Word of the day


Unthirlable –  unthinkable; undesirable, unlikely to be considered a possibility.

How we’re drinking


A bar in Dunedin had an entry charge one evening when a band was playing.

Four thousand people paid to get in but the bar served only 900 drinks.

This could mean most people were sober.

It’s more likely a sign of how and where they’re drinking – before they got to the bar and probably at home or another private venue rather than at another pub.

It’s called pre-loading.

People do it because it’s cheaper but it doesn’t reflect well on our culture that many do it to excess and feel they can’t enjoy themselves without the assistance of alcohol.

Talking past each other doesn’t solve problems


Quote of the week:

What New Zealanders are looking for is the way in which we can all progress.
That is not going to happen when people talk past each other. Or when people
intentionally or through ignorance misunderstand each other.

No one-on-one relationship ever truly succeeded without respect, compromise,
humility and deep communication.

It comes from Lindsay Mitchell in an open letter to Don Brash and Pita Sharples.

If these two could stop talking past each other they’d find they agree on what really matters – the need to solve the problem of Maori being over-represented in negative statistics and under-represented in the positive ones.

Two Dons, two Johns


It’s not easy for a wee party to cover all bases and since Gerry Eckhoff missed out on returning to parliament in 2005, Act has lacked a rural voice.

That could change with Southland farmer, and Federated Farmers’ immediate past president, Don Nicolson becoming an Act candidate.

He’s standing as a candidate in Clutha Southland but I don’t think that will trouble sitting MP who got a majority of more than 13,000 and attracted about 65% of the electorate vote in the last election.

The party will have to do better that its dismal poll ratings if he’s to get into parliament on the list too. Labour’s doing it’s best to put farmers off voting for them but Nicolson might be able to persuade some of those disgruntled with National to try Act.

The has yet to rank its list but Keeping Stock points out so far it’s looking like Don, John, John and Don.

If the party’s to counter John Ansell’s proposition that Act is a party for men or women who think like men, it will need to introduce a little gender diversity.

Fare’s fair


It was rush hour but even so $98.40 for a taxi far from the centre of Auckland to the airport seemed pretty expensive.

However, I wasn’t going to argue with a meter, handed the driver $100 and was surprised to get more than $20 back in change.

I said I thought he’d given me too much. He said, no the change was correct, the fare was $76.60 and he’d given me $23.40.

I said, “But the meter says $94.80”.

He looked surprised then looked where I was looking, grinned and said, “That’s the radio station.”

July 13 in history


100 BC  Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, was born  (d. 44 BC).


1174   William I of Scotland, a key rebel in the Revolt of 1173–1174, was captured by forces loyal to Henry II.

1558 Battle of Gravelines: Spanish forces led by Count Lamoral of Egmont defeated the French forces of Marshal Paul des Thermes.

Pieter Snayers Siege of Gravelines.jpg

1573  Eighty Years’ War: The Siege of Haarlem ends after seven months.


1643  English Civil War: Battle of Roundway Down –  Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, commanding the Royalist forces, won a crushing victory over the Parliamentarian Sir William Waller.

057827 5aeb2795-by-Doug-Lee.jpg

1787  The Continental Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance establishing governing rules for the Northwest Territory establishing  procedures for the admission of new states and limiting the expansion of slavery.


1794  Battle of the Vosges between French forces and those of Prussia and Austria.

1821 Nathan Bedford Forrest, American Confederate cavalry officer, and founder of the original Ku Klux Klan, was born  (d. 1877).


1830 The General Assembly’s Institution, now the Scottish Church College, was founded by Alexander Duff and Raja Ram Mohan Roy, in Calcutta.


1854  In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General Jose Maria Yanez stopped the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset Boulbon.

1863 New York Draft Riots: Opponents of conscription began three days of rioting.

New York Draft Riots - fighting.jpg

1878  Treaty of Berlin: The European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania became completely independent of the Ottoman empire.


1916 Vivian Walsh became the first New Zealander to obtain an aviator’s certificate, following the establishment in October 1915 of the New Zealand Flying School at Orakei.

Walsh becomes first NZer to obtain pilot's certificate

1919 The British airship R34 lands in Norfolk, completing the first airship return journey across the Atlantic in 182 hours of flight.

1923  The Hollywood Sign was officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood. It originally read “Hollywoodland ” but the four last letters were dropped after renovation in 1949.

1928 Bob Crane, American actor, was born  (d. 1978).

1941  World War II: Montenegrins started popular uprising against the Axis Powers (Trinaestojulski ustanak).

 1942 – Harrison Ford, American Actor, was born.


1942 – Roger McGuinn, American musician (The Byrds), was born.


1950 Ma Ying-jeou, President  of China, former mayor of Taipei, former chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), was born.

1960  Ian Hislop, British writer, editor of Private Eye, was born.

1973  Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of the Nixon tapes to the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate break in.

1985  The Live Aid benefit concerts  in several places including London, Philadelphia, Sydney and Moscow.

Live Aid logo

1985 – United States Vice President George H.W. Bush became the Acting President for the day when President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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