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in the world of drag racing

Black Bar

The latest update as of June 3, 1999

8:00 am:   No rain this morning, but it is cloudy and from where I'm sitting, the clouds are looking very dark. In more ways than one. Yesterday's bombshell was the most unwelcome news I've received in months and today isn't looking any better. I've just rung the customs broker, who still hasn't been able to sort out the problems with customs. In a few minutes I'm off to Roly Leahy's (the appraiser) and then down to the Ashmore branch of Suncorp bank to see what's happened to my account (still haven't received my ATM card or chequebook). Walking down the driveway to the Hertz rent-a-ride, I'm pleased to see it's still intact, nothing missing and it starts as usual.

Thankfully the road construction mob hasn't relocated any of the roundabouts or exits since last night and I'm soon at Roly's shop in Labrador. (Note to Canadians: Yeah, Labrador is in Queensland too. Along with Texas, Miami, Pittsburg, etc). He's been in touch with the broker on a regular basis and we review my documentation on the container to be sure nothing has been omitted from the appraisal worksheet. Roly rings up the broker while I'm there and gets the latest update: The container is still stuck on the wharf, the container number discrepancy hasn't been worked out and taking delivery even on Monday is starting to look marginal.

Leaving Roly's, the clouds are clearing in the sky, but getting darker in my mind by the minute. I'm off to the bank now, to see where they've misplaced my ATM card and chequebook -- two very necessary items for the next week. A friendly greeting from Karyn (another smashing sheila), and a quick look in the computer reveals the card and book were sent to my Canadian address -- not my Australian one -- by mistake. They'll do me a lot of good sitting in Canada right now, won't they? A few bits of paperwork and some apologies later, I'm back on the road for Ken's shop in Oxenford. Remember the old adage about "killing the messenger"? By the time I finish relating the latest bits of bad news to everyone, the looks on their faces were positively homicidal.

4:00 pm UPDATE:   Just talked to John McNally at OBM (customs brokers) and received the latest status report. It appears that the Hanjin Shipping agency in Brisbane has cost us at least two days through their incompetence. Someone who knew what they were doing went on holidays and.... So, at this moment, OBM has just finished lodging their latest, updated, clearance request with Customs and are awaiting approval to have the container moved from the wharf to the container freight station at Interport.

That will be probably not be forthcoming before Monday... not Friday, but Monday... then the container has to be destuffed (unloaded), appraised by Roly, then Roly has to submit a detailed evaluation to Customs... then they have 48 hours to either accept or reject it... then we can pay for release of the goods. Oh yes, almost forgot, then the Quarantine mob want to go over everything and, in all likelihood, force us to pay for an unneeded and completely unnecessary wash (no free wax!) job of the car and truck.

Do the math and you'll see how our week to put the car together has shrunk to a few hours. It looks like it's just not going to happen now, but as long as we can get the car by Thursday night (June 10), we'll be at the Winternats... and bolting the car together in the pits. Like me, you'll just have to hang on and wait to see how it's going to turn out. We're not giving up... but we're starting to run very low on ammunition at this point. Don't forget though; tune in tomorrow for another update from your favourite soap opera: "As The Wheel Turns"... Tomorrow's episode: "are we in forward or reverse?"

Black Bar
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