Thursday, July 28, 2011

My wowser side is talkin' now

from w
In today's Geelong Advertiser are some stats on poker machines in Geelong. I really dislike them and can't for the life of me see that this activity can be interesting...but it does take up the time and money of plenty people in Geelong. A waste of money I reckon, and sad that folk can't find better ways to spend their pensions, etc. Sometimes we've had meals in a place where there are pokies - one time, armed with a camera, I wanted to take photos of people playing these machines but I was politely stopped by the staff - no photos allowed madam!

GEELONG punters have ploughed $116.5 million into poker machines during the past financial year - $3.7 million more than the previous year.

The Norlane Hotel was Geelong's top gambling venue, with punters pouring in a whopping $11.4 million into its pokies last financial year an increase of over $1 million on the previous 12 months.

Pokies venues in the northern suburbs accounted for about 38 per cent of the total spent on pokies the Geelong region.

Only the Grovedale Hotel, at the opposite end of town came close, with $10.9 million poured into its machines in the same 12-month period.

Bethany Community Support chief executive Grant Boyd yesterday said the Norlane Hotel figures confirmed their own research.

Mr Boyd said more than half the problem gamblers seen by his service had incomes under $30,000 a year.

Your Say
"Council crying, federal government crying but the state government allowed this to evolve purely due to greed for the tax take.They have to get this revenue due to their never ending incompetence and waste of tax payers dollars, parasites"
taxpayer

Bethany runs the Gambler's Help hotline in Geelong, and Mr Boyd said that the average loss of a problem gambler was about $21,000 a year.

"From our perspective a significant number of the clients have lower incomes so that exacerbates the impact," he said.

"The cost of living is also increasing, so utilities, food, all of that is going up, putting further pressure on particularly families ...

"For every problem gambler there are a lot of other people impacted."

The ever-increasing pokies spending figures come as anti-gambling campaigners claim a new poll shows widespread support for pokies reform despite what they call a hysterical campaign waged by registered clubs.

A new survey has found three out of four Australians say people should be limited to spending a nominated amount when gambling.

The national poll was conducted by the Australian National University as a snapshot of Australian attitudes towards gambling and potential government regulation.

The Federal Government plans to implement mandatory pre-commitment systems for high-intensity poker machines by 2014.

Under the plan, poker machines will be reprogrammed to cap losses at $120 an hour rather than $1200 an hour. The lower intensity machines will not require any form of pre-commitment.

The measures were part of the Gillard Government's deal with independent MP Andrew Wilkie in exchange for his support of the Labor minority government.

Mr Wilkie said the poll was just another in a long line, showing support for his reform plan.

``The poll shows Australians are no longer prepared to stand by as poker machines ruin people's lives,'' he said.

Geelong city council's gambling advisory group chair Cr Jan Farrell said the council had a clear policy on removing poker machines from the northern suburbs.

Cr Farrell said Geelong had more poker machines per head of population over 18 years old than the Victorian average and the regional average and locals spent more on them.

``The regional average is $503 a year per adult and we spend $670 per adult,'' she said.

The gaming commission figures also showed that while gambling had increased in the past financial year, gambling on pokies has dropped over the past decade.

Geelong region poker machine spending by venue for last financial year

Anglesea Hotel: $1,109,337

Australian Croation National Hall: $2,848,283

Barwon Heads Hotel: $1,464,737

Bell Park Sports Club: $1,311,656

Clifton Springs Golf Club: $3,112, 452

Esplanade Hotel, Queenscliff: $543,201

Gateway Hotel, Corio: $6,662,835

Combined Leagues Club (Buckley's): $8,886,052

Geelong Football Club (Cats): $4,202,404

Geelong RSL, Belmont: $2,384,341

Great Western Hotel: $4,713,707

Grovedale Hotel: $10,967, 912

Jokers on Ryrie: $4,135,478

Lara Hotel: $1,611,856

Lara Sporting Club: $2,188,283

Leopold Sportsmans Club: $2,977,615

Lord of the Isles Tavern: $6,674,657

Lorne Hotel: $746,690

Norlane Hotel: $11,370,847

Ocean Grove Bowling Club: $3,513,992

Peninsula Hotel Motel, Newcomb: $6,767,909

Phoenix Hotel: $3,500,551

Portarlington Golf Club: $3,724,052

Queenscliff Bowling Club: $1,378,463

Shell Club: $6,003,338

Sphinx Hotel: $8,720,436

St George Workers Club: $3,538,731

Torquay Hotel: $1,057,540

Torquay Golf Club: $1,054,141

Waurn Ponds Hotel: $3,338,081

White Eagle House: $1,946,712

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Monday, July 25, 2011

I never promised you a rose garden





from w
Here are some variations by overlapping images I made mainly from photographs taken at a Geelong nursery. By putting two images together shapes and colours emerge than I wouldn't have been able to imagine. The title seemed to fit.

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Onyabike bridge


from w
Geelong and nearby Barwon Heads are rejoicing in the victory of the local young man Cadel Evans who won the great bike race around France. What an achievement and many locals are rather tired from the middle of the night vigils watching TV. Though he was born in Katherine in outback dusty desert country, his home is now in Barwon Heads so we claim him as a local. Congratulations. Now they're talking about the new bridge at Barwon Heads and naming rights as people argue over a suitable name, so of course, some are saying let's call it the Cadel Evans Bridge. On ya bike alrighty!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

A birthday








from w
Yesterday Peceli celebrated his 75th birthday with a low-key party just for our household of eight in the evening - Kentucky Fried Chicken, prawns, Lemon Meringue pie, a cake made by a friend, etc. We drank kava too of course. Earlier in the day Peceli and I had driven up to Footscray market, left the car there, and taken train rides around Melbourne, mainly to visit Matt, a patient in the spinal unit of the Austin Hospital which made me feel absolutely grateful for being able to walk, stand, sit and move about. Some people have such a hard road in life and our prayers are with Matt at this time. We shopped at the Footscray market, visited a friend who works in security at a bank nearby and came back to a Geelong drenched by rain. There was a lot of walking, climbing steps, etc. in Melbourne. We'll have a bigger party on Sunday after a Fijian church service at East Geelong, inviting friends from Werribee area and others from the Altona Meadows/Laverton Fijian congregation.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

It's still mother's milk

from w
I suppose the families weren't laughing but maybe they will a few years down the track, but at a Geelong hospital last Friday the wrong babies were given to mums who breast-fed them happily, until they discovered they were the wrong kids eight hours later! Well, that's no big deal I reckon, though the media blew it up as 'horrified', 'shocked' etc. Back in Fiji my third boy was fed by an auntie in the daytime when I was away teaching at a high school three days a week, and also my mother-in-law breastfed her own son and a cousin's son after the mother ran away - probably with some kind of anxiety disorder. It's still mother's milk! A mix-up didn't happen to me with one kid though as I was in a ward with an Indian girl, a Fijian girl and a Chinese girl and my kid was nearly 10 pounds in weight anyway.

from one of the Oz newspapers:
Mothers get wrong babies in hospital mix-up
Updated July 18, 2011 15:52:02

A Geelong hospital has apologised after two babies were given to the wrong mothers for breastfeeding. The St John of God Hospital says the babies were breastfed by the wrong mother on Friday morning. Hospital chief executive Stephen Roberts has told Fairfax radio, the "mix-up" has shocked the hospital.

"Babies had been taken from their cots in our special care nursery," he said. "There's been a breakdown in process. It appears that a name bracelet wasn't checked. And the babies were placed in incorrect cots."

The mistake was not discovered until a family member raised concerns eight hours later.

Mr Roberts says the families are upset and have been offered counselling.

"We're obviously deeply apologetic and regretful for the pain and concern that we've caused these families," he said.

The hospital says it is working to ensure the mix-up is not repeated.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu says he will ensure the mix-up is properly investigated. "Obviously that's an entirely unacceptable situation, to the extent that I can acknowledge that it happened, and I don't have the full details ... that's a matter than needs to be investigated and we'll be making sure it is," he said. "Obviously you'd be horrified, shocked."

Dr Jennifer James, a breastfeeding expert from RMIT says there is only a small chance of viruses being transferred through breast milk. She says the incident is unlikely to affect bonding between mother and baby. "Midwives like anybody else do make the occasional mistake," she said. "For me it highlights the importance of keeping mothers and babies together from birth.

"If babies were staying with their mothers then there wouldn't be any chance of that happening.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Print exhibitions in Geelong






from w
At any one given time there are many art shows on in Geelong and currently two are from print-makers - one at the Metrapolis Gallery, the other at the Wintergarten. Some examples are on-line such as www.metropolisgallery.com.au with a generous array of prints, and the other was of interest when Peceli and I talked to some of the artists the other day. For collectors, prints are an excellent way of buying artworks because they are usually much less expensive than one-only artworks because the artist might take off about twenty or more prints from the one image. Also, the techniques offer a whole variety of textures and ways of seeing. These days I would like to be patient enough to do woodcuts and linocuts and screenprints again like I used to do, but I am lazy and just play around with digital images which are quick and often surprising in the results.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

while the spuds are cooking







from w
While the spuds and cauliflower are cooking I am at the computer with my companions, Picasa and Photoshop. Maybe when I smell the burnt pots I'll quit. So, what's wrong with a few barbecued spuds! These pictures started from photos I once took at Federation Square in Melbourne, an interesting set of buildings with a manic love of triangles by the designers.'Federation' refers to the formation of Australia as a nation - joining several bits and pieces such as Victoria and New South Wales. Of course there was no reference to the original people of the country, the Aboriginal people. It's only since the 60s that they have been included in the census. It's NAIDOC week at present with concerns for the indigenous people.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

messing about with photoshop






from w
There's not much time for the computer these days with other necessary tasks in life, Donation in Kind packing 25 boxes this morning of splendid Primary School books to send to the islands, church activities, occasionally helping my daughter-in-law with cooking and so on. It is freezing cold in Geelong at present and our Fiji family are noticing it. Here are some samples of my playing with my new toy - photoshop. About ten years ago my first play with images was using Corel Draw and that is a beaut program but I never could afford to purchase it. Later I found free programs such as photo-edit - a few years ago- and picasa, and now photoshop which seems to pick up on most of what the earlier ones could do. I still haven't got back to 'real' drawing and painting, though Peceli is busy putting acrylic paint onto canvases but he doesn't want to post them on this blog, just hang a few up on the wall and one windy day I got knocked on the head with one!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

A sunny day for a change













from w
Yesterday there was sunshine for a change so Peceli and I went for a drive, first to see an exhibition of Prints - linocuts etc. a wander in a garden shop, then a drive to Breamlea, a small village of houses hugging a beach not far from Torquay. The waves were huge so many surfers were down the coast yesterday. I took a few photos here and there and then tried out photoshop though the results so far were rather stilted and I need to learn a heap more about its possibilities. I like the accidental effect that I can get occasionally with picasa overlaying one picture over another and the way colour can be intensified though I overdo this at times. Trying out effects using photoshop meant there was a unity of style or texture but that is a bit off-putting and I really want to select parts of a picture to alter. There's much to learn.

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Sports injuries in Geelong

from w
I think the figures seem inflated - such as over 1000 a week at one clinic, but here is the article in the local newspaper, the Geelong Advertiser, this week. The topic is of concern because many of our youngsters in Geelong play Aussie Rules footie and that's a good thing - better than watching the well-paid gladiators!

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MORE than a thousand people a week are being treated for sports injuries at just one Geelong health-service provider.

Figures obtained by the Geelong Advertiser also reveal that children aged 10-14 account for the highest number of hospital admissions for sports injuries and that the majority of those hurt are playing Australian rules football.
Corio Bay Health, which has several clinics, said 1300 people were seeking treatment for sports-related injuries every week.

Sports injuries are putting a strain on hospitals and clinics throughout Victoria, according to Monash University sports injury epidemiologist Professor Caroline Finch.

"Sports injuries are clogging up beds," Prof Finch said.

"The injuries are obviously not as severe as road accidents, where people suffer multiple injuries, but they're using up hospital beds for a couple of nights and the vast majority of these sports injuries are in people under 25.

"Even people as young as five and six are coming in with fractures of the upper arm."

A study of injury rates, headed by Prof Finch, has revealed that hospitals across the state treated twice as many patients for sports injuries as they did for road accidents.

