Tinkering Travellers

 

It probably comes as no surprise that RUDE Girl read Katherine Wilson’s book in a day.  What would have taken Katherine a couple of years, if not more to research and write, I was able to enjoy the fruits of her labour in less than eight hours.  It was an easy read for me because tinkering and tailoring are my passion.  And everything that was written, was pretty much what us RUDE Guys experience and more.  It was wonderful to have all the theory on tinkering [and there had not been that much, until now] in one place.

Katherine Wilson follows us on Facebook at Rude Record, and it was bittersweet when she commented that she wished she had met us, before she had written her book.  We will be here for her, when she returns to write the sequel, featuring a different lot of tinkerers.

This year we reached out into the community to share our tinkering skills.  In July our participation was ended by bureaucrats.  Yes, The Man was telling us we had to officially sign up as formal volunteers, in order to be able to tinker in a grassroots community program of our creating.

Of course, that was never going to happen.  And we recently found validation for our big fat NO WAY in the most unlikely of places.  In the book Jesus for President, its author Shane Claiborne writes,

“Jesus calls us to be peculiar but also engaged in the world we find ourselves in.  We are to be relevant nonconformists.  We are to develop countercultural habits and norms and live them in the midst of an insane world.”

 

The above quote from Jesus for President, inspired us to post this video below.  Some how we think that Jesus would approve of our radical stance, against our over governed and risk avoiding society, that’s now under the control of the insurance industry.

Organisations in our local area are in crisis mode after a cluster of avoidable baby deaths at the local State funded maternity hospital.  It appears to us, that since this tragedy, they are in a scramble to mitigate risk and are going overboard. 

The world has gone insane because governments, multinationals, insurance companies and local organisations are colluding to condition the masses, in an attempt to make them believe that they [the masses] will be protected and better off.   We are not buying it and in our opinion, it’s all about control of the masses, and making profits for the multinationals etc.

And when a local church run facility costs $40 per hour to hire a room, for our FREE three hour community mending event, you really are left questioning where are we heading as a society.

We were reading last night how Australian liberalism is at threat and we could not agree more with Peter Greste as follows:

“Australia likes to think of itself as a larrikan country, that country that calls a spade a f…ing shovel; straight talking, no bullshit kind of country that had maintained that sort of frontier spirit…..it feels like we’ve become incredibly bound up by rules and regulations….”

On page 250 of Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture, it highlights that Keal, a state police prosecutor and recent migrant from the UK expressed contempt for Australia’s ‘risk avoiding over governed society’ , where Katherine Wilson, the book’s author wrote that Keal’s comments suggested a beating-of-the-system pride that characterised all the tinkerers interviewed for her book.

Or in Rude Record‘s words Beat The Man!!  Us RUDE Guys are committed tinkerers and we will continue to share what we do from our home [not totally controlled by Big Brother…. yet] via social media.

We have cars and will travel to spaces and places that promote and encourage us to connect and engage with our community, as Jesus did, hence the birth of Mend It, Australia – The Travelling Tinkerers.  We refuse to sign away our right to repair without interference, to large agencies or governments.

“Beat The Man and tinker travel.  The road is where you are free to help others and not become a slave to an unjust system, based on control and a lack of humanity.”

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Mend or End?

 

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Image Source: www

 

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RUDE Boy’s STIHL MS250 (42.5mm) chainsaw

Us RUDE [reusers (and repairers) of unloved discarded excess] Guys take great pride in maintaining our things.  We are not materialistic but we are true materialists.  We cherish, respect and care for the things that serve us well.

The STIHL chainsaw in the above photo was bought new by us about eight or nine years ago.   It has rarely been used and only for domestic use.  RUDE Boy was told and researched that STILH was the best for chainsaws.

Hell, this chainsaw was one of the few things we purchased new and it’s stuffed.  CACTUS!  Reinforces why we are not fans of spending big dollars on things that are manufactured to fail.  Yes, STIHL chainsaws are the best for planned obsolescence!  And yes, we will make sure we share our misfortune in an effort to warn others.

RUDE Boy took the chainsaw in for a service when it stopped working,  He was mortified when he was told the piston and bore had been scored and there was no compression.  He was then told it would cost over $AUD1,000 to repair it with STIHL parts.  Or $AUD670 with after market [generic] parts.

As in this article here [recommended reading], we were faced with the question of mend it or end it.  As we are the  Mend It, Australia team, we feel compelled to try and mend it, and share the experience on our Facebook page.

RUDE Boy has researched and ordered a motor from China for $AUD50.  He is reasonably confident he can replace the old motor with a new motor.  And hopefully, cross fingers and toes, this cheap part will make our hacked STIHL chainsaw serviceable again.

$AUD50 compared to $AUD1000 for repair is a huge difference.  We will try mending before ending.  It’s too early yet to say Beat The Man.  Stay posted.

Oh, and if we have to end it, because it does not work, we have been advised that ALDI sell a good domestic chainsaw for $AUD100.

The Purple Stitch

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To be radical is to grasp things by the root.

— Karl Marx

This past week has been busy.  Not frantic busy, just full on.  Us RUDE Guys are staying away from the mall, and Christmas parties are few and far between these days.  However, it still is a busy time of year, when you start to wrap [excuse the pun] things up.

RUDE Girl spoke on local radio at 979FM about Rude Record and Mend It, Melton.  Part 1 of the interview is on our Facebook page @ruderepair.  Part 2 of the interview is to follow shortly.

It seems like it has taken forever to get the launch of Mend it, Melton up and happening.  Earlier in the year, us RUDE Guys had been briefly involved with the launch of the first Repair Cafe for MelbourneThe folks of Melbourne’s inner west, are wonderful, however we had to venture out of our town, to attend repair events.  And we also were keen to create and establish an Aussie back-to-basics, no bulls**t  grassroots ‘in ya backyard kinda’ model.

When the opportunity came up, we cautiously accepted the challenge.  Why?  Melbourne’s western fringe dwellers have very set ideas on how things should look when rolled out.

A steering group was formed by Linking Melton South and it met to discuss possibilities.  It was unanimously decided that our town, would establish its own unique model and use the word mend.  Hence the title Mend It, Melton ~ Fix it, Don’t Flick It.

[Thank you to my Facebook friend and grammar cop Glynis, for the instruction to add the comma between the two words, It and Melton.  It was accepted by the group]

The above flyer by Ben, is advertising the launch in a week’s time.  The logo’s graphic depicts a mechanical cog/wheel and sewing stitches, but these also represent the train and track of the event’s railway location.  The colour green is for nature and keeps environmental issues around waste in the limelight.  Us RUDE Guys requested a single purple stitch be included.  It depicts the radical ‘right to repair’.

Mend It, Melton for us RUDE Guys, has been inspired by those make do and mend generations that went before us, our own personal hands-on trades’ backgrounds, and an unflinching ‘right to repair’ and Beat The Man attitude.  We feel it’s time to share our skills and abilities within our local community.

It is hoped that Mend It, Melton will invite some interest in our local community.  We know it will start slow.  And of course the train station location, whilst ideal for a launch, will have it’s limitations. Why?  There is a small shipping container on site with minimal room for fixers and their stuff.

Time will tell……and if Mend it, Melton does not work out for us, we will still be RUDE Guys, reusing and repairing at home and on-line.  Oh, and there is always that community that awaits our full retirement…..keep watching this blog!

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The Shopping Container at Melton Railway Station.  Image via Linking Melton South

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The Little Library at Melton Train Station.  Image via Linking Melton South

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Mend It, Melton Launch – It’s Official!  Image via Linking Melton South

Grasp things by the root, that’s the grassroots and Beat The Man!!

The inspiration for this blog post came from Reece Harley

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Like Reece Harley, RUDE Girl loves street art.  This was circa 2003 in Port Melbourne.  It was the last time I bought new clothes and shoes.  I only recently discarded the Just Jeans brand jeans.

Blog Day & Pizza Nite

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RUDE has been busy converting old VHS tapes to a digital format.  This has to be undertaken in real time.  It takes many hours and a lot of patience to listen to my deceased father, God rest is soul, talk non-stop for 40 hours!

Seriously, I am very glad he recorded never seen before footage of the family.  And in the following months, I am going to be editing this footage into short digital stories.  I am planning to share my digital recreations with family in the form of ‘experience’ gifts for their birthdays and Christmas.

Anyways, whilst we have been going back to the 80’s and 90’s playing videos, RUDE Boy mentioned that I needed a new longer lasting battery, for my video camera.  It was purchased off Ebay and has been wonderful but the small battery is inefficient.

The new battery cost $70 [including postage and handling].  Yes, we actually bought something new!

According to the advice, it was best for this new battery, to be flattened twice before use.  We could have just let the video camera run and not engage.  However, I was never going to ignore the camera.  The opportunity was there do actually make recordings of something not nothing.  And I did.  There is about 60 minutes of us hamming it up, with no intention of sharing it.

Of course, RUDE Girl loves nothing better than to share, and I thought some five minute video vignettes, would serve as an anthropological study on how people [us] in the 21st century interacted with each other over pizza.  Well, maybe not so much that but what a noble reason, hey!

I thought back to my Dad’s old videos, and what parts took my attention.  It was the footage of family interacting over a meal, talking about nothing much at all.  For me those moments in time, were heaps more meaningful to us, than Paris at night or the Palace of Versailles.

Below is a five minute video of a chat we had over pizza whilst running the battery flat.  This is part 2 and there could be more parts to come for posterity.

Beat the Man and make your own healthy and cheap in-house pizza!  And dare to dance afterwards, to work off the calories.

