365 days of gratitude

July 22, 2018

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Samuel Smiles

Today I’m grateful for hope.


Word of the day

July 22, 2018

Blurrily – in a blurry fashion; indistinct; unclear.


Hide and Seek

July 22, 2018

I was never good at hide & seek because I’d always make enough noise so my friends would be sure to find me. I don’t have anyone to play those games with any more, but now & then I make enough noise just in case someone is still looking & hasn’t found me yet.

Hide and Seek  © 2014 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

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Rural round-up

July 22, 2018

Fonterra faces crisis of confidence – Sudesh Kissun:

Former Fonterra director Leonie Guiney says the co-op is facing a crisis of confidence.

She says the dairy co-op’s balance sheet is no longer in a position to handle more of the investment culture, while its leadership continues to deny there are any issues with strategic direction.

Guiney, a director for three years, says because the current leadership is overseeing the recruitment of a new chief executive, farmers face more of the same from the co-op. . .

Concerns over Mycoplasma bovis leave farmer confidence in the balance:

Concerns about the impact of Mycoplasma bovis disease on the country’s agricultural sector have seen New Zealand farmer confidence decline over the past quarter, the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has shown.

While farmer confidence remains at net positive levels, the overall reading dropped to +two per cent in the latest quarter, from +15 per cent in the previous survey.

The latest survey – completed last month – found the number of farmers expecting the rural economy to improve in the next 12 months had fallen slightly to 26 per cent (from 27 per cent last quarter), while the number expecting the rural economy to worsen rose to 24 per cent (from 12 per cent). A total of 46 per cent were expecting similar conditions (down from 59 per cent). . .

Hastings’ company First Light Gains gold at World Steak Challenge – Doug Laing:

Innovative Hastings meat company First Light has suddenly become the little mouse that roared by claiming two major steak awards in less than a month, including a rare win for New Zealand beef overseas.

Its grass-fed Wagyu rib-eye, from a Taranaki farm and processed for the company in Hamilton, won a gold medal at the World Steak Challenge which ended in London on July 4, just three weeks after the company won New Zealand’s Best of Brand title, one of the two major titles in the Steak of Origin at the National Agricultural Fieldays on June 13. . .

Eight ways to improve native vegetation on private land:

Researchers have come up with eight recommendations on how New Zealanders can help increase the benefits they reap from large-scale native restorations located on private land.

To substantially increase the scale of native restoration, several issues need to be built into restoration planning, implementation and monitoring, according to a paper co-authored by Challenge Project LeaderProfessor David Norton of the University of Canterbury

The study focuses on areas that have been used for pastoral farming – which comprise 40% of Aotearoa’s land area – because these are the areas that will get the most conservation benefit from substantially upscaling restoration activities. Upscaling means dramatically increasing the land area of restoration activities to tens or hundreds of thousands of hectares. . .

Beetles find an answer to nitrogen – Peter Burke:

While scientists and farm consultants in laboratories try to solve the problem of nitrogen loss on farms, a large force of creatures works underground 24/7 on the issue.

Peter Burke reports on the work of the dung beetle and a man passionate about their progress.

Dr Shaun Forgie, an entomologist who has studied dung beetles in various countries, is one of a small group of international experts. . .

World famous in New Zealand: saleyard tour Fielding – Pamela Wade:

Twice a week, Manawatu Manawatū farmers pour into the middle of the pretty town of Feilding to empty or fill their trailers and stock trucks with the sheep and cattle that are sold at its busy and long-established livestock market.

They reckon it’s the oldest in the country, running since 1880; and that it’s one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere.

Certainly, dogs and people funnel thousands of sheep and hundreds of cattle through the saleyards each week, and the air is full of baaing and mooing – as well as that other distinctive indication that you’re in the presence of large numbers of farm animals. . .

Cultivar performance under the FVI spotlight:

DairyNZ’s Forage Value Index (FVI) helps farmers choose the best-performing grasses for their region using its simple five-star rating system. Trials have now started to test the FVI systems under realistic dairy farm management conditions, as DairyNZ senior scientist Cáthal Wims explains.

The DairyNZ FVI is an independent, regionspecific, profit-based index for short-term and perennial ryegrass cultivars, which allows farmers to select cultivars based on the expected economic value to their business. It categorises cultivars into five ‘star rating’ groups in each dairy region – those with a higher star rating are expected to deliver greater economic value for dairy farmers. . .


Sunday soapbox

July 22, 2018

Sunday’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.

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I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay  . . . small acts of kindness and love. –  Gandalf The Hobbit.


July 22 in history

July 22, 2018

838 – Battle of Anzen: the Byzantine emperor Theophilos suffered a heavy defeat by the Abbasids.

