Monday, April 30, 2012

Why should I own guns when there are no zombies to kill?

This question comes from Ricochet (slightly reworded), an Aussie blogger who has starting to think about guns.

She says:

Now rather than discuss the history of cricket bats, or debate whether guns are actually designed solely for the purpose of killing, I’m going to look at the mindset behind this.

Ricochet is concerned about buying something that is designed to kill.  This just shows how far we have come from our roots - meat is sourced plastic wrapped from the supermarket.  Nothing in our ‘modern day’ environment dictates that we need to be able to kill to survive.  But that's not where things started from.

We were designed to kill – doesn’t matter how you wrap it, that’s what we’re all about.  So let me reword a sentence of hers:

“Just because you aren't doing what you’re designed to do … doesn't take away from the fact that's what you’re designed to do.”

 Yep folks, we were designed to kill to survive – food and predators.   And if we weren’t living in a “relatively safe” first world country we might actually experience more of this than we currently do.

So guns are designed to kill, and so are we, now what?

Does this mean that we all go and out and kill? No, of course not. 

To me it means that maybe we’ve been asking the wrong question.  Maybe rather than asking “can I own anything that is designed to kill” we need to ask ourselves “why should I own a gun?”  A bit like asking “why should I own a drill?”

So why should you own a gun, or a drill or anything else?

There are only two valid reasons for owning anything – need or want (tempered by the ‘can you afford it’ question).

Assuming the “can you afford it” question is answered in the positive – if you can answer  “yes” to either the “do you need it?” or “do you want it?” question then no further questions need to be asked.

Why do I own guns? Because I want to, and can afford to.

There are a lot of sub-clauses to why I want to own a gun, including:- 
  • I enjoy target shooting; 
  • I find shooting IPSC matches challenging; 
  • I enjoy hunting and sourcing my own meat; 
  • I enjoy sharing the hobby of shooting with my family.

Why do you own guns?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Poll on SMH

The Sydney Morning Herald is running a poll asking "Do our gun control laws go far enough?".

Under the poll they have four opinions, one from a hunter, a gun control advocate, a policemen and the mayor of Moree Plains Shire.

Robert Borsak ('the hunter') makes this point "THE spate of drive-by shootings in Sydney is not the result of insufficient gun control laws, or even criminal law, in this state. It is already illegal to shoot an unregistered firearm in a built-up area without regard to human life. There are three or more charges that could arise from this act alone. The problem is that there is a minority of people who do not care what the law says."

Michelle Fernando ('the advocate') seems to want gun laws tightened up so that unlicensed people can not shoot guns. WHICH IS A VERY SCARY THOUGHT and I hope the NSW gun owners fight this tooth and nail.

(Just as an aside, I had a look at a news report on the shooting of her father.  The article I found was here and does raise some interesting questions).

Scott Weber ('the policeman') says "We need a war on guns, with greater focus on stopping guns entering the country in the first place, and schemes in place to get the guns in circulation off the streets."

The one that I found most interesting was Katrina Humphries ('the mayor'), this is her comment:

LOCKS keep honest people out. Signs are for honest people to obey. Rules are for honest people to follow. Gun laws are for honest people and when guns were outlawed the outlaws kept their guns.

Zero tolerance for  illegal gun dealers and users is possibly the only way to clean up this mess, along with sizeable cash rewards for information leading to arrests of persons involved in gun crimes.  Perhaps strong mandatory jail terms for the perpetrators would also be a deterrent.
Some say our jails are overcrowded now; too bad – build more, of lesser quality, so the jail experience is a punishment not a reward. Customs also needs to be tighter.

All these solutions will take a lot of money to fund, but if governments are serious then the proceeds of crime need to be quarantined to help fund these extra measures.

We also need to start properly supporting our police.  Eyewatch is a new type of community watch network that could really take off.  Imagine the benefit to a community if there were six or eight extra sets of eyes and ears in every street. It is a real option and residents can take part without being found out by their  neighbours.

It is my belief that the politically correct and the do-gooders of this country are bringing our fantastic lifestyle and happy-go-lucky nature to their  knees.

Time is of the essence and it is only a matter of time until some poor innocent bystander, even a child, is killed in this gangland-style raiding that is happening night after night.

NSW needs to be the leader in criminal reform in Australia.  If there was ever a time for some gutsy leadership, a strong judicial system and big monetary rewards, it is now.  Lock them up and throw away the keys – there is no room in our precious world for suburban warlords and lawless communities.

