Wednesday, November 22, 2006

knee surgery

Tomorrow I go into hospital in Sydney for knee surgery. I'm having both knees replaced and while I don't look forward to the pain of it all I do look forward to the time when I can once again be pain free as I walk, climb stairs, garden, go walking, etc. These last few years I've experienced a very significant decline in mobility... and, oh my, how painful it's been.

I enjoyed the following cartoon and want to share it with you...

My quack is definitely better than this one!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mountain view near Mae Sai, Northern Thailand

Originally uploaded by bhojman.

Yesterday afternoon a friend and I took a drive from Mae Sai up through the mountains to Doi Tung. The scenery was spectacular. We went a bit late in the day so we lost light quite quickly. However, the shades of the evening colour in the mountains was quite lovely.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Burma leader's lavish lifestyle

There's a must see video currently on YouTube showing 10 mins of the July wedding of Than Shwe's daughter in July. The lavishness of the event is in stark contrast to the poverty and suffering being endured by most of the country. If it's true the couple received $5o million worth of wedding gifts then I am truly distressed.n Most do not earn enough to even feed their families, minority groups are continually on the run from the Burmese military, their crops and homes destroyed, their women raped and many forced into slave labour to build roads or be porters for the military.

See the movie at: Burma's "Royal" Wedding

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Burma leader's lavish lifestyle aired

A video of the wedding of the daughter of Burma's military leader Than Shwe has appeared on the internet, giving a rare glimpse into a lavish lifestyle.

Thandar Shwe and army major Zaw Phyo Win actually married in July, but the video has only recently come to light.

In one 10-minute clip, now on the internet site YouTube, the couple pour large quantities of champagne and stand before an ornate, golden bridal bed.

Thandar Shwe is shown draped in what appear to be expensive jewels.

The newly-weds were reportedly given $50m-worth of wedding gifts, including, cars jewellery and houses.

Most Burmese will not see the video, since internet use inside the repressive country is restricted.

But some of those who have seen the video, both inside and outside Burma, viewed the wedding as a tasteless extravagance in an otherwise poverty-stricken nation.

One local reporter told a Thai newspaper that people were asking themselves where the money came from.

"It's outrageous, just outrageous, especially when you consider that most Burmese live in extreme poverty," Aung Zaw, the editor of Irrawaddy, a publication run by Burmese journalists in exile, told Reuters news agency.

Than Shwe himself is seen in the video, walking stiffly at his daughter's side in traditional Burmese dress - a rare glimpse of him out of military uniform.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Security gone amok!

While I appreciate the careful security that is being carried out at airports around the world, it does run amok occasionally. The following article is one such occasion. It's probably a miracle the guy didn't die. I hope Qantas not only apologises but also provides for the medical expenses that resulted.

Security restrictions are applied in rather haphazardly (if at all) in many places and then are over the top in others. While in US recently I fly from one city to another without my id ever being checked... not once was I asked for it. Not only that but carryon bags just went through the system without question about fluids of any kind. On the return journey the security was over the top... everything was checked and I was not allowed to take on board my bottle of water from which I was obviously drinking. No beverages were served on the flight as it was bumpy all the way... I was already rather dehydrated and got more so... Add to that the trip messed with my head and inner ears and I ended up needing to go see an osteopath which cost me $300. Not sure how much lack of fluids contributed but my suspicion is that they contributed quite a lot.

I'm all for the security but surely there are better ways to do it?

Qantas apologises over insulin incident - Travel -

Qantas has apologised to a diabetic who fell into a coma after airport staff refused to let him take his insulin on board a flight from Auckland to Christchurch.

The New Zealand Herald reported today Tui Russell, a 43-year-old Auckland chef, was told by check-in staff at Auckland last month he could not take the clearly-labelled medication on board because it was dangerous.

He had a severe attack on the flight and was hospitalised for two weeks after falling into a coma shortly before landing at Christchurch Airport.

Qantas yesterday admitted Mr Russell was "wrongly advised" and apologised, saying passengers were permitted to take essential medication and prescriptions on board in their hand luggage.

Even at the height of the furore over the alleged bomb plot in Britain in August, when liquids such as face creams and sports drinks were banned for international flights, passengers were still allowed to carry on essential non-prescription medicines, including insulin.

Mr Russell told the New Zealand Herald Qantas had offered him a free return flight from Auckland to Christchurch, but he also wanted help from the airline to recover $500 in hospital and medication bills.