366 days of gratitude

December 23, 2016

Getting Canadian dollars for a Christmas gift for someone going skiing there next year was a really good idea.

It came to me a few weeks ago but I didn’t get around to going to the bank until Wednesday when I found the ANZ didn’t have any on hand and couldn’t get any by today.

I tried the other two banks in town yesterday and they too said they couldn’t get any until next week.

I decided I’d just have to give an IOU but hadn’t been home long when the phone rang.

It was a teller from the ANZ asking if I still wanted Canadian money because someone had just come in to exchange their dollars for some of ours.

I went back to the bank today, exchanged the cash and as a bonus was told to help myself to a piece of Christmas cake on the way out.

That is very good service and I’m grateful for it.


Word of the day

December 23, 2016

Festoon – a chain or garland of flowers, leaves, or ribbons, hung in a curve as a decoration; to adorn with or as with or form into festoons; a decorative representation of this, as in architectural work or on pottery; a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds; to adorn or decorate; a Eurasian butterfly or moth patterned with dark arcs on a lighter background.


Friday’s answers

December 23, 2016

Teletext, Andrei and J Bloggs win a virtual Christmas cake and get my thanks  for posing thursday’s questions.

Should they have stumped us all they also win a virtual bouquet of roses which they can claim by leaving the answers below.


Rural round-up

December 23, 2016

Probe of shot-calf incident  – Shannon Gillies:

Police are investigating the brutal death of a bobby calf near Waimate at the weekend.

The calf was found at the side of a road on Sunday morning, apparently shot five times and struck by a vehicle.

Dan Studholme, on whose property near Waimate the calf had been grazing, said it was apparent the calf did not die instantly from its wounds.

Mr Studholme was called by a forestry worker who discovered the calf. Then a vet and the police were called.

Rifle round casings were found lying near the dead animal, which had been shot in the leg, stomach and jaw. . .

New tools needed to ensure pollination – Maureen Bishop:

Breeding flies to act as pollinators, fitting queen bumblebees with radio transmitters, and preloading honeybees with pollen. These are all methods being trialled to increase the range of crop pollinators.
New Zealand crop industries need a box of new tools to ensure sufficient pollination into the future, a pollination scientist told the audience at the Foundation for Arable Research’s field day at Chertsey on December 7.

Dr David Pattemore, of Plant & Food Research, said scientists were seeking new methods of crop pollination for industries such as avocado, kiwifruit and other agricultural crops. . . 

Kakanui River finds new support group :

North Otago’s Kakanui River, the subject of a three-year community programme that finished in October, has a new champion.

The North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group (NOSLaM) has taken over from the Kakanui Community Catchment Project to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion and increase biodiversity. The project was funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s  and the New Zealand Landcare Trust, with support from the North Otago Irrigation Company, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and Ravensdown.

NOSLaM chairman Peter Mitchell said the group had held meetings and made funding applications so it could continue the progress already made. . . 

Support for Gisborne conservation work:

Four ambitious conservation projects in Gisborne have received $78,000 in support from the DOC Community Fund, Conservation Ministers Maggie Barry and Nicky Wagner have announced.

The projects range from weed eradication on Gisborne’s Titirangi Maunga to protecting wild kiwi in Maungataniwha and represent the best of community conservation, the Ministers say.

“Each of the groups is helping wage the War on Weeds and protect native species from introduced predators and invasive plants,” Ms Barry says. . . 

Kaikōura Cheese keeps going after quake – Max Towle:

Immediately after the Canterbury earthquakes, Daniel and Sarah Jenkins decided to pack up everything they own and move from Christchurch to Kaikōura.

A year later they fulfilled their dream and were cheese making, and eventually opened a shop, Kaikōura Cheese, on the main street.

Last month, when the shaking started again, they were hit with a severe case of deja vu and are only now starting to get their business rolling again. . . 

Fridge stoush over, copyright claim continues: Lewis Road claims partial victory over Fonterra – Ellen Read:

Boutique dairy producer Lewis Road Creamery is claiming a partial victory in its battle with dairy giant Fonterra and is praising social media for the outcome.

