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Blog is popular

The blog stats are quite interesting - for the month of April my blog was 5th most accessed part of the JAA website - with over 560 page views - pretty much close to 20 a day.  Thats a good excuse, for now, to update it every 5 days or so.

Been reading and walking most of the day - although not at the same time!  Reading - a bit of Noseweek - which no doubt Ismail Ayob is enjoying as much as any attorney featured in its pages thus far..... the Sunday Times also had a feature of him this weekend.  Publicists and my mom always tell me no publicity is bad - but I am not always certain about that!  Fortunately most of mine, so far, has been limited to De Rebus editorials taking me to task for saying the magaizne is not practical enough (but not telling readers that that the whole practice notes series started with my suggestion to them) and a journalist in The Citizen describing me as cocky or something like that because I differed with his tips on the chances of my filly Sabina Park - after a race she won and was said to have no chance.  Talking about no chance - she is currently at 200 to 1 for the July Handicap.  No, I don't agree with that assessment, but she would be pretty hard pressed to win - something she has not done in a year - and would have to, to even get in the field.  Still, Mike de Kock would not enter her if he did not rate her highly.....

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 02-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Highveld Awards

A week has flown by - and the social events don't stop!  Tonight its the Highveld Awards - meaningful for those who own race horses and with the Chairperson absent i get to make the welcoming speech.  Our MC is Neil Andrews who is of course eloquent and long departed the racing chanels to feature more on the better paid, Supersport.  Its amazing how many attorneys - or even advocates - are involved in racing.  I spent a lot of time bumping into Alick Costa of Werksmans and former Chairperson of the Jockey Club - be it at the Law Society AGM or racing functions and there are many more.

So, I better work a bit on my speech in between preparing submission for Society News.  Itys a pity that more attorneys don't submit articles - almost every arm of the profession welcomes them - so try your hand at writing from time to time!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 09-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Freakonomics

I just finished a good book by one of America's premier economists, a recent No.1 on Amazon.com - the type of book that exposes the sham in some figures we are exposed to - as will no doubt be the case, one day, with the AIDS figures.  Funny how they trot out people with doomsday figures for 2010 these days - it used to be 2005, and long ago it was 2000.  Of course, it should not be taken lightly, even if a recent buisness survey in SA showed that businesses see AIDS as far less a threat than they did last year - or previously.

If thats controversial - and it shouldn't be - the facts are there - and the one that horrifies me is road deaths, the book focuses on things like the effect of Roe vs Wade in America.  Abortions rocketed after 193 and 20 years later, the crime rate was down.  The economist says this is largely because of abortions and that poor mothers who know they can't bring up their babies properly use abortion most often - and it would be precisely these poor children, not properly brought up, that are generally the cause of crime in their late teens.  Anyway, the book is still at about 3 or 4 on their charts and should be in Exclusive Books soon - so if you like stats like I do, have a read through - as its a more fun book than you might imagine - including chapters on popular names amongst wealthy families for their children as opposed to poor families who tend to choose names like Angel, Britanny, Jasmine, Cody, Brandon etc at the moment - their is trickle down effect even with name use.......

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 11-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Politics

Trying to think of something legal to write today.....and not really much comes to hand.  So much of what we do within Councils etc can't always be relayed easily and some things, which really get down to politics, if you wipe away the veneer are not really reportable!  Its no different to the politics within a large or mid size firm where attorneys are always difficult adversaries competing in some respects and working together in others. 

What I do enjoy though is watching an idea being slowly adopted - and in law the word "slow" is the operative one.  Gauteng Law Council have briefed a publicist, as do many large law firms around Johannesburg, and we are working on a number of projects to promote the profession as well as the Council.  The JAA does not have that kind of budget - not yet anyway!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 13-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Show me the Mommy

I love some reality programs - especially all those dating type ones like Temptation Island where people, when give half the chance, betray each other.  Show me the Mommy on M-Net is terrifying - fun, but I can't believe how some mothers out there behave.  Mostly Gauteng contestants, its always interesting to see the people we share the area and this city with, but most of them are terrifyling fake - or should learn to be quickly - I'll be far more careful in the Melrose Arch (where they have shot much of it) precinct in future!

