Sunday, April 29, 2007

Was there ever any doubt? You know what I'm talking about.

I only managed to wake up just now to write this, now I'm off to do something less strenuous.


God obviously isn't a cricket fan. Damn I hate weather. This is why important events should be held in Australia: we don't get crap weather (hell, we couldn't pray for rain if we wanted to) and we have a stadium with a damn roof on it!

Why couldn't a gang of hoodlums hold up the bowler yesterday evening? At least I wouldn't have to watch a God-awful repeat of South Africa getting killed again without the entertainment of police and criminal evidence and what-have-you.

I'm giving this game another fifteen, then I'm going to bed. I've been up since 4:00am and don't plan to watch the sun rise if it means watching some half-assed, Twenty20 rip-off match rather than a real World Cup final.


Edit: Obviously the cricketing Gods fear the wrath of Thomas, because with three minutes left to the match, bing-bang-bam the covers were off and we had a 38 over a piece match ready to get started. Of course, I could be hasty with this edit and the rain comes back, but here's hoping for a good clean match and an Australian win.

Should have stayed up longer Markus.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

What an exciting (Edit: yes) night last night was. I was prepping myself early in the evening for an all-niter to watch the cricket semi-final, sitting in the computer, trying to chip away aet the mountain of work for university (which is the reason why updates have been absent from here as of late), when it all started. For an far less entertaining and detailed recount, simply watch any hourly news and you will see that a the Picnic Point Bowling Club was held up with people wielding machetes and a hammer. My house backs onto this club, and our back gate opens up to the greens. The patrons who fought back and the police who turned up caught two guys on the spot, while two ran for the hills. And whose fence did one of these intelligent fellows decide to jump over? Ours of course. Through our backyard he went, took off his recognisable clothing, left them in our garden, and opened our side gate before making a bee-line for the house across the street where I'm told he jumped their fence (and dumping off some more clothes) and made his way to Henry Lawson Drive (where he was subsequently caught). So from about 8:30pm onwards our yard was just filled with police looking at these clothes, talking to us, taking statements (my brush with fame was that when I heard the noises outside, I ran to my front window and watched as this person ran across our lawn and through the bushes across the road, the only person of our family to see him) and what have you.

Finally, 11:30pm rolled around and the cricket started. Of course, the police were still around, but that wasn't going to become me and my cricket. I can only imagine what the officers standing guard imagined what I was watching with the hysterics the match put me in. Seriously, South Africa are bigger chokers than Greg "Six Shot Lead" Norman. Smith should be outed as Captain, Kallis should be dropped and something done to their support team, like bring in a shrink for each person.

When the score was 6 for, the CSI team (no, seriously) turned up, enquired to the score and took photos, bagged the clothes and whatever else it is they did, then came back to the back door just to find out what the score was. In the time they were there, Australia had cleaned up the haphazard South African team and the CSI's strolled off laughing.

Then came the rather disappointing (of sorts) batting performance by Australia. Even when we win the Cup, I seriously think that domestic wicket keepers should be looked at for their batting vs. keeping performance. Gilchrist is still the best keeper in the world, but he simply cannot bat anymore. It just looks like his near-record century a while ago was a fluke. Either look at dropping him or dropping him down the order and opening with Hussey.

Anyway, 6:30am came around, match and presentations were done, and I went to bed. Woke up at 1:30pm to a phone call saying our house was on television and that camera crews had been all over the place all morning. While I was slightly bummed that I missed that, I was glad that I was able to watch another shambles performance by South Africa. Out of all the teams I enjoy watching lose, I enjoy watching South Africa lose the most. And especially like that.

Now to take care of the World's Biggest Cheats: Sri Lanka.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here's a tidbit of information anyone who knows me or reads my blog might find interesting: the workshop I teach of a Wednesday (yes, I actually teach stuff to first year students - me the resource of information as a second year) turned, today, into trying to explain Donnie Darko, firstly, to the people who hadn't seen it, and then secondly trying to explain to the people who have seen it why it's a 'disturbed' movie (with each person who has seen it having their own opinion as to why). Eventually it turned into a debate as to why traveling backwards in time to correct a problem or the like cannot work. Unfortunately, my poor students didn't know that I have thought long and hard about how stupid the notion of purposeful backwards time travel is (I even wrote a blog post about it) and it turned into some pseudo-science lesson. Everyone had some fun thinking about the idea before we got back on task - back to the boring stuff.


Damn you England! I should have known better than to have any faith in you. 154!? How did we ever lose The Ashes to these hacks. Seriously.

