366 days of gratitude

October 4, 2016

There’s a huge element of luck in hosting an exchange student.

We struck the jackpot when we did it more than 20 years ago and he and his family have become ours.

He is Argentinean and we’ve just returned from nine wonderful days there.

We caught up with our exchangee, his family and friends in San Nicolas, Pergamino, Mendoza and Buenos Aires.

We ate a lot of meat, drank some wine and visited el Mercado de Liniers  – the Buenos Aires cattle market which was having a quiet day – only about 6,000 head of cattle, because of a strike.

We also travelled to Mendoza and drove up a mountain pass in the Andes; and returned to Buenos Aires to watch the All Blacks play the Pumas.

It was our ninth trip to Argentina and, like the previous ones, made us appreciate that country and its people and ours.

Today I’m grateful for happy holidays and safe homecomings.

I’m also grateful that I was out of the country when the clocks went forward. The start of daylight saving always makes me feel jet-lagged and I reckon if I’m going to feel that way it’s better to do so as the result of travel rather than mucking about with time.


Word of the day

October 4, 2016

Ridonculous/redonkulous- beyond ridiculous; ridiculously ridiculous.


Rural round-up

October 4, 2016

Lamb to tell ‘red meat story’ – Sally Rae:

Beef and Lamb New Zealand is to close some overseas offices as it concentrates on a new marketing strategy to differentiate this country’s products with those of international competitors.

After about 12 months of consultation, Beef and Lamb chairman James Parsons released the strategy which he said marked a change in direction for the organisation.

The story of New Zealand farming and its farmers would be at the heart of Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s new market development strategy targeting new and emerging markets.

Mr Parsons said development of a red meat sector story, which captured the culture, values and integrity long associated with New Zealand sheep and beef farmers, would be a way to differentiate this country from its competitors in the international marketplace. . . 

Appointed acting president of WFO: –

Federated Farmers president William Rolleston has been appointed acting president of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO).

Dr Rolleston has been the WFO’s vice-president and will guide the organisation through until the next general assembly in Helsinki in 2017 during which a new president will be appointed.

“It’s a privilege to be appointed to this role in an acting capacity. The WFO actively promotes the critical importance of a sustainable global farming sector for the future of our planet. . . 

Feds say it’s simple: comply with the law:

Farmers are urged to commit to getting employee records and contracts right after large fines were issued during a Labour Inspectorate investigation into a Taranaki dairy farm.

Federated Farmers Taranaki provincial president Bronwyn Muir says it is essential farmers keep up-to-date contracts and wage and time records for all employees.

“Agriculture needs to attract a good quality, motivated workforce to drive productivity gains and to improve performance. So farmers need to provide workplaces which will attract those people.

“Getting the basics of employment law right is the foundation to build that attractive work environment,” Bronwyn says. . . 

Shearing sports season kicks off in Central Otago :

A big shearing sports season has begun with the national Merino Championships on today  and tomorrow.

The championships are being held in Alexandra, Central Otago.

Five national titles will be decided in the only national fine wool event. New Zealand shearers will be competing to stop West Australian shearer Damien Boyle from snapping up the open shearing championship for the seventh year in a row. . . 

Guy welcomes Sri Lankan FarmIQ pilot:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the announcement of a FarmIQ technology pilot in Sri Lanka.

The pilot was part of a joint announcement by Prime Minister John Key and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today.

“The FarmIQ management system has been developed through the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), and is cutting edge technology that can be applied to a range of farming activities,” says Mr Guy. 

“It works by capturing and analysing data throughout the value chain so farmers can better link on-farm practices to farm outputs and revenue.  . . 

What is Fonterra anyway – Susan Edmunds:

What does Fonterra do?

Fonterra is a co-operative that buys milk from its farmer shareholders and processes it, mainly for export.

Fonterra and its shareholders produce more than two million tonnes of dairy ingredients, specialty ingredients and consumer products every year. Only about 5 per cent is kept in New Zealand. It produces about a third of the world’s dairy exports. . . 

New president marks quarter-century milestone for United Fresh:

Leadership and collaboration are vital to keep New Zealand’s horticulture industry blooming, says the new president of the country’s only pan-produce organisation.

New president Jerry Prendergast says the produce industry is entering a new era of business, just as United Fresh celebrates its 25th year.

“New varieties, sustainability, new technologies and competitive advantage are just some of the factors guiding our strategic plan into the future,” he says.

The people who work in the industry are essential to delivering on these targets, he says. . . 

WineWorks turns 21 and opens multi-million dollar plant in Auckland:

WineWorks, New Zealand’s largest, independent wine bottling and warehousing provider, officially opens its new multi-million dollar facility in Onehunga on Friday (7 October, 2016) and at the same time toasts 21 years of being in business.

The new state-of-the art plant was more than eight years in the planning. It took almost 12 months to construct and covers two hectares. One of the tallest buildings in Onehunga, it is located in what Managing Director Tim Nowell-Usticke calls the ‘sweet spot’ of the wine industry’s supply chain.

“Here we have easy access to rail, the port, the airport, industry suppliers and supermarket distribution centres. In addition, the country’s only glassworks is just down the road, and New Zealand’s largest wine market is right on our doorstep.” . . 


Mending beats measuring

October 4, 2016

Prime Minister John Key said the government was committed to reducing the number of children in poverty but didn’t want to put a figure on it.

Asked why the government could set goals to make the country predator-free but not measure the number of children in poverty, Mr Key said it was a complicated area, and the advice the government had been given was it was difficult to have one particular figure.

He said it was more binary in terms of whether there was a rat or stoat or possum there, whereas there were a range of different ways of measuring poverty.

It was better to focus on factors that contributed to deprivation rather than the exact numbers, Mr Key said.

“Isn’t it better for the government to say, ‘Rheumatic fever’s an issue, potentially prevalent with high levels of deprivation and therefore let’s focus on that rather than worry too much about the individual measure of poverty?'” . . 

There is no one definition for poverty which makes it impossible to get an accurate count on how many children suffer from it.

But there is no argument over children in severe deprivation being at risk of rheumatic fever.

Focusing on that will make a positive difference to the lives of those affected by and at risk of this very serious illness where counting won’t.

Mending beats measuring.

 


Quote of the day

October 4, 2016

None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are. – Anne Rice who celebrates her 75th birthday today.

She also said:

The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.

And:

You do have a story inside you; it lies articulate and waiting to be written — behind your silence and your suffering.

And:

Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.

And:

Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.

And:

Ignore any loss of nerve, ignore any loss of self-confidence, ignore any doubt or confusion. Move on believing in love, in peace, and harmony, and in great accomplishment. Remember joy isn’t a stranger to you. You are winning and you are strong. Love. Love first, love always, love forever.


October 4 in history

October 4, 2016

23 – Rebels captured and sacked the Chinese capital Chang’an during apeasant rebellion.

610 Heraclius arrived by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrew Byzantine Emperor Phocas and became Emperor.

663  The battle of Baekgang began.

1209  Otto IV was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Innocent III.

1227  Assassination of Caliph al-Adil.

1363  End of the Battle of Lake Poyang; the Chinese rebel forces of Zhu Yuanzhang defeated that of his rival, Chen Youliang, in one of the largest naval battles in history.

1511  Formation of the Holy League of Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Papal States and the Republic of Venice against France.

1537 The first complete English-language Bible (the Matthew Bible) was printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale.

1582 Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian Calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year was followed directly by October 15.

1625 – Jacqueline Pascal, French nun and composer, was born (d. 1661).

1626 – Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, was born (d. 1712).

1636 The Swedish Army defeated the armies of Saxony and the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Wittstock.

