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Retired from some 20 years in various I.T. Roles. Now busy with a self induced learning and study regime.

Colour blindness

By msweb · September 15, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


People who are colour blind usually have difficulty with the colours green, yellow, orange and red. Colour blindness is inherited and is caused by a lack of specific colour-sensitive cells in the eye. More boys than girls are affected.

People who are colour blind can’t see some colours or see them differently from other people. Colour blindness is inherited, affecting more boys than girls. Out of 20 boys, it is likely that one or two will have a colour vision problem.

The term ‘colour blindness’ is misleading. People who can’t see all colours can still see things (other than colour) as clearly as people who are not colour blind. Very few people who are colour blind are blind to all colours. The usual colours that people have difficulty with are greens, yellows, oranges and reds.

The signs that your child may be colour blind include:

* Difficulties recognising and identifying different colours beyond the age of around four years
* Inability to separate things by their colour.

Special eye cells
All the cells and nerve pathways in the eye and brain are present from birth. In the retina, at the back of the eye, there are two types of cells:

* Rod cells – these are sensitive to light, but they do not see different colours. We use rod cells to see things around us at night, but only in shades of black, grey and white.
* Cone cells – these react to brighter light and help us to see detail in objects. They also pick up colours. There are three types of cone cell, which pick up red, green and blue light respectively. By combining the messages from each set of cone cells, we get the wide range of colours that we normally see. Someone who is colour blind lacks one or more of these types of cone cells.

Colour blindness is inherited
Red–green colour blindness is usually inherited. It occurs in about 8 per cent of males and only about 0.4 per cent of females. This is because the genes that lead to red–green colour blindness are on the X chromosome. Males have only one X chromosome and females have two. The son of a woman who carries the gene has a 50 per cent chance of being colour blind. The mother is not herself colour blind because the gene is recessive. That means that its effect is suppressed by her matching dominant normal gene. A daughter will not normally be colour blind, unless her mother is a carrier and her father is colour blind.

Only five per cent of people who are colour blind have blue colour blindness. This is equal in males and females, because the genes for it are located on a different chromosome. However, colour blindness is not always inherited. It can also be due to a change in the chromosome during development.

Everyday problems
Many tasks that we do each day rely on us being able to separate things by their colour. There are varying degrees of colour defect and the degree of intensity of the light and nearness of the object will also affect this ability. If people are not able to see the difference in colour, they have to rely on other differences which may be harder to pick. For example, a person may only be able to tell red and green traffic lights apart by their position (red above green). On a dark, wet night, this may be difficult to do.

Many people with red–green colour blindness will be able to get a car driver’s licence, but may not qualify for a commercial driver’s licence or they may have restrictions which mean they cannot drive at night. Certain occupations, such as airline pilots, demand that their workers must have normal colour vision. Some other occupational groups will not allow a worker who is colour blind to do certain work – for example, where wiring or warning lights are colour coded.

Vision tests
If a lot of tasks at school are colour coded, children with colour vision problems may develop learning difficulties. It is often recommended that all children, especially boys, have a routine colour vision check while in the early years of school. Colour vision testing can be done by ophthalmologists (eye specialists) and optometrists, using specially designed charts. Some school health services will also be able to test children’s colour vision.

After a problem is found, further testing might be needed to tell just exactly what the problem is, because this will affect whether the person will be able to do certain jobs or be able to get certain types of driving licences.

There is generally no treatment to cure colour blindness. However, certain types of tinted filters and contact lenses may help an individual to distinguish different colors better. Optometrists can supply a singular red-tint contact lens to wear on the dominant eye. This may enable the wearer to pass some colour blindness tests, but they have little practical use.

Where to get help

* Your doctor
* Ophthalmologist
* Optometrist

Things to remember

* People who are colour blind usually have difficulty with the colours green, yellow, orange and red.
* Colour blindness is usually inherited and affects more boys than girls.
* Colour blindness is caused by a lack of particular colour-sensitive cells in the back of the eye.

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9 Secret Ways to Persuade and Influence People

By msweb · September 14, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Persuasiveness is one of the most important skills anyone can learn because it is useful in countless situations. At work, at home, and in your social life, the ability to be persuasive and influence others can be instrumental for achieving goals and being happy.

Learning about the tricks of persuasion can also give you insight into when they’re being used on you. The biggest benefit of this is that money will stay in your pockets as you realize just how sales people and advertisers sell you products that you don’t necessarily need.

Here are 9 of the best tricks to be persuasive and influence others:


Framing is a technique often used in politics. A popular example of framing is inheritance taxes. Politicians who are opposed to inheritance taxes will call them death taxes. By using the word death instead of inheritance, all kinds of negative connotations come to mind.

Framing is quite subtle, but by using emotionally charged words, like death, you can easily persuade people to your point of view.


Mirroring someone is when you mimic their movements. The movement can be virtually anything, but some obvious ones are hand gestures, leaning forward or away, or various head and arm movements. We all do this unconsciously, and if you pay attention you’ll probably notice yourself doing it, I know I have.

How to mirror someone is self explanatory, but a few key things to remember are to be subtle about it and leave a delay between the other person’s movement and your mirroring, 2-4 seconds works best.


This is one that advertisers use a lot. Opportunities, whatever they are, seem a lot more appealing when there is a limited availability.

This can be useful to the average person in the right situation, but even more importantly, this is a method of persuasion to be aware of. Stop and consider how much you’re being influenced by the fact that a product is scarce. If the product is scarce, there must be a ton of demand for it right?


It’s the old saying, “Do unto others…”. When someone does something for us, we feel compelled to return the favor. So, if you want someone to do something nice for you, why not do something nice for them first. In a business setting, maybe you pass them a lead. If at home, maybe it’s you letting the neighbor borrow the lawn mower. It doesn’t matter where or when you do it, the key is to compliment the relationship.


People are more likely to be agreeable and submissive when they’re mentally fatigued. Before you ask someone for something they might not be quick to agree to, try waiting until a more opportune time when they’ve just done something mentally taxing. This could be at the end of the work day when you catch a co-worker on their way out the door. Whatever you ask, a likely response is, “I’ll take care of it tomorrow.”


We all try, subconsciously, to be consistent with previous actions. One great example is a technique used by salespeople. A salesperson will shake your hand as he is negotiating with you. In most peoples minds, a handshake equates to a closed deal, and so by doing this before the deal is reached, the salesperson is much more likely to negotiate you in to a closed deal.

A good way to use this yourself is to get people acting before they make up their minds. If, for example, you were out and about with a friend and you wanted to go see a movie but the friend was undecided, you could start walking in the direction of the theater while they make up their mind.

Fluid Speech

When we talk, we often use little interjections and hesitant phrases such as “ummm” or “I mean” and of course there is the ubiquitous “like”. These little conversation quirks have the unintended effect of making us seem less confident and sure of ourselves, and thus less persuasive.

If you’re confident in your speech, others will be more easily persuaded by what you have to say.

Herd Behavior

We are all natural born followers. It’s sad but true. We constantly look to those around us to determine our actions; we have the need for acceptance.

A simple, effective way to use this to your advantage is to be a leader, let the herd follow you.

Friends and Authorities

We are far more likely to follow or be persuaded by someone we like or by someone who is in an authority position. Not only is this a good one to be aware of to combat persuasive techniques being used on you, it’s also a good one to use on others because you would be surprised how easy it is to get people to like you and establish authority within groups.

Give some of these ideas a shot and let us know if you are suddenly selling more, having more favors done for you, or becoming a master of delegation and persuasion at work!

Stuart M. Stuart blogs at Improved Lives and is a recent university graduate and a writer who has always had a passion for learning about how psychology can be beneficial in day to day life.

Hubpages Link

By msweb · September 13, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

How to Improve Hubs - HubPages Tutorials and Community - HubPages.com

Various Links to completed works.

By msweb · September 13, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

'Browser' back key will return here.
Lunch with FBI Most Wanted. ..
Working for Netscape Australia. ..
Winning a Global Supply contract. ..
Australian Federal Government. Backbone Migration. ..
Australian Automotive Network Exchange. 'AANX' ..
Royal Australian Airforce 'Logistics Command'. ..
Securing Australian distribution rights to 'Dataease'. ..
Development of W.P.S.M.S. for Telecom Australia. ..
Creation & operation of 'Aussie Seafoods'. ..

Chinese Name

By msweb · September 13, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

ao2 pu3 tian2

Surname (first character)

* Ao

Given Name (middle character)

* Pu

* simple, unadorned; sincere

Given Name (last character):

* tian
* quiet, calm, tranquil, peaceful

You were born in the Year of the Dog

Why is the zodiac sign different than I expected?

Why do I keep getting different names?

Hello, Peter Anderson-Black! Above is the Chinese name which was "inspired" by your English name. Chinese uses characters rather than an alphabet, so names cannot be directly translated from English to Chinese. However, Chinese characters can be chosen which approximate the English pronounciation, which is what this program does.

Chinese names generally have 3 characters. The surname, which is usually 1 character, comes first. Next are one or two characters which are chosen by the parents (or the grandparents in traditional Chinese culture). This program chooses the surname and given names according to the spelling of your name and the characteristics you choose. The selection is not unique though. Everytime you use this tool, you will likely get a different name. So if you don't like the first name you get, try again.

This page is mostly created for entertainment. Real Chinese names should be chosen by someone who knows the nuances of Chinese language and culture. Ask a native speaker if you want a Chinese name you will actually use. Also, this tool will not translate Chinese names written in English back to their original Chinese form.

If you came to this page directly, you might also enjoy visiting some of my other tools for learning and using Chinese. Please visit my guestbook if you have comments or questions about this tool.

Late Night Transfer Starter Thread...

