248. Sunday 15th April 2012. Trapped in Culcairn. Working on an exit strategy…

Monday 9th April

Grrr! We are experiencing problems with TV reception. ABC & 7 networks cannot be tuned in at all and the other stations are also beginning to pixillate. Neighbours have no problems with their reception.

The day dawned bright and sunny but with that miserable lazy cool breeze blowing. You know the type of lazy breeze I am talking about. It is so lazy instead of going around you it blows straight through you. It chills the muscles and the bones. It remained cold all day. In the morning it was OK to find a place in the sun away from the wind. In the afternoon the clouds rolled in, the wind gusted more frequently and with more force and we retreated indoors.

During the day Eric took the time to show me various platting methods and how he cuts his leather laces from tanned kangaroo hide. From the laces he makes wrist bands, belts, hat bands and whips.

Late in the afternoon I started to drive Glenise n Eric to Mad Dog Morgans Hideout. About halfway along the road the wind picked up ferociously, swirling dust and blowing leaves and twigs against TERIOS. We turned around as we could also see the big storm clouds getting darker. Just as we arrived back at camp the first big drops of rain fell. I barely had time to ensure everything that was outside was packed under the awning before the heavy rain began. After three minutes of heavy rain, it stopped. The wind stopped and the sun came out but it was still miserably cold.

In the evening we invited Glenise and Eric for happy hour which rolled into a few hours. It was warmer inside WWWGO with the heater turned on. So we sat and ate and drank (we shared some of our final bottle of Cumquat Brandy I made last year) and we laughed. Often.

We laughed so much I almost forgot to take a photo. Eric, Glenise, Donnis.

Tuesday 10th April

The CO-PILOT has the day off and G&E are leaving today. They have a vague plan of driving to the head of the Murray River…somewhere around Khancoban…and camping along the Murray, then drive back towards Wodonga before hightailing to Brisbane where they are housesitting for 6 months. They followed us to Lavington where we all had coffee and they did a grocery shop before we parted with hugs.

We drove into Albury where I purchased a new TV cable with F connector ends, some Sikaflex and a cartridge gun. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will thread the new cable in place, seal everything with Sikaflex and fingers crossed, enjoy TV reception once more. It sounds simple and easy. Reality is, it will not be so simple especially as I will have to clean away all the old Sikaflex first and somehow thread the cable through the length of the antenna mast.

While in Albury we went to the movies and saw Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts. The story was good but the filming was different. To me it looked as though it was filmed through gauze or slightly out of focus.

After a grocery shop we arrived home with the obligatory hot chook for dinner. Oh and of course the CO-PILOT brought a loaf of her favourite 96 hour sourdough rye bread which she cut thickly to accompany the chook and baby spinach salad.

The night was cold and the doona is on the bed for the first time this year.

Wednesday 11th April

The CO-PILOT  had another day off so while I climbed up and down the ladder several times removing the old TV cable, removing old Sikaflex, cleaning surfaces and putting in new cable and new Sikaflex. The plan was that with new TV cable we would get better TV reception including Channel 7 and ABC. Well, the plan sort of worked. We can get better reception, including 7 and ABC but both pixilate and both drop to No Signal. Still I suppose that is better than 100% no signal. In fact re-tuning previously, those channels could not be found.

In the late afternoon we took a walk to watch the sunset. Just out of town at an intersection there are houses on three corners. On the fourth corner is a multi-acre parcel of land. On the fence were a dozen fox carcasses, six of them recent. The stink was appalling. What makes a person hang dead animals, just for the sake of it, on a fence? I suppose it must be like the fisherman who catches a large fish and after filleting, instead of returning the carcase to the sea for re-cycling and feeding sea life, the rotting skeleton is left hanging from a street sign.

Sigh! It must be some sort of hunter, chest beating sign. Perhaps translated it means, “me big fisherman, catchum big fish, here proof”, OR “Me big hunter, can catchum fox, no eat but here proof”.

Here proof. Why oh Why did he put the carcasses so close to neighbouring houses.

Thursday 12th April

Donnis has a birthday today. We had a cappuccino and a mud cake with runny chocolate sauce and marshallows topping for a celebration before she went to work. Errk! Although it tasted good going in, the taste kept repeating on me all afternoon and I could not get the sweet sugary taste out of my mouth for hours. Two weeks ago we bought a milk frother from Aldi. We make the espresso coffee in our mocha pot and froth the milk and we end up with excellent cappucchino.

It was another bright sunny day, with a cool breeze early in the day.

We had a bit of internet drama this morning. I was using the laptop to check email and the CO-PILOT  was using the Notebook to speak with her daughter (who is in Mexico) on Skype. The email download was slow and I commented that perhaps we should not being using the wireless at the same time. On a hunch checked our BigPond internet usage meter. (It took ages to load) to my surprise we had just exceeded our 8 Gb monthly allowance with an update not due until 4th May. WTF!!! How could be use 8Gb in 8 days. We do not download movies or games. We called BigPond via Skype on the iPad which has its own download. After speaking with a consultant it seems that between the new NoteBook and the LapTop we have had a heavy few days of updates, particularly from Microsoft. Sometimes a dozen or more updates every day. This is all going on behind the scenes and is part of the features of Windows 7.

Whoa!!! I immediately found the updates  in the control panel and turned off automatic updates.

The BigPond man, who by the way was very helpful and spoke excellent English transferred me to accounts, suggesting they may agree to give me a 1Gb freebie to keep us going until next month. The next BigPond man was very helpful and also spoke excellent English. He offered a once only free top up of 8Gb and suggested I turn off the auto updates…which I had already done.

In one of walks during the week I was lucky enough to have the new camera and this wonderful Blue Tongue Lizard walked in front of me. Actually they more correctly are a Blue Tongued Skink. See...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-tongued_skink

Friday 13th April.

We still cannot get reception for channel 7 or ABC. I was on the roof again to-day and uh-oh when the antenna is rotated, the loose cable wraps itself around the antenna and starts to pull tight on the Sikaflex sealant. Hmmm. Never thought about that when I put everything together. I will have to think about how this can be fixed.

Apart from house duties I cooked up another big batch of chicken & vegetable soup.

Saturday 14th April

I was up on the roof again today as I had thought of a solution while I was drifting off to sleep last night. I realised that when I threaded the antenna cable inside the aluminium box section, the antenna was upright but turned to where I can get the best reception. The cable should have been threaded while the antenna was in the ready to fold down position. Although I did not need to I totally disassembled the antenna arms, head and winding shoe and cleaned them and lubricated the shoe. The cable was re-threaded while the antenna was in the fold down position. Now I can rotate the antenna in both directions without the cable wrapping around the antenna or pulling on the Sikaflex seal. I also re-positioned the antenna slightly and was able to tune in channel 7, although it still pixillates it is now 90% viewable.

Sunday 15th April

Still art Culcairn. No exploring, no adventures today.

Still cannot receive ABC or 7 networks.

Sigh! Back to the drawing board, more thinking required.

Stay tuned.

Next week is a whole new beginning with new travels, exploration and adventure.

Promise.

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