Thursday, October 26, 2006

In-active Blogs

Do you know what I hate?

Hi all,

Firstly, I apologise for my inactivity here and thanks for every one's comments on this. And to those like ariadneK, Ph.D. and El Charolastra and the many others who have contacted me privately, I'm so sorry if I appear in active but I don't like frivolous posting. Please don't despair, I'm doing some research for my next post. It involves how a number of people who worked in the same office died, one by one and many other co-workers have been struck down by a serious medical condition and it would seem nothing much has been done about this. Yes, some investigations were carried out by the relevant authorities but these have resulted in no real conclusions or outcomes! Are they a whitewash? It's all very interesting to me, really it is and I'm going to stick my neck out and will invite you for your opinions about this very perplexing and horrible situation. Hope to be back soon.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Sheriff's clamp on dodgers

On June 18, I posted about the Denver Boot. Coincidently on that same day tough new wheel-clamping laws came into force in Victoria on 18th August, and so now Sheriff's officers patrol car parks across the state on the look out for drivers with unpaid fines for traffic offences, parking tickets, public transport fare evasion and other offences. Officers now carry Eftpos machines so fine dodgers can pay their dues on the spot.

Fine dodgers were given warnings over the last month that their cars would be clamped if they did not pay up. The Government sees wheel clamping as one way to get the money owed. Sheriff's officers are now able to check if a driver has unpaid fines through registration details and the new laws give officers the power to keep wheel clamps on cars until fines are paid. Furthermore, defaulters also face driver's licence and motor vehicle registration suspension, payments deducted directly from your wages and even sale of property.

Does this happen in your part of the world?

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Devil Dog

The hate file, dog attack You won't believe this follow-on post from the Sunday, February 19, 2006 post titled, They Just Terrify Me. While out walking on the afternoon of Thursday, July 27, in Mill Park, a northern suburb
of Melbourne, 82 year-old, Antonio Olalla was attacked by a battle-scared pit bull terrier as it killed Mitch, one of his two small Maltese terriers. The pit bull mauled Mr Olalla's arms and hands as he tried to save Mitch. The Herald Sun reports that a neighbour saved Mr Olalla's life by beating the dog with a stick during the savage attack. But what's really scary about this particular dog attack is what followed......

The dog left Mr Olalla bleeding and followed his scent to his home, walked through an open door and attacked Mr Olalla's 81-year old wife, Maria. Mrs Olalla heard the dog and thought it was either Mitch or Bianca, their small Maltese terriers but when she turned around she saw the savage pit bull. The dog cornered Mrs Olalla in her kitchen however she managed to escape and ran into a neighbours house. Can you visualise that? It would make a great movie scene! I can hear that Jaws type music!

It seems that there isn't a day that goes past without hearing or reading about a dog attack somewhere. Early in July a Staffordshire cross bit off the ear of a 5-year old girl in an attack in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Then, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, July 10, 2006, the second dog attack on a child in three weeks occurred when a two-year-old toddler was pit bull, the hate file
badly hurt when attacked by a large Japanese Akita, a powerful, solid, well-proportioned and distinctive looking dog (the image above is of an Akita).

Police said that the dog had escaped from a house 100m away. The toddler was seriously injured by the dog on Wallworth Road, Horsley Park and was taken to Liverpool Hospital and then transferred to Children's Hospital at Westmead, where he was checked for internal injuries. Then there's the report in The Age of an 11-year old boy hospitalised after being mauled by two dogs in far north Queensland. The police reported that the young boy was walking with a group of children in the Cairns suburb of White Rock when the attack occurred. The dogs' owner opened the gate to a yard and the two dogs, one a bull terrier-blue Heeler cross and the other a Staffordshire bull terrier-blue healer cross, rushed out towards the children and attacked the young boy who suffered cuts to his head and neck. The boy was taken to Cairns Base Hospital.

Laws in the Australian state of New South Wales restrict certain breeds of dogs but there are calls to review the laws and the list of restricted dogs. According to a August 15, 2006 report in the Herald Sun, while in the state of Victoria there are 470 pit bull terriers registered (not many when you think about it), there are some 5,500 other deadly pit bulls and pit bull crosses not listed! Despite the fact that by law, pit bulls have to be desexed, housed in child-proof and escape-proof back yard enclosures, and be muzzled and leashed at all times in public, vicious pit bull attacks continue to occur. Why?

