Counting my blessings


The phone rang, I answered it but was only listening with half an ear when the woman told me who was calling. However,  her next words got my full attention.

“Is your daughter X?”

I said yes with my heart in my mouth and held my breath until she explained she had my daughter’s wallet which she’d inadvertently left in a shop. It didn’t have her Auckland contact details but did have ours which was why I was getting the call.

Just a lost wallet, not an accident, not an emergency.


Maintrunk Country Roadsong


Today’s contribution of poetry month is Maintrunk Country Roadsong by Sam Hunt from Time To Ride, published by Alister Taylor, 1975.

Maintrunk Country Roadsong


Driving south and travelling

not much over fifty,

I hit a possum . . . “Little

man” I muttered copping

down to second gear,

“I never meant you any harm”


My friend with me, he himself

a man who loves such nights

bright headlight nights, said

“Possums? just a bloody pest,

they’re better dead!”

He’s right of course.


So settling back, food down hard,

Ohakune, Tangiwai –

as often blinded by

the single headlight of

a passing goods train as by

any passing car –


Let the Midnight Special shine

its ever loving light on me:

they run a prison farm

somewhere round these parts;

men always on the run.

These men know such searchlight nights:


those wide shining

eyes of that young possum

full-beam back on mine,

watching me run over him . . .

“Little man

I never meant you any harm”

   – Sam Hunt –

Baaa Studs’ sheepvertising clever or cruel?


It’s definitely clever and the Samsung ad doesn’t look like animal cruelty to me:

But some people think sheepvertising is unethical.

Korean blogger faces 18 month sentence


A South Korean blogger who has been critical of government ecnomic policy is facing an 18 month gaol sentence.

Prosecutors demanded an 18-month sentence Monday for a popular South Korean blogger who is accused of spreading false financial information in a case that has ignited a debate about freedom of speech in cyberspace.

Bloggers don’t have sub editors to save us from ourselves so we have only ourselves to blame if we defame someone or spread false information.

However, call me cynical if you will,  but I suspect a government acting against a blogger in this way might have more to do with censorship than any concern for the facts.

Now this is really silly


Norwegian police pulled up a car for speeding and found the driver “in a compromising position” with his girlfriend on his lap.

UPDATE: Alf Grumble  has a link to a fuller story which introduces hefty motion to the list of euphemisms for sex.

Off-airport park replacing shuttles?


Passengers flying in and out of Dunedin are benefitting from a price war because a shuttle operator has halved his prices after missing out on an airport tender.

Further north, friends in Auckland tell me that demand for shuttles to and from the city has fallen since an off-airport car park opened which allows people to drive their own vehicles, park and be driven the short distance from there to catch their planes.

A similar service has operated at Chirstchurch aiport for years. It’s a lot cheaper than parking at the airport and for shorter trips much the same price as, and much more convenient than, a shuttle.

Sabotaging an air service


The battle to get commercial flights in and out of Oamaru began soon after Air New Zealand pulled its service in the early 1990s.

It was finally won a couple of years ago and has been wonderful for people wanting to fly north. Instead of having to drive a couple of hours south to Dunedin, an hour and a bit north to Timaru or more than three to Christchurch, we’ve had a same-day service from our local airport.

The morning flight left at 7.05 and got into Christchurch about 40 mintues later (sooner if the wind was behind it) enabling passengers to connect with other flights and be in Wellington by 9am or Auckland by 10.30.

The plane left Christchurch again at 6.20 in the evening from Sunday to Thursday, but came in an hour earlier and went out again soon after on Friday for those wanting a weekend away.

Flights in and out on Saturday morning were added to the schedule but these stopped a few months ago.

Now the week day schedule is changing too. From the middle of next month there will be an inward flight leaving Christchurch at 8.30am and an outward one leaving Oamaru at 9.35am. That will put an end to most same day passengers who when I’ve been using the service seemed to be the majority of passengers.

Those wanting a same-day return service will have to use other airports and anyone planning longer trips who’ve had all day to get back to Christchurch won’t find it nearly as convenient if they have to be there by 8am.

I haven’t seen any annoucement from Air New Zealand Eagle Air *explaining the reasoning behind the change in schedule but it looks like an exercise in self-sabotage to me because flight times which are less convenient will attract fewer passengers.

* UPDATE: Eagle Air operates the service on behalf of Air NZ.

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