Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sacrificial Anode replacement

Yesterday I replaced the sacrificial anode on my gas water heater.   We bought and had this heater installed about 10 years ago.  It is recommended that the anode be replaced around every 5 or so years.    As the name of the anode suggests, it sacrifices itself so that the water tank doesn't.
The anode cost $45 and it took around 30 minutes to replace.  The one I removed was almost completely destroyed, so I was lucky.

Should you think of replacing your sacrificial anode in your heater, it is a relatively simple job and well worth doing.

Here is a YouTube video of how to replace your sacrificial anode.

Warning; you should check that where your heater is, it has sufficient room above the top where the new anode will be fitted.  Often the anode is longer than the ceiling space above the heater.

On this heater, the top cage has to be removed to fit the new anode.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Buying a car from afar

Kathy, the wife of a good friend from Papua New Guinea days asked for a bit of assistance about a car she wanted to buy.  I live in Western Australia and Kathy, now widowed, lives in Sydney NSW.   The particular car she wanted is at a large dealer here in Perth.   I said I would go and inspect it and get back to her.  The car was as new and looked and sounded fine.   She now is having the dealer arrange for the W.A. licence to be cancelled and the car transported by truck to her in Sydney town.   She really did want that car!

Yesterday I celebrated the 79th year of my birth.  I received a couple of very nice presents from my son and daughter,  Helen, my daughter visited with my two grandkids (they are both staffies) and she cooked us a lovely meal...thanks Helen.
At 79 years of age, I have to remind myself not to plant fruit trees or even buy green bananas.

Monday, October 8, 2018

WSHS 1988 graduates

On Saturday night I attended the 30th reunion of the graduating class of Willetton SHS.  There were 74 ex-students and a sole ex-teacher  Most of the group were nearing 50 years of age.   It took me a while recognising most of them and I guess the last time I saw many of them was 23 years ago.   I took 64 photos and they and many more are posted on the WSHS 88 Reunion page on Facebook.
One of the guests flew from Dallas Texas to Perth, returning the following day. 
Nearing 79 years of age, I doubt that I will be attending the next reunion.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Online scams

Scams abound on the net.   This morning I received an email; supposedly from my ISP, iinet, telling me that I need to resend my payment details.
The email looked good, but when I checked with iinet, it was deemed to be a scam.
I also get the Telstra scams about my computer having trouble and calls about my recent car accident.  I have been in the computer world for around 30 years, but there are oldies like me out there who would fall for these scams.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Induction stovetop dies

click image to enlarge

My induction stove top has died.  It lasted around 12 years which is what was expected of it.   I have ordered a new one to be installed later this week.  Daughter Helen and hubby James insisted I borrow a small single induction benchtop model of theirs and it is working very well.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Pleasant surprise

I have recently planted two packs of Broad Bean seeds and to date, 42 of them have popped up and looking healthy.  Love Broad Beans!

Most of them are in my front garden amongst the roses. Neighbours probably think I am of Italian origin and a junior market gardener.

I returned to Bunnings Hardware to buy a bag of fertiliser for my beans and was most pleasantly surprised to find and ex-student of mine working there.  Bianca was in a photography class of mine in 1998.  We had a chat and I will look out for her on my many visits to Bunnings.   Lovely Gal!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

A long time ago

I taught in 7 Western Australian public schools over a 33 year period. Those high schools were John Curtin SHS, Bridgetown HS, Kwinana SHS, Rockingham SHS, Willetton SHS, Cecil Andrews SHS and Goomalling District High School.
I have been to a few reunions of staff and students from Willetton SHS and they have always been good fun catching up with ex students and staff.   I have just been invited to attend the 30th reunion of the Willetton SHS class of 88 on the 6th of October.  Looking through my marks books from that time I see many wonderful young people who are getting close to 50 years of age.  Where did all those years go?

click to enlarge

One of my snaps of a lovely group of WSHS students after a Fun Run.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Two weeks in Tasmania

Daughter Helen and husband James are in Hobart, Tasmania.  Today they pick up their hired camper van and meet up with Pete and Lynda from Queensland, who are also collecting their van for a combined tour of Tassie.  I noticed that the high temperatures over the last two weeks down there average about 5c.   Back here in Perth, W.A. we are enjoying a few days of warm sunny weather with my thermometer telling me it is a nice 19c at the moment.
They will be touring the island for a couple of weeks.  I have the task of feeding the fish and maintaining the fish tank.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Being Old Aint no picnic!

My GP has referred me to a Nephrologist to investigate my low kidney function.  I told  the specialist of a possible cause I had read about (didn’t mention Mr Google*) concerning Malaria.  Some 12 years ago I was a regular blood donor but my donation was declined because Malaria was found in a previous donation.   The doc didn’t think Malaria was a serious threat to my kidneys, but he rang me last night after consulting with another specialist and has given me three lab request forms for tests over the next six days. The details of the blood tests are....Thick Film Blood Smear for Malarial Parasites.
I had an attack of Malaria in Papua New Guinea in 1962 and another attack in Western Australia in 1964.  

* Doctors don’t like being told anything from Google.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

NBN worries

I signed up for an NBN* connection last week and the modem arrived by courier.   The instructions seemed reasonably simple and I followed the directions, but nothing.  A friend signed up with the same company, iinet, and he had a lot of trouble getting it started and ended up hiring a computer guru to get online.
I asked my cousin Ted to have a look at what I was doing wrong and after three hours and him talking with iinet teckos in South Africa and New Zealand, I am still not online.  Ted has had experience setting up family and friends and we were confident he would have me online in no time.
The last chap we talked to asked us to wait until Monday when iinet could take a look at my connection to the node which is some 400 metres from my house.  The modem tells us that we are connected and that wifi is working; but zilch!

Hope to get connected some time Monday.  Meantime I have kept on line with a wireless connection.

* National Broadband Network

Monday, June 18, 2018

Past and Present

Our daughter Helen teaches a Pre-Primary class at a school near Rockingham.  She has a unit in the HASS  (History and Social Science)  part of the curriculum and I have been collecting objects which have to be classified by her pupils under the project name of Past and Present.
I guess I am about half way through the collection and hope to have about 30 articles which have examples of the past and the present ready for her next week.  The kids will try and work out what some of the old stuff is for and later arrange them in groups of past and present.
Here’s what I have at present.....Click to enlarge

See how many things you recognise

Thursday, May 17, 2018

You are a good man Daniel.

Yesterday I collected 13 nice iMacs and a large box of peripherals including ipads and iphones and a couple of Mac Minis etc etc. My kind donor was Daniel Kerr who runs an Apple sales and service business. Daniel has helped me out several times before with nice equipment for my project of 20 years supplying free computers to needy folks. You are a good man Daniel.   Click image to enlarge

Thursday, May 10, 2018

bush races and nostalgia trip

Weekend before last, my cousin Ted talked me into a road trip to the Western Australian wheatbelt where our families farmed in the early 1900s.  As well as the family odyssey, his son-in Law Kevin was driving his massive motor home and race car to a meet at a small town near Narrogin named Cuballing.   It all sounded good and I agreed to accompany cousin Ted on a three day car race/trace the family homesteads trip.  We arrived at Narrogin and then on to ‘Cubie’ and set up home in Kevin’s monster mobile home on a farm which had been set up as a race track.
Kevin’s mobile images to enlarge

Inside Kevin's van
It would seem that these track races are held all over Australia and the next scheduled race is in Darwin.    I estimate that there were probably 30 race cars there and Kevin was a designated race controller which meant that his race car had to test the 15 kilometre race circuit before the races began.   This was where I was invited to be a passenger in his CanAm rocket machine.  Well, just getting strapped in was a major.

part of the course
We headed out on the track quite gently which I perceived to be a ‘treat the old fella easily’ move, then it started.....very fast jumps over small hills with 90 degree right and left turns at speed which was close to messing
my pants.  I loved it! 

In the afternoon Ted and I drove through several country towns having a look at our relatives’ old farms. Of course, these days, none of our families live on these farms and it was interesting to see what changes had taken place over the last 50 or so years.  We visited the site of my grand parents’ farm which was my annual holiday place from when I was around 10 years of age.  During the second world war my cousin Val and I were sent to the Toolibin farm when it was likely that the Japanese would bomb Fremantle where we lived.
Baby Kev and cousin Val with Nanna Lee at Toolibin 

  The Lee home at Toolibin is a bit decrepit now, with parts of the roof collapsing and showing the mud bricks the three Lee children; my mother and her two brothers, made after school on sunny days. 

Mud bricks and Lathe and plaster ceilings

 I had annual trips to ‘the farm’ every school holiday up until around 1960 when the Lees ran out of farmers and shifted to the city.  I had completed an apprenticeship as a turner machinist at a large government engineering company near Leighton on the Swan River.    After I finished my apprenticeship I spent a year studying for my Leaving Certificate and was selected to go to Papua New Guinea to train as a teacher in 1961.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Papuan eharo mask

Three weeks ago I was  interviewed by the West Australian Museum’s Assistant Curator of Anthropology and his assistant regarding my  donation of a rare Papuan head- dress called an eharo.  I had donated it to the museum whilst on leave from Papua New Guinea in 1963.   The language group of villages where my school was, was the Elema.  I was HT of their primary school in the village of Arehava for almost three years.  I had heard about their 7 year dance cycle, which at the end of the cycle, all the head dresses were destroyed and a new 7 year cycle commenced.   Unfortunately the Christian missionaries disapproved of this as definitely non-Christian and in my time in Arehava village no dancing of that type was practised.  I read of an anthropolgist’s book, The Drama of Orokolo (F E Williams 1940) and on my first leave back to Western Australia found a copy of the book at the W.A. state library. 
Upon returning to Arehava after leave, I searched out an old mask maker and we agreed on a price to recreate an eharo for me.  The agreed price was, I believe, 12 pounds Australian.  My part in the construction was to shoot a number of Sulphur Crested cockatoos for the feathers surrounding the top of the mask.     As I remember, it took a couple of months and at completion the entire village accompanied a male dancer with the eharo delivering it to me.  I was a bit concerned that a nearby mission station might think ill of me encouraging the dancing and the eharo mask, but I didn’t hear any complaints.   I had the eharo boxed in a wooden crate made by a tame carpenter at the Government Station at Ihu and took it by plane back home next leave.

