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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, December 31, 2006


Good to see that a bit of competition in the petrol market is causing a few real options when it comes to pumping gas. Since Pac n Save on Lincoln Rd started its own petrol station in its carpark with 6 cents off a litre if you spend over 75 dollars there have been other stations trying to keep up. Mobil had had deals with Woolworths in the past where if you spend a certain amount you got 4 cents a litre off. But it wasn't worth it because you will end up spending about 10-20% extra there than Pac n Save making the savings more like a loss. Now though Mobil is giving away 2 dollar off vouchers if you spend over 20 bucks. They have even gone the step further of making the discounts instant.

What does make me think though is that if they can basically afford these blanket 'loyalty' type discounts then why can't they simply put their prices down by 3, 4, 5 or 6 cents? It makes me a worry a bit that from now petrol stations will have their prices anything from 2-10 cents more expensive than they would otherwise be but then play around with special promotions or offers to pull in the punters and give the illusion that we are getting good deals when in fact they are making more than ever.


But then there are whispers that we will be taxed for the number of turns our wheels make on the road rather than litres of petrol we pump so the thinking might be a little different there. That makes more sense in some ways but it is more likely to encourage people into gas guzzling monsters isn't it? Since they will be taxed a pittance on the 2 kilometre trip to pick the kids up from primary school in the burbs rather than the gross amount of CO2 they are pumping into the atmosphere from their SUV. A lot more thought needs to go into that idea to make sure we aren't shooting ourselves in the foot with a shotgun.

While I'm on the roads, I just drove down the Northern Motorway and across the Harbour Bridge hoping to get funnelled through the newly opened sections of spaghetti junction onto the north western. I follow the signs and get in the lane marked "Waitakere", but low and behold it spits me off at Victoria Park so I have to work my way back on to the motorway. Nice one fuckers. Whats even dumber is that at the Victoria Park off ramp there are more of those large green overhead signs saying the lanes for "Cook St", and.... "Helensville", but any mention of Waitakere has disappeared. Why in fucks name do they insist on putting signs for Helensville on our motorways around the central city??? People are travelling at 100 kms an hour and don't have time to work out if a mysterious destination miles away from where they are actually heading is the correct lane for them to be in. What percentage of the traffic passing through there is actually heading to, or through Helensville?! What percentage of the population have ever been to Helensville? (trust me, I teach high school students who haven't even driven over the harbour bridge let alone been outside of Auckland). What's wrong with putting simple signs up like "West" or "West Auckland", or "Waitakere City", or "Henderson", or "North Western motorway", "the Hood", "the Ghetto", "Bogansville", "Holden Central", "Eco City", "Pot smoking munta village" etc etc. But no, we get told (too late) which lane to get in to get to a small town of a thousand or so people about 50 kms north west of Auckland.

Speaking of competition, or rather, getting back to it since I post humously added the above paragraphs, what the hell is up with the NZ cricket team? They are fucking around with selections but are picking players who are out of form (H Marshall) and who were never in any form (J Marshall who now averages 12.5 from 13 innings for NZ cricket in both forms of the game). Andre Adams also seems a bit of a flat track bully. He regularly cleans out teams domestically but when it comes to internationals he hasn't done nearly so well.

I think that if they are going to piss around with the side they should go the whole hog like the ABs have done and pick several new players for a couple of games each and see who looks like they are composed at that level. Some players can step up while others wilt. You don't know though until you see them there. And lets be honest, who the hell will remember the result of this series in a years time? We have the series v Aussie and England coming up, then a series v Aussie in NZ, then off to the WC later in the year. So all this will be a distant memory. Combine that with the fact that Sri Lanka will probably dick us anyway because we pick a procession of medium/fast bowlers for tracks which suit slow bowlers and only play one spinner when we need at least two (get Patel in there you fucking dickwads). Vettori is consistently our most economical bowler both home and away. Sure he is worldclass but if he can bowl cheaper than the rest of the guys then it points to the possiblility (don't you think?) that slow bowlers might actually do well on our pitches. Jayasuriya and Murali were (along with Vettori) the cheapest bowlers at Napier. After the first innings in Queenstown Vettori has once again been the cheapest of our bowlers.

