365 days of gratitude

March 15, 2018

Learning another language helps you understand another culture, part of which is humour.

One of the bonuses of learning Spanish has been the introduction to Argentinian cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, who is better known as Quino, and his creation Malfalda.

She’s a feisty six-year-old with a love of the Beatles, a hatred of soup and a strong social conscience.

She makes me think and she makes me laugh and I’m grateful for that.

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The Beatles! How can you like them if you don’t understand what they say?

And? Half the world likes dogs and to this day, no-one knows what they want when they say woof.

My Spanish isn’t up to understanding all the cartoons word for word, but I get the gist of most of them and when I don’t can resort to English translations.

mafalda, buenos aires, cartoon, comic, argentina

I have to do my homework. I have to make a delivery for the shop. And I have to go watch my TV programme. 

So we’ve only got time to play nuclear war, right? Yes.

Boom!

This modern life makes our games even shorter.

mafalda, buenos aires, cartoon, comic, argentina

Ahem.

From this humble little chair I make an impassioned call for world peace.

Anyway, these days I think the Vatican, the UN and my little chair have the same powers of persuasion.

 


Word of the day

March 15, 2018

Belve – to shout, roar, bellow.


Thursday’s quiz

March 15, 2018

The questions are up to anyone who chooses to pose them.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual chocolate cake.


Rural round-up

March 15, 2018

Medical marijuana a ‘billion-dollar industry’, says exporter who employs staff with a past – Madison Reidy:

Growing marijuana has turned from a cause for conviction to a well-paid job for locals of a destitute town north of Gisborne.

In a rundown woolshed in Ruatoria, 17 of them laugh over reggae music.

Some are as young as 18. Some have been to prison. Soon, they could be earning about $80,000 each.

It’s white bread sandwiches and sausage rolls for lunch, washed down with a chilled Steinlager. They will swim in the Waiapu River afterward. . .

A2 herd conversion strategies – Keith Woodford:

The decision by Fonterra to work jointly with The a2 Milk Company (ATM) to produce A2 dairy products will have come as a shock to everyone outside the direct negotiation process. This change now throws into sharp relief the challenges for New Zealand dairy farmers in converting their dairy herds so as to produce A2 milk, this being milk free of A1 beta-casein.

The first decision farmers have to make is whether or not they do wish to start on the herd conversion journey. On the one hand, the Fonterra co-operative has been telling its farmer members for all of its 17-year existence that A2 is simply a marketing gimmick. So, for many farmers, the idea that Fonterra is now going to pay premiums for A2 milk will cause bewilderment. . 

Emerging food and beverage growth opportunities in New Zealand

New opportunities in the food and beverage industries are the focus of the Emerging Growth Opportunities in New Zealand Food & Beverage Report 2018, which will be launched at FoodHQ as part of the New Zealand Agrifood Week.

The report will be officially launched by the Hon. David Parker, Minister for Economic Development, on Wednesday 14 March. Key findings and the state of the food and beverage industry will be presented by Tim Morris, Director of consulting company Coriolis, which authored the report. . . 

Award winners swapped office jobs for farms :

The Northland Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners swapped office jobs for dairy farming six years ago and now appreciate the opportunities to grow and be self-employed.

Dan and Gina Duncan were rural valuers and knew the rural lifestyle was one they wanted for their family. “I grew up on a dairy farm, and the importance of common sense and consequences are still able to be learnt by children from a young age,” says Dan. “The freedom for children has changed though with a definite focus on health and safety.”

The won $7000 in prizes. The other major winners were the Dairy Manager of the Year, Sam Moscrip, and the Dairy Trainee of the Year, Eden Ritchie. . . 

Release of jewelled gheckos ‘momentous occasion’ – Rebecca Nadge:

The Central Otago Ecological Trust celebrated a ”momentous occasion” at the Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary recently as 14 jewelled geckos were released as part of the sanctuary’s first translocation programme.

Eight pregnant females, three males, two sub-adult males and one sub-adult female were taken from the Lammermoor Range by trust volunteers and Wildlands herpetologist Carey Knox before they were transported to their new home.

Mr Knox said the species was found across Otago and Canterbury, although human influence, land clearing and introduced predators had restricted their range to small pockets. . .

Fonterra NZMP cheese and butter win international honours at 2018  World Championship Cheese Contest:

New Zealand cheese continues to turn heads on the international stage, with Fonterra named category runner-up for its NZMP three-to-six month Cheddar Cheese in the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest. NZMP Unsalted Butter was also runner up in its category in the prestigious competition held in the United States over the last week.

The bi-annual competition features the cream of the cheese and butter world, with products from 26 countries vying for top honours. This year’s competition attracted a record-breaking 3,402 entries in over 120 categories. . .


If locals won’t work

March 15, 2018

An urgent call for fruit pickers in Hawkes Bay attracted just 14 applicants.

