Monday 3rd October 2011.
It was a cool night and early morning but warmed up to hot during the day. The smoke haze is getting worse as are the fires all along the Qld coast and hinterland.
Over the past few weeks we have been replacing curtains in WWWGO and even made some privacy curtains around the bed. The curtains have come in handy when the CO-PILOT needs to sleep and I want to watch TV or when she gets up early to go to work and I want to sleep. Today we tackled a couple of jobs which require a bit of upholstery work. Such as, re-covering the bedhead. I bought a cheap tack gun and carumba, it works good. Pretty much the soft furnishings in the interior have been replaced. It looks good too.
I called Telstra twice and on both occasions spoke with somebody in the Philippines and on both occasions was assured the SIM activation was being processed and we would get a call. I checked the phone every hour from 4pm without success. Finally at 9pm I got a phone signal!
That is not a good service.
Oh! They did not call as promised.
Tuesday 4th October
A miserable unhappy day which started out badly and went downhill as the day progressed.
- The signal on the mobile phone (LG KM900 AT) is patchy and drops in and out of service even worse than the old phone (LG TU500). However the latest phone, donated by daughter Averyl, does not have an antenna connection and is not a suitable phone for rural and marginal signal areas. I need a phone with a Blue Tick, which is suitable for the rural area plus has an antenna connection. Mild to medium annoyance.
- Later in the morning I went on-line to advise Centrelink of our income and received a message they wanted to talk with me. Long story short. My pension is stopped but I can re-apply when we stop work. As I did not receive any money anyway it is not a huge problem. However they have also cut out my Pension card which entitles me to discounted pharmaceuticals. Even to get a modified card I have to re-apply. Annoyance levels have been increased to Gosh Darn!
- Still later in the day I went on-line to transfer some funds from our savings and to pay the credit card. WTF? Both the transfer funds and bill pay options are unavailable to me. I called the bank on Skype and after several minutes, I could hear the operator but she could not hear me. I then called on my phone but the signal dropped out after 11 minutes without resolution. I will have to wait until our next visit to Mackay to see the bank in person. The last time I was at the bank I lost my mobile phone! Annoyance levels have been increased to Grrr and ready to behead anybody who comes near me. Luckily I am on the farm and all alone.
- About 4pm I decided to start WWWGO to ensure the battery is up to the task and to ensure no rodents have crawled into the timing mechanism. (that is what happened in April this year in exactly the same location) WWWGO is booked into Iveco on Thursday for a full 80,000 klm service. We had planned to pack up this evening and drive to Mackay in the morning and then stay overnight before going to Iveco. I turned the key, lots of battery power, the motor turned over and stopped. Uh Oh. Tried again. Same thing. Then I noticed the dashboard warning light. The same warning light I had in April. I called Iveco but they are all busy but will call back when they get a chance. In the meantime I crawled underneath the motor to see what I could see. Ummm errr what exactly am I looking for? Annoyance levels have risen to code red. Snap. Crackle. Fizzle. Steam erupting from both ears. Flames shooting from the nostrils. Invective gushing from my mouth. There is nobody here to hear me.
I sat on the grassy hill at the front of WWWGO feeling all overcome with frustration, grief, annoyance, helplessness, anger and a whole range of emotions I cannot put a name to. So there I sat waiting for a call. Then along came Red, the dog. He lay down beside me, looked at me and put his paw on my leg and sighed!!! I kid you not. Suddenly with that simple gesture from a dog I relaxed and even smiled. Thanks Red, you knew I was upset. The other two dogs sat nearby and watched. It was about now I realised I had given Iveco my telephone number which has poor service. I called them back and gave them the CO-PILOT phone number and sat down to wait. Later that night the phone rang to tell me I had a missed message on my phone. It was Iveco and I had missed their call. They had called the wrong number.
Tomorrow is another day and I have resolved a couple of issues.
- I will get a new mobile phone with a Blue Tick next time I visit Mackay.
- I will accept the Centrelink umpires decision and reapply for the pension when the CO-PILOT stops work.
- The bills and money transfer will just have to wait until another day.
- I will have to wait until tomorrow and call Iveco again to get something sorted out.
All of these things are beyond my control at the moment so I have to accept them and get them resolved as and when they can be resolved.
Wednesday 5th October.
Iveco have agreed to come to the farm, sort out the starting issue and do the service on site.
Nothing much else happened during the day except the strong winds, dust and heat continued.
Thursday 6th October
Iveco turned up late in the morning and found the fault within two minutes.
Not a mouse.
It was a low battery charge. Voltage had slipped below a certain level and the engine protection systems had taken over and shut down. Although there was sufficient charge to crank and possibly even start the motor, the immobiliser would not allow the motor to start. Putting jumper leads on still would not allow a start. He had to connect the computer and override the immobiliser. Then after switching off, we had to re-activate the keys before we could attempt to re-start. This is exactly what the problem was, according to the invoice. CONNECT E.A.S.Y, FOUND COMMUNICATION FAULT BETWEEN ENGINE ECU AND IMMOBILISER CAUSED BY LOW VOLTAGE, CONNECT JUMP BATTERIES, CLEAR ALL FAULT CODES, RE-STORE ALL KEYS, STARTAND TEST – OK.
After the service the battery life was checked and although reading 13.9 volts the capacity was down to 40%. The drive into Mackay should bring the battery back to full charge.
It is hard to describe the exhilaration I experienced once I was on the road and driving to Mackay. It is a different feeling to driving a car. I was on the road again, even if it was only for a short while. Once in Mackay we bought a new phone, a Telstra Tough™ 2 (T54) which has a Blue Tick and is a rugged phone, dustproof, shockproof and splashproof. I feel comfortable with this phone. It is not a Smart Phone but it will do the job.
We camped in the street outside Averyls house and Paul arranged a barbecue of crumbed steak for dinner.
Friday 7th October
We had a busy morning catching up with sister Sandi for coffee then appointment with Centrelink to give my hypertension a workout. Geez. If I was not already on blood pressure medication I swear I would have collapsed dealing with the public servants. You would be proud of me. I was not abusive but I did use a fair amount of sarcasm. Does sarcasm count as abuse?
Donnis made chicken tacos and a chocolate cake for dinner and I supplemented the tacos with a couple of pizzas. Geez 4 adults and two growing grandchildren made short work of the dinner. There were no leftovers except for a couple of empty taco shells.
Saturday 8th October
On the road again. I had four new tyres fitted to WWWGO and flexible valve extenders fitted to the rear outside wheels. Then back on the road again for the long trip of 15 klms to sister Sandi’s house at Eimeo. We are parked on the vacant block next door. It was a hot day with a hot northeasterly wind blowing making for a sticky dusty hot uncomfortable day. Sandi cooked up a Lamb Rogan Josh and a Red Curry Chicken for dinner. I’m afraid the diet has been tested at meal times the last few days. We have to get back to simple small meals with lots of salad or vegetables if we want to continue to lose or maintain our weight.
Sunday 9th October
Another hot day, prompting me to turn on the AC at midday while I ate lunch.
Be warned. Family photos below.
When the CO-PILOT returned from work we went to sister Enid’s son, Aaron’s house for a family get together
to celebrate the birth of Kelly’s first child, Cooper.
After a glass or two of bubbly and a few snags and pork ribs on the barbecue we left and went to the local bowling club for dinner.
There endeth the week.