365 days of gratitude

September 15, 2018

We are hungry for tenderness,
in a world where everything abounds
we are poor of this feeling
which is like a caress
for our heart
we need these small gestures
that make us feel good
Tenderness
is a disinterested and generous love,
that does not ask anything else
to be understood and appreciated.

Alda Merini

Tonight I’m grateful for tenderness.


Word of the day

September 15, 2018

Māhorahora – be open, without restraint, generous (in size), natural, free.

(Celebrating Maori Language Week).


Rural round-up

September 15, 2018

No I in Murphy – Robin gives back – Tim Fulton:

A career in dairying and the irrigation sector is only a start for Robin Murphy. The South Canterbury farmer gives heart and soul to his community. Tim Fulton reports.

On Sundays Robin and May Murphy used to travel the back tracks of Waimate District looking for seal and shingle in need of repair. 

Murphy was a local councillor so they figured they had to do their bit.

He reckons he got to know 95% of the roads. . .

Research will be first of its kind for NZ – Yvonne O’Hara:

Now results from the first cohort of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics Beef Progeny Test have been released, researchers will begin collecting data for the next stages of the project, including data from cows and heifers.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics national beef genetics manager Max Tweedie said some of those studies would be ‘‘a first for New Zealand’’.

‘‘Now we are looking for on-going information about cows: their maternal performance; constitution; fertility and stayability [in the herd],’’ Mr Tweedie said.

‘‘That is the long game.’’ . .

What is dairy cow breeding worth and why does it matter? – Esther Taunton:

It’s a hard road finding the perfect cow, especially when changing consumer demand redefines what “perfect” even is.

Increasing demand for high-fat dairy products means Kiwi farmers will earn more from milkfat than protein in the 2018/19 season.

With the upward trend expected to continue, high-fat breeds and animals will become more valuable as farmers aim to get as much fat in the vat as possible. 

But how does a farmer, let alone a townie, pick an animal likely to produce high-fat milk from a paddock full of swinging tails and stomping hooves? . .

Pie in the sky – Mel Poulton:

Farmers such as Mel Poulton struggle day in day out with poor digital connectivity and want service providers to up their game.

New technology, providing innovative solutions to the challenges and demands we all face today, is exciting.

We want to embrace it, adopt and adapt this technology to our needs. . .

Shot sheep mum too committed to die – George Block:

A sheep shot through the head near Dunedin has made a stunning recovery and continues to raise her three lambs.

Roy Nimmo awoke last week to find three of his lambs had been shot dead in a paddock near his home in Cemetery Rd, beside the East Taieri Church.

They were only 1 or 2 weeks old.

A ewe had also been shot, through the head just below its droopy ears, but had somehow survived, he said. . .

Final report on review of Fonterra’s 2017/18 base milk price calculation:

The Commerce Commission has released its final report on Fonterra’s base milk price calculation for the 2017/18 dairy season.

The base milk price is the average price that Fonterra pays farmers for raw milk, which was set at $6.69 per kilogram of milk solids for the 2017/18 dairy season. The report does not cover Fonterra’s forecast price of $6.75 for the 2018/19 dairy season.

Deputy Chair Sue Begg said no issues had been raised in submissions to the Commission’s draft reportthat warranted a change in the conclusions.  . .

Winning with help from a mentor – Brenda Schoepp:

The editor at Country Guide asked, “After meeting someone who could be a potential mentor, what makes a farmer pursue a full mentorship? When do they make the decision, and why? What is the impact of the relationship for themselves and their business? How do we relate this to leadership?”

I didn’t have the answers so I went to 25 individuals who have experienced mentorship through their industry, business or education.

The questions I asked were:

  • How and why did you choose to contact a mentor? . .

Saturday’s smiles

September 15, 2018

In the early hours of the morning a ewe was heavily in labour but nothing was happening.

The farmer, fearing a less than uncomplicated delivery, rang the vets’ emergency call out number on his mobile phone only to find it was answered by a locum vet he had never spoken to before.

“This ewe is lambing and I think something’s going wrong,” shouted the farmer down the phone.

“Is this her first lamb?” asked the vet.

“No, you idiot!” screamed the farmer. “This is the farmer!”


Pathways to farm succession

September 15, 2018

Any business succession can pose challenges.

With farming, where the business is also the home it can be particularly problematic.

The Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) shows how it could be done:


Messier and messier

September 15, 2018

Former minister Clare Curran’s mismanagement has cost taxpayers $107,000.

Dumped chief technology officer candidate Derek Handley has been paid out more than $100,000 in compensation by the Government, Digital Services Minister Megan Woods has confirmed.

Woods said the Government had agreed to pay Handley compensation totalling $107,500 after deciding to put the recruitment process for the country’s first national chief technology officer on hold and “rethinking the role”. 

Woods issued the statement after Handley said the Government had reneged on a commitment to give him the job and paid him three months’ salary, and costs, as compensation.

Handley said he had decided not to keep the money, and would instead donate it towards a fund to support ideas, programmes and grants to tackle “digital inequality”.

Former communications minister Clare Curran resigned first from Cabinet and then as minister after it emerged she met Handley in February to discuss the job and then “omitted” to document the meeting in response to a parliamentary question.

Handley said he was “offered and accepted” the job – which had been billed as offering a salary of up to $400,000 plus a $100,000 travel budget – a month ago.

“Earlier this week I was deeply disappointed to learn that the Government will no longer follow through with their commitment and will not be making that appointment at this time.”  . .

