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

Sunday, October 31, 2004


OK, went to see the local basketball team today with half the members of this site. They managed to throw away an 8 point lead with 2:57 left on the clock and with two free throw shots which would have iced the game. The opposition Seoul scum sank 8 unanswered points, put it into overtime where they sank 9 more unanswered points and held on to win.

Nice going CHOKERS.

Anyway, stars of the show were the guy in this gimp suit (if you wear a gimp suit does that make you a gimp, or just a guy in a gimp suit?).

and these ladies

Which one gave Dom the T-Shirt?

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Craig McMillans Career Scores (updated) 

Could just about be time to get back into this again. New season under way and all.

McMillan is a good place to start a he's been dropped and might not get a chance to alter these anytime soon or ever for that matter. Although with the resources we have he might be batting at 5 and captaining the team in 3 weeks.

Overall test stats: 52 tests, 86 inn, 10*, 3046 runs, HS 142, ave. 40.07, 6 100s, 19 50s

[0-9] (23) 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3*, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 9

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

[20-29] (9) 20, 22, 22, 22*, 23, 23*, 24, 24, 25, 26, 26

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

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

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

[60-69] (0)

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

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

[90-99] (2) 92, 98

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

Which equals (using our earlier criteria which you can see in a bit more depth here):
Craig McMillan
Doing His Job = 37 innings (45%)
Not Doing His Job = 45 innings (55%)
(doing his job means scores of 30 or more, while not doing his job is dismaissals under 30)

22 failures from 82 innings = 27%
(failures are scores of 10 or less)

More to come over the coming months as they become worthwhile to look at or update. Most likely after the tests v Australia.

But in the meantime, these are the scores of the batsmen we covered since we collected and analysed their statistics early in the year with average in brackets.

McMillan 0, 30 (15.0)
Astle 2, 8, 15, 0, 11, 39 (12.5)
Fleming 97, 11, 117, 45, 29, 202 (83.5)
Richardson 13, 40, 73, 49, 15, 28 (36.33)

Next time round it will be worth having a look at Oram, Styris and Sinclair (since he seems to be back in favour) and possibly McCullum after he gets 4 knocks v the Aussies in November.

We have 7 tests this summer. Two in Australia in November, Two v Sri Lanka at home in mid to late January and then three v Australia in March also in NZ.

If anybody comes out of those tests with good looking figures then they'll have done well (probably against Sri Lanka ;) )

Digitised Sharks 

I'm about to watch Deep Blue Sea 2 (I think it's called) on video after just finishing up with The Insider. I really liked The Insider, though it's just as well my wife is off with friends for the night as she probably would have hated it. She's more into horror movies and gets a kick out of seeing me hide behind my eyes, under the blankets or under her skirt (haha the jokes on her cos that's not the real reason why I'm hiding under her skirt) whenever I get scared.

To cut to the chase I've been drinking on my own in the belief that I would soon be tired and fall asleep, but that hasn't happened and I've now been going for four and half hours judging by my approximate start time and the computer clock which now reads 12:33. But to continue to cut to the chase I can't remember why the hell I sat down on the computer chair and decided to blog. I think I had 37 good ideas to blog about but forgot them all.

Doesn't really matter since only about 15-30 people visit the site a day (except when kind Mr. Brown links to us when things go a bit crazy for a while) so I could write about how Korean kids are severely lacking in knowledge of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour regarding foreigners they have never met before.

For example, hitting them, calling them an idiot or shouting at them to get their attention, or worst of all, shouting "fuck you" from across the street. Not what you would consider particularly normal behaviour one would expect from a 9-15 year old. It's just as well that there are darlings in every class that make up for the naughty wee shites.

I'm going to take the positives though and when I have children (soon indeed) my patience and tolerance will be superhuman to say the least.

What the hell was I going to blog about?!

I really can't remember.

I wonder what sweatepz and bluebeardnz are doing at the moment in Hongdae? The former can write something about it in their infinite free time. That's a threat not a promise. Or is that an instruction, and not a threat? Or could it be a demand instead of a threat or an instruction? or a request instead of a demand, threat or instruction? Dunno. Tick 'e' for none of the above/below.


I'm picking Kerry to win the election by a small but significant margin based on a strong hunch that at the last second enough Americans will see the light and do the right thing. Although as we all know the difference between a Democrat and Republican is typically not that great in this day and age. However in saying that I think Bush and his cohorts have widened the gap in the last few years to a point where there is a gap between the two of them wide enough to almost see through. So I just contradicted myself though no thanks to the Democrats, rather the Republicans have become such enormous idiots that the Democrats can no longer keep up.

Ah fuck it. I'm off to watch my shark video.

ARRRGGGHHH that reminds me of what I was going to say!

I went to the video staore and found that it is closing down so they are selling the videos rather than renting them out. Unfortunately I'm leaving Korea 'for good' in the next few months so there's no point in buying many as they won't play in NZ due to the different machine format. I could have damn well bought the entire store as the most expensive videos were selling for $3.50 NZ while most were going for $1.35 NZ.

Damn stupid dumb heinous technology.

Hey I got to use 'heinous'.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Off to Hongdae 

Korea has many things to offer: healthy food, cheap alcohol, efficient public transport.

But its number one asset just happens to be beautiful girls dancing to great music on the last Friday of every month in 10 clubs around Hongdae, a suburb of Seoul. And that's where I'm heading right now. Sometimes you have to give life props for being so much fun.

Who got all the talent? 

Well as sure as shit wasn't me in my family.

My sister Kate (wasn't that a TV series name?) has been exhibiting her work at the Signal Gallery in Swanson (West Auckland) and has sold all of her 13 paintings by the halfway point of the exhibition (October 17 - November 13). That's the first time anybody has ever sold all their paintings from an exhibition in the Gallery's existence (albeit only a few years old). And according to the owners it's quite uncommon anywhere.

She takes black and white photos, copies them.... ah better not give away any trade secrets. You'll have to pop out there and have a look for yourself.

Meanwhile I'm still stuck doing god awful whiteboard marker work in classrooms across Korea.

And in sports related news the Super 12 player list has been nam... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

What really happened after the Arsenal v Man U game 

This from the 'reliable anonymous email doing the rounds source' that we all know and love.

Reliable source, Fabregas threw the food. Horseface went into Arsenal dressing room after the game going mad winding up Arsenal players after last year. Wenger called him a F****** Cheat and told him to get out. Horseface went for Wenger, Edu stepped in and hit him, security guards piled in going mad. The kitman was hit by the guards and got a broken nose. He wants to pursue assault charge but Arsenal don't want him to. Ferguson then came in and started as well, ranting at the Arsenal players. They told him to f*** off, he grabbed Fabregas who responded in kind. Manure dont want any comebacks as Horseface started it and their stewards were out of order.

Ferguson also knows he should not have gone in to the Arsenal changing room.

If Manure complain the kitman will pursue his claim. The police know what happened. Difficult one for the FA.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Fact of Evolution 

And what do religious folk be making of all this then?

And I have a bad head cold and will be utilising word search puzzles should I even make it to school today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

New Zealand Football Championship 

That's the name of the New Zealand domestic soccer championship which i mentioned briefly in my last post. Not to be confused with the other games which are commonly referred to as "football" in New Zealand but don't actually involve the foot quite so much.