A concerted effort to find fruit pickers in Hawke’s Bay saw just 14 people express an interest and has resulted in the declaration of a regional labour shortage . . .

Gary Jones of Pipfruit NZ said the low unemployment rate meant there was strong competition for workers.

“There are at least 350 registered vacancies at the moment. The real number is likely to be higher than that,” Jones. . . .

Monday’s declaration means visitors presently in the country who did not have a work visa would be able to apply for a variation to their visitor’s visa allowing them to undertake seasonal work in the horticulture/viticulture industries for 6 weeks.

“This will now enable us to access as many available seasonal workers as possible to help harvest our fruit crops in Hawke’s Bay. Once the season is over, employers will be looking to offer permanent jobs to suitable New Zealand workers,” Jones said.

Jones said pickers were paid “well above the minimum wage” ($15.75 an hour) and the pay for those working in the packhouses depended on experience. . .

Hawkes Bay isn’t the only place where orchards can’t get local staff.

An employer in another region offered transport for staff from neighbouring towns and provided a creche. He also offered bonuses to those who would work five days but still couldn’t get enough locals.

One reason some didn’t apply or started and didn’t stay was drug testing.

What to do about them is another issue for which there are no simple solutions.

But the business couldn’t afford the risk of accidents from drug impaired staff and the only way to ensure workers were drug-free was testing.

There may be other reasons locals won’t work but the employer had done everything he could to attract them.

That left him dependent on immigrants.

His business couldn’t survive without them and as the Hawkes Bay orchard experience shows it’s not an isolated problem.

If businesses can’t get locals who are willing and able to work, they need immigrants to keep their businesses in business.


Quote of the day

March 15, 2018

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it. –  Andrew Jackson who was born on this day in 1767.


March 15 in history

March 15, 2018

44 BC Julius Ceasar was stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.

221 Liu Bei, a Chinese warlord and member of the Han royal house, declared himself emperor of Shu-Han and claimed his legitimate succession to the Han Dynasty.

351 Constantius II elevated his cousin Gallus to Caesar, and put him in charge of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire.

933  After a ten-year truce, German King Henry I defeated a Hungarian army at the Battle of Riade.

1311 Battle of Halmyros: The Catalan Company defeated Walter V of Brienne to take control of the Duchy of Athens.

1493  Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.

1545 First meeting of the Council of Trent.

1672 Charles II issued the Royal Declaration of Indulgence.

1767  Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, was born (d. 1845).

1776 South Carolina became the first American colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government.

1779 Lord Melbourne, (William Lamb) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,, was born  (d. 1848).

1781 Battle of Guilford Courthouse: 1,900 British troops under General Charles Cornwallis defeated an American force of 4,400.

1783 George Washington asked his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy. The plea was successful and the threatened coup d’état never eventuated.

1809 Joseph Jenkins Roberts, first President of Liberia, was born (d. 1876).

1848 Revolution broke out in Hungary.

1877 The first cricket test started between England and Australia.

1887  – Marjorie Merriweather Post, American businesswoman, founded General Foods (d. 1973).

1906 Rolls-Royce Limited was incorporated.

1916 President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 United States troops over the U.S.-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.

1917 Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated the Russian throne and his brother the Grand Duke Michael becomes Tsar.

1919 New Zealand troops rioted in England.

New Zealand troops riot in England

1922  Fuad I became King of Egypt.

1926 The dictator Theodoros Pangalos was elected President of Greece without opposition.

1931 SS Viking exploded off Newfoundland, killing 27 of the 147 on board.

1933 Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss kept members of the National Council from convening, starting the austrofascist dictatorship.

1939 German troops occupied the remaining part of Bohemia and Moravia;Czechoslovakia ceased to exist.

1941 Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys), was born.

1943  Third Battle of Kharkov – Germans retook the city of Kharkov from the Soviet armies in bitter street fighting.

1943 – Lynda La Plante, English screenwriter, and author.

1944 Sly Stone, American musician, was born.

1944 New Zealand forces captured Castle Hill during the Battle of Monte Cassino.

NZ forces capture Castle Hill at Cassino

1952 In Cilaos, Réunion, 1870 mm (73 inches) of rain fell in one day, setting a new world record.

1961 South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.

1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, told U.S. Congress “We shall overcome” while advocating the Voting Rights Act.

1985 The first Internet domain name was registered (symbolics.com).

1988 The Halabja poison gas attack of the Iran–Iraq War began.

1990 Iraq hung British journalist Farzad Bazoft for spying.

1990 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected as the first executive president of the Soviet Union.

1991 – The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany went into effect, granting full sovereignty to the Federal Republic of Germany.

2003 – President Ange-Felix Patasse ws overthrown in a coup by François Bozizé.

2011 – Beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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