Tag Archives: common sense

My illness fights back…


For the past six weeks I had been feeling the best, healthwise, since around June 2016.

Less pain, more energy, oh how I was loving it! Endep (amitriptyline hydrochloride) I love you!

Then silly things I dismissed as stemming from my exhaustion became more real, then downright worrying.

I was hallucinating, which was funny at first, just like the worsening brain fog.

‘Haha, silly me, what a laugh’ soon became ‘what the hell is happening to me?’

Obviously my symptoms were feeling neglected, poor things, because they sent hallucinations and extreme brain fog to get me and shake me out of my new (relatively) comfy world.

I would have a conversation with my wife, and the very next day I had no recollection of it whatsoever… I still don’t! And those hallucinations? I was reading a book when the lines started to appear as though someone had highlighted them in green and then yellow. The next thing I remember is thinking wow this huge piece of hot fresh bread in my hands looks delicious (any bread is a no-no for my diet) and I was going to take the biggest bite possible!

Then I was back in the real world, only to find myself about to take a large bite out of the book I was reading.

Yes all the small hallucinations and forgetfulness was a bit of a lark to start with, but now it wasn’t funny anymore!

Last Saturday I had my monthly appointment with my wonderful GP and told her of all my symptoms. She got out her information on Endep and read out the horror side effects that ‘could’ occur.

Then she said it was my choice, a reasonably good life for about ten years then Dementia, or I go off the drug and all my symptoms come back. I would be back to square one with my pain, dizziness, sensitive skin etc etc.

Chronic illness 1, me 0.

So last Saturday I reduced my dose from 150mg to 125mg. Not much, so how hard could it be?

Extreme nausea, thumping headache (that lasted hours and hours and hours) and hello sensitive skin! Gee, how nice of you to return to make my life hell. Now, as before, anything touching my skin (including air) was once again a source of sharp pain.

So what now? Unfortunately the other drugs I could try have the same possible side effects. Indeed the only medication that has worked with me over the past two years was CBD (cannabis) oil. I managed to score a small sample and it was wonderful.

No side effects, no addiction possible because the THC (the stuff that gives you a high) is removed.

But of course our moron politicians would rather spend our hard earned tax dollars and subsidise my expensive drugs, rather than allow me access to a native oil that I would gladly pay for myself. It would help tens of thousands, and has a multitude of peer reviewed studies showing how amazing and side effect and dependance free it is.

And it is available in the US, including one State (Colorado I believe) who paid off their entire debt within one year of allowing people to grow and sell this oil.

I shall say again for all those conservative and ignorant wowsers out there, NO the oil DOES NOT include the THC that gives you a high, hence the fact it cannot become addictive.

Yes, our wonderful Federal Government did say a while ago that we could have access to this in Australia. What they didn’t say was it is only available if you get two doctors to say in writing that you have tried all other available medication (which can take years) and they support your application for CBD oil.

If, by the glory of the public service, you are approved, they only allow you two months supply before you have to fill out a stack of other forms! So yes it is available but only if you spend all your time going to doctors, trying drugs that wreck your brain, and filling out a bazillion forms every few months.

I think I would rather be ill.

I did hear that some people were buying it from overseas and getting it shipped here. Great!…except the ever spreading moronity within our government then banned this. Isn’t it nice to know that our government is taking such an interest in our health? Here in South Australia they built the world’s most expensive hospital and ran out of beds within two weeks. So sure, we trust them!…..don’t we??

There is a naturally occurring plant that can be grown here, where the THC (and hence the ‘high’) part of the plant is removed, made into an oil and sold to over a hundred thousand sufferers as their only relief from devastating chronic pain and suffering. And a side benefit is that the government can tax it and make a fortune.

But no, far more efficient to keep it all at arms length, make hundreds of thousands of their subjects go through hellish illnesses and ignore the massive income stream they could receive.

Much better to sit back and wait for opinion polls, to see if they would gain more votes than they would lose, before helping the sick.

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to buy your vote.”

If you want to read more; https://eternalplants.com.au/news/medical-cannabis-red-tape-forces-thousands-turn-black-market-pain-relief/

Build it…and they will NOT come


Before 2003 when Steve Blank wrote his now famous best seller, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, the dot com bust need not have happened.

His book became the basis of Lean Startups with his Customer Focused model. Before then it was all Product Focused, in that startups planned their product or service to the nth degree and ignored customers because “If you build it they would come.”

They didn’t.

Unfortunately their budgets went into developing and producing the best, shiniest widget they could possibly make.

There was just one problem – no customers. Their product was either too expensive, or didn’t have enough features or had too many.

It wasn’t their fault, this is the way they, and every other startup, were taught.

A precious few identified the one great but simple flaw in this way of thinking, in that the customer had not been consulted before the product had been produced. Until this ‘epiphany’ no-one had thought to ask the potential customer whether what they were building actually solved a problem for them, at a price they would be willing to pay.

One of the notable exceptions is Steve Jobs, who produced products we didn’t know we wanted until we saw them, and then we had to have them!