It's three weeks underway and here's the points table with links to each teams website:
For, Against, Points
Waitakere Utd 9 1 9
Auckland City 8 2 7
Canterbury Utd 5 2 5
Waikato FC 4 3 4
Otago United 5 6 4
Napier City 4 9 1
Manawatu 1 6 1
Wellington 4 11 1

It's going to run for three more rounds and you can check out all the details at their rather attractive and easy to navigate site here...

New Zealand Community Trust Football Championship

I'm not sure exactly how popular the competition is going to prove to be but I seee crowd figures have been listed for some games and these would be them; 600, 2000, 1500 and 1500. I'm always suspicious of crowds which are nice big round numbers like that. Especially since I live in Korea and a listed crowd of 15,498 in the national comp in Korea typically means 6,981 people were there.

Anyways, I don't know if I'll be following the competition that closely but I'll try and give it a mention now and then. Hopefully Waitakere United can continue to do well as they play not far from where I'll be living next year.

The Breakers aren't looking too good at the moment though. Three losses from their opening four games. Hopefully they don't turn into the Warriors or even worse the Kingz!!!! and turn in a few years of mediocre to poor performances before they get better.

Thats not good enough from a country that plays basketball to a pretty decent standard.

Maybe they could look out the window at what Waitakere United are up to as they are playing at the same venue.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Global Sport Roundup 

This is going to be shonky in the extreme. The address bar crashes internet explorer everytime you try to bring up the history or even type an address so I can't link to anything unless it's a bookmarked site.

Anyway's the wife has gone off for drinks with some old high school friends who we were just out to dinner with so onwards and onwards...

First off, I see people were having a bit of a moan about Franklins hat-trick against Bangladesh as being cheap, worthless etc etc. But I'd like to point out that the three guys he dismissed had test averages of about 36, 19 and 10 (off the top of my head) so it's fair to say that there have been plenty worse batsman to pick up the willow on a test pitch before. His hat-trick is worth the same as any other one and good on him.

Also in the first test Vettori took 8 wickets for 50 odd runs which is a nice return for him. Especially when he had only taken about a dozen wickets in his 10 previous tests. The likes of Warne and Kumble can take that many in one test so he should be getting a few more 4 and 5 fors.


Kiwis got done by Aussie 32-12 but they were up at halftime and if a couple of first half conversions had gone over they may have given themselves more of a shot at winning the game or keeping it tighter at least. Oh well, let's face it. The Kangaroos are better than us and we generally have to catch them on an off day and bust a gut to beat them. Unfortunately for us their off days never happen consecutively.

A win v the Poms in one of our two games will probably be enough to get us into the final as it would be a surprise to see them beat the Kangaroos in either of the two games but they are an outside chance to do so.


Turning to the US the baseball season is winding up. Last week witnessed probably the most amazing 7 game series in American baseball history. At least that's how the fans were seeing it on internet polls I saw. The New York Yankees went up 3 games to zero over the Boston Red Sox and were up by a run in the bottom of the 9th in game 4 before worlds collided, meteorites struck the poles, the earths magnetic field reversed and the Red Soxs flux capacitor kicked in or something.

They tied the game and went on to win with a David Ortez homer in the bottom of the 12th. Cue game 5 and an Ortiz single brings home the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning. Game 6 and they guts out a solid win and in game 7 they whip the demoralised Yankees 10-3 to take the series.

To put this into perspective, only twice before in a seven game series had a team that was down 3-0 even forced a game 6, let alone a game 7 and win it on top of that.

Good job, I hate the Yankees. They spend about 100 million US a year on the team and are quite a way ahead of the second most expensive team (who happen to be the Red Sox). Currently the Red Sox are up 2-0 in the World Series v the St Louis Cardinals who have won the second most World Series titles, well behind the Yankees however. The Red Sox on the other hand are trying to end the Babe Ruth curse that has seen them go title-less in over 80 years after they famously traded Ruth to the Yankees back in the 20s I think it was.


Staying in the US but moving to the NFL, the bastard New England Patriots (last years Superbowl winners) won their 19th straight and have moved to 6-0 for the season. That's the longest winning streak in NFL history. They really know how to get the job done and take care of supposedly big challenges week after week.

My St Louis Rams were going along nicely at 4-2 before the weekend but managed to get flogged 31-14 by the previously winless Miami Dolphins. The Rams have been getting narrow wins so far this season and look to be pretenders rather than contenders. Oh well, we had our glory days in 2000 when "the greatest show on turf" tore the league to pieces running up 40 point scorelines week after week before beating the Titans in the Superbowl. After having to endure losing season after losing season in the 1990s I and their other long suffering supporters deserved a year in the sun.


Switching to basketball I read today that Larry Brown, coach of the NBA title holders the Detroit Pistons and US olympic team coach has said that he would like to bring Pero Cameron to his team in the nearish future. Next year perhaps. He wanted him there this year but signed another player which scuppered Cameron's potential move. I was surprised to hear about it actually as I figured Cameron was probably a bit past his best at about 30 years of age. If Brown is for real and it isn't just friendly talk then that would be fantastic for Cameron and NZ basketball.

Hopefully this year Sean Marks is injury free and gets some court time for the Spurs. He's spent time with three franchises (Raptors, Heat and Spurs) but unfortunately had little playing time. I'm sure anybody would rather be on the bench for an NBA team than not but then again I'm sure players would rather get some playing time for a god awful team in the league than get none whatsoever.


The new domestic soccer league has kicked off in NZ without too much fanfare it seems. Hopefully Waitakere United continue the season as they have started with a couple of wins. And with a bit of luck the league will still be running in 10 years so the teams can actually develop things called 'fan bases', and get something called 'sponsorship money' to pump the quality up.

It should work quite nicely as a feeder to the Kingz or whatever the hell they will be called in the new NSL when it finally gets up and running.

While NZ soccer has been poorly run for quite some time with a lot of politics involved those involved in getting this new comp off the ground deserve some credit and good luck to em' all.


And to finish on soccer. I was glad to see Arsenal's 49 game unbeaten run come to an end after they went down to Manchester United 2-0 in a controversial game at Old Trafford.

Arsenal have taken the loss like true pros and bitched and complained about absolutely everything. After their disgraceful efforts v Man U last season where they had half their team banned for their post match histrionics Arsene Wenger talked a load of shit in an effort to unite the team. It worked and they ran away with the title. Me thinks he's trying to do it again.

Regarding the dodgy penalty, Rooney flopped on the pitch under no or little contact and the ref awarded one of the softest penalties you'll ever see (though there have been plenty others like it awarded all over the world). HOWEVER if Mr. Sol Campbell doesn't want to concede penalties like that them he should stick his leg up his arse instead of cynically hanging it out to obstruct a striker making a run on goal. He diced with death and he lost.

God I hate that kind of shit in soccer. It's the NZer in me.

Expect Arsenal to carry on winning, drawing and complaining their way to another title though.

Newcastle (my team, though I'm not that rabid) almost managed to blow a game they should have wrapped up long before the final whistle. They consistently go out to 1 or 2 goal leads before falling asleep time and time again, and yesterday was no different. At halftime it was 0-0 and a sleepathon game was in progress. Cue second half where Newcastle go 2-0 up pretty quickly and then a while later I flick the channel back from the Arse v Manure game to see that Newcastle have just scored a third. Only problem is that they had let Man City in for 2 goals in the previous 3 minutes. Then a short time later Man City score again and it's 3-3. Fortunately the angry ratman scored the winner in the 89th minute and Newcastle took a much needed 3 points. So zero goals in the first half and seven goals in the second. Welcome to Newcastle ladies and gentlemen.

And aren't A Perfect Circle a great band. Listening to their second album at the moment. The world needs more good rock music and good quality ball point pens that don't dry up or leak too much ink.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Ripped Off in NZ Part VI 

To continue our series where we put the boot into the money sucking leaches that occupy New Zealand's lovely business-sphere and get away with it by making up any old excuse about how whatever they are selling is expensive because we have mountains, a women for a prime minister, a weakness at number 8 on our AB team, good quality olive oil, a fondness for animals or anything else they can think of....

I'm referring to the latest news about how NZ cell phone users are being ripped off. For once Winston Peters is making some use of himself by having a go at a worthy target rather than the massive Asian population flooding Tauranga.

Some excerpts:
NZ mobile calls among most expensive in world

Talk may be cheap - but not if you're in New Zealand where cellphone users are paying some of the highest charges in the world.

The tariffs have come under fire this week, with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters using question time in Parliament to demand to know why New Zealand cellphone users are paying twice as much as those in Australia...

...New Zealand ranked 29th out of 30 countries, with prices that were 62 per cent above the average for medium and high users of mobiles.

A Herald on Sunday survey comparing the cost of a peak-hour five-minute call from a prepaid cellphone to a landline in eight countries found charges here were by far the most expensive.

In New Zealand Telecom and Vodafone both charged $6.95 for the call while in Australia the cost of a five-minute call with Telstra was just $2.25.

In the United Kingdom the cost of a five-minute call was $2.60 with Orange, while in the United States you could make the call with Verizon Wireless for $1.06. Bell in Canada charged $1.75.

Singapore was by far the cheapest with the five-minute call costing 65 cents with MobileOne. In Ireland, Vodafone charged $4.10 for a five-minute call, slightly higher than in South Africa where the same call cost $3.30.

The results have come as no surprise to Mr Peters.

"It's price gouging of the worst sort. It's a massive cost on the ordinary business and cellphone consumer and they've got away with it for years ... we are being ripped off."

David Russell, chief executive of the Consumers' Institute said cellphone users were suffering because New Zealand's mobile market was a duopoly.

"While there was competition when Vodafone first entered New Zealand it has settled down now and both companies know they can make a tidy profit. There is no incentive to lower prices."...
I think it's also worth noting that as well as paying some of the highest prices in the developed world for cell phone calls we are probably a fair way down the list in terms of wages and take home pay. So these prices are really a fair bit worse than they appear on the surface. Think about the student with a part time job getting paid, oh, say 6.95 in the hand an hour then blowing an entire hours pay on a 5 minute call to let their parents know where they are going on Saturday night. Fuck that!

Telecom spokesman John Coulter offers this excuse:

"We have the population of Sydney spread across a large area with lots of mountains. Each cell tower costs us $500,000." He said mobile phone call costs had decreased 30 per cent over the past five years.
While it can't be easy covering NZ with technology due to our population being pretty well spread out it's worth noting that the majority of New Zealanders live in reasonably small compact areas without large mountains cutting them in half.

Here's the breakdown of the main urban areas courtesy of Statistics New Zealand:

City Population (2003)
Auckland 1,199,300
Wellington 363,400
Christchurch 358,000
Hamilton 150,400
Dunedin 113,600
Tauranga 103,600
Palmerston North 77,600
Hastings 61,700
Nelson 57,700
Napier 56,700
Rotorua 55,100
New Plymouth 49,500
Invercargill 48,200
Whangarei 48,000
Wanganui 40,000
Gisborne 32,800

That's 2,815,600 people right there. Roughly 70% of New Zealands population living without the involvement of mountains.

And then there's the internet speed and cost in New Zealand!!!! But that's a whole other debacle.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Ripped Off in NZ Part V 

In the latest of our long-running series, the cost of living in New Zealand, I am pleased to report an all new record in the "over-priced consumer good" section. Yes, the $40 plain t-shirt is left in the dust by the $1099 vacuum cleaner, currently on sale (yes, on sale!) at Harvey Norman. That's, oh, about 1/30th of the annual full-time pre tax salary in New Zealand, and all it does is suck. You still have to steer the fucker, and get it out of the hallway closet every second Saturday.

Another interesting one is the Toyota Cavalier - really a Chevrolet Cavalier, but badged as a Toyota in New Zealand. It's about $11500 in Canada including taxes, brand new, off the lot. I saw a used one here, about 7 years old, with 80,000 on the clock for a bargain-basement $14999.

Lucky teachers just got that 12% pay increase eh, Yamis, or else you'd be walking to work.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Some Tri Nations Rugby Stats from 1999-2002 

I got these from a rugby website which has some random info and appears (unfortunately) to have stopped collecting these types of stats for some reason. Although the 'article' I got them from were compiled by an Adrian Skeggs who is probably this guy and perhaps that explains why they are no longer collected.

But anyway here are some stats from the Tri-Nations from 2001 and 2002 mainly, although there are stats for earlier years in some cases. It's out of date but I guess you can get an idea of what to expect from a game of rugby statistically speaking. Perhaps I'll be able to track down others at a later date and make it more complete. But I'm sure as fuck not scouting out the match tapes and going through them 25 times while hammering the pause button.

I've edited it to get down to the nitty gritty. Make of them what you will. Although I couldn't resist a couple of snide remarks in square brackets god bless me ;)

Ball in Play Times
2002 - 33.5 minutes
2001 - 32 minutes
[I recall in the late 1980s and early 1990s the stats were in the region of 24-28 minutes for test matches, so the rule changes to speed the game up seem to have made a significant improvement].

2002 - 146
2001 - 121
2000 - 165
1999 - 112

2002 - 266 (a pass every 7.5 seconds)
2001 - 233 (a pass every 8.2 seconds)
2000 - 327
1999 - 241
[*in 2002 84% of passing movements were only 1 or 2 passes (most being 1 pass). According to the website commentary those are about what is expected these days.]

Open Play Kicks
2002 - 59 (a kick every 34 seconds that the ball is in play)
2001 - 67 (a kick every 29 seconds that the ball is in play)
2000 - 43
1999 - 64

Kick to Pass Ratio
2002 - 1 kick for 4.5 passes
2001 - 1 kick for 3.5 passes
2000 - 1 kick for 7.6 passes
1999 - 1 kick for 3.8 passes
[*average of 1 kick for 4.6 passes over the four years. And league gets called "5 tackle kick"!!! Well it's better that than "4.6 pass kick" I reckon!!!.]

Lineouts Per Game (average)
2002 - 32
2001 - 34
[*basically one per minute when the ball is in play.]

Scrums Per Game (average)
2002 - 18 (2.7 result in penalties, 7.5 get reset, 4.4 collapse)
2001 – 21 (3.3 result in penalties, 5.1 get reset, 6 collapse)
[*One scrum for every 111 seconds in 2002 and 91 seconds in 2001.]

