Thursday, 9 March 2017

I love the smell of charcoal in the morning

Much of the black is disappearing from the countryside as the grass begins to emerge.  The leaves on many of the eucalypts  - I must investigate which haven't changed colour - are all brown, and will presumably fall off.
Perhaps we should make it a Fall Leaves a tourist attraction as in the US although:
  • our colours are a tad monochromatic, in the matter of light brown; and 
  • we don't really want people on ghoul-tours in the area.
However the smell of charcoal is still very evident, at least outdoors.  I can't offer you a button to press to get the smell while reading, so I thought adapting the words of Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (played by Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now" was a fair title to the post.

The massive progress has been on the insurance front, where NRMA, and their assessors, are continuing to be brilliant.  The claim for loss of our camper-trailer has been settled and agreement reached (subject to formal sign-off by the accounting area) has been reached on the loss of contents".  We spent about a day touring retail outlets and searching websites to come up with prices which were accepted: honesty gets a reward.

An alternative title for the post was "Learning all the time" referencing one of the all time great English actors  - Benny Hill.   How that is relevant can be explained by reviewing activities on 8 March.

The day began with a phone call confirming the settlement on the camper.  A very good start.

I then decided that my task for the day was to replace the washing line under our verandah where the heat from the fire had scorched the plastic coating.

New line had been acquired in our retail pricing foray the previous day, as had a general purpose tool kit including some sockets and ratchet drivers.  A problemo appeared as I couldn't get the sockets to fit on to the driver because the little ball (red arrow) was blocking it .
Nor, when I eventually got one on could I get it off again.  Negative vibrations were very evident!  Then I noticed a little stud on the ratchet (green arrow): see stud, press stud - socket falls off!  Washing line installed!  Here endeth the first lesson.

The second lesson followed rather quickly as I picked up the case of the tool set:
if not done with the lid closed, all the sockets fall out!  Of course some of the small ones fell through the gaps between the slats in the deck leading to grovelling in the old dog bones and wombat crap there-under.

Anyhow, the lines were installed and are now being test driven with a couple of big towels.  So far, so good.

I then went to do the BBQ Stakes which was rather successful in that I did a PB.  As I was driving home the Bluetooth erupted with a call from Frances saying that a warning light had gone on in her car, muttering about tyre pressures.  So divert to her location and take car round to airline at servo.

Half way through checking tyre pressures my phone rings: its a nice lady from NRMA Insurance wanting to talk about some spreadsheets: she picked up I was under stress - possibly not hard - and offered to call me back.

Tyre pressures not bad, but set to recommended levels but warning doesn't go out.  Expletives uttered.  A quick look at the worst car manual in the world of all time (VW Jetta) suggests this means a trip to the dealer.  Given that - unlike the Pajero dealers - the dealers have never managed to do anything other than through a formal "book things in" process which never has availability in less than 2 weeks.  More expletives uttered.  I drove home spitting chips and fury!

However when I got home I read the manual carefully and there is a hidden button to press to get rid of the message.  Of course, being the lawyer-ridden emissions-cheating VW company there were 10 warnings about the potential dangers of pressing the button, but expletive deleted them (and their lawyers),  Button pressed and message goes away.  Blood drops below 4 digits.

Then phone call from nice lady from NRMA saying she'd got the spreadsheets and all looked good.  She had a total payout figure but did I want to check?  I decided that I should and on doing the arithmetic found I got about 50% more than her!  Back on the phone and it appeared the spreadsheets her system sent her had not, for unknown reasons, shown half the required entries.   A quick exchange of emails and all was agreed!  The electronic transfer is in progress!

The final business for the day was a visit from a shed person to enable him to contribute to a quote for shed fixing.  A thoroughly pleasant guy who knew exactly what he was about.  Yet another brownie point for the NRMA approach to getting us over this event.

So the day has a huge bouquet for NRMA Insurance and a moderate brickbat for VW for their crappy warning system and manual.

No comments: