Pawgust 2018

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This August, Mayo (also known as “dog” on Twitter), Richard (also known as “partner”) and I are taking part in PAWGUST 2018 on behalf of Guide Dogs Australia. During the month of August, we will be walking at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days (that’s roughly 2km every day) to raise vital funds for Guide Dogs and support their puppies currently in training.

Oh. Yeah. This blog hasn’t been updated in forever. There was never mentioning of our buying a house, getting engaged, adopting a dog, growing older but not growing up and so on, huh. Well, there you go. We bought a house in Sydney and went into 30 years of debt, got engaged and are set to marry at the end of the year, and adopted my now-8-years-old, made-to-order, dream female Siberian Husky from the shelter.

Pawgust Selfie

Pawgust Selfie: Mayo really isn’t a fan of the camera

So anyway, this August, my dream dog best puppo ever Mayo and I will be walking 30 minutes a day for 30 days. Pawgust made a whole deal about it being in winter and dogs getting extra walk and all that, but truthfully, both my winter dog and I prefer the cooler season, and she on average already gets 45 minutes a brisk walk a day (two walks on Saturdays). The only effort I’m making is posting adorable-if-I-do-say-so-myself pup pics and asking for donations.

I imagine the donation page will go down some time after the event, so this is the blog post for archive of said adorable pup pics.

But there’s still time to support us! To do so, please visit our Pawgust page and follow the steps! You can remain anonymous and any donation above $2 is tax deductible. Even a few dollars help!

All in Vein

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Alternative post title: The Day I Decided to Become a Plasma Donor.

In school, they taught us all the things about blood type compatibility; about antigens on the surface of red blood cells, anti-A / anti-B antibodies, Rh positive / negative, phenotype and genotype, how O- is the universal blood donor, AB+ the universal acceptor, so on and so forth.

My mother was the one who first brought me to a donation centre to donate blood, and over time, helping others via donating blood became my own passion. I’ve been a regular whole blood donor for a while, and donated every 3 months except during the period when I was iron deficient (I was donating regularly and restricting food at the same time; long story). Donors don’t get financially compensated in Australia, but the knowledge that my blood could save three lives, as Red Cross heavily promotes, was enough.

My blood donation centre of choice was the mobile centre near work. They would appear every 3 months, and because my boss also supported the idea, I could often pop out during work for a quick donation. Every time the staff at the mobile centre would make me feel like I was doing the right thing. They would thank me like they personally and directly benefit from my deed.

Blood Donation Jul 2015: Last Whole Blood Donation

Blood Donation Jul 2015: Quite possibly the last whole blood donation

Today, something changed. The finger pricking was done on a painful part of the fingertip. It bruised. Two staff frowned at me and asked if I’d made an appointment (I did), both at interview and the donation chair, and told me they wouldn’t normally take my blood type. They completed the procedure and hurried me along. It was as though I was wasting their time.

I was fully aware of the fact that my AB+ blood is only useful for the also AB+ population, the only ones who could take the blood type transfusion without ill effects. But it was only then, today, a staff handed me a brochure about plasma donation. People with AB+ blood are universal blood recipients because we don’t have anti-A and anti-B antibodies to react to the antigens that may be present on the red blood cells in other blood types, and for the exact reason our plasma has the opposite effect: AB plasma doesn’t contain anti-A and anti-B antibodies and can therefore be received by all blood types. So essentially by donating my full blood the whole time I’ve been wasting their time, my time, and my red blood cells.

ABO Blood Type

ABO Blood Type from the Wikipedia article

I was never taught anything other than blood transfusion in school; the theory was all there but I just never made the connection. Even Mum didn’t seem to know about the “opposite” compatibility until I told her for the first time. In some obscure way, I feel slightly more humble today realising that I apparently could only take AB plasma and nothing else.

But Red Cross really, really has to promote plasma and platelet donations as much as they do whole blood.

