Tuesday, 9 January 2007

06-01-2005_06-30-2005

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Paying The Rent
Our cats have paid the rent. As an accompaniment to Skribe and Toxicpurity's latest photo of what the cat dragged in, here's ours:
>
At least we got a ham, S & TP only got the offal... hehehehe...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 3:03 PM Ted
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Monday, June 27, 2005

The Way Of The Dodo
Things going the way of the Dodo: cassette tapes are supposedly on the way out. Who'd a thunk it? Somewhere else (no link cos I can't find it now) someone else is bemoaning the passing of VHS tapes because a major supermarket chain is going to stop carrying them. And Kodak really is thinking about dropping Kodak B&W film.
And everyone's heard the rumours that CDs and DVDs are on the way out, due to be replaced by Blu-ray and a dozen other mega-formats... I am wondering how much of that has happened or will happen anytime soon. There are some indicators that say that writing any recording medium off as dead is probably misguided.
The recording technology of writing and drawing was probably superseded by the technology of the printing press. But there are still extant cave drawings, and people on country hikes still scratch their initials on convenient rocks and cave walls... And there are still people who can calligraph and illuminate books by hand. So that's a few technologies which have survived for thousands of years.
The cassette tape and the 8track were music technologies like the cylinder phonograph and the Victrola. There are still examples of all that technology
The first computer technology to really meet with eradication and obliteration was the 5 1/4" floppy disk. And you know what? I still have 5 1/4 inch floppy drives in the shed, packed dust free and ready to go, because people still have data on 5.25...
So - none of the technology we've used to record has completely gone. In some cases we don't have a way to get the data back without considerable effort but we *can* do it if it's deemed important enough.
In fact I have some old Kodak 8mm I would like to transfer to DVD cos - you guessed it - I don't have a projector for it anymore... If anyone knows a place in Perth that does transfers please drop me a comment.
And I'm going to hang onto my cassettes, video tapes, and records for just a few years longer...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 11:39 PM Ted
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Thingamablog V1.0 released
Thingamablog V1.0 is a full release, and out now. I've upgraded as of last night, and also added a food-centric blog at TeDAMENU Tucker, and all three blogs are now being run out of Thingamablog. I've changed things slightly, not much, but things like figuring out if one of my local blogs is updated should now be shown in the links to the right.
Anyway - back to the grindstone...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:00 PM Ted
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Monday, June 20, 2005

How much ... Is There In ... ?
Not your common list of ingredients site, but a lot of amusement. Check it here.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:57 AM Ted
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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Last Bitch. At Doctors. This Week. Promise...
There's one more story that illustrates just how incompetent and useless a GP can be...
I was getting a lot of flu infections as I said, and I saw my doctor at the time about it. "I know you don't want to use chemicals but thos time I want you to use this antidepressant and stick with it even if it kills you."
You see, a few months earlier I'd been suffering from work related stress and he'd decided that this was really depression so he'd put me on some antidepressant but I couldn't get to sleep so stopped taking it after three days.
The new miracle drug to cure a condition I didn't actually have was Efexor. I took the half a tablet I was supposed to, and promptly collapsed with just enough time to call the ambulance.
Went to hospital, they told me I'd nearly died from side effects of the drug, and sent me home after three hours observation. No counselling, even though the drug was an antidepressant, no counselling, even though I'd just nearly died.
I went home and developed a real depression, and my new doctor actually diagnosed this one and tried to prescribe - you guessed it - efexor. When I went through the story, he tried to prscribe - the one that wouldn't let me sleep...
Are we getting close to explaining yet, why I think most doctors are halfwits?
Oh by the way - a friend of mine who is into natural medicines showed me how to get out of the depression I slipped into for six months - a bit of aromatherapy, some essential oils that I liked, and I was suddenly enjoying food again, going out with friends again, and in fact it became one of the busiest periods of my life for socialising.
Does THAT explain it then? No? Okay, one more
Ages ago, as a young and stupid Ted, I tried to break a long tree branch over a 44 gallon drum for a bush barbecue. I swung it up over my head and down onto the edge of the drum in a truly magnificent and wood-destroying arc. Except this piece of wood said something like "no you don't, either..." and that was pretty much that. The recoil from that cracked thw whip with some bit of my spine somewhere, and I was in agony that day and the next before I could see a doctor. Who did a twist and click thing that just made it hurt more, gave me a conspiratorial wink and said "I'm not really supposed to do that but there's no physiotherapists out here in the bush" and then charged me for it...
