363 days of gratitude

March 24, 2018

The motor that heats the water that heats the house had gone off while we were away last week.

It took a few days for the replacement part to arrive so it wasn’t until yesterday that the plumber and electrician were able to do the necessary repairs.

Whatever they did worked.

Today it’s been cold outside but it’s warm again inside and I”m grateful for that.


Word of the day

March 24, 2018

Shoogle – to shake, sway, or rock back and forth; a rocking motion.


Saturday’s smiles

March 24, 2018

Q: How many call centre people does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring
Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring
ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring
Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring
ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring…..

Q: How many thought police does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None…. There never *was* any light bulb, don’t you remember?

Q: How many cops does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None. It turns itself in.

Q: How many Marxists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None: The light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

Q: How many nuclear engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Seven: One to install the new bulb, and six to figure what to do with
the old one for the next 10,000 years.

Q: How many consultants does it take to change a light bulb?
A: I’ll have an estimate for you a week from Monday.

Q: How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two: One to screw it almost all the way in and the other to give it
a surprising twist at the end.

Q: How many existentialists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two: One to screw it in and one to observe how the light bulb itself
symbolizes a single incandescent beacon of subjective reality in
a netherworld of endless absurdity reaching out toward a cosmos of
nothingness.

Q: How many Orthodox Rabbis does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Change?

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?
Charismatic: Only one. Hands already in the air.
Pentecostal: Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against
spirit of darkness.
Presbyterians: None. Lights will go on and off at predestined times.
Roman Catholic: None. Candles only.
Episcopalians: Three. One to call the electrician, one to mix the
drinks, and one to talk about how much better the old one was.
Methodists: Undetermined. Whether your light is bright, dull, or
completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or
tulip bulb. Church-wide lighting service is planned for Sunday. Bring
bulb of your choice and a covered dish.
Nazarene: Six. One woman to replace the bulb while five men review
church lighting policy.
Amish: What’s a light bulb?


Rural round-up

March 24, 2018

Don’t move carcasses ORC warns – Hamish MacLean:

Desperate farmers could be unintentionally sabotaging the release of the new strain of rabbit calicivirus in Otago.

Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said yesterday he did not want to point fingers, but he had heard “second-hand” that some landowners were attempting to remove carcasses of animals where the virus had been released.

And while “absolutely understandable”, it was a report the council was taking “very, very seriously”, as it could jeopardise plans to create a natural epidemic and knock back the pests’ numbers by up to 40%.

Otago Regional Council environmental monitoring and operations director Scott MacLean said the council’s release of 100 doses of the recently approved RHDV1 K5 (K5) virus was now “substantially complete” with only the “the last few” areas in Queenstown and Coastal Otago outstanding. . . 

Decision time for Gita recovery – Annette Scott:

Taranaki farmers battling the ongoing challenges of the weather gods are facing a critical decision time.

While managing their way through the hammering of Cyclone Gita last month the region’s dairy farmers are also still recovering from the drought, Federated Farmers provincial president Donald McIntyre says.

“Our province was hit this summer with the drought first then we were served another big blow, literally, from the Gita storm. . . 

Officials set up Cook Strait checkpoint to stop cattle disease – Gerard Hutching:

Cattle crossing Cook Strait will be checked from Friday in a bid to stop the disease Mycoplasma bovis travelling north.

Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity Damien O’Connor said farmers were not complying with their legal obligations.

“At the weekend I received the National Animal Identification and Tracing Scheme (Nait) Review report, which shows the system is not working well enough. Only 57 per cent of farmers who record their animal movements do so within the required 48 hours. I’m told overall farm-to-farm recording may be as low as 30 per cent.”

Fines of up to $10,000 can be issued for non-compliance. Nait was set up to rapidly and accurately trace animals from birth to slaughter or live export. . . 

Tough times and tough cattle – Annette Scott:

With just a ute, a saddle, a rifle and some dogs as collateral, Rit Fisher walked into a bank in Timaru in 1978 seeking $1.2 million to buy Shenley Station. He told Annette Scott about his odd but fun 40-year farming journey.

Simplicity has been the key to success for Rit Fisher who grew up on Shenley Station, a 3500 hectare sheep and beef property at Albury, inland from Timaru.

Shenley, bought by his grandparents in 1912, has now been farmed by the Fisher family for 106 years. . .

Strong conservation values evident in Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Manaia dairy farmers showing sustainable and appreciable biodiversity and conservation values have won the Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Grant, Dinny and Leedom Gibbs from the Gibbs G Trust were announced supreme winners at the region’s awards dinner at the Devon Hotel in New Plymouth on Thursday night (March 22). They will host a field day on their Sutherland Road property on Thursday April 5 at 10.30am.

