Thursday, 31 May 2012

I'm fuckin excited!

Simon and I had some beers after work, um, my work that is. He's the older man who now doesn't work and that...

We've decided to have a bit of a night of it tomorrow. He has never been to 357, so we thought it might be an idea. Towel free night there is Sat, but they do have a dark night tomorrow night. I just looked it up. Interesting. 

It's not on the usual Oxford St drag, and you have to walk down a bit after getting off the bus. Fortunately there are some pubs on the way down to have a drink at before entering. I advised that upon leaving we should just get a cab back as it's all to hard walking a few blocks back up the hill to get a bus home, especially after getting really fucked up.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

"On the road to happiness"?

Simon and I were having a text exchange earlier. He's not around until after work tomorrow and we're going to meet after work for a beer. The monster dog and all round where he is demands a lot of his attention, as well as he has to do other things. He suggested getting pissed tomorrow but I texted I wasn't able to do that with me working Friday, the day after. Four days this week.

Initially he texted "howzit". I replied with a bla that I was tired, at the pub, going home soon, and having another early night. He replied with something out of the blue that I wasn't expecting at all.

"You are on the road to happiness"

Didn't know what to think at first, had to do a double take. Replied that it was "deep", humorously. But thought about it some more. 

Coming from him that's a wonderful comment. I appreciate his experience and insight into life, and for him to judge that I've successfully set myself in that direction means a lot. Is there something he can see that I can't?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Capitalism is a failure

Yes I know there are many who will disagree with me on this. Say that it's the only system we have, or that "works". But it hasn't.

Just off the top of my head, without even trying to look into anything at all, there is the obvious failure. It has made us into beings that instead of finding happiness in social interaction, we have deluded ourselves that it is in the acquisition of money and things. In Australia particularly, even though housing is completely unaffordable now to buy for the average bloke in Sydney, we have people virtually selling their souls to their job and life to buy a place here. I heard one bloke at work today telling another that his mortgage payments were about $700 a week. For a house way out in western Sydney, but which cost $480,000. People refuse to even entertain the thought that this property price will ever crash, or even go down at all. Not only is this delusion a part of the Capitalist failure, but it ignores the reality that what goes up must come down.

I used to years ago hear dreadful stories about the eastern block in Europe, and how terrible it was to live there. Soviet Union I don't consider as an example of how to be BTW, just an example of how bad things can get. But yet look at the West now. The whole of the EU is in economic and social decline. America, the bastion of Reaganomics, has half the population in poverty with 1% of the population owning over 40% of the wealth. Australia has the richest lady in the world, Gina Rinehart, who earns $600 a second but objects to paying tax on it. Today the dreadful stories are here in our communities, the only ones not affected are the sheltered elite. Just like Russia used to be, remember?

But as I said, even worse than that is the way this all affects human relationships. Greed, possessiveness, dog eat dog, work till you drop, the numbness that this all brings. Fuck everyone else. This is not about humanity and how we treat each other, this is about how the Capitalist system has made us treat each other. It's about who we are. Our societies, our goals, our collective consciousness. Capitalism has turned us into monsters, far removed from the communities our ancestors shared with each other even 100 or so years ago. This is about what we've become.

Perhaps Adam Smith's dream of Capitalism was much different than the vile mutation of it we have today? Perhaps that would work much better? Or perhaps the "invisible hand" doesn't even exist at all?

...global corporations are modern outlaws, living outside the law. There is noinvisible hand that regulates multinationals. In 1759 Philosopher Adam Smith argued that while wealthy individuals and corporations were motivated by self interest, an "invisible hand" was operating in the background ensuring that capitalist activities ultimately benefited society. In modern times this concept became the basis for the pronouncements of the Chicago School of Economics that markets were inherently self regulating. However, the last five years have demonstrated that there is no "invisible hand" -- unregulated markets have spelled disaster for the average person. The "recovery" of 2009-10 ensured that "too big to fail" institutions would survive and the rich would continue to be rich. Meanwhile millions of good jobs were either eliminated or replaced by low-wage jobs with poor or no benefits.
Link

Monday, 28 May 2012

On the verge of being debt free!

The $guru replied to my email dummy spit about the incompetent bank. The bank had sent him a carbon copy of an email they sent directly to the Dept of Human Services, which they sent on Friday morning. Hooray! Still pretty poor taking a full week to send a simple email, but better than nothing.

So I rang back the DHS and told them this. Of course I wasn't speaking to the bloke who was processing the claim and who therefore had to struggle through reading some of the many bits of info on the screen about it. I ended up explaining to him myself, summarising exactly what I was after, being the email sent from the bank to them.

After much searching he finally found it. Oh fuck I nearly fainted on the spot! I told him also that the bloke who was processing it told me that as soon as he got that email the funds could be released in "24-48 hours". He replied that he would send this bloke an email announcing the arrival of this email :s    *sheesh*

Anyway, it looks like the end is near and I'm finally on the verge of success. I won't believe it until I actually see it, so long and tedious has been this whole thing. On top of the 4 months or more since the claim was received by the DHS Jan 18th, there was also 3 months to get the initial form together to send in to them. A total of over 8 months since beginning this whole process.

The banks fuckin shit me

I rang the Dept of Human Services today to see if they'd received the last bit of documentation needed from one of the banks I owe money to (a statement of my debt owed to them). This, as said previously on the blog, will complete my claim for early release of Superannuation funds so I can pay said bank said debt. This is nearly a week and a half after the $guru instructed them to email the document to the Dept of Human Services.

Guess what. The DHS hasn't got it yet.

Utterly fuming, I've emailed the $guru. It is inconceivably stupid and incompetent of the bank to fuck everyone around like this, including them. I mean FFS do they want their money or not? 

It has had a direct effect on my health, with the anxiety issues of late leading to severe indigestion and back pain among other things. Last night in bed I woke up and was nearly crying my back and neck were hurting so much, trying to burp to maybe feel a bit better. Took 3 Panadol (you're only supposed to take 2, but fuck it's only Panadol) and that soon settled things down. Simon asked concerned what was wrong just after I took the pills and lay back down as I was nearly in tears, told him it hurt and had taken something for it. He held me and I fell back to sleep like that. 

This is so unfair. I blame the bank entirely for this stress. Which is completely unnecessary. We're now into the 5th month of this claim being processed by the DHS, as it was received by them on Jan 18th. It's supposed to take 10 working days.  

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Melbourne teen dies after YouTube 'goodbye'

I saw this story recently and posted about it here.


Have just seen that the guy has passed away:

A Melbourne schoolboy who found fame online after uploading an emotional goodbye video message revealing he had a terminal heart condition has passed away.

Shaun Wilson-Miller, 17, died yesterday afternoon after suffering chronic heart rejection.

The teenager's video titled "My Final Goodbye", in which he revealed his body was rejecting his second heart transplant and that doctors could not perform a third, has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

Shaun's aunt Susan Miller told ninemsn the family wanted to thank everyone in Australia and around the world for their support.

"We would like to say a big thank you to everybody in Australia who has supported Shaun and been touched by his journey — Shaun wanted everyone to live life to the full and be positive," Ms Miller said.
..........................

One message said: "You showed so much courage for so long,'' said one message. "Fly high sweet angel.''

Previously, Shaun's father Cameron told ninemsn he was extremely proud of his son, who has become an inspiration to many others with health problems (Read more: Dying Melbourne teen films 'final goodbye' ).
          Link

Although we never met, he touched me with his story of courage in the face of illness.

Bye mate.

So close

Had a very good evening last night with Simon. He really enjoyed doing nothing whilst I made dinner. It wasn't anything special but it was fine. Some rump steak with boiled potatoes, carrots and peas. Butter, salt and pepper on them. Steak I just did on the gas stove top in a frying pan, with pepper steak seasoning and season all salt. Though just doing stuff that I've done lots before was the safest thing. It all came out marvellously, and the steak very tender. Although I made a bit too many potatoes is all, no biggie.

Went to bed later and had the best sex. Felt so close to each other, like we'd somehow mingled all together into one being. Giving ourselves to each other so intensely. It was beautiful. I often like some roughness, but this time was different. So tender and sweet. Something much more than just physical going on, the physical act simply our expression to each other of our feelings. It felt so meaningful.

This morning he had to go back to feed the monster dog again. Am just farting around at home today, before later at the Bear thing. Was looking at that funny site some more, the Mrs Betty Bowers thing. There's so much there. I found these linking to where you can buy all sorts of stuff with crazy Bible verses,

Photobucket
Link
It's so funny. 

I got an email too forwarded, it's very entertaining on YouTube. They've put the "Stayin Alive" Bee Gees song to clips from old movies with Fred Astaire and the like. Very well done.The embedding is disabled but you can watch it here:

Saturday, 26 May 2012

A leftie in America

The funniest site:

It's wonderful to see Americans who have a sense of humour about it all!

Simon for dinner

Last night was very enjoyable. The "just a few beers after work" morphed into rather a lot of beers until about 11pm. Feel a bit unwell today, but it was good to get out. Simon was the responsible one and escorted me home at the appropriate time. I had to ask him when we got home, this morning after waking up. Humorously thanked him for saving me...

It's a bit annoying as he had to leave so early. He stayed the night but was up at only 7am, on a Saturday, as he had to leave to go feed this great big dog at the house he's looking after. I suggested he stay for a week or two after he's finished his house sitting and we can not worry about all of that. It makes it pretty difficult at the moment being there and me here. It's OK to go over there on the weekend and all to visit, but through the week I'm anxious about staying away from home. There's things like the morning pills to think of (like the 300mg of Efexor), and the work clothes I have to wear. Then packing the toothbrush and all. It's a bit hard to get my head around all that at times. I hate how cold that place is too, all polished floorboards, no carpet. Worry about getting sick from it, especially after the yellow slime again. Cripes, Simon came around here the other day and was cold from head to toe. Had to warm up the poor dear in bed.

Anyway he's coming around later and we're having a quiet night at home here. I said I'd do dinner. Nothing special just the 3 things of meat, potatoes and veges. Pretty un-fuck-up-able that. He appreciates me doing it though as with him being a chef it's often just assumed that he'll be the one who cooks. I'm no chef but things like that you can't go wrong with. 

Went to the shops earlier as I had to get my monthly prescriptions. Got them all in one go instead of the three here and there. Noticed the price was a bit cheaper. I guess the prescription thing the gov did recently has had an effect, although very minimal. The three prescriptions (two blood pressure pills and the Efexor) came to $69, instead of $75 like before. Wow, I'm saved....  The pharmacist on duty there was a bit concerned about all that Efexor. I've only started going to that Chemist recently so aren't known there yet. Asked me how things were going and if I was OK. I mumbled something like "Yeah. Um, I've been on the Efexor for ages, since 2009". It was very nice of him to ask that though, think I'll keep going back there as they seem to genuinely care. I guess it is a fuckin lot of Efexor, I don't think about it as I've been on this dose for so long. But a months supply is 2 whole boxes of 28 pills x 150mg each (I take two to make the 300mg a day). It has helped enormously. I don't think I'd be alive today if I'd not been put on them. 

Went and got some shopping, just a few things. Simon was talking about these kangaroo burgers he got that were really nice, so I got some of that to try. And saw they have kangaroo sausages as well, thought I'd give that a go too.


"Kanga Bangas", hilarious. They do look nice though. Because there's virtually no fat in them the meat doesn't give me any indigestion at all. My daughter is utterly horrified. 

