366 days of gratitude

September 8, 2016

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that lunch on a cold day is in want of hot soup.

Should that soup be homemade tomato* served with grated Parmesan cheese and toast, so much the better.

Today was such a cold day the soup, freshly made, hit the spot and there’s plenty left over for several more lunches for which I’m grateful.

(*Take as much garlic and onion as you like, sautéed until just soft, add to cans of tomatoes (much cheaper and generally tastier than fresh ones at this time of year), tomato paste and salt, basil, thyme and oregano to taste; bring to the boil then simmer gently, stirring now and then to stop it sticking on the bottom until the flavours mingle)


Word of the day

September 8, 2016

Interstitial – pertaining to, situated in, or forming small or narrow spaces or intervals between things or parts; situated between the cells of a structure or part; of, forming, or occupying interstices; an advertisement that appears while a chosen website or page is downloading.


Rural round-up

September 8, 2016

Isolation major issue for rural women, study finds –  Andrew McRae:

More than half of the 115 rural women questioned in a recent survey said they felt isolated.

Kellogg rural scholar Nadine Porter surveyed 115 women living in rural areas and another 50 were interviewed in-depth for the project.

Ms Porter said the definition of isolation didn’t necessarily mean being stuck out in the back-blocks, but more a feeling of being isolated from their own community and their peer group.

She said nearly 57 percent of rural women surveyed felt unfulfilled because they were not using the skills they were trained for.

“It is a great wasteland of knowledge really.” . . 

Plan too complex farmers say – Hamish MacLean:

The ”moving feast” of environmental targets is creating unnecessary uncertainty, according to a farmer affected by Environment Canterbury’s Plan Change 5.

Waitaki catchment dairy farmer Joy Burke told the panel of independent commissioners conducting hearings in Oamaru yesterday she wanted to speak ”from the heart” about the frustrations she was dealing with on her two irrigated dairy farms at Tawai and Ikawai, despite having ”made a huge effort to understand and try to comply” with the proposed new rules.

The plan aimed to control the loss of nutrients to groundwater, and therefore deals with water quality issues, but Ms Burke had been dairy farming for a ”large number of years” and due to the plan’s adherence to Overseer, the computer program for producing a nutrient budget that shows where different elements are in farm soil, would probably now require resource consents to farm. . . 

Should U.S. subsidize dairy farmers when we don’t need the milk?  – 

Congress came up with a novel way to reduce the nation’s milk supply in 1985, paying farmers $1.5 billion to slaughter their cows.

Milk production dropped slightly, but the glut remained: Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture moved to help dairy farmers once again by spending $20 million to get 11 million pounds of excess cheese off the market, sending it to food banks.

“Honestly, I think it’s a good gesture – how much effect it’s going to have I don’t know,” said Jon DeJong, 41, who milks 1,300 cows with his father and two brothers on their farm near Lynden, Washington. “It’s not likely to save the milk price or anything.” . . 

Growth continuing for horticulture as the cherry sector booms:

New Zealand’s traditional horticulture industry is set to maintain its success as the buoyant sector continues to grow exports. Alistair King, Crowe Horwath’s horticulture specialist says, ‘The numbers are stacking up to support this and with exports and production increasing significantly every year, the horticulture sector is predicting growth until 2018/19.’

‘According to Summerfruit NZ’s latest reports the 2016 export value was $68 million for cherries, up by 30% on 2015’s $52 million. There were 3,408 tonnes exported in 2016, that’s up by 25% on 2015. The Central Otago region is dominating exports, estimated at being responsible for 95% of 2016’s exports, yet only producing 50% of New Zealand’s cherries,’ King reports. . . 

Forester’s Award their Achievers:

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry’s President James Treadwell announces two awards.

Forester of the Year is one of the highest accolades in the industry, recognizing contribution, leadership, excellence and integrity.

This year Forester of the year was awarded to Sally Strang Environmental Manager, Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Ltd for her tireless work in finding ways to reverse erosion in high priority areas. . .

Robotics and automation changing the wood supply chain:

Logistics within the forest industry is going through a major shakeup. Smart technology – robotics, automation, cloud computing, big data analytics and improved connectivity within the supply chain is reshaping how leading companies are adapting to and operating in the 21st century.

Wood Flow Optimisation 2016, a technology series being run in both New Zealand and Australia in mid-September by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA), will be providing local forestry and wood transport companies a rare insight into how these new technologies are being integrated – from the forest through to the wood processing operation or port.

In the last couple of weeks’, we’ve heard about the giant steps being taken in New Zealand’s forestry industry with in-forest trials using teleoperation technology. . . 

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Thursday’s quiz

September 8, 2016

You’re welcome to pose the questions.

Anyone who trumps everyone will win a virtual batch of citrus slice.


Million $ madness

September 8, 2016

Friends took us to an open home on Waiheke Island.

When they told us the price it was expected to sell for my farmer said,”How many stock units could you run on it?”

At the time we were buying a few hundred acres on our farm boundary for less than that house on a quarter acre section.

That was a few years ago. It seemed mad then and it’s got worse.

The average Auckland house now costs $1 million the price of the average house in Queenstown isn’t far behind and the rush to buy is spreading.

I walked past a real estate agent in Oamaru on Tuesday. Three quarters of the posters had  sold stickers across them. Of those still on the market, one house was had an asking price of $200 and something thousand, a couple were selling for $300 and something thousand and the rest were $400,000 plus.

Houses aren’t assets for most people. Unlike productive land they usually cost more than the owners can make from them.

Even if the value of properties is increasing, the owner only realises the gain when they sell and if they are able to buy somewhere else to live which costs less.

So why do we have this million dollar madness?

Demand has outpaced supply.

Solving that requires reducing demand and/or increasing supply.