1099 – First CrusadeGodfrey of Bouillon was elected the first Defender of the Holy Sepulchre of The Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1209 – Massacre at Béziers: the first major military action of theAlbigensian Crusade.

1298 – Wars of Scottish IndependenceBattle of Falkirk – King Edward I of England and his longbowmen defeated William Wallace and his Scottish schiltrons outside the town of Falkirk.

1456 – Ottoman Wars in EuropeSiege of Belgrade – John Hunyadi, Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary, defeats Mehmet II of the Ottoman Empire.

1484 – Battle of Lochmaben Fair – A 500-man raiding party led by Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany and James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas were defeated by Scots forces loyal to Albany’s brother James III of Scotland; Douglas was captured.

1499 – Battle of Dornach – The Swiss decisively defeated the Imperial army of Emperor Maximilian I.

1510 Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence, was born  (d. 1537).

1587  Colony of Roanoke: a second group of English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.

1793 Alexander Mackenzie reached the Pacific Ocean becoming the first Euro-American to complete a transcontinental crossing of Canada.

1805  Napoleonic Wars: War of the Third Coalition – Battle of Cape Finisterre – an inconclusive naval action was fought between a combined French and Spanish fleets under Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve of Spain and a British fleet under Admiral Robert Calder.

1812  Napoleonic Wars: Peninsular War – Battle of Salamanca – British forces led by Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) defeated French troops.

1844 William Archibald Spooner, English priest and scholar, was born  (d. 1930).

1849 Emma Lazarus, American poet, was born (d. 1887).

1864 – American Civil War:  Battle of Atlanta – Confederate General John Bell Hood led an unsuccessful attack on Union troops under General William T. Sherman on Bald Hill.

1890  Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, American Kennedy family matriarch, was born (d. 1995).

1894  First ever motorised racing event was held between the cities of Paris and Rouen – won by comte Jules-Albert de Dion.

1908 Amy Vanderbilt, American author, was born (d. 1974).

1916 A bomb exploded on Market Street, San Francisco during a Preparedness Day parade killing 10 and injuring 40.

1932 Oscar De la Renta, Dominican/American fashion designer, was born.

1933 Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world traveling 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

1934 “Public Enemy No. 1″ John Dillinger was mortally wounded by FBI agents.

1936 Tom Robbins, American author, was born.

1942  The United States government began compulsory civilian gasolinerationing due to the wartime demands.

1942  Holocaust: the systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto began.

1943  Bobby Sherman, American singer and actor, was born.

1944 Anand Satyanand, former Governor-General of New Zealand, was born.

1944 Estelle Bennett, American singer (Ronettes), was born (d. 2009).

1944  Rick Davies, British musician (Supertramp) , was born.

1944  The Polish Committee of National Liberation published its manifesto, starting the period of Communist rule.

1946  King David Hotel bombing: Irgun bombed King David Hotel in Jerusalem, headquarters of the British civil and military administration, killing 90.

1947  Don Henley, American musician (Eagles), was born.

1951 Dezik (Дезик) and Tsygan (Цыган, “Gypsy”) were the first dogs to make a sub-orbital flight.

1962 Mariner programme: Mariner 1 spacecraft flew erratically several minutes after launch and had to be destroyed.

1970 Craig Baird, New Zealander racing driver, was born.

1976  Japan completed its last reparation to the Philippines for war crimes committed in Japan’s imperial conquest of the country in the Second World War

1977  Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping was restored to power.

1980 Scott Dixon, New Zealand racing driver, was born.

1983 Martial law in Poland was officially revoked.

1987 Lotto went on sale for the first time with a first division prize of $360,000.

Lotto goes on sale for first time

1992   Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar escaped from his luxury prison.

1993  Great Flood of 1993: Levees near Kaskaskia, Illinois ruptured, forcing the entire town to evacuate by barges operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

1997 The second Blue Water Bridge opened between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.

2002 Israel killed terrorist Salah Shahade, the Commander-in-Chief of Hamas’s military arm, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

2002 – Prince Felix of Denmark was born.

2003 Members of 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attacked a compound in Iraq, killing Saddam Hussein’s sons Udayand Qusay, plus Mustapha Hussein, Qusay’s 14-year old son, and a bodyguard.

2005  Jean Charles de Menezes was killed by police as the hunt started for the London Bombers responsible for the 7 July 2005 London bombings and the 21 July 2005 London bombings.

2011 – Twin terror attacks in Norway:  the first being a bomb blast which targeted government buildings in central Oslo, the second being a massacre at a youth camp on the island of Utøya.

2012 – Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

2013 – A series of earthquakes in Dingxi, China, killed at least 89 people and injureed more than 500 others.

2013 –  Prince George of Cambridge was born.

2015 – Three people died and 17 were injured in a collision between a Pendolino train and a lorry that occurred near Studénka, north Moravia, in the Czech Republic.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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