So it plays up sometimes, this spine damage. I saw my doctor and he suggested a physiotherapist. I went to see that person, and he did nothing for my back, I was still just as sore afterwards despite going for about three sessions.
I asked my natural remedy friend and she recommended an osteopath she knew. I went to this osteopath and she was very good. She streteched and laid my back just so, laid an arm along it just so, and then did that judo thing they do, there was a series of clicks, and I felt brilliant. I paid and left, and had the best sleep I'd had in over a month.
So every six to eight months when my back played up, I'd go to the good lady osteopath and she would fix it. That went on for years until one day I mentioned it to my doctor and he looked horrified and told me that next time I should go to physio as they are approved and all that crap.
Next time I had a bad back, I went to the physio. He fiddled and farted around for about five minutes, put some kind of heating thing on, went away, came back and did something else, put the heating thing back, came back some more and asked if that had worked, and seemed disappointed when I told him it hadn't. But the worst thing is that when I got up off that couch and tried to walk, I discovered that I had never felt what a bad back can truly be, up until that point... Far from relieving anything, the whole muscle along the back was inflamed and in spasms and I really walked out of there like a very old man rather than the late 30's guy I was at that time.
I went back to the osteopath a week later and she asked what I'd done to my back for it to be that bad. I told her and she asked why he'd been treating my middle back, I said because that's where my problem is, isn't it? Well she showed me the damaged area by tracing it with her fingers, it's between the shoulders and the base of the neck. The physio had decided that even though that poitn was where it hurt me, the point he was working on lower down was the cause of my troubles.
There. Did THAT explain it now?
---
Okay. If you must, here's another one. A dentist is a pretty specialised kind of doctor, and you'd think with all that focus on such a small field, they'd have it down pat, yah? Uh-uh...
First experience with a dentist. A young (7 or 8 years old) Ted leaves the school grounds to go to the dentist. Dentist gets nurse to hold my head, prepares the needle full of face-go-to-sleep stuff and starts injecting left upper jaw where the tooth is. And where, coincidentally, nurse is standing, until she lets out a shriek and drops my head and starts patting anaesthetic off her blouse. Yep, the fuckwit dentist has pushed the needle all the way through to the outside of my cheek and squirted the nurse down. This, I am supposed to think, is a professional? Even at that age I knew that what he did was not right.
And another dentist, years later, drove that impression right home. Went to have an abscessed wisdom tooth removed, the good doctor fang did all the right things to put my mouth to sleep and then started to reef on the tooth. After a few minutes of straining, it comes loose but with a nasty cracking sound that I think may be trouble. As soon as I can, I probe the area and there are sarp shards sticking out of the hole.
When I informed him, he said "oh not to wowwy" (did I mention he was Asian? Well, he was.) "that pieces of spinter jawbone I bweak take out too'" To say I was a bit horrified was an understatement, he what? Broke my effing jaw? Splintered it? Then a bit of clarity kicked in - jaw splinters would still be laying mostly along the line of the jaw, these things stick out at right angles.
So I said again that I felt that the points were tooth splinters, and basically got told not to question authority, and that was that. For a day, then the pain got to be too much and I went back. The good fang farrier then pulled out three pieces of tooth that had broken off, and I felt a lot better. Too bad about the piece of splintered jaw that WAS lying along the outside of the jaw, I could cope with that. What I couldn't cope with was the bill the receptionist tried to present me with on my way out - for fixing HIS mistake that he would have fixed in one session if he'd listened...
Needless to say that bill never got paid, and two people walked out of that waiting room as I berated the staff, the dentist, and the gall and quackery of it all, and they all vowed to head for the city to have their dental work done... As I recall this guy lasted about two more months in town before he was basically out of income...
And most recently? I had two other teeth out, no problems. And then I made the fatal mistake of going in just for a check-up. "oh" she said "this will need a full clean and tartar removal!" and like a dick I agreed. Three sessions later I could not put hot or cold drinks near my mouth, there were about five teeth that hurt all the time, and I was supposed to pay some $600 for that privilege and two more sessions were in the wind.
