24 February 2011

I cannot judge this man

The amount of times I've got fucked off by twats in movie theatres means I have to respect this guys approach.


19 February 2011

Live rugby!!!

For a change of scene, I went to a live match as I'd reached a point where I desperately needed to see some live sport. And so I found myself at the Leicester Tigers v London Wasps game at the Tigers home ground. The ground itself is very tight (few metres from stand to pitch), so it's quite intimate. There's a new stand, which is nice, but the others remind me of smaller stadiums in NZ, I would guess 20,000 capacity? But the ground was full, and apparently that's common for the Tigers. So no complaints there. Audience was into it, although slightly weird from what I was used to. Total (and I mean total) silence during kicks, even the opposition. And very polite.

So the game, first half was good. Leicester were lucky in the first quarter to get an intercept try, the ball was thrown around a bit, and good retention at ruck and maul time. The first-five's traded penalties, and the one further try meant the Tigers went to the break with a reasonably deserved lead.
Second half was dire. Poor retention, and no imagination by either team. The backline moves were telegraphed, and simply involved shovelling it along and running sideways, so the sliding defence by both sides quashed all attacks. There was a desperate need for someone to run the angles, and someone needs to smack the northern hemisphere around the head for the continuing use of badly done 'chip' kicks. I don't think any came off today, so they simply gave the ball away. Kicks within play were poor by both teams.

I enjoyed the first half, but got increasingly frustrated in the second. This struck me as funny given we had (from NZ and/or Samoa) the following players:
Tigers Scott Hamilton; the many Tuilagi's; Thomas Waldrom; Craig Newby
Wasps Riki Flutey;
there may have been a couple of others, oh and Steve Kefu (from Aussie).

Felt like a bad Div1 (NZ) or reasonable Div2 game. This wasn't helped by the colours, Wasps wear Wellington (although hoops), and Tigers wear something similar to Manawatu

Love, your roving rugger reporter.

17 February 2011


apparently around a quarter of non-primate genomes have large chunks of human DNA in them.

for those of you playing at home, that's contamination.

i never came across that, but i did see reptilian cross contamination, a distinctly squamate sequence in with some testudines. I also knew that particular lab was working on squamates and testudines.


16 February 2011

6 nations round 2pt2

The French get a bad rap for many things. And so, with a sense of surprise (as an atheist) I have to say 'Thank God for the French'.

the France/Ireland game was excellent. both sides were evenly matched and prepared to throw the ball around, and keep hold of it in tackles. I know, shocking. Interestingly there were far fewer scrums than in other matches, which certainly helped the speed of the game. The French first five/halfback combination is excellent, very fast, and because of that getting the ball out wide worked well. But to their credit, the Irish combo did the same. Ryan O'Gara is an excellent sub for the last few minutes, but shouldn't be their first choice.
What was interesting, and from a WorldCup perspective, worrying, is the ability of the French to weather the storm, hang in, and then start building an attack from scratch. Their response when they got the ball was reminiscent of the All Blacks in speed - the first half, where Ireland had the greater percentage of possession and territory reminded me of the Tri-Nations. The French seemed to be able to score from anywhere.

I'm not convinced that England are the team to beat. I stand by the French winning the 6 nations.

12 February 2011

6 nations - round 2pt1

England v Italy
Italy didn't front up, unlike last week when they pushed Ireland. This means one of: England are very good, Ireland are very bad, or Italy are erratic. So complete was the Italian collapse, that it was difficult to tell how good the English performance was. The platform provided by the forwards was solid, and the backs, Chris Ashton in particular, were slick. There were too many holes in the Italian defence, which meant the English one of the ruck approach worked. Commentators were all over the English, claiming the continuing renaissance of English rugby. I'm still not convinced. And I don't think they have grand slam potential.

Scotland v Wales
Wales started strongly, with reasonably quick turnover at ruck time, even if they didn't use width. The Welsh changed their first-five, a decision that has seemingly rejuvenated what has looked a very poor team. Scotland are not doing themselves any favours with poor ball retention during rucks and mauls, which is not the way to dominate a game.
The second half was scrappy, and I think a lot of Scotland's woes came from their very slow halfback. Admittedly he didn't get a decent platform from the forwards, but his decision making was far too slow. That meant he had to use one of the ruck, anything wider and it would be begging for an intercept. It's not pretty to watch, and they are really missing the injured chris cusitor.
The game was crap, poor control by both teams and neither forward pack stood up. Neither team deserved to win.
On this performance, Scotland don't look like they are progressing from last years development. Wales, scratching out the win, may take heart - but really, they shouldn't.

I want to reiterate my confusion concerning the cross-field kick. Why? For every 10 attempts, it comes off once. Sure it looks great when it does, but every other time, all you're doing is kicking away possession. And yet, it's so prevalent in Northern Hemisphere rugby. Again, why?

The only winner of the day? beer. It promised much and delivered.

8 February 2011

Last FM update, linkarama

I'm sure I've got something else I could rabbit on about, but at the moment the brain isn't firing, so a simple, mindless blog is the way to go.

Currently listening to a bunch of early hip hop tracks, which is good.

I've hit 60,000 last.fm tracks, which is averages out around 38/day. That seems about right to me. track 60,000 was James Dean Bradfield 'Still a long way to go', which I do rather like.

good innit!? That's from his solo album 'The great western' which you should be able to pick up dirt cheap - I got mine for NZ$5. Which I felt slightly guilty about, so bought the vinyl later.

Most played tracks over the past 3 months include Marillion (from live albums I'm guessing as I haven't spun Clutching at Straws much recently), and Midlake.

top Artists do reflect recent purchases with Midlake, Decemberists, Pallas and The National all popping up in the last 3 months list. I'm expecting Gazpacho to pop up higher next month, although with their albums having only 5-8 tracks, it's a bit unfair for them.

top Albums (3 months): Midlake, some Verdi (mainly as there's a lot of tracks on an opera album), Pallas XXV (heehee). Actually I don't like these stats, bit pointless due to track differences, for examples I've played one Smiths album (Best Of), but it has 24 tracks, so ranks as my 15th most played album.

Here's some Midlake:

And some Pallas. As they need as much publicity as possible, great fun band, and they wore our capes, and so have our undying devotion.
Even if it is crap audio.

And what I'm actually listening to while I write this:

7 February 2011

6 Nations: round 1

Continuing my unbiased reporting of the 6 nations...

Wales v England yawnfest. England deserved to win, kinda. Very boring game, and the Welsh looked directionless throughout. Toby Flood is developing well as the English 1/5. and cements my placing of England as third. I think they've slipped from any development they showed over the Winter series. Wales won't trouble the semi-finals, and possibly the quarters in the RWC.

Ireland v Italy Ireland looked crap, Italy played well and deserved to win - was just the experience of the Irish (O'Gara and O'D in particular) that kept them in the game.

Scotland v France After the French debacle against Aussie last year, expectations were not high. But by god they came out to play. Excellent performance, in particular the French forward pack blew the fancied Scots pack off the field. The French backrow, through to center, are playing brilliantly. Should be a real handful, if the 'good' team turns up, at the RWC. Pick for first in the 6 nations.
The Scots didn't play poorly, but with that performance the French would have pushed Aus/NZ/SAF.


3 February 2011

6 nations 2011 - predictions

It's 6 nations time again, and given this is the only rugby I get on free to air, I kinda have to watch it.

Also it's a good warm up for the Super14.

So predictions for this year? Hell, why not.

England: did look good in the Winter series, but are missing a few key players through injury. Could struggle up front, backline looks good.

Ireland: I don't think they can be counted as contenders. As much as O'D is a legend and still brilliant, I think their forwards will struggle with the pace - as they did against the ABs.

Scotland: My pick as the dark horses. Aside from the massacre by the ABs they've looked good, and play as a team. I really like the vision shown by their first-five.

Wales: Wins on the wind-up every stakes, go Warren G !!! You da man. Aside from that, not much that I can see to get excited about.

France: have looked crap. really crap. Directionless leadership from the coach hasn't helped. But for all that, France were the form side last year, and that should count for something. Does it?

Italy: they make good pasta, and the fans are hot.

So picks? 6-Italy, 5-Ireland, 4-Wales. Scotland I'm picking as 1 or 2. England and France can fight out 1 and 3. Bit of bet hedging there, but I'll sort out my picks after the first round, once I've seen the teams.