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Backing up

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It is time for me to fess up.

GOF has an obsession. 
An obsession to provide backups and backup plans for lots of things in life.

I will claim that it is driven by necessity, given that 45 years of my life have been lived in places not served by city amenities like water and electricity supply.

If a psychiatrist ever got hold of me I suspect a different opinion would be proffered, along with a lot of muttering about my "need to control".

The diesel powered water pump way down the hill beside the dam which provides our house water has a backup pump, for use in the event of failure of pump No. 1.

The house water tank has a backup tank up on the hill, along with a couple of hundred metres of poly pipe to connect it if required.

The solar power supply has a 60 year old diesel generator for emergency use if the sun does not shine enough.
( and no, Mrs GOF, some new man getting into Brooke's knickers on Bold and Beautiful does not constitute an emergency of sufficient magnitude to start the generator on a cloudy day simply to watch television.)

This backup generator has another petrol generator on standby.

Every piece of machinery has a spare fanbelt, injector, sparkplug, filter and dooverlackey in the shed.  Many of these dooverlackeys have been sitting there for 25 years and never been called into service.

Mrs GOF's little lawn mower has a backup thoughtfully provided by me, so she will always be able to enjoy the health benefits of pushing one or the other around our one acre of lawn, whilst wearing her little denim shorts.

There are enough pairs of work shoes in various stages of dilapidation cluttering the verandah so that if it rains for 40 days and 40 nights, I will at least have a dry pair of shoes ready for when Uncle Noah Onassis comes to pick me up in his luxury yacht.

Our cupboard is filled with enough tinned food to feed an army of invaders for a week. (or if Elle ever turns up, enough to keep her adequately victualised for a month while we discuss world affairs.)

I also have a more personal backup story to reveal.
A very long time ago I found myself on a marriage train which was rapidly running out of track and heading for a very deep ravine.
It became obvious that I was going to need to search for, then jump onto, another train.  (this may well prove to be a poor choice of metaphor)
The first suitable one travelling in my direction turned out to be equivalent to the Orient Express with luxurious suspension, accommodation, dining and sleeping facilities. 
It also has, after 29 years of travel, no terminus in sight.

Yes, backups have served me well in this life.

Now, if someone can just provide me with a backup youthful body to replace this old worn out heap of junk, then I will be forever grateful.

P.S.  For the mechanically inclined, the green diesel engine depicted above is a 6 HP Ronaldson-Tippet  800 rpm, manufactured around 1950 in Ballarat, Australia.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

21 responses »

  1. A man after my own heart,GOF. Much to Mrs Snowy's disgust, the Snowy garden shed is adorned with various bits of wood, metal, and wire that "just might come in handy one day". When the Great Flood comes, and everyone is looking for building materials and water and electricity we're going to make an absolute killing. We might have to wait a bit longer though, as I'm told another El Nino is just around the corner. Oh well, we've waited sixty odd years now, so I guess a little longer won't matter…

  2. This is great. I have told the manservant that if I let him have his way with such things, our little courtyard would look like one belonging to a trailer park "residence". I absolutely love the word dooverlackey!

  3. Nothing wrong with a back-up plan. I've told my wife that anytime she gets tired of me, I've got a "back-up" wife already picked out! She didn't think it nearly as humorous as I did.

  4. Back up plans are awesome!When our electric goes out, so does the pump, of course. We never had a generator until 2 years ago and then, we haven't used it.I think the longest we went without running water and electric was 8 days.I really, really like running water. After the 8 day siege, I whined and snarled until The Duchess convinced Pa Kettle that a tiny gasoline-powered generator was necessary. It's not meant to run long but long enough to pull some water. Damn it. πŸ˜€

  5. I have a good friend who is a farmer….when he visits he likes to remind me that when we moved here 25 years ago it was all cleared grazing land. No improvements. He looks around now at all the buildings/sheds/fences/lean-to's, piles of crap everywhere and says "GOF, how the hell did you ever move this amount of stuff in here with one little truck?" I'm buggered if I can remember, but I am sure if prompted Mrs GOF and Globet will happily remind me of all the tonnage they loaded and unloaded with me over the years.

