Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quote for the Day

Shitty Life Hacks. Part 1

A hack is any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. The word is often combined with the word life so as to make life hack, being tips for making everyday life and its activities easier. There are many life hacks on YouTube.

There is a site called “shitty life pro tips” where people have offered amusing but impractical suggestions. This in turn has prompted others to come up with amusing life hacks.

Here are some, more in future Bytes.

(Actually, some seem quite good to me . . .)

Use A Toilet Seat To Put Your Plate On While Watching TV

Take A Selfie Through A Toilet Roll Tube And Pretend You’re The Moon

Spray Your Headphones With Some “Johnson’s No More Tangles” When They Are Tangled

Cut Your Tennis Balls In Half To Store Two More Balls In Each Can, Saving Space

Sneak A Chocolate Into American Movie Theatres With This Trick

Use This Vest Protect Your Personal Space On The Subway

Use The Metal Part Of Your Seat Belt To Open Beers While Driving

Magnify Your Phone’s Screen By Putting It In A Glass Of Water

Don’t Buy New Socks. Use A Permanent Marker Instead

Keep Cake Moist By Eating It All In One Sitting

Put Your New TV Box On Your Neighbor’s Side So You Won’t Get Robbed

Put A Bean Filled Glove On Your Baby’s Back When You Want Your Kids To Feel Loved, But You’re Too Tired

Impress Your Guests And Reduce Clutter With This Simple Tip

Tired Of Ironing Your Shirts? Get Fat And Watch Those Creases Vanish

If You See Someone Crying, Ask If It Is Because Of Their Haircut

Stop Tears In The Kitchen With This Life Hack

Save Time By Adding Toothpaste To Your Food

Use This Tip When You Want To Take A S**t Discreetly

Use Duct Tape And Fork When There’s No Spoon In The Office

Use Your Hood As A Bowl For Popcorn

Monday, February 27, 2017

Quote for the Day

Monday Miscellany


Good morning Byters.

I mentioned on Saturday that I had been discharged from hospital but that I didn’t know where my phone charger lead was to enable me to download some hospital pics. I have now found the lead, here are the photos that go with the reports, I believe that they may be of interest . . .

Mobile x-ray machine

There, I fixed it.

I mentioned Hospital in the Home, whereby I have a PICC line ( a peripherally inserted central catheter) inserted in my arm that connects to a bottle which contains a tube with antibiotics and a pressure pump that is controlled by aortic pressure of the body.  Above is the bottle with full tube and pump.

Nearly empty tube.  The bottle is replaced in the home by a community nurse.

Thanks to the Byters who sent me get well etc messages. I have not gone through all my emails yet so there may be other messages that I have not yet seen. Here are some . . . 

Take care my friend
Life is fragile
Paul B

Hi Otto
Wonderful to hear that you’re now at home and that the hospital deems you well enough to be there. So glad too that you’ve been obeying hospital orders (and I’m sure will continue to!) Hospitals are strange places, aren’t they, but I greatly admire how well most of those people do their jobs – and especially the warm, kind ones like Kathleen. I hope you can really rest up and let your body recover. It’ll be the best thing in the long run (and you won’t worry the daylights out of your wife or the rest of your family!) We hope to hear more good news of you soon.
Pip, Peter and Mim 

Glad you are on the mend Otto! Hopefully it's all up hill from here.
Will drop in when your back in office with some hummus.
In the meantime, hope you get plenty of rest.

Dear Otto,
Great to hear you’re back at home resting 
Hope you get well soon.
Cheers Steve A

Hi Otto,
Mum said to say that she hopes you're feeling better and dad said get out of bed and stop being a malingerer :-)
Brett B (the Australian one)

So glad you're home. It's the only way you're going to get some rest which you need for healing.
Also happy it was nothing more serious!

Hi Otto
Wonderful to learn you are back home even if not 100% recovered at this stage. Take it easy and no need to advise you to comply with doctor's and nurses directions. You are no doubt in most capable hands with Kate and Elliot. We see so much bad press about our hospitals but I for one reckon that in the vast majority of cases they do a magnificent job in face of all manner of obstacles. 
On the subject of nurses the attached image is of our rotty George guarding a crook chook which we had to separate from the others.
Look forward to progress reports 
Kindest Regards
Robyn T

Oh Otto, you poor thing-that sounds like a nightmare! Thanks for the details, being hospitalized is no picnic-but it can be interesting, and I see you’re making lemonade…” Go and thin no more” cracked me up-you haven’t lost your sense of humor! Warm Wishes that all will be well soon-keep us posted. Regards, Tobye P

... we are very happy to say
All the very best
Enid & Philip

That's the most realistic Bytes I've read, Otto, as it relates to someone we know well and care about. Not many patients would keep such detailed records of their time in hospital. Recover well and soon, Otto. Vince C


An item of interest about RPA:

Royal Prince Alfred is one of the oldest hospitals in NSW, having been founded in 1882. The funds were raised by public subscription to make a monument to commemorate the assassination attempt on Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh by Henry James O'Farrell in 1868. O’Farrell was the first person to attempt a political assassination in Australia when he shot and wounded HRH The Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria. The wound was serious, but not fatal. The Prince was hospitalised for two weeks, and cared for by six nurses trained by Florence Nightingale, who had arrived in Australia that February under Matron Lucy Osburn. O’Farrell was found guilty and hanged in the Darlinghurst Gaol at the age of 35, notwithstanding Prince Alfred’s intercession to try to spare him the death penalty.

Prince Alfred

Henry O'Farrell

O'Farrell being captured after the attempted assassination of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh at Clontarf in 1868.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quote for the Day

It doesn't need many


- Shawnee Kellie

One word can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream;
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald Spring.

One smile can bring a friendship,
One handclasp can lift a soul;
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One cheer can obtain a goal.

One vote can change a Nation,
One sunbeam can lift a room;
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One look can change two lives;
One kiss can make love bloom.

One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer;
One hope can raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true;
One life can make a difference,
One life is me and you...."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Quote for the Day



I am now home from hospital.

Thanks to those who sent “Get Well Soon” messages, also to those who told me to get up and start posting Bytes again.

By way of letting you know what occurred, below are reports from hospital that I sent by mobile phone text messages to family and a few others . . .

Monday, 20 February 2017

Report on what happened:
  • Saturday night started getting chills. Had to go to the bathroom and collapsed, couldn’t get up despite trying over and over. Was disoriented and passing out. Kate found me on my knees on Sunday morning in front of the armchair with my face buried in the cushion, passed out.
  • She and Elliot called the ambulance and they found blood pressure 70/30 and temp 40.3, pulse low 40’s. I don’t recall any of that.
  • I woke up in hospital and I was later told that I was lucky I was not taken there any later.
  • They have worked out that I have 2 conditions, an infection in my leg which went into septicaemia and a collapsed lung from the shallow breathing when lying face down on the cushion passed out.
  • Originally they thought the only problem was my lungs and that I had pneumonia, my leg not having any breaks in the skin or any obvious infection symptoms.
  • I am being pumped full of antibiotics and other stuff including potassium and magnesium but feeling okay, albeit it tired.
  • I didn’t even know I had an infection.
  • They will probably keep me here (RPA) to the end of the week. The staff are great.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Progress report:
  • I am in a ward of 4 people:
o An elderly guy who sleeps all day and night but occasionally stands up and doesn’t move, like a statue, or who goes wandering and has to be led back to bed.

o A guy who doesn’t speak English and moans for hours, usually at night, on each breath: uhhhh, uhhhhh, uhhhhhh.

o A chap who is Welsh and can barely ne understood but who keeps ranting, arguing, going crazy (tries to rip out his lines, tries to leave, is nasty to the nurses. They had to call Security on him last night and sit a nurse at the end of his bed for the night.
  • When I was on the phone to Kate yesterday and Ranter was ranting and Moaner was moaning, she could hear it all quite clearly. I said that I was thinking of getting my own shtick, to make chicken sounds. . . brrrrk, brk brk brrrrk.
  • Because a lot of this happens at night, I catch up on sleep in the day when things are quieter for some reason (why is that?) but last night the boys were quiet and I slept.
  • I am being pumped full of antibiotics intravenously. They now see the problem as leg infection rather than pneumonia.
  • They removed my catheter during the night. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I’m free at last.”
  • Except that I’m not free yet, I don’t have to carry the catheter bag going to the toilet or to do my toiletries such as shaving but I now have to take my friend (my IV pole) with me.
Happy Trails campers.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ranter’s friend is arguing with the doctor that Ranter wants to go home and he is taking him home, that Ranter is being treated awfully by the doctors and nurses. BS! The doctor is telling him that if Ranter leaves, he will die, so that if he persists they will call Security, not on Ranter but on the friend.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Situation defused by a very patient and kind female doctor. I was so tempted to call out “Wake up to yourself you mugs, show some appreciation for the people who are looking after you” but I figured they would tell me to butt out. I wouldn’t make a good social worker or magistrate. 😡😡😡😡😡

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

(Because I don’t know where my phone charger lead is I can’t download any pics, so will describe same when relevant).

Meet my friend . . .

(a pic of my IV pole with stuff hanging off it)

I have named my friend Charlene, the name that Gomer gives his rifle in Full Metal Jacket.