We do have some wonderful parks - and Emmerentia - especially the upper reaches, closer to the Melville Koppies is one of the better ones - especially if you love dogs.  A very relaxing way to spend some time on a weekend - and prepare yourself for more trials and tension during the week!

On Saturday at lunch, I was a table next to the expert they used to feature on TV all the time on Aids, Ruben Sher, and remebering all the predictions he made about millions dead in SA by 2000 etc - and I just wondered how many people took huge continegencies on RAF claims related to HIV etc - when with proper medication etc that the state now affords - there really is very little basis for any contingencies to be applied to actuarial calculations.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 15-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Sabina Park

This is an exciting week for me - and not just because of the picture above, but also because I have some good cases before the Courts this week, and lots of action in between.

I thought I'd focus rather on what interests me the most - and that is the return, after yet another injury enforced break, of my filly Sabina Park to the track.  Racing gets into your blood and it positively bubbles over when you await the next run.  Sabina's next run is on Wednesday at Clairwood in Durban.  She is taking on a good field, is only 70% fit, and she is unlikely to win, but you never know in racing....and she has about 3 weeks left to get into the shape that will be needed for her to run in the July for which she has been entered.  Entry alone, at the 1st stage is about R4 500 and if you make the field, you end up paying about R20 000 for the privilege of having a runner.  Miss out on the Top 10 in the race and the day costs you R20 000, win it and I think its R1,2 million.  As I said previously, there seem to be a lot more Advocates who own and breed horses than attorneys - and maybe thats a reflection of what they charge us!  My superstar cost what I could afford - R55 000 before R7000 of VAT - so a gamble that paid off heavily, now with over R890 000 of winnings!  Then again racing was has been very good to me, I bought Phumelela shares at 50 cents and they now trade at about R7,60.

Anyway, the pic is shot of her that featured in GQ Magazine in November.  I am doing a shoot with her on Wednesday for Top Billing magazine - which should be fun although she is far more photogenic than I am!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 16-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
MARK PANTANOWITZ

Life is so short and you realize it when you lose someone like our committee member, and past Chairperson, Mark Pantanowitz.  We hadn't seen Mark for a while, recovering as he was from various operations.  I guess I knew things didn't look good, even if I knew very little.

Mark joined the committee in the same year as me, about 8 years ago, and while I was Chairperson he was treasurer and he took over after me.  We always have debates within the JAA and Mark is one of those committee members I had very few with.  I he was a total stickler for playing fair, of following the rules and procedures and a man of integrity.  Under him, no money was ever going to be paid by mistake or without all the supporting documentation!  Thats not to say he was a straight, serious guy - he was a young guy with a great sense of humour.  I will always think of him laughing, or chatting to me in the friendly way he did - he always came across as a man of compassion, of understanding who called still laugh about the serious things.  I will certainly miss him.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 17-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
DURBAN
Sabina made her return to the track today in Durban and ran a very good 4th in a field including one of the favourites for the July.  Its very good because the field was good, the distance not suited to her and she was only 70% fit after 6 months of no racing!  Her next big race is likely to be the R300 000 Greyville 1900 on 3 June.  Only problem is that she will bump half the July field there - for 15% or so of the stake money available a month later!
Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 18-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
RAF back in news - again!
I see the Road Accident Fund is back in the news again, with the Sunday Times reporting that the entire Board is to be fired along with the CEO.  There are suggestions of new changes to be made - and we will have to see what that means in terms of the legislation that was being discussed.
Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 22-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Sunday Times article on RAF

The entire Board of the RAF is to be fired.  The news broken in the Sunday Times, and covered by much media can be read here.

Dr Saths Cooper, one of those who faces being fired expressed his shock at the news in the article.  This is apparently based on the Boards failure to turn the Funbd around or take certain steps - read the article if you have not already and lets see what develops next here!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 23-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
More RAF stories and links.....

Found some more interesting articles on the latest problems with the RAF, so read  below and choose the articles you wish to read:

The Mercury has a story quoting Saths Cooper on their firing as "character assination"

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 23-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Blog
I often use this blog to update my RAF newsletter because it is a faster way to get the news out as compared to the newsletter.  The size of the newsletter is crashing my Outlook these days and I have too send it via a server, and my mail server is at home where I have a network of about three computers.  At home of course Excel is crtashing and in between it all is sometimes so much faster and easier to put things on here!  The blog averages about 20 readers a day, or about 50 reads per blog with the amount of updating I do.  Thats not bad - I speak to so many attorneys who never read anything - not something their clients would like to know!
Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 24-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Free calls

I tried it a while ago, and again tonight and I have to say Skype calls have improved a lot - or maybe its just bandwidth.  Its free, or you can call, as we did tonight, Italy for about 7 or 8 minutes for R2,40.

Check out www.skype.com

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 29-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Friday night

Just updated Sabina's site at www.sabinapark.co.za

Sabina runs in the R300 000, Grade 2 Astrapak 1900 at Greyville this Friday night.  Mike de Kock has told me she is working well, has improved on her last run and despite her wide draw, he expects her to be in the first three.  That draw is a disaster though - 15 out of 15 - and perhaps that is why Marwing has elected to ride Chamonix.  Sabina will need a lot of luck in running - or she'll have to get in to the July, for which she is currently a 100 to 1 shot, via some features at Clairwood on 11 June, most notably the Cup Trial over 1800 metres where she has drawn well.  But for now, and hoping that the breathing problem does not return, as apparently it often does, the immediate target is Friday's 1900.  I feel good about it, I am expecting a good run, and while she will find it hard to win in this field, from this draw, she is certainly capable.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 30-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
8 is so long ago

Last night it was Skype, today its old pictures.  Its amazing how much technology changes so quickly - and an easy way to see is to take out those old faded pictures of yours and look and compare to today's sharp digital photography.  I have never really enjoyed being in pics, although I know they are essential to publicity and articles with them are read more than those without, but I have always loved taking photographs.  I had some great camera's late last year, but when I returned from a stay at Kruger Park, where a hippo had charged us on the final day before being massacred by our guards who were not fantastic shots, nor clever guides, it was to a house that had been broken into.

Anyway, thats a different story and insurance never really covers it.  I do like this photo, which I never took, and I would guess is about 27 years old.  I was 8 then and with me is my brother.  Life truly does fly by doesn't it?  I think a lot of the guys in the various legal organizations used to think I was some cheeky upstart, and maybe I was and can be, but I know that in law experience means so much - and I also know that the older guys don't think that differently in many ways - and I as a "younger" guy, know exactly how soon it is till younger people think I am the old guy with the antiquated ideas!  Which is why I listen now to the more experienced guys - even when they think I don't.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 30-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
RAF and publicity

International betting site, Betfair, has odds on all sorts of things and on subjects that you don't really get to see quoted here often - similar to England where they bet on the weather etc!.  By way of example, tonight they quote 5/1 about the Springboks winning the Tri Nations with the All Blacks favourites at 9/10.

What really interests me though is what odds they'll give on the Road Accident Fund issue being properly ventilated?  It seems there is a bit of a rush to get things throught the system - which ignores the fact that things are going clowly because the proposals don't make sense and simply aren't fair.  Its one area attorneys have been trumped in - our willingness to simply get on with work, rather than engage in publicity and other things - and perhaps its time we start focusing on proper publicity on such an important issue.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 31-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Next Olympics in Paris
Talking of odds, the odds are saying that Paris gets the 2012 Olympics.  They are offering 12/100 on Paris and the 2nd favourites London are 10/1.  That means, for those who don't understand odds that Paris is so favoured that if you bet R100 on Paris, and they get the Olympics you'll get your R100 back plus a measly R12 profit.
Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 31-May-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments

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