Aced it!

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Sometimes you have a win. Behold my new Pioneer AV CD Radio in the Honda. It’s taken about a week, getting the old unit out, getting new mounting plates and fascia (the surround to match the Honda’s shape and colour), getting a wiring harness to mate with the Honda, then cutting and joining all the wires (about 16), hoping I’ve got them matched up. Then checking carefully.

I need to drive it on Tuesday, so I put it in this afternoon. Bingo. It worked first time. What a relief. Still, it should, because I was careful. It’s not completely fixed in yet because I still need to connect the USB cable to the back. Annoyingly, there’s no USB front socket, so I’m going to have to carefully cut a rectangular hole in the car’s fascia somewhere to mount the USB socket I have on order. And the green wire is supposed to go to the handbrake (or in this case the footbrake) which stops you playing DVDs when the brake is off, ie while driving. I’ll do that tomorrow, but I might just ground it and to hell with the restriction. Shhhh.

No improvement in my radio reception in the garage, but I’ll check that out on the street later.

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I bought one of these yesterday from Aldi. It’s an airbrush paint sprayer with 1/6HP compressor. It’s for very fine spray painting of hobby things, in my case the model railways, if I ever get around to building a layout. Crumbs, it’s more than four years since I bought enough to start the build, but I’ve been quite distracted since with all the trips to Bali and the guest here.

Besides, I used to think I had enough room to build it in the house, but somehow… the space has been used up. I may build it in the drying court outside the house. It’s a space 18m long by about 3m and the garage opens onto it by a seldom used roller door. Ideal. It’s just exposed to the weather, that’s all. A minor detail.

By the way, model railways must be the only hobby where the models are too good when new. Real railways are filthy dirty, grimy, with diesel spills along the track and rusted rails. All the model bits have to be weathered, and that’s where the airbrush comes in. I’ll be mixing the paints from their pure base colours to make dirt colours, then spraying in a messy way so as to look old and real, not glossy and neat. There are people who sell their services weathering models. It’s expensive because it takes a lot of time and trouble. I’ll do my own.

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By crikey, I’m a fan of Aldi’s tools offerings. I’ve bough quite a lot of stuff in the past year or so: two small table saws (one to be sold as the second one is better); a small 8″ mitre saw; a miniature bench grinder; a power knife and blade sharpener; two adjustable stands for cutting wood etc; a Li-ion jump starter/tyre inflator/torch; a small engraver; two pairs of axle stands; a trolley jack; and half a dozen or more sets of drills, hand saws, etc etc.

I’ve found all these to be great quality and about half the price you would pay at any normal shop. Yes, half price, because I check before I buy. The trolley jack was $30. Good luck finding one at the auto shops for that.

I bought a set of eight screw drivers yesterday for $7.99! I hardly need them, but at that price I can carry them in the car. Excellent quality.

They’ve got a mitre saw rail stand at the moment for $49.99, but that’s too much for me. There are still 14 left in the pile and they are a slow seller, obviously. They’ve been there for three weeks now and I’m watching to see the price drop when they need to clear bench space. I thought it would have happened by now, but I’ll check next week.

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My West Indian lime tree is finally bearing fruit. I planted it about five years ago and although it grew well, it remained fruit free. I was wondering if it needed a lady friend in the neighbourhood for pollination, but I needn’t have worried as it started fruiting early this year, in the summer. They were very small to start and seem to grow slowly (a tropical tree in cold weather, of course) but there are a dozen or more showing now. But thorns! It’s hard to pick them because the branches have nasty spiky thorns. Luckily I only need one occasionally. Leather gloves.

Oranges! I was pleased to buy a 3Kg bag of navels for $6 a few weeks ago at Coles, but now they’re down to $4 for the same 3Kg. Bargain. They must really be fruiting.

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