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Headlight repair

It became clear fairly quickly that the existing headlight fitting was not usable. It had to be in "just the right place" in order to make a working contact, and I fear that if I used the headlights for any length of time, the arcing that caused the problem before would just repeat.

Looking at the little widget, it didn't seem feasible to attempt to scrape down to a good contact. The corrosion was inside the furled over parts of the socket, so putting anything in there would likely make the connection even looser, exacerbating the problem.

So I cut off the old plug. It had to be replaced.

Attaching the new socket
Attaching the new socket.

Once the wires had been put in place, time to put the heat-shrink cover in place and shrink it down. The way I did this wasn't a lighter or hairdryer, but a new toy I just bought from Lidl. Medium slow speed and 280°C and the plastic started to shrink.
I actually think it might have needed more heat (the gizmo can go up to something like 600°C), but I didn't want to damage anything. So I just did it slowly and carefully.

Shrinking the plastic covering
Shrinking the plastic covering.

There is a shrink sleeve over each wire, and an outer sleeve to hold all three wires in place. For extra security, I have wrapped some electrical tape over the ground wire sleeve, so minor damage shouldn't result in a case where the supply and ground contact each other (as that would be A Bad Thing).
I also wrapped electrical tape around each end of the outer sleeve to try to keep it cleaner inside.

Of course, I tested repeatedly. The last thing I'd need is to do something stupid like wire the lamps up back to front!

Test, test, and test again.
Test, test, and test again.

In an H4 headlight, the dipped beam is the one with the little metal reflector around it. This means the light goes up. Since the light bounces off the reflector around the bulb, it is aimed forward and downwards (with a slight sweep up on the pavement side to aid in seeing cyclists and pedastrians), so it won't dazzle oncoming motorists (unless you have Xenon or LED bulbs, but that's a different issue). Main beam brings in the filament that doesn't have a reflector, so the light goes in all directions. Because it's set a little further back, the light from that filament is aimed more directly forwards.
There's a lot more to it than that (Google "headlight beam pattern" if you're interested), but that's the basics.

Here's the socket in place.

The new socket in place.
The new socket in place.

Yup, that's right by the wheel. When it rains, the thing will get drenched and have all sorts of crap flung into it (mud, cow poop, salt... whatever is on the road when it's wet). That's probably a good chunk of the problem right there. It's a bit of a crappy design.

But, for my headlight, it ought to turn on now when I want it to turn on, so mission accomplished.



Driving home, a bloke on a bike of some sort pulling wheelies in the road.

Wheelies in the road.
Wheelies in the road.

This didn't annoy me that much. Yes, it was stupid and dangerous, but compared to some of the things I've seen being done by proper adult drivers, this is a bit "meh". If he wipes out, he may cause damage to other vehicles, but he's most likely to end up hurting himself.

No, what annoyed me was his mate...

Recording it for TikTok.
Recording it for TikTok.

Bloody Gen Z TikTok bullshit. You know, I wish I had a lot more muscle on me. I'd crank the handbrake, get out, yank the phone out of his hands, growl like Geralt of Rivia, and hand the phone back the right way up. I mean, do you think he hangs his big widescreen television on the wall in portrait?

I see YouTube Shorts is also promoting this stupid 9:16 aspect ratio, and my Mi 10T phone seems to be confused as to what way up it's supposed to be used. The camera app gives me the options 1:1, 3:4, 9:16, and Full. Thankfully it works correctly if you record in landscape.

But, still, whoever thought recording anything other than skyscrapers, giraffes, and llamas in portrait mode... Die! Die! Diediediediediediediediediediediediedie!


Time is broken

So British people tend to use a 12 hour clock. 3am is not a time to be awake unless it's the way home from a pub crawl, and 3pm is not a time to be asleep unless it's a quick nap for those lucky enough to be able to do such a thing.

But did you ever stop to think what those letters actually mean? It can be deduced from basic experience that it's the half of the day before noon, and the half after noon.
This is correct. "AM" is "Ante Meridiem" which is Latin for "before midday". Likewise, "PM" is "Post Meridiem" which means "after midday".

And this is where things get weird. 9am is the time office workers tend to begin their day, and maybe when schools start lessons. 9am is three hours before noon, but it literally translates to "nine before midday".

Then we get the noon/midnight madness. When does it switch? 12pm is noon, 12am is midnight (so goes from PM back to AM). 12 is followed by the expected number of minutes until we reach 12:59, at which point we roll over to 1.
Yeah, it's about as nonsensical as the American date format.

Europeans have it better. Their day starts at zero and ends at 23:59. There's none of this AM/PM nonsense (in fact, "am" in French can be an abbreviation for "après-midi"!).

My mind still works to the 12 hour clock. Luckily my cow-orkers have become used to me saying "j'aller en pause autour de deux heures quinze" rather than "j'aller en pause autour de quatorze heures et quart".



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Anon, 3rd March 2023, 11:38
At one of the consumer electronics shows a bit back, Samsung demonstrated a screen with a motorised mount which would rotate 90 degrees to allow you to watch TikTok videos etc on it. It was called "The Sero". Stupid idea with an even more stupid name. 
Guess what? I was walking through a well-known department store the other day (starts with 'J' and ends with 'ohn Lewis') - and Samsung are actually manufacturing this thing. 
That means that somewhere, there is an imbecile with more money than sense who is actually prepared to pay for such a product. 
Me? If I was going to spend that much on a telly I'd be looking a bit further along, at the 77" OLED screens. Currently available from LG, Sony, Panasonic and Philips - although they all use an OLED panel made by LG. Philips has the Ambilight system, which is what would make me lean towards it. (Google this stuff if you haven't heard of it.) 
Finally my brain works on a 24-hour clock. It irritates me that the clock on my microwave oven (Panasonic) will only show 12-hour, the previous one (LG) could switch between 12 and 24-hour. The built-in oven (Hotpoint) is 24-hour.
Zerosquare, 4th March 2023, 16:29
Rick > While official time is 24-hour in France, we also use a 12-hour time system informally. So you can tell someone "trois heures du matin" for 3 AM, and "trois heures de l'après-midi" for 3 PM, or just "trois heures" if AM/PM is clear from context. 
Also, quarters are used with 12-hour time, not usually with 24-hour time. So it's either "deux heures et quart" ou "quatorze heures quinze". "Quatorze heures et quart", while being perfectly understandable, sounds weird to French ears. No, I don't know why. 
Anon > Screens that can be rotated 90° long predate the Samsung gizmo (on YouTube, LGR demonstrated a model made in 1991). And they actually have useful uses besides watching TikTok videos: they're good for reading/writing portrait-mode documents, editing code, and playing some video games like vertically-scrolling shooters.
Rick, 4th March 2023, 19:13
Thanks for the clarification about time in France. 
I suspect my cow-orker might be trolling me. 
After all, she talks about washing the *green* flexipans when they're obviously *blue*. She's not colourblind, she points to green and blue things to make her point, but when I hold the thing up to the things, it's much closer to blue. 
But she still calls them green... 
J.G.Harston, 4th March 2023, 22:41
I'm with you on the phones, plus further - I want to grab them out of their hand and stick the ****y thing on their ****y ear. IT'S A ****G PHONE NOT A ****G SPIT TRAY!"!!!
VinceH, 12th March 2023, 23:19
The guy recording must surely suffer from VVS. Here's a public information film about this debilitating affliction: 
I think a relative of the character that appears at 1:10 in that may have been a previous resident of my flat - as the photo of my front door in this tweet suggests: 

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