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Old 01-26-2008
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TonyfromOz TonyfromOz is offline
 
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Default A Simple Car Wash.

Gentlemen.
Sometimes, it’s the little things we take for granted, things we don’t know how much we miss until we don’t get to do them any more.
One of those is the humble car wash.

In telling you about this, I hope that you’ll allow me a little leeway. During the telling, I’m also going to give you some boring statistics, but to give them some sense of context, I’ll try and give you some things you might be able to use as references. Since being a member of the forum, I’ve learned a lot about the US, and occasionally, I’ve even mentioned things about Australia, and this will be another of those times.

You’re all probably aware of the fact that we have a pretty desperate situation with regard to access to water, and that here in Queensland, we have some drastic restrictions on the use of water. One of those restrictions is the absolute banning of using an outdoor hose for any reason, hence as much as I tell guys on the forum correct procedures for washing their cars, I haven’t been able to wash my own car.

Four weeks ago, we had a weeks worth of really heavy rain, most of it falling in the catchment behind the Gold Coast. Hinze Dam is a relatively small Dam in the big scheme of things, but is adequate for a city the size of the Gold Coast of half a million people. That Dam went from 62% full to 102% full in three days, and with water flowing over the spillway, there was a risk that further heavy rain would cause flooding and inundation in some areas of the Nerang River. The local council lobbied the State Government to allow the restrictions to be eased here on the Gold Coast so the water level could decrease somewhat, even minimally, but the Government held out, saying we should all be responsible users and show other areas that we were not just being profligate with a valuable resource, a spurious argument in my opinion as water was just flowing over the spillway, and then on out into the ocean, wasted, as it could not be moved to those areas who were running low.

A week or so back, the Government finally relented to the mounting pressure, and said that households could use as much water as they liked for the three day long weekend, today being our National day, (Australia Day, similar to your Independence Day) and Monday being the designated public holiday the day itself falling on the Saturday.

Around two weeks back it started really raining in Central Queensland, and here’s where the statistics come in, because it’s interesting in a way.
Queensland is the bit on the right of the map of Australia with the pointy bit at the top. The area is approximately one fifth the size of the Continental US, just under three times larger than Texas. However the population is only four and a half million, around the same as for Colorado, which is only a seventh the size in area.
However, of that population half is centred in the South East corner of the State around the Capital Brisbane and to the North the South (us here on the Gold Coast) and west, an area just bigger than tiny Delaware.

The rain that fell in Central Queensland then passed to the North Central area of the State and also away to the further South West. The upshot of this is that 70 percent of the whole State is now flood effected, except for that South East Corner. (Us)
Perspective is that this flood effected area is just a tad under twice the size of the State of Texas.
In Central Queensland we have the second largest Dam in the State. It has not been full for 18 years. This rain not only filled it to capacity, but to almost double the capacity. So much so, that water has been flowing over the spillway at a height of 5.5 Metres. Almost 18 feet high, constantly over the spillway, and only now is it slowly decreasing. The water backed up behind the dam wall back into the catchment is close to half a trillion gallons, and that might sound a lot, but look at Hoover Dam/Lake Mead. Even at half full, it is still ten times the size of this, our State’s second largest Dam. This amount of water seals the future for the surrounding farming and mining communities for at least twelve years.

Back to us. This morning I pulled out of the driveway and drove out of our housing complex. On my way out I passed three people out in their driveways washing their cars, and when I came back an hour later, there were a further two washing their cars.
I started on my wheels, and later this afternoon, I washed our car, the first time I’ve actually been able to do this myself, after having given new guys tips for the last period of time I’ve been a member at the forum.
You guys will probably have a polite dig at me for doing the car in the heat, but it was the best I could do. I did wait till late in the afternoon, and did it in some shade, but as to the heat question, it’s just gone midnight here now, and the outside temperature is 26C, which converts to just a tick under 80. To compensate, I cooled the surface down with cold water constantly, after washing each section.
I wanted to see two things. The colours of the water in each of the two buckets after the wash, and the effect of sheeting the water off the car after washing that panel, the horizontal ones being the best to notice this on.
The wash suds were clean at the completion, and the rinse bucket was grey coloured, what I had expected, but still a good thing to actually see, having allowed the car to actually get dirty for the last two weeks.
The sheeting effect was not what I expected. Previously, I used to sheet the water off the car as you are supposed to, but this time, on a car regularly waxed, the sheeting effect was much much better, and there was hardly any water left on the panel at all, very impressive.
Consequently, that made drying the car so much the easier.

