365 days of gratitude

March 19, 2018

We got home on Saturday after 12 days away to find the motor that runs the heating was off and so was the fridge.

Power had been lost for long enough to enable everything in the freezer below the fridge to melt.

But the freezer isn’t very big and all we lost were egg yolks left over from meringues I’d been saving for a dog; bread and some berries.

It would have been much worse if the stand-alone freezer had lost power and I’m very grateful that it didn’t.


Word of the day

March 19, 2018

Dag – one of a series of decorative scallops or foliations along the edge of a garment or cloth; to edge with decorative scallops or the like; a a lock of wool matted with dung dangling from the hindquarters of a sheep; to cut dags from a sheep; an entertainingly eccentric person; a character; a conservative or unfashionable person; an untidy or dirty-looking person.


Rural round-up

March 19, 2018

We need a long cool look at water – Andrew Curtis:

As years go, 2017 was dramatic.

In February, one of the biggest fires in New Zealand history ignited on the Port Hills in tinder dry conditions, causing thousands of residents to evacuate.

In March, the upper North Island was soaked, with Auckland experiencing its wettest March day in 60 years, and over 300 homes were flooded.

July brought flooding to Otago and Canterbury, and snow and strong winds to other areas. . . 

Mix of farming, forestry, engineering keeps McKenzies busy – Sally Rae:

When it comes to thinking outside the square, it would be hard to look past the innovative McKenzie family from Clinton.

Colin McKenzie jokes they have a lot of junk around, but they are incredibly clever at turning that “junk” into all sorts of machinery.

As well as running a large sheep and beef operation, they also do their own forest harvesting, utilising some of their own home-made technology. . . 

Effluent technology set to lift dairy water efficiency – Jamie Thompson:

Nutrient efficiency is vital to Ravensdown as a component of smarter farming — good for the bottom line and the environment.

Water efficiency is now a catch-cry and the dairy sector is being urged to lessen its water ‘footprint’.

Crucial to this challenge is how effluent is managed. Recycling and reusing the nutrients in dairy shed effluent is good practice, showing that dairy farmers are doing the right thing. This comes with a price tag: 70% of dairy farmers’ environmental spending goes on effluent management (see graph). . .

Passion for dairy farming shows through for Canterbury environment award winners:

The Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards have been won by a dairy farming company showing a fantastic level of passion, pride and promotion for its industry. David and Brenda Hislop, Mark Daly and Janet Girvan are partners in Medbury Farm Limited – milking 1240 cows on 442ha at Hawarden.

The awards judges said the partners show strong awareness of farming practices and how they influence the environment. “They show excellent attention to detail to business planning, governance and policies and how that influences and drives the business, as well as great staff and people management.” . . 

Fonterra close to reaching Argentina deal :

Fonterra is close to reaching a deal with Argentina-based dairy co-operative SanCor, according a media report from Buenos Aires.

The Argentine newspaper La Nacion reported that Fonterra was anticipated to finalise a deal with SanCor by the end of this month.

La Nacion, in a translated report, said Fonterra and SanCor would form a new company, of which Fonterra would have 80 to 90 percent control. The remaining shares would stay with the dairy farmers in Argentina. . . 

Education doesn’t encourage creativity’ – Jill Galloway:

The education system does not value creativity enough, says a business commentator.

Chanelle O’Sullivan​ was one of five speakers at a creativity breakfast seminar, one of 10 events being held as part of the Manawatū-hosted Agri Food Week.

Described as an entrepreneur who founded the websites Rural Mums and Virtual Insights, O’Sullivan advised people to not rely on anyone else “as no one is coming to rescue you”. However, people should not feel ashamed of failing. . . 

Four candidates for Silver Fern Farms board :

Conor English, the youngest brother of former Prime Minister Bill English, is throwing his hat in the ring for election to the Silver Fern Farms board of directors.

