Monday, June 29, 2015

Primary Science Project

I am building a Billy Cart (Australian term) for my daughter’s Pre-Primary class.  The  Billy Carts are a full school project to foster physics at different levels.   It is about wheels.  The pupils are supposed to build their cart (one per class) with supervision of parents.  One dad works at TAFE and had his students built one for Helen’s class.  It was massive and very heavy and the Principal told Helen that it could not be entered because her pupils had no input to either design or production.    Helen asked if I could help and I am building a simple cart which can be disassembled and her Pre-Primary kids can assemble it and add decorations as their part of the project.

Billy Carts used to be around when I was a kid.  There was a BC season and major downhill races were run.  Sophisticated carts had a brake which was usually a stick loosely nailed to the seat box which when pulled, dug into the road slowing the cart.
This is not my Billy Cart, but a similar design.

I suspect there are going to be some sophisticated designs from Dads and the Principal may be ruling some of them out.

I did see some of the physics part of Helen’s project with her class investigating wheels, rollers and inclined planes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

RAC Insurance. Nice guys!

After being a forgetful old fella and not transferring my insurance on my previous car to my new car I could not claim for damages I incurred in a recent minor ‘prang’. 
I went ahead and had my car repaired and it cost me almost $3,000.   The other two cars I sideswiped have not yet been repaired and I have had no claims for their damage from their insurers.

I thought I would write to the CEO of RAC Insurance and ask for some consideration due to almost 40 years with them and the dwellings, vehicles and household contents we have had insured over those years.   Just had a phone call from a young lady who told me that RAC would backdate my cover and all is good.  Whew!

Kudos to RAC.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Annual Health Assessment

Yesterday I attended my GP’s medical centre for my first  Annual Health Assessment.  It is funded for Australians over 75 by Medicare.  It took about one hour with a clinical nurse and then a followup with the GP.     I was tested for mental, physical and other functions which at 75 start to slow down.  She told me that I perhaps should drink less, or no wine and get some regular exercise.  I countered that I walk a lot especially as I usually forget what I went out to my workshop for and have to return inside to remember what it was.
Generally I measured up pretty well.  The doc gave me my free flu shot, had a bit of a chat and it was done.

In the evening my daughter Helen went to the Perth Crown Casino with a couple of her friends to see ‘Wicked’.   I got the job of looking after my grandkids; her two Staffies.  Helen and friends had booked a room and were making a night of it and I had the girls overnight.  I drove around to their house to collect Rosie and Ruby and strangely Ruby was spooked by me and went and hid.  I rang Helen and she suggested food was the answer, so I returned with some dog food and Ruby decided that it was OK to get into my car and we were home.  Helen had brought their sleeping mat around and we had a good night.  I took them home this morning.  They are both very loving dogs and it reminded me of this cartoon.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kia repaired

My car has been repaired and I am happy with the result @ $2,683.80.   The panel shop is very efficient and the car is as new.   

click to enlarge
Next comes the bill to repair the other two cars I sideswiped.    Haven’t heard much from their insurance companies and I assume they are very happy that I am going to have to pay for their repairs.    

My brother Graham suggested that I should think of the money I will lose as owning a wooden boat moored in the Swan River requiring lots of maintenance. Been there; done that and it was quite an expensive hobby.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A better day

It hadn’t been a good week so far.  My car is in a panel shop and I should have it back on Friday.    The quote was better than I thought it would be @ a total of $2,452.74.    It was a very detailed quote and I noticed that the most expensive item was a single headlamp assembly at a whopping $1,037.80 plus GST.

Today I had a pleasant experience which cheered me up somewhat.  I was uprooting a large area of onion grass which has germinated in my rear lawn.  Whilst I was on my knees pulling the grass out a Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) flew onto my back and then settled on my head.    This lovely little fantail bird has made my backyard its home and I  expect that we will get to be close friends over time.  A look at Willie Wagtails can be found here.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Am I a Klutz?  I/we have been with one insurance company for 39 years....vehicles and property insurance.    Last December I bought a new car, trading my previous car in at a dealer.  Somehow, Klutzlike, I neglected to transfer my vehicle insurance to my new car and now; after a road accident, the company, RAC, informs me that I haven’t got cover for the new car.   I fronted the company’s HQs in Perth to no avail.  They refunded my cover on the previous car, but wouldn’t think about being nice to me. 

So I am up for repairs on my car and two cars that I sideswiped.  RAC has been good to us over the 39 years and I had hoped for some leniency.  I understand their position....don’t like it, but I understand it.

p.s. You don’t have to answer the question.