What I also wanted to do was to test the wash mitt I have. As I’ve mentioned previously, I was not keen to buy a lambswool mitt from any of the other guys Company's, and we don’t have access to the Mothers accessories range here, so a Mothers mitt was unavailable.
I did however obtain a lovely mitt from an Australian Company who specialise in wool seat covers, and in fact are the market leaders in that field. They also have a range of wool accessories, and one of these is their plush lambswool car wash mitts. When I purchased mine, the sales guy in the Company’s outlet, (they are a Gold Coast firm called oddly enough Wild Ram) was surprised that I was getting one because they were not selling at all, being released right as the water restrictions were imposed.
This was the first test. The mitt is far and away excellent in every respect. The colours are ‘fast’ the plushness of the fibres is around three quarters of an inch to an inch in depth, they are really thick, the mitt is lined, and best of all, it’s tight fitting, and not too large, confined to just a little larger than the palm of your hand. The fibres do not fall out, and it was easy to rinse clean under the tap at the completion of the task. In my opinion, it is the perfect car washing mitt.
So, my good lady wife took the picture. You can just see the tops of the two blue buckets in the foreground.
Like I said, just to be able to use a garden hose is something we take for granted until someone says we can’t do it any more. This was not a chore, but a pleasantly savoured task, even if it was just this one time, as restrictions are reimposed on Tuesday morning.

Tony.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2008
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

Sounds like you had a great time!
  #3  
Old 01-27-2008
Mama's Boy Mama's Boy is offline
 
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

Why is the mitt multi-coloured?
(Oh, and your temps are abut the same as mine, just that there's a "-" in mine. -32º the other day. No detailing here. )
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2008
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

I guess around here all the wool mitts are dyed yellow.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2008
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Wizard Of Iz Wizard Of Iz is offline
 
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

And I thought it was cold here this morning when I was washing the GTO. Believe me, for a Florida boy 44F is cold.

Tony --- by the way ..... the South Sidney Rabbitohs have been here for a week or so practicing. They played the Leed Rhinos this past Saturday. Rhinos 26 Rabbitohs 24. Good crowd by USA standards for Rugby. About 12,000.

I met one of the guys with the Rabbitohs. He was excited to see the US version of his Monaro.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2008
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

It was 51 F today when I washed one of my cars.
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2008
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TonyfromOz TonyfromOz is offline
 
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

Mama's Boy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama's Boy
Why is the mitt multi-coloured?
Australia's history is steeped in the Wool trade.
John Macarthur was an ex military officer when he came to Australia in 1790 on the second fleet. He was allotted an area for farming and prospered to a degree. He imported sheep from England but they were not used to the Australian heat and conditions, In 1796 he imported the Spanish originated Merino, but the ones he got were being bred in South Africa where the conditions were similar. They flourished, as did he, and the Australian wool industry was born. Australia is the largest Wool producing country on the Planet, and arguably the World Leader in the secondary production following removal from the sheep's back.

As I mentioned, this Company has been the leader in Australia for wool seat covers for cars, a pretty big thing in Australia because they are just so cool. The Australian Summers are stupendously hot, and car seats, be they material, leather, or as in days of old, vinyl, then car seats not only got hot, but impossible to sit in if the car was parked in the Sun on a hot day in a closed car. The Wool seat covers were cool, they breathed, and were comfortable to sit in, being a natural fibre, so wool seat covers always sold well in Australia.
The plain and natural 'wool' colour, white, or cream, or even a very light yellowish tinge was the natural colour.
This Company has led the market here in Australia in adding colour to the wool, and then actually being able to keep it 'fast', so that it won't leach out under any conditions. The wool is really thick does not come out, and is always cool to sit on. The colour was an added extra. You'd think dark colours would actually be hotter, but that's not so because of the nature of the wool. It always stays cool. They have 8 colours in all from the white, right through to black.

