365 days of gratitude

October 16, 2018

A call from a friend last night reminded me that tickets to NZ HOuse & Garden’s house and garden tour in and around Oamaru went on sale today.

One of the properties on the tour is Dot and Neil Smith’s Riverstone Castle which I thought would make the tour is very popular so I got on the website first thing this morning and got the 10 tickets I had orders for friends, my farmer and me.

When I checked the website a few minutes ago I found they Oamaru tickets had  all sold out.

The tours are always popular but I suspect this is the first time one has sold out so quickly.

Tonight I’m grateful for the call from my friend that prompted me to get tickets in time for what will be a wonderful day.


Word of the day

October 16, 2018

Gnuath –  sullen or bad-tempered.


Rural round-up

October 16, 2018

Farming with depression a daily battle for young Waikato Farmer – Gerald Piddock:

Paige Hocking takes it one day at a time in battling depression while working on a dairy farm.

She seldom makes long-term plans because she never knows when the black dog might wander in.

It all starts in the morning when she wakes up on the 125-hectare farm she works as a dairy assistant near Waiterimu in Waikato.

The 21-year-old was diagnosed with depression three years ago. She describes its effects as like shaking up a bottle of soft drink. . .

Scheme’s success testament to conscience of rural community – Richard Davison:

Water quality in New Zealand’s creeks and rivers has become a hot-button issue during recent years, and much has been made of the failure to live up to the nation’s “100% Pure” branding.

Given recent headlines declaring Otago’s waterways to be “horrific”, and with only 60% considered better than “fair” over the course of a 10-year analysis, it would be easy to believe the message has not been getting through to where — and to whom — it matters.

Those often bearing the brunt of blame for deteriorating water quality have been farmers, but their characterisation as wilfully ignorant, environment-wrecking profiteers could not be further from the truth, according to Landcare Research environmental scientist Craig Simpson. . . 

Bees taking farmer on busy journey – Sally Rae:

Julie Kearney is getting a buzz out of bees.

Mrs Kearney and husband Tony farm sheep and beef cattle on Shingly Creek Station, a 2000ha property on the Pig Root.

Nearly three years ago, the fifth-generation farmers were discussing how they did not see many bees on the farm.

So Mrs Kearney completed a certificate in apiculture through Taratahi and she now has 14 established hives. . . 

Mycoplasma bovis compensation mired in delays as plot thickens – Keith Woodford:

The messages coming from MPI, and also mirrored by Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s recent comments, are that good progress is being made with Mycoplasma bovis eradication and that MPI is getting on top of its problems. The reality from where I stand is somewhat different.

As of 12 October, official data shows there have been 400 claims lodged for compensation, starting back in the late 2017. Of these, 183 have been either partially or totally paid, leaving 217 waiting in the system. Of those that have been paid, MPI provides no data as to how many are partially paid and how many are total.

In the last four weeks, MPI has averaged 14 payments per week, with an average total weekly payment of around $1.1 million.   At that rate, it will take about four months to clear the existing backlog to get even partial payments. . . 

Massive leap forward for New Zealand sheep genetics:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Genetics has just launched a new $5 million genetic evaluation system – a transformative step for the country’s sheep industry.

B+LNZ Genetics General Manager Graham Alder says the new evaluation is the result of four years of research, developing new cloud-based computing systems and testing.

“It is based on Single Step technology, whereby genomic information is incorporated into the evaluation, alongside traditional genetic measures. The result is a faster, more accurate evaluation, which allows New Zealand ram breeders to make better, more-timely decisions around the selection and dissemination of profitable and consumer-focused genetics. . .

New NZ Young Farmers CEO plans North Island road trip to visit members:

NZ Young Farmers’ new chief executive will “couch surf” her way around the North Island next month.

Lynda Coppersmith has announced plans for a road trip to meet members in Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and the Waikato.

She will also join 40 teachers on a Teachers’ Day Out event in Hawke’s Bay on November 6th. . . 

’Jaw dropping’ : New Zealand offers lessons in tackling climate change – Peter Hannam:

Scott Simpson, New Zealand’s National Party environment spokesman, stunned a trans-Tasman investment meeting last week by stating that climate action was “too important to be playing politics with”.

Or rather, it was the Australian delegates who were shocked, so used are they to the toxic debates in Canberra.

“It made my jaw drop, that’s for sure,” said Emma Herd, chief executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change. . .


Still supporting Simon

October 16, 2018

Why are some in the media saying the Ross saga is a threat to Simon Bridges’ leadership?

His expenses were leaked, he asked for an inquiry, the Speaker appointed someone to do one, cancelled it for no good reason, then secretly got one done anyway.

The PwC report didn’t find conclusive proof of who the leaker is but the evidence “points to Mr Ross”.

Bridges released the report and the caucus will meet to discuss it this morning.

None of this provides grounds to destabilise his leadership.

Even if Ross wasn’t the leaker his bizarre texts show he has ruled himself out of caucus.

If he has mental health issues, and those texts indicate he has, he should get the help he needs, but he should resign while he gets it.

Otherwise, I can’t see that caucus will have any choice but to expel him.

Rather than threatening Bridges as some in the media are forecasting, this will strengthen his leadership, and anyone I’ve spoken to in the party (admittedly a very small number) will support that.

