that his strike rate in tests throughout his career is the second best in our team behind McCullum.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Target hardening 

DC_Red's patented roundup of the day's news:

The Guardian reports on what you can do with a discarded airline ticket stub: steal someone's identity, and then mess with their lives. The connection to the US air travel information requirements is a fraction tenuous, but at the very least this should make those people who persist in putting bank statements in with the recycling to reconsider. Most NZ homes have fire places ... use 'em to burn anything with your name on it.

Hard News picks up on the firing of NBR reported Jock Anderson, as blogged by BIR's bennyasena several days ago.

The miners are still stuck, Benji Marshall is still in doubt (insurance premiums? fuck off), and everyone loves Stephen Colbert.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mediocrity 


From filibustercartoons.

It is amazing how many accolades Betty Windsor gets for behaving more or less as any reasonable person in her position would.

A lot of the praise doesn't amount to much more than "you haven't fucked anything up, largely as a result of not doing a whole lot, which is in keeping with your limited constitutional role." Big. Deal.

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