13 June 2011

9th June 2011 - Still at Wonga Beach

Through the forest of lost souls stalked the great bird of diversihues. His prey was within his penetrating night vision and he moved forward with precise steps, paused, then with nodding head continued to close upon his quarry. A few beats of his short but powerful wings and he was atop his victim. Taking care to ensure his body was perfectly balanced, he shat – and he shat great volumes.
With the breaking of dawn I emerged from a peaceful nights slumber to find great gobs of peacock poo oozing down the side of the van.  I don’t know the exact ingredients of the daily peacock diet, but I do know that it sticks like - - - - -well, you know. It’s also quite colourful with a proliferation of dark reds, yellows, and blacks – all overlaid with a pinch of green.
We’re still at Wonga. Why move? Daily temperatures are of mid to high 20s, with nights of 15 to 19.  Living right on a tropical beach, we need to keep reminding ourselves that this is winter. Neither of us can recall the last time that we wore a jacket: maybe last spring.  We had a big laugh a few nights ago when Scott called from Brisbane to complain that he was the one who traditionally called us to brag about the weather, now here he was shivering in Brisbane’s coldest day since the pre Jurassic period.
It is very true that life on the road produces regular moments of pleasure and joy it, however, does have one very big frustrating, annoying, anger-inducing issue. To get anything fixed or modified, or to even find the correct parts to do it yourself is guaranteed to test you to your limits, and beyond.
When in Brisbane, we decided to have a gas bayonet fitted on the outside of the van for use with our Weber.  Great idea – no more would we need to haul out the gas bottle, just plug directly into the van’s copious gas supply. Ha! Bloody Ha!
Does anyone realise the huge variety of gas hoses and fittings that lurk out there in the retail jungle?  There’s SAE or BSP, there’s left hand threads or right hand threads, quarter or half inch (I thought we went metric a while ago), and thirty two billion combinations of these on lengths of hose, together with almost twice that number of connectors.  But, it’s an absolute certainty that the exact one you need is (a) not in stock, (b) “No mate, I don’t think they make that one”.
After trying every hardware or BBQ shop between Brisbane and Cape York, I finally had success in, of all places, the small local Mossman hardware shop. Most probably old stock from the Pre-Columbian Period.
We Have a Working Weber .........!!!!!!
Now, does anyone have a need for a box of unwanted, and unused gas fittings and hoses – I believe they weigh 51 kg, or should that be a Hundredweight?
I am now going to turn my attention to a little modification that I’d like to make to one of our water tanks. I expect that I’ll source the two connectors somewhere around mid November.
On a similar subject, our battery charger / controller blew a fuse. Not a problem you’d think. Remove old glass fuse – where the hell’s the bloody fuse fitted?  After a long period of searching and feeling it is found to be at the back of the unit, and is in so tight that a screwdriver is needed.  The bloody driver won’t fit in behind unit!  Get up off the floor where you are laying to get at the unit, exit the van and go to tool locker, get spanner, re-enter van, lay down, reach upper body into cupboard, reach arm (whose elbow doesn’t bend the required way) into back of unit and %&*$%#  the spanner is the wrong one. Extract body, get up of floor and repeat the process. Finally the bolts holding the unit are removed and it can be taken off the cupboard wall and twisted so that a screwdriver can remove the faulty fuse. I try and read the info on the end of the fuse but its way too small.  “Shirl, do you know where my specs are?”  - - - “No, they’re not there, where else?” - - - - 10 minutes elapse - - - - “its okay, found ‘em, why were they in the Weber?”  I still can’t read the writing, must be really tiny font.  “Shirl, do you know where the magnifying glass is?”- - - - “Nope, not there” - - - - “Not there, you sure you haven’t been using it?” - - - “’S’okay, found it, why was it in the fridge?”  Nope, still can’t read it.  “Shirl, can you read this?”- - - “No, I don’t know where your specs are”.
Then I have the brilliant idea of getting the guy in the shop to read it. First stop is the service station – nope (why do they still use this name? – it’s been a long time since they offered ‘service’).  The auto parts shop was next – nope, auto electrician – nope.  Finally, in perplexed anxiety I went to a local radio control hobby shop. Here, the guy took my precious, but useless and unreadable fuse, and after placing it under a microscope that would challenge those used by NASA, and announced that it was all written in Chinese.
Thankfully he had a little box of similar buggers that he used on the power chargers for radio controlled helicopters. So, if you see a caravan flying around the sky, you’ll know it’s just me moving camp.
Having spent all my energy solving these issues, I needed to just sit and relax. There
I was, wine in hand, just chillin’ out in the warm evening twilight when I felt something touch my toes. Caravan awnings may look somewhat fragile, but they can support the entire weight of a large fully grown man who has just had his toes licked by an unknown night critter. Looking down, I spied a bandicoot just ambling away, and stopping on the edge of the light pool.  Why was he checking out my feet? Do bandicoots eat meat?
Upon checking with Google / Wikipedia, I discovered, among a lot of other things that they are prodigious carriers of ticks. It took me quite some time to be assured that I had checked my entire body out – 23 times.
The early next morning (actually, it was more like mid morning) we found that a peafowl had left a message on our awning mat. We had cleaned it, washed it, and laid it on the grass to dry when a peacock wandered by and pecked at it. Not satisfied with this, he began to vigorously scratch at it. Shirl yelled at him to stop it. His response was to turn away, raise his great fan of tail feathers, and ‘Moon’ her.
So Shirl has been mooned by a bird – priceless.

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