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It seemed as if the God’s were against us from the start. Two over-aged running wannabes aiming to complete the North Circuit of Mount Ruapahu. Planning for an assault on the Northern Circuit had begun in early September and everything had been planned to military precision. Permission had been granted from wives, children care arrangements had been organised and detailed gear lists had been drafted and edited to perfection. Then with 3 weeks until ‘D Day’yours truly was involved in a horrific bike incident which saw his lunch box become stuck in his front wheel and his body thrown over the handlebars. the result was 2 fractured ribs and a bruised ego. Training partner Watty was less than sympathetic when he heard the news but boot was on the other foot when he badly twisted his ankle  one week out from our planned departure date. Added to the walking wounded was the weather which was forcast for rain and cold winds. Therefore it was decided to

We started our run at Dickies flat, a simple DOC camping area around 60mins from Tauranga and 10 minutes from Karangahake Gorge. The initial part of the run took us back to the Gorge following the Waitewe pipeline track. The track is well used and around 1km along the course there is a 150m underground tunnel which is around 1m wide and 7 foot high. A torch is handy but not totally needed.
The run back to the Karangahake Gorge is visially and historically stunning. the area was mined haevliy for gold in the 1800’s and the numerouse tunnels, pipes and old machinwery testify to this rich past.

Once we hit the Karanhake Gorge we turned left into the Karagnhake Gorge  Historical Walk which hugs the cliffs and follows the river for about 1200m. This walkway continues to an old Battery site but for todays run we turned left and went through the old railway tunnel which is about 1km long. There is lighting in the tunnel and the track is perfect for running or cycling.

After coming out of the railway tunnel we headed back to the main area of the Karangahek Gorge and then turned right and began our assent of Mount Karangahake. Firstly we had to negioatiate Scotsman’s Gully. Today it lived up to its name with the recent heavy rain causes the track to be extremely wet under foot and a little rough in places.
Scotsman’s Gully only takes about 10minutes to pass and from that the track links up with a wide  4WD track which actually meanders its way back to Dickies Flat. Today however we travelled about 2km until we took a sharp turn and really began the steady climb up to the top of Mount Karangahake. The track is pretty standard fare; nice and wide with plenty of tree cover, although added to today’s recipe was mud sludge from the rather wet weather which made the going a little slow.
A top of Mount Karangahake the view is apparently impressive. We would have to go with people’s word as today there was nothing but thick fog. Following the top it is a long steady downward trek back to Dickies flat. We found the going a little tough on the way back and the constant twists and turns and mud puddles  in the track make it difficult to get any sort of rythym going. The track home is a mixture of wider 4WD styles tracks and thin running paths.

About 4 km from the end the track joins up to the another. We took the right hand turn down into Dickies flat through a native forest and then back onto the Pipe tunnel track.




The much anticipated Ashes series between bitter cricketing rivals Australia and England is one day old and already I have had enough. Yes, already I have had to turn down the volume so that my ears are not burned by that hideous sound, known as the Channel 9 Commentary Team.

This group of 9 men does more harm to cricket than good, yet every season we welcome them back like a bad smell. A recent KRG Poll found that last summer and estimated 3.4 million people around the globe were put off cricket due to these 9 self promoting poofters.

As part of my research for this post I cam across some guidelines for becoming a Channel 9 Cricket Commentator and thoughts they were good enough to pass on. Thanks World Cricket Watch.

TOP SECRET, EYES ONLY: Guidelines for Channel 9 cricket commentary team

Commentary style – Your role is not to provide impartial commentary on the cricket but to act as cheerleaders for the Australian cricket team. Therefore, please refer to the players by their affectionate nicknames such as Punter, Dougie and Pup, and on no account criticise any of the team, so Hauritz is a worthy successor to Warne and not a crap off-spinner who would struggle in grade cricket.

Don’t talk about the cricket – The cricket is actually incidental to your main role as cheerleaders (see above), advertisers (see Sponsors) and to spout nonsense (see Individual Styles).

Richie Benaud – Richie is the only commentator who is allowed to provide any sort of insight into what is happening on the field. Therefore, please avoid providing any insightful comments at all.

Sponsors – Please promote these at any opportunity especially KFC, Gatorade and the Cricket Travel Agency. The sponsors are far more important than the cricket – please remember that. So if there is a wicket, don’t talk about what happened, just focus on the player wearing the Gatorade heart monitor.

Bill Lawry – Bill is your barometer, if you plunge to the depths of his commentary ‘ability’ then you will be sacked. Please humour his constant references to the crowd “lovin’ it” and his generalisations about any opponent Australia is playing.

Replays – This is the only time you talk about the action. Your role is to talk through fifteen replays of each incident always promoting the power of television.

The Opposition – Don’t talk about Australia’s opponents unless you are criticising and/or making generalisations (preferably borderline racist) about them. If the opponents are on top you must always talk about how the Aussies are going to turn it around. On no account praise the opposition.

Individual Styles – Each of you should also follow these individual styles in addition to the above:

Ian Chappell – Please only talk about how much better things were in the 70s when you were captain i.e. be yourself.

Tony Grieg – In everything you say you must hark back to WSC and continually promote the use of technology. Ultimately, your arm is that television controls everything – the toss, bowling changes, field positions, shot selection, even the weather etc.

Mark Nicholas – As the token Pom you must live up to all the Australian generalisations of your motherland i.e. be pompous, spout utter crap and be ever so creepy.

Ian Healy – You are the joker of the pack except on no account are you allowed to be funny. Your special role with regards to the sponsors is to always talk about how much you love KFC you fat b***ard.

Tubby Taylor – You must laugh at Healy’s jokes no matter how bad they are and always link them back to your playing days. Apart from that please say nothing.

Michael Slater – Your role is to relay the inane conversations you have had with Ponting, Hussey and other members of the Aussie side before play during the action in a sickeningly gushing way. It is even better if you speak about these chats at completely inappropriate times during the day’s play.

Richie Benaud – Don’t forget to take your Sanatogen and please always use 50 words when only 10 would be necessary.

Bill Lawry – Your mission is to be the worst commentator in cricket history and to get worse every day and every match. Please keep talking about the crowd at all times. Even if the Aussies run a single you say ‘the crowd are lovin’ it”.


Go on and admit it. Once when you were looking up a number in the phone book, a funny listing caught your eye. You chuckled at the poor guy whose name is also a curse word. Then you thought, “If I had nothing better to do, what other funny names could I find in the phone book?”
This happened to me the other day. I was searching the internet for ideas for our new baby which is due to arrive on the 15th January.

Instead I was sidetracked as I found a man by the name of Lunatic Fringe. Now this person could be a woman as many women I know do have lunatic fringes. And as I say to my wife – Never trust a woman with a straight fringe. However for the sake of this point I will assume he is male. Mr Lunatic Fringe lives at 26 Wills Rd Katikati, phone number 07 549 0308.

While the strange baby name is no new phenomena, there is a guy in the bible called Nimrod, but things have definitely taken a change in the last few years. Average middle class families have started to ditch the standard names like Karen and Joseph and opt for fancier ones like Madison and Asa. However, it is the sad self obsessed world of movie stars that baby naming has raged is out of control.

Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin have two children. The first named Apple and the second named Moses. According to Paltrow in an interview with Oprah in 2004 she chose the name because “Apples are so sweet, and they’re wholesome, and it’s also biblical”.

As strange as these names are in the world of celebrity showbiz they are nothing compared to some of names going around. Even ‘Apple’ seems drab compared with Hollywood baby names like Pilot Inspektor, cooked up by Jason Lee, the star of “My Name Is Earl”. You may have thought ‘Banjo’ was a musical instrument. Not according to “Six Feet Under” star Rachel Griffiths who thought this was the perfect name for her child. Another classic, Moxie CrimeFighter, a name chosen in 2006 by the comedian Penn Jillette for his daughter. Sadly this is only the tip of the ‘crazy name’ iceberg.
+++ Nicholas Cage has obviously been in too many Hollywood Blockbusters and named his on Kal-el Coppola – the name of Superman on the planet Kryptonite.
+++Julia Roberts son will have to go to a private school if he is going to avoid being beaten up at school with a name like Phinnaeus.
+ ++Frank Zappa the American musician named his son Moon Unit. Enough said.
+ ++Bob Geldof may have saved thousands of kids in Africa yet by naming his kid Fifi Trixibelle he may have destroyed the life of one living westerner.
+++Jamie Oliver is the naked chief who spends his time complaining to the British government about the large amount of fat in our diets. He then goes and names his children Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey; perhaps he should order his priorities a little better.

