Brisbane to Coolah Tops January - December 11 2022
  Not too long after return from Christmas 2021 it rained. The Brisbane River rose. But not as much as 2011. The top of the swimming pool fence is just visible.

Well clear of the house.

  Then after a week or so it went down. Still a bit to go.
  We inherited three geese. They were quite tame. No idea where they came from. We avoided feeding them, but our neighbour didn't.

After a few weeks there were two.

And then one day none.

  Nearly back to normal. A little flow, but mostly the tide coming in and out.
  I had a project to automate roof raise/lower on the truck. I'd got as far as replacing the bed lift (single motor and chain drive) with four actuators. At least to the stage where the bed went up and down.

A minor disaster, I spent some time in hospital letting surgeon perform a double by-pass. The better alternative to re-stenting where previous stent had scar tissue.

After 12 weeks all good. At 14 weeks I thought I should do "something easy" like clean the pools (not recovered since 2011 flood). The brown stuff was crystalline, thoroughly stuck to the tiles. Three days of an hour a day "gentle rubbing" with scouring pad and Jif proved a bit much. So lots of resting, and persistent pain, which is lessening but still persisting in December.

  A damp year, lots of growth in the garden. Vegetation recovering. Pool cleaned.

I used various mechanical devices to finish. A finishing sander with scouring pad for the brown stuff. An angle grinder with diamond wheel to remove old paint in main pool.

The first efforts at holding the angle grinder at shoulder height were a struggle. But slowly and steadily, an hour a day, the paint was removed.

I guess if I spent more time doing nothing I would have fewer aches and pains. But muscles already seem to have lost a lot of strength. A rock and a hard place so to speak.

Physio was good humoured when I described the requirement for a minor miracle.

  A brief diversion into electronics. This is simulating communications between a variable speed pool pump and a solar inverter. The aim is to only run the pumps when there is solar available.

This, and the electronics for the truck bed and roof lift actuators, means less strain on chest muscles while keeping the mind active.

No silver lining. More like six of one half dozen of other. Hunched over the keyboard meant standing up was a slow uncoiling as the scar stretched and caused an uncomfortable burning sensation. Paw paw ointment massaged into the scar, and stretching exercises, have helped.

  Four days of hoping for good weather. Two part paint, a sealer then three coats of top.

I'd bought enough paint for two top coats, but it went further than I expected. About an hour and a half each coat, the last coats easier.

I cleaned the stonework around the edge of the pool with a new, higher pressure, water blaster thingo. Which coincidentally worked very well at cleaning the outside of truck - better than hand polishing.

The two variable speed pumps from China arrived, but have software problems (just communications, the pump works well as a pump).

It will be after Christmas before we fill the pools.

Feeling much better after stopping the precautionary blood pressure tablets which left me dizzy when standing up. After stopping taking them (cardiologist made the expected suggestion) I realised I had lots of side effects that had been stopping me recovering my fitness. Muscle aches were but one. I can now walk up the hill from the pool at a rapid pace and still have enough energy to climb steps into house two at a time. A new lease of life, like turning a switch. Frequent walks of 5km with a hill at about 5.5km/hr. Still fatigued and can't put in a full day of effort.

Physio seemed pleased I've finished the hard part of pool reno. I can't imagine why .....!

  Back to the truck. The electronics for the bed actuators can be seen in the corner.

Seems to be working well, the four actuators are synchronised.

The seat back is laying flat on the seat, ready for gluing back in after a few modifications to accommodate actuators being different to bed lift legs.

  The seat backs glued into place, everything ready for this Christmas trip.

The bottoms of the actuators covered with spare fibreglass panel to keep dust out.

The actuators are slower and quieter than the bed lift. They can also be operated independently so bed can be levelled if floor is not.

Still pain in chest wall. Physio has helped.

Time will tell how far I can drive truck in a day. And the next day.

Christmas in Canberra.

Brisbane to Coolah Tops December 11 - 18 2022

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