Which though reminds me of an incident yesterday at the bus stop on the way home from work. Had just had a couple of beers to relax after work and was waiting for the next bus, and a car pulled up at the stop dropping off a teenage bloke. He had a big bag of Mac Donald's, and sat down at the table nearby and proceeded to scoff it down at a rate of knots. I mean he was virtually inhaling the stuff. It was the whole bit too, fries and soft drink. Just looking at this guy eating that shit made me feel physically ill. The amount of sugar and chemicals he was putting into his body, but he just had no idea of what he was eating. I was quite surprised at how intense my revoltion to it was. 

Botany Bay pictures

I was a bit bored with most of the pictures I took the other day of Botany Bay, but I found a couple in there that weren't so bad. This one is of the beach to the left. There's a little group of shops and restaurants there, a nice atmosphere in summer but bloody cold in winter. 


This one is looking across Botany Bay to the spot where Captain Cook first landed in Australia. As there was no fresh water he ended up sailing further up and into (now) Sydney Harbour. He called it Botany Bay I think because his botanist was going bananas finding all the strange new fauna around the place.


And this is just a picture off the internet of the memorial itself:



Friday, 25 May 2012

Anxiety to the fore

Sent a text to Simon this morning when I was at work. Had told him last night that I was having anxiety issues the last few days. He asked why. I replied, I hadn't the faintest.... "brain, why are you anxious?" aloud to him. He thought it may be him (the lovely dear) but I suggested maybe the Superannuation debacle of late, particularly the bank letter arriving at the end of last week threatening court action. I know it's been sorted out by the $guru but I just can't help worrying about it now. Haven't heard anything from the Dept of Human Services all week, so I guess I will ring them on Monday to find out WTF again is going on. I can't at work as last time I was on hold for 20 minutes before I got through.

The anxiety is affecting everything. Yesterday I was short tempered and angry at everything. End of my tether over the littlest thing. It affected my relationship with Simon. My stomach has been having bad indigestion for days, and when it's bad like that it makes my upper back hurt. An area about a foot across and half a foot deep right in the middle of my back behind my stomach. No wonder it's been hurting at work; I thought at the start I must have done something there for it to be hurting so bad. That, on top of my CD4 count taking a 100 point nose dive the last test, it seems my health is really being affected now by the stress of the whole situation. It's not fair that I should be put through this because of some stupid mistake by one of the banks that I owe money to. I will be making this fact loud and clear if the stupid bank still hasn't emailed the DHS on Monday with the final bit of documentation needed. 

Going to the Fury Fridays Bear thing at the Oxford soon with Simon. It wasn't so bad today at work, and I actually feel a bit better after identifying WTF was the cause of the anxiety. Just a few beers after work, nothing big. Just to get out in a relaxed atmosphere. And I get to use my new Bears card for cheap drinks!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Being human

Couple of days ago spent a bit of time at the yacht club again with Simon. Not the spectacular sunset that I missed out on taking the pictures of, but a lovely afternoon none the less. It's nearly winter here so there was nobody on the beach except for a couple of people strolling. It's not major scenery but it's nice to sit there and take it in with a meal and a beer. In the background in the first one is one of the first cemeteries in Australia, and the second one is the biggest port in Australia the Botany Bay container terminal. Um, like I said not exactly picturesque, but interesting.


Simon contacted me at work today wanting me to come around for a bit. I was in such a shit of a mood. I didn't know WTF to do. Back aching again, tired as hell. I saw the union bloke in the piss house just before leaving and as he knows my status I said to him that I was feeling "very positive". He didn't catch on at first, but after a few seconds did. 

Simon picked me up in his car and I just was in no mood. Should have warned him. In the end said I'm just no good through the week like this. It wasn't so bad in the end after a couple of beers but I wasn't jumping for joy. Said I wasn't good company. Went to apologise but then thought better of it.

I mean what should I have done then? Put on a mask and pretended to be happy? Be some false person that isn't me? I just can't do that. At least he knows it's me and not pretend me. I gave up trying to be a fake happy ages ago. If I'm sad I'm sad, that's just where I'm at right then. It's not bad to be that, it's simply human.   

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Real Republican Real Women of Real America

OK, it seems that abortion is still under debate in America. Fuck, still debates about gays in the military, abortion, and just maybe whether Obama is the Antichrist or not. What? The Antichrist? Seriously? Do the 14% of Americans who think this (according to linked the poll) have any idea how fuckin stupid they look from eastern Sydney FFS? And these people can vote?


OK, now that I've managed to get myself up off the floor after laughing to the point of gasping for breath, here is the video that lead me to this look at these bizarre and weirded out crazy people. This is a little piss take of the abortion thing:



 Oh, and BTW, if anyone over there thinks there's no gays in the American military, think again.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Conversations. With an audience

Have almost finished the U2 By U2  book. The Elevation tour never got down under so I'm not sure the album "All that You Can't Leave Behind" had quite the same impact here as their previous work, and I was surprised to read that it went straight to number one in 32 countries when it was released in 2,000. "Beautiful Day" was the first single off it which became very popular. I didn't really take to that song though. I mean it was alright but it just seemed a bit up beat at the time for some of the many things I was facing on a daily basis. Almost a weak cliche.

I was in the thick of it, so to speak. My wife was full tilt in Chronic illness, often very self centred and verbally abusive. I however had to do much of the housework and cooking for the 3 of us whilst working full time. Our daughter then was about 9 or 10. I was doing afternoon shift at a recently acquired new job after the last place had gone bankrupt. It was advertised as afternoon shift in the paper, and I was a bit unwilling to do those hours (3pm-11pm) but as I was the sole income earner for the family I decided to take it and see how I went rather than risk waiting for another job more suited. As things progressed from there the job actually helped a lot as it left me free during the day to take my wife to her many appts, and to get my daughter off to school in the mornings along with her weekend activities. I was happy to do all of this as we all loved each other, but of course with chronic illness comes many problems. My wife was becoming increasingly isolated and bitter in her own world, often lashing out aggressively at me and often our daughter too. They were tumultuous times. Times of love and frustration, happiness and anger, emotions stretched to the limit. It would be 6 years before she died, all of that a long slow decline. It wasn't easy.

