365 days of gratitude

November 10, 2018

Around 70 mms of rain fell over a couple of days. We woke to snow on the mountains and had sun all day today.

We needed the rain, the mountains needed the snow to melt to recharge rivers and aquifers and the sun provided warmth to promote grass growth.

For enough rain, snow in the right place, and sunshine I’m grateful.


Word of the day

November 10, 2018

Bumbershoot – a parasol or umbrella, especially and old-fashioned one.


Sowell says

November 10, 2018


Saturday’s smiles

November 10, 2018

The Chief of Staff of the Air Force was interviewing potential recruits when he saw two young twins.

He looked at the young woman and asked: “What skills can you bring to the Air Force?”

The young woman looked at him and said: “I’m a pilot!”

The Chief of Staff got all excited, turned to his aide and said: “Get her in today, all the paper work done, everything, do it!”

The aide hustled the young woman off. The General looked at the second twin and asked: “What skills to you bring to the Air Force?”

The young man said: “I chop wood!”

Son,” the Chief of Staff replied: “We don’t need wood choppers in the Air Force, what else do you know how to do?”

“I chop wood!”

“Young man,” huffed the Chief of Staff, “You are not listening to me, we don’t need wood choppers, this is the 21st century!”

“Well,” the young man said, “You hired my sister!”

“Of course we did,” said the general, “She’s a pilot!”

The young man rolled his eyes and said, “So what! I have to chop it before she can pile it!”


Rural round-up

November 10, 2018

Leonie Guiney election could usher in new direction at Fonterra– Gerard Hutching:

Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others.

Sometimes messy democracy delivers a result that sends an unmistakable message to the powers that be.

So in electing Leonie Guiney to the Fonterra board, dairy farmers have told their co-operative in no uncertain terms they have had enough of the status quo, and new thinking is needed in the wake of its $196 million loss – the first in its 17-year history.

Her election might not have happened if the board had got its way a few years ago when it was mulling over changes to the way directors were voted in. . . 

Labour-intensive task planting pumpkin field -Yvonne O’Hara:

Raewyn Officer, of Lake Roxburgh Village, intends to plant a 4.5ha block of land with about 30,000 grey pumpkin seeds, by hand, by herself, and she is happy to do so.

She works for Darryl Peirce, of Peirce Orchard (The Pumpkin Place), near Millers Flat, who has leased a 4.5ha paddock that lies between Ettrick and Millers Flat.

When Southern Rural Life spotted Ms Officer planting the seeds by hand on Saturday morning, Mr Peirce had already cultivated the soil and had laid one row of black plastic the length of the paddock, using an attachment on the back of his tractor.

He intended to do the same over the whole block, with each row 2.5m apart. . . 

Trade war means NZ picking sides – Hugh Stringleman:

A strategy is needed for New Zealand to avoid the worst effects of a new cold war between China and the United States, Rabobank Asia-Pacific strategist Michael Every says.

“The new cold war could be potentially earth-shattering for those countries which trade with both sides, forcing them declare allegiance or be told which side to support.”

The odds are strongly in favour of the US-China trade war escalating, Every said. . . 

Prickett takes on role at Pamu – Richard Rennie:

Freshwater campaigner Marnie Prickett has earned herself a seat at the table advising the country’s largest farming company on its environmental policies and direction. As a new member and chairwoman of Pamu’s Environmental Reference Group she intends to continue prodding the state-owned enterprise to greater levels of environmental responsibility, underpinned by a sense of excitement and urgency. She spoke to Richard Rennie.

Marnie Prickett was shoved into the glare of the contentious water quality debate two years ago when she headed the Choose Clean Water campaign. 

While not the first campaign pushing for better water quality around New Zealand it was notable for the way it pitched one heavyweight industry, tourism, against another, the pastoral farming sector.  . . 

Top dog trialist to pass on tips

One of the country’s top dog triallists is to hold a training class for owners of heading and huntaway dogs at the Ida Valley Station woolshed later this month.

Roger Tweed, of Waitahuna, will be providing tips, advice and suggestions during the workshop.

Hosted by the Omakau-Earnscleugh Collie Club, the class will be on November 18, from about 1pm.

Mr Tweed has been involved in the sport for many years. . . 

On the farm: Our guide to what’s happening in rural NZ:

What’s happening on farms and orchards around New Zealand? Each week Country Life reporters talk to people in rural areas across the country to find out.

Te Ika-a-Māui-North Island

Northland is a small tale of woe with no rain during the week, and limited moisture in the past three. Soils are drying out and the spring growth which normally continues into early November, hasn’t. Dargaville farmers are making some silage, but further north that’s not the case. Bull beef farmers are looking most glum they have in 20 years or so when it comes to prices too. . . 

Forget cattle, kangaroos are the future of farming – Christopher Cookson:

Recently, I was across the ditch in Australia for the first time in my life and as you do when you go to a new place, I decided to sample local foods. 

