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Old Oct 27 2020, 08:09 AM   #5561
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Default Re: What is happening

Mom is still breathing, but what made her the person she is, is gone. As far as I'm concerned she's already gone.
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Old Oct 27 2020, 09:51 AM   #5562
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Not really been much going on here to be honest. The weather's got to that typical English not-quite-winter grey, never ending drizzle phase in the last week or so which removes any wish to be outside.

My main ongoing project at the moment is a wholesale rearrangement of my bedroom/office. This is tricky as it's so packed full of things that it's sort of like one of those slide puzzles where you move the tiles around to make a picture...but without having the empty space to start with!

Not much been going on in the garage, though a little package of things arrived for the Xantia yesterday morning.



As far as I can see these appear to be correct, fingers crossed they are!





Slightly alarmed by how skinny the belt is...but I guess it is only an SOHC engine. Have to confess to knowing little about belt driven engines as the vast, vast majority of my cars have had chains. A little disappointed to get a water pump with a plastic impeller in a Gates kit, but I guess that's just the way it is on more modern cars like this isn't it. It only has to last until the next belt change anyway.

Only part I'm still waiting on before we get this fitted is a crankshaft oil seal. I want to have this in stock so if there's even the slightest sign of leakage we can swap it while we have things apart rather than stalling the work while we wait for it or having to take everything to bits twice.
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Old Oct 27 2020, 08:33 PM   #5563
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Mom's been talking to the angels 0, 6-1 & God. She said there was no Hope, but then she found her. Hope is beautiful. She has also been talking to her mother. She can't find my Dad.
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Old Oct 30 2020, 05:21 PM   #5564
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Mawra, my thoughts are with you.
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Old Oct 31 2020, 01:52 AM   #5565
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We've taken a brief interlude in the automotive department over the last few days as I suffered a critical loss of patience with the state my bedroom/office was in and decided that enough was enough and I needed to do something about it. As anyone who knows me will confirm...once I've decided I'm getting a specific task accomplished I can be something of a force to be reckoned with. I definitely got the bloody mindedness of being an Aries!

My room is a bit of an odd layout.

It's actually two rooms joined together. One smallish bedroom, then off to one side one very narrow room that's more like a large walk in wardrobe than a room. It's about eight feet long, but only about four wide - you can comfortably reach both sides standing in the middle. The main room is eight feet plus a couple of inches square...so it's a smallish room but not tiny. It is however square. You know what I've come to realise over the last couple of years? A square is a *really* awkward shape for a room! Have a look around your bedroom...What's the prevailing shape of your furniture? Rectangular isn't it...So you tend to arrange things in one main axes to make best use of the space. Things are made worse by the fact that the door is smack in the middle of one wall and the window is smack in the middle of another - so that's basically two sides of the room that are 70% spoken for before you've even moved any furniture in. The smaller room to the side was never really originally intended to be a room - it's where the monitoring systems for the various heating and energy harvesting systems that were tested out here by the BBC in the first couple of years of the life of this place (including a combined heat & power system based around a Fiat 126 engine) were housed. Sadly aside from the end of a stinking great three phase power cable in one corner of the garage all evidence of that is long gone.

Originally when we moved in I set up the main room as the bedroom, with the Annexe as we tend to call it set up to be my office.

Bedroom looked roughly like this.



The Annexe after quite a lot of effort and experimentation looked like this.



Which *looked* the part as a nice little tech cave...especially after dark...

(This is an older photo but you get the idea)



Sadly while it looked the part it really didn't work well at all...both rooms are really heavily compromising on several key points.

I think the main reason that I originally put the bed where I did is that my room at least in the early days of us moving in here was the default guest room - and that bed can fold out into a double. However it doesn't work...as once the bed is deployed then you literally can't open the door to the room.

The office really doesn't work well either, for all it looks like it's making good use of an otherwise very strangely proportioned and not particularly useful space.

Firstly, it just always feels cramped. Secondly there are no windows in there, and no matter how much light you throw at it it just always feels dingy. There are something like 300W of LEDs and 150W of metal halide lighting going on in that picture, and it still felt dimmer in person than it looks. Turns out that having no windows is another issue, in that once you've got the computer doing anything vaguely strenuous, it gets real warm in there real fast. Generally it was just an unpleasant place to be.

As neither room really worked particularly well, I just tended not to spend much time in there - which is partly why it became something of a dumping grounds for otherwise homeless items in the house. I was used to generally having free reign of the house while everyone was at work, so didn't really highly prioritise work on better sorting out my space. Right up until Lockdown happened anyway! Suddenly with everyone on seemingly endless teleconferences I have ended up hiding in here a good deal more.

So it was time to have a proper think about things and to see if I could improve on matters. Knowing that the bed doesn't work with both sections set up next to each other eliminated one of the original major constraints...so I decided to flip the main purpose of the two rooms. The Annexe being a somewhat cramped, dark, dingy sensory deprivation chamber really isn't an issue if all you want to do in there is sleep I reckon. With the bed out the way that then frees up a huge chunk of floor and wall space for a decent sized workstation.

Now actually rearranging things was quite a task in its own right simply because A: Both rooms are pretty small and B: I have FAR too much stuff. I describe the process as being somewhat like trying to complete one of those slide puzzles that were popular when I was a kid, where you've got tiles that you can move around to make up a picture...but where you have to repeatedly dig out enough space to make the hole to allow you to move the tiles around. Leading to scenes like this while I was dismantling the bed so I could move it.



This was what happened when I dragged (nearly) all the older computers in the room into one spot!



That's not nearly all of them I own either, that's just those which were in this room to start with! We're not even going into radios, Hi-Fi or televisions...

After the best part of a week, an unfeasible amount of swearing and a very sore back, we've ended up with this.





Peeking through the doorway into the Annexe where there used to be an extremely claustrophobic workstation we now see this.



There's still a shedload to be done obviously! The desktop is temporary, I'll be replacing it with something without a huge step in the middle in due course, and all the stuff on the shelves has basically just been randomly shoved there to get it out of the way while I've been working. A lot of the lights will come off the wall too - I just got utterly fed up of moving a lot of the bulkhead fixtures around in circles that I just stuck them on the wall as it was out the way to be honest. The one to the left of the door at least is actually a functional emergency light though.

There will be a full length bookcase going in to the left of the door (in the image where you're facing the window) which should hopefully allow me to properly find homes for a lot of the things in the "Pile o' Junk" (TM) in the corner so I can finally get rid of that. Something like a set of IKEA Kallax shelving will probably then go in on the other side of the door - The desk will then be extended right up to where it would meet that shelving. A decent sized chest of drawers will then be added at the foot of the bed (replacing the ancient Argos £12 bookshelf there that's been missing a shelf since 2008) so I can finally store clothing without having to cram it down to subatomic sizes to get it into the current drawers. In the bedroom I'll also be adding probably two shelves running the full length of the room above the bed for storage of things that I use less regularly but would rather not shove totally out of reach in the loft.

The radiator is buried under the desk (it's directly under the window), but honestly I'm not bothered. We've been in here since 2014 and I have not once switched it on because of how well insulated this place is, so I really don't see that as an issue. Getting heat OUT of this house is always far, far more of a challenge than getting it in. Air conditioning is definitely going to be happening in the next couple of years.

I don't think I've ever actually had what I'd describe as a "roomy" workstation before...I think I could get used to this!



I can even actually get at the big scanner that a friend loaned to me forever ago to scan my negatives and slides now without needing to balance it precariously on top of anything any more...which is why I think about five frames have been scanned so far!



I've very deliberately kept that corner seemingly excessively deep (not *just* because of the huge scanner) as I want to be able to set up a CRT in that corner when working on old computers where that's needed without having to dismantle half the room. In this case I just scoot the printer over to the left and stow the scanner under the desk and I've got a nice deep corner to accommodate a monitor as needed.

Speaking of monitors, I want those off my desk. I really want to get them mounted on wall arms as that would then completely clear the desk in front of me. Unfortunately that involves me having to buy £80 worth of adaptor plates as I totally failed to clock when I bought the right two monitors (which was based on the image performance alone) that HP were utter idiots and didn't include any direct provision for attaching to a VESA mount. You need to buy a special adaptor from them at £40 a shot. If I'd known that I may well have gone for something else...which is a shame as they perform really well.

I'm also really pleased to finally have somewhere to actually use that old Dazor fluorescent desk light - I dragged that thing all the way back from the US back in 2014 I think it was, but have never managed to find anywhere for it that wasn't hugely in the way...until now. It now lives on and usefully lights the drawing/crafting/electronic repair area.

While most of the heavy lifting was done yesterday, today has mostly been sorting this.



Then starting to sort out some of the other related things that were displaced by my original workstation being removed - the network switch and our main wireless access point to name two things were left dangling by their Ethernet cables for most of the week. Only got the first few things hooked up yet but we're getting there.



Speaking of things that I hope Future Me thanks me for one day...Yes I'm being OCD and labelling everything. I have learned enough times now that this can save so many headaches down the road it's hard to believe.

Likewise the other end of those cables are labelled to tell me which port on the switch they're hooked to. Likewise wherever they surface elsewhere in the house.