By msweb · September 13, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I have lived in the inner and outer suburbs, in Geelong and in numerous Melbourne suburbs, north, south, east & west, in small houses, large houses, new and old, in the country (on 300 acres at Lancefield), Interstate (Queensland Gold Coast, Salisbury - Adelaide), and on a plane or an airport lounge and at various interstate Hotels and Motels when on 'project', & out of a suitcase.

Using this as a baseline, Melbourne is a great place to live.


Underware, Underwear?

Social connections saw many memories added to the bank. Only some are for General Consumption, some are not covered here. I have had the fortune, or mis-fortune to see both categories up close (Underware and Underwear).

Underwear: Knickers, Panties, G-String.
Underware: Information Technology related. Something low down the ISO Model. hardware, software, middleware, underware...

On the assumption anything above the line is something other than underware, I have worked with Hardware as the focus of speciality, and software from a distribution and, or solution development focus at different times.

I worked in I.T. during the days and traveled regularly for a few years. I was a wannabe, worked hard and enjoyed the journey. In many respects, things were good. Job at Netscape HQ Melbourne at Launch, when they were cool. Company car (leased), Expense Account, Entertainment Allowance (Meals, Shows, Events,,), Company 'standard and regular driver', Five Star Tastes and Budget. ....

Underwear: 'Circumstances' saw me as the appointed 'panty catcher' at several "shows". — of the strip variety.

some History of local kyokushin

By msweb · September 13, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Profile Of

Shihan John Taylor

1963 Commenced training under Paul Harris.

1967 Trained under Sensei Shigero Kato Was graded to Shodan

1968 Became the Instructor of the dojo in Pitt Street Sydney

Organsised the first full-contact Championships in Australia, which was between Australia and New Zealand and was a Member of the winning Australian Team.

Graded Nidan

1970 Travelled to Japan for training at Honbu and according to official Honbu records and the Uchi Dechi certificate he trained in Japan for 395 days.

Recieved a special certificate from Sosai Oyama for attending the a record amount of classes.

This was considered to be the golden age for Kyokushin, in the same class was Teruto Yamaki, the first All Kyokushin Japan Champion. Also training at Honbu at this time was Diago Oishi, Hatsuo Royama, Higashidani, K atuaki Sato and Takashi Azuma. All went on to become members of the Japanese team at the first World Kyokushin Championships

During this time a kickboxer challenged the Kyokushin Honbu to provide someone for a no-rules full-contact fight. Kancho instructed John Taylor to accept the challenge, which he won.

1971 Graded to Sandan. The requirement for the grading apart from the technical aspects of kihon, Edogeiko and kata, was to do a handstand on two fingers (each hand) be able to kick at least one of the hanging tennis balls with tobi ushero mawashi geri and then to fight the whole black belt class.

Returned from Japan.

1974 Returned to Japan and trained for three months accompanied by Peter Wolfe

Graded to Yondan

1975 Started the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association. The original meeting of the AKKA was attended by Gary Viccars, Grant Rodonich, Peter Wolfe and Trevor Field

1977 Organised the first National Full-contact Championships. This event was attended by Sosai Oyama, which was the first visit to Australia Sosai Oyama. He was accompanied by Daigo Oishi and Takashi Azuma.

1978 Graded to Godan

1979 Was appointed the South Pacific Chairman

1980 At the Australian Kyokushin Open Full-contact Championships held on the Gold Coast which was attended by Kancho Oyama. John Taylor did the first baseball bat break with his shin in Australia.

1982 Travelled to Taupo, New Zealand as the Chairman of the South Pacific to establish the official New Zealand Kyokushin Karate Organisation. Among those in attendance at the meeting were Solomon Purcell, Rob Begbei, Bob McCallum and Alex Terris.

1982 Graded to Rokudan in

1986 Graded to Nanadan

1988 Organised the First Kyokushin Commonwealth Championships. The event was held at the Sydney Town Hall and was attended by 16 countries

E-Mail Shihan Taylor

Profile on

Shihan Gary Viccars

Born in 1946

1967 Commenced trainingand began training in Kyokushin Karate at the dojo of Bill Paauw in Little Ryrie St, Geelong. That dojo produced some very high profile karate-ka including Brian Ellison, Mervyn Nelis (now head of Seido Karate in Australia), Brian Cole, Peter Volke, Mick Varker and Ritchie Saunders. Who would have guessed that nearly 30 years later Gary is still training in the same style and that he would rise to be one of the most prominent Kyokushin Karate instructors in Australia.

1970 Gary has been teaching Kyokushin Karate when he opened his first dojo at Ocean Grove as a green belt. He gained shodan in 1973, nidan in 1975, sandan in 1979, yondan in 1983 and in 1989 he and Nick Cujic became the first Australians to ever physically undergo a test for godan in Australia.

1970 Was a member of the Geelong team that won the first ever Victorian Kyokushin Teams Championship and thus began a very distinguished tournament career that spanned the decade, both in knockdown and point system. Shihan represented Victoria a total of 8 times.

