Happy Australia Day, 2018

australian-flags

Australia is not without its problems, but it is still a great a country.

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Nobody talked me down…

I’ve had a mini break from writing (dangerous, I know). But it’s been a time of enjoyment and productivity (albeit in other areas), so I don’t regret it.

Firstly since no one talked me down, I’ve been doing some coding in Java. It’s not a writing program yet but the framework to support it (at about 75% completion, to pull a number from the sky). And while I’m making up numbers let’s also say its a thousand percent under budget. (Speaking of budgets – the Australian budget is out tonight and here’s an excellent article on the immorality of spending the next generation(s) money). But I digress…

For my framework I’ve gone with what’s called an internal frame application because it allows maximum flexibility to the user. You can stretch the application over multiple monitors and position and size any number of internal windows to your preferences.

Writing Framework1

Each window can then have any number of panels added to it. (For example a writing panel, a character attributes panel, a todo panel…)

On other matters I’ve also been enjoying more time in the kitchen, having fun preparing a few more meals. (This gives both me enjoyment and my beautiful wife a break: wins-all round).

But now that I have some feedback from my beta readers it’s time to get back to writing and Vengeance Will Come. My next few posts I plan on writing about how I work through those beta reader comments.

The War that we Need to Win

Today on ANZAC Day Australia remembers those who die, and serve, to protect the freedoms which have made our country great. We remember every son, daughter, mother, father, husband, wife… Each fallen hero represents a hole that was made in the intricate web of society.

I think especially of those haunted by the horrors of war, or those for whom the pang of loss are still fresh, deep and treacherous. Thank you for your service or the service of your loved ones. Thank you for paying all that it cost. May we always remember and honour them, the living and the dead, always. May we remember those they left behind, and do our best to ensure that as we were protected, so we protect. As they kept our families safe, may we do likewise.

It’s time that Australia wins a war, the silent war of attrition against returning veterans. More resources need to be put into medical provision.

In 2016 the former Chief of Army Peter Leahy said,

“The number of suicides and the incidence of despair, depression and broken lives among our veteran community is a national shame.”

A recent study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that 80% found that 80% of current ADF members described their experience of those [suicide] services as fair, good, very good or excellent. (Note current members; the suicide rate for former members is 13% higher). Note also that means 20% of the survey respondents found it less than fair.

We should not ask so much of our men and women, and then penny-pinch to stop them getting the help they need. We should not ask them to brutalise their minds and bodies, and then expect them to jump through hoops to get the medical support they need.

I am all for budget-repair as a priority, but let’s not take the money off of those who have earned it. Find some other lower hanging fruit, there’s plenty out there.

Happy Australia Day!

I do not wear rose-coloured glasses; I can see that Australia faces many challenges, current and future.

Still, it is one of the best countries in the world. To all who call Australia home, rejoice!

Writing

Today I’m busy editing, having just 5 days left of my goal of trying to finish the revision of Vengeance Will Come by the end of January.

As part of my research I came across this excellent image. The vastness of space blows my mind.

Orbitalaltitudes.jpg
Image made by Rranaknishu and published on Wikipedia

There is so much about the universe we still don’t understand; most of which I find fascinating (even if I can’t really understand it myself).

ANZAC Day 2016

The ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) tradition, celebrated on April 26th each year, goes beyond just the bloody and failed landing at Gallipoli in 1915. It is a day where the country honours all Australians who served in war, both the living and the dead.

The men and women, whether drafted by a desperate Government or choosing to confront a menacing foe were willing to lay down their lives at the country’s call. They’ve gone our, again and again, to endure hardship, death and loss for civilians, abroad or at home.

They knew what the cost could be to themselves and to those they loved, but they went anyway. Though fearful they may have been they went with resolve that was sacrificial. They went to defend their country and to watch over their mates in the ranks.Some of them came home, but war leaves its mark nevertheless.

My grandfather served during World War 2 and was one of those who got to return home. In my young memory I remember him speaking of it only a handful of times, a comical story here or there of young men being larrikins and subsequent missing jeeps. On one or two occasions he spoke seriously about the war for a few minutes before his eyes would tear up and the conversation would end abruptly.

No one should have to endure the ravages of war, witness the horrors or the loss. But living in reality, some inevitably must.

We owe it to our “diggers”, currently serving, that they get the best in training and equipment. And when they leave the service, through injury or age we should continue to honour them by looking after them well and holistically.

In a time when the Australian fiscal position has probably never been worse, I understand it is hard politically.

Our priority should be on safeguarding those who safeguarded us.