I suppose it is more effective to sell one message at a time. I suppose “save 3 lives” is less complicated a message than “make 17 life-saving products”. I suppose most people’s whole blood is far more useful than my own, which I only share with 3% of the world population. I suppose one of the criteria for plasma donation is having successfully donated full blood at least once within the last 2 years. I don’t condone making a donor feel unwelcome (it probably wasn’t even their intention), but I suppose it all worked out in the end.

From the next donation on, I’ll be giving my universally accepted AB plasma. It’s a much longer procedure and one that cannot be done at a mobile donation site, but helping other less fortunate, donating what I can, is my passion.

Today is the day I decided to become a plasma donor.

A Flash in the Pan

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“How much is in a serving size? Watch how much food you eat with these easy-to-remember references from everyday life.”

Easy Way to Estimate Shotgun Shell Size

“How much is in a serving size? Watch how much food you eat with these easy-to-remember references from everyday life.”

Ah, so a typical shotgun shell is about the same size as a 28g sausage. And now the non-gun owning population of the world knows. #Murica rolleyes

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

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On our way to Cairns! All business for colleague and good friend; half business half pleasure for me; all pleasure for Richard.

Cairns Trip Flight Selfie

Vickie, Richard and Ali

See food in Cairns! See you in Cairns, I mean!

Cairns Trip Flight Selfie

No individual entertainment system for this short-haul flight. I guess I’ll actually have to talk to people. The things they made me do!

Excuse Me Waiter, Is That Meat Quail or Dog?

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I’ve had an account on Eatability for a while but never got into it, because the site just didn’t quite have the same appeal to me as a blogger as Urbanspoon (soon to be Zomato). I randomly logged in after a million years to its new site design and review categories, and the first thing that came up on my profile was a review blurb I wrote for a French restaurant last year.

Eatability Censorship: Roasted Quail B******

Roasted Quail B… What?

I really don’t remember ordering Roasted Quail Bitches for dinner…

Oh. Breasts. What a dirty word. rolleyes

What a Pain in the Neck

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We’ve been taking so many pictures together seated, sometimes I forget how tall he really is…

Grandpa, Grandma, Vickie and Richard

Grandpa, Grandma, me, and some guy whose head got chopped off by the album thumbnail (sometimes also known as Richard)

I’m actually slightly above average height for an Australian woman!

PCEHR, IHI, Insert Acronyms

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Saw the news ticker “New e-health system to see all Australians given electronic health record” on TV this morning, which of course piqued my interest as it’s only something I spent 2 full-time years that my parents paid exorbitant international postgraduate fees on. How many of you have heard of the term PCEHR? How many of you know that you have long been assigned an IHI? How many of you have actually set up, logged in and used the existing national e-health system? I have, I have, and I have, but only because I studied and am actually working in my field, and actively pay attention to the development.

The new e-health system is an opt-out, I heard, but I have a feeling it’s going to be the same fail implementation that no-one but healthcare practitioners would use. Can’t fully blame the government for not promoting it properly, though; most people really just don’t care.

I Donated Blood, Apr 2015!

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It’s been half a year since I last donated blood! I didn’t go in January because I thought my body would appreciate a break after my Japan ski trip.

A friend asked what my motivation for regulation donation was. I honestly don’t know. It just seems like the right thing to do. smile

Ross Noble – Tangentleman

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Ross Noble was as chill, random and tangential tonight at his Tangentleman show at Enmore Theatre as he’s over the radio, when we discovered his Australia tour (which was also the first time I’d heard of him as I don’t pay attention to stand-up comedies). Loved the audience interaction throughout.

Ross Noble - Tangentleman (Sydney)

Selfie at the Ross Noble – Tangentleman Sydney show, for great justice

I preferred the first half of the show; Richard preferred the last with more pop culture references. I’m very particular about humour (filthy jokes = okay; child abuse and rape jokes = no), and I think this show passed! A great way to end a hump day! smile