Councils have the power to seize and destroy any unregistered pit bulls however, the problem according to Dr Graeme Smith, the General Manager of Lost Dogs' Home, is that many owners were using a loophole in the legislation to avoid detection. While by law, pit bull terriers have to be desexed, housed in child-proof and escape-proof back yard enclosures, and leashed and muzzled at all times in public, he said that to avoid having to comply with the tough law covering pure-bred pit bulls, many owners simply registered their vicious pit bulls as cross-breeds. Dr Smith urged the Government to introduce legislation to ensure owners of pit bull crosses were also listed as restricted breeds.

The Herald Sun report quotes Dr Smith as saying that "if you have got a pit bull terrier, it's bad news, but if you have a pit bull crossed with a bull mastiff or a rottie, it is an even nastier mix. They are dangerous."

In the August 15, 2006 Herald Sun article, there's a report of how 9-year-old Liam Spiteri's face was mauled by a savage dog wrongly identified as a Labrador/Staffodshire terrier cross when it was actually an American pit bull terrier on a leash, but not muzzled!!! The young boy is now recovering in the Royal Children's Hospital after cosmetic facial surgery and faces further facial surgery in coming months. Imagine now what his attitude to dogs will be.

More Recent Attacks:

I decided to do a quick search of stories related to vicious dog attacks over the last 30 days. Here is just a snippet of what I found:

Some Questions:
  • These reports on dog attacks continue to raise the question as to who is at fault here? Is it the dogs? Is it the dog owners? Or, is it the people or the actions of those being attacked? (see: Which is the greater problem, pit bulls or their owners?
  • What would you do if you were walking your little pet dog and it was attacked by a vicious dog?
  • What would you do if you were attacked by a savage dog?


  • If you know an irresponsible pit bull owner then please send them or direct them to this link: Irresponsible Pit Bull Owners
  • Desperate to end this post on a positive, I found this recent article: "Dog saves teenager from attacker," BBC News, Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dying for a Pee!

Do you know what I hate? I hate it when it just doesn't happen. You go, you stand or sit, you hold it, you stroke it, you shake it, you curse it, you think about waterfalls, rain or whatever but it just doesn't happen! It's very embarrassing when someone is standing on either or both sides of you, or anywhere near you, whether they're really there or just in my imagination.

The Hate File

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, this type of social anxiety disorder is known as paruresis, or pee shy, shy kidney, bashful or shy bladder syndrome, or dysuria. It's a type of social anxiety disorder, that can affect both men and women, in which the sufferer finds it difficult or impossible to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom. It also applies Also, for people who have difficulty under the stress of time pressure, when being observed, when others are close by and might hear them, or when traveling on moving vehicles such as trains or planes.

Many people experience isolated transient manifestations of urinary difficulty in particularly undesirable situations, and this is sometimes described as stage fright. However, that is to be distinguished from paruresis.

Paruresis goes beyond simple shyness, embarrassment or desire for privacy in that it is much more severe and may cause unnecessary inconvenience, because the inability to urinate, although psychological in origin, is physical in its effect, and not under the control of the sufferer. Severe cases of this disorder can have highly restricting effects on a person's life. Severe sufferers may not be willing to travel far from their home. Others cannot urinate even in their own home if someone else can be heard to be there.

Actual treatments for the condition include:

  • cognitive behavior therapy,
  • training with biofeedback,
  • anti-anxiety medications,
  • using a catheter, although this is alleviating the symptoms rather than effecting a cure, and
  • reducing the level of privacy at which the condition triggers by indulging in graduated exposure therapy. This last can be achieved by sufferers working together at organised events known as workshops.

If you're a pee shy sufferer then the following organisations may be of interest as they are dedicated to helping men and women for whom urinating in the presence or vicinity of other people, is difficult or impossible, and dealing with the problems this brings about:

These associations aim to break the silence about Paruresis, and provide a Forum for advice and discussion as well as support. Their websites provide a resource for people who suffer from this debilitating condition.

Last but by no means least, you might find Freedom from Paruresis and Panic, a personal account of, Max, a 43 year-old panic disorder and bashful bladder syndrome sufferer, helpful.

