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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Give Sione a second chance 

Sione deserves a second chance:
When intoxicated and in this mood, Faumuina is generous with his invective. Kiwis coach Brian McClennan, Warriors coach Ivan Cleary and teammate and Kiwis captain Ruben Wiki were among those included in his outburst at the testimonial.
Less than four weeks later, after the Warriors' brilliant performance against the Roosters on Sunday, it is understood that an intoxicated Faumuina let fly again in the aftermatch lounge where members of the public were in attendance. Teammates and autograph hunters were all in the firing line during this salvo.

But for the fans its Sione's care-free, I don't play by your rules, approach to the game that makes him such a draw-card.

Who else would through an over-head no-look pass when trapped in his own in-goal, who else would attempt to offload the ball virtually every time he is tackled?

Anyways, what is he really guilty of?

Is it a crime to abuse your own fans, your coach and team mates.....?

Speaking of dumb though, how fucking stupid were these punters last weekend?
$42,500 @ $6.20 ON NEWC -3.5/WARR/WARR/SOUTHS MULTI
$22,500 @ $4.35 ON NEWC -3.5/WARR/SOUTHS MULTI
$20,000 @ $5.67 ON NEWC -3.5/WARR -6.5/SOUTHS MULTI

More dollars than cents obvisouly.

Just to break this down for bloggingitreal readers the NRL season was into Round 25 when these guys took the Newcastle/Warriors/Souths multi.

While the Warriors and Newcastle are both in good form and smashed their respective oppositions I can't help but wonder who the fuck would include the South Sydney Rabbits in any multi-bet?

Souths were playing the Cowboys who beat Souths in round 17, 16:14.

In the last 25 rounds the Rabbits have won 3 matches.

In round 21 they deservedly beat the Raiders 21:8.

Then in round 22 they beat a massively under-strength and under-performing Penrith team.

Their last win before that was in round 14 when they beat the Baby Broncos in the weekend before State Of Origin (when all the Bronco's stars are away on representative duty).

It's not drawing too long a bow to say the Rabbits have had one good win this season (Raiders round 21.)

Unsurprisingly, last weekend they got smashed by the Cowboys 12:34 and those punters lost $85,000 bucks.

Way to go to back a team that doesn't know how to win.


Monday, August 28, 2006

People are being bullied into hiding the uncomfortable truth; students are not learning 

So claims the teacher "forced out" of Dannevirke High School. Now bear in mind this story does appear to be based in part on a report out of the Manawatu Standard, and that there appears to be another side to it (unless pupils, parents and school authorities all took it upon themselves to victimize this guy independently), but might I say it does tend to lend itself to the conclusion ... fuck teaching. If you want to be a prison guard, be a prison guard. If you want to be an educator, think twice before entering many a New Zealand high school.

Nice to hear of the racism and constant low-level assaults too (and let's not put our heads up our collective arses and pretend these aren't de rigour at plenty of high schools around the place either).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Saturday Night 

What a fantastic game of football I sat down and saw on Saturday night. Sitting there after a roast dinner, sipping down a few beers with my wife and parents we were over joyed at what we say.

We played controlled football, kept attacking but not recklessly. Our forwards worked their guts out and kept it up for the whole game. Despite us being behind on the scoreboard you still felt that we would come through at the end and take out the game because we had the momentum and the desire.

And when we crossed for the try which took us into the lead which we would keep until the end I high fived my wife and then watched as Hohaia piloted the extras through to seal a 24-20 win over the minor premiers the Storm.

The All Blacks v Aussie game earlier in the evening had made a pretty good curtainraiser as well. Shame we tried to be too adventurous in the first half. If we had played for position we probably would have takena small lead into halftime and then pulled away to win more comfortably. Also a shame that Tuqiri won't accept any responsibility whatsoever for his spear tackle on McCaw. He lifted McCaw beyond waste height AND drove him into the ground AND he didn't even have the ball. AND didn't check to see if he was OK. AND then baited the crowd.

And how come Waugh wasn't sited for his swinging arm on McCaw? What's with that? More crap rugby judicial bullshit. It's simply because they don't like to seem to be picking on anybody and one was enough. Fuck, if ten people deserve to get match bans then give out ten.

Monday, August 21, 2006

How competitive are international sports? 

Further to my post below, I've decided to include 3rd place getters (where these exist) to get a better sense of how many countries vie for supremacy in various sports.


Teams that have finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the World Cup since 1987 -
5 competitions (appearances in brackets)

New Zealand (4)
Australia (3)
France (3)
England (2)
South Africa (2)
Wales (1)

TOTAL: 6 teams


Teams that have finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the World Cup since 1987 -
6 competitions (appearances in brackets)

Germany/West Germany (4)
Brazil (3)
Italy (3)
France (3)
Argentina (2)
Sweden (1)
Croatia (1)
Turkey (1)

TOTAL: 8 teams

Olympic Men's Ice Hockey

Teams that have finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the Winter Olympics since 1988 -
6 competitions (appearances in brackets)

Finland (4)
Canada (3)
Sweden (2)
Czechoslovakia/Czech Rep (2)
Russia (2)
USA (1)

TOTAL: 7 teams


No third place.

Teams that have made the semi-finals in the World Cup since 1987 -
5 competitions (appearances in brackets - take with a grain of salt because relatively few teams qualify).

Australia (4)
Pakistan (3)
India (3)
Sri Lanka (2)
England (2)
New Zealand (2)
South Africa (2)
West Indies (1)
Kenya (1)

TOTAL: 9 teams (incl. all semi-finalists)

Conclusion: lots of sports aren't very competitive at the top level, and this is very true for union.

That light at the end of the tunnel... 

Is a broken-down train, apparently. I'm in two minds about the hoopla for the 2011 Union world cup ... on the one hand anything that can precipitate investment and improvement in Auckland's public transport is to be welcomed. On the other hand, I doubt the transport implications for the WC are as great as commonly imagined. At the very least, they appear mistaken in suggesting that Mt Eden, rather than the aiport/city link, is going to the crunch point. Eden Park isn't that much of a problem ... there will only be as many people going to the ground as can secure tickets (and perhaps a few hundred or thousand other hopefuls/curious bystanders), and the media. So a final there it will attract a few thousand more people than a standard test match or ODI, but it's not like people will be simultaneously trekking to Eden Park in their hundreds of thousands.

One last thought on WC matters, relating to the extent to which union is or is not an international sport. How many teams can realistically hope to appear in the final of the next wc? I've got: England, France, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia. And that's it. Five competitive teams, and maybe I'm being a fraction generous including France. Maybe I missed some one?

Now we might make some useful comparisons:

Cricket strikes me as a bit more competitive - WC finalists could easily include any two of England, Australia, South Africa, India, and Pakistan - and New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are have at least faint-to-moderate prospects. So that's 5-8 competitive teams.

Or a sport most NZers don't pay any attention to - ice hockey - the competitive teams include: Canada, USA, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Switzerland. So there's 8 countries off the top of my head.

So, union fans, why should the sporting generalist be interested in your world cup when there are only 5 (or perhaps more realistically 4) teams that could make the final??

Friday, August 18, 2006

You know your country is fucked when... 

The lead story on TV3 News is a former Miss New Zealand contestant hurting her leg in a scooter accident in Greece and she doesn't have medical insurance!!!! Shock horror!!!! How will I be able to sleep tonig....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Leading tomorrows news "Kid injures hedgehog with plastic lawnmower". Followed by "Man breaks pruning saw while trimming apple tree".

Shame on you TV3. The Maori Queen is dead and tens of thousands of people are paying their respects and you think a smiling girl with a leg in a cast is more newsworthy?


I spend all day telling my high school students to watch their language and then I come online and look at the bloody carnage.

I should be ashamed of myself.

Nah, fuck it.

Oh for fucks sakes 

This sort of reporting gives me the shitting shits.

According to the herald online:
"Riot fear forces police to shut down school function
UPDATED 2.55pm Friday August 18, 2006
A school function was closed down by police last night after fears that a riot would break out.

At least 20 police officers broke up the incident after a "mob" of students turned up without tickets at the talent quest at Lynfield College, west Auckland.

The group became disorderly when they were not allowed to attend, police communications manager Leanne Frisbie said.

There were 10 police cars at the school and the police helicopter Eagle hovered overhead.

"Police were called to the school to disperse the crowd, of at least 400 people after the school's Board of Trustees decided to close the function down as the crowd was becoming unmanageable and fights were breaking out," Ms Frisbie said."
But according to"
400 Intruders try to gatecrash talent quest
18 August 2006

A high school talent quest in Auckland ended in ugly fights last night when 400 people without tickets demanded entry.

Police said when they were not admitted to the talent quest at Lynfield College they became almost riotous and police were called.

Patrons inside the function came out when it was over to be greeted by about 20 police and 10 police cars as the police helicopter Eagle hovered overhead.
In other words, there were probably a few car loads of shitheads who turned up. Whereas in's eyes there were 400 uninvited hooligans who had to be brought under control by 20 police officers.

