Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Did you know I like war protest songs?

This one, blames the guy in uniform. Universal Soldier.


Why is it I love listening to these in the car?


Autistics should

It came to my attention today that there is currently a very confronting autocomple search phrase waiting on Google for anyone who commences a search with

Autistics should

A range of possible solutions to this were discussed on the Facebook wall of a Page I follow but the only one that makes sense to me is to provide an alternative result to current search terms.

This is somewhat complicated by the fact that the Autism community don’t tend to refer to themselves as Autistics, but as people with Autism or sometimes Autistics – I’ve never seen it in plural from anyone who actually identifies themselves as a part of the community.

But, it seems,  Autistics should.

Autistics should own the plural format “Autistics”.

Autistics should be valued, the way John Elder Robison is valued.

Autistics should be supported in the school system, the way my son is.

Autistics should strive to succeed with whatever strength they have, like Temple Grandin did, with single minded attention on the few topics which mattered to her.

But mostly, Autistics should not have to defend themselves against ignorance and bigotry.



Tech Review: Blackberry Playbook

My mum called me the other day and told me that she had bought a device, but she didn’t know how to use it. So, she said she would send it to me.

That device was a BlackBerry PlayBook, and I’m using it to write this blog post tonight.

Overall though, it is very limited in how useful it can be compared to other, more common tablets on the market. For example, the app store is very limited and it can be hard to find the right app for the task at hand.

I am very disappointed in the Twitter, Facebook and email apps, given the intended market for the tablet. The Web browser, though, is quite reasonable – responding well on most websites, and doing a great job rendering Flash based websites.

Overall, though, I think that I will be handing this over to my kids to use for a combination of Web browsing and media player – because the limited range in the app store will stop them turning it into a glorified games tablet.


Have you used a BlackBerry PlayBook?

Tell me what you think about it. What do you love about it, what would you change?



Quick blog post on Westiefit about my (lack of?) progress since January 14.

Some goals have been set, and some tools are in place.

Westie Fitness

I managed to find my wife an exercise bike, make myself feel like I was about to become a cripple, and take up swimming.

What have I achieved?

I have, for the first time ever, set myself up to run more than 5km. I did this in a way that was not sustainable.

I worked myself up to swimming freestyle for over 1km, which is a first ever for me.

I have returned to work (in Canberra), where I have joined Golds Gym – even though it is not quite open yet – as a foundation member. My coming fitness goals, will be achieved both in and out of the gym – with in-gym work, a program to follow at home, and some attention to food. No doubt, as has happened with me in the past, the harder that my alcohol consumption makes my fitness work at the…

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Audience with the Devil – Hilltop Hoods

Listened to the Hilltop Hoods discography on the way home from Canberra after work on Friday. This one struck a chord.

Ready for home

My first full working week of the year. It can’t finish soon enough!
In typical style I’ve been back in Canberra over a week, and they are still trying to get me “onboarded.” I’m really looking forward to being able to really get stuck into some real work.

Even more annoying than my own work, though, has been my efforts to deal with Sydney based real-estate agents. So it seems I will have a slightly stressful weekend lined up if I intend to secure an investment this financial year.

More milestones

I’ve been taking a few moments to review what I’ve written in the past, to think about, what I should be writing about both in the future – and right now. Because of course, right now will bridge what I have written about in the past, with what I want to write about in the future.

Of course, I will continue to write for myself. And hope that some of you out there will find value in what I am writing.

I’m not sure how normal this is, but it would really appear I must have a whole bunch of drop-in-once “followers” because my follower to like ratio is really quite terrible. I passed both 1000 likes in total, and 100 followers, within the last ten days. Over on other social media, I am back onto Twitter more than I have been for a while. While I’m not adding my own photos, I’m certainly active following other users on Instagram, and I’m making an effort to remember to use Facebook not as myself but as my page.

But, if I’m not sure why I’m online… is it still about Autism, or not? … then there remains somewhat of a problem.

If I’m here to be a consumer. That’s fine.

I think, though, for better or worse, there will be some politics flying around this space for the coming few months.

Local to my current home, and my intended home, and more broad election theme coverage (such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, should any candidates or party mouthpiece bother to mention such a thing). Role on September, so I can return to normal scheduling!

Patriotism, jingoism, racism. A continuum, or something else?

Here we are in Australia we are facing the longest Federal election campaign since Federation in 1901. Our Prime Minister has announced that we will go to the polls in September 2013, to vote for a local representative, and so decide the ruling party who will confirm their Parliamentary leader as the Prime Minister.

All this is news to a lot of Australians, who strangely believe they individually vote for the Prime Minister. However, that is a topic for another day…

It is however the reason I’m particularly interested in local political news just at the moment. Far more so than firearm laws in other countries, the outcome of the September election will have a great impact on weather we succeed in implementing a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in this country, or not. It does seem to be one of those things which will either ramp up from its’ current situation – or fade into obscurity should the Liberal party come to power (nearly inevitably, for at least two parliamentary terms).

This scheme should be of significant interest to all Australian residents. However, without a Labor government, it will be doomed to the scrap-bucket of “good ideas of the deposed Governments of the day.

Huh? Two for two. I’m still distracted, from this news article where the alternative Prime Minister of Australia proclaims that his party will “always speak with an Australian accent.” Given the multicultural makeup of Australia, and the portion of Australian residents and citizens who are either migrants, or children of migrants… I’m not sure if this is a great statement, founded on patriotism, misplaced pride, or just ignorance that a great chunk of Liberal voters are themselves actually first generation Australians who are successful businesspeople in their own right?

Capital idea

After somewhat of a break, I find myself back in Canberra.

My work here resumed part way through last week. My break was longer than I had hoped for, but not quite excessively so.

My kids have returned to school.

My wife is looking to broader opportunities at work.

My work… well, it’s mayhem.

I’m at a bit of a stage where I am rethinking the frequency of my blogging. There was a definite stage there where it felt a chore not a means of reaching out, communicating or expression of my thoughts and feelings.

I’ve been very interesting in following #Auspol on twitter since Julia Gillard announced the impending Australian Federal election which is due in September this year. This seems directly related to the mayhem at work. I’m a bit sick of hearing about Modern Families. Great TV show, I’m hoping it disappears as a slogan, though.

So, while I’m back… I dunno if it’s “blog a day” back, but yep… I’m back.


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