365 days of gratitude

May 10, 2018

The washing basket filing system is supposed to be temporary.

That’s the one where you clear your desk by sweeping everything into a washing basket until you have time to deal with it.

But my filing had spilled from the washing basket to a large plastic box and was threatening to become permanent.

The bigger the mess, the less keen I was to tackle it but this afternoon I armed myself with a large rubbish bin and several file boxes and delved into the basket and then the box.

With a ruthlessness I may live to regret I discarded about 80% of the paper I’d been hoarding. About half the rest was filed as it ought to have been a long time ago which leaves me with a small pile I’ve filed under pending.

The washing basket is empty and back in the laundry and the plastic box is also empty and dispatched to the garage.

While my desk isn’t quite clear, there’s a semblance of order which gives me confidence that finishing the job will be much easier than starting it was and I’m very grateful for that.


Word of the day

May 10, 2018

Resumptive – indicating resumption of a topic that has previously been referred to; summarising; tending to resume or repeat; indicative of resumption.


Rural round-up

May 10, 2018

Farmers’ guilt ‘a crying shame’, with 30 jobs created by every farm – Jill Galloway:

Wairarapa farmer Matt Wyeth reckons if New Zealanders knew how many people were employed upstream from farms they would be more appreciative of farming.

Wyeth, from Spring Valley Enterprises near Masterton, said 30 people had jobs as a direct result of a farm.

“Each farm is responsible for the income for 30 households,” said Wyeth at the AgInnovation conference in Palmerston North attended by about 180 people. “Our identity in the community is largely not known. You hear about people going to a barbecue and they are almost ashamed to say they are in the farming industry.”

He said truck drivers, stock agents, and meat workers were just some of the people earning employment from farming, as well as agricultural scientists and soil scientists. . . 

Government water plans ‘almost economic suicide’:

Jane Smith did not mince words when discussing David Parker’s new water plan, calling the Environment Minister “an angry little man on a power trip in Wellington”.

Smith, a former winner of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, spoke to The Country’s Jamie Mackay saying Parker’s reasoning was “barely fit for consumption.”

“You know I just sort of wonder if he’s running a democracy or a dictatorship.”

Parker’s reformed National Policy Statement (NPS) on Freshwater Management could bring a halt to intensive dairy farming intensification; a move that Smith says has a lack of metrics, rationale and facts. . . 

(If you click the link above you’ll get to the audio for The Country’s Panel with Jane and environmental consultant Megan Hands which is well wroth listening to).

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In 1920 each farmer fed 19 mouths. In 1970 each farmer fed 26 mouths. In 2013 each farmer feeds 155 mouths and counting  . . .  No Farms, No Food, No Future.

Alliance backs origin meat brand – Neal Wallace:

The country’s largest sheep meat exporter has lent its support to the Beef + Lamb NZ red meat story brand, saying it provides a valuable insight to the needs of consumers.

Alliance chief executive David Surveyor said the Taste Pure Nature origin brand is also an example of how meat companies and the wider industry are working together for the common good, having earlier successfully co-operated on the chilled meat trial to China.

Developing the origin brand provided a valuable understanding of what is important to consumers and he agrees with the B+LNZ initiated pilot marketing programmes in China and the United States. . . 

Tuapeka farm in family 150 years – Yvonne O’Hara:

The Cummings family, of Tuapeka Flat, will celebrate more than 150 years of farming on the same property at the New Zealand Century Farm and Station awards dinner in Lawrence on May 26.

Peter Cummings said the family’s history could be traced to Patrick Cummings, who left Ireland and sailed to the Victoria goldfields in 1857, before arriving in New Zealand in 1861.

Patrick eventually leased 28 acres near Lawrence, which is now part of the family farm. . .

Confidence drives deer farmers – Annette Scott:

Confidence is driving the rebuild of New Zealand’s deer herd as the industry records one of its best-ever seasons and looks to stay ahead of the game at its upcoming conference.

Existing deer blocks are being expanded and subdivided to run more stock, feeding systems are being upgraded and more weaners are being kept for breeding – all on the back of soaring venison prices that traditionally peak in spring for the European chilled game market but this season reached records highs pre-Christmas and continue to hold up well above average.

The South Island schedule for venison is $11 a kilogram while the North Island is about $10/kg. . . .

Worm farm impresses councilors – Yvonne O’Hara:

Using worms to turn dairy shed waste into worm castings, which can ultimately be used to grow feed and food, was the focus of a field day at Robbie Dick’s Central Wormworx field day in Cromwell on April 27.

Mr Dick hosted a group of Otago Regional Council and Environment Southland councillors and talked to them about possibly establishing more worm farms in Otago and Southland to deal with dairy waste.

He runs the 1ha worm farm, which has about 100 million stock units. . .

New biosecurity safety advertisement applauded:

Federated Farmers applauds the Australian Government’s intention to take border security more seriously by launching a new compulsory biosecurity safety video aimed at all incoming aircraft and cruise line passengers.

The safety video depicts people trying to use everyday excuses to get past Australian border officials with fish, wooden objects, plants and other material hidden in their luggage.

“This video is an example of what is needed at every New Zealand point of entry,” Federated Farmers national president Katie Milne says. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

May 10, 2018

After a break of more than three years, I’m posing this week’s questions, though have no intention of doing it regularly again.

Anyone who answers all of the questions correctly will win a virtual box of chocolates.

1. Who said: The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.?

2. Name three of the seven heavenly virtues.

3. It’s verdad in Spanish, pono in Maori and what in English?

4. Who wrote Paradise Lost?

5. In recognition of New Zealand Music Month, what’s your favourite NZ song?


Nutrient loss isn’t simple

May 10, 2018

Targeting cows is easy but nutrient loss isn’t simple and converting from dairy to horticulture could make water quality worse.


