Sunday, November 30, 2008

Time to Fire the OBC

Clemson beat the Gamecocks 31-14. It was an embarrassment. A man with only six games of head coaching experience cut Spurrier's ass. What a fucking joke.

Spurrier is not getting the job done at USC, and it is clear the job should have gone to Skip Holtz. Maybe Spurrier is in a Joe Paterno like slump, and he will emerge vindicated on the other end. But I don't think so. If you include his time with the Washington Redskins, the Old Ball Coach smells like a certified loser. He is resting on his laurels which are fading into the rearview by the day.

I hate to sound so fickle, but the man has had four years to turn this team around. Maybe USC is doomed to loserdom. But Clemson had no qualms about firing their coach when he couldn't get the job done.

Dabo Swinney deserves the job at Clemson. He has been a refreshing surprise. If they don't hire him, USC should give him the head coaching position and send the OBC to the golf course because it is clear to me that Spurrier is done.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why?

We realise that it is only natural to be curious and a couple of the emails we have received recently have asked us what exactly happened to Silas so I am beginning to feel it necessary to write this blog.


Firstly, I can tell you that nothing dreadful or devastating happened to him before he was put to sleep - he didn't suffer any catastrophic injury or succumb to colic and he was very comfortable and happy at the end and just drifted off to sleep.


What happened is that it became very clear to us that, whilst he had made some definite improvement, he was not improving as a horse that had not suffered permanent injury would and, as much as we did not want to acknowledge it, he was already beginning to go backwards again. As all horse people know, horses without good limbs/joints are unable to 'be' horses and in the end Silas didn't even have one good leg and was continuing to grow and put weight on to limbs that were finding it increasingly difficult to cope. We spoke in depth with our vet about his future and, when it became clear to us all that Silas was never going to be allowed a comfortable life we had no choice but to make that most difficult of decisions - we owed it to him to do so before life for him became unbearable and we were forced to make the call in an emergency situation.

In the end there was no other truly humane option and whilst we would have given anything to be able to keep him with us for longer, it was his best interests that we had to put first, over any emotional attachments that we had formed. I can say, hand on heart, that it was the most difficult decision of my life to date but it was not a decision I made alone but was a decision that was made unanimously by those who knew and loved Silas.


Silas left this world as he came into it, with all of our love focussed directly upon him and we have buried a little piece of ourselves alongside him. Life without him and without Debi will never be the same but our lives are the richer for having shared time with them ~ they will live forever in our hearts and minds.

We will always be grateful to those people who helped us give Silas the very best chance, more grateful than we can express in words - we just wish that the fairytale ending that Silas deserved had eventuated but clearly he was an angel, merely leant.

Don't stand by my grave and weep,
For I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond's glint in the snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
In the soft blush of the morning light,
I am the swift bird in flight.
Don't stand by my grave and cry,
I am not there,
I did not die.
Mary Frye

Gabbo is Coming



Chris Schulz is the entertainment editor for New Zealand's leading webpage, stuff.co.nz.

The entertainment section is usually taken up by stories from the wire, involving such class acts as Britney Spears, Robbie Williams, the Pussycats dolls or the catch phrase comedy, Kath and Kim.

So basically they try to appeal to the demographic that gave Andy Millian nightmares.

They sometimes have exclusive video clips of trailers for movies, unfortunately these video clips have been on sites like youtube for months.

For the past three days they have been running a massive ad campaign, telling New Zealand that at 5am on Monday a major announcement will appear exclusive to stuff that will blow people away.

Clicking on the link takes to the Frontier touring webpage, so the announcement is of course of a concert.

Now major acts have come to New Zealand in the past year, I myself will be heading up to Auckland to see the great Billy Joel in three weeks time.

So who could it be?

I thought of the Simpson's episode, "GABBO" where the whole of Springfield was swamped with ads that Gabbo is coming. Gabbo turned out to be a puppet.

The act that is coming is of course NIN, a huge rock act, but with all the hype around who it could of been, there are going to be a lot of disappointed music fans.

Stuff.co.nz has a choice, they can either go the way of E online or they can become legitimate journalists.

I'm not holding my breath.

The Press Provokes Unnecessary Controversy Between LeBron James and Charles Barkley

Does today's journalism environment naturally provoke reaction or is provocation itself the real aim? Today's attention-grabbing news headline (and it's all over ESPN this morning), "LeBron James Calls Barkley 'Stupid' for Criticizing Him," demonstrates that oftentimes it's the latter. Apparently, Charles Barkley commented on Dan Patrick's radio show that James isn't showing respect for Cleveland fans and his teammates by discussing his possible free agency following the 2010 season, and said "If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up." Thereafter, an AP reporter cornered James to provoke a response to Barkley's comment, to which James responded, "He's stupid." In tomorrow's paper, we will undoubtedly hear about what Barkley has to say about James' response. Oh boy, I can hardly wait.

Forget about who is right or wrong in this media-created tiff. Is this a proper function of journalism? Does journalism ethics even exist today? (and I don't mean to ask that question cynically) Some would dismiss journalism ethics as creating ambiguous standards. Some would say journalism ethics are outdated concepts in an internet/technology era. Some would say the press is just giving the public what it wants. Some would say that this is information and, therefore, the public should have it (even if it is purely entertainment, in other words, "infotainment"). Some would go so far as to say that journalism ethics is a meaningless topic in light of the First Amendment. And some have no idea what journalism ethics issue is even at issue in this press release. As noted by the Committee of Concerned Journalists:

“Journalism is a form of cartography: it creates a map for citizens to navigate society. Inflating events for sensation, neglecting others, stereotyping or being disproportionately negative all make a less reliable map....a journalism overwhelmed by trivia and false significance ultimately engenders a trivial society.”

In my recent law review article titled, "Tort Law and Journalism Ethics," which will be published by Loyola University Chicago Law Journal in the spring, I discuss the negative impact of the proliferation of tabloid journalism into the mainstream news media and how today's tabloid journalism oftentimes seeks to promote and instigate negativity and negative reactions among the subjects of the article as well as the readers of the article. Here, the press is primarily motivated by one thing: to provoke an unnecessary controversy. The media pits James against Barkley, causing readers to join in the negativity and to ultimately draw a conclusion that one of them is right and the other is wrong (i.e. that either Barkley is right that James should "shut the hell up" or that James is right that Barkley is "stupid"). What does society gain from exposure to such negativity and bickering? Unfortunately, as long as today's profit-driven mainstream news media is primarily motivated by advertising dollars and a quest for ratings it will keep feeding us more of it in the form of infotainment.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. BLOGGING IN ABSENTIA

I have been neglecting the CBlog here for quite awhile. Part of the reason is because I have been pouring a lot into the new SC Liberty Blog project. All of these are leisure time activities. (I have made a personal commitment to always keep politics on the sidelines. I do politics because I have to not because I want to.)

2. PARTNERSHIPS

My old man told me to never go into partnership, and that advice has been proven to me again and again. I pulled the plug on the SC Liberty Blog because it was apparent to me that I would be the only person working on the project. My partner on the project was not pleased with this, so I brought it back online. The result? I do all the work. I'm not upset over this because it is not a moneymaking venture. But it has been an interesting experiment in testing my dad's wisdom. My dad was right.

I don't believe in partnerships. Someone has to be in the driver's seat. Everyone else is along for the ride. I have seen this with my brother and his business travails. I've seen this with every major band in the world. Someone leads and the rest follow.

3. MARK SANFORD

I really like the governor here in SC. I don't agree with him on everything, but he is a quality individual both for style and substance and courage. I don't know if he will run for president, but he would do a lot for liberty if he ever got to the Oval Office.

4. CAROLINA vs. CLEMSON

If Spurrier doesn't win this game, USC should see about replacing him.

5. BCS

There is one thing Obama and I are agreed upon. The BCS should be scrapped and replaced with a playoff.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Life goes on

Early this evening Silas was buried beside his mother on a small hilltop overlooking the valley below us. I like to look out there now and imagine them, side by side, admiring the view. Debi always was a great watcher of things, when she wasn't eating that is, and Silas always enjoyed stealing moments to stop and look across the paddocks when we took him for his walks.

Because we wish to take a financial and somewhat emotional break from breeding for a short while, I have arranged for my older girls to be leased out in foal. Hooty was bred a little over a fortnight ago, to Reilly, and today the vet scanned her and confirmed she is carrying a healthy 16 day foetus. We will scan again at 42 days to ensure she has retained the pregnancy.

Bella was served on Thursday and is running with Reilly. We had to take Grace, the outside mare, away as she was refusing to allow Reilly to serve Bella and we have thus named her 'The Puritan' (thanks Karen) as she is a maiden and point blank refused to be served when she cycled after arriving last week, even after meeting Mr Twitch and Ms Intravenous Sedative! Next time around I get to introduce her to Master Hobbles - that will learn her!!! Maude was cycling late this week and will be bred to Reilly on her next cycle.

Grace - 'The Puritan'

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Media Design School Plagiarises Speilberg




There is a ad on TV in New Zealand for the Media Design School of New Zealand.

Its shows a an alien, breaking a wall, then stepping into darkness, then stones appear for him to walk on.

I cannot believe for the life of me, that they didn't do any research into this clear cut form of plagiarism.

The video game called "The Neverhood" was created by Speilberg for dreamworks in 1996 and involved a claymation character trying to make his way through a scary universal it was ahead of its time, and took thinking and brains and wasn't the usual shoot them up type game.

One would hope that the school spots this error and withdraws the ad.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Silas

I hope when you read this you will feel, as I do, like a weight has been lifted and your heart has been set free.

I have just galloped across a field of red clover towards the most majestic black mare, my mum. She has called to me and I now I can answer her calls - the pain has gone and I am where I am supposed to be, maybe a little late, as I was expected but now, I have arrived and there is just a shining golden bridge between me and my beautiful ethereal mum.

As I look behind me I see the faces of my human family and I wish they would not cry because I am happy now, happier than I have ever been. I know so many people tried so very hard to help me and your love and caring made my time on earth as good as it could possibly have been but now I am here I realise that this is all I ever wanted - I am free to run and jump and play like I never could and it feels utterly wonderful.

Please understand if my human mum does not want to talk about my leaving. I know, even though it was the right thing, it was very hard for her and my human dad to let me go as they always told me how much they wanted me to stay. But it was my time and I asked to go.

My mum is calling me to run over the bridge, I must not keep her waiting much longer but, before I go, I want to thank you all for being there for my human mum and dad and for helping make my life on earth a time filled totally and completely with love.

Ohhhh she smells so good, my mum, and she's so warm and so soft and she tastes so sweet. I really need to go now, we have some catching up to do. I will never forget you and what you all did for me. Thank you.

RIP Sweet Silas - Forever & ever in our hearts
All our love Louise, Nick, Amy & Christina
xxx

Thoughts on Indiana

A couple of thoughts on the NCAA's decision to drop the hammer on Kelvin Sampson, but less so on Indiana, particularly in sparing the Hoosiers from a post-season ban (of course, Indiana is not going to the post-season anytime soon, so the end result is the same).

The NCAA arguably directed punishment in the right place--the recidivist coach who blatantly and willfully broke the rules--rather than the current coach and players who played no role in the misconduct. The NCAA enforcement has been criticized for setting up a scheme in which a coach can cheat at one school, get out of town (often one step ahead of the NCAA posse) and into a new job, leaving his former school to pick up the pieces. But Sampson, not Tom Crean, is the guilty party, so it makes more sense for the NCAA to focus its sanctions on him. Of course, the penalty is largely meaningless. Sampson now is an NBA assistant and likely quite happy to stay there. And, penalty or not, no university president in her right mind would hire Sampson (certainly not within five years, when memories are fresh), because he is not that good a coach as to run the risk of dealing with his misbehavior.

The limit on the above point is that Indiana was not innocent in all of this; the NCAA found the university guilty of "failing to monitor," although not of the more serious "lack of institutional control." Indiana's most obvious failure was hiring Sampson in the first place, despite his being presently under sanctions for breaking NCAA rules.

This brings me to my second point. On ESPN last night, studio commentator Doug Gottlieb defended IU by saying, in essence, the school could not have predicted that Sampson would engage in the exact same misconduct because no one does that. Umm, Mr. Gottlieb, meet Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). Under ordinary rules of evidence, "prior bad acts" cannot be used to prove current conduct (i.e., "A did X in the past, so you may find that A did Y now"). But FRE 404(b) does the use of prior acts to establish certain facts, such as knowledge, motive, or intent. Under FRE 404(b), the following line would work to prove failure to monitor: "Indiana knew that Sampson had committed these infractions in the past, so it had some knowledge that he might commit them again in the future, but it hired him anyway." But that line of inference would be permitted only if there was some degree of similarity between Sampson's past and current infractions. In other words, the law assumes that people will, in fact, engage in the exact same misconduct and the law allows its evidentiary use only if the misconduct is similar enough.

Finally, for sanctions against individual coaches to have real teeth, the NBA would have to come on board and agree to penalize coaches who cheated while coaching in college. As noted, Sampson does not care about a five-year ban on coaching in college because he probably is quite happy (and doing quite well) as an NBA assistant. Obviously this will not happen for a variety of reasons, some of them sounding in federal antitrust law. But how punished is Sampson if, less than a year after bringing down one of the storied and historically cleanest college programs, he is safely ensconced in a coveted coaching job?

Our three foals = triple trouble

These are pretty random short clips that I took today. Silas is SO nawty tho!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sorry about lack of updates

Firstly, I know lots of you want to keep abreast of how things are with Silas so I am very sorry I have not updated you in the last 48 hours. There has not been much to report as things are pretty much the same - He has good moments and bad moments so not a lot has changed in that respect. He's feeding well but still struggling with his numerous limb issues and sometimes needing a little help to get to his feet. He's off the antibiotics now but still on the NSAIDs and we just keep on doing what we can.

Today I will make up a comfrey poultice and we have some new bedding plus I also have an old gypsy herbal concoction coming, all of this is coming from a lovely member of the lifestyleblock community who is as keen to see Silas get better as we are.

New Developments in Alleged DNA Evidence Against Roger Clemens

I have a new SI.com column out on Roger Clemens and the syringes and other materials provided by Brian McNamee that McNamee claims contains Clemens' DNA. According to today's NY Times and the NY Daily News, federal prosecutors have requested and received the evidence from McNamee and have found readable DNA. Hope you have a chance to check out my column.

American Bar Association Journal Features Sports Law Blog

Our thanks to the ABA for featuring Sports Law Blog as "This Week's Featured Blawg." For those who have discovered us through the ABA, we hope you like what you see. Thanks for visiting.

Indiana University Largely Escapes NCAA Punishment for Kelvin Sampson's Infractions

Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star has the story:

Indiana University will receive three years probation from the NCAA for recruiting violations under former men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson but will not be further penalized, sources close to the investigation told The Indianapolis Star today.

The infractions committee accepted IU’s self-administered sanctions, including a loss of a scholarship for this season and extended recruiting limitations, as sufficient. The school was found guilty of “failure to monitor” the program, said a source who has read the NCAA’s report, but the committee used softer language than in the original accusation.

Sampson, now an assistant with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, was given a five-year “show cause” penalty, which essentially prevents NCAA schools from hiring him. Rob Senderoff, a former IU assistant and now an assistant at Kent State, was given a three-year show case penalty. It’s not yet clear how he will be affected.

The official announcement will come in a teleconference with reporters at 4 p.m. today.

“I don’t want to say it’s a reprieve for Indiana, but they’re being seen by the NCAA as much less culpable,” said Michael McCann, a sports law expert from Vermont Law School. “Maybe this is their reward for being forthcoming, and it’s a message to other schools: be honest and you won’t be punished nearly as much. The steps Indiana took appear to be the right ones.”


For the rest of the story, click here. Andy Katz also has a good story here.

I am sick of being sick.

Greatest Moment in the History of Sport

Monday, November 24, 2008

Can Letters of Intent have Opt-Out Clauses Should Coach Quit?

Over on Truth on the Market, George Mason Law Professor Joshua Wright (who's visiting at the University of Texas Law School this year) has an outstanding post on prep basketball star DeMarcus Cousins, who is seeking an opt-out clause in his letter of intent with University of Alabama Birmingham for the possiblity of UAB head coach Mike Davis jumping ship.

Here's an excerpt from Josh's post:

* * *

For those unfamiliar, college recruits in football, basketball and some other sports sign National Letters of Intent (NLI) committing themselves to spend at least one full year at the college. The NLI gives the school the option of allowing a player who wishes to leave to do so without penalty. The default, however, is that the school does not release the player. The student-athlete can still transfer of course, but must incur the penalty of sitting out a full year at his next school plus losing a year of eligibility. In these days of the coaching carousel, one reason that players commonly switch schools is because a coach is fired or leaves for greener pastures. However, [SI's Seth] Davis reports that the NLI explicitly states that a coaching change is not grounds for nullifying the agreement.

Which brings us to DeMarcus Cousins, a heavily recruited basketball prep star who wants to stay near home and play for University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB). Here’s the contract twist. Cousins has choices further up the college basketball food chain and is going to UAB largely because of the coach, Mike Davis (formerly of Indiana University). As such, Cousins figured out that he wants some insurance that UAB will release him without penalty if Davis leaves and wants language representing as much in the NLI. Here’s another twist. Davis may have made a promise to Cousins to do exactly that. . . .

Assuming Davis has apparent or actual authority to make such a promise on behalf of UAB, this puts the school in a tough spot from a practical if not legal perspective. I’m guessing that UAB caves here.

* * *

For the rest of this must-read post, click here. For the referenced Sports Illustrated column by Seth Davis, click here

Some counts against Bonds dropped

United States District Judge Susan Illston dismissed three of the fifteen counts and consolidated two others against Barry Bonds today, although 11 counts (10 perjury, one obstruction of justice) remain in place. Not a big deal; it sounds like she was just cleaning up the indictment to avoid duplicative counts or counts in which either the initial question was ambiguous or the answer was too vague as to reasonably produce a knowingly false statement. Bonds still faces a big struggle.

The birthday girl

So, OMG, in the weekend I threw my very first ever children's bday party. Granted there were only half a dozen children but even so, it was quite terrifying! Turns out I stressed and worried for nothing as it all went off without a hitch but gawd it was HOT and I think I sweated off at least 1kg, lol! Of course I made up for that by eating about 1kg worth of sugar laden goodies. When in Rome ...


I thought I would share some pix. My mum bought Amy an adorable little party dress and some costume jewellery (the jewellery came from the Sally Army store) so she looked quite the picture. She has a few friends at kindy but one in particular is her very special friend, her 'boy'friend and the two of them are virtually inseparable. It's adorable to watch them interract and they make quite a pair. Anyway, a great day was had by all and aside from both Amy and then me being sick late that evening (she was sick first, I followed, thanks to having to clean her up - erk!), we had a lot of fun.

The gang

Amy and Donny Guess what Amy got for her b'day from Mummy & Daddy Ready for some rays Sharing Princess? Poser

Sunday, November 23, 2008

BJ gets to strut her stuff

BJ (Bijou) is a Hamish daughter and the survivor of a twin foaling experience. She's started getting out and about and her mum sent me these two pix of her competing over the weekend. How cute is she! She's only itty bitty (14.1HH) but nice things come in small packages!



Silas has been feeding well, for the most part, definitely on an upward plain (16 litres yesterday and the day before). He's been a little off his milk this morning but the heat is so oppressive, I think he is sulking about that! He's getting up pretty well but his near fore is now my biggest concern as it is obviously troubling him. It would kill us to get him through all of this only to have to make the very tough call because of nerve damage so we're looking into treating this as best we can. From what I have read however, it really is a time thing and either he will or he won't come right. Hopefully we have nailed the other issues (although the hock is still swollen and the stifle still a little stiff) so that will leave us with this to focus on primarily.

Today we gave him and Bados access to the race and, as I write this he is stood at the gate by the house singing to us. He is sure that, as a person, he should be inside with us as well and not out in a silly paddock full of grass!

Will move ponies and donkey to arena paddock today as they have nothing but dirt to eat at the moment and we are desperately trying to source some hay to tide us over until ours is cut next month or early January. The two ponies up the road are in a similar predicament with a lot of dirt and not a lot else and our last few bales of hay are not really fit for anything more than garden mulch! It sounds like we have found some hay as the lovely lady who will be leasing Bella off us for a Reilly foal has some spare and my good friend Jane has some spare mini balage bales which we can have as well. We should be ok - Silas loves balage!!

The Problem with Corporate America and Other Organizations

I have been watching Microsoft implode over the last couple of years. Don't get me wrong. They still make money. IBM still makes money, too. But I don't think anyone will argue that they are the same company they used to be back in the glory days.

Every great company or organization began as the brainchild of some crazy out-of-the-box visionary who decided to do things a different way. This person broke all the rules and did it his way. I am thinking of Steve Jobs who despised IBM or Ray Kroc who started McDonald's. These guys did some fabulous stuff and with Jobs it keeps happening. But why isn't IBM the number one computer firm in the world?

The reality is that any organization becomes the victim of its own success. It becomes big and bloated. It loses nimbleness and innovation. It gets taken over by office politicians who take no risks and avoid all blame. Throw an innovator into this mix, and he has no chance. The bold company becomes the established company and then becomes the extinct company. It is a familiar cycle.

The story of Apple is unique because you can see these forces at work. Apple is a unique experiment because it is the only big company where the genius got fired and brought back. This produced a treasure trove of information that we can see and understand.

Basically, Jobs started this company and turned it over to others to manage. The first thing these people did was move to fire Jobs. This is very important. Nevermind that this man created the company and was its driving force. He had to go. He was seen as a threat not an asset.

Big organizations do not prize innovation, originality, creativity, or what have you. They punish these things. This is because genius produces success which leads to promotion and prominence. The surest way to get fired in a big company is to be bold and to challenge the status quo.

While Jobs was in the wilderness, he founded Pixar which was also very successful and goes to show that his genius is no fluke. Apple languished until they brought Jobs back. Since then, Apple has gone on to greater things. Steve Jobs is Apple.

Innovation is the lifeblood of business. You must always do something new or something better. Nature shows us this. You innovate, or you die. This is how some clever primates went on to leave the trees and build New York City. Then, there are alligators and crocodiles.

Alligators and crocodiles are very successful creatures. While other species have evolved and gone into extinction, alligators and crocodiles have remain unchanged for millions of years. Except for humanity, there has been no pressing need for these creatures to differentiate in order to survive.

In the business world, the aliigators are companies like Coca-Cola or Levi's that change very little from one generation to the next. We can toss in Hershey's chocolate or Wrigley's gum. All these organizations have to do is stick to what already works. Yet, all of these organizations have innovated in terms of distribution, production, marketing, or what have you. I would say that these organizations have a quality I would call "resilience." They can afford to make mistakes or have idiots in charge for awhile.

So, should we innovate? Or should we stick to the tried and true? The answer is that you still stick to innovation. Most ideas fail. But the ones that succeed make up for the failures. The fact is that alligators and crocodiles did have differentiation. It is just that nature did not favor those things much like the public did not favor New Coke. But alligators did not build New York City. Plus, a lot of the changes you can't see. Alligators and crocodiles are resilient to many sorts of germs and viruses. This can only be the result of evolution.

Nature and economics favors innovation. Bad ideas kill themselves in the short run. Good ideas survive for the long term. The key to success is to try a lot of different things and let the economics pick your winners for you. This is the secret behind indexing and venture capital firms. The winners bury the losers.

It takes discipline and courage to take productive capital from something that is already working and put into these experiments. But it was this lack of discipline that is costing GM while Toyota thrives. Both made SUV's, but Toyota was developing the Prius back when gas was cheap. Gas is now cheap again, but Toyota also has SUV's. They diversified. They tolerate the different because they never know when today's idiocy will be tomorrow's genius.

The enemies of innovation are those wedded to the status quo. These are the ones who pursue the policy of "one size fits all." I call these singular strategies. I am not fond of singular strategies. This doesn't mean that I don't think simple answers are not valuable. But I no longer believe in putting all your eggs into one basket.

Change happens no matter what. It is the way of the world. Apple is bigger than IBM. The new overcomes the old. And yes, alligators live, but it is because we choose to let them roam the swamps rather than become boots and handbags. And I can't count how many entrepreneurs who said their big break came when they got fired from some company.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gutless Blackcaps Lose Again


There is a reason why Australia doesn't want to play us in test cricket. It's quite simple, we are not up to test standard, its no use beating around the bush, we are not up to test cricket.

The second test against Australia will be the last time Australia will ever play us at test level. The ICC is dropping their four year cycle and Australia has better teams to play than us.

So make the most of the second test, because that is the last time you WILL EVER SEE, a cricket test between the two nations.

What's to blame? well IMHO it was the attitude adopted in the mid 90's and has lasted ever since in this New Zealand side.

Its the drinking culture in the team, its the pure laziness, its the, "We don't have to train hard or watch game video, cricket doesnt work like that" attitude that Fleming lived by.

The players dont care, as long as the pay cheque comes in.

Its been a long slow death for test cricket in New Zealand, but its finally happened, and on the third day of the second test against Australia, when our last batsmen falls, thats it, no more tests against Australia, I hope the players of the last 15 years take a good hard look at themselves, for committing murder.

RIP New Zealand Versus Australia Test matches. December 30th 2008.

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!



NEW ZEALAND HAS WON THE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!

THE KIWIS BEAT AUSTRALIA 34-20.

ITS THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY THAT NEW ZEALAND HAS WON THE WORLD CUP!

FOUR MILLION PEOPLE ARE GOING CRAZY RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

WELL DONE THE KIWIS!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Aussie Leads by 189 with four wickets in hand



Will the blackcaps ever beat Australia again? Well probably not in this test, same old story, a batting collapse, enough said!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On your marks, get set ... GO SILAS GO!

Silas came down to the house today to stretch his legs and stretch his legs he did! Check him out as he busts a few moves on the driveway! OK, so he is not going to be winning any Kur with movement like that but good grief, what an improvement! He's actually using that off hind now and although still a bit stumbly on the front, even that has improved. Very, very encouraging stuff.

Today the vet bill arrived for last month. I knew it was going to be pretty scary but what I did not realise was that Silas' guardian angels would've paid 1/3 of it off for us! Incredible, kind, generous, amazing are just some of the adjectives I could use to describe how we feel about these wonderful gestures of kindness. Silas is obviously one very blessed boy and I credit his progress to each and every single person who has helped us. Thank you all, I cannot say thank you enough.

MLB, Japanese Baseball, and US Antitrust Law

Today’s NY Times has an interesting article about Junichi Tazawa, the 22-year old Japanese pitching star. Tazawa first drew attention for his 97-mph hour fastball, but has now become the center of controversy because he is the first notable amateur Japanese baseball player to entertain offers from Major League Baseball teams before playing for or even signing with a Japanese team. Japanese baseball officials are worried about future Japanese stars following suit and therefore draining the talent pool from Japanese professional baseball, possibly threatening the viability of Nippon Professional Baseball (MLB’s Japanese counterpart).

According to the article, “[m]any Japanese baseball officials are outraged that United States teams are courting Tazawa.” Why the outrage? Because the Japanese officials “insist it is long-established practice for amateurs like him to be strictly off limits to (U.S.) major league clubs.” According to a press release from Nippon Professional Baseball: “This was more than just a gentlemen’s agreement, but rather an implicit understanding that the major leagues would do no such thing…. That a handful of clubs from the majors is trying to break this gentlemen’s agreement is truly regrettable.”

The article also notes that Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman acknowledged the existence of some form of agreement:

“I’m old school — there has been an understanding,” said Cashman, whose team has a formal cooperative relationship with the Yomiuri Giants, a team particularly upset with the Tazawa affair. “There’s been a reason that Japanese amateurs haven’t been signed in the past, so we consider him hands off.”

As the article also points out,

The protocol agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball does not address the signing of either nation’s amateur players. It does formalize how Japanese veterans may switch continents: on the open market after nine seasons in the Japan major leagues, or earlier if a player’s club chooses to auction off his rights through a procedure commonly known as posting. Posting was established in 1998, and established stars like Daisuke Matsuzaka have generated as much as $51 million for their Japanese clubs. Losing top amateurs could hurt that pipeline.

An unnamed Major League Baseball official apparently “angrily rebutted” the notion that any agreement existed that prevented MLB teams from signing amateur Japanese players (and vice versa). Why the “angry” rebuttal? Well, if such an agreement did exist, it would likely be a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, as it is a classic group boycott (and a horizontal market division). The best way for MLB to avoid Section 1 liability in this case may simply be to argue that there is no agreement between MLB and Japanese baseball. Without an agreement, there can be no violation of Section 1. That argument obviously becomes more difficult to make, however, when the general manager of one of MLB’s marquee franchises publicly admits that an agreement does in fact exist.

What about the baseball antitrust exemption? Well, there is an argument (albeit a weak one) that, after the Curt Flood Act of 1998, the baseball antitrust exemption no longer exists. Assuming it does exist, however, what is the impact of the exemption and the Curt Flood Act on a possible suit brought against MLB in this context?

Well, the Act states, in relevant part:

Section 27(a) Subject to subsections (b) through (d), the conduct, acts, practices, or agreements of persons in the business of organized professional major league baseball directly relating to or affecting employment of major league baseball players to play baseball at the major league level are subject to the antitrust laws to the same extent such conduct, acts, practices, or agreements would be subject to the antitrust laws if engaged in by persons in any other professional sports business affecting interstate commerce.

Section 27(b) No court shall rely on the enactment of this section as a basis for changing the application of the antitrust laws to any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements other than those set forth in subsection (a). This section does not create, permit or imply a cause of action by which to challenge under the antitrust laws, or otherwise apply the antitrust laws to, any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements that do not directly relate to or affect employment of major league baseball players to play baseball at the major league level, including but not limited to -
1) any conduct, acts, practices, or agreements of persons engaging in, conducting or participating in the business of organized professional baseball relating to or affecting employment to play baseball at the minor league level, any organized professional baseball amateur or first-year player draft, or any reserve clause as applied to minor
league players.


Does the agreement (assuming, for the sake of argument, that one exists) between MLB and Japanese baseball implicate Section 27(a), 27(b)(1), or both? I don’t think it matters. I think a court would reject application of the baseball exemption simply because MLB has entered into an agreement with a non-MLB party. Courts—before and after the Curt Flood Act—have only applied the baseball antitrust exemption when the agreement at issue exclusively involved MLB-related entities. Thus, regardless of one’s view of the scope of the Curt Flood Act, I think any agreement between MLB and Japanese baseball would be subject to scrutiny under Section 1, so Brian Cashman may want to choose his words more carefully in the future…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 32

The x-rays showed nothing overly concerning but there were a couple of spots that could indicate some damage and the vet would like to x-ray again as the exposures, he said, could be better. He wants to do this for his own peace of mind which I took to mean at his own cost too ... (a girl can hope!).

Some random pix and video today. Had to laugh earlier, heard Christina laughing while I was videoing Silas so swung the camera over only to see see Aine feeding ... off Hooty! Hooty absolutely could not care less! What a cheeky filly!!! Just realised that sound has not been edited on video - oops, apologies for language!!!!

Hooty feeding ... Aine!
Ror ror
Purdy Rory
Purdy Aine
China
Tall Aine





Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Silas gets zapped!

So today our vet turned up with his x-ray machine and Silas got zapped (no sedation required, he's such a good boy). He took plates of his hock and stifle and now we await his findings. Finger's crossed he finds nothing too sinister. He also looked at his near fore lameness and suspects some sort of radial nerve problem. HOPEFULLY if this is what it is, it is the type that repairs with time or we may just have ourselves a very expensive, very big lawnmower! At the end of the day the most important thing for us is that he is happy and healthy and free from pain. If he can never be a working horse, we'll cope - he'll make a lovely pasture pet but, I'm kinda looking forward to riding the big bugger so have everything crossed!

China and Penny have given us about 12 litres of milk so far, which is a saving of about $50 in 3 days so if you multiply that over a few weeks, you can see just how valuable these dear little girls are!


President-elect Obama and College Football Playoffs

Tim Lemke of the Washington Times examines President-elect Barack Obama's desire for college football to adopt a playoff system.

Tim interviewed me for the story, which covers the economic, legal, and political angles of the President-elect's apparently genuine interest in reforming college football's post-season. Here's an excerpt:

* * *

It's unclear how serious Obama is about the issue, and he has offered no specific plan of action nor promised he would push for action. But he has addressed the issue on multiple occasions.

"I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit," he said in the "60 Minutes" interview.

If, however, Obama did press the issue, he would have a number of options available to him, legal experts said - though they cautioned that few of them had strong legal backing.

For instance, they said Obama could potentially attempt to impose an executive order on the NCAA to create a playoff. But such a measure likely would be shot down because the NCAA has repeatedly defended its status as a private institution.

Obama also could ask the Justice Department to explore whether the BCS is a violation of antitrust law on grounds that the system often excludes teams from non-major conferences.

"I haven't seen a compelling argument," said Michael McCann, a professor at Boston College Law School and a contributor to Sports Illustrated. "I've seen different arguments offered that all seem somewhat flawed."


* * *
For the rest of the story, click here.

Note 1: The really cool photo above was taken by Rick Bowmer of the Associated Press. Note 2: Be sure to see Frank The Tank's excellent commentary on a college football playoff system.

IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum (Dec. 10-11)

On December 10th and 11th, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily will host the seventh annual IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum at the InterContinental, The Barclay in New York City.

A "must-attend" for anyone involved in the business of college sports, the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum is the one-time each year the NCAA leadership, athletic directors, university presidents, conference commissioners, media partners and corporate sponsors collectively discuss their mutual issues in college sports. It is also a great networking opportunity for those interested in pursuing a career in collegiate athletics. I am looking forward to participating on a panel with representatives speaking on behalf of the NCAA, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the University of Texas and the Fantasy Sports Association. We will be discussing the unauthorized commercial exploitation of student-athletes by corporate conglomerates profiting from the sale of fantasy sports league products.

The agenda and registration information can be found at the above link.

Failure and Apathy

It is hard being a libertarian especially as you watch the socialist tide sweep this country. I am experiencing a bit of burnout on this and other matters.

Ambivalence is the word I am fishing for. I am ambivalent about a lot of things these days. Before I was fighting the fight. Now, I am just punching the clock. Revolutionaries burn out, too.

I will not give up because I know the reason I pursue these things is for my own sake. Being a libeterian and a freethinker makes my life better even if everyone else is drowning in the Kool-Aid.

The other thing that is getting to me is a belief that my life is going nowhere. But once again, all I can do is get up and work each day.

I think it is very important to diversify when it comes to your projects. Some will fail. Some will do alright. A few will succeed. It is these Black Swans that make the big difference. It is when you weren't expecting something that things really change.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A couple of quick videos

Of course my batteries went flat today when I went out with the camera so I am afraid it is very slim pickings! But, you can still have your Silas fix and a little bit of Aine as a top up.



Mark Cuban Accused of Insider Trading

I have a new SI.com column on Mark Cuban being sued today by the Securities and Exchange Commission on insider trading charges. I hope you have a chance to check it out.

I'll also be interviewed on Houston 790 AM tomorrow at 9:05 a.m. EST to discuss the charges.

Update Tuesday: I'll be on the Dan Patrick Show at 9:35 a.m. to discuss the charges.

Eatin', poopin' and runnin'

So Silas is going great guns! He has now got to his feet unaided three times! He can't quite manage it every time but when he does, it is such a rush to see! Yesterday he drank just over 15 litres of milk, including nearly 5 litres kindly donated by China and Penny - GO goatlings!!

At his 11am feed we decided to take him for a walk so we wandered down the race together and ended up in our 'one tree hill' paddock, across from Meg and the other empty mares. And, that is where we left him, with his buddy Bados. He's practicing being a real horse in a real paddock with no hay filled stable to sleep in. Hope he can suck it up - He's tough, I am sure he can!

He's so funny to watch running. It's funny and sad but funny first because he's doing it and that's wonderful. He's a bit like a Jack Russell, you know how they run around hitching up a back leg? That's kinda like what Silas does when he tries to canter. He bunny hops behind a bit too but hey, he's DOING IT!!!

So, to all you absolutely wonderful people who have helped Silas make it this far, thank you! For the very first time since the beginning I have a good feeling about him and am feeling really confident that he can do this growing up thing. I can't wait for our vet to see him again. He has not seen him since Friday and I really think he will notice the improvement - it's hard not to!

Do you guys want more pix/video? Just let me know and I will see what I can do!

What a World Cup!!!!!!



The under 17 Girls world cup has finished. It was hold in New Zealand and was an amazing show piece of football.

You would have to give this cup 10/10, over 200 thousand people showed up to the matches, record attendances for a female sporting event in New Zealand, big tv audience, the skill level, the support of this cup has blown Fifa away and what a great advertisement it was for young girls to get into sport.

I was shocked by the standard of football, shock that my fellow kiwis turned up, and the players themselves were great with the fans and the media, there is actually not enough words in the dictionary to sum up what a great event it was.

Their were plenty of goals, a penalty shootout, you couldn't ask for more drama.

Superstars were made.

Thanks once again to Fifa for giving the cup to New Zealand, lets hope more cups will come our way in the years to come.

North Korea Boys 2 USA Girls 1




North Korea or the People's democratic republic of Korea has beaten the USA 2-1 in the final of the girls under 17 world cup.

But I am calling shenanigans. At first I thought heck those girls are taking steroids, and then I thought it looked more like Hormones. Then I thought, have they got some guys in their team?

Then it finally clicked, I'm coming from the wrong angle, these aren't girls taking drugs, these are boys on female hormones, and no I'm not joking.

Why would it surprise anyone that a country like North Korea would do this? Take a look at the Olympics with their comrade in arms, China, take a look at their human rights record, take a look at number 19's upper lip.

I think they cheated out the USA and the football world is too scared to say anything, for being called everything under the sun.

Still, it was a great final!

That is all I'm going to say on the manner.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Introducing Penny and Little China Girl

Amy's pony Maxi has a very lovely owner, Robyn who, over the weekend, organised us a couple of milking goats and we collected them late (very late) last night. Their names are Little China Girl and Penny and they are such sweethearts. They will supplement Silas' milk by providing him with super fresh goat's milk.

This morning I milked my first goat! Well, goat's plural actually. Penny has a much better stream and is happier to be milked whilst China is going to need a little more gentle persuasion before she really gets the hang of it. She's pretty young and has tiny teats - she also doesn't really appreciate being milked so much but, we'll get there! I managed to get just shy of 3 litres by hand out of the two of them - I need practice but it's a start!

Here are some pics!
Penny reposing
I'm a milkin'
Little China Girl strikes a pose
China says 'Hi!'

One of the important things for invalid/convalescing animals, or animals under a lot of stress, is managing their digestive system/gut so, from the beginning we have had Silas on ulcer medication to help prevent ulcers, which can really set an animal back. We upped his ulcer meds last week as well as introducing a new product and starting him on PROENZ, which I have had success with in the past.

Silas also had a visit from Sarah Linton and I am looking into some homepathic remedies for him but need to make a few phone calls there. He's getting so much stuff it is going to be impossible to pipoint one solitary thing although I believe that everything is playing a part in his overall improvement.

Hopefully the vet will bring his xray machine out in the next couple of days so we can have a closer look at that stifle and maybe get some answers. The pronounced toe drag needs further investigation too.

Things are pretty busy with mares and foals at present too - not really enough hours in the day at this time of the year and it doesn't help when the maiden mare we have here for Reilly refuses to stand to be served, even after sedation and twitching. We've missed out this time around so she gets a few weeks to think about it now and then we'll have another try. Poor Reilly, very frustrating for him.

NEWSFLASH!

This morning, Silas got up all BY HIMSELF!!!!

Urban Meyer Cuts Spurrier's Ass

56-6. Damn, that is embarrassing.

Without a doubt, Urban Meyer is a much better coach than Steve Spurrier. Meyer has done more with his Gators than Spurrier has done with the Gamecocks. A big part of that is recruiting. Spurrier seems adept at getting a bunch of jailbirds. Any good receivers he gets just end up going pro early because they have to buy momma a new Cadillac Escalade.

I don't know if Spurrier will ever get the SEC crown with the Cocks, but he damn sure better beat the Tigers.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A new video!

Obviously Silas still has issues - check out his near fore. What do you think it is? Tendon or shoulder or something else? BUT just look at him compared to the foal I took the last two videos of. He is on bute now so still on pain medication but it is not as strong as the powerful stuff he was on last week. We're still quietly confident.



So, what's been happening ... Happy 4 weeks old Silas!

It's four weeks today since we lost Debi and Silas entered the world. What a lot has happened since then!

Silas is definitely getting stronger (and a bit easier to pick up!) but his legs still bother me something awful. All I can do is hope that with time and increased strength, they will improve. He's still not using his off hind properly and his near fore is tending to knuckle over, quite disturbingly at times. I'm going to talk to the vet about splinting but he is definitely getting about ok and trying really hard to be spritely - He tried to gallop across the paddock to us this morning after we had been to see Robbie (I had a ride around the paddock on the big goof ball) and he really picked up some speed ... on three legs! *insert frowning smiley here*. He's also taken to 'killing' the cover that I have draped over the gate by his stall and the cover I have coverng some old fenceposts by the yards. He paws at them, licks them and bites them. There is a naughty colty boy in there dying to come out!

His temperature has stayed within normal range for 48 hours, which is very promising and he is now reliably drinking 2 litres/feed with the occasional top up of 500 or so ml of water. He would drink more but with the milk situation at present, he's going to have to go a little bit hungry for another day. He's taken to chopped up apple pieces too - nothing wrong with his Clydesdale appetite!! Oh and he is still pooing well - a little firmer than it has been but very green with lots of grass and meal being digested. Yay for good poo!

I will try and get the camera out this afternoon and grab some photo and videos. He's filling out now, although he is nowhere near the size he would be if he was with his mum. I was looking at last year's photos of Kenzie at his age and the resemblance is remarkable, as is the difference in weight. Still, his joints will not benefit from too much weight so being a bit light is probably really a very good thing.

He's really stolen my heart now. Yesterday afternoon I fell asleep for a wee while in his stall with him and woke up to his whiskers tickling my cheek as he snored. He's so opinionated and single minded, I think it is what is pulling him through this. His mum was exactly the same. He has her steely determination and stubborn willfullness and I think it is probably saving his life.

Brandon Jennings Update and NBA's Age Limit

Luis Fernández and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress have an update on Brandon Jennings--the 19-year-old American basketball star who opted to play professionally Italy while waiting to become eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft. In addition to living in a rent-free luxury apartment in downtown Rome, among enjoying many other perks, Jennings is earning around $1 million this year, after tax, between basketball and endorsement income (in fact, he stands to earn more in endorsement income this year than any pick from the 2008 NBA Draft, save for the top three players selected, Michael Beasely, Derrick Rose, and O.J. Mayo).

According to
Fernández and Givony, Jennings has played generally well thus far. And according to the very early predictions of both DraftExpress and NBAdraft.net, Jennings projects to go 7th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. If those predictions prove accurate, Jennings stands to earn about $8 million in salary in his three NBA seasons, plus whatever endorsement income he earns.

Jennings' eligibility to play college basketball this season was undetermined at the time he signed a contract to play in Italy (he was waiting for the results on his SAT exam), so it remains to be seen whether he proves to be a test case for star high school basektball players skipping college and going to Europe while waiting to satisfy the NBA's one-and-done rule, which requires that a player be 19 years of age plus one year removed from high school in order to be eligible for the draft.

But it will be interesting to follow.

Related Recent Post: NY Times Examines NBA's Age Limit and Youth Basketball (story on Renardo Sidney, the basketball phenom thinking of skipping college and going to Europe).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not a great start to the day

On Tuesday this week I went into our local Farmlands store and ordered another bag of Vetpro foalmilk powder. I figured that this would provide ample time for it to be delivered. You can imagine how unimpressed I was when I went to collect it today to find it had still not arrived FIVE days after being ordered. Of course today is a Saturday so a call to Vetpro and then to Vetpro's after hours number yielded no response. I have left messages on both phones and sent an email, asking what courier company were responsible for the urgent delivery of the powder. No response yet.

Thank heavens for my vet and for Sam Williams at Little Avondale Stud! We now have close to 2kg of powder which will at least see us through until tomorrow. We will have to dilute it and incorporate some Milligans as we don't have enough to last the weekend but it is most definitely better than the alternative, which was to switch back to Milligans. I am very disappointed to have been let down so badly and will be interested to see where the break in the chain was. Now I just hope the damned stuff turns up on Monday morning! I've also just got off the phone to the lovely Robyn VT who is going to see if she can help us get a couple of nanny goats. I'm going to have to get myself a little milk maid outfit at this rate - how fast CAN you milk a goat out by hand? Anyone know?

Silas' blood tests showed elevated white blood cells and signs of muscle and tissue damage so, we now have a new antibiotic to try and will continue doing everything else we can. He's definitely got more attitude nowadays but still demonstrating considerable lameness in his stifle area and wobbly front legs - he's not ready to go out and plough any paddocks just yet!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

USA 2 Germany 1



The USA beat Germany 2-1 in the semi final of the womans under 17 world cup in Christchurch. New Zealand.

The USA team like a lot of their sport stars are a cut above the rest and that is hard at this level where all the teams have some gifted players.

The skill level of these young woman have blown me away, so has the success of the cup itself.

Fifa must be so impressed, this is the first under 17 woman's world cup and for Fifa to give it to NewZealand was a risk.

But kiwis have come out in the thousands and supported it, because the football has been exciting, there have been goals galore, the emotion has been high, I don't think I have ever enjoyed a sports comp more in decades.

Fingers are crossed that Fifa will give New Zealand more cups in the future.

Do we get our hopes up?

This afternoon Silas was very perky and so we took him for a walk. I rode Bados and Nick and Amy were on foot. We went down the race and into the arena paddock and then through into the one tree hill paddock. This paddock is next to the paddock that Meg is currently in and Silas met his sister for the first time. She was fascinated, as was he. No nose-to-nose contact yet as Silas was a little unsure of the four big mares snorting and prancing over the fence from him.


