Thursday, July 31, 2008

The elusive 200 Club - Part 2

I was wrong....

The elusive 200 Club

Jacques Kallis is a fine cricketer (or cricketeer if Don King is to be believed). He is a true legend in the making. Probably the finest, or very close too the finest all-rounder to ever play the game. I`m sure Sir Garfield Sobers would have something to say about that claim but this is my blog and Sir Garfield is not a subscriber.

Kallis averages in the high 50`s with the bat and the very low 30`s with the ball. He has scored more than 9600 runs, more than 150 wickets nad has taken many magnificent catches. The complete cricketer you might say.

The one blemish on his record is the absence of a double ton. The magical 200 mark has eluded him his whole career. He had the opportunity many years ago but the captain declared when JK was on 189*. I am sure he was given ample time before the declaration came but he didn`t accelarate at all. He probably thought a 200 was just around the corner.

Well, it wasn`t. That happened almost 10 years ago and still, no double.

I feel though that that is about to change. Kallis has been well below his usual standards on the current tour of England. He has a high score of 13 in the current series. Now anybody who has followed Kallis knows, that is not something that is going to last. He already showed glimpses of a return to form in the warm-up to this test. Scores of 55* and 70* is proof of that.
So, I am making this statement in the company of all 3 my loyal readers (you know who you are).
Kallis will make a 200 during this test if he gets a proper batting chance and if the weather does not interfere.
Big words I know but then again only 3 people will mock me if I`m wrong....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Brian, The Legend

Today is my brother-in-law Brian`s birthday. Brian is an absolute legend and his love for Wimpy burgers is well known. Unfortunately he lives in New Zealand so Wimpy burgers are also just a distant dream for him.

These photos were taken during my families last visit to SA in 2004/5. We had an absolute ball and the memories will last forever. They were not digitally manipulated in any way whatsoever......

Brian doing one of his famous dance moves.....

Brian and the love of his life.......

Hope you have an awesome day, we love you and miss you terribly....

Monday, July 28, 2008

My dream "To-Do" list

Everybody who knows me, knows that there are specific things that I want to do during my lifetime. Some I have been fortunate enough to do and some will probably have to wait a bit longer.

My To-Do list includes sporty things like seeing Man Utd play at Old Trafford - The Theatre of Dreams, enjoying a Boston Redsox game at Fenway Park, watching Roger Federer play anywhere. Or musical things like seeing Collective Soul in concert etc etc. It`s a long list and I won`t bore you with the details.

Some things I will never get to do though, like seeing Eric Cantona play, watching Elvis in concert (don`t laugh!) and seeing Bob Skinstad reach his TRUE potential (I did get to play golf with him, thanks Andre!). Bob is still a LEGEND!

Sitting here though, it suddenly dawned on me how many of the items I have been able to cross off my list.

- Watching the Boks play the All Blacks at Newlands and beat them - Check, August 2005 (and being there to see Andre nail a spectacular dropgoal which in the end was the difference between winning and losing)

- Watching WP play at Newlands - Check, 2008

- Watching Man Utd play - Check, 2006 AND 2008

- Seeing Ryan Giggs, a true United legend, play - Check, 2008

- Seeing Counting Crows in Concert - Check 2008

- Seeing Live in concert - Check 2000 and 2006

- Seeing U2 in concert - Check 1999

- Going to New York - Check 2007

- Watching the New York Knicks play at Madison Square Garden - Check 2007

- Running my first half marathon - Check June 2008

The latest dream "To-Do" came true on Sunday. It was always a dream to go to Hillsong Church in Sydney. Well, I did the next best thing and went to Hillsong Church Cape Town and what an AWESOME experience. Hayley and I were truly blown away by the passion for God. We are really inspired to be the best Christians we can be.

Looking back at the list, it is amazing how blessed I`ve been to have so much of it become reality. What makes it even more special is that I have shared most of it with Hayley. When you get married your dreams are not your own anymore and I am very blessed to have a wife who share my passions.

So, here`s looking at making a lot more dream "To-Do`s" come true.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

God`s Country

Even during times of stress and worry, there is always the beauty of God`s Creation. This was the sunset tonight, it made even the biggest worry seem small in the greater scheme of things...
The Cape truly is God`s Country. He took His time when He created it....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yip, I did it. Finished my 2nd half marathon and ran a pretty decent time. I actually beat my previous best by almost 17 minutes!

It`s so awesome to see and feel the progress. I went past the 10km mark in under 60 minutes and felt really strong towards the end. Only problem was my previously mentioned left knee which gave me hell from about the 5km mark. This slowed me down quite a bit and I am sure that if it gets better, I`ll be able to go under 2 hours, easily. I did go to the physio yesterday and she diagnosed 2 problems. ITB and a problem with the lateral ligament. Let`s hope it`ll be sorted quickly.

But besides those little issues, the running is going really well. My average heart rate for the race on Saturday was 148, which was very good. Consider that my average heart rate for my first 2 km run was 185!!!! That shows how my level of fitness has improved. Of course there is a long way to go. If I can get my knee sorted, I would like to do a marathon but I fear that is in the future. For the time being I am happy with my progress.

I suppose I can now call myself a runner? I have always felt like an impostor. Doing my 3km in the beginning surely made me feel more like a walker than a runner!
But that is in the past, for now I am a runner and part of the running community. A great place to be.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quick Update

I have been pretty quiet this week due to work demands and high stress levels! Being in this frame of mind certainly does not bring out the comedian in me, so instead of boring everybody with my "woe is me" routine I decided to keep a low profile.

The major sporting news is The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. The weather is pretty horrendous and scoring is very difficult at present. Par looks a very good score on the first day. Goose had a very good round and ended on +1 (71). Ernie on the other hand was +9 with 1 hole to play. What a disaster. Fact of the matter is that he is not out of it at all and that just puts the difficulty of the course and the conditions into perspective. The Open can sometimes be a lottery with the weather. The morning field seems to have gotten the worst of it today. Weather report looks better for the weekend. But, it is Britain after all, so who knows what`ll happen.

Other big news is the Man Utd game at Newlands on Saturday. Hayley organised Box Tickets for us, so I will be cheering my guts out for my Red Devils. This will probably be my one and only chance to get to see Ryan Giggs play and I will cherish every second of it.

The Christiano Ronaldo story still hasn`t come to a conclusion but I am sick to death of it. Please let the man go. United is much bigger than him. He has shown complete disrespect to the club that MADE him the player he is today. Take your boots and bugger off.

To the Boks, good luck on Saturday. No matter what is said, the Aussies will be favourites under the coaching of Robbie Deans and home ground advantage. That said, I think the Boks can spring a surprise. here`s hoping Hayley has that "funny feeling" again come Saturday.

Oh and lastly, I am doing my 2nd Half Marathon on Saturday. The Worcester Voorsieners / Hospice Half Marathon, which is a matter very close to my heart. Here`s hoping I`ll do it justice.

That`s all from me today.

Hamster Stare

This is one of the funniest clips I have ever seen.

Very much the look I get from my wife when I have done something wrong.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Comeback Kings

Well, I have to eat humble pie. I was completely and utterly wrong with my prediction of 0/3 during the away leg of the Trinations. But, I hasten to add, I have never been happier being wrong!

Well done to the Springboks, what a wonderful and well deserved win in Dunedin. They were absolutely awesome and showed tremendous strength of character to come back with 14 men and seize an incredible win. You might say they played like true World Champions...

Ricky January was Man of the Match even before his quite unbelievable solo effort with 5 minutes to go. He played the game of his life. Harrassing around the fringes, putting pressure on his opposite number and Dan Carter, tackling his heart out, winning ball at the breakdown etc etc etc. What an awesome effort! One mistake during the whole game and that was a quick tap gone wrong. I think we can forgive him that.

I thought we had a chance when Ali Williams went off in the 28th minute. Let that be a lesson young man, you bump into the Incredible Schalk at your own peril. That collission probably caused a mini Tsunami! Schalk, got up, dusted himself off and got on with it. Ali though kept looking for the freight train that hit him. I think he is still looking... I digress! With 2 rookie locks on, I thought we could pressurise the AB`s into making mistakes and target the lineout. This we did with great aplomb. It must be said that the scrums were also much better and I believe we had parity in that department.

The test match was really an awesome example of what can be achieved with the ELV`s. Let the Northern Hemisphere clubs watch this game if they have any doubts about the new laws.

A few players stood up today. Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Big Joe were outstanding as a combination. The frontrow was terrific and Percy brought a calmness that rubbed off on his teammates.

The one blight on the whole day was the yellow card dished out the Victor Matfield. Please explain to me what the difference was between that tackle and the one by Leon Macdonald barely 10 minutes earlier. Matt Goddard could have decided the game there and then if the Boks didn`t have other ideas. It`s time these bloody Aussie refs stop their nonsense and give SA teams a break.

Once again well done to the Bokke! You guys showed tremendous grit and made a country proud. Peter De Villiers, you silenced a lot of doubters today, keep it up!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The 11 o' clock Thrust

So I`m working from home today and I have gotten quite a bit done. The weather is waaayyyy to cold and rainy to even set foot outside the house, especially if you can get work done from your own study.

I took a break and went onto my wife`s blog (read it here ). She bemoaned the fact that the house is very quiet with our family having left yesterday. Trust me it is very quiet and we miss the family already. There is however one thing breaking the silence at the moment....

Elvis is trying to hump Phoebe. The poor boy unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) does not have an idea where what goes. At the moment it is the side entrance. If one uses the watch analogy, he is coming in (excuse the pun) from 3 o'clock. He sometimes tries other times / zones / techniques like the "11 o'clock thrust" or the "4 o'clock parry". None of them are very successful but he is trying to refine his technique and a big up to him.

Now all the above takes place with a fair amount of noise. Imagine a Massey Ferguson at three quarter throttle? That is roughly the sound eminating from the lounge area at present. Phoebe, bless her soul, takes it like a true soldier. Ok, she tries to fend the perpetrator (Elvis) off 80% of the time but to no avail. The "perp" has at least 10kg`s on her (and she ain`t a petite lady).
So, it`s like watching a ballet of fur and fat. A dance of love, lust, heavy breathing and the occassional bite.

Why don`t I stop them for doing their little ballet? I can`t. Elvis prefers the ballet to food at this stage. And in any case, you try telling a 40kg bulldog that he cannot have what he so obviously wants....

Monday, July 7, 2008

A crumbling empire?

I have a bad feeling, a very bad feeling. The Springbok display on Saturday was one of the most disjointed performances I have seen from the Boks in a pretty long time. Stuart Dickinson was terrible but that is no surprise. It never is when Stu is on the whistle.
What is of more concern is the terrible display. Saturday must be the worst kicking display I have ever seen from a Springbok side. Butch James was particularly bad. If your looking for the difference between the 2 teams, look no further than Butch and Dan Carter. Granted, Carter got excellent go-forward ball from his forwards but Butch was terrible.
I think the AB`s were MUCH better than us. Had the disallowed try stood, it would have been a better reflection of the game.
There was no cohesion between forwards and backs, no cohesion between the back 3, no cohesion between the loosetrio and no cohesion within the frontrow. All in all, a blueprint for disaster.

Delving deeper, we have to ask where the problems lie? Is it the new philosophy that Peter De Villiers is trying to instill? Is it the gameplan or lack thereof? Could it be the selections?
My view? It`s a combination of all the above. The players are still getting used to "playing the situation" and inevitably mistakes will creep in. I back the notion completely and do think it is the way forward but can our players adapt in the space of 3 tests? Well, Saturday proved the point.

I do hope Peter De Villiers gets it right. We really need him to. If he doesn`t, it might have serious repercussions for rugby in this country. Unfortunately politics play a major part in our sport and for the first black coach to be a failure will be a massive blow.

What can he do? Well firstly, stop talking to the media and start doing. The media has cost a lot of Bok Coaches their jobs. PDV is making silly comments at present and the media is having a field day.
Secondly, get the selections right. Bring back BJ at tighthead and consider Beast or Heinke Van Der Merwe at loosehead. Bring Monty in at 15, move Jantjes to the wing and bring in Frans Steyn at centre to partner Jean De Villiers.

Having said all of this though, I must be honest that I don`t see us coming back from our tour down under with a win. I predict a 0/3 record. The knives will be out for PDV and things are going to get really hairy.
I pray I`m wrong but I cannot see the Boks coming back with even one win.