Our brave police should be honoured and supported and while ever there is no respect for the law there will be no peace for law-abiding citizens. Fear should not be the burden of the honest and decent majority in our communities; it should be used as a weapon against those who wish to break the law.

If you're in Australia, particularly in NSW please go and vote in the poll and if you want to see the continuation of gun ownership fight against the petitions, like those presented by Michelle Fernando, by supporting people like Robert Borsak and Mayor Humphries.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A quick snack

Yesterday I was looking for ideas for something that I could feed the girls between basketball training and a basketball game.  We had a 20min car trip so I was hoping for something that was nutritious, filling and car-friendly.  My friends on #gbc suggested Calzones and a couple of them emailed me pizza crust recipes.

However, I'm too lazy to wait around for yeast and rising & resting and all that sort of stuff.  So I used this recipe and filled them with a mixture of onion, chicken & tomato paste.  I made sure the chicken mixture was quite finely shredded and dry.

To fill them, make a ball about the size of a golf ball, and then press your thumb into it, then smooth out the sides until you have a thin sided cup.  Place about a teaspoon or so of the mixture in the hollow and press the edges to seal.  They ended up a samosa shape.

I then cooked them at 220C for 8mins (well actually I cooked them for 10mins but that meant they were a bit overdone).  The girls loved them but ate them for afternoon tea rather than for dinner!

(I did take some photos but my camera appears to have eaten them!)

I plan to make more of these as we've got a lot of activities straight after school this coming term and these (with a variety of different fillings) will be just perfect.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day - some photos

Today was a good day.  Started early, up at 5am for the local dawn service - here we are waiting for the march to start:

Miss 8 carried one of the flags.

Just after dawn they marched to the local war memorial
Here's a look across the Scouts and part of the crowd

You can see everyone standing in the picture.  When the first veterans in the march entered the park everyone stood and most people remained standing for the duration of the service.

I thought the rememberence service itself was really good.  The focus was on those who had given their lives in service, but also those who were disabled as a result of serving were also remembered.  Mention to was made for the families of those who have and do serve and they were thanked for their part.

After the service we didn't stay for the breakfast that was provided but headed up to the Scout Leader's place for breakfast and a chat.  We ended up staying there until about 11am.

[UPDATE] Here is a link to pictures taken at war memorial at Kings Park.[/UPDATE]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ANZAC Day - April 25th

ANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918).

While ANZAC day still remembers these brave men, the meaning has been widened to be a rememberence for all those who served and who gave their lives serving.

As a result, this one day in the year involves the whole of Australia in solemn ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride for all our men and women who have fought and died in all wars.

This year has invited people to write in with their memories of their service or of family members who have served.  It is well worth checking out here.

As Scouts are allowed to march in the ANZAC marches we will be at Gosnells at 6am for the girls to join the march to the war memorial and the remeberence service. 

Later in the day we will be going down to Fremantle to have a look at the visiting US Navy ships, including the USS Carl Vinson.

Friday, April 20, 2012

QOTD that need to go on a t-shirt

From the Mistress of Snark, Tam:

Remember that the most important piece of safety gear is the trigger nut, and it should always be torqued to proper specifications.

Proud of Miss 10

She received the "Most Improved" award from the basketball camp that her and her sister have been attending all week.

The "camp" runs from 9am to 3pm each day and for the whole time they work on basketball skills or play games. Apparently they both have been doing very this camp (they've done 4 before) and Miss 10 was rewarded for her hard work with the medal.

The team that runs the program use some of their local players and also their "imports" to run the camps. The "imports" are (of course) Americans and it is fun to hear them talking to the kids! I must admit they're very, very good at keeping discipline and involving the kids.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Signs that you're not posting enough about guns ...

Received this email today:

Hi Julie,

I was reading your blog ( and thought that your knowledge and experience would be of great value to our users, who pay our experts a premium for advice.

Our platform, called Wizpert, is a fast growing community of experts, where users seek advice and support on living with Alzheimer and other topics.

If you decide to sign up, you will also get a customized Wizpert button to place on your blog - it will allow engaged readers to connect with you directly at your convenience for a live conversation.

Please go to: and create your quick profile, by clicking 'Become an Expert' on the top right - it's completely free and takes just 2 minutes! (you need to use this link since we are still invitation only).

For more information, pls see the FAQ section on the site, or feel free contact me personally with any questions.

All the best,

Now while I thank Michael for stopping by and reading my blog, I really don't think that I can offer much to those living with Alzheimers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today was one of THOSE days ...

I was working from home today, and got caught up in a spreadsheet I was working on and then realised I was running late to take the girls to their holiday activity (a day of basketball).

Quickly did their hair and rushed them out the door.  Drove a kilometre up the road and the car died!!!  It basically just lost power.

I pulled over, and put my hazard lights on and took stock.  I was parked on the edge of a major road (90km zone), a kilometre from home and a long way to basketball with a car that didn't want to go.

My first challenge was to get the girls to basketball.  I rang another mother who I thought might be going - no answer.  I rang my BIL who lives locally to see if he could take them - no answer.  I rang hubby to see if he could contact BIL.  Hubby couldn't, however he did get through to another neighbour who was happy to transport the girls.

Challenge 1 overcome.

The second challenge was to figure out what was going on and how to fix it.  I rang Shooting Buddy to talk to him (he is down in Perth this week).  He was 1/2hr away so said he would come over.

Shooting Buddy arrived and tried to start the car.  It wouldn't start.  We had a bit of a chat about what might be wrong - my car has never broken down before, I knew it wasn't the battery because that was pretty new.  Then it dawned on Shooting Buddy and I that he had put some fuel into my car from a jerry can we had at home a couple of days before and maybe it wasn't unleaded.

You see, we were driving back from the range on Sunday and my car needed fuel, I suggested we stop at the local service station - but the fuel was SO EXPENSIVE - luckily hubby had bought some the previous day at a good price and had them stored in jerry cans at home.  Shooting Buddy said he knew where they were and offered to fill the car up for me when we got home. Which he did.

So anyway another call to hubby and yep, it wasn't unleaded in the can he used it was vegetable oil.  Ooops.

So now we knew what was wrong!  Now to fix it ...

Luckily I belong to the RAC which offer roadside assistance and towing.  They were happy to tow it back home for me and said there would be a 90min wait.  I had a phone conference in a bit so Shooting Buddy offered to stay with the car and wait for the tow truck and my neighbour (who was returning back from dropping the girls off) offered me a lift back home.

I made it with 5 mins to spare for my phone conference.  Unfortunately for Shooting Buddy the 90mins turned into about 2.5hrs :(  But eventually he and the car turned up.  A cup of tea and lunch later he had recuperated.

We decided to wait until hubby got home for the actual fixing part (Shooting Buddy headed off to do some errands and get the girls later).

So at about 3.30pm Shooting Buddy and the girls had arrived back and hubby (who picked up my Dad who is here for a visit) also arrived and while I struggled with work and phone calls they fixed my car.  I did venture out and see what they were up to at one stage, but decided I really didn't want to know!

It is now all okay!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Discussion in the lounge room:

Miss 8: "Is this a foot (indicating her foot) or is this a foot (indicating a span of distance)?"

Me: "Very good, a foot can either be a physical thing or a unit of measure."

Miss 8: "I know, but it's not an Australian unit of measurement."

Me: (to hubby) "Were we this smart at that age?"

Miss 10: "Nope!"

Friday, April 13, 2012

Amazon understatement

Just read this an article on a Basic Gunshot Wound kit (from wizardPC) and although I have thought about it before I've never got one organised.  I do carry a basic first aid kit with me to the range but it wouldn't be that useful if anyone actually got shot.

So as wizardpc had thoughtfully provided links to Amazon I went and ordered all of the things he recommended.

However when I went to checkout I get this lovely bit of understatement from Amazon:

SLIGHT?  You're not going to ship me anything on my order :( I class that as more than 'slight'.

Oh well, I'll just have to see what I can source locally.

Do you guys all have first aid kits in your range bags? If so, what do you carry in them?

One down three to go

As a requirement of my new job I need to obtain a 2010 Microsoft Office Master certificate.  This requires the passing of four MS exams:
  • Excel Expert 2010
  • Word Expert 2010
  • PowerPoint 2010
  • Access 2010 or Outlook 2010 or Sharepoint 2010
I sat the Excel one yesterday - and passed!! (Go me!)

So now just have to work on the others.  I am a bit disappointed though as I really, really, really don't like Powerpoint and having to sit an exam in it is going to be challenging!

In case you're interested I found the Excel exam quite obscure.  I had studied the list of things that were going to be covered, so no real surprises there, well except question 1 - Data Consolidation - I'm sure that wasn't in the list.  But it was the way some of the questions were worded that got me.  "Create a pivot chart showing x, y and z" ... Um, okay, well how do you want x, y & z shown? Maybe it's just the way I think.

