Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sculptor Sam Jinks

Some years ago we visited the old Parliament House building in Canberra which is now called MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy).  One of the artistic installations there was a large sculpture of a very lifelike newborn baby by the sculptor Sam Jinks.  
More sculpture from Jinks can be found here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bob's Surgery

A friend has had surgery to repair both ankles. The original diagnosis was osteo arthritis Sub Talar and lower femur collapse and wear.    Two operations on each ankle were required and as the X-ray shows, a fair bit of hardware was used to support the worn bits.  Bob is chair bound for some weeks yet which makes his work as a leadlighter slow right down.  Should make a lot of noise going through airport security.

Click to enlarge

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A bad day for Kev

Yesterday was a bad day.    It started when I drove the 15 kilometres to Orelia where our son lives in a unit I own.    The unit is one of 18 in a ‘secure’ block which has for several years been the target of a gang of young indigenes.  They regularly kick in panels of the steel rear fence and break into cars.  I have repaired it twice but this time the Strata company had a handyman repair it.   Our son, Martin, told me that it was a poor repair job and we decided to see if we could repair the repair.

I loaded up the car boot (trunk) with all the tools necessary and drove down to the units.  The car boot was a handy work bench for all my tools laid out in easy reach.    We looked at the job and realised that there was not much we could do to make it more secure and so I decided to go home and closed the car boot with my car keys and house keys well and truly secured inside the boot.  What to do?     Martin said he would drive me home and I could try and break in to the house doing as little damage as possible.   Unfortunately Martin didn’t have enough fuel to get me home and didn’t have a single dollar and my wallet was sitting on the passenger’s seat.   OK, lets ring roadside assistance.  Somehow the number given to me by the car dealer connected me to Roadside Assistance in Sydney town some 3,954 kilometres away.  Damn!  I could not think of anyone else who could come to my rescue so we decided to break the rear quarter window and get entry to the car and boot.  Tough piece of glass that was; but it eventually broke and we opened the doors to the tune of a loud alarm.  Once the alarm stopped, I pressed the boot opener, but it didn’t open.   OK, fold down the back seats and crawl into the boot and get my keys.   No go.  The seats are folded down by opening the boot and pulling on knobs inside the boot.

We now had money to buy fuel, but I was hesitant to break house glass, so rang our daughter at work and asked if I could drive to her workplace and borrow her house keys and find the spare set of keys for my place in their key receptacle.   Helen is a teacher in the nearby town of Rockingham and it was fortunate that she was not teaching at the time and could answer her phone.  So, we drove to Rockingham, got Helens house keys, drove to her place, got my house keys, got into my house and grabbed the spare car keys and drove back to the units.  Easy eh?   Nah!

I have sourced a new quarter window glass and will try and get instructions on fitting it.  It costs $88. and a quote for installation was around $300.

That evening Helen came to my place with my grandkids (two staffies) and she cooked a wonderful meal and we had a few soothing drinks.  Helen’s husband James is week on at a gold mine.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Internet Scams

There are many scams in internet world.   The earliest included romantic scams emanating from Nigeria.  Millions of dollars flowed into Nigeria from  lonely-hearters all around the world.    Even today the word Nigeria doesn’t seem to spook the LHers.  

Lottery scams are still around.....I regularly get excited when I receive an email telling me that I have won 250,000 British Pounds in an international lottery which I had forgotten that I had purchased a ticket in.

eBay scams; PayPal scams, bank scams (Due to misuse of your account, it has been shut down), ISP scams (your email account has been suspended). Computer repair scams (Your Microsoft computer is corrupted)

Yesterday my son-in-law, at work on a mine site, received an email on his phone supposedly from the Australian Federal Police advising him that he must pay $195. for a traffic infringement.  The Aus Federal Police are pretty busy with drug busts, terrorist threats etc etc, but not state traffic infringements.     The AFP have posted a warning about this scam on their web page.  See here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Alzheimers research study

After carefully reading the 22 page information document about the Alzheimers research study, I decided I would not agree to participate in the 5 year study and have those years tied down to dates throughout each year.   There were a couple of other considerations as well.  One medical condition I have which may be affected by the drug (assuming that I would get the drug and not a placebo).   

 At 75, there is a good chance that the next 5 years might be my last and I want to be able to travel etc whenever I want. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Oesophageal Cancer update

My friend Dennis has, it seems, dodged the bullet.   Yesterday he underwent the endoscopic ultrasound to determine whether the cancer had penetrated the wall of his oesophagus.  The surgeon told Dennis that if it had not penetrated the wall he would go ahead and remove it.   Fortunately for Den it had not and the surgeon went ahead and removed the nodule and  stopped the bleeding with an application of diluted adrenaline and the application of two clips.  There is to be a follow-up at the same hospital in about a week.

Unbeknown to Dennis he had a complaint named Barrett's Syndrome which is a scarring of the oesophagus due to acid from gastric reflux.  It seems that the body tries to repair the affected area by covering it with tissue from the lower gastrointestinal tract.  Problem there is that that tissue is prone to carcinoma.  So if you have had persistent gastric reflux over some period, ask your GP if an endoscopy is a good idea. It certainly was a good idea for Dennis.

The procedure was done at the newly commissioned  Fiona Stanley hospital.  

Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Oesophageal Cancer

A good friend, Dennis, has just been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.  We have know each other for around 60 years.

He had a persistent and uncomfortable pain for some weeks before getting the bad news.   Dennis had a CT scan a few days ago and is about to have an endoscopic ultrasound which more accurately determines how far the cancer has grown into the oesophagus.  This test can also show if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

With these results the oncologist/surgeon can decide on the treatment.

He is facing this threat with good humour and all his friends are hoping for a good outcome.

Bastard disease!

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Bali 9

Following the execution of two Australian citizens in Indonesia, there has been an outpouring of grief and anger by many Australians.  Our Prime Minister has recalled our ambassador to Indonesia and made some veiled threats about aid and cooperation between Australia and Indonesia.  

Through the online forums, calls have been made for Australians to boycott Bali as a holiday destination.  Understandably, Indonesians have called for a boycott of Australia.
One of my friends has just booked a flight to Bali in July.  She may well be rattled going through immigration and customs at Denpassar airport.  
Australia’s beef cattle exports may well be terminated and cooperation on people smuggling through Indonesia to Australia may be over.  

The two Australians executed were drug traffickers, not into Indonesia, but out of Indonesia to Australia. The Australian Federal Police tipped off Indonesian customs officials in Bali and 9 Australians including the two ring leaders, were caught with 8.3kg of heroin strapped to their bodies.  An investigation is currently looking into how the AFP caused the Bali 9 to be arrested in a country which has the death penalty for drug smuggling.  Had they been arrested upon arrival in Australia they would have been jailed, but not executed.  The rest of the traffickers are still in prison after 10 years of life sentences.

Executions are carried out in many countries still.  Click here for info on other countries still practising capital punishment.