This month is something of a
milestone, twenty years ago in July I started writing
this blog, yes I have had some long periods with no
posts, and even when I do have the muse I don't write
every day. But never the less the first entry was in
July 1997 and now it's July 2017. Even with my failing
cognizance that's twenty years, a bloody long time and
almost 1/3rd of my life.
So I thought I'd take a small
trip down memory lane, here's an excerpt from the first
It all started
around June '97. Chris and I are camping at Fraser
Island and Carnarvon Gorge in Queensland. Several
days of sitting around watching the kangaroos,
shooing away the possums, bushwalking, a little
photography and plenty of cider. Life could be
a lot worse.
Fig 1. The
troopie (75 series Landscruiser) at Carnarvon
Chris says, "Why don't
That was the fateful comment
that started us off on two decades (and counting) of
alternate living. I was 43 at the time, Chris was a
year older (she still is) and we had both had enough
of running on the treadmill.
There followed a brief search
for a vehicle to turn into a motorhome, and then three
years of construction diaries for Wothahellizat Mk1
Then in the October edition of "Deals
on Wheels" I saw it.
What a beauty. I can't believe my luck, it's
in Marulan, only an hour or so from Canberra.
Better still, it's owned by a fire brigade.
Many of these old trucks have been hammered
around farms etc. This one has spent much of
it's life being pampered by fire brigade blokes
who not only have time to keep the truck in
good condition but also have the incentive.
When you're fighting a fire you simply cannot
afford to have an unreliable vehicle.
It's November now, will it still be available
after being advertised for nearly a month? I
ring the fire brigade and am told that the truck
is still there but another person is interested.
He's coming up from Wollongong this afternoon.
"I'll be there in an hour" I said
and threw the phone to it's cradle as I raced
out the door.
Seventy minutes later (I lied, there's no way
to make Marulan in an hour) we pull up at the
Marulan Country Fire Brigade shed to find that
they have had a callout to an accident on the
highway. We wait.
Eventually they return and the roller door
opens to reveal the orangest thing I have ever
... we say yes on the spot.
And the rest, as they say, is
Did we do the right thing? Heck
I do occasionally look at the
prices of real estate in the area we used to live and
wonder what if we had kept our three houses and maybe
even bought more? What if we had stayed at work earning
the big bucks? What if we'd done all that and now had
a million bucks in the bank? What if, what if?
But what if I'd worked another
20 years and dropped dead from a heart attack before
retiring? It happens you know, it happens a lot.
Better the what ifs I'm asking
myself now than being 85 and asking the big one...
if I'd got a life?"
Till next time then, and
Dream it, Be it!
Mon 19 Jun 2017
I've been working on a camper trailer for
a neighbour, got to the stage of adding some windows and they
have radiused corners.
I started doing the corners as I've always
done, IE drill a 100 holes, break out the pieces and smooth
over with a grinder.
Cutting my old way, straight cuts with the grinder then muck around drilling holes.
But while finishing off with the grinder I
had an epiphany, if I angle the grinder I can make a circular
The new way, just use the grinder.
How many years have I been doing this sort of work? And I only
just figured this out?
After that's done I Sikaflex the window
in. I use paper towel to clean up and the result looks like
a rest area on the highway.
What a mess, looks like toilet paper.
If you've ever spent much time in these rest
areas you'll know what I mean.
Tue 27 Jun 2017
I've been cleaning out the C3 container with
a view to getting things organized. I found four NIB (New In
Box) external double power points I didn't know I had, I was
about to buy some.
A heap of junk on the ground, most will go back into the container but we need to purge as well.
This is only half the junk, the rest is under cover elsewhere.
I've nearly finished a set of shelves and after a cull much
of this will go back, hopefully in a manner that will allow
me to find stuff.
Thu 13 Jul 2017
More shelves. This time I've added some next to the lathe,
in time they will be just for machining tools and stock etc,
but for now I'm putting anything on them in an attempt to get
things tidied up in the workshop.
Wed 19 jul 2017
I have a room for reloading and it too is full of junk. The
other day I moved one of the shelving units over the the C3
container and this freed up some space for another bench (left
in this photo).
The new workbench in the BCF room.
This bench will be for general-purpose use but mostly for cleaning
and tinkering with guns.
I'm in the process of clearing out the other shelves as well
and in time this room will be for Backpacks, Cameras and Firearms...or
my take on the BCF acronym (for my non-Aussie readers BCF is
a large outdoor goods chain here in Oz, they reckon it stands
for Boating Camping and Fishing, but what do they know.
Another project I have on the go right now is the building
of a new gun safe.
The basic box for my new gun safe.
It's all 3mm steel which is not a requirement in Queensland
at present but it may be one day so I may as well use thick
steel now eh?
||14 Jul 2017
||16 Jul 2017
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