On a happy note, the Knights won 3-1. That now puts their record to 4 wins, 5 draws and 30 losses over two seasons. That makes the Breakers look pretty good. Although they have now plummeted to 7 wins and 14 losses for the season, sitting in second to last spot and their playoff hopes are once again halfway down the shitter. Considering they have Carlos Powell, arguably the best player in the league that is a woeful performance from the rest of the team this season. They need a decent point guard who can hit three pointers. Henare has just never turned up good numbers. He is over rated and is mediocre at absolute best. If they had one they could light up the league. Instead they are darkening these fair Pohutakawa illuminated shores. That was beautiful. I'm a poet and I didn't knowit.

Anyways, happy new year and all that jive.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

There's Nothing Quite Like This Feeling 

Winter vacation cheer: Children and their teacher shout for joy at Hongje Elementary School in Seoul on Wednesday, celebrating the start of the winter vacation. Most elementary, middle and high schools started holidays from this week.

I know how you feel guys and girls. Where the fuck is that door?! And WTF is with that kid next to the teacher?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Area Fatsos Take Mall 

To those local morons whose casual yet offensive anti-Americanism encompasses a series of snide, holier-than-thou remarks about obesity ... have you been to your local mall?

Ms_Red and I went to the old Henderson Square last night. Westfield or Westcity or Westend or some such now ... to some I know it will always be Henderson Square. It was a zoo. But this was as expected, and beside the point.

We were almost literally dumbstruck by the numbers of obese people. Both in absolute numbers, and as a proportion of all shoppers, they were simply massive. And we're not talking "slightly chunky", "could afford to lose a few pounds", "may have let him/herself go a bit lately", or "a bit overweight". We're talking the morbidly obese and the super morbidly obese fighting it out over the discount wrapping paper. I would estimate that 75% in these categories were women, but perhaps I just noticed them more.

I know that opportunities for a good diet and routine exercise vary according to household and neighbourhood socio-economic status, but ffs when each ass cheek is the size of zeppelin, you waddle like a very portly duck at western springs, and your upper arms are larger than Hulk Hogan's at his prime, but not in a good way, you need to take some fucking responsibility. I have no understanding of how they got to that point in the first place ... fish'n'chips and a 2-litre coke for dinner every night, or perhaps an entire square of organic cheese for breakfast (rather less likely, I feel), and was almost speechless at the size of some of these people. I'm happy to consider any collective solutions like more walkable neighbourhoods and the removal of GST from fresh fruit and vegetables or whatever, but for crying out loud, people!

Regardless, I don't want to hear any more condescending and inaccurate kiwi crap about those fat Americans.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And Latin America contradicts itself once again. 

So they laid that blood-lusting bugger Pinochet to rest the other day. You know they say that in death and in fortune a virtuous man can be made of a rat. I say nuts to that!

Here's Chile. Beautiful land that it is. Heaps of wine and Salmon. Nice fresh air in the country. It has the only direct connect flight between New Zealand and Latin America. Bravo. They have one of the few female presidents to grace the Americas. And one who stood against the 1973 coup. As a result she was not only captured but tortured by Pinochet's cronnies.

So one would think that Chile would be a place where justice can finally arrive. I mean with a formerly tortured activist president, (and a direct flight to Auckland) how could justice and goodwill not possibly come to Chile? I'm sure that most of us were expecting a positive change here.

But, what happened this week? The current military burried Pinochet with full military honours and colours. This is the guy who blew out the democratically elected government of Dr. Salvador Allende; who made thousands of Chileans (students a lot of them) disappear; who sold off every social kernal of Chilean society to the private sector; who, while doing a roaring business with the United States, refused to allow elections, and who organized the torture of the current president.

My gawd? This guy should have been strung for war crimes years back. Instead, Saddam Hussien will take the stage. So there you go. Ruthless dictatorship, disapearances, despising of democracy and justice, receives punishment with a military parade colour guard and all.

That's it. I'm heading to Santiago de Chile with tear gas in hand to set shit strait!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Elementary, my dear Watson 

While Bobert is getting teargassed in Ecuador, New Zealand is showing itself to be at the cutting edge of crime detection, with the Police here resorting to good old fashioned detective work to find sought after culprits....
The man accused of kidnapping his grandson Jayden Headley could make things easier for himself by giving up the boy, police say....Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Page said today Headley needed to realise the matter had gone far enough.
"Handing himself in may be a mitigating identify that he's taken steps to reduce the amount of impact that this offending may have had on young Jayden."

Keep up the good work Sherlock.

