Rural round-up

September 14, 2017

Politicians blame dairy farm ‘villains’ for water pollution – Peter Jackson:

One of the more disturbing aspects of this election campaign is that we are being invited to vote for, or against, future taxes that will not be quantified until some time after the next government has been formed.

Casting a vote always involves an element of trust, especially under MMP, where proposed policies come up for negotiation in the process of forming a government.

This is wonderful for politicians, who know full well that come September 24 they will be able to trade away what they promised 24 hours earlier. . . 

Composting barns can be a dairy solution – Keith Woodford:

There is increasing recognition that 24/7 paddock wintering of cows is not the way forward for New Zealand dairy. The challenge is to find solutions. These solutions need to achieve good environmental management, they need to be animal friendly, and they also need to make economic sense.

Over recent months I have been on a personal journey of learning about composting barns. That journey is ongoing and I have more to learn. But I am now at a point where I am confident that composting barns can be a major part of the strategic solution for New Zealand dairy. They can be win-win-win for the environment, for animals, and for profitability.

There is one important qualification to the above statement. It is that none of us yet have all of the answers for New Zealand conditions. Also, there is evidence that some farmers are going into composting barns with a poor understanding of the critical factors for success. . . 

The Resilient Farmer – Beatties’ Book Blog:

The Resilient Farmer

Doug Avery

Penguin

RRP $40.00

‘I am filled with rage. So much rage. I raise my fists to that impassive sky and I bellow like a bull. And those clouds, those beautiful, dark, moisture-filled clouds, vanish out to sea. And my wife, who has also felt the lash of my anger and my nasty,

drunken misery, watches me through the windows of our front room, and is afraid and helpless.’

By turning his thinking around not only did it save his farm from ruin, it also saved his marriage and probably his life. . . 

DairyNZ election draws in farming expertise:

Two positions on DairyNZ’s board have attracted six dairy farmer candidates for this year’s director election.

From September 25, levy-paying dairy farmers will vote for their preferred candidates – farmer colleagues whose experience and leadership could help shape DairyNZ priorities and objectives.

Electionz.com returning officer Anthony Morton says levy-paying farmers will have a month to vote. . . 

The most dangerous phrase in the English language? We’ve always done it this way.

Kiwi Ingenuity of “Black Water Rafting” Continues to Thrill – 30 Years On:

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company Celebrates 30 Years

One of New Zealand’s most iconic adventure tourism offerings – Black Water Rafting – celebrates 30 years this month. Pioneers within New Zealand’s adventure tourism industry, Waitomo’s Legendary Black Water Rafting Company was born in 1987 – taking visitors through Waitomo’s glowworm studded underground world in inner tubes. Thirty years later, today hundreds of thousands of adventure seekers have taken part – including Peter Jackson, Chelsea Clinton and Katy Perry.

The idea for Black Water Rafting came from Waitomo local Pete Chandler – who developed the business along with partner John Ash – and New Zealand’s first professional adventure cave guide Angus Stubbs – who is still with the company and also celebrates 30 years service this month. In 1987 Pete enticed adventurous backpackers to experience Black Water Rafting for $10, the team drove their branded ute around encouraging adventure seekers to enjoy the underground thrill. . .

 


Critical Mass

February 19, 2013

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* A sign that civilisation as we know it is crumbling – Anne of Green Gables has been changed from a skinny red-head to a buxom blonde with come hither eyes. Hat tip: Beattie’s Book Blog.,

* Plain English explanations of 18 scientific occupations.

* 40 things to say before you die (hat tip: Amanda Morrall).


Books, adjectives and icons

May 22, 2012

Websites discussed with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today were:

How a book is born (warning might be depress you if you’ve got a good idea). Hat tip: Beattie’s Book Blog

The hierarchy of adjectives – scroll down to the last paragraph to find one of those things-you-know-but-didn’t-know-you-knew. Hat tip: Quote Unquote

And one we didn’t discuss because Jim had discussed it with someone else recently but I missed it and you might have too: Icons that don’t make sense anymore – only people of a certain age will recognise the origins of most of them.


Chick-lit like chocolate without calories

February 17, 2012

The doctor who was looking after my son noticed the book I was reading and said, it was good to see a mother who read something other than Mills and Boon.

I took it as a compliment but could see why women in hospital with a sick child might choose to read such books – they’re light, you can keep track of what’s happening if your reading is interrupted and you’re guaranteed a happy ending.

They’re also entertaining and reading them is a bit like eating chocolate, without the calories. The same applies to chick-lit which is often seen as being only a step of so above Mills and Boon.

But why the snobbery? Can’t a good book be a good book regardless of its genre if it’s well written and what’s wrong with reading about relationships and for entertainment?

In the only problem with chick-lit is the name, Jenny Geras asks:

 Why do I so often hear intelligent, educated women admitting that they read commercial women’s fiction, but only as a “guilty pleasure”? Are there millions of clever men out there feeling guilty about reading John Grisham? Why are Jane Eyre, Kate Reddy and Becky Bloomwood even being discussed together in the same paragraph? They have nothing at all in common apart from being female characters created by female authors.

She also has the answer:

. . . let everyone read what they enjoy reading and stop sneering about others’ literary choices.

To which I say, hear, hear, pass the chick lit but don’t worry about the chocolates.

Hat tip: Beattie’s Book Blog


National Poetry Day

July 22, 2011

It’s National Poetry Day.

 The link above will take you to a list of events aroudn the country.
 
Tuesday Poem has three poems for the day at the hub and links in the sidebar will take you to choices of other Tuesday poets.
 
I especially enjoyed The Raspberry-Coloured Hand-Knitted Cardigan by Jennifer Compton and in response to it by Mary McCallum (and her other) –If you buy the raspberry-coloured hand-knitted cardigan and unpick it .
 
Beattie’s Bookblog posts on Eden Tautali who won the National Schools Poetry Award with Nan a moving poem about her grandmother’s funeral.
 
Poems by all those shortlisted and the judges’ reports are online here.
 

Farm books win children’s book awards

May 19, 2011

The Moon & Farmer McPhee  written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by David Elliot has won the 2011 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards.

It also won the best picture book.

I came across the book in Dunedin’s University Bookshop on Tuesday. It’s a delightfully quirky story, as many of Mahy’s are, with beautiful illustrations. That she’s still writing such wonderful stories at 75 is an achievement in itself.

Another book with a rural theme, Baa Baa Smart Sheep by Mark Sommerset, illustrated by Rowan Sommerset, a husband and wife team, was overall winner of the Children’s Choice Award.

When most children are further removed from farms and farming than any previous generation it’s good to see two books set in the country doing so well.

Beattie’s Book Blog has more on the awards and the full list of winners.


From love poems to loo paper

April 26, 2011

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass began with a collection of poems for a wedding, royal or otherwise, chosen by British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy (Hat Tip: Beatiies’ Book Blog)..

I especially liked: Anne Gray’s Love Listen which begins:

Let’s love, listen, take time
when time is all we have.
Let’s be unafraid to be kind,
learn to disregard the bad
if the good outweighs it daily. . .

and

Roger McGough’s Vow:

I vow to honour the commitment made this day
Which, unlike the flowers and the cake,
Will not wither or decay. A promise, not to obey
But to respond joyfully, to forgive and to console,
For once incomplete, we now are whole. . .

We moved from love to loo paper, the  really serious topic: under or over – how should the loo paper hang at Brainz?

If you follow the link above there’s a graphic with the pros and cons of each which says that when the paper is over the roll it’s easier to tear off desired number of sheets and grab the end and there’s less chance of scraping knuckles on wall/gathering germs.

 This is favoured by 70% of people, usually over achievers who like to take charge and be organised.

When the loose end is under the roll there’s  less chance of accidental unravelling eg in motor home or earthquake or if grabbed by cat or small child. It’s supposedly tidier that way.

 Under is preferred by 30% of people and they’re more laid back, artistic and dependable.

Wikipedia discussion on loo paper is twice as long as that on Iraq War.

Apropos of which, in public loos which have stacks of paper in clear containers I reckon the roll turns more easily if the loose end is over rather than under the roll.


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