HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Personal Directions

The Doctor's Consultation by Dr. Iain Corness

Agony Column

Camera Class by Snapshot

Personal Directions:  Destination Success

Your pathway to a brighter, new future

By Christina Dodd,

For those of you who have been reading my column for some time, or who have only seen it a few times, you will realize that perhaps the underlying theme to the whole fabric of life – as I see it – is the individual and the importance of “self”. I have in the past expressed my total and absolute belief in the power of each individual human being, and would like to take the opportunity today, through my column, to invite those of you who are like-minded, to consider the following program – Destination Success - which I shall be running very shortly.

In this program, as in any program I run, there are three things, however, that I ask of the audience:

First-up: to have an open mind and if possible to empty it of the way they usually think about things and people for just a little while. It doesn’t mean that their way of thinking is wrong, but with this kind of program it is so necessary to be free of pre-conceived ideas and to be completely receptive to new ideas. It is a small sacrifice to make if you are looking for results and answers.

Secondly: remember, when you embark on any new venture (and this program is probably that), a lot of the time the “output” will depend on the “input”. Simple mathematics. But it is something we need to be reminded of because for most of our lives we expect that everything will be done for us and that the end result is related to what others do for us! The results of this program depend just as much on your participation as mine, so I normally request that those attending such programs participate at the highest possible level and this means with a genuine enthusiasm.

And thirdly: have fun and enjoy yourself – you do deserve it!

If you think you can handle these three requests, then we look forward to seeing you at the program.

These two days are “time out” for every one concerned. How often in life do we have this time to ourselves? Very rarely indeed and as I walk around the streets and as I visit offices and as I just live my life every day I can see so many people reaching out for some private time when they can really think about themselves and their life. This is not the same as the five minutes private time you spend in the shower every morning either! You know it and I know it – this time out is very essential for happiness and well-being!

Destination Success has been for many people an introduction to a new way of living. Based on established principles of human and personal achievement, this two-day program is a dynamic and powerful form of training that gives the individual the opportunity to see themselves - and their lives - in a way they have never been seen before.

For many who have attended this program, it has been likened to a much-needed “wake-up call” that has finally allowed them to put their lives back in focus – or into focus for the very first time! It opens the mind to new thinking, new ideas, and taps into new energy, creating at the same time, new friendships, new opportunities and new results.

The program is a messenger of the spirit of Positive Thought and the Power of the Individual. It is a driving force of inspiration and motivation that spurs positive results. It is a form of training that re-ignites the passion, the fire and desire within each individual to “reach for the stars” and to achieve a certain level of success and happiness in their lives - that make life totally worthwhile.

Through various activities and techniques that promote optimum interaction and participation, the individual is taken on a journey of self-discovery in order to find out who they really are; know what they really want in life; and what they should do, from now on, in order to realize their dreams.

Destination Success helps the individual become aware of themselves and their self-image. It helps them to build upon their self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth. It helps them to understand their inner beauty, their strengths and capabilities and how to bring them out and maximize their potential! It explores human behavior, conditioning and attitudes and the importance of positive relationships in every aspect of life. It examines personal values and ideals, dreams and goals. It creates bonds of trust and friendship that promote co-operation and communication … across all barriers.

This unique form of training has been an inspiration to many people from all walks of life and from all business backgrounds in many countries, to seek out greater opportunities for a much happier, more meaningful and more successful life. It has equipped them with a greater understanding of their own personal direction, a winning “I Can Do It” spirit, and all the necessary tools required to build a brighter, new future.

With this program you’ll learn more about…

Success and Failure and Your Life Up Until Now

The Power Within You And How to Maximize Your Potential

Your Dreams and Your Goals

Making Positive Changes and Setting Your Personal Action Plans

The Consequences of Behavior and Attitude

The Human Mind and Heart

The Importance of Positive Relationships

PMA - a Positive Mental Attitude - and the “I Can Do It” Spirit!

Are you interested? Are you willing or wanting to take “time out”? If you are then do something about it now and let me know your thoughts by e-mail. The two-day program will most likely be held over a week-end to accommodate those who have to work during the week and the venue will be in Pattaya or the surrounding area. Usually participants don’t stay at the hotel overnight unless we do this as a “retreat”. In this case though, if you would like to join, you can attend the program during the day at the hotel and go home afterwards.

Until next time, have a great week and I look forward to providing you with more details such as dates, times venue and costs very, very soon. My e-mail is Chr[email protected] if you want to join Destination Success, or if you simply require any information about our training services.

The Doctor's Consultation:  We’ll just run a few tests...

by Dr. Iain Corness

One of the common questions that doctors get asked, after any patient has had a blood test, is “What was my blood group?” or even, “How was my AIDS test?” It may come as a surprise, but neither blood groups or HIV testing are ‘routine’ examinations.

The tests we order are designed to assist the treating doctor work out the “Definitive” diagnosis from the initial or “provisional” diagnosis. Unhappily for the doctor and the patient, this can sometimes be a complex and expensive detective story.

Take someone who presents with unexplained bleeding. Haemophilia? Sure, it might be - Factor VIII, Factor XI, Factor XII or even Factor XIII. Unfortunately the cause might also be from metastatic carcinoma, drug ingestion, poisons, kidney failure, systemic lupus erythematosis, von Willebrand’s disease or even something called the Bernard Soulier Syndrome, about which I could write all I know on the back of a matchbox and still leave room for the national anthem (long version).

Tests are ‘tailored’ to identify, or exclude, the diseases that the doctor feels are ‘possibles’ after the initial clinical impression. If the ‘most likely’ causes turn up negative in the initial batch of tests, then the doctor has to rack his or her brains a little more and start going into the ‘less likely’ ailments and testing for those. This is why you may need more than one round of tests to come up with the definitive diagnosis. And then after that you will need repeats of the tests to see if you are in fact getting better.

Another poorly understood concept is that of the “Normal Range”. Just how or where do we get this “Normal Range”? Actually it is relatively simple. We examine the blood of 1000 people, take off the bottom 25 low results and the top 25 high results, and we keep the 95 percent in the middle. That now gives you the Normal range, but this does not mean that it is the “healthy” range!

Take Cholesterol as an example. If you live in a Western community that has a diet high in Cholesterol, the majority (the 95 percent in the middle) will have higher levels than a similar community living in the East that has a diet low in saturated fats. So the “normal range” can be different between communities (and even between laboratories). So what may be considered within the guidelines for one group, may be outside the 95 percentile limits for another. So if you just “scraped in” under the top level for the Normal range, I wouldn’t bee too complacent about it!

However, blood testing has even more traps for young players. If the tourniquet is left on too long while taking the blood, the Cholesterol can be falsely raised by up to 20 percent! If the sample is too small, the Potassium will appear to be elevated when it is not. Samples kept too long in the fridge can also be inaccurate as far as blood sugar is concerned. Some medications, including the (so-called) health store ‘natural’ medications can also affect the tests, giving false positive or negative readings too.

No, interpretation of tests is a veritable minefield out there - that’s why we have specialist Pathologists to lead us through that minefield! Now getting back to your blood group - if you want to know you will have to ask the doctor to add it in - or even better, go and donate blood and they will tell you what you are.

Agony Column

Dear Hillary,
If the bars are to close at midnight it means that my eardrums will not have to suffer the onslaught of unmitigated noise masquerading as music, it means that I will have every opportunity to go home to bed in a somewhat sober state, it means that if I feel lonely after midnight I won’t have to pay bar fines, it means that I will be able to wake up in the mornings feeling fresh and alive. Yikes! The thought of waking up in the mornings rather than late afternoons, the thought of having good eardrums capable of hearing my landlord bashing on my door for his rent money, the thought of becoming sober and actually feeling my hangover, the thought of attracting a pretty girl and falling in love is enough ruin my very existence. Is there something in between these extremes that could be regarded as appealing?
Mighty Mouse

Dear Mighty Mouse,
Still traipsing around the bars I see. Still getting drunk. Unable to get up till the afternoons. Oh Mighty Mouse, what are you doing to yourself? You used to be such an upstanding member of your community. Perhaps the people you associate with have pulled you down to these depths, Petal. I hope not. But help is at hand from Hillary. There are many alternatives, Mighty Mouse. For example, you can stay at home and watch old detective movies on the late night cable TV. They should appeal to you. Leonard Teale was such a nice detective, remember him? Or even Blue Heelers. You don’t have to be lonely either, as I believe the Ministry of the Interior will be manning an after midnight hot line (perhaps that will be a ‘warm’ line, on reflection), for lonely people such as yourself, with no particular place to go, as Chuck Berry once sang (before midnight naturally). Of course you will have to be older than 35 years of age to be out at night after midnight, even if it is just walking home by yourself, but I’m sure you knew that already. Mighty Mouse, think of the money you will be saving. Think about what you can do with that money too - but make up your mind before 12 midnight, that’s a good Mouse!
Dear Hillary,
I sent you an email Sunday night regarding an imposter using my name in your column. In reviewing the message I found a few typos that I would like to correct on the off-chance it finds it way into print. They are as follows;
1.) first letter in Pseudonym should be lower case.
2.) In aiming for the “i” in “tertiary” I missed and hit the “u” instead.
3.) In typing the word “transgression” I came up one “s” short.
4.) Eliminate unnecessary comma after “name” in the phrase “ and the use of my name in what appears to be”.
Sorry to bother you with such trifles, but my secretary, who normally edits my correspondence is away to our corporate offices in Bermuda for a seminar on creative accounting. It seems as I approach middle age I am more prone to such errors ... and the martinis don’t help. Thank you,

Dear Tully,
Too late, my Petal, too late! Yours was such a heart rending tale that I published the letter immediately, sending it to the printers that afternoon. I did comment on your less than excellent punctuation, syntax and spelling I’m afraid, but never mind, I am printing your corrections now. Actually, a man of your experience, breeding and education should really edit his own mail, not your secretary, no matter how many fingers she uses while doing the accounting. After all, it is your image that is being tarnished, not hers. “Brasso” helps they tell me.
Dear Hillary,
How long does it take these people to get drunk? Since everyone is complaining that 6 p.m. until midnight is not enough time for the bars to be open, I have to wonder. It certainly doesn’t take me six hours to get off my face, so what is the secret that the people who are complaining about the new closing times have? At one beer every ten minutes, that is 36 beers. I don’t know about you Hillary, but they’d be carrying me out feet first long before that. Even if I slow down and only have one every 15 minutes, that’s 24 beers. It’s feet first again. If these people want to drink after midnight (I don’t know how) then let them take their beers home.
Not a Wowser

Dear Not a Wowser,
Right from the beginning, I have to think you are either pulling my leg, or just simply telling lies. I have yet to meet a man who will admit that he cannot drink all night! What a wimp you are, Not a Wowser. Can’t drink 36 beers in one sitting? Every other man I have spoken too is hung like an elephant and can drink two barrels of Guinness every night for a week. Are you telling me that this well known fact may actually be fiction? Hillary is astounded! I think I’ll have to lie down and have small drink and a choccy to recover.

Camera Class:  WYSIWYG - the key to good photography?

by Harry Flashman

I am a great believer in WYSIWYG (“wizziwig”). What You See Is What You Get! Unlike looking for a lady, full of disappointment when the make-up (or the alcohol) wears off, WYSIWYG works with picture taking. It just needs one thing - you have to train your eye to look critically through the viewfinder.

We all tend to ‘imagine’ what is in front of us, rather than ‘seeing’ what is really there. I remember my art teacher father showing me drawings of houses done by young children. Inevitably, there would be more than two walls. Children know that houses have more than two walls, so draw houses accordingly. However, when you look at any house, from any angle, you can only see a maximum of two walls at one time. Small children do not use WYSIWYG.

Unfortunately, neither do we. Especially photographers. Hands up all readers who have received prints back from the photo-processors and been disappointed? All of you, if you are telling the truth - and that includes me!

What was wrong with those photos? Were there trees growing out of people’s heads, giving them strange reindeer ‘antlers’? Did some have such harsh shadows across the person’s face that you could not see the eyes, and in fact, the face looked grotesque? Did some have the person so small in the picture that you cannot tell who they are? Shall I continue, or since you have probably ticked the box for “all of the above”, let’s not prolong the agony, but get down to what we have to do to fix the problem.

The answer is very simply WYSIWYG, but you have to train yourself to ‘really’ see. We all know what we want to see in this once in a lifetime photo, but ignore the fact that what we are seeing in the viewfinder is not actually what we want. It’s the child and the house with three sides again.

You have to train yourself to look critically at what is in the viewfinder before going ‘click’. This is actually harder than it seems. You have to scan the small viewfinder to see if there are trees growing out of people’s heads. You have to squint at the faces and see if shadows are ugly. You have to be prepared to put the camera down and recompose the shot before clicking that shutter, remembering at all times that what the camera ‘sees’ is not necessarily what you might be seeing with the naked eye.

That may sound a little weird, but it isn’t really. What the camera sees depends upon the lens you are using. The “standard” (50-55 mm) lens gives a field of view coverage approximately the same as the human eye, but the “wide angle” lenses (24 mm and 28 mm, are the common ones) give a distorted viewpoint compared to that seen by you. Likewise, the “long” lenses give a very narrow viewpoint compared to what you see with your own eyes.

This is probably one of the best arguments for the use of SLR cameras, because when you look through the viewfinder, you are actually looking through the lens that is screwed on the front of the camera. The compact cameras where you are not looking through the camera’s lens have a compensation for this, but it is a poor substitute. Who remembers which set of lines you are supposed to use as the edge of the shot when you are taking it? Nobody.

99 percent of serious photographers use SLR’s, and the main reason is WYSIWYG. Which brings me to the next important item. The Preview Button. Do you use it? Do you actually know where it is and how to use it? This is ‘real’ WYSIWYG. Did you realize that when you look through the viewfinder, you are looking through the lens with the aperture wide open? But your shot may be recorded at f16. The preview button allows you to see at f16 exactly what will be on the final print. Use it! What you see is really going to be what you get!