And yes, Vaughan should quit, though as captain. He obviously fails to have any sort of effect over his team similar to Ricky Ponting or Grahame Smith, so why no give someone else a chance? You can't get any worse between now and the next World Cup. I mean, England won the Ashes, then went on to fail to win a single test series that they toured on, scrambled a few one day wins then lost 5-0 the next Ashes series. Now they can't even qualify for the World Cup. And maybe the lack of pressure will enable him to bat like a real batsman, rather than an English batter.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For those who may have been wavering as to whether I was self-centred or not (not that there could possibly be anyone who is wavering if you've read this blog) here is a tale from my early morning today.

As everyone knows, I have the unfortunate dishonour of attending the University of Sydney. I still shack with the parents, so I am forced to travel the perils of CityRail any day I have to attend. My sister, after graduating Year 12 last year, secured a very respectable job at a law firm (where I did work experience so many years ago, and trust me: it's a hectic job she is doing), and too must travel into the city, and yes, is forced to put up with the atrocities of CityRail. Of course, working a real job means starting at 9am, unlike the cushy life of student who starts whenever they want to, so we rarely ever see each other on the train. In fact, there is only one day where we catch the same train, and we get on at either end.

Anyway, today, I was getting a train an hour after my sister. I was headed for the door when the phone rang, to which my father answered (he has a court case this week, so isn't going into work, otherwise I wouldn't see him until he passed my room headed for bed every night). Through the ensuing conversation, of which I could only hear one end, I deducted that my sister had fainted on a train or at a station. I was concerned. I waited until the phone call ended, then asked what happened. Indeed she had fainted, was receiving attention from a family friend that happened to be with her, and was not to worry. But it was too late; I was already worried.

But my aforementioned concern was not for the overall health of my sister, nor was my worry about her receiving the appropriate medical attention. No, it was that if she had fainted on a train or station before the East Hills line splits into two, I would be stuck on East Hills Station for God knows how long until they moved the train that was blocking the single line.

Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't not worried at all about my sister, but the first thing that sprang to mind was how inadequate the CityRail system really is, and that how inconvenienced I could have been now that my sister was unconscious somewhere.

Anyway, there is no need to worry ...

I got into the city on time.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

So South Africa lose again. All England need to do is beat them in their face off and England go through to the semis while South Africa ... well ... they go where they deserve. If South Africa win that match though, they are a guarantee to go through.

South Africa have a two point lead on England, with their final match against the Poms. England have two matches left, their other against the West Indies. Even if England go on to lose against the West Indies, but manage to beat South Africa (which is in the realm of possibilities given South Africa generally crack under pressure), England currently have (and probably will maintain) a better run rate.

This is a rare occasion, but I will be cheering England home.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

So when South Africa couldn't manage to beat even Bangladesh, I was hoping that the Australian team would throw their match against England so that South Africa and England went to equal points. Fortunately or unfortunately, that didn't happen, and now West Indies and England only need to win one match a piece of their important matches to equal South Africa.

I do hope former ranked number one South Africa don't make the semis. Bunch of hacks.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Masters suck this year. I wouldn't have watched past the first day and a half, but such are the problems of working at a golf course.

The standard of golf is very average for these players. And Augusta isn't even playing ridiculously hard this year. Hard greens (as Augusta has always had really) is about the only problem. And it's designed so that the big hitters are at an advantage, and you can even see players carrying round four woods rather than three or two. Mickelson is carrying round two drivers and is going atrocious. And that's someone who would be able to take advantage of long hitting.

Even though he is left handed.

Anyway, I'm glad I'll miss tomorrow's round. Unfortunately I'll have to watch Monday, though that being the final round, I'll have found someone to cheer for. As long as it's not Mickelson. Anyone but that bum.


After reading this post at this blog about this site, I had to test if this sight was communist friendly. Apparently I am not.

The poor Chinese miss out again.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

To the people that have argued with me about the non-possibility of Barack Obama winning the Democratic primaries, then going on to the Presidential elections, so far I've been able to negate every argument of yours that Clinton is a shoe-in. From the fact that her policies are too left-wing to keep the centrists, the same voters that Obama can keep, to the "weight" of the Clinton name (a negligible point as it is the same surname of Bill, who has had the smear campaign on his hands for the past half a year), to the point that she is the most popular, even though all polls show that Obama has improved, and others that he has overtaken.

Now the only argument left, that Hilary can raise more money, seems to be out the door.

$25 million!? I had reservations about Obama and his fund raising abilities, but this just goes to show that he is popular enough among the people, not just the fat cats. Obviously, by the looks of that too, he has some fat cats in tow, but gee, that's some serious dough. And more surprising, Hilary only made $26 million. Does this show a waining in Hillary's popularity, if it's the case (of the neigh-sayers to the Obama cause) that most people like her more?


