Sunday, August 14

Ready to Set off to Tasmania

Well, in 24 hours time, I expect to be on the road on my way to Boggabilla in New South Wales.

I am not quite ready, but will be by the end of today I suspect/hope.

I am booked.  Read details here.

I will make my final list today, and pack the car with the rest of my things, empty the refrigerator, and be all set for last minute stuff tomorrow morning.

Look out Tasmania, here I come.

Saturday, August 13

One Adventure Ends, Another Starts

I nearly completed the Ultimate Blog Challenge, but not quite.  As it turned out July ended up being a very busy month for me, and I was challenged daily with the UBC, but managed most of it.  I was dogged with other community service projects, a health issue (oh, my feet!), planning for my adventure down south and a house guest.  Too much!  I am getting too old.

So, in 48 hours from now, on Monday August 15th, I hope to set off to stay Monday night at the small town of Boggabilla, in New South Wales.  There is not much to see at Boggabilla but I have a few things to see including the Goondiwindi Customs House and the Wobbly Boot Hotel


Meanwhile, today, I have my guest from China and we will be heading off around 9 am perhaps to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Not sure exactly where we will go today, but a leisurely day I hope as I need it and I am sure he does.

Monday, July 11

Doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Well, I am up to Day 10 on the Ultimate Blog Challenge, but using my other site here.   As much as I am a lover of blogger and teach that to my students who are embarking on creating their own blog or website, I have seen the benefits of using WordPress, but it is not as easy as Blogger.

One does have a bit more ability to change/add things, and I like the SEO plugins that help you improve your Search  Engine Optimisation.  I'm still a bit of a luddite with it all though.  My thing is writing, NOT web design or similar.

WordPress folk tend to be a bit "nerdy" as they play around with the "back end" of a site.  However, I have found some interesting things  I work with a number of web designers as I provide content for some.

I am surprised how in efficient they are at working with their clients.  One site I work with is for a not-for-profit organisation and I do much of their content.  When I started going to WordPress MeetUps etc I learned how little the company, which was paid quite a high sum, didn't and doesn't, tell me much about the workings of the site.  

The assume (WRONGLY) that I know everything.  The guy seldom answers my emails until I ask the same question many times, and them I don't always feel that he has told me as much as I need to know.

It is frustrating.

I have had a discussion with a WordPress Guru - and he tells me the same thing.  It seems that some web designers

  • want to keep control (but are not always available for advice)
  • assume that the person doing the content knows all about the back end
  • has no instructed his/her client sufficiently 
  • has little interaction with the client after the site is "completed".

Life goes on though and mostly all the issues are minor.

I continue.

Saturday, July 2

Blogger or WordPress?

For years I have been a Blogger Fan - and happy.  I felt that as a Writer I needed to be a bit more technical to work with WordPress.  I have had a website with WordPress, but when I do Blogging Workshops I usually recommend Blogger.

I have attempted the Ultimate Blog Challenge before, but have not completed the tasks. This time - July 2016 - I am doing it again, but from my WordPress site. 

Recently I attended a WordPress Camp, and MeetUp, and am slowly coming to terms with all the  extra's that are available in WP, and am managing to use them.  Some challenges do come my way, but all is ok.  Mostly.

I do have a BIG complaint.  Not necessarily about WP, but about the "web designers" who charge a lot, and I don't think "service" their clients well.  For example, I have been the one helping out with a not-for-profit group.  I update their website, and do their blog.  With difficulty as the organisation does not give me all the data/information I need.

But when I learned more about the back end of WP I raised some questions with the "web designer" who charged a lot of money to change/create the website.  It was already done by someone who was very challenging to deal with and seldom did things when asked.

The new guy was full of promises and to be fair he did a good job in setting up, but that's where it ended.  He assumed (wrongly) that I was competent with WP, and I was not.

In my recent learning I found out quite a lot - and found out quite a lot that he didn't do, or didn't  inform us that he didn't do.

I've met this week with a big time WordPress user and expressed my concern at the way the site was done, but in 18 months no advice, or help. It has been hard to get him to do things that we knew we needed.  

Customer Service?  No - nothing.  He's even slack sending invoices.  I have to remind him.  Maybe he will not get any more reminders and we will find someone else to do it.  Mmmm.  Just thinking................

Here's my new blog.

Tuesday, June 21

Smacking and Violence

I have written on this topic before and usually get lots of negative feedback.  But I am undeterred.

Years ago when I had children, one of the ways of disciplining children was to smack them.  Yes, sometimes it was not just one smack, perhaps two or three. Usually on the bottom.  I have threatened to use a wooden spoon, but in reality, the hand was the "weapon" of choice.  It usually hurt me as much as it hurt my son or daughter.  It hurt me in my heart, but at the time as now, I believed that it was a good method of discipline.  They and I learned very quickly that they didn't get smacked very often - as they would generally obey, or avoid doing the things that caused this hurtful result!

I have read that this sort of discipline was the cause of people becoming violent.  I can swear that neither the children's father nor myself are violent people.  Not at all!  Neither of my children are violent either, and they have turned out to be good people, and good parents.  

However, I have been concerned for some time that parents are limited in the types of discipline they can legally used. Smacking a child can result in a visit to court and I know children know this and often threaten their parents.  Yes, I have seen that!

I have witnessed parents endeavouring to discipline using a range of methods - the naughty corner is one, and withholding treats is another.  They work with some children I have no doubt.

What concerns me is that I see that young people are more violent than they were in years gone by.  They appear to be more insolent and flaunt the laws in greater numbers than we have seen before.  I see young people, especially young men being quite happy to disobey a whole range of laws - especially road rules which sadly get them killed, but they nothing wrong with bashing people or raping women.

This article illustrates what I am saying.  Click here.   A group of teenagers get on the bus and one is smoking.  (Clearly that is enough to suggest that he was not a "bright" person.)   The elderly passenger asked the young man to stop smoking.  In any case it is illegal.  So the young fellow bashed the 71 year old pensioner. 

Let's recap.  A 16 year old breaking the smoking law, and then violently bashing an elderly man on a bus.  I am pleased to say that the young man has been charged.  But to me it is hard to believe that young people, (and there are many more young people committing similar crimes) seem to think they are invincible.  If convicted it will ruin this boy's life.  It will restrict his travel plans (overseas countries do not like to admit people with convictions) and it will restrict the sort of work he can do.  A prospective employer will be able to easily check his "criminal" record" especially if he is convicted.

I know some parents feel that if they could smack a young child - I don't mean "bash or belt" they will have a good measure of discipline.  

To me the argument that smacking causes violence is nonsense.  I think bashing might cause a child to be violent later.  I see with all the so called safer discipline we have indeed come to having a far more violent society. 

Saturday, June 18

Costume Day

Today is Heritage Day at the Caboolture Historical Village.   On this day I will be working in the old Hospital - a former Caboolture Hospital Building.  Today I will wear my Matron's outfit for the first time.  I have been volunteering there for over 3 years, and usually wear a convict outfit.

I have a "nurse" with me today.  I was asked to consider what we could do to entertain the visitors.  My mind ran amok!!!  Enemas?

(Strangely, another volunteer asked me what an enema was!!)  No, I am not allowed to offer free enemas.  Injections?  No.  Blood Pressure?  No - apart from the fact that my "sphygmo" will be quite out of place as it is a modern one.  It is hard to find the word "sphygmomanometer" these days!!

I also have a penis measuring device - and I will take a photocopy of this - I can choose who I will "share" it with.  (I was a sales representative/nurse advisor for a company that marketed a range of items including condoms for men with bladder leaking problems.)

Visiting the company website I learn that the product has been updated and looks very little like the ones that I was familiar with about 30 plus years ago.

In the end, I chose a safe, rather fun activity.  Making cotton wool balls.  These days we can buy already made cotton wool balls, but way back in 1963 we had to make our own.  While working in CSS (Central Sterile Supply) we would sit for hours pulling cotton wool from a huge roll, quickly rolling a ball into the palm of our hand, and throwing it into a huge stainless steel drum.  We would then sterilise them.  We also sharpened the needles for syringes as well as washed the syringes.  They were all then sterilised.

So today I will be making cotton balls in the old hospital.

Maybe a photo of me as Matron will appear in tomorrow's post.

In the old Hospital

Friday, June 17

A Wonderful Morning

"Oh, what a wonderful morning...."

We Aussies do live in a "lucky" country.  We Australians love travelling.  The country I have visited most in my life is China. After working there in 2008 and 2010, I have been back three times.  I love it, but when I return to Australia, I feel much more relaxed.  Living in a communist country certainly has its challenges, and I learned much about communism and yesterday I listened to a Richard Fidler episode where Cie Cie Nguyen spoke of her escape from war-torn Saigon.

To be honest, when I was in China, I was not concerned or particularly aware of the restrictions of communism, but I had been told about it.  But listening to Cie Cie's interview, I understood more of how life was for folk living under the regime in Vietnam at the time.

(I listen to many of Richard Fidler and Margaret Throsby's interviews on radio - they are downloaded onto a USB stick, which I listen to in my car.)

Sorry, I waffled a bit.  I was trying to explain how we Australians love our country and how we have the freedom to enjoy it.  Where I live it is more country than city - and we do sense the joy of this - being able to watch the sea and river life, and at night being able to more clearly see the stars in the night sky.

In the mornings, I enjoy watching the sun come up over Moreton Bay, and the sunset, not so easy to see from my home, paints beautiful pictures in the sky too.

I'd love to live right on the waterfront, and then I would not have to do what I did on that occasion.   When I peered out of the window as I rose from my bed I saw the sky had a reddish glow, so I quickly dressed, grabbed my camera and went to the waterfront.  

So much to enjoy.