And, unlike everyone else I've spoken to who has sat the exam, I didn't run out of time, actually I had 15mins left at the end.  Which is annoying because you can't go back to previously answered questions. You can either answer them as they're presented or mark them as 'skip' and answer them at the end so trying to work out how long to spend on each question is impossible.

Not sure what to do next, whether to get the PowerPoint one out of the way or focus on one of the others which might be a bit more challenging.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vocation Vacations

Came across the idea of a working holiday scheme at Maggie's Farm. Sounds like a great idea to me - wonder if there is something similar available in Australia.

Oh and I was disappointed to see that Firearms Instructor wasn't on the list!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Went "north" over the Easter weekend and during our travels visited the wind farm at Walkaway.  It's an impressive wind farm.  Apparently it's the largest one in Western Australia - the wiki article is brief but interesting.

The day after visiting the wind farm I sat down to play the new Monopoly U-Build game.  I quite like the idea, you choose basically how long you want to play for, set up the board to meet this requirement and roll the dice.

There are some changes, however, one is the introduction of "hazard pieces".  These are bright (fluro) orange and if you "build" one of these next to property the residential rent on these properties are set to zero (you can move these during the game).  Industrial rents are not affected.  Now there are three of these - power station, prison, sewage works - and I can understand somewhat why you might not want one of these in your neighbourhood.

Another new concept in the game is the introduction of "bonus pieces", these, to my way of thinking are the opposite to the hazard pieces.  If you build one in your area you're protected from the building of a hazard.  These are bright green in colour.  And again there are three - a park, a school and a WIND FARM?!?!?!  

Who in their right mind would want a wind farm in their back garden?  They are NOISY, very, very NOISY.  The girls likened the noise to the sound of an airplane.  I would rather have the prison thanks (well, if you can shield the lights).

The girls and I concluded that the creator of the game had never even seen a wind farm let alone been near one.

The fact that skyscrapers DOUBLED the rent also interested me.  Apart from these things we had a lot of fun playing and Miss 8 wiped the floor with me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Still no flying cars but the future is getting closer

From today's news:

Portable 'flashlight' kills nasty bacteria

A PORTABLE battery-operated plasma flashlight capable of killing some of the strongest bacteria could be used to treat patients in natural disasters and war zones, researchers say.

The device, developed by Australian and Chinese researchers, resembles a torch and emits reactive plasma particles that can kill bacteria, and potentially treat wounds and even tumours.

Previously, similar devices have often relied on an electricity connection or generators.

This limited their use in natural disaster zones, ambulance call-outs, military operations and other remote locations, said the authors of a study published today in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Science.

The report's authors, including Kostya Ostrikov from CSIRO's Materials Science and Engineering unit at the Plasma Nanoscience Centre Australia, found the device could successfully penetrate 17 layers of extremely heat-resistant bacteria, called biofilm.

The plasma flashlight was able to penetrate through to the very bottom layers to kill bacteria, while operating at room temperatures of between 20C to 23C, which would prevent damage to the skin.

Biofilm is formed by bacteria to resist treatment and is very difficult to kill, even with intense heat, Prof Ostrikov said.

"That's why alternative approaches like this plasma are sought after," Prof Ostrikov told AAP.

"In this study we chose an extreme example to demonstrate that the plasma flashlight can be very effective even at room temperature."

The results could advance techniques to kill biofilms formed by drug and treatment-resistant bacteria.

Reactions between the plasma emitted and air create a cocktail of reactive species believed to be similar to those found in the immune system.

In the experiment, the plasma device was applied to biofilm samples for five minutes.

It is the thickest reported biofilm killed by a room-temperature plasma device, the researchers said.

Prof Ostrikov said the plasma device was easy to make and cost less than $100 to produce.

He said creating a smaller version and different design could make it more appealing to the commercial market.

A team of international researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, City University of Hong Kong, University of Sydney and CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering created the device.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Impressive ....

I found this over at Bayou Renaissance Man's blog and just had to share:

Monday, April 2, 2012

April the 1st was yesterday

My two favourite April 1st jokes on the internet were:

Glock INC bought by Sears and
Google Street Roo - Exploring the outback one bounce at a time.

Brilliant guys, just brilliant.

Oh and at the other end of the scale with have this attempt by JayG ... which I have to say, as much as I *love* him, was just pathetic.  I'll be watching to see if he lifts his game next year!