  6. I think it is probably good to have small boundaries, like a courtyard, to limit the accumulation of junk. Dooverlackey has been with me for as long as I can remember. It would be interesting to know its origins.

  7. Please forgive me for smiling….I just have a nice mental picture of you breaking the news to Mrs GOM.Apparently there are catalogues available of potential backup wives from Russia if anything goes wrong with the one you have already picked out. ;-)(To my valued female readers; This is a rather forlorn attempt at humour between me and my good friend GOM and should not be viewed as any form of disrespect to you, or the institution of marriage or partnership)

  8. Where does your water come from so that you need a pump to get it?("from the sky" will be considered an inadequate response ;-)For the first few months living here, we had to trek several hundred metres down a steep hill to cart water back up in buckets. We now really really appreciate running water…..and HOT running water is something we never, ever take for granted.

  9. Many decades ago, we had drillers go about 200 feet down to an artesian spring. There's a second one about 1/4 mile away that hasn't been in use since my early childhood — I don't even know if that pump could be made to work now, considering it has been in disuse so long!Running hot water is nice but all I really require is running water. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I don't "need" hot water or electricity but I can make do; I'm from the Ozarks. Where I lived in France, we were lucky to have about 10 gallons of TEPID water, once a day, for 3 of us. I didn't even bother, just kept a hot plate running any time I was home with a gallon or so of water on it, warming. You'd freeze to death trying to use that tepid stuff!

  10. Wow…interesting stories. Thanks for sharing them.Much of Australias inland desert country sits atop the Great Artesian Basin, where hundreds of bores were sunk last century to provide water for cattle. The water gushed out without need for pumps and was allowed to just run to waste in surface drains. But hey, guess what……now they understand it was not an unlimited supply. The bores have been capped to regulate flow, and now they need pumps to get any water at all from deep wells.

  11. I'm impressed. When the four horsemen of the apocalypse arrive you are more than adequately prepared to sit out the resulting armageddon and will emerge on the other side with a perfectly mowed lawn and still enough tins to feed the army for at least a fortnight. Now that is impressive. Don't forget to get the gin stocked though, just because the Apocalypse is in full swing, is no reason to let standards slip and to forgo the pre-dinner G&T.

  12. That's a damned shame! Americans are locusts, so I can't be too hard on any other country.

  13. Now if you just add heaps of weapons you can qualify as a survivalist under the American program.I should issue a warning to blokes with sheds who are thinking of going grey nomading. Unless you go for storage (I didn't) you are going to lose Lots of backup.

  14. You can stick the boot in m-t. I can handle it πŸ˜‰

  15. I must admit that I had failed to think ahead that far. I feel so fortunate to have you and all the other wonderful commentators on my blog that I will forthwith order a whole truckload of gin (and one bottle of whiskey for one of them who shall remain nameless) so you can all join Mr and Mrs GOF in viewing the Apocolypse, or avoiding that horrible swine flu.

  16. I have shotgun. I am survivalist. (to be sung to the tune of Helen Reddy's "I am woman")Shotgun with string trap attached to door will also solve loss of assets and backups problem from sheds when caused by human pilferers.

  17. Don't mind me, I'll bring me own whiskey!:DActually, I watched a documentary on an old-timer making his last run of moonshine (I'd prefer whiskey, again, moonshine will strip PAINT and I know!) and it made me extremely desirous of building a still. Looks horrible work, mind you, but if you had a bunch of friends together…and some music and BBQ…

  18. "moonshine will strip PAINT and I know!"I'd hate to think you were writing stuff without doing adequate research πŸ˜‰

  19. …comes to mind the time a friend and I tried making "wine" out of some of our concord and catawba grapes, sugar, water and I don't know what. Basically, we made rotten slush. We even buried the container (so to speak) in the inner cut-out area of a concrete block? -that's called "hiding"Oh, what a mess. We used a stainless steel mixing bowl and tried to cover it with leaves. Seriously. We so didn't know what we were doing. Kids.

  20. Well now that you know what you are doing….how about an on-line guide for little kiddies so they can do it right? We don't need the next generation to repeat our own mistakes πŸ˜‰

  21. I don't know how-to still but I can say what we did won't work ;p


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