150. Sunday 22nd August 2010.A mixed bag week…


Woke to a heavy fog at 6am so went for a walk down Orchid Creek Road (No Through Road) with the intention of seeing where it went.  I crossed the first cattle grid and almost immediately was confronted by two Shetland Ponies. This breed can be bad tempered although they approached me in an interested way, not aggressively. I saw a well endowed stallion nearby who was keeping an eye on me. A little further in the foggy gloom I could see a number of horses, probably mares. A noise in the bush nearby revealed a large bull with big pointy horns. He looked at me then dropped a load of manure and seemed to take no further interest in me. A little further along the track I could see a small herd of cattle, about thirty or so. By now the horses were following me, including the stallion. Now the cattle were moving toward me. They were within 10 metres so I pointed at them and called out “do not follow me” and suddenly they all took off at a cattle gallop, first toward me then down the road. Another noise and I looked around. The bull was coming up, not looking happy and eyeing me while the horses were bunched between me and it.

Hmmm. I think it was about time I ended the walk and headed back to camp. The bull was moving toward me and he was on the road in the direction I wanted to go. So, keeping the horses between myself and the bull, I walked around the horses, away from the cattle and away from the bull. Then walking at a leisurely pace crossed the cattle grid again.  What bothered me was the cattle being unpredictable and I could get caught in a stampede. Besides I found out later the road ended a couple of Kkms away and did not reach the Proserpine River so there was nothing to see. Another 200 mtrs along the main road was the entrance to Taylorwood, a nudist colony owned by the Whitsunday Shire Council Deputy Mayor and his wife. (Are there any other politicians who own a nudist camp? Anywhere in the world?)

We spent the rest of the morning slowly packing up, saying goodbye to our host and to our Sugarloafer friends as we are certain we will not see them again – at least not for a long time as we expect to be on the road before the next meeting.

The weekend was a good test for our TV. We got full digital and HD signal crisp and clear. Mobile telephone signal was good as was wireless signal for the laptop. Although the signal was low, we were not using an external aerial. I also did a Telestra wireless coverage search and by and large there is good wireless coverage throughout Australia although it should be mentioned, the signal is mainly along main roads. At least for our intitial route to Barcaldene, Longreach, Winton and Boulia, we should have signal all the way.

For those who might be interested and like me, like to know where places are located, I do a Google Maps search to find a general area. On the weekend we stayed on a property at a community called Preston, near Proserpine. The property is on the Conway Beach Road. Preston is a small cane growing community now given over to some hobby farms. The Conway Ranges is a backdrop while the valley is part of the wider Proserpine River catchment area and for the most part, the plant life remains green for most of the year. Unlike our home area for example where the ground dries out quickly and by late June, early July, the grass is beginning to dry out and brown off. The leaves will start falling soon.

Arrived home near enough to 2pm.

The iPad has not arrived.



Repaired a sliding glass window in the 3rd bedroom. I had bought wheels to repair it last week but have only just gotten around to doing the repair. In my opinion the window was about 1mm incorrectly cut from first installation. That is why it has never worked correctly in all the years we have lived here. So after a lot of messing around with an angle grinder and file and emery board and sharp knife the window finally fitted into the track and rolls on the wheels it was intended to run on. First time.


Then it was down to the garage to start work on enclosing a bay to store our belongings. It started out slowly as I have to move the stuff which is already stored there but I managed to get some noggins, levelled and screwed into place. I also managed to get 4 panels of plywood screwed onto said noggins. As they are 2.7m tall there is a small air space above. What I found to be annoying is the walls are not straight (perpendicular) and the floor is not level. The margins are considerable. I had planned to put in a door but cannot use the frame as it it is so far out of true. I will have to make it a sliding door and some how figure out a way of putting in a keyed lock.

It was a productive day in the garage and I will do it all again tomorrow.

The iPad did not arrive.

Keith from the office called at 5.30pm. He got an email from Apple to say the iPad was despatched at 4.30 today and should be delivered by Friday.



Today I used an expanding sealant where the garage walls meet the concrete floor. This will help to keep out bugs, spiders, lizards and rain, perhaps dust, grasses growing from the outside and falling leaves.

Managed to complete one wall with the plywood sheeting. This will be the main wall between the storage bay and the two car bays of the garage.

I collected the Telstra 3G wireless SIM card from Keith.

The Apple iPad arrived in the afternoon. Good thing it did because I had had enough of work all day and now was a time for play and learning on the iPad.


Another day in the garage bay preparing to put in walls. I have decided to paint the floor. With Donnis help we moved everything out of the storage bay (BTW this storage bay has an area of approximately 5m x 3m which on floor space is a little smaller than a storage container but larger in overall area).  With everything out I went through with the leaf blower set on vacuum and walked around in a cloud of dust. Then I swept with a broom, then vacuumed again then broomed again and finally used a hand broom and dustpan to get the floor as clean as possible. Finally I mopped it down. The finish on the floor is pretty rough, not smooth,  so concrete dust is continually working its way to the surface. I am hopeful that when painted the worst of the dust problem will be solved.

Thursday night was spent synchronising the iPad to the  laptop and activating the wireless card. While Donnis was on a Skype call during the evening the laptop started to make  many dreadfull noises and shut itself down. It would not turn on. I removed the battery and re-inserted it and for awhile it turned on and worked happily, then snap crackle and pop it shut itself down again.

Uh Oh! It looks like a trip to see Dan n Dillon our local computer guru’s. Maybe now is the time to get an overhaul. I have already replaced the keyboard and battery pack this year. Apart from the current problem, the speakers are vibrating and sounds, sound blurred. The brightness keys no longer work.

The activation process on the iPad takes 24 hours so I have to wait until tomorrow to go on line with the SIM card.


Managed to get the laptop working again but it shut down again after about an hour so. On Monday it is off to see D&D for repairs and overhaul.

After another sweep out I put down one coat of paint on the garage storage bay floor. Did I mention the rough finish? It is so rough the roller nap peeled off on three rollers but at least I got the first coat done. In fact the last square metre had to be painted by brush.

Friday night the SIM was still not activated and calls to the Telstra help centre did not solve the problem.

Saturday I bought more paint rollers and only required one to put down a 2nd coat. Yeeha.

Calls to Telstra did not solve the SIM problems so they suggested I visit a local Telstra shop.  Which I did.


Can you belive after checking all the settings on the iPad over and over and over with several Telstra people over the phone, the local Telstra shop sorted me out in about 30 seconds flat! He checked my settings and noted I set the Telstra name as Telestra. A @#%*^?> spelling error!  A minute later I walked out of the shop, now on-line, happy but chastened.

My grumpy mood was gone.( Let me tell you after 6 calls to Telstra I had not been a happy chappy and quite grumpy as Donnis can attest.)

Back to work in the garage I have decided to set another steel post in the doorway to hang the door from as the existing steel post frame is out of true. So, after a bit of blocking with wood and clamps I have managed to set an upright, level,  post in place, ready to hang a door.

During the morning we also took time to carry out our patriotic duty and vote. Thank goodness the local thug Labor member did not win.


We started moving a few boxes back into the storage shed but the rest will have to wait until more timber arrives tomorrow.

Today I trimmed up a few more plants and tidied up all the accumulated underbrush growing around the garage. I now have a sizeable collection of green waste for the local tip.

I also did some concreting in the front garden. This was to set up edges around the rock edges so the weeds will be easier to trim and to ensure those rocks stay in place. This was a job I was “planning” to do for the last 4 or so years. I also laid down some plastic on the garden beds. I will get a load of mulch this week along with some native flowering plants and tidy up all the garden area. I have a huge amount of Aloe Vera which I will dig out and replace with those native plants and a bit of mulch.

I will also get a delivery of 10mil gravel to tidy up the pathways and apron area in front of and beside the garage doors.

Phew! This has been a big week and another big week coming up, inlcuding a trip to Big Wheels in Mackay. It sure would be nice to get the garage walls and door completed and ready to start packing stuff inside. We have been preparing boxes to store our belongings.  Cockroaches in particular and spiders getting into the boxes could be a problem. I have sealed any holes with tape and when the lids are finally put in place I will fill the lid seal area with expanding foam. That should seal the boxes and keep out the cockies, the spiders, the gecko’s and importantly, the summer humidity.

Cheers for now.

See ya next week.


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