Unban Myths and Change of Tack

In various places I have heard that leaving mobile phone chargers plugged in and devices in standby wastes a lot of electricity. It is a kind of urban myth. The fridge has been a little flaky. So, I bought a plug in power use monitor for 20 euros. When you first plug in your devices on standby, it draws current as it sets itself up. If you wait a couple of minutes the current reading drops below one milliamp, unmeasurable with this device. The hasty might imagine that there is significant power wastage. When you turn the TV and satellite box off, they still draw current for a few minutes. A cooling fan perhaps?

Less than one milliamp at mains voltage is not going to cause significant global warming, nor break the bank. Perhaps it was the older generation of devices that used a lot in standby?

Today I started looking up the French words in my book using a French dictionary as opposed to a French to English one. I am getting a pretty good intuitive understanding of what is going on even though there are many words I do not know. It seems that using a French dictionary will actually aid my assimilation of the language quicker than translation. I only had to translate one word.

We are waiting now for the dude to come and pick up the two oxygen concentrators, puffing billy and little puffing billy.  We had to get a written prescription for this to happen!!

Does Trip Hazard Have a Microchip?

This morning I very nearly stood on Trip Hazard as I was getting him breakfast. He probably does not understand that 95kg of human could cause a partial and irreversible 3d to 2d phase transition. He would get squashed and I would fall.

I checked online and apparently it is not completely unusual for cats to go “walkies”. Sometimes this is due to separation anxiety, other times dominance or simple curiosity.

For a stray cat he is pretty friendly and keeps trying to get in the house.

He has not got an ear tattoo. But he might have a chip.

In France the wiring, certainly in the past, can go diagonal across walls, so a while back I bought this detector for studs, metal and current. Better to check…

I started thinking laterally.

A cat microchip must have some form of radio frequency coil in copper, probably.

So, I have just run this detector over Trip Hazard’s back. It showed a positive signal. But I need to get him onto the lawn to rule out any false positives.

If it is the case, we can get the chip read at the local vets.

What is Wrong With This Picture?

Take a close look and see if you can spot anything wrong in this picture…

Elf and Safety can be a bit haphazard…here.

The previous owner ran a 230V 16A supply cable along inside a hedge which needs to be trimmed several time a year.

It is one of a number of “anomalies” that could prove, exciting.

As a consequence I have invested in some gadgets to find cables etc….

you never know what might be lurking….

Managed to Bust and Fix the Sit-on Mower!

One of the other good things about France is that they tend to provide engineering level maintenance manuals for many of the gadgets. Over the years I have had my hands in some laser power supplies and assorted vacuum kit, so I am happy to have a go. I know when I am beat though.

No sooner had I started to mow this afternoon than I got too close to a flower bed stone border. A God-awful sound resulted, and I switched the mower off as fast as I could. I got off and inspected. I pushed the mower a few metres. Got back on started to try to cut. Same God-awful sound. So, I lifted the cut blades up and drove down to my workshop / shed.

I got out my inspection ramps and drove the sit-on up. {These ramps have already been paid for in terms of cash saved}. I placed some safety bricks and had a look. The left and right blades were clashing. I seem to remember that they have to be 90 degrees out of phase. They weren’t. The collision with the rock must have altered the phase. They were nearly in phase, hence the clash.

So, I came in here to my desk and loaded up the manual on this. Yes, my memory was right. After a bit of WD40 and a torque wrench, I managed to correct the phase. And Bingo, the blades turned without clashing.

I have just saved us ~€200 and a lot of hassle.

It is probably time to change the blades. I am now 100% confident I can do this so that will save ~€100 labour.

Weird old day…

Finishing Touches – DIY

Before Christmas we had to rearrange our cwtch to accomodate the hospital bed. When the rented bed was returned we had a chance to finish off decorating the big room downstairs.

Need to get the feeds in from the French and British satellite dishes..

These need to be cut to length and cable dressed.

Need some current for the electronics…

Coaxial cable cut to length and UK plug boards on the wall.

{Richard, a leopard can sometimes change his spots ;-)}

Dressing the coaxial cable…

Tadaah …. C’est fini!