English is the former chief executive of Federated Farmers who started his farming career at the family farm in Dipton. He is also chairman of Agribusiness New Zealand, a company he founded after leaving Federated Farmers in 2014.

Board members Fiona Hancox and Rob Hewett, and chairman, retire by rotation at the company’s annual meeting in Dunedin on April 18.

Four candidates have put themselves forward for the two available positions on the board. Hancox and Hewett have both advised they will stand for re-election, while nominations have been received for Chris Allen and English. . . 


365 days of gratitude

March 19, 2018

Whoops – forgot to do this last night but for the best of reasons.

We spent yesterday introducing a young Argentinean couple to the delights of North Otago – Oamaru Farmers’ Market and historic precinct, Fleurs Place at Moeraki and the seals past the lighthouse.

I was too busy enjoying their enjoyment of our district to think about social media and I’m grateful for that.


Teal deal for Question Time

March 19, 2018

Green Party leader James Shaw has announced he’s gifting most of the party’s questions to the National Party.

James Shaw told Corin Dann on TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning his party would gift its so-called ‘patsy’ questions to opposition parties as a way of holding the government to account. . .

CORIN Sure. Okay. Let’s get on to this issue. So I’m of the understanding that the Green Party is going to announce that you will give your what are called patsy questions in Parliament – so you get, what, one per session, is that right? Primary question – you’re going to give those questions to the Opposition for the rest of the term. Is that correct?

JAMES That’s right. So it’s about 42 questions this year and about 50 next year, based on what we currently know about the calendar. And that is because – and you know this from your time in the gallery, right – that patsy questions are basically a waste of everybody’s time.

CORIN They make the government look good.

JAMES Yeah, that’s right, but I think question time should be about holding the government to account. This is what we said when we were in Opposition. Now that we are in government, we felt that it was important for us to act consistently with what we said in Opposition.

CORIN But if you’re in government, why are you giving the Opposition an extra chance to bash you?

JAMES I know it sounds crazy, but we are crazy about democracy. So I know it seems like a weird move, but I honestly think that the democracy will be better served if question time does what it is supposed to do, which is to hold the government to account, and we are members of the government. I expect us to be held to account, not to use scripted questions to kind of tell some bright, shiny story. . .

It’s no surprise that National has welcomed the gift.

National Party Leader Simon Bridges has welcomed the Green Party’s decision to give the Opposition its allocated Oral Questions in Parliament to allow it to better hold the weak Ardern-Peters Government to account.

“I said when I became Leader that National would remain firmly focused on being an effective Opposition and in the past weeks we have continued to do that.

“That includes during Parliamentary Question Time when Opposition MPs get Ministers on their feet asking questions of importance to New Zealanders, and those efforts will now be bolstered by the Green Party’s decision.

“National will use the Green Party’s Questions as well its own to continue to focus on the issues that matter to New Zealanders – the economy, law and order, housing, public services and the environment.

“The Green Party’s willingness for this weak Government to be held to account is commendable and we will honour the spirit of this move by doing so strongly.” . . 

Labour and its leader Jacinda Ardern will be less than enthusiastic about this move from their support partner.

They may be thinking their week from hell could get worse: the Young Labour camp sexual assault mess; Defense Minister Ron Mark Ron Mark using Air Force helicopters like taxis; Ethnic Affairs Minister Salesa spending an eye-watering $30,186 on travel and now their support partner is suddenly a lot less supportive.

The Greens are sticking to principles on making a teal deal on patsy questions.

Jacinda Labour might not mind if they follow suit by withdrawing support for the wake-jumping Bill but New Zealand First leader Winston Peters will.

This move also raises another question – if the Greens can do a teal deal on questions, are they opening the door for a teal deal on a future coalition?

z

 


Quote of the day

March 19, 2018

Obviously the facts are never just coming at you but are incorporated by an imagination that is formed by your previous experience. Memories of the past are not memories of facts but memories of your imaginings of the facts.  – Philip Roth who celebrates his 85th birthday today.