Yeah right you DICKHEADS!!! Can you you imagine the carnage if 20 officers tried to tell 400 young people to piss off?

Conclusion: there were 400 people WITH TICKETS who had to leave because a few people turned up and ruined their night.

Get your reporting right you fucking moronic fuckheads.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Well SPARC have come out with their funding programme at the elite level for the next six years and shock horror, sports like basketball, rugby league and softball are nowhere to be seen in the A-List party.

And why would that be?

Surely not because they are blue collar sports which are popular in places like Glenfield, Te Atatu and Petone.

Let's take a look at who made the decision on rugby, cricket, netball and six Olympic sports getting the lions share of the pie shall we?.....

Head of SPARC is Nicholas Hill. Born in South Africa, immigrated to the UK as a child and then came to NZ where he played rugby for Otago University U20.

The we have Chairman John Wells who was chairman of the World Netball Championships 99 Limited, and who is keen on recreational cycling.

... Christopher Doig, former chief executive of New Zealand Cricket.

Jenny Ross, an academic from Lincoln University in that diverse sporting melting pot known as Christchurch where sports like rugby, cricket and rugby compete for peoples attention along with rugby and rugby.

Tina Karaitiana from Gisborne who served seven years on the Board of Netball New Zealandand represented NZ and the Oceania region on the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) Members Council. Tina continues to actively participate in the sport of netball in umpiring.

Rob Fisher, who was Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union between 1997 and 1999 and is former Vice-Chairman of the International Rugby Board and former Director of the Rugby World Cup.

And a handful of others who we've all never heard of and will never hear of.

So let's see then shall we. They say they are targeting sports that can win their world championships or win gold medals in London in 2012.

Well... um... who is more likely to win a world championship? Cricket or softball (who have won the last three world championships), or even league (who won the tri-series last year)????

If you want to use arguments about how softball and league are not sports with strong international competition I have one word for you... NETBALL.

New Zealand has pretty much sewn up the next world netball championship long before we even get there. It is a two horse race and the other horse isn't that flash.

Or another argument they have used... we have chosen sports where a win will mean a lot to New Zealanders. Let me just ask you this. What has stuck in your mind longer?

The non-existent tournament victories of our New Zealand cricket team or the 24-0 thumping our Kiwi side gave Aussie last year to win the Tri-Series, beat Aussie in a series for the first time in 50+ years and to hold them to zero points for the first time since the 1980s??? The Kiwis draw 20,000 plus every time they play a test in New Zealand and a large TV audience. The NRL is on our TVs every weekend for 30 weekends a year. It is on our nightly sports news. Rugby League has a huge following in NZ and we have over 70 NZers running around in the NRL at the ELITE LEVEL.

Nick Hill just gave a bumbling nonsensical interview and question/answer session with callers on radio sport and somebody needs to start asking the real hard questions which I've touched on above.

SPARC is a wankfest for corporate business pricks and prickesses to play God with bloody hard working sports in New Zealand.

Heads should roll.

Helen. You are a Mt Albert Lions fan. David Lange was a Mangere East Hawks fan. Get to work and give these elitist expletives the boot.

Hypothesi ? 

Spurred on by this stupid "blog" from the Sydney Morning Herald regarding a hypothetical situation where all the NRL teams from this year who lost by 6 points or less had their results reversed what would the ladder look like...? I have come up with a less stupid post on what the table would look like if they ditched the dumb arse golden point rule and simply gave the teams a point each, called it a draw and went out on the piss together to beat the shit out of women.

Here it is:
39 Melbourne
33 Bulldogs
28 Womanly
27 Dragons
26 Eels
26 Broncos
26 Andrew Johns
23 Panties
23 Cowboys
22 Sharks
22 Raiders
22 Tigers
21 Warriors
20 Roosters
10 Rabbitohs

So we would have had SEVEN teams basically shooting it out for the 8th playoff spot in the final three weeks.

It would have been brutal as three wins from any of those teams would give them a strong chance of making it whereas a loss would signal the deathknell for them.

At the moment the Warriors still have a mathematical chance of making it if they win their last three and the Broncos lose to the Bulldogs and Eels in the next two weeks (along with neither the Sharks nor Panthers winning 3 from 3). But take golden point out of the equation and they would almost certainly make it with three wins. And factor in the -4 points they started on at the beginning of the season and they would be sitting in 8th place with a two point buffer and huge positive point differential over the 9th placed team, therefore possibly only needing a solitary win from their last three matches to seal a playoff spot.

