Too early

29/09/2013

Wanted – alive and well – an extra hour of light in the morning.

Just for another three or four weeks, then there will be enough to share between both ends of the day.

This time last year we were in Argentina to watch the All Blacks vs Los Pumas.

When we got home the confusion between body and clock was due to jet lag so an hour here and there made little difference to how we felt.

But we still noticed the clocks had been put forward.

Before we’d left just over a week earlier we’d been waking up to daylight around 6am, on our return it was dark until around 7.

That’s how it is this morning and will be for another three or four weeks.

The spring equinox was only a week ago so we’re getting only a few minutes more than 12 hours of day light.

The extra hour before sunrise this evening comes at the cost of an hour more of dark this morning.

If daylight saving was delayed until the end of October, which is when the clocks went forward when it was first introduced, we’d have 14 hours between sunrise and sunset and it would be light for longer at both ends of the day.

I’ve said all this before  and started a Facebook page but at least this year I know I’m not alone.

I was listening to talk back while driving home on Thursday evening when Kerre McIvor voiced my thoughts – it’s too soon and too cold for daylight saving.

If we’ve got to put up with the effect of jet lag in the morning without having had the fun of a holiday, then it should be when it’s warm, and light, enough to get the benefit in the evening.

temps

Update:

Keeping Stock takes the contrary view but PM of NZ is on my side.


Cairns are breaking out all over

14/11/2010

Once upon a time a few years ago, the exact number of which is irrelevant, someone stopped on the side of the road leading from the Lindis Pass to Omarama to build a cairn.

It was a simple structure,  just a few rocks piled cairnishly in a roundish heap.

Sometime later some other body saw it, stopped and built another one.

Some other bodies kept seeing and stopping and building and now the cairns are dotted along the road side for more than seven kilometres.

Cairn building isn’t just spreading along this stretch of road. Rocky, roadside art is breaking out in other places too.

A couple of bigger ones have sprouted just short of the intersection before the bridge across the Clutha River when heading from Tarras to Wanaka:

There are  a couple more on the straight between  Tarras and the Lindis and cairn building has spread to the North Island too. 

Finn Howell has built 23 cairns along the Hutt River since September. His work has inspired another 15 cairn builders to leave their mark in stone.

PM of NZ wonders how long it will be before someone spoils the fun with good reason.

Robert Guyton has several photos like this of one of  several driftwood sculptures in the Riverton estuary which attracted the attention and ire of people with too little to do.

I hope these cairns don’t run foul of someone with a clip board. 

I like the random rural roadside art and hope the cairn builders will be able to carry on building cairns happily ever after.


Three draws, no losses makes them winners

25/06/2010

Here I am, not knowing one end of a football from the other (though I do know they’re round and therefore don’t have ends), writing a third post on the World Cup.

The All Whites went to South Africa as underdogs and return with three draws. They didn’t lose a game and while they didn’t win any either, they finished ahead of last year’s champions and they won lots of hearts in doing so.

They did this because they defied expectations though, Cactus Kate is right that they were so close but nowhere near:

Anyone who thinks this is New Zealand’s greatest sporting achievement is either a soccer fanatic or clearly knows nothing about sports. Sure it was the heart-warming Disney moment in New Zealand sports in living memory, but the result is tomorrow they fly home.

The All Blacks can only wish they could get away with three draws in their World Cup and have acceptance from the nation.

But this wasn’t the All Blacks, Black Caps, the Silver Ferns or Black Ferns, our rowers, runners, sailors or even Black Sticks any or all of whom we expect – sometimes even demand – to win some of the time.

No-one expected the All Whites to win and few would have been surprised if they’d lost every game. They didn’t, they drew them, surpassing expectations, and in doing so they did a lot – for themselves, the team and the sport.

Lindsay Mitchell finds plenty to celebrate.

Keeping Stock has a song for the All Whites and says it was great while it lasted.

Adolf at No Minister says they are out but not down.

Monkeywith typewriter says well done All Whites.

Not PC thinks it was a great result.

And PM of NZ is underwhlemed and looking forward to a return to normality.

Update: Kiwiblog notes we never lost a game.


The Wahine disaster

10/04/2010

It’s 42 years since New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster – the sinking of the Wahine with the loss of 52 lives plus another who died later as a result of injuries.

When I was learning to scuba dive a decade later the instructor emphasised the importance of gripping our buoyancy vests by the neck and pulling them down as we jumped into the water. He ensured we remembered by telling us that some of the Wahine passengers had died of broken necks caused by the force of life jackets lifting when they hit the water.

