Saturday, 25 October 2014

Exams, crazy youth antics, new chicks, milkings, busy!!

Two weeks until my Chemistry exam...yikes! That is just too close, far too close for comfort o.O However...things are going well! I'm actually getting things done, and not only am I getting things chucked out of the way, I'm also getting good marks. What better combination? Stats internal....excellence..phew! Another excellence in Stats, yay!
     I sent in a Biology internal, although it confused me a tad. I got an excellence in the pre assessment, however the internal itself was basically the same thing. What could I have done so that it didn't sound like I was basically copying my pre assessment? There's a question!
    And I'll also get the pre assessment done for a Chemistry internal done this weekend - pity I didn't get my teacher to email through the internal assessment. Darned long weekends -_-

So with two weeks to go, and only the information for two papers under my belt, uh, brain, I'm considering the benefits, if any, of attempting to get through the three booklets for the Equilibrium paper? It's sorta that Catch 22 again, where I could get extra time for studying for just two papers, and then have an extra hour in the exam to do really well on those two papers, and also risk UE if I just happened to fail one of those papers o.O OR I could do these three booklets at a rush, and risk it in the exam not having that extra time on my hands...hmm, I'm not too sure aye. I really am pushing it this year a bit...but, I'm still getting good marks, which is the main thing! Any assessment I send in is almost always coming back with an M or E.
     Decisions Decisions! My stats teacher emailed yesterday, to ask if I'd do another internal, and that if I sent it in over Christmas, he could mark it in March..uumm hello! We're talking UE here, you know that. I can't get UE in March. So I said, "there's two weeks, there's two internals. Plenty of time to get them done!" Forever optimistic! :D
    So things are going good, one more bio internal to do, two chem internals, but I'm basically ready for them, and two stats internals. Two weeks until exams start.

The other day I chose my room at Colombo with Massey's room choosing portal. It's the first year they've used it, so typically, there were issues. Sounds a little like OTLE! However it worked, I got a room on the third floor, and took the room that seemed to stare at me. I know it's a first in first served basis, so it being "reserved" for me, I'm assuming no body else had chosen it before me? Surely, one would think it would've disappeared from the online thing. Anywho, it's in a wing with two RA's, and it's out of the way of the kitchen and stairwell and semi close to one of the bathrooms, but at the same time it's not too far away. It looks like the room for me from the basic map, even though the rooms are identical lol.
So far I know one person who's also going to be there, kinda know them, kinda don't. Another Te Kura student, from Taranaki who's in my biology online tutorial class. But they're planning on studying nanoscience. Rather them than me! :)

Youth group last week was interesting....sadly Jo wasn't there because she was sick, but the other two leaders, Jas and Jeff, did a pretty good job. The idea behind what they made us do was good. But what they made us do was just right out there terrible. Very evil indeed! So basically Jas talked about Lot and how he and his family fled, Gommorah? Soddem? I can't remember the city name, anywho, and his wife being turned into a pillar of salt etc. So Jas got us to brush our teeth, and whoever could brush them the longest would win three chocolate bars. The catch was this...we had to brush our teeth with lard, aka pig fat. OMG! The whole thought of it still makes me gag, my golly it was absolutely disgusting.
     Everyone was just happily brushing away for two minutes and nobody gave in. One girl suggested to swallow it to get it out of your mouth. Don't do it. I nearly threw up right there on the spot...After that I gave up. If I was that desperate for chocolate, I'd go buy some. So everyone else kept brushing except two of the guys who didn't need to do it. Another two minutes gone and they all kept brushing - this time having to brush with a massive chunk of the fat with the promise of chocolate at the end. Once they were done, Jas handed out chocolate to those of us who didn't do the challenge, including me. The others got nothing! Jas compared the idea to God not following up on promises and how annoying and betrayed you'd feel. Those kids were feeling pretty darn annoyed Jas didn't follow up! But they got chocolate after that anyway :) So basically he was talking about God always fulfilling promises whether we want them or not, and using Lot as an example. Because they were strictly told "do not look back'' as they ran from the city, and Lots' wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. That's the basic run down of it anyway. But here's a suggestion. Don't ever brush your teeth with lard, if you're like me you'll still feel ill the next morning. Probably doesn't help that I don't eat pig....

So much is coming up, this weekend I'm milking the whole time including Monday - which is fantabulous because it's double pay :D Wednesday is Mum and Dad's 20th Wedding anniversary, and I milk at yet another new farm (for me) on Wednesday, except this farm does 16hr milkings, so milking starts at 6pm! Gonna be weird! Thursday is the young farmers monthly meeting. Saturday is the district Young Farmer of the Year competition which Nick has entered into, just to see what it's like. I was gonna go down there and help out/watch but with the 16hr milkings continuing for almost a week, I've got a milking at about midday. So inconvenient! But hey, it's money for jam and I'll just have to go down for the after party/dinner thing. Oh yeah, and by now we're in November. Where the HECK has the year gone?!?!

Added then, the beginning of November, I'll have some baby chickens! Two clucky chooks Pepsi and Mumble have been sitting on eggs, it was meant to be about 6 eggs, but I think I got it to about 8, and then the other three girls have been giving them more eggs -_- So I'll be curious to see how this works, two mothers, wonder whether they'll job share, or take certain ones for themselves or what?! Will be interesting to see what happens :)
Time for bed, hopefully I'll get more than 4 hours sleep tonight, keeping my fingers firmly crossed!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Farming: Something to think about

I'm struggling on ideas on how to write this post, I've sorta got the ideas there, but wording them and bringing them all together is what is getting me at the moment. So please, be prepared! And like normal, please be aware that these are my opinions and my thoughts on things, I'm not here to be judged, I'm just here to write down what I'm thinking. Today is one of those kinda typical controversial topics (eek).

I'm gonna talk about farming related things, because currently, there is just so much going on - in Dairy especially. The payout is one thing, issues with the crazy weather at the moment is another. And there are a lot of people dying - either because they're killing themselves from the stress or it's something else like an accident on a quad that probably didn't need to happen. There is a lot of controversy going on; from the townies having a whinge and thinking they know everything there is to know about what we farmers do and are doing to ruin it for everyone else; ACC is running around being politically correct and telling us what to do. The list just goes on, and farming seems to be becoming more based on paperwork than just milking the cows.

What fueled this thought process of mine? It was waking up the other morning after a blissful sleep in, checking my Facebook and seeing a shared news article on yet another quad bike accident - another death. I thought to myself - why? Is it just general stupidity? A member of staff trying to be the hero to show off in front of his colleagues? Maybe the whole day had been utter crap, everything had gone wrong as it does on farms quite often, and this person just thought about what might've been going on at the time, and wasn't really thinking about what was going on around him. As a result, he died. Something to do with a quad and an effluent pond. I don't know the particulars, I'm not one to judge or gossip and bleat about what this person should've done and randomly point my finger at somebody to blame. That's not me. I'm just sitting in bed reading this and feeling absolutely dumbfounded about how easily it can and does happen. That poor family, losing somebody so quickly and having him be one of those "statistics" that there is such a big opinion about. Also, what a kick in the guts for other families who have lost people, to see a list of names of people who have also recently died from quad related accidents. What the heck is this?

I understand that it's good to be proactive and remind people about the dangers involved around four wheelers, but I personally believe that reminding people about the past isn't going to do anything other than bring back more bad memories of when other people had a family member hurt or killed. When Dad rolled his quad a month or so ago it scared the heck out of us. He was fine, sure - one of the lucky ones. But if he'd died, I wouldn't want to be reading an article and seeing his name there as a statistic! Although this is possibly only something little, it is part of the big picture.         
     People are judgmental towards farmers, especially when somebody dies. And I don't think that's fair. If somebody dies from a drunk driver, sure go ahead and be judgmental towards drunk drivers, it needs to be done. But 99.99% of the time, farmers are there doing GOOD THINGS! We don't like our people dying, we are horrified if somebody commits suicide. If our animals break out onto the main road and are killed or injured, I know all I'd want to do is go somewhere and cry - but what about that nasty storm we might've just had? What if they were running because they were scared of what was going on around them? Heaps of our animals have been hurt, those animals that we've worked out butts off to care for, yet the first thing you do is point the finger and us and say "It was YOUR FAULT".
     That would be just like saying to somebody who'd run their child over in a driveway, "Well, maybe if you'd shown more care, then it wouldn't have happened?" You don't blimmen well do that, so why do people do it to farmers? Remember that 99.99% of the time, we do everything in our power to look after our farm and our animals because they are our livelihood, without them we would be nothing. It's the same thing when those 10 calves were hit by trucks recently when they broke onto the road. Who knows what happened for those calves to be up and running wild in the early hours of the morning when generally they'd be asleep? Nobody knows, but what we do know is that 10 happy, healthy calves that have probably recently be weaned are now dead because they got hit by trucks. Marvelous way to die? It's not fair when we work for hours on end in our busiest time of year to raise the calves that will keep food on our tables in a couple years time, to find that a bunch are all dead overnight. An old saying is, "You have live stock, you have dead stock" but it's not fair when straight away people point the fingers at us and tell us that it was lucky nobody (person) died. Because of course it's gonna be our fault! Who else is there to blame?!

People constantly call farmers rich, I know from personal experience from my own townie relatives that they pass judgement on us. The townies are extremely unforgiving and remember everything to a fine detail when we do something wrong. One farmer beating his cows will instantly have the entire industry cowering under the glaring eyes of the animal activists who believe that if one person does it, everyone will. But (heaven forbid) if we do something good....if you're following me you'll understand that there will be no comment at all.

Recently, the country has been getting its eyes opened to all the farmers out there who just can't handle the pressure anymore and decide to just make it stop. It's one of those topics that nobody wants to hear about, but everyone needs to be aware. You know, life isn't all rosy like a lot of people think it is. When everything is going well, when the weather is perfect and the payout is high, we're judged on being "typical rich farmers". But when everything is actually pretty scary, like this year. Many people just turn a blind eye. The weather has been crap across most of the country this winter, the spring has been quite wet so far and knowing our luck we'll probably get a drought for the third season in a row. But to top it all off, the payout has crashed. That's not our fault, it's nobody's fault.      
     But what I'm saying is, a lot of farmers are going to be struggling this season and next and maybe, instead of everyone turning a blind eye because it doesn't affect them, maybe they should actually open their eyes and SEE what is happening and do something about it.
    Yes, it is getting out there...slowly. But maybe if the urban community actually begin to support the farmers of this country, maybe we wouldn't lose so many of our people. It's hard enough getting youth interested and good at farming these days (rather than seeing it as an easy pocket filler), let alone losing the backbone in the older generation sooner than we need to.

So my suggestion is, don't be too quick to judge, don't blame all of us for one person's mistakes and try to be more forgiving. For all it's worth, farmers are just trying to do their best in what is being offered to them, which lately isn't much. And next time you go to your supermarket and buy a bottle of milk or some meat, remember that it isn't synthetic. It was only packaged in factories, but it was grown in the field.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Rescue Helicopter

Lots and lots of things going on lately. Well, not much is going on but I'm feeling super busy! I spent the entire holidays knuckled down into school, and got quite a bit done :) My teachers will come back to two biology assessments, two chemistry assessments and one statistics assessment. So I'm happy. There's still four weeks until my exams start on the 11th November, but internals have all got to be in by the seventh, and I'm hoping to spend that last week studying in general. Chemistry is actually going well these days, especially Organics, simply because it's so much fun and quite interesting! Just two and a half more books and I'll be ready for two internals, and 3 books for the last external. Not bad! Okay so I technically should've gotten it all done months ago, but hey, I've had work :)

Speaking of work, yesterday was the last day of calf feeding and Mum and Dad did it. The farmers decided to wean the two older groups on Friday and called us that night to tell us the news. Sneaky sneaky. I had my usual milkings this weekend, so this morning Mum and Dad got a sleep in....literally. I got home from work at 8:30 to find them lazing in bed with a coffee enjoying the sunshine! Pfft! All right for some aye! ;) But tomorrow, for the first time in a good while, I WILL sleep in because there's no calves to feed and no cows to milk! Hooray! Bet ya I'll wake up at 6.... :/

I'm sorta at a bit of a catch 22 when it comes to school/uni and work at the moment. I need to earn another three thousand so that I can pay for the bulk payment for my accommodation in February, which needs to be paid on the 1st. So at the moment I'm trying to get as much work as possible, while also not wanting to work so I can be ready for exams. So it's a tad frustrating, but I'm sure I'll manage. Currently though, exams come first and apart from two milkings on Tuesday, I've got nothing else booked for me. Luckily this has been a busy week so I've earned twice as much as usual and a Bonus Bonds win would be good for a change! ;)

My lucky friend overseas gets to start her end of year exams tomorrow - I certainly don't envy her! But it must be a jolly pain having to start 3 weeks earlier than everyone else...I don't think I could work with those sorts of deadlines. The only deadlines I seem to just stick to is applications for things such as scholarships and whatnot. My application always seems to be done and sent right at the 11th hour, and it was no different with the Young Farmers scholarship. While we're on the subject though, I've got a few more to apply for thanks to Mum. There's Dairy NZ, Rural Women and Beef & Lamb and I've also applied for Balance agri nutrients. I'll tell you what, it's great being in a farming industry where I can apply for these scholarships - it'll be pretty awesome to get at least one of them! A little bit of money will go a long way at the moment - thank goodness for these past few years of saving, otherwise I'd be in the same boat as my cousins, except without the ability for my parents to cover my expenses like they have....

Yesterday, Nick and I went with a few other Young Farmers members to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to hand over the money raised at the Quiz Night held last month. They raised a whopping $800 for them and the two guys we saw were shocked, especially when they realised it was all raised on just one night. From their expressions I have to think that generally small group donations aren't usually that big, so it was pretty neat going there and giving it to them. We also got the general tour of the choppers while we were there, got to sit inside them and heard some stories and what not. It's definitely given me more of an appreciation for them and what they do, and it's cool we could give the money to a charity who's actually going to get a good benefit out of it. Yes, all charities need money, but these rescue choppers and the crews are the good sorts who do deserve it.
Apparently it costs $4000 per hour per chopper to run, after they included general costs of wear and tear, wages and fuel, so our $800 probably won't go too far. It'll be sucked into the hungry gurglar like the flip of a penny. For every person they rescue, ACC will only pay them 1/3 of the costs back and they've got no Government funding at all. Pretty blimmen sick really, when they save so many lives and quite often a lot of call outs aren't needed after all, so it's sad. But it's good as farmers to be appreciative of the people who will quite likely save our life one day due to a farming incident! It'll be my life ambition to never have to get up close to one of those choppers ever again though! Other than to donate of course!

Finally, last night I think I possibly rid myself of my friendly buddy. He's been calling me again and again these last couple days to no avail, and caught me out last night when he rang the homeline. Obviously we can't have the number saved as "don't answer" like on my cellphone, so silly me answered. Once I realised who it was I put on my best show of attitude, I'm quite good at it when I want to be - ask Mum and Dad ;) and answered the same typical questions. "What do you want?" "I'm Working!" then I finished it up with a I'm NOT INTERESTED STOP CALLING ME and got a lovely reply of a hangup. hehe. I was so mad he'd called yet again, my hands were shaking. I don't usually get that mad. I think I was probably more angry that he continuously swore at me because his hearing isn't up to scratch and he couldn't hear me...well diddums. Nobody should dare pull that stunt with me. If I'd had the chance I would've added a few extra things in like, "Is your head so thick you can't take a hint?" But unfortunately he cut the call short, quite sad! It was quite rude though I think for him to initiate a call and then be the one to hang up, I shoulda hung up as soon as I knew who it was but no matter how annoyed and angry I am at somebody, I'm not one to press end....well except for the scammer who called last week, but that's another story.
Anyway, one hopes that he got the idea, but one has to wonder because now his friend who I no longer speak to because of this whole drama and his part in it, is messaging me and asking if I'm going to youth on Wednesday. Yeup, I am going, but am I stupid enough to reply? No. I like to be the one who "sees" a message and doesn't answer for a change. It's not something that I would do, but sometimes it's gotta be done ;) Feeling evil :P

Friday, 3 October 2014

Acceptance into Colombo

So here we are, in October, and it feels just like yesterday that I began this blog! Who would've thought I'd be almost a year through it? It's quite a lot different to having my old school blog, where most of the fun was in the comment section because of the ridiculous thoughts that came to the minds of my school mates and I. Here, the comment section is mostly empty, but I only have a couple readers. But I like this one better, and I don't write every little scrap of thought that comes to mind anymore - I've grown a filter :)

