Talk about laugh, Trev


Well those who got the April Fools Day jokes laughed, others – like the friend who walked up six flights of stairs because she believed the sign that said the lift would be out of action until noon – weren’t so amused.

The Bull Pen reported wired muso-farmers stage come back

Interest.Co found NZ economists revert to busking to replace bonuses

Bits on the Side spottted you April Fool tube

Kiwiblog  contributed to an outbreak in raised blood perssure – and got mentions on Newztalk ZB  & RadioNZ with National to Appoint Cullen as Reserve Bank Governor

Whaleoil announced Worth to be sacked, Brash to stand in Mt Albert  and found out he had fans when he said that’s it

At Frogblog Greens went off-road off site, then decided to ban the Easter bunny  and invited Winston on board

TV3 reports big business adopts April Fools Day as its own

And it wasn’t an April Fools joke – but someone was having a laugh at the expense of a couple of Labour MPs when they set up Twitter accounts and registered as followers of Keeping Stock. 

If I missed one, please leave a link in comments.

Tempus fugits faster


It used to take years to get from one birthday to another, now it seems that 12 months fly past in a matter of weeks.

It feels as if New Year was only a few days ago but here we are  in April, a quarter of the way towards the next one.

As Keeping Stock observed tempus has fugited at a pretty scary rate.

There is a mathematical explanation for the way tempus fugits faster as we age.

When we’re one a year is 100% of your life, at two it’s dropped to 50%, by 10 it’s only a tenth and when you hit your half century a 12 month period is just 2% of the time since you were born.

Still, being alive to wonder about that, beats the alternative and allows us to enjoy this from Dr Seus:

How did it get so late so soon?

It’s night before it’s afternoon.

December is here before it’s June.

My goodness how the time has flewn.

How did it get so late so soon?

         – Dr Seus –

Water cycle meets media cycle


C!key Creek, the musing of hydrologist Daniel Collins, entered the blogosphere last Month.


offers news, views, and analysis on water resources, and a few other things, from the tropical shores of New Zealand.

 I particularly enjoyed his introductory post, water cycle, meet media cycle  which he illustrated with this diagram:

No 8 wire no substitute for broadband


Farmers might be able to do a lot with number eight wire but it’s not much use for telecommunications so I’m delighted that the government’s proposal for getting affordable, high speed broadband to most of New Zealand hasn’t forgotten those of us outside cities and towns.

The government is also committed to improving the state of New Zealand’s telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas. The government made a pre-election commitment to provide $48 million to improve rural broadband, and we are currently developing options around this commitment and expect to make announcements regarding the direction of the government’s rural telecommunications policy in the near future.


The development of faxes made a difference to doing business in the country – my favourite cartoonist Garrick Tremain started doing daily cartoons from his home near Coronet Peak when he got a fax machine.

The internet was another leap forward. It’s made business easier for existing operations and enabled new enterprises to operate in the country but rural broadband isn’t very fast and doesn’t handle big downloads well.

We’ve got wireless broadband which is definitely better than dial-up – especially if an electric fence is shorting in the district – but it’s definitely not high speed and that wastes time and hampers business development.

RB unhappy with long term interest rates


Daily updates from our bank have been showing a steady climb in long term interest rates.

That trend is concerning Reserve Bank governer Alan Bollard.

“In these circumstances we believe the rise in longer-term interest rates is unwarranted and inconsistent with the monetary policy outlook.

“As indicated in our March Statement, we are projecting interest rates to remain at relatively low levels for an extended period.”

Dr Bollard said that if this apparent distortion persists, it could put unnecessary pressure on the cost of borrowing by firms and households.  calls it a jawboning statement and notes it resulted in a drop of more than a cent in the value of the $NZ.

Higher interest rates are enjoyed by people with money to invest, providing the real value isn’t being offset by inflation, but they are a significant cost for most businesses.

Dairy farmers get monthly payments which helps their cash flows but sheep, beef and cropping farmers usually get their income in chunks once or twice a year and need seasonal finance to tide them over between cheques.

Fair’s fair but not necessarily equal


Oamaru clergy were asked to respond to the view of an Auckland minister who said it was alright to steal if you were hungry.

None of them agreed, and the response that I remember best was from a vicar who said:

“I come from South Africa where being poor means hundreds of people share one cold water tap. In Oamaru I watch people drive their cars to the foodbank.”

That is the difference between relative poverty and absolute poverty and I’m with Macdoctor who says it’s the latter that matters and takes us to the Land of Zork  to explain the difference.

The easiest way to get equality of wealth is to make the rich poorer. All that would do is reduce net wealth and create a downward spiral: people would lose one of the incentives for productivity if they weren’ t being rewarded for it and like the wealthy people of Zork, at least some would go to other places where they were able to keep more of what they earn.

There isn’t a fair way to make everyone equally wealthy, or even nearly equal. The best we can do is aim for equality of opportunity, rather than outcome by addressing the factors which lead to lower earning capacity.

That means helping some people more because they start at a disadvantage. Children who get to school without knowing how to hold a pencil or a book and with a poor grasp of language will need a lot more help than those who start school able to draw, knowing that reading is fun and with a good vocabulary.

The conundrum is how to ensure everyone gets equal opportunity without requiring anyone to pay an unfair amount towards it.

Spaghetti harvest


Spring has sprung in the northern hemisphere and 52 years ago it sprang early which caused concern about the spaghetti harvest:

Hat Tip: Breakfast

Tough new rules on animal housing threaten NZ ag exports


New Zealand farmers are incensed by tough new rules on animal housing which threaten exports of meat, milk, wool and leather.

The new requirements, developed by House Animals Happily (HAH),  in consultation with animal welfare experts are part of a world wide movement to lift the standard of livestock accommodation.

Trade and farming officials have spent months in high level negotiations to relax the standards but spokesperson for Hah, Ray Sunshine, said the new rules were not negotiable.

“It’s the culinary and fashion extension of Feng Shui  because unhappy animals produce unhappy products. We can’t be putting unhappy milk in our coffee, or wearing unhappy wool,” he said.

“We’re not asking anything of farmers we don’t do for ourselves. Individual stables, built of organic timber and lined with goosedown quilts is not a big ask.”

Enfield, Windsor Ngapara Farmers” Federation spokesman Jo Bollocks disagreed.

“Where on earth are we going to get enough goose down for 1,200 quilts?”  she asked.

“It’s just another feel good, P.C. gone-made nonsense designed by people who wouldn’t know a happy cow if it sat in their porridge and blew the sugar at them.

“We didn’t complain when they wanted the cows in gumboots, we didn’t complain when they wanted them to have sun umbrellas, we trained our staff to sing when they insisted on musical milking but this is the last straw.”

EWNFF deputy chair, Snow Fleece, said sheep farmers were bemused and bewildered by the new rules.

“We’re concerned that sheep will over heat,” he said.

“Those woolly jumpers we have to put on them already cause problems in summer and if we put them in centrally heated stalls they’ll be suffering heat stroke before you can say April Fools’ Day.” 

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