Monday 29 May 2017

Sunday 28 May 2017

Pump appreciation week

This week we learn a new fact about each of three different types of water pump.

Firstly, if you have an automatic watering system for your garden, don't leave it in a state where the watering pump can turn itself back on but with no water flowing through it.  It overheats and causes the capacitor to swell and leak its insides everywhere.  The pump stops working.

Secondly, if you have a plumber replace a pump, make sure you re-pressurise the system before he leaves, even if he has used mastic that takes an hour to cure.  This avoids a second visit to fix the new leaks.

Thirdly, if your heating system develops a leak and starts pissing water over the electric pumps, cover them with a plastic bag or clingfilm or anything that will stop the water getting in.  This will avoid your having to try to dry it out with a hair dryer in the hope that you can get it to stop tripping the overload cutout so that it can heat the pool for your next guests who are arriving tomorrow.

Stand by for more useful DIY tips as they arise, here in the "it's-all-happening" heart of the Mayenne countryside.

Friday 26 May 2017

Something new

I must be getting out of date.

I often browse the hi-tech area of our local supermarket, to see if there are any bargains to be had, and to keep abreast of new developments.  I watch with amazement the continuous lowering of digital camera prices, together with the increase in zoom capacity.  60x optical zoom anyone?

I saw for the first time a range of VR headsets.  Here they are alongside the cameras and GPS systems.

The thing is, I have no idea what I might use one for.  I guess they're good for some games, although I'm not sure my PC is fast enough.  But what would I do with one?  I don't know any VR games nor VR software apps that might interest me.  I'm completely out of touch.

Saturday 20 May 2017

Nice mill

Just had a chat with Mick who has been renovating the mill down the road.  Looks nice, eh?

Saturday 13 May 2017

An apology

I have really sorted out the watering system for my veg patch this year.   An immersible pump pumps water from the well (27 metres deep) into two one-metre-cubed vats.  From there a different pump sends it to a spraying system made from little red nozzles set into a hosepipe, that makes a fine spray just above ground level.

So it's going to piss down all Summer.  Sorry about that.

Friday 5 May 2017

Revolving doors

Revolving doors are widely used by shops; they are quite effective at keeping heat in during Winter, and cool, conditioned air inside during Summer.  Since shops are keen on not getting sued by people losing a limb or suffering other injury in doors of this type, the doors are fitted with some kind of emergency stop, whereby they cease revolving if anything untoward is happening.

Around here, a few supermakets have fitted shiny new, larger revolving doors with super-sophisticated safety systems: if you touch the door it stops, and a proximity detector works such that if you get within 30cm, it slows down to a snail's pace.  This works fine if there are only a few people in the door at once, but the fun starts at busy times.

Since the new doors are larger than the old ones, the temptation is to fill them to capacity with people and trolleys.  The problem is then that the proximity detector trips and slows down the door to almost stationary.  Arguments then ensue as to who might be responsible - the people at the front, or the people at the back, each group defending itself vigorously.

To correct the problem, those at the front just have to stand still and wait for the door to move on a bit, but those at the back have to shuffle forwards in the limited space, compressing the people in the middle, until the door catches up with them again and slows down.  Although it's easy to stay 30cm away from a door that is moving away from you, it is remarkably difficult to do the same with a door that is creeping up behind, especially if there are people in front of you.

Meanwhile, since it's a busy time, queues are forming outside of the door, with encouragement to the occupants from people who are keen to get on with their shopping.

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Snake on the woodpile

They like the warmth under the tarpaulin.

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