Yes I did just manage to pull that network socket out of the ceiling... I'll sort it tomorrow.

Praying I'll get the cable routing finished tomorrow as it gets boring real quick! Especially as making Ethernet cables doesn't get any less fiddly no matter how many thousand times you've done it I find! I'm trying to keep things tidy here so am mostly making up new cables so they're actually the correct lengths.

I'm absolutely knackered, but it does feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.

I've got so many stalled art, craft and electronic projects that have been waiting for some attention that I've just not had the will to touch for *years* simply because I've had no decent space to work on them...I'm hoping that once I've got things finished here that might change a bit

Once I've more or less decided where everything is going to live I'll be getting a little more decorating done. I've always planned to use a deep red to pick out details in the room. The actual colour I'm using is from one of the most obvious things you notice when walking into the room; a lovely (to my eye) bit of late 60s lighting design, the Mazda Netaline.



Back when fluorescent lighting was still seen as new and exciting and designers were still allowed a bit of flair. I'm a bit of a sucker for that sort of retro futuristic design. Especially if you start throwing chrome detailing into the mix too. The arm it suspends from on mine could really do with a polish I can see now I'm looking at the photo.

I'd really like to get both parts carpeted as well as I'm not a fan of hard floors, especially in bedrooms. If I could get a close colour match to the aforementioned red that would be really good in my view. The Annexe is already carpeted...but in a dirty brownish grey and it's utterly worn out in several areas so needs changing anyway. I think if I got the carpet running seamlessly through between the two areas it would help increase the perceived space by removing a visible boundary.

There's too much in the way of muted tones in decoration these days... what's wrong with a bit of colour? I won't be bothering with the carpet until I find a colour I really like. I may end up going for a complimentary colour rather than red if I see something that I think works...but I'd kind of prefer to keep it to the red aside from the neutral white on the walls and ceiling.
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Old Oct 31 2020, 10:51 PM   #5566
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Today mostly consisted of me chasing this stuff around.



Then fitting loads of these.



The sockets in my room needed sorting because I pulled one out of the ceiling yesterday. Needed to add an extra socket anyway as I wanted to bring Chris' network connection through here rather than being hooked straight into the router. Also meant I was able to get rid of the network cable that's been trailing across the hallway upstairs for the last year and a half.

Before:



After:



Once the various loft based cabling was routed (which required nearly two hours of Tetrising stuff in the loft so I could get to the tiny gap you need to feed stuff through to get it from the West to North "wings" of the house) and a couple of lines were added in my room I could then actually tidy up the wiring to the switch. Originally this had just been a haphazard mess which made my teeth itch every time I looked at it.



It really doesn't seem fair that the bundle of grey wires running along the ceiling here represents almost an entire day's work!



Another few cable clips were added since I took that photo to tidy up a couple of bits that were visibly sagging a bit.

In other news relating to my workstation I picked up a nice little upgrade for my PC. I've been keeping my eyes open for a new graphics card as the Radeon HD 5770 in there has been becoming increasingly glitchy of late. Usually manifesting itself by the window compositing system getting stuck in a loop when drawing animations...but only on any two of the displays at a time. The issue also popped up under Windows when doing 3D intensive things like running games, so pretty confident it's an issue with the card rather than a bug in Compiz or Mate.

Not exactly bleeding edge these days, but this should do everything I want it for.



It's a GeForce GTX 1060, so is five years newer than my old card at least

At £65 it seemed worth a punt. Just waiting for a power lead adaptor (this has an 8-pin PCI-E power socket rather than 6) before I fit it. That should be here tomorrow though. Fingers crossed it will give me a bit of a performance boost (and get rid of the random glitching). Not expecting miracles (it's a 2006 machine it's going into, but despite that I know the graphics card was by far the biggest bottleneck), but getting more than 20fps in Minecraft while a video is playing in another window would be nice. Nvidia GPUs are far more widely compatible with the distributed computing work I do generally too so hopefully that will help boost my numbers.

Looks like I've got an extra display output too...that will be welcome as I've always liked the idea of using an additional one to one side just as a system status monitor. I've got a little 14" Iiyama one which could fit nicely next to the clock. After painting though as it's REALLY badly yellowed.
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Old Nov 5 2020, 09:11 AM   #5567
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Mom passed on on the 3rd. I wasn't home yet. Both sisters & a niece were with her.
The last thing she wanted to do was vote. I dropped her vote off weeks ago. Tammy told her that it was voting day & that her vote would count, she smiled. Died about 11 that night.
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Old Nov 5 2020, 10:44 AM   #5568
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So sorry to hear Maw. May she rest in peace.
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Old Nov 5 2020, 03:03 PM   #5569
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Tammy said she was at peace.
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Old Nov 5 2020, 10:50 PM   #5570
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So sorry Maw, but I am glad she was at peace. That is perhaps one of the hardest things an adult child can do in watching a parent slowly die.
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Old Nov 6 2020, 10:22 AM   #5571
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Tammy said she was at peace.
So sorry for your loss Mawra, good to know shecwas at peace.
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Old Nov 6 2020, 10:40 AM   #5572
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Tammy said she was at peace.

