Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Or is it America going to A&E?
I used the think they were big ass white genetically modified grapes.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I've done a bit of digging to look at the records of each team at home and here they are...
Melbourne: 34 wins from 36 games (we were hardly going to win that were we?, that home record is verging on the unbelievable in a competition this even).
Manly: 17 wins from 19 (not as long as Melbourne's but becoming about as impressive).
North Queensland: 13 wins from 19 (Not unbeatable but then, it's a better home record than most and the Warriors have now lost 6 straight there so it isn't just this Warriors team that has a problem there with our last win being in round 4 of 2002).
Gold Coast: 5 from 5 at their new home ground (Skilled Park) and 7 from 7 going back to last year.
So yeah, combined those teams are 71 wins from 81 games for a 87.6% win rate. That's the stuff legends are made of in a competition where the average home win/loss ratio last year was 55/45.
The Warriors draw for the rest of the year is unsurprisingly much friendlier. They face several of the more difficult teams at home and their road journeys aren't quite so bad although none are ever easy.
Next up they are home to the Raiders who won't be a push over, then they have the 2 points from the bye and then are away to the Panthers. Contrast their next three away opponents home records in recent times and things look a bit more winnable.
Penrith: 4 wins from 17
Newcastle: 5 wins from 14
Sharks: 1 win from 9 (that's right, the Sharks have now won just 1 of their last 9 home games).
So those three teams have a combined home record (from my selection) of 10 wins and 30 losses, a 25% win rate.
The Warriors do sorely miss McKinnon and Price though and we can add Ropati who was playing well and now probably Vatuvei for a bit. So the road games will be 50/50 at absolute best but they'll sure as shit by better odds than the 10/90 ones we've been facing.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Sleepless nights over 1am alarm mystery
Saturday, 26 April 2008
A Campbells Bay couple seem to have a mysterious problem with their alarm clock. For some reason, their two alarm clocks have gone off at the exact same time for four consecutive mornings, despite not having been set, they say.
The first night, the travel clock went off at 1am. "It was a nuisance, but we turned it off and thought no more of it," says the woman, a North Shore identity who asked not to be named. After the same thing happened the following evening, her husband thought maybe the batteries were going, so changed them. He set the alarm for 9am, but again it rang at 1am on the dot.
That night, they put the clock at the far end of the house and decided to use another alarm clock, again setting it for 9am. "We made sure that the alarm was not set and went to bed at 11pm, but were awakened by an alarm bell ringing," says the woman.
When she looked at the time, she was in disbelief. It was again 1am. "What’s the significance of their ringing at 1am? None were set to go off at that time." She says they are worried and sleep deprived. Hamilton clock manufacturers Clockworld manager Christine Frampton says there is no explanation for the clocks doing that.
"It’s really weird."
Not half as weird as running with this fucken story. I'm going to call CNN to let them know about the stereo I bought in Korea that used to turn itself on in the middle of the night when I was asleep despite having no sleep or snooze function. I reckon people would be absolutely fascinated.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Brisbane by 16
This is the no brainer of the year. If the Rabbits lose by less than 20 they'll have done well.
Cowboys v Storm
Cowboys by 4
This should be a cracker because the Storm had a rocket fired up them by Bellamy last week and he won't accept another effort like that. Problem is the Cowboys are shit hot at the moment so one team will have to give.
Dragons v Roosters
Roosters by 8
Roosters looked stuffed in the second half as the UNDER-RATED Knights came storming home. They will surely bounce back against a rabble Dragons outfit, although the last 15 minutes v the Dogs MAY have given them a clue about how to play football.
Sea Eagles v Bulldogs
Sea Eagles by 10
Hopefully both teams lose but as that's not possible I hope the Sea Eagles win by 10 and lose half their team to season ending injuries.
Sharks v Tigers
Sharks by 6
A smallish team with a nice style (though not the same since losing Prince to the Titans and Marshall to the hospital waiting room) versus a biggish team with a borish style. I'll have to go with muscle here.
Titans v Warriors
Titans by 7
The Titans must surely win this one, especially after I called the Warriors to suffer certain defeats to the Cowboys and Titans two weeks ago. But the Warriors will be motivated (won't they?) and I think the Titans will suit them a bit more as they are a team playing well but without the zip zips (Slater, Stewart, Bowen, Thurston...) that usually have a field day versus us.
Labels: nrl tipping
Monday, April 21, 2008
Since I'm visiting Canada at the moment, I decided to see what the situation is here. I very seldom buy butter so I can't comment on that from memory, but in terms of milk, I offer the following observations.
2004 (last time I lived here): 4L bottle of milk = $3.70-$4.00
2008: 4L bottle of milk = $4.15 (at Safeway, which is likely the most expensive grocery store here, but also the only one in walking distance of where I'm staying).
2L of milk is $2.65.
As far as I can work out, then, milk has increased in price by about 10% in four years! That would be about the rate of inflation, then.
As of today, CAD4.15 = NZD5.22. So if you buy 4 litres you're spending NZD1.31/L.
As of today, CAD2.65 = NZ3.33. So if you buy 2 litres you're spending NZD1.67/L.
Don't get me started on cheese, though. 1kg of NZ colby or mild for NZD12 is pretty fucking appetizing compared with the plastic orange gunk that many stores are prepared to serve up (at higher prices) over here.
And hey NZ, used cars are still cheap!
Labels: why buy the cow?
Sunday, April 20, 2008
First, when I looked into the issue a few years back, I found that 'evidence' (of the sort cited, or rather uncritically promoted, in the Herald story linked to above) is rather ambiguous, with some studies pointing one way, and others, well, the other.
Second, what we're really talking about here is single-gender education (in the sense of gender being a set of social expectations and attitudes built up around biological difference), and don't guys like the visiting Dr Sax just love to jump on crude gender stereotypes:
The areas of the brain associated with language and fine motor skills mature about six years earlier in girls than boys. The areas of the brain associated with maths and geometry mature about four years earlier in boys than girls. This finding may help explain why some girls find maths "hard", he says, while some boys think poetry is for "sissies".
Yes, such Neanderthal attitudes could only stem from biologically-grounded psychological differences ... nothing to do with socially ingrained gender roles and expectations at all. Nothing to see here, move along.
Is anyone else even faintly skeptical of claims such as "Girls learn much better with 3000-kelvin bulbs (warm light) while boys learn much better with 4000-K bulbs (cool light)." In other news, boys like slugs and snails, while girls prefer sugar and spice. It's ingrained, y'know.
3. What about the value of, you know, learning to live and learn side-by-side with people of a different sex and gender? What about the positive aspects of that interaction - both in the short-term, and in terms of being a decent human being?
4. My favourite objection. Why stop at gender? If it is legitimate to divide children on one social and biological axis of difference, why stop there? How about seeing if children do better in "same race" (sic) classrooms. We all know that "Asian kids" are predisposed to be good at maths and classical music. Polynesian kids mature faster, and should be allowed to use their natural physicality on the sports field without fear of crushing skinny whites and Asians. White kids don't need to be held back by Asians and Polynesians whose first language isn't English.
Separate but equal, I say.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Since Mrs Muliaga's death, the Government has hardened guidelines on electricity disconnections and last night Parliament passed a bill which gives it powers to regulate electricity companies if they do not comply with the guidelines.And also:
During a speech by Labour MP and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban about that legislation, Mr Clarkson was heard by other MPs to call out something along the lines of "pay the bill, pay the bill".
Mr Clarkson had to be persuaded by National's chief whip, Nathan Guy [Editor's note: Who?!?], to return to the debating chamber and apologise for his comments, which were labelled deeply offensive by other MPs.
Three interjections of up to 6 words each mark a noteworthy effort from this ball-scratching monstrosity of an MP ... whose grand contribution to Parliamentary debate as of November last year was five inane interjections.
For the record, the sum total the Muliaga family owed was $168, by no means a princely sum - probably equivalent to about one winter month's bill. Hardly a significant debt ... most people have probably been in the red to that amount at least once.
I'll say this much for Winston Peters: at least he has a work ethic.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Storm vs Sea Eagles
Storm by 8
The Sea Eagles are good but not good enough to win in Melbourne when they had a successful rocket attempt fired up their own arse in rounds 2 and 3. Storm season officially lifting off...
Eels vs Titans
Eels by 10
The Eels are like the Warriors. Very hard to beat at home but pretty gay away, but then, so are the Titans.
Dragons vs Cowboys
Cowboys by 8
The Cowboys look like they have a new lease of life putting away the Eels with ease. They won't want to screw things up by losing to the gutless Dragons.
Panthers vs Roosters
Panthers by 6
I need a random upset somewhere in my picks. God knows there will probably be 6 of them.
Raiders vs Tigers
Raiders by 2
Tigers were hopeless last week but going to Canberra is not the best place to turn things around, only Raiders injuries and suspensions will make this close.
Warriors vs Bulldogs
Warriors by 2
Warriors played well considering their predicament of injuries and crap week 3 performance but there are still plenty of things to sort out. The brain points to a Bulldogs win but we have to beat them at home sometime. If we don't the season will hit the skids with the inevitable losses to the Cowboys and Titans (both away) to follow.
Knights vs Broncos
Broncos by 4
You'd think this is an easy one to pick but without Lockyer the highly under-rated (IMO) Knights have a real chance of taking the Broncos down. I don't think they'll quite manage it though unless they get an early lead and go from there.