Damn you science and your bloody hypothesis? sies? ses?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Next Year 

Oh well, guess this topic is well and truly of this seasons menu.
League Star's Name Kept Under Wraps
Former Warrior Arrested On Sex Charges
The Auckland league star accused of sex offences has had his name suppression continued until he goes to trial next year.

The former Warriors and Kiwis player faces three charges relating to an incident back in June.

At a hearing in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday to determine name suppression, several league personalities gave evidence in support of the accused.

Judge Michael Lance then agreed with defence submissions that publicising the man's name would jeopardise a significant number of third parties.

A trial date has yet to be set but the court's calendar is jammed until after next July.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Which is the name Pak-n-Save should have used instead of "Pak-N-Save Fuel", but nonetheless I went there yesterday to fill up (literally ... I had only 2.5 litres in the tank) and even with my 6c/l discount, which saved me $2.50, I spent $71! $71 for crying out loud. Wasn't the war in Iraq supposed to deliver us cheap oil? Or maybe not, I forget the real reasons.

More seriosuly, why is there nothing resembling a "petrol protest" movement here? When it takes $71 to fill a small 1.6 litre Japanese import with the performance capabilities of an early-1980s Skoda, that's gotta hurt! We know that a large proportion of the price is within government's control (by virtue of taxes) ... so why no mass protest movement?

Even apparently mild agitation (labelled "voter fury" in the SMH) over this in Australia has led Johnny-Boy to offer $2000(!) for conversions from petrol to LPG. Sounds positively Muldoon-esque (though I don't remember him offering actually to pay for people's conversions!!).

Saturday, August 12, 2006

OK Then 

I think I've found out who the former Warriors and Kiwis league player is and I'm unpleasantly surprised.

Not the first person that sprang to mind. It's kind of one of those who you think "shit, if he could do it then bloody anybody could". If that makes any sense.

Can only hope that it is bullshit but the majority of the time there is substance to these accusations.

Hint of the day: Go way back in Warrior history.

If you know how old he is then you can start clicking on player names here to find the magic number.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Banning Shampoo? But the Taliban don’t bathe! 

Apparently a group of “terrorists” with graduate degrees in chemical engineering, and minors in guerrilla warfare, managed to come up with the idea of sneaking deadly explosives in shampoo, and setting them alight with the flashes from their digital cameras.

Brilliant. Bravo! These buggers should be given the Nobel Prize in science, and throw in the Fields medal while you’re at it. Who knew that Pert Plus and a Sony digital could cause mass terror?

The real problem with this scenario is the official state reaction. Security agencies have now banned all liquid (flammable liquid had already been banned) and digital equipment (detonators had already been banned too) from being on board an airplane. Such blanket bans do little to increase security, and do a great deal to create panic and stupidity.

How exactly did the British government uncover this plot? Who were the key actors involved? How did they learn about it? Where did these guys get together to plot this? And what was the possibility of the plot actually coming to life? I want answers MI-6! Answers, I say. Because until then, I say that you’re full of shit! I reckon that this cloak of secrecy, that is so often implied in the war on terror, does nothing more than shade an empty vacancy of misinformation and non-happenings.

If Britain actually managed to thwart this supposed attack, then well done! Good work! If you did your job then it would be okay for me to take a bottle of water on board without question. It would be okay for me to carry nothing but carry-on and anticipate brushing my teeth when I arrive. If you did your job, then I would be able to maintain my personal hygiene without any problem. So why are governments making my life miserable now?

Well, it starts with the prison playground control mentality. In a complete authoritarian state, the idea is to monitor the behaviour of the citizens / inmates, and when one comes up with a crafty way to defy the system, the response is to make sure that no one else has the means to employ the same idea. If a bed sheet is the means to jump over the prison wall, then best enact a ban on bed sheets.

This is the justification, but the reasons are bit more business minded, I reckon. Now with people coming off planes sans toothpaste, pit stick, and drinks, they will have to buy these items at the airport. Business booms. With a ban on electronics, people will have to buy the $5 headset on board. Business booms. With laptops being checked below the plane, hard drives get busted and monitors broken. From the point of view of the Dell parts and service department, business booms. More people have to check more luggage and go over their already measly luggage allowances. Business booms. Petty as it is, but in the end, someone makes some money for a while. And all the while, you create a global population of upper-class twits that somehow end up blaming “those goddamn Arabs” for making life inconvenient.
Too bad that no-one figured out that instead of taking your ready-to-assemble shampoo camera bomb on board, that you could easily pre assemble it and check it in anyways. With the prison playground mentality, no matter what idea you quell, ten others emerge.

