Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Laundry Run

It's possible to blog about almost anything. Whether anyone wants to read the results is another matter entirely.

I note that BOAB neglected his blog for a bit because he didn't have anything to write about. I have no such reservations.  Anyhow, if he can write about taking pics of drivers behaving badly from a pushie, I feel that it's OK to do the same from a Mazda MX5.

Continue to read at your own risk.

Today I had intended to drive about 300km to visit a sick mate, but a brief phone conversation revealed he wasn't really up to visitors, so I abandoned the original plan to restore some laundry (and a wiimote*) to number one son after he left it behind last visit. It also gave me an opportunity to have a coffee with number two daughter.

* Google it.

The Mazda's boot is entirely the wrong shape for a conventional laundry basket, so a different arrangement was necessary. Note that it's wearing its seatbelt. (Incidentially, whilst taking safety, all shots in the car where taken with both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel).

It was not the day to drive with the top down. In fact it was downright mucky. The road surface had a dry line from the morning's traffic.

Heading off the escarpment, down what those of my generation call the Toll Bar, the usual phalanx of trucks was present. Maybe in my lifetime we'll see a bypass. Maybe not.

The section called the "saddle " where trucks come to geief regularly was congested, but traffic thinned out after that.

This little car cruises comfortably at about 120kph, but this is Queensland, so 100kph (give or take) is the go. At this speed it sits just under 3000rpm. For years I'd driven big Aussie sixes which aided by tall gearing tooled along at about 1600rpm at 100kph. The relatively high rev rate of the MX5 took some getting used to. It seems unflustered at this speed, and returns in the high sevens (lit/100km) when cruising.

Once on the flat, the trucks encountered followed their usual practice of monstering traffic from a position about 2 metres from the rear bumper. I wasn't prepared to take a shot with the camera facing to the rear, so had to content myself with this pic of a prime mover that had just overtaken me and was intimidating another driver. If I had taken the shot a fraction of a second earlier, you would have been able to see how close he was to this car (silver Falcon). The sedan had just ducked to the left. At the 105kph the truckie was travelling, there was little margin for error. You'll be sprung without mercy for exceeding the limit by 3kph, but apparently tailgating is OK, even if you're piloting a 40 tonne rig. Admittedly this was a prime mover only, but often I've seen exactly the same behaviour from drivers of fully laden rigs.

Driving such a diminutive machine concentrates the mind wonderfully, especially when they're in close proximity. I've never ridden a bike in traffic, but I guess the feeling's the same. Except, I guess, that a bike doesn't have airbags and seatbelts.

Gatton loomed out of the murk, and I needed to make some phone calls, so I broke the journey at the BP service station, bought a paper, and got on the dog n bone. The paper (The Oz - The Fart of the Nation) was notable for publishing a front page story, which if analysed closely, apparently reveals that Wayne Swan, Andrew Robb, and the mining industry are all telling porkies about the super profits tax. George Megalogenis' piece was interesting. He reports that the miners are actually paying about 27.81% at the moment. Unless my memory's playing tricks, for about thirty years of the forty-five I was employed full-time, I was paying tax at the top marginal rate - a bloody sight more than 27.81%.

The most interesting thing I saw at this stop was the caterpillar-like prison van. It was empty. I doubt that there'd be much change from 150 grand after this monstrosity was converted from an Isuzu chassis. The drivers were having a quick Maccas. Everybody's gotta eat.

The Mazda has a good quality sound system, and I'd loaded a couple of Django Reinhardt CDs. This was a better alternative to the doom  and gloom I've got sick of hearing on the radio about my investment portfolio.

In short order, I was on the Ipswich Motorway -

This road has been under construction for yonks, so It's different from week to week, and my poor old GPS has a nervous breakdown when I negotiate it because the roads aren't yet loaded into its tiny brain.

The kids were fine, lunch was great, but the weather stayed pretty poor. By the time I got back to Toowoomba, the gloomy skies had enveloped the city.

Storms are forecast.

Maybe Gibbo will be up to a visit in a day or two.


cav said...

It wuz my blog wasn't it?

17 days of travelling and writing about it with pictures.

I had a lady ring me today and say how she missed a daily dose of my post cards from Australia. Maybe I should do more - like me mowing the lawn, washing the dog, that kinda thing.

Or better still I'll give her the link to this blog!!!

1735099 said...

Buggered if I know...seemed like a good idea at the time. Your photos have set a benchmark, however.

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