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About Paxter

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  • Birthday 12/30/1987

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    Sydney, Australia

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  1. Well straight off the back of the IPL comes...another tournament that most here probably don't care about. But I'll try to spark some enthusiasm for the much-maligned Champions Trophy anyway! England had a good win against SA today that sets them up nicely for the tournament. Having Stokes, Buttler and Ali in the middle/lower order makes for a powerful batting lineup. And Bangladesh knocked off NZ with relative ease in their most recent match. Group A could be a tough proposition for Australia as the reigning WC champs and the most fancied ODI team on that side of the draw. Meanwhile there will be no easy games in Group B. I think Sri Lanka might struggle but the other teams are pretty evenly matched. Overall this is looking like it will be a pretty decent tournament. Certainly the retention of the shorter tournament (it goes for just over two weeks) and the omission of the lowest-ranked teams (West Indies and Zimbabwe) were good moves.
  2. Yeah I don't disagree with that, although:
  3. From LCD Soundsystem's comeback album: American Dream. Wow.
  4. I finished Hannah Kent's excellent Burial Rites. I strongly recommend this one for historical fiction fans - many hours of meticulous research clearly went into it. And it's a beautiful (if bleak) story that makes the most of its rich Icelandic setting. Now continuing a rare run of Australian authors with Winton's classic Cloudstreet. Yeah this is easily my favourite instalment. Unfortunately I think the series loses its way after book two (others don't mind some of the later volumes). I'll be interested to see what you make of books three and four.
  5. Some hope for Hereward six months out from the Ashes. It will be interesting to see how this plays out: both parties have entrenched positions and the players are saying that they would be prepared to compromise the Australian summer.
  6. What a finish to the final test in the WI v Pak series. Gabriel had a brain explosion in the penultimate over of an otherwise staid match to hand Younis and Misbah the fairtytale ending they so richly deserved. I think it's worth reflecting on just how good a test captain Misbah was. He took over when Pakistan cricket was at a particularly low ebb: in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal, the retirement of the greats Yousuf and Inzy and the ongoing loss of true home ground advantage. At the time I remember thinking that Misbah was completely set up to fail. He seemed too old and perhaps not even a good enough batsman to merit a place in the test lineup. Fifty-six matches later he completes his career as Pakistan's most successful test skipper at the age of 43, with nearly double the number of wins of Imran and Javed. And a pretty good test batting record to boot! Amazing stuff.
  7. Yeah that's fair enough. I couldn't agree more on the housing affordability reforms (which Chris Bowen correctly referred to as a 'sick joke'). And the welfare reforms, while relatively narrow in initial scope, are an ominous signal for the future, reminiscent perhaps of the 2014 co-payment proposal.
  8. I did say that the welfare changes were a notable exception (and wasn't intending to downplay them!) Other aspects like the bank tax, clamping down on foreign workers and investors, (minor) housing affordability changes and infrastructure spending are more Wayne Swan than Peter Costello. And I'd be surprised if the ALP didn't support a lot of those measures in the Senate. ETA: It will be interesting to see if Labor gets on board with the increase in the Medicare levy. I personally loathe this decision.
  9. With a couple of notable exceptions (the welfare reforms, the uni fee changes), this easily could have been an ALP budget in the end. A minor victory (although I do feel sorry for the children affected):
  10. Hmmm there might be some textual support (or at least: non-inconsistency) for this? From TTT: The "hanging above the tumult" and "sweeping the earth" sounds a lot like what Aurang was doing in TGO. But I guess they could just be using lasers. On an unrelated note (but related to the above), can someone please remind me what the Ishroi are? I thought the Quya were the only sorcerers, but the above text would seem to indicate otherwise.
  11. So...budget week. Anyone care? The fact that any material housing affordability reforms have been ruled out reduces my personal interest to nearly zero.
  12. Le Pen managed to (nearly) double the vote count of her father back in '02, but in the end this was a decisive defeat for the far-right. Macron received the second-most votes of any Presidential candidate in the history of the Fifth Republic. Attempts to draw analogies between this election and last year's narrowly-won US election have fallen completely flat.
  13. I may be an outlier here, but I'm really not looking forward to another TTT-style encyclopedia at the end of TUC. I'd prefer if Bakker could weave more of the history and lore of his world into the actual text, using devices like Seswatha's dreams or the nonman helm. Apart from making it more enjoyable reading, it would also probably help readers retain the information. I guess I don't have to read it, but I feel as if the TTT encyclopedia was necessary to help parse some of the content of later books.
  14. Urgh. Pakistan.
  15. I think there are some parallels between the Theon/Reek storyline and the Ishterebinth arc - both were extremely dark, very well written, self-contained and had reasonably satisfying endings. But the rest of the novels' storylines were basically left unresolved.