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Jan 2010

Our back-up generator is back online.

We had a blackout recently which made me try to get the back-up generator up and running. Sadly it wouldn't start so I had to do some diagnosis. I found that the battery was badly discharged. I realised that I had not been doing the appropriate routine maintenance. This was probably due to the long period (several years) since the last blackout.

I tried to get the battery back but it had failed completely. Yesterday I bought a new battery and installed it. The starter would still not operate is I had to get inside and find another fault. The 12V line fuse was broken so I had to get a replacement. The starter worked OK but the engine wouldn't start. I hadn't read the manual for the generator since I first installed it after the major blackout in late 2005. The generator had taken us through a blackout in late 2006 but I haven't even tried to start it since. I searched the machine for clues and found the choke lever. When I change the setting the engine fired up and all is well.

It is nice to have experience as an engineer when appliances go wrong. I do get criticized for labelling myself as a black-handed engineer but I wonder how people get by when they suffer from appliance failures and the resources in Barraba for appropriate repairs are very limited.

Posted: 19/1/10 8:20 AM

I have had to become a boundary rider

As I reported in December, when the little bull that is using our back paddock found a way through the fence between the paddock and the back lawn, I had to become a cowboy.

I put some extra wire in the fence where I thought the beast was getting through but it found alternative places to get through. It was very keen to get at the long lush grass in the back lawn and every effort I made to deter its adventures failed and I found myself spending lots of time in the wet grass doing my cowboy job getting the beast back into the paddock.

Yesterday I bought some more wire and fitted extra strands between all the existing strands all along the fence. This morning the little beasts didn't come into the back paddock early but in the afternoon they all came in and the little bull spent a lot of time by the fence. Happily my extra strands worked and he wasn't able to get through so I won't have to do the cowboy job any more and I will be able to just watch them from the kitchen.

Posted 12/1/10 7:50 PM
Revised: 15/2/10 5:21 PM

A Second Xmas celebration.

The family of our younger daughter who live in San Francisco are visiting Sydney for Xmas and have come to Barraba to visit us in the New Year.

We have had a wonderful celebration. The two little girls from San Francisco, Claire and Julia, fell into an immediate connection with their cousins, Kelly and Ross, and they have been having lots of fun together.

On Saturday night our daughter from San Francisco, Rachel, arranged for a dinner for the whole family at the Playhouse Hotel where they are staying. We arranged to have Andrew and Haddon, the founders of the Playhouse Hotel as our guests and we all had a really great dinner with lots yummy food and wine and lots of interesting conversation.

photo of the visit to the welsh ponies

We have all been eating at Sarah, my Barraba daughter's house and we have all enjoyed all the meals.

Yesterday we visited the Bell's Mountain Welsh Pony Stud which is run by Ruth, a friend of Jean and Sarah from the Potters and Crafts Guild or the Barraba Book Club. We were very impressed with the ponies and were very happy with the tour of the property that Ruth gave us.

Tomorrow we plan and adventure to the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial. We will probably stop in Bingara for lunch on the way back.

Posted: 4/1/10 9:47 PM


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