Word of the day


Tartle – to hesitate while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten her/his name.

I am unfortunately well practised at tartling. Does that make me a tartler?

The Time of the Giants


The Time of the Giants by Anne Kennedy is this Tuesday’s Poem.

Among contributions from other Tuesday poets  are:

 Deep Sea Swimming by Pam Morrison at Cadence.

Harvey McQueen’s Reading Janet Frame at Stoatspring.

Sotto Voce by Clare Beynon at All Finite Things reveal Infinitude.

Thanks by W.A. Merwin at Belinda Hollyer.

Savai’i by Mary McCallum, at O Audacious Book.

And Mariana Isara at Type What You See chose Being the Poem from Walt Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass.

2030 and counting


The aftershock count from the Canterbury earthquake was up to 2030 at 9.30 last night.

A friend was in a mall in Christchurch when yesterday’s magnitude 5 one struck. She said the worst thing was that there was nowhere obvious to go that might be safe.

She said that some people are coping better than others. She just takes a deep breath and carries on but a young man who was with her was still shaking more than an hour later.

Paul Nichol’s animated map gives a good idea of the number and frequency of the quakes, but it doesn’t, and can’t, show what life is like for the people for whom normal isn’t normal any more.

The best depiction of that is the speech Amy Adams made in parliament a few days after the first one:




10/10 in this week’s Dominion Post political triva quiz.

Dairy prices a wee bit lower


Prices dropped a wee bit in Fonterra’s globalDairy Trade auction overnight.

The price for anhydrous milk fat was down 1.2%; butter milk powder dropped 1.1%; skim milk powder was down 4.7%;  whole milk powder was down 1.1% and the trade-weighted price for all products dropped 2.5%.

Prices are still above the long term average.

166 state house rip-offs


Housing Minister Phil Heatly said that since last July 166 state-house tenancies were terminated because tenants had dishonestly obtained the house or subsidised rent.

The 166 tenancies terminated included situations where tenants failed to advise Housing New Zealand about income from employment, business interests, assets, or that they lived with a partner. 

“Over the past two years Housing New Zealand has built a highly effective team of expert investigators. This team has identified $6.3m in debt where tenants have received subsidised rent that they were not entitled to,” says Mr Heatley.

More than 130 cases of tenant related fraud have been placed before the courts – a ten-fold increase from two years ago.

Among the cases investigators found were:

  • An Auckland man used his state house as a storage facility for commercial goods for his online business, while living in another property which he rented privately under an alias. The Corporation property he rented had five bedrooms – four of which he sublet for $165 a week each. He did not declare rental income or the profits from his business. His tenancy was terminated, criminal charges have been laid, and $18,270 in debt was identified for recovery.


  • An Auckland man failed to declare that he was running a motor vehicle repair business, was buying and selling cars and leased large commercial premises. He also owned three rental properties which were under a company name, and was living with a partner. His tenancy was terminated and he was prosecuted for fraud. He was sentenced to five months home detention and 100 hours community work. A debt of $68,410 was identified for recovery.


    • An Auckland woman, who lived in a state house for six years, deliberately disguised her position as director of a limousine company by using numerous false identities. She owned six taxis when she applied for a state house, and bought another six during her tenancy. She bought and sold a number of vehicles during the six years. She did not declare she had a partner – but married three times prior to and during her tenancy. She also purchased two houses during her tenancy, both of which she rented out. Her tenancy was terminated, and a debt of $63,319 was identified for recovery. She was prosecuted for fraud, and paid $50,000 at the time of sentencing in reparation to avoid prison.

How do these people sleep at night ripping off the public who pays for these  and taking accommodation which other people desperately need?

October 20 in history


On October 20:

1548 The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) was founded by Captain Alonso de Mendoza by appointment of the king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.


1632 Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, was born (d. 1723).

1740 Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refused to honour the Pragmatic Sanction (allowing succession by a daughter) and the War of the Austrian Succession began.

1781 Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, was approved in Habsburg Monarchy.

1803 The United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

Location of Louisiana Purchase

1818 The Convention of 1818 signed between the United States and the United Kingdom which, among other things, settled the Canada – United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.


1827  Battle of Navarino – a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada was defeated by British, French, and Russian naval force in the port of Navarino in Pylos, Greece.

Naval Battle of Navarino by Garneray.jpg

1859  John Dewey, American philosopher, was born (d. 1952).

1883  Peru and Chile signed the Treaty of Ancón, by which the Tarapacá province was ceded to the latter, bringing an end to Peru’s involvement in the War of the Pacific.

1904  Anna Neagle, English actress, was born (d. 1986).

1910  The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the RMS Titanic, was launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.


1904 English actress Anna Neagle was born.

1932 William Christopher, American actor who played Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H, was born.

1934 Michiko, empress of Japan, was born.


1935  The Long March ended.

Overview map of the route of the Long March

1941 Stan Graham was shot by police after five days on the run.

Fugitive Stan Graham shot by police

1941  World War II: Thousands of civilians in German-occupied Serbia were killed in the Kragujevac massacre.


1944  Liquid natural gas leaked from storage tanks in Cleveland, then exploded; levelling 30 blocks and killing 130.

1944 – General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return to the Philippines when he commanded an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.

Seven men in uniform wade through the surf. 

1947 The House Un-American Activities Committee began its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevented some from working in the industry for years.


1950  Tom Petty, American musician, was born.

1951 The “Johnny Bright Incident”  in Stillwater, Oklahoma.


1952 Governor Evelyn Baring declared a state of emergency in Kenya and began arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya.


1967 A purported bigfoot was filmed by Patterson and Gimlin.


1968  Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1970 Siad Barre declared Somalia a socialist state.

1971 The Nepal Stock Exchange collapsed.

1973  “Saturday Night Massacre“: President Richard Nixon fired Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

1973  The Sydney Opera House opened.

1976  The ferry George Prince was struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River. Seventy-eight passengers and crew died and only 18 people aboard the ferry survived.


1977 A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot.

1979  The John F. Kennedy library was opened in Boston.

JFK library Stitch Crop.jpg

1982  During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people were crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster.


1984 The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in Monterey Bay, California.

1991 The Oakland Hills firestorm killed 25 and destroyed 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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