Ding dong

Give up? (Mars)

I’ve been working all afternoon on two of my three cars. Just minor things so far: pumping up the tyres, all five, on Vera and cleaning out the spare tyre well while I was at it. It looks as if I’ll only need a couple of new tyres initially. Two are illegal but three are still just within the limit of tread depth. I don’t know about other cars but I’m pleased to find that even the spare wheel is an alloy one. I was expecting just a plain steel rim.

I’m very happy with an Aldi purchase yesterday – a lithium battery jump starter combined with an air compressor and large torch. I’ve had an electric drill type tyre inflator for some years but they’re pretty weak, struggling to provide the air for more than one or two tyres.

But this one is like a large battery torch and it easily pumped all five tyres up, from about 20psi to 32psi with plenty of capacity to spare. This is the kind of device I’d trust for a long trip on country roads. I haven’t had to do a jump start, but I’m sure it would handle it. It was $100 but worth it. I think it will last me a good while.

I’ve been finding good stuff at Aldi in the tools and auto lines. I also bought two sets of axle stands for $30 each pair (rated at 2 tonnes), and a trolley jack also rated at 2 tonnes, same price $30. That’s half what the “discounters” charge, and these appear to be just as good quality. They come with 2-3 year warranties anyway.

I only need to buy a pair of rotor discs for the front brakes of Vera (about $55 a pair) and I can get started on the job. I have the pads. Maybe a torque wrench …

I’ll change the oil and filter while I’m at it. I have the oil, thanks to a very appropriate Christmas present from KG. I have a new filter and air cleaner element ready to go, and a new right front driving light to go into the bumper to replace the broken one. It looks as if this car has had a prang on the right front side. It’s been repaired and looks fine, with a sparkly new headlight, and the engine bay looks very. very clean and neat, no damage.

I’ve also been replacing the interior lights in all three cars with LED push-in replacements. Here they cost about $14.50 for a two pack in the discount car parts places, but I’ve found them on eBay for $21 or better for 10. They look identical to the ones in the car shops – why the huge difference?

Gee I’m glad I bought this Verada. It’s in better condition than Maggie and I just like the look and feel of it. $1200 – what a good buy.


I have to make a decision tomorrow: Qantas are offering 30% off air fares using Frequent Flyer points, and I’ve found I could do a Perth – London and return with a stopover each way for about 80,000 points, and I’ve got 117,000. They’ve been burning holes in my pockets for years.

I want to do the Croft Castle visit before I drop off the perch and I feel this is it, do it now or … But the booking has to be made before 8:59pm WA time tomorrow. I’ve read the fine print and it seems the ticket can be changed after booking, so I may as well go ahead. I’m thinking of the beginning of September this year, as I found that to be a great time to go in 2008.

Gotta lose weight and gain fitness, gotta lose weight and gain fitness, gotta lose weight and gain fitness …


My partner tells me there was quite a large earthquake in Bali last night. Is it just a coincidence, or does it have something to do with Cyclone Veronica?


Yow, who turned the heat off? I had to pull the sheet over me last night.


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