But it is George Foreman, the former world boxing champion and lean men fat reducing grilling machine expert who really takes the cake. He has 5 boys and two girls. The boys are George Junior, George III, George IV, George V and George VI. Meanwhile the girls are Fredda George and Georetta. It is a sad day when your grilling machine has a more original name than your children.

While all this is interesting it does very little to help me in my search for a baby name. As I will not be calling by baby Pilot I have resorted to the internet to help me decide on an appropriate baby name. Have been bestowed with the name ‘Shem’ I have enjoyed having a different name. It is something I think is important and so I am after something different yet not border on the bizarre.

There is a really helpful website which enables up and coming parents to decide on a name. All you have to do is put in your last name and the computer will do the rest and come forth with an appropriate name that matches you last name. This sounded perfect!!!

Just a quick note. Rachel and I do know the sex of the baby we are having. But we are not telling. So I will look at both boys and girls names just to keep you all fooled. Ha ha ha

Any way the first column is your name so I type in BANBURY. Next comes gender I go for BOTH ( just to keep you guys guessing). Then under style of name I put in RARE.
Our three year old laptop whirred and stuttered as the page slowly loaded. Ten names on the first page. 381 names in all, I had no idea the Banbury name was so versatile.
First up is Adramyttium Banbury which I am a little disappointed with. Especially when I find out the meaning is court of death. Things don’t get better as the second name is Avery Banbury although the meaning ‘my parents are alive’ is reassuring. Next up Sousroqa Banbury, then Rosamund Banbury, Minerva Banbury, Jupiter Banbury (meaning rules with elf wisdom) and Daganyah Banbury (which means ceremonial grain). To be honest if I named my child anything like that I would then have to spend my free time with the Hollywood elite.

I was about to kick my computer when I quickly glanced down at the final two names. Pleasingly these names proved to be suitable. Not so much in the actual name, but more in their meaning. For a girl we will go with Abihail Banbury, which is a derivative of Abigail and appropriately means ‘Father has Strength’. I can see you all nodding your heads in approval.
For the boys name the computer said to go with Prasoona Banbury. I like it. The double ‘o’ adds a little depth, without being pretentious, and the meaning ‘father is a lion’ is once again accurate.

So in 8 weeks time while Rachel is in the middle of her labour marathon. I will be at her side reassuringly cheering her on as we wait for Abihail or Prasooona (extra o’s added for even more depth) to come into the world.


The worst ever miss in the history of Football. This guy will never be able to forget such an easy goal.

ALL BLACKS v IRELAND – Live Blogging

Ireland1.Cian Healy, 2.Rory Best, 3.Tom Court, 4.Donncha O’Callaghan, 5.Mick O’Driscoll, 6.Stephen Ferris, 7.David Wallace, 8.Jamie Heaslip, 9.Eoin Reddan, 10.Jonathan Sexton, 11.Luke Fitzgerald, 12.Gordon D’Arcy, 13.Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 14.Tommy Bowe, 15.Rob Kearney.

Reserves: 16.Sean Cronin, 17.John Hayes, 18.Devin Toner, 19.Denis Leamy, 20.Peter Stringer, 21.Ronan O’Gara, 22.Keith Earls.

New Zealand1.Tony Woodcock, 2.Hikawera Elliot, 3.Owen Franks, 4.Anthony Boric, 5.Tom Donnelly, 6.Jerome Kaino, 7.Richie McCaw, 8.Kieran Read, 9.Andy Ellis, 10.Daniel Carter, 11. Hosea Gear, 12.Ma’a Nonu, 13.Conrad Smith, 14.Cory Jane, 15.Mils Muliaina.

Reserves: 16.Andrew Hore, 17.John Afoa, 18.Samuel Whitelock, 19.Liam Messam, 20.Alby Mathewson, 21.Stephen Donald, 22.Sonny Bill Williams

REFEREE:Marius Jonker


Date: Saturday, November 13
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT (06:15 NZT)
Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Robin Goodliffe (England)

Scotland: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Rory Lamont, 13 Max Evans , 12 Graeme Morrison , 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Mike Blair (c), 8 Richie Vernon , 7 John Barclay , 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray , 3 Euan Murray , 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen . Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Nathan Hines , 19 Ross Rennie, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Ruaridh Jackson, 22 Nikki Walker.

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Hikawera Elliot, 1 Tony Woodcock. Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Ma’a Nonu.



When your brain power doesn’t match your ability.



Cool video showing some of the amazing things people can do.