Join dots from donations to policy

May 10, 2018

The Labour Party received $1,611,073.77 in donations last year.

The largest single donation was $878,724.41  from E Tu Union.

It also received $70,00 from the NZ Dairy Workers Union; $45,000 from the Maritime Union of NZ; $30,000 from the NZ Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog has a table showing which of the government’s industrial relations policies benefit unions and business.

None will help grow business, 19 will grow unions and 32 will cost business more.

Call me cynical if you will, but it is very easy to join the dots between union donations and government policy.

We can be grateful that the law requires the publication of donors and allows us to join the dots between donations and policy.

But being able to see that doesn’t make it any better.

I also note that New Zealand First received $546,243.77  in donations, none of which was over the limits which require disclosing the donor including $88,628 of which were protected from disclosure.

Make of that what you will.


Quote of the day

May 10, 2018

Are you sitting comfortably? Then get up. This is no time for sloth.- Maureen Lipman who celebrates her 72nd birthday today.


May 10 in history

May 10, 2018

28 BCE – A sunspot was observed by Han dynasty astronomers during the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han, one of the earliest dated sunspot observations in China.

70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, opened a full-scale assault on Jerusalem and attacked the city’s Third Wall to the northwest.

1291 Scottish nobles recognised the authority of Edward I of England.

1497  Amerigo Vespucci allegedly left Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.

1503 Christopher Columbus visited the Cayman Islands and named themLas Tortugas after the numerous turtles there.

1534 Jacques Cartier visited Newfoundland.

1760 Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, French composer (La Marseillaise) was born (d. 1836).

1655 England, with troops under the command of Admiral William Pennand General Robert Venables, annexed Jamaica from Spain.

1768  John Wilkes was imprisoned for writing an article for The North Briton severely criticizing King George III.

1774 Louis XVI became King of France.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Fort Ticonderoga was captured by a small Colonial militia led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold.

1775  American Revolutionary War: Representatives from the 13 colonies began the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

1796 First Coalition: Napoleon I of France won a decisive victory against Austrian forces at Lodi bridge over the Adda River in Italy.

1801 First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declared war on the United States of America.

1824 The National Gallery in London opened to the public.

1833 The desecration of the grave of the viceroy of southern Vietnam Le Van Duyet by Emperor Minh Mang provokds his adopted son to start a revolt.

1837– Panic of 1837: New York City banks failed, and unemployment reached record levels.

1857  Indian Mutiny: The first war of Independence began when Sepoys revolted against their commanding officers at Meerut.

1863  Confederate General Stonewall Jackson died eight days after he is accidentally shot by his own troops during the American Civil War.

1864  American Civil War: Colonel Emory Upton led a 10-regiment “Attack-in-depth” assault against the Confederate works at The Battle of Spotsylvania.

1865 American Civil War: Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irwinville, Georgia.

1865  American Civil War: Union soldiers ambushed and mortally wounded Confederate raider William Quantrill.

1869 The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah with thegolden spike.

1872 Victoria Woodhull became the first woman nominated for President of the United States.

1877  Romania declared itself independent from Ottoman Empire following the Senate adoption of Mihail Kogălniceanu‘s Declaration of Independence.

1897 Ethel Benjamin became the first woman in New Zealand to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor.

1893  The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit, under the Tariff Act of 1883.

1899 Fred Astaire, American dancer and actor, was born (d. 1987).

1908 Mother’s Day was observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.

1915 Denis Thatcher, British businessman and husband of Margaret Thatcher, was born (d. 2003).

1922 The United States annexed the Kingman Reef.

1924 J. Edgar Hoover was appointed the Director of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation.

1925 – William Ferguson Massey, or ‘Farmer Bill’ as he was known by many, New Zealand’s second-longest-serving prime minister, died.

Death of William Massey

1933 – Barbara Taylor Bradford, English-American author was born.

1940 – World War II: German raids on British shipping convoys and military airfields began.

1940 – World War II: Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

1940  World War II: Winston Churchill was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1940  World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom.

1941 World War II: The House of Commons in London was damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.

1941  World War II: Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland in order to try and negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Germany.

1942 World War II: The Thai Phayap Army invaded the Shan States during the Burma Campaign.

1946 – Maureen Lipman, English actress, was born.

1946  First successful launch of a V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.

1946 Graham Gouldman, British musician and songwriter (10cc), was born.

1954  Bill Haley & His Comets released “Rock Around the Clock“, the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts.

1957 Sid Vicious, English bassist (The Sex Pistols) was born (d. 1979).

1960 The all-white All Blacks left for South Africa.

All-white All Blacks leave for South Africa

1960 The nuclear submarine USS Triton completed Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.

1960 Bono, Irish singer (U2), was born.

1969 Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Ap Bia began with an assault on Hill 937 which became known as Hamburger Hill.

1979 The Federated States of Micronesia became self-governing.

1981 François Mitterrand won the presidential election and became the first Socialist President of France in the French 5th republic.

1993  In Thailand, a fire at the Kader Toy Factory killed 188 workers.

1994 Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.

1996  A “rogue storm” near the summit of Mount Everest killed eight climbers including Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, both of whom were leading paid expeditions to the summit.

2002 F.B.I. agent Robert Hanssen was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for selling United States secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.

2003 May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence.

2005  A hand grenade thrown by Vladimir Arutinian landed about 20 metres from U.S. President George W. Bush while he was giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it malfunctioned and did not detonate.

200 – An EF4 tornado struck the OklahomaKansas state line, killing 21 people and injuring over 100.

2012 – The Damascus bombings:  a pair of car bombs detonated by suicide bombers outside a military intelligence complex in Damascus, killed 55 people and injured 400 others.

2013 – The Freedom Tower became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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