The dairy farm, 3km south of Manaia on the south Taranaki coast, is among those supervised by Leedom Gibbs, one of Grant and Dinny’s three daughters. Half of the farm is irrigated with two centre-pivots and contains a wetland that was established as part of the farm’s development. Water for the irrigation system is taken by consent from the Waiokura Stream and stock water comes from the Waimate West Water Scheme, on which Grant is a trustee. . .

Whananaki Coastal Charolais owners win Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Whananaki beef farmers Greta and Craig Harman have won the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The awards were held at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands at Paihia, on Wednesday night (21 March). The judges said both the Harmans’ coastal hill properties, home to Whananaki Coastal Charolais, were a showplace of biosecurity and biodiversity management that combine cattle farming, bull breeding and community involvement. They said Greta and Craig have a passion for their stock, the land they farm and for the natural environments that exist within it.

“They show how farming and environmental stewardship can work hand in hand to protect and enhance natural biodiversity while maintaining a productive asset. “The Harmans have completed an extraordinary amount of environmental protection work on the property, not because they had to, but because it was the ‘right thing to do’.” . . 

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Saturday soapbox

March 24, 2018

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.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. COurage is also what it takes to sit down and listen – Sir Winston Churchill


March 24 in history

March 24, 2018

1401 Turko-Mongol emperor Timur sacked Damascus.

1603 James VI of Scotland also became James I King of England.

1731 Naturalization of Hieronimus de Salis Parliamentary Act was passed.

1765 The Britain passed the Quartering Act that required the Thirteen Colonies to house British troops.

1770 Kidnap victim, Ngati Kahu leader Ranginui, died on board the French ship Saint Jean Baptiste.

Ngati Kahu kidnap victim dies at sea on French ship

1820 Fanny Crosby, American hymnist, was born (d. 1915).

1832 In Hiram, Ohio a group of men beat, tarred and feathered Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr..

1834 William Morris, English writer and designer, was born (d. 1896).

1837 Canada gave African men the right to vote.

1878  HMS Eurydice sank, killing more than 300.

1882 Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (mycobacterium tuberculosis).

1900 New York City Mayor Robert Anderson Van Wyck broke ground for a new underground “Rapid Transit Railroad” that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.

1907 The first issue of the Georgian Bolshevik newspaper Dro was published.

1923 Greece became a republic.

1930 Steve McQueen, American actor, was born (d. 1980).

1934 U.S. Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth.

1944 Ardeatine Massacre: German troops killed 335 Italian civilians in Rome.

1944  In an event later dramatized in the movie The Great Escape, 76 prisoners begin breaking out of Stalag Luft III.

1947  Christine Gregoire, 22nd governor of Washington, was born.

1949 Nick Lowe, British musician, was born.

1951 Tommy Hilfiger, American fashion designer, was born.

1959 The Party of the African Federation (PFA) was launched by Léopold Sédar Senghor and Modibo Keita.

1965 NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brought images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash landing.

1970 Sharon Corr, Irish musician (The Corrs), was born.

1972 The United Kingdom imposed “Direct Rule” over Northern Ireland.

1973 Kenyan track runner Kip Keino defeated Jim Ryun at the first-ever professional track meet in Los Angeles, California.

1976 Argentina’s military forces deposed president Isabel Perón and start the National Reorganization Process.

1976 A general strike took place in the People’s Republic of Congo

1980 Archbishop Óscar Romero was killed while celebrating Mass in San Salvador.

1986 The Loscoe gas explosion ledto new UK laws on landfill gas migration and gas protection on landfill sites.

1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Exxon Valdez spilt 240,000 barrels (42,000 m³) of petroleum after running aground.

1990 Keisha Castle-Hughes, Australian/New Zealand actress, was born.

1998 Jonesboro massacre: two students, ages 11 and 13, fired upon teachers and students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas; five people were killed and ten were wounded.

1998 A tornado swept through Dantan in India killing 250 people and injuring 3000 others.

1999 Kosovo War: NATO commenced air bombardment against Yugoslavia, marking the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.

1999 – Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire: 39 people died when a Belgian transport truck carrying flour and margarine caught fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

2003 The Arab League voted 21-1 in favor of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of US and British soldiers from Iraq.

2008 Bhutan officially became a democracy, with its first ever general election.

2014 – A train overran the buffers at Chicago O’Hare Airport station, injuring 32 people.

2015 – Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps in an apparent mass murder-suicide, killing all 150 people on board.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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