I paid for the first session, agreed to disagree on the other two, and bought a bottle of Listerine. I haven't been back to a dentist for over three years and since cleaning out the infections she somehow caused with the Listerine, haven't looked back.
NOW are you getting the idea? Please drop me a comment either way - I really need to know if they're all dickheads or if I just somehow manage to pick 'em...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 2:51 AM Ted More Comments: (3)
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More reasons...
Just when you thought I'd had about as much of a go at the medical priesthood as it's possible to, I am going to continue with the litany of failures. By the way these are all verifiable and on file at various doctors around the city, I could dig them up if I need to.
When I came to Perth in the late 80's I started developing a really bad skin irritation, which brought me out in red blotches and flaky skin and which itched execrably. I noted that it seemed to be triggered by Perth's water on my skin and went to my doctor. He prescribed a bunch of ointments and stuff and told me that something was irritating my skin and I shouldn't use normal soaps any more.
I started using the hellaciously expensive liquid soaps and ointments and guess what, nothing happened. The irritation went away by itself after another few months and I lived happily ever after. Until about six months later, when it came back. I went to see a dermatologist who asked me about it, looked, and said "oh yes, skin flakes, whitish, that psoriasis, always get these white flakes with psoriasis."
I was pretty shattered, because I had this skin condition that you can never get rid of, and the worst forms of which made you look and feel like something out of Dante's Inferno. The good dermatologist also didn't listen when I told him of how the irritation developed from little blisterlike spots, nor did he listen when I said that I knew people who had psoriasis and was he sure because even to me that didn't look like psoriasis.
I guess a look at his bookshelf should have tipped me off, it contained dermatology journals dated back to before I was born, and precious few more recent works. I know it was a vanity collection but still... Anyhow the good doctor dermatologist prescribed some cortisone based creams, and also to spend more time exposed to the sun. I threw out the expensive liquid soaps and ointments and used the new ones. I had a backyard with a very high fence and hedge so I made a suntanning area where I could sit in a pair of speedos and soak up the magic rays.
Nothing happened, and a few months later the irritation went away. I stopped seeing doctors about it and just put up with it until I couldn't any more, then my doctor sent me to a skin specialist and as soon as I got to the practice I knew why, it was the same dermatologist I'd seen five years earlier...
I went in and had my consultation, an awful feeling of deja vu because I swear there was not one new thing in that office, and was in for a second surprise. "Oh that's crazy-paving dry skin" he said. I said I'd been diagnosed with psoriasis. "Oh no" he said, "that has these white plaques of skin, quite different." So suddenly my incurable condition - which he'd diagnosed in the first place - was gone.
When I mentioned that he made some mumblings but actually said nothing more and I got the distinct impression my consultation was over, as though it was my fault and I'd deliberately set him up by having the same skin condition twice and somehow fooling him into diagnosing it as two different things. I swear, how can I make this shit up?
This guy gets (by the way) just one buck short of one hundred dollars per 15 minute consultation. if he only spends half his day in consultation, he gets $1600 per day, or $8000 per week, $32,000 per calendar month if he takes one month leave, $384,000 per year... How can he do that and sleep nights? For five years I was miserable because I had an apparently incurable and intractable skin condition that left me pretty much looking like a hunk of steak over 25% of my body, all because this champion of champions screwed up!
And as to what the skin condition is? Don't know, haven't had it for a couple of years now (fingers crossed) but I'll tell you one thing for free - I bought a water purifier and now, although I still shower in unfiltered water, I drink only filtered water and the two coincide perfectly... That sounds like a combination allergy to me, but then what would I know, I'm not a doctor...
---
I also saw a gastric specialist. Got a few more minutes?
This guy was a beauty. As I said I put on 30 kilos in a scant two months back when all my health hassles started, and no doctor has been able to explian why that happened. They all sort fo shuffle their feet and talk about other things (and again, I don't need to make this shit up, I have sat through THREE doctors and one gastro doing the exact same act now) and they CAN'T TELL YOU WHY IT HAPPENED.
At around the same time, I started developing stomach acid problems. I could drink a glass of water, and be in a lot of pain. The first doctor I went to with it was the one who discovered my emphysema, and he avoided the stomach as he probably thought it was all stress related. He was wrong as it turns out, so I spent a long time in a lot of pain because of his assumption.
