Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

November 26, 2009

Did you know there are 2 taxmen in Japan?

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:47 pm

There is the “Income tax” man – who takes a small chunk of your salary and gives it to the National government.  It is a pretty damn small amount for poor English teachers, 5%.

Then there is the “City tax” man, who usually doesn`t catch up with English teachers, cos we never stay in the country that long.  Most English schools don`t pay this tax out of your salary – this is your responsibility.  This is based on your last year`s salary, so English teachers don`t have to pay this for their first year anyway.  This is actually higher than income tax – 10% or so.

I have been over here for 2 and a bit years now, and the City tax man has got around to contacting me.  And he wants most of the money that I saved up over the last year.

My choices look like:

– pay it (I have the money)

– ask the city to let me do a payment plan (since I am poor English teacher)

– hope they don`t get around to taking me to court till after I have left the country (thinking to go home in 6 months or so), but if they do, pay it.

Had this hilarious conversation with my Girlfriend last night –

Me – I`ll ignore it

Her – (scrunches up face) that doesn`t sound good

Me – OK, I`ll pay it

Her – (scrunches up face) that doesn`t sound good EITHER.

Hilarious

PS.  Anything I have said in the past about Japan being a low tax country was wrong – it isn`t low, its only reasonable.

PSS. And I found out that the income tax scale slides, like in Australia.  Earn more, pay more.

The Olympic Funding Question

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:30 pm

Living away from Oz, I can read newspapers etc but I don`t think I have a good feel for what is happening back home.

I don`t know how big an issue this is, but the recent discussions on Olympic funding and the Crawford report caught my attention.

I am not Anti-Olympic sports, but a couple of recent statements made in support of the Olympic movement caught my eye …

– Adulation of top sportsmen leads to greater local participation in these sports

– Australians want to be one of the top medal tally countries at the Olympics

Well, the first point … is it true?  I`d like to see some research from somewhere on the connection between elite sport and grassroots participation.  The second point … looks like something worth either huge polling on or a referendum; because I don`t care what our medal tally is.  I think it is worth finding out “what Australians want” on this issue.

As a football fan, seeing the dedication and excellence that people can reach in non-popular sports with the only reward (usually) being non-monetary … its worthy of respect.  Like that band that will never reach the top, but they love music so they keep on touring.

 

November 21, 2009

Do you have a thing about cheating?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:48 am

If you do, then Thierry Henry is now “Thierry Henry, the Cheat”.  And Diego Maradonna is “Diego Hand of God Maradonna”.

And nothing anyone says or writes will change that.  Fair enough.

But it is folly to think that everyone thinks the same way.

I am still a Thierry Henry fan.  Guess I don`t care that much about cheating.

Or I have no need to demonise someone for doing something that is a part of the game.  No-one else attempted a handball, or a dive, or offside play, or a good old kicking throughout these World cup qualifiers?  How many teams do not break the laws of the game in order to gain an advantage?

And nothing anyone says or writes will change my views on that.

Very interesting views on the Ireland vs France game at Football365, and also Roy Keane giving his 2 cents in an interview which is pretty easy to find on the web.

 

November 20, 2009

A game is a series of moments …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 1:25 pm

90 minutes and injury time of moments.  Teams possessing the ball.  Teams trying to get possession of the ball.  Teams organising themselves so that the opposition`s possession is less dangerous.  Players making passes, tackles, dribbling … players stuffing up passes, tackles, dribbling.  Teams attempting to attack.   Teams attempting to defend.

And it all flows together so nicely.

So my question is, can a game`s outcome swing on 1 moment out of this multitude of moments.  That moment, that was when the game was won, or lost.  If this moment was different, it would have been a draw.  Or a win for the other team.

Some games are so one sided that it feels foolish to look for that magical moment that turns the game – Melbourne vs Adelaide grand final (the first one) cough cough.

Most aren`t though.  How about the second Melb vs Adel grand final then.  Was Christiano`s red card “the moment” that changed the game?  Or was it Travis Dodd`s inability to finish off after his excellent dribbling runs?  Or was it Galekovic making the kind of mistake he usually doesn`t make for the Tommy P goal.  Or was it another moment in the game.

I don`t think it is possible to point to one moment in a game, and say that moment defined the game.  Feel free to disagree.

I don`t accept that the penalty in the Australia vs Italy tie at the last World Cup defined the game.  One moment in a multitude of moments.  Australia had chances to make the penalty less important (by scoring a goal or two or three) in the time before the penalty.  We didn`t.

On the same basis – I don`t accept that the defining moment of the France vs Ireland tie was Gallas`s goal from Henry`s handball.  Could the Irish have scored before, or after this moment?  Could have, but didn`t.  Maybe if that Tottenham striker (forgot his name) could handball (without being caught by the ref), then the game could have been different.

That reminds me, I got to write about the butterfly effect and how it relates to football one of these days.

November 17, 2009

the thankless task of the lone frontman …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:29 pm

Harry was all alone, lonely up their at the pointy end of the field … toiling away.  Isolated, working hard for little reward …

I think that just about sums up the Aussie idea of a front man … the lone frontman.

But why are they alone?  In the NT, there are 3 mobile attackers behind the lonely frontman … but when the other team has got you under the pump, they don`t have the confidence to push forward.  Why have the other team got you under the pump?  Maybe cos they are good?  Maybe cos your`e defensive mids are screeners who sit in front of a pair of aging centrebacks who don`t have the pace to hold a higher defensive line?  Just throwing some theories out there.