Looking around at meat in the supermarket, I was searching for something that would not drain my bank account and make it as dry as an Aussie farm.

Hiding away in a corner of the supermarket I found something you definitely don’t see in New Zealand: kangaroo meat. . . 


Saturday soapbox

November 10, 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.

All the goodness and the heroism’s will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. It isn’t that the evil thing wins – it never will – but that it doesn’t die. – John Steinbeck


November 10 in history

November 10, 2018

1444 – Battle of Varna: The crusading forces of King Vladislaus III of Varna were crushed by the Turks under Sultan Murad II and Vladislaus is killed.

1483 Martin Luther, German Protestant reformer, was born (d. 1546).

1619 – René Descartes had the dreams that inspired his Meditations on First Philosophy.

1674 – Anglo-Dutch War: As provided in the Treaty of Westminster, Netherlands ceded New Netherlands to England.

1697 – William Hogarth, English artist, was born (d. 1764).

1728 – Oliver Goldsmith, English playwright, was born (d. 1774).

1735 – Granville Sharp, English abolitionist, was born (d. 1813).

1766 – The last colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, signed the charter of Queen’s College (later renamed Rutgers University).

1775 – The United States Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia by Samuel Nicholas.
1793 – A Goddess of Reason was proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette.
1821 – Cry of Independence by Rufina Alfaro at La Villa de Los Santos, Panama setting into motion a revolt which lead to Panama’s independence from Spain and to it immediately becoming part of Colombia.

1847 – The passenger ship Stephen Whitney was wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board.

1865 – Major Henry Wirz, was hanged, becoming the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.

1868 The Matawhero ‘Massacre’: Te Kooti and his followers killed approximately 60 people – roughly equal numbers of Maori and Pakeha.

Te Kooti attacks Matawhero

1871 – The  Telegraph Department was cleared of charges instituted by Otago Daily Times editor George Barton who claimed in his newspaper that the government had been intercepting telegraphs for political gain.

Telegraph Department cleared of 'hacking' charges

1871 – Henry Morton Stanley located missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, allegedly greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”.

1880 – Donald Sutherland ‘discovered’ the Sutherland Falls in Fiordland.

Sutherland Falls 'discovered'

1880 Jacob Epstein, American sculptor, was born (d. 1959).

1898 – Beginning of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in US history.

1916 – Dr. Tangalanga, Argentinian comedian and author , was born(d. 2013).

1925 Richard Burton, Welsh actor, was born (d. 1984).

1931 – Lilly Pulitzer, American fashion designer, was born (d. 2013).

1940 Screaming Lord Sutch, English musician and politician, was born  (d. 1999).

1942 – World War II: Germany invaded Vichy France following French Admiral François Darlan’s agreement to an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.

1944 Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist, was born.

1944 – The ammunition ship USS Mount Hood exploded at Seeadler Harbour, Manus, Admiralty Islands.

1945 – Heavy fighting in Surabaya between Indonesian nationalists and returning colonialists after World War II, was celebrated as Heroes’ Day (Hari Pahlawan).

1945 – Donna Fargo, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born.

1947 Greg Lake, British musician (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), was born.

1947 Dave Loggins, American songwriter and singer, was born.

1951 – Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service began in the United States.

1954 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery.

1958 – Deborah Cameron, English linguist, anthropologist, and academic, was born.

1958 – The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

1969 – National Educational Television in the United States debuted the children’s television programme Sesame Street.

1970 – The Soviet Lunar probe Lunokhod 1 was launched.

1971 – Khmer Rouge forces attacked the city of Phnom Penh and its airport, killing 44, wounding at least 30 and damaging nine aircraft.

1972 – Southern Airways Flight 49 from was hijacked and, at one point, was threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

1975 – The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.

1975 – United Nations Resolution 3379: United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution equating Zionism with racism.

1978 – Ruth Davidson, Scottish politician, was born.

1979 – A 106-car Canadian Pacific freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals from Windsor, Ontario, derailed in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada just west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, causing a massive explosion and the largest peacetime evacuation in Canadian history and one of the largest in North American history.

1989 – Fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria.

1995 – In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwaand eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop), were hanged by government forces.

1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announced a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time).

2006 – Sri Lankan Tamil Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj was assassinated in Colombo.

2007 – ¿Por qué no te callas? (Why don’t you shut up?) incident between King Juan Carlos of Spain and Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez.

2007 – 10,000–40,000 people marched toward the royal palace of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur to hand over a memorandum to the King demanding electoral reform.

2008 – Over five months after landing on Mars, NASA declared the Phoenix mission concluded after communications with the lander were lost.

2009 – Ships of the South and North Korean navies skirmished off Daecheong Island in the Yellow Sea.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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