365 days of gratitude

June 20, 2018

TV3 and several other channels disappeared from our Freeview box.

I tried various options with the remote which got me nowhere then did a search online.

That led to an 0800 number which gave me a recorded voice telling me they didn’t do technical help and I should call the people who supplied the box.

A search through the folder that holds receipts and instruction books was fruitless so I got back online and found the supplier and another 0800 number.

It was answered within a few rings and a couple of if-you-want-this-push-thats later I was talking to a real human.

He talked me through a fix and within a very few minutes the lost channels were back again.

Dealing with technology faults and call centres usually does unpleasant things to my tension levels, but this time the help line really did help and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

June 20, 2018

Genericise – to make something behave generically.


Rural round-up

June 20, 2018

Farmers taking massive blow from disease cull to protect others – Andrew Morrison:

This time last year few of us had even heard of Mycoplasma bovis and now this disease is proving devastating to a group of cattle farmers.

We have seen the heart-wrenching scenes of farmers loading otherwise healthy cows onto trucks headed for slaughter and have listened to the descriptions from farmers who have to wake up every morning to the silence of farms devoid of livestock.

Last month, the Government with industry support made the decision to pursue a phased eradication of this production-limiting disease.

Knowing the pain it was going to cause some farmers meant that it was not a decision made lightly.  These farmers are taking a massive blow to protect the 99 per cent of farmers who don’t have Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) on their properties. We, as an industry, need to do everything we can to support these people both financially and emotionally. . . 

North Otago calves confirmed to have had M bovis -Conan Young:

A North Otago farmer who lost her farm after having to deal with a mystery illness has had it confirmed her calves that year had Mycoplasma bovis.

Susan McEwan’s story featured on RNZ’s Checkpoint and Insight programmes.

At that stage she suspected the reason she lost 600 of the 3000 animals she was raising to arthritis and pneumonia, was due to Mycoplasma bovis, but had no way to prove it. . . 

Farm exports growing – Sally Rae:

A strong export performance and farm profitability results, despite a  variety of challenges, is testament to the resilience of farmers, the Ministry for Primary Industries’ latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report says.

That resilience provided confidence  farmers would be able to adapt to future disruptions such as climate change, adverse events or potential trade issues.

It was also reflected in MPI’s medium-term outlook for annual export growth to range between 1.2% to 2.6% between 2019 and 2022.

Primary sector exports are forecast to exceed $46 billion by the end of the outlook period.

Production and export volumes were forecast to be relatively stable, particularly in dairy and meat and wool.  . . 

Keeping tradition alive after 50 years of Feildays – Horiana Henderson:

Kerepehi stalwart, Alex Quinn is committed to Fieldays and has the golden “50 years commemorating support” award, and a cap, to prove it.

In typical fashion, he was to be found amongst the agricultural equipment ready with a big smile and friendly conversation. He is the owner of Quinn Engineering and attended the first Fieldays with his father Eddie Quinn.

In the 1960s, Eddie created a tractor attachment for handling hay called the Baleboy and brought it to market at Fieldays in 1970. .  .

NZ missing a trick when it comes to selling our food overseas – Heather Chalmers:

The Government needs to invest in a national food brand in the same way it spends $100 million each year to promote New Zealand as a tourist destination, says an agrifood marketing expert.

Synlait’s infant formula sold in the United States was “unashamedly branded” as coming from New Zealand grass-fed dairy cows, but most New Zealand products were unbranded, said Lincoln University agribusiness management senior lecturer Nic Lees.

This was despite research that showed most western consumers view New Zealand food as the next best thing to their own products.

“This research was done by the University of Florida. This is an example of how little market research we do as a country into understanding perceptions of our food in different countries.” . . 

Stay ahead of the game deer farmers urged – Alexia Johnston:

Deer farmers are being urged to ”stay ahead of the game”.

Those words of advice were the key theme at this year’s Deer Industry New Zealand (Dinz) annual conference, recently hosted in Timaru.

Dinz CEO Dan Coup said the three-day event, which included a field trip to Mesopotamia Station, was a success, helped by the positive attitude by those in attendance. . .

Getting calves off to a great start – Peter Burke:

Dairy farmers and calf rearers will in a few months be flat-out dealing with new life on farms. AgResearch scientist Dr Sue McCoard and colleagues are working on adding valuable science and data to this important task.

Sue McCoard says she and her fellow researchers, in partnership with the industry, are researching different feeds and feeding management options and their impact on whole-of-life performance. .  .

 


Govt costing $100/week

June 20, 2018

The government is costing us $100 more a week:

The Government needs to start thinking about the impact of its tax and bad economic policies on Kiwi families and stop loading the costs on to their weekly bills, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

“The Government’s policies are costing Kiwi families over $100 a week and that’s an unacceptable burden on New Zealanders who are trying to get ahead.

“The biggest immediate hit will come from the double whammy of the new petrol taxes, with the legislation to impose it progressing through Parliament this week. Nationwide petrol tax increases at the same time as a new regional fuel tax that is already being felt around the country, together adding around $15 a week to the cost of living, is too tough.

“And it’s on top of already rising fuel prices. The Government needs to cancel it and get the transport agency and Auckland Council to do a lot better job of prioritising their spending.

Fuel price increases impact on all goods and services that are transported.

“Today we also have confirmation from the University of Otago that basic healthy food costs for a family of four in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin increased by up to $21 a week over the past year. Much of this is due to the higher costs flowing from government policies and regulations, in addition, new fuel taxes are only going to push prices up further.

“You also have rents rising by an average of $20 a week and that will only get worse as Labour drives mum and dad investors out of the housing market with its changes to tax policy and more regulation. And its restrictions on overseas investment and the increasing uncertainty around KiwiBuild policy will slow housing construction and drive prices up further.

“On top of that every middle income family is missing out on the thousand dollars a year – or $40 a week that Labour cancelled to give money to first year university students. That is money these families could have used right now.

“Finally, with slowing GDP growth leaving families around $10 a week worse off, and fewer jobs being created as a result of this Government’s low growth policies, there will be fewer opportunities for New Zealanders to get ahead.

“Together, these bad policies and poor priorities are leaving New Zealand families significantly worse off.

“The Government can’t pretend it’s concerned about New Zealand families, particularly those on lower incomes, and then turn around and implement policies that make things worse.

“They are placing themselves squarely in the firing line as the cause of cost of living increases. They need to cancel their fuel tax increase and start thinking about Kiwi families.”

The government has been boasting about its family package helping families.

But they’re giving with one hand and taking away with the other through the higher cost of living.


Quote of the day

June 20, 2018

I think my achievement also testifies to a simple but enduring truth: there is ultimately no substitute for good singing, honestly rendered. – Anne Murray who celebrates her 73rd birthday today.


June 20 in history

June 20, 2018

451  Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius battled Attila the Hun. After the battle, which was inconclusive, Attila retreated, causing the Romans to interpret it as a victory.

1005 Ali az-Zahir, caliph, was born (d. 1036).

1214 The University of Oxford received its charter.

1631  The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore was attacked by Algerian pirates.

1652  Tarhoncu Ahmet Paşa appointed grand vezir of the Ottoman Empire, served until 21 March 1653.

1685  Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declared himself King of England at Bridgwater.

1723 Adam Ferguson, Scottish philosopher and historian, was born  (d. 1816).

1756  A British garrison was imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

1782  The U.S. Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States.

1787  Oliver Ellsworth moved at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States.

1789  Deputies of the French Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath.

1791  King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family began the Flight to Varennes during The French Revolution.

1819 Jacques Offenbach, German-born French composer, was born  (d. 1880).

1819  The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrived  at Liverpool, United Kingdom – the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey was made under sail.

1837  Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne.

1840  Samuel Morse received the patent for the telegraph.

1862   Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, was assassinated.

1863 American Civil War: West Virginia was admitted as the 35th U.S. state.

1877  Alexander Graham Bell installed the world’s first commercialtelephone service in Hamilton, Ontario.

1893  Lizzie Borden was acquitted for the murders of her father and stepmother.

1909 Errol Flynn, Australian actor, was born (d. 1959).

1919  – 150 died at the Teatro Yaguez fire, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

1924  Chet Atkins, American guitar player and producer, was born  (d. 2001).

1929 – Jay Blakeney  English journalist and author, who wrote under the pseudonyms Anne Weale and Andrea Blake, was born (d. 2007).

1934 Wendy Craig, English actress, was born.

1942 Brian Wilson, American musician (The Beach Boys), was born.

1943 – Ten United States Navy personnel were drowned off the Paekākāriki coast near Wellington during a beach landing exercise.

US Navy tragedy at Paekākāriki

1944 World War II: The Battle of the Philippine Sea concluded with a decisive U.S. naval victory. The lopsided naval air battle is also known as the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”.

1944  Continuation war: Soviet Union demanded an unconditional surrender from Finland during the beginning of partially successful Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.

1945  Anne Murray, Canadian singer, was born.

1946 Xanana Gusmão, President of East Timor, was born.

1948 Ludwig Scotty, President of Nauru, was born.

1948 Toast of the Town, later The Ed Sullivan Show, made its television debut.

1949  Lionel Richie, American musician (The Commodores) , was born.

1949  Alan Longmuir, Scottish bass guitarist (Bay City Rollers), was born.

1950  Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, was born.

1951 – Sheila McLean, Scottish scholar and academic, was born.

1952 – Vikram Seth, Indian author and poet, was born.

1954 Michael Anthony, American musician (Van Halen), was born.

1956  A Venezuelan Super-Constellation crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off Asbury Park, New Jersey, killing 74 people.

1959  A rare June hurricane struck Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35.

1960 John Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1960  Independence of Mali and Senegal.

1963  The so-called “red telephone“ was established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile crisis.

1967 Nicole Kidman, American-born Australian actress, was born.

1970 – Josh Kronfeld, New Zealander rugby union footballer, was born.

1973  Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires  Snipers fired on left-wing Peronists. At least 13 were killed and more than 300 injured.

1979 ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder was caught on tape and sparked international outcry of the regime.

1987 The All Blacks won the inaugural rugby World Cup.

All Blacks win the first World Cup

1990  Asteroid Eureka was discovered.

1991  The German parliament decided to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin.

2003 The WikiMedia Foundation was founded in St. Petersburg, Florida.

2009 – During the Iranian election protests, the death of Neda Agha-Soltan was captured on video and spreads virally on the Internet, making it “probably the most widely witnessed death in human history”.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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