And yet the perfume and duty-free bottle, items that could cause a great deal of damage (in fact a bottle of mount gay, if used properly could cut a man, blind him, and set him a blaze, and from the point of view of the hypo-allergenic, perfume is deadly business), continue to be accepted items on board.

The other dangerous item that has yet to be banned are books, because in some of them are ideas and arguments that show how ridiculous these security policies are, and if put in the right hands these books could spread ideas like wildfire.

Only in New Zealand 

Holy shit, an athlete actually admits he took a banned substance:
Mark Dickel has been suspended from New Zealand's two-match basketball series against Qatar after testing positive for cannabis use.
Dickel was randomly tested after a Tall Blacks' test against Australia in Napier last month and his A sample has produced a positive result, Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) said today.
BBNZ said while his B sample had not yet returned from the testing laboratory, Dickel had admitted the offence and accepted violating the Tall Blacks team code.
"We encourage the Tall Blacks to act as role models for young Kiwis and this is clearly not what we stand for," New Zealand coach Tab Baldwin said.
"From our point of view, it is extremely disappointing.
"Mark knows he has let a lot of people down and must now face the consequences."
The veteran point guard will take no active part in the series against Qatar, that starts tonight in Dunedin before the second test in Invercargill on Sunday.
BBNZ said Dickel had advised Drug Free Sport New Zealand he would not dispute the testing procedures and awaited the official result of tests on his B sample.

Still what a fucking joke, pot is not a performance enhancing substance so why is it being tested for?

If we want athletes to be role models for children then we should judge them by their on-court performances and public appearances.

Not by intruding into their private lives and damning them for partaking in mild recreational substances in their own free time.

Dickel's no cheat.

The shockwaves that will go through the Kiwi rugby league public next week if and when the identify of the alleged ex-Kiwi/Warriors rapist, who currently has name suppression, will be like nothing you've ever seen.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Auckland United, and Rock Star vs NZ Idle 

Well, well, well ... that's Michael Cullen, John Key, Dick Hubbard, George Wood and Bob Harvey in favour of a single unified council for Auckland. Sure would beat the current 4 cities, 3 districts, 1 region crap ... complete with 264 elected representatives and
5200 employees.

I figure 30 councillors and 1 directly-elected mayor might do it. That's still more representation per head of population than Brisbane (1.6 million people - 25 councillors, 1 mayor).

So, what's the hold up then? Get on with it. Auckland United by the next local government elections I say. This is no time to be ponderous ... not because of any rhetoric about a "world-class city-region" (whatever that might mean ... how will we know when we've got there ... it will have nothing to do the the Union world cup I can tell you), but because we all want rates relief. PS. Scrooge - take the bloody GST off rates, now! A rate is neither a good nor a service.

Now, on to Rock Star Super Nova and its poor, illegitimate 3rd-cousin once-removed, NZ Idle. Russell Brown blogged about it yesterday, and took a somewhat critical tone. I don't think the format for Rock Star is perfect ... in particular they struggle to recruit/secure women who are going to be competitive. While the gender ratio starts out evenly (and full credit to the producers for giving it a go), it's clear that women make up most of the weaker singers. A fair reflection of the fact that, well, most rockers are men?

But speaking for myself and the rest of 1970s-bred lower-middle class west auckland, I think it's fantastic to see rock on TV. For so long there has been nothing to appeal to our musical tastes ... the endless, tuneless/overwrought covers of Whitney Houston on the various Idle franchises just don't cut it for us, y'know, dawg? We likes what we likes, and it ain't that.

Dilana ("the freaky South African girl" as RB calls her ... but cleverly listed as a Texan for the purposes of the show) is a notable exception to the general rule of the women being weaker singers. But isn't Storm Large appropriately named ... thanks for the link there pal.

Other things in Super Nova's favour:

Excellent production values (contrast with NZ Idle, which has all but given up on things like, err, lighting and a set)

Skillful, perfectly scripted MC-ing from Brooke, and often insightful and appropriately supportive commentary from Dave N (shameless LA hussies they may be, but less so than the snarky, scathing, self-promoting hacks judging American Idle).

Competitors who can generally (a) sing and (b) play instruments. At various intervals, and without fanfare, the Rock Star singers will do things like, well, play the piano or the guitar. Go figure! They might even be able to read music, I'd wager.

And hey, the "serious guy" doing "Losing My Religion" (that'd be Ryan) on the piano last week did a pretty damn good job I thought, especially with his first adaptation (it was more than a cover). No "ambiguity"? Bah, humbug. In the view of Ms_Red, Ryan turned a "whiney REM piece of crap" into a "good rock song". So there.