Rabbitohs vs Sharks
Rabbitohs by 4
The Rabbits will win because if they don't there will be coaches, owners and players necks coming out for the chopping block. And they know it.
And cheers for the tickets to last weeks game Bennyasena!!!
Labels: nrl tipping
Monday, April 07, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
On Dickenson the ref: He made his international referring debut in a match between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. "I hope it was during the day time".
On the scrums continually falling apart: "They're disintegrating, this is as bad as we've seen them".
"His elbows hit him in the jaw, he's down for the count at the moment".
"Do you want to play rugby or not?": Dickenson asking if they would like to get on with the game.
Dickenson threatens to have uncontested scrums.
"They won't need the lights soon because they'll be playing in the morning. There's been 10 minutes of stoppage time in the first 26 minutes".
"Once again an opportunity goes for the Highlanders".
"His knee was turned inside out, ... it was twisted in half ... I might just go grab a coffee ... there are players down all over the place ... you wouldn't see this in a Les Mills gymnasium".
"He'd probably go inside the circus as one of those people you see fit inside a 4 inch box".
"Noble got taken from behind".
"The halfback kicks it dead in goal, another error from the Lions".
"The balls out on the full, the touch judge has got his flag out ... it's a shoulder charge, a penalty ... give me strength, that's a soft penalty".
Labels: super 14
Blogging it Real
7 from 8 (running total 14 from 24) – 58.33x%
6 from 8 (running total 12 from 24) – 50.00%
6 from 8 (running total 11 from 24) – 45.83%
2 from 8 (running total 7 from 24) – 29.16%
Storm vs Broncos
Storm by 4
Easily the match of the round. The Broncos are shit hot while the Storm are shit not but they have a point to prove and to an extent the Broncos have proved theirs already.
Bulldogs vs Roosters
Bulldogs by 6
Almost too close to call. I'll have a stab and say that the Bulldogs will be slightly angrier than the Roosters and win it by 6.
Dragons vs Sharks
Dragons by 4
Hmmmmm….Dragons often good at home, but Sharks hard to break down and coming off a loss. Since it's the Sharks fourth road game in a row I'll go with the Dragons.
Titans vs Raiders
Titans by 10
The Raiders had a rare road win two weeks ago but it was v the Panthers. I have to go with the mediocre but hardworking Titans by 10.
Cowboys vs Eels
Cowboys by 8
You'd pick the Cowboys at home every time but they way they are going who knows. But since it's verging on a must win for them, or their season looks shot I'll pick them by 8.
Sea Eagles vs Rabbitohs
Sea Eagles by 14
Sea Eagles all the way. The Rabbitohs are 0 and 3 but they will be seriously doubting whether or not they can win this game and that will be the death of them. Sea Eagles by 14.
Warriors vs Knights
Warriors by 12
Embarrassment usually equals redemption the next week. Especially at home. Knights will give them a fright before the Warriors get over the line. If they don't, us fans should be getting a bit worried. The Warriors need to be careful though. Firstly, you don't just automatically win after coming off a hiding and playing an ordinary team at home. And secondly the big test will probably come the week after to see if it really was an aberration. Many times in the past in horrific seasons the Warriors have been flogged, won their next game then got flogged again and a month or two later the coach is looking for a new job.
Tigers vs Panthers
Tigers by 16
The win for the Panthers will have helped them relax but the Tigers will know this is a game where they can't afford to drop points.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Now, for the substantive topic of today's talk, children, I give you the latest offering from the august Mr Darth George.
Today, Darth opines on tax. And he doesn't even throw in trite Bible quotes about tax collectors, or rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar's! Well, actually, that last bit would probably undercut his argument somewhat, since Darth doesn't like tax.
First, Darth has a go at GST, "which is a double-dipping tax on our taxed income and deprives us of 12.5 per cent of our spending power." There are actually strong arguments for reducing income tax before consumption tax (in order to promote savings), but I'm inclined to agree with Darth about the ubiquitous nature of GST in NZ. While it is simple, it does mean that the price of essentials (in which our friend in the four-litre Ford includes fuel, of course) are more expensive than would otherwise be the case. Quoth Darth:
I can think of no better contribution to the well-being of New Zealanders, particularly those on low incomes, than to make food, water, electricity, motor fuel, rates and medical expenses exempt from GST.Well, my list might be slightly different - I'd include University fees, and argue for a different system for taxing fuel altogether - but basically I think he's on the right track.
Darth then has a gripe about the way the official inflation figure is (under) calculated, when he knows damn well that "Butter has risen 91 per cent in the past 12 months, cheese 60 per cent and milk 21 per cent. Meat and fish have become so expensive that many families have to do without both." Not sure where that last part came from, but I do wonder whether diets lacking in butter and cheese might actually be health-promoting. And I say this as someone who likes cheese in particular.
