In 1999 my house was completed on a mountain in Bataan, and we moved in. I was heading to San Francisco to be assigned to a new ship. The USNS San Jose (T-AFS) which was tied up in Singapore so I had to fly back across the Pacific to SFO and back to Singapore all within two weeks gaining and losing days each way making my head spin, that was the downside to any job, but then the company did pay the airfare. (Trans-Pacific in business class)
The day I was flying out to the United States, or the land of the big PX. I’d left $1,500.00 (The year was 1999) with Mayang to buy a Honda Generator and I included a list of specifications for it. A month later we were pulling into Darwin Australia as we were assigned to work with Australian Navy for 60 days to bring food and supplies to East Timor (Plus many pallets of beer) We opened a case of Vegemite just to give it a try, that only happened once and we all went back to Peanut butter straight away. We sampled the beer and found it somewhat acceptable, but then it was Fosters.
So between trips to the island and back to “OZ”, I phoned my wife (Mayang) and she told me about a Typhoon that struck our area. There was no damage but the power was out for six days. Now the secret is out of the bag, she had used the money for the new generator to have a mahogany dining room set built. It was handmade, exactly the way she wanted it. A true thing of beauty, but useless at providing electricity I asked when will the power be back on? She had no idea, so I suggested that if she needed power to just plug it into the new table! I was so pleased that I was sitting in a pub in Darwin so far away and she was in Bataan!
So for the next 10 years during our many, many brownouts I would walk to the Mancave flip a breaker or two, turn on the gas, and choke, one pull on the starter rope and the mighty Honda would spark to life providing elow to light our way. (And our daughters could watch TV)
The generator was somewhat limited, as it could not operate the big pump to my well. But because of my two water tanks, the power would have to be off four days before that was a problem.
I could (With proper planning, run the entire house like the power was on. To run the bedroom Air-Con (Just one of them) I had to unplug the freezer and the Hot-Water on demand unit in the shower. Heating coils will overload any generator.
We also recharged the Purok’s cell phones during long power outages.
One neighbor complained about the noise, but it came down to him Yak-yacking or me having my having Air-Con, BTW my Air-Con won hands down. Did I mention that the idiot had more than forty roosters in his yard that I never said a word about? I’ll assume it was because I was never jealous of his roosters was the reason why it worked out like that.
Then it happened one brownout the mighty Honda fired up, but no electrify came forth, oh it was burning gas and running fine. But up the road lived Tony, he was a small engine mechanic who worked for the company “Luck C” that sold me the Honda and Tony installed it. With that knowledge that we lived on the same street, we entered into an arrangement, Tony would become my go to guy on all things generator, all service calls, tune up, oil changes and stuff he did at full factory prices, but on Sundays and nights if needed. We eliminated the middle man or Lucky C. Who BTW went bankrupt last year! Was it Tony and me???
So Tony rushes down and finds that the Motor is fit as a fiddle, but the spinning coil that makes electricity has ceased to function. Do you know the outrageous cost of just that one part? Well, I don’t either! In the Philippines, there are talented people who will take it apart and rewind it. Of course Tony knew the guy, and four days later it was reassembled and making spark-trisity and working well. Total cost: $175.00.
Into each life a little rain must fall (Quite a bit during the monsoons), a few months before the rainy season, Tony stopped by to say goodbye, it seems that if he moved back to his hometown (He told me the name of the town but I’m over 70 now, and memory will fail me sometimes.) And his Uncle was setting him up with his own shop. I can’\t blame him for that and I hope he will do well. But what the hell about me!!! (LOL)
But you know what happened, my generator shat the bed last week, a complete failure, I was dead in the water, SOL! Panic reigned supreme! Oh my, what was I to do? Mayang looked at me and said. Toni’s son… I remember him at as a tike always with his papa on service calls. Later his dad gave him a pile of motorcycle parts and the rascal built his own transportation, at 12 years old with no seat and a plastic gas can as his fuel tank and no mufflers, he was racing around the purok like a Tasmanian Devil, 18 years old now, he stayed in this area vice moving to Tooley Junction with his dad where he knew no one. He appeared at my gate on his jazzed up new motor and his tool bag; He brought new oil, a new spark plug (Yes the correct one) One hour later it was purring like a Honda. I took his cell number and declared him as my “New Guy” I told him to say hi to his papa next time he visited him. Bless me the young man is talented, but smatter in one way. He charges more! I laughed and gladly paid him.
If this isn’t the greatest place to live, then the Lord must have kept that place up in heaven, but even if second best it is fantastic!
Let there be light, and he found it to be good!