The two have been at odds for several weeks over the similarity of labelling on Fonterra’s new Kapiti premium milk range to Lewis Road bottles, as well as who has access to what shelf space in Foodstuffs’ New World and Pak ‘n Save supermarket fridges.

Co-founder Peter Cullinane said on Thursday that his lawyers received a letter from Fonterra lawyers late on Wednesday that showed Fonterra had updated plans it had been making to take up to 97.5 per cent of the supermarket shelf space meaning it was “business as usual” for all suppliers now. . . 

Will the Prime Minister accept Sir David’s challenge?

The challenges for a new Prime Minister are many and varied.

Over the last two weeks Bill English has negotiated a successful leadership campaign to succeed former Prime Minister John Key and a cabinet reshuffle, but now he faces a challenge of a unique kind.

Speaking with Jamie Mackay on NZME’s The Country radio farming show yesterday, Sir David Fagan, the world’s most decorated shearer and a member of the 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships’ Organising Committee, laid an invitation at the new Prime Minister’s feet.

“Our new Prime Minister, I know he can shear. I’ve seen him shear at Lumsden many, many years ago at the Full wool Champs. Now there is a challenge for you Jamie, to get our new Prime Minister to shear a sheep down there.” Sir David said. But he didn’t stop there. . . 

Soils, climate, proximity key to new Marlborough vineyard development as sheep farm sold – Mike Watson:

A long-established Marlborough sheep farm has become the latest pastoral property in the region to be sold for vineyard development.

Vendor Mostyn Wadsworth has been a mainstay on the Northbank of the Wairau Valley for the past 33 years.

The Wadsworth family has farmed in the area for nearly a century. . . 


Preparation is key

December 23, 2016

How does father Christmas do it?

Preparation is key:


Quote of the day

December 23, 2016

For me, poetry is the music of being human. And also a time machine by which we can travel to who we are and to who we will become.  –  Dame Carol Ann Duffy who celebrates her 61st birthday today.

She also said

What will you do now with the gift of your left life?


December 23 in history

December 23, 2016

484 – Huneric died and was succeeded by his nephew Gunthamund, who became king of the Vandals.

558 – Chlothar I was crowned.

583 – Maya queen Yohl Ik’nal was crowned ruler of Palenque.

679 – King Dagobert II was murdered in a hunting accident.

962 – Arab–Byzantine Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas,Byzantine troops stormed the city of Aleppo.

1572 – Theologian Johann Sylvan was executed in Heidelberg for his heretical Antitrinitarian beliefs.

1688 – As part of the Glorious Revolution, King James II of England fled England to Paris after being deposed in favor of his nephew, William of Orange and his daughter Mary.

1732 Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor, was born (d. 1792).

1822  Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer, was born  (d. 1875).

1867  Madam C.J. Walker, American philanthropist and tycoon, was born (d. 1919).

1893 The opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck was first performed.

1913 The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve.

1914  World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrived in Cairo, Egypt.

1918 – Helmut Schmidt, German soldier, economist, and politician, 5th Chancellor of Germany, was born (d. 2015).

1925  Rayner Unwin, British book publisher, was born (died 2000).

1933 Akihito, Emperor of Japan, was born.

1937  First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.

1938  Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.

1943 – Queen Silvia of Sweden was born.

1947 The transistor was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.

1951  Anthony Phillips, British musician (Genesis), was born.

1955  – Carol Ann Duffy, Scottish poet and playwright was born.

1953 Queen Elizabeth II arrived in New Zealand, the first reigning monarch to visit.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for summer tour

1954  The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

1958  Dedication of Tokyo Tower, world’s highest self-supporting iron tower.

1964 Eddie Vedder, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1970 The North Tower of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan was topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m), making it the tallest building in the world.

1972 The Nicaraguan capital of Managua was struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 10,000.

1972 The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster were rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.

1986  Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world.

1990  In a referendum, 88% of Slovenia‘s population vote for independence from Yugoslavia.

2002 A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.

2004  Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean was hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

2005  Chad declared war against Sudan following a December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.

2007 – An agreement was made for the monarchy of Nepal to be abolished and the country to become a federal republic with the Prime Minister becoming head of state.

2010 – A monsoonal trough crossed the northeastern coast of Australia from the Coral Sea, bringing mass flooding across Queensland.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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