365 days of gratitude

December 15, 2018

The sky was blue and the sun was shining.

It was in Christchurch at midday.

As we headed south clouds appeared and descended.

We arrived home to a very gloomy sky but at least today we’d seen the sun and I’m grateful for that.

 


Word of the day

December 15, 2018

Obligate – require or compel to undertake a legal or moral duty;   : to bind legally or morally; constrain; commit something as security; restricted to a particular function or mode of life; able to exist under only one set of environmental conditions.


Sowell says

December 15, 2018


Saturday’s smiles

December 15, 2018

A shepherd was relaxing after a long day, sitting on the grass, chewing on a straw, watching his sheep grazing quietly under the last rays of the setting sun.

A jeep roared up, leaving behind clouds of dust and stopped before him. A man clad in an expensive suit and shiny leather shoes with a camera on his hands got out.

The man started snapping pictures of the surrounding area and, once he’d finished, looked at the shepherd and asked, “Is this your land?”

“Aye…” responded the shepherd.

A look of glee formed in the man’s eyes as he asked, “And are those your sheep?”

“Aye…” says the shepherd.

“Would you sell some of your land?” the man asked.

The shepherd looked up, studying the man with a cautious look, before searching and asked “And why would I do that?”

“So you can make some money, and buy more sheep,” explained the man with a smirk.

“And why would I buy more sheep?” asked the shepherd.

“So you can sell their wool, and make more money.”

“And why would I do that?” asked the shepherd.

“So you can buy even more sheep, and sell even more wool.”

“And why would I do that?” asked the shepherd.

“So, at some point, you can build a factory and fill it with looms.”

“And why would I do that?” asked the shepherd.

“So you can make your wool into clothes, instead of selling it, and make even more money.”

The shepherd looked at his sheep for a second, spitting out the chewed straw, and asked, “And why would I do that?”

“So you can buy more and more sheep, sell more and more clothes, and make more and more money,” said the man, rubbing his hands.

“And why would I do that?” asked the shepherd.

“So you can be rich!”

“And why would I want that?” asked the shepherd.

“So you can build yourself a mansion. Right here!” said the man, tapping the ground with his foot.

“And why would I do that?” asked the shepherd.

“So you can have a big bedroom. On the top floor! With big windows! And a big balcony!”

“And why would I do that?” asked the shepherd.

“So you can sit back, look over your sheep, enjoy the sunset… Enjoy life!” said the man, practically jumping up and down with excitement.

“Aye… And what do you think I was doing before you arrived?”

 


Rural round-up

December 15, 2018

Variety is the spice of life  – Annette Scott:

It’s tough, rough country but Island Hills Station owners Dan and Mandy Shand are passionate farmers and innovative in their diversification to achieve financial sustainability. Annette Scottcaught up with them on their remote North Canterbury high-country property. 

Dan and Mandy Shand farm Island Hills, a 7000ha station in the back of beyond in the rugged Hurunui high county.

When the young couple took over the property from Dan’s parents Ed and Jan, they knew from the generations before them it would be tough going. In the early days access and weeds were the two biggest challenges.

For Dan initially, it was possums. . . 

OutcomesshouldberuralproofedRWNZsays – Yvonne O’Hara:

Gower Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) would like to see any outcomes of the Government’s mental health and addiction inquiry report, which was released last week, ”rural proofed”, national president Fiona Gower says.

”Quite a few of our members went to workshops held around the country to ensure we had coverage,” Mrs Gower said.

”We wanted to make sure the rural message was heard loud and clear.” . . 

Drought relief grows recogniton:

As Jessie Waite drove down Taranaki’s coastal highway there was no escaping the savage drought gripping the region.

It was January 2018. Parched, dusty paddocks flanked the busy tourist route. Failed turnip crops were a stark reminder of rains that never came.

For many coastal farmers it was the worst season in decades. . .

Deer farmer no quitter:

When 300mm of rain fell in four hours and blew out a year’s worth of environmental mitigation work, Steve Borland admits “it just about broke me”.

But the Oparau, Waikato, deer and sheep farmer is no quitter. Now the new fencing is repaired, and work to protect the fragile volcanic soils and water quality on the farm – Shabor – is underway.

Borland, with wife Judy, son Chris and business partners Bob and Jackie Sharp, is winner of the NZ Landcare Trust Award in the 2017-18 Deer Farmers Environmental Awards. The award is for excellence in sustainable deer farming by action on the ground. . .

Parentsholdkidsbackfromagcareers – Nigel Malthus:

The biggest barrier to youngsters choosing careers in agriculture is parents’ thinking that agriculture is “just a dumping ground.”

So says Gillian Koster, head of Rangiora High School’s land-based studies department.

“The parents won’t let their kids do it, in some cases because they see it as just where you go if you’re not very bright,” Koster told Rural News.  . .

Sheepmeat hitting record returns:

 Ten years ago the sheep farming sector in New Zealand was facing some tough assaults upon its claim as one of the country’s most important export sectors. The strong growth in dairying was knocking sheep farms out from some of the country’s most traditional sheep farming areas like King Country and Southland, while exceptionally low returns were threatening the viability of many smaller dry stock units struggling to stay afloat.

Fast forward 10 years and the sector can claim to be one of the most sustainably profitable contributors to the pastoral sector. Sale yards around the country are testimony to the level of optimism the sector is experiencing. . .


Saturday soapbox

December 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.


December 15 in history

December 15, 2018

37 –  Nero, Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, was born  (d. 68).

533 – Byzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Tricamarum.

1161 – Military officers conspired against Emperor Hailingwang of the Jin Dynasty and assassinated him in a military camp near the Yangtze River front.

1167 – Sicilian Chancellor Stephen du Perche moved the royal court toMessina to prevent a rebellion.

1256 – Hulagu Khan captured and destroyed the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut in present-day Iran as part of the Mongols offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.

1467 – Stephen III of Moldavia defeated Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, who was injured thrice, at the Battle of Baia.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: British and French fleets clashed in the Battle of St. Lucia.

1791  The United States Bill of Rights became law when ratified by the Virginia General Assembly.

1832 Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect (Eiffel tower), was born (d. 1923).

1863 The mountain railway from Anina to Oravita in Romania was used for the first time.

1891  James Naismith introduced the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school’s gymnasium, and two teams of nine players.

1892 –  J. Paul Getty, American oil tycoon, was born (d. 1976).

1905 The Pushkin House was established in St. Petersburg to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin.

1906 – The London Underground‘s Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opened.

1915 – Evacuation of Gallipolli began.

1915 – World War I: Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig replaced John French, 1st Earl of Ypres as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force.

1930 Edna O’Brien, Irish novelist and short story writer, was born.

1933  – Donald Woods, South African journalist and anti-apartheid activist, was born.

1939 Cindy Birdsong, American singer (The Supremes), was born.

1939  Gone with the Wind received its première at Loew’s Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

1942 – Dave Clark, English musician (The Dave Clark Five), was born.

1944 The Finance Act (No. 3) abolished the Chinese poll tax, introduced in 1881, which was described by Minister of Finance Walter Nash as a ‘blot on our legislation’.

Poll tax on Chinese immigrants abolished

1951 The towering Belmont railway viaduct, which bridged a deep gully at Paparangi, northeast of Johnsonville, Wellington, built in 1885 by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company, was demolished by Territorial Army engineers.

Belmont viaduct blown up

1955  Jens Olsen’s World Clock started by Swedish King Frederick IX and Jens Olsen’s youngest grandchild Birgit.

1965  Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, was launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida.

1973  John Paul Getty III, grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, was found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10, 1973.

1978  President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States wouldrecognise the People’s Republic of China and cut off all relations with Taiwan.

1995 –  Otara Millionaires Club (OMC) released How Bizarre.

OMC release ‘How Bizarre’

1997 The Treaty of Bangkok was signed allowing the transformation of Southeast Asia into a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.

2000 The 3rd reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was shut down due to foreign political pressure.

2001 The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean.

2006  First flight of the F-35 Lightning II.

2009 – Boeing’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight from Seattle, Washington.

2010 – A boat carrying 90 asylum seekers crashed into rocks off the coast of Christmas Island, killing at least 30 passengers.

2014 – – Man Haron Monis took 18 hostages inside the Martin Place Lindt Café for 16 hours in Sydney.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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