What’s not going on in the blogosphere?


Monkey with Typewriter has disappeared.

The Tumeke! blogosphere rankings haven’t been updated since October. That’s an observation, not a complaint. Tim Selwyn must have put hundreds of hours into compiling the stats and if he chooses to stop doing so that’s entirely up to him.

And today Kiwiblog has only one post – the general debate. That’s also an observation not a complaint. If the country’s most prolific blogger wants a day off he’s entitled to have it, but it’s most unusual for David to disappear without telling the world. 

What’s going – or in this case – not going on in the blogosphere and why?



Happy Birthday Dick Van Dyke.

I think I was only just at school when Mary Poppins was released.

A trip to Oamaru’s Majestic Theatre was a major event which happened just a few times a year.

The theatre was presided over by Mr Horsburgh who always wore a dinner suit and black bow tie.

Films were preceded by the National Anthem (which in those days was God Save the Queen)  and shorts. There was always an intermission when we were allowed an ice cream – pre-scooped and sold by staff who carried them round the theatre.

Carlos Montoya


Carlos Montoya would have been 106 today.

This is for guitar fans.

Unnatural beauty


One of my favourite drives is the one through the Lindis Pass between Omarama and Tarras.

It’s particularly picturesque at this time of year when the lupins are in flower.

They’re not natives which means some people might regard them as unnatural, but natural or not they’re beautiful.

Listen to the Music


Happy birthday Jeff Baxter.

(Should he not have been in the Doobie Brothers at this stage, feel free to tell me).

I first heard this in a Dunedin pub when I was a student.

Where’s summer?


The wind at the top of Mount Iron this morning was coming straight from the south pole.

The mountains at the head of Lake Wanaka were covered in cloud and there’s fresh snow on the top of Mount Roy.

It may be the summer solstice next week but it isn’t summer yet.

Airport lounge for all flyers


Wellington Airport is opening a lounge which will be available to any airline customers or airport visitors who care to pay for it.

Airline lounges are usually restricted to members on out-going flights. Wild at Heart won’t have any restrictions – except the ability to pay.

An introductory offer of $19 and usual price of $25 sounds reasonable for medium to longer waits when it gives you access to refreshments, newspapers, magazines, Wi-Fi and office facilities, SKY TV and bathroom/shower facilities.

It will be interesting to see if this results in a relaxation on entry to the Koru Lounge.

The rules give access to members on outgoing flights, although the staff  seem to take a flexible approach. I’ve called in to Wellington’s after getting off  a plane and been allowed in when I’ve explained I’ve got an hour’s wait to meet someone arriving on another flight.

However, someone coming to meet a flight which has been delayed probably wouldn’t get access nor would anyone flying on any airlines except Air New Zealand.

Lounge access may be a consideration when choosing which flight to book if you’re going to have more than a short wait at the airport. The money saved by taking a cheaper flight would almost always more than cover the cost of entry to the new lounge.

The $158,000 question


How much does Winston Peters still owe taxpayers?

That’s the $158,000 question he should be asked now that he’s announced he’s got the affairs of his one man band party in order and will be fighting the 2011 election.

There are several other questions which could be put to him but if his past performance is anything to go by we won’t get any satisfactory answers.

December 13 in history


On December 13:

1577 Sir Francis Drake set out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg

1642  Towards noon the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted ‘a large land, uplifted high’. This was the first recorded sighting of New Zealand by a European.

First recorded European sighting of NZ

1769 Dartmouth College was founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III.

1816 Ernst Werner von Siemens, German engineer, inventor, and industrialist, was born.

1903 Carlos Montoya, Spanish guitarist, was born.

1906 Sir Laurens van der Post, South African author, was born.

1925 Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian was born.

1929 Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor, was born.

1936 Prince Karim Aga Khan (Aga Khan IV), Imam (leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, was born.

1939 Battle of the River Plate : At 6.21 a.m. on 13 December 1939, the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic. It became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War.

Battle of the River Plate

1948 Jeff Baxter, American guitarist (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers).

1949 Paula Wilcox, English actress, was born.

1954 Tamora Pierce, American author, was born.

1959 Archbishop Makarios became the first President of Cyprus.

1961 Irene Saez, Miss Universe 1981 and Venezuelan politician, was born.


1974 Malta became a republic.

1981 General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.

1996 Kofi Annan was elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2003  Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).

2004 Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet was put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest was lifted the same day on appeal.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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