Word of the day


Fritinancy – chirping or creaking sound as of insects, especially crickets.

Caption contest


An electronic bunch of daffodils is waiting for the one who provides the best caption to this photo.

Entries should be witty and should not be personal.

 A great result across the ditch last night with Tony Abbott's Liberal party sweeping to a comprehensive victory over Kevin Rudd's Labor party. Congrats to our friends the Young Liberals on an absolute brilliant campaign effort!

M J Savage Memorial Rest Home


The print edition of the NBR’s In Tray covers a Ministry of Health report on the M J Savage Memorial Rest Home.

It concludes:

 . . . In its executive summary, the Ministry of Health says that, sadly, the M J Savage Rest Home has outlived its natural life and is taking up space that could much more usefully be occupied by a home for distressed trade unionists, homeless academics and bewildered bloggers. It recommends knocking the place down and relocating the residents in Queensland.

I think the new Australian government will have enough challenges without having to deal with these people.

We are sailing . . .


My parents met because of Dad’s love of sailing.

He was pulled out of the water after his yacht capsized by a man who became a friend. The friend’s wife was a friend of my mother’s and arranged a blind date for the couple who became my parents.

My brothers followed Dad’s love of sailing. I didn’t as a participant but do take an interest as a spectator and am looking forward to the America’s Cup race series which starts this morning.

For all the fuss off the water and the criticism that it’s not so much sport as competition for lawyers, and the two-race penalty imposed on Oracle which gives Emirates Team New Zealand a head start in the best-of-17 series, the America’s Cup is still a yacht race and it starts today.

Quintin Hogg, guest posts at Keeping Stock on the race and writes:

The cup has for me been an emotional rollercoaster.  Despair in 1987.  Hope in 1992, Joy in 1995 and 2000.  Anger, later on, in 2000. Despair again in 2003 and 2007. And now hope again in 2013.
The most interesting feeling is dread.  I don’t know who is faster of the two boats that contest the Americas’ Cup on Sunday. . .
Oracle is said to be fast.  I know that Aotearoa is fast.  The telemetry data from their races is available online.  We will only know on Sunday who is faster.. .

. . . My hope is an evenly contested match with ETNZ beating Oracle on the water and leaving the shenanigans that have been recorded elsewhere behind.  And if ETNZ wins then “yahoo” for two or three days and then the hard work begins to build an event. 

If ETNZ are not successful well they deserve congratulations.  They have been innovative and creative. They have been an advertisement for NZ beyond anything we have previously had including the AB’s.

My heart says ETNZ will win.  My head would like to.

Yeah, me too, with all fingers and toes crossed.

Open for business


The question wasn’t if the Liberal National Coalition would win but by how much, and it is a decisive victory:

TONY Abbott has declared the nation “open for business” once again, vowing to lead a competent and trustworthy government for all Australians.

Claiming election victory in Sydney, he said he was proud and humbled as he shouldered the responsibility of government. . .

The incoming Abbott government is likely to have at around 90 seats and Labor at least 55, on the back of a 3.6 per cent national swing against the ALP. 

The Greens retained Melbourne, independent Bob Katter held his Queensland seat of Kennedy and Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie hung on to Denison

However, 27 seats remained “close” as the Australian Electoral Commission continued counting and two were too difficult to call at all. . .

Being open for business is necessary for Australia and will be good for New Zealand.

It doesn’t mean business at the expensive of people or the environment, but it does mean a change from the policies that have wasted the opportunities from the mineral boom, created a two-speed economy and let Australia’s international competitiveness slip.

As our  Prime Minister John Key said in congratulating Tony Abbott:

“Australia is our most important relationship.  Our common interests span trade, economic, defence and security matters and we cooperate closely in our region and on the international stage. . . “

In spite of the, usually, good-natured Trans Tasman rivalry our common interests are best served by both countries prospering.

We have been going forward but the gap between us has widened more because they’ve been in reverse.

Being better than Australia because its going backwards isn’t good for either of us.



Sunday soapbox


Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.
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