Capital Gains Taxes haven’t stopped steep price rises elsewhere and Eric Crampton cautions that it’s too early to tell if Vancouver’s tax on foreign buyers has worked and anyone telling you otherwise is trying to sell you something.

If buying a house for eye-popping sums, is silly, what about the $1.35m paid for Colin McCahon’s painting The Canoe Tainui?

The artwork was owned by the late Tim and Sherrah Francis, and was on the market for the first time in 50 years as part of a sale of their extensive private collection last night.

They bought the painting in 1969 for $500 and took it with them on their diplomatic postings around the world. . . 

Paying so much for it now might look like million dollar madness.

But only time will tell if it’s a good investment and that might not be what motivated the buyer anyway. Not everyone who can afford fine art is looking to make money from it, sometimes the beauty of the buy is enough in the eye of the purchaser.

 

 

 

 


Quote of the day

September 8, 2016

Vocal music is an attempt to take the whole human being and project it into space. It is the ultimate gesture of getting out of yourself. You take a part of you that is most private, most personal, most inward and you hurl it out into space – you project it as far as you can. That gesture of opining this whole region of the body results in an enormous spiritual release, and is felt by other people with tremendous impact. – Peter Sellers who was born on this day in 1925.

He also said:

Some forms of reality are so horrible we refuse to face them, unless we are trapped into it by comedy. To label any subject unsuitable for comedy is to admit defeat.

And:

If I can’t really find a way to live with myself, I can’t expect anyone else to live with me.


September 8 in history

September 8, 2016

70  Roman forces under Titus sacked Jerusalem.

1151 King Richard I of England, was born (d. 1199).

1264  The Statute of Kalisz, guaranteeing Jews safety and personal liberties and giving battei din jurisdiction over Jewish matters, was promulgated by Boleslaus the Pious, Duke of Greater Poland.

1331  Stephen Uroš IV Dušan declared himself king of Serbia.

1380  Battle of Kulikovo – Russian forces defeated a mixed army of Tatars and Mongols, stopping their advance.

1449 Battle of Tumu Fortress – Mongolians capture the Chinese emperor.

1504  Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Florence.

1514  Battle of Orsha – in one of the biggest battles of the century, Lithuanians and Poles defeated the Russian army.

1565  The Knights of Malta lifted the Turkish siege of Malta that began on May 18.

1727 A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell in Cambridgeshire killed 78 people.

1755  French and Indian War: Battle of Lake George.

1756  French and Indian War: Kittanning Expedition.

1761 Marriage of King George III to Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

1793 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Hondschoote.

1796 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Bassano – French forces defeated Austrian troops at Bassano del Grappa.

1831 William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen were crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain and Ireland.

1841 Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer, was born (d. 1904).

1863 American Civil War: Second Battle of Sabine Pass – on the Texas-Louisiana border at the mouth of the Sabine River, a small Confederate force thwarted a Union invasion of Texas.

1871 – Samuel McLaughlin, Canadian businessman and philanthropist, founded the McLaughlin Car Company, was born (d. 1972).

1886 Siegfried Sassoon, English poet, was born (d. 1967).

1888 In London, the body of Jack the Ripper‘s second murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found.

1892  The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited.

1900  Galveston Hurricane killed about 8,000 people.

1903 – Jane Arbor, English author, was born (d. 1994).

1914  World War I: Private Thomas Highgate became the first British soldier to be executed for desertion during the war.

1921 Harry Secombe, Welsh entertainer, was born (d. 2001).

1921 – 16-year-old Margaret Gorman won the Atlantic City Pageant’s Golden Mermaid trophy; pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America.

1923  Honda Point Disaster: nine US Navy destroyers ran aground off the California coast, seven people died.

1925 Peter Sellers, English actor, was born (d. 1980).

1930 3M began marketing Scotch transparent tape.

1932 Patsy Cline, American singer, was born (d. 1963).

1934  A fire aboard the passenger liner SS Morro Castle killed 135 people.

1941  World War II: Siege of Leningrad began.

1943  World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announced the Allied armistice with Italy.

1944  World War II: London was hit by a V2 rocket for the first time.

1945 Cold War: United States troops arrived to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier.

1945 Ron Pigpen McKernan, American musician (Grateful Dead), was born (d. 1973).

1947 Benjamin Orr, American bassist and singer (The Cars), was born (d. 2000).

1951 Treaty of San Francisco: 48 nations signed a peace treaty with Japan in formal recognition of the end of the Pacific War.

1954 New Zealand signed the Manila Pact which established the South East Asia Treaty Organisation – SEATO.

NZ signs Manila Pact

1959 The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) was established.

1960  US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center.

1962  Last run of the famous Pines Express over the Somerset and Dorset Railway line (UK) fittingly using the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, 9F locomotive 92220 Evening Star.

1966  The Severn Bridge was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1966  The first Star Trek series premiered on NBC.

1967  The formal end of steam traction in the North East of England by British Railways.

1968 The Beatles performed their last live TV performance on the David Frost show – singing their new hit “Hey Jude“.

1970  Hijacking (and subsequent destruction) of three airliners to Jordan by Palestinians.

1971 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated, featuring the premiere of Leonard Bernstein‘s Mass.

1974 Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

1975 US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appeared in his Air Force uniform on the cover ofTimemagazine with the headline “I Am A Homosexual”.

1991  The Republic of Macedonia became independent.

1993 Chinese athlete Wang Junxia set a new women’s 10,000 m world record of 29:31.78, breaking the former record by 42 seconds.

1994  A USAir Boeing 737 crashes in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania.

2004 NASA’s unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-landed when its parachute failed to open.

2005 Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft landed at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base; the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America.

2013 – 11 people were killed in a train collision in Iași County, Romania.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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