Thursday, July 30, 2015

A crafty makeover

A few weeks ago I had an email from Veronica who had known my late wife Joan.  She was asking if I still had the overhead projector she gave Joan a number of years ago.  I searched the house but couldn’t find it.  I explained that it probably went in the garage sale of Joan’s huge collection of fabrics etc. Veronica told me of her ideas for a crafty makeover of a large cupboard which she planned to project an image onto the repainted cupboard and paint in the projected image.  I thought I could borrow an overhead from my old workplace Willetton Senior High School and without any problems I went to the school and was loaned one of the dozens of projectors residing in places where outdated technology is stored.

Today I went to collect the projector from Veronica and hubby Garry and was shown the finished job.  Fantastic!

Click photos to enlarge.
and after

PS: Carole has had her colonoscopy and the results are negative; no evidence of a bowel cancer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dennis and Carole

Tomorrow, Carole, a friend is to have a colonoscopy at Fremantle Hospital.  Both Carole and her husband Dennis got positive results from a faecal blood test a few weeks back.  Dennis has had his colonoscopy and the results were OK.  Carole and Dennis have been friends of ours for around 50 years.   I hope Carole gets a good result tomorrow.

Dennis is to have major surgery on the 5th of August at the new Fiona Stanley Hospital.  He has had a number of assessments by a team who will be doing the surgery and at last they feel that he is in good enough condition to survive the rather complex 8 hour surgery.
He was diagnosed as having Oesophagel cancer.  The plan is to remove most of his oesophagus and 2/3 of his stomach and re-attach it together up near his lungs.  The main problem will be with a blood vessel to the stomach which may be too short and there may be a breakdown of the sutures if that blood vessel is stretched excessively. All this using Keyhole surgery.  I don’t pray, but I am hoping with everything else for a good result.
This is how Den wrote to me about the operation....

I saw the Surgeon on Friday, and after a long discussion re the possible complications and probable side-effects and my chances of surviving the 8 hour procedure and subsequent recovery , he agreed to proceed . A multi discipline team having discussed my case last Thursday and reached a consensus that my present level of fitness should handle the rigours of the Op.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Shock absorbers

A couple of months ago I bought our son a small car; a Nissan Pulsar wagon.  It was built in 1996 and is a pretty good ‘runner’.   Last time I was in it I noticed a rear shock absorber was not working and the backside of the car was bouncing around.   I priced a replacement shocky @ $165 + fitting for around $80.   I rang around some wrecking yards and got a price for a good secondhand shocky for $75 plus $25. to fit it.  All done.

Next is some new tyres.   

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Peppered Moth

Way back in 1989, I taught at a suburban high school in Western Australia.  I had a mixed bag of classes because I was a late transfer to the school from a country school which was downgraded from a  Junior High School to a Primary School due to student numbers.
One class I had was a year 10 science class.  One of the units to be taught was natural selection.  If anything being taught was deemed unsuitable for Plymouth Bretheren students they got up and left the classroom.   
An example of natural selection was the Peppered Moth which because of its ‘peppery’ livery camouflaged it on trees in forests.  Predatory birds could not easily see them and white moths were eaten.    There were other examples of natural selection but I was reminded of the Peppered Moth when I read an article in an online magazine The Conversation.  If you are slightly interested, you can find the article here.     The Conversation is a free subscription and well worth a look.  Always a few articles by Australian academics to enjoy.

After teaching at that school for a year my wife and I took paid long service leave; something quite foreign to teachers in many countries.  

After leave I taught Plymouth Bretheren students at Willetton Senior High School.  At recess and lunch their parents took them away from the school because it was deemed not proper to mix with other students. One female PB had heard that my father had died of liver cancer and perhaps naively, told me he must have been evil. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The intermittent windscreen wiper

I recently watched an interesting movie called Flash of Genius.  It is a true story about a man, Robert Kearns, who invented the intermittent windshield wiper and his fight for recognition and compensation for the ‘theft’ of his invention by Ford and Chrysler.   He patented his invention and tried to get the ‘big three’ U.S. automakers interested in it, but they all rejected his proposal, but went ahead and installed his design in their cars.

He eventually fought the case by himself and won against Ford and Chrysler, but due to late submissions he lost the cases against General Motors, Mercedes and Japanese companies. Ford and Chrysler paid out to the tune of US$28m.

Good courtroom drama movie.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

RAC Insurance

Things are going well with my minor car crash.  
My insurance company, RAC Insurance (Royal Automobile Club of W.A.) was established as a motoring club in Perth, Western Australia in 1905. It is no longer a club, but an insurance company which also has an extensive roadside assist role.  The claims against me from the other two cars I sideswiped are being fully covered by RAC. 

I am getting very tired of the plethora of reality shows on TV.  Cooking competitions, renovation shows, stage performance shows, the Undercover Boss, even the chatty news commentary shows are starting to bore me. Are they ever going to run out of guests on their shows???

Sooo, I have started to flip channels and end up with the longest re-runner; MASH.  From MASH, I can get a laugh and even tear-up occasionally.  At the age of 75 years it is easy to tear-up.  I am starting to lose names.  Yesterday I made a nice Minestrone soup and it took me some time to remember its name.  A cousin once called it Mine-Strone soup and even after many years I am still unsure if he was joking or not.