The end of semester is going to be a whole basket full of fun. I can categorically say that I have had the worst that Sydney University can offer in terms of lecturers this time round. Not all of them, but I would say six (of the eleven) that I have had are absolutely horrible. In the past I've had one or two, at the most, who were bad. But this time they are truly abhorred in terms of style and presentation. And one of the subjects I'm doing, as a whole, should be cast out to the void of the universe - it seriously isn't fit to be spoken about, much less taught.

The only thing I'm looking forward to is the end of semester, as not only does this torment end, but I get to fill out evaluation papers for each and every subject. I've never written a totally negative one before ... but there's a first for everything. I've already begun to plan what I'm going to scribble down, and it isn't pleasant at all. No sir-ee. And when I do, I'm going to make sure it makes its way onto here in some form or another, just as a recommendation to all those prospective students of these awful lecturers to avoid at all costs.


Ok, so where are we in terms of the World Cup? Australia sits on top, after run rate, with six points, followed by Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa, again, all on run rate. If the end of the Super 8s was now, they would go through to the semifinals. Bringing up the final half is England and West Indies, on two points, Ireland and Bangladesh on zip.

There are fifteen matches to go (you can find them if you look). Assuming that a) Australia win all their matches, and; b) The favourites of the one-sided matches win, then the places in the semifinals hinges on these matches:

  • South Africa vs. West Indies
  • Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand
  • New Zealand vs. South Africa
  • South Africa vs. England
  • West Indies vs. England
Because it will help my next rambling, here are what the points table will look like before any of the above matches are taken into account:
  • Australia: 14
  • Sri Lanka: 8
  • New Zealand: 8
  • South Africa: 6
  • England: 4
  • West Indies: 4
  • Bangladesh: 2
  • Ireland: 0
With the South Africa vs. New Zealand match, that will change nothing in terms of either of these teams going through to the semis. However, if South Africa lose to the either the West Indies (who New Zealand beat) or England, and only one of those matches, they must win against New Zealand in order to stay in the top four. Of course, if they lost all three, England need only win one match match more, and from current figures, they would put South Africa out on run rate. If the West Indies can win all of their matches, they will move to eight points, two ahead of what South Africa's point total would be before the above matches are taken into account, therefore making them have to win two matches. This, in conjunction with the scenario against England putting them out, means that if they lose to England, and the West Indies do indeed win all of their matches (which after beating South Africa puts them ahead of England and equal to South Africa at that point, and run rate determines the placings), the must beat New Zealand in order to at least stand a chance at making the top four by run rate against West Indies. If England can beat the West Indies in their match, it doesn't stop the West Indies from becoming a threat to South Africa, but puts more emphasis on the South Africa vs England if South Africa loses against New Zealand. In this setting, South Africa have to beat the West Indies if the also lose to England.

So, in simple terms, losses to England and New Zealand means South Africa must beat the West Indies. Or, losses to the West Indies and New Zealand means that South Africa must beat England. Even in these two cases, it comes down to run rates, which South Africa is at a disadvantage already as they, after playing three matches, are at -0.35, while England is +0.02.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I sat next to the worst person I have ever traveled beside in my life today. Rather than simply rambling on about the whole damned experience (which is what I did (internally) for the entire day effectively), I thought I would compose a letter to that anonymous person to throw a spin on the whole 'blog' stereotype:

Dear Rat-Face who sat next to me on the train today,

I gather from our encounter between Beverly Hills and Wolli Creek that you were disappointed having to sit next to me, what, with your demeanour, your expressions and your general uncouth ways. I do hope that you know that you were hardly doing me any favours by "gracing" the space beside me with your rather repugnant (in both appearance and smell) presence. In fact, you caused me inconvenience in that I had to lean again the hair-greased window beside me - hardly the highlight of my shirt's day.

Further, the way you acted while seated next to me reminded me of a National Geographic film I once saw that showed the abilities of 'domesticated' monkeys. Suffice to say, you are no domesticated monkey. You were one of those ratty, annoying, little apes that failed to learn a single association. The say you showed no respect for another person, the way you 'hogged' the room, the way you continually elbowed me as you rummaged through you backpack (that looked as though it had seen two World Wars), and of the utmost annoyance, the way you failed to move when I wanted to exit the confines of hell (or sitting next to you, it's your choice as to the proper description) showed that the socialisation process does indeed fail when you are trying to bring into the fold of society a half-wit.

I make no apology for stomping (or would it be kicking?) your backpack which you had oh-so thoughtfully shown me contained a portable DVD player which may or may not have been older than DVDs itself. I would have recommended that you upgrade your hardware, though I think you would struggle to understand the bigs words I use like "you" and "should". I hope that I caused irreparable damage to your hunk-of-junk, and that you will forever curse the day you sat next to "that" person.

Go and die of your own volition,