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

Monday, July 30, 2007

On not toeing the anti-government line 

You'd think a Minister had never resigned in disgrace / been pushed out before.

10 Ministers have been so disposed of during 8 years of the Labour-led government, including some who have been re-appointed, in whole (Ruth Dyson), or in part (Dover Samuels), and some who are long forgotten (Phillida Bunkle).

Cue a media field-day about the ruthless PM and a government in crisis.

Quick history lesson: how many Ministers were dismissed during the chaotic final 3-year term of the last National Government? Y'know the one that started with the unlikely combination of Bolger and Peters, and ended in the high farce of Shipley, Mauri Pacific, Mana Wahine, and so on?

I can't seem to find a list anywhere, so I'm going to build one from memory and a bit of looking around. In no particular order:

1. Neil Kirton
2. Tuariki John Delamere
3. Winston Peters*
4. Deborah Morris
5. Brian Donnelly*
6. Jim Bolger (rolled as leader)

Other possibilities:

7. Robyn McDonald (Minister outside Cabinet?)

* = Stuck with NZFirst after the purge/collapsge of August 1998.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yeah, this makes sense 

To stop students from hitting teachers we are going to hit them instead.

The reason for students becoming more violent is for several reasons and thinking belting them is going to solve it is a bit like proposing we arm all dairy owners and they blow shoplifters heads off every time they see one. Sure it may cut down on shoplifting a fair bit but then it may also result on shoplifters blowing the shopkeepers brains out first and the rest of us carrying AK47s into the dairy just in case we are mistakenly seen pocketing a peanut slab.

I doubt very much that kids whack their teacher because they don't get the strap anymore. It's more because they are watching a bit too much crap on TV, their parents belt them around or verbally run them down, or their teacher is an authoritarian, or pisspoor at talking to children of that particular age group. Confrontations in the classroom are easy as hell to get into. The trick is to avoid them. A lot of the time the school will be to blame by not having enough support systems in place ie. the ability for the teacher to remove misbehaving students from the class with little fuss. Every school in NZ should have this facility, and if not then the government must make it a requirement. I got rid of 5 students from my classes on Friday alone for anti social behaviour. They bugger off and if these removals build up they get stood down from school. It also means the rest of the class gets the message (if they needed it) and we can get on with the lesson.

Went to the Warriors game last night and got the result we should have. They made a few silly errors but lets be honest, they played a crap side and flogged their pants off. There's no point playing it like its 0-0 with 5 minutes to go when it's 30-4 with 40 minutes to go. We now move into 4th spot and at worst will be 5th by the end of the round. Highlights of the night were Vatuvei running 80 metres to score after dc_red had just dissed him and Steve Price scoring with room to spare from 55 metres.

I think the top 8 will stay as it is. The Rabbitohs are realistically the only team that can sneak in. From 10th down will most likely be 2-4 points outside the 8 and with time running out they would need to basically win 4 from 5 or 5 from 5 to get in.

I think a reasonably accurate prediction of the Warriors final position is this:
Win 5 from 5 and they will finish 3rd, win 4 from 5 and they will finish 4th. Win 3 from 5 and they might still finish 4th but 5th would be more likely. Win 2 from 5 and they will finish about 7th or 8th. Win 1 from 5 and they finish 9th.

They should win all their games with the possible exception of the Sea Eagles. I also picture them losing away to the Roosters or Raiders. And maybe if theres not much riding on the Panthers game in the last week they could lose that but to be honest, they should win every game from here on out. They are fully fit, playing very good football against sides who have players missing, and who aren't going so well. Something has to go pretty wrong for things to fuck up for them.

word out...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Round 20, already 

Raiders v Panthers - Raiders (home advantage separates two dire sides)

Roosters v Storm - Storm (who'd bet against them?)

Warriors v Knights - Warriors (they'd better win - I'm going and don't want to bare witness to another loss)

Dragons v Doggies - The most hated team.