Was a member of the first ever Victorian team to win an Australian F.A.K.O. Teams title (Perth 1977) as well as placing in the top 4 heavyweights in Australian knockdown in 1977 and 1978. In addition, Shihan Gary has always been recognized as one of Kyokushinkai's best breaking technicians. He, together with Rowan Stephens and John Klose, once demolished a total of 300 cement tiles in 28 seconds. He was also one of the first in Australia to perform the baseball bat break with a shin kick.

Represent Australia at the second World Kyokushin Championships in 1979. He had also been selected in the Australian F.A.K.O. team for the 1977 W.U.K.O. Championships. Thus he is one of the very few people to have ever been selected to represent Australia in both Knockdown and point system.

1986 Shihan Gary completed the 50 man kumite test also completed the test were, Jim Phillips, Tony Bowden and Luke Grgurevic. Tom Levar is the only other Australian (so far) to later duplicate this feat. Gary's achievement was all the more remarkable as he was 39 years of age at the time of the test.

1979 Gary used his trip to the World tournament to stay in Japan for training and became the first Geelong person to do so. He trained with Sosai Mas.Oyama 3 times a week plus many of the other Kyokushin legends. He also completed the notorious Kyokushin winter camp (his leader at this camp was none other than Akiyoshi Matsui) . Thus he is one of the few to have gained that indepth insight into Kyokushin Karate by living and training daily in Japan and personally training with Sosai over an extended period.

Upon his return to Australia in 1980 he decided to become actively involved in judging and refereeing and rose to be an International referee during the next decade. He has officiated at many International Kyokushin events.

His dojo in Geelong has always been a stronghold of Kyokushin Karate in Victoria and he has produced many fine karate-ka. He opened a full time dojo at The Arena which was described as one of the best Kyokushin dojo in the World. Unfortunately the building went into receivership and Gary had to shift. His dojo at the Geelong Y.M.C.A. has been operating since 1987 and has the highest instructor base of any Kyokushin dojo in Australia ( 1 Rokudan, 2 yondans, 1 sandan and 2 nidans all training in the 1 dojo).

Recently he has expanded his dojo base and now has 4 dojo in Geelong all linked together by the Y.M.C.A.

1993 Sosai appointed Gary as a Branch Chief and since that time he has worked to develop his branch. Shihan Gary has dojo is Victoria and Tasmania.

Upon Sosai's death Shihan Gary chose to align with the Japanese Branch Chief group and he hosted that group's Australian Championships in 1996. However, the union was not a happy one and Shihan Viccars joined the group headed by Shihan Nobuhito Tezuka 8th Dan, Shihan Yoshikazu Matsushima 7th Dan and Shihan Hiroshi Masuda 7th Dan, in November, 1996.

At that time a South Pacific Organization was formed and Shihan Gary was elected as the Secretary as well as becoming the Technical Director for Australia.

In June 1997 Shihan Gary was graded to 6th Dan, thus joining the elite of Kyokushin instructors in the World. Among the tributes and congratulations he received was one from Shihan Trevor Field 5th Dan. Shihan Field in not a member of the Tezuka group but had this to say:

"Of all the people I have known or trained with over the past 27 years I don't know of any who has contributed so much, asked for so little, or worked harder for the advancement of Kyokushin Karate. My heart felt congratulations go out to you, it is a reward justly deserved and I know that you will wear it with the dignity, respect and honour befitting this high rank. It is no less than you deserve."

Shihan Trevor Field - 18th June, 1997


Watching California's Newspapers Line Up .....

By msweb · September 12, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Watching California's Newspapers Line Up Against Legalizing the Pot That 90% of Their Employees Have Smoked


Clear thinkingI'm going to keep a running tally of my former newspaper editorial board bretheren lining up in lockstep against California's landmark legalization initiative, Prop. 19. So that you don't have to wade through all 450 words of each bad argument, I'll boil 'em down to their essentials:

Newspaper: Riverside Press-Enterprise
Sophomoric pot joke: "clouds complex policy issues in a smoky haze of uncertainty"
We-don't-necessarily-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: "Many Californians have valid questions about current marijuana policy, with respect to both resources and results. But any change in strategy should come from the federal government, which sets drug policy, and not the state."
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "The measure's vague language would result in endless litigation, and put state and federal drug laws in confusing conflict."
Bonus random statism: "Prop. 19 would also put the state at risk of violating federal drug-free workplace rules, jeopardizing federal contracts with California businesses and federal funding for schools and other public services."

Newspaper: North County Times
Sophomoric pot joke: "Keep a lid on the pot"
We-don't-necessarily-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: "While there are good, reasonable arguments to be made in favor of Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana for personal use and allow counties to legalize it entirely, it strikes us that the potential harm from legalizing pot far outweighs any good it might accomplish."
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "The policies in place now are reasonable and prudent."
Bonus random statism: "we support the current state policy of classifying marijuana use as a low-grade crime and of allowing its use for those whose doctors suggest it for legitimate medical reasons -- and coupling that to increased education about the risks of marijuana use, similar to public education campaigns regarding alcohol and tobacco use."


Newspaper: Contra Costa Times
Sophomoric pot joke: n/a
We-don't-necessarily-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: "Clearly prohibition against it has been a failure as was prohibition against alcohol. When there is a huge market of millions of people for a product, prohibition inevitably leads to a criminal market to fulfill the demand."
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "If California should legalize marijuana, it could create a conflict with federal agencies, which could then take over enforcement of marijuana laws and reduce state and local control and flexibility in applying marijuana laws and in setting penalties."
Bonus random statism: "Prop. 19 would create a major conflict with the federal government that could result in considerable confusion and perhaps a loss of federal funding for drug treatment programs, for example."

Newspaper: Gilroy Dispatch
Sophomoric pot joke: "voters should make sure Proposition 19...goes up in smoke this November."
We-don't-necessarily-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: n/a
Legal confusion is worse than criminalizing non-violent personal activity: "The point is there's no compelling reason to legalize the drug for recreational use."
Nine decades is not enough–we need more time!: "Our society really doesn't need to legalize another drug that involves such serious debate on health issues. The questions about whether or not marijuana use leads to heavier drug use don't have to be answered definitively. That debate rages on."

Newspaper: Desert Sun
Sophomoric pot joke: "a dopey idea"
We-don't-necessarily-like-the-Drug-War-either-but: n/a
WTF: "And it can hurt your heart. 'Marijuana increases heart rate by 20 percent to 100 percent shortly after smoking.'"
Bonus random statism: "We also wonder how neighboring states would react. Would there be checkpoints at every road into Arizona, Nevada and Oregon? Would the federal government withhold funding?"

I'm currently unaware of any California newspaper editorializing in favor of allowing cities to allow their residents to put a comparatively harmless substance in their bodies without fear of potentially life-altering government sanction (please list any/all editorials in the comments). While this is all tawdry and shameful, it strengthens my irrational hope for a May 2009-style citizen revolt against one of the country's most disgraceful political classes.

ya gotta Eat!

By msweb · September 12, 2010 · 0 Comments ·
ore about cfds? We can help. Learn More


Whether you fancy tea and toast, coffee and cake, or a smoothie and a salad, there's a Melbourne cafe that can do it brilliantly. M food critic Dani Valent reveals the best of the best.

Melbourne has never had better coffee, more interesting cafe food or such cool places to consume it.

If you have $20, half an hour and this guide pinned to the fridge, there's no excuse not to eat and drink well in this town.

Best breakfasts

Bring a hangover and an empty stomach to this sweet west-side cafe for the truly excellent big breakfast. It includes eggs any which way, Cumberland sausage, rich house-made black pudding, double-smoked bacon, slow-roasted tomato and mushrooms on sourdough: everything is best in class. Package it up with tea, coffee or juice for $21.50. If you like your Duchess a little more edgy, consider the current special: morel mushrooms with white asparagus, smoked poached egg and crispy herbed semolina.

The clever ideas keep coming at St Ali. Latest and greatest on the breakfast list is Three Bears Full, a dedicated porridge menu with six options that you can mix and match with rice, soy and cow's milk. Try the Super Food with cashews, almonds, a scattering of seeds, sheep's milk yoghurt and leatherwood honey.

Small and perfectly formed with lofty ceilings, pretty hanging baskets and alluring food, Milkwood offers a new reason to ride the 96 tram to the end of the line. The cannellini bean, lemon and rosemary mash on toast is a gently sophisticated way to start a day swimmingly. I love the cheese on toast with house relish too (so simple, so good).

Super sandwiches

A crusty sourdough roll is filled with cheese, pastrami, avocado, tomato, lettuce and cucumber, and slathered with home-made mayo. It's cheap, it's tasty and you can listen to cool music while it's being assembled. What other reasons do you need to love lunch? Other reasons to swoon for La Paloma are the fab coffee, the tortillas and the churros, made here a couple of times a day but always snapped up quickly. Rock up around 10am to maximise your churros chances.

Unwrapping Christmas presents has nothing on peeling away the foil from this wonderful sandwich. Within the silver wrap is a warm roll fi lled with gorgeous roast chicken, skin and all, plus sage and onion stuffing, mayo, habanero chilli and just enough lettuce. It's crazy good. You won't have room but eat the hummingbird cake anyway: anything that brings a taste of the tropics to Melbourne is a winner.

Stopping off at Mr Tulk feels like justifi able skiving. Maybe it's because the library is just over yonder and, who knows, you might be about to head to a desk to write something brilliant. Meanwhile, there's the bolted-to-the-menu meatball toastie. Pork and veal mince is mixed with parmesan and breadcrumbs, balled up and braised in tomato sugo. The meatballs are then layered with mozzarella, basil and a bit more sugo, then squished and toasted to gooey gorgeousness. Want another option? Try chicken and silverbeet pie with Madeira sauce.

Sumptuous sweets

Next time you curse the Punt Road traffic, save a tiny barb for Babka: the caramelised pear cake is partly to blame. A sweet almond pastry case is filled with rum-spiked vanilla custard and caramelised lemon-and-cinnamon poached pears. It's the tart for which the phrase "worth crossing town" was coined. Melbourne cafes have  marched onward in the 18 years Babka has been baking but, whatever might be said about the cafe's patchy service and well-loved look, the food is reliably magnificent.

When you want chatter not clatter, consider this cafe with its fireplace, soft lights, upholstered chairs and warm, friendly feel. The food is organic and marvellously delicious. I'm still thinking about my lamb and vegetable soup with roasted beetroot. The orange almond cupcake with cream-cheese icing isn't complicated, but its balance of sweet and citrus is brilliantly judged.

As soon as you see the red-lipped pony overlooking this cafe, you know Snow Pony is a tearaway winner. First place in the cake selection goes to the chocolate meringue, swirled with chocolate ganache and a roster of different fruity accompaniments, including apricot and coconut, fig, and cherry and almond. For lunch, consider the luxurious smoked salmon salad with fried capers, apple and potato.

Portuguese custard tarts are terrific but why are they always so small? Juanita's is a Latin cafe that redresses the imbalance with its XL luscious tarts. The new Mexican dinner menu looks worth a shot too.

Beautiful beverages

Owner Harry Humphries uses Five Senses' Dark Horse blend to make punchy, smooth, sweet cafe lattes that set South Melbourne up for the day. Be warned, Humphries doesn't think his coffees have peaked yet - he's thinking of upgrading his espresso machine and "then we'll be super serious". Hungry? The Bircher muesli is excellent. Special mention to another South Melbourne standout, Dead Man Espresso (35 Market Street, 9686 2255).

An extreme approach to coffee signals the obsessive ethos of Proud Mary but a fine cup of joe is just the beginning. Air-freighted (and therefore fresh) single-estate tea is brewed at specific temperatures to bring out its best and served in stemless wine glasses for a crisp, clean taste.

Who knew it only cost $4 to feel so good? The housemade chai blend here is spicy, fragrant, sweet and warm. Plenty of cafes in Melbourne buy the Calmer Sutra blend but it's rarely made with as much love as in its cosy, quirky home base.

There's nothing wrong with the coffee or tea here but it's hard to go past the all-berry raspberry smoothie, the home-made lemonade and, especially, the ginger and kaffir lime "refresher" that's topped with soda water to make a spritzy drink that's hydrating and energising.

Serious style

A communal table fashioned from the old Northcote Bowl tenpin lanes and stools made from road-signs are part of the appeal at this hat factory-cum-charismatic cafe.

If you like a short back and sides with your short black, this is your next-gen gentleman's club, where tailoring and coiffing are on the menu alongside excellent coffee and elegant snacks. The interior blends the antique, arty and industrial to create a relaxed post-colonial hideout. Note: ladies are welcome.

An old bakery and sometime Pilates studio has been transformed into a magnet for Balaclava's best vibes. Suspended flower arrangements, scrubbed-back bricks and an old bootmakers’ bench-cum-communal table are part of the lovingly created aesthetic. The food is vegetarian; ask about the breakfast degustation.

Cute (court)yards

Olive and fetta tins are topped with neat red cushions or used as herb planter boxes to set the bright, homely tone at Demitri's, a cafe that puts a nifty Greek spin on great cafe food. The shady courtyard ain't exactly Santorini but it is a welcome pocket of urban calm.

Everything at the Estelle is stylish, from the teacups to the knitted meat decorating one wall, so it's no surprise the courtyard is lovely too. When the weather warms up, there'll be music on weekend afternoons to augment the pleasures of the Sunday spit-roast, plus outdoor degustation dinners.

The backyard at Jerry's has a sheltered marquee and a big fig tree shading a kids' play area complete with toys. Dogs on leads are welcome.

We have Wi-Fi

It's not just the coffee, darling, it's the Blondie, a dense, delicious white-choc and macadamia version of the classic sweet treat. Order one with an ace coffee and you'll fit right in with the laptoppers and iPadders.

No la-di-da, just rock-solid breakfasts and lunches at nice prices, year after year. The drinks are great too: I like the Snickers smoothie with banana, chocolate and peanut butter and the Clean Green juice with spinach, cucumber, celery and ginger. Sip and click: the bandwidth is free.

Smashing sandwiches and sugar hits to make you love life for at least the rest of the day: that's the recipe at Earl. Free Wi-Fi slam dunks a slick package.

Sensational stayers

A dozen years down the track, Melbourne's original hole-in-the-wall cafe is powering on with the tried and true.  If you thought you weren't a morning person, prove yourself wrong with a fortifying coffee and body-balancing toast at Wall. And if the sun isn't shining, Las Chicas (203 Carlisle Street, 9531 3699), just across the road, has more seats, a courtyard and an extensive breakfast menu: try baked beans with pumpkin and polenta loaf.

Chain up the bike, water the dog and sit down for a glam version of a classic salad. Kanteen's nicoise comes with pesto mayonnaise, green capsicum, spinach and a perfect poached egg.

Three decades of espresso, "ciao bella" and traditional Italian food is worth celebrating. Make mine a lasagne, followed by lemon ricotta cheesecake.

WC 2 - wip

By msweb · September 11, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

The Powered Wheelchair Training Guide

Written by Axelson P, Minkel J, Perr A, & Yamada D.

Illustrated by Clay Butler

Published by: PAX Press, a division of Beneficial Designs, Inc., Santa Cruz, California

One change to your wheelchair usually affects the fit of all the other components, so be prepared to spend a fair amount of time setting up the seating and positioning within your wheelchair. Ideally, when adjusting your wheelchair, you should enlist the help of an assistive technology practitioner or supplier certified by RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America).

After each adjustment, test drive the wheelchair with assistance on ramps, different surfaces, and side slopes to make sure your mobility needs have been met. This can be done by driving the wheelchair onto a sloped surface or by physically tipping the wheelchair to its balance point in various directions.Extreme caution should be exercised using the help of multiple assistants. If your seating system is adjustable, the stability of your chair should also be checked with the seating system in all of its extreme positions.

Whenever you alter the setup of your wheelchair, check your forward, side-to-side, and rear stability with a spotter to make sure your wheelchair performs the way you would like.

The set up and adjustment of your wheelchair is a topic worthy of an entire book. There are many adjustments which you will probably refine over many years; others you will want to make throughout each day.

The seat surface angle can be adjusted on some wheelchairs. A forward sloping seat might cause you to slide forward. Raising the front edge of the seat creates a “bucket” between the back support and seat and closes the seat-to-back angle. If the seat back is reclined at the same time the front of the seat is tipped upward, and the seat-to-back angle stays the same, this is called “tilt-in-space.”

Several powered wheelchair frames allow seat angle adjustments. If the chair frame itself does not adjust, you can still adjust the seat surface angle by:

  • Adding a wedge to the seat base beneath the seat cushion
  • Purchasing a cushion that will angle the seat surface
  • Adding a solid seat with angle adjustable hardware

Your back support angle should provide a comfortable sitting posture while you are upright in the chair. The back angle should not cause you to curl your shoulders, hold your head forward for balance, or cause you to slide out of your seat.

The angle formed by the seat and the back support is called the seat-to-back angle. A seat-to-back angle greater than 90 degrees is often referred to as an “open angle,” while an angle smaller than 90 degrees is referred to as a “closed angle.” An open angle lets you use gravity to help balance your trunk. People with high spinal cord injuries who cannot flex well at the hips often use an open seat-to-back angle. However, an open angle can cause people to slide down in their chairs. If you have the flexibility, a closed angle cradles the body in the curve of the seat, holding you in place. A more open or closed angle can often reduce spasticity.


Though less critical than on manual wheelchairs, the distribution of weight carried between the drive wheels and the casters on a powered chair will influence the driving performance of the chair.Due to the weight of a powered chair, when attempting to traverse soft terrain like gravel or sand, the chair will tend to sink and the casters will get stuck.

When negotiating low obstacles, for example small curbs, the location of the drive wheels (front, mid, or rear) can make a difference.On a few powered wheelchairs, the actual mounting position of the drive wheels on the frame can be adjusted. Alternatively, some manufacturers allow for adjustment of the seat frame on the power base. Moving the entire seat forward or backward on the power base has the same effect as moving the drive wheel mounting position – to redistribute the weight between the drive wheels and the casters.

Front-Wheel Drive – For the most part, the drive wheels onfront-wheel drive chairs have a fixed mounting position on theframe. Frequently, the batteries will be positioned on the chair in such a way as to evenly distribute the weight on the frame, getting as much weight forward as possible. Because the casters are in the rear, one advantage to front-wheel drive chairs is the ability for you to just drive forward over obstacles. The larger drive wheels mounted in the front will not get “hung up,” but rather will drive right up and over an obstacle.

Mid-Wheel Drive – This style of chair is available in a wide number of configurations. If you are interested in a mid-wheel drive style chair, it is important to test drive the particular wheelchair model to understand what effect the setup of drive wheels and casters will have on the drive performance of the chair. The first thing to look at is the actual position of the drive wheel on the frame. There is some variation among manufacturers as to where the drive wheels are mounted to the power base, relative to the seat:

  • Directly under the seat
  • Slightly behind the mid-point of the seat (though forward of the back posts)

Check with your supplier or the manufacturer to determine if the position of the seat or the drive wheel can be adjusted slightly forward or backward.

A “true” mid-wheel driving wheel location may increase the “rocking”of the chair when you rapidly speed-up or come to a quick stop. If you look carefully, some mid-wheel drive chairs are actually six-wheeled chairs, with two drive wheels and four stabilizing wheels (usually two casters in front and two large anti-tip wheels in the rear).

Rear-Wheel Drive – Rear-wheel drive chairs most often have a fixed drive wheel mount. The position of the batteries and your weight when sitting in the chair naturally tend to increase the load on the rear wheels. In many rear-wheel drive chairs, the actual mounting of the drive wheels is behind the backpost of the seat (placing your center of gravity in front of the wheels). This rear placement of the drive wheel makes for a very stable configuration that is more difficult to “pop a wheelie” (lifting the front casters off the ground). A very stable configuration may give you security when negotiating ramps and inclines, but will make negotiating small obstacles very difficult.

Changing the drive wheel position or the position of the seat on the frame is a “heavy duty” adjustment and most often should be done by a qualified wheelchair service technician.

The arm support should be adjusted so the arms are not pulling down on the shoulders.Your elbows should be slightly forward of your shoulders when your arms are resting on the arm supports. The front-to-back position of the arm supports should allow the upper arm to slope forward slightly. Some people like to be able to pull their elbows back for stability on non-level surfaces. If your joystick is mounted on the arm support of the wheelchair, make sure you can reach it easily. When adjusting the arm support height on a wheelchair with power recline, make sure the arm support does not interfere with moving the back support from the completely reclined to fully upright position.

Your casters should be mounted on the frame so they are perpendicular to the ground. If they are not, your front casters may become afflicted with “shopping cart syndrome” and flutter when you drive your chair. This may also make it difficult to turn your wheelchair or change direction. Use a carpenter’s square to verify that the caster housing is perpendicular to the ground.

Due to the tendency of a mid-wheel drive chair to “rock,” there are smaller wheels mounted on the front and the back of the chair. Look carefully at these wheels. In most cases, one set will be allowed to swivel and will function as casters. The second set are fixed and will function as anti-tip devices. The position of the “caster wheels” and the “anti-tipper wheels” may be at the front or rear, depending on the specific wheelchair design.

Frequently, the “anti-tipper wheels” will have these adjustments:

  • Height off the ground
  • Tension of suspension

Height – The position of the anti-tip wheels off the ground will affect the amount of rocking you feel when you either accelerate rapidly or come to a quick stop. The closer the wheels are to the ground, the less rocking you will experience. However, the closer the wheels are to the ground, the greater the likelihood will be of getting “hung-up.” If the anti-tipper wheels are too close to the ground, when you drive off of a small threshold or through a curb ramp, you run the risk of having all the “little” wheels being on the ground, with the drive wheels being “suspended” in the air. With no drive wheels contacting the ground, you are stuck!

Suspension – In an attempt to reduce the likelihood of getting hung-up and to smooth out the “rocking” sensation, some models have suspension in the anti-tipper wheels. The spring in the suspension may be adjustable to match your weight and driving style. Other power base wheelchairs have suspension on the casters and the main drive wheels.

Much like any adjustment to the drive wheel position, changing the height or tension of the anti-tipper wheels is a “heavy-duty” adjustment.Working with a trained wheelchair technician can facilitate getting the adjustments made to meet your driving style.

Adjust your foot supports after you have your seat cushion, back support, and other positioning aids in place. Don’t forget to put your shoes on; sole height affects your leg positioning. Make sure you are seated upright against the back of the chair. When adjusting the foot supports, make sure you have:

  • A minimum clearance of 2 inches underneath the foot plates
  • Clearance for your knees under desks and tables

If you do not have enough foot or knee clearance, you might need to readjust your seat height. If your feet are supported at the correct height by your foot supports, your thighs should rest in a balanced manner on your cushion. Foot supports that are too high can lead to little or no weight under the thighs and excessive weight under your sitting bones, the ischial tuberosities.You might need to compromise on your knee height to get the desiredweight distribution on the seat cushion.

If your knees will not fit under a table, you can slip coasters or wooden blocks under the table legs to raise the table up higher.At a restaurant, it is possible to turn small plates upside down and slide them underneath each of the table legs. Make sure the table is secure and will not slip off the leg props.

To increase the foot support to ground clearance (raise yourself higher off the ground), you can adjust the seat up. Alternatively, you can increase the seat cushion thickness by adding a layer of
stiff foam or a solid insert under the seat cushion. If all of the wheels are vertically adjustable it may be possible to move all of the wheels lower to raise the seat height, or to raise all of the wheels to lower the seat height.

To lower your knee height and decrease ground clearance (lower yourself closer to the ground), you could decrease the thickness of the seat cushion only if appropriate.

Sometimes you can push your knees down as you pull forward underneath the table and your knees can spring back up under the table. If you try this, be sure that there is not too much pressure on the top of your legs from the edge of the table.

Swing-away foot supports permit you to get under some obstacles because one or both foot supports can be removed, allowing the feet to dangle and the knees to drop lower for maneuvering in tight quarters. If you do this, you will need to be very careful backing up from underneath the table. The casters can swing around and catch on your feet, potentially causing injury.

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Contact information:
RERC on Wheelchair Transportation Safety • Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
2310 Jane Street, Suite 1300 • University of Pittsburgh • Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2212
Telephone: 412.586-6908 • FAX: 412.586.6910 • TDD: 412.383.6598

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No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WheelchairNet and the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology.

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