In terms of the final three for Supernova, I'm mindful of the need for their probably to be at least one American ... so luckily for us (and for gender representation) Dilani is competing as one (so it seems). She should secure one spot. It will likely be non-American males in the other two spots: Magni from Iceland, and the weird spikey-haired Lukas from Toronto who did the such a crap job of the Hole song last week.

Who will be under pressure tonight: clearly, the crazy Zayra (another Texan - when she "performs", one cannot look away ... it's like watching the proverbial train wreck), the mighty New York midgit Jill, the sneering Josh, and the relatively untalented Australian Toby.

As for NZ Idle ... I cringe if I accidentally catch 12 seconds of it while channel-surfing (we only have 5 channels, so it happens more often than you might think). It reminds me of a high school talent quest, at a particularly untalented school, where the 20 kids who can actually sing are away on a choir tour or something.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

More quotes to describe the weekends rugby games 

If the Boks thought losing 49-0 in their previous test against the Wallabies was galling, it was nothing compared with the insult of playing in a half-empty stadium last night.

... thousands of empty seats at Telstra Stadium which were a massive slap in the face for South Africa. Test tickets cost a bit and the Australian public just couldn't see that the Boks were going to deliver value for money.

Lethargy, disdain or an eerie sense of what was about to come, it doesn't matter - more people turned up to watch the Wallabies play Scotland in 2004.

That's not only a sad state of affairs for rugby, it's now a major worry. There were empty seats in both Christchurch and Wellington as well.

Sanzar can prattle on about more people watching the Tri Nations than ever before, but it's false economics. Of course the total audience is bigger - the competition is 50 per cent longer than in previous years.

The reality is - and Sanzar can ignore it at its peril - that expanding the Tri Nations has turned test football into elevator music. It's always on in the background without the ability to seriously engage an audience.

The last 20 minutes were dramatic, but the first 60 were like a buzzing fridge - a seriously irritating business without a single redeeming feature.

The ball was kicked 30 times in 30 minutes, although strangely only once between the uprights. The Boks could barely go more than three passes without dropping the ball or falling over.

The Wallabies weren't much better. Their scrum was, as usual, under massive pressure. Coach John Connolly reckons his front row will keep getting better. Maybe. But maybe he should bring back Matt Dunning. The drop-kicking butterball couldn't really be any worse than Rodzilla, whose about as effective as creme brule.

It surely came as no surprise to see the opening score of the game come from a Butch James cross-kick that almost travelled backwards.

If Lady Luck had been smiling on James, the ball would have spooned into the arms of Bryan Habana. No joy, though. It was Mark Gerrard who was the grateful recipient and he took off to dot down between the posts.
I was listening on the radio and after 30 minutes the commentators noted that there was an average of less than one pass per phase of play. And rugbyheads call league 5 tackle kick?! I did some research on the tri nations a few years ago and up to that point they averaged something like 4 passes for each kick in the match. That's not 4 passes per kick in a bad game. That's 4 passes per kick averaged across all matches in the Tri-Nations over it's first few seasons. And things sure as shit haven't got any better with the clueless, aimless kickign even when on attack that sides (including the All Blacks) dish out week after week.
Anyone wanting a classic at North Harbour Stadium last night should have brought along a George Orwell novel.

The rugby never stood a chance of being anything other than a slog in the mud now the dreaded monsoon season is upon us.

It rained and rained. If Noah had still been around, he would have been on the blower to the builders and urging the animals to pair off.
With round two of the Air New Zealand Cup blighted by bad weather, and even worse rugby, it was left to Waikato and Southland to restore a bit of pride in the national game.

While hardly an epic, it was made to look outstanding compared to the fare served up at the corresponding hour the night before.
Sounded riveting.
It looked as if things started to go wrong for Northland after the five-second mark - the time it took for the kick-off to go dead.

And so it went on, Canterbury dominating territory, running well in patches in spite of the weather. The conditions and stoic Northland defence robbed them of their legs a little - and Northland tried to profit from their errors.

Northland will take some comfort from not being spanked by the world's best provincial team, albeit rain-aided.
Get out and watch the club rugby finals folks. At least it's supposed to be crap. Although being able to stand or sit wherever you like and calling the ref a fuckwit with him actually being able to hear it makes it twice as fun.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Never really rated him but 52 tackles in his testimonial match is a pretty massive workload.

Good on him and good on the boys for not dropping their bundle and coming away with the points.

The Cowboys are in the middle of a horror run at the moment so we might be able to pick them off next weekend at Mt Smart as well.

Where'd the fucking 5 cent piece go? 