But here we are, the second month into spring and it's warming up finally! I think Spring, like Autumn, are the seasons who are an example of people who're never quite sure what they want to be, or where they want to go. They keep changing their minds, just like one day it's beautifully sunny, and the next seems like something out of "Into The Storm". Although, it keeps us on our feet doesn't it?
What better way to live life on the edge than not quite knowing what the weather will bring? lol

Today just happens to be the day that's very wet and windy, yet this morning was luxurious while feeding the calves! Now I'm snuggled up on the couch with blankets, dressing gown and the heat pump going, while every so often the heavens are opened and we get doused in rain again. Joyville. But hey, I'm being quite productive today! I've made a yummy chocolate cake and finished a chemistry assessment, and have the next book under way. I was doing the assessment yesterday and just could not get a few things, but today, bam! Easy peasy. It's funny how that sometimes happens...

Last Saturday's Paintball with the Young Farmers was awesome. The weather, low and behold, was perfect. Not too hot, yet not too cold. And a good handful of us went, including four from our club. It was fun! We were given oversized camo overalls and body protection. Sorta like a vest thing that went under the overalls, which was pretty darn big and bulky. No wonder oversized overalls were needed! We played three games over a few hours; a King of the Hill type game, a Resident Evil: Zombie apocalypse game, and one that was kinda just a free fire, one strike and you're out type game. I think my team won overall, and afterwards we went in search of a place to have lunch. It was backtracking a bit for Nick and I, but we found a nice restaurant, had lunch and compared battle scars. Some people were obliterated - however, they were the people who chose not to wear the protective vest/armor. I walked out with yellow hair thanks to somebody who hit the top of my helmet and the paintball exploded everywhere, a grazed hand and a bruised shoulder that is still yellow and sore. And it was nice to hang out with different, like minded people again. Nick and I were, like normal, the youngest there, but everyone was really cool.

Sunday afternoon I caught up with Sam and Chantelle, we watched Letters to Juliet which was so sweet, and I think we're doing the cliff top walk at the beach soon for our next catch up. It's really nice being able to see them every few weeks/month, but it's so jolly hard to organise around work! Then on Monday I went to see the specialist dentist about my teeth. He took the X-Ray (which was really awesome by the way!) and told me the great news that he'd only be looking at taking out two wisdom teeth, and not the four like I was told. Phew! Basically one is impacted, one is partially up and the two top ones aren't anywhere near coming through yet, so he'd have to go digging. Meaning it's great for me, cos I only have to spend half as much. And in a couple years time once the others are further down, then I can look at getting them out, cos right now it's pointless. So sometime soon, when he next comes up this way I'll get them taken out.

Now I think I've done pretty well holding off this information like I have, but I've seriously got to spill the beans......I've been offered a place at uni in my favourite choice of accommodation - Colombo Hall! Yesterday I got the email, and I was literally shaking like a leaf full of adrenaline, waiting for it to load. I can't believe I got into Colombo! It's the best hall - in my opinion - right in the middle of everything. Right outside the bus stop, the science towers, a couple minute walk to the food court. Yes, it'll always be streaming with people, but at least I won't have to leave too early to get places :) I'm confused though as to why my friend wasn't offered a place there, because I thought she'd applied before me. But maybe they try to fit people with similar interests and what they're studying together...or something? Not that it matters, because if all goes to plan she won't need to go to Massey :D Now I've just got to convince the printer to stop being obnoxious and actually allow us to print things, and sign the contract and send it in with the security deposit before the 17th. Easily done, I just need to offer the printer a pay rise or something....Then after the 20th they send a link for you to choose your room - clever! I'm thinking, since it is a three story building, to go with one on the second or third floor. Third floor will keep me nice and fit because of all the stairs ;) and it'll be nice and high up so hopefully a little more quiet and private with some pretty neat views! Second floor, just as good, just a little less stairs. Ground floor, yeah nah. I wouldn't want a room that everyone could see into - especially in such a busy area of campus. But, I'm buzzing about the offer, it's so cool! It seems like it's all working out so far, so maybe uni is meant to be?