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Friday, May 29, 2009

NRL Round 12 

Alrighty, Round 11 preoduced my biggest win of the season to day - $206 collect with the Dragons 13+ and the Titans and Manly being drawn at half time.

At the start of the seasonI thought I would increase returns by taking the team I backed to be ahead at both half and full time.

The number of matches which are drawn at half time is simply incredible and at $8.50 for that option i've decided to increasingly take that option when two teams of a roughly equal calibre are playing.

Round 12 Tip 1:


$10 = $250

Tip 2:

Bulldogs 12 and under
Raiders +6.5

$10 = $110

Tip 3:

Tigers 13+
Raiders +4.5

$10 = $133

Thursday, May 28, 2009


She’ll chew you up, spit you out and likely fuck Reggie while Jughead films it. 

Yeah, it looks like Archie is going to propose to Veronica this summer. 


This has trouble written all over it.  He’ll chase her every need, become more jaded with every condescending request from the in-laws, always be made to feel less worthy, and he’ll be reminded, time and time again, that he doesn’t come from old money. 

When his mates want to go for a beer, he’ll likely say ‘no.’  Not because he doesn’t want to, but because there is likely a busy Saturday of Bed Bath & Beyond that the Mrs. lined up for him.  That, or a baby shower that she’s suckered him into attending.  The truth is, he wouldn’t be able to raise his pathetic head to look at his buddies square in the eye over a beer anyway.  He’ll barely be able to live with himself.

But imagine a life with Betty?  Ahh, I can just see the relaxed canoe trips on the lake together.  She’d probably all ready prepared sandwiches, spiked the lemonade with a bit of vodka, and all she’d want in return?  A little kink on the lake.  It’s actually a blast to do it in a canoe.  

Veronica would be at the front of the canoe, likely reading a glamour mag, and I’m sure as Archie is reaching over to grab the cell phone to make lunch reservations, the thought of whacking her insurance-policy-loaded head with a canoe paddle would be fiercely tempting for him.

There’s no doubt how this is going to end.  Archie will change, feeling the weight of the world crush him into frequent bouts of closet binge drinking.  Veronica will really have no idea why Archie can’t get it up after a year in to it, and thinking only for herself, she’ll likely feed the baby clock with Reggie on weekends. 

And as for heart-broken Betty?  She’ll try to pick herself up with a series of blokes all progressively worse than the one before.  It will start with the down on his luck toser, who just got laid off from the paper mill and whose grade 12 education can’t open a single door in Riverdale.  She’ll figure “ahh, at least he’ll never leave me.”  

But then she leaves him and goes for the large-type asshole who takes a shit with his blackberry in hand.  Once he leaves her, she’ll meet a collection of one-time flings at the bar, and a series of poorly planned internet dates, until she wakes up in her early thirties to realize, “my gawd, I’m a whore.”

You see, Archie.  You have a lot more than your immediate interests at stake here, you self-centred fuck.  Think about the big picture and save you and Betty from the nasty fates that lie ahead.

But you won’t.

No.  Moths are always attracted to fateful flames.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009


So Noh Moo Hyun tops himself.

Unfortunately the idea that he would do this crossed my mind a while back. It's the stock standard Korean response to life getting a bit too tough. Often of that persons making (like in this case) but often the making of others. On a personal level Koreans are warm, open, generous and devoted to friends and family. But as a society things don't often work so well as those outside personal circles are emotional and volatile towards those they don't know or don't care for.

He wasn't much of a president, he seemed to put his foot in it all the time and was a weak leader. And perhaps that's why we have ended up at this point. I was wondering to myself how on earth a leader of a populace nation could be weak enough to a) allow himself and his family to corrupt themselves (in the past yes, but not post Kim Dae jung) and b) not be able to face up to it, and take the easy way out but I guess looking back on his term as leader you can see what the trouble was all along. He was too soft. It's time leaders across all walks of life realise that if you fuck up in this day and age you WILL get found out and you will go down (the jerk who's on the run from Westpac being another case and point). So best to either stay clean in the first place or fess up and take it like a man.

Life's Short, Play Fair.