This is my drip pole. There are many like it but this one is mine. It is my life. Without me it is useless. Without my drip pole I am useless.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017
  • Definite now that the problem is my leg, not lung(s). The culture grown from the bacteria in my blood is consistent with the sepsis of my leg.
  • Sepsis: Sepsis is the result of a massive immune response to bacterial infection that gets into the blood. It often leads to organ failure or injury. Sepsis is a medical emergency that becomes fatal or life-changing for many of the individuals who develop this "blood poisoning." - Medical News Today http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305782.php
  • The Respiratory Unit have passed me over to the Infectious Diseases Unit. (Elliot says that he won’t visit any more).
  • I am on stronger, different antibiotics by iv drip.
  • I have been moved to a “quieter room”.
  • Tomorrow morning they are going to put a cannula on the inside of my upper arm with a line in the vein going to near my heart. It’s called a Pick Line (I have since learned it is a PICC Line) and they will use that to put in antibiotics, take blood etc.
  • Also, when I am discharged, whenever that will be, I will be subject to Hospital in the Home, where that PICC Line will will be used to connect to a 24 hour antibiotic pack worn around the waist in a bum bag. Then once a day a nurse comes to the house to change the pack or I go to RPA to get it done, at least a week or more from discharge.
  • They said to stay home but I argued that if I am sitting at home I might as well sit in the office. That raises issues of elevating my offending leg.
That’s it for now.

Thursday 23 February 2017

  • As I mentioned yesterday, I am in a different room, more of that shortly.
  • Before I left where I was, Ranter was x-rayed. Not by his going to the x-ray department but by having the x-ray machine come to him. A big machine that looked like Optimus Prime and unfolded the same way was positioned in front of him with the cross hairs on his chest and an x-ray plate behind his back. 
  • Apparently there is no radiation risk but Thomas and I were asked to wait outside as a precaution.
  • Amazing technology.
  • By way of comparison, here is a pic of the chair next to my bed, worthy of entry to the website “There, I fixed it . . .”   (Photograph shows the arm rests secured by numerous layers of duct tape, of different colours).
  • A comparison between the two wards:

The one I just left:
Nurses had to keep dealing firmly and loudly with Ranter.
Lights were kept on at night by the patients.
TV sets kept on.
Disturbed sleep, if any.

The one I am now in:
So quiet I could be in a convent of a silent order.
Patients don’t talk I introduced myself to the others and shook hands but they looked at me like a had 2 heads).
Curtains around beds are all drawn at night.
Nurses use torches at night.
Nurses whisper at night when they have to change drips, take obs etc
  • Strange but I kinda miss Bedlam in a way. Maybe Billy Joel is right, that it’s more fun to laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.

Thursday 23 February 2017


Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Smith’s Law” “Murphy was an optimist.”

  • I was prepped to go down to the Cath Lab to have the PICC Line put in, which is treated as a surgical procedure. I had to wear a hospital gown and was taken down in my bed by a porter.
  • At the Cath Lab an Irish lady introduced herself as Kathleen (what else?) and said she needed to check that I had good veins for a PICC. She ran an ultrasound device along my upper inner arm and, in a thick Irish accent, said “Oh, what a beautiful vein, Otto. That big black hole on the screen is your vein, isn’t it beautiful?”
  • I was too nonplussed to reply but she wasn’t expecting an answer and just kept talking. She put antispectic on my arm , measured the length of the line needed, then checked the medical records that had come down with me. She said “It says her that you’re on epixiban” (?). This is a blood thinner that I am required to take because of past blood clotting. I said that I was and she asked when I had last had it. I said last night and this morning. She said that they are supposed to suspend it before a procedure. I told her that it was even worse than that, they had doubled the daily does in that they considered my daily dose too low.
  • Bottom (PICC) line: no procedure today, come back tomorrow and suspend the epixiban. Go and thin no more.
  • Parting comments from Kathleen: “I was so looking forward to putting that PICC in, you’ve got the best veins we’ve seen all day and we have to send you away.”
  • On the positive side, I may go home tomorrow.
  • On the negative side, they want me to stay home for a week.
  • On the further negative side, my cannula just worked its way out and they have to insert another.

