Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Fix the engine, bend the axles.

The saga continues with the Monaro's woes.

I made a booking to get the steering aligned when I noticed a rhythmic rubbing sound. Pulled off the wheels and ran the car on stands to check it out. Yes, I know that very dangerous. I analyse problems Dodgey Brothers style.

Both brake rotors had a fair bit of run out. Enough to be moving the calipers each revolution. I strip the calipers and see that they are well past their use by date and get them refurbished. The axles go to my long suffering engine builder for straightening. New rotors are machined and modified for my stud pattern and rare studs.

After much frustration sourcing parts that aren't manufactured or readily available any more, I have the old bitch back together and took her for a spin yesterday. I forgive her the cuts and bruises, the expense and excessively complicated starting ritual every time I drive her. I haven't even thrashed that motor yet and it still scares me.

Re-booked the wheel alignment. Maybe she won't be so keen to kill me if the front end drives straight under acceleration.

Like it? See - Sex sells

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Don't be a Bower bird. Collecting things because they are pretty or shiny is pointless. Junk should have a potential use. Turn something USELESS into something USEFUL. The mechanically minded will have no problem fabricating new uses from all sorts of waste. If you have a bit of artistic flair, make it look good at the same time.

Don't be a tight arse. Pay for new when recycled won’t fill the purpose. Pick up nails, nuts and bolts, and screws off the ground when you spill them instead of getting another box. Use off-cuts where possible instead of starting on a new length of steel or wood. Discover the satisfaction of make an old item fit a new purpose. That feeling far outweighs the convenience of buying something off the shelf.

Don't be a hoarder. Know where to draw the line with your junk collection or you end up accumulating masses of useless crap like some weird bag lady. Rubbish is rubbish and should go in the bin. Hoarding then dumping in a pre-move cleanout serves no purpose, so, instead of piling things up for ‘later’, think up ways to use excess materials immediately.

Don't be a Greenie. The connotations will haunt your every move. Someone’s always out to trip up the self-righteous. Be responsible instead. Go out of your way to reuse and recycle an item. Concentrate on the challenge of continuing an item’s usefulness more than trying to save the planet. You can still cut down trees and drive V8’s but take the time to separate steel and cardboard waste when bins are provided for that purpose.

Waste is unnecessary and unacceptable on so many levels. Do something today to reduce, reuse or recycle. Don't do these things in blind obedience to the latest Government ad campaign or Greenie guilt trip. Do it for yourself.

Like it? See - The whole world is against me.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The brilliance of being busy

'Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it' is a truly spoken parable.

I wished to be busy.

As I've said before, my writing style is undisciplined and erratic. I like to jump from one project to another to prevent boredom setting in. The trouble is actually getting any one of those projects to a completed stage. Writing 'The End' on the last chapter of a story, like I finally managed in 'The Charm', is a rare thing for me. And very satisfying. I want to do it more often.

Starting the Killer Serials blog was my way of enforcing a self imposed writing quota for each and every day. I thought it would be relatively easy. I'd drag out a finished story, cut it into pieces and publish on a daily basis while bashing away at the next one.

It would be a side project.

In reality I have (re)discovered that stories are never finished. There's always something you can change or improve. Now I spend hours refining each page. Its stretching me. That's a good thing. I love it. Really.

'Fatal Cure' will be an epic example of compiling a coherent story from a very unwieldy draft. You'll always get 100% effort on my part but I'm pruning with a chainsaw here so expect a few slips. Hopefully I won't take out the trunk while knocking off the tips.

The content being published in Thought Control has dropped off a bit. I still intend to publish my varying thoughts here on a regular basis. I enjoy reliving my past experiences and haven't exhausted them yet.

Like it? See - How to write.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Bangkok sewerage works - PART 2

(Return to - PART 1)

The company I worked for was a Malaysian family concern. All the brothers, uncles, sons and in-laws of a male persuasion were there. This arrangement guarantees everyone does whatever the hell they want and nobody gets along. A few of them resented the hell out of us Aussies being there.

They’d been tunnelling the old fashioned way for a while using the full manual labour method. Hand jacking a shield into the mud and shoving as many blokes they could fit in the pipe with shovels to dig out the face. A filthy, stinking, dangerous job. They used Thai labour.

Someone decided to get the company into the 20th century and purchased a bunch of brand new hydraulic tunnelling machines. Thailand’s economy was booming. Trouble was they didn’t have enough family members willing to learn how to use their new machines. That’s where I came in.

I seemed a strange choice for the job of site manager on a micro-tunnelling job. Rough as guts smart-arse in my mid 20’s who had run a diamond drill rig underground a bit and worked at a gold mine as a mill operator and truck driver. This was a bit different.

The machines aren’t overly complicated to learn. I got a manual and a Japanese consultant Iseki sent over due to the size of the order. He slept a lot, spoke very little English and wasn't much use.

I reverted to the good old trial and error method. It’s the Australian way.

Like it? See - PART 3

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Problems with Killer Serials

I've been experiencing problems with my feed being picked up by Google Reader. My 'Killer Serials' offshoot from this blog in particular. The problem has also prompted me to fix my feed to Feedburner (which I didn't even know was broken). I don't have any idea how many people were reading it. I'm hoping there are a few and I will be able to find out now.

I figured posting here was the easiest way to let anyone who has been reading 'The Charm' know that I haven't been a slack bastard. Maybe a dumb bastard, (that is yet to be confirmed), but not slack. I'd been sticking to the daily publishing deadline I'd imposed on myself.

There are more than 19 Chapters published. Google reader just wont pick up anything past the 19th one. The Charm is finished and I have started 'Fatal Cure'.

This error has caused me many lost hours trawling websites for a fix instead of writing. I found plenty of people with the same questions and NO ANSWERS. Google either doesn't know how to fix this or doesn't care. The other possibility is that I have made a mistake somewhere. If that is the case I will certainly let everyone know. If I can prevent one person from going through this stress I will be satisfied.

In the mean time use these links to go directly to the 'Killer Serial' blog and maybe subscribe by email instead.

Thanks for your interest.