Word of the day


Rumblegumption – a considerable portion of understanding, common sense.

Poor little celebrity child


Growing up in a celebrity household will have compensations but there’s no need to handicap a child with a name which at best she’ll have to explain at every introduction.

Victoria Beckham wants to name her daughter Santa.

The celebrity – who has children Brooklyn, 12, Romeo, eight, and six-year-old Cruz with soccer star David Beckham – is currently considering names for her new baby, and has been inspired by the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica.

A source told The Sun newspaper: “Posh thinks Santa Beckham has a lovely ring to it and wants something unique.

“David prefers something traditional, but will probably go along with what she chooses.”

She lived in Spain so perhaps she knows what Santa means but would she name a child Saint?

Speaking as one saddled with an unusual name, albeit with the best of intentions,  Ms Beckham should acquaint herself with Whaleoil’s SFNS – Silly First Name Syndrome – before she condemns her poor little daughter to a lifetime of Father Christmas jokes at her expense.

Not enough rooms at the inns


Friends had been planning to spend the night in Dunedin but couldn’t find a bed.

The Crusaders were playing the Highlanders and there might have been another special event attracting visitors to the city but whatever the reason there was no room at any of the inns.

That isn’t unusual in Dunedin. 

Any time there is an event which brings people to Dunedin it’s difficult to find a spare bed.  When something like the Masters games, conferences, capping or  test matches is on it’s not unusual for accommodation providers – hotels, motels, B&Bs, backpackers and camping grounds – as far away as Oamaru and Balclutha to get bookings from those who aren’t able to stay in the city.

The new Forsyth Barr stadium might have been able to hold one of the  Rugby World Cup quarter-finals which were to have been played in Christchurch but lack of accommodation for the crowds the game would attract ruled it out.

The stadium will bring people to Dunedin but a venue isn’t enough by itself.

If the city is to get maximum benefit from the new facility it will need to come up with more beds for the visitors.

7/10 & 4/15


7/10 in the Dom Post’s family business quiz but at least half were lucky guesses.

Luck ran out  for the daily trivia quiz  with my worst ever score – 4/15 with all guesses wrong.

Theft or concentration lapse?


The petrol station was busy  when I pulled in behind a car as the driver finished serving herself.

I was about to get out of my car when I realised she was getting in to hers.

“That’s considerate,” I thought. “She’s going to move so I can drive forward and leave space for someone else to get to the pump behind me.”

When I went in to pay the bloke serving me asked if I’d had two fills.

The one before me hadn’t been paid for – the woman had served herself to $13 of fuel and just driven off.

I hadn’t paid much attention to the car or the driver, all I could say for sure was the former was white and the latter had dark hair.

As I drove out a white car drove in with a dark haired woman at the wheel. She parked and ran inside.

I hope it was the same one and the non-payment had been a lapse of concentration rather than deliberate theft.

All theft is wrong and stealing $13 worth of fuel when the pumps are covered by cameras which enable the identification of car and driver is really stupid as well.

Buying local good but not for oil?


A review of the way the Dunedin City Council manages its $1.9 million vehicle fleet includes a recommendation to drop the buy-local policy.

Existing policy required the council to buy goods and services from Dunedin suppliers where possible, if the purchase price was under $50,000, which meant a variety of Dunedin dealerships were supported, the review found. . .

The review acknowledged an end to the buy-local policy “will be unpopular with local dealerships”, as the policy aimed to support the continued viability of Dunedin businesses.

However, the council also had to minimise costs for ratepayers.

“In this regard, unless local vehicle dealerships can ‘meet the market’ or at least be within an acceptable range, it will be impossible to achieve both objectives.”

On the face of it a council supporting local businesses make sense. They pay rates, buy goods and services from other businesses which pay rates and employ people who pay rates all of which fund the council.

There is also a question over whether buying local does actually cost more:

The peer review of the original Management Toolbox review had been conducted by FleetSmart, which provided fleet management services to the council, and its findings contradicted some of those in the original review.

That included the suggestion the council should end its buy-local policy, as the peer review questioned whether doing so would achieve further savings, he said.

If everything else is equal using local dealers could be the best option.

But if buying local is more expensive then ratepayers are effectively subsidising the businesses.

Apropos of buying local, this catch-cry of environmentalists doesn’t appear to apply to oil:

Greenpeace climate campaigner Steve Abel said protesters were sending an “emphatic message” to the Government that deep sea oil drilling would not be tolerated in the country’s waters.