I have had this feeling for a while that re the NT, maybe the space between the lines (defense, midfield and top) get too large, leaving players isolated and lacking choices.  Its just a feeling nothing I could argue strongly …

Perhaps, if the frontman is lonely, it starts at the back?

 

November 15, 2009

Do we really respect Asia?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:49 am

I remember back when the move into Asia was announced.  Seemed like there two camps of happy Aussie football fans – Group 1 was happy that there would be more serious games against better opposition, and Group 2 was happy to avoid a sudden death play-off against the 5th placed South American every 4 years.

Tried watching the end of last night`s game on JustinTV – which kept on disconnecting me every 10 seconds because “the maximum number of connections from your country has been reached – sign up to Justin TV premium!”.   This morning I had a quick scan through some of the forummy type spaces about the game … and most of the posters were saying stuff like – “We were lucky”, “God we played shite today”.  There was a rare post or two along the lines of “That Oman team is pretty good.”  For a lot of the Australian fanbase it is all about us – we should be wiping the floor with Asian teams.  They don`t have Premier league stars like we do (forgetting Park Si Jung at Man U of course).

The centre of the footballing world is Europe – the players, the cash … the best migrate there.  The only non-European countries to lift the WC Trophy are South American.  Asia and Africa have a long way to go to get Europe and South America`s respect IMHO.

But are we too quick to dismiss our Asian opponents?  They don`t play in Europe, we don`t know their players … but they love footy and they can play.

November 7, 2009

melbourne vic vs CCM – random thoughts

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:14 am

Melbourne looked dangerous at the start … but then CCM took over the midfield.  And it all just happened from there.  A deserved win.

CCM have a lot of haters.  And it is easy to see why.  But whatever the hell it is they are doing when they click – I like it.

They are not gonna win too many pass completion contests, or keeping possession contests … but they will win football games.  They did tonight.  They seem to move in packs, surging forward.  Past their own forwards. They just kept on kicking it forward, and going forward … and it worked.  Very comfortable without the ball.  Once they won the midfield battle, they didn`t have too much trouble with Hernandez and Thompson after that.

There is some nous and nice touches with a guy like Hutchinson about.  I like how Pedj Bojic plays at the base of the midfield – does a stack of defensive work, positions himself in front of the defenders, but when he sees an opportunity to join the attack, he does.  Unlike Grant Brebner. Nicky Travis gives them some run-at-defenders, comfortable-with-the-ball-at-his-feet X-factor.

And what`s with Muscat.  The guy looks almost as mad as a typical forum poster.  Baddam boop.

there`s no fullbacks!

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:34 am

I was thinking recently about the 4 centreback defence that Brisbane and the Aussie U20 squad used recently …

I know the people making these decisions are smart people , football people who understand more about the game than I ever will …

But I got curious about the thinking that goes into these choices.

Is it really a case of there being no fullbacks in Oz … or just not being happy with the ones that are available?  Too small.  Too slow.  Can`t hit a cross.  Not strong enough in the tackle. Not Dani Alves or Maicon.

I think they are out there.  Brisbane pulled Franjic out of state league – not only did they find a better full back than Luke De Vere (the centre back they were playing out there), I think he is better than the team`s first choice right back – Andrew Packer.  There isn`t a left back in the state league that could do a better job than Josh Mcloughan on the left?  There has gotta be one out there.  Or converting players is a choice.  I think that if Mike Zullo ever gets back onto the field, I would be interested to see him try the left back slot.  In the NT neither Chippers or Carney played in defence before …

But these aren`t stupid people making these choices – i think that a trade off is being made – choosing a bit more defensive solidity and height at set pieces (by choosing centrebacks) rather than getting better playing out from the back and support for the attack (the fullbacks).

I think I can understand why they make this choice, but don`t necessarily agree with it.

November 2, 2009

sydney v welly thoughts

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:57 am

Just recovering from a saturday night of bar hopping, so this is probably all a bit random. 

I am a big Mark Bridge fan.  But I also realise that he doesn`t consistently use his talents through most games.  If he could take his best moments from say, 3 games, and jam them into 1 game, he probably wouldn`t be in the A-league.  But he can`t.  I have similar thoughts about Travis Dodd.  But right now, Bridge is producing more good moments than he usually does. 

Alex Brosque is not “fast”.  Had to giggle when I saw the commentators raving about his speed.  Ben Sigmund is slow.  Brosque is one of the few A-league players who can run with the ball at their feet though.  It was a hell of a goal.  If he keeps on playing like this, I don`t think his coach will mind how many goals he ends up with this season. 

Leo Bertos is another player who can run with the ball at his feet.  Pity he doesn`t do it more.  If I was more of a caps lock using angry internet man I might call him a waster.  LEO BERTOS U UTTERLY ANONYMOUS TALENT WASTING TYPE PERSON!!! AAARGH!!! 

I miss seeing Danning on the park, but it is hard to argue with a functioning, solid 11 that is doing a good job atm. 

John Aloisi`s role is to remind Brosque and Bridge that if they have a bad run they are heading for the bench.  He isn`t bad, he just doesn`t add much to the team.  IMHO.

Time to teach my morning classes.

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