End of autumn 2014

Autumn in John Knight (Belconnen - Canberra)

Autumn in John Knight (Belconnen – Canberra)

It is hard to believe it is now the second last day of autumn in Canberra Australia being May 30th and about four weeks since my last post on my WordPress blog. That being the case I thought I would submit an update of what I have been up to. Some of my time has been in attending to my laptop as it went through a period of being sluggish and almost going into a software coma waiting to sort itself out. As a result I ended up saving the files off my hard drive onto an external hard drive I have and taking my laptop back to its original factory settings. I then had to go through a lengthy process of updating my laptop which was worth it as it is now operating much better. To some degree this is why I haven’t posted much in the last few weeks due to the above laptop problems I have had. I think in 2015 I will purchase a new laptop as the one I have now is around 4 years old now. Computers as we know don’t stay young for too long as they are superseded within 6-12 months after buying them.

I have also been busy working on my 1964 Chrysler Valiant sedan (AP5) since my last post as I purchased a new 12 volt DC stereo audio amplifier and a pair of front brake wheel cylinders. The Valiant used to have a radio cassette player but due to its age it just wasn’t working anymore which is why I brought the stereo audio amplifier. Wiring up the stereo amp is not that complicated although I had to make my own mounting bracket so I could install it under my dashboard. The end result is that I can play all of my music tracks off my mobile phone or radio through the amp via my rear car speakers which sounds really great. It was cheaper and more practical for me to install the stereo amp rather than buy a new car radio system. Later on I will look at purchasing a GPS car nav system rather than using my mobile phone which will save on pre-paid plan data downloads. The other item I have just finished installing is the right front brake wheel cylinder as the other one was defective. As a result I drained the old brake fluid and replaced it with new brake fluid to ensure the brakes are getting properly serviced. The Valiant due to its age has drum brakes instead of disc brakes which require ongoing maintenance to ensure they are working to their best performance.

The positive point is that just prior to the Valiant going off the road in 2007 I had all the brakes done as I purchased new drums and brake shoes which still have plenty of wear left on them. I gave the Valiant a small test drive and the brakes feel much better than they were. They will even be fine-tuned later on when I have the care serviced before it’s registration inspection. My next project which I am now saving for is to purchase a Mig Welder so I can attend to some minor rust repairs on the Valiant and also weld up a fitting where I installed the speco floor centre-shift unit. If all goes to plan I should be able to purchase the Mig Welder next fortnight which will be good. My goal is to try my best to have the Valiant back on the road by November this year which will be nice to drive again.

With regards to my nursing I have been preparing a few things in that department also as I renewed my Police certificate (name check) and also acquired a pass in Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP). These clearances ensure that various health professionals or health employees are not at risk of offending or injuring the clients they care for. During the last few months I also attended some clinical practice workshops at uni as I hope to complete my nursing degree at the end of this year after I have a hernia operation I have been waiting for. With a bit of luck I should have the hernia op in late August to early September this year. This is why I have been trying to do as much as possible on the Valiant now as post-op I will have to take things easy till I recover. Having said that I am being careful now in what I do as the hernia can be sensitive to too much physical stress. I guess the years of working in high demanding physical employment jobs has taken its toll on my body as this next hernia op will hopefully be my last one.

I was thinking the other day that in terms of physical stress on my body would date back to my childhood years when most of my weekends were taken up helping my father in his work of making sheds, carports among other items. Some of these projects required me to lift beams and girders into place by climbing up ladders. Then during my own employment years I spent 4 years of loading and unloading fruit and vegetables to which the pumpkin and potato sacks were the heaviest. During my 14 years with State Rail NSW required me to carry large electrical jumper couplings when joining up locomotives or passenger trains prior to running on the main line. The last job I had prior to nursing was in hotel/motel maintenance which required heavy lifting every day over the four years I worked there. It’s no wonder why my body has limitations on it health wise today. In Australian politics they are looking at increasing the retirement age to seventy (70). As much as I can see the logic behind the idea of making people work to age 70, I do believe it has failings especially for those who have worked in high demanding physical stress conditions over their life. It’s easy for a business desk jockey or politician to come up with ideas of economical endurance, but a different kettle of fish for those to whom it directly affects.

Have a nice day!

Pete

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