Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'm off on holidays for two weeks tomorrow with no internet connection. Therefore I thought this would be a great time for a look back over the year and to wish all my readers and followers a very special Christmas and a prosperous new year!

2009 was a year of change for me. I finished up a 4 year contract at work and had to deal with finding work and enjoying not working for the first time in a long time. The "not working" bit was great. It gave me more time to do the "mum stuff" but the lack of money was often challenging.

It was also a time when my daughters changed dramatically - especially Miss 6. It seemed that overnight she went from being a little girl to being grown up! I was talking to a friend today (who hadn't seen her for a couple of months) and she commented on how much she had changed in this regard.

I actually think Miss 6 would make a wonderful copper - she has an uncanny ability for observation and the ability to get people to do exactly what she wants through the use of humour.

Miss 8 has continued to grow and develop and her reading skills have really taken off this year. It's nice to be able to hand her just about anything and ask her to read it and explain it (or do it).

We've had a busy year - trips "over East" and "up North" as a family. I've also had two additional hunting trips "up north". I never thought I would get into hunting at all, but I now find that I enjoy it especially as I understand the need for it.

Being involved with the gun club as a trainer has been great and I've learnt so much through working with the Chief Instructor.

I've also met and got to know a number of very interesting people this year. I don't really want to "name names" in this forum, but I've been lucky to meet some "personalities" and find common ground - especially in the shooting arena.

I'm not sure what 2010 will bring. But I am hoping that it will be basically "more of the same" as 2009 and my family, friends and myself will continue to enjoy good health and make the most of what we have.

So to all my readers and followers - thanks! Enjoy your Christmas time with your friends / family and may 2010 bring all that you wish for and more.

The Things Kids Say ...

Discussion between my 6y.o., 8y.o. and myself:

6y.o.: We've not have our pocket money this week.

Me: That's because it's Tuesday - I give you pocket money on Wednesdays.

6y.o.: But you only need to give us another $2 coin and a $1 coin.

8y.o.: Why did she say that you need to give us $3, pocket money is $5.

Me: I've just given you $2 each (they had just unwrapped their chrissy presents which included a piggy bank each).

8y.o.: She's too smart for her age.

Me: Yep! I dread when she gets to high school, I won't be able to help her with her homework. You'll have to.

8y.o.: hehehehe

Sunday, December 20, 2009

For all of you who are "enjoying" the snow

this is a photo taken from my seat at lunch today ... it was around the 36degC (96degF) mark and a touch humid due to the cyclone up north. Luckily there was a bit of a breeze which kept it bearable.

And, yes thank you, it was a very pleasant lunch :)

Oh, forgot to mention, if you're ever in the area Hainault Vineyard does fantastic wines and lunches.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Isn't that the purpose of "Reality Shows"?

According to this article, the Australian Communication and Media Authority's new code will force networks to STOP exploiting and demeaning reality television contestants.

I thought that was the whole purpose of 'reality television' which is why I rarely watch it!

In addition, networks will have to

"PROVE sex scenes and nudity are relevant to plots if they receive complaints.

EXPLAIN how dirty jokes and references were necessary to the show.

MAKE apologies for errors in current affairs and news reports on air in a timely fashion."

I can see that every TV show will now have 3 minutes of disclaimers prior to each show!

I thought the current system of a screen showing "warnings" was enough for adults to make up their own minds whether or not they want to watch the program.

Oh, and of course there's a whole bunch of people who don't think this type of censorship goes far enough:

Family Council of Victoria spokesman Bill Muehlenberg said ...

Mr Muehlenberg said more needed to be done to get rid of sex and nudity on TV.

"I give them some credit for doing this but, essentially, if they make a show about sleazy strippers and there's nudity, they can just argue that the nudity is relevant because it's a show about strippers. I would prefer to see no shows like that in the first place," he said.

Focus on the Family spokeswoman Deb Sorensen agreed the new code did not go far enough to clean up television.

"There are still no clear boundaries or clear consequences, particularly when it comes to advertising these shows," she said.

"Shows with gratuitous sex and violence are being advertised earlier and earlier or during shows that kids are watching, like the AFL, which can run until 11pm."


I'm wondering if this new "code" only applies to Australian made programs (the ones mentioned in the article are all Australian films) as it would seriously limit the number of films that could be shown from other countries without the same code.

And what shows will be left for SBS to run? (They had some interesting ones on last night - call "Erotic Tales").

Friday, December 18, 2009

How Effective are CCTV Cameras?

Apparently this is a question being asked in the UK.

Not surprisingly as there are now 59,753 cameras under the control of 418 local authorities, according to this article.

Oh, and the answer - well "A London Metropolitan Police study found only one crime is solved every year for every 1,000 CCTV cameras."

There's quite a lot of interesting information on the Big Brother Watch website.

Seeing a Theme Here ...

News bites from the front page of www.news.com.au today:

Click on each of the headlines for links to the full story.

It was only a matter of time ...

before we had an "green technology sex toy".

For pictures and more details check out the manufacturer's website.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And From the "I Need to Justify My Existence" Files

Santa 'sets a bad example'

SANTA Claus has been accused of acting in ways that could "damage millions of lives".

As the mythical man in red zooms around the planet delivering gifts, he is an unwitting promoter of obesity, unhealthy products, disease and even drink driving, according to an Australian academic.

"Other dangerous activities that Santa could be accused of promoting include speeding, disregard for road rules and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping," said Dr Nathan Grills, public health fellow at Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine.

"Despite the risks of high speed air travel, Santa is never depicted wearing a seatbelt or helmet."

In a paper published by the British Medical Journal, Dr Grills said Santa Claus' contemporary image became cemented in the public consciousness through a series of Coca Cola advertisements that began in the 1930s.

His image was subsequently used in tobacco advertising and, while most countries had moved to ban this, it was common to still see Santa pictured on Christmas cards with a pipe in hand.

A study found Santa Claus was the only fictional character that was more highly recognised by US children than Ronald McDonald.

"If Ronald McDonald can be so effective at selling burgers to children, we might expect Santa to be equally effective at selling other goods," Dr Grills said.

"... Public health needs to be aware of what giant multinational capitalists realised long ago, that Santa sells and sometimes he sells harmful products."

Dr Grills said countries like India were increasingly celebrating Christmas, and Santa's image could again be used to sell harmful products where there was less regulation of advertising.

Santa's "rotund sedentary image" also had the effect of making "obesity synonymous with cheerfulness and joviality" around the world, he said.

Children were also encouraged to leave out brandy, or other hard liquor, for a man who had to do a lot of travel and visit a lot of houses all in one night.

Amid a global swine flu pandemic, Dr Grills said most people who stood in as Santa impersonators were not required to undergo a health check - and they get "kissed and hugged" by a succession of "snotty-nosed kids".

"We need to be aware that Santa has an ability to influence people, and especially children, towards unhealthy behaviour," he said.

"Given Santa's universal appeal, and reasoning from a public health perspective, Santa needs to affect health by only 0.1 per cent to damage millions of lives."

Instead using a sleigh, Santa should be "encouraged to adopt a more active method to deliver toys - swapping his reindeer for a bike or simply walking or jogging", Dr Grills said.


This was published in the British Medical Journal? **Shakes head** .....


UPDATE: After knirirr's comment I did a bit more research and found that the article I had read and linked to wasn't the full one - here's an extract from another article.

Serious side

Dr Grills admits he wrote his paper to be "tongue in cheek" and it's up to the reader to decide how much of his paper they believe, "a bit like Santa Claus".

He says he wrote the paper when he needed a break from his PhD.

Dr Grills hopes the article will make good dinner time conversation and insists that he doesn't believe Santa is a force for evil.

"I think Santa is a good role model for kids in terms of giving gifts and being generous. The true St Nick was a very generous bishop."

Despite the humour of the paper, Dr Grills says there is a serious message we should take from it.

"If Santa is a figure that appeals to kids and he's used by big corporations to market alcohol and the like, then basically he's marketing those products to kids."

It's a What?

From today's news we have:

Convicted armed robber Edward Nassr, on bail for having loaded gun, sentenced for possessing machine gun

A MAN found lurking in a laneway behind a hip Sydney nightclub, carrying a home-made high-powered machine gun, has been sentenced to a minimum of four years' jail.

Edward Nassr, 31, of Kellyville, told police he had been urinating in the laneway behind DCM on Oxford St when officers saw him emerge carrying a large bag strapped over one shoulder in the early hours of June 9 last year.

A radio check of his name revealed he had previously been caught with a gun in a public place, and when police asked if he had anything in the bag, he replied: "Yeah, a gun."

The "gun" turned out to be a highly lethal semi-automatic machine gun capable of firing bullets in rapid succession with one press of the trigger.

Also in the bag was a Glock brand magazine with 31 rounds of ammunition adapted to fit the machine gun, and a pair of black and red nylon gloves.

Nassr said he had been handed the bag in the laneway by "an unknown man" just 20 seconds before he was stopped by police and he planned to dispose of it.

He later pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm in a public place and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Sentencing Nassr in the District Court, Judge Penelope Hock said the weapon was highly dangerous and "a menace to the public."

"I find the offender's account to police officers on that night to be incredible,'' she said.

Nassr, who was on bail at the time for a similar offence after police caught him with a loaded pistol in a car in July 2007, also has prior convictions for armed robbery, assault and break and enter, the court heard.

Judge Hock sentenced him to a minimum of four years' jail with a balance of two years and nine months to be served on parole.

With time already served, he will be eligible for release in January 2013.


Emphasis mine ....

Okay, could someone explain how "firing bullets in rapid succession with one press of the trigger" = semi-automatic?

AND seriously you want me to believe that anyone stupid enough to tell cops he's got a gun in a bag can make a "home-made" semi-automatic machine gun?

I also love how the judge said that the "weapon was highly dangerous and "a menace to the public."" not the idiot with it!

PSH at its best ....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life ....

I was planning to head off for a hunting trip tomorrow with a friend.

However, both my husband and eldest daughter are sick. I know that my eldest is REALLY sick as she only ate one spoonful of dinner (as opposed to her normal two adult sized serves and dessert).

I don't think that my youngest daughter is all that well either so I'm fully expecting to be nursing a houseful of sick people for the rest of the week.

The symptoms are lethargy, paleness, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

I was really looking forward to getting out and doing some more shooting - especially after the aborted attempt on Tuesday, now I will just have to wait until next year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

With Friends Like These .....

From today's news we have:

Pair 'left man to die from heroin overdose'

A WEST Australian man has been charged after allegedly leaving a man who overdosed on heroin in a car to die while he dined with a friend at a Chinese restaurant and socialised at a hotel.

Detectives charged the 33-year-old Port Hedland man with acts or omissions causing bodily harm or danger to 49-year-old Donald Van Aalen, who died in the car.

A 28-year-old Port Hedland woman was charged with the same offence yesterday.

Police allege the 33-year-old man shared heroin with Mr Van Aalen in South Hedland at about 6.30pm (WST) on July 11.

"Shortly after using the heroin, Mr Van Aalen collapsed and was resuscitated by his companions but did not regain consciousness," police spokeswoman Susan Usher said.

"He was allegedly placed into the rear of a vehicle by the woman and the other man, who'd been advised to seek medical attention for Mr Van Aalen.

"It will be further alleged the couple ignored this advice and instead drove to a Chinese restaurant where they purchased a meal, leaving Mr Van Aalen unconscious in the vehicle."

Ms Usher said the couple later drove to a nearby hotel and left Mr Van Aalen in the car while they socialised.

"When they returned to their vehicle about 9.30pm Mr Van Aalen was dead," she said.

Both are due to appear in the South Hedland Magistrates Court on Friday.


Apart from the total disregard these two showed towards the other person the thing that I find interesting in this article is the bit: "He was allegedly placed into the rear of a vehicle by the woman and the other man, who'd been advised to seek medical attention for Mr Van Aalen".

Just wondering who advised them to seek medical attention for him and why didn't that person call an ambulance themselves? Umm, odd.

It's Legal, But is it Wise

Was chatting to a friend today and have ended up with a bit of a dilemma.

I have booked my car in for a service and I have arranged for a friend to pick me up from the mechanics and take me to the range with him.

I would like to use the time at the range to practise with my .22 rifle, but this would mean that I would need to take the rifle with me to the mechanics and then stand on the side of a main road waiting for him to pick me up.

Now, as far as I am aware, this is legal. You're allowed to transport the firearm from your house to the range (police station or gunsmith) and back again.

But I'm not sure it's wise. The mechanics is about 5 minutes from the local police station and, as I said, it's on a main road. I'm just thinking that there is potential for people to get upset which, more than likely, will result in me having a chat with some nice policemen and, if the worst case scenario, I could end up being charged with something inane - like "going armed in public so as to cause fear" or some such.

Not sure it's worth the risk.

UPDATE: I've rung the local police station and they don't see a problem - as long as the gun is in a bag and I've got my licence with me. So we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another "Climate Change" Post

Following on from my climate change post earlier this week, I offer you a ready reckoner to global warning barneys:

Here's the extract to get you started:

The first thing you must do for a rollicking, no-non-sequiturs-barred discussion on climate change is choose from the following two starting points. Let’s call them teams A and B. At all costs, avoid taking the boring middle ground position that it’s an issue of risk management or that the planet must be given the benefit of the doubt. Joe Hockey did so and look what happened to him.

The starting position for each team is:

A: Climate change is real and we are all going to die unless we do “something”. What that something is doesn’t matter, you can make it up.

B: Climate change is not real or at least not caused by people so no action is required.

Once you have chosen the teams, each can try these simple tactics which are based on real arguments commonly advanced by politicians and people in various debating forums.

Could be a fun game to try at the family Christmas lunch!

(This extract is from part way down the article - under the video) ... read the rest here.

New Firearms Licencing System - You've Got to Be Kidding Me #1

Yesterday I opened the letter box and found, to my surprise, a letter from Licencing.

No, it isn't about the firearms application I submitted on Monday (blogged about here), it was for the one I submitted PRIOR to the new system (blogged about here).

Now, just to give you a bit of background. Our Firearms Licence is an A4 sheet (or more depending how many firearms you have - I think each page can hold about 10 firearms). In addition to this we have a cute little plastic card which is a Firearms Extract and contains our photo (Firearms Licence doesn't have a photo on it).

To buy ammunition you need to produce the Firearms Licence and you're supposed to have the Licence with you when you're transporting guns anywhere. The Firearms Extract can be required to be produced at any time at the request of a Police Officer, other than that I'm not sure why we have it.

EDIT: Just checked the back of the card and licence, apparently you're supposed to carry both with you when you're transporting firearms.

Now, when I had the new firearm added to my licence on October 21st the police handwrote the details of the firearm at the bottom of the current list and signed it. This is how it has been done for a number of years. When you get your firearm licence renewal these are then included on that.

Anyway, this piece of paper (again A4) that I received in the post listed the new addition and contained the instruction that it is to be ATTACHED TO THE FIREARMS LICENCE. (It also had the date of addition as Dec 4th, rather than October 21st!).

I went scouring the police website for the new system and found, to my dismay, that this is how the new system is going to work. Rather then print a new Licence listing any additions / deletions each time, they are going to print only the addition / deletion information and then let us staple it to our Licence.

You can imagine that if you purchase a number of guns over the year (Licences are only valid for one year) you could end up with a stack of paper that you need to carry with you if you're purchasing ammo or transporting the guns.

I have registered a complaint with the responsible minister but I'm not holding my breath that it will change.

Feeling Very Technically Challenged Today

Two days ago my husband suggested that we get new phones as we need to upgrade/renew our phone contracts anyway and I think our phones were a couple of years old (last 'non-camera' phone that you could buy age!).

We settled on the LG - GR500f style. I like it. Having the qwerty keyboard works for me and hey, you never know, I might use the camera / internet / GPS functionality one day.

So today I needed to take all my contacts off the other phone and put them into the new one. I took them off manually - typed it into Word - culled and reviewed the list and was ready to type them into the new one.

Hubby then passes me a disk and says "use the software it will be easier".

a) It took me three goes and two computer restarts to get the software disk to read - I did check the internet site but couldn't find the software in a downloadable format

b) I typed all my contacts into the contact page in the software and then went looking for a way to send it to the phone - completely missing the BLACK (on a black background) icon (okay, it had a red smudge over it but not a big one) that said 'to Phone' (in 6pt). Managed to hit the 'to PC' one instead and wiped out all of my work !!!

c) I then decided to upload them a few at a time to ensure that it works. Each time however, I can't figure out how to review them on the phone without disconnecting the PC & phone software. Sometimes it's failing to reconnect once I've reviewed them!

d) Each contact has a 'category' option. I would like to show my contacts list by category rather than the individual entries. Do you think I can find a way to do this???

EEEEEEEEkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk this phone had better be worth it in the end!

A Gunny's Christmas Tree

Via way of Uncle ... we have a Christmas Tree that any gunny should be proud of ...

Unfortunately the tree would be illegal here in Western Australia :(

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh? "Crass-Pollination" Blog - Invitation Only?

For a couple of months now I've been following Nurse K at her blog (Crass-Pollination).

Today my Dashboard showed me a new entry at the blog which looks interesting, but whenever I click on the link I get a "This blog is open to invited readers only" message.


UPDATE: By way of Dr Grumpy - seems that Nurse K is taking another hiatus to work through some dramas. "Wishing you all the best Nurse K, you're missed!".

Monday, December 7, 2009

Interesting Article on Global Warming ... Cooling ... Warming ....

Came across this article today:

The Fiction Of Climate Science
Gary Sutton

Why the climatologists get it wrong.

Many of you are too young to remember, but in 1975 our government pushed "the coming ice age."

Random House dutifully printed "THE WEATHER CONSPIRACY … coming of the New Ice Age." This may be the only book ever written by 18 authors. All 18 lived just a short sled ride from Washington, D.C. Newsweek fell in line and did a cover issue warning us of global cooling on April 28, 1975. And The New York Times, Aug. 14, 1976, reported "many signs that Earth may be headed for another ice age."

OK, you say, that's media. But what did our rational scientists say?

In 1974, the National Science Board announced: "During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age."

You can't blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed's mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today's scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work.

In 2002 I stood in a room of the Smithsonian. One entire wall charted the cooling of our globe over the last 60 million years. This was no straight line. The curve had two steep dips followed by leveling. There were no significant warming periods. Smithsonian scientists inscribed it across some 20 feet of plaster, with timelines.

Last year, I went back. That fresco is painted over. The same curve hides behind smoked glass, shrunk to three feet but showing the same cooling trend. Hey, why should the Smithsonian put its tax-free status at risk? If the politicians decide to whip up public fear in a different direction, get with it, oh ye subsidized servants. Downplay that embarrassing old chart and maybe nobody will notice.

Sorry, I noticed.

It's the job of elected officials to whip up panic. They then get re-elected. Their supporters fall in line.

Al Gore thought he might ride his global warming crusade back toward the White House. If you saw his movie, which opened showing cattle on his farm, you start to understand how shallow this is. The United Nations says that cattle, farting and belching methane, create more global warming than all the SUVs in the world. Even more laughably, Al and his camera crew flew first class for that film, consuming 50% more jet fuel per seat-mile than coach fliers, while his Tennessee mansion sucks as much carbon as 20 average homes.

His PR folks say he's "carbon neutral" due to some trades. I'm unsure of how that works, but, maybe there's a tribe in the Sudan that cannot have a campfire for the next hundred years to cover Al's energy gluttony. I'm just not sophisticated enough to know how that stuff works. But I do understand he flies a private jet when the camera crew is gone.

The fall of Saigon in the '70s may have distracted the shrill pronouncements about the imminent ice age. Science's prediction of "A full-blown, 10,000 year ice age," came from its March 1, 1975 issue. The Christian Science Monitor observed that armadillos were retreating south from Nebraska to escape the "global cooling" in its Aug. 27, 1974 issue.

That armadillo caveat seems reminiscent of today's tales of polar bears drowning due to glaciers disappearing.

While scientists march to the drumbeat of grant money, at least trees don't lie. Their growth rings show what's happened no matter which philosophy is in power. Tree rings show a mini ice age in Europe about the time Stradivarius crafted his violins. Chilled Alpine Spruce gave him tighter wood so the instruments sang with a new purity. But England had to give up the wines that the Romans cultivated while our globe cooled, switching from grapes to colder weather grains and learning to take comfort with beer, whisky and ales.

Yet many centuries earlier, during a global warming, Greenland was green. And so it stayed and was settled by Vikings for generations until global cooling came along. Leif Ericsson even made it to Newfoundland. His shallow draft boats, perfect for sailing and rowing up rivers to conquer villages, wouldn't have stood a chance against a baby iceberg.

Those sustained temperature swings, all before the evil economic benefits of oil consumption, suggest there are factors at work besides humans.

Today, as I peck out these words, the weather channel is broadcasting views of a freakish and early snow falling on Dallas. The Iowa state extension service reports that the record corn crop expected this year will have unusually large kernels, thanks to "relatively cool August and September temperatures." And on Jan. 16, 2007, NPR went politically incorrect, briefly, by reporting that "An unusually harsh winter frost, the worst in 20 years, killed much of the California citrus, avocados and flower crops."

To be fair, those reports are short-term swings. But the longer term changes are no more compelling, unless you include the ice ages, and then, perhaps, the panic attempts of the 1970s were right. Is it possible that if we put more CO2 in the air, we'd forestall the next ice age?

I can ask "outrageous" questions like that because I'm not dependent upon government money for my livelihood. From the witch doctors of old to the elected officials today, scaring the bejesus out of the populace maintains their status.

Sadly, the public just learned that our scientific community hid data and censored critics. Maybe the feds should drop this crusade and focus on our health care crisis. They should, of course, ignore the life insurance statistics that show every class of American and both genders are living longer than ever. That's another inconvenient fact.

Gary Sutton is co-founder of Teledesic and has been CEO of several other companies, including Knight Protective Industries and @Backup.

Another Licencing Post - Trying out the New System

As I blogged here a new firearms licencing system is in place in Western Australia.

Today I filled in the forms online, printed them, and took them with my club support letters and Firearm Serviceability Certificates into the Post Office.

I am applying for two category A firearms (a rifle and a shotgun) on the same application form - which is allowed (luckily as it's $66 for each application).

I thought I was going to have a problem when I handed the forms to the lady at the Post Office and she took one look at them and said "what are these?". Apparently she hadn't processed one before.

Between the two of us we managed to get through the process without too much confusion so now it's just a matter of waiting to see a) if they're approved and b) how long it takes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Training is over for the year

Well today was the last day of training at the gun club for the year.

It was a HOT one ... not sure what the temperature got to, but I think it was around 40degC on the range.

We had scheduled a practical rifle and shotgun training session / shoot today. But unfortunately, and I think due to the weather, only three of the dozen or so trainees currently in the course turned up.

One of the "regular" shooters who has never done either practical rifle or practical shotgun decided to join the course for the day so we split into two groups.

I was helping one of the club members with the shotgun shoot. I had asked him to come along to the session as I'm not that comfortable with shotguns AND he has a pump action one :)

He ended up bringing three shotguns - a 20 gauge single barrel one, the 12 gauge pump action and a 12 gauge over/under. The Chief Instructor also had a 12 gauge semi-auto which we used as well.

The guys shot all four of the rifles on the range and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I think we will look at running a few more of these throughout the year on the training course as it is a good skill for the students to have.

Proposed new LAW: Walk the dog or face time behind bars

From the news today we have:

Walk the dog or face time behind bars

PET owners could be punished for not walking their dogs, under radical new laws being proposed by the RSPCA.

Under the legislation, they would have to regularly exercise dogs, ensure animals are not kept chained up and give their pets adequate food and water.

If the proposal becomes law, dog and cat owners across Australia would face prosecution, fines of up to $12,000 fines for animal cruelty and magistrates could consider jail in extreme circumstances.

Dr Hugh Wirth, head of RSPCA Victoria, is one of four experts the Federal Department of Agriculture's welfare division has appointed to draft national animal welfare guidelines.

"The draft will tell people what they have to do rather than what they want to do," Dr Wirth said.

"The new standards would be regulatory, therefore a breach of the standards is a breach of the law."

The proposed new laws are designed to formalise the national code, which states dogs must be walked at least once a day.

Dr Wirth said jail sentences would not be handed out for a first offence, but it would something available for magistrates to consider.

"I would be amazed if a magistrate ordered jail time on the first offence, but, like every other offence under cruelty legislation, jail is an option," Dr Wirth said.

The proposed laws would be designed to help overcome the problems animal inspectors have had penalising bad owners. The working party is designed to create a national standard, but ultimately the laws would be have to be passed by State Governments.

Catherine and Mitch Wells said they would welcome laws to prosecute animal owners who did not exercise their pets.

They said exercising their much-loved "Diva" was part of the deal of owning a dog, and they said all pet owners should be made to regularly walk their animals.

"That's part of our responsibility of having dog," Mrs Well said.

The Newcastle couple gives their two-year-old English staffy at least 30 minutes "roaming time" each day at the local dog beach, and they say she thrives on it.

"Seeing her happy makes me happy," Mrs Wells said.

Mrs Wells said it distressed her to see larger dogs cooped up in yards, and barely ever let out to exercise.

"It's not fair to the dog," she said.

A spokesman for the federal Department of Agriculture said the working group was one of six set up to look at animal welfare.

"One of the goals of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy is to develop national standards and guidelines for the care of different kinds of animals," the spokesman said.

"The states and territories are ultimately responsible for legislating for animal welfare, not the Commonwealth."

The draft is still in its early stages.


It is interesting to read the comments which range from the "great idea" type to the "invasion of privacy" and "how can you police it anyway" brigade.

I don't have a dog but I am totally against more laws which impinge on the freedom of people because of ... the problems animal inspectors have had penalising bad owners.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Officer accidentally shoots himself in face

Well that's what the headline said anyway.

The story is:
Officer accidentally shoots himself in face

A NORTH Queensland senior constable has accidentally shot himself in the face.

The officer at the Bowen station was handling his revolver at the station's weapons clearance drum when it accidentally discharged around 2.30pm (AEST) today.

Fragments from the discharged bullet ricocheted and struck the officer in the face, inflicting superficial injuries.

Senior police will investigate how the accident occurred.


Accidents wlll happen but let's revive the four rules:

1. A gun is ALWAYS LOADED. Always.

2. Do not point the muzzle at anything you're not willing to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you have your target sighted in.

4. Be sure of your target and what's behind it, before you pull the trigger.

As we don't have the full details of the "accident" it's hard to say which rule(s) were broken, but I'm actually voting that they all were.

Revolvers aren't known for "discharging accidentally" and for the bullet to ricocheted the muzzle obviously wasn't pointing in a "safe" direction.

These four rules will only keep you safe if you follow them - ALWAYS!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Study: Pornography Doesn't Warp Sexuality

Now this is an interesting study ...

Are the effects of pornography negligible?

A Université de Montréal researcher, funded by the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Family Violence and Violence Against Women, has launched a new study to examine the effects of pornography on men. "We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography. We couldn't find any," says Simon Louis Lajeunesse, a postdoctoral student and professor at the School of Social Work.

"The objective of my work is to observe the impact of pornography on the sexuality of men, and how it shapes their perception of men and women," says Lajeunesse. To do so, he has so far recruited and interviewed 20 heterosexual male university students who consume pornography.

"They shared their sexual history starting with their first contact with pornography, which was in early adolescence. Not one subject had a pathological sexuality. In fact, all of their sexual practices were quite conventional," says Lajeunesse.

The research concluded that 90 percent of pornography is consumed on the Internet, while 10 percent comes from video stores. On average, single men watch pornography three times a week for 40 minutes. Those who are in committed relationships watch it on average 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes.

Lajeunesse found most boys seek out pornographic material by the age of 10, when they are most sexually curious. However, they quickly discard what they don't like and find offensive. As adults, they will continue to look for content in tune with their image of sexuality. They also rarely consume pornography as a couple and always choose what they watch.

All test subjects said they supported gender equality and felt victimized by rhetoric demonizing pornography. "Pornography hasn't changed their perception of women or their relationship which they all want as harmonious and fulfilling as possible. Those who could not live out their fantasy in real life with their partner simply set aside the fantasy. The fantasy is broken in the real world and men don't want their partner to look like a porn star," says Lajeunesse.

Lajeunesse refutes the perverse effect often attributed to pornography. "Aggressors don't need pornography to be violent and addicts can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, gaming and asocial cases are pathological. If pornography had the impact that many claim it has, you would just have to show heterosexual films to a homosexual to change his sexual orientation."

Source: University of Montreal (news : web)


I was amused at this bit: "We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography. We couldn't find any,"

Twenty subjects is a very small sample group I wonder if they will redo the study with a larger one?


Half tempted to put this into the "inane studies" category but not totally sure ... what do you think?

A bloke for all seasons

MEN behave like larrikins around the boys, "wit warriors" in mixed company and "fly guys" when they want to impress women, research shows.

They are also likely to use up to five different personas throughout their lifetime, the study by brand consultancy Added Value has found.

"A big finding was that masculinity is not singular... it's actually plural," said a director at Added Value, James Pike.

"In a nutshell, masculinity is the varied ways guys use to express themselves.

"Masculinity is an occasion for display and self-presentation for men, which varies from culture to culture, and from place to place and is constantly changing and shifting.

"We found that men play many different parts in any given occasion."

The two-stage study involved talking to experts and men aged between 18 and 29 about their perception of masculine.

"Masculinity is a performance," Mr Pike said.

"The better the performance, the more masculine guys will feel and appear."

The research found that the average male will use five personas throughout their life.

He said that most men adopted a contingency-based approach to the persona they used.

"A guy would maybe express his larrikin persona with the boys and with mixed company be more the wit warrior or the fly guy," Mr Pike said.

"It depends on whether he is looking to impress the ladies."

The top seven personas:

The good bloke: Down to earth, genuine, always know where they stand and holds family values. Examples of men who were seen to personify this are former tennis star Pat Rafter and cricketer Michael Clarke.

The larrikin: These are men who like to have a laugh and make playful wise cracks - think comedians Dave Hughes and Merrick and Rosso.

The wit warrior: These are men who use humour to reveal the truth and like to provoke and challenge. They are personified by comedy group The Chaser and Wil Anderson.

The fly guy: These are men who have confidence, creative flair and a sense of style. They tend to be into music and are exemplyfied by Jason Kay of band Jamiroquai and musician Daniels Johns.

Understated power: These are self-assured men who do not big-note themseves. They are cool, have hidden depth and respectful. Men who were seen to personify this were retired NRL player Hazem El Masri and actor Eric Bana.

The urban tribalist: These are men who stick to their to beliefs and striving for change from the ground up. The British artist Banksy is one example.

The lionheart: These were men who were physically strong and had emotional toughness. This tended to be associated with certain types of sports stars like NRL player Darren Lockyer and cyclist Lance Armstrong.


I like the sound of the urban triablist wonder who (or what) Banksy is?

Had a bit of a read of the wiki entry on him and wasn't impressed until I got to this bit ...

Statements by Banksy in Wall and Piece

“ We can’t do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves. ”

“ We don’t need any more heroes; we just need someone to take out the recycling. ”

“ When you go to an art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires. ”

“ Sometimes I feel so sick at the state of the world I can’t even finish my second apple pie. ”

“ Think from outside the box, collapse the box and take a fucking knife to it. ”

“ Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place. ”

“ If you want someone to be ignored, then build a life-size bronze statue of them and stick it in the middle of town. ”

“ People who should be shot: Fascist thugs, religious fundamentalists, people who write lists telling you who should be shot. ”


Not exactly my definition of an "urban tribalist" but amusing anyway.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pistol and Rifle Round Pictures

Found these pictures of pistol and rifle rounds over at Snarkybytes:

Pistol Rounds

Rifle Rounds

Monday, November 30, 2009

500kg Cow Saved from the Sea

Yes ... in today's news we read

500kg cow rescued from sea

A SEA rescue operation was launched to save a 500kg cow after it was found floating about in Northern Territory waters yesterday.

The mystery marine bovine was spotted doggy-paddling around in Darwin Harbour during the morning hours.

Rescuers - armed with a life ring and a length of rope - found it in between South Shell Island and the gas plant.

It was reportedly not in a good mood.

Workboats Northern Australia (WBNA) operations manager Ben Wall and his crew had a bit of a struggle catching the surly steer.

"He was sort of heading further away from the safe side of things - heading for the mangroves near the gas plant," Mr Wall said. "He was a bit feisty - the first time the boys tried to lasso it, it got away.

"He would've been under a lot of stress with that ordeal ... treading water for a good few hours until we got to it."

But the farmyard animal eventually returned to the boat to have a life ring fitted over his head - "so it knew we were trying to help", Mr Wall said. They motored slowly back to shore, reaching dry land in about 45 minutes.

The WBNA crew got the distress call from port authorities about 10am, asking if they could organise a rescue effort for the errant hoofer.

By 11.30am the unlikely sea creature was back on terra firma.

Mr Wall said they're not sure where it came from. But it's now resting at Berrimah export yards after one of his mates - cattle exporter Linton Batt - sent out ringers to wrangle the steer when it docked. This is the second time Mr Wall has helped save a soggy cow from the harbour.

"I rescued one a couple of years ago, when they were loading cattle off Fort Hill," he said.

WBNA crews - who usually operate marine vessels for construction and maintenance industry projects - are used to handling some odd jobs.

They salvaged the plane that caused a sensation when it was forced to belly land on mud flats near Nightcliff earlier in the year.

And they've retrieved vehicles out of Darwin Harbour's waters.

Mr Wall likes to joke that it'd only take the train falling off Elizabeth River Bridge, and they could say they've "done planes, trainsand automobiles".

"(A cow is) nothing out of the ordinary," he said. "We'll have a crack at anything."

Friday, November 27, 2009


This is to wish my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving and hoping that it is filled with friends, family and fun!

It's interesting that despite all the things that we've adopted from America (including Halloween) one thing we've not taken on board is "Thanksgiving". It would be really nice, I reckon anyway, to have a day where people think about what they've got to be thankful for, rather than the grumbling and complaining that they normally do!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

From an Email - Joke ....















FAT arse,





Maybe I'm Missing the Point ....

From the news today:

Rudd calls on Australian men to stop violence against women

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has asked a commitment of the nation's approximately 10 million men - to stop violence against women.

The Government had a zero tolerance approach when it came to violence against women, he said.

"Men (should) swear never to commit, excuse, or stay silent about violence against women."

His comments coincide with international White Ribbon Day, which recognises the importance of addressing violence against women.

Australians wanted to live in a community where all women could live free of violence, Mr Rudd said.

"But attitude change does not necessarily lead to behaviour change, the Government's challenge is to try to ensure that it does."

Social justice commissioner Tom Calma says White Ribbon Day contributes to "very real and important outcomes".

"Violence against women is very often a manifestation of wider social problems but there is absolutely no excuse for it.

"It sends a powerful message when more and more men are prepared to stand up and say they are against it."

Earlier this week, White Ribbon Day Ambassador Mark Dreyfus, the member for Isaacs in Victoria, called on members of Parliament to join the My Oath campaign.

"Preventing violence against women requires us to address the underlying issues of sexism, lack of respect for women and a sense of privilege that many men enjoy," he said.

"It requires us to work to change attitudes, emotions and behaviours that support violence such as sexist jokes.

"Beliefs that women are inferior or that some women ‘deserve it’ or were ‘asking for it’ do not simply encourage violence; they create a culture in which silence becomes the acceptable response to violence against women."


So violence (sexist jokes etc) against men is okay????

Surely the call should be for more personal responsiblity and lack of violence against everyone?

Inane Studies: Comfort Food Reduces Stress

Really! Scientists have discovered that eating comfort food can reduce anxiety! And here am I wondering why it's been called "comfort food" for so many years!

Read the full article here.

My favourite part from the article is:

"Future research would aim to determine whether other rewarding activities - such as exercise - could have a similar stress-busting affect on rats' brains."

Can't wait for that research to be published!

Red tape stops ‘green’ bullet

This article appeared online recently ...

Red tape stops ‘green’ bullet

THE State Government has been questioned over its refusal to allow the production of a locally-designed bullet, which has reportedly attracted strong interest from the United States and Commonwealth defence forces.

Midvale-based product design consultants Geng has created what it claims to be an environmentally-friendly ammunition projectile, the Geng Indoor Training Round, that it believes could lead to a multi-million dollar industry for WA.

Midland MLA Michelle Roberts implored the Government this afternoon to meet with Geng to discuss minor amendments to the Western Australian Firearms Regulations that would allow the technology to be manufactured in WA.

Geng chief executive Cliff Green said the projectile was designed for indoor defence training as it was less powerful than traditional ammunition.

He said the company was seeking only minor changes to the legislation to allow the manufacture of the projectile in Western Australia for defence purposes, which could then be sent to New Zealand to be loaded into ammunition.

He predicted such an industry could generate more than $500million each year, while reducing the global demand for lead-based ammunition, which had significant environmental impacts.

“The US and Commonwealth have both expressed strong interest in this and we would like it to be manufactured in WA,” Mr Green said.

“It’s completely safe – we’re not even talking about a loaded projectile and it won’t be available to the general public in any country.

“It’s a small bit of red tape stopping a potentially huge industry which would boost the WA economy, export sales, jobs and future spin-off developments,” he said.

“This is great for Midland – if this goes ahead the design and manufacture of the production equipment will all happen from Elmsfield Road and expand from there.”

He said if the Government did not amend its legislation, Geng would be forced to move the manufacturing to New Zealand.

Ms Roberts called on the Premier and Police Minister to discuss the firearm regulations.

“This local business is leading the way in their industry yet red tape is threatening to keep hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue from Western Australia,” Mrs Roberts said.

“Hundreds of Western Australian jobs will be lost in design, production and transport.

“The Premier must assist Geng to make sure this industry is captured now and not permanently lost overseas.”


On one hand I think that it is a shame that a company with a marketable idea is thinking of going offshore.

However, on the other hand I'm not so sure that I would be happy for this bullet to go ahead. I can imagine three years down the track legislation being passed that only these bullets can be used in ammunition in Western Australia and this will potentially put an end to reloading.

Further thougths: I've been wondering what changes to the legislation they are seeking. There is a company here in Perth which has been producing lead projectiles for many, many years.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

QOTD ....

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
William James

Sorry the blogging has been light the last couple of days - I'm trying to get lots of "unfinished" tasks finished! Nothing exciting - just life :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Glock What???

From the news today:

Officer shoots man, Taser left holstered
A LONG-SERVING police sergeant was equipped with a Taser when she used a gun to shoot a man in suburban Sydney.

The man, who also had self-inflicted knife wounds died at Canterbury Hospital this morning, the Daily Telegraph reports.

It is believed one reason the officer fired was that the confrontation occurred in the kitchen of the Lakemba house, meaning the man may have been too close for the Taser to be effective.

Police have revealed they were called to the Wangee Rd home about 8.50am (AEDT) after reports of a man trying to kill himself with a knife.

They arrived with paramedics and started to treat the 36-year-old man on the floor of the kitchen.

South-west Metrpolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stuart Wilkins, said the man then got to his feet, grabbed a knife and confronted those attempting to help.
A female Sergeant with 21-years experience then drew her service-issue Glock revolver and shot the man once.

"He's committed self-harm again and have police have wrestled the knife from him," Ass Commissioner Wilkins said.

Paramedics again started treating him and raced him to hospital but died.

The shot man, known to neighbours as Adam, had walked next door about 7.30am (AEDT) to ask to borrow a mop, and was not suffering injuries at that time, a neighbour told reporters.

About 90 minutes later emergency service crews were called to the house.

"Upon arrival with the ambulance, police located a male suffering stab wounds in the kitchen of the house,'' Mr Wilkins said.

"Paramedics had attempted to assist that person. During this time the male, who has got up from a lying position, we believe he has grabbed a knife from the kitchen and confronted police.

"During that confrontation that male has been shot, once, by police ... a further struggle has ensued, the male has committed self-harm again, police have wrestled the knife from that male person.''

The man was then taken to hospital by ambulance.

Four police officers, three women and one man, were at the house at the time of the shooting.

The man's father was also at the house at the time.

Police say he was not injured, but a next-door neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said the older man had been brought into her backyard for treatment and had been covered in blood.

The father and son are believed to have lived together and were the only occupants of the house.

The man was not known criminally to police.

Mr Wilkins would not confirm that the officers were threatened, but said the decision to use a firearm was "not taken lightly'' by officers.

"I'm not here to speculate on the use of Tasers or whether or not that was the appropriate use at that time,'' he said.

"Tasers are just one option available to us, we have a number of options available.''


Sad situation but interesting that she went for the gun instead of the taser!

And I'm pretty convinved that it WASN'T a glock revolver!

The New English Language...

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

(h/t Mike375).

Mmm .... it IS the middle of November isn't it???

November which, here in the southern hemisphere, means REALLY CLOSE TO SUMMER somehow or other has got very mixed up and brought not just showers but DOWNPOURS ....

Apparently we had 12mm of rain in the 24hrs to 9am this morning. Will have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out how much we got today.

Here's the forecast for the rest of the day and the next couple:

Forecast for Wednesday evening
A few showers. Fresh and gusty W'ly winds.

Precis: Few showers.

Forecast for Thursday
A few showers, easing later in the day. The risk of a morning thunderstorm.
Fresh and gusty SW'ly winds, tending S'ly in the evening and easing.

Precis: Showers, thunderstorm, easing.
City: Min 12 Max 21
Mandurah: Min 15 Max 20

Friday Partly cloudy. Min 9 Max 22
Saturday Morning cloud. Min 11 Max 23
Sunday Mostly sunny. Min 12 Max 26

Was planning to get up the range this morning, but a sick kid kept me awake all night so that didn't happen, however I was told that there were rivers of water running across the ranges so I probably didn't miss much!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Letter of the Law

This article appeared in a UK newspaper on November 14, 2009 and shows the sad state of affairs in the UK regarding firearms possession:

Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year's imprisonment for handing in the weapon.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Clarke said: "I didn't think for one moment I would be arrested.

"I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets."

The court heard how Mr Clarke was on the balcony of his home in Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham, when he spotted a black bin liner at the bottom of his garden.

In his statement, he said: "I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges.

"I didn't know what to do, so the next morning I rang the Chief Superintendent, Adrian Harper, and asked if I could pop in and see him.

"At the police station, I took the gun out of the bag and placed it on the table so it was pointing towards the wall."

Mr Clarke was then arrested immediately for possession of a firearm at Reigate police station, and taken to the cells.

Defending, Lionel Blackman told the jury Mr Clarke's garden backs onto a public green field, and his garden wall is significantly lower than his neighbours.

He also showed jurors a leaflet printed by Surrey Police explaining to citizens what they can do at a police station, which included "reporting found firearms".

Quizzing officer Garnett, who arrested Mr Clarke, he asked: "Are you aware of any notice issued by Surrey Police, or any publicity given to, telling citizens that if they find a firearm the only thing they should do is not touch it, report it by telephone, and not take it into a police station?"

To which, Mr Garnett replied: "No, I don't believe so."

Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a "strict liability" charge – therefore Mr Clarke's allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

But despite this, Mr Blackman urged members of the jury to consider how they would respond if they found a gun.

He said: "This is a very small case with a very big principle.

"You could be walking to a railway station on the way to work and find a firearm in a bin in the park.

"Is it unreasonable to take it to the police station?"

Paul Clarke will be sentenced on December 11.

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

"The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."

It will be interesting to see if the stupidity continues through sentencing or if someone will actually THINK.

Oh, and if you're in the UK and you find a gun you're probably better off keeping it than handing it into the cops!

(h/t The View from North Central Idaho)

UPDATE: Just done a bit of googling and Paul Clark seems to have a bit of a history ... here's a news report from a court appearance in 2008.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Interesting Articles: Gun Ownership and Crime Statistics

I have just come across an article about the "mandatory" (with some exceptions) gun ownership in Kennesaw, Georgia, USA.

The first article I read was at Compaign for Liberty.com however the "source" listed there returned a "not found" error.

Note: This article was put on the internet this year but if you do the maths, it is referring to 1998.

An extract from this article claimed:
The city's population grew from around 5,000 in 1980 to 13,000 by 1996 (latest available estimate). Yet there have been only three murders: two with knives (1984 and 1987) and one with a firearm (1997). After the law went into effect in 1982, crime against persons plummeted 74 percent compared to 1981, and fell another 45 percent in 1983 compared to 1982.

And it has stayed impressively low. In addition to nearly non-existent homicide (murders have averaged a mere 0.19 per year), the annual number of armed robberies, residential burglaries, commercial burglaries, and rapes have averaged, respectively, 1.69, 31.63, 19.75, and 2.00 through 1998.

However, not being able to read the source concerned me a bit as well as the dated nature of the article, so some googling turned up this article, which has extracts from the "The New American" magazine with references to Kennesaw. The extracts date from 1986 through to 1997.

Again, however this is 1997 data.

More googling turned up the following:

Crime Report for Kennesaw, Georgia for 2004, which states:

Kennesaw, Georgia has a violent crime rate of 91 incidents per 100,000 people. This compares with a rate of 840 in Georgia and a rate of 596 nationally. Lower numbers are better, indicating that fewer crimes happen per person in the population.

And for even more "up-to-date" figures here are the ones from September 2009:

Monthly Crime Stats - September 2009

Murder: 0
Rape: 0
Robbery: 0
Aggravated Assualt: 1
Burglary: 5
Larceny: 54
Auto Theft: 3
Arson: 0

Total: 63 -6 from previous month.

Y.T.D: 474 +31 from last year

**Note: Thefts from Autos continue to be the most common reported crime. In fact they make up almost 40% of all crime reported in Kennesaw! Please help us reduce this type of crime by locking your car doors, not leaving valuables such as cameras, GPS units, guns, purses, etc in your car, and reporting any suspicious persons/cars you see in your neighborhood.

Oh, and if you're a total geek you can go to this website which lists crimes by city by state for 2008 in the US and compare the numbers for yourself (yes, the numbers are downloadable into Excel).

Interesting read, especially for those people who believe "guns cause crime".

(h/t cocked and locked)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another Weekend Spent at the Range - and Newbies

Well, Saturday saw me at the range again (after Little Athletics) for the trainees.

This time there were only 5 trainees in total so we decided to combine the groups. Mainly because I had one guy learning how to RO and only one other student - which isn't really enough. The good thing about combining with the Chief Instructor is another set of eyes and a much louder voice than mine!

We decided to set up a number of shooting challenges - consisting of a barrel, hatch, soft cover and a door for the guys to shoot through. We also did some strong hand / week hand shooting prior to this (so they knew what to do when they approached the hatch) and practiced some mag changes. Three of the group were comparative newbies so whom I had never taught before so I wanted to make sure that they knew the basics of mag changes and stuff before hitting the stages.

It went well. We did have one guy shoot past the 90 while pretty close to where we were standing. The Chief Instructor gave him a few hints as to why that's NOT A GOOD IDEA.

The poor guy doing the ROing didn't have any notice so found it a bit of a challenge at the start - memorising the commands and looking after a range (even with me a metre off his shoulder) but did well and got the hang of it pretty quickly.

We shot three of the competition stages afterwards. There was a 30 round stage which had some challenging rooms and really cute teepees hiding targets, an eighteen round stage with soft cover and the last stage was three poppers and three paper targets all shot through portals.

All of the shooters stuck the guns in the portals while they shot (talk about noisy). So after they shot it that way, I put a fault line about a meter back from the portals and got them to shoot from there. The main aim of this was to get them to realise that a bullet has no problem going through a circle around 15cm diameter and that they didn't need to get right up close.

Every one had fun but again we didn't get off the range until after 5pm. By which time I was seriously looking forward to a nice cold one :)

Today we had a "Have A Go Day". We haven't advertised it much so today we had one adult and two 6y.o.s. These girls are classmates of my youngest so my whole family came up the range too.

Another club member turned up with his 10y.o. (and a Walther PK 22) so they were invited to join in and play too. At one stage we had all five kids in a line on the range shooting. Three of the girls (2 x 6.y.o and my 8y.o.) were using .22 pistols, the other 6y.o. was on the air pistol and the 10y.o. boy was using the .22 Winchester rifle. Unfortunately the noise and flying brass was too much for one of the visiting 6y.o.s so she decided to watch her sister on the air pistol and then have a go of that, which she liked. After the girls had shot about 20 rounds they decided to go off to play. The 10y.o. boy stayed on the shooting line and tried a variety of guns on offer including my Springfield which he quite liked.

While we were showing the dad a range of 9mm pistols and 357 revolvers another club member turned up with two shotguns. The first was a side-by-side coach gun which I seriously fell in love with although I've never shot a shotgun with two triggers before so it took me awhile to find the second trigger!

While we were all (including the 10 y.o.) taking turns with the shotguns, the Chief Instructor went off and got the club's shotgun. Which, of course, we all had to have a go of too (I had a couple of goes of it!).

I'm not sure how many rounds were shot in total. There was a couple of times where three people with .22 pistols were all trying to knock over the poppers (subsequently taken down with the 357 revolvers) and the targets were shredded by shot gun shot but after 2 hrs we all decided that it was enough and headed up to the club house for a cold one or two.

When we got the club house one of the members had made "Parrot Soup" from some parrots shot on a nearby property. All of the kids LOVED the soup, especially my eldest who not only had three bowls of the soup, she also gnawed on the bones. A friend took a photo of her so I'll put it up when he sends it to me.

It was nice to see the kids having a go and we're looking at doing more with littlies in the future.

When I asked my girls what the best thing was today they both answered "Everything" at the same time and then the eldest said "The parrot soup".

When asking my youngest what she thought of the Walter Pk 22 (one of the smallest guns we're legally allowed to have here) she said "nice, but the trigger was harder than your gun!". I am seriously thinking of buying one of these too - but the current price is around the $800 mark :(

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Day of Visiting Gun Shops

This is the first day this week without nausea and dizziness so I decided to take my husband with me and go gun shopping!

The pretext was to find a gun (or two) for the girls.

Our first stop was Barry's Firearms in Beckenham.
- Barry had a really nice little Savage. It wasn't the Savage cub but we thought it could suit the girls.

Second stop was Roy Alexander and Sons in Maylands.
- There was a lovely little single shot Sterling there for a REALLY good price. We couldn't resist so bought that. I guess I'm going to be trialling the new licencing process earlier than planned!

Third stop was Claremont Firearms in Bibra Lakes. (This was my first visit to this gun shop but Bob came highly recommended and I can see why).
- He had a bolt action Mossberg with a synthetic stock which he thought might be suitable for the girls (I had phoned him yesterday) and after seeing him we agreed.

We then went and picked the girls up from school and went and visited gun shops again.

First stop was Clarement Firearms.
- The girls liked the look of the Mossberg but it was too long in the stock for them (about 5cms too long). We discussed cutting it down, but Bob's recommendation was to wait a couple of years before getting the girls a rifle.

We then decided to go across to Barry's to see how the Savage measured up.
- Again the girls liked it, but again it was about 5cm too long in the stock. Being a wooden stock it would be easier to cut down but I'm not convinced that is the way to go.
- Barry also had a wonderful small 410 Shotgun - didn't ask the make, but have just done a quick google and found it. It's a Rossi Tuffy 410 Shot Gun. Seriously cute!!! The one we were looking at was sold :( But Barry said he's got more on order, so I've put my name down for one when they come in.

Third stop was Beaton's Firearms in Maddington.
- Zane had the Savage there and a small Browning. The Savage was the best fit but still needed to be cut down. We discussed the Savage Cub but at only $20 less than the Savage and being a single shot only we decided it wasn't worth bringing in from the Eastern States.

So at the moment the choice seems to be the Savage and cut it down for them or search out of state.

I would love to get my hands on a CZ Scout to see how that fitted the girls, as well as the Henry Youth and the Ruger 10 22. These are my current favourites based on what I've read but they just don't seem to be stocked by anyone here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

West Atlas Oil Rig Follow Up

I recently blogged about the West Atlas oil rig which had been leaking oil into the Timor Sea since August 21st and the subsequent fire.

Both the fire and leak were brought under control shortly after that blog and now the photos have started to appear.

Here's one of the first pictures showing the burnt out rig:

More pictures and article here.

New Firearms Licensing System Up and Running


Following my earlier posts on licencing firearms in Western Australia here and here, I thought I would bring you up to date on the new system which is operating as of today.

If you want a firearm's licence or to add a new firearm to your licence you need to download a bunch of forms off the Police website, fill them in and take them to the Post Office.

I love warning on the website not to take the guns with you when you attend the Post Office!

Now you would think that a new system would have a nice webpage summarising the process, wouldn't you? Well if there is one I can't find it.

I did find the FAQ page - in Word document format - with this information:

Q: I want to apply for a Firearm Licence. What do I have to do?
A Firearm Licence entitles the holder to possess, carry, and lawfully use the firearm/s named and identified in that licence, and ammunition for that firearm.
Refer to Section 16(1)(a) of the Firearms Act.

An approval is determined by the category or type of firearm applied for, and the reason for which it is required.

· Application for a Firearm Licence is to be completed online by the applicant, then validated and printed. Refer www.police.wa.gov.au and follow the links.

· You must attend a nominated Australia Post outlet with your application, supporting documentation and fee.
Note: If your application is for a first time issue (original) Firearm Licence, you will need to supply the following in addition to your supporting documentation:
- Firearm Awareness Certificate (obtained from authorised persons of approved Clubs/Associations).
- Firearm Serviceability Certificate for each firearm (obtained from the seller of the firearm).
The term “supporting documentation” may include but not limited to, the following:
- Property Letter/Primary Producer Advice
- Club Support Letter
- Occupational Requirement Disclosure
- Identification Exemption Certificate
- Proof of Property Ownership
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Certificate of Registered Business Name
A 28 day cooling-off period will apply to first time issue (original) applicants for a Firearm Licence. This means your licence will not be processed until after the 28 days.

· For first time issue (original) firearm licence applications, Police Licensing Services (PLS) will mail you a letter requesting that you confirm your intention to proceed with your application and to fit an approved cabinet to store your firearm. You will need to provide a Statutory Declaration evidencing this. Refer www.police.wa.gov.au and follow the links to “Licensing requirements/Storage”.
Note: Failure to advise PLS of your intentions to continue with your application within a further 28 days will result in your application lapsing and the application will be declined.

· The applicant will receive notification of acceptance or refusal in the mail. If successful, you will be issued a licence (via post).

· For a first time issue (original) Firearm Licence, this notification will also include a request for you to attend a post office to have your photograph taken for an Extract of Licence card which incurs a fee. This card will be mailed to you at a later stage.

· If refused, and you are applying for an original licence, you will be forwarded a partial refund of the original payment and receive documentation detailing the reasons for this decision.


Q: I want to apply for a Category H firearm. What do I have to do?
Follow the same process as an application for a Firearm Licence.
Active members of firearm clubs can apply for a Category H firearm (handgun) subject to certain conditions and/or restrictions.
The only exceptions (non-club purposes) are:
· professional or recreational divers (for power heads);
· required in the course of the person’s occupation (restrictions do apply); and
· Commonwealth or State Government purposes.
Note: Hunting, recreational shooting or vermin control are not deemed to be a “genuine reason” for possessing a firearm of this type.

Also found in the FAQs are these helpful answers:

Q: Do I have to carry my Firearm Licence?
If seeking to purchase ammunition or if you are in possession of a firearm you will need to produce your Firearm Licence on demand.

Q: Do I have to carry my photo card?
If seeking to purchase ammunition or if you are in possession of a firearm you will need to produce your Firearm Licence on demand.

Umm, guys, they're two different things so you didn't actually answer the second question!


Anyway, it will be interesting to see how quickly new licenses and additions are processed through the new system.

I think the problems are going to revolve around the two forms mentioned above:
- Firearm Awareness Certificate (obtained from authorised persons of approved Clubs/Associations).
- Firearm Serviceability Certificate for each firearm (obtained from the seller of the firearm).

The Firearms Awareness Certificate is a piece of paper saying that you have completed the safety questionnaire. This needs to be signed by and "authorised person". I have heard that Club Armourers and Club President's are the only "authorised" people, but that isn't specified on the website or in the FAQs. I know that our club hasn't fully determined who and how this is going to be done.

The Firearm Serviceability Certificate is a form signed by an "authorised" person to say that the firearm is "as described" and "is serviceable". I know that there are lots of liability-type questions about the "is serviceable" aspect. Again I have heard that there are some dealers who are willing to sign it for guns purchased from their shops but I am not sure what is going to happen for "private sales".

Should be an interesting couple of months as the teething issues are ironed out.

