Virtual Musotopianoforte

Music is my forte :) ... well, my mezzoforte :$

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Location: Brisbane, Australia

I'm unique (classified under the Animalian Kingdom, Phylum Chordata, Mammalian Class, Order Primates, Hominidae family, Genera Homo and sapien species!). --- My most important roles currently are: Sister, Daughter, Granddaughter, Girlfriend, Niece, Pet owner, Christian, Friend and Honours Student. Of course I'm also a: music lover, dog person, blood donor, registered organ donor, first-aider, volunteer, respite assistant, health promoter, teacher-at-heart, textbookworm (I made that up myself!), leisure musician, shower singer, sports enthusiast, Broncos & Maroons supporter, right-hander, compulsive list-maker, photo-taker, toilet reader and proud Australian citizen!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

World Cup Win!

I'm an excited little blogger today, aren't I? I've really surprised myself this month, having posted the most blogs on this site in one of my most assessment-packed months!

I just wanted to give the Australian Cricket Team a massive congratulations for their "World Cup Hat-trick" - their 3rd consecutive World Cup win. This achievement, which took place at Kensington Oval in Barbados, follows previous wins in Johannesburg (2003) and Lord's (London, 1999).

Congratulations also to Glenn McGrath (Australian medium-fast pace bowler) and John Buchanan (considered the greatest cricketing coach in Australian history) as they embark on retirement following what I'm sure must have been very momentous cricketing careers.

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

P.S. Please don't disappoint us by getting too big-headed. Just keep it humble, guys!

Results from my First Blood Glucose Test

In case anyone was wondering, my blood glucose test yesterday went quite well. My grandpa - a well-respected doctor in England, Uganda and India - administered the procedure, with great professionalism I might add! In seconds I learned that my blood glucose level was 4.9. But before I explain what the result means (to those of you who don't know) I will explain the concept and procedure of a blood glucose test. As the name suggests, it gives an indication of the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in your bloodstream.

Because the amount of glucose in your blood increases after a meal (think of the sugars you are ingesting), I was required to fast overnight and take my test prior to breakfast. This is called "Fasting Blood Sugar", requiring 8 hours prior without food and is the test typically done when someone wants to find out if they have diabetes (like I did, hehe). The test involved placing a few drops of blood (taken in a relatively painless finger-prick test) onto a small sterile strip which was then read by an electronic measuring device. In less than a minute, the result came up on the display screen. Since I took a Fasting Blood Sugar test, my blood sugar was expected to be within the range of 4 to 7 mmol/L (that's millimoles per litre). Fortunately, my result of 4.9 fell within this range! :)

With around half of the 1.5 million Australians unaware that they have diabetes, it was a pretty scary thought and for quite some time I had wanted to get the test done. I'm glad that I did, no matter what the result. Some things that you may find interesting about Diabetes:
  • Diabetes is Australia's fastest growing chronic disease and there is currently no cure.
  • About 1.5 million Australians have diabetes, but only half of them know it because they may be unaware that they are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • By 2010 the number of Australians with diabetes is predicted to reach 1.8 million.
  • Every hour in Australia approximately 11 adults are diagnosed with diabetes. That is 275 people a day or 1925 a week!
  • Type 2 diabetes costs Australia $3.1 billion a year.
  • Diabetes can lead to potentially lethal complications including heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Diabetes can also cause blindness, lower limb amputation and erectile dysfunction.
  • 70 - 80% of people with diabetes will die of cardiovascular disease.
  • Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in people under the age of 60.
  • Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure.
  • 70% of all lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes
I know it's pretty scary but the good news is that Type 2 diabetes is preventable. We can all endeavour to reduce our risk and keep our bodies healthy through eating a variety of nutritious foods, being active and maintaining a weight that is healthy for you.

For more information (also source of bullet-point facts):

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday's Feast #3

How fast can you type?
Last time I checked (over a year ago) it was around 85 accurate words per minute.

What is your favourite online game?
Back when I used to frequently play games online, I probably spent most of my time playing word games like boggle and multi-player games like pictionary. Can’t commit to a favourite – sorry!

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), how intelligent do you think you are?
I don’t consider myself “naturally gifted academically” or anything like that, but I’m going to have to say 7. I usually put myself down, but I think I was honest in my answer. Eek, I hope that doesn’t make me seem presumptuous!

Main Course
Name three of your best teachers from your school years.
I have usually had really good primary and secondary school teachers, but my three "best teachers" would be Mrs Avetisoff, Mrs Jonathon and Mrs Taylor. If any of you are reading this, “Hello and Thank You!” :)
N.B. There is no order of preference.

What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?
Seeing my special someone, getting my blood glucose level checked by my grandpa tomorrow, going for football tomorrow (that’s Rugby League and, yes, I do sometimes play) and church on Sunday morning. In case you’re wondering, I do not currently have diabetes… maybe that might change tomorow? I’m actually doing it more because I’m curious about my health.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Feast #2

What is your favourite kind of bread?
I like lots of kinds of bread, but I really like fresh, soft bread. Freshly made croissants on a Sunday morning were almost routine back in the day. I also like Indian breads, wholemeal and multigrain breads as well! :)

When was the last time you bought a new pillow?

Sometime last decade – it’s an asthmatic one. And, technically, my mum bought it for me.

Approximately how many hours per week do you spend surfing the ‘net?

Does this include checking email? Researching journal articles? If not, then no more than one. If so, probably around 15? As a guess…

Main Course
What’s the highest you remember your temperature being?
To be honest, I have no idea. Haven’t really done the whole temperature thing – I just know when my body is unwell or if I feel cold or overheated.

Fill in the blanks: When I ____________, I _____________.
When I grow up, I want to be a fireman. LOL, only kidding – that’s a stolen line from an old TV advertisement (for yoghurt or something). What I’d actually put is: When I graduate, I want to be recognised as a student who has worked really hard, not once missed a day, loved to learn and wanted to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.

Friday, April 13, 2007

My First Friday Feast!

I've just discovered an interesting new concept "Friday's Feast" on Wednesday and hopefully it will be an incentive to keep regularly updating this blog.

When you were a child, which crayon color was your favorite?
Probably green, because that was the sporting "house" I was always in during primary school. I remember that I had the best emerald green watercolour pencil that I used for colouring in instead! But then I can remember using green and the 3 primary colours a lot when colouring in with pencils!

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how likely would you be to change jobs if it required you to move?
It would depend where I went to, but I'd probably say 3. Somehow I don't think there will be a shortage of health professionals in most places. N.B. I have answered the question based on my future job. My current paid job (not my main occupation) is as a kind of "sales assistant" and if I had to move (which I won't while I'm studying... but anyway) then my rating would be a 9.

Take all the numbers in your birthday and your phone number and add them up, one by one. What’s the total?

Main Course
Have you ever “re-gifted” anything? If so, what was it and who did you pass it on to? Haha, yes! I just passed on some Easter chocolate to one of my best friends, but they didn't mind :) Oh wait, that counts as dessert! ;)

Name something you need from the store.
More blue pens! I have four (practically five!) assessments due next week, so you can imagine how much writing I am doing. That's despite the fact that I'm still typing my assignments :P

Monday, April 09, 2007

We're Going Down The Drain...

I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter! Since I have four-five assessments due next week, I thought now would be a good opportunity to use something I wrote over a year ago (17th February 2006) on my other blog. I've always been passionate about environmental issues and although I may not be a "tree-hugging hippie", I believe that we all have the potential to make our world a better place to live in, ecologicially.
I'm sure most of you probably know about the effects of Global Warming on drought around the world and hopefully this can serve as a bit of an eye-opener for you all on what's happening in Australia, or at least in Queensland. Just so you have an idea at our current state of drought, Level 5 water restrictions are about to come into effect tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wivenhoe Dam - the catchment that supplies Brisbane with water - is at 18.10% capacity! (and that's down 0.044% from yesterday). I recommend you watch Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth for more information on climate change and some good before and after shots of the impact on the environment.

Some of you may have noticed that the local paper (well, for those of you who are in my local area) that there is finally a "water doomsday" in Brisbane: on the 8th February 2008 there won't be water running through the taps in our city, unless the dam catchments are sufficiently filled.

Now that we're on the brink of Level 3 Water Restrictions, we need to start being even more water-wise than ever. The water supply as of today (17th February 2006) is 32.79% and the further restrictions will be implemented once it's down to 30%. I think some people just aren't getting the message, or not realising the significance of water conservation in these times. Just yesterday I saw a woman hosing leaves off her driveway... she could have easily used a broom but either lack of initiative or just sheer laziness caused her to do otherwise.
A few of my water-saving tips:
  1. Turn off the shower to use shampoo and conditioner when washing your hair (been in practice from a very young age)
  2. Turn off the shower to use the soap or alternative cleaning product (mum taught us to make us do this after we put conditioner in our hair as it's meant to set for a few minutes before rinsing).
  3. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth (I think everyone knows this - or should!).
  4. When washing dishes, avoid opening the tap fully - it wastes far too much water! Instead keep it on a medium to low stream (depending on what it is you are washing). Or even better (for when you have several dishes and cutlery), when washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing; fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  5. Soak your pots, pans and other kitchen utensils instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.

There's also heaps of other things you can do including installing a dual-flush system for your toilets, installing a water-saving shower head, not running the dishwasher (if you really need to use one) unless it's full. You can find out more here.

A few reasons why you should save water:

  1. Spend two minutes less in the shower (not just one-off, you need to be consistent! ) and you'll save 425 litres a month.
  2. Turning off the water while you shampoo and condition your hair and you can save more than 180 litres a week (if you have hair like mine, it will save you even more!).
  3. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth will save an average of 94 litres a week for a family of 4.
  4. For those with a swimming pool, cover it to keep it clean and you can reduce evaporation losses by up to 90 per cent.
  5. Not only will you be making a difference to our water reserves, it will save you some money!

Please consider all the little things you can do to make a difference today. Tomorrow depends on it.

(That's the Water Forever slogan!)

Response Stimulus:
Southern Star, Wednesday February 15 2006

For More Information:
Visit Water Forever - there are statistics, water restriction details and a full list of water-saving tips.

Brisbane City Council Drought Information

South East Queensland Water