The next doctor got me scheduled for endoscopies at both ends, which discovered a hiatus hernia. Now, a hiatus hernia is a tear in your diaphragm, where the oesophagus passes through to the stomach. That means that the membrane that's supposed to act like the bellows to expand your lungs, has a FRICKEN GREAT HOLE through it. Not that any doctor I've met can see how that might cause shortness of breath...
Second thing though, is that stomach acid flows back up the oesophagus, causing the acid problems I have. Second doctor's solution: Take Zanax, and when they didn't work, some other drug, and finally, Nexium. These drugs work by blocking stomach acid production, rather than just neutralising it. I stress this because you see, with these PPI drugs you should not get excess acid anymore.
So when I was still getting acid, nausea, and vomiting some years later, I went to the gastro. First time I went to see him, I'd had an ultrasound and he showed me fatty spots in the liver, which is not fatal or anything but it can make one nauseous as the liver isn;t taking all the impurities out. Fair enough but why was I getting the acid still? Once again I got the impression that the consultation was over and I should now go.
About a year later I was still unwell (which I now presume is that neverending infection that my doctor has just discovered but done nothing about) and went back to see the gastro guy. I said I was still getting acid. "You taking those Nexium?" he asked. When I said I was, he told me flat out that I wasn't getting acid. Hey I amy be just a punter but mate I know acid when it's burning my throat and palate and mouth. He suggested that I needed another set of endoscopies and I went on strike. I asked him what he was looking for with those examinations, and he couldn't tell me.
"Just, you know, look around and see what's going on in there" was almost verbatim what he said. When I again asked him what he expected to find, what he was looking for, he again didn't mention one specific thing. Basically, he was blind, he didn;t have a clue, and he was hoping the endoscopist's report would give him something to work from. This another four hundred dollar an hour specialist...
And hey - again, I'm not a medical person or anything but I am wondering if a hernia that affects the breathing and the function of the stomach, might not have been what happened right before the moment I started getting short of breath, started getting really really bad acid problems, and started putting on weight... Nah, what's the odds of that?
---
I'll close this article also with the same admonition - don't let medical types put shit over you. They either know what they're doing or they don't. If they do, they will be able to explain it to you in a clear and concise form. If they don't - what are you doing still putting money in their pockets for basically playing with your life and health?
I'd rather a doctor said to me " hey your immunoglobins are unbalanced in a way that suggests that there is a longterm respiratory infection" than to say "see, it looks just like all the others." Because one is the truth while the other is a lie designed to cover up the fact that they missed it.
Oh yeah - back to my earlier story - about the immunoglobins? When I didn't look totally amazed and in awe that my doctor had resuced me from something and instead found the symptoms in my blood work, he sort of looked disappointed. He made some comment about how that was good news and I said that I was sorry I hadn't jumped up and kissed him or anything, because that was four years where he hadn't listened to his patient...
Have I just had a real run of bad luck here? Anyone else been disappointed, shaken, frightened, by something their doctor got wrong? I'd love to know if I'm just the unluckiest person inthe world or what...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:20 AM Ted
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Friday, June 17, 2005

Reasons I Don't Like Doctors
I depend on them, but I don't like them... I've always said that anyone who can call their business a "practice" has to be dreaming. But of course that's not the reason I find doctors to be so suspicionworthy.
I was brought up to respect the Doctor with his black bag and his pills, and it took a lot of bad experiences to get me out of that mindset. But they managed it. Over years and years of abysmal failures, they managed it.
Case in point one: In the early 90's I went to my doctor because I was feeling a bit down and had been unable to shake a particular series of flus, and had run severely out of breath climbing an antenna tower. I went several times, nothing much happened, and the doctor ordered a chest xray. I remember that xray if for no other reason than that the radiologist took the time to harangue me about my smoking habits, and she was actually very spiteful and nasty.
The doctor perused my xrays and the report from that radiologist and put me on some antibiotic or other, nothing much happened.
Some six years later I was to present those xrays to another doctor and be shown the damage spots on my lungs that signalled the beginning of my emphysema, on those very xrays, and there was no mention of them anywhere on the radiologists report nor had my doctor noted anything unusual.
