Monday, 31 December 2012

Congress chucks a hissy fit

Was watching the news earlier, and being as it's new years eve it doesn't look like the dreaded cliff will be avoided. Instead we get stupid congressmen basically shrugging their shoulders on national telly. What a pathetic bunch of morons. How much money do these self absorbed wankers get? They want to hold the worlds financial system to ransom to prove some kind of political point? Rule from opposition? WTF is wrong with Obama? He should be getting in there and doing something instead of making wimpy noises in the media; just typical of Obama, all show and no go. Full of hot air. Gutless.

I mean how hard can it be to get an agreement on how to pay debt? It didn't seem that hard after WW2, as shown in the graph below. The debt was way bigger then as a GDP%, and look how fast it got paid off:
No shit Sherlock.

Looking at that graph, the task of bringing in the deficit doesn't actually look that hard if you compare it to the WW2 debt. But now they're playing hissy fits on the congress floor. The assholes probably get paid so much to behave like children, that they don't want to can the tax cuts for the rich as they'll get taxed themselves. Fuckin grow up kiddies.

Something should be done by somebody over there to sort this shit out. Can the US system really be that broken?

New years eve

A quiet day before a new years party tonight. It's been years since I've bothered going to any sort of new years party. Have never been and watched the fireworks over the harbour as it's pretty hard to get home when there's about a million people lining the foreshore. 

This year though a friend of David's who lives in a high rise near the harbour contacted him to come to a party he's having there, with views all looking out to the bridge and opera house. So there you go, we'll be having a good view of the fireworks tonight. Should be great. I've only ever seen the Sydney fireworks on the telly.

It got so bad with the crowds a few years back that they came up with the idea to have an earlier fireworks at 9pm for the kids as it was too much for them staying up till midnight and all the drama of getting home in the crowds. We're going to walk down to David's friends place from his though, so we won't have any worries with public transport. I suppose will take the camera, although I dunno if fireworks will work OK in pictures.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Bryan's cancer story

*Update July 2015: The new legacy tobacco document library has gone online. Here you can search over 14 million documents from the secret vaults of big tobacco.

My daughter was telling me about another of the cigarette packets that they're selling now here. It has a picture of a guy on it who died very soon after being diagnosed with lung cancer. I found it online and here it is:

She came out with a story told to her by someone that he'd actually died of AIDS and not cancer, and that the family were considering suing the Australian gov for using the pictures without permission. If that were true it would have been about as shocking as the picture itself. Turns out it's completely false.

I guess it's understandable that people would question the validity of the picture. I mean seriously, ten weeks to go from the bloke in the corner inset pic, to the emaciated person near death? But yes it's actually true.
Bryan was an American mechanic and tradesman, a victim of lung cancer after smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.

When he was dying in 1999, Bryan asked his family to get his story out there as a warning to others.

So these pictures were taken just hours before he died and published in a Florida newspaper.
And now 13-years-later they’ve made it all the way here to our cigarettes packets.more
He died in 1999 in Florida. Must have been very advanced, the cancer, to go that quick. This is a short video about it, I snipped a pic from the video below it. 



An interesting discussion below. I would suggest before anyone comes on here in Australia crapping on about Bryan carking it from AIDS to take a big dose of reality. He did not die of an AIDS related illness, he died of smoking related lung cancer. There was no underlying illness. Despite what people may believe. 

There's plenty of evidence around for anyone with half a brain and the internet. The burden of proof is on the person who claims it wasn't cancer. Perhaps those who still think he did, put their claims to the Dept of Health. Or the reporter that actually took up the story in a Florida newspaper, Sue Landry?
The story of exactly how Bryan Curtis came to appear on our plain packs is unclear. The Department of Health will only say that Mr Curtis was a US citizen who died of smoking-related lung cancer. It entered into a confidential agreement with his family to use the images.

Fairfax Media believes it was Mr Curtis' dying wish to prevent even one child sharing the same fate. An article published in the St Petersburg Times in Florida in June 1999, just weeks after he died, tells the story of the St Petersburg mechanic, roofer and construction worker, who smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day for nearly 20 years, until he died, aged 34.

In the weeks before his death, the father of two urged his mother to help him spread the anti-smoking message. She subsequently rang newspapers, radio and television stations seeking someone who would tell her son's story.

That person was Sue Landry of the St Petersburg Times. Since then, her article and the accompanying images have been shared across the internet. His shocking image is also believed to have been published in Time magazine and pinned on fridges, in schools and in factories around the world. The Age
Where is there any mention of AIDS? Or the part of the story that the gov here used the pics without permission and the family was going to sue? There's not one iota of evidence to support any of that.

What interested me the most about this whole thing was the connection made with AIDS. Being someone who's HIV+, having that lie chucked in your face is an insult. With all the disinformation, ignorance, and stigma associated with having HIV, and having to deal with that as part of life now, the last thing HIV+ people need is crap like this muddying the waters.

Update 2:

Here is Sue Landry's original article in the St Petersburg Times in Florida USA, 1999
He knew, only a few days after he went to the hospital on April 2 with severe abdominal pain, how wrong he had been. He had oat cell lung cancer that had spread to his liver. He probably had not had it long. Also called small cell lung cancer, it's an aggressive killer that usually claims the lives of its victims within a few months. more   
*Note: related post about this here.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fiscal cliff jitters

Looks like we're in for more of a rough ride. Australian stock markets are all a jitter about the US fiscal cliff looming. 

I suspect there's much frustration in the Gillard gov that in an election year the economy may go down the toilet simply because a few buffoons in Washington want to play politics with people's lives. "Cranks and crazies" indeed, as treasurer Wayne Swan said some months back about the Republican party. He does though appear to have toned down his rhetoric some:
The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, lauded Australia's ''resilient'' economy, but warned of international influences. ''We're not immune from global developments,'' Mr Swan said. ''The impact of America's fiscal cliff saga combined with Europe's deep problems is having a real impact on the entire global economy. ''Of course, we're seeing the impact first-hand in Australia with the huge whack we've copped to our revenue base.'' Read more
Well, I changed what's left of my superannuation fund into a safe one 6 months ago. The stupid default fund was only getting a pathetic 1% for an entire year. Here are the results for the 2011-2012 financial year from my Super fund Australian Super. I changed to Australian fixed interest. It's not doing as well in the financial year to date, but with a fiscal cliff looming I'm not going to risk putting it back into the default "Balanced" fund.

HIV meds, day 14

Two weeks now since I've started HIV pills. I'd have to say that so far it's not been easy and a certain amount of determination has been required to keep taking them. The nausea has been extreme, which has probably been the hardest thing to deal with. It's been helping some to take Maxalon and Eno to settle down the dry retching in the mornings.

Also, I have to take the HIV pills morning and night. This has caused some stress as I have to remember to take my pills with me to the pub or David's house in case I stay the night. There has been occasions where I've had to rush home in the morning as I only took the night one with me. Being as taking HIV pills on time is hugely important, I started carrying around a little pill container with me.

It was a bit bigger than that with 4 compartments, but I preferred chopping it in half as two was enough. I put the three HIV ones in the right and my happy pills and blood pressure in the other, along with a Maxalon at the moment. It's small enough to fit in my pocket without noticing it but big enough for a whole days pills.

Today I'm not feeling so bad. Have even managed to eat something, some blueberries. Have been so bad in the mornings haven't had hardly anything till after lunch. Maybe I've started turning the corner on this now?  

Australia's smoking laws

Australia has recently bought in what I think are the toughest anti-smoking laws in the world. The latest is the plain packaging; all packets no matter what the brand must be in plain packaging. The pictures though are what gets me. I don't smoke but some of these pics seem a bit over the top to me. But then again I don't work in the medical profession either. 

These are some of the ones that David has been smoking (click to enlarge).

Friday, 28 December 2012

Falling down the stairs

Feeling rather ill this morning, a bit more than usual. Some dry retching again about half an hour after taking the HIV pills, and generally sickly. *sigh*

My back hurts up the top a bit too. Think it has to do with falling down the stairs at David's. Sounds full on but I came out of it with only minor injuries. All happened really fast. The stairs are very steep there as it's a modernised old terrace house in the city.

Was the middle of the night, and there's no railing right at the top bit. Heavily carpeted, my foot slipped a bit over the edge of one of the steps. Didn't think it was much of a worry but then it turned into a major falling down the stairs episode. Can't remember what happened on the way down it was so fast, but I ended up lying on the floor below on my back, and my head had broken a cat bowl (glad there was no food in it). 

Lucky had had a few beers so all my muscles were relaxed, think that's why I didn't get injured much. Boy like rubber instead of all tense trying to stop the fall. Ended up with a sore forearm and one finger on my hand a bit sore at the joint. The cat's bowl was also plastic so I didn't end up with any porcelain protruding from my head either. The stairs have thick carpet too and helped to cushion me. 

Being as I fell from near the top, if it was just a straight fall from that height I'd have sustained much more serious injuries. All in all I think I was bloody lucky to walk away with a laugh about it. Of course David was sleeping soundly and didn't hear a thing. 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Free speech threatened by gun lobby

I saw a report about this a couple of days ago. Is freedom of speech under threat from the gun lobby? If Piers Morgan gets deported for saying these things, then I'd have to say yes.

Day 12, HIV meds

Was feeling pretty bad this morning. Starting to get a bit discouraged, but I suppose it's just a matter of waiting for my body to get over it. It's not fun though when half an hour after the morning pills I'm sitting on the toilet and dry retching. Had the Maxalon but stomach didn't really settle down until I got home (was at David's) and had some Eno.

Have taken to spending some time back in bed after taking them. Don't seem to feel as bad lying down. Am sitting here right now in fact with the PC in bed. I dunno how the fuck people can work and deal with this as well.

Boxing Day sales in the city

Had to go shopping in the city yesterday for Simon's computer. Fuck, I dunno why the city was the only place open, as there was a bazillion people there. We went to JB Hi Fi and they had some very good specials there. Saw one ideal for an entry level PC for Simon and had to wait so bloody long to get served. It was a good deal though, a larger PC with a DVD drive built in and a normal sized keyboard, along with a wireless mouse to plug into it, for $390. Should be well suited for his needs. He can get connected out there through his phone company that he has an plan with for his mobile phone.

So we got that and then he wanted to look at TV shows on DVD. I was starting to get really over it all but we looked at the DVD shows. I ended up getting season 6 of Star Trek Next Generation for $25. After that I was well and truly over it, but then he wanted to go to another store to look for jeans. I suggested I just leave him to it and I make my escape, but he didn't want me to. 

So we're wandering around this store not finding anything with people everywhere, when Simon gets pushed into quite heavily by a monstrous pram the size of a small car. He tells the guy to watch where he's going, who then takes exception to it and tells Simon to get out of the way "old man". At this point David had rung and I was chatting to him on my phone and wasn't watching when the guy actually pushed Simon, but the attitude itself of the guy was enough for me to respond.

I called him a fuckwit.

He leaves the pram, comes over to me close up, and looks like he's about to throw a punch (yes darlings, he was a major fuckwit this one). This was in the middle of a bloody shop FFS. I boom out to him "Don't do it". He looks surprised at the intensity of my voice, and I think maybe the look in my eyes that says I'm a bit nuts and not firing on all cylinders. He backs right off and starts accusing us of the dreaded "poofter" thing and to "go back to Oxford St" (actually the shop itself wasn't that far from Oxford st) as he goes back to his pram and walks off. I call out "What are you in the closet?" His wife turns and looks at me, and I see she's wearing a head scarf and they're Muslims. Well, I thought, what another fine representation of religious intolerance.

Meanwhile all this David hears on the phone. I explain to him what just happened, and make a comment about my booming voice "Don't do it". I say to David, "That was very manly wasn't it darling, did you like that?", ha ha ha.....

So that was our shopping excursion into the legendary boxing day sales in the city. Dare say I won't be doing that one ever again. But Simon got his PC at a good price which was what he wanted. After that we actually did go back to Oxford St, and had a beer or two at The Oxford Hotel, calming down and laughing about the earlier incident.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas with David

Went to David's after his work yesterday. Got on the bus and after only a few stops realised I'd forgotten the beer at home so had to get off, go home on another bus to get it, and start the trip all over again. Fuck, will forget my own head one day. It sucks on Christmas day as you can't get beer anywhere. Thank you all those Christians here who invented the crazy no alcohol buying on the day. It was particularly annoying yesterday.

Actually, wouldn't have wanted to go to the pub anyway I don't think. It pissed down with rain all day in Sydney, and cold. I've never seen such a cold December day in Sydney, was like winter (well for here). Wettest Christmas day in 70 years.

Got to David's and shortly later went to his friends round the corner for a bit, then back home to his. He's not into Christmas at all either. Works through the whole holiday and earns himself lots of money. He did make an effort to make the evening pleasant for me though as I'd said that for myself it's a day of enduring bad memories. He's working again today so it wasn't a late night, but he did accomplish making the time very pleasant :)  We had an early night.......

Today is the start of the post Christmas sales, where all the retailers try to flog off all the shit they bought to try and sell for Christmas shoppers. Simon has roped me into holding his hand whilst he buys a PC. Looked online and he should be able to get something pretty good for about $300-400. He only wants it for email and nothing spectacular. Ugh, not looking forward to the bloody shopping centre though. I absolutely hate shopping.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Mardi gras painting

Finally found out WTF is the story with this building at Taylor Square. It's been painted like that for this years Mardi Gras. I don't think there's actually anyone leasing it at the moment. 

They're also planning to paint the Taylor Square pedestrian crossing the colours of the gay flag, as depicted here (the building is in the background):

The City of Sydney plans to spend $75,000 painting the Gay Pride colours across two busy Oxford Street intersections to recognise the precinct's cultural status. 

Under the plan, endorsed unanimously by the City of Sydney council on Monday night, rainbows will span signal-controlled pedestrian crossings at Taylor Square and Whitlam Square, in time for the 35th Mardi Gras in February. The move, proposed by the lord mayor, Clover Moore, is modelled on a similar initiative in West Hollywood this year. 

The crossings will be installed on a trial basis, which, if successful, could become a "permanent, visual acknowledgement of the significance of Oxford Street to the [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] community", Cr Moore said in a minute. Read more

Betty Bowers rings Westboro Baptist Church

Christmas day, HIV meds day 10

The dreaded day has arrived again; Christmas. Actually it's crept up on me this year. In the past I've gone through a rather depressive state in the lead up to it but that didn't happen this year, probably because it hasn't been on my mind after meeting David recently. This year all of a sudden it's Christmas day.

Still feels a bit like a funeral though. For me it's a day of reflection and having to face the horrible memories that it inevitably brings back. All I want right now is for the day to be over, but it's not.

Daughter is going to her friends place for the afternoon, they're having some barbecue or something. She invited me to go but am not into it, happier just staying home on my own for a bit. David is working today earning mega-bucks on a public holiday (double time and a half) but he wanted me to go round to his place after his work. Yes I think I'll be into that one! 

Can't go to the pub as it's not open today; apparently drinking today is un-Christian. So I bought a 6 pack yesterday to take round to David's. After all, I'm assuming all these Christians who want the pubs shut on Christmas day will themselves be getting sloshed around the Christmas table. Likely leading into some big drunken family argument.

