Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Images from my knee replacement

These images were taken at home exactly 7 days after the operation. Rhonda had to take down the dressing to change it.

First two show the limit/extent of the bruising:

Dressing in place:

Dressing removed, exposing the wound:

Progress is slow, at present, because of the extensive bruising and swelling in my leg and that the 'clips' are still in and not due out until Friday week.  I see Mark, my physiotherapist, on Thursday and he will commence 'mobilisation' and 'flexion/extension' exercises. Not much he can do at present until we can get that swelling to settle and the clips come out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bringing the 10 C's up to date

Saw this while lying in the OR Waiting Room last week - someone had put it up on the wall, I guess as something to ponder before they wheeled you in and put you to sleep.

We all know what the Ten Commandments are, but do we know how to make them the Ten Commandments of life?
Here is the modern day listing - placement in order depends on your faith - and how they might well be significantly applied in our society.

1. I am the Lord your God - If you have a belief in God, profess it! - You shall have no other Gods before me - Heyyy! Remember, you are only allowed the one supreme being, right!

2.You shall not make for yourself an idol - As your professed God, make your likenesses only in my image but I'll allow for artistic interpretation.

3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain - Revere and venerate my name, don't use it, overuse it, or, abuse it or you'll wear out its significance.

4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy - Put aside some time each week which you share only with me. You can do so in the company of other believers, or, just sit alone and contemplate with me.

5. Honor your father and mother - I'm at the centre of your 'belief core' but do not forget those without whom none of you would be here.

6. You shall not kill/murder - That's it! It's very simple - don't do it!

7. You shall not commit adultery - Take yourself a partner, if needed, treat them with respect and dignity but do not take someone else's partner.

8. You shall not steal - Once again, it's not 'rocket science'. If it is not yours do not take it!

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor - Be honest with yourself and towards all others.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife - admiration and lust are very different. Read all the above if confused! - You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor - If you are envious of your neighbours belongings, get off your Rrrrs and work hard to obtain what you desire, but remember all of the above!
Now, you may not be inclined towards matters of 'faith' and 'belief', so if you so choose, look at these comments on life attributed to Bill Gates. I don't know if they are truly directed - love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head  - so you could easily accept them as something he would say:

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss!

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it "opportunity".

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault , so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Home again ...

Home again ...
This time the knee replacement process followed a very different path and I think they are improvements that make the procedure easy for eveyone - surgeon, patient, hospital.

Still have a lot of pain and, as a consequence, heavilly dosed with powerful pain killers, so not quite with it yet.

More later this week as I progress down the rehabilitation path.

btw - Dennythe-Dog is so pleased and now can shed his "loss neurosis!" and stop searching the house for me! LOL!

Monday, March 21, 2011

C'ya's all later

Going "off air" for about a week or so.

Ciao for now!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pumpkins and other things in the garden

I said I would post some images of my pumpkins. These are a few I've harvested so far - mainly 'cos they were getting in the way! I gave the biggest Kent pumpkin away to a neighbour:

The vine

Its even grown around the back of the shed and up the school fence!

This is a Choko vine - its just getting flowers
 - I think the frosts will beat the fruit.

This is a sweet potato plant. I've put it under
shelter in the hope the frosts wont kill it (too soon)!

We are changing the backyard entertainment area. We used to have a brush fence screen but it has slowly deteriorated. This is a picture of it last summer. It's behind the bird bath:

We pulled it out and are removing the pavers:

The steel fabricator made us a new frame and installed it:

We are going to fix bamboo screening to the outside of it, install a concrete 'cutting edge' on the grass side of the structure and  layer the base area with weed cloth and top with river pebbles and put two large rectangular pots in the corners with vines in them. Rhonda likes clematis, Clematis aristata 2:

 and, gum vine, Aphanopetalum resinosum

I like jasmine - the Jasminum polyanthum or "Star Jasmine", for its sweet perfume, especially of an evening. Some people do not like the perfume of jasmine and find it 'stifling':

I love British humour

I love British humour, their comedy and skits are so funny!  look at this and tell me you can't laugh at it!

Three days to go ....

Its Saturday morning, Rhonda's on an over-nighter, and I've just got up after a glorious sleep-in 'til 9.00am. Denny-the-Dog was straight to the back door and is doing a 'sniffing patrol' around the back yard and I'm enjoying a big mug of steaming hot tea.

Saw the GP yesterday for some prescription renewals and a referral for physio post-op. Its three days to go for my right Total Knee Replacement. I was given a renewal for my 'Authority' pain-killers (Endone) but Medicare told my GP that next renewal will need to be issued by a 'Reviewing GP' - another Dr in the practice. No worries, if it keeps the paper-pushers in the city content! My BP was elevated but I put that down to 'anxiety' about the approaching operation. Dropped the physio referral around to Mark the physio who again reminded me that joint rehabilitation physio is a "No Pain, No Gain" scenario - lovely chap, I'm sure he'd fit in well in a gestapo torture room LOL! - but he's a really good sports physiotherapist and specialises on joint injuries.

I'll take my scripts to the chemist today and pick them up Monday.

Surgical bookings rang later in the day and checked some details on my pre-admission medical form. Like ...... "Yes! I AM allergic to morphine" (I potentiate morphine in my system instead of metabolising it so that eventually I get given an over-dose) and "Yes! My anaesthetist DOES want me in ICU overnight!" and "No! I haven't had a pre-op Chest X-Ray. You did one at the hospital 6 months back and the Intensivist in ICU ALWAYS orders one as routine for all ICU patients." I have to ring back this morning or Monday morning to find out where I am on the operation list. I hope I'm first up, my surgeon did request that on the admission form (but admissions and lists are a 'clerks' thing, aren't they?)

The Fisho was in town and I stopped in on the way home from the GP's and got 1kg of fresh Lakes Entrance prawns (shrimps, for my American readers), a dozen Clyde River oysters (best quality, open on the tray), and two pan-sized snapper fillets. We'll have a seafood dinner weekend. Up to "Tank's" bakery and half a dozen of his lovely fresh baked sesame seed bread rolls - lovely - mouth's watering already.

I was going to cook a casserole on Sunday but I'll do that on Monday now. I have 600gm of fresh beef strips, three red bell peppers, two white onions and 500ml of tomato and herb stock to form the basis of my casserole. I also have a few kipfler potatoes and some field mushrooms, so I should get a nice casserole out of all that, enough for dinner Monday night and some left-overs for Rhonda during the week (I know she won't cook for herself, so I'm leaving her some pre-cooked, 'heat'n'eat' meals in the freezer.)

On the local scene, my pumpkin vines have taken off and cover one third of the yard and I've already picked three Kent pumpkins (to about 5-7kgs) and three Butternut pumpkins around 1kg each. I wont be able to get an entry into the Yass Show but I'm sure my big Kent pumpkin would be a "Wow!" of an entry. I'll get some images today and post those later.

'Bye for now, I'm off for another mug of tea!

PS - I notice I've lost a 'follower' - sorry about that! I hope it was because my blog was 'not your scene' and not for anything I said?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Words keep going round in my head

Had a few beers with some old mates the other afternoon and as we sat in the shade of a peppercorn tree at the end of a hot day we played some Country music.  One CD was Kenny Rogers.

Ever since that afternoon the words to this tune just keep running through my head and every now and again I find myself humming or singing the chorus line.

My dear friend 'Neen - follow up post.

I wrote of how my pal 'Neen lost her father and the funeral service was yesterday.

This is part of an email she sent me last night after the funeral:

"The service was indeed dignified though there were one or two 'hitches' but no actual show-stoppers - we, the family, might well have been the only ones to really pick up that the RSL address was a mess and that the wrong hymn was played at the end ... but despite that, Dad was well served and would have been proud. The coffin was draped under the Union Jack, his Royal Artillery beret 'over his heart', medals to one side of the catafalque and a picture of him in his uniform to the other, together with miniatures of the Scammell truck and the big guns in his charge during the war. A bugler Dad would have approved of playing Last Post and Rouse, poppies on the coffin and a full chapel.
The other special things was that my son was there, too. I didn't think he would make it because his wife was in hospital - having their first baby, who was born at 5.37am that morning, the 16th March (by Caesarian section after an unnecessarily long and difficult labour). A lovely baby girl and yes, we can't help feeling superstitious and sentimental that Dad sent her to us that day as a special parting gift."
So, as you can appreciate it was not only a 'special' event, in terms of the service, there were also other occurrences of significance that will, throughout her grand-daughter's life, always mark Neen's fathers death and his farewell service.

Funny how things work out like that, isn't it?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Images from Japan

Tsunami rushes towards coastal Japan

Tsunami engulfs Natori

Rushing wall of water engulfs coastal Japan

Whirlpool seen off Orai city

Water inundates Miyagi post tsunami
(There are reports that 10,000 of the 17,500 residents in Miyagi are "missing")

Aeroplanes lie in tsunami debris at Sendai Airport

Residents watch tsunami wreak havoc

People are rescued from tsunami-destroyed buildings

Houses and cars swept out to sea in Kesennuma city

Burning houses swept away in tsunami

Cars hang from a collapsed road at Yabuki

Road collapsed after earthquake in Japan

Quake wreaks havoc on Tokyo traffic

Sendai Airport swamped by tsunami
Images from Australian Broadcasting Commission - on-line news

"Around 10,000 people are unaccounted for in the Japanese port town of Minamisanriku in quake-hit Miyagi prefecture, public broadcaster NHK said. The 8.9-magnitude quake hit Japan on Friday, triggering a wall of water up to 10 metres tall to surge inland.

Japan's prime minister, Naoto Kan, has labelled the quake and tsunami an "unprecedented national disaster", and the full devastation is only just beginning to emerge.

NHK says the 10,000 missing people make up more than half of the population of roughly 17,000 in the town on the Pacific coast. Local authorities are trying to find their whereabouts with the help of Self Defence Forces.

Authorities have so far confirmed that around 7,500 people in the town were evacuated to 25 shelters after Friday's quake, but they have been unable to contact the other 10,000, NHK said." 10,000 missing in Japan port town

Friday, March 11, 2011

My dear friend, 'Neen ....

Neen is my lovely friend whom I've known for many decades. A little English-born lady 'brought up proper', so to speak, the daughter of a military father and a lovely little old English mother, the epitome of an English lady.

Her Dad, 'The Colonel', had been going through the aging process and slowly deteriorating with Alzheimer's Disease, to a point where placing him in a Nursing Home was required as the family, particularly Neen's aging mother, could not manage him at home - despite heaps of support. Neen's little old Mum remained steadfastly independent, remaining in the family home with family and local community support.

The Colonel's condition worsened early this week and he was hospitalised at Calvary. 'Neen sent me an email to say he was on IV antibiotics and IV morphine. Rhonda and I both recognised that his time was near. He died on Wednesday morning, peacefully.

We are now engaged in propping 'Neen up as supporting friends. It has fallen back on to 'Neen to make all the final arrangements as she has been the principal family carer through all of this.

There will be a service at the crematorium next Wednesday - a Salvation Army and Returned Soldier's League farewell - simple but dignified as her father would have expected. I will be there to give 'Neen a shoulder to cry on (if she needs it!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

South Australia - Victor Harbor

City of Victor Harbor viewed from The Bluff

This was the final leg of our trip to Adelaide and a visit to Victor Harbor had been recommended to us and we were not disappointed.

Victor Harbor is a city located on the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 80km south of Adelaide, South Australia. The city is the largest population centre on the peninsula, with an economy based upon agriculture, fisheries and various industries. It is also a highly popular tourist destination, with the city's population greatly expanded during the summer holidays.

Traditionally home of the Ramindjeri clan of the Ngarrindjeri people, the bay on which Victor Harbor sits was discovered by Matthew Flinders in the HMS Investigator in April 1802. Flinders was surveying the then unknown southern Australian coast from the West. He encountered Nicolas Baudin in the Le Geographe near the Murray Mouth several kilometers to the east of the present day location of Victor Harbor. Baudin was surveying the coast from the East for Napoleonic France. The ships returned to the bay and sheltered while the captains, who were probably unaware their countries were at war, compared notes. Flinders named the bay Encounter Bay after the meeting.In 1837 Captain Richard Crozier who was en-route from Sydney to the Swan River Colony in command of the “HMS Victor”, anchored just off Granite Island and named the sheltered waters in the lee of the island 'Victor Harbor' after his ship. About the same time two whaling stations were established, one at the Bluff (Rosetta Head) and the other near the point opposite Granite Island. Whale oil became South Australia’s first export.

A popular site for visitors is Granite Island, which is connected to the mainland by a short tram/pedestrian causeway. The tram service is provided by the Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram, one of the very few horse-drawn tram routes remaining in public transit service. Granite island is home to a large colony of Fairy Penguins which are a popular attraction on the island. These penguins shelter on the island during the night, departing in the morning to hunt for fish before returning at sunset.

During the months of June to September, whale spotting is a popular attraction. Southern Right Whales come to the nearby waters to calve and to mate. The South Australian Whale Centre located at Victor Harbor provides hands on interactive activities and presentations as well as information on whale watching tips.

Victor Harbor is the centre of the surf zone known as the "South Coast" to Adelaide and local surfers. Popular surf beaches in the area include Parsons, Waitpinga, Middleton and Goolwa. The Granite Island breakwater usually shields the town from waves. Victor Harbor also offers numerous fishing opportunities varying from offshore reefs for larger boat based anglers to excellent surf fishing on the beaches closer to the Murray Mouth.

"Carmen" the Clydsedale pulling the tram to and from Granite Island -

Looking towards Granite Island -

On the tram to Granite Island looking back towards the township of Victor Harbor -

Towards Granite Island -

Carmen plods on. Four Clydesdales are used each day in two hour spells to pull the tram across to the island and back -

Looking towards The Bluff across the Harbour. Note the 'white water' of the tidal sandbar across the entrance -

It had become overcast, causing the water to take on a dark hue, however, the sun came out for a few minutes to show "The Anchorage" at Granite Island in blue sea -

Looking back across the causeway -

Sharon's Naked Lady plants were in full bloom on Granite Island, South Australia -

and, along the cliff top -

On this windblown, almost treeless island, vegetation sought to grab hold wherever it could -

Soon we were on our trip back and Carmen had us safely home -

and, ready to go again

There's also the Whaling Information Centre, tho' "whaling" these days is very eco-friendly and restricted to "whale watching" cruises -

 And there are 'watering holes' for humans as well -

Golf courses for the golfers -

Or just enjoy the view from your Victor Harbor Beach House at Encounter Bay. Their brochure describes it as - " private self-contained holiday rental accommodation with magnificent views over Encounter Bay and 'the bluff' on South Australia's beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula. With its secluded garden and lawn, and easy access to the beach, this fully restored 1950s beach house is the ideal South Australian holiday retreat."

Anyway, it was soon time to head back to Adelaide and a quiet drink at our hotel, a light meal and to pack and be ready for our 'red eye' flight back to Canberra Airport at 5.30am.

Monday, March 7, 2011

South Australia Trip - Glenelg

This was the day we had set aside to go to the seaside, Glenelg, in the morning and we were thinking of driving up to the Adelaide Hills wine region at Mount Lofty in the afternoon. We had made an early start and after refusing to pay $28AUS/person for bacon and eggs at the hotel restaurant for our breakfast we found a little cafe in the railway station underground arcade where we got a full breakfast of eggs, toast, tea and coffee for a total of $18AUS. A good start.

Glenelg - its a palindrome! It was named after Lord Glenelg, a member of British Cabinet and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

Glenelg is also a popular beach-side suburb of the South Australian capital of Adelaide. Located on the shore of Holdfast Bay in Gulf St Vincent, it has become a popular tourist destination due to its beach and many attractions, home to several hotels and dozens of restaurants. Established in 1836, it is the oldest European settlement on mainland South Australia (the oldest being Kingscote on Kangaroo Island), with the proclamation of the colony of South Australia.

Prior to the 1836 European settlement of South Australia, Glenelg and the rest of the Adelaide Plains was home to the Kaurna group of Indigenous Australians. They knew the area as "Pattawilya" and the local river as "Pattawilyangga", now named the Patawalonga River. The first British settlers set sail for South Australia in 1836. Several locations for the settlement were considered, such as Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln and Encounter Bay. The Adelaide plains were chosen by Colonel William Light, and Governor John Hindmarsh proclaimed the province of South Australia at the site of The Old Gum Tree in Glenelg North on 28 December 1836.

Glenelg has been a popular spot for recreation and leisure for much of its history. Atlantic Tower was built in Glenelg in the late 1970s and was Adelaide's tallest residential building at the time. The fourteen-story tower featured a revolving restaurant on its top floor, and was part of a larger development plan that never eventuated. Many other high-rise buildings exist in Glenelg, including the fifteen-story Stamford Grand hotel on Moseley Square, built in 1990, and the twelve-story Liberty Towers, built in 2004.

It was an easy drive out to Glenelg and we had heaps of time to have a good walk around and look at the many sites. We also had Fish and Chips for lunch at a Boardwalk Cafe.

Here are some selected photos of Glenelg - truly a gem of a place but I suspect very expensive to have a holiday there and in peak seasons it would be jammed packed with visitors as its only a short tram ride out from Adelaide with trams arriving and departing every few minutes.

The Beach ‘Fun House’

Avenue of Pines

Stamford Hotel

Beach Hostel Accommodation

The Glenelg Pier, above, and below

Settlement Memorial

Looking back across the pier

Walking the pier - a favourite past time,
as well as fishing from the pier

We had heaps of time to spare, so after a tasty lunch of fish 'n' chips from a cafe on the boardwalk we decided that we would head for Victor Harbour in the afternoon instead of Mount Lofty. We had been recommended to make that trip as it was one of the tourist vistas of the region and as we were so close it made more sense than back-tracking across Adelaide to the Adelaide Hills.