366 days of gratitude

October 8, 2016

Oamaru’s Majestic theatre was overseen by Mr Horsborough. always immaculate in a dinner suit and bow tie even for matinée showings.

Those were the days when each session began with the National Anthem (God Save the Queen, not God Defend New Zealand) and everyone stood to attention while it played.

Back then, 10 cents was enough to get you in to the pictures (yes, they were the pictures then, not the movies) with enough change for a bag of acid drops and an ice cream at half time.

Ice cream at the picture theatre was rolled and pressed into cones, dipped in chocolate and kept in the deep freeze until half-time. It tasted all the better for it.

For all that 10 cents seems very cheap for an outing, we went to the movies only a few times a year. Favourite films included The Great Race, The Incredible Journey, National Velvet,  Herbie, My Fair Lady, The Great Escape,  Hayley Mills in The Truth About Spring and The Parent Trap and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Thoroughly Modern Milly.

Watching a DVD of the latter this afternoon I realised that she wasn’t very modern at all. But there was an innocence to the film, the baddies were bad, the goodies were good and while there was love there was no sex.

It was a refreshing contrast to a lot of modern movies and what passes as news and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

October 8, 2016

Galluses – braces for trousers; suspenders.


Saturday’s smiles

October 8, 2016

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

How is it we produce citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote?

I am wary of political jokes…I’ve seen too many of them get elected.

Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect them!

Political opponents are like divorced parents who care more about getting the kids to hate the other one than for their well-being.

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.

If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it. —Mark Twain

Statesmen/women tell you what is true even though it may be unpopular. Politicians will tell you what is popular, even though it may be untrue.

Political T.V. commercials prove one thing: some candidates can tell all their good points and qualifications in just 30 seconds.

Nobody can fix the economy.  Nobody can be trusted with their finger on the button.  Nobody’s perfect. Vote for Nobody.


Saturday soapbox

October 8, 2016

Saturday’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, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Image may contain: 1 person , text

Don’t write so that you can be understood, write so that you can’t be misunderstood – President William Taft.


October 8 in history

October 8, 2016

314 Roman Emperor Licinius was defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and lost his European territories.

451  The first session of the Council of Chalcedon began.

1075  Dmitar Zvonimir was crowned King of Croatia.

1200  Isabella of Angoulême was crowned Queen consort of England.

1480  Great standing on the Ugra river, a standoff between the forces ofAkhmat Khan, Khan of the Great Horde, and the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia which resulted in the retreat of the Tataro-Mongols and the eventual disintegration of the Horde.

1573  End of the Spanish siege of Alkmaar, the first Dutch victory in Eighty Years War.

1600  San Marino adopted its written constitution.

1789 – William John Swainson, English-New Zealand ornithologist and entomologist, was born (d. 1855).

1806  Napoleonic Wars: Forces of the British Empire laid siege to the port of Boulogne by using Congreve rockets.

1807  – Harriet Taylor Mill, English philosopher and activist, was born (d. 1858).

1813  The Treaty of Ried was signed between Bayern and Austria.

1821  The government of general José de San Martín established thePeruvian Navy.

1829  Stephenson’s The Rocket won The Rainhill Trials.

1847 Rose Scott, Australia social reformer, was born (d. 1925).

1856  The Second Opium War began with the Arrow Incident on the Pearl River.

1860  Telegraph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco opened.

1862  American Civil War: Battle of Perryville – Union forces under General Don Carlos Buell halted the Confederate invasion of Kentucky by defeating troops led by General Braxton Bragg.

1871  Four major fires broke out on the shores of Lake Michigan including the Great Chicago Fire, and the much deadlier Peshtigo Fire.

1879 War of the Pacific: the Chilean Navy defeated the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos, Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau was killed.

1895 Zog I, King of Albania, was born (d. 1961).

1895 Juan Perón, Argentinean President, was born  (d. 1974).

1895 Eulmi incident– Queen Min of Joseon, the last empress of Korea, was assassinated and her corpse burnt by the Japanese in Gyeongbok Palace.

1912 First Balkan War began when Montenegro declared war against Turkey.

1918  World War I: In the Argonne Forest in France, United States CorporalAlvin C. York led an attack that killed 25 German soldiers and captures 132.

1920 Frank Herbert, American writer, was born (d. 1986).

1925 Cubana de Aviación founded.

1928  Joseph Szigeti gave the first performance of Alfredo Casella‘s Violin Concerto.

1932  The Indian Air Force was established.

1939 Paul Hogan, Australian actor, was born.

1939  World War II: Germany annexed Western Poland.

1941  Stan Graham shot dead three policemen and fatally wounded two other men before escaping into the bush.

Stan Graham runs amok on West Coast

1941 US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson was born.

1943 US actor Chevy Chase was born.

1943 US children’s horror writer R.L (Robert Lawrence) Stine was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Crucifix HillCapt. Bobbie Brownreceived a Medal of Honor for his heroics.

1948 Johnny Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born (d. 2004).

1949 Sigourney Weaver, American actress, was born.

1952  The Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash killed 112 people.

1961 – Jon Stevens, New Zealand-Australian singer-songwriter, was born.

1962  Spiegel scandal: Der Spiegel published the article “Bedingt abwehrbereit” (“Conditionally prepared for defense”) about a NATO manoeuver called “Fallex 62″, which uncovered the sorry state of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s army) facing the communist threat from the east at the time.

1965 C-Jay Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born.

1967  Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men were captured in Bolivia.

1968  Vietnam War: Operation Sealords – United States and South Vietnamese forces launched a new operation in the Mekong Delta.

1969 The opening rally of the Days of Rage, organised by the Weather Underground in Chicago, Illinois.

1970  Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejected US President Richard Nixon’s October 7 peace proposal as “a maneuver to deceive world opinion”.

1973  Yom Kippur War: Gabi Amir’s armored brigade attacked Egyptian occupied positions on the Israeli side of the Suez Canal  in hope of driving them away. The attack failed, and over 150 Israeli tanks were destroyed.

1974 Franklin National Bank collapsed due to fraud and mismanagement.

1978 Australia’s Ken Warby set the  world water speed record of 317.60mph at Blowering Dam, Australia.

1982  Poland banned Solidarity and all trade unions.

1990  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Police killed 17 Palestinians and wounded over 00.

1998  Oslo’s Gardermoen airport opened.

2001 A twin engine Cessna and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) jetliner collided in heavy fog during takeoff from Milan, Italy killing 118.

2001  U.S. President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.

2005 – Kashmir earthquake: Thousands of people were killed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in parts of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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