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Bits and Bobs


Its been rather amusing to watch minions of the left spinning the by-election in the seat of Griffith, Its seems most likely that Labor will retain the seat but with a noticeably slimmer margin than was the case under the recently departed Brother Number one. This salient t fact makes it very hard for them to claim that the by election is a slap in the face for Tony Abbott or his  candidate in the seat, Bill Glasson.

The lesson that we conservatives can take form the whole experience is that the Abbott government, and the state  government led by Campbell Newman  must therefore be far less unpopular  that the pundits of the left  would have us believe.


As for the winter Olympics well in this house its a total non starter, If I have seen half a second its been a case of reacting like a scalded rabbit to get the remote to send the pictures to another channel, even a shopping channel,rather than watch any of the inanity, I must be getting even more cynical about the Olympic games as a concept because I just can’t get excite d about meat heads spending years practicing silly activities that have no meaning and then trying to out do each other. Yawn-full does not come close to describing how I feel about such things especially as we seem to have an unstoppable and eternal cacophony of raving about one sport on the TV. Heck since I got the T-Box we even have a channel devoted to AFL. Now if anyone knows how to permanently skip that one and the “cartoon Network I would really appreciate you sharing…


Ive been committing one of my periodic redesigns of the arrangements of my room here at Chez Hall  with the aim of de-cluttering and giving myself a greater feeling of space to that end I think that I will need to make some shelves to house my collection of DVDs and PS3 games. I have been looking at just buying a ready-made bookshelf but every one that I have seen seems to be far too deep, too heavy for me to move and too expensive. Looks like the best option will be to use metal brackets screwed to the wall  There is a spot where I think that I can have half a dozen shelves that are nearly 2m long which should hold quite few disc cases. This should do the trick for a while. Hopefully it won’t take me months to finish this.


One of the ironies of my condition is that its a rather long drive to visit the pain clinic, in fact that drive is a bit longer that my driving threshold but its probably worth it to get the opinion and advice of the experts on the best way to manage. I have been having rather more bad than good days of late so I am going to inquire about just how I will know when to ask for a higher dosage of my Norspan patches. I am most reluctant to do an Oliver Twist and ask for more but I also want to avoid  taking too much paracetamol /codeine for breakthrough pain because that has serious effects on your liver, further I don’t want to be so medicated that I can’t drive or look after my children’s needs. Thirdly each step to a higher dose is one less step that you can take if things get really bad.


Just finished watching Season three of Haven which has been the best one yet in this franchise. I love DVD box sets because they allow you to get fully immersed into an imagined universe without the intrusion of ads or having to wait for each new episode to screen. There are however some shows that are just awful, We have abandoned watching “Broadchurch” its well made and all that but strewth its bleak and so angst riven that I think it fails as any sort of entertainment, you really should not have to work that hard to enjoy something.


Those of you who follow me on twitter may have noticed a small spike in my output of late which is largely due to me having got a new phone that allows me to connect to the net via our home Wi-fi this has allowed me to do things like check Twitter on the toot or when I have had to cede access to the computer to the wife and kids. I am sort of getting the attraction and potential for addiction to 140 characters and the challenge to be witty and clever in the shorter form of the social media game.    Currently able to resist posting pictures of trouser draped feet taken while emptying my bowels though. 🙂


Not been up too doing much on the Morris of late but I did go to the Toowoomba swap meet and even though it cost me a couple of days flat on my back zonked out on painkillers I had a good time and bought a few things like spare carburetors, at a couple of bucks each, a heater assembly  from a Mini Moke at $10 and a lovely air filter assembly from a Mini for $10, As many who tinker with old cars will understand its the thrill of the chase rather than completion of a project that gives you the satisfaction with these sorts of projects. But I do feel that I am getting close to the point at which I will lift the entire body off the chassis so that It can have the skin properly welded to it and then it can be finished well enough for it to be painted I am planning to make a rotisserie for the body welding job though because If I don’t want too much heat distortion then I am going to have to dance around doing lots of very small tacks that are allows to cool before the welder touches down next to them again.


My wife would dearly love it if one of our offspring were to become as dedicated to music as she is but so far my daughter has disavowed formal lessons even though she has some natural  talent and obvious musical ability, she actually plays the recorder very well and sings nicely so maybe there is hope yet but I also think that, mother daughter rivalry is in play and that her disinterest in music is an artifact of that inevitable teenage desire for differentiation. My son has begun having lessons to learn the electric guitar and I have been been hoping that he will stick too it more than he did with piano and acoustic guitar. So to help things along I’m planning to buy a PS3 game that I have heard  about called “Rocksmith”  that allows you to plug in any real guitar into your PS3 and play along. If it works for the boy I may just earn a few brownie points with the wife as well, heck the boy may even be able to join GD in his eternal quest for falafals!

Signing Off

As usual I offer a hearty Cheers to all of my blogging Comrades


Putting prisoners into big steel boxes

Regular readers may recall that this blog is quite a fan of creative uses for shipping containers. I have written previously about their potential for housing that is both strong and relatively quick to build. Well now it seems that they are looking to use converted shipping containers to ease the capacity problems in Victoria’s prison system.

click for source

click for source

While there is part of me that thinks that these new cells are rather more luxurious than many miscreants deserve (air conditioning? 🙄 )if they do the job for a reasonable cost per prisoner bed then it will be a good way to quickly fix the lack of capacity. Frankly there is no reason why more purpose built Spartan fit outs of the containers could not be designed, more in keeping with prisoner accommodation instead of the off the shelf miners set-up in the current units. That said its another very good use for those ubiquitous steel boxes.

Now if only I could figure out a way of getting one behind my studio to give me some much needed extra workshop space all would be extra jolly here at Chez Hall…

Cheers Comrades


Sitting to attention

Just a short vid to share my good luck yesterday at our local trash and treasure, who says that you have to spend a fortune when your hobby is old cars?

Cheers Comrades


Bling and a wheeled fat-man’s coffin

Here at Chez Hall I hobble around and try to make the things that I can’t afford to buy and one of my long term projects has been to refurbish/rebuild my trailer. Find below some pictures of the project which I have felt moved to finish recently because I need it to pick up some parts for the Morris. The final result does look rather funereal, in fact I make jokes about it being a fat-man’s coffin.


How is this Mascot for a bit of bling on the Morris? $45 on ebay


I have been building my trailer  for a while now and mainly it has been languishing unfinished behind the shed


The point of the exercise was to make something that was light weight and totally recycled, in fact the only thing that is new on this project is a few fasteners and some welding supplies .I will be fitting the lights today and they are all sourced from a motorcycle


The steel came from here and there , some courtesy of my brother’s scrap heap , the skin was from a couple of steel doors . The guards are from an old ford tyre ,the axle and springs   from the back of a Barina , The Jockey wheel came from the recycling shed at my local tip . the floor is a sheet of form ply from a ute -load of the stuff that I was given by a friend.  There are eight trunk handles that I have had in the cupboard for the last decade that will provide tie down points to secure  any load,

Cheers Comrades


Wouldn’t it be lovely

I’m off on a drive to visit my brother shortly and it seems apt that I should come across this article in Gizmag this morning about the new Caterham 620R, which produces a modest 301hp. As the saying goes, too much power is NEVER enough something I shall be pondering on my drive.

Replacing the Superlight R500 as top of the line, the 620 R continues the Seven's emphasis on light weight, accessibility, and minimalism, but pours in more horsepower and torque than any Seven has a had to handle before. The 620 R has a new gunmetal chassis with carbon-fiber wings, roll bar, an air-flow optimized nose cone and a race-developed cooling package. The supercharged, two-liter Ford Duratec pushes 310 bhp (231 kW) through a six-speed sequential gearbox with flat-shift to give the 545 kg (1,201 lb) vehicle 219 lbs/ft (30 Nm) of torque. Top speed is 155 mph (249 km/h) with acceleration pegging 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2.79 seconds.

Replacing the Superlight R500 as top of the line, the 620 R continues the Seven’s emphasis on light weight, accessibility, and minimalism, but pours in more horsepower and torque than any Seven has a had to handle before.


The 620 R has a new gunmetal chassis with carbon-fiber wings, roll bar, an air-flow optimized nose cone and a race-developed cooling package. The supercharged, two-liter Ford Duratec pushes 310 bhp (231 kW) through a six-speed sequential gearbox with flat-shift to give the 545 kg (1,201 lb) vehicle 219 lbs/ft (30 Nm) of torque. Top speed is 155 mph (249 km/h) with acceleration pegging 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2.79 seconds.

This car would certainly be very high on my shopping list if I were to win the lotto however in the absence of such good fortune I am going to enjoy my own  creation and its rather modest 95KW

Cheers Comrades


Well, I have a bigger hammer so I won’t be forcing anything

The first day back at school after the holidays is rather tough. Firstly you have to remember to get up early enough to get your charges out of their slumbers in time to perform their morning ablutions , to eat their breakfasts and dress then you have to get them to the bus on time and after the laid back holiday its hard to get them to fare well their pillows.Well as I write child number one has gone already and child number to is still saying his fond farewells to his pillow and I know that I will have to go back down to his room and wake him up again in about five minutes. not to worry because I have his school uniform and his breakfast waiting.

Once I have the boy off to his lessons for the day I have a demolition job waiting here at Chez Hall and to be frank I’m not really very keen to do it, the subject for destruction is our couch, now this is no ordinary couch but a huge thing that I made about 20 years ago from half inch plywood (eight full sheets) and it is so big , even though its in two sections that to get it into the house I had to take out the sliding door to the living room . My beautiful wife has finally given up waiting for me to re-upholster  the cushions and bought a lounge suite instead.  In theory I could recycle the materials But to be frank I can’t be bothered and instead I think that a  big bonfire will be in order.

All of this destruction is on a time limit as well (something that is tough for me ) because the new lounge suite is arriving tomorrow which means that we need a the old lounge gone before it arrives….

I can feel the pain already but what choice do I have ?

Cheers  Comrades


A most apt photo op and the fun at Chez Hall

There are times when a photo has a rather different message to the one intended by its publisher take this image published on Julia Gillard’s twitter account:

JG1To my mind this picture is a strong reminder that it is unlikely that there will be another Labor PM before these school children are old enough to vote its also worth noting that Gillard has once again changed her Twitter avatar, finally I can’t help thinking that being seen with chooks is politically silly because it brings this creative animation to mind.

kookaburra-log-periodic-vhf-uhf-digital-ready-tv-antenna-aerial_2_I know its not much but I have been trying to commit a neatness around here and doing a few little jobs like replacing the TV antenna which has been most fruitful as we now get all of the free to air channels which means that  I will be able to  watch so much more crap should I choose to do so, hmm I think I will pass on most of that. None the less my son is delighted to be able to watch ABC 3. Of course I can’t do much at a time but I approach it like eating an elephant, one bite at a time!

$(KGrHqEOKo4FF)7KYl3PBRgZ(m256!~~60_12Another thing that has been taking up some of my time is tinkering with my car I have recently fixed a transmission leak caused by loose bolts on the Oil pan , I have also ordered a lovely set of stainless steel headers, which are not as you might expect custom made they are in fact intended for a FWD Sentra which uses the same family of engine as the Pulsar that I got my donor motor from. The will work because I already have my exhaust running under the engine to exit on the driver’s side so I expect to be able to get away with just modifying the intermediate pipe that currently connects to the stock cast iron manifold should only take an hour so to change these over, They promise a 10% increase in performance but I will be happy if they just sound nice.    I was going to wait until my brother had paid me for a ride on mower I am selling him but Once I saw the Aussie dollar in decline against the Green-back I felt compelled to buy sooner rather than later. You guessed it I’m buying from the USA and its amazing how cheap the headers are, a measly $105 USD plus $125USD for shipping, The cheapest Aussie made system is $240 plus shipping($35)  and that is for mild steel with a crappy painted finish. Is it any wonder that Australian manufacturing can’t compete?

Cheers Comrades


Old vs new Leonard Nimoy takes on newbie Zachary Quinto and his all-new Audi S7

On a lighter note this ad for Audi is quite funny and most timely given the opening yesterday of the new Star Trek  “Into darkness”  movie:

live long and prosper Comrades


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