365 days of gratitude

September 14, 2018

Knowing another’s misfortunes are greater than your own isn’t always helpful.

But it can be a reminder to count your blessings.

Today I had such a reminder and I’m grateful for the many blessings I have to count.


Word of the day

September 14, 2018

Tika – to be correct, true, upright, right, just, fair, accurate, appropriate, lawful, proper, valid; straight, direct, keep on a direct course; correctly, directly, fairly, justly, straight; truth, correctness, directness, justice, fairness, righteousness, right.

(Celebrating Maori Language Week)


Rural round-up

September 14, 2018

Fonterra loss could be opportunity for change – Andrew McRrae:

Dairy farmers are hoping the massive financial hit taken by Fonterra will be used as an opportunity to reset the business for the future.

The dairy cooperative delivered a net loss of $196 million for the year ended July, after being hit by compensation payouts and investment write downs.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $20.4 billion.

Orini farmer Allan Crouch said even though a loss had been signalled, it was still very disappointing, especially compared to the $734m profit the year before. . .

Fonterra ponders Beingmate future as part of strategic review – Nikki Mandow:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra is looking at whether it should get rid of its disastrous Beingmate investment as part of an ‘everything up for grabs’ strategic review.

Speaking as the company announced the first full-year loss in its 18-year history, chairman John Monaghan said the company was doing a “full stocktake and portfolio review looking at all our major investments, assets and joint ventures to see how they are performing and where they fit with our strategy”. Beingmate was a key investment under the spotlight. . .

Co-op must do better:

The Chairman of Fonterra’s Shareholders’ Council Duncan Coull has said he is extremely disappointed with the Co-op’s 2018 Annual Results.

“There’s no denying that our farmers are unhappy with current performance, and this year’s results,” he said.

“The underlying result and its impact on earnings, dividend and carrying value is totally unacceptable and one that our farming families will not want to see repeated. Moving forward, it is imperative that our business builds confidence through achievable targets and at levels that support a higher carrying value of our farmers’ investment. . .

A thoroughly modern-day forward-thinking farmer – Pat Deavoll:

If ever there was the epitome of a thoroughly modern-day Kiwi farmer, the new Federated Farmers South Canterbury president would be it.

Jason Grant does it all. He owns and manages two dairy operations and a 1000 hectare dry stock farm, is a director of an irrigation company, an active member of two river catchment groups, a husband to Anna and father to Ruby (11), Oscar (12) and Wills (13), and of course, in his Federated Farmers role, an advocate for the local farming fraternity.

That he has a lot on his plate is an understatement. He says his life is “pretty full.” . . .

Farmers deserve recognition for their hard milk slog – Lyn Webster:

We are living in fantasy land where many people seem to think money grows on trees.

Well, it bloody well doesn’t!

Warning: I am grumpy because I have just lost my job due to impeding farm sale – more on that later.

About 25 per cent of New Zealand’s overseas revenue is generated by dairy farming, which is done by about 36,000 people.  That’s not many people to bring in a huge chunk of the country’s income.  

When the payout drops, which can happen overnight, it can affect your dairy farming business very badly very quickly.  Milk prices are volatile, sensitive to international demand and currency changes. Farmers put their seasonal plans in place, including stock numbers and a budget – if the milk price plummets, you pretty well have to suck it up because you haven’t got much wiggle room. . .

Funds run dry for beekeeper working to eliminate deadly parasite – Maja Burry:

A West Coast beekeeper says his bees are resistant to the varroa mite but that decades worth of work may be lost unless he can urgently pull together enough money to keep his business running.

Varroa mites infest bee hives, feeding on larvae and an infected hive usually dies within three or four years.

Westport beekeeper Gary Jeffery said he wanted to eliminate the parasite by distributing mite-resistant queen bees that he has bred around New Zealand. . .

Fonterra changes vindicated– Hugh Stringleman:

The calibre of new directors and nominees for the Fonterra board vindicates the governance changes and the downsizing of the board and outweighs the initial loss of experience, departing director Nicola Shadbolt says.

Her decision not to seek a fourth three-year term is in accordance with the guideline of nine years as the optimum and 12 years as the maximum.

The three candidates for vacancies around the board table announced last Monday are one-term sitting director Ashley Waugh along with Jamie Tuuta and Peter McBride. . .

Deer market doing well – Ashleigh Martin:

The deer market is achieving well at the moment, New Zealand Deer Farmers Association chairman John Somerville says.

“Venison prices are the best they’ve ever been and the velvet has been really stable for six or more years with some really good pricing.

