Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I've been lynced

As you know I started a new job back in March.  The team I'm working with are based on the East Coast (of Australia) and while there is a company office here I don't have much to do with them, working generally either on client sites or from home.

Today I've had a number of "meetings" with people on the other side of the country held using a Microsoft program called Lync.  It's been great.  Easy to use and if you don't turn the video on you don't have to get out of your PJs.

My boss has just sent this through ... I loled ...

So very true ....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kiddie Update #1

Here's Miss 8 at her horse riding lesson yesterday ....
It's the first time she's ridden without a saddle and it's on a horse she's never ridden before!  She did slide off twice - which was quite funny - but as you can see she's enjoying herself.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Just wanted to say a quick welcome to all those popping in from Stephen's place "Standing outside looking in".

I've not written much this week - tied up with work and sick kids - but I generally try to post a couple of times a week.  So pull up a chair and have a look through the archives!

And for my readers who haven't visited Stephen's place - I recommend you do.  He's a great guy with lots to say!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bucket Lists for Kids

Blogsurfing found me at "50 Things to do before you're 12" and "Bucket list for kids: 50 things to do before they're 12".

Reading through the lists and the comments was interesting and left me with the distinct impression that kids should get outside more and be responsible.

Some of them do concern me - especially the 'go swimming without a parent around' type.  I'm not sure I'ld be happy with the girls going swimming without adult supervision, even thought they're both strong swimmers.

I think the girls have done a lot of the things on the list - mainly because we, as a family, enjoy camping and Cubs & Scouts encourage a lot of the same activities.  However, when I get some time, I'll sit down with the girls and go through the lists and comments and see if there are any others that they want to do.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Camping is great

It is ... really ... but not in winter!  Somehow I've managed to sign up for 4 (yes FOUR) camps - all under canvas - between the beginning of June and the middle of August!?!

The first one is a three night camp with the Scout Troop; the second is a two night Scout Leader Training Camp; then there's a two night Scout Radio Operators Badge Camp (I wasn't planning on going on this, but Miss 10 couldn't register as they didn't have a female leader / parent going) and then finally we have a two night Cub Scout Camp!

There is also an overnight hike happening sometime within this period too - but I think I'm going to pass on that!

I'm hoping that this will be a very odd winter with unusually warm and dry weekends :)

Stay tuned for reports!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I know this ... but

Just got back from the range.  Sometimes it seems such a hassle to get there.  There's always other stuff to do, and sometimes it feels too hard.

BUT I KNOW that when I make the effort and actually get up there that I'll enjoy myself ... and then I wonder why I've put it off for so long!

To keep your firearms licence (handgun) here you have to shoot in a competition every 8 weeks.  My club runs weekly competitions on Saturday afternoon / Sunday morning (they used to also do it on Wednesday afternoons - which I really enjoyed).  To meet the one-in-eight requirement I had to shoot today.  Even up to 10 minutes before I left I really, really couldn't be bothered.

But Shooting Buddy was here (and he needed to shoot as well), so we headed to the range.

There weren't that many people, so we ended up squadding with three other people only - two were ex-trainees of ours, and the third was a recent graduate of the current trainer.  It was a great squad to be in.  Everyone was easy going (but safe), and they all jumped in and helped.  We also acquired a 'visitor' who ended up hanging out with us for most of the shoot and helped out as well.

There were four stages.  The first we shot was an 'el president'.  The second was all steel - shot from a little room with a foot activated door.  The door - metal - was a bit tricky as it swung hard open when you activated the foot pedal and then started to swing back closed - eek!  The third and fourth stages were larger stages (16 targets per) and trickier.  I didn't enjoy ROing the last stage as it you couldn't safely follow the shooter adequately.  This was okay for ROing the more experienced shooters (but not ideal) and with a recent graduate it wasn't good.  He however, did great and we had no issues.

At the end Shooting Buddy and I let the visitor have a go with our 9mms and then hooked him up with another member with an Open 38super gun.  He loved that :)  Nice to see the "new shooter smile".

So all-in-all a great day - just need to remember this for next time when I'm trying to talk myself into going!

[UPDATE]Just wanted to welcome all those coming via Tam's place.  Nice to see you here![/UPDATE]

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Contacts lost ....

My phone died last Friday and with it all my contact details (yer, I know, I know).

So if you have my number (it hasn't changed) and would like me to have yours again, please message me with your name and number and I'll store it in the new phone.

(No it's not an iPhone - got one of those for work and that's enough!).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Drunken penguin prank ruined my Aussie dream, says Welsh tourist

That's the title of the "news" article.  Excuse me for not feeling the slightest bit of sympathy for Mr Rhys Jones.

Basically, while DRUNK, cretin Jones and his misfit mate Mules "... were part of a group that broke into the aquatic park, set off a fire extinguisher in the shark tank and swum with dolphins before grabbing Dirk"

Dirk, being a penguin.

The next day poor Mr Jones says "...  I woke up that morning, grabbed my wallet, went to get changed, opened my cupboard and there was a bloody penguin in my cupboard -- in my walk-in wardrobe".

So what did the fine upstanding choir boy do next?  Ring the Police? The Zoo? Animal protection of some sort?  NO.  I mean that might lead to having to take RESPONSIBILITY for your ACTIONS! ... No they " panicked and released Dirk in shark-infested waters."

Sure, yer, right, "let's get rid of it", "let's hide the evidence", "then no one will know" ... we can all imagine the conversation that preceded this bit of upstanding citizenship.

Thankfully, Dirk was found, unharmed (no thanks to these idiots) and returned to the zoo.

Jones and Mules well "They were fined AU$1000, no conviction was recorded and they were allowed to stay in Australia."

Gee great thanks.  Now all the Welsh miscreants back home will be planning on how they can beat this one!

Oh and they're crying into their beer that their holiday was disrupted.  Poor boys.

[Update]Now I was wondering how these poor unfortunates came to be charged, seeing as the "problem of the penguin in the wardrobe" was apparently solved. So I went googling. And, yep you guessed it. They posted it on Facebook! Article is here.[/UPDATE]

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mindset ....

What can we learn from this news article? ...

Women targeted by armed sex attacker in West Perth

POLICE believe the same man is responsible for separate attacks on two women in West Perth.

In the first incident March 30, a woman was sexually assaulted by a man carrying what was believed to be a handgun.

The 19-year-old was walking along Ord Street at about 8.30pm when the man approached her and lifted his shirt to reveal what appeared to be a handgun tucked into the waistband of his trousers.

He then sexually assaulted her in a nearby alley.

On Sunday April 29, a 26-year-old woman walking along Colin Street about 4.15pm and confronted in similar circumstances.

The man also lifted his jumper to reveal what looked like a handgun.

The woman threw her handbag at him and ran away.

Police say the man was seen riding off on a motorcycle which had been parked on Emerald Terrace.

The woman's Gucci handbag has not been found.

Police believe the offences were committed by the same man, who is described as being aged between 35 to 45 years, with fair skin, about 175cm to 185cm tall, and a medium build.

He was wearing a pair of grey knee-length shorts, a dark hooded jumper and a baseball cap during the first attack.

During the second incident, he was wearing a pair of grey knee-length shorts, a grey hooded jumper, baseball cap, and sunglasses.

On both occasions he was carrying a black backpack.

Anyone who saw the man in the area or has any information is asked to contact crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

(BTW this is right near where I work - when I go into work!)

Yep ....

The last few posts have made their way around the internet and gathered various comments which have been interesting to read. 

Firehand made this point in his post:

"All anyone has to do to get along in peace with me is leave me and mine alone; it'll all be smiles and happiness. But if they threaten me I'll do whatever it takes; they open the door to violence, they've got no right to whine because more than they expected walks through."


Thursday, May 3, 2012

A response to John

John stopped by my previous post to leave a comment.  (Thanks John).   I started to respond to him there and then decided my reply was probably long enough to warrant its own post.

John's post is in purple and my responses are in blue.

the boat example is a very poor argument.

Well, I thought the car one had been over done ...  

The primary application of a gun is to kill. 
I'll concede that it is an application.  

It does not have any other uses. 
Um, no!  Guns do have other applications.

Boats are used for recreation, fishing, travel etc. Sometimes things go wrong and someone will die but it was not the purpose of the boat. 

When a gun kills someone it has done the right thing. 
I strongly believe that a gun in an inanimate object with no sense of right or wrong.  I do not agree that when a gun kills it is necessarily the right thing at all.

All the items you mention have other primary uses "boats, pillows, cars, cricket bats, stairs". Oviously they can accidentally or puposefully be used to kill but that is not what they are for.

As above.  However I will challenge you on 'cricket bats'.  Bats, as far as I know, originated from hunting clubs, so if you want to say that gun's only purpose is killing I think you'll have to same the same for bats - regardless of the different use of them today.

As for the self defense aspect I would ask you to consider some things. 

The crime rate in Perth.
Not sure where you're going here but okay .. yes, we have crime

The rate of violent crimes.
And yes, we have violent crime ....

Your gun should be stored in a gun safe I believe, how long will it take you to access it? 
Yes guns MUST be stored in a gun safe and it will take me considerable time, more than useful in a self-defense situation, to access it.

If you don't carry your gun with you (which I don't imagine you are allowed to do) it won't be able to help you anywhere besides at home.

No, I am not allowed to carry my gun (except to the range, gun shop etc) so yes, you are correct, and as for "at home" see the point above. 

The chance of your gun being stolen and used by a criminal against someone else. 
Um? This chance is extremely low.  You're more likely to have a car stolen here (despite mandatory immobolisers) and have it used in a crime.

The chance that you carrying a gun will change a non-lethal situation into a lethal one. i.e. the criminal will be forced to use lethal force on you when they may not want to. 
Totally disagree. Given that I can not carry a gun here this is irrelevant to me.  However, as I clearly stated I'm not looking to, in any way, escalate a situation, just the opposite.  Whatever tools I have to hand when in a violent situation will only be used when there is NO OTHER OPTION.  I'm certainly not advocating (and I don't know anyone who would) waving a gun around because someone bumped your shopping trolley!  

What other options are you exploring on the force continuum to defend your self? e.g. a kosh, a taser, pepper spray, etc. 
All of those are illegal here as well (to varying degrees).  Basically assume if you're carrying something purely for the purpose of self-defense you're not allowed to.

What are you willing to kill for? 

Food.  As stated in my earlier posts, I am willing to DEFEND myself.  I'm not approaching any situation with the intent to kill. 

If a person is robbing you is it worth killing him for $50?
See above.

What if he is robbing you at knifepoint, now is it worth killing him for $50?
See above.

What if the person attacking you is a minor?
See above.

Do you jog (and sprint)? Jogging will help you to run away when in danger and will help you in other ways as well.
V.true - got to do more of that.


As I said, thanks for stopping by.  I am a bit unclear on your actual stance on things so please feel free to follow up on any of the above topics.

Site meter spins ....

With both Say Uncle and JayG (MArooned) linking to the "Why should I own guns when there are no zombies to kill?" post my site meter was working overtime last night :)

Thanks guys for the links and your interesting explanations / posts on the topic.  I also found some of the comments you guys received on your posts interesting too.  So for my readers who don't read these two esteemed gentlemen I suggest you check them out!

At to all my new visitors, I hope that you're back reading this :)  You're welcome to pull up a chair and hang out here anytime you like.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why do I own guns .... a few more questions

In my previous post I said that there were really only two valid reasons for owing anything - need and want.

However, when we're talking about guns it seems that these two aren't enough.  For some reason we seem to need to qualify our decision further.  Which is fine by me because I've got lots to say on the topic!

(Can you imagine questioning the next door neighbour about his boat in the way we get questioned about guns:

"Hi Bill ... that's a BOAT", "BOATS kill people.  That girl got seriously injured in that boat accident and now the guy wont pay.  You don't want a BOAT.  People can get KILLED by BOATS. Why have you got a BOAT?  You want to kill people."

"Um, well no, I just want to go down the Swan River with my family on Sunday afternoons.")

Can't see it happening?  Nope, nor can I.  But it is true.  People do get killed by boats, pillows, cars, cricket bats, stairs, etc etc all the time.  However, it only seems that guns (and occasionally) knives draw a level of hysteria that is really out of all proportion to anything.

So I guess I'll answer the MAJOR question first:

"Did I buy a gun to kill someone?"

No, I did not.  The fact that I haven't killed anyone should attest to this.

"Would I ever want to kill someone?"

No, I never WANT to kill anyone.  However, when the choice is clearly them or me/my family I would prefer that the one who ended up dead or maimed was "them".  I am not willing to bear violence without defending myself and I am willing to use whatever tool I have to hand to do this.  This does not mean that I go out looking for fights or put myself in dangerous situations.  In fact, if I never work violence against another human being ever I will be extremely happy.

I believe that avoiding danger is preferable, if that can't be done then running away is the next best thing, if you're not going to be able to do that then you fight and you fight to win.

"Why don't you just call the cops if you can't run away?"

To this question I have two different reactions:

a) It takes WAY TOO LONG for the cops to get to you, even if you were right outside the cop shop, by the time you've relayed the information to the 000 operator (yes, folks, it's 000 here in Australia) and they've contacted the cops it will be over (btw if the guy was armed and you managed to mention this to the operator you'll probably have to wait for the TRG (SWAT) and that will take even longer);

b) I don't understand why something people are willing to "sub-contract" out their safety and well-being to someone else just because that guy wears blue.  Sure he's got a job to do, and I wouldn't want their job.  But you can bet your last dollar his job isn't primarily about you.

So let me restate this so there is no confusion.  I DO NOT WANT TO KILL ANYONE EVER, however, if there is no other alternative open to me then I am willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that I (or my family) walk away.  Whether that involves the use of a gun, a car, a branch or bare hands is irrelevant.

It's not about guns.  Guns are just things.