Word of the day


Ragabash – an idle, ragged, worthless person;

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who wrote: “I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”?

2. What line follows this one: “Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!”?

3. By what vehicles did Fred Dagg’s Three Kings travel?

4. Which country did King Wenceslas rule?

5. Name the Three Wise Men.

Points for answers:

Rob got 2 1/2 and a bonus for humour.

Andrei got three.

Bearhunter wins the electronic boquet for five right with bonuse for extra inofrmation and humour.

Adam gets one for philosophy and an appreciative bonus for being appreciative.

PDM gets close enough with the reindeer to get one with a bonus for humour.

The answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s not a rort but . . .


An MP could own a flat in any other city but Wellington and claim the allowance for living away from home and no-one would call it a rort.

It is within the rules to own a flat in Wellington and claim the living away from home allowance but it’s not a good look.

That’s why Bill English not only paid back anything he’d claimed – well within the rules – and no longer claims anything which means he forgoes a not inconsiderable amount of money.

In spite of that Labour take any opportunity to pillory him over this.

The trouble is if you attack someone over the speck in his/her eye you have to be sure there’s not a log in your own – and there is a rather large one in Phil Goff’s:

Labour leader Phil Goff is still collecting rent from his Wellington apartment while pocketing a taxpayer allowance to live in another place, even though he promised last year to sell the apartment.

Mr Goff has owned the property for years and has been letting it since he was a minister in the previous government, when he was living in a ministerial house. Last year he promised to sell the apartment while strongly criticising Deputy Prime Minister Bill English for his perceived double-dipping.

The difference between the two is that Bill was acting on advice within the rules, concentrating on running the country with no idea that it was going to be a problem and as soon as it became one he acted at considerable ongoing cost to himself.

Phil not only knew there was a problem, he said he’d do something about it while not doing anything and continuing to criticise Bill.

It is within the rules, it isn’t a rort but it’s a very, very bad look and it’s also a fine example of hypocrisy.


Kiwiblog gives more backgroudn and questions Goff’s judgement.

Whaleoil asks is this the last nail?

Monkey with Typewriter says: Just fix the f**n shower Phil.

Production down, price up


Widespread drought is already affecting milk production.

Fonterra’s overall production is up slightly on last season’s so far but this month North Island production is down 4.7% and South Island production is down 1.8% compared with December last year.

There have been years when lower production has been matched by low prices but so far this season the price of milk is holding up.

Prices in the globalDairy Trade auction are holding up:

The  trade weighted index went up 2.4% in yesterday’s sale.

The price for anhydrous milk fat .7%, butter milk powder was down .7%, skim milk powder increased 2.5% and whole milk powder was up 2.6%.

December 17 in history


942 Assassination of William I of Normandy.

1398 – Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud‘s armies in Delhi were defeated by Timur.

Бюст Тамерлана.jpg

1531 – Pope Clement VII established a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

1538  Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII.

1577  Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for Queen Elizabeth I.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg

1583 – Cologne War: Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeated the troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg.

 A castle stands at the top of a steep hill, and its walls are being blown away in explosion and fire. The fortress is surrounded by mounted and foot soldiers, and several units of mounted soldiers are racing up the hill toward the castle on its peak. Frans Hogenberg, a Dutch engraver and artist of the 16th century, was living in the Electorate of Cologne during the war, and engraved this picture of the destruction of the Godesburg (fortress).

1586 – Emperor Go-Yozei became Emperor of Japan.

Emperor Go-Yōzei2.jpg 

1600 – Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de’ Medici.

1637 – Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rose against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu.

1773 At Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, 10 men who were with James Cook’s navigator Tobias Furneaux died at the hands of Ngati Kuia and Rangitane, led by their chief, Kahura.

Ten crew of Cook's ship <em> Adventure </em>  killed and eaten

1819  Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).

1834 The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Ireland opened.

1865 First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

1889 New Zealand’s Eifel tower opened at the South Seas Exhibition.

New Zealand’s own Eiffel Tower opens

1904 Paul Cadmus, American artist, was born.

1915 André Claveau, French singer, was born.

1918 Culmination of the Darwin Rebellion as some 1000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin.

1935 First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.


1936  Tommy Steele, English singer and actor, was born.
1937 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman, was born.
1938  Peter Snell, New Zealand runner, was born.
1939  Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.

Graf Spee at Spithead.jpg

1944 Major Major, No. 1 Dog, 2NZEF, and member/mascot of 19 Battalion since 1939, died of sickness in Italy. He was buried with full military honours at Rimini.

Major Major, mascot of 19 Battalion, dies of sickness

1947  First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.

Boeing B-47E-65-BW (AF Serial No. 51-5257)during rocket-assisted takeoff test.

1961 Sara Dallin, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1967  Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt disappearsed while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and was presumed drowned.

1969 The SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) began.

1969  Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”

1983 The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store killing six people.

1989 Pilot episode of The Simpsons aired in the United States.

Simpsons FamilyPicture.png

2003  SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first supersonic flight.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

A DC-3 operated by Flygande Veteraner in Sweden

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