Protests like this one against Petrobras which is surveying in the Raukumara Basin off East Cape are very good publicity for the protestors but they are misguided.

They’d be better putting their energy into ensuring there are safeguards to protect against environmental ill effects if drilling eventuates.

That way we might be able to buy local fuel without any unacceptable risks to the quality of our water.

April 12 in history


On April 12:

467  Anthemius was elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

Tremissis Anthemius-RIC 2842.jpg

1204 Constantinople fell to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, temporarily ending the Byzantine Empire.


1557 Cuenca was founded in Ecuador.

1606  The Union Flag was adopted as the flag of Great Britain.

The Union Flag: a red cross over a red saltire, both with white border, over a dark blue background.

1633 The formal inquest of Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition began.

1776 American Revolution: With the Halifax Resolves, the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorised its Congressional delegation to vote for independence from Britain.


1820 Alexander Ypsilantis was declared leader of Filiki Eteria, a secret organization to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece.


1861 American Civil War The war began with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.


1864  American Civil War: The Fort Pillow massacre: Confederate forces killed most African American soldiers who surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

Battle of Fort Pillow.png

1877  The United Kingdom annexed the Transvaal.

1913 HMS New Zealand began a tour of New Zealand.

HMS New Zealand begins tour of NZ

1917 World War I: Canadian forces successfully complete the taking of Vimy Ridge from the Germans.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge.jpg

1919 Billy Vaughn, American musician and bandleader, was born  (d. 1991).

1927 April 12 Incident: Chiang Kai-shek ordered the CPC members executed in Shanghai, ending the First United Front.

1932  Tiny Tim, American musician, was born (d. 1996).

1934 The strongest surface wind gust in the world at 231 mph, was measured on the summit of Mount Washington, USA.

1934 The US Auto-Lite Strike began, culminating in a five-day melee between Ohio National Guard troops and 6,000 strikers and picketers.

1935  First flight of the Bristol Blenheim.

1937 Sir Frank Whittle ground-tested the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft at Rugby, England.


1939 Alan Ayckbourn, English writer, was born.

1942 Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, was born.

1945 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt died while in office; vice-president Harry Truman was sworn in as the 33rd President.

A middle-aged Caucasian male wearing a dark business suit and wireframe glasses is depicted smilingly pensively at the camera in a black-and-white photo.

1947 Tom Clancy, American author, was born.


1947 David Letterman, American talk show host, was born.

David Letterman at Perelman Institute crop.jpg

1949 Scott Turow, American writer, was born.


1950 David Cassidy, American singer and actor, was born.

1955 The polio vaccine, developed by Dr Jonas Salk, was declared safe and effective.


1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1).

Gagarin in Sweden.jpg

1963 The Soviet nuclear powered submarine K-33 collided with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S Finnclipper in the Danish straits.

Hotel II submarine 

1968 Nerve gas accident at Skull Valley, Utah.

1978 Guy Berryman, British musician (Coldplay), was born.

1980 Brian McFadden, Irish Singer (Westlife) was born.

1980  Samuel Doe took control of Liberia in a coup d’état, ending over 130 years of national democratic presidential succession.

1980 – Terry Fox began his “Marathon of Hope” at St. John’s, Newfoundland.

A young man with short, curly hair and an artificial right leg grimaces as he runs down a street.  He is wearing shorts and a T-shirt that reads "Marathon of Hope"

1981 The first launch of a Space Shuttle: Columbia launched on the STS-1 mission.


1990 Jim Gary’s Twentieth Century Dinosaurs exhibition opened at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.


1992 The Euro Disney Resort officially opened with its theme park Euro Disneyland.

FR Eurodisneyland.jpg

1994 Canter & Siegel posted the first commercial mass Usenet spam.

1998 An earthquake in Slovenia, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale occured near the town of Bovec.

1999 US President Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court for giving “intentionally false statements” in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.

2002 Pedro Carmona became interim President of Venezuela during the military coup against Hugo Chávez.

2002 – A female suicide bomber detonated at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda open-air market, killing 7 and wounding 104.

2007 A suicide bomber penetrated the Green Zone and detonated in a cafeteria within a parliament building, killing Iraqi MP Mohammed Awad and wounding more than twenty other people.

2010 – A train derailed near Merano, Italy, after running into a landslide, causing nine deaths and injuring 28 people.

Vinschgau railway accident.JPG

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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