Jean Batten’s 100th birthday


Pioneer woman aviator Jean Batten was born 100 years ago today.


Great mag & grubby kids


Young Country, the rural magazine which was launched earlier this year, continues to impress.

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The current edition profiles Anna Smith, who’s working towards a PhD in animal genetics;  Michael Short, the 2009 Rural bachelor of the Year; Craig Norgate and six young people who’ve made agriculture their career.

There’s advice on dog handling and the story of Sue Arthur the cheese maker at Over the Moon.

The cover story on Tim O’Sullivan who won the National Bank Young Farmer title this year was written by Kate Rivtett-Taylor. Her blog post on Getting Dirty caught the attention of Jamie McKay who had a chat about it with her on the Farming Show.

Mid-Week Music – Rachmaninff’s Symphony #2


The latest North and South reckons that fans of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No 2 reckon being moved to tears by it is part of the fun.

Listening on rural broadband is a stop-start process which might result in tears of frustration, but I got enough non-stop bits to enjoy it and finished the experience dry-eyed.

This is the 3rd movement played by the NHK Orchestra conducted by André Previn.

Some people should have thought of this before last weekend


Racing start to Victorian Heritage Celebrations


Forget Royal Ascot and the Melbourne Cup, the not-to-be-missed event of this year’s racing calendar is taking place in Oamaru.

The opening of the annual Victorian Heritage Celebrations will be a combined celebration with the Oamaru Harness Club to mark its 100th anniversary.

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A village green atmosphere will be created at the race course for the twilight race meeting with mini-marquees erected for businesses and the public encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, have a punt, and soak up the atmosphere.

One of the day’s ‘heritage’ features will be an invited drivers race.

In addition to some fine harness racing action, a unique array of events has been planned including the release of 100 homing pigeons to mark the Club’s centennial; a dual Sulky Celebrity Race featuring guests including Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean, Mayor Alex Familton and The Wizard; a penny farthing stunt rider and sprint races; a Saddle Pace and a Horse & Carriage Parade.

Victorian dress is encouraged but not required. Racegoers who do dress in period costume will be able to enter  the Victorian Fashion in the Fields competition with attractive prizes. Away from the track and live entertainment, a village tipster and full dining, bar and tote facilities will form part of a grand day out.

The twilight meeting starts at 2.30pm on Wednesday November 18.

Pigeon post beats email


We mutter about the frustrations of rural broadband which isn’t very fast, but it’s better than dial up and it’s definitely better than South Africa where a carrier pigeon got a message through faster than email:

Computer experts at a South African firm said it took six hours to transfer four gigabytes of encrypted data from Durban to a call centre 50 miles away near Pietermaritzburg.

Staff at Unlimited Group, a financial services company, today attached a memory card to the leg of a pigeon called Winston who took just over an hour for the trip.

In total the flight, plus the time needed for the data to be uploaded, took under three hours. 

Pigeon post was used by the Persians and Romans more than 2000 years ago . How far have we come when in some parts of the world that’s still faster than 21st century technology?

Do I want to be Linked In?


I’ve received a couple of invitations to Linked In?

Does anyone know anything about it?

Specifically is it worth yet another sign up and yet another password to remember?

Apropos of this, does anyone know anything about Loaded Web? It’s a geographically-based directory of blogs, businesses and twitters.

From state house to own home


Housing Minister Phil Heatley says State House tenants now have the right to buy the house they live in should they wish to.

“This is a great opportunity for state house tenants who are in a position to consider home ownership.  While we don’t expect huge or rapid take up, it makes sense that those earning enough to pay market rents know they could buy the state house they’re living in,” Mr Heatley said. . .

“Tenants are under no obligation to buy, but I would urge those who can afford it to think seriously about it so they can own their own home and we can reinvest the proceeds into replacement houses,” Mr Heatley said.

When this policy was first announced there were howls of anguish about privatisation from people who want to keep others down. But the policy will provide an opportunity to get ahead and become independent for those able to take it up.

September 16 in history


On September 16:

1905 The first fully representative New Zealand rugby team started a tour of Britain. The Originals  popularised the haka and the All Black name.

1908 General Motors was formed.

1923 Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s Minister Mentor, was born.


1924 USA actor Lauren Bacall was born.

1925 Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey was born.

1943 Bernie Calvert, musician with The Hollies, was born.

1948 Kenney Jones, founding member of Small Faces and drumemr for The Who, was born.

(left to right) Marriott, Lane, Winston, JONES

1955 Juan Perón  was deposed as President in Argentina.

1956 USA illusionist David Copperfield was born.

1963 Malaysia was formed from Malaya, Singapore and British North Borneo (sabah) and Sarawak.

1975 Papua New Guinea gained its independence from Australia.

1987 The Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion.

The largest Antarctic ozone hole recorded as of September 2006.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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