Friday 24 February 2017
  • The lady from the Sleep Clinic, let’s call her Brunhilde, made me sleep with a machine that pumps oxygen into your body. It has a mask over your nose and mouth and is quite challenging to get used to. I had bought the machine years ago, tried it a couple of times and stopped using it. My records of that are at RPA and Brunhilde was not happy. I did one hour the previous night so she changed the setting slightly and told me she wanted 3 continuous hours this time. She is a very forceful person. I went to sleep at 10.15pm and awoke at 1.45 am. I mentally calculated that I had given Brunhilde her 3 hours so took off the mask and sat up. The night nurse went past, saw me sitting up and whispered in frightened tones “Have you slept for 3 hours?” Brunhilde had co-oped the night nurses as well!
  • The PICC line has been installed. During installation I was given a local anaesthetic and the PICC line is manoeuvred into position with an ultrasound. I later had an x-ray to check it is all correct.
  • I mentioned to Kathleen that my wife is a former nurse and that she had once told me that some of the chaps who are most queasy at receiving needles are big, burly footballers. Kathleen replied, in her brogue, “It’s true. We’ve had a lot of bikies here, with tattoos and everything, and a lot of them are needle shy. I found it amazing at the beginning, I really did.”
  • I am amazed at the amount of waste in hospitals. The procedure with me involved opening a large surgical pack that had everything needed: gowns, medical items, electronics, equipment etc. As each item was used and no longer needed, it was cast aside. At the end, it was all sorted, bundled up and binned. I was told that wastage was the price for sterility and that it was cheaper.
  • I am now home.
  • Thanks, RPA, you guys are all great.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sorry Guys! There will be no posts for the next few days as Otto is currently unwell. Bytes will return soon. - Elliot

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Quote for the Day

Sydney Suburbs: Bella Vista, Bellevue Hill, Belmore


Bella Vista:

33 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of The Hills Shire.

Name origin:
lizabeth Macarthur, wife of famed colonial settler John Macarthur (who was in England much of the time), farmed sheep on her 'Seven Hills Farm'. The Pearce family later acquired part of this property and built the homestead that they named ‘Bella Vista' after the beautiful, panoramic views form the hills.

Some comments:
  • The original land grant was to Joseph Foveaux in 1799. In 1801 he sold it to John and Elizabeth Macarthur.
  • With a string of past owners and farm uses, Bella Vista farm has contributed significantly to the development of Australian agriculture, including the first Merino sheep farm in Australia and the foundation of the Australian citrus fruit industry.
  • Today the size of the farm has been reduced but it remains an intact farm including homestead and out-buildings dating from the original 1799 Joseph Foveaux grant. 
  • The farm is now owned by The Hills Council.
  • Enjoy a social picnic and make use of the public BBQ facilities in the outer grounds of the farm or simply wander the walk ways and view the avenue of Bunya Pines that form the original driveway to the homestead.
  • Until the mid-1990s, the area was primarily used for small-scale agriculture. The suburb now sports several shopping complexes and a major hotel. It is rapidly becoming the main business centre within the Hills District. The biggest commercial area is the Norwest Business Park which incorporates retail, commercial, industrial and hotel developments. The industrial areas in West Bella Vista are still heavily under development,.

Elizabeth Macarthur

Bella Vista Farm

Bella Vista Farm

Bella Vista Farm

Lake in the middle of Norwest Business Park

Bellevue Hill:

5 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Municipality of Woollahra.

Name origin:
In the early 19th century, Irish-Australian immigrants referred to the area as Vinegar Hill, after the Battle of Vinegar Hill, an engagement during the 1798 uprising of the United Irishmen in south-east Ireland. In that engagement over 13,000 British soldiers attacked Irish rebels, the last attempt by the rebels to hold and defend ground against the British military (The convict rebellion of 1804 in Castle Hill came to be known as the Second battle of Vinegar Hill, after the first in Ireland in 1798). Governor Lachlan Macquarie took great exception to area being described as Vinegar Hill and named the suburb Bellevue Hill, the belle vue meaning beautiful view.

Some comments:
  • Bellevue Hill is known as one of Australia's wealthiest suburbs. 
  • Bellevue Hill has several historic houses that are on the Register of the National Estate, including Caerleon, Rona, Fairfax House and Cranbrook House, used as Government House and home to three governors and their families from 1901 to 1917.

Defeat at Vinegar Hill - illustrated by George Cruikshank (1845)



Fairfax House



14 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Canterbury-Bankstown Council.

Name origin:
Known as Darkwater in its early days, Belmore was named after the fourth Earl of Belmore, Governor of New South Wales from 1868-1872. 


Fourth Earl of Belmore (1835-1913)

Burwood Road, Belmore

St George Hotel, Belmore, [group portrait], ca 1919.
A gathering of service personnel and civilians outside the St George Hotel, 618 Canterbury Road (corner of Kingsgrove Road) Belmore. The photograph was probably taken on ANZAC Day.

Belmore fruit and vegetable markets, 1890’s 

Schoolchildren line up for free issue of soup and a slice of bread in the Depression, Belmore North Public School, Sydney, 2 August 1934

St George Hotel, 1895.
It is believed this photograph was taken on 1 February, 1895, the day the Sydenham to Belmore section of the Bankstown Railway Line was opened. The banner across the upstairs balcony reads: "Welcome to Belmore" and features a picture of a steam train.

Photograph of the west wing of "The Towers". The Norfolk Island Pine (behind the cow) grew into a very large tree and was a prominent feature in photographs of "The Towers" for over 100 years.
Photo taken about 1890's.

The Towers today, a heritage-listed house in Forsyth Street