The hate, sent in by Colin, Kent

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Denver Boot

Do you know what I hate? Being booted. In the previous post we talked about parking meter fines and now it's been reported that in Melbourne, Australia drivers that don't pay their fines could find their car wheels clamped. Armed with clamps, teams of Sheriff's officers will prowl the streets and car parks on the lookout for serial fine dodgers. They will check car registration details looking for drivers with unpaid fines for such offences as traffic offences, parking tickets and public transport fare evasion and clamp offender's vehicles, then wait for the drivers to return. They will carry Eftpos machines so defaulters can pay on the spot to have their cars released. Driving licences and car registrations will also be suspended.

The report said that 1 out of 5, that's 20% of Victorians don't pay their outstanding matters when they fall due and that these sanctions are directed at them....why that's staggering stats and so I guess the State has invested in lots of wheel clamps and wheel clamping will be widespread. Fine dodgers' vehicles could be clamped anywhere!

Taken by Michael in Chicago

Some Questions:

  • What do you think about this type of law for the collection of unpaid fines?
  • Is this a draconian, heavy handed Government approach?
  • Has or does this hard-line approach to the collection of unpaid fines happen in your part of the world?
  • A quick search shows that drivers will face clamping for past offences in London, The Times, November 17, 2005
  • Has your car ever been booted? As it was invented in Denver, Colorado one of the first cities to use them, the wheel clamp, at least in the United States came to be known as the Denver boot, or simply "boot". In France the colloquial name of the wheel clamp or Denver boot is the "sabot de Denver".


  • The Hate: Dennis H, Melbourne, Australia
  • Denver Boot pix: Michael, Chicago

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Your Time Has Expired

Do you know what I really, really hate? Parking meters! I just hate them and I know it's only a lousy couple of bucks but I hate having to feed them. However, what really ruffles my feathers something out of the ordinary and makes me so angry is when I drive into town, park the car rush into a store or to some appointment, rush out to get back to the car and I see RED, that TIME EXCPIRED message across the meter. "Gotya." Arghhhhhh!!!!

But then what really makes me grrrrrr is what I fear most, that dreaded parking infringement notice stuck onto the windscreen. "Make My Day!" I curse. I mean every now and then you just can't help it when you're a few minutes late but sure enough those darn parking officers will be near your meter when it expires!!! Arghhhhhh!!!!!

What all cities should do is introduce what they did on the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia. There, good Samaritan meter maids patrol the streets and feed expired parking meters to save mere mortal and hapless shoppers a potential parking fine. So, rather than come out and explode at the site of a parking fine stuck on your windscreen, you see a good samaritan Meter Maid feeding your parking meter.

Interesting Reads:
  • The Hate: Jean-Marc, Toronto, Canada
  • Expired Parking Meter pix: Ryan Vinson, Clarksville, TN, United States
  • Meter Maids pix: The Gold Coast Bike Week Site

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Treading Water

Do you know what I hate? I hate treading water. After reading the post about dog attacks I thought I'd share this fear with you. When we were young my parents used to always take us kids to the beach and we'd really enjoy swimming and getting tossed and splashed by the surf. In fact, once in, we never ever wanted to get out of the water. However, ever since I saw Jaws, I just can't find the strength to get into the water. The thought of a shark just terrifies me and I can't explain the fear that it brings on to me. The worse thing about all this, is that I grew up and live in one of the nicest places on earth, along the Great Ocean Road, at Lavers Hill, Australia. And I have to add, there've been many shark attacks along the Australian coastline.

Sent in by Kylie.....Lavers Hill, Australia

Thanks for sending in your fear Kylie and yes I'm sure that many will share this with you but again while sharks are very terrifying and while there have been a number of shark attacks, like the earlier post about vicious dogs is there another side to this story? Sharks are beautiful animals and have survived for a long, long time. I really do appreciate their beauty.....

but for some reason, it's just when they're above water as shown in the following awesome photographs kindly supplied by Wade, diver and diving instructor, of ScubaCulture, that they terrify me. And by the way, if you're game and want to get a close up view simply click on the photos.

They are truly amazing shots of the Great White shark taken near Dyer Island and as Wade of ScubaCulture says "I think these shots are pretty awesome, really get a feel for the amazing power these beautiful animals have."

If you'd like to see more great photographs of these beautiful under water creatures taken during shark dives along the coast of South Africa and including dives with the Tiger Sharks then visit ScubaCulture.

If you're a serious adventure seeker or after the thrill of a lifetime, then you might like to think about diving amongst these giants of the water. Just head down to places like Aliwal Shoal, regarded as being one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, or Protea Banks, known as being one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks.