Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Of hospital and house maintenance

The last few days have been busy ones. Our son Martin is still in ‘Charlies’ receiving treatment for infections in his spine. Today he will get the catheter removed and a Physio is taking him to the Gym to do some exercises to strengthen his legs. He has improved considerably over the last week and may be discharged soon.

Joan is very tired and weak from her SIRT treatment and today, as predicted, the diarrhea has started. She is quite nauseous and this morning, even though I cooked breakfast outside on the BBQ, the smell of cooking almost made her vomit.

Whilst Martin is in hospital I am using the time to do some repairs and maintenance on his (our) unit. At first he was most reluctant to hand over the keys, but when his phone went flat he had to give them to me to get his phone charger. The block of units was probably built in the ‘60s for the State Housing Commission, then later sold to private owners like us. As with most flats like these, the neighbors are a mixed bag. Say no more!

The shower recess has previously had the tiles painted over and it is time for a repaint. Almost finished that job and I found a light switch plate badly cracked. OK, thought Kev, I will go to Bunnings and buy a new one. Easy! I could find one the same size but the holes for the screws were in different places. I went to an electrical wholesaler, but they only had the switch that Bunnings had. This switch is probably 40 years old.
The price at Bunnings was $5.38 and at the electrical warehouse the exact same switch was $17.80. I mentioned the difference in price to the guy behind the counter and he explained that Bunnings sell some things at a loss to get people in the store where all their appliances are much dearer...bulldust!
I have managed to repair the cracked switch and given it a nice coat of auto lacquer. Next is a chlorine mould treatment as Martin doesn’t open windows and steams up the place. He also wants me to investigate what he thinks is a problem with the washing machine we recently purchased for him. Oh, and then, all the tap washers need replacing. Busy, busy!

I am gradually configuring around 18 computers for distribution to needy folks. They are of several levels and I try and give the advanced machines to students doing serious studies. Machines which are a little long in the tooth go to families loaded with educational games as well as open source word processing packages. Rewarding stuff!

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