August 31, 2013. FL Josh wrote: Speaking of Bentleys, For
the past month, I have been looking into purchasing a 1999 Bentley Arnage
with 20040 miles on it. It is located about 200 miles from me and
is currently having its twin superchargers rebuilt. I cannot think
of a single logical reason to justify such, but then such decisions are
emotional, not logical.
I would keep my current car as there are certain places I wouldn't
feel safe parking the Bentley. I have measured my garage to make
sure it will fit (just barely). I have talked with three different places
in my area as to whether they can service the car. Yes and no.
I went to a Bentley dealer about 50 miles from me and sat in a $370,000
Bentley (picture of it attached) and stuck my head in the window of a $510,000
12 cylinder Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe convertible with suicide
doors (picture of it also attached).
The General Manager of a Lexus dealer has owned the '99 Bentley for
about three years, then recently a 2003 Bentley came in and he took it
and is selling the '99. One day I am sure I won't get it, and the
next I think about getting it. I haven't seen the car yet, but the
price is really good so I am suspicious and fear there must be something
making it not so desirable, like having been smoked in, which can never
be fixed. I have run a Carfax on it and it has never been damaged
and has been regularly serviced.
If I do end up getting the car, and with such low mileage, the fact
that I don't drive all that much, and it being such a good price, I figure
I can drive it for a couple of years and sell it for about what I paid
for it and get this insanity off my bucket list.
The reason you're telling me this, Josh, is because you know I'm crazy
enough to say "go for it" and "you only live once!" If an opportunity like
that came my way I'd grab it. Sometimes in life there are no second chances.
Poor Josh. He's been reading my stuff for too long hehe.
I just unscrewed all 20 screws holding the panel at the back of the
fridge, but the previous owner used some kind of weather sealant so that
the top of the panel is stuck to the exterior wall of PJ. I can still see
inside though, and it looks like something you might find in an ancient
tomb, complete with spider webs. The screw holding the flue cover is rusted
tight so I gave it a good squirt of WD40. I'll replace just 4 of the panel
screws and wait for Andrew to turn up so he can take a peek. I was expecting
him this morning but nope... not even a phone call. The job he's working
on in Sydney is his father in law's place so I suppose his missus is making
sure it stays his No.1 priority... especially if there's a mother in law
The original maintenance manual for the fridge is with a bunch of other
ancient documentation in PJ that lists all the parts and what needs to
be done to clean the pilot and flue. A new fridge would cost about a grand
or more soooooo... I hope I can kick start this old bus.
Ohio Jace wrote: I thought your birthday was before Wingnut's, thus
the b-day card. Obviously I was in error. I might as well send Stevie's
early too. He will be the big 3 0 September 1, practically an antique.
I put my list of birthdays away for safe keeping while remodeling the homestead
and have not seen it since and my mind is not what it used to be so....
My mother would have been 103 on August 23 that one I better not forget.
That thistle (dandelion) you talked about makes a great wine. My
grandfather used to make his own from the flowers. The only drawback the
mash had a horrible odor once the fermenting was done and the whole neighborhood
noticed. The wine though was delicioso. Here the thistle is considered
a pesky weed. The kids like the seed head though, the slightest breeze
sends the parachutes sailing.
I like the new look for PJ. Is that Avril's house in the pic or
does she live on the other side of your house? I know yours is brick.
Thanks, Jace. The house at the side of my garage is a financial investment
business (an agency of Australian Mutual Provident) which was started by
the bloke who still owns the house. He retired and sold the biz to some
other bloke who rents the house and operates the biz from there because
it's where it's always been and the clients are used to it. Averil lives
in the house on the other side of mine, in the street that intersects with
the street mine fronts. All three houses were originally owned by the people
who lived here back in the '30s. Now the original owner's niece (who's
90+) owns this one and Averil's. She lives in Canberra. From what I gather,
the owner of this house was the guy who ran the punt that crossed the river
before the bridge was built in 1940. He also had something to do with the
local fire station. Their daughter, a school teacher and enormously fat,
lived here till she died some 20+ years ago. According to old Kev (Averil's
deceased husband), she used to drink at least a bottle of scotch a day
that didn't even touch the sides. She bought it by the case.
From the Beeb: Obama
faces difficult timing over Syria strike.
Six people, one of them a juvenile, were put on trial for last December's
notorious gang rape and murder of a female student on a bus in the Indian
capital, Delhi. All of them were charged in court with rape, murder, kidnapping
and destruction of evidence - all six denied the charges. Here
are brief profiles of the suspects.
In 1945, a rare and curious Volkswagen car was shipped from its bomb-damaged
German factory to England. Here, a commission of leading British motor
manufacturers, chaired by Sir William Rootes, inspected the small, streamlined
saloon. It would be “quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer”,
the commission reported. “It is too ugly and noisy”, while “to
build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise.”
Yes, I remember the Rootes Group - Hillman, Humber, Sunbeam and Commer
(trucks). They no longer exist.
I noticed three birds of paradise clustered together in the garden the
other day and took a pic. Then decided to tart it up a bit with Photoscape
by adding a frame. This
is the result.
And that's Satdee. Not much to report but at least I got to peek at
the back of my fridge... and measure it. I think it's about 60 liters which
is plenty for one person. Heaps. The oldest document in PJ's collection
is a receipt for an electrical check dated 1974, which I suspect is the
van's year of manufacture. Then there's a stamped metal plaque on the door
of the gas compartment dated 1984. The door as well as the metal panel
covering the back of the fridge is not part of the original van, so I'm
guessing that the fridge came later, probably replacing an ice box. The
stove is a 1984 model as well. However, all the interior wall linings,
cupboards, bench/table tops and ceiling are more recent, probably just
a few years. Ditto curtains and soft furnishings. And the wiring all looks
Meanwhile, the cleaning of the flue and pilot looks a tad complicated
for me to tackle so I'd feel safer letting Andrew take care of that little
job - at least the first time. And now it's time to toddle off to telly
land and foooood. Gary
August 30, 2013. I just did the bum test on the new lounger/recliner
and I'm here to say it came through with flying colors. What a chair! It
opens and closes with ease, no levers or knobs, and it adjusts to whatever
position you want by using your feet to lift or lower it. The headrest
is attached to the frame by a moveable elastic belt with velcro. The fabric
is open weave and laced to the frame with elastic rope to cushion the sitter.
Bloody comfy! The arm rests are long and wide and solid and there's a ton
of space between them for a skinny bloke like me. I've seen such chairs
for up to $200 or so but this beauty was a bargain from Deals Direct at
$59 + $11 delivery. Worth every penny! Happy Birthday, G.
If there's one bloke who can turn Happy Birthday into something the
size of War and Peace, it's Oregon Richie: Hello and Howdy thee roadgoing
Rowdy....So here is the day of two nine just starting and a salutation
to your six and nine. Two times three in sequence plus nine of which
three is one third so with six of the D as in six decades of escapades
and 9 of the Y kind as in the G factor of cats lives of which you qualify,
well.... yeah. Of course. Happy Birthday from the troops in
Fortress Oregon again !! "She keeps on rolling.... she keeps on rolling.....
down that long twin silver line.......". A great song from Bob Seger
and his "Silver Bullet Band" from the old days. Don't know why THAT
song came to mind as I was scanning over WAFFLE this morning, but... it
Steve W was much briefer: And a Happy Birthday from me too.
NC Art had a point to make: A 69th birthday is hardly something to
crow about …. Maybe just grateful will do. I’ll be 88 in October, but what
the hell, Happy Birthday to You anyway. A few hours late, but that’s because
of technical difficulties with a new wireless router which balked for two
days. Wailing and gnashing of teeth appropriate.
Funny how things work out. I was right suspicious of
the taller PJ and feel much better with its lower profile now. Also that
gas valve you turned the wrong way for off/on … I wanted to comment, but
what do I know about gas fittings Down Under? Hell, you drive on the wrong
side of the road, so why not reverse everything?
BTW, wot does wukkers mean?
Hehe. Ninety eight comin' up. Well, no wukkers is a derivative of "no
worries" which is expressed as "no fucking worries" in more colorful Aussie
vernacular. That, in turn, is expressed by more conservative Aussies as
"no wukking furries" or, to use the shorter version, "no wukkers". Yanks
on the other hand use "no problem". So "no fucking problem" would become
"no pucking froblem" which would end up as "no puckers" hehe. Doesn't work
As to driving on the wrong side of the road, do you remember that film
shot by a camera mounted on the front of a San Francisco tram travelling
through town back in 1906? Automobiles, horse-drawn carts, bicycles and
pedestrians were all over the shop - left, right, shooting out of side
streets, zig zagging all over the place. Bedlam! Amazing
And speaking of automobiles, OR Richie was a bit late but eventually
found the link to the Fifties Bentleys photo album: Ah... don't know
how I managed to miss it yesterday but scanned the
lovely Bentley collection this morning. Lovely. Love the
many exterior shots and cool paintwork and the elegant interior shots as
well... very much reaches a special place in the automotive admiration
soul for me. Hail Brittania, God save the Queen, may the saints preserve
us to tack a bit northwest, and there you go.
FL Josh wrote: I was looking at the map on the home page and noticed
it doesn't show Taree, and so I downloaded the map and put Taree in just
above where Hunter Valley had been. It may not work with the interactive
feature and it might be that Hunter Valley is more useful for mentioning
things, so don't feel unless you really want Taree on the map, don't worry
about the one attached.
Thanks, Josh. Taree is just one of many small to medium towns along
the coast, but at least your version gives Wafflers an idea of its place
in relation to the capital cities of Sydney and Brisbane. The Hunter Valley,
which you removed to insert Taree, is a very large area about two hours
drive south, and includes the city of Newcastle which is the 5th or 6th
largest city in Oz, and the site of the biggest coal port in the world.
The Hunter is a far more significant region than the Manning in terms of
population, economy and size. It's also a premium wine growing area, as
well as famous for its beef, dairy and thoroughbred horse studs.
I watched a science program last night (Catalyst) about the universe,
the big bang, and the extraordinary coincidences that make it possible
for intelligent life to exist. Also the possibility that an infinite number
of universes exist "out there", one or more of which might be identical
to our own. It reminded me of a weird idea I had when much younger of the
liklihood of there being "another me" somewhere, so that if I suddenly
got hit by a bus or struck by lightning, the "other me" would just carry
on as if nothing had happened. Hehe. Hmmm. The most amazing thing about
intelligent life is that it makes it possible for the universe (and whatever
else might exist) to observe itself. Yes, dear Breth, what would be the
point of existence if there was no awareness of its existence?
And that's another thing I've always found curious. If you look at Josh's
map and all the little yellow dots, of which tens of thousands are not
shown, there are actual people there going about their daily business at
this very moment, brushing teeth, going to work or school, doing the shopping,
chatting in coffee shops or over the back fence, living lives invisible
to us. But just because they're invisible doesn't mean they don't exist.
Hehe. Dots on maps are much more than dots on maps as I will be delighted
to discover in PJ.
Back from a little hardware store bash at Bunnings. Jeez, pressurized
air ain't cheap. $16.45 a can but it's at a consistent 70psi. The same
company makes WD40 so I bought a can of that too on spesh at $6.20. AND...
for a couple of bucks I spotted a little telescopic inspection mirror for
sticking under assorted orifices to see what's going on in there hehe.
I was thinking of the gas flue.
I also got $70 worth of petrol which I hope lasts a little longer than
the last tank. Once again, I noticed on the drive around town today the
vast improvement in wind resistance, general performance and handling.
The $450 it cost to have PJ lowered should pay for itself in no time.
As PJ reaches the completed stage, it gives me a real sense of security.
I remember all too clearly the time all residents, including myself, were
given 30 days notice to quit 29 Fort St. Petersham, a block of 8 flats
which was to be sold and renovated. I was broke, unemployed, seriously
behind in my bills and had nowhere to go - literally. I was faced with
the very real prospect of being turfed out onto the street - until the
ugliest face in Australia asked me if I wanted to share a house he found
nearby with him and his missus. Saved by the bell.
Whoda thunk a few years later I'd be living in an 8-room house in Taree
and driving a flash Holden Premier?
Nothing like that could happen now because I'm an age pensioner with
a regular income, albeit modest. But I have no gambling, alcohol or other
expensive habits and can live reasonably well on the pension. But even
if something pretty bad happened I would have PJ to call home, and perhaps
someone's backyard to park it until I got my act back together. Pity that
wasn't the case back in Fort St. in 1996. That was pretty damn scary!
From the Beeb: The US has said it will act in its "best interests"
in dealing with the Syria crisis, after British MPs rejected military intervention.
"Countries who violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need
to be held accountable," the US said. Washington accuses Syrian government
forces of using chemical weapons - a claim denied by Damascus. The move
by British MPs, meanwhile, ruled out London's involvement in any US-led
strikes against Syria. al-Assad
must be rubbing his hands together with glee.
If you were to consult the Atlas of True Names when planning a trip,
you might become a little confused. Searching for the big US city on the
shores of Lake Michigan, you would find the name "Stink Onions" instead
of Chicago. That is because this particular atlas attempts to reveal the
etymological roots, or original meanings, of the names of familiar places
all over the world. It has been argued that the word Chicago, for example,
is actually a French version of the word shikaakwa - or Stink Onions -
named after the plants that were once common along the Chicago River. German
cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust are the married couple behind
the Atlas of True Names, which
now has five maps in the series.
Why living costs worry Australian voters: On a perfect winter day,
an average Australian is walking along the Bondi waterfront. Her name is
Kendall Hayes, and she is being entertained by her two little girls on
their scooters, dodging in and out of the afternoon joggers. Ms Hayes is
not the perfect, average Australian, but according to Australia's
Bureau of Statistics she is pretty close.
TV presenter Rolf Harris has been charged with nine counts of indecent
assault and four of making indecent images of children, police have said.
Mr Harris was first arrested in March by officers investigating historical
allegations of child sexual abuse. Six offences relate to the indecent
assault of a girl aged 15-16 between 1980 and 1981 and three relate to
a girl aged 14 in 1986. The indecent images of children were alleged to
have been made last year. What
a tragedy for everybody concerned... and soooooo dumb!
Well, what a day weatherwise! It's still 26C after a top of 30 and sunny.
And winter's not even over yet! I had to remove my top earlier because
I was too hot, and the shoes and socks got the flick as well. I'm barefoot
now. The forecast for Monday in Sydney (when I see the doc) is warm and
sunny so that'll be great for roaming around the Botanic Gardens and giving
the Nikon a serious workout. The gardens should be looking great as well
being early spring. Imagine that - the harbor, the city skyline and the
gardens. What a photographer's paradise!
And, and, and, and, and... I'll be traveling there and back first class
on the choo choo.
Time for a wrap. I can hear the parrots outside, hundreds of the little
buggers squawking and carrying on, so spring is certainly in the air! Gary
August 29, 2013. That time of year again... TX Greg wants to
know if I've ever seen a full moon rise over Uluru...
I doubt the local Aborigines would be too thrilled about having their
sacred site mooned. But Greg's a Texan. Greg also remembers with great
fondness (and I do too) one of the two vids he made for me back on this
day in 2010. Check
the 29 August entry and click the link for video 2.
Here's a note from FL Josh: G'b'day Gary,
You set a goal.
You pursued your goal.
You reached your goal,
It matters not the road you traveled.
What matters is you never, never, ever gave
69TH BIRTHDAY AND MANY MORE.
Steve W also has something to say about setting goals hehe: I have
been out of touch overseas for a while and only now catching up on my Daily
Waffle. First.......thank goodness, how many times did I suggest that PJ's
centre of gravity was too high........well done. I can rest easy now :)
Well, it probably would have been okay the way it was. After all, the
previous owner did a lot of miles. But I wasn't entirely comfortable with
it, and I'm the one who'll be doing the miles in future.
Secondly......I watched both of those youtube links - absolutely
stunning and beautiful. It made me realise how valuable it is just to be
here. Thanks for sharing. (This
is the one NC Art sent... and this
is the one FL Josh sent)
Lastly..........when are you finally going to set a date for departure
Steve is one of those business gurus who goes by the book. If you want
something to happen, set a date. Well, I have set a date but not for departure.
I see the doc in Sydney on Monday and he'll check out the facial orifice
and make a decision as to whether or not I'm well enough to withstand an
operation on the lower gum to remove exposed bone so that dentures can
be fitted. If he says yea, then I'll suggest an oral surgeon at Port Macquarie
who also works here in Taree. It'll be a lot more convenient to have the
op here. But if he says nay, then who knows? Stay tooned. If all goes well,
I anticipate departure will be late this year.
Only two peeps so far have volunteered captions for the photo TX Greg
NC Art: …ROAST SOME NUTS BY AN OPEN FIRE. Obviously!!!
Steve W: Too obvious I know but had to say it: "Love the aroma
of nuts roasting on an open fire".
Well, there ya go. I must be slipping in my dotage. "Roasting nuts"
didn't occur to me. But "throw another shrimp on the barbie did" hehe.
Earlier today I tested the screws holding the exterior panel covering
the back of the fridge (where the flue and pilot are). I was expecting
the screws to be difficult to undo but no... it was easy to loosen all
of them with a hand screwdriver (about 20) and then retighten them. I'll
remove the panel after I get a can of compressed air. No wukkers.
And my fold-away lounger chair arrived! It's still in the box but I'll
take a peek later.
From the Beeb: US President Barack Obama says the US has concluded
that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attacks near
deduction, my dear Watson.
Life may have started on Mars before arriving on Earth, a major scientific
conference has heard. New research supports an idea that the Red Planet
was a better place to kick-start biology billions of years ago than the
early Earth was. The evidence is based on how the
first molecules necessary for life were assembled.
Qantas has swung back to profit as its alliance with Emirates helped
narrow losses at its international operations. It made a net profit of
A$6m ($5.4m; £3.5m) in the year ending 30 June, reversing
a loss of A$244m a year ago.
Miniature "human brains" have been grown in a lab in a feat scientists
hope will transform the understanding of neurological disorders. The pea-sized
structures reached the same level of development as in a nine-week-old
foetus, but are incapable of thought. The study, published in the journal
Nature, has already been used to gain insight into rare diseases. Neuroscientists
have described the findings as astounding and fascinating. The human brain
is one of the most complicated structures in the universe. Yeah?
Well, they don't know some of the people I know.
Weeeeeeeell, just opened the box containing the black lounger/recliner.
I was expecting something fairly cheap and kinda flimsy... the usual camping
stuff... but this is surprisingly good quality and well made. It's quite
heavy at 7kg (15lb) and large enough for a comfortable siesta with built-in
pillow and extendable footrest. A bed in other words - that all folds into
a neat 3' x 2' x 6" package. It'll need to be carried on top of the bed
in PJ... too big for anywhere else. But it sure looks comfy! Losing my
fav chair here in the house was one of my concerns but not now!
So I'm right in that department - I still have two fold up chairs from
my old Kombi days (Lindsay busted the third one with his bony ass years
ago) and another with arms I bought about 5 years ago - one of those tragic
green ones you see everywhere.
Woohoo! Now THAT is a chair! Can't wait to park it under a palm tree!
I just sent my first ever text message. I'm not the least bit interested
in all that baloney (he said writing his umpteenth Waffle) but my sis in
law just texted me happy birthday so I replied with a thank you note. So
there ya go... 69 and my first text. Not too crazy about using a piddly
keyboard though, and pressing keys several times to get the right letter.
There's no way I'm gonna copy and paste this comment from the GN forum
on Waffle. Ew! But
I'll link to it.
And that's it for my 69th. No party, nothing special (apart from the
contributions to Waffle), just another day. But that's okay... I don't
make a fuss of birthdays anyway. Oh, and Averil phoned. However, I do place
some importance on embarking on a "new life" during my 69th year. A fresh
start, a bold adventure, a revitalization of the spirit. In a way, I don't
feel I'm getting older but, rather, getting younger hehe. You ain't seen
nuthin' yet, baby! Gary
August 28, 2013. I've been meaning to put that Best of British
album together with all those lovely Bentleys from the Fifties and now
I have... for
your pleasurable perusal.
Well, according to the gas switch, there are no leaks. I must have done
the test improperly yesterday but TX Greg sorted that out: BTW> The
gas valve should be ON when parallel to the line and OFF when turned out
at a 90 degree angle away from the line. And the stove works! Judging
by the color of the flame at first, there was a bit of air in the pipe
but that's now gone. The fridge is another matter. Tried a few times but
to no avail. I saw a flash of flame briefly in the mirror but that was
it. Not sure what you're supposed to see but I imagine a flame is a flame
and there should be a bit of blue flickering going on. Maybe the flue and
pilot need cleaning. I must get a can of pressurized air. Meanwhile, I
turned off the bottle again. I figure that's a good habit to get into when
I'm away from PJ.
One useful thing I discovered was that the ice bricks from the portable
cooler fit easily into the little fridge freezer, which is not really all
that little. I'm not much into frozen foods so it doesn't bother me. Maybe
a few veg or a bit of fish. But frozen ice bricks will certainly be handy.
From the Beeb: US Vice-President Joe Biden has said there is "no
doubt" that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and that it
must be held accountable. The US has said its military is ready to launch
strikes should President Barack Obama order an attack, and allies say they
too are ready to act. Good.
I was beginning to think there for a while that it was all talk.
Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military
intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have "catastrophic
consequences" for the region. So
what do you suggest, chaps? Isn't the situation catastrophic already?
The US is to send a senior official to North Korea to request the
release of a US man jailed in the communist state. Robert King, the US
special envoy for North Korean rights, will arrive in Pyongyang on Friday,
the state department said. He will request a pardon and amnesty for Kenneth
Bae, 45, on
humanitarian grounds, it said.
Wal-Mart, the largest private sector US employer, is to offer health
insurance to the same-sex partners of its staff. The world's largest retailer
has about 1.3 million staff in the US, although the company said it did
not know how many would use the benefits. Wal-Mart's move brings it into
line with many other big US firms that have
already begun extending such benefits.
A couple from Saltash in Cornwall have driven 25,000 miles (40,000km)
in an 80-year-old Austin Seven car. Guy Butcher and his partner Eunice
Kratky drove down the western seaboard of North and South America for charity.
dad had a little Austin 7 back in the '30s - his first car.
Speaking of cars, I've noticed here in Oz the popularity of utes has
increased dramatically since the introduction of supercabs and twincabs,
as well as 4WD. The original reason for the ute in Oz was so that a farmer's
missus could be driven to church on Sundays in something more comfortable
and respectable than a truck. Well, now it's not just the missus, it's
the whole family (but not necessarily to church). There's plenty of room
in a twin cab for a family of four plus a stack of gear in the back. A
most versatile vehicle, for sure. And the later models are far more stylish
than old PJ from 1994 - as well as bigger and gruntier. I've noticed stacks
of them on the road giving the traditional Landcruisers and Pajeros a run
for their money. Cheaper too.
is the latest Mazda version of my Courier. I'm not sure there's a Ford
version any more.
Anyway, now that the stove is working in PJ that's another step closer
to home sweet home. The fridge will be the next step. Once I can do anything
in PJ that I can do in this house (within reason), that'll be it. PJ will
be my new home and there'll be no reason to miss this one. There was a
GN couple who bought a new van and practiced living in it in the backyard
until there was no further reason to duck into the house for something
they'd forgotten. Self-contained and independent, that's the plan. :)
Not to be outdone by NC Art's link to the Nature video yesterday, FL
Josh sent this link to a beautiful vid called Gratitude
- Moving Art. The images are not only beautiful but the message is
also philosophical about life, and what it means to be alive.
And now it's vamoose time again. I hope you enjoy looking at all those
lovely Bentleys. Here's a pic TX Greg sent, asking me to develop some sort
of story or scenario: Speaking of campfires, here's a challenge for
you. Add your thoughts to finish this scenario. "Gary woke from a snooze
to the warm glow and soft crackling of a campfire to step outside PJ and..."
And nuthin'. What are you trying to do to me, Greg? Anyway, here's a
better (and safer) idea... I'll ask Waffle readers to think of an appropriate
(or inappropriate) caption. Yeah? Gary
August 27, 2013. Back from Peter's joint, and the damage was
$450 which I thought was very reasonable. I was thinking somewhere between
5 and 600. It leaves me a bit short but it's payday this Thursday so I'll
be able to take care of Andrew on the weekend.
OR Richie wrote: Well by golly the new streamlined and lowered PJ
looks pretty damned good !! I can see that you are very happy with
it and I agree, now that I see it as it is. I may not get up to stand
corrected as it were but I can surely sit here corrected as to my thoughts
about it. And if it makes you feel better and more relaxed then it
just plain IS, and that's good. Yep, that door open looks pretty
inviting, really !! I like what you have planned and I also think
that you might at least look into some of the tapered and aerodynamic storage
pods for roof-mount that are available. Anyway, all the way around
it looks like a good tough little rig you have there, so... most excellent,
for sure ! Good pictures.
Dunno why you've got this roof-mounted storage pod obsession, Richie,
but that roof is for solar panels and a ventilation hatch.
TX Greg likes PJ's "new look" too: What a HUGE difference, PJ really
looks AWESOME and ready to take on the Outback :)
The drive out to Peter's, then into town and back to Peter's before
coming home was enough to convince me that PJ now feels like a single unit
rather than two. The marriage works well, and the handling around corners,
roundabouts and in tight areas is very good. I can also tell by the engine
revs and pulling power in 4th gear that the lowering of the camper has
reduced wind drag significantly, even at lower speeds around town.
Meanwhile, FL Josh is worried about my health: I know you hate me
nitpicking, but I don't want to see you go out there and get killed. In
the 7th picture it looks like the top hook of the turnbuckle is straightening
out almost to the point where the chain will slip off.
Optical illusion, Josh - angle of the dangle. It's all fine. You don't
really think Jason (Peter's offsider) would allow that to happen? Or me,
for that matter.
I put the gas bottle together with the switch and regulator all attached,
then did the leak test with the switch. Looks like there's a leak somewhere
cos the switch shut down. I haven't tried the soapy water trick yet but
I will - probably tomorrow. Meanwhile, the bottle is turned off. BTW, there
are two lever type valves on the copper tubing. One in the gas bottle compartment
and one at the back of the stove inside the camper. There's no 'on' or
'off' marking so I presume that 'off' is parallel to the tubing and 'on'
is at right angles. I'm trying to remember our gas water heater at home
when I was a kid but it was a long time ago. Anyway, if there's a prob
I'll ask Andrew about it this weekend.
From the Beeb: Is compulsory voting in a democracy a contradiction
in terms? That is the question some Australians have been asking since
voting became required by law here nearly a century ago. The right to vote
is a freedom fiercely sought by people all over the world, but Australians
do not have a choice. The continent is part of a small minority of just
23 countries with mandatory voting laws. Only 10 of those enforce them.
we're off to the polls in early September.
Police in the US have rescued more than 360 pitbull terriers and
arrested 12 people as they broke up an organised dog fighting ring, officials
said. Authorities said the malnourished and mistreated dogs were recovered
along with $500,000 (£320,000) in raids on Friday in Alabama and
Georgia. US Attorney George Beck said bets on a single dog fight had
risen as high as $200,000.
Is it possible to create a radically different society? One where
material possessions are unnecessary, where buildings are created in factories,
where mundane jobs are automated? Would you want to live in a city where
the main aim of daily life is to improve personal knowledge, enjoy hobbies,
or solve problems that could be common to all people in order to improve
the standard of living for everyone? Some may think it is idealistic, but
97-year old architect Jacque Fresco is convinced his vision
of the future is far better than how we live today. I'll second
For Nissan 360, the Nissan Motor Company’s month-long product jamboree
in southern California, the company annexed the driveway at the posh Pelican
Hill Resort in Newport Beach to create a
memorable family reunion photo.
Speaking of V Hickles, after PJ's bumectomy, I saw a regular little
motorhome parked in my yard and wondered why the hell it had taken sooooo
damn long to arrive at something so unspectacular and ordinary, hehe. She's
no head turner, that's for sure. Most people save up a few bob or get a
loan and buy one from a new or used dealership. It's all over in a day.
But not me. Oh, no. I went through years of drama with a variety of tragic
machines that were unsuitable (or worse) for a variety of reasons. And
even when I did finally find a decent camper and, later, a ute, it was
another 16 months before the two were married! Sheesh!
When I was out and about earlier today, I saw a couple of motorhomes
and caravans, all of which were HUGE! We're talking St Bernards and a chihuahua
here. Even so, I have never spent so much time, energy and money (relative
to income) on any project in my life. Never. And what have I ended up with?
Something tres ordinaire. Useful, yes. Practical, yes. Worth the money,
yes. But not exactly Concours D'elegance material.
On the other hand, is it the vehicle or the purpose for which it is
intended that really matters? Obviously, it's the latter but I still reckon
I could have chosen a much easier and more direct route to get where I
am now hehe. The best part of this whole damn saga is that it's almost
over! I can't believe I actually went through all that crap.
There is an advantage to being small and unobtrusive, of course. I can
park anywhere a normal car can park, negotiate narrow roads and dirt tracks.
There's no hitching or unhitching. I can live quite well on the pension!
And I'm always guaranteed the best seat in the house!
Perhaps over time I'll develop a fondness for PJ that can only come
with life on the road. I can imagine, one day, reminiscing over pics of
her parked alongside famous icons, or at an endless stretch of beach or
outback desert, or sitting at the side of a dirt road with a flat tire,
or covered in mud, or at a campground with a camp fire at sunset or in
the main street of a country town. PJ and G, old travelling mates.
Anyway, here we are after several years of highs and lows, heartbreaks
and restarts, mistakes and solutions, searching eBay and Gumtree, and finally
ending up with a little motorhome called PJ. What a journey!
And now, boils and goils, here's a link sent by NC Art to a
most extraordinary video of Nature at its Best. Settle back for a new
moments and watch the magic. Gary
August 26, 2013. Roite. Back home after getting PJ loaded up
again and secured with re-arranged tie downs. That channel rail at the
rear is no good according to the bloke who did the job. It's only secured
to the frame by four small bolts. So the new tie down arrangement hooks
up to the chassis in front, and the tow bar at the back.
As I walked around PJ once it had been lowered onto the tray, I realized
what a big difference a foot makes. Gas and water are now easily accessible,
the camper itself looks far more stable and comfortable at its reduced
height, and even on the short drive home through town I could appreciate
the difference in handling and overall "feel". Even the engine seemed more
And how much did it cost? Dunno yet. Peter wants his mate to fill in
a job card tonight, so I'll call around tomorrow morning. BTW, the new
owner of the business is Peter's foreman... Peter sold it to him after
42 years in biz. He'll be 67 later this year. He told me this morning he's
getting a bit too old for off-road racing cars - those things that are
basically an engine on a chassis held together by welded pipe. I just did
a Google and found Peter Sowter listed on the NSW
Off-Road Racing Hall of Fame for 2010.
TX Greg wrote: Wonder why they mounted the power inlet so high up
on the wall. You'll need a ladder every time to hook up. And the cord will
hang over the window. That seems really odd, but looks like that came from
the factory that way. I noticed there are three switches above the sink,
could one of those be a breaker?
The small black and white ones are 12V and 240V for the oyster light.
The larger one is the exhaust fan. The nearby power points are external
Can't wait to see the new slim and trimmer PJ :)
You can see in that last shot where the brake/indicator wires for the
camper have been relocated. Well, guess what? I spent about an hour reloading
all the stuff I took out of the storage boxes last week, including the
one that no longer exists. And.... everything but the Porta Potti is in,
with room to spare. The pop-up beach shade slipped nicely behind the seat
in the cab so no worries there. Now the question remains, do I need tool
When you start packing stuff, after a few bulky items go in, you start
to notice nooks and crannies. And the more stuff you load, the more nooks
and crannies there are. You start seeing a place for this and a place for
that. I was amazed at how everything slotted into the two big side bins
without any problem at all. First to go in, on the passenger side, were
the jacks, wrapped in an old ground sheet. On the top of the ground sheet
went the telescopic ladder (whose width only just makes it). Both the jacks
and ladder are fairly flat items, so there was plenty of room on top for
various other stuff, plus a stack of room left over! The bin on the other
side contains the air conditioner in the middle, so on the right of the
a/c are the watering can (used to fill the water tank by hand), a fuel
can, a large cooler box, and my tool box. On the left of the a/c are the
12V shower, 12V air compressor, hand pump and battery charger plus a bucket
full of ropes, pegs, etc and lots of spare room.
splurged again! But it's a good price and I need one... ish.
From the Beeb: When asked about the trial of former top politician
Bo Xilai taking place this week, Lao Zhang, a security guard standing outside
a downtown Beijing office building, barely reacts at all. "The trial has
no effect on average people," he frowns, bending down in the afternoon
sun to dust off his shoe. "There are so many corrupt officials out there
don't have any connection with us."
UN inspectors are due to visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons
attack that took place on Wednesday near the Syrian capital Damascus. The
Syrian government and the rebels agreed to a ceasefire to allow the inspectors
to collect evidence safely. However, Western governments criticised Syria
for taking too long to allow in the UN team. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
warned the US against military intervention, saying it would end in failure.
"If someone is dreaming of making Syria a puppet of the West, then this
will not happen," he
told the Russian newspaper Izvestiya.
The mining and resources boom has fuelled the Australian economy
- but how has it changed Western Australia, asks Professor Fiona Haslam
McKenzie. While other Western economies have languished or even faced bankruptcy,
the Australian economy has, for the last decade, experienced exponential
growth on the back of what appears to have been insatiable Asian, most
particularly Chinese, demand
for our mineral resources.
Just cooked Chinese beef which I'll have with noodles and cheese tonight.
I can smell the ginger and spices. Mmmm. Meanwhile, I am a happy chappy
after PJ's bumectomy, and I shook Peter's and his mate's hands today to
say so. BTW, the new frame slotted between the tray rails perfectly. The
only thing that took a bit of time was organizing the new tie downs which,
for the rear, meant splitting each length of chain into two and linking
the two lengths with a turnbuckle. He also rummaged through my box of tricks
and found a couple of U shackles which he used.
So there ya go. Next it'll be Andrew and the solenoid plus a couple
of radio aerials. And the tool boxes? Well, we'll see. Not necessary as
it turns out, but could be handy. And now it's time to call it a day, update
and catch a bit of telly. Gary
August 25, 2013. Another gorgeous sunny day but what'll I do
with it? A little shopping is all I have planned. Meanwhile, TX Greg has
a few Qs about PJ's mains power.
I would have never guessed that was a power outlet. I rather like
the way it points straight down, a little bit more weather proof. Our outside
plugs are flush mount behind a spring loaded flap cover. When I saw the
pic today of that plug my first thought was, oh dear please tell me that's
not how the mains power hooks up and we have another doubled ended male
cord problem. You haven't said or shown, nor do I think you have actually
hooked the camper up to mains power yet. So how exactly does yours work
and plug up? Does the camper have it's own breaker or fuse box? Ours uses
a breaker box inside the camper with a power cable wired direct that pulls
out to attach to mains power.
At first, due to my ignorance, I thought the outlet was an inlet hehe...
and was surprised to discover the extension lead had a female plug just
like the outlet! So I asked the GN techie forum about it and learned that
the inlet for mains power is elsewhere... near the stove exhaust:
I bought a new lid but the hinge is stuffed, so the other day I bought
a whole new fitting and will get Andrew to install it. As to a fuse box,
I have no idea. Seems your leads pull out to attach to mains power, but
here it's the park's lead that pulls out to attach to the van.
father teaches his son how to plug up the camper...
Pretty cool pic of the thistle. We call them dandelions. As a kid
they were fun to pick and blow the seed pods off and watch them fly. And
now as an adult they are a pain as every spring they take over my lawn,
This one had the sense to wait till Stan the Lawn man had been and gone
before it popped out to greet the sun.
From the Beeb: The UK and the US have threatened a "serious response"
if it emerges Syria used chemical weapons last week. Prime Minister David
Cameron and President Barack Obama spoke on the phone for 40 minutes on
Saturday, Mr Cameron's office said. Both were "gravely concerned" by "increasing
signs that this was a significant chemical weapons attack carried out by
the Syrian regime". The Syrian regime and opposition have
accused each other over the attacks.
Thousands of people have attended a rally in Washington DC to mark
50 years since Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech on civil
rights. Jobs, voting rights and gun violence topped the concerns of many
of those who marched to the Lincoln Memorial. Eric Holder, the first black
US attorney general, said he and President Barack Obama would not be in
office had it not been for the original marchers. Mr Obama will mark the
event on the actual anniversary next week. Who
could ever forget "I have a dream?"
Very quiet in town today and at the mall. The CC was a young bloke and
as I wheeled my trolley of groceries towards the checkout he was just standing
there looking bored and waiting for someone to appear. Most unusual in
that place, which is often a mad house. And me? I've had two naps so far.
Tsk, tsk. Feeling too lazy to do anything. Not that there's much
that needs doing anyway. Oh, yes... I did check my folding 2-step with
the ute and was surprised at the distance between the top step and the
tray. Then I remembered that the weight of PJ lowers the height of the
tray by 3 or 4 inches! There was also nothing to hold on to so stepping
onto the tray was a bit wobbly hehe.
Which reminds me, I must ask the bloke who did the work on PJ to think
about attaching a handle near the back door. I'll get it done when I have
the tool boxes fitted.
Not much of a waffle today, I'm afraid. I'm in one of those dream-like
states where your eyes glaze over and your mind wanders. I see Nancy the
dentist at 9 tomorrow morning, and then it's off to Sowter Engineering
to put PJ back together. I suppose some of the locals have seen the ute
in the yard without the camper and concluded the worst. Hehe. People are
like that. "I knew it! I knew it was too tall! I knew it would fall off!"
August 24, 2013. TX Greg wrote: Youre freezing and heat here
is about to make me drop over. Is there some magic half way point that
the weather is always nice, hehe
Yesterday was a 100% improvement on the morning before... 0C to 1C.
But I was wearing my LJs so I didn't really notice when I drove out to
Peter's. The days are nice though... 20-ish.
Great to hear and see the bumectomy went well. That was some huge
neat steel sawhorses they were using there. Can't remember if I've asked
you this before. That louver thingy that sticks out half way up above the
RHS tail light, is that a fresh air intake for the stove? I've just never
seen a stove have a direct fresh air inlet. That appears to stick out more
than the water drain, so the door should still open and secure ok.
Nope. The exhaust fan for the stove is above the driver side window
in pic 5. The dooverlacky above the RHS tail light is a power outlet for
using mains power externally. According to the GN techie forum guys it's
a domestic fitting and not suitable for a camper. The saw horses, BTW,
were used to catch the bottom box during the bumectomy. There's some pretty
serious machinery at Peter's place... obviously set up for much bigger
jobs than mine. I think he feels sorry for me hehe.
Am I seeing things this morning, the large side window appears to
be really cracked bad???
The crack was there when I bought the camper. It's a clean break that
runs the width of the glass, and has been sealed with Silastic. The glass
doesn't move or leak but I intend to have it replaced at a Caravan Repair
place about a 15 minute drive down the highway when all the other work
has been completed. The previous owner received a question about it when
the camper was being auctioned on eBay and said it would cost about $50
to repair. Yeah, right. Click
repair instructions at the top of this page for details. The winder
on the rear window is buggered also, so I'll get that fixed as well. I
reckon the total job will be around the $400-500 mark.
Meanwhile FL Josh wrote: You might want to check with them to see
if the wood they used is pressure treated so it won't rot or be prone to
attack by termites, other insects and fungal decay.
Wood? What wood? The frame is iron. If the floor of the camper is wood,
it's the original (or a replacement during repairs and renovation).
Also, check and see if you can remove the spare tire.
Nah. I'll leave that to the tire bloke down the road when I get a decent
tire put on. However, Sowter Engineering will fit the tool boxes.
I like the looks of the engineering firm. They look like they
have it all going on and I noticed a bit of another camper or RV there
which might mean they work on such things all the time and know all about
them, which would be a plus. Now all you need is a coon tail, no wait,
kangaroo tail, attached to the radio antenna, and you are good to go.
You're probably referring to pic 3, Josh. That's the back end of PJ.
There were no other campers there but that's not to say they don't work
on them occasionally. I know they do truck trays. And Peter's been motorhoming
for decades. He's hoping to sell the biz and do the Big Lap.
Speaking of which, OR Richie commented on the significance of 69: and
of course.... yeah- here's a toast to the coming b'day and while many people
make an instant joke of the number 69 one has to reflect that it does have
a perfect symmetry of a sort; the one up, the other down, the high and
the low and the year that our little group of species managed to take off
on the biggest boldest adventure of our times.. heading off a quarter million
to "Tranquility Base", and let's hope that all yours are just that, too.
GOT IT! Just back from shooting 20 pics of the thistle and got 3 good
of which I just substituted for the old one on Red Bubble. Click the
image for the enlarged version. Pretty nifty, yes? Just as it came out
of the camera, uncropped. Luckily, most of the delicate little seed "parachutes"
held together in the occasional gusts of wind. I lost a couple.
Back from checking out all the gear in the garage... the stuff that
came out of the storage boxes. I figure the only item that won't fit in
the side bins (actually, it does but takes up too much room) is the Porta
Porti so that'll have to ride in front with me. The diameter of the pop-up
beach shade is too big so that'll be inside PJ up in the cab over with
camp chairs and table. Otherwise, everything else will be in the side storage
bins or tool boxes or behind the front seat in the cab where there's quite
a bit of space. No wukkin' furries.
The bike rack is a bit awkward too, but it's only attached when driving
and carrying the bike. When camped, it can go under the truck. Doesn't
need to be stored.
From the Beeb: The Pentagon is moving forces closer to Syria as the
US weighs its options in the conflict there, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel
has suggested. He gave no details, but media reports say the US Navy is
strengthening its presence in the eastern Mediterranean. On Friday, President
Barack Obama said fresh allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian
government this week was
of "grave concern".
A huge California wildfire has burned into Yosemite National Park,
park officials say. The week-old Rim Fire grew to 164 sq miles (424 sq
km) by Friday morning, and had burned 17 sq miles at the edge of the park
by the afternoon. The blaze has forced scores of tourists to flee during
peak season and is threatening thousands of homes. More than 2,000 firefighters
have been tackling the flames in difficult terrain. It
is just 2% contained.
The car that saved a President. Saved
by a goddess.
I think today's weather would have to score a P for perfect. It's gorgeous
outside and the wind has dropped to zero. P for perfect weather to be camped
somewhere. Or in Sydney at the Botanic Gardens right on the harbor with
an iconic view back to the bridge and opera house. That's where I'll be
in just over a week. Good time to be at the Botanic Gardens too cos it's
spring! I'll be there early just after 7am opening, snapping madly away
with the Nikon.
A drunken man walks into a biker bar, sits down at the bar and orders
a drink. Looking around, he sees three men sitting at a corner table.
He gets up, staggers to the table, leans over, looks the biggest, meanest,
biker in the face and says: 'I went by your grandma's house today and I
saw her in the hallway buck-naked. Man, she is one fine looking woman!'
The biker looks at him and doesn't say a word. His buddies are confused,
because he is one bad biker and would fight at the drop of a hat. The drunk
leans on the table again and says: 'I got it on with your grandma and she
is good, the best I ever had!'
The biker's buddies are starting to get really mad but the biker
still says nothing. The drunk leans on the table one more time and says,
'I'll tell you something else, boy, your grandma liked it!'
At this point the biker stands up, takes the drunk by the shoulders,
looks him square in the eyes and says...'Grandpa;... Go home!'
Well, that's it for Satdee... a pretty quiet one at that. Be noice!
August 23, 2013. Jeez, no wonder I was cold yesterday morning.
It was 0C. Dunno what it was this morning but I had the long johns on when
I drove out to Peter's just before 7am and arrived before they did! They
had to move vehicles out of the big shed before I could move in. Then I
undid all the turnbuckles and chains, unplugged the brake/indicator lead
from the tow bar (yes, I remembered this time), set up the jacks and then
let the guys take over. Peter arrived about 7:30 and booted me outta there.
When I asked him about money he said not to worry about it. "We know where
you are!" He figures they might need to keep the camper over the weekend
(no one works weekends but they might not get the job finished today -
they're 1 man short). When I asked about measuring the ute tray for the
new frame, the guy said he'll take measurements from the old wood frame...
and may even use that one again. Why not? It would be cheaper. Meanwhile,
Peter invited me back at about 1pm just to check on how the job is going.
So there ya go, pretty painless so far (not counting getting outta bed
at 5:30am). I took some pics and I'll take a few more when I go back for
a peek in about an hour. The Courier is back to its frisky, bone-shaking
self, and zooms along without the burden of PJ.
NC Art wrote: Hey, don’t knock Iceland , mate. Landing there can
be a bit squirrely since it involves guessing at the right fjord for one
shot at the landing strip. No room to turn around if you choose the wrong
one. But, the natives are friendly and all the women are beautiful blue-eyed
blondes! Well, that’s the way it was in 1945 when my bomber crew visited
on the way home after the unpleasantness with Adolph Hitler.
And speaking of bombers and flying and such, Art sent this link to an
incredible story, Mission
Unimaginable: Kind of makes you wonder why we even had fighters
on ready alert without any armament installed or ready.
FL Josh wrote: The mention of Susan Manning's alcoholism reminded
me of a experiment I read about once. They took two glasses, filled
one with water, the other with alcohol, and dropped a worm in each glass.
The worm dropped in the water lived, but the worm dropped in the alcohol
died. This they said proves that if you drink alcohol, you won't
Also, happy 69th.
Lemme see. August 29. Ooer! Pay day! That'll make me happy. I should
have enough to pay Andrew for his next jobs. Then it'll be off to Sydney
to see the doc.
TX Greg also wrote: Hope everything goes well today with the bumectomy.
That should make for some interesting pics. I know you will be happy to
have that weight off your back, or should that be off the tray back, hehe
Not so much the weight of the old box but reducing the gap between the
floor of the cab over and the roof of the cab. The bumectomy should improve
the aerodynamics significantly, as well as fuel economy. PJ was a bit too
thirsty for my liking. I'll miss the extra storage, obviously, but life
is a compromise... especially when you're poor!
When they said "all day" they meant half a day. They knock off on Fridays
at 1pm for the weekend. The hardest bit of the job according to the bloke
who worked on it was relocating the gray water hose just below the RHS
tail light. I hope it doesn't interfere with the door opening and being
secured. If it does I can use some sort of ring in the eyelet on the exterior
wall. I also see they've used scrap iron to make the underbelly frame.
Fine with me. Cheap, cheap, cheap. The bloke said the old timber frame
had seen better days so they discarded it after using it for measurements.
Interestingly, the skids on the new frame go from side to side rather than
end to end like the old timber ones.
So, there you have it. The bloke asked me to call back Monday after
morning smoko (9am) to load the camper. And that'll be it! No it won't.
Tool boxes come next, probably in 2 or 3 weeks. And Andrew the weekend
of August 31.
Actually, when the bloke said he had a prob with the gray water hose,
I said but that's what you do for a living. You're a problem solver. And
that's better than doing the same old, same old every day. He was more
than happy to concur.
From the Beeb: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the alleged
chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital "needs to be investigated
without delay". He is sending disarmament chief Angela Kane to Damascus
to press for an investigation, his spokesman Eduardo del Buey said on Thursday.
Earlier, France said a "reaction with force" might be needed. No
problem! Come on in and check out our chemical weapons! Make yourself right
Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in a forthcoming Superman sequel,
bringing together the two superheroes in one film for the first time. The
41-year-old will star opposite British actor Henry Cavill, who will reprise
his role as Superman from the most recent film, Man of Steel. Director
Zack Snyder revealed the big screen superhero mash-up at a comic convention
in San Diego last month. Production is expected to begin next year for
release in the summer of 2015. And
who's gonna be Robin?
A 23-year-old photojournalist has been gang-raped by five men in
the Indian city of Mumbai, police say. The woman, who was on assignment
on Thursday evening in the Lower Parel area when she was attacked, is in
hospital with multiple injuries. What
kind of morbid mentality are we talking about here?
Well, here I yam as the sun is about to do its northern hemispherical
thing for another 12 hours and I'm pleased to say the day has not been
as melodramatic as I thought it might. The bumectomy went without incident.
And hopefully there won't be any surprises when it's loaded onto the ute
on Monday, which I'll spend sorting out what goes in the bins and what
goes in the tool boxes. Not sure about the Porta Potti, but I do know it
fits comfortably on the passenger's seat hehe. If that turns out to be
its "place" driving from one camp to another on the Odyssey, and I happen
upon some poor bugger who needs a ride, I can always store it temporarily
inside PJ. However, I don't intend to be a taxi service.
So, that's it for Fridee's Waffle. Bit of an anti-climax in a way hehe.
August 22, 2013. High cloud is stopping me from getting a dose
of warmth from the sun, dangit. And it's cold in the house. So I've done
the hot water bottle trick between my back and the chair.
OH Jace is worried I might cark it before I hit 69 so he sent a birthday
greeting a week early. You have been talking about your warm days down
under while we are having cool days in what should be the hottest part
of summer. June was rainy with 20 consecutive days of thunderstorms. July
was hot and humid but for only 9 days. The rest of the summer has been
below 80 degrees with nights falling into the 40's F. Not your average
summer for sure.
Jace says all the boys are back at school, and the grandson is 2 months
old now and growing like a weed. Sean and his big bro are still somewhere
in Europe: They started in Iceland first of the month then flew to Germany.
They talked about hitting Russia this time, but I'm not sure they got the
VISA. They will fly home from Rome in late August heading back to work
for eleven months so they do it again next August. Not sure where they
plan to visit next year.
Those young blokes sure do love to travel. Iceland? Sheesh. Anyway,
I'm glad to hear that all the Ohio Gang is doing well and making babies.
Thanks for the birthday wishes, Jace. Seems like yesterday that BR Joao
congratulated me on becoming a sexagenarian.
TX Greg wrote: Well I see I was only half right on the gas switch,
that it does only shut off in sudden increase in flow. I'm rather amazed
that it can detect a small leak in only 45 seconds and I'm guessing that
has something to do with it being on the high pressure side in front of
the regulator. I would still also use the soap spray bottle just to be
how a leak would look...You did a great job on the Teflon tape :) I've
never seen pink Teflon tape before, but I rather like that idea because
it's very easy to spot that it was applied to the fitting.
I have a feeling that whoever installed the original regulator hose
used joint compound. The fitting was stuck solid. Good thing Stan is a
strong bugger with powerful arms. When I finally get the PJ video finished,
you'll see Stan wielding a chain saw. He was also a competition tennis
The other day I saw a thistle on the lawn and thought about photographing
it. But by the time I decided to, the wind had blown all the seeds away!
So yesterday I saw another and decided to grab the Nikon. I tried to peg
it to the clothes line without success, so I raced inside and grabbed a
bit of tape. But I was so concerned with the thing disintergrating in the
breeze, I left the clothes line too high to get a close up shot. Drat!
In the end, I had to crop the pic to hide the line and tape, which means
there are insufficient megapixels for a large print. BUT. This morning
I found another thistle. It's sitting on the bookcase beside me.until the
sun pops out. This time I'll get a macro shot so I don't need to crop the
pic. Photographing it attached to the clothes line means I can get a blue
sky background. A Red Bubbler this morning asked if I had to lie on the
ground to get that shot. Lying on the ground is the easy part, Terry. It's
the getting back up that presents a problem.
Andrew phoned this morning to say he hasn't forgotten me. He found a
solenoid for about $100, which is $150 cheaper than he expected. So that's
good. He's also still busy with his father in law's house in Sydney and
won't be here this weekend. That's also good because PJ's bumectomy tomorrow
is gonna put a pretty big hole in the budget and I need a bit more time
and another pension to fill the coffers again. So the timing is working
out quite well. When things settle down again, I can organize the tool
From the Beeb: The trial of Bradley Manning has cast light on how
he came to leak thousands of classified documents, and on his troubled
childhood in a family splintered by divorce and alcoholism. Susan Manning
liked vodka - it was easier to hide. "If you put vodka in certain drinks,
you can't really smell it," said her daughter, Casey Major, in
a courtroom in Fort Meade, Maryland, last week.
UN officials say alleged chemical weapons attacks which Syria's oppositions
says killed hundreds near Damascus were a "serious escalation". Deputy
Secretary-General Jan Eliasson made the comments after briefing an emergency
UN Security Council meeting about Wednesday's incident. The Security Council
also said that clarity was needed over the attacks. Some 35 member states
called for UN weapons inspectors already in Syria to be dispatched immediately
to the scene. Opposition activists said that more than 1,000 people were
killed after government forces launched rockets with toxic agents into
the Damascus suburbs in the Ghouta region early on Wednesday. What
happened to that red line Obama mentioned?
Two future US presidents called Richard Nixon in support after he
gave a speech on the Watergate scandal amid a staff exodus, newly released
tapes show. Ronald Reagan and George H W Bush attempted to boost Nixon
as he denied any knowledge of the infamous break-in at his political rivals'
could argue that Wikileaks is simply speeding up the process a little.
Two schoolgirls have become the world's youngest formation wing-walkers.
Rose Powell and Flame Brewer, both 9, took to the skies over Gloucestershire
on Wednesday. Encouraged by their grandfather, who is a professional pilot,
they undertook the record attempt to help raise awareness of Duchenne
Have you ever wondered where you or your children may be living in
2050? Experts predict that by then three-quarters of the world's population
will live in cities. For part of its Tomorrow's Cities season the BBC takes
a look through the crystal ball to imagine what city life might be like
in 40 years' time. I'll
be 110 and a tad wrinkly.
I've been experimenting with the thistle shot again, learning a few
tricks. But by the time I'd figured out how to get the best shot, the clouds
came over. And I need bright sunlight to get the thistle to glow. A breeze
wasn't helping either, blowing the thistle in and out of focus. BUT I searched
the yard and found 3 more thistles. So tomorrow afternoon (depending on
what's happening with PJ) I'll try again. It's all practice, ladies and
genitals, all practice. I'm sure passers by in the street think I'm a few
bob short of a quid.
Anyway, by this time tomorrow, I'll know how PJ has come through the
surgery. Apart from removing the bottom box, they need to make a new frame
to hold the camper and two side boxes together, and sit between the side
rails of the tray. The camper is about a foot wider than the tray, 6" per
side. So I hope there are no complications. They start at 7am which I'm
NOT looking forward to, but I'll be wearing my long johns.
Oops! Almost forgot to empty the bottom box! So I just did that and
put all the stuff in the garage. There's a fair bit so it's gonna be a
bit tricky to get it all back in again, especially with the jacks stored
in one of the side bins. The tool boxes will help but they're limited to
smaller items. Anyway, I'm pretty good at organizing storage.
So that's it for Thors day. And as OR Richie says: ...and good luck
of course with Andrew and the Engineering folk of Peter and company....
sounds fun in a way, and can sense that you're really looking forward to
that part of the project. It's a fairly major operation and one I hadn't
anticipated until the camper was on board the Courier and I'd driven the
rig around a bit, including the haul to Port Mac and back. But I think
I'll be happier with the new arrangement despite losing quite a bit of
storage. Anyway, I'll know soon enough! Gary
August 21, 2013. TX Greg wrote: Well that's great news, Stan
helped you get your nuts off, hehe :)
Now I take it Stan is pretty smart, but I hope Stan did something
BEFORE fasting those fittings back together. The one end that goes to the
copper tubing is a flare fitting that does just screw on, BUT that other
end that screws to the hose looks like a pipe fitting. That can NOT just
be screwed in. It requires either what we call pipe dope, pipe joint compound
or Teflon tape to be applied to the threads BEFORE screwing together, otherwise
it WILL leak. I'm bring that up because you didn't say the bloke that sold
you the fitting also sold you one of those items.
I knew that! Okay... so I didn't know that. But I just read this article
about the difference between joint
compound and Teflon tape. I'll go with the Teflon.
"Even if there is a prob, the gas switch automatically shuts everything
this what you bought...
Yep... exactly the same model and brand.
Gary that will only shut off in a extreme flow rate, like if you
were to wreck and totally rupture a line. it will NOT shut down for a small
leak. How could it, you have to have flow to run the stove or fridge.
To use the gauge for detecting for leaks, you would open the bottle to
pressurize the system. Then turn the LP Bottle off and I would wait 24
hours to see if the gauge dropped.
The switch has directions for checking leaks. After step 5 "close cylinder
valve" it says (6) Observe the gauge for up to 45 seconds. If the needle
remains stationary, NO LEAKS exist. (7) If the needle moves towards EMPTY
within 45 seconds, A GAS LEAK exists. Find and repair the source of the
leak(s). (8) ALWAYS perform a leak test before using an appliance.
As to detecting leaks, it says The GasSwitch will cut off the supply
of gas when it detects a sudden increase in the flow of gas. This may be
caused by a failure of the hose, regulator or appliance. If the GasSwitch
cut off device activates, immediately turn off the cylinder valve.
I also see in the other Ford pic the same mystery rod is there on
the frame. Ford put it there for some reason, right?
Not necessarily. Mazda did. Maybe there are a few differences between
the Mazda version and the Ford re-badged version.
Back from shopping for a few bits and pieces including a roll of Teflon
tape at the plumber supply shop. You've set me back $2, Greg. But I appreciate
your professional advice in such matters, particularly when it involves
an involuntary trip to the moon. The tape is pink and comes in a pink container
so I asked the bloke at the counter if it was for girls. Hehe. He wasn't
amused. Ho hum, heard it all before.
There's a bit of Teflon showing but that's as far as the fitting will
screw on tightly (without being too tight). The Teflon is interesting the
way it clings to the groove of the thread like a second skin.
Meanwhile, FL Josh, being the helpful little Floridian he is, wrote
a link that will show your readers what you mean by a spanner wrench.
Mischievous NC Art on the other hand, sent this Borowitz report about
Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his fallout with the GOP.
Not content with that little gem, Art also sent this: AIRCRAFT HITS
FOUR BUILDINGS. Scares the crap out of everyone.
From the Beeb: Number 10 was involved in discussions with the Guardian
about material it had obtained from American whistle-blower Edward Snowden,
it has emerged. Prime Minister David Cameron ordered Britain's top civil
servant Sir Jeremy Heywood to contact the newspaper. It came after the
Guardian published details about secret US and British surveillance programmes.
Editor Alan Rusbridger said it was later forced
to destroy the computer hard drives storing the information.
With more than 50 million Hispanics living in the US, the Latino
community is now the country's biggest minority. While most are brought
up within the Catholic Church, a number of them are turning to Islam. Precise
figures are difficult to pin down as the US Census does not collect religious
data, but estimates for the number of Latino Muslims vary between 100,000
and 200,000. It's
a bit like ditching Mickey Mouse in favor of Bugs Bunny.
Three Oklahoma teenagers have been charged in the death of an Australian
who was gunned down in broad daylight as he jogged on a road in the US
state. College baseball player Christopher Lane, 22, was shot in the back
in the town of Duncan on Friday. Police said one of the accused admitted
Lane was killed for "the fun of it". This
is the story I referred to yesterday.
I saw the mother of one of those teens interviewed on telly. "Life in
prison? He don't need that. Execution for murder? He don't need that,"
she said. So there ya go, it's everyone's right to have children.
FL Josh is into little league, and so too, it appears, is Oz: The
Little League World Series is taking place in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
right now and Australia has a team competing for the first time ever.
Little League is growing in leaps and bounds in Australia, and they changed
the regions this year so that Australia is now its own region and will
always have a team entering. Australia's team is new to all this
and it was clear their coach had prepared them to be outplayed but to enjoy
the experience and they are one of the most likeable teams there.
Their coach is also one of the most admirable in the way he treats his
kids and talks to them.
Here are two links, the
first telling a bit about the Aussie team and Little League in Australia.
The Second is a bit long, about 20 minutes, and
is about last year's championship, but it is the best I could find
towards capturing what it is all about.
A good story I forgot to mention was that about a year ago, one of
the players saw his favorite baseball player in a restaurant and went up
to him and asked for his autograph. That baseball player is working
with ESPN as an analyst this week and remembered the boy so went up to
him in The Grove, and asked for HIS autograph.
I'm wondering if my ex boss from the late 70s and early 80s has something
to do with the Australian little league team. He's been a baseball fanatic
and caller for many years. He also went to China for an Australian TV network
to report on the baseball at the Olympics. Maybe he's too old now at 69,
I'm afraid I have little or no interest in sport apart from a moderate
interest in major events like the Olympics, and even then only in a few
sports. But I do have an interest in folding steps for motorhomes. Mine
arrived today in readiness for PJ's bumectomy. They're about 12" short
of the deck so that'll be fine.
A group of guys, all age 40, discussed where they should meet for
lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Ocean View Restaurant
because the waitresses there were gorgeous, with tight skirts, perky breasts
and nice bums.
Ten years later, at age 50, the friends once again discussed where
they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet
at the Ocean View restaurant because the food and service was good and
the wine selection was excellent.
Ten years later, at age 60, the friends again discussed where they
should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the
Ocean View Restaurant because they could dine in peace and quiet and the
restaurant had a beautiful view of the ocean.
Ten years later, at age 70, the friends discussed where they should
meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Ocean
View Restaurant because the restaurant was wheelchair accessible and had
Ten years later, at age 80, the friends discussed where they should
meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Ocean
View Restaurant, because they had never been there before and heard it
was quite good
I'll be doing that on the Odyssey... going around in circles and thinking
how wonderful it is to be seeing new things all the time. Hehe. Anyway,
my quota for today is up. Oh yes... just remembered something I thought
about today. There's a whole bunch of people doing the Big Lap and keeping
a blog. So what's my USP, as they call it in advertising - my unique selling
point? Just two little letters - me. Is that enough to make my Odyssey
different? I hope so. Too bad if it ain't. By the way, OR Richie thinks
my new regulator hose is very noice. Gary
August 20, 2013. "Sorry, we don't have anything that small. Go
around the corner to the camping place. They might have what you're looking
for." "No, we don't have anything like that here, mate. Try the Gas Man
next on the right." "No, we don't do that kinda thing here. What did you
say? You need a joiner? Try Pirtek, next on the right about half way along."
So I went to Pirtek. Fluid connectors? Tires? What the hell? "I dunno why
they sent me here," I said to the bloke behind the counter then showed
him the old regulator hose and the new one. "I need a joiner for the new
one that's the same as the old one." The bloke didn't say a word. He took
my old hose over to a wall of little plastic drawers that housed all kinds
of small metal thingies. "Oh? This looks promising," I said. At least he
was looking. After a few failed attempts, he approached the counter again
with the piece I needed. "And that'll cost you $3.75." I was astonished.
I'd already given up hope of ever being able to connect the new hose to
the old copper tubing. "You've made my day," I said. "I'm ecstatic!" "That's
why they sent you here," he said matter of factly. Then he advised me to
do the soapy water trick to test for leaks, using a spray bottle with water
and a little detergent.
That stuff on the end of the old regulator hose by the way is a piece
of tape to stop the bugs from getting in while it was unconnected.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot... how did I manage to disconnect the old hose?
Stan the Lawn man turned up so I gave him the big sob story. "Lemme see
what I can do," he said. He's the type of bloke who reckons he can do anything,
and loves to prove it. Hehe. It cost me a Bandaid though cos he banged
his knuckle. TX Greg will be glad to know that Stan used the "squeeze"
method with two spanners.
That was so funny on the "Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs". That
was really easy to read. And speaking of spelling I see I miss-spelled
wrenches on the right side of that pic. Well you taught me another Oz word.
We say wrenches, you say spanners :)
Wrenches are adjustable, spanners are set to a specific size. My spanners
are double ended... open at one end, and a ring at the other. I have two
sets, one SAE and one metric. I also have two large wrenches and several
The reason I suggested Ford take a peek is because that pipe really
should be extended out from under the wood bed for safety. Not to mention
now with the camper mounted, exhaust could get inside. If it did come new
from the factory with the pipe turned out the side and that will interfere
with the new box, then and easy straight pipe out the back to clear the
tray should work. Guess it really doesn't have to be Ford, any muffler
shop could fix that right up. Do you also call them Muffler Shops???
Yep, we have muffler shops and/or exhaust shops. Ford checked the ute
back in December for registration and passed the exhaust. I can't remember
ever seeing a ute with a side exhaust. Here's
another Courier - same model, same exhaust. The bed is not wood by
the way, it's a sheet of aluminium.
Had a weird phone call last night about 6. The bloke didn't ask for
anyone but he sounded like Lindsay's dad who's a bit of a practical joker.
So I said, "Who do you wanna talk to?" and he said, "Anybody!" So I figured
it was Lindsay's dad and I said, "Okay, I'm anybody." But it wasn't. The
bloke said, "I'm holding a note here that says 'Sorry but I backed into
your car today.' And it's got your phone number on it. It happened at Coles
car park." What? So I told the bloke I hadn't been anywhere near Coles
and that it must be a practical joke. Anyway, it turned out that he was
talking about Coles in Wingham, which made it even more ridiculous. I told
him I was from Taree. I also asked him about the damage to his vehicle
and he hadn't even had a look yet hehe. Sheesh. So I wished him well and
From the Beeb: The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, General
Guide Mohammed Badie, has been arrested in Cairo, Egyptian officials say.
Reports said he was detained at a residential flat in Nasr City. A state
of emergency is in force in Egypt amid turmoil following a crackdown on
Islamists in which hundreds have died. Three days of mourning are being
held for 25 police killed in Sinai by suspected Islamic militants.
we go again.
The CIA has released documents which for the first time formally
acknowledge its key role in the 1953 coup which ousted Iran's democratically
elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq. The documents were published
on the independent National Security Archive on the 60th anniversary of
the coup. They come from the CIA's internal history of Iran from the mid-1970s.
"The military coup... was carried out under CIA direction as an act of
US foreign policy," says one excerpt. And
it was all about oil.
The 87-year-old actor Dick Van Dyke has escaped unscathed after his
car burst into flames on a freeway in the Los Angeles area. Passers-by
saw him seemingly slumped over in the driver's seat on the shoulder of
the Ventura freeway, but actually trying to make a phone call, Van Dyke
said. They "yanked me out of the car" before it went up in flames. He
said he had not realised the Jaguar was on fire.
Catching the last bus: Some might face this news as they might the
passing of a Golden Age Hollywood actor: “Wow. He was still alive?” In
fact, the Volkswagen Type 2 – which debuted in 1950 and has been known
variously as the Transporter, the Microbus, the Bulli, the Hippie Van and,
in Portugal, the Breadloaf – has been built in Brazil since 1957, giving
it the longest production run of any passenger automobile in history. Production
of the Type 2 continued in Germany and the US until 1979; in Argentina
until 1986; and in Mexico until 1996. The holdout, Volkswagen do Brasil,
has at last announced the retirement
of the line at the end of this year.
BR João wrote An Old Guy's extravagancy: Diversity is the
salt of the earth, I agree, but some guys go too long. Why
didn’t he use a spoon? What a bizarre story!
The Beeb didn't carry this story I saw on local telly last night. A
young Aussie baseballer living and working in the US was shot in the back
and killed while jogging in a park in Oklahoma. It was a random drive-by
shooting by 3 teens who "just
felt like killing someone".
Well, the new gas regulator and hose is attached to the copper tubing.
Stan removed the gas bottle this morning to increase elbow room so it's
in the garage. I'll connect it all up later, including the gas switch.
Nice to know I managed to bypass a regular gas fitting person because they
just don't wanna know about small timers like me and their little jobs.
Bugger 'em. Once I've connected everything and checked for leaks, it should
be fine. Even if there is a prob, the gas switch automatically shuts everything
down. I've also got the AO alarm inside the van as well.
So there goes another day with a positive note! Three more sleeps till
PJ gets her bottom smacked, then I'll count the pennies and figure out
when I can order the tool boxes. Meanwhile, it's time to update Waffle
and think about stuffing my face with dinner. Oh, BTW, that photo I took
- Siblings - was accepted by the Old Farts group on Red Bubble, and they
only accept high quality stuff. So that's encouraging! Byeeeee! Gary
August 19, 2013. Every now and then, you crack a goodie - a special
photograph - and
this is the one I got this morning. As usual, click on the image to
FL Josh wrote: That spare tire is atrocious and obviously came off
a vehicle that was way out of alignment. Were the tires you replaced
worse than that? Can't remember but I don't think so. They were on
the back and fairly worn. The front ones were near new so the tire bloke
put those on the back and the newies on the front, then did a wheel balance
TX Greg wrote: Hmmm that is a mystery on that rod. Wonder if maybe
that was a tail pipe hanger support when the truck was new and the pipe
turned and came out the side. You can see in the pic that the tail pipe
looks like at some point something like a pipe extension had been slid
up about 1/2" over the end. Perhaps the next time you're out and about
swing by Ford and let them take a peek.
Wonder why you're having so much trouble getting the gas fitting
loose. I'm looking at that pic again and where the hose attaches to the
copper pipe is just a simple flare union fitting. Yes it would be better
to set the gas bottle out to get in there. Try putting on a pair of work
gloves (better leverage and protect your hands), put a wrench on each fitting
with little a gap as possible, then wrap your hands around both wrenches
on the outside (as to not pinch your fingers in the middle) and then squeeze
both wrenches together. That is really hard to explain in words. Don't
laugh at that pic, only way know how to explain and drew really fast, hehe
Could've been worse - you could've said wenches. Anyway, I tried something
like that but with two spanners (and no gloves, which explains why I nicked
my knuckle and bled).
Are your LP gas bottles like ours, the fitting that screws direct
into the bottle is backwards threads? If so then that gas switch would
be backwards threads into the bottle and backwards threads from the regulator
into the gas switch. Everything else should be righty tighty, lefty loosey,
unless your talking about sex that is, hahaha
Yep, it's all confusing with left threads and right threads. Here's
article I read yesterday about changing/attaching a gas bottle. Andrew
knows about this kinda stuff, and by the time he arrives again PJ will
be a foot lower, so I'll wait till then. I've also posted
the pic on the GN techies forum to see what others say about it.
Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs: I cdnualt blveiee taht i cluod aulaclty
uesdnatnrd waht i was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid.
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at cmabrigde uinervtisy, it deosn"t mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a word are the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the
frist and lsat be in the rghit pclae. The reset can be a taotl mses and
you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid
deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzantghah?
Yaeh and i awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt.
From the Beeb: Brazil says the detention under British terror laws
of one of its citizens at London's Heathrow airport caused "grave concern"
and was "unjustified". David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist
Glenn Greenwald who published documents leaked by Edward Snowden, was held
at Heathrow for nine hours on his way to Rio de Janeiro. He reportedly
had his mobile phone, laptop, DVDs and other items seized. Mr Miranda was
later released by British authorities. Yes,
it's a bit of a worry when journalists are intimidated for doing their
The first same-sex weddings have taken place in New Zealand after
the country became the first in the Asia-Pacific region and 14th in the
world to legalise same-sex marriage. Thirty-one same-sex couples had been
due to marry on Monday, according to the Department of Internal Affairs.
what? Internal affairs? Hmmm.
This year Australia welcomed the 800,000th refugee to be resettled
since the country's independence from the United Kingdom in 1901. This
former penal colony has harnessed their verve and risk-taking, while some
of Australia's richest people, including Westfield shopping mall king Frank
Lowy, arrived seeking sanctuary from cruelty overseas. I
suppose my ancestors could be classified as refugees; refugees from boredom
and perhaps poverty.
While my plan is to travel Oz at a leisurely pace, here's an Aussie
teen who is currently flying around the world solo. Here's
his blog. It might be something you'd like to bookmark.
And that's it for another lovely springish day on the mid north coast
of New South Wales. Funny about the 'Wales' component of this state name.
I don't consider myself a new south Welshman. I'm FROM NSW but not
a Welshman, new south or otherwise. If anyone asks where I'm from I usually
say Sydney now living in Taree. But most of all I'm an Aussie, citizen
of the world. Actually, there was a woman who spotted her husband in the
kitchen wielding a fly swat. "Killing any?" she asked. "Yep, five so far...
three males and two females." "How can you tell a fly's sex?" "Three were
on a beer can and two were on the phone."
Did I say the bol was delish? The bol was delish... and still is. So
I'm looking forward to a big bowl of that a little later. Is there such
a thing as a big later? I've never heard of a big later. Hehe. Words are
funny things. Imagine if we all had beaks instead of mouths. Can you imagine
all the chirps and whistles? Our written language would probably look more
like Morse Code. Lorikeets
do that. In summer when the bottle brush is in flower, they arrive
by the hundreds and settle in the trees all madly chattering at once..
a cacophony of squeaks and whistles.
Anyway, I'm outta here till the morrow. Gary
August 18, 2013. Perfect weather today - brilliant sunshine and
lovely outside. Not so lovely in here though. I had another fiddle with
the gas hose nuts but they won't budge. I toyed with the idea of using
the leak detector on the old hose and regulator but checked Google first
and read about hoses and regulators needing to be replaced at certain intervals
due to wear and tear. Sooooo, I'll wait till Andrew turns up again and
get him to do the job. It'll also be easier with the gas bottle out of
the compartment. It's a bit cramped in there.
So no more excitement till Friday when the bottom box gets the heave
About two years ago, NC Art sent a bunch of pics and humorous text about
South Africa's Kulula Airline. And just to make sure I got it okay, he
sent it again today hehe. If you'd like to refresh your memory about Kulula,
the journal entry and link to the photo album - scroll about halfway
down the page (July 8).
Here are a
couple of pics from a GN worth having a look at. And
a few more.
A 2007 study found that the average Australian walks about 900 miles
a year. Another study found that Australians drink an average of 22 gallons
of beer a year. That means, on average, Australians get about 41 miles
per gallon. Bloody good value that!
Well, the Beeb's pretty quiet today, as is everything here in Taree.
Even the treetops are motionless in the absence of wind. I read the GN
forums (fora) but there's not a lot happening there either. And PJ? Well,
not a lot I can do in anticipation of the bottom box removal. I'd like
to order the tool boxes now but I'm not sure what Peter's cost is gonna
be so I better halt the spending (despite my little spree on Friday). The
tool boxes can wait for another day. Incidentally, there's a small metal
rod that will need to be removed for the tool box installation on the passenger
side. You can see it welded to the chassis rail just behind the spring.
Dunno what the hell it is, but it appears to be redundant. Anyone know
what it's supposed to be for?
That spare tire doesn't look too flash either, and I think it could
do with an upgrade. The tire bloke down the road often gets used tires
in good nick so I'll pay him a visit. The chunk of steel plate with the
two bolts, by the way, is part of the tow bar assembly.
So there ya go, I can't even play with my new toys. How boring. I'm
expecting things to liven up in September though, provided of course the
doc in Sydney gives the go ahead for the operation on my gum. Once that's
healed, it'll be dentures time, and by then PJ will be done and dusted.
All of which means...??? Yeah.
When I think about it, starting AO earlier this year would have been
premature anyway because it's taken this long to get PJ organized. The
pension can only go so far, and only so much at a time. Nonetheless, I
think I've done pretty well. And I'll continue to add things once I'm on
the road... a 200W solar panel, a second AGM, windows fixed... that's about
it really. But those things can wait. Also, living expenses will be cheaper
on the road so I'll be able to save more. My share of the power bill alone
here is about $1500 and rent is $5000.
One GN the other day said he needed boots and a few other things, so
he visited an Op Shop in a town somewhere and bought the lot for $20. Hehe.
Anyway, 'tis getting a little late in the day and I've run outta stuff
to write about. When I first started AO I wrote "I've just turned 63 and
by the time I'm 73 I hope to have seen every nook and cranny of Oz." Yeah,
right. How long did it take to build Rome? So almost six years later I'm
still here, but at least I've come a long way and overcome quite a few
obstacles (including a serious bout of cancer). But the most important
thing is this: I never took my eyes off the prize, not even when I was
laid up in Royal Prince Alfred IC looking like this:
Nuthin's gonna stop the Odyssey. Nuthin.
August 17, 2013. I was expecting Andrew to phone this morning
but he must still be involved with his dad's house or whatever it is he's
doing in Sydney. Oh well... no rush, I guess. It's only 12C at the mo with
a layer of high cloud, heading for 24C, so I'll wait till it's a bit warmer
before I put on my gas fitter's hat. Can't be too hard to screw a few things
I've been making bolognaise for donkey's years but I just made the easiest
one ever... getting ready for cooking on the road. Canned and dried stuff
is a real no brainer. Brown ground veal in some olive oil, add dried onion
and garlic to veal as it's browning (to stop the dried onion and garlic
from burning). Once browned., add small can of sliced champignons in butter
sauce, 1 sachet of tomato paste, 1 cup water, mix, add sachet of bolognaise
sauce mix (wet type), some ground pepper, a dash or two of Tabasco, simmer
for 10 minutes, and voila! Done.
The small fridge doesn't have a full width freezer - just a little pokey
one - so cooking is the best way to preserve stuff when camped too far
from town for regular shopping. Some GNs solve the fresh "meat" problem
with a rod and reel but I'm not particularly piscatorially predilected.
Yabbies (fresh water crays) are also popular with campers. I'll settle
for a can of salmon or tuna. Actually, I love home made fish cakes. And
CHIPS of course. I'll always have a few fresh spuds on hand.
Well, the gas thing was a non event. I couldn't loosen the old regulator
nuts. Been there too long, I guess. It was last certified by a gas inspector
in '84. So I gave it a spray of WD40 and I'll leave it for a few days.
A year or so ago, the BBC posted its correspondent Nick Bryant to Australia.
He's a great writer, and I saw him appear often on local current affairs
programs. But now the Beeb has given him a new assignment, and posted him
to New York. Read
his first report.
On the streets of Cairo it's not just a fledgling democracy that
lies in ruin. US policy too is in tatters - in the eyes of many - or at
least America's reputation and credibility. Since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak
in 2011, the US has struggled to strike a balance between support for the
tenuous progress towards democracy and protection of its national security
interests. The White House has tried hard to work with whoever is in power
in Egypt but has ended up with no
friends and little influence in Cairo.
The Lockheed U-2 helped create Area 51 and spied on the Soviet Union
from the edge of space. It's still in service 57 years later. BBC
Future peers into its fascinating history.
Here's a GN with a few bob in his kick hehe This
is his rig with 5th wheeler. Wow.
On the Tips and Ideas forum I saw a handy one... quick, cheap and easy
fire starters. Rub Vaseline into cotton balls and store in a zip plastic
bag. Vaseline is handy for lots of things. Hehe. And that's all I'm sayin.
Someone else said corn chips make good fire starters as well.
Ronald Reagan and Nancy reckon this bloke is not only talented but funny.
What's more, you don't often see a juggler who's also a comedian. Check
And that's about it for Satdee Waffle. I was hoping to become an instant
gas fitter today but, alas, it was not to be. Perhaps that explains why
I'm still alive to tell the tale hehe. Gary
August 16, 2013. Too long between prezzies, I reckon, so I went
shopping at Supercheap Auto. Got me a new Campmaster gas regulator with
hose, a Campmaster gas switch (leak detector and gas level indicator) and
a 4-man dome tent. The gas switch was on spesh at half price and the tent
was a stock sellout at just $40. My last tent was nicked from the Falcon
ute. I only ever put it up in the backyard but always considered it a useful
thing to have as emergency accommodation in case PJ gets struck by a meteor
Meanwhile, the blob of Silastic sealant on the copper gas tubing that
TX Greg spotted in a photo, and went ballistic about, is probably a precautionary
measure rather than a repair. The gas bloke who looked at it (and then
didn't turn up for the job) said, "but that's a nut joint", as if to say
it's not a crack or hole. So I figure the gas switch will soon determine
whether or not there's a fault. It's a branded item that conforms to Australian
Standards and is guaranteed for 3 years so it should be reliable. It'll
also be useful as a gauge.
I also went to the Nuts and Bolts place to get some new bolts for the
channel rail at the back of PJ. The existing bolts are rusted to the sheethouse.
As I walked into the N&B place, there was a bloke at the counter laughing
himself silly at a picture in today's Telegraph. Scroll down to see our
PM Kevin Rudd being investigated
by a bomb squad canine. Hehe. What a classic! That'll be all over the
TV news tonight.
I've not heard back from the folding step seller about the availability
of a 3-step version so I guess a 2-step is it. TX Greg reckons I should
go with the 2-step, so I measured the height of the ute tray - 730mm. The
height of the steps is 435mm so that leaves a 300mm gap, which is 1 foot.
Not exactly a giant leap, so it should be fine.
Matter of bloody fact, I just bought it. They only had 4 left, and there's
not many of those things about.
So there's a bit of excitement! And $145 spent all up. Oh well... that's
what money is for, and I think I got my money's worth.
Another thing I noticed after casually inspecting PJ this morning in
the sunshine was that the brackets that currentlly connect turnbuckles
to the ute tray will be a foot lower once the bottom box is gone. Hello?
It'll be at the same level as the tray height. So goodbye turnbuckles.
That won't be a prob at the rear cos I'll use Peter's brackets to bolt
onto the channel rail, which will be just above tray height. At the front,
there's a second pair of brackets higher up, to which chains are currently
connected. They'll come down a foot too, so I'll connect them to the tray
rather than the uprights. She'll be right, mate, no worries.
From the Beeb: The Egyptian capital Cairo is poised for renewed protests
as supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi call for marches after
Friday prayers. It comes two days after authorities broke up Muslim Brotherhood
protest camps in the Egyptian capital with the loss of at least 638 lives.
Egypt is in a state of emergency and police have been authorised to use
live ammunition in self-defence. Meanwhile, Egypt's interim leaders have
criticised remarks by President Obama. Maybe
those Middle Eastern people are just too culturally immature to embrace
The US National Security Agency (NSA) broke privacy rules and overstepped
its legal authority thousands of times in the past two years, according
to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The incidents resulted in the unauthorised
electronic surveillance of US citizens, according to documents published
by the Washington Post. Mr Snowden, a former NSA contractor, has leaked
top secret documents to the US and British media. Power
Two powerful earthquakes have rocked the New Zealand capital, Wellington,
but there were no immediate reports of major damage. The first quake, with
a magnitude of 6.5, struck close to the South Island town of Seddon at
14:31 (02:31 GMT) and was followed by a 5.7 aftershock. The tremors were
felt across central New Zealand, sending workers rushing from buildings
in Wellington. They
ain't called the 'shaky isles' for nuthin ya know.
Did you see an airship today? No? Beautiful, mystical and elegant,
the airborne equivalent of an ocean liner is a wonderful idea, but as James
May explains some
bad PR put paid to them.
You know the way kids use the word 'like' these days. Like I was talking
to this other kid and he like said he had a really cool time at the like
movies and... Hehe. Well, at Supercheap Auto a young girl was asking the
shop assistant about steering wheel covers. She was holding one she fancied
and wanted to know if it would fit. So the assistant explained the difference
between standard size steering wheels and the sporty types. The girl responded
with, "It's only like a Mitsubishi..." Oh? Like a Mitsubishi? That could
mean anything. Or IS it a Mitsubishi? Where did this 'like' thing come
from anyway? The shop assistant solved the matter by saying, "It should
fit. If it doesn't, bring it back and we'll exchange it or give you a refund."
You'll love this vid... a
geriatric traffic jam.
A man wakes up in the hospital bandaged from head to foot. The doctor
comes in and says, Ah, I see youve regained consciousness. Now you probably
wont remember, but you were in a huge pile-up on the freeway. Youre going
to be okay, youll walk again and everything, however, your penis was severed
in the accident and we couldnt find it.
The man groans, but the doctor goes on, You have $9000 in insurance
compensation coming and we now have the technology to build a new penis.
They work great but they dont come cheap. Its roughly $1000 an inch.
The man perks up.
So, the doctor says, You must decide how many inches you want. I
understand that you have been married for over thirty years and this is
something you should discuss with your wife. If you had a five incher before
and get a nine incher now she might be a bit put out. If you had a nine
incher before and you decide to only invest in a five incher now, she might
be disappointed. Its important that she plays a role in helping you make
The man agrees to talk it over with his wife.
The doctor comes back the next day, So, have you spoken with your
Yes I have, says the man.
And has she helped you make a decision?
Yes, she has, says the man.
What is your decision? asks the doctor.
Were getting granite kitchen tops.
An older gentleman had an appointment to see the urologist
who shared offices with several other doctors. The waiting room was
filled with patients. As he approached the receptionist's
desk, he noticed that the receptionist was a large unfriendly woman
who looked like a Sumo wrestler. He gave her his name. In a
very loud voice, the receptionist said, "YES, I HAVE YOUR NAME HERE.
YOU WANT TO SEE THE DOCTOR ABOUT IMPOTENCE, RIGHT?"
All the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around
to look at the very embarrassed man. He recovered quickly, and in
an equally loud voice replied, 'NO, I'VE COME TO INQUIRE ABOUT
A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, BUT I DON'T WANT THE SAME DOCTOR THAT
And here we are again, time to wrap the Waffle and attend to domestic
duties. Been a fairly intersting day... like the old saying, a purchase
a day keeps the blues away. Gary
August 15, 2013. Pay day today. In and out, roundabout, never
enough to shout about. However, I did win two smaller prizes on Lotto this
week. Wheeeeeee! Everything happens in threes, roite? Stay tooned!
NC Art sent this. It's supposed to be a scientific study of women versus
men drivers, with the dog as judge:
Art also sent this: Toward the end of the Sunday service, the Minister
asked, "How many of you have forgiven your enemies?" 80% held up
their hands. The Minister then repeated his question. All responded
this time, except one man, golfer Walter Barnes, who attended church only
when the weather was bad.
"Mr. Barnes, it's obviously not a good morning for golf. It's
good to see you here today. Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"
"I don't have any," he replied gruffly.
"Mr. Barnes, that is very unusual. How old are you?"
"Ninety-eight," he replied.
The congregation stood up and clapped their hands. "Oh, Mr. Barnes,
would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live
ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?"
The old golfer tottered down the aisle, stopped in front of the pulpit,
turned around, and faced the congregation. "I outlived all them assholes,"
he said before calmly returning to his seat.
From the Beeb: There has been strong international condemnation of
the deadly crackdown against protest camps in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said the events were "deplorable" and
"a real blow to reconciliation efforts". EU foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also deplored the use of force.
The interim government has declared a state of emergency and a curfew was
in force across parts of Egypt overnight. One
suspects the interim government and the military couldn't give a rat's
ass about world opinion.
Pte First Class Bradley Manning has apologised for hurting the US
by leaking a trove of classified US government documents to Wikileaks.
At a sentencing hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, Pte Manning, 25, said
he had mistakenly believed he could "change the world for the better".
And he said that in retrospect, he should have worked "inside the system".
Pte Manning, 25, faces up to 90 years in prison following his conviction
in July on 20
espionage and other charges.
The 10 most famous cars sold at auction. Got
a cool half million or more?
And on the subject of cars, OR Richie sent this link
to an article on electric cars built early last century, and suggests
that the oldies are better than the newies.
Been another slow day. Bit of shopping, an errand for Lindsay to pick
up a prescription from the doc, and that's about it. PJ is running well
after the Italian Tune-up to Port Mac and back, and I'm a lot more confident
driving the rig now. I'm expecting a call from Andrew in the morning to
say he'll be here on Saturday morning. That'll ease the boredom a bit.
I'm itching for a bit of PJ action!
There was a bloke selling waterless car polish in the parking lot at
the Mall. He spotted me and asked how I was doing, if I drove a car, etc.
Then he started on the spiel about the car polish but I told him I already
bought some 2 years ago. "It's in the garage. I haven't used it yet. In
fact, I've had two different cars since then." So he said, "Well, I'll
let you go then." People always use that expression when they really mean,
"Well, you're no good to me, piss off then." Or, "I'm getting bored with
this conversation, so I'm outta here." If Sue's in the loo and Lindsay
is desperate to go, he stands at the door and says, "Sue? Are you gonna
be long?" What would he do if she said, "Yes." Hehe. My doc is far less
subtle (and I've told him so). When time's up, he goes to his surgery door
and opens it. But I've wised up and say something like, "Where are you
Hope you can read that small print. Rolls Royce never advertised when
I was a kid so obviously things were different back in the early '30s.
I imagine By Appointment to HLM The Emperor of Japan would have been scrubbed
during the early '40s as well. Hehe. So, I'm off to telly land and a spot
of feasting. Catch you tomorrow. Gary
August 14, 2013. Lots of measuring today, figuring out what fits
where after the bottom box goes. I think it'll all work out okay. I also
made a boo boo about
the tool boxes. They come in pairs but not a pair per side. The pair
is for one each side, in this case both behind the rear wheel. So that
solves the problem of the fuel filler hose being in the way. I was gonna
get 4 but I suppose 2 is enough. Cheaper too!
As to the folding
steps TX Greg recommended, they're too short so I've asked the seller
if they have a 3-step.
Francois forwarded this: I've received many remarkable nature photographs
over the years but this
photo of a nesting Falcon is perhaps the most remarkable Nature shot
that I've ever seen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Nature is truly
breath-taking! (you'd imagine this text is not mine and I pasted it as
and even if you aren't fond of skateboarding, do you think my new
hip will someday give me the
chance to do something as this:
In a word, Francois? No. However, in the case of the nesting Falcon,
it looks like there was a flood at one time and the floating wreck was
dumped there. Either that or the driver was going too fast when he hit
a speed hump.
NC Art contributed this one:
Travel Plans for 2013-2014
I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently,
you can't go alone.. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport. You have
to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my children,
friends, and work.
I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm
not too much on physical activity anymore.
I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not
to visit there too often.
I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand
Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting
One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the
adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the
stimuli I can get!
I may have been in Continent, and I don't remember what country I
was in. It's an age thing. They tell me it is very wet and damp there.
From the Beeb: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has criticised
his election rival after opposition leader Tony Abbott praised a candidate's
"sex appeal". Mr Rudd, who faces an uphill battle in the 7 September polls,
said national leaders should set an example. Mr Abbott has put his comments
to "exuberance". It's along the lines of Obama's comment about
that good looking lawyer. What the hell? What's wrong or politically incorrect
about giving a compliment where a compliment is due? Just because a person
is sexy doesn't mean they're not intelligent as well. Rudd is grabbing
at straws. Besides, Abbot the other day in his nationally televised debate
with Rudd used the word 'suppository' when he meant 'repository' hehe.
I've often seen GNs on the forum asking about TVs and satellite dishes
and antenna, etc, as if TV reception while traveling Oz is a major concern.
But just now I read one GN comment about the two TVs he has in his van.
One is never used and the other has been turned on twice in two years hehe.
I suggested the other day to someone that they "watch" the news on the
radio. That way they can enjoy the view at the same time. I'll be taking
my TV but I don't expect to be using it much.
Did you know it's Left
Handers Day? Yep, and I'm a leftie despite doing many things right
handed. Mouse, left handed. Laptop touch pad, right handed. Table tennis
bat, left. Golf club, right. I write left handed but if I "write" with
my finger through the air I use my right hand. Weird.
Very quiet day today, folks. Or maybe all that measuring of PJ gobbled
up the day. At least it served a purpose - I'm no longer wondering if everything
will fit, and I've sorted the tool boxes business. And now it's time for
the usual routine. BTW, OR Richie thought the pics of the old Rover were
nice... a bygone era. That's what cars represent, I think... various eras.
They're like songs in that we associate them with a time and place as well
as people, including ourselves. Gary
August 13, 2013. Peter's foreman agrees with me that his boss
is hopeless hehe. I spoke to the foreman this morning and he took at look
at PJ to assess the work involved in removing the bottom storage box. Looks
simple enough but it could be a Pandora's box depending on what he finds.
He figures it's about a day's work. The tool boxes can be fitted afterwards,
so no need to worry about those just yet. And the tray doesn't need to
be empty for the boxes to be fitted. Also, I can use the truck while work
on the camper proceeds. So it's nice to have all that sorted. All I have
to do now is phone Peter to organize a day.
Another plus about having the bottom box removed is it'll be easier
to use the jacks. They're a bit stretched at the mo with the extra height.
I'm expecting Andrew this weekend to fit the solenoid/isolator and reposition
the rear view camera (for the bike rack), so I'd better watch the pennies.
It was 30C yesterday. Sheesh. That's certainly not a winter temp, or
even a spring temp! That's a summer temp! But it's back to 22 today, which
is still warmer than the average winter temp. Most pleasant indeed. Coincidentally,
just received a note from Youtube about a comment on my video of Sydney
on a Winter's Morning: Can't believe July is the dead of winter over
there. That's so bizarre when you live in the northern hemisphere.
Yesterday, I mentioned wind in the tree tops as I drove to Port Mac
and back. A more gusty version sprang up later in the afternoon but it
was pretty mild to what Sydney experienced. Gale force winds down there
uprooted trees and toppled power lines. I don't think I'd remain on the
road in those conditions, thank you very much.
Roite, well the job at Peter's is organized for Friday week at - wait
for it - 7am. Sheesh.
From the Beeb: The US has urged the Palestinians "not to react adversely"
to Israel's approval of 1,200 new settlement homes only days before peace
talks resume. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday's move was "to
some degree expected", but stressed that Washington considered settlements
"illegitimate". This "underscores the importance of getting to the table
quickly", he told reporters during a visit to Colombia. Pretty
worn out old table.
Bottle light inventor proud to be poor: Alfredo Moser is a modern-day
Thomas Edison, whose invention is lighting up the world. In 2002, the Brazilian
mechanic had his own light-bulb moment and came up with way of illuminating
his house during the day without electricity - using nothing more than
plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach. In the last
two years his idea has spread throughout the world. It is expected to be
million homes by early next year.
Former US President Bill Clinton has been travelling around Africa
with his daughter, Chelsea, visiting Clinton Foundation projects. He
spoke to the BBC's Komla Dumor about Obama's legacy in Africa and the
growing influence of China.
There have been quite a few Milky Way shots on Red Bubble lately. Here's
another one that'll
blow your mind. Don't forget to click to enlarge.
And on the subject of things astronomical:
The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After
they got their tent all set up both men fell sound asleep. Some hours later
Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemo Sabe look towards sky, what
The Lone Ranger replies "I see millions of stars..."
"What that tell you?" asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders for minute then says "Astronomically speaking,
it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of
planets. Astrologically it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
Time wise it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.
Theologically the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
What's it tell you Tonto?".
Tonto says "You dumber than buffalo shit. It means someone
stole the tent!".
And now a little story about our neighbors across the Tasman:
Two Kiwis, Trevor and Jeanette, are walking down a street in Bondi
in Sydney. Trevor happens to look in one of the shop windows and sees a
sign that catches his eye. The sign said 'Suits $10.00 each, Shirts $4.00
each, Trousers $5.00 per pair'
Trevor says to his pal, ' Jeanette, look! We could buy a whole
lot of those, and whin we get beck to InZid, we could make a fortune. Now
whin we go unto the shop, you be quiet, okay? Just lit me do all the talking
cause uf they hear our accint, they might not be nice to us. I'll speak
in my bist Aussie accint.'
'No worries,' smiled Jeanette, 'I'll keep my mouth shut.' They go
in and Trevor says, 'I'll take fufty suits et $10.00 each, 100 shirts et
$4.00 each, and fufty pairs of trousers et $5.00 each. I'll beck up my
The owner of the shop interrupts, 'You're from New Zealand , aren't
'Well... Yis,' says a surprised Trevor. 'How the hill dud you know
The owner says, 'This is a dry cleaners!'.
Oregon Richie is a diehard Rover fan, particularly Land Rover, a fine
example of which he owns. His sweet wife also drives a Landy. My mother
liked Rovers which she believed were 'the poor man's Rolls Royce'. Here's
a 1949 Rover 75 Saloon I remember as a kid, and with which Richie may be
unfamiliar. Terribly British, what?
And now I must bid thee farewell for yet another day, dear Breth. A
bit of telly and supper awaits. Gary
August 12, 2013. Thanks to FL Josh for wishing me well. He got
in early last night. And to OR Richie and TX Greg for wishing me a safe
trip. There was some mix-up with appointments and I wasn't supposed to
be there. So I did what all grumpy old farts do and kicked up a stink about
having driven all the way from Taree, and it worked. Hehe. Not only did
it work, I got to see the nutritionist, the understudy doc and the main
doc as well! All agree that I'm doing well despite needing to put on a
bit more weight.
And PJ? Well, she wasn't frightening at all. In some areas the tree
tops were waving about frantically but I didn't notice much wind effect
on the camper. Even when big, long trucks went past at speed, the buffeting
wasn't alarming in the least. BUT... she was chewing a bit of juice. I
daresay she'll be noticeably more economical once the camper is lowered
and the flat area in front is reduced. The engine performed pretty well.
I sat on about 80km/h most of the way (which extended my trip by about
15 minutes). She slowed on a couple of long inclines but got all the way
there (and back) in 4th gear.
On the way back, I noticed the engine temp gauge creeping up a bit too
far so I pulled off the highway and into a small village where I parked
under the shade of a tree to let the engine cool for while. Then I took
a look. The coolant was low, so I topped it up from one of the two large
containers on board PJ. No probs after that. I've been getting a bit lazy
in that department because of all the short trips I do. The Falcon must
have had a different system cos it never needed topping up.
I've been dreading this trip to Port Macquarie for ages, imagining all
kinds of dramatic scenarios like the wind blowing me off a bridge, or a
passing truck causing me to suddenly veer off course, or PJ wobbling about
like a drunken sailor. None of that happened. In fact, the entire trip
was a non event. Moreover, despite considerable wind resistance, the engine
performed very well and better than I'd anticipated.
TX Greg wrote: I see in the current pics how the pool ladder hangs
on those hooks below the door. Did you forget about something. Ok, so if
you hang this new ladder on the 3rd rung and use the upper ladder sides
as handles, how do you plan on closing the door or fly screen without
removing the ladder each and every time???
Ummm... yeah... how long have I got to answer?
From the Beeb: Jon Oringer, 39, founded 10 companies before he hit
on the idea for Shutterstock, the successful stock-photo website that has
made him Silicon Alley's first billionaire. "I'd failed a whole bunch of
times before that and I was willing to fail again," says Mr Oringer of
his decision to go into the photography business, something
he knew nothing about.
India is set to unveil its first home-built aircraft carrier from
a shipyard in southern Kerala state. The 37,500 tonne INS Vikrant is expected
to go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the navy
by 2018, reports say. With this, India will join a select group of countries
capable of building such a vessel. Other countries capable of building
a similar ship are the
US, the UK, Russia and France.
Is democracy overrated? Democracy is championed as a universal good
by the West, but we over-estimate its power to guarantee personal and political
Well, the day is almost over (in terms of Waffle) and it's been a bit
of an education. PJ is not as top heavy and ungainly as many thought -
not even with the extra storage box underneath. So that's a relief. Handling
should improve even further once lowered, and I'm now totally confident
in her ability to handle the big tour of Oz. Economy should improve as
well. She'll never be a miser carrying all that weight but I'd expect something
like 12 liters per 100km or about 20mpg.
BTW, there was no shortage of motorhomes and caravans on the highway
today, the majority being big expensive rigs. Poor PJ looked a bit sad
by comparison. Oh well...
So that's out of the way. Next, the doc in Sydney in 3 weeks. And then?
Well, we'll have to wait and see. Gary
August 11, 2013. TX Greg is worried that in my dotage I might
not be able to safely negotiate the
trampoline ladder I linked to yesterday. He suggests a double fold-out
step specially made for caravans and motorhomes. Looking at the pics
of PJ I really think with the bottom box gone that the double step model
will work and Peter could fab up and weld these under the tray. No more
ladder to store or be stolen, just fold up for travel :) The license plate
would have to be moved, but that's a easy fix, just mount below the camper
tail light lens and drill about 1/2" hole in the bottom of that lens to
light the plate. And perhaps instead of spending on the lower side boxes,
do this first. And you do know, one broke leg or arm is going to be more
than the price of those steps!
Well, I did a bit of measuring. With the bottom box gone, the 1100mm
trampoline ladder's feet will stand on the ground, while the top (3rd)
rung will hang on the hooks in the channel rail just below the door. The
ladder can't move sideways or backwards. That leaves the two sides of the
ladder above the rung (and tray height) to act as handles. Yeah? Sounds
cool to me. Cheap, and no fixing. And those handles will be pretty handy.
Now here's a PJ conversion that Richie will enjoy... Yeah, yeah,
silly pic, but I was thinking the metaphor "The Odyssey Dream Takes Flight."
I don't think it's a silly pic at all! I love it! It reminds me of a
story I watched on telly last night about an 82 y/o aerobatics pilot who's
been flying for over 60 years and intends to keep flying for "another 20
years". His missus loves to fly with him, and together they've been all
over Oz, particularly remote areas where larger aircraft don't (or can't)
fly. He said he recently tried to rent a car and the company said he was
too old. "That's ridiculous!" he complained. Mind you, you don't get a
lotta traffic and crazy drivers "up there".
BTW, while I was measuring PJ I checked the porta potti crack and it
seems to be holding well.
NC Art wrote: Yer roight, I did not mention the electric car, but
the thing was familiar to me. In my home town in South Carolina, two old
maids owned an electric buggy very much like the one you showed. It was
a bit eerie to suddenly see a car roll past but without a making a sound.
Cars are supposed to roar or rattle or clank … or something! The electric
ghost was disconcerting. A brother who operated a motor service station
was gladdened, however. Once a week the huge bank of batteries in the car
had to be recharged and it took all day. Money in the till for doing nothing
but clamping electrical cables to the charging post.
Now that you mention it, Art, I think you told that story once before,
so I must have posted something similar at one time. I love the dark green
and black two tone paint job, and the white tires. Life has changed so
dramatically since those days, it makes me wonder if we're the same species.
From the Beeb: The Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Egypt's top Islamic institution,
has begun inviting different political forces to talks on ending the country's
political crisis. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib hopes to oversee a national reconciliation
meeting. Last week, Egypt's interim President, Adly Mansour, declared that
international efforts to resolve the political crisis had "not achieved
the hoped-for results". I
hope the sheikh ain't called Grand for nuthin'.
From little Gaza to chunky Australia: "Well, you have certainly got
a bigger patch," one of my friends in Gaza remarked as we strolled along
the beach on my final sun-kissed summer evening on the shores of the Mediterranean.
A little heavy of heart as I stepped around children flying kites against
an ever-pinkening sky, I was about to leave the pint-sized Palestinian
territory and set off on the interminable thrombosis-inducing journey to
the vast expanses of Australia.
Singer Eydie Gorme, who had a hit in 1963 with Blame It On The Bossa
Nova, has died in Las Vegas at the age of 84, her publicist has said. Gorme
was a popular nightclub and TV singer, both with her husband Steve Lawrence
as a solo act.
This image, from a summer day in 1963, appears to show nothing more
than a packed car park at London Airport (renamed Heathrow in 1966, after
the hamlet – Heath Row – that was demolished in 1944 to build it). But
to aficionados of vintage European cars of the less-than-exotic variety,
it is pure gold. A keen eye will spot a Ford Consul, a Riley 1.5s, a Hillman
Minx, a Triumph Herald, a Morris Oxford, a Singer Vogue and a very grand
Jaguar Mark IX. What other tin treasures can you identify? Most
of those cars were a regular sight on Oz roads so it's pretty easy for
There was a brief sunshower a few minutes ago and I spotted a rainbow
through the window.
One more sleep before I toddle off to Port Macquarie to see the doc.
The forecast is for similar weather tomorrow, which means sunny and warm,
in fact about 3 degrees warmer than today, with light winds. So it'll be
interesting to see what it's like pushing all that metal through the air
for a couple of hours. And even more interesting to compare it later with
the new "lowered" version.
Another quiet day today. Even the GN forum is quiet. So it's hooroo
until I get back from Port tomorrow. Gary
August 10, 2013. No one mentioned the photo album of the Broc
electric car I posted the other day. Oh well... I thought it was really
After dinner and the news on TV last night, I gathered all the bits
and pieces and tools I'd need for the hose job, sat on the easy chair and
proceeded to do my thing. Not the prettiest looking squishy hose in town
but hopefully it'll do the job... and it still fits into a small box.
See? I haven't even hit the road yet and already I'm a proficient bush
Strange noises coming from the kitchen. Lindsay is probably doing something
dumb. Sounds like popping. Ignore him, I say. I really can't be bothered
investigating whatever it is he's doing. Besides, I'm busy doing other
things, like photographing a hose. Hmmm. What's that smell? Something burning?
Oops! The eggs! Lindsay asked me earlier to boil some eggs for him. No
worries. I put the timer on but forgot to start it. So the eggs boiled
dry and then started to explode. And all the time Lindsay was in bed asleep.
And now the house smells of burnt egg. Is that what's known as a senior
I thought I had enough of senior moments yesterday with the super glue.
This from TX Greg: I see you answered your own question as to who keeps
acetone handy, hehe. At least the glue dried before you needed to pee,
hahaha. And then there are kids
with Super Glue...
NC Art wrote: Acetone is a marvelous chemical. Just don’t breathe
it overmuch, or spill it all over you. It was used heavily for polishing
scratches from Plexiglass and smoothing edges of the stuff after cutting
for window replacement. Also we found it super for cleaning oil and grease
stains from uniform pants and jackets. The repair shops on air bases had
barrels of it, so it was easy to snitch five gallons and clean up lots
of clothing. And, It’s super cold as it evaporates! Dip your hands or arms
in it and watch the skin frost over and ‘’smoke.’’ And … it can dissolve
fingernails. That Superglue bargain sounds too good. At that price I expect
it just might be tubes of steel hard stuff. Hehe.
Art also comments on a Beeb story from yesterday: The lightning story
reminded me of a tale my dad told me about a neighbor when Dad was a small
boy. He was chatting with the old man when lightning struck a tree in the
yard. The man spat tobacco and said, “Betcha can’t do that again.” Within
seconds the same tree took another strike which split it down the middle.
What said the old man then? “Okay God, I’ll be at prayer meeting tonight!”
Reminds me of something OR Richie wrote the other day: "No such thing
as an athiest in a fox hole."
Incidentally, I left hand cream on my fingers for about 45 minutes last
night before I scrubbed them with acetone using a pot scourer. Not all
the glue came off but I got tired of trying and gave up. This morning,
all the remaining glue was gone, presumably flaking off during the night.
From the Beeb: President Barack Obama has promised "appropriate reforms"
to guarantee greater oversight of controversial US surveillance programmes.
At a White House news conference, he proposed "safeguards against abuse",
including amending legislation on the collection of telephone data. Mr
Obama also urged appointing a lawyer to challenge the government at the
nation's secretive surveillance court. Now
I wonder what brought about that sudden change of heart?
It occurred to me today that I need one other thing on the AO - a place
to file stuff like receipts and various other papers. So I bought an expandable
carry-file made of laquered board that looks rather like a kid's school
case, with handle and catch. Seven bucks plus a heap of stick-on labels
for a dollar fifty. My regular filing cabinet (which still has stuff going
back 30 years) will get the flick, together with everything in it except
a few papers of some sentimental or practical value.
Trust me to go searching. I've just spent ages there checking out old
stuff which was a waste of time. But I did find the original drawing of
the AO logo which I thought had been lost. It's not a brilliant drawing
but it's the original... so that's important. I've scanned it and sent
it off to TX Greg. He might wanna trick it up a bit in Photoshop. It needs
a clean-up anyway.
I also found a heap of receipts for work on my old Kombi poptop. Eeek!
I don't think I wanna know about all that wasted money, so it all goes
in the bin. There's a bit of stuff about my old house in Glebe, though,
which I'll keep. Otherwise the past is the past and good riddance.
Another thing I noticed is that with the bottom storage box gone from
PJ there's no need for that old pool ladder. It's too long. I
need something like this.
And there goes Satdee! Gary
August 9, 2013. All quiet on the PJ front at the mo and has been
for a while. I miss all those prezzies arriving and jobs being done. I
think Andrew will be in Sydney again this weekend. His next job on PJ is
the solenoid thingy and battery isolation. Next week, after I return from
seeing the doc at Port Macquarie on Monday, I'll take PJ around to Peter's
engineering place for an assessment of the job I want done. So until then,
it's pretty much diddly squat.
Well, that was a great start to the day. I just pierced the cap of the
Super Glue and a blob oozed out so I couldn't get the nozzle back on the
cap. All I could do was smear the blob on the porta potti crack and hope
some penetrated while Lindsay held the crack open. Naturally, I ended up
with more on my fingers than on the crack. Get it off with a solvent like
acetone, the label says. Oh yeah. Acetone. I've got 10 gallons of it lying
around the place. Who the hell keeps acetone handy? So now my fingers are
covered in dried super glue. And the tube is in the bin. Useless. And the
porta potti? I'll try it in a day or two to see if the glue worked.
At least the hose job is going okay so far. I read on the GN forum that
the best way to get a clean cut when cutting garden hose is by using pruning
shears. My old shears are a bit worse for wear but they cut the hose cleanly
- two small lengths I can attach to the ends of the squishy hose and clamp
tight. Then I can insert standard hose fittings.
FL Josh wrote: I thought for sure one of your readers would point
out that the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car became the Batmobile.
You danced around it but didn't come right out and say it.
Well, the reason I didn't say it is cos I didn't know it. Actually,
it's not Batman of whom I'm reminded when I see those old Yank Tanks sporting
fins and dripping with chrome bling, it's Brodrick Crawford in the TV series
Highway Patrol. He spent half the show jumping in and out of a big Dodge
that handled like a mobile mattress.
Back from shopping. The department store had hose fittings but not hose
clamps. Sheesh. But I had to go to the Mall anyway to get medication and
a few groceries. And - here's a first - nail polish remover (with acetone).
Then I went to Bunnings for the hose clamps. The department store had squishy
hoses with fittings for $50. But I've already spent $30 on the mail order
one so it was cheaper to get fittings and clamps for $10. I hope they work!
As to super glue, I spotted an el cheapo brand at the department store...
7 tubes for $3. It's made of the same stuff as the regular brand so it
should be okay. And if it dries in the nozzle after one use, no prob. Toss
it and use another one.
From the Beeb: An encrypted email service thought to have been used
by fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has abruptly shut down.
Ladar Levison, owner of the Texas-based Lavabit service, said legal reasons
prevented him explaining his decision. But he said he would rather suspend
his business than become complicit in "crimes against the American people".
Correspondents say Lavabit appears to have been in a legal battle to stop
US officials accessing customer details. "I have been forced to make a
difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American
people, or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down
Lavabit," Mr Levison wrote in a letter posted on the Lavabit website. He
said he had decided to "suspend operations" but was barred from discussing
the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision. "This experience
has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or
a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone
trusting their private data to a company with physical
ties to the United States," he wrote.
Summer storms often result in thunder and lightning. Every year a
small number of people die from being hit, but what about those who survive?
Lightning is a discharge of static electricity that occurs when there is
an imbalance in the electrical charge between the cloud and the earth's
surface. Put very simply, it is a giant electric spark in the sky - a very
powerful one. A single bolt could contain a billion volts. It
can stop a person's heart and cook their internal organs.
Hollywood star Karen Black, who featured in cult films such as Easy
Rider, Nashville and Five Easy Pieces, has died aged 74. Hugely prolific,
the Illinois-born actress appeared in more than 100 movies over a career
spanning 40 years. There
was a time when I considered 74 to be a pretty good innings. Not now.
US talk show host Oprah Winfrey says she was the victim of racism
during a recent visit to Switzerland. She said an assistant refused to
serve her in an upmarket handbag shop in Zurich. Winfrey, one of the world's
richest women, was apparently told the bags on display were
"too expensive" for her.
A GN wrote the other day that he's finally finished the Big Lap, so
I asked what it comprised... the circumference of Oz or zig zagging. Another
GN answered the question with this
Google map. The pins are the stopovers along the way. His Big Lap started
in 2011. But most GNs agree that the Big Lap doesn't even scratch the surface.
Some have been on the road more than 10 years and still have a million
places on their bucket list.
Been one of those fiddly days with time whizzing by at an alarming rate,
so here it is almost 6pm already! Gotta soak my fingers in warm water with
soap now to soften the glue, and then do the nail polish remover trick.
Wish me luck! Gary
August 8, 2013. Our stunning run of spring weather has been interrupted
by a cold wind and cloud, dangit. But according to the weatherman, the
lovely weather we've been enjoying of late will return for the weekend
I wish you many blessings. My mother is helping me to write this
letter. Thank you for sending me this beautiful birthday card and the stickers
that you sent me. It is nice to have friends in another country. I will
always keep you in my heart. I love you a lot.
Isn't that sweet? That's my little 4 y/o mate from Nicaragua whom I
sponsor through World Vision. The money goes on providing education, hygiene,
housing, and community gardens for growing small crops. When he's older,
and has access to a computer and the internet at school, he'll be able
to follow my adventures on Aussie Odyssey.
I checked prices of new slide ons on eBay last night. Around the $25000
mark at the lower end of the market. And that's just for the camper. I
figure I've spent about $10K on PJ and that includes the wheels, so I'm
doing okay. Once the bottom storage box is gone, the only place to store
larger items like the folding camp table and chairs will be in the cab
over. It's a very handy area because above the mattress is all open space
- and it's only used for sleeping. If the camp furniture needs to be inside
during wet weather overnight, I can store it in the main living area. No
There's a fair amount of media focus on electric cars these days. Here's
one from a century ago I spotted on a newsgroup. So
And here's something you don't see often... an ORIGINAL 1914 Ford...
From the Beeb: The US and the European Union have called on all sides
in Egypt's political crisis to end "a dangerous stalemate" after the interim
government said foreign mediation had failed. In a joint statement, they
said the Egyptian government bore a special responsibility to begin this
whole ME is a basket case.
The Kremlin says it is "disappointed" the US cancelled bilateral
talks in September, after Russia granted asylum to intelligence leaker
Edward Snowden. Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign affairs adviser
said the move showed the US could not develop ties with Russia on an "equal
basis". A White House aide said Mr Snowden's asylum had deepened the pre-existing
between the two counties.
An Indonesian passenger plane has skidded off a runway into a field
after crashing into a cow. The Lion Air plane, with at least 110 passengers
on board, hit the cow as it came into land at Jalaluddin airport on the
island of Sulawesi. No-one has been reported injured, but the cow was crushed
to death under a plane wheel.
TX Greg tells me it's been 105F in his hometown today. That's a tad
warm! Meanwhile, there's no flies on FL Josh: Before you start hanging
bags of water in PJ, read
what Snopes says. Occasionally, you get a bum steer from the GNs
but mostly the tips are good. NC Art has a more open view: The
wet penny shoo-fly sounds intriguing, but where do you find coppers in
Australia these days? I thought those low value items had all disappeared.
Anyway, I couldn’t have found enough pennies [1-cent coins] when I was
a kid battling flies in the barn. I might save pennies for weeks just to
buy a popsicle. The Depression, y’know.
The only place you'll find coppers in Oz these days is with numismatic
dealers and collectors. There's an old Oz expression, 'spend a penny',
which means to go to the loo. That's how much it cost to use some public
toilets in the city with coin-operated locks on the doors. Too bad if you
were literally penniless. All public toilets now are taxpayer funded. Yep,
pennies and ha'pennies disappeared with the introduction of decimal currency
in Oz in 1966. Cents and two cents disappeared a few years back and now
the lowest denomination Aussie coin is 5 cents. The highest is $2. The
lowest denomination note is $5 and the highest $100.
That ’58 Ford X-2000 concept car looks like it is propelled by a
ramjet engine augmented by booster rockets for dog fighting and outrunning
everything in the sky. Man, some of that stuff must have given designers
wet dreams as imagination went apeshit.
Yep, designers went ballistic during the '50s. I reckon it was inspired
by the new auto glass technology that could mold windscreens and canopies
into any shape. Ditto plastics used in dashes and upholstery. They were
also inspired by rapid advances in aeronautical and space technology. And
superheroes who wore their undies on the outside of their body stockings.
But it was all a fantasy and none of those fanciful autos ever made it
to the asphalt - except the Batmobile.
Glad you are again in good health and ready to potter about with
PJ matters. Also good news from Francois is welcome. Um, what does NC mean
when he uses it? To me it’s North Carolina, so does he mean New Caledonia?
Go to the top of the class, Art. OR Richie also commented on the concept
cars: The concept cars from the 50's were certainly.... sumpin' else.
I would have liked to see a better perspective of the Olds Rocket car but
about the only one I thought I could imagine actually driving in public
was the Cadillac Ghia car, and the rest were somewhere between too exotic,
too nasty, too much like something from the pre space-age JETSONS cartoon
series, but... interesting the model NAMES which were later actually used
on successful vehicles began that early.
The motorhome of course was truly something else and truly exotic
and like a cross between a business jet and a London bus. It also
had the distinction of being pretty damned ugly in my opinion.
Good, cos it means I can't afford to be ugly. I'll stick with PJ. And
now it's time to catch up with the goss on telly and stick a bit of meat
on the old bones. Stay nice! Gary
August 7, 2013. I saw a shot of an antique
typewriter the other day on Red Bubble and immediately thought it must
be English or whatever because the Z key was yellowed and almost unused.
So I checked the photographer's ID and it appears the machine is American...
which surprised me cos the Yanks have a fetish for replacing 's' with 'z'.
At the time, I didn't think to look at the $ key. If it were English it
would have had a £ key.
Francois wrote: Good idea to cut your too much high PJ: I'd not like
to drive it as this!
I'd my surgery (hip replacement) 3 weeks ago in Nouméa. Much
pain during 10 days but I'm now better than before the surgery and improving
day after day. I walk now without limping and without crutches. An ambulance
comes and takes me each morning to the physiatrist: one exhausting hour!
Maybe in 3 weeks I'll be authorized to drive again. In waiting I'm stuck
in my house with a boy (Mat) of 16y/o who came from france for his hollidays.
I enjoy his presence and his cousins in NC are coming often here to help
me. When I can go back on my boat, I think I'll be happy!
I'm delighted to hear the news about your hip, Francois. Good news indeed!
And especially good to know you're feeling better with each day and getting
around without the aid of crutches. Nothing beats the feeling of being
well again, and to enjoy life!
Francois also included a link to Fabulous
Concept Cars of the 50s. I remember as a kid seeing them occasionally
in newspapers and thinking how futuristic they looked. But instead, the
roads of the 60s were crowded with buzzing Minis and Beetles. Hehe.
Meanwhile, it's good to have my appetite back and to be eating proper
food. This morning I feel quite energetic compared to how I was feeling
recently with the bug.
Well, I've been fiddling around with the Nikon in the garden and then
fiddling around with Photoscape, and here's the result - Bird With Attitude.
That's a handy little trick to know cos I'll be able to produce montages
like that with pics on the Odyssey - a montage of a beach scene, or the
main street of a town, or various interiors of a building, etc. Yes, even
one of PJ in different locations.
And now, folks, the world's ultimate and most expensive motorhome. You
gotta see it to believe it.
Nothing much on the Beeb today but I found this little article about
Time Travel. Is it possible? The simple answer is yes. The more complex
answer is it requires travelling close to the speed of light. And always
going forward. Unless
you find a wormhole.
Here's a contribution from a GN... think
before you speak.
And now for something musical and British - a
Here's one from a GN that might inspire a recollection or two from NC
to keep flies away with a bag of water and pennies.
Well, bit of a shortie today, dear Breth, but at least there's a few
links to keep you amused and informed. I spent a little time getting a
dose of inner shedness today, checking to see how well the anti-slip matting
works in the cupboards. Yep, works a treat. Also, as I was photographing
the birds of paradise this morning, Averil stood at her back door and yelled
g'day. She said Stan the Lawn Man was most impressed with PJ and wouldn't
mind borrowing it for occasional weekends away. Yeah? Not likely. His caravan
is a modern one with all the bells and whistles so giving PJ a compliment
is quite something. I wonder what he'll have to say when I tell him the
bottom storage box is coming off hehe. He buggered around with that box
to get it to fit the tray. It was quite a lot of work - not to mention
dangerous - and all for nothing as it turns out. Hmmm. Might be better
to keep my trap shut. Gary
August 6, 2013. Stunning day today - like spring or better. Just
back from filling PJ at the servo and got 10 cents a liter discount. It's
creeping up to $1.60 a liter now with the lower Aussie dollar (about 92
TX Greg wrote: Did you get my pun, hehe "Driving Miss PJ" = from
the movie Driving
Yes'm, ah deeyud. I saw Miss Daisy this morning totally confused in
a roundabout. She was in the outside lane and turned 180 degrees in front
of cars on her inside. Sheesh. Naturally, she was totally oblivious to
what she was doing.
Found a cool pic, Home Sweet Motorhome...
NC Art, on the other hand, is more interested in natural history and
sent a link to a video entitled True
Facts About The Aye Aye - which is one critter I'm glad I don't have
as a pet. Ew!
I've been thinking a little more about the modifications I plan for
PJ. As OR Richie points out, whichever way you look at it, I'll be toting
a brick. True. It's also true that lowering the camper by 1 foot doesn't
sound like much. But what happens is the heavy weight stored in the two
side storage bins is where it's supposed to be... flat on the tray, which
means better and more even weight distribution. Extra weight stored in
the underbelly tool boxes will further improve center of gravity, which
should in turn improve stability. Overall height doesn't concern me as
much as where the weight is.
Just made a pan of tacoodle which smells delish. I love that stuff.
I make it a little differently to the normal taco mix. Brown the ground
steak and onion (I cheat and use dried onion). Add taco mix - spinkle a
bit at a time and work it in with a wooden spoon. Add can mixed diced veg
(corn, peas, carrot) and small can diced peppers (capsicum) - DRAINED.
Mix through. Add small bottle taco sauce. Mix through and simmer for 10
minutes. There's enough liquid in the drained veg and taco sauce so no
water is needed. You can use the mix with taco shells, or on toast, or
in jaffles, or with mash or (as I do) with noodles, topped with grated
cheese. Mmmm! A blob of sour cream would be nice too.
From the Beeb: US senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have joined
top diplomats in Cairo to help find a peaceful solution to Egypt's political
stalemate. The Pentagon said Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel had called army
chief Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to discuss mediation progress by US and
EU envoys. I
wish them well. The Middle East needs all the diplomacy it can get.
The boss of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has agreed to purchase the Washington
Post newspaper for $250m (£163m). Mr Bezos is buying the paper and
its other print properties in a personal capacity. The Post has been owned
by the Graham family for 80 years. Sounds
cheap to me.
A DIY digital camera designed to teach children about how the tech
it uses works has been launched in the US. Owners of Bigshot's device need
to assemble its parts in a specific sequence to make it work. An online
guide explains the science behind them. It has been developed by a US computer
science professor who used funds from Google and the US Department of Defense
to develop the kit. What
a great idea! Shades of crystal sets, Mechano and model trains.
A snake escaped from a pet shop and killed two children in the Canadian
province of New Brunswick, police say. In a statement, the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police said they believed the reptile had strangled two boys, aged
five and seven, in Campbellton. The boys were staying overnight at a friend's
apartment above the pet shop. Police said they believe the snake slipped
out of its cage overnight and travelled through the ventilation. The
serpent has been captured by police.
I haven't taken any "serious" pics for a while. One Red Bubbler has
resorted to commenting on my old stuff in return for my comments about
her new stuff. So early this morning, armed with the Nikon, I did some
experimenting in the garden. I thought this shot was interesting - a lone
little flower in focus contrasted with a large area of obscured background.
the image to get the larger view.The birds have been busy munching
on little berries growing in the front garden but missed these
little dudes hiding beneath the canopy.
Photographs like those are basically practice. I put them on RB in case
anyone makes a favorable or otherwise comment, hopefully so I can learn
something else. Blurring foregrounds and backgrounds, leaving the subject
in sharp focus, interests me. I'm kinda getting into manual focus a lot
more than I used to. Or should I say have been. Manual focus was all I
used on my old 35mm Olympus OM-1 SLR.
I was rather impressed with one GN's comment about camping at Byron
Bay. He liked the place so much he decided to stay for a few more days.
Isn't that wonderful? No alarm clocks, no appointments, no pressures, just
decide to stay if you're enjoying it. Now, that's freedom!
And here's a newspaper cutting about the condition of the Dorrigo Cutting
(not far from Taree) 102 years ago:
Here's the link to Dorrigo
Anyway, it's getting a bit late, boils and goils, so I better peace
off till tomorrow. BTW, Nancy was a bit peeved about my cancelling my appointment
with the doc in Sydney yesterday but understood about getting a dose of
the bug. Can't be helped. When I started to explain about the antibiotics,
and having some left over from the teeth extraction episode, she interrupted
and said, "And you halved the dose, right?" "Yep. How did you know?" "Because
that's what lay people do... halve the dose thinking it won't do any harm.
Trouble is it doesn't harm the bacteria either. In fact, it makes them
more resistant!" Oops! Gary
August 5, 2013. Roite. CD Stacker posted, hair cut, rail ticket
to Sydney rebooked and Peter the Engineer consulted. AND, the cold/flu
seems to have all but vanished.
NC Art wrote: Top Heavy Tessie: I think TX Greg is right if you can
swing it. Besides the sway of that top heavy box, the wide gap above cab
looks aerodynamically goofy and probably adds to instability due to wind
buffeting. But what do I know, hehe. I drove a school bus in high school
one year, and was distracted by the sway inherent in flying cracker boxes.
Flying what? I presume Art is talking about the kind of things students
manage to turn into missiles when travelling on school buses.
Maybe you should add a daily intake of added protein in one of those
nasty tasting diet supplements such as Ensure?
Yep, do that already... stuff called TWO CAL which gives me chronic
as well as putrid flatulence. And there goes another of my deep, dark secrets.
BTW, Art, thanks for the tip about antibiotics. I had some left over from
the teeth pulling episode, so I halved the dose and did 4 days. I think
it helped a lot.
TX Greg wrote: Driving Miss PJ: Well I think you know my thoughts
on this and although it will be a big expense I do believe all of us too
will have better peace of mind :)
Some other things to consider before doing this...
The side compartments were also built on and not part of the original
camper. You need to make for sure that those are independent (Floor bottom
and sides) of the bottom storage and won't be affected by the removal of
She'll be right mate. I spoke briefly to Peter about making a frame
for the "new" bottom that will hold the camper and side boxes together
as a single unit, and that will fit snugly between the existing tray side
I'm sure there's got to be enough clearance, but you should measure
the current height from the back cab truck rack to the underside floor
of the cabover and then measure the height of the bottom storage box just
to see exactly how much lower it will be and that it will still clear that
Yep, did that and once Peter fixes a frame for PJ to sit on there will
be just enough clearance - maybe 1" - between the top of the tray upright
and the floor of the cab over. About 3" from the roof of the cab.
I really think you should leave the battery as is in the side compartment
and not worry with the expense of moving all that to below the tray. I
would prefer to see that weight there to help offset the opposite side
with the fridge and LP bottle. Use the new boxes below the tray for other
Was also thinking that you should have more than enough length in
those side compartments to store the jacks.
Only one - the one on the driver's side has the a/c in the middle. But
the jacks will fit okay in the passenger side compartment even with the
AGM battery/s at one end (if they're wound right down). The jacks are dirty
and a bit greasy so I'll put them on the floor and cover them with an old
ground sheet so I can store other stuff on top. They're only used once
in a blue moon anyway.
Also don't forget that the sink drain will need to be rerouted and
the turnbuckles redone. And the wiring for the camper brake/indicator
lights. Peter will also figure something out to attach the new frame to
the rear of the truck tray.
And not sure what that bottom box weighs, but bet with that gone
will help with gas mileage also, not to mention the front penthouse wind
BTW> The other day when you got the gas bottle... Did you REMEMBER
to attach and bolt the strap back around the bottle so it doesn't come
flying out of there???
Not only that, Greggie Poo, I also tied a cloth around the old regulator
so it doesn't strike against the bottle and cause a spark.
Actually, I just pulled one of the jacks out and wound it right down
to check the length. No worries. OR Richie doesn't think all this extra
work is necessary: I have thought a few times about the situation with
PJ and CDM. On one hand it looks better and may be a little better
if it were lowered a bit. There are tapered and pretty aerodynamic
roof-mount storage pods you can get for all manner of RV and they are popular.
May be a helluva lot of work to remove that, remount that, move stuff around,
but I don't believe it's as much of a tottering big deal that you think
it is. Look at all the crazy commercial trucks out there. In
the beginning and in the end and everything in between and at slow speeds,
I don't think it will make quite the diff you think it might, but that's
for you to decide. Take 'er on a longer road trip and see how acclimated
you get to it. That would be my suggestion anyway before you reinvent
it, but... if it makes you feel better, then that too is important.
Of all the varied RV's I either drove, towed, or toted the camper rigs
were always about the least comfortable, odd to note, so I adjusted my
Quite right. Look at all those crazy commercial trucks out there. And
yep, those roof mounted storage pods are aerodynamic and popular but I
don't think they make 'em two feet long. I was thinking about using the
existing space for a roof rack and spare wheel but... nah. As I said yesterday,
when I asked myself the bottom line question: do I like driving PJ the
way it is? The simple answer was 'no'. Soooooo, if that's the bottom line,
then that's the bottom line.
The extra storage space the bottom box offers is very useful (especially
for poles and jacks) and I can understand why the previous owner added
it. I have no idea what kinda vehicle he was using - could have been a
bigger truck with dualies at the rear for all I know. In any case, I just
don't feel all that confident with the Courier, and I certainly ain't in
no damn hurry to go shopping for trucks again. I have a feeling the previous
owner was using the jacks more frequently than I intend to (which is hardly
ever). Most likely he wasn't a permanent traveller and put the camper in
storage for extended periods.
Anyway, while I was having my hair cut, I was babbling away to Mark
who was nodding at all the right intervals, being polite, while I told
him how frustrating it is trying to communicate with no teeth, especially
over the phone. "People automatically assume I'm a sandwich short of a
picnic." I also mentioned PJ has a reversing camera. "It's fine for seeing
what's directly behind but doesn't show what could be approaching from
directly left or right... which is a problem when parked nose to kerb like
I am outside your shop." I was his last customer before lunch so I asked
if he could stand at his door and let me know if the street was clear when
I was ready to reverse. He nodded just as he had all along. When we left
his shop, and I got behind the wheel of PJ, he kept walking. "Mark?" I
yelled. "Are you gonna watch the traffic for me?" He didn't know what I
was talking about. So there ya go. All that nodding was just being polite.
He hadn't listened to a word I said. Which all goes to prove I was right...
no teeth means you have nothing worthwhile to say and/or you're incomprehensible
and/or you're a dimwit. "Traffic? Cars? Let me know if there's anything
coming?" He finally got the message and I drove off to see Peter the engineer.
So, I figure this new direction with PJ is evolutionary. Happens all
the time with GNs - changing rigs, modifying rigs, etc. I'd rather do it
here than while on the road. I have the time between doc appointments and
medical issues, as well as the contacts. Besides, removing a storage bin
and adding tool boxes is not all that much of a biggie.
So that's about it. Dental appointment tomorrow morning and Nancy will
wanna know WHY I haven't seen the doc in Sydney. She wants me outta there
before Christmas. I want me outta there too but a bloke can't help catching
a bug. I'll start eating decent food again tonight - I need the energy.
August 4, 2013. I just happened upon this website and have
spent almost two hours reading, grieving and celebrating the life of someone
I had never even heard of but wish that I had. Cody was obviously an amazing
The latest from Cody's guestbook. Thanks to TX Greg for bringing that
to my attention. Greg was also intrigued by the star trails pic: That
star trail pic yesterday was wicked. Couldn't figure why the star trails
well until this explained it... Here's a cool vid of how several
star trail pics came together... Wonder if you could do a time-lapse
treasure trail pic, hahaha
FL Josh is a big fan of a different star, Henry Mancini. How incredible
was he! It's funny how people remember the names of great singing
groups, like the Beetles, Simon and Garfunkle, the Beach Boys, but they
don't remember the great composers. I loved Mancini, and bought many
of his albums. I remember specifically the soundtracks from Hatari
and Charade, which are in a box of 33's my garage.
I found a ton of stuff on Mancini, all fascinating, like he was discriminated
against because he was Italian and from the "wrong side of the tracks"
and because of that, he never dated in high school. I tried to put
something together but could not trim it down to anything short because
I found things too interesting. His
obituary is a very nice summary.
And for those who want to do some interesting reading, here is a
link to a Google book of Mancini's
autobiography that one can work through and learn about his tough childhood,
sicknesses, and how his father treated his mother.
As to me and my sickness, I felt strong enough today to shower, shave
and do a little shopping. Naturally, big ears was monitoring my every move.
"Are you going shopping? Willya git bread and smokes for me?" While I was
up the road, I saw young Keiran and his mom enjoying a coffee at the Mall.
I have to look twice every time I see him now - he's changed quite a bit
from the single digit imp of yesteryear. He's almost 15 now, I think. Not
much taller though. I saw them again as they walked past PJ parked in the
Anyway, this damn cold/flu has taken its toll on weight - I'm down about
2 kilos and pretty weak so it'll probably take the rest of this week to
get my strength back.
While I've been mostly sleeping and resting, I've been thinking about
PJ and how tall she is. For several months I've been though the arguments
for and against its height, handling, stability, center of gravity, yadda,
yadda till I'm blue in the face. Whoever put the extra storage bin at the
base did so to store additional luggage on longer trips to remote places.
I've cleaned red dirt from inside the windows, which only comes from the
"red center". So you can bet ol' PJ has seen a fair bit of the outback
- and survived. But even so, I decided to ask myself one simple question
- am I happy driving it? And my simple answer was no. I'd prefer it the
way TX Greg rearranged it in Photoshop by removing the lower storage bin.
That, of course, creates a new set of storage problems which could be
solved by installing tool
boxes fore and aft of the rear wheels hanging from the tray. One of
them could be used to house the AGM battery/s. Advantages would include
lower center of gravity, easier rear door access, and lower awning height.
Carrying weight in the underbelly tool boxes should improve the weight
distrubution even further. Another improvement would be air flow between
the cab over and the truck cab.
The thing that has brought this to a head is my appointment to see the
doc at Port Macquarie in a week. I'm not looking forward to pushing that
penthouse through the air for a 160km round trip.
So there's something to think about. Peter the engineer will be the
bloke I'll ask to do all the work... remove the lower storage box, install
the tool boxes, etc. Not sure what the whole thing will cost but I doubt
I'll get much change from a grand. Maybe peace of mind is worth it hehe.
Once I'm on the road, I want the thing to be set up permanently - or as
close as poss. Actually, I even feel better after having written my thoughts
down on "paper". Naturally, your comments and suggestions are welcome.
And that's all I have time for today, Dear Breth. I'm hoping the bug
will have buggered off by tomorrow so that I can start getting back to
normal. Dr Josh has sent some info about getting rid of phlegm despite
having being a smoker - but I seem to be over that hump touch wood. He
also sent this link to 2013's
And whether you're into photography or not: I saw this on TV and
found a video on youtube about it. Its the Lomography 360 Spinner
camera that takes 360
degree photos on 35 mm film. Here is a video about it.
Don't mind the guy's teeth, he's British.
As I was saying before Josh got the last word in, hooroo! Gary
August 3, 2013. Started off at 7am as usual this morning but
couldn't handle it so I went back to bed. The only reason I got up a little
while ago (2pm) was to check how much the Kenwood CD stacker fetched at
auction on eBay. $10.50 plus $20 postage. Sheesh. I came in at the end
of 78 rpm records and the introduction of microgroove LPs. My first record
player was a cabinet model with a valve radio and gramophone with 3 speeds
- 33 1/3, 45 and 78. It was one of the first stereograms and the year was
1959. It had a sapphire tipped needle as well. The first album I bought
was Henry Mancini's theme music from Peter Gunn.
And here I am again after another sleep. What worries me about sleeping
so much during the day is not being able to sleep at night. So what have
I got, how long will it last and when will my immune system kick in? I
wish I knew. Earlier today I had a coughing fit I thought would never end,
and I was beginning to have serious trouble catching my breath. But there
was a lull long enough for me to get a swig of medicine down the screech
that settled the irritation.
Yesterday, I got a call from Andrew to say he hasn't forgotten about
me, and that he'll be spending time in Sydney with his father's house.
I'm not sure whether they're doing it up or what the story is, but he won't
be here next weekend either. That's okay. The recent power bill kinda blew
a large hole through PJ's budget so while Andrew's away I can readjust
a few fiscal things. There's not a helluva lot that needs doing anyway...
solenoid, a couple of radio antenna, external power inlet, gas.
As to my medical stuff, that's anyone's guess.
Before I go, I happened to spot a photo taken by William Bullimore,
who with his mate is touring outback Oz at the mo in a motorhome. I've
never seen anything like this image before. As he explains in one of his
replies to comments, it's a series of 30-second exposures taken over a
3 1/2 hour period and assembled in Photoshop. Most
remarkable. Also, check out his slide show of some outback shots around
Sorry about this cold/flu business, dear Breth. Hopefully I'll be back
to normal pretty soon. Gary
August 2, 2013. Well, despite some encouraging signs yesterday,
the dreaded bug returned (or woke up) and gave me a tough time at various
intervals overnight and again this morning. So I decided not to take a
chance on feeling unwell in Sydney on Monday and moved the appointment
to September 2. I've rebooked the train as well. Apart from anything else,
I need to be pretty healthy to get the nod from the specialist about the
operation on my lower gum. Since this bug arrived I haven't been eating
well and am looking a bit shabby.
My appointment with the oncologist at Port Macquarie the following Monday,
August 12, remains as is.
Speaking of things medical, NC Art wrote: What should be strange
about finding antibiotics in sea bottom sludge? After all, what was to
become two-legged human beasts crawled out of the primordial soup, didn’t
it? So it is reasonable to assume that the original evolving organisms
made it through while protected from extinction by some stuff swimming
in the same soup. The first Environmental Protection System mayhap.
Glad to hear you are feeling well enough to think
up remedies for shortcomings of squishy hose. Good luck with that and hopes
the thing is worth the effort. I have been fairly good with repairs on
simple devices, but garden hoses always defeated me. Once I owned
an expensive industrial strength 100 foot hose. A utility crew asked to
borrow it to use for mixing cement for a street repair job, and left the
thing across my drive way with pressure still on it. Next morning our garbage
pickup service drove the cart over the hose and split a two foot section
of it. Never did get spliced connections to work without copious leaking.
So much for being helpful. Bah!
And what if you'd refused the utility crew's request? Oh, Mr Meany doesn't
want anyone to play with his toys! I suppose I'll get my share of that
on the AO with spannerless backpackers asking for help.
From the Beeb: The UK car industry was once one of Germany's biggest
competitors, now it has become one of its biggest assets, argues author
Dominic Sandbrook. How did Germany accelerate away? Forty years ago, Germany's
biggest carmakers were putting the finishing touches to a product that
would change their image forever. The Volkswagen Golf is one of the bestselling
cars of all time. It made its debut in 1974, the year West Germany won
the World Cup at home in Munich and the German band Kraftwerk released
their ground-breaking album Autobahn. Great
article about the demise and the rise.
The US has labelled Russia's decision to grant asylum to fugitive
intelligence leaker Edward Snowden as "extremely disappointing". The White
House is reconsidering a meeting scheduled for next month between President
Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The US wants Mr Snowden
tried for leaking secrets.
I watched a report on telly the other night showing some of Snowden's
supporters. One of them explained that he was a protester against US involvement
in Iraq back when support for the war was 70%. "Try finding that kind of
support now," he said. He thinks the same shift in public opinion will
happen with whistle blowers like Manning and Snowden, and leakers like
That's about all I can manage today, Ls & Gs. A while ago I asked
L to so some shopping for me. I didn't have the energy. So off he went
with instructions to get an off-the-shelf cough medication for me. He couldn't
find it at one store so tried another, then another. Finally he arrived
home with something he said ticked all the boxes. And so it did. Within
10 minutes of taking a dose, the cough disappeared and the mucus dried
up. "I couldn't come back with nothing," he said, "so I got this stuff."
Well, well, well, Lindsay did good, and I can look forward to an uninterrupted
sleep tonight. I don't mind being tired so long as I don't have a hacking
cough to go with it. Gary
August 1, 2013. Not all horses are born August 1 but designating
this to be their collective birthday makes things easier. For us, that
is. Horses don't even know they have a birthday.
When a politician like Barak Obama addresses the nation with "My fellow
Americans," does he include people like this?
Mind you, we have them here too, and I daresay so does every country
in the world. But seeing people like that makes me wonder about things
like discrimination, equality, human dignity and respect.
NC Art sent those Walmart gems and also wrote this: Since you have
self-diagnosed your medical woe as flu, you are probably wrong. And, a
flu shot—as you surmised—is too late after you get sick. The vaccine takes
4 to 6 weeks to afford protection. And so, if you have elevated temperature
all day or part of each day, it is likely that you have some stray infection,
in which case an antibiotic med may be the treatment of choice. Ask
I will - if I get to see him. I wasn't feeling too flash this morning
but I've improved since then. It's now mid afternoon. If the improvement
continues, I'll leave my plans to visit Sydney on Monday as they are. Otherwise,
Well, it's late afternoon now and I've just enjoyed a couple of hours
snooze in bed. I'm feeling pretty good - not quite ready to jog around
the block - but pretty good.
Two things I've been meaning to mention:-Yesterday, as I sat in the
waiting room with one other bloke, a nurse emerged from the surgery, looked
at me, then looked at him, and asked who was first. The bloke responded
with, "The other lady." ??? Also yesterday I got an email response from
The Flim Flam Shop about my squishy hose - that separate fittings were
required and could be accessed at Bunnings, etc. Instead, I removed a fitting
from my standard garden hose in the backyard, cut off the squishy's existing
fitting (since that was the only way to access the hose itself) and discovered
that the diameter of the hose is too small for a standard Aussie garden
hose fitting. I informed Flim Flam, and suggested the reason the same type
of hose is dearer in the stores is because it's made to Aussie specs. I
haven't heard back, and don't expect to.
I checked to see if the squishy hose fits inside the regular hose and
it does, so I could cut two small pieces of standard hose, use adjustable
clamps to secure them to each end of the squishy, and attach fittings that
Just got a call from the doc's office in Sydney to confirm Monday's
appointment, so I did... provided I feel okay tomorrow. Touch wood. She
said not to worry anyway cos he has a stack of bookings. See what happens
when you're dealing with a popular specialist?
From the Beeb: The Queen was expected to urge the people of the United
Kingdom to "pray" in the event of a nuclear war, government documents from
1983 reveal. The script for a hypothetical broadcast has the monarch describing
the threat to the "brave country" as "greater" than any other in history.
It also mentions the Queen's son Prince Andrew, then in the Royal Navy.
The speech, devised by Whitehall officials at one of the most fraught Cold
War periods, was
The Wikileaks disclosures strained US-Afghan relations, a retired
US Army general said at the sentencing hearing of Pte First Class Bradley
Manning. Brig Gen Robert Carr said documents Pte Manning leaked named hundreds
of friendly Afghan villagers, putting their lives at risk. Pte Manning
faces up to 136 years in prison after his conviction for espionage
and 19 other charges.
It was a complex conundrum which baffled 18th Century scientists
and captivated the British public. How could sea navigation be made easier,
by being able to accurately measure exact points east and west from a fixed
meridian line? For decades from 1714, experts and enthusiasts submitted
their ideas to the Board of Longitude in the hope of winning a £20,000
prize - worth
£1.5m in today's money.
A completely new and unusual antibiotic compound has been extracted
from a marine microorganism found in sediments off the coast of California.
The discovery of genuinely novel antibiotics is rare, and experts say resistance
to the drugs poses a grave threat to human health. US scientists say the
new compound, called anthracimycin, seems to be effective at killing
MRSA and anthrax.
Some of the planes in our skies are 70 years old and still going
strong. What’s the secret behind their staying power? Two
aviation experts explain all.
But back to Assange, Manning and Wikileaks for a mo. Soon in Oz we'll
have a federal election. Gillard's gone, Rudd is back and Abbott is champing
at the bit to lead the Libs to victory. But guess who's also in the race?
Assange! Yes, Julian is head of the new Wikileaks Party in Oz which will
contest the next
senate election before December.
I was hoping to make a further comment about the Wikileaks/Assange/Manning
thing but I've run outta steam. Catch y'all tomorrow. Gary
← Older posts
Waffle Index Newer
Return to Home Page