Showing posts from 2016


                                                                                                                             It’s a surreal experience hearing about the earthquakes and flooding from up here. Glad to hear everyone is ok, just a little shaken up but not too dry!  We’ve had a couple of days of good rain. Perfect, as we’d spread some fertiliser on the paddocks the night before, (and some on Kaarac’s special patch), got to keep the Ruby Moo fed – she may well be eating for two, (and the Kaarac perplexed). We’ve all had the nasty cold that’s been circulating up here for a couple of weeks and we thought we’d missed it.  Joe came down with it first and was a couple of days ahead in recovery while we just wanted to sleep.  Tony had a day off work and I even missed a Playcentre meeting! This was followed by a second dose, for Joe, of hand foot and mouth virus - a horror I’d never encountered until this second round of kids.   Welcome back to the ‘world of toddler’ w

October Update

Well it’s a first in my memory, which given my memory doesn’t mean much, we’ve had a fine Labour weekend, right up until  Monday  night and we needed that rain to water in the tomatoes. Perfect. My summer jandal tan is coming along nicely and Tony had his shirt off for four hours (I had my sunnies on - ‘protector safety glasses’), and I’ve asked that the sun shade be put up over Joe’s play area. With so much bush around so much farmland with so many dodgy fences, there’s quite the feral animal population, there was even a television show made about a fellow who rounds up Northland’s wild bulls. Our pretty fourteen month Hereford heifer must have started to secrete interesting pheromones enticing a passing bull to visit. I was trying to get Joe to have a sleep when the dog’s barking finished that attempt. It was such an emergency panic bark I went for a look, instead of yelling for them to shut-up, and there, licking Ruby’s unmentionables, was a very large bull.  I admit I didn

September Update

                                                                                                                             28 September 2016 Spring has sprung and there are lambs and calves gambolling about with excess cuteness, it’s a challenge keeping eyes on the road! It’s warmer and with more daylight the ‘pasture’ (combination of kikuya and weed (no, not that kind), that passes as stock feed) is growing, making Ruby Moo happy. Although she’s clearly not satiated by grass alone, evidenced by ‘scraped paint’ teeth marks on the freshly painted window sills. Looks like Tony will have to fix the actual lawn mower so I can start it. I’ve threatened to book it in at his work! To be fair, I break it every time I use it so it’s hardly motivation to fix it... again. Speaking of grass growth (again, no not that kind), I’ve fertilised Kaarac’s ‘patch’ again so his 3x6 foot ‘grave’ site grows lushy for spring. It’s so hard to keep a straight face when he talks about it. Adding to th

August Update

Hello everyone,                                                                                                                   24 August 2016 The last few days of winter and we’ve had a high of 26 degrees, lovely. We also haven’t has any rain for a week, so the mud has started to dry up, also lovely. It must only be a matter of days until the end of winter / early spring cold snap reminds us who really is the boss. I’m just watching Joe climb the side of the change table... I’ve just rescued Joe from hanging off the side of the change table... and he’s learning to not try to climb up and stand on his chair after he’s put it on the coffee table. Today’s lesson will be that chairs stay on the floor and it’s proving to be a hard one. He has all four first round teeth coming through so can be a little fragile when he’s determined in a task I’m trying to dissuade. To round out Joe’s mountaineering achievements, he climbed the ‘child-proof’ baby gate , then the stairs! Joe

July Update

Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                    5 July 2016 Today makes half way through 2016, and we’re over the ‘hump’ day and on the way to summer. We’re pretending to ourselves it’s a bit lighter in the mornings and evenings but it is really hard to tell with overcast skies. The rain, although late this year, is here now – along with the mud. It is better than last year, no horse hooves churning it up and we have some gravel tracks – but we really could do with a gravel storm, several hours of gravel rain – torrentially! It’s cold, woolly jersey and layers. It makes tourist spotting easy, they’re the ones in shorts and tee shirts as we were in July three years ago. Amazing how fast we’ve acclimatised.  We have piglets; well Olga has piglets – eight of them, very cute and delicious looking. I reckon we should give her all the really soft kiwifruit, with any luc