The human story behind the numbers is portrayed realistialcly and sensitively in David Hill’s novel No Safe Harbour.

PM of NZ posts on Cyclone Giselle which caused the storm which sank the ferry, caused other deaths and widespread damage.

Keeping Stock posts Lest We Forget.


Did you see the one about . . .

27/11/2009

 Apologies and letters: Theodore Dalrymple explains why he feels sorry for Gordon Brown. – a post in response ot the furore over a hand written apology.

What are you getting for Christmas – PM of NZ shows why we should be grateful the world has moved on.

Principles of economics translated –  a very funny video, hat tip interest.co.nz.

It’s Urgent – really – a very funny video at Roarprawn.

Witi Ihimaera and plagarism – Quote Unquote has the best analysis I’ve seen on the issue.

Global Warping – Macdoctor on the need for integrity from scientists.


Did you see the one about . . .

11/11/2009

Witi’s work of fiction – Cactus Kate on word theft.

Note to Trevor Mallard – The Hand Mirror correctly spots homophobic and misogynistic behaviour combined.

Is that clear?  Opposable Thumb heard the answer to our problems in mixed metaphors.

How is your spelling – PM of NZ found an on-line spelling gym.

Amusing Signs – at StripySock Studio

Are We There Yet? – Jardis, guest blogging at Kiwblog, wonders is feminism is stuck on destination rather than opportunity.


Stat time of the month

09/10/2009

It’s stat time of the month again when Tim Selwyn of Tumeke! calls for blog stats for the Blogosphere Rankings.

In September at Homepaddock:

Sitemeter recorded 13,478 unique visitors. Stat Counter more generously recorded 15, 117 unique visitors.

 There were 238 posts which received a total of 497 comments.

The four most commented on posts were: 33 on Coal to fertiliser plant for Southland? on 25.9; 17 on Kiwirail must pay its way on 30.9;   16 on Greenpeace has wrong target for wrong reasons on 17.9 and 12 each on  Last cab has the mana and the power on  15.9 and The honourable member on 29.9.

The top 10 referring blogs were:

nominister.blogspot.com 1,580
asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com 924
kiwiblog.co.nz/blogroll 340
nzconservative.blogspot.com 273
kismetfarm.blogspot.com 169
keepingstock.blogspot.com 138
pmofnz.blogspot.com 126
lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com 75
macdoctor.co.nz 70
roarprawn.blogspot.com 69

Thank you for popping in and an electronic bunch of daffodils to all who left a comment.

Sitemeter

homepaddock
This Year’s Visits and Page Views by Month

This Year's Visits and Page Views by Month

The graph from StatCounter doesn’t want to copy but here are the figures:

Page Loads                 Unique Visitors                                            First Time Visitors                           Returning Visitors
Total 21,862 15,117 8,918 6,199
Average 729 504 297 207

Feds seeks post-cordon debrief

07/10/2009

Federated Farmers wants a debriefing with police and Fonterra after farmers were unable to return to their properties to tend stock during the hunt for fugitive gunman David Bourke.

This is not a criticism of any individual police officer, but it seems some very strange decisions were made throughout the course of this incident,” says David Hunt, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay Dairy chairperson.

“Although the two-day manhunt for fugitive David Bourke was extraordinary, such events are sadly becoming more common. You need look no further than Napier gunman Jan Molenaar’s three-day siege with police in May.

“In the case of Norsewood, however, I have to question some of the decisions made by the police when dealing with an incident in a rural area. Not allowing farmers access to their properties to milk and check on newborn calves puts the welfare of nearly every animal within the cordon in jeopardy.

“Farmers have a strict obligation to the Animal Welfare Act and codes of practice. So, too, do police or in the very least, these officers of the law must be aware of the importance of animal welfare.

Cows would have have been short of feed, they’d have been very uncomfortable when they weren’t milked on time, are likely to get mastitis because of that, and their production will be affected. Calves were left without milk too.

People’s safety must be the police’s first priority but animal welfare shouldn’t be ignored.

UPDATE:

PMofNZ and rivettingKate Taylor have local knowledge.


Bloggers on AOS hunt for gunman

05/10/2009

PM of NZ and Rivetting Kate Taylor both have updates on the Armed Offenders Squad search for the gunman in Hawkes Bay.


Brrrr # 3

25/09/2009

We spent yesterday in Omarama where it was freezing all day & we’ve woken to fresh snow on the surrounding hills.

PM of NZ is also feeling cold.

Snow closed the Rimutaka road.

The weather forecast is gloomy.

And the clocks go forward an hour on Sunday.

Sigh.

Anyone want to join my campaign to delay the start of daylight saving by three or four weeks?


Shortest blog partnership in history

03/09/2009

Cactus Kate has seen the light. She’s pulled out of Gotcha, probably making it the shortest blog partnership in history.

The blogging partnership between Whaleoil and Kate probablywasn’t a good idea to start with. The blokes at No Minister could have warned them about choosing blogging partners carefully and PM of NZ spelled it out.

I wonder if the people at the very good, very authoritive business blog, interest.co.nz are concerned about the tasteless posts on No Minister and Gotcha by one of their people?


Shame

04/08/2009

Former MP and Minister outside cabinet Phillip Field has been found guilty  of 26 charges.

Field, former MP for Mangere, was found guilty of 11 of 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP after the Crown said he had Thai nationals carry out work on his properties in return for immigration assistance between November 2002 and October 2005.

He was also found guilty of 15 of 23 charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice. The charges related to his evidence to an inquiry into the work on his homes.

Crown Prosecutor Simon Moore is correct when he says:

“This has been a really important case, and bribery and corruption strikes very much at the heart of who we are as a people.”

The case is a nasty blot on our democratic fabric not just because Field is the first person found guilty of corruption as an MP but because of the way then Prime Minister Helen Clark and her Labour colleagues sought to protect him and hobble the Ingram Inquiry into allegations against him.

Kiwiblog has done an excellent post detailing what happened and when, concluding with:

Long before the Police investigation, the Labour Party should have denounced Field. Instead Clark, Cullen and the rest of the Labour Party defended him. That is why these convictions are their shame.

This would also be a good time for all MPs to come together and declare this should never happen again, and support an Independent Commission against Corruption that can investigate abuses of office by parliamentarians, senior officials and agencies.

The call for an Independent Commission against Corruption is seconded by Whaleoil.

Keeping Stock says:

And sadly, we can no longer claim to be a country where our politics are free from corruption. That will be Taito Phillip Field’s legacy to New Zealand, and to the Pasifika people he purported to represent.

Roarprawn asks:   He is the first but will he be the last?

No  Minister says (and shows): A good day for Tui.

Oswald Bastable says: Official – there is corruption in NZ politics.

PM of NZ notes: Only guilty of trying to help.

UPDATE: Fairfacts Media posts on The Guilty Party.

                  Macdoctor posts on Dishonour.

                 Dim Post says The Only Thing Taito Phillip Field is Guilty of is Corruption.

                Something Should Go Here highlights the Gobsmackingly Dishonest Quote of the Day.

UPdate 2:

              Monkeywithtypewriter posts In Praise of Ingram.

             Stephen Franks writes Reflections on Field’s Corruption.


Remembering Mothers Day – updated

10/05/2009

That National Party Mainland Conference opened this morning with a recognition of all the mothers present.

Several bloggers have acknowleged their, or other people’s mums with a post:

Monkeywith typewriter qutoes Corinthians For Mums Everywhere

Frenemy posts on his plans for Moms Day (and because the mother in question is American he can get away with Mom rather than Mum).

PM of NZ has a Small Test for Mothers Day (though the connection between the test and Mothers Day escapes me).

I hope all the other mother-bloggers are enjoying the day and that the non-mother bloggers are too busy making sure their mothers enjoy the day to blog.

Warm thoughts to those who no longer have a mother, and special mention and aroha for Hekia Parata MP and her whanau who are mourning the loss of  their mother who died last week.

UPDATE: M&M posts on her Mothers Day

                    Deborah posts on Celebrating Mothers Day  at The Hand Mirror and on More Pinkification of Mothers at In A Strange Land

 

UPDATE 2- Lindsay Mitchell wants a get off my back & out of my face day.


Stats Dept seeks feedback on ethnicity stats

27/04/2009

Who am I?

That’s a fundamental question of identity and one which government agencies think they have a better answer to than those of us who identify as New Zealanders because most official forms which seek to know our ethnicity won’t let us give that answer.

For years when I couldn’t find an ethnicity which matched how I felt I ticked other, and put New Zealander if asked to specify what that meant. Those who deal with the stats would then have included me under European which I consider to be racist because by doing so they were saying that New Zealanders were only of European descent.

Now most forms have New Zealander of European descent so I tick that,  but I do it with reluctance, partly because I feel ethnically that I’m of Scottish descent rather than European. But even more because I’m uncomfortable that while I can be a New Zealander people of other descents aren’t always given an option of being one of any flavour, they’re Maori or Pacific Islanders or Asian or European.

The picture becomes even more clouded because the census allows you to be more specific than Pacific Islander and identify as Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Tongan, Niuean, Chinese or Indian and gives examples Dutch, Japanese and Tokelauan as examples under other.

Isn’t there something wrong with their reaonsing if you can be Dutch which is definitely European but not a  New Zealander which isn’t European though may be of that descent? 

I think part of the problem is that we’re not sure exactly what’s meant by ethnic group. If the question was about race it would be much simpler, but that’s not the same thing as ethnicity.

On the cesnus form it’s defined as:

 . . . people who have some or all of the following characteristics:

a common proper name

one or more elements of common culture, such as religion, customs or

language

a unique community of interests, feelings and actions

a shared sense of common origins or ancestry

a common geographic origin.

 The OED defines ethnic, in relation to a population group as:  sharing a distinctive cultural and historical tradition, often associated with race, nationality or religion, by which the group identifies itself and others recognise it . . .

Often associated with  is not the same thing as only being and following both the Stats and OED definitions I’m even more certain I’m a New Zealander, albeit of Scottish descent, because the distinctive cultural and historical traditions which I identify with most strongly are New Zealand ones.

Perhaps we could learn from the USA because they enable people to identify as, for example Afro Americans, Native Americans or Asian Americans . . . which acknowledges both the cultural and historical things which differentiate them as well as those they have in common. (Although in a typical US centric-fashion that does ignore the fact that the millions of people in the many other countries in North, Central and South America also regard themselves as American).

However, that aside, I think the USA’s approach could be the answer to the dilemma facing Statistics NZ which has resulted in the release a discussion paper on the way ethnicity statistics are collected and reported .

This has been prompted by the debate over the inclusion of the category New Zealander  in the official census and the consequent difficulty in matching stats from previous years and with other official sources such as birth registrations which didn’t or still don’t offer that option.

Stats are important and they need to be accurate, reliable and to be compared, but they also need to reflect reality and I think that the reality has changed. 

My mother, like many of her generation, called Britain Home, with a capital h even if they’d never been there. That would be most uncommon now because many of the ties which bound us to Britain have been cut and we are much more independent in our outlook and our identity.

The categories in official forms need to change in response to that and enable us, like people in the USA, to answer the who-am-I? question by recognising the cultural and historical things which unite us as well as those which make us different.

Let those of us who consider ourselves to be New Zealanders be counted as such and satisfy the statisticians’ and planners’ need to be more specific with sub-categories which recognise our descent as well.

P.S. Feedback to the discussion paper can be emailed to: ethnicity.review@stats.govt.nz, until May 25th.

UPDATE: PM of NZ is quite sure who he is.


Will she use the title?

24/04/2009

If it hadn’t been Laws I might have bitten my tongue because while I oppose many of her policies I can’t deny Helen Clark made an impact domestically and internationally.

But I find Auckland University’s decision to award her an Honorary Doctorate of Laws baffling.

This is the woman who forged not just one, but about half a dozen, works of art over 20 years and didn’t understand that it was wrong; who turned her back on her police drivers when they sped through Canterbury on her behalf; and who flouted electoral spending rules then passed legislation to retrospectively validate it and then brought in the Electoral Finance Act in the – mistaken – belief it would let her get away with mis-spending tax payers money again.

The Herald says that  while it is permissable to use the title Dr, it is accepted practice in New Zealand to forgo the title.

Accepted practice or not, given her aversion to titular honours which she reinforced in her valedictory speech, it would seem more than a little hypoctritical to use the honorific.

For other views on the issue:

Keeping stock asks what?

Kiwiblog thinks it should be retrospective

Cactus Kate announces the end of her alumni contributions

Fairfacts Media see the irony

PM of NZ muses on ‘sign of commitment’

While Deborah at The Hand Mirror is far more gracious,  and regards it as a fitting honour


Earth hour smoke and mirrors

28/03/2009

The Fire Service has issued a warning about the dangers of candles during earth hour.

This makes me wonder:

 * What impact will all those candles have on carbon emissions?

* Does this mean that earth hour will literally generate more heat than light?

* Is earth hour, like many other sacrifices to the green gods, really just smoke and mirrors?