Rabbitohs v Titans - Titans

Broncs v Sharks - Broncs

Eels v Eagles - what a sweet match-up. Normally I'd go with the Eagles, but home advantage often counts for something. Eels.

Tigers v Cowboys - Cowboys. A big call but they shouldn't lose three on the trot.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Classic Inside the Beltway Issue? 

I doubt I'm the only one who really can't be bothered to give a flying fuck about this issue. Does anyone outside the beltway, and the commentariat 1 2, really give a damn? Should they?

Maybe it's a welcome break from the usual media diet of rugby, rugby, weather, rugby, weather, netball, and "build up to the 2011 world cup"(TM) ... but more likely the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders have other things to think about. Like work. Or painting the wardrobe. Or taking the car for its warrant. To name a few things that are occupying my mind at the moment. Not very exciting by most standards, but scintillating compared to the latest drama out of Wellington?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

People are going to think we were stupid 

When looking back in ten years time, and noting that a song about one woman's need for her umbrella was at #1 for over 10 weeks. Making it the most chart-topping song since Wet Wet Wet's "Love is all around" in 1994 (15 weeks: from the soundtrack to Four Weddings if I recall). The inane nature of Rihanna's lyrics won't go unnoticed either ... but goddam I'm the first to admit the tune's catchy.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Warrior Town 

Another good win making it 5 from the last 6, or 142 from their last 306 depending on how you want to look at it.

They have moved into 6th spot on points differential over the Bulldogs and Tigers. And if the Eels beat the Broncos by more than 13 tomorrow then they will move into 5th. It's so tight though that a couple of consecutive losses can mean a fall of several places and likewise with a couple of wins.

However even if the Warriors lose next week at home to the Knights they will still be in the top 8 so they are starting to get a solid hold on things.

They should beat the Knights though and go within a couple of wins of booking their playoff spot. I've used the NRL ladder predictor and its possible that 24 points will get a playoff spot so long as your for and against record is good.

Anyway, the run home...

6th Warriors (20)
Knights (H)
Roosters (A)
Titans (H)
Raiders (A)
Sea Eagles (H)
Panthers (A)

now as finishing stretches go that's about as easy as it gets in the NRL. Only one game against a team in the top 8. If all the matches go to form the Warriors should win 5 from 6, finish on 30 points and probably get a home semi final. I'd be surprised if they don't drop one or two though, most likely away to the Raiders and maybe away to a resurgent Roosters or Panthers in the last game if they have already booked their spot.

For the Warriors to miss the playoffs with that run home when they are in 6th spot now would require the biggest fuckup since the invasion of Iraq.

Of the teams around them this is what they face:

4th Cowboys (22)
Tigers (A)
Raiders (H)
Panthers (A)
Dragons (H)
Knights (A)
Bulldogs (H)

Now the Cowboys should be alright with that lot, but they won't want to lose next week or they will be right back in the pack.

5th Broncos (20) game in hand
Eels (H)
Sharks (H)
Sea Eagles (H)
Storm (A)
Bulldogs (H)
Raiders (A)
Eels (A)

Is that the worst run home you've ever seen or what?!

7th Bulldogs (20)
Dragons (A)
Eels (H)
Raiders (H)
Broncos (A)
Storm (H)
Cowboys (A)

That's bloody brilliant for the Warriors. They could drop any of those games with the exception of the Raiders.

8th Tigers (20)
Cowboys (H)
Titans (A)
Roosters (H)
Sharks (A)
Rabbitohs (H)
Knights (H)

A similar draw to the Warriors. They should win most and threaten for the top 4 but after being totally outplayed by the Warriors on home soil today maybe not?

It seems that several of the sides around the Warriors are going to beat the shit out of each other so even if we drop games they will be dropping them too.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Warriors Hopes 

They look good for a playoff spot at the moment but of course it will only take a loss this weekend to get us worried again.

A loss and a Knights win will see us slip back to 9th. A win will see us leap frog the Tigers and Bulldogs both on points differential up into 6th spot.

The Warriors have a decent run home whereas those sides around them aren't so lucky. The Sharks and Titans look like the wheels have fallen off to a point where they can't even find them let alone put them back on. The Broncos have been on a roll but have a shit run home. And they've lost Lockyer which pretty much rules them out of defending their title. Their saving grace might be that they have three games on the trot at home and if they can guts out wins there then they might make the playoffs with weeks to spare.

The Bulldogs also have a harder run home though I really must check these things properly rather than go off memory.

I'm picking the ABs to win 22-12 at Eden Park tonight. Aussie could win but I can't see it. It's more likely that the ABs would slaughter them than that happening.

And it will all mean nothing for the World Cup. Aussie have losy 16 straight away from home against NZ, South Africa and France over the last 4 years and are generally crap away from home all the time. But these two years might point to how little that all means. 1991 and 1999.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This really puts the 'massive' All Blacks in perspective. Imagine if word got out around the sporting world what they were paid. People would shit their pants laughing.

Nelsen top Kiwi scorer on pay ladder
By COEN LAMMERS - The Press Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Ryan Nelsen's new five-year deal with Blackburn Rovers has anchored his place as the highest-paid New Zealand sportsperson.

Blackburn Rovers insiders believe the new contract puts the Rovers captain on 55,000 to 60,000 a week, which equates to about $NZ8 million a year.

With the average All Black contract thought to be worth about $250,000, the Christchurch footballer could be earning more than an entire All Blacks squad of 22 players.

Other top Kiwi earners are Indy car driver Scott Dixon on $4.5m and NBA bench-warmer Sean Marks on $1.7m, while golf caddie Steve Williams is believed to have picked up 5 per cent of Tiger Woods's $US9.9m winnings on last year's United States PGA Tour, which adds up to $NZ630,000.

Nelsen's new contract vindicates his decision to leave a promising cricket career and focus on football.

"They thought I was mad," Nelsen told The Press in 1999. "Their reaction was, 'What's the future in soccer?"'

Eight years later, the "mad" footballer earns considerably more than the entire Black Caps squad or the best-paid cricketers in the world.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Phones, Internet, HDD Media Players and McD's 

We've just purchased a wee HDD media player with a 320 GB hard drive in it for watching downloaded movies on the TV and so far kind of so good. For those that don't know you put downloaded movies onto this device and plug it into your TV. You can then scroll through folders on screen and play whatever you have downloaded. The number of movies you can fit onto it depends on the GB's you have but with 320 we should be able to store over 200 movies without much trouble. The downsides are so far that our machine won't support Korean subtitles. They come out as scrambled gibberish. Also occasionally you get a file with a few bugs and the picture quality will be poor for a while, or the sound will turn to people talking under water but by and large the sound quality and picture quality is about what you'd get if you rented the film on video after it had been rented a dozen times. Sometimes its even up to dvd standard. Can't complain though when its free and you don't have to move your arse off the couch at all. Just watch it get fatter.

Although that would be hard since I've spent 3 days so far making a fence at the front of our place.

But on the internet and phones. We switched to slingshot for our landline last week after deciding that 56 dollars a month with Telecom to call out and receive the odd call was a fucking ripoff. But since joining slingshot we can't receive any calls. The phone rings once and then cuts out. I've talked to them and they don't know what's wrong yet and I'm supposed to call back tonight. Cheers guys. useless bastards.

It also takes several hours to download a movie with our 'broadband' connection. Once or twice it miraculously did it in an hour but often it takes up to 10 hours to get the required files. Compare that to Korea where you can sometimes download movies in a little over 5 minutes.

And the reason? Something called high population density and something else called COMPETITION! Things are definately getting better in NZ but its at such a snails pace. After having spent a lot of time in Korea it is bloody depressing how crap we are at times. I just have to remind myself that at least I can drive off to a beach when I want and by living in a sprawling burb city I can choose from a few different parks within walking distance.

Seoul Most Wired Worldwide

By Kim Tae-gyu
Staff Reporter
Every household in and around Seoul is hooked up to high-speed Internet services, with the penetration rate exceeding 100 percent in May. According to the Ministry of Information and Communication Sunday, 14.3 million out of the country's 15.9 million households nationwide are linked to broadband Internet connections as of May.

In particular, Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province posted 106.8 percent and 100.7 percent in the broadband penetration rate, respectively. Incheon, also encircled by Gyeonggi Province, came in third with 99.2 percent.

"The average broadband penetration rate at the capital territories including Incheon and Gyeonggi Province surpassed 100 percent," said an official at the Information Ministry.

"This means every household in the area gets access to high-speed Internet connections. Seoul and its vicinity are most wired in the globe," he said.

The country's two landline operators KT, and Hanaro Telecom have spearheaded the introduction and propagation of the high-speed Internet through a two-way rivalry.

The runner-up player Hanaro ignited the competition in 1999 by embarking on the asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) for the first time in history. Hanaro garnered notable success with the world's first genuine high-speed Internet service that offered the always-on connectivity to subscribers.

Spurred by Hanaro, the business bellwether KT followed suit shortly thereafter, thus sparking the sign-up blitz with affordable prices. This played a pivotal role for the rapid penetration of the Internet.
However, there is a flip side of the much-hailed broadband success.

Although Seoul and the surrounding regions boast of 100 percent usage rates of the Internet, the figures are very low in some areas, the problem called geographical digital divide. In South Jeolla Province, the penetration rate was merely 58.4 percent in May for the worst record followed by 69 percent at North Gyeongsang Province.

"We will continue to put forth efforts to spread the Internet into the rural areas or islands so that residents there can also enjoy the high-speed Internet," the anonymous official said.
And guess what?
Even McDonalds is fucking us over! If all the fucking ingredients are "made in New Zealand" then how come it costs so much? It isn't a plasma screen TV coming from north eastern China.
Korea Ranks 16th in 'Big Mac' Index

By Kim Yoo-chul
Staff Reporter
Britain's 'Economis' magazine reported that the South Korean won is undervalued against the U.S. dollar by 8 percent according to the internationally viable, and self-penned, "Big Mac" index to measure currency discrepancies.

The article stated that a Big Mac in South Korea costs $3.14, which is the 16th highest in price among 47 countries surveyed. The hamburger in the United States costs $3.41.

The top price for a Big Mac was recorded in New Zealand ($5.89) followed by Switzerland ($5.20), Denmark ($5.08), Sweden ($4.80), the Eurozone average ($4.17) and Turkey ($3.66).

The cheapest price for the burger was in China at $1.45. The magazine reported that the Chinese currency, the yuan, is undervalued against the dollar by 58 percent.

The Big Mac index, introduced by The Economist in 1986, is based on the notion that a currency's price should reflect its Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

The Big Mac parity is the exchange rate, which means the hamburger costs the same abroad as it does in the United States. Comparing actual exchange rates with PPPs indicates whether a currency is overvalued or undervalued.
To be honest though I think somebody may actually have their figures arse about tit. If it is $5.89 US then that would make it about 8 dollars NZ which it sure as shit isn't. Do they calculate it some other way?

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

How to smoke on a plane ... and get away with it 

Well, some bugger just did it on my flight to Singapore. In the toilets close to where I was sitting too. And repeatedly (4-5 occasions I'd estimate). The smoker displayed a fair amount of cunning, and I never worked out who it was, other than narrowing it down to a few guys.

The trick, as far as I can ascertain, is to go in to the toilet, do your business, and then light your smoke and take 1, perhaps 2, drags, before extinguishing it, putting it away, opening the door and returning to your seat at haste. By the time the smoke wafts out to the nearby passengers and/or crew, you're long gone ... possibly sitting in your seat with a smug, nicotine-aided smile.

I was surprised that none of the Singapore Girls seemed too alarmed by it all, despite them commenting on the smoke at least 3 or 4 times. Perhaps they've seen it all before? In the movies (admittedly, the American ones) the plane is always stormed by the FBI or something when someone lights up on board.