The wash mitt is excellent because of its compact size. Other mitts I've seen are a lot larger, have a thumb socket, making them even a little more bulky, the thing I wanted to show in the photo with my hand resting on top, because that's what the inside size is, and as you can see from this, the fibres are almost an inch thick. The colours were a novelty I suppose. Each mitt has three or four patches of colour on them. The more compact size is what I was looking for, because it stays that size when wet and does not flop around, being virtually just the size of your hand itself.

I visited their new and larger factory in behind Southport here where they have a sales outlet.
The sales guy was a little nonplussed that I wanted a mitt. They had a box style floor stand with around forty/maybe 50 mitts in it, and they have numerous different colours for the patches, and I just picked this one. The guy was a little nonplussed really, because the Company brought them out just as the water restrictions cut in, thus immediately killing off their market in that direction.
Luckily, the car wash mitt is only a tiny additional product in their large market of wool based products.

Again, it probably sounds like I'm shilling for the Company, but I have no involvement in any way. It's just I found a good product for what I wanted it to do.

In respect of the temperatures, it's 10.30AM right now and the temperature is just under 90. During the night it 'cools???' down to around the mid 70's and at dawn the temp rises to around the mid to high 80's where it stays till around 10PM. Most nights we need the ceiling fan just circulating in the bedroom. No real need for aircon at night just moving the still air around. Some days are worse as the humidity is always reasonably high, but on some days that 'stickiness' makes it almost unbearable. In my days at Wagga Wagga some Summer days (most really) were over the hundred for around twelve hours, and some days were up close to 110, but luckily the heat there was dry, which made it bearable.
I suppose now it's pretty obvious why Australians have a love for a 'cold' beer on a hot day, because most days are hot.

I know it sounds cruel to be talking about the heat with you guys in the depth of a freezing Winter, so I hope you don't mind.

Tony.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2008
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TonyfromOz TonyfromOz is offline
 
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

Wiz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard Of Iz
Tony --- by the way ..... the South Sydney Rabbitohs have been here for a week or so practicing. They played the Leed Rhinos this past Saturday. Rhinos 26 Rabbitohs 24. Good crowd by USA standards for Rugby. About 12,000.

I met one of the guys with the Rabbitohs. He was excited to see the US version of his Monaro.
I heard that and was almost tempted to send you a PM, because I think they actually played the game on the field at your old University. (I think)
It's a promotional thing and one you have to give credit to the South Sydney team for. That team has been going through hard times recently, and there has been years of upheaval. A couple of years back, a very keen supporter of the team actually put some of his money to good use and with a close Business friend, the purchased the team, which also entailed purchasing a huge debt as well.

That man.
Russell Crowe.

This caused further upheaval, being one of the first teams in the Rugby League to fall into private ownership, and the upheaval mostly concerned the 'perceived' taking of the team away from the people. It has worked well, and Crowe has implemented innovations that are breathing fresh air into the game, and this trip to Florida was one of them.

This game is closer to your football than that other Australian Football game Australia Rules Football. In this Rugby League game, the aim is similar to NFL, to move the ball forward, attempting to cross the line being protected by the opposing team.
The major difference is that each team only has 13 players with 4 reserves, and they play the whole game consisting of two 40 minute halves. That team does all the attacking and all the defending and the occasional kicking, at the end of every sixth tackle. The game is played in a continuous play, with only the occasional break during that play. Another major difference is the ball can only be passed backwards, and that every player can pass the ball if they wish or just run with it till they are tackled, when they get up and immediately play the ball for the next attacking run. Also, any player can kick the ball if he so wishes. There is no designated number of yards to be made, just get over that line any way you can when you are attacking, or stop the guy with the ball any way you can. It can be a brutal game made all the more brutal in that players wear very little protective padding, if any at all, as most players find it uncomfortable.