2002 - 24
2001 - 27
[*A penalty every 84 seconds in 2002 and every 71 seconds in 2001]

[* So by me that's 76 stoppages per game in 2002 and 84 in 2001!!! No wonder there's so much time to drink piss during a game!]

Point Breakdowns
2002 - 291 points from 32 tries, 27 penalties (28% of points) and 4 drop goals.
2001 - 212 points from 13 tries, 43 penalties (67% of points)
2000 - 313 points from 29 tries, 39 penalties (37% of points)
1999 - 221 points from 17 tries, 37 penalties (50% of points)
1998 - 224 points from 22 tries, 30 penalties (40% of points)
1997 - 403 points from 48 tries, 30 penalties (22% of points)
1996 - 298 points from 25 tries, 46 penalties (46% of points)

Penalty goals:
2002 - 27 from 43 attempts (7 per game)
2001 - 43 from 64 attempts (11 per game)

In the 42 Tri Nations matches from 1996-2002 the losing team has scored more tries than the winning team on only 3 occasions.

Source of Tries: 2002
Own Lineout 8
Opponent's handling error 7
Scrum 8
Opponents Lineout 3
Penalty 1
Turnover 4
Opponent's kick 1

Origin of Tries
17 originated within the 22 metres of the try-line
7 between the 22 and 10 metre line
8 from 40+ metres out

Match Time average
2002 - 94 mins 1 sec.
2001 - 92 mins 27 sec.

There were some interesting variations between the 3 countries in 2002:
** Australia created around 20 more 2nd phase balls than NZ and SA
** Australia made around 20 more passes per game than NZ and SA
** South Africa kicked the least – an average of 22 times per game, compared with Australia’s 30 and New Zealand's 37 [lot's of stupid fucking chip kicks when on attack no doubt!]

The average number of open field kicks per game was 59. One game contained 101 while another contained 36. The one with 101 was the one game where no tries were scored – and the one with 36 kicks was one of the two games that contained the most tries.

[Lesson to be learned here: If you want to score tries and win games don't kick fucking possession away]

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Calling Bullshit 

What's with these arsehole NRL and Super League clubs telling us when and where we can use NZ players for test matches?

How often do Australian or British clubs tell local players that they can't represent their country because they need surgery?

Check this out from todays herald.

In it Bradford say that they will not release Lesley Vanikolo for any more than one game (v Australia of course) and that he will have to go under the knife before the Kiwi tests v Great Britain. It's worth pointing out that Bradford are also coached by Great Britain coach Brian Noble.

But the thing that annoys me most is this...
Bradford football manager Stuart Duffy said Vainikolo's operation was originally scheduled for this week.

"He needs this operation as quickly as possible because obviously we need to ensure he is fit for the start of our season."

So let's get this straight. The first few weeks of Bradfords season (which runs for 28 games, plus a few pre-season games and how ever many Challenge Cup games they last for) are more important than New Zealand v Great Britain test matches played in front of packed houses?

No they aren't. So would the international RL board please make some fucking rules that clubs have to obey or else they are given hefty fined or stood down from competition! Bradford get about 10,000 average crowds during the year, with that perhaps doubling for big games but for early season crap there won't be many there at all.

Bradford could quite easily get the guy fit one or two weeks into the start of the regular season next year. All he would be missing by the sounds of it is some warm up knock about games and a Challenge Cup game against some useless team.

But because there is never a stand taken on this issue we get the same problem coming up year after year.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

New Zealand Rugby League Website 

This is a bloody good one.

It's been slowly building itself up over the last few months and the blokes involved deserve a real pat on the back for their hard work.

It has pretty comprehensive stats building for the Bartercard Cup, lists of all Kiwis alphabetically, records and all sorts of other stuff. Anyway, go there and enjoy. I'll put it up in our permanent link section.

Here is the all time Kiwi test record though.
Against Played Won Lost Drawn
G. Britain. 99 36 58 5
Australia.. 99 25 72 2
France..... 49 31 14 5
Wales...... 9 6 3 0
B. Empire.. 1 0 1 0
C. Islands. 1 1 0 0
England.... 4 1 2 1
Tonga...... 2 2 0 0
PNG........ 15 14 1 0
Lebanon.... 1 1 0 0

Also coming soon some stats comparing the two rugby codes (tries etc). Been having a ding dong in another forum over that issue and others. See-moan and others will know what I'm talking about. Haha.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Kiwis v Kangaroos game 1 

Sadly for my fat arse I had to get out the door 12 minutes from time in the test so I got to the train station where I was meeting my footie mates and then headed off to a pcroom to catch the fulltime score. Quite pleased to see that we had 'hung on' for a draw. I say hung on because I assumed at the time that we were probably absorbing more pressure in the final stages than applying it. And judging by the 3-1 drop goal kick stats in favour of Oz I'd say that was how it was.

We kept them scoreless for the last 58 minutes of the match which can hardly have happened too much to Australia as long as I've been following the game.

Anyways, by my reckoning a draw in this wee tourny is about as good as a win. If we beat the Brits in one of the two tests v them (and you'd expect us to), then it will mean that they HAVE to beat the Kangaroos to head us off from the final at Elland Road in Leeds on November 27.

On a slightly different note, why is it that the Sydney Morning Herlad writes better articles about our own team than our own journalists can? You may have seen it at but they just pilfered it as they couldn't give a monkeys arse about league.

Since you may have to register to read it (free though and well worth it) here's some bits I liked. Bit's I liked a lot are bolded.
Having turned his back on the Kiwis after playing for them in the 2000 World Cup, Christchurch-born Carroll was public enemy No.1 at North Harbour Stadium as far as the New Zealand fans and players were concerned.

"He got a few hugs from the Kiwi boys," New Zealand skipper Ruben Wiki said. "The first tackle, I got him with a swinging arm. I couldn't believe the referee let it go. I still get on with Tonie and he said to me, 'what did you do that for?' but I just told him to shut-up. He's on the other side now."

Loudly booed when his name was announced during introductions, the Brisbane lock was heckled and abused throughout the match by the parochial 19,188 crowd and one Kiwi player confided there had been genuine resentment within the team towards Carroll.

The first player to have represented both countries in 90 years, Carroll refused to discuss the issue while in New Zealand but Australian skipper Darren Lockyer acknowledged afterwards that he had been singled out for extra attention. "Tonie copped a bit," Lockyer said. "But it probably fired him up and I thought he went well."

The reaction to Carroll's decision has hardened the resolve of Warriors fullback Brent Webb to ignore the lure of playing State of Origin and stick with New Zealand.

Born and raised in Cairns, Webb had tears streaming down his face during the Kiwi national anthem before the match and was the last player off the field after performing a slow lap of honour with Wiki carrying a New Zealand flag. Despite having a Kiwi great grandmother, Webb is eligible to play for his adopted country only on residency grounds. He is also able to play for Queensland because his agent, Jim Banaghan, had advised Australian officials that Webb was available to play for the Kangaroos - thereby meeting the criteria for Origin selection - but was not chosen.

