Fading Memories

Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Indoor Sport


When the nice man in the shop said it would cost almost forty dollars to replace the feet on our terribly expensive but terribly tiny and light camping chairs, we sort of giggled and backed slowly out of the shop without making further eye contact.

I've had a roll of flexible printing filament at home for quite some time but it's fiddly stuff that doesn't like humidity, and since we live in a place where humidity varies between "a lot" and "a lot more" the use of it was always going to involve long hours of living in air conditioned and de-humidified space.  

Fortunately the last few weeks have been damp and hot and generally suited to being indoors and hiding from a virus-laden world, so now all of our camping chairs and stools have new feet and I really had run out of excuses to get started on Millie's chair again.

Then someone said: "The Button Design Competition closes next Friday".


Monday, January 10, 2022

First World Problems

With everything else on the list as good as done, started,  on hold while I untangled my feet from my camera bag straps for the umpteenth time, it was time to take some action!

Why do modern backpacks have so much spare webbing that flaps around when you are on your bike, catches on your car door, or when you put it on the ground to get something out of it, is designed to flop in the nearest melted ice cream or puddle of indescribable goo?   My old favourite day pack, which has accompanied me around the world more than once has at least eleventeen of the rotten things.

I've used a few different methods of constraint over the years with varying degrees of success.  Just this morning while assessing the situation, I took off eight bits of velcro, two custom bought clippy things, a zip tie and a piece of rubberweld tape, and for an hour or two I've let the thing go commando!  What a mess.

But all is not lost.

In the interests of procrastination I put everything aside for a bit and drew some little slide-on clippy things that will make that problem simply go away.  

A few hours later, with dozens of new bits clipped on every backpack and bag in the house, and as usual in complete awe of a technology that is seriously like having a magic wand at our disposal, the cause of much vexation over many years has completely disappeared!


Saturday, January 08, 2022

To the Victor go the Spoils!


Our cabana, according to Australia Post's tracking, was on time, having left Brisbane 90 kilometres or so away very early on the day before yesterday and would, they assured us by text and email, arrive sometime between yesterday and next Tuesday all being well.   

I am not sure why they don't just call it "Guessing" rather than "Tracking" and I'd ask them about that except that they don't actually have a point of contact that doesn't leave one back at the start of the process after a long day of pushing buttons and repeating one word answers to questions asked by a machine which clearly doesn't understand.   

"Please stay on the line", they seem to be saying, "until your call is no longer important to you".

I digress.   It arrived and was suitably welcomed and stuck on a shelf in its original box where it will quite possibly remain until it is discovered by our heirs while sifting through their memorabilia some time after our demise.

I wonder if it will be worth more in its original packaging?


Friday, January 07, 2022

Horror Movie

The wind had blown all the cool cabanas away by the time we got to the beach this morning.   

Anyone over a certain age, will probably recall the poster for a certain horror movie from about 1968, which featured a silhouette of Rosmary's Baby's Carriage on a rocky crag.   

Graphically it was pretty powerful stuff at least for the time.

Why is it that everyone thinks that after a decade of happily just wandering down the road footloose and fancy free, we now need a conveyance for our apparently ever increasing collection of completely unnecessary things?  Clearly we don't and Millie  is two so will be finishing school soon and we'll just be stuck with another thing we have no use for.

It was difficult though, as we rounded the corner through the park, not to view the only thing on the beach, living or otherwise as some sort of sign.  We backed slowly away, never taking our eyes off it until we were sure we were safe.


Thursday, January 06, 2022

life in a democracy


Our relationship is quite democratic.  

Fortunately there are very few things on which we disagree strongly enough for the chairperson to use her casting vote, yet despite her listening to all of the really sensible arguments as to why we should not, we are about to take delivery of the latest contribution to the landfill dilemma, the Cool Cabana.

"Why don't we wait?" I reasoned,"After the first summer storm comes through, there'll be dozens of them stacked against the garbage bins in the park, and I'm sure I'll be able to make one good one out of them."

That went down well.

Then there was the what I thought was a sensible:"... but we just walk down to the beach in our togs, have a swim and come home, we don't even take a towel".

I hadn't contemplated the "but we could stay longer if we had one of these".

Therefore, soundly beaten and with my father's words: "If we get any more stuff we'll need a wheelbarrow just to go to the beach", ringing in my ears, I gingerly reached for the "buy" button.

With one last effort to put off the inevitable, I tried: "Well who's going to carry all this stuff?"

"I will" she said.

"Well who's going to carry it home?"

"We'll put that to the vote."


Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Closed for the holidays


Long term followers of this blog will recall that we have a certain propensity for finding services temporarily unavailable at exactly the time we wish to avail ourselves of them.

This is particularly true in the European summer where business owners reckon they deserve a holiday too, often leaving visitors to fend for themselves when attempting to find life's staples.

We can't be sure if this is an attempt at international one-upmanship, but here we were, having just wandered to the beach in company with sundry grandchildren and their parents, clad only in swimwear and a thick layer of the sort of grease that the sun's rays cannot easily penetrate, only to find almost the entire length of the East coast of Australia having a day off.

Sadly, this is Australia where the red flag beside signs reading "Beach Closed" are assumed to mean "except for me", so one of the Guardians of the Galaxy was posted at every access point to assist with interpretation.

So we went for a walk, sat under a shady tree, played some games, read a book and didn't think at all about Millie's chair.


Tuesday, January 04, 2022

It's not as though I've had nothing to do.

One problem with having such a disparate collection of equipment and interests is that every time a particular tool or bit of machinery is called into use, the time taken to clean, adjust, sharpen and check that nothing has fallen into one of its working parts ready to be flung out at the speed of sound when it's first turned on, is often longer than it takes to do the job.

Sometimes I give myself the impression that I've been idle for a year or two, that absolutely no progress has been made on anything, but I don't think that's actually the case.  

The 3D printer has cranked over 2000 hours in the past year, and everything I touch in the workshop seems to have a reminder of just how far into the future we are living, and it's astonishing.

Those magnetic connectors for the dust extraction setup for instance solved a twenty-year problem, enabling instant decoupling of equipment and recoupling of other bits.   It's an absolute marvel.

Whenever a problem arises, one only has to think of a solution, draw it using one's new-found computer skills, and print the result.   The very same afternoon (if one has a ready stock of tiny magnets to hand or the foresight to order them months before having an actual idea) a brand new, never before thought of part or even an entire assembly can be pressed into service.

Now if only I could build a printer big enough to print a chair...

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