Thursday, February 25, 2010

Interesting Development in Health Care

From today's news we have this article:

Pay $195 to jump queues at casualty

PATIENTS who pay $195 can jump the queues at hospital emergency departments when the nation's largest health fund opens its first standalone clinic today.

Medibank is guaranteeing patients with minor injuries and illnesses will be treated within one hour at its first Rapid Care Clinic in Brisbane.

The fund is confident it will have a Sydney facility operating in June.

The clinics, staffed by specialist emergency doctors, will deal with urgent but non-life-threatening medical conditions such as broken bones, sprain, cuts and minor burns, viruses, headaches, earaches and sore eyes.

Twenty thousand patients a month wait more than the clinically-recommended one hour to be treated in the clogged emergency departments in public hospitals.

Single mother Kylie Endycott, who spent five hours at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital yesterday after her one-year-old son Beau had difficulty breathing, said the clinics were a great idea but thought fees could be altered for different family situations.

Almost 170,000 people using a public hospital emergency department leave in frustration every year because of their wait for treatment.

Medibank hopes to fill this gap.

"Anybody who experienced attending a busy hospital emergency room with a minor injury or sick child, tried to get an appointment with their GP at short notice or out-of hours, will understand the Rapid Care Clinic," Medibank managing director George Savvides said.

The clinics will be open 365 days a year from 8am to 9pm to anyone, although Medibank members pay just $150 for a consultation and face no charge for X-rays, plaster or stitches.

The clinics will refer conditions such as chest pain, severe breathing difficulty, acute stomach pain, severe burns, loss of consciousness, head and neck injuries or pregnancy-related conditions to the nearest hospital.

Emergency medicine specialist Dr Peter Herron - who runs the Brisbane clinic, which has been open for a week and a half - has treated seven people including several fractures, a bee sting, a laceration and an earache.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Andrew Pesce said the clinics would help those who could afford them but was disappointed that underfunding of the public hospital system had made them necessary.

He is concerned they will lead to further fragmentation of patient care.

Those who use these clinics can't claim for their treatment from their health fund or Medicare and must pay the full cost out of their own pocket.

The Health Services arm of the fund has run similar clinics for corporate clients for years.


Here in Perth we have "After Hour GPs" which seem similar, however the cost is around $55 for a consultation some of which is reclaimable from Medicare.

The last time I went to the After Hours GP I arrived half an hour before it opened, and I was the second person waiting. By 10mins past opening time they had filled all appointment times for the next three hours and were turning people away.

Not sure I'ld be happy with paying $195 for a consultation, especially as I guess eventually you will still have to wait.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Does This Work?

This made the news yesterday, I've been trying to figure out how to comment on it ever since. I realise that we don't get all the facts from a news report - I'm hoping that there are other facts not presented, because on the face of it, this sucks!

Have a read and then let me know what you think:

A VIOLENT man convicted of a series of horrific assaults on a 15-year-old girl he held prisoner has been freed from jail because he is an Aborigine.

The Herald Sun reports the Court of Appeal ruled that participating in a Koori Court, where offenders discuss their crimes with a judge and Aboriginal elders in a room that has been traditionally "smoked", can lead to a lighter sentence.

Court president Justice Chris Maxwell and Justice Peter Buchanan said the 18-month minimum term imposed on Steelie Morgan, 26, was manifestly excessive because he took part in a "sentencing conversation" about his crimes.

"His active participation in the process was a factor that mitigated punishment," the court said.

"The sentencing conversation is designed to further the reformation of an Aboriginal offender through a unique blending of Aboriginal customary law and the English common law."

Morgan has served seven months of the term but the appeal judges said the rest of the sentence should be wholly suspended.

During a 10-week reign of terror Morgan, of Moama, subjected the girl, who was his under-age sexual partner, to a series of attacks, where she was bashed, stabbed, humiliated and held captive.

He threatened to kill her, smashed a full plastic water bottle over her head, threw a knife at her, which struck her on the neck, and bit her nose.

Morgan made a weapon of a water hose and repeatedly struck her on the legs, threw a heavy tool, cutting her head, and forced her to stay in a bedroom for nearly a month.

Morgan pleaded guilty at La Trobe Koori Court to eight counts of causing injury intentionally, two of assault, one of making a threat to kill and one of false imprisonment.

The offences occurred between December 2007 and March 2008 and each count of intentionally causing injury carries a 10-year maximum term.

After he was caught Morgan "sought reconciliation with his indigenous heritage", the court said.

Justices Maxwell and Buchanan said Morgan was shamed by admitting his crimes before Aboriginal elders.


Facts as presented:

A man is sentenced for a minimum of 18 months for "a 10-week reign of terror Morgan, of Moama, subjected the girl, who was his under-age sexual partner, to a series of attacks, where she was bashed, stabbed, humiliated and held captive. He threatened to kill her, smashed a full plastic water bottle over her head, threw a knife at her, which struck her on the neck, and bit her nose. Morgan made a weapon of a water hose and repeatedly struck her on the legs, threw a heavy tool, cutting her head, and forced her to stay in a bedroom for nearly a month."

The girl was 15 - and there was obviously a sexual relationship, as she is described as his "sexual partner".

He's not charged with any sexual offences what-so-ever.

THEN if this isn't ludicrous enough, these two judges decide that the seven months he has served is ENOUGH and the remainder "should be wholly suspended" because he took part in a discussion with Aboriginal Elders.

When things like this happen you can really understand why there's racism in Australia and many people feel that Aboriginals get an easier "ride" than other Australians.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The story to-date ... here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here!

Guess what was in my letter box today - a certified copy of my licence. SO now all I have to do is find time to revisit the gun shops I visited last Thursday to pick up my gun ... and then, of course, find time to fire it! (OH, and of course, take some photos!).

BUT IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Weekend at the Range

Saturday was a very busy day at the range. We decided to do a session on rifles and shotguns with the trainees.

In the morning session we had 10 trainees, so we split them into two groups. I was helping another club member with the shotguns. We had an over/under, a pump action (5+1) and a semi-auto (2+1).

We got them all to shoot static first and then took them through a stage with the over/under. They all did very well.

In the second group, one of the trainees had brought their lever action shotgun (7+1) along for everyone to try. I found it kicked more than any of the others - even though we were shooting 12gauge out of all of them.

Things didn't run as smoothly with the afternoon's group of trainees. At 2pm (when we were due to start shooting) we only had 5 trainees. Some people whom we had been expecting hadn't shown. So we decided to start this group on shotguns and the Chief Instructor would wait for the others and get them going on rifle.

By 3.30pm we had just finished shotgun, but the rifle group (of 7) weren't even half way through, so in the end we decided to let my group head home and I helped with the rifle group.

After I had ROed 4 of them through the stage, they were shooting static with the Chief Instructor and then came over to shoot a stage with me, the fifth person had a jam with the gun. I couldn't clear it and neither could the Chief Instructor. By this time it was after 4.30pm, so we decided to call it a day!

So now we have to finish off these competencies with this group of trainees.

We also had three visitors to the range on the Saturday. Two of these came back today initally to join in our "Have A Go Day".

Once a month, the Chief Instructor and I run a "Have A Go Day" where people who want to see what shooting is all about can come and for $25 have a go with pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns.

While we were waiting for the other people to show for this event the two visitors (both ladies) mentioned that they were finding it too hot to stay, but that they would like to pull a trigger before they left.

So I took them to an empty range with my Ruger 22/45 and another visitor joined us and they shot a mag off each. Neither of the ladies have ever held a gun before and they were quite nervous, but enjoyed the experience. They said that they would be back for the next "Have A Go Day".

Of the 9 people we were expecting only 4 turned up. One is a current trainee and his wife, his boss and his wife. The two guys were left-handers and I'm hopeless with showing left-handers how to use guns, so I gave them to the Chief Instructor and took the ladies.

Apart from the trainee, the others had only once ever fired a pistol. So we started with the Ruger 22/45, moved to a 9mm Glock, a 9mm Tanfoglio and then a .357 Revolver.

After we had played with the handguns we put them away and got the rifles out. We had a bolt action .22 and a lever action .357.

Then came the shotties, we used the over/under and the semi-auto. They had great time knocking down the clays we had on the targets. I was seriously impressed with how the girls shot. Hopefully they won't have too many bruises tomorrow.

The session had started just after midday and finished around 2.30pm. On the way out of the gate we bumped into some guys driving around who were interested in having a shoot ... so I told them to come back in a month for the next "Have A Go Day".

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ban Duck Shooting?

On the Vic Govt website there's a proposal from Helen Round to ban duck hunting in Victoria.

Go, read ... comment if you will.

I think some of the current comments make sensible and valid points, in support of the Duck Hunting season and hunting in general.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting Somewhere, I think ....

The story to-date ... here, here, here, here, here, here and here!

Rang PLS (Police Licencing Service) again today. Tried yesterday, but gave up after 26mins of an "Please hold, all our agents are busy, your call will be attended to as soon as possible" answering message. (Note: This type of system IS NOT an improvement over the phone ringing out).

Today, I was only on hold for about 10mins. I then briefly brought the cop who answered my call up to date with the fact that I received the original letter saying that the licence has been approved two weeks ago, and the amended letter a week ago, but still no licence.

He looked up the system and said that both the firearms in question were showing on my licence. He then offered to print out a certified copy of the licence and post it out.

So I'm hoping to have this within a day or two and maybe, possibly, even my guns by the weekend!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Range Report - Week 2

Well Saturday was a LONG day at the range. The fact it was spent at the range made it a good day, but it was still long and HOT.

The forecast was for 34C. I'm not sure how hot it got, but it was HOT. For those who don't know the range is in a disused quarry without shade.

Up until this week we've only been running one training session a day, this week we started two sessions.

The first session was "be there a 9 for a 9.30am start". We had eight people turn up, which was a couple less than we were expecting but great number with two trainers.

I had "week twoers" and the Chief Instructor had "newbies". I really enjoyed training at this time as there was no one else on the range so we could actually TALK to the trainees.

Of my four, three were women and in the Chief Instructor's group there was another female too! It's great to see more women becoming interested in shooting.

I mainly focused on reloading during a shooting string. With static reloads, walking reloads and reloads while moving left-to-right and right-to-left. We also went back over grip and stance from week one.

Everyone did really well. The guy in my group has been doing ISSF shooting for 10 years so his gun handling is very good, but the whole holster / moving topics are new for him. He was really good at encouraging the women and praising their shooting.

We finished the first session at 11.30am and then stood around and chatted to the trainees for a bit until I told them to go as we needed to have some lunch and get things organised for the 2pm start people.

Luckily a couple of our "older trainees" (week 4 plus people) turned up around 1pm so they helped set up the stages we needed.

Again in the afternoon we had considerably less people than we expected - which I'm putting down to the heat. The Chief Instructor ended up with a group of 5 trainees (all "oldies") and I had 4. My group was an interesting mix, with a 12 y.o. girl who has been training with the Chief Instructor for four weeks, a 16y.o. "week twoer", a 15y.o. "newbie" and another female newbie (of about my age). We mainly did "newbie" things (grip, stance, target acquisition, drawing, holstering, static mag changes and walking while shooting).

At the end of the session we went and watched some of the regular squad guys shoot - just to show the newbies what our style of shooting was all about - and then we joined the Chief Instructor's group shooting a stage.

We actually finished around 4.30pm (we normally finish just after 5pm) but it was REALLY nice to get off the range and out of the sun by that time!

I think I went through 3 litres of water, and a couple of cans of soft drink during the day!

Next Saturday we have the two sessions again, and I'm hoping that it will be a bit cooler!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Still ongoing ...

The story to-date ... here, here, here, here, here and here!

Today I received another letter from Police Licensing - with the correct club on it.

Still no sign of my actual licence yet, hence no guns yet either :(

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Range Report - First Day of Training for the New Year

Yesterday was the first day back training at the Club for the new year. The Club "closes down" over December / January which is good as it does get too hot to train during this period.

Sometimes February is also very hot, but yesterday was a perfect day. I'm not sure what the temperature got to but it was forecast to be 24C and it was a bit overcast with a nice breeze. Perfect training weather. Actually perfect weather in my book.

Perfect weather brings out people though. So we, the Chief Instructor and I, were expecting a horde to turn up for training and we got it!

We had 16 people on our books who attended part of the training course last year, of these 8 turned up yesterday (a couple rang to let us konw that they weren't coming this week).

We had also had received a number of phone calls over the last couple of weeks, so we were expecting a few people to come and see what it was all about and also some other ones to join.

Well, everytime I turned around yesterday, while organising the trainees, there was a new face. In the end we decided that if they joined (filled in the forms and paid their money) then they could participate in the training session. If they weren't ready to put the forms in and/or pay they could just watch.

We had 10 ... yes, 10 people, fill in forms and pay (of which 2 decided not to shoot yesterday for various reasons) and another 7 who decided to just stay and watch.

As we do holster training each of the trainees had to be "dressed" (belt, mag pouches, holster) and, of course, most have no idea! So one of the "old" trainees stepped up and volunteered to help the others get dressed - which was fantastic, otherwise it would have taken forever (I think his motivation was that the first two I passed his way were female :) ).

Then of course they had to load mags and finally they got their guns.

We decided that the Chief Instructor would take the "old" trainees and I would have the newbies. This is different to how we ran for the last six months. So I was a bit out of practice with what to do with them, for the first few minutes or so.

Because there were 8 trainees (and only 4 targets up) I split them into 2 squads and worked with each in turn. While one squad shot the others reloaded their mags and vice versa.

Prior to commencing I gave them a stict lecture on which way I wanted the gun to face at all times ... must have worked, no one pointed one at me. I hear, however, that the Chief Instructor got swept twice. (I definitely made the right choice taking the newbies).

Once we had gone through 70 rounds doing basic drills: shooting, drawing, reloading, reholstering, shooting while moving, we moved onto one of the competition stages to show them why they're learning all the different things.

The small stages were being used - one by the Chief Instructor and the other by some regular members letting the visitors have a go with their guns - so we had to use one of the big stages. It was a 31 round stage (15 paper targets, one popper), as my trainees only had 30 rounds left we decided to ignore the popper.

We walked through the stage together first. There were some really tricky bits were it was easy to "break 90". I warned them how to approach and shoot these. This stage was designed to have the shooter go down the left side and back up the right side of the range. So I lectured them about how to come uprange.

Then I took each shooter through one at a time and the majority did extremely well. A couple of "fingers on triggers" and one of the "easy to break 90 sections" claimed a few victims, but no one turned their gun up range and the majority of them hit the targets.

So all-in-all a good, but challenging day!

Oh just a note, of the 16 people we had shooting yesterday 6 were female. And there were 2 females out of the group of 7 who had come up for a look. Not bad ratios.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Getting there ...

The story to-date ... here, here, here, here and here!

Today I received a letter from Police Licensing saying:

As the Commissioner's delegated officer under the Firearms Act I approve the below mentioned firearm/s for licensing by yourself, relative to the notation "Approved Club Activities Only" with the following conditions in accordance with the Firearms Act 1973 and Firearms Regulations 1974:

It then listed my firearms - I've not checked the serial numbers, guess I should do that. It then goes on to say:

a) You must remain an active and financial member of and comply with bylaws / regulations of Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA Inc. (S.S.A.A.)

It was at this point I freaked! Although I am a financial member of the SSAA, I didn't want this to be a condition on my licence.

The club that supported me for these guns was not a SSAA club.

(For my American readers the SSAA is somewhat similar to your NRA).

Anyway, chatted to a few people and we came to the conclusion that they must have been using a standard form letter and forgotten to change the club name rather than this being a real requirement.

Finally got through to Police Licensing Services (dropped off twice) and spoke to a guy who took my details and put me through to a gal. She took my details again, and the name of my club and said that she would send me a corrected letter.

BUT even with this letter I can't go get my guns. I have to wait for the actual licence piece of paper :(

Hope that comes soon!

(And I really must remember to check the serial numbers. We're licensed here for actual guns - so if the serial number is wrong I won't be able to get the gun).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Need a Laugh?

from an email I received today:

I went to Home Depot recently while not being altogether sure that course of action was a wise one. You see, the previous evening I had prepared and consumed a massive quantity of my patented 'you're definitely going to shit yourself' road-kill chili. Tasty stuff, although hot to the point of being painful, which comes with a written guarantee from me that if you eat it, the next day both of your butt cheeks WILL fall off..

Here's the thing. I had awakened that morning, and even after two cups of coffee (and all of you know what I mean) nothing happened. No 'Watson's Movement. Despite the chilies swimming their way through my intestinal tract, I was unable to create the usual morning symphony referred to by my dear wife as 'thunder and lightning'.

Knowing that a time of reckoning HAD to come, yet not sure of just when, I bravely set off for Home Depot, my quest being paint and supplies to refinish the deck. Upon entering the store at first all seemed normal. I selected a cart and began pushing it about dropping items in for purchase.. It wasn't until I was at the opposite end of the store from the toilets that the pain hit me.

