Archive for June, 2010

The World's Best Hot Chocolate

[singlepic id=237 w=320 h=240 float=right]Tonight I had the World’s best cup of hot chocolate! The explanation is going to seem a little strange but stay with me here. Nowadays I barely get to touch anything technical, so when something breaks around the house I’m almost singing for joy. Lately I’ve saved our Dyson from a violent death when I replaced the ‘lifetime’ filters which had become permanently blocked. Then it was time to solder up a new Sub C NiCd pack for the Dustbuster.

Most recently, I’ve been having an argument with an almost new microwave (read ‘just out of warranty’) that developed a penchant for consuming high voltage fuses (at about $10 ea). I was a little silly and assumed the magnetron was to blame so waited ’till a bargain popped up on eBay. New magnetron and new $10 fuse fitted and time for a test run. HUMMMMMMMMM – POP. Bugger this is getting expensive.

So time for more homework and I found this site which is a wealth of information for appliance repairs. Be sure to read the disclaimer though, there’s a capacitor in there that can kill you even when unplugged from the mains. After checking the cap’ was properly discharged I set about molesting everything with my multimeter. Aaargh, the diode had gone open circuit in both directions. Back to google and then eBay we go.

A parcel was waiting for me today with a new diode and (another) new fuse. 10 min work and it was all back together. This time a gentle hummmmmm and my sample water was getting hot. Success!

So dear reader, that’s why a cup of hot full cream milk in my trusty BP thermo mug with a few spoons of fancy pants chocolate makes the best hot chocolate in the world. And nobody’s going to tell me otherwise 😉

Don’t suppose anyone wants an as new, slightly used LG Magnetron?

Windrush 14

[singlepic id=234 w=320 h=240 float=left]I had the best time on Saturday morning when Dad and I finally sailed our new(?) catamaran. There’s no room for the cat at our house so Mum & Dad have kindly agreed to keep it at their place. I arrived at their’s bright and early to load up, followed by a great omelette (thanks Mum) before Dad and I set off for the river. I chose to try Perth Water for her maiden voyage since we’d sailed the hire cats there before and it was fairly familiar.

I should have taken the Kestrel with me, but a mix of the BOM site and experience says that we had between 5 and 10 knots wind, gusting to 15 or so. Direction was between E and ENE. Temp was a toasty 18 degrees C.

After some noob mistakes rigging, we set sail. Yeehah it floats and it sails 🙂 The water was a little chilly but that didn’t matter. Not to me anyway since Dad was handling the jib and protecting me from the spray! Initially we had some problems maintaining headway when going about but got the sequence right after a few tries. It didn’t help that we seemed to be getting a wind shadow off Heirisson Island. By the end we were really grooving along. On the second last tack we were getting close to the island where the wind shadow was worse. So we chose to jibe instead. Rather nervously we pulled the sheets in, pulled the tiller and called ‘Jibe Ho’. Thank goodness it was a non event; we didn’t capsize, none of us got hit in the head by the boom and the sail didn’t even go bang. Perhaps in that wind we should have been jibing the whole time?

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