Until Steve Blank wrote his book pointing out this simple error, hundreds of millions of dollars had been wasted. True, some of them had successful IPO’s where the clever investors took their profit and ran before debtors came calling, but it was only a matter of time before the bust came after the emotionally charged boom finished.

Ignore potential customers at your peril.

And they did…and closed their doors.

Eric Reis wrote an excellent book nearly ten years later when the term ‘Lean Startup’ was born. He directly credits Steve Blank’s book as having been the catalyst for this.

Today one of the very first questions asked by potential investors, and on shows such as ‘Shark Tank’ is, “How many have you sold?” and “Have you researched the market to see if people want this and will buy it?”.

Strange as it may seem, but these questions are relatively new concepts to startups… except for the successful ones.

The idea of living on baked beans for six months to a year validating that your market exists, finding out what your customers want your widget to look like and how much they were prepared to pay for one (hopefully at a price point sufficient to make a profit), had only occasionally been considered.

Until Steve Blank wrote his book and out of it came the term ‘Lean Startup’.

It may seem obvious now that you must obtain customer validation before spending a fortune on manufacturing your goods and marketing them, but at the time of the dot com boom all investors wanted to know was; do you have a website and does it have ecommerce? That is, can customers buy online.

If the answers to both questions was yes then you received a rather large mountain of cash.

And ran out of it a year or so later.

So, if you are a budding entrepreneur, talk to potential customers before you build anything. Preferably, obtain contracts from one or three saying that if you make this product, and it does what they want it too at their acceptable price point, they would buy it. This way your first customer/s are already ‘in the bag’ and they can provide you with essential feedback as you make changes, fine tuning your product.

Knowing who your customers are, where they are and how you can reach them is critical these days. The dot com bust hurt a lot of people, thankfully most have learned from their mistakes and will not give you one cent if you cannot answer those simple questions regarding your customers. It also helps if you are already working with several customers, so you can receive their feedback and fine tune your product to make sure that when it is released it is successful.

Listen more than you talk, and do not spend copious amounts of money on your product until you know everything about your target customers.

Now we call this a Lean Startup, however I call it common sense.

Good luck to entrepreneurs everywhere, may your customers be eternally happy and grateful that you solved a real headache and seemingly insurmountable problem for them.

Or if you are Steve Jobs, or know where his crystal ball is, please ignore me entirely.

Craig Pickering, 31st March 2018

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Two Thirds of University Students Fail to Graduate


So two thirds of university students fail to graduate…when will they learn that they need to provide far more than text books and large lecture theatres?

A huge shake-up is needed in this sector for it to still be relevant in the years and decades to come. Teaching techniques have to change drastically – having young post grads being tutors because they are PhD students is rediculous, as is expecting people to sit through lectures over an hour long.

Come on guys, time for some disruption!

$Billion Bank Profits yet they sack workers!


So NAB announce a full year $5.3bn profit and at the same time the sacking of 6,000 staff.

Absolutely disgusting! With the $5.3b profit they should be hiring people to take care of the community, not firing 6,000 and potentially destroying 6,000 lives!

I know legally they have to put shareholders first, but surely the time has come for social responsibility to outweigh and extra couple of cents dividend per share! Oh, and I am sure executive bonuses will go up as people are shown the door carrying their careers in cardboard boxes.

We desperately need a change in corporate focus!

Constantly Working Long Hours? Maybe You’re The Problem.


I’ve always thought that if you’re constantly having to work long hours (the exception being if it’s your business, then it’s your choice and sometimes a necessity) then you are not efficient and don’t use your time as productively as possible.

In the past I’ve heard many people spend an hour a day, or more, complaining that they don’t have enough time to do their job!

A person working long hours more often than not demonstrates a lack of ability or of support, both are toxic in any organisation.

Go home, spend time with family or on yourself, because you’ll never be paid for those extra hours and your boss won’t appreciate it, she/he will just get used to it and soon expect it as your normal day.

Do yourself a favour and GO HOME!

Why Articles and Books on How to be Successful, Suck


Most business articles on how to be successful are crap. You do what works for you, we are individuals. Yes some basic humanity and empathy is required but articles that begin with “The 5 steps to…” are complete time wasters.

Of course this is just my opinion, but the way they make it sound as though it will work for everyone shows a complete lack of objectivity and, basically, reality.

If you’re looking for a magic formula you’d have better luck chasing the next rainbow.

Centrelink policies a DISGRACE!


Centrelink is there for the needy, sick and disadvantaged, and yet provides the worst service of any government agency.

The top level of management needs to be sacked immediately, along with their middle management that publish outrageously incorrect phone answering statistics.

Then, and I know this will cost us, but there needs to be a Royal Commission into the whole Department and the policies currently in place. It could easily be a case of the right people being tied up by stupid beaurocracy. Until such a public, complete investigation is done those most in need of help in our society will continue to be treated with disdain.

We should all be ashamed, especially the policy makers who make it so difficult for Centrelink staff to do their job, for treating our people so badly.

To read the original story click here.