He then mooched around the paddock, nibbling on seed heads and investigating tree roots and Reilly's old poo pile. On the way back he even tried to canter a couple of times! By the time we were back to his paddock, he was pretty pooped so he lay down in bed and we left him to have a sleep.


Sarah Linton is coming to see him this afternoon/evening so hopefully she will be able to help him feel even better. He's off the anti inflams now and we are waiting to hear back from the vet about the next step in his treatment. Very promising to see him so upbeat knowing that it has been some time since his last injection. His temperature is down to 38.6 so within normal range too.


So, do we get our hopes up?

SmoOOoch!

I's eatin' my 'erbs!

Gizza cuddle then 'uman!


New Orleans, Gambling, and the NBA


The Times-Picayune has an interesting story up about Phil Jackson’s reaction to an advertisement for Harrah’s New Orleans Casino in the visiting locker room in the New Orleans Arena. Here’s what Jackson said:



We talked about this last year….We thought it wasn't a good message at all. One side of it says don't gamble, and the other side you are advertising for it….This is a franchise that is led by a good Christian leader. He has prayer(sessions) before the games. I'm sure he knows what he's doing.


This raises a number of interesting questions. There is no question that Tim Donaghy’s actions directly threatened the integrity of basketball. You won’t find many people arguing that NBA players or referees should be allowed to bet on an NBA game, even one they are not playing in or officiating. You also won’t find many people arguing that NBA players or referees should be allowed to engage in illegal activity. Both types of behavior harm the image of the game and it is understandable that the NBA would take action to prevent such behavior. It is certainly absurd to think that an NBA team would place an advertisement for a sports book (or a drug dealer) in an NBA locker room. But, what about an advertisement for legal activity that does not violate any NBA rules? In other words, what about an ad for Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans?

One cannot place bets on sporting events in the Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans, and all of the other forms of gambling that take place in the casino (slot machines, poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, etc.) are legal. The casino is prominently located just outside of the French Quarter, is a major sponsor of the Hornets, is frequented by thousands of tourists per day, and houses one of the top (if not most expensive) restaurants in New Orleans.

What, precisely, is Phil Jackson’s concern? Is he concerned with the possibility that NBA players may lose large sums of money legally gambling in the casino, and therefore be more tempted to gamble on NBA games? Is he concerned with the possibility legal gambling in a casino is a gateway to illegal gambling? Or, is he concerned with all forms of gambling? In other words, is Jackson drawing a line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, with all forms of gambling falling on the unacceptable side of the line? If so, is that an appropriate line to draw? Jackson might argue that the line is appropriate because the Donaghy scandal is the NBA’s Black Sox scandal, so any appearance of impropriety or association with impropriety must be eliminated to protect the sport. But, is the Donaghy scandal really the modern-day equivalent of the Black Sox scandal? Perhaps this is a credit to David Stern and the rest of the NBA front office, but the story seems to have disappeared from the headlines pretty quickly. And, even if the Donaghy scandal is a modern-day Black Sox Scandal (or Black-Sox Lite, or Black-Sox Zero, as Coke might call it), is there a problem with NBA players playing poker in a card room in a Harrah’s Casino, in the very same card room where ESPN has televised poker tournaments?

Trevor Hoffman Doesn't Get a Gold Watch from the Padres

It would be interesting to hear from any sports agent readers of this blog on their reaction to how the San Diego Padres informed Trevor Hoffman--who's pitched for the Padres for the last 15 years--that his contract offer to pitch next season had been rescinded:
The Padres informed Hoffman not in person with a one-on-one conversation, or a hand-written note, or even with a phone call

Instead, they sent his reps a fax.

Gotta think the Padres could have handled this one better.

Hamish babies

At times like this, it is nice to have a reminder of why we do what we do. Today, within moments of each other, I received two emails. One from a lady who bred her mare to Hamish last season with photos of her new foal attached. The photos made me laugh and I have popped them on here for you all to see. The mare is a 3/4 TB by It's About Time, out of a Clydesdale cross mare. The foal has just about the longest legs I think I have ever seen on a foal. He was 30 days 'late' but strangely looks a little undercooked (check out that floppy ear!). He's also enormous. Love him, and love the updates.

The second email came from a lady I sold a weanling to 5 years ago. Bijou was Genna's last foal for us (Genna being Roxy the orphan, Bridie and Bella's mum) and she was a twin. She was TINY when she was born but strong and healthy. I sold her to a wonderful home up north and her mum has kept in regular contact with me. BJ is now going to pony club and lapping it all up. She's been measured and has made a whopping 14.1HH - Hamish's only pony baby and isn't she cute!

BJ trotting BJ jumpin'

Legacy Yoga
Ear he is
Face plant

Silas had an OK night. He has put on weight, which is great, BUT it means he is getting harder and harder to pick up. Christina and I really struggled at 11pm last night and Nick has tweaked his back. If this continues, we are going to have to work out some sort of winch! He had his last shot of the current AB last night and last shot of anti inflams. We called our vet this morning first thing and he is going to try and talk to the people at Massey about where to next. So, watch this space.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Silas day 25

Not so much to report today. Silas is much the same. He is drinking a bit less than the previous couple of days and we still have to pick him up. He's pretty bright and chipper but the underlying problem is still very much there. Last anti inflammatory shot tonight and then a call to the vet tomorrow for a 'where to next?' discussion.

Reilly has a new girlfriend who arrived today. He's quite taken with her but she's not so keen on him ... yet.

Hamish was not left out and has a new girl too, however she's currently grazing with my old gelding Paddy until she shows a little more interest.
Today's selection of pix include Aine, Reilly & Grace and, of course, Silas.

Hello
Reilly & GraceReilly & Grace
Aine
Y'ello there
It's a long way down there
Posin'
What a face

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Silas on a high

So today's video demonstrates just what a difference a day and a shite load of gooood drugs make! Silas is having a good day after having a good night. The anti inflammatory shots are doing their thing and HOPEFULLY so are the antibiotics! He's on a daily dose of A/B and twice daily happy juice (the anti inflammatory). The video will show you just why I feel queasy at times watching him walk when he so nearly knuckles over, especially on the near fore. Ugh, it reminds me of rolling my ankles, which I have done more times than I care to remember!



I also grabbed some shots today or Rory the rascal so will share a couple of those. He's had a bit of an upset tum but seems well over that now and his mum (Hooty - Wynyard Night Owl) is in season and in the process of being bred to Reilly. This all seems to be going well. I suspect today was her last day for being bred but will tease her tomorrow (yay for teaser geldings!) and see how we go.