In the midst of all that this album was released. I remember listening to many of the songs on it completely absorbed in them, as they seemed to be talking about my life. "Stuck in a moment you can't get out of", and "Walk On" in particular. And it was on the Elevation tour in Europe that Bono's father became very ill and passed away. Bono was flying back to Dublin much of the time in between shows to be at his bedside in hospital, and gained some sort of closer and peace with each other. At the funeral he sang the song he'd been working on "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own", which later ended up on the next album "Vertigo".


I was impressed with some of the things he said leading up to his father's death. He found solace in the music as it was a form of release. Instead of cancelling concerts through it all, he felt helped by expressing himself in them:

"Most of the problem of grief is that people bottle it up. But I could use those songs to keep myself sane. I was having conversations in those songs that maybe I couldn't have with people".
Bono - U2 By U2

In 2006 at my wife's funeral, my daughter and I agreed this was the best song to play. It summed up much of what had happened perfectly. With my family in New Zealand I'm used to rather emotionless funerals, people staid and upright. At the end of this song though it was something different at my wife's funeral; people openly sobbing, releasing intense grief. Underneath the damage of illness, my wife was a lovely caring person who had made a big impact on many people in her short life. 

But reading the above comment today I thought about this blog. People have asked why its been so important for me, and my simple answer is that it gives me a way to release emotions. A way to deal with things. A conversation that maybe I couldn't have with people in a normal setting.

And then I thought how Bono was having that conversation in front of an audience. I've said many times on here that I started the blog not caring if anyone read it or not, but with an audience now it seems different. Perhaps there's something about expressing your grief to an audience that's cathartic? Perhaps an audience is of significance. Perhaps there's an exchange of some sort of energy with the communication, even though we're all just online.

Sometimes you can't make it on your own...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Chained to the toilet; HIV bowelology :s

It started at about 1am this morning. I had to go to the toilet, and was a bit of diarrhoea involved. Then again at 2am. Again at 3am. All night, and by morning it was bloody full on. Seems to have settled down by now but fuck it was bad. Lost count how many times, but at one stage it was about every 10 minutes I was going. Been drinking water but I'm probably dehydrated after all that. Couldn't drink too much as anything in my stomach at all made me feel really sick, and I didn't want to vomit up the happy pills.

It may have been the chicken I did last night; is looking that way. It was a couple of days past the "Best Before" date but it'd been at the bottom of the fridge in the cooler part, all sealed still from the supermarket. Opened the packet and smelled it straight away and it seemed fine. I guess not. Maybe in the old days when I had an iron stomach but apparently not now.

Just couldn't believe the intensity of it. Started getting a bit worried about how much fluid I was loosing. The doctors have told me though that it's best to not take anything to stop it as it's the body's way of getting rid of the bad food. Oh what fun.

Cancelled the psych guy this morning and made an appt for next Monday. Was going to go down to where Simon is this afternoon as it's a lovely day outside and I got the camera back working. Just too risky though, it's horrible being out even if it's just pains in the stomach from the diarrhoea, let alone when it's full on like that. Just having a quiet day at home and going nowhere. Feeling a bit weak at the moment.

I do know I'm much more susceptible to this having HIV as a lot of the HIV resides in your lower bowels. Had a look into it earlier and came across this most interesting page about HIV, the lower bowel, and diet.

What if the virus found a sanctuary from which it could reproduce and multiply and then invade the bloodstream? A sanctuary beyond the reach of the phagocytes and macrophages of the immune system that would eat them up?
 
The HIV virus may have a sanctuary from which to grow and multiply and invade the bloodstream. That sanctuary is, I believe, the lower bowel of the intestinal tract (the colon).

Digestive efficiency is never 100%. A yeast organism, called Candida Albicans, resides in the lower bowel of the intestinal tract and consumes simple sugars and produces alcohol as one of its byproducts. While the yeast cells live off of sugar and carbohydrates, the HIV virus lives off of proteins that are not completely broken down in the stomach into their constituent amino acids.

For harder to digest proteins like “gluten’s” in certain grains like wheat and “casein” in most dairy products and other proteins like eggs and meat cooked at high temperatures, the efficiency of protein digestion could drop to 60% or less. The higher the temperature that meat is cooked, the more coagulated the protein becomes and the harder it is for the digestive juices, like hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes, to break down the proteins into simple amino acids.

If 40% of the protein you ate passed into the colon undigested, the HIV virus could have a field day reproducing itself.

It goes on to assert that having proteins digested more efficiently basically reduces the capacity for the HIV virus to replicate in the lower bowels. Sort of starves the little fuckers of the undigested protein that they feed off. OMG I couldn't ever stick to that diet they put there though, no meat and all. I work hard and need the protein. Not gonna live off bloody lettuce leafs. 
The Anti-AIDS diet is high in raw foods, low in fat, especially saturated fat, contains no animal protein, no beef, pork, poultry, fish eggs, cheese, ice cream or cow’s milk. It is “gluten” free and has no wheat, no bread, no spaghetti, no macaroni and no bakery.
Photobucket Is there anything left that I can eat? Get fuckin real man. And I'm seriously not going to douche twice a day either. I live in the real world. For me that diet is completely impractical. I do think though that some of the pointers about cooking meat and fresh food are helpful.

*goes back to toilet* Photobucket

Heffernan's homophobia

Thanks again Rob for the link (comment below). It's particularly interesting as we've just had our own very recent bully homophobic attack here. By none other than the senior Liberal party (conservatives here) member Bill Heffernan:
OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott's political enforcer Bill Heffernan is accused of a homophobic attack on a senior Liberal staffer during a Central Coast party meeting.
 