The recent interview by Xavier and his assistant Karen was thorough and interesting. Some of the questions about the villagers and their traditions and indeed, how I decided to start a career in teaching in PNG were among things I had forgotten but pleased to recall.

Xavier and Karen are working to set up an exhibition of anthropological artefacts with background stories in the soon to be opened new W.A. Museum.  Hope I am still around for that.

                                        click images to enlarge

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Put a Church Key in your pocket

One of my Fav artists is Tom Waits.  In his Blue Valentine album my  favourite track is Kentucky Avenue.  As I understand it, it is perhaps a moving eulogy to a friend...quite likely imagined; who is crippled.

One of the lines near the end of the song is...
‘Just put a church key in your pocket, we’ll hop that freight train in the hall’

Some time ago I found out what a church key is.....

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

UWA Prosh Day

Tomorrow, the University of Western Australia has its traditional Prosh day.  The tradition has been an annual event since 1931, raising money for charities in this state.  A satirical newspaper is designed, printed and sold on the streets of Perth and the money collected distributed to chosen local charities.    Be prepared if you are visiting Perth City tomorrow.

A Prosh stunt in London Court, Perth City circa 1961 featured my late wife Joan seen holding the leash of a dog.  I met her about four years later at Bridgetown High School where we both taught.

Click to enlarge

Sunday, February 25, 2018

46 years together

Today, at approximately this time, seven years ago, I lost my dear wife Joan to the bastard disease cancer.   We had 46 wonderful years together.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Lock family adventures in Papua New Guinea

My wife Joan and daughter Helen on a wire rope bridge in Papua New Guinea 1972.
Click image to enlarge

Friday, January 26, 2018

A little bit of WW2 history

During WW2, Fremantle Harbour in Western Australia became the largest submarine base in the southern hemisphere.  170 submarines of the British, Dutch and American navies used ‘Freo’ harbour as their base making 416 war patrols out of Fremantle.
Across the harbour entrance was an anti-submarine ‘boom’ net which was lowered when friendly shipping entered the harbour and kept raised at other times.  The Fremantle boom defence net was a buoyed wire mesh net with a central gate opened by a winch on the North Mole, and two buildings were constructed on the western end of Victoria Quay for the naval boom defence operating unit.

The remnants of the lowering/raising machinery are still to be seen on both sides of the harbour entrance.  Click images to enlarge them
Harbour entrance

Winding machinery...Sth Mole
Winding machinery...Nth Mole
U.S. subs with mother Ship
HMS Adamant and Brit subs
Wartime photos taken by Saxon Fogarty

Monday, January 22, 2018

Happy times at Fremantle Cemetery

My brother Graham pointed out this Happy notification.  I guess it seemed like a good idea???

Click image to enlarge

Friday, January 19, 2018

Typhoid Martin

42 years ago this Lock family returned from a six year stint teaching in Papua New Guinea.  Our son Martin was born in Wewak hospital after a somewhat hazardous river crossing en route from Maprik to Wewak a distance of approx. 80 miles on a dirt road.
It was all good and Martin was born without complications.
Four years later the family, Kevin, Joan, Helen and Martin flew out of Port Moresby and home to Perth at the end of our contract in PNG.   We had purchased a lovely colonial house the previous year whilst on leave and we moved into our house and welcomed friends and family to a couple of parties.  Martin fell sick and eventually was diagnosed with Typhoid and interned in the infectious disease ward at Fremantle hospital.   Some 60 people had been in contact with Martin and the local health authorities had a big job contacting those people and allaying any fears of spread of the disease.   After five weeks Martin’s situation was declared safe and he came home to us.

Newspaper clippings at the to enlarge

Friday, January 12, 2018

Nice gift

Daughter Helen brought around a bottle of bubbly given to her by the family of one of her Pre-Primary pupils.  The lad was her best pupil of 2017 and the message on the bottle is rather cute.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bushfire hazard

I have been having a morning walk lately, through and around my suburb.  On the northern fenceline there is what was meant to be a nature strip featuring Grass Trees, Eucalyptus trees and other native species, however no maintenance has been done on this strip in years and it is ready for a firebug to toss a lighted match in and create a firestorm.

The Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) in a non political correct era were called Blackboys.  In that past era young lads would set fire to them and we are now fortunate that iPhones, iPads et al keep kids busy and not setting bushfires.
Young Grass Tree