Monday, 28 November 2005

I've just finished Bryce Courtenay's "Four Fires". It was an amazing read really delving into the life of a returned WWII veteran and his family. The story is told through the eyes of a younger son, telling of a poor family dealing with an alcoholic and petty theif of a father, the reputation of their family as the town's garbage collectors and the struggle for the family to gain the respect of the towns-people and feel some sort of self worth.

The story has many themes; woman's rights to study in the 60's, the Australian bush and it's harsh conditions (especially it's bush fires), the bias of the Prodestant and Catholic churches and their effects of their congregations, the amazingly tough environment Australian POWs had to deal with during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, and also the treatment of Vientnam Veterains after their return from war.

It's almost a 'Forrest Gump' type story as each member of the family strikes off to make their way in life and ends up leaving their mark on society, from Melbourne University to the Greek Olympics, from a country prison to the fashion streets of London, from Borneo in 1943 to Vietnam in 1971.

I love Courtenay's writing style, and how he can caputre you up a character so you end up seeing everything through their eyes.

Four Fires does raise a couple of questions in my mind though.

1 - The harshness of the town's Catholic church is clearly presented, and the local priest is a very self righteous and selfish man, as a church today though we may not be so visible in our self righteousnes, do we still give people that impression, and would non-Christians who read this book agree that today's church is still like this?

2 - Tommy (the WWII veteran) is an extremely messed up man, with all he went through as a POW he has become an embarassment to his children, and it is not until his son finally hears the story of the war from his father's eyes does he truely understand his father. Before that he simple thought him a weak, and pitiful man who didn't care about his family, but after the story is told, he finds himself proud of a dad who could handle such things, and understands some of the reasons why he has turned into who he is today - my question is, do we take that first image of someone to heart and not listen to their story to understand why they have become as they are? How can we force ourselves to truely take interest in someone, so we might help them through their problems, and ultimately lead them to Christ?

The book was a very mind provoking read, and the war story left me chilled! It's not for the faint hearted, but is a good secular look at post WWII Australia and the view of it's people on the church.

Saturday, 26 November 2005

Good Times with the Good Old Boys


I've gone Dukes of Hazzard Crazy! I saw the movie a few weeks ago, and it rekindled my interest in the original series. I use to watch 'Dukes' as a kid, and for as long as I can remember, the 1969 Dodge Charger has been my absolute dream car!

Then the other week I was in JB HIFI and saw that they've released Series 1 and 2 of the original series on DVD! Well I just had to have them, and I've watched the whole first series already. It's great! Love the car, the stories and the memories.

I'm glad however, that I saw the movie before I re-watched the series. Because at the time I thought the movie was pretty close to the original series and I enjoyed the movie. But now as I watch the series I see the movie actually takes a completely different style to what the original was. I don't think I'd have enjoyed the movie as much if I had the series fresh in my mind.

Anyway cheers to Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jessy, Rosco, Ennus and Boss Hog... thanks for the hours of fun you've given me this week!

Friday, 18 November 2005

Aussie Aussie Aussie

Finally! After 32 Years Australia is back in the World Cup. What a nail bitingly tense game! In fact I couldn't watch most of the second half I was that wound up by it. 1 : 0 all the way through the half, I had to change the channel and check back every now and then.

I watched the extra time and the shootout, and I think I truely scared my mother with my cheering as goals were saved by the Aussie keeper.

Yes I think the true hero of the night (as the commentator seemed to be labeling most of the Socceroo squad) was really Mark Schwarzer with his fantastic goal keeping, and two amazing saves in the shootout.

Bring on Germany!

Thursday, 17 November 2005

The Wheels are Gone

Oh well, my friend decided to sell his car, with his nice shiny 18" wheels still attatched.

That's ok, with all the problems I've had recently I've lost a bit of interst in doing the Falcon up.

Friday, 11 November 2005

The Saga Continues

A day on… I didn’t get through to the service manager yesterday, work was too busy and I just didn’t get a chance to call.

But you would never believe what happened today. The car stopped again!! I went out for lunch, I had to duck down to the Christian book shop to pick some stuff up for my mother, and when I got back I had to unload some computer equipment from the boot. So I pulled up into the loading dock at RACQ and turned my car off. After I had unloaded the computers I couldn’t start my car.

So I had another visit from an RACQ patrolman (gee I’m glad I get RACQ membership for free!), who tells me it looks like the ignition module. Which is what Brian Byrt swapped on Monday!

After the car cools down it starts. The patrolman things there is a temp issue with the ignition module and coil. So when the car is hot it doesn’t create spark (yep sure, I’m a computer guy not a mechanic so I’ll believe him), when the car’s cold it will start ok.

So I call Brian Byrt, and speak to the manager. Talking through all the issues of the last couple of days, he books me in again for tomorrow. And said we’ll ‘discuss’ the $200 I’m down. (I don’t know what that means).

But at least the car is back under that warranty contract because it seems more work is required.

Also a bit of good news from the warranty people, I can take my car to another of their approved repairers for future servicing and work, because at present I am not too impressed with Brian Byrt service!

So tomorrow is another d-day, we’ll see what happens.

Thursday, 10 November 2005

Car troubles

I’ve had the roughest couple of days. Last Friday I came out of work, and my car wouldn’t start. It’s had a few issues of late, but this time it just would not go. It was a touch embarrassing calling RACQ just to get the to come to their own car park to have a look at my car. I did learn however that as a staff member I get quick service, how good is that!

Well the RACQ patrolman told me my car wasn’t getting any spark – but he was able to get it started, and I drove it home. I left it all weekend, then called RACQ again on Monday to get it started so I could drive it to Brian Byrt Ford for its repair.

Later that day I hear back that my ignition module was dead, but it was covered under the expensive used car warranty I’d bought when I got my car. All good.

Until 10 minutes later when I had another call, the mechanic told me that due to the fact I hadn’t adhered to the warranty servicing intervals and had my car serviced in a 13 thousand km period instead of a 10 thousand km one that my warranty was now void, and I had to pay for the repair.

I couldn’t believe it. The only reason I’d left my car the full 13 thousand k’s was because a mechanic at the same place told me I could leave it for 15000. I argued this with the people at Brian Byrt to no avail and had to pay for the repair on my car. The next problem was that my $700 3 year warranty was now gone after only 12 months. I rang the warranty company and explained that Brian Byrt had told me that a 15000 service scheme was ok for my car, even when I’d asked about the 10000 k issues. They said that the model car I had should be serviced every 10000k’s regardless of a warranty or not.

I was told that because Brian Byrt were at fault that they would put my car back under the warranty contract and I will be covered for the remaining 2 years, however they can’t pay for the repair yesterday.
So at least I have my warranty back, but I’m still down $200 I should not have had to pay – I’m taking it up with the service manager later today.

Saturday, 5 November 2005

What do you think?

Ok a mate at work has offered me these wheels for a pretty decent price. He even photo shopped them onto my Falcon for a look.

They are 18" Crome Wheels... look nice, but not sure if they'll fit as they are coming off a Nissan 200SX.

Tell me what you think. Thanks
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