Oh, don't look at me like you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm referring to that 'Uh, Oh, Shit, gotta go' pain that always seems to hit us at the wrong time. The thing is, this pain was different. The chilies from the night before were staging a revolt. In a mad rush for freedom they bullied their way through the small intestines, forcing their way into the large intestines, and before I could take one step in the direction of the toilets which would bring sweet relief, it happened. The chilies fired a warning shot.

There I stood, alone in the paint and stain section, suddenly enveloped in a toxic cloud the likes of which has never before been recorded. I was afraid to move for fear that more of this vile odor might escape me. Slowly, oh so slowly, the pressure seemed to leave the lower part of my body, and I began to move up the aisle and out of it, just as a red aproned clerk turned the corner and asked if I needed any help.

I don't know what made me do it, but I stopped to see what his reaction would be to the toxic non-visible fog that refused to dissipate.. Have you ever been torn in two different directions
emotionally? Here's what I mean, and I'm sure some of you at least will be able to relate. I could've warned that poor clerk, but didn't. I simply watched as he walked into an invisible, and apparently indestructible, wall of odor so terrible that all he could do before gathering his senses and running, was to stand there blinking and waving his arms about his head as though trying to ward off angry bees.

This, of course, made me feel terrible, but then made me laugh.

.......BIG mistake!!!!!

Here's the thing. When you laugh, it's hard to keep things 'clamped down', if you know what I mean. With each new guffaw an explosive issue burst forth from my nether region. Some were so loud and echoing that I was later told a few folks in other aisles had ducked, fearing that someone was robbing the store and firing off a shotgun. Suddenly things were no longer funny.. 'It' was coming, and I raced off through the store towards the toilet, laying down a cloud the whole way, praying that I'd make it before the grand explosion took place.

Luck was on my side. Just in the nick of time I got to the john, began the inevitable 'Oh my God', floating above the toilet seat because my arse is burning SO BAD, purging. One poor fellow walked in while I was in the middle of what is the true meaning of 'Shock and Awe'.. He made a gagging sound, and disgustedly said, 'Son-of-a-bitch!, did it smell that bad when you ate it?', then quickly left.

Once finished and I left the restroom, reacquired my partially filled cart intending to carry on with my shopping when a store employee approached me and said, 'Sir, you might want to step outside for a few minutes. It appears some prankster set off a stink bomb in the store. The manager is going to run the vent fans on high for a minute or two which ought to take care of the problem.'

My smirking of course set me off again, causing residual gases to
escape me. The employee took one sniff, jumped back pulling his shirt up to cover his nose and, pointing at me in an accusing manner shouted, 'IT'S YOU!', then ran off returning moments later with the manager. I was unceremoniously escorted from the premises and asked none too kindly not to return.

Home again without my supplies, I realized that there was nothing to eat but leftover chili, so I consumed two more bowls. The next day I went to shop at Lowes. I can't say anymore about that because we are in court over the whole matter. Bastards claim they're going to have to repaint the store.

Gonorrhea Lectim

The US Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new
virulent strain of Sexually Transmitted Disease. The disease is
contracted through dangerous and high-risk behavior. The disease is
called Gonorrhea Lectim..And pronounced "gonna re-elect ‘em."

Many victims contracted it in 2008, after having been screwed for the
past two years. Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how this
destructive disease has become since it is easily voting
out all incumbents!

Yes, it was THAT type of morning

Day 4 of the school year ...

Day 1 was pretty smooth (apart from the fact that I thought they were going back to school on Tuesday and only realised late Sunday night that they actually started back on the Monday!).

Aren't they cute:

However days 2, 3 and 4 have been complicated by them both having school swimming each day. So they have to wear sports uniform with bathers underneath and pack towel, thongs, knickers, hair brush etc, etc, etc.

These can't be packed the night before because the bathers are wet from that day's swimming. Mornings are challenging to say the least.

Oh, swimming finishes in two weeks time.

(Oh, the coffee was made and left for me on the kitchen bench for when I got back from taking them to school, by my dearest!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yippee Yippee

My application for the additional guns has been APPROVED.

Took me four tries to get through to Police Licensing but I was told that it was approved YESTERDAY .... so yippee, yippee, yippee!

I wonder how long it will take for me to receive a letter so I can go get the guns?

For those who don't know the saga check here, here, here and here!