Prof Finch's study also revealed that sports injuries cost the country $2 billion a year in medical bills and time off work.

The data provides the first truly definitive look in almost a decade at the impact of exercise-related injuries but according to leading sports doctor Peter Larkins, it is only the tip of the iceberg.

Dr Larkins said those who sought hospital treatment only represented a small proportion of sports injuries, with many others either seeking help at private and bulk billing clinics or ignoring treatment altogether.

Corio Bay Health Group managing director Jeff Oxley said hamstring and ankle strains were among the most common complaints from the region's footballers, basketballers, netballers and other athletes.

Knee injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament tears are not as common but are putting local players on the sidelines for significant periods.

Mr Oxley said local footy injury trends were similar to the AFL but the reality of putting aside time for recovery was far different.

"It's really not only the injury itself; it's the cost of the injury and from a local sense it becomes a personal cost. The player has to fork out most of the money and that's not just for medical bills, it's also for loss of employment," he said.

"It's really the time off work, which financially can be quite a drain."
At junior level, Mr Oxley said many players suffered "overuse" injuries such as osteitis pubis. Older players tend to suffer

"wear and tear of joints and in the middle group of players it's the hamstring strains and ankle strains, corkies and facial injuries."

Geelong Hospital head of paediatics Dr Dave Fuller said younger patients admitted with sports injuries were often at the higher end of the scale but encouraged youngsters to continue with physical activity.

"There will be kids on the ward that have injuries related to sport such as bone breaks but they're managed by the surgical team," Dr Fuller said.

"Even though there can be be injuries, sports participation has lots of positives such as helping with weight and self esteem issues from team participation."

The data provides the first truly definitive look in almost a decade at the impact of exercise-related injuries but according to leading sports doctor Peter Larkins, it is only the tip of the iceberg.

Dr Larkins said those who sought hospital treatment only represented a small proportion of sports injuries, with many others either seeking help at private and bulk billing clinics or ignoring treatment altogether.

Talented junior baseballer Harry McGovern fits into the main risk category. The 14-year-old was a member of the Victorian under-14 squad but faces an extended period on the sidelines after having a shoulder reconstruction to repair a tear of his shoulder joint lining.

He was one of more 4616 people to be admitted to Geelong's hospitals with serious sports injuries during the past eight years, according to Monash University's Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit. Those patients either required surgery or treatment requiring them to occupy a hospital bed for at least one night.
injury rates, headed by Prof Finch, has revealed that hospitals across the state treated twice as many patients for sports injuries as they did for road accidents.

Corio Bay Health Group managing director Jeff Oxley said hamstring and ankle strains were among the most common complaints from the region's footballers, basketballers, netballers and other athletes.

Knee injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament tears are not as common but are putting local players on the sidelines for significant periods.

Mr Oxley said local footy injury trends were similar to the AFL but the reality of putting aside time for recovery was far different.

"It's really not only the injury itself; it's the cost of the injury and from a local sense it becomes a personal cost. The player has to fork out most of the money and that's not just for medical bills, it's also for loss of employment," he said.

"It's really the time off work, which financially can be quite a drain."
At junior level, Mr Oxley said many players suffered "overuse" injuries such as osteitis pubis. Older players tend to suffer

"wear and tear of joints and in the middle group of players it's the hamstring strains and ankle strains, corkies and facial injuries."

Geelong Hospital head of paediatrics Dr Dave Fuller said younger patients admitted with sports injuries were often at the higher end of the scale but encouraged youngsters to continue with physical activity.

"There will be kids on the ward that have injuries related to sport such as bone breaks but they're managed by the surgical team," Dr Fuller said.

"Even though there can be be injuries, sports participation has lots of positives such as helping with weight and self esteem issues from team participation."

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Computer Club at East Geelong



from w
Our church community has started up a computer club and our project last night was to learn about Powerpoint and start putting in the slides for tomorrow's church service. My six or so pictures included a couple of takes on a banner one of our women had made for the Uniting Church birthday each year, adding bits each year. This time she included the mobile phone tower which is a giant behind our building. Maybe the magnetism isn't healthy but the income is. Our Powerpoint slides weren't finished and I am sure I have shifted one long prayer around into five indecipherable bits, but it was a learning experience!

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