Friday, January 20, 2012

Bye Bye Camper Trailer

Maiden Voyage - Dargo
Camper Trailer at Shadrack's
At the beginning of 2008 we purchased a camper trailer so we could go camping in a bit of comfort - bed with a nice mattress and off the ground!  We took it to Dargo for a try out, and the first real adventure with it was going to be a trip to SA in June.  Sadly the night before we were due to leave on our SA holiday I was diagnosed with the secondary breast cancer, so that put paid to that holiday.  Instead we went to Eden just before I started my first chemo treatment, after I had had my scans and ultrasound and seen John Scarlett.
We stayed at Shadrack's Creek Caravan Park.
Set up at Cape Conran
Set up at Fountain Park in Eden

We have also taken the trailer to Fountain Caravan Park at Eden and to Cape Conran.
Due to the fact that I needed a bit more comfort when we went away, we then decided to buy another caravan instead, newer than the one we had, and a pop-top.  So the camper trailer spent many months just sitting in the carport taking up space - so we decided to sell it.
Mark had someone at work who was interested, but that didn't eventuate.  We also offered it to Karen and Rick but they didn't take us up on the offer.  Then, when Mark went back home after New Year he rang to say that Janine's parents, Carmel and Barry, were interested in buying it and the deal was done.  We took it up to Bendigo last Saturday, and stayed there for a few days, returning yesterday.

Faith in LG restored

Over the years we have purchased numerous LG products - often seeking them out in preference to other brands.  Both of our mobile phones are LG, the television we bought 14 years ago, the surround sound system, a dvd player to name some of the items we've bought.  They have all served us well.  So, a little over three years ago we chose an LG 47" LCD flatscreen digital television.  At $2,895 it was an expensive purchase.  The only thing we were disappointed in was that whilst we could record programs to the TV itself, we couldn't transfer those recordings to a USB stick so we could put them on a dvd or to watch on another tele, or at a later date after we had deleted them from the inbuilt hard drive.  We were under the impression we could do so when we bought it.  It also seems we can't even record shows to VCR like you can with most televisions as there is no audio/video out socket.  However, the picture was excellent, and the record feature did come in handy if we weren't able to watch something when it was on, or there were two things on at the same time.
Sadly, on Christmas Day 2011 our LG went kaput!  The screen was black, but all other features still worked - so we could hear, we could change channels, we could play - but not see - programs we had recorded.  Bill did some research on the net and came to the conclusion that it was the screen backlight which had failed.  Fortunately we still had the old LG TV in the dining room, so we weren't left without anything to watch over the Christmas period. We did try the TV out of the caravan, but it was miniscule compared to the 47" so Bill carted the dining room set into the lounge.  It still looks pretty small too, but better than the caravan set.  Contacted LG by email to see if it was repairable - they responded quickly but only to tell me to ring their Customer Care department to get details of an authorised repairer, which I did.  Lady also informed me that the set was "just out of warranty"! Trouble was, closest repairer is in Sale or Maffra.  Sale firm not open again till 9th January, Maffra firm still hasn't responded to two messages I left on their answering machine.  Quote for repair if it was the motherboard that had to be replaced (they don't repair at component level!) was $1000.  Had also rung a firm in Lakes Entrance, they were open between Christmas and New Year, and they quoted about $400 to replace a capacitor which is what Bill thought was the problem.  We had decided we'd at least get a quote from the authorised repairer before deciding what to do.  When I got the $1000 quote I sent another email to LG and said how disappointed we were that the unit had failed just four months out of warranty, and how we would never purchase LG again, and wouldn't recommend the brand to anyone ever again.  Lo and Behold, within 24 hours I'd received a response saying they regrettted the "untimely" issues we were having, and if I got the set assessed by an authorised repairer, at our expense, they would see how they could assist us!  So, off to Sale we trundled, with the TV in the back of the Jackaroo.  We had to go to Morelli's to get a copy of the original invoice (and in the process purchased a new lounge suite!) to send to LG.  We had to go back to Frasca's before 12 noon to pick up the assessment and finally learn what exactly had gone wrong.  Seems it was the screen, but not the capacitors (Bill had already decided that wasn't the problem, because when we thought we'd take it to Lakes for repair he took the back off the set to have a look at it) - rather, it was something in the actual panel that was switching on as it should, but then switching itself off, so no picture.  Cost to repair, $1200 because it mesnt getting a whole new panel (screen).
When we got home I fired off a copy of all the paperwork to LG, and got a very quick response to say they had received it, and would let us know the outcome in a couple of days.  Sure enough, while we were in Bendigo I got a phone call from LG to say that although the unit was out of warranty they would supply the part if we paid for the labour.  We agreed, and I told the man he had restored our confidence in LG products.  Now we just have to wait for Mr Frasca to tell us the TV is ready for pick up.  A good outcome all around.  Thank you Mr LG!

New Lounge Suite

Just before Christmas Bill announced that he thought we should look at a new lounge suite because the one we had was starting to look tired and he thought the couch was starting to sag in the middle - no doubt because he spends a lot of time lying on it  I agreed, mainly because I felt it was looking grubby.  When we bought it I really wanted the apricot colour that it was - Bill went crook at me for buying it.  Over time I had come to regret my choice, just because it was so hard to try to keep clean.  Other than that the suite was in excellent condition.  We looked at several in Bairnsdale, including a deep burgundy Lazy-Boy.  Most suites had 'trigger' action recliners which I find very difficult to lower - well, lowering the footrest is OK, but locking it into position is almost impossible.  And we know from Mark and Janine's suite that it doesn't get any easier over time.  The lever action recliners seem to be limited to Lazy-Boy.  Our biggest problem was that we had to get rid of the current suite before we could buy a new one -and if the old one took a long time to sell (or didn't sell at all because potential buyers thought it was too grubby, despite being a sound leasther suite) we might miss out on the good price for the new one, or find we had to wait weeks for delivery. Last week we had to go to Morelli's Furniture in Sale to pick up a copy of the invoice for our TV (thereby hangs another tale) and while we were there we looked at their suites.  The only ones with lever action recliners were Lazy-Boy, but the cheapest suite they had was going to be over $5000.  Then we saw a suite with electric recliners - ideal, just a pity the cords will have to go across the floor.  We could have a choice of pale grey (no thank you) or chocolate brown (yes, please).  Anyway, we decided we'd buy it - the clincher was that Morelli's would give us $100 trade-in on our old suite and take it away, and deliver the new one free of charge!  $100 wasn't much of a trade-in, but it meant no hassle for us.  They'll have to clean it upbefore they can sell it, and I wouldn't like to have to try that. There is also the patch where the colour of the leather has worn away, although you can't see that unless you part the cushions on the couch.  The salesman offered to deliver it that day, as the truck was being loaded for our area as we spoke.  But I knew Bill had a lot to do to get the campervan ready to take to Carmel and Barry (yes, another tale) so we said leave it until the next trip.  That would normally have been a fortnight away.  Anyway we went off to Bendigo for five days, arriving home again last night.  This morning we had to go in to Bairnsdale for blood tests and while we were having a coffee with Susan we got a phone call to ask if we were still good to have the lounge suite delivered today!  I told Mark, the salesman that we hadn't had a phone call to say it would be today, but that it wasn't a problem because they hadn't left Sale yet and we would get home before they arrived.  Got home in time to hurriedly clear things off the walkway etc. so they could get the old suite out, and the new one in.
We had bought the old one from Morelli's in 2002 when I first had my chemo.  Nick Morelli even said he remembered the suite, and thought it had worn well, despite the grubbiness.  The leather was still in excellent condition.
It looks good, and is very comfortable.  Both of the chairs are recliners, and the end seats on the couch are also recliners.  We won't always have them all plugged in though, so there are less wires on the floor.  My chair is now beside the window, with shelves to the left of me, and drawers to the right, then a gap to the sliding door, then the couch on an angle, then the second chair.  We will try to sell the green recliner that I have been using, and which came from Mum and Jim when they moved and didn't have room for it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day

9:30 fireworks - Lakes Entrance 2011
Well, we saw the New Year in at Lakes Entrance as usual.  I felt so much better this year than I did last year.  There was no point where I wished the evening was over so we could go home.  I even walked from the caravan park, where Mark and Janine are staying, down to the foreshore.  Bill had a sausage and onion for tea, I had proffertjes (Dutch pancakes) with lemon and sugar.  We met up with Mark and Janine - Brittany and her friend Danielle were left to their own devices.  Oakley and Mitchell were with Mark and Janine.  We saw the fireworks at 9:30, after which the others all went back to the caravan park.  The fireworks were lovely as usual.  We went for a walk to get a coffee and some cold chips - should have taken the chips back and insisted on hot ones, but we just ate them.  It didn't seem too long before it was time for the midnight display.  This went for nearly 15 minutes and was very good.  The finale was especially spectacular. I even walked back to the car at the conclusion.  I felt so much better than last year!
Video of part of the 9:30 display.