Posts by Ian Llewellyn

  • Hard News: Please, be our guests,

    The corkage charge in Parliament is crazy. All comes down to Bellamys' monopoly in the function rooms. You pay their charge or you buy their wine which is equally over-priced.
    It almost killed the Press Gallery Xmas party until we got around it. Gallery and none of the political parties hold functiions in the Bellamys controlled rooms anymore.
    We use the alleyway and Doidge room (fits 20 people comfortably) and the parties use their caucus room for their parties. This means you can bring in outside caterers and booze. Not quite as grand as the Grand Hall though, have a good night

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: All White on the night,

    Some people just don't get it. I suppose it is part of the culture in NZ to be snide and belittle, in an attempt to be cool.
    For example this comment:
    ``I just can't enthused over beating Bahrain and then celebrating hysterically just because we qualified to turn up. How low is that hurdle? The All Whites will have a starters chance in South Africa I suppose, but they'll be lucky to score a goal let alone actually win a game.''
    It is just a game, but for those who care about football, qualifying for the world cup is pretty much up there.
    ``How low is the hurdle''... Umm if you looked around the world, you will find many countries who think the hurdle is very high.
    Remember this is not NZ and rugby, it is a game that lots of people play and care about.
    There are millions of people waiting for the last qualifying matches this week and they are worried about qualifying.
    They would care a lot about a shot at scoring a goal or possibly winning a game in the finals
    And the best thing about it, is that you can be snide, condescending and even mocking and we don't care.
    We had a good time and are hoping for more

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: Wait for it...,

    I think Hadyn your friend meant it is not ``all'' about goals.

    Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to explain colours to the blind when talking about football to someone who has only ever watched rugby.

    Neither game is better than the other, they are just games with different rules.

    Football's beauty is its simplicity, the rules don't change (there was a decade long argument over how long the goalkeeper could hang on to the ball), the only significant one I can recall in 40 years is the banning of the back pass.

    Rugby seems to change by the season and the game now has little resemblance to when I was being beaten up on the playing fields of Wainui.

    That video of Gazza scoring at Wembley against the Arse sums up a lot to me.

    I was there that day, the Spurs had yet another average season, great players rubbish team.

    We went to Wembley knowing in our hearts that we were going to be thumped (A strange aside but why do rugby people/Nzers? stop supporting their teams when they are losing), but we went and we won through a mix of passion, skill and beauty.

    All those depressing days at White Hart Lane were worth it and the goals mattered a lot.

    Then there was the following final when the donkiest player turned into a football genius when it really mattered.

    Football is just a game and I have spent far too much time puzzling over why so few Nzers get it, when so many more people do.

    I have theories, but I have written enough now

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Stories: The Internet,

    Not quite an internet experience, but my first with computers. My father is a genius and back in the 1970s he built a machine that played Pong.

    It saved me socially, kids flocked to be my friend

    He took me to the old DSIR computer room which was capable of playing this text based game of working out how to land on the moon inputting the lander's thruster and length of time you used them for.

    We thought it was so cool, a room full of technology to do that. We wondered if we could have that at home.

    From there he took me through the old TSR and commmodores, each doing stuff we though was incredible at the time.

    He explained to me the concept of the internet at the time, but it went way over both our heads.

    It sounds like ancient history and I am 43

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: A Trip to Canberra with Alan Bollard,

    You are right on the drugs front. I can see a story line with Bollard on E getting loving and cutting rates and a speeded out, drunk Governor laying down great vengance upon the evil ones... ""the bats, the bats... do you not see them'' quote from memory, not the book

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: A Trip to Canberra with Alan Bollard,

    Brilliant, Hunter S Thompson meets monetary policy. I laughed, which is rare praise

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Birthday Cheer for Ricky the…,

    To Rich of Observationz
    What particular problem do you have with wire services.
    Personally I rely on them to pay me wages.
    I am also perplexed by the idea that 1/3 of newspaper copy is freelance. That would not match my perception, newspapers are far too cheap to pay even those poor wages for copy when they get it from the wire services that Rich takes exception to.

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Fear Factor,

    Richard and Andrew... I would be proud to be mistaken for you and Andrew since when did anyone in our family refrain from saying things because it wasn't our place to do so *smiles*

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Fear Factor,

    Thanks for that Damian. Looking back at my post it looks more critical of you personally that I intended it to be. (one of the dangers of getting on one's high horse in the early hours of the morning)

    It is just the blog world's assumption that all ``msm'' (love that term) are mindlessly gratutious that gets on my nerves. Though I suppose a profession that does tend to reinforce stereotypes tends to get what it deserves. Live by the sword and all that.

    The debate about death knock journalism is one that we have all the time, but I suppose it is much more heated in TV. Done well and ethically it can be the most effective journalism -- at which I have been abjectly useless. Done badly it is cruel, cheap and intrusive.

    Anyway good luck as for sticking around hmm... the tired cynical old hack in me would question the pay rate

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Fear Factor,

    There are a couple of points I would like to make very quietly.

    Journalism is full of of moral, ethical and professional decisions on a day to day basis.

    Most of the time there is a story to be told and you tell it. For those who do not care too much about consequences of effects upon others (or at times what is true) this is easy, for those who worry it is not.

    I can understand your distaste of the death watch stuff, as I have always been uncomfortable with it myself (and also not very good at it). But I might have some more respect for your stand if you took it while in the job, instead of after you quit it.

    It is your personal stand and good on you, but what goaded me for the first time to enter this blog world was the raising of the tsunamai disaster to draw a line in your argument about what should be told, shown or asked and what should not be reported.

    I covered Banda. The death and destruction was horrible. I hope I never see anything like it again, but for me it wasn't the bodies being poured into mass graves and floating in the puddles that told the story. It wasn't the smell or the shattered buildings, though the children's ward at the hospital where every kid died was horrible.

    It was talking to the live people about their survival and what they had lost that really made me choke. I still have one memory of a story that brings tears to my eyes every time I remember it.

    Was I being intrusive? maybe. Should the stories have been told? yes, I am in no doubt.

    I guess that you are talking about your bad experience in hounding someone in their personal tragedy and I can understand that. But to take the leap to the next step that grief, pain and suffering should not be reported is a step too far for me.

    ``I don't think people want to watch that sort of thing, it makes me feel uncomfortable watching people grieving like that''.

    Sorry, but life is uncomfortable sometimes.

    (Forgive me for the sermon, I hate death knock journalism as well but you hit a nerve with me. I shall now withdraw from the blog world)

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply