Friday, April 30, 2010

Antibiotics, Your Health and Your Childrens Health

I’ve spoken about this topic before here Anti-Bacterial Wipes, Sprays and Hand Washes 30.09.09 I suppose what makes me write again is last night while watching “A Current Affair” (Yes, I sick in mind and body) ACA - 29.04.10They made reference to the fact that perhaps peanut allergies and food allergies in general have increased 400% and this MAY possibly be due to the over-cleanliness of homes.

I was then reading this article today ABC 30.04.10 indicating that we are on the verge of a ‘superbug’ that will be resistant to ALL forms of current antibiotics. This scares me silly.

The New York Times makes reference to a very recent incident New York Times 27.02.10 From a further article also in the New York Times New York Times #2 27.02.10 it states “It is likely to be several years before new drugs to treat Gram-negative infections are available. A report last September by European health authorities found only six novel drugs in clinical trials that might work against at least one Gram-negative organism, compared with 13 for Gram-positive bacteria.”

Noting that the Gram-negative bacteria are even more resist to antibiotics that the MRSA bacteria which is prevalent in Australian Hospitals and is the bug that many Australian hospitals are trying to prevent under the ‘debug’ program, which involves hand washing between patients with an alcohol based dry hand wash from pumping stations available outside each ward.

Therefore our use and overuse of anti-bacterial products and antibiotics may just be harming our children and their children. Perhaps over-zealous cleaning in the house is also causing allergies, and the medical industry is already aware that overuse of antibiotics and the non-completion of prescribed courses is causing the creation of the superbug.

I’m not saying live like pigs, but I am saying perhaps put down that liquid anti-bacterial soap and pick up the one without the germicide in it. It cleans just as well, if not better than the ‘other’ one.

If the doctor prescribes antibiotics, consume them all, until the course is completed, not until you feel better.

If you are a city slicker, I’m sure you noticed that your country cousins never seem to be sick, it is a proven fact that children exposed to ‘germs’ on the land, or farms have a proven immunity to general coughs and colds and similar. Even an open graze seems to be offered protection from infection simply because of lifestyle.

Keep this in mind and perhaps try imitating our country cousins, they do say that imitation is the best form of compliment.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flashing Lights, Drink Drivers, Unlicenced Drivers, Outstanding Warrants

I am writing this post in relation to this article in the Herald Sun today Victorian Woman blows 0.363 following car crash It’s been all over the news and the comments are scathing to say the least.

I saw the accident, not occurring, but after when the police were in attendance and turned on their flashing lights. In fact you could see those lights from 2km away on this stretch of road.

The accident occurred northbound, right at the Main Street intersection with High Street, in Thomastown. It occurred in the inside lane, this was probably due to the fact that vehicles were still parked outside the strip shopping centre.

I saw the flashing lights from Mahoneys Road, as I headed north. I had approx 6 cars travelling with me, one veered off and positioned themselves in the turning lane onto Keon Parade. I say veered because he went from the outside lane across 2 lanes of traffic to get to this location.

Another took the Settlement Road turn-off, could have possibly been a planned maneuver as nothing was done suddenly.

Two more took the Spring Street turnoff, again could have been planned, but one did appear to hesitate before making the turn.

One pulled in right near the Primary School opposite Heyington Avenue. Seemed a strange place to pull over, given the time of night.

I slowed to approx 20kph, the lighting in that area is not brilliant and I wasn’t sure what I was approaching other than a police vehicle in the middle of the road. I passed on the left-hand side. I saw people on the kerb and people in the middle of road, and 3 cars, nose to tail. One a BMW (the stolen vehicle) the second, a sign-written work van, possibly a Hyundai and the third vehicle was a sedan of some sort. I didn’t look too closely as I was trying to drive.

But what I am getting at, is that it would appear that more than 1 vehicle/driver in the group that passed over Mahoneys Road with me may have had issues that saw them actively evading police.

More and more people are losing their licenses due to drink driving, speeding excess accumulation demerit points.

More often we are hearing of more and more people being pulled from the roads for being all of the above, plus outstanding warrants, unregistered vehicles.

Is the leniency of the sentencing system such that it encourages this type of behavior?

I would love your thoughts – sometimes I feel like I am the only one with a clean driving record, with a registered roadworthy vehicle, with insurance and without alcohol or drugs in my system.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

100 year old Photos #11 - Melbourne, Australia

These photos are of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens, c1910. Thanks to @SkillsyOz of twitter nearly all the photos have been identified! This first photo is of The Separation Tree in Melbourne, which was planted when the citizens of Melbourne received the news on 15 November 1850 that Victoria was to become a separate colony. The tree is several hundred years old. On 15 November, 1951, a replacement river red gum was planted nearby to mark the start of the second century of self-government. Separation Tree (Bottom of the Page) I'll post the rest of the labels as soon as I get time!

The last photo is of the Tea Rooms in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

100 year old Photos #10 - Lake Geneva, Switzerland (Suisse)

This is a funicular tram on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. There are several views offered here. This area is located on Lake Leman - Here is a coloured plate dated approx 1890 - 1900 Territet, Chillon and Dent du Midi, from Glion, Geneva Lake, Switzerland The view below is mirrored exactly here Glion The photos below is of the Chateau Chillon as you can see from this Youtube clip

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Twitter - Our Very Own Futurama?

I read this sentence…………..“On the one hand, there's more useful information for historians to sift. On the other, there's more useless information. And without the benefit of hindsight, it's impossible to tell which is which. “ from How future historians will use the Twitter archives. and immediately thought of an episode of Futurama, where some inane object, suddenly became the most important thing to humans in the times of old.

The idea of preserving Twitterverse, I think could be a good idea. I suppose my thoughts are privacy based. Maybe we should put a government protection order on them, like war records and archives. Not to be released for 50 years, to prevent embarrassment? There is apparently going to be a window of 6 months where tweets won’t be released, but is this enough time? – For me I don’t think I’m too fussed, but for others? I’m not sure.

Personally I don’t care about who had what for breakfast, even elephants don’t raise my interest level regarding breakfast food. I’m not particularly fussed that you went out and shagged Shazza last night (plenty of that going on) I’m more interested in things like local events, world-wide news-worthy stories and some of the more unusual stories, like crocs in pools and some new technology stories.

I like hashtags (#), they enable me to follow one conversation world-wide, the only problem is people who jump on these tags with their spamming garbage. Block them ALL I say and get rid of some of the garbage on the net!

According to popular figures something like 55 million tweets are published each and every day world-wide. That’s a lot of information out there on the web and that the US Congress are claiming they can capture and archive all of it.

The twitter blog Twitter Blog says that Twitter is donating these tweets to the ‘Library of Congress’ in the USA

So bend over and kiss my shiny metal ass – and remember once on the net, always on the net!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I had a goat ………. I did………… I done

Goats are in the media. So I thought I would add my little bit.

I’ve owned goats, in fact more than one – I’ve had Baby, Emma. Billy and Butt-Head. You can learn a lot from goats, sometimes they are worse than kids, cats and dogs.

Emma was black and white – she was a good goat, the only problem was she was Houdini, The neighbours got sick of tethering her up again and she was also a very good actor, right to end, when she was too good for her own good, and the sickness she was hiding killed her.

Billy was a white goat, was a boy and well smelt a lot, but besides that was a good lawn mower and tree trimmer.

Baby – the name invokes tenderness and YES she was my favorite. Her only problem was attachment issues. Unless she could see/hear you – she would cry like a baby.

Butt-Head – was the worst of the lot and I suspect the name says it all. I am wondering if it is purely a boy thing – but Butt-Head (whose name USED to be Billy also) use to butt you ever 1 metre or so as you were taking him to the tether point and bringing him in. The only way to stop it was to hold him by the horn and man-handle him that way.

Goats are great animals and if it wasn't for the Houdini’s and Butt-Heads of this world I would get another.

As for the current events, the goat Billy saw that bucket of weeds as his Nirvana, nothing more, nothing less. Weeds and goats are like bees and honey. It is a symbiotic relationship!

Dying for your music

“Sorry, I didn’t hear you”, will be a phrase heard more often as the years pass. Since the conception of personal music players, currently known as iPods, or even iPhones, the state of our ears, thus our hearing has declined dramatically.

This not only affects our hearing, but also our speech, or even the ability to learn or even cross a busy road. If you can’t hear yourself speak, then it is likely that your speech will deteriorate with time, unless you are very aware that this is the case. If you can’t hear the teacher speak, then of course you will not be able to learn everything that is being covered in the course/lesson. If you are crossing at an unmarked crossing on the road, you may not hear a car, a bicycle or even an emergency vehicle and thus place yourself in danger, without even realizing it. Hearing loss can and will impact your life in ways you wouldn’t even think possible, until it is too late.

According to a recent large scale report from scientists of the European Commission examined the use of personal music players such as the iPod and they determined as many as 1 in 10 users of personal music players are at risk of suffer permanent hearing loss if they listen to a PMP at high levels more than one hour a day for five years.

The impact on understanding the world around you - Noise-induced hearing loss makes it difficult to understand what is being said in restaurants and other places with background noise. Conversations sound muffled, as if coming through a hotel room wall. It also becomes difficult to hear high-frequency, soft consonants, such as "s," "t," "f," "h" and the "sh" sound.

Imagine having a church bells ringing in your ears constantly – it may not be that loud – but from 2 blocks away, the sound is the same. That is called Tinnitus and while tinnitus may come and go for some, it’s constant for others and can be a particularly frustrating. Around half of those who suffer from it find their sleep is affected, which in turn can cause tiredness that both impacts their ability to work and the quality of their home life or even their social life and communication.

There is no cure – other than hearing aids, which although with new technology are now almost invisible. Imagine having to ‘plug into’ the world EVERY day for the rest of your life, just so you can hear your children speak.

There are others forms of hearing loss, most often industrial hearing loss, but with the implementation of OH&S policies, the incidence of this type of hearing loss is being greatly reduced.

Jeff Rich, former drummer of Status Quo, warned people against misguided over-confidence and against ignoring the scientific proof that loud noise causes hearing loss. He was unaware of this when he played in his band. As a result Rich has lost 70 percent of his hearing in his right ear and 50 percent in his left. He now requires hearing aids to function in society.

It is estimated that, one in eight children or young adolescents in the 6-19 year age group suffers from hearing loss caused by excessive noise. Once you lose part of your hearing, it is lost forever.
Remember – once the ability to hear clearly is no longer present, you may have trouble communicating with others, communicating with your employer or even doing your job at the required standard if your hearing is an important part of performing your job, for example answering the telephone.

Turn that iPod down, turn that stereo down and remember once your hearing has left the building, it will never return!

Monday, April 19, 2010

100 year old Photos #9 - Switzerland

Again c1910 perhaps c1920 - not sure - I 'think' these photos may be on the Swiss border. My only reasoning is that the 3rd photo when enlarged appears to show what is a red cross on a white flag at what appears to be a border crossing. If you can shed any light - again I would be grateful. Thank-you and enjoy.
The photo below - is a border crossing. In the background I believe is the Matterhorn, which is on Swiss soil.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

100 year old Photos #8 - Australia

Again - I have no real idea of where these photos have been taken - looking at the 1st it would appear an irrigation channel, the 5th has a gum tree in it - so I am thinking Australia also.

2nd, 3rd and 4th are a little harder to quantify and if you can assist me determining the area these photos have been taken I would be appreciate all the help I can get.

Same time frame c1910 or so


Thanks once again to SkillsyOz of Twitter, the photo below has been identified as "Anderson Street, Bridge" which crosses the Yarra. NLA

Friday, April 16, 2010

Abandonment of Employment from an Employer Perspective.

I am currently in the process of terminating an employee for abandonment of employment. I don’t like doing this, it’s not the first time I’ve had to do this and I doubt it will be the last.

But that is my job and I do my job, to ensure that the product goes out the door, that the money comes in the door and staff do what they are meant to do, including turning up to work on time and the allocated days and then everyone gets paid. That’s what I’m PAID to do.

In the 20 years that I have been doing pays/wages/salaries, whatever it is you wish to call it, I’ve also stopped people being sent to jail for failure to meet repayment plans and similar.

The most current situation involved the receipt of a garnishee order (which means that the company is now required BY LAW, to submit a certain amount of money to the claimant, which is deducted after tax from an employee’s wages)

The employee was coached and advised what was going to occur, the employee accepted that he would have to knuckle down for 12 months and then the problem would be done and dusted. It was thought that he’d accepted the consequences of his actions and was ready to deal with them.

The deductions started, leaving a very basic wage for the employee to live with for 12 months. Four (4) payments were made on his behalf, over a period of 8 weeks, then without notice the employee failed to turn up to work on Wednesday. Nothing was thought of it, he’s 22 years old and can sometimes be a little unreliable, that is what employers of today have to put up with and accept.

Wednesday, Thursday, no contact, no show, no communication. On Friday, a phone call was made, the mobile phone was switched off, the employees’ file was dug out and the emergency contact called. The emergency contact advised that the employee was locked in his bedroom and wouldn’t come out. Message left get him to call us as soon as possible.

Pay fortnight comes around – it is decided to try and flush him out by not paying, under abandonment of employment clause. Three (3) weeks later, still no show. Registered mail has been sent and returned, further calls made to the emergency contact. All to no avail.

By the 5th week, we still have not heard anything, so make an internal decision to terminate employment officially under abandonment of employment. The decision came through just after the closing of the pay period, so the decision was held over for a further 2 weeks. In the meantime the employee turns up at the nearest Centrelink office, to claim benefits. A call was made to the manager of the branch, the story as it stood was told. The manager was told that the employee would be unable to claim benefits until a separation certificate has been supplied. The employees’ reason for leaving his place of employment, a disagreement with management.

This is the first we have heard about a disagreement, this is the first we have heard about any problems relating to us.

The decision is now set in concrete, abandonment of employment, reason unknown. With this it is believed that a waiting period of 8 weeks will occur before benefits are payable. Something we wanted to avoid, but unavoidable given the circumstances.

Noting that the employee has yet to contact or respond to any communication sent by said employer!

Go figure.

Post Script - for those of you reading this and considering doing the same, please read Part 1 - Financial Woes and part 2 - Financial Woes

Thursday, April 15, 2010

100 year old Photos #7 - Unknown

Help Required - If you are able to indentify any of these areas, I shall be enternally grateful. Taken approx c1910 - not sure exactly Thank-you

The Quest for a Name in the Year 2010.

This post has been brewing for weeks – along with the post “The Quest for a Name in 1940.”

I realized that we could possibly be in real trouble with surnames and feminism and finding ones-self.

Look – I’m all for people knowing their roots, I’m all for people being individuals, I’m all for people wishing to keep their fathers’ names if they are the only offspring.

But it is getting ridiculous.

Let’s set another scenario and tell me what you think.

Person Jones, is the sole remaining child, and when she gets married she’s wants the name Jones to live on forever. Easy she’ll just hyphenate the name.

Person Jones marries Nguyen, and happily ever after she is known as Jones-Nguyen, until 7 years later when the divorce comes through.

Person Jones-Nguyen keeps the name Jones-Nguyen because is sounds a little better than just plain old Jones. Child Jones-Nguyen has no real choice in the matter.

Person Jones-Nguyen meets her new future husband, who we shall call Lee.

Person Jones-Nguyen married person Lee and can’t see the sense in changing her name to Lee, as that would mean Child Jones-Nguyen has a different name to mum. So person Jones-Nguyen just tacks on another name, Person Jones-Nguyen is now known as Person Jones-Nguyen-Lee.

A child is born – he takes the name of his mother and father, so we have child Jones-Nguyen-Lee. What a handful you say.

This has all happened over 2 generations, what about the 3rd, 4th or 5th generation, are people still going to be insisting on continuing on with this madness?

Where will it end? – 20,30,40 years ago, you married, you took your husbands name out of respect for the marriage and your husband. Now it seems it’s a free for all.

What scares me, is this freedom of choice is destroying our roots, our ancestry, our history and more importantly our identity?

Do you have a hyphenated name?

What do you think your children will do when they marry? – will they change their name to their husbands, or hyphenate their name?

Your thoughts – now remember; please, I’m married because I CHOSE TO marry, perhaps you are not married and living in a long-term defacto relationship. I don’t care, but don’t make this a slanging match about marriage or other relationships– this is ONLY about surnames and identity.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100 year old Photos #6 - Sri Lanka

Mystery solved. These photos were taken in Sri Lanka - c1910-1920.

I was lucky enough to discover this whilst on a holiday in Sri Lanka. This holiday was only made possible by Dilmah tea, when I won a competition. You can see the details of the trip here.
Sri Lanka, Dilmah and the Lucky Winners

The Kadugannawa Road Arch c1910-1920

The Kadugannawa Road Arch 24th November 2013

A very old elephant - possibly 75 years old. Apparently they don't grow to this often now.

Sri Lankan People, Group shot.

Taxes, Taxes, Budget in 2010 and Smoking

The poor smoke AND drink, the rich drink. The newest, shiniest, soon to be released budget is toting all sorts of healthcare funding, some community groups are saying raise the taxes on tobacco products by 25%, that will help fund the health component of this budget.

Now let’s be fair, if you are going to raise the cost of tobacco related products by 25%, then let’s raise the cost of alcohol related products by 25% also. All’s fair in love and war.

Remember both 'bad' habits are legal, smoking is taxed already beyond what would be considered normal, and the only reason the government gets away with it, is the addictive nature of the product.

Why doesn't the government sponsor people to undergo 'treatment' to assist them in stopping, smoking and drinking? The reason why they don't, it would defeat the purpose of putting the taxes up.

They want the profits, they want you to smoke and drink, and they would be the first to complain when the margins dropped when people DID STOP drinking and smoking.

And that is all I’m going to say on this matter today!

The Quest for a Name in the Year 1940.

This post has been brewing for weeks – ever since I spoke to my neighbour who is tracing their family tree, going back to the 1940’s and early.

For her, it started when she received a phone call from a long lost cousin doing exactly the same thing. So let the story begin.

Let’s go back to the 1940’s just after the war – in rural Victoria, Australia.

Mother Jones, married Father Smith, Mother Jones is now known as Mother Smith to the town. A child is born and named Child Smith.

Father Smith leaves, never to be seen again. Mother Smith (nee Jones) remains Mother Smith until stepfather Burke, steps up to the plate. As Mother Smith (nee Jones) has never divorced Father Smith and the general public don’t know. Mother Smith, is now known as Mother Burke as she takes the name of Stepfather Burke and child Smith is now known as Child Burke.

Is any of this making sense?

Until a passport was required child Burke had no idea. When the documentation was sighted – it raised all sorts of questions. And Child Burke went on a quest.

Child Burke, approaches Mother Burke (nee Jones) and asks for an explanation. Mother Burke (nee Jones) explains that her real name is Mother Smith (nee Jones), and the Child Burke’s name is really Child Smith and the reason why is; Mother Burke (nee Jones) never divorced Father Smith. So she couldn’t change her name. But she couldn’t live in sin, so for all intents and purposes she changed her name and Child Burke’s name to match Father Burke’s name.

Child Burke/Smith is now wondering who he really is. In the end he bites the bullet and changes his name by deed-poll to Child Jones, since he never knew his ‘real’ father and since he wasn’t related to Father Burke, and Mother Smith (nee Jones) was still living as Mother Burke. His only connection with any name was Child Jones.

The world we create can be very complicated sometimes!

(and this is a real life story!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

100 year old Photos #5 - Hong Kong

it would appear most of these images are from Hong Kong - I will confirm as soon as practicable.

This photo here is of Hong Kong harbour, the ponds you can see are actually the process of land reclamation, that has been going on for over a century. This photo has been taken from the looking towards the east of the harbour.This information comes with the assistance of Wanchai Walk Thank-you to kennethU94 from Twitter for the help!

Monday, April 12, 2010

100 Year Old Photos #4 - Pompeii

Photos taken by Ethel James in Pompeii. These photos were taken approx c1910-c1920.

I orginally posted this with location unknown, thanks to @PaulHassing of The Feisty Empire and @downesy of QBrand Consulting who were able to indentify the locations with little effort. Thank-you!

The below photo shows the ampitheatre, before the excavations had been completed. You will notice that the ladscape is devoid of trees. If you look at recent photos, there is a considerable amount of foliage on the rim of ampitheatre and also grass covering most of the seating.

The following two photos show the street paving of Pompeii - Notice the high footpaths on each side, these were built because the streets had little drainage. The stones in the middle of the street are crossing points so that people were able to cross without getting their feet dirty in the human filth that flowed down the street.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

100 Year Old Photos #3 - River Orne, Normandy

These photos were taken by Ethel James during a world tour - you can follow the photo trail week by week, as I post them up for your enjoyment!

This photo is the Ypres Tower, possibly built in the 14th Century.Here is a description of the uses and an exact photo of what we are looking at here - I have assume, using these photos as a guide determine that these photos were taken c1920. Ypres Tower This is all thanks to @SkillsyOz from Twitter.

The following photo is of the River Orne, in Normandy. In the centre of the frame you can see what appears to a wheelbarrow outside a large 3 storey building. This is "Battery House'. Both these buildings suffered heavy damage in WWII, to be precise the 22nd September 1942. This information came courtesy of the assistance of @SkillsyOz from Twitter.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

100 year old Photos #1 - Paris, Eiffel Tower

No Identification required here - I think we can all recognise this landmark! The Eiffel Tower of Paris, completed in 1889. The Eiffel Tower, today stands 320.75m tall.

Enjoy - as previously determined - these photos taken between c1910-c1920 - if you are able to shed any more light on the timing - that would be appreciated.


**View southeast from the tower, down the Champ de Mars,

Friday, April 9, 2010

100 year old Photos #2 - Belgium/France/Ypres

These photos have come from the album of Ethel James. I believe these photos has been taken by her sometimes after 1910.

In this group only two photos have been identified - if you are able to shed any further light on any locations - it would truly be appreciated.

The photo below is a picture of the Montreuil-aux-Lions British Cemetery, in the village of Montreuil-aux-Lions in France. The cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields of the Aisne.

The photo below has finally been identified. There were many ruins in and around Ypres, in fact, the entire township was almost levelled, during 3 battles in WWI.

This photo, although I suspected, has now been confirmed as the Ypres Church, Ypres Cathedral, The Cloth Hall, Grote Markt, Lakenhal or Lakenhalle. This building has many names.

The original building was erected in 1200 and completed in 1304. It was the market and warehouse for the cloth industry. You can read more about the Ypres Cloth Hall here and here including about the rebuilding, which was a meticulous reconstruction that took 24 years. The building is now the home of the Flanders Fields Museum.

Identification was made possible to the thanks of National Education Network and Clive Bailey. The angles of these photos, clearly show the building on the left of the 1920's photo, with the exacting brickwork, balcony and window formation.

I'm not sure when this photo was taken, but it was clearly before the hoarding went up, it shows the total devastation and destruction of The Cloth Hall which today now houses those memories.

The IJzertoren (Yser Tower) is a memorial along the Belgian Yser river in Diksmuide. There have been two IJzertorens, the first built after the First World War by an organisation of former Flemish soldiers. On the night of 15 and 16 March 1946 it was illegally demolished with dynamite; the perpetrators were never caught, though there are strong indications of involvement of the Belgian military and anti-Flemish, French-speaking radicalists. Several years later, a new and higher tower was built on the same place. With the remains of the old tower, the Paxpoort or Pax-gate (Gate of Peace) was built. ( - extract from Wikipedia)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Car salesmen and missed opportunities

As the saying goes – ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ This saying has never truer than in the new and used car sales industry.

1970 – Grandfather wants to buy an upmarket vehicle – he can’t get anyone to attend to his needs – he returns home and Nanna says no wonder, you re dressed like a farm worker (grey overalls) standard dress for Grandpa as he worked for the sake of work, not the money. He returns to same yard (new, luxury car yard) in a tie an suit. Walks into the managers/owner’s office and advises them that they just lost a sale, due to their making judgement by the clothes a man wore and not what he actually wanted. Until his death he bought a NEW car every two years, same make from the ‘new’ dealer in the CBD, a dealer that didn’t judge a book by its cover.

1994 – Husband and wife – driving through a small town spot a 4x4 they might be interested in purchasing. They are in the market for a new car, they do some towing, in fact they were towing a boat that very day. They walk into the dealership request a look at the vehicle (it is 3pm on a Saturday) the dealer says no – it’s too much trouble to get the car out and on the road.

The couple walk away, the couple do not identify themselves, they might be dressed in clothes more suitable for fishing, than buying cars, but their money is the same colour.

12 weeks later the wife returns with a baby on her hip, walks into the same showroom, the salesman, who is also the owner fawns all over her. She says – ‘you haven’t sold THAT car yet?’ (referring to the 4x4). “No” is the response. Reply “that doesn’t surprise me with your attitude. It would have been sold 12 weeks ago. You refused to show it to us. Instead we bought……………”(and points to a new vehicle sitting on the kerb). I then did the introductions and advised him that I am the daughter of so and so. His jaw hit the ground, he apologised profusely. I told him to make this a lesson learnt. NEVER EVER Judge a book by its cover.

He learnt his lesson the hard way. He lost not only that one sale on that one 4x4 but father like daughter, he lost a new car sale every two years. He begged, he rang, he tried bribery. All attempts failed. – Sometimes money is not the be all and end all.

Do you have similar stories? – Would love to hear them!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Shipping Containers, The New Plastic Bags of the Seas

The idea of shipping containers seems to have come about in the 1950’s. The standardisation of said containers started to occur in the 1970’s, to make things more uniform and easier to transport.

When exports and imports where almost even, it was easy to balance the number of containers in and out. When we became a ‘throw-away’ society things changed. The western world looked for cheaper items, which meant more often than not things were cheaper to purchase from overseas than to be bought within our own country. The changing shape of the dollar also ensured that imports were cheaper than locally manufactured and bought products.

This left empty shipping containers strewn all over the coasts of westernised societies, all over the world. The west now import far more than they export, leaving a glut of containers in the ports.

There are certainly a myriad of different uses for shipping containers, being thought up every day, from onsite storage as has been seen in the natural disasters, to hotels and restaurants.

More often than not, shipping containers are being used to ship items that previously were shipped below deck within the confines of the hull, they are now being shipped on deck in containers. Things like paper, machine parts, cars, all sorts of things. This creates another hazard. The more things shipped on decks (in containers) leaves more items to fall into the sea.

Recently, off the coast of Australia 32 containers, which contained Ammonium Nitrate were lost overboard. This not only created a shipping hazard, but also a pollution problem. That loss was off one ship. It is estimated that something like 10,000 containers are lost overboard every year world-wide, perhaps far more. The doors fail and allow the containers to pour into the oceans.

Rarely do containers float for longer than 1 week, sometimes controlled atmosphere containers will float for indefinite periods. Once upon a time it was acceptable to use the container as target practice by the local armed forces, until it had sunk, but this is no longer an acceptable practice, due to pollutions issues and the containers must now be towed to shore and salvaged.

It is estimated that something like 7 billions tonnes of rubbish enter the oceans per year and that something like 700,000 to 1 million birds and sea life is killed every year due to this waste.

Don’t toss it and try where possible to recycle it, re-use it. Use groups like (A world-wide voluntary organisation) and do your bit for you and your childrens’ future

Saturday, April 3, 2010

If you have a Mobile Phone and/or a GPS read on...

We all know not to put our address on our house keys or our registration on the car keys - but have you thought of this?

A couple of weeks ago , some people had their car broken into, while they were at a football match. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.

When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.

The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football match, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.

Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

I never thought of this........

This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet... Etc...was stolen.

20 minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says 'I received your text asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago.'

When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text 'hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their
bank account.

Moral of the lesson:
Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list.

Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mum, etc....

And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.

Also, when you're being text by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you.

* I never thought about the above!
As of now, I no longer have 'home' listed on my mobile phone.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Youth and Alcohol – Are We Killing Our Kids?

Today I hear the news that a 21yo male has been fired from his job, not because he couldn’t do the job, not because he couldn’t follow workplace rules but because he couldn’t get out of bed to attend work, not because he was sick with the flu, but because he had alcohol poisoning.

This is not the first time this has occurred, nor the second, nor the third. It happens EVERY Monday and often Tuesday as well.

This child (because he acts likes one) can not function without alcohol. He has had his license suspended, he has an interlock fitted on his car. He has been in for a review to get the interlock device removed and has failed. He was setting if off almost every day in the morning, which shows he drank every night and possibly to excess to set the interlock off every morning.

This kid effectively worked only 3 days a week, although meant to be working 5-6 days with on-call work every 4 weeks. The on call work was never attended – he would just turn his phone off.

He is one case in 1000’s just in Melbourne alone. I’m not sure what causes children to run off the rails and hit the bottle (Because that is what’s happening) but here are some theories, bought to you by the links provided.

From:- Youth Central Vic Government
Mr Munro says 80% of Australians drink, and as a general rule of thumb 10% of drinkers are alcohol dependent. However, he points to research reported by Professor Jake Najman at the 2008 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference, from the University of Queensland, who argues that of the 80% of Australians who drink, 30% are impaired in one way or another from drinking.
Impairment may range from not being able to fulfil social responsibilities like going to work or family events. The problem is a lot more widespread than previously thought. "Because drinking is so widespread and common in Australia, many people don't see it as a sign of alcohol dependency," Mr Munro says. "But dependency on alcohol can lead to work problems, drink driving, financial stress, accidents and conflict within the family which could even trigger the breakup of a family."

Salvation Army
Statistics now show alcohol accounts for 13% of all deaths of 14-17 year olds in Australia with one teenager dying each week of alcohol related causes and another 60 teenagers hospitalised.
The new (2009) Roy Morgan research also shows:
1.7 million Australians believe it’s safe to give someone 12 or under an occasional sip of alcohol.
5 million Australians believe it is safe for someone 15 years or under to be given occasional sips of alcohol.
7 million Australians had their first alcoholic sip or drink in their home.
8.8 million Australians had their first alcoholic sip or drink when they were with their family.
7.8 million Australians suggested they should have their first drink or sip of alcohol themselves; 2.9 million said parents suggested it.

Journalism Australia
A 2003 alcohol awareness survey by the Salvation Army found the age at which people start drinking is getting younger with 58% of 14-17 year olds drinking before 14, compared to their parents of which 25 per cent started before they were 14.
The survey found 22% of 14-17-year-old girls regularly drink between 13 and 30 drinks a session, compared with 19% of 14-17-year-old boys. The main reason both groups drank was to fit in at social activities.
Former information manager at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Paul Dillion told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2002 many school children drank “to get out of it, to get wasted”, with Australia being one of the few countries where binge drinking was viewed as acceptable.
“Parents see alcohol use as a protective factor against other drug use,” Mr Dillon said.
“But in reality the only drug problem most will experience with their child will be alcohol.”
This problem also spans to other countries. A study in the UK has been following over 11,000 people since birth. The study found those who participated in binge drinking at 16 were more likely to have had an alcohol dependence, criminal conviction, left school early, have limited qualifications, earn less and had mental health problems at the age of 30, than those 16yo who did not binge drink

The Natural Health Expert
From a somewhat different viewpoint, since both parents in quite a few families work full or part-time, the lack of parental guidance unquestionably has to play a primary role in the expansion of teenage alcohol abuse. And as a final point, diverse alcohol addiction experts emphasize the point that the proliferation of youth alcohol abuse is due, to some extent, to our “anything goes” society.

I don’t pretend to be an expert – hell I’ve got an 18yo girl and keeping track of her and on the straight and narrow is hard enough, without adding alcohol to the mix.

I suppose as a family we are lucky – we eat together, often play together and our children see that we don’t drink very often, only on special occasions, we don’t drink as a habit, occasionally we might drink with friends, but no more than 1-2 glasses in one sitting, we don’t need to drink to have a good time, to be able to socialize. We’ve always been that way.

I watch some adults, 30yo plus and they quantity of alcohol they do consume in one sitting and cringe, not just because of the health implications, but if they really need THAT much alcohol to socialise and be nice, there HAS to be a problem.

I watch pregnant women, drink champagne with ice-cubes in it, because they aren’t meant to be drinking, but a little bit won’t hurt, will it?

I watched grown men complain because the wine isn’t to their liking and there’s nothing else to drink. Ummmm there is tap right over there, Melbourne has the best drinking water in the world. Besides that I’m drinking coke, would you like some? And there is orange juice in the fridge.

I’ve seen grown men and women go out for dinner and get blotto, without thought for how they are getting home, and then count the drinks to figure out who drank less and who will be better off driving!

There is something wrong, if the children see this behavior of course they are going to think that drinking copious amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, is normal and they too can do it. Mum and dad won’t notice a bottle missing, it’s cool to be like an adult.

WRONG – children under the age of 21, should NOT be drinking, it can damage their brains, their development and social skills. It has been proven that children <15yo>21yo or older. The more alcohol is consumes the greater chance of alcohol-related problems in later life, including alcohol addiction. Different parts of the brain develop at different ages for different genders. The part of the brain that controls rational thinking matures at different ages in men and women. In women this may not fully mature until 21yo or older. In males it does not fully mature until 28years of age. This can affect memory, personality and behavior. In other words PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE can result in drinking ANYTHING before the age of 21 in either sex.

Do not be fooled into thinking one drink is okay. One dose of illegal drugs is not okay, one cigarette is not okay – why should alcohol be any different?

And from a paramedics point of view:- "We see children or young people who are basically unconscious," he said. We've seen people that can basically vomit left laying on their back and consequently have issues with choking, brain damage”

Is this what you wish for your children? I don’t think so – I certainly hope not. Remember alcohol might make you feel better and confident, but is your sense of bravado killing your children?

Think about it before you pick up that drink tonight, or tomorrow night or the night after. Talk to your children about the dangers of alcohol, it’s not the schools job not the governments job to raise your children IT’S YOUR job. It takes two to tango.