HAPPY AND HEALTHY LIVING AT HOME

https://youtu.be/_tMYTnFOM9s

Pizza Nite Invite

 

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A RUDE Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza

 

Pizza makes me think that anything is possible.  Henry Rollins

I will always eat pizza! Always. Dylan Penn

Tomorrow is Friday in the RUDE household.  That means blog day and pizza night.

https://youtu.be/ea6VtPuVCmg


Part 2 of the above video, with us chatting about nothing much at all, while we flatten our video camera’s new battery, will feature on tomorrow’s Friday blog post.

Come and join us for homemade pizza, a drink and a ‘nothing much at all’ insight into Friday nights at the RUDE dining table, in Melton, Melbourne, Australia.

And the irony is, RUDE Guys eat our homemade pizza at the dining table with candlelight, on wooden boards and we use cutlery!  Not very rude, right?

Beat The Man and make your own pizza at home!!

 

Relish for Repair

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via ifixit

There is one advantage to having nothing, it never needs repair.

RUDE have been continuing on with our de-cluttering.  We have undertaken the bulk of it.  RUDE Boy reckons we have easily taken a tonne of stuff to the local charity shops.  As time and energy permits we are now in the process of fine tuning storage of that stuff which remains.  And we still have to go through the photos and personal papers.  And the small storage shed in the backyard.

We feel lighter and more in control.  And are able to think about new projects for 2016. I made a decision to say cheerio to some unfinished projects from 2015.

Photos below: RUDE Girl’s first ever attempt at weaving.  I made up a cardboard loom and weaved this piece.  I decided that the loom was taking up too much room in my studio.  I took the fabric off the loom.  And I am going to make a small lined purse with a zipper.

Years ago RUDE attempted to get a Repair Cafe off and running in our town in the outer west of Melbourne.  The interest was just not there.   Then we lost interest due to the apathy.  We are not procrastinating types.  And we believe there was no point flogging a dead horse = life’s too short.

In 2016, and all going well we hope to volunteer some of our time and skills to the very first Repair Cafe in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  If we cannot have a Repair Cafe in our own suburb we will go to where one is happening.  Stick it to The Man, yey! 

Here is an article about the initiative and launch as follows:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-03/inner-west-repair-cafe-to-launch-at-sustainable-living-festival/7136218

The launch of Melbourne (Inner West) Repair Cafe will be on Sunday, 21st of February, 2016 from 11am to 3pm, in the Yarraville Gardens, Yarraville as part of its Living Future Festival during Sustainability Week.

RUDE Boy will be demonstrating as follows:

1.  how to fix a leaking garden hose

2. how to change a three point electrical plug on an electrical cord

and if any person brings along an electrical appliance that’s not working, he can test it with a multi meter.

RUDE Girl will be demonstrating as follows:

1.  what is sashiko mending?

2.  examples of basic sewing/mending

We will be in attendance for all of the event and will be chatting generally to the public about the first Repair Cafe on the 6th March at Rhubarb Wholefoods from 10am to 12md.

We hope to meet some of our blog followers in Yarraville on the 21st of this month or at future Repair Cafes.  Please come and say hi to us if you are in the area.

Check out the repair of RUDE Boy’s around the house shorts in this video

https://youtu.be/6rGrftNQagc

RUDE Boy’s now famous Fabiani shorts will be on display at the Repair Cafe launch event.  Kylie’s op shop hot pants [photo below] do not even compare.

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You can Beat The Man by saying no to buying new, until you are sure an item cannot be repaired, by the friendly tinkers and tailors at your local Repair Cafe.

RUDE Boy Rocks Disruptive DIY

Men, we don’t get much, as far as holidays go – Father’s Day.

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RUDE Boy is on a break away from his part-time employment for 6 weeks and has been doing some odd jobs.  We cannot get enough of his fix-it acumen.  I have let him know he has a wife not a life, and there is no rest.  That there is time enough to rest when you are dead!  Oh dear, I do hope you all get our Aussie humour and that there is a ‘u’ in humor.

 
These light fittings were both rescued from landfill.  But the dish shaped retro 60s light fitting fits the decor better.  The three pendant light fitting has been replaced.  We just had a check on eBay and the retro 60s fitting was $40.  Ours cost a couple of dollars.  It still has the original brown Bakelite light globe holders.

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Three pendant light fitting from landfill has been replaced. Handmade place mat it sits upon is one of two and was also rescued from landfill.

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1960s retro light fitting rescued from landfill has replaced the three pendant light fitting.

The Vulcan hot water system that has been removed by RUDE Boy was 18 years old and rusted out.  He sourced a secondhand Rheem 400 litre electric hot water service on eBay for $150.  New, these systems are priced around $1,600.  And then of course there is the plumber and electrician costs to add-on top of that.  RUDE Boy doing this disruptive DIY has saved our household $1,800 or thereabouts.

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18-year-old Vulcan electric hot water system 315L has seen better days.

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7-year-old Rheem electric hot water system 400L purchased on eBay for $150.00. Works a treat!

Beat The Man and be disruptive, if safe to do so, and you can!  Oh, and the hot shower was lovely.