Kenny Rogers 21.8.38 – 20. 3.20


Country music singer Kenny Rogers has died.

. . .Rogers was one of the progenitors of country-pop crossover at the superstar level. “I came into country music not trying to change country music but trying to survive,” he said in a 2016 interview with “And so I did songs that were not country but were more pop. Nowadays they’re not doing country songs at all. What they’re doing is creating their own genre of country music. But I told somebody the other day, country music is what country people will buy. If the country audience doesn’t buy it, they’ll kick it out. And if they do, then it becomes country music. It’s just era of country music we’re in.”

After establishing himself commercially via rock- and pop-oriented singles with his group the First Edition, the bearded, prematurely gray Rogers was launched into the top rank of crossover country artists with a string of singles for United Artists Records. . . 

The first live concert I went to was Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, in the Oamaru Opera House.


Word of the day


Gage – a valued object deposited as a guarantee of good faith; something deposited as security against the fulfilment of an obligation; pledge; something, as a glove, thrown down by a medieval knight in token of challenge to combat; to offer an object, or one’s life, as a guarantee of good faith.

Should be on higher alert


The government has announced four alert levels for dealing with Covid-19.

Level 1: Where Covid-19 is here but contained. Level 2: Where the disease is contained but risks are growing. Level 3: Where the disease is increasingly difficult to contain. Level 4: Where we have sustained transmission.

We’re at level two but is that high enough?

. . . Michael Baker, professor of public health at Otago University believes we should be at a higher alert level than level 2.

Baker said while he congratulates the government on fantastic leadership, unfortunately we’re underestimating Covid-19.

“We’re against a threat here that we’re never encountered before, unless we’re ahead of it, we’ll lose the battle.”

Now’s the time to implement maximum measures and we’re being far too conservative, he said.

Baker believes we should already be at alert level three or four.

Workplaces and schools should be shut down as fast as practically possible, he said.

Public transport should also be shut down at this stage, he said.

“You want to think about the places that transmission is going to occur and it’s any place people go…it’s not enough just to walk around with your hand sanitiser.”

If you’re slight unwell, you should not be in social contact with anyone else, he said.

“My view is that we’ve constantly underestimated the intensity of this infection as every other country in the world has.”

We don’t want to face lockdown for months like other countries because we haven’t got ahead of the curve, he said. . . 

A celebrant posted on Facebook that she had been booked to officiate at a wedding today.

The bride told her some guests had arrived from the UK a couple of days ago. The celebrant said they would have to self isolate and wouldn’t be able to come to the wedding. The bride argued, hung up the phone and called back later to say she’d got another celebrant.

It would be very difficult for someone who had flown half way round the world for a wedding to sit it out in a hotel, but that’s now the rule and anyone who isn’t complying is putting us all at risk.

Two of the 13 new cases of the disease don’t appear to have links to overseas which would mean we’ve now got community transmission.

We were late closing our borders. We’ll soon know if we’ve been too late to increase the alert level.


Thatcher thinks


Rural round-up


Coronavirus: Fonterra, New Zealand is counting on you now like never before – Andrea Fox:

Fonterra chairman John Monaghan in his opening remarks about this week’s strong half-year result said against the backdrop of coronavirus turmoil, the big dairy company’s news “may sound somewhat trivial”.

We knew what he meant, but he couldn’t have been more wrong.

The financial performance of New Zealand’s biggest company and the world’s fourth-largest dairy company assumes towering new importance because of that turmoil.

Dairying was an economic sword for New Zealand against the GFC. . . 

New Zealand’s food supply needs protecting:

The animal medicines and crop protection lobby group Agcarm applauds the government’s efforts to protect the health of New Zealanders in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, buts asks that support is extended to the farming community for maintaining essential food supplies.

Agcarm chief executive says “our rural communities are needed more than ever to ensure that this health crisis doesn’t turn into a hunger crisis”. Food production must be prioritised as an essential part of the COVID-19 response.

“We must maintain the uninterrupted movement of animal medicine and crop protection products, seeds and feed so that our farmers can keep healthy livestock and maintain an abundant supply of meat, fruits, vegetables and grains.” . . 

Still in business – Annette Scott:

Rural people are urged to band together in keeping safe as they ride the tough times of the coronavirus pandemic.

Social resilience is key and if everyone works together “we will get through this,” the Mental Health Foundation says.

Agriculture is still in business and likely to lead the bounce back, ASB rural economist Nathan Penny says.

“Farming is likely to be the quickest to rebound from the fallout from coronavirus. . . 

Drought starting to bite hard – Colin Williscroft:

Drought shouts organised by North Island rural support trusts have been put on hold by restrictions on gatherings.

Rural Support Trust chairman Neil Bateup says the social events bringing farmers together to deal with the drought and take their minds off some of its problems are no longer an option as the focus goes on keeping farmers and trust staff safe from covid-19.

It does not affect the trust’s other services.

“We’re absolutely determined to continue with the one-on-one support and advice to farmers.

“That will not be interrupted but we’re putting some protocols in place to keep everyone safe.” . . 

Dairy farm sales low but recovering – Maja Burry:

New figures from the Real Estate Institute show dairy farm sales remain slow, with only one dairy farm changing hands in Canterbury in the last nine months.

Data released yesterday shows 1253 farms were sold in the year to February 2020, 14.8 percent fewer than were sold in the year to February 2019, with 37 percent less dairy farms, 10 percent less grazing farms, 27.9 percent less finishing farms and 9.9 percent less arable farms sold over the same period.

The institute’s rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke said the data reflected a rural industry under pressure in terms of volumes and values, particularly the dairy sector. . . 

Synlait Milk’s first half profit drops 30 percent :

Synlait Milk has reported a 30 percent fall in its first half profit as its costs rose despite higher revenue.

The dairy company’s net profit for the six month ended January was $26.2 million, compared with $37.3 million the year before.

Revenue rose 19 percent, but its depreciation and financing costs offset that as the company expanded for future growth. . .

Indiscreet – Yes Prime Minister


[Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain

Saturday soapbox


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.

Image result for quotes consideration

A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference. – Eeyore.

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