Close but no cigar for the Warriors I see (courtesy of the free internet here in Changi International).

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Seventy Seven New Zealand Players in the NRL 

The title pretty much sums it up but what I have below is an up to date list of all the NZ eligible players in the NRL plus others in various categories. I'd like to have a list of all NZ players currently in the NRL who have actually taken the field this year or in previous years but it's really hard to keep up with things. Some clubs have literally hundreds of players on their books and their premier squads of 25 players don't mean that they can only pick those guys for first grade. There are others who come and go. Then of course there are players born in NZ but are essentially Aussies and players born in the islands but who may or may not have lived in NZ before getting a contract in Aussie. It's all very confusing and hard to find out due to there being piss all known about a lot of these recent arrivals on the scene. I'll add to the list or tinker around with it if I find any mistakes or things to add.

Anyway, the stats say (thus far) SEVENTY SEVEN NZers have either played in the NRL this year or last year. If I count every NZer on the fringe we get to 93. Both lists are growing as well, as I find out more. That's roughly nineteen percent of players in the NRL depending on how you calculate it.

So stick that up your arse Mark Geyer who thinks Aussie doesn't owe us anything and they've been giving us a helping hand for years. You reckon you can find 77 reserve grade Aussies good enough to fill those spots next week? That's three full squads so fuck it, give us three teams in your competition.

Greg Eastwood (b. Auckland – Manurewa)
John Te Reo (b. Wellington – Wainuiomata)
Andrew Lomu (b. Sydney but played for Kiwis through parents)

Ben Roberts (b. Sydney but played for Kiwis through parents)
Matthew Utai (b. Auckland)
Sonny Bill Williams (b. Auckland – Marist)
Tim Winitana (b. Wellington)
Billy Ngawini (b. Auckland - Papakura Sea Eagles)
Lee Te Maari (b. Tokoroa)

Glen Turner (b. Christchurch – Linwood)
Jason Williams (b. Auckland – Marist)

David Faiumu (b. Wellington – Wainuiomata)
Sione Faumuina (b. Auckland – Glenora)
Toshio Laiseni (b. Tonga – Otahuhu Leopards)

Steve Matai (b. Auckland – Ponsonby)
Jack Afamasaga (b. Wellington)

Adam Blair (b. Whangarei – Northland Carvers)
Sam Tagataese (b. Lower Hutt – Hutt Valley Marists)
Ryan Shortland (b. Masterton)
Matt Rua (b. Auckland – Waitemata)
Paletasala Ale (b. Auckland - Auckland Lions)
Sika Manu (b. Wellington)

George Carmont (b. Auckland – Otahuhu)
Cooper Vuna (b. Auckland)
Terrence Seuseu (b. NZ)
Jesse Royal (b. Waikato)
Marvin Karawana (b. Wellington)

Nathan Cayliss (b. Australia but has played for the kiwis)
Fui Fui Moimoi (b. Auckland – Mt Albert)
Krisnan Inu (b. Apia but has played for the Kiwis)
Aaron Cannings (b. Auckland)
Weller Hauraki (b. Dannevirke - Levin Knights)

Frank Pritchard (b. Sydney but has played 8 tests for the Kiwis)
Tony Puletua (b. Auckland)
Frank Puletua (b. Auckland)
Mark Meredith (b. Samoa – played for Junior Kiwis)
Junior Moors (b. Auckland)

Fraser Anderson (b. Auckland – East Coast Bays)
Luke Covell (b. Australia but available for the Kiwis due to a Kiwi father)
Phillip Leuluai (b. Auckland – Otahuhu)
Misi Taulapapa (b. Auckland – Marist)
Henry Perenara (b. Auckland - New Lynn)

Roy Asotasi (b. Auckland – Marist)
David Fa’alogo (b. Auckland – Mt Albert)
Joe Galuvao (b. Auckland – Manurewa)
David Kidwell (b. Christchurch – Hornby)
Jeremy Smith (b Huntly)
Nigel Vagana (b. Auckland – Richmond)
Isaac Luke (b. Hawera - Hawera Hawks)

Lagi Setu (b. New Zealand)
Rangi Chase (Dannevirke Tigers)
Ben Ellis (Turangi Dambusters)
Ricky Thorby (b. New Zealand - Central Falcons)

Sam Perrett (b. Auckland)
Iosia Soliola (b. Auckland – Ponsonby)
Vince Mellars (b. Petone – Petone)

Paul Whatuira (b. Wellington – Wainuiomata)
Taniela Tuiaki (b. Auckland)
Benji Marshall (b. Whakatane)
Dene Halatau (b. Invercargill)
Bronson Harrison (b. Auckland)
Ben Te'o (b. New Zealand)

Jake Webster (Melbourne but has played for the Kiwis)

Patrick Ah Van (b. Auckland – Te Atatu)
Simon Mannering (b. Napier – Wellington Orcas)
Manu Vatuvei (b. Auckland – Otahuhu)
Jerome Ropati (b. Auckland – Marist)
Louis Anderson (b. Dargaville – East Coast Bays)
Wairangi Koopu (b. Opotiki – Taniwharau)
Epalahame Lauaki (Waitemata)
Corey Lawrie (b. Christchurch – Canterbury Bulls)
Sam Rapira (b. Hamilton – Hukanui)
Logan Swann (b. Auckland – Mt Wellington)
Evarn Tuimavave (b. Auckland – Richmond)
Ruben Wiki (b. Auckland – Otahuhu)
Nathan Fien (b. Mount Isa…grannygate anyone?)
Lance Hohaia (b.Hamilton – Taniwharau)

On the Warriors books but haven’t debuted
Malo Solomona (Richmond)
Miguel Start (Pakuranga)
Isaac John (Waicoa Bay Stallions)
Daniel O’Regan (b. Auckland)
Leeson Ah Mau
Sonny Fai (b. Auckland – Counties Manukau Jetz)
Roman Hifo
Scott Jones (Bay Roskill)
Wayne McDade (Richmond)
Russell Packer (Central Falcons)
Constantine Mika (Otahuhu)

Players in other NRL clubs who haven't debuted yet (that I know of)

Hanan Laban (b. Lower Hutt)
Tim Natusch (b. Wellington)

Karl Johnson (b. NZ – Taniurharall)

Brackin Karauria-Henry (b. Auckland – Halswell)

Liam Foran

NZ BORN (but traitors)
Karmichael Hunt (b. Auckland)
Tonie Carroll (b. Christchurch)
Brad Thorn (b. Dunedin)
Willie Mason (b. Auckland)

At least thirty seven players in the NRL were born in Auckland. Not bad. I'd say that would be not too far off Brisbane born players and obviously behind Sydney by some margin.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

New loser, new winner 

To Duncan Garner: you are a complete fuckwit, an indictment on the pure crap TV3 news has become, and your garbled (and now painfully predictable) rants against the government are parochial shit. You have lost all shred of journalist integrity, and are congenitally incapable of providing a fair overview of political issues. "Fair" does not mean bleeting like a blue-ribbon wearing sheep, "labour baaaaa-d, national gooooo-d." Why don't you start turning your sorry-arse career by asking what the resurgent National Party stands for, other than tax cuts, and what effects (good or ill) its policies might have? Perhaps that would be too much for a man of your obviously limited intellectual and professional capabilities. Paul Henry looks talented and well-spoken next to you.

To Wade McKinnon: you are a bloody legend, well played mate!

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm So Old School... 

I used to rent the NSWRL video tapes from Ranui in 1988.

That's 19 years ago fools!

Beat that mofo's!

Oh my god I'm so old.... ayyyhaaa haaa, boo hooo...

Good on the Warriors for a damn good away performance. That Titans are a very good team.

And the Ab v Aussie ref (Kaplin) summed up rugby plain and simple. A referee is the centre of attention in that sport and if the core is rotten then the whole is infested.

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