 National’s State Services spokesperson Nick Smith sums it up:

. . .“The process around appointing a Chief Technology Officer has been a shambles from the beginning. It involved secret meetings and emails, the resignation of Minister Clare Curran and now we’re paying Derek Handley around $100,000 for a job he never even started.

“The Government must now come clean with the hidden emails from Clare Curran and the Prime Minister so we know the full story of how badly this was handled.

“The CTO is the flagship of the Government’s IT policy and was budgeted to cost the taxpayer over $500,000 per year. Now if it still goes ahead we can add a pay out of over $100,000 because of the Government’s incompetence.    . .

Point of Order calls this a disgraceful  saga, one  which  has  few parallels  in the history  of state-sector  appointments.

Curran’s resignation as a minister ought to have put this particular mess behind the government, but the mess just keeps getting messier and more expensive.

 


Saturday soapbox

September 15, 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.

We are pragmatists. We don’t stick to any ideology. Does it work? Let’s try it, and if it does work, fine, let’s continue it. If it doesn’t work, toss it out, try another one. We are not enamored with any ideology. Lee Kuan Yew who was born on this day in 1923.


September 15 in history

September 15, 2018

668  Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II was assassinated in his bath at Syracuse, Italy.

921  At Tetin Saint Ludmila was murdered at the command of her daughter-in-law.

994 Major Fatimid victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of the Orontes.

1254 Marco Polo, Italian explorer, was born (d. 1324).

1616 The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe was opened inFrascati, Italy.

1649 Titus Oates, English minister and plotter, was born (d. 1705).

1762 Seven Years War: Battle of Signal Hill.

1820 Constitutionalist revolution in Lisbon.

1821  GuatemalaEl SalvadorHondurasNicaragua, and Costa Ricajointly declared independence from Spain.

1830  The Liverpool to Manchester railway line opened.

1831  The locomotive John Bull operated for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.

1835 HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reached the Galápagos Islands.

1851  Saint Joseph’s University was founded in Philadelphia.

1857 William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States, was born (d. 1930).

1879 Joseph Lyons, 10th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1939).

1881 Ettore Bugatti, Italian automobile engineer and designer, was born (d. 1947).

1883 The Bombay Natural History Society was founded in Bombay (Mumbai).

1889  Robert Benchley, American author, was born (d. 1945).

1890  Agatha Christie, English writer, was born (d. 1976).

1894 First Sino-Japanese War: Japan defeated China in the Battle of Pyongyang.

1916  World War I: Tanks were used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somm

1928  Tich Freeman became the only bowler to take 300 wickets in an English cricket season.

1931 In Scotland, the two-day Invergordon Mutiny against Royal Navypay cuts began.

1935 The Nuremberg Laws deprived German Jews of citizenship.

1935  Nazi Germany adopted a new national flag with the swastika.

1937 Fernando de la Rúa, 51st President of Argentina, was born.

1940 World War II: The climax of the Battle of Britain, when the Royal Air Force shot down large numbers of Luftwaffe aircraft.

1942  World War II: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Wasp was torpedoed at Guadalcanal

1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met in Quebec as part of the Octagon Conference to discuss strategy.

1945 Hans-Gert Pöttering, German politician, President of the European Parliament, was born.

1945  A hurricane in southern Florida and the Bahamas destroyed 366 planes and 25 blimps at NAS Richmond.

1947  RCA released the 12AX7 vacuum tube.

1947  Typhoon Kathleen hit the Kanto Region in Japan killing 1,077.

1948  The F-86 Sabre set the world aircraft speed record at 671 miles per hour (1,080 km/h).

1952 United Nations gave Eritrea to Ethiopia.

1958 A Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter train ran through an open drawbridge at the Newark Bay, killing 58.

1959  Nikita Khrushchev became the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.

1961  Hurricane Carla struck Texas with winds of 175 miles per hour.

1962  The Soviet ship Poltava headed toward Cuba, one of the events that sets into motion the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1963  The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing: Four children killed at an African-American church in Birmingham, Alabama.

1966 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to a sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote a letter to Congress urging the enactment of gun control legislation.

1968  The Soviet Zond 5 spaceship was launched, becoming the first spacecraft to fly around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

1969 Iron and steel from local ironsand (titanomagnetite) was produced for the first time at New Zealand Steel’s mill at Glenbrook, south of Auckland.

First steel produced from local ironsand

1971 Nathan Astle, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1972  A Scandinavian Airlines System domestic flight from Gothenburg to Stockholm was hijacked and flown to Malmö-BulltoftaAirport.

1974  Air Vietnam flight 727 was hijacked, then crashed while attempting to land with 75 on board.

1976 The Rangatira arrived in Wellington from Lyttelton for the last time, bringing to an end more than 80 years of regular passenger ferry services between the two ports.

Lyttelton–Wellington ferry service ends

1981 The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

1981 – The John Bull became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operated it under its own power outside Washington, D.C.

1983  Israeli premier Menachem Begin resigned.

1984 Prince Harry of Wales, was born.

1987  United States Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze signed a treaty to establish centres to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

1993  Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II disbanded Parliament.

2008 Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

2012 – Muslim protesters shouting anti-American slogans clashed with police, injuring 19 people, outside the US embassy in Sydney, Australia.

2017 – The Parsons Green bombing took place in London.

2017 – Cassini‘s end of mission, a space proble built by a NASA, ESA and ASI collaboration, sent to study Saturn, it’s rings and moons.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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