366 days of gratitude


Mother duck was agitated.

Three of her ducklings were safely huddled behind her but five more had fallen through the grating of the cattle stop.

Mother duck clucked and the ducklings clucked back but she couldn’t help them and they couldn’t help themselves.

I knelt on the cattle stop and reached down, the ducklings scuttled away from me and into a corner.

I stretched my left arm through the grating to deter them from running to the left and reached from behind the ducklings with my right, grabbed some down between two fingers, lifted the duckling up and deposited it beside its mother.

She shooed it towards the other four and continued clucking.

Four more times I herded the ducklings into the corner with one arm and picked one up with the other.

Four more times the mother shooed the rescued duck towards the others.

When the fifth was safely reunited with the family, mother duck stopped quacking and herded her offspring down the path.

Today I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a duck family happy.

Word of the day


Photophile – an organism that thrives in light; someone who loves light.

Saturday’s smiles


A blonde and a redhead farmed in partnership.

Their only bull died and they had only $500 to buy a replacement.

The redhead said to the blonde, “I will go to the sale  and see if I can find a bull for less than $500. If I can, I will send you a telegram.”

She went to the sale and bid for a bull, winning the auction at $499.

Having only one dollar left, she went to the telegraph office and found out that it cost $1 per word.

She Thought about how to tell the blonde to bring the truck and trailer.

Finally, she told the telegraph operator to send the word “comfortable.”

Skeptical, the operator asked, “How will she know to come with the trailer from just that word?”

The redhead replied, “She’s a blonde and reads really slowly, so she’ll get the message come for ta bull.”

Saturday soapbox


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: text

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing – Benjamin Franklin

December 3 in history


915 – Pope John X crowned Berengar I of Italy as Holy Roman Emperor.

1799 – War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Wiesloch, Austrian Lieutenant Field Marshal Sztáray de Nagy-Mihaly defeated the French at Wiesloch.

1800 – War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Hohenlinden, French General Moreau defeated the Austrian Archduke John decisively, coupled with First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory at Marengo effectively forcing the Austrians to sign an armistice and ending the war.

1838  Octavia Hill, British housing and open-space activist, was born (d. 1912).

1842 Charles Alfred Pillsbury, American industrialist, was born  (d. 1899).

1854 – Eureka Stockade: More than 20 gold miners at Ballarat were killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.

1857 Joseph Conrad, Polish-born British writer, was born (d. 1924).

1863 The Land Confiscation law was passed allowing the confiscation (raupatu) of Maori land as punishment of those North Island tribes who were deemed to have been in rebellion against the British Crown in the early 1860s.

Land confiscation law passed

1904 – The Jovian moon Himalia was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrineat California’s Lick Observatory.

1910 – Modern neon lighting was first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show.

1912 – Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia (the Balkan League) signed an armistice with Turkey, ending the two-month long First Balkan War.

1912 – First Balkan War: The Naval Battle of Elli.

1917 –  Quebec Bridge opened to traffic.

1927 Andy Williams, American singer, was born (d. 2012).

1944 – Greek Civil War: Fighting in Athens between the ELAS and government forces supported by the British Army.

1948 Ozzy Osbourne, English singer, was born.

1949 Mickey Thomas, American singer (Jefferson Starship),was born.

1951  Nicky Stevens, British singer (Brotherhood of Man), was born.

1959 – The current flag of Singapore was adopted.

1960 Bluff Island Harbour opened.
Bluff Island Harbour opened

1964 – Berkeley Free Speech Movement: Police arrested over 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and sit-in at the administration building in protest at the UC Regents’ decision to forbid protests on UC property.

1967 – At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town a transplant team headed by Christiaan Barnard carried out the first heart transplant on a human (53-year-old Louis Washkansky).

1970 – October Crisis: In Montreal, Quebec, kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross was released by the Front de libération du Québec terrorist group after being held hostage for 60 days.

1971 – Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: Pakistan launched pre-emptive strike against India and a full scale war began.

1973 –  Pioneer 10 sent back the first close-up images of Jupiter.

1976 –  Byron Kelleher, New Zealand rugby union footballer, was born.

1976 Mark Boucher, South African cricketer, was born.

1976 – An assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley.

1979 – In Cincinnati, Ohio, eleven fans were suffocated in a crush for seats on the concourse outside Riverfront Coliseum before a Who concert .

1982 – A soil sample was taken from Times Beach, Missouri that would be found to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin.

1984 – Bhopal Disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal  killed more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.

1990 – At Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 collided with Northwest Airlines Flight 299 on the runway, killing 7 passengers and 1 crew member aboard flight 1482.

1992 – UN Security Council Resolution 794 was unanimously passed, approving a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers led by the United States to form UNITAF, with the task of establishing peace and ensuring that humanitarian aid is distributed in Somalia.

1992 – The Greek oil tanker Aegean Sea, carrying 80,000 tonnes of crude oil, runs aground in a storm while approaching La Coruña, Spain, and spilt much of its cargo.

1997 – Representatives from 121 countries signed The Ottawa treatyprohibiting manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines.

1999 – NASA lost radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enteredthe Martian atmosphere.

1999 – Six firefighters were killed in the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire.

2005 – XCOR Aerospace made first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, California.

2007 – Winter storms caused the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, Washington, also closing a 20-mile portion of Interstate 5 for several days and casuing at least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages.

2009 – A suicide bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, claimed the lives of 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government.

2012 – At least 475 people were killed after Typhoon Bopha, made landfall in the Philippines.

2012  – In Northern Ireland, 15 police officers were injured during riotingat Belfast City Hall following a vote to change Belfast City Council’s policy on flying the union flag.

2014 – The Japanese space agency, JAXA, launched the space explorer Hayabusa 2 from the Tanegashima Space Center on a six-year round trip mission to an asteroid to collect rock samples.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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