All posts by Craig

Unfortunately I had to cease work in April 2017 due to a chronic illness. I am an experienced Senior Manager with roles including sales management, national management, marketing, purchasing, customer service, forecasting and budgeting. This experience was obtained across diverse industries including; IT, consumer electronics, retail, manufacturing, wholesale, construction, education, finance, market research, electronic components and telecommunications. My main areas of interest were in leadership, establishing high-performance teams, managing multiple tasks simultaneously, business development, startups and mentoring. I was able to make immediate impacts in my roles. Examples include BELL-IRH (Sydney) where I was promoted from internal sales to National Product Manager within six months with no prior experience in the electronics industry, and Pacific Datacom (Hagemeyer) where I was promoted from State Manager to Regional Manager (covering three States) after just three months. I started several diverse businesses of my own and as an exercise with my business students. My enjoyment in assisting others included volunteer mentoring and judging Startup pitches for many local programs and involvement in Committees (including at Board level). I have lectured and tutored at University level in Business. I also taught my own courses in Sales and Sales Management and published two books. My qualifications include; a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor, Registered Migration Agent (expired), Finance, Business, Digital Marketing and Training. I was a guest speaker in Business Communication for Philadelphia University. To keep my brain active I read as much as possible, when my dizziness allows.

GIFs: How I hate them!


Yes I know, not liking one of the largest and latest crazes is not great for a writer’s popularity, but then they call them crazes for a reason, don’t they?

Because they are followed by people who are crazy.

And this is not just a recent ‘thing’, or an attempt to be different or to create a headline. I genuinely hate GIFs!

Why?

They distract me from what I am reading. They seem to have no point other than attempt to assist the writer to make a point – which if they need help doing then they are not a good writer to begin with.

My opinion.

What purpose do they serve? To show how clever someone is for remembering every second of every Seinfeld episode? Or that you can take any video footage and ruin it by shortening it to a few seconds of ever repeating, distracting, meaningless rubbish?

To me, and I realise I could be in the minority here, it shows nothing but someone with time to waste who wants to spend it by wasting my time.

And I can’t switch them off!! I can stop videos playing as I scroll through the leftovers of humanity but when I get to a GIF….bang! No escape!

Call me old fashioned by how can you possibly say something meaningful in several seconds of repeated video of people making funny faces?

That old maxim comes to mind – Get a life!

And yes, for writing this you can say exactly the same about me.

Status


For centuries mankind has striven, fought, argued and made alliances for status.

The wealthy measure their status by what they own, what label it has, how many they possess and if it is the latest available. Unfortunately they are completely unaware the non-wealthy never judge them in these terms, but by what they do with their money other than buying goods the non-wealthy would never be able to afford.

The wealthy care not about what their money does other than what it purchases for them, hence the invisible disconnect that feeds large businesses and governments but accomplishes little else.

Status is measured differently by various sections of society. For some it is your number of good deeds, for others your willingness to assist people at your own expense. Money itself was largely unimportant to them, simply representing a medium of exchange so its measurement of itself is largely ignored. In particular as money began to be spoken of in larger and larger numbers it lost all meaning.

For most people if they possessed enough of this medium to afford a good home, pay bills and still have enough to enjoy simple pleasures they are happy. If they have enough to enjoy ample pleasures their enjoyment rises until the choices of which pleasures to partake in become too many and stress begins.

Thus there is a fine line for the majority of the population. Too little or too much induces stress. This is evidenced by the fact many who become wealthy overnight revert to their previous state of comparative poverty within a year.

Those with ample wealth live in their separate world far removed from ninety-five percent of the population and therefore their lives, except to them, matter little. They purchase only the most expensive items that none of the ninety-five percent produce, further widening the gap of meaningfulness.

Those with money simply sitting in banks as ones and zeroes take comfort in the knowledge it is available if required, yet those with enormous wealth laying idle satisfy no-one except the banking institutions.

To the other ninety-five percent their definition of status carries more importance. If you do not have enough you work endlessly to acquire it, to earn it or perhaps resort to fighting to acquire it.

It then becomes something to brag about to those who do not have it, a meaningless conversation that interests no-one. Hard work is being done by everyone and yet luck or inheritance are the main causes a few acquire wealth above others.

Some are more intelligent and deserve their wealth, yet many also tend to concentrate on saving lives with inventions and products aimed at poorer markets, reducing their wealth yet raising their personal status if not their societal one.

Thus status becomes a personal choice around values. Money is a means to an end but not the end itself, contrary to the belief of the five percent.

Status is not just the providence of individuals. Collectives including organisations and governments also desire it above all else and control the resources to commit crimes or declare war to gain it. Often stealing and war mean the same to such governments, their justification being the protection of their citizens when their citizens know little of their real motives, making the argument vacuous. As were many of the governments, who desire to be in the five percent and who are mainly hollow and short sighted.

Your value to those around you, your contribution to your immediate societal collective weighs far more than any gold bullion.

As money bares so little resemblance to one’s real worth, your work and your knowledge are all, valued beyond all else as there is nothing else. Being judged as the person you are seems foreign yet forms the true foundation of our society.

Wealth is who you are and what you contribute to others. Is there really any other way of measuring true status?

Trying to survive the night


I am not sure if it is my ME, Fibromyalgia or CFS (or something else) but almost every morning now I wake up with a pounding migraine.

For example, until this morning I woke up with what I thought was the worst headache I’ve ever had, again, five nights in a row. In my teens I had migraines that were usually over one eye and pierced through me like a hot poker, but now my entire head pounds with the same intensity.

It usually takes ten hours or so to get rid of them, which is exhausting and quite debilitating. So my routine for the previous five nights was wake up between 1am and 4am with this whole head pounding migraine, try to get to the fridge for the packs of frozen beans (or wake up my poor suffering wife to get them for me), take a rizatriptan and a valium and remain awake and wait for the headache to go. If Infallible back asleep the headache returns to its full-on state. No, I have no idea why.

Sometimes the first dose of tablets kills it, but more often than not it reduces it by perhaps fifty percent leaving me with the choice of another dose or cope.

The rizatriptan only comes in four tablets per script so I am reluctant to take more than one, but sometimes the pain dictates that I have no choice.

I can try to take another valium but although this will help my headache it almost always will put me to sleep as well. When I sleep with the remains of a headache I always wake up with it worse again, most often the migraine has returned. So a bit of Catch 22 there, just for fun.

Last night I woke at 12.30am with the beginnings of a headache, my queue to stay awake until it goes. With CFS staying awake is incredibly counterintuitive but unless I want my headache to become worse, I must. So I stayed awake fighting the headache until about 3am. I then woke at 5am and the beginnings of one was still there so I took a valium. Then the fight to stay awake began, which this time I managed to win until 7.30am when my headache finally went. I was then able to sleep until 9.30am.

All up 5-6 hours sleep, not enough for a normal person let alone one with CFS who fights to stay awake all day.

However it is far better than normal, when I often fail to stay awake and fall asleep for several hours and wake up with a migraine. The frozen beans then come into play as does more medication.

When my chronic illness first began I would have two or three of these headaches per week. Now I am lucky to have one or two mornings without one.

So every night when I go to bed it is with severe trepidation as I know what sort of night I am going to have. The only unknown is how bad will the headache be and can I stop it from becoming a migraine that makes me want to chop my head off.

How did you sleep? Personally I’d prefer to never sleep again.

“Dizzy” – by Tommy Roe


A great song, I used to love it.

Used to.

That is until the inside of my head has impersonated a spinning top for the last nine weeks or so, without stopping for one microsecond.