Peace Out.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

NRL - taste buds weekend 

Last weekend may have been the heritage weekend (the Warriors took it a bit far by playing like some of their sides from the late 90s).

But this week is "Taste Buds Weekend" because there are so many interesting matchups.

Here's how I see them...

Eels v Rabbitohs
Eels by 4
I'm not sure with this one. The Eels tried hard last week and have an OK side on paper (especially Hayne who was outstanding), but just don't seem to have much confidence. The Rabbitohs on the other hand don't have such a flash side on paper but are playing with tonnes of confidence. Home ground?

Tigers v Broncos
Broncos by 8
The Broncos hopefully saw a tape of the Storms game last week and will have seen the benchmark performance of the season for a side with title aspirations. At this time of the year they are always hit and miss but I'll go out on a limb and pick them.

Sharks v Dragons
Dragons by 10
The Dildo Sharks are on a massive losing streak. They are on drugs, booze, having sex orgies, handing out sex toys, and are beating up girlfriends and employees. This is a club that needs to be its own reality TV show. Forget playing footie to make bucks, they could hit the big screen.

Panthers v Roosters
Panthers by 10
I just love picking anybody v the Roosters. Especially a Roosters side this hopeless. I'm just about ready to start feeling sorry for them. Maybe next century. Oh no, hang on, that's only 91 years away now. Perhaps the one after.

Bulldogs v Storm
Storm by 6
This is arguably the clash of the year to date. The Bulldogs were robbed like you wouldn't believe last week while the Storm were so hot you'd spontaneously combust if you shook one of their hands after the game. They must have so much confidence right now that the Bulldogs will have their work cut out for them trying to dampen it down all night.

Raiders v Warriors
Raiders by 10
Even Ivan Cleary must be putting money on the Raiders in this game. They are so far off the pace in terms of recruitment, selection and form that its a wonder they'll even have the ability to find their way to the ground. Guts might get them over the line if the Raiders play like shit but probably not after the shellacking they got last time out.

Titans v Sea Eagles
Titans by 2
This should be another cracker. The Titans aren't going to be anybody's bitch (not for a while anyway) and the Sea Eagles have finally remembered last year. The Titans might scrape home in a very tight one.

Cowboys v Knights
Cowboys by 4
This shapes as another interesting clash. Both teams coming off big wins away. I think the Knights have the better side but Thurston will be the one to swing this game. If he's on form they'll get home, if not then the Knights could easily romp away with it.

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The issue that wouldn't die 

Who 'stole' Don Brash's emails? Now Labour is joining the old philanderer in calling for the Police file to be released in full. Said philanderer is muttering darkly about "political bias".

Methinks the trail leads very, very close to the top indeed. Say, about one step down from the top.

Zero Tolerence indeed.

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Whatever happened to... 

Police are hunting a couple thought to have fled the country with millions of dollars, after a banking error.

The couple, who ran a Rotorua service station, are understood to have applied to Westpac Bank for a $10,000 overdraft and mistakenly had $10 million paid into their account.

A Westpac spokesman today refused to confirm the amount mistakenly given to the couple, though said the bank was "pursuing vigorous criminal and civil action to recover the sum of money stolen".

He said human error was responsible for the couple's substantial windfall, not a systems error, and that the bank was reviewing its procedures.

Whatever happened to the old Monopoly principle: bank error in your favour??
Collect $50.

Not to mention finders keepers, losers weepers.

NRL Round 11 

Tip 1:


$10 = $349

Tip 2:

Tigers/Broncos draw at half and/or fulltime

$10 = $300

Tip 3:

Dragons 13+
Titans/Manly draw at half and or fulltime

$10 = $206

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Accuracy in reporting 

"'Ear-flick' father guilty of assault" bleats the Herald, with only 'scare quotes' to imply that ear-flicking was the least of it.

He actually punched his four-year old son in the face.

If you don't think that's assault, I suggest you ask someone 1m taller, and 60 kg heavier, than you to sneak up on you and deliver a full-blooded roundhouse to your chops.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The What's So Super 15 

News this week that the Super 14 is going to be completely overhauled and become the Super 15. OK, so maybe not really overhauled at all.