Asked by New Zealand coach Daniel Anderson, who recruited him to the Warriors in 2001 from the Queensland Cup competition, to play for the Kiwis if he was overlooked by Australia, Webb said he had been more nervous about performing the haka than playing his first Test after housemate Wairangi Koopu taught him the wrong version as a joke [nice one Wairangi, muhahaha].

"We got together with all the boys for a practice and I was there doing different actions from everyone else, which didn't help my nerves," said Webb, whose parents Ayako and Doug, flew to Auckland for the match.

"So we had to have a quick change of plans. It all worked out well and the haka was something else. When you do it in front of a crowd it is something I will never forget."

In contrast to the Kangaroos, New Zealand will have a number of new faces for this Saturday's match after Bulldogs winger Matt Utai and Penrith second-rowers Tony Puletua and Joe Galuvao returned to Sydney yesterday with injuries.

Motu Tony stayed in Auckland after becoming a father for the first time last week and Anderson said he was unsure whether the English-based utility would later join the 24-man squad named yesterday or be replaced.

Bradford captain Robbie Paul is expected to play five-eighth after being one of five players called in from the Super League grand final in England, while teammate Lesley Vainikolo will take Utai's wing spot. The return of North Queensland prop Paul Rauhihi, who missed the first Test with a calf strain, is likely to cause Wiki to move to the second row where he will be partnered by either Ali Lauitiiti or Logan Swann.

Koopu, Warriors teammate Clinton Toopi, Bradford's Shontayne Hape, Bulldogs centre Jamaal Lolesi, Melbourne prop Alex Chan and Wests Tigers back-rower Dene Halatau are the other additions to the team.

And here is further evidence that Sonny Bill Williams knows how to play the game the right way. Here he applies the correct choke grip on a Kangaroo.

and to finish on a random note.

I saw at the end of a story on the kite surfer who died in NZ a few days ago that 17 people have died kite surfing in the world since 2000. That makes me wonder what sport has killed more than any other in that period of time.

The obvious possibilities off the top of my head are boxing, horse racing and motor racing. But boxing doesn't have all that many fatalities because of the shortened bouts and medical folk next to the ring, and motor racing is generally fairly safety conscious these days as well. I'm not counting mountain climbing/hiking (and then dying of exposure) as a sport, but I suppose rock climbing might just about qualify, especially given that I've seen races on tv where climbers try to beat each other to the top of a wall.

Can anybody think of any other sports where a decent number of people are killed?

And no, drowning after fishing or swimming doesn't count either!!!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Ripped Off in NZ IV (An international comparison) 

Well, a couple of months in Dunedin, followed by 10 days in Vancouver, and then an immediate return to Dunedin, naturally invites a few comparisons between the two.

Vancouver positives: homes are heated; homes are well-constructed; one can buy a new home complete with central heating and double-glazing for around $200k in the outer suburbs; a pack of 20 razor blades for $35 ($40NZ); $200 for a 20-inch flatscreen TV; a million and one retailing opportunities.

Vancouver negatives: noise; propensity for cutting down trees.

Dunedin negatives: "afternoon sun" (typically through a 1m x 1m draughty window) is no substitute for installing some fucking heating; one can buy a 20-year old cold shack for $200k in inner suburbs; ludircrous grocery prices; no good fruit & vege shops; bad fish n chips.

Dunedin positives: lots of trees; saw a sealion at the beach; no traffic.

-- If someone can explain to me why renting in Dunedin (hardly a bustling metropolis on the world stage) costs considerably more than renting in Vancouver, I'd be much obliged. e.g., $1000/month will get you a fancy house or desirable apartment in a central Vancouver neighbourhood, probably close to a beach, with a retail value of over $500k. Here $1000/month gets you something worth $100k, and for good reason. Like they said on Scarfies, "it's a shit hole".

Fuck you i won't do what you tell me 

We've all heard about the human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, but now these shocking revelations about "torture" at Guantanamo Bay have been revealed in the New York Times:

"... the procedure of shackling prisoners to the floor in a state of undress while playing loud music - the Guantánamo sources said it included the bands Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine, and the rapper Eminem - and lights [strobe] clearly constituted torture.

"I don't think there's any question that treatment of that character satisfies the severe pain and suffering requirement, be it physical or mental, that is provided for in the Convention Against Torture."

Fuck, I've paid hard-earned money to have Rage Against The Machine and Eminem blasted into my ears; strobe lights don't bother me either, Limp Biskit however....

Ironic though isn't it that RAGE, campaigners for democracy and social justice, get used in this means?

I wouldn't have thought the ol "fuck you I won't do what you tell me" lyrics would have encouraged co-operation by the suspects though?

Twenty minutes of that show "Everybody loves Raymond" would be enough for me to spill the beans on anything and I mean anything.

Now more importantly, the league. 16-all with outstanding performances from David Kidwell, big Sonny Bill Williams...made all the more enjoyable by the car boot party we had outside the stadium.

Just out of interest which of these two articles, one and two sheds more light on the game?

I can't help but feel the Sunday Star Times neglects league reporting in favour of its mindnumbingly endless rugby coverage.

The weekend of the Grand Final was a case in point.

After 15 pages of rugby division one, two and three game results, brewry disputes, profiles on the Gear-bros and even up-coming tennis stars there was finally some decent Grand Final league coverage.

Fuck, there were even articles on league hairdo's closer to the front of the sport's section than the GF preview.

I guess in its defence the SST could at least claim its sister publication, Sunday News,focuses more intently upon the superior code.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Conspiracy and Porn 

Great heading right?

To add to the never ending question of what the fuck happened to the Boeing that hit the Pentagon?, here is a nice wee video for you. (just cut and paste it).

Back to my recent disturbing? theme on these pages lately.

What you can learn by watching porn... (note I find these hilarious but if you don't like or watch porn and are a bit squemish then.... fuck off).

1. Women wear high heels to bed.
2. Men are never impotent.
3. When going down on a woman 10 seconds is more than satisfactory.
4. If a woman gets busted masturbating by a strange man, she will not scream with embarrassment, but rather insist he have sex with her.
5. Women smile appreciatively when men splat them in the face with sperm.
6. Women enjoy having sex with ugly, middle-aged men.
7. Women moan uncontrollably when giving a blowjob.
8. Women always orgasm when men do.
9. A blowjob will always get a woman off a speeding ticket.
10. All women are noisy fucks.
11. People in the 70's couldn't fuck unless there was a wild guitar solo in the background.
12. Those tits are real.
13. A common and enjoyable sexual practice for a man is to take his half-erect penis and slap it repeatedly on a woman's butt.
14. Men always groan "OH YEAH!" when they cum.
15. If there are two men, they "high five" each other(and the girl isn't disgusted).
16. Double penetration makes women smile.
17. Asian men don't exist.
18. If you come across a guy and his girlfriend having sex in the bushes, the boyfriend won't bash seven shades of shit out of you if you shove your cock in his girlfriend's mouth.
19. There's a plot.
20. When taking a woman from behind, a man can really excite a woman by giving her a gentle slap on the butt.
21. Nurses suck patient's cocks.
22. Men always pull out.
23. When your girlfriend busts you getting a blowjob from her best friend, she'll only be momentarily pissed off before fucking the both of you.
24. Women never have headaches... or periods.
25. When a woman is sucking a man's cock, it's very important for him to remind her to "suck it".
26. A man ejaculating on a woman's butt is a satisfying result for all parties concerned.
27. Women always look pleasantly surprised when they open a man's trousers and find a cock there.
28. When standing during a blowjob, a man will always place one hand firmly on the back of the kneeling woman's head and the other proudly on his hip.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Police Responses to Calls 

I see that the girl who has gone missing out at Piha called the police but whoever took the call decided not to dispatch anybody.

Now while I don't doubt that there are many calls that are probably not worthy of sending out a patrol car or whatever, I wonder how the hell they can know whether it is or not a lot of the time. And when somebody who is actually at the scene and knows the details and they are calling the emergency services then it would indicate that they feel a police, or other emergency service presence might be a good idea. Or else they would be calling their auntie in Pukekohe instead now wouldn't they?

My only experience with calling the police came on a Saturday night two summers ago when a guy had come off his motorbike on the road corner (rural area) bordering our property. I went to investigate and found a van with about three people trying to help the guy up and offering to drive him to his house.

Alas, this guy was so hammered that he was insisting that they help him get him back up and on his bike and that they then fuck off once that's done. He was so drunk that he kept falling over flat on his back or face. The part of body seemed to change as did the amount of slurred colourful language coming from his mouth. I decided I'd call the police since this guy was bound to either kill himself or somebody else further up the road if he got back on his horse.

But when I called them they simply said to call them back if he drives off.

But wouldn't that be a bit too late?

Eventually after getting too much abuse the van departed. And eventually he got back on his mangled pile of shit, managed to start it and hoon off up the road. I called the police again to tell them he had got on and what way he had driven so they could at least cruise out to at least see if he got home alive. But to my knowledge (since I kept an eye out for a couple more hours they did not).

I suppose he got home alright but what would have happened if he'd plowed headlong into a car coming the other way or slammed down a bank further up the road?

Given that he'd already crashed off his bike into one ditch and it took him 30+ minutes to simply get his bike upright and started I'd say that it was a good chance something might have happened.

It seems that there may be a bit of a "clean up at the bottom of the cliff attitude", rather than one of possible prevention going on. We see police breath test checkpoints often now, but when somebody is shit-faced, already crashed, abusive and threatening, and trying to drive off again nobody is interested in checking it out because it's 20 minutes drive from police HQ.

League and racism 

Just saw the following press release by Shortland Street "star" Li-Ming Hu.

Shortland Street Star Speaks Out Against Racism
Actress and musician Li-Ming Hu, otherwise known as Shortland Street’s “Doctor Li-Mei Chen”, is calling on New Zealanders to attend the Wellington march against racism on Labour Weekend.

“Racism is still a significant problem in New Zealand,” said Li-Ming, “and in a way the National Front is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot of ignorance and misinformation about racial minorities. Marching against racist groups like the National Front is a vital way to bring the issue to the public eye.”........check out the full version on scoop if so inclined.

Couldn't help thinking about this article on The Onion when I read it.

Now onto the league, Kiwis $3.70 and Aussies $1.25.

I won't make any online head-to-head predictions as they'll come back to haunt me but I'd say the biggest danger to the Kiwis is its own half-arsed Bulldog's winger Matt Utai.

I've tried to find an article to link to however I'm pretty positive in the last test he played he walked off in the first minutes "injured" and then turned out just days later for the Bulldogs and scored at least two tries?

One thing I would advise punters to stay away from is the try scorer odds, complete crap.

Webb @ 2.30, Utai $2.10, Vagana $2.35, Minichello, Rooney, Matt Sing $1.75 come on TAB you've got a monopoly at least offer some decent fucking odds.

Look at the half time/full time doubles for some decent money!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Um... nothing 

Borrowed this from one of our regular comment contributors. Hope ya don't mind see-maon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Press release of the week 

Last week when the Herald on Sunday released its "circulation" figures following its first edition its competitor Fairfax responded by disputing those circulation figures, one week later,the folly is continuing:

Herald on Sunday continues to grow circulation

Wednesday, 13 October 2004, 10:41 amPress Release:

The New Zealand Herald

Herald on Sunday continues to grow circulation

Circulation of the new Herald on Sunday has exceeded 115,000 for each of its first two issues.

Herald on Sunday publisher Rick Neville said more than 60,000 New Zealand Herald subscribers had taken up the offer to have the Sunday newspaper delivered to their homes.

Retail sales had exceeded 55,000 for the debut edition on October 3 and again on October 10, the Sunday just gone.

Last week, the Herald on Sunday announced that circulation for the first edition was in excess of 110,000. Mr Neville said this figure had increased with final counting of retail sales.

“We’re very pleased with the take-up of the Herald on Sunday. Reader feedback has been highly positive, and the large circulation will give advertisers a strong readership base.”


I guess Fairfax's gripe is because it distinguishes between "sales" and copies given away free of charge - which account for about 50,000 odd of the Herald on Sunday's circulation.

But speaking of unsubstantiated claims I've heard two remarkably similar rumours from two different journalists, working in separate news rooms - both involving the Herald on Sunday's editor Sue Chetwin and the paraplegic toilets at the paper's celebration launch ball....

Probably just media bullshit though I'd say.

The official verdict on the new paper from the flat that I live in, or from the girls in my flat anyway, is that the Herald on Sunday's horoscopes are crap in comparison to the Sunday Star Times...different folks different strokes.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

It's a Great Day. 

Banks is gone! Now perhaps Auckland City can get some REAL leadership instead of the complete embarassment known as John 'did nothing but talk shit about stuff I never did' Banks.

Also this movie looks like it might be a laugh.

Team America: World Police is the name. I wonder what Koreans will make of Kim Jong-il's staring performance. I believe it's his acting debut. There was a bit of an outcry here over the Lee Tamahori directed Bond film after the way he painted the North Koreans. But they are a bit overly touchy about some things and I couldn't see a hell of a lot wrong with it.

Hopefully the makers of Team America really took the piss, and since it's from the makers of South Park then it's a fair bet it will be.

And to finish up I'll just rip something from The Onion
Study: Good Porn Still Hard To Find
BOSTON—According to a report released by the Institute for Advanced Media Studies, good porn remains hard to find. "Though it's true that there is 350 percent more pornographic material on the market than there was five years ago, quality porn is as difficult to find as ever," Dr. Jeffrey Conchlin said. "Sometimes, you can find a DVD with hot chicks who seem to be enjoying themselves, but usually, they've got big fake tits, the sex is either boring or way too gross, and the setting is totally depressing. This trend is discouraging." Dr. Conchlin added that porn filmmakers are at least a decade away from seamlessly combining good storytelling with hot DP.
Tell me about it. The hotel we were at in Daejeon had an abysmal collection. They did have an interesting sex toy vending machine on the 7th floor though. Still not sure what 5 of the 6 items were despite staring for quite some time. Rubber cookie cutters?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Slow news day 

Can't find the energy to post anything meaningful so this'll do.

The local basketball teams cheerleaders...

You can see why I'll be going to the odd game.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Good Old Days Part ONE 

Ah yes, back when I was in the army spoons and yard brushes had much different uses...

I think it's about time I started having a wee go at the whole "good old days" myth that constantly pops up in our society.

