One of my picks came third


Just as well I hadn’t bet anything on my picks for the New Zealand Cup.

 The winner was Showcause,  Tich was second and the only one of my picks that was in the money was Zabene which came third.

My other two picks were Electronic Socks and Wotabuzz which came 14th and 17th respectively.

Word of the day


Jumentous – having a strong animal odour, smelling like horse or donkey urine.

When life imitates satire


Like the many people who left comments I read Dim Post’s announcement that he’s leaving the blogosphere, at least temporarily, with regret.

His decision was prompted by life imitating satire when Peter Dunne handed Jonathan Coleman a two-year-old speech to introduce a Bill to parliament.

It happened again when Winston Peters complained about the dearth of investigative journalism because of foreign-owned media (and do check the comments, some are priceless).

And another example:

But it was Donatella Versace who got the big award of Woman of the Year for her charity work; she was presented with it by a grateful Janet Jackson after Versace made the funeral outfits for the Jackson family at brother Michael’s funeral.

“We were dressed in Versace we knew we were dressed in love,” she said.

But that story wasn’t all bad, it did introduce a new (at least to me) noun of assemblage:

As a starve of models from around the world gathered ahead of the lingerie lines much awaited preview show.

A starve of models, if it wasn’t so sad it would be very funny.

The Hand That Signed the Paper


The Hand That Signed the Paper by Dylan Thomas was this Tuesday’s poem.

Among the 0ther Tuesday poets linked in the side bar which caught my eye were:

Ruby the Dark Haired Girl (1887-1997) at Bigger Than Ben Hur.

How to Pour Madness into a Teacup by Abegail Morely at A Writer’s Life.

Influenza at Vesper Sparrow’s Nest.

And Masking Tape’s a Must by Clare Beynon.

Travel rules, monitoring must change


Pansy Wong’s resignation was the right response to her husband’s misuse of a travel allowance.

Her media release makes it quite clear she accepts responsibility:

“It is beyond my wildest dreams that a baby girl born in Shanghai, China, grew up in a Hong Kong apartment where eight families shared a single kitchen and bathroom to be New Zealand’s first List M.P., first constituent M.P. of Botany and first Cabinet Minister of Chinese and Asian ethnicity,” says Pansy Wong.

“That dream is not mine alone and it comes with expectation, responsibility and hope. I havetried every single day to keep that dream alive and nothing should happen to dash that dream.

“That dream can only be kept alive by living up to the high standard set by the Prime Minister and myself.  Therefore I have given my resignation as a Cabinet Minister to the Prime Minister.

“This action follows questions about use of my parliamentary travel entitlement to pay for my husband to travel within China at the end of 2008.

“Although the trip was a holiday, my husband did conduct some business. Further, I am not able at this point to give the Prime Minister an assurance that this is a one-off situation.

“As a Member of Parliament it is my responsibility to ensure that the travel entitlement is used within the rules and that does not appear to be the case on this occasion.

“Given that, the appropriate and honourable thing to do is to offer my resignation to the Prime Minister. He has been gracious enough to accept it.

“I have asked the Speaker of the House to have Parliamentary Service review the use of my entitlement.

“In the event that any of my or my husband’s international travel is found to be outside the rules, I will be making a full refund to Parliamentary Service.

“I do not intend to make any further comment to the media pending the outcome of the investigation.”

I like and admire Pansy and am very sorry about this.

Beyond the personal it raises, once again, questions about MPs’ travel entitlements.

I don’ t think the taxpayer should be paying for anything for MPs except their salaries and expenses directly related to doing their work. There is no jsutification for paying spouses/partners travel whether it’s business or personal.

I have very little sympathy for the argument that subsidised travel was part of a salary package. I doubt ihat would have been palatable to the public when it was settled. It is even less so now particularly when it is obvious it if far too easy to misuse.

Does anyone ask the retired MPs if their trips were entirely personal or had an element of business?

What is busienss and what’s personal? If a retired MP who was a farmer visited an agricultural show, or an ex-MP who was a lawyer watched proceedings in court, while on holiday overseas does that become business?

Payment to MPs, past or present, for anything not directly related to their work should stop. If retired MPs are doing something for the country that should be applied for and judged on a case by case basis. If it’s for themselves – whether business or personal – the taxpayer should not be paying.

If that’s not done then travel subsidies should only be paid for in retrospect after the claimant signs a declaration that they are abiding by the rules.

New Zealand Cup picks


Fresh from proving I know nothing about horses with my Melbourne Cup picks I’ve had a look at the field for the New Zealand Cup which is being run at Riccarton today:

  1. Butch James
  2. Kerdem
  3. Titch
  4. Zabene
  5. Bakup
  6. No Cash
  7. Chase The Sun
  8. Blood Brotha
  9. Roi d’jeu
  10. Electronic Socks
  11. Nightime Jockey
  12. Outrage
  13. Aronsay
  14. Ginella
  15. Seaflyte
  16. Wotabuzz
  17. Yours
  18. Showcause
  19. Prix Du Sang
  20. Iriodes (scratched)
  21. The Jungle Boy
  22. Dadzadreamer
  23. Bradnor
  24. Selenus

My picks are:

Zabene (because the jockey will be wearing blue).

Electronic Socks (because the name amuses me).

and Wotabuzz (because it would be if it won).

November 13 in history


On November 13:

1002 – English king Æthelred II ordered the killing of all Danes in England, in the St. Brice’s Day massacre.

1160 – Louis VII of France married Adele of Champagne.


1642 – First English Civil War: Battle of Turnham Green – Royalist forces withdrew in the face of the Parliamentarian army and failed to take London

1715  Dorothea Erxleben,  first German female medical doctor, was born (d. 1762).

1841 – James Braid first saw a demonstration of animal magnetism, which led to his study of the subject he eventually called hypnotism.

1850 Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish writer, was born (d. 1894).

1851 – The Denny Party landed at Alki Point, the first settlers in what would become Seattle, Washington.

1864 – The new Constitution of Greece was adopted.

1887 – Bloody Sunday clashes in central London.


1901 – The 1901 Caister Lifeboat Disaster.


1906 Eva Zeisel, American industrial designer, was born.

1916 – Prime Minister of Australia Billy Hughes was expelled from the Labor Party over his support for conscription.

1927 – The Holland Tunnel opened to traffic as the first Hudson River vehicle tunnel linking New Jersey to New York City.

1934 – Peter Arnett, New Zealand-born American journalist, was born.

Arnett Rio.jpg

1941 – World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was torpedoed by U 81.

HMS Ark Royal h85716.jpg

1942 – World War II: Naval Battle of Guadalcanal – U.S. and Japanese ships engaged in an intense, close-quarters surface naval engagement.

Smoke rises from two Japanese aircraft

1947 – Russia completed development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles.

Rifle AK-47.jpg

1950 – General Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, President of Venezuela, was assassinated.

1954 – Great Britain defeated France to capture the first ever Rugby League World Cup in Paris.

The World Cup logo

1955  Whoopi Goldberg, American actress, comedian, and singer, was born.

1956 – The United States Supreme Court declared Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1965 – The SS Yarmouth Castle burned and sanks60 miles off Nassau with the loss of 90 lives.


1969 – Vietnam War: Anti-war protesters in Washington, D.C. staged a symbolic March Against Death.

1970 – Bhola cyclone: A 150-mph tropical cyclone hit the  Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), killing an estimated 500,000 people in one night. This is regarded as the 20th century’s worst natural disaster.


1971 – The American space probe, Mariner 9, became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet successfully, swinging into its planned trajectory around Mars.


1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.


1985 – The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupted and melted a glacier, causing a lahar that buried Armero, Colombia, killing approximately 23,000 people.

Nevado del Ruiz by Edgar.png

1985 – Xavier Suarez was sworn in as Miami, Florida’s first Cuban-born mayor.

1988 – Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian law student in Portland, Oregon was beaten to death by members of the Neo-Nazi group East Side White Pride.

1990 –  David Gray shot dead 13 people, in the Aramoana Massacre.

David Gray kills 13 at Aramoana

1992 – The High Court of Australia ruled in Dietrich v The Queen that although there was no absolute right to have publicly funded counsel, in most circumstances a judge should grant any request for an adjournment or stay when an accused was unrepresented.

1994 – In a referendum voters in Sweden decided to join the European Union.

1995 – A truck-bomb exploded outside a US-operated Saudi Arabian National Guard training center in Riyadh, killing five Americans and two Indians.

2000 – Philippine House Speaker Manuel B. Villar, Jr. passed the articles of impeachment against Philippine President Joseph Estrada.

2001 – War on Terrorism:  US President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to terrorist acts or planned acts on the United States.

2002 – The oil tanker Prestige sank off the Galician coast and causes a huge oil spill.


2005 – Andrew Stimpson, a 25-year old British man, was reported as the first person proven to have been “cured” of HIV.

2007 – An explosion hit the south wing of the House of Representatives of the Philippines killing four people, including Congressman Wahab Akbar, and wounding six.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia

%d bloggers like this: