Tuesday, 29 November 2011

backup and recovery

my lovely wife came to visit of again in the ward. she thought a bunny suit would cheer of up.

Things are looking up now. Out of postop and in the ward now.

so now all the backups I've done so far in terms of personal health and fitness are helping me with recovery

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

the heart of the matter

This is going to be a big week for me, as on Friday I'll be going under the knife and buzzsaw to have an unexpectedly discovered Aneuryism treated as well as (while they've got the heads off and the pump out) replace my Aortic valve with a mechanical one.

There has been a lot of development in the area of Artificial Heart Valves over the years, which is good cos some of the early models were a bit clunky.

I'm hoping that the surgeon chooses to implant the On-X valve for me, which unlike many others is made of carbon and has some unique and interesting properties (such as coagulation properties).

The other choice that the surgeon seems to be considering will be the one from ATS Medical (also pyrolytic carbon). Since he (rather than me) has more experience in this matter (implanting valves) I'll be relying on him to make the final choice "when he's in there and sees what he finds".

I anticipate that I'll be back and able to continue my life (and my blog) in a few weeks.

Part of writing this is to express that I'm often disappointed to see people who are slack arsed lazy wastes of skin, doing nothing with their lives and often just abusing their bodies and wasting their good health.

Life for me has been a battle to have what I want and do what I want, so I take nothing for granted and revel in every success. You see I was born with an Aortic valve which did not "split" properly at embryonic development (commonly called a bicuspid aorta). So I had my first surgery (open heart surgery) when I was about 11. In this surgery they attempted to repair my valve.

This lasted till I was about 28 and rapid deterioration of my valve led to another surgery where I received a transplant from someone else. That lasted for nearly twenty years, during which time I've been lucky enough to enjoy good health (through hard work, careful training and a stubborn attitude), develop my self (though education and experience) work in interesting places and travel around the world.

My message to you today is to take your life by the neck and get out of it everything you ever wanted. Don't sit on your arse with your finger in your navel, get up and live it. When I was younger the surgeons and doctors regularly told me (and my parents) to be careful, not over exert myself and to live within my limits. My reaction to this was to know what my limits were and actively and intelligently pursue what they were.

Unlike most kids of 10 I was introduced to the concept that I could be dead quite early on. I think that it was something quite formative for my personality and my view on life. Life IS what you make it, sure you may get dealt a bum hand now n then, but play your cards to the best you can and go for it.

I know while I prepare to go to the hospital I'll be thinking of the wonderful things I've been lucky to share and experience


dawn at Koitajoki

Indian trucking roadside repairs

and heaps of other places which are too numerous to mention here...

So my goal now will be to recover my health so I can spend time with my lovely wife

and get out with friends taking photographs of the beautiful world we live in...

So my message in this blog post is to encourage you all who read this don't be limited by your perceptions and go out and live life while you're alive

(hope to) see you next week

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

phone plan data charging: things you should keep in mind

Its not just the rules, but the implications of how the rules fit together.

I recently changed my phone plan from "pay as you go" with 5c per MegaByte(MB) of data and free "social media" (meaning facebook, twitter, ebay and foursqare {which I've never used}) to an "unlimited" phone plan where they toss in 4Gig of data (along with unlimited phone calls.

At first I thought that 4Gig would be quite a decent amount, but after my first day on the plan (looking at my logs and theirs) I saw I used 16MB of data. So it became clear that I might actually consume that billable amount (which is not the same as using that amount) if I wasn't careful.

You see, as soon as you change from "billed" content to "free" content it resets the counter of one MB back at the phone company, clocks up a MB to you and starts the counter going again ... even if you've only used far less than a MB.

Take this example I set up to demonstrate this. I started a connection on "free" check facebook and then look at some eBay auctions and then went to a paid service (gmail) using a tiny amount of DATA (like 0.1MB) then dropped off. I was curious to see if it generated a second charge.

all in all the phone registered that I was liable for 0.842 of a MB

my bill on the other hand showed that I'd clocked up 2 MB; one of free and one of counted towards my 4Gig of data.

You may say "that's right and proper, as you shouldn't be charged for the free stuff".

Well that may be, but if I'm going to be buying a MB of data (or using my allocation of it) then I'd like to get what I use. Considering that I didn't even use a whole MB in my entire session what was the point of giving me free what I'd already paid for?

But it gets worse, imagine that you make a longer connection period:
  • check your mail
  • have a look at face book
  • your email app checks your mail again
  • you pop over to twitter check thing out and make a few tweets
  • your email app checks your mail in the background
  • you quickly check that status of an auction
  • read the news and do some general surfing

You'd actually clock up less than 3MB of data but be liable for 4

If you have Skype or some other app running in the background it could actually be a lot worse than this over the course of a day.

Suddenly 4Gig doesn't sound so generous, and the "free stuff" is actually costing you.

So when I was "pay as I go" I only used the "free stuff" on the 3G phone data and did the "charged stuff" on my WiFi ... now I do the opposite, and actually find myself not wanting to touch the "free stuff" because it costs me.

Friday, 11 November 2011

cunning apps for photographers

As a Palm Pilot user (and photographer) one of the first apps I loaded on my Palm was VadeMecum which helped a large format photographer with a number of handy tools such as calculating bellows draw exposure compensation, as well as DoF calculations.

Many of these functionalities (although not all) have found their way onto phones now (as the new PDA's) as well as some interesting ones.

Today I heard about this one:

The Photographer's Ephemeris

Which allows photographers to check out when the shadows will be in a place at at time.

In the past I used one on my palm pilot which simply showed where the sun or moon would be at any given time (it was a star chart) and you could sort it out for yourself.

Its sort of nice that the software systems we have now make it even easier to overlay maps of locations and this information for you, so you don't need to have a map of the area (or a compas with you) when planning things.

But you know, often we don't get the opportunity to plan, and have to make the most of what's there when we're there. So in situations where the sun isn't in exactly the right place ...

you can use a few tools like HDRI to at least make the most of the lighting you have.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

economic booms

boom - its even synonymous with explosion isn't it.

Explosions are often about short destructive forces.

Combustion is about burning stuff, things like the "internal combustion engine" come to mind where small amounts of the stuff is burnt at a time to produce ongoing energy from a small amount of fuel.

Efficient engineering can get excellent amounts of useful energy from a small amount of fuel. You can drive a modern car for 20Km on a litre of fuel ...

Or the same litre of fuel can be used to make a boom in something like a molotov cocktail

Which makes an effective cheap weapon to get your way, but has mainly only destruction as its outcome.

So why is any responsible Government trying to facilitate a resources boom in Australia rather than turn this into an engine for sustainable development for years to come? The ore will always be needed and likely as not the coal too.

I think that the only answer that makes sense here is that the Government is not behaving in a responsible manner and is acting like a kid with money burning a hole in its pocket.

Perhaps the electorate are too ... so why don't we tell our MP's to stop this short sighted boom stuff and start making wealth for our nation in a sustainable manner?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

one size fits all

and we all know how well that works.

I hear on the radio this morning that Anna Bligh (Queensland State Premier) thinks that making mining policy for Queensland should be be like that, and ignore geographic, hydrological, agricultural and demographic differences across the 1.8 Million square kilometers (715 thousand square miles).

One size fits all .. well we know how well that works for the people who buy clothes (even it it does make life easier for the suppliers).

I think its telling that rather than iterate any policy of her own she just slags the other parties. Probably because she knows in her heart after all the fuckups in Queensland she'll be out in the next election. Maybe she's been talking to Kristina Keneally?

Perhaps I should have called this post "dumb and dumber"

To Andrew I'll say "don't tie your fortunes to this boat anchor ... unless you want an albatross tied around your neck. However you do both seem to be birds of a feather.