On Saturday I told Andrew about the problems I had with the Strike GPS. As it happens he is an Electronics Gun (he has been helping me get my old computer sorted out) He was interested in what was inside, so volunteered to strip it down and take a look. He came back on Sunday with a fully repaired and functional unit. No more screen blanking out after a few minutes of vibration. Andrew asked if I had bought the Strike second hand? No I had not. It was a replacement under warranty of the first unit which had failed mightily. Andrew said that this one had the appearance inside of having been previously repaired, and very amateurishly. He said that the unit had very high quality motherboard and components but they were almost literally just thrown in and held together with Sellotape. He talked a lot of jargon I did not understand and which made my head spin but I could understand enough to grasp the gist of it. He said one component had been rattling around inside the case so much that it had produced a heap of dust from abrasion with other components. Andrew summed up by saying that the device had been built (or rebuilt) by an idiot. It should never have got past the Quality Controller. It seems he went to some trouble to fix it properly. It works well now. But I have already bought a new Garmin Zumo 660. Never mind. One in the car. One on the bike. One can always find a use for an extra GPS. Once I have familiarised myself with the Zumo, I shall write more about it.
Guess Who Came to Dinner
Tim dropped by a couple of weeks ago, having come down to do some Occ safety training for CBH.
We dined together three evenings, once at Oscars, on the famous and now much improved prize-winning steak sandwich, and twice at my home. One night we had the best eye fillet steaks I have ever seen, purchased from the new butcher in town (from whom I also got sausage skins or making my own sausages) served blue with cauliflower in creamy, cheesy béchamel, peas and mashed potato. On the other night I cooked fettuccine marinara (mussels, fish, calamari, prawns) in creamy seafood sauce.
Those were probably the last creamy sauce foods I shall for a while have as I steadily switch to diabetic mode. At least my salad garden is flourishing, and I am producing lettuce and tomatoes and Basil as fast as I can consume. Salad sandwich, steak and kidney. Salad sandwich, steak and kidney. Dammit! I am a S&K man.
Enough obsessing on food!
I had told Tim about the Holland track, an old unformed road which runs 550Km from Broomehill to Calgoorlie. I had noticed the sign marking the start of it on the Albany Highway, just out of Broomehill. On the Saturday morning we drove down to have a look, he in his nice new Toyota 4WD, me on the Silver Lady. The beginning of the track looked quite good and we guessed that it had to intersect a few other roads such as the Dumbleyung and Nyabing roads, so we set off to explore. It was not very long, perhaps two kilometres, before I realised that it was not a very good idea to take a 310Kg cruiser on an unformed road track. Even the worst-kept formed road I have been on at least had a bit of gravel. This was a slippery, washed out, rough, puddly, muddy mess transected by rivulets and chasms. After a bit of slithering and sliding I realised that fun though it would be in a 4WD or even on my old Yamaha DTS 250, it was neither enjoyable nor safe on the V-Star. A couple of hairy slides convinced me to turn back. Discretion is always the better part of valour. Even turning around was an adventure, and then I had to go back through all the hairy bits I had already negotiated. But I did it safely with no more harm than muddy boots and a pile of mud to hose off the lower parts of the bike.
Cruisers are not trail bikes.
The weather is cooling rapidly now. I have not seen a frog for weeks. Oddly enough the burrowing Western Spotteds are still calling on the colder evenings. I can still hear them, though the Pobblebonks are once more silent. Until recently I had assumed the pleasant cooing call I heard was some native ground-dwelling night bird. Then one evening I encountered the attractively spotted endearingly rotund little source in the Bokarup Street ditch. Now I hear them again. There must be some somewhere in the empty lot across the road. I shall have to go on a nightstalking expedition.
I held out as long as I could, but it has become clearly apparent that I have been adopted by this young cat. When a cat chooses you, resistance is useless. All that you can do is accept the inevitable, and give in. After a few weeks of shooing it away, I did give in to her offers of affection (and she is VERY affectionate). I started feeding her. I also allowed her into the house at night. She sleeps on my bed. Fortunately she is well behaved and house trained. The positive spin on this whole capitulation is that at the very least I know when she is sleeping on my bed she is not out slaughtering geckos and skinks and frogs.
I still have not named her.
Although I have been the companion and keeper of many cats over my lifetime, I have only ever been owned by one before. That was Tiddles, who was my best friend (along with Mach the Dog) from my late teens until his death around the time of my first divorce. Such a once in a lifetime cat. He went where I went, and did what I did. He hunted and shared his kills with me. It was he who brought me half a puppy once, after having eaten the other half. But that is another story. I was considering bestowing his name on this new kitten, but befiore I do, she has to earn it. So in the meantime, she is Cat. Or Kitten.
Muscovy Duck has disappeared. Andrew and I went for a ride on Sunday, and when I returned she was no longer hanging out in my yard. After three weeks. No sign of a struggle or fowl play. (Sorry). I hope she has just wandered on. Just as she and the kitten were beginning to get on too. Ah well…
Last night I missed out on an opportunity for an award winning fluffy photo. Responding to some strange snarling noises, I rounded the corner of the house to find the possum growling at the cat, who was looking all hurt and upset. She clearly wanted to play. When I arrived the possums turned to me. The youngster, now as big as its mother, was still riding on her back. Their big eyes stared at me with a startled expression on their fluffy little faces. No camera, and when I returned with it, they were high-tailing it up the tree. Kitten was devastated. She clearly thought she had found a playmate.
On being Nice
Do not underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.