Last couple of days the nausea has been a bit less from the HIV pills. Still feeling queasy and still taking the Maxalon though. Also decided to have the Eno in the morning just after taking the pills to settle my stomach. Today I've actually been able to have an early cup of coffee in the morning. Although it seems to accelerate something and makes me feel a bit vacant again. I dunno. At least I'm not dry retching left right and centre like a few days ago. 

Have developed a bit of an aversion to taking these pills now. This morning I was dreading it, had to force myself. Hope that feeling passes when I get more used to them. It's very predictable. About 15 minutes after taking them I start feeling crap. I think it must be the orange one doing it as the blue ones I take one of them at night as well as in the morning, but don't feel at all like I do in the mornings when taking the orange one as well.

So anyway still no back pain from kidney's packing up, and evidently my heart continues to beat. Mind you is only a week and a half. But again, am still dealing with the nervousness attached to taking these ones after the disaster of my first two goes.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Getting help for depression

I wonder if the British tabloids, in their frenzy to Aussie-bash, will shout this from the rafters. Turns out the nurse (who was the one who took the prank call from the Sydney radio station) who killed herself had a history of depression and had twice before attempted suicide.
On the same day, India's Deccan Herald newspaper reported that Ms Saldanha had been hospitalised after twice trying to commit suicide within the space of nine days, during a family holiday in India last December and January. 

The first time she was taken to a private hospital in Mangalore after an overdose of pills. The second time she was taken to Father Muller Medical College Hospital in the same city with head injuries after apparently jumping from a building. 
Deccan Herald said Ms Saldanha was diagnosed as suffering a ''depressive disorder''. She received psychiatric treatment in hospital and was prescribed anti-depressants. Read more
Of course due process is to be followed and the radio station may yet face charges over it, as the article suggests, but to apportion blame completely at the feet of the two DJ's is absurd.

If she had such a history of depression and such a desire to die, the question for me is why didn't she get the help she needed from mental health services in England?   I mean she even worked in a hospital FFS. I dunno what sort of services as such exist in England, but one of the biggest things with suicide prevention is to admit the problem and seek help, it's in all the literature about suicide. If she didn't seek help, why not? Did she feel ashamed of feeling depressed and scared to admit to an outside party her problem? Are there education campaigns in England addressing this issue of shame?

I've a friend who rang me recently asking advice about Centrelink and about being depressed. He had an appt with Centrelink in which his depression was going to be discussed. He actually thought there was a danger they'd take him away from his family if he admitted his depression. Wow, where the fuck do people get these out there ideas? I assured him that they would recommend counselling and perhaps medication, and looking at other ways to address his depression, and that of course they'd not take him from his family! Told him they're there to help, not punish.

This is a very useful resource here in Australia; the Black Dog Institute. Here is their depression education program that you can look through online, and here specifically is the Getting Help section of that program. We had people from the Black Dog Institute speak to us at the Resilience workshop at BGF.

Cat pic

Daughter took this in her room. This is how the cat was sleeping :s

Sunday, 23 December 2012

HIV meds - day 8

Has been a week now. Still feeling sick after taking the two pills in the morning but not at all like I was the other day. Man that was so fuckin bad, freaked me out. Still not pleasant though. I do hope it's going to get better from here and I don't have another episode like that. 

The actual nausea of it is probably a bit more than just mere nausea. Yes it's the feeling sick and all, but it's almost uncontrollable occasions of dry retching, trying to keep the pills down, maybe a bit of water that I had with the pills comes up. It's been a real effort in those times to keep the bloody things down.

When it's bad like that there's some kind of dizziness associated with it as well. Sitting up and my head spins and have to lie back down. 

It gets better through the morning though, and by lunch I've been feeling reasonably OK. 

This is much harder going on these pills than it was the Truvada and Virimune. Unless I've forgotten, but I think I'd remember if I went through this shit back then, even if it was 2 years ago.

Children of Pakistan - death by drones

After the latest US massacre (well not quite the latest anymore but one that killed 20 children) the world has rightly shared in the grief being experienced by that community. We've seem Obama reduced to tears, so moved with emotion over the tragedy. An outpouring of grief and despair across the US and the planet has followed the deaths. It's the sort of thing that you'd expect to happen after the death of 20 children at the hands of a lunatic with an weapon of war. How could it possibly not affect people? How could they not grieve for those children and their families? Anything less would surely be an obscenity in the face of such carnage? 

Imagine if they had died and nobody cared except the community where they lived? Imagine if the shooting didn't even make the news? Or that we never saw their faces in the media showing us the innocent victims they were? 

Well, it's happening now. And it's US drones doing the killing. 
“Mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts … These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”(1) Every parent can connect with what Barack Obama said about the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut. There can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people of that town.

It must follow that what applies to the children murdered there by a deranged young man also applies to the children murdered in Pakistan by a sombre American president. These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world’s concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them; no pictures on the front pages of the world’s newspapers; no interviews with grieving relatives; no minute analysis of what happened and why.

If the victims of Mr Obama’s drone strikes are mentioned by the state at all, they are discussed in terms which suggest that they are less than human. The people who operate the drones, Rolling Stone magazine reports, describe their casualties as “bug splats”, “since viewing the body through a grainy-green video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed.”(2) Or they are reduced to vegetation: justifying the drone war, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that “you’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back.”(3)

Like Bush’s government in Iraq, Barack Obama’s administration neither documents nor acknowledges the civilian casualties of the CIA’s drone strikes in north-west Pakistan. But a report by the law schools at Stanford and New York universities suggests that during the first three years of his time in office, the 259 strikes for which he is ultimately responsible killed between 297 and 569 civilians, of whom 64 were children(4). These are figures extracted from credible reports: there may be more which have not been fully documented. 

The wider effects on the children of the region have been devastating. Many have been withdrawn from school because of fears that large gatherings of any kind are being targeted. There have been several strikes on schools since George W Bush launched the drone programme that Obama has expanded so enthusiastically: one of Bush’s blunders killed 69 children(5). more 
Why do we not grieve for these deaths as we grieve for American deaths?

Will Abbott be our next PM?

The thought of Abbott becoming our next Prime Minister is like Frankenstein running the country. He's a hangover from the Howard era, but IMO way worse than Howard. At least Howard had some sort of idea about separation of church and state. Abbott is well known to be the one who tried to stop the abortion drug RU486 when he was health minister in the Howard gov, and it's common knowledge that he often meets with that dreadful Pell (Australia's Catholic captain) who's in the middle of trying to limit the damage of the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse for the Catholic church here. 

But this is all just scratching the surface. Anyone who's seen him lying and squirming in front of the media when being caught out fair and square in a lie, will know that he appears to be in his public life a squirming, lying, two faced prick. 

Yet for the last 12 months people have been saying over and over (including the Canberra commentariat) that it's all over for Gillard and virtually announcing Abbott as our next PM. This was happening well over a year out from the next election FFS. I however held the view that yes he may well be the next PM, but it was just to early yet and I'd not write off Gillard just yet......  And of course we all now know the story of the Labor comeback in polling since Abbott's carbon tax doomsday scenario didn't work out.

So here we are at the end of the year, knowing that 2013 is election year, and that Abbott and Gillard are now much closer. Contrary to 2012 popular opinion, we now have a real competition between the parties and those who predicted an Abbott win as a surety only months ago now must contemplate the reality of a possible Abbott defeat.

Personally I have no idea who's going to win, but it's still certainly too early to write off Gillard.
I've forgotten how many times someone has told me in 2012 that Abbott will be PM this time next year. Such political soothsaying is as reliable as the Mayan calendar. Anyone who calls it now is a mug. Read more 


US stars demand gun control

The NRA wants to have armed guards in schools, what a stupid brain-fucked moronic idea. 

This is what other people want:

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Simon and David meet

Simon is in Sydney for a few days on his way to a wedding, and he wanted to meet David. So all three of us went and had a few beers at the pub and chatted for some time. I'm glad to say it all went very well. I'd said to David they'd probably like each other. Simon has been around the world three times and had a lot of different experiences to talk about. What followed though was somewhat of a surprise.

David suggested a threesome. All fine with me but it had been going so well that I didn't want to introduce something into the mix with an unpredictable outcome. So I was a bit reserved about it all, and Simon was a bit doubtful as well, probably for the same reasons. In the end he thought it'd be OK to just watch.

So we went back to David's place nearby. I'm glad to say it all went very well, again. Simon watched and both David and I played around with him, and David fucked me in front of Simon; he's always liked seeing me get fucked.

It was only a one time thing. David said later it was like he was giving Simon and I both a way to say goodbye to the sex with each other. I think Simon appreciated it most as he explained earlier how surprised he'd been about his feelings for me when David came along. I thought it was a very sweet gesture on David's part. I heard the two of them talking soon after, Simon saying for him to look after me and things of that nature.

Simon's talking about maybe selling his place in Lightning Ridge and moving closer to Brisbane where his son lives. I said I thought that was a pretty good idea. The maintenance on the place in Lightning Ridge is enormous, being self sufficient with everything. And he really does need to be closer to civilisation. Living out there is a huge impediment.

Friday, 21 December 2012

HIV meds, day 6, am not well

Had a very bad episode this morning with the meds. These pills are way different than the Truvada and Virimune, I don't remember being affected like I am this time.

So anyway I took the two pills this morning and about half an hour later I was feeling really bad. Started breathing faster as it felt like I was finding it hard to get enough oxygen. I also couldn't find the Maxalon pill at first (was at David's) and started dry retching badly, but luckily I kept the pills down. Went and sat with David downstairs for a bit and eventually had to go back up to bed. Was breathing heavily and my hands were feeling a bit like the start of pins and needles in them. Started to freak a bit, which probably made my breathing even worse. 

It was certainly worrying though. I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to go to Emergency or some shit it was that bad. Was also feeling very dizzy and rather out of it. Hung on though and eventually things subsided and presently I'm not too bad again. Bloody scary though, especially with my history of HIV medications. 

David was very concerned, the not being able to breath properly thing wasn't a good sign. Anyway I'm hoping that this will settle down over the next few days, otherwise I may go to the doc earlier to see what he says. I think it's probably just how powerful the pills are though and not really anything to worry about, I hope.......

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Delta Goodrem - Lost Without You

HIV meds, day 5

Today I made sure I took the Maxalon tablet along with the morning pills, and it does appear to have made quite a difference in the nausea. Still feeling a bit queasy but nothing too bad. I hope the settling in period doesn't last too long as I don't like having to take a pill just to not feel like vomiting. Somebody told me it can last up to a month, fuck I hope I don't have to deal with a months worth of it.

Other than that there doesn't look like there's any major issues. Still feeling sort of out of it and somewhat detached, hasn't lessened at all over the last few days. Maybe even gotten a bit stronger, hard to say as I'm (obviously) so close to the situation. But anyway it's no biggie, not like I'm tripping out or anything. Just buzzing a bit is all. Suppose I should just relax and enjoy it while it lasts.

Just a little note BTW, the Cialis that the doctor prescribed works marvellously, much better than Viagra. It can last for about 24 hours the doc said, and I've not had any of the painful stomach indigestion that Viagra has given me. It's not a magic cure, as you have to be turned on for it to work, which isn't hard with David. 

It was very expensive though I thought. I didn't shop around at all and just walked into the nearest chemist where I was at, and it was $75 and only 4 tablets! WTF? They're 20mg's though so the do work very well, but fuck that's a lot of $. Not on the PBS and is a "private" prescription. I got repeats so I guess will try the cheaper chemists around the place. Even though the expense I'd still recommend it.

David stayed at mine last night, not working until Sunday again. We spent some time whilst he searched YouTube for the songs he likes as I had the PC plugged into everything. Am getting quite a group of new songs together now. Like I said we both have similar tastes in music, and it's interesting to see the different songs that he finds meaning in.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

All The Lovers - Kylie

The real Tony Abbott

Came across this, is from a couple of years ago but it's brilliant. Tony Abbott (federal opposition leader) is cornered on the ABC's 7:30 report. I remember watching this and thinking what a fool he looked in it. It's one of those excruciating episodes where you can almost see him squirming. 

This guy could be our next Prime Minister FFS!

Day of action against DHL - update

Interesting email today from the Transport Workers Union here. Followed a few links and there's even a little video about it:
Union leaders and activists from Belgium, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK were joined by representatives from the ITF and its European arm the European Transport Workers Federation in front of the DHL Supply Chain headquarters in Mechelen. They were expressing their solidarity with the ITF-affiliated union Türkiye Motorlu Tasit Isçileri Sendikasi (TÜMTIS) and its members who were dismissed following their involvement in the union. Flags from unions all over the world were on display, symbolic of worldwide support. A delegation met with the company’s chief executive officer, Walter Leysen. It stressed that the actions would continue until the workers were re-instated; Leysen said he would convey the message to DHL’s headquarters in Bonn. more
Here's the video from Mechelen (wherever the hell that is). Looks bloody cold there:

And this is from the main site:
DHL is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, an agreement between the global delivery giant and the UN to embrace universal principles throughout its operations worldwide. The Global Compact sets out clear guiding principles for multinationals on human rights, labour, the environment and the prevention of corruption. According to these principles, DHL Deutsche Post must use due diligence to identify and remedy abuses or violations that it causes or contributes to. This means that Deutsche Post DHL is obliged to take responsibility for all of its business operations and services – which means intervening with DHL Turkish management immediately. more

Doctor visit & day 4 HIV meds

Saw my doctor yesterday. He gave me Maxalon tablets for the nausea, so am going to take one in the morning along with the HIV pills to see if that settles down the urge to throw up. It's only the period that the body gets used to the drugs, am not worried unduly about it. The main concern is simply that I don't vomit them up when I'm still getting through this initial period.

Also told him "I've been feeling a bit vacant with them, but that's nothing unusual for me, in fact it's probably not even the pills!" He laughed.

Was also all clear on the STD's thing. No surprises there really. Apart from David have done fuck all, the three months before we met I hardly even went out at all. Not even to Oxford St, just hung around my local area. Thought later if I'd gotten an infection it'd almost been something like an immaculate conception. Wished I'd of thought of it at the doctors, he'd have laughed a lot at that one.

He did notice that my Hep B thing was a bit low. It's been years since I've had the initial injections so he organised a booster shot. I didn't know that you needed a booster shot every few years. Probably something to remember in the future.

Made an appt in 3 weeks for the bloods to get taken re the HIV pills. That needs to be done and the results in before I can get the next months supply. 

Today still feeling quite ill, was dry retching a couple of times a bit after the morning pills. Just lay back on the bed for a while seemed about the most comfortable place, eventually got up and had a small bowl of blueberries for breakfast. Mouth was all dry and they tasted strange, but I'm not feeling sick now.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Anonymous Attacks Westboro Baptist Church

In true wacko Westboro Baptist form, the nutters there (Shirley Phelps-Roper to be exact, daughter of Fred Phelps) have been drinking the kool aid again. Here are a couple of her tweets:

Which has raised the ire of hacktivism group Anonymous, who have released this video at the church.

Looks like a declaration of war to me!

Sunrise - USA massacre

This was on channel 7's breakfast TV show yesterday morning. It's probably a fair representation of the "WTF America?" reaction here.


HIV meds, day 3

I forgot how strong HIV meds are. It's only early and am told it will pass, but am feeling quite nauseous. Nearly threw up the tablets this morning only 15 minutes after taking them. Seeing doctor today so will mention to him how sick I'm feeling, maybe he can give me something for it. Looks like it's mainly in the morning, don't want to eat anything until at least midday.

Also seem a bit out of it at times. Sort of detached. I think maybe the best way to describe it is feeling numb. 

Well, my kidney's haven't bitten the dust yet and my heart's still beating! Early days though. Have to get a blood test in a month to check on everything.

The cost of the meds was really low. $5.80 each pill, for two months supply. Total of $11.60. They gave me only a month to start off with in case something has to change, but when I go back to the pharmacy in a month they'll owe me the next month as I've already paid for it.

Monday, 17 December 2012

One month with David

For some reason we're both really aware of how much time is passing since we met. Not hard as it was Sunday afternoon. Yesterday was a month. 

It's like, far out, have been happy for an entire month. Can't remember how long it's been since anything like that. Was at the pub whilst he came after his work, and just couldn't wait to see him. Told him so. 

Like a lot of his music, he's just as open as I am and likes different styles. Some of it I'm not so sure of, but he can sing as well. He played this one other day at his place and he sings along putting all this meaning into it. That's what I want in music too, not just a silly tune but something that means something to me. These are so tragically boy band-ish, but it's a rather different thing with him involved. Was very sweet of him.

Insane Walmart gun, 1200 rounds a minute :s

I Googled Walmart USA, then searched guns. It took literally seconds to find this:

Not that I know anything about guns, there might be better ones on that page I dunno, but the 1,200 rounds a minute was pretty out there. WTF do people need something like that for?

Anyway it was surprising that the recent deaths of all those kids and teachers in the US, although they were hit multiple times, took only 2 minutes. That's insane.

Best beer coaster ever

From the pub yesterday, brilliant!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Brainwashed by the Machine

We think we've never had it so good. 

We think we're the best ever. Better than all before us. We smugly assert our prowess. The most prosperous of all humanity.

But at what cost?

We praise those who have driven us poor. We watch their share market handiwork on the news at night. The industry captains who hold our future in their hands. When they fail, they don't get punished; we do.

We accept poverty. It's part of the system after all. The most prosperous system ever known to man. Surely those who are poor must be so of their own accord! How else could they fail with such a wonderful opportunity?

We praise the machines that have driven us stupid. The telly's, those new flat screens, the big ones, with the surround sound, the mesmerising 3D, the touch sensitive screen, the smart telly connected to the net, we absorb ourselves in it's distractions, in it's assertions of supremacy of truth in the nightly news hour.

We praise our new found knowledge, feed to us by corporations. We laugh at those who don't agree, and return to our slumber. We are right. Somehow we know that. The big screen telly with surround sound has boomed at us that we are right.

We start to hate those who are "wrong"...........

We are brainwashed. Brainwashed by our machines. 

Brainwashed by The Machine

The right to blow each other away

Another gun massacre in the US. Another occasion where likely nothing will be done about it. Despite the loss of so many young lives, despite the fact that another nutter has been able to access high powered weaponry (from his mother would you believe) we sit here looking from afar, dumbfounded almost to the point of frustration, knowing that again nothing will be done about it.

For according to many in the US, if you can't own a gun you're not free. By some bizarre and loopy logic they think that owning a few guns and lots of amo will protect them if the American gov ever turns against them. The US gov turned against it's citizens years ago though, but there's been no uprising. Half the population is poor, and the gov can now lock citizens up indefinitely without charge if they so decide. All that's happened is US citizens killing each other, whilst they rave on in some kind of religious ferver about keeping their guns.

They will shout to the world about their "right to bear arms". Blind to the fact that it means nothing more than the right to blow each other away.

My daughter called me into her room couple of days ago and asked if I'd seen this, pointing at her telly. I guess it must have been extremely shocking to her being in a child care centre to learn of so many young deaths. Myself I wasn't surprised at all. It will keep happening, and Americans will keep wanting to keep their guns/"freedom". Nothing will change until there's a drastic change in gun laws, but nobody can see it happening. Any argument for gun control is disarmed by binding gun ownership to some kind of philosophical good and evil struggle against the individual and gov.

"How many more......?" the newsreader said on the telly this morning as she was interviewing the Australian correspondent there for the station. Sadly, his answer was that it looks like again, nothing is going to change. And this opinion piece in the SMH today puts into words how many of us are feeling here.
Wrong. A day on which 28 innocents - 20 of them schoolchildren - are murdered is a perfect day on which to challenge and stare down those who defend a legal system and culture that makes the US one of the most violent countries on Earth. 

Americans like to tut-tut at the barbarity of those depraved people in Syria who, since the outbreak of civil war early last year, have killed an estimated 40,000 of their own. But, ho-hum, as many as 30,000 Americans die from gun violence every year. 

Mushed in with the much-abused notion of personal liberty, Americans love guns. As many as 300 million weapons are in circulation and another 4 million are pushed into the market each year. A reputable organ like The Atlantic Monthly will run a supposedly learned piece of 6000-plus words, trying to stand up an argument that more guns are the answer.


The Post's Klein then notes: ''As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn't 'too soon.' It's much too late.'' 

