2009-02-26

Art Stuff - The Roping Horse

I love horses more so when I can just relax for a few minutes and draw just a little more. I sketched this really cool quarter horse a few nights back. Many years ago I went to some courses run by Monty Roberts. He's an amazing guy and so quiet about how he goes about things. the best book I ever read was written by him. Monty Roberts The Man who talks to Horses is worth while sitting down and reading from cover to cover. I loved his story of his earlier life when he and his brother headed out to Nevada to watch the mustangs and learn about their behaviour and from that Monty developed his technique of Join up. I've used that with old Ed. When I got him he was less than trusting but after a few sessions he was coming up to me and I didn't have a roundpen either. It comes down to patience and not showing any fear - animals sense your fear and react to it. All our animals here on the farm are handled quietly and calmly and I find it works. The Terrorist got herself tangled up the other day and was panicking. She called out for help with her little moo. I went out there talked to her quietly then untangled her leg without any problems even Micah our bull is quiet but I'm always between him and the fence bulls can't ever be trusted no matter how quiet they appear to be. I enjoyed doing this drawing and hopefully after I get the paper I edit finished I can find a little time to do another drawning.

Foiling a Fowls' Foul plans


How does the Poltree now destroy hooman's garden?

Maggie is not talking to me any more. She has decided she wants to pack up her little brood of hoarded eggs and head off to Kentucky USA to live in Rachel's hen house with Pepper and the gang. The Mad Bush Farm is no longer good enough the reason? The hooman foiled her fowl plans to scratch up all those nice new plants that had been put into the ground behind the Mad Bush Farm house. And a mean hooman at that.
Try getting through that Maggie!

The mean hooman put up an electric fence around the little garden she had created to make sure Maggie May did not dig up all the seedlings and the new plants with it. Maggie May though was VERY determined to get her chicken way and eat and destroy every little plant her beady chicken eyes could see. White tape stuff though she soon found out bites. Two lots of shocks fixed Maggie May good and proper. She will not be visiting that part of the garden anytime soon. By the way I found the cat litter makes a really good soil conditioner for horrible clay soil. What a difference to mine after I pitchforked it in and added some blood and bone. The plants have really thrived and for once I feel like I have actually achieved something. We're going to fence in the chickens later on but for now they are fenced out of my little garden. Good. Rachel might be expecting a little black feathery visitor sneaking off a plane and hitching a ride on a flatbed truck all the way to Kentucky.LOL!

2009-02-24

Banks Should be Clear on Government Guarantees costs say Federated Farmers.

Banks need to be clear about which guarantee they are talking about and what it costs when they say it is a reason for higher interest rates than otherwise, Conor English, CEO of Federated Farmers said tonight.

This follows an interview on tonight’s TV One Close Up program when a senior bank economist gave the government guarantee as a reason for higher interest rates than otherwise would be the case.

“Banks should be clear – there are two guarantees, and for our main banks the costs may not be as great as some may think.

“The first is the “deposit guarantee” for depositors into New Zealand banks. It guarantees that people will get their money back from the bank if the bank gets into trouble. Depending on weather the organisation seeking the guarantee is a bank or not and its credit rating the charge for this varies, staring at 10 basis points. (details http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/finstab/3463154.html)


“The second guarantee is called the “wholesale guarantee”. This guarantees overseas banks who lend money to New Zealand based banks who then lend this money out in mortgages or overdrafts to New Zealanders. This is done on a case by case basis. To date we understand that only one bank has actually utilised this guarantee for about NZD $180 million. The cost of this guarantee again depends on the organisation and its credit rating and starts at 85 basis points.

Details http://www.treasury.govt.nz/economy/guarantee/wholesale/operationalguidelines

“Banks do need to get funding on an ongoing basis. Increasingly as they have built their book they have relied more on money from overseas. However currently they seem to be sourcing much of their funding through the Reserve Banks recently introduced “liquidity measures”. This allows banks to borrow from the Reserve Bank using some of their mortgages as security. They appear to have been using this quite significantly with $6.55 billion raised under the term auction facility.

“Banks are very important to the economy. We know its isn’t going to be plain sailing getting through the current climate for anyone, but we need banks to play their part. Being clear on what the two guarantees actually cost would be helpful to all parties,” Mr English concluded.

Mad Mower Mayhem




A normal sane person would use a properly manufactured recognised brand- labelled mechanised device (also referred to as a Lawnmower) to keep their lawns nicely manicured. But that is the sane world outside of this farm. Within this little inner world of strange ideas, cattle who think they're human and chickens that insist on using the clean laundry as a roosting spot (until a broom appears that is) said mechanical device does not exist. Why? Ah - it blew up after being shoved over one too many cattle ruts and a few digger tracks to go. Let's just say the poor old mower went off to the great lawn in the sky (it went to the tip). I would Love a new mower but right now the finances aren't allowing that longed for little luxury so I had to turn to living ones with four legs instead.

Environmentally friendly for sure. They mow and fertilise at the same time. Wonderful for keeping the long grass down and making the farm look a little tidier than the view of gigantic Californian Thistles I had to herbicide last week. BUT like all those employed to mow the 'lawn' there is the slight issue of job satisfaction....which means once the grass had been trampled beneath several pairs of hooves,fertilised for a couple of hours and chewed just ever so slightly the meal offered was no longer acceptable. One bull and one old 28year old First cross Quarter horse made the break and jumped the electric wire. My mother found a horse looking through her window and a bull standing on her driveway...I was paid a visit........

2009-02-22

While dealing with a fat hand sandwich...

Turning Seven months this week the Terrorist is growing up!

I got to thinking about how badly that rotten old German Wasp was going to pay for stinging me in the finger. Oh yes that nasty old wasp and its little nasty brood are going to pay for certain. My left hand looks like fat ham sandwich one of those cartoon type of hands you see in the Disney movies. First time I've ever had my entire hand swell up from a wasp sting and what was I doing? Trimming up the palm trees on the side of the driveway when Madam Nasty decided to pay my middle left finger a personal and very painful visit. She got me a good one. The language I used was not politically correct - even the cows went into hiding as I stomped back up the driveway in my gumboots cursing every ancestor that stroppy old wasp had. After sorting out the painful sting with vinegar I watched my hand swell up to the size of a football. It's slowly going down now but it stopped me from getting the stuff I wanted to do done. The kids had to help me do dinner last night mutter...at least we got to have it I suppose.. Tonight I get my evil vengeance with a spray unit full of Carbaryl on the wasps and hopefully not on me in the process.

After sorting out the dinner and the fat hand problem (it's still fat growl) I sat down to thumb through a rather classy glossy publication that was published last year. It appeared in my rural mailbox one wet winter's day last year. Nice layout, talented writers but....I remember muttering to myself at the time nice but it won't last long..the reason for that little notation..people move to the country to get away from the urban stuff not hold onto it. Maybe I'm wrong. Most of the folks I've met during my travels have moved onto lifestyle blocks for a complete change of lifestyle and pace. I don't have post and rail fences or a huge fancy executive home. Mine is just over 1200sq feet built in 2004 and it's downright comfortable. As for the fencing...well that's down to steel posts and a thumper. I've got twelve acres full of weeds which I'm still hacking away at, lousy pasture, a soil PH of 8.6 so the poor old citrus trees I do have planted have to be fed loads of magnesium and cow dung to keep them happy. I compete with rotten old possums, chickens that love to dig up everything I plant and the cows taking advantage of a short in the mains electric fence. My lawnmower is the Terrorist, two horses, and four adult cows. As I thumbed through the pages I took note of the $8000 caravan like thing which is a great designer idea, but again what use was it to me? I could do with a new engine for my gas guzzler of a 4WD. As for the outfit on the front cover...ah okay really classy and stylie but where would I wear it? Auckland for sure but not here in the back of the sticks. No - gumboots are the main footwear I'd break the heels off those gorgeous boots in the picture chasing cows through the mud. Sadly there have been only three issues, but I think it's more for those who really do want to stay connected with the city - for those who are in the rural way so to speak nice but maybe not quite hitting the old centre there.People did like it. Worth a read of the articles this talented team have produced check it out here.