Go to


Bottom of Page

Go to

The Motley Expeditions

Views from the Other Side

Strolls in the Bush

Travels round my Family

My Life as an Engineer

Barraba Red Hatters

Go on the Web to

Eco-Camping Australia

The Highway Wanderers Chapter of the CMCA

The Australian Skeptics

My Daughter's Blog

June 09

I am a happy recipient of a Fred Hollows Miracle

The cataract operation I had a couple of weeks ago is a real miracle. I expected some improvement in my vision but the improvement I have had has been "blooming marvelous". I didn't appreciate during the months that I had lost most of the vision in the bad eye that monocular vision, though it works pretty well and I had no trouble driving, reading, driving the computer, or watching TV, how much I had lost. My newly obtained binocular vision is much much better.

I am so happy to be the recipient of this wonderful medical technology. The doctor who performed the operation said that it was the most successful medical intervention of all. I assume he was referring to the very high success rate and the very very low failure rate. I was impressed by this but my take on it i that many, many people benefit from a miraculous recover of full vision.

I guess we should all be happy contributors to the Fred Hollows Foundation so that the beneficiaries include lots of people in the "other" world.

Posted: 30/6/09 3:45 PM

Xmas at the winter solstice

We had our Lions Club Changeover Dinner today. Because of the chance of a cold evening we decided to have Sunday lunch, Because it is midwinter, the theme of the meal was Xmas in July. The food was very traditional and very delicious.

The meeting had a huge attendance and we all had lots of good conversation before, during and after the meal.

I was given the task of proposing the toast to Lions Club International. There being no prescribed text for the toast I highlighted those aspects of the Lions movement which had impressed me over the last three years.

I told them that I was fascinated that the International President last year was a Mahendra Amarasuriya as I had a good friend at university in London in the 1950s with the same surname, When I came to Barraba I found that our two wonderful doctors, Dr Deepal and Dr Sanji were Gunasekeras sharing that surname with another good friend of mine at uni. I made the point that these coincidences gave me strong connections to Lions both at the International level and at the Barraba level.

I also made the point that I was most impressed by Barraba in no small measure due to the great Lions Club.

The purpose of the Changeover is to install the newly elected committee. We had our Zone Chairman come from Tamworth to perform the induction. In his reply to my toast he said he was impressed by Barraba Lions Club for its perfect performance in its monthly reports which were always in early, a nice compliment for the retiring Secretary (me).

Posted: 28/6/09 8:51 PM

I've just proved that a some modern consumer software is defective.

I was trying to change the ring tone for the alarm clock on my new mobile phone and found that, unlike the call ring tone, the default alarm ring tone is fixed in the software and the only way to change it is to get involved in a fairly complicated procedure on each occasion that an alarm is set.

Having been less enthusiasm for doing this, I have to put up with the song they selected as the default alarm ring tone.

I conclude that the software wasn't properly specified, the specification wasn't properly reviewed, and the software wasn't properly tested against the final specification.

I also conclude that those responsible for this software weren't interested in ensuring that it would suit the needs of the users. It has been suggested that they wouldn't care because the customer will purchase the product before they find such problems and will be stuck with the product they bought.

Posted: 19/6/09 5:28 PM

I keep saying "There's too much money" - now I have some evidence.

Watching the Antiques Roadshow yesterday, I saw a doll which was valued by comparison with a similar doll which had sold at auction for £182,000 ($A380,000 - $US300,000)!

If somebody can afford to pay that much for a single collectable item when there are many who work hard to make their contribution to the economy but who can't afford anything like that amount even for a house, clearly the rich have accumulated an unreasonable share of the fruits of the economy.

My new motto is "There's too much money in too few hands."

I am still concerned that the money supply does not represent the real value of the sum of the real stuff in the economy. Much of the money is created by banks out of nothing so that they can lend it to those who live on borrowed money which they may well not be able to repay. While the banks and the borrowers suffer a bit when the sh*t hits the fan, the economy at large suffers much more and we all have to pay for the sins of the few.

I have recently been pointed to the blog of an academic economist, Bill Mitchell, of Newcastle University whose writing often support my views on the defects in our economy. He is worth a read.

Posted: 16/6/09 5:13 PM

A Medical visit to Tamworth

I had been diagnosed with a cataract in one eye when I was last in Brisbane. When I came back to Barraba I booked an appointment with the North West Eye Clinic in Tamworth run by one of Fred Hollows expert supporters. He determined that I needed an operation to correct the problem. The waiting list is always about six months long so my appointment for the operation was today.

We came to Tamworth yesterday because I had to do to the Doctor's rooms early in the morning. We decided to book into a motel for two nights because I have t go back to the doctor's rooms the morning after the operation for a first check up.

We chose the motel closest to the CBD which was cheaper than most of the others though it wasn't cheap by our standards. It was Country Comfort's Tamworth Towers. We checked in yesterday afternoon after a pre-lunch drive, a lunch visit to Macas and after doing some shopping in the town.

We tried to watch the afternoon TV but the set was supplied with pay channels as well as the free to air channels which we normally watch at home. When we needed to switch to the ABC we couldn't find it because the channel numbers were a bit confused. I rang Reception to ask for the right channel number for the ABC and was told it was channel 2. We had tried that channel without success so Jean started to channel hop and quickly found the ABC on channel 1. Later in the evening I mentioned this to the receptionist and she said "That's what the list we have says. I suggest you hunt around for it." Later in the evening we wanted to watch another free to air channel and it came up black and white even though all the other channels were in colour.

We went to the restaurant for a quick meal but had to wait 45 minutes before the first course came. It was quite edible but the quality didn't match the price so we were a bit disappointed.

The bed was so uncomfortable that we both had disturbed night's sleep.

When I took a shower this morning, the bathroom was pretty cold and there was no heater to fix this. I found it very difficult to stabilize the temperature of the shower at an acceptable level, it kept on running hot then cold until the room next door switched off their shower.

This morning we went to the Doctor's rooms for a final check up before the operation. We had to wait about an hour before I was called and then i had to sit waiting for many minutes for a couple of times before I was finished.

We got to the hospital at noon as they had asked us to and I was put in a gown and into bed for the two and hours before the operation was scheduled. I finally understood the need for this as I had several eye drops every half hour before going into the operating area about a quarter of an hour late. The preparation took another half an hour and the operation started about three quarters of an hour late. I was out just before four and after a much appreciated cup of coffee, I was discharged at about a quarter past four. I was surprisingly well as the sedation I had been given wore off very quickly. That was due to the fact that I told the Anaesthetist that I suffered from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea so he reduced the dose of sedative to try and avoid a violent grunt from me while the doctor was operating. I feel remarkably well and the patch over the eye is just a bit of a nuisance, not a problem.

I'm scheduled to see the Doctor in his rooms tomorrow morning after which we will do some routine shopping and then drive back to Barraba.

We have vowed to avoid the Tamworth Towers Motel on any future occasion we have to stay in Tamworth overnight.

We decided to go out to dinner tonight. The local Indian Restaurant didn't answer the telephone so I rang Jack Style. our favourite Thai Restaurant in Tamworth and we had a wonderful meal.

Posted: 10/6/09 7:41 PM

Winter has come to Barraba

June 1st is the nominal start of winter and though we have had some frosts during the autumn today's weather seem like winter really has come. It is overcast and calm and the air temperature is about 17°C (64°F) but it "feels" cold. We only have to wait until September for the glorious Barraba weather to come back.

We took the little dog to the vet yesterday to get him checked our. He is OK but needed his nails clipping,his teeth cleaning, and his diet fixing. The vet suggested that we do what her mother did when she was a child. Put vegetables in the blender with the minced beef to make a good pasta sauce which gets eaten because it is still "meat".

We found he had been micro-chipped so we registered his change of ownership and took his papers to the council who transferred his existing registration to us so he is legal. We also found his date of birth, 1st March 2005 so he is just four years old.

I was horrified to discover that the penalty for not maintaining his registration was a fine of up to $2,200! Given the penalties handed out for some antisocial behaviour these days, I can only say, "The legal penalty system is badly broken." I was reminded of a visit to Stanthorpe in Queensland in the Motley. We planned to camp overnight in a rest area on the very edge of the town but when I stopped, we were confronted by a "NO CAMPING" sign which identified the infringement penalty as $1.500.

We took the little dog back to the vet today for tooth cleaning. He had to have a general anaesthetic so was in the vet hospital all day. When we picked him up he was very chirpy and his mouth was in tip top condition. He was pretty happy to be "home" again.

Posted: 2/6/09 5:11 PM


Mar 2014

Feb 2014

Jan 2014

Dec 2013

Nov 2013

Oct 2013

Sept 2013

Aug 2013

Jul 2013

Jun 2013

May 2013

Apr 2013

Mar 2013

Feb 2013

Jan 2013

Dec 2012

Nov 2012

Oct 2012

Sep 2012

Aug 2012

Jul 2012

Jun 2012

May 2012

Apr 2012

Mar 2012

Feb 2012

Jan 2012

Dec 2011

Nov 2011

Oct 2011

Sep 2011

Aug 2011

Jul 2011

Jun 2011

May 2011

Apr 2011

Mar 2011

Feb 2011

Jan 2011

Dec 2010

Nov 2010

Oct 2010

Sep 2010

Aug 2010

Jul 2010

Jun 2010

May 2010

Apr 2010

Mar 2010

Feb 2010

Jan 2010

Dec 2009

Nov 2009

Oct 2009

Sep 2009

Aug 2009

Jul 2009

May 2009

Apr 2009

Mar 2009

Feb 2009

Jan 2009

Dec 2008

Nov 2008

Oct 2008

Sep 2008

Aug 2008

Jul 2008

Jun 2008

May 2008

Apr 2008

Top of Page - Next Month

Created: 2/06/09 and last revised 30/03/2014
Author: Robin Chalmers - Copyright in all the material on this site is asserted by the author.
Contact the webmaster