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Mar 2011

A Busy Weekend

We had a busy weekend.

On Saturday we had the third Barraba Artisans and Farmers Market. My job is to promote the other good features of Barraba to the visitors. Sarah and Gemma run a stall selling Sarah's beautiful cloth shopping bags and Gemma's trauma teddies. The market was pretty good and some of the visitors told me that they were impressed. We still don't get many visitors but I hope that the promotion of our market around the region and the response of present visitors will get more people to come to Barraba on market days. After the market the family had coffee and lunch in the Playhouse Hotel which was very good.

Yesterday we had the Red Cross Calling Day. It was very successful. We had a number of young people including our grand children who volunteered to do the door knocks. Mark, the President of the Barraba Branch of the Red Cross, spent the whole morning in his car supervising the collectors and Sarah and I spent the whole morning manning the information table in the Mall. The result of the collection was a very significant amount of money which was very satisfying. I had been worried that we had not had a lot of volunteers earlier but the day was a great effort and I was very impressed with the volunteers who did help us.

Posted: 28/3/11 8:13 AM

My views on the dangers of the modern world

Lots of what I read both in print and on the internet have convinced me that the modern world suffers from some very dangerous things.

One example of this problem is a report about GPS jamming which is apparently becoming more available. Combined with the idea that motor vehicles may be changed by making the driving automatic based on modern electronics including obstacle detecting radar and GPS navigation, makes me think that the future of driving on public roads which is not totally safe now might become much more unsafe. Of course I believe that some of the problems reported about Toyotas which fail to respond to their drivers actions has been blamed on mats catching accelerator pedals but there have been theories that the engine management system was responsible in some cases. The fact that there was no way the driver could switch the engine off made the problem much worse than it should have been whatever the cause.

Another example is the use of the internet to talk to SCADA systems which control all kinds of equipment from electricity substations to uranium enrichment machines. The fact that connection using the internet allows outsiders to gain access to the SCADA gear and hacking has produced software which will allow these outsiders to take control of the equipment makes for real dangers. I remember reading many years ago about a guy who hacked into a substation using a lap-top equipped with some radio communications gear. This wasn't an internet problem but it was a modern electronics related problem.

The internet is apparently used extremely extensively to communicate with remote equipment. The fact that the internet community includes many people who use their skills to do things which are dishonest and dangerous to others makes the risks considerable.

I believe that the most significant element in this issue is that some of the people who own and control the systems seem to lack any understanding of quality assurance of safety.

Of course I also believe that some of the information available on the internet is untrue but that some people accept this information anyway and make their decisions based on these untruths. Recently I have been reading stuff about the process of decision making which sometimes depends on people using information which aligns with their beliefs even when the information is incorrect. Of course the current debate about the integrity of science sometimes leans in this direction. I know that finding adequate evidence to confirm the truth of statements can be quite onerous but that doesn't make the need to find such evidence un-necessary.

Another element that I consider important is the apparent lack of any effective policing of the internet. Sometimes I read about people being charged with offences committed on the internet but I also read lots of stuff about cyber crime which goes unpunished.

Posted: 24/3/11 8:24 AM

My extended work requirements

My increase in volunteer work is causing me some trouble by making the allocation of time to each job more stressful.

I have added another volunteer job but the demands of my Secretary job for the Barraba Branch of the Australian Red Cross has turned out to be quite demanding. I also have to work two mornings each week at the Primary School helping with the Junior Red Cross Breakfast Club.

My Assistant Secretary job for the Community Development Committee is also demanding.

I have joined Barraba Community Incorporated so that I can work at the Artisans and Farmers Markets as a promoter of the highlights of Barraba to the visitors to the town. I had to join Facebook so that I could get the co-ordinators stuff for each market day. The time I had to spend on the Facebook site was quite a lot because the site has lots of complicated features and it didn't work well for me.

The total hours in my database add up to about 84 hours a month. While this is less than a full time paid job, I do have to have time to do domestic chores and maintenance work on the house and garden so I feel like I am working full time again.

Posted: 20/3/11 5:42 PM

A Wonderful Celebration

Our 50th Wedding Anniversary last Friday was celebrated with a family dinner at the Playhouse Hotel. All the family who live in Barraba were there and we were very pleased to have Andrew and Haddon, the proprietors of the place which is a marvellous establishment and is the Cultural Centre of Barraba, as guests at the dinner. We all had beautiful food and drank lots of very tasty wine, our favourite, Banrock Station White Shiraz,

I was amazed on Saturday when I was talking to the lady who was entertaining the crowd at the Artisans and Farmers Market and was told that her parents had been married on the same day. What a connection.

I am working for the Barraba Community Incorporated which runs the Artisans and Farmers Market to promote Barraba as a great place to visit. My job is to introduce market visitors to the striking features of Barraba.

I was able to get several people interested in visiting one of these features, The Shed of Knowledge, which is a superb collection of many decades of artefacts from Barraba which is marvellously presented by its owner , Ron Hiscock, who is one of my Barraba mentors and a great friend. His presentation gives one a wonderful image of Barraba and its history.

Posted: 14/3/11 12:13 PM
Revised: 5:05 PM

A slow recovery from the tooth extractions

Sadly the wound in my mouth has not yet healed up completely.

I had to return to my anti clotting medication to ensure that I have no problems with my stent. This might have caused the longer time for healing. Happily this will extend the time until the next extractions take place.

I am not allowed to chew on any food yet so I am surviving on drinks and very soft foods like chocolate mousse and creme caramel. My morning blood glucose level hasn't changed at all. Today we are having fasting blood tests which will reveal the HbA1c which gives a 3 months average BGL. I expect it to be the same as usual but we will see.

Posted: 10/3/11 7:12 AM

More Medical Stuff

Last year I had full mouth X-ray which revealed some problems with some more of my back teeth.

Yesterday I went to my dentist in Tamworth and he extracted two of the teeth. I am still in the process of healing the wounds so I can't eat yet. The wound is improving and I guess I will be able to return to eating soon. Of course eating might be more difficult with more blank spaces in the tooth lineup. I already have lots of back teeth missing and one of my expectations is that I will be able to get some false teeth after the rest of the extractions are done.

Strangely my Blood Glucose Level this morning was the same as some of my recent low readings. Even though I didn't eat any solid food yesterday, Idid drink some drinks which were food. I believe that the failure to have a very low BGL is due to the fact that the liver overnight releases glucose if the BGL is low which of course reduces the risk of hypoglycaemia when ones diet is very reduced.

Posted: 8/3/11 8:09 AM

Good News

Jean went to our doctor because she was having some bad headaches. The doctor sent her to Tamworth to have a CAT scan of her head. The radiographers report came back within hours and gave us very good news. No signs of blood flow problems in the brain. We are very happy to have had this check and have got this good news.

Posted: 2/3/11 6:24 PM


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Created: 2/03/11 and last revised 30/03/2014
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