Objective standard of uselessness


About as useless as tits on a bull is the standard pronouncement on abject uselessness in rural circles but thanks to Mr Gronk I’ve come across another  more genteel standard.

(I pause here to apologise to any readers of a sensitive nature who are upset by the word tits which is not one I’d normally choose to employ, but while breasts might be more refined and offer the advantage of   alliteration     I’m reliably informed that the coarseness of the phrase adds to its potency).

Useless as a chocolate teapot is not only a delightful and more refined phrase, the concept has been put to the test  .

It may not surprise you but the chocolate teapot was found wanting as a recepticle for containing tea and its uselessness thus measured established  the veracity of the phrase.

Whether or not that makes it more or less usefull as an expression of uselessness when compared with tits on a bull is still open to debate.

 Hat Tip: Mr Gronk

Let the community own their hospital


The Queenstown community wants to take over the ownership and management of the Lakes District Hospital.

The community model has worked well for Balclutha, Dunstan, Gore and Oamaru.

When what was then Healthcare Otago announced it was pulling out of rural services in the late 1990s, the Waitaki District Council stepped into the gap and formed a Local Authority Trading Enterprise (LATE) which became Waitaki District Health Services Ltd.

It built a community owned, publicly funded hospital which provides a wider range of services than would be available if it was under the ownership and control of the Otago District Health Board.

Balclutha, Dunstan and Gore hospitals are run by trusts rather than LATEs but they too are successful and all show that hospitals don’t have to be owned by the state to provide publicly funded services.

The Southland Times asks, whose hospital is it anyway?

It’s the communities and community owned and run models in neighbouring districts provide good examples for Queenstown Lakes to follow.

We went to the show and we saw . . .


With competition from the Ellerslie Flower Show in Christchurch, the Wild Food Festival in Hokitika, golf in Arrowtown and the Motutapu Icebreaker combined with uncertain economic conditions, I wouldn’t have been surprsied if the Upper Clutha A&P Show had been quiter than normal.

But both Friday and Saturday were busy and people weren’t just looking. You could buy almost everything from a tractor to a silver bangle and stall holders I spoke to said that sales were going well, easily on a par with, and possibly better than last year.

At the National Party tent Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean and Agricutlure Minister David Carter had a steady stream of callers and almost all were positive.

Conversation often got round to the recession but there was no sign of it in Wanaka at the weekend.

It’s only fiction


Why the fuss about Jeffrey Archer’s latest novel which tells the story of George Mallory as if he made the first ascent of Mount Everest?

It’s not, as the headline says, an insult to Sir Ed Hillary. It’s a novel, a work of fiction, not  a biography which means although it’s based on real life there is no need to worry about letting the facts get in the way of the story.

Even if it was purporting to tell a true story there’s no insult to Hillary. Successful climbs are like successful flights – getting up is only half way, you haven’t succeeded until you get back down again and Mallory died on the mountain.

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