Bill HeffernanRay Carter, 67, has filed a formal complaint to the Liberal Party demanding action be taken against Bill Heffernan after he allegedly hit him at a branch meeting and abused him for being gay.

Mr Carter, who has a heart condition, has made a statutory declaration detailing the incident on May 3 at the Breakers Country Club in Terrigal. His statement is backed by statutory declarations from two Liberal Party witnesses.

A third witness confirmed that Senator Heffernan launched an anti-gay tirade against Mr Carter after the meeting.

Mr Heffernan, a controversial Liberal senator since September 1996, is Tony Abbott's representative on the powerful NSW Liberal Party State Executive. He was a close confidant of former prime minister John Howard and performed the same duty.

In his statement, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Carter said Mr Heffernan was seated three rows behind him when the meeting started at 7pm. Mr Carter left the room briefly for a discussion with his employer, MP for Terrigal and NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher.

Read more of the statutory declarations on Bill Heffernan

When he returned and was about to sit down, Mr Heffernan allegedly leaned over and hit Mr Carter so hard he was knocked off balance.

One witness heard the thud from the attack and saw Mr Carter grimace in pain.

"Senator Heffernan leaned over and hit me on my left shoulder and said something I did not hear (I am partially deaf in one ear) and tried to grab a sheet of paper out of my hands. I was knocked off balance. I said: 'Take your hands off me!' I then fell into my seat," Mr Carter said in his declaration.

"I was shaken and upset. I said nothing more. At the end of the meeting I was standing near to the exit door leading into the corridor. I was alone though many people were milling about. Senator Heffernan walked up to me and said in a low voice: 'I didn't know you were a poofter'. He said this in an aggressive manner.
"Rather than have a public confrontation I left."

The Sunday Telegraph understands Mr Carter wants serious action taken against Mr Heffernan by the Liberal Party's state executive.
Link


Unfortunately Labor is doing very badly in the polls, largely due to a scare campaign by Abbot devoid of anything factual, and a gov that seems inept at avoiding controversy. (The Federal election is next year and it's looking very bad for Labor). It's comforting at least that there's no debate about Carter's sexuality being wrong, simply that Heffernan was wrong to not only assault the bloke, but to bring his sexuality into it as well. Related to this was the recent Queensland State election, in which the Labor party expelled one of it's candidates from the party over his views on homosexuality. 
Teenage Queensland ALP candidate Peter Watson has been expelled from the party after admitting to a series of anti-gay rants on the internet.

Mr Watson was forced to resign as Labor's candidate for the Southern Downs electorate last night, after linking homosexuality to paedophilia in website postings made around four years ago.

This morning, the ALP said in a statement Mr Watson had also been expelled from the party.

The 19-year-old admitted to ABC Radio's AM program earlier this morning that he did write the posts.

"I said that homosexuality and paedophilia were linked because there's been some research done ... and it's been published by the Catholic Church, that suggests that 30 per cent of male paedophiles are homosexual," Mr Watson said.

"I made the comments, so I do agree with it.

 

"These comments I made about homosexuals were made when I was like 14, 15 years old, so we're talking about four, five years ago.

"[But] I do agree in some sense.

"Research - and it's been published by the Catholic Church - that suggest that 30 per cent of male paedophiles are homosexual."

Mr Watson's posts also described homosexuals as "social degenerates" and accused them of destroying society's values.

"They do - in a sense homosexuality does degrade our society's values," he told AM.
Link


One would expect the Liberal party and Heffernan (if Carters allegations are true) to be heading into some real difficulty with this. The fact that he's such a senior Liberal of many years in the parliament just makes it worse. And the fact that the Labor party has shown it has no tolerance for homophobia you'd expect at least a decent dressing down of this guy from the part hierarchy. I'm not holding my breath though.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Pressure to raise unemployment benefit

I thought it would never happen. The ultra conservative Business Council of Australia has amazingly come out to support a $50 a week increase in the unemployment benefit. 
 ''Anyone can end up on welfare given changed circumstances and bad luck, and the Labor Party should always have in its eye that people who fall on hard times can live with some dignity and respect,'' the NSW senator Doug Cameron said.
The Northern Territory senator Trish Crossin has called for a welfare summit, so the system of payments and allowances can be examined.

Melissa Parke, who represents Fremantle in Western Australia, said the unemployment payment did not recognise that people faced different costs depending on where they lived.
''Cost of living varies a lot across Australia and one of the difficulties is that the areas where work is available often tend to be areas where the cost of living is high and the availability of housing is poor,'' Ms Parke said.
Conservative economic commentators such as Ian Harper, Judith Sloan and Hugh Morgan have recently said the unemployment benefit is punishing people rather than giving them an incentive to work.
The head of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott, told The Sun-Herald there was a ''crude view that somehow if you make payments really inadequate that's an incentive to get back into work''.
''Well, $50 a week is hardly going to change someone's views about work incentives,'' she said. ''People have lost their confidence and their health, they don't have money to get to interviews, they don't have clothes.''
Welfare groups have called for a $50 a week increase.
Link

I nearly bloody fainted when I read that. I dunno if that would change the Sickness Allowance at all, which I had the misfortune to be on last year for a month or two. Even with full rent assistance it was only $300 a week. The rent here is $360, and even if my share is only about $200 then that leaves only $100 for everything else. It's just impossible. 

Being as they've just ripped the guts out of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme though to bring the gov back into surplus this coming year, I don't think we should all be holding our breaths here. I do like the idea of a "welfare summit" though. People like me just fall through the cracks and get nothing, while they hand out middle class welfare by the truckload to families who have both parents working getting good money.

