Word of the day


Brobdingnagian – colossal, huge, immense, enoromous.

Stat time again


Open Parachute has published his monthly blog rankings.

They rely on public access to Sitemeter stats which is why some popular blogs don’t feature.

Sitemeter always seems to be less generous with its counting than Stat Counter.

In September Sitemeter recorded 16,528 unique visitors for this blog and 22,818 total visits. While Stat Counter recorded 17,472 unique visitors and 24,206 total visits.

To put that in perspective the top three blogs on Open Parachute’s chart got 227207 visits (Kiwiblog); 147877 visits (New Zeal) and  134 942 visits (Throng New Zealand).

Bigger isn’t better


Dear Vogels

I first came across your bread in 1979. It was love at first bite and I can  still recall the thrill when I bit into the grainy texture and savoured the nutty taste.

That might seem a little over the top, but remember back then there was little variety in bread and any that was readily available was white and insubstantial.  

Now the supermarkets and bakeries offer a wide variety of breads and I will confess that I’ve come partial to Burgen as well. One of the reasons I’ve lost my loyalty to you is that you’ve stopped offering the choice of thin and thick slices.

We used to be able to get most varieties of your bread sandwich or toast sliced. I always bought the sandwich sliced loaves even though most of the time I’d be toasting it.

Now you’re offering us a special, soft sandwich bread which is better for sandwiches than the other varieties. But that’s come at a cost – the sunflower and barley, original recipe and all the other options are only available in toast sliced sizes.

I’m a creature of habit at breakfast time and that habit requires two slices of toast – with cottage cheese and kiwifruit in winter or vegemite, cottage cheese and tomato in summer.

It’s possible that one toast-sliced slices equals two sandwich sliced slices but it doesn’t give the same satisfaction. I’m used to having two slices and that’s what I want to continue having.

But I don’t want to have two toast-sliced slices because that’s eating more bread than I need or want.

Keep the soft sandwich bread by all means, but please bring back the sandwich-slices in other varieties because bigger isn’t better when it comes to bread.

Yours in hope,

A somewhat less loyal Vogels fan.

Landcorp will lose value if foreign buyers are banned


Landcorp made a net operating profit of $10,014,000  in the year to the end of June which was 46% better than the 08-09 year.

Landcorp’s improved net operating profit for the year was due largely to industry-wide recovery in dairying, and to reduction in Landcorp’s expenses as farm budgets were tightened and interest costs were cut. Landcorp revenues from dairy, livestock and forestry operations during 2009/10 were $162.9 million, up 1.6 per cent from the previous year ($160.3 million). The increase reflected a 29.5 per cent jump in milk revenue to $70.2 million (2008/09: $54.2 million), more than offsetting income reductions from sheep and deer farming.

However, it made a net loss after tax of $5,841,000. That’s  157% down on the previous year’s net profit of $10,330,000.

Total shareholder return for 2009/10 was a loss of $112.5 million (2008/09: $76.0 million loss) due largely to unrealised reductions in the value of Landcorp-owned farms. These reductions amounted to $120.5 million (2008/09: $97.9 million reduction) after dairy and drystock (sheep and beef) farms fell in value by 14 and 10 per cent respectively.

This is a paper loss caused by the falling value of farms. The current clamour to ban sales of land to foreign buyers, now  joined by Phil Goff, will only make that worse.

“Let’s send a clear message: We welcome your investment, but there are some things we don’t want your investment in and land is one of those,” Labour leader Phil Goff said.

“What advantage is there to New Zealand in having that investment here? Our conclusion is that mainly the impact will be to force up prices and we don’t think that’s good because it simply encourages people farming for capital gain, rather than for productivity.”

There could be many advantages including the injection of capital, intellectual property and expertise.

There will be costs from banning this investment too.

Land sales are already slow, a blanket ban on sales to people from overseas will only make that worse.

It’s not only farm prices which will be hit. If retiring farmers get less for selling they will have less to invest in their retirement home and other areas.

It is sensible to have some rules around asset sales to foreigners but banning them completely is going several steps too far . The value of Landcorp’s assets will be further depressed if this policy is implemented.

October 3 in history


On October 3:

52 BC  Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, surrendered to the Romans under Julius Caesar, ending the siege and Battle of Alesia.


42 BC  First Battle of Philippi: Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian fought a decisive battle with Caesar’s assassins Brutus and Cassius.


1283   Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales, became the first person executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered.

1574   The Siege of Leiden was lifted by the Watergeuzen.


1683   The Qing Dynasty naval commander Shi Lang reached Taiwan to receive the formal surrender of Zheng Keshuang and Liu Guoxuan after the Battle of Penghu.

1712   The Duke of Montrose issued a warrant for the arrest of Rob Roy MacGregor.


1739   The Treaty of Nissa was signed by the Ottoman Empire and Russia at the finish of the Russian-Turkish War, 1736–1739.

1835   The Staedtler Company was founded in Nuremberg.

Staedtler Logo.svg

1849  Edgar Allan Poe, US author, was found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances.


1873  Captain Jack and companions were hanged for their part in the Modoc War.


1888  The NZ Natives, the first national rugby team to wear the silver fern, played its first game in the UK.

NZ Natives team plays first game in UK

1908  The Pravda newspaper was founded by Leon Trotsky, Adolph Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and other Russian exiles in Vienna.

This file is a candidate for speedy deletion. It may be deleted after Thursday, September 30, 2010.

1916 James Herriot, English vet & author, was born (d1995).

1918  King Boris III of Bulgaria acceded to the throne.


1925 Gore Vidal, American author, was born.




1929 The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia, “Land of the South Slavs”.

1932  Iraq gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1935   Second Italo-Abyssinian War: Italy invaded Ethiopia under General de Bono.


1941  Chubby Checker, American singer-songwriter was born.

1942   The first successful launch of a V-2 /A4-rocket from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde, Germany, this was the first man-made object to reach space.

Fusée V2.jpg

1949 Lindsey Buckingham, American guitarist and singer (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1950  Korean War: The First Battle of Maryang San, primarily pitting Australian and British forces against communist China, began.

A series of ridgelines and steep hills in the distance, with Maryang San on the right. In the foreground is a heavily vegetated knoll, with a valley in the intervening ground.

1952   The United Kingdom successfully tested a nuclear weapon.

1955  The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on ABC.

1957 Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems was ruled not obscene.


1962  Project Mercury: Sigma 7 was launched from Cape Canaveral, with Astronaut Wally Schirra aboard, for a six-orbit, nine-hour flight.

Mercury Astronaut Wally Schirra - GPN-2000-001351.jpg

1964   First Buffalo Wings were made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.

Homemade buffalo wings.jpg

1971 Kevin Richardson, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1981  The Hunger Strike by Provisional Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army prisoners at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland ended after seven months and ten deaths.


1981 The Communist Party of Namibia was founded at a conference in Angola.

1981  The Space Shuttle Atlantis made its maiden flight. (Mission STS-51-J)


1986   TASCC, a superconducting cyclotron at the Chalk River Laboratories, was officially opened.

1990 German Unity Day:  The German Democratic Republic ceased to exist and its territory became part of the Federal Republic of Germany.

German Unity Day

1993   Battle of Mogadishu: In an attempt to capture officials of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s organisation in Mogadishu, Somalia, 18 US Soldiers and about 1,000 Somalis were killed in heavy fighting.

1995  O J Simpson acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

2008  The $700 billion bailout bill for the US financial system was signed by President Bush.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: