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7:03pm on Saturday, 7th July, 2012:

Trimming Down


I had to meet a student at 4pm this afternoon. He's part-time, which is to say he has a full-time job and can't get days off during the week, so I have to see him at weekends. Immediately afterwards, I had to go and pick up my daughter from a friend's.

I spent the afternoon working on my PC. I had quite a lot to do, so was anxious to finish it before I had to disappear for two and a half hours. I was therefore not too pleased when my wife showed up and announced she couldn't get the hedge trimmer to work. I had several documents open and only about 5 or 10 minutes of work left before I was done, but she wasn't going to go away so I had to pause and take a look.

Apparently, the hedge trimmer was working when she tested it at the plug socket but it wasn't working when she got to the hedge. I had a look at the trimmer, the connection of the trimmer to its cable, the connection of the cable to the extension lead, and the connection of the extension lead to ... oh. The plug for the extension lead was 3 metres out of the socket. My wife had pulled the extension lead without unwinding enough from the reel and had torn the plug from its socket.

If that had been the end of the story, we could have had a good laugh and that would have been today's QBlog entry sorted. However, when I plugged the trimmer back in it still didn't work.

I figured it could have blown a fuse, so I took it back to the house and replaced the fuse. That didn't work, so I tried with a second replacement fuse just to make sure and that didn't work either. I replaced the original fuse, then took a look at the connection between the trimmer and its cable: this is a two-pin male/female contraption that ought to have fitted together more than it was fitting together. I realised that my wife had probably pulled on it too hard and one of the wires inside had come loose. I started to unscrew it, and the cable just fell to the floor. OK, so I needed to put it back.

The screw (well, bolt) holding it together was harder to unscrew than it should have been. I had to hammer it out rather than merely unscrew it off its retaining nut. I found out why when I got the assembly open: one of the wires had come out, touched the screw and fused itself to it. There was wire welded onto the shaft of the bolt.

I cleaned up the screw, trimmed the cable back a bit to get some more wire showing, attached it to the pins inside the connection joint and put it back together. I tried it, but it didn't work. OK, so when the wire contacted the screw that probably would have fused the plug, so I replaced the fuse again and tried once more. It didn't work.

It was then I noticed that my computer wasn't on. When I had tried the unrepaired trimmer with a new fuse the first time round, the new fuse must have blown and set off the trip switch for the downstairs circuit. I untripped the switch at the circuit box and tried the trimmer: this time it worked.

I then had to set off to the university then to ge my daughter, diverting back via the shop because I'd missed something off the shopping list this morning that my wife wanted to put on her sandwiches. I've just got back.

Another hour or so of opening temporary document saves, cleaning up directories and retyping stuff into the programs that don't do automatic saved, and I should be back to where I was.

I'm a bit fed up to be honest.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).