So why the bad feeling? I have seen all of this before. 1995 we were crowned World Champions and it should have been the start of a wonderful period for Bok rugby. What transpired in 1996 was our first series loss on home soil to the All Blacks and a loss to the British Lions the year after.
Hence the bad feeling, I fear it may just be 1996 all over again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Roger Federer

Well, I am devastated. Roger is probably my favourite sportsman and after an epic Wimbledon final he has lost his crown to Rafael Nadal.
The final will probably go down as the best of all time. It ebbed and flowed between two of the best players to ever play the game. Unfortunately it didn`t go Roger`s way but that is sport. There will always be a winner and there will always be a loser. My favourite didn`t win this time but surely there will be more grandslam titles. He will beat Pete Sampras`s record of 14 grandslam titles, of that I have no doubt.
What is however a fact is that Roger is the best player to have ever played the game. The elusive French Open title will no doubt come his way soon and that will be the final piece of the jigzaw.
I have a feeling that the loss today will be a catalyst in his career. This year has been his worst for 5 years. There is talk that he suffered glandular fever in January, which would explain quite a lot. He will however sit down, take stock and come back better than ever. He has walked the courts for the last few years knowing that he is the best. Rafa has been his only competition. On clay Rafa has no equal, the best to ever have played the game on that surface without a doubt. Until today, Rafa had not won a Grandslam on any other surface. That however all changed about 25 minutes ago. Rafa beat Roger on his favourite surface and that will hurt. Roger will go back to the drawing board and come back better. The topspin backhand will be refined and that will make him unbeatable.

I also want to add that he may have lost today but the fight he showed was that of a true champion. He wasn`t close to being at his best but he fought with everything he had. That makes him an even bigger hero is my eyes.

So, although my heart is very sore I know that you sometimes have to take a step back to go 3 steps forward.

This will be the case with Roger.

2009 will see him equal Pete Sampras`s record and hopefully overtake it and in doing so, become the greatest of all time.
I will be there for every second of the ride...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

First Half marathon

Please allow me to indulge myself!

Here are some photos of my first half marathon in Napier which is situated in the Overberg about 100km`s from Somerset West.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Prized Possessions - 1

I have decided to do a regular post of my prized possessions, the things that really mean the world to me.

First off, my wedding ring. I have been married for 7 years now and I`m very much in love with my wife. We have been through a lot during this time but we have always been each others best friend.

So, my first "prized possession" is my wedding ring.


Ok, so here we are at the start of yet another Trinations. So far, the Boks have won 2, Australia 2 and the All Blacks the rest.

Although it is always exciting, I have to ask myself if it still holds the public interest like it used to? Don`t get me wrong, I won`t miss a game and wouldn`t for the world but still, there is something missing.

Remember the good old days, when your Mom or Dad woke you up at 03:00 in the middle of winter to go watch the Boks play the All Blacks? Freezing cold you jumped out of bed and sat infront the tv until the final whistle. Then, I always wanted to go kick my "Bokkie" rugby ball outside. Mom of course wouldn`t let me cos it was 06:00 and picth dark, not to mention freezing cold!

But for me, that will always be better than the Trinations. Tours of old, where the Boks played midweek games (the perfect place to blood youngsters and see if they can take the step up) and test matches on Saturdays. Where the first side to beat the Boks (outside of the tests) got the coveted Springbok Head as a prize to honour their achievement. That to me is still the ultimate.
In 1981, the Boks slept in squash courts within the stadium in NZ due to animosity towards them by the public at large. That same team came within a whisker (no pun intended on the very large snorre back in the day!) of winning the series. An as yet unexplained penalty at the end gifted the win for the All Blacks.

The only problem is tv now rules the world. TV rights make rugby unions profitable and ultimately, tours have been banished because the suits need money. A very sad state of affairs.

What of the Trinations this year? Australia are my picks, if for nothing else then for the fact that they nicked the best coach in the world from under the noses of the Kiwis. The AB`s will be a force as always and the Boks will definitely have the added incentive of proving their worth as World Champions.

I reckon this Trinations might just be the closest for a long long time but I would give anything for a Bok tour to NZ....