365 days of gratitude

December 27, 2018

A friend was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. The initial outlook was bleak but the prognosis is looking better now.

I phoned for a catch up with him and his wife yesterday and during the conversation we got on to Cucina, one of our favourite restaurants and decided to go together tonight.

Over delicious food, with the warm and efficient service we always get, we chatted, laughed and reminisced.

TOnight I’m grateful for good food, good company and good friends.


Word of the day

December 27, 2018

Meiosis – a type of cell division that results in four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell, as in the production of gametes and plant spores;  a specialized type of cell division that reduces the chromosome number by half, creating four haploid cells, each genetically distinct from the parent cell that gave rise to them; understatement for rhetorical effect especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary.


Rural round-up

December 27, 2018

Leave the water rules to locals – Neal wallace:

When water arrived in Maniototo 34 years ago it not only transformed the region’s dryland farms but also Geoff Crutchley’s views on water management.

Crutchley was initially reluctant to become involved in the murky world of water and irrigation management but was prodded into action in response to what he considered inflated water prices being demanded by the precursor to the Maniototo Irrigation Company.

So began an involvement that continues today but which has challenged some of his previous views while shaping others.

His experience has formed views on three issues in particular. . . 

Wilding pine effort set to triple – Jono Edwards:

The attack effort on Otago’s wilding pines seems set to treble.

Over the past year, $1.8 million was spent controlling 332,000ha in the region through the Ministry of Primary Industry-led wilding conifer control programme.

At a recent Otago Regional Council meeting, chief executive Sarah Gardner said she was told by ministry staff the work would soon triple.

This was echoed by the Central Otago Wilding Conifer Control Group.

Ministry Wilding Conifer Programme manager Sherman Smith said phase one was 85% complete and planning for the second phase was under way. . . 

Improving farm performance – one effluent pond at a time – Jim van der Poel:

As a dairy farmer, I take great pride in looking after my farm – its animals, the grass under their feet, our team and how we protect the environment. Every aspect contributes to a successful business.

So, like many farmers, I am disappointed when a few let down the majority. There have been some instances this year of poor effluent compliance, despite many farmers doing great work in this space.

All dairy farmers have a responsibility to manage the effluent from their cows and it is taken seriously by the vast majority who are investing in reliable, sustainable farm systems. . . 

Ex-director suggests Fonterra suspends dividends – Sudesh Kissun:

A former Fonterra director says the co-op could suspend dividends to shore up its balance sheet rather than sell key assets.

Greg Gent says farmers and investors would understand if the co-op suspended dividends to get its books in better shape. And it could suspend dividends and sell some assets that don’t align with its new strategy.

However, he wants to see the co-op’s strategy before decisions are made on selling assets. . . 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2018 – Jamie Mackay:

The Country radio host Jamie Mackay takes a look at the highs and lows for rural New Zealand in 2018.

The Good:

The weather:

This time last year much of the country was in a screaming drought – a farmer’s worst nightmare. Although Mother Nature absolutely forgot to turn the tap off in November and early December, at least once we dry out there will be grass for Africa and for more than quite a few sheep, cattle and deer.

Mycoplasma bovis:

Twelve months ago many were resigned to living and farming with bovis. If a week’s a long time in politics, a year is an eternity in farming. I wouldn’t be so bold as to suggest bovis is beaten but we’ve given it a hell of fright in 2018. . . 

Bird veteran still has pluck – Alan Williams:

The glamorous part of the year is over for long-time poultry exhibitor Doug Bain.

After several months of winter and spring shows around the South Island with a lot of ribbons and accolades it is back to the real work of breeding hens and ducks for next year.

“You need to have a reason to get up in the morning. It’s a hobby for me,” the 82-year-old says.

He doesn’t keep count of the birds he breeds and has no preferences. 

“I like them all.” . . 

 


Quote of the day

December 27, 2018

It would be great if there were nothing urgent in life, if we never ignored a need, if we had a purpose, if we went through life without the need for compliments and just speaking the truth, if we were paid in goods, if we were always well treated and if we could always laugh our heads off.Joan Manuel Serrat who was born on this day in 1943.


December 27 in history

December 27, 2018

537  The Hagia Sophia was completed.

1571 Johannes Kepler, German astronomer, was born  (d. 1630).

1773  George Cayley, English scientist, inventor, and politician, was born (d. 1857).

1822 Louis Pasteur, French scientist, was born (d. 1895).

1831 Charles Darwin embarked on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle.

1836 The worst ever avalanche in England occurred at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people.

1845  Ether anesthetic was used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Williamson Long in Jefferson, Georgia.

1901 Marlene Dietrich, German actress and singer, was born (d. 1992).

1915 William Masters, American gynecologist, was born (d. 2001).

1918 The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans began.

1922  Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō became the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.

1932  Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.

1941 Michael Pinder, British musician (Moody Blues), was born .

1943 Joan Manuel Serrat, Spanish musician, was born.

1945  The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations.

1948 Gérard Depardieu, French actor, was born.

1949 Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognised Indonesian independence.

1968 Apollo Program: Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.

1951 Ernesto Zedillo, President of Mexico, was born.

1955 Brad Murphey, Australian racing driver, was born.

1978 Spain became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.

1979  Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

1987 Rewi Alley, friend of China, died of heart failure and cerebral thrombosis at his Beijing residence.

Rewi Alley dies

2001  The People’s Republic of China was granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.

2004 Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20reachedEarth – the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

2007 – Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a suicide bomber.

2008 – Israel launched 3-week operation on Gaza – Operation Cast Lead.

2009 – On the Day of Ashura in Tehran, government security forces fired upon demonstrators.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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