I’ve had dizziness before with my illnesses (Fibromyalgia, ME and CFS) but it has always just come and gone, sometimes violently. This time it’s a constant whirring, with someone controlling the speed remotely. One moment it is a reasonable one or two out of ten (on the dizziness scale) then suddenly it’s up to seven or eight, with accompanying nausea and a feeling of having absolutely no control, over anything.

It’s a bit like being in a spinning, plummeting airplane. Or at least that is how it feels and how my imagination pictures it to be.

I’ve given up all drugs except my painkillers, which I have also reduced by two thirds in the hope of the dizziness stopping. I thought it was a side effect, as it started when I began a new drug. Now I just have more pain…and dizziness.

Maybe it’s not though, and that scares me more than anything. What if it is here to stay? I’ve barely maintained my sanity for nine weeks, I have no idea how I would survive nine months!! Oh please god no!

So now I hate this song, yet cannot get it out of my head. Much like my dizziness.

What is so damn difficult??


“Pain specialist Dr Marc Russo said his clinic in Newcastle treats about 2,000 new patients with chronic pain every year.

“And I’m very worried, and as many of us in the faculty of pain medicine are very worried, that ultimately it will lead to the prescription of more opioids as a sort of back-stop measure and we know that this carries significant risk and often very little benefit,” he said.”

So opioids continue to get a bad name, and cause more deaths by overdose than car accidents per year in the US because people take so many to try to stop their pain.

And yet CBD oil, which would earn the Government tax dollars instead of costing them by subsidising prescriptions and paying for opioid patients using hospital beds.

It is such a simple, straight forward decision with SO many benefits, why are we not following 40 other countries and giving chronically ill people the ability to buy it??

As usual in our society in the last ten years, in many areas, it makes no damn sense.

Reference here.

Internal dizziness driving me crazy!


For about seven weeks now my brain has felt as though it is a spinning top.

Some days it is bearable, others are filled with headaches, migraines, nausea and very little sleep as it worsens when I lie down. To be honest it is incredibly difficult to live with and I wish someone would put me in a coma until it was over. It is that bad.

It began when I was taking yet another approved drug for my condition and lasted several weeks, so I stopped taking that drug. My doctor, a wonderful woman, during my last visit said it could take a while to wear off. That was a month ago.

Since then I started another drug to help my chronic illness symptoms of complete body pain, incredibly sensitive and painful skin (every square millimetre), horrendous headaches, zero energy, the dizziness (I have had it off and on for nearly three years now) and general complete lack of quality of life.

It is, by my count, the eighth or ninth drug I have tried, perhaps more. Each time you have to build the dose slowly over time, then if it doesn’t work or you suffer a side effect (I’m good at those, there are dozens to choose from) you have to slowly reduce the dose to get off it. So months are spent doing this just to feel worse.

Why? Because they are all so incredibly dangerous. Eaxh one is highly addictive, has extensive withdrawal symptoms and can cause other significant damage if used too quickly, or just too much. All very dangerous to those who get fed up with feeling ill and so just keep increasing the dose, until they die. Opioid based drug (which the vast majority are) overdoses kill more people in the US now than car crashes.

Cannabis oil doesn’t kill anyone.

Placed on the skin and without any THC there is no high, are no side effects and no awful reactions if you increase or decrease the dose.

But it is illegal here in Australia without paperwork a mile high and a ‘luck of the draw’ response to your application. Less than a few hundred have been successful in over a year. You then need to resubmit more paperwork after six months.

You also need a letter of recommendation from a specialist, most of whom somehow choose not to believe over thirty years of pure and incredibly extensive scientific research into the positive effects of CBD (cannabis) oil.

Why? Perhaps because it is not backed by a big pharmaceutical company so it doesn’t come with trips to Hawaii for ‘education purposes’ or first class tickets to highly desired travel spots (‘conferences’) if you prescribe a set amount.

The only people who can make money out of it are governments, in 40 countries, who have legalised it and tax it. Some States in the US have completely paid off their debt and still have money left over for housing homeless people because the allow and tax this huge industry.

In Australia we do nothing. There is no financially backed lobby group that can take you to a conference at an exotic location to educate people of its benefits, just several hundred thousand sufferers (probably many more) who know it works yet are criminals if they use it.

Yet who are the criminals here? Those who choose to use a naturally occurring herb to take away their immense pain and suffering, or those who prevent the hundreds of thousands of others from doing the same because there is no patent and therefore no money to be made, no ‘promotions’ to offer.

The big pharmaceutical companies would make nothing from CBD oil and it is banned. Coincidence?

When will our governments, State and Federal, realise the amount of tax dollars they can make, the hundreds and hundreds of jobs that can be created, and most importantly the people whose suffering they can ease just by legalising a herb? It has more scientific research behind it than most of all the other drugs I have taken, combined, that cause emergency trips to hospitals and help overload our stretched system. Cannabis oil doesn’t.

It is such a clear decision, yet has not been made, that money must be the answer. Whose pockets would be lighter if people started to take something with no side effects or addictive properties instead of extensively promoted prescription drugs?

Pharmaceutical companies.

Wonderful to know what their main motivation for being is. In fact just read the Executive Summary of the recent interim report into our financial industry here in Australia and the same applies. Greed.

In the meantime I’ll just keep spinning. If you thought your last hangover was bad, try one that has lasted six weeks and counting.

I know what can help me, CBD oil, but greed and institutions with their aged heads in the sand prevent me from accessing it.

Aren’t we meant to be a humane society, where the sick are allowed to be treated with what makes them better, no matter who benefits?

It’s all going to hell in a handcart


Politicians found guilty of lying to Parliament by a Senate Committee but keep their jobs, rich Catholic schools receiving billions of dollars, family child carers and carers for ill family members paid below the poverty line, pensions not increased for over 35 years but top tax rates raised allowing the highest earnings with the lowest tax rates ever.

This is the new Australia, and I for one am devastated that in ‘growing up’ we have become, at the top and fast filtering down, just a bunch of selfish hyperactive kids out for what we can get for ourselves. Five Prime Ministers in five years is testament to this.

Local Councils charging exorbitant rates that grow above inflation every year, some of the highest electricity prices in the world, car registration costs tripling (or more) within the last five years so now old and worthless vehicles cost more to register than they are worth.

People in institutions like unions, Councils, government found to be spending as much as possible as if it is their right to do so, not caring the money was paid by us, the electorate.

Fines increased by multiples, not even a backwards glance at the CPI.

Banks and Insurance companies charging us for services we do not receive, for products we do not need, even if we are dead.

We complain about a seemingly corrupt-ridden USA, yet in our own society we trample on the rights of individuals, charge way more than necessary for vital services (unless keeping a growing beurocrocay well fed is some sort of benefit to us all) and keep a vast number of our fellow citizens below poverty, with pathetic allowances that are meant to help those who fall between the cracks, not actively widen those cracks.

And we wonder why many of our best and brightest move overseas? If I had the option I would seriously consider it myself.

We have far too many rules and regulations, our nanny state is now a baby state. The fines for minor transgressions are so high that those just surviving are pushed one step closer to poverty, even with both couples working.

The reaction to all this from the majority of our ‘leaders’ and politicians? They ignore their duties and have no KPIs or accountability to those who voted for them and pay their wages and perks. Instead of working for us, as they all promise to do prior to each election, they spend their time fighting for pre-selections, factional votes, ministerial positions that cover areas they have no experience in, and ultimately chase how many ‘numbers’ they can control which somehow defines their own importance, and therefore how much power they can wield.

Already the sixth Prime Minister in five years is jockeying for position, even before next year’s election.

Carers and volunteers contribute far more to this nation than our politicians yet live in poverty.

Either a massive shift is coming from someone with the guts to make serious changes, or a quiet revolution of a significant number of independents being elected, or worse, will cause our country to have the massive look in the mirror it desperately needs before it implodes.