Yes, his personal support in polls is reportedly low. That is inevitable for any leader of the opposition at this time in the electoral cycle.

Although there have been very few public polls, no-one who knows is disputing that National’s party support remains around the same as it was at the election.

Anyone who wants to challenge the leader when the party has that level of support doesn’t have the wisdom and sense to lead.

It might not be much fun being in opposition, but the road out of it is not paved with internal dissent and disunity under a revolving leadership.

Until this blip National was doing a very good job of being united, highlighting faults in the government – and there have been more than enough of them – and working on policy development in preparation for the election.

The decision for caucus is a no-brainer – expel the dissident, carry on united under Bridges’ leadership and earn the votes to return to government.

The alternative is to follow the bad example of Labour which left them wandering in the wilderness of opposition for nearly nine years.


Quote of the day

October 16, 2018

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught  –  Oscar Wilde who was born on this day in 1854.


October 16 in history

October 16, 2018

456  Magister militum Ricimer defeated Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and becomes master of the Western Roman Empire.

1384  Jadwiga was crowned King of Poland, although she was a woman.

1758 Noah Webster, American lexicographer, was born (d. 1843).

1781 George Washington captured Yorktown, Virginia after the Siege of Yorktown.

1793  Marie Antoinette, was guillotined.

1793  The Battle of Wattignies ended in a French victory.

1813  The Sixth Coalition attacked Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Leipzig.

1834  Much of the ancient structure of the Palace of Westminster burned to the ground.

1841  Queen’s University was founded in Kingston, Ontario.

1843 Sir William Rowan Hamilton came up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.

1846  William TG Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.

1854 Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, was born (d. 1900).

1859  John Brown led a raid on Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

1869  The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, was “discovered”.

1869  Girton College, Cambridge was founded, becoming England’s first residential college for women.

1875  Brigham Young University was founded in Provo, Utah.

1882  The Nickel Plate Railroad opened.

1890 Michael Collins, Irish patriot, was born (d. 1922).

1905 The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.

1906 The Captain of Köpenick fooled the city hall of Köpenick and several soldiers by impersonating a Prussian officer.

1914 – The main body of NZEF sailed to war.

Main Body of NZEF sails to war

1916 Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood by opening the first U.S. birth control clinic.

1922 Max Bygraves, English singer/songwriter, was born (d 2012).

1923 The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt and Roy Disney.

1925 Angela Lansbury, English-born actress, was born.

1928 Mary Daly, American feminist philosopher and theologian, was born (d. 2010).

1934  Chinese Communists began the Long March.

1936 Jean Batten crossed the Tasman on the last leg of her flight from Britain, landing in Auckland 10 1/2 hours after leaving Sydney.

Jean Batten reaches Auckland after epic solo flight

1940 Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was named the first African American general in the United States Army.

1940 The Warsaw Ghetto was established.

1943 Fred Turner, Canadian bass player (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), was born.

1945  The Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in Quebec City.

1946  Nuremberg Trials: Execution of the convicted Nazi leaders of the Main Trial.

1949 Nikolaos Zachariadis, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, announced a “temporary cease-fire”, effectively ending the Greek Civil War.

1951  The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated.

1964  Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksey Kosygin were inaugurated as General Secretary of the CPSU and Premier, respectively.

1968  United States athletes Tommie Smith and John Carloswere kicked off the USA’s team for participating in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute.

1968   Rodney Riots in Kingston Jamaica,  inspired by the barring of Walter Rodney from the country.

1970 In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invoked the War Measures Act.

1973  Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1975 The Balibo Five, a group of Australian television journalists then Portuguese Timor (now East Timor), were killed by Indonesian troops.

1975 Rahima Banu, a 2-year old girl from the village of Kuralia in Bangladesh, was the last known person to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox.

1975  The Australian Coalition opposition parties using their senate majority, voted to defer the decision to grant supply of funds for the Whitlam Government’s annual budget, sparking the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.

1978 Pope John Paul II was elected after the October 1978 Papal conclave.

1978 – Wanda Rutkiewicz was the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1984 Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1986  Reinhold Messner became the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders.

1986  Ron Arad, Israeli Weapons System Officer, is captured by Lebanese Shi’ite militia Amal.

1987  Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane force winds hit much of the South of England killing 23 people.

1991  Luby’s massacre: George Hennard ran amok in Killeen, Texas, killing 23 and wounding 20 in Luby’s Cafeteria.

1993 Anti-Nazi riot  in Welling in Kent, after police stopped protesters approaching the British National Party headquarters.

1995  The Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

1995 – The Skye Bridge over Lock Alsh was opened.

1996  Eighty-four people were killed and more than 180 injured as 47,000 football fans attempt to squeezed into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.

1998  Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London on a warrant from Spain requesting his extradition on murder charges.

2002  Bibliotheca Alexandrina: a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, was officially inaugurated.

2006  A magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked Hawaii.

2012 – The extrasolar planet Alpha Centauri Bb was discovered.

2013  – Lao Airlines Flight 301 crashed on approach to Pakse International Airport in Laos, killing 49 people.

2014 – Belgrade Military Parade.

2017 – Hurricane Ophelia caused loss of power and damage to 360,000 homes in Ireland and caused three deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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