“Baby Shower” – the male perspective

I’ve heard of “baby showers”, but they weren’t around in the era when they might have impacted me.  However, time has passed and so I became indirectly associated with the planning of one.   Hmmm,  it’s a different world these days!    I put my head in for a few minutes and had some of the “bubbly” – but not my scene!   But there were some leftover nibbles, so I’m not complaining.

How many sweets are in the bottle?
No chance of getting thirsty!
Is there a party here?



I was in an aisle at the library that I don’t usually venture down…..and came across The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Anatomy.  Well, something different, I thought, and since I had recently read an article  about the operation of the gut which in a strange way had been interesting, I thought I’d delve a little deeper into the subject!

I know that anatomy is second nature to health professionals – for good reason –  but I certainly can’t say that I absorbed even a fraction of the information.   Just as well I never enrolled in a course that involved studying anatomy.   Soooo many names to learn!  I wouldn’t have stood a chance.     What amazingly complex things our bodies are!   I learned that the skin is 16% of the body’s weight, and that the lymph system is actually part of the circulatory system (and the immune system) in that it returns excess issue fluid to the veins, via  the lymph nodes which filter out and destroy bacteria and other harmful nasties.

Looking at the chapter about the arms. I paused to wonder if the scapula (shoulder blade) is actually attached to the rest of the skeleton.   No, it’s not, it isn’t connected by way of a joint to the spine, only by numerous muscles and ligaments to the ribs.   There is a “fake joint” called the scapulothoracic joint, where the scapula moves against the rib cage, but isn’t connected by any bony connection.  The only bony link between the shoulder arm bones and the spine is by way of the collar bone (clavicle), which actually serves as a strut to keep the shoulder away from the body.

And of course there’s a great deal more!

No gas

The oven in our gas stove has been troublesome for some time now, in that it sometimes went out unexpectedly.    But then, suddenly, there was no gas at all, in neither the oven nor the hotplates.    Our other gas appliances were working satisfactorily.

It was  a new problem for me, and googling for answers didn’t offer any easy solutions.  So we had to call the plumber.

So what was it?    There’s a flexible hose linking the gas supply to the stove, with a regulator on it.    Replacing the regulator solved the problem, but it re-occurred when the stove was pushed back into position – due to a kink in the flexible hose!   On reflection, that may have been the initial problem, perhaps caused by a slight movement of the stove maybe when someone leaned against it.

Anyway, the hot plates are now working better than ever:  the replacement regulator apparently allows a greater pressure of gas.   And the plumber’s bill was much less than the cost of a new stove.   But time will tell if all the issues with the oven have been fixed.

Medibank Private

Following a recent development in my arrangements for health cover, it was appropriate to change our long-standing Medibank Private policy so as to delete my coverage, leaving only S to be covered.

It took a while, but I managed to achieve this face-to-face at the Medibank office at Chadstone.   All, that is, except for the aspect dealing with the government rebate on health insurance premiums.    Subsequently, following a phone call, the necessary form was emailed to me (not sure why this wasn’t given to me when I had called in), which stated that it could be filled in on line.   But the catch?   You have to be registered for on line access.   Well, I already had on line access BUT apparently following my deletion from the policy, I was no longer eligible for access!.    Obvious solution – register S for on line access.   BUT the policy is apparently still in my name (I had said I’d still be paying the accounts), so there’s no policy in her name!

screenshot-250I felt trapped by the system!   I ended up taking the paper form back to Medibank at Chadstone.  Even then, after looking at the screen for a few minutes the polite lady asked me to “leave it with her” (and she was picking up the phone as I left).  So, I’m still waiting to hear what the revised premium might be.

In the meantime, when this is combined with Medibank’s recent results announcement, I’m left with a niggling thought that there might be a few issues at Medibank.    In a subsequent casual conversation, someone told me that it was reputed that Medibank does indeed still have “issues” with their SAP software……Meanwhile, over at NIB, things seem a lot better.

The aging body

My hip is wearing out.   Of course, these things happen as you get older.   It’s happened to quite a few of my friends and acquaintances, in a number of instances at an age younger than I am now.   And the approach in each instance has been the same:   while you can manage the pain, do so;   the next step is the hip injection, and only as a last – but inevitable – resort will there be a “hip replacement” operation.

So I’m at the “pain management” stage.   It mostly occurs at night time, and sometimes is brutal.  I’m learning as I go what strategies work best with regard to the taking of medication.    Physio and heat packs have a role, too.  Yet at other times, I’m hardly aware of the issue.    I don’t know what triggers it.

img_0076aA side effect is that it makes medium-term planning a little tricky.   We want to do some travel over the next few months, but it’s a bit hard to make too many plans while there are issues such as this in one’s life.


Cursive script

I’ve seen reports from time to time that some countries are phasing out the teaching of cursive script to primary school students, and now apparently the possibility of moving in this direction is on the agenda here.

I can see the arguments on both sides here, although if less time is spent teaching students handwriting, I trust that they will be taught something meaningful instead (presumably students will spend more time on the keyboard?).   And if cursive script is not taught, will all written exams  be able to be done on a keyboard?   And what will the signatures of these students look like?

That said, when I went to school, the use of “printed letters” for writing (which at that time were – and presumably still are – taught before cursive script was introduced) was regarded as “babyish”, so will some stigma attach to those who write in this way?

And the point is made here that “handwriting remains one of the few practical handicrafts to which humans still adhere”.

img_8716Having said all this, I must admit that this isn’t an issue that I can get very concerned about.  I suppose I should say that my handwriting can be woeful at times (was it how I was taught?  Or is it just me?), and there are times when I resort to printed letters so as to ensure my writing can be read!

Morris Jones & Co

We ventured down to “uber cool” (?) Windsor with friends to Morris Jones & Co.   We were there early in the week, so the bar scene which seems to get a few comments here wasn’t in full swing (but there were still a lot of people out and about on the street).  In relation to the restaurant, it was nicely elegant, and there were some interesting dishes, too.   The website uses the expression “quirky”;  hmm, perhaps so, although these days a lot of food seems to be in that category.   We shared a couple of “small plates” (dumplings and chestnut gnocchi), but had individual “large plates” (lamb lamb shoulder and Gippsland duck).  The small plates were quite “shareable’, although I’m not sure how the logistics of sharing the large plates would have worked!    We also had some “triple cooked chips” as a side, which were great.   The presentation was lovely and explanations were provided as the dishes were served.

img_20161206_211911The wine list was quite interesting, although pricey (no surprises with this, of course).   So, all in all, a good evening.  The issue for us is, is Chapel St, Windsor really our scene?