Word of the day


Father –  any male ancestor, especially the founder of a race, family, or line; progenitor;   a man who sires, adopts or raises a child; paternal protector or provider;  a man who creates, originates, or founds something; an elderly or venerable man; one of the leading men, as of a city; the eldest or most senior man in an organisation or group; a priest or clergyman in the Roman Catholic or Anglican churches; to procreate (offspring) as the male parent; to act or serve as a father; to create, found, or originate; to acknowledge responsibility for; to attribute the paternity, creation, or origin of; to assign falsely or unjustly; foist.



Better than last week’s total failure but still only 5/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Max Bygraves 16.10.22 – 31.8.12


English entertainer Max Bygraves died yesterday, aged 89.

Most Sundays of my childhood started with children’s requests on the radio and Bygraves singing You’re A Pink Toothbrush was always a popular choice.

Wishing for the wit to write like this


Oh how I wish I had the wit to write like this:

. . . It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant,  despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate. I was furling my wieldy  umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a  descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her  clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way. I wanted desperately to meet  her, but I knew I’d have to make bones about it, since I was travelling cognito.  . .

Hat Tip: Raymond Huber


Pot holes meet bureaucracy


North Otago had about half its annual rainfall over a couple of weeks which left many, mostly rural, roads in need of repairs.

That work was going to take time so Bill Pile, a farmer who happened to have a grader, spent several hours patching dozens of  pot holes.

And did he get thanked?

No, he got this:

Council roading manager Michael Voss said he understood Mr Pile’s wish to see the road, which services his property,      back in serviceable condition sooner than the council had planned.   

However, Mr Pile’s actions could have caused problems, Mr Voss said.   

 If his actions had created “any incident” that had “the potential to endanger other road users”, the council would be  in a difficult position, Mr Voss said.   

And had the pot holes caused any incident with the potential to endanger other road users such as the school bus, milk tankers and other motorists wouldn’t the council also have been in a difficult position?

 “For example, all works on the public road must be undertaken with a compliant and approved traffic management plan which lays out the operations and how works are to be undertaken.  This is a legal requirement and for the safety of all road users, which Mr Pile contravened.”

Councils have to work to the rules and it’s not Mr Voss’s fault the reporter asked a question to which he was bound to give the bureaucrat’s answer.

But reading that response made me feel like I was swimming in treacle with gumboots on.

Campaigning for whom at whose expense? -Updated


UPDATE: A tobacco company is behind this petition.

I unreservedly apologise for making what I now know are unfounded assertions it was the Green Party.

Keeping Stock has had a tip about an advertisement seeking people who can spend four weeks working on a campaign from August 31 to October 2:

Engage needs a team of intelligent, confident, professional staff for this exciting and lucrative campaign.

The team will fly around NZ’s main centres together for around 5 weeks. You will be engaging with people at bars & cafes, on street, and at events, collecting information with an i-Pad and discussing a current affairs issue with a select target audience. All travel and accommodation, plus a food allowance when away from home, is organised for you and provided in addition to your pay.

You must be available for the entire fixed term contract from 31st August – 2nd October.
Working 27 days in total (5-6 days per week), with variable hours (6-10 hours per day). The total fee for completing the campaign is $4,000 + food allowance and bonus.

Due to confidentiality issues we cannot disclose any more information at this time, but of course more information will be provided when we contact you to discuss your application in person. . .

So who’s employing these people and who’s paying:

Keeping Stock has the answer:

If the information provided to us tonight is correct (and we have no reason to suspect that it isn’t), Engage NZ might not be too far removed from a certain political party. Because the purpose of this team flying around New Zealand engaging with people is a very political one. The “current affairs issue” being discussed is asset sales, and the “select target audience” with whom people are engaging is those who have not yet signed the petition for a Citizen Initiated Referendum.

Yes dear readers; the Green Party is at it again. The contract term began on Friday 31 August; the very day that the Greens and Labour launched their spring push to get to the required number of signatures. Our informant tells us that a friend applied and got the job, and in our informant’s words “it is the Greens running it.”.
The obvious question raised is this; who is funding this? Are the Greens using public money again in an attempt to re-litigate the 2011 General Election?
If they don’t have enough volunteers it’s very likely they also don’t have the money to pay them which means you and I are paying – again.
I have no doubt it is in the rules but this shows the rules are wrong if they enable parliamentary funding to be used for party political work.