Sunset over the bay

I discovered the button today that shows all the comments on the blog :s  Noticed the odd one or two I missed. I do like to read them and interact even when they're disagreeing like this one, so I've replied to then ones I missed. Apologies for getting there a bit late.

Had a pretty good day yesterday. Went over to the house that Simon is looking after (with the dog) and had a meal over there. As it has Botany Bay across the road I went out to take some photos. It was a beautiful day, sunny and clear. Turned on the camera, and nothing. WTF? The battery was completely flat, must have left it on last time I had it out, I dunno. Ugh, I was so pissed off. I'd never looked across the Bay that much before but this time I noticed the memorial thing that marks the original place that Captain Cook landed (he couldn't find fresh water in Botany Bay and so sailed up the coast a bit and entered what is today Sydney Harbour). It's actually quite near, dunno how I didn't notice it earlier times. Alas the picture will have to wait another day. 

Later we had a beer or two at the sailing club very nearby, sitting outside on the balcony and watching the sun setting. It was a spectacular sunset, all red and orange, reflecting off light high clouds. The sun set behind the huge machinery at the container terminal that they use to load and unload ships with, making a very interesting picture of nature and machinery combined. I was so spewing the camera wasn't working. Perhaps another day. 

Was thinking about going to the Lord Roberts pub this afternoon. Simon is over at about 4pm but it's pissing down with rain now. Typical. I don't think I'm going to feel like going anywhere if it's still weather like this. We shall see.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Angry!

The $guru sent me back an email yesterday about that stupid bank letter. He made some enquiries and it turns out that the Dept of Human Services - DHS - (who are processing my claim for early Super release) had not yet received an email from the other bank that I have debts with, being the "proof of debt" document. It had already been sent previously from the bank, to the $guru, who forwarded it on to the DHS. That wasn't good enough for the DHS who said they couldn't accept it as it had come through a third party; the $guru. So the $guru then had to instruct the bank to send another proof of debt document to the DHS directly. This was the last and final hurdle before (after 3 months at that stage) my Super funds could be released to cancel all my debt. 

Get this: the bank never sent the proof of debt document. Even though they knew they would get their money as soon as the DHS got it. I can't fuckin believe the stupidity! So for another month we've all been waiting around patiently, wondering WTF is taking so long again, only to find the last bit of documentation required to complete the whole process wasn't sent by the bloody bank. Oh FFS! So the $guru has to ring them again yesterday and tell them to send it. The DHS has now been processing my claim for 4 months. They are supposed to take 10 days.

So the other asshole bank proceeds to start legal proceedings against me, apparently it's collections dept not taking the effort to look into the whole history of the matter, and enquiring to the relevant people within it's own banking structure as to where we're at with it all. So I end up getting this 3 page threatening letter from them, which is obvious from it they've not looked into my case at all. 

Incompetence from both banks.

Re the dental scheme, I've pretty much given up on the Garrett thing. Can't say I was expecting much, but the abysmal response was even worse than I thought. I think he probably hasn't got the nerve to say straight out that I won't be eligible anymore for the dental scheme because I'm not on gov benefits. I'm actually worse off than a pensioner as far as disposable income is concerned. It's only because I'm getting the odd day here and there of extra pay that's keeping my head above water. But you can't tell any of this to Centrelink, they just switch on the tape player in the back of their head and drone on, I know what they're like. If you earn over X amount (gross) then you can't get a cent off them. They don't take into account how much private rent you have to pay or anything. I even looked into trying to get public housing through the special scheme set up for HIV positive people, but it turns out I earn about $100 a week too much and my CD4 count is too high (yes, apparently I'm too healthy). I'm left right in the middle, no man's land, barely earning enough to get by, but earning too much to get any assistance at all. I can't even get a health care card FFS. I'm stuffing around trying to avoid bankruptcy and I earn too much for even a health care card. Now it looks like I may lose the dental assistance as well.

I'm gonna have to start pushing work for more hours I think. I may ask for every week the extra day and see how we go. 

On the bright side, these made me laugh. They're protest signs against that dreadful Westboro Baptist Church over in America:


Friday, 18 May 2012

OMG! Donna Sumer has carked it!

The queen is disco is dead.

I have this one on my MP3 player. Think it's my favourite.

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Apparently she went all Christian later on, poor dear. Started hating gays they reckon. Then got boycotted. Ah but who can forget songs like the above. She will always be the un-Christian Donna Summer to me.

The end of a full 5 day week

A fitful nights sleep last night. I have however made it through an entire week of work (well I'm up on Friday morning so I'm counting today as well). It's been a bit hard getting up of course all week, and there's been the decline in my mood suddenly over the last couple of days. Seemingly right out of the blue. I'll be finished the folder job at about lunch time it looks and may ask to go home then, with the remaining time taken out of annual leave. I don't think there's much for me to do after that as the other bloke is there on the guillotine.

They wanted me to come in on Monday again next week too for another big job. I agreed yesterday but after the unhappiness I felt last night after getting that stupid bank letter, I think I'll keep my psychologist appt instead and tell them I can't make it Monday. It's no biggie as it's not part of my working week anyway. If they're disappointed or can't deal with the work well that's their problem not mine. I'm the one with fuckin HIV. 

Haven't seen the psychologist in a couple of months, as various appts got stuffed around and last Monday I ended up working. I haven't been in any major crisis or anything and things were going quite well I thought. But the way I reacted from that bank letter was a worry. Haven't thought about suicide for some time now. He always asks me each visit if I have, and last few I've had a run of saying no I haven't. This time though will be the first time in a while I have.

Nearly blurted out my status at work the other day in the middle of everyone. One of the blokes has been constantly late, and has even been officially warned about it. So one day this week he turns up late again. Of course we all give him stick, saying things like "nice of you to join us" and the like. The supervisor has a stress at him. And I catch myself just as I'm about to blurt out "I get here on time and I have fuckin HIV!". A close call, especially with my recent history of blurting out stuff inappropriately. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Car park suicide

This add was played about a year ago on a nationally broadcast TV show where they were discussing suicide.