I'm glad she was at peace and that she didn't die alone. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old Nov 7 2020, 06:45 AM   #5573
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When Mom was ready
A songbird sang outside her window
Until she remembered wings

- adapted from a poem by Australian Indigenous poet Judith Nangala Crispin
which I read at my sister's funeral in July. She died in April, during lockdown so we had to wait until we could get together to celebrate her life.
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Old Nov 7 2020, 10:28 PM   #5574
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If there had been any chance of her being alone, I never would have left. I knew someone would be with her.
If any one is interested this is her obituary

https://www.robinsonfuneral.com/obit...mdEoxe94oDlvNE
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Old Nov 9 2020, 10:23 AM   #5575
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You and your family have my (and my family's) sympathies, Mawra.

At least the intolerable waiting is over now, there can't be anything worse than knowing someone close to you is suffering and being so powerless. Have been there more times than I care to think about and have always found the time you're stuck just waiting for the inevitable to be by far the worst part.

At least you and the family can start moving forward again now. Really hope everyone is doing as well as can be expected. We're still looking after a close family friend whose other husband passed away a few weeks ago from cancer.

I've held off posting the last couple of episodes of my automotive ramblings as it felt a bit insensitive to drop them in with what had been going on at least until things started settling down. If anyone wants I'll happily drop them in. Basically my continuing to confirm that working on classic Jags is "fun" as we all know.

-- -- --

Think I may just in the last few minutes have found a smoking gun with regards to the slight but annoying damp that seems to be getting into the Xantia (just enough to make the windows instantly steam up whenever it rains).



Will pull and re-seal that tail light and see if that cures it. All of the water off the rear of the roof and tailgate runs over here and there's a seam between two panels under the seal so it's a prime candidate for water ingress even though the actual void into the interior is pretty tiny (just a passthrough for the wiring).
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Old Nov 9 2020, 02:12 PM   #5576
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It gives me something positive to look at.

We're all doing well, considering. Tammy is moving to Mom's room. I get Tammy's room. So I won't freeze in winter of heat stroke in winter. We're try to make the house fit the dynamic.
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Old Nov 10 2020, 01:43 PM   #5577
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2020 is getting worse. My mother in law passed this morning, COPD.
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Old Nov 10 2020, 02:08 PM   #5578
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Your husband has my sincere condolences that is an awful way to die.

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2020 is getting worse. My mother in law passed this morning, COPD.
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Old Nov 10 2020, 05:30 PM   #5579
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2020 is getting worse. My mother in law passed this morning, COPD.
2020 is a year of sorrow alltogether, yesterday my sister was told she has cancer..they don't know yet wich kind, but her liver and one of the kidneys are already affected. She never felt anything until 14 days ago when she had some severe pain and was very sick. Tomorrow will be a day of testing where it all begun and if chemo therapy will be in order.
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Old Nov 11 2020, 08:04 AM   #5580
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Commiserations to all. So far my family has been lucky this year. Three of them have tested positive for covid; my younger bother and his wife, and my older brother's daughter, all three of them teachers. None are seriously ill but just blur.

I apologise for absence for the last week. I've been without internet at home due to a change of provider.
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Old Nov 12 2020, 07:52 PM   #5581
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After not getting up to much lately as I've been busy trying to improve my workstation in the house, back to our regularly scheduled automotive mayhem.

So our starting point today...



With enough of the interior reassembled as to make the car reasonably drivable we went off to collect the tyres. Via an Esso fuel station to sample their Supreme+ super unleaded which I learned in the last week or two is in fact still ethanol free (despite the E5 label on the pump - an E0 label simply doesn't exist according to their website), so I'll be using that for the forseeable future. The very first thing I noticed though was that it actually smells like what I remember fuel smelling like back when I started driving, rather than the more gas-like smell it's taken on since the early 00s.

We go to the nominated fitting garage at the agreed time and they did indeed have my tyres...they absolutely couldn't fit me in to get them fitted today though. I'd had enough by that point though, and given my unease with using a garage I didn't know and not being allowed anywhere near my car while it was being worked on I just said "thanks" and stuffed the tyres in the passenger seat and headed for Formula 1 in Newport Pagnell to get them fitted.

Yep, I was right that my high speed evasive action before I'd been able to deploy cadence braking had resulted in a "slight flat spot" on the ancient, already knackered front tyres.



That's quite plainly why the car wasn't driven again after that incident.

While the wheels were off I took the opportunity to take a look at the brakes...as F1 were absolutely fine with me using the time to look over the bits of the car that I wouldn't normally see without removing stuff.





Pads don't have a huge amount of meat left on them but they're getting swapped out with the warped discs shortly anyway so I'm really not bothered about that. Nice to see the pipes all look in decent order though. Hoses are nice and supple with no perishing apparent.

Doesn't this look better!





As I hadn't reassembled enough of the dash to have refitted the dash lighting rheostat I just headed directly home from the garage as I was critically lacking any dash lighting. However on the couple of miles it's fair to say that it's a huge understatement to call the car transformed. I was somewhat worried about front end alignment issues as the car has always pulled quite strongly to the left, even after I'd had the tracking done. It was about 8 degrees off when I got the car, which was probably why it wandered all over the road and had wrecked the tyres! It now tracks near as makes no odds absolutely perfectly straight. Think it pulls very slightly to the right on braking...but I'll worry about that if it's still an issue after the new discs and pads are in and I've cleaned up the brake pad slides. It's only very slight anyway. The horrendous vibration anywhere north of 50mph has completely gone, though there's still a very slight vibration through the car at exactly an indicated 70...1mph higher or lower and it vanishes. It's not through the steering wheel though so I'm suspecting rear wheel balance, especially as I'm pretty sure that the nearside rear has thrown a weight based on a witness mark on the rim. It's very slight though so not something I'd consider worrying about...being so slight could be almost anything in the driveline that's to blame as well.

The ride is vastly improved as well (unsurprisingly), the front end being nowhere near as crashy as it used to be. Noise levels seem reduced as well, though it's a bit hard to judge that as I've had to keep the windows open due to currently lacking half a ventilation system...and the exhaust isn't exactly quiet.

I need to make a couple of essential journeys tomorrow so if it's dry I'll try to get her out for a proper run to get a better feel for how the car is now behaving. Need to get her booked in for an MOT soonish too...Willing to take the car in now, I couldn't have shown my face in the testing station with those tyres in that shape though! Nor was I willing to drive it in that state - hence the car having been parked up for a while until I decided to go down the cheaper route to tide things over until we're in a better position to pick up the properly specification correct 215/70 R15 W tyres.
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Old Nov 12 2020, 10:07 PM   #5582
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We're having flooding. I wish we could send our rain to California.
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Old Nov 14 2020, 02:32 AM   #5583
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Commiserations to all. So far my family has been lucky this year. Three of them have tested positive for covid; my younger bother and his wife, and my older brother's daughter, all three of them teachers. None are seriously ill but just blur.

Glad to hear it. I feel very fortunate as well, nobody I know personally has even tested positive, let alone had a serious form of the disease.
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Old Nov 14 2020, 02:35 AM   #5584
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2020 is getting worse. My mother in law passed this morning, COPD.

I am so sorry for your second loss in such a short time. How is Kibby dealing with losing both of her grandmothers in such a short time?
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Old Nov 14 2020, 10:44 AM   #5585
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I got 2 the dragon blanket, that I got for upstairs, hanging up in my window. The rest are on my new bed. I'm getting some my dragon stuff set out. Can't do much more in my new room until Tammy finishes getting her stuff moved to Mom's old room
Wich is no Tammy's room.
I am in a room next to a bathroom & has both heating & air conditioning.
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Old Nov 14 2020, 10:56 AM   #5586
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... & has both heating & air conditioning.
That's the single improvement we're looking forward to getting made to this house over the next year or two. It was designed from the outset to be an example in how well houses could be insulated (without becoming an airless, mouldy box like my second flat in Aberdeen) back in 1981. They did a really good job of it! Our heating requirements are near zero, but trying to keep the place *down* to a livable temperature is the biggest challenge! Still have the bedroom window open pretty much every night here even when the temperature is hovering around zero outside. Getting air conditioning installed will really transform the place.

If I close the window and door to my bedroom and just leave my PC running (which is running some medical based distributed computing tasks), the temperature will rise from 18-20C to about 30C within a couple of hours.

There is a radiator buried under the desk on one side of the room...I don't think I've ever actually turned that on since the day we moved in back in 2014!

