Just in case

A while back I declaimed “As happy as a goat with new socks”, a phrase that startled even me with its genius.

I just want it recorded for all posterity that I’m the person who came up with that phrase.

That is all.





That futzed with the plan

So, I had this simple plan for today: Get up early, take Rebecca for MOT. She passes MOT. I spend rest of day either pottering in garden or recording podcast.

Actually the day went: Drive to MOT. Fail on a few minor points (no pun intended), then drive back via parts store, then grab lunch, then reorganise the garage so there’s more space, then… well.

First up was the washer pump. The old pump’s been moderately pathetic for quite a while. It still sort of worked, but most of the spray was kind of directed onto the screen surround unless it happened to be in an astonishingly enthusiastic mood.

So, it was out with the old…

Out with the old...

And in with the new. Which would have been awesome but for the fact that the generic washer pump I picked up has a substantial design flaw. One of those design flaws where you look at it and think ‘Really? Really? You didn’t think that was a problem?’. Can y’guess what it is?


Didja get it?

Both the holes for the screws are behind the supply and output pipes (which are moulded into the body of it) and, as a bonus, on one end they’re behind the power connectors too. Well done Generic Brand designer. Fortunately, because it’s made of cheap nasty plastic it was bendable enough that I could brute-force-bend it enough to get the screwdriver in to get one of the screws properly tight. The other screw is a bit more of a problem, but I’m really not sure how to fix it short of an entertaining bit of 3D printing to make the damn thing some kind of bracket with clips. Either that or tightening the screw edge-on using pliers :-/

Oooh, or I could replace it with a teeny tiny hex-bolt. Cunning. I might do that.


Anyhow, the washer fluid now hits the screen in a most vigorous way. Cleaning the screen with vim and enthusiasm. So I also changed the somewhat leaky windscreen-wiper-washer, which, it turned out was a bonus level challenge because the windscreen wiper spindle comes through at a subtly different angle than the chrome finisher is meant to fit, so the rubber doesn’t fit at all. In the end I used two of them on the one side to give me a bit more thickness in an attempt to make it fit. The other side doesn’t really leak, so I’m going to leave that for the minute.

Then we had to explore the brakes. There were two failure points:

- Nearside brake binding
- Brake imbalance

Now I could have assumed that the brake imbalance was due to the brake binding, but thankfully I didn’t. A quick look in the off-side drum revealed a partial cause for the imbalance; everyone’s favourite paper gasket had failed. Again. Oh ho.

Yes, it's everybody's favourite oil seal failure...

So my brakes had a thin coating of oil on them. Again.

Although I’d picked up new brake shoes I’d not bothered to get anything else; I mean, why would I? So a quick dance with the stanley knife and the cardboard from a packet of ice-lollies later I produced a new gasket. This is, of course, the oldest trick in the book. Well, one of ‘em. I also popped a thin coating of silicone gasket sealant on it this time since I did that to the other side and that, finally, seems to have stopped the recurrent failures. I have a feeling though that I’ll need to repeat this with a paper gasket instead of the cardboard one I’ve made up because I imagine it’ll leak again :-/

Of course the plan is, as part of the EV conversion, to switch it for an Escort rear axle and a Sierra gearbox. So it would be amusingly ironic if I finally got the seals to both be perfect now.

Anyhow, having tweaked that and the brakes on the other side which seemed to be over adjusted-up (oddly, since I’ve not adjusted them since the service 2000 miles ago), things seem better. The handbrake is coming on at 4 clicks like it should. If it’s not good enough then either I or the garage will have the joy of replacing the shoes (I’ve got them, just didn’t really want to waste the barely used ones that were on the car, even if they’re a bit oil contaminated).

Then there was the misadjusted headlamps. They’ve been ‘a bit low’ since she was returned to the road, and every MOT has been kind of scraped through on that front. I don’t know if the suspension’s settled a bit, or if the guy today was a weeny bit more picky, or indeed, the simple fact that the fuel tank was all but empty was enough to tip the scales against her, but she failed on that too. I’ve tweaked them both up a bit, but it’s kinda guess work. We don’t have a flat area with sufficient room to back up that we can adjust the headlights properly. Unfortunately, this brought me into close contact with the plastic headlamp dome, which it turns out is a terrible fit. After several minutes of me fiddling, I managed to get the headlamp ring back on and screwed on, but it…well, it’s still loose and any degree of tightening in one area makes it want to pop off from somewhere else. Modern parts really can be quite rubbish.