Some of them in the discussion, involved with suicide prevention, said that in Australia they would not use such an add. Although it's very confronting, it in fact portrays a method of suicide.Something that they would not do.

I disagree. I think it's very confronting, but if someone is suicidal they will chose their own way to do it. Maybe it will be by jumping, or maybe not. It's their decision isn't it. That doesn't mean they're going to do it, it just means they've decided how to do it if they actually do.

For me the add changed my mind. My preferred suicide method had in the past been either a very tight plastic bag over the head, or go and get some heroine and as I don't use it a big blast would kill me outright. All that seems a hassle now and drawn out. If I do ever get to deciding to do it the jump is going to be my new method. Quick and easy. Just got to make sure the building is high enough.

I saw the above add ages ago. I've never forgotten it. It doesn't scare or confront me. It makes me feel very peaceful watching it.

Stressing

I got a default letter today from the asshole bank, re my credit card account with them of now over $13,000 (about $1,000 more than originally was in Oct or so last year because they continued to charge me interest and account keeping fees, which is unusual given the legislation, and because the Dept of Human Services have taken now about 4 months instead of 10 days processing my claim). It's obviously a letter spit out from the bank's systems that isn't the slightest bit in touch with the reality that the bank knows overall. It even tells me for example that if I can't make payments because of "illness" changes can be made to the contract. WTF? Hello? I've sent off a PDF of the 3 page blabbering letter to the $guru, telling him how much I'm stressing about getting letters like this, and WTF is happening with the Dept of Human Services in regards the Super money that was imminently to be released nearly a month ago? FUCK. I can't deal with this shit any more. I told the $guru I'm basically ready to declare bankruptcy as I've just had enough and can't play this jumping through gov hoops any-more. I honestly can't.



Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The big work week

G'day Rob. Yes I have posted this before but who the fuck knows where in this blog? I haven't the faintest. But it's worth another look I reckon. Just for you Rob (and me too mate I really enjoy this song)


It's mid way through the week. I've been on the big folding machine all week running the big folding job I got called in all week to do. It's a bit over 300,000 runs. There is 100,000 to go, so it looks like it will be finished by Friday afternoon, which is when production and planning wanted it finished by. It appears I have become some sort of folding machine hero. Only because though that most of the staff there in management today weren't around when we used to do jobs like this all the time. Some of them would be over a million runs, and would take a month to get through. It's all old hat to me. I haven't run the folder like this for days on end with a big-ish job like the old days for well over a year, but it's all come back simple. It's a welcome change from lifting tonnes of paper a day on the guillotine. I changed the knife on there today for the agency bloke as he was honest enough to say he wasn't sure how to do it.

Simon is still around his friends place. Has been texting me about Friday. He's taking her (his friend) to the airport that day and won't be in company with her after that as she jets off to England for 2 months. He's saying how the "fun will begin". Oh I so hope I'm not in a shit mood and exhausted like last Friday as I so very want to have a good night out with him. We've decided to go to Kens for their final last hoorah no towel night (as they're closing Sunday). Imagine the place will be packed. He's meeting me at the pub after work he reckons to get me "tanked" and "in the mood".

In the still of the night

I can't sleep. Went to bed early as there was nothing on the TV and was really tired. Slept for a bit off and on. Woke up a couple of times not knowing what time it was thinking it was nearly morning. Had been only 10pm or so. Then about half an hour ago tossed and turned so much I woke up and it's like I can't get comfortable any more.

Sat up on the edge of the bed and sighed. Fuck everything is aching. My back is sore, my legs hurt in the muscles in the back. Neck is stiff. Headache. Food in my stomach is churning. Even a thumb is throbbing as the nail is a bit damaged. 

It's one of those moments of discouragement when I'm sick of everything. The silence of the night, the stillness, seems to accentuate it all. During the day I'm busy with other things. In silence with all else absent, doubt and worry can sometimes scream at me. Those quiet times in the middle of the night can be the worst times of all.

I've taken a couple of Panadol and they should work soon. Simon is at his friends nearby before she leaves on Friday. I wish he was here tonight. Having him to hold in the night is always a help, particularly when I'm feeling like this.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Latest Peter Garret reply

I honestly don't know if this email is from Garrett himself or from one of his staffers. I find it very form letter-ish, or like there's stuff copy and pasted in there. It's not like someone actually replying to my simple question, but just more blather and gov lines. This is the reply I got today:
I am writing in response to your email regarding your concerns for the closure of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) and your eligibility under a new national scheme.

It has long been the Gillard Government’s policy to close the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS).

While the CDDS provides services for some parts of the population, is not well targeted to provide assistance to access dental services to those Australians most in financial need. However, the Senate has twice prevented closure of the CDDS, which means that the Government has been unable to put in place a more appropriate scheme.

No closure date is currently set for the CDDS.  A date and appropriate transition arrangements for the closure of the scheme will be detailed once the necessary arrangements for the closure are tabled in Parliament.

I appreciate the time you have taken to bring your concerns to my attention.

if you require any further assistance in relation to any other Federal matters please don’t hesitate to contact my office.

Yours sincerely

Peter Garrett AM
Federal Member for Kingsford Smith
Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth
P: 02 9349 6007 F: 02 9349 8089
www.petergarrett.com.au

And this is the one I sent off just now:
Thanks for your reply.

From it my assumption is that the answer to my question "Being HIV positive, will I still be eligible for assistance under the new scheme, and will I be able to use the private dentist that I've been using for the last 2 years who is part of my health care plan?" is that at this stage you don't know?

I hope that as someone only working 3 days a week I may be considered one of those "most in financial need", although even though I only work 3 days a week I still don't qualify for even a health care card as apparently I earn too much. I did go into all of this in the original email I sent through your contact thing on your website.