In support of the last question, I read somewhere yesterday (but can’t find the link anymore) that several businesses which supported earth hour actually increased their carbon emissions and their association with the cause was just greenwash. *

So the lights in my house will be on or off as normal tonight because I’m not interested in campaigns based on emotion rather than science and feel good efforts which at best do nothing and may even make the problem worse.

Apropos of this:

Not PC  has something to keep in mind during earth hour

Whaleoil spots the idiots

No Minister has some earth hour fun

UPDATE:

Keeping Stock is keeping his lights  on from which I learned about M& M  and their anti-earth hour.

Mickey Muses has hot news on hot tips on hot air.

UPDATE 2: * the bit about businesses increasing emissions was from The Age  via Quote Unquote:

An analysis of the key sponsors of Earth Hour (among them Fairfax Media, owner of The Sunday Age) reveals that most have reported increased emissions in their most recent figures.

Just as I said – it’s greenwash and it’s inciting PM of NZ to use even more fuel and electricity.


Why on earth would they do this?

07/03/2009

If you had an uneconomic business to sell and knew that the government which was most likely to buy it was also the one least likely to be there after an impending election, how keen would you be do do a deal with it?

Very.

And being very keen, would you be hard to deal with?

No.

Would you even be prepared to compromise on what you were prepared to accept rather than risk having no deal at all if the government changed?

Almost certainly.

Why then did Labour, spend so much more on what has become AlbatrossRail than it was worth when Toll Holdings would have been very, very willing sellers?

And given that, why on earth would anyone consider appointing Michael Cullen to the board of an SOE when he has demonstrated his lack of business acumen not just with this purchase and the ACC blow out but nine years of wasted opportunities?

I’ve just got back from Wellington and have come across the story late in the day so am not surprised so many other blogs have covered it and are united in their condemnation of the idea:

Keeping Stock says No John No

Kiwblog has problems with this  and comes up with more appointments for the government to consider.

No Minister says No, no, no  and asks is NZ now a Fools Paradise?

Roarprawn is aghast.

Cactus Kate calls it a National disgrace.

NZ Conservative suggests another job with a lot less pay.

Oswald Bastable also suggests another job.

Anti-Dismal sees politics where there should be commerce.

Barnsley Bill hopes it’s a joke.

Inquiring Mind says Absolutely bloody outrageous.

PM of NZ isn’t being tribal.

Whaleoil says No way.

UPDATE: Monkeywithtypewriter thinks this is all a personal PR campaign for Cullen.


This fizz will be a fizzer

12/02/2009

I thought PM of NZ was taking the proverbial,  but no bull – the Indians really are trying to develop a drink  made from cows’ urine.

The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India’s biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called “gau jal”, or “cow water” – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched “very soon, maybe by the end of this year”.

“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins.”

I’ll take his word for that and I’m not going to think about how they’ll collect it.


Hand across the water

10/02/2009

 

Herald cartoonist Rod Emmerson uses four words, the ODT editorial  needs more but has a similar message.

PM of NZ also has a poignant image  of the tragedy.


Tagged twice

28/11/2008

I’ve been double tagged – first by MandM then by Keeping Stock so I have to:

              *  Link to the person who tagged you

             *   Post the rules

             *   Share seven random or weird facts about yourself

             * Tag 7 random people at the end of the post with their links

So here’s the seven random/weird facts:

1. I had a one-way ticket to Britain when my farmer and I met so he flew 12000 miles to propose to me.

2. My longest friendship is older than my memory – which isn’t a sad reflection on the state of my memory, we met when her family moved next door to mine when we were both two.

3. I lived on Great Mercury Island for a year – employed by Michael Fay & David Richwhite, who own the island, to supervise the correspondence school lessons of the farm manager’s three children.

4. I’ve received a card on every Valentine’s Day of my life – not necessarily because it’s Valentine’s Day but because it’s also my birthday.

5. I lived for three months in Vejer de la Frontera.

6. Most people call me Ele which is a contraction of my name – Elspeth, the Scottish form of Elizabeth.

7. We hosted an AFS student from Argentina and his family is now our family.

And an eighth: I never pass on anything resembling a chain letter and as this could be construed as such I’m tagging the following people as a tribute to their blogs but won’t be at all offended if they don’t want to play the game:

rivettingKateTaylor

Bull Pen

Art and My Life 

John Ansell

Rob Hosking

Something Should Go Here

PM of NZ


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