Word of the day


Consanguineous: of the same blood,  lineage or origin; descended from the same ancestor.



A few days ago I noticed that the blog was approaching its 20,000th comment and I made a mental note to look out for it.

However, I was distracted by family fun this weekend and missed it.

The blog has now had:


The 20,000th was left yesterday by Blue Leopard.

That’s real comments. The blog has also attracted 428,751 spam comments on the 9,214 posts (not counting this one) I’ve written since launching on April 22nd, 2008.

Thank you to all who’ve contributed to that.

Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes I don’t, sometimes you change my mind, sometimes you don’t, sometimes you raise a smile, sometimes you generate a frown but I do appreciate that you’ve taken the time to join the discussion.

I also appreciate that you almost always respect other people in doing so – I think I’ve only ever deleted one comment in full and edited a couple.

Why do we get excited over zeros and why is 20,000th comment of greater moment than the 19,999th or 20,001st?

I’ll leave the answer to someone who understands more about numbers than I do.

Quote of the day


. . . At the end of the day, as long as you marry the person you set out to marry, then your wedding was a success. . .  from a post on a Victorian Steampunk wedding – with wonderful photos – at Ruffled.

How it should be


Our great-nieces came to visit yesterday.

One’s 18 months-old the others just nine weeks.

They both brought their parents with them, one also brought an aunt, the other brought a grandmother; another set of grandparents and a great-grandmother arrived too.

All day all the adults helped to look after the wee girls – cuddling, reading and singing to, and playing with them.

There was always someone to share the care with the parents, keeping an eye outt to ensure the wee ones were safe and happy. There were lots of laughs and lots of love.

This is normal for our family.

The shame and tragedy is that it isn’t normal for all families.

Making it normal for all children to grow up in a loving home with the loving support of wider family and friends ought to be the goal of the Green paper on vulnerable children.

But how do we achieve that when loving, supportive families aren’t the norm for far too many parents?

Does he know what he’s suggesting


Sean Plunket is with the majority who don’t support the sale of the Crafar farms to foreigners.

But does know what he’s suggesting when he writes:

 . . . So my suggestion to the Occupy diehards: pick the nicest of the 16 Crafar farms to camp on, pack up your mung beans and your hacky sacks in your old kit bags and occupy some land to highlight an issue that really matters to so many New Zealanders. . . 

The right of the protesters to occupy public spaces has been subject to debate. That would not be the case with the farms – they are private property.

Regardless of the nationality of the owners, anyone who tried to occupy the farms could be charged with trespass.

It’s possible Plunket has got his tongue in his cheek but even so his comments will add to a growing concern among farmers that the public don’t understand that the property rights which apply to small areas of land in town apply just as much to large ones in the country.

January 29 in history


904 – Sergius III came out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher.

1676 – Feodor III became Tsar of Russia.

1814 – France defeated Russia and Prussia in the Battle of Brienne.

1834– US President Andrew Jackson ordered first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labour dispute.

1842 Auckland’s first Anniversary Day regatta was held.

1845 “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe  was published in the New York Evening Mirror.

1856 Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross.

1860 Anton Chekhov, Russian writer, was born (d. 1904).

1863 Bear River Massacre.

1874 John D. Rockefeller Jr., American entrepreneur, was born (d. 1960).

1880 W.C. Fields, American actor and writer was born  (d. 1946).

1886 Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.

1891 Liliuokalani was proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, its last monarch.

1916  Paris was first bombed by German zeppelins.

1939 Germaine Greer, Australian writer and feminist, was born.

1940 Three trains on the Sakurajima Line, in Osaka collided and exploded while approaching Ajikawaguchi station. 181 people were killed.

1944  USS Missouri (BB-63) the last battleship commissioned by the US Navy was launched.

1944 Approximately 38 men, women, and children died in the Koniuchy massacre in Poland.

1944 In Bologna the Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio was destroyed in an air-raid.

1945 Tom Selleck, American actor, screenwriter and film producer, was born.

1949 Tommy Ramone, Hungarian-born musician and record producer (The Ramones), was born.

1954  Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host and actress, was born.

1989 Hungary established diplomatic relations with South Korea, making them the first Eastern Bloc nation to do so.

1996 President Jacques Chirac announced a “definitive end” to French nuclear weapons testing.

1996 – La Fenice, Venice’s opera house, was destroyed by fire.

1998 In Birmingham, Alabama, a bomb explodes at an abortion clinic, killing one and severely wounding another.

2001 Thousands of student protesters in Indonesia stormed parliament and demanded that President Abdurrahman Wahid resign due to alleged involvement in corruption scandals.

2002 In his State of the Union Address, United Statses President George W. Bush described “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of Evil.

2005 The first direct commercial flights from the mainland China(from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines carrier landed in Beijing.

2006 – India’s Irfan Pathan became the first bowler to take a Test cricket hat-trick in the opening over of a match.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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