The difference between mystery & suspense


Alfred Hitchcock would ahve been 101 today.

Word of the day


Wadmal – thick course coarse wool.

If the price of wadmal was higher people involved in the sheep industry would be much happier.

Pulling teeth at the telephone shop


I’ve been delaying upgrading my mobile phone until the new versions which have been promised appeared.

A friend told me the new model to compete with the IPhone 4  was about to be launched. It wouldn’t be on display but if I asked there’d  be one out the back.

I went to the shop, asked about it and was shown a poster of a Motorola Milestone..

I asked some questions about the phone,  added that my friend had said there’d be one out the back and asked again if I could see one .

There were no other customers and the three assistants all chimed in with more information. But I still got  a “no” they couldn’t show me one.

I asked some more questions once more asked if they were they sure there wasn’t one I could see.

I got some more helpful answers and another “no”.

I asked yet more questions and again said my friend had told me they’d have one out the back they could show me.

This time I got a yes – they had a plastic model of one and a real phone as well.

They showed me both, answered lots of questions and were generally very helpful.

However, the one question they couldn’t answer was when the phone would be on the market.  It was supposed to have been last week but there’d been a hitch.

After the problems with XT I can understand that no-one wants to launch a new product until they’re quite sure it’s going to do what it’s supposed to.

But why did I have to go through the teeth pulling exercise to get a look at it?

Sheila and Bruce join Aussie election race


After its previous leader Tony Abbott failed to connect with women voters, the Australian Liberal Party has unveiled a previous unknown called Sheila as its new leader and Prime Ministerial candidate. . .

Pop over to News Biscuit to read the rest.

Undercover Minister


You’d think a man famed for his bright shirt and tie combinations would be hard to miss.

But Health Minister Tony Ryall has managed to pop in to the A&E waiting room at several hospitals  and isn’t always recognised.

“If he’s visiting a city he will sometimes duck into emergency departments and talk to patients there to see what is happening,” the spokesman told NZPA.

“He’s been getting the patient perspective on how things are working. He gets regular official reports, this puts the patient context into it.”

The spokesman said Ryall was sometimes recognised by staff.

“If he isn’t recognised he introduces himself but he wants to speak to patients, he doesn’t interrupt what the staff are doing and he never goes into areas where patients are being treated.”

It’s not the conventional way for a Minister to visit and not everyone approved but what’s the problem?

He introduces himself if he’s not recognised, he doesn’t want to interrupt staff, he gets to see what patients see and what staff have to deal with, without any of the stage management that goes in to an official visit.

Stealing from the poor


A couple of volunteers have been convicted for stealing food donated to a Salvation Army Foodbank .

Any theft is wrong and this is stealing from the people who need it most.

August 13 in history


On August 13:

1516  The Treaty of Noyon between France and Spain was signed. Francis recognised Charles’s claim to Naples, and Charles recognises Francis’s claim to Milan.

Northern Italy in 1494

1521 Tenochtitlán (present day Mexico City) fell to conquistador Hernán Cortés.

 Fundación de México – Tenochtitlán by Roberto Cueva del Río.

1536  Buddhist monks from Kyōto’s Enryaku Temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Kyoto in the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance.

1553  Michael Servetus was arrested by John Calvin in Geneva as a heretic.


1704  War of the Spanish Succession: Battle of Blenheim – English and Austrians wona gainst French and Bavarians.


1790 William Wentworth, Australian explorer and politician, was born (d. 1872).

1792   Louis XVI of France was formally arrested by the National Tribunal, and declared an enemy of the people.


1814  The Convention of London, a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United Provinces, was signed in London.

1818 Lucy Stone, American suffragette, was born  (d. 1893).

Framed monochrome photograph portrait of a woman sitting, shown from the waist up, left elbow resting on furniture, hands together in lap, the woman wearing a black silk jacket which narrows to conform to the waist, bearing curved lapels, over a plain white blouse with a collar closed at the throat. The woman has dark, straight hair parted in the middle and cut short at the top of the collar. Her head is tilted slightly to her left, face forward, and she is looking directly the observer.

1831 Nat Turner saw a solar eclipse, which he believed was a sign from God.

1860 Annie Oakley, American sharpshooter (d. 1926), was born.


1888 John Logie Baird, Scottish television pioneer, was born (d. 1946).


1889  German Ferdinand von Zeppelin patented his “Navigable Balloon“.


1899 Alfred Hitchcock, English film director, was born (d. 1980).

1907 Sir Basil Spence, Scottish architect, was born (d. 1976).


1913  Otto Witte, an acrobat, was purportedly crowned King of Albania.

1913  First production in the UK of stainless steel by Harry Brearley.


1918  Opha Mae Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.


1918 Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) established as a public company.

BMW Logo.svg

1920 Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw began.


1926 Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary and politician, was born.


1937 Battle of Shanghai began.

A Chinese machine gun nest in Shanghai. Note the German M35 used by the NRA soldiers.

1940  Battle of Britain began.

Battle of britain air observer.jpg

1951 Dan Fogelberg, American singer/songwriter, was born (d. 2007).

1960 The Central African Republic declared independence from France.

1961 The German Democratic Republic closed the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin, to thwart its inhabitants’ attempts to escape to the West.


1968 Alexandros Panagoulis attempted to assassinate the Greek dictator Colonel G. Papadopoulos.

1969 The Apollo 11 astronauts were released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker-tape parade in New York. That evening, at a state dinner in Los Angeles, they were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Richard Nixon.

Apollo 11.jpg

1978  150 Palestinians in Beirut were killed in a terrorist attack.

1979  The roof of the uncompleted Rosemont Horizon near Chicago, Illinois collapsed, killing 5 workers and injuring 16.

2004   Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 storm, struck Punta Gorda, Florida.


2004  156 Congolese Tutsi refugees massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi.

2005 Former NZ Prime Minister David Lange died.

Death of David Lange

2008 Michael Phelps set the Olympic record for most the gold medals won by an individual in Olympic history with his win in the men’s 200m butterfly.

Phelps and busch.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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