I just paid our ARC rates early using my credit card online which means we pay $2.85 less than if we pay after August 21.

Now according to my excel spreadsheet of our finances we will have on average 37 cents left a month as opposed to 31 cents left a month on average for discretionary spending. Unfortunately with the abolition of the 5 cent piece we will have to hope and dream of being able to find similar generous early payment schemes elsewhere to get that extra 5 cents we so richly deserve for daring to dream and own our own house in Auckland.

Must admit, I'm quite happy about the pac'n'save petrol stations opening. We buy our groceries from Pac 'n' Save on Lincoln Rd every other week because it's far and away the cheapest supermarket and now we will be able to get 6 cents a litre off our petrol at the same time. That will equate to about 40-60 dollars in savings a year. Nothing to sniff at. Not round these parts anyway.

Fill 'er up Jack!

Thankyou again meteorologists!!!! 

Thursday night the forecast is sunny friday, sunny saturday, sunny sunday without a lick of cloud in the sky.

Of course 24 hours later on friday night the forecast is rain saturday, rain sunday, rain monday and rain tuesday.

Where in fucks name did this precipitation come from and how come they didn't know that it would hit us a day later?

You'd think that in this day and age they would have aclue about how and why the weather may change direction.

Ah well. Off to watch Waitemata v University in the pissing rain like it was mean't to be watched.

And i see the NPC or whatever it's called pulled out a cracker clash last night between two of the better teams with it being described in seperate reports as:
When they wake this morning, both teams might think it was just a nightmare. It wasn't.

This game was not a case of a spluttering engine struggling for life. This was one where the key wouldn't fit the ignition.

Refunds should have been handed out at the exits. There were more than 40 turnovers. It was a shocker...

In this case, forget it. It was 80 minutes of dreadful, junk rugby.
...what... conspired at Westpac Stadium can only be described as 'ugly', with sloppy handling and poor execution marring the match.

Both sides struggled to hold on to the ball for any productive phases of play and were guilty of kicking away valuable possession,
I just love it when two teams drop the ball constantly and then kick it away when they do maintain it for more than one phase.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A sensitive insight into Cuba’s current political situation and Fidel’s sensitive tummy. 

Apologies to the B.I.R. crew….it’s been a bit tough to get adequate internet time while perched in the foothills of the Andes, but I still love you all…Bobert.

Fidel Castro has succeeded his presidential powers for the first time in the history of the Cuban revolution. The Cuban President decided that he will be incapable of handling his presidential responsibilities for the next few weeks while undergoing surgery for a gastro-intestinal bleed. There is really nothing overly exceptional about this event. But from the point of view of some Miami exiles, this is bigger than the second coming of Christ. These dummies should really go home, as Castro’s time in hospital will not bring any sort of political change (on either side of the Florida Straits), but it may help to raise awareness of the seriousness of G.I. bleeds. So let’s go over a few topics of interest, shall we?

Why Raul is in power:

A lot of the media has done well to show that Raul is now in charge (for the time being) but they didn’t do well to explain why. Raul Castro is the Vice President of Cuba, and like any V.P. the job is about taking the reigns when the head of state cannot perform his responsibilities. So, it’s not like Fidel called up Raul and said, “man, can you watch the place while I’m resting up,” it’s more like it is a normal operation of the Cuban political system. Moreover, within 24 hours of the announcement of Fidel taking time off, Cuban T.V. aired “mesa rodunda” (the daily discussion program of political events affecting the island) to openly discuss how to handle the bosses absence. As I write this, several political figures and academics are openly discussing what sort of changes should take place to deal with the situation.

What will the Whitehouse do:

Regrettably, the reality of Cuba depends on the decisions made in Washington. For the past 47 years the non-existent political relations, consistent psychological warfare, attempted coups and occasional assignation attempts have all acted to shape Cuba into a political fortress. The post-Castro era will greatly depend on the sort of relations Washington wishes to make, and from what the television is showing, it doesn’t look good at all. Spain, Venezuela and other countries have offered their sympathy to Cuba’s leader, and they have wished him a speedy recovery. Washington is “watching the situation carefully.”


You’ve never seen an old man in hospital before? The classy thing to do would be to send flowers, offer best wishes, or something like that. But to watch the situation carefully? This sort of morbidity is testimony to how Washington approaches just about everything: without a shred of humanity, and absolutely no sensitivity. This aside, it is really unlikely that Washington will make any sort of attempt to normalize relations with Raul. All the U.S. sees is a market where the majority of under-educated fat-assed American tourists are not spending time. They don’t seem to get the fact that Cuba has over 2 million tourists a year from just about everywhere else (including disobedient Americans who travel against the State Department and Treasury Board travel ban). Cuba’s economy is doing fine without the U.S., and for this reason, the U.S. will not normalize relations, they’ll just watch the situation carefully.