This is actually probably one of the least well insulated rooms in the house given it's got three exterior walls and is above the garage rather than another room. Thinking about it, it is actually the only one in the whole house with three exterior walls.
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Old Nov 14 2020, 12:07 PM   #5587
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I was in the unfinished attic, no insulation, wall or anything. Kibby managed to use plastic to wall off her area, wich is a smaller area than mine. It has insulation. She put a window unit & space heater. Even when it gets over 100f or below 0f she happy.
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Old Nov 15 2020, 11:22 PM   #5588
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Made it through today. I have headache & I'm hiding from the world the rest of the year, or am forced to people again.
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Old Nov 18 2020, 01:55 AM   #5589
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We're having flooding. I wish we could send our rain to California.
We're actually getting a bit of rain this week, at least in my little corner of California--San Francisco Bay Area.
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Old Nov 18 2020, 08:18 AM   #5590
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That's good news.
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Old Nov 18 2020, 10:15 PM   #5591
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This morning I was expecting a package to arrive. What I wasn't expecting was a PALLET to arrive. It had this cocooned on top of it (we had to de-pallet it as that was too wide to fit through the door).



We only nearly died twice getting it up the stairs, but sensibly decided to hold off fully unwrapping it until it was situated on the desk which is its new home.



We had the scales to hand in the room so weighed it - 47.8Kg. Not as heavy as some of the early LaserJet models, but plenty heavy enough that you don't want to move it often!

The company we'd bought it from (who had also reconditioned it) had helpfully printed out a status page before wrapping it up. Nice touch. It's worth bearing in mind that this model was rated by HP for a duty cycle of up to 85,000 pages per month. Being from 2002 you'd tend to expect this to have pretty well earned its living by this point. Especially being the top end version with the duplexer fitted.



Yes, that does indeed show a total page count of 4830. The term "barely run in" springs to mind. Kind of like finding an XUD Xantia with 30K on the clock.

The supplies were listed as having a minimum of 40% on any of the toners and a nearly new transfer belt and fuser. The consumables printout confirmed this was a bit pessimistic really.



Can't complain at that...and this seemed to be borne out by the status readout when I turned the thing on.



In a domestic setting that should last for ages.

In theory what should have then followed was plugging in a network cable, setting the network configuration to "auto" and calling it good. Of course that's nothing like what happened. Not least because of the fact that our router (seriously...I can't wait until we're rid of it) is beyond awful and the DHCP server will seemingly randomly take exception to certain devices and refuse to allocate them a valid IP address. No huge issue...setting up a handful of addresses manually isn't the end of the world.

Two and three quarter hours of swearing and bashing my head against several walls later I figured something out. You can set IP addresses manually...however the fluffing Sky router won't actually speak to anything that's manually configured above 192.168.0.20. So my having picked ...150 because there was nothing else on the network in that vicinity of course resulted in no network connectivity. Well...that's not actually strictly true. I could *see* the printer on the network, to the extent that my PC would spot it and set it up...but couldn't then establish communication to talk to it or print anything. I must have wasted over an hour chasing my tail here...until trying a low end address...and suddenly when I tried ...17 (I've got other devices on 16 and 18) it "Just Worked."



Finally.

This then allowed me to get into the configuration page and prove that it does indeed have a crazy low page count.



With it now working (and several test prints run through which came out lovely) I was happy enough to scoot it all the way back into its corner and to rebuild stuff around it.



For the £120 I paid for it I'm well pleased. It seems to be barely used, has £150+ worth of transfer belt and fuser in, and is incredibly clean - which given it's kinda prominent on my desk is nice. Tucked away in the corner it doesn't actually take up much bigger a footprint than the Epson it's replaced despite obviously being far greater in actual volume.

Being from 2002, this must have been one of the last of HP's products before things really started to go downhill in the mid 00s. Still can't quite get my head around the concept that this is 18 years old.

Anyone want a 2017 Epson ET4550? Mine is now rather surplus to requirements as it's been rather upstaged.
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Old Nov 18 2020, 10:41 PM   #5592
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You will be quite happy with that machine. The Walmart I work at had a used one installed in our personnel department when it opened in 2006. We finally replaced it in the summer of 2019 simply because it was cheaper than a bunch of replacement parts. I wish you all the best with yours.


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This morning I was expecting a package to arrive. What I wasn't expecting was a PALLET to arrive. It had this cocooned on top of it (we had to de-pallet it as that was too wide to fit through the door).



We only nearly died twice getting it up the stairs, but sensibly decided to hold off fully unwrapping it until it was situated on the desk which is its new home.



We had the scales to hand in the room so weighed it - 47.8Kg. Not as heavy as some of the early LaserJet models, but plenty heavy enough that you don't want to move it often!