What pisses me off about that is that I went to my doctor with something an xray easily diagnoses, and was told nothing was wrong. Had I been told then, I might have quit smoking back then and saved myself six years' more damage to my lungs. Are you seeing one reason for my disrespect of the profession now?
Cut to several months after that xray, I had still not shaken the virus and was also now feeling nauseous. My regular doctor was on leave and another doctor who saw me had obviously not read my paperwork, was not current with what was happening, and overworked.
"Wash wash wash!" he said to me, implying that somehow my personal hygiene was giving me stomach bugs. I am not kidding, that was the sum total of his advice! I looked at him and asked if that was it. When he replied that it was, I tossed a dollar coin on his desk and said "That's it from me too. Please don't expect to bill me for this farce."
They did try to bill me but I wrote them a letter explaining why I would not pay that ever, and they withdrew the bill, thereby tacitly validating my opinion that the guy was a total jackass.
As I was also still feeling out of breath I was sent to one of our fair city's hospitals to see an ear nose throat specialist. This was a jacket-with-leather-patches professor with silver hair and beard, a brusque manner - and a student sitting in his office that he was obviously trying to impress. I started to tell him that I often felt that my sinuses were blocked and was about to segue into "but at the moment I feel fine and there's no feeling of obstruction" but he cut me off, looked at his (yeah she was pretty, but come on!) student and then turned back to me.
Silenced me with an imperial wave, blocked one of my nostrils and asked me to breathe, then the other. "See?" he said in triumph to the student, "absolutely normal!"
He then went into a detailed description of whatever it was, and despite me trying to get his attention twice, didn't so much as acknowledge me. I walked out of that office and I don't think he even noticed it. And had he investigated properly, I might not today have this rotten sinus infection.
That story doesn't end there, by the way. That made FOUR medical people who had screwed up. The story was going to get a bit better...
Went to see a doctor at a different medical centre, explained that I'd had some shortness of breath a few years ago, and was experiencing it again. "Oh" she says, "you're getting older you know, and things just get a bit harder with advancing age" - look, I could not make this stuff up in my wildest dreams! I explained that one doesn't "get old" from one day to the next, one gets a decline but things like respiration don't just suddenly one day decide "okay that's it we need to stop now!"
I called her a very bad name and walked out of her office still telling her what I thought of stupid people trying to act like they knew shit, and left. A while later I saw a different doctor at that medical centre and he told me she had "left the practice". I wonder why...
Anyhow this doctor first had a respiratory function test done on me and then got the next set of xrays which, when compared to the earlier ones, showed the lung damage had been there for some time. But did he do anything else for me? Nu-uh... He acted like that was what I should expect for smoking, and basically told me to live with it...
He also did nothing about the fact that I was getting one flu after another and never recovering from them, did nothing for my depressed state of mind, and ignored a 40% weight gain I was going through all of a sudden. Imagine someone taking away half your breath, and then hanging a rucksack with almost half your bodyweight off you. It is frightening because all of a sudden you are moving 140% of your mass around using only about 70% of the oxygen your muscles have been used to. It sucks.
I've just been to my doctor because I've been feeling crappy for ages, and finally convinced him that some investigation is needed. So last week he had some blood tests done and discovered that some of my immunoglobin results are skewed. Thing is, we looked back at previous blood tests and yep, there they were, just as wrong every other time. I imagine that if I bothered to track this back to when I started putting on weight, the same results would have been there all that time.
Because these are respiratory/mucus virus antibodies that are out of balance. And, according to my doctor, have been that way for as long as he's been administering my tests, which is almost six years. The reason he's missed them all this time? "Because they look just like an infection"... Well duh!
So for the last six years, I've been fighting the same infection, complaining that I'm not defeating it, and doctors and specialists in their wisdom have been ignoring that. And the damage to my lungs has been piling up... Oh - and I will just bet that the sinus infection that Professor Wafflewank ignored me about, back at that consultation, turns out to be the mystery infection...
Can you see why I'm not happy with them? I had an article way back in the archives about people who are so incompetent that they can't even find a basis for establishing how incompetent they are, and these people seem to be right up there. Yes I can understand that they feel overworked but just hear me out. The practice where I currently go has around six doctors, two nurses, and a pathology collection point within a few metres. The waiting rooms seem to be busy all the time, my usual "overwait" time seems to be 30 to 60 minutes.
These people are absolutely raking it in, let's see if I get my sums right here then: Six doctors over (say, for fairness' sake) only six hours a day, seeing about six patients an hour. (Yes I know they estimate fifteen minutes per consult but I've had occasion many times to count, and it averages ten minutes.) That's around 370 people they can see a day. I'm going to assume that I only go there at the busiest seasons and so that figure needs to be halved, so, ummm say they see 180 pateints between them, per day.
That's 900 patients a week, on average. At almost $45 per consultation that means this place earns $40,000 per week. Six doctors, two nurses, say twelve administrative staff, and we can pretty safely say that the doctors earn about twice what the admin staff and nurses do, and lease and expenses will take about a quarter of the income away, so each doctor earns about $2500 per week and the other staff earn around $1000 per week. Take out tax and you are still left with the menial people earning almost double what I do.
So my question is - Why? Why do they overbook themselves, make themselves look like a moneymaking machine when they should be a healthmaking machine, and why don't they employ a few more doctors and take a bit longer evaluating cases, keeping up with their respective fields, and generally being more effective as physicians?
The medical people we have, and those who are passing through the education system right now, have a far inflated view of their value to society, and I think people are going to realise this more and more. Had my doctors acted a bit more like a physik of 200 years ago, they would have picked up my emphysema ten years ago, my viral infection around the same time, and I would have been spared several very horrible years.
What can we each do? Take an interest in your condition, and learn about it. If your doctor does something that seems counter to what you've found out, pull them up and ask about it. For example, a simple thing but I spared myself a lot of suffering - one of my earlier doctors knew of my stomach complaints, and at that time I had an inflamed muscle in the shoulder, he prescribed iboprufen for the muscle, and I pulled him up on that because people with stomach complaints should not take it. Turns out I was right, he'd just "forgot"...
So if things don't add up, ask your doctor right there. If they don't seem to accept this, remind them gently that there is a customer/service relationship here and you are paying for the right to know about your condition and understand the treatments. If that doesn't seem to get through, then my best advice is - find another doctor. If you want to do other people a favour, send the medical facility a letter advising them exactly why you will no longer see that doctor. Also try, as I have done, to speak to that doctor once more and explain it to them too. The waiting room is perfect for this...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Saturday, June 18, 2005 1:39 AMposted at 7:08 PM Ted
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Playtime!
I did not know that afternoon tea with dolly could be such fun!
How surreal...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:02 AM Ted
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Shampoo
If you squint at the thumbnails in this Flickr set just right, you can see real poo and real jet....
I love Flickr!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 6:46 PM Ted
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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Just Links
Just Links:
YIPE!
and
WOW! (wmf movie.)
Categories - ::/:: posted at 5:50 PM Ted
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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

woodstock
You are Woodstock!Which Peanuts Character are You?brought to you by Quizilla
Categories - ::/:: posted at 12:49 AM Ted
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Last word on the news
"Flu pandemic" - this worries me. Additionally to Sheikh Fahd and Gra Gra Kennedy, Snr Don Chipp is another person who just experienced pneumonia. The news shaded over one thing though - the flu outbreak of '18 did not just kill "thousands" as they said in the news, it killed between 20 and 40 million...
What worries me is that people like myself are at several orders of magnitude greater risk. Having just had a flu which I suspect is similar to the one causing all the havoc with the people mentioned above, I can tell you that it is rough - I am still not over it, and I know that it wouldn't take much of a nudge right now to push my condition from pink to blue...
The 1918 flu jumped from pigs, it was a swine ful that made the jump, this time it's the chickens - is Old McDonald's Farm trying to kill us off?
On a different but related note - isn't Perth becoming a dangerous place? People getting their throats slashed, bird flu, risk of drowning in burst water mains or even in some of the rain showers we've had tonight (I swear one cloudburst was just a wall of water at 500% humidity - cos I've seen 50% and this was worse) or durting the not-so-far-back storms that ravaged the coast...
Oh yeah and I have had responses to prospecting emails to iRobot and smart Gmbh regarding some ideas of a friend of mine whom I am helping, and that may mean good news sometime soon. At least there's a silver lining on the horizon... Wish us luck people!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 12:00 AM Ted
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Monday, June 06, 2005

Meat Sculptures
I mean, come on! It's meat of sorts, it's made into sculptures - meat sculptures!
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:30 PM Ted Comment made, yay!
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Sunday, June 05, 2005

When Is A Terrorist?
The folks at the Indonesian Embassy are returning back to normal after their scare. If they ever find the person/people behind that little stunt, they will be charged with terrorism and all sorts of charges to endangerment, attempted manslaughter, and so forth - they will throw the freaking book at them.
"And deservedly so!" I hear almost everyone say. "Give Australians a bad name, interfering with the Indonesian culture and processes of their Law, and making the case difficult for a poor little beautician."
So the people who are behind a relatively minor scare which inconvenienced - what, 20? 50? 100? - employees at the Embassy while trying to point out the unfairness of the Law in another country, who are trying to change all life all over the world to fit in with their narrow little view of what constitutes Natural Justice, and who did what they did out of outrage for what is happening to a real human being - they are going to get royally screwed over.
They tried to highlight to the world that a citizen of one culture is a prisoner of another culture and that the law her native culture expects her to receive is not the law of the culture she infringed in. It's a noble cause, in one way, and a "well duh!" sort of thing in another. By pursuing the perpetrator(s) so vigorously we are saying "that's their culture, let's not interfere. It's only a citizen of Australia after all."
And person who did this - in the process temporarily destroying the livelihoods of several hundred farmers, ruining our reputation overseas just as surely as the activists above, and who did what they did for the sake of a bunch of freaking sheep for Chrissakes - got off scot free...
By our actions in this case we've said "my God, thousands of sheep, how can we possibly let them be manhandled by barbarians in another culture? These are Australian Sheep for God's sake!"
Am I the only one seeing the absurdity here?
The Corby affair is sad, yes. But sadder to me is the reputation hit we took with the sheep contamination issue, the fact that here too, a nation's Law (Muslim) is involved and someone wants to change it - for a bunch of food animals... What this person did left millions of sheep that cost farmers millions of dollars to raise and which they did not get income for, ruining the farmers' economies individually; his actions cost us goodwill and trade relationships which injured our country's image in the world; and in the flow-on effects, his actions left each of us out of pocket by a dollar or two if you spread the losses out, affecting our economy nationally.
That can be classed as treasonable activity against Australia, if only the Government had had some balls at the time. How sad for us that a bunch of sheep is being held more valuable than out international relations and our livelihoods...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 12:01 PM Ted
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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Cat. Food. Funny.

Got sent this picture and it got me on a train of thought that probably shouldn't have been pursued, like "eating pussy" and "cat food" - anyway as a result over at Flickr I've now got a couple of cat / food / funny pics...
Argh. Watching Liar Liar while blogging is a lousy idea. It's just taken me 15 minutes to write as far as this point. I'm going to give up, and let Jim Carrey's madcaps give me apoplexy. Cyaz!
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Saturday, June 04, 2005 10:13 PMposted at 10:07 PM Ted
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Friday, June 03, 2005

A new low in .... ads.
Regular readers know what the four dots stand for.
Bed Company Bunbury Storm Sale ad:
Their insurance company has told them to sell off the stock from their Bunbury store. Awww poor them... Poor widdle diddumses have a lot of damaged stock to quit, and no storefront in Bunbury to sell it from.
So what do they do? Do they spend a few dollars to throw up a marquee in Bunbury and quit their stock there to provide some welcome assistance to storm-hit Bunburyites? Of course not - they couldn't ask for a lot for all that store stock, what with people rebuilding their lives, and besides, a marquee costs money. Instead, let's spend that marquee money on shipping the stock back to Perth, because we can ask a higher price in Perth.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:28 PM Ted
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Home. Sick. Whales.
I'm home feeling sick, can't get to see my doctor because of the long weekend, if I feel worse it will be hospital for me. And of course it has to be on a long weekend, so I'm basically screwed for doing anything this lwe. And it's not like a flu where you get some relief from time to time, this is a gastric crampy painy thing that ain't stopping. Gah!
On a different note, I wonder if those whales stranding themselves yesterday and then en masse decided to not strand themselves anymore weren't part of a new vanguard.
