No Matter What


Stephen Gately would have been 34 today.



Nat King Cole would have been 91 today.

Where have all the tussocks gone?


If you’re as casual about details as my farmer and I are and travel a route often you don’t necessarily register changes.

But for several months now every time we’ve gone over the Lindis Pass we’re sure that we’re seeing fewer tussocks.

The hills we remember being covered in gold are rapidly going bald.

This can’t be blamed on stock. The land was retired under the tenure review process and is now part of the conservation estate under DOC’s stewardship.

Is this a conincidence or the cause?

Could it be that the stock, rather than harming the tussock helped preserve it?

Did sheep and cattle graze species which compete with tussock and/or did their dung provide nutrients for the tussocks themselves or bugs which fostered tussocks and frustrated competitors?

Is something attacking the tussock?

Or are our memories faulty and were the hills never gold?

Newsflash – MP’s rude – UPDATED


And the finalists for the inability to distinguish between news and nonsense category of the Mediocres are: the newspapers, radio stations and televisions channels which covered the non-news that an MP was rude.

Why am I not including bloggers in that roll of dishonour? Because blogs are the personal views of the people who write them, most don’t try to be balanced, some break news, some are written by journalists but they are not main stream media. 

The MSM is supposed to be objective and to differentiate between what’s in the public interest and what the public might be interested in.

If journalists have to cover stories like this they could at least do it properly and give their readers/listeners/viewers some idea of what the children were doing and how loudly they were doing it when Charles Chauvel was moved to wish they’d shut up.

It would have been better still if that idea had been an objective one rather than a did-didn’t exchange by Chauvel and the children’s mother.

From any of the reports I’ve seen it’s impossible to know how disruptive the chidlren were and if Chauvel’s comment was just a quiet aside to his partner or whether he deliberately said it loudly enough for the parents to hear in the hope they’d quieten the kids.

But whatever the truth is it’s not something which needs or should be covered by the MSM.

They should concentrate on news and leave the nonsense to bloggers who are having a field day:

Kiwiblog posts on winning over the voters one at a time

Keeping Stock thinks Chauvel should stop digging

Roarprawn says stfu noisy kids are not okay

Cactus Kate writes Charles Chauvel chucks a Galdys

Dim Posts posts on Nemesis :

I hope the Speaker takes another look at charging rent for the press gallery offices, just to see Lockwood try and keep a straight face when the political media insists it ‘fulfils a vital role in our democracy’.

Oswald Bastable posts on the subject of MPs and kids on aircraft

Whaleoil says Charlie Shovel hates kids pisses off blogger

At Pundit Andrew Geddis writes I love the news it’s my favourite show

PM of NZ posts Move along, nothing to see here

Fairfacts Media reckons he’s only a bit of a Charlie

Crusader Rabbit says so control them

Alf Grumble reckons that’s what comes with flying your family to see pixies you end up in flak

And Poneke justifiably despairs with Stop the presses Finance Ministers wife buying junk food for her children in Thorndon New World


Andrei posts on yesterday’s storm in a tea cup at NZ Conservative.

Kiwiblog has more thoughts on the Chauvel story

Whaleoil writes keep digging Charlie

and Brian Edwards scores parents nil, media nil MP 8 out of 10



Sláinte, top o’ the morning, and happy St Patricks Day.

March 17 in history


On March 17:

45 BC Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.

Caesar campaigns from Rome to Munda-fr.svg

180 Marcus Aurelius died leaving Commodus as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

Commodus Musei Capitolini MC1120.jpg

624 Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeated the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr.


1337 Edward, the Black Prince was made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England.

1473 King James IV of Scotland was born.

1756 Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).


1776 American Revolution: British forces evacuated Boston, Massachusetts after George Washington and Henry Knox placed artillery overlooking the city.

1780 American Revolution: George Washington granted the Continental Army a holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence”.

1805 The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.

1834 Gottlieb Daimler, German engineer and inventor was born.


1845 The rubber band was patented.


1846 Kate Greenaway, English children’s author and illustrator, was born.


1860 The opening shots of the first Taranaki War were fired when imperial troops attacked a pa built by the Te Ati Awa chief Te Rangitake at Te Kohia.

First Taranaki war erupts at Waitara

1861 The Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) was proclaimed.

1864 Joseph Baptista Indian Home Rule founder was born.

1880 Lawrence Oates, English army officer and Antarctic explorer, was born.

1919 Nat King Cole, American singer, was born.

1920 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Founding Leader of Bangladesh, was born.

1938 Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born dancer and choreographer, was born.

1938 Zola Taylor, American singer (The Platters), was born.

1939 Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan started.

1941 The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1941 Paul Kantner, American musician (Jefferson Airplane) was born.

1942 The first Jews from the Lviv Ghetto were gassed at the Belzec death camp (eastern Poland).

1945 The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany collapsed, ten days after its capture.

1947 First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber.

1948 Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Brussels.

Signing of the Treaty of Brussels (1948).jpeg

1950  Researchers at the University of California announced the creation of element 98, which they name “Californium.”

1951 Scott Gorham, American musician (Thin Lizzy) was born.

1954 Lesley-Anne Down, English actress, was born.

1957 A plane crash in Cebu killed Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.

1958 The United States launched the Vanguard 1 satellite.

Vanguard 1.jpg

1959 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled Tibet for India.

Characteristic hands-raised anjali greeting

1960 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action programme that led to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

1966  Off the coast of Spain, the Alvin submarine found a missing American hydrogen bomb.


1967 Billy Corgan, American musician (Smashing Pumpkins), was born.

1969 Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer, was born.

1969 Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

1970 My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charged 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.

1973 The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy was taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.

 The photograph Burst of Joy. From left to right, Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm, Lorrie Stirm, Bo Stirm, Cindy Stirm, Loretta Stirm, and Roger Stirm. (© Slava Veder / Associated Press)

1976 Stephen Gately, Irish singer, musician, and actor (Boyzone) was born.

1979 The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapses during engineering works, killing two workers.

1988 A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashed into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.

1988 Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, was attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet.

1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires: Suicide car bomb attack killed 29 and injured 242.

2000 More than 800 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in a mass murder and suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult.

2003 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigned from the British Cabinet over his disagreement with government plans for the war with Iraq.

2004 Unrest in Kosovo: More than 22 killed, 200 wounded, and the destruction of 35 Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Nis.

Sourced from NZ History and Wikipedia.

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