It’s been a while

Yes, two weeks without a post. Tsk tsk. Well, the rate should increase in the next few weeks as I head off to my second home, soon. This will be the first time I’ll be staying in this two storey hotel/apartment that we see as an almost ideal place to stay for long periods. The only drawback, for me anyway, is the stairs. These are high ceiling rooms, meaning the stairs are steep. It’s going to be difficult for me when I’m tired. I’ll just have to work on it.

Also, nice as it is, it’s only one bedroom. I wish there was another room downstairs.

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Some random thoughts:

I need to cut some medium density fibreboard (Craftwood) to replace a section of the floor in the Magna wagon which has got very wet at some stage and swelled out of shape. It”s shaped a bit like the lid of a grand piano, but less curved. It’s the bit that’s screwed down at the side around the wheel well.

Simple, buy some MDF and trace the outline, then cut it. But I don’t have a jigsaw any more. I used to have two good ones, but somehow they disappeared when I moved. I could have given one away, but not both.

Anyway, do I go to a pawn shop and buy second hand? Probably not cheap and no warranties either. Look on Facebook marketplace or Gumtree? Too much hassle and need to travel to see the item, and I may not like it when I get there, and I don’t like haggling.

What I’m getting at is that I already have an Ozito Bunnings brand battery drill, and they sell a jigsaw “skin” (i.e. no battery extra) brand new for $59.90. As much as it seems extravagant, I decided to cut the hassle and bought one today. I just swap the battery between it and the drill when needed, which is very rarely.

How insidious is it now, that once you’ve bought a battery driven tool, you are almost locked in to their system. You can buy another brand, of course, but that means another type of battery and charger. I’ve already fallen for Aldi’s temptation and I have their battery powered buffer/polisher with extra battery and charger, so that’s two systems. And I’ve had a Ryobi battery drill with two battery packs for some years, so that’s three systems! (The Ryobi batteries don’t want to take and hold their charge any more, so … do I ditch the lot? Throw it away? Replace the NiCd batteries in the battery packs at quite a large cost? or buy a new drill? (I sorta did with the Ozito drill, but it’s a small one compared to the Ryobi.)

This is very clever marketing. Quite similar is the Coles/Woolies practice of prominently pricing “Two for” $xx.00. You probably don’t want or need two, but you can’t resist the temptation to save so you spend more.

It’s applying to software now. A couple of programs I use have started the practice of offering 365 subscriptions, that is, you buy an annual subscription and get extras in the price. You can still buy it for a one-off fee, but you don’t get the extras and upgrades cost more. Insidious.

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I’m working on the cars, trying to decide what to do. I took Maggie, the Magna, in for a service last week and they very efficiently did a report on the car included in the bill. I was most impressed (Bridgestone Select, 56 Canning Highway, Victoria Park). Why all that way? My partner bought a Groupon voucher for me, bless her heart.

Anyway, the report showed that the tyres are good, the brakes, amazingly after about 15 years since I last had them renewed, are still good (I drive and brake very gently) and most things are OK.

But there are (“typical Magna”) quite bad oil leaks around the rocker covers, it idles a bit roughly and probably needs new spark plugs, a couple of belts are showing signs of wear and it “pulls to the right”. I haven’t noticed that, but they recommend a wheel alignment so that’s OK.

Anyway, he quotes me about $800 to do the lot, which I see as a good price, because I know that replacing the rocker cover gaskets and the rear bank spark plugs is a big job, too big for me to tackle.

So the quandary is, considering the car isn’t worth much as a second hand sale, do I spend the $800? Or sell it as-is, with the report shown to the buyer. If I were a buyer, that would put me off considerably.

The mechanic (very nice guy to talk to, no nonsense) suggested it would be far better to spend $800 on the Verada and I think he’s right. It has the same rocker cover oil leaks and I don’t know the state of the belts but I’m sure they need replacement. It runs fine, no sign of misfiring, but new plugs would be a good idea. It’s done 235,000km.

But I don’t think it’s roadworthy enough to drive to Victoria Park until I do the brakes, which are rusty and look in poor condition. I have the new pads for the front, and the jacks and stands, just not the energy or the ability to work down low.

Maybe I could get a mobile mechanic to come here and do the front brakes, as that would give me the confidence to drive the 50km or so to the Bridgestone place, where they could do the rears. That’s probably the best idea.

But that still leaves me with Maggie. She drives beautifully! I love driving it each time. It’s the same as when it was new – smooth, quiet and powerful. Very clean, but rust spots and those other items. Only done 156,000km. Anyone want a free car? As is. With report.

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I drove the Honda today and that also is a pleasure to drive. Its mass makes it feel solid and smooth and the sound system is top class. The feel of leather is great. I’m still struggling with the right rear door power lock, but that doesn’t matter, the door closes OK. The steering is very vague compared to the Magna, like steering a big stiff jelly, but it’s not a problem.

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It was such a nice day today that I bypassed my turnoff and went for a drive north past Alkimos to Yanchep Lagoon. The roadworks get on your nerves a bit, but what glorious weather! Second month of autumn nearly gone and we still risk sunburn in 31deg. heat.

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Damn, I just checked and the reticulation didn’t start at the set time. I can’t understand this system – it seems simple and straightforward to program, but it’s not reliable. I’ve cleared the memory several times but …

My neighbour reaffirmed last week that all these houses in my street were built as display homes when the estate was developed in 2004. I thought so – that’s why the photos I saw when I was buying this house looked as if they were done by an interior decorator, because they were. She bought at that time and said there were no houses on the other side of the street then. There are now:

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I shouldn’t say this out loud, but I reckon I got the best of my group. I’ve been into both my neighbours’ houses, and I wouldn’t swap. I am so happy in this house! It suits me “down to the ground” and it would take something really remarkable to make me give this up and move. Sorry dear.

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