143. Sunday 4th July 2010. Friends visit and a Telestra rant…

Friends from Bomaderry New South Wales, Geoff & Margaret arrived on Tuesday after they spent almost a week camped at Notch Point. It seems the road into the freedom campsite is a bit rough. They are towing a large caravan and on the drive out Geoff managed to get into an altercation with a large rock. After the initial disagreeable meeting, the rock finally relented and moved out of the way making more room for future visitors. Geoff regrets the damage to his alloy bull bar. They both regret the number of sandflies (biting midges) they meet on every trip to the Queensland coast. After they leave here they will head inland and avoid the coast altogether.

On arrival at our house, Geoff decided to set up camp in our backyard. It was a bit of a tight fit but he managed to reverse in where he wanted but had a great deal of trouble getting unhitched. With a lot of pushing pulling grunting and lifting he managed to unhitch but not before hurting his back. That was on Tuesday. He still has trouble sitting for any period of time, and until his back warms up has to walk slowly and gingerly.

On Saturday we took them for a Cooks Tour around our neck of the woods including Shute Harbour, Mt. Whitsunday, Airlie, the old marina, Cannonvale Beach where we had fish n chips from paper

Geoff Margaret n Frank at a picnic shelter on Cannonvale Beach.

 then on to Cape Gloucester Eco Resort near Hideaway Bay. Geoff was disappointed as the resort seems run down compared to his last visit. In my reply I mentioned that any place with Eco in the name means they leave the dirt and spiderwebs in full view. I had to agree with him that it was a poor relation to its former glory. After one drink we drove over to Dingo Beach and after a brief stop we headed home.

Donnis Geoff n Margaret at Cape Gloucester Eco Resort. Only had one drink here before heading to Dingo Beach then home.

On the way home we stopped at the Telestra shop and bought a Big Pond 7.2 Gateway Network wireless modem and router. It came with an installation CD and the staff at the shop claimed it was a simple matter of inserting the CD, follow the prompts and installation would be complete in a few minutes. Now even with Geoff the guru sitting in the co-pilots chair we could not get past the installation mode. We were directed to contact a telephone number to complete an “activation” process. Two and a half hours later, after speaking with two people in the Philippines we still could not get the activation completed and to make matters worse, the “activation” office had closed at 8pm and would not re-open until 8am Monday. So much for the simple steps in a CD.

Telestra really needs to get its act together to make the process simpler. After talking with the local shop today – who by the way cannot help us because the “activation” office is closed – it seems this happens frequently with New Big Pond customers. Existing customers switching to the new wireless modem do not have such problems.

With Geoffs help we pulled the Dometic hatch out of the roof, removed the blockout blind, washed and cleaned it of most of the stains and re-installed it into the roof.

I also installed a metal plate on the roof just beside the hatch frame. I can reach through the hatch to put an external aerial with a magnetic base on the plate. We will need the aerial for mobile coverage in fringe area’s and also with a modification will give the mobile wireless an external aerial as well.

Geoff used his technical knowledge to trace a resistance fault in the wiring of our external courtesy light. I wrote about it in a post during June. Regretably this time we had to break the seal of silicon I had so judicisously applied, so we could trace the fault. It turned out to be two faults, one of which was my joining of two wires which were not making  full and constant contact. The light now works. WooHoo!

Hmmm! I should make a list of jobs which need a second pair of hands and a guru knowledge.


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