To all this, the gun lobby responds inanely. Try this sample, penned by a Daniel Greenfield in in an article headlined ''The only way to stop a gun is with a gun'': ''The gun control debate … is reducible to the question of whether we are individuals who make our own decisions or a great squishy social mass that helplessly responds to stimuli. 

''The clash that will define the future of America is this collision between the individual and the state, between disorganised freedom and organised compassion, between a self-directed experiment in self-government and an experiment conducted by trained experts on a lab monkey population.'' 

The manner in which elected politicians cower in the face of threats by the gun lobby continues to amaze and little attention is paid to detailed research that proves it is a paper tiger. Read more

The dance

On the way to the pub from David's place is a shop selling all kinds of sexy stuff for guys. They had these Speedos in the window and we stopped on three different occasions whilst he admired them. So I bought them for him. He was so appreciative that I'd want to do that for him.

So yesterday afternoon we'd had a few at the pub and all and he decides to show them off. On the coffee table. With music. Apparently he used to choreography dancing. I can't dance, told him, even if I'm drunk. He really enjoys it though. 

Um, the red line's nature in the centre became obvious the other night......... BTW these are only off my crappy phone. Used with permission, just silly phone shots nothing of his face.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Starting HIV meds tomorrow

Third time lucky?  I say that as this will be the third lot of HIV meds that I'll have taken. The first two lots being somewhat of a disaster. The first was Virumune and Trivada, the Trivada mixing with Naproxen somehow and causing an allergic reaction/acute kidney failure (nearly carked it). Kaletra was the next one straight after that which they think now is likely the cause of my heart nearly stopping and me getting pneumonia and lack of oxygen throughout the body (also nearly carked it). 

It's been two full years this month since the last prescription of Virimune and Travada, and nearly two years since I've taken any HIV meds at all. It's given time for kidney recovery and a number of changes in accordance with the new realities of my health.

And so now this is the new and improved third time lucky anti-retroviral combination thereapy:

I hope I have better luck with these ones. The pharmacy told me that the Kivexa is the one that acts similar to the Trivada but is much easier on the kidneys. It also is the one that you can be allergic to but they test for a genetic marker first, which I don't have. 

Fingers crossed.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Assange wants to start a political party

Wow, far out. I dunno how he'd manage it from over there, but he wants to start a Wikileaks party in Australia for the next election. That would be quite a thing if he could get it off the ground by then as it's not far off. I imagine with all the publicity surrounding him he'd attract quite a few votes. I myself might even be torn from the Greens to vote for him, although the Greens would have much more political experience. Particularly in this parliament holding the balance of power. I would have to take a close look at all his policies before simply voting blindly. Will be very interested if it does get up to read what they are. 
Plans to set up an Australian WikiLeaks party are "significantly advanced", the whistleblowing organisation's most visible member says. 

Julian Assange has told Fairfax Media he intends to run for a Senate seat in the next election, adding that "a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public" have expressed interest in standing for a yet-to-be registered Australian WikiLeaks party. 

A draft party constitution has been prepared and is being subjected to legal review, Fairfax reports. 

Party registration with the Australian Electoral Commission would require confirmation of at least 500 members listed on the electoral roll. more

A big doctors visit

It was a bit lengthy this time as I had a few things to see to. 

It was all fine with the resistance test that he'd done last month, in regards to HIV meds. He's chosen a simple combination treatment of two drugs. Maraviroc, which is one morning and night 12 hours apart, and Kivexa which is just one tablet in the morning. Will go and pick up the prescriptions today at the Albion St pharmacy, had had enough of doing doctor things yesterday so will do it today. 

One of them can cause an allergic reaction, but he said for people that get that there's a genetic marker that they have, which I don't, so he doesn't expect any reactions this time. Have to get a blood test in a month to see how it's all going.

He asked if I was ready to go on medication, which I am after a lot of thought. Said I was going to have to sooner or later and I was sick of worrying about it every three monthly test; if this was going to be the result where it all turns to shit.

Then David wanted me to get a test done for STD's, which I go back Tuesday for those results. Told the doc I had a new boyfriend and we're doing the standard procedure thing.

I also asked about this bloody dental thing to confirm that I have to go to the dental hospital now, which was yes I do. They may be starting the scheme up again in 2014 with a reduced amount of people able to qualify for it. But until then if there's any problems it's the public dental hospital in the city.

I also asked about the happy pills as they're affecting my, um, ability to keep up with David *blushes*. Well you do have to think about these things you know. David is versatile and all but it can be a bit limiting if I'm all done in. So anyway he gave me a prescription for Cialis 20mg tablets. Unfortunately they're not on the PBS so whatever the price is the gov pays nothing. About $60-70 or so. I suppose the gov doesn't want to be seen subsidising sex or some shit, I reckon it'd be good though. What an election winner; subsidised sex pills for all! Doc also gave me a sample pack to try, very nice of him. Only 5mg though.

David had his follow up appt too yesterday for his 3 monthly bloods. Surprisingly his viral load he tells me was up and he'd become detectable again (only just though). He's been saying he's missed the odd tablet a couple of days, so I guess that's why. I shall have to remind him of the importance of his drug regimen, but then again I don't need to. If anyone would know he would, being a nurse.