March Update

14 March 2016 Hi everyone, Not even three weeks until we head down to ‘das kapital’! The way the post is, we may be there before this letter! At Joe’s Plunket appointment on 17 February he weighed 8.78 kg and measured 72 cm tall, he does seem so much heavier, especially after carrying him about for a while. He’s 50 th on the weight percentile and 70 th on the height. Joe’s climbing everything he’s able to, and trying everything else. Although not properly walking yet he gets up on to his digger has started to try to operate the digger arm and mimics the noise it’s ‘starter’ button makes. He loves the animals and escaped his compound on Friday, yes at 10 months and 11 days, to go visit Ruby cow, tethered just beside Joe’s area. It has been fortified, but Tony has received instruction for increasing the height of compound – it’s going to need to be like Fort Knox. Joe’s teething at the moment, poor lad. His top right front tooth is just through, but giving him trouble

Yep - Really

Ah the internet.  Topic: Dog safety. The comment Many children nowadays do not possess what is plain common sense, for various reasons e.g. vaccination side effects - Autism, ADHD, etc also animals are not allowed in most rental properties, therefore, they have no life experience of animal speak With equipment available to prevent this kind of happening, I would invest in it to protect both dumb kids innocently being bitten and your dogs potentially being labelled dangerous or menacing, they only have to lunge or make a human feel fear to be so labelled. Those mesh type window barriers that allow the window to be down approx 1/3 would solve all your problems. Cannot rely on the state or certain parents to do the educating The reply Very true common sense is sorely lacking, and the dumbing down of society a very real occurrence... prevention is better then cure, and often the cure is the dogs demise... WTF - really? There's just nothing for me to say.

Alternative Headlines

I've been thinking on alternative headlines. Govt gets power to sell social housing Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford told the Parliament the new law was a charter for corruption. "Paula Bennett stands here in the house defending a bill that will give her and Bill English, the deputy prime minister, absolute unfettered powers to do any deal they like with whomsoever they like on any terms and conditions," he said. He said the legislation had given the government the power to "flog off billions of dollars' worth of land and housing" and not be bothered with "pesky public servants". Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the people who needed help the most would no longer have any security about where they lived. Link Alternative Headline: Unsuitable state housing sold to build Suitable Healthy Homes Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said she's pleased that government is acting to upgrade state housin

The Road to Hell...

The road to hell... No matter how experienced, old or how widely I read nothing prepares me for the person who will not accept simple explanations of intent. Experience, age and wisdom have however, taught me that it’s their issue and not mine. A simple action undertaken is misunderstood by a person and is taken to an almost surrealist complexity in attack as the simple explanation is denied while their cognitive fictions flourish. Brief rationalisations are followed by screeds of aggressive countermoralism on the perceived offence and other, suddenly considered relevant, factors. The way we behave is the indexicality (bound to the context in which it occurs) of our learning how to be, define, feel and act, in the world we have created together. It is interesting is when the pattern is repeated. We don’t have to look far to find reference that behaviour is learned by operant conditioning (Pavlov’s dogs), and that some benefit is found. Most interesting is figur
Moral Hazard – strictly speaking is an economic term of one party getting involved in a risky event knowing it is protected against the risk the other party will wear. It’s such a juicy gorgeous term and I’m going to massage its meaning, because I can and it best describes where I dwell.  It is totally different from this other place where many claim to dwell. Moral high ground – All encompassing terms such as ‘environment’, ‘organic’, ‘third of NZ children live in poverty’, ‘holistic’... etc., all easily dispelled with a little rationality – but at one’s peril. Susan’s meaning of moral hazard – Taking the moral high ground knowing anyone (ie. Me) who dares to argue, against whichever moral high ground, will be labelled *peel & stick*, climate change denier, racist, Tory, selfish, heartless, greedy... Label away. I’ll stick to my beliefs. My favourite behavioural economists Thaler & Sunstein (Nudge 2009 p.62), extrapolate on Solomon Asch’s experiments testing