Darth then serves up a useful reminder that he is a Muldoon/Peters style populist conservative, rather than a Shipley/Brash neoliberal attack dog:
The result is that while the Government, the producers, the suppliers, retailers and businesses in general keep on doing very well thank you, the public, as usual, is getting screwed harder and harder.Darth then returns to the topic of GST, making some useful observations around petrol- "Motor fuel is already heavily taxed, so the GST (which goes up every time the tax goes up) is, on the Government's part, triple-dipping" - and the much more agreeable and equitable GST system in Australia, where food and medical expenses are spared.
However, Darth's public goodwill only goes so far ... it's only fair that a man with his column can be self-serving from time to time, and argue for GST exempt private health insurance and, get this, income-tax free pensions: "Another example of double-dipping is income tax charged on pensions and benefits. These, since they are paid from out of taxation, should be tax-free."
Listen, old timer, when the government uses its revenue to give you an income, it's - err - and income, and therefore subject to taxation like any other. Still, teachers, nurses, and doctors in the public systems might like to try that logic: "We're paid out of tax revenue, so why tax our incomes again?!"
Good luck with that.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Low and behold yet another one tonight.
I should start documenting them. I would say that in the last 12 months or a touch less I have actually had my rego and warrant checked 6 times and have either been waved through or passed through because they are too busy with other cars on another 3-4 occasions in the exact same spot.
When does this become persecution?
Sure they may be catching a disproportionate number of people in our area, but if Pacific Islanders were more likely to be carrying weapons does that mean you can stop everyone of them and them only to carry out a body search? If German backpackers were more likely to be carrying weed does that mean you invade their hostel dorms and tear only their belongings apart (twice a month)? If NZ Europeans were twice as likely to commit white collar crime would we expect that they had their bank accounts inspected several times a year whilst ignoring everybody else?
If we don't accept the targeting of racial groups (although Peter Brown has no issue with it) then why should we accept the targetting of communities because they have a couple of dozen different cultures in them?
That's what Peter Brown said after being asked what he thought of the statistics showing that the NZ Asian population will rise to 800,000 by 2026 according to fucking moron Peter Brown.
He went on to say that (this on Prime News and then repeated later on the main news plus Campbell Live) that they come here with no gaurantees that they will integrate into our society and they create pockets of their own culture.
Prime didn't help things by showing some Asian students standing on Queen Street smoking and several playing games in a video arcade.
God knows other NZers don't stand outside smoking, and most of us have never played in a spacie arcade in our lives.
What a total and utter cock Brown is. On the one hand he makes me want to do very bad things to him but I guess I should just look on the bright side and be thankful that I'm not him. Oh how miserable would that be.
I'll try and spread his message though. First off I'll tell my wife who made me some of her Korean ethnic food for dinner last night. 'Tacos' I think they are called.
Then I'll go into class tomorrow and tell my refugee student from Myanmar what I think of her. Then I'll get straight onto my Cambodians and I'll give them a good sorting out and ask them not to be mates with any of the other minorities in class or else they'll obviously be up to no good not keeping themselves to their own culture and all. And then all hell will break loose when I get onto my fantastically behaved and hardworking Korean, Chinese and Philippino students. How dare they come into and ruin my country.
FOR FUCKS SAKE YOU DIPSHITHEAD BROWN (I'M SHOUTING NOW). ASIA IS NOT A COUNTRY. WHILE RETARDS CAN MAKE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN WHERE YOU ARE FROM AND SAY GERMANS, SPANISH, GREEK AND DUTCH SO TO SHOULD YOU REALISE THAT LIKE IT OR NOT THERE ARE WELL OVER 2 BILLION ASIANS IN THE WORLD AND THEY ARE ABOUT AS ALIKE AS WHAT COMES OUT YOUR ARSE AND WHAT COMES OUT YOUR MOUTH. Ok, so that's not a good comparison in his case.
All cultures find comfort in their own communities. When in Korea although we only made up less than one percent of the population. Actually way, way less than one percent we still had a bar which was known as the foreigners hangout. There is even an area called Itaewon in Seoul where foreigners shop almost exclusively (often for prostitutes on the discreetly named "Hooker Hill"). It's located near the Yongsan military base in the guts of Seoul.
We even have our own foreigners football league featuring 16 teams.
I'd be interested to know what sort of ties the Asian community has with their countries of origins by 2026. No doubt there will be plenty there but by then many would have been born and raised in NZ. Those that are in my classes at school fully mix with their non Asian classmates.
Right, I'm off up the road to let the ladies in the Korean restuarant know what I think of them and their food.