March 19 in history

March 19, 2018

1279  A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ended the Song Dynastyin China.

1687 Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, was murdered by his own men.

1813 David Livingstone, Scottish missionary and explorer, was born (d. 1873).

1821 Richard Francis Burton, British explorer, diplomat and author, was born (d. 1890) .

1839 Bees were introduced to New Zealand.

Honey bees brought to NZ

1848 Wyatt Earp, American policeman and gunfighter, was born (d. 1929).

1853 The Taiping reform movement occupied and made Nanjing its capital.

1861 The First Taranaki War ended.

1863  The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000.

1865  The Battle of Bentonville started.

1866 A hurricane caused major damages in Buenos Aires.

1906 Adolf Eichmann, Nazi official, was born (d 1962).

1915 Pluto  was photographed for the first time but is not recognised as a planet.

1916 Irving Wallace, American novelist, was born (d. 1990).

1916 Eight American planes took off in pursuit of Pancho Villa, the first United States air-combat mission in history.

1918 The U.S. Congress established time zones and approved daylight saving time.

1921 One of the biggest engagements of theIrish War of Independence took place at Crossbarry, County Cork. About 100 Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers escaped an attempt by more than 1,300 British forces to encircle them.

1921 Tommy Cooper, Welsh comedy magician, was born (d. 1984).

1931  Gambling was legalized in Nevada.

1932 The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened.

1933 Philip Roth, American author, was born.

1933 – Renée Taylor, American actress, was born.

1936 Ursula Andress, Swiss actress, was born.

1941 The 99th Pursuit Squadron also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black unit of the Army Air Corp, was activated.

1944 Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize, was born.

1944 World War II: Nazi forces occupied Hungary.

1945 A dive bomber hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13), killing 724 of her crew.

1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler issued his “Nero Decree” ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.

1946 Jayforce landed in Japan.

Jayforce lands in Japan
1946 French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion become overseas départements of France.

1946  Ruth Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1947 Glenn Close, American actress, was born.

1952  Warren Lees, New Zealand Test wicket-keeper, was born.

1953 Ricky Wilson, American musician (The B-52′s), was born (d. 1985).

1954 Willie Mosconi set the world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during a straight pool exhibition at East High Billiard Club in Springfield, Ohio.

1955 Bruce Willis, American actor, was born.

1958 The Monarch Underwear Company fire left 24 dead and 15 injured.

1962 – Algerian War of Independence ceasefire took effect.

1965 The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 was discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction.

1969 The 385 metres (1,263 ft) tall TV-mast at Emley Moor, collapsed due to ice build- up.

1972 India and Bangladesh signed a friendship treaty.

1982 Falklands War: Argentinian forces landed on South Georgia Island, precipitating war with the United Kingdom.

1989 The Egyptian Flag was raised on Taba, Egypt announcing the end of the Israeli occupation after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the Peace negotiations in 1979.

1990 The ethnic clashes of Târgu Mureş began.

2002 Operation Anaconda ended (started on March 2) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with 11 allied troop fatalities.

2002 – Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth on charges of human rights abuses and of election tampering, following a turbulent presidential election.

2004 Konginkangas bus disaster: A semi-trailer truck and a bus crash head-on in Äänekoski, Finland. 24 people were killed and 13 injured.

2004 A Swedish DC-3 shot down by a Russian MiG-15 in 1952 over the Baltic Sea was recovered after years of work.

2004 Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were shot just before the country’s presidential election on March 20.

2008  GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that was the farthest object visible to the naked eye was briefly observed.

2011 – Libyan civil war: After the failure of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to take Benghazi, French Air Force launched Opération Harmattan, beginning foreign military intervention in Libya.

2013 – A series of bombings and shootings killed at least 98 people and injures 240 others across Iraq.

2016 – An explosion  in Taksim Square in Istanbul,  killed five people and injured 36.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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