This team South Sydney has a rich heritage being one of the original teams. The name 'Rabbitohs', is like the Cowboys part of Dallas Cowboys.
At the genesis of the team, the suburb of South Sydney itself was a poorer suburb, and was always beset by unemployment figures close to 100%. Consequently families had little income if any, and food was hardly come by. At the time, rabbits were in plague proportions here in Australia, and still are, and a cheap meat meal was rabbit, and the vendors used to hawk them in the streets of South Sydney by going around yelling at the tops of their voices, 'Rabbitoh, Rabbitoh!'
Hence the name of the team.
They play in the National Competition of 16 teams in the one major League.
The team I follow is the St George Dragons, and I've followed them since 1967.
My favoured brand of football is Australian Rules Football, and there I have supported Collingwood (the Magpies) since I could talk, back in the early 50's so my Mum says.

There are four different brands of football played in Australia. Rugby League and Australian Rules compete over who is largest, then comes Rugby Union, a game similar to Rugby League, and the larger on an International level, with Soccer in fourth place, although they try to tell us they are more important because Soccer is played internationally, but Soccer will always have less following than the other three here in Australia.
So here in Australia, we have access to plenty of football in our Winter, and next Monday morning our time we get to actually watch the one NFL game broadcast into Australia.
Pity about the Cowboys yuk yuk yuk.
What odds the sweep for The Pats?

Also, and back to you Wiz, your Monaro/GTO brings up a funny point. Some guys here in Australia have actually purchased Pontiac front ends for their Monaro's and also purchased the badging as well. The odd thing is that as much as it's a reasonably big thing for those 'bits' to be imported for Australian Pontiac enthusiasts, the same goes in your Country for guys wanting to take the Pontiac bits off their cars and make them look like the Australian Monaros. A quirky little thing.

Tony.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2008
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Thumbs up Re: A Simple Car Wash.

Tony,

The game was played at the University of North FLorida which is here in Jacksonville. The University of Florida is in Gainesville, Florida --- about 75 miles southwest of Jacksonville. It was only in the high 40's to low 50's and we had a light drizzle on Saturday for the game. That's pretty cool for us as daytime highs go. (I know, I know --- we're spoiled here in Florida.) The weather you're describing is very typical of what we get from June/July through August/September.

I spent time at both schools 30 years ago during my tour of higher education institutions in the state of Florida. Guess that's part of why it took me six years to complete four.

When I was at UF, I played a couple of games of Rugby when a dorm team was short-handed. Thank God I was in better condition then! I also learned why players tape their ears to their head. We used to get to see Rugby and Australian Rules Football on ESPN years ago when they were starving for programming.

Back to cars .... I know a couple of GTO owners who have converted their cars to Monaros. And, when I wanted to add a hands-free Bluetooth kit; I had to order it from a Holden dealer in Oz. It was interesting to look at the directions and take into account that the steering wheel -- along with the access panels to get to the radio -- were flipped.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2008
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TonyfromOz TonyfromOz is offline
 
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Default Re: A Simple Car Wash.

Wiz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard Of Iz
Back to cars .... I know a couple of GTO owners who have converted their cars to Monaros. And, when I wanted to add a hands-free Bluetooth kit; I had to order it from a Holden dealer in Oz. It was interesting to look at the directions and take into account that the steering wheel -- along with the access panels to get to the radio -- were flipped.
Say.
You coulda just held it up to a mirror. Yuk yuk yuk!

So, sounds to me like you played in the Forwards then.
Reminds me of an old joke that could be transposed to NFL I suppose, if you're not offended by my levity.

The coach took a bunch of guys into the forest for their first training session.
When he got back the team boss asked him why he did that.
Coach replied. I just started them all off on a foot race.
The guys who ran around the trees, were the backs, (Offense) and the guys who ran into the trees were the forwards. (Defense)

Yuk yuk yuk!

Tony
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