Friday, 30 November 2012

No work for me this morning!!

There was a breach of national security last night here at one of the Defence Force bases. (The one where I work!)

We have a Navy patrol base called HMAS Coonawarra inside a general Defence Base at Larrakeyah. An intruder got aboard one of the patrol boats, overpowered the officer on duty, tied him up, and ransacked the armoury, before escaping. It all sounds like a movie, doesn't it?

Usually to get onto the base I have to go through a major security check by a civilian guard. Then I may drive onto the base. To get onto Coonawarra there is another security checkpoint. It would seem that entry was by sea in this case.

NT Police, Federal Police and the Defence Force are all investigating. The theft of the weapons is most alarming. We are not being informed what was stolen.

I work at Larrakeyah in the mornings, well four mornings a week actually. I have my superannuation, my work as a tutor, and this extra job. I like being busy. I had to be screened before I could be employed as a civilian on the base.

Here is a photo taken this morning of the main checkpoint at the entrance to the base. The people in blue are the NT Police. Behind the police car is the fence of the local school.

Photo from NT News.
Here is a link about the story.
 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/weapons-stolen-in-darwin-naval-base-break-in/story-e6frg6n6-1226527365035

My boss will be quite busy today. Because the base is in lock down no kitchen staff will be able to get to work. When there is a lock down, no outsiders are allowed in, no meals are cooked, no cleaning is done, no construction workers are allowed in, no gardeners, ... and the situation is as if the base were at war.

Tonight is the Christmas party for the Sergeants' Mess where I work. There are turkeys, chickens, hams, and beef roasts all ready to pop into the oven for tonight. Decorations must be hung and other preparations made. Last year's party ended at about 4.30 in the morning. Staff were glad to finally go home. I am not eligible to work at this party because I do not yet have the formal uniform. There will be three chefs, a dozen stewards, bar staff, and kitchen hands. It is not silver service, but it still quite a nice event for the families.

I hope everything will be calm and orderly soon. I also hope the thugs are caught of course!!!


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Thirteen thoughts

I will not tempt fate today. Thirteen thoughts are plenty.


1. A friend of mine confused her Valium with her birth control pills... she has 14 kids but she doesn't really care..

2. One of life's mysteries is how a 2-pound box of chocolates can make a woman gain 5 lbs.

3. My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely.

4. The best way to forget your troubles is to wear tight shoes
. 

5. The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

6. The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends..

7. Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today...

8. Sometimes I think I understand everything, and then I regain consciousness.

9. I gave up jogging for my health when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting fire to my panties.

10. Amazing! You hang something in your closet, for a while, and it shrinks 2 sizes!

11. Skinny people irritate me! Especially when they say things like...'You know sometimes I forget to eat!' .....Now, I've forgotten my address, my mother's maiden name, and my keys, but I have never forgotten to eat.

12.. The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing -- and then they marry him.

13. I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That's my idea of a perfect day! 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Paying for electricity

In our old house we had solar hot water so our electricity bill was always quite low. Now we live in a flat so solar just isn't ever going to happen. Electric hot water and electric stove.

We make fortnightly payments of $30 to the PowerWater Corporation and have ended up in lots of credit over about a year. Over $200. Most fortuitous given the latest electricity news around here.(Will I do a double superlative and say mostest?)

Recently a new government was elected here in the NT and one of their first moves has been to increase electricity tariffs.
How much will we pay now?

In New South Wales electricity costs 41.42 cents per kilowatt-hour;
          in SA it is 40.19 cents;
          in Tasmania 32.78c;
          here in the Northern Territory it is going up to 30.51c;
          Victoria 28.70c;
          Western Australia 26.99c;
          Queensland 26.84c; and
          Australian Capital Territory 23.06c.

I wonder what other households pay.
I read on some blogs about how expensive electricity and water is now, particularly in Britain.
The source of this image is http://www.sunboltenergysystems.com/blog/5-electricity-rate-hikes/electricity-rates-increase/

Our water bills are also increasing:
SA charges $4.2415 per kilolitre;
          Queensland $3.5050;
          Northern Territory will now charge $3.1998;
          Australian Capital Territory $3.0552;
          New South Wales $2.7614;
          Victoria $2.6589; and
          Western Australia $ 2.2557.