Deep Sea Crab that Eats Trees

Honestly ...

The crab survives by eating wood that has sunk to the ocean floor, comprising trunks and leaves swept into the sea, as well as the odd shipwreck.

Check out the full story here.

I found it interesting that the only thing the crab eats is wood, I would have thought that would be a risky limitation when you choose to live in the ocean.

Neat Web Site - The Size of Things

To get an idea of the size of things check this out.

h/t Red

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From the news today:


POLICE will use airport-style metal detectors and carry handheld scanners if the State Government's controversial stop and search powers become law.

Scanners would be set up at major tourist, entertainment and nightspot areas, known troublespots, at concerts, rail stations even beaches.

The proposed laws would allow police to stop and search people in designated areas at specific times without reasonable suspicion.

Police today displayed 85 weapons, including guns, a crossbow, knives and machetes, seized since June, from people either committing an offence or acting suspiciously in Northbridge and the CBD.

Ten weapons were seized in Northbridge in the last 10 days.

Both police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and police minister Rob Johnson said the display was evidence that a crackdown on weapons was needed.

Mr O'Callaghan said there was a real and growing concern about the number of weapons on the streets.

``We need to do something to make Northbridge and other entertainment precincts safe,'' he said.

``We need the powers to control the number of weapons where the community goes. This proposed stop and search powers will enable us to do that.

``This is simply asking someone in most cases to either walk through a metal detector or be screened by a metal detector in declared precincts.

``We're not just going to go round putting up metal detectors anywhere. They would be at spots where we think we're going to get the best benefits.

``I don't have any specific targets and we won't be making any applications unless it is based on good intelligence.''

Mr Johnson claimed the weapons were just a small sample of the number that are on the streets.
``It is frightening that officers are picking these weapons up,'' he said.

``People deserve to be able to go into Northbridge and the CBD area without fear that someone is carrying a knife or even guns.

``That is a serious concern to me.''

Mr Johnson said searches would be random but if officers believed somebody was carrying a weapon or was acting in a strange or anti-social way they would have the right to search them.

``It will be similar to going through an airport security screen,' he said.

``You're certainly not going to be thrown up against a wall.''

He said the laws were designed to stop ``smart defence lawyers'' arguing not if their client was carrying a weapon but whether police had grounds to stop them.

``I'm not worried about smart defence lawyer,'' he said.

``I'm worried about the people who want to go to Northbridge and the CBD area and enjoy a good night's entertainment without the fear of somebody pulling a knife, a machete or even a hand gun.

``At the end of the day the government wants to make Northbridge and the CBD area an area that families can go back into.

``A lot of people won't take their families into Northbridge these days because they are very concerned at the weapons and the violence that they are seeing enacted out.''


Now, I don't like Northbridge and I know that there is a lot of random violence there, however I do not believe giving the Police the powers to "stop and search people ... without reasonable suspicion". is the answer.

A better solution would be to allow people to carry and defend themselves adequately.

Oh and if you want to see the photo of the "cache" of weapons seized click on the link.

Here's a map of the Northbridge area. How many metal detectors do you think they'll need to effectively stop weapons coming into the area?

NASA Pictures - International Year of Astronomy

To celebrate 400 years since Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1609, NASA is releasing never-before-seen view of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way galaxy.

Here's one of the images:

For the full story and more pictures click here.

Court Ruling - Drinkers Need to take Responsibility for their own Actions

THE High Court has dramatically shifted the responsibility for drunken actions on to the individual, ruling that the nation's publicans have no general duty of care to protect patrons from the consequences of getting drunk.

Read the full story here.

Very pleased to see this. I do believe that publicans (and similar) shouldn't continue to serve alcohol to someone who is observably drunk (i.e. laying on the floor unable to get up) but it is good that the responsibility has been put back onto the individuals.

Useful Website

The difference between COLD, SEASONAL FLU and H1N1 SYMPTOMS.

Based on this I've only got a seasonal flu not H1N1 (I've been feeling really bad for the last couple of days) going to try and get a Drs apt today as diagnosing yourself from a website isn't probably the smartest thing to do.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Products

This has possibilities (for us women) but I don't think it is available for purchase in Australia yet.

Wow .. Nudibranch Photos

Apparently Nudibranchs (mmm, why isn't that "es"?) are sea slugs which come in a brilliant array of colours.

Check out more photos here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fun on the Range and Family Life

Saturdays are a busy day in our lives. Both girls do Little Athletics which starts early. You have to be there for an 8am start and as we live 25mins away it's often challenging getting everybody up and ready for it!

While I think Little Athletics is great for the kids we're not too stressed about it, so when my youngest had a birthday party also on Saturday morning we let her leave Little Athletics and go to it.

This week the programming was a bit strange and after my eldest sitting around waiting for her first event for an hour and a half (all other age groups had been called) I went and had a talk to the club manager - who spoke to the co-orindators and it seemed that they had forgotten to program that age group! Anyway she got called for an event shortly afterwards.

My husband took my youngest to the birthday party at 10 and then came back to the oval. By 11.45am my eldest had only done three events - one of which was the 70m where she came 2nd (which for her is great!).

My husband needed to pick up my youngest around 12 and I needed to leave by then also to get to the range in time for the trainees. We heard the co-ordinators say that they thought the program would run for another hour and half at least so I asked my eldest if she minded missing her last two events (100m and discus) and to come up the range with me. She was okay with that so we went home, got all the equipment and headed for the range.

This week I had four trainees. Two were on week 3 of the training course, one other on week 5 but we've not seen him at the course for a month or so and the other on week 4. Of the four one of them was a women. It's great to have women in the training course. This week we had two - I had one in my group and the Chief Instructor had one in his (he also had seven other students - four newbies and four on week 2 of the course).

Basically, the training course is nominally 12 weeks. During which time we cover a number of competencies. We run this course however on a rotating basis and base the actual topics we cover on the people that turn up for the day. Therefore until the students arrive we never know exactly what we are going to do or what equipment we need.

Once I knew which students I had, I decided to focus the session on starting and shooting positions. We had done some the week before (mainly loaded and holstered starts), so we reviewed those first and then moved onto the unloaded starts; starts where you retrieve gun from a prop; and then kneeling / sitting and prone starts.

We had practiced the "facing up range" starts the previous weeks too but as one of the students hadn't done these before we reviewed these again starting both loaded and unloaded.

The "going prone" position is always the least favourite amongst the students but as I said to them, at least it wasn't raining and I did put down a plastic mat over the gravel!

During the course my husband arrived to pick my eldest up and she was not happy. She had been sitting on the range watching the trainees and didn't want to leave. I had a quick chat with her and after promising her that we could come up on Sunday and she could shoot then she was okay about going.

We used about 65 rounds on the training range before moving to the competition stages for a practice. Five stages had been set up for the shoot and there were two squads shooting. The other group of trainees had already moved onto a stage as well.

The two free stages were only stand and shoot stages rather than a stage which involved movement. We had done this type of stage the week prior and I particularly wanted a stage where the trainees had to move about and do mag changes, so we decided to wait until the other group of trainees had finished with their stage.

While we were waiting I suggested to the trainees that they started to plan their shoot. There were 13 paper targets and 4 poppers (two small, two large) on the stage with five different shooting positions. Each of the trainees had four magazines and only 35 rounds. As our mags are 10 round mags I suggested that they share the bullets around their mags so they can time their mag changes to their advantage.

I was really pleased with how they shot the stage. All of them had planned their mag changes well (do them while moving rather than static) and apart from one student who had troubles with the poppers no one shot the gun dry at any time.

I did have to pull two of the students up on having their finger on the trigger while moving or doing a mag change but that was it. Muzzle direction was good and they coped well with moving backwards and doing mag changes while moving both left to right and right to left (skills we had practiced the week before).

Great fun was had by all but as we had waited for the other group of trainees to finish we didn't get off the range until after 5.30pm. By which time the cold beer in the clubhouse was looking very good.

On Sunday I took my daughters up to the range to have a go with my friend's air pistol and the 22 winchester. Both shot really well and had a great time. I was really impressed at how patient they are about lining up a good shot before pulling the trigger. I didn't get any photos this time as my new camera died last week :( and I am waiting on a replacement (it was still under warranty).

After the shooting and a hot dog at the club house we came home and my eldest had an assignment to finish.