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2010-04-28

What next?


This flyer came with the car rego bill the other day. Another bit of fluff designed to take taxpayer money out of our State coffers, but at least the damage seems to be limited to $4.5 million towards this scheme that will do little more than keep a self interest group in fancy jobs with company cars.

I fear it will soon become a fee tagged onto the too high already cost of vehicle registration.

2010-04-22

Spooky.


There's a snake hanging around the front of our place which I disturbed a couple of times this morning. I hope the rodents that are under the house are scared, as I was sure jumpy when it took off from near my legs looking for some shelter.
It was way too quick for me to grab a photo so I grabbed this one from factzoo.com

Only the one I saw was much darker and probably didn't have the wide neck, although my memory is fuzzy and it seemed about Anaconda size. In hindsight most likely a harmless (to humans) Green Tree Snake. I hope it doesn't go next door, their dogs don't take kindly to anything.

2010-04-20

Stored.


I put Tru's good feet away today, the rope is so they don't float away in the next flood. Since I was never a scout or a sailor I had to do some checking online about fancy knots, I decided on a bowline as it appears most useful and one I should definitely learn and use.

2010-04-19

While I'm at it.


Another Great Uncle another war. VX48125 Adrian John Smyth was my Father's Mother's brother, enlisted in WW2 in 1940 and was discharged 1n 1946, reaching the heady rank of private. After viewing his service photo shown here I can see why. He suffered from the same lack of tall bones as I do and thus could never expect to be promoted.
He did however manage to be a Rat of Tobruk before doing a stint in Borneo.

He was known as John as he probably wasn't tough enough to use Adrian but he had the luxury of growing old(ish) before dying, though he would have regretted doing that if he knew the shameful treatment his sisters would do to his de-facto wife.

Another tale.


4503 Lewis Cunningham Knox Rough 26th Battalion was the husband of my foster Nana, I called him Grandfather and he was good to me but I never saw him after I was 7 y/o, he died in 1969.
As near as I can tell he was wounded around Pozieres, a mere 20km or so from where Jack McGregor was killed. For Lew the war ended on the 29th July 1916 when he copped a bullet that ripped along his arm, trimming the bone savagely.
It was a different world back then and men were men and got on with their lives, he carried the legacy of a dud arm plus nightmares and a cigarette habit till he died at what is regarded as extreme old age for a smoker of 74.

He had the legacy of not being fit for full employment but was knocked back when he applied for a invalid pension 30 years later, due largely to not having made a fuss of the injury earlier. It was a different world alright.

I'm very pleased to see some service organisations trying to return the ANZAC day march to those who served, after it having become a free for all for too long.

An ANZAC tale.


I was doing a bit of checking out some of my family war service and now realise ANZAC day is coming up next Sunday, so a post isn't out of order.

My Mother's Mother's brother was killed in France on the 24th March 1917.
4881 John McGregor enlisted in the 57th Battalion on the 1st December 1915, his Mother had died 12 years earlier in childbirth when my Grandmother was born, the family was never well off and enlisting was probably the best thing that had ever happened to him. He was quickly promoted to Sergeant, which with his social position was probably as high as he could have achieved, and by accounts was a brave natural leader.
A member of his platoon was shot by a German sniper and Jack was shot in the head when he went to rescue him. Some sources have him shot by sniper, others have him being hit by a shell fragment, I believe the sniper to be the truer account.
His luck had run out as he was wounded previously on the 15th July 1916 with gunshot to the shoulder and back.
According to his Captain he had been recommended for a D.C.M prior to his death but I don't think my family ever heard anything of that, he did well enough to manage a promotion from his starting position in life.

Records of places are rather hard to research from online records but now once again I can thank Earth Google for letting us see the world. The photo shows the cemetery at Beaumetz-les-Cambrai in the Somme at France, however I believe it was a couple of km further down this road at the village of Doignies where he was killed, sorry but no street view available thus far, however I believe him to have been buried close to the big tree in the background. Later to be transferred to the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

The Tour de France pushbike race has a stage from the town of Cambrai this year and I shall take a bit of particular interest in that one.

2010-04-12

RIP Meinhardt Raabe.


The coroner himself has died, there can't be too many left now from the great 1939 Wizard of Oz film.

To paraphrase him "He's not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead". At 98 he had a pretty good run.

2010-04-10

Weakness.


I suppose you can call this a bit of a shamefile post but the young fella with the glow in the dark workshirt who jumped out of the 4wd then speared into Subway to buy his lunch, and didn't appear to have a disabled parking permit. The white car had a permit so is a cleanskin.

Most times it wouldn't cause much trouble and this probably wasn't an exception but to me it's a sign of society breakdown as more and more people think only of themselves, just have a look at a sports stadium sometime and see all the garbage strewn about the place, someone else has to pick it up. I think we may have much to learn from the Japanese, who do seem to consider others.

What a beauty!



I spotted this in Coles carpark the other day, a real nice looking FB Holden (1960-61) Probably my most desirable model they made, although now suffers from the same weakness the legendary Model T Ford had of age rendering them no longer suitable for a lot of road use.
When I was younger these were more common than the cane was at school. These days they're still more common than the cane at school, but only just.

I'm bushed.



Also this morning I replaced the LHF upper control arm bushes in Tru. Not a difficult job but it totally knackered me and made the old heart pump out a few angina signals, ouch.

I was going to do the other side too but that can wait another week till I recover.
They have probably been done before as they seemed to have mixed up the front and rear bushes and put them in the wrong spot. I replaced them with urethane ones that unlike the rubber originals are the same front and rear.

Having a press helps a lot although improvisers wouldn't have much trouble finding a solution. The paint was to identify which bits went where.

Tru's new feet.



Tru's feet had worried me since she came into our family, and now I've finally done something about it.

Her feet were pretty but with too small a rolling radius and her sidewalls were too thin. Racer boys may like 235/45-17 feet but Jimmy doesn't.

I've now returned her to the stock tyre size although she has to put up with base model steel wheels, for me it was the best solution and I can refit her pretty feet when she moves onto another family. Now she has the 215/60-16 feet she was designed for.

Two of her new feet were almost new Gemstone tyres and the other two were half worn Wanli tyres, all made in quality Chinese factories. $320 all up so I'm not complaining.

Enterance?


I failed spelling at school, that sort of killed my career before it even started, but with failure no longer an option at school......

Spotted at Bunnings Townsville when I was waiting to pick up Tru's new feet.

2010-04-04

Reflection.


Mere mortals could never do things like this back in the days of film, every photo we ever took then was carefully planned and usage was minimised due to the cost and hassle of processing, but anyway this is the pupil of my right eye, at least it reflects well enough to make out some of the camera details if you like mirror images.

I wonder if the murkiness is the cataracts that my eyes are supposed to be accumulating? Doesn't matter, it's fun to try something new.

Dunno about this.



Probably a useless idea but I thought the trailer would be easier to maneuver with a wheel on its foot, in this case a castor.

2010-04-02

Suspect.


I noticed a little thud in the front left of Tru yesterday, had a look and this upper control arm bush is a bit worn.

Hopefully I can get a replacement set tomorrow from Supercheap Auto with their 20% off on Easter Saturday sale. The job seems fairly straightforward and is one I'm not dreading.

Heater coil? No.


Another Jimmy kludge, hopefully one that will function OK.
Mega's old power supply has had a habit of tripping the circuit breaker I installed whenever I've charged a car battery with it, quite surprising considering it's 25 Amp (maybe it's 30A I forget), so the transformer must push out a lot of grunt but I had to protect the 35 Amp bridge rectifier I fitted as it had blown the previous one.

Anyway the silly looking fencing wire coil is to act as a shunt to limit the current slightly, testing seems to deem it successful but it isn't very good as a hand warmer. My meter which isn't very good at low impedances thinks it may have 0.1 Ohm resistance.

The insulators were a bit of broom dowel that I tapered to fit the holes I'd drilled.

Since mega is sure to read this, you're quite welcome to have the flood affected relic back to add to your ancient treasures collection.