The Dominion Post describes my 7/10 in its politics quiz as an “adequate performance”.

It included a couple of guesses so perhaps it’s less than adequate and I’m still behind Kiwiblog who got 8/10.




Happy Birthday Loretta Swit.

Mid week music


Mozart’s Symphony No 36 was first performed on this day in 1783.

Did you see the one about . . .


Probing the depths of snow – Daniel Collins at Sicblogs has some stunning photos from Temple Basin.

Didn’t we learn from 1989 – Liberty Scott

When inanimate objects attack – Opinionated Mummy profiles some perfectly rages.

Motel greenwash – Motella doesn’t want a sermon when he stays away.

Mary Wollstonecraft wept – In A Strange Land adds to my contention that the fashion industry is inherently misogynist.

One of these is not the same – Macdoctor sees signs of sense from a health boss.

The Church of Jones – Roarprawn spots another cult.

October public polls – Kiwiblog paints a pretty picture for those of us who like blue.

Another pet lamb bites the dust – RivettingKateTaylor on life and death and pet shows.

And I like cows because . . . ummm  Kismet Farm has one of those days.

A heavyweight conundrum – Frendmy compares Australia’s roads with ours.

In my dreams


Wow – look at this record on comments for this blog:

3,643 Posts 5555,5555783 Comments
4 Pages 5555,5555783 Approved
115 Categories 0 Pending
6,941 Tags 0 Spam

For a momentito  I was excited. Then I remembered that Kiwiblog passed the 500,000 comment milestone on Sunday and realised that the usual reliable Worpdress recording process must have miscalculated.

I refreshed the page and came down to earth, not 5555,555783 comments but 5,780:

3,643 Posts 5,780 Comments
4 Pages 5,780 Approved
115 Categories 0 Pending
6,941 Tags 0 Spam

Apropos of WordPress records, I wonder what’s up with paihamu that 68 people found their way here after using that as a serach term yesterday:

Search Engine Terms

These are terms people used to find your blog.


Search Views
paihamu 68

Some of the search terms used suggest some people have unusual interests. Some directed here by a search engine must be disappointed when they discover search terms like public porn and porn in the paddock lead to innocuous posts.

Searchers at Cactus Kate  might get more satisfaction.

Is this too simple?


Finance Minister Bill English signalled on TVNZ7’s that the government is considering changes to property taxes  which may result in some form of capital gains tax.

I have mixed views about that but a bigger concern about the whole debate on how the government’s income can keep up with its expenditure.

Increasing income, whether it’s by taxes, dividends from SOEs or charges for services, is one part of the equation. Reducing expenditure is another.

But the best way to increase public income is to increase private income ie the amount everyone earns.

That requires sorting out the things which are holding individuals and businesses back.

Or is that too simple?

P.S. Adolf was at the filming of the programme and gives his views on it at No Minister.

Dairy beats tourism for export earnings


Dairy has overtaken tourism as New Zealand’s biggest export earner, contributing nearly $10 million to the economy, company chair Henry Van der Heyden said in a newsletter to suppliers.

He also passed on the good news that the price for Whole Milk Powder went up 13.7% in this morning’s globalDairyTrade auction, to US$3,437 per tonne.

dairy 10004

The graph for WMP prices from 2004-2009 shows prices are above the long term average again, though still well below the 2007 bubble.

dairy 10007

An 8.3% increase in dairy prices contributed to a 4. 6% gain the ANZ Commodity Index in October, the seventh month in a row to record an increase.

The gains in international prices have somewhat offset a soaring kiwi dollar, which is up more than 45% from its sub-50 U.S. cents low in March. The currency’s continued strength in October largely wiped out the increase, expressed in New Zealand dollars, with kiwi-denominated commodity index easing 0.4% last month.

Sawn timber rose 6.1% on a global price basis, and wood pulp prices advanced 4.2%. Wool prices increased 7.1% and the price of skins gained 3.5%. Beef prices slipped 3.9% and apples declined 1.7% over the period.

The increase in dairy prices has outpaced the rise in the value of the dollar which means there isn’t a risk to the forecast payout for the season – yet.

PKE brings biosecutiry risk


Federated Farmers has been questioning the biosecurity risk from imports of Palm Kernel Extract  for some time and Rural News reports that risk has now been officially recognised.

Foot and mouth disease could reach New Zealand in palm kernel but steps are finally being taken to close down the pathway, says Federated Farmers.

Biosecurity spokesman John Hartnell says he understands Biosecurity NZ is working with its Australian counterpart to tackle what it now admits is a gap in the current import health standard.

‘There is a big hole in the process and that’s the time the product sits on the ground between when it leaves the crusher and when it is loaded on the boat.

Greenpeace has been campaigning against PKE imports on environmental grounds. The biosecuirty risk is far more serious.

The current import health standard relies on heating during oil extraction, rendering the meal sterile, but meal is often stored before shipment, sometimes on bare earth.

That provides a window for insect infestation and, worse still, contamination with potential foot and mouth disease bearing material such as soil or animal remains, says Hartnell.

That risk might be small but it is not something we can afford to ignore.

The detection of atypical scrapie (also known as Nor 98) in a single sheep’s brain last week almost went unnoticed. MAF was upfront about it, explained how it was detected and the implications of the find, including most importantly that it doesn’t change our scrapie-free status.

Even a false alarm about Foot & Mouth disease would be far more serious. The hoax letter sent in 2005 which said the disease was on Waiheke Island, caused a dip in the dollar and threatened exports.

No matter how cheap PKE is, unless it can be guaranteed foot and mouth free it is too expensive.

November 4 in history


1429  Joan of Arc liberated Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier.

1677  The future Mary II of England married William, Prince of Orange. They would later jointly reign as William and Mary.

1783  Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 receives its première performance in Linz, Austria.

1825  Erie Canal was completed with Governor DeWitt Clinton performing the Wedding of The Waters ceremony in New York Harbour.


1853 Map of New York canals including the Erie Canal

1839  Newport Rising took place, the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain.

1861 The University of Washington opened in Seattle, Washington as the Territorial University.

1890 London‘s first deep-level tube railway opened between King William Street and Stockwell.


1916 – Ruth Handler, American businesswoman and inventor of the Barbie doll, was born.


1922  British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men found the entrance to King Tutankhamun‘s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Mask of Tutankhamun's mummy, the popular icon for ancient Egypt at The Egyptian Museum.

1924  Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming was elected as the first female governor in the United States.

1930 Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup.

1937  Loretta Swit, American actress, was born.

1939  Shakuntala Devi, Indian calculating prodigy, was born.

1950 Charles Frazier, American author, was born.

1955 Vienna State Opera reopened with a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Fidelio.

1966 Two-thirds of Florence was submerged as the Arno river flooded; this and the contemporaneous flood of the Po River in northern Italy, this led to 113 deaths, 30,000 made homeless, and the destruction of numerous Renaissance artworks and books.

19551995  Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.

2008  Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.

Portrait of Barack Obama

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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