Who Needs Sleep Anyway?

May 14, 2010

Happy birthday Plunket – 103 today.

Roger Hall and his daughter Pip wrote Who Needs Sleep Anyway for Plunket’s 100th birthday.

Bank robber

May 14, 2010

Another  Morecambe and Wise sketch for Fred and Paul:

Eric and Ernie – Mastermind

May 14, 2010

 Eric Morecambe was born on this day in 1926.

When you look like your passport photo it’s time to go home

May 14, 2010

When you look like your passport phot, it’s time to go home, was Erma Bombeck’s line and there’s more than an element of truth in it.

The camera may not lie but sometimes it has a very unflattering angle on the truth and never more so than when it’s taking the mugshot which goes on a passport.

My last passport photo was so bad, it was a wonder I was allowed to leave this country let alone enter another with it.

It was worse than unflattering, so bad in fact that the photographer offered to take another free of charge. I turned her down on the theory that if I stuck with it I’d be able to say I looked better when I renewed it than I had 10 years earlier.

That decade is over and I’ve just applied for a new passport.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the photo for it is good, but it does portray me in a slightly kinder light than the old one did.

Tihore Mai

May 14, 2010

Day 14 of  New Zealand Music Month: Tihore Mai by Moana and the Moa Hunters.

Sometime’s a cigar is only a cigar

May 14, 2010

An MP who had been upset by something John Key had done was at a meeting with him.

The Prime Minister, knowing he wasn’t in his MP’s good books, made a self-depreciating joke about it.

It was exactly the sort of joke he made about not being welcome at a Tuhoe dinner.

Part of his charm is his ability to laugh at himself and I’ve heard him make similar, self depreciating jokes several times.

I am certain that was all he was doing in this instance.

Not everyone sees it that way.

Over at Tumeke! Bomber and Tim think he was referring to cannibalism.  Deborah thinks it was ignorant and offensive.

On the other hand Kiwiblog says his own sense of humour is one reason he’d never be an MP;  Keeping Stock thinks people should lighten up and  was inspired to make a contribution to New Zealand Music Month. Something Should Go Here thinks it was a good joke.

Macdoctor thinks it was a clever but that would mean John was being deliberately offensive and I’m sure he wasn’t.

It was a joke, directed at himself and while I can see how some people might find offensive meaning in it I have no doubt that wasn’t his intent.

Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar but people will always be able to make something else of it.

More milk, less lamb

May 14, 2010

Dairy cattle numbers continued to increase and  the lamb population fell in the year to June 2009 Statistics New Zealand’s Agriculture Production Survey.

The South Island dairy herd grew by 13 % to 2.1 million. Canterbury had the most cows with a 10% increase to reach a herd size of 918,000. In Southland, numbers grew 19 percent to reach 589,000.

National dairy herd numbers reached a record high of 5.9 million at 30 June 2009, up 282,000 since 2008. The size of the North Island herd remained stable at 3.8 million.

Factors contributing to the South Island growth include continued dairy conversions, a smaller number of dairy cows and heifers going to the beef herd, more older cows remaining in milking herds, and the sourcing of dairy heifers from the North Island.

“In 2009, South Island dairy cattle numbers were almost seven times larger than 20 years ago when there were 312,000 dairy cattle,” said agricultural statistics manager Gary Dunnet. “North Island numbers increased from 3.0 million to 3.8 million over the same period.”

While dairy herds increased in number and size, the sheep population fell to 32.4 million, deer numbers were down to 1.1 million, and beef numbers remained stable at 4.1 million.

An email to shareholders from Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden today reported the European Union butter marked prices have jumped to more than EU3200 per tonne. Prices are now near the peak levels of 2007/08 and demand is remaining steady.

That news may tempt more people to convert to dairying. However, lamb prices are holding up too which will give some encouragement to farmers who by choice or necessity are sticking with sheep.

We’re doing out bit to reverse falling sheep numbers – we put 15,000 ewes to the ram this autumn and will be lambing again in spring for the first time in more than 12 years.

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