Apparently they are adding a team from Aussie and will move to a conference format where teams from each country play each other home and away while playing the teams from the other two countries once (5 home and 5 away). Bearing in mind we are still being kept in the dark here (this is standard practice by the NZRU who are about as open as the KGB) all that follows may be completely irrelevent, though in saying that there appears to be not much else they could do.

The up side to a conference system is more local derbies. In fact it would mean that 72% of all matches that a side plays will be in their home country compared to the current 62-70% (depends on number of home and away games). That will help TV ratings slightly as the games in SA are at times where nobody bothers to watch them and the same applies to games in OZ and NZ for them.

In terms of crowd numbers this year they look pretty awful. In NZ of the 33 matches I have figures for 29 of them though in a couple of cases they could be a bit off as the figures given were rounded off. The average has been 13,875 which is pretty horrific. Factoring the four crowds I don't have figures for (2 x Blues and 1 each for Crusaders and Highlanders) the average is probably in the low to mid 14,000s. Last year the average was 15,602. Compare that to 2002 when it was 22,862.

There are a few influences to look at here. The first is the recession. I think we have all realised that its not having much of an effect, perhaps it could be measured in the low hundreds. The NRL is averaging 17070 per match compared to 17260 after the same number of rounds as last year while the Warriors crowds are up.

The second thing that may be an influence is the start date of the Super 14. It is obviously too early for many to stomach with the theory that the crowds would pick up as the season went on. It's hard to measure precisely week to week because the number of games played in NZ is so variable. Most weeks there are 2 or 3 matches in NZ but in week 4 there were 4 while in weeks 2 and 12 there was only 1. That's another problem with this comp. Even when it's in the middle of the rugby season there are occasions when there is just one or two professional matches on NZ soil. It's a lot easier to hype something or follow it when there's actually something to go and watch.

Looking at the average from rounds 1 to 4 in NZ the crowd average was 11,181, rounds 5 to 9 it was 13,370 and from rounds 10-14 it was 19,458 (probably more like 18,000 if the missing crowd figures came in). The recent pickup can in a big part be put down to the Chiefs form with the sellout v the Hurricanes.

In Aussie the corresponding averages were 19,345, then 20,892 followed by 17,574. That would be a major concern across the ditch. The Aussie teams had pretty awful seasons which will explain the drop off but with there already being concerns about an extra team further diluting an already shallow player pool how many people will want to go watch a lower quality game?

In South Africa the averages were 34,766 early on, 23,296 through the middle and 24,574 towards the end though there are so many matches without crowd figures released (9 matches including 4 for the Lions who had fairly empty stadiums towards the end) that they aren't exactly robust.

So we have 3 different answers to the same question there. In NZ crowds clearly picked up, in Aussie they were relatively similar throughout while in South Africa they appear to have dropped somewhat. And I guess that would back up what NZ want (later season starts) and South Africa want (same start times or earlier).

The compromise apparently will see the comp start the first weekend of March.

and the final possible influence on crowd figures in NZ is the fact that Auckland and Christchurch are missing large parts of their grounds, most notably the best seats in the house. You'd guess that each venue would have attracted more folks along had half the season ticket holders not been turfed to the otherside of the ground which in turn moves other people or makes others not want to go as they are shifted to worse positions. Factor in the atmosphere which is obviously going to suffer and both sides could have seen crowds of 3 or 4 thousand more. Once the venues are complete they should be more attractive places to watch sport from and add to that Dunedin getting an enclosed stadium and things look fairly good for the rugby going public in NZ in those locations.

What was interesting to see though was the respective ticket prices in the 3 countries. Talk about economies of scale. In South Africa you can go watch a Super 14 for the same price that you'd buy a weekend newspaper in NZ ($1.89 for a Bulls ticket with the Sharks costing an absurdly expensive $8.51). The best seat in the house to the table topping Bulls game comes in at $20.80NZ. Whereas in Aussie the cheapest tickets will set you back the price of a couple dozen NZ beer or a couple of bottles of (cheapish) wine. For the Waratahs it's $24.87 for a cheap seat to watch a no frills side while a far corner nose bleeder for the Brumbies or Force will set you back a shocking $37.30 and if you want to sit with the rugby snobbery you're looking at an outrageous $80.88 for the Reds or Force.

In NZ the Blues could let you in for $12 if you took along a kid (preferably you're own and legally) while the cheapies elsewhere came in at $15 for the Chiefs, $20 for the Highlanders and Crusaders and $23 for the Hurricanes. The most expensive tickets would set you back $35 to $53.

I wonder what the crowds would be like if we adopted a SA approach and took 50-75% off our ticket prices. Surely they could look at doing something like that given much of their revenue comes from TV deals and marketing. And if grounds are getting soldout regularly you actually make people want to be part of it and either go along or make sure you are somewhere to watch it on the tellie?


Anyways, forgetting the crowds and looking back at the possible new format I've got a major concern with the playoff system. Obviously with 15 teams you need more sides in the playoffs to keep interest up. And from the sounds of it they are going to a 6 team playoff system. I'm assuming they will have separate points tables for each conference and the top 2 go through from each. This opens a massive can of worms. If you have 3 games in week 1 who plays who? You will have 3 top sides. If you take the two teams with the best record thats hardly fair given they wont have played the same teams the same number of times. The top Aussie side will always be at an advantage because they will be playing weaker opponents like the BOP Magic do in the trans tasman netball comp.

Having 3 separate pools may also means teams that are more like the 7th or 8th best teams in the comp go into the playoffs at the expense of others.

Whatever they come up with it will be flawed and cause much teeth nashing at the end of each season with situations worse than the current one where the Crusaders 8-1-4 beat the Waratahs 9-4 into the playoffs. Apparently bonus points are more important than winning.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Panda Diplomacy 

Never will those who wage war tire of deception
Sun Tzu – The Art of War

It was an unusually cool December’s day in Taipei when the precious and heavily-guarded cargo arrived aboard its flight from China.

Yet the icy wind at the airport went unnoticed by the assembled diplomats, soldiers and media.

They were caught up in the hype of the occasion, labeled a “historic thawing in the diplomatic relationship” between China and Taiwan by the international media, and too preoccupied with natural curiosity, to be thinking about the weather.

And as the cages were carefully unloaded from the plane, the crowd jostled for position and craned their necks, desperate to catch even a glimpse of Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan before they were taken into quarantine.

Millions more watched the scenes unfold live on television.

The two pandas, whose names combined meant ‘reunion’, had just arrived from Sichuan Province; marking the most significant development in China’s Panda Diplomacy program.

Ever since the civil war of 1949 when the Kuomintang Party and two million followers fled China and its Communist Party, establishing themselves in Taiwan and gaining international recognition, legitimacy and most crucially protection, the two nations had been the most bitter rivals.

For decades Taiwan sunned itself in the light of development and prosperity while its neighbour dwelled in the bitter and unceasing winter of communism.

With unconditional military backing from the United States, for years Taiwan had thumbed its nose at its monolithic motherland.

But for now these historical offences were put to one side, for Taipei was in the grip of Pandamania.

The Taipei Zoo website crashed daily as the hundreds of thousands of hits it received swamped its server, tickets to Panda Hall, the $10 million specialist enclosure, sold out weeks in advance, even stall holders at the zoo cashed in doubling, then tripling, the prices of their panda souvenirs.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan dutifully played their part – eating bamboo, canoodling in the enclosure, looking cute – biding their time, waiting for this humiliating public charade to end, and reap the glory rightfully theirs.

And end it did.

Six months after they arrived Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan made their move – the ruthlessly trained pandas, goring the face of their keeper with their teeth, slicing his throat with their terrible claws and making their escape from Panda Hall, from Taipei Zoo, and into the city.

Yuan Yuan made her way directly to the home of President Ma Ying-jeou, passing over the compound’s gate, slipping past the security detail, and climbing onto the balcony that led to his bedroom.

The President barely gasped as his ribs were ripped from their cage, snapped and gnawed upon in front of his horrified, dying eyes in Yuan Yuan’s furious attack.

As Yuan Yuan gorged herself on the President, Tuan Tuan had made his way to Taiwan’s military headquarters, similarly avoiding detection, and managing to reach the room housing Taiwan’s missile defense shield and radars.

Tuan Tuan plunged his claws in to the main circuitry board – as he felt the surge of electricity contract his muscles and the smell of his cooking meat, he took heart that he would surely reap his promised reward – 49 untouched, unknown bamboo forests solely for his consumption – in the afterlife.

As the radar system collapsed China launched its first wave of missiles, its warplanes left their airfields and battleships, its soldiers landed silently on Taiwan’s shores.

Once again Taiwan and China would be reunited.

Friday, May 15, 2009

NRL round 10 

Tip 1:


$10 = $243

Tip 2:

Broncos/Broncos ht/ft
Warriors/Warriors ht/ft
Storm/Storm ht/ft

$10 = $54

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Real Men 

Try Harder.

If ever there was evidence of how Graham Henry and co. were soft cocks leading up to the Rest and Rotation World Cup where hard men were allowed to turn into powder puffs and we were forced into watching substandard (nearly as bad as the northernhemisphereclubrugby) it's tonight where Johnathon Thurston, Darius Boyd, Jason Nightgale and friends are tearing it up in the NRL.

I could be wildly drunk (I'm not, I paced myself this evening), but I seem to recall that they played A FUCKING TEST MATCH LAST NIGHT.

Imagine Ma'a Nonu playing a test v South Africa and the next night the NZRU say's sweet, play for the Hurricanes in an away game v the Blues. In fact, play 30 games this year as a starter. You'll be fine.

And you know what?

He will be.

Maybe they should check out how many games they play in NH rugby, or the NBA, or MLB, or the EPL or any other big professional comp.

I challenge anybody to say that they are under more mental pressure than somebody playing professional football for a big club in Europe. One minute you're playing a key EPL game then you're playing an FA Cup semi, then you're playing a champions league semi and yet week in and week out these guys put the goods out on the park.

I don't think our rugby players get worn out from PLAYING rugby, I think they get worn out from training.

Train half as much play twice as much.

You heard it here first.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

NRL Round 9 

Alrighty, after a two week hiatus (Seattle tourist internet facilities really need to be improved) Bennyasena is back with his round 9 tips.

I've thrown in the Kiwis into this round as $4.20 for the World Champions can't be sneezed at, despite the unusually awful flu I seem to have contracted after visiting that Alberta pig farm the other day.

It's an interesting round with so many players backing up for their clubs after the Test and red hot teams the Titans and Dragons outsiders - and the Roosters in seemingly good form and outsiders at home too.

Will Manly finally fire?

Tip 1:

Kiwis/Dragons/Titans/Manly/Roosters $10 = $1416

Tip 2:

Dragons/Titans/Manly/Roosters $10 = $337

Tip 3:

Manly +6.5
Roosters/Roosters $10 = $71

Tip 4:

Roosters 12 and under
Kiwis +10.5
$10 = $78

Tip 5:

Kiwis halftime fulltime
Roosters head to head
$10 = $150

Social drugs 

Men who brew vast amounts of beer (and also hawk wine and RTDs, etc.) are given knighthoods. Pillars of the community. Product enjoyed widely, including by police.

Men who grow a plant or two of weed get raided by the police, and their property and liberty is constantly under threat. Once in a while these men are either lunatics, or really keen on resisting state disregard for their autonomy and property rights.

Police don't get shot raiding breweries or vineyards.



Saturday, May 02, 2009

PNC - Tonight 

This video and song are the shit. Kick it.

NRL Week 9 picks 

Bit late posting here but I've been away and put them in the mix at sportsfreak with no commentary so will repeat that here.

Eels by 1 over the Cowboys
Storm by 4 over the Sea Eagles
Titans by 6 over the Rabbitohs
Sharks by 2 over the Roosters
Broncos by 8 over the Knights
Raiders by 4 over the Panthers
Dragons by 4 over the Warriors
Bulldogs by 10 over the Tigers

Got the first two right. Including those picks I have now improved to 67% for the season. Better than any of these muppets.

Please excuse me. My daughter wants me to jump up and down on the spare bed. I think I better buy her a trampoline.

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