Goodbye 2014, Hullo 2015

And so humanity bids goodbye to another year, and welcomes the New Year.

I wish everyone good health, happiness, success and prosperity in the pursuit of their hopes, dreams and endeavours. No doubt some of these will simply be a continuation from 2014 or before, while some will be new for 2015 and perhaps beyond.

Whichever it is for you, don’t ever give up. Remember though, that to turn a hope or dream into a reality requires the taking of positive action. Make a plan then take a step, no matter how small at first and be prepared to keep working at it. And take time out along the way to HAVE some FUN!!

Public washroom hygiene

I’ve noticed over recent times that there seems to be a reduction in the number of hot-air hand dryers (or cold-air, depending on whether or not the heating element and thermostat are functioning correctly :-p) in male public washrooms and toilets in shopping centres, movie theatres, etc.  I can’t comment on the situation in female facilities as I’m male and don’t frequent the female facilities, but I’d be interested to know if the situation is the same.

What’s going on?  I’m at a complete loss to understand what the possible reason for this reduction could be, apart from the owners/managers of the centres deciding it’s costing too much to maintain the units, so they just remove them and leave as few as possible.  This situation doesn’t seem to be limited to the smaller centres either.  I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if there was an alternative, e.g., paper towels, but in the majority of cases I’ve seen, there isn’t any alternative.  You either have to queue up and wait to use the hand dryer (if it’s working) or walk out with wet hands, or simply not bother to wash.  Maybe the upper level management behind the operators of the centres don’t realise what’s going on because they have their private wash rooms in their “ivory towers” that are fully provisioned with air dryers, paper towels, or maybe even an attendant handing out proper cloth towels!

So what sort of message is this giving us, the general public?  That they don’t care about our personal hygiene?  That they don’t give a stuff if we pick up God knows how many e-coli or staph bacteria, just so long as they protect their precious bottom line?  And what happens if there’s a significant break-out of some sort of infection that is traced back to the public toilets of a particular public venue?  Would there likely be a class-action from all affected parties to seek compensation for lost wages and medical expenses?  Given the way our legal system is turning, I reckon there would be a fair chance of such an occurrence.  How much would that cost the centre owners to defend (or pay-off the affected litigants)?

And while I’m on the subject of the state of male public toilets and wash rooms, I’m annoyed at how many seem to be unclean generally.  You know what I mean – the smell of stale urine where one or more people has/have completely missed the urinal (maybe these people need to learn their penis isn’t as big as they think and practice their aim, or maybe learn to use a toilet and sit down so they can’t miss), water spilled everywhere around the wash basins, wet paper towels (and/or pieces of toilet paper that were used because there were no paper towels and/or the hot air hand dryer wasn’t functioning or there were too many people waiting to use it) lying around on the floor or on benches near the wash basins.  Most of the larger shopping centres seem to be ok at making sure the toilet and washroom facilities are kept clean and odour free, however many smaller ones and fast food outlets (yes, even the big names are guilty here) seem to be severely lacking in the general cleanliness we should expect.  And then there’s the toilet facilities in many petrol outlets, especially those at major stopping points on main highways.

I’m tired of having to walk through other people’s mess.  I say we should demand better facilities.

Does Dettol (or their advertising agency) think Aussies are idiots?

Have you seen that new commercial on Australian TV for the Dettol product where you don’t have to “pump” the hand wash liquid, rather you just move your hand in front of the special dispenser and it detects your hand and dispenses an amount of hand wash?

The pretext is that it means you don’t have to touch the dispenser pump and thereby avoid catching any bacteria that might have been deposited on it by someone before you. Does Dettol (or their advertising/marketing agency) really think Australians are stupid enough to fall for this?

The act of touching the pump means you are dispensing an anti-bacterial solution onto your hands that kills any germs that you might have just picked up, so, unless you’re silly enough to touch the dispenser head again after washing your hands, you have already killed off 99% (if you are to believe their marketing) of any bacteria you would have picked up.  What about the fact that you touch the tap with dirty hands and then turn it off with clean ones?  There is far more chance of picking up bacterial infection from turning off the tap than there is by touching the top of a hand wash dispenser pump!  Proper hospital procedure is to turn the tap on, then dispense the hand wash, wash & rinse your hands, then dry them with a paper towel and then use a paper towel to turn off the tap.  Therefore, the “no-touch” dispenser is a useless piece of equipment with no worthwhile purpose.

I have to wonder about our modern day propensity for all things “anti-bacterial” or “anti-germs”.  I have to question whether we are fast approaching the point where our natural immune systems will be unable to cope with even the most simple of infections because we have been so “anal” about avoiding or killing off any possible bacterial exposure (I suggest you read “War Of The Worlds” to understand the potential impact of a germ-free environment).  When I was growing up we were exposed to all sorts of germs and bacteria (we had our own chicken pen and I used to go in there barefoot to collect the eggs!!  Heaven forbid if I had a cut on one of my feet when I was tromping around in the chicken shit & mud in the chook pen!) yet here I am today, hale & hearty.  My opinion is that we need exposure to a certain amount of germs and bacteria to give our immune system the strength to cope with potential invasions.  Indeed, as a youngster it was considered “tough” to gain wounds and the subsequent scars as evidence of our ability to fight off infections!  Man up Australia, grow some balls!

Clearly, this is just a marketing ploy to try to convince us to buy another product that we don’t need.

Nice try to Dettol, but I don’t like the inference that I’m too stupid to know better and that I will be won over by your slick advertising.  But I don’t think I’m that stupid…

My new home

Welcome to my new home.

I’m grateful to my previous benefactors that gave me free web hosting for my blog.  However, despite their express permission that I would be free to comment as I saw fit without any interference from them, I always felt the obligation to avoid posting anything that could be considered detrimental to them.  So, I grew up & moved into my own home.

I wish them every success in their future endeavours, and they are, of course, always welcome to visit and leave comments if they see fit.

Still here – just resting

Bloody hell, time can fly past quickly when you’re not looking.

I’m astonished that my last post was in December 2008.  Life has been pretty hectic, and whilst there are many things that I’d like to have said my “two cents worth” about, time has just not allowed me to log on and have my say.

Ahh well, I guess that’s just the rapid pace of modern life.

Just an aside about the phrase “two cents worth” – I remember my Dad using the phrase “two bob’s worth”, a reference to the 2 shilling coin in use prior to Australia converting to decimal currency in 1966.  The 2 shilling coin became 20 cents on conversion, so is the current phrase a reflection of inflation?  Another phrase was “it’s not worth two bob”, which has been similarly deflated to become “it’s not worth two cents”.  I suppose “two cents” fits better than “twenty cents” as it better fits the rhythm of the phrases.  I wonder if the old phrases will fade into history and be lost?