I have no doubt that certain things were much better in the past. Relationships with next door neighbours, less traffic, less urban sprawl, the existence of Georgie Pie etc.

But there are many, many things that ARE MUCH BETTER NOW! Well at least one would hope that there aren't cadets still 'walking' around with the types of sick injuries these cadets claim to have had as a result of some unfortunate individuals. A few other things that have taken a turn for the better are falling crime rates (in general), lower road tolls, a general liberalisation of society, the easy access to information from wherever you want it, and changes in societies attitude towards the natural environment.

It's a shame I can't find old newspaper stories online (I can't find them for obvious reasons) about violence in rugby and rugby league a long time ago. We hear about referees and brawls happening these days but they are fairly sporadic and have nothing on some of the punchups I saw in the 80s and what my father has told me about from his senior league days back in the 60s, 70s and 80s and from rugby at the same time.

Anyway, stay tuned for further installments documenting the "not so good old days".

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Freddie Fittler, and Sinclair v McMillan 

Saw this on and thought it worth pointing out...
Whatever time Fittler has, he allocates to his family and street kids. He regularly asks for an allocation of 20 tickets to Aussie Stadium. When Roosters officials look to see who occupies the seats, they find homeless youths.

"Fair dinkum, Freddie goes down and finds them in the street and takes them home to his city apartment for breakfast," Fittler's manager, Wayne Beavis says. "He's a freak, on and off the field."
Well good on ya Freddie. Nice to see while the Bulldogs are lying in bushes after having shagged themselves silly in an all night orgy you are out collecting them all up and letting them come and watch the Roosters games on Sunday avo.

Seriously though, it's always nice to see that kind of individual.

But I still hate the Roosters sorry.

Will promise to hate the Bulldogs just as much as the Roosters next year though.


I see in the listener that Joseph Romanos is saying that McMillan should have been dropped from the test team but that Marshall shouldn't have been the replacement.... Sinclair should have been. He goes on to mention Sinclair's test batting average being 38.5.

Well I guess he never saw our little expose on NZs top batters a while back. Sinclair gets a special mention and deservedly so.

Here are Sinclair's test scores in order divided up between scores of over 50....









I'm sorry, but for me there are way too many piles of shit in there.

He is so clearly one of those batsmen who bats brilliantly once he gets his eye in and a bit of confidence but he has always been such an awful starter.

And at test level there isn't much room for such players. At least McMillan has scored consistently solidly by comparison to most batsmen in NZ test history. The guy has diabetes and is known to run out of steam after a certain period of time which doesn't help, but he has an excellent test average and comparing him to other NZers all time he is right up there, averaging 40.7.

His one day record is appalling though and he should have been dropped from them a long time ago. How can somebody wrack up 154 one day internationals and average a paltry 27.75? He's only passed 50 on 24 occasions in 144 at bats (to use a baseball term teehee). His bowling has been usefulish with 37 wickets but it's runs we needed from you sonny!

In the 2003/4 season and then the 2004 English season McMillan played 8 tests and had an average of 42.7. However in his last 10 innings since an unbeaten century v India (in India I might add) he has averaged just 21.11. Pretty poor but hardly a complete disaster, and a fairly marginal dropping it must have been.

Romanos used Sinclair's big double century v South Africa to back his argument but lets look at his other tour scores...

3 in the tour opener against some useless team who we slaughtered with his score being our worst.
115 v South Africa A - top score that!
35 v South Africa A - slow second innings dig
28 v South Africa A
14 v South Africa A
268 v South Africa A - Awesome score but when 4 of our top 6 and 6 of their top 7 pass 40 it suggests it was a nice batting track. Both teams batted 'once' and weren't dismissed as the game crawled to a batting stalemate.
12 v a high school old boys team in the one day tour opener where he was the lowest scorer of the seven batsmen needed to flog the pants off the opposition bowlers.
2 v South Africa A in the first match of the one-dayers.
5 v South Africa A here we begin to see a common theme from Sinclair's career.
19 v South Africa A in the final tour match.

So even WITH a score of TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY EIGHT he only averaged 50 from all tour games!

I rest my case your honour and am now going to finish watching The Empire Strikes Back from the newly released dvd set of the original trilogy. KKKKOOOO KKKEEEEUUUU LUKE! I AM YOUR FATHER! AND NOW..... YOU WILL DIE!!!!!!!!

I reckon Vader should have followed up his slayings with a hearty 'MUHAHAHA'.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

2004 NRL Grand Final 

Still 15 minutes to go.

Bulldogs up 16-13.

Key points from the 2GB commentary.

1) It rained quite a bit.

2) The pre-match entertainment was awful.

3) Justin Hodges is a complete dick.

That last point has been made at least half a dozen times in the game.

Roosters to sneak a win as the Bulldogs choke?

European Countries Ranked by Someone With No Credentials Part 2 


This is a small Dutch town that is best known for being the birth place of Jan Vermeer. It's small and Dutch and a town, but has one impressive church (The New Church of Delft) with a tiny winding staircase to the top of a tower that seems to have a habit of either catching on fire or falling down a lot (and of all the towers I went up, this one was the only one to give me any sense of vertigo; the ledge is tiny) and it is terribly beautiful. It seems a bit strange to be criticizing The Hague for not exactly brimming with excitement, and then rank Delft above it, but there you go; I'm not one for consistency in reasoning.



The walk along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe is like cocaine for a guy who likes to wander into stores randomly and browse around, all the time hoping to bump into a gorgeous French girl and have one of those movie moments (didn't happen; why don't they make movies about sitting in French restarants having a snotty French waiter throw bread at you? You know, what actually happens in Paris?). The Virgin music store is the biggest/best/most comprehensive record store I've ever encountered (all of Sleater-Kinney's albums?).

The usual tourist hotspot architectural wonders are amazing, when not swarmed by roughly half a million tourists.

The Arc de Triomphe itself is actually kind of awe-inspiring, though I couldn't pin-point why; in my emotional confusion I climbed to the top in the hope of seeing an accident at the world's largest roundabout. Again, didn't happen; one crash every three minutes, my arse. (My friend told me this fact in support of his claim that no vehicle is insured in Paris for accidents that happen at this roundabout.)

Lying in the grass in one of the parks as the sun beats down, quietly dozing off to overcome museum fatigue. (Didn't go to the Louvre - line was too long, I was impatient, as usual. Next time.)

The subway system is fantastic. Less than two minutes between stops, cheap, clean etc, etc. Seoul is now a distant second.


Too many tourists, though what did I expect travelling in the height of summer? But I went to many cities that were overrun by people like myself, and Paris was the only one that seemed actively impersonal because of it. This is just the impression I got, a sense of come-one-come-all-give-us-your-money-and-get-the-hell-out type of attitude.

French service is ridiculously rude. You know the stereotype, the snobby French waiter who turns up his nose if you can't speak French and clatters the cutlery and sighs when you don't order expensive enough things? Is it still a stereotype if it's all true? It's not as if I was turning up to restaurants in jandals and stubbies, either (3 years in Korea has taught me that its a good thing to follow the local social customs). And it wasn't just waiters, either; guys selling tickets in the subway actively ripped me off, refusing to sell me a ticket unless I bought two ("You have to buy a return"). Of course, the automatic ticket machines sort of nullified his threat. Etc, etc.

Friday, October 01, 2004

sugar coated lies 

Just a quick blog as I've just got some juicy breaking news; apparently the lead story in this week's NBR about Hubbard's diabetic breakfast cereal is 'half bullshit'.

Hubbard's false label angers Diabetes NZ

"Hubbard's Foods' sugary cereal cocktail, branded "Thank Goodness," claims to be wheat-free, gluten-free and "suitable for a diabetic diet"... but really it has four times the amount of sugar recommended for a diabetic the story begins.

An associate of mine who is in contact with Diabetes New Zealand says the organisation is furious and that the NBR "have totally fabricated half the stuff" in the story.

Apparently NBR reporter Jock Anderson was also quoted Diabetes officials who only spoke to him on the proviso that it was "off the record" - way to go to honour a contact.

Not like the NBR not to rigorously check its facts though, ey Diane!

Will blog again as I hear more...

League final hot tip 

Hey kids, its been a while since I last blogged so lets not waste time on a clever intro...

First of all Sunday's league grand final.

Twenty six rounds of normal season match play, three weeks of finals' playoffs and now we're here - well nearly: 2 days, 11 hours and 33 mins until kick-off according to the grand final clock on

I think I'll have a hundred on the Roosters at $2.25 to beat the favourite Bulldogs who are paying $1.62 - I advise all bloggingitreal readers to get on them too - they weren't the minor premiers for nothing.

Across the park man-for-man I think the Roosters are equal if not superior in most positions perhaps with the exception of Chris Walker.

This from a Sydney Morning Herald piece by league journalist Roy Masters:

"The Roosters have a problem, and it's obvious to anyone with a stake in the big game of rugby league. That problem is Chris Walker...

Three times during last Sunday's match against the Cowboys Walker refused to carry the ball forward, leaving his teammates stranded and exposed to violent tackles.

One minute and 45 seconds into the second half, with the demand for 100 per cent commitment from the Roosters coach, Ricky Stuart, still ringing in players' ears, Walker ignored his teammate's plea for help.

The centre Justin Hodges had made a "come around" signal with his right arm for Walker to receive his pass. Walker did not budge and Hodges was smashed in front of the posts."

So perhaps a small punt on the Bulldogs winger who is on Walker's side of the paddock to score a try would also be a wise investment - not sure if that will be Hazim el Masri or Matt utai or who though?

Bulldogs captain and warriors recruit Steve Price is not playing - Andrew Ryan will replace him as captain.

I'm basing my decision on that I think the Roosters will have the defence to neutralise the Bulldogs fearsome attack.

Time and time again this season the Roosters have proved they have simply outstanding defence.

Roosters Luke Ricketson is out too, his punch last week on another Warriors recruit, Cowboys Nathan Fein - which bent his teeth back 90 degrees - earned him a 3 match suspension.

His defence; following a massive hit from an offside position on a Roosters teammate by Warriors Awen Guttenbeil in August, the Roosters had made a pact to stand up for one another....failed miserably.

I saw the hit that Guttenbeil put on Ned Catic at Ericcson and thought it was odd how Fittler and co. just stood around as Awen screamed in Catic's face having nailed him, but then again it was probably self-preservation; there wouldn't be many teams that would want to get into a brawl with the Monty Betham-led Warriors would there?

I sure know I wouldn't want to go one-on-one with my second cousin Warriors Ifeta Palea'asena - he sure can throw a punch.

Just a shame the the Warriors aren't quite as fearsome league-ability wise huh?

Roosters Chris Flannery, whose testicle was ruptured last weekend, is still hopeful of running onto the paddock on Sunday too - I think i speak on behalf of all blokes when I say "good luck to ya mate".

The teams have met twice during the normal season with two one-sided hidings having been dished out. In round 3 the Roosters smashed the dogs winning 35 - 0.

Then in round 13, unlucky for some including the Roosters, the Bulldogs returned the favour annihilating the chooks 40-12.

So going on those results we can probably expect the game to go to golden point...

Pivotal players in the match will obviously be Roosters captain Brad Fittler and the Bulldogs go-foward men Willie Mason and the ogre Mark O'Meley.

Similarly to Yamis, I'm neither a great fan of the Bulldogs nor the Roosters but I think both teams deserve respekt for having made it to the grand final.

One player in particular that deserves a big ups is Big Willie Mason, this guy is 24-years-old and has stadiums full of thousands of fans booing his every touch throughout the regular season and throughout the State of Origin - everywhere he's gone he's copped shit, so what does he do?

He does his talking on the field and has inspired the Bulldogs with his dominat performances.

Coming from a minority sport I know what it can be off putting to have people cheer against you but to have tens of thousands of people laying shit on you every week....respekt Big Willie.

Something So Strong 

Nice little write up on our own expert song craftsman, Neil Finn at (to see the whole article, you have to subscribe; well worth it for this unabashedly left-wing internet current affairs site, which also happens to have two of the best movie critics around, Stephanie Zacharek and Charles Taylor). Obviously written by a fan, it is a heart-felt tribute to Finn's immaculate way with melodies and wistful, finely-tuned lyrics. To whit, the opening paragraph:

When Crowded House hit the charts in 1986 with "Don't Dream It's Over," a pop song with a melody as bracing as the wind, something in the familiar sound, a sensibility, anchored it in your jaded soul. On a second listen, wry fatalist William Burroughs seemed to have slipped a stanza into the three-minute tune.

Now I'm towing my car
There's a hole in the roof
My possessions are causing me suspicion
But there's no proof.

The existential jolt in the chart topper signaled just one of the marvels of the New Zealand trio's debut album. With songwriter and singer Neil Finn at the controls, the album featured 10 more catchy songs about distant fathers, lying poets, star-struck fans, black days, cold winters, tombstones, saints and the singer's "auntie," who goes the way of Virginia Woolf: "Left her car by the river, left her shoes beside." Clearly, Finn was an extraordinary songwriter. The pop hooks and harmonies, rock beats and rhythms, and his own ingratiating voice -- fearless, wistful, cynical, tender -- never struck a false emotional chord.

Notice the little error? The thing about "the New Zealand trio"? I'm not going to write in and correct him, are you? Can I make it four questions in a row?

Neil Finn and Crowded House almost ARE New Zealand for me now; all the Kiwis I meet over here have been filtered through so many international experiences, and there are the regional differences as well - Aucklander vs someone from the 'Naki like myself - but one mention of those two names and suddenly the national bond is reformed, conversations immediately wax lyrical about times we saw them/him live, road trips with Crowded House on the radio, their best songs (the author of the Salon piece, Kevin Berger, opts for Fingers of Love, whereas I'm more partial to Better Be Home Soon or Private Universe, and also the fabulous, half-improvised live version of Sister Madly found on the bonus disc to the Greatest Hits collection).

In fact, when I found out that not only Q but also NME despised Crowded House and Neil Finn, I stopped even bothering with taking any notice of their reviews. With NME, in particular, it crystallized for me just how snarky and committed to poserish notions of cool a lot of the music press in Britain are. But anyway..........just thought I'd draw your attention to the fact that New Zealand can still be recognized for more than Peter Jackson (is he a Sir yet? Oh yeah, we don't have them he a Master of Sweet As Accomplishments yet?)

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