Word of the day


Bebother –  bring extreme trouble upon.

“Confusticate and bebother these dwarfs!” he said aloud – The Hobbit.

Let the punishment fit the crime


The problem of freedom campers in vehicles without loos isn’t confined to rural areas.

A friend in Wanaka noticed something smelly on his shoe after he’d been out to pick up his paper early one morning.

When he went out later to check where it came from he found it wasn’t dog pooh but human. He’d seen a van parked outside his property earlier but it was long gone when he realised what the occupants had left behind.

He said on another occasion he’d seen a station wagon parked opposite his home one evening, next morning he saw a young woman wander out of the nieghbouring property, pulling up her trousers.

 Fortunately not everyone gets away with fouling public property:

Three Spanish tourists spent three hours in Te Anau yesterday picking up human waste after being caught by police for defecating on the grass verge at the end of a residential street.

The trio “volunteered” for community work as an alternative to a court appearance, Sergeant Tod Hollebon, of Te Anau, said in a statement yesterday.

Acting on a complaint from a member of the public, police found two women and a man near a rental van, which was not equipped with a toilet.

“There was washing drying on a fence and clearly the group had made themselves at home.”

After initially denying their activities, they admitted they had been using an “outside toilet”. . .

Generations of New Zealanders have been travelling round Europe in vans which aren’t self-contained but Europe doesn’t usually have the vast distances between settlements that we do here.

You might have some understanding for people caught short in the middle of nowhere because the distance between facilities was greater than expected but not for setting up camp at the end of a residential street.

As an alternative to a court appearance, the three tourists volunteered for community service.

They spent three hours “picking up exactly what they and others had deposited” around Te Anau roadside rest areas.

“All parties found this to be a positive outcome,” Sgt Hollebon said.

How good it is to see that police still have the ability to ensure the punishment fits the crime.



I’d never claim to know anything more than a few words in te reo but I managed 8/10 in the Dominion Post’s te reo quiz.

Although, as Deborah points out it’s more a vocabulary test than a language one.

What were they trying to sell?


ANZ took down  billboards  in Auckland and Wellington after a single complaint.

The offending slogan was: “In a perfect world, your son would grow up. And your daughter wouldn’t.”

What does that mean?

What were they trying to sell?

Who was stupid enough to think that was a good phrase to sell it?

Not a good week for unions


It should have been a good week for unions.

The CTU and EPMU got plenty of publicity at the Labour Party conference last weekend and they tried to capitalise on that with marches against the government on Wednesday.

But that was all overshadowed by stories which put them on the wrong side of public opinion.

Few question the difficulties teachers face in their job. But demands for a 4% pay rise are out of step with the generally accepted need for frugality, and refusing to teach some classes when pupils are close to exams isn’t winning them any sympathy.

Nor is there much sympathy for claims by health workers when doctors say  strikes are putting patients at risk.

But the most damage to unions is that by the actors whose actions have put the filming of The Hobbit at risk.

Weta Workshop’s boss Sir Richard Taylor last night said the New Zealand film industry was “at some level of peril”.

He said a $670 million US-backed production of Tolkien classic The Hobbit could be produced elsewhere if a union boycott of the project was not lifted.

“We are deeply concerned it may [go overseas].

“Our industry is being put in a very dire place by very few people who have nothing to do with the film industry in New Zealand.”

A poll on the New Zealand Herald website last night showed 88% of respondents blamed the union for the Hobbit debacle and only 16% blamed Peter Jackson.

Phil Goff and his MPs have been notable for their silence on this issue.

That’s probably because it’s difficult for outsiders to discern much difference between unions and Labour so a bad week for one is a bad week for the other.

October 22 in history


On October 22:

362  A mysterious fire destroyed the temple of Apollo at Daphne outside Antioch.

1383  The 1383-1385 Crisis in Portugal: King Fernando diedwithout a male heir to the Portuguese throne, sparking a period of civil war and disorder.


1633 Battle of southern Fujian sea: The Ming dynasty defeated the Dutch East India Company.

1707Scilly naval disaster: four British Royal Navy ships ran aground near the Isles of Scilly because of faulty navigation. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and thousands of sailors drowned.

1730 Construction of the Ladoga Canal  completed.


1734  Daniel Boone, American pioneer and hunter, was born (d. 1820).

1746 The College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) received its charter.

1784  Russia founded a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

1790  Warriors of the Miami tribe under Chief Little Turtle defeated United States troops under General Josiah Harmar in the Northwest Indian War.


1797 André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump 1,000 metres (3,200 feet) above Paris,.

1811 Franz Liszt, Hungarian pianist and composer, was born (d. 1886).

1836  Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.

1844  The Great Anticipation: Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipate the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ.

William Miller.jpg

1875  First telegraphic connection in Argentina.

1877  The Blantyre mining disaster in Scotland killed 207 miners.

1878 The first rugby match under floodlights took place in Salford, between Broughton and Swinton.

1883 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opened with a performance of Gounod’s Faust.

1895  In Paris an express train overran a buffer stop and crossed more than 30 metres of concourse before plummeting through a window at Gare Montparnasse.

1907  Panic of 1907: A run on the stock of the Knickerbocker Trust Company set events in motion that led to a depression.


1910  Dr. Crippen was convicted of poisoning his wife.

1919  Doris Lessing, British writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born.

1924  Toastmasters International was founded.

1934   Federal Bureau of Investigation agents shot and killed notorious bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd.


1941  French resistance member Guy Môquet and 29 other hostages are executed by the Germans in retaliation for the death of a German officer.
1943  World War II: in the Second firestorm raid on Germany, the Royal Air Force conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless.

1944  World War II: Battle of Aachen: The city of Aachen fell to American forces after three weeks of fighting, making it the first German city to fall to the Allies.

GI machine gun crew in Aachen (Correct orientation).jpg

1946  Deepak Chopra, Indian-American physician and writer, was born.

1953  Laos gained independence from France

1957 Vietnam War: First United States casualties in Vietnam.

1960  Independence of Mali from France.

1962   Cuban Missile Crisis: US President John F. Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announced that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval “quarantine” of the Communist nation.

1963  A BAC One-Eleven prototype airliner crashed in UK with the loss of all on board.

1964  Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honor.

1964  A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selected the design which became the new official Flag of Canada.


1966  The Supremes became the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A’ Go-Go).

1966  The Soviet Union launches Luna 12.

Luna lander bus

1968  Apollo 7 safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times.


1970  Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned as Prime Minister of Malaysia.


1972 Poet James K. Baxter died.

Death of poet James K. Baxter

1972 Vietnam War: In Saigon, Henry Kissinger and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu met to discuss a proposed cease-fire.

1975  The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 landed on Venus.

Venera 9 orbiter.jpg

1976  Red Dye No. 4 was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs.

1981 The TGV railway service between Paris and Lyon was inaugurated.


1983  Two correctional officers are killed by inmates at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. The incident inspires the Supermax model of prisons.

1991 Dimitrios Arhondonis, was elected 270th Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch as Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Orthodox church.


1999  Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, is jailed for crimes against humanity.

2005  Tropical Storm Alpha formed in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms.


2006  A Panama Canal expansion proposal was approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum.

2007  Raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base carried out by 21 Tamil Tiger commandos.

2008  India launched its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: