Monday, July 17, 2017

Mazda 929 1993

I bought myself a present.....a 1993 Mazda 929. It was just $3,000 and runs quite well for its 24 years. Done just 145,000 kilometres. There are a couple of things to get it back to original condition.  One is a driver's door window motor.  I have sourced one and will buy it during the week.
I have previously owned three 929s so know my way around them.  The body and paint is in good condition and the interior is good for its age. 


I like it!
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The State Engineering Works

This last Friday I had a meeting with a lady who was documenting memories of the long-gone industrial strip at Leighton, near north Fremantle.  I was an apprentice Turner Machinist starting my 5 year apprenticeship in 1953 at the State Engineering Works. The SEW was a large state government owned establishment.  When I worked and trained there it had around 600 employees in carpentry/joinery, metal machinery, foundry, pattern making, boilermaker, draughting, meter shop departments.
During WW2 the SEW gained some large machinery from the USN to service U.S. Submarines homed in Fremantle Harbour.  Bren Gun Carriers were also built at the SEW during the war.

I was asked a number of questions about how I selected the SEW to commence my apprenticeship and the background of my family and about the many projects I had either worked on or observed.  The information gathered is to be collated and some sort of report is to be made.  The SEW was situated on prime elevated land in Rocky Bay, probably the nicest part of the Swan River and at the time of me working there, there were rumours that the Liberal State Government would close the SEW and sell the land off to developers.  Much consternation by labour unions and the Labor Party in opposition.  As it happened, it was the Labor Government who eventually sold the State Engineering Works.

I guess it was no longer an era of government in competition with other engineering companies.  
In the last couple of years of the SEW, one of the projects was the casting of the winged keel for Australia 2, the winner of the America’s Cup in 1983.  The U.S. had successfully defended the cup for the previous 132 years.
Click to enlarge
from Google Earth

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sleep assessment

I have just returned from St John’s hospital after an overnight sleep assessment.  I arrived at around 8.45pm and descended into the bowels of the hospital to try and find the Sleep Unit.  After being redirected several times, I found it and was allocated my room and told to get into pyjamas ready to have all the electrodes attached all over my body.  For info about all those wires see here.
The sleep technician, Marikah, attached all the electrodes and went to the control console to test the connections.  There were a couple of electrodes that had to be replaced and then the function test began.  Blinking of eyes; eye movements, pointing toes etc, all passed the test.  I found the tangle of wires a bit constrictive of my usual tossing and turning during sleep and the duty technician had to visit several times during the night to change or reset electrodes.

Both young lady technicians were pleasant especially Marikah who had around 50 minutes with me setting up and testing all the wiring.  We covered a few stories (admittedly, mostly mine) whilst she was with me.  At one stage she took my blood pressure and it was 166 over 85....a bit high!     I attributed it to having a very attractive technician fussing over me.

Click mage to enlarge

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Memories of a wild land

Yesterday had a visit from a friend Greg, who recently returned from one of his regular business trips to Papua New Guinea.  He brought me a most welcome gift package of two PNG coffee mugs featuring the names of 20 provinces of PNG and a collection of PNG newspapers all in a ‘Steamies’ shopping bag.  Steamies is a large department store which as well as supplying townspeople in Port Moresby with their goods, ran a small shipping line supplying goods to coastal government stations around the coast of Papua when I first taught in PNG starting in 1962.

In the 10 years I taught in PNG, I taught in six of those provinces.

Click images to enlarge


Inside the cups...'it's finished'
Pidgin English

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Visiting Ralph in care

My friend Dennis and I visited another oldie in a nursing home Wednesday.  We try to make a weekly visit and also catch up with him (Ralph) when his wife collects him to get together for our weekly gathering of oldies.  
Ralph’s residential is quite nice.  It houses and cares for, around 100+ clients.    The building is largely powered by massive banks of solar panels. Ralph has his own room and the carers seem to be nice people mainly it would seem, from the Philippines and Southern Africa.  Ralph can no longer walk and has only around 10% sight.  He has been in care for approximately six months and seems to be coping reasonably well.   In the home is an elderly woman who hovers near the front door and attempts to escape when visitors are entering and leaving.  The main office is near the door and a call for a carer is made to thwart the escape.

Another friend’s father was in a similar situation and that establishment had built a replica of a bus stop and shelter within the grounds.  Most would-be escapees just sat waiting for the bus to Fremantle.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Conversing with Siri

Yesterday we had our weekly oldies gathering at Joy’s house. I enjoy them immensely. It is very comforting to see that the other 5 in our group are also losing words and names of things.
One of the ladies told us of using her iPad with her grandson where Siri suddenly said...... ‘I didn’t understand what you wanted’. She quickly entered into a somewhat mixed up conversation with Siri and her grandson loudly told Siri to “F-Off”. Grandma gave him a clip around the ears and apologised to Siri for his rudeness. She didn’t tell us what Siri’s reply was. Laughter all round at that one.
I imagine that Siri’s programmers have thought up a range of answers to that sort of question. When I have asked Siri if she loves me, there have been a few varied answers, none of which have been ....’Yes’.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Being old aint no picnic!

Yesterday my GP read me the results of the overnight Holter test.  It seems that there were frequent intermittent periods of atrial bigeminy. Another discovery was that I may have Sleep Apnoea found in the SBD (sleep disordered breathing) screening process.
I now have to visit a specialist for further advice.  Damn!