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What now?!

Driving home this evening, my speedometer started to bounce around like a windscreen wiper, before finally settling on somewhere between zero and maybe five(ish). When I'm doing fifty.

Looking online, it appears that problems with the cable are not unknown, and if you remember, the speedometer wasn't working during the test drive, so it is possible the guy just bodged something together to get it working again.
I will ask the mechanic to take a look on Tuesday while messing with everything else. Until then, my phone can use GPS to act as a speedometer. Then it'll only be the kilometre count to worry about, and that depends upon how long it'll take to get it fixed. If it's done on Tuesday, no big (to work and back twice then into little town, maybe 60km?).

Unfortunately, I'm not a lucky person. I kind of expect him to say "cable is fine, it's the gearbox that is broken" (that's where the cable connects). So, fingers crossed it's a simple thing or that I win a few grand on the lottery tomorrow...


Sadness personified

This is in the supermarket. Hundreds upon hundreds of Lindt bunnies. Waiting to be purchased and given to happy children, only this year it's all gone to hell and nobody is feeling like celebrating.
People are now walking around the supermarket wearing face masks and rubber gloves. I understand why, and the exponential rise in infections is going to scare anybody with a functioning brain. It's just really weird. Like I've accidentally ended up as a bit part in some sort of horror movie. If so, all I ask is that I'm not (in)famous for wetting myself and nothing else - go look up the IMDb profile of Anne Sellors.


April Fool?

I was thinking of one, though not sure quite how to top the last one. Then I decided that there was no point, as this year it is us (humanity) that is the joke. A plaything of a celestial Eldritch Abomination that feels like decimating (word used correctly!) humanity because...because...well, who are we to try to understand the thought processes of such beings? We would surely go mad from the revelation, and there lies the basic premise of most of the works of Lovecraft.


I don't always have bad luck...

Turning the place upside down yesterday to look for something, I found this.

Mom made no mention of it, nor used it. Was it supposed to be a birthday present or something? It's a little more sophisticated than mine (it can fry and bake (up to 160°C)).
Kind of awesome how mom is still looking after me, even from beyond the grave. If only she was good with mechanical things... ☺



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John, 2nd April 2020, 21:24
There's nothing to say! Enjoy!
Jeff Doggett, 2nd April 2020, 22:06
Many (many) years ago I had a Ford Escort where the speedo was intermittent then finally stopped reading altogther. Sadly the problem *was* in the gearbox. A little plastic gear wheel which cost around 80p. Trouble was, it was pretty much the first component to be placed into the box when built. You've guessed it - total gearbox removal, strip down and rebuild. Cost about £300, and that would've been in the 1980's.
Jeff Doggett, 2nd April 2020, 22:25
Just checked my diary, was 1990. Sadly I don't seem to have written down the amount. I'm now thinking that it was probably more like £180.
David Pilling, 3rd April 2020, 15:27
UK they have started to remove restrictions on quantity buying. Easter chocolate has no limit. Guess this is because they have too much. Lindt bunnies have always had a resemblance to Lindt reindeer. It has commonly been said that the eggcess Easter chocolate is recycled. 
It is surprisingly worrisome to drive without a functioning speedometer. Proves you're driving properly if you think that. Although the mad people like to video their speedometers as proof. 
If that is a rice cooker there's some interesting Physics involved. 
Rick, 3rd April 2020, 19:55
The way things are going, they might end up offloading the chocolate as "buy one get a dozen free". I mean, given that Frenchies actually rioted over a Nutella promotion (leading to new legislation limiting special offers!), I think the world has truly gone to hell when the French don't want excessive amounts of chocolate. 
Driving without a speedometer wasn't that big a deal whenever in a car that maxes out at 50kph. Apart from the two 30 zones, I can floor it and still not break any speed limits. For the 30 zones, it's a combination of "visual refresh rate" (how fast things are moving) and the noise the car is making. 
As of today, I use a GPS app on my phone, to discover that when my speedometer said 30, it was probably closer to 24. No wonder people got a bit antsy. ;-) 
The app agrees with a speed meter outside town. 
Oh, a plane has just flown over. British Airways A320 from Barcelona to Heathrow. I'm guessing a holiday repatriation flight? 
The rice maker - interesting physics how? The lid closes down to make a sealed unit (tiny vent in the top, it's not a pressure cooker!) with heat from the bottom. There's a temperature sensor down there, that's normal, but what makes the great difference to the "boiling bowl" type of rice cooker is that there's a sensor at the top as well, so it can intelligently throttle back if it starts to boil up. 
Give it a range of possible cooking temperatures, and you have the makings of a reasonably versatile appliance. 
Mine isn't capable of 160°C so can't do the oven/frying modes that this new model can, however they all feature things like "soup" (don't boil it to death), "porridge" (careful, it's probably milk), "jam", "yogurt" (low heating) etc etc. 
Heck, my bread maker (the one with the wonky drive belts) claims to make jam with gentle heating and timed stirring. I don't ever plan to try, mind you, as I can imagine that it would be hell to clean up. Speaking of which, the new machine has a simple recipe for honey flapjacks. Yup, mix up the stuff, push it into the cooking bowl and flatten it out, then run it on bake mode for a while. Sounds delicious and easy. What they neglect to mention is what the bowl looks like afterwards. There's only so much magic non-stick coverings can achieve! 
Wow. Long reply. Probably should have been a blog article! 😉
Rick, 3rd April 2020, 20:04
Jeff - I think I'll try to save as much as I can and work in the principle that I will probably need to find a new car "soon" (very vague definition of soon). Obviously I'll keep Felicity for as long as possible (to try to save more to get a better quality car the next time), but that mostly depends upon how The End Of The World plays out and how long the current lasts. My ideal would be to put aside around 5K (should get a car from around 2010ish for that?). Yes, they're amazingly expensive. :-/ 
As mentioned above, I'm currently using a GPS app for the speed. I've ordered a new cable (a tenner), it is expected to arrive tomorrow (yay TNT!). If that doesn't fix it, well I guess I'll just keep using the app (and calculate my distances so I know when the next service will be). 
Not going to pay several hundred for a gearbox strip! 
[knowing the guy that sold the car, he probably fixed whatever was wrong in the first place with a blob of superglue, so we probably ought to be amazed that it managed three thousand before packing it in]
Rob, 4th April 2020, 01:08
Fingers crossed that the car is just a simple fix.. I'm actually startled at how far you drive to work..  
Shops round here still seem to be full of easter stuff as well. Sainsburys have just reduced the larger branded eggs from £6 to £3.75 and I still didn't see a single one in a trolley, nor many holes on the shelves. As you say, nobody is really feeling like it this year.
David Pilling, 4th April 2020, 16:49
Rice maker Physics: 
I don't want to lumber everyone with watching 11 minutes of You Tube. As I recall it is the Curie effect, magnets losing magnetism when they reach a certain temperature. 
Jam making would also be interesting, temp should get to 100C at which point the water boils off and when the water is gone the temperature goes up more. 
I feel this is a bit like the rice maker. I'll try to post a summary later. 
"how the end of the world plays out" 8-) The big picture is not good enough, we want fine detail, send for Mr. Loophole. 
David Pilling, 5th April 2020, 03:55
Rice cooker, temp goes up to 100C and stops there whilst there is water - if the temp goes above 100C then the machine knows all the water is gone - some of them have a magnetic device based on Curie effect which spots this situation. 

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