"For years, we'd been sending Talkers to Communicate with the Aliens. It was always the same, the Talkers would get to the Alien border, Aliens would cluster around while the Talkers tried to Explain (over the course of many Conversations as is our wont,) that the Aliens were really just a failed offshoot of us, an offshoot that had (and here the Talkers would get completely into the Conversation and mime the concept) left the world and gone Up Above. Because Talkers are what they are, they would perish in their attempt to Communicate, and now we have only inexperienced, young Talkers, who fail to give their all in their efforts to Communicate with the Aliens. Perhaps this is a better Way..."
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:56 AM Ted
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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Broad(band)ly, Screwed...
Who are SBC in the States? I don't know but they are offering a decent DSL speed for $14.95 USD. That totally sucks on so many levels I can't even begin to express it, but I'll try. Here's the article.
Here's why I find it all disturbing:
Firstly this is a 348Kb/1.5Mb service, it's faster than I'm getting here in Australia fron SwifTel-stra. I get 128K/512K...
Secondly, this is a disturbing quote from the article: "The move is a way to reach an untapped segment of price-sensitive potential customers after millions of average consumers followed early adopters into the high-speed services, he said." That means that early adopters in the USA (and of course the rest of the world) have been bent over and screwed for their money because the service is worht less than half of what it costs them.
My service is 128K/512K and thanks to a crap line from Telstra, pathetic and ineffectual service from Swiftel (oh yes I'm naming names now because I am pissed at both of them) I get the full service about 70% of the time, the rest of the time my service is disconnected and takes ages to reconnect cos of the pissweak line quality.
The SBC service at three times the data rate is still quoted as being below standard in some countries: "In global terms, DSL pricing in the United States is competitive with that in most developed countries, though consumers in some countries, such as Japan and South Korea, get more bandwidth for about the same price..."
Their service costs $14.95 USD, or about $22 AUD. My service costs $59.00 AUD. I am paying three times as much for one third of the pipeline, and in addition I'm experiencing the frustration of "line up, line down. line up, line down...." all day.
The way this has been playing out:
Ring Telstra: "Hello my ADSL is playing up."
Telstra: "Oh you need to speak to Swiftel as they are your provider."
Ring Swiftel. "Hello, my broadband is spending around 1/4 of its time disconnected for some reason, it takes between 2 and 20 minutes to reconnect each time."
Swiftel: "Sounds like you have a line problem. You need to contact Telstra."
Me: "Why do I have to contact Telstra? They are charging *you* guys for the port fee."
Swiftel: "It's your line Sir."
Ring Telstra: "Hey my line is bad, I can't keep my broadband service connected."
Telstra: "Is the phone service affected? Could you call 000 if you needed to?"
Me: "Yes, it's a bit noisy and scratchy but the broadband, you're charging my ISP a monthly port fee that says you'll deliver broadband from them to me and it's not working."
Telstra: "Well you'll have to speak to Telstra Broadband about that."
Me: "But it's a LINE problem, and my ISP isn't Telstra Broadband!"
Telstra: "I can transfer you to Telstra Broadband if you like. Please hold."
Telstra broadband: "Sounds like you have a line problem, I'll just log a call with Telstra faults." GAAAHHHHHH!!!
Finally, a technician comes out. He checks the phone and finds that it's not too noisy, "not my field" about the ADSL, and then plays with the wires out in the pit outside.
My line works fine for one to five days until the newly-dried out connections in the pit get wet again, then goes back to failing.
Repeat the above every few weeks for FOUR MONTHS and then give up.
I've just rung Amcom.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:51 PM Ted
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Zimbabwe
Heard on the news, looked up on the Web: The Minister For Bulldozing Housing of Zimbabwe. Or so today's news on JJJ said. He sounds exactly as I expected him to, and apparently he's also a bit of a stud. The radio news (what I heard above the roar of buses pulling away) had a lot of phrases like "police used sledgehammers and bulldozers to .... houses in the ... " and then the item was finished. Damn. I searched online but didn't find reference to this particular event.
The mention of sledgehammers brought back this Idi Amin memory. We still live in a very under-evolved world...
No point to this story, I just found this to be an interesting 5 minute research project...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:27 AM Ted
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