For fathers


Story People asks how do men know how to be fathers?:

How do they know how to make a feast of a crisp autumn day, a football  game, tomato soup & a grilled cheese sandwich?  How do they know how  to weave a soft blanket of safety when we sleep in the back seat of the  car, purring down the long road home?
How do they sift our own dreams out of our promise to be part of the  whole world?
How do they know how to teach us fairness, generosity and patience?  How  do they know how to reach for our hand and when to let go?
How do they know?  I think of the men, the good & the great, in my  life & it occurs to me for the first time: they don’t.  What they  know is to love.  To love.
They learn, as we all do, along the way.
Every day, all around the world, men become fathers and they will teach  their children, one way or another.  It’s a good time, on Father’s Day,  to love them, our men – to play with them, to laugh with them, to cry,  to plan, to dream adventures.  This is what they’ll share with their  children.
Their children are ours.

You may not remember the time you let me go first. Or the time you dropped back to tell me it wasn’t that far to go. Or the time you waited at the crossroads for me to catch up.  You may not remember any of those, but I do & this is what I have to say to you: today, no matter what it takes, we ride home together. Brian Andreas at Story People

Happy Fathers Day to all you fathers.

September 2 in history


44 BC  Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt declared her son co-ruler as Ptolemy XV Caesarion.

44 BC  The first of Cicero’s Philippics (oratorical attacks) on Mark Antony.

31 BC  Final War of the Roman Republic: Battle of Actium – off the western coast of Greece, forces of Octavian defeated troops under Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

1649  The Italian city of Castro was completely destroyed by the forces of Pope Innocent X, ending the Wars of Castro.

1666  The Great Fire of London broke out and burned for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral.

1752  Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar, nearly two centuries later than most of Western Europe.

1789  The United States Department of the Treasury was founded.

1792  During what became known as the September Massacres of the French Revolution, rampaging mobs slaughtered three Roman Catholic Church bishops, more than two hundred priests, and prisoners believed to be royalist sympathisers.

1807  The Royal Navy bombarded Copenhagen with fire bombs and phosphorus rockets to prevent Denmark from surrendering its fleet to Napoleon.

1833  Oberlin College was founded by John Shipherd and Philo P. Stewart.

1856  Tianjing Incident in Nanjing, China.

1862  American Civil War:  President Abraham Lincoln reluctantly restored Union General George B. McClellan to full command after General John Pope’s disastrous defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run.

1867 Mutsuhito, Emperor Meiji of Japan, married Masako Ichijō.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Sedan – Prussian forces took Napoleon III of France and 100,000 of his soldiers prisoner.

1885  Rock Springs massacre:  150  miners, who were struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, attacked their Chinese fellow workers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.

1898 Battle of Omdurman– British and Egyptian troops defeat ed Sudanese tribesmen and establish British dominance in Sudan.

1901  Vice President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt uttered the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the Minnesota State Fair.

1925  The U.S. Zeppelin the USS Shenandoah crashed, killing 14.

1935  Labor Day Hurricane  hit the Florida Keys killing 423.

1937 Derek Fowlds, British actor, was born.

1945 World War II: Combat ended in the Pacific Theatre: the Instrument of Surrender of Japan was signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and accepted aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

1945 Vietnam declared its independence, forming the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

1946  Interim Government of India was formed with Jawaharlal Nehru as Vice President.

1957 President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam became the first foreign head of state to make a state visit to Australia.

1958 United States Air Force C-130A-II was shot down by fighters over Yerevan, Armenia when it strayed into Soviet airspace while conducting a sigint mission. All crew members were killed.

1959 Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, was born.

1960  New Zealand enjoyed perhaps its greatest day ever at an Olympic Games. First Peter Snell won gold in the 800 m, and then within half an hour Murray Halberg won the 5000 m to complete a remarkable track double in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

Golden day for Kiwi runners in Rome

1960 The first election of the Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration. The Tibetan community observes this date as Democracy Day.

1967 The Principality of Sealand was established, ruled by Prince Paddy Roy Bates.

1972 – New Zealand’s rowing eight won gold in Munich.

1990  Transnistria was unilaterally proclaimed a Soviet republic; the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev declared the decision null and void.

1992  An earthquake in Nicaragua killed at least 116 people.

1996  A peace agreement was signed between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front in Malacañang Palace.

1998  Swissair Flight 111 crashed near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia. All 229 people on board were killed.

1998 The UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Jean Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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