Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Send a message to our troops this ANZAC Day - 25th April

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.

Last year I linked to's memories page; this year they have invited members of the public to post messages which will be forwarded to currently serving members here.

It is interesting to read the messages posted.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Rifle Purchase Process - Stage 2 Complete

Shooting Buddy arrived down from "up north" yesterday so this morning we decided to attack the paperwork for the new rifles.

The forms have to be completed on-line and then you take them to the Post Office for them to be sent to Firearms Branch.

I logged into the online forms process on one of my computers and the form didn't display - not to be discouraged I woke up one of my other computers and tried again and this time it worked.

We decided to do Shooting Buddy's application first.  The form is interactive, so depending on how you answer questions additional ones come up. I am sure there are questions on there that weren't on the form last time I did it, that or I've blanked it out of my mind!  You have to answer questions about names / previous names / addresses / previous addresses (sure, list all previous addresses with dates!) / criminal convictions / medication / VROs etc, etc.

Once you get through these type of questions you actually get to the bit to do with the firearms.  To be honest this bit was quite simple - as you require a Firearms Serviceability Certificate for each firearm which contains all the relevant details (make, model, serial number, calibre) you don't actually have to fill this in on the form - only the Serviceability Certificate Number (and attach it to your application).

I only ended up having to ring the Firearms Branch twice during the process.  Once was regarding how to put the 'other licencee' information (i.e. my information) in and the other time was at the end of the process as the guy on the phone (blogged about here) had mentioned an additional form (Co-Users Permission Form) to me but the application process did not refer to this form at all.  (Yes, you do need to submit it).

After filling in the six pages of information for Shooting Buddy we went to print it, which requires it to contact via the Internet to Firearms Branch and get a unique barcode - and for some reason this didn't work and we lost all of the entries and had to start again.  Filling it in the second time was a bit quicker!

Validated and printed and then it was time to repeat the whole process for me.

No problems this time and once that paperwork was also printed and supporting documentation photocopied, we headed off down to the Post Office.

So for my application I had a five page printed form, a Firearms Serviceability Certificate for my firearm, a copy of Shooting Buddy's Firearms Serviceability Certificate, the Property Letter and the Co-Users Permission Form signed by Shooting Buddy.

Shooting Buddy's collection of paper was similar but he had a six page printed form as he had different answers to some of the questions than I did.

At the Post Office we had a short wait in the queue (apparently we were in the wrong queue but given that there was no signage showing two queues I didn't worry about that too much).  Then the lady behind the counter had a look through my Firearms Application form and attachments (slight change from the last time I did this process where the initial response was "Do we process these?") and then she asked me for 100 points proof of identification.  No where in the online forms or documentation do I recall reading that I needed to supply this, however, luckily I did have enough cards in my wallet to prove that yes, I am who I say I am.  (Interestingly enough the "Working with Children" Card does not count (even though it has photo, address and signature and itself was obtained with a 100 points ID check).  My Medicare card - First Name & Surname only - and Credit Card - full name only - were taken in preference.

Once she had scanned the form's barcode, entered the reference numbers off each of the identification cards, asked for $72.50 and printed me a receipt it was Shooting Buddy's turn.  He was more organised than me and actually had his 100 points worth of cards out of his wallet.

That done she assured us that they would be scanned and then posted by registered mail to Firearms Branch for processing.

So Stage 2 is now complete.  It will be interesting to see how long Stage 3 (Firearm's processing) takes.  In the past I have not have any firearm approved in less than 90 days.  I am hoping it will be quicker this time! Stay tuned.

Friday, April 5, 2013

New Rifle Purchase Process - Stage 1 Complete

Recently I posted that I had ordered a new rifle. Well today I received the phone call I had been waiting for! It had arrived in the gun store and was awaiting my attention!

After checking the state of my bank account I headed down the hill to the gun shop and after eventually finding a parking spot I went in. Now I am not sure why but it looks like gun-buying season has hit! There were people everywhere. One of the employees was even complaining that he was having to work too hard selling all these guns.

I waited (im)patiently - there are at least lots of pretty things to look at while waiting - and eventually the owner (Barry) was free and when he saw me he smiled and asked one of the other employees to go get the two rifles for me to look at.

So out came two large, white boxes - Shooting Buddy's and mine - and we opened mine first! It is beautiful!!! Comes up onto the shoulder really easily and the bolt is as smooth as butter! After fondling it for awhile we packed it away and opened Shooting Buddy's. There really was no need for this - his has been in the store all along and he has already checked it out but why turn down the opportunity to handle a firearm? The gun is almost as nice as mine ... :)

Anyway after the guns were put away it was time for the paperwork. Firstly the exchange of large amounts of electrons for two receipts. Unfortunately my gun was more expensive than Shooting Buddy's and while Barry did (jokingly) offer to switch the amounts on the receipts I declined.

Electrons processed ... Receipts given; it was time for the Serviceability Certificates. Basically a (registered and individually numbered) piece of paper from an authorised person saying that the gun is serviceable. All guns that are being licensed require one.

That done and serial numbers doubled checked. The next step in the process was a "property letter". When you licence a firearm here you have to prove "genuine need". Vermin control on a farm is an acceptable reason and this is done by way of a thing called a property letter. Barry had found a property that was happy for us to help control vermin on - and with a range of vermin suitable for the two calibers that we were licensing. My rifle is a .223 and Shooting Buddy's is a .308, so we needed a property of appropriate size with a range of vermin.

Letters were handed over and that, my friends, is the end of phase 1.

The next step in the process is for Shooting Buddy and me to complete the online forearms licence application form, then print it out and take it with ID to the Post Office.

Now unfortunately Shooting Buddy won't be down in Perth until the 17th so it will have to wait until then. Once we have done that it is then a matter of being patient and waiting for the Firearms Branch to process the application. Apparently applications are being processed quite quickly through Firearms Branch currently - so fingers crossed that we won't have to wait too long.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The most annoying thing about mobile phones

I guess that it's pretty normal that after 40 years (happy birthday mobile phones!) we're still complaining about them!

My biggest complaint (other than the fact that I have two to tote around) is that they are always running out of charge.  So when I saw this comment I was quite interested:

THREE: Get an Everpurse bag
No more panicking when your smartphone's battery is low. These small but stylish bags recharge your phone wherever you are and make sure you'll never miss that life-changing Facebook comment again.

(Full article here in case you'ld like the other 19 points on ways to Improve Your Life Right Now!).

I followed the link (ref:"small but stylish bags") to a site called which markets a clutch purse with an inbuilt smartphone charger.  IF you remember to charge the purse you can apparently keep your phone charged all day (up to two full recharges in the day).

The prices range from $189 to $319 depending on colour / style.  You do get the charging mat included for that price and additional ones can be purchased for $59.  You can also get your current handbag retrofitted with the charging device for a cost of $600.

Now while I think it's not a bad idea I have a number of hesitations:

  1. This only works with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or Samsung Galaxy S III - which means that it won't work with one of my current phones.  Also what happens when the next version of the iPhone / Galaxy comes out?
  2. Most women I know have a range of handbags to suit different outfits -  I actually have only two but I think I'm on the unusual side.  Shelling out $200 for a couple of new small clutch purses seems a quite expensive way to go.  I know you can put them in larger purses but then you'll have to remember to take them out to recharge them (which seems about as much work as remembering to take your phone out to charge it in the first place).
  3. You still have to remember to recharge the purse every day.  Now I know that there are some super-organised people who always put their things in the exact same place all the time and then there is the rest of us who go through the "where are my keys?" hunt a couple of times a week (or more).  I think this concept MIGHT work for the first group of people, not sure about the second!
So while I get frustrated with myself for not remembering to charge my phones I don't think I'll be buying one of these just yet!