“We’re hoping for slow steady growth of the deer market


Giggly granny’s Wonkey Donkey

September 14, 2018

The Wonky Donkey, which has been delighting Kiwi kids and those who read to them for several years, has become a global hit thanks to a YouTube video of a giggling granny reading it to her grandson:

Scottish granny Janice Clark was caught on film reading The Wonky Donkey to her four-month-old grandson Archer and she couldn’t contain her laughter.

Since the video went viral days ago, book lovers all around the globe have been searching for the book, by New Zealander Craig Smith.

The Wonky Donkey is based on Smith’s song of the same name and tells the tale of a three-legged donkey. . .

 


Not Labour led?

September 14, 2018

Winston Peters thinks we don’t have a Labour-led government:

 . .  This is the first real MMP government and consultation and communication are what we do. There’ll always be things that are called a work in progress.

“You had the coalition agreement, then you had the 100-day statement, then you had the Speech from the Throne, then the Budget. If those things we’re talking about are not in those four documents then they are always work in progress,” Peters said.

He insisted the Government was not “Labour-led”.

“We’re happy to be in a coalition representing real change and a chance to address some of the awful anomalies that have gone on in our great society.” . .

 It is a coalition government but one party got five times as many votes as the other which for most people makes it the lead partner.

Peters’ party got only 7.2%  of the votes and while he chose Labour rather than National they were only able to form a government with the support of the Green Party and its 5.8% do the vote.

It’s more than a wee bit strange that those of us who didn’t vote for any of these three parties accept that Labour, which got around 36% support  in the election, is leading the government, but the deputy PM and leader of the minor coalition partner doesn’t.

 


Quote of the day

September 14, 2018

I’ve always believed the greater danger is not aiming too high, but too low, settling for a bogey rather than shooting for an eagle. Peter Scott  who was born on this day in 1909.


September 14 in history

September 14, 2018

81 Domitian became Emperor of the Roman Empire upon the death of his brother Titus.

786  Harun al-Rashid became the Abbasid caliph upon the death of his brother al-Hadi.

1180  Battle of Ishibashiyama in Japan.

1607 Flight of the Earls from Lough Swilly, Donegal, Ireland.

1682  Bishop Gore School, one of the oldest schools in Wales, was founded.

1752  The British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days (the previous day was September 2).

1769 Alexander von Humboldt, German naturalist and explorer, was born (d. 1859).

1812  Napoleonic Wars: French grenadiers entered Moscow. The Fire of Moscow began as soon as Russian troops left the city.

1829 The Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Adrianople with Russia,  ending the Russo-Turkish War.

1847  Mexican-American War: Winfield Scott captured Mexico City.

1862  American Civil War: The Battle of South Mountain, part of the Maryland Campaign.

1864 Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, English lawyer and politician, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Nobel Prize laureate was born, (d. 1958).

1879 – Margaret Sanger, American nurse and activist, was born (d. 1966).

1901 President  William McKinley died after an assassination attempt on September 6, and was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.

1909 – Peter Scott, English ornithologist, painter, and sailor, was born (d. 1989).

1917  Russia was officially proclaimed a republic.

1923 Miguel Primo de Rivera became dictator of Spain.

1938 The cornerstone of the first Labour government’s welfare policies, theSocial Security Act, introduced revised pensions and extended benefits for families, invalids and the unemployed.

Social Security Act passed

1944 World War II: Maastricht became the first Dutch city to be liberated by allied forces.

1947  Sam Neill, New Zealand actor, was born.

1948  Groundbreaking for the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

1953  Judy Playfair, Australian swimmer, was born.

1958 – Jeff Crowe, New Zealand cricketer, referee, and manager, was born.

1958  The first two German post-war rockets, designed by the German engineer Ernst Mohr, reached the upper atmosphere.

1959 The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashed onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it.

1960 The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded.

1961 Wendy Thomas, namesake of the eponymous restaurant (Wendy’s), was born.

1971 Jeff Loomis, American guitarist (Nevermore), was born.

1975 The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, was canonized by Pope Paul VI.

1982  President-elect of Lebanon, Bachir Gemayel, was assassinated.

1984 Joe Kittinger became the first person to fly a hot air balloon alone across the Atlantic Ocean.

1995 Body Worlds opened in Tokyo.

1998 Telecommunications companies MCI Communications and WorldCom completed their $37 billion merger to form MCI WorldCom.

2001  Historic National Prayer Service held at Washington National Cathedral for victims of the September 11 attacks. A similar service was held in Canada on Parliament Hill, the largest vigil ever held in the nation’s capital.

2003 In a referendum, Estonia approved joining the European Union.

2007 – Late-2000s financial crisis: The Northern Rock bank experienced the first bank run in the United Kingdom in 150 years.

2008 – All 88 people on board Aeroflot Flight 821 were killed when the plane crashed on approach to Perm Airport.

2015 – The first observation of gravitational waves was made, announced by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations on 11 February 2016.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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