Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rift in the space-time continuum's spin cycle

The washer is fixed. It's alive. Alive! Mwahahaha!

Except for one small problem.

A basement that's now running on Samoa time (GMT-11h) rather than Central time (GMT-6h).

Or so it appears, anyway. When the little silkscreened arrow on the washer's timer knob is pointing to 5:00, the washer itself is performing the function at the 12:00 position. Other than that, the new timer went in just fine. So, until such time as I decide to open up the console to fix this (possibly as soon as tomorrow, because things like this bug me), I drew a bright red line at 12:00.

I also managed to bolt down the top with a fresh set of self-tapping metal screws, with several thick nylon washers as spacers, and a few dollops of Automotive Goop (originally purchased to stick rubber lizards on the wall of my study, but next time I'm using five minute epoxy because only two lizards are still up there.)

And I levelled that sucker too, using my 4' spirit level (the magnetic one that lives on the side of the fridge). Smooth like butter.

Darn, now I'm getting hungry. Tea time!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"It's dead, Jim."

My washing machine timer, that is.

Tonight, after I finished teaching and Red and I returned from our Thursday night Tim Horton's outing, I decided to tackle the Machine that Refuses to Spin 66.666... percent of the time.

First problem, opening up the machine. Not so bad as all that. It helps that I remembered some of what transpired when I replaced the water intake valve last year. Actually managed to get the console open without dismantling anything completely unnecessary.

As Qat and the other felidae observed (sometimes from on top of the machine), I extracted the timer using a very nice socket screwdriver from the set my dad gave us last weekend. Nice hand tools are a joy to work with, and these are very nice indeed. Professional quality stuff.

We also took off one of the two remaining lid-closing screws. (I lost the front two the last time I worked on the machine, not realizing the #$%!! lid was screwed down from underneath. Let's just say I used excessive force, and leave it at that.)

And then upstairs we came to do troubleshooting on the timer. A quick Internet search didn't turn up anything obvious on the outside, so I snapped the case open.

Whereupon we both saw the piece of plastic that had broken off the cycle-selecting knob. The piece that pushes contacts up and down to engage or disengage various things like the water intake, drain pump, agitator, spin. Picture a player piano or one of those bumps-and-levers music box thingies, and it'll give you a good idea of how washing machine timers work.

Bottom line is that I need a new timer. While I'm at it, might as well pick up a new set of lid screws and washers. The deceased unit is in a plastic bag, tied to the strap of my purse, to remind me to swing by an appliance parts store tomorrow after work.

I'm just hoping that my cat Walter (who loves chewing on plastic bags) will take the night off...

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Green Chartreuse Oracle is in

(sips liqueur) I predict that Something is going to happen Somewhere tonight. There. I've said it, and I'm glad.

Prognostication is an ugly sport. I've read enough Nostradamus to know that prophesy is in the eye of the beholder.

Unless one starts naming names, that is. Early in 2006 on IIDB I predicted the death of Slobodian Milosevic, and I was right. I also made some other, more vague predictions and scored about 67% overall.

Which brings me to... Confirmation bias.

We tend to remember the hits and overlook the misses, unless someone is keeping an honest and objective count. Most of My hits are items that I can see impartially. Most of the misses are things where I got my hands dirty. You see, if I *want* something to happen, it turns into a kind of full-contact Jeopardy as I word My desire in the form of a prediction.

It doesn't work. For one thing, it's conflict-of-interest. For another thing, it tips My hand.

So don't expect me to tell you what I'm really up to.

Other than finishing this glass of Chartreuse, that is.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pull rope, blog sputters to life


It's a Saturday night, uh, Sunday morning in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Freyja, one of my eight cats, is curled up on my desk.

As usual, said desk is a mess. In addition to this lovely tabby Siamese lady (and mother of five), I also see three tech manuals for recording equipment and software; a CD by Antony and the Johnsons; about two dozen shards of used paper; two MIDI cables and a couple of audio cables; a jar full of pens; and a rubber lizard.

Then you dig deeper and find the envelope with the pay stub; the Schaum's Physics book; the leatherbound copy of Friðþjófssaga.

The rest of my office is even scarier: Drumsticks, a bass amp that needs fixing, an ankle weight, and half a dozen boxes of books.

And the other side of the archway is worse still -- I'm currently making ready to tear up the old fir floor in the study so that it can be levelled. Then I can install proper bookshelves and unbox literally hundreds of books. Then I'll finally be able to set up that tank of goldfish, that cat-proof winter garden, the coffee machine, the stereo.

And, Xaos willing, find that soldering iron that I need to fix the bass amp.

Welcome to My world.

Now put down the chocolate, and back away slowly...