365 days of gratitude


It’s 10 years today since I started blogging.

My introduction to blogs came through reading Kiwiblog which introduced me to other blogs, including No Minister, Lindsay MitchellNot PC, Whale Oil, and the sadly gone but not forgotten Cactus Kate and Keeping Stock.

Reading led to commenting and that led to the thought I could start my own blog. I happened to mention that thought to a friend who is much more computer savvy than I am, she said it would be easy and thanks to WordPress, it was.

Once I started blogging I found other blogs and different news sites which, for a while supplanted books.

A trip to Argentina for a couple of weddings when I had no internet access for several days at a time persuaded me that less blogging would be more healthy and I cut back on computer time.

Every now and then I contemplate giving up altogether and perhaps I will one day.

But not yet.

I still enjoy the writing and, whether or not I agree with them, the contribution from those who leave comments.

Without them this would be a very one-sided conversation. With them there’s variety and for that, and the people who provide it, I’m grateful.




2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 270,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 12 days for that many people to see it. . . 


How did they find you?

The top referring sites (thank you)  in 2015 were:

No Minister 
Keeping Stock (who hasn’t blogged for a couple of years. This shows he still has a lot of fans).

The 5 most active commenters were:

Dave Kennedy  1626 COMMENTS


TraceyS 1021 COMMENTS

farmerbraun 562 COMMENTS


Thanks to those of you who pop in to read and special thanks to those of you who add to the conversation too.

I’m enjoying blogging less, but have no intention of giving up altogether yet.

Click here to see the complete report.

The blogging year


The wonderful WordPress support has come up with a report of my blogging year.

Posts which got the most comments were:

The top referring sites in 2015 were:

  1. nominister.blogspot.co.nz
  2. kiwiblog.co.nz
  3. keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz
  4. twitter.com
  5. facebook.com

Keeping Stock no longer blogs but is obviously still frequently visited.

Visitors came from 163 countries and the most frequent commenters were:

Your most commented on post in 2015 was Saturday soapbox

These were your 5 most active commenters:

Thanks for popping by and especially for commenting.

I’m enjoying blogging less but still appreciate the interaction.



Tech request – updated


I updated software on my iPad on Sunday and found I couldn’t log into my blog.

I updated software on my iPhone today and can’t get into my blog on it either.

WordPress support are trying to help but haven’t yet solved the problem.

If anyone else has a solution I’d be grateful.


The tech fairy at WordPress suggested it was a problem with Safari and advised me to download Google Chrome which I did and it’s allowed me to log-in.

Blogging lighter still


It’s nearly 11 months since I decided I was going to be blogging lighter.

In that time I’ve spent more time with family and friends, exercised more, read more books, put more time and effort in to cooking . .  .

But I haven’t given the time and attention to a couple of projects on my to-do list.

They involve writing and I’ve been kidding myself that any writing is good practice. But blogging is only good practice for the projects in the way that wandering along a beach could be considered training for a marathon.

Because of that I’m planning to blog even lighter still.

The posts I can do ahead – history, quote and word of the day and Saturday and Sunday soapboxes will still appear most days. I’ll also do some rural round-ups.

But other posts will be few and far between.

Thank you to all of you who’ve popped by.

Thank you especially to those who have taken the time to comment, I hope you still will.

Blog birthday


It is seven years since I launched this blog and this is the 18,326th post.

There’ve been 46,886 comments published and  1,614,405 more have been rejected as spam.

In September last year I wrote I would be blogging lighter.

That was the truth but not the whole truth.

I did want to reduce the number of posts I wrote but I didn’t say one reason for that was I was going to India for three weeks and wanted to enjoy the company of friends and all we were seeing and doing without the niggle of the need to write distracting me.

I thought I might go back to writing more posts when we returned and some days I do. But mostly I stick with just a few and I plan to continue that.

Thanks for popping by and thanks especially to those of you who contribute to the conversation.

First ban hopefully last


Today’s word of the day, avaunt meaning depart, begone, was chosen this morning and has proved to be appropriate.

Robert Guyton is one of very few whose comments I’ve ever edited, the only one whose comments were ever put on moderation and now the first I’ve banned.

I sympathised with those who called for that earlier but while he kept within the rules, however close he skated to the edge, I resisted.

Today he went too far in breaking name suppression.

I hope this will be the last person I ban.

I accept comments with a wide spectrum of views. I don’t want ones which abuse or are personal and I won’t accept any which break the law.

10 Commandments of rational debate


Relatively Interesting lists 10 Commandments of rational debate:

  1. Though shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)
  2. Though shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”) . . .
  3. Though shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization” . . .
  4. Though shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”) . . .
  5. Though shall not claim that because something occurred before, but must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”). . . .
  6. Though shall not reduce the argument down to only two possibilities when there is a clear middle ground. (“False Dichotomy”) . . .
  7. Though shall not argue that because of our ignorance, the claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”). . .
  8. Though shall not lay the burn of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”). . .
  9. Though shall not assume that “this” follows “that”, when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non Sequitur”). . .
  10. Though shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”). . .

These are good guidelines for posts and comments.




On moderation again


Robert, your comments have been released from moderation but this is your last chance.

Should any of your comments breach my rules I will ban you.

Keep in mind that some people subscribe to comments which means they read them in the order they are written not by individual topic.

That means that they could draw conclusions about links between comments even if they are left on two different posts.

On moderation


Comments with four or more links automatically go into moderation because that’s a sign of spam.

Last year after continuous  comments which were off-topic and/or quoting others without links I began deleting comments from Robert Guyton then put anything he wrote into moderation. He complained about that and eventually I asked for his word he’d stop the spamming.

He gave it, I stopped moderating his comments but when he started spamming again I put him back into moderation.

He announced he wouldn’t comment at all and didn’t for some time. He returned a couple of weeks ago, got sick of moderation and said he was giving up again.

He returned again.

I’ve had emails from readers asking me to ban him but I’m not going to do as some blogs do and only accept comments with which I agree.

Robert – your comments about me being fearful of what you say are ridiculous.  I have no delusions that his blog is influential. It’s read by only a few hundred people a day and most I suspect already have firm views on most issues which are discussed. The tone of at least some of your comments is more likely to put the minority who are undecided off your views than persuade them to them.

I’ve stopped the moderation. If the spamming which prompted it in the first place is repeated I’ll reinstate it.


2014 blogging in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 450,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 19 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Among the stats are most viewed posts:

The top referring sites:

  1. nominister.blogspot.co.nz
  2. keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz
  3. kiwiblog.co.nz
  4. twitter.com
  5. lindsaymitchell.blogspot.co.nz

No Minister is consistently the site from which most visitors come.

Keeping Stock is still a top referrer even though, sadly, it has gone into recess.

And the five most active commenters:


  • 1 robertguyton 1286 comments
  • 2 TraceyS 1197 comments
  • 3 Dave Kennedy 1045 comments
  • 4 Mr E 984 comments
  • 5 Andrei 645 comments

Thank you all for reading and even more for contributing to conversations.

I’ve been blogging much less since late September. Readership has dropped as a consequence – I’m hoping that’s a case of less quantity and more quality. 🙂

P.S. Thanks to WordPress and its staff who provide the platform for this blog, give prompt and helpful assistance when it’s required and provide such good service.


Blogging lighter


For some time now the tension between blogging and other items on my things-to-do list has been increasing.

Something has to give, at least for a little while it will be blogging.

I’m not giving up completely.

At the very least the history and word of the day posts will continue and I’ll endeavour to provide a post with a quote or something else to stimulate thought and discussion, but there won’t always be anything else.

The thing to always remember, Is that what you do, or don't do, today, is what matters most.<br /><br />
~ The Universe<br /><br />
These “Notes” go out by email every day to 600,000 people. Sign-up here to try them out: http://www.tut.com/Inspiration/nftu

On the topic of off-topic


Until recently I had deleted very few comments and, from memory, that was either because they were defamatory or personal attacks.

However, continual spamming and off-topic comments by one commenter persuaded me to get tougher and delete comments which were off-topic.

Robert continued to post such comments so often I am holding them for moderation.

I still allow most of them through, even the ones full of bile and erroneous opinions masquerading as facts.

Every now and then he leaves a comment complaining about that the last two are these:

Ele – on a personal level – can you see how far you have fallen? You are DELETING comments that are OFF TOPIC.
Think about that.
Not comments that are lies, actionable or disgusting, but “Off topic”.
That’s how desperate you have become.
This is very sad, on a personal level. You are blocking comments that are “other” than what you want. Are you aware of how wrong your thinking has become?
“off topic” ids now your measure of comments that must be deleted?
You have fallen very far, Ele.
“Off topic” is not your measure for deletion.
What have you become????



“the only proof that’s needed is my judgement. Ele”

The reasoning of a dictator. Ele. Think! What have you become???

I don’t need to think about this. This is my blog and I make the rules.

It is public in that anyone can read it and leave a comment but it is up to me to accept or reject any or all comments as I see fit.

Saturday and Sunday soap boxes allow people to discuss almost anything and I am generally lenient about discussions which take a few diversions on other posts.

But I am not going to accept spam and comments which have nothing to do with the post under which they are made.




For reasons those of you who leave reasoned, on-topics comments will understand, this resonated with me:

Challenging people in your life? I've had my share as well. :)  Read on.... xoKaren www.notsalmon.com >> >>

Right on top of blog rankings


Open Parachute’s monthly blog rankings show the right on top:

Visit Rank Blog Visits/month Page Views/month
1 Whale oil beef hooked 1758095 2957997
2 Kiwiblog 445721 771086
3 The Daily Blog 218234 345266
4 The Standard 201495 443470
5 Auckland Transport Blog 155853 160244
6 Throng New Zealand 53729 94004
7 The Dim-Post 53509 75134
8 Sciblogs 39662 50631
9 Liturgy 36160 50478
10 Keeping Stock 33807 53244
11 No Right Turn 26757 35029
12 Homepaddock 26471 36951
13 NewZeal 21726 35094
14 No Minister 20898 27292
15 Music of sound 14879 18833
16 Imperator Fish 13552 17547
17 13th Floor 12544 17630
18 Save our schools NZ 12355 14307
19 Keith Johnson Wellington NZ 12120 12574
20 Offsetting Behaviour 11835 16377


The combined total of the top left-wing blogs, which are at third and fourth, is still less than Kiwiblog which is second and miles from Whale Oil in first place.

Dim Post from the left is seventh and Keeping Stock from the right is 10th. I’m at 12, No Minister, which is more right than not is at 14th and Imperator Fish which is left is 16th.

I ditched Sitemeter because I kept getting a window asking me to sign in to it and now rely on StatCounter to record visits:




Comments policy – trolls not welcome


My patience has been exhausted.

Any comments I regard as trolling will be deleted.

6th birthday


Today is the sixth birthday of this blog.

It started with just a couple of posts, now I aim for at least seven a day – which includes  the regular history, rural round-up and word of the day ones.

In total there’s been 15,688 Posts  and  36,145 Comments (plus – sigh – 1,193,553 spam comments).

Some days I wonder why I do it and think I’ll take a spell but then I see something or hear something which prompts a post . . .
Thanks for dropping by and thanks especially to those who join the discussion, a conversation is much more interesting than a monologue.

No more nesting


Nesting comments – allowing someone to respond to an earlier comment immediately below it –  isn’t working well now some threads get so many comments.

Earlier comments are okay but later ones are difficult to read.

I’ve changed the settings so comment-nesting won’t happen.

If you’re responding to a comment, you’ll have to use the name and time to make that clear.


Blogger faces death and rape threats


The Whale Oil site has been off-line following a cyber attack and he has received threats against himself and his family on social media.

Cameron Slater’s is the most widely read blog in the country and almost certainly the most inflammatory.

He upsets and enrages people.

His posts can be irrational and he sometimes uses a scatter gun approach which hits the innocent as well as the guilty.

Nothing he writes justifies threats to his life and the safety of his family.

The Facebook post I saw is probably actionable and definitely stupid.

It gives him more publicity and will increase readership which will upset and enrage the people attacking him even more.


2013 in review


The clever WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 370,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 16 days for that many people to see it. . . 

The top referring sites were:

  1. nominister.blogspot.co.nz
  2. keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz
  3. kiwiblog.co.nz
  4. nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz
  5. twitter.com

The most prolific commenters were:

  • 1 TraceyS 1383 comments
  • 2 robertguyton 811 comments
  • 3 Andrei 722 comments
  • 4 Viv 629 comments
  • 5 Armchair Critic 448 comments

Thank you to the people who write the blogs which refer readers here, the people who visit and the people who comment.

Click here to see the complete report.

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