Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sleep assessment

I have just returned from St John’s hospital after an overnight sleep assessment.  I arrived at around 8.45pm and descended into the bowels of the hospital to try and find the Sleep Unit.  After being redirected several times, I found it and was allocated my room and told to get into pyjamas ready to have all the electrodes attached all over my body.  For info about all those wires see here.
The sleep technician, Marikah, attached all the electrodes and went to the control console to test the connections.  There were a couple of electrodes that had to be replaced and then the function test began.  Blinking of eyes; eye movements, pointing toes etc, all passed the test.  I found the tangle of wires a bit constrictive of my usual tossing and turning during sleep and the duty technician had to visit several times during the night to change or reset electrodes.

Both young lady technicians were pleasant especially Marikah who had around 50 minutes with me setting up and testing all the wiring.  We covered a few stories (admittedly, mostly mine) whilst she was with me.  At one stage she took my blood pressure and it was 166 over 85....a bit high!     I attributed it to having a very attractive technician fussing over me.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Memories of a wild land

Yesterday had a visit from a friend Greg, who recently returned from one of his regular business trips to Papua New Guinea.  He brought me a most welcome gift package of two PNG coffee mugs featuring the names of 20 provinces of PNG and a collection of PNG newspapers all in a ‘Steamies’ shopping bag.  Steamies is a large department store which as well as supplying townspeople in Port Moresby with their goods, ran a small shipping line supplying goods to coastal government stations around the coast of Papua when I first taught in PNG starting in 1962.

In the 10 years I taught in PNG, I taught in six of those provinces.

Click images to enlarge


Inside the cups...'it's finished'
Pidgin English

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Visiting Ralph in care

My friend Dennis and I visited another oldie in a nursing home Wednesday.  We try to make a weekly visit and also catch up with him (Ralph) when his wife collects him to get together for our weekly gathering of oldies.  
Ralph’s residential is quite nice.  It houses and cares for, around 100+ clients.    The building is largely powered by massive banks of solar panels. Ralph has his own room and the carers seem to be nice people mainly it would seem, from the Philippines and Southern Africa.  Ralph can no longer walk and has only around 10% sight.  He has been in care for approximately six months and seems to be coping reasonably well.   In the home is an elderly woman who hovers near the front door and attempts to escape when visitors are entering and leaving.  The main office is near the door and a call for a carer is made to thwart the escape.

Another friend’s father was in a similar situation and that establishment had built a replica of a bus stop and shelter within the grounds.  Most would-be escapees just sat waiting for the bus to Fremantle.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Conversing with Siri

Yesterday we had our weekly oldies gathering at Joy’s house. I enjoy them immensely. It is very comforting to see that the other 5 in our group are also losing words and names of things.
One of the ladies told us of using her iPad with her grandson where Siri suddenly said...... ‘I didn’t understand what you wanted’. She quickly entered into a somewhat mixed up conversation with Siri and her grandson loudly told Siri to “F-Off”. Grandma gave him a clip around the ears and apologised to Siri for his rudeness. She didn’t tell us what Siri’s reply was. Laughter all round at that one.
I imagine that Siri’s programmers have thought up a range of answers to that sort of question. When I have asked Siri if she loves me, there have been a few varied answers, none of which have been ....’Yes’.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Being old aint no picnic!

Yesterday my GP read me the results of the overnight Holter test.  It seems that there were frequent intermittent periods of atrial bigeminy. Another discovery was that I may have Sleep Apnoea found in the SBD (sleep disordered breathing) screening process.
I now have to visit a specialist for further advice.  Damn!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

DNA Ancestry test


Today  I received the results of my Ancestry DNA test.  It is nothing too exciting.  I figured that as both sides of my family; the Locks and the Lees emigrated to Australia from England around 1900 the results would show a Western European/Irish connection.  The lower part of Britain including Somerset is highlighted and that is where the my Locks originated.   Before that no clues.

Click to enlarge
The possible relatives shown are contactable
but mine are rated as possible/probable relatives (40% at best)

Both of my families emigrated to the Australian
east coast and then moved to Western Australia.

Of interest was a list of approximately 8,800
probable distant cousins with an email portal
to contact any one, or all of those named. I have
already mailed one person with a familiar name.
A few of the many.





Monday, May 15, 2017

Holter Monitor

This morning I had a Holter Monitor attached to areas near my heart to record heart rate and rhythm over 24 hours.  I had previously had an ECG (electrocardiograph) which showed some abnormalities.


I am having this test to get answers as to whether my heart beat/rhythm is likely to put me in Stroke country.      Results tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gopher repair

A friend has had a small accident on her Gopher (Go For).  A plastic shroud has been broken and I am doing a rough repair job on it.  Should be back in action in a couple of days.

I am not sure what these things are called in other places, but I believe Gopher is an Australian description/name.


This is the first time I have driven a Gopher and I am looking forward to owning one in the not too distant future; not!!

Click to enlarge




Sunday, April 30, 2017

A few more old pics

click to enlarge

HMS Adamant and subs
Fremantle Harbour 1945
                                         

US subs and mothership
Fremantle 1945

                                   

British migrants disembarking
at Fremantle 1947



HMS Victorious departing with Australian
war brides
  

                               

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Citrus

My lemon tree is producing hundreds of juicy fruit and I have been giving them away to friends.  Last year it bore so much fruit a branch broke off.   I guess I should prune it back sometime.
Click to enlarge


I also had a Tahitian Lime tree in a pot and of course, it eventually became root bound.  So, I dug a hole near the lemon tree, prepared the ground and transplanted it.  I was worried that it might not like that treatment, but with constant heavy watering it has survived well and is showing new flowers and small fruit.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Just a few photos

Just a few photos...Click to enlarge

My father with Helen
and Martin at a Haus Tambaran
1973 Sepik District, PNG.

1923 Bugatti at Molsheim  Auto Museum France

Fred C Ainsworth USN supply ship
Fremantle Harbour 1945
Kalgoorlie goldfields.
Exchange Hotel Kalgoorlie
Western Australia


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Personal Effects

I have for some years subscribed to a daily edition of The Writer’s Almanac.   It is a quite wonderful birthday call on writers and poets.    It is a free subscription and I recommend it to you.

I am not big on poetry, but the following is my all time favourite.

Personal Effects
By Frannie Lindsay

For once not arguing,
we divide among ourselves
the things she left; her mother’s mothers’s
swan brooch, her pilled and odorless
brown coat, sturdy Timex,
the night shirt she mended
with clashing thread.

The morning before, I sat
by my mother’s bed
to ask her what she would like
the paper to say about her
life. It was like bring read a story 
backwards, the reader becoming 
the child afraid to fall asleep.

With the shift nurse helping 
and some baby oil, and trembling
the way he did the day he slipped it on,
my father bends over 
the quieted body I thought I saw breathe,
and slides off her wedding ring.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Styptic Pencil

A few days ago I cut my face shaving.   Even resorting to the Norman Gunston method, I could not stop the blood flow.

Norman Gunston

So I patched the cut up with tissue paper and went to a pharmacy to buy a Styptic Pencil, which as I remember from years ago,  could stop an arterial haemorrhage. 



It worked immediately and I was reminded of the generic name for a Styptic Pencil; a jesus stick.  Even though I am losing some words at my age, the sudden very sharp pain of the JS being applied brought back a loud JEEESUS!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Costly non-electric clothes drier

In January 1975 we were on leave from Papua New Guinea and decided to buy a grand old colonial house in the suburb of Bicton.  We were the second owners of this house which was built in 1897. 

At the end of ’75 we returned to Western Australia and moved into our house.  It was still partially furnished with some interesting pieces including a piano, appliances, furniture and personal letters and diary of the previous owners.  A simple clothes drier was in the laundry and I have found the same one on a site in the USA for sale for AU$ 942.00.  It seems that the drier is almost 100 years old and still in good shape.  


'Tell 'em they're dreamin'

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Joan gets a new resting place

Yesterday we; daughter Helen and I, transferred soil from a plant pot to a larger pot and planted a new rose in the new pot.
The original pot’s soil contained my wife Joan’s ashes and in shifting the pot in the garden, roots were damaged and that rose eventually died.   We visited a nursery and found an identical rose, planted the rose in the larger pot.  Had a glass of champagne with Joan and Helen reminded me that when it is time, I shall join Joan in the new pot.

The rose is an ebb tide florabunda 

Click to enlarge


New rose

The original rose

Friday, March 17, 2017

Farewell Albert

My long time friend Albert passed away last Wednesday.  We had know each other for 55 years  starting when we were Heads of our respective primary schools in Papua New Guinea.  My school was on a beach around 15 miles from Albert's, and on weekends I would often cycle along the beach to spend time with Albert in his one room accommodation.  After a few years we both transferred to different areas of PNG, but caught up again each time our paths crossed back in Australia.  Albert lived in Sydney and I live on the other side of Australia in Perth.  In recent years we regularly kept in touch with Skype and Apple FaceTime.  


About a year ago Albert was diagnosed with Leukaemia and we talked up until a week ago; he from a palliative care unit.   He was 78, just a year older than me.

Click to enlarge photo.
Albert in 1962 in Papua


Monday, March 13, 2017

Western Australian elections

Well, the state elections for this state of Western Australia are over and the Labor party has won in what has been correctly called a landslide.  The incumbent government of the Liberal Party took a punt on joining with a very controversial party, One Nation, in a preference deal.  One Nation  is a Donald Trump style baby party with the party’s leader, Pauline Hanson espousing Donald Trump like pronouncements about race issues, vaccination and an embarrassing praise of Vladimir Putin etc etc.

A major road project commenced in the lead up to election day is to be cancelled in the next couple of days.  
The controversy about this road project is a fair bit of NIMBY (not in my back yard) both from for and against people.  The project was a plan to ease trucking traffic on a highway and extend a freeway road through some wetlands and through a suburb with a six lane highway estimated to serve around 5,000 trucks a day. 


Part of the bush-land clearing for the 5 kilometre freeway extension known as Roe8.

click photo to enlarge

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

6 years

Saturday 25th was the 6th anniversary of my dear wife Joan’s death.  

Is 'anniversary' the right word?  Anniversary sounds like a celebratory word.

I miss her terribly and still feel her presence in our house.


Martin, Helen, Joan and Kev. Circa 1985


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sladjana

Today I met a young lady named Sladjana who is physically disabled with Transverse Mialitis.  She is 19 and virtually paralysed from the neck down.  She was visiting a lady who was her long time carer and accompanied by a young community support worker. 
Sladjana is known as Budgie to her carers.   Her wheelchair is amazing. She can control it with a chin control and when using her laptop she has a remote control mouse giving her all the actions of hands and mouse. There are other aids on the wheel chair such as breathing assist etc etc. 
I am unsure what actually I was invited along for, but I believe I may have interested her in writing a blog about her condition and her day-to-day struggles and wins.  I directed her to my blog and will wait to see if she likes the idea and wants help setting one up.  

Click pictures to enlarge

'Budgie' with computer mouse control

With community support from Clover

Budgie is intelligent, computer literate and artistic.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Regular medical checkup

Over the last week I have had some regular medical tests done....bloods and heart ECG. 

The blood test had a couple of pointers....cholesterol up; iron up and slightly elevated blood pressure even though I take a drug for hypertension.  
The ECG let my GP know that there is problem with irregular heart beats.  He decided to send me for a 2D/Doppler Echocardiogram.  I had that yesterday. The procedure took around 40 minutes and around 40 images were collected.  I will return to my GP on Friday morning to hear what is next.

I don’t receive any age pension, so I missed out on a state pensioner discount of the fee, however Medicare here is good and I paid $480.00 for the procedure and medicare will give me back $196.10.   

PS: My heart seems to be OK for an old fart.  The irregular heart beat will be looked at with a 24 hour portable ECG monitor.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Pilfering

Bunnings Hardware is a very successful Australian hardware chain.  I hope they continue being successful as I have  a moderately large WesFarmers/Bunnings share package.

There is a Bunnings store near me and I buy there regularly.   One thing I have noticed over the years is the senseless pilfering.  It is especially noticeable in the gardening machinery aisles.  I am unsure if the thieving of mower and other petrol engine parts is done by repairmen or if there are people who just like to be bastards.  Click images to enlarge.

In this aisle I counted 18 bits stolen
fuel caps are popular

Carburetor parts taken
This one also lost its chain








Monday, January 30, 2017

Firing up the pizza oven


Helen and James have fired up their just completed pizza oven. After 24 hours  since firing it up, it is still very warm to the touch. Great result!





Monday, January 23, 2017

Pizza oven

My son-in-law James and daughter Helen, are soon to try out their pizza oven.  James bought a builder’s kit and the oven is nearing completion. As soon as the dome is bricked in the surface is to be plastered with a heat resistant plaster and then the sand mound removed from beneath the bricks.  Small plastic spacers hold the fire bricks at the correct angle to follow the curve of the dome whilst cementing them in.


Looking good!

Click image to enlarge

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A good idea

Daughter Helen bought a pasta maker and yesterday gave it its initial tryout.   It was from K Mart for the princely sum of $15.  The box did not include instructions and Helen had to google for instructions to get started.   I went to her house to see how it worked.

video

click images to enlarge

It makes several different types of pasta and works quite well. Certainly easier than mixing pasta dough by hand.   I am astounded that a complex, well made little machine which does work well, costs so little.   Helen reports that it made a very nice spaghetti and she is trying other pasta types today.

Must get one to put in the cupboard with other gear, like coffee makers, electric frypans, deep fryers, juicers etc etc.
On second thoughts it has to be the most speccie Xmas/birthday present @ $15.


PS:  Went to Kmart(s) and found none.  We were advised it was a clearance sale and that line has been discontinued. Bummer!

PPS: A friend of daughter Helen has just found several pasta machines at another K Mart store and is buying me one.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Back into homebrewing


I am bottling a homebrew of beer today.   It has been some years since I last brewed and I did like the flavours I could produce in my own recipes.  There is a bit of mucking around, but I feel it is worth it in the end.   28 X 750ml bottles will sit around maturing for maybe three or four weeks before I can sample the brew. It is not being done to save money, however Australian beer prices are rather high.

click to enlarge

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Adolph is still popular

I have just watched a rather poor documentary about the rise of Adolph Hitler.

In 2016, his manifesto, Mein Kampf, was reprinted.

‘The manifesto has sold about 75,000 copies and spent 35 weeks on the German "Der Spiegel" best-seller list in 2016, The New York Times reported. The book had been banned in Germany for seven decades; the state of Bavaria held the copyright until the end of 2015 and continually thwarted efforts to republish the book. But the copyright expired Dec. 31, 2015, and the new edition of the book was published immediately after.’


I believe that the interest in Mein Kampf is worrying and the philosopher Bertolt Brecht said.....“For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.”