The company we'd bought it from (who had also reconditioned it) had helpfully printed out a status page before wrapping it up. Nice touch. It's worth bearing in mind that this model was rated by HP for a duty cycle of up to 85,000 pages per month. Being from 2002 you'd tend to expect this to have pretty well earned its living by this point. Especially being the top end version with the duplexer fitted.



Yes, that does indeed show a total page count of 4830. The term "barely run in" springs to mind. Kind of like finding an XUD Xantia with 30K on the clock.

The supplies were listed as having a minimum of 40% on any of the toners and a nearly new transfer belt and fuser. The consumables printout confirmed this was a bit pessimistic really.



Can't complain at that...and this seemed to be borne out by the status readout when I turned the thing on.



In a domestic setting that should last for ages.

In theory what should have then followed was plugging in a network cable, setting the network configuration to "auto" and calling it good. Of course that's nothing like what happened. Not least because of the fact that our router (seriously...I can't wait until we're rid of it) is beyond awful and the DHCP server will seemingly randomly take exception to certain devices and refuse to allocate them a valid IP address. No huge issue...setting up a handful of addresses manually isn't the end of the world.

Two and three quarter hours of swearing and bashing my head against several walls later I figured something out. You can set IP addresses manually...however the fluffing Sky router won't actually speak to anything that's manually configured above 192.168.0.20. So my having picked ...150 because there was nothing else on the network in that vicinity of course resulted in no network connectivity. Well...that's not actually strictly true. I could *see* the printer on the network, to the extent that my PC would spot it and set it up...but couldn't then establish communication to talk to it or print anything. I must have wasted over an hour chasing my tail here...until trying a low end address...and suddenly when I tried ...17 (I've got other devices on 16 and 18) it "Just Worked."



Finally.

This then allowed me to get into the configuration page and prove that it does indeed have a crazy low page count.



With it now working (and several test prints run through which came out lovely) I was happy enough to scoot it all the way back into its corner and to rebuild stuff around it.



For the £120 I paid for it I'm well pleased. It seems to be barely used, has £150+ worth of transfer belt and fuser in, and is incredibly clean - which given it's kinda prominent on my desk is nice. Tucked away in the corner it doesn't actually take up much bigger a footprint than the Epson it's replaced despite obviously being far greater in actual volume.

Being from 2002, this must have been one of the last of HP's products before things really started to go downhill in the mid 00s. Still can't quite get my head around the concept that this is 18 years old.

Anyone want a 2017 Epson ET4550? Mine is now rather surplus to requirements as it's been rather upstaged.
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Old Nov 19 2020, 12:20 PM   #5593
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All I can say Zelandeth is WOW, now THAT'S a printer! I'm not familiar with laser jets. other than knowing that they and their tanks are more expensive. Personally, I (we) have been using Canon photo printers for years. We're on our third or fourth one. The older ones used 7 individual ink tanks (usual yellow, cyan, magenta, and black, along with photo yellow, cyan, and magenta) and we quite literally wore out 2 of those. The current Pixma will produce prints up to 13X16 inches of commercial quality and uses 6 individual tanks, the usual 4 plus a same size photo gray and an extra large black. Advantage being that if you run out of, say, cyan, that's all you replace, instead of replacing a 3-in-one tank. That, and the ability to produce extremely high quality photos keep me with my Canons; I started with Canon cameras in 1968, 35mm of course.
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Old Nov 20 2020, 07:40 PM   #5594
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Had the Jag out for a brief run yesterday. For the first time since I picked the car up, the heater was toasty warm the whole time...so much more pleasant.

Looks so much better with decent tyres on the front too.



I know a couple of people have asked about how the Nankang tyres behave in the wet. My observation so far: they're solidly average. Nothing like the wet grip of the Uniroyal RainExpert line, but they're absolutely fine so long as you use a bit of common sense.
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Old Nov 21 2020, 12:53 PM   #5595
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I seem to have lots of extra holes in me. Flu jab on Monday. Blood test taken Friday, except the nurse missed the first time so that's two more holes. And, a B12 jab also Friday.
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Old Nov 22 2020, 12:12 AM   #5596
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Maybe someone decided you needed extra holes?
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Old Nov 22 2020, 03:08 AM   #5597
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All I can say Zelandeth is WOW, now THAT'S a printer! I'm not familiar with laser jets. other than knowing that they and their tanks are more expensive. Personally, I (we) have been using Canon photo printers for years. We're on our third or fourth one. The older ones used 7 individual ink tanks (usual yellow, cyan, magenta, and black, along with photo yellow, cyan, and magenta) and we quite literally wore out 2 of those. The current Pixma will produce prints up to 13X16 inches of commercial quality and uses 6 individual tanks, the usual 4 plus a same size photo gray and an extra large black. Advantage being that if you run out of, say, cyan, that's all you replace, instead of replacing a 3-in-one tank. That, and the ability to produce extremely high quality photos keep me with my Canons; I started with Canon cameras in 1968, 35mm of course.

We don't print much, so for us, injets would be a waste of money because we'd have to get new cartridges for every print run. For the occasional photo we want to print, we'll use an online photo printing service. We have a basic b&w HP laser jet/scanner.
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Old Nov 22 2020, 02:51 PM   #5598
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Maybe someone decided you needed extra holes?
Yeah! to let the virus in!
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Old Nov 23 2020, 04:11 AM   #5599
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I was meant to get my flu jab about a week back, until they decided not to give me it. On account on my having got I'll following getting it back in 2008 - which I'm still pretty convinced was simply down to poor timing meaning I contracted it immediately before getting the jab (my assistant at work had two kids and introduced the strain doing the rounds at their kids school to the office about a week beforehand).

Then gave me a royal scolding for "not telling them" when I'd already done precisely that on the form they had me fill in to book the appointment a month ago, in the box specifically asking whether I'd ever been ill following getting the jab before. There are few things I despise in this world more than being told off like a misbehaved toddler, especially when I've done naught wrong.

Apparently I've now been blacklisted so won't be offered it in future years.
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Old Nov 23 2020, 06:51 PM   #5600
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Decided it had been far too long since TPA had been out. Had intended to get her out last week but torrential rain ended up putting paid to that plan, mainly on account of the windscreen demister being pretty much useless. Issue is basically that because the duct is so long and narrow there just isn't enough airflow. The heater really needs a decent blower which can both shift a decent volume of air and also produce decent static pressure so it doesn't just get choked by the ductwork. That was the issue I had with the axial blower I tried originally...it shifted masses of air in the open but couldn't handle the back pressure from the heat exchanger and all the ducting.

It was obvious on start up that she wasn't happy. Just wouldn't idle properly, no matter what I did. Felt more like an ignition than fuelling issue to me so decided to go over the basics.

Gave the distributor cap a wipe down and the contacts a scrub up.



Wasn't terrible but equally could be better. Given this is the cap which came with KPL and spent goodness knows how long open to the weather I really should just change it...

The rotor arm looked fine so just gave it a very gentle clean. That's not a dark spot by the way, there's just a polished spot where the centre contact sits and it's reflecting shadows.



Pretty sure dirty points were to blame as there was a bit of oxidisation present. Gap was fine though once the contact surfaces had been given some attention with some fine Emery cloth.

While I was in the area I changed the somewhat ropey crimp terminal on the switched line from the coil.



I have previously noted that I could stall the engine by wiggling that wire before so had been meaning to change it for a while.

I did note when testing that there's a bit more of an arc at the points as they open than I'd like. So I reckon the condenser is on the way out. May well be behind the original issues today.

Given how terrible the quality of most automotive replacements these days I'm not even going to bother with them. These condensers almost always seem to be in the 0.1-0.3uF range that I've seen values stamped on, so as I've got good quality polyester film caps in stock in 0.22uF/1kV I'll just be fitting one of these.



I will probably gut the can of the original and stick it in there so it'll be a nearly invisible upgrade. This cap should essentially be a fit and forget solution as these caps don't tend to degrade appreciably and damp doesn't affect them as they're properly hermetically sealed.

I still keep expecting this engine to use oil for no really valid reason and it keeps surprising me when the oil level never moves.



With the ignition system back together she started up first touch and idled properly again.

Reckon the points might have wanted a clean for a while as I'd swear it feels like we've got more low end torque now.

So off we went, first stop for the day was to pick up more dog food.



Then off to pick up a few other essentials in a few different locations around town.





Most of the travel between these locations wound up being straight up and down the A5 as town seemed to be really snarled up most of today for some reason. Sure I remember there being a time when "big" roads like that were something I generally tried to avoid wherever possible in this car...whereas now we're quite happy to use them and buzz along quite happily at a shade over 60. About 63 seems to be where she gets into a groove on roads like that for want of a better term.

Still find it somewhat amusing that the speed she hates doing the most is 30. To look at it you'd expect this to be most happily bumbling along at that sort of speed, not blasting along the open road at 60 plus change. The dissonance between the appearance and actual capabilities still makes my head spin a little and never ceases to amuse.

Glad to report that the adjustment of the nearside door front striker has both reduced the door rattle noticeably and has vastly reduced the draught which used to come in around the leading edge.
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