What the Miami Cubans are doing:

There are people pouring out in the street celebrating, what is now being called a death watch. Let’s think about this. These people are actually out in the streets celebrating and carrying on like a bunch of drunken college kids over the fact that an old man is ill. What does this say about the mentality of these people, who when compared to any other exile community in the world, are well fed to the point of obesity, cover themselves with gold, and have the ear of Washington? Yearning for the death of Fidel, and pining for the good old days of the Batista dictatorship (when a lot of these gusanos did well for themselves, as did the mafia, meanwhile the rest of the country was illiterate and hungry), is what these people want more than anything. Now, not all Miami exiles share this mentality, thank goodness, rather it’s the couple hundred idiots on Calle Ocho in front the CNN camera saying “I wish that bastard dead.”

In fact a lot of Miami Cubans don’t share this mentality, and they yearn for open dialogue between Havana and Washington. The problem is that the cameras are not pointed at them, and what we’re up against is a popular vision of a unified Miami deadset against Havana, when in fact policies from Washington have fucked these people over a lot more. I hope that those members of Miami’s exile community, the ones that seek dialogue before death watches, can speak out and get the message of dialogue out there while the world is listening.

A death watch?

A message to those who have set up a death watch: GO HOME and take up a hobby like reading, or exercising, or anything useful. Gastro-intestinal (G.I.) bleeds are slow processes that can indeed be deadly if not treated. In fact many people in the United States die from these things because they fail to seek effective preventative, and early stage care. Now the Cuban healthcare system is based entire upon early detection and prevention. Fidel’s surgery is a very effective one for halting GI bleeds, and the recovery rate is quite good. The gravest risk is infection, pneumonia, or heart attack because of the surgery itself. Again, Cuba runs a tight ship when it comes to health, and Fidel stands pretty good odds of pulling out of this…just with a little less intestine (which means that he’ll need to take some drugs, and his poop will be a bit stinkier).

Will Fidel be back?

Castro just went on Cuban radio to say that he’s recovering well, and in good spirits. The dizzy bitch on CNN said that there are no photos of him, but then again, do you really want to see an 80 year old man in hospital attire?

He will pull through this medical problem, no doubt. Will he govern Cuba again?


For the next seven weeks he has opened an aperture for dialogue both within Cuba and within the international community to try to create a plan, not necessarily of normalization, but rather of transition. I suspect that within the next seven weeks, while Raul is in control, the National Assembly of Cuba, and other political institutions will make necessary adjustments to their political system to select a new leader, be it with top level democratic decisions, or through the current process of Cuban democracy which allows direct voting at the community level. If this occurs, Washington will still likely remain antagonistic to Cuba, and will attempt to continue underhanded manoeuvres, rather than open dialogue.

Idle New Zealand 

A couple of sad inditements on the state of the country:

As if New Zealand Idol isn't bad enough already - resembling as it does a second-rate high school talent quest - the DomPost reveals that contestants can have recent histories of violent offending, but can't be .... wait for it .... pregnant.

And in other news, incompetent fucking farmers can't or won't keep their fucking stock off the nation's highways, contributing to a number of deaths and 1% of all accidents in Waikato/BOP. Since the cops are so big on road safety, why not prosecute every farmer whose cow/horse/sheep/llama is found wandering on public roads, or unsecured in "the long paddock" along the sides. Show the fuckers no mercy I say - as someone who has come within about 2 metres of hitting a horse on the Bethells Road, and was saved only by unusual alertness on my part.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Retirement Calculations 

How do these things work?

They reckon that you will need about 24,000 a year for a couple once they retire and that is needed to last 20 years or thereabouts so therfore you need 400,000 grand or close to it, blah blah blah.

But surely in 35 years, 24,000 bucks is only going to buy you a tank of gas and some cheap socks.

So in reality you will probably need a good deal more.

I am saving 3% of my wage. The government is matching that. It is all we can afford and then some at the moment.

But according to their estimates we need to be saving THREE TIMES THAT just to have 24,000 a year to live on. And as I point out, that doesn't seem to factor in inflation.

And we are the lucky ones who have a house (well, we are minding it on the banks behalf that is).


Test recap.
McCaw awesome
Kelleher and Collins crap
Everyone else indifferent

Scrum - very good
Defense - excellent
Lineout - abomination

Tickets to last nights netball? Pricey

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