MND afflicted wife is basically living on Up-and-Go

I have mentioned previously in a couple of posts that my wife has motor neuron disease (MND), or, for my American readers that would be amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

After some cursory tests it was suspected she might have MND back around January this year (2017). Now, some 10 months later with MND having been confirmed, she is basically unable to eat anything other than soft chicken in small pieces or eggs (as omelette, or boiled, or poached). She can't eat bread of any kind because it turns to a paste and she can't swallow it--ditto in most cases for pasta and potato (and anything made using potato). She can't eat anything that takes much chewing due to jaw muscle tiredness or strength. She can't drink anything that is too thin for fear of choking; so coffee and tea are out, as are thin soups, as is water. She can't eat anything that is lumpy that might cause her to choke or has skins that she cannot chew or swallow easily (such as tomato or beans).

So, with just about everything 'normal' now on the "can't fecking eat it" list, her main food has become Sanitarium's Up-and-Gowith two whole Weet-Bix in every drink

The following picture shows her supply for about a week.

Needless to say, Sanitarium are now making a small fortune out us.

All Ordinaries index FINALLY breaks the 6,000 line

All Ords at 6000.PNG

Three years later than it was originally forecast to, the Australia 'All Ordinaries' stock index has finally got over the 6,000 marker.

I know that there are a number of respected forecasters suggesting this is an aberration and that the index will likely fall back below this mark before Xmas; but just the fact it has finally made it 6,000 is great for those of us facing retirement in the not-too-distant future.

With most superannuation funds you will find that somewhere around fifty percent of the fund's investment will be in Australian stocks (with another 15 to 20 percent in overseas stocks). So everybody out there who has superannuation--which will be everybody who has a job or who has had a job--should be throwing a 6,000 Index Party about now.

On the downside, even at 6,000 the All Ordinaries index is still a whopping 828 points away from getting back to where it was before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit us back in 2007/2008. So, it has taken almost ten long years for the Australian index to claw back this far; and based on the current climb rate we can't expect to see the index finally get back to its pre-GFC level until about mid-2019. That's assuming we don't go to war with anyone in the meantime and the oft talked about 'second GFC ripple' does not come true.

I will just also point out that almost every other market index in the world made it back to their pre-GFC levels three or four years ago. I often wonder how it is that in that country that apparently made it through the GFC better than all the others--so the Labor government told us over and over at the time--has such an under-performing share market?

The Sony a7r Mk III—simply amazing

Last week Sony released their a7r Mk III full-frame mirror-less DSLR-like 42MP camera.

This camera is amazing. I want one!

I won't go into all the notes about this camera that make it amazing. You can find those at DPReview (see my sidebar) or any number of other camera sites, or in twenty of more Youtube video reviews, where all of the specifications of the camera can be found. I will just mention a few attributes that I found amazing.

It has 13 stops of dynamic range at 400 ISO. At 100 ISO it has 15 stops of dynamic range. This is very good for a full-frame 42MP camera. But I shoot mostly at 400 ISO these days and 13 stops of dynamic range at 400 ISO is head shaking.

It has a bigger battery. Sony claim the new battery allows for 500+ shots without recharge when shooting using the EVF, and over 600 shots if the rear LCD is used instead. However, test reports are indicating that far more frames are possible than the number in Sony's marketing data with one test photographer reporting 2,200 frames in RAW+jpg.

A Super Hi-Res 3.69M-dot Quad VGA OLED view finder.

And lastly, the a7r Mk III incorporates market leading in-camera five axis image stabilisation which Sony suggests is good enough for a full five extra stops.

The single biggest downside? In Australia just the body is going to cost the most part of $5,000. Probably about $4,999.

It doesn't have a built in GPS, and while some reviewers have made a big deal of this it does not bother me in the slightest.

Want to learn more about the a7r Mk III? Try the following sites:

Updated my 'Roads and Tracks' to the 2018 edition

I decided it was time to upgrade my old faithful 'Roads and Tracks of Western Australia' book. The edition I have is 2006.

The new 14th edition, labelled as the 2018 edition, has just recently been released. So my son and I sought out Map Central in Willetton, which was by no means an easy feet (they could certainly do with some more obvious street-facing branding—we drove past them twice), and I purchased the latest version.

I have already spent the better part of two hours going over the maps while sipping on some Jim Beam bourbon. Just looking at all the places in the south-west quadrant of Western Australia that I have not been to.

It makes you want to hop in the car and just start driving; and go to all those places you haven't been to just to see what is there and what needs photographing.