As a senior I get a subsidy from the government towards my water and electricity bills. One subsidy per household, no matter how many seniors live there! It is a small percentage up to a maximum of $1 per day. Not a lot but not too bad either.
Here is the link about our PowerWater Corporation, which is wholly owned by our government. http://www.powerwater.com.au/

The average family will have to find an extra $2000 per year to meet these increases.
Doubtless more bad news will soon arrive as shops and other businesses realise that they depend on electricity to stay functioning.

My superannuation is a fixed amount with only very small increases each calendar year. I am so lucky I got myself a part-time job to supplement this.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Christmas poem

This is rather charming.
Christmas in Alice Springs is hot and dry.
If you do not know much about Alice Springs then imagine a town close to nowhere, two days drive to any really big place, camels, red dirt, heat, art galleries, and cattle. Think Uluru. Think about people living in a desert environment. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the NT was -7 degrees Celsius one winter in Alice Springs, but the slogan that sticks in my mind is, "See Alice when she's hot." It is not the hottest place in Australia. But it is really interesting and worth visiting.
This site will tell you a little more. http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/alice-springs-australia.html  This site is much better http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Springs



Here's an Aussie Christmas poem. Author unknown.

Christmas in Alice Springs

Christmas in the Alice is like no other place I know.
Santa doesn't like it much 'cause there isn't any snow.
His reindeer get all grumpy as the waterholes go dry,
For when it's stinkin' hot down here it’s bloody hard to fly.

Dressed up in a winter suit isn't very wise.
His nose gets even redder and the sweat runs in his eyes.
Once he nearly missed us and his nose began to freak.
By the time he turned the whole thing 'round, he'd got to Tennant Creek

He always seems to make it and he's full of Christmas cheer,
For when he's finally landed he's guaranteed a beer.
He leaves behind his presents with a cheery ho ho smile,
Then they pour him back upon his sled and off he roars in style.

Now someone asked old Santa if he'd ever lived in fear
Of being one day caught while drunk in charge of deer.
He gave a little chuckle with a twinkle in his eye.
You may have cops with cars down here but none of them can fly.

And then there was this rumour, or so I've heard it said.
He once used six white boomers to pull along his sled.
He thought it was a good idea while travelling in the bush,
But they hopped off into the scrub one day and left him there to push.

So if you should spend a Christmas out in Alice Springs
Be very well prepared mate for some bloody funny things.
Big fat men in bright red suits scream across the sky,
And sweaty grumpy reindeer complain loudly as they fly.

Through all the dust, the flies, the heat, and every thing it brings,
Santa carries prezzies out back to Alice Springs.
I told to you this story 'cause I thought you all should know.
Santa doesn't like it much 'cause there isn't any snow.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Let's do the Motivation

Do you remember a song called, "Let's Do The Locomotion"? It has been revived several times by various artists and is quite catchy and danceable. So ... Change that to Motivation please.

I found some positive motivation on this site. http://farnuminkstudio.blogspot.com.au/


Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviours.
Keep your behaviours positive because your behaviours become your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.


I am extremely lucky. 
  • I am healthy, although there are some minor concerns there is nothing horridly important. Opportunities to manage my health are available to me.
  • I have friends, acquaintances, and neighbours to provide me with links to all human foibles. I can laugh with these people.
  • I live in a wonderful place where the weather is mild, never extremely hot or cold. 
  • I have enough money and the ability to change my needs and wants to suit my finances.
  • I work with very nice people and the tasks are not difficult at all. I do not need that job to survive financially, but I need it emotionally so I am lucky I won that. 
  • I have a devoted husband and two terrific children who have grown to be contributing members of society.
  • I am able to learn and the opportunity to do so is within my reach.
I think my next phase of life should be to build something positive for my future. Like many wives and mothers my age in this country I have given chunks of myself to others. That is not expressed very well, but it means that I put myself last and others ahead. This is the way we Baby Boomers were taught to live.Those times have passed and I must make some changes to myself to go along new paths.

I am determined to stay motivated for more than just a few weeks, as seems to have happened in the past. I will post my little sign where I can see it, and the little piece of philosophical advice as well.


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Make a plan

If you want to succeed you need to plan for it. Otherwise you will just exist and have to take what Life throws at you. The following plan is a guide rather than a cast iron force, but it will definitely help anyone who actually wants something. We do not all want the same things and that is as it needs to be. Most people do not want; they only dream.
I think I adapted this from something by Dr Phil McGraw.



Seven Steps to Achieving Your Goals

Successfully executing any personal strategic plan for change means that as you develop your plan, you effectively incorporate these seven steps.

1.     Express your goal in terms of specific events or behaviours. For a dream to become a goal, it has to be specifically defined in terms of operations, meaning what will be done. When a goal is broken down into steps, it can be managed and pursued much more directly. "Being happy," for example, is neither an event nor a behaviour. When you set out to identify a goal, define what you want in clear and specific terms.

2.     Express your goal in terms that can be measured. How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived at where you wanted to be? For instance, how much money do you aspire to make?

3.     Assign a timeline to your goal. Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide on a timeframe for having it. The deadline you've created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator, and prevent inertia or procrastination.

4.     Choose a goal you can control. Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that you control and can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can create, not for what you can't.

5.      Plan and program a strategy that will get you to your goal. Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved, and that you create a strategy for navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it is based on your emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you — long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete with your more constructive and task-oriented behaviour. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.

6.     Define your goal in terms of steps. Major life changes don't just happen; they happen one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set out.

7.     Create accountability for your progress toward your goal. Without accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it by — and there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress.



The next part is straight from Dr Phil and he owns this.



Dr. Phil's Ten Life Laws

Life Law #1: You either get it, or you don't.

Strategy: Become one of those who get it.

It's easy to tell these people apart. Those who "get it" understand how things work and have a strategy to create the results they want. Those who don't are stumbling along looking puzzled, and can be found complaining that they never seem to get a break.

You must do what it takes to accumulate enough knowledge to "get it." You need to operate with the information and skills that are necessary to win. Be prepared, tune in, find out how the game is played and play by the rules.

In designing a strategy and getting the information you need — about yourself, people you encounter, or situations — be careful from whom you accept input. Wrong thinking and misinformation can seal your fate before you even begin.


Life Law #2: You create your own experience.

Strategy: Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life. Understand your role in creating results.

You cannot dodge responsibility for how and why your life is the way it is. If you don't like your job, you are accountable. If you are overweight, you are accountable. If you are not happy, you are accountable. You are creating the situations you are in and the emotions that flow from those situations.

Don't play the role of victim, or use past events to build excuses. It guarantees you no progress, no healing, and no victory. You will never fix a problem by blaming someone else. Whether the cards you've been dealt are good or bad, you're in charge of yourself now.

Every choice you make — including the thoughts you think — has consequences. When you choose the behaviour or thought, you choose the consequences. If you choose to stay with a destructive partner, then you choose the consequences of pain and suffering. If you choose thoughts contaminated with anger and bitterness, then you will create an experience of alienation and hostility. When you start choosing the right behaviour and thoughts — which will take a lot of discipline — you'll get the right consequences.


Life Law #3: People do what works.

Strategy: Identify the pay-offs that drive your behaviour and that of others.

Even the most destructive behaviours have a payoff. If you did not perceive the behaviour in question to generate some value to you, you would not do it. If you want to stop behaving in a certain way, you've got to stop "paying yourself off" for doing it.

Find and control the payoffs, because you can't stop a behaviour until you recognize what you are gaining from it. Payoffs can be as simple as money gained by going to work to psychological payoffs of acceptance, approval, praise, love or companionship. It is possible that you are feeding off unhealthy, addictive and imprisoning payoffs, such as self-punishment or distorted self-importance.

Be alert to the possibility that your behaviour is controlled by fear of rejection. It's easier not to change, try something new or put yourself on the line. Also consider if your need for immediate gratification creates an appetite for a small payoff now rather than a large payoff later.


Life Law #4: You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.

Strategy: Get real with yourself about life and everybody in it. Be truthful about what isn't working in your life. Stop making excuses and start making results.

If you're unwilling or unable to identify and consciously acknowledge your negative behaviours, characteristics or life patterns, then you will not change them. (In fact, they will only grow worse and become more entrenched in your life.) You've got to face it to replace it.

Acknowledgment means slapping yourself in the face with the brutal reality, admitting that you are getting payoffs for what you are doing, and giving yourself a no-kidding bottom-line truthful confrontation. You cannot afford the luxury of lies, denial or defensiveness.

Where are you now? If you hope to have a winning life strategy, you have to be honest about where your life is right now. Your life is not too bad to fix and it's not too late to fix it. But be honest about what needs fixing. If you lie to yourself about any dimension of your life, an otherwise sound strategy will be compromised.

Life Law #5: Life rewards action.

Strategy: Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger. Learn that the world couldn't care less about thoughts without actions.

Talk is cheap. It's what you do that determines the script of your life. Translate your insights, understandings and awareness into purposeful, meaningful, constructive actions. They are of no value until then. Measure yourself and others based on results — not intentions or words.

Use any pain you have to propel you out of the situation you are in and to get you where you want to be. The same pain that burdens you now could be turned to your advantage. It may be the very motivation you need to change your life.

Decide that you are worth the risk of taking action, and that your dreams are not to be sold out. Know that putting yourself at risk may be scary, but it will be worth it. You must call upon yourself to leave behind the comfortable and familiar if you are to move onward and upward.

Life Law #6: There is no reality; only perception.

Strategy: Identify the filters through which you view the world. Acknowledge your history without being controlled by it.

You know and experience this world only through the perceptions that you create. You have the ability to choose how you perceive any event in your life, and you exercise this power of choice in every circumstance, every day of your life. No matter what the situation, you choose your reaction, assigning meaning and value to an event.

We all view the world through individual filters, which influence the interpretations we give events, how we respond, and how we are responded to. Be aware of the factors that influence the way you see the world, so you can compensate for them and react against them. If you continue to view the world through a filter created by past events, then you are allowing your past to control and dictate both your present and your future.

Filters are made up of fixed beliefs, negative ideas that have become entrenched in your thinking. They are dangerous because if you treat them as fact, you will not seek, receive or process new information, which undermines your plans for change. If you "shake up" your belief system by challenging these views and testing their validity, the freshness of your perspective can be startling.

Life Law #7: Life is managed; it is not cured.

Strategy: Learn to take charge of your life and hold on. This is a long ride, and you are the driver every single day.

You are a life manager, and your objective is to actively manage your life in a way that generates high-quality results. You are your own most important resource for making your life work. Success is a moving target that must be tracked and continually pursued.

Effective life management means you need to require more of yourself in your grooming, self-control, emotional management, interaction with others, work performance, dealing with fear, and in every other category you can think of. You must approach this task with the most intense commitment, direction and urgency you can muster.

The key to managing your life is to have a strategy. If you have a clear-cut plan, and the courage, commitment and energy to execute that strategy, you can flourish. If you don't have a plan, you'll be a stepping stone for those who do. You can also help yourself as a life manager if you manage your expectations. If you don't require much of yourself, your life will be of poor quality. If you have unrealistic standards, then you are adding to your difficulties.

Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us.

Strategy: Own, rather than complain about, how people treat you. Learn to renegotiate your relationships to have what you want.

You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don't. This means you are partly responsible for the mistreatment that you get at the hands of someone else. You shape others' behaviour when you teach them what they can get away with and what they cannot.

If the people in your life treat you in an undesirable way, figure out what you are doing to reinforce, elicit or allow that treatment. Identify the payoffs you may be giving someone in response to any negative behaviour. For example, when people are aggressive, bossy or controlling — and then get their way — you have rewarded them for unacceptable behaviour.

Because you are accountable, you can declare the relationship "reopened for negotiation" at any time you choose, and for as long as you choose. Even a pattern of relating that is 30 years old can be redefined. Before you reopen the negotiation, you must commit to do so from a position of strength and power, not fear and self-doubt.

Life Law #9: There is power in forgiveness.

Strategy: Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you. Take your power back from those who have hurt you.

Hate, anger and resentment are destructive, eating away at the heart and soul of the person who carries them. They are absolutely incompatible with your own peace, joy and relaxation. Ugly emotions change who you are and contaminate every relationship you have. They can also take a physical toll on your body, including sleep disturbance, headaches, back spasms, and even heart attacks.

Forgiveness sets you free from the bonds of hatred, anger and resentment. The only way to rise above the negatives of a relationship in which you were hurt is to take the moral high ground, and forgive the person who hurt you.

Forgiveness is not about another person who has transgressed against you; it is about you. Forgiveness is about doing whatever it takes to preserve the power to create your own emotional state. It is a gift to yourself and it frees you. You don't have to have the other person's cooperation, and they do not have to be sorry or admit the error of their ways. Do it for yourself.

Life Law #10: You have to name it before you can claim it.

Strategy: Get clear about what you want and take your turn.

Not knowing what you want — from your major life goals to your day-to-day desires — is not OK. The most you'll ever get is what you ask for. If you don't even know what it is that you want, then you can't even ask for it. You also won't even know if you get there!

By being specific in defining your goal, the choices you make along the way will be more goal-directed. You will recognize which behaviours and choices support your goals — and which do not. You will know when you are heading toward your goal, and when you are off track.

Be bold enough to reach for what will truly fill you up, without being unrealistic. Once you have the strength and resolve enough to believe that you deserve what it is that you want, then and only then will you be bold enough to step up and claim it. Remember that if you don't, someone else will.

This advice seems harsh, but remember it is for those who want something. If you really want it, this makes sense. 
Remember that Dr Phil operates in a materialistic society. You may need to change some things to suit your values and context.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Schoolies Week tragedy

This is a very sad story. It has been on the news repeatedly over the past few days.

The Year 12 students celebrate the end of their school years with Schoolies Week. The Gold Coast goes to massive amounts of trouble to hold activities that are safe and supervised. Extra Police. Concerts. Sports. Organised parties. Some students go to Bali for Schoolies Week where there are no such safety mechanisms. This tragic story is from the Gold Coast.
 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-23/school-in-shock-after-high-rise-tragedy/4389296

Who should bear the shame and blame? Some people would say that no-one is to blame except the girl who killed herself, but in reality she was influenced by many others. Her family. Her religion. Her teachers. Her school. Her friends.

Accidents are preventable. This was not an accident. She was alone, 26 floors up in a safe building.

Yes, her action was really foolish. That says a lot about the girl. It also implies a lot about her school friends who accompanied her on this trip. Friends, true friends, watch out for each other. 

Nobody held a gun to this girl’s head. She acted according to her own code of behaviour, which had been scaffolded and supported by her family, her school, her religion, her sporting clubs, and her friends. Why didn't she know there were other possibilities? Where were the coaches, teachers, family members and others who were supposed to guide her development? What did they do and say to encourage the growth of thoughts of self-destruction?

Would I trust her family? No. It is the job of the parents to care about their children. Such terrible events do not just suddenly fall out of a clear blue sky. The parents should have cared more. 

Would I send my child to that school? No. They had a job to do and they failed.                

Would I encourage my child to be friends with her friends? No. Most definitely not!!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Flowers

My bromeliads are blooming again. I am almost tempted to cut them and bring them inside. Almost. Seems cruel. I think I grow these plants for the foliage mostly, which works well in my case.

http://www.nurseriesonline.com.au/Articles/Bromeliad%20culture.html

I like this variety the best. The blooms are big and showy.
See how the bloom is actually dozens of flowers.
A previous year.
Not doing this again.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Painted hands

These are amazing.












Here is the website. I have trimmed a few of these photos to suit me better, but they all originate from the one site as far as I know.
http://visualfunhouse.com/body_paint/painted-hand-optical-illusions.html

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Recovery

Today and yesterday evening have been a trifle difficult.
Several spurts of bleeding. Concerning amounts. Pain, quite heavy pain at times. Sick as a dog today. Hoping to feel better tomorrow because I fully intend to be at work. Bad times do not last forever. One crummy ear is not the end of my world.

This should cheer me up and change my thinking. No idea where it came from. I have been unable to locate the copyright owner.


Irish Medical Dictionary

The Irish have the lowest stress rate
because they do not take medical terminology seriously ...

Medical Term

Irish Definition
Artery
-
The study of paintings
Bacteria
-
Back door to cafeteria
Barium
-
What doctors do when patients die
Benign
-
What you be, after you be eight
Caesarean Section
-
A neighbourhood in Rome
Cat scan
-
Searching for Kitty
Cauterize
-
Made eye contact with her
Colic
-
A sheep dog
Coma
-
A punctuation mark
Dilate
-
To live long
Enema
-
Not a friend
Fester
-
Quicker than someone else
Fibula
-
A small lie
Impotent
-
Distinguished, well known
Labour Pain
-
Getting hurt at work
Medical Staff
-
A Doctor's cane
Morbid
-
A higher offer
Nitrates
-
Rates of Pay for Working at Night,
Normally more money than Days
Node
-
I knew it
Outpatient
-
A person who has fainted
Pelvis
-
Second cousin to Elvis
Post Operative
-
A letter carrier
Recovery Room
-
Place to do upholstery
Rectum
-
Nearly killed him
Secretion
-
Hiding something
Seizure
-
Roman Emperor
Tablet
-
A small table
Terminal Illness
-
Getting sick at the airport
Tumour
-
One plus one more
Urine
-
Opposite of you're out