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Disaster narrowly averted

January 14th, 2010

Earlier this evening I was making mashed potato as I am sometimes known to do. After boiling the potato until ripe and tender I prepared the items for the next stage: milk, salt, pepper, and the all important masher. What else? Butter, of course! The most vital ingredient. No butter in the butter hopper. Hmm. More butter must be fetched from the fridge and placed in the hopper! THERE IS NO BUTTER IN THE FRIDGE!!! Woe! Misery! I am struck with a feeling of utter desolation.

After picking myself up off the floor and calming my trembling nerves with a cool glass of milk I consider carefully what must be done. Evidently the process cannot proceed in the established “butter cloud” fashion. I could spend the night in hunger repenting that I forgot to stock up on butter at Tesco. Instead I decide to make an alarming new addition to my mashed potato recipe – after all, it couldn’t get much worse. The new ingredient: MUSTARD! I added two teaspoons of English mustard and proceeded as normal.

Results were unexpectedly good! The mustard adds a nice mustardy flavour which goes well with sausages and helps to disguise the lack of butter flavour. I may have to consider adding a little mustard more regularly. The yellow mustard colour also gives the potato a rather appealing garish yellow hue which certainly brightened up my dinner.

So, all things considered, it could have ended much worse. Still, as renowned pizza oven once remarked, “a little bit of butter makes it good!”.

Why do washing machines hate me?

January 11th, 2010

I’ve just suffered my fourth washing machine malfunction in 12 months. Why does this keep happening to me!!! :(

Here is a brief recap:

  • The first washing machine had some sort of problem where it would chew up its insides and spit them out over the clothes. This was replaced but then…
  • The new washing machine refused to spin after a few months. The cause of this problem was the legendary Carbon Brushes.
  • Some time passed. I moved house. But then I was struck with a terrible internal leakage problem. This turned out to be a lime scale accumulation on the inlet valve.

I thought I was safe. The washing machine was working. My clothes were clean and fresh. But then when I least expected it the washing machine just stopped mid cycle. After some analysis I found that it had not only stopped but tripped the circuit breaker. Furthermore, the machine now trips the circuit breaker the instant it’s turned on. Hmm. The engineer is coming on Friday but even if he fixes it I doubt it will last long until the next disaster.

With what sort of frequency do other people experience washing machine malfunctions??

UPDATE: Apparently the washing machine was completely borked: carbon brushes, bearings, and some other component were completely worn out. New washing machine being delivered this morning… wonder how long it will last.

Washing machine woes

November 15th, 2009

My washing machine has developed an unfortunate fault where the drum will slowly fill up with water at the rate of about one inch per eight hours. This happens even when the machine is switched off. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the mechanism as it will happily drain away again when it’s switched on.

In my experience most washing machine problems are the fault of the carbon brushes, and one must only replace these and everything will be fixed. However, I am suspicious that this fault may be caused by a “loose valve” and the carbon brushes are largely innocent since I can hear a steady dripping even when the machine is turned off. This discovery of this new component has shaken my previously solid understanding of washing machine design.

Maybe it’s time to call the landlord…

UPDATE: The engineer is here, fixing in progress

UPDATE2: The engineer is gone and claims fixed. Apparently the problem was a “pin” in the three-way cold water inlet valve had become lime scaled and broke. Hard water is apparently a problem in these parts. So there you go.