Again, I find myself frustrated as this raises more questions than it answers. What then is the criteria for those "in most financial need"? Someone like me who after rent has only about $300 to live off (paying full prescription price for all prescription medicines, not entitled to any Centrelink assistance whatsoever because my gross wage is over) or a pensioner who has about $300 a week to live off as they pay no rent and own there residence? Is the financial test for eligibility going to do something Centrelink doesn't do; take into account my circumstances rather than just my gross wage?

As your minority gov is it seems (thankfully) answerable to the Greens in the Senate regarding this, I take it then that you are unable to close the CDDS until you reach agreement with the Greens as to how this will happen? Is that right?

Honestly Peter these are straightforward questions mate. Can you please just tell me straight out without the party lines? All I want is to know exactly where I stand with this, OK? I have issues of anxiety and something factual would help me in this.

I have an appt shortly with my dentist through the CDDS scheme. I have about $700 I think left until the end of the year, and after that we both expected the next 2 years to be renewed. He can't do any more right now than just cleaning and fillings until that happens. I do need a crown done on a root canal from months back.
WTF do I tell him?

Again, all this is going on my blog. I'm sure I'm not the only HIV+ person in Australia concerned about this. I look forward to something more informative.
http://lifewithhiv-peter.blogspot.com.au/

Thanks,
I'm feeling pretty discouraged with the gov right now, in fact all politicians in Canberra. If this is any gauge then they're in their own world and not mine. Apparently I pay their wages to get diffuse answers like the above.

Monday, 14 May 2012

A funny assortment

OK, I've come across a bit of a variety of things in my online happenings last few days. They're just stuff that didn't end up in posts that I was intending to do so.

I was looking through the stuff about the gay marriage protests, and there were of course pictures all around the place, some of them not from this year so I couldn't use them in reference to the rally on the weekend here. 



 There was also a day or so ago Simon was complaining he couldn't go into a shop and buy anything of the Pet Shop Boys. He's the older man darlings but honestly he's just tragic about the net; has not the faintest half the time. I've taken to giving up on the share programmes as they all seem to be crap these days and the songs come with viruses. I signed up for free with Big Pond Music, and now just download for a little bit of money but fuck all really. No hassle, no crisis, and for $2 a song of what you want is brilliant. I found a best of double album of the Pet Shop Boys, most of it all remastered, for only $16. Simon bought it with his credit card, and I downloaded it and burnt it onto a couple of blank CD's for him. He was amazed at how it all worked, that you could get a whole album online like that, and turn it into a hard ware thing here at home. Poor dear he has a lot to learn.

Anyway, he and I really liked the song "Go West", and so I looked up the music video of it on YouTube, much to his amazement of course. I'd not seen it in decades, and neither had he, but we both remembered that it was pretty bloody funny:


And we couldn't remember when it was done so I Googled that. And then we found out that the Pet Shop Boys version of "Go West" was actually a cover from the original song from the '70's. None other than "The Village People". And there it was in all it's glory on YouTube:


We both thought they deserved to be famous after watching that. They were very talented. Dunno where the video is from but we certainly didn't have that on the one TV channel in New Zealand back then. I do remember some of their more popular songs of course on the radio. But where I was from in New Zealand we never acknowledged the existence of gay people even. I can't remember it even being recognised back then that the Village People were gay FFS.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Work worries

I have to work every day this week. There's a big job to be running all week on one of the folding machines, so they're getting the agency bloke in every day to work the guillotine leaving me free to run the folding job. It'll be the first full week I've worked in about 9 months I think. 

I'm a bit worried about the fatigue levels I might experience. Although the physicality of what I'll be doing will be much less, it seems like the hardest thing about work is getting up in the mornings to go. I have the alarm set for 6am, and it's often a struggle to wake up that early and get going. As it's getting fairly cool at nights now coming on to winter, I've set up the heater next to the bed to keep the room not so cold in the mornings. Then of course even though I have a couple of strong coffees before starting work, I still get tired from the side effect of the happy pills. And from the HIV I guess too. Often am yawning my head off at about 9am and struggling through the next couple of hours.

Wasn't very happy about working all week just as Simon arrives for a stay in Sydney. Turns out though the friend he's watching her house for wants to spend time with him before she goes overseas for 2 months, so he'll be doing stuff with her most of the week anyway.

Gay marriage rally

Yesterday afternoon Simon and I ended up at the Oxford at Taylor Square, and there were people who'd been to a rally drinking there on the balcony. I hadn't even heard about it, but it was in support of gay marriage. Felt a bit silly not have known about it as I usually am up on those sorts of things. It had finished earlier just across the road in fact. Wished I'd have known about it as it would've been a fun event and I'd have taken photos. Apparently it went really well.



The decision of Obama in America to become the first US President to support gay marriage has been in the news here this week. It's good that it's gotten news coverage, but it's a bit sad in a way that so much media hype is given to something that really is a no brainer. I guess it's significant in that it's the first US president to do so, but as far as being some radical move that's going to up-heave society it's a complete non issue. 

It's simply the conservatives over there trying to make it so, pronouncing the end of life as we know it if gay marriage goes ahead. The haters aren't representative of the majority of people in Western countries who are in favour of equal rights for gays. Unfortunately this non issue is being drummed up by conservatives for political purposes, and I think it's very unfair that such a basic issue as equal rights is being used as a political football for the self interest of political parties. We owe a minority group more than to label them evil in the name of politics and religion. 

This is the sort of shit we're up against, unbelievable that in 2021 someone can make a submission like this completely seriously:

 

I am not evil. I am not bad. I'm a fuckin human being just like everyone else. My sexuality is not wrong. 

I'm getting the feeling that gays have just had enough and want equality without any excuses.
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