1693  Battle of Marsaglia: Piedmontese troops were defeated by the French.

1777  Battle of Germantown: Troops under George Washington were repelled by British troops under Sir William Howe.

1779 The Fort Wilson Riot.

1824  Mexico adopted a new constitution and becomes a federal republic.

1830 Creation of the state of Belgium after separation from The Netherlands.

1853  Crimean War: The Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia.

1876  Texas A&M University opened as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, becoming the first public institution of higher education in Texas.

1883  First run of the Orient Express.

1883 – First meeting of the Boys’ Brigade in Glasgow.

1895 Buster Keaton, American comedian, was born (d. 1966).

1895 The first U.S. Open Men’s Golf Championship administered by the United States Golf Association was played at the Newport Country Club.

1910  Declaration of the Portuguese Republic. King Manuel II fled to the United Kingdom.

1910 – Adoption of the Flag of Bermuda.

1918  An explosion killed more than 100 and destroyed the T.A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant in Sayreville, New Jersey.

1921 Riccardo Zanella became the first elected president of Free State of Fiume.

1923 US actor Charlton Heston was born(d 2008).

1927  Gutzon Borglum began sculpting Mount Rushmore.

1928  Alvin Toffler, American novelist, was born.

1931 Sir Terence Conran, English designer, restaurateur, retailer and writer, was born.

1937 English writer Jackie Collins was born.

1941 Anne Rice, American writer, was born.

1941 Norman Rockwell’s Willie Gillis character debuted on the cover of theSaturday Evening Post.

1942 Johanna Sigurdardottir, Prime Minister of Iceland, was born.

1943  U.S. captured Solomon Islands.

1947 Jim Fielder, American bassist (Blood, Sweat & Tears), was born.

1957 Auckland businessman Morris Yock trademarked the jandel.

Morris Yock trademarks the jandal

1957  Launch of Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.

1957  Avro Arrow roll-out ceremony at Avro Canada plant in Malton, Ontario.

1958  Fifth Republic of France was established.

1959 Chris Lowe, British musician (Pet Shop Boys), was born.

1960  Eastern Air Lines Flight 375, a Lockheed L-188 Electra, crashed after a bird strike on takeoff from Boston’s Logan International Airport, killing 62 of 72 on board.

1962 Carlos Carsolio, Mexican alpinist. Fourth person to summit all 14 of the eight-thousanders, was born.

1966  Basutoland becomes independent from the United Kingdom and was renamed Lesotho.

1967  Omar Ali Saifuddin III of Brunei abdicated in favour of his son, SultanHassanal Bolkiah.

1976  Official launch of theIntercity 125 High Speed Train (HST).

1983   Richard Noble set a new land speed record of 633.468 mph (1,019 km/h), driving Thrust 2 at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

1985   Free Software Foundation was founded in Massachusetts.

1991  The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treatywas opened for signature.

1992  The Rome General Peace Accords ended a 16 year civil war in Mozambique.

1992   El Al Flight 1862: an El Al Boeing 747-258F crashed into two apartment buildings in Amsterdam, killing 43 including 39 on the ground.

1993  Russian Constitutional Crisis: In Moscow, tanks bombard the White House, a government building that housed the Russian parliament, while demonstrators against President Boris Yeltsin rallied outside.

1997 The second largest cash robbery in U.S. history took place at the Charlotte, North Carolina office of Loomis, Fargo and Company.

1999 – the first World Smile Day was celebrated.

2001  NATO confirmed invocation of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

2001  Siberia Airlines Flight 1812: a Sibir Airlines Tupolev TU-154 crashed into the Black Sea after being struck by an errant Ukrainian S-200 missile. 78 people were killed.

2003  Maxim restaurant suicide bombing in Haifa: 21  people were killed, and 51 others wounded.

2004  SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight, by being the first private craft to fly into space.

2010 – The Ajka plant accident in western Hungary released about a million cubic metres (35 million cubic feet) of liquid alumina sludge. Nine people were killed and 122 injured, and the Marcal and Danube rivers were severely contaminated.

Sourced from NZ history Online & Wikipedia


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