The funniest thing about the day was I rang the garage to check up that I’d hit all the points on the MOT list, and the guy proclaimed “I thought you’d fix it, well, I hoped you would. It’d've been disappointing if you didn’t”. Hopefully we can trundle up on Saturday with the iMiEV and the Minor and come back with both of them sporting new MOTs.

To be honest I’d've quite liked to go out for my nice lunch at Hart’s instead of spending the day lying by the car. But hey, needs must… :-/

Using the “internet” and a “computer”…?

The problem with remodeling




I’m lazy.

That’s it, that’s the whole problem.

That’s my main problem with remodelling too.

The trim needs prepping and painting…or there’s this laptop here that needs me to read 360,000 articles on the internet.

Well…someone’s got to read them.


Well SOMEONE has to read those articles!

Also play silly flash games like 2048 and Threes. If not us, WHO? :P

It is our MISSION!

The problem with remodeling


I’m lazy.

That’s it, that’s the whole problem.

That’s my main problem with remodelling too.

The trim needs prepping and painting…or there’s this laptop here that needs me to read 360,000 articles on the internet.

Well…someone’s got to read them.


Reblog this if you remember The Great Strikethrough of 2007

Reblog this if you remember The Great Strikethrough of 2007













we’re old, guys.

What about those of us who remember the great

I’m still on there… although now it’s very confusing.

Because my main blog posts are cross-posted from the blog to tumblr and to LJ (at least in theory, the plugin has worked once so far). And then my tumblr posts are cross-posted back to my blog.

And err. Yea.

And Reblogging is no way to have a conversation. Incidentally, get off my lawn, and I remember when this was all fields.

Bloody young people.


One of those days

Not, oddly, one of those days where you wonder about whether your continued existence on the planet will ever produce anything tangible and worthwhile, or whether you are instead doomed to spend the entirety of the rest of your life looking at cat pictures on the internet*.

No, one of those super productive days.

I’m wondering if I need to write myself a to-do list for every day when I’m not working because the effect was astonishing.

On my list was the following:

- Clean some house
- Practice Guitar
- Practice Piano
- Order power supply connector
- Bottle cider
- Garden
- ?Print sepsis card

And apart from the sepsis card all of it got done and some other bits and bobs. Also I listened to lots of music, which is a bonus.

I actually managed to spend a good hour practicing music, which is astonishing to me. I have absolutely no commitment to these things, have never been a big one for practicing (or studying) so for me to hit a point where I was actually keeping playing because I damn well wanted to get the piece of music to sound at least roughly right was pretty pleasing.

Also I had a sudden understanding of how awful it must have been for my piano (or paino, which seems a strangely apt typo) to have listened to my terrible, terrible, timing.

It's drinkable, it tastes cider like. I call that a win.


* Which for various personal/health reasons was how I spent most of yesterday. Well, not cat-pictures per-se, but they might as well have been.

One of those days was originally published on Mostly lemon based

Oh, ah, that’s not gigabit.

So I bought a new switch for the server room* to replace my known-to-be flaky 10/100 hub** and to add a port for the soon to be arriving WiFi network extender***. Having spent ages flicking through I suddenly found what I thought was an awesome deal on a gigabit switch. Not, I assumed good quality or anything. But cheap and given our house is floodwired with alledged Cat5 cable**** I reckoned ‘good enough’.

It arrived a couple of days ago and there on the box was ‘10 / 100 Switch’.

So that’s why it was such a cheap gigabit switch, because it’s not. It’s 100 base T which is what I used to run when I was a network admin.


Still, it’ll do for now.

* Utility cupboard / larder.
** Mainly because I still can’t find it.
*** So we can sit out in the evenings on the deck next to the chiminea drinking wine and browsing t’web.
**** I actually suspect it of being made of the very cheapest scrap metal extruded by spiders.

I spent my (Birth)day cutting some timber out of the deck and replacing it with a tiled section. No one can ever claim I don’t know how to live…

…the point of this delightful outdoor activity was that at the end of it we’ve a place to put our chiminea, which means that should I feel in the mood in the next few days I can sit out on the deck, wine in one hand, book in another, and stay reasonably warm in the evening. I hope.

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