Elsewhere, the state's hired thugs, are setting their attack dogs on suspects who have submitted...
Mr Wilby got out and put his hands up. A police constable, Jason Spence, pushed Mr Wilby against the side of the van, intending to handcuff and arrest him. Mr Wilby was co-operative. The Crown said the accused then grabbed Mr Wilby and forced him to the ground. The accused started motioning to his dog to bite him. The dog seemed confused, then it bit Mr Wilby a number of times on the upper arms and elbows before the accused pulled it away.

and shooting numerous times at unarmed suspects....
The Crown says Windrum was reckless when he fired at a car Lowe had commandeered while trying to escape police.
Windrum, who had been in the force barely two years when the June 2004 incident happened, is defending the charge.
Another officer is understood to have been trying to wrestle Lowe from behind the steering wheel at the time of the shooting, but that is disputed by the defence.

While it's a good sign the police are prosecuting their rogue officers - unlike the 1980s when they could rape at will -- it seems the sick police culture is still alive and well.

But perhaps sickest of all is the current taser "trial".

The taser, which delivers 50,000 volts of compliance per shot, is designed to be a non-lethal means of subduing violent offenders.

The police are currently several months into the year-long trial , which unreassuringly is monitored by "internal review and audit processes".

To put it simply, how can the public have any faith in the results of this "trial" when the police simply ignore incidents like these?
An Auckland policeman attending a domestic dispute in Auckland accidentally blasted himself and a teenager with a Taser, before pepper-spraying an innocent woman....
An official police update of the Taser trial, published on October 17, made no mention of the constable firing five times, or missing his target, zapping himself or hitting the boy, the newspaper reported.

The Herald which reported the incident in the first place quoted police spin doctor Jon Nielson as saying that the fact a Taser had been fired more than once in a single incident, simply was not "relevant".

Speaking of cons.

Oh man that tear gas stings.... 

Fuck, I just got tear gassed by the damn Ecuadorian police department. Hey Correa, here's a policy platform, switch the type of gas used by the police, because the current brand really stings.

Just coming from Cuba, the only encounter I had with the police was to make sure that the motorcycle I was riding on wasn't stolen.

Two countries, two realities. Two political transitions well underway. Since Fidel did not show up for his birthday bash, there is no doubt that his era is over. A long time ago the leader became a legend, but now he is just a legend.

While Castro did not attend his birthday bash there was a letter sent to congradulate Hugo Chavez on his victory. Some argue that if the man can dictaphone a letter to the press then he could make a phone call or appear in public.

I'm not so sure. My reckoning is that Fidel is quite ill and is not so much on the mend as he is fighting for his life. The approach in Cuba is to let him lie quiet, display the old triumphant photos and parades and speeches. Better than than dragging a sick man infront of the cameras. But western society demands it. Look at the passing of Pope Juan Paul II. That poor guy was dragged around like circus exhibit before he passed. To me the Cuban approach is much more humane.

But where does the future lie? No one knows. And really, that's the damn problem. The new Cuban era does not have a plan of action per se, nor do they have an idea on how to make one. It will be interesting to see what evolves over the next while. But rest assured these are new leadership days in Cuba but with the same social programs that defines and holds the country together.

Now for Ecuador. I'm not saying another word on them until they changed their tear-gas brand. Goddamn this stings.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bloody Hell 

It's been a while since I posted. School holidays start on Friday!!!!!!!!!!!! Well for some they already have.

I'm off to Korea for three weeks in January so will send a few dispatches from there on what has changed in the 2 years I've been away. Not much I expect apart froma bit of a tidy up here and there.

I support McCullum. Murali, you plonker, you are out in the same way that somebody plays a careless shot and gets caught. They can't turn around and say "I didn't mean to do that, I had a brain explosion", or "I didn't mean to hit it there".

And a belated "much respect" to the Kiwis. A fantastic game where I couldn't feel disappointed at the end. Well not toooo disappointed because I could see they gave it everything. Even Phil Gould the worlds biggest dickhead had nice things to say about the game and the Kiwis.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dinkas Memorial Cricket Coverage 

Bond's first test at Lancaster Park, err - Jade Stadium, immediately produces two wickets, with the Sri Lankans reduced to 17/2. Promising! Great to get Jayasuriya, who averages 41 in tests, and Sangakkara, who is even more impressive with an average of 49. You're not on the subcontinent now, boys.

I see the "James Franklin Strike Force"(TM) has also been selected, and no doubt will soon be getting amongst them.

Update: I will no longer try to take the piss out of James Franklin. Overall, he bowled well. Very well after lunch. Reasonable start to the NZ innings too: currently 31/1. I'm hoping that Sinclair will make the most of this opportunity, because it's now or never for him, and he can be an awesome attacking batsman.

Good team effort so far ... I guess Vettori will be looking to make a contribution with the bat, as per the observations of Dinkas and other about his average in recent seasons.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Candle-lit dinners from now on 

Further to my outpouring of budgetary anguish yesterday, comes the joyous news that electricity prices are to be hiked yet again. Gives a new meaning to "would the last person out of New Zealand please turn out the lights", a line repeated ad nauseum by those who bewail the supposed departure of NZers to Australia and other greener pastures.

Ms_Red and I will be doing our bit to create a North Korean style night-time landscape by simply switching off everything that uses electricity. Candle-light dinners! Sitting round the warm glow of the fireplace! Heating kettles above the fireplace before bathing! Getting someone to deliver big blocks of ice in lieu of a fridge! Counting flowers on the wall! It will be so romantic.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, Just Don't Smoke Near Me 

National Party associate health spokesman Dr Jonathan Coleman was punched while being hosted by British American Tobacco at last weekend's U2 concert in Auckland after he allegedly blew cigar smoke at a woman.
Coleman's behaviour and the political judgement of a health spokesman accepting hospitality from a tobacco company are likely to throw a shadow over John Key's first week as National Party leader. But Key has played down the incident, saying he would not play "mother hen" to his MPs. Coleman, a former GP, was unwilling to talk about the incident, but three witnesses - including Bud Latham, the man who says he punched Coleman in the face - said the MP's behaviour at the Mt Smart Stadium concert was unacceptable.
Latham, a director of Latham Construction, whose corporate box was next to British American Tobacco's, said Coleman lit up a "12-inch Cuban cigar" in a balcony area and was being "obnoxious" before he punched him.
Latham's sister-in-law, who did not want to be named, told the Sunday Star-Times someone in her box called Coleman a "w--ker" for lighting up in a crowded area, which prompted him to blow smoke in their direction. She squirted water at the cigar to put it out and asked him to stop.

OK so National is in the tobacco pouch of insidious big business - no surprises there.

What I don't get is why the media is harrassing poor old Dr Coleman for blazing down a cigar?
Smokefree Coalition director Mark Peck said Coleman showed "an unbelievable lapse in judgment" in accepting hospitality from BAT's corporate box.
"I'm also amazed a GP who has seen the ravages of tobacco-related illnesses would smoke and subject others to his second-hand smoke.

Shouldn't the media's glare be focussed squarely upon these killjoy gits complaining about others smoking at a rock concert?
Coleman said he was not a regular smoker although he had a cigar "about once a year". "I happened to be in a BAT (British American Tobacco) box and there happened to be cigars there. I lit it and the next thing I knew I was covered in water."
The Sunday Star-Times reported that Coleman had been squirted after blowing cigar smoke in a woman's face. As the dispute escalated he was punched in the face.

Jesus Christ it's a rock concert, if you can't handle a little smoke then you're too old to be there, fuck off.

They're the same sort of people that tell others to sit down at Rolling Stones concerts.
The two-hour Rolling Stones live show has turned into the home straight. First to 'Paint It Black' and then '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction', the masses on the slopes of Western Springs Stadium get to their feet and sway and clap and sing along.
Except, that is, for the people behind us, with their picnic blankets and whatever, who spend the entire time - all of 'Satisfaction' - reclining at virtually full length, throwing twigs at our backs and making whiny, pointed comments because we, like the people in front of us, have had the temerity to block their precious view by standing up at a rock 'n' roll show.
What kind of ninny behaves like that?....I'm sorry people, but please take your mortgage-belt baby-boomer sense of entitlement and fuck off to the video store before scuttling home for a quiet night in.


Now on a lighter note - talk about being blind drunk.
A Hamilton man with just five per cent sight took the wheel of a car from a drunk driver and was guided by a drunk passenger.
They crashed.

So much for that campaign saying that if you don't drink and drive you're a bloody legend.

$92 doesn't buy what it used to 

Our electricity bill for November was $92. $92!!!! This for the privilege of running the fridge and freezer, and turning on the lights after 8.30 pm. Well fuck me. A month during which our heaters, electric blankets and dehumidifiers sat silently in their boxes, wherein they had been placed in anticipation of summer. We might as well pull the fuckers out again, and plug them in 24/7, because (a) it's still fucking cold and (b) it would only cost us another $30/month. (We were paying roughly $120/mo in winter).

And while I'm on the topic, what's with the fucking unrelenting wind in Auckland? Six fucking weekends in a row. And the weekdays haven't exactly been still either.

At this point I'm about ready to choose a weekend in Suva over another one in Auckland. It's exactly a year since we were sunning ourselves in the blistering heat of the Sunshine Coast. Unable to sleep at night due to unrelenting heat in fact. Now it's sweatpants, slippers and the winter douvet.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Nice to know tobacco lobbying is still alive and well! It all sounds so 1980s!

And now for an artists' impression of the Smokin' Jon Coleman Affair:

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Viva Correa, Feliz Cumpleanos Fidel 

And Dale Correa wins the show in Ecuador.

I'm in Cuba right now, and people are peeing their pants with excitment that another non-U.S.-alligned leader takes the helm in South America.

It's going to be an interesting six months for Mr. Correa, as there are many groups in Ecuador that are deadset on proving him to be a corrupt puppet of a broader communist plot. The term Cuban-Venezuelan imperialism has come up a couple of times. Good gawd, imagine the awful consequences of affordable energy and free medicine terrorizing the hills in an emperial storm.

Tomorrow Fidel Castro will enjoy his birthday cake, about 4 months after his actual birthday.

The old man is looking old these days. Rumour has it that he's going to come back and give a speech.

Will he stand to say, "Ahh the first 80 years were a good laugh, just watch what I'll do with the next 80." Or will he say, "You guys seem to be managing well on your own. Over to you, while I take a wee nap."

Well BIR fans, tune in next time, where I'll broadcast semi-live from la Plaza de La Revolucion.


Friday, December 01, 2006

It's good not to be a Russian 

It's good not to be a Russian, but first things first.

So, Sonny Bill Williams is ready to take over the reigns as the Kiwi's captain huh...
SONNY Bill Williams has been touted as the next New Zealand Test captain - and the 21-year-old Bulldogs star says he is ready to assume a leadership role.
With Ruben Wiki, Nigel Vagana and Stacey Jones announcing their international retirements after last Saturday night's golden-point Tri-Nations final loss, the Kiwis have lost a wealth of experience. Williams admitted that he and the likes of Wests Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall would have to step up next season to help fill the void.

....This begs the question - how the fuck are you supposed to captain a team that you don't even play for?

At the end of the last two seasons ol' Sonny has needed "urgent" off-season surgery for injuries which prevented him from playing the in the Tri-Nations tournament.

Injuries that convieniently didn't prevent him playing in end of season Bulldogs club matches.....

I wonder what Wiki would do in the same situation?

Meanwhile, British Airways is having to contact 33,000 passengers who travelled on the same planes that Russian president's Vladimir Putain (deliberate sic) radioactive material-toting henchmen carried to England to poison/murder his enemies.
A quarter of the 221 flights made by the three British Airways short-haul 767 aircraft between 25 October and 29 November were between London and Moscow.
British Airways said it had contacted 5,500 customers and made information about affected flights available on its website.
"The advice we have been given so far is that the health risk to anyone who has travelled on any of the three aircraft at the centre of the issue around radiation exposure is deemed to be low," it said in a statement.
BA said it was not its role to give medical advice, but referred passengers to medical service NHS Direct.

And more prominent Russians are dropping like flies:
Doctors treating former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, who is gravely ill, believe he was poisoned, an aide said today."Doctors don't see a natural reason for the poisoning and they have not been able to detect any natural substance known to them" in Gaidar's body, spokesman Valery Natarov said.

And don't forget about the Russian investigative journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who was a fierce critic of Putin Russia's abuses in Chechnya, who convieniently got shot in the face by an assassin on Putin's birthday earlier this year.
She also wrote a book critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military campaign in Chechnya, documenting widespread abuse of civilians by government troops.
And she was a persistent critic of Chechnya's Moscow-backed prime minister, Ramzan Kadyrov, accusing his security forces of kidnapping and torturing civilians.
"Whenever the question arose whether there is honest journalism in Russia, almost every time the first name that came to mind was Politkovskaya," said Oleg Panfilov, director of the Moscow-based Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations.

Brings a whole new meaning to Happy birthday Mr President doesn't it.

So, on behalf of Russian freedom fighters everywhere I'd like to take this oppurtunity to say... fuck you Putin you piece of shit.

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