On the road again

The Pug is fixed and ready. See below.

Brrrrrrr, only 16C maximum today, so they predict. I suppose it would help if I put my warm jacket on.


At last, I got a call from the RAC workshop to say the Peugeot is ready. They’ve replaced all the hoses and fittings in the cooling system and it’s not leaking, so it’s done. I’m picking it up on Monday. The final bill? $2,288.05. Ugh. What’s annoying is that the car won’t feel any different. It’s not as if this was a performance tune up or a fix for some knock or rattle. It’s just a fix for coolant leaks. Plus an oil and filter change. I suppose that will make me feel better.

Can’t be helped. What am I supposed to do, refuse the repairs and scrap the car? No, it’s in great condition. I suppose it’s shown me that to have two cars sitting in the garage, and another one sitting out in the laneway is um, a little crazy. I’ve missed the Pug, and I’m really looking forward to driving it again, but the Honda feels great too. What to do? I’ll have to seriously consider selling two of them, but which two? I like them all.

My friend who borrowed the Verada has finally been paid out by the RAC Insurance for his crashed car, so he’ll want to return mine. I want him to buy that Verada from me, but although he hasn’t explicitly said no, he keeps going on about the fuel economy, or lack of it. It runs about 12.5L/100Km, or can be up to 14L/100Km. For me, with all my short trips, that’s not a problem, but he does a lot of driving to jobs around the city. I’ve actually had it down to 8L/100Km on freeway driving and in cruise control, but you can’t do that all the time.


The pain in my side feels somewhat better yesterday and today. I can still feel it at the moment (11.23am) but it’s bearable. I’ve been taking the recommended laxative and it’s kinda working; could that be the cause? Surely not? I hope it is, I hope it’s that simple.


I’m being annoyed by a stupid thing with my landline phone. I’ve got a Panasonic cordless system with three handsets, one on the base station (which incorporates a digital answering machine) next to the computer, and two other handsets, one in the meals area and one next to my bed.

The problem is it’s decided that I’ve got a voicemail, and it’s flashing the LED on top of all the handsets to let me know. But there is no voice mail! There’s a menu item and the phone just says “The number you have dialled is not available.” But I didn’t dial any number! I can’t delete it, and I can’t stop the LEDs flashing.

Why does this matter? Because in my darkened bedroom at night, the flashing LED is enough to be annoying. It lights up the room (to a small degree). I want it to stop!

I’ve been through all the menus and I’ve removed all the batteries and the power to the base station for half an hour, to try to clear everything. Result? No difference.

Aaaarrrrgh! I don’t know what to do. This is a ten year old device – I’ve thought of getting onto a support forum, but would there be such a thing? Would Panasonic know anything? I guess I’ll have to try.

Of course, the simplest answer would be to cut small pieces of black tape and place them over the LEDs. How ridiculous.


I slept well last night and I think I’m finally getting a handle on what affects whether I have a good night or not.

I’m pretty clear on what medication I can take and when, or not take as the case may be.

But, very annoying, I’ve finally realised that what they say about alcohol being detrimental to sleep seems to be true, for me. I’ve realised that I can’t drink after about 7pm. Unless I decide to have an enjoyable night and polish off a bottle or so. Very rare these days.

But there’s another thing – I like listening to the radio in the early hours. The routine is that I go lights out at around 11.30pm after reading for a while, then drop off fairly quickly until about 1am – 1.30am. Always. Can’t seem to stay asleep.

Up for a pee, then the radio goes on. Can’t seem to stop myself. ABC News Radio, which is the BBC at that time. Lots of interesting stuff. But I can still drop off to sleep with the radio going. Up again around 4.30am (old man’s problem) and World Business Report from the BBC on Radio National at 5am, followed by the Health Report at 5.30am on Mondays, Law Report Tuesdays and so on. I know all the schedules.

I’ve read that insomnia is one of the problems of old age. It’s true. I do sleep, but never right through. Sigh.


I’m just reading about some new glasses developed by a company called XRAI Glass that are designed for deaf people. They have a microphone and electronics built into the frame. The mic picks up what people are speaking and the electronics translates it in real time, then projects it in front of the glasses for the deaf person to read. Instantly.

What a good idea. The glasses are a little bulky but not too bad: https://petapixel.com/2022/07/29/smart-glasses-allow-deaf-people-to-see-real-time-conversation-captions/


Which reminds me – 3M are marketing a mask with N95 specifications called Aura. It’s supposed to have extra sealing around the bridge of your nose which stops the exhaled air escaping upwards and fogging your glasses.

I asked at my local pharmacy and they knew about them; one of the assistants was actually wearing one, but they said they can’t stock them and they are only available to health professionals. Huh? The 3M ad shows a Bunnings logo and Bunnings stock them at $43.50 for a pack of ten. Trouble is, they are out of stock near me and I have to drive to Wangara. OK, the sun’s out, so that’s where I’m going this afternoon.


Many years ago, around 1966 to 1970 or so, I used to work with a guy at TVW7 called Mike Humphry. I learnt during the week that he’s published a book about his times as an Outside Broadcast supervisor, first at TVW7 in Perth, then at SAS10 (later (SAS7) in Adelaide.

He’s entitled it Mike’s Memories – crumbs, I think he could have come up with a more imaginative title, but it doesn’t matter. I immediately ordered a copy and it should be here this week, I hope.

Interestingly, the book web site (Booktopia) said it’s printed to order, so when you pay, a copy is produced. Good idea.

As soon as I heard about this book, the jealousy monster dug into me and I got the urge to restart work on my memoirs. I have started on the early Sydney years and I wrote about 40 pages on my time at TVW for a book project which another guy tried to get going via FaceBook. Unfortunately it failed, because only about five people (me included) contributed anything.

At least I made a good start, but I ended my chapter way early. I have much, much more to add and expand on. This is giving me the strong urge to get going again.

A friend told me once that when you find yourself drifting, unable to get going on a book or video production or slide show or whatever, the answer is to set a deadline. Set yourself a date, such as Christmas, that it must be finished by. I followed his advice on a slide show once and it worked. OK, I have to finish my memoirs by Xmas. Promise. But which Xmas?


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